The Best Workouts To Keep You Athletic As You Age
No one has hours to spend in the gym these days, which is why it’s important to make sure the exercises you are doing are giving you the most bang for your buck. The best workouts are the ones that target multiple joints and stimulate the most amount of muscle tissue.
When I train myself, as well as the athletes I work with, I’m looking to create functional strength that I can apply to various sports and hobbies. I define functional training as training the muscles that we need for life. Exercises that mirror the movement patterns of our sports, activities, and hobbies (and if you don’t have a sport, activity, or hobby in your life…start one today!). I want a body that moves well and looks good. In order to get maximum results in minimal time, you should be using free weights instead of machines.
When I work with clients I define a movement in one of two ways… For Show or For Go. All muscles are important, however picking movements that give you the ability to “go” are what I want to emphasize today.
When I wrestled in high school, I’d ask my coach if we could spend more time in the gym lifting. To which he’d reply, “You don’t have to lift weights to be strong, you just have to lift people.” Well, twenty years later I realize how much he was on to something.
Your recipe for success lies in finding your passion (sport, activity, hobby) and train the “GO” muscles that will make you stronger for those. Sounds simple, right?
Sometimes our passions contradict each other. I love lifting weights and I love rock climbing. My overdeveloped thighs are great for squatting, but not so great for helping me climb up a seventy-foot rock wall. Defining what you want to be good at is important. Guys always tell me they want to be bigger, stronger, and leaner, but in many ways, these three things contradict each other. Figure out what you want to work on first.
Now we focus on “Go Time” muscles. I have five kids, a business, a lot of hobbies so I can’t spend hours in the gym anymore, and chances are you have a busy schedule too (who doesn’t?). Because I am a minimalist when it comes to time, I’m a drill sergeant when it comes to effort, and a perfectionist when it comes to execution. I develop programs that are fast and efficient. Let’s look at what lifts are “functional” and will get you the best workout.
My recipe for GO TIME training is PUSH + PULL + SQUAT = HIGH PERFORMANCE. The best exercises for developing the most strength are going to be your big lifts. As a personal trainer, I always want my clients doing these five exercises. The deadlift, bench press, pull ups, bent over row, and squats.
This isn’t a formula to get you to do less exercise. I want to inspire movement done correctly and with intensity. Get in the gym, execute your big lifts, and get out. Injury prevention is important and I’m a huge proponent of spending time on pre-hab.
What are your favorite Go Time exercises?