Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Category: "Exercise Progression"

Day 314 - Body Beast Bulk: Shoulders "Bulk Phase" Progress

Below is the improvement I saw on Bulk: Shoulders throughout the "Bulk" phase of Body Beast. My shoulders have always been a body part that I have had trouble gaining strength with. The shoulders get a lot of work during Bulk: Chest, so this routine is a bit more focused on fly-type moves, but works great to pump up the shoulders!

Bulk: Shoulders

Lateral Raise

Day 26
15 reps - 2x10lbs
12 reps - 2x15lbs
8 reps - 2x20lbs


Day 62
15 reps - 2x12lbs
12 reps - 2x15lbs
8 reps - 2x20lbs


Arnold Press

Day 26
15 reps - 2x20lbs
12 reps - 2x25lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs (6 reps), 2x30lbs (2 reps)

8 reps - 2x30lbs (4 reps), 2x25lbs (4 reps)


Day 62
15 reps - 2x25lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
8 reps - 2x40lbs

8 reps - 2x35lbs (4 reps), 2x30lbs (4 reps)

Upright Row (I use dumbbells)

Day 26
15 reps - 2x20lbs

12 reps - 2x25lbs
8 reps - 2x30lbs
8 reps - 2x30lbs
12 reps - 2x25lbs
15 reps - 2x20lbs

Day 62
15 reps - 2x25lbs

12 reps - 2x30lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
15 reps - 2x25lbs
 
Alternating Front Raise

Day 26
15 reps - 2x15lbs
12 reps - 2x20lbs
8 reps - 2x25lbs


Day 62
15 reps - 2x15lbs
12 reps - 2x20lbs
8 reps - 2x25lbs


Plate Twist-Twist (I use a dumbbell)

Day 26
10 reps - 15lbs
10 reps - 20lbs
10 reps - 20lbs


Day 62
10 reps - 30lbs
10 reps - 30lbs
10 reps - 30lbs


Reverse Fly

Day 26

15 reps - 2x10lbs
12 reps - 2x15lbs
8 reps - 2x20lbs
8 reps - 2x15lbs
12 reps - 2x10lbs
15 reps - 2x8lbs

Day 62
15 reps - 2x12lbs
12 reps - 2x15lbs
8 reps - 2x20lbs
8 reps - 2x15lbs
12 reps - 2x12lbs
15 reps - 2x10lbs

Superman Stretch

Day 26
10 reps
10 reps

Day 62
10 reps
10 reps

Plank Twist-Twist


Day 26
30 secs - 35 reps
30 secs - 40 reps

Day 62
30 secs - 40 reps
30 secs - 40 reps

I found this routine to be the hardest to increase resistance by any significant means. There are so many 'fly' exercises in this routine that requires careful consideration into weight selection, as going too heavy can injure the shoulder very easily. I am glad to have increased strength on my Arnold Press!

Quote of the day:
"The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less."
-Socrates


Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 312 - Body Beast Bulk: Arms "Bulk Phase" Progress

Below is the improvement I saw on Bulk: Arms throughout the "Bulk" phase of Body Beast. The pacing of this routine, coupled with the fact that the biceps and triceps are smaller muscle groups make this routine a tough one to improve drastically on. I think I did quite well throughout the Bulk Phase, however, and got a tremendous pump every time!

Bulk: Arms

Standing Curl

Day 25
15 reps - 2x20lbs
12 reps - 2x25lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs
8 reps - 2x30lbs

12 reps - 2x20lbs
15 reps - 2x15lbs


Day 61
15 reps - 2x20lbs
12 reps - 2x25lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs

12 reps - 2x25lbs
15 reps - 2x20lbs

Tricep Extension

Day 25
15 reps - 20lbs
12 reps - 30lbs
8 reps - 40lbs

8 reps - 30lbs


Day 61
15 reps - 40lbs
12 reps - 50lbs
8 reps - 60lbs

8 reps - 50lbs

Wide E-Z Bar Curl Force Set (I used dumbbells)

Day 25
5 reps - 2x25lbs
5 reps - 2x25lbs
5 reps - 2x25lbs
5 reps - 2x25lbs
5 reps - 2x25lbs


Day 61
5 reps - 2x30lbs
5 reps - 2x30lbs
5 reps - 2x30lbs
5 reps - 2x30lbs
5 reps - 2x30lbs

Skull Crusher

Day 25
15 reps - 2x15lbs
12 reps - 2x25lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs

8 reps - 2x30lbs


Day 61
15 reps - 2x25lbs
12 reps - 2x35lbs
8 reps - 2x40lbs

8 reps - 2x35lbs

Hammer Curl

Day 25
15 reps - 10lbs
12 reps - 15lbs
8 reps - 20lbs

8 reps - 25lbs
12 reps - 20lbs
15 reps - 15lbs


Day 61
15 reps - 20lbs
12 reps - 25lbs
8 reps - 30lbs

8 reps - 30lbs
12 reps - 25lbs
15 reps - 20lbs (ugly!)

Tricep Kickbacks

Day 25
15 reps - 15lbs
12 reps - 20lbs
8 reps - 25lbs

8 reps - 25lbs
12 reps - 20lbs
15 reps - 15lbs

Day 61
15 reps - 20lbs
12 reps - 25lbs
8 reps - 30lbs

8 reps - 30lbs
12 reps - 25lbs
15 reps - 15lbs 

Weighted Crunch

Day 25
30 reps - 25lbs
Day 61
30 reps - 30lbs

The two progressive sets at the end of the workout move at such a quick pace so they just murder your arms! If you go heavier at the start of the workout, don't let your ego get in the way during those last 2 progressive sets as they will humble you big time!


Quote of the day:
"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
-Ann Landers



Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 311 - Body Beast Bulk: Back "Bulk Phase" Progress

Below is the improvement I saw on Bulk: Back throughout the "Bulk" phase of Body Beast. A much shorter workout here, running right around the 30mins length. I felt like this routine needed just 1 more set so I would add a bonus round of "Seated Back Rows" (exercise you see in P90X's Chest & Back) immediately following the Deadlifts.

Bulk: Back

Pull-Over

Day 24
15 reps - 45lbs
12 reps - 60lbs
8 reps - 70lbs
8 reps - 60lbs


Day 60
15 reps - 50lbs
12 reps - 60lbs
8 reps - 70lbs
8 reps - 60lbs

Pull-Up

Day 24

10 reps
10 reps
5+5 assisted reps


Day 60
10 reps (30lbs)
10 reps (20lbs)
10 reps


Reverse Grip Row

Day 24
15 reps - 2x30lbs

12 reps - 2x35lbs
8 reps - 2x40lbs
8 reps - 2x40lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
15 reps - 2x25lbs


Day 60
15 reps - 2x30lbs

12 reps - 2x35lbs
8 reps - 2x45lbs
8 reps - 2x45lbs
12 reps - 2x35lbs
15 reps - 2x30lbs


One Arm Row Force Set

Day 24

5 reps - 40lbs
5 reps - 40lbs
5 reps - 40lbs
5 reps - 40lbs
5 reps - 40lbs


Day 60
5 reps - 60lbs
5 reps - 60lbs
5 reps - 60lbs
5 reps - 50lbs
5 reps - 50lbs


Deadlift

Day 24
15 reps - 2x40lbs
12 reps - 2x50lbs
8 reps - 2x60lbs

8 reps - 2x50lbs


Day 60
15 reps - 2x50lbs
12 reps - 2x50lbs
8 reps - 2x60lbs

8 reps - 2x60lbs


Seated Back Row

Day 24
15 reps - 2x30lbs
12 reps - 2x40lbs
8 reps - 2x50lbs

8 reps - 2x45lbs


Day 60
15 reps - 2x40lbs
12 reps - 2x50lbs
8 reps - 2x60lbs

8 reps - 2x50lbs


Reverse Fly

Day 24
15 reps - 2x10lbs

12 reps - 2x15lbs


Day 60
15 reps - 2x12lbs

12 reps - 2x15lbs


Plank Rotation

Day 60
8 reps - 25lbs
8 reps - 25lbs


Day 60
8 reps - 25lbs
8 reps - 25lbs

Not as many weight increases as some of the other Bulk routines, but I feel I made some pretty decent progress none-the-less. For such a short workout, the pace absolutely destroys your lats and upper back!


Quote of the day:

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."
-Earl Wilson



Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 310 - Body Beast Bulk: Legs "Bulk Phase" Progression

Below is the improvement I saw on Bulk: Legs throughout the "Bulk" phase of Body Beast. I have played a lot of competitive sports growing up, including hockey and soccer, so my legs have always been a strong point in my training. I am quite impressed with the improvements I saw over the 6 weeks of the Bulk Phase with my legs!

NOTE - All weights listed include total weight moved. For example, if a weight listed is "100lbs" that includes a 40lb dumbbell in both hands along with my 20lb weighted vest.

Bulk: Legs

Front to Back Lunge

Day 23
12 reps - 50lbs
12 reps - 60lbs
8 reps - 70lbs


Day 59
12 reps - 60lbs
10 reps - 80lbs
8 reps - 100lbs

Squat

Day 23
15 reps - 60lbs
12 reps - 80lbs
8 reps - 100lbs

8 reps - 100lbs
12 reps - 80lbs

15 reps - 60lbs


Day 59
15 reps - 80lbs
12 reps - 100lbs
8 reps - 140lbs

8 reps - 140lbs
12 reps - 100lbs

15 reps - 80lbs

Full to 1/2 Sumo Squat Force Set

Day 23
5 reps - 50lbs
5 reps - 50
lbs
5 reps - 50lbs
5 reps - 50lbs
5 reps - 50
lbs


Day 59
5 reps - 80lbs
5 reps - 80
lbs
5 reps - 80lbs
5 reps - 80lbs
5 reps - 80
lbs


Split Squat

Day 23
15 reps - 50lbs
12 reps - 70lbs
8 reps - 90lbs

8 reps - 90lbs
12 reps - 70lbs
15 reps - 50lbs


Day 59
15 reps - 80lbs
12 reps - 100lbs
8 reps - 120lbs

8 reps - 120lbs
12 reps - 100lbs
15 reps - 80lbs


Stiff Leg Deadlift

Day 23
15 reps - 70lbs
12 reps - 80lbs
8 reps - 90lbs

8 reps - 80lbs


Day 59
15 reps - 80lbs
12 reps - 90lbs
8 reps - 100lbs

8 reps - 90lbs


Alternating Side Squat

Day 23

10 reps - 60lbs
10 reps - 70lbs
10 reps - 70lbs


Day 59
10 reps - 70lbs
10 reps - 70lbs
10 reps - 70lbs


Single Leg Calf Raise


Day 23
45lbs - 25 reps + 35lbs - 20 reps
45lbs - 25 reps + 35lbs - 20 reps


Day 59
45lbs - 30 reps + 35lbs - 20 reps
45lbs - 30 reps + 35lbs - 20 reps


In & Outs


30 secs - 20 reps
30 secs - 25 reps

At the end of the routine, I swap out "Beast Abs" for In & Outs for a couple reasons. 1, I am not a fan of the "Beast Abs" exercise. I find it far too easy and pointless to be perfectly honest. 2, I wear my weighted vest throughout the entire routine so laying down on the ground to do Beast Abs is not an option. Instead, I sit on the bench and bring my knees in towards my chest and out again.

This routine is an absolute monster if you really attack your legs. I will be looking forward to getting a proper squat rack with Olympic Bar and weight plates for future rounds to really go after my legs.

Quote of the day:
"Don’t count the days, make the days count."
-Muhammad Ali

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 309 - Body Beast Bulk: Chest "Bulk Phase" Progress

Below is the improvement I saw on Bulk: Chest throughout the "Bulk" phase of Body Beast. My chest has always been a body part that I have had trouble putting any bit of mass on. I feel as though I had great success in the "Build Phase" with Build: Chest/Tris, so I was excited to give this one a shot. It certainly does not disappoint blasting the chest!

Bulk: Chest

Incline Fly

Day 22
15 reps - 2x20lbs
12 reps - 2x25lbs
8 reps - 2x30lbs


Day 58
15 reps - 2x25lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs

Incline Press

Day 22
15 reps - 2x25lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
8 reps - 2x45lbs

8 reps - 2x40lbs

Day 58
15 reps - 2x35lbs
12 reps - 2x45lbs
8 reps - 2x50lbs
8 reps - 2x45lbs

Chest Press with Rotation Force Set

Day 22
5 reps - 2x40lbs
5 reps - 2x40
lbs
5 reps - 2x40lbs
5 reps - 2x40lbs
5 reps - 2x40
lbs

Day 58
5 reps - 2x40lbs
5 reps - 2x40lbs
5 reps - 2x40lbs
5 reps - 2x40lbs
5 reps - 2x40lbs

Incline Press

Day 22
15 reps - 2x25lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
8 reps - 2x40lbs(4 reps), 2x35lbs (4 reps)

8 reps - 2x35lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs (11 reps)
15 reps - 2x20lbs

Day 58
15 reps - 2x25lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
8 reps - 2x45lbs
8 reps - 2x45lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
15 reps - 2x25lbs

Close-Grip Press to Fly

Day 22
15 reps - 2x15lbs
12 reps - 2x20lbs
8 reps - 2x30lbs


Day 58
15 reps - 2x25lbs
12 reps - 2x30lbs
8 reps - 2x35lbs

Decline Pushups

Day 22

15 reps
12 reps
8 reps

Day 58
15 reps
12 reps
12 reps

Cobra to Airplane


Day 22
10 reps

Day 58
10 reps

Russian Twist


Day 22
30 secs. - 28 reps (Mason Twists - feet off the floor)

Day 58
30 secs. - 30 reps (Mason Twists - feet off the floor)

For the first set of incline presses, my weight selection goes from 50lbs to 60lbs. I wish I had 55's so that it wasn't as big of a jump in the 8-rep set. Instead of increasing the 8-rep set, I simply increased the weight on the 15 and 12-rep sets instead. The force set is in a tough position, having incline flies and presses beforehand, and then a progressive set of incline presses immediately following, maybe next round of Body Beast I will build up enough courage to increase to 45lbs.

Quote of the day:
 "Above all challenge yourself. You may well surprise yourself at what strengths you have, what you can accomplish."
-Cecile Springer



Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 110 - Walking is Only the First Step...


A study published in USA Today this morning discusses the fact that more Americans are getting more active with walking. Walking is a great way to stay active, it is not enough activity to meet the requirements adults are recommended to meet to stay healthy.

Step 1 of my "Grow Younger Every Day" list is all about this very fact. Too many people feel as though simply 'staying active' with moderate activities is enough to stay healthy, although vigorous exercise is what is really required to keep a healthy cardiovascular system and ward off cardiovascular diseases.

The current government recommendation is adults should get at least 2½ hours (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week, such as brisk walking (fast enough that you get a little winded), or 1¼ hours (75 minutes) of a vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging or swimming laps, or a combination of the two types, to get the most health benefits from exercise. This activity should be done in at least 10-minute bouts.

Don't get me wrong, I always try and promote as much activity as possible amongst people, regardless of the intensity level. Having said that, the reason why I promote activity is that everyone needs to start somewhere, but intensity is the name of the game and eventually everyone should try and increase the intensity, as well as the duration of their exercise to consistently challenge themselves.

If you are new to exercise, not only do I try and promote moderate activity to start, I actually recommend it as I believe that everyone should start off slow. Once you start to get in better shape, however, you should look for new ways to challenge yourself and up the intensity.

Quote of the day:
"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
~ Chinese Proverb




Designing an Aerobic Endurance Program

Designing an aerobic endurance training program is similar to designing other fitness programs for any individual. We can break down training criteria into different subcategories that can be focused on. For example, an aerobic training program should include the following variables: Exercise Mode, Training Frequency, Training Intensity, Exercise Duration, and Exercise Progression.

As with any training program, however, the program should be structured to the individual's needs. For example, one person may have a history of cycling, so their form or exercise economy does not need as much training. They may have been sedentary for months or years though, so more emphasis should be placed on aerobic conditioning.

On the other hand, an individual may be very active with a wide variety of exercises but does not have a lot of experience running, and they wish to run their first marathon. In this case, not as much attention would need to be placed on their conditioning like the example above, but more time and emphasis placed on their running form and efficiency.

Exercise Mode

Exercise mode refers to the specific activities an individual must train in to become better at their desired sport or event. Obviously, if one is to become a better runner, swimmer or cyclist, they would need to practice their desired event as that would be the ideal specificity training.

Having said that, there are numerous research studies that have been done showing the positive effect cross training can have on any athletic event. Cross training should try and involve as many of the desired body parts as possible though. For example, it would not be as effective for an athlete who is training for a cycling event to spend a lot of time on the bench press.

Training Frequency

Training frequency refers to the number of training sessions an individual would have in a set period of time (usually a week). Many different variables can factor into planning an individual's training frequency such as their current fitness level as the less trained an individual is, the more recovery days they would require.

Sport season also influences the training frequency. A seasoned cyclist for example who is participating in an upcoming event may taper their number of training sessions per week.

As with any training program, recovery days are just as important, if not more important than the working days. On recovery days, it is important for one to refuel their nutrient and hydration levels in order for their bodily systems and tissues to repair and recover. Studies have also shown an increase in performance after a rest or recovery period of a day or a few days, which is not all that surprising.

Training Intensity

For the most part, the longer a training session is, the less-intense it is and vice-versa. Our muscles consist of a combination of type 1 and type 2 muscle fibers. Type 1 fibers are more fatigue-resistant because their primary energy source is derived from aerobic metabolism, although they cannot create as much power as type 2 fibers can.

Type 2 muscle fibers are more intended for power and speed, although they do so by producing energy by means of anaerobic metabolism. As the intensity of any activity increases, the body begins to transition from mostly type 1 fiber recruitment to type 2, although this is never a black and white transition, there is always some time with overlap.

By training both of these muscle fibers and their subsequent energy systems by using aerobic exercise, you are able to increase the fatigue-resistance of the type 2 fibers by training them to be more aerobically efficient. By doing so, you improve your overall aerobic performance.

The trick to aerobic training is to not train too intensely because a training session would be cut too short, but to also not push the envelope too far, so to speak, as you would not be improving the efficiency of your energy systems.

To date, there are a few different techniques that an individual can use in order to monitor their level of effort that I have listed below.

Heart Rate

One of the most widely-used methods of monitoring exertion due to its close relation to oxygen consumption. Most individuals have used methods of calculating a heart rate zone based on their theoretical max heart rate (%MHR). This can be done by subtracting your age from 220 and then multiplying it by a certain percentage or percentages to get a range.

For example, for myself, since I am 26 years old, my %MHR would be:

220 - 26 = 194

85% x 194 = 165

Another heart rate calculation that is also widely-used due to its close proximity to %VO2Max is the Karvonen Method. This is done by first calculating your age-predicted max heart rate (220-age). You then subtract your resting heart rate from this number to get your heart rate reserve (HRR). You then take your HRR and multiply it by your desired exercise intensity and finally add your resting heart rate. Written out, for myself who wants to work at 85% intensity looks like this:

220 - 26 = 194

HRR = 194 - 52 (resting heart rate) = 142

85% intensity = (142 x 0.85) + 52 = 173 beats/minute

Exercise Duration

Exercise duration simply refers to the amount of time an exercise session lasts. As mentioned previously, the more intense an individual works, the shorter the duration will be.

For example, exercise that is conducted at an intensity above maximal lactate steady state (approx. 85% VO2 Max) will have a short duration of 20-30 mins. On the other hand, exercise that stays at a steady 70% of VO2 Max can last for an hour or more.

Exercise Progression

As with any type of physical training, aerobic exercise must also follow a progressive overload training style in order to continually challenge and therefore improve the body's performance.

Typically, exercise frequency, intensity, or duration or a combination of all three should be increased from week to week during a training block. Having said that, none of those three categories should be increased by more than 10% at any given time.

Once an individual has reached a sort of upper limit for a certain variable, you can then use the other 2 variables to continue progression. For example, if an individual only have 60 mins on any given day to train, they start at 30 mins of running, 4 days a week, with a 10% training increase each week, they will eventually reach their maximum of 60 mins sessions in a few weeks. You can then "cap" each session at 60 mins, but continue progression by increasing intensity.

-Tyler Robbins
B.Sc. PTS