Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Almost everybody has the potential to improve the way they look. Yes, there’s always going to be a massive amount of ignorance in terms of questionable methods — no way around that. But, thankfully, these days it’s become more apparent that placing an emphasis on the little things rather than shiny objects is going to produce long-term significant changes.

The truth is: there’s no magic or wizardry. Show up! As long as there’s a level of progression, good things will happen.

1. Be prepared to hit a few walls

 

It’s much easier to train when you’re feeling high and mighty, but once the dust settles in, it’s an uphill battle. So, be prepared to hit a few walls. It’s going to be difficult, and it’s going to suck. I’ve said many times in the past you can’t get much done if you only work on the days you feel good. Dejection creeping in is perfectly normal. Once all gusto starts to fade, it becomes more pronounced.

Get over it.

For better or for worse, your inner dialogue is always going to be knocking on the door, prompting you to kick your feet up and relax. You’re not going to get anywhere if you always let that get the best of you. Find a compromise — do what you need to do to get better.

2. If you don’t fully understand that calories matter, you’re wasting your time

 

Most people know this, but it bears repeating again. If your diet comprises of piss-poor food quality, there shouldn’t be any confusion as to why you’re not making progress. Period. Stop whining, stop fussing.

All the work you put in the gym is rendered ineffective. If you’re one of those individuals who is banking on more exercise to make up for the incessant need to stuff yourself with pizza, donuts and copious amounts of your favorite cocktail/alcoholic beverage, good luck.

That having been said, no matter how “clean” and wholesome your meals are, you can still experience a negative outcome if you don’t know how much you’re eating. Calories matter, folks. You have to be as equally, if not more, focused outside the gym. The ones who find success are usually the ones who are on point across the board, not just the training.

3. Do what you can to get your protein

 

Protein is the most important variable for building a better body. You’re putting yourself in an extremely difficult situation if you’re not getting enough protein — and deficiencies in daily protein intake are clearly evident across the general population.

General rule of thumb: shoot for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Make it a goal to have a palm-sized serving or two at every meal. Supplementing with a protein powder or drink is effective as well.

4. Workouts must be centered on getting strong

 

Once you have the points above in check, you’ve already taken a big step forward. In fact, you’ve solved the primary reasons why most people have weight issues. Now when it comes to exercise, absolutely anything sensible will do. Anything.

Just choose whatever program jibes well with you. Workouts that are centered on getting you strong would be the ideal route, though. It’s the most reliable way to trigger sustained muscle growth.

Sample 3-Day Split

Full Body Workout 1 – Monday

1) Squat Variation

2) Overhead Press

3A) Dumbbell Incline Press

3B) TRX Suspension Rows

4) Forward Sled Drag

5) Core Work

Full Body Workout 2 – Wednesday

1) Deadlift

2) Barbell Bench Press

3) 1-Arm Dumbbell Row

4) Dumbbell Hammer Curl w/ Fat Gripz

5) Assault AirBike Reverse Tabata

Workout 3: Circuit – Friday

  1. A) Kettlebell Swings
  2. B) Battle Ropes
  3. C) Sled Push
Sample 4-Day Split

Upper Body Day 1 – Monday

1) Bench Press

2A) 1-Arm Landmine Press

2B) Iso Pull-Up Hold

3A) Bicep Curl Variation

3B) Cable Tricep Pushdown

4) Core Work

Lower Body Day 2 – Tuesday

1) Squat or Deadlift

2) Bulgarian Split Squat

3A) Dumbbell RDL

3B) 1-Leg Hip Thrust

Upper Body Day 4 – Thursday

1) Overhead Press

2A) Seated Cable Row

2B) Dumbbell Lateral Raise

2C) Band Face Pulls

3) Cable Rear Delt Fly

4) Farmer Walk

Lower Body Day 6- Saturday

1) Sled Push/Drag

2A) Stability Ball Leg Curl

2B) Dumbbell or Kettlebell Goblet Squat

3) Core Work

5. Set realistic expectations

 

We’ve been deluded into thinking that we can transform our body rather quickly. We’re either willfully ignorant or blissfully unaware that it takes months, and years of hard work.

It’s one thing to adopt a discipline that pushes you to your limits, it’s another thing to always train to complete failure. A lot of us have no problem being aggressive. The predicament is that we always think we’re behind. As a result, we get carried away with doing more than is needed. 

Fact is, training to the point of exhaustion offers very little sustainability. Moreover, it’s a lagging indicator for progress. You have the freedom to do whatever you want. Truth be told, I have no right to mandate what you can or can’t do. Just be smart about your approach. Going berserker barrage every once awhile is fine, but you also need to ask yourself how is that going affect the following workouts.

Take it one day at time. There’s no rush.

One of the things I try to impress upon for folks who’s primary goal is fat loss is the importance of daily movement (and, of course, nutrition). It’s no question that what you do in the gym pales in comparison to what you do the other 23 hours of the day. 

It’s virtually impossible to quantify any result if you spend half, if not, most of your day sitting down.

Here’s the easiest exercise you can start doing today:

It’s really simple: Go for a walk

 

giphy

Today, seemingly, everyone falls prey to the notion that exercise has to be gritty and hardcore. Granted, to a degree you have to strain your body if you want to make significant changes (you’re delusional if you think otherwise). And, while it may not be as impactful as lifting weights, make no mistake that walking every day does wonders for the body.

Many discount the value of walking because they feel the need to go 100% all the time. Being partial to one method or scheme doesn’t pan out well. You can gain a lot of benefits by working both sides of the training spectrum.

Of the many benefits, the biggest one I want to outline is improved nutrient partitioning. This basically means that your body becomes more efficient at utilizing the foods you eat — improved digestion, improved insulin sensitivity = fat loss machine.

Don’t complicate things. Aim for 30-40 minutes every day.

A simple way to put this into action is to walk 15-20 minutes after every meal.

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Let’s face it, training is incredibly demanding. It’s a beautiful thing to see what your body can do when you push yourself; but there’s no reward if you’re not willing to do that. At the same time, you also have to appreciate that more isn’t always better.

There’s a delicate balance between being conservative and getting out of your comfort zone — and you’ll find that operating between two extremes can produce positive outcomes, especially when you’re trying to boost your performance on the field.

To read the full article on STACK, click HERE.

 

1. Perform Face-Pulls and Band Pull Aparts to keep your shoulders healthy

 

The shoulder is perhaps the most commonly injured area not just in the athletic community, but also the general population. They’re a ticking time bomb because at some point they’re eventually going to flip you the finger — whether it’s from inappropriate training, or from poor posture.

The simplest, most-effective way to reduce likelihood of shoulder pain is to develop the muscles of the upper back. Hear me out, Face-Pulls and Band Pull Aparts are not just corrective exercises or activation drills. Applying them appropriately into your training can strengthen the weak links in your upper back and improve posture. Win-win.

2. Use Fat Gripz in your warm-up sets

 

Focus, concentration, and technique are more important than a lot of people think. These are all critical when working up to an appreciable load on compound movements like a deadlift or a bench press.

While using Fat Gripz is a great tool to improve your grip strength, another cool thing about it too is that by adding them in your warm-up sets it actually enables you to lift more weight after you’ve taken them off. You’re essentially making the exercise slightly more difficult to trigger the heightened involvement of your nervous system. By definition, you’re recruiting more muscle, but with less loading.

3. Prioritize single-leg work

 

Before you throw the yellow flag, I’m not against traditional squatting and deadlifting. They’re still vital to a well-balanced strength training program. Your body, however, takes a beating. There’s only so much load that it can tolerate before you start to get diminishing returns. Splitting the load up in half, and prioritizing single-leg work still provides you with a comparable training effect, if not better.

You’re not imposing a ton of sheer and compressive force on the spine, and since sports are played on mostly on leg, it’s much more sport-specific.

4. Do Banded Sumo Walks to activate your glutes

 

Your glutes are responsible for producing a ton of force, so you’re not doing yourself any favors by not paying close attention to them. If they’re firing on all cylinders, your knees and/or low back end up taking a hit. Activating your glutes by simply adding a mini-band around your knees and forcing your knees out while you walk side to side enables you to move and perform better.

5. Pair up your strength work with mobility drills

 

Freakish levels of strength should be commended and appreciated, but I’ve learned the hard way that being strong doesn’t mean a thing if you move like a tin-can. Placing an emphasis on mobility goes a long way because if you can’t move well…guess what? You’re not going to perform well.

Have fun sitting on the bench.

Understand that being strong and mobile are inseparable — the two go hand in hand. A great way to avoid the monotony of mobility work is to pair them up with your strength work.

Main Exercise                              Mobility Drill

  1. Squat                             Stationary Spiderman w/ reach
  2. Bench Press                  Quad Hip Flexor Mobilization
  3. Deadlift                          Prone 1-Arm Trap Raise