Strong

 

It isn’t all about your form.  Often people who ask me details on technique have trouble accepting they just aren’t strong enough.  This is especially true in the Olympic lifts.  Do you really think you will be able to clean 100kg if your front squat is 80kg?  Do you think you will be able to bench press 405lbs if you can only close grip bench 225?  To be a strong person you need strong hands and a strong back.  That is the foundation of everything.  You can’t pick up more than you can hold on to and you can’t squat more than you can support with your lower back.  Then internet has given us amazing resources to research strength but the most important message is lost.  Do the work.  Work your ass off in the gym.  Over and over.  Year after year.  I am not saying technique doesn’t matter.  It does, but people seem to be forgetting you have to be just plain strong to lift big weights.  Lift hard and rest hard.  Get stronger.  While you do that, enjoy this video of a real man doing a man thing with lots of weight.

The Camera’s Eye

Since just about everyone carries a high definition camera in their pocket I encourage everyone to film themselves working out.  Not all the time but at least enough so you can get a good idea of your technique or lack there of.  Many people have a hard time being aware of where their body or body parts are in space.  Watch someone trying to perform a good morning for RDL for the first time and how they can’t get the idea of pushing the hips back without excessive bending of the knees.  They may not be able to feel this because they have never tried that motion before.  By being able to immediately see what you looked like it can help people realize what they are doing wrong and/or implement coaching cues more effectively.  In this gym we film a good bit and often review in slow motion immediately after the lift to work on small details especially in the Olympic lifts.  It is difficult for anyone to feel their lower back rounding in a squat or being able to judge their own depth while looking straight ahead.  You can’t really be a judge of the relationship of your hips and knees when looking at your own face.  Cameras are great for this if you train by yourself.  Even if you are inexperienced and don’t know anatomy very well most movements aren’t too complicated.  If it looks wrong it most likely is.  This doesn’t mean film every workout and post it online.  There is a difference between analysis and vanity.  Although, to write that I guess I performed an analysis of vanity.

A month long fullbody workout

Primarily for females who are experienced.  Don’t do more than 2 days in a row.

Day 1

A. Squat

Wk1-2:6,6,5,5

Wk3-4:5,5,3,3, 10

B. Overhead Lunge (walking if possible)

3×8 per leg

C1. Seated Cable Row

Wk1-2: 3×12-15

Wk3-4: 3×8-10

C2. Incline DB Press

Wk1-2: 3×10-12

Wk3-4: 3×8

D1. Pulldown

Wk1-2: 3×10-12

Wk3-4: 3×8

D2. Hyper Ext

Wk1-2: 3×12

Wk3-4: 3×8 (hold weight if needed)

D3.  Any AB

3 sets

 

One other ab exercise

 Day 2

 

Standing Press

Wk1-2: 4×8

Wk3-4:6,6,5,5

 

B1. CG Bench Press

Wk1-2: 8,8,6,6

Wk3-4: 6,6,5,5

 B2.  Barbell Curl

Wk1-2:4×8

Wk3-4:4×8

 B2.  Rear Dealt Machine

Wk1-2: 4×12

Wk3-4: 4×10

 

C1. Lying DB Ext

Wk1-2: 3×10

Wk3-4: 3×8

C2. Cable Curl 

Wk1-2: 3×12

Wk3-4: 3×8

 

D.  Standing Row Elbows Out

3×12

 

Choose 1:

70 burpee

15 min cardio

8 min jump rope

 

Day 3

Deadlift

Wk1-2: 4×5

Wk3-4: 5,3,3,3

 

B1 Frt. Squat

Wk1-2:5,3,3,3

Wk3-4: 2,2,1,1 (doesn’t have to be max weight.  Just heavy and challenging)

B2. Box Jump (small box on and off)

3×6

 

D1. LEG Ext

3×12

D2. Overhead Side Bend (can use very small plates)

3x8 Per side

 

Leg Press

Wk1-2:15,12,10

Wk3-4: 10,8,6

 

1 ab

3-4 sets

 

Day 4

10 min decent pace cardio

 

B1.  3 way shoulder

4×10

B2.  Single arm DB Preacher Curl on incline

4×8

B3.  Single Leg Ext

4×12

 

C1.  K Bell swing

10,20,30

C3.  Rev. Grip Pulldown

3×10-15

 

 

Barbell Complex (do 1 rep of each exercise then next movement)

4×5

Hang Clean

Front Squat

Jerk

Back Squat

Goodmorning

 

Try this on your next leg day

Only perform for 2-3 workouts then switch to something more conventional.

 

A1. Leg Curl

4×8

A2. Good Morning

4×12

 

B1. Walking barbell lunge

3×8

B2. Leg Press

3×12

 

C. Leg Extension (Hold each rep for 3 seconds at the top)

3×10

Rest 60 seconds then

1×20

 

D. Back Squat

1×8

1×12

1×15

There is no secret

(Originally appeared on Mogy.me)

I often get the same questions from trainers and trainees alike. It seems that people go through a stage in their journey of fitness when they think they are missing something. The biggest secret in this business is that there is no secret. Many magazines and supplement companies want you to think otherwise, that there are pills you aren’t taking, powders you aren’t drinking, or training methods that are going to change your life. None of this is true. If you look at magazines from 20 years ago you will see the same type of supplement ads. If they worked then where are the supplements now? If the training methods in those same magazines are so magical then why are people using different training methods now? What happened to all the perfect physiques that should have been created?

The basic principles of fitness are the same as they have always been. Perform resistance training to improve muscle quality. Eat less to lose weight. Perform aerobic activity to improve endurance. These will always be the same.  As we advance with our knowledge of the human body and our knowledge of training we find small things that can make a difference but these things are very small. The average person in the gym doesn’t need to be concerned with things that will help them improved a percent or two. So many people waste so much time trying to find hidden training information on the internet or trying every supplement under the sun. Really all you have to do is go to the gym consistently and be conscious of what you eat and you will achieve most of your goals. Of course if you are a high level athlete or trying to achieve something that is at the limits of your genetic potential you will have to be conscious of every little detail but these people are few and far between.

We love the idea that there is some rouge trainer or scientist going against what everyone else is doing and making incredible gains.  In fact we hear about them all the time.  Over and over they fade into obscurity.  Sure on occasion someone may respond with a great amount of muscle growth performing only 2 workouts a week for 20 minutes.  This is the exception, not the rule.  If you are betting on what side a flipped coin lands on do you pick that it lands on neither heads nor tails and instead lands upright on the edge?  Of course not.  The chance of that is so remote and goes against everything we know about probability and the well-established history of how a coin lands.  So why would you do the same with some magic solution for fitness.   Sure we want to believe that it isn’t simply hard work.  It is fun to play the lottery but no one in their right mind quits their job because they think they will really win.

We all have the feeling that the secret is JUST out of our grasp or we just haven’t stumbled on it yet.  If you are training with relative intelligence and your nutrition is decent then you already have it figured out.  At some point be it getting below 8% bodyfat or getting your bench press over 400lbs you may need to start exploring very specific diets or programs but until then the secret is just a lot of hard work and consistency.

There is no magic supplement.

There is no magic program.

There is no magic trainer.

There is no magic diet.

Those who have figured that out are making more progress than you are because instead of second guessing themselves they are forging ahead.  Training is hard.  Dieting is harder.  That is the way it is.  Accept it without looking for a way out and you will make better progress than you ever have.

Cena 487lbs Bench PR

In the  10 week training cycle leading up to this he only went 90% or more of his previous max for 2 weeks.  However, since the training cycle was based on a very conservative number, he never crossed 87% of his true max the entire cycle.  A PR is a nice surprise when you haven’t been training very close to it.  The stronger you are and the older you are the less you can play with near max weights on a regular basis. Train smart and you can continue to progress.