Archive for December, 2013

Hey there.

So if you are a beginner exerciser or sedentary individual, here is what in my opinion, you should do before jumping into intermediate training programs. I am not an advanced trainee. I do not even consider myself an intermediate trainee. However, I am going to share what I feel an ABSOLUTE beginner should work on before they try programs such as split routines, Starting Strength, Stronglifts, 531, and the slew of other programs you will find on the internet.

As a beginner or novice, the first thing you should try to work on is evaluating your posture and find out if you can hinge at your hip without rounding your back. I feel it will help you in the long run. IMO, if you have a rounded back, overextended lumbar spine, or do not know how to squeeze your shoulder blades together, then you should not attempt to do big movements such as deadlifts or squats. It could lead to injury or having to relearn an exercise from scratch.

Arnold may have been great. But Low back flexion is no good.

Arnold may have been great. But Low back flexion is no good.

Another aspect of training that you should consider before doing any program is learning to foam roll and stretch. For me, Foam rolling was an excellent way to relieve tightness in the muscles and roll out some of those knots I might have. When it comes to stretching, I like to do this after I workout. Stretching over time helps increase flexibility, however there is no research that states it can prevent injuries. So if you are going to stretch, do not do it in the hopes it will prevent injuries, because that has not been established. However, it doesn’t hurt to be extra flexible and mobile.

Anytime, you start exercising or doing a certain movement, concentrate on the form and technique. Be proactive. USE THE TECHNOLOGY WE HAVE! use google, youtube, or THE LIBRARY. Record yourself. Check out your form. Get a training partner. There is only one person responsible for your body. And that is yourself. No trainer or coach, is going to be able to tell you how to train YOUR BODY. They might be able to help you with form, with motivation, and point you in the right direction, but in the end, you will decide how you will train yourself. Be PROACTIVE and EXPERIMENT. I will use myself as an example. According to Starting Strengh deadlifting heavy once per week for a set of 5 is enough. To be honest, I never liked doing sets of 5 for deadlifts. For myself I always felt doing 6 sets of 3 or 5 singles was more beneficial to my progress. Same thing for bench press. For bench pressing I felt doing 5 sets of 2 was the way to go. And the same idea goes for your form. I do not do my overhead press according to textbook. I do it probably wider than most, because it FEELS better. Find what is best for you. And do as much research as possible.

That is more like it!

That is more like it!

Work on the fundamentals first. If you can’t bend over without rounding your back or do not know how to squeeze your shoulder blades together, you should NOT be deadlifting or squatting with weight.

These are my thoughts based on my experiences thus far.

“Do not let some one else be responsible for what you learn” – Some guy

All done. Peace out guys!

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Healthy Lifestyle being fun. NO

Healthy Lifestyle being fun? NO

I always hear or read this stuff online. When it comes to your health, since when does anything have to be fun?  Of all the real reasons I have heard why people have a hard time working out or maintaining proper nutrition, things like working multiple jobs, raising kids, taking care of a loved one, going to school and working; these are valid reasons. And I will never judge someone for not being able to eat properly or train because of these types of things. However, The “exercise is not fun” is just an excuse. And so is the “I do not like cooking”.  This is how I see it: when you go to the doctors is that suppose to be fun? NO, you go because you need to get a check up. Or is taking a medical prescription that you NEED suppose to be fun? NO, you need it or you will not get better.

If you want drastic results, you need to make drastic changes. And some times those changes are not fun. They just need to be done OR you will get sick, obese, or get diseases that you may be predisposed to.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be fun.  But when an individual WANTS results, it should not matter if its fun or not.   And if they NEED results because their doctor says so, then the option of maintaining health being fun, needs to go out the window.

Having fun while training AND cooking is a privilege only few will really appreciate or experience. Many people see health/fitness as a chore. Or it may not be a priority at all. However which way you see it, if a person wants or needs a certain result, aesthetic or otherwise, they need to work around the fact that it may not be a means of entertainment.  Regardless, your health needs to be a priority, whether it be the exercise or the nutrition. Since when are priorities fun? Usually never. 🙂

Take care everyone!

Front Squat:

45 x 5
75 x 5
95 x 5
120 x 5 x 3

Power Clean:
75 x 3
95 x 3
115 x 3 x 5

Post workout stretch

That is it for today. Felt good.

IMPOSSIBLE!!!!

Today I woke up so sore, probably the most I have been in years. Holy crap.

I should be good to go for tomorrow. Wow, this was different. It was like when superman first bled.

Tomorrow is going to be Front squats, and Full Cleans.

Front Squat:
120 x 5 x 3

Clean:
115 x 3 x 5

This is what helped me lose weight, maintain strength and lose 3 points of body fat percentage in about 14-18 weeks.

Nutrition

The most important part of this process was the nutrition. I started cleaning up my diet. I cut out beer, pizza, and eating junk food. After about 4 weeks, I realized I was getting constipated, so I started eating more greens on top of what I was already eating. Which included things like quinoa, beans, boiled eggs, yogurt, potatoes and oatmeal and occasional steak and ground turkey. I also ate dairy and whatever else I could find that was not fried. Its also about portion control. Sweet potatoes are great, but eating about a pound of sweet potatoes slathered in syrup is probably not wise.

Also the fact that I do not eat a lot of meats had me looking for alternative protein sources. The biggest for me has been 2% milk, eggs, lentils, and quinoa. Lentils and Quinoa have all essential amino acids. I am not a dietitian but from what I have read, those help with recovery. And not to mention they taste YUMMY. Well… if you know how to cook. 🙂 OMI jeez! How could I forget!!! I also drank a lot of water. Always stay hydrated. If you are thirsty, you are not drinking enough water.

Resistance Training

When it comes to training, the addition of pull ups and dips really helped. On days that I was lifting heavy I made sure I had a good breakfast, which included oatmeal, eggs and maybe sweet potatoes. Now, since I was eating LESS I could not do the same amount work I was doing before. So I did only about 3-5 sets total for each exercise, squat, press, and deadlift. The importance is to keep the degree of difficulty moderate to high. Example: If you plan to do 3 sets of 5, it should not be easy. It should be moderately difficult.  I always started with compound movements, and did other smaller exercises like curls and wrist curls after the main part of my work out was done.

Cardio

This is absolutely necessary. The type of cardio I chose was high intensity. Things like speed jump roping, basketball, and sprinting. Very few of my cardio sessions lasted more than 15 minutes. The only cardio exercise than last longer is when I play basketball. Long periods of cardio, at a low intensity, for a longer period of time, should IMO be avoided. If you want to burn fats, you need to go hard and get that heart rate up. It should not feel easy, and sometimes it will NOT be fun.

Now this may vary for from person to person, but I will not argue with the fact that it has worked for me. My squat is still 225. My Deadlift is still 315. And i have lost 20 pounds and my body fat percentage has gone down to 18.5. If you want to see what exercises I did and reps and things, just go back and look at my training logs. See if that will help you create your own routine that will help you achieve your weight loss (not strength loss) goals.

fat

 

Peace

Front Squat: Bye bye Low Bar squat for a while. front squat is far more challenging and fun to perform.
45 x 5
75 x 5
95 x 5
120 x 5 x 3

Full Power Clean and Press
75 x 3 x 2 – As Many as necessary to get the full clean portion good.
95 x 3 x 3
105 x 3 x 3

Good Morning:
75 x 5 x 2
105 x 5 x 3

Dynamic Warm Up that includes arm circles and some static stretching.
Foam Rolling: A quick foam rolling of the main muscle groups of the body.

Did you say... stretch?

Did you say… stretch?

Front Squat:
45 x 5
75 x 5
95 x 5
115 x 5 x 3

Press:
45 x 5
65 x 5
85 x 5
105 x 5 x 3

Deficit Deadlift:
135 x 5
225 x 5
255 x 3 x 6

Workout was a complete success. LETS GO!!!Post Workout Stretch

For Friday:

Going to work on the Front Squat instead of Low bar squat. I will be doing my best to learn the high bar squat during the next 6 week cycle.

For breakfast:
Eggs
Dumplings
Salad of spinach, cabbage

Front Squat:
45 x 5 x 3
95 x 5
115 x 5 x 3

Press:
45 x 5 x 3
75 x 5
100 x 5 x 3

Deadlift:
135 x 5
225 x 5
260 x 3 x multiple sets

High Bar Back Squat:
45 x 5 x 5 > add some weight if necessary.

Grumpy-Cat1

Hang Clean:
45 x 5
95 x 3 x 2
115 x 3 x 2
135 x 3
75 x 8-12 reps

Very difficult. going to consider getting a coach. I might just stick with the power clean and the front squat until I can afford to get a coach for weightlifting.

Front squat:
75 x 5 x 2
115 x 3 x 2
135 x 3

I did many sets of the hang clean with the bar only, trying to get the form down. I will see if i can record myself eventually. it feels good when I do it. I will continue to work at it.

Preview for Friday.

Squat:
135 x 8, 5
165 x 8, 5

Press:
45 x 5 x 2
75 x 5
100 x 1
107.5 x 1
115 x 1
122.5 x 1
130 x 1

Deficit Deadlift:
135 x 5
225 x 5
260 x 3 x 6

Hang Clean
95 x 3 x 2
115 x 3 x 2
Work up to heavy set of 3

Front Squat
95 x 3 x 2
115 x 3 x 2
work up to a heavy set of 3

Bench Press
Work up to heavy set of 3

OR

Bent Over Row Probably going to stick with the rows
5×5