Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My rant for the day-Pre-workout supplements

I hear a ton of guys around the gym and people I know talk about their pre-workout supplements they take and the effects it has on them. If you know me or read my blog you know I am not a big supplement guy. Whey protein, fish oil and omega-3's is about all I would ever use or have used. The fact is your average Joe ( no offense to the Joe's out there ) takes pre-workout supplements because they want to get those crazy intense workouts and they want to be able to lift everything and anything they can. They hear a friend or a guy at the gym talk about how he takes NO-Xplode or Hemo-Blast or something like that and how amazing it is and that you must take it to get a REAL workout. Here is the truth, quit looking for synthetic/supplemental energy and start being a badass! Go to the gym, hit the workout weights and MAN UP! Dont look for that surge or extra burst to come from a canister, instead use your own motivation and drive! Most of that stuff you put into your body ends up either going into the toilet or hurting your vital organs/daily functions. There really is no good research on the long term harm most of these products can have and most company's can claim what they want in terms of results. I don't take one supplement before my workouts and I get amazing workouts. Its well and get your mind right and you wont need those things...period! If you do actually want some extra energy the right way then is to get some carbs before your workout or drink a vitamin water type product before and or during your workout. In the end if you become always reliant on the supplements then once you go off them it will seem as if your never the same and this will start a vicious cycle. Go all Man and be pre-workout supplement free! End of story......

Monday, December 27, 2010

The New Year is almost here- 3 Ways to burn more calories

1. Do something during your work day- Most people sit all day at work and burn very little calories. Take the stairs more often, or take the long way around the office to drop off that report. You should also get up every now and then to avoid getting tight in your low back and hip flexors. Simply standing up and walking around for 2 minutes helps.

2. Lift rapidly-Lower your weights under control, and then move them up as fast as possible! This will allow you to recruit more muscle fibers and therefore burn more calories!

3. Eat protein with every meal- The thermogenic effect of absorbing/digesting protein is higher than any other macronutrient like fat or carbs. This means it takes more energy/calories to process protein.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More random thoughts...........

  • With holiday partys almost every weekend and bad unhealthy food everywhere you turn it can be hard to stay on track this time of the year. The key is not to fall off the cliff, try and at least limit the damage until years end and then start fresh and go get it Jan 1!

  • Please stop doing 3 sets of everything! Everyone loves doing 3 sets, trainers included. We tend to think that 2 sets is too few and 4..well that's way too 3 becomes perfect. WRONG! You must change things up. You will not be looked at funny in the gym if you do 5 do it! If you are trying to pack on some muscle volume is essential so up your sets here and there.

  • Greek yogurt is superior to regular yogurt. Its higher in protein and lower in carbs which is perfect in my book. Chobani is my favorite brand.

  • Doing nothing but cardio makes you look doughy........resistance training makes you look good. Your choice.

  • A great thing to do is buy a big jar and put a bunch of mixed nuts and dried fruit ( the good quality kind not the kind loaded with sugar and preservatives) in it. Anytime you need to feed grab some for a great protein/slightly sweet snack.

  • Ladies if you want your legs to look good then you need to focus on angles and variety. Do lunges forward, backward, laterally and in every direction you can. Do squats, deadlifts, lateral steps, forward steps, just move at every possible angle and your legs will get the look you want. Sprints are great as well.

  • If your trying to get a bigger bench and bigger triceps then you better be doing close grip presses.

  • I was sick for bit and wasn't able to workout until just recently and let me tell you it felt amazing! You cant beat the feeling of working out and changing your body. If you don't get that rush when you workout its time to check yourself and find why you do what you do in the gym. Give yourself a reason to love your workouts.

Go Dominate!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tricep long head work-Routine to blast the inner portion of the tricep

The long head of the triceps muscle tends to get under worked and therefore is generally underdeveloped. In order to truly give your arms that size you are looking for you need to develop this aspect of your triceps. Try shifting your focus to overhead and behind the head movements to increase the mass of your long head.

Overhead rope extensions ( Checkout my previous post on how to execute this exercise ) 1 x 10 reps

Lying behind the head barbell extensions 1x12 reps

Rest 90 seconds and repeat 3-4 more times.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tip of the day

Try to start your workout with an exercise you would not normally do first. For instance, if you always do flat bench press followed by incline press, try doing incline first for the next couple of weeks. If you do squats first and deadlifts second, try doing the hamstring dominant deadlift first for the next couple of weeks. People tend to fall into a routine or habit of always doing certain exercises first in their workout. Eventually your body just gets used to this and your results slow. By messing up the order of the exercises you will shock your system into better results! You will also improve your strength on the new exercise you start with since you no longer will be fatigued by having to do it second. Go Dominate-

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

6 things people do wrong in the gym

1. Doing endless amounts of steady state cardio for fat loss-Dont waste your time doing 45 min of mindless cardio on the eliptical day after day. Interval training is more bang for your buck!

2. Not doing enough resistance training-We all see that guy or girl who spends 90% of their workout doing cardio and then does 10 minutes of weight training to end their routine. If you want to change your body then lift!

3. Giving up on their program- Too often people quite their program within a couple of weeks because they dont see magical results. If it was that easy and took that little of time everyone would be a fitness model. Stay the course and have belief in the program your on!

4. Take too much time to workout- Everyone has a limited supply of time, we are all super busy these days and therefore need to make the most of our time. Keep your workouts short and simple.......under 45min is plenty. Hit it hard and dont waste your prescious gym time. If you get in and get out then you have more time for everything else.

5. No variation- When people get bored and their workout no longer is fun they burnout which equals failure. If your workout doesnt get you motivated or excited to do it then it is time for a CHANGE! Dont fall into doing what is what you need to!

6. People dont overload themselves-Simple basics when you talk about working out is the overload principle. Basically if you want change you must force your body into going beyond what you normally do. If you are pressing for 10 reps with a weight you can do for 15 then you are not overloading yourself. Get out of your comfort zone and results will come!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Drop sets

You can call them breakdowns or strip sets but most commonly they are called drop sets. Drop sets are one of the best techniques you can use to add intensity to your workout. Drop sets have been and will continue to be a favorite of bodybuilders. If you don't use drop sets you should add this technique to your training.

What are drop sets?

*Is a technique which you do an exercise to failure or close to failure, then you drop some weight and continue with the exercise for more reps.

What do drop sets do?

*By dropping the weight and continuing the set you will recruit more "reserve" muscle fibers. By recruiting more muscle fibers you will allow your muscles to grow!

Some drop set methods ( other than the traditional drop set )

A) ( 6-20 ) or "halving" method- This is when you choose the heaviest weight you can for an exercise for 6 reps. Perform the 6 reps, then without resting drop the weight by 50% and rep out 20 reps. This is great to do with dumbbell rows.

B) Tight drop sets-This is when you make small drops in weight. This would be like doing dumbbell bicep curls and you would do reps with the 50lb, then 45lb, then 40lb etc.

C) Wide drop sets-This is when you make a big drop in weight and generally you can do more reps. This method is best done with large muscle groups and exercises like the squat and leg press. You could have 6 plates on each side of the leg press and with each drop you take a 45lb plate off each side.

D) Power drop sets- This was made popular by Larry Scott who liked this method to not only build some size but also build your strength. Scott liked using this for his arms and shoulders. Start with your 6 rep max, then drop the weight between 10-15% and then do 6 reps with the new weight until you reach the desired number of drops

Some tips

  • I wouldn't do more than 2-4 weight reductions ( drops ) during the routine- So if you start with 200lbs for bench, then you do 190, 180 and finish with 170. This would be 3 drops in weight.

  • Stay within the 6-12 rep range since that is the best range for muscle hypertrophy. Sometimes you can go with the higher 15-20 rep range on your last drop.

  • Don't do drop sets all the time- They are intense and you will overtrain and quickly burn out if you do. They say a ratio of 3:1 is best. Meaning do 3 regular sets and then 1 drop set.

Friday, December 10, 2010

6 more weight loss tips

1. Pay attention to night time snaking-Mindless eating generally happens after dinner. You go sit on the couch and let yourself relax and that is when you tend to grab the chips or candy or some other garbage snack. Your best bet is to not allow yourself to eat after a certain hour. Another option is to eat a small healthy snack like an apple or handful of mixed nuts.

2. Eat protein every meal- Protein is more satisfying than carbs and fat so make sure you are eating it! Getting enough protein ensures you to maintain your muscle which helps you keep a high metabolism. Aim for lean meats, nuts and yogurt.

3. Spice things up- Foods with more spice with add a flavor boost to foods you might call " healthy and tasteless" and will be more satisfying so you don't eat as much.

4. Keep your cabinets stocked with healthy options-If you keep good stuff around odds are you will eat good stuff. Convenience is another big key, so if you have foods that are easy to prepare or easy for you to make you will do better. Here are some things to keep around-

  • Fat free popcorn

  • Pre-cooked chicken breast

  • Containers filled with brown rice

  • Whole grain wraps or pitas

  • Bags of pre-washed greens

  • Frozen veggies

5. Don't cope with stress with food- Sooner or later the time will come when your super stressed and you will want to eat something that will make you feel better. Most likely when you go to de-stress by eating you will grab something that isn't good for you. A better option is to go listen to music, read a book, write in a journal, or exercise!

6. Keep working out hardcore-Don't let the workout get you.....but you attack the workout! Go Dominate!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Random thoughts.............

  • Nothing beats the feeling of dominating your workout-if you don't have the I just conquered the world feeling when you are done odds are you don't workout hard enough. Feel like a badass when you walk out of the gym!

  • Egg nog is a good option around the holidays for your post workout shake- Yes it is high in calories, fat and sugar but if you are trying to pack on muscle it is amazing! If your trying to trim up then not so much.

  • If you don't own a foam roller then buy one-If you workout often you need one of these to keep your muscle tissue feeling good.

  • Nothing beats the Victoria Secret Fashion Show- If they all were not so thin I would offer to train them.

  • Guys should NEVER...NEVER.....NEVER wear tiny shorts to workout in-I witnessed this a week ago at the gym I work at and it just is not good for anyone.

  • Most women don't work out with enough intensity and that's why they cant get a smaller butt or thinner thighs or toned arms-Ladies you need to drop People magazine and start working out with some authority and then maybe you will notice some changes.

  • Christmas music is just perfect this time of the year

  • The basic Chin-up is great to add some size to your arms

  • Kind brand bars taste amazing and are great for you! The basic fruit and nut bar is one of my favorites.

Monday, December 6, 2010

E.O.M-Lying lateral shoulder raise

For December, we are talking about the lying lateral shoulder raise which you can perform on a bench. Simply lie on your side on a regular bench press and grab a dumbbell. Keep your arm extended straight along your side. To start, raise your arm straight up towards the ceiling until your arm becomes perpendicular to the floor. Lower your arm back down to your side to finish this move. Unlike the traditional shoulder raise this variation is harder at the beginning of the movement oppose to the end. Also, this exercise is great for the rotator cuff and overall health of your shoulder. Start off with lighter weight to get a feel for this before adding weight.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stud quotes

" You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."- Wayne Gretzky

" Build your weakness until they become your strengths."-Knute Rockne

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

H4 Fat Burner #14- Max reps giant set

Here is a routine aimed to target every muscle group of the body. Both cardio and resistance training will be incorporated in order to get the most out of your time. Heavy weight is not the focus but rather how many reps you can knock out in the slotted time.

**Do max reps in the time stated next to each exercise- meaning you try and hit as high of a number of reps for 1 minute. If you need to pause during the time you can. During the cardio try and go all out in terms of speed and effort for the time.

2.Alternating front lunges-1min
3. Pushups-1min
4. Form of cardio-Bike, Tread, Stairs, Sprints etc- 3min
5. Pulldowns-1min
6. Military press-1min
7.Form of cardio-2min
8. Tricep extensions-1min
9. Split squats-1min
10. Bicep curl-1min
11. "V" crunch-1min
12. Form of cardio-3min

Rest for 3-4minutes. Repeat this 1 more time max.