Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Dredded "Linear" Training Method

Weights, cardio, then maybe some abs...This may sound like a pretty familiar gym routine to most of you. In fact, this sounded a lot like my workout regimen a couple years ago until results became scarce and severe boredom set in. This common misinterpretation of a good workout program appeals to the masses, but then again, masses of people are not accomplishing shit for their hard work. This popular workout style is what I like to call "Linear Training".
What exactly is Linear Training? Well, simply put, Linear Training is any program that ignores most of the fitness principles for the sake of achieving one specific goal.

For Example:
-Jack is a 22 year old male looking to "get stronger".
-Jack searches the internet for a program that will help him achieve his goals.
-Jack finds a program that requires him to engage in strength training 3 days a week.
-Jack's program states that if he consistently works with heavier weights in the 4-6 rep range, he will indeed get stronger and "become an animal".

Month 1: Jack gets off to a good start, steadily able to "lift more weight". He feels the program is working.

Month 2: Jack's improvements are consistent. After 8 weeks, he notices that he has put on some muscle mass.

Month 3: Jack is happy with his gains in appearance and strength but he feels his improvements slowing. Week 13, Jack plays a game of pickup basketball with his buddies. He feels sluggish and manages to pull his hamstring halfway through the game.

This is a very common occurrence for most recreational athletes and it shouldn't be. Jack's injury and "sluggish" feeling during the game is a direct result of his poor training program. Although he saw improvements in size and strength, his program neglected to address other important fitness components such as flexibility, balance, and endurance to name a few. We can conclude that Jack's gains may be useless to the improvement of his health and lifestyle.

So how can we avoid the meathead approach to building sloppy, useless muscle? Here is a list to help you improve your next workout...

-Consistently adjust the intensity (weights, reps, rest periods, etc.) and duration of your workout sessions.
-Don't just focus on weights. Utilize other tools available to you such as bands, stability balls, kettlebells, medicine balls, etc. *Can't afford equipment or a gym membership? Don't forget to use your own bodyweight. There are countless exercises that can be done without any equipment whatsoever. These movements can be tougher and more effective than using equipment!
-After a few months of training, stay away from machines! Machines won't strengthen stabilizer muscles the way free movements will. At a more experienced stage, only use machines for rehab purposes.
-Stretch daily. Muscle flexibility is very important in preventing injury and maximizing workout effectiveness. Try a yoga class to enhance your stretching experience.
-Play sports? Mimic athletic movement patterns with bands, med balls, and weights. The resistance band torso rotation is a great exercise to strengthen your slapshot or bat swing.
-Focus on core movements that activate many muscle fibers throughout the body. Pushups, pullups, squats, and variations of the three are extremely beneficial for improving core strength as well as the targeted muscle groups.
-Have fun! Try a class that appeals to you or bring your workouts outside on a nice day. This will help to keep you motivated and on track to reach your goals.

TRX Boot Camp.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Upper Body "Power", Lower Body "Plyos"

Hang Clean and Press: 4x4
45 sec. of rest in between sets
Power Rows: 3x5
45 sec. of rest in between sets

Lumberjacks w/bands- 15 each side
Pushup Rows- 10
45 sec. of rest in between supersets

Box Jumps w/ 1 foot landing- 10 (5 each)
Lateral Hops- 10
Lunge Hops- 10
1 foot Lateral Hops- 10
45 sec. of rest in between plyo circuits

Fitness Anywhere: Make your body your machine.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today's Core Workout
Wiper/Scissor Combo- 15 reps
Plank Rotations- 10 reps (each side)
1 Legged, 1 Arm Plank- 30 sec. (each side)
Snake Pushups- 10 reps
Hanging Leg Raises (side to side)- 10 reps
Forearm, Knuckles, Palm (Plank variation)- 8 reps
Sliders- 8 reps

Take 1 min. of rest and repeat twice more...

Fitness Anywhere: Make your body your machine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Upper Body (Strength)
DB Press w/Leg Lift- 8
Sliders- 8
Med Ball Throws (Heavy)- 10
Band Press/Flyes- 16 (8 each)
TRX One Arm Row- 8 each
Dip Press and Hold- 30 sec.
Pullups w/3 sec. drop- 8

Take 1 min. of rest and repeat sequence twice more...

Fitness Anywhere: Make your body your machine.

Monday, January 18, 2010

TRX Circuit
Squat Jumps- 10
One Legged Squats (Elevated)- 10 each
Hamstring Curls- 10
One Legged Squat Hops- 10 each
Sprint Start w/Hop- 10 each

Take 45s-1min. of rest and repeat three more times...

TRX Suspension Trainer: Train Like the Pros.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Strength/Power Endurance

TRX Rows: 20 Reps
Punches w/Bands: 30s
TRX Oblique Crunches: 40
Shoulder Press w/Bands: 20
Curls w/Bands: 20
TRX Hip Ups: 20
Band Rows on Bosu: 20
TRX Pushups: 20
Torso Rotators w/Bands: 20 each

Take 45 seconds of rest and repeat twice more...

Fitness Anywhere