By Rob Shaul
It’s common to find yourself in need of a quick training session, when life, travel or whatever, has kicked you out of your regular programming and schedule.
Here are two programming philosophies and example training sessions I deploy when I find myself in this situation – one each for strength and work capacity/stamina … and a bonus couple examples for endurance.
MTI Vets will recognize the exercises used in the examples below. If you don’t, please visit our EXERCISES PAGE for unfamiliar exercises.
Time-Crunched Efficient Strength
MTI’s Efficient Strength programming is a simple, efficient way to hit four major strength movements in a super-effective manner. Here are the strength movements and example exercises for each:
Upper Body Press
- Scotty Bob
- Bench Press
- Military Press
- Push Press
- Push Up
- Incline Bench Press
- Parallel Bar Dip
Lower Body Press
- Air Squat
- Mini Leg Blaster
- Back Squat
- Front Squat
- Box Squat
- Dumbell/Kettlebell Front Squat
Upper Body Pull
- Pull Up, Chin Up, Mixed Grip Pull Up, Tarzan Pull Up
- Rope Climb
- Bent Over Barbell Row
- Power Curl
- 1-Arm Dumbbell Row
Lower Body Pull
- Dead Lift or Hinge Lift
- Walking Lunge
- Nordic Hamstring
- In-Place Lunge
- 8 Rounds of moderate-volume with “increase load each round until hard, but doable” loading
- “Moderate Volume” = 4-6 reps per exercise, per set.
- No warm up. Jump right in. Start light and increase load slowly on the first the first 2-3 rounds and use this as your warm up.
- Aim to be at or close to your “hard but doable” load by Round 4 and use this load “across” rounds 4-8.
- Work steadily, but not frantically through the circuit. You’re training strength and want to go as heavy as possible and not be limited on load significantly by heavy breathing.
- Again, no set or timed rest between exercises. Move steadily from one exercise to the next and aim to finish all 8 rounds in at around 40 minutes.
Below are three session examples. Again – no warm up, jump right in. Each session deploys just one barbell – but if you have the room and equipment for 2 barbells, you can work appropriate exercises in. One session is bodyweight only:
What is important is the overall theory – working to incorporate an upper body press, lower body press, upper body pull, and lower body pull – into each session. I like to alternate upper and lower body exercises just to give the body areas a break. Below is how the first session above. Again – no warm up, jump right in and work steadily, not frantically… I find I can generally move right from the upper body work to the following lower body exercise, but need to take a short break after the lower body exercises.
- 6x Bench Press – increase load each round until 6x is hard but doable (HBD)
- 6x Dumbbell Front Squat – increase load each round until 6x is HBD
- 6x Pull Ups
- 6x In-Place Lunge – increase load each round until 6x is HBD
Time-Crunched Chassis-Integrity/Work Capacity Hybrid
MTI’s Chassis Integrity approach is perhaps the programming theory I’m most proud of.
In theory, our Chassis Integrity theory is designed to train mid-section strength and strength endurance, but in practice, there is a significant cardio effect – and so it’s also a sneaky way I can kill two birds with one stone – Chassis Integrity and Work Capacity.
This 40-minute, Chassis Integrity/Work Capacity Hybrid Training Session is a great time-crunched training session.
- Combine two Chassis Integrity movements (Total Body, Rotation) with a work capacity mode in the same circuit.
- Work at a “Grind” Pace through the circuit for 40 minutes. “Grind” = steadily but not frantically.
- No warm up. Jump right in, and start easy, then increase the pace as you warm up.
- Moderate Volume for the Chassis Integrity exercises – 5x Reps for each exercise per set
- Aim for a 1-minute effort in the work capacity mode
Here are the Chassis Integrity movements and example exercises for each:
Total Body Chassis Integrity
- Sandbag Clean and Press
- Sandbag Get Up
- Sandbag Mr. Spectacular
- Sandbag Burpee
- Renegade Man Maker
- Mr. Spectacular at a moderate load (8-12 kg for women, 16-20kg for men)
- Turkish Get Up with a dumbbell or kettlebell
Rotation Chassis Integrity
- Sandbag Keg Lift
- Kneeling Keg Lift
- Sandbag Cross Clean
- Standing Russian Twist
- Kneeling Slasher
- Slasher to Halo
Here are example Work Capacity modes and 1 to 2-minute examples for each
- Run 200m
- 25x Step Ups (unloaded)
- Row 250m
- 15x Box Jumps @ 20/24″
- 1-Minute Jump Rope
Sample Training Sessions:
Again – no warm up. Set up the equipment and jump right in … just go easy at first and speed up as you warm up. Be smart.
40 minutes is a long time … you’ll see. This will push you.
I have two, go-to, time-crunched endurance sessions.
First – a simple, 40-minute, moderate-paced (comfortable but not easy) run – or better if possible, a steep hill hike.
40 minutes, 50x Step Ups, Run 400m or ….
40 minutes, Row 500m, Run 400m.
Both these can be completed outside or in a motel gym with the runs on a treadmill.
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