Picking the Perfect Finisher
Picking the Perfect Finisher by Mike Whitfield, CTT
“How do I know which finisher to choose?”
“Should I go with an upper, lower or total body finisher?
“How many finishers can I do per week?”
“Can I eat pancakes while doing finishers?”
Ohhh, the stressful dilemma.
Since first telling you about how to choose the right workout finisher, my philosophy has changed. So, it’s time I share with you the new and IMPROVED “How to Choose the Right Finisher”.
Plus, you’ll learn how to apply a finisher into your workout program whether you want to:
1) Lose fat faster
2) Build muscle while keeping the fat at bay
3) Include more volume with a finisher to build MORE muscle
4) Learn when you should use a finisher on a split routine
And of course, I have a “snazzy” finisher for you, too. Let’s do this…
How to Choose the Right Metabolic Finisher with a Fat Loss Workout
Here is the good news – choosing one is easier than you think. Let’s say you are on a 3-day per week fat loss workout. You can perform just about any finisher after each workout. That’s right, it’s that easy. The reason I say “just about” is because of this…
If your workout is already 45 minutes or so, than choose a SHORTER finisher. There is no reason you can’t get in and out of the gym in an hour including warm-up and cool-down. So, if your main workout lasts 45 minutes, than choose a shorter finisher, like a 3-minute density finisher.
Now, if your workout is shorter, like 30-35 minutes, than you can certainly choose a longer finisher. My metabolic resistance training programs typically last around 30 minutes. That’s just how I roll.
I think the ultimate schedule looks like this, but that’s just me:
5 Minutes – Warm up using bodyweight exercises
25-30 Minutes – Metabolic Resistance Training
3-6 Minutes – Metabolic Finisher
1 Minute – Daydream about IHop Cinnastack Pancakes
Things to Keep in Mind
Your main workout is your foundation. So, the first week you perform finishers, than be sure to reduce the number of circuits or supersets you perform so your body can get acclimated to that kind of chaos and can recover between workouts. I actually suggest the same when starting a new workout program.
How to Choose the Right Finisher on a Muscle-Building Program
Packing on muscle is fun, but packing on muscle and belly fat is not. You need to incorporate finishers to keep the fat at bay while putting on lean muscle mass. This takes some experimentation.
If you EASILY put on fat when putting on muscle (just like me), than incorporate finishers 3-4 times a week while using your muscle-building program. If you don’t put on fat easily, than you can do finishers twice per week.
This will maintain your conditioning while building muscle. This is important if you don’t want to huff and puff just going up and down the stairs while packing on lean muscle tissue.
Take measurements every 2 weeks to really get “in tune” with what works for you.
Usually, 3 finishers per week is just about right for those wanting to gain muscle and keep the fat at bay at the same time.
How to Choose a Finisher on a Split Program
Now if you’re on an upper/lower split, this is where it can get tricky. This really comes down to your recovery ability. So, let’s say you’re on a 4-day per week fat loss program like this:
Mon – Lower
Tue – Upper
Wed – Off day – this is when you can play basketball and be called “Mr. Artificial” because your ball handling skills are sweet and low. Wait a second… that’s ME.
Fri – Upper
Now most of my finishers are total body (that’s the idea), but I do have some that are upper or lower body focused inside my finisher programs. I like to work the opposite muscles of the main program in my finisher, and that’s what I like to do with my clients.
So, after your lower body workout, you would perform an upper body focused finisher. After your upper body workout, you would perform a lower body finisher.
However, this is important – if you find yourself sluggish in your main workouts, than you need to reduce the intensity of the finisher by reducing the number of rounds or reps, etc., etc.
But… you can also work the SAME muscle group in the finisher as your main workout because you won’t be hitting that muscle group again until 2 days later. So, if you do a lower body workout, you can finish it off with prisoner squats, bodyweight lunges, swings, etc., etc.
Doing an upper body workout? Cool. Then you can finish it off with pushups, inverted rows, high rep db rows, etc., etc.
Bonus tip – if you’re trying to pack on lean muscle, than a good rule of thumb is to incorporate finishers that focus on the SAME muscle group as your main workout in order to produce more volume, therefore stimulating growth. Make sense?
Considering you have 2 days to recover, you should be fine. But always listen to your body, and as always, reduce the intensity the first week you perform finishers.
Summing it Up
Here’s a quick glance on how to approach finishers with your program…
Choosing the Right Finisher on a Fat Loss Program – 3-4 times a week after your main workout or on off days. The first week, reduce the intensity. Simply pick one. Yep, it’s that easy.
Bonus tip – Yes, you can pick a new one at each workout. #BoomGoestheVarietyDynamite
Choosing the Right Finisher on a Muscle-Building Workout – If trying to gain muscle fast, but without the belly fat, try using finishers just twice a week, then take measurements after 2 weeks. Adjust from there.
Choosing the Right Finisher on a Split Program – This takes tweaking. Try using opposing muscle groups when choosing a finisher if you’re trying to lose fat. So if you perform a lower body workout, choose an upper body finisher and vice versa. Struggling through your workouts? Reduce the intensity of the finisher.
If you’re on a split program trying to gain muscle, than use a finisher hitting the same muscles you worked in your main workout.
One More Bonus Tip
How many times a week can I do finishers? I wouldn’t perform finishers more than 4 times a week.
Now about that “Snazzy” finisher… let’s rock one.
The Metabolic 5’s Workout Finisher
Do the following circuit as many times as possible in 5 minutes, resting only when needed. Once you hit 5 minutes, you’re done.
*Goblet Squat to Press (5)
Stability Ball Stir-the-Pot (5/side)
**Double Burpee (5)
Total Body Extension (5)
*The Goblet Squat to Press is when you perform a Goblet Squat and once you return to the standing position, you perform a press with the dumbbell.
**A Double Burpee is when you perform 2 pushups after you kick your feet out during the burpee
Finish your workouts strong,