Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New year, New you!

Pop the champagne......It is almost January 1st and you know what means. Every gym across America will be filled with those know the people who all of a sudden get the rush to workout and change their life. I mean hey that is great and I am all for people bringing fitness into their lives, but if you are going to start please keep with it. The difference between those who get results and those who don't is CONSISTENCY. You are not going to get big, trim down, improve strength by working out January through March. If you commit in January, commit for life. I think the biggest reason people fall off their resolutions is because they either don't achieve success or simply lack motivation as time goes on. The pitfall for lack of success is improper program design.

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself what are your goals. Do you plan to lose weight, add muscle, add strength, or all of the above? Below are sample splits you can use for the different goals I mentioned. Remember these are not the only way to go about things, just a simple suggestion for those who need it.

Weight Loss- Your objective is simple, burn calories and burn some more calories. What you want is the best bang for your buck, you want to take advantage of your gym time. You do not need to split up your training into chest days, back and bicep days or anything like that. Full body workouts that involve everything from head to toe will give you the best calorie burn on each of your workouts.

Split #1-My favorite
MONDAY-Full body Resistance workout ( anywhere from 40-50 minutes is plenty )
TUESDAY-Cardio day ( no longer than 45 minutes )
WEDNESDAY-Full body Resistance workout
FRIDAY-Full body Resistance workout

Split #2
MONDAY-Upper body
TUESDAY-Lower body
THURSDAY-Upper body
FRIDAY-Lower body

*** Make sure to take into account your fitness level. If you haven't worked out in a long time or never at all you would want to start off with just two days of Resistance training and maybe 1-2 days of cardio and two off days.

Add Muscle- Your main objective is to workout hard and eat! This is when a body part split is best used. Most of you who are trying to bulk up want that muscle mag look. You want your arms to be popping, huge pecs, and a monster of a back. Make sure to look at yourself and find out your weak areas and then make sure you hit those spots more than other body parts. For instance, most guys are anterior dominant, meaning big and strong pecs and shoulders. The problem is that we work our chest all the time and our back not nearly as much therefore creating an imbalance. If this is you, which 90 % of you fall into this category, then you want to do chest just one time a week compared to back two times. I am not a huge fan of direct shoulder work due to the amount of work your delts get from chest work, however if you lack shoulder width or size try and work them directly one or two times week on your chest days.

Split #1-Need back help
MONDAY-Back and biceps
WEDNESDAY-Chest and triceps
THURSDAY-Back and biceps

*** this split could be switched by doing triceps on the back days and doing biceps just one time with chest.

Split #2- Need help with arm growth
MONDAY-Arms and back
WEDNESDAY-Arms and chest
FRIDAY-Arms and back

Split # 3-Need a bigger chest
MONDAY-Chest and triceps
TUESDAY-Back and biceps
THURSDAY-Chest and triceps
FRIDAY-Back and biceps
SATURDAY-Legs & direct shoulder work

*** You can also do biceps with chest and triceps with back to change this routine up

Add Strength-Weight is critical for you, so push alot of it. Added recovery time might be needed do to the fact that you are using heavy weight. You want to focus on large muscle groups and you can spend less time on things like arms. Of course arm strength is important but you will get some indirect work from your pushes and pulls.

MONDAY-Chest and back
THURSDAY-Chest and back

Hope this helps you with your initial game plan.

Stud quotes

80 % of success is showing up

- Woody Allen

Exercise timing

When should you workout? Are certain parts of the day better? Day or night? Before even answering this question you must consider your own well being. What time of the day will allow YOU to stay consistent with your workout plan. If you are a morning person than workout in the morning, if not then don't.

Research has shown that late afternoon exercise tends to be the best, somewhere around 2-5pm. This is when your body temperature is at its highest. Muscles tend to perform their best when they are warm making this ideal time to resistance train. Strength output has been shown to be about 5 % higher at mid day as well.

In the end the time of the day is not a huge factor. The biggest and most important thing is that YOU pick a good time for YOU and workout at the highest level possible.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

H4 Fat burner-# 6 ( Biceps and Legs )

This routine goes along with my H4 Fat burner # 5 so checkout that post for instructions on format. You can combine these two workouts together or use them separately. Remember every exercise is done without any rest between one another as well as no rest between sets. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds and your goal should be to do as many quality reps as possible. Your weight should not be that heavy since this is a high volume routine.

Dumbbell squat- 30 sec
Standing dumbbell bicep curl ( both arms together )-30 sec
Dumbbell alternating front lunge-30 sec
Sitting wall dumbbell preacher curls ( both arms together )-30 sec

Repeat 3-4 times without rest.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hamstring blast

Most guys focus on their quads and hence tend to be quad dominant. To help combat this you need to start working our hamstrings and glutes more often. Try this routine to help put on some size to your backside.

Stiff leg deadlift 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Rest 1 minute between sets.

Dumbbell front lunges ( do all one side at a time ) 4 sets of 8-10

*** Make long strides to emphasize the hammies

Rest 1 minute between sets

Lying leg curl- 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Rest 1 minute between sets.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

H4 Fat burner-#5 ( Chest and Back )

Time can be a valuable thing when programming your workouts. Often times we change reps, sets or the load but rarely time. Here is a good routine to help you lean up and cut up. Use this as part of another workout or use the other combinations I will post down the road. This routine combines chest and backs super sets which allows each muscle group to rest while you keep an intense pace. Do not use weight that is too heavy else you will fail to quickly. Weight is not the focus but rather volume. Your goal on each exercise is to do the most reps you can while keeping quality form. Move quick and don't let up!

***30 seconds as many reps as you can for all the exercises. Do not take any rest at all until completely finishing all 3-4 rounds. If you are still a beginner I would take a slight rest between rounds like 45 seconds or so.

Dumbbell chest press-30sec
Dumbbell row- ( both arms at the same time while bent over ) 30 sec
Lawn mower dumbbell row- ( stand straight, take a side step with your right leg and bend it. Keep your left leg straight. Take the dumbbell and reach it down to your right foot and then row tight to your body like you were starting a lawn mower) 3o sec each side
Do 3-4 rounds without rest.

Essential exercises for putting on mass

It is true that things are not all created equally. In terms of exercise selection some are truly better than others when it comes to packing on the muscle. Below are a list by muscle group of the best bang for your buck exercises in my opinion to build some serious mass. The exercises are not exclusive, other exercises that are not listed still should be done as well.

Chest- Dumbbell press. Dumbbells give you better range of motion which equals more muscles activated.

Back-Lat pull down for width, row for thickness.

Biceps-barbell curl. Load up the bar and watch those arms grow.

Triceps-Close grip press. Make sure the arms stay tight to the body the whole way through the press. This exercise loads the triceps allowing you to hit all 3 heads.

Legs-Deadlift. Increase the back side of your physique and increase your GH and testosterone levels. Enough said.

Shoulders- Arnold press. Shoulders like the great

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chest drops for size

This routine is best done with a partner like most chest workouts I recommend. Having a partner will help with the time between sets. To begin this routine you do dumbbell chest presses for 2 sets of 6 reps with the same weight on each set. Next you will drop the weight by 10lbs per dumbbell and do 2 sets of 8 reps. You will repeat this process again dropping the weight by 10lbs and do 2 sets of 10 reps. Go until you have finished 2 sets of 12 reps. If you want to make this even harder, after you completed this routine start by going backwards and go from 12 all the way to the 6 reps you started with, but good luck!

Dumbbell chest press-2 sets of 6 reps ( same weight both sets )
* Rest 1 minute between sets
2 sets of 8 reps ( same weight both sets )
* Rest 1 minute between sets
2 sets of 10 reps ( same weight both sets )
* Rest 1 minute between sets
2 sets of 12 reps ( same weight both sets )
* Rest 1 minute between sets


Friday, December 18, 2009

Know this....

That you can activate up to 20 % more muscle fibers when you do a tricep extension or close grip press on a decline bench instead of a flat bench. Now I would say that is a reason to give the decline some love.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Q & A

Questions? Email me at

Increasing GH and Testosterone

A simple way to boost your levels of both GH ( growth hormone) and testosterone is to simply do deadlifts and squats. Studies have shown that these two exercises boost levels more than anything else. Both of these hormones are a huge catalyst for muscle growth.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

City of big shoulders

I do not train my shoulders solo that much anymore. Maybe one time a week or once every other week will I actually put a whole workout together for pure shoulders. The thing is you get a solid of amount of shoulder work on any push day so direct work is often not needed. However, If you have lagging shoulders or are just getting into lifting then I would suggest spending some extra time on them. Generally shoulders recover quickly, therefore making it easier to train them multiple times a week. Since the muscle fibers of the shoulder run at multiple angles, it is best to train the shoulders at different angles for overall development.

You are going to start the routine with seated dumbbell military presses. Start with a light weight and do 12 reps. Each set after you will go up 5lbs and do 2 less reps. Continue this until you reach just 2 reps. After resting from this routine you will move onto seated dumbbell lateral raises. This time around you will do the opposite. Start with heavy weight and do 2 reps. Each set after you will go down 5lbs and do 2 less reps. Continue this until you hit 12 reps. Enjoy!

Seated dumbbell military press-1 set @ 12 reps, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2

*** Rest 1 minute between sets

Rest 2 minutes after finishing all 6 sets of the military presses

Seated dumbbell lateral raises-1 set @ 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

***Rest 1 minute between sets

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

6 Pillars

Below are 6 guidelines to follow for your general nutrition needs. Mike Roussell, a known author and expert in the nutrition world came up with these for most people to follow. I give this out to my clients and tell them to post it somewhere they will always see it. Even though these are basic guidelines sometimes we do tend to forget them. Below is a link to his site for more information.

6 Pillars of Nutrition

1.Eat five to six times a day.

2.Limit your consumption of sugars and processed foods.

3.Eat fruits and vegetables throughout the day.

4.Drink more water and cut out calorie-containing beverages (beer, soda, etc.).

5.Focus on consuming lean proteins throughout the day.

6.Save starch containing foods until after a workout or for breakfast.

Monday, December 14, 2009

1/2 your way to bigger triceps

In a previous post I explained a technique that would help hit your chest even better on the bench press. This time around this technique will help you blast your triceps even more. You will basically be doing the opposite of the chest routine. You will be using the close grip bench press for this with your arms tightly to your sides and a narrow grip on the bar. To begin take the bar off the rack and let it come down half way from the top, stop and then drive the bar all the way up and then all the way completely down. This is 1 rep. The top part of the press is when your triceps are activated the most so you will take advantage of that with this technique. Below is a workout you can use.

Close grip press- 5 sets of 6-8 reps, resting 1 minute between sets.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Use these tips to burn more fat

  • Lift!- Building muscle=higher metabolism=burn more calories

  • Try and limit your carb intake to the early morning and post workout

  • Do exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, etc. They use more muscle fibers and therefore will burn more calories.

  • Use combo type lifts-squat and press or deadlift and row.

  • Do full body workouts 3 times a week. Not only do full body workouts take less time but also give you more bang for your buck in terms of overall calorie burn.Use the off days to do your intense cardio.

  • Don't just stick to the classic high rep/low weight routine that everyone reads about. make sure to involve heavy weights and low reps as well.

  • Keep your body guessing-Bring on a new challenge every workout!

  • Eat breakfast like a king-studies have proven this will cause you to eat less throughout the rest of the day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

H4 fat burner-#4

Sometimes I like to incorporate a heavy routine with a high intensity workout all in one for my clients. Going from heavy weights and rest to no rest and very little weight confuses the body and creates a great calorie burn. The heavy weight will promote muscle gain which will equal a higher metabolism. The high intensity limited rest with create a high calorie burn for the now. Here is the workout.

Neutral chest presses are done by lying face up on a bench holding the dumbbells with your palms facing each other. Keep your arms tight to your sides and press straight up.

GROUP A ( heavy weight )

Neutral dumbbell chest press-6 reps
Narrow grip lat pull down-6 reps

Rest 1 minute and repeat 2 more times. After completing 3 sets go right into GROUP B.


Squat jumps-15 reps
Medicine ball wood chops- 10 each side

Do not take rest, and repeat 1 more time.

Once finished with 2 rounds of group B rest 3 minutes and then repeat this whole routine starting from GROUP A again. After you complete another full routine move onto the GROUP C.

GROUP C ( heavy weight )
Row-6 reps
Dips-6 reps

Rest 1 minute and repeat 2 more times. After completing 3 sets go right into GROUP D.


Body weight alternating front lunges- 10 each
Bicycle crunch-20 seconds

Do not take a rest and repeat 1 more time.

Once done with 2 rounds of GROUP D rest 3 minutes and repeat this whole routine starting from GROUP C again.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Back fixer

There are numerous back muscles and this routine takes aim at most of them but with a focus on the lats and rear deltoids. The rear delts are located well you guessed it on the back side of the delt. For most it can be tough to really feel the rear delts because the bigger stronger muscles tend to take over. The dumbbell reverse fly is best done by setting up an incline bench and resting your head at the top of the bench while facing the floor. Raise your arms straight out as if someone had a string attached to your elbows and were pulling them up. Don't rush this exercise go slow and feel those rear delts.

Inverted row with wide grip-10 reps


Wide grip pull up-10 reps


Bent over dumbbell reverse fly- 12 reps

Rest 2 minutes and repeat 2-3 times.

E.O.M-Overhead tricep rope extension

Decembers exercise of the month happens to be my favorite tricep exercise. The tricep consists of three heads-medial, long and the lateral head. The lateral head generally gets the most love from exercises like push downs and presses, but the long head is mostly left out. The long head is on the inside of tricep closest to your armpit. I like to do this exercise with the rope attachment on the bottom of a pulley cable. Next, I like to place a seat with a back right in front the pulley facing outwards. Sit facing away from pulley keeping your elbows overhead and close to your ears. Lower your forearm behind your upper arm by flexing the elbows. Once lowered raise the rope back up by extending the elbow and twisting the rope at the top. Make sure you get enough depth at the bottom to really hit the triceps!

Below is a sample routine I like to use for this exercise:

Do 5 sets of 8 reps taking 1 minute rest between sets. After finishing the last set drop the weight by 15 lbs and do a burn out set to failure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not for the faint-Chest like never before!

This routine is very difficult and I would really suggest doing it with a partner. What makes this routine so tough is the fact that each exercise is done until failure and without rest. Your tricep and grip strength will fatigue pretty hard as well when doing this. Make sure to be careful when doing the chest fly since you will be using heavier weight than you are most likely used to doing. Before you start warm up properly with some light sets of presses and prepare yourself mentally because this is going to hurt! Warning......up to 3-4 days of soreness could follow!

Dumbbell bench press-70 % of your max-reps to failure
Dumbbell chest fly-70 % of your max-reps to failure
Barbell bench press-50 % of your max-reps to failure
Dumbbell chest fly-30 % of your max-reps to failure

Rest 3 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bicep beatdown

I am normally not a big fan of doing more than 2 -3 exercises per muscle group but this routine is great and therefore I will make an exception. I would recommend doing this routine with a partner not only for the spot but for the motivation. You will be doing one exercise at a time before moving onto the next exercise.

Seated preacher curl-3 sets of 6 reps
Rest 1 minute between sets


Reverse incline hammer dumbbell curls ( see my older post on how to do this )-4 sets of 8 reps
Rest 1 minute between sets


Standing cable pulley curls ( both at the same time )-3 sets of 12 reps
Rest 1 minute between sets


Preacher curl machine ( if you cant find one you can do regular preacher curls )-do 3 drop sets all to failure, dropping the weight by 10 lbs on each drop. are done!!

Backside development-Hamstring and low back focused

Generally most of us are quad dominant. In general people tend to lift more towards the mirror muscles, you know the muscles you can see when you stare at yourself in your bedroom. To be honest we all need some more size and strength in our backside. This routine is great specifically for the low back and hamstrings.

Barbell deadlift-8reps
Lying leg curls-12 reps
Back extensions-15 reps

Rest 2 minutes and repeat 2 more times.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Seriously? Don't.

Come into the gym with your magazine, newspaper and work papers and think your going to get a real workout. If you can read while working out on the treadmill or while using the strength equipment......YOUR NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH! The gym is not a library!. Do yourself a favor and put down the reading material and focus on what the gym is for, improving your health and physique!

Pure lats

I like this routine which really focuses on your lats. The first exercise is the basic lat pull down with a 2 second pause at the bottom of the movement. Take a wide grip on the bar and pull it all the way down, at the bottom hold for 2 seconds while trying to squeeze your shoulder blades down. Try to ease the tension and not grip the bar extremely tight.

Lat pull down with wide grip- 8 reps with 2 second pause at each rep

Rest 1 minute and repeat 3 more times. After completing all 4 rest for 2 minutes and move on to the next combo.

Next will be the straight arm pull down in which you should use a straight bar that you connect to a high pulley cable. The most important thing to keep in mind when doing this exercise is to keep your arms straight to avoid using your triceps. Another key point is to keep your shoulders back and engage your core. Start by doing all 8 reps and then drop the weight by 15 lbs and now try to do 10 more reps but this time only going from the bottom to half way up and back down again. This half way up and down motion really hits the lats with extra focus!

Straight arm pull down-8 reps


Straight arm pull down ( just bottom half )-10 reps

Rest 90 seconds and repeat 3 more times.

H4 fat burner-#3

Here is another fat burning routine for those of you looking to lean up around the holidays. What is great about this workout is that it can be done just about anywhere. If you are stuck in a hotel or traveling for the holidays this is for you. Equipment is not really needed for this, although I would recommend a resistance band for the rows.

Go through the entire list of exercises before resting.
Pushups-15 reps
Prison squats ( bodyweight squat with the hands behind the head )-20 reps
Bicycle crunch-20 seconds
Front lunge ( alternating legs )-10 each leg
Band rows-15 reps
Jackknives ( burpees )-10 reps

Rest for 3 minutes and repeat 2 more times.