Under the guidance of this eight-week course of exercise and nutritional counseling, men, women, and children can combine exercise and weight training with working on combination lifting techniques: compound movements that require you to do a series of bodyweight movements in order to create a larger motion. For instance, a boot-camp-type weightlifting schedule called “Armbower” combines both aerobic and weight training steps and efforts.

Complex resistance movements are typically easier on the body in the short term, but can tend to create long-term problems, such as overload or injury. A combination lifting pattern, like “Armbower,” may or may not produce results in the short term. But, this approach can build overall strength and stamina over the long term. Whether you are working at a Pilates studio or doing your own weight training and cardiovascular conditioning exercises, combining steps of different types will help you learn to acclimate to combinations.

“Complex” is not a buzzword, but a term we apply when we think of exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, require varied levels of core strength, and challenge different areas of the body. For example, boxing combinations such as “Cone Kick” and “Left Bank Takedown” from my eight-week basic training program, Armour Integrated System, will also help you become acclimated to combinations.

But, regardless of what you decide to do for your strength training program, it should reflect the basics of Core Fitness: Constantly engage the Pivotal Core — abdominal muscles, glutes, and core, while maintaining a strong back and lumbar spine. Keep in mind that your Core consists of 5,000 to 10,000 muscles and your outer pectorals make up 1,000 muscles alone. If you are building a diverse program of exercise, Core and weight training should be your first priority.

On “Complex Pound”, during “Get Some Pulse,” and “Low K Injure,” the exercises represent the basic building blocks of “Don’t Pass the Buck,” or, the one-leg lunge with three exercises. Always remember to perform each exercise with a good six pack of core strength, even when you are done. My favorite use for bodyweight moves is when I plan to combine an exercise with one of my favorites; most students can easily do this in the beginning, though.

I’m happy to see that the government is encouraging health clubs to offer a few classes geared toward women, specifically Pilates. I recommend all levels of exercise to allow every body to learn what the rest of us “normal” people have known for many, many years: We only need to work one muscle group at a time. And, it’s not necessary to have a particular dance partner.

There are endless ways to take these core techniques to the next level. My latest book is a guide to smart fitness, Armour Integrated System. My “Me in Fit Shirt” in the back of this book is part of a comprehensive four-week routine that will help you get started on building strong, strong core muscles and then slowly progressing through two phases that work better on different muscle groups.

We’re currently also working on a bodyweight circuit program that we’ll have available to purchase as a digital download next month. But, read my “Method” in muscle-trainer and “Learn to Stretch and Lift” in yoga on how to improve your core strength.

The Book Summary by Jim Armour