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Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

A Hamilton-based fitness expert has warned exercise fanatics may be risking their health, if not their lives, from their obsessions with working out.

Waikato University clinical psychologist Jo Thakker’s words of caution come just over a year after 17-year-old Joshua Tanuvasa died while working out at the Les Mills Gym in Hamilton.

While his death last year on September 24 is still before the coroner, Thakker said she was worried others might also come to his fate by taking their passion too far.

There are 31 gyms listed in the Yellow Pages in Hamilton – and this number continues to grow as people turn to exercise as a way to slim down or bulk up.

Thakker said some were taking exercise too far and displaying disorder-like behaviours. She had seen several cases where young men were using supplements and then exercising excessively, some to the point of hospitalisation.

“They’re willing to risk their lives to look a certain way.”

While excessive exercise was not a recognised diagnostic category, it was an aspect of a range of eating disorders, Thakker said.

Ali Alkadhi, 26, has just competed in the National Association of Body Builders New Zealand nationals.

His rigorous training regime had been “taxing” on both his body and his mind, he said. “Each week, the calories would be reduced and cardio would be added, and as you lose body fat, your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he said.

“I lost my desire for everything. All I could think of was food.”

Alkadhi said he believed all bodybuilders had some form of obsessive compulsive disorder, as they scrutinised every inch of their body to achieve perfection.

But the mental health factor is not the only problem facing keen gym-goers.

Over-exercising can lead to injury, fatigue and your results may even go backwards. Personal trainer and nutritionist Jake Campus said that in the 10 years he had been involved in the fitness industry, he had seen many cases of people pushing themselves too hard.

It was a case of excitement about training and striving too hard to reach their goals that saw most of them getting addicted, he said.

Campus believed about 20% of gym-goers would fall into the overtraining category. This became a problem when people’s bodies were not accustomed to their workouts, which led to overuse injuries and fatigue.

First Place Fitness personal trainer Michael Briggs also saw overtraining frequently.

Briggs said he believed almost everyone who trained went though a period where they pushed themselves too hard, and part of his job was reining them back in.

“You never tell yourself that you are overtraining; someone has to tell you.

“I think the health risks of not exercising are far greater than the risks of exercising. Exercise should be part of a balanced lifestyle,” he said.

While injury was the most common danger of training too much, there were more serious things such as the potentially fatal condition rhabdomyolysis. This is a serious renal condition which is characterised by muscle cell breakdown.

As a consequence myoglobin (an oxygen transport protein) leaks into the urine, which causes problems with the kidneys.

If you or someone you know needs help with an eating disorder, contact Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand on 09 522 2679.

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Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

Posted in Aerobics, Diets, Exercises, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

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Instagram fitness stars we love

Most of us check our phones first thing in the morning before considering if we should roll out of bed into the cold and head for the gym. Unless our personal trainer is holding us accountable we easily skip workouts and still expect results.

With the darker and colder days tempting us to snuggle up we’re forgetting summer bodies are sculpted in winter!If you’re struggling to stay motivated you’re likely not following these upcoming fitness stars.

@DaniellePeazer
Keeping fit doesn’t get more glamorous than Danielle Peazer. She is a global Reebok ambassador, known for dancing for some of the music industry’s biggest stars, including Kylie and Justin Timberlake, as well as at high-profile events like London 2012 Olympics and the X Factor; she also finds time for a blog and YouTube channel – wow! Dedicated to sharing how to live a healthy balanced life, Danielle is a fitness and lifestyle inspiration. Launching an easy-to-follow 12-Week Body Plan alongside her regular Instagram posts, achieving a dancer’s body has never been easier.

@stef_fit_
The ab envy of Stef Fit’s daily posts should give you the much-needed motivation to push through challenging days! Revealing the true dedication needed to maintain a desirably fit body along with a diverse range of workouts. Stef’s Instagram is just the inspiration needed for switching up our gym days and committing to clean eating.

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Instagram fitness stars we love

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Instagram fitness stars we love

<div id="DPG" webReader="214.00767116"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-16.814159292"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/jon-erik-kawamoto-vital-stats-box.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c11">Vital Stats</h3><a href="http://facebook.com/JKConditioning" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" class="c12"/><a href="http://instagram.com/jkconditioning" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/instagram-social-icon.png" class="c13"/><a href="http://twitter.com/JKConditioning" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/twitter-social-icon.png" class="c13"/><p><strong>Name:</strong> Jon-Erik Kawamoto, CSCS, CEP<br /><strong>Owner:</strong> Personal Trainer & Fitness Writer<br /><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.jkconditioning.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">JKConditioning.com</a></p></div><p>The barbell is calling your name. You've been going to the gym for a quite a while now, and you're comfortable doing the usual lower body machine exercises. Now you feel like you're ready for a new challenge, and you're sure it should involve barbells. But how, and to what end?</p><p>You could go a couple of different ways here. You could tinker around on those thin-handled barbells over by the dumbbell racks, doing your best to perform squats, lunges, and Romanian deadlifts in a crowd of people doing curls and presses.</p><p>Or you could step into the squat rack or onto the platform, make the commitment to learn how to handle an Olympic bar and plates, and work toward the goal of a nice, round number.</p><p>Don't sell yourself short. Get serious, learn proper form, and make yourself proud in the weight room this year!</p><h3 class="article-title">Who is Barbell Training For?</h3><p>Lower-body free-weight training is an entirely different beast compared to lower body machine-based exercise. The leg press, knee extension, and leg curl machines have their place, but if you want to develop lower body strength and power, you're going to have to squat and deadlift.</p><p>These closed-chain kinetic exercises—meaning your feet are in contact with the floor—challenge your legs, core, and hip stabilizer muscles in a totally unique fashion. If physique transformation is your goal, they provide a more powerful full-body stimulus than any machine, in half the time. These exercises also have better transference to athletic qualities such as sprinting and jumping.</p><img src="images/2014/road-to-two-plates-graphic-3.jpg" width="560" height="660" border="0" class="c14"/><h6 class="altH6 c15">Barbell Deadlift</h6><p>You'll hear people brag about big numbers, but ignore them for now. No matter what comes afterward, 225 in the squat or deadlift is a respectable milestone for any non-powerlifter, amateur athlete, or weekend warrior.</p><p>A 200-plus deadlift is also a tough but realistic goal for most fit women. I've known many who've already achieved it, and many more who can. The back squat is a more difficult lift for many women to go heavy, but squatting heavier than bodyweight is still a worthy goal to start, and this program can get you there.</p><p>Endurance athletes like distance runners, cyclists, and rowers can also benefit from adding heavy squats and deadlifts to their injury-prevention routine. Lifting greater than bodyweight improves neuromuscular efficiency to the fast-twitch type-II muscle fibers; and it has been shown in studies to lead to better performance in endurance sports. Despite the "thin and weak" stereotype, endurance athletes can benefit immensely from more strength—and don't worry, 225 isn't a number that you'll need to get "bulky" to achieve.</p><p>So what's the best approach to reach two plates on each side of the barbell? Well, first and foremost, you need to be able to execute each lift with optimal biomechanics. Once you get the form down, just take that light weight you move around, and make it heavier.</p><h3 class="article-title">The Essentials of the Squat</h3><div class="side-bar"><h4 class="c16">High Bar Back Squat Technique Checklist</h4><ul class="dpg-list c17"><li>Feet shoulder-width apart with a slight toe turnout</li>
<li>Heels flat on the floor (or on plates)</li>
<li>Bar placed on the traps with a double overhand grip on the bar with your elbows pointing downward and shoulders back</li>
<li>Knees pressed outward</li>
<li>Bar pulled into the traps</li>
<li>Pull hips toward bottom position</li>
<li>Weight distribution is mid-foot to heel</li>
</ul></div><p>A number—be it, 225, 425, or 75—means nothing if it's done with bad form: knees caved, torso doubled over, and a back that looks like it's about to break. I'm only interested in helping you <em>own</em> the number, and that means squatting with your hip crease dipping below your knee crease at the bottom of the squat, which is referred to as an "ass-to-grass" squat.</p><p>If you can't squat that deep, well, you're in the company of many, many gym-goers. But you're not off the hook! Just place a 10-pound plate under each heel. This will create a slight anterior weight shift and make up for tight ankles. Still, drive your knees out and keep most of your weight from your mid-foot to your heel.</p><p>There should be a slight lean in your torso, and your lower and upper back should have good alignment without excessively rounding or arching.</p><p>Last, your knees should be held outward, with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart and your heels flat on the floor. Ideally, you would have a barbell on your back in the "high bar" position, resting mainly on your trapezius muscles and the upper ridge of your shoulder blades.</p><img src="images/2014/road-to-two-plates-graphic-1.jpg" width="560" height="370" border="0" class="c14"/><h6 class="altH6 c15">Back Squat</h6><p>A great tip from the world of powerlifting is to push your knees out as if you were spreading the floor with your feet. This results in greater stability as your hip muscles tighten up to hold your knees outward.</p><p>Pull the bar into your traps as if you are trying to break it across your back. This cue will activate your lats, create more torso stability, and prevent you from falling forward.</p><h3 class="article-title">The Essentials of the Deadlift</h3><div class="side-bar"><h4 class="c16">Conventional Deadlift Technique Checklist</h4><ul class="dpg-list c17"><li>Feet hip-width apart, pointing straight forward</li>
<li>Double overhand grip on the bar with straight elbows</li>
<li>Hips pushed back, with chest out and shoulders back</li>
<li>Abs braced and lats engaged. Get tense!</li>
<li>Lock deadlift out with strong glute squeeze</li>
<li>Return bar to floor with straight spine and knee bend</li>
<li>Reset bar on floor before each rep (no bouncing)</li>
</ul></div><p>The hip hinge is the major movement pattern involved in a conventional deadlift. Essentially, the hips act like a hinge and flex, while your torso leans forward and your shins stay relatively vertical—that's the difference between a hinge and a squat. No ass-to-grass here; the hip motion is primarily back-and-forth rather than up-and-down.</p><p>As with the squat, however, the spine stays aligned and doesn't round or extend during a deadlift. But you should feel more tension in your hamstrings than a squat, particularly at the bottom of the movement, where the bar is on the ground.</p><p>Also, make sure you perform this movement with soft or slightly bent knees. We're not doing stiff-legged deadlifts here.</p><p>To perform a conventional deadlift, step up to the bar with a hip-width stance. Bend your knees and hips, and grab the bar with a double overhand grip to the outside of your shins.</p><p>Push your hips back and puff out your chest. Your spine should be straight with your shoulders just in front of the barbell and slightly higher than your hips.</p><div class="center"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/road-to-two-plates-graphic-2b.jpg" width="483" height="317"/></div><p>The squat (left) is a quad-dominant exercise. The hip-hinge (right) is the major movement patter of a deadlift, in which the hips act like a hinge and flex, while your torso leans forward and your shins remain vertical.</p><p>Brace your abs and engage your lats. As with the squat, you should feel most of your balance and body weight from mid-foot to heel. With your chin slightly tucked in, stand up with the bar, keeping it close to your body.</p><p>Finish with a deliberate hip extension and glute squeeze. Don't lean back excessively; this places unwanted stress to your lumbar spine. Now slide the bar down your thighs as you push your hips backward. Once the bar passes your knees, sit the bar back to the floor. Reset your position and prepare for the next rep.</p><h3 class="article-title">The Road to 225</h3><p>The best way to get stronger and better at a lift is to perform it more frequently throughout the week. This plan will focus on getting your high-bar back squat and conventional deadlift to 225 in a straightforward, systematic way, using three full-body workouts per week. Here, I'll just illustrate the squat and deadlift routine; feel free to add any upper-body lifts as you see appropriate, as long as they don't detract from the work you do here.</p><p>For the first workout, use a weight you can confidently lift for 5 sets of 5 reps, but which still feels somewhat heavy. If you're successful at completing all reps in each set, add weight in 5-pound increments and attempt to perform all 5 sets of 5 reps the following week.</p><p>Keep moving up in this manner until you hit what feels like a limit. Don't attempt a rep if you suspect you might not make it; just end the set. If you fail and your reps go like this: 5, 5, 4, 3, 3, use the same weight the next week, and attempt all 5 sets of 5 reps again.</p><div class="cool-fact" webReader="11"><h3>Details, Details</h3><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/coolfacts-bluebar.gif" class="c19"/><p>Mixed grip or overhand? Sumo or conventional? Straps, belts, or nothing at all? Focus on learning the squat and deadlift movements first. You may find later that a mixed grip or a sumo stance is more comfortable at heavier weights.</p></div><p>For Wednesday's workout, use a submaximal weight (roughly 60 percent of the weight used on Monday) and perform speed deadlifts. The execution of the deadlift is the same; however, the bar is to be lifted as fast as possible with correct form. For the jump squat, execute the squat as written above, but explode from the bottom position and jump off the ground. Land lightly and prepare for the next rep.</p><p>Last, for Friday's workout, start with a light weight and perform 5 reps. Add a little bit of weight, and after your rest, perform another 5 reps. Keep adding weight over the next 5-6 sets to reach the maximum weight you can perform 5 reps with, which is called your 5-rep max (5RM). In week two, work up to a max set of 3 reps. In week three, work up to a max set of 1 rep.</p><p>This program can be performed month after month until you reach 225 or a different goal number in each lift. You'll notice a deload week in the fourth week to allow your body to recover before the next phase.</p><h4>Week 1</h4><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Barbell Deadlift</a></strong><br />5 sets of 5 reps, 2 min. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')">Barbell Squat</a></strong><br />5 sets of 5 reps, 2 min. rest</span></li>
</ul></div><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Speed Deadlift</a></strong><br />8 sets of 3, 30 sec. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Male/t/108_1.jpg" alt="Freehand Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Male/t/108_2.jpg" alt="Freehand Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')">Freehand Jump Squat</a></strong><br />8 sets of 2, 30 sec. rest</span></li>
</ul></div><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Barbell Deadlift</a></strong><br />Work up to 5RM, 2 min. rest between sets</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')">Barbell Squat</a></strong><br />Work up to 5RM, 2 min. rest between sets</span></li>
</ul></div><br /><h4>Week 2</h4><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Barbell Deadlift</a></strong><br />5 sets of 5 reps, 2 min. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')">Barbell Squat</a></strong><br />5 sets of 5 reps, 2 min. rest</span></li>
</ul></div><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Speed Deadlift</a></strong><br />8 sets of 3, 30 sec. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Male/t/108_1.jpg" alt="Freehand Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Male/t/108_2.jpg" alt="Freehand Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')">Freehand Jump Squat</a></strong><br />8 sets of 2, 30 sec. rest</span></li>
</ul></div><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Barbell Deadlift</a></strong><br />Work up to 5RM, 2 min. rest between sets</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')">Barbell Squat</a></strong><br />Work up to 5RM, 2 min. rest between sets</span></li>
</ul></div><br /><h4>Week 3</h4><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Barbell Deadlift</a></strong><br />5 sets of 5 reps, 2 min. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')">Barbell Squat</a></strong><br />5 sets of 5 reps, 2 min. rest</span></li>
</ul></div><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Speed Deadlift</a></strong><br />8 sets of 3, 30 sec. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Male/t/108_1.jpg" alt="Freehand Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Male/t/108_2.jpg" alt="Freehand Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')">Freehand Jump Squat</a></strong><br />8 sets of 2, 30 sec. rest</span></li>
</ul></div><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Barbell Deadlift</a></strong><br />Work up to 5RM, 2 min. rest between sets</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')">Barbell Squat</a></strong><br />Work up to 5RM, 2 min. rest between sets</span></li>
</ul></div><br /><h4>Week 4</h4><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Barbell Deadlift</a></strong><br />3 sets of 5 reps (70% of week prior's weight), 2 min. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')">Barbell Squat</a></strong><br />3 sets of 5 reps (70% of week prior's weight), 2 min. rest</span></li>
</ul></div><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Speed Deadlift</a></strong><br />6 sets of 3, 30 sec. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Male/t/108_1.jpg" alt="Freehand Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Male/t/108_2.jpg" alt="Freehand Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')">Freehand Jump Squat</a></strong><br />6 sets of 2, 30 sec. rest</span></li>
</ul></div><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Barbell Deadlift</a></strong><br />3 sets of 3 reps (70% of week prior's weight), 2 min. rest</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/31/Male/t/31_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-squat')">Barbell Squat</a></strong><br />3 sets of 3 reps (70% of week prior's weight), 2 min. rest</span></li>
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The Road To Two Plates: You Can Squat And Deadlift 225 Pounds!

The barbell is calling your name. You’ve been going to the gym for a quite a while now, and you’re comfortable doing the usual lower body machine exercises. Now you feel like you’re ready for a new challenge, and you’re sure it should involve barbells. But how, and to what end?

You could go a couple of different ways here. You could tinker around on those thin-handled barbells over by the dumbbell racks, doing your best to perform squats, lunges, and Romanian deadlifts in a crowd of people doing curls and presses.

Or you could step into the squat rack or onto the platform, make the commitment to learn how to handle an Olympic bar and plates, and work toward the goal of a nice, round number.

Don’t sell yourself short. Get serious, learn proper form, and make yourself proud in the weight room this year!

Who is Barbell Training For?

Lower-body free-weight training is an entirely different beast compared to lower body machine-based exercise. The leg press, knee extension, and leg curl machines have their place, but if you want to develop lower body strength and power, you’re going to have to squat and deadlift.

These closed-chain kinetic exercises—meaning your feet are in contact with the floor—challenge your legs, core, and hip stabilizer muscles in a totally unique fashion. If physique transformation is your goal, they provide a more powerful full-body stimulus than any machine, in half the time. These exercises also have better transference to athletic qualities such as sprinting and jumping.

Barbell Deadlift

You’ll hear people brag about big numbers, but ignore them for now. No matter what comes afterward, 225 in the squat or deadlift is a respectable milestone for any non-powerlifter, amateur athlete, or weekend warrior.

A 200-plus deadlift is also a tough but realistic goal for most fit women. I’ve known many who’ve already achieved it, and many more who can. The back squat is a more difficult lift for many women to go heavy, but squatting heavier than bodyweight is still a worthy goal to start, and this program can get you there.

Endurance athletes like distance runners, cyclists, and rowers can also benefit from adding heavy squats and deadlifts to their injury-prevention routine. Lifting greater than bodyweight improves neuromuscular efficiency to the fast-twitch type-II muscle fibers; and it has been shown in studies to lead to better performance in endurance sports. Despite the “thin and weak” stereotype, endurance athletes can benefit immensely from more strength—and don’t worry, 225 isn’t a number that you’ll need to get “bulky” to achieve.

So what’s the best approach to reach two plates on each side of the barbell? Well, first and foremost, you need to be able to execute each lift with optimal biomechanics. Once you get the form down, just take that light weight you move around, and make it heavier.

The Essentials of the Squat

A number—be it, 225, 425, or 75—means nothing if it’s done with bad form: knees caved, torso doubled over, and a back that looks like it’s about to break. I’m only interested in helping you own the number, and that means squatting with your hip crease dipping below your knee crease at the bottom of the squat, which is referred to as an “ass-to-grass” squat.

If you can’t squat that deep, well, you’re in the company of many, many gym-goers. But you’re not off the hook! Just place a 10-pound plate under each heel. This will create a slight anterior weight shift and make up for tight ankles. Still, drive your knees out and keep most of your weight from your mid-foot to your heel.

There should be a slight lean in your torso, and your lower and upper back should have good alignment without excessively rounding or arching.

Last, your knees should be held outward, with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart and your heels flat on the floor. Ideally, you would have a barbell on your back in the “high bar” position, resting mainly on your trapezius muscles and the upper ridge of your shoulder blades.

Back Squat

A great tip from the world of powerlifting is to push your knees out as if you were spreading the floor with your feet. This results in greater stability as your hip muscles tighten up to hold your knees outward.

Pull the bar into your traps as if you are trying to break it across your back. This cue will activate your lats, create more torso stability, and prevent you from falling forward.

The Essentials of the Deadlift

The hip hinge is the major movement pattern involved in a conventional deadlift. Essentially, the hips act like a hinge and flex, while your torso leans forward and your shins stay relatively vertical—that’s the difference between a hinge and a squat. No ass-to-grass here; the hip motion is primarily back-and-forth rather than up-and-down.

As with the squat, however, the spine stays aligned and doesn’t round or extend during a deadlift. But you should feel more tension in your hamstrings than a squat, particularly at the bottom of the movement, where the bar is on the ground.

Also, make sure you perform this movement with soft or slightly bent knees. We’re not doing stiff-legged deadlifts here.

To perform a conventional deadlift, step up to the bar with a hip-width stance. Bend your knees and hips, and grab the bar with a double overhand grip to the outside of your shins.

Push your hips back and puff out your chest. Your spine should be straight with your shoulders just in front of the barbell and slightly higher than your hips.

The squat (left) is a quad-dominant exercise. The hip-hinge (right) is the major movement patter of a deadlift, in which the hips act like a hinge and flex, while your torso leans forward and your shins remain vertical.

Brace your abs and engage your lats. As with the squat, you should feel most of your balance and body weight from mid-foot to heel. With your chin slightly tucked in, stand up with the bar, keeping it close to your body.

Finish with a deliberate hip extension and glute squeeze. Don’t lean back excessively; this places unwanted stress to your lumbar spine. Now slide the bar down your thighs as you push your hips backward. Once the bar passes your knees, sit the bar back to the floor. Reset your position and prepare for the next rep.

The Road to 225

The best way to get stronger and better at a lift is to perform it more frequently throughout the week. This plan will focus on getting your high-bar back squat and conventional deadlift to 225 in a straightforward, systematic way, using three full-body workouts per week. Here, I’ll just illustrate the squat and deadlift routine; feel free to add any upper-body lifts as you see appropriate, as long as they don’t detract from the work you do here.

For the first workout, use a weight you can confidently lift for 5 sets of 5 reps, but which still feels somewhat heavy. If you’re successful at completing all reps in each set, add weight in 5-pound increments and attempt to perform all 5 sets of 5 reps the following week.

Keep moving up in this manner until you hit what feels like a limit. Don’t attempt a rep if you suspect you might not make it; just end the set. If you fail and your reps go like this: 5, 5, 4, 3, 3, use the same weight the next week, and attempt all 5 sets of 5 reps again.

Details, Details

Mixed grip or overhand? Sumo or conventional? Straps, belts, or nothing at all? Focus on learning the squat and deadlift movements first. You may find later that a mixed grip or a sumo stance is more comfortable at heavier weights.

For Wednesday’s workout, use a submaximal weight (roughly 60 percent of the weight used on Monday) and perform speed deadlifts. The execution of the deadlift is the same; however, the bar is to be lifted as fast as possible with correct form. For the jump squat, execute the squat as written above, but explode from the bottom position and jump off the ground. Land lightly and prepare for the next rep.

Last, for Friday’s workout, start with a light weight and perform 5 reps. Add a little bit of weight, and after your rest, perform another 5 reps. Keep adding weight over the next 5-6 sets to reach the maximum weight you can perform 5 reps with, which is called your 5-rep max (5RM). In week two, work up to a max set of 3 reps. In week three, work up to a max set of 1 rep.

This program can be performed month after month until you reach 225 or a different goal number in each lift. You’ll notice a deload week in the fourth week to allow your body to recover before the next phase.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

  • Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift
    3 sets of 5 reps (70% of week prior’s weight), 2 min. rest
  • Barbell Squat Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
    3 sets of 5 reps (70% of week prior’s weight), 2 min. rest
  • Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift
    3 sets of 3 reps (70% of week prior’s weight), 2 min. rest
  • Barbell Squat Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
    3 sets of 3 reps (70% of week prior’s weight), 2 min. rest

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More here: 

The Road To Two Plates: You Can Squat And Deadlift 225 Pounds!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Weight TrainingComments Off on The Road To Two Plates: You Can Squat And Deadlift 225 Pounds!


Paige Hathaway

19 hours 4 minutes ago

What's the best way to burn fat you ask?

Mixing in HIIT training or plyo metrics to your lifting routine is the absolute best way (besides getting your diet in order) to burn fat and build muscle! Instead of resting in between sets.. add this move or moves similar! This will keep your heart rate up and core engaged! #hellosummerbody

This move: INCH WORM PUSH-UP BURPEES / 8-10 reps

Example of mixing this into your circuit:
Leg extension 12-15 reps
Leg press (quad focused feet positioning) 12-15 reps (normally you would rest here) but instead..
NO REST - INCH WORM PUSH-UP BURPEES / 8-10 reps
No rest and repeat x3-4
(your rest is basically you on the leg extension)
Music 🎶 American Teen #khalid

Paige Hathaway

1 day 3 hours ago

Midday/Preworkout snack Big Slice Apples
More importantly why I like this on the go pouch, is when I am moving around from shoot to shoot, meeting to meeting and gym session to gym session, #bigslice is the perfect snack to keep me going, when I need a quick boost. 😋🍎
............... Check them out #GNC #Sprouts #Wholefoods

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