Time is of essence! In a one-hour workout, it’s difficult to achieve a proper warmup, an adequate cardio workout, a challenging strength training segment, some postural exercises and an appropriate cool-down and stretch. How do we fit it all in? Most people want results in the shortest period of time. Who wants to spend 2+ hours in the gym?
Combination Training is the answer to your prayers.
Combination Training is an integrated form of training that combines lower body, upper body, trunk musculature and balance training all into one exercise, accomplishing three times as much training in the same amount of time.
Combination Training is also a more natural and functional way of training. Can you imagine any daily task that you complete regularly that involves only one joint or muscle group. Our bodies just don’t function in an isolation fashion. When you get out of a chair, bend down to pick something up or lift something to put it on a shelf, your entire body functions as a team. And all sports require your muscles to work together. And yet when we train in the gym, most people generally train their muscles separately focusing on only one body part at a time. It would be like a football coach taking each of his starting line players and training them individually before their first game. Even though each player may be in optimal physical conditioning, if the coach hasn’t pulled them together and scrimmage in order to learn to work together, their first game is going to be a disaster. For example, a Leg extension exercise works the quads independently but it doesn’t mean the quads will be able to work together well with the hamstrings or the trunk muscles. Combination training teaches your muscles to work together as a team as they do in real life situations. During sports or recreational activities, your muscles have to learn to react, support and oppose each other effectively.
Combination training is an effective form of training both from a time efficiency and a functional perspective. Keep in mind, however, that it may take you a while before you can work up to combination training exercises. First you have to learn how to execute each individual movement correctly and then you can start combining.
Some examples of combination training exercises would be to combine lunges with an overhead press or squats with rows. What about performing bench step-ups with bicep curls? Try balancing on one leg when performing any upper body movement or lying over a stability ball when performing chest presses. When designing your program, analyze how you can take any exercise skill to the next level by combining two or three movements into one complex, compound movement. Not only will you be more efficient with your time but also you will be training your body in a way that mimics real-life movements.
Note: We are hosting a Running Clinic every Wednesday night at 5:30pm starting May 8th. Running is another activity that will keep you strong and agile.
We are also hosting a Triathlon Training Clinic that starts May 4th. Triathlons are another way to work your entire body. We will help get you to the finish line!
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com
Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.