Combining Chops, Lateral Lunge & Bicep Curls for the Perfect Routine
Performing the same workout with the same exercises week after week would become monotonous, rather boring, and extremely stale for anyone! It would feel like ground hog day and change how people spend their time. This never has to be the case if you know the exercise basics, how to integrate variety and challenge what you already know with a few simple techniques.
Basic Principals of Exercise
As a professional trainer, understanding the principals of exercise and progression is key to challenging all client types to achieve their goals. Listed below are the primary principals that must be understood and mastered to deliver safe and efficient workouts.
Overload – To become stronger, the body must be exposed to workloads greater than those it is accustomed to. Work levels must gradually “overload” the body above its resting level to bring about improvement.
Progression – Progressively and gradually increasing the workload of an exercise for improvement – once a basic movement or skill is mastered and is performed at ease, one will advance to a higher level of training by progressive variables.
Regression – Training improvements are rapidly lost when training ceases. Significant reductions in fitness levels can be seen after only 2 weeks without training.
Specificity – Specific focus to become better at a movement or skill by consistent practice for the body to adapt.
Plateau – The gains usually seen in the early stages of an exercise program level off after a few weeks, and no further gains are apparent. This is normal, and progression will again occur as the program is continued.
Learn to Vary Any Exercise
Altering the weight used along with the reps and sets performed are not the only way to vary an exercise. Actually, it’s just simple ways to address changing an exercise.
Often times, trainers have an exercise in their mind they want their client to perform, but it might not be the ‘right’ exercise for the client. Rather than force a movement that’s not working, be prepared and knowledgeable with variations to perform the same exercise in a different way that accommodates the client’s needs.
Methods of Progression & Regression
Progression and regression happens in a variety of ways. Some of these include:
- Changing the resistance
- Increasing/ decreasing reps
- Intensity of exercises performed (difficulty of workout)
- Speed (tempo of exercise/drill)
- Duration (length of workout)
- Balance challenges
- Super sets OR compound movements (performing 2 exercises at once)
- Timed sets vs. number of reps
- Stance of feet/ hands (uni-bi lateral movements)
- Angle of movement
- Range of motion
- Equipment used
- Workout style (circuits, intervals, HIIT, low impact, post-rehab, etc.)
By changing just one of these variables, your clients will be challenged with the same exercises they’re familiar performing.
You can achieve anything you want with consistent, hard efforts. Patience and consistency will bring results. This is such an important principle to implement because this is where many tend to fail. They give up before they succeed in the end result.
Bottom line: never give up on the end result. If it were easy, everyone would be doing amazing, difficult things. So be prepared to work hard mentally and physically and stay focused on the end goal to achieve any learned skill.
Basics to Progress
Let’s discuss 3 excellent exercises you can progress during a workout by adding a variation for an increased challenge. Cable Chops, Lateral Lunge, and Chest Flies are a great combination of exercises to work the entire body while focusing on a specific area.
Each of these Total Gym exercises show a series of ways to progress ranging from beginner to advanced. Try incorporating these exercise progressions with your client according to their strength level.
- High kneeling
- Different angles
- Open glideboard lunge
- Dynamic movement
- High kneeling
- Angle of arms
- Static equilibrium
NOTE: These exercises are specific to the Total Gym, but can also be applied to a more traditional setting in the gym using weights, bands, stability balls, or cables.
Inspire and challenge your clients each session by going back to the basics and progressing the exercises from there!
About the Author
Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Masters Degree in Performance Enhancement/ Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a free lance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, news letters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work.
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