Guest contributor: Karl Nevin, Trainer at Ultra Athlete
Looking to sculpt your body and develop strength at the same time?
Consider incorporating Ultra Athlete’s Physique track into your existing fitness routine. If you’re looking to add some variety into your workouts, this program will be a welcome break from your daily WODs.
(Plus, it’ll help you show off all that work you’ve put into the gym. Flex those biceps and give ’em a gun show!)
What Is Ultra Athlete Physique?
The Ultra Athlete Physique track is a workout track that centers on strength training both in compound lifts and isolation movements.
This program is designed to help build solid foundational strength as well as add mass to the muscles themselves. Ultra Athlete has taken common movement patterns (push, pull, squat, deadlift, etc.) and delved deep into the nuance of each plane to try to maximize the exposure of each variant.
Why Should I Focus on Physique?
Physique is all about strength movements. You won’t find a WOD or finisher here. That is not Ultra Athlete’s M.O. within the Physique track.
Instead, this track is very adaptable and has a reinvigorating element that can be used in a number of different ways.
Bodybuilding & Muscle Mass
Physique can be useful for any CrossFitter or functional fitness enthusiast who needs a little break from the daily class WOD and wants to focus on good ol’ fashioned “gainzz.” Likewise, that very same enthusiast may want to add some extra sauce into their gym’s programming by hitting some of the pieces after class or peppering in some bodybuilding.
You may find that you are working from home and don’t want to crush yourself in the garage every day. Plus, you might be limited in terms of equipment, and a few bodybuilding moves may be just the tonic.
Slowing things down a touch and isolating body parts can also be of huge benefit to the connective tissues and joints in your body. That hot elbow or sore hammy may just need a little TLC and some solid time under tension in order to rebuild and come back stronger from the experience.
Individualized Approach to Fitness
Physique can be either the main course to your health and fitness endeavors or the seasoning you sprinkle on top. The best part is that YOU get to choose how to approach things.
How To Incorporate the Physique Track Into Your Gym Routine
If Ultra Athlete were to advise on how to use the Physique track, it would depend on whether this is the main thing you do or if it is used as an accessory/additional program.
Add Physique to an Existing Routine
If you were to add Physique into your current training regime, we would suggest taking two or three parts from a single day and adding them after your WOD/class. You would allow approximately 20-30 minutes to hit some of the more isolation-based moves typically found in parts C-E.
These usually single-joint moves are ace for that joint health and blood flow recruitment, which not only helps build size and strength but also promotes recovery via the fresh recruitment of new blood units to your joints.
(Note: This is all relative. If you try and max out like it’s a WOD, you may just smash yourself to some nice DOMs!)
Replace Your WOD With Lifting
If you wanted to skip a WOD and just hit some lifting, go ahead and do Parts A and B, which include a main lift for the day (think bench press or front squat). The first move is the main focus and the second lift is a similar move to accentuate that main lift.
This approach would typically take 30-40 minutes from warming up to hitting your work sets. Should you then have time and/or energy to hit the remaining parts, you have a good hour’s worth of work in front of you.
Combine Workouts However You See Fit
The beauty is that you can decide each day how you tackle Physique. Heck, you may even see Wednesday’s fare and want to add those bits to Monday after your WOD.
Remember, there is no right or wrong. There is just movement!