If you want an effective resistance training routine all you have to do is break down human movement into planes of motion. The upper body can either push or pull things in a horizontal or vertical plane (figure 1).
This gives you 4 options to perform exercises to initiate some serious gains in muscle and fat loss.
As for the lower body you can perform a squat, deadlift or lunge variation either picking something up from the floor (bottom up) or decelerating gravity (top down).
In addition to the 4 upper body options you can now include 3 lower body options to complete a full body resistance workout.
The next step is to determine the intensity and volume of your program. This really depends on your goals but for the average person looking to lose fat and build muscle a 3 x 10 program should suffice.
Your thought process to determine intensity should consist of you asking yourself, “at 10 reps do I feel challenged?” Challenged = (7 or 8 out of 10 max )
Using your own biofeedback system you can adjust the dials (Fig. 3) on either the weight or the amount of reps and sets to individualize your training.
Lastly, the most effective program that will give you results will be the one you consistently do.
So on the Sustainability/Effort curve (Fig. 4) you want to have just the right amount of both. If you pick exercises that are too easy (little effort) but highly sustainable...well, results will either not happen at all or will take a very long time.
Oh yea, about that good ol’e “core”, just remember that if the butt aint movin’ , the core aint groovin.” Your core will improve with these exercises so don’t worry. Master the big lifts and then talk to me about isolating the core and building bigger biceps.
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