Tyler Robbins Fitness

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

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"Triple Threat" - 30 minute Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps Workout

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Q&A

Do you recommend that you always do the rotations you used in the seated alternating shoulder press and in the 6-direction fly, or were these the way you decided to do it for this workout.  In particular, I thought keeping thumbs up was safest for side and front shoulder raises.

I prefer palms down on the lateral raises because it recruits more muscle fibers that way (from lateral and even posterior delts). Shoulder impingement can be increased by overhead shoulder usage as well as palm-down anterior raises, that is why I like thumbs up for the anterior raises. If you don't like my variations, of course swap as you see fit. 

Do you get much triceps stress from the triceps moves where you were balancing on forearm?  For me, this turn out to be mostly core moves as I have to back off the weight to keep balanced.  I actually did not do the one where you move the weight in three directions while in one forearm plank as it looked risky for my old shoulders.

Since you are in plank, more emphasis gets placed on core and shoulder stability rather than triceps, I get that, but that is why I place the "heavy mover" exercises at the beginning of the workout. The "Robbins Rocker" where you move the weight in 3 directions is, and should be, done with very light weight. I have tested it and don't have any problems with it, although I can see some people having issues, which is fine. I still recommend you try it, even with just 2 directions (side arm extension and then triceps kickback) as extending the arm laterally has been shown to be an incredible core recruitment exercise.

The triceps are being worked on nearly every single chest and shoulder exercise in this workout, albeit just as synergists, but for just a 30 min workout, I would rather get more "bang for the buck" by doing chest and shoulder work rather than focusing solely on such a relatively small muscle group such as the triceps. That is why the triceps-only sets are sparse and often include other muscle recruitment.

Multi-joint movements not only recruit more muscle fibers and burn more calories, but they also improve neural adaptations better too!

For chest multi-set, I prefer to do the iso move (flies) first.  The idea is to work the pecs, then use the triceps to work them so more with a DB press, then finish things off with a body weight move.  Any thoughts?

Strength training always recommends large muscle groups with multi-joint recruitment first before "accessory" work. For example, a chest press has more muscle recruitment and 2 acting joints involved (shoulder and elbow). I would never have someone do a hamstring curl machine and then go do heavy squats because you are pre-fatiguing the hamstrings potentially leading to an imbalance in muscle recruitment for the heavier exercises that require more strength.

By doing iso flies first, although the elbows are isometrically involved, you are targeting the pecs only, so if you then progress to chest presses, you may over-compensate with other muscles such as anterior delta or triceps because the chest is already fatigued. Plus, rather than doing say, 30lbs for 8 reps of chest flys followed by 40lbs for 8 reps of the chest press, I would much rather do 60lbs for 8 reps of the chest presses followed by 30lbs for 8 reps of the flys.





"Double Impact" - 30 minute Legs and Back Workout

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Q&A

I always thought Sumo Squats were wide leg squats but you do them with legs shoulder width. Any particular reason?

This was intended to really stress the point of wider knees during the squat. I called them Sumo Squats, but really they could've (and should've) been called goblet squats. I was trying to stress a more natural squat form similar to a front squat, for example, using a barbell.

I think you referred to bent over rows as "reverse pushups" in the video. I had always understood reverse pushups to be a bodyweight exercise where you use a dipping bar or a bar bell on a rack, hang face up from it, and pull yourself up to the bar. You can vary the angle of your body by moving the bar up and down or by bending your knees more or less to vary the intensity.

Yup, the pull action you are referring to is actually very similar to the barbell row. The reason I refer to it as a "reverse push-up" is because of the plane the arms travel through their range of motion. I used dumbbells in this workout, although it is intended to be done with a barbell. I actually prefer this variety versus the one you refer to by pulling your body weight towards a bar because the standing variety recruits far more muscle in the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back (not to mention the mid and upper back!)





"The Armoury" - 30 minute Shoulders & Arms Workout

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"The Armoury" Worksheet

Q&A

I'd be interested in your rational for structuring the workout the way you do: for example, the shoulders sequence seems to be compound work then iso work and the burnout is strip down sets. Why not, for example, do iso work then compound work in a multi-set? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with how you structured the workout; I am just wondering why you put it together that way.

I always prefer large muscle group, multi-joint actions over isolation work. So, for example in this workout, shoulders take priority over the biceps or triceps. Since the triceps are so heavily involved in shoulder pressing, if I have an isolation set of triceps prior to shoulder presses, then I wouldn't be able to maximize my benefits from the shoulder presses.

Incorporating the band into the warmup was also a good idea.

Thanks! Not sure why they don't use bands. I have had a couple funny little tweaky things happen to my shoulders in the past, so I definitely know that some pre-hab work is good for me to keep things working smoothly.