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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

“Are You Training For Your Profession?”

Does your routine look a little like this?

Monday:         Chest and Triceps
Tuesday:        Back and Biceps
Wednesday:   OFF
Thursday:      Legs and Shoulders
Friday:            Arms (you have to do arms before you go out to the bars or clubs)

We are all guilty of training in the bodybuilding style of working out, and there is nothing wrong with this style! That is if you have a job that requires you to look like a statue. If this does not fit your job criteria or description, then we will need to look into adjusting your programming style a bit to fit what your job demands from you.

Let’s look deeply into one profession that I would recommend to not train like a bodybuilder, but like Firefighters.  Being a Firefighter requires you to have strength in difficult situations.  You may be required to move another person’s body from one area to the next, you may have to climb several flights of stairs before getting to the fire, and you may even be asked to break down doors to get to the fire. All of these actions require total body strength! If your caught in the mentality of thinking that laying on a bench while pushing 80lbs dumbbells are going to get you there, then YOUR WRONG! Your WRONG decision may cost someone their life, or even getting the job done more proficiently.

When I take on the responsibility of training a Firefighter, I treat him just as if they were one of my athletes.  We look to improve his or her strength, conditioning, speed, and agility. All of this being done in total body movements.  If your job requires total body movement, why wouldn’t you train that way?

This is why I, without a doubt, truly believe that every Firefighter or athlete should be training with equipment such as the TRX Suspension Trainer and Josh Henkin’s Ultimate Sandbag.  Both are based upon changing stability and leverage to enhance strength and perceived load.  In most cases, people tend to think that the only way to increase the level of difficulty in an exercise is to increase the load. This is not the case and far from the truth. Variables such as speed, range of motion, and complexes can take any workout to the next level. My favorite variable to work with are the complexes. When my athletes see me pulling out the Sandbags or heading over to the TRX Suspension Trainers at the end of the session, they already know that it is time for what I like to call, “The Finisher”.

Here is a sample “Finisher” that I would use to finish off a training session:
TRX Chest Press x 10 reps
Ultimate Sandbag Rotational Lunge x 10 reps
TRX Single Arm Rows x 10 reps each arm
Ultimate Sandbag Cleans x 10 reps
TRX Mountain Climbers x 10 reps each leg
Ultimate Sandbag Overhead Chops x 10 reps

This workout can be used as a “Finisher”, or depending on the number of times that you look to complete it, can also be used as a complete workout.  You will find that this type of workout and training involves everything from strength, conditioning, explosiveness, etc. Being versatile and open to expanding the training to this level will not only help you achieve your fitness goals of getting into the best shape of your life, but can make that much of a difference in saving someone else’s.

Both the TRX and sandbags are based upon changing stability, to enhance strength and perceived load. Manipulating leverage with TRX training may be familiar to many, but we can accomplish the same goal by changing the leverage of both body position and load position with the sandbag. Far too many times an external load is added. This philosophy of multi-planar whole body training gets lost. In order to allow incremental progressions, and to be able to add in more variables into your training, you need to be able to succeed at the first step and build from there. You will have far more options you will soon discover when you start to open your mind to a specific type of training. Be thoughtful about why you are training mindfully open about how you will train.

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