Friday, January 29, 2010

Negative/partials duo- Chest

I came up with this routine a couple of weeks ago and think you will love it. You will be using two very powerful techniques to stimulate muscle growth, partial reps and negatives. The partials will hit more motor units which equals growth and the negatives cause major tissue damage and will lead to growth. Most studies have shown that the negative rep produces great gains.

To do this you will just need two sets of dumbbells. Using a training partner for this is a must or just grabbing someone in the gym can work too. Begin by doing a chest press with the dumbbells for 6 reps, each rep doing a 6 second negative. Have your training partner count to 6 one thousand. Remember the negative is the downward motion. At the bottom pause for one extra second and then have your partner help you lift the weight on the way up. After you complete 6 reps drop the weight and grab dumbbells that are 50-60% lighter than the ones you just used. You will now complete 15 partial reps. Read my post from a couple of days ago on partials to learn the proper form.

Dumbbell chest press- 6 reps each with 6 second negative


Dumbbell partial chest press-15 reps

Rest 90 seconds - 2 minutes. The next round you will do 6 reps for a 7 second negative. The third round you will do 6 reps for a 8 second negative.

Go dominate!

Check back for the negative/partials duo series for back and biceps

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clearing up protein confusion

Many guys ask about protein and wonder what protein is best to take. There is no magical protein to speak of but the information below can hopefully help clear up some of your questions. Generally here are how the proteins are ranked.


  • Considered to be the highest quality natural protein

  • Highly digestible

  • Absorbs quickly into the body making it a great post workout choice

  • One of two types of protein that comes from milk


  • Releases slower than whey which makes it ideal for use throughout the day


  • Is a milk protein that makes up about 80 % of the protein in whole milk

  • Is slow digesting like egg protein making it ideal for use throughout the day

  • Has rich quantities of glutamine and other amino acids


  • Slow releasing proteins

  • High in iron and B-vitamins


  • Mixed reviews on benefits for building muscle

  • It is an incomplete protein making it not ideal to consume on its own

Final verdict............I would go with whey as your main source especially post workout. If you are making your shakes with milk you will also be getting casein as well, so skip the water and go for the milk!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why are we so fat?

Look around next time you are out in public and what do you notice. PEOPLE ARE FAAATTTTT!!!! They are big and out of shape!!!! What happened? How did mankind go downhill so fast in terms of our health and physiques. Below are a couple of reasons.

1. PEOPLE EAT MORE, EXERCISE LESS- This seems to be the theme these days. We consume biggie sized everything and large this and huge portion that but yet fail to workout to burn these calories off. We have turned into a video game playing, tv watching, Internet society with little time spent outside doing recreational activities or working out. To solve this simply start eating less and working out more duhhh.

2. PEOPLE'S WORKOUTS SUCK- Going to the gym and hardly breaking a sweat does not account for anything. Just simply saying " Well least I went" does not cut it! Going to the gym one time a week or one time a month is just bad. When you hit the gym make your time count! Read at the bottom for a quick workout to use.

3. PEOPLE LOVE THEIR CARBS- I know carbs always get the bad press but it is due more to the fact that they get abused by people. Lets not eat 3 bagels a day, eat muffins for breakfast and think that is ok. How about 2 big bowls of pasta every night....ahhh no! Eat your carbs in the morning but eat things like oatmeal and Kashii brand cereals. Post workout is another time when you can consume carbs.

4. PEOPLE EAT OUT TOO MUCH AND CONSUME TO MUCH PROCESSED FOOD- Very few people pack their lunch or make dinners these days. I know people are busy so why not say screw your health and pocket book for that matter and just eat out and eat garbage. When you eat out you have no real clue what is being put into your food and usually you don't want to. Added sugars, salts, fats, etc. Solve this by just eating out one to two times a week and when you do make sure it is not at a place called Applebees or McDonalds. Try to consume less processed food and eat more veggies, fruits, meats and basic food products.

So how can you attack your workouts to burn fat and crank your metabolism up? Start by thinking about doing super sets, and giant sets. These are all more time efficent and you will burn more calories with the high tempo pace. Next you want to focus on using metabolic exercises like squat presses, pullups, deadlifts, burpees ( Jackknives ) and squats. Try the workout below which focuses on a full body routine.

Do 4 rounds of this circuit without rest

Barbell deadlift- 10 reps
Jackknives ( burpees )-8 reps

Rest 2 minutes

Do 4 rounds without rest

Pullups ( regular shoulder width grip )-1o reps
Alternating front lunges with dumbbells- 8 each leg

Rest 2 minutes

Do 4 rounds without rest

Squat and press with dumbbells ( go fast )-15 reps
Row-12 reps

Rest 2 minutes

Do 4 rounds without rest

Medicine ball slams-10 reps
Run stairs, quick spring, lateral shuffle ( pick a cardio exercise)-do it for 30 seconds

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

E.O.M-Mid-range partial dumbbell bench press

Looking for an intense pump, then try these partials! This exercise will allow you to hit a higher percentage of motor units which equals growth! Basically you do the exercise like a regular press but you don't go all the way up or all the way down. Instead you stick to the mid- range. We are talking about serious burn and serious tension put on the pecs so be prepared. I would recommend going light with this until you get a feel for it. I like to use this at the end of my regular dumbbell bench press routine or I like to super set it in with my press routine. You will also most likely want to stick with a rep range of 10-12 reps on this. Go dominate some weights!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Want to make your arms look bigger?

Work your triceps! When a guy with huge arms flexes everyone usually thinks its his biceps which are making his arm look huge. It might seem obvious but there are people who forget how important big triceps are to the overall size of the arm. Your tricep consists of three heads hence the name "tri" cep. Your biceps only consist of two heads. So next time you think about growing your arms do some extra tricep work!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Everything starts with dedication. No matter your goals and no matter what program you are must be dedicated to it. Dedication is what separates those who gets results and those who don't. If you are serious about changing your life, then you must stay dedicated with the program you are following. You could have the most magical workout plan ever designed but if you do not stay dedicated to it then you will never really reach your potential. Go ahead and tell people your goals every chance you get, this will help you stay accountable.

Stay Dedicated:

  • Even when your tired
  • Even when everyone doubts you
  • Even when you have so many other things to do
  • Even when you think you don't have time

Stay true to those goals!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Killer Lunges

Next time you go to do your lunges try this routine for new results! You will be doing front lunges with dumbbells working one leg at a time. Do 8 reps on one leg and then switch to the other one. After you complete this go back to the leg you started with and do 4 reps with a 4 second pause at the bottom of each rep. Finish the 4 reps on the other leg and rest. Remember when doing your lunges to focus on dropping straight down and keeping everything from your waist up nice and straight. Your hamstrings and glutes will be left in pain!

Front lunges with dumbbells- 8 reps each leg, then 4 reps with a 4 second pause at the bottom

Do 1 set and rest for 90 seconds. Repeat 3 more times.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

H4 favorites # 3- Newman's Own Hi-Protein pretzels

The Newman's Own brand is known for its organic and healthy foods. One of their best products is their Hi-Protein pretzels. Not only are they made with wheat flour but they also contain 5 grams of protein per serving! Dip them in peanut butter and you have a great high protein snack! Look for the product in Whole Foods stores.

Here is the link to the company website and below is the nutritional info.

Serving Size: about 22 pretzels (30g), Calories per Serving: 120, Calories from fat: 15, Total Fat: 1.5g (saturated fat: 0gm), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 230mg, Total Carbohydrates: 22g (dietary fiber: 4g, sugars: 1g), Protein: 5g

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

H4 fat burner # 8- Timed matrix

I know some of you wanted workouts that could be done with minimal equipment and space so here you go. This is purely bodyweight and its not restricted by the amount of space you have. The only equipment you will need is a bar set up in a squat rack or a bar on the Smith machine.

You will begin by doing 6 pushups each with a 10 second negative count. This means that on the descend towards the floor you will count slowly to 10 before exploding back to the top. After you complete the 6 reps you will continue and do as many regular pushups as you can for 30 seconds. Moving on from there, you will get up and do 30 seconds worth of bodyweight squats with your arms crossed against your chest. To finish just drop yourself in the bottom position of the squat and hold it for 30 seconds. Repeat starting back with the pushups and go through the whole routine 1-2 more times in a row before taking a break.

Pushups- 6 reps for 10 second negative
Pushups- as many in 30 seconds
Squats-as many in 30 seconds
Squat hold-30 seconds

Repeat without rest 1-2 more times.

Once you rest for about 2-3 minutes move on to this next matrix. Now you will start with inverted rows for 30 seconds. To perform an inverted row lie faceup under a bar with a wide grip. From here pull yourself up so your chest hits the bar. Our focus here is the lats along with some minimal bicep work. For those of you who are strong you can keep your legs straight out while doing these, if you are not as strong then keep your legs bent. Now move onto 30 seconds of arm reach crunches. To perform just lie on your back with your legs toward the ceiling and arms extended behind your head touching the floor. From here crunch up reaching your stretched arms to your toes without moving your legs. Make sure to let your hands hit the floor behind you on every rep. Next do 30 seconds of alternating front lunges and then 30 seconds of hill climbers. Repeat this starting with the inverted row and going through the whole matrix 1-2 more times without rest.

Inverted row- as many in 30 seconds
Arm reach crunches-as many in 30 seconds
Alternating front lunges-as many in 30 seconds
Hill climbers-as many in 30 seconds

Repeat without rest 1-2 more times

*** Note if you cannot complete full pushups then do incline pushups on a bar or if you must on your knees.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dip/Push combo

Looking for a way to fry your triceps and pecs? Try this combination move that I took from well known trainer Alwyn Cosgrove. You will simply move from dips to pushups. A good place to start with this routine is by doing 4 dips followed immediately by 4 pushups, then 3 dips....3 pushups...etc all the way down to 1 of each. First give this a try and if it is too easy then start at 6, 8, or whatever is a challenge for you.

** No rest between

Dips 4 reps
Pushups 4 reps
Dips 3 reps
Pushups 3 reps
Dips 2 reps
Pushups 2 reps
Dips 1 rep
Pushups 1 rep

Friday, January 15, 2010


Limit your time in the gym to under an hour. If you are truly working out hard than you shouldn't be able to last must longer than 60 minutes anyways. Hormone levels tend to decrease after this time as well so you are really not doing yourself too much good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Deadlift 50

The following is a quick fire way to add a change to your leg workout. I would use this at the beginning of your leg day before you get into everything else. Your goal here will be to do 50 deadlifts. I want you to start with as many as you can, most likely 10-12 reps and then rest. The rest time will only be 15 seconds before you try and do as many more reps as you can. Again, take 15 seconds and then get as many reps in. Repeat this until you have reached 50 reps. In terms of how much weight you should use, I would use your body weight. For example if you are 180 lbs you will deadlift 180 lbs for the routine. Now, if you are not the strongest deadlifter or just never deadlift I would then recommend using a weight more comfortable for you. Really make sure to think about pushing through your heels on the way up and then finish by squeezing your glutes and driving your hips forward. Deadlifts need to be done with focus in order to get the most out of them. I want you to feel truly get a burn in those hammies and glutes.

On the surface this routine might not appear too bad but let me tell you I have never been so sore in my hamstrings as I was from this. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Two way combo for chest

A method you might not have tried to gain some muscle on your chest is this type of combo lift.You are going to be basically taking two exercises and performing them back to back. First set up a incline bench and grab some dumbbells. Now perform incline chest presses until you have about 2 reps left in the tank and then bring the weights down to rest on your thighs. If you are able to do more than 10-12 reps than you should increase the weight. After you rest the weights, have someone drop the bench so it is flat and then perform chest presses until failure. use the same weight on both the incline and flat press. There is no rest between the exercises other than to change the bench. This routine is really tough and flat out sucks. I would recommend doing 3-4 sets of it. Remember that the flat bench part of the combo will be the toughest since your chest will be pre-fatigued.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gymnast pullup routine

I had read about this routine from one of Charles Poliquin's articles. He is a very well known strength coach/ trainer. It is a routine that gymnasts use to build their impressive backs. I did take the original and made some adjustments. Just make sure you are strong enough to do 12 chin ups and at least 10 pull ups before trying this. Basically if you are not advanced than I would not attempt this.

Wide grip pull ups-as many as possible
10 second rest
Narrow grip pull ups-as many as possible
10 second rest
Neutral grip chin ups ( palms facing each other )-as many as possible

Rest 3 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times. You will be in pain!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pushups with negatives

I really like to use this at the end of my tricep and chest routines. If you want the focus to be more on your triceps then make sure to keep your arms in tight. If you are looking for more chest and shoulder focus then keep your arms in the standard push up position. For those of you who struggle with push ups you might want to use this earlier in your workout so you can complete the sets. Only drop to your knees to complete the sets if you must, you just wont look very manly.

Start by descending for a 10 second count, once your at the bottom explode up and finish the rep. Start with sets of 3-5 reps and work your way up to sets of 8-10. The 10 second negative is what makes this a killer especially if its done at the end of a workout.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Next time you do chest try this! After you complete your final set, strip the bar until you have about 50 % of the weight you started with. Now get under the bar and try and rep out at least 12-15 more reps. This is a great finisher to use now and then.


4 sets of 8 reps with 200lbs
*** after 4th set drop the weight to 100lbs and do 12-15 reps

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

10/10 Tricep routine

I really like this routine since you use the decline bench, which as mentioned in past posts can help you activate up to 10-20 % more muscle fibers! Make sure as always to keep those arms tight against the torso when doing the close grip presses. Really think about pushing into the ceiling with your triceps.

Decline barbell close grip press- 10 reps
Dips-10 reps

Rest 90 seconds and repeat 2-3 more times.

New Year, new you! Part 2 ( by Lucas McEmery )

This next post is a contribution from a good friend and great trainer. He gives great advice, I recommend reading below.

1.Setting realistic goals
2.Healthy lifestyle changes as a means of fitness
3.Fitness as a lifestyle

The holidays have come and gone; now it’s time for the excitement of New Year. The problem is the excitement is short-lived, right? Just like years past, people flood to the gym to lose holiday poundage and “get back in shape”. If you are like most, and that includes me, you will fluctuate between pretty good shape and pretty, with all do respect terrible shape. Lately, I have finally found what was missing in my “fitness” goals and that was, anticipatory pause… my health!

Hundreds of thousands of people each year fall victim to the inevitable loss if interest in their “getting back in shape” goals. This post is to help those victims become success stories.

This is not a magical cure! Getting back in shape takes sweat, hard work, and determination. Like I said earlier, the first thing to start with is your health…

For the most part, fitness or “getting in shape” shouldn’t be the number one priority. Living a healthier lifestyle should be your absolute goal. When you make lifestyle changes as opposed to strict diets that rarely fit and crazy fitness goals, like workout 7 times a week, then and only then do you start to approach the “fitness” you are looking for. Fitness should be a by-product of your healthy lifestyle!

The next thing for you to do is to set realistic goals. Focus on little things for your diet like, eating more fruits and vegetables, eating out less, eating healthier snacks, etc. Don’t go on a diet! That only sets you up to come off of it, which we all know that when we do, we come off hard and fast.

Also, set realistic goals for the gym. If you are just starting in the gym then possibly look into a trainer for guidance in the beginning, shameless self-promotion! If that isn’t in the cards for you then start slow, try to get to the gym 3 times a week. Make sure to put in good, hard, intense work for those 3 days, using different modalities because 3 really good days in the gym is a whole lot better than 7 lack-luster days. Also, this goes back to the healthy lifestyle, but on your days not in the gym you still should be active! Take the kids to the park, play with your dogs, jog, and try new things like dancing or adult-gymnastics.

These are just a few basic things that can promote a huge change in your life, more energy, more self-confidence, and in the end, a better form a fitness which is where you wanted to be in the first place.
Remember, “Fitness” is a lifestyle!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Body comp series-# 2

Here are some other combinations to try to help you lean out.

Pullup- 5 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell split squat- 5 sets of 10 reps each leg

** No rest between sets

Lying Neutral grip dumbbell chest press ( palms facing each other, arms tight to sides )-5 sets of 12 reps
Alternating dumbbell lunge-5 sets of 8 reps each leg

** No rest between sets

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Body comp series-#1

A simple way to set up your workouts is to super set a upper body and lower body exercise together. Not only is this time efficient, but it is also a great way to burn fat and build a lean physique. By working your upper body after your lower you can allow the muscle groups to rest while still putting heavy stress on your body to burn calories. Try out some of the combinations below.

Barbell Deadlift-5 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell bench press-5 sets of 12 reps
** No rest between sets

Walking dumbbell lunge-5 sets of 8 reps each leg
Narrow lat pulldown- 5 sets of 12 reps
** No rest between sets