A LOOK AT THE SPARTAN LIFTS
Building a fit and strong body doesn't require mastering an encyclopedia worth of exercises. The arsenal you'll be using may seem small, but they are all that's necessary.
Experience has shown moving too far away from the list you're about to see is just a distraction. And the last thing you need when getting Spartan fit is too many distractions!
The first three exercises are the real meat of our program. These “big three” have been the basis of the training of practically every supremely fit person you can imagine.
- Bench Press
- Pull Ups / Pull Downs Push Ups
- Shoulder Press Curls
- Abdominal Work
There are variations of all these exercises that can “spice” up your training occasionally. But move heavyweights in these lifts (aside for the abdominal work, pull-ups and pushups which are more high rep orientated) and you will see an amazing transformation in your body. Fast.
A successful program is all about getting the most out of what you are doing. This is what these crucial exercises provide.
Each of these exercises has their own personalities and tips that we can use to master them more easily. I'll be addressing the most important ones as we dig deeper into our program.
How About Using Machines?
The question about using machines is a natural one. If you believe the fitness industry hype, it's easy to end up thinking that the latest, greatest (and most expensive) machine is the answer to all of your fitness concerns.
Now that you're getting caught up to speed on how to train like a Spartan, you've probably guessed this isn't the case.
Using machines over free weights will end up slowing down your progress, limiting your strength and making you more prone to injury. With two exceptions:
1. To Rehab an Injury. If you have sore shoulders and there's no way you can bench press, substituting machine presses on a quality machine is a good option until you are able to bench press again.
Shoulder machine presses can also be popular for those with rotator cuff issues. Just use the machines as substitutes until you are able to hit the free weights again. Not a minute longer.
You should be using free weights and your body weight for resistance at least 90% of the time when you are training. After all, Spartans didn't have Bowflex did they? They didn't need expensive trinkets and you don't either!
Watch Out For Part 4.