Archive | January, 2017

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Family And Fitness: How James Grage Combines The Two

By Roger Lockridge

When it comes to reasons for missing the gym, family often floats to the top of the list. Think for a moment about the conversations you’ve had with friends or co-workers about fitness. When trying to rationalize why they can’t find the time to train, and recounting all the commitments they have, family tends to play a key role. They might say they don’t want to take quality time away from their spouse or kids to focus on themselves, and that they can’t be that selfish. What they need to know is that focusing on fitness won’t hurt—and will likely even improve—connections with their loved ones.

Need proof? Look no further than James Grage, co-founder of BPI Sports. With a wife, two kids, and an ever-growing business, he can’t be as mono-focused on training as he was in his 20s, but that doesn’t mean he can’t train at all. They key is learning how to strike a balance between training, nutrition, fitness, and the rest of your life. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

“I see a lot of people who have similar obligations really struggle when it comes to finding a balance,” says Grage. “They feel like ultimately something suffers. But it doesn’t have to. Fitness isn’t just something we do in our house—it’s our way of life.”

Wanting to devote as much time as possible to your family is admirable, but don’t use it as an excuse to relish in your unhealthy ways. Commit to fitness, get your family involved, and lead by example. Not sure where to start? Follow these Grage-approved steps.

REFRAME YOUR MINDSET

Before you make any physical changes, you need to change your mindset. If you keep thinking your moves toward a healthier, fitness-focused lifestyle are a burden to your family, you’ll undoubtedly fall off the wagon. No one wants to better themselves at another’s expense—especially not at the expense of loved ones. Remind yourself that that’s not what you’re doing. You’re creating a healthy change for everyone. Get excited. Making healthy habits something fun that everyone can enjoy is crucial to the success and longevity of your new lifestyle. It’s not an obligation; it’s an opportunity.

Making healthy habits something fun that everyone can enjoy is crucial to the success and longevity of your new lifestyle

“MAKING HEALTHY HABITS SOMETHING FUN THAT EVERYONE CAN ENJOY IS CRUCIAL TO THE SUCCESS AND LONGEVITY OF YOUR NEW LIFESTYLE.”

MAKE MEAL PREP FUN

Meal prep doesn’t have to mean hours slaving over a stove and filling up Tupperware by your lonesome. Make meal prep a family affair, and get everyone involved. When you cook meals at home, explain the importance of a balanced diet to your children.

Make sure you have as many healthy options as possible available on hand, and limit the sugary cereals and candy bars that might line your pantry and fridge—for example, trade in those brownie bites for pre-cut celery and peanut butter or air-popped popcorn. This will help you realize that clean eating is a lifestyle choice, not a short-term sacrifice. “My wife and I don’t diet,” says Grage. “That’s just a horrible word that sets people up for failure and makes all of your life-long changes sound like a short-term remedy. Instead, we just eat healthy and take care of ourselves.”

Make meal prep a family affair, and get everyone involved

“MAKE MEAL PREP A FAMILY AFFAIR, AND GET EVERYONE INVOLVED.”

Even when he’s really dialing in is nutrition for a shoot, James doesn’t resort to dieting. Instead, he just thinks of it as another stage of discipline in his eating. This way, he avoids the all-too-common yo-yo dieting. “Year round I eat well, and even at 40 I’m always no more than 4 weeks out from photo-shoot shape,” Grage explains. “When I’m done with the shoot, I don’t ‘fall off a cliff’ with my program—I just go back to my maintenance plan.”

What helps him maintain his lifestyle? Family support. “The great thing about it is my whole family eats this way,” he says. “My meals don’t isolate me—they bring us all together. This way, I’m also teaching my kids healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. That’s when habits start, when you’re young.”

EXERCISE TOGETHER

While you don’t want your children positioning themselves under the squat rack or hanging around the heavy weights, it’s still possible to teach them about the importance of exercise on a regular basis. Grage always finds ways to include the most important people in his life in what he feels is the most important part of his day: his training time.

In addition to being a way to blow off stress and reinvigorate your body, exercise can be a powerful bond between you and your children. It is for James. “My 7-year-old son loves doing jumping jacks and push-ups with me,” he says. “I’ve never forced it on him. He wants to do it because in our house we make fitness fun. That’s the key to making anybody want to do anything. Make it enjoyable.”

In addition to being a way to blow off stress and reinvigorate your body, exercise can be a powerful bond between you and your children

“IN ADDITION TO BEING A WAY TO BLOW OFF STRESS AND REINVIGORATE YOUR BODY, EXERCISE CAN BE A POWERFUL BOND BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN.”

Not sure how to get your children involved? Follow these tips to get them tuned in at any age:

Pre-school: Nothing’s more motivating than your tot cheering you on. Young children can serve as motivational coaches whether you’re pushing them in their stroller around the track, or they’re stretching alongside you during your post-workout cool-down. Don’t be afraid to teach them basic bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, bodyweight squats. Take advantage of any daycare services your gym offers and talk to your little ones about why it’s so important for mom and dad to be in shape. They’ll feel more involved and excited to be a part of your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Elementary School: Once your children are a bit older, they’ll be able to take on an even more active role in your fitness journey. Have them run with you for a few minutes or perform a few basic exercises or—if they’re bitten by the fitness bug—consider running sprints. End the day with stretching, deep breathing, and maybe a walk for a few minutes to cool down. Your encouragement and example might even pique their interest in team sports where they’ll learn about fitness, commitment, and sportsmanship.

Middle and High School: If your children are a bit older, consider taking them to the gym with you. Different gyms have different policies, but many allow teenagers to attend if accompanied by a parent. This is an opportunity to work one-on-one with your child and teach them a bit on proper form, setting goals, and possibly incorporating their training into helping them perform better at team sports. Consider setting up a rewards program to help them reach certain goals. The benefits could be greater than you realize—even positively affecting their schoolwork. According to a report by The Institute of Medicine, children who are more active have greater attention span and perform better on standardized testing than their less-active peers.

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Family And Fitness: How James Grage Combines The Two

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Image ab-ballplank.jpg

5 moves for strong abs

Take your ab workouts to the next level with this 5-move midriff workout by WH&F trainer Nichelle Laus.One of the keys to a great physique is good posture and a toned midsection. Strong abdominal muscles will give you the necessary stamina you need to maintain proper form in your workouts and help you maintain the posture you desire in your daily activities.

This abdominal circuit, when coupled with nutritious food choices, will trim your waistline and define your midsection.For a full-time four or six pack, perform the following five exercises twice a week for four weeks.

Gradually increase the number of repetitions you can complete only when you are able to do so with perfect form.

ab-PRISONER.jpg

Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head. Keep one leg straight and one leg bent with your ankle to the floor. Hinge at the hips as you raise your torso off the floor. While maintaining a tall posture, shift your weight onto your bent knee and raise yourself from a bottom lunge position to a standing position. Lower yourself back to the floor slowly by reversing the steps. Alternate legs each repetition.

Perform 8 to 12 total reps.

Trainer Tip – as you raise your back off the floor, be sure to hinge at the hip. Avoid rounding your low back.

Photography: Dave LausWords/workout: Nichelle Laus, WH&F trainer // nichellelaus.comModel: Tawny ClarkHair and Makeup: Two Chicks Some Lipstick1. Stability ball plank

 

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5 moves for strong abs

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Ryan Hughes’ Power Pecs Chest Workout

 

Back when I only had 135 pounds on my 6-foot-1 frame, I had to deal with the usual labels: ectomorph, hardgainer, skinny kid. I didn’t care for those words then, and I don’t like them any better now.

I used weights to change my physique. I love to train heavy, I love to move quickly, and I love the pump I get from high volume. I put all three of these elements into each workout I do, and I couldn’t ask for better results.

Today’s chest workout is no different. It combines a fast pace to keep your heart rate up, high volume for an insane pump, and heavy weights to make you stronger.

When you put each of these pieces together, you end up with a max-effort workout that will challenge all aspects of your fitness level.

Let’s get it done!

Power Pecs
Watch The Video – 11:11

One of the toughest aspects of this workout is the mental game. Your body will always have that extra rep, or that extra set, but you have to find the mental energy to get it done. I may not be the biggest or strongest guy in the gym, but I guarantee no one can outwork me.

If you’ve never done this type of training before, you might find it difficult. If you fail, put the weight down and give yourself a little break before you finish the set. You want the shortest rest periods possible, but do whatever you need to get the work done. Never give up on a set.

A lot of guys tell me that they want to build the best physique ever. I think that’s the wrong approach. Don’t focus on being the best ever, focus on building your best physique ever.

Max out what you can do. If you constantly compare yourself to everyone else, you’ll sell yourself short. Hit this workout with all you’ve got and reap the personal rewards.

Program Notes

Incline dumbbell press

I like to do a couple warm-up sets before starting the first heavy set. Don’t go too heavy on the warm-up because you’ll wear yourself out. Eighty total reps is a lot of reps, so you have to keep an eye on muscular endurance. This is a chest marathon.

I start with 75-pound dumbbells for the first warm-up set and then go up to 85 pounds for the second. When I start my working sets, I go up to 100 pounds. Don’t worry about what I’m doing, though. Pick a weight that’s challenging for you.

This style of training is mentally draining. Dig deep and do your best on those last couple sets. If you need to rest-pause to hit the total rep count, do it, but make sure you finish every single rep.

Hammer strength chest press

You can do these with whatever grip you prefer. Challenge yourself with the weight and then increase it every set. You might feel like you’ll never get those target reps, but trust me—I’ve been doing this long enough. One way or another, the reps will come.

Hammer Strength Chest Press

 

Reverse-grip barbell bench press

Use lighter weight for this exercise and focus on the contraction—squeeze on each and every rep. You want to push until you can’t go anymore. Crush the barbell with your grip and engage your mind-muscle connection.

If you fail on this exercise, don’t panic. Let the weight briefly sit on your chest, reverse your grip back to normal, and press the bar back up.

Pec deck

Make sure you don’t round your shoulders forward: Keep your chest high and maintain a good arch in your lower back. Focus entirely on the chest and squeeze.

Pec Deck

 

Incline dumbbell flye

Get as much as you can out of this exercise. Stretch nice and wide at the bottom of each rep, and squeeze at the top for a full contraction. Don’t go too heavy or you’ll round your shoulders forward. Keep the tension entirely on your upper chest.

High cable flyes

We’re doing 100 total reps, so do as many reps as you can per set and as many sets as you need to get to 100 reps. I usually do four sets of 25 reps.

High Cable Flyes

At the end of the workout, you’ll be exhausted. You may want to give up and walk out. But at the end of the day, you always have those extra reps and extra sets in you. Leave them in the gym.

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About The Author

Ryan Hughes was one of the first men to qualify as an IFBB Physique Pro. He works as a personal trainer and fitness model in New York City

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Ryan Hughes’ Power Pecs Chest Workout

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5 minutes with The HIIT Mum

Pocket rocket and mother-of-one Colette McShane, aka. @TheHIITMum, is a fitness force to be reckoned with. Here, we chat to her about supplementation, passion and just getting stuff done.

I love helping others achieve good health because there is nothing more satisfying than seeing people achieve what they never thought possible. I love making a difference in people’s lives – a lot of parents write to me to say they are getting fitter and healthier, making it easier for them to play with their children.

I always kick the day off with a big, healthy breakfast as it sets the tone for the rest of my day. I make a yummy omelette, frittata or poached eggs with lots of vegetables. Lunch and dinner is anything from stirfry to healthy curries or Mexican-style wraps – again, with lots of vegies and lean proteins.

I snack on the Healthy Way range from Chemist Warehouse, as it’s accessible, varied and forever expanding. I love their vegie chips, all their nuts (I am walnut and almond crazy) and the trail mixes for snacking during the day. 

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5 minutes with The HIIT Mum

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 5th Element Wellness Modified Strongman Workout 5th Element Wellness helps us build strength with this modified strongman workout.Fitness Manager and Co-Founder of 5th Element Wellness David O'Brien takes trainer Alexa Towersey through a challenging yet rewarding workout. Be sure to check out 5th Element Wellness @5elementwellness for upcoming events and more!Visit our Youtube channel for more workout videos.

5th Element Wellness Modified Strongman Workout

5th Element Wellness Modified Strongman Workout

5th Element Wellness helps us build strength with this modified strongman workout.Fitness Manager and Co-Founder of 5th Element Wellness David O’Brien takes trainer Alexa Towersey through a challenging yet rewarding workout.

Be sure to check out 5th Element Wellness @5elementwellness for upcoming events and more!

Visit our Youtube channel for more workout videos.

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5th Element Wellness Modified Strongman Workout

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Weight loss tips for women

Weight loss tips for women

Article
Use these tips to put your fat loss in the fast lane

1 Do compound exercises
Working your bigger muscle groups and performing exercises that target several areas of your body at once ensures a higher fat burn, as you will be recruiting more muscle mass.

2 Focus on tempo
Don’t rush through the lowering part of an exercise. By putting your muscles under tension, rather than allowing gravity to do the work, you’re forcing them to build. Building muscle helps to speed your metabolism – and burn fat!

3 Don’t rest for too long
Of course you need time to recover (it’s important to rest so you can make the next set count!), but only take short breaks between sets to keep your heart rate up and ensure the workout hits the right intensity.

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Weight loss tips for women

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shay massey

8 Rules For Finding The Right Personal Trainer

Personal trainers can be a great asset, but a bad one can do more harm than good. Follow these rules to find the perfect trainer for you!

 VITAL STATS

Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to get fit. That’s a big first step, and one you should be proud of. Your second step is to actually walk into a fitness center or gym. And if you’re unsure of what to do, that can feel as intimidating as your first day of high school.

Many people in this situation hire a personal trainer to help them get started. A trainer can show you around the gym, teach you how to use the equipment, take you through workouts, and help you come up with achievable goals and strategies, sometimes with a little nutrition coaching mixed in. But personal trainers aren’t reserved for beginners. Trainers can also help you prepare for a competition, a race, or just overcome a sticking point.

If you’re going to invest time, money, and trust in a person to guide you in the right direction, then you need to make the right choice. Hitting up the nearest pretty boy or girl may not turn out so great if you find out their brains are all in their biceps!

STARTING YOUR SEARCH

“TRAINERS CAN BE FOUND ANYWHERE, WHICH IS BOTH GOOD AND BAD.”

Personal trainers can be found anywhere, which is both good and bad. The most common, and usually most convenient, point of contact is your local gym. Most gyms have an army of trainers ready to help. Especially during this time of year, most gyms will have promotions to help you to save money up front.

If you prefer to work out at home, look into hiring a private personal trainer. A simple Internet search for private trainers in your area will usually turn up some promising local candidates. Hiring a private trainer is a more expensive route, but it’s often more convenient. However, if you go this way, make sure to ask if equipment will be provided.

Once you have a candidate in mind, use these five rules to determine if they’re a fit for you. If not, don’t be afraid to keep shopping until you find someone who is.

BE CERTAIN ABOUT THE CERT

One of the most important aspects of finding the right trainer is ensuring that he or she is actually qualified to do the job. It’s all too easy for people to call themselves “trainers” when they have little or no expertise.

Good trainers have certifications from reputable organizations or degrees in the exercise or fitness field. Some of the most widely recognized associations and their certifications are the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM); National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA, which confers both CPT certifications and CSCS, or Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist); the American Council on Exercise (ACE); and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA).

In addition to a nationally recognized certification, make sure that your trainer knows CPR and first aid. Don’t be afraid to ask to see proof of certification. After all, you’re putting your health in this person’s care!

KNOW WHAT MOTIVATES YOU

Choose a trainer who will cater to your personal needs and learning preferences. While some people want to be pushed to their limits by a drill sergeant type, others are going to work better with positive reinforcement and gentle encouragement. Your trainer should fit your personality and motivation style.

You’ll be spending a lot of important hours with this person, so your comfort and ease of communication are paramount. Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions about coaching style and motivation techniques. It’s much better to decline a trainer before you even start than to set yourself up with the wrong one.

ASK FOR EVIDENCE

A trainer’s competence is only as strong as the results they’ve been able to attain with their clients. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding—or the lack of pudding. Ask to see success stories or client referrals. Whether you are losing fat, adding muscle, or training for an athletic event, you want to see that your trainer has had success in this area.

Of course every trainer has to start somewhere, but how badly do you want to be someone’s guinea pig when you’re just getting started yourself? Your trainer should be able to provide you with the names and contact information of people who line up with you in terms of age, sex, and fitness goals. Talk to those people, and you’ll quickly figure out if this is the trainer for you.

“A TRAINER’S COMPETENCE IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THE RESULTS THEY’VE BEEN ABLE TO ATTAIN WITH THEIR CLIENTS.”
DEFINE SPECIAL CONDITIONS

If you have special needs, it’s critical that you inform your prospective trainers and ask if they have experience working with them. Exercise can help relieve symptoms of many medical conditions, but bad choices can exacerbate an existing problem.

YOUR CHOICE CAN MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS AND ENDING UP AS A FAILED-RESOLUTION STATISTIC.

If you have a medical condition, check with a doctor before starting a personal training program. After being cleared, mention every medical condition to your trainer. Give yourself the best chance to succeed.

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8 Rules For Finding The Right Personal Trainer

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DE29PERISCOPEHEALTH

Fetish for fitness

The Hindu Following the regime: Youngsters at a gym in Delhi. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

With fitness becoming a rage in modern times, there are numerous publications and video lessons on how to stay fit, stay healthy and look good. Fitness gurus are in demand, especially in the world of sport, where professionalism can be demanding.

Fetish for fitness is not restricted to professional sportsmen. Parks and fields in cities and villages are witness to this fitness revolution. The stressful life makes exacting demands on an individual and his response assumes importance in terms of fitness. “Only a fit person can meet the challenges of life, on the sports field or off it,” was one of cricket’s greats, Kapil Dev’s philosophy.

In this context Bloomsbury India has launched a series of books on fitness and good living. One of the titles, ‘The Fitness Instructor’s Handbook: A Complete Guide to Health and Fitness’ comes across as a useful tool. The book deals with easy-to-understand topics like the skeletal system, safety issues and exercise evaluation. For today’s young executives, working extra hours with not much time for long walks or gym, such books, laced with illustrations, case studies, revision questions and sample programmes, are welcome.

According to Ena Gordon, Assistant Manager – Academic Marketing, Bloomsbury India, “Bloomsbury’s academic and professional division publishes over 1,100 books a year and our sport and fitness list covers all sports from every angle, from the fans to the professionals, and it involves specialist topics filled with authoritative works by passionate experts.”

Unlike the common perception, fitness programme does need guidance and direction by experts. The six-pack rage among film actors may have spread the cult of bulging muscles but the people having those rippling muscles are not always fit due to self-styled bodybuilding. They reportedly resort to using steroids and other harmful agents. It is here that reliable literature shows the way.

Faced with a sedentary lifestyle, today’s society witnesses an increasing number of young people prone to heart-related diseases. Physical activity decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Regular exercise has been long associated with a fewer visits to the doctor, hospitalisation and medication.

A number of other publishers are focussing on the aspect of coming out with titles that appeal to the young and old. For young corporate executives such books are more than a good companion. They are a guide to a healthy life.

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Fetish for fitness

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Healthy living with blogger Lauren Patterson

You may recognise her as having some of the funniest Instagram tales at ___@laurenkate with her two kids Madi and Max. We caught up with Lauren to chat about healthy living, pregnancy and life post-babies.

At the time of the interview Max was six months old and Madi was three and a half, whom which she attritubes her love of health and fitness and the overcoming of severe mental illness to her children. A personal trainer and blogger, her Instagram is your go-to for cute-as selfies with her babies and down-to-earth posts concerining the trials and tribulations of parenthood.

On healthy living

Leading an active and healthy lifestyle helps to manage my anxiety and just makes me feel good. Before having my kids, I was suffering from severe mental illness and an eating disorder and I had no goals or hope for myself. Now I am spending every day working as hard as I can to give my kids the life they deserve.

On pregnancy

Your body does whatever it wants when you’re pregnant. It flattened my boobs, created lots of deep stretch marks, a saggy belly button and loose skin – but it’s all part of the process. I think of them as my little pregnancy battle scars and I love them! On the other hand, pregnancy never stopped me from being active and that made it so much easier to get back into a routine after having Max.

On post-baby bodies

After having Madi, I joined a gym and I slowly learnt to adjust to a new routine as a mum: I found myself using a couch like a piece of gym equipment and learning how to add herbs and spices to make a meal tasty.

It takes hard work and eating well to get your body back in shape after having kids – it’s by no means easy. Loving your post-baby body is all about acceptance and remembering what it has achieved – it created a human!

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Healthy living with blogger Lauren Patterson

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Thrash Your Chest With Frank ‘Wrath’ McGrath

After pushing himself to the limit for competitive glory, Frank McGrath launched his offseason with a chest workout as classic as the gym he performed it in. Get ready to feel like a bodybuilder.

Anyone who has ever been onstage at the peak of leanness knows that the triumph of being in competition shape comes at a steep price. You may look like the best version of yourself for a day, but you probably won’t feel like your best self for a while.

On the contrary, in the weeks leading up to the event, the basic rituals of the fit life, like training and eating, can become immense challenges. You may even have to force yourself to do things that used to be automatic. Even chewing can be a battle.

Basic Rituals Like Training And Eating Became Immense Challenges For Frank “Wrath” McGrath During The Weeks Leading Up To His First Major Show In Three Years.

But then, as quickly as a round of applause, it’s all over. The trophies get handed out, the sweats go back on, and the tan washes off. You have a meal (or several), carb up, and finally—there you are. Time to wake up again, live again, and yes, even train again.

Frank McGrath went through the wringer to prepare for his first major show in three years, and he detailed every step of the process in the video series Frank McGrath: The Making of an Animal. Then, five days later and 10-15 glorious pounds heavier, he headed to the legendary Ed Ryan’s Gym in Glenolden, Pennsylvania, for his first training session of the offseason.

With the cameras rolling and Ed Ryan himself in the house, this IFBB pro and fan favorite trained—what else?—chest. Think you can hang?

Feeling Like A Bodybuilder Again

If you watched Frank’s take on intuitive back training, you know that this pro likes to structure his workouts around a combination of the familiar and the impulsive. He has favorite movements that almost always make the cut in one form or another, but he always leaves himself open to a unique machine, a new handle, or a long-forgotten move.

Ed Ryan’s Gym is packed with old-school curiosities galore—after all, Ed has run it and kept it intact since 1960—so Frank had plenty of choices for this particular chest beating.

With The Offseason Officially Under Way, McGrath Decided It Was Time To Play. He Started By Getting Reacquainted With The Simple Incline Bench Press, One Of His Staple Moves.

“It’s almost like a warp back in time to when bodybuilding was real bodybuilding,” Wrath says of his session that day. But before he started exploring, he knew it was time to get reacquainted with the simple incline bench press, one of his staple moves to build an Animal chest.

“It wasn’t too heavy,” Wrath says of the workout. “I just competed a few days ago, so I didn’t want to go too crazy. Just getting a few more reps in, getting the squeeze, stuff like that.”

With the Band-Aid now pulled off and the offseason officially under way, Wrath decided it was time to play. He knocked out a few sets on a rattling old universal press machine with a bicycle-bar handle, followed by cable crosses using chain cables, and finally, some dips on a small station attached to the press machine.

Four moves, a mean pump, and he was done. This wasn’t some grueling trial-by-fire workout. It was about feeling good—and Wrath felt great.

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