Monday, March 30, 2009

3 Changes to a Stronger Body

Most people go to gym, hit the treadmill, watch TV shows, and the worst - reading books or magazines. Mindless workout means less intensity and no results.

It applies to strength training as well. Most people go from machine to machine for a "circuit" training and think that they have a good workout. It may be true for beginners or deconditioned people. After a while, you got to move past beyond machine.

By the way, Cybex machines of the some sort were designed for rehab and physcial therapy. If you're cleared by your doctor to exercise without major orthopaedic or medical conditions, stick to free weight and bodyweight exercises.

There are 3 changes or variations to help you build a stonger body.

#1 If possible, use free weights with little or no support.
Granted, bench-press 235 lbs is great. But don't be suprised that some "strong" people can't do more than a few pushups or dips with their owne bodyweights. Lying on a bench doing chest press is probably much less functional than pushups. Bench gives support so that one can press more. Pushups require the whole body stabilization including strong core strong.

I challenge anyone, particularly the "strong" guys. to do pushups with weight on their back.

#2 Multi-tasking - Use your whole body.
Multi-tasking can be distracting at times. It actually may be good for your workout. When you do step-ups for your legs, you may as well do something for your upper body such as dumbbell shoulder press or biceps curl.

Now it requires more focus, balance, coordination and your muscles.

#3. Gravity is your friend.
It's the only thing that is really constant. Any movement that defies the gravity will help you train harder. It's more challenging if you're less grounded when you're exercising - so called "close kinetic chain" in kinesiology.

Think about bodyweight exercises: squats vs. jump squats or pushups vs. clapping pushups. Which one is more demanding? You got my point?

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

3 Trisets for Big Triceps

A lot of people follow the bodybuilders' workout routines in the magazines and don't see any results. Most 9 to 5 working folks can barely squeeze anytime for anything, not to mention to train 2 or 3 times a day for 2 to 3 hours like bodybuilders. Train-eat-rest cycle is the bodybuilder's full-time job. It's not for the average Joe and Jane.

Superset is an effective and efficient workout plan by doing two exercises back to back with little or no rest. Triset is an advanced training schedule where you do three exercises one by one with no rest in between. You rest for the prescribed period of time only after you complete to 2 or 3 exercises.

I have elaborate the concept, benefits, program setup and many superset and triset workouts. Please visit the following links and related posts.

http://careyforfitness.blogspot.com/2007/05/superset-for-super-workout.html

http://careyforfitness.blogspot.com/2007/05/how-to-superset-your-workout-for-super.html

http://careyforfitness.blogspot.com/2007/05/superset-circuit-workout-routine.html

http://careyforfitness.blogspot.com/2007/10/super-tri-set-leg-blaster.html

Here are 3 triset workout routines for your big triceps:

Triset #1 for Big Triceps
1. Barbell Triceps Bench x 6 -8 reps
30 deg. incline, medium grip, elbows down, lower the bar only to just slightly horizontal.
2. Overhead Cable Triceps Extension x 12 - 15 reps
3. Close-hand pushups, bodyweight x as many as possible to temporal fatigue

Triset #2 for Big Triceps
1. Dumbbell Press x 8 - 12 reps
30 deg. incline, neutrual/reverse grip, elbows down, lower the dumbbells to just slightly horizontal.
2. Cable Triceps Press-down x 12 - 15 reps
3. Dumbbell Triceps kickback x 12 - 15 reps

Triset #3 for Big Triceps
1. Single Dumbbell Overhead Press x 8 - 12 reps
2. Lying Barbell (or EZ-Bar) Triceps Extension x 8 -12 reps
3. Single Dumbbell Overhead Press x 8 -12 reps (this is no typo, repeat the first exercise.)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

3 Big Lifts to Catapult Your Strength

Everyday you watch exercise TV shows, read fitness magazines or hear the tips in the gym, there seems to endless debatable exercises that promise you to get you fit in no time.

The truth is that no matter how good or promising the exercises or movements are, it takes time for your body to learn, adapt and grow. You also need to watch your nutrition.

I know most people, women in particularly, don't want to look like or train like a powerlifter. Sooner than later, you'll need to develop some basic strength in order to lift more weights that are challenging enough to your body.

The best or most basic total-body strength-development exercises are (based on barbell):

#1 Squat: for quadriceps, core muscles and overall lower body strength

#2 Bench Press: for chest, triceps, front shoulders

#3 Deadlift: for hamstrings, glutes, biceps, forearms

Mastering these big 3 lifts will help you build overall strength and muscles. All 3 exercises engage your core muscles (abs, obliques, lower back) for strength, balance and stabilization. You see, by doing just these 3 exercises, you have worked out all the major mucles in a big way.

There are variations to each of the 3 exercises. Unless you have major orthopaedic problems, most people can learn and perform them correctly or with modifications with a good trainer.

Learn these exercises correctly. Master them. You'll see your results quicker.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

3 Ways to Fall to Sleep Faster

As you may know that when you do strength training, you're in fact damaging your muscle fibers. It's through post-workout repairing process that you build your muscle.

You also should take proper nutrition and adequate rest for your body and mind to recover from heavy workout. Lack of recovery could sabotage your gains.

It's important to get enough sleep at night, at least 6 good hours or longer. In today's hectic world, we're often juggling with so many things. Lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep cut into our work, family and personal life.

Here are 3 ways to help you fall to sleep faster:

#1 Warm up your feet.
It's so true in cold winter nights. Keeping your feet warm at night helps you regulate body temperature. So put on socks or use heat pads to keep your feet warm.

#2 Eat a light, starchy dessert.
Starchy carb is probably off your limits after 8 p.m. if you're trying to lose weight. But having an empty stomach over 12 hours isn't good to your body either. That's why many people wake up at 3 a.m. feeling hungry and "savage" the fridge. So have a light starchy dessert such as dry cereal or lowfat cookies. It helps trigger sleep by boosting levels of brain chemicals serotonin and tryptophan, according to a research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

#3 Read a bedtime story.
It's particularly good for stressed or anxious people to read an engaging book or magazine article. It helps you ease into sleep.


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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

3 Energy Vampires to Stay Away

Just like the blood-sucking vampires, there are energy vampires around you that suck out your energy and make you feel down and worse.

We're bombarded and overwhelmed with information, good and bad, positive and negative, 24/7. I suggest you stay clear of the following 3 energy vampires that suck out of your energy and life.

#1 Stay out of negative people.
They're everywhere - could be your family, friends, co-workers, particularly in today's economic downtime and financial crisis. You may not want to break off your relationships with them. But if you start to get sucked into the negative conversation, you'll be talking down to each other. If you're not doing something about it, STOP!

#2 Stay out of media.
It's tough to totally tune yourself out. There are a lot more bad, negative news than good ones when you watch TV, read newspapers and surf online. It make you feel down and stressed. Your energy is down, attracting even lower energy. I suggest you stay current but do not glue to the news. Now you know why CNN is called Constant Negative News.

#3 Stay out of energy drinks.
On the contrary, most energy drinks in the market don't really boost your energy at all. Most are loaded with simple sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and stimulants. They may give you some temporary boost. The high blood-sugar is not energy. Then you go into blood-sugar tailspin what will mess up your energy, mood swing, metabolism and your whole system.

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