Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday dedication- what are you doing tomorrow?

It's kinda late on a sunday night... had a couple days of no internet connection doing the holiday visits with the family... i am completely looking forward to my lift tomorrow. Working at a faculty staff gym at UK, I know that the entire campus is closed. SO I have the keys to the gym and I have an all-access pass to my own gym anytime I want over the break.

I am assuming I will lift in the morning one muscle group and then go back later and do another. I will write the program down tonight and go in with a plan... I am a lot more productive (and you are too) when you go into your workout with at least a mental picture of everything you want to accomplish. I would recommend writing down at least the exercises you want to do, but the best would be exercises, reps, sets, and what weights you believe you are going to start at on each lift.... this dramatically cuts down on the amount of "what the hell do i do next" time and keeps the flow going in your workout.

I hope tomorrow, the last monday before next year, you get up and get your workout in. i will be up by 9, i guarantee it, which will be around 8ish hours of sleep. I have read several places that most people need 6-9 hours of sleep and the way you feel for less than that amount of sleep can actually physiologically match the way your body feels if you get tooooooooo much sleep. These people that end up sleeping 12 plus hours because they feel they DESERVE it is a load of shit.

That must mean you deserve your heart problem, high cholesterol, lung problem from deserving too many extra cigarettes.... YOU DESERVE TO GET HEALTHIER! You deserve to get a great nights rest and wake up and make the most of your day. Get into a gym, do your aerobics at home, set goals and achieve them, sweat a little, sweat a lot, get that huge smile when some one asks you what you did today and you get to say you worked out on Christmas break.

I had a client that lost 25 pounds in about three months and got so many compliments that he got complacement and instead of hitting the eventual 50 pound long-term goal, stayed where he was and didn't lose another pound. It kills me because he had such high expectations and definitely deserved the praise he had gotten for losing the 25 pounds, but his drop in dedication to achieve the long-term goal completely surprised me. Write down all your goals, both short and long term and don't forget the long-term goals that made you start working out when you reach the short term goals.

Do something this last Monday before 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays... I'm still gett'n my lifts in, ARE YOU?

It is freezing outside (5 degrees to be exact) in Lexington, KY... Christmas is this week as well as the Christmas eve prep and last minute shopping and all that nonsense. During the summer people have to get pretty creative to make up excuses to avoid the gym, this coming week makes it very easy to miss your workout and slide on your food intake.

"I have shopping to do"
"It's too cold"
"The gym isn't open normal hours so I am out of my routine"
"I'll set my new years resolution and really push it after the new year"

While some or all of these thoughts could be real life events you need to make yourself get in a gym or run on your treadmill at home. Staying in a consistent workout mindset is very important to all weight loss goals or health improvement goals.

You need to try your hardest to maintain your current fitness levels over the next week. If all you can squeeze in to your busy schedule is 20 minutes a couple days this week, get that 20 minutes in. Minimize the amount of lost progress that could occur this week because you probably are busy.

It is a great idea to set a new years resolution for yourself. BUT break it down. If you want to lose 20 pounds in the next year (very possible, less than a half pound a week) set a reminder in your phone or on your calendar around june and do the math on where you need to be. Realize that a ton of people start out strong and wean off of their highly motivated status. Ask a staff member at the gym you workout at when are the least crowded times. The less frustration you have when you get to the gym, the more likely you are to adhere to going a couple times per week and getting a great workout in.

Make the setting of your goals the best suited for your success and exercise adherance as possible. Realize that eating poorly in large quantities is only working against yourself... You are abosolutely making it harder for yourself in the gym. Watch how much alcohol you consume because those are emplty calories that can definitely add up and you really don't even realize you are consuming.

STAY MOTIVATED!!! let me know if I can help.. and of course, a motivational video:

Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Unmatchable Intensity

My buddy showed me this video clip... This is an absolute extreme on the intensity scale... Part motivating to get things done, part hilarious...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Picking a personal trainer

Another blog was brought to my attention today and it had posted a news story well into last year. The news story discussed trainers that don't really know what they are doing and got some express certifications. It had a very negative connation towards personal trainers and really didn't go over how to actually pick one as a consumer or as a business.
For the consumer: You have made the right choice, whether you need motivation, drastically need to lose weight for health reasons, or just want to fine tune some areas of your body that you seek improvement in... you need to made an educated choice on who your personal trainer is... you have a choice, you are paying for the service. You want a trainer that has expertise in the area you are wishing to improve in. If you want to improve aerobic performance, pick a trainer that has personal training certification as well as some group fitness certifications... or that has experience running half or full marathons. if you want to improve strength, find some one with a strength and conditioning certification from the NSCA... Another essential part in picking a trainer is that any gym you go to should have trainer bio profiles posted or on their websites. Look over those to get a glimpse of the trainer's personality and certifications. There collegiate degrees should also be posted. Look for a trainer with an undergraduate degree in Fitness and Wellness, Exercise Science, Physical Education, Kinesiology, and/or a masters in exercise physiology exercise and wellness or a related field. These degrees still do not definitely get you the perfect trainer, so make sure before you pay that you may switch trainers if you are not comfortable with the one you are assigned to or your first choice.
Do not settle for "oh, my trainer is ok." This trainer is here to help you and you are the consumer, you should get the most for your money as well as the most results. Realize that you are not just paying for a lifting buddy, your trainer is there to motivate you to achieve your goals not to be your best friend. But they should have reasons for the training modalities they put you through and should not get defensive when you ask them during a rest period or consultation why they chose a specific exercise.
I try to give reasons to my clients that aren't filled with ocnfusing jargon to the general public and really give them specific reasons why they are being put through the workout I have written for them that day.
Also, if you feel pain... your trainer should let you STOP. Just because the workout is hard doesn't mean to stop, but you need to know the difference between "hey, my trainer is pushing me" to "ow, I am going to limp for two days after this." Please inform your trainer of previous injuries. A great trainer should have a vast exercise bank in his/her head and be able to adapt to a different exercise for any muscle group.

For the business: Your trainers need current cpr, aed, and first aid certifications from the American Red Cross and you need copies of those forms on file. You need copies of every certification they say they have as well as recognizing legitimate certifications. When in doubt, give them a brief quiz during the interview on methods a trainer should know... how to warm a client up, how to resistance train, proper running form, target heart rate determinations, how to stretch, how to cool down... This is your gym, make the trainers you hire the best. Have monthly meetings or have your trainers email each other new ideas for workouts they thought of... when fitness professionals share the information they know, it makes evry one better informed. Even if a trainer brings you an idea that is not correct (i.e. doing romanian deadlifts with a curved back) tell them why it is wrong, but be constructive with your criticism. Teach your employees. Be up to date on training techniques and the research that is out there on the best methods. Attend conferences, google, workouts, read books... absorb as much as you can.
Another pointer is to never let the trainers take the money, have a pay system that allows the front desk or you as the supervisor to take the money and the trainer gets paid for each session after it is completed. This compltely takes the temptations of the trainer just taking the money and not telling you about the sessions. If the clients pay up front for 30 sessions, log that and only release money to the trainer as the sessions are completed. have each trainer have client log sheets that have to be initialed by both trainer and client as sessions are completed.
Please install a cancellation policy. The client has to notify the trainer within 24 hours of a cancellation or they will still be charged even if not completing a session.
Tell your trainers to wait at least fifteen minutes for a no show before leaving. If a cient shows up and the trainer is still there after fifteen minutes they have two options: either train the client for the remainder of the time period that the session was planned or call it a no show. Either way, your trainer still gets paid. Make sure the trainers know that to maintain a client base they need to use their best judgement on these policies. If a client is always late, well, they are only going to get 50 minutes of the planned hour. If you have time and the client was late once, why not train them a full hour from the time they get there. I recommend having the trainers give out their cell phone numbers, that is the easiest way to get in contact and communicate.

These are not fail-safe methods, but they should help both you as the consumer and you as a fitness business pick qualified personal trainers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"oh, you lift... do you do any cardio? well you should..."

Note to readers: I am not knocking cardio... ok, read on

ok ok ok, I am sick of this scenario. You have some one that isn't very strong pushing the envelope on me doing more cardio "because it is better overall for your mind body spirituality blah blah blah"

first of all... mind your own workout. i don't come over and knock your bike over when you are cycling, DO I?

I got a heart rate monitor after constantly bickering with some of these people. I had told them before that while lifting the amount of weight that I do with the correct periodization program and sticking to proper rest time intervals that I guarrantee my heart rate stays higher for a longer period of time than people doing just cardio.

"but Rob yours (heart rate) is just up for short bursts" ... While I would love to think that I am a machine, you can't just put your heart on low after doing five sets of romanian deadlifts. I used the heart rate monitor today and while resting for a minute and fifteen seconds my heart rate stayed above 140 and directly after each set i glanced at the heart rate on the watch and it was in the 180s every time, creeped into the 190s on the last set of 8.

let me guess, "that can't be accurate, your heart rate can't be that high during just lifting"
I completed a VO2 Max test last fall and I got my heart up to 208 on a treadmill... IN AN EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY LABORATORY... please argue with me about this... it happened. the max heart rate formula (220-age) is for the average population, it is not a Golden rule by any means. athletes can push themselves above that mark. "oh, that machine was broken" "NO YOU DIDN'T" and all the other random rebuttals that will receive, lok at this. I went beofre my budy and a GA strength coach at UK. I motivated them out of sheer competition to get 210 and 209 beats per minute on the same VO2 Max protocol... thanks

"you need to do more cardio for your health" my hdl cholesterol hovers around 30... yea, i know that is low... TOO BAD MY LDL (bad cholestesterol) IS 37----> extremely low. I have talked to various physicians that told me it is nearly impossible to increase my HDL when my LDL is that low and I shouldn't be worried about those levels because I am in great physical condition... but what do they know, they are just doctors
I am not knocking cardio, if that is your thing, do it. it isn't my thing. there is an abundance of research that comes right out and states that doing too much cardio in an athlete's training regimine will stunt his/her strength gains... it will decrease the amount of possible strength gains that would be attainable if that athlete JUST focused on resistance training. there are also articles that show that one to two sessions a week of explosive resistance training CAN HELP endurance athletes... I wrote a paper on specificity of training this semester as well as presented it to my peers, if you would like a copy let me know... it has the references attached so you can check out the specifics on the articles and research I am throwing out there.

it is simple, I want to be as physically strong as possible. I will and do devote mulitple hours per week lifting, researching better and different ways to resistance train, and then when the time comes, writing another program with CLC, CSCS, CPT ( I don't like being weak sauce. If a friend needs to move, I want to be able to help, not be the fifth guy on a couch. I want functional ability... that is great if you can run 20 miles a day or every other day... my question is this: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO NEED THAT???????????!!!!!!!!!!!! If I need to help some one move or carry something I don't have to call three of my buddies to help me.

"Hey Bill, let's run to Richmond from Lexington because I need bread" ... you will never need to run that far at one time... like I said, if running, cycling, swimming is your thing, you love it, it is your stress reliever, how you are best motivated by beating yourself every day.... f'n fantastic. I am glad you have a passion. My passion is resistance training.

Friday, December 5, 2008

So you don't have a gym or money for a gym membership????

No gym, membership doesn't stop these guys... check it out


I did my legs yesterday.... and the 48 pain hasn't fully kicked in yet, but here is the work I put in:
back squat
265 1 x 10

275 3x8
285 1 x 6

Leg press 4x10
5 plates each side for two sets
6 and 7 plates each side for one set each

Leg extension 4x10
245 for two sets
240 and 235 for one set each

One-leg Hyperextensions 4x 10 each leg with a 30lb dumbbell

One-leg leg curl 4 x 10 each leg
I used 80 all four sets with my right leg and 60 for all four sets with my left leg... My knee has been bothering me. this is also very common in athletes... Having one limb stronger than the other is known as bilateral deficit. the official definition is the weight both limbs can effectively move through an entire range of motion is less than the weights each independent limb can move through the range of motion added together. This is more common in cyclists than rowers, for instance, because cyclists need to generate power one limb at a time.
It is benificial for all athletes to resistance train one limb at at time as well as both limbs together.

I then completed three sets of four point planks for thirty seconds each and three sets of 12 russian twists on each side with a twenty pound med ball.

I made sure to refuel my system after lifting and stretch out some to reduce the amount of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that effects me. My legs are thanking me today... but it is kind of like a thank you slap in the face

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

High School off-season workout

I got the chance to write a off-season strength and conditioning program for the high school football team I worked with this past season.
The first two weeks will consist of 4 sets of ten reps for the structural core lifts followed by two weeks of four sets of 8 reps... these four weeks will focus mainly on hypertrophy (muscle growth).
The last two weeks before the team starts their spring football practices and seven on seven games the team will complete 4 sets of 6 reps on all the structural lifts.

the team will lift monday tuesday thursday friday... completing all push movements (chest, triceps, quads) on monday and thursday and all pull movements (back, biceps, and hamstrings) on tuesday and friday.

I will split the team into three stations:
1) Core Structural lifts
2) Agility and core endurance
3) Auxillarly lifts

they will rotate which station they start with every day so no group is always starting with the same station.
The first and second microcycle the team will complete 3 sets of 8 reps for the auxillarly lifts and the last microcycle they will complete 3 sets of 6 reps for their auxillarly lifts.

The head coach informed me that spring practice usually lasts two weeks and then the school goes on spring break... those weeks could be devastating to the gains they make with my program. three complete weeks away from the weight room could almost negate all of the progress... UNLESS I give the team specific high intensity lifts to do throughout the week. Explosive unilateral lifts should definitely maintain a lot of the teams strength and hypertrophy gains.

I spoke with Coach Tracey for about an hour and a half about the program and the direction of the program... especially the intensity needing to be increased, as well as discipline, and improving the team's mindset.

I will start putting the program in excel and typing out the specific lifts, per day, per week for the entire six weeks.
he also asked me to construct a program for the six weeks after the school's spring break... these are going to be some huge yellowjackets....

and i'm out

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday workout--- staying focused

Set to lift at 11 this morning...
workout in my hand, protein shake in the other. time to go to work
back and hamstrings, not too bad. one minute fifteen seconds between each set

oh yea, my buddy showed me his workout earlier today... usually a cyclist slash ex hockey player... whichi equals tree trunk legs... BUT he started a weight lifting routine... kick ass

back to the point of this message

four sets of ten lat pulldown with a wide grip
four sets of ten neutral grip lat pulldown
three sets of ten front lat pulldown---- works your serratus anterior
chinups next


who does chinups after that many sets??? this is what happens when two masterminds get together and laugh while writing a workout. this is my hobbie. i do this for fun. hypertrophy is my goal, hyperplasia is my dream

three sets of ten chin ups... i got 10, 9, 8.... my lats are done. if you are wondering, we save all the rowing type motions for back for fridays workout

lats spent, time for RDLs. after the first set, 255 pounds feels like a million. next week we have to do the leg portion, at least RDLs first. knock the bigger muscle group out of the way when we are fresher

RDLs for five sets... 10 10 10 8 6

straight ridiculous

no straps so we used an alternate grip. straps are beneficial because the point of this exercise is not to kill your grip strength, it is to focus your energy on maintaining perfect form and killing your hamstrings and lower back.

GHBs next, four sets 12 12 10 10 with a 25 pound dumbell... and I get to superset them with lateral lunges with a 50 pound dumbell. great

did i mention we are still maintaining the minute and fifteen second "rest" period?

lastly, leg curl four sets of twelve superset with one legged leg press for four sets of ten.

time for class. glad my work day is over

Monday, December 1, 2008

New blog is up and running

My buddy will be spewing his thoughts on his blog . check it out and leave him feedback!

New poll... results of the poll that just closed

The results of my last poll were that the viewers of this blog picked alternating upper and lower body weight lifting exercises throughout the week are most beneficial to them as they train, along with interval sprints coming in second. If you only have three days a week that you can come to the gym, you can complete a full body resistance training routine all three days. A word of caution though: pick specific goals. If you want to improve your running performance, lift your legs heavy one day and light (higher repetitions) the other two days and do three or four upper body weight lifting exercises. If leg strength and endurance are not critical factors in your fitness plan, alternate the focus of your workouts, more on upper body one day and the next lower body. By focusing on either lower or upper body I mean complete more sets and total exercises when you are the freshest, at the beginning of your workout.

If you are able to lift weights four or five days a week then your can split your routine up into fewere muscle groups per day, just as long as you don't train any muscle group with weights on back to back days. Your muscles need at least 48 hours of rest to repair themselves. You can vary routines any way you like, if you need any ideas, let me know.

The new poll I have up concerns weight loss goals for the new year. Please respond to my posts and vote on my poll when you get a chance!

take it easy
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