Archive for November, 2013

That is right my friend!  Curls!!!

Okay fine, maybe the title of this post is misleading. I do not mean JUST curls. I mean direct arm work in general and getting your biceps more involved in your exercises. There are a couple of ways to do this without doing curls, even though I LOVE curls.

Recently I have not had a lot of time to do extra exercises. But so what I did was try to get the bicep more involved by doing exercises that use the bicep just a little bit more. Here are some of the exercises I did and am currently doing.

Chin Ups
Close Lat Pull down with Supinated Grip (about shoulder width)
Bent Over Rows with Supinated Grip
Incline Curls
Barbell Curls
Close Grip Supinated Inverted Rows

Now of course your arm is not just your bicep, so you need to make sure you are working on the tricep, and related muscle groups, as well. Here is what I am doing now:

Dips
Barbell Press
Dumbbell Press
Push Ups

What I have used in the past:
Bench Press
Close Grip Bench Press
Tricep Pull Downs
Tricep Extensions

Sets and Reps

For non-compound exercises like curls and triceps extensions or any type of direct arm work, I like to go until I feel the muscle burn. “Extend” and “Contract”, I got that from watching Kai Greene videos. Sometimes I just set a timer for 1-2 minutes, and do as many controlled reps as I can with a light weight. It is just how I like to end a work out. It actually feels more like a cool down than anything else.

For the Curl Haters

Stupid Larry Scott and his curl workouts.

Stupid Larry Scott and his curl workouts. 

Some people out there believe that doing curls are useless. They believe only compound exercises are the best for developing your arms. Now, I do agree that compound exercises are the way to go in general. But if you have time to throw in a few sets of curls or triceps extensions, AND if you want bigger arms… why not do some curls or direct arm work? Now what do I mean? Let me start off with what I do NOT mean. I do not mean doing 20 sets of every curl variation on the planet, or curling in the squat rack. I mean using your brain. If you want to be strong AND aesthetically pleasing, you are probably going to have to do some form of isolation work or target specific muscle groups more than others. Of course, your nutrition is also going to determine how you look as well.

HOWEVER!!…

If you want bigger and stronger arms, you will need to work out your arms more than NOT AT ALL. 🙂 Remember that.

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So I got this from other articles located at http://classicphysiquebuilder.blogspot.com/ This a great little resource about the origins of bodybuilding. I did not do the workouts verbatim, however I did create a routine that was a full body routine using all main muscle groups of the body as suggested by the blog above. For each exercise, do 1 work set of 8-12 repetitions. Now, this may sound like too little, as I thought when I first tried this, but trust me. Its insane after a while. If you do this right, you will be sweating like an animal and feeling like you just ran a 100m dash.

The exercises can be replaced with dumbbell movements. Example: doing dumbbell press instead of barbell press. Below is what I did. However, the main point is to have some form of squat, overhead press, rowing movement, curl movement and calf raise movement. So if you want to do front squats instead. Go for it. The only thing different is on the third day you replace the row with the deadlift. If I had to this all over again, I would just do Dips, push ups, or pull overs instead of bench press.

Day 1 and Day 2 (Monday + Wednesday)
Squat
Press
Row
Bench Press
Barbell Curl
Calf Raises

Day 3 (Friday)
Squat
Press
Deadlift – See Below
Bench Press
Barbell Curl
Calf Raises

Progression

Lets say you did a Squat for a 135 lb work set and only did 9 reps. You stay at that weight until you get 12 full reps and can barely get 13. Once you do that, you increase the weight. Be conservative. Go up in 2.5 to 5 lb increments.

Rest

In between Sets take as little time as possible. I would use somewhere between 1-2 minutes. Sometimes I would take more, I would just go by how my body felt. For the heavy deadlifts, I would take about 3-5 minutes between sets. Maybe more if it was a weight I never did before.

Deadlift

For the deadlift you will always do sets of 5.

Example:
135 x 5 Warm Up. This should be an easy set.
185 x 5 Warm Up. Should be able to get 5 reps with maybe a moderate difficulty.
225 x 5 Work Set. You will get the first 3 reps, and the last 2 will be the hardest. You may not even get 5. but thats okay. Do not increase weight until you hit 5 reps.

As the weight gets heavy over time, you might need to add another warm up set.

That is about it! I say go visit the blog I posted above. Its awesome! I do not think its active, but there are still lots of cool pictures up there and interesting reads.

Take care guys! Good luck trying to look like Steve Reeves!

The Great Steve Reeves

This is what I ate today:

1 cup of oatmeal
1 Chobani Yogurt
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of jelly
1 banana
About 6 oz of meat total
1/4 cup of sweet potatoes
1/4 cup of quinoa
1/2 cup of lentils
handful of spinach – i have eaten spinach for 4 straight days. I am trying to make it a habit.
2 mugs of hot cocoa.

Tomorrow will be more of the same. Except I will be eating Tofu instead of meat and I might get some vegan dumplings.

Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend everyone!M

Dynamic Warmup

Squat:
135 x 5
160 x 5
180 x 5
200 x 5

Barbell Press: I did not feel like going to gym since i had to do laundry.
45 x 10
75 x 8
95 x 5
115 x 3
75 x 5
45 x 5

Stiff Leg DL:
135 x 8
185 x 8 x 2

Good Morning:
45 x 12
80 x 12
100 x 12

I couldn’t get a chance to workout today due to all the running around for holiday stuff. I will hold off until Friday and do what I was suppose to do this morning.

This almost like a rest week compared to others.

Going to work on a 3 day a week routine for my next 6 week training period or “cycle”.

Will post my brainstorm later.

Hello All,

I recently, at the suggestion of my friend Dennis, decided to start doing Pull Ups and Dips. So I said, “why not? what is there to lose?” At first I thought however,”OMG what if I get weaker and lose strength?” But them I slapped myself with the realization that my numbers are not that impressive to begin with and how can doing MORE pull ups make me weaker anyway?

However, I was trying to figure out how to fit pull ups in to my routine, especially since I couldn’t do more than 2. So I asked myself,”What exercises could I eliminate in order to focus more on pull ups and dips?” The 2 exercises I HAD to keep were the Squat and the Deadlift. That left the Bench and the Overhead Barbell Press. So I eliminated both. I am sure someone might read this and say “BLASPHEMY!” and go on a rant about how the bench and press are vital to strength gains and blah blah blah. But guess what? I WANT TO DO MORE PULL UPS. Never the less. So my workout one day looked like this:

Squat
Deadlift
Pull Ups
Dips
Inverted Rows

I also replaced the OHP with Dumbbell Overhead press on other days. I have maintained my strength with regards to Squat and Deadlift. I also noticed my upper body physique changing for the better. Arms and shoulders got bigger, mid section was tighter, and of course I felt great and the workouts have been challenging. This is only after 4 weeks.

My hypothesis is as follows: I will still be able to bench press what I was doing before if not more.

The press IMO is the superior exercise. Now eventually I will go back to benching and pressing with a barbell. But for now, I like the results I am getting from what I am doing. And I felt a rest from pressing movements would do me some good.  In about 3 weeks, I will add in the Barbell Press, and stay that way for about 6 weeks,  then add the bench press after that.

I will also be updating this post at some time in the future.

M

Today this is what I ate. Trying to eat more greens and fruits. Constructive feedback is welcomed.

2 cups of cereal
3 cups of Milk
4 boiled eggs
2 corn tortillas
1/4 cup of mashed beans
Yogurt with tbsp of peanut butter, jelly
1 banana
1 orange
1 cup of spinach, romain lettuce, and grape tomatoes
1/2 cup of sauteed chicken

I weigh about 187 lbs, 5’7″. Trying to get down to 180. I will also be adding tofu, quinoa, and lentils to my nutrition “plan”. LETS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I felt very lethargic. Never the less, I was able to hit 160 for the reps i wanted in the squat, The 180 was a little too much. I might just stay with 2 sets of 160 for next week.

Squats: I will drop the weight any time I am deadlifting “heavy”. Next week i will keep the sets to 2 sets of 10 @ 135 and 160. Then when I squat later in the week, i will hit sets of 5 @ 180 and 200.
160 x 10
180 x 6,4,2

Deadlift:
135 x 8
225 x 5
275 x 5: Had to reset after the 3 rep, hands got sweaty. cant use chalk because well… i dont have any.
275 x 1 x 5 rest pause for 30 seconds between reps.

On my way to gym. I will update later.

Update:

Assisted Wide Grip Pull Up: 8

Wide Grip Pull Up:
5 sets of 5
5 negatives
3 sets of 10 assistance pull ups on machine

Dips:
5 sets of 8
3 sets of 15 with assistance band

Close Grip Inverted Row:
5 sets of 8
5 negatives

10 minutes on treadclimber. 1 mile in about 9 minutes

In my 3rd week of current routine. Here is the plan for tomorrow:

Squat
160 x 10-12  I was able to get 160 x 8 last time, so I feel getting at least 10 is completely withing reach.
180 x 11-12  I have been stuck on 180 for about 2 weeks. If I can get 11, I will definitely go for 12. 🙂
95 x 15+ Drop set for reps.

Deadlift
135 x 8 Warm Up
225 x 5 Moderate Warm Up
275 x 3-5 x 2 Work Sets. Getting 295 was difficult last time. So I will drop the weight and work on triples or fives.

Good Mornings: These have been DESTROYING my hamstrings. My hamstrings have been their most sore because of these bad boys.
80 x 12
100 x 12

Wide Pull Ups (going to go a little narrower)
7,5,3,1 x 4 rounds = 64 reps; I might go for 5 sets of 6 instead. But it will depend on how I feel.

Dips:
16,14,12,10,8,6,4,2 = 72 Reps; I might try and go for 5 sets of 10-15 reps.

Close Grip Inverted Rows, one of my favorite exercises
15 x 5 = reps

Jump Rope: 15-20 minutes

Dynamic Warm Up:
arm circles, push ups and some body weight squats

Chins: 24 reps
3 sets of 8

Dumbbell Press:
45lbs for 10 reps
30lbs for 15 reps

Lateral Raise:
12lbs for 15 reps
8lbs for 15 reps
5lbs for 15 reps

Incline Curls:
20lbs for 15 reps
15lbs for 15 reps
10 lbs for 25 reps

Deadlift Hang with Dumbbells:
3 sets of 40 seconds

Wrist Curl (flexion and extension)
3 sets of 1 minute with 8lb dumbbell

Open and Close hand:
6 sets of 1 minute

Chin Ups:
5 sets of 5

Push Ups: 70 reps
20, 20, 15, 15

Wide Inverted Rows: 60 reps
5 sets of 12

8 minute jump ropePost workout stretch