Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
December 10, 2018
When you are seeking out material for a blog, you can come across some bizarre search results. Take for example, my fruitless search to see if anyone knew what you might call a rottweiler-corgi mix. I saw one of those dogs on a walk the other day and I was fascinated. The pup had the rottweiler colors and snout, but the rest was corgi. I went further down the rabbit hole and found out there is a whole community of nutballs that are cross breeding corgis with bigger dog breeds to get morphed miniature versions. From mini-German Shepherds to Huskies, it is a weird trend. Needless to say, there is no argument over what to call these fantastic beasts, so I will start the trend of calling them a “corgweiler.” You heard it here first. Just saying. Now of course, this will be a long road because even after five or six years, my crusade to call a chihuahua-dachshund mix a “chiuhuashund” has seen a lot of resistance. But I will defeat that dumb word which is “Chiweenie.” I will fight till the day I die. (Jon's laughing at me!)
Anyway, online research can run into some weird hurdles, especially when trying to come up with a name for a workout program. You have all the standards, like High Intensity Interval Training and German Volume Training. The big trend that is trying to be pushed for 2019 is The Bulgarian Method. While there is some joking about the “true” method behind the madness (i.e. eat a ton of meat and steroids with a side helping of human growth hormone, just like the “real” Bulgarians) the gist of the method is to focus on a specific lift and do everything you can to make yourself better at that lift. I won’t go into detail because that will be next week’s topic. It’s a very labor and gym intensive method that will most likely be picked up by gym bros everywhere who think they stumbled onto something ground breaking and then boast about how cool they are for knowing this (you ain’t that special, bro…). While there are plenty of methods to make yourself better at certain lifts, what I was kind of looking for was different. You see, Jon challenged me to do a workout one day that was almost consisted of nothing but dead lifts. Naturally, I try not to focus too much on deadlifts due to my arm and my hand tendinitis, but it seemed intriguing. Essentially, I would start with 20 reps at 155, then 15 at 205, 10 at 275, five reps at 325, three at 365 and one at 415. I decided to do a little snatch training before partaking in this movement, which was a mistake on my part considering I was dying by the end. With much humility, this workout killed me. Part of the issue is the fact I went way too fast o the lower weights and burned up too much energy. I suppose if I had paced myself a little better, I might have pushed for my personal best rather than top out at 415. After doing this specific workout, I was trying to find a term for this method, but it always came back as single lift workout. I typed “mono workouts” and that led to some of the dumbest questions on the internet. “Should I work out while I have mono(nucleosis).” The resounding answer on my end doesn’t require a fitness professional. HELLLLLL NOOOOO!! Spread your disgusting kissing germs somewhere else. That’s instant quarantine time at pretty much any respectable gym.
That particular rabbit hole was a bizarre trek into the dark realms of the internet. So here we are, we will call a workout that consists of ONE singular method a “Mono workout.” You heard it here first. Now there is a whole lot of science to this method but finding some positives to this are helpful. https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/the-7-best-exercises-for-a-full-body-workoutThe idea of a single workout for your fitness session is pretty simple, for running, cycling and swimming could be considered a single workout session. We all know doing these things can be good for you, so why should it not translate inside the gym? When you think about it, the dead lifts I was doing that day do serve a pretty good purpose and did give me a pretty full workout. First of all, I needed cardio to get the explosion of the initial movement. I needed strength in my hands and arms to not lose my grip. I needed my legs the get the darn weight off the ground. I needed me back to keep my balance erect and also allow me to stand up. Legs, core, arms and back all utilized in one motion. When you really think about it, this was pretty complete workout. The same can be said with other dynamic movements like the snatch and the clean and jerk. The cool thing about these three exercises I just mentioned is the combination of power and cardio that can go into the equation. I suppose if I only wanted to work on strength, I could have strictly gone heavy on the deadlift. Since I am still struggling with my arm, I tend to go light on the snatch, and therefore would treat this more in a cardio method. You could go either way, mainly because you are using your complete body either way.
The article above stated the obvious when it came to mono workouts, emphasizing you could get a full workout with the various types of push-ups, lunges, squats and even burpees. Yes, for all you Crossfitters out there, you could do an entire workout of burpee variations and that would be considered a full workout. Damn…imagine doing nothing but burpee variations for a good hour or so. The only thing that might cause some issues with this mode of thinking is boredom. Clearly this type of working out would get old pretty quick. Simplifying to this degree would not be all bad, especially if you are starting your fitness journey, for it is a good way to get some work in and not have to worry about looking silly at the gym (if you are the self conscious type that is). Plus, you can do this type of working out anywhere, which makes it easy to maintain. Now, here is the kicker. Just because you can kill a workout with one type of exercise doesn’t mean you can go to the gym and do nothing but bench presses or curls all day. Unless you wanna end up like a meme or you have a specific program where you go every day, you have to do mono workouts with exercises that will utilize all parts of your body to a degree. If I want to do overhead presses for an entire session, that would qualify. I mean, I could do a standard military press (using only my arms) and press to my chest or my back. I could go heavier and be forced to use my legs to give more thrust to the weight. I could start in a squat and then do the press as I am going up (some times known as a thruster). I could go balls to the wall and go for speed with a light or intermediate weight, blowing some calories up on the cardio side. Doing nothing but that would make a pretty good workout and justify your position at the squat rack at the gym. Trust me, you will not get this kind of work if you do nothing but curls. And to think, you could come in the next day and do squat variations!
My newly coined term Mono workouts are certainly a good change of pace if you are in a crowded gym and finally secured a space for yourself. If you are going to be doing this type of stuff exclusively, be sure to use a different set of workouts to make sure you are getting all of your body involved. Anyway, pass on this knowledge and go to the gym and explain the benefits “Mono workouts.” Maybe you will make a friend or garner some respect. We shall see.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.