Monday, February 28, 2011

Excuses dont make champions

A friend of mine who runs a personal training business always says excuses don't make champions and I love that saying so I am stealing it. Below are some common excuses followed by ways to combat that excuse.

EXCUSE #1-NOT ENOUGH TIME- Horrible excuse plain and simple. You make time for things that are important to you in life end of story. If your not making time then it is not important to you. Its time to figure out if exercise is a priority.

SOLUTION-Use your free time to workout and not to watch tv or search the Internet. You don't need a ton of time, give yourself 40-45 minutes and that's it. If you can pick a time that you can consistently have free then it will be easier to get the workouts in. Even if you have just 20-30 minutes that is fine.

EXCUSE #2-I AM NOT VERY MOTIVATED-You can help yourself with this in a couple of ways.

SOLUTION-You must first find out why you are working out before worrying about anything else. What are your goals? Once you know what your purpose is then write it down and make sure you look at that everyday. This simple task will help remind yourself why you are doing what your doing. Another option is to find yourself a training partner. Get a co-worker, friend or even a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend. Usually if you go to the gym around the same time you will see the same group of people and somebody will always be up to train with you. By training with someone you can hold each other accountable and you can help push one another. It is a fact that people do better when around others in any situation. Personal training is another option.

EXCUSE #3-I CANT MAKE IT TO THE GYM-Very common excuse.

SOLUTION-When it comes down to it you don't need anything but your own body and a small amount of space to get a good workout in. Sure it would be nice to have numerous machines, dumbbells, barbells and equipment at your disposal but it isn't necessary. Things like pushups, squats, jackknives ( burpees ) and lunges can all be done at home. If you purchase an exercise ball, band and maybe two pairs of dumbbells you can really do some good things at home. You just need you for a good workout so make it happen!

EXCUSE#4-IT IS HARD- Of course it is! If working out was so easy and quick then everyone would be walking around looking like fitness models.
SOLUTION-Make working out fun and interesting. Take a new class or try a new workout, shake things up a bit. But in the end.......SUCK IT UP AND DEAL WITH IT! Yes it is hard, so take it as a challenge. The rewards of your hard work will feel that much better when your done.

Go Dominate!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

4 Common mistakes when training the shoulders

1) Going too heavy- You often see those guys in the gym with horrible form when doing military presses. They look like they are working the legs as much as they are the shoulders. Drop the weight and focus on the proper form and you will get better results!

2) Forgetting about your rear delts-
Everyone does shoulder presses and blasts their front delts but tend to neglect their rear delts. To better improve your shoulder health and posture you should add rear delt work to your routines. Bent over raises and reverse flys are two things you can do.

3) Doing chest and shoulder days back to back-When you do chest workouts your shoulders are heavily involved as a main stabilizer and get a good amount of workload especially if your doing incline presses. Make sure to give yourself more rest between days if you plan to work the shoulders.

4) Not working the shoulders at different angles
-Hit your shoulders from numerous angles to target all the fibers of the deltoid. Do front raises, lateral raises, and bent over raises. Try lifting your arm at a different angle when doing the basic lateral raise. I like using the cable pulley machine for this.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cardio SUCKS-Time for you and the treadmill to breakup

Yes I said it! Cardio just sucks. I don't like to do it, and I don't think its the best thing to do with your time and I am not alone. When you ask someone who wants to drop weight what they plan to do it almost always involves doing endless amounts of cardio. This is WRONG! Sure doing cardio will help you lose weight, just not much of it will be fat. Recently there has been strong research based evidence that doing metabolic resistance training is the best. I currently train all my clients who are trying to tone and lose weight with this method. What am I talking about when I say metabolic resistance training? This just means doing resistance training at a high tempo in which you combine both the benefits of weight training and cardio . Think of it as a two in one. Below are some of the benefits of training like this:

  • Higher calorie burn

  • Stimulate more muscle, therefore helping to hold onto lean muscle mass

  • Increased EPOC-which means you will keep burning calories hours after you exercise

So an example set up might be doing a chest exercise followed by a back exercise. You could also do a leg exercise followed by a upper body exercise. This way you can work one area of the body while another rests. This setup allows you to move quicker, rest less and get better results. The best thing is you can do this type of training with any equipment. Bands, TRX, Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and much more.

There is no reason why you shouldn't be setting up your workouts like this. If you want the best way to reach your goal of losing weight and toning up then why wouldn't you be doing this! I am not here to tell you to never do cardio but I am simply telling you there are other m0re effective methods. Down with cardio...... Go Dominate!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beating for the legs

This workout will target both the quads and hamstring. This is both mentally and physically tiring. Get your mind right and dominate!

A)Split squat with barbell ( you can use Smith Machine as well)-3 sets of 5 reps......use heavy weight
Take 90 seconds between sets

B) Leg Press-3 sets of 20 reps ( the last set is a drop set in which you complete 20 reps then drop a plate off both sides of the press and do another 20 reps )
Take 90 seconds between sets

C) Walking dumbbell lunges ( focus on long strides and getting deep )-10 each leg, then turnaround and do another 10 each leg on the way back. Drop the weights and rest for 15 seconds, then repeat this sequence of 10 each leg and then coming back for 10.

Body weight speed squats ( get deep and move fast )-2 sets of 25 reps
rest 60 seconds between sets


Monday, February 14, 2011

New combo for your arms

I love this routine and have had great success with it in the trenches. If your in a rut with your arm workouts then try this.

Seated dumbbell bicep curls ( palms up the entire lift and moving both arms at the same time )-6 reps with heavy weight


One arm pulley bicep curl ( adjust the pulley cable to the very bottom and use the hand grip attachment to perform a standing curl )-15 reps focus on speed


Close grip barbell press ( focus on the elbows staying tight to your sides and push with the triceps ) -6 reps with heavy weight


Band tricep overhead extensions ( wrap a band around a pole of some sort then grabbing each handle extend your arms overhead. From here bend from your elbow and let the band go behind you head before then driving it back up. Keep the upper arm still )-20 reps focusing on speed

Rest 1 minute and repeat this 2-3 more times.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eat hummus

Hummus has grown in popularity lately and it is for good reason. Hummus is a pureed chickpea dip that is loaded with health benefits. Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern spread that has found its way to masses. Below are some of the benefits of hummus.

  • High in fiber and protein
  • Rich in folic acid, magnesium and iron
  • Low in fat, high in good monounsaturated fat
  • Has cholesterol lowering benefits
Quick uses for hummus

  • Use as a spread on sandwiches or for wraps instead of mayonnaise
  • Use it as a dip for fresh veggies
  • Use it to spread on grilled chicken or meats

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pump the pecs with this

Best done with a spotter.

Incline dumbbell chest press-6 reps ( heavy weight )
Incline barbell chest press-12 reps ( moderate weight )

Rest 90 seconds - 2 min and repeat 2 more times.

Then reverse the set up so it will look like this

Incline barbell chest press-6 reps ( heavy )
Incline dumbbell chest press-12 reps ( moderate )

Rest 90 seconds - 2 min and repeat 2 more times

Flat barbell bench press 1/2 method ( this is were you press half way up and then bring the bar all the way down and then back up all the way which would equal one rep )- 6-8 reps

Rest 1 min and repeat 2 more times

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow day!!!

It snowed like crazy yesterday in Chicago and has continued to do so today. Despite living in a city that sees bad weather like 70 percent of year people for some reason freaked out over this storm. I must say that the combination of thunder, lighting and snow is crazy but it was not the end of the world like the Chicago media made it seem to be. Watching the news it seems there is bad weather all over the country the last couple of days even in Dallas for the Super Bowl. Many people are not going to work and school and will have plenty of free time sitting at home. So I thought this would be a perfect time to suggest some things to do while bumming around the house.

1. Try and stack up against a Navy Seal. See how many pushups you can do in 2 minutes. Minimum would be 42 pushups, but the average would be 100. Make sure you have proper form. Challenge yourself!

2. Quick blast routine:
Minute 1-2: Some form of cardio like jump rope, running the stairs or running in place
Minute 3-4: As many pushups as you can
Minute 5-6: Stairs, jump rope or running in place again
Minute 7-8: Squats as fast as you can
Minute 9-10: Back to the cardio....but this time try and do as much as possible!

3. List your goals. List both short-term and long-term goals. Then re-evaluate your current workout routine. Are you getting the results you want with what you are doing?

4. Go outside and shovel. Great for the core, shoulders, back and legs.

5. Quick combo routine:
Use something that resembles a dumbbell like a gallon of milk- do 15 reps of one arm rows then immediately do 10 jackknives ( burpees ) and repeat this for 6 rounds.

6. Cook! Now is your chance to make a good meal and prep the rest of the weeks meals.

7. Checkout this motivational video. Its about being a champion. Not just for sport but for life. If this doesn't get you pumped then I don't know what will.