Design Your EXERCISE

Push the norms...

While it may seem that I don't like exercise, nothing is further from the truth. I love exercise. It was exercise that took me all over the world. Teaching CrossFit in Indonesia, personal training in Hong Kong, muaythai in Thailand. I just want people too understand it is just a part of healthy living, not the major be all and end all. Many people seem to categorize "fitness" as its own thing, and there is even now a "fitness industry", but I think that point of view is wrong, exercise is just one part of the health industry. 

Now saying that, I think that we have to look at what creates a good fitness program. And thats one that will benefit and support our bodies systems and natural movements. 

So how do we design a good workout program? Ask a hundred people, and will no doubt get a hundred different answers, but I think most professional trainers will agree on the following blueprint.

1. 5 Phase Warmup: Using the 5 Phases of a good warmup you will prep your body to be ready for what ever you throw at it. 

  • Foam Rolling and /or Trigger Point. VIDEO

  • General warmup: simple exercises to get the heart rate up, like treadmill jog, jump rope, rower, spin bike, etc. VIDEO

  • Dynamic stretches: Taking the joints of the body through a series of moving stretches designed to take them through the full ranges of motion. VIDEO

  • CNS Central Nervous System: Often the most overlooked part of a professional warmup, the CNS drills provide the muscles with a strong mind muscle awareness, and in essence 'wake up' the body for the heavier work to follow.  VIDEO

  • Skill Specific: During this final phase you will practice the largest move (often the heaviest as well for that days workout. For example, if today is a lower body focus day and the biggest move is the back squat, we would make sure we have an excellent body weight squat, and then practice the back squat with a light weight like and empty barbell just to make sure its feeling good and address any points of concern. 

2. Strength or Skill: Ideally we want to do our heaviest lifting, or lifting that requires a great deal of skill and technique first. We do this while we are full of energy, and not too tired so we can avoid any injury. VIDEO

3. METCON: After we do our heavy lifting is the time to do our cardio component. This may be a short by intense HIIT workout; sub 20 min., or a longer and moe relaxed LISS (low intensity steady state workout) minimum 30 min. VIDEO

4. CORE 360: This is where it gets a bit tricky. I used to save core to the near end, and still often do, but you can also do core between sets of strength. Core training needs to be seen as 360 degrees, not just simple abs.  VIDEO

5. COOL DOWN: Stretch & Decompress: The final part of the workout is the static stretching and decompression drills at the end. Decompression is important for long term spinal health, while proper stretching means holding the final position for at least 1 minute.  VIDEO

tune in to the health by design podcast with ror Alexander

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