Training Abroad: Max Effort Lower Body (1)

As most of you already know, this summer I’ll be leading a 6-week tour through Israel, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Well, the time has come and I’m currently sitting in the Boston International airport waiting to board my flight to Paris where I’ll have a 4-hour layover and from there fly to Israel.

At this point I’m so uncontrollably excited that it’s all I can do not to dance around the airport in a hysteric fit of laughter and strike up random conversations with anyone I make eye contact with. As of right now l’m just sitting in my seat, grinning from ear to ear, and utterly incapable of keeping my legs from bouncing up and down. I think the family of four in the isle across from me is convinced that I’m an addict who just got his fix.


The first two weeks of my trip I’ll be on my own, travelling throughout Israel, visiting old friends and co-workers, hiking, eating, and obviously relaxing on the Tel Aviv beach.

I’ll have to record some training sessions on the beach as well!

Granted, I have a giant list of people and places which I’m excited to visit but I think I’m most looking forward to returning to the Negev and specifically Mt. Masada.

Masada, like most places in Israel, has an incredible history tied to its past. Briefly, many, many years ago an entire community fled Jerusalem and built a fully functional city atop of the plateau. They created massive water cisterns capable of storing millions of gallons of water, designed pools and saunas, and cultivated a wide variety of food and agriculture.

All of this in the middle of the desert!!! 

While it isn’t anything like the hustle & bustle of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, Masada is one of the most beautiful places imaginable. It’s hard to articulate but standing on top of this incredible mountain, looking over the Dead Sea and across an utterly breathtaking desert landscape which travels as far as the eye can see, you can’t help but take a deep breath, smile, and fully enjoy yourself and the present moment.

I can’t wait to go back 🙂

O.K. well that’s enough rambling.

As I’ve been extraordinarily busy preparing for my trip I haven’t had time to go the gym. That being the case, I decided to film and post my first band/bodyweight training session in my Boston apartment.

It was a Max Effort Lower Body training session and, as such, was focused on achieving the heavy load/strength stimulus necessary for maintaining and improving strength.

As I noted in the video, this first session was a bit of a test run to help me get an idea of how I’ll record them them while travelling. There were a couple lighting issues, I forgot to mention rest periods, and I may want to add more technique points/cueing in future posts, but all in all I’m pleased with how it came out.

Underneath the video I’ve provided a written version of the training session with sets, reps, and rest periods.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please comment on the post or e-mail me at

Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal.




Max Effort Lower Training Session (1)

1) Trap Bar Deadlift Variation: 3 x 5 (heavy)

  • Work up to 3 sets of 5 heavy repetitions
  • Rest: ~2 minutes between sets

2) Banded Good Morning: 4 x 12 (Moderate/Heavy)

  • Work up to 4 sets of 12 moderate/heavy repetitions
  • Rest: ~2 minutes between sets
  • I went slightly higher volume than I expect to while abroad. I had a lot of energy and was able to eat a lot after this session. When I’m travelling, tired, and have no access to a kitchen I’ll probably end up increasing the weight and lowering the sets/reps.

3a) Single Leg Glute Bridge with Banded Leg Curl: 3 x 12/leg (Light/Moderate)

  • 3 sets of 12 light/moderate repetitions per leg
  • Rest: Immediately Superset w/ 3b to save time
  • Prepare for a major case of DOMS

3b) Half-Kneeling Band Pallof Press: 3 x 12/side (Moderate/Heavy)

  • 3 x 12 moderate/heavy repetitions per side
  • Rest: ~1 minute before repeating 3a