Putting the Athletic Back in to the Trainer: Program for a student

This semester I’ve been training two days per week with a student that is an athletic training major. For those that aren’t familiar this type of academic program has the students legitimately busy with being at clinical sites from about 9am until when they have class and then again after class working with athletic teams on the high school, collegiate, professional, and private settings. Due to the large number of hours that these students have to work and the challenging nature of their academic programs it can become easy for health and fitness to slide to not just the back burners, but completely off of the stove. So with these limitations it is all about getting in the gym, being very effective while there, and then getting out. So with these limitations here is the basic lifting program that I’ve put together for the student:

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Exercise Squat method that feels the best, use a box and slowly increase ROM DB neutral grip military press Deadlift style that feels the best, feel free to pull from blocks and increase ROM slowly Bench Press Safety squat bar squats DB bench press
Sets x reps 3-5×10 5×10 3-4×10 5-8×5-10 5-8×3-8 3-5×10-20
Intensity/% 55-75% 50% up to a top set of 10 50% up to a top set of 10 Up to 80% of max Up to 80% of max then two or three down sets Work up to a top set where you hit failure in the 10-20 range
Exercise Bulgarian split squats Lat pulldowns or assisted pull ups Hamstring movement like an RDL or GM DB Rows Sumo deadlifts Pulling exercise either rows or pull downs
Sets x reps 2-4×10-15e 5×10 3-4×8-12 5-8×8-12 5×5 ascending weights 5×10-15
Intensity/% 55-75% 50% up to a top set of 10 60-75% 60-80% 50-85% Work up to a top set where you hit failure in the 10-15 range
Exercise Leg raises DB laterals Sit ups Incline bench press Choice of ab exercise Pulling exercise either rows or pull downs
Sets x reps 5×10-20 4-5×10-12 5×10-20 3-5×10 5×10-20 5×10-15
Intensity/% Increase either the load, ROM, or reps each workout Increase load each set to a top set of 10 Increase either the load, ROM, or reps each workout Increase weight each set if possible for a top set of 10 Increase either the load, ROM, or reps each workout Work up to a top set where you hit failure in the 10-15 range
Exercise Hip Thrusts or Back Extensions Band pull aparts Hip ab and adduction machine Chest supported rows Lunges Band pull aparts
Sets x reps 3-5×10-20 100 total reps 3×20-50 3-5×10 3-5×10-12e 100 total reps
Intensity/% Increase the load each set accordingly, always use a large ROM Break up the sets however you need to as you go Super high repetition aim to control the weight Increase weight each set if possible for a top set of 10 Slowly increase the load each set if possible Break up the sets however you need to as you go
Exercise Optional lower Arm work Optional lower Arm work Optional lower Arm work
Sets x reps 4-5×10 4-5×10 4-5×10
Intensity/% Should be corrective in some way Just pump up Should be corrective in some way Just pump up Should be corrective in some way Just pump up

There is a solid amount of volume and different exercises aimed at the fact that he has some issue with hip tightness, wrist issues, and some other problems from living an interesting life. So the goal is to pick exercises that aren’t going to aggravate any previous injuries, but allow him to make progress and slowly increase Range Of Motion (ROM) in exercises with limitations and to thicken up his connective tissue. Since he is just getting back in to training the progression adding weight to the movements is more aggressive than what it would be for the intermediate trainee. Start with the first exercises and work your way down. Superset the first two exercises on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. After you get done with the first group of exercises superset the next pairs so speed up the workout so you can get in and get out. If you run out of time it is better to miss the last parts than the beginning of the workout.

Now not only is the lifting important, but the student also needs to be doing some form of cardiovascular training. This will be more of an open “get it in while you can” plan. So if days rotate so be it. His goal isn’t to be the biggest human being on the planet or the strongest, just to be healthy. So here is the basic three day a week aerobic work that I want him to do:

Day 1 2 3
Exercise Choice Elliptical Running Rower/Bike
Type LSD Tempo LSD
Volume 30 minutes or more 20 minutes 30 minutes or more

The basics are that Long Slow Distance (LSD) will be keeping the same intensity for long periods of time (30 minutes or more). This is about building a solid aerobic base and since this guy is a big dude (over six feet tall and 250+ lbs.(Edit: he was over 260 but now only weighs about 230-235)) this will minimize extra impact on the body. The Tempo day is about going out to a football field or something along those lines and jogging from one end to the other dropping to the ground and then doing a set of pushups then get up and job back to the beginning and do a set of abs of your choice and so on for 20 minutes initially. Feel free to increase this volume with time. Just be sure to stay moving while you are doing this.

Finally, he has that wear and tear from playing sports while younger, so a simple warm up that I want him to hit each day regardless of what he is doing followed by specific extra work that he will do depending on whether it is an upper body or lower body training oriented day. Basics are to do 10 reps of each movement or hold a stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Warm up type General Specific Upper Specific Lower
Exercise 1 Shoulder circles forward and backwards Inchworm with push up Mountain climbers
Exercise 2 Core twists Arm flings (front to back) Roll back to groin stretch
Exercise 3 Side bends Cross over jacks Pigeon pose
Exercise 4 Hips go forward hips go backwards Light db snatch or pull aparts Full squat stretch
Exercise 5 Hip swings front to back Body weight low rows Calf stretch
Exercise 6 Hips swings side to side Squats
Exercise 7 Hip flexor stretch/Bulgarian split squats Lunges
Exercise 8 Roll back to groin stretch

So this is the basic program for the student and we will see how it works out. Depending on how his adherence goes, I’ll try to update this in a few months to let you know what type of progress that he makes. Thanks as always for taking the time to read this and as always let me know if you have any questions or otherwise.

training-with-chris
Chris and I training together. No one being held against their will. Also his beard game is far better than mine is right now.
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