When you can’t get to the gym we’ve got you covered. In this series our National Fitness Expert and Person Trainer, Robert Beighton, will take you through a programme of workouts aimed at heavy lifters. Just because you don’t have the kit at home it doesn’t mean you can’t maintain or build some muscle.
This is Workout A. I advise that you alternate this with Workout B which will be available on our Facebook page at 5pm on Friday 1st May!
Firstly, warm up and mobilise before training, including resistance band shoulder external rotations, thoracic rotations, IYT’s.
- Legs and back performance work
- Shoulders, chest and arms pump work
- Do each exercise x 2 working sets, unless stated
- Warm-up on each change of body part
- Have 2-3 minutes rest in-between performance exercises, 1-1.5 minutes rest between pump exercises
Firstly, a comprehensive all over body readier…
- Press-ups 20 reps x 1
- Giant-setted with elbow drive bridges 30 seconds x 1
- Giant-setted with bodyweight squats 30 reps x 1
I designed the following exercise to fully activate all muscles in the glutes. We hit the gluteus maximus during the extensions and holds and gluteus minimus and medius during the abductions. It’s important to maintain full extension of the hips throughout for maximum glute stimulation.
- 30/30/30 x 2
Pistol squats are one of the hardest leg exercises in the gym and are not to be taken lightly. If you lack the flexibility or mobility to get adequate range, then stick with the Bulgarian squat alternative.
- Pistol squats 6-12 reps
- Banded Bulgarian split squats 12-15 reps
For me, the step up is the single most important lower body exercise in the gym. It is suitable for beginners to very advanced, with a few adaptations. It is a functional exercise that has been shown to stimulate more glute fibre than most other exercises. If you hinge forward at the bottom portion of the move, then extend on the ascent, you can make it very glute dominant. It is also important to note that this is a one-legged movement, therefore resist the temptation to assist the working leg, by placing the other foot on the bench or step before the working leg is fully extended.
- Banded bench step-ups 15-20 reps
Sliders are cheap and effective, but we can use a towel on a polished surface as well. The slider means you stimulate the muscles in a way that you maybe haven’t tried before. It also makes the exercise very posterior chain dominant, which is difficult with little resistance.
- Slider reverse lunges 15-20 reps
- Split squats with band under front foot 15-20 reps
It is important to really focus on lifting the resistance with the lower back and hamstrings, otherwise the hands and arms can interfere. As with may of these exercises, it is important to utilise the mind-to-muscle connection, to get an intense experience. The banded glute thrusts are deceptively hard, make sure you keep your knees further apart than shoulder width for glute activation, and focus on a full extension.
- Banded deadlifts 8-15 reps
- Banded glute thrusts feet on bench 25-30 reps
It is easy to neglect calves in this scenario but let’s not leave them out. The following exercise will be enough, but we can use others. I will be providing alternative sessions and exercises over the coming weeks.
- Single leg banded calf raises 15-25 reps
Pull-ups are king. In fact, if I had a pull-up bar and a squat rack, I could rule the world. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but that’s how strongly I feel about this piece of kit. Pulling the arms down towards and behind the body is the only way to stimulate the lats and other muscles of the back. Therefore, we need to perform this movement with resistance. That is the pull-up. Preferably you’ll need a pull-up bar. If you haven’t got one, then you can perform slider pull downs. This exercise can only be performed effectively if you have the mid-to-muscle connection, and therefore have been lifting for a while. Concentrating on the muscles of the back working will help you to get the most of this.
- Slider pull downs AMRAP
- Pull-ups 8-12 reps
Bent over rows are probably my favourite back exercise. Research shows that the rowing movement stimulate more fibres than any other, including pull-ups. That being said, we only have a band here, so we will be restricted in terms of weight we can move. Nevertheless, it is important to hit the back from different angles, make sure you are pulling hard on the band.
- Bent-over banded rows 8-12 reps
It is important to employ some external rotation into the mix for shoulder health and mobility. Studies show this exercise to be one the most effective at building upper body muscle.
- Banded face pulls 12-15 reps
Focus on the stretch at the initiation of the move, as this is where the most activation lies. Don’t rush these pump exercise, try to bring as much blood to the area as possible, practicing full range of movement and squeezing the muscles when contracted.
- Across body single arm fly’s 15-20 reps
It is important that we perform this exercise only using extension for the elbows and not adduction of the shoulder joint. We are trying to limit all chest and shoulder involvement. Concentrate on the range of movement and initiate the move from the elbows.
- Counter-balance triceps press-ups AMRAP
This is all about blood volumisation, so get pumping.
- Mini-band lateral raises 15-20 reps
Biceps & Triceps
Once again, get pumping, let’s get as much blood to the areas as possible. Focus on range and contraction.
- Hammer curls 15-20 reps
- Banded overhead extensions 15-20 reps
- Plank variations x 6