Welcome to our 10th post at youtrainyou.com! If you have been following along, around the time we wrote our 4th post, we started to introduce the actual exercises Shelley and I use ourselves when we train, as well as the exercises we use with our personal training clients. We have covered a lot of material, and exercises so far, but now it’s time to get to the meat and potatoes of a good program…
Strength Training! And more specifically Strength Training for a beginner. Or well, I guess, a beginner to the information we are sharing.
We have been writing our posts in sequential order ever since we introduced our foam rolling tutorial post. The reason for this is that it guides our entire purpose of starting youtrainyou.com. We want to teach you to train yourself to get quality workouts, that produce results, keep you healthy and moving better.
Now it’s time to learn how to build your very own strength training program, with very little equipment. The key will be keeping things simple. I know people use that phrase all the time, then show you something really complicated. We aren’t going to do that.
Hopefully you will be as impressed as I was when I learned how basic a workout can look, but at the same time, how effective it can actually be when you do it right.
Lesson 1: Out With The Old – Training Muscle Groups
For anyone reading (this may resonate with men a little more, but some women too) who has ever strength trained, your workout week may have looked something like this:
- Monday – Chest/Triceps/Abs
- Tuesday – Cardio/Abs/Stretching
- Wednesday – Back/Biceps/Abs
- Thursday – Cardio/Abs/Stretching
- Friday – Legs/Shoulders/More Arms, it’s Friday
Okay so maybe not abs every day, but you get the idea. The strength training is based upon working out different muscle groups throughout the week. By Friday, all muscle groups have been targeted, not bad right?
Or maybe it looked a little more like this (sorry Ladies, not picking on you, but Shelley said this is what she used to do!):
- Monday – Cardio/Abs/Chest Machine
- Tuesday – Cardio/Abs/Arm Machines
- Wednesday – Cardio/Abs/Squats or Leg Machines
- Thursday – Cardio/Abs/Stretching
- Friday – 4 days in a row, let’s not over do it, Margarita’s anyone?
Okay so I am joking around a little, but you get the idea. When it comes to strength training, it’s always been about muscle groups. This, in large part, comes from the world of bodybuilding. There is just one problem with that, most of us aren’t and never will be bodybuilders. I am not knocking the sport, it’s very impressive what these athletes can achieve in terms of muscle building and definition.
I’m just saying for your average Joe and Jane, there is a much simpler and effective way to build muscle, burn fat, and keep your joints healthy. So what is it?
Lesson 2: In With The New – Training Movement Patterns
What does Training Movement Patterns mean? It simply means training in a way that looks at the body as a whole unit, and then breaks it down into it’s most fundamental movements. You may see some differences of opinion on this. But here is how we break it down:
- Lower Body Hip Dominant (also known as hinging) Movements – This category would encompass all movements where the majority of the movement is produced at the hips. An example would be a Dumbbell Deadlift.
- Lower Body Bent Knee Hip Dominant Movements – This category also involves the majority of the movement coming from the Hips, however, the knees are in a bent position. An example would be a glute bridge.
- Lower Body Knee Dominant Movements – This category includes all exercises that require most of the movement to come from the knees. Examples would be Squats and Lunges.
- Upper Body Horizontal Pulling Movements – This category includes all movements where you are pulling weight towards your body in the horizontal plane. Example exercises would be a Quadruped Row or Seated Row Machine in a gym.
- Upper Body Vertical Pulling Movements –This category includes all movements where you are pulling weight towards your body in the vertical plane. Example exercises would be a pull-up, or Lat Pull-down in a gym
- Upper Body Horizontal Pushing Movements – This category includes all movements where you are pushing weight away from your body in the horizontal plane. Examples include a push-up or bench press in a gym
- Upper Body Vertical Pushing Movements – This category includes all movements where you are pushing weight away from your body in the vertical plane. Example exercises would be a shoulder press, or handstand push-up if you are really advanced and a bit crazy
- Core Stability Movements – We have broken down your core training into three main categories (this was covered in detail here):
- Anti-Lateral Flexion
What About My Muscles?
Don’t worry, you will hit all the major muscle groups once you learn how to put one of these workouts together. First off, here is what each movement pattern category targets:
- Hip Dominant – Glutes, Hamstrings, Core, Lower/Mid/Upper Back, Scapular Stabilizers, Forearms (Grip)
- Bent Knee Hip Dominant – Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Core
- Knee Dominant – Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings (lesser extent then hip dominant movements), Core, Scapular Stabilizers and Forearms (Grip) if holding dumbbells. Calves are also targeted when performing Lunging Variations
- Horizontal Pulling – Lats, Rhomboids, Lower/Middle/Upper Traps, Posterior Deltoids, Biceps, Core, and Forearms (Grip)
- Vertical Pulling – Lats, Rhomboids, Lower/Middle/Upper Traps, Posterior Deltoids, Biceps, Core, and Forearms (Grip)
- Horizontal Pushing – Pecs, Anterior/Middle Deltoids, Triceps, Core, Forearms (Grip)
- Vertical Pushing – Upper Portion of Pecs, Anterior/Middle Deltoids, Triceps, Core, Forearms (Grip)
- Core Stability – All Stability Exercises will target the entire abdominal wall when performed properly.
If you aren’t familiar, or don’t really care the names of all the different muscles you are working with each movement, that’s fine. If you want to know this stuff, then that’s cool too. We like when people want to understand the anatomy, but it’s not a must to get a great workout.
The point is, that by putting a few of these movements together you can design a strength training workout that targets all the major muscle groups in your body. Another bonus, is that once you get accustomed to training this way, you can get a full-body strength training workout done in under an hour. So how do we put it together?
Get Fit with Five Movements
Yes that’s exactly right! Just five exercises to get a full body workout that will help you build muscle, and burn fat. Sounds almost too good to be true doesn’t it?
Well don’t worry, it might only be five exercises, but it’s plenty challenging. You will be sweating, out of breath and feeling a lot of muscles by the time you are finished. The key here is that it’s efficient, effective, and produces results when done right. We’ll coach you to do it right, you just get the right equipment (if at home), do the training, and the results will happen.
Here is how this works. The five movements will go as follows:
Core Exercise – Pick one of the three types of Core Stability Exercises we showed you here. A plank is demonstrated in the video below:
Hip Dominant or Bent Knee Hip Dominant Exercise – Perform an exercise from one of these categories. We typically start with a Dumbbell Deadlift or Hip Thrust. A Dumbbell Deadlift is demonstrated in the video below:
Horizontal or Vertical Pushing Exercise – We always start with a horizontal pushing exercise as most people need to develop better mobility in their upper backs, along with better core stability before introducing vertical pushing exercises. We typically start with a Dumbbell Floor Press or Push-up Progression. A Dumbbell Floor Press is demonstrated in the video below:
Knee Dominant Exercise – We usually start by teaching a Bodyweight Squat or Split Squat. A Bodyweight Squat with Shoulder Flexion is demonstrated in the video below:
Horizontal or Vertical Pulling Exercise – We usually start with a horizontal pulling exercise over vertical pulling for same reason as the pushing exercises. The exercise we almost always choose first is a Quadruped Dumbbell Row. Check out how to do it in the video demonstration below:
In the beginning we will have clients perform 2 sets of these five exercises, in succession. This means starting with number 1, resting for 30-60sec, and moving on to number 2, then 3, 4, 5. Rest for as long as you need, but not too long!
And that’s it! It might not seem like a lot, but when you give it a shot, you will see what we mean.
This is essentially the way Shelley and I have put our workouts together for the past 4 years, and we love it! Clients like it too, well…. for the most part! It’s tougher than it might look.
Why Are These Full-Body Workouts so Effective?
A Full-Body workout targets all the major muscle groups in one training session. This means you are burning a lot more energy when you are training. Burning more energy mean burning more calories, means burning more fat over time.
In future posts we will talk about how this type of workout keeps your metabolism elevated for a significant amount of time after you train. For now, you can just know that it happens, and enjoy the benefits!
Another reason that these workouts are so effective is that because you are performing what are known as compound movements. These are movements that involve moving multiple joints at the same time. These types of exercises form the cornerstone of building muscle.
So you are maximizing building muscle, as well as burning fat. It’s win-win! I don’t think we need to sell it to you anymore then that.
Actually there is one more benefit. We want to train this way three times a week on alternating days (i.e., Mon-Wed-Fri). If you miss your Monday workout because you and the family went out of town for the weekend (although that won’t happen if you have you own gear, just saying…lol), then you will still get two Full-Body Workouts in. That’s still pretty good for helping build muscle and burn fat.
And… I just thought of one more benefit. You will no longer feel obligated to workout five days a week, just three! Because you are targeting your whole body, these style of workouts will get you pretty winded once you get comfortable with the exercises. Cardiovascular exercise is built in to the package. Are you kidding me?!
I’m not saying you never need to do cardio, but in the beginning, if you can only commit 2-3 hours per week, you can still see significant results.
Okay enough talking, let’s give you an example of a first official program to follow.
In our next post, we will show you how to put a full workout together. We have covered Foam Rolling, Joint Specific Warm-Up, Core Stability Training, and Full-Body Strength Training. If you have read all these posts, it may seem like a lot of information and exercises, and it is.
The key is putting it together right, and that’s what we will show you in our next post.
As always, feel free to ask any questions or comments you might have about this article.
All the Best,
Rodney and Shelley