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Full-Body Training: Twinlab Militia 30-Minute Workout

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This 30-minute Fuel Team Muscle Militia workout is heavy, intense, and will totally kick your ass. It will push you to utter failure on every major body part, and I’m not talking about mental failure. I’m talking about true physical failure—the point at which you can’t perform one more rep. This level of intensity will spark your muscles to grow while torching calories throughout.

This is the only workout I do. I’ve been on it for five months and I train almost every single day. It’s my cardio and my strength work. This workout has put me in my best-ever shape. At 45 years old, that’s where I want to be.

http://www.hustlestandard.com/robbailey/

Meet the Muscle Militia

Ronnie Milo

Occupation:
Sales rep, Twinlab
Athletic Goal:
Competitive bodybuilder

“I want to be proportionate, work on my weak spots, and make sure I give 100 percent in the gym.”

Jason Wheat

Occupation:
Firefighter, Florida
Athletic Goal:
Powerlifter, coming back from pec injury

“My goal is to compete in powerlifting again.”

Chris Thompson

Occupation: VP of Sports Nutrition, Twinlab
Athletic Goal:
Ripped physique

“I just want to be as strong, hard, and lean as I can be.”

Because it’s so versatile, I know this workout can improve any body type. You’re about to watch three different Muscle Militia athletes perform it: Ronnie Milo, a competitive bodybuilder; Jason Wheat, a powerlifter; and me, a physique athlete. We’re going to hit this workout together at the same rep range with different levels of resistance to show you exactly what I mean.

Total-Body Muscle Militia Training
Watch The Video – 11:11

Battle Breakdown

For this 30-minute workout, you’ll do approximately 2 sets of each exercise. You’ll do a quick warm-up set to prepare the muscle group, and then a high-intensity set to utter failure in the 8-15 rep range. Make sure to take the second set to total failure to get the absolute best results.

You’ll start the workout by hitting smaller muscle groups first. The exercise selection may seem strange, but we do this to safely prepare the body and joints for the heavier, compound exercises that come later.

As you begin, you may think this workout is easy, but trust me, it’ll get a lot harder as you go along. Those compound lifts will hit hard!

  • Seated Leg Tucks Seated Leg Tucks Bench Tucks
    1 set to failure
  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises Calf Extension
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Note(s): Warm-up sets are important because we’re going really heavy. Get those muscles warm before you work them hard.
  • Thigh Abductor Thigh Abductor Abductor Machine
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Hyperextensions (Back Extensions) Hyperextensions (Back Extensions) Hyperextensions
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls Hamstring Curl
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions Leg Extensions
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Squat Machine Squat Machine
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Pullups Pullups Pullups
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise Dumbbell Lateral Raise
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press – Medium Grip
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure
  • Note(s): A couple of us have had significant shoulder injuries that we’re still rehabilitating, which is why we don’t perform full repetitions. If your shoulders are healthy, do full reps.
  • Dips - Triceps Version Dips - Triceps Version Weighted Dip
    1 warm-up set of 8-15 reps
    1 working set of 8-15 reps to failure

This workout is meant to challenge your cardiovascular fitness, so keep moving! I don’t have to do any additional cardio, at all. By moving through each exercise, one after another, you get 30 minutes of cardio along with that day’s resistance work.

If you have partners, make sure you’re always moving. For example, if your partner finishes a lift before you, have him or her move ahead and start the next exercise. Keep the intensity high, treat this workout like a war, and make sure you win.

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About The Author

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Full-Body Training: Twinlab Militia 30-Minute Workout

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Sports nutritionComments Off on Full-Body Training: Twinlab Militia 30-Minute Workout

callum1

Calum Von Moger’s Armed And Ready Workout

Vital Stats

I’m not interested in looking like today’s bodybuilders. I prefer the classic physiques of guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dave Draper, and Franco Columbu. They had incredible symmetry, great proportions, and amazing overall development. Those are guys I want to look like—but maybe just a little bit better.

In this workout, I’m going to hit arms with an old-school approach to help you build a set of Golden Age guns, from tall biceps peaks to dense, horseshoe triceps. We’re going to put on mass and carve out shape. Our goal isn’t just size. We’re going to build size, aesthetics, proportion, and balance.

I thrive on pushing myself to that next level—breaking past plateaus and goals I’ve set and adding on the reps. If I have it in me, I’ll keep going. You’re not going to grow if you don’t push yourself to the next level. If you want to see results, you have to kick up your training.

Integrate this workout into your program once or twice each week to keep your arms growing.

Calum von Moger’s “Armed And Ready” Workout
Watch The Video – 13:43

This workout is a simple, six-exercise breakdown: three exercises for your biceps and three exercises for your triceps. Start out with higher reps of 12-15 to warm the muscles up, and then taper your reps to the muscle-building range of 6-12 reps for 4-5 sets. Heavy weight and ample volume will ensure a killer pump.

I like to add mass with compound movements and carve with isolation exercises. Start with the compound moves—they’re the best way to work on the mass and the size of your arms—and finish with isolation exercises for detail, cuts, and that added pop.

Calum’s Pro Tips

Barbell Curl

I didn’t have a gym membership until I was 18 or 19 years old. All we had was a barbell, some weights, and some dumbbells. All I knew were barbell curls. Today, they’re still one of my favorite exercises.

I think barbell curls are a great exercise to start an arms workout because you have to employ coordination and balance. There’s no isolation and no machine to rely on, which helps you develop core and overall strength.

“I think barbell curls are a great exercise to start an arms workout because you have to employ coordination and balance.”

Preacher Curl

Concentrate on good form—elbows tight to the pad, no swinging, no momentum&Mdash;and a great stretch on the preacher curl. At the top of this isolation exercise, remember to squeeze your biceps as hard as possible for the ultimate pump.

Stay focused. Just going through the motion won’t get you the physiques of classic bodybuilding champs. Build your mind-muscle connection. Doing so will give you more control and a lasting pump you can feel.

Don’t be afraid to play around with your grip to help hit your biceps from different angles.

Concentration Curls

I like to finish my biceps with the concentration curl. It’s a great isolation exercise that will stretch your biceps and help build high peaks. I like to do them while standing for the added resistance.

When it comes to the concentration curl, contract with as much force as possible, but remember to control the eccentric (lowering) part of the movement. You never want to swing down or simply drop the dumbbell.

French Press (EZ-Bar Skullcrusher)

Keep your elbows as close to your body as possible, and keep them fixed once you get the weight up. I like to bring the bar to my forehead to get a bigger stretch out of my triceps. Explode on the way up and stay controlled on the way down.

French Press

Don’t always feel like you have to stick to a specific number of sets and reps. You may use any workout template as a guideline, but once in a while you have to break the rules and go beyond your “assigned number.” Challenge yourself and grow!

Seated Triceps Press

To really hammer the long head of your triceps, you need to get your arms over your head. Maintain control as you lower the dumbbell behind your head, go down as far as you can to get a really good stretch, and extend all the way at the top. You want the last few reps on your final set to leave you completely gassed.

Dip

Dips are a great finishing exercise. Your triceps are already fatigued, and dips give them that extra, final push. Increase the intensity as needed by increasing the rep count and limiting your rest period.

Attack as many reps as you possibly can, no matter how tired you are.

Calum’s Golden Rule

Not sure if you’re training arms hard enough? Take this test: At the end of your workout, try and touch your shoulders. If your biceps are so pumped up you can’t reach them, you’ve done your job well. If you easily get a hand on each deltoid, you need to keep pushing.

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About The Author

Check out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.

Original source:

Calum Von Moger’s Armed And Ready Workout

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Warm upComments Off on Calum Von Moger’s Armed And Ready Workout

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Your Perfect Body: Visualize, Then Actualize!

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What motivates you during a workout? Not before—not “Oh, my god, I’m so excited to go to the gym right now.” I’m talking about when you’re standing just outside of the power rack. You’re about to get under a bar stacked with 45s that could staple you to the ground in less than a second. What do you think of?

Suddenly all the rules change. That little scare your doctor gave you about what could happen if you don’t exercise isn’t enough to make it happen. It’s no match for the big scare of being crushed by hundreds of pounds if you don’t crush it first. You need something more powerful and direct to turn your flame into a raging fire.

Look at a video of pretty much any record-setting squat or bench press, and you’ll see the lifter camping out for at least 15 seconds or so, and sometimes far longer, as they prepare themselves to make this transformation. And that’s in an ideal scenario, with a crowd watching and urging them on, and a long-awaited triumph in their crosshairs.

In training it’s different. No one is watching, except for maybe a slightly nervous spotter or workout partner. It’s all on you. And if you want to make it through this set and eventually lift something even heavier, you’ll need more than just good form and a good pre-workout to make it happen.

The Image of Strength

Arnold famously saw his biceps as mountains, and pictured himself lifting tremendous amounts of weight with those “superhuman masses of muscle.” But what often gets overlooked in that anecdote is why he favored this type of image. As he told “Muscle Builder” magazine back in the day, it was all about losing himself.

“When you think of biceps as merely a muscle, you subconsciously have a limit in your mind. When you limit yourself to that, it is very hard to get there, and nearly impossible to go beyond,” Arnold said. “But when you think about a mountain there is no mental limit to biceps growth, and then you have a chance of going beyond normal mental barriers.”

If you want to make it through this set and eventually lift something even heavier, you’ll need more than just good form and a good pre-workout to make it happen.

I’ve been in this position many, many times over the course of my training career, and I’ve learned what puts me in the max-strength headspace. Mountains aren’t enough for me; I need to go animal! There are a few scenarios that I envision, but here’s a classic one.

I’m not a fan of house cats—in fact, I’m allergic to them—but I admire big cats, and especially lions. A male lion in his prime embodies strength, power, and aggression. And just as important, we’ve all seen enough images of lions in our lives to be able to recall one vividly on a moment’s notice.

When I walk toward the power rack, I see the lionesses move aside. I get under the bar, look the water buffalo straight in the eye, and then we go to war! Nine times out of 10, the pride gets fed, but sometimes that damn buffalo gores me. When that happens, I step back and tell myself I’ll get him next time. And I mean it.

Are animals not your thing? Make it more personal. Imagine a situation where everything you hold dear is on the line. Picture someone holding a gun to your head, or worse, to the head of someone you love. You don’t have a choice; you simply must pump out those extra reps in order for this nightmare to end.

After the set, picture yourself kicking the crap out of that guy. I promise you, if you let yourself go to dark places like this, you will be rewarded for your efforts.

You don’t have a choice; you simply must pump out those extra reps in order for this nightmare to end.

Get Big On the Big Screen

Intense visualization isn’t for everyone. And even the most imaginative of us need to mix things up, so we don’t get too far out there. Enter videos.

Last March, Bodybuilding.com held an NCAA-style bracket tournament of the best and most motivating training montages. It ended up being Rocky films versus Rocky films all the way through. Everyone has their favorite, but “Rocky IV” ended up with the crown.

Over the last 29 years, countless strong people have channeled these six minutes to find new levels of strength and unbridled intensity.

Rocky IV Training Montage
Watch The Video – 06:27

If you’re partial to fight imagery, like I am, something more brutal might be necessary before you head out to the weight room. I love the scene from “Immortals” where Theseus leads his army into battle and runs full speed at the enemy. This one’s good if you have a lot of reps ahead of you:

Epic Battles from Immortals
Watch The Video – 03:43

A max-strength day? The first fight scene in Troy is great before a big weight. A terrifying opponent falls, and there’s never a doubt who will prevail.

Troy: Achilles vs Boagrius
Watch The Video – 02:03

The New Classics of Motivation

Part of Rocky’s charm, of course, is that when the movie came out, he stood alone. To paraphrase an old country song, he was motivation before motivation was cool, before “fitspiration” was a thing. Today, countless online videos are made specifically to help you—or at least the person in the video—train harder.

Looking for an extra inch on your arms? Then command your biceps to grow like YouTube sensation CT Fletcher does.

I Command you to Grow!
Watch The Video – 07:19

Had it up to here with haters? Then dedicate your workout to them, like Kali Muscle does. If it can help a man move 275 pounds with just his arms, it must be powerful stuff!

Kali Muscle 275-lb. Barbell Curls
Watch The Video – 01:17

Everyone has their own trigger; the trick is finding it. What makes a heavy weight turn into a light one for you? Is it a classic like “Pumping Iron,” one of Ronnie Coleman’s old school videos, or are you “Driven Beyond Strength” with DeFranco?

Are you one of those rare ones who can get motivated by something as simple as a big number or the goal of looking swole for an upcoming event? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author

John Paul Catanzaro is one of Canada’s leading health and fitness authorities. He is a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist.

Taken from:

Your Perfect Body: Visualize, Then Actualize!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on Your Perfect Body: Visualize, Then Actualize!

Creative exercises to do at your desk

Creative exercises to do at your desk Get moving with these creative desk moves by WH&F trainer Nichelle Laus before the sedentary fallouts kick in.BICEPS CURL – grab a paperweight, a small, filled water bottle, a stapler, or your handbag handle in your hand. While seated or standing, take the object in one hand with your palm facing upwards. Starting with your arms straight at your side, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards your chest, hold, then lower back down. Repeat.CHEST CHAIR PUSH-UP
 – get into a push-up position and place hands on edge of sturdy chair, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

Originally posted here – 

Creative exercises to do at your desk

Posted in BodybuildingComments Off on Creative exercises to do at your desk

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Jamie Eason's Simple Sweet And Sour Chicken

This sweet and sour chicken recipe is the best! It’s simple, delicious, and works in any fit kitchen. Even better: this recipe makes enough food to feed about four people. Now you can wow your friends or parents when they come for dinner.

Serve this delicious protein with some pre-cooked vegetables and brown rice to make it a complete meal.

Jamie Eason’s Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Watch The Video – 03:05

  • Kitchen shears
  • Large bowl
  • Medium sauce pan
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • 1 small bowl to add the arrowroot slowly
  • Large spoon
  • Plate for presentation
  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Season the chicken with the garlic salt and pepper, turning to coat.
  3. Cook the chicken over medium/high heat until done (no pink centers).
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together chicken broth, vinegar, sweetener, soy sauce, and ketchup in a medium sauce pan.
  5. Bring sauce to a boil and then turn to low heat. Add the arrowroot a little at a time, whisking briskly.
  6. Let the sauce set up by continuing to stir for about two minutes.
  7. Pour sauce over cooked chicken and serve with brown rice and vegetables.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: Makes 4 servings

Amount per serving

Calories 186

Total Fat5g

Total Carbs1g

Protein33g

Recipe Notes

  1. Make sure to cut and prep your chicken before you start adding the spices. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, remove any excess fat, and wash if needed.

  2. Coat the chicken evenly to share the spices all over the meat. While the chicken cooks, you can start your sauce. The timing should be about perfect.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe PDF (29.8 KB)

*Arrowroot is a white powder in the spice section of your grocery store. For this recipe, we use it to thicken your sweet and sour sauce. It’s more digestible and friendly on your tummy than corn starch. You can use it for gravy or pudding. I’ve never had any issues with it. Years ago, arrowroot was used to wean babies off of breast milk. Add it to your mixture a little at a time and stir well.

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Originally posted here:  

Jamie Eason's Simple Sweet And Sour Chicken

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on Jamie Eason's Simple Sweet And Sour Chicken

<div id="DPG" webReader="136.602339181"><h5 class="c8"><a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-main-overview.html">Main</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-clean-slate.html">Clean Slate</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-training-overview.html">Training</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-nutrition-overview.html">Nutrition</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-supplements-overview.html">Supplements</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-day-1.html">Get Started</a></h5><h6 class="c9">The Thinker | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-feeler-overview.html">The Feeler</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-socializer-overview.html">The Socializer</a> | <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-provider-overview.html">The Provider</a></h6><p>You've taken the <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/rewired-fitness-personality-test.html">Rewired fitness personality test</a> and found that your predominant personality type is the Thinker. Congratulations! This is the first step toward a new you.</p><p>As a Thinker, you face specific challenges that may cause you to lose track of your fitness goals. I'm here to help you learn how to overcome these challenges and put the best parts of your personality to work for you.</p><p>I don't want to change who you are. I want help you embrace who you are so you can make calculated and informed changes. Armed with the knowledge about your personality type below, you'll be able to identify and overcome common hurdles.</p><p>You'll be able to reset, rebuild, and rewire your fitness life.</p><h4>The Thinker<br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 12:21</span></h4><h3 class="article-title">Potential Obstacles</h3><p>Once you can determine which issues keep you from achieving your fitness goals, you can learn how to conquer them. Here are some of the biggest obstacles Thinkers have to overcome:</p><p><a href="%20http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/docs/2014/2014_personality_quiz-thinker.pdf"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/james-grages-rewired_thinker_banner.jpg"/></a></p><h4>Over-analysis</h4><p>It may sound obvious, but Thinkers like to think. This is generally a positive trait, but sometimes that quality can get in the way of consistent progress.</p><p>Thinkers often get caught up in the details, they over-plan, overthink, and wind up more concerned about the hows and the whys of their program than actually doing it. We call this paralysis by over-analysis.</p><h4>Inflexible Perfectionism</h4><p>Thinkers are usually perfectionists. Although that's a great personality trait to have, it can lead to some fitness-related problems. One of the common pitfalls for the Thinker is that if anything unexpected comes up, like an unplanned event or program change, it can completely derail progress.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/rewired-thinker-graphics-1b.jpg" width="560" height="302"/><p>"In a lot of ways I'm a perfectionist. I don't like to start something unless I know that I can put in the effort to be the best I can at it." – Nick Dotson, 40% Thinker</p><p>If fitness plans aren't going exactly as they should, some Thinkers quit completely until they're sure they can give their full attention.</p><h4>Logical Excuses</h4><p>The Thinker can have an amazing talent for turning reasons into logical-sounding excuses. By doing this, they're not only able to convince themselves to drop a program or skip a workout, but they're also able to convince the people around them. And when the people around you buy your excuses, it makes cashing reality checks a difficult endeavor. We rely on other people to give us feedback. If we don't get it, how do we make changes?</p><h4>Program Jumping</h4><p>Another common challenge Thinkers might encounter is the desire to make changes to their training program. Maybe you read something that looks like it would be better or more effective, or maybe you like to customize your programs to find shortcuts or easier ways to success. Whatever the reason for doing it, Thinkers often quit partway through a program to start something else.</p><p>Program-hopping doesn't work. You have to consistently train your weakness until they become strengths, rather than continually rotating programs. Unless you're consistent with your training and nutrition, you'll never see the results you want.</p><h3 class="article-title">Breaking Habits</h3><p>Now that we've identified some of your potential pitfalls, here are some of the ways you can transform them into positive behaviors.</p><h4>Stop Thinking, Start Doing</h4><p>Sometimes, you just have to stop planning and start doing. It's great that you're thorough and detail-oriented. Those qualities will help you in your fitness journey. But if you are unable to get past the planning stages and walk into an actual gym, your transformation will never get off the ground.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/rewired-thinker-graphics-2b.jpg" width="560" height="314"/><p>"I do think a lot and try to plan stuff out, but if something doesn't quite fit within that plan, I make excuses to maybe plan it out for another day. And then I won't get the results that I probably should have." – Levi Bettwieser, 30% Thinker</p><p>So, put down your pencil and follow the full Rewired 9-Week Trainer. We've done all the "thinking" for you—you just need to act! Don't get hung up on minute details or fret over tiny variables, which can lead to paralysis. Grab your plan and get lifting.</p><h4>Be Patient</h4><p>Thinkers need to be patient when it comes to results. It doesn't matter which plan that you follow, it's how well you follow the plan. The same is true for nutrition. Resist the temptation to stop in the middle to try to find something that's going to work better or faster—because it probably won't. Patience and consistency are the keys to long-term progress.</p><p>It's also important to <em>track</em> your progress. It's easy to get discouraged if you're not seeing results, but if you have some hard data you can go back and analyze, you'll be able to see how you improve! If you're not already, start tracking your workouts, taking progress pictures, and consistently recording your measurements.</p><h4>Don't Sweat The Small Stuff</h4><p>If something isn't going to plan, don't let it ruin your entire day or your entire transformation. Little things pop up all the time. It's just going to happen. When you feel stressed about them, take a step back and think about the bigger picture. Why did you start in the first place? Will you still be able to make progress if you have to cut your workout a little short?</p><p>You should have a plan, but you also must allow for some flexibility in that plan. Don't let hiccups get in the way of your goal.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/rewired-thinker-graphics-3b.jpg" width="560" height="387" class="c12"/><p>If something isn't going to plan, don't let it ruin your entire day or your entire transformation.</p><h3 class="article-title">The Next Step</h3><p>Before jumping into the program, I'd like to encourage you to take some time to reflect. You should also watch some of the other fitness personality videos because we all have a little of each personality type.</p><p>The more you know about yourself, your potential challenges, and how to use your personality traits to your advantage, the more successful you'll be.</p><p>After you view the personality videos, watch the Clean Slate video. In it, you'll learn the tools and tips to help you achieve your goals.</p><h3 class="article-title">Exclusive Rewired Stacks</h3><p>Get incredible results with these hand-picked supplement combos!</p><div class="static-top-3-widget"><div class="static-top-3-section-left" webReader="3.85981308411"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-foundation-stack.html"><img src="http://store.bbcomcdn.com/images/store/prodimage/prod_prod2140018/image_prodprod2140018_largeImage_X_130_white.jpg"/></a><div class="static-top-3-section-box" webReader="4.96261682243"><p><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-foundation-stack.html">BPI Sports Rewired Foundation Stack</a></strong></p><p>Train hard and recover like a pro with these essentials!*</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-foundation-stack.html" class="bbButton primaryAction">View Products</a></div></div><div class="static-top-3-section-middle" webReader="3.65765765766"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-muscle-building-stack.html"><img src="http://store.bbcomcdn.com/images/store/prodimage/prod_prod2140016/image_prodprod2140016_largeImage_X_130_white.jpg"/></a><div class="static-top-3-section-box" webReader="4.7027027027"><p><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-muscle-building-stack.html">BPI Sports Rewired<br />Muscle Building Stack</a></strong></p><p>Build maximum muscle with this power-packed supp combo.*</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-muscle-building-stack.html" class="bbButton primaryAction">View Products</a></div></div><div class="static-top-3-section-right" webReader="-13.5535714286"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-fat-loss-stack.html"><img src="http://store.bbcomcdn.com/images/store/prodimage/prod_prod2140014/image_prodprod2140014_largeImage_X_130_white.jpg"/></a><div class="static-top-3-section-box" webReader="5.30357142857"><p><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-fat-loss-stack.html">BPI Sports Rewired<br />Fat Loss Stack</a></strong></p><p>Burn fat and support muscle maintenance with this killer stack!*</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpi-sports/rewired-fat-loss-stack.html" class="bbButton primaryAction">View Products</a></div></div></div><br /><h5 class="c8"><a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-main-overview.html">Main</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-clean-slate.html">Clean Slate</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-training-overview.html">Training</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-nutrition-overview.html">Nutrition</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-supplements-overview.html">Supplements</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-day-1.html">Get Started</a></h5><h6 class="c9">The Thinker | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-feeler-overview.html">The Feeler</a> | <a href="james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-socializer-overview.html">The Socializer</a> | <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/james-grage-rewired-9-week-fitness-trainer-provider-overview.html">The Provider</a></h6><br /><br /><h4>Recommended For You</h4><div class="c15" webReader="4.79941860465"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-ways-to-maximize-your-post-workout-recovery.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/8-ways-to-maximize-your-post-workout-recovery-small.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c14" webReader="5.90697674419"><h4 class="c13"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-ways-to-maximize-your-post-workout-recovery.html">8 Ways To Maximize Your Post-Workout Recovery</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Think you get results from working yourself to death in the gym? It's time to focus your efforts on what you do outside of it.</p></div></div><div class="c17" webReader="4.70351758794"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/strong-arm-tactic-james-grage-superset-arms-workout.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/strong-arm-tactic_bpi-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c16" webReader="5.78894472362"><h4 class="c13"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/strong-arm-tactic-james-grage-superset-arms-workout.html">Strong-Arm Tactics: James Grage's Superset Arms Workout</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Strong arms aren't built with fancy techniques. They're built with hard work and intense training. Try this video workout and see for yourself!</p></div></div><div class="c17" webReader="6.41935483871"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fitness-360-james-grage-define-your-own-destiny.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/fit-360-james-grage-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c16" webReader="8.82661290323"><h4 class="c13"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fitness-360-james-grage-define-your-own-destiny.html">Fitness 360: James Grage, Define Your Own Destiny</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
He asked for a Jack LaLanne weight set at age 15, stepped on stage at 25, and built himself back up after a devastating car accident that very same year. At age 39, James Grage refuses to slow down.</p></div></div><br class="c18"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="40.8497652582"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.67484662577"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/james-grage.html">James Grage</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/james-grage.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">James Grage is the Co-Founder and Vice President of BPI Sports. He started training at age 15 and built an impressive body for sports.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/james-grage.html"><img src="images/2014/writer-james-grage-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/james-grage.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
</ul></div></div></div>

James Grage's Rewired 9-Week Fitness Trainer – Thinker Overview

Main | Clean Slate | Training | Nutrition | Supplements | Get Started
The Thinker | The Feeler | The Socializer | The Provider

You’ve taken the Rewired fitness personality test and found that your predominant personality type is the Thinker. Congratulations! This is the first step toward a new you.

As a Thinker, you face specific challenges that may cause you to lose track of your fitness goals. I’m here to help you learn how to overcome these challenges and put the best parts of your personality to work for you.

I don’t want to change who you are. I want help you embrace who you are so you can make calculated and informed changes. Armed with the knowledge about your personality type below, you’ll be able to identify and overcome common hurdles.

You’ll be able to reset, rebuild, and rewire your fitness life.

The Thinker
Watch The Video – 12:21

Potential Obstacles

Once you can determine which issues keep you from achieving your fitness goals, you can learn how to conquer them. Here are some of the biggest obstacles Thinkers have to overcome:

Over-analysis

It may sound obvious, but Thinkers like to think. This is generally a positive trait, but sometimes that quality can get in the way of consistent progress.

Thinkers often get caught up in the details, they over-plan, overthink, and wind up more concerned about the hows and the whys of their program than actually doing it. We call this paralysis by over-analysis.

Inflexible Perfectionism

Thinkers are usually perfectionists. Although that’s a great personality trait to have, it can lead to some fitness-related problems. One of the common pitfalls for the Thinker is that if anything unexpected comes up, like an unplanned event or program change, it can completely derail progress.

“In a lot of ways I’m a perfectionist. I don’t like to start something unless I know that I can put in the effort to be the best I can at it.” – Nick Dotson, 40% Thinker

If fitness plans aren’t going exactly as they should, some Thinkers quit completely until they’re sure they can give their full attention.

Logical Excuses

The Thinker can have an amazing talent for turning reasons into logical-sounding excuses. By doing this, they’re not only able to convince themselves to drop a program or skip a workout, but they’re also able to convince the people around them. And when the people around you buy your excuses, it makes cashing reality checks a difficult endeavor. We rely on other people to give us feedback. If we don’t get it, how do we make changes?

Program Jumping

Another common challenge Thinkers might encounter is the desire to make changes to their training program. Maybe you read something that looks like it would be better or more effective, or maybe you like to customize your programs to find shortcuts or easier ways to success. Whatever the reason for doing it, Thinkers often quit partway through a program to start something else.

Program-hopping doesn’t work. You have to consistently train your weakness until they become strengths, rather than continually rotating programs. Unless you’re consistent with your training and nutrition, you’ll never see the results you want.

Breaking Habits

Now that we’ve identified some of your potential pitfalls, here are some of the ways you can transform them into positive behaviors.

Stop Thinking, Start Doing

Sometimes, you just have to stop planning and start doing. It’s great that you’re thorough and detail-oriented. Those qualities will help you in your fitness journey. But if you are unable to get past the planning stages and walk into an actual gym, your transformation will never get off the ground.

“I do think a lot and try to plan stuff out, but if something doesn’t quite fit within that plan, I make excuses to maybe plan it out for another day. And then I won’t get the results that I probably should have.” – Levi Bettwieser, 30% Thinker

So, put down your pencil and follow the full Rewired 9-Week Trainer. We’ve done all the “thinking” for you—you just need to act! Don’t get hung up on minute details or fret over tiny variables, which can lead to paralysis. Grab your plan and get lifting.

Be Patient

Thinkers need to be patient when it comes to results. It doesn’t matter which plan that you follow, it’s how well you follow the plan. The same is true for nutrition. Resist the temptation to stop in the middle to try to find something that’s going to work better or faster—because it probably won’t. Patience and consistency are the keys to long-term progress.

It’s also important to track your progress. It’s easy to get discouraged if you’re not seeing results, but if you have some hard data you can go back and analyze, you’ll be able to see how you improve! If you’re not already, start tracking your workouts, taking progress pictures, and consistently recording your measurements.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

If something isn’t going to plan, don’t let it ruin your entire day or your entire transformation. Little things pop up all the time. It’s just going to happen. When you feel stressed about them, take a step back and think about the bigger picture. Why did you start in the first place? Will you still be able to make progress if you have to cut your workout a little short?

You should have a plan, but you also must allow for some flexibility in that plan. Don’t let hiccups get in the way of your goal.

If something isn’t going to plan, don’t let it ruin your entire day or your entire transformation.

The Next Step

Before jumping into the program, I’d like to encourage you to take some time to reflect. You should also watch some of the other fitness personality videos because we all have a little of each personality type.

The more you know about yourself, your potential challenges, and how to use your personality traits to your advantage, the more successful you’ll be.

After you view the personality videos, watch the Clean Slate video. In it, you’ll learn the tools and tips to help you achieve your goals.

Exclusive Rewired Stacks

Get incredible results with these hand-picked supplement combos!

BPI Sports Rewired Foundation Stack

Train hard and recover like a pro with these essentials!*

View Products

BPI Sports Rewired
Muscle Building Stack

Build maximum muscle with this power-packed supp combo.*

View Products

BPI Sports Rewired
Fat Loss Stack

Burn fat and support muscle maintenance with this killer stack!*

View Products

Main | Clean Slate | Training | Nutrition | Supplements | Get Started
The Thinker | The Feeler | The Socializer | The Provider

Recommended For You

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Strong-Arm Tactics: James Grage’s Superset Arms Workout

Strong arms aren’t built with fancy techniques. They’re built with hard work and intense training. Try this video workout and see for yourself!

Fitness 360: James Grage, Define Your Own Destiny

He asked for a Jack LaLanne weight set at age 15, stepped on stage at 25, and built himself back up after a devastating car accident that very same year. At age 39, James Grage refuses to slow down.


About The Author

James Grage is the Co-Founder and Vice President of BPI Sports. He started training at age 15 and built an impressive body for sports.

View article:

James Grage's Rewired 9-Week Fitness Trainer – Thinker Overview

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Training Methods, UncategorizedComments Off on James Grage's Rewired 9-Week Fitness Trainer – Thinker Overview

<div id="DPG" webReader="145.138829863"><p><strong>Warning:</strong> Foul language, extreme intensity, and heavy-ass weights ahead!</p><p>If you've bravely chosen to ignore the warning above, then prepare yourself for an arms growth formula so sinister that it will command your biceps and triceps to grow. In this arms training video, CT Fletcher, the "Superman from Compton" himself, will show you how to carve your arms with blood and sweat into thick slabs of granite.</p><p>Fletcher knows what it takes to transform. Rising from the ruthless streets of Compton, he underwent open-heart surgery in 2005, took the following years to recuperate, and has since adopted a no-nonsense, "fuck average" approach to his training. Age is not a factor. He doesn't let a mere number tell him what he can or cannot do. On the contrary, this sidewalk-cracking monster wills iron to bend to <em>him</em>.</p><p>One thing's for sure: You won't get arms like CT's by pussyfooting around. His gargantuan arms are the direct result of relentless training and enough cursing to make a sailor blush. Armed Warfare is an exercise in both mental and physical fortitude. Pain is a permanent resident in CT's land of iron. He recognizes that this workout is going to hurt, but rather than let that bother him, he makes pain submit and yells, "Fuck you, pain!"</p><h3 class="article-title">Armed Warfare<br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 17:33</span></h3><h3 class="article-title">Ready for War</h3><p>CT Fletcher's training style involves an eclectic mix of "drill sergeant, preacher, and raving lunatic." From the concrete jungle that is Metroflex Long Beach, he's going to put your biceps and triceps through the wringer with nine excruciating exercises. Find a buddy to work out with because, frankly, you'll need a shoulder to cry on.</p><p>Every exercise in this workout is designed to make your muscles shriek as you push them beyond failure and rapidly build agony. You'll earn no planned relief from this anguish. CT laughs at the idea of neatly structured workouts and repetition schemes.</p><p>How many reps? "You do it until you can't fuckin' do no more," CT says. With the exception of a couple specific exercises, you will do every exercise to total failure.</p><p>And rest? "Fuck being so strict!" shouts CT. Your rest period lasts only as long as it takes your workout partner to finish his set.</p><p>Are you ready for Armed Warfare? Follow CT's command and "act like it then!"</p><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="c10">
<h6>Warm-Up</h6>
</li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('triceps-pushdown')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/343/Male/t/343_1.jpg" alt="Triceps Pushdown" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('triceps-pushdown')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/343/Male/t/343_2.jpg" alt="Triceps Pushdown" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('triceps-pushdown')">Triceps Pushdown</a></strong><br />10 sets of 10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('standing-biceps-cable-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/131/Male/t/131_1.jpg" alt="Standing Biceps Cable Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('standing-biceps-cable-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/131/Male/t/131_2.jpg" alt="Standing Biceps Cable Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('standing-biceps-cable-curl')">Standing Biceps Cable Curl</a></strong><br />10 sets of 10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-preacher-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/255/Male/t/255_1.jpg" alt="One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-preacher-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/255/Male/t/255_2.jpg" alt="One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-preacher-curl')">One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl</a></strong><br />2 sets to failure</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('seated-triceps-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/341/Male/t/341_1.jpg" alt="French Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('seated-triceps-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/341/Male/t/341_2.jpg" alt="French Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('seated-triceps-press')">French Curl</a></strong><br />4 sets to failure</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('incline-inner-biceps-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/338/Male/t/338_1.jpg" alt="T-Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('incline-inner-biceps-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/338/Male/t/338_2.jpg" alt="T-Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('incline-inner-biceps-curl')">T-Curl</a></strong><br />2 sets to failure</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="http://videos.bodybuilding.com/watch/113571"><img src="images/2014/2-position-db-kickback-1.jpg" alt="2-Position Dumbbell Kickback" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="http://videos.bodybuilding.com/watch/113571"><img src="images/2014/2-position-db-kickback-2.jpg" alt="2-Position Dumbbell Kickback" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://videos.bodybuilding.com/watch/113571">2-Position Dumbbell Kickback</a></strong><br />2 sets of 40 reps (per arm)</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('chin-up')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/129/Male/t/129_1.jpg" alt="Chin-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('chin-up')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/129/Male/t/129_2.jpg" alt="Chin-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('chin-up')">3-Position Chin-Up</a></strong><br />1 set of 30 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="http://videos.bodybuilding.com/watch/113571"><img src="images/2014/under-bar-triceps-extension-1.jpg" alt="Under-bar Triceps Extension" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="http://videos.bodybuilding.com/watch/113571"><img src="images/2014/under-bar-triceps-extension-2.jpg" alt="Under-bar Triceps Extension" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://videos.bodybuilding.com/watch/113571">Under-bar Triceps Extension</a></strong><br />2 sets to failure</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="http://videos.bodybuilding.com/watch/113571"><img src="images/2014/triceps-gauntlet_111.jpg" alt="Triceps Gauntlet" width="111" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong>Triceps Gauntlet</strong><br />1 pyramid set for 200 reps</span></li>
</ul></div><h3 class="article-title">CT's Personal Tips</h3><br /><h4>Warm-Up: Triceps Cable Pull-down/ Biceps Cable Curl</h4><br /><img src="images/2014/ct-fletchers-arms-warfare-workout_graphics_musclepharm-tri-bi-cable.jpg" width="560" height="329" border="0" class="c19"/><h6 class="altH6 c20">Triceps Cable Pull-down/ Biceps Cable Curl</h6><p>By the time you crank out this 200-rep warm-up, your arms will be pumped and primed to begin the "real" workout. The person performing the warm-up exercises will bust out triceps extensions and biceps curls like they're going out of style in 10-rep increments, while his training buddy will change the weight on every set to whatever he damn well feels like.</p><p>CT's logic is that people tend to go easy on themselves, but if someone else is choosing the weight, they won't show any mercy.</p><h4>Single-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl</h4><br /><img src="images/2014/ct-fletchers-arms-warfare-workout_graphics_musclepharm-db-preacher-curl.jpg" width="560" height="360" border="0" class="c19"/><h6 class="altH6 c20">Single-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl</h6><p>The preacher curl allows you to really isolate the biceps. For an extra kick in the pants, consider mixing it up <em>during</em> the set by slowing down the tempo or even incorporating rest-pause reps, in which you might take a 5-10 second rest and then continue to knock out a few more reps. True to CT's rep philosophy, you just do as many as you possibly can.</p><h4>French Curl</h4><img src="images/2014/ct-fletchers-arms-warfare-workout_graphics_musclepharm-french-curl.jpg" width="560" height="395" border="0" class="c19"/><h6 class="altH6 c20">French Curl</h6><p>As CT notes, the French curl doesn't necessarily feel French or like a curl, but that doesn't mean it's not going to kick your ass. Grip one heavy dumbbell behind your head using both of your hands. Lower the weight behind you, until your forearm is parallel to the floor, and then heave it up using the meaty muscles of your triceps.</p><h4>T-Curl</h4><img src="images/2014/ct-fletchers-arms-warfare-workout_graphics_musclepharm-tcurl.jpg" width="560" height="352" border="0" class="c19"/><h6 class="altH6 c20">T-Curl</h6><p>This money exercise rolls hammer and dumbbell curls into one devious, arms-pummeling movement. Your arms start out to the side, forming a T-pattern. Don't get too cocky with the weight.</p><p>Keep the movement and dumbbells in a T-position as you perform each rep. If you start to feel uncomfortable, you're doing it right. If you're comfortable, you ain't growing!</p><h4>2-Position Dumbbell Kickback</h4><img src="images/2014/ct-fletchers-arms-warfare-workout_graphics_musclepharm-db-kickback.jpg" width="560" height="375" border="0" class="c19"/><h6 class="altH6 c20">Dumbbell Kickback</h6><p>Oh, hey, there's a finite number of reps in this exercise? Soon you may discover that you'd much rather stop at failure, because 40 reps per set, <em>per arm</em>, could very well sound the death knell for your triceps.</p><p>The first position is a cross-body kickback. Once you knock out 20 reps, forget about resting for a quick prayer and dive straight into a single-arm skull-crusher, hitting the remaining 20 reps before you switch arms.</p><p>CT's major tip for emphasizing those "back arm" muscles is to keep the working elbow pointed toward the wall behind you.</p><h4>3-Position Chin-Up</h4><br /><img src="images/2014/ct-fletchers-arms-warfare-workout_graphics_musclepharm-chinup.jpg" width="560" height="378" border="0" class="c19"/><h6 class="altH6 c20">Chin-up</h6><p>Perform a chin-up in three positions: wide grip, normal grip, and close grip. Make sure your palms face toward you to emphasize the biceps. Perform 10 reps for each position, totaling 30 reps.</p><p>One set will be enough to make you wish someone would just sever your arms and knock you unconscious with them.</p><h4>Under-bar Triceps Extension</h4><br /><img src="images/2014/ct-fletchers-arms-warfare-workout_graphics_musclepharm-underbar-triceps-extension.jpg" width="560" height="343" border="0" class="c19"/><h6 class="altH6 c20">Under-bar Triceps Extension</h6><p>If the workout hasn't dropped you yet, CT promises that this exercise will—to put it plainly—"fuck your triceps up." Using bodyweight only, lean in and dip your head under a fixed barbell.</p><p>Make sure your head actually goes <em>under</em> the bar to target the triceps properly. CT suggests narrowing your grip for an extra challenge.</p><h4>Triceps Gauntlet</h4><br /><img src="images/2014/ct-fletchers-arms-warfare-workout_graphics_musclepharm-gauntlet.jpg" width="560" height="344" border="0" class="c19"/><h6 class="altH6 c20">Triceps Gauntlet</h6><p>Congratulations for making it this far, brave soul! The Armed Warfare grand finale is a gauntlet that will crush what little spirit remains within you. It involves five pairs of dumbbells that incrementally go up in weight.</p><p>As you lay down, your partner will start you off with the heaviest dumbbell. Knock out 20 reps of skull-crushers and keep going down the line until you crank out 100 reps total. You can touch the weights to the ground—not to rest the weight, but to make sure they go back far enough.</p><p>Before you call it quits, reward yourself with an additional 100 reps in the reverse order: from lightest to heaviest. That's 200 total reps and the completion of one soul-crushing, brutal set.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/musclepharm/musclepharm.htm" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/musclepharm-page-banner2.jpg" width="560" height="144" class="c21"/></a><h4>Recommended For You</h4><div class="c24" webReader="5.22335025381"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/workout-music-volume-10-ct-fletcher-training-tunes.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/workout-music-8-ct-fletcher-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c23" webReader="6.71573604061"><h4 class="c22"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/workout-music-volume-10-ct-fletcher-training-tunes.html">Workout Music Vol. X: CT Fletcher's Training Tunes</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
CT Fletcher is one of the biggest, baddest trainers in America. We caught up with this beast to hear the sweet sounds he listens to when he lifts.</p></div></div><div class="c26" webReader="5.88965517241"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/leg-training-8-unique-quad-exercises.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/8-unique-quad-exercises-small.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c25" webReader="7.5724137931"><h4 class="c22"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/leg-training-8-unique-quad-exercises.html">8 Unique Quad Exercises</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Here are eight unique, effective quad exercises that are sure to add serious size and shape to your legs. Try them today!</p></div></div><div class="c24" webReader="5.84810126582"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/arms-exercises-8-amazing-triceps-moves.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/8-amazing-triceps-moves-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c23" webReader="7.51898734177"><h4 class="c22"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/arms-exercises-8-amazing-triceps-moves.html">Arms Exercises: 8 Amazing Triceps Moves</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
If your triceps aren't growing like you want them to, it's time to throw in some new moves. Here are eight of my favorite triceps exercises. Add them to your workout and watch your horseshoes grow!</p></div></div><br class="c27"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="38.9844559585"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="7.17482517483"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stephanie-lee.html">Stephanie Lee</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stephanie-lee.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Stephanie hails from California and has a degree in clinical nutrition from the University of California, Davis.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stephanie-lee.html"><img src="images/2014/writer-stephanie-lee-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/stephanie-lee.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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Armed Warfare: CT Fletcher's Arms Workout

Warning: Foul language, extreme intensity, and heavy-ass weights ahead!

If you’ve bravely chosen to ignore the warning above, then prepare yourself for an arms growth formula so sinister that it will command your biceps and triceps to grow. In this arms training video, CT Fletcher, the “Superman from Compton” himself, will show you how to carve your arms with blood and sweat into thick slabs of granite.

Fletcher knows what it takes to transform. Rising from the ruthless streets of Compton, he underwent open-heart surgery in 2005, took the following years to recuperate, and has since adopted a no-nonsense, “fuck average” approach to his training. Age is not a factor. He doesn’t let a mere number tell him what he can or cannot do. On the contrary, this sidewalk-cracking monster wills iron to bend to him.

One thing’s for sure: You won’t get arms like CT’s by pussyfooting around. His gargantuan arms are the direct result of relentless training and enough cursing to make a sailor blush. Armed Warfare is an exercise in both mental and physical fortitude. Pain is a permanent resident in CT’s land of iron. He recognizes that this workout is going to hurt, but rather than let that bother him, he makes pain submit and yells, “Fuck you, pain!”

Armed Warfare
Watch The Video – 17:33

Ready for War

CT Fletcher’s training style involves an eclectic mix of “drill sergeant, preacher, and raving lunatic.” From the concrete jungle that is Metroflex Long Beach, he’s going to put your biceps and triceps through the wringer with nine excruciating exercises. Find a buddy to work out with because, frankly, you’ll need a shoulder to cry on.

Every exercise in this workout is designed to make your muscles shriek as you push them beyond failure and rapidly build agony. You’ll earn no planned relief from this anguish. CT laughs at the idea of neatly structured workouts and repetition schemes.

How many reps? “You do it until you can’t fuckin’ do no more,” CT says. With the exception of a couple specific exercises, you will do every exercise to total failure.

And rest? “Fuck being so strict!” shouts CT. Your rest period lasts only as long as it takes your workout partner to finish his set.

Are you ready for Armed Warfare? Follow CT’s command and “act like it then!”

CT’s Personal Tips

Warm-Up: Triceps Cable Pull-down/ Biceps Cable Curl

Triceps Cable Pull-down/ Biceps Cable Curl

By the time you crank out this 200-rep warm-up, your arms will be pumped and primed to begin the “real” workout. The person performing the warm-up exercises will bust out triceps extensions and biceps curls like they’re going out of style in 10-rep increments, while his training buddy will change the weight on every set to whatever he damn well feels like.

CT’s logic is that people tend to go easy on themselves, but if someone else is choosing the weight, they won’t show any mercy.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Single-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

The preacher curl allows you to really isolate the biceps. For an extra kick in the pants, consider mixing it up during the set by slowing down the tempo or even incorporating rest-pause reps, in which you might take a 5-10 second rest and then continue to knock out a few more reps. True to CT’s rep philosophy, you just do as many as you possibly can.

French Curl

French Curl

As CT notes, the French curl doesn’t necessarily feel French or like a curl, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to kick your ass. Grip one heavy dumbbell behind your head using both of your hands. Lower the weight behind you, until your forearm is parallel to the floor, and then heave it up using the meaty muscles of your triceps.

T-Curl

T-Curl

This money exercise rolls hammer and dumbbell curls into one devious, arms-pummeling movement. Your arms start out to the side, forming a T-pattern. Don’t get too cocky with the weight.

Keep the movement and dumbbells in a T-position as you perform each rep. If you start to feel uncomfortable, you’re doing it right. If you’re comfortable, you ain’t growing!

2-Position Dumbbell Kickback

Dumbbell Kickback

Oh, hey, there’s a finite number of reps in this exercise? Soon you may discover that you’d much rather stop at failure, because 40 reps per set, per arm, could very well sound the death knell for your triceps.

The first position is a cross-body kickback. Once you knock out 20 reps, forget about resting for a quick prayer and dive straight into a single-arm skull-crusher, hitting the remaining 20 reps before you switch arms.

CT’s major tip for emphasizing those “back arm” muscles is to keep the working elbow pointed toward the wall behind you.

3-Position Chin-Up

Chin-up

Perform a chin-up in three positions: wide grip, normal grip, and close grip. Make sure your palms face toward you to emphasize the biceps. Perform 10 reps for each position, totaling 30 reps.

One set will be enough to make you wish someone would just sever your arms and knock you unconscious with them.

Under-bar Triceps Extension

Under-bar Triceps Extension

If the workout hasn’t dropped you yet, CT promises that this exercise will—to put it plainly—”fuck your triceps up.” Using bodyweight only, lean in and dip your head under a fixed barbell.

Make sure your head actually goes under the bar to target the triceps properly. CT suggests narrowing your grip for an extra challenge.

Triceps Gauntlet

Triceps Gauntlet

Congratulations for making it this far, brave soul! The Armed Warfare grand finale is a gauntlet that will crush what little spirit remains within you. It involves five pairs of dumbbells that incrementally go up in weight.

As you lay down, your partner will start you off with the heaviest dumbbell. Knock out 20 reps of skull-crushers and keep going down the line until you crank out 100 reps total. You can touch the weights to the ground—not to rest the weight, but to make sure they go back far enough.

Before you call it quits, reward yourself with an additional 100 reps in the reverse order: from lightest to heaviest. That’s 200 total reps and the completion of one soul-crushing, brutal set.

Recommended For You

Workout Music Vol. X: CT Fletcher’s Training Tunes

CT Fletcher is one of the biggest, baddest trainers in America. We caught up with this beast to hear the sweet sounds he listens to when he lifts.

8 Unique Quad Exercises

Here are eight unique, effective quad exercises that are sure to add serious size and shape to your legs. Try them today!

Arms Exercises: 8 Amazing Triceps Moves

If your triceps aren’t growing like you want them to, it’s time to throw in some new moves. Here are eight of my favorite triceps exercises. Add them to your workout and watch your horseshoes grow!


About The Author

Stephanie hails from California and has a degree in clinical nutrition from the University of California, Davis.

This article – 

Armed Warfare: CT Fletcher's Arms Workout

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Warm upComments Off on Armed Warfare: CT Fletcher's Arms Workout

Jogging-Treadmill

James Grage's Rewired 9-Week Fitness Trainer – Day 1, Arms

Main | Next

You’re probably eager to dive into the first day of training—especially because it’s an arms day—but don’t rush it today. Rewired is a mental trainer first and foremost, and to receive its full benefits, you need to be in the right head space.

Have you taken the personality test and watched the videos for the Thinker, Feeler, Provider and Socializer personality types? Have you signed up for the weekly emails from James Grage? Each week, he’ll send you challenges specific to your personality type. Here are this week’s challenges:

Rewired Challenge Week 1
Watch The Video – 03:31

Do you have a way to track your progress and thoughts throughout the trainer, like a Bodyspace account or a journal? Have you told the people most important to you about the journey you’re about to start? Good. Now you’re finally ready to reset, rebuild, and rewire.

Main | Next

About The Author

James Grage is the Co-Founder and Vice President of BPI Sports. He started training at age 15 and built an impressive body for sports.

See more here: 

James Grage's Rewired 9-Week Fitness Trainer – Day 1, Arms

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Warm upComments Off on James Grage's Rewired 9-Week Fitness Trainer – Day 1, Arms

<div id="DPG" webReader="158.396464646"><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>Sandbag training is quickly becoming a favorite training style among pro athletes, fighters, first responders, soldiers, and everyone else who needs to be able to access strength in unpredictable settings and postures. If you want muscle control and athleticism that won't quit, along with a midsection every bit as strong as it looks, this might be just what you're looking for.</p><p>But unlike, say, barbells, sandbags have different rules when it comes to ideal loading, programming, and progression. Here are three principles you need to keep in mind to help you get the most out of sandbag training, plus we provide some movements and a workout to help you get to know the benefits of the bag!</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c15">1 Progressive overload is about<br /><span class="c14">more than just load</span></h3>
</p><p>In order to continually stimulate positive adaptations with training, we all know we need to apply the principle of progressive overload. Basically, this principle states that if you don't provide a new training stimulus to your body, it will cease to adapt and remain idle with its progress.</p><p>What's the most common method of enacting this principle? Throw more weight on the bar, of course! However, just because the word "load" is in the word "overload" doesn't mean this is the only method to progress an exercise. I would add that it's not the only variable you <em>need</em> to change if you're looking to become a capable athlete or build a well-rounded physique. You can also change variables such as the implement used, the complexity of the exercise, or take the movement into a different plane of motion.</p><div class="static-top-3-articles-widget"><h3 class="article-title c16">Planes of motion</h3><div class="static-top-3-articles-section-left static-top-3-articles-section-box"><h5 class="c18"><strong>Sagittal</strong><br /><span class="c17">Front-to-back motions</span></h5><ul class="dpg-list"><li>Squats</li>
<li>Deadlifts</li>
<li>Bench Press</li>
<li>Sit-Ups</li>
<li>Curls</li>
<li>Running</li>
<li>Lunges</li>
</ul></div><div class="static-top-3-articles-section-middle static-top-3-articles-section-box"><h5 class="c18"><strong>Frontal</strong><br /><span class="c17">Side-to-Side Movements</span></h5><ul class="dpg-list"><li>Overhead Presses</li>
<li>Lateral Raises</li>
<li>Lateral Squats</li>
<li>Jumping Jacks</li>
</ul></div><div class="static-top-3-articles-section-right static-top-3-articles-section-box"><h5 class="c18"><strong>Transverse</strong><br /><span class="c17">Rotational Movements</span></h5><ul class="dpg-list"><li>Dumbbell Flye</li>
<li>Russian Twists</li>
<li>Golf Swing</li>
</ul></div></div><p>A sandbag with multiple handles, like the Ultimate Sandbag, achieves all of those changes, and it will teach you quickly that load isn't everything. Depending on the exercise and loading position of the sandbag, you can easily amplify the difficulty of an exercise while using the same or perhaps far less weight.</p><p>Let's take the lunge as an example. A reverse lunge is performed in the sagittal plane, but also requires frontal plane stability (think balance side-to-side). This exercise can be loaded in several ways to increase the difficulty. The simplest is to hold a weight in the front-loaded position. In this stance, you still have to maintain frontal plane stability, but you also have to brace to not lean forward.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/3-rules-for-effective-sandbag-training-1.jpg" width="560" height="258" border="0"/><p>A sandbag with multiple handles will teach you quickly that load isn't everything.</p><p>Now, take an exercise unique to sandbag training: the weighted rotational lunge. The loads used in the front-loaded reverse lunge and the rotation lunge can both be equal, but the effects are drastically different. To take the rotation lunge up a notch, increase the speed of execution so the bag swings from one side to the other.</p><p>If you're looking for core and hip strength that will transfer over to any physical challenge, you couldn't do much better than this!</p><h3 class="article-title">Jon-Erik Kawamoto <br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 0:13</span></h3><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/vERPJov3Vjo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><br /><h3 class="article-title">Jon-Erik Kawamoto <br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 0:26</span></h3><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/j2T3wgPESjQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>
<h3 class="article-title c15">2 Perform the most complex exercise first</h3>
</p><p>It's common to perform squats, deadlifts, and the barbell bench press first in a workout. Why? Well, they're multi-joint exercises and they typically use the most load. If you're training with a sandbag, however, you focus on far more than just load, so which exercises should come first? The answer is <em>the most complex exercise</em>.</p><p>Say you're an athlete who needs to improve your power production and hip and core stability. Sandbag training is a great way to address all three with movement patterns that are almost impossible with traditional implements like dumbbells and barbells.</p><p>I might prescribe something like a rotational sandbag-clean-to-crossover-lunge combination. Here, you have to create force with an internally rotated hip while cleaning the sandbag upward. Once the bag is received in the front-racked position, you would perform a crossover lunge. This lunge variation places a unique stretch on the outside hip and also challenges hip and core stability.</p><h3 class="article-title">Jon-Erik Kawamoto <br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 1:11</span></h3><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NEem6zZbFaA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>It looks challenging because it is! But you'd better believe it's also effective, if you're up to it. Good luck being up to it if you're already sapped from a half-hour of other training! An exercise this demanding needs to be tackled first.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c15">3 Progress movements by making them less stable</h3>
</p><img class="float-right c19" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/3-rules-for-effective-sandbag-training-2.jpg" width="223" height="306" border="0"/><p>"So how do we take advantage of instability while keeping the base stable? Easy: change the loading pattern or the stability of the implement itself, as with sandbag training."</p><p>During the 1990s and early 2000s, unstable surface training—think wobble boards and BOSU balls—took the leap from the physical therapist's office to the gym. This type of training has been shown to be valuable post-rehab, but when it was applied to healthy individuals, it wasn't nearly as effective—unless, of course, the end goal was to be the butt of countless jokes from weightlifters.</p><p>What went wrong? Behm et al summed up the limitations in an oft-cited 2010 study1 when they wrote, "Since the addition of unstable bases to resistance exercises can decrease force, power, velocity, and range of motion, they are not recommended as the primary training mode for athletic conditioning." They recommended "ground-based" weighted exercises instead, while nevertheless acknowledging that "core and limb muscle activation are reported to be higher under unstable conditions than under stable conditions."</p><p>So how do we take advantage of instability while keeping the base stable? Easy: change the loading pattern or the stability of the implement itself, as with sandbag training. An example of changing the loading pattern is changing from a bilateral loading pattern (e.g. front-loaded position), to unilateral loading pattern, like I recommended in <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/single-arm-training-the-ab-solution-youve-never-thought-of.html" target="_blank">my single-arm training article</a>. With a sandbag, this could take the form of lunges with the sandbag resting on your shoulder.</p><h3 class="article-title">Jon-Erik Kawamoto <br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 0:17</span></h3><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fO51U3APM9s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>The stability of the implement can also be adjusted to create a less-stable exercise. You could foolishly leave a few barbell plates rattling unsecured on your Olympic bar, or you could try training with a sandbag that's only partially filled. Still too stable? You could even fill a sandbag with smaller bags of water rather than sand. In either case, since the contents shift inside the bag during the exercise, you will continually have to react to maintain balance and the correct body position.</p><p>This form of instability training increases the difficult of the exercise and can keep you progressing to more and more advanced challenges for months or years. Trust me, the following complex is a different animal with a sandbag, a partially filled sandbag, and a water-filled sandbag.</p><h3 class="article-title">Jon-Erik Kawamoto <br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 1:14</span></h3><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Bd5LHz5LHRU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Perform all movements without resting. Rest 60 seconds, and then perform another round. Perform 5 rounds total.</p><br /><ul class="dpg-list"><li>Lateral Deadlift to Clean: 3 reps</li>
<li>Rotational Lunge to Clean: 3 reps (opposite side)</li>
<li>Rotational Lunge to Clean 3 reps (deadlift side)</li>
<li>Cossack Squat: 3 reps (opposite side)</li>
</ul><h5>References</h5><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Behm, D.G., Drinkwater, E.J., Willardson, J.M., & Cowley, P.M. (2010). Canadian society for exercise physiology position stand: The use of instability to train the core in athletic and nonathletic conditioning. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 35, 109-112.</li>
</ol><br class="c21"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c24" webReader="4.91044776119"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/single-arm-training-the-ab-solution-youve-never-thought-of.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/6-pack-abs-1-arm-at-a-time-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c23" webReader="6.31343283582"><h4 class="c22"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/single-arm-training-the-ab-solution-youve-never-thought-of.html">Single-Arm Training: The Ab Solution You've Never Thought Of</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Why suffer through another boring, painful ab routine? Work your core by making it stabilize unbalanced loads. That's what it's there to do!</p></div></div><div class="c24" webReader="5.28691983122"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/find-your-strength-strongman-training-in-your-average-gym.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2012/strongman-made-simple-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c23" webReader="6.79746835443"><h4 class="c22"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/find-your-strength-strongman-training-in-your-average-gym.html">Find Your Strength: Strongman Training In Your Average Gym</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Strongman competitors are the stuff of legend, but you don't have to move to Iceland or Poland to become one. Here's your guide to building strongman-caliber strength in any gym.</p></div></div><div class="c24" webReader="6.59760956175"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/do-more-with-less-the-3-home-gym-essentials.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/the-3-home-gym-essentials-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c23" webReader="9.07171314741"><h4 class="c22"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/do-more-with-less-the-3-home-gym-essentials.html">Do More With Less: The 3 Home Gym Essentials</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
A stacked gym with every fitness tool known to man looks cool, but how much of it are you really going to use? Keep these three fundamentals at home, and rest easy knowing you can get strong no matter what!</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="39.2154811715"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="7.67195767196"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jon-erik-kawamoto.html">Jon-Erik Kawamoto, CSCS, CEP</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jon-erik-kawamoto.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Jon has coached and helped numerous clients reach and surpass their fitness goals, including high-level athletes, emergency personnel and more.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jon-erik-kawamoto.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-jon-erik-kawamoto-sig-new2.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/jon-erik-kawamoto.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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3 Rules For Effective Sandbag Training

Sandbag training is quickly becoming a favorite training style among pro athletes, fighters, first responders, soldiers, and everyone else who needs to be able to access strength in unpredictable settings and postures. If you want muscle control and athleticism that won’t quit, along with a midsection every bit as strong as it looks, this might be just what you’re looking for.

But unlike, say, barbells, sandbags have different rules when it comes to ideal loading, programming, and progression. Here are three principles you need to keep in mind to help you get the most out of sandbag training, plus we provide some movements and a workout to help you get to know the benefits of the bag!

1 Progressive overload is about
more than just load

In order to continually stimulate positive adaptations with training, we all know we need to apply the principle of progressive overload. Basically, this principle states that if you don’t provide a new training stimulus to your body, it will cease to adapt and remain idle with its progress.

What’s the most common method of enacting this principle? Throw more weight on the bar, of course! However, just because the word “load” is in the word “overload” doesn’t mean this is the only method to progress an exercise. I would add that it’s not the only variable you need to change if you’re looking to become a capable athlete or build a well-rounded physique. You can also change variables such as the implement used, the complexity of the exercise, or take the movement into a different plane of motion.

Planes of motion

Sagittal
Front-to-back motions
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Bench Press
  • Sit-Ups
  • Curls
  • Running
  • Lunges
Frontal
Side-to-Side Movements
  • Overhead Presses
  • Lateral Raises
  • Lateral Squats
  • Jumping Jacks
Transverse
Rotational Movements
  • Dumbbell Flye
  • Russian Twists
  • Golf Swing

A sandbag with multiple handles, like the Ultimate Sandbag, achieves all of those changes, and it will teach you quickly that load isn’t everything. Depending on the exercise and loading position of the sandbag, you can easily amplify the difficulty of an exercise while using the same or perhaps far less weight.

Let’s take the lunge as an example. A reverse lunge is performed in the sagittal plane, but also requires frontal plane stability (think balance side-to-side). This exercise can be loaded in several ways to increase the difficulty. The simplest is to hold a weight in the front-loaded position. In this stance, you still have to maintain frontal plane stability, but you also have to brace to not lean forward.

A sandbag with multiple handles will teach you quickly that load isn’t everything.

Now, take an exercise unique to sandbag training: the weighted rotational lunge. The loads used in the front-loaded reverse lunge and the rotation lunge can both be equal, but the effects are drastically different. To take the rotation lunge up a notch, increase the speed of execution so the bag swings from one side to the other.

If you’re looking for core and hip strength that will transfer over to any physical challenge, you couldn’t do much better than this!

Jon-Erik Kawamoto
Watch The Video – 0:13

Jon-Erik Kawamoto
Watch The Video – 0:26

2 Perform the most complex exercise first

It’s common to perform squats, deadlifts, and the barbell bench press first in a workout. Why? Well, they’re multi-joint exercises and they typically use the most load. If you’re training with a sandbag, however, you focus on far more than just load, so which exercises should come first? The answer is the most complex exercise.

Say you’re an athlete who needs to improve your power production and hip and core stability. Sandbag training is a great way to address all three with movement patterns that are almost impossible with traditional implements like dumbbells and barbells.

I might prescribe something like a rotational sandbag-clean-to-crossover-lunge combination. Here, you have to create force with an internally rotated hip while cleaning the sandbag upward. Once the bag is received in the front-racked position, you would perform a crossover lunge. This lunge variation places a unique stretch on the outside hip and also challenges hip and core stability.

Jon-Erik Kawamoto
Watch The Video – 1:11

It looks challenging because it is! But you’d better believe it’s also effective, if you’re up to it. Good luck being up to it if you’re already sapped from a half-hour of other training! An exercise this demanding needs to be tackled first.

3 Progress movements by making them less stable

“So how do we take advantage of instability while keeping the base stable? Easy: change the loading pattern or the stability of the implement itself, as with sandbag training.”

During the 1990s and early 2000s, unstable surface training—think wobble boards and BOSU balls—took the leap from the physical therapist’s office to the gym. This type of training has been shown to be valuable post-rehab, but when it was applied to healthy individuals, it wasn’t nearly as effective—unless, of course, the end goal was to be the butt of countless jokes from weightlifters.

What went wrong? Behm et al summed up the limitations in an oft-cited 2010 study1 when they wrote, “Since the addition of unstable bases to resistance exercises can decrease force, power, velocity, and range of motion, they are not recommended as the primary training mode for athletic conditioning.” They recommended “ground-based” weighted exercises instead, while nevertheless acknowledging that “core and limb muscle activation are reported to be higher under unstable conditions than under stable conditions.”

So how do we take advantage of instability while keeping the base stable? Easy: change the loading pattern or the stability of the implement itself, as with sandbag training. An example of changing the loading pattern is changing from a bilateral loading pattern (e.g. front-loaded position), to unilateral loading pattern, like I recommended in my single-arm training article. With a sandbag, this could take the form of lunges with the sandbag resting on your shoulder.

Jon-Erik Kawamoto
Watch The Video – 0:17

The stability of the implement can also be adjusted to create a less-stable exercise. You could foolishly leave a few barbell plates rattling unsecured on your Olympic bar, or you could try training with a sandbag that’s only partially filled. Still too stable? You could even fill a sandbag with smaller bags of water rather than sand. In either case, since the contents shift inside the bag during the exercise, you will continually have to react to maintain balance and the correct body position.

This form of instability training increases the difficult of the exercise and can keep you progressing to more and more advanced challenges for months or years. Trust me, the following complex is a different animal with a sandbag, a partially filled sandbag, and a water-filled sandbag.

Jon-Erik Kawamoto
Watch The Video – 1:14

Perform all movements without resting. Rest 60 seconds, and then perform another round. Perform 5 rounds total.

  • Lateral Deadlift to Clean: 3 reps
  • Rotational Lunge to Clean: 3 reps (opposite side)
  • Rotational Lunge to Clean 3 reps (deadlift side)
  • Cossack Squat: 3 reps (opposite side)
References
  1. Behm, D.G., Drinkwater, E.J., Willardson, J.M., & Cowley, P.M. (2010). Canadian society for exercise physiology position stand: The use of instability to train the core in athletic and nonathletic conditioning. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 35, 109-112.


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About The Author

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See original article: 

3 Rules For Effective Sandbag Training

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<div id="DPG" webReader="215.417177914"><p>Every once in a while, a hot new supplement comes along and generates a buzz based on a single study that sounds—and often is—too good to be true. And then there are the supplements that gradually build up a solid body of research without much hype. Then, years later, they finally get the recognition they deserve. Betaine is one of these.</p><p>In recent years, betaine has become a common ingredient in new pre-workout and post-workout products. But it's actually not a new supplement. People have been taking it for health reasons for many years. Only now, researchers are showing how powerful of an ally it can be for athletic performance and body composition.</p><p>If you like to be ahead of the curve, then it's time you get behind the label of your favorite pre-workout and see what this promising supplement can do for you.</p><h3 class="article-title">Stoppani Expert Guide Betaine<br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 09:21</span></h3><h3 class="article-title">What is betaine?</h3><p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/beta.html">Betaine</a> (pronounced "BEET-uh-een") is also sometimes sold under its technical name of trimethylglycine, or as TMG, for short. The names are pretty much interchangeable; no matter what you call it, it's made of the amino acid glycine with three methyl groups attached to it.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jim-stoppanis-expert-guide-to-betaine-1.jpg" width="243" height="292" border="0" class="float-right c9"/><p>In the human body, betaine is naturally derived from the breakdown of choline, and it's also found in a number of food sources. One of these, you probably guessed, is beets.</p><p>Betaine got its name because it was originally isolated from sugar beets, known by their Latin name of <em>Beta vulgaris</em>. But ironically, a number of other foods are far richer sources. For example, 3 oz. of wheat germ contains more than 1,000 mg, which is more than four times the betaine in the same amount of beets. Spinach and quinoa both provide more than twice the amount of betaine as beets. But the name has still stuck.</p><p>In all of these plants, betaine serves the same crucial function: protecting the cells from stress, like what happens during droughts or extreme temperatures. It has also been used as a supplement in animal feeds for decades, in order to make pigs, chickens, and salmon healthier and more resilient.</p><p>In human health circles, betaine has also been revered for its health promoting effects. People have taken it to aid in joint and liver repair, injury recovery, and healthy inflammation levels.* In some studies, betaine was even been found to support healthy cholesterol levels.*</p><h3 class="article-title">What does it do?</h3><p>In humans, most of betaine's purported benefits derive from its role as a methyl donor. A methyl donor is any molecule that can transfer a methyl group, which is a carbon atom attached to three hydrogen atoms, to another molecule. Many important biochemical processes in the body rely on methylation.</p><p>The most critical reaction where betaine performs this function is in the methylation of the amino acid homocysteine to form methionine. Methionine is important in the body's internal synthesis of creatine. So one way that betaine may boost muscle strength and size is by increasing creatine production in the body.*</p><p>Methionine also plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, and specifically the process known as "translation." By having more methionine available for this process, protein synthesis is ramped up, and therefore so is the potential for muscle growth and strength gains.</p><p>Betaine may also has the beneficial effect of supporting healthy homocysteine levels.* High homocysteine levels have been shown to impair insulin signaling, which can interfere with muscle growth and fat loss.</p><p>And finally, betaine supplementation has also been suggested to raise levels of S-adenosylmethionine, also known as SAMe. Having healthy levels of SAMe may support positive mood, promote liver health, and aid joint recovery.*</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jim-stoppanis-expert-guide-to-betaine-2.jpg" width="560" height="322" border="0"/><p>Betaine supplementation may support positive mood, promote liver health, and aid joint recovery.*</p><h3 class="article-title">What are the Performance and Physique Applications?</h3><p>In the last few years, clinical studies have looked at betaine supplementation in a number of modalities, from strength, to muscle growth, to endurance and sprinting performance. What do they all have in common? Betaine left the placebo in the dust.</p><p>One of the first studies to look into betaine's performance-supporting effects was done in my old lab at the University of Connecticut in 2010. The UCONN researchers found that weight-trained athletes taking 1.25 grams of betaine twice per day increased their muscle strength by 25 percent, and their muscle power by 20 percent.* They also determined that betaine significantly increased markers for muscle protein synthesis following a workout as compared to the placebo.*</p><p>Since this initial study, other researchers have found that betaine supplementation helped lifters complete more total reps in bench press workouts, pedal with more power in cycling workouts, and sprint for almost 40 seconds longer than subjects drinking just water. Like the similar-sounding beta-alanine, it has also been suggested to significantly lower levels of lactate, which can delay muscular fatigue and allow athletes to train harder, for longer.*</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jim-stoppanis-expert-guide-to-betaine-3.jpg" width="560" height="443" border="0"/><p>Researchers have found that betaine supplementation helped lifters complete more total reps in bench press workouts.</p><p>And then there's the latest study on betaine, which comes from the College of Springfield in Massachusetts. Weight-trained males followed an undulating periodized weight-training program for six weeks. One group supplemented with 1.25 grams of betaine twice per day and one group supplemented with a placebo twice per day. They reported that the subjects supplementing with betaine increased muscle mass by 4 pounds and arm size by 10 percent, all while decreasing body fat by 7 pounds.* The placebo group experienced no increase in muscle mass or arm size and no loss of body fat.</p><p>What's to explain these incredible results? A recent study from UCONN indicated that these increases in muscle strength, power, and endurance may be due to betaine's ability to increase levels of important anabolic substances like growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I, while lowering levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol.*</p><p>Previous research also suggests that betaine supplementation increases nitric oxide and helps regulate cellular fluid volume, which could further promote muscle pump and overall muscle size.*</p><h3 class="article-title">Are there any side effects?</h3><p>There are no known serious side effects of betaine supplementation. However, it can cause nausea, upset stomach, and/or diarrhea in some people. This is one good reason to split your intake into two smaller daily doses, as several of the recent studies have done.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/jym/pre-jym.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jym-pre-workout_ratingbanner.jpg" border="0"/></a><h3 class="article-title">How should I stack it?</h3><p>It's no coincidence that betaine is in pre-workout supplement blends alongside ingredients like <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/creatine.html">creatine</a>, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cit.html">L-citrulline</a>, and <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/betalanine.html">beta-alanine</a>. Its effects are definitely complementary to these tried-and-true performance supports, and it indirectly helps your body produce and process creatine to boot.*</p><p>Several of the most promising recent studies focusing on betaine have included it as a pre-workout, either on its own in water or mixed into a drink with elecrolytes and carbs. Then, the subjects took a second dose later in the day.</p><p>That seems like a solid approach to me. Either add betaine to your current pre- and post-workout stack, or look for a blend that includes it.</p><h3 class="article-title">Should I cycle it?</h3><p>At this time, there doesn't appear to be any reason to cycle betaine. It can be taken continuously.</p><h3 class="article-title">When should I take it?</h3><p>It is estimated that most people consume about 1-2 grams of betaine in their daily diet. However, research does confirm that supplementing with extra betaine provides distinct health and performance benefits. Plus, research confirms that a good deal of betaine is lost in the sweat during exercise. This further supports the notion that you should supplement with betaine daily, and not only before working out.</p><p>Given that betaine has been suggested to boost greater levels of muscle protein synthesis and can decrease cortisol levels, it makes sense to put those doses on both ends of your intense training. This is when you work hardest to create an anabolic environment.</p><p>So look for products which supply betaine in the form of betaine monohydrate, betaine anhydrous, or simply listed as trimethylglycine (TMG). Take 1.25-1.5 grams of betaine twice per day, preferably pre- and post-workout.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jim-stoppanis-expert-guide-to-betaine-4.jpg" width="560" height="435" border="0"/><p>It makes sense to put doses of betaine on both ends of your intense training.</p><h3 class="article-title">What's the Bottom Line?</h3><p>The bottom line is that betaine can help to take your strength gains and lean mass gains to new levels. It may not have the name-recognition of a classic supplement like creatine yet, but its star is definitely is on the rise.</p><p>It appears to be safe and effective, is easily stacked with other supplements, and has the potential to support your general health and well-being outside of the gym to boot.*</p><p>For a stack that can't be beat, don't forget to include betaine.</p><p>* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.</p><h5>References</h5><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Craig SA. Betaine in human nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Sep;80(3):539-49.</li>
<li>Atkinson W, et al. Dietary and supplementary betaine: acute effects on plasma betaine and homocysteine concentrations under standard and postmethionine load conditions in healthy male subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):577-85.</li>
<li>Steenge, GR, et al. Betaine supplementation lowers plasma homocysteine in healthy men and women. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1291-5.</li>
<li>Schwab, U., et al. Betaine supplementation decreases plasma homocysteine concentrations but does not affect body weight, body composition, or resting energy expenditure in human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):961-7.</li>
<li>Graybiel A, et al. Use of betaine and glycocyamine in the treatment of patients with heart disease: preliminary report. Ann West Med Surg 1951;5:863-75.</li>
<li>Morrison LM. Results of betaine treatment of atherosclerosis. Am J Dig Dis 1952;19:381-4.</li>
<li>Barak AJ, Tuma DJ. Betaine, metabolic by-product or vital methylating agent? Life Sci. 1983 Feb 14;32(7):771-4.</li>
<li>Barak AJ, et al. Betaine effects on hepatic methionine metabolism elicited by short-term ethanol feeding. Alcohol. 1996 Sep-Oct;13(5):483-6.</li>
<li>Barak AJ, et al. Dietary betaine promotes generation of hepatic S-adenosylmethionine and protects the liver from ethanol-induced fatty infiltration. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1993 Jun;17(3):552-5.</li>
<li>Junnila M, et al. Reduction of carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxic effects by oral administration of betaine in male Han-Wistar rats: a morphometric histological study. Vet Pathol. 2000 May;37(3):231-8.</li>
<li>Junnila M, et al. Betaine reduces hepatic lipidosis induced by carbon tetrachloride in Sprague-Dawley rats. Vet Hum Toxicol. 1998 Oct;40(5):263-6.</li>
<li>Wettstein M, et al. Betaine as an osmolyte in rat liver: metabolism and cell-to-cell interactions. Hepatology. 1998 Mar;27(3):787-93.</li>
<li>Zapadniuk VI, et al. Corrective effect of trimethylglycine on the nicotinamide coenzyme and adenine nucleotide content of the tissues in experimental atherosclerosis. Farmakol Toksikol. 1986 Jul-Aug;49(4):71-3.</li>
<li>Panteleimonova TN, Zapadniuk VI. Effect of trimethylglycine on lipid metabolism in experimental atherosclerosis in rabbit. Farmakol Toksikol. 1983 Jul-Aug;46(4):83-5.</li>
<li>Zahn A, et al. Effects of methionine and betaine supplementation on growth performance, carcass composition and metabolism. Poult Sci 2006, 47:576-580.</li>
<li>Maresh, CM, et al. The effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 39(5 suppl.): S304, 2007.</li>
<li>Hoffman JR, et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009 Feb 27;6:7.</li>
<li>Lee EC, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jul 19;7:27.</li>
<li>Trepanowski JF, et al. The effects of chronic betaine supplementation on exercise performance, skeletal muscle oxygen saturation and associated biochemical parameters in resistance trained men. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Dec;25(12):3461-71.</li>
<li>Pryor JL, Craig SA, Swensen T. Effect of betaine supplementation on cycling sprint performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Apr 3;9(1):12.</li>
<li>Czapla, R., et al. Effect of betaine on cycling sprint power. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Apr;7(Suppl 1):P23.</li>
<li>Armstrong LE, et al. Influence of betaine consumption on strenuous running and sprinting in a hot environment. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 May;22(3):851-60.</li>
<li>Apicella JM, et al. Betaine supplementation enhances anabolic endocrine and Akt signaling in response to acute bouts of exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Mar;113(3):793-802.</li>
<li>Kraemer, W.J., et al. The influence of betaine supplementation on work performance and endocrine function in men. Annual Meeting of the National Strength and Condititoning Association, 2010.</li>
<li>Cholewa, J. M., et al. Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Aug;10:39.</li>
<li>Iqbal, O. Betaine induced release of tissue factor pathway inhibitor and nitric oxide: Implications in the management of cardiovascular disease. FASEB 2006 Mar; J 20: A655.</li>
<li>Lever M, Slow S. The clinical significance of betaine, an osmolyte with a key role in methyl group metabolism. Clin Biochem. 2010 Jun;43(9):732-44.</li>
<li>Craig, S. S., et al. The betaine content of sweat from adolescent females. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jan;7:3.</li>
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Jim Stoppani's Expert Guide To Betaine

Every once in a while, a hot new supplement comes along and generates a buzz based on a single study that sounds—and often is—too good to be true. And then there are the supplements that gradually build up a solid body of research without much hype. Then, years later, they finally get the recognition they deserve. Betaine is one of these.

In recent years, betaine has become a common ingredient in new pre-workout and post-workout products. But it’s actually not a new supplement. People have been taking it for health reasons for many years. Only now, researchers are showing how powerful of an ally it can be for athletic performance and body composition.

If you like to be ahead of the curve, then it’s time you get behind the label of your favorite pre-workout and see what this promising supplement can do for you.

Stoppani Expert Guide Betaine
Watch The Video – 09:21

What is betaine?

Betaine (pronounced “BEET-uh-een”) is also sometimes sold under its technical name of trimethylglycine, or as TMG, for short. The names are pretty much interchangeable; no matter what you call it, it’s made of the amino acid glycine with three methyl groups attached to it.

In the human body, betaine is naturally derived from the breakdown of choline, and it’s also found in a number of food sources. One of these, you probably guessed, is beets.

Betaine got its name because it was originally isolated from sugar beets, known by their Latin name of Beta vulgaris. But ironically, a number of other foods are far richer sources. For example, 3 oz. of wheat germ contains more than 1,000 mg, which is more than four times the betaine in the same amount of beets. Spinach and quinoa both provide more than twice the amount of betaine as beets. But the name has still stuck.

In all of these plants, betaine serves the same crucial function: protecting the cells from stress, like what happens during droughts or extreme temperatures. It has also been used as a supplement in animal feeds for decades, in order to make pigs, chickens, and salmon healthier and more resilient.

In human health circles, betaine has also been revered for its health promoting effects. People have taken it to aid in joint and liver repair, injury recovery, and healthy inflammation levels.* In some studies, betaine was even been found to support healthy cholesterol levels.*

What does it do?

In humans, most of betaine’s purported benefits derive from its role as a methyl donor. A methyl donor is any molecule that can transfer a methyl group, which is a carbon atom attached to three hydrogen atoms, to another molecule. Many important biochemical processes in the body rely on methylation.

The most critical reaction where betaine performs this function is in the methylation of the amino acid homocysteine to form methionine. Methionine is important in the body’s internal synthesis of creatine. So one way that betaine may boost muscle strength and size is by increasing creatine production in the body.*

Methionine also plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, and specifically the process known as “translation.” By having more methionine available for this process, protein synthesis is ramped up, and therefore so is the potential for muscle growth and strength gains.

Betaine may also has the beneficial effect of supporting healthy homocysteine levels.* High homocysteine levels have been shown to impair insulin signaling, which can interfere with muscle growth and fat loss.

And finally, betaine supplementation has also been suggested to raise levels of S-adenosylmethionine, also known as SAMe. Having healthy levels of SAMe may support positive mood, promote liver health, and aid joint recovery.*

Betaine supplementation may support positive mood, promote liver health, and aid joint recovery.*

What are the Performance and Physique Applications?

In the last few years, clinical studies have looked at betaine supplementation in a number of modalities, from strength, to muscle growth, to endurance and sprinting performance. What do they all have in common? Betaine left the placebo in the dust.

One of the first studies to look into betaine’s performance-supporting effects was done in my old lab at the University of Connecticut in 2010. The UCONN researchers found that weight-trained athletes taking 1.25 grams of betaine twice per day increased their muscle strength by 25 percent, and their muscle power by 20 percent.* They also determined that betaine significantly increased markers for muscle protein synthesis following a workout as compared to the placebo.*

Since this initial study, other researchers have found that betaine supplementation helped lifters complete more total reps in bench press workouts, pedal with more power in cycling workouts, and sprint for almost 40 seconds longer than subjects drinking just water. Like the similar-sounding beta-alanine, it has also been suggested to significantly lower levels of lactate, which can delay muscular fatigue and allow athletes to train harder, for longer.*

Researchers have found that betaine supplementation helped lifters complete more total reps in bench press workouts.

And then there’s the latest study on betaine, which comes from the College of Springfield in Massachusetts. Weight-trained males followed an undulating periodized weight-training program for six weeks. One group supplemented with 1.25 grams of betaine twice per day and one group supplemented with a placebo twice per day. They reported that the subjects supplementing with betaine increased muscle mass by 4 pounds and arm size by 10 percent, all while decreasing body fat by 7 pounds.* The placebo group experienced no increase in muscle mass or arm size and no loss of body fat.

What’s to explain these incredible results? A recent study from UCONN indicated that these increases in muscle strength, power, and endurance may be due to betaine’s ability to increase levels of important anabolic substances like growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I, while lowering levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol.*

Previous research also suggests that betaine supplementation increases nitric oxide and helps regulate cellular fluid volume, which could further promote muscle pump and overall muscle size.*

Are there any side effects?

There are no known serious side effects of betaine supplementation. However, it can cause nausea, upset stomach, and/or diarrhea in some people. This is one good reason to split your intake into two smaller daily doses, as several of the recent studies have done.

How should I stack it?

It’s no coincidence that betaine is in pre-workout supplement blends alongside ingredients like creatine, L-citrulline, and beta-alanine. Its effects are definitely complementary to these tried-and-true performance supports, and it indirectly helps your body produce and process creatine to boot.*

Several of the most promising recent studies focusing on betaine have included it as a pre-workout, either on its own in water or mixed into a drink with elecrolytes and carbs. Then, the subjects took a second dose later in the day.

That seems like a solid approach to me. Either add betaine to your current pre- and post-workout stack, or look for a blend that includes it.

Should I cycle it?

At this time, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to cycle betaine. It can be taken continuously.

When should I take it?

It is estimated that most people consume about 1-2 grams of betaine in their daily diet. However, research does confirm that supplementing with extra betaine provides distinct health and performance benefits. Plus, research confirms that a good deal of betaine is lost in the sweat during exercise. This further supports the notion that you should supplement with betaine daily, and not only before working out.

Given that betaine has been suggested to boost greater levels of muscle protein synthesis and can decrease cortisol levels, it makes sense to put those doses on both ends of your intense training. This is when you work hardest to create an anabolic environment.

So look for products which supply betaine in the form of betaine monohydrate, betaine anhydrous, or simply listed as trimethylglycine (TMG). Take 1.25-1.5 grams of betaine twice per day, preferably pre- and post-workout.

It makes sense to put doses of betaine on both ends of your intense training.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The bottom line is that betaine can help to take your strength gains and lean mass gains to new levels. It may not have the name-recognition of a classic supplement like creatine yet, but its star is definitely is on the rise.

It appears to be safe and effective, is easily stacked with other supplements, and has the potential to support your general health and well-being outside of the gym to boot.*

For a stack that can’t be beat, don’t forget to include betaine.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References
  1. Craig SA. Betaine in human nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Sep;80(3):539-49.
  2. Atkinson W, et al. Dietary and supplementary betaine: acute effects on plasma betaine and homocysteine concentrations under standard and postmethionine load conditions in healthy male subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):577-85.
  3. Steenge, GR, et al. Betaine supplementation lowers plasma homocysteine in healthy men and women. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1291-5.
  4. Schwab, U., et al. Betaine supplementation decreases plasma homocysteine concentrations but does not affect body weight, body composition, or resting energy expenditure in human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):961-7.
  5. Graybiel A, et al. Use of betaine and glycocyamine in the treatment of patients with heart disease: preliminary report. Ann West Med Surg 1951;5:863-75.
  6. Morrison LM. Results of betaine treatment of atherosclerosis. Am J Dig Dis 1952;19:381-4.
  7. Barak AJ, Tuma DJ. Betaine, metabolic by-product or vital methylating agent? Life Sci. 1983 Feb 14;32(7):771-4.
  8. Barak AJ, et al. Betaine effects on hepatic methionine metabolism elicited by short-term ethanol feeding. Alcohol. 1996 Sep-Oct;13(5):483-6.
  9. Barak AJ, et al. Dietary betaine promotes generation of hepatic S-adenosylmethionine and protects the liver from ethanol-induced fatty infiltration. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1993 Jun;17(3):552-5.
  10. Junnila M, et al. Reduction of carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxic effects by oral administration of betaine in male Han-Wistar rats: a morphometric histological study. Vet Pathol. 2000 May;37(3):231-8.
  11. Junnila M, et al. Betaine reduces hepatic lipidosis induced by carbon tetrachloride in Sprague-Dawley rats. Vet Hum Toxicol. 1998 Oct;40(5):263-6.
  12. Wettstein M, et al. Betaine as an osmolyte in rat liver: metabolism and cell-to-cell interactions. Hepatology. 1998 Mar;27(3):787-93.
  13. Zapadniuk VI, et al. Corrective effect of trimethylglycine on the nicotinamide coenzyme and adenine nucleotide content of the tissues in experimental atherosclerosis. Farmakol Toksikol. 1986 Jul-Aug;49(4):71-3.
  14. Panteleimonova TN, Zapadniuk VI. Effect of trimethylglycine on lipid metabolism in experimental atherosclerosis in rabbit. Farmakol Toksikol. 1983 Jul-Aug;46(4):83-5.
  15. Zahn A, et al. Effects of methionine and betaine supplementation on growth performance, carcass composition and metabolism. Poult Sci 2006, 47:576-580.
  16. Maresh, CM, et al. The effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 39(5 suppl.): S304, 2007.
  17. Hoffman JR, et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009 Feb 27;6:7.
  18. Lee EC, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jul 19;7:27.
  19. Trepanowski JF, et al. The effects of chronic betaine supplementation on exercise performance, skeletal muscle oxygen saturation and associated biochemical parameters in resistance trained men. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Dec;25(12):3461-71.
  20. Pryor JL, Craig SA, Swensen T. Effect of betaine supplementation on cycling sprint performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Apr 3;9(1):12.
  21. Czapla, R., et al. Effect of betaine on cycling sprint power. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Apr;7(Suppl 1):P23.
  22. Armstrong LE, et al. Influence of betaine consumption on strenuous running and sprinting in a hot environment. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 May;22(3):851-60.
  23. Apicella JM, et al. Betaine supplementation enhances anabolic endocrine and Akt signaling in response to acute bouts of exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Mar;113(3):793-802.
  24. Kraemer, W.J., et al. The influence of betaine supplementation on work performance and endocrine function in men. Annual Meeting of the National Strength and Condititoning Association, 2010.
  25. Cholewa, J. M., et al. Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Aug;10:39.
  26. Iqbal, O. Betaine induced release of tissue factor pathway inhibitor and nitric oxide: Implications in the management of cardiovascular disease. FASEB 2006 Mar; J 20: A655.
  27. Lever M, Slow S. The clinical significance of betaine, an osmolyte with a key role in methyl group metabolism. Clin Biochem. 2010 Jun;43(9):732-44.
  28. Craig, S. S., et al. The betaine content of sweat from adolescent females. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jan;7:3.

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