Jan 29, 2015From Aesthetics to Function–Never felt stronger
My early days of bodybuilding were all about getting some muscle on my skinny 6’1, 170lb frame! Year after year I would consistency gain 10lbs of hard earned muscle and became very adept at pumping iron. After 5 years of lifting and weighing 220lbs I remember going back home to see my high school friends–they were blown away.
Then I got into martial arts and boxing and realized that, while strong and naturally athletic, I had a lot of work to do moving my body in this new way. So I changed the way I lifted-rep schemes, types of lifts, uni-lateral, explosiveness, core, etc. It wasn’t just about the aesthetic look anymore but about function and performance. A few things happened too that I didn’t expect. I may have lost some overall strength but I was faster, more adaptive and flexible in my other training, my core was stronger (tended to not work that much with bodybuilding–at least not rotation) and my calves and shoulders came in amazing (from all the skipping and high reps but they didn’t respond to the heavy weights like my chest, quads and back did).
So now I have an appreciation and understanding for both types of training and as much as I love “functional” training, I think that many people do not have enough of a strength base before they get too complicated with the functional moves. Going for the wow factor over core competencies first.
So let’s look at some basic bodyweight strength moves like dips and push-ups. Why do people think they need to do full bodyweight or advanced versions when they can’t go full range of motion with control. If pushups need to be on the knees and dips need to be leg assisted so be it. Proper form needs to be built in and the prime movers need to be experienced and working.
Now when proficient at the dips and push-ups this is where I love to add “function”! I do my dips on the EQUALIZER™ nice and low, explode up and go into a leg raise with feet way over head. Tons of core. For chest I do a whole series of incline presses on the EQUALIZER™ with knee drives, Spiderman’s and high knees. Never felt stronger.
EQUALIZER™ Quick Tips
1. Great for agility and mobility drills 2. Basic core bodyweight (bodybuilding) exercises like dips and rows 3. Made of steel and will support 400lbs 4. Marries strength and function 5. Portable and versatile
For back I used to do deadlifts, chin-ups, t-bar rows, etc and finish with towels. Mt workout partner and I would do one arm rows against each other for 100 reps on each arm. This was 20 years ago and I don’t remember seeing anyone else do it or how we came up with it but I remember it well. I couldn’t hold my water after!
This was the genesis of my Buddy System™ so I could keep doing these exercises not only in the gym but in the dojo too. The Buddy System™ is basically a PORTABLE PULLEY MACHINE and I can do those towel pulls but also many uni-lateral exercises and the harder you work, the more resistance you get with INSTANT TENSION ADJUSTING CAPABILITIES. This is cool because being strong is just part of being a great fighter you NEED muscle endurance! And the type of crazy muscle endurance that blurs the lines of all the energy systems and this is exactly what we do- my MMA guys (and clients/club members too) row as hard as they can for 3 minutes with constant challenges in the line of pull. From the sides, up high, on the floor- always moving and keeping the long rowing motions going with hands to the rib cage and reaching out keeping strict form, consistent cadence (if possible) and rowing with all they have. The power output may drop but the tension is always adjusted and correct.
Buddy System™ Quick Tips
1. Portable pulley machine 2. Bi & Uni-lateral exercises 3. INSTANT tension adjusting capabilities (extend sets, drop sets) 4. Core and stability training from the ground up 5. Adds a little bit of friendly competition
So my strength training continues as do my goals and I find the use of both core bodybuilding exercises with some functional (and sometimes funky) progressions keep me challenged and stronger than ever!
Marc Lebert is the owner of Lebert Fitness Inc and is also a Fitness Club Owner, a Taekwondo Black Belt who has competed at the National level, a Certified NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioner and International Presenter. Marc was the Silver Lining Entrepreneur of the Year 2010, named Top 100 Fitness Entrepreneurs in the Industry and a finalist for Canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year 2012.
Marc Lebert developed the Lebert EQUALIZER™, BUDDY SYSTEM™ and STRETCH STRAP™. Marc is very committed to giving back having raised a considerable amount of money for worthy causes.
To see more please visit www.LebertFitness.com