3 Recession Proof Workout Moves

August 27, 2008 · Print This Article

Every time I’ve logged onto my etrade account in the last 3 months, I cringe at the thought of how much red I’m about to see. It can be a little depressing to look at, but I made a 6 month (and further) plan, and I’m gonna stick to it. The plan didn’t involve bailing because things aren’t going as well as expected. I know the market won’t stay like this forever. Whatever happens, I don’t suggest you take any stock advice from me. However, fitness is my bag, and fortunately for us–that’s what you’re gonna read about in my blog.

I’ve changed many, many bodies. Lots of people constantly ask me questions about how I get people such dramatic results in such a short amount of time. Well, the answer is simple. I don’t waste any of my clients time by having them do things that aren’t effective. I lay out the most efficient, effective plan to reach my clients goals, and we carry it out. Plain and simple.

For fat loss programs, we focus heavily on multi-joint compound movements that require the use of multiple muscle groups to execute correctly. These type of movements are also commonly found in programs designed to enhance function, in other words, the person that’s trying to stay in shape, decrease their risk of injury, be healthier, and perform their daily activities with greater ease.

You will probably never see us doing exercises like these in any program designed by me unless the client’s goal is specific muscle hypertrophy (growth):

Exercise Description:
Bent Over Dumbbell Tricep Kickback
Triceps (free weights)
1) Stand with feet hip width and knees slightly bent.
2) Start position: Bend at hips with back straight and knees bent . Take one hand and place on stationary object that is approximately waist height to support upper body. Hold DB in other hand with a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Bend elbow at 90° and raise upper arm so that it is higher than the level of your back (as shown)
3) Keeping elbows close to body and raised, extend forearm back.
4) Return to start position.
5) Remember to keep back and head straight in a neutral position – hyperextension or flexion may cause injury. Stabilize shoulder throughout movement by squeezing shoulder blades together slightly.

Exercise Description:
Concentration Curl
Biceps (free weights)
1. Start position: Grasp dumbbell underhand grip (palm facing forward) allow arm to hang down at side. Elbow should be on inside of knee.
2. Flex at the elbow and dumbbell handle up to approximately shoulder level. Keep elbow touching leg throughout movement.
3. Return to start position.

I’ve spent the last 7 years of my life, perfecting the art of exercise progression. Today, I use a very simple formula for choosing exercises for my clients.

I ask myself (the fitness professional) these simple questions.

  1. For who? and
  2. For what?

To expand a tiny bit; Who is the person doing the exercise? What is their life like? What types of daily and/or extra curricular activities is this person involved in? Which exercises will best prepare my client to safely carry out those activities? This means a barbell snatch isn’t the best choice to include in Grandma’s Functional Stability Program, and a unilateral isolation exercise like a concentration curl has no place in any program except perhaps a bodybuilder.

The exercises below are the foundation upon which many of my programs are built. Almost, if not every single one of my clients has done these exercises with me, or some variation of them at some point in their program. They are in almost every single fat loss program I’ve ever taken a client through. But they aren’t just for fat loss. One would hope that every person out there could push their bodyweight off the floor, and pick something up off the ground without injuring themselves. The sad thing is, many of us can’t.

If you are severely deconditioned, these exercises may need to be progressed to. A good trainer will be able to tell you.

No matter what the economy is like, these workout moves are recession proof, guaranteed. 😉

Stay Strong,


P.S. The first notice already went out to members of my mailing list that my fitness bootcamp will start very soon. The cost will work out to somewhere between $15-$20 per class. Each class will last an hour. Camp will take place in the aerobic room at Punahou Fitness & Spa at 12pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. First class will be on September 15. Space will be very limited to ensure quality. You do not have to be a member to attend this bootcamp. If you want to be part of this exciting, high energy, fat blasting, group fitness experience–call me right away at (808)398-4931 to reserve your spot. It’s going to be great! And yes, there is lots of parking available.

Exercise Description:
Barbell Deadlift
Full Body (free weights)
1. Start Position: Assume a shoulder width stance, knees inside arms. Feet flat on floor.
2. Position shoulders slightly over bar and grab bar. Begin pull by extending the knees.
3. Keep angle of your back constant and lift bar straight up. Keep bar close to the body and keep shoulders directly over the bar.
4. Return to starting position.

Exercise Description:
Full Squat (barbell)
Quads (free weights)
1. Grasp bar with overhand grip (palms forward) and slightly wider than hip width apart. Step under bar and position bar across posterior deltoids at middle of trapezius (as shown). DO NOT rest bar on neck. Lift elbows up, pull shoulder blades together, and lift chest up to create a “shelf” for the bar.
2. Start position: Using the legs, remove bar from rack. Stand with feet slighter wider than hip width apart. Back should be straight in a neutral position.
3. Lower body by flexing at the hips and knees. Upper body can flex forward at the hips slightly (~5°) during movement. Be sure to “sit back” so that knees stay over the feet.
4. Once thighs are parallel to floor, return to start position.
5. Remember to keep head and back straight in a neutral position – hyperextension or flexion may cause injury. Keep weight over the middle of foot and heel, not the toes.
6. DO NOT allow knees to go past the big toe or deviate medially or laterally throughout movement. Keep abdominals tight throughout exercise by drawing stomach in toward spine.

Exercise Description:
Standard Pushup
Chest (bodyweight)
1. Lie face down on the floor with hands palm down, fingers pointing straight ahead, and aligned at the nipple line.
2. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width, and feet should be at hip width with toes on floor.
3. Start position: Extend the elbows and raise the body off the floor.
4. Lower your entire body (legs, hips, trunk, and head) 4-8 inches from the floor.
5. Return to the start position by extending at the elbows and pushing the body up.
6. Remember to keep the head and trunk stabilized in a neutral position by isometrically contracting the abdominal and back muscles. Never fully lock out the elbows at the start position and avoid hyperextension of the low back.


One Response to “3 Recession Proof Workout Moves”

  1. Stephen on August 29th, 2008 9:47 pm

    Excellent information Chris. Keep up the good work and I’ll be in touch.

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