Archive for the ‘Strength Training’ Category

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 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.

The goal of simultaneously building muscle and shedding body fat is tricky.

But, yes it can be done.

With a smart and sound plan, it’s possible.

giphy

1. Consistency reigns supreme

 

Perhaps the most obvious out of the bunch, steady improvements in your body composition requires discipline and consistency — it doesn’t happen overnight.

Admittedly, there were times I felt completely drained and burnt out, but the thought of having to start all over again was just bone-numbingly painful. Rather than taking long breaks or pressing the pause button, consider turning the dial down. This ensures you maintain a respectable amount of work while still moving in the right direction.

Never stop. You can slow down a bit, but don’t stop.

Taking intermittent sabbaticals leads you nowhere. Moreover, nobody likes the idea of taking one step forward and two steps back.

Rest assured the ones who are making steady gains are the ones who train consistently.

2. Use high ROI exercises

 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with novelty.

Think about it, there’s a reason why compound movements such as the squat, deadlift, pull-ups, and push-ups are the cornerstone of most sensible programs — they’re tried and true.

It stimulates your entire body.

It’s not the end-all be-all approach, but you’re ahead of the curve once you start mastering the basics.

Every exercise serves a purposes, but for the mean time, leave the BOSU ball and “functional” training out of this.

Simplicity, not complexity. ‘Nuff said.

3. Nutrition and lifestyle must take precedence.

 

This is hardly groundbreaking, but for whatever reason many just don’t get it. I understand the rationale behind working out so you can eat what ever you want, but the work you put in will be rendered useless with destructive eating habits. In other words, stop eating — and drinking — so much crap.

A good training program is equally important, but you can’t expect magical things to happen because even the best method in the world will not offset poor nutrition.

Make better choices.

Instead of the typical trip to Starbucks for breakfast, blend up a protein shake. Have a few meals prepped and ready to avoid making poor food choices.

I’m not advocating that you should be perfect, but you won’t get the results you’re looking for if you don’t take this part seriously.

4. Train with a purpose

 

You’re obviously not going to produce substantial gains just going through the motions. To some degree, your workout has to bring you to a point where you almost start to question your sanity. Put simply, it kind of has to suck (in a good way).

I’m not saying you have to constantly beat yourself up, but training with a purpose goes a long way.

So, work your ass off.

As a point of reference, the main reason why I make it a priority to get in a workout is because I want to look and feel good. Also, I don’t want to have to take medication as I get older.

5. Recovery matters

 

For years, I was convinced that more training equates to faster results.

Boy was I wrong.

Unless you’ve been injected with the super solider serum, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll achieve optimal results with that approach.

All you do in the gym is break your body down.

Your training is only as good as your ability to recover from it.

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching my first product, Assault, soon. If you’re interested in getting the most out of training to build lean muscle and shed body fat, get a FREE preview HERE before it comes out.

imageedit_3_2726481940

Join my newsletter for fresh content and to gain access to new workouts every month.

Become An Insider