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9/24/2014 10:40:00 AM  
Doubling Your Reps

In athletics, as with life in general, there are certain trade-offs. You want to run really fast? You won't run really far. Want to eat junk food seven days a week? Don't expect to outperform someone who's eating clean for six. You want to train with heavier weights? You're not going to be doing higher reps. It's this last example, however, that we'd like to revisit.

What if we told you that you just might be able to lift heavier weights — for more reps — the next time you go to the gym? Cool trick right? Read on, and you can try this technique with your current workout plan, or try it with one of the programs in our blog.

We call this training technique Double Reps, and it's more of a neuromuscular trick than a biomechanical advantage. But if it works even for just a few weeks, why not use it, and then move on to a different method of shocking your muscles into growth-mode.

How To Do It

The concept is quite simple: Do your reps two-at-time, with no break between the two, and then pause for a brief moment before repeating the process until you reach the intended number of reps for that particular set. The rhythm is similar to a heartbeat, where there are two contractions (the diastolic and systolic) in succession, then a momentary pause, followed by two more beats. Another way of looking at it is like doing mini-sets of 2 reps until you reach the desired number of total reps.

Let's use a set of bench presses as an example. Say you are targeting 8 reps for the set, and you are using 80% of your 1 rep max. Some days you can eke out 8 eight reps — other days you can only manage 7 reps before you hit failure. Using the Double Reps technique, the set would go like this:

Unrack the weight, lower the bar to your chest, and then immediately press the weight up to the starting position. Immediately lower it again, and when the bar touches your chest, instantly begin pressing for a second time. Upon completion of this rep pair, take a quick breath, and with no more than one- to two-seconds pause, repeat the process until you complete 8 reps. "But what if I only get 7 reps," you say? Simple: with the help of your spotter, rack the weight, wait 5- to 10-seconds (maximum) then attempt another pair of reps. Whether you get one more, two more, or none, that completes your set.

We have found this technique primes our psychological machinery for seemingly shorter, more intense "chunks" of work, and we particularly like this for sets that range between 8 and 12 reps. One drawback to the Double Reps technique, as pointed out by our tough-as-nails friend, Steve, in the gym a few weeks ago, "It won't work for odd-numbered sets." Yeah, there is that... but for anyone willing to consider even numbers, give Double Reps a try and you'll be surprised how this minor tweak can deliver big gains.


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9/17/2014 8:21:00 AM  
Furious Workout Experiment

The Fast and Furious Workout Experiment...that Worked!

What do you get when you mash up a musclehead and a computer geek? Well... us, actually. And as a result, we are always looking for smarter ways to train, faster ways to build muscle, and better ways to make being an athlete fit into a working-stiff's schedule. So, when the debate arose about which method of training was more effective, unilateral movements or bilateral movements, we read the studies and opinions, we shuffled our workouts around for a few weeks, and we put together a program that is one of the current favorites around here. It can be a quick workout when you're crunched for time, but it allows you spend all the time-under-tension you need to stimulate serious muscle gains. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.

For starters, bilateral movements are those where both sides of the body work to move the load symmetrically through the range of motion. Think barbell curls: the right and left arms move the weight from starting position to finishing point, together simultaneously — the resistance distributed evenly between each arm. By contrast, unilateral movements, such as a one-arm dumbbell curl, are those where a muscle group on one side of the body moves the load independently from the opposite side — and not at simultaneously with the opposite side.

In fairness, the debate is not so much over which type of movement is superior (because they are both effective components of any well-rounded training regimen), for us the discussion was more about how to best use the two methods given their unique advantages — and given the specific goals we were trying to accomplish.

Factor #1: Pretty much everyone at our office likes to train, likes talking about training, and a bunch of us even train together. During the week however, we also work some fairly long hours, and our families and personal commitments take a top spot in our daily schedule too, so we don't always have as much time to work out as we like. Sound familiar? Weekends provide more time for working out, but we're not going to build the muscle strength and size we want by only hitting the gym two days a week.

Factor #2: No training program works forever, and we like to change things around to keep the gains up, and the bored down — and while most of us will try any reasonable workout plan, we do expect to get a serious return on our investment. Something new, that works, is a good score around here.

Factor #3: Studies such as the one by Dr Keijo Hakkinen et al reported in the journal Acta Physiologica — along with our own personal experience — suggest that bilateral training builds more overall strength in a muscle group (e.g. upper arm) than unilateral movements. That study also indicated that unilateral exercises were more effective at increasing strength in a specific muscle (e.g. bicep) than bilateral movements. And when it come to forging that "mind-muscle-connection" that's often discussed among top physique athletes, most agree that unilateral exercises have a distinct edge.

Factor #4: Some muscle groups, like chest for example, present a bit of a challenge when it comes to finding unilateral exercises that are safe and effective. For example one-arm bench presses (both with a dumbbell and on a Smith machine), are awkward at best. One-legged squats on the other hand, are a legit hardcore exercise ...when done with good form.

So taking these and other factors into consideration, we assembled the following program that can be completed in 35 minutes on weekdays, and 50 minutes on weekends. Sure it's pretty challenging, but it's a real-deal muscle builder.

Day 1 (We do this on Tuesdays because the gym is less crowded than Mondays)
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8 - 12 Chest
Incline Bench Press 3 10 - 12 Chest
Overhead Barbell Press (Standing) 4 8 - 10 Shoulders
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10 - 12 Shoulders
Cable Pushdown 5 10-12 Triceps
Hanging Leg Raise 2 15 - 20 Abs
Crunch 1 15-20 Abs
Day 2 (We do Wednesdays)
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Squat 5 12 - 15 Legs
Leg Press 5 8 - 10 Legs
Wide-grip Bentover Row 5 8 - 10 Back
Pullup 4 To Failure Back
Two-arm Dumbbell Curl 3 8 - 10 Biceps
Barbell Drag Curl 3 8 - 10 Biceps
Day 3 (Saturday)
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
One-arm Cable Chest Flye(Tip: Using the lowest position for the pulley makes this movement easier to perform with one arm) 3 10 - 12 Chest
One-arm Machine Press(E.g. Hammer Strength Chest Press. Tip: Load weight onto both sides of the machine and use your stationary arm to stabilize yourself by holding the grip/handle) 3 10 - 12 Chest
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press with Neutral Grip(palms facing each other) 3 8 - 10 Chest
One-arm Overhead Press with Dumbbell or Kettlebell 3 8 - 10 Shoulders
One-arm Cable Lateral Raise 3 10 - 12 Shoulders
One-arm Upright Row 3 8 - 10 Shoulders
One-arm Overhead Tricep Extension 3 8 - 10 Triceps
Reverse One-arm Cable Tricep Extension 3 10 - 12 Triceps
Decline Crunch 3 To Failure Abs
Hanging Knee Raise 2 To Failure Abs
Day 4 (Sunday)
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Front Squats 4 10 - 12 Legs
Dumbbell Reverse Lunge(Don't alternate — perform all reps on one side before switching to perform reps on the other side) 4 8 - 10 Legs
Seated Single-leg Extension 3 8 - 10 Legs
Lying Single-leg Curl 3 8 - 10 Legs
One-arm Bentover Dumbbell Rows 4 8 - 10 Back
One-arm Seated Cable Rows 3 8 - 10 Back
Wide-grip Pulldown 3 10 - 12 Back
Seated One-arm Dumbbell Curl 3 8 - 10 Biceps
One-arm Hammer Curl 3 8 - 10 Biceps
One-arm Cable Curl 3 8 - 10 Biceps

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8/14/2014 3:14:00 PM  

Here's a complete out-of-gym workout that will build serious size and strength.

Are you one of the many people who cannot easily get access to heavy exercise equipment or to a gym membership? Do you feel like your fitness goals are going nowhere as a result? No matter your situation, NOT training should never be an option for you. Most folks don't need expensive equipment to make great progress, only a bit of knowledge and the right exercise program, and you can make gains as good as anyone, anywhere. With the following workout routine and a pair of dumbbells and a bench, you can get totally hard and ripped without breaking the bank — or leaving your house.

Follow this plan over the next 4 weeks and repeat again until you get the results you are after. You can easily alter this program based on your goals, and here are some suggestions on how you can tailor the workout to your individual needs:

Turn into a Strength Plan:

To do this Do Power/clapping Pushups in between every upper body exercise set and Body Weight jump squats in between every lower body and ab exercise for sets of 10 each time you execute. Use the example below:

  • Example Upper Body - Decline Press 3x10 (then in between each set do regular power or clapping pushups for a set of 10 reps)
  • Example Lower Body - Lunges 3x10 (then in between each set of lunges do Jump Squats for a set of 10 reps)

Turn into a Fat Burning plan- To do this Do jumping jacks or jump rope in between every set of upper body movements for 1 minute in between sets, and mountain climbers in between every set of lower body and ab exercises for 30 seconds. Use the Example below!

  • Example Upper Body - Decline Press 3x10 (then in between each set jump rope or do jumping jacks for 1 minute)
  • Example Lower Body - Lunges 3x10 (then in between each set of lunges do mountain climbers for 30 seconds)

Here is the workout:

Week 1 Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Push Ups 3 10 Chest
Decline Push Up 3 10 Chest
Incline Push Up 3 10 Chest
Dumbell Flye 3 8 Chest
One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8 Chest
Alternating Dumbbell Curl 3 12 Arms
Dumbbell Curl 3 6 Arms
Incline Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension 3 15 Triceps
Dumbbell Power Row 3 5 Back
Dumbbell Row 3 10 Back
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 12 Traps
Week 1 Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Dumbbell Lunge 3 12 Legs
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 3 8 Legs
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 10 Shoulders
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8 Shoulders
Dumbbell Front Raise 3 8 Shoulders
Bent-Over Lateral Raise 3 8 Shoulders
Dumbbell Straight-Arm Pullback 3 12 Back
Week 2 Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Push Up 3 12 Chest
Decline Push Up 3 12 Chest
Incline Push Up 3 12 Chest
One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press 3 6 Chest
Dumbbell Flye 3 10 Chest
Alternating Dumbbell Curl 3 8 Arms
Dumbbell Curl 3 12 Arms
Incline Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension 3 8 Triceps
Dumbbell Power Row 3 8 Back
Dumbbell Row 3 5 Back
Dumbbell Shrug 3 15 Traps
Week 2 Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Dumbbell Lunge 3 8 Legs
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 3 10 Legs
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 8 Shoulders
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 12 Shoulders
Dumbbell Front Raise 3 12 Shoulders
Bent-Over Lateral Raise 3 12 Shoulders
Bent-Over Lateral Raise 3 12 Shoulders
Dumbbell Straight-Arm Pullback 3 8 Back
Week 3 Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Push Up 4 10 Chest
Decline Push Up 4 10 Chest
Incline Push Up 4 10 Chest
Dumbbell Flye 4 12 Chest
One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8 Chest
Alternating Dumbbell Curl 4 8 Arms
Dumbbell Curl 4 10 Arms
Incline Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension 4 15 Triceps
Dumbbell Power Row 4 5 Back
Dumbbell Row 4 6 Back
Dumbbell Shrug 4 15 Traps
Week 3 Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Dumbbell Lunge 4 8 Legs
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 4 12 Legs
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 10 Shoulders
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 12 Shoulders
Dumbbell Front Raise 4 12 Shoulders
Bent-Over Lateral Raise 4 12 Shoulders
Dumbbell Straight-Arm Pullback 4 8 Back
Week 4 Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Push Up 5 10 Chest
Decline Push Up 5 10 Chest
Incline Push Up 5 10 Chest
One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8 Chest
Dumbbell Flye 4 12 Chest
Alternating Dumbbell Curl 5 10 Arms
Dumbbell Curl 5 5 Arms
Incline Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension 5 10 Triceps
Dumbbell Power Row 2 15 Back
Dumbbell Row 3 6 Back
Dumbbell Shrug 3 15 Traps
Week 4 Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Dumbbell Lunge 5 8 Legs
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 3 10 Legs
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 5 10 Shoulders
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 5 6 Shoulders
Dumbbell Front Raise 5 6 Shoulders
Bent-Over Lateral Raise 5 6 Shoulders
Dumbbell Straight-Arm Pullback 3 15 Back

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3/13/2014 4:32:00 PM  
A Heavy-weight, High-volume Launching Pad for Muscle Growth!

Do a little spring-cleaning and launch your old workout out the door.

Nothing sparks new muscle growth like a fresh training program, and this plan will seriously challenge your muscles with hardcore tonnage and the kind of high-volume output that separates the chargers from the "also-rans." But gut out this hard 'n heavy program, and you'll be rewarded with phenomenal size and strength gains — plus you'll crank your fat-burning metabolism into overdrive too!

The 5-3-1 method of training is just the prescription needed to get back to what truly works when training. The concept behind this program is to maximize both volume (total sets and reps) and weight with the basic movements that are pretty much all you truly need in order to gain brute strength and a thickly muscled physique.

The 5-3-1 technique starts out with you doing 5 working sets of 5 reps, then moving on to 5 sets of 3 reps, and finishing off with 5 sets of 1 rep for each of the main lifts. By keeping the reps no more than 5 per set, you can focus on increasing the weight with each set. For example, start off the first set of 5 with a weight you know you can handle for 5-8 reps, and for each subsequent set increase the weight by 10 pounds. Do the same for the sets of 3 reps and the set of 1 rep.

Research has shown that focusing on heavier weight and fast, powerful reps actually helps speed up the fat burning process more than light weight with high reps. The research also shows that escalating the training poundage in this fashion increases your fat-burning metabolism for up to two days after the training cycle. So be sure to change it up this week with the 5-3-1 workout program, and you'll be on your on your way to getting bigger, leaner, and stronger than ever.

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Squat 5 5 Legs
Barbell Squat 5 3 Legs
Barbell Squat 5 1 Legs
Barbell Front Lunge 3 6 Legs
Abdominal Crunches 3 20 Abs
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Bench Press 5 5 Chest
Barbell Bench Press 5 3 Chest
Barbell Bench Press 5 1 Chest
Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 5 10 Chest
Bent-over One-arm Dumbbell Rows 5 10 Back
Standing Dumbbell Shrugs 5 10 Shoulders
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Deadlift 5 5 Legs
Barbell Deadlift 5 3 Legs
Barbell Deadlift 5 1 Legs
Good Mornings 5 10 Back
Leg Lifts 3 20 Legs
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Standing Barbell Military Press 5 5 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Military Press 5 3 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Military Press 5 1 Shoulders
Pull-Up/ Chin 5 10 Back
Dips 3 20 Chest
Standing Two-arm Barbell Curl 5 10 Arms

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3/6/2014 3:27:00 PM  
Cardio Acceleration

ACCELERATE YOUR FAT LOSS - Get shredded faster with a workout that combines the calorie-burning of cardio with the muscle-building power of weight training.

For all the lip service we may give to our love of a challenging workout, and how the journey to a ripped physique is as rewarding as the end result, admit it ... you'd love to drop excess pounds more quickly.

Yet, if you've been relying on traditional cardio methods — 30 minutes on the stationary bike here, an hour on the treadmill there — that fat loss may be coming at an excruciating slow pace.

If that sounds familiar, it's time to hit back. Or more specifically, HIIT back, with a revamped cardio regimen that can fast-track your shredding ambitions. Popularized by exercise expert Dr. Jim Stoppani, cardio acceleration is a form of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short.

In HIIT training, you intersperse low-intensity exercise with short bouts of high-intensity activity. The goal of HIIT is to spike your heart rate, and spur the body to flip on its fat-burning systems. Cardio acceleration, as crafted by Stoppani, intersperses aerobic exercise and resistance training movements over the course of a workout.

The key is to go heavy and hard as you can with the weights, then — instead of resting, as you would in a normal routine — you do cardio, anything from jumping rope to running on a treadmill. Your goal is to keep up the demanding pace throughout.

Research has shown that when you combine cardio acceleration tactics with weight training, you not only burn more calories and fat, but you prompt more muscle fiber recruitment. In short, you can ditch the long, boring cardio sessions, replacing them with a high-impact program that burns more fat while building more muscle. (We've provided a few samples below.) And hey, if you're one of those who love a challenging workout? Cardio acceleration has you covered there, too.

Sample No. 1 Cardio Acceleration with Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Jump Squatsuperset with 3 12
Jump Rope 3 30 sec.
Leg Presssuperset with 4 8
Jumping Jacks 3 30 sec.
Barbell Front Lungesuperset with 4 5
Jump Rope 3 30 sec.
Lying Leg Curlsuperset with 3 12
Alternating Leg Dumbbell Step-Up 3 5
Sample No. 2 Cardio Acceleration with Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Lat Pulldownsuperset with 3 12
Run in Place or Treadmill 3 30 sec.
T-Bar Rowsuperset with 3 15
Run in Place or Treadmill 3 30 sec.
Back Extension 3 20
Jump Rope 3 30 sec.
Sample No. 3 Cardio Acceleration with Chest Exercise
Exercise Sets Reps
Cable Crossoversuperset with 3 12
Push-Upsuperset with 3 15
Jump Rope 3 30 sec.
Flat-Bench Barbell Presssuperset with 3 12
Jumping Jacks 3 30 sec.
Incline Dumbbell Presssuperset with 3 10
Jump Rope 3 30 sec.
Sample No. 4 Cardio Acceleration with Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
V-Upsuperset with 3 12
Treadmill or Recumbent Bike 3 30 sec.
Reverse Crunchsuperset with 3 15
Treadmill or Recumbent Bike 3 30 sec.
Crunchsuperset with 3 20
Treadmill or Recumbent Bike 3 30 sec.

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12/31/2013 11:35:00 AM  
The Hardest Easy Workout You'll Ever Do!

It's January 1st, and everyone wants a new exercise program. One that will help you get into fantastic shape, but that you can stick with rather than falling off the workout wagon a week after getting on. The following advice has worked for beginners and advanced athletes alike, and I have personally used this method on six occasions with great results — but more on that later.

Success Tips for this Program

  1. Don't do more than required. One of the ways this regimen helps to instill discipline is by establishing an exact number of push-ups to do — and your job is to stick to it. Quite often, bridling your enthusiasm is harder than cranking out the reps. It's like eating just one potato chip — I dare ya!
  2. Use good form, but vary your hand positions to stress different muscle groups if you like. Try placing your hands wide or narrow. Elbows in. Elbows out. Rotate your palms so that your fingers point inward or outward. There are lots of different ways to perform this powerhouse upper body/core exercise.
  3. If something interrupts your training for the day, don't panic. Just add two push-ups to your tally on the following day and pick up where you should be on the calendar.
  4. If you hit a point where you can't go on, try this technique. Let's say you can do 60 push-ups but you just can't get 61. After your 60th rep, pause for 30 seconds, then do your last rep. The next day, do 50 push-ups followed by a 30 second pause, and then try to do 12 more push-ups. Continue this way for one week — each time adding one rep after the pause — and then try to do as many push-ups as you can before pausing if necessary. Whenever you hit that type of impasse, just subtract ten push-ups from the maximum you can complete, take 30 second pause and then finish with your remaining reps.
  5. If you start to think you are undertaking an impossible task, consider that the world record for non-stop push-ups is 10,507, set by Minoru Yoshida in 1980. Keep in mind this program is not about breaking records, but about forging discipline and improving fitness. The thing that truly matters is this: Did you push yourself further than you thought you could go? Did find yourself applying your newfound willpower to other areas of your life? ...Not bad for one simple push-up.

This article falls somewhere between workout plan and motivational tip. It spans the gap between novel idea and ancient concept, and simultaneously it's ridiculously easy and excruciatingly hard.

Virtually anyone can begin, and complete, this workout within the next ten seconds ...and yet a person who finishes the regimen to the end of its cycle is truly at an elite level of physical fitness and strength.

Alright, that's the set-up... now here's the program: Do one push-up. That's not a typo. Let me explain.

In the same way that 6th-century BC Greek athlete, Milo of Croton, purportedly built his legendary strength by lifting a newborn calf every day until it had grown to maturity, this program is going to start you off with one push-up, and add one more every day until you can't do any more — or until you can do 365 of 'em!

This is one exercise plan that really is as simple as it sounds. Today you'll do exactly one push-up; tomorrow you do two; the next day, three. Wash, rinse, repeat. If you start on January 1st you'll pass certain milestones as you progress throughout the year. On Valentine's Day you'll be banging out 45 push-ups before your big date. Come the 4th of July you'll be rocking 185. Make it to Halloween and the frightful number you'll be hitting is 304. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, you'll be doing 331 push-ups — and you'll be able to eat as much pumpkin pie as you like without feeling an ounce of guilt.

If you attempt this challenge, an interesting thing happens along the way. Sure it's really easy at first, and very very difficult at the end, but somewhere around week six you get to look back and realize that you just exercised every day for nearly two months — and this is probably the biggest payoff for people who have had prior difficulty sticking to an exercise plan. Being able to drop and do 50 push-ups any time you want isn't too shabby either.

"Today you'll do exactly one push-up; tomorrow you do two; the next day, three. Wash, rinse, repeat."

A lot readers might be saying, "Hold on. I can do more push-ups than that right now." Great — we know that too. The first time I tried this, I was in pretty good condition. I could eke out 100 push-ups with a bit of effort. I was in the gym four days a week. If I went for a swim I wasn't embarrassed to take my shirt off. BUT, as I progressed through this regimen I started to notice I became more disciplined than ever before. Somehow, being a few hours away from having to do my push-ups, or having just done them, made it easier to pass up the junk food that seemed to be everywhere I turned. It became easier to remember to get in that extra protein meal. Those early-morning jogs seemed less arduous — in fact, even just getting up early became easier.

Now this program doesn't replace the need for other types of exercise, and if you're a competitive powerlifter this is probably not a regimen that you want want to follow, at least for very long. However, if you're looking for a challenge that will kickstart your willpower as much as your body, try out this plan starting right now. Drop and give me... ONE!


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12/30/2013 3:26:00 PM  
The Hard & Fast Workout

Already in good shape? Don't let that stop you from resolving to get in even better shape in 2014! Here's a hardcore 7-day training plan that will jump-start your strength-gaining, muscle-building and fat-burning progress like never before! (For Intermediate-to Advanced-level Athletes)

Let's face it, anyone can make a resolution. Sometimes it's the post-party hangover talking, but people make themselves big promises: They'll start eating healthy. They'll lose pounds of fat. They'll build the strong, muscular body they always wanted.

Then mid-January arrives. Health clubs across the country, just two weeks before filled to capacity, start to empty out. By February, it's mostly back to the regulars, who never abandoned their posts — plus a few new faces whose steely determination has kept them from sliding backward into the abyss of broken resolutions.

But what about those who take training seriously, no matter what new digits we find atop the calendar? We want to kick things into high gear too, and since we have plenty of experience under our belts (though perhaps a couple extra holiday pounds), we can handle a training program that's more challenging than your typical Start-the-New-Year-Off-Right plan.

Enter the Inbox Fitness approach to meeting 2014 head-on. How about an intense week-long training plan that tests your mettle, jolts you past any workout rut you might currently find yourself in, and jams your progress into overdrive?

The following plan, as you've now been warned, is far from easy. It's a challenging concoction of high-impact power movements, CrossFit exercises and time-tested muscle-building fare. And they all come with a twist — variations in rep speed and a timing element that throws out the typical "sets and reps" approach.

Intrigued? Then try our workout plan. It's worthy of a New Year's Resolution made by all of you who embrace fitness ... not as merely a passing thought at the turn of every year, but a 24/7, 365-day commitment.

Instructions: Do the following three workouts on three consecutive days, then take one day of rest and repeat. On all three days, perform three sets of each exercise listed, or two sets if it's a "super-slow" series.

So, for instance, on the first day, you'll do three 45-second sets of bent-over rows, choosing a weight that will lead to failure by the end of that timeframe. (This will admittedly take some trial and error; if you fail sooner, drop the weight and continue). During the third 30-second rest period, you'll quickly move on to the next exercise, narrow-grip pulldowns.

In addition to the 30-minute workout time, you should also do a 5-10 minute warm-up before and 5-10 minute cool-down after, on the cardio machine of your choice. Just make sure to break a sweat — a warm-up is not a waiting-period, it is work.

The "speed" component tells you how fast to perform your reps. "Explosive" means a strong, fast move on the "up" phase, followed by a standard 2-to-4 second negative. "Standard" style is 2-3 seconds on the concentric (lifting) portion of the rep, and 2-4 on the eccentric (i.e., negative). And "super-slow" means you want to take 8-10 seconds on the concentric phase and 4-6 seconds on the descent. A note: While you'll watch the time, always finish the last rep you've started before terminating a set. Measure your progress by how much weight you can handle with perfect form.

As for cardio, add a long run (3 miles or more) on at least two days, and 30-45 minutes of interval training (all-out sprints interspersed with slower speeds) on three.

Because this week-long training protocol is physically and psychologically intensive, you won't want to do it week after week, or you may quickly find yourself in an overtrained state. Instead, depending on your fitness level, you may want to follow this with a lighter week of cardio workouts and toned-back weight training sessions before returning to your regular routine. But when you do return to your usual program, you will be tougher, stronger, leaner and, most certainly, resolved!

Day 1: Upper Body
Exercise Work / Rest (Seconds) Speed
Bent-Over Barbell Row 45/30 Standard
Narrow-Grip Pulldown to Front 30/30 Explosive
Hammer-Strength Row 60/30 Super-Slow
Smith-Machine Incline Press 30/30 Explosive
Standing Barbell Press 30/30 Explosive
EZ-Bar Upright Row 45/30 Standard
Cable Crossover 60/30 Super-Slow
Close-Grip Bench Press 30/30 Explosive
Standing Barbell Curl 45/30 Standard
Total Time: 29.25 minutes
Day 2: Lower Body
Exercise Work / Rest (Seconds) Speed
Walking Dumbbell Lunge 45/30 Standard
Barbell Squat 30/30 Explosive
Hack Squat 30/30 Explosive
Leg Extension 60/30 Super-Slow
Romanian Deadlift 45/30 Standard
Kettlebell Swing* 30/30 Explosive
Burpees* 45/30 Standard
Box Jumps* 30/30 Explosive
Standing Calf Raise 60/30 Super-Slow
Total Time: 29.25 minutes
Day 3: Power & Core
Exercise Work / Rest (Seconds) Speed
Hang Clean* 30/30 Explosive
Deadlift 45/30 Standard
Hang Power Snatch* 30/30 Explosive
Kipping Pull-Up* 30/30 Explosive
V-Up 45/30 Standard
Hanging Leg Raise 45/30 Standard
Decline Twisting Crunch with Medicine Ball 45/30 Standard
Ab Crunch Machine 60/30 Super-Slow
Back Extension 60/30 Super-Slow
Total Time: 30.00 minutes

* The starred exercises are meant to be Cross Fitness/WOD-style; for a primer on how to perform them, check out CrossFit.com.


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10/10/2013 8:59:00 AM  
Bookend Training

What is Bookend Training?

Just like a bookshelf where you might find two identical, solid props to hold your literary collection in place, Bookend Training employs the same exercises at either end of the workout program for a particular muscle group, with other different exercises in between the two "ends."

Bookend Training is a training principle that is used when writing a workout program where you are looking to maximize blood flow and muscle fiber recruitment (building muscle). Every muscle group has a foundational lift, or exercises that allow you to maximize strength in that muscle group.

For instance the squat is the foundational exercise for legs, and typically is one of the first exercises you want to perform when training. Bench Press is the foundational exercise for chest. Barbell Military or shoulder press for shoulders, Lat Pull downs, Bent Over Row or Pull Ups for back, and so on. The other exercises are categorized as auxiliary lifts to emphasize one muscle, or parts of the muscles differently.

So with Bookend Training the concept is to start with a foundational exercises for a specific muscle group. Once completed you move onto the auxiliary exercises which still target the muscles you are working, and then finishing off the muscle group with the same foundational exercise you started with.

Why does it work?

Research has shown that because of the load (weight and force) that foundational exercises put on the muscles worked, you can significantly recruit more muscle fibers when you also finish off with the same movement once the muscles are fatigued after the auxiliary lifts are performed. In a sense, its similar to the overload principle that takes place when you do extended set training.

What this means is that by doing this technique your muscles work overtime to recruit more muscle fibers during and after your training is finished.

My advice is to attempt to use the same weight when you perform your final set of your workout as you did with that same exercise when you began your workout. Pretty challenging when you think about that way!

Do the workout program below each week for a total of 4 weeks to maximize your results from this technique.

Week 1

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Incline Bench Press On Bench 3 8 Chest
Dumbbell Bench Press On Bench Both Arms 3 10 Chest
Laying On Incline Bench Dumbbell Flys Both Arms 3 12 Chest
Standing Mid Cable Flys Both Arms 2 15 Chest
Barbell Incline Bench Press On Bench 2 15 Chest
Standing Bicep Curl Barbell Both Arms 3 8 Arms
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl One arm 3 10 Arms
Cable Concentration Bicep Curl 3 12 Arms
Standing Bicep Curl Barbell Both Arms 2 15 Arms
Hanging Leg Raise 2 6 Abs
Laying on Ground Abdominal Crunches Hands by Head 1 60 Abs
Hanging Leg Raise 2 60 Abs
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Squat 3 6 Legs
Machine Leg Press Both Legs 3 10 Legs
Barbell Reverse Lunge 3 10 Legs
Seated Machine Leg Extension Both Legs 3 12 Legs
Prone Machine Leg Curl Both Legs 3 12 Legs
Barbell Squat 2 15 Legs
Standing Calf Raise 3 6 Legs
Seated Calf Raise 2 15 Legs
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Standing Barbell Military Press 3 8 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Upright Row Both Arms 2 10 Shoulders
Standing Cable Side Raise One Arm 3 12 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise Both Arms 3 12 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Military Press 2 15 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Shrugs 3 6 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Shrugs 2 12 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Shrugs 2 15 Shoulders
Bent Over Cable Crunch 2 8 Abs
Reverse Crunch/ Leg Lifts 3 25 Abs
Bent Over Cable Crunch 2 15 Abs
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Bent Over Wide Grip Rows Both Arms 3 8 Back
Pull-Up/ Chin 3 10 Back
Seated Cable Row 3 12 Back
Seated On Bench Cable Lat Pulldowns One Arm 3 15 Back
Barbell Bent Over Wide Grip Rows Both Arms 2 15 Back
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press with bands 3 8 Chest
Standing Cable Triceps Extension Both Arms 3 10 Arms
Standing Both Legs Over Head Tricep Extension Both Arms 3 12 Arms
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press with bands 2 15 Chest

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9/24/2013 4:34:00 PM  
10 Things to do on National Family Fitness Day

Take the opportunity to show your kids and family how to do something healthy and positive. On Saturday September, 28th comes the 17th annual National Family Health & Fitness Day!

Get your family excited about fitness and show them how it's done! Family-related health and fitness events will be held all over the country, whether in local parks, YMCA's, malls, health clubs and/or community centers, you can find an activity near you.

If you're looking for something more adventurous, here's our list of ideas for a fun-filled National Family Health & Fitness Day:

  1. Get some good, clean fun in a mud run! Mud runs for families and kids are becoming increasingly popular. Sign up for a muddy obstacle race that will get your whole family excited about running, climbing, and crawling on and through muddy obstacles. Check out our list of the top 3 family fun mud runs:

    1. Spartan Race or Spartan Kids
    2. The Dirty Dash or Piglet Run for kids
    3. Great Amazing Race
  2. Enjoy a fall day of fun, laugh as a family and learn about agriculture, all in a full day's worth of corn maze adventures — with over 2000 corn mazes across the country, you'll be sure to get your fill of family fitness fun.

  3. Kite racing — race your own homemade "bird in flight" by building your own Benjamin Franklin kite!

  4. How about some healthy eating and yummy good-for-you food education at your local farmers market? Go for a walk through your local market and talk to the local farmers who harvest and grow all the amazing, organic & delicious foods in season. The farmers will have lots of insight on how to pick the best tomatoes and how to check if an avocado is ripe.

  5. How about a good ol' bike ride? Grab the kids and go on a cycling adventure! If you or anyone in your family doesn't have a bike, you can rent one for the day at a reasonable price. If you have little ones who can't pedal just yet, use a bike trailer. Ask your local bike shop to help you pick (or rent) the right bicycle trailer for your ride. For the kids who can pedal but may have a hard time keeping up, consider a lift trailer that attaches to the back of your bike but allows your little one to pedal behind you as if he/she was cycling all on their own. For more bike trail ideas in your state check out 'the 50 best trails in America'.


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9/18/2013 10:15:00 AM  
Professional Strength

A Hard-hitting Sports Performance Workout Even Pros Can Win With

Sports conditioning has come along way from the days when coaches and athletes actively avoided weight training for fear of becoming slow and less agile. Today's sports science completely embraces weight training as an absolutely essential component of every successful athlete's conditioning program. The only question that remains is: Which is the best sports performance workout? For most athletes at any level of play, I think the program below just might be the answer. It's not easy, but winning rarely is.

With the adoption of strength training by so many types of athletes, thousands of different workout regimens have been developed, ranging from highly-effective to practically useless (and sometimes even flat-out dangerous).

I have used the workout plan included here with great success, and I believe it is truly one of the best sports performance workout programs you will ever try — it is also one of the most challenging. This regimen emphasizes every possible area that is required to be trained in order to enhance overall performance. If you're unsure how to perform any of the movements, I have videos of most of them on YouTube so you can see proper exercise technique.

Performance can be defined differently for just about anyone. Some may see improving performance as being better at a particular sport, while some may see it as being better at simply walking up a flight stairs. In this particular case I am using the term performance to describe those who would like to be able to do just about any type of strenuous physical feat easily. If you want to improve your game, whether it's mud runs, jumping sports, field sports or anything that requires athleticism, then this is the workout plan for you.

This program is design to be done on five consecutive days followed by two days of rest. If your schedule or physical ability requires, you can insert a rest day after two or three workout days, and then resume with the workout plan for the remaining two or three days of the cycle, then take another day off. This workout plan is hardcore, but follow it for at least four weeks before making any changes, and you'll be on track to achieving world-class sport performance conditioning.

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Machine Leg Press (both legs) 1 20 Legs
Adductor Side Steps 1 20 Legs
Standing Shoulder Press (both arms - with band) 1 30 Shoulders
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Jump Squat 2 10 Legs
Box Jumps 2 12 Plyometrics
Barbell Deadlift 4 3 Legs
Power Clean 4 3 Olympic Lifts
Barbell Squat 5 8 Legs
Barbell Straight Legged Deadlift (with band) 3 8 Legs
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Seated On Bench Barbell Military Press (with band) 4 8 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Side Raise (both arms) 4 6 Shoulders
Standing Barbell Upright Row 4 8 Shoulders
Laying on Ball Abdominal Crunches with a Twist (using band) 3 30 Abs
Russian Twists 3 15 Abs
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Bench Press on Bench (with band)Super-Set With 2 25 Chest
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
One-arm Standing Chest Fly (with band) 1 20 Chest
Jump Rope 1 30 Cardio
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Barbell Bench Press on Bench 4 8 Chest
Dumbbell Bench Press on Bench (both arms) 4 10 Chest
Jump Rope 1 30 Cardio
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Standing Mid-cable Flyes (alternating arms) 3 12 Chest
Medicine Ball Push-Ups 3 15 Chest
Dips 3 15 Chest
Standing One-Arm High-Bicep Curls 3 12 Arms
Standing Kickbacks (both arms - with band) 3 12 Arms
Standing Cable Triceps Extension (both arms) 3 10 Arms
Standing Biceps Curl Dumbbell (alternating arms - with band) 3 15 Arms
V-Ups (with no equipment) 3 20 Abs
Prone Iso Abs (on ball) 3 30 Abs
Laying on Ball Abdominal Crunches (with hands by head - using band) 3 30 Abs
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Adductor Side Steps 5 10 Legs
Step Ups Alternating Legs 1 20 Legs
Box Jumps 1 20 Plyometrics
Jump Rope 1 60 Cardio
Hang Clean 3 2 Olympic Lifts
Barbell Overhead Squat 3 5 Legs
Barbell Front Squat (with band) 3 10 Legs
Prone Machine Leg Curl (both legs) 2 20 Legs
Laying On Ground Dumbbell Prone Cobras 3 12 Back
Barbell Bent Over Wide Grip Rows (both arms) 3 6 Back
Seated On Bench Cable Lat Pulldowns (one arm) 3 8 Back
Jump Rope 1 60 Cardio
V-Ups (with wo equipment) 3 15 Abs
Laying on Ground Abdominal Crunches (feet up, hands straight up) 4 30 Abs
Prone Iso Abs (feet on ground, arms on ball) 3 30 Abs
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Seated On Ball Dumbbell Military Press (seated on ball - both arms)Super-Set With 4 8 Shoulders
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Standing Side Raise(alternating arms - with band) 4 12 Shoulders
Barrel Throws (with band) 4 10 Shoulders
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Standing Cable Front Raise (both arms) 4 10 Shoulders
Standing Cable Upright Row (both arms) 4 12 Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Full-Range Side Raise (alternating arms) 4 6 Shoulders
Machine Military Press (alternating arms) 3 10 Shoulders
Standing Bicep Curl Barbell (both arms) 4 12 Arms
Standing Triceps Extension (with both arms - using band) 4 15 Arms
Laying on Ball Bar Tricep Extension (with both arms - using band) 3 10 Arms
Standing Preacher Curls (one arm at a time) 3 25 Arms
Seated on Ball Bicep Curl (using band - with both arms behind) 3 15 Arms
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press (with bands) 1 20 Chest
Laying on Ground Abdominal Crunches Feet Up, Hands Straight Up (with band) 4 30 Abs
Day 5
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Jump Rope 3 30 Cardio
Adductor Side Steps 3 10 Legs
Standing Squat (with band) 4 12 Legs
Reverse Hamstring Curl (with band) 2 8 Legs
Barbell Squat (with ball) 3 8 Legs
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Barbell Incline Bench Press on Bench (with band) 2 15 Chest
One-arm Standing Incline Chest Fly (with band) 2 15 Chest
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Barbell Incline Bench Press (on bench) 3 4 Chest
Jump Rope 1 30 Cardio
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
Standard Grip Push-ups (feet on ball) 3 12 Chest
Wide Grip Push Ups (feet on ball) 3 12 Chest
Standing High Cable Chest Press (both arms) 3 8 Chest
Standing High Cable Flys (both arms) 3 10 Chest
SUPER-SET THE FOLLOWING 2 EXERCISES
V-Ups with No Equipment 3 15 Abs
Laying on Ball Abdominal Crunches - Hands Straight Up (with band) 3 20 Abs

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9/11/2013 9:50:00 AM  
Upper Chest Cure

If you suffer from weak, shallow upper pectorals, this workout may be the perfect remedy.

Consider it the curse of the bench press: The popularity of benching through the ages has resulted in countless aspiring bodybuilders with large, meaty middle pecs, topped by a lagging upper chest.

If this describes you, not to worry. There is a fix, in the form of a training strategy aimed at adding size, thickness and definition to the upper chest area. It just requires a change of strategy, and a willingness to push yourself, lifting heavy and maximizing your intensity in every workout.

First, a quick review. The pectorals are fan-shaped muscles on each side of your upper torso. For training purposes, it's helpful to consider them as three different areas: the upper, middle and lower pecs, which all can be emphasized depending on your exercise selection. As you'd intuitively expect, incline movements hit the upper, flat-bench moves target the middle, and decline exercises emphasize the lower.

One common mistake is trying to do too much when training chest. This happens when you're only hitting pecs once per week, cramming in incline, flat and decline pressing moves into that one session. Do that, and you may be limiting your body's ability to develop.

That's where an upper-leaning program comes in handy. Try splitting your chest workouts into two sessions, starting the week with the following upper-chest workout, then coming back three or so days later for a session populated by flat and decline-based exercises.

The following upper-pec workout starts out with the incline bench, since the start of your session is when you're strongest and best able to recruit the "fast-twitch" muscle fibers — responsible for your short bursts of strength, those are the type that have the potential to grow the biggest and strongest.

Push as much weight as possible for the regular incline bench, pyramiding up the weight each set, down to three reps on the last set. The rest of the program includes supersets (two exercises done back to back with no rest in between), while the final movement is a reverse-grip incline bench press. Go to muscle failure with this exercise, which has been shown in research to hit up to 30 percent more of the upper-pec muscle fibers than any other barbell, dumbbell or machine incline option. It's a killer finisher that will ensure your upper chest has no choice but to step up and grow.

The Plan The Upper-Pec Focused Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Incline Press 8 25, 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 3
Dumbbell Incline Presssuperset with 3 6
Dumbbell Incline Flye 3 10
High Cable Crossoversuperset with 3 12
High Cable Chest Press 3 12
Reverse-Grip Incline Barbell Press 1 30

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9/11/2013 8:25:00 AM  
Women's Upper Body Workout

An upper-body workout for women who want to sculpt an athletic body while burning serious fat.

What's the most powerful tool in the gym for stripping away body fat? The treadmill? Elliptical? Stair climber?

Actually, none of the above.

Surprisingly to some, the best, most efficient way to lose unwanted pounds is not through cardio workouts at all. The best weapon in the war on fat is resistance training, using plain old barbells, dumbbells and machines.

Of course, cardio exercise can burn calories, but only during the time you're training, plus a bit of a metabolic boost that continues afterward. Not bad. Now consider the muscles of your body, which — get this — burn fat and calories 24/7. Whether you're sleeping or awake, your own lean muscle tissue is working hard for you, like a metabolic engine that never takes a break.

That's where resistance training comes in. For every pound of muscle you build, you burn that many more calories, not to mention give shape and definition to your body in all the places you want it.

If you haven't put in enough time in the weight room lately, and far too many hours on your favorite cardio machine, it's time to flip the script. Save cardio for 15-30 minute bursts here and there throughout the week, but put your focus squarely on lifting, aiming for at least four workouts a week of 45 minutes to an hour in duration.

One oft-used strategy is to split the body into upper- and lower-body workouts. For instance, you can do the upper body workout here Mondays and Thursdays, and a lower-body workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In just a few months, you'll be well on your way to a leaner, stronger body ... with less need for that old trusty treadmill after all.

The Plan
Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Back Pulldown to Front 4 10-15
Back Standing Rope Cable Row 3 10-15
Shoulders Standing Dumbbell Press 4 10-15
Shoulders Cable Lateral Raise 3 12-20
Chest Incline Dumbbell Press 3 10-15
Chest Pec-Deck Flye 2 12-20
Biceps Standing Curl (straight bar) 5 12-20
Triceps One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension 4 12-20
Core Back Extension 4 25
Core Double Crunch 4 20

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8/22/2013 7:53:00 AM  
Triceps Workout

Add serious power to push, and size to your arms with this balanced and brutal triceps workout.

Don't get us wrong, we have nothing against biceps. We want powerful bi's that rise from our arms like mountains when we train, just like you do.

The problem is, for pure upper arm power and mass, biceps are only one-third of the equation. The other more significant part is the meaty, horseshoe-shaped muscle on the back of your upper arm, the one that allows you to straighten your elbow.

A three-headed muscle, the triceps is best developed using a variety of exercises, employing different grip styles and upper arm positions to call upon each fiber and maximizing the inches you can add.

The following workout is a comprehensive plan of attack, meant to be done once or twice a week. For each set, select a challenging weight and push for 12 reps — using rest/pause (resting for a few seconds after failure in order to continue) and forced reps if you have a spotter to reach that target.

Triceps Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Close-Grip Bench Press 4 12
* Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension 4 12
One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension 3 12
Parallel Bar Dip (with body upright) 3 12
Cable Rope Pressdownsuperset with 2 12
Reverse-Grip Straight-Bar Pulldown 2 12

* Use an adjustable bench set to the lowest (slight) incline.


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8/14/2013 8:43:00 AM  
Size Wise

The four most common nutrition mistakes hardgainers make — and how to fix them.

The average person tends to scoff at the idea of someone struggling to gain size. How easy is that, after all, when people unwittingly pack on pounds without even trying? In a country where the obesity rate exceeds a staggering 35 percent of the population, then, the athlete who needs to gain body mass won't get much sympathy for his plight.

However, we at Inbox Fitness know exactly what you're going through. To some, a supercharged metabolism would be a dream come true. But for those who'd like to pack on serious muscle, your body burning calories at a faster rate than you can take in is a frustrating battle.

For those trying to gain size and failing, there's hope. What you need to do is take stock of your approach, and see if you're making one of these four common errors. Could be, a simple tweak or two might be all you need to pack on the type of mass that — let's face it — most people could stand to have a little more of in this country: Healthy, metabolism boosting muscle mass.

  1. Underestimating your total calorie intake.

    Studies have shown that people have a hard time estimating how much they eat, usually undershooting the reality by a significant margin. As a hardgainer, the tendency goes the opposite route, as you think you're eating plenty of food. If you're not adding size, however, the simple truth is this: your "calories in" are not keeping pace with your "calories out."

    The only way to solve this dilemma is to track everything you eat, either via the old fashioned pen and notebook method or an app like Calorie Count or Daily Burn, available for Android, iPhone and iPad. To start, keep 3-5 days worth of data, eating exactly as you have been. Calculate the calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat (you can use a calorie book or a source like the USDA nutrient database at http://ndb.nal.usda.gov). With that, you'll have a specific overview of what's not working, and what you need to improve.

    Going forward, increase your calorie intake in steps, 300 to 500 per day (no more), continually measuring your weight and bodypart measurements. You'll know you've hit the right target when you start seeing positive changes — and you'll know you've gone too far if you're getting bigger, but in all the wrong places. (By the way, a good starting point calculation for mass gain is to take your bodyweight and multiply it by 11, which will give you a rough estimate of how many calories you burn per day; start by adding 500 to that total for your daily calorie goal.)

  2. Thinking that "any mass is good mass."

    "Want to get huge? Just eat Big Macs every day, with a side of ice cream!" Some so-called experts will actually tell hard gainers this, and with a straight face to boot.

    And while there is something to increasing your caloric level and "shocking your body," settling for junk will compromise your lean muscle gains (and health) in the long run.

    Moderation is key — on a mass gain diet, you can have foods that would otherwise be off limits to someone struggling to stay lean. But the bulk of your calories should come from lean meats, eggs, protein powder, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

  3. Relying too much on carbohydrates and fat, and too little on protein.

    If you're studiously trying to increase calories, without an eye toward the macronutrients content of your food choices, you'll more than likely end up skimping on protein. It's just a lot easier to get your hands on carb-rich (and in some cases, fat-rich) foods.

    Good protein, to be blunt, just isn't as portable or easy to cook as, say, cereal and pasta, to name but two examples. That's where your nutrition journal (yes, we're saying it again, it’s that important) comes into play. You want to strive for 30 percent to 40 percent of your daily total calories from protein.

    Why? Well, protein is the main building block of muscle, and is necessary for tissue repair after workouts. If you're lagging on protein, your results will suffer.

  4. Not eating enough meals throughout the day.

    Ask a typical hardgainer what he ate today, and he may list a panoply of foods. They may even be good ones, like chicken breast, oatmeal, a veggie omelet, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. Not bad.

    Now, ask how many meals he ate. "Well, I missed breakfast, but made up for it with a big lunch and an even bigger dinner." In other words, the perfect recipe for burning muscle tissue for energy while plumping up your fat stores.

    Meal timing is an often-overlooked element of packing on muscle. You simply have to ensure your body has the fuel it needs at all times, day and night. You can’t "make up" for long stretches of not eating with one massive meal. Your digestive system has limitations on what it can process at any one time, meaning excess is cast aside or stored as fat.

    You want to instead eat 5-7 medium sized meals per day, spaced about two and a half to three hours apart. That ensures a constant flow of nutrients to your growing body.

    And, as your mother told you, breakfast truly is the most important meal, because it actually "breaks the fast" you've been on since you went to sleep. Never, ever, skip breakfast.

There you have it. Four nutritional strategies to put you on track to building dense, powerful muscle, even if your progress has been derailed by a fast metabolism. Now get growing!


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7/30/2013 2:34:00 PM  
Shoulders: Stand and Deliver

Push yourself past frustrating sticking points and add more power and muscle with this delt-expanding workout.

Thankfully for those of us who want thick, strong, powerful shoulders, there is no shortage of effective exercises to make that goal a reality. From a range of presses to the variety of raises to target each individual head of the deltoid — anterior, middle and posterior — to the upright row, you have plenty to choose from.

In addition to switching between barbells, dumbbells, cables and machines, and varying the angle of an exercise, another common way to change an exercise is to perform it standing or seated. Standing usually allows for the use of a little momentum in the form of a small knee bounce, just enough to get a weight past a sticking point, while seated exercises take that option out of the equation.

Now, you don't want to "cheat" your way through all of your training sessions. That's counterproductive to the nth degree. However, when used judiciously, a little cheat to finish the last few reps of a set can be just the assist needed to push past a plateau. Your muscles are forced to do just a little more work, prompting a positive response in the form of growth to be able to meet that new challenge next time.

The following workout is designed to take advantage of the benefits of standing and seated exercises. Interspersing both, you can incorporate some momentum (only when needed to overcome a sticking point as you tire), then follow up with some strict seated sets to fully fatigue the muscle.

Exercise
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Press 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Seated Dumbbell Press 3 12, 10, 8
Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8-12
Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise 2 8-12
Bent-Over Dumbbell Raise 3 8-12
Seated Bent-Over Dumbbell Raise 2 8-12
Standing Barbell Raise 3 8-12
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Raise 2 8-12
Barbell Shrug 4 10-15
Seated Dumbbell Shrug 3 10-15

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7/24/2013 11:44:00 AM  

Shift your mindset from "want-to-do" to "can-do" with these motivational strategies.

Five Ways To Motivate Now
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."

That Mark Twain quote is pithy, a perfect representation of the topic of procrastination. It's also proof positive that I dawdled way too long in writing this article. After all, just do a quick Google search for procrastination quotes and it'll pop up right near the very top of the list. It's a cheap shortcut, an old writer's trick that no good editor would fall for.

And it's a perfect metaphor, showing why you need to quit delaying your fitness pursuits, before you end up in a very similar situation — scrambling last-minute to make up for all that time you wasted.

Truth be told, writing a few hundred words is a heck of a lot easier than sculpting an athletic, rock-hard physique. The former takes hours, while the latter takes months, often years of dedicated effort. In other words, waiting costs you, and unlike my writing conundrum, no quick search on the internet can instantly restore your lost opportunity.

What we can offer you, however, is help. So, without another second of delay, here are five key tips you can use to stop stalling and start accomplishing today.

  1. Check your diet

    Can your procrastination stem from low blood sugar? At least one study suggests it's possible. According to research out of Florida State University published in 2007, "self-control failures are more likely when (blood) glucose (levels are) low or cannot be mobilized effectively to the brain, i.e. when insulin is low or insensitive." The self-control behaviors include the ability to maintain attention, regulate emotions and cope with stress. Or, with just a slight extrapolation, your ability to avoid temptation in your diet and stay the course when it comes time to train.

    If your hunger is strong, blunt it with a quality snack, anything from egg whites to veggies to a piece of fruit. Also strive to have a small meal every two to three hours throughout the day, avoiding long stretches of starvation, which tends to prompt fat storage while wreaking havoc on your hormones.

  2. Spell out your goals and a specific plan to get there

    Of course, this advice is obvious — those who have a destination in mind are more apt to arrive in a timely manner with a specific roadmap in hand. Knowing what to eat, when to eat it, and what exactly you'll be doing in the gym every day is critical to success. (Keeping a log of your diet and training, and reviewing it often to note what's working and what doesn't, will also pay off, by the way.)

    But there's more to the idea of putting your program on autopilot. You see, research has shown that, when we're faced with lots of choices and decisions, our self-control takes a hit. So, if we're constantly deciding on what we need to do next as far as eating and exercise — instead of having a detailed plan in place — it "depletes the same resource used for self-control and active responding," according to a 2008 study out of the University of Minnesota published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

    Specifically, the study cited diminished physical stamina, reduced persistence in the face of failure, and more procrastination among those asked to make choices (in the study participant's case, among college courses and consumer goods). Sure, we can't avoid decision-making altogether, but we can certainly make it easier by plotting out our actions in advance.

  3. Avoid negative distractions

    Most missteps in fitness regimens are situational in nature — in other words, those who made a bad decision had put themselves in jeopardy. After all, you're the one who brought the cookies in the house (or didn't toss them when cleaning out the cupboards). You put off the trip to the club instead of carving out an adequate amount of time for training during the day. And you chose the friends who are heckling you to go out for a few drinks instead of heading home to your waiting chicken breast and broccoli dinner.

    Don't give temptation an invitation. Take evasive actions ahead of time. When it comes to your meals and your hour of dedicated gym time, schedule them on your calendar as if it was a work meeting or dentist appointment. You wouldn't consider simply skipping out on your dental cleaning or a face-to-face with your boss at the last minute — so why would you not give the same priority to something so important to you as your fitness aims?

  4. Start early

    By the end of the day, our energy flags. The stress compounds as our duties and obligations pile ever higher. At a certain point, you may just feel like shrugging off the gym and promising yourself to attack the weights "twice as hard" tomorrow.

    If that's a typical scenario, you may want to take a page out of a motivational expert's playbook, and tackle your most important tasks at sunrise. In other words, hit the gym first thing in the morning, before the stress of the day has a chance to derail you.

    By the way, this advice holds true for anything important you need to get done — by knocking off the hardest, most vital tasks first, you begin with a sense of accomplishment instead of letting your "to-do" list grow unwieldy and overwhelming. In other words, "Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small," in the words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.

  5. Small steps add up

    The Great Pyramid of Giza is composed of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, each one set by hand, one by one (that is, unless you're into the "space alien" theory). The lesson resonates across the centuries — you can't build anything of value and substance in one fell swoop, but one brick at a time.

    When it comes to your physique, that means changing one part of your diet at a time if it's too intimidating to do a full turnaround immediately. Small steps could mean first cutting back on sugar, then making sure each day you begin with a high-protein low-fat breakfast. Next, you could start splitting your food into six or seven meals throughout the day. Introduce healthy foods to your diet one at a time. Make a pact to have a lean protein and veggie at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Same goes for your training. If you're not ready for full workouts, start each morning with sets of push-ups and crunches. Institute a slow-paced 10-minute jog, and up it by a minute each time out. Over the months, before you know it, you'll be well on your way to building an inspiring edifice of your own.

Sources
Gailliot MT, Baumeister RF. "The physiology of willpower: linking blood glucose to self-control." Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2007 Nov;11(4):303-27.
Vohs KD, Baumeister RF, Schmeichel BJ, Twenge JM, Nelson NM, Tice DM.
"Making choices impairs subsequent self-control: a limited-resource account of decision making, self-regulation, and active initiative. "J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008 May;94(5):883-98.


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7/16/2013 3:06:00 PM  
Beginner's Guide to Fitness Nutrition

Get started on solid footing with these quick tips and meal plan.

You've made the choice to take control of your diet to build muscle and get healthy. So now what?

So much conflicting advice exists when it comes to sports and fitness nutrition. A magazine or website will tell you that you need to reduce your protein intake in favor of carbohydrates, then another article comes along telling you the exact opposite.

In my experience, there are some simple guidelines that can lead you through the confusion. Three to start with:

  1. Steer clear of any diet that tells you to focus on one food group and discard another completely.

    Instead, create a well balanced diet by choosing a variety of foods from all of the food groups. The key isn't avoiding certain foods, it's the proportions you have of each group. Fat intake should be kept low, while the bulk of your calories come from healthy proteins (chicken, turkey, lean steak, fish, and eggs) and carbohydrates, including whole grains and vegetables.

    For a general guideline, think about aiming for 40 percent to 50 percent protein, 30 percent to 40 percent carbs, and 10 to 20 percent or less fat on a daily basis.

  2. Don't beat yourself up over food setbacks.

    The thing is, eating "clean" isn't easy. After a while, it does get less challenging (and you even begin to crave healthy foods, trust me) but that doesn't mean you aren't tempted. Have a few slices of pizza? Cake? A bowl of ice cream? The key is, don't obsess over it. Move on. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, because over time, if you get back on track, it'll all even out. A slip-up here or there is definitely not enough to sabotage you in the quest for your physique goals.

  3. If you're trying to lose weight, you should monitor your sodium intake, trying to stay under 2,300 mg per day.

    It's not easy in a world where the average serving of Chinese food has that much sodium in one dish, and pretty much everything packaged contains excess sodium. It admittedly may be difficult at first for you — salt adds flavor, and people tend to crave it — but wean yourself off slowly if necessary, over the course of a few weeks.

    For those who'd like a little extra kick start, the following sample diet is built for a 175-pound to-200-pound male new to training who is seeking to add lean muscle mass. You can use it directly for a few weeks to a month, or at least as a guide to create your own diet that includes your favorite (healthy) foods.

    Meal 1: Breakfast

    • 6 egg whites, cooked
    • 1 cup instant oatmeal
    • ½ cup red raspberries
    • 2 medium (7-inch) bananas
    • ½ cup white potato/home fries

    Meal 2: Snack

    • 1 peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread
    • ½ cup raw carrots
    • 1 protein shake (mixed with water, 35 grams protein)

    Meal 3: Lunch

    • 1 cup instant white rice, cooked
    • 1 medium (2 ¾ diameter) apple
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 ounces canned tuna in water

    Meal 4: Snack

    • ? cup almonds

    Meal 5: Dinner

    • ½ cup cooked broccoli
    • ½ lean sirloin steak, broiled or baked
    • 1 cup instant white rice

    Meal 6: Snack

    • 1 medium (7-inch) banana
    • 1 protein shake (mixed with water, 35 grams protein)
    • 4 grams flax seeds

Daily Totals: 2,673 calories, 192 g protein, 69 g fat, 321 g carbs


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7/3/2013 7:53:00 AM  
Hard Core

Crunch your way to a killer midsection, with the help of this underappreciated abdominal exercise.

No-crunch abs! Whether a headline on your favorite fitness magazine or an infomercial touting workouts free of crunching exercises, it seems this old standby move has fallen on hard times.

It makes us wonder, just what is so wrong with the crunch anyway? After all, it is one of the most efficient and effective bodyweight exercises in existence. With little in the way of wasted motion, each rep shortens the distance between your pelvis and rib cage, directly targeting your abs.

In our view, no ab routine is complete without at least some variations on this fundamental body-transforming move. In that spirit, we've created the following routine, which targets your entire ab region, including the upper and lower rectus abdominis and the obliques that flank it. Each move save one includes a crunching motion at its core.

Exercise
Target Exercise Sets Reps
Lower Abs Hanging Leg Raise 3 15
Lower Abs Reverse Crunch 2 20
Upper Abs Cable Crunch 3 15
Upper Abs Crunch 2 20
Obliques Decline Twisting Crunch 3 20
Core Plank 2 30-60 sec

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6/25/2013 4:24:00 PM  
5 Workout Tips

If you're into training you no doubt have received a lot of tips from different people to increase your rate of results.

We've listed the top 5 tips that get neglected for one simple reason - people hate to hear them. But the truth is, as much as you may try to avoid them, they produce results and make your time spent in the gym much more productive.

  1. Train your legs

    Many people neglect training their legs for one reason - it hurts. Training your legs can have an overflow effect on the rest of the body. And, being the largest group of muscles, building your legs will increase your metabolism more than any other body part.
  2. Rest

    If you're a hardcore gym goer there's a good chance that someone advising you to take a break from the gym won't go over too well. The one mistake a lot of trainers make is overtraining. Rest is when our bodies recover and grow - not in the gym. Take the time to recover, you're body and results will thank you.
  3. H.I.I.T

    High Intensity Interval Training, or H.I.I.T, is an intense form of cardiovascular exercise where you do a short-period of intense anaerobic exercise followed by less intense recovery periods. This style of cardio produces improved athletic endurance as well as increased fat burning, however it burns and hurts more than steady-state cardio - probably why you don't see it being done in most gyms. But believe us; because the workouts are relatively short, H.I.I.T is a great way to get a killer workout in when you're tight for time.
  4. Leave your ego at the door

    Too many lifters these days lift with their ego instead of their muscles. Doing an exercise with proper form will have a greater impact on results than lifting a lot of weight using improper form, never mind it also lowers the risk of injury. Only lift the amount of weight for each and every exercise that allows you to do a full range of motion with perfect form.
  5. Warm up, cool down and stretch

    Most people walk straight through the front doors and right to the first exercise of their workout. And leave as soon as the last set is finished. Warming up before you train, and cooling down and stretching after you train, will help you avoid injury and will actually produce better results than avoiding them. These should be a fundamental part of any training program.

Incorporate these tips into your workout - whether you love 'em or not. They're sure-fire ways to build a better body faster!


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3/11/2013 4:03:00 PM  

Imagine the perfect bodybuilding-style physique: It starts at the top, with broad shoulders, tapers down in to a tight, ripped waist, then expands outward again in the form of wide, thick thighs and developed calves.

In other words, an "X" frame.

To achieve that look, we've designed a high-powered workout that impacts you on two important fronts, the shoulders and legs. It's heavy on power movements, creating a synergistic muscle-building effect from head to toe.

These power movements — which include deadlifts, cleans and squats — all will help you in another respect as well. You'll be better able to react and move through space much like an athlete does. Instead of feeling limited because of age, injury history or muscular weakness of any sort, these exercises help compensate for what others make excuses for. (Just be sure to thoroughly research the form for any exercise you're not familiar with, or ask a trainer at your gym to teach you.)

For the next two to four weeks, try replacing your current delt and thigh regimen with the workout below. You may find that you never want to return to your "usual way" of training again.

The X-Frame Leg & Shoulder Workout
Exercise Muscle Group Sets Reps
Jump Rope - 1 2 min
Jump Squat Legs 3 10
Box Jumps Legs 3 10
Barbell Deadlift Legs 3 4
Power Clean Full Body 3 4
Box Squatsuperset with Legs 3 8
Barbell Squat Legs 3 8
Lying Leg Curlsuperset with Legs 3 15
Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deadlift Legs 3 12
Standing Dumbbell Presstri-set with Shoulders 3 10
Dumbbell Lateral Raisetri-set with Shoulders 3 8
Alternating Dumbbell Front Raise Shoulders 3 8
Swiss-Ball Cable Crunch Abs 3 30
Reverse Crunch Abs 3 20

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3/11/2013 4:02:00 PM  

HIGH-IMPACT ARMS
Build an amazing biceps peak by hitting it from every angle in this muscle-bombing workout.

The typical biceps routine goes something like this. It starts with standing barbell curls, followed by seated or standing dumbbell curls, perhaps topped with a preacher curl. Sometimes, you may toss in a machine or low-cable curl for good measure. That should about cover it, right?

Actually, wrong. While every exercise mentioned is a solid choice, sticking to these favorites leaves out a critical angle needed for the complete, full biceps you're working so hard to forge.

"an oversight that can cost you inches in your peak."

That's because all of those moves keep the elbows in a similar position, either at your sides or just a bit forward if on the preacher bench. In none of them do you bring your upper arms all the way up so that they're parallel with the floor as you rep.

It's an oversight that can cost you inches in your peak. As with all muscle groups, the more angles you can hit it from, the more thoroughly you stimulate all the possible muscle fibers.

The following biceps workout corrects the omission, incorporating the high-cable curl. Known in bodybuilding circles as the "double-biceps" curl, since you're basically doing a front-double biceps pose against resistance, it may just be the missing piece you need for the ultimate peak.

Do it right: Stand in the center of a cable machine, feet staggered for balance, a D handle attached to the high pulleys on each side. Grasp a handle in each hand and raise your upper arms to a position parallel with the floor, elbows extended. From here, powerfully contract your biceps to bring the handles toward your ears, flexing hard and holding the peak position for one count before slowly re-extending your elbow. Repeat, not allowing the weight stacks to touch down between reps.

All-Angle Biceps Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Curl 5 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Alternating Dumbbell Curl 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Cross Body Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 12, 10, 8
High Cable Curl 3 15, 12, 10
Preacher Machine Curl 3 10, 10, 10

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12/20/2012 9:46:00 PM  

Delicious, affordable, high-protein, low-fat and simple to prepare -- with all this going for it, it's easy to understand why fitness-minded people make chicken their go-to meal of choice. Problem is, you can get in a rut with the same ol' one or two recipes that can make mealtime a snooze. Fortunately, jazzing up chicken -- without junking it up with empty calories -- is easier than you think. Try this fast, simple and zesty recipe that takes about 5 minutes of prep time, and 15 minutes to cook -- complete with side dish!

Nutrient Information

Makes 4 servings
Calories 370
Protein 35 g
Carb 35 g
Fat 10 g

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of chicken boneless breast
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • The juice from one lemon (or the juice from 1/2 orange)
  • The zest from one lemon (or the zest from 1/2 orange)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • Your choice of two items from the following list:
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 small bag of frozen peas & carrots
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup couscous
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Preparation:

  1. Spray a large frying pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium-high.
  2. Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and toss in a bowl with flour, salt and pepper until all pieces are lightly coated.
  3. Add chicken to hot skillet and stir to brown all sides (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add soy sauce and zest of lemon or orange.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, then add the lemon (or orange) juice, 1 cup stock and cook for 1 minute once the mixture has reached a boil.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, bring the remaining stock to a boil in a separate pot. Add olive oil, stir in peas & carrots and couscous, cover pot and remove from heat. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  7. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous, tossing in your choice of fresh herbs from the list.
  8. Place a bed of the couscous in a bowl, spooning chicken over the top.

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12/20/2012 9:20:00 PM  
Country Blueberry Smoothie

This high-protein treat will remind you of Grandma’s blueberry cobbler!

You can make a smoothie out of almost anything that fits in a blender, but making it truly nutritious takes a bit more than "Load 'er up," and "Liquify." To take the guesswork out of the process, here is a delicious recipe that’s jam-packed with nutrient value -- and as a bonus, the cinnamon will help you stay lean by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels!

Nutrient Information

Makes 4 servings
Calories 353
Protein 36 g
Carb 50 g
Fat 1 g
Fiber 4 g

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of cold water
  • ½ cup apple juice (choose the no-sugar-added variety)
  • ½ cup ice
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup non-fat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 10 grams of unflavored whey protein isolate (You can also use vanilla flavored protein, just replace the vanilla yogurt with unflavored)
  • ¼ teaspoon (a few good dashes) of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Place the first four ingredients in the blender and blend for 30 seconds on a medium setting. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for 30 seconds more. Enjoy!

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12/5/2012 2:45:00 PM  

BUILDING YOUR LEAN MACHINE
Want an athletic body? Train like an athlete! This performance-focused workout regimen is crafted to optimize your strength, agility and muscle mass.

Sometimes in life, we make things too complicated. It's even more pronounced a problem in fitness circles, where people tend to stumble through unfocused, kitchen-sink-style training sessions that aren't keyed into their actual goals.

Take the person who either (a) wants to improve their general athleticism or (b) wants to build the lean, muscular body worthy of an Olympian. To achieve that aim, it's key to attack it with an expertly-focused routine that improves your physicality on multiple levels. In other words, you'll jump higher, run faster, lift more and look more muscular than ever after just a month of this all-around program.

Whether getting ready for a marathon, mud run, softball season, or just your next sprint up the stairs, you'll be ready for the challenge.

Note: Do the following five workouts each week, inserting two days of rest as dictated by your recovery needs or personal schedule.

Workout No. 1
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Leg Press Legs 1 20
Adductor Side Steps Legs 1 20
Standing Barbell Press Shoulders 1 30
Jump Squatsuperset with Legs 2 10
Box Jumps Plyometrics/legs 2 12
Barbell Deadlift Legs 4 3
Barbell Power Clean Full Body 4 3
Barbell Squat Legs 5 8
Barbell Straight Legged Deadlift Legs 3 8
Seated Barbell Presssuperset with Shoulders 4 8
Dumbbell Lateral Raise Shoulders 4 6
Standing Barbell Upright Row Shoulders 4 8
Swiss Ball Twisting Crunch Abdominals 3 30
Russian Twists Abdominals 3 15
Workout No. 2
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Presssuperset with Chest 2 25
Dumbbell Flye Chest 1 20
Jump Rope Cardio 1 30 sec.
Barbell Incline Presssuperset with Chest 4 8
Dumbbell Incline Flye Chest 4 10
Jump Rope Cardio 1 30 sec.
Cable Crossoversuperset with Chest 3 12
Medicine Ball Push-Ups Chest 3 15
Parallel Bar Dip Chest 3 15
High-Cable Biceps Curl Biceps 3 12
Dumbbell Kickback Triceps 3 12
Cable Pushdown Triceps 3 10
Alternating Dumbbell Curl Biceps 3 15
V-Up Abs 3 20
Plank Abs 3 30 sec.
Swiss-Ball Crunch Abs 3 30
Workout No. 3
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Adductor Side Step with Band on Feet Legs 5 10
Alternating Dumbbell Step-Up Legs 1 20
Box Jumps Plyometrics 1 20
Jump Rope Cardio 1 60 sec.
Barbell Hang Clean Olympic Lifts 3 2
Barbell Overhead Squat Legs 3 5
Barbell Front Squat Legs 3 10
Lying Leg Curl Legs 2 20
Wide-Grip Bent-Over Barbell Row Back 3 6
Seated One-Arm Lat Pulldown Back 3 8
Jump Rope Cardio 1 60
V-Up Abs 3 15
Feet-Up Crunch Abs 4 30
Swiss-Ball Plank Abs 3 30 sec.
Workout No. 4
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Swiss-Ball Dumbbell Presssuperset with Shoulders 4 8
Alternating Dumbbell Lateral Raise Shoulders 4 12
Explosive EZ-Bar Upright Rowsuperset with Shoulders 4 10
Cable Front Raise Shoulders 4 10
Standing Cable Upright Row Both Arms Shoulders 4 12
Dumbbell Overhead Lateral Raise Shoulders 4 6
Seated Machine Press (Alternating Arms) Shoulders 3 10
Standing Barbell Curl Biceps 4 12
Overhead Triceps Cable Extension Triceps 4 15
Lying EZ-Bar Extension on Swiss Ball Triceps 3 10
One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl Biceps 3 25
Swiss-Ball Alternating Dumbbell Curl Biceps 3 15
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Triceps 1 20
Crunches (arms overhead) Abs 4 30
Workout No. 5
Exercise Muscle Sets Reps
Jump Rope Cardio 3 30
Adductor Side Step with Band on Feet Legs 3 10
Barbell Squat Legs 4 12
Seated Hamstring Curl Legs 2 8
Wall Squat Legs 3 8
Incline Barbell Presssuperset with Chest 2 15
Incline Dumbbell Flye Chest 2 15
Barbell Incline Bench Press On Bench Chest 3 4
Jump Rope Cardio 1 30
Push-up (feet on Swiss ball)superset with Chest 3 12
Wide-Grip Push-Ups (feet on ball) Chest 3 12
Machine Chest Press Chest 3 8
High-Angle Cable Crossover Chest 3 10
V-Up Abs 3 15
Swiss-Ball Crunch (hands overhead) Abs 3 20

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12/3/2012 12:53:00 PM  

Are things ever really as good as they look? Well, in this case -- Yes!

The Ciclotte stationary bike is categorically different from any other exercise bike or piece of home fitness equipment. With its beautiful architecture, it sits like art work in your home, and is as functional as it is unique. Completely designed and made in Italy, manufactured with exceptional materials like carbon, steel and glass fiber, combined in a unique and innovative mix, the Ciclotte offers the most extreme in quality and durability, for even the most avid cyclists and athletes. And at $10,795 it's an ultra-luxury that will make you sweat before, and after, you buy it.

  • $10,795

Currently rated 4.2 by 6 people

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