Monday, May 27, 2013

Boomer Training: Form and Technique

All types of fitness programs work and all styles of form work at doing something, they can cause injuries as well as prevent them. Why is Boomer training different than any other training? As a boomer,  you may have an injury right now or have been dealing with a nagging ache or pain for years. Your joints aren't as stable, heck you may have 1 or 2 artificial ones!  Recuperation isn't as fast and flexibility not as it was, the last thing you want is to get hurt while working out.  Simply put, a boomers body just works differently than others and that has to be factored in to using the right form.  
Features of doing the wrong form:

  • Moving the weight too fast during training.
  • Cheating during the exercises. 
  • Not doing a full range of motion.  For example, while doing a bicep curl not going from your arms completely straight to a full curl then back.  
Benefits of the right form:

  • Move the weight smoothly and controlled from the start of the exercise to the end.
  • Take 1 second to lift the weight, 2 seconds to hold it in the contracted positon, and 4 seconds to lower the weight.
  • Doing a full range of motion greatly increases your flexibility.

Some workouts these days even promote "explosive power" moves. Violent jerking, stopping, and starting weights is extremely stressful for your joints and will only cause injuries and/or pain. Moving more fluid and controlling the weight not only improves your results but prevents injuries as well. The right form in your workout gives the maximum benefits the minimal injury and pain with the maximum improvement in your daily life.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

You're Doing It Wrong!: Leg Training

Not training legs at all, not training legs first in the workout, doing less productive leg exercises like leg extensions, leg curls, inner/outer thigh machine, lunges, smith machine squats, neglecting to train calves, thinking running is enough of a leg workout, and any butt blaster machines are all doing it wrong!  Most if not all of your leg training should consist of barbell squats, stiff legged dead lifts, and the occasionally leg press machine if you have access to a good one. After building up your strength in those three exercises over a period of time, then you can add in some of those other leg exercises like the extensions and curls.

Most men avoid leg training all together because we're wussies and like to put our effort into the beach muscles e.g. the chest and arm workouts.  We love chest and arm day...hate leg day! Most women focus on the cute exercises they see in the fitness magazines like the butt blaster machine, lunges, inner/out leg machine etc.  

What you should do:

Stiff Legged Dead Lifts and Squats
Do squats and dead lifts as the first exercises in your workout.  This way you'll be fresh and be able to put the most energy into the most productive exercises.  It also gets it out of the way for those of us that hate leg training. Not only that, hitting you legs hard stimulates your metabolism and helps you burn fat fast than any other exercise.

If everyone who went to the gym dropped every exercise they did and only focused on squats and stiff legged dead lifts they would have the best physique in the gym.  Men would add more muscle to their body than any other exercise, you get a big chest and arms by doing squats not chest and arm exercises.  Women would have the best, I'll say it again, THE BEST butt-legs-thighs ever just by doing squats and dead lifts.

Why? Because squats and dead lifts are the hardest exercises for the whole body not just your legs.  They stimulate the most muscle and they tell the rest of your body that it needs to keep up.  In the next few blogs I'll talk about form and technique to get the most results with your leg training.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I want: A flat stomach or 6 Pack Abs

Butkus wearing #78 doing leg lifts
Getting six pack abs or losing the gut is a result of your nutrition plan, calories burned, and exercises you choose.  The biggest mistake is that people think they need to train abs everyday in order to spot reduce, this is totally wrong!  I see the same people crunching away at the same machines with the same poor form everyday.  First, you can't spot'll lose fat overall and usually the last area to lose fat is your stomach.  Second, your abs are like any other muscle in the body.  They need to be worked out doing the right exercises, sets, reps, and rest just like any other muscle group.  

There are 2 exercises that are the best to strengthen and build the ab muscles, they are: Crunches and leg lifts but here's the key, do them on a decline bench. Why? It's much harder than all the others and therefore better results will happen faster. 2 sets of 15-20 reps of each exercise.  Proper speed is you'll want to take 2 secs for the positive, 2 seconds holding in the contracted position, and 4 seconds to lower down to the start. 

Take a guess at what the best weight training exercise or losing your gut is... give up?  It's squats!  Why? Because leg exercises work the most muscles and burn the most calories that give you more of a chance to lose fat.   Keep in mind that the specific ab exercises are just a part of your overall total body strength training program and not something to focus your whole workout on.    

Monday, May 6, 2013

You're doing it wrong!

What are you doing wrong?  Probably everything!

Not having a plan, avoiding the best exercises, working out too often and for too long, not training hard enough, using too many exercises with too many sets, not doing the right amount of reps for your goal, resting too long between sets, anything classified as "core training", using the gym as social hour, crappy form, bouncing the weight and using momentum,  moving the weight too fast, following any workout in an infomercial, bad goal setting, working out for "toning" or "definition", not keeping a workout log, following what the "big guy" in the gym does, for men worrying about getting too muscular, for women worrying about getting too muscular, any workout that has X or CrossFit in the title, and much more!

I've often told gym members who I'm instructing, "if you ever forget the right way to do an exercise, just look around you at all the other people in the gym, do the exact opposite and you'll be just fine!" It's not your fault, it's human nature to not want to workout properly. Doing the right exercises and working out the right way hurts and it's not fun. 

What I want to accomplish is to make you aware of your mistakes and teach the right way to workout whatever your goal is.  It's quite simple to workout and get great results with your training.  I'm going to break down each muscle group and show you what you've been doing wrong all these years, teach you the right way so you can start to see real results faster than ever.