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Get Stronger! Let’s Go!

Many people dream of getting the perfect body.  Many people would just like more strength to perform their everyday tasks and reduce their risk of injury.  Strength training is important, no matter what your goals are.  Strength training is more than just bench pressing or lifting as much weight as possible.  We train your muscles at different angles with safely controlled speeds.  We also incorporate supersets and drop sets into the workouts.  In addition to weight training (primarily free weights), we incorporate bodyweight training calisthenic exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and squats into the workouts.  For example, we can train the beginner with sets of wall push-ups or we can train a seasoned veteran with sets of one arm push-ups.
 
Here is an example of a strength training workout we used on one of our clients.  This is an advanced workout focusing on muscular hypertrophy, which increases your muscle size.  We use hypertrophy training on clients who want to develop lean muscle mass.  We do not start new clients who may not have exercised in a long time with this type of workout, because first we need to focus on increasing their muscular endurance and stability, while developing optimal neuromuscular efficiency (Coordination).
 
WARM UP:
 
We always warm up the client before any kind of physical activity. We have seen the dangers of not doing a proper warm up before intense physical activity from the injuries some of our peers have suffered. First, we do a self-myofascial release with a foam roller. Using the foam roller can deliver improvements in flexibility, muscle recovery, movement efficiency, inhibiting overactive muscles, and pain reduction with just minutes of application.  These are the following areas where we like our clients to apply the self-mysofascial foam roll release:

     

  • Back
  • Tensor Fascia Latae (Hip Flexor Region)
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

Then, we would have the clients do active isolated stretches.  For example, on your hamstrings, you would stretch in repetitions.  You would hold the stretch for 2 to 3 seconds for 10 reps on each leg.  This warms the muscles up while properly lengthening them.  This is preferred to static stretching, as static stretching relaxes your muscles.  However, we use static stretching for no more than 20 seconds per stretch for cool downs and clients new to working out.  Here are the muscles we stretched:

     

  • Hip Flexors
  • Hamstrings
  • Adductors
  • Abductors
  • Lower Back
  • Quads
  • Calves
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Chest

Lastly, we do a cardiovascular warm up.  We had the client jog on the treadmill for 5 minutes.  Then we did 2 sets of 25 vertical push-ups and 1 set of 25 regular push-ups. The treadmill work is what is known as a general warm up, not relating to the more intense exercise that follows.  The push-up warm up routine is known as a Specific Warm Up, since it mimics the more intense chest exercises to follow.

 

RESISTANCE TRAINING:
 
We integrate weight lifting with sets consisting of 6 to 10 reps, which is an ideal range for building lean muscle.   We also add in challenging bodyweight exercises into the mix.  Not too many people can bench 300 pounds.  Even fewer people can do a one arm pull-up.  We stray away from machine weights as much as possible (depending on the equipment available in your gym) since they only isolate certain body parts and do not engage as many of your muscles at one time. Make sure the client is struggling for the last couple reps.  We had the client take a 90 second rest in between each set.
 
1.)     Flat Barbell Bench Press – We had the client do a warm up set of 15 reps at 135 lbs.  Do a warm up set where the client will not struggle at the last rep.  Then, we had the client do 3 sets.  The first set consisted of 10 reps at 185 lbs., the second set consisted of 8 reps at 200 lbs., and the third set consisted of 6 reps at 215 lbs.  The client was struggling with the last couple reps.  If they were not struggling, then the weight was too light.  This exercise is NOT RECOMMENDED without a spotter.
 
2.)    Incline Barbell Bench Press – The client did 3 sets of this exercise.  The first set consisted of 10 reps at 135 lbs., the second set consisted of 8 reps at 150 lbs., and the third set consisted of 6 reps at 160 lbs.  This exercise works the upper chest and shoulders. This exercise is NOT RECOMMENDED without a spotter.
 
3.)    Decline Barbell Bench Press Superset with Push-Ups – The client did 3 sets of this exercise.  The first set consisted of 10 reps at 175 lbs., and then they did 25 push-ups right after the set.   The second set consisted of 8 reps at 190 lbs., and then they did 25 push-ups right after the set, and the third set consisted of 6 reps at 200 lbs and then they did push-ups until failure. The Decline Barbell Bench Press is NOT RECOMMENDED without a spotter.
 
4.)    Triceps Cable Rope Extension – Triceps assist your chest muscles.  They are a synergist muscle of the chest.  The cable rope extension is one of most popular and effective triceps exercises.  This exercise also engages the core muscles as well.  The client did 1 warm up set of 15 reps with light weight.  Then the client did 3 sets of 10 reps with 65 lbs.
 
5.)    Lying Barbell Triceps Skull Crusher (Superset with Close Grip Push-Ups) – The client did 3 sets of 10 reps of the Lying Barbell Triceps Skull Crusher exercise.  After each set, they would go to the ground and do 15 Close Grip Push-Ups, which also focuses on the triceps.
 
6.)    Uneven Push-Ups – 2 sets of 40.  For Uneven Push-Ups, we had the client place his left hand on the ground, and his right hand on a ball (either a basketball or medicine ball) and do 20 Push-Ups.  Then, we switched to where his left hand is on the ball and his right hand is on the ground for 20 more Push-Ups.  That was one set.
 
7.)    Dips – A very popular and effective bodyweight exercise that works the chest, triceps, back, and shoulders.   We had the client do two sets until failure.
 
CORE WORKOUT:
 
Since there was not much time left, the client just did two core exercises.  However, these exercises are very effective and challenging.  First, we had the client perform Hanging Knee Raises on the pull up bar.  We had him do 15 reps for 2 sets.  For the second set, he needed some assistance with the last three reps.  We then had the client do a Plank for 2 minutes to get a challenging overall core workout.
 
COOL DOWN:
 
We did the same foam roll routine but changed the stretching from active isolated to static stretching.  We stretched the same muscles, but held each stretch for 20 seconds.