Monday, April 29, 2013

15 Things about Women and Training

After years of training numerous women and surveying even more on weight lifting I have come to the notice some trends. Here are the observations and conclusions I have come to.

1. Women have a harder time doing pushups then men. Most common mistakes are the elbows being too wide and the hands too far in front of the shoulders. Lack of strength in the triceps and shoulders also plays a role.

2. Even if at first hesitant about weight training, once women see the results they can achieve with weights they become believers very quickly.

3.Women tend to be better at single leg deadlifts since they have better hip mobility.

4. Women tend to worry about everyone else but themselves hence why sometimes they let their own health and fitness needs go downhill.

5. Women get bored easily and prefer variety in their workouts more so than most men.

6. Majority of women like to workout in groups.

7. Cardio tends to make up a higher percentage of their training than weights

8. Women have better mobility and flexibility than men. Therefor they don't need as long of a warmup.

9. Women actually love feeling like they are getting stronger

10. Women tend to think everything that is an upper body exercise works the arms and generally when asked where they feel the exercise will say n their arms.

11. To no surprise women women love terms like toned, lean, long, tight and firm.

12. Women lack in grip strength but over time will develop it.

13. High heels wreak women's bodies

14. Women are more quad dominant and can use extra work on the posterior chain developing the hamstrings and glutes.

15. I have noticed women care more about proper form than men.

Checkout some of my past posts on women and training

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

10 Guidlines to lose fat & 10 Guidlines to gain muscle


1. Use multi-joint exercises- Such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, presses, rows and Olympic lifts.

2. Use short rest periods- 0-60 seconds depending on your fitness level. By keeping rest low you will trigger a higher growth hormone response which will help you get lean.

3. Be intense- You must have  intensity in your workouts to maximize fat loss

4. Prioritize the anaerobic training system- Weights and sprints.

5. Use a hypertrophy style protocol most of the time - 8-12 reps, moderate loads and 3 or more. But also vary the rep ranges every so often.

6. Use time under tension-Adding a slow count while performing the lift will burn more calories and increase EPOC which will aid in fat loss.

7. Do sprint intervals over steady state cardio

8. Rest- Give your body time to recover and allow it to adapt and lose fat.

9. Make sure eating right is THE primary focus- Focus on veggies, proteins, water and fiber. Keep sugars and alcohol low.

10. Control stress


1. Eat! and eat often

2. Take a nap-Taking a power nap will help you grow

3. 50% more- Once every five days eat 50% more than you normally would. Eat these calories on a off day and spread them out throughout multiple meals

4. Post workout importance- Provide your body with both protein and carbs

5. Lift with both heavy and moderate loads

6. Limit alcohol- lowers testosterone

7. Vary tempo of your lifts-use slow counts

8. Make multi-joint exercise the staple-You can do your curls, extensions and things like that but the basics like squats, deadlifts, rows and presses will bring the greatest gains.

9.Get a good nights sleep

10. Control stress

Monday, April 22, 2013

My favorite 3 exercises for each muscle group


A) Bulgarian split squats- Saves the back and hits the legs hard. If you are an athlete most sports are played moving off one leg so this will benefit you. Use dumbbells, kettlebells, or just bodyweight.

B) Trap bar deadlift- Easier to execute proper form compared to the traditional version and easy on the back. If you have problem learning the deadlift form switch to the trap bar to make the learning curve smaller.

C) Deficit reverse lunges


A. Preacher curls-Nothing like this exercise for the biceps! Vary your grip every couple of weeks.

B. Close grip press-Allows you to use the greatest load to hit the triceps hard. I like to use both dumbbells and the barbell.

C. Dips-Simple bodyweight exercise but hard to beat!


A. One arm row with dumbbell-classic exercise for the lats

B. X row-One of my more recent favorites
C. Pullup-Any variation works well


A. Dumbbell chest press- dumbbells allow for a greater range of motion and stretch on the pecs.

B. Pushups with a hold-I like doing pushups while holding for 2-3 seconds at the top or bottom of each rep. Add this into a super-set or tri-set.

C. Incline barbell chest press-Fills out the whole pec


A. Reverse fly- Hit the rear delts which are generally underdeveloped. 

B. One arm dumbbell neutral press-Easy on the shoulder joint

C. One arm barbell landmine press-Love this take a on shoulder press

Sunday, April 14, 2013

7 Random tips for Monday

1. Proven strategies to boost fat burning with pre-workout nutrition include-

A) Eat low glycemic carbs like beans, green veggies and whole grains together with protein
about an hour before you workout.

B) Avoid frutose-Frutose can be found in fruits and most processed foods in the form of high frutose corn syrup. Frutose blunts fat burning and makes your cells more resistant to insulin increasing your risk for diabetes.

C) Drink green tea ( with caffeine )-not only for the antioxidant properties but it can boost fat burning up to 15 percent.

2. If you are bored with your current routine try this set-up for improving body composition.

**3-4 Rounds. Rest anywhere from 0-90sec.

Do 3-4 total of these tri-sets in one workout

3. Get rid of the french fries and pop in your diet and watch how much you will change- regular pop is bad as is diet pop. The only ingredient worth anything to your body in pop is water. In terms of the french fries, most of the time they are using a potato like product and then they load it with additives to make them more addictive.

4. Stop any chest/shoulder work for 3 weeks- Most of us could use a break from doing all of that pushing and focus on pulling. Focusing on your back will help balance your body and most likely help with any shoulder issues you might have.

5. Take action- Anyone can say they want to make a change but not everyone can actually do it. Be the exception and take massive action on reaching your goals! Excuses don't make champions!

6.  Work your weakness early in your routine- Find what you need to improve on and do it before you are fatigued at the end of the workout. By prioritizing it you will get better!

7.  Try using different grips when you do rows- Palms neutral ( facing your body ), facing forward and palms facing behind you all will have a different effect on your muscles.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday's giant set for fat loss

* Try your best to set up everything in one area so you can flow from exercise to exercise

A1) Pullups-10 reps
A2) Reverse lunge unilaterally loaded-hold a dumbbell in your right arm and do 8 reps with your right leg. Switch and hold the weight in the opposite arm and do that leg for another 8. The offset load will hit your core big time! Keep yourself tall and drive through the front heel as you stand up from the lunge.

A3) Lateral Pushups-do one pushup and then move laterally by placing your right arm and right out to the side, then move your left arm and left leg until you are back into pushup position. Do another rep and keeping doing this for 5-10 pushups depending on your strength. Now move back towards your left and do another 5-10.

A4 ) Sumo squat-either use a kettlebell or dumbbell. Legs wide, toes pointed slightly out and letting the weight come to a complete stop on the floor between reps.

A5) Cable one arm row- keep your palm down during the row- 12 each arm

A6) Speed skaters- once you touch the ground push away hard and try to get wide as you move side to side. Hold a pair of light dumbbells if you need to make the move more difficult. 12 reps each side

A7) Shuffle and chop with band-attach a band just below shoulder height. Hold the band into the center of your chest as you take 2 steps out laterally. Finish with a chop move across the body and then pulling the band back into your chest as you shuffle back in. Do 8 per side

A8) Burpees-10

Rest 3-5  minutes depending on your level. Do 4 total rounds.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Great exercise to try-The X Pulldown

Do regular pulldowns like seen above on fixed bars or handles give you shoulder issues? If so then the X Pulldown is for you. The X pulldown is the ultimate shoulder friendly exercise and is just a great exercise in general. You need some sort of functional trainer machine that has two separate handles like you see in the video. Grab the handles with your palms down and arms crossed. As you pull the the handles down your palms should finish facing each other. By finishing with both palms facing each other you are now in external rotation and thus making it better on the cuff. Make sure to push your chest towards the machine it will help you retract your scapulae. Each set alternate which hand is crossed on top.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

More Q & A!

On this Thursday morning I am taking some time to answer some more of your questions.

Q- I want a better butt! I jog all the time so whats gives?

A- Doing aerobics will not give you the butt you want. In order to shape your glutes you need to do so through weight training with such moves as thrusters, squats, deadlifts and lunges. Sprints are great to help give the butt shape but pure aerobics wont cut it.

Q-How do I start doing pushups?

A- First we need to look to improve your abdominal, shoulder, chest and tricep strength. Next, is to focus on your strategy to improve the actual pushup. Start by doing pushups on a box, table or higher bench and as you progress and get stronger slowly move closer to the ground. Your end goal will be to do quality pushups on the floor.

Q- I workout really hard and eat a very clean diet but I still struggle to lose weight. Why is this the case?

A- I am going to assume you have a great strength training and cardio program as well as your diet plan so I will leave those alone. Most likely your stress levels are too high and you are not getting enough sleep. Stress causes your cortisol levels to rise which means you store more fat, not good for trying to lose weight of course. Sleep is the most over looked aspect of training but that is when the body rests and recovers. Stress less, sleep more!

Q-How can I build more mass to my back?

A- First eat and eat some more! Mostly quality and healthy foods of course. Second, start doing more volume. Work your back 2-3 times a week and do more work in each of those workouts. The muscles of the back tend to grow when stimulated frequently. Another secret is to start deadlifting which can build out those lats and traps.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

3 ways to changeup your workouts

We always want to change our exercises every time we train but that is not always needed. In fact our bodies adapt to the sets/reps scheme before it does to the exercises. So why are we always just changing our exercises?! Maybe because it is easier or maybe because most people just don't know what else to do. Below are three strategies to try next time you workout to change things up.

1. Play with the tempo- a simple thing to change is how long you take to lift the weight up and down. Most people will just throw weights around and pay little attention to this thus making it a great thing to start changing! Slow eccentric tempos ( the lowering phase of a lift ) is going to produce major muscular damage and should be done sparingly. The concentric phase (muscle shortens and contracts phase ) can be changed to elicit a response to the body as well. Try using a 3-5 sec tempo on both phases and see what the extra time under tension will do for. Expect tears.

2. Wake up your nervous system-Whaaaaattttt??? Yes your nervous system, because it has direct control over your muscles. If you walk into the gym straight out of bed or right from work odds are not only are you half asleep but so is your nervous system. If your nervous system is "asleep" then you will not be able to recruit all your muscle fibers to produce maximal force. Below is a quick way to fire up the nervous system from Chad Waterbury.

 * Do this before you start lifting. If you do not have somewhere to spring then do jump squats for 10sec
Jump rope 1 min
15 sec rest
Run at your top speed for 10sec
15 sec rest
Hang from a pull-up bar for 15sec

3. It is all about angles-Lifting comes down to angles just ask any old school Golds lifter. If you always do incline with the bench at a 40 degree angle, switch and do it at a 30 degree angle. If you always do lunges straight forward, start doing them at 10 and 2 o'clock or backwards. Simple changes will lead to you hitting more muscle fibers.