Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pro Programming for Trainers (Part I)

Pro Programming, Exercise Specificity Edition

When it comes to programming, there are so many factors, from sets to reps to exercise selection, that at times it may be overwhelming.  Many a trainer has come to me, blank program in hand like a painters' empty canvas, looking for instructions on how to 'paint'.  In this next series of articles, I will distinguish some variables that may help settle some confusion when designing the program, and help fine-tune those brush strokes. 

Just as a painter will choose colors to evoke certain emotions, I consider exercise selection based on what response the exercise will force upon the body. 

For example: what exercises are best for a 44 year old female with family history of osteoporosis?
My exercise selection will be mainly towards those demanding strength and hypertrophy, in order to stimulate new bone growth and formation.  Despite the fact that she may want to to avoid 'getting big', communicating the value of exercise selection in program design will help trainer and client understand the difference between fact and falacie. 

Couple factors in this list:
  1. Exercises are grouped in one category, but may be 'eligible' to be placed in another
  2. I do not include exercises that I consider risky and contraindicated for most (dips, for example)
  3. I originally made this list 4 years back when I was actively involved in changing the program design template for a corporate gym situation, but have updated it to include my current methods
  4. I have not differentiated between machines and free weight exercise variations distinctly because (hopefully) those reading this list are aware of the difference, and have no need to be reminded of the unequivocal benefits of training with free weights
  5. I expect people to disagree with these selections but would hope they can add a comment and give feedback as to their experience and expertise with certain exercises, and perhaps more variations of these exercises that I may have not included
Exercises best for STRENGTH (reps between 1 and 6)

  • Squat, front squat, Rear foot elevated (RFE) split squat, zercher squat
  • Deadlift, Romanian dead lift (RDL), sumo deadlift, hex deadlift, good morning
  • Single Leg squat and Romanian Dead lift (RDL), dynamic glute ham raise
  • Hand stand pushup (HSPU), Bilateral Shoulder press
  • Pullup and chinup
  • Bilateral Bench press
  • Turkish get up (TGU)

Exercises best for HYPERTROPHY (reps between 7 and 12)
  • Split squat, lunge variations, step up variations, 
  • bench press variations (incline, decline), pushup variations, Unilateral bench press
  • Unilateral shoulder press, pullover variations, pulldowns, cable row and variations
  • Windmill variations
  • Unilateral KB Swings and other unilateral KB movements
Exercises best for ENDURANCE (reps between 13 and 20)  
  • Bodyweight Squat (prisoner or overhead)
  • Ham Curls (Swiss ball, power wheel, etc)
  • Back extensions (Swiss ball, bench, etc)
  • Single-joint exercises (calf, bicep, tricep, chest isolation, rear delt/rhomboid isolation)
  • Shoulder raises (front, lateral, rear, face pulls, scaption, Y's, T's, W's, I's)
  • Band resisted movements of any kind (rows, presses, good mornings, pull throughs)
  • Bilateral or dual KB movements
Exercises best for POWER (reps between 1 and 15+) 
  • Power/Strength (1-4): Snatch, clean, clean/jerk, push press, depth landings, box jumps
  • Power/Speed: (5-10) plyo pushups, MB throw, slam, rotate and throw, tuck jumps, broad jumps, small hurdle movements lateral and forward
  • Power/Endurance (11-15+): split lunge jumps, jump rope and variations, agility ladder

As far as core movements, I actually have divided them into 3 categories:
  1. Stabilization: plank variations and resisting movement
  2. Shortening or lengthening: ab wheel, walkouts, pikes
  3. Rotation: chops, chop and lift, rip-cord movements

Next in the series of Pro Programming, available only to those who have subscribed to my newsletter!
II) Variables for exercises (other than reps)
III) Principles and Methods
IV) Specifity for Sport
V) Templates for Timing

-Coach Kev

No comments:

Post a Comment