Monthly Archives: April 2016

Taking Dips to Another Planet

Ah, yes, the dip, one of the most beneficial exercises that you are not doing. What’s that, you are doing your dips and you don’t know why I am picking on them? I’ll explain more about this: if they are not a part of your routine right now, you need to introduce yourself to this powerful exercise. Known as one of the best ways to build up your triceps and chest (yes, your chest, believe it or not) the dip is an old-school strength builder that has now taken on a new love by many weightlifters. I want to show you some advanced techniques when performing dips that can take your strength to a whole new world.

When most start out with doing a dip, they will put their arms up on a weight bench, with their feet on the ground, and start doing the exercise, wrong! Sure, this method of doing a dip can be great for those with no strength, yet, but I want to show you the way to really pack on some muscle. When doing an exercise that is focusing on your triceps, the main source of strength for your arms, you should be seeing some quick gains in functional strength. To start out with some really intense dipping, prop your feet up on something so that they are parallel and you are sitting at an L angle. Right away, you will notice that these kind of dips become much harder. You will notice an increased burning feeling in your arms. If you feel the burning in your shoulder, primarily, readjust how you are dipping to ensure that the work is put on the triceps.

Once you are able to perform over twenty repetitions with your body weight, we can ramp it up again. I want to mention that these kind of step ups, concerning the dip, should not all be done in one exercise session. To progress to the final section of doing this exercise correctly took me about a month to get to. The cool thing is that once I got my triceps a nice base of strength, I was noticing some of the fastest muscle that I have ever packed onto my arms. My method might be a little more crazy than what you are used to do but, I promise, it works. As a matter of fact, I would attribute the dip exercise to having good sized arms that I do today.

If you have a backpack laying around, put a couple of small dumbbell plates into (think 5-10 lbs to start out). After that, perform your dips like you normally would. By consistently being able to dip down and back up, with more weight on your back, you are putting increased pressure on your triceps. Provided that you only increase the weight in small increments, over a specified length of time, you will continually break down and rebuild those triceps and your chest, as well. Again, if, at any time, you feel pain in your shoulders, this is a sign that you are putting strain on the wrong part of your body. Dipping is not easy and it is a way to test yourself to see what you are really made of. However, if you want triceps that hug your shirt every so tightly, you have got to be doing some weighted dips!

Forming Habits that Lead to Sticking to A Plan

If you are feeling a bit unmotivated or just flat-out bored with exercising, this is normal. I wanted to talk about the power of habit and how it can help to stick with your desire to keep exercising. I remember learning from a teacher, many years ago about the power of habit. I have applied a way of thinking, when it comes to finishing any task in front of me that has worked well over the years. Before I get to that, I wanted to speak a bit more on the how powerful habits can be. When I first learned about this amazing power, I was sitting in a classroom, fighting falling asleep at my desk! The class that I learned this in was a notoriously boring one, where I never thought I would take anything with me from. One fateful and otherwise boring morning, I was fighting heavy eyes when I heard something that changed the way my life would be forever. The teacher was in front of the class and talking to another student about her dieting. The student had asked a question to the teacher, she was not picking on the student, just wanted to clarify that.

Anyways, I was hearing them talk about something that had to do with twenty-eight days. My ears had perked up by now and I wanted to know more about this power of habit thing. What I learned was, performing a task, no matter how big or small, was much easier if it ended up being a habit that was repeatedly done. The hardest part to following this plan is getting to the 28-day point. I have never found that this method of doing things to fail me over my life. As we continually repeat something, it feels easier because our mind is so used to doing it. When you start a new job, you are probably going to feel terrified driving to your first day at work. As you near the first week being over, you could still be nervous but you are most likely feeling more at ease with showing up to work. You don’t have to deal with anymore of those awkward first meetings and you start to feel like part of a team. On a side note, isn’t it awesome when someone starts their job after you? You are no longer the newbie at work!

Getting back on track, after you have been going to whatever your new job is for twenty-eight days, you have now formed a habit. The habit of your new job, that used to be so new and scary, is now something you feel comfortable with. You don’t have those butterflies in your stomach because you have created a habit that your mind recognizes as such and sees as normal. This way of thinking is great for anyone just starting to exercise. For those new to the gym, apply this style of thinking and it will greatly reduce the chance that you end up being one of the unlucky few that give up on their goals. Get a calendar and start your own twenty-eight day plan, you can do this. Every single time that you end up completing some exercise, put an X on that calendar. Keep the chain going about a month and you will find yourself so committed to staying fit, you won’t ever want to stop. Just make sure that you toss a thank you up to your mind, for the extra help!

Is PHAT Training As Good as They Say?

Does anybody want to try a new training program? Ok, so it might not be the newest program around but it could very well be new to you. This P.H.A.T (we will get into the name in a second) training program, created by a bodybuilding great has done well for most who have braved it. Far from being a nice and breezy routine that will barely have you breaking a sweat, this isn’t for beginners. I have heard it classified as an intermediate to advanced lifting program. However, the diversity that this routine has with what parts to train, leaves customization room for those that would want it. I couldn’t imagine needing to tweak the lifts here, except out of absolute necessity. Everything presented in the base weekly plan of this program hits about every major and minor muscle group that you want to see growth on. It won’t take too long being around any group of weightlifters before the rep question comes up.

inventor of phat trainingI used to find myself very confused on just what exactly I was to be lifting and for how long. Everyone has different answers to this age old question, the best solution may be combing both lifting techniques. Using the Reese’s peanut butter cup strategy, Layne’s PHAT (Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training) system combines elements of both power and definition lifting to perfection. This type of training that would be done, if one were to start this up would be a full-body split. This type of split means that every major group will be worked, on alternating days. One thing to be weary of is that you will be putting mega stress on your entire body, the rest days are there for a reason so use them! If I had to summarize what makes this program different from any other one is that it creates more opportunities for muscular growth. By raising the amount of weight that you can lift, you will get stronger. Using this newfound strength increases for your definition days will create better muscle growth. After understating the basis behind why this routine, the science is really sound on this program. Here is what an example of this program would be, starting the week with Sunday in this example:

Sunday: Upper Power
Monday: Lower Power
Tuesday: Break
Wednesday: Hypertrophy Day for Shoulders and Back
Thursday: Definition Day for Legs
Friday: Definition Day for Arms and Chest
Saturday: Break

You still have two rest days but beware, you will be tested on those last two workout days of the week. The good news is that you are going to be growing in two different ways, taking techniques from each camp of how to really get big. When you borrow a little from one thought group and another, you see the best of both worlds. It is also advised that after a couple of months, you take a week or two off from lifting altogether. To continue a program that is this intense, without a break, will not be good if you are trying to avoid injuries. Also, with such a brief break, you won’t have to make yourself sick at the thought of losing that hard-earned muscle, either! This routine has brought countless others some far superior looking bodies, it could end up doing the same for you. If you are needing to spice up that old and boring gym routine, give the P.H.A.T style of training a try!

Two Men Break Into Gym and Begin Lifting

Have you ever had the urge to sneak in a workout whenever your gym is not that busy? This seems like a common feeling we could all say that we have had, at one time or another. Two young men had the same idea but they actually followed through with it. These men waited until their gym was actually closed and broke into it. This, alone is a really dumb thing to do but it got worse. After the two men were able to sneak into the gym to, presumably steal from it, they stopped and decided to lift weights. Yes, this was something that really happened to a gym in Kentucky.

All of this was caught on a surveillance camera, which had to be one of the funniest things that the staff had seen. Of course, these guys were caught and are now facing charges. I don’t understand what would compel someone to end up doing something so dumb. I mean, they probably had to have some idea that they were going to be filmed the entire time. Since they decided to go ahead and lift while they were in there, they didn’t even end up stealing anything. Let’s be honest, they could have just gone to the gym while they were open, if all that they wanted to do was lift weights. I don’t know how the twenty-four hour gym hasn’t caught on everywhere but those two guys would have benefited from using one of those instead. These guys didn’t come into their gym with working out being their first intention, after they could not get into where the money was, they just worked out.

But, Wait It Gets Worse!

The details of this incident make it even more embarrassing to be in the shoes of the gentlemen that we have mentioned. Their attempt to mess up the security cameras that were at the location had only backfired. When one of the men went to adjust the camera, he only ended up pointing it directly at him. I would love to read some official reports on what all the police saw, upon arriving to this scene. The one big thing that confuses me about this story is the decision to stay somewhere you just tried to break into! What told these guys that it was a smart idea to try and break into anywhere? Beyond that, why in the world would they just hang out for a couple of hours, at that very same place? I can’t even fathom doing something like this, that would put my future in such jeopardy.

I am sure that there were some jokes, made among friends of the working out robbers, when they heard the news of the break in. I hope that some of you have learned an important lesson today: don’t stay and work out at a place that you are trying to break into. Also, don’t break into any places, either! Believe me, I have experienced this happening at a place that I worked and it really does more damage than you think. The owner is left feeling very scared and hurt when a break in occurs. It troubles the employees as well, so don’t think about doing something so stupid. Instead, learn from these two guys and know that karma always has a funny way of setting things straight.