Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Maxing Out on Bench and Squat only is getting closer

I approached today looking at my lifting sheet not really seeing much improvement in my bench press or squat. Steadily getting my reps, but now blowing any day away.

I moved up to five sets of four this week for my core lift. Yesterday I got 315, 335, 345, 355, 365 on back squat. I got all my reps except the 365 I only achieved 2. Fatique set in... freaked by doing the weight??? I'd say both

I will remind you that my goal by May is 415 for my one rep max and that I got 395 this past December.

I will get it

Back to today, the lift at hand... bench press. I got 275 for four sets of four and drilled the second to last set with ease enough to make me want to jump 10 pounds on the last set.... I got 285
for all four reps. I have to push myself more on these sets, but I am happy with the weights I got the past two days. I am capable of more

After bench I completed five sets of six with one-legged romanian deadlifts with 120lbs and seated dumbbell shoulder press five sets of 6, two 80lb dumbbells for all five sets.

Did 8 sets of core exercises (russian twists and 2 point planks) and some triceps (rope pushdown for three sets of 10 and two sets of weighted dips, ten reps with fifty extra pounds)

a solid first two days of the week I'd say

Monday, February 23, 2009

Destroy Your Core at the End of your Session

I was working with a client today and she asked to be killed. She wanted to be pushed to the limit, but she was talking about a future session.... she should not have said that to me with forty minutes remaining in her session.

I had her completing cable chops (set a cable to the highest setting, keep your upper body rigid, and chop the rope or other attachment to your opposite shin) 12 each side, dumbbell shoulder press, and then a core routine listed below.

Each was done for thirty seconds:
Two point planks (alternating supermans done from a plank)
Three point planks (elevate and lower each limb separately before raising another)
four point planks
side plank
other side plank

And then threw in mountain climbers, seen below

I am currently writing her kill week workout which hopefully will help her lose the remaining 8 pounds that she is wanting to lose.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Try a New Workout

I was provoked by a colleague’s client this week… she told him that she wished she could write him a workout and see him sweat and suffer. And he made some great points.

First of all, she would have to have the knowledge to push herself, let alone some one else. She has a trainer to be pushed, it takes more to motivate.

I assume she is so tired from the end of the session, half of the exercises she performed in the last hour are a blur. If she wanted to do my workout here is what I did yesterday:

Romanian Deadlifts

Barbell shoulder press

1-arm dumbbell incline

Five sets of triceps (3x tricep pushdown with the rope and 2x Skullcrushers)

Core Routine
Rollouts 4x 12 reps
Russian Twists with 25lbs 4x10

I also completed 3x3 bench lockouts to allow me to gain strength through my “sticking point” on bench press.

I believe my buddy put her through an exhausting workout, but any one wanting something different could try this routine instead of their own. Adjust the weight accordingly, but shoot for the repetitions that I achieved. Push yourself.

I just entered a five week strength cycle so all weight training exercises are five sets of six this week…. Next week they changed to five sets of 4.

Push yourself.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Push Through Workout Plateaus

Every one of us has hit one. Your strength keeps climbing, but then you are barely making 5 pound jumps every two, three weeks. You don't want to change your workout (bad idea) because it had given you amazing results. Results that people were noticing. You are logging miles and miles per week and now they are a lot harder, you aren't breaking into any lower time ranges.

The dreaded plateau. You work as hard, if not harder than you have before and you aren't getting anywhere. You might even be getting worse.

You need a change in your workout, especially if you have had the same workout for over 6 weeks. Change it up! Do some research, hire a trainer for a couple sessions to learn some new exercises. If you are tired of pushing yourself and thinking of a new workout, hire a trainer that will kick your butt every time you meet with him/her to push you over the plateau.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone. It is called WORKing out for a reason, it is work. You should sweat, you should need some extra water throughout the workout. When you go to eat that piece of cake, you should think about the uneasy feeling you had in your stomach last time you worked out, with or without a trainer.

Do you deserve that junk you are about to put into your body or do you deserve to be healthier???

I have seen too many people in the gym using it as a social hour. If you are able to read a book while doing any type of cardio you should go home. In all reality you are getting worse, physically. You can tell people you "worked out," but you might as well have stayed in your office. I know for a fact some of the people in one of the gyms I work at can go back to their office, change clothes, and not even look like they left the room. If you are going to go to the gym, make it worth it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Maintain Consistency... Get Better Results with Deloading

This week is a deload week for myself and my buddy. You do a complete workout for four or five weeks, and then do complete a week of the same workout, but only two-three sets of each exercise. Since we had just focused on strength and hypertrophy we both should be able to add weight and push ourselves per set a little harder because we are doing only half the sets.

The point of a deload week is to tax the system, but let it rebuild because a new workout microcycle is going to start the following week. You want progressive overload, but you also want to stay away from overtraining. If you maintain a high intensity program, whatever the goal, for around eight weeks, you are going to burn out... stop going to the gym, become worse than you were to start with.

There is greater effectiveness to doing less sets for one week, than being hardcare for two straight months and then falling off the bandwagon and quit setting goals.

You need to continue going to the gym, lifting at home, running outside, playing pickup basketball, but about every four-six weeks cut the duration down. It is harder than you think. On the deload weeks I would want to do more sets. My buddy helped me focus on the big picture and I have found out that having a deload week helped my body recover better AND it made me want it more. Want to hit my goals... want to set higher goals... want to better myself. The monday after a deload week I hit the weights with a new intensity because of two reasons: 1) I am starting a new workout: new number of sets, reps, %-age of my max, maybe even new exercises
2) I spent the last week completing half of the workout I usually do

The Monday after a deload week I am hungry to get better

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More For Your $$$

You need to invest in your health. The money you spend on a personal trianer now can save you thousands in doctor bills later in life. You are putting money into what should be your most valued asset-- you.

I have most of my clients supersetting a resistance training exercise with either a stabilizing (4 point plank--- seen below) or rotational core exercise.
A core rotation exercise would be something like a Russian Twist (seen below), barbell torque, windshield wipers, med ball 123 throw, cable ax chops, or some other type of cable rotation exercise.

For greater difficulty you can lift your feet off of the ground.

I have my clients do core with almost every resistance training exercise to build into their sessions a larger core component instead of always waiting until the very end of their session when they are exhausted to do core exercises. When the exercises are left until the end, they almost become like stretching... a chore.

I also believe in giving my clients the most activity in the hour I train them. I don't want a client to look at me at the end of the session and say," That's it?"

I want them to feel like the session is twice as long ... actually I would prefer they had no energy to think... Just follow my directions and get their body in better shape.

I want to throw so many different exercises at them that at the end of the session they want to stand under the shower and stare off into space.

That's the service they are paying for.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Some Stuff Make'n Me Itch

A couple of things to let out to any one wanting to spend some time reading it...

Bench Press Shirts= cheating

yea yea, that guy that can bench press 600 pounds, with a shirt, can get all up in my face and let me know that my weak 335lb bench is horrible and he almost doubles it blah blah blah.
he is a living barry bonds, asterisk and all. you are using a shirt that causes excess resistance that allows you to lift a higher percentage of weight than you can naturally, from a clothes perspective.

every time you tell me your bench I'm going to ask with or without a shirt. for those of you who don't know what i am talking about i posted a picture to the left. powerlifters use them during training and competition to gain a higher weight lifted, thus increasing their FAKE-ASS total. Any clothing you put on that has to be stretched out with several hundred extra pounds even before you can move it through the entire bench press range of motion is crap, complete crap. Why don't you surgically implant some pully systems or some machinery that will allow you to lift more.

Back to the guy (mr. *) yelling in my face about his giant bench press number, I have no doubt that a lot of people using the shirts have a higher RAW (you, the bench, and the weighted bar) bench than i do, but i think being 210 benching 335 is pretty damn good... for now at least. i give them credit if they bench over 400lbs raw, but just tell people your raw bench, not this accessory elevated number.

Like i have said before, i am all about functional strength. i like to be able to move heavy things. if a big ass beam fell on you in your house, are you going to say,"Time out, let me put my bench press shirt on" .... NO, you aren't, clown. you are going to sit there and push against it. little guys wearing bench shirts and talking bigg nonsense about their bogus lifts bother me.

People that speak out of their scope of practice should be shot repeatedly

A nutrionist giving exercise prescriptions without any degree or certifications. a personal trainer giving out nutritional advice because it worked for him/her. Hell, why don't you go ask your dentist about your foot pain. You have intelligent (sometimes) individuals speaking about something they have no certified, degree-ed knowledge of and it pisses me off. So many people are afraid to look stupid by saying I don't know or I'm not legally allowed to answer that question. This is why networking with qualified individuals is so damn important in our field. I know dieticians, strength coaches, personal trainers, and the best way to utilize each is to know which has the authority and knowledge base to effectively answer my questions correctly

I had a boss who would answer questions she was completely wrong about and think it was cute when her ass was upside down wrong. It isn't cute to cost people money because they trusted your answers or that you would say a simple i don't know if you really didn't.

Be smart enough to research and ask questions

I tell my clients straight up, if they want to know any of my methods or my reasoning behind the exercises they just completed or the periodization of their overall program, come out and ask me. If they have a differing opinion than me, speak it. I'll let you know why I have my opinion and I will let you speak yours. I'm an adult. I can have a different viewpoint than you, but I am not some screaming meathead that wants you to only hear my opinion and screw yours, it is wrong... that isn't me...

HOWEVER, if I give you my opinion and you try to change mine with no solid research for your opinion... "because some one told me in a dream"- you better be ready for an explosion of how crazy it would be for me to give your opinion any credibility with no reason besides "Sally told me that"

I am very outspoken, but I know when to listen.... I'll puke some more thoughts on here tomorrow
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