Pre-Workout Caffeine to Get Stronger, Faster, Bigger and More Powerful

A new study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research indicates that the immediate ingestion of caffeine (6 mg·kg−1 body weight) prior to resistance training:

  1. Reduces the level of muscle fatigue and,
  2. Preserves leg power throughout the training session,
  3. With zero increase in muscle damage

Which is awesome if you are interested in getting stronger, faster, bigger and/or more powerful.

In the study, six male handball athletes ingested placebo (PLA) or caffeine (CAF) (6 mg·kg−1 body mass) capsules on 2 different occasions. Sixty minutes after ingestion of the capsules, serum CAF levels were evaluated.

Thereafter, all participants performed a protocol of vertical jumps (VJs). The protocol consisted of 4 sets of 30 seconds of continuous VJs with 60 seconds of recovery between sets.

Blood lactate (LAC) and creatine kinase (CK) levels were determined before and after the protocol.

We found significant differences in serum CAF levels between PLA (0.09 ± 0.18 µg·ml−1) vs. CAF (6.59 ± 4.44 µg·ml−1) (p < 0.001).

Caffeine elicited a 5.23% (p≤ 0.05) improvement in the leg power compared with PLA. The CAF trial displayed higher LAC (p ≤ 0.05) compared with PLA (6.26 ± 2.01 vs. 4.39 ± 2.42 mmol·L−1, respectively) after protocol of VJs, whereas no difference in CK was observed between trials (p > 0.05).

These results indicate that immediate ingestion of CAF (6 mg·kg−1 body weight) can reduce the level of muscle fatigue and preserve leg power during the test, possibly resulting in increase in LAC. There was no increase in muscle damage, which indicates that immediate administration of (6 mg·kg−1 body weight) CAF is safe. Thus, nutritional interventions with CAF could help athletes withstand a greater physiological overload during high-intensity training sessions.

The results of this study would be applicable to sports and activities that require repetitive leg power.

What does this mean to you?

  • To properly follow the protocol used in the study, you need to ingest 6mg of caffeine per 1kg of body weight ( 2.72mg per 1lb of bodyweight)
  • There is approximately 100mg of caffeine in 1 cup of coffee
  • Which means that a 150lb trainee would need to drink 408mg or 4 cups of coffee before training….probably not the best idea if you don’t want to spend your workout in the bathroom.
  • The same caffeine-math applies to tea, Red Bull, 5 Hour Extra Strength Energy Shot (the strongest energy drink with 242mg of caffeine), etc..

As a result, you are going to need to purchase some caffeine pills if you want to take advantage of this caffeinated training boost.

And of course, not everyone’s GI tract is going to do well with all that caffeine.

BUT…if your gut is okay with a big dose of caffeine AND you’re looking to break through a training plateau, supplementing with caffeine immediately pre-workout could be exactly what you’re looking for.

ronnie coleman squat

NOTE: If you try this caffeine protocol, I would love to hear how it works for you. Feel free to contact me on Twitter or Facebook.

Reference

Max Benefit – Min Time Workout #2

Question #1 : Do you want to be healthier, fitter, leaner, sexier, etc?

Question #2 : Are you insanely busy?

If you answered yes to both questions, have I got good news for you.

Today’s post is the second in a series of mini-workouts designed to:

  • improve fitness,
  • improve health,
  • burn fat,
  • build functional strength,
  • improve energy system function,
  • improve muscular endurance,
  • improve speed endurance
  • AND save you time.

Each post in the series will consist of a single mini-workout.

All of these mini-workout posts will be catalogued together to allow you to mix & match to create your own custom plan. Here’s the first workout if you missed it.

Without any further ado, here is….

Max Benefit – Min Time Workout #2

Exercises

  • Bulgarian Split Squats – modifying the weight (bodyweight, vest, dumbbells, barbell, kettlebells, resistance bands) as your strength & endurance allows.

tumblr_mxbdh76yAZ1qdjo2ho1_400

In the latter part of the workout, after you have ditched all of the external weight (barbell etc), you may find that you are unable to complete full range of motion lifts. If that is the case, you have a few options

  1. Shift your weight backwards onto your heels. This will spare your quads & load up your hips…which are more endurance friendly
  2. Shorten your range of motion. This will reduce your workload while still frying your quads

Bulgarian_Squat

  • Alternating Shoulder Presses – modify weight used to suit your strength/fitness level
  • Band Overhead Pull Aparts – modify resistance band used to suit your strength/fitness level

Set/Rep Scheme

  • Alternate exercises (Bulgarian Left Leg/Shoulder Press/Bulgarian Right Leg/Band Pull-Aparts/etc…)
  • 1st Set – 20 reps, 2nd Set – 19 reps, 3rd Set – 18 reps….all the way down to 10 reps (Total of 11 sets)

Speed of Execution

Perform reps as fast as possible…with good form

Rest

Minimize reps between exercises – zero rest between sets is the goal

How to keep improving with this workout

The design of this mini-workout allows you to keep improving as you choose harder versions of the exercises and/or perform them faster and/or reduce the amount of rest between exercises

The Workout

  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 20 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 20 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 20 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 20 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 19 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 19 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 19 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 19 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 18 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 18 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 18 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 18 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 17 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 17 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 17 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 17 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 16 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 16 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 16 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 16 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 15 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 15 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 15 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 15 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 14 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 14 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 14 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 14 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 13 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 13 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 13 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 13 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 12 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 12 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 12 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 12 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 11 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 11 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 11 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 11 reps
  • Bulgarians – Left Leg – 10 reps
  • Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 10 reps
  • Bulgarians – Right Leg – 10 reps
  • Overhead Pull-Aparts – 10 reps

That’s it for today. As I add new Max Benefit – Min Time workouts, I will include a link to a index page which will list all of workouts in one place.

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Max Benefit – Min Time Workout #1

Question #1 : Want to be healthier, fitter, leaner, sexier, etc?

Question #2 : Are you insanely busy?

If you answered yes to both questions, have I got good news for you.

Starting today, I am going to start posting a series of mini-workouts designed to:

  • improve fitness,
  • improve health,
  • burn fat,
  • build functional strength,
  • improve energy system function,
  • improve muscular endurance,
  • improve speed endurance
  • AND save you time.

Each post will consist of a single mini-workout. All of these mini-workout posts will be catalogued together to allow you to mix & match to create your own custom plan.

Here we go with…

Max Benefit – Min Time Workout #1

Exercises

  • Push-ups – modifying the angle of your body to suit your strength/fitness level (feet elevated, flat on floor, hands on bench, hands on counter, leaning against wall, etc)
  • Bodyweight Squats – modifying depth of squat to suit your strength/fitness level (ass to the grass, parallel to floor, 1/2 squat, 1/4 squat, etc)

Set/Rep Scheme

  • Alternate exercises (push-ups/squats/push-ups/etc…)
  • 1st Set – 20 reps, 2nd Set – 19 reps, 3rd Set – 18 reps….all the way down to 10 reps (Total of 11 sets)

Speed of Execution

Perform reps as fast as possible…with good form

Rest

Minimize reps between exercises – zero rest between sets is the goal

How to keep improving with this workout

The design of this mini-workout allows you to keep improving as you choose harder versions of the exercises and/or perform them faster and/or reduce the amount of rest between exercises

The Workout

  • Push-ups – 20 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 20 reps
  • Push-ups – 19 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 19 reps
  • Push-ups – 18 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 18 reps
  • Push-ups – 17 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 17 reps
  • Push-ups – 16 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 16 reps
  • Push-ups – 15 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 15 reps
  • Push-ups – 14 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 14 reps
  • Push-ups – 13 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 13 reps
  • Push-ups – 12 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 12 reps
  • Push-ups – 11 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 11 reps
  • Push-ups – 10 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 10 reps

 

That’s it for today. As I add new Max Benefit – Min Time workouts, I will include a link to a index page which will list all of workouts in one place.

 

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Introducing the 20:20 Workout…The Simplest Get Fit, Get Lean, Get Healthy, Get Strong, Get Awesome Workout of All Time

Introducing the 20:20 Workout…The Simplest Get Fit, Get Lean, Get Healthy, Get Strong, Get Awesome Workout of All Time.

Here’s the general theory:

  • 20 seconds of high intensity exercise
  • 20 seconds of rest
  • Repeat as many times as possible…while maintaining great form & high intensity.

Here’s why this workout is awesome:

  • It’s dead simple. Even the newest of workout newbies can understand “work really hard for 20 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds”.
  • It improves your energy system fitness…which improves your endurance, strength, power, etc.
  • It makes most trainees stronger very quickly -(experienced trainees who already lift primarily for serious strength won’t see much in the way of strength improvement)
  • It improves the muscular endurance of those people who already lift for serious strength…which will improve their strength training programs
  • It’s great for weight loss
  • It saves time. Most trainees will be gassed after 20 minutes…and it takes a real freak to keep the intensity up over 40 min.
  • As you become more efficient at this program, your power & speed-endurance will improve significantly
  • It can be performed at home, indoors, outdoors, on the playing field & in the gym.
  • It’s fully expandable….from very simple beginner workouts to more complex workouts for advanced trainees or people with physical restrictions
  • It’s 100% free

Workout Examples

Legs + Horizontal Push + Horizontal Pull

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

Legs + Vertical Push + Vertical Pull

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

Legs + Horizontal Push + Horizontal Pull + Core

  • Stair Step Ups or Box Jumps or Burpees for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Chest Press or Push-Ups for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Single Leg Stiff Leg Deadlifts
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Standing Rows or Bodyweight Rows for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Ab Roll-Outs, Front Plank or Dead Bugs for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

Legs + Vertical Push + Vertical Pull + Rotation

  • Bodyweight Squats or Bulgairan Squats for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Pulldowns, Band Overhead Pull-Aparts or Chin-ups for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Standing Single Leg Straight Leg Flexions – Front, Side & Rear
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Overhead Press – Band, Bodyweight, DB, BB
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Woodchops, Stir the Pots or Palloff Press for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

Legs + Horizontal Push + Horizontal Pull + Core + Carry

  • Waiter Walk or some other “Carry” variation for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Stair Step Ups or Box Jumps or Burpees for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Chest Press or Push-Ups for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Single Leg Stiff Leg Deadlifts
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Standing Rows or Bodyweight Rows for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Ab Roll-Outs, Front Plank or Dead Bugs for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

Legs + Vertical Push + Vertical Pull + Rotation + Sprint

  • Bodyweight Squats or Bulgairan Squats for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Pulldowns, Band Overhead Pull-Aparts or Chin-ups for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Standing Single Leg Straight Leg Flexions – Front, Side & Rear
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Overhead Press – Band, Bodyweight, DB, BB
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Woodchops or Palloff Press for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Sprint for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

Design Your Own 20:20 Workout

As I said above, the 20:20 Workout is fully expandable and is easily modified to fit your specific needs.

Step #1 : Choose the body movements that you want to work on

  • Push Vertical
  • Push Horizontal
  • Pull Vertical
  • Pull Horizontal
  • Squat
  • Hip Hinge
  • Walk
  • Run
  • Sprint

Step #2 : Choose an exercise or exercises for each of the body movements you have selected

Step #3 : Organize the exercises so that you maximize your rest periods. Instead of putting 2 leg exercises back to back, stick an upper body exercise in betweenex. Squat – Horizontal Push – Hip Hinge – Horizontal Pull

Step #4 : Set a timer for a 20 sec work : 20 sec rest interval program. If you don’t have a timer, check out Gymboss. They’re easy to use, inexpensive and will prevent you dropping & cracking your smartphone screen

Step #5 : Fill a bottle of water & get ready to sweat

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Questions? Hit me up on social media – Twitter, Facebook.

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New Research : Bodybuilding and the Mind-Muscle Connection

In the bodybuilding world, one of the most important “principles” of lifting is the need to establish a mind : muscle connection.

It’s not enough to lift the weight. For maximum success, the trainee must put all of his/her intention into the muscle that is being worked.

For many of us who aren’t bodybuilders…who lift for strength, power, endurance, athletic performance, etc…this seems like a giant load of new age nonsense.

Until now:

In this new study, researchers found that when trainees (working with loads between 20 -60% of their 1 Rep Maximum) focused on the muscles being worked, they were able to increase muscle activation…without decreasing the activity of other muscles involved in the lift.

By focusing on the muscles, they actually made the muscles work harder.

Which is exactly what those bodybuilding gurus have been saying for decades.

arnold-concentration-curl

What does this mean to you?

If you lift weight in 20-60% of 1 Rep Max range, focusing intently on the muscles being worked seems like a really great idea.

If you lift in the 80+% 1 RM range, there is no need to focus on the working muscles…you should be focusing on perfect form & execution…your nervous system will look after how many muscle fibers are contracting to complete your lift.

In the 60-80% range, I don’t know what to tell you. The researchers in this study focused on intensities of 20, 40, 50, 60 and 80 % of the pre-determined 1RM.

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Reference

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Oscillation Training – Get Stronger, Get Fitter, Get Healthier

A couple of years ago I wrote an article entitled Increase Your Bench Press…thanks to Koji Murofushi.

In that article, I introduced you to oscillation training and how you can use this training method to:

  • rehab injuries,
  • prevent injuries,
  • improve muscle imbalances,
  • thereby increasing strength,
  • and agility,
  • and speed,
  • and power

Since then, I have read numerous studies looking at the effectiveness of weightlifting with:

  1. Stable loads on unstable surfaces – ie Barbell squats on Bosu, foam mats, Swiss ball, etc
  2. Unstable loads on stable surfaces – ie Dumbbells, kettlebells on floor, benches

My unofficial meta-analysis of these studies shows that:

  • Stable loads on stable surfaces allows for maximum force production of the prime mover muscles.
  • Unstable loads (DBs, KBs) on stable surfaces reduces force production in the prime movers (agonists) by a negligible amount while producing a similarly tiny increase in synergists & core muscles.
  • Unstable loads on unstable surfaces (Bosu, Swiss ball, foam mat) further reduces force production in the prime movers while ever so slightly increasing force production of synergists & core muscles.

There have also been numerous studies which postulate that training with unstable loads on stable & unstable surfaces will eventually lead to increases in muscular strength & power as muscle imbalances are corrected, core strength improves and all muscles involved in athletic movements – agonists, antagonists & synergists – are trained to work together more effectively.

And now for the new research:

In this latest study, researchers tested the effectiveness of oscillation training via a series of parallel back squats with an unstable load (weights suspended from the bar by an elastic band)

oscillation_training_overhead_squat
Couldn’t find a good back squat with hanging bells video to create a gif 😦

The Study:

  • Fifteen resistance-trained males completed ten repetitions of the back squat with 60% of their one repetition maximum in both stable and unstable conditions.
  • Peak vertical ground reaction force and the integrated muscle activity of the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medius, biceps femoris, soleus, rectus abdominis, external oblique, and erector spinae muscles on the right side of the body were determined.

Results

  • The unstable load resulted in a small (3.9%), but significant decrease in peak vertical ground reaction force. This makes sense considering the previous research on unstable loads.
  • The unstable load also produced noticeably greater muscle activation in the rectus abdominus, external oblique, and soleus.

This may turn out to be highly significant – where previous studies on trained individuals found that DBs or KBs or vibration platforms or Bosus or Swiss balls produced small increases in muscle activation in these “helper” muscles, the use of oscillation training was much more powerful.

Oscillation training may actually turn out to be a really useful tool for athletes and wanna-be athletes.

What does this mean to you?

If you are one of the following trainees, systemic use of oscillation training may be just what you need:

  • Someone stuck at a strength/size/power/speed plateau
  • Someone with sore shoulders or knees or back or…
  • Someone who plays a sport
  • Someone who finds their body is feeling “older”
  • Someone who has poor posture
  • Someone who wants the health benefits of yoga and/or pilates bust hates yoga and/or pilates
  • Someone who want to be as fit as they can possibly be
  • Someone who just started doing Crossfit and doesn’t want to destroy their shoulders
  • Someone with a big gut
  • Someone who wants to maximize the health benefits of weightlifting without getting “too big” or spending too much time.

How to incorporate Oscillation Training into your program?

  1. Start small. This is supplemental work, meant to make the rest of your program work better.
  2. Don’t do oscillate before doing big compound lifts using the same muscle groups/movements. You don’t want to wear out your assistance muscles prior to needing their help on a big compound lift.
  3. You can do oscillation work after doing big compound work, or
  4. Do oscillation work on off-days – rest days or days where other movements / muscle groups are being worked.
  5. You don’t “need” a fancy bamboo bar. It’s nice to have, but you can just hang plates off the ends of normal barbells with a good set of Jump-Stretch style bands.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on social media 🙂

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The Truth About Feminine Fitness

A long, long time ago, women’s workouts meant aggressive arm circles, bouncy stretching, and hundreds of step-touches. We got crazy flexibility, ceaseless endurance, and if our diet lined up properly, a lithe, slender body (just like Jane Fonda).

Fast-forward to today’s savvy women and we’ve graduated to wanting a lean, strong body. “Fit” and “skinny” aren’t synonymous anymore – we want a healthy, bullet-proof physique (and gorgeous muscle definition wouldn’t hurt)….aka the NEW feminine fitness.

If you’re still caught in the cardio-only rut or listening to celebrity trainers who admonish us to “never lift heavy weights” lest it make us “bulky,” read on to see what women’s workouts should look like today.

jane fonda workout

The New Paradigm

The updated heavy hitter in fat loss, health, and fitness is, without a doubt, strength training. I’m not talking about bodybuilding here, and you don’t have to be an athlete to strength train. You most certainly don’t have to be a guy to strength train, either!

Experts and scientists now agree that while the right nutrition and cardio-respiratory training are important to health and fat loss, strength training is the third most critical component.

In case you’re wondering, you definitely won’t become the She-Hulk of your neighborhood if you lift weights heavier than three pounds (or 100!). Women have much less testosterone than men and we have to work hard to build even a small amount of muscle. Even then, we can never build muscles as big as guys unless we’re juiced up on steroids – not likely in your case, I’m betting.

This may surprise you, but strength training helps me express my femininity. Being strong and fit is an important way I define myself. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that strength training has increased my self-confidence in ways I can’t even begin to explain.

Take a look at how strength training is a smart strategy for your body and mind.

Burn Mega Calories

If you’ve ever done a strength-training circuit, you know it can get your heart pumping. Squats, lunges, chest presses, bent-over rows, and shoulder presses back to back without rest is a major calorie burner!

Not only that, but strength training burns calories when you’re not exercising, too. This “afterburn” effect results when your muscles are busy repairing themselves after a good, heavy lifting session.

Since muscle is metabolically active tissue that burns fat even when you’re at rest, strength training increases your metabolism. This means the more muscle, the more fat burning!

Rock Functional Strength

You don’t have to be a bench-pressing beast to benefit from increased strength. Even lifting moderate weights can make you feel stronger and fitter for everyday activities like carrying your kids, pushing the lawnmower, or changing a tire.

Stay Youthful

We can stay strong and active into old age by integrating resistance training into our routine. One study at McMaster University showed that strength training actually reversed the effects of aging by changing tissue at the cellular level in healthy senior citizens [1].

It’s important to understand that unless we counteract it, losing muscle mass is an inevitable part of aging. Feminine fitness weight training helps us stay strong and mobile instead of becoming injured and inactive (which almost always leads to weight gain, too).

Since women are especially susceptible to bone loss, resistance training is also a must for stimulating growth in our bone density as we age.

Look Hot

Of course, when you’ve been strength training awhile, along with eating nutritious foods and managing your caloric intake, you’ll see muscle definition pop on your arms, abs, and legs. Feeling good about your body might be your top motivator, and that’s perfectly fine, too.

I used to have the flattest behind around – affectionately (or not) known as a “mom butt.” But doing heavy squats, lunges, kettle bell swings, and hip thrusts completely transformed my backside into one I am truly proud of (shake it!).

The benefits of feminine fitness strength training don’t stop there – try increased energy, better sleep, improved posture, and yes – even greater flexibility.

Let’s Go!

Getting started with strength training is easier than you might think. If you’re a beginner, I recommend checking out the articles here at Health Habits, my beginner’s guide, and “The New Rules of Lifting for Women,” by Lou Schuler.

Simply keep three things in mind and you can’t go wrong:

  1. Your top priority will always be impeccable form.
  2. You will keep progressing as long as you continue to add weight.
  3. Allowing your muscles to recover is just as important as your workouts.

Enjoy the benefits of feminine fitness strength training, and I’ll see you in the weight room.

About the Author

Suzanne Digre is a NASM-certified personal trainer who coaches clients online and in-person. With over 15 years of lifting experience, Suzanne writes at workoutnirvana.com, where she shares her passion for strength training and clean eating.

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10 Ways to Workout Smarter….not Harder

Every day I go to the gym and I see the same people doing the same workouts.

  • Runners get on a treadmill and run
  • Yoginis perform their poses
  • Bodybuilders squeeze & flex their muscles
  • Powerlifters lift heavy stuff
  • Aerobicizers attend their group fitness classes
  • And the dude at my gym who wears Adidas soccer shorts from 1978 stretches out his hamstrings threatening to dislodge his “fellas” from their cotton prison (the horror…the horror)

And while all of these activities are laudable and are infinitely better for you than sitting on the couch eating chips and watching reality tv, they all have their limitations. And since it is a new year, I thought it was the perfect time to outline 10 ways to workout smarter…achieving better results, in less time, with fewer aches & pains.

Tip # 1 – High Intensity Interval Training aka HIIT

There is an ever growing body of evidence showing that HIIT workouts are superior to traditional cardio training in almost every conceivable way.

  • Less time required per workout – I never, ever perform more than 20 min on a HIIT workout
  • Reduced chance of overuse injuries – just ask a runner about their aches & pains
  • Faster & greater improvements to the cardio-vascular system
  • Increased fat loss due to increased levels of EPOC  (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)
  • Increased total body strength
HIIT sprints
Before HIIT – After HIIT

To recap, HIIT takes up less of your time, is easier on your body, is better at improving the function of your heart & lungs and will help make you stronger and leaner more efficiently than cardio training. Sounds pretty smart to me.

Here are a bunch of articles I have written on HIIT to get you started:

Next Page : Movements not Muscles…

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Increase Your Bench Press…thanks to Koji Murofushi

The Koji Bench Press is known by many names:

  • the Crazy Bell Bench Press,
  • the Bamboo Bench Press,
  • the Banded Kettlebell Bench Press,
  • the Hanging Kettlebell Bench Press,
  • the Crazy Plate Bench Press
  • the Bandbell Bench Press
  • and the Chaos Bench Press.

Whatever you call it, the Koji Bench Press has been attributed to Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi and his unique training techniques.

The general idea behind the hanging weights is to create a higher level of instability via it’s pendulum chaotic oscillating effect….taxing and strengthening the assistance / stabilizer musculature….

….preventing & repairing injuries….

…improving athletic performance…

…while exposing any weaknesses in your musculature.

NOTEThe first time you try this technique, GO LIGHT!!!!

I’m not joking. Until your nervous gets used to the Koji bench press, you’re gonna shake and shake and quite possibly dop the bar onto your face. So GO LIGHT!!!

Over time, I have found the Koji bench press to be a great tool for helping get rid of sticking points, increasing totals and helping “sore shoulder” lifters bench with less pain.

You’re going to look strange doing the Koji, but if you give it 2-3 months, you will see improvements.

How to Get Strong – The Science of Strength

In an earlier post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I divided physical fitness into it’s component parts and provided a brief introduction of each part.

In today’s post, I am going to focus on muscular strength…or as Google likes to say…how to get strong, how to get stronger, how to get brutally strong, how to get freaky strong, etc, etc, etc.

And if you plan on getting freaky strong, you’re going to need to understand the whys and hows behind getting strong. And those whys and hows are all based in science.

So….we’re going to look at some of that science to help you figure out how to maximize your own personal levels of “strong”.

Intro to Muscular Strength

How strong you are (and how strong you could be) depends on the performance of your body’s skeletal muscles.

Your body’s muscles are highly adaptable. They will react to the stresses that you place upon them.

  • Sit on the couch and they will atrophy.
  • Try and run fast and they adapt to produce faster contractions.
  • Lift heavy objects and they will increase their ability to produce maximum strength.

Muscular Strength can and has been categorized in a variety of different ways. In this article, I am choosing to divide Muscular Strength into four categories, based primarily on Newton’s Second Law.

vec F = m vec a (force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.) Mass relates to how much weight/mass a muscle or muscle group can move. Acceleration relates to how fast that weight/mass is moved.

By using and manipulating force, mass and acceleration, we can force our muscles to adapt and become more efficient at generating…

4 Types of Muscular Strength

  • Maximum Muscular Strength
  • Maximum Muscular Power
  • Maximum Muscular Speed
  • Maximum Muscular Endurance

NOTE – Each of these categories has different characteristics with regard to mass and acceleration

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The Bruce Lee Workout

In the world of bodybuilding and physique transformation, one of the most highly respected physiques of all time belonged to a guy who stood 5’7″ and weighed between 130 and 165 lbs.

That’s right…at his heaviest, Bruce Lee weighed only 165 lbs.

And yet, bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger were in awe of the body he built.

So, how did he do it?

And more importantly, how can you do it?

How can you build a body like this?

Well, if you want to learn about the weightlifting routine he used to build his strength and increase his muscle mass….pick up a copy of The Art of Expressing the Human Body.

But…you will be wasting your time.

If Bruce Lee was alive today, he would not be using the training routines found inside that book.

Bruce Lee believed that as a warrior and as a person, one should never “get set into one form. One should adapt and create your own style, and let it grow, be like water”.

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water.

When you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup;

When you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle;

When you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.

Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

At this point, you may be asking…what the heck does being formless like water have to do with fitness, working out and getting a wicked set of abs like Bruce Lee?

Well, I’m going to tell you.

Bruce_Lee

Being formless like water means using those training techniques that work for your particular goals…and to not get all wrapped up in dogma.

  • There is no perfect workout
  • There is no perfect diet.

What there is, is….

  • your body as it currently exists,
  • your vision of how you want your body to be
  • and a whole bunch of tools & techniques that may or may not help you achieve your goals.

Becoming attached to a certain training method (bodybuilding, yoga, pilates, crossfit, cardio, walking, aerobic classes, Tae-Bo, P 90X, etc…) is a sure path to stagnation and unattained goals.

The same goes for nutrition.

If the tool is ineffective, find a way to make it effective or replace it with another tool.

Be like water

Unique goals require unique solutions.

One size does not fit all.

Be fluid like water…and get a wicked set of abs like Bruce Lee

bruce-lee-lats

Be the Best You that You Can Be

Every day, I speak with people who want to transform their body from fat to fit. And for the most part, I tell them that the human body is an amazingly adaptable machine that WILL respond to exercise, nutrition, etc.

Unfortunately, sometimes I have to splash a little cold water on their hopes & dreams. Just like Mssrs Ecto, Meso & Endo, we all face unique limitations and restrictions.

  • Mr. Meso’s waist is great for bodybuiding…but not so good for becoming the World’s Strongest Man
  • And while Mr. Endo is built for pulling transport trucks out of ditches, he is never, ever going to be as lean as Mr. Ecto without a boatload of illegal and life-threatening drugs.

We all have limitations…

  • Physical – wide hips, narrow hips, small boobs, big boobs, muscle fiber type, metabolic rate, etc…
  • Mental – self-confidence and belief in their ability to improve
  • Financial – gym memberships, trainers, healthy food & supplements cost money
  • Social – support of friends & family isn’t guaranteed
  • Knowledge – Some people still believe that cardio is the best way to lose weight
  • Time – we are all stuck with this one 😦

And while most of us will never be hired to be the next Calvin Klein model…

calvin-klein-models

…we sure as heck can be better than we are today.

Be the Best You that You Can Be

 

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The Human Body is an Amazing Machine

One of the most important things I can do as a personal trainer is convince my new clients that their body is capable of making amazing improvements if they are willing to put in the work.

To prove that point to one of my most incredibly stubborn male clients, I decided to challenge him to a little contest.

The deal was that between Novemeber and March, we would both follow the same training, nutrition and supplement programs.

  • If he stuck to the program (90% adherence) and didn’t see a big change, I would refund everything he paid me for personal training.
  • If he stuck to the program and did see a big change, he had to give me 5 pairs of his Toronto Blue Jays season tickets.
  • If he didn’t stick to the program, I got the tickets and a weekend with his lady…a 1963 Corvette Stingray.
  • And if I didn’t stick to the program…I had to refund his money regardless of how he did.

KNUCKLE-SANDWICH

Fast forward to March 2013

  • We both stuck with the program
  • My client gained 18 pounds (12 muscle/6 fat)
  • My client increased every test lift (10 lifts) by a minimum of 34%
  • My client increased his 3 target lifts as follows:
  1. Squat went from 185 lbs x 5 reps to 365 x 5 reps
  2. Bench Press went from 205 lbs x 1 to 295 lbs x 1 rep
  3. Hanging Deadlift (from knees) from 225 lbs x 1 rep to 505 lbs x 1 rep

Not bad for a 48 year old guy with bad knees and a creaky lower back.

What about Me???

  • I gained 49 pounds (23 muscle/26 fat) 
  • My test lifts increased by a minimum of 35%
  • My 3 target lifts went back to levels I haven’t achieved in a decade:
  1. Squat went from 475 lbs x 5 reps to 675 lbs x 5 reps
  2. Bench Press went from 405 lbs x 1 rep to 545 lbs x 1 rep
  3. Hanging Deadlift went from 525 lbs x 5 reps to 765 lbs x 5 reps

What Now?

  • My client is going to start following a strict Paleo diet with the goal of dropping 15 lbs of body-fat before summer. We are also switching his training from strength to fitness/agility/speed and overall health.
  • I have started back on a hybrid Paleo diet designed to melt off all that body-fat I gained eating potatoes and rice. Like my client, I am going to switch my focus from strength to fitness/agility/speed and overall health. Along with the fat gain, my 43 year-old joints aren’t too happy about the strength/size phase. My knees and shoulders hurt…even with all of the rehab & mobility work I did over the winter.

Conclusion

The Human Body is an Amazing Machine.

You Have to Respect…Mommy Strength

As a 10 year old boy, I was rudely introduced to Mommy Strength when my mother, fed up with her two squabbling sons, picked us both up…tucked one underneath each arm…walked us inside the house and proceeded to explain why the fraternal-fisticuffs were going to stop and brotherly love would become the new normal in her house.

Needless to say, both my brother and I were more than a little freaked out by how easily my Mom totally wo-manhandled the two of us.

Mommy strength isn’t about developing perfectly perky biceps…it’s about being able to perform the world’s most difficult job to the best of your abilities.

And here are 4 strength tips designed to maximize your Mommy Strength ...without turning you into a She-Hulk.

1.  Compound Movements

Don’t waste your time with bicep curls and tricep kickbacks. Focus on multi-joint movements that use a group of different muscles to perform the movement. Here are some of my favorite compound movements:

2.  Core Strength

One of the unfortunate truths about our bodies is that the lower back is treated like the runt of the litter by the rest of the muscles and joints. For example, if your legs are tired or too weak to perform a movement, it will shift some of the effort to the muscles of the lower back. And your lower back will happily (or unhappily) take the load.

Unfortunately, when your lower back is tired or sore, none of the other muscle groups are as willing to take the load. The lower back is stuck with the work…and this leads to pain, inflammation, swelling, spastic muscles and more pain.

To prevent this from happening, Moms who want to be Mommy Strong should spend time developing their core strength. Here are some of my favorite core exercises:

3.  Joint Mobility

Strong Mommies don’t have time for the stiff necks, sore lower backs and achy shoulders that come from lugging two squabbling kids in from the back yard.

That’s why they need to…

  1. Tenderize stiff muscles,
  2. Eliminate muscle imbalances, and
  3. Prevent structural damage caused by #’s 1 & 2

Here are some of my favorite techniques for keeping Strong Mommies pain free.

4.  Posterior Chain Strength

As a personal trainer, I am always meeting new clients who have decent strength in their arms, abs, and quads…but are much weaker in their upper back, lower backs, hamstrings and booty.

This imbalance between the muscles on the front of your body (anterior chain) and the muscles on the back of your body (posterior chain) will lead to all sorts of problems down the road.

Here are some of my favorite posterior chain exercises:

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When it comes to HIIT – Quality trumps Quantity

Anyone familiar with Health Habits knows that I am a big fan of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

I love HIIT is because…

  • HIIT makes you faster
  • HIIT saves time with short workouts
  • HIIT make you more powerful
  • HIIT burns calories for hours after you’ve finished your workout
  • HIIT is challenging
  • HIIT makes a workout more fun
  • HIIT improves your aerobic endurance
  • HIIT improves heart function
  • HIIT improves your aerobic endurance
  • HIIT helps heart disease patients regain their health
  • HIIT is appropriate for almost all trainees
  • HIIT makes you look like a total BADASS in the gym

Unfortunately, just as soon as HIIT left the fringes of exercise science and moved into the mainstream and your local YMCA, the central concept behind the success of HIIT came under attack.

HIIT works as well as it does because of intensity of effort. Not length of sprint…or length of training session…or number of sprints performed…or restricting rest periods…HIIT works because of a complete 100%, pit-bull chasing you down the street type of intensity.

Each HIIT sprint should feel FAST. When your sprints start to slow down, you need to…

  1. Increase rest period length, or
  2. Shorten sprint duration, or
  3. Reduce resistance, or
  4. All of the above

Remember – When it comes to HIIT – Quality trumps Quantity

the flash bw

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Best Body Transformation 2013

For the past two years, I have been posting free workouts here at Health Habits

These workouts employed all manner of fitness equipment and as such, were more appropriate for people with gym memberships.

This year, we are going to focus on people who workout at home.

  • To begin with, we will only be doing body-weight exercises.
  • After a month or so, we will add in some strength band workouts. I suggest you buy yours NOW!!!
  • As we go along, I might add in a kettlebell or some other piece of home fitness equipment. I will give you lots of notice OR give you alternative exercises.

The workouts we will be posting online are exact replicas of the ones I am using with one of my newest clients. In fact, to show you how effective these workouts can be, my little guinea pig  has agreed to track his physique transformation as the year progresses.

His goals are as follows:

  1. Reduce body-fat
  2. Get fitter – stronger, more flexible, agile, etc
  3. Get healthier
  4. Look great in the buff

Which are probably the same goals as 93% of y’all.

Here’s what we’re starting with…

Measurements : Day # 1

  • Weight : 283 lbs
  • Waist – landmarked @ Belly Button  : 50″
  • Hips – landmarked @ Butt : 45″
  • Upper Arm – Midpoint between Shoulder & Elbow : 17″ relaxed – 18″ flexed
  • Thigh – Midpoint between Hip & Knee : 28.5″
  • Neck :19″
  • Chest – landmarked @ Nipples : 53″

[colored_box color=”yellow”]There are a few other health issues that we will be tracking, but will not be reporting here at HH (as per client request). Nothing out of the ordinary, but he wants to retain some modicum of privacy. If, in the future, he decides to open up his life a little more, I will report how this transformation has affected these issues.[/colored_box]

Pictures: Day 1

Transformation---1---Front

Transformation-1-Side-right

Transformation---1---Back

Transformation--1--Side-Lef

  • On Monday, I will post the first resistance workout.
  • On Tuesday, I will lay out the dietary / lifestyle plan that I put together for our guinea pig
  • On Wednesday, I will post the second resistance workout.
  • On Thursday, I will make some recommendations about future exercise equipment purchases.
  • On Friday, we have the 3rd resistance workout.

If you have any questions for me or the GP, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me a message on Twitter.

alpha-flight-canadian-super
after pic???

This Killer Leg Workout Will Have You Cryin’ For Yo’ Mama

I have a nasty little leg workout for you today. Simple but nasty.

  • Load a bar with half your body-weight (incl the bar weight)
  • Put it on your back
  • Squat all the way down – ass to ankles
  • Repeat for 100 reps
  • Complete all 100 reps as quickly as possible – 10 minute Maximum

killer leg workout

If you can complete this in under 5 minutes, you need to take it up a notch by not racking the bar at any time during the 100 reps of excruciating pain & nausea. You can rest whenever you want, but you have to keep standing with the bar on your back

If you’re up for the challenge, try to beat my time….

  • 135 lbs (I am weighing 248 right now, but it was easier to just load the bar with a 45 lb plate on either side)
  • 7 min 22 seconds
  • and I never rested the bar
have fun

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Does Ketone Drink = EZ Weight Loss?

Oxford researcher, Dr. Kieran Clarke has created a new type of ketone-based endurance drink designed to…

  • Generate significant weight loss
  • Improve mental alertness
  • Improve cognitive function

…as well as treat, prevent or reduce the effects of…

In short, this supplement MAY make you leaner, smarter, healthier, faster, stronger and less prone to diabetes, alzheimer’s, parkinson’s, huntington’s, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Note that I say MAY.

The science is all very new. According to Doc Clarke:

“We are very excited about our research, which we think shows great promise. Our primary interest so far has been to understand how the body’s metabolism responds and makes use of our ketone drink.

We are a long way yet from showing meaningful benefits as a treatment for disease or in aiding athletes’ endurance, and while we think it is possible that the ketone drink may have benefits in slowing Alzheimer’s progression, no one has done much research on this as yet…although this remains of great interest to us.”

How great an interest???

Great enough to apply for a US patent.

Can you imagine how much money Dr. Clarke will make if this product lives up to it’s potential?

The Science

  • Previous research indicates that a state of elevated ketones may improve physical and cognitive performance.
  • Unfortunately, direct administration of ketone bodies is unpractical and potentially dangerous
  • Fortunately, there are ketone precursors that might give her the same effect without any of the downsides.

On of those ketone precursors is  (R)-3-hydroxybutyl (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate, the ketone monoester that Dr. Clarke has been administering in the form of a meal replacement drink to her healthy human volunteers.

In one pilot study, eight adults with type 2 diabetes to see whether the drink produced any effect. The volunteers had three ketone drinks a day for five days and had their weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar monitored. Their weight dropped an average of nearly two per cent (in 5 days), as did their levels of glucose, cholesterol and fat in the blood.

In another study, Dr. Clarke gave 22 elite rowers the ketone drink and monitored the distances they achieved in 30 minutes on an indoor rowing machine.

One rower broke a world record and five others beat their personal best.

Conclusion

I am thoroughly geeked-up about the potential of this supplement.

Fingers crossed people.

Reference

Dumbbell Swings vs Kettlebell Swings

jlo-bootyKettlebell swings are one of my favorite posterior chain exercises.

  • I use it with athletes to increase running speed & power
  • I use it to improve pelvic balance & maximize core strength
  • and I use it to help skinny white ladies build a booty worthy of J-Lo

Unfortunately, not every gym has a full set of kettlebells to go along with all their dumbbells.

And seeing as my local gym was one of those gyms without any kettlebells…and I was sick and tired of substituting DBs for KBs all the time, I went searching for an option.

Enter the kettleclamp….. a really smart (and simple) piece of engineering that allows me to modify any dumbbell into a kettlebell.

To test it out, I brought a pair down to my local gym, grabbed one of my buddies, tossed him one of the clamps and told him that I needed a guinea-pig for a product-review video.

Here are the results.

Note – I wanted to test how user-friendly the kettleclamp was.

  • Was it easy to assemble?

Yes – for this experiment, I didn’t give my guinea-pig any instructions on how to assemble or work with the kettleclamp. The video we shot was his first try with the clamp – you can see how he fiddled with the pivoting handle before he went to work with it. 

  • Does it work like a “real” kettlebell?

For swings & cleans, it works exactly like a “real” kettlebell.

For snatches, we had a bit of an issue with lowering the kettleclamp from the overhead position back down to the hanging position. Due to the shape and size of the big-ass dumbbells we were using, we kept bashing our shoulders with the side of the dumbbell. Not a huge problem, but it forced us to modify our form a little bit.

Overall, the kettleclamp is a kick-ass piece of fitness equipment….and as soon as I can convince them to set up an affiliate program, you will be able to buy them via Health Habits.

Get Fit & Lose Weight – Emotional Jeet Kune Do

Every day I help clients discover & push the buttons that they need to push…. if they are going to…

  1. Get the exercise their body needs
  2. Eat the food their body needs
  3. Think the thoughts they need to think and
  4. Feel the feelings they need to feel

…in order to become the healthiest, fittest, sexiest, most awesomest selves they can possibly be.

Here’s an example of the plan I used to help one of my clients lose 185 lbs over the past two years.

  • 319lbs – 185 lbs = 134 lbs

Small carb-free meals for breakfast and lunch

For example, breakfast would be 3 scrambled eggs with butter AND lunch would be a small Greek salad with feta, olives, lettuce & tomatoes – no dressing.

My reasoning behind this approach was that she was a busy executive and was very, very busy throughout the day. The combination of a busy day and not being around food made it “easy” to focus on work and forget about food.

It took a few weeks for “easy” to become easy. She hated me a little bit at first.

Large Paleo meal at dinner after her evening workout

1 big plate full of paleo-friendly food after her workout. That means loads of veggies and a good sized piece of animal protein. She was also allowed to have a piece of fruit for dinner. One of her favorites was the sauteed apples I posted about here.

She was full after dinner every single night.

Supplements

  • 1 tbsp of fish oil every morning
  • Probiotics with breakfast
  • Digestive enzymes with each meal
  • Multi-vitamin and minerals
  • Workout energy drink – I had her use Scivation Xtend

Emotional Jeet Kune Do

My client is a very, very smart woman. And very self aware. So when I told her that she WOULD transform her body into something even more awesome than what she was asking for…she told me that I was full of shit. Literally…she told me I was full of shit.

And after I finished laughing my ass off…I explained to her that over the 20+ years I have been training people, I have learned two things:

  1. Massive physical change is theoretically possible for just about everyone
  2. I am really, really good at making the theoretical happen

And to make the theoretical come true, I employ a system of emotional Jeet Kune Do on my clients. And like Bruce Lee, my emotional Jeet Kune Do is a style with no style.

This means that since we’re all unique creatures with our own individual thoughts, feeling, emotions and peculiarities…there is no fitness/diet plan that will produce awesome results for all of us.

We all have our own unique buttons that need to be pushed to get us to break and replace our bad habits.

And in her case, I asked her to lie to herself.

  • First, I asked her to imagine herself as a total freak of nature…super healthy, super fit, super sexy, etc…
  • Second, I asked for her reaction to this visual picture
  • She came back with another “you’re full of shit” comment
  • After which, I went into my spiel  about being good at making transforming people and that I truly 100% believed that we can make this change with her body. And that the biggest impediment was that she didn’t believe me.

Here’s where the Jeet Kune Do comes in.

  • I asked her to start lying to herself

Whenever she doubted my plan…or her ability to not eat ice cream…or that she would ever have a butt you could bounce quarters off of…I wanted her to:

  1.  Accept her doubts (past history + emotions will not be ignored or minimized)
  2. Get angry and tell the doubts to “Fuck Off…because  she’s going to do exactly what those doubts say she can’t”

And the reason I think this worked for her is because in her business career she has been faced many times with people, boards, companies & governments who told her that she couldn’t do what she wanted to do.

And most of the time, she responded by getting angry, getting to work and kicking their asses (after telling them to fuck off…inside her head)

The essence of emotional Jeet Kune Do is to search for your buttons…not your friend’s buttons, or the fitness guru’s buttons…YOUR BUTTONS.

Get Ripped, Get Huge ASAP

The Holy Grail of Bodybuilding

  1. Get ripped…
  2. while packing on slabs of muscle…
  3. in a short time frame….
  4. without drugs.

And here’s how we’re going to do it.

andreas-munzer-ripped

NUTRITION

Calories

Between 10 – 12 calories per pound of Lean Body Mass (LBM)

  • LBM = your total weight – body-fat weight

Example

  • a 220 lb man with 20% BF has an LBM of 176 lbs
  • An LBM of 176 = a range of 1760 to 2112 calories per day

Peri-Workout Nutrition

Drink a serving of Gaspari Nutrition’s Size On Max Performance during the course of your workout.

  • Creatine + whey protein hydrosylate + leucine + carbohydrates + some other “stuff” = my favorite workout drink.  (180 calories)

Post-Workout Nutrition

  • Whey Isolate protein shake – water, 2 scoops of  protein, shake, chug – (200 – 260 calories of muscle re-building-ness)

[box type=”note”]If you’re finding that you’re not gaining or shudder…losing some muscle mass on this plan, I want you to add extra carbs to this shake – fruit, sweeteners, whatever Take the calories away from the carbs you eat during the rest of the day[/box]

Rest of the Day Nutrition

In addition to the workout supplements, I recommend 2 tbsps of fish oil to be taken each day. Personally, I take 1 tbsp in the morning and the second spoonful before I go to bed.

Next, we need to subtract the supplement calories from the daily allowance…

  • Fish Oil (240 cal)
  • Size On (180 cal)
  • Whey Protein shake (200 – 260 cal)
  • Total – 620-680 calories

This leaves our test subject with between 1080 and 1492 calories for the rest of the day

Here’s how he’s going to get those calories

  • 1/2 will come from carb-free Protein sources – eggs, beef, chicken, fish, etc…
  • 1/2 will come from the approved vegetable list

If you need to use fat to prepare your meals, subtract those calories from your protein sources

Approved Vegetable List

  • Leafy, green, salad-type vegetables – Amaranth, Arugula, Beet greens, Bok choy, Broccoli Rabe, Borage greens, Brussels sprout, Cabbage, Catsear, Celery, Celtuce, Ceylon spinach, Chaya, Chickweed, Chicory, Chinese Mallow, Chrysanthemum leaves, Collard greens, Corn salad, Cress, Dandelion, Endive, Fat hen, Fiddlehead, Fluted pumpkin, Garden Rocket, Kale, Komatsuna, Kuka, Lagos bologi, Lamb’s lettuce, Land cress, Lettuce, Lizard’s tail, Melokhia, Miner’s Lettuce, Mizuna greens, Mustard, Napa cabbage, New Zealand Spinach, Orache, Pak choy, Paracress, Poke, Radicchio, Sea beet, Sea kale, Sierra Leone bologi, Soko, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer purslane, Swiss chard, Tatsoi, Turnip greens, Watercress, Water spinach, Winter purslane and Yarrow
  • Flowers and flower buds – Artichoke, Broccoli, Caper, Cauliflower, Courgette flowers and Squash blossoms
  • Bulb and stem vegetables – Asparagus, Cardoon, Celeriac, Celery, Elephant Garlic, Florence fennel, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Leek, Kurrat, Lotus root, Nopal, Onion, Pearl onion, Prussian asparagus, Spring Onion/Scallion, Shallot, Welsh onion and Wild leek
  • Root and tuberous vegetables – Bamboo shoot, Beetroot, Burdock, Broadleaf arrowhead, Camas, Canna, Carrot, Cassava, Chinese artichoke, Daikon, Elephant Foot yam, Ensete, Ginger, Hamburg parsley, Horseradish, Jerusalem artichoke, Jícama, Mashua, Parsnip, Pignut, Prairie turnip, Radish, Rutabaga, Salsify, Scorzonera, Skirret, Swede, Sweet Potato or Kumara, Taro, Ti, Tigernut, Turnip, Ulluco, Water chestnut, Yacón and Yam
  • Sea vegetables – Aonori, Carola, Dabberlocks or badderlocks, Dulse or dillisk, Hijiki, Kombu, Laver, Mozuku, Nori, Ogonori, Sea grape, Sea kale, Sea lettuce and Wakame
  • Other Vegetables/ Fruits – Bell pepper, Bitter melon/Bitter gourd, Chayote, Courgette, Cucumber, Ivy Gourd, Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal, Luffa, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet pepper (Capsicum), Tinda, Tomatillo, Tomato and Winter melon
Approved Supplementary Fats
  • Avocado oil, bacon fat, butter, coconut oil, ghee, lard, tallow, nut butters, walnut oil, macadamia oil, and olive oil (over salads & veg only – don’t cook with olive oil)

TRAINING

This series of workouts will pile on muscle mass faster than a big tub of steroids.

.Reference

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The Secret of Bruce Lee’s One Inch Punch

Bruce Lee accomplished some amazing accomplishments in his short life. One of his most impressive physical feats was his super-powerful one inch punch.

How the heck did he do that?

According to British researchers, it was Mr. Lee’s over-developed cerebellums and primary motor cortex that allowed him to coordinate his body movements to deliver maximum force.

The Science

Previous studies have shown that the forces generated in a karate punch is not determined by muscular strength but by the brain & nervous system, Unfortunately, up until now, they had no idea what parts of the nervous system were responsible for making Bruce Lee a super-freak.

In this recent study, researchers looked for differences in brain structure between 12 karate practitioners with a black belt rank and an average of 13.8 years’ karate experience, and 12 control subjects of similar age who exercised regularly but did not have any martial arts experience.

In the first part of the study, the researchers measure the short range (5 cm) punching power of all 24 test subjects by means of infrared markers on their arms & torsos. As expected, the karate masters punched harder than the control subjects.

Analysis of punch biomechanics and brain function revealed the reasons for the difference in punching power.

  • The researchers found that punching power depends on timing.
  • Specifically, punching force correlated with how well the movement of the wrists and shoulders were synchronized.
  • In short, technique + muscular power = Bruce Lee kicking your butt.
  • To test brain function, they used diffusion tensor imaging to scan the grey matter (main body of nerve cells) and white matter (bundles of fibres that carry signals from one region of the brain to another) of the test subjects’ brains.

And what they found is that there was major structural differences in the white matter of the cerebellums and primary motor cortex of the karate masters.

It was these differences in the cerebellum that correlated with the synchronicity of the subjects’ wrist and shoulder movements that produced the larger punching forces.

The karate black belts were able to repeatedly coordinate their punching action with a level of coordination that novices can’t produce. We think that ability might be related to fine tuning of neural connections in the cerebellum, allowing them to synchronise their arm and trunk movements very accurately.

We’re only just beginning to understand the relationship between brain structure and behaviour, but our findings are consistent with earlier research showing that the cerebellum plays a critical role in our ability to produce complex, coordinated movements.

So there you go…your nervous system is what’s going to separate your athletic performance from that of the average gym rat.

And that’s why nervous system function is one of the linchpins of all my training programs.

Reference

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 28 – Day 3

It’s Week #2 – Day #3 – same workout theories….

  • Short, intense workouts
  • a little Tabata
  • a little HIRT
  • and a ton of sweat

Enjoy

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Pull Ups or Palms Away Pulldowns & 2 Leg Bodyweight Squats

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

  • Any version of Pull Ups (palms away) or Pulldowns is okay with me… as long as you’re doing the hardest version possible for YOU
  • 20 seconds Pull Ups, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds Squats, rest 10…..

Superset #2 – McGill Crunch & Single Leg Hip Thrust

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 10 reps max per set
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises QUICKLY

Superset #3 – 2 Arm Bodyweight Row & Push Ups

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

  • Alternate between exercises
  • Max 10 reps per set
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises

Superset #4 – Shuffle Lunge

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

  • 20 min total
  • 10 second sprints
  • As many sprints as possible in 20 min

Sunday…take the day off.

Say Yes to Fitism

Last night on the news, I listened to stories about socialism, racism, creationism, nationalism, and multiculturalism.

How come we never hear about…

Fitism:  the doctrine that fitness and the fit lifestyle are awesome and important. “his fitism allowed him to look great naked”

The #1 reason why people diet and go to the gym

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 28 – Day 2

Same workout as last week…..

  • Short, intense workouts
  • a little Tabata
  • a little HIRT
  • and a ton of sweat

Enjoy

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Double Leg Hip Thrusts & Push-Ups

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

  • Any version of Hip Thrust (feet elevated, back elevated, both, neither)  is okay with me… as long as you’re doing the hardest version possible for YOU
  • Same with Push-Ups…do the hardest version(s) possible for YOU
  • 20 seconds Hip Thrustss, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds Push-Ups, rest 10…..

Superset #2 – Stir the Pot & Inch Worms

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 10 reps max per set
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises QUICKLY

Superset #3 – Single Leg Squat

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

  • Do the hardest version possible for YOU… that may mean band-assisted, bodyweight or bodyweight + a 90lb dumbbell
  • Assisted Single Leg Squat video (you can also put the band under your pits for hands free)
  • Loaded Single Leg Squat video

Superset #4 – Bodyweight Skull Crushers & UnderGrip Chin-Ups (Pulldowns) & Shuffle Lunges

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 5 per set for Skullcrushers
  • 5 reps per set for Chins/Pulldowns
  • 30 reps per set for Shuffles
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises

 

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

  • 20 min total
  • 10 second sprints
  • As many sprints as possible in 20 min

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 28 – Day 1

This is a STRONG woman.

It’s the second time through for this workout – we’re going to stick with the same exercises for this week – next week, same theory…..

  • Short, intense workouts
  • a little Tabata
  • a little HIRT
  • and a ton of sweat

…..diff exercises.

 

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Bodyweight Squats

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

Superset #2 – Toes to the Sky & Double Leg Hip Thrust

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 10 reps max per set
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving from Toes to Hip Thrusts…
  • Toes to the Sky can be performed flat on the ground or on a decline bench as in the video
  • The benches used in the Hip Thrust video gives you a greater range of motion and increases the intensity of the exercise – If you don’t have access, do them flat on the ground or with feet elevated

Superset #3 – Bodyweight Shoulder Press & Jumping Jacks

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 10 reps max per set for shoulder press – 20 reps max for JJs
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises
  • Feel free to substitute 2 arm DB or BB shoulder presses for the BW option

Superset #4 – Pull-Ups & McGill Crunches

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

  • Any version of pull-up is okay with me – pull-ups, chin-ups, band-assisteds pull-ups/chin-ups, band pull-downs or even pulldowns in the gym
  • 20 seconds Pull-Ups, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds McGill Crunches, rest 10…..

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

  • 20 min total
  • 10 second sprints
  • As many sprints as possible in 20 min

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 27 – Day 3

It’s Day #3 – same workout theories….

  • Short, intense workouts
  • a little Tabata
  • a little HIRT
  • and a ton of sweat

…. different movements.

Enjoy

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Pull Ups or Palms Away Pulldowns & 2 Leg Bodyweight Squats

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

  • Any version of Pull Ups (palms away) or Pulldowns is okay with me… as long as you’re doing the hardest version possible for YOU
  • 20 seconds Pull Ups, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds Squats, rest 10…..

Superset #2 – McGill Crunch & Single Leg Hip Thrust

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 10 reps max per set
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises QUICKLY

Superset #3 – 2 Arm Bodyweight Row & Push Ups

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

  • Alternate between exercises
  • Max 10 reps per set
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises

Superset #4 – Shuffle Lunge

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

  • 20 min total
  • 10 second sprints
  • As many sprints as possible in 20 min

Sunday…take the day off.

Kettlebell swing training improves maximal and explosive strength

A study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research says that kettlebell swing training will improve your maximal & explosive strength.

And how cool is that???

The Study

The aim of this study was to compare how kettlebell swing (KB) training had on measures of maximum strength (half squat – HS) and explosive strength (vertical jump height—VJH) in comparison to jump squat (JS) power training. 

Note – JS training is already known to improve max strength and VJH.

To test this, the researchers took 21 healthy men, tested their HS & VJH and then exposed them to a 6 week program of either:

  • Kettle Bell training, or
  • Jump Squat training

The KB group performed 12-minute bouts of KB exercise (12 rounds of 30-second exercise, 30-second rest with 12 kg if 70 kg).

The JS group performed at least 4 sets of 3 JS with the load that maximized peak power.

Training volume was altered to accommodate different training loads and ranged from 4 sets of 3 with the heaviest load (60% 1RM) to 8 sets of 6 with the lightest load (0% 1RM)[/box]

After 6 weeks…

  • The Kettlebell group improved their 1-RM squat by 12% and their Vertical Jump by 15%
  • The Jump Squat group improved their 1-RM squat by 8% and their Vertical Jump by 24%

What does this mean?

  • If you play basketball, Jump Squats are better than Kettlebell Swings
  • If you’re going to the Olympics for long jump, Kettlebell Swings are the exercise for you.

What does this mean to you???

Since the heaviest weight used in this study was only 60% of 1RM, I am surprised that it had such an effect on Maximum Strength. With that being said, my personal experience jives with the research – both exercises are very efficient at producing strength AND power. I would also add that both exercises reproduce movements (hip extension, vertical jump, horizontal jump) that are very useful in real life and in many sporting situations.

I would like to see future studies which:

  • Test with heavier weights
  • Test how different speeds of movement affect power – esp. explosive performance with lighter weights
  • Test Maximum Strength in a horizontal plane – not just vertical jumping

Any thoughts???

Reference

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Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 27 – Day 2

Olympic Medalist Christine Girard – image credit: Mike Groll AP

It’s Day #2 – same workout theories….

  • Short, intense workouts
  • a little Tabata
  • a little HIRT
  • and a ton of sweat

…. different movements.

Enjoy

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Double Leg Hip Thrusts & Push-Ups

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

  • Any version of Hip Thrust (feet elevated, back elevated, both, neither)  is okay with me… as long as you’re doing the hardest version possible for YOU
  • Same with Push-Ups…do the hardest version(s) possible for YOU
  • 20 seconds Hip Thrustss, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds Push-Ups, rest 10…..

Superset #2 – Stir the Pot & Inch Worms

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 10 reps max per set
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises QUICKLY

Superset #3 – Single Leg Squat

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

  • Do the hardest version possible for YOU… that may mean band-assisted, bodyweight or bodyweight + a 90lb dumbbell
  • Assisted Single Leg Squat video (you can also put the band under your pits for hands free)
  • Loaded Single Leg Squat video

Superset #4 – Bodyweight Skull Crushers & UnderGrip Chin-Ups (Pulldowns) & Shuffle Lunges

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 5 per set for Skullcrushers
  • 5 reps per set for Chins/Pulldowns
  • 30 reps per set for Shuffles
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises

 

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

  • 20 min total
  • 10 second sprints
  • As many sprints as possible in 20 min

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 27 – Day 1

Dylan Armstrong : soon-to-be Gold Medalist at the 2012 Olympics

This week is going to be fun.

  • Short, intense workouts
  • a little Tabata
  • a little HIRT
  • and a ton of sweat

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Bodyweight Squats

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

Superset #2 – Toes to the Sky & Double Leg Hip Thrust

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 10 reps max per set
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving from Toes to Hip Thrusts…
  • Toes to the Sky can be performed flat on the ground or on a decline bench as in the video
  • The benches used in the Hip Thrust video gives you a greater range of motion and increases the intensity of the exercise – If you don’t have access, do them flat on the ground or with feet elevated

Superset #3 – Bodyweight Shoulder Press & Jumping Jacks

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

  • Alternate between exercises
  • 10 reps max per set for shoulder press – 20 reps max for JJs
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises
  • Feel free to substitute 2 arm DB or BB shoulder presses for the BW option

Superset #4 – Pull-Ups & McGill Crunches

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

  • Any version of pull-up is okay with me – pull-ups, chin-ups, band-assisteds pull-ups/chin-ups, band pull-downs or even pulldowns in the gym
  • 20 seconds Pull-Ups, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds McGill Crunches, rest 10…..

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

  • 20 min total
  • 10 second sprints
  • As many sprints as possible in 20 min

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 25 – Day 3

Last time we’re doing this workout – kick it’s ass!!!

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Front/Back Squats & Single Arm Overhead Presses
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Press

HIRT Superset #2

  • Barbell Deadlift or Heavy Hip Thrust & Woodchop
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Single Arm Pulldown Pallof Press
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Barbell Flat or Incline Chest Press & One Arm Cable or One Arm Body-Weight Row
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Science of the Squat – Depth & Load – and How They Impact Your Squatting Muscles

The squat is often called the King of Exercises.

And for good reason – because nothing develops lower body muscle mass, strength & power faster & better than barbell squats.

And if you want to be known as the King of the King of Exercises, you’re going to need to take a look at this new research published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine the relative muscular effort (RME) while performing the squat exercise. Specifically, the researchers were looking at the effects of barbell load and squat depth on hip extensor, knee extensor and ankle plantar-flexor RME.

Study Design

Ten strength-trained women performed squats (50-90% of 1 RM) in a motion analysis laboratory to determine hip extensor, knee extensor and ankle plantar-flexor net joint moment (NJM). Maximum isometric strength in relation to joint angle for these muscle groups was also determined. RME was determined as the ratio of NJM to maximum voluntary torque matched for joint angle.

Results

Both barbell load and squat depth had significant interaction effects on hip extensor, knee extensor and ankle plantar-flexor RME (relative muscular effort).

  • Knee extensor RME increased with greater squat depth but not barbell load
  • Ankle plantar-flexor RME increased with barbell load but not greater squat depth
  • Hip extensor RME increased with both greater squat depth and barbell load

Conclusions

This data suggest:

  1. Training for the knee extensors can be performed with low relative intensities but require a deep squat depth.
  2. Heavier barbell loads are required to train the hip extensors and ankle plantar-flexors.

What does this mean to you???

It depends on your training goals?

  • Are you a bodybuilder trying to develop your quad sweep ala Tom Platz?

Then you need to squat deep – Ass to the Grass as they say

  • Or maybe you’re a sprinter, or a football player, or a powerlifter, or a strongman looking to develop a uber-power posterior chain to dominate your sport?

Then you need to focus more on load than depth of squat

  • Or maybe you’re an all-around / hybrid kind of athlete like myself?

Either way, with this info, you’ll be able to design better/smarter/more effective squat programs…all thanks to science 🙂

Reference

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Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 25 – Day 2

It’s the last time for this workout….. designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

Today is the 10 rep day

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Overhead DB/KB Squats & See-Saw Overhead Presses
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Press
  • On the Squats, make sure to “lock in” your shoulders nice and tight before squatting – no loose shoulder joints

HIRT Superset #2

  • Single Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift & Toes to the Sky
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Wide Grip Pulldown or Pull-Ups & Stir the Pot
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Two Arm DB Incline Chest Press & Two Arm Cable or Body-Weight Row
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 25 – Day 1

I decided to give this workout one more week – I have been getting so many positive emails & tweets.

Go kick some butt – next week is going to be all new stuff.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Single Leg Squats & Single Arm Lateral Raises
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Squat, Lateral, Lateral
  • On the lateral raises, imagine you are pushing the weight out and away from you – more delts, less traps

HIRT Superset #2

  • Double Leg Hip Thrusts & McGill Crunch
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Squat, Crunch, Crunch

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Neutral Grip Pulldown or Chin-Ups & 30 sec Bridge
  • 20 reps per set of Pulldowns or Chins
  • 30 sec Bridge
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Chin/Bridge

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Single Arm DB Chest Fly & Reverse DB Fly or Face Pull
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 24 – Day 3

Last workout of the week – make it a good one

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Front/Back Squats & Single Arm Overhead Presses
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Press

HIRT Superset #2

  • Barbell Deadlift or Heavy Hip Thrust & Woodchop
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Single Arm Pulldown Pallof Press
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Barbell Flat or Incline Chest Press & One Arm Cable or One Arm Body-Weight Row
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 24 – Day 2

It’s the last time for this workout….. designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

Today is the 10 rep day

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Overhead DB/KB Squats & See-Saw Overhead Presses
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Press
  • On the Squats, make sure to “lock in” your shoulders nice and tight before squatting – no loose shoulder joints

HIRT Superset #2

  • Single Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift & Toes to the Sky
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Wide Grip Pulldown or Pull-Ups & Stir the Pot
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Two Arm DB Incline Chest Press & Two Arm Cable or Body-Weight Row
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 24 – Day 1

It’s the 3rd and final time for this workout – so kick some butt.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Single Leg Squats & Single Arm Lateral Raises
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Squat, Lateral, Lateral
  • On the lateral raises, imagine you are pushing the weight out and away from you – more delts, less traps

HIRT Superset #2

  • Double Leg Hip Thrusts & McGill Crunch
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Squat, Crunch, Crunch

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Neutral Grip Pulldown or Chin-Ups & 30 sec Bridge
  • 20 reps per set of Pulldowns or Chins
  • 30 sec Bridge
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Chin/Bridge

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Single Arm DB Chest Fly & Reverse DB Fly or Face Pull
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 23 – Day 3

Last workout of the week – make it a good one

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Front/Back Squats & Single Arm Overhead Presses
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Press

HIRT Superset #2

  • Barbell Deadlift or Heavy Hip Thrust & Woodchop
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Single Arm Pulldown Pallof Press
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Barbell Flat or Incline Chest Press & One Arm Cable or One Arm Body-Weight Row
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 23 – Day 1

Same workouts as last week….. a combination of HIRT & HIIT protocols, designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Single Leg Squats & Single Arm Lateral Raises
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Squat, Lateral, Lateral
  • On the lateral raises, imagine you are pushing the weight out and away from you – more delts, less traps

HIRT Superset #2

  • Double Leg Hip Thrusts & McGill Crunch
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Squat, Crunch, Crunch

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Neutral Grip Pulldown or Chin-Ups & 30 sec Bridge
  • 20 reps per set of Pulldowns or Chins
  • 30 sec Bridge
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Chin/Bridge

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Single Arm DB Chest Fly & Reverse DB Fly or Face Pull
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 22 – Day 3

Last workout of the week – make it a good one

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Front/Back Squats & Single Arm Overhead Presses
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Press

HIRT Superset #2

  • Barbell Deadlift or Heavy Hip Thrust & Woodchop
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Single Arm Pulldown Pallof Press
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Barbell Flat or Incline Chest Press & One Arm Cable or One Arm Body-Weight Row
  • 5 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 22 – Day 2

It’s Day 2 of this new crop of workouts, and as I said yesterday, these workouts are a combination of HIRT & HIIT protocols – designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

Today is the 10 rep day

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Overhead DB/KB Squats & See-Saw Overhead Presses
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Press
  • On the Squats, make sure to “lock in” your shoulders nice and tight before squatting – no loose shoulder joints

HIRT Superset #2

  • Single Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift & Toes to the Sky
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Wide Grip Pulldown or Pull-Ups & Stir the Pot
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Two Arm DB Incline Chest Press & Two Arm Cable or Body-Weight Row
  • 10 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 22 – Day 1

These next few workouts are a combination of HIRT & HIIT protocols. Both are designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
  • Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
  • Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
  • Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
  • The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

  • Single Leg Squats & Single Arm Lateral Raises
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Squat, Lateral, Lateral
  • On the lateral raises, imagine you are pushing the weight out and away from you – more delts, less traps

HIRT Superset #2

  • Double Leg Hip Thrusts & McGill Crunch
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Squat, Squat, Crunch, Crunch

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
  • 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
  • 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

  • Neutral Grip Pulldown or Chin-Ups & 30 sec Bridge
  • 20 reps per set of Pulldowns or Chins
  • 30 sec Bridge
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Alternate – Chin/Bridge

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

  • As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

  • Single Arm DB Chest Fly & Reverse DB Fly or Face Pull
  • 20 reps per set
  • Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
  • 5 minutes total
  • As many sets as possible
  • Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
  • Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

 [box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 21 – Day 3

This is your last bridge-esque workout of the week…designed to allow your muscles & nervous system a chance to fully recover and get ready for what’s coming next week.

[box type=”note”]The workout listed below is for those trainees interested in adding muscle to their physiques and who are not exhausted from the past few weeks of workouts. If that isn’t you, skip these workouts and go do some yoga or pilates or  cardio or mobility work or play tennis, soccer, etc… [/box]

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Your choice..either Pulldowns or Pull Ups

warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a max 15 reps

* Choose the weight that you could perform 15 reps with
* Then do 25 reps by…

* banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

HIIT #1

5 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

Exercise #2

Bodyweight Skullcrushers

  • Warm up with a couple of 10 rep sets
  • And then try to get between 20-60 reps

* banging out those first 10 or so in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps ,,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to (50-80) reps
Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

HIIT #2

4 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

Exercise #3

Shoulder Press (barbell, dumbbell, machine)

  • Choose a weight that you could perform 15 reps with
  • Then do 25 reps by…
  • banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

HIIT #3

3 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

 

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 21 – Day 2

 

Day 2 of your bridge week…designed to allow your muscles & nervous system a chance to fully recover and get ready for what’s coming next week.

It is a low volume workout with a twist….HIIT sprints

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Bulgarian Squat/Lunge (bodyweight only)

Warm up with 2 sets per leg of 10 reps

* Then do 40 to 60  reps per leg by…

* banging out the first 15-20 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to your maximum (40-60) reps

Rest 5 minutes, and then do the other leg

Rest another 5 min and move onto….

HIIT #1

  • 4 x 10 second sprints in the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Note – I want all 4 sprints to be fast, so it’s better to rest longer and keep your speed up than to start sprinting too soon and pedal like a turtle.
  • I prefer bike sprints or hill sprints, but it really doesn’t matter – use what’s available

Exercise #2

Glute Ham Raises (2 Leg)

Same protocol as the Bulgarians

  • Warm up with a couple of 10 rep sets
  • And then try to get between 50-80 reps

* banging out those first 30 or so in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps ,,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to (50-80) reps

Note: There is a good chance some of you won’t be able to do 50 reps. Here’s what I want you to do – place an incline bench or big stability ball in front of you so that you can do partial reps.

You will have to fiddle around with the depth of repetition and the # of repetitions to get it right.

Either way, remember that you legs should be screaming at you by the end of this single work set

HIIT #2

  • 5 x 10 second sprints in the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Note – I want all 5 sprints to be fast, so it’s better to rest longer and keep your speed up than to start sprinting too soon and pedal like a turtle.
  • I prefer bike sprints or hill sprints, but it really doesn’t matter – use what’s available

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Friday, it’s back to the weights

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 19 – Day 3

Last workout of the week.

Next week is brand new stuff.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 Supersets
  • Each Superset is made up of 2 exercises
  • Each Superset is performed for 5 minutes
  • Each Superset is to be performed 1-2 times – for a total of 20-40 minutes
  • 1 time for beginners and/or high intensity athletes
  • 2 times for experienced and/or endurance based athletes
  • Rest periods between sets are to be kept to a minimum
  • Rest periods between Supersets are to be kept to a minimum
  • On the active portion of an exercise (pushing away from the chest on a bench press), I want you to push as hard and fast as possible
  • On the recovery portion (lowering the bar to the chest on a bench press), I want you to move in a slower, more controlled manner

Superset #1 – Shoulder Press & Leg Raises

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Shoulder Press – DB/BB/Band/Machine/Sandbag/Sloshpipe or even a BW Handstand Press

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled on the way down and quick/powerful on the way up.

Exercise #2 – Leg Raise – seated bench/leg raise bench/hanging

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled 0n the way down and quick/powerful on the way up.
  • Keep your lower back / core tight – don’t swing like a pendulum – keep the stress on the muscles

Superset #2 – Lunge / Side Shoulder Raises

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Lunge – BW/DB/BB/KB/Plate

  • Choose a resistance you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled 0n the way down and quick/powerful on the way up.
  • If your knees hate the front lunge, step backwards into a reverse lunge
  • You can also do walking lunges
  • Alternating step length will shift focus from quads (short step) to glutes/hams (long step)

Exercise #2 – Side Shoulder/Lateral Raises – DB/KB/Band

  • Choose a resistance you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled 0n the way down and quick/powerful on the way up.

Superset #3 – Leg Curl / GH Raise & Toes to the Ceiling

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Leg Curl / GH Raise 

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – quick/powerful as you lift the weight and controlled as you lower the weight
  • Stability Ball leg curls are an option

Exercise #2 – Toes to the Ceiling – BW

  • Toes to the Ceiling is my name for this Reverse Crunch/Hip Extension/Dynamic Bridge hybrid exercise
  • Bodyweight only
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled in both directions

Superset #4 – Horizontal Row & Lateral Squats

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Horizontal Row – Cable/Band/BB Bent Over Rows/BW Rows/Machine

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – quick/powerful as you row towards your belly and controlled as you return to the start.
  • Standing or seated

Exercise #2 – Lateral Squats – BW/DB or plate held at chest height

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled in both directions

 

Alright…that’s all the lifting we’re doing today.

Stretch out your muscles, grab some steam and go have a life.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 19 – Day 2

Get ready to sweat people!!!

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 Supersets
  • Each Superset is made up of 2 exercises
  • Each Superset is performed for 5 minutes
  • Each Superset is to be performed 1-2 times – for a total of 20-40 minutes
  • 1 time for beginners and/or high intensity athletes
  • 2 times for experienced and/or endurance based athletes
  • Rest periods between sets are to be kept to a minimum
  • Rest periods between Supersets are to be kept to a minimum
  • On the active portion of an exercise (pushing away from the chest on a bench press), I want you to push as hard and fast as possible
  • On the recovery portion (lowering the bar to the chest on a bench press), I want you to move in a slower, more controlled manner

Superset #1 – Push Ups & Cable Pull Throughs

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Push Up – band resisted/bodyweight

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled on the way down and quick/powerful on the way up.

Exercise #2 – Cable Pull Throughs

  • Use a rope handle and a cable stack
  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled 0n the way down and quick/powerful on the way up.
  • Keep your lower back / core tight – don’t round your back

Superset #2 – Ab Crunches on Stability Ball & Terminal Knee Extensions (band or ball)

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Ab Crunches on Stability Ball

  • Body-Weight only
  • Perform 5 reps per set
  • For this exercise, I want you to perform both phases of the movement in a controlled manner 

Exercise #2 – Terminal Knee Extensions (band or ball)

  • Choose a band resistance you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set
  • For this exercise, I want you to perform both phases of the movement in a controlled manner 
  • You can use a small stability ball for this exercise

Superset #3 – Horizontal Cable Woodchops & Cable Bicep Curls & Cable Tricep Pushdowns

  • Perform the following 3 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Horizontal Cable Woodchops

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – quick/powerful as you rotate away from the cable stack and controlled as you return
  • Let your hips do most of the work – keep spinal twist minimized

Exercise #2 – Cable Bicep Curls using a cable stack

  •  Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – quick/powerful as you curl the weight up and controlled as you return
  • video

Exercise # – Cable Tricep Pushdowns using a cable stack

  •  Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – quick/powerful as you extend your arms and controlled as you return to the start position
  • Keep your elbows pinned to your sides

Superset #4 – Forward Cable Walks & Rear Delt Flyes

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Forward Cable Walks

  • Walk forwards as far as the cable allows – that’s 1 rep
  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled as you walk towards the cable stack and quick/powerful on the way away from it.
  • Watch your balance with this one
  • Instead of using the belt, you can just hold onto a rope handle

Exercise #2 – Rear Delt Flyes – standing (band/dumbbells)

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled as you lower the dumbbells and quick/powerful as you lift them

 

Alright…that’s all the lifting we’re doing today.

Stretch out your muscles, grab some steam and go have a life.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 19 – Day 1

We’re re-visiting Week 1 for this week’s workouts.

By this point in the program, your fitness levels should be MUCH, MUCH higher and you should destroy this workout

So go ahead and teach it who’s boss.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Start with your regular…

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

…and then do a little foam roller work

In addition to the foam roller work, I want you to stuff a lacrosse ball/tennis ball/yoga ball in between your shoulder blades & spine, lay on your back letting the ball sink into the nooks & crannies. Once the ball is in there, start making circles with your arm. It will break up those tight upper back muscles you get from staring at the computer screen.

Like the guy says in the video…go looking for areas of tightess & pain

THE WORKOUT

  • This workout consists of 4 Supersets
  • Each Superset is made up of 2 exercises
  • Each Superset is performed for 5 minutes
  • Each Superset is to be performed 1-2 times – for a total of 20-40 minutes
  • 1 time for beginners and/or high intensity athletes
  • 2 times for experienced and/or endurance based athletes
  • Rest periods between sets are to be kept to a minimum
  • Rest periods between Supersets are to be kept to a minimum
  • On the active portion of an exercise (pushing away from the chest on a bench press), I want you to push as hard and fast as possible
  • On the recovery portion (lowering the bar to the chest on a bench press), I want you to move in a slower, more controlled manner

Superset #1 – Goblet Squats & Fat Bar Hangs

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Goblet Squat

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled 0n the way down and quick/powerful on the way up.

Exercise #2 – Thick Bar Hangs

  • Hang from a thick bar until the first sensation that your grip might be slipping.
  • At the gym, you can create a thick bar by wrapping a towel around a chin-up bar or using a set of Fat Gripz.
  • My less powerful clients hang a stretch band from the chin-up bar and put their knee in it to remove some of their body-weight from the exercise.
  • Make it hard to grip the bar – I want you falling within 30 seconds
  • When I do outdoor workouts, I use a tree for this exercise.

Superset #2 – Ab Wheel Roll-Outs & Front Delt Raises

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Ab Wheel Roll-Outs

  • Body-Weight only
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled 0n the way out and quick/powerful on the way back in.
  • This can also be done with a barbell, suspension trainer or even a rope tied to an overhead tree branch

This is the ab wheel I use

Exercise #2 Kneeling Front Delt Raises

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set
  • For this exercise, I want you to perform both phases of the movement in a controlled manner 
  • Unlike the guy in the video, I want you to perform this exercise in a kneeling position

Superset #3 – Pulldowns & Lower Back Pulldowns

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Pulldowns

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled 0n the way up and quick/powerful on the way down.
  • Vary grip & hand spacing throughout the 5 minutes
  • You can substitute band pulldowns or assisted / non-assisted chins

Exercise #2 Lower Back Extensions using the Pulldown Machine

  •  Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set
  • For this exercise, I want you to perform both phases of the movement in a controlled manner
  • Unlike the guy in the video, I want you to use the pulldown machine
  • I want you to focus intensely on those lower back muscles – don’t just drop back – pull yourself back using your lower back
  • You can substitute bands for the cable stack or reverse hypers

Superset #4 – Backward Cable Walks & Standing Straight Arm Rows

  • Perform the following 2 exercises back to back for 5 minutes
  • Set a timer…watching a clock doesn’t work very well
  • Keep rest periods as short as possible

Exercise #1 – Backward Cable Walks

  • Walk backwards as far as the cable allows – that’s 1 rep
  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled as you walk towards the cable stack and quick/powerful on the way away from it.
  • Watch your balance with this one
  • Instead of using the belt, you can just hold onto the rope handle you’re using for the Standing Straight Arm Rows
  • You can substitute bands for the cable or sled/tire drags

Exercise #2 – Horizontal Cable Shrugs (seated or standing)

  • Choose a weight you could perform 10-20 reps with
  • 10 rep weight for strength – 20 rep weight for endurance – your call
  • Perform 5 reps per set – controlled as you release the handles towards the cable stack and quick/powerful as you pull them towards your upper belly
  • I prefer doing this standing as it makes the transition to the Backward Cable Walks simpler.
  • You can substitute bands of use your bodyweight like a bodyweight row.

Alright…that’s all the lifting we’re doing today.

Stretch out your muscles, grab some steam and go have a life.

 

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 18 – Day 1

Week #18 is a bridge week…designed to allow your muscles & nervous system a chance to fully recover and get ready for what’s coming next week.

The workout listed below is for those trainees interested in adding muscle to their physiques and who are not exhausted from the past few weeks of workouts.

If that isn’t you, skip these workouts and go do a yoga or pilates or do a week of cardio. And most of you could do with a bunch of joint mobility work, so go visit Kelly Starrett over at Mobility WOD and start working out some of those kinks.

Alright, let’s get on with the…

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Leg Press (or squats or Bulgarian split squats)

Warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a maximum 15 reps

Then, using the weight that you could perform 15 reps with, I want you to perform 25 reps!!!

Impossible???

Nope

* Start by banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

Once finished, your legs and lungs should feel like you just ran a marathon

Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with…

Exercise #2

Seated Machine Row (or standing cable row or standing band row)

Warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a maximum 15 reps

Once again, I want you to get 25 reps!!!

Start by banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 16 – Day 3

Last workout of the week – using the same framework as Monday & Wednesday…

  1. A combination of HIRT & Tabata
  2. Uses bodyweight-only exercises
  3. Is all about speed (with good form) & short rest periods
  4. Will burn fat like a mofo

I am also going to ask you to continue starting your workout by using a foam roller, lacrosse ball or similar fascia mashing device to break up muscular adhesions in your:

  1. IT band
  2. Quadriceps (front of thigh)
  3. Glutes, hips, hamstrings (all around the back of your legs)

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Start with your regular…

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

…before moving onto the foam roller work that I outlined above.

In addition to the leg work, I want you to stuff a lacrosse ball/tennis ball/yoga ball in between your shoulder blades & spine, lay on your back letting the ball sink into the nooks & crannies. Once the ball is in there, start making circles with your arm. It will break up those tight upper back muscles you get from staring at the computer screen.

Like the guy says in the video…go looking for areas of tightess & pain

THE WORKOUT

  • We’re going to do 5 superset – 2 x Tabata @ 4 min each and 3 HIRT sets @ a max of 5 min
  • Keep the rest periods as short as possible
  • While keeping form tight, try to perform the exercises as quickly as possible
  • Today is all about speed

HIRT SUPERSET #1

Complete the assigned reps or stop at 5 min…whichever comes first

  1. 1 Leg Bench Squat – 100 reps total – 50 reps per leg – use hardest variation possible
  2. Bodyweight Row – 100 reps

TABATA #1

  • Bodyweight Squats – 4 min total – 8 work sets of 20 seconds / 8 rest periods of 10 seconds

HIRT SUPERSET #2

Complete the assigned reps or stop at 5 min…whichever comes first

  1. 1 Leg Hip Thrust – 100 reps per leg

TABATA #2

  • Shuffle Lunges – 4 min total – 8 work sets of 20 seconds / 8 rest periods of 10 seconds

HIRT SUPERSET #3

Complete the assigned reps or stop at 5 min…whichever comes first

  1. Stir the Pot – 50 circles – 25 each direction
  2. Skull Crushers – 100 reps – the more horizontal your body, the harder it gets

POST-WORKOUT STRETCH

Now that the sweaty stuff is over, I want you to spend at least 10 minutes doing 30 sec static stretches. In addition to your personal tight bits, I want you to stretch your pecs (chest), glutes/hips/hams, hip flexors & quads

Alright…that’s it for today…tomorrow you should do either…

  1. Cardio – running, cycing, swimming, whatever floats your boat
  2. 20 Minutes of sprinting up hills (my personal fave)