"I can't start your program now, I'm going on vacation next month."
Sound familiar? While most clients want to attain the best results possible, it can be hard to teach them their most important lesson: you don't get a vacation from working out and taking care of yourself.
There are the obvious exceptions, of course, like deloading phases, injuries and sickness, but usually when they ask for time off, the answer is a firm no. Your body craves movement, buddy! It thrives on being strong, supple, and fast. Your relationship with exercise is not "on and off" - it's here to stay.
Most of us can see the response coming from a mile away: "I won't have a gym in Phuket/ Machu Picchu/ Timbuktu, bro. Who's going to pay my baggage fees for bringing kettlebells, you?"
Enter The Resistance Band Workout
They sound almost too much like a late-night infomercial to be true.
Bands are easy on the joints, versatile, relatively cheap, and portable.
And then there's the added bonus of all that extra time under tension: The resistance band actually provides progressive resistance, as opposed to consistent resistance (so at the beginning of the movement, there's less resistance, and towards the end, there's more resistance).
Of course, there are downsides. Say hi to Molly Galbraith, C.S.C.S., owner of Girls Gone Strong.
"I like bands, and I do think they're a bit easier on the joints than traditional strength training," she says. "The hard thing is that you can't always measure the resistance accurately. You kind of have to go by feel to know if you're getting stronger. 'I think I stood twelve inches from the anchor when I first started this movement and now I'm standing fourteen inches...' I mean, it's tricky."
Still, as it happens, Molly spent a good six weeks living and traveling in South America this year, and during her voyage the strength coach trained almost exclusively with resistance bands and bodyweight exercises.
Here's Molly and PTDC head coach Jonathan Goodman having a band curl-off in Montivideo:
After photo-bombing Molly's Girls Gone Strong video yesterday we had a biceps curl-off to determine ultimate Internet fitness superiority.Photo bomb video here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=776024529132319
Posted by Jonathan Goodman - Explore, Think, Create. on Friday, January 9, 2015
Yes, there are negatives to training exclusively this way: it's a little more difficult to gauge progress and it's tough to lift fewer than six reps per set.
But for the average client of average fitness, resistance bands are more than enough to maintain their gains and continue working toward their goals during time spent away from the gym.
"Most clients could use bands for six to eight weeks before they start to plateau," says Molly. "Not because the bands stop working per se, but rather, most clients don't know how to design band workouts for continued progress.
"However, an intelligent trainer could program using just bodyweight and bands for quite a long time without a plateau. Between bands and bodyweight exercises, people can hit some very impressive strength and conditioning goals."
The Full Body Workout
Still skeptical? Check out these two fast, full-body workouts from Molly that get a whole lot of bang for your buck.
Two paired movements followed by a circuit of three exercises.
1. Double band suitcase deadlift: 4 x 6-8
Suitcase Deadlift With BandsCheck out this sweet little Deadlift variation that Girls Gone Strong owner Molly Galbraith is doing with bands. It's very similar to a Double Suitcase Deadlift, but instead of dumbbells or kettlebells, you simply stand on a resistance band. Be careful, because the band tension can get STRONG quickly at the top! To make the exercise more difficult, widen your feet or choose a stronger band. To make make the exercise easier, narrow your feet or choose a lighter band. #GirlsGoneStrong #GGS #Deadlift
Posted by Girls Gone Strong on Monday, January 19, 2015
2. Band-resisted push-up: 4 x 8-10
Get More Out of Your PushupsBand Resisted Push Ups are great for a few reasons:1. It's a portable way to add resistance to a lift for when you're traveling.2. The band offers more resistance at the end of the movement, forcing you to work harder when locking out. Great for the shoulder stabalizers (i.e. serratus anterior).--This video is property of Roger "Rog Law" Lawson. You can learn more from him at www.roglaw.com and subscribe to him on YouTube at www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=roglawfitness--Personal trainer?Learn more about how you can become a PTDC insider at www.theptdc.com/about-us/
Posted by Personal Trainer Development Center on Monday, May 25, 2015
3. Split squat: 4 x 8-10
4. Tall kneeling pull-down: 4 x 10-12
Train your back from anywhere in the WorldFantastic exercise here using resistance bands to train not only the back, but the entire shoulder complex in addition to the core.This is good in the gym for sure, but it's especially useful for clients traveling. After a long flight there's nothing like a good back exercise to get you feeling like a human being again.Throw a band in a bag and wrap it around a tree.---This video is property of Hayden Perno at Perno Performance (https://haydenperno.com/) and is used with permission. Connect wirh Hayden on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC342sUZpvvQU1_ICfarYMrg---If you're a personal trainer that wants to make more, work smarter, and do a better job, become a PTDC insider at www.theptdc.com/about-us/ and we'll help ya out.
Posted by Personal Trainer Development Center on Monday, May 25, 2015
Pallof press isometric hold: 4 x 30 seconds
The Pallof PressThe Pallof Press is an excellent way to work your 'core' muscles without spinal flexion.Here, Tony Gentilcore is resisting the motion from the cable machine.Notice his athletic starting position with slightly bent knees, and how it doesn't change throughout the press.=========This video is property of Tony Gentilcore and is used with permission. Learn More about Tony at www.tonygentilcore.com=========To learn more about the PTDC, go here:http://www.theptdc.com/about-us/
Posted by Personal Trainer Development Center on Saturday, May 2, 2015
As above, two paired movements followed by a circuit of three exercises.
Goblet squat: 4 x 8-10
Single arm overhead press: 4 x 8-10
Single leg Romanian deadlift: 4 x 8-10 (Here, the band should be attached to a low anchor.
Single arm face pull: 4x10-12
Band-resisted slow mountain climbers: 3 x 6 with a 3 to 5 second hold. Complete all reps on one side before switching legs.
Note that these workouts together hit just about every muscle group in the body and manage to squeeze in unilateral and bilateral hip, AND quad dominant work. Not bad for an oversized rubber band, right?
Points to Remember
- Choose a good band brand.
Thinner bands, if they're used with high frequency, usually need replacing every twelve months or so, while thicker bands hold up the longest. Molly recommends those from Rogue or Dave Tate's EliteFTS.
- Your client will need at least two or three different bands.
To properly train the upper and lower body, this is a must. Convince them it's a small investment.
- Resistance bands can be used for both resistance and
You're probably familiar with the famous band-assisted pull-up. But with the right anchor point, bands can also be used for assisted pistol squats, one-armed push-ups, and even handstand push-ups.
- Bands aren't the only portable exercise equipment.
The best portable workout gear can be a post all to itself, but if your client can pack a few resistance bands, they probably have room for a jump rope, a suspension trainer, and a couple of Valslides. Their oh-so-fashionable backpack won't weigh more than five extra pounds.
Every workout program can benefit from the inclusion of the occasional resistance band exercises, and for keeping clients motivated while they're on the road, there's nothing better. Why not try an all-band workout regime for a few weeks and see how inventive you can get?