Resistance training, also commonly referred to as strength training or weight training, introduces progressive resistance to an exercising body. Groups have attempted to build on the group dynamic that has been successfully used in cardiovascular training programs such as aerobic and Spinning® training by designing free weight group resistance training programs using barbells, weights and collars. Resistance training can be used for both physical rehabilitation and for athletic and general conditioning. A resistance training program can cause many physiological changes in a body such as increased muscle fiber size, muscle contractile size, tendon strength, bone strength and ligament strength. A "stabilizer muscle" refers to a muscle that contracts with no significant movement for a particular exercise, but that functions to hold other joints stable while the desired movement is occurring in another joint. Creating a resistance training routine includes selections of particular exercises, durations, intensities, progressions, speeds, ranges and frequencies.
The progression in the amount of resistance that is used in a particular exercise for a participant also depends upon the training goals of the.participant.
Particular resistance training routines may be designed to focus on muscular strength, power and endurance independently or to focus on two or more of these attributes collectively. Although there are hundreds of movements that occur naturally in every human being that may be incorporated into a Natural Movement Training program, five of the most common naturally occurring movements are preferably incorporated into a Natural Movement Training program. In Figure 1, for example, eight of the participants' resistance training exercise units are arranged in a semi-circle around the optional resistance training exercise unit 20. In Figures 2 and 3, the participants' exercise units 10 are arranged in a row format and a generally circular or oval format, respectively. In some instances, such as shown in Figure 3, it may be preferable that the instructor 30 not have an instructor resistance training unit 20 so that the instructor 30 is more readily able to concentrate on training and motivating the participants since he or she is not exercising along with the participants. The class format and exercise sequencing is also an important aspect of the preparation for the group program.
In one embodiment, for example, the exercise unit used in the program of the present invention may be an adjustable-load multi-position bench unit 40 such as shown in Figure 4.
The wide variety of exercises that can be performed on the bench units 40 allows for each class to be tailored for its particular level, and varied throughout time as the class progresses to different levels of fitness training. The portability and ease of storage of the bench units 40 also make this type of group program easily performed in an all purpose room. Not a day seems to go by that some new crazy abdominal exercise or gizmo hits the market promising quick and easy results. Bilateral exercises simultaneously use both limbs in unison to generate force or move a load.
It is critical to understand that when it comes to performing any bilateral exercise, if one limb pushes or pulls harder than the other then the load will not move evenly. For example, if you are struggling with your squat, incorporate a healthy dose of 1-leg squats to both boost single-leg strength and achieve balanced strength between limbs. More specifically, when unilateral exercises are performed one limb at a time it will generate greater demands on your core muscles due to the imbalanced loading.
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the effect of unstable and unilateral resistance exercises on trunk muscle activation. Circuit training consists of performing alternating sets of non-competitive exercises and thus allows for maximum intensity due to full recovery between movements. And by building a total body circuit that burns belly fat while using core-intensive unilateral exercises that build rock-hard abs, we can achieve the best of both worlds!
This workout will really strengthen your weaknesses and dramatically improve your muscular endurance and overall exercise performance.
To have a good exercise program, the seven principles of exercise, described in Chapter 1, must be applied to all muscular endurance and strength training. To develop muscular endurance, the soldier should choose a resistance that lets him do more than 12 repetitions of a given exercise. For example, if his plan is to do 12 repetitions in the bench press, the soldier starts with a weight that causes muscle failure at between 8 and 12 repetitions (8- 12 RM). A resistance-training program should provide resistance to the specific muscle groups that need to be strengthened. When developing a strength training program, it is important to include exercises that work all the major muscle groups in both the upper and lower body.
The best sequence to follow for a total-body strength workout is to first exercise the muscles of the hips and legs, followed by the muscles of the upper back and chest, then the arms, abdominal, low back, and neck. A major challenge for all fitness training programs is maintaining enthusiasm and interest. The group program of Claim 1 , wherein said plurality of exercise units are arranged in one of the group selected from: a circle, an oval, a row, a triangle and a square. The group program of Claim 1 , wherein said plurality of exercise units are positioned facing a common location to be used for instruction. The group program of Claim 3, wherein a convertible multi-position exercise is located at said common location for demonstration of said first resistance training exercise by an instructor. The group program of Claim 1 , wherein said step of providing instruction in converting said exercise units further includes providing instruction in changing a resistance of said adjustable resistance engine. The group program of Claim 1, further comprising the step of providing one of the group selected from: background music and music choreographed to said first and second resistance training exercises. The group program of Claim 1, wherein said first resistance training exercise includes a positive contraction of a target muscle and a negative contraction of an antagonist muscle. The group program of Claim 1 , wherein said first resistance training exercise includes contraction of one or more of the group selected from: a stabilizer muscle, a dynamic stabilizer muscle, and an antagonist stabilizer muscle. The group program of Claim 1 , wherein said group program includes a first class and a second class that vary in one or more of the group selected from: exercises, exercise sequences, durations, intensities, resistance progressions, speeds, ranges and frequencies. The group program of Claim 10, wherein said variations are designed to achieve different fitness goals. The group program of Claim 11, wherein said different fitness goals include one or more of the group selected from: a general conditioning goal, a strength goal, an endurance goal, and a power goal. The group program of Claim 1, wherein said group program includes a class, said class including a sequence of resistance training exercises at least one of which includes a plurality of options that may be performed. The group program of Claim 14, wherein said plurality of exercise units are arranged in one or more of the group selected from: a circle, an oval, a row, a triangle and a square. The group program of Claim 14, wherein said plurality of exercise units are positioned facing a common location to be used for instruction. The group program of Claim 16, wherein a convertible multi-position exercise is located at said common location for demonstration of said first resistance training exercise by an instructor.
The group program of Claim 14, wherein said step of converting said exercise units further includes changing a resistance of said adjustable resistance engine. The group program of Claim 14, further comprising the step of providing one of the group selected from: background music and music choreographed to said first and second resistance training exercises.
The group program of Claim 14, wherein said first resistance training exercise includes a positive contraction of a target muscle and a negative contraction of an antagonist muscle. The group program of Claim 14, wherein said first resistance training exercise includes contraction of one or more of the group selected from: a stabilizer muscle, a dynamic stabilizer muscle, and an antagonist stabilizer muscle. The group program of Claim 14, wherein said group program includes a first class and a second class that vary in one or more of the group selected from: exercises, exercise sequences, durations, intensities, resistance progressions, speeds, ranges and frequencies. The group program of Claim 23, wherein said variations are designed to achieve different fitness goals.
The group program of Claim 24, wherein said different fitness goals include one or more of the group selected from: a general conditioning goal, a strength goal, an endurance goal, and a power goal. The group program of Claim 25, wherein said group program includes a class, said class including a sequence of resistance training exercises at least one of which includes a plurality of options that may be performed. The group program of Claim 14, wherein said adjustable resistance engine has a weight, said adjustable resistance engine is adapted to create a resistance greater than said weight of said adjustable resistance engine. The group program of Claim 14, wherein said adjustable resistance engine is below a plane of said seat.
The method for implementing a group program of Claim 30, further comprising the step of providing feedback from said instructors to said representatives. The method for implementing a group program of Claim 30, wherein said training steps includes operation and conversion of said exercise units. The method for implementing a group program of Claim 30, wherein said resistance training program provides a circuit resistance training program including said plurality of exercise units being configured in at least two different configurations. More particularly, the invention relates to group programs for resistance exercise training. In these group free weight training programs, participants perform resistance training exercises to choreographed music in a group setting.


The exercise units include a frame, a seat positioned on the frame and an adjustable resistance engine attached to the frame.
Each of the exercise units is convertible to several different configurations to allow a user to perform multiple different exercises on the exercise units.
The program helps eliminate common excuses for not participating in resistance training and provides an effective, safe and enjoyable training program along with a "coach" to lead participants every step of the way.
The classes can excite participants with varying exercises, intensity and formats and can challenge participants to surpass plateaus in their resistance training efforts.
These changes may increase a participant's physical capacity and ability to perform work or exercise.
A "prime mover" or "target" muscle refers to a muscle that is responsible for controlling a movement.
The erector spinea muscle, for example, functions as a stabilizer muscle during a squat exercise. The antagonist stabilizer muscle may be contracted throughout the exercise or may be contracted only at one extreme of the movement.
A particular resistance training workout may include exercises that target all or a portion of the major muscle groups of the human body.
Generally, at least two resistance-training workouts for each targeted muscle group per week is recommended. The exercises used in Natural Movement Training can focus on muscle control and on developing torso strength and stability. The instruction may be performed live, played at the exercise location, broadcast such as over wired or wireless technology, transmitted over a network such as the Internet or an intranet or the like. Logistical preparation, for example^ can include music selection, apparel and footwear, classroom set-up, class format and exercise sequencing. Figures 1-3, for example, show three preferred arrangements of resistance training exercise units in which the participants' resistance training exercise units 10 are arranged so that the participants can clearly see the instructor during the exercises. The participants' exercise units 10 are positioned to focus on a central area at which an optional instructor exercise unit 20 is positioned. Again, the participants' exercise units are positioned to focus on a central area at which an optional instructor exercise unit 20 (Figure 2) or an instructor 30 (Figure 3) is positioned.
Due to the nature of the program, resistance training concepts and clearly defined goals are preferably designed to extend over a specified period of time. The exercise units are also ' preferably durable so that they will survive repeated usage in a health club atmosphere. In addition, the resistance engine weighs much less than the load it can create for the user. The user can stand on the support plate for various exercises (typically when the arms 48 are extending parallel to the bench and toward the support plate). The variety of exercises that can be performed also allows the instructor to customize the class to the participants' liking or the class needs, and does not rigidly require the instructor to perform only certain types of exercises due to the limited scope of the equipment.
Classic examples include double-leg exercises like squats, dead-lifts, and swings for the lower body and double-arm barbell exercises like presses and bent-over rows and body weight exercise like push-ups, rows, and pull-ups for the upper body. This can be accomplished by either performing exercises one side at a time or by using training tools like dumbbells, kettlebells, and bands that allow you to independently push and pull your limbs at the same time or in an alternating fashion. You will alternate between 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest for all 5 unilateral exercises in the following circuit. These principles are overload, progression, specificity, regularity, recovery, balance, and variety. For a muscle to increase in strength, the workload to which it is subjected during exercise must be increased beyond what it normally experiences.
When an exercise has progressed through one complete range of motion and back to the beginning, one repetition has been completed. However, to achieve enough overload, programs are designed to require sets with 70 to 80 percent of one’s 1 -RM. The exerciser finds and uses that weight which lets him do the correct number of repetitions. For example, the soldier should find that weight for each exercise which lets him do 3 to 7 repetitions correctly. If one cannot do at least three repetitions of an exercise, the resistance is too great and should be reduced. The key to overloading a muscle is to make that muscle exercise harder than it normally does. The recovery time between different exercises and sets depends, in part, on the intensity of the workout. As long as all muscle groups are exercised at the proper intensity, improvement will occur. The exercise units include a frame (40), a seat (44) positioned on the frame and an adjustable resistance engine (52) attached to the frame.
Lull et al, and United States Provisional Application entitled "Group Program for Resistance Exercise Training" and filed March 9, 2001, by Kevin Lamar, et al.
Such training often intimidates exercisers, requires exercisers to coordinate their schedule with others (e.g. The first option is inefficient, decreases the intensity of the workout, and requires longer group sessions in order to perform the same exercises. 6 is a block diagram of an exemplary organization that may be used to implement the program of the present invention.
The group aspect of the program can both take the boredom out of resistance training by applying it in a group setting and take the guesswork out of individuals having to prepare safe and effective workouts for themselves. The type and number of exercises may vary with the participant's objectives, age, sex, weight and experience level. Depending upon a participant's goals, the program may be designed to produce a desired effect such as by altering the selected exercises, the sequencing of the exercises, and the numbers of sets and repetitions. The increased muscle size and function developed from resistance training can lead to both muscular strength and endurance. The hamstrings and the gastrocnemius, for example, both act as a dynamic stabilizer muscles in a squat exercise that targets the quadriceps muscle group. The rectus abdominis and the obliques muscles, for example, function as antagonist stabilizer muscles in a squat exercise. The number of repetitions for each set should be between about 8 and about 12 if the training goal of the participants is to focus on a combination of strength and endurance. Emphasis can be placed on the abdominal, lower back extensor, and pelvic muscle groups, for example.
Although the instruction should lead the participants through the program such as by introducing the particular exercises, demonstrating the proper form of the exercises and keeping the program moving, the instructor also preferably acts as a coach to the participants.
Music selection can include background music or choreographed music to which one or more of the exercises may be performed. A stereo or other such music playing device 40 can be positioned off to the side for easy access by the instructor yet is out of the way of the students. Other formats in which the participants can clearly see the instructor can also be used within the scope of the present invention. A program plan for a class that meets once per week, for example, should preferably extend for at least about a one month period.
The bench unit can also be stood on end, the same end at which the rollers are attached, to allow for efficient vertical storage of the bench. This helps anchor the bench 40 to the support surface during these exercises, and provides a stable and consistent area for the user to stand during these exercises. Classic examples include lunging, 1-leg squat, and 1-leg hip-hinge variations for the lower body and 1-arm row, press, and curl variations for the upper body. Six trunk exercises, as well as unilateral and bilateral shoulder and chest presses against resistance, were performed on stable (bench) and unstable (Swiss ball) bases.
Exercise a joint and its associated muscles through its complete range starting from the prestretched position (stretched past the relaxed position) and ending in a fully contracted position. For example, to develop both muscle endurance and strength, soldier should choose a weight for each exercise which lets him do 8 to 12 repetitions to muscle failure. Soldiers who are just beginning a resistance-training program should not start with heavy weights.
With continued training, the greater the number of repetitions per set, the greater will be the improvement in muscle endurance and the smaller the gains in strength. If the workload is not progressively increased to keep pace with newly won strength, there will be no further gains.


Soldiers can maintain a moderate level of strength by doing proper strength workouts only once a week, but three workouts per week are best for optimal gains. Strength training can be done every day only if the exercised muscle groups are rotated, so that the same muscle or muscle group is not exercised on consecutive days. When planning a training session, it is best to follow a pushing exercise with a pulling exercise which results in movement at the same joint(s). Using different equipment, changing the exercises, and altering the volume and intensity are good ways to add variety, and they may also produce better results.
The second option, however, is likely cost-prohibitive in that the organizer of the group program would have to provide an instructor for each member of the group.
Generally speaking, in the absences of intervention, the human body becomes less flexible, less muscular and weaker with age.
Seeing results from a resistance training program depends upon the development of a sound program.
The number of repetitions, however, should be less for more of a strength focus and greater for more of an endurance focus. The coaching role can be used to motivate each participant, monitor each participant, offer insurances and promote success, encourage change and progression, keep up the energy intensity of the class, reinforce and praise good work, create a team approach to strength results, offer one-on-one attention within the group environment, etc. Depending upon the particular participants and exercises, music can be selected with the individual participants taste and preferences in mind.
In this configuration, each participant has sufficient space around their particular exercise unit to perform their required exercises, yet they are all central enough so that the instructor can access each participant and give individual tips on technique, as well as motivation on an individual basis. Each class should have a focus or goal that will be a factor in the exercise selection and class progression. The bench unit 40 is convertible to several different configurations to allow a user to perform many different exercises on this one piece of equipment. The bench unit 40 is relatively small and is convertible to allow several different exercises, and includes an easily adjustable resistance engine 52 compactly positioned beneath the bench and out of the user's way. The second is due to increased Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) due to the oxygen debt created by high-intensity anaerobic exercise. Muscles adapt to increased workloads by becoming larger and stronger and by developing greater endurance. For example, when a soldier trains with a 25-RM weight, gains in muscular endurance will be greater than when using a 15-RM weight, but the gain in strength will not be as great.
When a soldier can correctly do the upper limit of repetitions for the set without reaching muscle failure, it is usually time to increase the resistance. In a multi-set routine, if his goal is to do three sets of eight repetitions of an exercise, he starts with a weight that causes muscle failure before he completes the eighth repetition in one or more of the sets.
There should be at least a 48-hour recovery period between workouts for the same muscle groups. The soldier should periodically substitute different exercises for a given muscle group(s). For the purposes of this application, the term "resistance training" refers to a system of physical conditioning introducing progressive resistance to an exercising body. Systematically exposing human skeletal muscle to routine bouts of resistance training with appropriate loads can create increased strength, power and muscular endurance and can help fight the aging process. The time and energy efficiency of a particular resistance training program can also be optimized by selecting specific exercises, numbers of sets and repetitions, intensities, progressions, speeds, ranges, frequencies and performances. Negative contractions can be used to reduce the force of gravity and to exert a slow, controlled movement. The biceps muscle group, for example, is the prime mover muscle group for performing a bicep curl exercise. It develops neuromuscular coordination, produces little or no shear forces and protects joints with the pre-activation of the joint stabilizing muscles. For some participants, listening to the beat of the music can be a strong determinant in the guiding movement. The close association with the other participants in the class also maintains the group dynamic affiliated with exercising with a number of other people. One example of a plan for a beginner resistance training program is shown in Table 1 below.
The bench unit 40 is also easily portable to allow it to be moved by the user from one location to another, such as from an active exercise area to a storage area. The intensity for muscular endurance and strength training is often expressed as a percentage of the 1-RM.
If the soldier’s performance of a task is not adequate or if he wishes to improve, strength training for the identified muscle(s) will be beneficial. A soldier can work out three times a week, but when different muscle groups are exercised at each workout, the principle of regularity is violated and gains in strength are minimal. For example, the legs can be trained with weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the upper body muscles on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Resistance may be provided via one's own body weight, the use of additional weights (hand held or otherwise), gravity resistance (terrain inclination or vertical plyometric forms of training), environmental resistance (water, air), elastic tubing or resistance training machines. Movement force depends upon the muscles of the human body, which can be greatly improved through resistance training. An "antagonist muscle" refers to a muscle that is responsible for producing the opposite movement of the prime mover.
For others, however, following music may be associated with dance formats or other aerobic formats, which many people try to avoid. In this way, each participant can be given sufficient individual attention in order to help them perform the exercises properly and in a safe manner and to maximize personal results. However, most soldiers will benefit most from a resistance-training program with an 8-12 RM. Also, for variety or due to necessity (for example, when in the field), he can switch to partner-resisted exercises or another form of resistance training. This may occur by design, such as in isometric exercises, or immediately prior to a failure of a positive contraction.
For example, a speed of about two seconds for each lifting movement and an equal time for a descent is desired.
For these participants, it may be more productive to select background music to enhance the atmosphere of the class rather than as a foundation of the class.
For example, the lat pull-down stresses both the larger latissimus dorsi muscle of the back and the smaller biceps muscles of the arm.
A strong muscular system offers protection against impact injury, and having a balanced musco-skeletal system can prevent over-use injuries.
Fast lifting and descents are not recommended because of the stress they place on muscles and joints." A resistance training routine should also take the range of motion for each exercise into consideration.
Resistance training for muscular power is often used to improve athletic performance, injury prevention and rehabilitation from injury. Regardless of stability, the superman exercise was the most effective trunk-stabilizer exercise for back-stabilizer activation, whereas the side bridge was the optimal exercise for lower-abdominal muscle activation.
If curls are done first, the smaller muscle group will be exhausted and too weak to handle the resistance needed for the lat pull-down.
The triceps muscle group, for example, is an antagonist muscle group for performing a bicep curl exercise.
Generally, exercises should be performed throughout a full range of motion except in certain cases such as during rehabilitation of an injury where performing limited range of motion exercises may be preferred. Thus, the most effective means for trunk strengthening should involve back or abdominal exercises with unstable bases. A "synergist" or "assister" muscle refers to a muscle that assists one or more other muscles to accomplish a movement, but is not solely responsible for the movement. Furthermore, trunk strengthening can also occur when performing resistance exercises for the limbs, if the exercises are performed unilaterally. The triceps muscle group, for example, is a synergist muscle group for a bench press exercise.



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