Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stuff that crossed my mind during deadlift

I get all kinds of thoughts across my mind during deadlift.... here is some stuff that hit me today, relevant or not

1) You should deadlift without a belt and straps every once in a while. Get your man grip up, you know? I did four sets today without straps today and it actually let me slow down some and really focus on my form. You also have to leave your ego at the door because you can do more weight with straps. I didn't use a belt today, but kept my form strict to really work my core. Unequipped lifting has its benefits

2) While talking about deadlift and not using straps, I also used an alternate grip. I tried it both ways (ha); the first set of 6 I used a left over and right under hand grip and the second set I reversed the grip. I used an overhand grip on all warm-up sets

3)you should never talk to another man that you don't know in the bathroom

4)on that note, people that get stage fright make me laugh

5) high testosterone should be wanted by all

6) force yourself to grow... don't say," i've tried everything" bc you haven't. Hamstrings too small? deads, RDLS, eccentric leg curls, leg presses with a high foot placement... do it all and do them all to failure. quit cutting your leg workouts short! get a solid recovery shake and stretch with foam rolling afterwards. Stay active the next day to prevent stiffness and lessen soreness.

have a great Wednesday

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Check this kid out!

While I don't agree with weight training at such a young age, the gymnastic and core strength of this five year old is ridiculous.

I love his intensity too

How do you approach your workout?

Do you approach your workout as another thing on your to do list?

Do you talk more than put in work? Should your workouts be called talk shows?

Do you just hope that the workout ends?

Do you break a sweat at all? Are you sore the next day?

What is your purpose? Do you wish to do the absolute minimum to "get by?" WHY don't you put all you have into your workouts? GEt a plan, have some one write you one, EMAIL ME and i'll write you a workout plan, get started do something......... if you just go through the motions you will waste your time staying the same...

Friday, October 23, 2009

NPC Bodybuilding, figure, and bikini championship - Straight to the Bar

NPC Bodybuilding, figure, and bikini championship - Straight to the Bar: This saturday I am going to Tricky Jackson's NPC qualifying show in Lexington, KY.

I have four employees and a gym member competing so you can bet that I am going to be causing a scene with noise when they strut out on stage. These five guys have been going strong with diet and even stronger with their workouts... For a group of guys that actually like having size and strength, cutting down can cause a lot of mental frustration.

Also, since their bodyweights are dropping, as is some of their strength. Their goals consist of maintaining size and strength through this weekend in an attempt to be as proportionally muscular while still as lean as possible. I saw two of them today and right now they are focused on no injuries and cutting water weight out, prejudging is tomorrow morning at 11am. I hope they hit the weight that they are shooting for.

After the show tomorrow, three of them are competing in the Kentucky muscle show in Louisville in three weeks and two of them are going into their off-season program of large amounts of clean food and gaining mass. The three competing twice in a months time will get as much learning experience tomorrow as far as posing and seeing what they can drop their weights to.

I am excited to see their dedication under the big stage lights, both tomorrow at Tricky's competition and when they get back in the gym to push weight around.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2009 NPC Bluegrass Bodybuilding, Figure, and Bikini Championships

Tricky Jackson, an IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, is putting on a bodybuilder, figure, and bikini competition this Saturday, October 24th, at Lexington's Thoroughbred center, you can find any and all information at .

The prejudging is at 11am and the night show starts at 7pm!!! I have four employees that are competing---- Come yell at Luke Beggs, Jake Beggs, Jantzen O'Neal, and Clay Brady. We also have a gym member, Brett Borders, that is competing so come shout at him too. I'm going to be there going crazy with a couple of buddies to support these dedicated dudes

I'm definitely going to get me a shirt!!

Come check out Tricky's Show!!! Students: entrance to the night show is only $15 with a student ID!!!

and support the Underground Fitness Center employees!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Deadlift and PT eval with Nic Norwood

I put my personal trainers through semesterly evaluations on approach, exercises selection, demonstration, programming, etc. Today I was able to work with Nic Norwood, who has set 6 national records, 4 still standing, through USAPL and has competed in 7 national competitions. He was able to help me some with my deadlift form, and given his experience, a great source for info.

Being such an accomplished powerlifter, I was expecting to deadlift with him... so I wore my dealift'n shoes

Some highlites from the session were:

1) Be patient with the pull. It isn't like squat where you can go in there and zip through it. You have to set up and drive at the right time.

2) Shoulders and head up first

3) Release your grip with one hand once the weight is on the floor after each rep to make sure you aren't bouncing the weight

Excellent pointers... I also got another cue from a video I watched this weekend... make sure your shoulders start in front of the bar when the weight is on the floor.... it really helped me get in the correct position.
T-nation also did an article with Andy Bolton who has pulled over 1000lbs TWICE... 1003 and 1008lbs... completely inhuman. I listened to Alwyn Cosgrove's interview with Mike Boyle ( about the state of the fitness industry and something that stuck out was to "the essence of getting better is to be around people better than yourself."

Of course I would listen when these three individuals either spoke with me or wrote an article... it would be crazy not to. I'm going to get stronger, what are you going to do???

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lift for you

As I was in between sets on flat bench today, sweating, it hit me. I lift for me. I don't lift to beat Bill Bench or Scott Squat. Right now, I could honestly care less what they hit on anything. I don't care what they weigh, what they can push, what they can pull.

I am lifting to get better than I was before. I have been on a self-improvement project the last three weeks. I wanted to fix my shoulder problem (pressure building up on heavy bench and shoulder press). I decided to set a barbell next to my desk and stretch whenever I thought about it. I also took chest and shoulders presses down to once a week each ( I still completed straight arm lifts for shoulders and flying movements for chest).

Flat bench today was painless and I am optimistic about getting 295 for 6, 5, 4. I told myself three weeks ago that I would hit back twice a week and streetch my shoulders out for five weeks and I will stick to that.

Why lift if you don't want to improve? Why do something with less than total effort?

Before my last set I couldn't have cared less about anything else but pushing as hard and fast as I could. I set a goal to help my shoulder problem and approached it with a program that I thought would have a good chance at working and it has so far been helpful.

I lift for me. I sweat for me. I push myself for me. I get better for me. What are you doing for you?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Crippling Leg workout

One of my staff members came up to me today and wanted a new leg workout, said he was tired of being bored. I gave him the following program for the day:

Superset 1 -4 times through
A) Quad glute squat on smith machine- feet awkwardly out in front of you so if the bar moved, you would fall. normal bar position, drop your butt and keep your hips back at the bottom of the range of motion and explode up. the smith machine keeps the movement of the weight fertical and make sure your spine stays perpendicular to the floor. I told him to focus driving through his heels, and to complete 2x15, 2x12
B) Leg extension- 4x10
Rest period before repeating superset 1 is 60 seconds

Superset 2 - 4 times through
A) Leg curl- Bring the weight up with both legs (flex the knee joint) and slowly resist the weight with one leg on the way down. Repeat but lower with the other leg and do each leg 6 times. then do the same weight 6 more times with both legs.
B) Stability ball leg curl- 4x10

Superset 3 - 4 times through
A) One-legged leg press- 4x12 each leg
B) Barbell Hip thrusts- Seen in this article at the bottom of the page

Know that I would never recommend soley performing smith machine squats, there is a huge advantage to using a free weight bar in that you involve a lot more stabilization and core muscles that aren't needed as much with a smith machine. I advised him to use the smith machine to really focus on his quads.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Importance of Busting Through Plateaus

You can't progress without getting stronger, faster, leaner, more muscular... essentially, you don't make any gains if you don't get better. A lot of people have been coming up to me and sending me emails about how to break through their plateaus that they have ran into. This is a physical and mental roadblock on some exercises for a lot of people.

I have even seen people build up to their plateau weight several times in a semester and instead of brainstorming ways to blow past it, they let that muscle group drop off of their workout for a little while out of frustration in what they think is a concrete ceiling... "Man, I just can't push past 225 on bench"... Rob, my squat only gets up to 315 and then stalls"

calling them out... BS

If they want to continue in the cyclic pattern of adequacy, fine by me. If you don’t mind staying at the same level or you aren’t consistent in any of your workout -- i.e. one workout a month this month and then three weeks straight at 4 times a week and repeat—try crossfit, I hear it’s great. But if they want help pushing through it so they can actually push toward a new goal, a new challenge, more weight on the bar, they need to bust out a notepad and listen.

The property of overload states that you need to do more weight, reps, sets, and/or volume to put additional strain on your body to cause it (or force it, if you like that better) to adapt and GROW. In order to have progression in your workouts you must always be trying to overload your neuromuscular system.

I blogged briefly on breaking plateaus before here, but now I'll give you some new ideas.

Drop Sets

You can try drop sets. On your last set you are going to hit it for as many reps as you can and then drop it to a lower weight and repeat. Before starting tell your lifting partner what weight to drop to after your set is over to minimize time between sets. So if you were doing 225, you should put a 45, 25, and two tens on each side so you could hit 225 and then drop to 185… dropping from 225 to 135 would be too much of a drop to make because you would easily get 10-15 reps at 135 if you were shooting for 225 for 6 or less.


You can also try the Rest–Pause technique. This training technique allows you to get more reps with a higher weight than you would usually be able to get. No magic supplement, no gear, no extra lifting equipment is needed… just you, your balls, and a stop watch or clock. You pick a weight that you have been stuck doing 6 reps for (insert time period here). You complete just three reps and rack it. Start your stop watch and wait 20 seconds. Repeat three reps. Wait 20 seconds. Try to get another three reps.

I did this a couple of weeks ago on deadlift and ended up getting 9 reps on a weight that in a normal set I would have only been able to get to around six reps. I also felt like I was going to puke after it. IF you are doing deadlift and have straps on, don’t unwrap bc that will add time between sets which isn’t the point. You want 15-20 seconds between sets, but not one minute... one minute would be almost before another set. You are playing to the advantage of your ATP-CP system. This system is responsible for producing explosive power and energy from your muscles for activity lasting less than thirty seconds... ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is also replenished very quickly so you are allowing your muscles to partially replenish their ATP supply to get another three reps... or one or two reps.

Go out and bust through a plateau…. Or stay the same. You really just have those two options.

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