Archive for the ‘Strength Training’ Category

Real talk.

Everyone is busy.

busy-meme-2

Some more than others, but we’re all busy. Whatever the case may be, my point is that time is a valuable commodity. So, for most of us we can’t afford to spend every waking moment in the gym. Likewise, it’s impractical to train for an extended period of time in that manner.

In that same breath, though, you’re not going to see any significant changes doing a 5-10 minute ab workout. I’ve spoken on numerous occasions that it’s always better to get in something than nothing at all, but that’s not a compromise…you’re trying to cut corners.

Here are some strategies to get the most out of your training without living in the gym.

1. Choose the appropriate exercises

 

Discard, or at the very least, minimize what I like to call “fluff” exercises. If you’re truly pressed for time, don’t waste it doing lateral raises, bicep curls, and crunches for almost half an hour. It’s really nonsensical when the time you have could be spent doing more productive exercises that will stimulate your entire body.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s certainly more than one way to go about it. An argument could be made if those exercises are applied and distributed appropriately throughout the week. But, for the vast majority it’s highly unlikely that will be the case.

Example

Day 1:

1) Squat Variation: 2 sets x 8 reps, 1 set x 10-12 reps

2) Incline Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 6 reps

3) Pull-Ups: 3 sets x Max Reps

4A) Timed Farmer Walks: 3 sets x 1 min

4B) Plank: 3 sets x 30 secs

Day 2:

A) Push-Up Variation x 30sec

B) Face-Pulls x 30sec

C) Bicep Curls x 30sec

As many rounds as possible for 15 min.

Day 3:

1) Deadlift Variation: 4 sets x 4 reps

2) 1-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets x 10 reps

3A) Dumbbell Bench Press: 2 sets x 8 reps, 1 set x 12 reps

3B) Lat Pulldowns: 2 sets x 8 reps, 1 set x 12 reps

4) Lunges: 3 sets x 20 total reps

2. High frequency, short workouts

 

Like I mentioned above, there’s more than way to go about it. On the other end of the spectrum, there are others who react differently where if I suggest looking into the possibility of cutting down their workouts, their response is…

It’s not uncommon for me have differing views with productivity junkies adamant on training 5-6 days a week.

To each their own.

Here’s a solution: you can still train 5-6 days a week. The caveat, though, would be to keep it brief. In other words, high frequency muscle stimulation.

People who train almost damn near everyday make the mistake of going hard every time they hit the gym floor instead of varying their training intensity. There’s only so much damage your body can take before progress starts to slow down…or worse, diminish.

Example

Day 1: Pump Work

Day 2: Main Work (High/Max-Effort)

Day 3: Moderate Intensity

Day 4: Pump Work

Day 5: Moderate Intensity

Day 6: Pump Work

3. Prepping your meals work big time

 

Your nutrition is what ultimately determines the outcome. It is the prime contributor for improvements in both performance and body composition. Regardless of the training method you’re using, it will not offset a horrible diet.

I’ll admit, there’s nothing sexy about prepping your meals.  It’s utterly boring. However, the potential to drop body fat and build muscle at conservative rate goes up when you plan ahead.

I mean come on, why would you leave your progress up to chance like that?

Simply put, it’s worth it to make the investment to designate an allotted time period where you’re planning your meals for the day and/or week.

If not, there are a handful of meal prep services in the market.

20171224_170630.png

4. Get off your ass

 

Last week, I stopped by the mall to go pick up a few things for Christmas. As you know, trying to find parking can be a complete hassle during the holiday season. So, rather than park right in front where everybody goes, I purposely parked towards the end where hardly anybody goes to.

It served as an opportunity for me to get in more movement, and save me the headache of having to find parking. It turned out to be a ten minute walk.

Little things like this make a huge difference. Instead of taking the escalator, walk up the stairs. If you have a desk job, stand up every now and then. After your meals, go for a walk.

The more movement, the better. Don’t just rely on what you do in the gym.

 

Maximize your training and get a head start on 2018 with my new training resource, Assault.

ipadverticalright_634x982

>>Assault<<

I can tell you from firsthand experience, it’s not easy packing on pounds of lean muscle mass.

As someone who has struggled mightily in the past, I know a thing or two about a thing or two.

In an effort to save you years of frustration, here are some guidelines you oughta follow.

No fluff, no quackery, no-nonsense.

20171112_171309

1. Consistency trumps intensity

 

If you’re a complete newbie, provided you stay consistent, those gains will come quick.

Once your body has become fully aware of the physical demands you’re putting it through, that’s where things start to become increasingly difficult — you have less room for error.

If there’s only one thing you can takeaway from this, it’s that you have to remain consistent. 

You need to train hard, and you need to do it often for a long time.

As much as it has to do with exercise selection or whatever program you’re following, showing up 3-4 days, 52 weeks out of the year is what’s going to make a difference.

As long there’s a level of progression, good things will happen.

2. Learn to love the basics

 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with variety or wanting to change things up. I’ve done it numerous times in the past, and still do so from time to time.

However, the perception that you HAVE to constantly “switch it up” is complete horse sh*t.

The body is amazingly adaptive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to find a new exercise to do every time you hit the gym.

Get strong at the basics, and learn to love them because they work. You’re not going to change your body doing curls or squats on a BOSU ball.

3.  Cardio is important, but prioritize lifting

 

Everybody will have their own opinion on how much cardio should one do. It’s a never ending debate.

Fact is, I’m not anti-cardio. There are a host of benefits by regularly training in an aerobic environment, and I think it’s a big mistake by not doing any cardio whatsoever.

However, if done in excess, that’s when it starts to interfere with strength and muscle gain.

Most people struggling to gain lean muscle mass, seemingly, fall into the trap of doing too much cardio.

I know I’ve been guilty of it.

For instance, if you’re always starting your workout with a one mile run, it’s going to have a negative impact because you’re expending most of your energy on the activity that’s not going to give you the biggest return.

If you want to optimize strength and muscular development, prioritize resistance training. Keep the cardio to a minimum. Don’t take things out of context, though. If you’re goal is primarily fat loss, don’t even think about skipping cardio.

Other Tidbits:

 

– Subpar nutrition can and will neutralize the best training. Don’t blame the program, blame the incessant need to stuff yourself with cupcakes, donuts and copious amounts of your favorite cocktail/alcoholic beverage.

– You don’t need to train borderline crazy to get quality results. Don’t overdo it. Your training is only as good as your ability to recover.

– Getting to bed on time, drinking more water, and eating your veggies are all the detoxification you need — and it sure does make a huge difference.

– If you’re truly pressed for time, always remember it’s better to get in something than nothing. Don’t play devil’s advocate and come up with reasons why you can’t do it. Make it a priority to get it done.

 

If you’re looking for a training resource that’s revolved around getting the most out of your workouts without wasting your time, I’ll be launching my new digital product on the 28th.

Check it out by clicking the link below.

ipadverticalright_634x982

>>Assault<<

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 STACK, click 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.