Workout Tips for the Human Athlete

Hello everyone, here’s an article on sound principles I think is worth reading. The article discusses the importance of equestrians staying strong and fit and it will walk you through a very safe procedure for doing so. The advantages of staying fit are without a doubt mandatory for good health, whether you ride horses or not! Strength Training for the Equestrian from Rate My Horse Pro


In my 55 years of being in the fitness world I have accumulated a lot of practical understanding about fitness and conditioning, as well as sampling many ways of working out. 1960 was when I became acquainted with weight lifting and training. I had the unique opportunity to study Olympic lifting with Carl Miller, the 1976 Olympic lifting coach. Then during the 80’s, I trained world class and Olympic athletes.


As far as training the athlete, there really is nothing new or revolutionary. What we see today has been done many centuries before. I’d like to add a few points in addition to the information that was covered in the article. This is the formula I teach my students in my Equine Massage Therapy School:

  • MAJOR AND MINOR MUSCLE GROUPS: Unlike what the article says about major muscle and minor muscle groups, it really is not necessary to treat them differently. I favor hitting every group at 100%.
  • EMPHASIS ON NEGATIVE RESISTANCE: This means when elongating the muscle from contraction, do the motion slower and under control. I like the 3-1 principle. Three times longer on negative after you have held contraction for 2 seconds.
  • THINK ABOUT YOUR FORM: Just like with riding any equine discipline, visualization is important, closing the eyes while doing a move is helpful.
  • USE FULL RANGE OF MOTION: No jerking and easy movements from extension to contraction are important to avoid injuring muscles.
  • WHEN YOU CAN DO 12 OF A CERTAIN EXERCISE INCREASE ON THE NEXT WORKOUT: When hitting that 12th rep, it is time to increase for the next time you do that same exercise. I like 10-15% for women, and 15-20% for men (testosterone factors in here).
  • NEVER DUPLICATE: Don’t do what you have already achieved, keep moving toward greater strength. I feel the enemy of motivation is not seeing results.
  • HAVE A GOAL IN MIND AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH WORKOUT: You should be able to see progress on each workout. In the case you do not, and you find yourself not making progress…take a few days off and let the body recover. I have known those who were so set on never missing a workout they over trained and forced muscles to go to the point of injury.
  • DON’T BE AFRAID TO LAYOFF BETWEEN WORKOUTS: So how long can you lay off between workouts? I find two weeks works just fine if you want to gain strength. You will be surprised at how fresh and strong you will feel. I know it might be hard to believe, but give it a go and see if you haven’t experienced something new. And as a bodyworker, I am familiar with injuries, over worked muscles, and renewed strength after body work.

Contact Us Today!

Geary Whiting’s Equine Massage Therapy School for Horse & Rider

P.O. Box 1836
Big Sur, CA  93920

Phone No.: 530-410-5270