4 Proven Ways to Get Stronger

It’s time to make you strong again but how should you do it? With so many approaches to becoming one of the strongest, it gets difficult to find just one path. I have listed four personal techniques that have always led me out of where I was and into newfound strength, enjoy!

  1. Eat More – One of the most common ways I see beginning strength trainers fail is because they are not eating enough. I know it isn’t always easy to stuff your face. I was a devout breakfast skipper for years. While missing the important meal of the day made me happy, it definitely wasn’t helping me gain any weight. Also, if you were already sleeping and missed breakfast, you have burned off those calories from dinner for about twelve hours.
  1. Lift, Even If Not Feeling It – Look, unless you are sick or injured, you really shouldn’t be skipping your workouts. I know that life happens and things come up to prevent you from spending that precious time pumping weight but try to limit it. I, myself, have had all kinds of situations come up where I didn’t really feel like working out but sometimes you can surprise yourself. I have found that, even if I am having the worst day, something about finishing a workout just feels right to me.
  1. Pick Up Heavier Weights – Now, this could seem like a no brainer but not everyone knows about the different ways to transform your body through weights. There can be differing lifts that you can do but if you aren’t focusing on strength, you are going in the wrong direction. On the opposite side of this, I wanted to start lifting for size but just figured the size would come from lifting heavier weights than what I was used to. Big mistake because I wasted a couple of years getting strong when I was wanted to get bulkier, lesson learned!
  1. Take Something – If all else fails and the above three methods aren’t cutting it for you, you’ve got to have a bit of help. I won’t go into which supplement would be right for you, as there are tons of them out there but if you look below, you will find what has helped me get the most out of when I lift to gain strength, above everything else.

There it is, four easy ways that you can use to get stronger faster!

Top 10 Reasons Everyone Should Start Weightlifting

Whether you have been curling like crazy for years or, are just starting to think about if you want to dip your feet into the world of lifting, you might need a nudge in the right direction. Telling my wife, who thinks I am nuts about fitness, why I love it so much seems to go unheard. I knew all of you could understand some of those feelings that only we know about. I put together this nifty list with ten great reasons you should start lifting right away.

  1. Getting up and just moving is great for keeping your risk of getting certain diseases that we all are prone to. It is always smart to stack as many good things together as you can. When you combine being able to feel better about myself with lessening any sort of health issues that come up as we all age.
  2. Setting goals for yourself and watching you achieve them is quite the rush. The daily list of chores that you might be doing every week aren’t satisfying to do, once you approach the one hundredth time of completing them. That isn’t the case with knocking it out of the park on a good set, that pride that you feel doesn’t stop coming.
  3. If you are having trouble finding friends, this can easily change through joining a community. Those of us brothers (and sisters) of the barbell are always happy to welcome another to our group. Many times I have reached a point where I had no one else to talk to but my friends that I have made through our times pumping iron.
  4. Watching yourself progress through different stages in your overall fitness level is a great way to pass the time. Another boring year won’t seem to be as such while you are seeing and feeling yourself go from Mr. Banner to the Incredible Hulk!
  5. The confidence that comes with completing a grueling fitness challenge will always keep you coming for more. Going to the locker room all pumped up knowing that you defeated every trial and tribulation that was heading your way, you will feel like you are on top of the world.
  6. Downing your favorite ice cold and refreshing drink when you have ramped up your temperature. The refreshing moment when that beverage hits your mouth and cools you down, it is hard to find another moment in life where your thirst is more quenched. I have to admit that I made myself thirsty by thinking about that great drink after a lifting session
  7. Seeing other people that are lifting weights that are smaller than you. It is somewhat of a selfish victory, but let’s be honest, you know that you get a certain sense of pride when you know that you are not the biggest weakling in the weight room.
  8. Conquering an all you can eat buffet and watching the horror on the workers faces as you go for your fifth plate. Being able to put down food in a quicker manner, the way a weightlifter does, will have you being hungry more often. You could be forced to expand your eating horizons with this new found hunger that you will have as your body grows larger.
  9. Watching someone that might have given you a hard time in the past, quiver when they see you walk into the room. I don’t like any kind of violent actions but I also hate any kind of bullying. In my opinion, if lifting some weights and getting bulkier keeps the bullies away, that is never a mistake.
  10. The bittersweet feeling of having to retire your old gym attire to step up to a bigger sized type of shirt.

Three Foods That Are Killing Your Diet

Not being one that likes raining on others parades, I feel that I do want to list three foods that, when not used in moderation, can be devastating to a diet. I don’t want to leave you with only negative advice about these foods, so each pick will have a healthier substitute that you can implement into your diet for each food choice.

Pizza – I love this food as much as the next person. Being that you get options to load it with toppings, cheese, and just about anything else you can think of, Pizza is an amazing food. However, if you were on a diet, a couple of slices of this snack could easily ruin your determination in a heartbeat. While containing tomatoes, cheese, and meat, it can be used to gain weight but most of the gains will come from fat. As you see, even though pizza does have good base ingredients, there is a lot of extra additives placed onto a pizza. You can use many of the commonly associated pizza toppings on a salad, you may just want to go a little bit lighter on the ranch dressing.

cheesy pizza

Ice Cream – This pick is known as most people’s choice as a favorite comfort food, this one can really add on extra calories that will translate into additional fat accumulation. Although, there are healthier alternatives available, it’s going to be pretty frustrating to try and track down an actual healthy ice cream, as fat as I Know, there isn’t one that exists. However, if any readers know of some good choices to replace ice cream in someone’s diet, please let me know Being that it is so difficult to try and find something that is remotely close to ice cream, while still being healthy, your best pick will be a sorbet dish.

Bread – It’s hard to say too many bad things about bread, as it is used in so many different foods! What I wanted to make more clear was the kind of bread you’re using, it has everything to do with it being a good choice of bread for a diet. I try and use wheat bread, whenever possible, as it is a better choice than white bread. You will be eating a lot of hidden sugar and extra carbohydrates with bread but the numbers are much lower when looking at wheat bread versus white bread.
The three foods that we’ve covered are not bad foods, by any means. I think that what makes a few truly good or bad is the attitude of the person eating the food.

For everyone, a bite of pizza would not put their diet into jeopardy. When speaking with someone who may be of a weaker mindset, these three foods can end their diet altogether and I would never want that to happen. It certainly isn’t wrong to want to have the three foods that comprise this list. Also, you can have cheat days setup to where you can consume these goods, as long as you know when to set limits. I have picked foods for this list that were also very easy to keep eating, you have to exercise caution to ensure that you aren’t doing too much damaging to your personal goals. Whenever you feel those hunger pains that are getting you down throughout the day, it could also be a sign that you need to drink more water. I would recommend that you try and indulge in water should you feel that afternoon snack urge begin to rise.

Is Yoga for Metal Heads Any Fun?

We try to do a decent job of letting you know about all the cool and innovative fitness classes out there. Whenever I heavy metalmention yoga, I know that many of the male readers probably skim on to pass up on it. Men, listen up, I think that our prayers have been answered, as there seems to be a yoga class for us. Being relatively new, there is a yoga class that is shunning the age old clichés of calming instrumentals and nature sounds for leather chaps and spike bracelets! In all seriousness, metal yoga may have a smaller following than the relaxing classes we all know and love, but that’s ok. Metal heads have always been a fringe group, when compared to their top 40 counterparts.

If you were to bring this up to any metal fan, it’s likely they already know and that is one reason that keeps that community together, the mutual bonds between those people. I know that when the time is approaching for me to start weight lifting, I’ve got to have tunes that rock, no easy listening allowed. When doing yoga, there is not unwritten law that says that the music has to be what you would hear in an elevator. Seeming like an oxymoronic style clash, it’s still possible to find true peace, while a Juda Priest solo is blaring in your ears.

The change of scenery, when thinking of what you usually picture in a yoga room, can be jarring to some but don’t worry, no one will kick you out for not wearing all black. The class that I had signed up for brought me into a dimly lit room, with a minimal setup. I’m not casting my yoga in a negative light, I enjoyed the minimalistic look, as it adhered well with the overall vibe of the class.

Having taken someone with me, I wanted to have a compadre there with me, to witness this new and more intense style of yoga. I don’t want to give too much away, as I hate taking away surprises from others, just be prepared to be enlightened, should you choose to go. At first, the loud waves of heavy metal had me wanting to stand up and proudly proclaim that this was not going to be for me. After following the instructor, who I’m fairly sure was just a guy who rented out the room, I did start to let my mind wander down its own path. Shockingly, within about five minutes I did start to feel more peaceful.

Should you feel that the music in your metal yoga class is too loud, you’ll want to move to the back of the room, if you can. Ears are amazing instruments that most of us were born with, they are also highly sensitive. I used to drive around main street with music blaring, thinking that I was cool, now I have to ask people to repeat themselves because I semi-damaged my hearing. Saying that this class was only being in a room of people, all listening to loud metal would be doing this class an injustice. I was able to actually learn some new yoga poses that I hadn’t done before, while slowly mastering the standard ones. Lasting about an hour long, I felt amazingly relaxed after walking out of the class door. It was almost as if the anger was starting to slowly subside, throughout the duration of the class I was in.

How Exercise is My Own Fountain of Youth

I have to spill the beans on a secret, I’ve been using working out as my only form of anti-aging treatment and it works great. I’ve never dabbled with all of those creams and other products, just stuck to strictly weightlifting. I’ll admit that I’ve been blessed with an ability to age slowly, at least that’s I hear from others, but I’ve put in the work to get to that point. It is commonly known that regular exercise can help to keep you living longer, nice to know that it will keeping you looking younger, also! How this happens is due to the genetic makeup of how we were all formed.

When exercise is continually done, over long stretches over time, we get hormones released that support keeping skin nice and firm. Being able to keep skin in great shape will pay off tenfold as you continue to age. I’ve seen people damage their skin and watching them become wrinkled in their 30’s is never a good look. It gets way more technical, to fully understand the complex systems that come into play to help those good hormones up to par, it really is fascinating. Where this becomes even more interesting is when you take a look at those exercisers who had a late start in their lives. When older people start exercising regularly, they don’t just age slower, their skin can actually start to reverse the effects of aging. That’s right, all of those creams and lotions never had a shot against old fashioned work!

I am certainly not anywhere near old enough to get those senior citizen discount lunches but I haven’t had any wrinkles popping up lately. What is humorous is how, if my face is clean shaven, I’ll still have to show some identification, just to see the latest horror movie. Take it from personal experience, the older generation can have their reverse aging you can still get started stopped wrinkles right now. If you think about what can cause us all to start aging, there isn’t a stressor that exercise can’t take care of. Stressful situations are most well-known as triggers to cause early aging to set in, good thing that regular exercise has been shown to lower stress levels. There is still going to be environmental hazards that even the longest bout of exercise won’t completely cover up. Needless to say, if you find yourself out in the sun often, with little to no SPF protection, it’s going to take an indeterminate number of weeks to see smoother skin. Isn’t a little bit of sweat worth sacrificing to mean that you can see those cruel age marks disappear?

I always do what I can to keep myself at the tip top of my motivation game, hearing that I’m somewhat safe from normal aging will keep me that much more excited. I guess learning of this amazing new process that our bodies can undergo, when subjected to exercise helps to explain why older weightlifters are never wrinkled up. If you look back at what some previous Mr. Olympia winners look like and I’m talking going back to the pre-Arnold days, these men look great for being sixty-five and up. If you’ve ever thought you were a boring person, just think of how astounding it is that you are a part of a body that can reverse how it ages, it is sort of like having your own superpower or maybe I’ve just been watching too many superhero movies!

Weightlifting Maneuvers You’re Missing Out On

You’ve heard about the old-school techniques to becoming larger, we all have. Withstanding the test of time, the staples to any real weightlifters repertoire haven’t undergone a drastic change, in the past decades. As tidbits often will, we have concentrated on the legendary lifts of the past that we’ve left a few behind, where they should not be. Without further ado, I present these three lifts that aren’t in your weightlifting regimen, but should be.

Hack Squats
Take everything that you’ve learned about how to do low squats and toss it out the window. If you don’t like lifting that squat formmakes you feel slightly off-balance, you might need someone to stand behind you. Yes, if you just starting hack squats, you could feel a sensation that you are leaning back too far, albeit a false fear. With squats that are of the hack variety, you need to put a bar to the rear of you, picking it up in a similar motion to squatting. If you wear shorts to workout in, be advised a bar, being lifted close to the back of your legs could scrape them up. I find that an occasional scratch on my skin, while hack squatting, isn’t far off from scraping my shins during a deadlift. Please keep in the forefront of your brain to not even attempt to lift what you normally squat, you’ll still be making use of your calves but the weight won’t be resting on your shoulders.

Kneeling Tricep Extensions with Dumbbells
While I enjoy gaining tricep strength, over most other groups of muscle, this exercise is responsible for the back of your arms getting a nice burn. To effectively carry out a tricep extension where you’re kneeling, balance is super important. Even if you are only using five pound dumbbells, falling over on one side could leave you with a broken arm. Falls are painful enough, holding weights while nearing the ground only intensifies that pain.

Barbell Shrugs
I never see anyone doing heavy shrugging, which leads me to believe that those same folks are likely missing out on some easy added mass. The setup to this exercise couldn’t be much more simple. To effectively do this exercise, you’ll need to grab a barbell (DO NOT lift from the floor), preferably rack your weights on a stand, if one is nearby. After that, slowly take the weight down and shrug your shoulders, try to get five reps. What I like with doing shrugs is that you can go heavy with them, since you are recruiting more fibers, than you would be with other lifts. While not quite a compound lift, but certainly not one for isolation, the shrug is somewhere in the middle.

These lifts aren’t the easiest ones to do and they sure won’t seem familiar, however don’t let that stop you from attempting any of these listed exercises. As with any new lift that you implement into your already routine schedule, give yourself time to learn. The first time that you try any of these exercises, take the hack squat for example, you won’t feel like you are doing the motions correctly. Whenever I start changing up mundane workouts, the first time that I try out a new lift (no matter how many videos I’ve seen concerning form), I still feel like the new kid on the block who is messing it up. Get limber, take the word no out of your head, and get a little confidence as you step up to the plate to put these new lifts into your weekly plan!

How Exercising Can Save Your Wallet

If you were to stand outside of a fitness center and ask why they keep going, saving money wouldn’t be a likely response. That being mentioned, there are findings that show your muscles and wallet could be thanking you. When comparing those who workout regularly, with those who aren’t active, one group is more likely to be in the waiting room of a doctor! If you thought that hearing about exercising helping you live longer was a farce, the proof is in the (lack of) medical bills. Men and women who are taking their free time and putting it to good use, by exercising have got stronger immune systems, making them less susceptible to medical problems.

Many employers will offer incentives to employees that maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s a smart move that is made by large corporations, to encourage their workforce to take preventative measures through any of the following methods: walking, jogging, regularly weight lifting, etc. The rewards for employees that are tracking their efforts are usually rewarded with a cut out of their insurance deductible, time off, or a combination. While the ones who choose to be lazy could have more free time, they will likely be shelling it out at the doctor’s office. I used to constantly get allergies and would be seriously ill, once or twice every month, before I picked up taking better care of myself. Nowadays, I end up ill maybe once a year, thanks to a more fitness minded life. The results seem clear, it looks like those who are exercising are keeping the doctor away and doing a great job of it.

With the stacked advantages of saving up funds, this looks like another notch in win column for us! If it is being offered, take a look at what your company could offer, in the way of extra employee incentives to get moving! If not, you could be missing out on many great opportunities, especially if you already exercise, outside of work! I often dodge hearing about how exercising is too expensive for some, which has a grain of truth, there are memberships, supplements, clothes, that will be additional costs to you. Although, when compared to how much you could save in the workplace, those initial costs don’t seem to be too staggering, do they? If faced with a situation, where someone is giving you a bad word for being so obsessed with the way you live, remind them that you are getting healthy, all while saving money, are there any two feelings more awesome than those? Perhaps, now that you know another, adding to the list of many benefits that come with regular exercise, anyone wanting to stay lazy might change their tune. I know that I’ll be reminded, when facing a set that I don’t believe I can complete, that I will be having visions of lower insurance and a longer lifespan! I can’t speak of what certain incentives that I know about, from hearing of others employment but it only drives home the point that you need to find about if your own workplace offers fitness incentives, it is likely most large ones will.

Sometimes depending upon the season of the year, different workplace programs will be in place, largely appearing during the Summer season. When adding in the extra cash you have from not spending it at the doctor, plus the added discounts you will receive on those insurance payments, once again, regular exercise is starting to gain momentum once again!

Always Wrap Your Wrists Before Straining Them

I wanted to point one aspect of fitness accessories that I’m not seeing many make use of. Sure, we all have to get our awesome tank top, shorts, and whatever else we are going to wear to the gym. Being so obsessed with appearances, of which I am just as guilty as the next person, one important piece of safety equipment always goes missing. I used to think that wrapping up wrists was for those big fight scenes in movies, never something I would find that I needed to use. I started having some nagging wrist pain that was starting to honestly hinder my quality of life. There is nothing that comes close to making you feel like a weakling, than having a sharp pain shoot up your wrist, while trying to just push on a door. I had spoken to a co-worker of mine, an avid weightlifter. He had said that I could have either pulled a muscle or had come down with a case of tennis elbow.

I started seeing what others had to say on this matter and if they had experienced any similarities with the pain I had. It didn’t take long before I got responses suggesting that I could have weakened wrists. I had thought those folks were crazy, I had been lifting all of the time, how could I have a weakened anything? Checking the ego and starting to think a bit more clearly, I realized that some random guy on the internet could have just figured out this puzzle. I went to a sporting goods store and purchased some high quality wrist wraps. Not content to settle with the cheapest option, I plunked down about thirty bucks for a pair of these wrist wraps, money well spent. After about a week of using these wraps, almost all of the pain I had went away, that’s not a joke.

I went from barely being able to push myself up to going back to having wrists that had no pain in them at all. When I first noticed this pain start coming on was during only two lifts: the bench press and bicep curls, such an interesting and in no way related pairing! With two far apart exercises, for the muscles that are trained, as well as the pushing and pulling movement difference, this was why I was so mystified as to what could be the source of this horrible pain. I got some mild laughter when I would keep having to adjust my wrist straps but it didn’t matter to me, I would gladly have a workout go over ten minutes than to have to not be able to push anything for weeks. I have noticed that there are assortments of various straps that you can use.

I like the mobility that comes with simple straps but there are other options. If you can’t keep that strong grip when you are trying to move that bar, I would advise you use straps that are forced to tie onto the barbell itself, with this type of strap I prefer the ones that are cloth, than the cloth and metal hook contraption. Call me crazy but I don’t want any hook near me while I’m trying to lift weights, ouch! If you are less accident prone than I am and not a total clumsy guy, you could end up loving the strap with hooks, many do.

Get Your Legs Ready for Short Wearing Weather

Having a big upper half is highly sought after, so why are so many of you not concentrating on your legs? For one, they are the two body parts you have that are going to support the extra weight you pack on up top. I almost wanted to cry, this Summer, when I noticed that my calves and thighs were sorely lacking. I have been busy with trying to handle everything in my life but I knew that I had to give some special attention to my getting stronger legs. The first new lift that I had decided to implement into my routine was the hack squat. For those who haven’t tried them, get ready, the hack squat requires that you take the barbell BEHIND your legs.

I almost had to stop myself from tripping over my own feet the first time that I tried this exercise. I wasn’t sure what weight to use, since this was my original attempt at getting this routine over with. I must have started with too much weight because, upon my first upward movement, I nearly fell on my back. When you do most exercises, the weight is in front of you, making it easier for you to decide if you need to set it down, to avoid falling forward. With a hack squat, the weight is behind you, so if you fall, it’s going to be right on your back, ouch.

Am I the only one that gets that combination tingle of both fear and excitement, when trying a new exercise for the first time? I felt that my stomach was filled with butterflies as I approached my next lift, lying leg curls on a rickety bench, joy! My reward for trying to help my legs better support my frame was met with a t-bar smashing right into my Achilles’ tendon. After doing all I could to mask my pain-filled scream that sneaked out, the curls became much more simple. It’s hard to say if the soreness that I am currently feeling is from the weightlifting or the accidental scrapes I suffered from learning my form. I would go on to learn that, after smashing my leg into the t-bar, I had now put a bend in the bar, it must have been from my jumping reaction to the pain I felt in my heel.

Moving on to sitting leg curls, I did have to bend at a slightly awkward movement to complete the entire set, not causingstronger legs me too much additional pain. I might have to wear shin guards, as I continue to build up my legs in preparation for that wonderful summer vacation. What makes working out your legs different from most other parts of the body is that you only walk on your legs. Try not to think about how many steps you take, in an average day, after strengthening your legs, it will only make you queasy because you will feel that workout in the upcoming days. When it comes time to pick out the new attire, which you should do, in order to reward yourself for building massive legs, always try them on first. Us weightlifters are always growing, don’t be afraid to buy a larger size of attire, in order to grow into it. I rarely buy anything that is tight-fitting off of the rack because I know I will grow out of it, in a matter of weeks!

The Extreme Stakes of Becoming an Olympian

As we are all glued to our televisions to find out which country will reign supreme, there isn’t much known about the high costs just to compete in this amazing event. Many will go for years to try and get onto their countries team but it isn’t poor effort that can keep them out of the running. What most don’t realize is the sheer expense to becoming an Olympic athlete is a costly one that leaves even the most optimistic hopeful, crawling away.

If it takes a big budget to become an athlete, how do the lucky ones become rich and famous, with enough assets to keep them set for a lifetime? Endorsements, which means that another company sponsors you, is a deal that every hopeful hopes they get signed to. If you have found that you start chewing your fingernails when you think about a job interview, you have no idea what the applicants in the Olympics have to face. In most instances, the funding to get an Olympic level athlete trained and prepared will come from the pocketbook of the parents, adding extra strain on the family.

It can take up to, and this isn’t even the highest number, one-hundred thousand dollars, just to get a shot at competing. If you were to lose this competition, you have just blown the money needed to tryout at the Olympics, better luck in the next four years, right? If you are one that competes in sports, during only one season, it takes four years to try over and you thought getting a letter that you didn’t get that job was bad! Imagine putting your entire life savings into taking on the entire world, so to speak.

At this moment, there is no real avenue for Olympic hopefuls to get funded, meaning that we could be missing out on the best athletes in the universe, because they don’t have their own private source of funding. It can take an entire decade, made entirely of training and being determined, before anyone can obtain that dream success that changes lives. While all stand on the starting line, in amazing condition, waiting for the sound of the starting siren, only one or two could be fortunate enough to get that coveted spot on a Wheaties box. There have been voices raised about the unfair practices that one must go through, just to be looked at seriously by a sporting committee. I know that I couldn’t have raised what it took to go to the Olympics once, can you imagine the poor families who try, more than once, to get their family member closer to Olympic stardom?

I’ve read about athletes, who are already spending most of their free time practicing, having to get a full-time job, just to help cover the fees associated with becoming an Olympian. I wish there was some scholarship program that could provide the raw talent of these young athletes, with a less financially troubling path to take. In alleys behind buildings, old outdoor parks, and garages all across the country, there are those who want to compete for their country and win. Why are we letting the money that it costs to enter hold back talent that wasn’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth? If we had a system to track applicants, solely on talent, perhaps USA would run off with even more medals than we already have, at this point.

Having to Deal with Bullies at the Health Club

This is not my proudest moment but I have to speak out about what happened to me over the weekend. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a violent person by nature. To be truthful, my early years were spent dodging fights, now you know my inspiration to start lifting. Over the previous days, I had been overhearing a, quite frankly, obnoxious man with a booming voice that resonated throughout the building. I have loud family and friends, I wasn’t going to hold the volume of his voice against him. Letting his lack of volume control go, I just cranked the headphones up and went about my business. As fate would have it, I can sometimes get in the zone and lose track of my surroundings. I went walking over to the water fountain and mistakenly made slight contact with Mr. Loud’s shoulders, maybe his arm, I’m not positive. He didn’t mouth off but gave me a stare, I thought he might approach me directly. I walked back to knock out some flyes, at this point there were about ten more patrons in the health club. While I had been sweating up a storm, our old friend the loudmouth was confronting a smaller dude, not cool and I blew a fuse. If two muscled up guys wanted to fight, I believe there is a sport for that called professional wrestling!

Walking over to him, I calmly tried to assess the argument. Thanks to my genes, I can maintain my composure for a short time before I fly off the handle. After hearing both parties try to talk over each other, I paused and released a deep voice that was hiding somewhere within me my entire life. Like a scene out of a WWE show, my deafening order for quiet was met with wide-eyed shock. When my plans get changed, leaving me with less catch up time, it makes me mad. I had not signed up to watch over two grown men that day, especially when one of them already had it out for me. Cooler heads did prevail and the two men that were about to start shoving each other had backed off into separate areas. I am not someone who would be thought of as intimidating, a fact I have come to know.

Attribute it to a bad morning but the yell that I roared out to get some peace and quiet had it’s desired effect. Half of me wanted to walk out of the health center, never to return out of feeling like a jerk. The other half, the one I chose to follow, stayed and finished the tasks that I came there to complete. Bullies of gyms across the world, just remember, the smaller guy you pick on could be within earshot of a bigger guy that doesn’t like jerks! If you are in a similar situation, having to put up with a jerk, the Today show has a great piece here that can offer more assistance.

I almost neglected to talk about a phone call that I received, shortly after the bad day I was having. A manager at that health place needed to tell me that the obnoxious man had not been showing back up to workout anymore. Far form being upset at the potential loss of a customer, the manager actually thanked me. After we hung up, I chuckled that I would ever get appreciated by the owner of a company for having less customers. If you had been able to see this mysterious man, full of nothing but hot air, I could have gotten a standing ovation!

Achieving More from the Military Press

Known as one of the more rapid methods to attaining stronger shoulders, the military press has been around for ages. Although it is very beneficial, this lift is not that beginners have the easiest time grasping. I remember when I first started performing the military press, I would get these weird pains, in the middle of my stomach. Along with presenting the reason why this pain kept happening and what I did to stop it, I also have some techniques to try that will get you a set of wide shoulders that will have them all checking you out. When taking on implementing a military press into your workout routine, you have to figure out which type of bar you are going to use.

If you have a EZ bar laying around, the one in which the bar itself is curved, this is a great way to see where your strength lies for this lift. You don’t have to load up the weight until there is no more room, start with ten pounds. You have to remember that, if using an EZ bar from the floor, that you are going to be picking this weight up over your head. Many back injuries are caused from lifting weight that is too heavy, over the top of your head. The movement of weight being behind your back carries a high risk of pulling a muscle in your back. Until you are equipped with enough strength to get used to the overhead motion, you don’t want to overburden yourself.

shoulders frowingOnce the weight is up, slightly bend your back backwards and push the weight in an upward motion, never bringing the weight behind your head. You will want to have the barbell lightly come back down in the center of your chest. When doing a military press, you don’t need to be speedy but will want to take things slowly. Jerking motions while doing an exercise that requires balance could have youT ending up laying on the floor!

Getting back to the issue of abdominal pain, when this started, I had no clue why it was during the military press lift. As I began to record how I was standing, I learned why I was suffering from such sharp pain. What was happening was, as I started bringing the bar up, my body would subconsciously bend backwards slightly. After I figured out my movements were causing abdominal pain, it took time to swing things back in my favor. It took many months before I was able to progress to using military presses with an actual full-size barbell. If you attempt to work on your shoulders with a big barbell, you have got to be fairly strong.

What you have to look at is the specific groups that you are trying to pack on size to. An empty barbell doesn’t seem so weighted down, when pushing it with your arms. However, once all of the weight is on such a small sized muscle group, like your shoulders, you have to go lighter with this exercise. If standing up and doing a set of military presses can not be done, there are machines that let you sit down. I find the movements needed to effectively perform this shoulder lift were far too awkward to accomplish on a machine but you could have better luck than I did.