Monday, September 1, 2008

Ten things that work much better than any food supplement under the sun

Doug Hepburn and APOLLON WHEELS

Below is the extract from Brooks Kubik, The Dinosaur Strength Training Notebook:

Ten things that work much better than any food supplement under the sun
1. Squats.

2. Abbreviated training programs that focus on heavy duty compound exercises with barbell and dumbbells.

3. Supplementing your barbell and dumbbell work with heavy awkward objects (bags, barrels, beams etc).

4. Dropping the heaviest dumbbell you can find on the head of any self proclaimed ''weight train authority'' who tells you that ''genetics are everything.''

5. Ditto to anyone who advocates slow motion training. Twice.

6. The heavy pulling movements that Olympic lifters use...the exercises that have been building the biggest, thickest, strongest backs in the world for close to a century: power cleans, power pulls, power snatches and the clean and press.

7. The type of HEAVY dumbbell lifting detailed on my training tape, The Lost Art of Dumbbell Training.

8. A no nonsense, never say die, never give up attitude...a strength of mind and power of will that allows you to SMASH through any sort of adversity or obstacle.

9. Plenty of good, nutritious food.

10. Heavy partials to build tendon and ligament strength.

First preference for anyone should be good nutrition, supplements should come second. Making good food choice is also cost effective.

I have made 2 comparison below :

Comparison 1
Take for example, 5lbs Whey Protein costs around Rs 3500 here in India and makes 75 serving days which will last about 90 days.

At same price you can get following for 3 Months, daily
1. 5 Eggs daily each @ Rs 2 = Rs 900
2. 500 ml milk @ Rs 25 per Liter = Rs 1125
3. 100 Gm Cottage cheese @ Rs 140 per Kg= 1260

Totals comes to about Rs 3285

Comparison 2
Now Total protein content in a 5lb jar @ 23 gm per scoop = 1725 gm (based upon label, can't be sure if supplement company are screwing us here.)

1. 5 Eggs daily each @ 6gm per egg = 30 gm daily and 2700 Gm for 3 months
2. 500 ml milk @ 6.5 gm per glass = 13 gm daily and 1170 gm for 3 months
3. 100 Gm Cottage cheese @ 20gm per 100gm = 20gm daily and 1800 for 3 months.
This amounts to 63 gm daily and 5670 gm for 3 months.

Though a vague comparison but we can conclude that natural protein source is better than any supplement both quality and money wise.

I am gonna ditch whey protein from this month and concentrate on good nutrition.
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Self Myofascial Release: Purpose, Methods and Techniques

A great read by Mike Robertson. Brought by RTS newsletter.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Day at the Gym - Female Training 3

Check for Part1 and Part2 before reading this.

Here a basic routine is given based upon Exercise mentioned in previous post.
Do not forget to do proper Warm up before starting. Here is a good warmup routine courtesy Lauren Fitness.

Best Warmup Ever from Lauren B on Vimeo.


Workout A

1. Warmup
2. Knee Dominant.
3. Horizontal Push.
4. Horizontal Pull.
5. GPP
6. Streching.

Workout B

1. Warmup
2. Hip Dominant.
3. Vertical Push.
4. Vertical Pull.
5. GPP (Diffrent from one used in Workout A)
6. Streching.

Reps and Sets:
Start with 3 sets of 8 reps and each week try to increase rep by at least 1. when you have reached 15 reps increase the difficulty of the exercise by adding more weights or making it more challenging. For eg if you were doing pushup from wall, then now try to do these from a bench.

Exercise Selection:
Pick an exercise from here. Feel free to modify exercise as per your needs.

If you workout 2 times a week choose :
Monday : Workout A ; Friday: Workout B

If you workout 3 times a week Choose :
Week 1 :- Monday : Workout A ; Wednesday: Workout B; Friday: Workout A
Week 2 :- Monday : Workout B ; Wednesday: Workout A; Friday: Workout B

I recommend to go for at least 3 days a week , also try to maintain active life style on rest of the days.

Also feel free to add moderate intensity cardio like skipping, bike, brisk walk on off day 2-3 times a week for better recovery and to boost additional fat loss by calorie deficit.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Day at the Gym - Female Training 2

This is in continuation with the previous post and will cover brief description of basic exercise, For detail explanation and videos please search youtube. If you have any doubt regarding exercise please feel free to post in comments section and I would be happy to answer.

All of the below exercise require very little use of equipments and can be done in home with just using Dumbbells or just by taking a bag and filling it with something like sand.

All the below exercise are full body exercise and muscles are not isolated.

The Exercise are divided into 4 Categories for upper body, 2 categories for Lower body followed by GPP (General Physical Preparedness) work.

For core workout add Planks at the end of your workout.

Upper Body

1. Horizontal Push
The Primary Horizontal push exercise that would be used here is Pushup. For detail description click here.

A. Beginners
If you are not strong enough to do a regular pushup then do them by elevating the surface. Put you hands on wall, bench and you can go one step further by using your partner.

B. Intermediate
Instead of elevating your hand keep them on floor. Keep your core tight and do not let your hips to sag.

C. Advance
To Increase the difficulty, elevate your feet to a higher surface like bench or a stability Ball.

Muscles worked: Chest, Shoulder, Triceps, Core.

2. Horizontal Pull

For Horizontal Pull various row variations would be used.

A. Beginners
Basic row can be done using using a dumbbell and bending back at 90 degrees. and pulling the Dumbbell towards Chest.

B. Intermediate
An Intermediate version would be tow use two dumbbells or a Barbell and not using the bench for support. Remember here not to bend lower back

C. Advance
An Advance version would be Renegade row, Its performed by using Hex dumbbells First get down in a pushup position with dumbbell in each hand, now pull one dumbbell toward your chest while keeping other hand on ground. As an added benefit you would get a good core workout.

Muscles Worked: Back, Biceps

3. Vertical Push
The Primary vertical push exercise that would be used here is overhead press. i.e lifting stuff over your head.

A. Beginners

Most basic exercise would be overhead press using either a pair of Dumbbell or a barbell.
keep dumbbells on your shoulder and lift the weight up.

B. Intermediate

An Intermediate version is to use Push press either with a Dumbbell or a barbell, keep weight in front of your shoulder dip down a bit and explosively lift the weight up. This method will allow more weight to be lifted.

C. Advance
Though a body weight exercise, the advance progression would be a Pike pushup, which can later be advanced to a Handstand Pushup.

Muscle worked: Shoulders, Triceps, Core

4. Vertical Pull
The Primary Vertical Pull exercise that would be used here is Pullup. We can use three grips while doing pullups.
1. Pronated : Palm facing away,
2. Nuteral: Palm facing each other
3. Supinated: Palm facing you, also known as Chinup.

A. Beginners :

Basic exercise that you can do is an inverted Row, you can increase or decrease the level of difficulty by increasing or decreasing the height from where you are hanging.

B. Intermediate :
Next Step would be an assisted pulling using a band or taking help from partner.

C. Advance
Once you get strong enough next step is an un-assisted pullup. You can go 1 step further by adding external weight.

Muscle worked: Back, Biceps

Lower Body.

1. Hip Dominant
By Hip Dominant we would concerning overself with posterior chain, with main stress on Glutes and Hamstring.

A. Beginners
Most basic Exercise is a Glute Bridge, Its a more like an activation exercise. To increase the difficulty place your feet on a stability Ball

B. Intermediate
Second progression would be a Lunge.

C. Advance
An advance version would be Romanian Deadlift or a stiff legged Deadlift.

Muscles Worked: Glutes, Hamstrings.

2. Knee dominant.

By Knee Dominant exercise we would be concerning overself with Anterior chain with main stress on Quads.

A. Beginners
The First exercise that we would be doing is a step up. Start with your body weight and then add resistance using Dumbbells

B. Intermediate
As a next step move to Squat, start with your bodyweight at first and progress by using a dumbbell or barbell. Detail Explanation here

C. Advance
An Advance exercise is a single leg squat.

Muscle worked : Whole Leg. (Main stress on Quads)

GPP (General Physical Preparedness)

1. Burpees

2. Box Jump

3. Push, Pull, Carry heavy stuff

4. Kettlebell/ Dumbbell Swings.

Watch Out for Part 3, which covers basic programming.

Have Fun................

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Day at the Gym - Female Training 1.

Here is a typical day at the gym, you walk into the gym and see ladies in a corner on treadmill, bike or an elliptical trainer working at moderate - low intensity, followed by 20 minutes of Abs work and sometimes if lucky 5-10 minutes on weight training machine like multi gym, leg press, leg Extension.

This routine sucks big time and would not take to your desired physique. Reasons are:
1. Low intensity vs High Intensity : Low intensity exercise only burn calories while you are exercising, on the other hand High Intensity exercise ramp up your metabolism and you keep burning fat even long after you have finished doing your exercise.

2. No Fun: Jogging on treadmill is no fun and same abs routine day in and day out is even more boring. so if you do not enjoy your workout its highly difficult to stay motivated.

3. Back pain: It has been shown that endless sets of crunches are bad for your back, so if you are having back troubles then you can relate your crunches to that.

4. Knee Problem: Due to the Pelvic bone structure Females are highly prone to ACL injury so running is actually bad for you. More over Running is a high impact movement and as its said, "you should be fit to run not run to get fit". To further worsen the problem Leg extension is one of the worst thing you can do for your knees.

5. No result: Low intensity cardio may work, the first time you begin exercise but after some time you would stop getting result. Moreover you would end up having a skinny fat look, also called Pear look.

Apple vs Pear Shape.

Most women tend to have problem with there lower body. Most of them are not satisfied with how there hips and thigh looks. Majority of these women have skinny upper body thus giving a Pear shape. Pear shape is most likely due to Genetic/ hormonal issue, but bad eating habits make it worse.

Now hours of slow cardio and doing twists will not help. The solution is :

1. Strength Training : Refer Next post.
2. Proper Nutrition : Refer Here and here.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Poor Man Grip training.

Training for grip can be very exciting. If your aim is to build strong grip and huge forearms nothing beats the big exercise like Deadlifts, Weighted pullups and Farmer Walk..basically lifting heavy stuff what ever it may be, stones , sand bag, barbells, dumbbells etc...

There are few things you can do challenge your grip to a greater extent, like using a thick bar, lifting an object which you can not grip properly.

Below are two tools which I have prepared at dirt cheap price, these are excellent for working fingers and wrist.

1. Sand in the Jar

I took my 5 lbs Jar and filled it with sand. There are two ways in which I can Work my grip.

1. Finger Extensors work. With your fingers straight and closed tight together, thrust your hand into a bucket of sand. Next, spread your fingers apart as quickly as possible. Remove hand and repeat

2. Sand Grabbing. Thrust your hand into the sand and grab it as explosively as possible. remove hand and repeat.

3. One hand lift. Grab the top of the jar with one hand and lift for time. wide are of the top makes gripping extremely difficult. For progression you can fill the jar with heavier stuff like stones.

2. Thick levering bar.

I Just took a pipe and wrapped an end with cloth to thicken the grip. and used a screw to hold weight from the other end. Remember that the thick handle will make it difficult to grip the bar.

Now stuff you can do with this :

1. Front Lever.

Hold the bar in front of you and without using any momentum and using your wrist only try to bring the rod as close to your face as possible.

2. Back Lever.

3. Side Lever

Rotate the bar side to side using only wrist. Going from extreme left to right i

4. Bar swinging.

Hold the Bar in front of you and swing this around your head in a similar fashion as a phelwan swing a club around his head. Rotate in both clock wise and anti clockwise direction. This is not only good for your forearms but this will also train your shoulders in a completely different plain of motion.

You can progress in two ways. you can make this more difficult by increasing the weight used. Or you can increase the length of the road thus increasing the leverage.

Another simple way to practice levering is using a Sledge hammer. Be creative and use anything you have available.

Drop me a comment if you have any home made equipment that you use for training.

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