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That is not typo. This is not the MVP workout, but rather MBP (Movement Based Programming), which may be a valuable addition to your exercise routine. MBP is an exercise plan that at its core is based on the fundamentals of training for functionality. However, why everyone relates functional training with the ability to perform the most common daily tasks without a problem, this is not quite correct.

“Simply doing bicep curls while standing on a Bosu ball does not make the exercise more functional, just more difficult,” says Matt King, M.Ed., CSCS and Dixie Stanforth, Ph.D. in their article “10,000 workout in 10 minutes. Movement-Based Programming,” published in the ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal.

The MBP foundation may not be a “new,” but if you consider how it challenges true parameters of functional training and how it’s put together in a well-rounded exercise routine that will maximize your whole body performance while getting in top shape, then it may be an all star way to train.

Going Beyond the Muscles

Unfortunately, many popular fitness workouts sell functional training like lifting one leg when doing a bicep curl, doing push-ups on a Swiss ball and other exercises in which stability is compromised. There’s nothing wrong with these exercise variations if they target a specific goal. But to maximize your body potential to respond effectively to many daily physical tasks and sports, then you have to approach your exercise routine in a different way.

For instance, when performing a leg extension you work an isolated muscle—the quadriceps—rather than other muscles in which you use this muscle as a part of the movement like in a squat.  This is what King and Stanforth call the difference between structural anatomy (the leg extension) and functional training (medicine ball squat toss).

If may not seem like a big difference, but incorporating an authentic functional training program strengthens the neuromuscular system to react and perform at its best during movement.

Translation: you may consciously want to lose weight and get stronger, but you also want to carry and lift things around without breaking a sweat—even though you don’t think about it.

And this is the main difference between shaping a muscle and mastering a movement. The perks of firing up your neuromuscular system are many, not just because it teaches you to manage your daily physical activities better, but it also provides a good total caloric expenditure. How many times have you felt out of breathe doing a bicep curls (structural anatomy) compared to a squat to bicep curl to shoulder press (functional anatomy)?

MBP Workout Trial

The MBP exercise routine relies on circuit training—alternating lower and upper body dominant exercises and includes locomotion (walking, running, pushing/pulling), push exercises like shoulder press, pulling exercises like a lat pull-down, rotation (think of cable wood chop), and raising/lowering the center of mass like multi-directional lunges.

The order to follow is a push, double leg, pull and single leg exercises, and locomotion movements; 3 rounds of 5 exercises for 15 total exercises.

The workout below highlights some, but not all, of the fundamentals of a MBP program. The idea is to challenge the body in different planes (lateral, front and back, diagonal, etc); change the hands and foot position to test other muscles (back row with palms up to work more the biceps along with the back or palms down to isolate more the back muscles); and vary your center of gravity (doing a backward lunge, forward lunge, lateral lunge, etc.).

 

Push exercise: Squat to single press  with rotation: Perform a squat and when lifting up the body do a shoulder press by slightly rotating the torso to the right. Then do the other side. This is one rep. Perform 10 reps.

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Double leg exercise: Squat jumps. From a squat position, jump and land softly with your knees slightly bent. Repeat right away until you complete 12 reps. Use your arms to get momentum.

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Pull exercise: Squat to DB row: Perform a squat. Then raise your body and lean forward while pushing your hips backward as you were going to do a deadlift (you should feel the tension in the muscles of the back of the leg) and perform a DB row. Go back to a squat and repeat the motion. This should be one fluent movement. Perform 10 reps.

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Barbell single leg deadlift to front lunge:  Extend the leg and bend the waist while lowering the bar as low as you can. Keep the core engaged, back straight, and chest up. Lift your body using the glutes and hamstrings of the stretched leg. Then immediately do an up-right row—turn up your palms, place the barbell on top of the front part of your shoulders. To prepare for the lunge with the same leg, keep your arms at 90 degree angle and do not let them fall. This is one move. Do 8 reps with each leg.

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Locomotion: walk, skip, and sprint forward and backward for 20, 30, and 40 yards.

 

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