Friday, November 17, 2006

10 or Under

As a rule of thumb, I train my clients 2 - 3 times per week and I have them do full body workouts. Full body workouts mean all the muscles of the body are stimulated directly and/or indirectly based on the exercise movements we select. I always incorporate a compound movement for the hips/legs by using some type of deep knee bend like the squat or deadlift or the "crowd favorite" - the ever ever hated Nautilus leverage leg press. We also routinely perform some kind of compound pressing movements for the shoulders and chest and at least two compound pulling exercises. The trainees workouts are structured around joint safety and muscle balance, with a constant emphasis on proper form and execution of every repetition of every set. We usually train each exercise using 1 set to muscular failure (i.e. another repetition can not physically be performed using proper form), other times we may stop just shy of fatigue, but regardless; the trainee’s job is to always work hard during the session.

During these sessions it is rare that a trainee will perform more than 10 total sets, more than likely it is 5-6 hard sets that revolve around compound movements plus we round out our program by doing some abdominal, lower back and grip work. Here are some sample workouts that cover the entire body in less than 10 sets and take 20 - 30 minutes of training (depending on your level of condition). Keep in mind that the equipment listed here is what I have to offer my clients and can be substituted with dumbbells, barbells, rocks, bodyweight or whatever modality you have available. The important point is to understand the concept and then utilize what you have available to have a well rounded program.

Sample 1

Pendulum Roach Press 1x15-20
Pulldown 1x15-20
Pendulum Dips 1x15-20
Hammer Iso Row 1x12-15
Nautilus Leverage Leg Press 1x30
Sand Bag Deadlifts 1x15-20
Hammer Gripper 1x15-20
Reverse Wrist Curl 1x15-20
Crunch 1x20 -25

Sample 2

Standing Overhead Press 1x15-20
Dumbbell Deadlift 1x20-25
Layback Rows with rope 1x max effort
Pushups 1x max effort
Pendulum Shrug 1x15-20
Thick Bar Dumbbell Curl 1x15-20
Bodyweight Squats 1x max effort
Crunch 1x max effort

Our training effort as I stated earlier is always HARD, sometimes that means the whole workout will be to MMF (momentary muscle failure/fatigue), other times only certain exercises will have an emphasis for that day while on other days no sets are to failure, but still challenging to the trainee.

If you are structuring a workout or feel your volume may be too high, think about the 10 set rule, vary your workouts via exercises, reps, sequence and intensity and you should have all your bases covered.


Fred Fornicola