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    Increase defintion and get the model look - Blog.

    The latest news, videos and workouts from the Escape Fitness Team.

    Increase defintion and get the model look

    Are your clients striving for the perfect physique? Strength training is getting increasingly popular as more and more people strive for the fitness-model look.

    So how can you help them achieve the perfect physique?

    These should be the cornerstones of your new approach:

    1. Programming
    2. Training
    3. Nutrition
    4. Recovery

     

    Let’s focus on Programming and Training

    Compound movements can stress the body with greater loads – and that provides a better stimulus for muscular growth. So to start with, you’ll need to work out a properly balanced programme that will ensure consistent development across the whole body. We’ve included an example in this blog.

    One potential sticking point is if members want to focus on the ‘big favourite’ exercises at the expense of others. But this has to be a balanced programme – so when it’s leg day, it’s leg day, and that’s that!

    If you’re worried about keeping things interesting, remember to vary the routine across the different training blocks. Changes in stimulus are really valuable. Just changing the apparatus and challenging members to test the same muscle groups in different ways helps to ensure better muscular adaptation.

    Increase defintion and get the model look

    Adding isolation exercises into the mix

    If you want to ‘supercharge’ things, introduce some isolation exercises as part of the session – but don’t abandon the compound routines. We’ve talked about consistency – and you need both compound and isolation routines to create the kind of results your members want.

    The compound movement creates the initial neural stimulation and drive to the working muscles and then overload can be applied with isolation exercises. ‘Overload’ is your Holy Grail – it describes how, after a compound routine, the isolation exercises will exhaust a muscle group and stimulate the required growth. It’s the change in intensity provided by isolation exercises (through greater intensity, duration or type of exercise) that kick-starts the muscle growth.

    You can also introduce isolation exercises into their workout to help develop the weaker areas in their body. This is an effective way of developing areas which are not getting targeted with the major compound movements. For example, you might find that the client struggles to get a full range in certain compound movements and can’t activate and develop those muscles. The addition of an appropriate isolation exercise can target those missed muscles.

    In this modern day of training and science, trainers and enthusiasts are following the latest training methods or the new fads. We’re not saying they’re are all rubbish, but sometimes the more traditional methods of strength training are the best. They worked well back in the old days, so why change?

    One ideal approach then is to combine max lifts or supersets of compound movements followed by isolation exercises within the same workout. This is a great way to develop muscular size. By fatiguing the muscle groups with compound lifts, it firstly creates muscular potentiation to increase neural drive, which then allows for better activation during the isolated movement.

    Let’s look at some of the classic programme methods out there that will supersize your training plan. First of all, a balanced week is essential, so structuring your training is key. (And make sure you give yourself essential recovery time too.) The Westside Barbell approach is only a 3-day-a-week program, but a very effective one. You just need to work out what you’re going to do for the other 4 days! The Conjugate approach and Ian King’s Reverse Periodisation are also excellent ways to structure your week and your training block.

    So there’s no harm in taking elements from various methods. Variation is good, and once you’ve completed one method, try another one to help stimulate a shock response and further adaptation.

    Here’s an example of a balanced training week focussing on Strength and Hypertrophy. It demonstrates the importance of balance in order to allow muscle groups time to recover.

     

    MAIN MOVEMENT PATTERN

    ASSISTANT MOVEMENTS

    DAY 1

    Squat

    Knee extension.

    DAY 2

    Push

    Shoulder horizontal flexion.
    Overhead press.
    Elbow extension.

    DAY 3

    Rest

    DAY 4

    Bend

    Knee flexion.
    Ankle extension.

    DAY 5

    Rest

    DAY 6

    Pull

    Arm flexion.
    Shoulder horizontal extension.

    DAY 7

    Rest

     

    By creating a weekly structure like this we can then develop a progressive training programme.

    One of my favourite strength training methods is 5 sets of 5. Where you select weights ranging from 60% to 85% of 1RM, increase load in each set and take 60 to 90 seconds recovery between sets. By combining this high intensity option with some high volume work you can get the best of both worlds.

    The adapted model you’re going to see here comes from the methods used in reverse periodization and integrates this with the conjugate approach to create a brilliant strength and hypertrophy programme model.

     

    Basic Principles

    1. Train multiple times per week at high intensities across various areas of the body
    2. Follow 3 week cycles that allow for adaptation to new stimulus, progression and recovery.
    3. Progression across each 3 week block is in load/intensity and volume.

     

    Programme Example

    METHOD: Superset the main movement with assistant movements in the same set. Complete 3 to 5 sets

    Week 1 – Acclimatization

    EXERCISE

    REP MAX

    REPS

    DAY 1

    Squat

    60 - 70% 1RM

    5

    Knee extension

    50% 1RM

    12 - 15

    DAY 2

    Push

    60 - 70% 1RM

    5

    Shoulder horizontal flexion, overhead press, elbow extension

    50% 1RM

    12 - 15

    DAY 4

    Bend

    60 - 70% 1RM

    5

    Knee flexion, ankle extension

    50% 1RM

    12 - 15

    DAY 6

    Pull

    60 - 70% 1RM

    5

    Arm flexion, shoulder horizontal extension

    50% 1RM

    12 - 15

     

     

    Week 2 – Intensification.

    Increase the intensity

    EXERCISE

    REP MAX

    REPS

    DAY 1

    Squat

    70 - 80% 1RM

    5

    Knee extension

    50% 1RM

    15 - 18

    DAY 2

    Push

    60 - 70% 1RM

    5

    Shoulder horizontal flexion, overhead press, elbow extension

    50% 1RM

    15 - 18

    DAY 4

    Bend

    60 - 70% 1RM

    5

    Knee flexion, ankle extension

    50% 1RM

    15 - 18

    DAY 6

    Pull

    60 - 70% 1RM

    5

    Arm flexion, shoulder horizontal extension

    50% 1RM

    15 - 18

     

     

    Week 3 – Maximal.

    Work at near maximal effort in all sessions

    EXERCISE

    REP MAX

    REPS

    DAY 1

    Squat

    80 - 95% 1RM

    5

    Knee extension

    50% 1RM

    18 - 21

    DAY 2

    Push

    80 - 95% 1RM

    5

    Shoulder horizontal flexion, overhead press, elbow extension

    50% 1RM

    18 - 21

    DAY 4

    Bend

    80 - 95% 1RM

    5

    Knee flexion, ankle extension

    50% 1RM

    18 - 21

    DAY 6

    Pull

    80 - 95% 1RM

    5

    Arm flexion, shoulder horizontal extension

    50% 1RM

    18 - 21

     

    Exercise Selection and Adaptation

    The exercise selection stays the same for the 3 week block. The following block, then changes by either adapting the exercise, e.g. a back squat could go to a front squat. Or deadlift could change to sumo deadlift.

    As always, you can get in touch with the Escape team to find out more. Email us on sales@escapefitness.com, or call one of the numbers below:

    UK: +44 (0)1733 313 535
    USA: +1 (614)-706-4462
    Germany: +49 (0)2921 590 10 70

     

    Tommy Matthews

     

    References:

    King, I, How to Write a Strength Training Programme, 1998, King Sports Publishing.

    Simmons, L, The Westside Barbell Book of Methods, 2008, Westside Barbell.

    Ian’s Top 10 Mass Makers, 2004, https://www.t-nation.com/training/ians-top-10-mass-makers.