Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random thoughts.....

  • Aerobic training doesn't do much for fat loss. Sure aerobic training should be included in a fast loss program, however it should not be the focal point. Resistance training and intervals should be a larger portion of what you do.

  • There is no "secret" to fat loss. Eat right, workout hard as hell and get your sleep. The secret is most are not willing to do these things consistently to get results. Sure some programs are better than others, but there is no magic pill.

  • If you are trying to add muscle start doing what Arnold did and work your weak spot first. If you have a weak and underdeveloped back then work the back first thing in your workout. Get your lagging muscles up to speed by emphasizing them first while you have the most energy.

  • If you read while you will never get results. Join a book club. Gym time is not book time, end of story!

  • Pushups to me should be a staple of everyone's program but especially women. Great for the core, shoulders, triceps and chest.

  • Sometimes the easiest way to change your workout is to look at changing your grip. If you always row with your palms down, then switch to palms up. If you press with your palms facing forward, press with your palms facing one another. You get the drift.

  • To me the best 3 exercises for your glutes are- 1) glute thrusters 2) high box step ups 3) Donkey kicks

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

PHA + Dynamic interrupt workout

This workout includes full body balance by working both the upper and lower body as well as core. Compared to past PHA workouts posted this workout emphasizes heavier weights and more of a strength circuit. The goal of a strength training circuit is to help build muscle and shred fat while gaining strength. Muscle equals metabolism! In order to make this routine effective make sure you choose the appropriate load for the stated reps.


What is this dynamic interrupt? Think of the dynamic interrupt as a major metabolic enhancement circuit. The dynamic interrupt was first intended as a way to increase conditioning with athletes. What was found was that is works great for fat loss! The dynamic interrupt will usually be a series of bodyweight exercises that will increase heart rate and lead to a greater metabolic effect. The lower rep ranges of the strength circuit plus the higher reps of the dynamic interrupt will lead to major fat loss!

A1) Pullup- 5 reps
A2) High step up- Use a high box, increasing emphasis on glutes- 6 reps per leg
A3) Alternating neutral grip shoulder press ( standing )-6 reps each arm
A4) Glute thrusters-5 reps, pause 2 seconds at the top of each * Most will need to use a barbell for extra weight
A5) Lateral step and chop with band-10 reps each

4 rounds without rest. If you need the recovery then give yourself 60sec-30sec. Once your done with all 4 rounds go right into the dynamic interrupt.


1) Jackknives ( burpees )-set your timer and do as many as you can for 60sec
2) Mountain climbers-set your timer and do as many as you can for 45 sec
** Left leg, right left is 1 rep
***Make sure to record your numbers for each exercise

Just 1x then take 2min rest before starting B

B1) Alternating seated row with cables ( palms facing each other )-6 each
B2) Deadlift with barbell-6 reps
B3) Incline dumbbell chest press-6 reps
B4) Alternating front lunges with dumbbells-6 each
B5) Pull and punch decline crunch with dumbbell-6 each

4 rounds without rest. If you need the recovery then give yourself 60sec-30sec. Once your done with all 4 rounds go right into the dynamic interrupt.

Your goal is to equal at the very least the number of reps you did on the dynamic interrupt the first time through.


1) Jackknives ( burpees )-set your timer and do as many as you can for 60sec
2) Mountain climbers-set your timer and do as many as you can for 45 sec
** Left leg, right left is 1 rep
***Make sure to record your numbers for each exercise

Do this just 1x


Friday, February 17, 2012

Same muscle group tri-sets-Part 2 Push/Quad/Core

A1) Pushups with feet slightly elevated on box or step-12 reps ( hold at the top for 3 seconds each rep )
A2) Decline barbell bench-8 reps
A3) Flat dumbbell bench press-12 reps ( go for speed and explosiveness )
** Realize you wont be able to do your normal weight on the decline for 8 reps because of the pushups before, so make adjustments and have everything ready to go before starting

Rest 1 min and then go into B

B1) Goblet squats with dumbbell-12 reps
B2) RFE split squats with smith machine-10 reps per leg
B3) Leg press-25 reps
** Leg press, the legs should be shoulder width and avoid getting to deep to keep the back healthy

Rest 1 min then go right into C

C1) Plank push aways-8 reps
C2) Reverse crunches- 10 reps
C3) Side ups-10 each side

Rest 2 min and repeat starting back at group A. Do 4 total rounds of these whole workout


Sprints on the track,bike or treadmill.

Brief sprint work....

Treadmill, bike-20 sec sprints, 40 sec rest x 5

Track-50m sprint, walk back to starting line as rest x 5

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Same muscle group tri-sets

Below is a format of workouts in which you target a certain muscle group and do 3 exercises in a row which creates a compound effect on that muscle group. This takes up the intensity on whatever you are working and can facilitate a positive change. I usually like to add in these types of workouts after my clients have been doing PHA style routines or my repeated circuits. Going from more of an alternating workout in which generally a upper body exercise is followed by a lower body exercise, this routine blasts the same muscle group for 3 continuous exercises. If your goal is to drop body fat, gain strength or increased muscle mass, you will benefit from adding these types of routines.

I like to do Pull/Hip dom/core on one day, the next workout do push/quad dom/core

A1) Pullup ( wide grip )-6 reps
A2) Inverted row-10 reps
A3) Straight arm pulldown ( bar or bands )-20 reps

Rest 1 min then go right into B

B1) Glute thrusters ( barbell across hips if needed )-10 reps...hold 1 sec at top
B2) Barbell deadlift ( or kettlebell )-12 reps
B3) Long stride lunges ( take longest stride you can, emphasis pushing through heels on the working leg to push back into position )-alternate leg, 15 each

Rest 1 min then go right into C

C1) Band chops-15 reps
C2) Ball reach back crunch -10 reps ( take a med ball if needed, holding the ball overhead reach back with the ball and extend the legs straight out in front of you, keeping them above the ground. Then crunch back up bringing the ball back into the chest )
C3) Reverse crunch-10 reps

Rest 2 min and repeat starting back at group A. Do 4 total rounds of these whole workout


Sprints on the track,bike or treadmill.

Brief sprint work....

Treadmill, bike-20 sec sprints, 40 sec rest x 4

Track-50m sprint, walk back to starting line as rest x 4

Look for Push/Quad dom workout tomorrow

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shoulder killers-make changes to keep your shoulders healthy

1) Bench Dips-Dips are arguably one of the best tricep building exercises known when done correctly. If you are going to do dips, do them right! We often see people set up two benches and stack 45 lb plates on their lap. The shoulder is not prepared to handle such loads in a internally rotated position. Even if you have perfect form you still will be placing stress on the rotator cuff. If you are going to do dips then you should use the parallel bars since it puts your hands and shoulders in a more joint friendly neutral position. Parallel bar dips will also allow you to better hit all three heads of the triceps.

2) Flat bench press-Lets face it the bench press is a great lift for the upper body. If done with a high chest and locked, retracted scapulae the lift wont cause much harm on the shoulders. However, if you still notice shoulder pain even with proper form and weight then you will need to explore other options. Try one of the 3 exercises below instead to save your shoulders

A) Decline bench press-You can hit the pecs hard and there is little to none shoulder involvement.

B) Reverse grip press-The set up is the exact same as a normal press except have your palms face you and not away from you. The change in hand position will externally rotate the whole arm which will keep your shoulder in a better position for the lift.

C) Neutral press-On a flat bench using dumbbells, keep your palms facing each other during the lift.

3) Doing shoulders after bicep work-If you hit the barbell curls or any bicep exercise you increase the blood flow into the biceps and often inflame the biceps tendon from use which will cause a decrease in space of the shoulder capsule. For anyone, especially someone who has had history of impingement, doing sets of shoulder work after bicep work can lead to abrasions to tendons and tight shoulders which will cause issues. Your best bet is to work the shoulders first if you work those muscles on the same day. Another idea is to do some ab work in between working the biceps and shoulders to let the blood clear from the shoulder area.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Random thoughts.....

  • I wouldn't say there is a perfect time to train. Really what it comes down to is when is the time of day that you will most likely be able to train and continue to train at, that is the best time to train. You need to make working out a habit if it is not already, so find a time that works best for you.

  • Results are hard to come by because most people give up. They want to see everything immediately and when that doesn't happen they lose their focus and stop training and caring. You can want to see gains, but you need to stay in the gym to actually make them!

  • Having trouble sleeping? Try eating kiwi. Kiwis have been shown to help people sleep faster since they contain serotonin, a chemical that regulates sleep. Plus they taste amazing and are high in vitamin C, fiber and potassium.

  • Need a shock to bring on new growth to your biceps? Start adding chinups and pullups into your routines. I have found that doing these exercises more frequently can give your biceps that extra growth you are lacking.

  • If you look comfortable while working out, WORK OUT HARDER! You are not at the day spa. To workout at the right intensity you should never look like your relaxing at the pool.

  • Nightly meals should include protein and fiber if your goal is to drop body fat.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Good, The Bad....Foods


Eggs-A large egg has about 7 grams of protein. Don't worry about all the cholesterol and fat talk about egg yolks, the media has over-hyped the issue over the years. A good strategy is to do 2 whites to 1 yolk or just do whites every other day or so.

Oatmeal-Oatmeal can be your carb of choice. It is a great compliment to protein in the morning. Your body has been deprived of food overnight so some slow digesting carbs and protein for breakfast make for a great option. Adding protein powder or sliced almonds makes oatmeal even better! Be careful not to add sugar or any other unhealthy additions. When buying oatmeal stick to the kind that lists "100% natural rolled oats" in the ingredients and thats it! No packets with other garbage in it!

Tuna-It is a staple that is low in fat, cheap, low in carbs and packs a protein punch! Some might say be aware of the mercury levels so I would say eating tuna 1-2x a week and you should be fine.

Cottage cheese-Fat free versions would be best. Cottage cheese is a great source of casein protein, which is a protein that digests slowly therefore giving you a slow and steady release of amino acids into the bloodstream. Cottage cheese is also low in carbs and makes a great nightime snack!

Fruits/Veggies-Provide vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, fiber and more!

Meats- Lean variety is best specifially turkey, chicken, beef and buffalo. In terms of beef, look to buy the kind that has the names "loin" or "round" since those tend to be the leanest.


Natural peanut butter, nuts-Great source of protein. Nuts can be a great portable and easy snack to bring to work and travel with. Just be careful since nuts are very calorie dense and if weight gain is not your goal then make sure to eat in moderation.

Whole grain breads, Sweet potatoes, brown rice-yes better than the white variety but still watch since they are high in carbs

THE BAD-Ok so this might be common sense but you still need to get smacked in the face with this info more often to let it sink in!

High fat/high carb foods-The American diet usually consists of foods under this category and that is why everyone is fat. The combo of meals with a high carb content and high fat content can promote a higher insulin release than when the two are eaten seperatley. The end result will be high levels of insulin, fat and carbs in the blood...not good! We are talking pizza, cookies, ice cream, cakes, pancakes, most chinese and mexican foods.

Fruit juice and pop-Eating fruit is great, drinking fruit juice not so much. It is always better to eat your fruit than drink it. Eating whole fruit you get much more fiber, phytochemicals, nutrients etc. Fruit juice is just an easy way to over consume calories. Remember I am talking about fruit juice concentrate here and not fresh squeezed in your juicer.

Breakfast cereals-I heard once that cereal is like breakfast candy. Most cereals are loaded with sugar and carbs. If you must eat cereal some best options are All Bran Fiber One or Kashii.

*Make adjustments if need be

A1) Pullup ( mixed grip, one palm facing you and the other facing away)-do 6 reps, then switch hand grips and do 6 more, 12 total
A2) Goblet squats with dumbbell-15 reps
A3) Pushups off med ball ( place right hand on ball and left on the ground, do a pushup and then move over to the other side with right hand on the ground and left hand on the ball, equals 1 rep )-10 reps
A4) Deadlift barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell-12 reps
A5) Core exercise-your choice

**Repeat 4 rounds without rest, take 1-2min rest if you are not conditioned yet

B1) Seated row ( palms up grip )- 15 reps
B2) Alternating front lunges with dumbbells -8 each leg
B3) Standing alternating neutral grip should press with dumbbells ( palms face each other )-12 reps each
B4) Alternating lateral lunge ( bodyweight or weight if needed )-8 each leg
B5) Core exercise of your choice

**Repeat 4 rounds without rest, take 1-2min rest if you are not conditioned yet

To finish you can do some sprints outside, on a track or on the treadmill.

4 sets of quick sprints, 40-50 yards in distance, taking 45 sec between sets. All out sprint!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

E.O.M-Glute thrusters


February's exercise of the month is the glute thruster a great exercise that everyone should add into their program. The glutes are sooooooo important and this is one of the best exercises to target them.I was first introduced to this exercise by Bret Contreras who is simply known as "The glute guy "check him out at his site

Why do glute work? Well its simple the glutes are the largest and most powerful muscle in the human body! Actually I should say the glutes have the potential to be the most powerful muscle....most of us suffer from glute amnesia ( or lack of a butt ) these days. But if your goal is strength and size then it is a no brainer to work the glutes. Having strong glutes also will help keep your back healthy! And of course....ladies who doesn't want a great looking butt! So work your glutes!

Before doing the thrusters you should make sure you are able to perform the basic glute bridge off the floor in order to progress to this exercise so make sure you are good with that first. I would also suggest trying to do these first without the weight across the hips and then progress to weight. The best way to set up yourself is to get a bench and place yourself perpendicular to it. Position yourself so that everything from the bottom of your shoulder blades and up is on the bench. Let your head stay relaxed and lose. Dig your heals into the ground ( very important to activate the glutes ) and point the toes to the sky. Now thrust the hips up focusing on squeezing the glutes at the top and holding them for a one second pause. That pause at the top is really when you hit the glutes!