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.
the backrest to suit your body, and put your feet in the most comfortable
position on the footrest.
sure that you keep your lower back pushed against the backrest and do not allow
it to round off during the exercise.
up on the foot rest and reach over and release the safety catches on the
the weight down as far as you feel comfortable doing and then push back up.
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.
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
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.
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
This is how he does the military press:
Lift the bar off the floor
to your shoulders or stand upright under it in a power rack
Hold the bar with a closed
overhand grip, a bit wider than shoulder-width
Press it up and over the
top of your head until both arms are fully extended
Lower it back down under
control and repeat for one repetition
Keep a good grip on the
bar until it is securely racked again or placed back on the floor
Often times a person thinks long and hard before beginning a
fitness or strength program. Along the way these questions invariably arise:
do I start?
do I begin?
do I do?
exercises should I be doing?
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
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
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)