Training Program 1: General fitness
By Senior Personal Trainer at Fitness First, Chris Dufey (email@example.com)
This program is designed to provide a rounded workout that will help you achieve a good level of overall fitness. This is achieved by combining a variety of both compound and isolated strength movements with cardiovascular work. As you'll see in the Exercise Description section, options are provided for those who have access to a gym, and those who do not.
While exercise is critical to good health - and to achieving the desired outcomes of this program - nutrition is the other key element of the equation. If you put lots of effort into the physical workout side of the program, but fail to address the nutritional aspect, you will jeopardise your potential results and overall fitness gains. Be sure to stay well hydrated and to enjoy a balanced diet that includes healthy fats, adequate protein and carbohydrates. Refer to the meal planners and healthy recipes on the Thompsons Game Plan website for more inspiration and ideas.
This training program consists of the following:
|A2. Seated Shoulder Press||15||3||45|
|B1. Step Ups||15||3||10|
|B2. Lat Pull Downs||15||3||45|
|C1. Flat Chest Press||15||3||10|
|C2. Plank||45 seconds||3||30|
Using this program, a sample week of training could look like this:
The sample week training program above illustrates how the General Fitness program can be implemented. As you can see, in addition to the weight training element, there are two other components also incorporated.
Firstly, there is the 30-minute run or walk, which forms the cardiovascular portion of the program. The aim is to cover as much distance as possible in those 30 minutes. As your fitness improves, the distance you travel will increase, without forcing you to extend the duration of your workout. This is a good method of making gradual progressions with fitness, fat loss and overall health goals.
The second additional aspect of the program is the yoga or stretching time. This is very important, as flexibility and suppleness are necessary for enabling your body to function well and to perform all of the exercise elements that will contribute to improving your fitness.
Exercise sequence: How to read this program
The letter and number combination shows the sequence in which the exercises should be completed. So, for this program you will start with exercise A1 (Squats). Perform 15 of them, rest for 10 seconds, and then do another 15. Repeat for three times in total. After the third set, you take a 10-second rest before you move into exercise A2 (Seated Shoulder Press), where you'll do 15 repetitions, then rest for 45 seconds before you do another 15. Again, you'll do this three times in total. After the third set you should take a 45-second rest before moving into exercise B1 (Step Ups). Once more, you'll do 15 of these, each time taking a 10-second rest between, and you'll do this a total of three times. After the 10-second rest period move into exercise B2 (Lat Pull Downs), where you'll do 15 repetitions, with 45-seconds rest between each of the three sets. At the end of the third set, take a 45-second break, then move into exercise C1 (Flat Chest Press), for 15 repetitions (taking 10-second breaks), for a total of three times. At the end of the third set, take that 10-second break prescribed, then move into the final exercise C2 (Plank). Here you will hold the position for 45 seconds, take a 30-second rest between each plank, and you'll do that for a total of three times.
How to do each exercise (includes options for those with access to a gym and for those without).
If you're in a gym, place a barbell comfortably over your upper back. If you are not, you can use a backpack filled with books or a bag of cans of food to create the weight for this exercise. In this instance, you should hold the weight just off your chest.
Position your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with toes pointing slightly outwards and lower yourself into the squat. The squat action is similar to sitting down in a chair in a controlled manner, while maintaining a straight back and having your hips pushed back. Return to standing in a controlled manner.
A2. Seated Shoulder Press
If you're in a gym, sit in an upright posture on a bench and hold the dumbbells in your hands at shoulder height. If you are not in a gym, you could substitute a bottle of water or a can of food for the dumbbells. This applies to all the following exercises that use a dumbbell.
Press the weight overhead, maintaining your back posture with the aid of the support provided by the back of the bench.
B1. Step Ups
This exercise requires access to some type of step; any height ranging from 30 to 90cm is ideal, though the higher it is, the more challenged you'll be. You could use a park bench, or a step at your house. If you are in a gym, you can use a step platform.
Place one foot on top of the bench and then step the second foot up onto it, before stepping each foot down in turn. Controlling the downward motion will increase the intensity of the exercise.
B2. Lat Pull Downs
If in the gym, you'll use a lat pull down machine for this one. Position your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the bar, keep your spine upright and pull the bar down to below the level of your chin. Concentrating on bringing your elbows down will result in greater muscle activation.
If you are not in a gym, you could replace this exercise with one that uses a pulling action, such as a Bent Over Row. Holding a bag filled with books or cans of food, bend your knees slightly and push your hips back so your torso is at 45 degrees, maintaining a straight back. Let your arms hang down to the ground, and pull the weight up into your abdomen. Start light so you can create a strong core and maintain proper posture.
C1. Flat Chest Press
If you're in a gym, lie with your back flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, positioned just above your shoulders. If you are not in a gym, instead of dumbbells you could use a bottle of water, or cans of food, and in place of a bench, you could simply lie on the floor.
Make sure your feet are flat on the floor, extend the arms upwards to press the weight into the air above your chest, controlling the downward segment of the movement.
Position yourself vertically on the ground, with only your forearms and toes touching the floor. If you are a beginner, or if you prefer to start slowly, you can do this one with your knees on the ground instead of resting on your toes. This will lessen the load, and you'll probably find you can work up to being on your toes after one or two weeks.
Facing the ground, concentrate on lifting your belly button to your spine and activating your abdominals while maintaining a straight back. Work your way up to holding the position for 45 seconds for each 'set'.