Bodyweight

Isolation workouts

Isolation workouts

As an active person and operating a personal training business I’m shut until further notice. Its now time for us to incorporate some Isolation workouts so time to move. During the unfortunate shutdown of the country we’ ve been told to stay at home, I figure most of us are in a similar place. As business owners the government has told me that we are in hibernation mode. Whatever they want to call I’m now unemployed and its time to get moving.

With now having only limited opportunities to exercise like were used too we can’t be too choosy with available options. Without access the usual activities we so much enjoy, no access to the gym or smashing your group fitness class with friends you now must settle with other forms of exercise.

Either outside or indoors under isolation lockdown. I know what I prefer. Time to get moving people.  

I’m fortunate that as a regular runner with access to an exercise bike and my own equipment exercising is not a problem. What if you don’t have equipment? With limitation to outdoor activities been diminished this still leaves you with some options.

Time to get moving with walk to Run

If you have ever wanted to try it, now would be a good time. The many benefits of what running brings to the table are good reasons why this form of activity is recommended as part of an effective isolation workout. This includes:

  • The strengthening of lower body muscles
  • Strengthening the lungs
  • Mental health,
  • Weight management.
  • A strong immune system
  • Keeps the blood pressure under check and
  • Now gets you out of the house.

Especially if you’ve been keeping an eye out on the kids while they home school.

Start with a walk / run plan. For example, go out and walk for 5minutes then run slowly for 1 minute and repeat it for up to 20-30minuter at first. It clears the mind, provides some necessary movement to the body and is a brilliant overall exercise. Another is to find an oval and do walk run 50/50 around the oval. The possibilities are many, remember start of slowly then build it up as it suits.

For those who currently do walk and have a few routes, Adding running to your isolation workout schedule now would be a good opportunity to begin running that last 500+ meters and build it from there.

Bodyweight has several isolation workouts variables

The internet is all over this one, you can just about get a program here for all levels of strength and commitment. What I’m suggesting is to first go and find out how to properly perform the basic movement that are achievable to you. Pick some of the classics like a bodyweight squat. It’s best Learn the movement properly and start of gently and try to avoid busting out more than you can handle on the first time. Next tackle the various ways you can execute a push up, find the one progression that suits you and apply. There are several aids that can be used to change it up once you have the basics down.

The next one I propose is a pulling movement, this one will be a little challenging for you to achieve as you don’t have access to a chin up bar or equipment. Best to look up what is called an Australian row also known as an Australian pull up. (I kid you not) You can pick up a stick at your nearest Bunning store to find something suitable. BTW, working the pulling and pushing movements will also tax those arms.

Then there’s core

Then there’s core, the most basic of isolation workouts to use at home. No suprise, It’s one of the most often worked areas in bodyweight. There are literally 100s of core variations out there, start with the plank and some crunch movement and build up from there.

Once you build up the fundamental to each movement there will be many variations to making the movement tougher. Get the classics right. When you achieve a basic understanding and built up your strength and confidence you can start adding on more challenging exercises.

I’ll name a few to get you going however with a bit of research you will find a lot more.

Alternating Lunges, mountain climbers, Pistol squat (hard), jump squats, glute bridges and burpees. These are more on the cardio side however they all work best when the movement is right. Hit them when you think you can handle the workload. Enjoy.

Stretches

To complement the bodyweight movements and build up your exercise knowledge it will be beneficial to learn the stretches that support the exercises. It adds value to your time and makes the session more efficient. You are exercising or stretching it out. In my opinion I would recommend you learn the full body facial stretches first them move onto the major areas like the Hip and Shoulder. Finally, you can learn the many possible isolation stretches about. Think full body, Major muscles, then isolate.

The benefit with taking this approach is that you will identify the troubled areas that can be professionally worked on once this lockdown has ended.

Nutritional awareness

A lot’s been written on Nutrition. You can find an endless amount of nutritional knowledge from all sorts of qualified professionals to the ever-increasing so-called influencers. On what you should be eating. I for the record will always listen to the professional, not the influencer. I’m sure it’s all delicious and the comfort food recipes are out of this world. I suggest now to be aware of what you are consuming. Dont let it get away from you. You reckon you will work it off do you?

One of the best ways to keep in check of the amount of food you consume is to start on a food diary. This will tell you exactly what you’re doing and diligently recording it will help you in making the proper food choices. With a general lack of movement now I’m taking my own advice and noting all my food and beverage consumption.

I understand that his is not for all, however this is a great way of ensuring that weight management issues doesn’t get away from you during isolation.

Kids Isolation workouts. Get them moving outside

If you are working from home and have the kids with you schooling online. Use this as a great opportunity to take the family out for some outdoor exercise. As playgrounds are not in use now its best you all go out and walk/run. So if possible have the kids ride their bikes.

It gets everyone out of the house together clears the mind and freshens everyone up. Therefore now is a good time to walk to the oval and practice running while the kids kick the ball.

I know it’s the bare minimum and not an “ultimate” home workout program. The Isolation workout suggestion is to get you started on establishing a habit (forced or not) that you can continue and build on post our stay home restrictions.

As you, I look forward to having my total freedom back and get back to normal.

Stay safe.

Claudefit Workshops

Strength and Conditioning workshop.

Honoured in been asked to facilitate a Strength and fitness workshop with the Bundoora Seido Karate branch.

A great opportunity to deliver some General physical preparation content in benefiting their traditional Karate.

A fun time had by all in learning and applying different conditioning drills.

If you are interested in similar workshops at your club or organisation I can be contacted on

  • Mobile 0412 589 570
  • Email: info@claudefit.com.au

General physical Preparation  is designed to ensure that there are no weak links in your body. your goal during GPP training is to develop all round balanced muscular development , an efficient cardiovascular system and good general flexibility , agility and speed. To accomplish this you will employ a wide variety of exercises and methods , many of which are not directly related to your event or chosen sport.

If you are a more advanced with your training you would still include GPP training in your training schedule , although not as much. This will help you to maintain your base and to enhance recuperation from the more intense and specific training you’ve been doing. for example , in season skill training for chosen sport/activity.

  • Since 1988 i’ve been fortunate to be either working out with weights(of various forms) or been involved with traditional Karate followed a few years later taking up the sport of Amateur boxing. It would be reasonable to think that I have picked up a bit of knowledge along the way with regards to training myself and others.  With a solid practical background and supported by continuing formal learning (ASCA/RKC/Weightlifting) I’m able to deliver results from a few sound and tested options in getting the job done.

Please check out the Conditioning link for further information. https://claudefit.com.au/conditioning/

 

Karate workshopasca

My favourite 5 core movements, for now.

As a Personal Trainer I’m always asked what the best core exercises to do. I’m quite sure that if you are researching for core movements on the web you will be inundated with more than enough exercises to fill your next year or so with every variation possible in getting that midsection sorted out. Because we all know you want super looking abs for summer! So for those who in addition follow a strict nutritional regime the results will be that ever elusive 6 pack. For me at the moment the 6 pack AKA as beach abs isn’t whats going to get the job done. I need strong and resilient core strength first in order to be able to carry out my daily activities in being a Personal trainer. The summer abs usually are lightly (whatever that means) packed away for now with a still lean, healthy and happy body. I’ll leave the schreding for those who feel the need to look under fed all year round.

Ok let’s move on, here are my favourite core movements that I see as my go to. Yes these are my own that I like and use often within my own programming. This is not to be confused with the core work I provide my personal training clients. My clients needs alter due to fitness, movement, possible hindrances and injury. Hope you can make them a favourite for you.

Torsinator

This attachment to me is awesome. It’s a movement that you are activation the core work while standing up. As most life and sporting endeavours are carried on standing up it makes sense to work the core standings. For those who otherwise perform a sport on the floor (example BJJ or wrestling) the carry over effect is well complimented by the real time you spend on the mat and do your thing.

My own Little Torsonator attachment works wonders and develops my rotational core strength. The movement is generated from the legs and works you through the torso. This is the sort of strength and conditioning you get that transfers over well and can be applied to many sports. For me it’s just a simple and d effective movement in getting the job done. Best of all I’m getting my core in upright.

Turkish get ups

First up this exercise/movement totally rocks. It basically all you need if you only had one exercise to do and minimum equipment. (Preferably a kettlebell ) The TGU stands alone in working the entire body through its initial complicated sequence of movements from the ground to a full standing position. As an RKC2 instructors the TGU is one of the primary moves taught and are tested on, and effectively applied to my clients for either a movement screen , Cardio, strength and for some a solid conditioning workout. It all depends on the bell used the objectives and hopefully for you proper instruction. Once you start working the “heavy one” you will soon realise that the core gets a consistent workout over the sequence and is of great benefits.  It’s why the TGU is one of my favourites. Make it yours.

Hanging Leg raises

It’s only been recently that I’ve even bothers to attempt these little nuggets. You see I didn’t even rate them. Perhaps I was too busy being strong or something. It was only during my RKC2 cert that I realised I couldn’t even bring my legs up to the bar and lower with any strength let alone control. I learned a lesson that day. Since then I took on the progression starting with hanging knee rises and took it from there. Now I’m able to rep out and lower with more control and dignity than before. A worthy skill to have as a trainer and especially if you are going to demonstrate it to people you wants to perform same task. My abs generally gets a little tender when I push this movement. (That’s a good thing, right?) It’s also helped in my overhead arm position due to volumes, and is a constant stretch. No overhead positioning problems for me.

Renegade rows

I was introduced to these a while back in viewing Mike Mahler on you tube. It’s basically holding onto two kettlebells ( yes kettlebells do a better job) in a traditional push up position and then shifting you bodyweight over to one side and pulling up to the side of the torso with the other. A simplistic explanation that works better with proper instruction. Rushing into this one can be problematic as you have two protruding metal handles to face plant if you get it wrong. Refer a Kettlebell instructor for this if unsure. The learning of the renegade rows allow for the full body to work in a combined effort to allow for the shifting of the bodyweight and the pulling motion of weight. Overtime when you are more efficient and handle a greater load It then becomes obvious how hard the midsection id getting a hammering. Learn, practice and then go for it.

Abb wheel

The Abdominal Wheel is a classic. Along with the Torsinator, it delivers a genuine abdominal workout that addresses your whole mid-section, not just the beach muscles.

This little devil reminds me of the late night infomercials back in the late 80 where the very muscled and lean bloke would do countless reps while showing off his impressive torso. I can only imagine how many of these little suckers where bought up and them after that one workout – yeah the one we did for 3 hours and then never touched the bloody thing it again! For those who want the full technical explanation on what muscles.

Here’s what part of the spill is on Ironedge’s web site mentions;

“A functionally strong core, which means greater balance, stability and spinal health, requires that you learn to brace the whole mid section. This requires the synergistic contraction of the rectus abdominals, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus, multifidus, quadratus lumborum, sphincter and diaphragm.”

I just call it a devilish little wheel that lets you know what muscles you have worked properly. Give it a try and see for yourself. No cheating.

So there you have it my favourites (for now) At Claudefit Personal training I normally work on the basis of full body strength, mobility and fitness and take it from there depending on objectives. Can’t really go wrong with General physical preparation for most individuals so anything specific will be addressed for core if required.

Keeping a strong core/midsection is critical for health and strength benefits. In particular as you get older and need this important strength.

Spartan ready, Aussie style.

Well it’s getting close to the Spartan race again for here in Victoria so suit up, grab your gear and head out to the bush! It’s time to run and get dirty!

For those few fitness enthusiasts who are wondering what a Spartan race is and why you should do it? Well its simple. It’s there to be conquered and for this old man, a mental, strength and conditioning litmus test to go by. That’s all really, oh and you get a t-shirt (can’t miss the ever important event t-shirt can we?) a rather cool looking medal that you receive as a participant and in true Aussie fashion, a Beer. Please don’t confuse this medal with a winner’s medal.  It is simply a verification of an event you participated in and survived unscathed. Still it’s a rather cool piece to collect and shows off the accomplishment in completing this rather challenging event.  For others, it’s an important keepsake to remind then how awesome they were, or something to talk up.

Spartan is a race over several challenging obstacles through muddy water, shrubs, hills, in tackling obstacles where you are required to lift heavy awkward items, lift them onto shoulders, run up and down a hill, swim across a small dam, drag a 5kg+ cement block attached to a rope, and finally climb a rope to ring the bell at the top. Phew! (and don’t forget to pose for the photo) You might even see a Kettlebell here and there!

If that’s not enough you are made to perform 30 burpees if you fail or decline the invitation to negotiate any obstacles. And believe me the burpee debt will be paid.

The training for an obstacle course is quite simple yet effective if done well. Not to be confused with easy. First of all find out what type of movements, lifts and challenges are required and get started. The first one clearly is Running.  Make no mistake, this is first and foremost a running event and you need to run. The obstacles are just there to give you a rest in between your sprint bursts (a poor attempt of humor by me) until you reach your next one. So if you are too busy bench pressing instead of running, stop now and run. One element of conditioning to possess is the constant ability to carry your own bodyweight over the many obstacles, the humble chin up /pull up and its variations comes to mind. Never underestimate the ability to pull yourself up! You will need it on this day my friend.  You also need to perform in lifting heavy items from the ground and with one memorable obstacle load them onto your shoulders (you are no longer at the Gym so, no one will pass them to you) and carry it for distance up and back down a rather steep looking hill. The exercises here that replicate some of these movements would be Deadlifting for the 55kg dead ball that you will find or the wimpy smaller one if you chose, Heavy shouldering with the sandbag for the carry and for us at Claudefit, a familiar dose of Kettlebell Military presses for overhead strength and shoulder stability. be aware the shoulders cop a regular beating during the day.

Another likely obstacle you will need to take on is the ever challenging rope climb, in preparation get a thick rope (Now) and find out the best way you feel getting up and back down without injury (its only required once) find a person who knows the technique and drill it often, Just a reminder that you will most likely encounter the rope climb exhausted along with wet, cold and slippery hands, be prepared. Don’t say I didn’t warn you – drop and give me 30 burpees if you fail.

Is it like tough mudder? NO. The difference is that with Spartan you are actually racing for time as the top end guys who do this seriously compete for placing that qualifies them onto more challenging races against other like minded Spartans, to ultimately find out who the best one is. Incidentally this event is growing in popularity and its getting serious within its own community. AROO is the catch-cry!  With tough mudder is it’s a different event in that the promoting of teamwork is highly regarded and you are not racing the clock, you are simply negotiating the obstacles as a solo entrant or within a team structure with the view of completing the course and opting out of certain obstacles is an option. With Spartan you don’t get such benefits.

A major difference, between TM and Spartan is the pace. With TM and given the possibility that you have trained for it you could comfortably be able to set your running tempo over a 20klm course in negotiating the 20 or so obstacles. Unfortunately with the Spartan race running flat chat through the Australian bush for say 7, 14 or 21klms depending on the race type is expected.  Due to the undulating terrain that you have to race through in reaching the obstacles, I’m certain your heart rate will be up, along with other competitors attempting to share the space on improving  their own time.

Being prepared allows you to be focused. Being focused prevents injuries. So you either tackle the challenge, give up and do 30 burpee’s, or simply get out of the way, the young folk are coming through. Previously we older ones paced ourselves well and managed not to get run over by the younger fitter and stronger young guns running past. We are smart and have nothing to prove……yeah right.

For us at Claudefit who are tacking the Spartan race we simply factor in what’s required for the event and incorporate it into our clients particular goals. We all run when time permits, lift weights and practice the rope on a regular basis. So getting focuses on just the Spartan race is not our main objective, It’s just something we do to test us in a challenging environment and trial our overall conditioning as a consequence of the training we simply do.

General physical preparation for whatever life throws at us. In this case the Spartan race.

As they say Aroo. Now drop and give me 30.

http://spartanrace.com.au/race-info/melbourne-sprint-may-31st-2014/

 

PCC – Its time to hit the bar

Bodyweight course

This inaugural Bodyweight course was held at Read Performance, Australia’s Dragoondoor arm run by Andrew Read along with top flight PCC instructors Al Kavadlo & Danny Kavadlo and the team facilitated a well run and enjoyable experience from start to end. To say there was energy in the room is an understatement, It was booming!

As usual I take a casual approach to these workshops. I like to have fun and absorb the knowledge given out and knew these guys are not going to hand you a certification by just by turning up like many other providers. I make a point of getting myself adequately prepared and ready by cert time. You have to earn it, so be warned!

Having successfully passing the requirements of the “Century test” and weekend tasks I now have a new fondness and respect for all things bodyweight.

It was obvious to me from the start that I would have my work cut out in managing to “ace” all the moves being taught. I’m an old Weightlifter lifter and like to lift what i consider heavy stuff. (It’s a macho thing!) however this “stuff” as I put it was rarely bodyweight. And boy was I in for an enjoyable surprise. When it was first promoted 6 months prior, I immediately logged in, paid my registration and then though here we go again, time to get it done and earn another worthwhile certification while learning some cool stuff.

Hang on, I’ve never really been heavily into Bodyweight training so what do I do now? What have I done? Have I gotten ambition mixed up with ability again?

A different fitness approach

Well this had to change, and given that I previously dropped my own bodyweight down from a solid 92kg frame to a now leaner and much more comfortable 78kg (due to my focus now being on running and a desire to be more of a complete trainer) it wasn’t long before I was playing around with my own bodyweight in preparing for PCC.

I like to plan, so i had to answer a few questions first. What did it take to pass? How long do I have? what is my current condition and have i got the proper resources, Then work backward from there.

Fortunately I have in my possession the two convict conditioning books written by the two course facilitators along with a reasonable library of other resources helping me to plan accordingly meet the criteria on the day.

You would expect a personal trainer to be prepared I guess.

The Exercises

My programming was designed around basic movements. In no particular order, here was my template of the main moves that I at least has control over. Not all performed on the same day.

  • All the stretches I knew.
  • Chins up & push up variations.
  • Pistol squats.
  • Hanging leg raises, now my go to abs exercise.
  • Running. Well it is bodyweight!
  • Bridge holds.
  • Prone hold
  • Handstand /play holds.
  • Bodyweight Dips
  • And my trusty adjustable 10kg weight vest.

I was mostly 90% working on the well knows 5×5 based strength protocol for all the movements when practicing. The benefit for me was that I had applied it to Barbell, Dumbbells Kettlebells and now given my fondness of it to bodyweight training.

Sometimes I would just work the simple 3×3 range depending on how “fried” my body felt from the previous workout the day before. A rookie mistake that I made often due to my stubbornness. It’s a different kind of hurt when the nervous system is entirely depleted using pure bodyweight.

The only difference was on the days I felt ok I’d put more volume into it. For example a 15 x 5 set on the chins up. It’s the one movement that petrifies the newbie’s and was the base test entry going into the RKC cert. So I out of fear I already had the “money in the bank “ In relation to pull ups, and now I enjoyed them.

Unfortunately these volumes did not transfer well to other exercises. Like any well balanced program, we all can’t do what we like. So play it smart. Take for example the hanging leg raise series found in the book convict conditioning, there is a clear process to follow in getting though the recommended progression. I must admit that I cheated and moved on and jumped a few steps then eventually  common sense prevailed and went back to start.

The Testing 

You have to pass the century which (For men) conducted at the end of the 3rd day after all the workouts you have done over this long and challenging course.

1. FULL SQUATS:                        40 reps

2. FULL PUSH-UPS:                    30 reps

3. HANGING KNEE RAISES:     20 reps

4. FULL PULL-UPS:                     10 reps

TOTAL:    100 reps

At first this for me was a reasonable request and initially gave it a go and sort of completed it and thought to myself “yeah not too bad” it should be right. This was a rookie mistake as it was obvious later during preperation when I increased the volume during my workout. I would have 3 days of bodyweight hands on training and then had to finish the test within 8 minutes ,no stops with strict form or else!

As I knew the instructors , no hand outs where ever going to be given.

Fortunately for me this was a great wake up call and prepared myself accordingly with a solid base of physical programming. I turned up ready to be taught and was adequately conditioned to perform the basic exercises, learn and not get hurt due to a lack of conditioning. It costs money to attend these courses and it’s a total waste for all if you turn up unprepared.

A great workshop

The movements that are taught are many, just to name a few. Push ups and variations, chins and variations, front levers, back levers, pistols and floor holds to name a few – let’s not forget the muscle ups. The level of movement taught require you to continually work on them , you simply cant just master all of them. im still to get the Muscle up and need to work on my levers.

It was clearly one of the more enjoyable workshops that I have done and along with the incredible manual the information I now have access too, will keep me busy and clients challenged for a long time to come.

Now off to the Horizontal bar for some much needed practice and fun.

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