Exercise Programmes

Exercise programmes

Muscle Mass Gain

Before considering sets and routines it would be advantageous for you to first establish your BMR, BMI, LBW and then read about resistance training and flexibility: as you will be able to construct a calorie target that reflects your goals, get a feeling for your current body composition, learn the importance of good technique and help avoid injury. The following paragraphs have been taken from the main text in the ‘Training and Performance’ section:

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Basal metabolic rate refers to the amount of energy (calories) your body “burns” in a resting state. There are two fairly robust scientific measures that are used to obtain an individual’s metabolic rate: Direct calorimetry and Indirect calorimetry

Direct calorimetry involves isolating the person in a sealed chamber and measuring heat as it is released. Indirect calorimetry is less precise but easier to accomplish. It measures the total amount of oxygen a person uses and converts that measure into calories spent.

Assuming you do not have access to pressurised chambers or scientific oxygen measuring equipment there is a third method one can use; the BMR Formula. The BMR formula uses the variables of height, weight, age and gender. This is more accurate than calculating calorie needs based on body weight alone. The only factor it omits is “lean body mass” and thus the ratio of muscle-to-fat a body has. Remember, leaner bodies need more calories than less leaner ones. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular (will underestimate calorie needs) and the very fat (will over-estimate calorie needs).

BMR Formula

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight kg) + (1.8 x height cm) – (4.7 x age yr)

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight kg) + (5 x height cm) – (6.8 x age yr)

To determine the number of calories you burn up in your day to day routine, we use the Harris Benedict Equation.

Harris Benedict Equation

The Harris Benedict Equation is a formula that uses your BMR and then applies an “activity factor” to determine your total daily energy expenditure (calories). The only factor omitted by the Harris Benedict Equation is (again) lean body mass.

To determine your total daily calorie needs (C), multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

Activity Factor
sedentary (little or no exercise): C = BMR x 1.2
lightly active (light exercise 1-3 days/wk): C = BMR x 1.375
moderately active (moderate exercise 3-5 days/wk): C = BMR x 1.55
very active (hard exercise 6-7 days/wk): C = BMR x 1.725
extra active (very hard exercise): C = BMR x 1.9

For example, If you are sedentary and have a BMR of 1745. Multiply your BMR by 1.2 = 2094. This is the total number of calories you need in order to maintain your current weight.

Once you know the number of calories needed to maintain your weight, you can easily calculate the number of calories you need to eat in order to gain or lose weight.

Below is a table showing the amount of calories burned from different activities;

Activity (Total Calories/Hr)
Ballroom Dancing (125-310)
Canoeing (slowly) (180-200)
Cooking (185-200)
Walking Slowly (2-1/2 mph) (210-230)
Cleaning (235-355)
Brisk Walking (4 mph) (250-345)
Golf (300-350)
Jogging (6 mph) (315-480)
Cycling (9 mph) (315-480)
Tennis (315-480)
Skating (320-400)
Gardening (heavy) (450-525)
Basketball (480-625)
Aerobic Dancing (480-625)
Swimming (480-625)
Cross Country Skiing (480-625)

Body Mass Index

Your Body Mass Index is based on your height and weight (weight should be measured without clothing). Generally, a healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 25. People with larger frames and more muscular physiques may fall outside the guidelines without being unhealthy so don’t be too put off by your BMI!

To calculate your Body Mass Index, take your weight (in kilograms), and divide by the square of your height (in meters). For example, if you weigh 16 stones, which we will say is exactly 100kg and are 6ft or 1.83 meters tall, then your BMI is (100/(1.83)2) = 29.86 (kg/M2). This means you are overweight. However, as said above, if you are of above average muscularity then this value doesn’t mean much! The Table below sets out the BMI for Men and women and the categories in which they fall;

Adult (Women) [Men]
anorexia (< 17.5) underweight (<19.1) [<20.7] in normal range (19.1-25.8) [20.7-26.4] marginally overweight (25.8-27.3)n[26.4-27.8] overweight (27.3-32.3) [27.8-31.1] very overweight or obese (>32.3) [>31.1]

severely obese for women & men 35 – 40
morbidly obese for women & men 40 – 50
super obese for women & men 50 – 60

There is a formula one can use to calculate their lean body weight (LBW), we have listed them here for men and women:

Men
LBW = (1.10 x Weight(kg)) – 128 ( Weight2/(100 x Height(m))2)

Women
LBW (women) = (1.07 x Weight(kg)) – 148 ( Weight2/(100 x Height(m))2)

Resistance Training

Resistance training, also known as weight training or strength training, is for everyone. It is an important tool for achieving a complete healthy life. Resistance training is not just for people who are athletes, want to build or tone muscle, or are using resistance training to achieve a better looking body.

You may also hear the terms weight training (or weight lifting) and strength training used to describe working the muscles with resistance. Resistance training is the term used to describe using weights, machines, and even your own body weight to effectively work your muscles. It is the collective term used to accurately describe all forms of resistance training, whether working with weights or not. Although strength training accurately describes what resistance training does, many people do not use the term because they think it only applies to those trying to become bigger and stronger when, in fact, all resistance training when done correctly increases strength, but does not necessary visibly increase size. (Hence the colloquial phrases “size doesn’t always equal strength” and “a small muscle doesn’t always equal a weak muscle”)

Medical research has shown that resistance training does the following: Strengthens the muscular system, Strengthens the skeletal system, Improves bone density (prevent onset of osteoporosis), Increases metabolism, Improves posture, Limits atrophy of the muscles, Aids in hypertension control, Aids in cholesterol control, Aids in body fat control, Increases circulation, Aids in prevention of adult-onset diabetes, Improves mood and self-esteem, Improves quality of life and Aids in the prevention of heart disease and certain cancers.

These are just a few of the many benefits of resistance training which are well documented by medical professionals. A well-planned resistance training program should be a part of everyone’s health and fitness lifestyle regardless of age, gender, or goals.

Resistance training can be done anywhere and without specialised equipment. You do not have to join a health club or spend a lot of money. You can do resistance training using barbells, dumbbells and specialty machines (such as those listed on our on-line shop), but you can also do resistance training by using your own body as resistance. Common household products like kitchen chairs can also be used when resistance training.

The most important aspect of resistance training is correct performance (execution) of the exercise. Too many people become concerned with how fast an exercise is performed or how heavy a weight they are using. This means that the exercise is done incorrectly. This can cause injury and most often results in endless resistance training without obtaining any increased muscle size or strength. So, training incorrectly is a complete waste of time by comparison to using good technique.

Flexibility

Flexibility is an important component of fitness that is often neglected. Flexibility is not something just for dancers, gymnasts, and martial arts athletes to work on. Flexibility is an important part of fitness for everyone regardless of age, gender, goals, or experience.

Poor flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings has been shown to contribute to back pain, so it is important to recognise and correct flexibility problems as soon as possible.

It is never too late to start improving overall flexibility. Good flexibility will help alleviate stiffness, prevent injuries, and maintain good range of motion in the joints. It is important to focus on the following seven tips when working on this crucial fitness component:

1) Never stretch a cold muscle. This means minimally five to ten minutes of light movement of the large muscles groups by jogging, biking, dancing, etc.

2) Always perform stretches correctly. Good form is of utmost importance.

3) Don’t Bounce! Ballistic stretching can be dangerous, static stretch is usually better and safer. Find the point at which you feel the stretch and then hold it. Ten to Twenty seconds is a good general length to hold stretches.

4) Make sure you are stretching all of your major muscle groups. Do not just do the flexibility stretches that you enjoy or that are easy for you. Overall flexibility is important for overall fitness.

5) If you have specialty areas of flexibility that require additional work (for sport-specific goals or specialised rehabilitation needs) do not neglect other areas to focus on the specialty area. Spend additional time to improve that area.

6) Remember that flexibility is very individual. Do not try to mirror another person’s stretch point. That point could be too difficult or too easy for you. Everyone is different.

7) Your stretch point is the point at which you feel the stretch is working but not to the point of feeling pain. Feel the stretch, not the pain. The old saying, “No pain, no gain,” does not apply to stretching.

Muscle Mass Gain Programme: Based on 4 days per week training routine: 2 days on, 1 day off, each body-part getting trained once every 6 days.

Points to note:
The principles of mass gain include doing heavy resistance work, make no mistake about it. Intensity is important (as is safety and technique) but so is adequate rest between sets and certainly between training each muscle group: don’t attack your next set until your 100% ready, but at the same time bear in mind most of your ATP will be replenished within 45 seconds so don’t take too long as you’ll lose the heat from the muscle and hence the elasticity. You also want to sustain the ‘Pump’ so try get a balance between mental focus and body-prep as quick as possible and give it your all every set. Sessions are made up of synergistic-split-bodypart work-outs. Weights should be high in number and sets should be low in reps, ranging from 6-10: causing failure within or at the limits of this range. The sequence of exercises are constantly changed to include the “multi-angle”/continuous shock principle for developing muscle. The session should last no more than 1 hour (45 mins would be better), not including warm-up at the start of each session. Aerobic (fat burning) cardio work, which you can calculate specific to you from the text below in the ‘Fat Stripping/Weight Loss’ programme, may be included but is best done before breakfast in the morning and independent from your weights session. This programme will allow you to develop muscle whilst shedding excess surface fat and water (providing you have taken the time to consider your daily calorie target and sources of calories i.e. high protein, low carb, good fat diet). Try it for 6-8 weeks and let us know how you progress. Training programmes are always open to scrutiny but we hope people agree there is a logic behind this programme. It has been tried and tested on many separate occasions with very positive results so we have included it here.

Best Wishes.

Training Split:

Day 1: Shoulders & Triceps
Warm-up with some cardio and stretching.
Exercise 1) Seated Barbell Shoulder Press (4 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 2) Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press (3 Sets, Decreasing weigh each set): 6 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 3) Side Lateral Raises (3 Sets, Decreasing weight last set): 8 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 4) Rear Lateral Raises (4 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 6 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 5) Close Grip Bench Press (4 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 6) Weighted Dips (3 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 6 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 7) Seated Triceps Press(3 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 8) Triceps push-down/Rope Splits (3 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 6 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 9) Abdominal Hanging Raises: 3 sets to failure
Cool-Down with some stretches and gentle pacing.

Day 2: Legs
Warm-up with some cardio and stretching.
Exercise 1) Seated Calf Raise (4 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 2) Standing Calf Raise (4 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 6 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 3) Smith Machine/Barbell Squats (4 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 4) Incline Leg Press/Hack Squats (3 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 8 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 5) Leg Extension (4 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 6) Stiff Leg Dead Lift (3 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 7) Lying Leg Curl (4 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 6 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 8) Abdominal Crunch: 3 sets to failure
Cool-Down with some stretches and gentle pacing.

Day 3:
Rest

Day 4: Back & Traps
Warm-up with some cardio and stretching.
Exercise 1) Bent Over Barbell Row (4 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 2) Seated Row (4 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 6 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 3) Wide Grip Pull-Downs to front (3 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 4) Dead Lifts (2 Sets, Increasing weight each set, go heavy as poss): 6 Reps, 2 Reps (only do every 2-3 weeks)
Exercise 5) Barbell Shrugs to Front (3 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 6) Barbell Shrugs to Back (3 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 7) Dumbbell Shrugs to Front (2 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps
Exercise 8) Dumbbell Shrugs to Side (2 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 6 Reps (heavy as poss), 10 Reps (Burn!)
Exercise 9) Abdominal Hanging Raises: 3 sets to failure
Cool-Down with some stretches and gentle pacing.

Day 5: Chest & Biceps
Warm-up with some cardio and stretching.
Exercise 1) Incline Barbell/Dumbbell Press (4 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 2) Flat Barbell/Dumbbell Press (3 Sets, Decreasing weight each set): 6 Reps, 8 Reps, 10 Reps
Exercise 3) Incline Dumbbell Flies (3 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 4) Cable Cross-Over: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 5) Standing Barbell Curl (4 Sets, Increasing weigh each set): 10 Reps, 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 6) Preacher E-Z Bar Curl (3 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps, 6 Reps
Exercise 7) Seated/Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl (2 Sets, Increasing weight each set): 10 Reps, 8 Reps
Exercise 8) Concentration Curls: 2 double drop sets to failure (Burn!)
Exercise 9) Abdominal Crunch: 3 sets to failure
Cool-Down with some stretches and gentle pacing.

Day 6:
Rest

Fat Stripping/Weight Loss

Before considering sets and routines it would be advantageous for you to first establish your BMR, maximum heart rate and then read about aerobic training, as this is how you specifically target fat burning. The following paragraphs have been taken from the main text in the ‘Training and Performance’ section:

Aerobic Threshold

Aerobic threshold is the intensity or heart-rate at which an individual burns the most fat. Using fat for fuel, more oxygen is required to release a given amount of energy than when carbohydrate is the main fuel. This means that at low intensities, when plenty of oxygen is available to the muscle, fat is the preferred fuel. As intensity increases, at some point the cardiovascular system will not be able to transport (proportionally) more oxygen the muscles. This is the aerobic threshold. Above this point, increased intensity will reduce fat burning.

Training Zones

Training zones are based on a percentage window of your maximum heart rate. Within each training zone subtle physiological effects take place to enhance your fitness:

The Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone – 60% to 70%

Training within this zone develops basic endurance and aerobic capacity. Another advantage to running in this zone is that while you are happily fat burning you may lose weight and you will be allowing your muscles to re-energise with glycogen, which has been expended during those faster paced work-outs.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Basal metabolic rate refers to the amount of energy (calories) your body “burns” in a resting state. There are two fairly robust scientific measures that are used to obtain an individual’s metabolic rate: Direct calorimetry and Indirect calorimetry

Direct calorimetry involves isolating the person in a sealed chamber and measuring heat as it is released. Indirect calorimetry is less precise but easier to accomplish. It measures the total amount of oxygen a person uses and converts that measure into calories spent.

Assuming you do not have access to pressurised chambers or scientific oxygen measuring equipment there is a third method one can use; the BMR Formula. The BMR formula uses the variables of height, weight, age and gender. This is more accurate than calculating calorie needs based on body weight alone. The only factor it omits is “lean body mass” and thus the ratio of muscle-to-fat a body has. Remember, leaner bodies need more calories than less leaner ones. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular (will underestimate calorie needs) and the very fat (will over-estimate calorie needs).

BMR Formula

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight kg) + (1.8 x height cm) – (4.7 x age yr)

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight kg) + (5 x height cm) – (6.8 x age yr)

To determine the number of calories you burn up in your day to day routine, we use the Harris Benedict Equation.

Harris Benedict Equation

The Harris Benedict Equation is a formula that uses your BMR and then applies an “activity factor” to determine your total daily energy expenditure (calories). The only factor omitted by the Harris Benedict Equation is (again) lean body mass.

To determine your total daily calorie needs (C), multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

Activity Factor
sedentary (little or no exercise): C = BMR x 1.2
lightly active (light exercise 1-3 days/wk): C = BMR x 1.375
moderately active (moderate exercise 3-5 days/wk): C = BMR x 1.55
very active (hard exercise 6-7 days/wk): C = BMR x 1.725
extra active (very hard exercise): C = BMR x 1.9

For example, If you are sedentary and have a BMR of 1745. Multiply your BMR by 1.2 = 2094. This is the total number of calories you need in order to maintain your current weight.

Once you know the number of calories needed to maintain your weight, you can easily calculate the number of calories you need to eat in order to gain or lose weight.

Below is a table showing the amount of calories burned from different activities;

Activity (Total Calories/Hr)
Ballroom Dancing (125-310)
Canoeing (slowly) (180-200)
Cooking (185-200)
Walking Slowly (2-1/2 mph) (210-230)
Cleaning (235-355)
Brisk Walking (4 mph) (250-345)
Golf (300-350)
Jogging (6 mph) (315-480)
Cycling (9 mph) (315-480)
Tennis (315-480)
Skating (320-400)
Gardening (heavy) (450-525)
Basketball (480-625)
Aerobic Dancing (480-625)
Swimming (480-625)
Cross Country Skiing (480-625)

Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
Maximum heart rate = 208 – (0.7 x age).

For example if you are 33, then your MHR would be 184.9 (i.e 185) beats per min.

For specific fat burning, as discussed above, you would want to be working for around 30 min at “The Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone – 60% to 70%”

So your Heart Rate Training Zone would be 60% of 185 = 111 bpm, to 70% of 185 = 129.5 (i.e 130) bpm. So, if your pulse is telling you that your heart is beating within this range, you know you are specifically burning fat! Doing this first thing in the morning, daily before breakfast, is a great way to accelerate fat loss.

Please make sure you are sufficiently hydrated: see our Water section.

Fat Stripping/Weight Loss Programme: Based on 3 days per week training routine.

Points to note:
Intensity is important, this programme is based on “circuit-training”, weights should be moderate: causing failure between 12-20 reps. Sessions are made up of a combination of mixed bodypart, upper body/lower body and lower body/upper body split work-outs. The sequence of exercises are constantly changed to include the “multi-angle”/continuous shock principle for developing/toning muscle. The circuit should last no more than 35 mins, not including warm-up or the 20-30 min cardio at end of each session. All sessions should finish with at least 20 mins of aerobic (fat burning) cardio work: which you should have already calculated. This programme will still allow you to develop/retain muscle whilst shedding excess surface fat and water (providing you have taken the time to consider your daily calorie target and sources of calories i.e. high protein, low carb, good fat diet). Try it for 6-8 weeks and let us know how you progress. Training programmes are always open to scrutiny but we hope people agree there is a logic behind this programme. It has been tried and tested on many separate occasions with very positive results so we have included it here.

Best Wishes.

Training Split:

Day 1:
Warm-up with some cardio and stretching.
Exercise 1) Seated Shoulder Press: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 2) Calf Raises: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 3) Bench press: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 4) Leg Curl: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 5) Biceps Curl: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 6) Leg Extension: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 7) Seated Row/Lat Pull-Over: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 8) Ab Crunch/Hanging Raises: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 9) Triceps push-down: 2 double drop sets to failure
Aerobic) 20-30 min aerobic cardio
Cool-Down with some stretches and gentle pacing.

Day 2:
Aerobic) 30 min aerobic cardio

Day 3:
Warm-up with some cardio and stretching.
Exercise 1) Seated Shoulder Press: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 2) Bench press: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 3) Seated Row/Lat Pull-Over: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 4) Biceps Curl: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 5) Triceps push-down: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 6) Ab Crunch/Hanging Raises: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 7) Calf Raises: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 8) Leg Curl: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 9) Leg Extension: 2 double drop sets to failure
Aerobic) 20-30 min aerobic cardio
Cool-Down with some stretches and gentle pacing.

Day 4:
Aerobic) 30 min aerobic cardio

Day 5:
Warm-up with some cardio and stretching.
Exercise 1) Ab Crunch/Hanging Raises: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 2) Calf Raises: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 3) Leg Curl: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 4) Leg Extension: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 5) Triceps push-down: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 6) Seated Shoulder Press: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 7) Seated Row/Lat Pull-Over: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 8) Biceps Curl: 2 double drop sets to failure
Exercise 9) Bench press: 2 double drop sets to failure
Aerobic) 20-30 min aerobic cardio
Cool-Down with some stretches and gentle pacing.

Day 6:
Aerobic) 30 min aerobic cardio

Day 7:
Aerobic) 30 min aerobic cardio