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.My love for the health industry started very early. I’ve been athletic all my life, participating in triathlons and cross-country racing as a six-year-old in Scotland.
Name: Al Kavadlo, CSCS
Location: New York, NY
Occupation: Trainer, author, lead instructor of Progressive Calisthenics Certification
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.
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.
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 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!
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!
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!
So you want to increase your arm size by next month rather than next year? Great! I want you to do a few things:
- Read or at least scan this list of eight great arm movements, many of which you’ve never tried before.
- Pick two that seem appealing. These will form part of your next scheduled arm workout.
- Hold up, you haven’t scheduled your next arm workout yet? Do that before you even read this piece.
- When the time comes to head to the gym, dial in two or three tracks guaranteed to send your intensity through the roof. Crushing your reps will feel like nothing once you start training.
- Slug down a preworkout like SuperPump 3.0 to make sure you’re ready to rock.
- Enter the gym for the best arm thrash you’ve had in months. You’ll own the weights now!
Constituting two-thirds of your upper-arm development, the triceps typically demand more volume than biceps do. In this age of rope press-downs and dumbbell kickbacks performed on Swiss Balls, many good old-fashioned triceps smashers have fallen by the wayside. Triceps typically respond well to all forms of extension exercises involving dumbbells, which allow for a greater range of motion compared to barbells.
The exercise forces you to work against gravity, as the shoulder joint stabilizes the upper arm. While it can be done with a barbell, this dumbbell version with palms facing in can isolate the triceps more effectively to build more mass.
Lying dumbbell triceps extension
Start by lying on a bench with your arms extended forward and your palms in. Slowly lower the dumbbells until they nearly touch your forehead. Pause for one second and then straighten arms and flex the triceps. It’s important here to keep the elbows in a fixed position and control each dumbbell through a full range of motion for maximum effect.
This heavy overhead extension targets an oft-neglected region of the triceps. It won’t be easy. So many people avoid doing it, and suffer incomplete development as a result.
Seated reverse-grip overhead dumbbell triceps extension
While seated, hold dumbbells with an underhand grip—as if performing a biceps curl—and extended your arms until the dumbbells are overhead. Maintaining a straight back, slowly lower the dumbbells to your upper traps until you achieve 90-degrees of flexion. After a moment’s pause, flex your triceps to raise the dumbbells back to the starting position. Be sure to keep your shoulders back and avoid letting your elbows fall forward.
Deemed potentially injurious and less beneficial than other moves, parallel bar dips have been swept under the rug. However, when correctly performed, they can stack more mass on the back of your arms due to their ability to overload all three triceps heads. To perform this move safely and correctly, hang between two parallel bars and use your triceps to push up until the arms are almost straight (not to complete lockout). Slowly lower your body, keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides and legs behind your body, until the upper arms run parallel with the floor. You know you’re on the right track when you form a 90-degree angle between the upper arms and forearms.
Parallel bar triceps dips
The high visibility of impressive biceps commands respect and conveys a respectable degree of upper-body power. Although they are beauties to be admired, the volume of work is often overstated. Because they already receive indirect tension from other upper body training, 2-3 movements per session for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps each is ample for maximal recruitment. Add these three rather obscure movements to have your biceps reaching new developmental “peaks.”
The biceps ladder is a great movement for extending the time under tension while enabling maximal contractibility of both biceps heads. It also emphasizes the negative part of each rep to promote more muscle micro trauma (and subsequent growth) compared to other movements.
This movement is best performed on a power rack or a Smith machine. Set bar at a level low enough for you to fully extend the arms, with your back just clear of the floor. Begin by grasping the bar with an underhand grip, arms fully stretched; then contract your biceps while curling your upper body to the bar until it touches your forehead. Squeeze hard at the top, and then slowly lower back down to starting position. After completing as many reps as possible from this position, raise the bar a notch and immediately complete another set to failure. Continue in this fashion until you reach the farthest notch.
Concentration curls have always been a favorite of people pining for that coveted biceps peak. The cables will allow more tension to be placed on the biceps long head and recruit a greater number of muscle fibers as a result.
Seated cable concentration curl
Start by attaching a single handle to a seated row cable. Position yourself seated and facing the machine, then rest the back of your upper arm on your knee and curl weight until the palm almost touches the front deltoid of the working arm. Remember to squeeze and slowly extend your arm to the starting position.
6 Spider curl (AKA: the Larry Scott curl)
The spider curl is so named after the eight-legged bench it was originally performed on. It was popularized by the first-ever Mr. Olympia winner, Larry Scott, who rocked unmatched biceps. The movement helps to lengthen the long head to promote greater fullness while building the short head to create more biceps width.
Now comes the fun part! Lean forward on a vertical preacher bench with the triceps pressed flat against the front padding and arms fully extended, thus achieving a nice stretch. Now raise weight to shoulder height by squeezing the biceps and repeat. Simple yet effective!
Aside from titanic triceps and biceps, no other muscle grouping is as routinely displayed as the forearms. Comprising many individual muscles, the forearms are notoriously a stubborn group of muscles to train. Given their involvement in almost all exercises, they need both volume and massive weights to be properly hit. The exercises featured below will have yours larger and more impressive in no time.
Isometric training (static contractions held for 10 seconds or longer) is an effective way to build muscle endurance and provides one hell of a mean burn. When the forearms are subjected to such a stimulus, the results can be truly spectacular. The plate pinch-hold is a classic and easy to perform.
Grasp two weight plates of the same size and resistance at arm’s length, between your thumb and fingers. Extend toward the floor and hold for at least 30 seconds, then switch to opposite side. Flatter plates can be difficult to grip so it’s worth experimenting with flat plates or hollowed-out plates.
“The forearms are notoriously stubborn to train. They need both volume and massive weights to be properly hit.
The bulk of forearm mass can be found in the flexor muscles situated on the underside of this grouping. Rather than hitting them with variants of the underhand wrist curl, change up your flexor training with behind the back overhand curls. This seldom-performed exercise will pump your forearms to great effect and gains.
Hold a dumbbell with an overhand grip and fully extend your arm to the back of your body a little wider than shoulder width. Keep your arms steady and curl the weight toward your forearm flexor; squeeze hard at the top. Slowly lower and repeat.
Mixing it up for further arm mass gains
If your goal is Hulk-like hypertrophy, the right combination of exercises for the greatest growth stimulus is the key. Remember that all arm movements will build mass, but it is the training style, rep range, and volume of weight lifted that will help determine growth. Try incorporating the above exercises into your arms regimen or even increasing your training volume by adding an exercise to your current routine. Then improved size and shape will be yours forthwith!
- Stoppani, J. Climb the Ladder for Bigger Biceps. Muscle & Fitness [Online] http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/arms-exercises/climb-ladder-bigger-biceps retrieved on 22.4.14
Recommended For You
Get your guns! Take a page out of Biggie’s book and learn how he prepares his biceps and triceps for an important contest. Here’s to volume!
Forget small-arms fire. It’s time to turn your guns into cannons. Alex Carneiro’s video workout will help you build bulging biceps and horseshoe triceps.
NPC competitor Josh Halladay is on a quest for his pro card in 2014. Here’s the off-season arms workout that he’ll use to add serious muscle to his arms!
Strong is sexy! Sometimes big heavy metal weights can be a little bit daunting, but combining weight training into your workout will help you burn more calories and tone your body. So bust your fears, check out this barbell workout to get summer ready!
How to do it: Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your level.
Beginner: 10 mins
Intermediate: 15 mins
Advanced: 20 mins
Squat (Areas trained: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves)
– Holding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
– Bend your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor
– Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.
Romanian Deadlift (Areas trained: Hamstrings, Lower back, Glutes)
– Hold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs)
– Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead
– Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor
– Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start position
Hip Thrust (Areas trained: Glutes, Hamstrings, Core)
– Set up with your shoulder blades in with the bend an holding a barbell to your hips.
– Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor
– Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to pish your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.
– Lower; repeat.
How to lose the last two kilos They say the last two kilograms are the hardest to lose, but we’ve found a loophole.STEP 1.Calculate your baselineBasal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories you’d burn per day if you were to lie in bed 24/7. It’s based on various factors including your height, age and body composition (a higher muscle to fat ratio will burn more calories even at rest). To calculate your BMR, plug your deets into this equation (known as the Harris-Benedict equation):BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)e.g. a 30-year-old female measuring 167 cm tall and weighing 54.5 kg would compute 655 + 523 + 302 – 141 to get a maintenance level daily calorie need of 1,339, or 5,624 kJ, per day (multiply calories by 4.2 to convert to kJ lingo).STEP 2.Body auditIf your numbers come in low, don’t panic. In addition to what you burn to maintain basic bodily functions, you need to add your other energy usage.
SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald
For Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Jayne Mansfield, known for their voluptuous curves, weightlifting and vigorous exercise were not a part of their daily routine.
But times change. While a half-century ago the concept of women seeking extreme fitness may have been disdained in this country, now it has a solid niche. That’s especially true in an athletic environment like Southwest Colorado.
Take Durangoan Stephanie Walker, for example. Having the ability to change and shape her body to her satisfaction has become an empowering experience.
Dissatisfied with her slender appearance, she decided to start building up her body and take control over each muscle she wanted to enhance.
Though Walker wouldn’t necessarily be considered a professional bodybuilder by either title or appearance, she does consider herself to be a builder of her body and fitness.
“Being a bodybuilder means you work out and see fitness as a sport,” Walker said.
She has competed in both Fitness New Mexico and the GNC Nature Colorado Open. She soon will be training for Fitness New Mexico in Albuquerque this summer.
Competitions are held for several categories, including model, bikini, figure, fitness and bodybuilding. Many competitions host all or several of the above.
Walker attended a recent competition in which only two competed in the bodybuilding division among 200 total women participants,.
Women competitors are opting more for the figure category, a less extreme version, and have steered away from bodybuilding, she said.
Walker feels that it is unnatural for a woman to achieve an extremely bulky, muscular appearance often associated with such competitions and assumes most who do are using anabolic steroids.
“It’s really taboo, and people don’t talk about it,” she said.
Figure competitions allow women to remain feminine, she said. Although it’s hard work to achieve the look, it can be done naturally.
Walker does not use steroids because of their health consequences, she said, but ironically named her dog “Tren,” short for Trenbolone, an anabolic steroid.
Dawn Malinowsky of Vallecito wanted to learn more about her body, so she studied anatomy and researched how to shape it. She quickly got into a routine and was satisfied with her additional strength, she said.
“It feels good to be strong,” she said.
Malinowsky built her body for 12 years and once placed second in her division in a bodybuilding competition in Connecticut, she said. The winner, twice the size of the other women, appeared to have used some sort of anabolic steroid, Malinowsky recalled.
“I’m only 5-(foot)-4, and your muscles can only get so big naturally,” she said. “I don’t believe in steroids. I think it’s cheating.”
After experiencing the harsh realities of prepping for competition, she realized it wasn’t for her, she said.
Depriving her body of carbohydrates, though unhealthy, was not difficult, she said. The hardest part was limiting water intake to drop her body fat percentage from about 16 percent to 3 percent, she said.
Now, at age 48, she no longer bodybuilds but continues to exercise regularly and maintains a healthful lifestyle, she said. But to others considering getting into the sport, Malinowsky said, “Go for it.”
Antoinette Nowakowski of Mayday has been retired from competitive bodybuilding for about 18 years. She said she first discovered the weight room when she moved to Iowa to attend chiropractic school.
She said it took her awhile to feel comfortable in the male-dominated weight room.
“You really had to prove yourself,” she said.
Nowakowski, now 59, began working out regularly to improve a “weak” body and her health. Her regular routine later progressed to bodybuilding.
When asked if she had ever experimented with steroids, she gleefully responded with: “No, I’m a tree-hugging nature girl.”
Just before one competition, she entered a women’s bathroom and discovered a woman shaving her chest hair. It was likely that she was on some sort of steroid, Nowakowski said.
All three women have heard comments from other women who believe “lifting weights makes women bulk up and look like men.” They assure the statement is false and in bad taste.
“I didn’t want to emulate men,” Nowakowski said. “I wanted to have a beautiful, strong feminine body.”
Though the women’s bodybuilding community is very small, the women have received an immense amount of support and admiration from friends and curious admirers in the gym.
Also, even after achieving a “near-perfect” figure in their minds, like anyone else, they are not exempt from experiencing personal body-image issues.
The three women said it’s all about finding a balance.
Don Roberts, who owns Fitness Solutions 24/7 in Bodo Industrial Park and has participated in a few amateur bodybuilding shows, expressed a mixed opinion about the sport.
“It’s great when women do it in a feminine way,” he said. “It can be very tastefully and gracefully done from a woman’s standpoint.”
He did, however, express his distaste for both men and women who obtain their muscular physiques through the use of chemical enhancements.
“They are totally different types of people, he said. “I’m all for it as long as it’s drug-free.”
The women agreed theirs is not a lifestyle suited for all. But they emphasized the importance of not neglecting your health.
“Don’t wait until you’re at the point where you feel bad or are overweight. Find a buddy and work out with them,” Walker said.
Get stronger, fitter and feel more confident in the gym with this exclusive full-body workout by the Base Body Babes.”The barbell is our favourite piece of training equipment, as it can be used for such a great range of exercises. We like to say that ‘Load is King’ – the exercise that allows you to lift the heaviest loads will ultimately give you the best results, and the barbell allows you to do just that. Although there is no magical number, we love the eight rep range as it allows you to build strength while still keeping the heart rate elevated for optimal calorie burn,” says the ladies, Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson.Here’s what you need to doA1 Barbell Back Squat A2 Barbell Military Press A3 Barbell Romanian Deadlift A4 Barbell Bent-Over Row A5 Barbell Split Squat A6 Barbell Glute Bridges Perform each exercise A1–A6 back to back, with no rest in between exercisesComplete 8 repetitions of each exercise Rest for 4 minutes after A6 Repeat 4–6 times NOTE: Choose weights that you believe you can complete all repetitions and sets with without failing, yet still keep the weight challenging enough to complete a great workout. Technique is most important when lifting heavy, so don’t compromise your form. Ensure you are completing all repetitions and sets with perfect technique before increasing the weight.Let’s do this!Words/Workout: Felicia Oreb and Diana JohnsonPhotography: Vanessa Natoli / @vanesSanatoliphotography
Leg raises are a great way to target the stomach, strengthening lower abdominals and hip reflexors, plus it doesn’t require any gym kit. Add these moves to one of your home workouts for a simple, effective way to tone your tummy. Try 10 reps to start with, and progress to more once you’ve perfected your form.
Try out these different variations of leg raises to challenge yourself, make sure you’re also hitting your fat-burning workouts hard, as you need to torch that fat to reveal your new toned tum!
Lying down leg raises:
-Lie on your back with your hands on the floor or under your bottom.
-Keeping a slight bend in the knees and feet together, start with both feet up towards the ceiling.
-Without allowing your lower back to overarch, slowly lower your legs towards the floor without bending the knees any more than they already are.
-When legs are almost on the floor, squeeze the abs and lift them back up to the start and repeat.
Hot tip: if these aren’t challenging enough for you, why not add some ankle weights?
Leg raises with a ball
Add a bit of weight to make your leg raises more challenging
-Start similar to the lying down leg raises
-With your feet on the floor, place an exercise or medicine ball between your feet, griping it firmly
-Begin to raise your legs up, then slowly lowering your legs down, the weight will cause you to use more control
-The weight will cause this exercise to me more challenging than the regular leg raises but effective works the abdominals.
Hanging leg raises
You can perform this exercise at the gym, in the park or at home if you have a door pull up bar
-Hanging from a bar with your arms- grip firmly wide or medium
-Begin to raise your knees/legs so that your body makes a 90 degrees angle
– Lower your legs down and repeat the exercise
This exercise can be difficult, some gyms provide a padded bench that can support your back and padded arm rests for your elbows.
Side leg raises
This exercise can be performed lying or standing
– Standing on one leg, raise the opposite leg to the side as far as you can
– Bring it back to the standing position and repeat this exercise for both legs
-Lie down on one side- with legs extended and stacked on top of one another
-Raise the top leg up as high as you can, lowering it back down to the first poistion.
Edgar ArtigaWORKOUT BY: Luis Buron, Spartan SGX Coach In this workout we’re simulating a Reebok Spartan Race. The mix of running in place and stepups imitate running and climbing uneven terrain and the moves mimic Spartan Race obstacles (as noted in parentheses). The workout finishes with Spartan signature penalty, burpees, and we go for 2 min.