“I recommend using the Equalizer when you are training the aging population. It is especially useful as an “assist” for exercises like reverse lunges and single-leg deadlifts. The Buddy System is also very effective for this population because it can be used when seated, to help with squats and because the tension is 100% variable—my older clients love the Buddy System!” 

Most trainers will tell you these top three strength training moves are essential for building strength, reshaping the body, and for fat loss. These moves are squats and/or lunges for the lower body and push-ups and pullups for the upper body. These three core competencies are the foundation to any athletic body and it is necessary that your clients become good at them. I often see many people who have been training for years still unable to do push-ups, have no pulling strength, and do not go deep enough and/or work the squats and lunges hard enough to get any tangible results. I do not let anyone in my classes get away with that! They might not be able to do push-ups today, tomorrow, or even a few months from now— but with the proper progressions—they will be able to! In this program, I have used the Equalizer and Buddy System to help everyone succeed. The Equalizer was actually developed to strengthen the pulling muscles. The vertical row is much safer for people than a full bodyweight pull-up; it works the same muscles and is very empowering! The second theme to this workout is partner training. The Buddy System was developed with this in mind—to encourage people to work together, communicate, and a little friendly competition really maximize effort levels and results! So let’s get started. In this series of exercises below, we are doing as many reps with good form as we can in one minute and then switching positions. Perform one to three sets of each and move on to the next exercise combo. Have fun getting stronger and leaner with these innovative ways to perform the top three strength training moves!


Part 1

The Pull: Back (and legs-we sneak them in everywhere!) 

Body weight row and squat for weak muscles

Equalizer Vertical Rows and Squats

Lie down between the Equalizers (they are placed close together) with head back, knees up, and feet flat on the ground. Grasp the foam grips and raise hips off the ground. Pull straight up, pause, and lower slowly.

For the squats remember to keep your head up, tilt your hips back, and bring your hands out in front of you. Lower slowly until your knees are at 90 degrees (depending on biomechanical limitations). Do not push your knees forward or rest at the top of the movement.



Marc Lebert with an isometric pull

Buddy System Uni-lateral Rows and Squats

With the two end handles (yellow) and a solid stance, pull one arm back and one forward. Keep head and chest up and row at the effort level that is right for you. For the squats, (isometric) hold the floating handle with arms out in front of you (as much as you can). Keep core tight and hold!





Part 2

The Push: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps 

An essential move like the push-up, easier on the joints

Equalizer Alternating Chest Press

Get into push-up position with your hands on the outside curve of the Equalizers (which are placed close together). Decide who is going to go first! Slowly lower to the bottom of the movement, keeping head in line with spine and abs tight. Variation: Even though this variation is easier than regular push-ups, some clients may not be able to come back up. At this point, they can bring one foot forward to assist and then get back to the start position getting ready for their turn



emme blog5

Buddy System Uni-lateral Shoulder Press

With the two end handles (yellow) and a solid stance, start pressing (one arm at a time) up on a 45 degree angle, keeping abs tight. For the squats, hold the floating handle with a one-arm isometric bicep curl.










Part 3

The Legs

Demonstration of making a split squat easier

Equalizer Split Squat and Hip Extension

Place top of one foot on the Equalizer and the other leg out in front of you so that your knee is over your ankle. Slowly lower, feeling a nice stretch in the quad and hip flexors and come back up keeping your balance. For the hip extension, lie on your back and place heels on Equalizer. Keep knees soft and raise hips to the sky! Great for glutes, low back, and hamstrings.




An everyday movement with basic resistance

Buddy System Bailing the Hay

Facing the same way in a squat position, one partner is throwing the handles up and away finishing in a tall and rotated position. The resistance comes from the other partner offering a little on the way up and slightly more (negative) or the way down. This is great for core rotational strength, legs, and cardio.

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