Tag Archive | "chief"

<div id="DPG" webReader="131.413503972"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-16.5656565657"><div class="c9"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/al-kavadlo-vital-stats.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c10">Vital Stats</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/AlKavadlo/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Bodyspace"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c11"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/AlKavadlocom-Were-working-out/205151489148" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Facebook"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><a href="https://twitter.com/AlKavadlo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Twitter"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/twitter-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/alkavadlo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="YouTube"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/youtube-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><p><strong>Name:</strong> Al Kavadlo, CSCS<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Trainer, author, instructor<br /><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.alkavadlo.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.alkavadlo.com</a></p></div><p>Over the last few months I've been getting more emails than ever, but often the same questions keep coming up. And for every person who writes to me, there are probably 20 more thinking the same thing but just not bothering to type out a message.</p><p>That's a big part of why I love to publicly answer questions I get from my readers! In this edition of Ask Al, I discuss everything from how to get better at pull-ups, to how to use speed to your advantage, to why I'm such a big sellout.</p><p>Feel free to drop me a line in the comments if you have a question about how to keep growing and progressing in the difficult world of bodyweight training!</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Zh_xtaQKXNU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QI've been training pull-ups for almost a year now. When I first started I went from 2 pull-ups to 10 in only a few months. I've been stuck at 12 reps for the last two months. What should I do?</h3>
</p><p>What you're experiencing is common. It's simply a matter of diminishing returns; the better you get at anything, the harder it gets to continue progressing. Be prepared to put in the time and effort if you want to take your pull-ups to the next level. It might feel like you've been at it a while, but in the grand scheme of things a year is not a very long time. Having said that, here are a few methods you can experiment with to hopefully increase your reps:</p><h4>Pull-up supersets</h4><p>Try doing a set of Australian pull-ups immediately after a set of standard pull-ups. Take a long break, then repeat the superset again. It's a great way to keep working your pulling muscles beyond failure once you can no longer perform any more pull-ups. You can do this 3-4 times in a single workout, but make sure you give yourself a few days rest afterward.</p><img src="images/2014/new-ways-to-build-bodyweight-strength-for-years_graphics-1.jpg" width="560" height="296" border="0" class="c13"/><h4>The rest-pause method</h4><p>After a brief warm-up, do as many pull-ups as you can, and then continuing to hang on the bar for a few seconds. After you catch your breath, try to do one more, then one more, and then maybe even one more. You might be surprised at how many extra reps you can squeeze out this way, and you will get an amazing forearm pump from all the extra hanging!</p><h4>Pyramid sets</h4><p>Start with one pull-up, then come off the bar and take a short break. Next, perform two pull-ups, then after another break, do three. Continue this pattern until you reach the point where you can no longer add another rep. Then start working your way back down.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QI work a job where I spend several hours a day loading boxes and moving things. I want to start training calisthenics, but I'm worried about overdoing it. What do you recommend?</h3>
</p><p>Well the good news is you've probably built a decent base of strength already just by being active on a regular basis, but it's great that you want to do more. I recommend starting with just one or two days each week of bodyweight work to give your body time to adapt. Try doing your workouts on days where you don't have to work, so your muscles have recovery time. Ideally if you have two consecutive days off, do your workout on the first day and then take a rest day the next day.</p><img src="images/2014/new-ways-to-build-bodyweight-strength-for-years_graphics-2.jpg" width="560" height="339" border="0" class="c14"/><p>Since you'll only be able to train a couple of times per week, full-body workouts are going to be the best way to go. You might eventually build enough strength and stamina that you can add in more days of training and possibly train calisthenics on the same days that you have work, but you will see how that goes as you progress. Be patient, respect your body, and give yourself recovery time when you need it.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QI read somewhere that it's best to exercise slowly when practicing calisthenics for strength, but I see most people cranking out their push-ups as fast as possible. Which is the right way?</h3>
</p><p>Though some coaches insist on slow, deliberate reps for strength training, I believe that there's room for variety when it comes to rep tempo. Super-slow training can definitely help build control and stability, especially when you're working through the sticking point on certain difficult exercises, but it's not the only way to approach your training.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Owo0vKDTsQs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>For example, explosive movements like jump squats and clapping push-ups are better for building power. In my opinion, it's good to practice your exercises at different tempos. Once you've honed a move, you should be able to control it and make it graceful at any speed.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/BadkW_63ows" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QI read an article you wrote that basically said training certifications are a bunch of crap. It seems a bit hypocritical to now offer your own cert with the PCC. I mean, really, a certification in bodyweight training?</h3>
</p><p>I'm flattered you've been following me closely enough to have read those earlier writings. You actually remind me a lot of myself—I'm always questioning everything! I bet we have a lot in common. And you're right, there are a lot of crappy PT certs out there. That's part of why I wanted to do the <a href="http://www.dragondoor.com/workshops/pccworkshop/?apid=4e8cb1ea167b0" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Progressive Calisthenics Certification</a>. Though it may seem unnecessary to you, with the current popularity of calisthenics training, the demand for a bodyweight strength certification was undeniable. It was going to happen eventually with or without me, so I figured, who better than me to teach it?</p><p>Mahatma Gandhi said: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." By leading my own certification, I can personally make sure that quality knowledge is bestowed and high standards are upheld. PCC has a physical test to establish a baseline of competency in performing the fundamental exercises, something that is lacking in almost every mainstream fitness certification. It's scary that there are personal trainers out there incapable of doing proper pull-ups or even bodyweight squats, and who got certified simply by memorizing and regurgitating information. That's why a theoretical understanding of exercise will never be enough to pass the PCC!</p><p>I'll still be the first one to tell you, however, that just having a certification—even the PCC—doesn't mean that you are going to be a successful trainer. I can help point people in the right direction, but it's up to each individual to take the journey for themselves. In fitness and in life, we're all personally responsible for our own success or failure.</p><p><a href="http://www.dragondoor.com/b73/?apid=4e8cb1ea167b0" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/al-kavadlo-streetching-your-boundaries-book-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144"/></a></p><br /><br class="c15"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c18" webReader="6.68632075472"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stretching-for-strength-a-better-approach-flexibility-training.html"><img src="images/2014/stretching-for-strength-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="8.91509433962"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stretching-for-strength-a-better-approach-flexibility-training.html">STRETCHING FOR STRENGTH</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Reports of stretching's demise have been greatly exaggerated. In this excerpt from Al Kavadlo's new book, the bodyweight training chief helps you build an effective, personalized practice!</p></div></div><div class="c18" webReader="4.91048034934"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyweight-bust-four-bodyweight-training-myths-debunked.html"><img src="images/2014/4-bodyweight-myths-debunked-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="6.04366812227"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyweight-bust-four-bodyweight-training-myths-debunked.html">BODYWEIGHT BUST! FOUR BODYWEIGHT TRAINING MYTHS DEBUNKED</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Don't believe that high-level calisthenics are only for athletes who look a certain way. Everyone can benefit from the unique challenges that come with bodyweight training!</p></div></div><div class="c18" webReader="5.72282608696"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/push-yourself-one-arm-push-up-and-beyond.html"><img src="images/2013/one-arm-push-yourself-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="7.04347826087"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/push-yourself-one-arm-push-up-and-beyond.html">ONE-ARM PUSH YOURSELF!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Sometimes the toughest strength moves don't involve any iron at all. Heed the call of the one-arm push-up and discover how tough progressive calisthenics can be!</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="37.5957446809"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.91304347826"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html">Al Kavadlo, CSCS</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Al Kavadlo, CSCS is one of the world's leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-al-kavadlo-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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New Ways To Build Bodyweight Strength!

Over the last few months I’ve been getting more emails than ever, but often the same questions keep coming up. And for every person who writes to me, there are probably 20 more thinking the same thing but just not bothering to type out a message.

That’s a big part of why I love to publicly answer questions I get from my readers! In this edition of Ask Al, I discuss everything from how to get better at pull-ups, to how to use speed to your advantage, to why I’m such a big sellout.

Feel free to drop me a line in the comments if you have a question about how to keep growing and progressing in the difficult world of bodyweight training!

QI’ve been training pull-ups for almost a year now. When I first started I went from 2 pull-ups to 10 in only a few months. I’ve been stuck at 12 reps for the last two months. What should I do?

What you’re experiencing is common. It’s simply a matter of diminishing returns; the better you get at anything, the harder it gets to continue progressing. Be prepared to put in the time and effort if you want to take your pull-ups to the next level. It might feel like you’ve been at it a while, but in the grand scheme of things a year is not a very long time. Having said that, here are a few methods you can experiment with to hopefully increase your reps:

Pull-up supersets

Try doing a set of Australian pull-ups immediately after a set of standard pull-ups. Take a long break, then repeat the superset again. It’s a great way to keep working your pulling muscles beyond failure once you can no longer perform any more pull-ups. You can do this 3-4 times in a single workout, but make sure you give yourself a few days rest afterward.

The rest-pause method

After a brief warm-up, do as many pull-ups as you can, and then continuing to hang on the bar for a few seconds. After you catch your breath, try to do one more, then one more, and then maybe even one more. You might be surprised at how many extra reps you can squeeze out this way, and you will get an amazing forearm pump from all the extra hanging!

Pyramid sets

Start with one pull-up, then come off the bar and take a short break. Next, perform two pull-ups, then after another break, do three. Continue this pattern until you reach the point where you can no longer add another rep. Then start working your way back down.

QI work a job where I spend several hours a day loading boxes and moving things. I want to start training calisthenics, but I’m worried about overdoing it. What do you recommend?

Well the good news is you’ve probably built a decent base of strength already just by being active on a regular basis, but it’s great that you want to do more. I recommend starting with just one or two days each week of bodyweight work to give your body time to adapt. Try doing your workouts on days where you don’t have to work, so your muscles have recovery time. Ideally if you have two consecutive days off, do your workout on the first day and then take a rest day the next day.

Since you’ll only be able to train a couple of times per week, full-body workouts are going to be the best way to go. You might eventually build enough strength and stamina that you can add in more days of training and possibly train calisthenics on the same days that you have work, but you will see how that goes as you progress. Be patient, respect your body, and give yourself recovery time when you need it.

QI read somewhere that it’s best to exercise slowly when practicing calisthenics for strength, but I see most people cranking out their push-ups as fast as possible. Which is the right way?

Though some coaches insist on slow, deliberate reps for strength training, I believe that there’s room for variety when it comes to rep tempo. Super-slow training can definitely help build control and stability, especially when you’re working through the sticking point on certain difficult exercises, but it’s not the only way to approach your training.

For example, explosive movements like jump squats and clapping push-ups are better for building power. In my opinion, it’s good to practice your exercises at different tempos. Once you’ve honed a move, you should be able to control it and make it graceful at any speed.

QI read an article you wrote that basically said training certifications are a bunch of crap. It seems a bit hypocritical to now offer your own cert with the PCC. I mean, really, a certification in bodyweight training?

I’m flattered you’ve been following me closely enough to have read those earlier writings. You actually remind me a lot of myself—I’m always questioning everything! I bet we have a lot in common. And you’re right, there are a lot of crappy PT certs out there. That’s part of why I wanted to do the Progressive Calisthenics Certification. Though it may seem unnecessary to you, with the current popularity of calisthenics training, the demand for a bodyweight strength certification was undeniable. It was going to happen eventually with or without me, so I figured, who better than me to teach it?

Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” By leading my own certification, I can personally make sure that quality knowledge is bestowed and high standards are upheld. PCC has a physical test to establish a baseline of competency in performing the fundamental exercises, something that is lacking in almost every mainstream fitness certification. It’s scary that there are personal trainers out there incapable of doing proper pull-ups or even bodyweight squats, and who got certified simply by memorizing and regurgitating information. That’s why a theoretical understanding of exercise will never be enough to pass the PCC!

I’ll still be the first one to tell you, however, that just having a certification—even the PCC—doesn’t mean that you are going to be a successful trainer. I can help point people in the right direction, but it’s up to each individual to take the journey for themselves. In fitness and in life, we’re all personally responsible for our own success or failure.

 

Recommended For You

STRETCHING FOR STRENGTH

Reports of stretching’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. In this excerpt from Al Kavadlo’s new book, the bodyweight training chief helps you build an effective, personalized practice!

BODYWEIGHT BUST! FOUR BODYWEIGHT TRAINING MYTHS DEBUNKED

Don’t believe that high-level calisthenics are only for athletes who look a certain way. Everyone can benefit from the unique challenges that come with bodyweight training!

ONE-ARM PUSH YOURSELF!

Sometimes the toughest strength moves don’t involve any iron at all. Heed the call of the one-arm push-up and discover how tough progressive calisthenics can be!

About The Author

Al Kavadlo, CSCS is one of the world’s leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.

Link:

New Ways To Build Bodyweight Strength!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Warm up, Weight TrainingComments Off on New Ways To Build Bodyweight Strength!

<div id="DPG" webReader="243.996869497"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-19"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/greg-robins-vital-stats-box.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c11">Vital Stats</h3><p><strong>Name:</strong> Greg Robins, CPT<br /><strong>Education:</strong> University of Massachusetts Boston<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Strength and Conditioning Coach at Cressey Performance<br /><strong>Twitter:</strong> @CoachGregRobbins<br /><strong>Website:</strong> thestrengthhouse.com<br /><strong>Location:</strong> Hudson, MA</p></div><p>Gaining weight can be incredibly difficult and stressful for certain people. For these folks, commonly called "hardgainers," adding even a little size can seem like a monumental task. Personally, I'm skeptical about the extent of this difficulty. From my time in the military to setting recent personal powerlifting goals, I've had my fair share of experiences gaining healthy weight.</p><p>At my lowest weight of 173 in the military, I had the energy of a bull and personal bests that included a 435-pound deadlift, a 315-pound squat, and a 285-pound bench press. Later, when I flew up to 230 pounds, these same lifts shot up over one hundred pounds apiece, and I still boast a better-than-average work capacity.</p><p>Over the years, I've learned that tackling any goal comes down to being honest, acknowledging how much work it will take, and pushing through that work. If you're a hardgainer who wants to gain weight, you probably won't feel hungry all the time, but you'll still have to eat. If you really want to grow, you need to silence your fears of getting fat, of your performance suffering, and of eating 100 percent clean.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-1.jpg" width="560" height="346" border="0"/><p>"Gaining weight can be difficult and stressful. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size."</p><p>I don't care how hard it is for you to gain weight. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size. Do you have the courage to actually step outside your comfort zone and get something done? If you want to grow, start with these seven tips!</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">1 Use data over guesswork</h3>
</p><p>The guessing game and going by "feel" never give you an accurate picture of what you eat on a daily basis. So do the math and figure it out!</p><img class="float-right c13" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-2.jpg" width="190" height="283" border="0"/><p>Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes. You may be surprised by what you find. Perhaps you thought you ate 3,300 calories one day when, in fact, you ate only 2,900. That's a 400-calorie difference that can add up overtime.</p><p>"Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes."</p><p>Often, you just need something as visual as a food log for a couple weeks to fully grasp what you put into your diet—or <em>not</em>, in many cases.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Spend at least one month writing down your meals, snacks, and calories of any form that touch your lips. This serves as a mental exercise to get yourself used to eyeballing portion sizes and grasping the frequency and size of the meals you can consistently suck in on a daily basis.</p><p>Take advantage of this experimental period to tweak your diet according to results and how you feel, and learn how your body responds. For example, if you haven't been gaining as much muscle as you'd like, check your protein intake to see if it's adequate; if not, bump it up by increasing protein portion size or shift foods around a bit. One gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is a solid daily target.</p><p>One month is all you need to get a good picture of your caloric intake, but if you feel like it really helps, by all means, continue doing it until you can confidently start assembling meals through approximation and still achieve the results you want.</p><p>Just be sure to avoid getting consumed by the idea that you need to count every calorie all the time.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">2 Add calorie bonuses in addition to planned meals</h3>
</p><p>Hardgainers don't gain weight for a slew of reasons. Chief among them is that they don't sneak in enough extra calories into their diet. Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.</p><p>Sure, this might be easier said than done, but it's a matter of identifying foods and recipes that are calorie-dense but light on stomach space. These foods include nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butters, honey, full-fat coconut milk, and full-fat Greek yogurt. Some other viable options consist of drinking milk throughout the day, making peanut butter and (insert your choice of condiment) sandwiches, homemade 1,000-calorie protein shakes, and homemade energy bars or "cookies."</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-3b.jpg" width="560" height="288" border="0"/><p>"Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains."</p><p>Once you figure out the foods which bloat the calorie count but not the stomach, plan to put them into your meals. That means making things in advance, thinking ahead, and having foods like full-fat Greek yogurt and nut butters within arm's reach and ready. Don't be lazy about it.</p><p>More calories = more growth, so pack on the calories and cram them in where you can.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> one of my favorite quick and easy snacks</p><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Grab a jar of all-natural peanut butter (none of that added sugar and oils funny business!) and empty it into a bowl.</li>
<li>Add two or three scoops of quality protein powder, a little honey to taste, and about 1/2 cup of dried oats.</li>
<li>Add just enough water to make it mixable but not soupy at all.</li>
<li>Mix all together.</li>
<li>Separate into little balls that can hold together and refrigerate.</li>
<li>Eat one with each of your meals over the next few days.</li>
</ol><p>Other good options include many awesome high protein recipes by <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/anna-sward.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Protein Powder Chef, Anna Sward</a>.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/protein-powder/the-cookbook-protein-pow.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/annasward_bookbanner.jpg" width="560" height="144" border="0"/></a><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">3 You need to eat carbs (yes, even the starchy ones)</h3>
</p><p>This tip seems pretty straightforward, but you'd be surprised by how many people ask me why they're not gaining weight when their only carbohydrate sources come from vegetables, trace amounts of sugars, fruits, and legumes.</p><p>I'm not saying to go completely crazy on trashy carbohydrates, but your body will gain better results from additional carb sources such as rice, oats, sweet potatoes, and—dare I say it—bread. This is especially true with heavy weightlifting, since carbs are needed to replenish glycogen stores that a particularly grueling lifting session devours. Some studies suggest that timing the majority of your starches around when you train may shunt unnecessary fat storage. For example, eat these starches either pre- or post-workout.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Add two bananas, a bowl of oatmeal (one cup measured uncooked), or half a cup of rice (measured uncooked) to your post-training meals.</p><img class="float-right c15" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-5.jpg" width="264" height="224" border="0"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">4 Fat is where it's at</h3>
</p><p>Fats are essential to your diet because they cushion your vital organs, help you digest certain types of vitamins, maintain optimum brain function, and more. Plus, fats are the easiest way to add extra calories. Fat sources are calorically dense, go down quickly, provide a lot of energy, and of course, they're damn tasty. Before you go to town on heavy cream and lard, fats should come from quality sources, like raw nuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters, avocado, fattier cuts of meat, olive oil, real mayonnaise, and some cheese.</p><p>Fats should comprise most of your meals when you're not training or close to training times.</p><p><strong>Action points:</strong> things you can do to add more fats and thus more calories to your diet</p><ul class="dpg-list"><li>Liberally douse your veggies in grass-fed butter or olive oil.</li>
<li>Pat some butter in your sweet potato.</li>
<li>Add extra olive oil in your marinara sauce.</li>
<li>Use real mayonnaise in your sandwiches.</li>
<li>Eat a whole avocado with your meal (they go with everything!).</li>
<li>Snack on macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and any of the other more nutrient-dense nuts throughout the day.</li>
</ul><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">5 Eat faster</h3>
</p><p>Before your body has the chance to feel satiated, fill 'er up! If you eat too slowly, you give your brain a chance to catch up on your stomach's actual satiety levels, which is usually about a 20-minute delay. When you sit down to eat, start shoveling as much food as you comfortably can into your gaping maw. That means the opposite of what most weight loss experts will tell you. Never put your utensils down during your meal.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Make it a point to eat your meals with training buddies or friends who eat more food than you do. That way it becomes sort of a competition. It also puts "eating a lot" into a humbling perspective when you can see how much other people eat in comparison to yourself.</p><img class="float-right c16" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-6.jpg" width="268" height="322" border="0"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">6 Drink more calories</h3>
</p><p>Chewing takes work and time. Drink your calories whenever you can, whether that ends up being milk, coconut water, or a simple shake. Big, nutritional <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/proteinshakes.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">shakes</a> you make at home are the real moneymaker here. You can add extra calories from coconut milk, nut butters, high-quality protein powders, and fistfuls of greens to make that shake give you both weight and nutritional gains.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Drink beverages like coconut milk, milk, or coconut water with each meal.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">7 Have a positive relationship with your food</h3>
</p><p>Far too often, people get consumed by the act of eating that they forget to savor food and view food as more than just numbers. Learn to cook, enjoy your food, and stop eating alone.</p><p>Having a positive relationship with food will do wonders for the poor habits you don't even realize are taking place. It's often the negative association that stems from the "need to eat" and makes hardgainers less likely to be able to adhere to consuming more calories. In these cases, it just helps to have a friend to be there along the way.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Plan to have dinner with a friend at least twice each week over the next month. As I already mentioned, try to make plans with friends who aren't afraid to say yes to two entrees or second (or even third) helpings!</p><p>Do you have any other weight-gaining secrets to share with other hardgainers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!</p><br class="c17"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c20" webReader="5.15789473684"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle.htm"><img src="images/2014/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="6.63157894737"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle.htm">12 'Skinny Guy' Tips To Build Monster Muscle!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Are you afraid to challenge yourself? After reading this article, you should be ready to take the first steps in the journey!</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="5.55434782609"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building.htm"><img src="images/2014/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="7.14130434783"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building.htm">Hardgainer's Guide To Muscle Building!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Every hardgainer is looking to add muscle. This guide will focus on the types of weight training, cardio and nutrition needed to meet your goals.</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="5.34210526316"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/30-day-bones-to-buff-training.htm"><img src="images/2014/bones-to-buff-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="6.86842105263"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/30-day-bones-to-buff-training.htm">How To Go From Bones To Buff In Just 30 Days!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
For someone struggling to gain mass, a different approach must be taken. Here are the benefits of a 30-day program for ectomorphs. Check it out!</p></div></div></div>

Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer

Gaining weight can be incredibly difficult and stressful for certain people. For these folks, commonly called “hardgainers,” adding even a little size can seem like a monumental task. Personally, I’m skeptical about the extent of this difficulty. From my time in the military to setting recent personal powerlifting goals, I’ve had my fair share of experiences gaining healthy weight.

At my lowest weight of 173 in the military, I had the energy of a bull and personal bests that included a 435-pound deadlift, a 315-pound squat, and a 285-pound bench press. Later, when I flew up to 230 pounds, these same lifts shot up over one hundred pounds apiece, and I still boast a better-than-average work capacity.

Over the years, I’ve learned that tackling any goal comes down to being honest, acknowledging how much work it will take, and pushing through that work. If you’re a hardgainer who wants to gain weight, you probably won’t feel hungry all the time, but you’ll still have to eat. If you really want to grow, you need to silence your fears of getting fat, of your performance suffering, and of eating 100 percent clean.

“Gaining weight can be difficult and stressful. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size.”

I don’t care how hard it is for you to gain weight. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size. Do you have the courage to actually step outside your comfort zone and get something done? If you want to grow, start with these seven tips!

1 Use data over guesswork

The guessing game and going by “feel” never give you an accurate picture of what you eat on a daily basis. So do the math and figure it out!

Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes. You may be surprised by what you find. Perhaps you thought you ate 3,300 calories one day when, in fact, you ate only 2,900. That’s a 400-calorie difference that can add up overtime.

“Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes.”

Often, you just need something as visual as a food log for a couple weeks to fully grasp what you put into your diet—or not, in many cases.

Action point: Spend at least one month writing down your meals, snacks, and calories of any form that touch your lips. This serves as a mental exercise to get yourself used to eyeballing portion sizes and grasping the frequency and size of the meals you can consistently suck in on a daily basis.

Take advantage of this experimental period to tweak your diet according to results and how you feel, and learn how your body responds. For example, if you haven’t been gaining as much muscle as you’d like, check your protein intake to see if it’s adequate; if not, bump it up by increasing protein portion size or shift foods around a bit. One gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is a solid daily target.

One month is all you need to get a good picture of your caloric intake, but if you feel like it really helps, by all means, continue doing it until you can confidently start assembling meals through approximation and still achieve the results you want.

Just be sure to avoid getting consumed by the idea that you need to count every calorie all the time.

2 Add calorie bonuses in addition to planned meals

Hardgainers don’t gain weight for a slew of reasons. Chief among them is that they don’t sneak in enough extra calories into their diet. Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.

Sure, this might be easier said than done, but it’s a matter of identifying foods and recipes that are calorie-dense but light on stomach space. These foods include nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butters, honey, full-fat coconut milk, and full-fat Greek yogurt. Some other viable options consist of drinking milk throughout the day, making peanut butter and (insert your choice of condiment) sandwiches, homemade 1,000-calorie protein shakes, and homemade energy bars or “cookies.”

“Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.”

Once you figure out the foods which bloat the calorie count but not the stomach, plan to put them into your meals. That means making things in advance, thinking ahead, and having foods like full-fat Greek yogurt and nut butters within arm’s reach and ready. Don’t be lazy about it.

More calories = more growth, so pack on the calories and cram them in where you can.

Action point: one of my favorite quick and easy snacks

  1. Grab a jar of all-natural peanut butter (none of that added sugar and oils funny business!) and empty it into a bowl.
  2. Add two or three scoops of quality protein powder, a little honey to taste, and about 1/2 cup of dried oats.
  3. Add just enough water to make it mixable but not soupy at all.
  4. Mix all together.
  5. Separate into little balls that can hold together and refrigerate.
  6. Eat one with each of your meals over the next few days.

Other good options include many awesome high protein recipes by Protein Powder Chef, Anna Sward.

3 You need to eat carbs (yes, even the starchy ones)

This tip seems pretty straightforward, but you’d be surprised by how many people ask me why they’re not gaining weight when their only carbohydrate sources come from vegetables, trace amounts of sugars, fruits, and legumes.

I’m not saying to go completely crazy on trashy carbohydrates, but your body will gain better results from additional carb sources such as rice, oats, sweet potatoes, and—dare I say it—bread. This is especially true with heavy weightlifting, since carbs are needed to replenish glycogen stores that a particularly grueling lifting session devours. Some studies suggest that timing the majority of your starches around when you train may shunt unnecessary fat storage. For example, eat these starches either pre- or post-workout.

Action point: Add two bananas, a bowl of oatmeal (one cup measured uncooked), or half a cup of rice (measured uncooked) to your post-training meals.

4 Fat is where it’s at

Fats are essential to your diet because they cushion your vital organs, help you digest certain types of vitamins, maintain optimum brain function, and more. Plus, fats are the easiest way to add extra calories. Fat sources are calorically dense, go down quickly, provide a lot of energy, and of course, they’re damn tasty. Before you go to town on heavy cream and lard, fats should come from quality sources, like raw nuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters, avocado, fattier cuts of meat, olive oil, real mayonnaise, and some cheese.

Fats should comprise most of your meals when you’re not training or close to training times.

Action points: things you can do to add more fats and thus more calories to your diet

  • Liberally douse your veggies in grass-fed butter or olive oil.
  • Pat some butter in your sweet potato.
  • Add extra olive oil in your marinara sauce.
  • Use real mayonnaise in your sandwiches.
  • Eat a whole avocado with your meal (they go with everything!).
  • Snack on macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and any of the other more nutrient-dense nuts throughout the day.

5 Eat faster

Before your body has the chance to feel satiated, fill ‘er up! If you eat too slowly, you give your brain a chance to catch up on your stomach’s actual satiety levels, which is usually about a 20-minute delay. When you sit down to eat, start shoveling as much food as you comfortably can into your gaping maw. That means the opposite of what most weight loss experts will tell you. Never put your utensils down during your meal.

Action point: Make it a point to eat your meals with training buddies or friends who eat more food than you do. That way it becomes sort of a competition. It also puts “eating a lot” into a humbling perspective when you can see how much other people eat in comparison to yourself.

6 Drink more calories

Chewing takes work and time. Drink your calories whenever you can, whether that ends up being milk, coconut water, or a simple shake. Big, nutritional shakes you make at home are the real moneymaker here. You can add extra calories from coconut milk, nut butters, high-quality protein powders, and fistfuls of greens to make that shake give you both weight and nutritional gains.

Action point: Drink beverages like coconut milk, milk, or coconut water with each meal.

7 Have a positive relationship with your food

Far too often, people get consumed by the act of eating that they forget to savor food and view food as more than just numbers. Learn to cook, enjoy your food, and stop eating alone.

Having a positive relationship with food will do wonders for the poor habits you don’t even realize are taking place. It’s often the negative association that stems from the “need to eat” and makes hardgainers less likely to be able to adhere to consuming more calories. In these cases, it just helps to have a friend to be there along the way.

Action point: Plan to have dinner with a friend at least twice each week over the next month. As I already mentioned, try to make plans with friends who aren’t afraid to say yes to two entrees or second (or even third) helpings!

Do you have any other weight-gaining secrets to share with other hardgainers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Recommended For You

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How To Go From Bones To Buff In Just 30 Days!

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Read this article: 

Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer

<div id="DPG" webReader="118.243299968"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-16.1785714286"><div class="c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/al-kavadlo-vital-stats.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c12">Vital Stats</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/AlKavadlo/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Bodyspace"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/AlKavadlocom-Were-working-out/205151489148" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Facebook"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c14"/></a><a href="https://twitter.com/AlKavadlo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Twitter"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/twitter-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c14"/></a><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/alkavadlo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="YouTube"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/youtube-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c14"/></a><p><strong>Name:</strong> Al Kavadlo, CSCS<br /><strong>Location:</strong> New York, NY<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Trainer, author, lead instructor of Progressive Calisthenics Certification<br /><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="www.alkavadlo.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.alkavadlo.com</a></p></div><p>"<em>The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears.</em>"<br />- John F. Kennedy</p><p>It's no secret that bodyweight training is my preferred method of working out. As someone who has touted the benefits of calisthenics for a long time, it's exciting to see bodyweight training finally gain some attention from the mainstream. Of course, along with the recent boom in popularity, bodyweight strength training has also experienced some backlash.</p><p>For every person who writes to me about the progress they've achieved with bodyweight training—and how much fun they've had doing it—there's someone else who has concerns about calisthenics. Misinformation persists and when repeated enough, certain myths can become pervasive. Often it's easier to believe the myth than face the truth, especially when the truth lines up with any preconceived biases you might have.</p><p>With that in mind, here are some of the most common misconceptions I've heard about bodyweight strength training. Let the debunking begin!</p><h3 class="article-title">Myth 1: You can't build mass.</h3><p>Since an individual's strength-to-mass ratio has to be favorable to practice high-level calisthenics, many of the folks you see performing them tend to be on the smaller side. I am not particularly massive—a fact pointed out to me often on the Internet—and neither are many other notable bodyweight practitioners, so it's easy to assume that calisthenics can't get you jacked. However, one need look no further than YouTube legends like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/HannibalForKing1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hannibal for King</a> or Bar Brothers' <a href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSeD0P39ujjI_EXVY5Y6BIQ" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Lazar Novovic</a> to see proof of the potential to put on size using bodyweight training.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rRlqSvLEfIQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Gaining mass has more to do with your diet and your genetics than whether you focus on weights or calisthenics. As long as they get the proper stimulation to grow, your muscles don't really know if the resistance comes from an external object or not. If you train in the appropriate rep range—for hypertrophy, it's somewhere between 6-15 reps with approximately 65-85 percent of your one-rep max, depending on who you ask—get enough food, and sleep eight hours per night, you have all you need to get as huge as your genes will allow.</p><h3 class="article-title">Myth 2: You can't achieve high levels of strength.</h3><p>Just like many people underestimate the mass-building potential of calisthenics basics like pull-ups, push-ups and dips, it is also often assumed that those exercises are the end of the line for building strength with just bodyweight. This is simply not true! Pull-ups, push-ups, and dips are just the beginning. There are many more advanced bodyweight exercises that can build much higher levels of strength.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/4-bodyweight-myths-debunked-1.jpg" width="560" height="274" border="0"/><p>"There are many more advanced bodyweight exercises that can build much higher levels of strength."</p><p>If your primary objective is pure strength, you want to find exercises that challenge you in the 5-or-less rep range. For experienced strength-trainees, moves like one-arm push-ups , pistol squats , and front lever progressions are excellent choices.</p><p>Remember that in strength training, your body only knows that it is being asked to exert muscular force against resistance. The source of that resistance is mostly irrelevant. Though it's easy to simply add weight to a barbell, once you understand the subtleties of manipulating leverage in order to progress or regress a bodyweight exercise, there's no limit to the amount of strength you can achieve!</p><h3 class="article-title">Myth 3: Tall people can't do advanced calisthenics.</h3><p>While taller folks—particularly people with long arms and/or legs—are at a slight mechanical disadvantage for many exercises, many people achieve extremely high levels of calisthenic strength in spite of their height. The idea that a lanky build is unfavorable for strength training is not unique to calisthenics; people with long arms struggle with leverage on both bench presses and push-ups.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/4-bodyweight-myths-debunked-2.jpg" width="560" height="309" border="0"/><p>"At 5-foot-11, I'm tall for calisthenics, but it hasn't stopped me from achieving great things in the world of bodyweight training."</p><p>Though many of us lack the ideal genetic predisposition to excel at the highest level of calisthenics, we all have the potential to exceed our current capabilities. It's healthier and more productive to focus on improving yourself, rather than dwelling on your perceived limitations. At 5-foot-11, I'm tall for calisthenics, but it hasn't stopped me from achieving great things in the world of bodyweight training. If you want to use your height as an excuse, that's your prerogative, but I'd rather focus on what I <em>am</em> capable of, which is a lot!</p><h3 class="article-title">Myth 4: Women can't do pull-ups.</h3><p>Learning to do a pull-up can be a challenge for anyone, but the task tends to be especially daunting for women. Pull-ups require a lot of upper-body strength and women simply don't have the same genetic potential for upper-body strength as men. This does not, however, mean that women are incapable of pull-ups!</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/t7YIzdSq8TY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>If you are a lady who wants to dominate pull-ups—my kind of gal—be willing to work a little harder for it! The same advice I gave for tall folks applies here. Instead of focusing on the fact that achieving a pull-up may require more work for you, focus on giving your best effort toward each small step along the way. If you're consistent with your training and chip away slowly, a full pull-up can be yours in time. Be patient, stay focused, and remember that good things come to people who train!</p><p><a href="http://www.dragondoor.com/b73/?apid=4e8cb1ea167b0" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/al-kavadlo-streetching-your-boundaries-book-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144"/></a></p><br /><br class="c15"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c18" webReader="6.68632075472"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stretching-for-strength-a-better-approach-flexibility-training.html"><img src="images/2014/stretching-for-strength-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="8.91509433962"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stretching-for-strength-a-better-approach-flexibility-training.html">STRETCHING FOR STRENGTH</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Reports of stretching's demise have been greatly exaggerated. In this excerpt from Al Kavadlo's new book, the bodyweight training chief helps you build an effective, personalized practice!</p></div></div><div class="c18" webReader="6.58823529412"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pistol-perfect-one-legged-squats-and-beyond.html"><img src="images/2013/pistol-squats-and-beyond-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="9.05882352941"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pistol-perfect-one-legged-squats-and-beyond.html">PISTOL SQUATS AND BEYOND</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Single-leg squats are a journey, not just a move. commit to a classic lift for strength, balance, and mobility!</p></div></div><div class="c18" webReader="5.72282608696"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/push-yourself-one-arm-push-up-and-beyond.html"><img src="images/2013/one-arm-push-yourself-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="7.04347826087"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/push-yourself-one-arm-push-up-and-beyond.html">ONE-ARM PUSH YOURSELF!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Sometimes the toughest strength moves don't involve any iron at all. Heed the call of the one-arm push-up and discover how tough progressive calisthenics can be!</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="37.5957446809"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.91304347826"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html">Al Kavadlo, CSCS</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Al Kavadlo, CSCS is one of the world's leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-al-kavadlo-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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Bodyweight Bust! Four Bodyweight Training Myths Debunked

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears.
– John F. Kennedy

It’s no secret that bodyweight training is my preferred method of working out. As someone who has touted the benefits of calisthenics for a long time, it’s exciting to see bodyweight training finally gain some attention from the mainstream. Of course, along with the recent boom in popularity, bodyweight strength training has also experienced some backlash.

For every person who writes to me about the progress they’ve achieved with bodyweight training—and how much fun they’ve had doing it—there’s someone else who has concerns about calisthenics. Misinformation persists and when repeated enough, certain myths can become pervasive. Often it’s easier to believe the myth than face the truth, especially when the truth lines up with any preconceived biases you might have.

With that in mind, here are some of the most common misconceptions I’ve heard about bodyweight strength training. Let the debunking begin!

Myth 1: You can’t build mass.

Since an individual’s strength-to-mass ratio has to be favorable to practice high-level calisthenics, many of the folks you see performing them tend to be on the smaller side. I am not particularly massive—a fact pointed out to me often on the Internet—and neither are many other notable bodyweight practitioners, so it’s easy to assume that calisthenics can’t get you jacked. However, one need look no further than YouTube legends like Hannibal for King or Bar Brothers’ Lazar Novovic to see proof of the potential to put on size using bodyweight training.

Gaining mass has more to do with your diet and your genetics than whether you focus on weights or calisthenics. As long as they get the proper stimulation to grow, your muscles don’t really know if the resistance comes from an external object or not. If you train in the appropriate rep range—for hypertrophy, it’s somewhere between 6-15 reps with approximately 65-85 percent of your one-rep max, depending on who you ask—get enough food, and sleep eight hours per night, you have all you need to get as huge as your genes will allow.

Myth 2: You can’t achieve high levels of strength.

Just like many people underestimate the mass-building potential of calisthenics basics like pull-ups, push-ups and dips, it is also often assumed that those exercises are the end of the line for building strength with just bodyweight. This is simply not true! Pull-ups, push-ups, and dips are just the beginning. There are many more advanced bodyweight exercises that can build much higher levels of strength.

“There are many more advanced bodyweight exercises that can build much higher levels of strength.”

If your primary objective is pure strength, you want to find exercises that challenge you in the 5-or-less rep range. For experienced strength-trainees, moves like one-arm push-ups , pistol squats , and front lever progressions are excellent choices.

Remember that in strength training, your body only knows that it is being asked to exert muscular force against resistance. The source of that resistance is mostly irrelevant. Though it’s easy to simply add weight to a barbell, once you understand the subtleties of manipulating leverage in order to progress or regress a bodyweight exercise, there’s no limit to the amount of strength you can achieve!

Myth 3: Tall people can’t do advanced calisthenics.

While taller folks—particularly people with long arms and/or legs—are at a slight mechanical disadvantage for many exercises, many people achieve extremely high levels of calisthenic strength in spite of their height. The idea that a lanky build is unfavorable for strength training is not unique to calisthenics; people with long arms struggle with leverage on both bench presses and push-ups.

“At 5-foot-11, I’m tall for calisthenics, but it hasn’t stopped me from achieving great things in the world of bodyweight training.”

Though many of us lack the ideal genetic predisposition to excel at the highest level of calisthenics, we all have the potential to exceed our current capabilities. It’s healthier and more productive to focus on improving yourself, rather than dwelling on your perceived limitations. At 5-foot-11, I’m tall for calisthenics, but it hasn’t stopped me from achieving great things in the world of bodyweight training. If you want to use your height as an excuse, that’s your prerogative, but I’d rather focus on what I am capable of, which is a lot!

Myth 4: Women can’t do pull-ups.

Learning to do a pull-up can be a challenge for anyone, but the task tends to be especially daunting for women. Pull-ups require a lot of upper-body strength and women simply don’t have the same genetic potential for upper-body strength as men. This does not, however, mean that women are incapable of pull-ups!

If you are a lady who wants to dominate pull-ups—my kind of gal—be willing to work a little harder for it! The same advice I gave for tall folks applies here. Instead of focusing on the fact that achieving a pull-up may require more work for you, focus on giving your best effort toward each small step along the way. If you’re consistent with your training and chip away slowly, a full pull-up can be yours in time. Be patient, stay focused, and remember that good things come to people who train!


Recommended For You

STRETCHING FOR STRENGTH

Reports of stretching’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. In this excerpt from Al Kavadlo’s new book, the bodyweight training chief helps you build an effective, personalized practice!

PISTOL SQUATS AND BEYOND

Single-leg squats are a journey, not just a move. commit to a classic lift for strength, balance, and mobility!

ONE-ARM PUSH YOURSELF!

Sometimes the toughest strength moves don’t involve any iron at all. Heed the call of the one-arm push-up and discover how tough progressive calisthenics can be!

About The Author

Al Kavadlo, CSCS is one of the world’s leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.

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Bodyweight Bust! Four Bodyweight Training Myths Debunked

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight TrainingComments Off on Bodyweight Bust! Four Bodyweight Training Myths Debunked

<div id="DPG" webReader="297.504723097"><p>By the late 1970s, Arnold Schwarzenegger was no longer just the best bodybuilder in Venice Beach or a six-time Mr. Olympia. On the eve of his 15-mile migration to Hollywood, his level of dominance transcended any superlative or official title. "Arnold was the king," recalls former training partner Danny Padilla.</p><p>The intensity of Schwarzenegger's Gold's Gym workouts, while legendary, couldn't explain it all, or what came afterward. Surely, the Styrian Oak had found some taproot to future success. Ask Arnold himself, as many did, have, and will continue to do, and you'd be likely to get an unsatisfying and straightforward reply. "If there were any secrets, I would have found them by now," he said at the time. His answer was that there was no substitute for hard work.</p><p>Then, against all odds, Arnold became king twice again: First, of the action blockbuster film genre, and then the chief executive of the Great State of California. None of us could say we saw these other victories coming, but when they did, it all seemed to make sense somehow. Three very different crowns, but all three were built on fundamental strengths of this unique giant's mindset.</p><p>Here are six surefire strategies for success that Arnold forged in the crucible of Gold's Gym, and made work for him in every other part of his life.</p><h3 class="article-title">Secret 1: </h3><p>Arnold always stressed the need for rest between sets. But over time, following the advice of trainer Joe Weider, he began devoting an increasing percentage of his rests to what Weider called the "Isotension Principle." You might know it by another name: flexing.</p><p>Here's how it works in its simplest form: After a final set, continue hitting the targeted muscle by flexing to peak contraction for 3-6 seconds. The action maintains connections of myofibrils, the building blocks of muscle, without resistance. The longer and more repeated the flex, the greater those connections, and over time, the greater the tension your muscle fibers will generate.</p><img src="images/2014/6-secrets-of-arnolds-success-1.jpg" width="560" height="290" class="c10"/><p>Arnold set goals to dominate Hollywood and hold political power. He succeeded in spite of all the naysayers.</p><p>This tension—and the ability to hold it for a prolonged period of time—make a competitive bodybuilder stand out onstage. Arnold called posing and flexing a very important part of a bodybuilder's workout, but beyond that, it also helped him extend his mind-muscle connection beyond when he was lifting. You can see it in "Pumping Iron," when Arnold is flexing even at mealtimes—at least, when he's not taunting his fellow competitors.</p><p>Like fellow isotension devotee Bruce Lee, who blazed the path from cult-sport standout to international film star, Arnold continued this practice through his acting career, keeping the mind-muscle connection front and center.</p><p>The lesson for the rest of us: He eliminated the division between his training and his life. Sure, he "rested," but he never took a break from improving, and he never let his skills lapse. His boundless commitment enabled his return to Mr. Olympia competition in 1980, five years after retiring, when he took the crown with just a few weeks to prepare. That seventh win, over then-superior opponents, helped launch Arnold's first action film, "Conan The Barbarian," and he was on his way to a second crown.</p><h3 class="article-title">Secret 2: </h3><p>As Arnold often pointed out, he was intensely loyal to his favorite movements, like <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-incline-bench-press-medium-grip')">incline bench presses</a>, <a href="javascript:pop('concentration-curls')">concentration curls</a>, and <a href="javascript:pop('arnold-dumbbell-press')">Arnold presses</a>. But within and around these exercises, nothing was sacred. He changed weight amounts, switched grips, added reps, paired exercises for opposing muscle groups, and decreased rests or cut them all together. If one day's routine began to feel familiar, he'd perform it in an unfamiliar order or style.</p><img src="images/2014/6-secrets-of-arnolds-success-2.jpg" width="257" height="403" border="0" class="right-image"/><p>One of his favorite ways to turn the norm on its head was to convert barbell exercises to dumbbell movements. His signature dumbbell movement, the Arnold press, came out of this intuitive approach, and the switch helped him identify any right-left imbalances.</p><p>He was never the strongest, but Arnold was always the most proportioned, and this technique was crucial to creating a physique that seemed devoid of weaknesses.</p><p>"Changing constantly really worked for him, and he seemed to grow right before my very eyes," recalls former training partner Ric Drasin. Embracing unpredictability as a way of life kept him ready for anything, and in his later career, helped him make sure his most ambitious career choice achieve the maximum possible impact.</p><p>This is, after all, a man who, en route to promote "Terminator 3" on "The Tonight Show," decided to use the interview to announce that he was running for governor.</p><h3 class="article-title">Secret 3: </h3><p>Arnold's third crown required true mass appeal, and he had it, in the form of 89 percent approval ratings when he took office. Some responsibility for this unprecedented momentum has to be chalked up to his decision to ease out of the 1980s action genre and into lighter fare like comedies, where he co-starred with opposites: Danny DeVito, Helen Hunt, and the cast of "Kindergarten Cop." Such unpredictable pairings came easily for Arnold. He'd been doing it for years.</p><p>Arnold trained with many different lifters at Gold's, but he was inseparable from 5-foot-3 Franco Columbu through the six consecutive Mr. Olympia titles. "Two restless racehorses in the starting blocks" is how Dave Draper, Arnold's first Gold's partner, recalls the two Europeans when they trained together. They may have both spoken with accents and sported similarly tousled hairdos, but far more important was what <em>separated</em> the two: the 100 extra pounds Franco squatted.</p><img src="images/2014/6-secrets-of-arnolds-success-4.jpg" width="560" height="351"/><p>"It's not a tumor!" Arnold's work in comedies made him a household name.</p><p>Standard wisdom pairs partners of more or less equal strength. Not Arnold. He did back days with Frank Zane, shoulders and chest with stronger men, and legs with Mike Katz, whose NFL career-ending leg injury had led to oversized recuperation. Arnold was similarly quick to help other partners learn from his personal strengths, and his strategy became a maxim at Gold's: "Working together to defeat one another."</p><p>Though he was a big believer in compliments to motivate, his contrarian approach also allowed free use of negative feedback. You'd <em>never</em> cut corners with Arnold or, God forbid, not finish. "If he did his 15 reps and you didn't do your 15 reps," recalls Danny Padilla, "it was like, 'Vat's wrong, I got to do your reps now?' What's up with that? If you can't hang, go back to something else!'"</p><h3 class="article-title">Secret 4: </h3><p>They say that nothing motivates like success. This is true, of course, but what about early in your career, when success is elusive? In bodybuilding, there's always someone bigger or stronger, and this applied to Arnold, too. But nobody had goals that were bigger, and nobody clung to them more tightly than him.</p><img src="images/2014/6-secrets-of-arnolds-success-3.jpg" width="560" height="400"/><p>Arnold did his own thing, but he also listened to bodybuilders and mentors close to him. He knew he needed others and he borrowed knowledge from many sources.</p><p>Arnold's goals were no secret. He wrote them at the start of each year on index cards, and made reference to them often. Some, like a new car or a mail-order business, were short-term, recalls Padilla. Four others, which he announced shortly after arriving at Gold's, took longer: He would "become a movie star, make millions of dollars, marry a glamorous wife, and wield political power."</p><p>Easier said than done, of course. But in Arnold's case, <em>they did get done</em>. He was unique in recognizing that the difference between his short-term and long-term ambitions was one of degree, not kind. A goal is a goal; what matters is how you pursue it.</p><h3 class="article-title">Secret 5: </h3><p>Arnold would later scandalize the bodybuilding community by speaking openly of grass and hash, whiskey in his protein shakes, and a host of other taboo topics. Part of why he felt OK doing this was that he'd arrived at the peak of the freaky 1960s, and he saw that Venice Beach was only a small part of Los Angeles, a community where he and his cohorts were often seen as overgrown freaks.</p><img src="images/2014/6-secrets-of-arnolds-success-5.jpg" width="560" height="315"/><p>He never thought of his body as part of him, but rather as a covering over him which he could manipulate. He was an artist and his body was mere clay.</p><p>Even while he was laboring day and night to be the best bodybuilder in the world, he knew how to turn his ego off and look at himself as others saw him. "It's outside of me and also part of me," he said of his body in an interview with "Playboy" in 1977. "I don't say, 'Arnold, how do you look?' but rather 'Let's check out this body in the mirror and see what it looks like today.' Professionally, I have to be detached in order to be critical of it. I don't criticize myself; I criticize my body."</p><p>When he looked in the mirror, Arnold saw what he wanted quickly: "The goal is to carry the weight but keep the proportion and symmetry." In layman's terms: Keep it real.</p><p>To the uninitiated public, proportion and symmetry were what separated the freak from the superhuman. Arnold was always the latter, never the former. And when he set his sights on being an actor, he was more than willing to put his hard-earned mass on the line. For instance, when director Bob Rafelson asked him to drop from 240 to 210, not wanting him to dwarf Sally Field in 1977's "Stay Hungry," Arnold didn't blink.</p><h3 class="article-title">Secret 6: </h3><p>"The weightlifters shone with sweat … powerful looking, Herculean," Arnold wrote of his first visit to a bodybuilding gym, age 15 in his first autobiography, "The Education of a Bodybuilder." " And there it was before me—my life, the answer I'd been seeking." To this day, Arnold says he's a bodybuilder at heart.</p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0671797484/bodybuildingco05" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="images/2014/6-secrets-of-arnolds-success-6.jpg" width="204" height="304" border="0" class="right-image c12"/></a><p>As he continued training, however, Arnold found that simply getting big and strong wasn't really his heart's desire. He had to look deeper. "I discovered that the secret of successful workouts," he later wrote, "had to do with competition." He wanted to win, and he wanted to be noticed for it. In short, he wanted to be famous, and the documentary "Pumping Iron" gave him the perfect launching pad.</p><p>The film opened huge, and just as importantly, it opened when Arnold was up for a Golden Globe for his work in "Stay Hungry." "Of course this brought out the competitor in me," Arnold recalls in his autobiography, "Total Recall." He used the documentary's premiere to build his star power as much as possible. He invited members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose members select Golden Globe winners, to the premiere and to a star-studded pre-release lunch featuring celebrities like Andy Warhol—the man who had made fame an art form—and Jackie Onassis.</p><p>All of a sudden, everyone seemed to know who Arnold was, and just in time. He won the Golden Globe, and proceeded to leverage his victory into more parts, more fame, and more victories. It was what he had been looking for all along, and once found he'd never lose it.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/arnold-schwarzenegger-series.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/arnold-blueprint_stack_banner-2.jpg" width="560" height="144"/></a><br class="c13"/></div>

Success By Schwarzenegger: 6 Secrets Of Arnold's Success

By the late 1970s, Arnold Schwarzenegger was no longer just the best bodybuilder in Venice Beach or a six-time Mr. Olympia. On the eve of his 15-mile migration to Hollywood, his level of dominance transcended any superlative or official title. “Arnold was the king,” recalls former training partner Danny Padilla.

The intensity of Schwarzenegger’s Gold’s Gym workouts, while legendary, couldn’t explain it all, or what came afterward. Surely, the Styrian Oak had found some taproot to future success. Ask Arnold himself, as many did, have, and will continue to do, and you’d be likely to get an unsatisfying and straightforward reply. “If there were any secrets, I would have found them by now,” he said at the time. His answer was that there was no substitute for hard work.

Then, against all odds, Arnold became king twice again: First, of the action blockbuster film genre, and then the chief executive of the Great State of California. None of us could say we saw these other victories coming, but when they did, it all seemed to make sense somehow. Three very different crowns, but all three were built on fundamental strengths of this unique giant’s mindset.

Here are six surefire strategies for success that Arnold forged in the crucible of Gold’s Gym, and made work for him in every other part of his life.

Secret 1:

Arnold always stressed the need for rest between sets. But over time, following the advice of trainer Joe Weider, he began devoting an increasing percentage of his rests to what Weider called the “Isotension Principle.” You might know it by another name: flexing.

Here’s how it works in its simplest form: After a final set, continue hitting the targeted muscle by flexing to peak contraction for 3-6 seconds. The action maintains connections of myofibrils, the building blocks of muscle, without resistance. The longer and more repeated the flex, the greater those connections, and over time, the greater the tension your muscle fibers will generate.

Arnold set goals to dominate Hollywood and hold political power. He succeeded in spite of all the naysayers.

This tension—and the ability to hold it for a prolonged period of time—make a competitive bodybuilder stand out onstage. Arnold called posing and flexing a very important part of a bodybuilder’s workout, but beyond that, it also helped him extend his mind-muscle connection beyond when he was lifting. You can see it in “Pumping Iron,” when Arnold is flexing even at mealtimes—at least, when he’s not taunting his fellow competitors.

Like fellow isotension devotee Bruce Lee, who blazed the path from cult-sport standout to international film star, Arnold continued this practice through his acting career, keeping the mind-muscle connection front and center.

The lesson for the rest of us: He eliminated the division between his training and his life. Sure, he “rested,” but he never took a break from improving, and he never let his skills lapse. His boundless commitment enabled his return to Mr. Olympia competition in 1980, five years after retiring, when he took the crown with just a few weeks to prepare. That seventh win, over then-superior opponents, helped launch Arnold’s first action film, “Conan The Barbarian,” and he was on his way to a second crown.

Secret 2:

As Arnold often pointed out, he was intensely loyal to his favorite movements, like incline bench presses, concentration curls, and Arnold presses. But within and around these exercises, nothing was sacred. He changed weight amounts, switched grips, added reps, paired exercises for opposing muscle groups, and decreased rests or cut them all together. If one day’s routine began to feel familiar, he’d perform it in an unfamiliar order or style.

One of his favorite ways to turn the norm on its head was to convert barbell exercises to dumbbell movements. His signature dumbbell movement, the Arnold press, came out of this intuitive approach, and the switch helped him identify any right-left imbalances.

He was never the strongest, but Arnold was always the most proportioned, and this technique was crucial to creating a physique that seemed devoid of weaknesses.

“Changing constantly really worked for him, and he seemed to grow right before my very eyes,” recalls former training partner Ric Drasin. Embracing unpredictability as a way of life kept him ready for anything, and in his later career, helped him make sure his most ambitious career choice achieve the maximum possible impact.

This is, after all, a man who, en route to promote “Terminator 3” on “The Tonight Show,” decided to use the interview to announce that he was running for governor.

Secret 3:

Arnold’s third crown required true mass appeal, and he had it, in the form of 89 percent approval ratings when he took office. Some responsibility for this unprecedented momentum has to be chalked up to his decision to ease out of the 1980s action genre and into lighter fare like comedies, where he co-starred with opposites: Danny DeVito, Helen Hunt, and the cast of “Kindergarten Cop.” Such unpredictable pairings came easily for Arnold. He’d been doing it for years.

Arnold trained with many different lifters at Gold’s, but he was inseparable from 5-foot-3 Franco Columbu through the six consecutive Mr. Olympia titles. “Two restless racehorses in the starting blocks” is how Dave Draper, Arnold’s first Gold’s partner, recalls the two Europeans when they trained together. They may have both spoken with accents and sported similarly tousled hairdos, but far more important was what separated the two: the 100 extra pounds Franco squatted.

“It’s not a tumor!” Arnold’s work in comedies made him a household name.

Standard wisdom pairs partners of more or less equal strength. Not Arnold. He did back days with Frank Zane, shoulders and chest with stronger men, and legs with Mike Katz, whose NFL career-ending leg injury had led to oversized recuperation. Arnold was similarly quick to help other partners learn from his personal strengths, and his strategy became a maxim at Gold’s: “Working together to defeat one another.”

Though he was a big believer in compliments to motivate, his contrarian approach also allowed free use of negative feedback. You’d never cut corners with Arnold or, God forbid, not finish. “If he did his 15 reps and you didn’t do your 15 reps,” recalls Danny Padilla, “it was like, ‘Vat’s wrong, I got to do your reps now?’ What’s up with that? If you can’t hang, go back to something else!'”

Secret 4:

They say that nothing motivates like success. This is true, of course, but what about early in your career, when success is elusive? In bodybuilding, there’s always someone bigger or stronger, and this applied to Arnold, too. But nobody had goals that were bigger, and nobody clung to them more tightly than him.

Arnold did his own thing, but he also listened to bodybuilders and mentors close to him. He knew he needed others and he borrowed knowledge from many sources.

Arnold’s goals were no secret. He wrote them at the start of each year on index cards, and made reference to them often. Some, like a new car or a mail-order business, were short-term, recalls Padilla. Four others, which he announced shortly after arriving at Gold’s, took longer: He would “become a movie star, make millions of dollars, marry a glamorous wife, and wield political power.”

Easier said than done, of course. But in Arnold’s case, they did get done. He was unique in recognizing that the difference between his short-term and long-term ambitions was one of degree, not kind. A goal is a goal; what matters is how you pursue it.

Secret 5:

Arnold would later scandalize the bodybuilding community by speaking openly of grass and hash, whiskey in his protein shakes, and a host of other taboo topics. Part of why he felt OK doing this was that he’d arrived at the peak of the freaky 1960s, and he saw that Venice Beach was only a small part of Los Angeles, a community where he and his cohorts were often seen as overgrown freaks.

He never thought of his body as part of him, but rather as a covering over him which he could manipulate. He was an artist and his body was mere clay.

Even while he was laboring day and night to be the best bodybuilder in the world, he knew how to turn his ego off and look at himself as others saw him. “It’s outside of me and also part of me,” he said of his body in an interview with “Playboy” in 1977. “I don’t say, ‘Arnold, how do you look?’ but rather ‘Let’s check out this body in the mirror and see what it looks like today.’ Professionally, I have to be detached in order to be critical of it. I don’t criticize myself; I criticize my body.”

When he looked in the mirror, Arnold saw what he wanted quickly: “The goal is to carry the weight but keep the proportion and symmetry.” In layman’s terms: Keep it real.

To the uninitiated public, proportion and symmetry were what separated the freak from the superhuman. Arnold was always the latter, never the former. And when he set his sights on being an actor, he was more than willing to put his hard-earned mass on the line. For instance, when director Bob Rafelson asked him to drop from 240 to 210, not wanting him to dwarf Sally Field in 1977’s “Stay Hungry,” Arnold didn’t blink.

Secret 6:

“The weightlifters shone with sweat … powerful looking, Herculean,” Arnold wrote of his first visit to a bodybuilding gym, age 15 in his first autobiography, “The Education of a Bodybuilder.” ” And there it was before me—my life, the answer I’d been seeking.” To this day, Arnold says he’s a bodybuilder at heart.

As he continued training, however, Arnold found that simply getting big and strong wasn’t really his heart’s desire. He had to look deeper. “I discovered that the secret of successful workouts,” he later wrote, “had to do with competition.” He wanted to win, and he wanted to be noticed for it. In short, he wanted to be famous, and the documentary “Pumping Iron” gave him the perfect launching pad.

The film opened huge, and just as importantly, it opened when Arnold was up for a Golden Globe for his work in “Stay Hungry.” “Of course this brought out the competitor in me,” Arnold recalls in his autobiography, “Total Recall.” He used the documentary’s premiere to build his star power as much as possible. He invited members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose members select Golden Globe winners, to the premiere and to a star-studded pre-release lunch featuring celebrities like Andy Warhol—the man who had made fame an art form—and Jackie Onassis.

All of a sudden, everyone seemed to know who Arnold was, and just in time. He won the Golden Globe, and proceeded to leverage his victory into more parts, more fame, and more victories. It was what he had been looking for all along, and once found he’d never lose it.


More here: 

Success By Schwarzenegger: 6 Secrets Of Arnold's Success

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on Success By Schwarzenegger: 6 Secrets Of Arnold's Success

<div id="DPG" webReader="245.212918903"><p>As Officer Daniel Banks tells it, every bar in America is littered with guys who think they're MMA fighters because they watch it on TV while sucking down beers. But the police chief in Tripoli, Iowa, knows all too well that not every adversary is a big-talking wannabe. He takes no one for granted.</p><p>"Many prison inmates weight train two or three times per day, 365 days a year," says Banks. "When they're released back into society, I may encounter them in a criminal situation. So when I go to the gym, I train as though I'm fighting for my life."</p><p>The truth is that public servants like Banks are fighting for our lives, not just their own. They battle criminals, natural disasters, and manmade calamities so that we can sleep at night and work out when we please. They plan for the unplanned and think about the unthinkable. Police officers, SWAT members, federal agents, firefighters, and paramedics are the saviors we need most when we expect it least.</p><p>We've all heard about emergency moms who can lift a ton without training to save their babies. But the public servants who see tragedies frequently can't rely on such once-in-a-lifetime feats of strength. They need fitness that works around any excuse, overcomes any hurdle, and is every bit as strong as it looks.</p><p>Meet six everyday heroes who are up to the dual challenges of destroying workouts and preserving society. Ride along with them, and learn what "functional fitness" is all about.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">1 Armed for Battle: Officer Daniel Banks</h3>
</p><iframe class="c11" width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CPZIfnl08_I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>A 10-year police veteran, Banks says he'll do whatever it takes to apprehend a suspect. He can back this attitude up with years of hard work pushing heavy iron in the gym. The results he's been able to achieve have been impressive enough that he placed fourth out of 60 competitors at the 2010 "Muscle & Fitness" Model Search, his first and only contest. The 34-year-old, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 275 pounds, now <a href="http://www.optimumnutrition.com/team.php?id=88&sort=male" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">represents Optimum Nutrition as a sponsored athlete</a> while continuing to fight the bad guys.</p><img src="images/2014/fitness-911-image-daniel-banks.jpg" width="560" height="399" border="0" class="c12"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QWhat's your biggest challenge as a public servant and athlete?</h3>
</p><p>"Finding time to get to the gym, let alone get in a full workout. After a 40-hour workweek, it doesn't matter if you're at your daughter's first birthday party, church, on vacation, in the middle of a workout; you can be called away at a moment's notice, 24-7. Then there are court cases and appearances, interviews that may have to be scheduled around what works for the suspect or victim, community projects, and so on. I find that I'm often the last guy to leave the gym as a result of these demands, but I still love my job and I love working out."</p><p><strong>Workout tip:</strong> "Make the most of the limited time you have by focusing on the quality of each repetition, not just how much weight you can move. In addition, slow down your movements to work on both the concentric and eccentric parts of the repetition."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">2 Arresting Officer: Detective Sandy Avelar</h3>
</p><p><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/SandyAvelarPro/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sandy Avelar</a> has time for everything but excuses. She does great work, looks great doing it, and still makes time to volunteer. She's been doing police work for 15 years, including her current stint as a gang detective and riot squad member in Vancouver, British Columbia. The 5-foot-7, 130-pound stunner is also preparing to make her IFBB Pro Bikini debut at the Desert Muscle Bikini Pro in Mesa, Arizona, February 25. But even with these demands, she still finds time to sit the board of directors of the Boys Club Network for at-risk youth.</p><img src="images/2014/fitness-911-image-sandy-avelar.jpg" width="560" height="386" border="0" class="c12"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QHow has being a police officer made you better in the weight room?</h3>
</p><p>"I've been a police officer for many years, so I've learned many lessons. Number one is that quitting is not an option. If I quit on the street, it could mean serious injury or death. I take the same approach in the gym. When I think I have nothing left, I push a little more. Even when it feels like I have nothing left to give, there's always more deep inside me."</p><p><strong>Supplement tip:</strong> "Bring your protein shake to the gym and drink it before you leave. Your workout isn't done until you've had it. And don't be content with choking down a flavor you don't like. My favorite powder is AllMax peanut butter chocolate. It mixes well and isn't gritty."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">3 The Shredded Paramedic: Tamika Webber</h3>
</p><iframe class="c11" width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3P2FuKzTYU0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>You're trapped in your car after an accident, badly injured, hoping someone can save you before your life goes up in flames. You need a strong, capable emergency worker like <a href="http://www.tamikawebber.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tamika Webber</a>, a paramedic and figure competitor from Melbourne, Australia. Webber teaches advanced life support to fellow paramedics, but is also a tireless competitor who most recently placed second in the tall class at the IFBB Nationals in 2012.</p><img src="images/2014/fitness-911-image-tamika-weber.jpg" width="560" height="337" border="0" class="c13"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QWhat has working in emergency services taught you?</h3>
</p><p>"To never take my health for granted. You are never too young or too old to make changes to your health. I learned more from one day on the job as an emergency paramedic than in the seven years I spent at university studying anatomy and physiology. Today, I work with obese patients, cancer patients, partygoers who OD, the elderly, and I take away lessons from all of them. There's nothing like the seeing the effects of illness, much of it avoidable, to increase your own drive and determination in the gym to become fitter. Train hard!"</p><p><strong>Motivation tip:</strong> "I follow the adage that reality is the mirror of your thoughts. The more you put in, the more you get out, and that includes fitness. There's no quick fix or magic potion to achieving your goals overnight. Rather, you must set small achievable goals and stay focused on them."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">4 Swole Patrol: Joe Palumbo</h3>
</p><p>You're depositing your paycheck at the bank when suddenly you hear shouting and find yourself staring into the business end of a gun. You best hope may be SWAT team members like <a href="http://contest.bodybuilding.com/bio/173/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Joe Palumbo</a>.</p><p>A 24-year police veteran, Palumbo is now a member of a SWAT team in New York. He's also been an IFBB professional bodybuilder since 2001, bringing his 5-foot-7 frame down from 250 pounds off-season to less than 220 for contests. For good measure, he's a certified Navy Seal fitness instructor and the director of physical performance for Infinite Labs.</p><img src="images/2014/fitness-911-image-joe-palumbo.jpg" width="560" height="391" border="0" class="c12"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QHow do you balance SWAT obligations with your fitness goals?</h3>
</p><p>"SWAT and fitness are both 24-7 pursuits. We are a group of dedicated, highly trained, highly motivated officers who are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We must be ready and prepared for a call-out on a moment's notice.</p><p>To also be truly dedicated to fitness—and in my case, bodybuilding at a pro level—there is no room for, 'Oh, I'll just skip today.' Because of my tactical training mentality, I always plan ahead and have a backup plan for my training and nutritional needs. All my meals are prepared hours in advance, and I always have enough for a 24 hour-span. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way."</p><p><strong>Workout tip:</strong> "When it comes to training, technique and approach are as important as exercise selection. Tearing down your muscles should only take a short time. One of the best ways to rip up your pecs quickly is to work to muscle failure."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">5 Packing A Punch: Mike Kurzeja</h3>
</p><p><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/mkurzeja/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mike Kurzeja</a> has an 18-year background in law enforcement and now works as a federal agent for the U.S. government, but his title might as well be "Certified Badass." The 5-10, 168-pounder has been boxing for 25 years. He went undefeated as a super-middleweight, but he has also weighed in as a light-heavy. This father of five boys and Optimum Nutrition-sponsored athlete is undoubtedly one of the toughest customers in the quiet town of Downers Grove, Illinois.</p><img src="images/2014/fitness-911-image-mike-kurzeja.jpg" width="560" height="387" border="0" class="c12"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QAgent, father, and fighter—how do you keep it all together?</h3>
</p><p>"I have a schedule that can vary from day work to afternoon work to midnight shift work at a moment's notice. In addition, I sometimes travel, which means I can't always work out at the same place. As a result, I have to be flexible and adapt my workouts to different times and different places. Where there is a will there is a way, though. I don't miss workouts, and worst-case scenario, I can always do a core bodyweight workout in a hotel room or run outside if a gym isn't available."</p><p><strong>Diet tip:</strong> "Keep nutrition simple and systematic. Aim for a macronutrient breakdown of 40 percent high-quality proteins, 40 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent healthy fats. Supplement your daily caloric intake with protein powder and pre- and post-workout drinks as needed."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">6 Fight Fire With Fitness: Nadine Young</h3>
</p><p>You wake up at 2 a.m., choking on smoke because the wiring in your home has caught fire. The better conditioned the firefighters coming to your rescue are, the better your odds of survival. And few are better conditioned than <a href="https://www.facebook.com/NadineYoungGunz?fref=ts" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Nadine Young</a>, 33, who has been extinguishing flames for almost 10 years in the Toronto suburb of Clarington, Ontario. The 5-foot-5 Young is a top Canadian figure competitor and fitness model, as well as a personal trainer, nutrition counselor, and the owner of a tiling business.</p><img src="images/2014/sidebar-nadine-young-b.jpg" width="560" height="368" border="0" class="c13"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QHow do you juggle your public, private, and professional obligations?</h3>
</p><p>"The never-ending rotating shifts take a physical toll, and the lack of normal schedule often makes it tough to do many of the things that non-shift workers consider to be normal. Much of the social aspect of on-duty crew life revolves around crew meals and, given that my lifestyle demands far different food choices than most people are interested in or prepared to make, I often find myself having to fend for myself during meals. But in the end, when you weigh all the plusses and minuses of working in the fire service, I wouldn't change a thing."</p><p><strong>Workout tip:</strong> "To make the most of the limited time you have, get creative and use movements that really get the job done. I complete my biceps workout with a peaking movement, curling a bar attached to a cable on a preacher bench. The preacher bench forces the rest of my body out of the equation. This is one of my favorites, especially pre-contest."</p><br /><br class="c14"/></div>

Fitness 911: 6 Super-Fit Men And Women Who Serve And Protect

As Officer Daniel Banks tells it, every bar in America is littered with guys who think they’re MMA fighters because they watch it on TV while sucking down beers. But the police chief in Tripoli, Iowa, knows all too well that not every adversary is a big-talking wannabe. He takes no one for granted.

“Many prison inmates weight train two or three times per day, 365 days a year,” says Banks. “When they’re released back into society, I may encounter them in a criminal situation. So when I go to the gym, I train as though I’m fighting for my life.”

The truth is that public servants like Banks are fighting for our lives, not just their own. They battle criminals, natural disasters, and manmade calamities so that we can sleep at night and work out when we please. They plan for the unplanned and think about the unthinkable. Police officers, SWAT members, federal agents, firefighters, and paramedics are the saviors we need most when we expect it least.

We’ve all heard about emergency moms who can lift a ton without training to save their babies. But the public servants who see tragedies frequently can’t rely on such once-in-a-lifetime feats of strength. They need fitness that works around any excuse, overcomes any hurdle, and is every bit as strong as it looks.

Meet six everyday heroes who are up to the dual challenges of destroying workouts and preserving society. Ride along with them, and learn what “functional fitness” is all about.

1 Armed for Battle: Officer Daniel Banks

A 10-year police veteran, Banks says he’ll do whatever it takes to apprehend a suspect. He can back this attitude up with years of hard work pushing heavy iron in the gym. The results he’s been able to achieve have been impressive enough that he placed fourth out of 60 competitors at the 2010 “Muscle & Fitness” Model Search, his first and only contest. The 34-year-old, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 275 pounds, now represents Optimum Nutrition as a sponsored athlete while continuing to fight the bad guys.

QWhat’s your biggest challenge as a public servant and athlete?

“Finding time to get to the gym, let alone get in a full workout. After a 40-hour workweek, it doesn’t matter if you’re at your daughter’s first birthday party, church, on vacation, in the middle of a workout; you can be called away at a moment’s notice, 24-7. Then there are court cases and appearances, interviews that may have to be scheduled around what works for the suspect or victim, community projects, and so on. I find that I’m often the last guy to leave the gym as a result of these demands, but I still love my job and I love working out.”

Workout tip: “Make the most of the limited time you have by focusing on the quality of each repetition, not just how much weight you can move. In addition, slow down your movements to work on both the concentric and eccentric parts of the repetition.”

2 Arresting Officer: Detective Sandy Avelar

Sandy Avelar has time for everything but excuses. She does great work, looks great doing it, and still makes time to volunteer. She’s been doing police work for 15 years, including her current stint as a gang detective and riot squad member in Vancouver, British Columbia. The 5-foot-7, 130-pound stunner is also preparing to make her IFBB Pro Bikini debut at the Desert Muscle Bikini Pro in Mesa, Arizona, February 25. But even with these demands, she still finds time to sit the board of directors of the Boys Club Network for at-risk youth.

QHow has being a police officer made you better in the weight room?

“I’ve been a police officer for many years, so I’ve learned many lessons. Number one is that quitting is not an option. If I quit on the street, it could mean serious injury or death. I take the same approach in the gym. When I think I have nothing left, I push a little more. Even when it feels like I have nothing left to give, there’s always more deep inside me.”

Supplement tip: “Bring your protein shake to the gym and drink it before you leave. Your workout isn’t done until you’ve had it. And don’t be content with choking down a flavor you don’t like. My favorite powder is AllMax peanut butter chocolate. It mixes well and isn’t gritty.”

3 The Shredded Paramedic: Tamika Webber

You’re trapped in your car after an accident, badly injured, hoping someone can save you before your life goes up in flames. You need a strong, capable emergency worker like Tamika Webber, a paramedic and figure competitor from Melbourne, Australia. Webber teaches advanced life support to fellow paramedics, but is also a tireless competitor who most recently placed second in the tall class at the IFBB Nationals in 2012.

QWhat has working in emergency services taught you?

“To never take my health for granted. You are never too young or too old to make changes to your health. I learned more from one day on the job as an emergency paramedic than in the seven years I spent at university studying anatomy and physiology. Today, I work with obese patients, cancer patients, partygoers who OD, the elderly, and I take away lessons from all of them. There’s nothing like the seeing the effects of illness, much of it avoidable, to increase your own drive and determination in the gym to become fitter. Train hard!”

Motivation tip: “I follow the adage that reality is the mirror of your thoughts. The more you put in, the more you get out, and that includes fitness. There’s no quick fix or magic potion to achieving your goals overnight. Rather, you must set small achievable goals and stay focused on them.”

4 Swole Patrol: Joe Palumbo

You’re depositing your paycheck at the bank when suddenly you hear shouting and find yourself staring into the business end of a gun. You best hope may be SWAT team members like Joe Palumbo.

A 24-year police veteran, Palumbo is now a member of a SWAT team in New York. He’s also been an IFBB professional bodybuilder since 2001, bringing his 5-foot-7 frame down from 250 pounds off-season to less than 220 for contests. For good measure, he’s a certified Navy Seal fitness instructor and the director of physical performance for Infinite Labs.

QHow do you balance SWAT obligations with your fitness goals?

“SWAT and fitness are both 24-7 pursuits. We are a group of dedicated, highly trained, highly motivated officers who are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We must be ready and prepared for a call-out on a moment’s notice.

To also be truly dedicated to fitness—and in my case, bodybuilding at a pro level—there is no room for, ‘Oh, I’ll just skip today.’ Because of my tactical training mentality, I always plan ahead and have a backup plan for my training and nutritional needs. All my meals are prepared hours in advance, and I always have enough for a 24 hour-span. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Workout tip: “When it comes to training, technique and approach are as important as exercise selection. Tearing down your muscles should only take a short time. One of the best ways to rip up your pecs quickly is to work to muscle failure.”

5 Packing A Punch: Mike Kurzeja

Mike Kurzeja has an 18-year background in law enforcement and now works as a federal agent for the U.S. government, but his title might as well be “Certified Badass.” The 5-10, 168-pounder has been boxing for 25 years. He went undefeated as a super-middleweight, but he has also weighed in as a light-heavy. This father of five boys and Optimum Nutrition-sponsored athlete is undoubtedly one of the toughest customers in the quiet town of Downers Grove, Illinois.

QAgent, father, and fighter—how do you keep it all together?

“I have a schedule that can vary from day work to afternoon work to midnight shift work at a moment’s notice. In addition, I sometimes travel, which means I can’t always work out at the same place. As a result, I have to be flexible and adapt my workouts to different times and different places. Where there is a will there is a way, though. I don’t miss workouts, and worst-case scenario, I can always do a core bodyweight workout in a hotel room or run outside if a gym isn’t available.”

Diet tip: “Keep nutrition simple and systematic. Aim for a macronutrient breakdown of 40 percent high-quality proteins, 40 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent healthy fats. Supplement your daily caloric intake with protein powder and pre- and post-workout drinks as needed.”

6 Fight Fire With Fitness: Nadine Young

You wake up at 2 a.m., choking on smoke because the wiring in your home has caught fire. The better conditioned the firefighters coming to your rescue are, the better your odds of survival. And few are better conditioned than Nadine Young, 33, who has been extinguishing flames for almost 10 years in the Toronto suburb of Clarington, Ontario. The 5-foot-5 Young is a top Canadian figure competitor and fitness model, as well as a personal trainer, nutrition counselor, and the owner of a tiling business.

QHow do you juggle your public, private, and professional obligations?

“The never-ending rotating shifts take a physical toll, and the lack of normal schedule often makes it tough to do many of the things that non-shift workers consider to be normal. Much of the social aspect of on-duty crew life revolves around crew meals and, given that my lifestyle demands far different food choices than most people are interested in or prepared to make, I often find myself having to fend for myself during meals. But in the end, when you weigh all the plusses and minuses of working in the fire service, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Workout tip: “To make the most of the limited time you have, get creative and use movements that really get the job done. I complete my biceps workout with a peaking movement, curling a bar attached to a cable on a preacher bench. The preacher bench forces the rest of my body out of the equation. This is one of my favorites, especially pre-contest.”


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Fitness 911: 6 Super-Fit Men And Women Who Serve And Protect

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