I decided to ask some of the most highly respected athletes and coaches “If they had to pick just 5 exercises they could do to the end of their lives, what would they pick and why. And what would be the one aerobic activity they’d choose.” Here is what they answered. I arranged the answers chaotically, so they do not follow some kind of scale of importance. That’s why I recommend you read every single one! It is totally worth your time. And don’t forget to join my Facebook page ( HERE).
Christine Beauchamp (aka Cookie Monster)
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All the best complete body building exercises. They work multiple muscles at one time, helping you to add more lean mass and burn more calories. They condition the entire body rather than just focusing on one area. I love big movements because you get the best bang for your buck!!
As far as aerobics go…does sprinting count?! Absolute best form of interval training out there. Burns fat, conditions the muscles, and increases your V02 MAX more than any other form of cardio.
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1. Conventional Deadlift
I originally chose the Sumo Deadlift but, after some internal debate, I decided Conventional is the way to go. See, even though I can Sumo DL more weight.I feel as though the Conventional DL is better for overall strength, health, and performance as it requires a larger range of motion (ROM) and recruits more muscle.
2. Box Squat
I like the Box Squat over the free Squat because, done properly, it takes a tremendous amount of stress off of the knees. Arguably the best exercise for lower body strength and power, the Box Squat is one of my top 5 exercises for life.
3. Fat Gripz Bench Press
The regular Bench Press is great but Fat Gripz Bench Press is phenomenal. Not only do they challenge your grip but they slightly increase the lifts ROM and make it significantly more challenging.
4. Dead Stop Barbell Bent Over Row
You’d be hard put to find a better upper back exercise than the Dead Stop Barbell Bent Over Row. I, personally, like it because it has a huge carryover to my Bench but it’s also a great lift for overall physique development and sometimes even performance enhancement.
5. Wide Neutral Grip Chin-ups
I’ve yet to find an exercise that blows my lats up more than the Wide Neutral-Grip Chin-up. I’ve always wanted to fly but, in order to do it, I’ll need a pair of wings so this exercise is an absolute must within my programs.
Swimming. Nothing feels better than jumping in the pool after a hard training session; might as well use the time wisely and do some light cardiovascular exercise when you’ve got the chance. Plus…swimming is wicked fun!
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5 exercises :
1.Thruster– the most compound movement, which involves almost all kinetic motor chains in the body.
2.Power Clean– speed, explosiveness and a pretty complex technique, which provides coordination, strength and generates great power.
3.Pull Ups– the turning stone, when it comes to body weight exercises.
4.Shoulder Press– if you can’t strictly press your own bodyweight above your head, then you have some more work to do in the gym.
5.Jumping Into Handstand from Downward Dog– a complex stretch ( back chain, hips, calves, shoulders) in a combination with a movement, which is pretty much basic, when it comes to coordination and upside-down training.
And about the single workout- My favorite running workout: 4x800m, with 4 minutes rest between each max effort run.
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2. Rear foot elevated split squats
4. Dumbbell overhead press
5. Single leg RDL
The reason I chose those 5 exercises is because they would allow me to train my entire body and they’re incredibly versatile. For example, there are dozens of push-up variations and you can always make them more challenging. Plus, I could perform those exercises with high frequency without developing nagging aches and pains like I did when I squatted and deadlift on a weekly basis.
And my aerobic training session would be hiking because it’s fun and allows me to explore new areas, get some sunshine, and breathe fresh air. I’m of the opinion that it’s not necessary to perform more “structured exercise” in order to build a healthier, leaner, stronger, and better looking body. I’d take having fun in an active way over traditional cardio any day.
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3.Rear foot elevated split squats
4.Low Level Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
5.Dumbbell Back Row
For cardio I would do sled push and pulls.
The weight training exercises above hit the entire body of equal and opposite motion to foster balance while promoting strength health and power. Sled push and pulls can build a rock solid body while taking out high impact of sprint. Meanwhile your cardiovascular ability totally gets stimulated.
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Squats– because I am challenged multiple times, on a daily basis to squat down and stand up. Because I love squats and because it is challenging.
Deadlift– because it trains your whole body, because it makes me feel strong and because it helps me remove imbalances between my right and left side.
Pull ups- because it is cool, because it makes my arms and back stronger and because it is fun.
Snatch with a Kettlebell – because I love how it trains your whole body, because it challenges me to complete max reps for a given time and to give my best.
Stretching- because it is important for your muscles to be in optimal position, in order to keep the skeletal- muscle , and this helps me move freely and keep my body in its natural-neutral position.
Running- because it is the easiest in reach, because I love running, it trains the whole body and because I feel how my belly gets tighter and because I improve my respiratory capacity.
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1.Clean and jerk – the effectiveness of this movement develops power, besides that it is a multi joint movement which loads the whole body. It develops functional strength.
2. Burpee combo-mountain climber to push up -speed, jump,power,endurance, loads the whole body.
3. Pull ups
4. Double unders
5. Kettlebell swings
As an aerobic activity, I’d pick basketball..
If I have to sum up why I picked these exercises, the reason is that they train the whole body, test all physical skills and functional strength.
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4. Power Clean
I chose the first three movements, because they are the basics of the strength programs of most sports. They build a solid strength basis, with some minor exceptions. The clean is for explosive power and running is the aerobic part of the equation, which strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves respiratory system and blood circulation.
All of the exercises I picked, are basic, compound movements, which develop the whole body of an athlete and make daily activities easier. Besides that multi joint exercises help in the prevention of injuries- they stabilize muscles, ligaments and connective tissue. And last but not least, I want to note, that when you use basic movements, your body releases growth hormone, which helps you build more muscle mass, and lose more body fat.
I will start with the most important exercise( in my opinion)- squats. It develops strength, in your lower and in your upper body. Stronger lower body, helps you stay mobile, as you age, it strengthens your core and the stabilizing muscles, which sustain our balance.
The second exercise, in my top 5 is- Power Clean. It is a lot more complicated, than a back squat, because it is a combination of explosiveness, strength and technique-combination between narrow grip deadlift and front squat.
And my favorite movement for the upper body, are pull ups.
A pulling movement, which trains your back, arms and shoulders.
Shoulder Press– a wonderful strength, pushing exercise. It develops mainly your shoulders, arms and traps. The indirect stabilizers, which help you for the coordination of the core muscles and your thighs.
Push-ups, are also part of the pushing exercises. The main working muscles are chest, shoulders and triceps. And of course there is a lot of stabilization, that is required, which in turn trains yoru core and thighs.
“My favorite” workout for endurance is:
5 rounds for time:
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2. Back Squats
3. Bench Press
4. Weighted Pull Ups
5. Weighted Dips
Besides that I’d choose dragging tires; sprints and stair drills.
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4. Push press
5. Power Clean
Metcon (cardio like activity)
GI Jane 100 burpee with a pull up for time
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Just five? Looks like I am in trouble! 😉
3.Incline Dumbbell Press
5. Triceps Extensions on the crossover machine
And I will secretly train my biceps, so nobody would know that I am doing 6, instead of 5 exercises! 😉
And for the aerobic activity- interval sprints.
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Squats, Pull Ups, Power Cleans, Dips, Deadlift
1. Squats- because it trains the whole body, it gets a great hormonal response and it feels great to perform it.
2. Pull Ups- because I can use different grips and thus change the accent of the loading, as well as focusing on different muscle groups- back, biceps, even shoulders.
3. Power Cleans- because it is a complex movement, which involves a lot of muscle groups. It also provokes a good hormonal reaction.
4. Dips- it is a universal exercise. I once again could switch the grip and the way I perform it. I can accent on different muscle groups, as well as parts of them- chest, triceps, shoulders. It involves a lot of stabilizing muscles on your core.
5. Deadlift– it is a compound, basic movement, that involves a lot of muscle groups.
Running– because I can use it to burn fat and increase my endurance. When I do sprints- it is a real strength training session, which trains your whole body.
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4.Standing Military Press
Aerobic activity- Either Tabata intervals of the movements mentioned above or sprints.
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