Thursday, November 29, 2012

You vs Food-The holiday battle!

It is the season to be jolly and that means spending time with friends and family and enjoying the multiple holidays that this time of year brings.It also means constant pressure to push away cookies, cakes and other special holiday treats that become abundant. Then there are holiday party's which seem to be every weekend in which tempt you even more. In order to come out on top and not let your year of hard work go to waste you need to have a plan and you need to stick with it.

Use these strategies

1. Get intense! No matter if you lift hard now or not, take it up another level and do it now! Knowing you might eat more calories you will need to make sure you are burning more. Besides, don't you want to look your best when you see family or friends.

2.  Have a daily plan-If you will be going to a holiday party odds are the food wont be the best for you so take action before. Make your own dinner or eat enough quality food before going out so you wont binge on garbage appetizers and sweets.

3. Out of sight, out of mind! Whatever you do don't keep tempting sweets around you. Doesn't matter at the office or home, keep cookies and other foods out of your sight. Chances are if you see it you will eat it. If everyone keeps bringing you holiday gift baskets and chocolates just start giving them away, let others get fat, not you!

4. Think of the  New Year- Most everyone starts a exercise plan come Jan, so why not be at a good starting place instead of in the hole 5,10, or 20 plus pounds. Why give yourself more work when starting out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

H4 Training Fat Burner-Another PHA style routine

A1) Standing one arm cable row with split stance-10 reps each arm
* Stand facing the cable and have the pulley at shoulder height. Row with your right hand in a neutral grip and have your right leg back.
A2) Alternating reverse lunges with dumbbells-8 each
A3) Standing dumbbell shoulder press-12 reps
* Palms facing forward
A4) Glute thrusters with barbell ( if needed )-10 reps
A5) Cable chops-12 reps each

*** 3-4 rounds. Rest 0-120sec depending on your fitness level

B1) Inverted row with mixed grip ( one palm up, one down )-6 reps in each position
B2) RFE split squat with one dumbbell-10 reps each side
* If your right leg is back on the bench then hold the dumbbell just in the right arm
B3) Dips-12 reps
B4) Lateral band walks-12 reps each
B5) Stir the pot with ball-8 each

***3-4 rounds. Rest 0-120 sec depending on your fitness level

Monday, November 19, 2012

5 Arnold Principles to use

Try putting some of Arnold's methods in your next workout.

1)  1-10 System

*This is good for bicep curls or bench pressing. Load your bar with a weight you could do for 1 rep, then immediately strip weight so you can get 2 reps. Again, take off some weight and do three reps. Continue this method until you get to 10 reps.

2) Forced Negatives

* The eccentric part of the lift generally gets over looked by most guys. This method focuses on the eccentric part of the lift which can lead to better gains. The next time you bench or do curls have your training partner put extra resistance on the negative portion while you lift. Fight the weight and pressure all the way down!

3) Rest/Pause

* Do a set to failure and then wait a few seconds ( 10-15sec ) and then try to knock out another rep or two. Again, take a quick rest and do another rep or two. Arnold used to do this with pull-ups as well.

4) Partner hand off

* Do this with someone who is close to you in terms of strength. Grab an EZ curl and do the most reps you can then hand it to your partner and see if they can top you. Pass the bar back and forth without ever dropping it to the floor until  neither of you can do a rep.

5) Get the pump

* Arnold always talked about how great the feeling of the pump was. Arnold would do lateral raises and just lift the weight not far up from his thighs and hold the weight there for 10 seconds. You can also do this by holding yourself at different positions when you lower on pull-ups.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Random training tips

  • Look to do more of your lifts standing as oppose to sitting. We spend far too much time on our butts as it is so don't spend even more in the gym. Also, doing lifts while standing will help injury proof your body. Standing will help you use those stabilizer and support muscles.

  • When deadlifting think about pushing your butt back into a wall about an inch behind you.

  • For women looking to drop body fat I think it works really well to incorporate a heavy week of lifting. Generally I like to cycle in 1 week of heavy lifting and then fall off of that back into moderate to light loads. Look to place the heavy lifting weeks in every 3-4 weeks or so.

  • Unconventional split for building muscle mass
Day 1-Chest and Biceps
Day 2-Lower body
Day 3-Back and Triceps
Day4-Lower Body
Day 5-Repeat day 1
Day 6- Repeat day 3
Day 7-OFF
** Or take more time off and have Day 4 be an off day and do legs on Day 5 and then repeat the workout starting day 6 or 7

  • Stick to a program for a solid month before judging if you like it or if it has been successful for you or not

  • When it comes to fat loss exercise intensity is key, not duration. Watch heavy people on the treadmills at your gym and then come back a year later, I bet they are all still fat.

  • I like doing compound sets of the same muscle group with a wide range of reps for hypertrophy training, Example would be
Hammer curls with dumbbells-heavy weight 6 reps
Standing EZ bar curl-moderate weight 12 reps

Monday, November 12, 2012

All butt workout

If you goal is to drop body fat and get an overall lean appearance I would recommend doing a full body routine with both upper and lower body exercises in which you can incorporate these butt exercises. However, if you are looking to focus just on the glutes one day or change up it up for a pure lower body day then you can try this.

A1) Glute thrusters-3 sets of 10 reps ( hold each rep for 1 second at the top )

A2) Deficit lunge with dumbbells-3 sets of 10 reps per leg
*Take 90 sec to 2 min rest between supersets

B1) Deadlift-barbell or dumbbells ( keep slight bend in the knee to get more glute involvement ) 3 sets of 10 reps

B2) High step up with no weight-12 reps each leg ( notice in video you squeeze the glutes to finish )
*Take 90 sec to 2 min rest between supersets

Thursday, November 8, 2012

20/10-Foods you should be eating and exercises you should be doing


1. Wild Salmon
2. Pistachios
3. Whole eggs
4. Blueberries
5. Raspberries
6. Avocados
7. Kale
8. Almonds
10. Cauliflower
11. Lentils
12. Beans
13. Bell peppers
14. Apples
15. Tomatoes
16. Green tea
17. Grass fed beef
18. Chicken
19. Spinach
20. Pink grapefruit


1. RFE Split squat-
2. Deadlifts-all variations
3. Row-all variations
4. Dips
5. Pushups
6. Pull-ups
7. Pallof press
8. Chops/Lifts- for the core
9. Chin-ups
10. Goblet squats

Monday, November 5, 2012

4 Things to try for the quads.......

Add some of these exercises to your routine to better your quads!

1) Deadman's- This exercise is equal to the glute-ham raise for the hamstrings. If you just look the exercise it looks easy but trust me it will burn up the quads real quick. I like to use this at the end of my leg day to finish the quads. If you have knee issues and need an exercise to perform that is pain free this one works. ( watch the second exercise in the video below )


2) Multiple drop set for the leg press-I got this one from a really good friend in college who used to train with me often. Start off with multiple plates on each side of the leg press. Do 6 reps each with a 6 second count on the way up and down of the press. Once you finish the 6 reps take 1 plate off each side and repeat the 6 reps each with a 6 second count on the way down and up. Again, take a plate off each side and repeat. Keep doing this until you have done 4 drop sets. Rest 3-4 minutes and do this 1 more time if you can handle it. Good luck!

3) Quad lunge-Lunges are great for building awesome legs so make sure you put them into your plan. To make the lunge better for the quads simply take a short step forward. The shorter the stride is the more quad dominant the move becomes.

4) Wall squat and then some! This one is from Ian King. This wall squat variation will sneak up in a hurry on you. Start by taking a shoulder width stance with your feet and make sure you are about a foot or two out away from the wall. Lean your back up against the wall and you are ready to go. First stance is a partial-squat stance. Hold for 10 seconds and then drop lower about 2 inches. After 10 seconds lower another 2 inches down. At this point you should be thighs parallel. Do two more drops of 10 seconds each with the last one getting as low as you can. If you want more hold a dumbbell or weight.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Top 3 exercises to build mass for each muscle group


1) Dips-Ian King called them the triceps equivalent to the squat
2) Close grip press-high load equals more muscle fibers which equals more growth
3) Decline close grip-decline presses have been shown to hit as much as 10% more fibers


1) Preacher curls-get big arms like the great Larry Scott with his favorite bicep builder
2) Standing barbell curls-still a staple
3) Weighted close grip chin-ups- Just works


1) Dumbbell chest press-more range of motion compared to barbell press
2) Standing cable press-one of Arnold's  favorites
3) Barbell chest press-ability to use high load will lead to gains in size


1) One arm row-classic exercise to build the lats
2) T-bar row-great to build the mid back
3) Seated row-you can use numerous grips and handles to hit the back in many ways


1) Front squat-hard for people to do but best for the quads
2) RFE split squat-hit one leg at a time and half the load on the spine
3) Leg press-not the most functional but you can smash the legs


1) Deadlift-nothing will get you the gains like this exercise
2) Glute thrusters with barbell-load the glutes to gain size
3) Long stride lunges-stretch the hamstrings into new growth