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

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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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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 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:

For more Mommy Strength advice, feel free to sign up for email updates or follow me on Twitter

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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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.

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 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 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 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 14 – Day 3

Same workout as last Friday – HIIT sprint intervals & HIRT weightlifting intervals

  • 5 x 3 min HIIT sprint interval blocks, and
  • 5 x 3 min HIRT lifting interval blocks

For a total of 30 mins of fat-burning, metabolism boosting, fitness maximizing, sweat dripping fun

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

The HIRT sets will consist of:

  • 2 exercises performed back to back for 3 minutes.
  • Rest kept to a minimum
  • Low number of reps per set

The HIIT sets will consist of a series of sprints (of varying lengths) performed over 3 minutes. I will change up the duration of sprints & rest periods throughout the workout. How you HIIT is up to you – running sprints, cycling sprints, rowing sprints, StairMaster sprints, swimming sprints, etc…

HIRT #1

Perform this circuit as fast as possible, then…

  • Rest for 60-120 sec

HIIT #1

3 x 10:50 sprints (10 sec sprint : 50 seconds slow)

HIRT #2

Perform this circuit as fast as possible, then…

  • Rest for 60-120 sec

HIIT #2

2 x 10:20 sprints + 2 x 10:50 sprints (4 sprints total)

HIRT #3

Perform this circuit as fast as possible, then…

  • Rest for 60-120 sec

HIIT #3

3 x 15:45 sprints (15 sec sprint : 45 sec slow)

HIRT #4

Perform this circuit as fast as possible, then…

  • Rest for 60-120 sec

HIIT #4

2 x 10:20 sprints + 2 x 15:45 sprints (4 sprints total)

HIRT #5

Perform as many sets as you can in 3 minutes

HIIT #5

2 x 10:20 sprints + 1 x 10:50 sprints + 2 x 10:20 sprints  (5 sprints total)

 

Alright…that’s it for the workout portion of this workout.

Now, it’s time to spend about 20 minutes stretching muscles & mobilizing tight joints. Most people have issues with hip flexors, glutes, pec minor, and shoulders, but since we’re all individuals, I want you to focus on loosening up your own personal “tight bits”.

And because I forgot to include it in Monday’s workout, here is the new joint mobility exercise I promised you. It’s designed to rehab tight calves/achilles…just in time for outdoor running season

Next week is going to be all new stuff…hope you like it/hate it/like it

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 14 – Day 1

Week #14 is an exact copy of Week #13 – HIIT sprint intervals & HIRT weightlifting intervals

  • 5 x 3 min HIIT sprint interval blocks, and
  • 5 x 3 min HIRT lifting interval blocks

For a total of 30 mins of fat-burning, metabolism boosting, fitness maximizing, sweat dripping fun

Now that you know the workout, you should be able to improve upon last week’s performance

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

The HIRT sets will consist of:

  • 2 exercises performed back to back for 3 minutes.
  • Rest kept to a minimum
  • Low number of reps per set

The HIIT sets will consist of a series of sprints (of varying lengths) performed over 3 minutes. I will change up the duration of sprints & rest periods throughout the workout. How you HIIT is up to you – running sprints, cycling sprints, rowing sprints, StairMaster sprints, swimming sprints, etc…

HIRT #1

Perform as many sets as you can in 3 minutes

HIIT #1

3 x 10:50 sprints (10 sec sprint : 50 seconds slow)

HIRT #2

Perform as many sets as you can in 3 minutes

HIIT #2

2 x 10:20 sprints + 2 x 10:50 sprints (4 sprints total)

HIRT #3

Perform as many sets as you can in 3 minutes

HIIT #3

3 x 15:45 sprints (15 sec sprint : 45 sec slow)

HIRT #4

Perform as many sets as you can in 3 minutes

HIIT #4

2 x 10:20 sprints + 2 x 15:45 sprints (4 sprints total)

HIRT #5

Perform as many sets as you can in 3 minutes

HIIT #5

2 x 10:20 sprints + 1 x 10:50 sprints + 2 x 10:20 sprints  (5 sprints total)

 

Alright…that’s it for the workout portion of this workout.

Now, it’s time to spend about 20 minutes stretching muscles & mobilizing tight joints. Most people have issues with hip flexors, glutes, pec minor, and shoulders, but since we’re all individuals, I want you to focus on loosening up your own personal “tight bits”.

Health Habits Fitness Challenge #2

Thanks to my new friends at Konkura, I can now challenge the entire world to all sorts of weird & wonderful fitness challenges.

Today’s challenge is all about overhead pressing power combined with anaerobic endurance.

Let’s see if you can kick my ass.

ENTER THE CHALLENGE

 

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 10 – Day 3

It’s Week #10…Day #3….and it’s the last Tabata of the week. 🙂

Remember, weight selection can sometimes be tricky with Tabata workouts. If you go too heavy, you run out of gas and stop partway through the 20 seconds of work. Go too light and it becomes an aerobics class.

What I ask my clients to do is:

  • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back significantly during Tabatas and focus on the number of reps per set.
  • If you normally train lighter and do high rep workouts..then I want you to jack up the weight and drop the # of reps

The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.

We’re going to do 2 weeks of these workouts, then back of for a week with some bridge workouts and then back to Tabata for another 2 weeks.

You might hate me during the workouts, but you’ll thank me when you see yourself in the mirror.
.

Also helpful to these workouts is a Gymboss timer Staring at a clock while doing Tabatas is a real pain.

 

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

Tabata #1

Thrusters

  • Thrusters (BB or DB) for 20 seconds
  • Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
  • 8 sets of thrusters
  • 4 minutes  total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, I want you to do a short HIIT sprint session consisting of….

HIIT #1

….3 x 10:50 sec sprints.

If you’re in a gym – use an exercise bike, outdoors – sprint up a hill, in your home – use the bottom step of your stairs as a cardio-step machine.

  • 10 seconds sprinting
  • 50 seconds rest
  • 3x

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, we’re going back to Tabata.

Tabata #2

Ab Wheel Roll-Out (or barbell / stability ball roll-out) (article on roll-out)

  • Roll-outs for 20 seconds
  • Rest (kneeling) for 10 seconds
  • 8 sets of roll-outs
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, we’re doing HIIT sprints again.

HIIT #2

3 x 10:50 sec sprints.

If you’re in a gym – use an exercise bike, outdoors – sprint up a hill, in your home – use the bottom step of your stairs as a cardio-step machine.

  • 10 seconds sprinting
  • 50 seconds rest
  • 3x

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, we’re going back to Tabata.

Tabata #3

Straight Arm Pulldowns – standing – use a rope handle

  • Pulldown for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • 8 sets of pulldowns
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set


When you can breathe “normally”, it’s HIIT time again.

HIIT #3

3 x 10:50 sec sprints.

If you’re in a gym – use an exercise bike, outdoors – sprint up a hill, in your home – use the bottom step of your stairs as a cardio-step machine.

  • 10 seconds sprinting
  • 50 seconds rest
  • 3x

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, we’ve got one more Tabata.

Tabata #4

Push-Ups

  • From the floor if you can do them
  • Using a smith machine if you can’t do floor push-ups
  • No “girl” push-ups on the knees
  • Push-up for 20 seconds
  • Rest (floor) for 10 seconds
  • 8 sets total of Push-ups
  • 4 minutes  total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

That should be enough for today.

At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work + another 9 minutes of HIIT sprints

If you are a total freak of nature, feel free to repeat some of the sets. Use your ability to recover your breath as a guide. If it’s taking longer & longer to breath normally between sets, call it a day.

  • Alternately, you can throw in 20 minutes of cardio….stretch and go home
  • Tomorrow, do some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Ultimate Hardgainer Workout – Shoulders, Back, Neck and Traps

DAY 4 – Shoulders / Vertical Back / Neck & Traps

Warm-Up

Each workout begins with a 10-15 minute warm-up all of your joints and muscles to get them ready for the workout. Feel free to use the warm-up I lay out in my Best Body workouts. The idea is to lube up your joints and warm up the muscles.

The Workout

7 supersets in a row – 2 of them single limb sets – 5 of them with 2 exercises apiece

Superset #1 

  1. Wide Grip Pulldowns / Assisted Chins supersetted with
  2. Overhead Shrugs (barbell or dumbbells)
  • 2 Exercises 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, wipe up your sweat and move onto Superset #2

Superset #2

  1. Narrow Grip Pulldowns (or assisted Narrow Grip Pull-Ups)
  2. DB Waiter Walks
  • 2 Exercises – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set of Pulldowns  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • 30 STEPS per set for Waiter Walks – be aware of your environment as you walk – no tripping
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, move onto Superset #3

Superset #3

  1. Face Pulls on Pulldown Machine (or bands)
  2. BB or DB Front Raises (or bands)
  • 2 Exercises 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes move onto Superset #4

Superset #4

  1. Single Arm Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise – dumbbell, kettlebell, band
  • 1 Exercise – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per arm, alternating left, right, left, right… using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, stagger on over to Superset #5

Superset #5

  1. 4-Way Neck Flexion – (replace machine resistance with hand reistance ONLY)
  2. Straight Arm Pulldowns – (cable or band) – also called Shrug Pulldowns or Scapula Pulldowns
  • 2 Exercises – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, have faith that you’re almost finished and move onto Superset #6

Superset #6

  1. Straight Arm Pushdown – (cable or band) – often incorrectly called a S.A. Pulldown
  2. DB Shoulder Press – (DB, KB or band)
  • 2 Exercises –  5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, rejoice in the knowledge that you have only 5 more minutes to go

Superset #7

  1. Single Arm Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise – dumbbell, kettlebell, band
  • 1 Exercise – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per arm, alternating left, right, left, right…using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set

That’s it for today, and if you don’t want to be brutally sore for the next 3 days, take a look at these post-workout pain-reducing techniques.

The Ultimate Hardgainer Workout – Arms and Core

DAY 3 – Arms / Core

Warm-Up

Each workout begins with a 10-15 minute warm-up all of your joints and muscles to get them ready for the workout. Feel free to use the warm-up I lay out in my Best Body workouts. The idea is to lube up your joints and warm up the muscles.

The Workout

Arms

3 supersets in a row…1,2,3

Superset #1 

  1. 2 Arm Palms-Up Bicep Curl – (Barbell, Dumbbell, Cable or Bands)
  2. Overhead Tricep Extension – (Barbell, Dumbbell, Cable or Bands)
  • 2 Exercises 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, get your ass off the floor and move onto Superset #3

Superset #2

  1. 2 Arm Hammer Curl – (Barbell, Dumbbell, Cable or Bands)
  2. Tricep Pushdowns (cable or bands)
  • 2 Exercises 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, get your ass off the floor and move onto Superset #3

Superset #3

  1. Undergrip Bodyweight Rows
  2. Bodyweight Skullcrushers
  • 2 Exercises 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, get your ass off the floor and move onto Superset #3

Core

3 more supersets.

Superset #1 
  1. Dead Bugs
  2. Reverse Hyperextension
  • 2 Exercises – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – bodyweight only
  • Keep proper form on every rep
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps with good form, drop the number of reps
  • After 5 minutes, get your ass off the floor and move onto Superset #3

Superset #2

  1. Woodchops – (Cable or Bands) – rotate through the hips – DON’T twist the spine
  2. DB Waiter Walks
  • 2 Exercises 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per side per set for Woodchops  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • 30 sets per set for Waiter Walks – be aware of your environment as you walk – no tripping
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, get your ass off the floor and move onto Superset #3

Superset #3

  1. McGill Crunch
  2. Stir The Pot – McGill – FF to 1:03 on the video
  • 2 Exercises 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per set of McGill crunches
  • 5 circles in each direction for Stir The Pots
  • Keep proper form
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, slightly increase your rest period
  • After 5 minutes, collapse on the floor and do 10-15 minutes of stretching
That’s it for today, and if you don’t want brutally sore arms for the next 3 days, take a look at these post-workout pain-reducing techniques.

Ultimate Hardgainer Workout – Chest and Back

DAY 2– Chest / Horizontal Back / Rear Delt

Warm-Up

Each workout begins with a 10-15 minute warm-up all of your joints and muscles to get them ready for the workout. Feel free to use the warm-up I lay out in my Best Body workouts. The idea is to lube up your joints and warm up the muscles.

The Workout

Chest / Rear Delts

Perform the following 3 Chest / Rear Delt Supersets in series – 1,2,3

DB Fly / DB Press / DB Rear Delt Fly – 3 different positions (high incline/med incline/flat) – 5 minutes each position

  • 3 exercises back to back for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Start with the High Incline version
  • No rest between exercises
  • After you’ve completed the 5 min of High Inclines, rest for a minute and adjust the bench to a mid-incline position
  • After 5 minutes of mid-inclines, adjust the bench to a flat position
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • Including rest periods, this should take 20 minutes

Horizontal Back

This time, you have 2 single arm exercises, followed by a 2 exercise superset

Standing 1 Arm Cable Row (you can substitute bands)

  • 1 exercise – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • Set the cable stack/band in a low position
  • 5 reps per set – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Do 5 reps with the left hand, then do 5 reps with the right hand
  • After this set, move the position of the cable UP one notch
  • 5 reps left hand, 5 reps right hand
  • No rest between sets
  • Here’s what the mid position will look like
  • Continue moving the cable up one notch until you reach the high position or the 15 minutes are complete
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set

1 Arm Bodyweight Row (Smith Machine, suspension trainer, cable stack set to heaviest weight)

  • 1 exercise – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per set – bodyweight only
  • Do 5 reps with the left hand, then do 5 reps with the right hand
  • As you tire, change the angle of the exercise…horizontal is harder, vertical is easier
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion

Cable Straight-Arm Push-down / Push-Ups (you can substitute a band for the cable)

  • 2 exercises – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Do 5 reps push-downs, then do 5 reps with of push-ups
  • As you tire, I want you to sacrifice the number of reps instead of sacrificing form
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on the pushdowns, lower the weight for the next set
  • If you can’t get 5 reps on push-ups give me 4..or 3..but keep the form tight
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion

That’s it for today, and if you don’t want a brutally sore upper body for the next 3 days, take a look at these post-workout pain-reducing techniques.

  • Next Hardgainer Workout is Arms & Core training

Ultimate Hardgainer Workout – Legs

Yesterday I outlined The HealthHabits HardGainer Program of Death.

Today, it’s the details for…

DAY 1 – Quads / Hip flexors / Hams / Glutes

Warm-Up

Each workout begins with a 10-15 minute warm-up all of your joints and muscles to get them ready for the workout. Feel free to use the warm-up I lay out in my Best Body workouts. The idea is to lube up your joints and warm up the muscles.

The Workout

Quads / Hip Flexors

Perform the following 4 Quad / Hip Flexor exercises in series – 1,2,3,4

Leg Press 

  • Alternating sets of single-leg leg presses
  • 5 reps per set – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Go back and forth from left to right for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, strip your weights and move onto….

Bulgarian Split Squat

  • Bodyweight only
  • 5 reps per set
  • Go back and forth from left to right for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • Try to get 5 reps per set – odds are you will be doing singles by the end of the 5 min
  • After 5 minutes, stagger over to the Straight Leg Raise bench

Single Leg – Leg Raises

  • Bodyweight only
  • 5 reps per set
  • Go back and forth from left to right for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • Try to get 5 reps per set – odds are you will be doing singles by the end of the 5 min
  • Hard – straight leg – Easier – bent leg –  Easiset – Bench Knee-Ups
  • After 5 minutes, pick yourself up and move over to
  • NOTE – videos show 2 leg version – sorry for the confusion

Leg Extensions

  • Alternating sets of single-leg leg extensions
  • 5 reps per set – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Go back and forth from left to right for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, strip your weights and move onto….

Hams / Glutes

Now that we’ve trashed the front of your legs, it’s time to move to the backside. Same as last time…1,2,3,4.

Single Leg Hip Thrust

  • Alternating sets of single-leg hip thrusts
  • 5 reps per set – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Go back and forth from left to right for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, strip your weights and move onto….

Single Leg Leg Curl

  • Alternating sets of single-leg hip thrusts
  • 5 reps per set – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Go back and forth from left to right for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, it’s time for…

Single Leg Straight Leg Deadlift

  • Alternating sets of single-leg hip thrusts
  • 5 reps per set – using a weight you could perform 10-15 reps with
  • Go back and forth from left to right for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • Try to get 5 reps per set – odds are you will be doing singles by the end of the 5 min
  • After 5 minutes, pick yourself up and move over to…

Single Leg Stability Ball Leg Curl 

  • Alternating sets of single-leg stability ball leg curls
  • Bodyweight only
  • 10 reps per set per leg
  • Go back and forth from left to right for 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you’re too wobbly to hold second leg in the air, bend your knee and put your foot flat on the floor

That’s it for today, and if you don’t want brutally sore legs for the next 3 days, take a look at these post-workout pain-reducing techniques.

The next post will outline the details of  Day 2 – Chest & Back

The Ultimate Hardgainer Workout

Every week, I get a couple of readers ask me about training programs for hardgainers. And while, I do have a great size-building workout posted already….it isn’t a true hardgainer program.   So here are the instructions for my ultimate hardgainer workout.

But this one is.

The HealthHabits HardGainer Workout of Death

hardgainer---before-and-aft

THE RULES

  1. Focus on individual muscles or small groups & not movements – think pecs instead of bench press
  2. Keep the number of muscles worked per workout to a minimum – no full-body workouts
  3. Maximize the volume of work applied to those muscles
  4. Limit rest periods during the workout
  5. Make good use of post-workout recovery techniques to help aid recovery and avoid crippling DOMS
  6. In between these workouts, don’t do anything more challenging than a brisk walk.

All of these rules work together to do one thing:

To force the targetted muscles to do the most amount of direct work that is humanly possible….and then help you recover from it. For whatever reason, hardgainers need to be pushed really, really, really hard to force their bodies to adapt and create new, bigger muscles

Okay, that’s the theory….here’s what you’re actually going to do.

The Week at a Glance

  • For true hardgainers, I have set this up as a 4 day split routine with a mandatory 5th Rest Day.
  • After the rest day, you start over with Day 1.
  • This means 6 workouts per week.

Popeye workout

  1. Quads / Hip flexors / Hams / Glutes
  2. Chest / Horizontal Back / Rear Delts
  3. Biceps / Triceps / Core
  4. Shoulders (Front/Side) / Vertical Back / Neck & Traps
  5. Rest
  6. Repeat
Note: This 4 day program can be modified to fit your goals/lifestyle/training experience level
  • Instead of 4 on-1 off, you could do it over 7 days with M/W/F/Sun being your training days
  • Or over 8 days with an off day in between each training day
  • Or you include include one or more of these workouts into an existing program to bring up lagging bodyparts

The 4 on-1 off works best, but it’s pretty intense

A Day at a Glance

  • Each workout begins with a 10-15 minute warm-up all of your joints and muscles to get them ready for the workout. Feel free to use the warm-up I lay out in my Best Body workouts. The idea is to lube up your joints and warm up the muscles.
  • With this workout, instead of counting reps, set & weight lifted, each muscle group will be trained for a set time, with the goal being to do the most “work” during that set period of time.
  • Each muscle group will be hit with 2 – 4 exercises during that set time period.
  • Each muscle group will usually be hit by both compound (bench press) and isolation exercises (DB chest fly).
  • I have organized the exercises in a specific order to maximize your results.
  • We will be using 3 different set-extension techniques to help you extend the length of the set and maximize the volume of work inflicted on your muscles.

hulk muscle

  1. Alternating Single Limb Sets – left, right, left, right – kinda self-explanatory
  2. Drop Setslowering the weight used on successive sets as you begin to fatigue
  3. Rest Pausewhen you think you can’t complete that final rep, pause…take 2-3 big breaths…and then lift the weight

Okay, there’s the overview.  Here come the workouts…

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Next PageDay 1 – Quads / Hip flexors / Hams / Glutes

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Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 7 – Day 3

Last workout of the week….enjoy it.

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 

  1. High Incline DB Chest Fly
  2. High Incline DB Chest Press
  3. High Incline DB Rear Delt Fly
  • 5 Minutes – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set
  • Choose a weight, you could perform 15 – 20 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, lower the bench half way and get ready for Superset #2

Superset #2

  1. Medium Incline DB Chest Fly
  2. Medium Incline DB Chest Press
  3. Medium Incline DB Rear Delt Fly
  • 5 Minutes – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set
  • Choose a weight, you could perform 15 – 20 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, lower the bench all the way flat and get ready for Superset #3

Superset #3 

  1. Flat DB Chest Fly
  2. Flat DB Chest Press
  3. Flat DB Rear Delt Fly
  • 5 Minutes – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set
  • Choose a weight, you could perform 15 – 20 reps with
  • Keep proper form – I would rather see you use less weight or perform fewer reps
  • Minimize rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set
  • After 5 minutes, clean up your equipment and get ready for Superset #4

Superset #4

  1. Standing 1 Arm Cable or Band Row
  • 1 exercise – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • Set the cable stack/band in a low position
  • 5 reps per set – using a weight you could perform 15-20 reps with
  • Do 5 reps with the left hand, then do 5 reps with the right hand
  • After this set, move the position of the cable UP one or two notches
  • 5 reps left hand, 5 reps right hand
  • No rest between sets
  • Here’s what the mid position will look like
  • Continue moving the cable up one notch until you reach the high position or the 15 minutes are complete
  • No partial reps – full range of motion
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on a set, lower the weight for the next set

Superset #5

  1. 1 Arm Bodyweight Row (Smith Machine, suspension trainer, cable stack set to heaviest weight)
  • 1 exercise – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per set – bodyweight only
  • Do 5 reps with the left hand, then do 5 reps with the right hand
  • As you tire, change the angle of the exercise…horizontal is harder, vertical is easier
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion

Superset #6

  1. Cable Straight-Arm Push-down (you can substitute a band for the cable)
  2. Push-Ups (bodyweight)
  • 2 exercises – 5 MINUTES – Set your timer
  • 5 reps per exercise per set  – using a weight you could perform 15-20 reps with
  • Do 5 reps push-downs, then do 5 reps with of push-ups
  • As you tire, I want you to sacrifice the number of reps instead of sacrificing form
  • If you can’t complete 5 reps on the pushdowns, lower the weight for the next set
  • If you can’t get 5 reps on push-ups give me 4..or 3..but keep the form tight
  • No rest between sets
  • No partial reps – full range of motion

That’s it…you’re done for the day.
Reminder 

  • If you find that you can’t complete 5 reps on any of the sets, I would rather you drop the reps and keep good form, than get sloppy.
  • Try to keep rest periods as short as possible – it’s key to the fat-burning effect
  • This is a tough workout, no matter what your fitness level, so take a look at these post-workout pain-reducing techniques.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 4 – Day 3

Last workout of the week.

Go do something fun this weekend 🙂

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.

The Components of Physical Fitness

What is physical fitness?

You will receive some very different answers depending upon who you ask.

To a person with a medical condition, physical fitness may be a day without pain or a day where they have the energy to walk down to the corner store. To the weekend warrior, it is being able to compete with his friends and still be able to go to work on Monday.

To an Olympic calibre gymnast, physical fitness is performing an Iron Cross. The flexibility of an accomplished yoga practitioner is a display of physical fitness. As is the endurance of a triathelete. Or the power of an Olympic style weightlifter. Or the speed of a sprinter. Or the agility of a badminton player…

They are all right and they are all wrong.

For their particular needs, there is an appropriate level of adequate fitness. The weekend warrior has no need to perform an Iron Cross. Or a gymnast to run a marathon.

The decathalete / heptahalete is supposed to represent the ultimate of physical fitness. While the other athletes are specialists, these multi-sports athletes train to develop the ultimate combination of the different components that make up physical fitness.

So that is where we will go. By breaking down physical fitness into it’s components, we will arrive at a better understanding of physical fitness.

The 5 Components of Physical Fitness

1. Muscular Strength

This component of physical fitness deals specifically with the performance of the body’s skeletal muscles.

Your skeletal muscles contract and stretch in order to produce movement. Simple.

How they produce that movement is less simple. 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.

One way to organize these different types of strength is in relation to time.

Maximum muscular strength is the ability to produce the most amount of force regardless of time. That big guy at your gym that is ALWAYS bench pressing may have a high level of maximum strength. He can produce a large amount of force (to move that heavy barbell) but he does it relatively SLOOOWWWLY.

Maximum muscular endurance is the ability to produce a smaller amount of force, but do it for a long time. A marathon runner has a high level of muscular endurance. His bodyweight requires less force to move than a heavy barbell, but he is able to move that weight for 2+ hours non-stop.

Maximum muscular speed is the ability to produce muscular movement very quickly. A hummingbird’s wings are the epitome of speed.

Muscular power is a combination of maximum strength and speed. An Olympic weightlifter is a great example of power. So are high jumpers and sprinters. Another way of looking at power would be to use our weightlifter friend from the gym.

If he bench presses 300 lbs but takes 3 seconds to perform the lift, his power output is 100 lbs. per second. However, if he drops the weight to 200 lbs and performs the lift in 1 second, his power output shoots up to 200 lbs. per second.

If that wasn’t confusing enough, different types of muscular strength rely on the development of the 4 other components of physical fitness.

Next Page…Neuro-Muscular Co-ordination

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If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

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Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 1 – Day 3

Last HIRT workout of the week.

Next week the program expands to include nutrition advice and suggestions for non-HIRT day exercise.

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.

 

Instant Exercise Motivation #12

image: http://www.theworldsstrongestman.com

This is what happens when 715 pounds meets a freak of nature named Zydrunas Savickas.

Now get your butt to the gym and do something sweaty.

p.s. Even if you have no interest in lifting freakishly heavy weights, you still have to love that giant Fred Flintstone barbell.

Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 1 – Day 2

Same theory as Monday’s workout with different exercises / movements

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

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 1 – Day 1

NOTE– As I said in yesterday’s post, I designed this workout for ALL levels of trainees – beginner to pro.

I think I have done a good job of it, but there is a chance that I screwed it up….Is it too complex for beginners to understand…and/or to simplistic for advanced trainees???  😦

I would appreciate any & all feedback – be merciless.

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 – 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

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.

 

huge strong and ripped healthhabits fitness strength

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 50 – Day 1

huge, strong and ripped is what you will be after doing this workout

For today’s workout, we’re going back to Day 2 from last week.  

The sprints are designed to target your nervous system and ask your muscles to contract ultra-fast and ultra-powerfully, while the slo-mo weight-lifting exercises dramatically increase muscular time-under-tension and play with your energy systems in a very unique way.

 

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 – HIIT sprints

2 x 10 second sprints @ 100% intensity with a 50 second rest between sprints

How you sprint is up to you – bike, rowing machine, versa climber, skipping rope, treadmill…but I suggest you go with a bike.

Exercise #2 – Slo-Mo Push-Ups

5 reps, performed as slowly as possible while still keeping the movement smooth. I don’t want little jerky stops and starts. Slowly down & slowly up. Embrace the burn

Exercise #3 – HIIT sprints

3 x 10 second sprints @ 100% intensity with a 50 second rest between sprints

Exercise #4 – Slo-Mo Bulgarian Split Squats

5 reps per leg, performed as slowly as possible while still keeping the movement smooth.

Exercise #5 – HIIT sprints

3 x 10 second sprints  with a 40 second rest between sprints

Exercise #6 – Slo-Mo DB Lateral Raises

5 reps, performed as slowly as possible while still keeping the movement smooth. Choose a very light dumbbell

Exercise #7 – HIIT sprints

2 x 10 second sprints  with a 20 second rest between sprints

Exercise #8 – Slo-Mo 1 Leg Deadlifts

5 reps per leg, performed as slowly as possible while still keeping the movement smooth. Bodyweight only.

 

Now for the fun part….I want you to repeat this workout 1-2 more times.

  • Stopping when you reach 60 minutes of total workout time
  • And lowering the reps down to 3 if you can’t keep the reps smooth and slow.

I did this workout yesterday and during my last set of push-ups, my arms & legs were shaking as I tried to keep the reps ultra-slow.

After that, you’re done for the day.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Friday, it’s back to the weights

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 48 – Day 2

Week #48 – Day #2

It’s the last week for this workout – keep reducing the rest periods.

 

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

HIRT Superset #1

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 reps per set of Wood Chops – at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 10 reps per leg of 1 Leg Body-Weight Deadlifts

Exercise #1 – Body-Weight (BW) Squats

Exercise #2 – Wood Chops – chest height – facing one direction – 10 reps

Exercise #3 – One Leg (BW) Deadlift

Exercise #4 – WoodChops – chest height – facing opposite direction – 10 reps

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

 

HIRT Superset #2

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 reps per set per arm of Alternating DB Press – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)
  • 30 Seconds Prone Bridge per set

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – Alternating DB Press

Exercise #3 – Prone Bridge

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #3

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 40 steps per set of Overhead Waiters Walk (reasonably heavy DBs)
  • 10 Reps per set of High to Low Standing Cable Rows  – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – 2 Hand Waiters Walks

Exercise #3 – High to Low Standing Cable Rows


No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #4

  • 4 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 Gironda Laterals (10 each arm) per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 40 reps per set of Body-Weight Hip Thrusts
  • 10 Alternating DB Bicep Curls (10 each arm) per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – Gironda Laterals

Exercise #3 – Body-Weight Hip Thrusts – feet elevated or on floor

Exercise #4 – Alternating DB Bicep Curls

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some cardio or  HIIT sprints & stretching (lots of stretching)

Friday, it’s back to the weights

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 48 – Day 1

Week #48 – Day #1

Last week for this workout – set some new records

Not including warm-up exercises, this workout is made up of 4 HIRT circuits.

I want you to move as quickly as possible between sets, keeping rest periods to a minimum

 

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

HIRT Superset #1

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 5 reps per set of Ab Wheel Roll-Outs
  • 10 Push-ups per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • And a 1 Minute Squat Test (video is a 10 min test)

Exercise #1 – Ab Wheel Roll-Outs

Exercise #2 – Push-Ups

Exercise #3 – One Minute Squat Test

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

 

HIRT Superset #2

  • 2 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 5 reps per set of Pulldowns/Chins – using a resistance that you can perform 10 reps with (10RM)
  • 20 reps per set of DB Swings – using a resistance that you can perform 50 reps with (50 RM)

Exercise #1 – Pulldowns or Chins

Exercise #2 – Dumbbell or Kettlebell Swings

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #3

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Pallof Presses facing one direction – with a 20 RM weight (20RM)
  • 40 steps per set of Overhead Waiters Walk (reasonably heavy DBs)
  • 10 Reps per set of Pallof Presses facing opposite direction – same weight
  • 10 Push-ups per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)

Exercise #1 – Pallof Presses

Exercise #2 – 2 Hand Waiters walks

Exercise #3 – Pallof Presses – opposite side

Exercise #4 – Push-Ups

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #4

  • 4 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 40 steps of Cable Sled Drags / Truck Pulls per set (count steps raising & lowering cable stack) – control lowering stack – if you don’t have access to a “dipping” belt, attach a “tricep pushdown” rope and use your hands (good for grip strength)
  • 30 Seconds Prone Bridge per set
  • 10 Cable Rows per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 10 Push-ups per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)

Exercise #1 – Cable Sled Drags

Exercise #2 – Prone Bridge

Exercise #3 – Cable Row – 2 hands – use rope or belt from sled drags

Exercise #4 – Push-Ups

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some cardio or  HIIT sprints & stretching (lots of stretching)

Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 47 – Day 3

Week #47 – Day #3

Last lifting workout of the week

I want you to move as quickly as possible between sets, keeping rest periods to a minimum

 

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

HIRT Superset #1

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 30 reps per set of Shuffle Lunges (or a similar effort level of skipping, burpees or jumping jacks)
  • 10 reps per set of Toes to the Sky
  • 10 reps of Overhead Shrugs  – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)

Exercise #1 – Shuffle Lunges (or a similar effort level of skipping, burpees or jumping jacks)

Exercise #2 – Toes to the Sky  

Exercise #3 – Overhead Shrugs – barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

 

HIRT Superset #2

  • 4 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 30 reps per set of Shuffle Lunges (or a similar effort level of skipping, burpees or jumping jacks)
  • 10 reps per set of Standing Cable Rows – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)
  • 20 reps per set of Lateral Squats (10 reps per side)
  • 10 Reps per set of Tricep Pushdowns  – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)

Exercise #1 – Shuffle Lunges (or a similar effort level of skipping, burpees or jumping jacks)

Exercise #2 –  – Cable Row – 2 hands – use tricep pushdown rope

Exercise #3 – Lateral Squats

Exercise #4 – Tricep Pushdowns


No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

 

HIRT Superset #3

  • 4 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 30 reps per set of Shuffle Lunges (or a similar effort level of skipping, burpees or jumping jacks)
  • 10 reps per set of Rolling Abs
  • 10 reps per set per arm of  Slide / Drag Curls per set – use DBs
  • 20 reps per set of DB Swings  – using 1 of the DBs from the Slide/Drag Curls

Exercise #1 – Shuffle Lunges (or a similar effort level of skipping, burpees or jumping jacks)

Exercise #2 – Rolling Abs

Exercise #3 –  Slide / Drag Curl

Exercise #4 – Dumbbell or Kettlebell Swings

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #4

  • 4 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 30 reps per set of Shuffle Lunges (or a similar effort level of skipping, burpees or jumping jacks)
  • 10 reps per set of Push-Ups – at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 40 reps per set of Body-Weight Hip Thrusts – feet elevated or on floor
  • 30 Seconds Prone Bridge per set

Exercise #1 – Shuffle Lunges (or a similar effort level of skipping, burpees or jumping jacks)

Exercise #2 – Push Ups

Exercise #3 – Body-Weight Hip Thrusts – feet elevated or on floor

Exercise #4 – Bridge / Plank

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some cardio or  HIIT sprints & stretching (lots of stretching)

Starting Monday…. it’s back to the weights

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 47 – Day 2

Week #47 – Day #2

Same as last week – aim to reduce rest periods.

 

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

HIRT Superset #1

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 reps per set of Wood Chops – at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 10 reps per leg of 1 Leg Body-Weight Deadlifts

Exercise #1 – Body-Weight (BW) Squats

Exercise #2 – Wood Chops – chest height – facing one direction – 10 reps

Exercise #3 – One Leg (BW) Deadlift

Exercise #4 – WoodChops – chest height – facing opposite direction – 10 reps

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

 

HIRT Superset #2

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 reps per set per arm of Alternating DB Press – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)
  • 30 Seconds Prone Bridge per set

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – Alternating DB Press

Exercise #3 – Prone Bridge

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #3

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 40 steps per set of Overhead Waiters Walk (reasonably heavy DBs)
  • 10 Reps per set of High to Low Standing Cable Rows  – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – 2 Hand Waiters Walks

Exercise #3 – High to Low Standing Cable Rows


No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #4

  • 4 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 Gironda Laterals (10 each arm) per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 40 reps per set of Body-Weight Hip Thrusts
  • 10 Alternating DB Bicep Curls (10 each arm) per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – Gironda Laterals

Exercise #3 – Body-Weight Hip Thrusts – feet elevated or on floor

Exercise #4 – Alternating DB Bicep Curls

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some cardio or  HIIT sprints & stretching (lots of stretching)

Friday, it’s back to the weights

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 46 – Day 2

Week #46 – Day #2

Same set-up as Monday with different exercises….including WoodChops

I want you to move as quickly as possible between sets, keeping rest periods to a minimum

 

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

HIRT Superset #1

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 reps per set of Wood Chops – at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 10 reps per leg of 1 Leg Body-Weight Deadlifts

Exercise #1 – Body-Weight (BW) Squats

Exercise #2 – Wood Chops – chest height – facing one direction – 10 reps

Exercise #3 – One Leg (BW) Deadlift

Exercise #4 – WoodChops – chest height – facing opposite direction – 10 reps

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

 

HIRT Superset #2

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 reps per set per arm of Alternating DB Press – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)
  • 30 Seconds Prone Bridge per set

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – Alternating DB Press

Exercise #3 – Prone Bridge

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #3

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 40 steps per set of Overhead Waiters Walk (reasonably heavy DBs)
  • 10 Reps per set of High to Low Standing Cable Rows  – using a resistance that you can perform 20 reps with (20RM)

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – 2 Hand Waiters Walks

Exercise #3 – High to Low Standing Cable Rows


No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #4

  • 4 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Body-Weight Squats
  • 10 Gironda Laterals (10 each arm) per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 40 reps per set of Body-Weight Hip Thrusts
  • 10 Alternating DB Bicep Curls (10 each arm) per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)

Exercise #1 – BW Squats

Exercise #2 – Gironda Laterals

Exercise #3 – Body-Weight Hip Thrusts – feet elevated or on floor

Exercise #4 – Alternating DB Bicep Curls

 

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some cardio or  HIIT sprints & stretching (lots of stretching)

Friday, it’s back to the weights

How To Make Your Own Indian Clubs

Today’s article is for everyone who is curious about Indian Club training, but doesn’t want to spend $200 bucks….only to find out that they hate Indian Club training.

The solution?

Do It Yourself Indian Clubs

DIY #1

DIY #2

DIY #3

 

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 46 – Day 1

Week #46 – Day #1

Not including warm-up exercises, this workout is made up of 4 HIRT circuits.

I want you to move as quickly as possible between sets, keeping rest periods to a minimum

 

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

HIRT Superset #1

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 5 reps per set of Ab Wheel Roll-Outs
  • 10 Push-ups per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • And a 1 Minute Squat Test (video is a 10 min test)

Exercise #1 – Ab Wheel Roll-Outs

Exercise #2 – Push-Ups

Exercise #3 – One Minute Squat Test

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

 

HIRT Superset #2

  • 2 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 5 reps per set of Pulldowns/Chins – using a resistance that you can perform 10 reps with (10RM)
  • 20 reps per set of DB Swings – using a resistance that you can perform 50 reps with (50 RM)

Exercise #1 – Pulldowns or Chins

Exercise #2 – Dumbbell or Kettlebell Swings

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #3

  • 3 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 10 reps per set of Pallof Presses facing one direction – with a 20 RM weight (20RM)
  • 40 steps per set of Overhead Waiters Walk (reasonably heavy DBs)
  • 10 Reps per set of Pallof Presses facing opposite direction – same weight
  • 10 Push-ups per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)

Exercise #1 – Pallof Presses

Exercise #2 – 2 Hand Waiters walks

Exercise #3 – Pallof Presses – opposite side

Exercise #4 – Push-Ups

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

HIRT Superset #4

  • 4 Exercises
  • 5 sets per exercise
  • 40 steps of Cable Sled Drags / Truck Pulls per set (count steps raising & lowering cable stack) – control lowering stack – if you don’t have access to a “dipping” belt, attach a “tricep pushdown” rope and use your hands (good for grip strength)
  • 30 Seconds Prone Bridge per set
  • 10 Cable Rows per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)
  • 10 Push-ups per set at an intensity that would allow you to perform 20 reps (20RM)

Exercise #1 – Cable Sled Drags

Exercise #2 – Prone Bridge

Exercise #3 – Cable Row – 2 hands – use rope or belt from sled drags

Exercise #4 – Push-Ups

No rest between sets – Maximum 5 minute rest between supersets

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some cardio or  HIIT sprints & stretching (lots of stretching)

Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 45 – Day 3

Week #45 – Day #3 – Next week is all new stuff

We’re hitting the same bodyparts as Day #1, but I have changed up the order of the supersets and I want you to choose different exercises from Day #1

Other than that, the goals are the same…

  • anaerobic endurance
  • burning fat
  • weight lifting supersets
  • HIIT sprints
  • balancing muscle groups & movements
  • lifting for time instead of reps
  • laying waste to an invading Persian horde

… the rep & set schemes are the same…

OVERVIEW

  • 4 x 5 Min HIIT sprint superset
  • 3 x 5 Min HIRT supersets

…and I expect the same 100% effort from y’all.

 

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

HIIT Superset #1

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

FYI – 4 Steps to a Great HIIT Workout

HIRT Superset #1

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 2 Leg Squats

  • Bodyweight, Zercher, Front, Goblet, Koji

 

Exercise #2 – Biceps

  • Alternating DB Curls, Slide or Drag Curls, Alternating DB Hammer-Grip Curls, Preacher or Scott Curls




HIIT Superset #2

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

HIRT Superset #2

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 1 Leg Deadlift

  • Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbbell, Suitcase Dumbbell

Exercise #2 – Triceps

  • Skullcrushers – Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbbell


HIIT Superset #3

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

HIRT Superset #3

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 2 Arm Chest Press

  • Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbell, Incline, Decline, Koji



Exercise #2 – 2 Arm Lat Row

  • Seated, Standing, Barbell, Dumbbell, Bodyweight



 

HIIT Superset #4

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

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

Sunday, go do something fun

Monday, get ready to sweat.

Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 45 – Day – 2

Week #45 – Day #2

Second week for this workout…do better than last time

OVERVIEW

  • 3 x 5 Min HIIT sprint superset
  • 4 x 5 Min HIRT supersets
  • New movements

 

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

HIRT Superset #1

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – Overhead Press

  • Push Press, Standing Press, Seated, Alternating DB – 1 Arm or 2, Barbell, Dumbbell, Band, Cable

 

Exercise #2 – Chin-Ups, Pull-Ups or Pulldowns

  • Chin-Ups (palms towards you), Pull-Ups (palms away), Band-assisted Chin or Pull-Ups, Pulldowns – wide grip, narrow grip, neutral grip


 

HIIT Superset #1

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

FYI – 4 Steps to a Great HIIT Workout

 

HIRT Superset #2

Because of the static core work, we are extending this superset to 10 minutes

  • 10 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set for the woodchops – your call
  • 30-60 seconds per set for the bridge/plank

Exercise #1 – WoodChops

  • Hi to Low, Low to High, Static Chest Height, Tornado Ball, Band

NoteMake your hips the prime mover on this exercise, not your upper body. Focus on shifting your bodyweight from one leg to the other

 

Exercise #2 – Static Core

  • Bridge / Plank – face down, face up, side, standing with cable
  • 30-60 second holds
  • Keep your core tight – we DON’T want to feel any pain in the lower back



 

HIIT Superset #2

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.


HIRT Superset #3

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 10-50 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – Front Ab Wall Flexion

  • Ball Crunch, Hanging Leg Raise, Toes to the Sky, Standing Cable Crunch

Exercise #2 – Lower Back Extensions

  • Floor Hyperextension, Reverse Hyper on Ball, Lower Back Machine (can also use pulldown machine for this), Hyper Bench, Good Mornings



HIIT Superset #3

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.


HIRT Superset #4

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set on the shoulders- your call
  • 10-50 reps on the lateral squat

Exercise #1 – Side & Rear Shoulder Raises

  • Alternate sets – side & rear delts
  • Gironda Laterals, Standing, Seated, Bent-Over Laterals for rear delts



Exercise #2 – Lateral Bodyweight Squat

  • Lateral Bodyweight Squat
  • 10-50 reps

.

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 – 2011 – Week 45 – Day 1

Week #45 is a repeat of last week. These workouts are designed to maximize your:

  • anaerobic endurance
  • burning fat
  • weight lifting supersets
  • HIIT sprints
  • balancing muscle groups & movements
  • lifting for time instead of reps
  • laying waste to an invading Persian horde

OVERVIEW

  • 4 x 5 Min HIIT sprint superset
  • 3 x 5 Min HIRT supersets

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 HIIT Superset #1

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay. FYI – 4 Steps to a Great HIIT Workout HIRT Superset #1

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 2 Leg Squats

  • Bodyweight, Zercher, Front, Goblet, Koji

  Exercise #2 – Biceps

  • Alternating DB Curls, Slide or Drag Curls, Alternating DB Hammer-Grip Curls, Preacher or Scott Curls

HIIT Superset #2

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay. HIRT Superset #2

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 2 Arm Chest Press

  • Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbell, Incline, Decline, Koji

Exercise #2 – 2 Arm Lat Row

  • Seated, Standing, Barbell, Dumbbell, Bodyweight

HIIT Superset #3

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay. HIRT Superset #3

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 1 Leg Deadlift

  • Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbbell, Suitcase Dumbbell

Exercise #2 – Triceps

  • Skullcrushers – Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbbell

HIIT Superset #4

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay. . That’s it, you’re done for today. Stretch and Go home Tomorrow, do some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching) Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

Your Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 44 – Day 3

Week #44 – Day #3

We’re hitting the same bodyparts as Day #1, but I have changed up the order of the supersets and I want you to choose different exercises from Day #1

Other than that, the goals are the same…

  • anaerobic endurance
  • burning fat
  • weight lifting supersets
  • HIIT sprints
  • balancing muscle groups & movements
  • lifting for time instead of reps
  • laying waste to an invading Persian horde

… the rep & set schemes are the same…

OVERVIEW

  • 4 x 5 Min HIIT sprint superset
  • 3 x 5 Min HIRT supersets

…and I expect the same 100% effort from y’all.

 

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

HIIT Superset #1

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

FYI – 4 Steps to a Great HIIT Workout

HIRT Superset #1

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 2 Leg Squats

  • Bodyweight, Zercher, Front, Goblet, Koji

 

Exercise #2 – Biceps

  • Alternating DB Curls, Slide or Drag Curls, Alternating DB Hammer-Grip Curls, Preacher or Scott Curls




HIIT Superset #2

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

HIRT Superset #2

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 1 Leg Deadlift

  • Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbbell, Suitcase Dumbbell

Exercise #2 – Triceps

  • Skullcrushers – Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbbell


HIIT Superset #3

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

HIRT Superset #3

  • 5 minutes
  • 2 exercises – alternating back & forth with as little rest as possible
  • Rep range of 5-20 reps per set – your call

Exercise #1 – 2 Arm Chest Press

  • Bodyweight, Barbell, Dumbell, Incline, Decline, Koji



Exercise #2 – 2 Arm Lat Row

  • Seated, Standing, Barbell, Dumbbell, Bodyweight



 

HIIT Superset #4

  • 5 minutes of 10 second HIIT sprints
  • Hill sprints, bike sprints, swimming sprints, elliptical sprints, Crank sprints
  • Do as many as you can in 5 min

The 10 second sprint duration is an approximation. I want to keep them relatively short. Anywhere from 5-15 sec is okay.

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

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

Sunday, go do something fun

Monday, get ready to sweat.

Your Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 43 – Day 2

image credit: http://cinar.deviantart.com/

Week 2 –  Day 2 of your HIRT training.

.

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

.

HIRT Superset #1

  • 2 exercises per superset
  • 5 minutes per superset
  • NO REST between sets
  • Choose a weight that would allow you to perform 10 reps (10RM)
  • Perform 5 reps per set
  • Perform the “work” part of each exercise as quickly and powerfully as possible

.

Bench Step Ups

  • 5 reps per set @ 10RM weight
  • Hold dumbbell in outside arm – ie left leg on bench, right arm holds DB

Lateral Bench Hops

  • 20 reps per set
  • BW

.

HIRT Superset #2

DB Push Press

  • 5 reps per set @ 10RM weight

Narrow Grip Pulldowns

  • 5 reps per set @ 10RM weight
  • Alternate grips between sets – palms in / palms out

.

HIRT Superset #3

Deadlift – Full or Partial DL/Rack Pull (knee height)

  • 5 reps per set @ 10RM weight

BW Jump Squat

  • 5 -10 reps per set @ bodyweight only

..

HIRT Superset #4

Cable/Band Woodchop – horizontal

  • 5 reps per side per set @ 10RM weight
  • Remember that this exercise is all about the HIP PIVOT – not twisting your lower back
  • Rope Handle

Face Pull

  • 10 reps per set @ 20RM weight

.

HIRT Superset #5 – optional

Repeat one of the first 4 Supersets – your choice

HIRT Superset #6 – optional

Repeat one of the first 4 Supersets – your choice

.

Alright…that’s it for today

But before you leave, go spend 10-15 minutes stretching out your tired muscles

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

Friday, it’s back to the weights