Thursday, May 31, 2012


Above you see two different incorrect ways to perform the seated row both which are described below. It is not uncommon to visit almost any gym in American and see this being done daily.

The Bad-
1) Hinging at the lumbar spine-This exercise is supposed to be a weight lifting row not a rowing exercise. I think some people tend to think they get a better pre-stretch by doing such a move but the only thing you will get is a bad back.

2) Lean backs-Usually happens when the weight is way too heavy and instead of being able to use their back and retract properly the lifter leans back with the torso to compensate.

Below is the proper way to perform the seated row. Some basic cues are

The Good-

1) Pull the shoulder blades together ( retract )

2) Stay tall like your back is up against a wall

3) Lift weight you can actually use with proper form


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Build bigger biceps with this routine

I have done this routine a couple of times and it will burn your biceps like no other. This is best done with a training partner or someone to help you drop the weight. Get set up on a preacher curl and load the weight with something you could do for 5-6 tough reps. Start off by doing that weight and hitting 5-6 reps. Put the bar down and rest for 15sec while your partner cuts the weight down by 5-10 total lbs. Now try and knock out more reps than the previous set ( which was 5-6 ) and get 7 or 8. Rack the bar and take 15sec rest, drop another 5-10 total lbs and then aim to get more reps than the second set. Repeat this until you have dropped the weight a total of 4-5 times.

Here is what it looks like

SET #1) 5-6 reps
15sec rest, drop 5-10lbs total
SET #2) 6-7 reps
15sec rest, drop 5-10lbs total
SET #3) 7-8 reps
15sec rest, drop 5-10lbs total
SET #4) 8-9 reps
 15sec rest, drop 5-10lbs total
SET #5) 9-10 reps
15sec rest, drop 5-10lbs total ( optional last drop set )
SET #6) 10+ reps

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

6 Ways to be more efficient with your gym time

Seeing most people are strapped for time in the gym I thought this would help those looking to find ways to decrease their time in the gym yet get not decrease the results. Still keep in mind your goals and remember that each way listed is not the only way a workout can be set up.

1) Use antagonist muscle groups in your training-This involves alternating between opposing muscle groups like doing chest/back, or hamstring/quads. The advantages are: quicker recovery, shorter workouts and better strength. A simple set up could be to do a bench press followed by a dumbbell row.

2) Use upper/lower body sequences-This is similar to #1 in terms of the benefits but allows you to rest the whole upper body while the lower body works and vice versa. This style of training is also great for those looking to drop body fat and improve their overall appearance.Example would be a squat with pullup.

3) Do full body workouts-Allows you to get the most work in every workout which can improve your work capacity and training efficiency.Aim to perform at least one exercise for each major muscle group. Keep in mind that your arms get work when doing pushing and pulling movements.

4) Have a plan- If you go blind into a workout you will waste a ton of time and end up falling into bad habits and routine. Get a complain together for each workout and notice how your workouts improve.

5) Do more bang for your buck exercises-Generally these are compound exercises over isolation exercises. Compound exercises will recruit the greatest of muscle fibers. If your goal is to get bigger or stronger you want to use exercises that allow for the greatest load. Example is to use close grip presses over kickbacks, squats over extensions etc.

6) Workout with your time-This seems obvious but more people tend to chat or read a magazine or waste precious gym time instead of hitting it hard.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday fat loss strategies

1) Get your sleep! Too many people are walking around not getting enough sleep and instead working like dogs and then using energy supplements to push themselves further without sleep.Sleep and fat loss are connected. Studies have shown those who gets less sleep tend to have higher insulin releases which equals no fat loss. If you are going to workout and eat right then make sure to get your sleep as well.

2) Have the right mindset. Yes you need to work hard in the gym, yes you need to eat right in the kitchen but everything begins and ends with your mind. When it is late at night and you tired, bored or annoyed and you want that unhealthy snack what are you going to do? Think of yourself as a lean motivated person who is out to get better and you will have that mindset in all you do.

3) Don't worry about others, just yourself. It doesn't matter what others do or what others look like the only important thing is you. Do not try and look like celebrities or your best friend but instead aim look the best you can look. Focus on you and watch what happens. The only you can control is your eating, lifting and mind so worry about that and not the Joe next to you.

4) Be positive and remember the bests. When you cheat on your diet, or skip workouts don't let that bring you down and let you fall off track, instead focus on the times you were dominating and get yourself back onto that path!

5) Everything works, but nothing works all the time. Make sure you change your workouts from time to time. Use a variety of rep ranges, weights and equipment.

6) Always get carbs in your post workout nutrition. Carbs consumed at this time will not contribute to fat gain and might even help with fat loss.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New routine for the chest/triceps

Barbell flat bench press- 3 sets of 6 reps ( make sure the weight is heavy so your rep 6 is hard )
* Take 90 sec rest between sets

Slight incline dumbbell bench press-4 sets of 10 reps ( first 2 reps of each set use a 5 second negative )
* Take 60-90sec rest between sets

Flat dumbbell bench press-3 sets of 8-10 reps with elbows tucked into sides ( focus on speed of the movement, keep weight moderate )
Flat barbell tricep extensions ( let the weight drop behind the head )- 3sets of 6-10 reps
* 90-120 sec rest between sets

Finish with 1 set of 30 pushups, every 5 reps switch from wide hand stance to narrow. If you cant do these on the floor then use a bench so you can complete them. 


Monday, May 14, 2012

German body composition workout for your monday

A1) Pullups -6 reps with tempo of 5 sec count as you lift yourself up, no pause at the top and then lower down for a 5 sec count
A2) Rear foot elevated spilt squat with dumbbell ( goblet hold )- 12 reps each leg, focus on " driving through the ground" with your feet
**3 rounds no rest

B1) Shoulder press with dumbbells and split stance  ( neutral grip )-10 reps
B2) deadlift with barbell-6 reps
**3 rounds no rest

C1)  "X" row with cables-10 reps, make sure to alternate each set the leg in front and the arm that is on top
C2) Hamstring curl with physio ball-12 reps
** 3 rounds no rest

D1) Close grip pushup-10 reps
D2) Lateral step up with dumbbells-8 each leg
** 3 rounds no rest

E1) TRX row with palms up ( or a normal seated row works )-10 reps
E2) Lateral band walk-10 each direction
** 3 rounds no rest

Finish with some sprints on treadmill or bike.

Try 20sec on, 45 off, done for 4 total rounds

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gain muscle with this harcore leg routine

A1) Leg curl- 10 reps + 12 partial reps ( do 10 normal full range of motion reps, then cut the weight down by a plate or two and then do 12 partials in which you bring your legs up just 1/4 the way up and then down again.

30-40 seconds rest

A2) Spilt squats with dumbells-10 reps + 2 isometric holds ( do 10 normal reps and then do reps 11 and 12 with a 5 second pause at the bottom of the movement )

30-40 seconds rest

A3) Leg press-25 reps + final rep slow down ( after doing 24 reps, do the last rep as slow as you can both upward and downward)

30-40 seconds rest

A4) Deadlifts with dumbbells-15 reps

Rest 3-4 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Guest Trainer blog post- Habits

Below is a guest post from a co-worker who is really smart and I think everyone will enjoy his post .

Habits. What they are and how they form. 
By: Thompson Maesaka
Habits can be our best friend and our worst enemy. Getting into good habits early is the best way to make any fitness goal incredibly easy. When you make unconscious decisions that have a positive impact on your health, over time your improvement is inevitable. But what happens when you miss the boat on a few good habits, which turn into a few more, and 5 years down the road all of the fast food and wine you thought “wasn’t that bad” has settled in your midsection? Then it’s time for a change. But change isn’t always as easy as people think. The longer we engrain a specific sequence of neural firing (ie. habits) the harder it is to reprogram a new sequence that elicits a healthy behavior. Here’s a brief description of how habits form, and ways to trick your brain into making better decisions.

You have 2 primary systems that work to form your habits. One is fast, sub conscious, and emotionally driven. The other is slow, rationale, and takes into account your long term goals and aspirations. The first, let’s call it the quick fix system, is largely dictated by the firing rate of a set of neurons associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine lets your brain know something is rewarding. The processed foods prevalent in our culture’s diet by definition are extremely addictive, in a sense that they condition a large release of dopamine despite having next to no nutritional value. These neurons also communicate subconsciously with the memory centers to estimate how rewarding things in your environment are. When you see your favorite food, you get a sensation that tells you “I want that”. This is because your memory center is telling your dopamine neurons to fire rapidly, indicating a historically rewarding experience associated with that food. Consequently, looking at a bowl of broccoli generally does the opposite, because this system is not interested in the long term benefit of broccoli. The quick fix system is only interested in how much dopamine things in your environment could potentially give you right now. As you can imagine, this is a problem for individuals attempting to “diet.” The quick fix system recognizes a food, tells your dopamine neurons it has always been rewarding (releases a lot of dopamine) and tells you to eat it. Now. Right now.  If you’ve ever caved on a diet, you’re familiar with the voice of reason that comes in and makes you feel like a total failure. Cue the self regulating system.

The self regulating system is the other part of the puzzle. This mature, refined brain center is responsible for making sure your decisions are based on what you wish to accomplish in the long run. It’s located in the region of the brain associated with “higher processing”, so it takes longer for some signals to reach it. Many times, the quick fix system sends such strong signals to a dopamine deprived brain, the subconscious automatic response that is emotionally driven takes place before this system gets a chance to process the input. So when it all boils down, sometimes the fight is rigged in the first system’s favor. However, there is hope. Below are ways to “habit proof” your environment and tips to even out your neurochemistry so the quick fix system doesn’t dominate decision making.

1. Write down a goal and put it on every single item you have trouble resisting. This will automatically call out the self regulating system, allowing it to catch up to the decision at hand. This will at least give your brain a balanced opportunity to make a rational decision by allowing the slower to activate region to turn on before a bad choice is acted on.

2. On the same piece of paper, make a list of healthier alternatives. Adding opportunity is a great way to decrease input from the dopamine neurons, and a great way to call upon the self regulating center. If the brain perceives more opportunity, there is less drive for immediate gratification. Take the airport for example. The reason convenience stores exist is because there is literally nothing to do while waiting for a flight. Adding shops full of mindless entertainment is a great way to make money because the lack of potentially rewarding stimuli creates a stronger drive for something rewarding. Bottom line: If your brain is dopamine deficient, pretty much anything will do.

3. Plan ahead for risky situations. If you’re on a diet and you’re nervous the office birthday celebration will create unwanted pressure to indulge, bring a healthy snack. The more perceived control you possess, the less your dopamine neurons will fire. This explains why times of stress are typically when bad habits come back. The increase in neural tone from the dopamine neurons is telling you to do something very rewarding to alleviate some of the stress. Normal things you have typically been capable of resisting seem that much more appealing, and the likelihood you relapse is increased.

4. Put a picture of something you desire or a goal you wish to achieve next to every item on your grocery list. You should begin to see a pattern. The more you consciously put external cues that quickly bring the self regulating system into play, the more neurochemically balanced your brain will become, eliciting better decision making over time. Having a reminder of what you’re shopping for will help shape healthier food choices, and allow you to think things through as opposed to making irrational, emotionally driven decisions.

5. Practice mindfulness to strengthen a set of neurons responsible for objective processing. Mindfulness is best described as “moment to moment non judgmental awareness.” This requires substantial input from a set of neurons called “ms neurons.” If your consistently exercise this part of the brain (meditation is the easiest way to do so), making rational decisions will be easier because these neurons activate faster. The faster and more efficient the firing sequence becomes, the more objective your ability to make decisions will become.

That’s a few, there are many more. It’s a lot of info but if applied is extremely effective in helping shape and reform human behavior on a subconscious level.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ways to better your training

1) If fat loss is your goal you need to use a variety of training types. Everything works, but nothing works all the time. The following are things that should be included in your fat loss program.

* Heavy lifting
* Intervals
* High density- ( high reps, short rests )
* Low intensity steady state cardio
* Sprints
* Sporting activities

2) If you want to get thicker arms than try slowing down your workouts. Research has shown that the brachialis ( muscle that is kind of under the bicep ) responds best to slow tempos and isometrics.

For example- Do hammer curls and raise the weight up for a 4 second count and lower it for a 4 second count. 1 minute rest and repeat 2-3 more rounds.

3) Extension/Pushing exercises work well with negatives. Think of bench press, shoulder press, leg press and squats. Example would be to do. You can lower the bench press for a 8 second count for example. Flexion/Pulling exercises work best with isometric pauses. Think rows, pullups, leg curls. In this case you could do pullups with a 4 second hold at the top of the movement.