Build a Bigger Chest in 3-4 Workouts or Less

September 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

If your pecs are a weak body part, or, if you’ve simply hit a progress plateau in your chest development, then this high intensity chest training program will pack slabs of muscle mass on your chest after just 3-4 workouts – and I guarantee it. This is a high intensity bodybuilding workout for advanced bodybuilders only. (Beginners don’t even think about it…)

I’m currently on workout 3 of 4 in this pec routine and the results have been so impressive that I decide to write it up for you before I even finish the final workout next week.

Considering I’m on a calorie deficit in a cutting phase, I’m especially impressed with the increase in my chest size and development after 3 workouts. You’re not going to gain much if any muscular body weight if you are in a caloric deficit, but NO DOUBT, you can improve the development of a muscle group even while cutting up. This is a perfect example. I’m going to return to this program again for sure on my next mass phase. This program is called…

Multi-Angular Rest Pause With Pump Finisher

Here’s how it works. You select two exercises. For exercise one (the main course), I chose a basic pec mass exercise that can be done at any angle from steep incline to flat bench. Thats the primary exercise you stick with for all 4 workouts. Incline Dumbbell Press was the natural choice. I set up on a fully adjustable bench that allows multiple angles of incline.

For exercise two (dessert), I chose an isolation exercise for a pump finisher, and it changes with every workout.

Here’s the sequence:

A1 Incline Dumbbell Press – steep incline – about 65-70 degrees
6 reps
rest 10 seconds

A2 Incline Dumbbell Press – medium (regular) incline – about 45 degress
6 reps
10 seconds

A3 Incline Dumbbell Press – low incline – about 20-25 degrees
6 reps
10 seconds rest

A4 Dumbbell Press – flat bench
6 reps

Now rest 2 – 3 minutes.

That’s one “set.” Technically of course, that is FOUR SETS, done in rest pause fashion, so lets call it one “round” for clarity’s sake.

Yes… that was round ONE. Now do it two more times.

Note: It helps a lot if you have a training partner change the bench angle so you can stay seated and keep the dumbbells in your hands. Doing it alone is slow and cumbersome.

For poundage, youre going to have to go MUCH lighter than usual. Although I don’t train heavy pecs anymore, last time I did, I was doing 6 reps with 125s on the incline. So for this program I took about 50-60% of that; 70 lbs on workout 1, 75 lbs on workout 2,and 80 lbs on workout 3. On the last one, I had to drop to the 75s to finish all 3 rounds and even then I needed some forced reps towards the end.

You may need to decrease the weight on the 2nd or 3rd round, but if at all humanly possible, do NOT reduce the weight during each round. Doing all four angles at the same poundage is the whole idea.

What may happen, especially if you even slightly overestimated your starting poundage, is that reps may drop with each angle change within a round. First angle – 6 reps is easy. second angle, a little harder, but still no problem. Third angle, you might only squeeze out 5 reps or hit honest failure on the 6th rep. 4th angle (flat), you might hit total failure on the 4th or 5th rep.

Now this is also where a training partner comes in. This routine should not be attempted without a spotter. Sorry, but you are a dork if you try to do this without a spotter. This program causes HONEST muscle failure (I’ll explain that in more detail shortly), so you need the spotter for safety, but moreover, you will need a spotter’s assistance to complete forced reps, at least on the final round or two, if not the first round. In general, forced reps should not be overused, but they play an important part of this program.

Ok, where were we? Oh yeah, you just finished your 3rd round. You might be finished! Yeah. some people will be DONE, KAPUT, ZONKED, BONKED, NUKED, GAME OVER, after 3 rounds of that (think about it – that was 12 sets, disguised as 3 sets!) However, for those who want the full course…. come with me and lets finish off those pecs with the pump (oh, you thought were already pumped… heh.. just wait…you’ll see what a pump is!)

The second exercise (exercise B) is going to be an isolation exercise.. ie., DB flye, cable crossover, machine flye (pec deck), etc., and you will perform 20-25 reps, non stop in piston-like fashion. use a steady quick tempo, but not so fast that you use momentum.

This isolation /pump exercise will change with every workout:

B1 Workout 1: standing cable crossover
2-3 sets, 20-25 reps

B1 Workout 2: machine flye or pec deck
2-3 sets, 20-25 reps

B1 Workout 3: decline dumbbell flye
2-3 sets 20-25 reps

B1 Workout 4: flat bench cable flyes in cable crossover machine
2-3 sets, 20-25 reps

That’s it! That’s the whole program. Three rounds of multi-angular rest pause, then finish your workout with 2-3 sets of 25 reps on a pumping, isolation movement.

This routine is performed within a standard bodybuilding type of split, so it should be done once in 5-7 days, no more. You would probably do another body part after chest,such as biceps or triceps, depending on how you organize your split routine.

I would recommend advanced bodybuilders use this program a couple times a year if and when they need a boost in chest development. This is not the type of program you would use all the time. You would burn out and overtrain.

There’s one more very important part of this routine – progression.

On the Incline Dumbbell Presses, you will increase the poundage with every workout. Keep in mind, you will not be able to complete all 3 rounds at all 4 angles for 6 unassisted reps. Its going to get harder each time, even as you get stronger. You may have to use a spotter more with each progressing workout. You may also find that on workout 1 or workout 2, you can complete all 3 rounds with the same dumbbells, but on workout 3, by the 2nd or 3rd round, you have to drop the weight or you’ll barely be getting 2 or 3 reps.

Now let me re-emphasize the importance of a spotter. Theres something thats going to happen when you do this routine that does not happen often. You will hit what my training partner and I call “HONEST FAILURE.” This means that your muscles literally fail, or give out right underneath you. Mind you, this is not something you would usually aim for, but that’s just the nature of this program and this is only a 4-workout high intensity “shock” type of routine.

When I say your muscles will give out, I mean that literally. On the last rep or two of 3rd or 4th angle, of the 2nd or 3rd round, your arms may literally buckle underneath you. That’s honest failure.

You see, there are several types of failure… First there is “sissy failure”.. that’s when there is a lactic acid burn or a fatigue in the muscle (you’re tired) and because it hurts or youre tired, that causes you to stop. Thats sissy failure (sarcasm).

Then you have positive failure. This is where you can no longer push the weight up in a concentric motion, but you are still able to lower the weight and exert an upward force against the weight. For example, you’re bench pressing and you hit the “sticking point,” but you are holding that bar at the sticking point (its not coming back down), and you’re still exerting force to push the bar upward, but the bar simply isn’t moving up!

Then you have honest failure. This is where the muscle simply gives out.. it buckles. you have reached concentric and eccentric failure. This type of failiure is rarely discussed. In fact I don’t recall anyone ever writing about it except for Arthur Jones and Ellington darden and the rest of the High Intensity Training (HIT) camp.

Rarely does any bodybuilder tread in this territory, and for good reason, as it is really not necessary and can be dangerous for anyone but a veteran who knows what the heck he is doing – and all the kidding aside for a moment, Im serious about this. Its no joke if your chest and arms give out from underneath you and you dump a 70 or 80 pound dumbbell on your face. (you do like your teeth, don’t you?)

However, as a technique you use on rare occasion for a shock routine that breaks through progress plateaus, that untrodden territory is there… for those who dare. There is something about this particular program (multi angular rest pause) that takes you there. You’ve been warned! Train hard, but be safe!

Now, go out there and get jacked!

Author:

Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder, certified personal trainer and freelance fitness writer. Tom is the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: www.burnthefat.com

Eat More and Do Less Cardio to Lose that Unwanted Weight?

September 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

Is the above statement too good to be true? That’s what Rory DeLuca thought. The 42 year old New Jersey resident, husband and busy father of 3 couldn’t believe what I was telling him when he came to see me. Like most people, after the holidays, Rory was frustrated with his increased weight and was even more frustrated that his previous “weight loss” efforts were not providing any results. He told me he was trying to eat less and run 4 miles every day, but every time he tried to stick to that routine, his back would hurt because of the running and he would end up starving at the end of the day. You can imagine his surprise when I told him that he would have to eat a lot more and do less cardio to achieve the results he was looking for.

Now, 3 months later, Rory has lost a total of 30 pounds and 9 inches off his body. His back no longer hurts and he is not starving. He eats tons of food all day and exercises less than an hour 5 days a week. So what is the secret to his success? Three very important weight loss principles that we can all incorporate.

1. Rory started strength training 3x’s a week. The key here is Rory was doing the right kind of strength training for his weight loss goal. He was not going from one machine to the next, doing 3 sets of 10 reps on each one. His strength training routine incorporated exercises that used his whole body so his heart rate was up the whole time. Try doing 3 exercises, back to back, using only free weights, stability balls and your own body weight, and you’ll see how quickly your heart rate goes up. No sitting on a bench and chich chatting in this workout. We keep the intensity high the whole time and the workout is complete in 45 minutes.

Incorporating strength training and reducing the amount of aerobic cardiovascular training was integral to his success. The ONLY tissue in the body that burns fat is Muscle. So the more muscle you have in your body, the more fat you’re burning at any given time during the day. The amount of muscle you have in your body also greatly affects your metabolism. So someone with more muscle mass will have a higher metabolism (This is why most men can eat a lot more than women). For example, one pound of muscle in your body requires approximately 50 calories per day. So if I had two people, both weighing 150lbs, but one was comprised of 100lbs of muscle while the other was comprised of 120lbs of muscle, the one with the more muscle mass is burning more calories all day long. That means that this person can eat more during the day and still maintain their weight and will also have an easier time losing weight. Aerobic training does burn calories while you’re doing it, but it does not do anything to increase the amount of muscle in your body, thus it does not help you to continue to burn calories when you’re done

2. Rory only did aerobic cardiovascular exercise using interval training. This concept could encompass a whole article unto itself, but basically, your body becomes accustomed to anything that you expose it to for long periods of time. Aerobic cardiovascular exercise makes your body more efficient at burning fat. But that’s exactly what you don’t want (If your car was more efficient at burning gas, you’d use less of it). Same with your body. If your body becomes efficient at burning fat, you burn less of it for the same amount of work. So instead of burning 200 calories for your 2 mile run, you may burn 150 calories for the same distance in 2 months. So you’ll have to increase the distance and continue to do this, just to burn the same 200 calories. This can eventually turn into running for an hour just to burn the same number of calories! I don’t know about you, but this is exactly what I don’t want to do.

Interval training refers to a series of intense activity separated with short rest periods. You want to make sure that you are constantly changing the intensity of your cardio workout during the whole workout, alternating from high intensity to low intensity. So a typical workout on an elliptical machine would be 5 min warmup, 1 minute at a high intensity (level 9or 10), then 2 minutes at a lower intensity (level 3 or 4). You would repeat this 3 minute round 3 or 4 times, gradually increasing the intensities once you feel like it’s getting easy. Cool down for 5 minutes, and that is a total of 19-22 minutes of cardio, not 1 hour! Keep your body guessing the whole time and it will not become accustomed to the same cardio workout.

3. Rory ate a lot of food all day long. Rory couldn’t believe his meal plan when I laid it out for him. He was going to be eating more than he was currently eating and couldn’t believe this was actually going to help him lose weight. The biggest difference would be what foods he would be choosing. Every meal was comprised of a healthy protein, carbohydrate and good fat. Lots of eggs (whole organic eggs, not whites), poultry, meat, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, olive oil, and raw nuts and nut butters. In order for his body to burn fat, it had to believe it wasn’t starving and the only way to do that was to feed it well.

So what can you do to achieve the same great results?

  1. Incorporate both a good strength training routine and interval cardio routine to your workout regimen. Don’t just do one all the time. Your body needs muscle to keep your metabolism high, and it also needs cardio to keep your heart strong, so find a good balance between the two.
  2. Incorporate a strength training routine that focuses on whole body movements. No sitting on machines, please. Unless you are rehabilitating an injury, you want to keep your body moving the whole time. What do you think burns more calories, a squat with a shoulder press combination or sitting on a leg press? Just try to squat and raise your arms overhead a few times and you’ll see how quickly your heart rate goes up. Keep your body moving through the whole workout and you’ll be sweating just as much as during your cardio.
  3. Eat consistently throughout the day. We’ve all heard it before: Eat five meals a day to lose weight. Well, guess what? It works, as long as those meals incorporate healthy food. Eat a protein with each meal. That is the biggest mistake I see. People are not feeding their muscles with enough protein. Remember, you want to keep your metabolism cranking all day and the best way to do that is to feed your body and to keep your muscle mass high.

Hopefully, this will help you to reduce those countless hours on the treadmill and stop starving yourself to lose a few pounds. I don’t know about you but if eating all day and doing less cardio is going to keep me at a healthy weight and in shape, I say AMEN to that!

Stop your weight loss struggles once and for all with these Fat Burning Meal Plans.

Super-Fast “Multi-Workouts” to Do at Home or at the Office

September 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

This style of workout is WAY different than anything you’ve ever tried before and may result in a dramatically leaner, stronger body so that your friends no longer recognize you in a matter of weeks!

Alright, I exaggerated about your friends recognizing you, but this workout is still great for busy people that always use the excuse that they don’t have time to go to the gym, or even for the normal gym rat to try out for a few weeks to break out of a plateau.

Please keep an open-mind and don’t worry so much about what other people think, because this is quite different and you may get some funny looks, but you’ll get the last laugh with your new rock hard body! To be honest, most people are too self conscious to try something like this. If that’s the case for you, then that’s your loss.

Here’s how it works (these workouts can be done at home or even in your office):

Instead of doing your traditional workouts of going to the gym 3-4 times a week and doing your normal weight training and cardio routines for 45-60 minutes at a shot… with this program, you will be working out for just a couple minutes at a time, several times throughout each day, 5 days/week.

The program will consist of only bodyweight exercises done for about 2-3 minutes, 6-8 times per day, throughout each day. Now obviously if you work a normal office job, you are going to have to not be shy about doing a few exercises in your office and having your cube-mates watch you. Actually, I’ve found that some people that have tried this have actually gotten their co-workers to join them!

If you have a private office, then you don’t have to worry about anybody watching you. If you work from home, or are a stay at home mom, there’s no reason you can’t fit these in throughout the day while at home. If you end up having a busy day with meetings and so forth, and can only fit a couple of these 2-minute workouts in, then so be it, but try to get as many done each day as you can.

If you’re on a normal 9-5 office schedule, I recommend doing your 2-minute workouts every hour, on the hour, with the exception of lunch. For example, you could try 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm.

Some of the bodyweight exercises that are the best to focus on are:

  • bodyweight squats (and variations)
  • pushups (and variations)
  • forward, reverse, or walking lunges
  • up & down a staircase if one is available
  • floor planks (holding the plank position from forearms and feet)
  • floor abs exercises such as lying leg thrusts, ab bicycles, etc.
  • one-legged bodyweight Romanian deadlifts

This list is not fully comprehensive, but I wanted to keep it relatively simple. If you know other good bodyweight exercises, you can add those to your routine also. If you want to keep it real simple and don’t want to get down on the floor for anything, you can stick to squats, lunges, and pushups and still get great results.

The good thing about these workouts is that you do enough in 2-3 minutes to get your blood pumping, heart rate up a bit, a large portion of your body’s muscles worked, and body temperature raised. However, it’s usually not enough to break a sweat in only 2 or 3 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about sweating in the office or where ever you may be. At most, you might just get a little moist on the skin.

Here’s an example workout routine at home or the office (adjust the reps up or down based on your capabilities):

Mon/Wed/Fri
9 am – 10 pushups/15 bodyweight squats, repeat 1X for 2 sets
10 am – plank holds (hold the planks as long as you can taking short rest breaks for a total of 3 minutes)
11 am – 5 pushups/10 bodyweight squats, repeat for 4 sets
1 pm – plank holds (hold as long as possible in 3 minutes)
2 pm – 8 pushups/12 bodyweight squats, repeat for 3 sets
3 pm – plank holds (hold as long as possible in 3 minutes)
4 pm – max pushups/max bodyweight squats in one set (no repeat)

Tues/Thurs
9 am – 6 fwd lunges each leg/6 rev lunges, repeat 1X for 2 sets
10 am – one legged bw Romanian deadlifts (RDL) 6 each leg/floor abs for 20 sec, repeat 1X for 2 sets
11 am – 3 fwd lunges each leg/3 rev lunges, repeat for 4 sets
1 pm – one legged bw RDL 3 each leg/floor abs for 20 sec, repeat for 4 sets
2 pm – 5 fwd lunges each leg/5 rev lunges, repeat for 3 sets
3 pm – one legged bw RDL 10 each leg/floor abs for 30 sec (no repeat)
4 pm – max fwd lunges each leg/max rev lunges in one set (no repeat)

In order to progress on these workouts, you could either add 1 or 2 reps to each set per week, or you could progress to more difficult versions of each exercise each week (for example, close grip pushups, one leg raised pushups, squats with arms raised straight over head, etc.).

The above routines are just a couple examples of how you can use this very unique style of training. Use your creativity and come up with your own. Think about what you’ve accomplished with these “mini” workouts completed throughout each day… You’ve increased your heart rate and pumped up your muscles 6-8 different times throughout each day, burning a lot of extra calories and stimulating your metabolism.

Even though each “mini” workout was a very short duration, you’ve accumulated lots of repetitions for almost every muscle throughout your entire body, and you didn’t even have to break a sweat during any of the “mini” workouts. And there’s hardly any excuse for not being able to take a 2-minute break once per hour and do a couple of exercises.

Another benefit of this style of training is that now you don’t have to devote any time before or after work to going to the gym because you already got your workouts little by little throughout the day. You’ve now got some extra free time on your hands!

Try this type of time-efficient workout routine out for 3-4 weeks and then go back to your normal gym routines. I think you’ll find that it was a great way to break out of a plateau and stimulate new results in your body. You can try mixing in a cycle of these “mini” workouts every couple of months to keep things fresh.

Keep in mind that this is only one method of training and doesn’t mean that you should only stick to this method for eternity. You will hit a plateau on any given training method, so I’d recommend just rotating it into your arsenal of various training methods. And by all means, don’t worry so much about what other people think…have the courage to try something a little different. In the end, you’ll be the one laughing back at all of the “blubber-bellies” at your office that are giving you funny looks while they eat their donuts!

Feel free to email this link on to any friends or coworkers that you think would like to try these types of unique quick daily workouts. Heck, try to get your co-workers to do these with you if you can!

If you liked these training ideas, this internationally best-selling ebook The Truth about Six Pack Abs contains hundreds of more innovative training and nutrition ideas to lose stubborn body fat and carve out a rock hard set of abs and a flat stomach.

Kettlebell Workout Routines For Men

September 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Workout Routines for Men

Kettlebell Workouts can help men build strength, muscle, and drop fat. Guys tend to get stronger faster then women do, and so they need to be constantly challenged with more weight and varied exercises.

With Kettlebells, you don’t need to continue to add weight – as adding weight is difficult with Kettlebells. However, there are so many unique movements that you do with Kettlebells, that you can continue to get stronger and add muscle.

Here’s an advanced strength and muscle workout using some unique Kettlebell movements:

3 rounds of:

  • Getup Situp, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest
  • Floor Chest Press, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest
  • Lawnmower Rows, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest
  • Rolling Pistol Squats, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest
  • Partner Assisted Eccentric Swings, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest

Now, some of these movements are brutally hard. So you can substitute the movements for easier ones that you already know how to perform. I’ll go over a few that you may have not see before:

Getup Situp

The getup situp is similar to a Turkish Get up except that you do not stand all the way up. The idea is to start off in a lying down position with the Kettlebell extended out over your head, and then simply perform a situp while keeping the Kettlebell locked out over head.

Lawnmower Rows

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Grab a Kettlebell with your right hand. Bend your body to the left side, placing your left forearm on your left thigh. Bend your knee slightly and keep your back straight.

Perform a row, starting the pull from near your left foot. This looks you’re starting a lawnmower engine.

Rolling Pistol Squats

If you can’t do pistols, then do these with two feet. Hold the Kettlebell in front of your body with two hands, each on the side of the handle. Perform squat. At the bottom position of the squat, roll back.

Then roll forwards back into squat position and stand up. (Make sure the Kettlebell doesn’t hit you in the head).

One of the best Kettlebell programs I’ve come across is Kettlebell Revolution. You can learn more about this powerful training program on my blog, ShahTraining.com.

The Importance of Shoulder Exercises For Men – 3 Effective Workout Routines

September 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Workout Routines for Men

Some men concentrate on toning their abs since it’s the ‘in thing’ to do, while others focus on simply doing lower body workouts in a bid to show off those leg muscles on the beach. However, one of the most neglected regions of the male body, which supports the back and the upper body is the shoulder line; this must be exercised regularly and in a correct way for fitness results to be enduring and beneficial, not to mention give a great full body sculpting look!

Properly designed shoulder exercises for men, explain professional trainers, are aimed at empowering those on the program to work out core muscle groups located in the shoulder region besides the back and the upper body. Regular everyday exercises do not usually have the scope of working out these muscle groups while the lower legs or even the arms may be given a workout even without realizing this is carried out, such as when climbing stairs or carrying your groceries back home. This is the main reason why men need to understand the importance of performing regular shoulder exercises.

There are 2 main kinds of shoulder exercises. The first includes those that offer strength training and muscle-building success. Take the help of basic exercise equipment such as dumbbell rows, doing overhead presses, or utilizing any other form of weights in the exercise session. Sometimes these shoulder exercises are referred to as resistance training, but these are the same as muscle building routines because they are based on the principle of using the weight’s resistance for boosting muscle mass. Depending on the body composition of a man, a gym instructor may begin him off on a program that requires him to repeat exercises without using any weight other than his natural body load, for the resistance training.

The second type of shoulder exercise involves stretching, targeting the muscles along the shoulder line to be worked out as opposed to helping in building muscle mass. For men who have recently gone through surgery and need to enhance their posture, these types of shoulder exercises are recommended along with basic ‘asanas’ of Yoga or Pilates, which are also based on the principle of stretching the upper body to aid in self-training, recovery and gentle toning.

If you follow the 3 super effective shoulder exercises given below, you are sure to enjoy the admiring glances that will come your way with a toned, straight back that improves your posture and makes your midsection look slimmer.

Exercise no. 1 – Use the shoulder press machine for best work out of your shoulder, upper back and biceps. Sit comfortably, modify the weight stack to suit your program, press overhead and follow through from once a week, building up to thrice a week for best results.

Exercise no. 2 – Try out the upright row; with your feet placed at shoulder-width from each other, hold the barbell from the middle of a barbell and keep palms facing in, slowly lifting it to the chin then lowering it, all the while ensuring you keep your back straight and knees relaxed.

Exercise no. 3 – Shrug it off! Literally, you can do shrugs regularly for improving your shoulders; just hold a dumbbell in your hands, keep the same start posture as above and keeping your arms at the sides with palms facing inwards, torso straight, just lift your shoulders as close to your ears as possible before lowering them slowly.

Shannen Lee has been a freelance writer for the last 3 years. Check out her most recent writing here on the Chocolate Diamond Rings website, where you can read her review on selecting the best chocolate diamond engagement rings.