Free program 2
The first two exercises are performed as a superset, back-to-back, no rest pauses in between exercises, with a 1-minute break in between supersets. The last three exercises are performed as a battery/circuit, back-to-back, with no pauses between exercises, and a 2-3 minute break in between batteries/circuits. Do a warm-up prior to performing this routine, such as 3 sets of 30-seconds of battle ropes; or 5-minutes on the crosstrainer, where you raise the resistance every minute by two notches every minute, while keeping the speed steady at the same pace throughout the warm-up.
Superman Front Squat – This version of the unforgiving front squat is performed with the barbell bar centered, resting of the front deltoids, with your hands fully extended, interlocking thumbs, fingers pointing forward in front of your face. As you squat, be sure to keep your gaze looking forward and a bit upward (focus on something at the corner of the roof, per se). Keep your shoulders pushed forward, with hands extended in front of your face the entire time. Do not let your arms fall from the horizontal line in front of your face! Keep your back as straight as can be, then sit back, as is you were going to sit on a chair or bench, pushing your butt out. From the top, take a deep breath and hold, and squat at least to a 90-degree angle (or even deeper is better). Once you start pushing back upward, slowly breathe out with slow pressure (picture a shock absorber on your car and how slow it contracts under manual pressure). At the top of the movement, you should be out of air, so that you must take another breath before lowering yourself into the next rep of the squat. 8-12 reps x 4 working sets.
Power Jackknife – This exercise is optimally performed when utlizing powerbands for resistance, in lieu of plates on the bar. Either can be used, but the powerbands are far more effective. Secure the powerbands to the base of the bench and wrap the other end around each end of the straight barbell bar on the bench press (do not use a machine press for this, only free weights). Lay on the bench and grab the bar about the width that you’d normally use for benchpressing. Hold the bar, arms straight, above your sternum. Raise your legs, keeping them as straight as possible, to a 90-degree angle with your upper torso, and then raise your hips off the bench, aiming your feet towards the roof. As you swing your legs up, bring the bar with straight arms toward your legs, making a power crunch by doing so. Breathe out while crunching your abs, and your head and neck also needs to rise off of the bench during the crunch phase. For added pep, squeeze a fitball between your ankles while performing this exercise. 10-20 reps x 4 working sets.
Standing Rope Rows – Take a tricep push-down rope and attach it to a lower pulley. Take firm hold of the rope with both hands and step back, so that your allotted amount of weight rises off of the remaining plate stack in order to begin the exercise. Check that you have good posture and a solid center of balance in your starting back squat position, with legs about shoulder-width or just a bit more apart. Pull the rope towards your bellybutton and picture a raw egg in its shell between your lats: you want to crush that egg on every contraction as you pull. At the end of each contraction, pose for just a moment, before extending your arms and opening up your lats. Tip your head up towards the ceiling at the end of every contraction, which over-emphasises the working of the lats, bringing the shoulderblades closer to one another, which is key in this exercise. 8-12 reps x 4 working sets.
Olympic Ring Push-ups – If your gym does not have Olympic rings, then invest in a pair. I’ve seen guys who can bench in excess of 180kg and they can’t get three clean reps on the rings. Hang the Olympic rings from a sturdy and even piece of apparatus. The rings should be fairly wide apart, and about 15-20cm off of the ground. Get a bench, or even better, a fitball, to put your feet up on for this exercise. Set yourself into position between the rings, wrists as straight as possible, with your feet suspended behind you on the bench/fitball. When pushing up and extending your arms fully, bring the rings together for added contraction of the pectoral muscles, and when lowering yourself, go as deep as possible. Until failure x 4 sets.
Alternating Arnold Extra – Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and curl both dumbbells in front of your shoulders, and from there press pronating above your head, reaching a weightless center of balance above your dome. This is your starting point. Lower one arm supinating toward your shoulder, bringing the weight down in a semi-circle (viewed from the side of the torso), and from there extend the supinated arm to your side, landing in a neutral grip beside your thigh. For anyone unfamiliar with the Arnold Press, look HERE. Part one of this movement, therefore, is a standing bicep curl, while the other hand is extended above the head, while the second part of the exercise is the Arnold Press. This exercise will build core strength, coordination and balance, in addition to strength. 6-12 reps per arm x 4 working sets.
Perform a cool-down at the end of this circuit, either 5-minutes of crosstrainer at low resistance or treadmill at jogging pace; or 5-minutes on the rowing machine. If nothing else is available, a stationary fitness bike will do, also.