Categories
Fat Loss Fitness

Train Abs Correctly Then Leave Them Alone!

Abs…we either never train them or we train them every day. Those that don’t train them will tell you squats and deadlifts give your abs all the work they need. Those that train them everyday will most likely say something like “they can handle lots of work” or “they require constant work to grow because they are used to working everyday through secondary movements”.
Both people are unfortunately wrong. Abs do get stimulated from doing deadlifts, but so do your biceps. I don’t see anyone skipping arm day. Abs also get a lot of work from bent over rows. This exercise also stimulates your quads and hamstrings. You better not be skipping leg day!

I’m fan of training abs like any other body part. Twice per week. I don’t like to just hit one exercise for 5 sets and be done with it though. I also never do crunches. Studies have shown time and time again they are not as effective as we once thought. They can still be included in your routine but we just need to make sure we do them correctly. This can be tough and the hip flexors can unfortunately do the bulk of the work when done incorrectly.

Abs also need to be trained with weight. A lot of people don’t want to “bulk up” their abs so they do high reps and no added weight. When I want to add size to my arms, I will often do 20-50 reps per set because higher reps have shown to increase muscle size faster than low reps. So, for those that only do high rep and bodyweight exercises, you might want to rethink how you train your abs. Now for some, doing leg raises with no added weight is hard enough and they don’t actually need added weight. If you can push out 30 no worries then try adding resistance.

This isn’t to say your abs will add a lot of size and get bulky from high reps. The design of the abdominal muscles is different to that off your bicep or quadriceps. They don’t shorten and lengthen the same way other muscles do. They often respond better to isometric movements whereas your biceps won’t.

Sadly, if most trainers had a basic understanding of muscle biomechanics and movements, they would realize that 90% of the exercises they prescribe are useless and don’t actually work the abs.

The chart below shows the results of an EMG Machine. What this machine does is measures the muscles response or electrical activity in response to nerve’s stimulation of the muscle.

Upper Abdominals

As you can see here, they measured the activation of the upper rectus abdominals, lower rectus abdominals, and the external and internal obliques. The 5 exercises they chose to test are ones that are quite popular. Looking at the chart, you can see a clear difference between the wheel roll out, hanging leg raise and reverse crunch in comparison to the popular flat crunch and bent knee sit-up.

The first 3 exercises gave a response of 50-100% more than those that are your traditional exercises. No wonder all those people doing sit ups don’t have a chiseled core!

Here is a great circuit you can try next time you are at the gym. This circuit can be done 3-4 times at the end of your workout. Twice per week.

[video_player type=”embed” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iNTYwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjMxNSIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS9lbWJlZC96cktuVGVtSndBRT9yZWw9MCZhbXA7Y29udHJvbHM9MCZhbXA7c2hvd2luZm89MCIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbj0iIj48L2lmcmFtZT4=[/video_player]

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness

HIIT Cardio Blaster

Cardio can be dull. It can even be ineffective.

Most trainers will have you doing burpees and skipping and call that cardio. That’s cool but I think my cardio is better.

Just because your heart rate is up does not mean you are doing HIIT. HIIT requires an all out effort. Very few exercises can actually achieve the result that HIIT is designed to deliver.
See below my squat jumps have a twist to them. For one, I am using a TRX cable to propel me higher. Try it. It’s great for not only burning fat but also building that teardrop muscle (vastus medialis) that we all love. By using the TRX cables, I can also get a lot deeper into the squat allowing me to recruit more muscle fibres and increase the distance I need to travel. By using my arms to assist, I can get higher and incorporate more muscles.

I also picked the rower, cycle, and battle ropes because they allow me to go all out and leave nothing in the tank.

Share this page/post so we can teach more people about how to do HIIT the real way and actually get the results we all desire.

[video_player type=”embed” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]PGlmcmFtZSBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmZhY2Vib29rLmNvbS9wbHVnaW5zL3ZpZGVvLnBocD9ocmVmPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGd3d3LmZhY2Vib29rLmNvbSUyRkV0aGFuaHlkZWZhbiUyRnZpZGVvcyUyRjY0OTUzNTA4ODU4OTM5OCUyRiZzaG93X3RleHQ9MCZ3aWR0aD01NjAiIHdpZHRoPSI1NjAiIGhlaWdodD0iMzE1IiBzdHlsZT0iYm9yZGVyOm5vbmU7b3ZlcmZsb3c6aGlkZGVuIiBzY3JvbGxpbmc9Im5vIiBmcmFtZWJvcmRlcj0iMCIgYWxsb3dUcmFuc3BhcmVuY3k9InRydWUiIGFsbG93RnVsbFNjcmVlbj0idHJ1ZSI+PC9pZnJhbWU+[/video_player]

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness

Shred21 Shredding Back, Biceps, and Cardio Workout

Download the complete workout here: Click Here

This workout drained me. It was tough but if you want to see some serious results then I suggest giving this a go.

The cardio can be changed up if it doesn’t suit your gym. You can do kettle bell swings, burpees, skipping etc. Be creative.

Categories
Fitness

5 Tricks To Turn Your Calves Into Cows (Free Workout)

Calves, the neglected muscle because “no matter how hard I train, they won’t grow”. This is the biggest cop out. I bet if that same persons chest wasn’t growing they wouldn’t stop doing bench.

The trick to making calves, or any body part grow is eating enough food and training it properly. These two factors will determine your success. Period. Most people also think they are doing these things right. If they were, they would be constantly growing.

Here are 5 tricks to implement right away to maximize growth in your calves. I am going to assume you are eating plenty of food to compliment these training principles.

 

Understand the different muscle fibers

Your calves are made of two different muscles. The soleus and the gastrocnemius. Your soleus is activated when seated with knees bent and the gastrocnemius is most active with a straight leg. The gastrocnemius is the large bulge at the top and the soleus is the thick muscle underneath and below it.

The gastrocnemius is made up mainly slower muscle fibres making high rep work preferable and the soleus is more fast twitch. Fast twitch fibres respond well to heavy loads and short durations. Knowing this helps us program a workout designed for optimal growth.

 

Frequency

Your calves are get a lot of work throughout the week form walking, standing, squatting, lunging etc. They are used to being worked often so hitting them once a week won’t stimulate them enough to force growth. I would encourage you to hit them 2-3 times per week. Each time you hit them, target a different rep range, area of the muscle, and exercise.

 

Volume

Your calves can handle a lot of volume and they thrive on it. Because they get a lot of work as a secondary muscle, they are used to doing lots of activity.  Adding volume can also increase the amount of fluid being pumped into your calves creating a magnificent pump. With the calves being a relatively small and isolated muscle, they retain a lot of the fluid and will be forced to adapt by growing bigger.

 

Blood Flow Restriction Training

The reduces blood flow out of the muscle promoting excessive cell swelling = bigger muscles. This is a relatively new kind of training but is widely appreciated in the bodybuilding community. By wrapping the target muscle, we restrict blood flow to the veins, but not the arteries.

By restricting blood flow to the veins, we allow blood to flood the muscle but not escape. This results in a massive increase in cell swelling. This sends a signal to your cells to reconstruct3 Day Calf Routine themselves and grow larger. (Schoenfeld 2010)

Some studies have even shown a massive 10 times increase in cell swelling in certain muscles. (Abe et al., 2005)

To perform this kind of training, wrap the top portion of your limb or target muscle. This means the top of your bicep near the shoulder joint or the top of the thighs near the groin area. I use my knee wraps for this and wrap to a tightness of 7 out of 10.

You won’t be using your regular weights either. Generally, you will lift with 30% of what you could normally. Start with 30+ reps for the first set to pump up the muscle with a huge focus on squeezing the muscle as hard as possible. Rest for 30 seconds and continue for another 3-4 sets for around 15 reps each.

 

Intra-Set Stretching

I’m not sure what is more painful, intra-set stretching or BFR training. Either way, this hurts in the best way possible. To perform intra-set stretching, take your regular set to failure and then when you are finished, allow the weight you were lifting to stretch the targeted muscle for at least 30 seconds. You will soon understand the pain I speak of. This can be done in a dropset fashion by stretching for 30 seconds then stripping some weight and doing another set, followed by another stretch.

It can also be used in a standard set that would mean a set to failure followed by a stretch. 30 seconds to rest and then back at it. Resting longer will allow a lot of the by-products to leave the muscle and will defeat the purpose. The best exercises to use this on are ones with a large range of motion and generally single joint exercises. For example: pec fly, calf raises, bicep curls, tricep press, leg extensions and curls, and pull ups.

Recent studies have shown that those who used intra-set stretching on their calves resulted in double the muscle thickness compared to those who did a traditional set with no stretching.

 

 

Categories
Fitness

5 Tips For Building Boulder Shoulders

Shoulders often define the body. They can give the illusion of a smaller waist leading to the V taper. Your shoulders are not like your chest or back so they need to be trained accordingly. Here are 4 tips to supercharge your should session.

 

1: Volume

Shoulders respond great to high volume, high rep workouts. Due to a larger number of type I muscle fibers, training with higher repetitionsTRY THIS! and lower loads is preferential. This ensures you get the most bang for your buck and will grow nice caps on your shoulders.

2: Short Rest Periods

Due to the muscle fiber type and high reps being preferential for growth, short rest periods tie in with this perfectly.

High reps create a lot of lactic acid in the muscle and flood the muscle with other valuable fluids. This is known as a pump. Fluid forces the fascia to expand and adapt – creating a larger muscle. Long rest periods allow this fluid to disperse and the pump ends. Keep rest periods to around 30 seconds and embrace the burn.

3: Isometric Contractions

This sounds complex but it’s really just when the muscle tenses without changing length. A great way to maximise isometric contractions is at the end of a giant set. This ensures the muscle is pumped full of blood and other fluids. A great exercise is side raises. After performing shoulder press, side raises, and front raises, take a weight appropriate for 12-18 reps and hold it out to the side at the top of the rep. You should look like a ‘T’. This will contract a muscle that’s already full of blood and not allow the blood to leave resulting in a massive pump and a swelling of the muscle size. Hold for approximately 20 seconds.

4: Prioritize Lateral and Posterior Heads

This may sound strange but if you think about it, the anterior (front) of the shoulder gets hammered on chest day. Bench press, dumbbell press, incline press, flys, and push ups all hit the anterior head whilst leaving the lateral and posterior heads fresh.

Prioritize movements such as military press, behind the neck press (if your should mobility allows it), side raises with cables and dumbbells, rear delt movements with machines, cables, and dumbbells. Don’t be afraid to hit the same exercise multiple times in your routine. I will often hit lateral raises in a super set and then again by themselves. Do the unconventional and make them grow!Are You

 

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness

5 Advanced Transformation Strategies For Men

1. Perform High Frequency Metabolic Resistance Training

Most people will often perform resistance training or weight training. That’s a given. However, most people don’t train often enough or with the right intensity.
Gone are the days of the traditional body part split of legs, chest, arms, shoulder, and back. We know that Is obsolete. What we know now is that metabolic resistance training and pairing agonist and antagonist muscles together provides a far greater stimulus within the muscle.
Multiple studies and many transformations have proven that by pairing certain muscle groups together and hitting them twice or three times per week have shown more fat loss and an increase in muscle mass due to increased protein synthesis.

2. HIIT It

Give yourself 10 minutes to get your cardio done and you will reap the benefits by drastically reducing bodyfat, increasing muscle glycogen storage, and promoting GH secretion.
You can often burn more calories from 10 minutes of HIIT than an hour of boring steady state.
The problem, most people aren’t doing real HIIT. They are doing MIIT or medium intensity interval training. From experience and studies, the best ways to perform HIIT are by performing movements that allow the body to move as fast as possible. Kettle bell swings and jump squats don’t make the cut. They fall into the MIIT group.
We want sprints, battle ropes, cycle sprints, or the rower to achieve optimal increases in muscle mass and decreases in fat mass.

3. Take Caffeine

Most fat burners aren’t worth a dime. They are loaded up with crap like green coffee bean extract and harmful chemical stimulants.
Caffeine is one ingredient that is excellent for athletes.
Caffeine has been shown time and time again to improve power, fat oxidation, energy and focus, and decrease fatigue.
Caffeine has also shown to boost recovery by promoting blood circulation.

4. Get Better Sleep

Yep this one is boring but how many times have you slept like crap and felt invigorated when you hit the gym? Not many.
Apart from a severe decrease in energy output and a tendency to skip the gym, poor sleep also increases hunger and cravings, reduces your metabolism, increases cortisol levels and decreases anabolic hormones, and tends to make you less active throughout the day.
If you are missing hours of sleep then you can see it will have a major impact on your physique.
Proper sleep can boost GH and Testosterone which will aid in muscle gain and fat loss.
Increase your sleep quality by supplementing with ZMA and/or Arnold’s Iron Dream. Try and avoid any strong lights before bed as these disrupt your melatonin levels and can ruin your sleep.

5. Cycle Your Calories

Calories matter and you can’t just eat the same amount every day. Training legs will require a higher demand of energy than hitting an arms session. By tailoring your carb levels around your workout split, you can optimize fat loss whilst retaining or building muscle.
The same goes depending on which phase of your training you completing. As you get closer to your deadline your calories will change.
If this is a bulk then of course you will be eating more because you are bigger and the opposite applies if you are losing fat.