He's the chief training advisor at Men's Fitness and a good friend of mine.
Cosgrove stole this from him, so I am in my usual fashion, stealing it form Cosgrove to put in my blog.
The reason, well for one, it's awesome, and two, I've been REALLY busy working on somethng big that I'll announce next week if ti goes through.
Not much time for creative thought or ranting latley. Anyway, read on for some great tips on training from Jason Ferruiga.
I don’t know about you but there are plenty of days where I could use a lot more than 24 hours to get everything done that I need to. Especially around this time of year. With the holiday season upon us extra time is going to be a precious commodity that’s hard to come by.
That’s why I don’t have time to agonize over what to do in the gym. I only have 30-45 minutes total, to get in and get out. And that usually includes warm up time. I can’t waste valuable minutes figuring out confusing, overly complicated set and rep schemes or mess around with 15 different exercises per session. I need something quick and easy that’s going to produce results; not stress.
So what do I do?
Easy- I take the Bruce Lee approach and cut out all of that which is not essential. I know what exercises work better than all the others and I know what loading parameters elicit the fastest gains in size and strength. I’ve been using them for 23 years on myself and for the last 16 with hundreds of clients.
These are the same principles that have been embraced by some of the biggest, strongest men in history, from George Hackenshmidt to Franco Columbu to Matt Kroczaleski.
At this busy time of year I can’t be futzing around experimenting with new stuff in the gym. Like you, I have family commitments and other important responsibilities to tend to. So my workouts must all be minimalistic in nature. It’s either that or I have to skip them.
And that’s not an option for me. I’m sure many of you can relate and feel the exact same way.
With that in mind I hit it hard and fast, never focusing on more than three exercises per workout. If you think a workout consisting of only three movements can’t produce impressive size and strength gains I have to question your exercise selection and training intensity.
There are very few people on the planet that couldn’t get fantastic results with squats, chin ups and military presses. Or maybe a combination of ring dips, pull ups and deadlifts? Either one will develop muscular bulk and strength quite efficiently.
The fact of the matter is that beginners NEVER need more than three exercises per workout. Advanced lifters could do more than three exercises per workout if they so desired, but there’s not necessarily a need for it. Especially around this time of year when the clock is always ticking and there’s always somewhere to be and a deadline to meet.
The are two major differences between the training programs of beginners and the training programs of advanced lifters that’s worth noting, however.
Beginners always do best on full body workouts while advanced lifters seem to excel on upper/lower splits.
The other major difference is that beginners should always use the same weight for all of their work sets, using what’s known as a “sets across” approach. Advanced lifters should always “work up” to a top end set, increasing the weight each set.
An effective minimalist workout for a beginner would look something like this:
1) Trap Bar Deadlift- 5 x 5 with straight weight
2) Standing Military Press- 5 x 5 with straight weight
An effective minimalist workout for an advanced lifter would look like this:
1) Trap Bar Deadlift- Work up to a top end set of 3, followed by one back off set at 90%
2a) Hanging Leg Raise- 3-4 x 8-10
2b) Glute Ham Raise- 3-4 x 8-10
These workouts will have you in and out of the gym in 30-45 minutes, tops. They will save you time, frustration and stress. Best of all they’ll allow you to still make incredible gains all throughout the holiday season without impeding on your social life or family commitments.
Sounds like a win, win if you ask me