Wednesday, November 30, 2011

4 exercises to try!

1) Pushup pyramid- Do 1 pushup, then pause at the top for 2 seconds, do 2 reps, pause for 2 seconds, do 3 reps, pause for 2 seconds. Aim to get up to 10 reps and then be able to work yourself all the way down. You can also do the 2 second pause at the bottom instead.

2) Partial overhead press-
This exercise is great for size and strength for the triceps. If you need a new exercise to thrash the triceps then try this! To do this, perform a normal overhead press with a barbell using the same grip width and foot stance as usual. From the lockout position, lower the bar just until it touches the top of your hair. Press it back up and you have done 1 rep.

3) Constant tension bicep curls
-Great exercise since you take advantage of muscle tension, isometric contractions and unilateral action. Begin with both arms in a fully flexed position ( think the top of the curl .) Now lower the working arm while keeping the other arm flexed. Curl up the working arm to the fully flexed position to match the non working arm. Then switch arms and do the same thing. Keep alternating until the set is finished. You cant use as much weight with this so you might want to use this after doing a heavier bicep exercise.

4) Mid range partial presses
-Awesome way to keep tension on the pecs and get a feeling like never before! Grab dumbbells and get into a bench press position on your back. Simply, just don't go all the way down or all the way up. You will need to use lighter weight than normal.

Monday, November 28, 2011



Start with 2 minutes straight of jump rope

A1) Inverted row-8 reps
A2) Band donkey kicks - 15 reps per

3 sets before moving right into B1/B2

B1) Lateral pushups- 5 each direction, 4, 3
B2) Reverse drop off lunges from step with dumbbells-8 each leg

3 sets then go right into 1 set of A1/A2...then right into 1 set of B1/B2 then rest for 2 min

C1 ) Reverse grip band pulldowns- 20 reps
C2) Dumbbell sumo squat-12 reps

3 sets then go right into 1 set of A1/A2....1 set of B1/B2...then right into 1 set of C1/C2 then rest for 2min

D1) Tricep kickbacks with bands-15 reps
D2) backward/forward band walks-10 each direction

3 sets then go right into 1 set of A1/A2....1 set of B1/B2.....1 set of C1/C2.....then 1 set of D1/D2.....


Go Dominate!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quick push/pull giant set

If you are strapped for time and need some quick upper body work than try this brief routine. The rep ranges fit best for those looking to gain muscle. You can easily drop the weight on each exercise and up the reps if that is what you want as well.

Lying close grip dumbbell press ( keep your elbows tucked in tight to your sides with your palms facing each other as you press )-10 reps

Seated row with neutral grip
-12 reps

-10 reps ( hold at the bottom of each for 3 seconds )
** if this is too easy then add a weight vest or plate to your back

Lat pulldown with close grip ( palms facing forward )-12 reps

Rest 90 seconds and repeat 4 total rounds

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Thanksgiving not Fatsgiving

Thanksgiving is a time were you get together with family and friends and enjoy a gluttony of food and football. Delicious turkey, cranberry, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes piled high on your plate. Other than the turkey most of the meal is heavy on the carbs which will make you heavy in the waist. No matter what your goals are you need to get active both before and after Thanksgiving.

MUSCLE BUILDERS- Go ahead and go to town on Thanksgiving. You need to hit the weights hard and chow down. If your goal is to pack on muscle eat the calories but just make sure to hit it hard the next day at the gym. You should go full body and target as many muscles as possible the day after.Below is a simple routine set up with minimal exercises to keep the workout time efficient.

Each exercise will be done as straight sets. Do 4 sets before moving onto the next exercise. Take 60 sec between sets. Do the first 2 sets aiming to reach failure between 8-10 reps. For the last 2 sets adjust the weight so you reach failure at 6-8 reps.

1) Row with dumbbells

2) Deadlift

3) Bench press with dumbbells

4) Split squat with barbell

5) Neutral grip chinups

6) Dips

WEIGH LOSS/LEANERS-You have it tougher than those trying to pack on muscle but you can still enjoy the holiday using the below strategies.

** Start off the morning do the following mini circuit. This quick morning jolt will kick start your metabolism for the rest of the days eating.

1) Jump rope-all out for 30 seconds ( if you don't have one then do the same motion and mimic having one )
2) Burpees-10 reps

Rest 1 minute, repeat this for 5 rounds.


1) Row with dumbbells-15 reps
2) Deadlift-10 reps
3) Pushups-15 reps
4) Walking lunges with dumbbells-10 reps each leg ( alternating legs )
5) Neutral grip chinups-12 reps
6) Sprint ( 20seconds on bike or run in place )

Take 1 min rest then repeat for 5 total rounds.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random thoughts.....

  • If you think your eating a ton and your not packing on muscle, then eat more!
  • Avocados are like natures butter. Use avocado as a spread on sandwiches, with eggs, on burgers or just eat it alone.
  • Eating to drop body fat doesnt have to be boring and bland. Use spices and seasonings to give your food calorie free flavor. Try the following marinades- soy sauce, minced garlic and ginger, and diced scallions. Another option is balsalmic vinegar, garlic and diced rosemary. Hot sauces like tabasco and sriracha.
  • Sprinting owns jogging any day! Sprinting is great for athletes. great to make your legs looker better and great to drop fat quicker. If your not doing them now, start doing them. As always proper warm-up before.
  • Grab some dumbbells. Next time you workout try and put down the barbell in exchange for dumbbells. You can make this switch out on almost any lift. Try doing dumbbell squats, deadlifts etc. This will stimulate change!
  • If you are having issues with getting your legs to grow then try doing more reps. The quads specifically respond well to high rep training and this could be the cure you need for more gains. Do sets of 20-30 reps for a couple of weeks and see what happens.
  • If creating workouts are a chore then focus on just doing simple exercises and doing them really well with simple progressions. For example if you 10 reps of both pullups and squats for 3 sets, then the next workout aim for 4 sets of 10 reps with those exercises. Another option on workout two would be to aim for 3 sets of 12 reps of the two exercises. Those are just two ideas for you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

H4 Fat burner #17-JK Style


This workout has everything in each grouping of exercises for a total body workout. Each grouping has an upper body, lower body, core and conditioning exercise. In this video Kim and Julia, both beautiful badasses ( thanks Nia Shanks for this term ) dominate the workout and show how it should be done.


After proper dynamic warm-up and foam roll tissue work-

* This workout is meant to have a fast pace and intended to have reps done with speed. Make sure the weight you use allows for this.

A1) Motorcycle row with dumbbell-12 reps
A2) Hip Thrusters ( use barbell across hips if needed for challenge)-12 reps
A3) Chops with band-15 reps
A4) Heisman hops-20-30 seconds ( focus on getting wide and moving quick ) ** time dependant on your level

3-4 sets
** Take no rest if you can handle it else aim for 30-45 seconds between sets

B1) Single leg step up ( note in video at the emphasis on hip extension at top )- 8 reps
B2) Alternating neutral dumbbell shoulder press-10 reps
B3) Bicycle crunch-25 seconds
B4) Jump rope- 15-20 seconds ( all out as fast you can )

3-4 sets
** Take no rest if you can handle it else aim for 30-45 seconds between sets

C1) Row with bands ( palms down and go for speed )-20 reps
C2) Deadlift with kettlebell ( you can use dumbbell as well )-12 reps
C3) Med ball lifts-8 reps each
C4) Skiers forward and backward-3 per leg in each direction x 2

3-4 sets
** Take no rest if you can handle it else aim for 30-45 seconds between sets


Thursday, November 10, 2011

3 steps to lose more fat!

1) Do total body workouts 3x a week

Total body workouts simply burn more calories than doing body part splits. You burn more calories since you are working more muscle mass in each session that just doing say upper body in one workout. A total body workout should include upper body, lower body, knee dominant ( squats ) and hip dominant ( deadlift ) exercises. You get plenty of core work from these compound movements so you don't have to do too much extra core work. Some sample groupings to organize your workouts are below.

example 1-

A1) Row ( pull )
A2) Pushup ( push )
A3) Squat ( knee dominant )

B1) Pullup ( pull )
B2) Shoulder press ( press )
B3) Deadlift ( hip dominant )

or example 2

A1) Row ( pull )
A2) Lunge ( knee dominant )

B1) Pushup ( press )
B2) Glute bridge ( hip dominant )

2) Focus on veggies, protein and water

Make it simple by eating 5-6 times a day and consume veggies and protein at each meal. In terms of protein eat a portion about the size of a deck of cards. Veggies aim for the green variety since they are low in carbs and full of nutrients. Protein snack ideas are below.

Jerky-buffalo or turkey best
Cheese sticks
Cottage cheese
Protein shake
Hard boiled eggs

3) Get your workout going ASAP

Need a lift to your current workout? Maybe you start off on a slow foot? A simple answer to these issues is to start your workout with 5 minutes of jump rope. Not only will you get a great quick warmup but you will burn some extra calories before you even get going. Add 30 seconds or so to each workout. As you get better build up the time until you could do 10 minutes continuous before your workout. If you don't like jumping rope then do burpees ( hate that name ) and do as many as you can for 2 minutes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bring the shock Tuesday

It is rainy and gloomy here in Chicago today and people are tired and dragging their feet around town and in the gym. I figured this a perfect day to bring to you a workout to disrupt your normal routine. If your progress has stalled and you need something to awaken you....use this!

This workout focuses on heavy weight and low reps. The focus is power and to make the body have to work really hard to move heavy things. You will be taking rest periods since you will need the rest in order to maintain the strength and power demands. After your done with the lifting you will get hammered with the conditioning aspect. Generally most people do not lift with the high load and low reps so this will be a change and a shock. Look to use this style of workouts for the next 2-3 weeks to bring about new change.

** Remember the weights used should be appropriate and you should struggle on the final rep of each set. Spotter is highly recommended.

A1) One arm row with dumbbell- 6 reps
A2) Squat jumps-10 reps ( focus on height and drive with your arms )

1 minute rest between combos. Do 3 total sets

B1) Lying neutral grip dumbbell press ( palms face each other )-6 reps
B2) Deadlift with trap bar ( if not then use traditional bar )-6 reps

1 minute rest between combos. Do 3 total sets

C1) Mixed grip pullup ( one palm facing away and one facing toward you )-3 reps then switch hands around, 6 reps total
C2) Step up with dumbbells ( use medium box and hold dumbbells in both hands )-5 reps each leg

1 minute rest between combos. Do 3 total sets

D1) Dips ( weighted if need be )-6 reps
D2) Lateral lunge with dumbbells -6 reps per side doing one leg at a time ( let the dumbbells go between the legs as you lunge )

1 minute rest between combos. Do 3 total sets


Sprints on bike - 20sec all out spring, 40 sec recovery slow ....repeat this 4 rounds



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

8 things to do to stay fit and healthy

1) Eat a protein based breakfast-You will eat less throughout the day and burn more calories. If your goal is weight gain than simply eat more at this time.

2) Drink green tea daily-activates your metabolism and has been shown to inhibit bad bacteria.

3) Eat multiple meals-Take your waking hours ( time you are up ) and divide it by 3 to give you a rough estimate on about how many meals you should have a day. Up 15 hours, then have 5 meals. Think to eat more often and smaller portions.

4) Minimal alcohol-yes enjoy yourself but keep it to a small amount and not too often. Alcohol slows down the fat burning process and can lead to access belly fat.

5) No calorie counting-Just keep things simple


  • AVOID CARBS AND SUGARS ( post workout is exception )


6) Rid yourself of stress-Stress can hurt your mood, workouts and life period. Life cant be spent worrying about everything so let things go and stay focused on important things. Next time you get stressed go listen to music, run or hit the weights.

7) Workout-this is obvious.

8) Get rest-sleep = recovery which = a better you.