Archive for the ‘Fitness’ 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.

I’m stating the obvious when I say the vast majority don’t pay close enough attention to their cardiovascular health. Its importance gets lost in the pursuit of becoming bigger, leaner, and stronger.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but we need to appreciate that possessing a sufficient level of physical preparedness can yield a lot of benefits.

Being strong is one thing, but if walking up a flight of stairs leaves you panting, you have some work to do. You don’t want your conditioning to be the limiting factor.

To read the full article on STACKclick HERE.

>>The 4 Best Types of Cardio to Get in Shape Fast<<

1. Assault AirBike or AirDyne

 

What’s awesome about the Assault AirBike or AirDyne is that the harder you pedal, the more resistance you have. Sort of like a catch-22. If you don’t push yourself, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for. The faster you pedal, you’ll be in the corner wondering what did you get yourself into.

This piece of equipment is also low impact, so if you’re looking for a way to improve your conditioning without beating up your low back or knees. It’s virtually impossible to get injured doing a max-effort sprint on this.

Reverse Tabata Assault AirBike

  • 4 minute warm-up at moderate pace
  • 4 minute work (10sec max-effort sprint, 20sec active recovery)
  • 4 minute cool down

If you’re a masochist, I challenge you to switch up the work-to-rest ratio.

2. VersaClimber

 

The VersaClimber has quickly become my worst enemy. I still get nightmares after my first encounter with them.

Much like the Assault AirBike, it involves the whole body and is low impact. Although, it is a bit more demanding (in my opinion) due to the larger amplitude of movement that is required.  Trust me, it won’t take long before you start to question your sanity once you start climbing.

Simply set up by placing your hands on the handle bar and feet on the pedals. Start at a moderate pace. From there, drive your feet and arms as hard and as fast as you can. Shoot for 6-10 rounds of 30-40 seconds. Rest as needed.

Collapse at the end.

 

3. Sled Work

 

If I was only given a handful of equipment, no question the sled would be on that list. Despite the fact that I envision near death every time I come close to one, I’d be remiss not to praise it.

I’m a firm believer that every gym should be equipped with a sled or prowler. It’s extremely versatile in terms of training variability. In addition to the training effect you can induce for conditioning purposes, it’s also a viable tool to increase your strength. More pressingly, it doesn’t have a steep learning curve — it doesn’t require a ton of coordination and is relatively easy to learn.

Just load it up and get after it.

Push it, pull it, press it, or drag it. You can’t go wrong with either.

 

4. Walking

 

Obviously, walking doesn’t carry the badge of a hardcore workout, and it won’t prepare you for any marathons or sprint triathlons. Unlike the rest of the bunch, though, it doesn’t add a ton of training stress.

In this day and age, seemingly, everyone is under the impression that training has to be gritty. Make no mistake, walking does wonders for the body. Not only does it help with recovery, but it also helps in establishing a base level of aerobic capacity. It’s also underrated for improvements in body composition.

Reap the benefits by walking 30-40 minutes 3-5 times a week.

If you’ve been training for quite some time, you’ve hit that proverbial bump on the road on more than a few occasions — and you’re pretty familiar with it.

You dust off your shoulders, and keep on keepin’ on.

If you’re relatively new to the iron game, nothing is more frustrating than realizing you’ve hit a plateau because it feels like an eternity to get out of it.

Whether your goal is to become insanely strong, get lean, or a bit of both, it’s never a pleasant feeling when your progress comes to a halt.

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Plateaus are a natural occurrence, so don’t lose sleep over it when it happens. You apply the stress, then your body adapts. That’s how it works.

There are so many variables that can be at play here, but the number one way to get out of it is to…

Address Your Diet

 

Newsflash: It’s not your training program (to some extent).

I find it oddly amusing that when we presumably hit a plateau, our natural inclination is to pull the trigger on our training routine. Panic ensues and we immediately overhaul everything. Admittedly, I’ve made this mistake in the past a number of times, so I can totally relate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve went program hopping only to find out years later that my nutrition game was horrible.

Having a well-designed training program makes a huge difference, but what is often overlooked as the possible cause is the diet.

Strength training by itself doesn’t work all that well. Yes — you can experience modest improvements, but exercise on it’s own without nutrition produces mediocre results.

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Whether you’re not getting enough protein, going over your allotted carb intake, or simply consuming too many calories, make the necessary adjustments rather than waving the white flag.

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