Tag Archive | "warm up"

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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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Calum Von Moger’s Armed And Ready Workout

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8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

The key to rocking shoulder-baring sweaters and blouses this season is pairing them with a strong, toned upper body.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to speed hours in the gym to achieve an eye-catching upper body. What you need is a challenging workout—one that cranks up the intensity on your muscles and eliminates every last ounce of flab. Enter Tabata training, also known as the four-minute fat-burning workout.

There’s a reason this type of high-intensity interval training is the go-to when you want to shed pounds and tone up fast—it works.

 GETTING STARTED

A Tabata workout (not including warm up and cool down) involves performing 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active recovery. You repeat this cycle eight times, for a total of four minutes of very short, intense bursts of exercise. In this particular workout, you’ll complete two Tabatas, for a total of eight minutes of high-intensity intervals.

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8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

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Train and gain! with this dumbbell workout

Here’s how strength training can get you a better bikini body…

More and more women are strength training when they hit the gym, but if you’re still not convinced, then you could be missing out on some serious benefits.

Whether you’re using the TRX, doing a kettlebell class or using a pair of dumbbells in your HIIT circuit – you are strength training! It’s not all about weightlifting belts, clouds of chalk and groaning as loud as you can – though, that’s all welcome, too! It is, however, about using weights that truly challenge you, promoting muscle growth that in turn elevates your fat burn. The result is a leaner you, with a higher metabolic rate throughout the day.

‘It’s estimated that for every half a kilo of lean muscle you gain, your body will burn 35-50 extra calories each day just to maintain it,’ explains John Shepherd, author of new book Strength Training for Women. ‘Regular cardio exercisers may lose weight but end up with a body that lacks tone and holds fat around key “problem” areas, such as the abdomen and hips.’ But those aren’t the only benefits you’ll experience – that’s just the beginning.

‘Resistance training will also boost your hormones,’ explains John. Basically, the more you pick up the weights, the more your levels of growth hormone are elevated. Why is this desirable? Well, along with playing a vital role in shedding fat, growth hormone also helps to slow the effects of ageing, according to John. Who wouldn’t want that? As we age we also experience a higher risk of osteoporosis, and strength training is an effective way of combating this. Not only do weights build muscle but they strengthen your bones, too, which is ideal for overall health as well as preventing injury.

Strength training also challenges your body in all different planes of motion, boosting its ability to master complex moves – especially ones that’ll help you in everyday life. We’re talking lifting, carrying, picking things up – that’s why it’s considered functional fitness.

Don’t know where to start? John’s book is a great place, but if you want a taster, check out this workout he put together. It’s suitable for all levels, targeting the whole body using compound exercises. ‘These moves work numerous joints,’ explains John, ‘making them more functional and calorie-burning.’ Always use weights that prove difficult in the final reps of each set without compromising form – but if you’re new to weights, start out light and focus on building strength and technique. Everyone should add weights each month to encourage progress.

HOW TO DO IT

Always warm up before and cool down after this workout. Do each of the two workouts once a week, leaving at least 48 hours between each.

Workout 1: Metabolic and hormonal booster

Perform 3 x 10 reps of each move. Take enough recovery to allow for each set to be completed optimally.

Workout 2: Pyramid with body shaping fast-twitch fibre emphasis

Perform 8 reps using a light weight, 6 using a medium weight, then 2 x 4 reps using a heavy weight.

Workout 1

 Rear foot elevated split squat

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique

  1. Holding dumbbells by each side, stand in front of a bench and place the toes of your rear foot on it. Hop your standing leg forward and place your foot flat on the floor. This is your starting position.
  2. Keeping your trunk upright and looking straight ahead, bend your front leg to lower your body to the ground. Lower until your thigh is approximately  parallel to the ground. 
  3. Push back up strongly and repeat. Perform the allotted reps on one side, and then the other to complete a full set.

Seated shoulder press

Areas trained: shoulders, triceps

Technique

  1. Sit on a bench holding dumbbells in front of your shoulders.
  2. Press the dumbbells up to the ceiling, bringing them close together at the top of the movement.
  3. Lower under control and repeat.

Single-arm kettlebell swing

Areas trained: quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, back, shoulders

Technique

  1. Take hold of the kettlebell in one hand with your knuckles facing away from you. Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart. Let the kettlebell hang down at arm-length in front of your body and let it drop down and through your legs.
  2. Move with the fall of the kettlebell and let your bottom move backwards and torso incline forwards with knees soft. As the momentum of the weight begins to stall and go in the other direction, ‘snap’ your hips to impart more momentum onto the kettlebell to drive it up again.
  3. Let the weight fall back down and repeat. Perform the allotted reps on both sides to complete a set.

Plié squat

Areas trained: glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique 

  1. Holding the dumbbells with your knuckles facing away from you in front of your hips, stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width and turned out, making sure that your feet and knees are similarly angled.
  2. Bend your legs to plié and then extend them to stand back up and repeat.

 

Workout 2

Clean

Areas trained: back, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique

  1. Take hold of a barbell from the floor with your knuckles facing forwards and hands just further than shoulder-width apart. Keep your heels on the floor, arms extended and head up.
  2. Drive up to lift the bar from the floor, keeping your shoulders over it and your knees bent.
  3. As the bar approaches hip-level, drive your hips forwards and now pull on the bar with your arms. As you do this, switch your grip from overhand to underhand and ‘catch’ the bar in a racked position on the front of your shoulders.
  4. Keeping your back flat, control the bar down to the floor, bending your knees and folding forwards, first to your thighs and then to the floor.

Squat

Areas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, back

Technique

  1. Support a barbell across the fleshy rear part of your shoulders (avoiding contact with your top vertebrae). Pull the bar down onto your shoulders to
  2. fix it in place. Keep your head up and maintain the natural curve of your spine.
  3. Bend your knees to lower the weight as far as your flexibility allows. Keep your knees behind your toes as you go.
  4. Push through your heels to stand up and repeat.

Posted in Aerobics, Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Train and gain! with this dumbbell workout

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Break Through Plateauing Results by Training Smarter

Stuck in a rut? If you exercise regularly but can’t figure out how to smash plateaus, you’re in the right place. This plan, by IFBB fitness pro Fiona Harris, will trim inches off your thighs, tone and sculpt your arms, perk up your glute-ham tie-in, and create definition like your Insta-idol @NicoleMWilkins.

By manipulating variables such as intensity and frequency and incorporating different training techniques—like heavy/low-rep and light/high-frequency body-part splits, plus cardio, HIIT, and plyometrics—you WILL keep your body progressing right to the top.

RECOMMENDED WORKOUT WEEKLY SPLIT

  • DAY 1: Lower-Body Workout 1, Heavy Weights; 35 minutes steady-state cardio
  • DAY 2: Chest/Shoulders, StepMill HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 3: Plyometric Whole-Body Workout, Rower HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 4: Rest
  • DAY 5: Lower-Body Workout 2, High Volume; 35 minutes steady-state cardio
  • DAY 6: Back/Arms, Treadmill HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 7: Rest

Harris recommends one day of heavy lifting and one day of higher volume, as well as pairing plyo with traditional lower-body moves. Mixing high-rep training and plyometrics with heavy lifting helps provide a new stimulus to muscles.

Lower Body

Workout 1 (Heavy Weights)

  • Leg Extensions: 1½ reps (1 rep from full flexion to full extension, then ½ rep to halfway down, then up to full flexion); 1 warmup set; 7 sets of 12–15 reps.
  • Barbell back squat: 5 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Leg press: Narrow stance (feet/ knees together) 4 sets of 10–12 reps.
  • Hack squat: Wide stance, toes pointed out, 4 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Lying hamstring curl: 1½ reps; 4 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Barbell hip thruster: 4 sets of 10–12 reps.
  • *Rest 45-60 seconds betweetn sets

Workout 2 (High Volume)

  • Leg extension superset with pop squat:** 1 warmup set; 4 sets of 12–15 reps/20 reps
  • Smith machine sumo squat with pulse: 4 sets of 15 reps.
  • DB reverse lunge to curtsy squat: 4 sets of 12–15 reps per leg.
  • Single-leg cable hamstring-curl superset with bent-knee kickback: 3 sets of 15 reps/15 reps.
  • Abductor machine superset with side-walking squat with resistance band: 4 sets of 15 reps/10–12 reps each direction.
  • DB walking lunge: 3 sets of 20 reps per leg.
  • *Rest 30–45 seconds between sets
  • **Superset: Do one set of each move with no rest in between sets.

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Break Through Plateauing Results by Training Smarter

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Warm up, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Break Through Plateauing Results by Training Smarter

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The Best Full Shoulder Workout Routine

Just about every Muscle & Fitness reader knows that to build cannonball delts, you need to start with heavy presses followed by an isolation exercise for each of the three deltoid heads. Astute readers even cycle the order in which they train each deltoid head from one workout to the next, knowing that the move that comes first will be trained harder as energy levels and focus are higher earlier in the workout.

This workout takes that training philosophy one step further for hardcore gains. After a pair of compound moves, you’’ll do two shoulder exercises back-to-back for the targeted deltoid head (Shoulder Workout No. 1 focuses on the front head, Workout No. 2 the middle and Workout No. 3 the rear delt head). The first of the “focused delt” moves is done just slightly heavier than what you may be accustomed to for three sets of eight reps, followed by a machine move where you just have to push a weight, not balance it,— for that same delt head. You’’ll also be doing drop sets on each set of the machine move.

Finish off with exercises for each of the remaining delt heads done for straight sets, and don’’t forget to rotate workouts next time you train shoulders. Pretty soon, we’’ll have to start writing even more advanced programs for you. Trust us, we will!

 WORKOUT Front Delt

EXERCISE 1

SMITH MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS

You’ll need: Smith Machine, Bench How to

Smith Machine Overhead Press thumbnail
3sets
15, 10, 6reps
rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

EXERCISE 2

DUMBBELL UPRIGHT ROW

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Dumbbell Upright Row thumbnail
3sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Front Raise thumbnail
3sets
8reps
rest

EXERCISE 4

ONE-ARM MACHINE FRONT RAISE

exercise image placeholder
3sets
10/8reps
rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

EXERCISE 5

SEATED LATERAL RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to

Seated Lateral Raise thumbnail
2sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 6

SINGLE-ARM STANDING CABLE REVERSE FLYEYou’ll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment How to

Single-Arm Standing Cable Reverse Flye thumbnail
2sets
10reps
rest

WORKOUT 2Middle Delt

EXERCISE 1

SEATED DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS

You’ll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press thumbnail
3sets
15, 10, 6reps
rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

EXERCISE 2

SMITH MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS

You’ll need: Smith Machine, Bench How to

Smith Machine Overhead Press thumbnail
3sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Dumbbell Lateral Raise thumbnail
3sets
8reps
rest

EXERCISE 4

MACHINE LATERAL RAISE

exercise image placeholder
3sets
10/8reps
rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

EXERCISE 5

BENT-OVER CABLE LATERAL RAISE

exercise image placeholder
2sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 6

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Front Raise thumbnail
2sets
10reps
rest

WORKOUT 3Rear Delt

EXERCISE 1

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Front Raise thumbnail
3sets
15, 10, 6reps
rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

EXERCISE 2

ARNOLD PRESS

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Arnold Press thumbnail
3sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

BENT-OVER LATERAL RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Bent-Over Lateral Raise thumbnail
3sets
8reps
rest

EXERCISE 4

REVERSE PEC DECK FLYE

exercise image placeholder
3sets
10/8reps
rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

EXERCISE 5

FRONT CABLE RAISE

exercise image placeholder

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The Best Full Shoulder Workout Routine

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Warm up, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on The Best Full Shoulder Workout Routine

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Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Vital Stats

When I first picked up weights a few years ago, maximal lifting wasn’t even on my radar. I ran around in circles with my 10-pound dumbbells, completely unaware that I was missing out on an entire world of fitness.

In the world of 1RM strength, you set specific goals and work for weeks or months to inch closer to them. You push your body to its limits to achieve a triumph that only lasts a couple of seconds. But you also get rewarded with a rush unlike anything else. It’s a great world to be a part of, and it’s changed the entire way I view health and fitness.

I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on heavy lifting—yet. But I’ve still learned some important lessons along the way, and I’m confident you’ll find them just as helpful as I did. If you’re looking to find your numbers or move them up into uncharted territory, here are five rules you need to take to heart.

1 Train Systematically

If you’re currently training in the 10-20 rep range and have limited experience with anything less—think 3-8 difficult reps—then you aren’t ready for a 1RM test. Attempting a max test when you’re mentally and physically unprepared is a bad idea. You’re just setting yourself up for failure.

I highly suggest using a program that trains specifically for the kind of intensity you’ll find in a 1RM test. I used Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 system successfully for several months before getting a more personalized powerlifting training program from the Strength Guys. Trust me, proper programming makes all the difference both in terms of performance and safety. Squatting 3 reps at 85 percent 1RM is an entirely different ballgame than doing 15 reps on the leg press. Programs like 5/3/1, the Westside System, or Stronglifts 5×5 will prepare you for the intensity that lies ahead.

If you’re unsure of your max or haven’t yet had the chance to test it, I suggest using a 1RM calculator initially. Just enter your best lift, and it does the work for you. The heavier the weight and the lower the number of reps, the more accurate the calculator is. For example, 200 pounds for 5 reps is more accurate than 150 pounds for 9 reps. Nothing is as accurate as actually getting under the bar and testing your 1RM—preferably with some supervision from somebody who’s done it many times—but, these calculators can give you a sufficient idea of what your max should be. You’ll need that number in order for the percentage-based training of strength programs to be effective.

2 Learn How To Get in the Right Headspace

Testing your 1RM requires a serious amount of intensity and concentration. You won’t be frolicking in the land of unicorns, bunnies, and rainbows here. To be honest, testing your 1RM sucks. It usually hurts physically, and it always challenges your body’s idea of what is “possible.” Putting that kind of stress on your body is more than just a physical trial, though. It’s a mental one, too. Before you step up to a barbell to try for your max lift, you need to be a master of these three skills:

Focus

If you find your mind in 35 different places and none of them are at the gym with the bar, it’s not the day to test your max. There may be no such thing as the perfect day, but there are optimal conditions that give you a shot at hitting your best numbers. You want to be present and composed with mental clarity. Your focus should be on one thing and one thing only: moving that heavy weight.

Bench Press
Visualization

Visualize yourself easily pulling your deadlift max. Then see yourself adding some more weight and pulling again with ease. Picture your bench max going up without a hitch. Visualizing not only gives your confidence a much needed boost before you tackle your lift, but it can also actually improve motor performance, making your 1RM attempt a major success.

Jamming Out

Not everybody needs music in order to get into a PR headspace, but for many of us, it’s crucial. Listening to music during a training session has been proven to improve performance; it can also be a great boost of motivation when you’re aiming to venture into uncharted waters. Some people like screamo heavy metal to get their blood pumping, and others prefer electronic music, jazz, or film soundtracks to help calm their mind and set the scene for an epic triumph. Whatever works for you, do it!

3 Embrace The Routine

Everyone has their own way of getting ready for a max. Some people do a specific number of warm-up sets, and some people listen to a particular playlist or eat a particular meal. Find a routine that works for you and stick with it. For people who haven’t yet had the chance to take a 1RM, this is what I suggest the first time around:

Warm up

An extensive warm-up process is essential to get an accurate 1RM and prevent injury. I start with some basic mobility work, taking my joints through a full range of motion, and then I move to my warm-up sets.

Get heavy slowly

Opinions vary about which rep scheme to use as you work up to a heavy weight. Your program or coach might have a specific way of doing this; if so, follow it. Here’s the routine that I like to follow when testing my max or going for a PR.

  • Bar x 10
  • 50% x 5
  • 60% x 3
  • 70% x 2
  • 80% x 1
  • 90% x 1
  • 95% x 1
  • 1RM attempt

High reps don’t have a place on max day. I want to know that I can push or pull heavy weight, which is why I perform several sets of a single rep as I get closer to my max. Each of these reps boosts my confidence and prepares me mentally and physically for the pinnacle lift.

No matter how you choose to arrange your warm-up sets, they should fully prepare your muscles, joints, and central nervous system for the lift ahead. I always leave at least 2-3 minutes of rest between my warm-sets, and then I give myself an extra minute or two as I get closer to my max attempt.

“High reps don’t have a place on max day. I want to know that I can push or pull heavy weight.”

4 Find a spotter

I like to train alone. If you see me in the gym, my headphones are usually in, my hat is down low, and I have a leave-me-alone-until-I’m-done look on my face. On max day, it’s a different story. It’s crucial that you have someone spotting your bench max, unless getting pinned under a barbell sounds like your idea of a good time.

Utilizing a spotter on squat max testing isn’t always necessary, particularly if you squat in a rack with safety bars. If I’m testing my squat, I generally use the safety bars for warm-up sets and then grab the most experienced lifter I can find to spot me for my max attempt. Pulling a random spotter off the gym floor isn’t something that I mind doing, but if this is something you’re uncomfortable doing, bring a friend you trust to put your nerves at ease. And maybe have them read up on the rules of spotting first.

There’s no way to spot a deadlift physically, since you either pull the bar off the ground or you don’t. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite a mental or emotional spotter along for the ride. If you feel like having someone yell “light weight!” in a Ronnie Coleman voice would help you move a heavy weight, then by all means make sure they’re there!

5 Make Your PR A Lift Like Any Other

The time has come. You’ve been training for this moment for months. You’ve done your warm-up sets, you’re focused and ready, and now it’s go time. All of your prior training has led you to this moment. Scary, right?

“I’m nervous, I’m pumped, I’m motivated, and I want to do something I’ve never done before.”

I’m always a mixed bag of emotions right before my lift, but I think that’s what carries me through and gives me the best possible lift. I’m nervous, I’m pumped, I’m motivated, and I want to do something I’ve never done before. Somewhere in that mess of emotions, I usually just say “Enough! I’m ready to do this,” and then I go for it.

Aside from this inevitable dialog, though, the mechanics of a max attempt should be the same as all the other lifts you practiced up until this point. This isn’t the time to do a quarter-rep or forget to engage your lats when you deadlift. As you visualize your lift, you should be taking note of form and remembering all your normal cues. A max lift where you injure yourself in the process doesn’t count in my book.

After your initial attempt is complete, step back and assess. How do you feel? How did the lift go? Are you ready for more, or did it take everything out of you? I like to keep going until I either miss a lift or know there’s no logical way I can get that weight back up. But many people will stop after one, and that’s fine.

If you feel like you’re ready to conquer another max attempt, I suggest giving yourself 7-10 minutes of rest before you step up to the bar again. Add no more than 5-10 pounds to the bar; don’t get greedy. Even if you leave that second or third max attempt unrealized, you should feel damn good about what you accomplish!

6 Don’t Overthink It

I’m often guilty of beating myself up after the fact. Did I eat too much? Too little? Could I have done another rep? Should I have done more weight? We all do it. When you’re completely invested in something—like so many of us in the world of health and fitness are—you want to be perfect.

But when you’re waging war against big numbers and percentages, there’s nothing to be gained by harboring regrets. Nagging doubts and questions can take over your brain and prevent you from improving, but just as importantly, they can keep you from enjoying an important victory.

The best possible advice I can give you is to let go. At no time is that more crucial than during and after your 1RM attempt. If you walk up to the bar wondering if you’re going to miss, or questioning your preparation, or revisiting the failed lifts of the past, you’ve already lost. You just have to go for it.

You’re ready. It’s time to believe in yourself. Pick up that weight and show the bar who’s boss.

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All About One-Repetition-Maximum Testing

This article will explain exactly how to conduct one-repetition-maximum testing and suggest ways in which test results can be applied across a range of training objectives.

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Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Warm up, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

<div id="DPG" webReader="126.131470308"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-16.5731707317"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/al-kavadlo-vital-stats.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c11">Vital Stats</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/AlKavadlo/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Bodyspace"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/AlKavadlocom-Were-working-out/205151489148" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Facebook"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="https://twitter.com/AlKavadlo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Twitter"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/twitter-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/alkavadlo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="YouTube"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/youtube-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><p><strong>Name:</strong> Al Kavadlo, CSCS<br /><strong>Location:</strong> New York, NY<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Trainer, author, lead instructor of Progressive Calisthenics Certification<br /><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="www.alkavadlo.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">alkavadlo.com</a></p></div><p>It's become a common cliché that bodyweight athletes don't have strong legs. Look at the comments on any YouTube clip showcasing advanced calisthenics, and you're bound to see someone hating on the lack of lower-body development. A number of coaches also insist that it's impossible to build a strong, powerful lower body without external weights.</p><p>Balderdash, I say! Bodyweight exercises alone can make you every bit as strong as can barbells and dumbbells. You just need to push yourself and get a little creative.</p><p>While newcomers need to spend some time honing their bodyweight squats and lunges, it usually doesn't take long for these basic exercises to max out on their strength benefits. Once this occurs, however, adding weight is not the only solution; you can continue to build strength by simply progressing to more difficult bodyweight exercises, like I discuss in my book <a href="http://www.dragondoor.com/b69/?apid=4e8cb1ea167b0" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pushing The Limits</a>.</p><p>Ultimately, I recommend working up to single-leg movements like the <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pistol-perfect-one-legged-squats-and-beyond.html" target="_blank">pistol squat</a> to get the most out of calisthenics leg training. However, these types of advanced movements may remain out of reach until you've built more strength. As an intermediate step, jump training can add a challenge to your lower-body workouts without the need for weights or equipment. And even if you're well-versed in pistol squats, some of these simple exercises may offer you a new challenge and a welcomed change of pace.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c14">1 Jump Squat</h3>
</p><p>A jump squat is like a regular bodyweight squat, except instead of simply standing up at the top of your range of motion, you jump as high as you can, lifting your knees toward your chest at the top. You can do them jumping in place or up onto an object.</p><p>Though your legs obviously do most of the work, jump squats are a full-body exercise, so use your arms to generate momentum. Remember to stay light on your feet and avoid landing with your knees locked. Keep your joints relaxed and do your best to absorb the impact as gently as possible.</p><p>Try to go directly from one jump into the next, taking advantage of the elasticity of your muscles and their stretch reflex. If you're not able to do this at first, however, just reset and take a few seconds between reps as needed.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jump-training-the-4-move-no-equipment-leg-workout-1.jpg" width="560" height="593" border="0"/><p>"Though your legs obviously do most of the work, jump squats are a full-body exercise, so use your arms to generate momentum."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c14">2 Broad Jump</h3>
</p><p>Another fun plyometric squat variant, the broad jump is essentially the same as the jump squat except you jump forward, not upward. You still want to lift your legs high as you jump, however; this will help you clear more distance. Leaving your legs dangling isn't as aerodynamic. You'll need a lot of space to practice broad jumps; I recommend a park or field.</p><p>Again, try to go from one rep right into the next, though feel free to take a few seconds between reps if you need to when starting out.</p><img class="float-right c15" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jump-training-the-4-move-no-equipment-leg-workout-2.jpg" width="276" height="377" border="0"/><p>"Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like anything else, they need to be progressed once they cease to be a challenge."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c14">3 Jump Lunge</h3>
</p><p>Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like anything else, they need to be progressed once they cease to be a challenge.</p><p>Start out with a stationary jump lunge by lowering yourself down into a split squat and jumping up at the top, gently landing back into the bottom position with your knees bent. Do several in a row, and <em>then</em> switch legs.</p><p>When you get comfortable with those, the cycle lunge is a more advanced jump lunge worth trying. It starts out the same as the stationary jump lunge, but once you're in the air, you'll have to quickly switch your legs before landing. Continue to alternate legs with each rep, going from one right into the next. Feel free to swing your arms for momentum or keep them at your sides. It might take a little practice to land comfortably without losing your balance.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c14">4 Sprinting</h3>
</p><p>Though often overlooked, running is arguably the most natural and fundamental of all lower-body calisthenics exercises. Though most people associate running with long-distance cardio training, sprinting turns up the intensity to such a degree that the body's response is more like performing a heavy set of barbell squats than jogging a 10K. Yes, you can actually <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-best-cardio-for-preserving-mass.html" target="_blank">build strength and muscle through sprinting</a>!</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jump-training-the-4-move-no-equipment-leg-workout-3.jpg" width="560" height="353" border="0"/><p>"The body's response to sprinting is more like performing a heavy set of barbell squats than jogging a 10K."</p><p>Remember that when you sprint, both of your feet are often in the air at the same time, so sprinting is pretty much a form of jump training. You can do sprints for time or for distance, but either way, keep them brief and intense for the most strength benefits.</p><p>Here's a simple routine that can be done anytime to help you find your footing in jump training.</p><div id="meal-plan-table" webReader="-14.96812749"><p>Perform all exercises consecutively, with 1-2 minutes rest between each set.</p><ul><li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_1.jpg" alt="Warm-Up" width="53" height="53"/><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_2.jpg" alt="Warm-Up" width="53" height="53"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong>Warm-Up</strong><br />Light jogging or jumping jacks for around 5 minutes</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Female/t/108_1.jpg" alt="Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Female/t/108_2.jpg" alt="Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')">Jump Squat</a></strong><br />2 sets of 10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('standing-long-jump')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/831/Male/t/831_1.jpg" alt="Broad Jump" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('standing-long-jump')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/831/Male/t/831_2.jpg" alt="Broad Jump" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('standing-long-jump')">Broad Jump</a></strong><br />2 sets of 5 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('scissors-jump')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/813/Female/t/813_1.jpg" alt="Jump Lunge" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('scissors-jump')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/813/Female/t/813_2.jpg" alt="Jump Lunge" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('scissors-jump')">Jump Lunge</a></strong><br />2 sets of 10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2012/sprints_115x53.jpg" alt="Sprints" width="115" height="53"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong>Sprints</strong><br />2 sets of 10 seconds</span></li>
</ul></div><p>There is no single strength building method that's guaranteed to work best for everybody. Weight training will forever have its place in strength and conditioning, but there will always be alternative options to help build athleticism outside of the traditional weight room setting. Bodyweight workouts are often the most practical means of getting a quick but effective workout when you've got a busy schedule and/or don't belong to a gym.</p><p>Give the workout above a shot. I promise it will leave your quads aching and your hamstrings hammered.</p><a href="http://www.dragondoor.com/b73/?apid=4e8cb1ea167b0" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/al-kavadlo-streetching-your-boundaries-book-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144" class="c18"/></a><br class="c19"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c22" webReader="6.20408163265"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pistol-perfect-one-legged-squats-and-beyond.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/pistol-squats-and-beyond-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c21" webReader="8.5306122449"><h4 class="c20"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pistol-perfect-one-legged-squats-and-beyond.html">Pistol Perfect: One-Legged Squats And Beyond</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Pistol squats pop up all over the place, but that doesn't make this classic movement any easier. Commit, do the work, and let Al Kavadlo be your guide!</p></div></div><div class="c22" webReader="4.91048034934"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyweight-bust-four-bodyweight-training-myths-debunked.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/4-bodyweight-myths-debunked-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c21" webReader="6.04366812227"><h4 class="c20"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyweight-bust-four-bodyweight-training-myths-debunked.html">Bodyweight Bust! Four Bodyweight Training Myths Debunked</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Don't believe that high-level calisthenics are only for athletes who look a certain way. Everyone can benefit from the unique challenges that come with bodyweight training!</p></div></div><div class="c22" webReader="4.81463414634"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-best-cardio-for-preserving-mass.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/ask-the-muscle-prof-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c21" webReader="6.19024390244"><h4 class="c20"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-best-cardio-for-preserving-mass.html">Ask The Muscle Prof: What's The Best Cardio For Preserving Mass?</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
You've heard the benefits of high-intensity cardio for weight loss, but you're concerned it'll cost you hard-earned muscle. Learn the truth!</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="37.5957446809"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.91304347826"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html">Al Kavadlo, CSCS</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Al Kavadlo, CSCS is one of the world's leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-al-kavadlo-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
</ul></div></div></div>

Jump Training: The 4-Move No Equipment Leg Workout

 

It’s become a common cliché that bodyweight athletes don’t have strong legs. Look at the comments on any YouTube clip showcasing advanced calisthenics, and you’re bound to see someone hating on the lack of lower-body development. A number of coaches also insist that it’s impossible to build a strong, powerful lower body without external weights.

Balderdash, I say! Bodyweight exercises alone can make you every bit as strong as can barbells and dumbbells. You just need to push yourself and get a little creative.

While newcomers need to spend some time honing their bodyweight squats and lunges, it usually doesn’t take long for these basic exercises to max out on their strength benefits. Once this occurs, however, adding weight is not the only solution; you can continue to build strength by simply progressing to more difficult bodyweight exercises, like I discuss in my book Pushing The Limits.

Ultimately, I recommend working up to single-leg movements like the pistol squat to get the most out of calisthenics leg training. However, these types of advanced movements may remain out of reach until you’ve built more strength. As an intermediate step, jump training can add a challenge to your lower-body workouts without the need for weights or equipment. And even if you’re well-versed in pistol squats, some of these simple exercises may offer you a new challenge and a welcomed change of pace.

1 Jump Squat

A jump squat is like a regular bodyweight squat, except instead of simply standing up at the top of your range of motion, you jump as high as you can, lifting your knees toward your chest at the top. You can do them jumping in place or up onto an object.

Though your legs obviously do most of the work, jump squats are a full-body exercise, so use your arms to generate momentum. Remember to stay light on your feet and avoid landing with your knees locked. Keep your joints relaxed and do your best to absorb the impact as gently as possible.

Try to go directly from one jump into the next, taking advantage of the elasticity of your muscles and their stretch reflex. If you’re not able to do this at first, however, just reset and take a few seconds between reps as needed.

“Though your legs obviously do most of the work, jump squats are a full-body exercise, so use your arms to generate momentum.”

2 Broad Jump

Another fun plyometric squat variant, the broad jump is essentially the same as the jump squat except you jump forward, not upward. You still want to lift your legs high as you jump, however; this will help you clear more distance. Leaving your legs dangling isn’t as aerodynamic. You’ll need a lot of space to practice broad jumps; I recommend a park or field.

Again, try to go from one rep right into the next, though feel free to take a few seconds between reps if you need to when starting out.

“Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like anything else, they need to be progressed once they cease to be a challenge.”

3 Jump Lunge

Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like anything else, they need to be progressed once they cease to be a challenge.

Start out with a stationary jump lunge by lowering yourself down into a split squat and jumping up at the top, gently landing back into the bottom position with your knees bent. Do several in a row, and then switch legs.

When you get comfortable with those, the cycle lunge is a more advanced jump lunge worth trying. It starts out the same as the stationary jump lunge, but once you’re in the air, you’ll have to quickly switch your legs before landing. Continue to alternate legs with each rep, going from one right into the next. Feel free to swing your arms for momentum or keep them at your sides. It might take a little practice to land comfortably without losing your balance.

4 Sprinting

Though often overlooked, running is arguably the most natural and fundamental of all lower-body calisthenics exercises. Though most people associate running with long-distance cardio training, sprinting turns up the intensity to such a degree that the body’s response is more like performing a heavy set of barbell squats than jogging a 10K. Yes, you can actually build strength and muscle through sprinting!

“The body’s response to sprinting is more like performing a heavy set of barbell squats than jogging a 10K.”

Remember that when you sprint, both of your feet are often in the air at the same time, so sprinting is pretty much a form of jump training. You can do sprints for time or for distance, but either way, keep them brief and intense for the most strength benefits.

Here’s a simple routine that can be done anytime to help you find your footing in jump training.

Perform all exercises consecutively, with 1-2 minutes rest between each set.

  • Warm-UpWarm-Up Warm-Up
    Light jogging or jumping jacks for around 5 minutes
  • Jump Squat Jump Squat Jump Squat
    2 sets of 10 reps
  • Broad Jump Broad Jump Broad Jump
    2 sets of 5 reps
  • Jump Lunge Jump Lunge Jump Lunge
    2 sets of 10 reps
  • Sprints Sprints
    2 sets of 10 seconds

There is no single strength building method that’s guaranteed to work best for everybody. Weight training will forever have its place in strength and conditioning, but there will always be alternative options to help build athleticism outside of the traditional weight room setting. Bodyweight workouts are often the most practical means of getting a quick but effective workout when you’ve got a busy schedule and/or don’t belong to a gym.

Give the workout above a shot. I promise it will leave your quads aching and your hamstrings hammered.

Recommended For You

Pistol Perfect: One-Legged Squats And Beyond

Pistol squats pop up all over the place, but that doesn’t make this classic movement any easier. Commit, do the work, and let Al Kavadlo be your guide!

Bodyweight Bust! Four Bodyweight Training Myths Debunked

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

Ask The Muscle Prof: What’s The Best Cardio For Preserving Mass?

You’ve heard the benefits of high-intensity cardio for weight loss, but you’re concerned it’ll cost you hard-earned muscle. Learn the truth!

About The Author

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

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Jump Training: The 4-Move No Equipment Leg Workout

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Warm up, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Jump Training: The 4-Move No Equipment Leg Workout

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Full-Body Training: Twinlab Militia 30-Minute Workout

Click Here!

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.

Recommended For You

Muscle Manifesto: 5 Principles Of The Lifting Life

A PR is great, but it’s just a number. Strengthen your life from the bottom up, and your lifts will grow alongside it!

Muscle Militia Mindset: 5 Must-Read Mental Intensity Tips

Long-term progress requires consistent mental focus. Build intensity that lasts with these five tips from the Twinlab Muscle Militia!

Eat, Lift, Grow: 4 Rules To Help Build A Performance Machine

Elite strength athletes and amateurs alike know that their training will only go as far as the food that fuels it. Build your nutritional strategy around these four rules and you can’t fail!

 

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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

5 tips for winter running

Don’t let the darker days and colder weather hold you back from reaching your PB this winter. You’ve been pounding the pavements all year long to keep fit, train for a big race or lose weight, when suddenly winter sneaks up on you and messes everything up. But it doesn’t have to.

Link: Click Here!

5 tips for winter running

Posted in Exercises, Health Issues, NutritionComments Off on 5 tips for winter running

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

New Ways To Build Bodyweight Strength!

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

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

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

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

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

Pull-up supersets

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

The rest-pause method

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

Pyramid sets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Recommended For You

STRETCHING FOR STRENGTH

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

BODYWEIGHT BUST! FOUR BODYWEIGHT TRAINING MYTHS DEBUNKED

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

ONE-ARM PUSH YOURSELF!

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

About The Author

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

Link:

New Ways To Build Bodyweight Strength!

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

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