Every now and then, I think it’s good for a personal trainer to pull back the curtain and show people how they train themselves. For me, I believe it comes down to an integrity thing. If I am espousing the importance of loaded carries for instance and not working them into my own programs, then I’m not being authentic. Otherwise, it would be easy to become like the old man in the Wizard of Oz. Hiding behind a curtain and faking it so that others would listen to what he had to say. I always want to be as honest and transparent with you guys as possible. So with that said, here is what I am currently doing:
10 minutes of mobility work: I primarily use movements from the book Original Strength by Tim Anderson. This has become one of my “non-negotiable” pieces of the workout lately. I say that because if my overall goal for training is to maintain a high quality of life, then moving well has to be the base of everything. It makes no sense to squat a ton of weight for instance if I can’t bend down and tie my shoes or chase my daughters around the back yard. Stretching, yoga and foam rolling all work as well. I mix in a bit of all of them from time to time.
Side note. Not too long ago, I was in a hurry and kind of rushed my warm-up. I went hard on a set of split squats with a pretty heavy weight. I ended up with a tweaked groin/hamstring for my troubles. It’s healing and (surprise) feels a ton better when I do these activities. So again, “non-negotiable”.
Side note II. This was a stupid mistake. One of those things that I would warn a client against. But I, like you, am a work in progress.
10 minutes of skill work: I want to, at some point, pull off a muscle-up. For those of you that don’t know what that is, you go from a pull up on a set of rings or a bar and transition to a dip off of that surface (the bar or the ring set). I’m strong, but I stink at relative strength (body weight) exercises. So to fill that gap, I have been spending just ten minutes at the beginning of each workout working on a pistol squat (one leg squat without the aid of any balance surfaces, and this fyi has nothing to do with the muscle-up), pull ups and dips. The pull ups and dips directly correlate to the muscle up. I’m not working to exhaustion, or even technical failure. I am staying relatively fresh (not tired) while doing these exercises. After just a handful of workouts, I am already seeing the “easy” reps I can perform increasing.
20 minutes of strength training: I have been spending this chunk of the workout working on heavy weight/low rep work. I’ve been focusing on either squatting and pulling movements, hip hinging and pushing movements or groundwork and carries. These things have been alternating each workout. As an example, for the push/hip hinge workout, I trained barbell deadlifts and kettlebell presses. For the deadlift, I worked up from a light(ish) weight to a heavy weight for sets of five. The presses, I worked a rep ladder of 1,2,3,1,2,3 with a pretty good size bell (for me at least).
Metabolic finisher: This has been anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on how much time I have available left to train. As an example of a recent finisher here is what I did:
30 seconds of squat thrust (my least favorite exercise)
30 seconds of grapevine
30 seconds of ropes
30 seconds of kettlebell snatches (left hand)
30 seconds of kettlebell snatches (right hand)
I used a 30 second break between each of those 5 stations for 3 rounds for a total of 15 minutes.
The goal of this program is to keep me mobile, strong and conditioned. It’s not a peaking program so it’s not going to maximize any of those elements, but it’s not supposed to. The intention is to be well rounded. This is a perfect example of what Coach Dan John refers to as a park bench program. If you aren’t sure what I mean by that, I talk about that in this post. You can also read about it from the horses mouth in this book. (Excellent read by the way.)
So that’s what’s behind the curtain. If you train with me, you likely will see elements of the stuff you work on in here. That’s not because we should all train the same way, but because there is a common philosophy that guides what I do with my clients and what program for myself. Again, for me it’s a matter of integrity. Hope you enjoyed the look-see here. If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share on your social network of choice, Have a great day.