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Men’s Fitness Transformation Day 3

Sean Lerwill's Men's Fitness Cover December 2012

Today was mine and Ped’s third session. It should have been our 4th but due to other work commitments I was unable to make our planned session yesterday. However, this actually ended up being a godsend as Ped had picked up a slight twinge in his elbow, so the extra day of rest was perfect.

Today, the plan was to go over some of the techniques we learned on Monday and Tuesday, as well as introduce some of the methods we will be using in the coming weeks to force change. Usually I wouldn’t start putting in the basics of dropsets or rest pause sets so early on, but with such a short time frame for this transformation and with the slight arm injury it seemed sensible to use the basics premise to add some intensity to the leg exercises.

The session looked like:

Deadlift – Warm-up, mobility and technique practice, then 50kg 10reps x 3 sets with a drop to 40kg for another 6reps on the last set.

Squats – Warm-ups sets on 30, 35, 40kg of 5reps. We then took it back to basics for a reteach of squat technique as the additional weight from our first squat teach had meant a slight deviation from the technique learned earlier in the week. We used squatting against an open door and then working back up from 30 to 35 to 40kg 10reps each concentrating on form and “feeling” the right muscles working.

Arm test – we did some basic tests on Ped’s arm to see which movements hurt it and which didn’t. It seems to be a very slight biceps tendinitis. Something a very high percentage of Royal Marine Recruits suffer from in the early weeks due to the high volume of rope climbing and pull-ups introduced, so it’s nothing I am unfamiliar with or too worried about (at this point.

Bench press – due to the arm injury we worked one side only to ensure the basic technique wasn’t forgotten but still resting the injured arm. There was no reason to completely miss the exercise as one arm was fine and we could drill the tempo and basic movement.

We performed single arm dumbbell press 6kg, 8kg, 10kg, & 12kg for 10reps. On the last set using 12kg we performed 2 x drops to 10kg and then to 6kg.

Due to the injury, I didn’t want Ped to do any pulling exercises so we moved onto another lower body exercise:

Glute bridge on bent – after a few warm-up sets Ped performed 30kg for 10reps as a final warm-up, before 40kg 10reps x 2, 45kg for 8 then a drop to 42.5kg for 6 and a drop to 40kg for 6. These aren’t normal dropsets of 20-30% drop in weight. They were merely to get Ped used to the idea and to raise his heart rate and get a sweat on. They did just that, as well as giving the glutes a good workout and indicating that Ped is capable of using more than 45kg for the initial set.

Lastly we went used the TRX to perform Pistol squats for 8reps on each leg, followed by 10 bodyweight squats touching the glutes onto a Reebok step box. The idea being to keep the heart rate up but also to drill the squat technique that had escaped Ped earlier in the session. After two sets of this, we did a set of 10 TRX curtsy squats on each leg then 15 bodyweight squats.

Not a super tough session for Ped, despite the heart rate being raised considerably over the last two exercises. It was as much a re-teach and technique nailing session that a real training session. However, as Ped’s niggle shows, we need to lay the foundations before we can push on to changing a physique. This is why I tell people all the time that a body transformation is a marathon, not a sprint.

Hats off again to Ped, he works really hard and makes the necessary changes as and when asked. He is starting to “feel” the muscles and make his own corrections mid rep, very quick progress considering he was a complete beginner at the start of the week.

A weekend of rest and ice for Ped before we hit a leg session on Monday and then hopefully start working the upperbody again on Tuesday.

Sean Lerwill - Author

Sean is an former-Royal Marines Commando Officer & Physical Training Instructor. He has been published as a writer five times, has a BSc in Molecular Genetics and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. He is also a MaxiNutrition ambassador.

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