His “800 Pounds of Parents” directly inspired Jonathan’s prolific fitness career. He is a multiple Personal Trainer of the Year Award-Winner (ACE, IDEA, and PFP Magazine), creator of Funtensity, brain fitness expert, blogger and master trainer for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). His book, Abs Revealed, delivers a modern, intelligent approach to abdominal training. A former astronomer, Jonathan used to study stellar bodies – now he builds them!
Primal 7: An ACE Integrated Fitness Training® Model Workout
Body-weight leverage training has become a tremendously popular and convenient form of exercise, popularized by the many varieties of suspension straps available today. The elegance of body-weight leverage training is that it is accessible to just about everyone because it uses only bodyweight and gravity.
Primal 7, which has created powerful messaging with its “Conquer Your Can’t” campaign, designed its suspension straps for those who need help the most—those who are less experienced or fit—while still finding successful application for the high performers out there. This inclusiveness is appealing to health and fitness professionals who, like you, care deeply about the success and struggle of every single client—especially those who are most challenged with physical limitations. True fitness leadership begins with offering clients the right starting point for exercise and continually providing challenging workouts that follow sound principles of movement-based training.
The best fitness concepts are the ones that immediately translate to real-world, real-life experiences and provide an easy bridge between the idea and the experience everyone has in their own bodies. Making these connections helps clients experience a physical “a-ha moment.” With an understanding of how what they do in a workout correlates with what they do during their daily lives, daily tasks are done with a potentially greater sense of proprioception and body awareness.
As a health and fitness professional, you have an opportunity to enhance this awakening in every client’s life. We cannot simply rely on them to make these connections on their own. We often need to connect for them how the hip flexion with neutral spine they develop in a hip hinge, for example, is the same method they will use to pick up a heavy box or a bag of dog food.
Bring the ACE IFT Model to Life
Making that connection between movement training and real life is at the core of the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® (ACE IFT®) Model, the Functional Movement and Resistance Training component of which provides a framework for developing stability or mobility as appropriate in a specific area of the body (phase 1), reintegrating it into a full-body movement (phase 2), adding external load and creating a stimulus for strength gains (phase 3) and increasing movement speed to develop bodily control and power (phase 4).
The following workout featuring the Primal 7 suspension straps emphasizes more of the movement-based training applications.
The ACE IFT Model features five distinct movements:
- Bend and Lift: A bilateral hip or quad-dominant movement (e.g., squat, deadlift, glute bridge)
- Lunge: A unilateral or asymmetrical lower-body movement (e.g., single-leg squat, lunge)
- Push: Vertical or horizontal pushing movement, either bilateral or unilateral
- Pull: Vertical or horizontal pulling movement, either bilateral or unilateral
Each of these movements is highlighted in the Primal 7 workout presented below.
The Primal 7 features two independently anchored straps with rings for handles. A unique feature is the elastic bands, which are available in three different resistance levels and clip into the straps to provide the right amount of assistance and kinesthetic feedback during the performance of many movements.
Primal 7 encourages all health and fitness professionals to attend their Primal 7 workshop to speed up the learning curve on the various ways to use the system. You’ll also learn how to smoothly transition when making changes to the length of the straps and positioning the body relative to the anchor point and the band itself. In the event you cannot attend a workshop, Primal 7 features a series of helpful videos on its website.
To provide appropriate programming for the full spectrum of the population, there are two “tracks.” Track 1 is designed for individuals in Phases 1 through 3 of the ACE IFT Model, while Track 2 is designed for those who are in phases 3 and 4.
This workout is a timed circuit. Perform each movement for 30 seconds, and transition immediately from one movement to the next, resting only if necessary. On the second time through the circuit, add something—increase the speed or range of motion, or tweak some other variable to put an extra little bit of effort into the second set of the circuit.
Video Playlist for Track 1 Exercises
Video Playlist for Track 2 Exercises
As an industry, we can no longer afford—both in financial terms and in basic human terms—to keep talking about serving underserved markets more effectively. The right tools are available, and the time to act is now. Get out there and give this workout a try with your clients and see firsthand how the right tools can positively affect the fitness outcome for many people.