Archive for the ‘Lifting’ Category

Lifting-More-to-your-Capacity

Well maybe not all of them, but I’ve definitely made a lot. You would imagine like most other sports, weight lifting would come with admirable coaches that teach how to correctly and properly teach how to perform, right? Wrong.

In my experience weightlifting may have been the most over-saturated with bull shit get ripped quick schemes of all sports. Instead of working on your craft day in and day out, we have every last guru guaranteed quick fix. Who cares about legs when you can get arms like Arnold’s in less than 30 days.

And maybe you’re better informed than I was when I started lifting, but when I was first starting out these were some of the mistakes I’ve dealt with in the past.

No legs

The first and definitely the most embarrassing is the fact that I thought I didn’t have to work on legs if my upper body got big enough. From walking around all day with all the added weight from my upper body being so jacked my legs would just naturally get bigger to match my perfect physique.

Obsession

Another, and is one that still happens to this day is that I will hyper-focus on one muscle that is smaller than the others and tear away at getting it bigger until it becomes bigger than a different muscle and the process tend to repeat itself. My biceps are quite large, as well as the right one being noticeably bigger than the left. Still don’t know how this happened, but ironically the left one is stronger. Beats me.

Injuries

A lot of these came from not keeping my back straight in the heavier lifts. I felt a “crunch” sound while squatting with my back leaning forward. I’ve been bedridden from trying out deadlifts for the first time, also not keeping my back straight. I’ve torn my right shoulder from one time I put on a 10lb weight on one side of the bar and not the other while squatting and tried to push with my arms on the last couple of reps and yikes. Ouch.

“Accessory muscles”

One debatable mistake I made was when I took the advice of a fellow gym goer that told me to work on the smaller, accessory muscles first before going into the bigger lifts. Such as doing curls before rows and tricep pulls before bench. Really? I’m supposed to use precious muscle glycogen stores and creatine energy cycles on accessories muscles before I do the lifts that actually matter? They are accessory muscles and we treat them as such. Accessories.

“Carbs and dairy, man! Carbs and dairy!”

More bad advice from a friend who was much bigger than I was, was that he told me you wont be sexy or anything, but you’ll put on weight in no time if you eat a lot of carbs and dairy. So pasta, pizza, and gallons of milk are the best thing for me to build muscle? Right….

Not finding an informed mentor.

As you can see it took a series of bad information before I found some good information to go off of. My two favorites are Elliot Hulse and Paul Chek while bodybuiling.com can have a diamond in the rough every once in a while. This would be the most important out the list as it would help prevent some of the mistakes I’ve made above.

What are some of the mistakes you have made in your workout routines? Can’t be nearly as bad as the first one on my list. Ha.

Peace.

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Anywhere you search for what supplements you should buy, its always protein powder, creatine, BCAA’s, NO, or some phytochemical you’ve never heard before. here, here, and here were the top results for a google search of best workout supplements and what do we find, but tubs full of powdered garbage.
Perhaps if we had people who were dedicated to the grind and didn’t eat like shit we wouldn’t have the bloated supp industry we have now.

Whey protein shake for immediate recovery, casein protein shake before bed for slow burning intake to get you through the night, and then another whey + creatine shake before a lift for MAXIMUM bro science official muscle growth.

I can see how easy it is to prey upon a young and naive demographic wanting to get jacked, and it pisses me off. Putting on muscle is already expensive enough when it comes to needing more food for more calorie expenditure and bigger clothes when you start seeing results. (When your thighs are bigger than your waste, every pair of jeans become skinny jeans) The last thing you need to spend your hard earned money on are powdered false claims.

Whey Protein – Everybody needs a FAST burning protein to get to our muscles as QUICKLY as possible to OPTIMALLY build strength and size.

Casein Protein – If you don’t have a SLOW burning protein to keep you going after the fast burning whey protein is gone your work out will go to SHIT!

BCAAs – As if protein wasn’t enough by itself we must break it down to the components that are it individually. Leucine, isoleucine and valine are a far better source for muscle repair and is best if you take them separately on top of your two other protein powders.

Candy Bars Protein Bars – The avid weight lifter is always on the go and needs QUALITY protein such as the estrogenic soy protein crammed full of chocolate indulgence and cookie dough delight. Make sure to sneak one of these babies in between meals to keep up your protein stores.

Creatine is the only supplement worth your while for training.

For any kind of resistance training, most likely it is your ATP energy system that is going to be used. Adenosine triphosphate is the energy compound in your muscles when performing reps. When this energy is used up it loses a phosphate and becomes adenosine diphosphate. This is where creatine comes in.

adp_atp

Creatine comes from all animal flesh in small amounts or can be supplemented via powder form. When ingested it’s stored in a creatine phosphate form. I’m starting to see a connection here.

What creatine does is when ATP stores are depleted it gives the ADP byproduct back another phosphate replenishing our energy stores for more reps. This is what we call intermittent set recovery. With creatine you can train better for longer. Anything else is garbage.

Join the movement.

Peace.

Do you lift, bro? Seriously bro…DO YOU EVEN LIFT?! If you don’t, here is a good starting point. If you do why do you even lift, bro? I had to have a moment of clarity with a colleague who mentioned to another colleague that I in fact only did it for vanity and spent more time looking in the mirror than I did lifting. What rubbish. I’ve spent more time in the gym than he’s spent wishing he could lift. Garbage really.

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Lifting for vanity or to look more appealing to the ladies can only get you so far. You’ll spend all your workouts on the vanity lifts for the girls creating muscular imbalances or quit once you get to a level where you start making progress with girls. I would even argue it’s not the body itself that got you the girl, but it was the confidence you gained from those lifts. Your confidence sky rockets, your posture is better, you’re less stressed and anxious, more energy, the mental benefits far surpass the physical benefits in social interactions. Respect the lift, bro.

In my experience, I lift because I have grown to love the lift. I’ve been lifting consistently for over a year now and suffer a mild depression if I don’t lift during the week. If I don’t lift everything else in life just kind of sucks. Mental fogs, less energy, eat less healthy than I would if I were lifting and I’m just plain lazy.

But I wasn’t always this way. Before I would dread the lift and try to rationalize every excuse in the book for why I couldn’t lift that day. I would hate a certain exercise like squats and avoid leg day like the plague. In fact, I was so ignorant of the ways of the lift, I thought to myself as a young teen that my legs would get bigger from the amount of weight I would put on my upper body. (laugh… its ok.) I Had no idea what I was doing, but I did it anyway. Sometimes, even in lifting with some degree of injury likely, you just have to shut your brain off and do it. First time I did dead lifts, I was bed ridden. One fateful leg day, I was doing squats and felt my back just “crunch”. Bed ridden. Fucked up my wrist doing cleans. Still going at it to this day.

Dat Body

I lift because I LOVE to lift. The chalk on the hands during and the caluses after. The social clubs they call gyms to rugged and raw work out temples. I’ve even compared my post-workout high to being better than MDMA. ( maybe it was shitty molly) I love everything about it. What makes it EVEN better is I’m becoming some kind of authority in my circle when it comes to lifting. A buddy I haven’t seen since he joined the army a year ago called me yesterday for diet and exercise advice, imagine that. Being that I am a small guy who isn’t jacked out of his mind, a lot of people call “shredded” or “ripped”. You can decide for youself, but the problem with lifting is the day you want to get bigger, you become forever small because you’ll never be as big as you want to be.

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Join the movement.

Peace.

It’s that time of the week and that time of the day again. It’s time to lift. We cannot improve ourselves to the fullest without experiencing the body’s physical potential. I like to cycle through a few different styles of lifting routines, but this is the one a I keep getting drawn back to and is my person favorite. My lifting schedule is a 4 day split with a day of rest in between each day, consisting of a pull, push, legs and a weakness day.

Lift
How it feels when I can convince a girl she won’t get “big” from lifting.

I just so happen to have the smallest traps in the world, as well as a small chest. This leaves me with a set of coconut shoulders. Broad shoulders be damned when you have this imbalance. To try and correct this I have a “weakness” day to work solely on my weak points. Your’s will obviously differ from mine and I’m sure mine will vary along the way as well. I tend to hyper focus on a certain muscle group until im satisfied and proceed to hyperfocus on the next muscle I may have not focused on during all that. An endless cycle of muscle imbalances. However, as annoying as this can be I really don’t mind the process because I love to lift. I could be four foot tall 100 lbs and still be cranking this shit out below.

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I’ve been waiting for you too, ❤

Pull day

Snatch → 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6
Reverse Grip Pull Ups → 3 sets of 12, 10, 8
Rows → 3 sets of 12, 10, 8
Lat Raises → 3 sets of 12, 10, 8
Z Bar Curl → 3 sets of 12, 10, 8

Push Day

Flat Bench → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6
Overhead Press → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6
Upright Rows → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6
Chest Flys → 3 sets of 12,10,8
Skull Crushers → 3 sets of 12,10,8

Leg Day

Deadlift → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6
Squats → 3 sets of 12,10,8
Abs → 3 sets of rotissaries
Calve Raises → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6

Weakness Day

Subject to vary, but may look something like this.
Dumbell bench → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6
Shrugs → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6
Chest Flys → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6
Upright Rows → 4 sets of 12,10,8,6

Even this schedule of mine will vary from day to day to avoid getting burnt out or stale. To add an extra challenge I do a series of pyramiding my workout by adding 10 pounds with every set so I might not even get to the full 12,10,8,6 leading to an until failure most of the time.

Join the movement.

Peace.

If you keep up with corrective stretching and lifting you will know there are resources for correcting “duck butt” and bad posture, but not so much if you are so unfortunate to have the dreaded ‘Hank Hill Syndrome'(HHS). For those of you who had the pleasure of NOT watching this god awful show between Home Improvement and the Simpsons after school, lucky you. This is Hank Hill Syndrome.

bFMIGHs

Terrifying isn’t it? But fear not, there is hope for you as there is for me. Yes I too, am suffering from a minor case of Hank Hill Syndrome. My gluteus maximus is too large relative to my gluteus medius. Meaning my side ass needs to be bigger. I guess super squats will do that to a person.

One simple exercise to correct this imbalance is a hip abduction movement. You can use the machine that makes girls look like they’re giving birth or you can use a cable machine with a leg strap as shown. Stretching your gluteus maximus combined with cable hip abductions will help bring out this new found muscle.

stand-cab-hip-abd-b-male

For those of you who have….Are blessed with some fat around your ass, no problem. Enjoy that gift. But for those of us who have not an ounce of body fat on our body, we need to keep up or muscular balance if we are to maintain a well formed physique.

For the heavy, deep squatters out there should in particular pay attention to this exercise as your glutes might start to show this imbalance. To really find the muscle I’m talking about stand normally and then shift your weight from one leg to another a few times and feel the side of your ass contract and extend. This is your gluteus medius. This muscle is responsible for rotating your leg inwards or more frontward facing.

In addition to HHS, strengthening you gluteus medius will improve your balance on one leg. Right now I have to lean or reposition my footing to balance on one leg. My roommate who is an athletic training student caught this on my way to leg day (go figure) when he made fun of the way I walk. Which reminds…ONE MORE THING, strengthening the gluteus medius does for you is bring your outward pointing stride back in, frontward facing. This means no more duck waddling with each step.

Join the movement.

Peace.