Monday, April 12, 2010

Become One of the Elite

Each and every Monday morning, I start my first training session at 5:30 with Ted, who is one of my many dedicated clients. Ted is one of those guys who never miss a workout (even at 5:30 AM in the middle of winter), never makes up or uses excuses and always gives 100% effort – regardless of his circumstances. Ted has been with me for many years now and we recently discussed his need to refocus his attention on himself as Ted is very much a giving kind of guy. Because Ted is a devoted father, partner, friend and educator, he tends to take a back seat to his own needs and after a recent conversation, we both agreed that it was time for him to make a change. I offered Ted the opportunity (and challenge) to start up on the “Elite” training program as he would benefit greatly from it. In a nut shell, the “elite” program consists of training once every seven days with a very high level of intensity (see the “Elite” program for more details).

Ted and I reviewed and discussed what exercises would suit his orthopedic and personal needs and we decided that the best “bang for the buck” would come from the compound movements (exercises that engage a great deal of muscle). We also knew that because the level of effort is so high in the Elite program that Ted’s total work volume would be no more than six total sets for his entire workout and sometimes seven when we include work for his lower back every other week. And because Ted is looking for a higher than normal conditioning effect and wants to accelerate his fat burning, he also comes in on Saturday for the “High Performance”” training program which is specific to his cardiovascular, conditioning and fat loss goals.

The Elite program consists of a couple different approaches, but the one Ted is currently using is a slow repetition speed in which he takes approximately 10 seconds to raise the weight and 4 seconds to lower. He works until he can’t move the weight in good form and then we terminate the set. His total “Time Under Load” (how long it took him to complete the exercise) is timed for each exercise and is documented. His weights are then adjusted accordingly for his next workout the following week. This makes his training very focused and intense and beneficial to his muscular and cardiovascular systems. A big plus using this training system is that Ted no longer has issues with his low-level exercise induced asthma that he found to be restricting when we used other training protocols and frequency. The “elite” program also frees him up to do the many other things that he’s responsible for on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at what Ted’s once-a-week workout consists of and the muscles that are involved for each exercise:

Hammer Strength Row (back, biceps, forearms)
Pendulum Chest Press (chest, shoulders, triceps)
Gravitron Chin (back, bicep, forearms, abdominals)
Cybex Shoulder Press (shoulders, triceps, chest)
Nautilus Leverage Leg Press (hips, legs, calves)
Nautilus Abdominal Crunch (abdominals)
Nautilus Low Back (lumbar region/lower back – done every other week)

As you can see, every major muscle is being stimulated with just the involvement a handful of exercises done for one maximum effort set. The correct exercise selection along with a monitored approach has enabled Ted to make significant gains over the last couple of weeks. Here are some results from this past week. In just one week, Ted increased his weight in the rows by 10 pounds using only 15 seconds less than last weeks time. His chest press went up by 5 pounds AND he increased his time by 8 seconds. He improved his chins by 16 seconds, his shoulder press by 6 seconds and his leg press improved by 10 pounds as did his abdominal crunch with only a few seconds shy of last weeks Time Under Load. Ted’s total training time was approximately 11 minutes and he took no more than 45 seconds rest between exercises, so that means Ted finished his total body workout in just around 15 minutes.

On Saturday Ted will come in again, but we will use the “High Performance” training module to further his cardiovascular system and fat burning productivity. With careful attention to detail and proper dieting techniques, Ted has lost over 10 pounds of fat in just three weeks time and has put on muscle. Oh, I almost forgot, did I mention that Ted is also in his 50’s?

If you’d like more information regarding Premiere Personal Fitness and our various program offerings, please visit our website.