Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TRX Conditioning Circuit Workout A

This time I did 4 rounds. Other than that, everything was the same as last time:

30 sec. single leg squats each side
30 sec. atomic pushups
30 sec. rows
30 sec. balance lunges each side
30 sec. side plank each side.

Because I didn't have to adjust the length of the straps or go back and forth from double to single-handle mode, I was able to get through the circuits with minimal breaks between exercises--10 or 15 seconds at most. I did , however, allow myself a little more recovery time between circuits though not the full 3 minutes suggested in the program. 90 seconds was more than enough even toward the end when I was starting to get fatigued.

Interestingly, these circuits conform almost perfectly to Craig Ballantyne's "Big 5" circuit template for fat loss: squat, push, pull, lunge, total-body core. BJ Gaddour of Workout Muse follows a similar template: 2-leg, push, pull, 1-leg, core. Or, if you wanted to put it totally in terms of functional movement: hip flexion/extension, push, pull, lunge, rotation/anti-rotation.

It's funny: I'm so into the functional thing now that it almost shocks me when I get clients asking me about programs like Sculpting Her Body Perfect. I actually had a client ask me about this very book last week. I'd heard of it, of course, but never really looked through it until she mentioned it. It's ... well, I'm not going to say it's bad, because the fact is, this bodybuilding stuff works if your goals are strictly cosmetic. The recommended progression--from three total-body conditioning workouts per week to a split routine with multiple exercises per "body part"--is totally safe and sensible. The information on cardio--the author refers to it as "aerobics," which tells you something right there!--is completely dated and the cardio prescription of 5 sessions a week, maintaining the heart rate at 50-80% of max, is just about worthless for fat loss though again it's not unsafe so I suppose it could be worse.

I mean, I'd rather have a deconditioned person puffing away on the treadmill at 55% MHR than doing kettlebell "swings" a la Jillian Michaels.