We all know the Total Gym is extremely versatile and challenges the body in an effective and efficient manner. Whether your goals involve fat loss, strength gains, flexibility improvements, etc., the Total Gym can help you get results.
That said, at times, you might need to change things up a bit when it comes to your routine. If you’ve been following the same program and doing the same workouts for weeks or even months on end, plateaus can occur. Our bodies have the ability to adapt to the stressors placed upon them and that’s when progress can stall. These plateaus in our training can lead to boredom, frustration, and in some cases, a break in exercise all together.
What To Do When You’ve Reached Your Plateau? Enter the Weight Bar
Sometimes all it takes is a subtle change to kick-start progress. Change up a couple exercises, modify your sets/reps scheme, or overload the muscles with additional weight; are all examples of possible solutions.
With the Total Gym, to add additional load on to the machine, we can simply include the Weight Bar. Adding this bar into the routine will introduce a concept known as, ‘progressive overload’. This increase in weight will force the body to adapt and grow stronger in order to handle the new and more challenging stimulus placed upon it. In short, you will get stronger!
Many folks, typically women, are hesitant to add weights into their routine for fear of “bulking up”. This is a fitness myth and, unless you are making big increases to your caloric intake, adding weight to your fitness training will only help you burn fat, build muscle, and make you more resilient to injury.
How Do You Know If You’re Ready For The Weight Bar?
- Are you bored with your workout and looking for a change?
- Are you not noticing any progress lately with your goals?
- Would you like to get stronger, burn more fat, and reach your fitness-related goals?
The Weight Bar is extremely simple to install and can be used with many common Total Gym exercises.
4-Movement Full-Body Circuit Using The Total Gym Weight Bar
Here’s a full-body routine using the weight bar:
1. Side-Lying Single Leg Squat: 8 reps/leg
2. Pullups: 8 reps
3. Chest Press: 8 reps
4. Straight Leg Pullovers: 8 reps
Video for 3 & 4:
- Treat this as a circuit, so you’ll complete the first movement, then move on to the second movement, then the third, etc. Once you complete all four exercises, go back and complete the first movement to begin set #2.
- Option 1 – Beginners complete 3 sets to start. More experienced exercisers can work up to 5 sets. Time yourself every time you complete the circuit so you can challenge yourself and track your progress.
- Option 2 – Set a timer for 20 minutes and complete this 4-movement circuit as many times as possible. Rest when needed, however, minimize your rest time during the 20-minute workout.
As with any changes to your workout routine, always use caution and focus on quality over quantity. Slow and steady progress is better than no progress at all.
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a trainer, coach, presenter, and the founder of DB Strength. He recently opened a fitness facility outside of Boston called, “Iron Village Strength & Conditioning”. He was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Alliance Training Center where he worked with many top professional MMA athletes. Visit www.DBStrength.com or www.IronVillageSC.com for more information.