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Fitness Corner -- Elevator Routines

Texans strength and conditioning coach Dan Riley is back for another installment of his Fitness Corner column.

Riley and assistant strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright will continue to post selected answers to your questions throughout the year. Join in by shooting over an e-mail to

Here is an archive of past columns. Dan and Ray have also made the club's strength and conditioning manual available. Click here to download it. And here is an abridged one for the fitness enthusiast.

Here's Dan…

This week's installation of the Fitness Corner includes two more of our Texans upper body weight workouts. Our players currently have 10 different upper body routines in their computer file. More routines will be added when we add new equipment.

This weeks featured routines are the "Dumbbell Elevator" and the "Smith Machine Elevator." Dumbbells and a Smith Machine are used to perform the pushing movements in each of these routines. These are single set routines for our players.

We use the term "elevator" to describe the routines because an elevator goes from the first floor and up. The foundation of the elevator routines is our zero to ninety-degree benches. Our benches have five different settings. We call each one of these five positions a "Floor." Our players begin the workout on the First Floor and finish on the Fifth Floor.

A pushing movement is performed on each floor. For example the supine bench press is performed on the First Floor. Jason Lamar and Ryan Young show examples. The final exercise in this routine is the seated press performed on the Fifth Floor. Again, Jason and Ryan demonstrate.

In between each Floor our players perform a variety of exercises for the back and shoulder capsule. The only difference between these two routines is the equipment used (variety).

Dumbbell Elevator * *

* *

  1. 1st Floor (1; 2)
  1. Nitro Rear Delt (1; 2)
  1. Nitro Seated Row (1; 2)
  1. 2nd Floor (1; 2)
  1. Hammer Rear Delt (1; 2)
  1. 3rd Floor (1; 2)
  1. Avenger Lateral Raise (1; 2)
  1. 4th Floor (1; 2)
  1. Dumbbell Front Raise (1; 2)
  1. 5th Floor (1; 2)

* *

* *

Smith Machine Elevator

* *

  1. First Floor (1; 2)
  1. Hammer Rear Delt (1; 2)
  1. Avenger Seated Row (1; 2)
  1. Second Floor (1; 2)
  1. Nitro Rear Delt (1; 2)
  1. Third Floor (1; 2)
  1. Fourth Floor (1; 2)
  1. Rotator Cuff (1; 2)
  1. Fifth Floor (1; 2)

On all pushing movements we select a weight our players can barely complete ten (properly performed) reps. As the routine progresses our players use less weight on each Floor. As a rule of thumb we observe a five to ten-pound drop between floors during the dumbbell routine and approximately a twenty- pound drop between floors using the Smith Machine.

We select a weight our players can barely complete twelve reps on each of the other exercises. When they can complete the designated number of reps in good form we increase the resistance. We allow 90-seconds rest between exercises.

Most people have access to an adjustable bench. This routine can also be performed with a barbell. You can substitute similar exercises if you do not have access to the equipment our players use.

If you are bored with your training or have reached one of those dreaded plateaus, we suggest you hop on the "Elevator" and go for a ride.

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