Monthly Archives: July 2016

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.

Adapting to Get Rid of Stagnant Progress

I don’t know about you but I am getting sick of my workout routine. It feels like my muscles are too used to the strain that I put them under and, as their way of responding, aren’t growing in a manner that I enjoy. Putting my failures behind me, I am now opting to try a new training program and I wanted to give you the inside scoop about it. A newer method of training, this one mixes power and hypertrophy. Having tried out both methods of lifting weights, I wanted a program that would give me the best of both worlds. After taking five minutes to prepare myself for the dedication that will be needed for such a huge program, I made the decision to start this weightlifting program that has gotten such rave reviews. Looking at a typical week, you will be training for four of those days with this method of training. Only having three rest days is not what I was used to encountering, this is why this program is aimed for non-beginners. Combining hypertrophy and power lifts is a surefire way to activate every fiber available to you.

Reps vs Sets: Which Buffs You Up the Fastest?

Power days are going to be the first ones on your schedule, for good reason. Starting off the week with a powerlifter’s approach is going to increase strength and not actual size of muscles. Taking the third day to rest, you are preparing yourself for the upcoming hypertrophy methods, which places an emphasis on higher repetitions. When it comes time to kick off the two-day block of hypertrophy workouts, get ready to feel the burn. As your power is able to get stronger, you will be able to have sustained energy needed for the higher rep ranges that will be required of you. What has been done with this newfound training is to give you a range to shoot for, not a set amount of reps. I used to turn my head at any plan that used ranges, thinking that it was an easy option to do as little work as possible. Growing up a bit, I enjoy working with programs that call for a range instead of set numbers because it leaves the decision for me to make. If I know that I can’t do fifteen curls one day, I am able to cut some slack for myself and can meet those standards on another day.

Overall, the get buff quicker style of training is not going to be a walk in the park but for those who are devoted enough to doing whatever it takes, the rewards come fast. If you find stale gains are the only ones you are receiving, don’t be afraid to change it up. The inventor of this system has basically pointed out that you should adjust this program to be suitable for your needs. There isn’t always a cookie cutter solution that will mesh well with everyone’s agenda. If you do need to be able to tackle any tough to do lists, I would knock it out in the earlier portion of the week. If you start your day one of this program on a typical calendar day, like Monday, the power days are slightly less strenuous. If you were to commit to helping someone move in the middle of your hypertrophy days, your muscles are going to be like spaghetti noodles. If you think you have what it takes, the get buff quicker method of training is the jump from an amateur weekend lifter to a full-fledged strongman!

Follow This Strategy to Improve Your Core

The core is one the most heard of, yet least understood groups of muscle around. Surprisingly, I have heard of folks lifting with their arms, claiming that they are really hitting their core. Not only is the core not taken care of, the way that it should be, some don’t even know what it is. I think why people put up such a wall when it comes to focusing on these muscles is that there is way too much confusion out there, concerning this group. Combining the muscles in the lower back and abdominal areas, mastering how to get these two groups working hard has enormous benefits. Maybe after reading about them, you will give your core the thirty minutes that it deserves. A quadruped arm and leg raise is a great relief to those who are suffering from excruciating back pain.

My father has always had back issues and I think that I must have inherited them from him. No matter what the cause is, practicing a stretch like the one in the last sentence can bring your core to life and could potentially alleviate an aching back. Planks are a whole entire change up to any tired sets of stretching, if you utilize a twisting motion with your exercising, you can reap even more work to your core. Why planks are great to rush into your training is because they work the abs using different motions. By adding a twist (done slowly) to the end of a plank, you are working as many of the muscles in your abdominals, including your sides.

If you are wondering what in the world core strength has to do with your entire body, I will explain that for you. Think about your sets of muscles as an important item that you need to ship. If you were truly worried about how safely this item would stay after being jostled around, would you choose to pack it with the right material that is strong and will protect it? Of course you would and if you are core training you are giving that same protection to your surrounding muscles. Having a core of steel will help to keep important organs protected, like your spinal discs. Do you find that you are having bad posture and don’t really stand up straight?

core strengthI used to believe that I was standing up perfectly straight until I had to see how tall I was, straightening my back to the wall made me feel like a giant. I had swore that it felt as if I had gotten about four inches taller, just from standing up straight and maintain a better stance. When you activate the muscles in your core, they will support you in a better way. The increased support that comes with stronger abdominals will cause you to stop feeling hunched over. The gift of great posture is one that you won’t notice you have received but it will be there. I wouldn’t consider myself to be tall but if I look a bit taller, that is not an opportunity that I am going to pass up. There have been endless findings that state taller people get ahead in life, whether it be through home or at the workplace, I am in! Not just for looking good at the beach, a strong core will make you limber and free from pain. After being known as one of, if not the most common pain, getting rid of an aching lower back is highly sought after.

5 Tips for Surviving Summer Workouts

You are not going to let a little heat keep you from getting your work in, good for you! Before you get to your next training day, allow me to present you with five ways to keep cool while working out this summer!

1. Keep Yourself Hydrated
water bottleWhen you are exercising on a hotter day, no matter what type of activity you are doing, you are going to sweat. On those scorching days, where the temperature is climbing, you will be sweating much faster than normal. Normally, you won’t be able to gauge how much sweat you are exerting, since that is hard to keep your attention on. Better to be safe than sorry, bring an extra bottle of water with you for those sweltering days. I also like to take an extra bottle of water with me that I put in the freezer in the morning. By having two water bottles, one frozen and one that isn’t, it is almost like having two ice cold servings of water on a hot day.

2. Have Someone Workout with You
If you are pushing yourself to the limit, the heat can be quick to knock you right out. I don’t mean that you are going to get physically hit but you could end up dropping from heat exhaustion. While having a heat stroke is bad enough, having one without anyone to get you out of that heat could be fatal. Call up a friend and have him/her there, not to help you but to step in if you should succumb to a heat stroke.

3. Switch Up Gym Days, If Possible
They often say that prevention is a great measure to avoid danger. In the case of exercising when it is really hot outside, they are right! If you can watch ahead at weather forecasts and see that some days are going to have highs of around 100 degrees, you should try everything possible to skip that day. Instead, use that day to get done whatever you have putting off. The weather will always cool back down but what could happen if you overheat yourself, might not be as easy of a situation to get out of.

4. Leave Any Doors Open
I used to get nagged at by the wife over this all of the time! I hate to admit it but I should have listened to this advice a long time ago. This particular trick will work best for people who, either: workout at home or have some major leeway at their gym. If there is not adequate ventilation in your locale, leave a door open to let the heat escape. Doing this won’t turn a hot place into the Arctic but it will create airflow, letting the stale air escape. At first, this method could seem futile but if you keep any doors/windows open, the heat will began to die down.

5. Take Frequent Breaks, Lose the Ego
The last tip that I have is to space out the time that is spent directly lifting weights. I don’t care what the last fitness thing that you read said about taking breaks, on certain days you have to throw a rule out of the window. If you not in suitable conditions for heat, get to those conditions while in between sets. Regardless of where you are lifting weights, there will be a cooler place nearby, go to it when you can to help minimize heat stroke.