Within this area I will be posting information about exercises that I believe can work great for the wheelchair lifter. I will mostly focus on variations of free weight, compound exercises that hit multiple muscle groups. All of these exercises will also be ones that a wheelchair person can do completely independently while they perform the actual lift, as well as the setup. Very often I lift alone so I have spent A LOT of years seeking variations and methods that allow me to lift A LOT of weight, safely.
Some very high level basics on my lifting philosophy and exercise selection.
- Exercises that involve BOTH arms at once are preferred. This is for the fuller body involvement benefits as well as time efficiency. There is a time and a place for single arm exercises as well as isolation exercises, but the foundation of any program should be big, two arm lifts.
- Efficiency. For both time purposes and for convenience. There are a lot of programs online that have the lifter changing the weights after every set. This is F-ing stupid for a wheelchair lifter on most lifts as the practice of getting on/off the bench, securing themselves after every set would allow for very little time to actually get work done.
- Efficiency cont. I prefer shorter rest periods and rarely rest more than a minute unless I am performing max effort lifts. I want to get in and out of the gym well under an hour as I experience a great loss of performance as the workout stretches past 50 minutes.
- Max Effort. I stated max effort above, but in truth I rarely lift any weight that I cannot get AT LEAST 2 reps, if rested, on a given set. The damage to your central nervous system and impaired recovery just do not make MAX single rep attempts worth it. Plus, as wheelchair lifters we still have to live normal life such as transfers, wheeling, etc. These things are impossible if we are SHOT.