Transitional Training: Phase 2

By Tim Rigby (Copyright IFM Media)

Now that a foundation for transitional training has been established, it’s time to progress to the Phase 2 workout.  This will include some of your old standbys and more popular exercises from the gym which, as you know, have all been highly effective in building muscle mass and tone for you:

Exercise                                             Sets     Reps   Rest

SQUAT                                                3-4      6-8      2:00 mins.
BENCH PRESS                                    3-4      6-8      2:00 mins.
SEATED MILITARY PRESS                3          8-10    1:30 mins.
EZ-BAR UPRIGHT ROW                    3          8-10    1:30 mins.
STANDING BARBELL CURL             3          8-10    1:30 mins.
DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE               3          10-12  1:00 min.
REVERSE CRUNCH                            3          10-12  1:00 min.

Exercise Descriptions:

SQUAT
(1) Rack a barbell to a height of slightly below your shoulders.  (2) Load the bar to your desired weight.  (3) Step forward underneath the bar such that it rests on your trapezius muscles and grasp the bar with a very wide overhand grip.  (4) Extend your legs to raise the bar above the rack supports, then take two steps backward.  (5) Keep your back straight and avoid any rounding.  (6) Separate your feet to a little wider than your shoulders and point your toes outward slightly.  (7) Using control, allow gravity to induce flexion through your knees as you descend until your quadriceps muscles are parallel to the floor.  (8) Pause in this bottom position for a half-second, then explosively press into the floor by extending your legs and raise up to the start position.

BENCH PRESS
(1) Load a racked barbell to your desired weight.  (2) Set yourself into position by lying on your back on the bench.  (3) Slide your body along the bench until the bar is above your upper pecs.  (4) Grasp onto the bar with a strong overhand grip that’s 1.5 times the width of your shoulders.  (5) Spread your feet outward, wider than your shoulders and securely on the floor.  (6) Take a deep breadth inward and squeeze your lats.  (7) When ready, unrack the barbell and draw it downward at a slightly angled path toward your lower pecs.  (8) Pause here for a second, then explosively extend your arms to press the bar upward and inward back to the start.

SEATED MILITARY PRESS
(1) Load a racked barbell to your desired weight.  (2) Set the height of the seat to whereby when you unrack the bar, it will be in the plane of your chin.  (3) Sit tall on the seat and be sure to keep your back straight since there’s no backing pad to support it.  (4) Spread your feet securely on the floor, at least as far apart as the width of your shoulders.  (5) Grasp onto the bar with both hands using an overhand grip that’s about 1.5 times the width of your shoulders.  (6) Unrack the bar and hold it at the level of your chin.  (7) Forcefully extend your arms to raise the bar vertically until your arms are fully extended (a.k.a. “locked out”).  (8) Pause for one second in the peak position, then using control allow gravity to lower the bar again to the start.

EZ-BAR UPRIGHT ROW
(1) Load an EZ-Bar to your desired weight.  (2) Hold onto the bar with both hands using an overhand grip, no closer than the width of your shoulders (here we are emphasizing your shoulders, but if you want to hit your traps more you can take a grip that is just slightly narrower than your shoulders).  (3) Stand tall with back straight, head level, and feet separated to shoulder width for stability.  (4) Let the bar hang freely in your extended arms directly in front of you.  (5) Bend your knees just slightly to prevent swaying.  (6) When ready, row the bar vertically in a plane immediately in front of you, keeping your elbows high.  (7) Continue the ascent until your hands are about at the height of your collarbone.  (8) Hold in this peak position for half a second, then using control allow gravity to cause the bar to lower back to the start.

STANDING BARBELL CURL
(1) Load a barbell to your desired weight or use a fixed-weight barbell.  (2) Grasp the bar with both hands using an underhand grip at a space of just wider than your shoulders.  (3) Stand tall with back straight and head level.  (4) Bend your knees slightly for stability and to prevent swaying.  (5) Let the bar hang in your extended arms in front of you.  (6) When ready, anchor your body in place and curl the bar in an upward arc past 90 degrees.  (7) In the peak position, hold the bar for a half-second.  (8) Using control, allow gravity to cause the bar to descend as you extend your arms.

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE
(1) Select a pair of dumbbells with your desired resistance.  (2) Grasp a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip.  (3) Stand tall with your back straight and chin up.  (4) Bend your knees a little bit for stability.  (5) Let the weights hang freely in your extended arms in front of you, in line with your shoulders.  (6) When ready, keep your body fixed in position and raise the weights in a backhanded motion in an upward arc away from you.  (7) When your arms reach the height of your shoulders and are parallel to the floor, pause for a half second.  (8) Using control, allow gravity to cause the weights to return to the start.

REVERSE CRUNCH
(1) Lie on the floor, facing up, with your body elongated.  (2) Separate your feet by just a few inches.  (3) Draw your feet inward toward your butt such that your upper legs, lower legs and the floor form a triangle.  (4) Keep your head in line with your spine and fixed on the floor.  (5) Let your arms lie flat and extended on the floor at your sides.  (6) When ready, contract through your abs and raise your knees in an arcing path toward your chest, making sure to preserve the same flexion in your legs.  (7) Pause for a full second in the peak contraction, then using control reverse the direction to return to the start.


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