I call these Lunges with a march ‘n hold! Great for toning butt, thighs, and core strength and balance. Do ‘em!!!
September 17, 2014
Combo Moves: Twice the benefit, half the time
In the 12 years that I have been a Certified Personal Trainer, my approach to training and designing of routines has changed as has the fitness industry itself. There’s always newer, faster, more efficient exercises or equipment that changes how we approach workouts. But I have consistently utilized one favorite technique throughout these 12 years – that of the combo moves.
A combo move is a combination of 2-4 exercises that target either the same muscle group (i.e., biceps) or agonist + antagonist muscles (chest + triceps). The beauty of combo moves, and hence the reason they are still so relevant a tool in workout design, is that they can give you twice the benefit in half the time.
With everyone wanting to spend less time exercising, while simultaneously seeing quicker and better results, combo moves should be in everyone’s repertoire. Now before you go combining moves on your own, there’s a few things you should be clear on.
First, and foremost, is form. Form is essential to the success of your workouts – good and proper form gives you the most effectiveness in the least amount of time. Often I see a client (usually a man) who is lifting too heavy a weight with too little range of motion, and incorporating multiple muscle groups to help him lift (contraction of the muscle) all of which results in less gain and potential strain. I come in, lower their weight sometimes by half, and see to their proper posture and execution of the exercise. Lo and behold, suddenly they start to see huge results (huge muscles that is) though remarkably they can barely get through a set of ten with the “little” weights I’ve given them. They may not understand it, but they’re always happy with the results.
Second, the combinations themselves do matter. While a combination of three different biceps dumbbell curls is an effective combo, six weeks later, what will you do? The answer may be agonist/antagonist combos – but do you know which muscle groups are which? (That’s where a trainer comes in!)
Think about it this way, when you bench press, on the push of the weights you are relying upon the pectoral muscles (agonist) to support the weight you are holding above you. But when you reverse and bring the weights back to starting position, you are actually using more triceps (antagonist) to support the weight. So a good combo move would be chest press + triceps ear busters.
Clearly I’m not going to give away all of my bag o’ tricks, but you should get the gist enough to make your workouts more effective than they’ve been. If you are interested in getting a customized routine full of combo moves, please check out my website www.workouts247.com.
Lunge hops, also known as Mary-Catherines. Be sure to not let your knee shoot out over your toes. Plyometrics do a body and BUTT good!
Working out with a partner helps keep you both motivated and competition makes for more achievements!
EAT EAT EAT!
I’m sensing a pattern here – a pattern of people having a completely wrong concept of food and how to utilize nutrition to lower their body fat (lose weight). I know I’ve discussed these concepts a few times on my blog but evidently it bears repeating.
Here’s how the pattern displays: I ask a potential client how much they eat. They reply with anything from “I eat a lot” to “I try to keep it to 1200 calories or less” or some other such nonsense. Then I probe a little deeper and usually discover that (a) they do NOT eat a lot or (b) they actually have no clue how many calories they are really ingesting. I found out one client was eating six 5-calorie mints a day. Do the math: 5×6=30. That’s 30 calories they were not counting. As you may know if you follow me, miro-managing your calories is a waste of time in my opinion.
Finally comes the part where I shock this person by telling them they are not eating enough. The human body is designed for movement, movement supported by fuel (food). The machine (our bodies) takes fuel in (ideally clean and healthy fuel) and then hums along seamlessly running everything from blood flow, circulation, digestion and brain processing (behind the scenes) to supporting us as we walk, run, lift, twist, kneel, and of course, exercise.
If you do not put in regular, consistent quantities (and quality) of fuel, our bodies know to store the fuel for slower disbursement and later use. They way fuel is stored is FAT. If you do not use that stored fat, it remains in your body. If you’ve ever watched NBC’s The Biggest Loser you’ll see that the trainers (Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels) are always telling the contestants they have to eat more to lower their body fat!
SO, once again, fuel in – fuel out. Eating six times a day is essential. The quantity and quality matters as well. I had a client who was eating six times a day, but after reviewing her food journal (something I highly recommend you keep), it was obvious that her six meals were what I call “squirrel food.”
Here’s an example of what the I eat a lot people, actually eat:
7:00 a.m. Breakfast: 1 Egg, 1 slice of toast w/jam, Orange Juice
12:00 p.m. Lunch: Grilled chicken salad, piece of fruit
3:00 p.m. Snack: Granola bar
7:00 p.m. Dinner: Pasta with protein & marinara sauce
Why is this a problem? First, you have a 12 hour fast from dinner to breakfast. Second, you have a long stretch between breakfast and lunch. Third, while both the lunch salad and the dinner pasta are very filling so they feel like they’ve eaten a lot, the reality is this is not enough fuel to support a day’s worth of activities. Remember, if you have a sedentary job, your body has a lot of work going on “behind the scenes.”
Here’s an example of those who eat squirrel food meals:
7:00 a.m. Breakfast: small bowl of oatmeal with blueberries
10:00 a.m. Snack: handful of nuts and grapes
12:00 p.m. Lunch: Half a turkey & veggie sandwich, apples slices
3:00 p.m. Snack: 1 DNA Life Bar (there are 2 in a pack)
7:00 p.m. Dinner: ½ chicken breast, quinoa and roasted veggies
9:00 p.m. Snack: ½ apple with peanut butter
Now while this meal plan is way better than the I eat a lot sample above, you still have too little quantity in each meal. Especially if you are actively engaged in an hour of exercise at least four times a week. Your initial body fat loss will plateau very soon and leave you stuck in your fat loss goals.
Now here’s an example of balanced nutrition for the average person’s needs:
7:00 a.m. Breakfast: Bowl of oatmeal with natural peanut butter, bananas, & real maple syrup
10:00 a.m. Snack: Handful of almonds, handful of grapes, 2 DNA Life bars
12:00 p.m. Lunch: Half a turkey sandwich + veggies & humus
3:00 p.m. Snack: Other half of turkey sandwich
5:00 p.m. Gym: Protein shake
7:00 p.m. Dinner: Full chicken breast, quinoa & roasted veggies
9:00 p.m. Snack: Small serving of 3-bean salad (black, kidney, chickpea) + an apple
So the next time you wonder why you’re not seeing a difference in how your clothes fit (or if you’re still weight focused – on the scale), perhaps this detailed itemization will help you adjust your own nutrition to a more effective level. Of course, if you have questions or would like a meal plan catered exactly to your needs, you know where to find me! (www.workouts247.com)
Dairy butter NO
Peanut butter YES
Almond butter YES
Always yummy and good for you (in moderation)
Peanut and Almond butter are included in my meal plans. Interested? www.workouts247.com