here you will find a lot of amazing bodybuilding and fitness which will help you to get a great and healthy body.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

4 Ab Exercises

I think it's safe to say that when it comes to working out, people always want to know about and do more for their abs. Some are trying to get a six-pack, some want to know if ab workouts will get rid of fat around their stomach, and others just want to know what, exactly, they need to do for a stronger core.

In my opinion, everyone should spend more time focusing on core strength instead of their core aesthetic. I'm not saying don't have the goal of getting chiseled abs; I'm just saying core strength is more important. Why? Because your core is involved in everything you do. Every time you sneeze, cough, laugh, walk, and pick something up, your core muscles are working.

Here Are 4 Ab Exercises to Do Instead 

1- Roman Knee Raises

Key Points

  • Make sure shoulders are stable.
  • Don’t swing legs, controlled movement is KEY!
  • Try to feel lower abs working

Sets: 2
Reps: 12- 15
Rest: 20 – 25 seconds.
Try to feel lower abs working 1- Roman Knee Raises

2- Lying Leg Raises

Key Points:

  • Lay flat on the floor with (bend at knees if too hard)
  • Try to point heel outwards
  • Hands at side not under hips!
  • Controlled movement, try to feel your abs working.

Sets: 2
Reps: 12 – 15
Rest: 20 – 25 seconds.
Controlled movement, try to feel your abs working2- Lying Leg Raises

3- Belly Blasters

Key Points:

  • Get into plank position on toes.
  • Raise hips high and then lower into plank position.
  • Tighten abs at the lower position and hold & squeeze for 3 second2.
  • Extremely important to contract abs at the lower position.

Sets: 2
Reps: 12- 15
Rest: 20 – 25 seconds
Extremely important to contract abs at the lower position 3- Belly Blasters

4- Side Planks

Key Points:

  • Elbows directly below shoulders.
  • Don’t let hips dip too low.
  • Body should straight from toes to shoulders.
  • Tighten abdominal region, but don’t hold your breath.

Sets: 2
Reps: Hold for 30 – 60 seconds.
Rest: 20 – 25 seconds.
Elbows directly below shoulders 4-Side Planks

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Shoulder Shrug Training Tips

Shoulder shrugs target your upper trapezius muscles, also known as the traps. In colloquial gym language, well-developed upper traps are often called a yoke. Located on your upper back and across the back of your shoulders, big, strong traps can be useful in contact sports such as wrestling, football, hockey, boxing and rugby as they provide essential support for your neck -- an important factor for injury prevention. From an aesthetic point of view, well-developed upper traps result in a powerful-looking physique, and many bodybuilders work hard to develop this muscle. Of all the exercises you can perform for your upper traps, one of the most common is the shrug.

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You possibly might even shrug the weight up and move the weight up in a circular motion with your shoulders. Check out the image below. 

This is the traditional way of doing the shrug and it is an effective traps builder.

Now, I’m going to pass on a tip that will make this exercise so much more effective.

Before I give you the tip, the next time your looking at the muscle magazines, take a look at how some of those pro’s perform the shrug.

This little movement is very subtle but it makes a world of difference in the results from the shrug exercise.

What I’m talking about is making the shrug exercise a little more difficult to perform while reducing the amount of “cheat” that’s involved in the exercise.

I’m sure most of you seen dudes in the gym using 300 or even 400 pounds for the shrug but barely moving the weight up and down.

The problem here is that the target muscle group isn’t being trained in the most effective way.

I’ll tell you right now that you don’t need to slap on 300 pounds to get the most from the shoulder shrug. Way too many times have I seen guys in the gym perform this exercise in the most ridiculous manner by using too much weight.

Alright, what is my shoulder shrug tip. Here's what I want you to do.

Stand up and pretend that you have a barbell in your hands. Next perform the shrug like you normally would. Shrug your shoulders up and down. Now, try this little trick. Stand like you normally would when your doing the shrug but slightly bend forward and look at your feet. Now try doing the shrug.

By doing this, you take out the element of cheating and you really increase the pressure and stimulation on the trapezuis muscles.

It's very important that you keep your chin down because this really helps isolate the trap muscles and you get much more muscle stimulation. Also, try narrowing your grip a little be about 3 inches on the bar.

Now, I'm going to tell you now that you won't be able to handle the same amount of weight that your used to for regular shrugs because you can't hoist the weight up. Instead, your going to have much more control over the weight and your going to feel much more stimulation in your traps. I suggest giving it a try for your next workout, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Best Ab Exercises & Workouts

It’s not only six-pack seekers who should be paying their abs plenty of attention when they visit the gym. Strong abs are an integral part of a rock-solid core, which should be one of the goals of any fitness regime.

That’s because a strong core is the foundation upon which so many other things rest – whether that’s good posture that helps to prevent lower back pain developing from sitting at a desk all day, or the mobility and strength required to excel in sports and other activities ranging all the way from athletics to zumba.

Abs & Bac%k
This workout includes unique ab and back exercises to really help strengthen your torso.
Abs & Core Workout
This straightforward workout includes a variety of exercises for the abs and lower back, including ball crunches, bicycles and knees tucks on the ball. There's a nice mix of traditional exercises along with some new ones to keep things interesting.
Abs, Hips & Thighs - Medicine Ball Training
This workout offers sample exercises targeting the abs, hips and thighs using a medicine ball and a stability ball.
Advanced Ab Exercises
Get pictures and descriptions of a variety of advanced exercises that will challenge your abs, including the rectos abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis and lower back.
Beginner Back and Abs Workout
This workout takes you through some basic exercises to work your abs and your back.
Best Ab Workout
The most effective ab exercises include moves like the bicycle, ball crunches, captain's chair exercise and more. Get a strong, healthy core with this workout which includes the most effective ab exercises.
Core Exercises
Get step-by-step pictures and descriptions of core exercises.
Dynamic Ab Workout
Try these unique exercises that target the muscles of the torso in new and dynamic ways. This workout is perfect if you're tired of the same old crunches!
Exercises for Your Abs
These basic exercises help target your ab muscles including the rectos abdominis, transverse abdominis and internal/external obliques.
Sample Ab Workouts
These sample workouts are for beginner, intermediate and advanced exercisers for people who are confused about exactly how to work their abdominal s.
Total Core Workout
This workout targets the core muscles of the abs and back with some unusual (and often difficult) exercises. These moves involve an exercise ball and a resistance band and require lots of strength, balance and stability. For intermediate or advanced exercisers.
Yoga and Pilates for Your Abs
These exercises, based on yoga and Pilates, will help strengthen your abs in a whole new way.


Saturday, March 23, 2019

German Volume Training

Pauses between repetitions make it possible to take heavier loads and thus to recruit fibers with a high activation threshold. Eccentric training is excellent for overcoming strong trays. What is important to remember is that (provided you put intensity!) Everything works, at least, during the first weeks necessary for adaptation. But the German Volume Training is in a class of its own.

The origins of German Volume Training

Nevertheless, there is a training system that places a notch above the rest; brutal and difficult, but very effective to gain inches quickly. In the middle of the force this method is called the 10 x 10 method. I prefer to call it German Volume Training (GVT) because it was born in the days of both Germanys. As far as I know this method was popularized in Germany in the mid 70's by Rolf Feser who was at the time the national coach of the weightlifting team. In the United States, Vince Gironda promoted a similar approach. But whoever is at the origin, it is above all a method that has proven itself!

In Germany the 10 series method was used during the general physical preparation phase of weightlifting teams to gain lean mass. This method was so effective that in 12 weeks athletes often climbed to the top weight category. It was the basic program of Jacques Demers, a Canadian weightlifter, silver medalist at the Los Angeles Olympics. Jacques was known in the middle for his huge thighs and he attributes this spectacular level of hypertrophy to German Volume Training. This is the same method that Bev Francis followed to gain weight during his early years of bodybuilding.

It should also be included with a good nutritional support in order to provide all the required raw materials in order to get the maximum use out of any rest that was achieved during the program. Having the correct balance of protein, carbs and good fats is essential to get good results.

The routine listed below is something that should be trained four times a week with a day break between any of the days where you might need a break. It can also be done daily for 4 days followed by 3 days of rest. The adding of weight will again depend on the time rested between sets.

Day One: Chest & Back:
Exercise  Sets  Reps  Tempo  Rest Intervals
A1. Bench Press         5  5         201          0
A2. DB Flyes  5  5  602          60 seconds
B1. Incline Bench Press 5   5               201  0
B2. Incline DB Flyes 5  5               602          60 seconds
C1. Cable Lats Pulldown 5  5               201  0
C2. DB Rows  5  5  602          60 seconds
D1. Barbell Rows 5  5         201          0
D2. Pullovers         5  5  602          60 seconds

Day Two: Legs:
Exercise  Sets  Reps  Tempo  Rest Intervals
A1. Squats  5  5  201          0
A2. Lunges  5  5  602  60 seconds
B1. Leg Extensions  5  5  201          0
B2. Leg Curl  5  5  602         60 seconds
C1. Stiff-Leg Deadlift  5         5               201  0
C2. Hamstring Curls 5               5  602  60 seconds

Day Three: Arms:
Exercise  Sets  Reps  Tempo  Rest Intervals
A1. Barbell Curl 5         5         201          0
A2. DB Curl  5  5  602          60 seconds
B1. Preacher Curl 5  5  201          0
B2. Reverse Curl 5  5  602          60 seconds
C1. Cable Tri Pushdown 5  5               201  0
C2. Skull crushers  5  5  602          60 seconds
D1. Close Grip Bench    5           5  201          0
D2. Overhead Extensions 5               5  602          60 seconds

Day Four: Shoulders & Abs:
Exercise        Sets  Reps  Tempo  Rest Intervals
A1. DB Press        5  5  201        0
A2. Side Lateral Raise 5         5              602  60 seconds
B1. Military Press     5  5         201          0
B2. Bent Over Laterals 5  5         602  60 seconds

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Dumbbell Training: What Are The Benefits Of Training With Dumbbells?

Most health clubs and gyms offer rows of cardio equipment, aisles of weight-training machines, stacks of free weights and specific stretch areas to help members pursue their individual goals. When it comes to fitness equipment, there is no one “best” piece of equipment. Different types of equipment are purposefully designed to achieve specific fitness outcomes. 


For those with goals related to strength training, there are countless options for increasing lean muscle or adding strength. Choices include the traditional weight machines, barbells or dumbbells, as well as a wide variety of specialized equipment such as kettlebells, medicine balls, sandbags and even oversized tires. Some forms of resistance training equipment, such as barbells, are more effective for developing max strength, while weight-training machines can help increase muscle definition and lighter forms of resistance such as medicine balls and kettlebells can be useful for improving movement-specific power output. Dumbbells are often used for joint-isolation exercises such as biceps curls, chest flyes or shoulder raises. Using dumbbells for full-body, multiplanar movements, however, can provide a variety of different strength outcomes. It also offers many benefits for cardiorespiratory fitness and flexibility. To help you select the best equipment for your needs, here are  benefits of dumbbells:


Training with dumbbells requires more balance than with barbells or machines. Most of us are unsymmetrical in strength. One arm or one leg tend to be stronger than the one on the other side. With a barbell, the stronger arm cannot assist the weaker arm when you train with dumbbells. So when training with dumbbells, you have to use the resistance that the weaker arm can handle. Training with dumbbells will prevent the imbalance of strength and muscle development. Also enhance athletic performance, a significant consideration in fitness programs.

Unilateral Training

One huge benefit of training with dumbbells is that you can train one limb at a time. This can emphasize greater movement specificity in the training programs of athletes and greater program variety for bodybuilders. By training for one limb, you can improve the strength and muscle mass of a limb without effecting the other. Definitely helps in case you have an imbalance of development.
Dumbbell training requires more muscular control than barbells. You can check it yourself when comparing dumbbell benchpress with barbell bench press. So in order to train with dumbbells, you will need to recruit more stabilising muscles, enhancing joint stability and hypertrophy and kinesthetic awareness.


Some exercises can be done safer with a pair of dumbbells than a barbell. When performing certain types of leg exercises like step-ups or lunges, it is usually much easier and safer to hold a paid of dumbbells in your hands rather than a barbell on your beck. If you lose your balance, you just need to drop the dumbbells from your hands instead of letting the barbell slide off your back.
Dumbbells are much safer when you work out alone without any spotter. With dumbbell benchpress, you can put the dumbbells to your sides without any problem at all.
Another safety benefit of dumbbell training is that it can prevent potential injuries in the shoulders, elbows and wrists. You can see the problem when comparing doing barbell curl or barbell benchpress with dumbbell curl or dumbbell benchpress.
When you curl or bench press with a barbell, your hands are fixed and this leads to unnatural positions for the joints. But if you curl or benchpress with dumbbells, your elbows, wrists and shoulders are allowed to rotate freely and naturally.


Both dumbbells and barbells are equally effective in general for your training goal, but in some specific situations one type of exercise may be a little more beneficial for you than the other. So the best advice for you is to combine both dumbbell training and barbell training into your work out program and get the most out of both types of training.

The 18 Top Dumbbell Exercises For Biceps


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What To Eat For Cross Training ? Nail Your Nutrition

Workouts at CrossFit gyms are strenuous and fast-paced.

They change daily and involve gymnastics, weightlifting and cardiovascular exercises, such as running and rowing, among other activities.

To do your best, you have to be properly fueled. In fact, nutrition is viewed as the foundation of CrossFit training and critical to performance.

The CrossFit diet is moderately low in carbs and emphasizes consuming macronutrients from whole plant foods, lean proteins and healthy fats.

Here is a closer look at the CrossFit diet, including what to eat and what to avoid.

What to Have Before Cross Training

1. Low-GI carbohydrates

You need plenty of carbohydrates before any type of workout — especially if it’s as strenuous and physically demanding as cross training — as they can be most efficiently metabolised by the body during exercise to provide energy. In fact, a recent expert panel report published in Nutrition Today concluded that carbohydrates were “indispensable” to an athlete’s diet.1

Glycaemic index is the ranking of carbohydrates in relation to how they affect blood sugar levels. It’s generally agreed that carbohydrate sources with a low glycaemic index are a better choice, as they provide a more sustained release of energy and therefor a steady blood sugar level, rather than a spike and crash.

Examples of carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index:

  • Oats and muesli
  • Brown rice
  • Pasta
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole wheat or mixed grain bread
  • Chickpeas, butter beans, lentils

You should aim to eat these carbs at least an hour or two before your session, in order to give your body a chance to digest them properly.

2. Protein

It’s pretty well known that protein is a must-have for post-workout nutrition, as it’s vital for building and repairing muscle. However, what’s not quite as well-known is that it can be just as beneficial to have protein before your workout too.

Recent research has shown that consuming protein both pre- and post-workout is better for stimulating muscle growth.3

Good sources of lean protein include: 

  • White fish
  • Poultry
  • Lean beef mince
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Egg whites
  • Tofu
  • Chickpeas, beans and lentils
3. Beetroot

Beetroot probably isn’t what immediately springs to mind when you think of pre-workout snacks, but it’s recently gained popularity within the sports nutrition world for its unexpected performance-enhancing effects.

This comes down to the fact that beetroots have high levels of nitrates — a compound that has the effect of increasing blood flow to muscles. One journal study concluded that consumption of whole beetroot improves running performance in adults,4 perfect for helping you smash hero workouts like ‘Murph’.

4. Caffeine

Okay, so you’re probably no stranger to the perks of caffeine, but did you know that when it comes to exercise, its effects go far beyond just ‘waking you up a bit’.

Studies have shown that it can delay fatigue and increase power output, as well as improve concentration and alertness5,6 — making it a pretty invaluable addition to your pre-workout routine.

What to Have After Cross Training

1. Protein — with a high-carb content

As touched upon before, protein should definitely be your go-to after exercise if you want to support muscle growth. This is because you need to achieve what’s called a “positive net protein balance” which in turn promotes tissue growth, otherwise known as “anabolism”.

However, a study from the Strength & Conditioning Journal found that consuming protein and carbohydrates immediately or shortly after training “enhances the anabolic response” to resistance exercise.

Therefore, it seems like for the best muscle gains, you should be combining the two.

Good sources of protein that contain carbs too:

  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Butter beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Haricot beans
  • Black-eyed beans
  • Quinoa
2. Milk

Despite being traditionally viewed as a relaxing bedtime beverage, or, if you’re American, the perfect accompaniment to a plate of cookies, a good old glass of milk might actually be a great after-training choice too.

Research has found that the proteins found in milk make it an effective drink to support greater muscle mass accretion, strength gains, and even fat mass loss.

3. Eggs

Eggs aren’t just a good source of protein, but they’re also particularly high in the essential amino acid, leucine, which research has found plays a key role in promoting muscle growth1 and recovery.

This makes them an ideal post-workout food to go for after a tough cross training class.

4. High-GI carbohydrates

After exercise, you need to replace muscle glycogen that you’ve used up — just think how much you’ll have burnt through during those killer sets of overhead squats and pull-ups.

Studies have found that the quickest way to replenish glycogen stores during the first 24-hours of recovery is by eating foods with a high glycaemic index10 — and who needs to be told twice to eat a load of potatoes and bread?

Examples of carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index:

  • Potatoes
  • White bread
  • Short-grain rice
  • Cereals like cornflakes
  • Fruit

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Strength Training Mistakes

Youth athletes enjoy hitting the gym. As soon as they have access to the weight room at school or they get their own gym membership, the weights start flying. While it’s good for youth athletes to begin going to the gym and building muscle, strength-training mistakes can lead to injury and time away from their sport.

Many exercises done in the high school weight room are just plain wrong. Strength-training is often misguided, done with too much volume, and with only one goal in mind: To Get Strong! High school and youth athletes must be aware of that. When they begin lifting weights just to prove how much weight they can bear, they are in there for the wrong reasons.

The bottom line is that if you truly love to train, and would like to continue to be able to train for a long time, you must cycle your training appropriately. You cannot train heavy all the time. If you stubbornly ignore this point, you will for sure be sidelined with injury after injury and eventually be forced to sit out. What may start off as simple inflammation will undoubtedly lead to joint degeneration. One friend of mine who lives to train heavy has recently undergone unsuccessful shoulder surgery only to find out that he needs a complete shoulder replacement. The doctor also informed him that once he gets the replacement he would never be able to load his upper body again. Yes this means no more presses, rows, squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifts, and the list goes on. This terrible fate could have been avoided if he had listened to his body, and not let his emotions and passion get the best of him. Rehab what needs to be rehabbed, eliminate certain movements when necessary, cycle your volume and intensity properly, and take a recovery week when appropriate. I’m now going to list the top 7 mistakes commonly made and what to do about them.


Just about any sport you can think of has a season. Even at the most elite level, athletes have several different phases annually. They have a competitive season followed by a short break, a rehab/prehab phase, a general prep phase, and a specific prep phase. Furthermore, there are many sub-phases inside each of these phases. The point is this: even the best, most well-conditioned athletes in the world take time off, rehab and treat injuries, train for strength, power and conditioning, and play their season. Even though these athletes are extremely active, the stresses put on their bodies are always changing. That combined with phases of complete rest allow adequate recovery from the demands placed on their bodies. This philosophy of sports training is in stark contrast to the way most recreational weight lifters operate. The majority of recreational weight lifters love to train year-round and try to push their limits in each and every workout. This results in overtraining, chronic injuries, wasted time, and above all, little or no progress. Not only have I found that planned recovery breaks tend to safeguard weight lifters from injury, I have also found their results in the gym to actually IMPROVE when adequate recovery is given!

An all-state football player that I trained this off-season illustrates this point perfectly. His off-season strength training lasted just a short 13 weeks. During the 13 weeks, he increased his squat by 95 pounds. That’s 95 pounds over his best squat at the end of last year’s off-season. If he had trained heavy all year long, how much more strength would have been gained? I estimate, from experience, he would have gained an additional 20-25 pounds on that particular lift, assuming he didn’t over train. So his training phase would have been 300 % longer then it was to gain an additional 20-25 pounds on his squat. And at those addition gains would have come at a price. The price would be nagging injuries, less motivation to train, and an overall lower return on your training investment.

Now I’m not suggesting that you all should train only 13 weeks per year. What I am suggesting, however, is that you take a recovery week every 3-12 weeks. Ignoring this advice is a guarantee to over training and/or injury. How many consecutive weeks you should train before taking a break varies greatly from individual to individual. Things to consider are your strength levels, types of training performed, training intensity and volume, as well as injury history, age, stress levels, recovery abilities, training experience, nutritional status, goals, gender, and for your athletes, you also need to consider how many weeks you have before you need to be at you peak performance level.

Another variable that I typically consider is vacation schedule. For example, let’s say that you had just finished 3 weeks of training and were about to take a recovery week. However, the following week you are scheduled to go on a weeks vacation, I would suggest that you train on the forth week and take your recovery week during your vacation. Below I’ve included some guidelines to help you determine your best work to recovery ratio. Note: A recovery week can be active or completely off. If you choose the active option, I would still recommend taking a full week off every 12 weeks.

Work:Recovery - Considerations

3:1 A full week off is used for trainees with poor recovery abilities. For those with average recovery abilities use this week as an active recovery week, where you would train on the forth week, however decrease the volume by approximately 50% and in some cases cut down the intensity also. If you choose the active recovery option, you should still take off one full week every twelve weeks.

4:1 This is recommended for trainees who use a 4-week training cycle. For lifters that use 2-week programs, do two 2-week programs consecutively and then take your recovery week.

6:1 If you follow 3-week training phases and your recovery abilities are average to better then average, do two consecutive 3-week programs followed by your recovery week. If you use 2-week training phases, do three 2-week programs consecutively followed by your recovery week.

8:1 If you use 4-week training phases, and have good recovery abilities, do two consecutive 4-week programs followed by your recovery week. If you use 2-week training phases, do four 2-week programs consecutively followed by your recovery week.

12:1 This is used for beginners who are learning technique and not loading their bodies, people who train light, or people with superior recovery abilities. Also trainees who took active recovery weeks along the way would simply take a full week off at this point. If you truly feel that you have superior recovery abilities, you can do four consecutive 3-week programs, three consecutive 4-week programs or six consecutive 2-week programs before taking your recovery week.

If you cycle your volume and intensity properly, there are many other variations on deloading/recovering. However, trying to provide and explain all options here would be impossible. Some of my more advanced lifters can even tell intuitively when they need a recovery week, and whether it should be active or off. The point is that to continually make progress and minimize the risk of over training, you must take recovery weeks. If you choose not to, I can guarantee that you will still take breaks; only these breaks will be forced due to injuries!


I must admit that I do admire when someone has the will and determination to go all out during training. I used to do it myself. However after years of training in that fashion, I realized that if I started a routine at 100% failure, I could not make improvements from week to week. When I trained like this, the only way I could increase the weights week-to-week was to either allow my form to break down or drop my reps. I assume that the excess fatigue caused by this type of training exceeds ones capability to recuperate and achieve a positive training adaptation from it. I’m sure this sounds familiar to most readers. The good news is that this is easily remedied. I will provide general guidelines below. You don’t have to stick with these exact percentages and this does not exhaust all options, but this will give you a good idea. My point here is simply don’t train to 100% failure every exercise, every set, every workout. You must cycle your intensity!

2-week training phases: Week one use 95-97.5% of current max for your chosen rep range, week two use 102.5% of starting max.

3-week training phases: Week one use 90-95% of current max for your chosen rep range, week two use 95-100% of starting max, and week three use 102.5-105% of starting max.

4-week training phases: Week one use 90-92.5% of current max for your chosen rep range, week two use 95-97.5% of starting max, week three use 100-102.5% of starting max, and week four use 102.5-105% of starting max.


I have a client whose wife has him so whipped that he is absolutely terrified to get home even one minute late from his training session. If he happens to run late to the gym, he will make the ridiculous claim that, “its ok, I don’t need to warm up, I’m already warm, my wife just yelled at me, etc.” After I remind him of all the injuries he has suffered due to this fear of his wife, he grudgingly commences an abbreviated warm up. It is entirely too common that I see someone dash into the gym running behind schedule and completely neglect to warm themselves up. Time and time again, these are the same people who are chronically injured. Besides injury prevention, a proper warm-up will also improve the effectiveness of your training program through the following mechanisms: increased speed of nerve impulse conduction, increased force and speed of contraction, improved oxygen transport, dilation of capillaries, increased production of synovial fluid between joints, enhanced mental preparation, etc. That being said, you must warm-up prior to each training session. There are three different phases in a complete warm-up. The first phase of the warm up includes performance of some type of cardiovascular exercises or drills for 5-10 minutes. The goal during phase 1 is to increase body temperature, raise heart rate, and increase the speed of oxygen delivery to the muscles. The second phase includes mobility and flexibility drills. The goal in phase 2 is to increase range of motion and work the muscles/joints over a full range of motion. The third phase involves doing a training-specific warm up. The goal in phase 3 is to work the neuromuscular mechanisms related to the workout. For example, if you were warming up to perform squats, you would perform squats with much lighter weight than your work sets, and gradually increase the weight each set. Be careful not to create too much excessive fatigue during your warm up sets. This is best accomplished by performing multiple low rep warm up sets.


Those “2-hour plus” workouts that some people insist on doing are not only a waste of time; they are result-hindering as well. Earlier in my training career, I noticed that long duration workouts produced less results that shorter duration workouts. This is because long duration workouts reduce your ability to recover. Numerous studies have confirmed what I have empirically witnessed for years. Through blood sample testing, it has been shown that after the 50-minute mark, testosterone levels drop significantly. Combine this with a substantial increase of cortisol and you can see how your body can shift from an anabolic state to a catabolic state rather quickly. I’ve also witnessed and experienced a loss of mental focus beyond the 60-minute mark. I guess you can see why I’m a huge proponent of short workouts. When I create workouts for my clients, I typically keep them to a 45-minute max. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. For example, if you’re an athlete, and due to the coach’s schedule, you have to do both your conditioning and your strength training in one session, your workout would obviously last a little longer. Just remember that in general, more is not always better!


Using a client of mine as the example will make this point very clear. I must say that Joe has great discipline. He trains hard and he trains consistently. His goal is always to gain muscular weight. In addition to training properly, this goal obviously involves following an eating regimen conducive to gaining muscle. At first, Joe followed the diet that I had prescribed to him religiously, and his weight shot up from 200lb to 226lb. Then, Joe started to get sick of eating all the food necessary for him to gain muscle. Slowly but surely (and without my blessings!), he cut down on meal size. Then he cut out his last meal of the day. He started eating less and less. During this time, his strength went nowhere. After approximately one month, he started to lose strength on the bigger lifts. I noticed that he was getting smaller and put him on the scale to see what damage he had done. Joe had dropped to 214lb! He was very upset with himself. Now here is where he made his SECOND mistake. Remember, he didn’t lose his discipline to train; he only lost his discipline to eat. To make up for the losses in strength and size, he would go to the gym and train harder than ever. He would go to the gym even when he didn’t have a scheduled workout and do extra work. He was determined to put more and more weight on the bar. He would do drop sets, supersets, forced reps, and any other technique that requires maximal effort, even though we rarely used any of these techniques during his gaining phase. Guess what happened? He started to lose weight at an even faster rate. Now he is eating less food, burning more calories during training, and over training. He did all of this to feel better mentally about his efforts. Finally, after hitting a low weight of 204lb, Joe finally decided that he wanted to follow a productive eating plan once again. However there was another problem. From the over training that he did, he was left with sore shoulders and a very tight back. How were we supposed to march back up to 226lb and beyond when we can’t squat, dead, row or press? The sad truth is that we can’t. Now that he is psychologically prepared to eat well, train hard and gain muscle, he can’t. Because now, due to his self-abusive training behavior, he will have to rest, rehab and recover. He would have been much better off if he had not tried to overcompensate for his poor diet with over training. One bad behavior does not cancel out another bad behavior! It only makes things worse! He could have simply done two 30 minute, low volume workouts per week while he was off the “diet wagon”. If he did this, he would have better maintained his weight and had no over training issues or injuries.

Eventually, after Joe recovered from his injuries, we were able to start a good size-producing program and he’s now back up to 216lb. Joe is not alone in making this terrible mistake. I have even seen trainees with the exact opposite goals do the same thing. In other words, athletes who want to LOSE weight make the same crucial mistakes that Joe did. Trying to lose weight, these trainees would cheat like crazy on their diets and try to make up for it in the gym. Without explaining their exact scenario in great detail, they would suffer the same fate as Joe, over trained and injured with nothing to show for it. The bottom line is if you’re feeling at all burned out; you can follow a well thought out maintenance plan until you are ready to resume your training and diet routine. Maintenance plans are very easy to follow, require minimal effort and prevent you from losing all of your gains that you worked so hard for.


This is all too common. There are many training variables that need variety. However, since we’re talking about training longevity, I’ll discuss the two variables that, if not varied, lead to most injuries.

Exercise selection: Most trainees have a few favorite exercises. This could be because they are good at them, they read somewhere that these exercises are most effective, or because they have gotten the best results in the past with these movements. This is all well and good, but there are several problems with doing the same exercises all of the time. First, you can create muscle imbalances. Second, if you use the same exact pattern of movement, you can develop over-use injuries. Over-use injuries occur when tissues get injured due to repetitive exposure to the same exact movement. Luckily, this is easily remedied. Simply don’t get caught in the rut of performing the same exercises all of the time. I would like to add that some exercises are more productive than others and therefore I tend to prescribe them with a little more regularity. After determining what exercises are most productive for your goals during a particular phase, use these exercises with some continuity because lack of continuity makes it difficult to determine the rate at which you are progressing, however you must still periodically take a short break from doing them. Remember, in the gym, too much of a good thing is not a good thing!

Rep Range: Here is yet another ego-driven mistake. Most guys want to put as much weight on the bar as possible. They see gains in maximal strength and they feel good mentally about moving heavy weights. Some claim to have a fast-twitch muscle fiber make-up and insist on training this way. Without a doubt, everyone who insists on training in this fashion eventually gets injured. Before you know it, the trainee can perform fewer and fewer exercises without pain. This fate is sad, because it is so easily avoided. Would it really kill a guy who is obsessed with doing singles all the time to do a 3-week training block using an 8-12 rep range? By increasing the number of reps, you would have to decrease the amount of weight lifted, therefore giving your joints a much-deserved break. The exception to this rule is for people in a weight class sport. A higher rep range may result in unwanted hypertrophy for this type of athlete. Because these athletes generally train with heavy weights for low reps, they must follow a well thought out plan to help prevent any joint damage.


I realize that most trainees find it difficult enough to find the time to complete the main part of their workout. The first thing they might be tempted to skimp out on is the stretching part of their routine. However, this is very short sighted. Stretching is probably neglected even more than warming up. Besides simply reducing tension in the muscle, stretching will also help prevent injuries. During resistance training, the weight compresses the joints to various degrees. If an individual does not possess optimal flexibility, his joint spacing may already be compromised. Additional compression from the barbell can easily result in pain and/or injury. The amazing thing is that although it’s seldom done, I rarely find someone who does not agree that stretching should be performed as part of a comprehensive training program. Even with this knowledge, trainees still claim that they do not have the time. Although studies have shown that it is best to stretch 4-6 hours after a training session, I find this schedule is hardly ever adhered to. Unless you have a severe flexibility issue, or your primary goal is to increase your flexibility dramatically, simply stretch for 5-10 minutes post workout. Use an abbreviated stretching routine, and emphasize your tightest muscle groups. Even by paying minimal attention to stretching in this manner, you can make a huge difference in your career as a weight lifter.


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