Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Want bigger arms?

If you want to grow those guns then start doing reverse curls. This exercise is often forgotten which is a big mistake. Everyone does bicep curls but rarely does anyone do reverse curls. Reverse curls emphasize the brachialis muscle which is located under the biceps on the lower aspect of the arm. It has been shown that you can increase arm size by making reverse curls part of your routine. I want you to drop your current arm routine and add in reverse curls for 2-3x a week for the next 6 weeks and watch your arms grow!

How to do it:

You can use either a straight bar or EZ curl bar. The latter being easier on the wrists and my personal preference. You will most likely need to start with about half the weight you would use for a regular curl. You must focus on the technique! This is very easy to throw your arms up and turn this into a clean. Grip the bar with a overhand ( palms facing down ) grip. Make sure to keep your arms tight to your sides during the whole movement. Imagine drawing your elbows toward each other as you raise the bar to really stress the brachialis.


  • Try pausing half way up for a 2 second hold and then finishing the movement up and then back down. You can also pause on way down as well.

  • Change your grips- do the first set with a very close grip, then put down the bar and widen your grip and do more reps, put down the bar and widen your grip again for your last set.

  • Do negatives on the way down with a 6-8 second count.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pass the Kiwi

Who knew one fruit was such a stud but yet got none of the press like apples, oranges and bananas do. Kiwi has twice the vitamin C of an orange, more potassium than a banana, and more fiber than an apple! There was research done at Rutgers University to see out of 27 fruits which had the most " bang for you buck" in terms of nutritional value and the winner was kiwi. Kiwi tastes great so why not eat it more often.

Friday, September 24, 2010


One thing I tend to hear a ton from people is the word TRY. "I am going to TRY and make it to the gym".............." I will TRY and eat better".........................."I am going to TRY and reach my goals" are some of the most used. Don't TRY and do it!!!! To me TRY stands for

T alking about
R eaching
Y our goals


T hinking about
R eaching
Y our goals

I want action from you! Don't Try and eat it! TRY is what people say to make it seem like they are going to put max effort into doing something but without the obligation of saying " I am" or " I will ". Trying is like putting 50% of your effort into accomplishing a goal. Next time don't TRY and workout......... but simply workout! YOU will eat better, YOU will workout harder and YOU will get your sleep. Its about making things happen and taking action to reach what you want. Go dominate.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Badass back routine

For the first part of this routine the focus is on heavier loads with minimal reps. Most people don't do this often enough so it will really shock your muscle. The ending of the workout will switch to more of a traditional hypertrophy workout with moderate loads and medium reps.

Hammer strength lat pull down machine- 5 sets of 5 reps

** If you don't have this at your gym use the lat pull down bar. Make sure the weight on this is heavy and it is a tough 5 reps.

Rest 60-90 seconds between sets

Row- 5 sets of 5 reps

** use a grip that you normally don't use or a handle that you don't use. Once again make sure the weight is heavy for the 5 reps and don't cheat and move your back forward as you pull!!!!!! Use the muscles we want to develop!

Rest 60-90 seconds between sets

One arm dumbbell rows- 1 set of 10 reps


Straight bar standing pull downs- 1 set of 12 reps

** Focus on standing tall and keeping your arms locked out and straight.

Rest 1 minute and repeat this super set 3 more times.

Monday, September 20, 2010

From anger to iron

Everyone is going to have one of those "bad" days..........but don't let that drag your workout down too. The best thing to do when your pissed off or upset is to workout. Channel your anger and all of that energy you have into your workout and you would be amazed how great of a workout you will have and how good you will feel afterwards! I sometimes feel you almost need to have a little bit of an edge to get a great workout. So quit stressing and hit the gym!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deja vu chest routine

For this routine try and keep the barbell press weight the same throughout since you will be decreasing the reps each set. The weight on the 1/2 press most likely will need to be lowered each round. As always make adjustments needed to hit the target reps.

A)Dumbbell chest press- 1 set of 10 reps

Rest 1 minute and repeat x2

Once finished with 3 sets rest 1 minute and do exercise B

B) Barbell 1/2 chest press- 1 set of 5-6 reps

Rest 1 minute and repeat x 2

Once finished with 3 sets rest 1 minute and do exercise A

** 1/2 presses are done by lifting the bar off the rack and lowering it all the way down, once at the bottom press just 1/2 way up and then lower it down again and then drive the bar completely up. This equals one rep.

A) Dumbbell chest press-1 set of 8 reps

Rest 1 minute and repeat x 1

Once finished with 2 sets rest 1 minute and do exercise B

B) Barbell 1/2 chest press- 1 set of 5-6 reps

Rest 1 minute and repeat x 1

Once finished with 2 sets rest 1 minute and do exercise A

A) Dumbbell chest press-1 set of 6 reps

Rest 1 minute before finishing up with exercise B

B) Barbell 1/2 chest press-1 set of 5-6 reps

Done and done!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Breakfast is served!

You wake up, still tired despite sleeping longer than you should have so you rush to make it out the door on time grabbing nothing but your cup of coffee. This scenario is what takes place for most people out there. Coffee is not a breakfast item....period! Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day......yes we have all heard this but its true! No matter if your trying to gain muscle or lose weight breakfast is going to play a very important role in your nutrition. You must make eating breakfast part of your daily life.

When you ask most people if they ate breakfast these are the responses
  • I don't like breakfast
**SOLUTION-Find something you like that is healthy and start eating it.
  • I don't have time

**SOLUTION-You are not making a gourmet buffet here, you can spare 2-5 minutes for breakfast some how.....just make it happen!
  • Eating in the morning makes me sick

**SOLUTION-This is most likely because you are used to not eating. Take it slow and gradually introduce eating a solid meal to your body.
  • I had a cup of coffee and doughnut

** SOLUTION-Don't eat the doughnut! Coffee I will be ok with...just have it with an actual breakfast item.

All of these are just lame excuses! Eat your breakfast.....make it happen!

So why eat breakfast?

For those who want to lose weight- People think by skipping breakfast they will be saving calories but in fact you will just make those up by snacking and eating later in the day. By eating breakfast you jump start your metabolism early on and you will eat fewer calories throughout the rest of day.

For those looking to gain muscle- Breakfast is the first chance to get some calories and lean protein into your system. Skipping breakfast means losing out on muscle building nutrition.

Breakfast ideas
  • Eggs and whole wheat toast
  • Oatmeal
  • High fiber cereal- 3 to 5 grams of fiber a serving will be just fine
  • Peanut butter on a whole grain English muffin
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies- use fresh fruit, yogurt, skim milk or juice and your favorite protein supplement
  • McDonalds Egg McMuffin with canadian bacon- if you must go this route least you will get protein and solid quality bacon. This is one of McDonalds few menu items I would ever recommend.

Remember- If you are going to eat carbs the morning is ideal because you will start off with energy and you will give yourself the whole day to burn it off.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Training in the Sierra's- workout like the pro's

Workout by Art Correa, B.S. Kinesiology, NASM

This is a workout from a friend of mine who owns The Bod-E2 Shop in Fresno, California. He uses this workout with one of his pro athletes, 2010 starting linebacker for the Detroit Lions, Zack Follett. This workout has made the headlines of Yahoo news, Detroit news and will be featured in ESPN the magazine. Art has Zack do this workout in the Sierra mountains with the elevation reaching 8000 ft. Since most of you do not live near a mountain range I have made some changes to the workout. Art uses stones, logs and tree trucks but you can use dumbbells and barbells instead. To see highlights of this workout check out the following link.

1/4 mile jog

Dynamic warm-up
-High knees
** Walking lift your left leg straight out to the front and extend your right arm out straight, alternate legs and opposite arms
-Side lunges
-Knee hugs
**Step and tuck your knee into your chest pulling it in with your arms
-Butt kicks
**Try to really kick your butt, this helps with the hamstrings

Workout ( strength training )
Circuit A

Bent over rows w/ dumbbells 3x15 reps
Squat toss w/ med ball 3x 8 reps

** Squat down holding the med ball, explode up and toss the med ball forward. Pick up the ball and repeat.

Circuit B

Hammer curls w/ dumbbells 3X 12 reps
Plyometric push-ups 3x 8

** Get into the bottom of a push-up and explode off the ground aiming to get as much height as possible.

Circuit C

Plyometric box jumps- 3x12 reps
Oblique side tosses w/ med ball 3 x8 reps
Walking lunges w/ barbell ( or incline walking lunges if outside ) 3x 8 reps

Circuit D
Snatch w/ kettlebell or barbell ( only use if you have great form) 3 x8 reps
Rear delt flys w/ dumbbell 3x12 reps

** You can replace the snatch with push presses for the shoulders

Circuit E
Jump squats 3x15 reps
Front raises with dumbbells 3x12 reps

Up-hill sprints x 10

*** If your not near a hill use an incline on the treadmill and do 10 all out 50 meter sprints

Monday, September 6, 2010

Split squat routine

Split squats are a great exercise to build your legs without over stressing your low back. If you do have low back tightness you can use a lower step or bench for your back leg. Check out my older post on Bulgarian split squats to learn the proper form.


Split squats- 5 sets of reps at 12, 10, 8, 6, 4

** Rest 90 seconds between sets
** Each set you will increase the weight as you decrease the reps. Start with about 60% of your 1 rep max for 12 reps and each set after that I would add 5-10 lbs. So if your max is 200lbs you would use 120lbs for the 12 reps.

Split squat- 1 set at 15 reps

**After you have done all the work above you will burn out the legs with one set of high reps. Focus on speed and drive up as fast as possible. Use about 30% of your 1 rep max. So if your max was 200lbs use 60lbs here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Observations from the gym- Common errors

If you were to roll into any gym across the nation you would surely find people doing all sorts of things wrong. The other day I took a second to observe the gym I work at and this is some of the common errors I found.

ERROR #1- Doing external rotation work ( rotator cuff ) before bench pressing

Why: Working your rotator cuff muscles is very important but just not right before you bench. You will weaken your rotator cuff and therefore lose stability in your shoulder joint when you bench which is not good. Save the external rotation work for back days.

ERROR #2- Rolling the shoulders when doing shrugs

Why: This is a very common theme you see everywhere. When you roll the shoulders you put extra stress onto the shoulder and can increase your risk of injury. Focus on bringing your traps or shoulders straight up and " touch your ears " as they say.

ERROR #3- Excessive lean forward when rowing

Why: You usually see this when someone has too much weight on the seated row with the cable machine. Generally the individual will lean forward and build some momentum and then jerk the weight back extending their low back. This will cause stress on the low back and lead to back issues. Focus on keeping your back straight like your up against a wall and then pull by engaging the mid back and lats.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gaining muscle- Techniques to get it done!

Damaging muscles are the key to building them. To build new muscle you must stress the existing muscle in a new way. When muscles are stressed then become damaged and then must be rebuilt. With adequate diet and rest your body will rebuild the muscle with an increase in size!

Try some of these techniques to shock your muscles into new growth:

1) Super-sets- Nothing has been around longer than this! You can really up the intensity on the muscle with this technique. Some examples include:

  • Lat pulldown/Row

  • Bench press/Fly

  • Deadlift/Lunge

  • Close grip press/ Dips

2) Negatives- If you like submitting yourself to pain than please try these! Negatives focus on the eccentric phase of the lift which has been shown to cause more damage to the muscle and lead to more growth. This is tough...and is best to do with a partner. You can do negatives two different ways. One way is to have a spotter help you with the weight on the way up and the other way is to lift the weight yourself. I like to do the negative and then have my spotter help lift the weight up. You can use more weight on negatives but just limit the negative to under 10 seconds.....any more you should increase the weight because it is too light.

3) Off set rep scheme- This is a personal favorite that I have come up with and use often myself. First pick two exercises for one muscle group. Then what you will do is do heavier weight on one exericse for low reps and then medium to lighter weight on the other exercise for higher reps. For example:

Standing barbell bicep curls- 6 reps


Seated dumbbell hammer curls-12 reps