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Quick and Easy Ways to Feel and Move Better: Installment 25

Written on November 21, 2012 at 10:09 am, by Eric Cressey

Compliments of Greg Robins, here is this week’s list of quick and easy strategies to improve your nutrition and strength and conditioning programs.

1. Consider this concept for easy general programming.

I often get asked for tips on how someone can go about writing their own strength and conditioning programs. There are many great posts and articles covering this topic out there. In fact, maybe none as complete as those Eric has featured here on this site.

I like to show people a very simple concept based around improving “work” by improving three different variables: intensity, volume, and density.

Consider setting up a training session like this:

a. Choose one exercise to focus on improving the actual amount of weight you can put on the bar for one set. For example, try to move more weight on the squat for one set of 3–5 reps. All that matters here is your “top” set, so you can take as little, or as long as you want to reach that set.

b. Next, choose 2-4 exercises to improve how much total weight you can move over all the sets for each given movement. For example, let’s say you choose DB Bench Press for 4×8, and DB Reverse Lunge for 4×8/side. For ease of calculations, assume you used 10lb dumbbells for each exercise; you would have moved 640lbs total for each exercise in that training session (per leg on the lunges). Next week the idea would be to move more than 640lbs total. This can be done by adding sets, reps, or increasing the weight.

c. Lastly, choose 4-6 exercises and designate a rep number and weight for each movement. After that, choose an amount of time (realistically 8-10min). Focus your efforts on doing more work in that time frame from one training session to another. For example:

A1. KB Swing (20kg) x 10
A2. Push Up (BW) x 10
A3. KB Goblet Squat (20kg) x 10
A4. Inverted Row (BW) x 10

Week 1: You complete three rounds in 10min.
Week 2: Anything over three sets of each exercise in 10min is an improvement.

For those of you in a jam, this should provide a simple and easy way to set up a training session. Enjoy!

2. Make 1-arm carries more effective.

3. Don’t attempt to use pre-workout supplements for a general lack of effort.

One debate that you can’t escape, in nearly any setting, is which pre-workout supplement is the best. Which one gets you the most “jacked up, bro!?” I’m here to reiterate once again, that it doesn’t matter. Take, for example, this recent study published in The Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition. A certain popular pre-workout supplement was put to the test against a placebo. While the results favored the group taking the supplement, the difference in results were minimal at best. Not to mention the favorable results were all things that could be just as easily provoked with other means. I’m not saying that things like creatine, caffeine, beta-alinine, etc. don’t work; they do. I am saying that no pre-workout supplement will ever be the difference maker in you having success in the gym or your sport. Want a boost? Have some coffee. Want to cover all your nutritional bases? Eat well, and grab a few supplements that actually supplement things you aren’t getting enough of from food. Want to perform at an elite level? Do what it takes to make that happen: outwork everyone, take care of your body, and seek out a motivating environment with like-minded people.

Your pre-workout supplement is overpriced, largely ineffective, and a non-factor in your success. Move on.

4. Improve your positioning on standing cable exercises.

5. Enjoy cranberries as a Thanksgiving super food!

There are a lot of great foods that make the cut for Thanksgiving, and one of my favorites is cranberries. Cranberries are a major super food, and one we probably neglect most of the year. After all, they are pretty bitter unless we add sugar. What a shame! Cranberries’ antioxidant properties are through the roof. Additionally, they help keep your urinary tract, kidneys, and bladder in check. Plus, they are often used to treat skin conditions, and help fight the “less desirable” physical characteristics of aging.

So, how do we go about including them without adding a bunch of sugar? Here are a few ideas:

a. Dehydrate them and include them in baked goods, salads, or other dishes.
b. Use them with fatty foods like oils, and fattier meats the bitterness can actually blend well!
c. Mix them with other fruits that tend to be sweeter in flavor.
d. For cranberry sauce recipes, experiment with honey, natural fruit juices, or agave nectars instead of the usual sugar filled varieties.

We hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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8 Responses to “Quick and Easy Ways to Feel and Move Better: Installment 25”

  1. Shane Says:

    Nice post Greg. Good cues on the one armed carries and cable exercises. Have a happt Thanksgiving!

  2. Brian Meisenburg Says:

    Great info. Very detailed. Thanks

    Happy Thanksgiving,

    Brian Meisenburg

  3. Conor Says:

    Great read. I especially like the part about the pre-workout supplements. Way too much hype behind those products.

  4. Cory Says:

    Greg,

    Great point on number 2. Simple, yet very helpful. Keep up the good work!

  5. Marc Says:

    Happy thanksgiving to you and your staff at cp great article
    Ciao marc

  6. Skip Says:

    Hi Eric, no protein supplement ? Thanks

  7. Eric Cressey Says:

    Skip,
    I believe Greg was simply referring to stimulant-like drinks, not protein powders.

  8. bryan Says:

    So in #1, a,b, and c would be 3 separate types of loading parameters, not 3 parts that would comprise a single workout?

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