The last blog post on cumulative training garnered quite the response and I have had a number of requests for an example of a program that we have used in the past. There are a number of ways that you can break up a traditional workout into sections throughout the day, most of which will be effective. But over the years I have found that we can cater to natural hormone, energy, eating patterns to increase the efficiency and benefits of this kind of training. This is a highly individualized process and does involve some data crunching and trial and error. When it comes to the analysis side of things we’re the ones doing the heavy lifting, so to speak.
Down to the nitty gritty. The example I will be sharing here is a high intensity program built for someone who has been doing moderately intense workouts for some time already. In this case, my client suddenly found themselves working upwards of 60 hours/week and had less time to come train in the studio for a few months. Rather than lose the progress we had accomplished over the last year we decided to break up the workouts into 5 mini sessions of 5 minutes each. This is a full body workout and involves the use of some equipment but could very easily be altered for a complete body weight program.
Program needs –
Time – 25 minutes – in 5 bouts of 5 minutes each
Space required – 7″x5″
Equipment used – 2×20 lb. dumbbells, towel
1st 5min. Bout – – Interval training – – 40 seconds on / 20 seconds off
Back lunge to high knee jump – Take a step back into a full lunge (knee inch from the ground) then spring back up, bringing your back leg up, trying to tuck your knee in as you hop on the stable leg. When you land go directly back into the lunge. The lunge should be long enough so that your front knee is behind your toes – this activates the glute more than the quad. REST 20 SECONDS THEN SWITCH SIDES
Push up / knee tuck – Place your feet on the towel, hip width apart (need a wood floor). Perform a full push up (nose to floor -> back up all the way) then tuck your knees in towards your chest and push them back out to your starting position. Keep your shoulders over your hands to maintain a “light” bottom half, this will make the tucks quicker and smoother. Its murder on the shoulders and gets the quads burning too – hence why we want the long lunge in the previous exercise. REST 20 SECONDS
Burpee – Regular burpee minus the push up. REST 20 SECONDS
Weighted jump squat / punch out – Holding 1 dumbbell at clavicle level – one end in each hand – squat low. You should squat at least low enough so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then burst upwards into a jump. The jump should be small, just enough to get your feet off of the floor. When you land, go directly into another squat. This time when you come back up, don’t jump just punch the weight outwards as you stand up. When you punch, the motion should be quick but controlled. You want a short and explosive activation of your arms, shoulders, chest, back and abdominals. The following squat should be a jump…keep alternating between the jump squat and the punch squat.
2nd 5min Bout – Strength Training / Push & Pull
Bench press – using your two dumbbells you have a few options. If you have access to a bench or a stability ball you can use this to lay down on and allow for more range of motion on the downwards portion of the movement. If not, just do them on the floor and go until you hit the floor. TEMPO – use the 4-0-1-0 pace = 4 seconds for the downwards motion, no rest at bottom, 1 second to push back up, no rest at top position. 20 SECOND REST
Renegade Row – This is a row from a push up position. You can hold the weights in each hand or have them resting next to your hands. Pull one weight in towards the outside of your ribs while trying to maintain core stability. Minimize the twisting of your waist when you row. Alternate sides. 20 SECOND REST – REPEAT BOTH EXERCISES 3 TIMES
3rd 5min Bout – Core Progression
Scissors 10x / Single leg raises 10x / bicycle 20x / hollow hold 10 seconds – repeat this circuit non stop for 80 seconds then rest 20 seconds. REPEAT 3X
4th 5min Bout – Repeat of 1st Bout
5th 5min Bout – 1 Exercise for Endurance
Single arm Dumbbell snatch – Better to watch a demonstration of this exercise rather than read a description. This is a complex movement and is best done at this pace only when you have learned it properly. Here is a link to a good demo.
– Perform 50 reps total. 25 on each side. Try and do 5 reps each side every minute on the minute. This will start out easy and get more difficult. You can increase the total reps if the weight you are using is light.
Remember this is an example of a fairly high intensity version of one of our cumulative training programs. Its only 5 minutes but its a pretty brutal 5 minutes. I tend to get more “i hate you”, “you’e the devil” and “whyyyyyyy” texts throughout the day than I normally do.
Some of these exercises are quite complex and so you may want to find a simpler progression. Never sacrifice quality for quantity…or anything else. Begin slow and use exercises that you can keep good form with but are still challenging. For the interval sessions, including the core progression you are supposed to go all out for the 40 seconds. Give it everything you’ve got. And remember, I do this with love!
The number of repetitions for the strength training depends on the weight you are using and the difficulty level. You shouldn’t be going to failure but it should be quite difficult for the last 2 or so reps.
I would normally mix this program with 1 or 2 other programs to be followed throughout the week. Variety improves engagement and maintains motivation. If this is a long term scenario, or when it is an online client I offer some new programs every 4-5 weeks (training and nutrition journals are kept and reviewed every week. There is still a small time commitment involved but now you will still be able to do things like hug your family, finish writing your novel, eat a proper meal and maybe even look for a new job that doesn’t make you work so much!