What’s Your Workout Plan?

It is Monday and it is time to start the week off right by getting in that very important and always needed workout.  When you roll into the gym, what is your plan of attack?  Do you do some cardio first before hitting the weights?  Do you do some light stretches and hit up the machines?  Or since it being Monday, do you go right to the first available bench and start banging out your bench press routine?  What is your plan of attack when you workout?  Do you even have a plan or do you just ‘play it by ear’?  In order to get the most out of your exercise routine it is best to have a plan of attack.  Now everybody’s plan is going to differ slightly due to different goals, but irregardless everyone should have a plan.  What is it you are after?  What are the goals you are working towards?  Is it weight loss, muscular strength, muscle hypertrophy or just general fitness?  Establishing your goals will help you establish your plan and what you need to do in order to get the results you are after.

My plan right now is to get stronger on several of the big lifts like: squat, deadlift, weighted pull ups, overhead press and dumbbell bench press.  My plan for doing this is lifting 3 days a week and targeting specifically those lifts.  The only way to get stronger at those lifts is to perform those lifts(I know it sounds crazy).  Even with my plan, I have a plan inside my plan and that is the way I design my workout and the order in which I perform those movements.  I believe every great workout starts with a pretty good warm up session.  Your warm up should be part of your workout and your workout should be your warm up.

My warm up usually consists of: push ups, pull ups, overhead squat, mini-band walks, 1 leg reaches, side lunges, bridges, marching bridges, bird dogs, Turkish get-ups, farmers carry, suit case carry, overhead carry, chops and lifts.

After all that, my body is ready to begin the meat and potatoes portion of the workout.  Now I strongly believe every workout can strongly benefit by starting with a big lower body lift like squat, deadlift, snatches or cleans.  Performing these first is best because you are fresh, have the most energy and they recruit the most muscles.  Start with a warm up set and then start to get into your routine.  Good rep schemes I really like to use are: 3 sets of 8, 3 sets of 5, 5  sets of 5 and 5 sets of 3.  The rep scheme depends on how you are feeling and what you are trying to accomplish.  If you are looking to put on some size then 3 sets of 8 is great and if you are just looking to get stronger then 3 or 5 sets of 5 is perfect.  Once I am done completing all my sets on that lift, I shift to an upper body to lower body superset.  Then I go into a 3 exercise set circuit and into a 4 exercise circuit.  Always focusing on strength and trying to get the major movements in.

An example of this is my workout today:

Straight Bar Deadlift: 225lbs (5 x 3)

Straight Bar Overhead Press 95, 105, 115 lbs(3 x 5) / Back Squat 95,105,115 (3 x 10)

Seated Cable Row 160, 170, 175 (3 x 8), Incline Chest Press 60, 65, 70 (3 x 8), 1 leg squats off the box (3 x 8)

Kettlebell Squat Clean & Press 30, 40, 40 (3 x5), Double Kettlebell Swings, 30,40,40 (3 x 10), TRX Row (3 x 15), Rotational Sand Bag Back lunges 40, 50,50 (3 x 20)

Cardio Finisher: 3 rounds of 100 meters on the rower for time

If you look at the example you will see, I covered pretty much all of the basics lifts and movements and not a lot of filler work in between.  I would perform each circuit all the way through before taking a rest.  Your workouts can be more effective and productive too if you have a plan.  Start it out with a big lift and then add in all of the other movements like push, pull, press, squat and lunge.  Try to think of ways to move around a little more at the gym and different ways to do mini circuits.  You will get more out of your workout in a lot less time. And always remember to do a cardio finisher, something you can go all out in and get your heart rate up fast such as: sprints, rower, battle ropes, sled, kettlebell swings.  Whatever you want as long as it does the job.

Have a fantastic Monday everyone.  Remember to go out there and do something great!

 

 

Street Fitness Motivation 2013

The more and more I look around for motivating and inspiring videos to post for Frontdive Fitness, the more and more I keep getting blown away on what the human body is capable of and the creativity of the exercises being performed.  Most of the exercises you will see are absolutely incredible and extremely challenging but then again all are done with their own body weight or even with the addition of someone else’s body weight.  These guys are very, very strong and very talented and I love all of the creative ways they find to do common exercises with their own hardcore twist.  Granted most of these guys look like they have some sort of gymnastic and/or break dancing background but it is absolutely stunning to watch and admire.

For me even as a trainer, I am baffled by the way these guys are able to move around a given joint, especially their shoulders, because to me it looks like they are not suppose to move that way.  I love the core strength, the stabilization, the body awareness and the fun they look like they are having.  I admire their hard work and dedication at being the best at what they do.  I am a bit jealous because I would love to have the environment these guys have to train at.  Where I live it is hard to find pull up bars, monkey bars, dip stations and other fun stuff you will see in this video.

Keep training hard and keep trying to think outside the box on different ways to move your body effectively and safely.

Movnat Combo Workouts

I have a couple of great videos for us today to get us motivated and inspire us to move our bodies naturally and in many different ways.  I am talking about Movnat.  Movnat is an exercise movement which is about teaching us how to move our bodies naturally they way they are intended as if we were outside in the wild.  I love Movnat for it’s simplicity, effectiveness, creativity and natural body weight movements.  The goal is not necessarily to get all big and strong but to be able to move your body in all different planes of motion without pain effectively and smoothly.  One should be able to crawl, deep squat, shoulder crawl, pull up, step up, jump and land without any trouble.  One of the reasons I love movnat is that it does not look all that hard or tough but you can definitely see it requires some strength, coordination, agility, balance and flexibility.  I think a lot of us could benefit from more movnat workouts just from the flexibility and body movement stand points.  When was the last time you crawled across the floor, walked across a balance beam, stepped up onto a box, hopped down from it and pulled yourself up onto a bar?  I am guessing not at all or ever.  With movnat it challenges your body to perform movements your body is meant to perform.

Here is the first video of the movnat combo workout and it is from the intermediate level.  An awesome combination using all body weight exercises and working all of the muscles in the body.  Simple, easy and effective.

Now here is another video from the advanced section and as you will see it gets a little more intense and requires more equipment.

Both of these look like fun to me and I wish I had a gym similar to it.  Focus on high quality movement for your workouts and do not get caught up in the numbers game.  With movnat, reps, sets and weights does not matter and it shouldn’t in your workout either.

Have fun, get creative and move that body the best you can.

Sprint Circuit

If any of you read my posts on Monday, I had told you I love watching videos that open up my mind, inspire me and push me to be more creative.  Well, I have become inspired and wanted to show you all what I have come up with.  I want to show you a circuit in which the numbers do not matter or the path to get the job done.  I go from sprint on the treadmill to over or under the box however I choose to squat, clean press with the kettlebells to some bear crawls to explosive push ups to the ropes to pull ups to jumps over the benches.  Continuous movement.  No stopping, no interruptions.  Just transitioning from one exercise to the next without very little rest in between.

No where in this circuit was I worried about reps, sets or time.  I would simply perform an exercise as best as I could for as long as I wanted to.  My primary focus was full body movements and enjoying the exercises.  And boy did I enjoy this circuit.

“You can have results or you can have your excuses. You cannot have both.” 

Today’s Workout

 

Today was mainly a straight set lifting day.  Do a set, rest for only a minute or two before performing the next one.

Warm Up

Lunges (all directions), push ups, pull ups, squats, jump rope

Workout

3 x 5 Kettlebell 1 Arm Snatches 35, 44, 53 lbs

3 x 10 Romanian Deadlift 95, 115, 125 lbs

3 x 10 Barbell Bent Over Row 85, 95, 95 lbs

3 x 10 Barbell Front Squat 45, 65, 95 lbs

3 x 10 Box Jumps

2 x 10 Push Up Knee Raise, TRX Rows, Dumbbell Side Lunge and Press with 25 lbs

Cardio Finishers

10 Rotational Medicine Ball Slams, 20 Seated Converter Ball Slams, 10 180 Squat Jumps, 45 Seconds Speed Jump Rope, 10 1 Leg Pogo Hops off Step and 5 Lap Shuttle Run