Archive for June, 2010

June: Exercise of the Month

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

The Bulgarian Split Squat

This exercise is a movement that has all the benefits of full back squats, and possibly some more. As this is a single leg movement there is less loading placed on the spine, while maximum tension is placed through the quads, glutes and hamstrings.

As with most unilateral exercises there is an element of balance and coordination when performing the split squat. The FMT Exercise of the Month series is all about providing  the exercises that give the ‘biggest bang for your buck’. Hence, you won’t find silly leg extensions or other isolation movements here!  Think about it: if you are holding 40kg dumbbells in each hand and banging out reps on split squats – what do you think your quads would look like?! Beyond that, your trunk muscles, ankle stabilizers and even your shoulder muscles will be working hard to help you perform the movement properly.

FMT Variations for Beginners:

  • Body weight with low box
  • Body weight with pause at bottom

FMT Variation for Intermediates:

  • DB in each hand
  • Barbell on back
  • Pause at bottom with weight
  • Split Squat Jumps

FMT Variation for Advanced Trainees:

  • Front leg on step (increase depth of squat)
  • Single arm DB

For most clients I use this exercise as an accessory movement which follows after a squat or deadlift variation. If the Bulgarian Split Squat is something you have yet to discover then I strongly invite you to throw it into your regime this month to encourage the ‘go’ muscle growth and strengthening process.

Consistency is Crucial

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Consistency is one important element to achieving results that is over looked within the fitness industry.

It is often the case that people are too impatient with their training progress. It makes sense too, with the modern demand for everything to be instant and quick it can breed an inpatient society.

Here’s the thing though: being consistent is one of the underlying themes in every successful person. Choosing behaviors that match the desirable goal and following the behaviours week on week, month on month and year on year is how champions are made. It is well documented that elite athletes must complete 8-12 years of training to achieve an elite level in their sport. Obviously there is a give-or-take element to the above statistic; however, in 2001 Usain Bolt was already winning medals in international youth games – days, months and years of training later and he is the world 100m record holder. You do the math.

With regards to muscle building, even if you are following a bad program, consistancy should provide you with some results. Okay, it might not be the results you’d get with FMT, but the point is being consistent has a lot to do with success.

Want to go from scrawny to brawny? Sorry, it won’t happen overnight! Take Arnie, he started lifting weights when he was 14 years of age. Consistent, heavy and hard. We all know what he looked like in his twenty’s.

Bottom line: extreme ideas, the latest gadget and crazy training splits aren’t for everyone. Stick to what you can be consistant with and enjoy some slow and steady progress!