Login or Create Your Account
 
Home > InboxFitness Blog Sport Performance

InboxFitness Blog

Subscribe
The Bookend Workout
By Mike McErlane, CSCS
10/10/2013 8:59:00 AM  
Bookend Training

What is Bookend Training?

Just like a bookshelf where you might find two identical, solid props to hold your literary collection in place, Bookend Training employs the same exercises at either end of the workout program for a particular muscle group, with other different exercises in between the two "ends."

Bookend Training is a training principle that is used when writing a workout program where you are looking to maximize blood flow and muscle fiber recruitment (building muscle). Every muscle group has a foundational lift, or exercises that allow you to maximize strength in that muscle group.

For instance the squat is the foundational exercise for legs, and typically is one of the first exercises you want to perform when training. Bench Press is the foundational exercise for chest. Barbell Military or shoulder press for shoulders, Lat Pull downs, Bent Over Row or Pull Ups for back, and so on. The other exercises are categorized as auxiliary lifts to emphasize one muscle, or parts of the muscles differently.

So with Bookend Training the concept is to start with a foundational exercises for a specific muscle group. Once completed you move onto the auxiliary exercises which still target the muscles you are working, and then finishing off the muscle group with the same foundational exercise you started with.

Why does it work?

Research has shown that because of the load (weight and force) that foundational exercises put on the muscles worked, you can significantly recruit more muscle fibers when you also finish off with the same movement once the muscles are fatigued after the auxiliary lifts are performed. In a sense, its similar to the overload principle that takes place when you do extended set training.

What this means is that by doing this technique your muscles work overtime to recruit more muscle fibers during and after your training is finished.

My advice is to attempt to use the same weight when you perform your final set of your workout as you did with that same exercise when you began your workout. Pretty challenging when you think about that way!

Do the workout program below each week for a total of 4 weeks to maximize your results from this technique.

Week 1

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Incline Bench Press On Bench 3 8 Chest
Dumbbell Bench Press On Bench Both Arms 3 10 Chest
Laying On Incline Bench Dumbbell Flys Both Arms 3 12 Chest
Standing Mid Cable Flys Both Arms 2 15 Chest
Barbell Incline Bench Press On Bench 2 15 Chest
Standing Bicep Curl Barbell Both Arms 3 8 Arms
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl One arm 3 10 Arms
Cable Concentration Bicep Curl 3 12 Arms
Standing Bicep Curl Barbell Both Arms 2 15 Arms
Hanging Leg Raise 2 6 Abs
Laying on Ground Abdominal Crunches Hands by Head 1 60 Abs
Hanging Leg Raise 2 60 Abs
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Squat 3 6 Legs
Machine Leg Press Both Legs 3 10 Legs
Barbell Reverse Lunge 3 10 Legs
Seated Machine Leg Extension Both Legs 3 12 Legs
Prone Machine Leg Curl Both Legs 3 12 Legs
Barbell Squat 2 15 Legs
Standing Calf Raise 3 6 Legs
Seated Calf Raise 2 15 Legs
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Standing Barbell Military Press 3 8 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Upright Row Both Arms 2 10 Shoulders
Standing Cable Side Raise One Arm 3 12 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise Both Arms 3 12 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Military Press 2 15 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Shrugs 3 6 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Shrugs 2 12 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Shrugs 2 15 Shoulders
Bent Over Cable Crunch 2 8 Abs
Reverse Crunch/ Leg Lifts 3 25 Abs
Bent Over Cable Crunch 2 15 Abs
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Bent Over Wide Grip Rows Both Arms 3 8 Back
Pull-Up/ Chin 3 10 Back
Seated Cable Row 3 12 Back
Seated On Bench Cable Lat Pulldowns One Arm 3 15 Back
Barbell Bent Over Wide Grip Rows Both Arms 2 15 Back
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press with bands 3 8 Chest
Standing Cable Triceps Extension Both Arms 3 10 Arms
Standing Both Legs Over Head Tricep Extension Both Arms 3 12 Arms
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press with bands 2 15 Chest

Currently rated 5 by 6 people

Tags: N/A
Categories: How To, Sport Performance, Exercise
Bookmark and Share
Professional Strength!
By Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT
9/18/2013 10:15:00 AM  
Professional Strength

A Hard-hitting Sports Performance Workout Even Pros Can Win With

Sports conditioning has come along way from the days when coaches and athletes actively avoided weight training for fear of becoming slow and less agile. Today's sports science completely embraces weight training as an absolutely essential component of every successful athlete's conditioning program. The only question that remains is: Which is the best sports performance workout? For most athletes at any level of play, I think the program below just might be the answer. It's not easy, but winning rarely is.

With the adoption of strength training by so many types of athletes, thousands of different workout regimens have been developed, ranging from highly-effective to practically useless (and sometimes even flat-out dangerous).

I have used the workout plan included here with great success, and I believe it is truly one of the best sports performance workout programs you will ever try — it is also one of the most challenging. This regimen emphasizes every possible area that is required to be trained in order to enhance overall performance. If you're unsure how to perform any of the movements, I have videos of most of them on YouTube so you can see proper exercise technique.

Performance can be defined differently for just about anyone. Some may see improving performance as being better at a particular sport, while some may see it as being better at simply walking up a flight stairs. In this particular case I am using the term performance to describe those who would like to be able to do just about any type of strenuous physical feat easily. If you want to improve your game, whether it's mud runs, jumping sports, field sports or anything that requires athleticism, then this is the workout plan for you.

This program is design to be done on five consecutive days followed by two days of rest. If your schedule or physical ability requires, you can insert a rest day after two or three workout days, and then resume with the workout plan for the remaining two or three days of the cycle, then take another day off. This workout plan is hardcore, but follow it for at least four weeks before making any changes, and you'll be on track to achieving world-class sport performance conditioning.

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Machine Leg Press (both legs) 1 20 Legs
Adductor Side Steps 1 20 Legs
Standing Shoulder Press (both arms - with band) 1 30 Shoulders
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Jump Squat 2 10 Legs
Box Jumps 2 12 Plyometrics
Barbell Deadlift 4 3 Legs
Power Clean 4 3 Olympic Lifts
Barbell Squat 5 8 Legs
Barbell Straight Legged Deadlift (with band) 3 8 Legs
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Seated On Bench Barbell Military Press (with band) 4 8 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Side Raise (both arms) 4 6 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Upright Row 4 8 Shoulders
Laying on Ball Abdominal Crunches with a Twist (using band) 3 30 Abs
Russian Twists 3 15 Abs
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Bench Press on Bench (with band)Super-Set With 2 25 Chest
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
One-arm Standing Chest Fly (with band) 1 20 Chest
Jump Rope 1 30 Cardio
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Barbell Bench Press on Bench 4 8 Chest
Dumbbell Bench Press on Bench (both arms) 4 10 Chest
Jump Rope 1 30 Cardio
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Standing Mid-cable Flyes (alternating arms) 3 12 Chest
Medicine Ball Push-Ups 3 15 Chest
Dips 3 15 Chest
Standing One-Arm High-Bicep Curls 3 12 Arms
Standing Kickbacks (both arms - with band) 3 12 Arms
Standing Cable Triceps Extension (both arms) 3 10 Arms
Standing Biceps Curl Dumbbell (alternating arms - with band) 3 15 Arms
V-Ups (with no equipment) 3 20 Abs
Prone Iso Abs (on ball) 3 30 Abs
Laying on Ball Abdominal Crunches (with hands by head - using band) 3 30 Abs
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Adductor Side Steps 5 10 Legs
Step Ups Alternating Legs 1 20 Legs
Box Jumps 1 20 Plyometrics
Jump Rope 1 60 Cardio
Hang Clean 3 2 Olympic Lifts
Barbell Overhead Squat 3 5 Legs
Barbell Front Squat (with band) 3 10 Legs
Prone Machine Leg Curl (both legs) 2 20 Legs
Laying On Ground Dumbbell Prone Cobras 3 12 Back
Barbell Bent Over Wide Grip Rows (both arms) 3 6 Back
Seated On Bench Cable Lat Pulldowns (one arm) 3 8 Back
Jump Rope 1 60 Cardio
V-Ups (with wo equipment) 3 15 Abs
Laying on Ground Abdominal Crunches (feet up, hands straight up) 4 30 Abs
Prone Iso Abs (feet on ground, arms on ball) 3 30 Abs
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Seated On Ball Dumbbell Military Press (seated on ball - both arms)Super-Set With 4 8 Shoulders
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Standing Side Raise(alternating arms - with band) 4 12 Shoulders
Barrel Throws (with band) 4 10 Shoulders
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Standing Cable Front Raise (both arms) 4 10 Shoulders
Standing Cable Upright Row (both arms) 4 12 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Full-Range Side Raise (alternating arms) 4 6 Shoulders
Machine Military Press (alternating arms) 3 10 Shoulders
Standing Bicep Curl Barbell (both arms) 4 12 Arms
Standing Triceps Extension (with both arms - using band) 4 15 Arms
Laying on Ball Bar Tricep Extension (with both arms - using band) 3 10 Arms
Standing Preacher Curls (one arm at a time) 3 25 Arms
Seated on Ball Bicep Curl (using band - with both arms behind) 3 15 Arms
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press (with bands) 1 20 Chest
Laying on Ground Abdominal Crunches Feet Up, Hands Straight Up (with band) 4 30 Abs
Day 5
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Jump Rope 3 30 Cardio
Adductor Side Steps 3 10 Legs
Standing Squat (with band) 4 12 Legs
Reverse Hamstring Curl (with band) 2 8 Legs
Barbell Squat (with ball) 3 8 Legs
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Barbell Incline Bench Press on Bench (with band) 2 15 Chest
One-arm Standing Incline Chest Fly (with band) 2 15 Chest
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Barbell Incline Bench Press (on bench) 3 4 Chest
Jump Rope 1 30 Cardio
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Standard Grip Push-ups (feet on ball) 3 12 Chest
Wide Grip Push Ups (feet on ball) 3 12 Chest
Standing High Cable Chest Press (both arms) 3 8 Chest
Standing High Cable Flys (both arms) 3 10 Chest
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
V-Ups with No Equipment 3 15 Abs
Laying on Ball Abdominal Crunches - Hands Straight Up (with band) 3 20 Abs

Currently rated 4.6 by 7 people

Tags: N/A
Categories: How To, Sport Performance, Exercise
Bookmark and Share
Hard Core
By Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT
7/3/2013 7:53:00 AM  
Hard Core

Crunch your way to a killer midsection, with the help of this underappreciated abdominal exercise.

No-crunch abs! Whether a headline on your favorite fitness magazine or an infomercial touting workouts free of crunching exercises, it seems this old standby move has fallen on hard times.

It makes us wonder, just what is so wrong with the crunch anyway? After all, it is one of the most efficient and effective bodyweight exercises in existence. With little in the way of wasted motion, each rep shortens the distance between your pelvis and rib cage, directly targeting your abs.

In our view, no ab routine is complete without at least some variations on this fundamental body-transforming move. In that spirit, we've created the following routine, which targets your entire ab region, including the upper and lower rectus abdominis and the obliques that flank it. Each move save one includes a crunching motion at its core.

Exercise
Target Exercise Sets Reps
Lower Abs Hanging Leg Raise 3 15
Lower Abs Reverse Crunch 2 20
Upper Abs Cable Crunch 3 15
Upper Abs Crunch 2 20
Obliques Decline Twisting Crunch 3 20
Core Plank 2 30-60 sec

Currently rated 4.7 by 3 people

Tags: N/A
Categories: How To, Sport Performance, Exercise
Bookmark and Share
Increase Your Strength and Sports Performance
By Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT
12/5/2012 2:45:00 PM  

BUILDING YOUR LEAN MACHINE
Want an athletic body? Train like an athlete! This performance-focused workout regimen is crafted to optimize your strength, agility and muscle mass.

Sometimes in life, we make things too complicated. It's even more pronounced a problem in fitness circles, where people tend to stumble through unfocused, kitchen-sink-style training sessions that aren't keyed into their actual goals.

Take the person who either (a) wants to improve their general athleticism or (b) wants to build the lean, muscular body worthy of an Olympian. To achieve that aim, it's key to attack it with an expertly-focused routine that improves your physicality on multiple levels. In other words, you'll jump higher, run faster, lift more and look more muscular than ever after just a month of this all-around program.

Whether getting ready for a marathon, mud run, softball season, or just your next sprint up the stairs, you'll be ready for the challenge.

Note: Do the following five workouts each week, inserting two days of rest as dictated by your recovery needs or personal schedule.

Workout No. 1
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Leg Press Legs 1 20
Adductor Side Steps Legs 1 20
Standing Barbell Press Shoulders 1 30
Jump Squatsuperset with Legs 2 10
Box Jumps Plyometrics/legs 2 12
Barbell Deadlift Legs 4 3
Barbell Power Clean Full Body 4 3
Barbell Squat Legs 5 8
Barbell Straight Legged Deadlift Legs 3 8
Seated Barbell Presssuperset with Shoulders 4 8
Dumbbell Lateral Raise Shoulders 4 6
Standing Barbell Upright Row Shoulders 4 8
Swiss Ball Twisting Crunch Abdominals 3 30
Russian Twists Abdominals 3 15
Workout No. 2
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Presssuperset with Chest 2 25
Dumbbell Flye Chest 1 20
Jump Rope Cardio 1 30 sec.
Barbell Incline Presssuperset with Chest 4 8
Dumbbell Incline Flye Chest 4 10
Jump Rope Cardio 1 30 sec.
Cable Crossoversuperset with Chest 3 12
Medicine Ball Push-Ups Chest 3 15
Parallel Bar Dip Chest 3 15
High-Cable Biceps Curl Biceps 3 12
Dumbbell Kickback Triceps 3 12
Cable Pushdown Triceps 3 10
Alternating Dumbbell Curl Biceps 3 15
V-Up Abs 3 20
Plank Abs 3 30 sec.
Swiss-Ball Crunch Abs 3 30
Workout No. 3
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Adductor Side Step with Band on Feet Legs 5 10
Alternating Dumbbell Step-Up Legs 1 20
Box Jumps Plyometrics 1 20
Jump Rope Cardio 1 60 sec.
Barbell Hang Clean Olympic Lifts 3 2
Barbell Overhead Squat Legs 3 5
Barbell Front Squat Legs 3 10
Lying Leg Curl Legs 2 20
Wide-Grip Bent-Over Barbell Row Back 3 6
Seated One-Arm Lat Pulldown Back 3 8
Jump Rope Cardio 1 60
V-Up Abs 3 15
Feet-Up Crunch Abs 4 30
Swiss-Ball Plank Abs 3 30 sec.
Workout No. 4
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Swiss-Ball Dumbbell Presssuperset with Shoulders 4 8
Alternating Dumbbell Lateral Raise Shoulders 4 12
Explosive EZ-Bar Upright Rowsuperset with Shoulders 4 10
Cable Front Raise Shoulders 4 10
Standing Cable Upright Row Both Arms Shoulders 4 12
Dumbbell Overhead Lateral Raise Shoulders 4 6
Seated Machine Press (Alternating Arms) Shoulders 3 10
Standing Barbell Curl Biceps 4 12
Overhead Triceps Cable Extension Triceps 4 15
Lying EZ-Bar Extension on Swiss Ball Triceps 3 10
One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl Biceps 3 25
Swiss-Ball Alternating Dumbbell Curl Biceps 3 15
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Triceps 1 20
Crunches (arms overhead) Abs 4 30
Workout No. 5
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Jump Rope Cardio 3 30
Adductor Side Step with Band on Feet Legs 3 10
Barbell Squat Legs 4 12
Seated Hamstring Curl Legs 2 8
Wall Squat Legs 3 8
Incline Barbell Presssuperset with Chest 2 15
Incline Dumbbell Flye Chest 2 15
Barbell Incline Bench Press On Bench Chest 3 4
Jump Rope Cardio 1 30
Push-up (feet on Swiss ball)superset with Chest 3 12
Wide-Grip Push-Ups (feet on ball) Chest 3 12
Machine Chest Press Chest 3 8
High-Angle Cable Crossover Chest 3 10
V-Up Abs 3 15
Swiss-Ball Crunch (hands overhead) Abs 3 20

Currently rated 4.5 by 2 people

Tags: N/A
Categories: How To, Sport Performance, Exercise
Bookmark and Share
Include comments
Categories
Sport Performance (4)
Nutrition (4)
Exercise (19)
Fitness Stuff (2)
Gear & Reviews (1)
Motivation (3)
For Women (1)
Healthy Living (3)
Recipes (2)
How To (21)
 
Who's Talking About Inbox Fitness
Sign Up