Mar 28, 2013

Here we go again. Summer is approaching with the weather getting warmer and people getting their lazy asses back into the gym to try and look good for the beach. How cliche. Had these sheeple only known that if they kept training year-round they wouldn't have to crash diet and kill themselves just to look good for 3 months. The only thing worse than the its-almost-summer-crowd is the way they train. You know who they are: the pumpers, toners, and spot reducers. The ones who do an hour worth of the butt blaster, or eighty different variations of biceps curls, or try to convince you that if they do cardio and triceps extensions they'll lose that jiggly looking thing under their arms. They never get any stronger or build any kind of usable muscle.

This brings me to my point: stop training for aesthetics and start training for performance!!

GSP delivering a head kick to Matt Hughes

Do you think that MMA fighters, wrestlers, pro footballers, or rugby players really care if they have perfectly sculpted physiques? I don't think so. They're more worried about being able to perform at the highest level in their chosen sport. They don't go into the gym and think about how they can take away their love handles or bring up their chesticles. They go into each and every training session with one thing in mind: PERFORMANCE. The cool thing about it is they become more aesthetically appealing in the process. But don't be fooled, they look like they can perform because they actually CAN perform.

Training Like An Athlete

This is a pretty basic idea. You should be training to increase your strength, power, and endurance. Again, this does not need to be complicated. Here I will outline everything you need to incorporate into your program to start training like an athlete:

Train 3-4 days per week following a full body or upper/lower split.
This should be pretty self explanatory as I've gone over this before. Gone are the days of single body parts being trained on individual days of the week. We're smarter now so keep the momentum moving forward.

Focus your efforts on strength.
Need I say more about this? Get strong so you don't suck at life. The next time your buddy asks you to help him move are you going to pretend to be sick? Hell no because you'll be more than capable of handling it. Use big compound exercises like all types of squats, deadlifts, bench press variations, standing presses, weighted pullups, bent-over rows, one-arm DB rows, etc.

Use bodyweight exercises for repetition work.
This can be anything from pushups, planche pushups, dips, pullups, recline rows, fully inverted rows, handstand pushups, skater squats, pistol squats, single leg glute bridges, lunges, and the list goes on and on. Add weight if things are too easy but for the most part make sure you can move your own bodyweight efficiently through space. This will do wonders for your physique while improving your kinesthetic awareness (awareness of your body movement - it'll make you more athletic).

Be sure to jump or throw something at least 2-3 days per week.
This is what I call explosive work for dummies. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. After a thorough warmup and before performing your main exercises of the day hit some box jumps or weighted squat jumps. If you have access to a medicine ball or a sandbag throw that puppy like a basketball chest pass or a soccer throw. Have fun and jump and/or throw a few times to get you fired up for your real work. Simple stuff like this goes a long way in making you more athletic.

Run sprints at least twice per week.
Sprints will make you 100x more awesome hands down. Not to mention they will torch fat and help you in your quest to building quality muscle. Keep this as simple as possible as well. Twice per week go find yourself a decent sized hill and sprint up it as many times as you can in 15-20 minutes. You can rest as long as you need to but make sure that every time you hit that sprint session you try to get in more sprints.

Keep your rest periods only as long as they need to be.
If you want to be strong, powerful, and have some semblance of endurance you need to monitor your rest periods. If you're lifting for repetitions the weight will obviously be lighter so rest less (45-60 seconds). If you're lifting heavy then rest a little longer (60-90 seconds). This is where most people will fall as far a resting between sets goes.

There are literally hundreds of programs you can derive from the information I have just given you. Take advantage of these gems and implement some new things into your training. Leave a comment if you have any questions and remember ...

Train For Performance To Look Good Naked!!

In Strength,
Franco Crincoli

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Franco Crincoli
I am a personal trainer, strength coach, and all around iron addict, with a philosophy deeply rooted in old school methods. My training has been influenced by strongmen, powerlifters, Olympic lifters, gymnasts, and the Golden Era bodybuilders. I believe in reaping the greatest rewards the simplest (not easiest) way possible and having fun doing it.
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