Chris Powell Workout – His Own Extreme Weight Loss Methods

How does the man who has made a career out of other people’s fitness on the TV show Extreme Weight Loss, find the time to make sure his own body doesn’t suffer? TRAIN gets the Chris Powell workout straight from the man himself.

 

How do you balance your lifestyle and the demands of your work?

Health and fitness is a priority in my life, for many reasons.

I need the energy it provides for work productivity and to be the best dad I can be, and

I must “walk the walk”, to build health and fitness solutions with integrity. Because of these reasons, I developed a mindset to see my workouts as urgent.

I wake and start my day with at least 20 minutes of cardio, then carve out sometime later in the day for weight or cross training. As a result of creating that time for myself, I have so much more energy to perform at my best, mentally.

 

What happens when someone tries and fails?

Then we must revisit their plan. The human body is designed to change, so if you aren’t seeing results, you’re either not following the plan, or it’s not the right plan for you. To motivate, we use three tactics:

1 Surround yourself with visuals of what we are trying to achieve

2 Revisit our ‘why’ – the real reason we want this is in the first place

3 Set a series of rewards (gear, massage, excursions) for when smaller micro-goals are reached.

If someone is really struggling, we shrink the goals down and aim for daily/weekly targets – easy ‘wins’ to build momentum.

 

How did competing add a new level to your training?

 

Chris Powell Workout

 

It completely removed the staleness of working out, and turned it into training for something, adding direction and velocity. The beauty of competition is it sets an immovable deadline for my goals.

It forces training and nutrition to become a priority as the deadline draws closer, and I quickly get to see and feel the effects of a structured program. I think everyone should experience competing at some point in their life, not so much for the competition, but for the journey.

It is such a wild experience to fine-tune all of the details of your physique and learn how to do it for life.

 

How important is it to project good health and fitness onto your kids?

Embracing fitness as a family is one of the best things we can do for our children’s health and happiness. The patterns we set in childhood are likely to stick for a lifetime, but here’s the catch: we can tell our kids what to do until we are blue in the face, and it will go in one ear and out the other.

If we push, they will naturally push back. However, if we lead by example, they will follow. Especially in their younger years, they will naturally gravitate toward us and mimic what we, as parents, do.

 

What do you suggest people eat before, during and after training?

I will typically have a chocolate/ peanut butter powder shake, with seven rice cakes and a scoop of pre-workout 30-45 minutes beforehand. During training, I sip BCAAs (one-two scoops in a gallon of water), and immediately after, I have another shake. Typically, I will mix frozen berries and greens, 11⁄2 scoops of vanilla whey and one scoop of starch powder, such as Karbolyn.

“The human body is designed to change, so if you aren’t seeing the results, you’re either not following the plan, or it’s not the right plan for you”

 

Chris Powell Workout

 

What is the secret to eating healthily and traveling?

I keep all my proteins to non-perishable items on travel days – mostly powders, but I’ll add beef or turkey jerky for variety.

I also carry protein bars with me, just in case. For carbs, I stick with different low-fat starches like rice cakes, and for my fats, I like to have almonds. As soon as I land at my next location, I immediately hit the grocery store on the way to the hotel.

I’ll grab some low-sodium sliced deli turkey, microwaveable rice, potatoes and frozen veggies. I’ll also pick up peanut butter and sliced deli cheese for fats, and sea salt and marinara sauce to add flavor to my meals.

 

What are your mental tactics for training?

Just five minutes. My workouts are a big deal, but sometimes life happens so fast, I need to do what I can. If I know a workout will take an hour, a lot of times I put it off, waiting until I can carve out a full hour – and it never happens. However, I can find five minutes. Once I put in five minutes, it always turns into at least 15, or 20, minutes.

Sometimes, it turns into an hour. But as long as I commit to just five minutes per day, I win. Even if I fall a little behind on my work or another obligation, I never regret taking the time for myself and feeling that sense of accomplishment.

 

What do you think about while you’re training?

I like to imagine my body is a machine, and I exaggerate the tempo of movement through a full range of motion. It basically looks like I’m taking my training very seriously.

I decrease my breathing tempo, which allows me to separate my mind from the sensation in the muscles, keeping my form rigid and taking the muscle to complete failure without feeling the discomfort so many of us associate with training!

 

Chris Powell Workout

WEEK 1 – Alternating light week

 

DAY 1 – CHEST & BACK

Dumbbell chest press

3 sets of 3 warm up
3 sets of 10 (working sets)

Seated cable rows

3 sets of 3 warm up
3 sets of 10 (working sets)

Barbell incline press
3 x 15

Underhand grip lat pulldowns
3 x 15

Dumbbell incline flyes
3 x 15

Low cable rows
3 x 15

Bodyweight rows
Failure

 

DAY 2 – SHOULDERS AND ARMS

Arnold press

3 sets of 3 warm up
3 sets of 10 (working sets)

Barbell skullcrushers

3 sets of 3 warm up
3 sets of 10 (working sets)

Preacher curls
3 x 15

Machine lat raises
3 x 15

Cable curls
3 x 15

Reverse grip tricep extension
3 x 15

Upright row
3 x 15

Dumbbell tricep kickbacks
3 x 15

Push-ups
Failure

 

DAY 3 – LEGS

Barbell back squat

3 sets of 3 warm up
3 sets of 10 (working sets)

Bulgarian split squat
3 x 15

Narrow leg press
3 x 15

Hamstring roll-in
3 x 15

Leg extension
3 x 15

Calf raise
3 x 15

Dumbbell lateral delt raise
7 x 15

Knee raises
3 x 15

DAY 4 – CHEST & BACK

Smith incline press

3 sets of 3 warm up
3 sets of 10 (working sets)

Single arm dumbbell rows

3 sets of 3 warm up
3 sets of 10 (working sets)

Machine bench press
3 x 15

Machine lat pulls
3 x 15

Dips
3 x 15

Cable cross flyes
3 x 15

Cable straight arm lat pulldowns
3 x 15

Cable high rows
3 x 10 (dropset)

 

DAY 5 – SHOULDERS

Barbell shoulder press
3 x 10

Machine lateral delt raises
3 x 12

Machine rear delt flyes
3 x 12

Dumbbell front raise
3 x 15

Upright rows
3 x 20

 

DAY 6 – ARMS

Hammer curls
3 x 12

Single arm reverse tricep ext
3 x 12

Barbell curls
3 x 12

Dumbbell skullcrushers
3 x 12

Seated incline curls
3 x 15

Overhead rope extensions
3 x 15

Pirate push-ups
50 to failure

 

WEEK 2 – Alternating heavy week

 

Day 1 – CHEST & BACK

Smith machine press

3 sets of 3 (warm up)
3 sets of 8 (working sets)

Bent over underhand barbell rows

3 sets of 3 (warm up)
3 sets of 8 (working sets)

Dumbbell incline press
5 x 8

Lat pulldowns
5 x 8

Dumb-bell flyes
3 x 10

Seated cable rows
3 x 10

Push-ups
Failure

Underhand grip bodyweight rows
3 x 10

Weighted crunches
3 x 10

 

DAY 2 – SHOULDERS & ARMS

Smith behind the neck press

3 sets of 3 (warm up)
3 sets of 8 (working sets)

Barbell bicep curls

3 sets of 3 (warm up)
3 sets of 8 (working sets)

Barbell upright rows
5 x 8

Single arm reverse extensions
5 x 8

Plate front raises
3 x 10

Machine rear delt flyes
3 x 10

Dumbbell bicep curls
3 x 10

Dumbbell skullcrushers
3 x 10

 

DAY 3 – CHEST

Barbell bench
4 x 8

Dumbbell inclines
3 x 12

Smith declines
3 x 12

Dumbbell flyes
3 x 20

Dips
3 x 20

 

DAY 4 – LEGS

Smith machine squats

3 x 3 (warm up sets)
3 x 8 (working sets)

Barbell back lunges
5 x 8

Split squats
5 x 8

Leg extensions
3 x 10

Weighted step-ups
3 x 10

Calf raises
3 x 10

 

DAY 5 – BACK

Single-arm dumbbell rows
4 x 8

Pull-ups
3 x 12

Low cable rows
3 x 12

Straight arm lat pullovers
3 x 20

Overhand bodyweight rows
3 x 20

Hanging leg raises
3 x 15

 

DAY 6 – LEGS

Deadlift

3 x 3 (warm-up)

3 x 8 (working sets)

Leg press
5 x 8

Barbell hip thrusts
5 x 8

3 circuits of:

10 hip thrusts
10 narrow hack squats
10 seated leg curls
10 seated calf raises

 

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