Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday- Questions answered

I often get questions sent to me from followers of my blog and thought for today's post I would answer some of them. Maybe some of you have the same questions so check it out.

Q-I want to build my chest but my triceps always seem to get fatigued before my pecs when I lift

A- This does tend to be a problem for many lifters as people can tend to be dominate in their triceps. Below are some things you can do to help this.

#1-Use the 1/2 press technique when benching-This emphasizes the bottom portion of the press which is when the chest does more work compared to the lockout when the triceps get involved more.


#2- Do negatives-By focusing on the eccentric ( lowering ) part of the movement you can help hit the chest with less worry about the triceps. Have someone then either spot you on the concentric ( pressing up ) part of lift or just press part of the way up.

#3- Pre-fatigue the chest- is pre-fatiguing a certain muscle of a body part (e.g., chest, legs, deltoids) using an isolation or "single-joint" exercise first and then finishing with one  "multiple-joint" movement. For this situation do a chest fly first followed by a dumbbell chest press. By doing this you will keep your triceps from fatiguing before the chest and forcing you to stop the press.

Q- How can I get lean legs without them looking too muscular?

A- I hear this question a ton from women and you just need to remember the following quick points.
*Weights make you tight and firm, the cardio will keep your legs thin and lean.

*Eat right to stay tight    

Q- I just dont have enough time in the day to workout for an hour so how can I get results?

A- First, thing you need to answer is how important is it to you to reach your goals? If the answer very, then you need to make sure you prioritize your life so you do have time. Second, you dont need an hour in the gym to get results. It is not about how much time you spend working out but what you do with the time. Spend less time talking, reading or messing around and more time getting work done! Start doing super-sets and tri-sets and keep moving especially if your goal is fat loss.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday workout

I recently started programming this type of formatted workouts for a couple of the girls I train and they instantly fell in love with it. This format calls for a heavier upper body day with a lighter leg focus and then workout 2 is the opposite. I think this is a great format if your goal is overall body composition and you are looking to drop body fat. Try mixing in these type of workouts every now and then.

Workout 1

( legs heavy, upper light )

A1) Glute thrusters w barbell-8 reps ( holding 2 sec at top ) 100lb
A2) Alternating deficit reverse lunge off small step box-8 reps each leg w dumbbells 35lbs each hand
A3) Goblet squat w dumbbell-10 reps ( deep until elbows touch thighs ) 80lbs
*90sec rest. do 4 total rounds

B1) Inverted row with palms up-15 reps
B2) Alternating lateral shoulder raises w dumbbells-15 each B3) Seated row w palms down-15 reps B4)
B3) Seated row w palms down-15 reps
B4) Dips-15 reps
*30sec rest. 4 total rounds

Finish with-
One arm kettlebell walk-go about  20-30yds, drop the kettlebell and do a plank walk with crossing the arms over one another back to where you started, then sprint back and pickup the kettlebell and put it in the other hand and walk back, then do the plank walk back and then sprint. Rest 90sec. do this 3 times

Workout 2

( upper heavy, lower light )

A1) Twist row w dumbbell ( start with palms facing away and then rotate into reg position as you row ) 8 reps each
A2) Standing one arm press-( start palm facing you, finish palm facing away )-8 each
A3) TRX row palms down-8 reps hold each for 2 sec
A4) Tricep overhead extension w rope-8 reps
*90 sec rest. 4 rounds

B1) speed squats-20 reps
B2) Alternating front lunges w arm movement for speed-20 reps each leg
B3) Split squat jumps-10 each ( 20 total )
B4) squat jumps-10
*2min-230min rest. 3 rounds

Finish with-
Pallof press-10 reps each
Burpees-12 reps
*no rest. 3 rounds

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

25 Reasons why you and fat are BFF's

1. You never exercise other than walking to the fridge
2. You haven't met a food you don't like
3. You think cardio is the answer to a better body
4. You have a long term relationship with carbs that you cant escape from
5. You think working out gives you the right to eat whatever you want
6. Sugary drinks are a staple in your diet
7. You enjoy alcohol too much and too often
8. You continue to do the same workout routine without change
9. Salad with ranch dressing please is what you say when ordering
10. Veggies are an unknown commodity to you
11. You cant help to eat breakfast muffins, bagels and donuts in the office every morning
12. Once you don't see immediate results from your training program you give up without giving it some time to work
13. Breakfast consist of coffee......
14. Your workout has zero intensity
15. Your life is sooo hard and sooo buy that there is no way you could workout or eat right
16. Fiber isn't in high enough amounts in your eating plan
17. Instead of a green tea, plain coffee or water person you are more of a orange juice, coffee with whipped cream, sugary syrup and caramel sauce person.
18. Pizza delivery guy shows up as often as the mailman does
19. You make promises to yourself that you never fulfill
20. You think its all about fat free
21. Restaurants run out of bread after each of your visits
22. If its fried then your eating it
23. You stick to the B.L.T diet ( bites, licks and tastes )
24. Working out is too hard
24. You get food from a drive thru
25. You have never stuck to a weight training program

Monday, October 15, 2012

Workouts for your Monday

Quick tricep routine to pack on muscle

A1) Close grip chest press with dumbbells- ( keep arms tucked in tight ) 10 reps
A2) Dips-10 reps
**90sec rest and repeat for 3-5 total sets

Simple body composition workout to get lean

*4 sets of each

A1) Squat and press with dumbbells-15 reps ( one smooth move and letting the legs drive the arms )
A2) One arm row with dumbbell-12 reps each
**0-60sec rest between sets depending on level

B1) Glute thrusters with barbell-10 reps
B2) Standing row w cable ( get into a light squat and keep your butt back, palms down hold the handles and row) 12 reps
**0-60sec rest depending on level

C1) One arm reverse lunge with kettlebell or dumbbell ( hold kettlebell in left arm and lunge back with the left leg and then switch arms and legs )-10 each
C2) Lateral pushups-( do a rep amount to each side that is difficult for your level )
** 0-60sec rest depending on level

D1) TRX row with palms up-12 reps
D2) Skier jumps with goblet hold using a dumbbell-10 each side
** 0-60sec rest depending on level

Finish with-

Sprint-distance equal to 50 yards ( even if its 25 there and back or however you need to break it up depending on space )
Farmers walks-same distance
Rest 1 min. Repeat for 3 rounds

Thursday, October 11, 2012

4 Exercises to try

1) Mixed grip chin-up
* Perform this by keeping one hand facing away and one hand facing towards you. The arm with the palm facing you will get a little more work and will help you make progress into doing one arm chins. Make sure you do even amount of reps on each arm. Start your weaker arm in the palms facing towards you position.

2) Incline bench pressdowns
* Place an incline bench in front of a cable pulley station so that when you sit you will be facing away from the pulley. Make sure the pulley is at its highest point. Grip a bar and with your arms tight to your sides extend your arms. This is just basically a simple press down done on an incline bench.

3) Overhead figure 8
* Great exercise from Chad Waterbury in which you hold two dumbbells with elbows locked overhead and walk in a figure eight pattern. The distance should be about 5 yards or so. Make sure the arms stay overhead and elbows locked while palms face forward the entire time.Walk for time or for a certain amount of figure eight reps. This is a great way to hit the core and rotator cuff since the figure eight pattern increases the stability of the exercise.

4) Serratus Crunch
Hold a pair of light dumbbells and lie on your back. As you crunch up keep the dumbbells perpendicular to the floor and keep your palms facing one another. Once you get to the crunched position try and reach your arms as high as possible for a couple of seconds. If this is too easy then take your feet off the floor. Working the serratus will help your bench and keep your shoulders healthy.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's my Birthday! Here are some of my favorites

1) Orgain protein shakes-I am a big fan of ready to drink protein shakes for the times when you cant blend your own and need something post workout. The problem is most ready made shakes are awful and are filled with chemicals and a bunch of things you cant pronounce. Orgain tastes great, and not only gives you protein but has the antioxidant equivalent to 10 fruits and veggies.

2) Mix 1-This another favorite of mine in terms of ready to drink shakes. Mix 1 does have more sugar than the above Orgain but it still is made with simple ingredients and tastes great.

3) Hint Water-Sometimes you want something more than water, and that's when Hint hits the spot. I will say that the taste isn't for everyone but I love it. The water is flavored with naturally and is not sweetened.

4) Nebraska Bison- Jerky makes a great high protein snack and bison is one of the best meats to eat since its low in fat, high in protein and high in Omega3s. Nebraska Bison brand is one I think tastes great and even though it is pricey it is well worth it.

5) Preacher curls-Still one of the best ways to build your biceps and below is one of my favorite workouts.

* start with the most weight, every time you increase the reps drop the weight by 5-10lbs total
Set1- 6-8 reps
Set2- 6-8 reps
Set3- 8-10 reps
Set 4- 8-10 reps
Set 5- 12 reps
Set 6-12 reps
Set 7-drop set, cut the weight by 10lbs and see how many reps you can get right after finishing set 6
*** Take 1 min of rest between sets

6) Split squats-Great for the legs and easy on the back enough said.

7)  Gymnast back routine- if you need a great routine to build your back than check this out. I like to use it as a way to start out my back workouts.   

8) Best motivational speech on success! How bad do you want it!


9) PHA for fat loss and body composition-One of the best ways to workout if your goal is dropping body fat!

10-And last would be my girlfriend Ashley! Simply the best

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Solutions to your training problems

Problem A) You want bigger pecs but cant seem to make it happen

Solution-Start doing chest presses with dumbbells instead of the barbell. The increased range of motion that the dumbbells provide will let you stimulate more muscle fibers which equals more growth! Also, start adding in some more incline work to build the thickness around the clavicle.

Problem B) You cant reach your fitness goals

Solution-I have three words for you-

ACCOUNTABILITY-You need to hold yourself accountable for your actions or lack of. If you cannot do this then you should either hire a great trainer or start working out with a partner or group.

COMMITMENT-You must commit to your goals from day one and let nothing or nobody stand in your way of succeeding.

CONSISTENCY-You will never achieve what you want if you are not consistent in your actions. Be consistently healthy and get your work in the gym and kitchen to reach those goals.

Problem C ) Trying to eat right is too hard and eventually you give into the cravings which ruin your gains.

Solution-Focus on eating right 90% of the time and splurge the other 10% During the week anytime you get a craving or really find yourself wanting to lose it simply write down the food and tell yourself that you can have it just not at the moment. When your cheat day comes go back to that piece of paper the food that you wrote down. This will not only keep you sane but will allow you stay committed to the healthy eating plan longer. Remember though you need to be spot on with your 6 days if your going to be allowed a day 7 cheat day.

Problem D) You cant gain any size on your legs

Solution-Make legs a priority and start training them 2-3x a week. It becomes real easy to skip a leg day knowing the pain that will follow those deadlifts and squats but you need to change that mindset. Mix up your workout will heavy low rep days and higher volume and higher rep days. Big thing to remember is you need to eat,eat and eat some more. Legs workouts really amp up the metabolism so feed your legs!

Problem E) The woman's dreaded three- hips, butt and thighs. You cant seem to tighten, firm and cut fat from these areas.

Solution-Number 1,2 and 3 starts will simply eat better! If you dont eat right then you wont drop the body fat.  Next, make sure you get a nice blend of cardio and strength training. I like to say that the weights will shape and firm up the legs and the cardio will keep them thin and small. In terms of your strength training aim to do leg exercises at different angles in order to hit all aspects of the muscle.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Easy ways to progress your workout

Sometimes people forget how simple it is to progress your workouts to get better results. On principle that cant be overlooked is the law of progressive overload. This states that to get an adaptation, the training session provides a certain overload. You need to increase the difficulty or stress of each workout if you want to see gains.

Here are some ways to progress

A) Progress with reps-Most basic of progressions. Your goal is just doing more reps with the same weight over a time period. You can only progress like this for awhile before your gains become stagnant. Example:

Week 1-6 reps with 100lbs
Week 2-7 reps with 100lbs
Week3-8 reps with 100lbs

*Just make sure you stay in the rep zone to get the training effect you want. Meaning, don't progress from 10 reps to 15 reps if your goal is gaining muscle.

B) Progress with weight-This is also another basic progression. You simply add weight while keeping the reps the same. Just like above you can only progress for so long before gains slow down else we all would have huge benches by the end of the year just by adding weight. Example:

Week 1-6 reps with 100lbs
Week 2-6 reps with 105lbs
Week 3-6 reps with 110lbs

*Once you get to a certain point, maybe 2-3 weeks you can switch to a different progression type and do for example the following

Week 1-6 reps with 100lbs
Week 2-6 reps with 105lbs
Week 3-6 reps with 110lbs
Week 4- 4 reps with 115lbs
Week 5-4 reps with 120lbs

C) Progress with sets-This is a way to increase training volume. This is when you increase the number of sets per muscle group or lifts. Example:

Week 1-8 total sets per muscle group
Week 2-10 total sets per muscle group
Week 3- 12 total sets per muscle group

* Of course this too cant be done forever without creating a negative effect after a while.  I wouldn't go past 16 total sets for large muscle groups and 12 for smaller for the most part.
D) Progress with rest-This is reducing the amount of rest time between sets while keeping or increasing the work being done. Example:

Week 1: 1 minute rest intervals
Week 2: 40 second rest intervals
Week 3: 30 second rest intervals

* Again, this setup has its restrictions since you cant keep reducing the time forever and too little of time will make it tough to perform maximal lifts if that is your goal.

E) Progress with techniques-You can use things like pre-exhaust/post-exhaust, tempo training, super-sets, drop sets and much more. All of these type of techniques are very tough on the body and should not be overdone.