230619 The leg press

230619 The leg press

Here Cliff is doing a quick, and I mean quick, set of leg presses. We keep the speed up on these in order to develop the power necessary to condition his legs and perhaps help him prevent a fall. However, in order to do these safely, please follow these exercise form suggestions.

  1. Adjust the backrest to suit your body, and put your feet in the most comfortable position on the footrest.
  2. Make sure that you keep your lower back pushed against the backrest and do not allow it to round off during the exercise.
  3. Push up on the foot rest and reach over and release the safety catches on the machine.
  4. Lower the weight down as far as you feel comfortable doing and then push back up.
  5. When you push back up make certain that your knees do not start coming together, this is dangerous to the anterior cruciate ligament of your knees.

Sometimes we do as many as 5 sets of 20 reps with a one minute break between sets to vary the program. Other times we do heavy weight and lower repetitions. The key take away it to vary your program so it doesn’t get stale on you.

090619 The T-Bar rows

T-Bar rows

Cliff doing a quick set of T-Bar rows

Put the end of an empty barbell into a 90° corner of your power rack, corner of your exercise room, the attachment built into your rack or as in this case an individual T Bar row apparatus.

If you are using the corners of your rack, room or other set up you have to continually pull the bar not only up to your chest but also back into the 90° space you’ve selected to place the bar when doing these exercises. Some people put a heavy dumbbell over this loose end to help keep it in place.

Once you have the bar where you want it, then load the opposite end with weight. Use the smaller 25s so you get more range of motion (ROM). The 45s are too big and will touch your chest before reaching your full ROM.

Flex the hips and move your buttocks back until your upper torso is at about a 45°angle to the floor with both arms fully extended. If you want a more direct hit on the upper back, then lie prone on a high bench and use a camber bar.

Here is an example of a camber bar from Ader Sporting Goods. I don’t know the country of origin.

These bars have a six to ten inch camber or arch right in the middle of the bar. Using one of these will allow you to lay prone on a flat bench and lift the barbell up under the bench.

Doing a prone row on a bench with a camber barbell makes it almost impossible to cheat the bar up. It eliminates virtually ALL body English during the exercise. It may also help prevent a back injury because of the stabilizing effect of the bench.

260519 Military Press

Military press

Cliff is doing a quick specific exercise warm up with this military press prior to moving up in weight. He has already used the skip rope for his overall body warm up. He generally does a minimum of forty repetitions for each exercise, not counting the warm ups.

In this particular case, we combined it with pull downs after each set of military presses.

This moves the training session along a big faster and keeps his heart rate up a bit higher than normal.

This is how he does the military press:

  1. Lift the bar off the floor to your shoulders or stand upright under it in a power rack
  2. Hold the bar with a closed overhand grip, a bit wider than shoulder-width
  3. Press it up and over the top of your head until both arms are fully extended
  4. Lower it back down under control and repeat for one repetition
  5. Keep a good grip on the bar until it is securely racked again or placed back on the floor

190519 Starting a weight training program

190519 Starting a weight training program

Often times a person thinks long and hard before beginning a fitness or strength program. Along the way these questions invariably arise:

  • How do I start?
  • Where do I begin?
  • What do I do?
  • What exercises should I be doing?
  • How do I do them?

Women generally ask how do I flatten my stomach, get rid of the flab on the backs of my arms or strengthen my bones. Men are asking how to get a six pack and want to know how to bench press more weight.

These questions can be answered by a certified and competent trainer. Notice I did not say just a certified trainer but a competent one as well. A certification from a recognized source such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association implies the trainer has demonstrated superior knowledge, is competent to coach and is well up to the training task. Competency and results are the proof in the pudding as the saying goes. After all, it truly is a buyer beware situation when you are trying to get stronger and are paying out good money for the results you desire.

The short and sweet of the beginners training starts out in this manner:

A beginning routine consists of large muscle group exercises (as noted in the following list) featuring balanced applications of sets and repetitions for both agonist and antagonist groups. After a movement specific warm up is completed then each exercise is performed ten to twelve times do eight to ten repetitions for two to four sets. A set is one group of eight to ten repetitions.

290419 Cliff, lower body warm up part two

Cliff starting his lower body warm up

Cliff normally starts with the skip rope for 3- 5 minutes or rides the stationary bike for an equal amount of time prior to his lower torso warm up.

This is part 2 of 4 warm up movements, start out slowly and gradually increase the speed and range of motion for 10 to fifteen repetitions on each part.

  1. Front to rear wide leg swings,
  2. Side to side lateral leg swings,
  3. Good morning with head below the waist line,
  4. Bodyweight only squats

220419 Cliff, starting his lower body warm up

Cliff starting his lower body warm up
Cliff normally starts with the skip rope for 3- 5 minutes or rides the stationary bike for an equal amount of time prior to his lower torso warm up.
This is part 1 of 4 warm up movements, starting out slowly and gradually building up the speed and range of motion for 10 to fifteen repetitions on each part.

Front to rear wide leg swings,

Side to side lateral leg swings,

Good morning with head below the waist line,

Bodyweight only squats

030419 Adult exercise guidelines

030419 Adult exercise guidelines

Inactivity diminishes a person’s ability to lead a healthy productive life and living a long time doesn’t mean much if you aren’t able to enjoy it. Avoiding the sedentary lifestyle is easier than it may appear. Simply get moving.

You don’t have to be an elite world class athlete to reap the benefits of being healthy. As the saying goes, any amount of activity is better than none, but in my humble opinion, not much better.

Nonetheless doing at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise will lead to substantial improvements in your health. Healthful results accrue by doing 75 minutes of higher intensity exercise such as strength training in the 80-100% of your one rep max or with aerobics keeping your heart rate within the 75-80 target heart rate (THR) range.