Health and wellness
FitSmart: Compound movements
By Brad Lawrence
FitSmart is a Fire Fighting in Canada online exclusive column by Brad Lawrence a firefirefighter and personal trainer in Leduc, Alta.
By Brad Lawrence
|FitSmart is a Fire Fighting in Canada online exclusive column by Brad Lawrence, a firefirefighter and personal trainer in Leduc, Alta. Brad can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org|
If you’ve been in the gym working out for a while now you probably have a strong arsenal of exercises under your belt. Hopefully, your training consists of a core group of exercises you’ll always include in a workout, and some additional exercises you’ll decide to interchange periodically. While those extra isolation and “touch up” exercises you decide to throw in are important, the core of your training should consist of four major compound movements.
A compound movement is any exercise involving multiple muscle groups across more than one joint. Example include squats, dips, chest presses and pullups. Compound movements have many great benefits but have gained popularity with the recent focus on functional training. These exercises are perfect for increasing strength and athletic performance, for burning calories and for increasing metabolism. Here are the top four compound exercises you should be doing regulary. If any of these exercises appears foreign or above your level of comfort, ask around your local gym for a quick bit of instruction.
The compound movements are the four best overall exercises I’d recommend to any client – just because they have been around forever doesn’t mean they should be ignored. These compound movements, alongside your other isolation exercises, will help you make great strides towards your goals. Focus on imporving your squat, deadlift, pullup and chest presses and don’t be surprised when everything else gets better!
When I ask most men in the gym about their goals I usually already know the answer. In fact, probably 90 per cent of men in the gym share one common goal – to increase size and strength. The only problems with this goal are the all-too-common mistakes I see made time and time again. Loads of gym rats label themselves “hard-gainers” due to their inability to add size even after rigorous training programs. What if I told you that half the mistakes these guys make has nothing to do with their training programs. If you’re having trouble putting size on, chances are it’s your diet that’s failing, not your training. Most hard-gainer men will face one of the two following nutritional issues.
How much is enough?
If you decide to try the scientific approach you first need to determine how many calories you need to eat. A rough guideline is bodyweight x 16 + 20 per cent = kcal.
If you decide you’d rather not be bothered with calorie counting ( I don’t blame you) listening to your body is just as effective. Again, clean eating is crucial to your success, and you’ll find it difficult to over eat if your diet is very clean. If you’re hungry, you know you’ve gone too long between meals. When trying to gain size, you can’t afford to let yourself get hungry because your body needs constant fuel.
The same monitoring applies to this method. Watch your body, weight, size and adjust food intake as required.
Keep a food log book so you know what you’ve eaten. Eat proportioned meals six to eight times a day. Each meal needs to include high quality protein; each meal should be planned and you’ll need to drink plenty of water.
I know it goes without saying, but train like a champion. I mentioned above that half the mistakes hard gainers make are nutritional; the other half obviously are training regimes. Give it an honest effort with a structured approach. Try this quality mass program and give your body a chance to grow like it never has before.