The ‘Core’ Values of Training

Getting into shape is much more that just abdominal exercises… Yes, that’s just part of it…. Well actually that’s all of it. Don’t just focus on crunches or sit ups; every exercise you do should engage your core. For instance, think of a chest press with dumbbells. If you were lying on your back (supine) and put your feet up over your body you would increase the instability of the workout. Instability through a safe environment will always give you the greatest result. Here’s another example that will engage your legs and core: walking lunges with a barbell on your back. **Squats with a barbell are also good, but adding motion increases the instability, which will create a better core workout. (If you don’t have room for a barbell, you can use 1-2 dumbbells. 1 dumbbell will throw off your balance more, which is good, but remember to do BOTH sides of your body. 2 dumbbells will be heavy, so it is a better leg and shoulder workout.)

Giving you a few exercises is a good start, but program design will take your workout to the next level. When I start with a new client I stick to a very simple, but effective circuit. First off, a circuit is a group of exercises put together that is designed to keep your heart rate up, burn more calories, and get you stronger faster. The simplest circuit is 2 exercises using opposing muscles, a core exercise, and a cardio exercise. Here are the opposing muscles: biceps/triceps, chest/back, legs/shoulders.

Do 3 sets and decrease the amount of rest in between every exercise. Resistance training should be slow and controlled and cardio workouts should be fast with good form.

15-25 reps = definition (toning), and 6-8 reps = hypertrophy (bulk). (10-12 reps is a good combo) –I personally start with 15 reps, than 12 reps with heavier weight, than 10 reps with heavier weight

**You can refer to my website to see video and pictures of my clients performing functional exercises ,

If you have not worked-out in 6 months or more, check with a doctor to clear you for physical activity

Whatever exercise you do make sure you are at 60-100% of your max heart rate. Depending on your fitness level, 60% may be a good challenge to start with, but as your strength and stamina increase, challenge yourself further. You may want to invest in a Polar FT 60 heart rate monitor. It will calculate your % of max HR and show you how many calories you’re burning per workout. Keep in mind an elite athlete can withstand 85% of his max HR for an hour. (If you would like, I can get this for you at a reduced cost)

**Form is always your number one priority.

My training style utilizes the whole body every workout; This is how you burn the most calories and get fit the fastest. With every exercise, I ask myself, “How can I engage the core?” –Answer: A safe environment that challenges balance, proprioception, and stability, while at the same time focuses on a mass body part.

The last part of a great workout is constantly switch it up. Muscle confusion and adaptation is an excellent way to keep your body and mind progressing.

Anthony Parisi