I know my contribution is not Arnold's, but i wished to say goodbye to the man who discovered principles we use even today, in years when nobody talked about "functional" or "fitness" and even before those high tech machines were invented.
Here we go with another easy video-recipe, POWER MEATBALLS my friends !
It's in Italian actually, but easy to guess what to do, try it and let me know !
Here we go with a simple and fast recipe coming from Italy's cooking backround. The recipe is in Italian but if you wish i can write it down and send it to those who wish to try a tasteful way of eating clean.
An article of mine on Muscle Hypertrophy. Hope it helps !
The abdominals muscles are composed of four muscles which work together to allow our torso to compress, tilt to the sides, rotate or all of these movements at once.
The role of the abdominals has been pulled out from the real context to become a sort of fitness status symbol, the abdominals are by the way the most overlooked muscles in the body and maybe the first thing clients ask when they come to you to be beach ready !
The effective work of the abdominals is to permit you to close the angle made by your torso and your femur/hips area, to support the internal organs and, most people don’t even think about it, to support the spine by working in synergy with the erector spinae and lower back muscles to maintain a proper posture when you walk, sit or train, weak abdominals may lead to lordosis or other posture problems other than opening your spine to damage due to undesired stress during training.
The muscles forming the abdominals are:
which most people think is made of “upper” and “lower” abdominals while science states it’s a single muscle connecting your hips (iliac crest) to your lower ribs, it is in duty when you raise your legs in the sagittal plane (for example in hanging leg raises) or when you try to reach the hips/legs with your torso (the classic crunches). It helps in all forward/lateral movements of the torso when legs are fixed and viceversa, it supports breathing, helps defecating , “pushing” the baby in women who are in parturition and keeps pressure on viscera.
To train Rectus Abdominis, you can start by the Crunches, I suggest you open your chest while you come up, and never think of touching your pelvis with the torso, think you have to slightly bend while you detach your back from the bench, pointing your torso to the roof, I always think of my spine as a bar in this movement, and that I have to crunch starting from the bottom of my abs. Also NEVER do crunches on a soft surface (like your bed) as this will cause your spine to be forced backwards, it can cause postural problems if you do it over and over again. You can even do the hanging leg raises or a couple of thousands of other exercises, with weights (like kneeling cable crunch) or free, just remind to open your chest and do it in a controlled motion, with no momentum, not on the top nor on bottom.
Obliques (external and internal):
The internal oblique muscles mostly work when tilting your torso to the side (or legs if you’re hanging or lying) and supports the torsion in synergy with the opposite external, it takes part in the exhaling process with the diaphragm and helps in all flections. The External oblique connects the ribs to the pubic area, helping and supporting rotation in conjunction with the opposite internal. Supports flexion and compression of the abdomen.
To train obliques you can do the oblique crunches (following the open chest rule stated for the Rectus Abdominis) or use the weights or a cable to do the side laterals dumbbell raises, as usual there are another two thousands exercises, one I find really effective is the wood chopper with a cable in its top position, it’s a little difficult to master and disabling the deltoids, but it’s worth a try.
This little muscle is located beneath the internal oblique, stabilizing, keeping the internal organs in place and helping the other abdominal muscles in their work.
To train this muscle alone you should be a Yogi, even if it engages in almost every other abdominal exercise. A way to isolate it is to push your belly towards your spine and hold for some seconds (let’s say 20) then release and start over, it will burn a lot, you won’t suck your abs into with your breathing, push your belly by using the abs !
Training abdominals is a mean of fashion and creativity, as we can engage these muscles in every activity, from breathing, to walking, to supporting a heavy bench press movement, but the most important thing to actually “show” them, is a proper reduction in body fat through a sound nutrition program and dedication, because even if you train them all day and have the strongest abs in the world, they will be like Robin in the Batman movie: useful, but who remembers him ?
Abs are the first thing people want, they always wish to know how to get that six pack they saw on tv. Sadly abs are not just a matter of training this or that way, it’s 80% nutrition and 20% training. Nevertheless abs are very important to support your entire core, stabilizing during heavy lifts, so it’s a matter of fact that you should train them anyway, for a safety puropose.
Greetings Big Jims and Fit Jamies hope you're pushing that last rep or mile in time for Summer!
How many times have you heard people in the gym taliking about "body type" and their genetic inability to obtain what they want ?
Genetics counts, but it's not that one way ticket someone thinks...
We all know that our body composition can naturally tend to be lean (ectomorphs), muscular (mesomorph) or fatty (endomorphs) and that we can change the rate between lean body mass and fat by tuning dieting plans, consuming soles and pushing iron.
What we don't know is that even muscles have their "types"....
When we come to muscle fibers type we get into a wide discussed yet obscure argument.
First of all we must say that all of us have a mix of these muscle fibers, prevalent in
one type maybe, but we can’t train thinking we are 100% of one type.
Fibers mix can be altered through specific training, exactly as our body types.
Muscle fibers can be of three (plus one not yet enough studied) types
Type I fibers
are the slow twitch, long fibers, which allow the body to undergo long periods of activity mainly using an oxidative (aerobic) patway to fuel them with energy. These fibers can work seamlessly for longer period of time with less or no fatigue, but with a lesser force output than the Type II fibers. An example may be the muscles in the calves (gastrocnemious and soleus) which permit us to walk, run and do other tasks during all day.
A perfect example of a body type derived from training (and/or having inherited genetically) mostly Type I fibers is the one of long distance runners. Long muscles, limited muscle mass and probably a very little amount of excess in bodyfat (Type I fibers don’t have the same ability to grow as type II, they use an aerobic pathway and are able to use fatty acids as fuel (maybe contributing to the lean appearence of runners) more than type II.
Also we can say that long distance runners are active people, and even if maybe is irrelevant, sedentary people have a prevalence of Type IIB muscle fibers, in fact, they get tired really soon even if they can perform everyday routines and common short limited in time range actions).
A nature's principle states that the most reliable fibers are used first, the most reliable happen to be the Type I fibers, followed by Type IIa then Type IIB that’s why those who don’t train in a resistance program with heavy weights (let’s say they just run) will never hit the threshold necessary to trigger less reliable, yet more inclined to growth, fibers like Type II. The rule is simple: the higher the force requested, more motor units and higher threshold fibers are used, and if the force requested is not enough, high threshold fibers (Type IIa and b) will NEVER be triggered, !
Type IIa fibers
Are fast twitch, short fibers, They are very sensible to growth signals and they can grow sensibly larger than Type I. Also they can store much more glycogen (even because they are bigger than Type I) and use it to generate ATP. Type IIA fibers use both anaerobic and aerobic energy creation patways, and are able of a great force output for a shorter period of time compared to Type I.
The body type of an individual who mostly have Type IIA fibers is muscular and “full”, with large muscle mass, he/she usually does resistance training or heavy intense training, like bodybuilders, boxers and gymnasts (those who practice rings, parallels and so on) among others. This is caused even because this type of resistance training, with high intensity and heavy loads, causes an increase in the growth hormone and other hormones responsible of making muscle grow. They are also the most sensible to these hormones and the most capable of growth, activating a chain reaction.
Type IIb fibers
Are the fastest fibers, which are considered the “couch potato” fibers because are the most numerous fibers in sedentary people, they are triggered last in action because they are not able to sustain short energy bursts more than for a little period of time, in the order of seconds or less, after that they are damaged, usually they become irreparably wasted and are then expelled by the body.
Type IIc fibers
When type IIb cells don’t get expelled by the body (cortisol seems to be the hormon which does this easter cleanings) they can turn to Type IIc fibers, It is not well documented how and what their duty is, but it seems that TypeIIc fibers are created by melting down type IIb fibers with others cells which are not necessarily of the contractile type. They are very similar, if not equal to the Type IIb fibers so maybe there’s no need to discuss this more deeply.
The body will adapt to the training we put it on, and it happens even at a cellular level, where more fibers of the used type are created in damage to the other types, so as we know that Type I are mostly Aerobic (due to their capacity to use oxygen pathway to generate ATP and their greater presence of mitochondria), Type IIa is anaerobic/aerobic and Type IIb are anaerobic we can state that a prevalent aerobic training like long distance running or cycling and/or a resistance training with 15 or more reps and light weight will lead to an increase of Type I fibers, while resistance training, heavy loads and high intensity short workouts would lead to an increase (and growth) of Type II fibers.
So choose your training carefully and don't think that if you begin now a "cutting" training with high volume, high reps, low weights and run to whatever place you must go to, will get you in shape for Summer ! YOU'LL PROBABLY JUST WASTE YOUR WINTER EFFORTS !!!
BALANCE is the key !
I'd suggest you train with HIGH INTENSITY and short intervals of time (45 secs max) and incorporate some aerobic training if you never did it until now, but never forget what we learned today !
Keep On Dreaming
Hey there Sarah Connors and Terminators, here we get into some technological support in our bare hands, brutality supported training !A brief scientific summary many of you should know is that energy to move our muscles is made through the ATP/CP cycle, the main energy source is then ATP (adenosine tri phosphate), the energy is derived by breaking the bond to one phosphate atom, then we need another phosphate atom from creatine phosphate to recreate ATP once it is depleted in the muscle. I won't get into it too much, so just know you need ATP to perform a movement.
ATP depletes very rapidly in the order of seconds, and our body needs some time (and nutrients) to recreate it, also we need time to replenish our glycogen storage (our second choice of immediate/medium term energy) starting from carbs.
You all know i like short rests and bursts of energy during the set,
so i barely go over 1:20 minutes rest even during heavy training, but I
tried this technical/scientifical approach in the last workout to figure
out exactly WHEN i am ready for the next set:
We all base our REST TIMES on seconds ticking from a clock, we took those times from magazines, bb.com, friends, not knowing that those rest times vary from people to people , from day to day for the same person and even FROM SET TO SET in the same workout !
Even we know that we almost recovered our capacity to do a work when our HEART RATE drops down under our 60% Maximal Heart Rate. To approximatively calculate your MHR just subtract your age from 220.
As i'm 34 i did : 220-34=186 of MHR, i found 60% of 186 is 111 Beats Per Minute
I bought a heart rate monitor (20 euros) and set it up to BEEP when i go under 111 BPM.
Guess what ?
During Gironda's 6x6 i went from 35 Secs rest to 1 min secs rest ! if i didn't have a heart rate monitor i would have wasted 30 seconds giving my body TOO MUCH rest.
This is not important if you load the bar with 100% 1RM, but it is if you work on percentage (like in 6x6 with 85% 1RM), because if you rest too much you're wasting your next set !
So this easy advice is:
- Go buy a heart rate monitor with chest sensor (20 Euros)
- find your MHR (220 - YOUR_AGE)
- find 60% MHR
- Set up the monitor to warn you if you go below 60%
- When it beeps, go with the next set no matter what
1) you can fine tune your rest times based on your real needs, minute by minute
2) you don't have time to chatter around, when it beeps, you go.
3) you don't have to look at the clock every 2 secs to check if it's time to go
4) you can stay in place and wait to start again
1) an elastic band with a sensor needs to stay under your pectorals
2) you can't hook that guy/gal because if you start talking and it beeps, you have to go !
Here you are Skynet Robots. beeep..... beeep NOW GO, THROW THAT BARBELL AWAY !
Here we go Thin Ladies and Huge Boys, when we come to new techniques the best thing is to look at the roots of it all: overall movements.
I am lucky enough to be with the most beautiful girl in the world (yeah everybody says the same of his gal but, hey, that's Love ) who also like fitness and training hard.
A tip i stole from her was the usage of the rope, you know ? the jumping rope.
I built one for less than 2 euros (go, buy some heavy rope from a hardware store , piece of PVC tube big enough to let the rope pass into it, 4 big metal grummets and make 4 knots, or buy it from almost every sport store) and started tuning my movements with it, jump after jump, timing my whole body to fit the movement.
Guess what, i incorporate it into my everyday routine, 2 sets of 3/5 minutes before lifting weights ignites my whole body to a new level, i sweat, and feel extremely warmed up, as i jump, jump on one leg, put my knees to the chest jumping, vary a little bit.
Old School always have some solid foundation, or it won't have arrived to us.
Give it a try, it's cheap, portable, and funny, also it blasts your heart rate and overall metabolism in just 5 minutes.
Keep Believing, and it will happen !
Beautiful girls and Huge guys hello again !
It's christmas time and we all know we're going to be a little more indulgent with ourselves on eating.
That's ok as long as you don't overdo that. You can find something on my last year's xmas blog entry.
What i wish to deal with today is the misconception of not being able of doing something. Let's take lifting a weight as an example.
in 99% of cases we are able of doing what we want to do, but our conviction of not being strong enough will cut our possibilities of a good 50%.
If we choose to put ourselves into doing something we have to put ALL of ourself into it, we have to use every muscle fiber, every grunting will and all of our inner strength to make it, that's the main difference between those who GET RESULTS and those who don't: the strong belief in what we do.
So next time you are unsure about asking the girl you love to come out with you or push that extra rep to the limit while your buddy doesn't believe his eyes... GO AND DO THAT, it will succeed, you will win, the only failure you should accept is the muscolar one, this means you push and the muscle fails to do the job, and that's good...
The founder of Shorinji Kempo, So Doshin always told: "you have not lost until you're dead, so if you're alive, what's the point of surrendering ?"
Merry Xmas dudes. And Keep On Fightin' !
it's absolutely true, we need some rest days in the year, BUT we shouldn't overdo that.
I mean, you should ALWAYS do ACTIVE REST, like some abs, pushups, running, bike and so on, and even if you eat "holidaily" keep an eye on unneeded extra calories (avoid the ones that don't please you enough like sugar in coffee, drink a great sparkling water with lime instead of pepsi or similar sugar drinks ecc.)
By now what you are attempting to do is i guess, coming back in shape in the shortest time possible, or you may feel you're still on holidays.
In the first case, i say "YYYYEEEEE-HHHHHAAAAWWWW", in the second i say "BOOOOOOOOYA" !
I'll get into details with an example:
You start back at full speed, doing pyramids to get back your form,pump and strength. Resolute like a Bull you go down into heavy sets always looking at a good form, alternating it with lighter weights, short rests and a third level technique of your choice (hypernegatives, 1-0-3-0 tempo, supersets ecc.) then without leaving your cardio (bike,martial arts, running or whatever) you reverse the pyramids (maybe the pharaohs could be upset but... who cares, you're bigger and stronger !) for a couple weeks, then You get into Bench Rodeo, Pikes, And some abs circuits while doing a warmup set and 3 heavy 8 reps sets, you challenge your buddy to scratch parmesan over your greatly sharped abs and.... you succeed ! you've been so busy working out that you open your window one morning and... guess what ? SUMMER 2012 IS HERE !!!
You feel you're still on holidays ,you lazily go to the gym and do pitiful workouts, time passes (2 months are fast) then comes Xmas and you start feeling you're on Holiday again, 2 months to regain a sort of will to be in shape and we're on march, struggle a month then comes the Easter bunny bringing bunches of eggs, you reach May and start to worry about your overall health and shape and.... guess what ? SUMMER 2012 IS HERE !!!
I mean, whatever you do, time is ticking, don't think you "have time it's only September", find back your will to excel and follow it to death, do me a favor and do it to yourself too..... GENTLEMEN START YOUR ENGINES !!!
Resolute girls and guys hope you're hving a good day.... and a good night too !
What i want to say is that, despite of how hard you train, you need rest to let your body recover, and you should already know that.
But i want to share with you a simple trick which will allow you to maximize recovery and gains and prepare yourself for the next training , let me introduce The Nap !
Although i always fight laziness and tiredness, i know that sometimes i have to listen to my body really carefully, because if i don't he'll take the microphone and scream "NOW STOP!". What i suggest before you reach this point is, if you can, to take small amounts of sleep during the day especially before training, this will allow your batteries to recharge just in time to use their power into your incoming training and do it as hard as stone instead of just crawling in the gym doing exercises with half the intensity.
This will also help you avoiding overtraining which is one of the main causes of growing plateaus.
Just be sure you have enough time to complete one sleep cycle, which consists of more or less 1h and a half where you go from being awake to deep sleep and you'll wake up refresh, recharged and ready to strike like a hammer through your next workout !
So.... nite big guys and fit girls, sleep to the body of your..... well dreams !
You just ran 40 Kms, lifted harder than ever, squatted the whole town and benched a brand new harley davidson with your best friend on it, now you're going out with your gal or friends and she/they say "hey let's eat a fast meal then go to the ____ (fill with whatever, theater, cinema, show, ecc.)"
You spit out the whole sociopathic essence in you and say "Fu** NO! I'm gonna have my 1000 Grams Steak, with beans and salad and no trace of sodium or oil or whatever dressing on them !"
Like in the gamebooks or RPG this would lead you to become the biggest guy in town but with no friends around (sorry for the rhyme).
You step into the "Mc Whatever" and eat the whole place including the attendees, waiters and chairs, and leave a little place for Ronald the clown too.
This will lead you to absorbing each and every calorie into bodyfat and you'll be JAILED ! What ??? i knew bodyfat is not good but i didn't know it was a crime !
Well no, but you'll see yourself in the mirror and start screaming blasphemous words while shattering everything, so you'll get surely JAILED !
You know exactly how to minimize Fast Food troubles and well even how to turn them into ANABOLIC ENERGY, that after all is why you're reading this.
You go to the queue of everstuffing guys and wait for your turn, while others order thousands of pounds of bad food you wait your turn to have your revenge....
"Give me 6 plain hamburgers, no sauces, no "menu" and a bottle of water"
The waitress will echo "6 plain burgers ?"
you already broke the chain, so you feel wiser than them: "Yes M'am"
Then you go to your table, throw away 10 pieces of bread and leave just 2 of them to welcome 6 pieces of meat you pulled out of the other burgers.
What you're going to eat is a 6X burger with NO added fat, NO extra carbs and LOTS of proteins, and let's see.... you pay 5 Euros more or less for a classic "big" burger or 7 Euros for a "menu", but you deal with coke (insulin spikes and sugars), fries (saturated fats and carbs) and tons of sauces (usually fat) but with 6 plain hamburgers you get 6 euros of meat, and you only have to throw away a little bread, so it's even cheaper after all other than healthier !
So your Fast Food Dos and Donts
Sweets, ice creams ecc.
Coke and whatever soda like drink
Plain Hamburgers (best choice) (1 euro)
Plain Double Cheeseburgers (one to vary sometimes) (2 euros)
Easy no ?
Keep Rockin Hard and... see you on the beach....
Hold on, milk and honey's around the bend !