Friday, December 15, 2006

A Combo Workout

I have written many times that if an individual trains to MMF (momentary muscle failure) on 6-10 exercises, moving quickly through the workout (10-60 seconds rest between movements) they can not only increase their strength but their cardiovascular systems as well. For the most part, most of the people I train work very hard, close to; if not to failure on most exercises at most training sessions (determining how I train a particular client that day goes beyond the scope of this post). Some clients like different challenges or a higher level of fitness so I will implement the following type workout to keep them focused and enable them to have a productive workout.

The process goes something like this:

They will do a lower body compound movement like a leg press and take it to muscular fatigue and then I immediately move them to the treadmill for 2 hard minutes of walking/running. At the end of the 2 minutes I move them to their next exercise, like a machine shoulder press and have them perform a set to failure. I then move them back to the treadmill for another hard 2 minutes and then immediately over to the pulldown machine for a hard set (again, "hard" is a relative term) and then back to the treadmill for 2 more minutes. This cycle of events will be done for 2 rounds.

This enables the trainee to:

*Raise their HR beyond what their normal workout does

*Work hard on their exercises because they need to be more focused from their stint on the CV equipment with their raised HR

*Their workouts do not exceed a total of 30 minutes and they will get in ~12-15 minutes of total CV work (I have them do 3-5 minutes on the last go around of CV work), they are working non stop for those 30 minutes AND they are focused on their resistance work so they reduce the potential of injuring themselves.

Is this an optimal way to train someone for strength? Maybe, maybe not, I guess it all depends on how you define strength and what your needs are but I still feel that overall it is a healthy and safe way to approach strength and conditioning.

"Train With A purpose"

Fred Fornicola