So how do you design a kick-ass training program to get your best body efficiently, safely, and quickly? How do you reduce markers of aging?
Here is where the rubber meets the road. You will need to think and train like an elite athlete. Uncomfortable? You want to succeed, so let’s look at this in a fresh way.
Athletes Reach Potential With Some Basics We Can All Use
Potential = performance – interference (waste)
Learn how to minimize or eliminate the interference
When I began training for both a lean, mean body and to compete, I noticed something odd. We (our team) used the same few exercises and kept getting different, progressive results. We defied Einstein’s version of insanity, of ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ Nice.
You do not need to ‘shock’ your muscles to make gains. Muscles don’t get confused—your central nervous system (CNS), or brain and spinal cord, control movement. Switching up exercises, sets, and reps is one thing, but purposefully overloading your CNS is a sure precursor to overtraining and injury, not muscle gains.
Making gains is simply outdoing your previous workout or even the workout two-four weeks ago (depending on your level of training). Once you can perform one more rep of a lift or extra pound over what you did last week, you’ve achieved progressive overload and it is time to move on to the next muscle group. Change up your weights, sets, repetitions, intensity, and order of exercise.
Develop, Start, and Eliminate the Interference With a Fitness Program
Our team also continuously met dream goals because we committed to progressive programs that pushed the envelope and inspired us. Our workouts were focused and never over one hour. We carefully used and balanced our energy, cutting out anything that interfered with that laser focus.
It was a blast. It was a recipe for success.
Now that you are in the athlete’s mindset, here is the perfect plan for fitness success.
-Develop a solid base of strength to develop skills safely and avoid injury
-Learn perfect biomechanics and details of each movement—perfect practice makes perfect results.
-Be consistent and practice with deliberation (this is intensity vs. volume)
-Make sure every workout has a purpose (toward the dream goal)
-Use free weights whenever possible
–Think movement not simply muscles
-Cycle work (intensity not volume) and recovery throughout the year (we will build on the progressive concept in the next blog where we talk about sets and reps)
-Plan energy- and time-effective exercises and use free weights whenever possible (see below)
Use a Menu System for the Best Exercises
Be the Connoisseur of Your Menu to Get the Desired Experience
When eating out, do you look for quality over quantity? Do you look for the freshest and most organic over the traditional? If ‘yes,’ you will like the approach of getting the most quality out of the most targeted and succinct workout sans interference. Simply used the following menu.
First choose a few entrees from the core or go-to strength moves. These involve great body balance and recruit more major muscles and muscle groups than isolated moves. You spend less time on your workout and move faster to results. You could use 4-5 core exercises only as your full meal without complementary moves.
Squats (or one-legged squats, also called lunges)
Cleans or push press (shoulder press)
Pull-downs or pull-ups
Rows (all kinds)
Abs (crunches, reverse crunches, captain’s chair, rotations—many more)
Now pick some ‘sides’ from the complementary exercises, which can help strengthen certain muscle groups and offer variety and fun to workouts.
Triceps dips, extensions, and kick-backs
(You will find more you like over time and with experience.)
Pull-ups (or pull downs)
Reverse-grip pull downs (abs and back)
Your initial goal is perfect biomechanics (form) so use comfortable weight if not just bodyweight. Work up slowly and consistently as you get stronger, so the last few reps are challenging.
Fun Bio Facts
AT THE CORE
Why do we recommend free weights over machines (unless you have specific needs)? Most traditional resistance machines have back rests or other features that support your spine and torso while your legs or arms perform repetitions. Because the spine is passive in these exercises, it does not need do any work to support itself.
If the spine is passive, strength and power is developed in the limbs without the necessary corresponding functional strength and control in the torso. What results is a non-integrated core with strong powerful limbs, which can set the stage for injury.