Tuesday, March 30, 2010

4 way wall curls

Set yourself up against a wall. Keep your butt, back and the back of your shoulders up against the wall the entire time! This will keep you from cheating like you would with regular curls. Using a barbell you will be taking the biceps into 4 different reps. Start in the bottom position on and lift the weight 1/4 of the way up and pause for 2 seconds and then go back to the bottom. Next curl up to the 1/2 way mark and hold for 2 seconds before going back to the bottom. Then lift to the 3/4 mark and hold for 2 seconds before going back to the bottom. Finally bring the bar all the way up and hold for 2 seconds. This whole series equals 1 rep. I would try for 3-5 reps. Don't try and go for crazy heavy weight, focus on your form and the contraction of the biceps.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Leg blast

Use this workout to really slam your legs and take them into new growth! I would recommend a spotter as always with squats but if you don't have one than make sure to set the squat rack pins. When squatting focus on pointing your toes out and keeping a wider stance. Make sure to get deep on every squat!!! Hips should be below your knees in depth! This will allow you to hit your hamstrings and glutes better.


1 set @ 12 reps

ADD 10lbs

1 set @ 10 reps

ADD 10lbs

2 sets @ 8 reps

ADD 10lbs

2 sets @ 6 reps

ADD 10lbs

2 sets @ 4 reps

Take 90 seconds between sets only! This will be tough.

Leg press

4 sets of 12-15 reps

1 minute rest between sets

Leg curl

4 sets of 8-10 reps

1 minute rest between sets

Friday, March 26, 2010

H4 Fat burner # 10- E.R Training ( Extreme range )

This type of training has to do using both really high reps and low weight and really low reps and heavy weights. The reasoning behind this to give yourself the benefits of both styles of training. When you lift heavy weights for low reps you jack up your metabolism for the rest of the day. Lifting lighter weights for high reps wont do this quite the same but you will burn more calories during the workout than with the heavier variety. So essentially you are giving yourself the most bang for your buck calorie burning wise. If you have never lifted like this it might be a shock to you at first because this is a very intense training method. I like to start with the high rep low weight supersets first because it acts as a natural warmup. Below is a sample routine.

Band row-20 reps


Bodyweight squat-20 reps

3-4 rounds without resting until you are done with all rounds.

Shoulder press- 6 reps


Deadlift- 6 reps

4-5 rounds without resting until you are done with all rounds.

Lat pulldown- 6 reps


Lateral step up with dumbbell- 6 reps each leg

4-5 rounds without resting until you are done with all the rounds.

Pushups-20 reps


Squat jumps- 20 reps

2-3 rounds without resting until your are done with all rounds.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nutrition essentials for fat loss

If your goal is to lean out or lose some weight then try to focus on incorporating the following foods into your diet.

Breads:Coarse European -Style, Whole Grain wheat or Rye Pita Bread, Cracked or Sprouted Whole wheat

Cereals:Compact noodle-like high bran cereals (All-Bran, Fiber One) Coarse Oatmeal, Porridge, Coarse Whole Grain (Kashi) Cereal mixed with Psyllium (Fiberwise)

Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:Pasta (all types) Barley, Bulgur, Buckwheat (kasha) Couscous, Kidney Beans dry, (Lentils, Black-eyed peas, Chick-peas Kidney beans, Lima beans, Peas, Sweet Potato, Yam (soybeans lowest) Most Vegetables.

Milk Products:Skim, 1%, cottage cheese, (lowfat or regular), Buttermilk, Low-fat plain yogurt, Low-fat fruited yogurt, Low-fat frozen yogurt ( artificial sweetener)

Meats:Shellfish, “white” fish (cod, flounder, trout, tuna in water), Chicken, turkey, Cornish hen, venison (white meat no skin), Egg substitutes (cholesterol free) cottage cheese

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bicep routine for the long head

The biceps consist of two heads, the short and the long head. The long head is the outer most head and is what will be the focus on this routine. If you cannot do chinups with a neutral grip ( palms face one another ) then use the assisted pullup/chinup machine or have someone assist you or use bands.

Standing dumbbell hammer curls ( both arms at the same time )- 10 reps


Neutral grip chinups- 6-8 reps

Rest 90 seconds and repeat 3-4 more times.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Triceps 101

Your triceps make up about 70 % of your upper arm mass so it is important you start paying more attention to them when training. The triceps have three heads which are known as lateral, medial and long heads. The long head is on the inside of the arm closest to your torso. Generally anytime the arm is extended behind the head the long head will be recruited. Think about overhead rope extensions and skull crushers with the bar going behind the head. The lateral head is generally recruited best in exercises like pushdowns and presses. Finally there is the medial head which is hard to truly put focus on other than maybe reverse pushdowns which tend to hit it fairly well. The primary function of the tricep is to extend the elbow, which results in straightening the arm.

Here are my top 5 tricep exercises

1. Close grip bench press- Hands down the best tricep exercise! It allows you to stress the muscle without a bunch of weight and therefore hitting more muscle fibers which results in more growth. Keep your grip narrow and keep your elbows in on the whole movement. Lower the bar to the lower chest and then drive up and focus on pushing from your triceps.

2. Dips-Weighted if all possible for maximum results. Make sure to keep your arms in tight and keep your body upright to avoid shifting more focus onto the pecs.

3. Tricep 1/2 press ( kind of like lockouts )- Set up is same as the close grip press except you will just lower the weight half way down from the top and then drive back up. The top part of the press is when your triceps take over the most.

4. Decline tricep extensions ( AKA..french press, skull crushers, etc )- Using the decline will help you potential activate up to 10 % more muscle fibers. You can use numerous types of angles with this exercise. You can lower the bar to your nose, forehead or behind the head.

5. Seated overhead tricep rope extensions- Attach a rope to the bottom of a cable pulley machine. Sit facing away from the pulley and have someone hand you the rope. Keep your elbows tight close to your ears, extend the rope up and twist out at the end.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fat loss tips and strategies

1. LIMIT REST TIME- A study from the College of New Jersey showed that those who rested less than 30 seconds on the bench press burned up to 50 % more calories than those who rested 3 minutes or more.

2. DRINK IT UP- German researchers have found that you can boost your metabolism by up to 30 % by drinking 2 cups of cold water.

3. GOOD CARBS-A study at Penn State found that those who followed a low calorie diet with carbs coming from whole grains lost more fat than those who ate low calorie with carbs coming from refined sources.

4. ADD SOME HEAT- Hot peppers have an ingredient called capsaicin, which has been to shown to enhance calorie burning at rest.

5. TEAS- Oolong tea has been shown to enhance metabolic rate as well as black tea.

6. LIFT HEAVY- Use higher loads and a rep range between 3-7 to boost your post workout metabolism.

7. LIFT LIGHT- Using lighter weights will burn more calories during the session just not as many afterward like heavy weights will do.

8. FREE WEIGHTS ARE YOUR FRIEND- Studies have shown that using free weights especially during exercises like squats will burn more calories. The free weights force your body to use all the small stabilizing muscles and therefore you work harder.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chest pair drop downs

This routine is great because you challenge your chest early when you have the most strength and as you fatigue you will be decreasing the weight. Start by doing dumbbell chest presses to failure. I would use a weight that allows you to do 8-10 reps. Rest for 60-90 seconds and repeat one more set to failure with the same weight. Repeat this whole process but now drop the dumbbells by 10 lbs. After doing this, drop the weight 10lbs again and repeat. Below is a example.

Pair 1
# 90 dumbbell chest press- 1 set to failure ( 8-10 reps or so )
Rest 60-90sec
# 90-1 set to failure
Rest 60-90 sec

Pair 2
#80 -1 set to failure
Rest 60-90sec
# 80-1 set to failure
Rest 60-90 sec

Pair 3
# 70-1 set to failure
Rest 60-90 sec
# 70- 1 set to failure

Thursday, March 11, 2010

H4 Fat burner # 9- repeated cycled circuits ( 1 )

This fat burning routine uses two different supersets combined together. You will not take any rest until you complete the whole circuit as instructed. The exercises have been designed so that you can stay in one small area therefore making it easier to do in a small gym or crowded gym.This would not be the only thing you do in a session. Check back for part 2 and 3 of these style of workouts.

Circuit combo A

Prone incline dumbbell rows- 1 set of 8 reps
Set up a bench at a 45 degree angle. Lie face down and grab a pair of dumbbells. With your palms facing one another row the weight up and focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together.


Medicine ball slams- 1 set of 8 reps with heavy med ball

Repeat 1 more time before moving straight into circuit B

Circuit B

Medium grip pullup- 1 set of 6 reps


Dumbbell step ups-1 set of 6 reps each with heavy weight
Do all reps on one leg and then switch. Focus on driving through the lead leg and keeping the torso tall.

Repeat 1 more time before going back into circuit A

Once you have finished circuit B for two rounds you will start back at circuit A. The only difference will be you will now do 15 ball slams instead of 8 and 10 step ups instead of 6. After finishing the whole thing you are down and can finally get a rest! If you are more advance do 3-4 rounds of each circuit before moving onto the next one.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Say no to the upright row

I am not much of a fan of the upright row much like numerous other trainers. The upright row places the shoulder at risk on almost every rep. You are placing the shoulder into an impingement zone on the reps when doing this exercise and the chances for injury are high. If you have every had any shoulder issues in the past or are prone to get shoulder injuries I would avoid this exercise. There are plenty of other options out there to build/strengthen the traps and delts.

Monday, March 8, 2010

E.O.M-Bulgarian split squat

For a new exercise for March try the Bulgarian split squat which will ease about half the pressure on the spine compared to the traditional squat. This exercise is actually one of those times in which I do prefer using the smith machine over the squat rack. I feel it is safer and allows you to push yourself harder if you do not have a spotter or training partner.

To begin place the bar on the back of your shoulders just like a squat. Put one foot well out in front of the other in a staggered position. Take the other foot and put it up on a bench or box no higher than 18 inches or so. Maintain a tall and tight torso throughout the exercise and keep your front heel down into the ground. let yourself drop straight down to the floor stopping just before the back leg hits. The brunt of the work is on the front leg while the back leg maintains balance.

If you tend to be extra tight in the back you might want to use a lower bench or box for the back leg. This exercise can be done with the barbell in front of you or with dumbbells being held at your sides. I like to cycle this in for squats and tend to heavily favor it on leg days.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

H4 Favorite # 6- Vanilla pumpkin pie shake

I got this recipe from Brian St.Pierre, a well known strength coach. if your sick of your current post workout shake, give this a try. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

This recipe tastes like vanilla pumpkin pie, its very good.

Vanilla Pumpkin Pie

6oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp milled flax
cinnamon to taste
nutmeg to taste
ice cubes

Monday, March 1, 2010


Organic products are huge business these days and not many people really know the much about what is truly organic. Here are the 3 levels of organic foods.

100% Organic-means just what it says. Refers to the process from farm to store is organic.

Organic-At least 95% of the product’s ingredients are organic, the five percent remaining is strictly limited to ingredients on USDA’s National List of Allowable and Prohibited Materials.

Made with organics-Only 70 % of the products ingredients are organic. The rest is sort of a mystery.

Tricep diamond/reverse push combo

Use this workout to develop those triceps! Reverse pushdowns are the same as a regular pushdown but you will have your palms facing up instead of down. If your wrists bother you while doing this exercise switch to a curved bar. Make sure to keep your arms tight to your sides and only let your forearms move, keeping your upper arm still. To do the diamond pushups simply get into a pushup position and use your thumbs and pointer fingers to make a diamond shape. This type of pushup puts extra stress on the triceps which is what we want.

Diamond pushups-10 reps


Reverse pushdowns-10 reps

** Rest 90 seconds and repeat 3-5 more times.

Developed lats

I know through my poll that I ran that many of you are having a hard time with getting your back to grow. Try this routine which is designed to hit your lats and stimulate growth. If you struggle with pull-ups I would suggest using the assisted pull-up machine so you can have good form and not just rep out garbage.

Exercise #1

Wide grip lat pulldown ( lean slightly back when doing these )- 5 sets of 10 reps

**Rest 1 minute between sets

Exercises # 2 & 3

Standing straight arm pulldown ( use pulley cable system )-1 set of 10 reps
Medium grip pull-ups-1 set of 8-10 reps

**Rest 2 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times.

H4 favorite #5-Post workout shake recipe

Here is my recipe for my post workout shake that I make. My goal is quality quick absorbing protein ( the whey ) and plenty of carbs and sugars ( fruit and milk ). Some people might question the peaches in here, but trust me anything tastes good with chocolate.

  • 2 mini milk cartons of low fat Horizon dairy organic chocolate milk ( 2 cups worth )
  • One or two scoops GNC brand chocolate whey protein ( 20-40 grams )
  • One scoop mixed frozen berries
  • One scoop frozen peaches

** It makes a good amount, but you will need it after an intense workout