Thursday, March 13, 2008

Old Faithful

When it comes to exercise, I feel it is advantageous to vary many different training protocols, modalities and exercises. I think it’s good for the body and mind to “change things up” and experiment now and again to keep things interesting and productive. Let’s face it, the “same old, same old” can be a real thrill killer when it comes to exercise and most people don’t need yet another reason for not sticking with their exercise regimen.

In keeping with this experimental nature and having an open mind, I find I learn a lot of different approaches that work, and others that don’t for one reason or another. I personally use and evaluate any and all tools and protocols to understand the nuances that are associated with them so that I can benefit from them and teach them properly. In doing this, I discover many productive and unproductive aspects of fitness and apply what I think is valuable so my training can be very rewarding; physically, mentally and emotionally. Let's face it, there are many ways to acchieve strength and fitness and being married to one approach is not only narrow-minded, it's unproductive over the long haul.
Back to my point. This experimental phase is usually beneficial for myself as well as my clients. It gives another dimention to the arsenal I use at Premiere Personal Fitness, however, these applications are usually temporary for me personally because I feel my most comfortable when I go back to my roots, doing what comes natural to me. Let me give an example of what I mean.

An important aspect of my training is my solitude and I find no greater pleasure than the rustic setting of my cold garage during the winter month's. In my garage I have a chin up bar, dumbbells, short ropes, rings, stones, sand bags, the TRX Suspension Trainer and some other “odds and ends” that enable me to round out my training.
Here is a workout that I performed recently that enabled me to train every major muscle group in my body, as well as challenged my cardiovascular system. Each set was worked with controlled movement and worked so no further reps could be achieved in good form. Basically, I worked hard on every set, performing each exercise for one, hard set of as many controlled reps that I could muster. I also took very short breaks - no more than 30-60 seconds - between exercises.

Note: the repetitions varied dramatically – ranging anywhere from 12 – 50 depending on the exercise. Here is what I did:

TRX Suspension Row with feet elevated
Ring Pushup (Rings set 2” from the floor)
Hammer Curl with Rope
Hand Stand Pushup held for time
Step Up
Close Grip Pushup on Sandbag
Stone Lift
Crunch on Stability Ball

Training time was approximately 20 minutes.
A very compact and effective workout that used a variety of inexpensive equipment in a short amount of time.
Feel free to experiment with various applications of your fitness. There is no "one-way" to do anything so go with what feels most natural to you so you'll stay with your fitness program and when in doubt, always go back to "old faithful" to keep you grounded.

Fred Fornicola