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BODYBUILDING & "Paralysis Through Over-Analysis" or "Don’t Over-Think Bodybuilding"

Over the past month I have been thinking about the successful people as well as the unsuccessful people in bodybuilding, health and fitness in general. I have a LOT of contact with people locally as well as worldwide and here’s what I have noticed.

“There are many smart trainees who spend way too much time pondering different strategies and ideas regarding training and nutrition. I try and get their mind back to reality. Don’t over-think bodybuilding!”

This type of person is very knowledgeable and reads a lot. They are well informed and have researched all the latest training and diet information. They can discuss all the virtues and drawbacks of the different diets and workout programs on the market. They can also tell you the latest news about various internet muscle building Guru’s, bodybuilding champions and fit movie stars. Unfortunately, despite all of their knowledge about bodybuilding diets and training routines it doesn’t seem to be doing them much good – their physiques are usually subpar. This makes me think: is too much knowledge actually disadvantageous to building a great physique? Or could it be that they spend more time thinking about diet and training than actually doing the diet and training.

So what good is knowledge if the knowledge doesn’t convert into muscular gains? If you cram your brain full of information on diet and training how are you to sort through all of this and determine what you should and should not do? Everyone says their diet, workout, supplement or whatever is effective or the best. The truly best diets and training routines are rare and elusive. The over-thinking bodybuilder is constantly trying to sift through all the information for what is “the best” routine they should be following.

The solution to the problem is less thinking and more action. When you over complicate bodybuilding you actually retard your rate of progress. Too many choices and too many high ideas create “paralysis through over-analysis” where the bodybuilder is actually paralyzed from staying on one routine or diet because they keep thinking that maybe they should be on a different diet or workout routine.

So what should you do? Train hard, heavy and often. Lift lots of weights, do your cardio workouts. A real bodybuilder is pumping iron 3 to 5 times a week and using all kinds of different methods for muscle strength and pump. Don’t miss a workout unless it is for a reason that you really have no control over or an emergency.

Nutrition is the cornerstone. Without a disciplined approach to your daily eating regimen you will never be successful. Hearty and healthy eating is combined with intense workouts and cardio sessions for lowering body-fat down to the single digits. You have to eat clean foods.

Supplementation and YOU! A well thought-out nutritional supplementation program will enhance and accelerate muscle growth and fat loss.

You must have realistic, achievable and exciting goals! A good goal is a realistic, attainable and exciting goal. We all need to generate enthusiasm for the process and drive to attain and maintain what needs to be done in order to obtain real and substantial results.

Set a timeframe for reaching a goal. As an example, if you wanted to lose 15 pounds then give yourself 15 weeks to do this. Set the goal, make the plan and say I can easily lose 15 pounds in 15 weeks. Then make a mini-goal, say to yourself that it is a measly one pound a week weight loss, I can do that.

Over-thinking nutrition. A healthy diet followed over time with consistency is all that is required for building muscle and losing fat. Constantly changing foods, timing and amounts of food will create instability in the metabolism as well as the mind. Constantly changing the diet will never let you know or understand what is or is not working.

Over-thinking training. The biggest mistake you can make in weight training is to continually keep changing the workout program. Train hard, train heavy and safely and on a continual basis and you can make almost any workout program a success. Once progress comes to a halt you take a seven to twelve day rest and start all over on a different workout routine. It’s that simple.

Over-thinking supplementation. Too many people believe that there exists a miraculous, safe, all natural just discovered nutritional supplement that will turn them into a Superman or Supergirl in four or six weeks. They think there exists some safe supplement that delivers steroid like results with none of the steroid risk factors. Let me tell you the truth, that supplement does NOT exist! Yes, we all can get sucked into the alluring advertisements that promise it all but the fact is this. Muscle, strength, fat loss and health are not a product, rather they are a product of consistency in clean eating, exercise and positive mental attitude toward life and living.

Want success? Start doing this today. Set in your mind a fixed goal, a goal that excites you and creates enthusiasm every time you think about it. Set up weekly mini-goals for keeping track of your progress. Establish a sound diet program and eating schedule and follow it every day. Follow a sound, progressive and challenging weight lifting routine and cardio program. Stick to the program for at least eight weeks, no excuses. Take a top of the line Multi Vitamin-Mineral tablet each and every morning and be consistent.

Follow the program for no less than eight weeks and preferably twelve weeks. Each week strive to hit mini-weekly goals. Hold this course for a few short months and I guarantee you’ll realize dramatic gains in muscle size, definition, fat loss and overall great health

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Cheerleading Benefits

Cheerleading is a sport which includes all the art and talent of dance, tumbling, cheers, jumps and stunting. Cheerleading always help to lead the spectators of any events to cheer on the teams, especially in the sports. Cheerleading always draw more attention to the event and encourage the concentration, involvement and participation of the audience to a particular event. The people, who do these activities of dancing and cheering, are called cheerleaders. They are the people who are talented and trained with the athletic abilities.

Being a cheerleader always take a lot of practice and dedication. The common and important factor of cheerleaders is that they are hot. Those who do the cheer leading need to get in to shape. Cheerleaders usually will be very flexible. Cheerleaders will be always confident with themselves. With out confidence, no body can survive in the field of cheerleading. Cheerleaders also need to learn the basic hand movements and jumps. They should work on and maintain the dance skills, voice skills and tumbling is always a part of their try-outs. A cheerleader always requires marvelous talent, energetic personality, and the ability to bring smiles to the spectators of the events.

Cheerleading profession has always got so many benefits other than money. Cheerleading improves the confident in us. Cheer leading makes us learn how to perform in front of a huge audience, under certain pressure. It gives the opportunity to study the proper way to bond with the opposite sex. Cheerleading can help a person to be positive in the attitudes. As cheerleaders know how to root each other and also the team they are cheering for the good and the bad. They will be always optimistic in the life. The cheerleaders will be constantly moving and have some regular schedules in the work outs. This helps them improving the stamina, fitness of the body, coordination and strength. Being more conditioned and coordinated can help them in many other aspects of the life too. Cheerleading also improves the team work skills and also helps to give trust in other people of the team.

When cheering on the home team, the cheerleaders should do all the stunts and maneuvers like flipping, twirling, pyramids, jumps, tossing etc. So as there are a lot of chances to get hurt, cheer leading can be as adventurous as any other sports.

Cheerleading has been a practice or a method over the years. Cheers are not limited to football these days. Now we have the squads at basketball games, softball games, Cricket tournaments and much more games. If there’s a team which demands the support, there’s a set of colorful cheers to provide it. So many constitutions and cheerleading camps provide good coaching and guiding for cheerleading. Some current cheerleaders are also giving the training for the same. Both the gents and ladies who have the talents and sincerity to the job can always make a success in the field of cheerleading.

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Developing Soccer Speed – 5 Ways to Use Hills to Run Faster

Using hills to run faster will work if you do it properly. If you go about hill running for conditioning you may end up with overuse injuries. Less is better than more. Any type of hill running should be completed after your warm up and before your soccer training. Hill training should not be done at the end of training when you are tired!

Ideally you want the hill at a 45 degree angle and you need five to ten yards. Remember less is better than more.

Here is the progression of exercises:

1) Crawl up the hill for five to ten yards -do this five times and each time increase the speed.

2) Walk up the hill for five to ten yards with a forward lean from the ankles – five times

3) Walk up the hill for five to ten yards with a lean from the ankle with a partner giving you some resistance by holding you at the waist or using a beach towel around your waist

4) Run up the hill with your partner giving you some resistance. Focus on driving the leg into the ground. Rest for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat.

5) Run up the hill for 5 to 10 yards as fast as you can. Rest for 45 seconds to a minute then repeat.

If you have a partner you can switch up in between runs for exercises 3 and 4.

After the exercise do some light foot work with the ball for recovery and preparation for the day’s soccer training.

These exercises force you to drive the leg into the ground by using your glutei muscles.

This exercise may be put into your training once or twice a week with a 48-72 hour break in between. These are specific strength drills for developing soccer speed.

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A Vacation is Not an Excuse to Stop Your Workout

If you’re looking for an self-justification to skip your weight training exercise, vacations and business trips won’t hack it. You can keep your muscles hard no matter where you go, whether your destination is Caribou, Maine, or the Mongolian desert.

Of course, you may not constantly discover a health club with 15 shoulder machines and aromatherapy baths. Sometimes the conditions will be better then others, but you should constantly make do with what you have.

It is definitely worthwhile to maintain your strength training while traveling. No matter if it is just a quick workout once a week it can assist you in keeping the muscle you strive so hard to obtain. Remember these helpful hints on strength training while on vacation:

While it may seem obvious, the easier thing you can do to make your strength training easier is to lodge somewhere with a gym on property. Most average priced hotels will only have a few machines and treadmills available, however some more expensive hotels and resorts have full gym and spa staff to treat your every need.

Sometimes you are unable to find a hotel with a gym on property, if this happens you can alway expand out to the local area. Try looking in the phone book or asking the front desk where the closest gym is. You can expect the price to be anywhere from $10 through $55, depending on the location and services offered.

Do not stray from the workouts and equipment that you are comfortable with. Travel training is not the time to test your limits of experiment with a new machine. If you can’t resist the urge to try something new, you will want to talk to an employee of the gym first to get instruction. Either way, most gyms have some kind of legal paper that you must sign that pretty much states that any injury your experience is nobodys fault but your own.

There are other benefits of using a neighborhood gym besides choosing one that fits you. You have the opportunity to meet the locals from a new town and find out a bout their culture, locals joints, and where to not go.

If you are in an area that does not offer any sort of formal gym, you can always rely on packing an rubber exercise band. these are compact and lightweight so they can travel anywhere with you.

If you happen to be visiting a beautiful part of the world, you should consider working out outside. Even if you cannot find a health club or other suitable place that offers exercise equipment you can always use your own body weight to exercise. Push-ups and squats can get your muscles burning just as well as weights.

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Can You Make Your Penis Larger by Masturbating? Find the Natural Ways to Increase Penis Size!

Men of different color, status or age have one thing in common. They ask if there’s a surefire way to get a longer or bigger penis. If it’s not that, the questions are usually the methods to achieve longer erections or how to please their lover. But one thing has also been in men’s thoughts, albeit pushed back to oblivion as they age. That question is: can you make your penis larger by masturbating?

Such questions are perfectly understandable. It goes back to puberty where teenage boys do masturbate a lot due to raging hormones. These private pleasures are also brought about by those wonderful discoveries and explorations of their body and its reactions to imaginings about sex. In this stage of life, the penis grows from the willie size to over five inches! Hence, many men beyond puberty entertain the possibility that masturbation does make their sexual instrument longer and bulkier.

But really, can you make your penis larger by masturbating?

The answer is yes!

Now, while this would sound like I have a lot of explaining to do, it’s really simple. Masturbating, when done properly, is actually an exercise that is good for the penis. There are actually different techniques that any man could do to lengthen his penis. While it does give you pleasure like masturbation or sex, these exercises have been proven effective. With the right grasps, massage-like routines and stretching of certain penis areas, you regulate blood flow, ease and rejuvenate the muscles and train your instrument for longer erections.

So how can you make your penis larger by masturbating?

The most common technique would be stretching. You simply hold your semi-erect penis and then massage it towards the head. You could also grasp the whole rod and then slowly turn it to different directions, stopping at one direction and counting 30 seconds or so before moving on to the opposite angle. While you direct your penis at one direction, you also massage your penis like you’re masturbating as this stimulates the membranes within it.

Another masturbation-like exercise uses a clamp or “cock ring”. Once your penis gets into a semi-erection, clasp the base area to trap the blood for 15 to 30 seconds. This allows tissues to stretch that leads to growth.

Then there’s the Kegel technique. It’s the closest to actual masturbation as an exercise, except that when you’re about to ejaculate, you hold back the release. Doing so, the erection time is lengthened and the surrounding tissues are stretch for a good period. This then leads to growth.

So now, can you make your penis larger by masturbating? Find out for yourself!

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Cluster Training: The Athlete’s Size and Strength Edge

All sport coaches would like big, strong athletes and most combative athletes want to be big and strong. However, most athletes and coaches run into a problem when training for both size and strength at the same time. The longer an athlete trains; usually they begin to hit a plateau with their current routine. They increase the volume (an increase in sets) or they increase the intensity (percentage of 1 repetition maximum, not perceived muscular discomfort), however they do not do both. Volume training is great for increasing muscle mass, and increasing strength-endurance, however it is not an effective method for stimulating neural (strength) gains.

Muscle mass is generally stimulated by neural gains. The higher the athlete’s maximal strength levels, the higher the intensity used in repetition exercises can be used. Another problem coaches and athletes run into with neural training is the rest intervals must be higher in intensity training for recovery of the neural system (CNS).

The problem is in the old saying, a trainee can train hard (intensity) or train long (volume) but cannot do both. Some coaches, such as T-Nation’s Chad Waterbury have proposed using a low(er) intensity 75-85% bracket and increasing the volume to accommodate this intensity bracket and a decrease in the rest intervals (i.e. 10 sets of 3 with a 6 repetition maximum, with 60 seconds rest intervals). While this is an excellent method and I am not putting it down, I feel there is a better way to work in a higher intensity bracket (80% to 100%) and utilize sufficient volume to increase both size AND strength!

Generally, novice athletes and trainees can make fantastic gains within the 60-70% intensity bracket, usually working their way to 80%. This 80% threshold rule is that strength generally is stimulated above this percentage and this usually calls for a decrease in sets and an increase in rest intervals. So our method will be working above this 80% threshold in every scenario.

Enter Cluster Training

Cluster training is not a new concept; in fact most Olympic weightlifters use this method without knowing it! Some very well know authors have done much to bring this powerful method to light such as Charles Poliquin, Christian Thibaudeau, and Mike Mahler to name a few. Olympic weightlifters must drop the weight to the ground after each repetition; this is followed by a short pause, and another repetition. Most Olympic weightlifters outside of the super-heavy weight division sport tremendously muscular, athletic physiques to go along with their incredible strength!

Cluster training allows the athlete or trainee to utilize intensity above the 80% threshold rule (generally even higher 85-100%), with sufficient volume to increase both strength and size (i.e. more reps at a higher intensity). However, this method is highly demanding on the central nervous system and is not recommended for beginners or high school freshmen and sophomores. While this is a powerful method, it should only be applied to ONE lift per movement group (horizontal push/pull, vertical push/pull, etc.) or ONE exercise per body part. Another caveat is that this method necessitates excellent spotters. If you do not have at least one good spotter, do not do this method. This is not a method that will be kind to an athlete if their spotter(s) decide to take a nap! Cluster training must also be broken into, not jumped into. I show will a progressive model to breaking into cluster training and moving into more advanced methods. Coach Thibaudeau breaks them into levels, level 1 consisting of three methods, level 2 consisting of three methods and level 3 consisting of two methods. For athletic purposes I will only be covering levels 1 and 2, level 3 will come at a later time.

Level 1

The first progression in cluster training is the extended 5s method, coined by Coach Thibaudeau. The goal of the extended 5s method is for the athlete to do 10 repetitions with a weight they can only do for 5 repetitions. Obviously this is an outstanding growth stimulus, as there is an increase in both intensity and volume (85% x 10 repetitions). An extended 5s set would go like this…

The athlete takes their 5 repetitions maximum (RM) and does 5 reps and then racks the bar. Resting approx 7-12 seconds (counted out loud by a training partner or spotter), the athlete then un-racks the bar and does another 2-3 repetitions. Upon racking the bar again, another rest of 7-12 seconds is taken, and a final 2-3 repetitions are performed. The goal of the set is to get 10 repetitions total. Generally an athlete will need two to three pauses to accomplish this. The athlete rests 3-5 minutes and repeats 3-5 times. This is an excellent introductory method to cluster training! Here is a summary…

Extended 5s Method

· Load- 80-85% of 1 RM or 5 RM (repetition maximum)

· Reps- 5 Reps with 5 RM, 7-12 pause, 2-3 Reps, 7-12 pause, 2-3 Reps

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 10 Repetitions with a 5 RM

The next progression in cluster training is the classic cluster method. Charles Poliquin wrote about this method in his text Modern Trends in Strength Training (2001) and Mike Mahler has written articles on this method calling it Rest-Pause Training. Regardless of the name, it is a powerful and effective method. This method is best used for increases in relative and maximal strength and hypertrophy of the type II-B muscle fibers (the ones with the most potential for force and power output). This method uses a higher intensity bracket than the extended 5s method, usually 87-92% of 1 RM and attempts to hit 5 intermitted repetitions with that load. A classic cluster set would go like this…

The athlete would take their 3-4 repetitions maximum and performs 1 rep, racks the bar, 7-12 seconds pause, 1 rep, 7-12 second pause in the rack, 1 rep, 7-12 seconds pause, 1 rep, 7-12 seconds pause, and a final 1 rep, and a 3-5 minute rest. Usually 3-5 sets are employed. Here is a summary…

Classic Cluster Method

· Load- 85-92% of 1 RM

· Reps- 5 Total Reps, intermitted, 1, pause, 1, pause, 1, pause, etc.

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 5 Repetitions with a 3-4 RM

The last progression in level 1 is the antagonist cluster method. This is basically a variation of the classic cluster method, with the exception being that the athlete alternates between to opposing exercises with minimal rest (the pause is taken by the opposing exercise being performed). Reps and sets still apply, however the execution of a set is a little different…

The athlete would take their 3-4 repetitions maximum and performs 1 rep of bench press, racks the bar, proceeds to do 1 rep of bent over barbell rows, 1 rep on the bench press, 1 rep of the row, 1 rep bench press, 1 rep of the row, 1 rep on the bench, 1 rep on the row, and a final 1 rep on the bench, and 1 final rep of the row and a 3-5 minute rest. Usually 3-5 sets are employed. Here is a summary…

Antagonist Cluster Method

· Load- 85-92% of 1 RM

· Reps- 5 Total Reps each antagonist exercise, 1 Rep Exercise 1, 1 Rep Exercise 2, etc.

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 5 Repetitions with a 3-4 RM on two opposing exercises

· For those who need to know antagonists, examples would be horizontal push and horizontal pull (bench and row), vertical push and vertical pull (shoulder press and chin up), quad dominant and hip dominant (squat and good morning), arms (curl and triceps extensions).

Level 2

It goes without saying that a foundation of cluster training should have been built in the previous level prior to taking on the more advanced methods here!

The first progression of the second level is named after the late Mike Mentzer, a highly successful bodybuilder. I first learned the Mentzer cluster method through Coach Thibaudeau’s excellent DVD on cluster training, and I continued to research it by reading Weight Training the Mike Mentzer Way. This is a very powerful method and should not be taken lightly. The goal of this method is to perform 4 to 5 total reps at 100-80% intensity. First the athlete will perform 2-3 singles in classic cluster fashion at 90-100% intensity and drop the weight approx 10% and perform another 1-2 repetitions with that weight in classic cluster fashion. For example…

The athlete takes 98% of their 1 RM and does 1 rep, racks the bar, 7-12 seconds pause, another 1 rep, 7-12 seconds pause, another 1 rep, 7-12 seconds pause, the spotter reduces the weight (in 7-12 seconds) and the athlete performs 1 more rep with this weight. Here is a summary…

Mentzer Cluster Method

· Load- 90-98% of 1 RM

· Reps- 4-5 Total Reps, intermitted, 1, pause, 1, pause, 1, pause, reduce weight 10%, 1 Rep

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 4-5 Repetitions with a 1-3 RM

The second progression is called the drop set cluster. This is a blend of the classic cluster method and the Mentzer cluster method. Most trainees know what a drop set is, a descending scheme of dropping weight after performing some repetitions. The drop set cluster still uses high intensity (90-100%) and drops the weight 5-10 lbs per drop on single repetitions. Again 5 reps are the target goal. An example being…

The athlete does 1 rep with 98-100% intensity, racks the bar, and the training partner or spotters remove 5-10 lbs from the bar during the 7-12 seconds pause, the athlete does another single, Racks the bar, the spotters proceed to strip 5-10 lbs, athlete performs another single, racks the bar and more weight is stripped, athlete does another rep, racks and spotters reduce weight further, and athlete completes last rep. The drop set cluster allows a higher level of muscular tension, due to the repetition’s slow speed and the rep is being performed at 100% maximal momentary strength (i.e. all muscle fibers are being recruited to lift the load) (Poliquin, Modern Trends in Strength Training, 18-19). A summary can be found here…

Drop Set Cluster Method

· Load- 90-100% of 1 RM

· Reps- 5 Total Reps, intermitted, 1, pause lower weight 5-10 lbs, 1, pause lower weight 5-10 lbs, 1, pause lower weight 5-10 lbs, 1 Rep, pause lower weight 5-10 lbs, 1 Rep, pause lower weight.

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 5 Repetitions with a 1-3 RM

The final progression in level 2 is called the accentuated eccentric cluster method. Caution: this method will require a competent spotter! As you might know, I do like to accentuate the eccentric portion of an exercise (see Eccentric Training for Athletes article). This method combines the classic cluster method with an accentuated eccentric portion of the lift. Again, the set and rep scheme stays close to the classic cluster method, however during the eccentric or lowering portion of the exercise, the training partner will push down on the bar and release at the mid point. This requires a very skilled spotter! They should only apply enough resistance to have the athlete still lower the bar under control! If the bar is dropping like a bag of bricks, it is not helping the athlete it is hurting them! Here is an example…

The athlete would take their 3-4 repetitions maximum and performs 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, racks the bar, 7-12 seconds pause, 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, 7-12 second pause in the rack, 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, 7-12 seconds pause, 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, 7-12 seconds pause, and a final 1 rep with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, and a 3-5 minute rest. Usually 3-5 sets are employed. Here is a summary…

Classic Cluster Method

· Load- 85-92% of 1 RM

· Reps- 5 Total Reps, intermitted, 1 with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, pause, 1 with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, pause, 1 with the training partner applying pressure to the bar in the lowering portion, pause, etc.

· Sets- 3-5

· Rest Intervals- 3-5 Minutes

· Target Goal- 5 Repetitions with a 3-4 RM

Advantages for the Athlete

In his Modern Trends in Strength Training (2001) text Charles Poliquin points out the advantages of using cluster training for athletes, this is what he wrote…

· A higher total number of repetitions with a higher mean intensity in the same amount of time as classic strength or neural based training

· Increased total training time under tension for the high-threshold fast-twitch fibers; a prerequisite for reaching hypertrophy of these selected fibers. This may seem contradictory to the concept of relative strength, but hypertrophy can be beneficial if it is done in the right motor units.

· Higher force/lower velocities repetitions-a prerequisite for inducing maximal strength gains.

Putting it together

Cluster training is without a doubt a growth and strength stimulus. But how do you incorporate it into a plan? Clusters should not be used for more than 3-4 weeks, or else the method will become stale and your body will have adapted to the method anyway. So the method must be integrated into a yearly plan or at least a periodized cycle.

If an athlete or coach utilizes a conjugate method approach, cluster training would fall into the plan as a Maximal Effort Method, due to its use of high loads. So one would essentially use it like this…

Max Effort Day

ME- Classic Cluster Method

Assistance work done using classic hypertrophy methods (2-4 x 8-12)

If the athlete or coach decides to utilize linear periodization, cluster training would fall within the Strength Phase bracket and each movement would be given the cluster training method.

Strength Phase

Day 1- Horizontal Push/Pull

Bench Press- Classic Cluster Method

Bent Over Barbell Row- Classic Cluster Method

If the athlete or coach is utilizing undulating periodization (i.e. rotating between various strength methods by weeks with a training cycle) cluster training could be used for maximal strength work.

Strength Weeks

Week 1 and 5

Day 1- Horizontal Push/Pull

Day 2- Hips Dominant/Quad Dominant

Day 3- Vertical Push/Pull

1 Exercise per Movement Group-

Classic Cluster Method

Cluster training is very versatile, and athletes can benefit from this method by increasing both strength and size. However, like any other training tool, this one should only be used in moderation due to the intense fatiguing effect it has on the Central Nervous System. Also this method requires competent spotters, a luxury some do not have.

Cluster training done properly can help to jump start new growth or new strength adaptations in athletes. It can also increase all ready existing levels of size and strength. Any athlete (with the proper foundation) can benefit from this style of training! Good luck implementing this method in your and your athlete’s training!

Sources & Further Study

1. Poliquin, Charles Modern Trends in Strength Training (Self Published) 2001.

2. Thibaudeau, Christian (2005) Cluster Training [DVD].

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10 Basement Renovation Ideas to Transform the Basement Into a Fun Space

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

The proverb manifests an important truth of life. If you do not take time off from work, your life will become dull and boring. It is necessary to cultivate a hobby to de-stress yourself. Also, it is essential to spend some time with your friends and family because it is not good to work all the time. But, enjoying your life doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend money every weekend. You can make optimum use of the basement and create a personal fun space in your home.

One Basement: Multiple Possibilities

There are so many things that you can do with the basement. You can enhance its usage according to your requirements. But, before you begin the process of transforming it into your dream fun space, talk to a basement renovation contractor. He will be able to guide you with the renovation project and help you in making practical decisions. Here are a couple of basement renovation ideas that you can discuss with the contractor:

  1. Play-Area for Kids

If you want to spend more time with your family, you can opt for a play-area in the basement. Your kids will love it and it will help you to keep an eye on your little ones. Also, it will enable your kids to play in a safe and clean environment. To transform it into a play-area, you can add a couple of gaming consoles, society games, and similar entertainment options.

  1. Music Studio

If music is your life, you should take advantage of extra space in your home. Do not think that limited space in the basement can create a problem because an expert basement renovation contractor will show you creative ways of adding extra space to a cramped room. Also, you can sound-proof the area if you want to enjoy better music quality without disturbing other members of the family.

  1. Artist’s Workshop

If you love to paint, you need a vast space to deposit paints, brushes, and other painting equipment. Luckily, the basement can accommodate your entire painting gear if you renovate it properly to suit your needs. Using the basement area is a good idea because it will protect your masterpieces from prying eyes and keep it safe from the reach of kids.

  1. Gym

If you love to exercise, it can become your personal gym. You can install several fitness equipment and sports accessories in the basement. It will enable you to exercise without disturbance. You can also add a small fridge and fill it with cold, tasty beverages to cool you down after an intense workout.

  1. Boxing Ring

Some people are into fitness and bodybuilding. On the other hand, there are people who prefect sports such as boxing. If you are into boxing, you are aware that a boxing ring requires a lot of space. The basement in your home can provide you with enough space to create a boxing ring.

  1. Casino

It is possible to transform the basement into a casino. All that you have to do is install one or two poker tables, a Russian roulette, a blackjack table, etc. and create an atmosphere of a casino. Having a casino in your home will ensure that you do not spend money unnecessarily. You can spend time with your friends by playing poker in the basement. Installing ambient lighting and task lighting along with an open bar is a nice way of adding the feel of a casino to the area.

  1. Meditation Area

If you are a spiritual person, you can create a meditation area in your home. It can be an ideal space for relaxation. For a meditation area, you need proper ventilation and adequate natural light. So, discuss your requirements with the basement renovation contractor. Also, you can add a fireplace to create a peaceful atmosphere in the basement.

  1. Wine Cellar

Are you a wine connoisseur? You can use the basement to deposit your impressive collection of wine bottles. If you want to build a wine cellar in the basement, you will have to install special cooling devices as well as buy furniture to accommodate your collection.

  1. Home Theatre

Those who love movies can transform the basement into a genuine movie theatre. For it, you will have to invest in quality audio-video equipment, a comfortable sofa, and a small fridge filled with snacks and cold beverages. If you love watching movies with your family members, add a couple of comfortable armchairs. Do not forget to sound-proof the basement so that your movie watching experience doesn’t create any problem for other members of the family.

  1. Gaming Area

Are you a serious gamer? Do you love playing video games with your friends? You can customize the basement according to your requirements and install laptops and desktops that are specially designed to enhance your gaming experience. Do not forget to buy professional-quality webcams, headphones, and other gaming equipment for a better experience.

Two Birds; One Stone

The basement in your home can become your favorite place. Add your personal style to it and make it your den. Remember that spending your hard-earned money in restaurants and movie theatres is not the only way to enjoy your weekend. Instead, kill two birds with one stone. Consider basement renovation to increase the value of your home as well as create a fun space to de-stress and relax.

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Aero Pilates Performer 295 – The Total Body Workout

For years, I have been a cardio buff. On any given day, I can be seen on my bicycle, in-line skates, or running shoes. However, that is about to change. After 30 some years of chronic cardio abuse through running, I determined that I needed to mix up my training. Mark Sisson, the founder of the Primal Blue Print suggests spending about 6 hours a week doing various cardio work out routines. Doing Pilates is a great way to mix up the work outs and do what fitness expert call shock treatment . I discovered Pilates reformer exercises that I can do at home and I am hooked!

If you're reading this article, chances are you're almost ready to plunk down a few hundred dollars for a Aero Pilates Reformer Machine. The Stamina Aero Pilates Pro reformer series of machines give you one of the most hard-core workouts that your money can buy. These incredible machines are safe, very efficient, comfortable, and easy-to-use. Most important, they give the results that you are looking for. The machines help you to burn fat, get a cardio workout, and build up your core muscle groups. I bet most people wish they could help control appetite. Sorry, that one is on you!

The reviews for the Aero Pilates are nothing short of rave. Most people admit that using a Pilates reformer machine is an intelligence choice for overall physical fitness. It is an all-encompassing use of the Pilates method. Stamina is the leader and most respected manufacture of reformers in the world. But do not just take my word on it. Do your own homework and find out why it's the best workout. Amazon is a great place to find reviews that are written by real people. You will find grammatical errors, spelling errors, and just an overall real exclusion that only and and user could write. In my opinion, if the review is written perfectly, then it's just a stuck fake review.

I'm very partial to the Stamina pro performer 295. The big selling point for me is a cardio rebounder. Rebounding is well known amongst fitness buffs forgiven a great low-impact cardio workout. With the Stamina Aero Pilates performer you will be able to get your heart rate going as effectively as with the treadmill and at the same time work more muscle groups. Moreover, it's very gentle on your joints, and since your lying on your back, the effect of gravity and the concussion it causes on your legs, spying, and hips is going to be minimized. This machine is really like a mini trampoline or rebounder-both which I'm very fond of.

The Pilates method focuses on using your entire body as a whole unit, not dividing it into separate parts like many bodybuilders do. This machine will work your entire body.

The design of the system is incredible. The performer features 3 heavy duty plastic cords that provide for levels of work of resistance. One of the resistance cords is the power cord for 40% more resistance. It has all true smooth ball bearing rollers that allow the platform to glide gently through the track frame. It has an adjustable padded head rest, adjustable hand and foot ropes and foam shoulder pads.

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Exercise Provides Us Protection From The Disease

It is said that a perfect mind resides in a perfect body. Yes, we know about the significance of daily exercise. It is very important to know how to consider the importance of exercise in the life. Routine exercise is the very valuable element to the slim and smart body. We cannot deny the significance of exercise and not to refuse how to useful for us. We should set the time for exercise early in the morning more than thirty to sixty minutes. Exercise specialists suggest a chart for all parts of the body to warm up. Simply, a common man knows the benefits of exercise including:

1. Provide the protection from the disease.

2. Reduce the heart attack chances.

3. Improve your stamina and building stronger muscle.

4. Protection from obesity and gives the confidence to succeed in all fields of life.

Daily exercise is so important against the dangerous disease like blood pressure, heart attack, obesity, diabetes, constipation and up the cholesterol level. All the above diseases are dangerous for health. Today’s man wants to know about the threat of life because of the disease. Every part of the body works in proper ways and provides a right line to maintain the muscles. When we take an exercise that calories burn in the body and turn into heat. It works as a fuel in the body. When our body does not burn the calories. As a result, we get the extra fat. It is the main cause of obesity. Obesity is causes of heart disease and diabetes. If we will not take exercise in timely and regular basis that we will be many parts of the disease.

Constipation is another harmful disease that is a cause of many diseases. We can say it is a mother of the disease. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and raise the cholesterol level is all the causes of constipation. Those people who do not take exercise on a daily basis are suffering the fatal disease. Exercise is the only source to reduce the level of all harm of life.

Regular exercise builds your muscle and confidence will be very high in the eyes of the girls. You are a prominent person in any party due to an attractive sexy body. Your resistance level will be very high. You can achieve the target due to a confidence level.

I hope, you will have known about the importance of exercise and you will join the gym immediately. Daily exercise will be part of your life.

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How to Get Ready For a Bodybuilding Show

My Preparation for 2004 Bodybuilding Contests

Back in the day (1996-1999), I had it pretty easy getting ready for shows, much to the envy of those who knew me. I would “diet” by having only one Snickers a day and still be in great shape. I was winning my weight class in almost every show and taking a few overall titles as well. In 2000 and 2001, I had a wake up call at the Team Universe, finishing no better than 9th. Then in 2002, I had mild success in a couple of NPC shows, but still hadn’t achieved my 1990’s-level of conditioning. I was now in my thirties and figured my career was slowly winding down. After six months of mono in 2003, and no competitions, I realized that this year was going to be my swan song. With that mentality in mind, I picked two shows to prepare for-one in September and one in October-to go “gently into that good night”.

The first show would be the INBF Karen Miller Klassic in Youngstown, Ohio, on September 11. I started my pre-contest nutrition program 17 weeks out. The first month included a cheat meal once a week, which I still can get away with, as I tend to lose too much weight too fast (at least that’s my rationalization!). At 12 weeks out, here is my “diet”:

Meal 1

6 egg whites + 1 yolk

½ cup oatmeal

Meal 2

8 oz. red meat or 3 scoops protein powder

7 rice cakes

Meal 3

6-8 oz. wheat pasta

7 oz. chicken

Meal 4 (post-workout)

6 scoops recovery powder

Meal 5

8 oz. red meat or turkey

white or brown rice microwaveable bag

Meal 6

7 oz. chicken or 8 oz. red meat

Totals:

2975 calories

310 g-protein

335 g-carbs

41 g-fat

Now that I look back at this, I am surprised that I ate this bad (relatively speaking). However, I was still losing body fat, and continued this way for a while. Admittedly, my fast metabolism has always allowed me to get away with things most competitors cannot do. Not this time! I had met my match. Here is what my next phase looked like:

Meal 1

6 egg whites + 6 oz. red meat or 8 oz turkey or 8 oz chicken + 1-2 kiwi

Meal 2

2 scoops protein powder + 1 scoop BCAA

Meal 3

10 oz chicken or 10 oz turkey + 2-3 cups salad

Meal 4

same as 2

Meal 5

10 oz chicken or 10 oz turkey or 8 oz red meat + 2-3 cups salad

(Meal 6 when needed)

9 egg whites

OR

Hi Carb Meal (Mon & Thurs)

A typical day yielded around 1550 calories; 300 grams of protein; 37 grams of carbohydrates; 25 grams of fat (all values not including supplements). Well, it worked! I was getting leaner by the day and ended up at 5% bodyfat the week of the contest. The Friday before the show I weighed in at 184, and found out I was the only lightheavyweight! At least I won my class. I also ended up winning the overall. It had been several years since I had accomplished that feat. I was now ready for my next show: the Natural Northern USA in three weeks.

However, between shows, Suzanne, my wife, was going to be running a marathon….in Maui. Somehow, I had to figure out how to stay focused and disciplined for those ten days. It presented a dilemma as to how to help her and be there for her event, while still staying the course for my event. Everyday presented a new challenge. Even simple things like walking the beach would wear me out. I wasn’t much fun. She understood, though, and I will always remember the sacrifices she made on my behalf.

We arrived home with seven days to get ready for Cleveland. I was down to 4.5%, and had achieved the best shape of my life (at least as a lightheavy). I stayed on exactly the same diet between shows. I weighed in at 181, certainly at the bottom of the weight class, but was confident that I had prepared to the best of my ability.

At prejudging, I was sure I placed 3rd-5th based on callouts. It was one of the toughest classes I had ever competed against (and this was my 16th show!). To my sincere shock, I won the class by just a few points. The overall winner (Shiloe Steinmetz) certainly had me beat on pure muscle, but several judges told me that I had had the better physique (symmetry, aesthetics, conditioning), which made me feel good.

Some other key points:

o As mentioned above, my metabolism affords me to do very little, if any, cardio work. This year I did perform two days of either stair climbing, or sprint/plyometric work. I like this kind of activity, regardless of an upcoming bodybuilding show. It also granted me the exclusion of doing direct leg work with weights for most of the contest prep.

o I am not a proponent of dropping water, or sodium, before a contest. I drank 2.5 gallons of water each Friday before the show, as well as continued to salt my foods. The only change was the addition of potassium Wed-Sat. I lose water through sweating, not so much through dietary changes.

o My strength training also does not change until the very last week. My split looks like this:

o Day 1=back

o Day 2=hams/calves OR sprints/stairs

o Day 3=chest/biceps

o Day 4=abs/quads OR plyometrics/stairs

o Day 5=delts/traps/triceps

o My training philosophy is very instinctual, therefore, I never do the same workout twice in a row. In fact, I never plan any workout, other than the body part(s) I am going to perform that day.

o I train in a non-traditional, undulating periodization model. A once popular European model for Olympic athletes has migrated to the United States and has been applied to American athletes (although it has limited application to bodybuilders). There are numerous texts and articles for more details on this philosophy. I have tailored the different cycles found within periodized models to include variety within a workout as well as between workouts. With that said, it is unrealistic for me to outline a typical workout regimen, but this will give you some idea (upper body only).

Back

-¾ deadlifts 4 x 6

-Front pulldowns 3 x 12

-One arm high pulley row 3 x 10

-High Hammer row 3 x 20

Chest

-Incline barbell press 4 x 6

-Incline dumbbell press 3 x 10

-Hammer decline press 3 x 20

-Pec deck 3 x 12

Biceps

-Seated dumbbell curl 3 x 10

-One arm preacher curl 3 x 12

-Hammer curl 3 x 15

Shoulders

-Seated dumbbell press 4 x 8

-Seated dumbbell side raise 4 x 12

-Seated dumbbell rear fly 4 x 15

Traps

-Seated machine shrug 4 x 8

-Behind-the-back barbell shrug 3 x 15

Triceps

-Seated preacher curl 3 x 10

-Cable pushdown 3 x 12

-One-arm dumbbell extension 3 x 15

This is my off-season, as well as pre-contest, style of training. The only exception is that rest intervals decrease (i.e. 60-90 seconds) considerably during a pre-contest mode. I must re-iterate that the above is what I believe works for me. It has a loose base in scientific theory, but more than anything, it is grounded in anecdotal evidence.

This year has been a learning experience, just like every year since my first show in 1990! As I get older, and hopefully smarter, I enjoy the process, the learning, the challenge, much more than the outcome. It is nice to win, but that is only one night, and not up to me anyway. All the weeks leading up to the contest are in my control, and I cherish each small victory along the way.

I am undecided as to whether I will continue to compete. It is hard to just “turn it off”, and train for the hell of it! My goals now become more intrinsic-just to keep getting better, not necessarily bigger. By virtue of my achievements this year, I now have more questions than answers….

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