Tuesday, February 03, 2009

How to be a bit more like Arnold Schwarzenegger in 3 easy workouts - (maybe not easy)!!

Recently, some of us at the Aegis Personal Training Studios in London have developed a bit of an obsession (much to the annoyance of the rest of the staff , I'm sure) with the the films Commando and Predator. These, as you know, are the two greatest Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of all time (and therefore the greatest movies of all time, period). This obsession began innocently enough with randomly quoting memorable lines and promptly developed into conducting entire conversations in a cod Austrian accent and refusing to answer a question unless it is phrased as a line from an Arnie movie. Recently however, it has extended to naming our training programmes after characters from these films.
That's right, here at Aegis there's no longer such thing as an "accumulation phase" or a "strength focused mesocycle", there is only "Bennett", "Blain" and "Dillon".
These workouts are current favourites around here so I thought I would share them with you in a 3 part blog post.
Starting us off is the "Bennett" programme. Bennett is , of course, the greatest movie villain of all time bar none. With his Australian accent, too-tight chainmale vest and Freddie-Mercury-on-steroids moustache, he fluctuates between moments of extreme psychosis and outrageous high camp. Indeed, his clear obsession with John Matrix (the schwarzenegger character) can be read as one of the screens greatest tales of unrequited love.

The programme, like the man, is all business. No effort is wasted on girly-man exercises like tricep kickbacks or cardio. Instead we have the cornerstones of strength training; squats and deadlifts. Still the best,they always will be, just like Bennett. Here's the programme:

The programme involves 3 days training a week. It includes a mix of good old fashioned strength training and some excellent fat loss strategies using functional strongman exercises.

Day 1
A1 - Rack Deadlift (bar is set at just below the knees)
A2 - Standing Dumbbell Curls
Set a timer for 15 minutes and complete as many sets of these exercises as possible . Perform sets of 3 on the deadlift and 5 on the curls in an alternating fashion. The weight for the deadlift should be about a 5 rep max. The goal each week is to beat last weeks record, so if you got 4 sets of 3 and 1 set of 2 last time for deadlifts, aim to get at least 5 sets of 3.

B1 - Bottom-up Bench Press (performed in a power rack, bar is resting on the pins about an inch from the chest and pressed up from the bottom. This eliminates any bouncing or elastic response from the muscle and ensures that your chest, shoulders and triceps are doing all the work)
B2 - Reverse EZ Bar Curl
Again set a timer for 15 minutes and perform these as described earlier, sets of 3 for bench press and 5 for reverse curl.

C1 - Face Pull 2-3 x 10-12 (see a video clip here: London Personal Trainer )
C2- Straight Arm Pulldown 2-3 x 10-12 (see a video clip here: London Personal Trainer )

Day 2

A1 - Back Squat
A2 - Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions (perform these lying on the floor, allow the dumbbells to touch the floor and rest on for 1 second between between reps)
Again, 15 minutes, sets of 3 for squats and 5 for tricep extensions.

B1 - Weighted Chin-Ups (use a weighted belt or hold a dumbbell between your feet, go heavy)
B2 - Overhead cable tricep extension
15 minutes. 3 reps for chins, 5 for triceps.

C1 - Prone Y raises 3 x 10-12 (see a video clip here: London Personal Trainer )
C2 - Serratus Crunch 3 x 10 -12 (see a video clip here: London Personal Trainer )

Day 3
Strongman / Fat Loss Circuit
Choose 3-4 strongman execises from the list and do as many sets as possible in a 20 minutes timeframe. Obviously you will be limited here by the equipment available to you. Here's a list of our favourites.
Tyre flip
Sled drag
Farmers walk
trap bar walk
Keg clean and press

If you train at a gym with limited equipment you can replace this day with a fat burning barbell circuit. Take a barbell and perform the following exercises back to back without dropping the bar
Romanian Deadlift
Barbell Rows
Push press
Front Squat
Back Squat

Do 6 reps of each and perform as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.

That's it, don't miss the next installment - Blain "payback time"!!

Zack Cahill,
Senior Trainer

No comments: