Exercise outline Part 2
The workout, ironically is quiet simple. A good strength and conditioning routine can take many forms, from a 3 day workout up to 6 days. Personally, I like a 4 day program with a day of rest in the middle, like Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. General guidelines include;
Rest no longer than 45 seconds to a minute to optimize Growth Hormone and Testosterone release and insure utilization of proper ATP pathways
20-23 total working sets per workout to ensure enough stimulus for growth while not overtraining
8-10 rep per set with 3 sets per exercise to ensure proper hormone release, energy pathway utilization and prevent overtraining. With a minute rest this will put most workouts at about 40 to 45 minutes, not including foam rolling, correctives and warm-ups.
Train utilizing full movement patterns such as the squat, deadlift, lunge, presses and pulls, while incorporating dynamic core utilization
Train utilizing ratios of one to one
Proper ratios are important to ensure overall development and balance and also minimize the chance of injury. Lower body exercises can be broken up into knee dominant and hip dominant exercises. Knee dominant in this article refers to squats and not the knees coming forward past the toes. Where hip dominant is referencing deadlifts. Try to keep the ratio of knee dominant to hip dominant exercises equal. Further, try single leg exercises whenever possible, they are more functional and the athlete requires less loading equaling less chance of injury. Single leg exercises are very useful for anyone with strength imbalances, or previous; hip, knee, or ankle injury. As stated earlier they are also more functional equaling better return on your workouts.
In regards to upper body ratios, try keeping the horizontal and vertical pulls, think bent over rows and pull ups respectively equal to the horizontal and vertical pushes, think bench presses and shoulder press respectively. For more information on utilization of proper ratios check out the book Advances of Functional Training the author goes into great detail.
I am not a fan of machines:
They’re design seldom “fit” anyone
They do not replicate any real-world motion and thus do not translate to true strength gains. Think of lifting weight as rehearsing a movement as it applies to life outside the gym. You lunge when you walk up stairs or decelerate from a sprint, you deadlift when you pick something off the ground and you squat when you get into or out of a chair.
They eliminate the need for stabilization muscles, core muscle and segregate movement patterns leading to un-natural movement and unbalanced musculature predisposing the person to injury
They isolate muscles and seldom if ever allow for organic full pattern training
I recently had a patient tell me she does mostly machine work for her lower body, machine squats or smith machine squats, hips sled etc. When I asked her why she stated “because I can lift more weight”. I find myself having this conversation often when training someone new. I asked her to perform a body weight squat. Her ankles collapsed, her knees buckled and went way past her toes, she rounded her back and her chest collapsed and she was not able to break parallel without losing balance. Thus, not only do I not want her squatting, I do not want her reinforcing her bad habits with weight or worse hurting herself. It makes me shutter thinking of her doing that same movement loaded with weight, not to mention more weight than appropriate because she’s in a machine. If you can’t perform a proper squat with your own body weight do you really think you should do so under weight? We need to fist fix the movement pattern (this case the squat) before we load the athlete with weight.
The above is a brief and basic outline that can be used to design a workout routine. This is under the assumption that your form is correct and you have no pre-existing injuries, or injuries that have not been properly rehabbed. I will be posting articles in the future discussing proper form for some of the major lifts and some of the corrective exercises strategies I use to fix common mistakes. Again, the article was intended for educational purposes and not meant to diagnose or treat any condition or disease. It is important to have a medical physical and pre-participation exam if you are new to exercise by a qualified healthcare provider. As always if you have any specific health related questions feel free to contact us through our e-mail, facebook, blog, or call our office.
Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (2008). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.
Boyle, M. (2010). Advances in Functional Training. Santa Cruz CA : On Target Publications.
Cook, G. (2010). Textbook of Movement. Aptos, CA: On Target Publicaitons.
Hall, G. &. (2006). Textbook of Medical Physiology. Elsevier Saunders.