Saturday, June 26, 2010

Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer and High Intensity Training

Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer and High Intensity Training
By Paul Becker

Mike Mentzer's Results From High Intensity Training

Mike Mentzer Seminar

Who was Mike Mentzer?

Mike Mentzer was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and was something of a bodybuilding renaissance man. Renowned as much for his vocabulary and propensity to quote the philosophy of Ayn Rand as he was for the dimensions of his Herculean physique, Mentzer established himself first as a bodybuilding champion and then as a scholar of the sport.

What is Heavy Duty Training?

Mentzer came in contact with Arthur Jones, who at that time was promoting his less-is-best training theories along with his Nautilus exercise equipment. From that grounding, Mentzer eventually evolved his own High Intensity Training philosophy, which espoused brief intense workout sessions and spawned countless articles, many books and videos. Using Heavy Duty Training, Mentzer won the 1976 IFBB Mr. America, and in 1978 he won the heavyweight division at the IFBB World Amateur Championships with a perfect score.

What is the Underground Seminar?

Mike Mentzer's Underground Seminar is the last Mentzer seminar that I, or anyone else will ever see. The Underground Seminar DVD is a thorough presentation of Mentzer’s most completely developed theories, principles, and suggestions for practical application.

Straight, forceful talk – Mentzer was never a mincer of words! For example, though independently employed at the time of the underground seminar, Mentzer was outspoken about the misleading untruths of the muscle "ragazines." But even in ‘78, soon after stepping out of the cab with the Joe Weider, the “Master Blaster” himself, Mentzer informed his seminar attendees, that the muscle magazines of the day were actually registered as catalogues. In the underground seminar, he leaves no question about his opinions of some leading exercise scientists, nor about the reasons for his opinions. An empirical, scientific approach – Mentzer never expected his audience to believe that he knew what he was talking about just because his triceps looked like Christmas hams! Some people with academic credentials in exercise science prescribe exercise routines for the public that look like they combed them from the latest dime store rack of muscle magazines. Mentzer did not appeal to tradition, authority figures, or common practices. Rather, he appealed to actual results in the gym, as well reputable scientific knowledge in areas like nutrition and genetics, to back his arguments.

An integrated, logical approach centered on fundamental principles. Mentzer was not only empirical (focused on data, facts, and the evidence of the senses). Any exercise scientist should have a plethora of data and facts at this fingertips (e.g., facts of kinesiology and physiology, and the results of a multitude of research studies on various strength training techniques.) Still, the key issue is how one interprets the data. For example, what do the body’s mechanisms of growth and stress adaptation imply in terms of the intensity, volume and frequency of exercise? Mentzer always took a rational, as well as an empirical approach. Indeed, he often acknowledged that it was Nautilus inventor Arthur Jones who inspired him to apply his reason to bodybuilding. Many of Jones’ principles formed the foundation of Mentzer’s Heavy Duty approach. In later years though, Mentzer gave more and more thought to the fundamentals of exercise, (e.g., intensity, recovery ability, volume, and frequency), arriving at some conclusions that do not contradict, but in some ways supersede his and Jones’ earlier approaches.

This DVD is the only recording of Mike Mentzer's Seminar. Two full hours of Mike discussing exercise fundamentals, their relationships, and stories of past clients. Hear Mike discuss exercise theory, applying that theory to bodybuilding, answering questions from the audience. He explains the mistakes made by nearly everyone who picks up a weight and much more. Very entertaining, educational and a MUST for any Mike Mentzer fan.

If you are a huge Mike Mentzer fan like me, or just want to build you body as fast as possible, you will want to pick up this DVD!

Also if you order right now you will get a F R E E eBook
Arthur Jones The Father of High Intensity Training

Arthur Jones is the inventor of the Nautilus exercise machines, and was well noted for changing the concepts of exercise away from the old school of training, which involved hours in the gym, to High Intensity Training. It was only after meeting with Arthur Jones, that Mike Mentzer became convinced that brief and infrequent training was the way to go.

This awesome eBook you will show you how to pack on mass, strength and power, faster then you would believe possible! Here's just some of what you'll learn:

* What are the true limits of muscle size?

* How to create a natural anabolic state.

* How to build the maximum muscle in the minimum amount of time.

* How to warm-up properly.

* How to overcome sticking points in training.

* What is the true significance of such factors as "pump" and "soreness"?

* Freeweights versus machines.

* Advanced HIT principles.

* How to build the ulitimate physique.

* . . . and much, much more!

Build the physique you’ve always wanted with High Intensity Training! Go to Mike Mentzer Seminar

Monday, June 21, 2010

Build Muscle for $9.96

Build Muscle for $9.96
June 20th, 2010

Unique Training Equipment That is Cheap and Effective

Sometimes the motivation is there but the money isn’t. Trainers and coaches don’t always have a big budget to go along with their big dreams. Dreams of owning the best equipment or the best facility.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t always need to have the best of everything to get RESULTS. As with every exercise having an alternative, so too is there an alternative to the fanciest equipment.

We here at Diesel have known this for years. We’ve built athletes over the years with little to no fancy stuff.

Just hard work and the motivation to always innovate.


Here is a 4-pack of furniture sliders that I picked up from Lowe’s. The cost was only $9.96. Pretty incredible!

You can use these immediately in your strength program and GET BIG RESULTS!

Now, we’ve been using these for the past 2 weeks and I have to say, I am really impressed. Whenever we move from an exercise where we use the slider back to the “regular” movement, it becomes much easier. For example, backward lunges on the slider require so much more stability and balance, when you perform a bodyweight lunge, it becomes easy.

More stability in an unstable environment requires a back and forth of tension and relaxation. It is a skill. But when developed, this skill has huge returns. The need for tension for the big, compound lifts can be optimized and developed with these types of movements.

Cool Exercises With the Sliders

Push-ups Reaches

Push-up Pike Ups

Some other exercises:

hand walking for distance or time
push-up pike-ups
push-up reaches in all directions
ab roll-outs
backward lunges
glute bridge in hamstring curls
quad squat into sit-through push-up

Other Benefits of Sliders

They are really cheap and portable. If you run a bootcamp, you can buy a bunch of them and start using them right away. The people who attend the bootcamp will really like how different the movements are, and it will keep the session fun.

Want an Even Cheaper Alternative?

If you don’t have $9.96 in the bank, no problem at all. Here are two really cheap substitutes!

For Hard Surfaces – a small hand towel, used under each hand or foot, can be used just like a slider on hard surfaces

For Carpeted Surfaces – an upside down frisbee can be used as a substitute for sliders on a carpeted area.

Copyright© 2010 The Diesel Crew, LLC. All rights reserved.
You may not reproduce this article or post.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How To Destroy Every Muscle Fiber In Your Chest!

How To Destroy Every Muscle Fiber In Your Chest!
By Jeff Anderson

To get full pec development, you need to hit the chest from different angles.
You know that, right?

But while most guys are relying on doing this solely via the incline, flat, and decline benches, I have a BETTER tip for you…

Instead of changing the angle at which you work your chest…
…Build A Bigger Chest By Cycling Your GRIP WIDTH!
Here’s why…

Depending on how close your hands are together on the barbell, you target either different areas of your chest.

The closer your hands, the more you work the inner and upper pecs (but also your triceps).

The wider your hands are, the more overall chest stimulation you get as you take a lot of the triceps out of the power equation.

So here’s how you can use this knowledge to further your chest development…

• Start with the flat bench and do one set of the barbell bench press with a close grip until you reach failure at about 8-12 reps.

• Rest 2 minutes and then do another set of 8-12 reps to failure with a shoulder width grip.

• Finally, after you next 2 minute rest, do another set with your hands about 6-8 inches wider than shoulder width.

• From here, you can move on to the incline bench and do the same exact thing for 3 more sets.

• Follow it up with a trip to the decline bench for 3 more and you’re all done for “Chest Day”!


Copyright, Urban Publishing Co LLC., 2010

**The contents of this daily email are not to be
considered as medical advice.
Always consult a physician before beginning or
changing any fitness

This email is protected by copyright, 2009, Urban Publishing Co
LLC. .
All rights reserved. Reproduction of any portion of this email is
strictly prohibited without the express written consent
of Urban Publishing Co LLC., Inc.

Leon Cruz, Inc.
Urban Publishing Co LLC.
P.O.Box 70181
Brooklyn New York 11207-0181

1-718-346-4337 Phone
718-346-4337 FAX

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ultimate Sandbag Training Exercises | Sandbag Fitness Strength Training

The Sandbag Exercise You Can’t Miss

The Sandbag Exercise You Can’t Miss!!!
By Josh Henkin
Posted Jun 11 2010 by Josh Henkin in Ultimate Sandbag Training Blog

There is no doubt I am great at talking, but this exercise is just too good not to just let you try! It was bred out of adding complexity to movements to challenge athleticism and all aspects of fitness. Enough talking, just try the Tornado and you will find out exactly what it does for you!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Complicated By Justin Harris


This article originally appeared as an Q&A here

Recently on the Q&A, someone asked me about my thoughts on tweaking the DC training program. He was having some difficulties getting his numbers up but was worried about not following the program to the letter. While I answer questions like this all the time, this one got me thinking about how unnecessarily complicated people make training out to be. And ironically, it was this exact same thing that started a miscommunication between my and the originator of DC training. We’re good friends now, but we started off on the wrong foot because of a misunderstanding. I'll tell the story and hopefully answer the question in the process.

Around 2001, DC training was first being written about online. Dante (the originator) never intended to release a training “program.” He replied on a training forum about why people don’t grow at the rate they want to, and the thread eventually grew to over 1000 pages.

Early on, when DC training was starting to grow in popularity, someone asked a bunch of really tedious, insignificant questions about little things like “where do you place your elbows when doing triceps press downs if the bar is two inches wider than the one you usually use?” My response was something along the lines of “Jeezus, it’s just weight lifting! Why does everyone have to make it so ridiculously complicated? It’s not rocket science. You lift hard, get stronger, eat more, and then grow. That’s all there is to it!”

Dante took it as a knock against his routine. That was all wrong. I was praising his routine because it isn’t rocket science. At its core, his routine is train harder, get stronger, eat more. The only response to that is for your muscles to get bigger.

I've trained with many top people over the years. I’ve literally trained with the strongest people on earth. I’ve trained with and competed with the best bodybuilders on earth. I’ve had discussions about their training, diet, and supplements. I have the actual printouts of all the “secret” supplement protocols that the top bodybuilders use. I know all the “secret” cycles that the strongest people in the world do before a meet. In all the time I’ve spent with those people, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about minute training details.

The one thing they all have in common is they don’t focus on the little details. They focus on going to the gym and lifting as heavy and hard as they can. They take pride in losing training partners on a weekly basis. They take pride in making sure “the new guy” doesn’t make it through his first squat session.

I’ve trained with Dante himself on multiple occasions. We even have some videos of it on YouTube. He’s a big dude. He’s always near 300 lbs and he isn’t fat by any means. Want to know how planned out our training sessions are? We decide what exercise to do about two minutes before we do it. Then whatever exercise we use, we make sure we do whatever it takes to get better, whether it be an extra rep on the first set of the rest pause, adding an extra 5-lb plate, holding the last rep’s negative a few seconds longer, or anything else that allows us to go to the log book and write down a new personal record next to that particular exercise.

Hard work is what pays off. The only thing you should ever really worry about is if you’re working hard enough. I’ve talked about this with many people over the years, but there is a very definite contrast in conversation between the “top guys” and the “local competitors.” Whenever I’ve spoken with a group of up and comers—the local guys just starting to do competitions—the conversation always revolves around the “secret” cycles, the exotic compounds, the rare products, the combination of supplements that only the “top guys” must know about. That’s always what the conversation turns to.

Whenever I’ve talked to the “top guys” in bodybuilding or powerlifting, the discussion is never about rare compounds or exotic products. It’s always about eating—how much, how often, what to eat, when, the time they spent $120 on breakfast at Bob Evans. That’s the difference. When I talk to Matt Kroc, we talk about food. After we talk about what to eat to get bigger, we talk about what training partner threw up after squats or deadlifts.

When a I meet a local guy at a show or at the gym, they never ask about food. It’s always about some exotic compound. The funny thing is nine times out of 10, I’ve never ever heard about the “magic” compound they’re talking about. I’m sure most of the top guys in the sport haven’t either probably because they were either in the process of chewing a big chunk of steak or their ears were ringing from the set of deadlifts they just finished.

As owner of Troponin Nutrition and the reigning Jr. USA Super Heavyweight bodybuilding champion, Justin Harris has helped hundreds of athletes with individualized, sport specific diet and nutrition planning. His writing on nutrition and performance has been spotlighted in publications including Muscular Development and Ironman magazine and he has been featured on the cover of numerous others.



Go To -->>


Here are some basic mass building tips you should be applying to your training in your quest

for building muscle size.

1) Manipulate Caloric Intake.

You must increase your caloric intake if you hope to gain any size. To add quality muscle weight, you need to be in

a state of caloric excess. If you are looking to shed some body fat, then the opposite is true: reduce calories or

increase energy expenditure (CARDIO).

2) Increase Protein Consumption.

The benefits of protein are numerous for the bodybuilder: increase protein synthesis, positive nitrogen balance,

muscle recovery and anti-catabolism. Remember, protein provides the building blocks of muscle. Get enough to grow enough.

Take protein with every meal you eat. Aim for at least 1-1.5 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight when training

at a high level.

3) Take In Plenty Of Fat.

I do not mean the type of fats found in burgers and fries. There are plenty of good fat sources including olive oil,

Flaxseed oil, and borage oil. These contain "essential" fats, those your body can't manufacture on its own. Remember this:

overly restricting fat intake will negatively impact growth. Why? Fat intake can affect testosterone levels. In studies,

individuals consuming 20% fat were found to have significantly lower testosterone levels than those taking in 40% fat.

Furthermore, research has shown that there is a positive correlation between fat and resting testosterone concentrations

in men who weight train.

4) Ease up on the cardio (Conditioning Work).

Cardio may let you consume more and stay hard, but it can also get in the way of growth if overused. If you're trying

to gain weight and size, ease up on conditioning work.

5) Get Plenty Of Rest.

Probably one of the most underutilized of all the bodybuilding tools. Rest is when the muscles you've torn down from training

are allowed to rebuild and come back bigger than ever. Too much training and not enough rest, and you'll enter the

dreaded "overtraining" zone where testosterone levels drop and muscle wasting becomes a serious possibility.

The easiest way to avoid overtraining is to get plenty of sleep at night and train right.

6) Pack on the Poundage.

Obviously, one of the best ways to get massive is to progressively move heavier weight. This isn't an invitation to put

on as many plates as you can only to perform the exercise with improper form. Use as much weight as you can while

allowing you to follow strict form. With respect to reps, when it comes to building power and strength, you can

aim low: 6-8 reps per set should do it.

7) Stick to Basic Movements.

Basic movements train your body's largest muscles such as your back, quads, and chest. The bigger these get,

the bigger you will look. Plus, basic movements not only train the target body part, but also support muscles. The bench press works

your pecs and your triceps and your delts to a certain degree. Be sure to include the bench press, shoulder press, squat,

deadlift, and rows to your training program.

8) Take Supplements.

With all of the supplements out there it is very hard to choose which ones actually work, and believe me

there are supplements that work and work big time. I will list some here.

They are:

1) Creatine Monohydrate

2) Glutamine

3) Branched Chain amino acids

4) Vitamin Mineral supplemet

5) Amino Acid Formula (Like the ones from the Universal Brand)

6) Whey Protein

7) Meal Replacement Supplement.

These are but a few of the ones that work. There are some others that I will go into in my physical

newsletter, "Barbells-Dumbbells-Bodyweight".

Start your new year following some of these basic yet powerful points.

If you would like to subscribe to our physical newsletter "Barbells-Dumbbells-Bodyweight" go to pay-pal

and for $47.00 you will get four issues (A Quarterly subscription) to our physical newsletter mailed to you

along with a monthly DVD of training instruction from many leading authorities in Bodybuilding, powerlifting,

Strongman, Wrestling, and martial arts. And you will also get a CD of an expert interview. Use e-mail address when using pay-pal or you can mail a check or money order to me, Leon Cruz, at the

address given below. You will love this newsletter and you will not be disappointed.

Yours in health,

Leon Cruz.

Copyright, Urban Publishing Co LLC., 2010

**The contents of this daily Blog is not to be
considered as medical advice.
Always consult a physician before beginning or
changing any fitness

This email is protected by copyright, 2009, Urban Publishing Co
LLC. .
All rights reserved. Reproduction of any portion of this Blog is
strictly prohibited without the express written consent
of Urban Publishing Co LLC., Inc.

Leon Cruz, Inc.
Urban Publishing Co LLC.
P.O.Box 70181
Brooklyn New York 11207-0181

1-718-346-4337 Phone
718-346-4337 FAX

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thick Bar Training.



"The SEVENTH essential element of dinosaur training is the regular, almost exclusive use of thick handled barbells for virtually all of your upper body and grip exercises. Why use thick handled barbells? There are several reasons, but the primary reason relates to element number one of the dinosaur system: HARD WORK."

Progress in Biofeedback Training Part 3 – Deadlifts

I’ve been testing so many times I’m starting to not always need it. Sometimes I can just feel what I’m going to do and then it happens. Even without testing I can often feel, in the movement itself, whether it would be great to do then. But when my intuition isn’t giving me a clear answer I can always test.

For example, the other day I just ‘knew’ I was going to set a new max in the deadlift. I got 425 lbs. That’s 20 lbs. better than I had done before.

But let’s back up and give you examples from my training. Here’s my deadlifting for about 40 days. These are by no means the only exercise I’ve done in that time but I’ve pulled the numbers from my training log to show you what’s going on.

4-21 BB Deadlift 365 x 5 singles

4-25 BB Deadlift 225 x 12,12,14,12,12 in 10 minutes

4-28 BB Deadlift 315 x 5,6,5 in 5 minutes

5-1 Rack Pull 605 x 3 singles

5-5 Trap Bar Deadlift 430 x 1

5-6 BB Deadlift 225 x 15,15,12,12,12 in 8 minutes

5-11 Rack Pull 505 x 4,4,4,4

5-12 BB Deadlift 405 x 1

5-13 BB Deadlift 225 x 17

5-17 Trap Bar Deadlift 275 x 11,12,11,12,11 in 14 min

5-20 BB Deadlift 315 x 7,6,6 in 4 min

5-22 BB Deadlift 225 x 16,18,15 in 7 min

5-25 BB Deadlift 365 x 3,4,4 in 5 min

5-29 One Hand Deadlift 185 x 3 singles

5-30 BB Deadlift 425 x 1

Here’s the analysis. Looking at this you can see the weight used waving up and down. Though my goal is to pull more for a single, just cause that’s what I want to do, I’m not only doing singles. Nor am I doing 5×5 or high reps or any consistent rep scheme. I’m simply following what works for me that day.

If it’s a lighter weight I do more reps. If its heavier I do less. But at no time am I going all out. I could probably gut out double the numbers on those higher reps sets if I wanted to. I could also probably have gone higher when I maxed each time, but I’m happy with what I got.

You’ll also notice the variety of movements. I go for the barbell deadlift when it tests well as that’s my current goal. Sometimes variations will test better like doing a partial or using the trap bar where I can handle more weight. (My best ever with the trap bar was 435 but I’m guessing the next time I max it’ll be way up.)

Then there’s the frequency of my deadlifts. Looking over it I’m usually doing some form of deadlifts 2 or 3 times a week, though again there is no consistent pattern. I can do it this often because I’m never even close to burning out. There was no week off before this max. And there is no week off or de-load program. I’ll just be following the same “program” until the next max.

Deadlifts are going really well right now. So are my other exercise, though having done this analysis I see some directions I can test in, and work with that may make progress even faster.

How’s your progress?

In strength,
Logan Christopher

P.S. It looks like the DVD’s that show you how to do all this and more still are available but in short supply. All I’m saying is you should try biofeedback training out. If it doesn’t work for you fine, give it up and go back to what you were doing. But if it does work, just imagine where it can take you. I’m making faster progress, easier than ever before and feeling great doing it. You can join me…

My bonus is still available for anyone who orders and forward me their receipt.

go to:

"Building a Better Home Gym"

Over the last few weeks we've received several dozen emails relating to helping people to plan out or improve their home gym.

So I thought this week I'd share some of that information with you ...

<<< If you have a question that you'd like me or my team at the research center to answer - then go to >>>

If you're looking to get fit and into shape, home gyms may provide the best option if joining a traditional gym isn't feasible.

A personal gym at home will allow for more flexibility in terms of your workout schedule, and if time is tight and you want to include exercise into the busiest of routines, a gym at home is definitely the way to go.

Unfortunately, many people only think of weight and resistance training based multi-gyms when they're considering home gym equipment, but the range of home exercise equipment now available extends to: Rowing Machines · treadmills · ab machines · orbital trainers · elliptical trainer, and much, much more.

This means that in addition to improving muscle mass and tone, you can now have a fat burning cardiovascular workout in the comfort of your own home, whenever it suits you best, perhaps even in front of your TV.

Plan your home gym carefully

Think of the type of workout you'd like, the areas of your body and overall fitness you want to work on.

Next, have a look at the space you have to set up your equipment. It could be an area as small as a section of a spare room to an entire basement or garage. These factors will dictate the types of fitness products are best suited to your goals.

At the very minimum you could get a few pairs of dumbbells to do resistance training, an exercise ball to do some great abdominal exercises, and a jump rope to get your cardiovascular or fat burning exercises in.

The next consideration is cost. Only purchase good quality home exercise equipment; the best you can afford for your specific needs. Doing so may be expensive, but it's a worthwhile investment for both safety, as well as the long term financial benefits associated with less maintenance costs.

A normal cost to outfit your home might be compared to a two year traditional gym membership. With this amount of money, it's vital you choose your fitness products wisely. Only buy from reputable, specialist manufacturers.

Do your homework before you buy.

Take advice about your purchase from fitness experts, health and fitness magazines and website reviews or another relevant consumer based source.

Some home exercise equipment will come with a 30-day money back guarantee, so don't be afraid to try the equipment that will build your Home Gyms before you commit.

Give them a run for their money to ensure that you invest in the right equipment for you. If they're not right for you, send them back and continue the hunt for the perfect machine.

Once built, be disciplined and use your home gym regularly and safely.

Keep it well maintained and you'll see fantastic results in no time at all, all in the comfort and convenience of your own home.

BTW: As you may know much of the information I supply my readers is taken directly from questions that they send to my office. If you would like me to address a specific question in an upcoming newsletter or in one of my teleseminars, simply go to:

Until next week...
Christopher Guerriero
Founder/CEO: The National Metabolic & Longevity Research Center
Developer of the "Maximize Your Metabolism" System

P.S. After you're finished reading this, why not forward it to a friend who may enjoy it as well.

Progress in Biofeedback Training – Part 1

Progress in Biofeedback Training – Part 1

Almost another month has passed since I last wrote about biofeedback training. I’ve decided I want to give a play by play account of how it’s working out for me. That means this will be the first in a series of articles on my progress in biofeedback training. And for this one I have to go back in time a bit to when I started.

When I first heard the idea of biofeedback for physical training I was intrigued. It made sense to me, that our own body could guide what we do. Our goal is to make the body better, to build a better mind-muscle connection in order to become stronger. If you had a way to ask your body what it preferred it to do, what was good for it to do, it makes sense then that you should listen to it, at least to me.

I got started testing out my exercises. A little later I tested the weights I was using.

For the most part, early on I ignored the testing and then had to struggle to set a new PR. Sometimes I made it, sometimes I didn’t. What I was doing was following my old routine just testing to see how the movements tested. Then I did my routine regardless of the results. That’s not how you’re suppose to do it. But it was my first step.

The testing was awkward. In a range of motion test you’re suppose to go until you feel tension. Sounds good in theory. But when you first try it you may not be the best at feeling the first sign of tension. I know I wasn’t. In order to help me out I decided to do two different ROM tests each time to see that they were giving the same results.

I continued on. I figured that I would give this method at least a month to start showing results. If it didn’t I could jump back into my routines. I started actually listening to the tests. I finally dropped the idea that I needed to known exactly what I was going to be doing when I entered the gym. I would let the tests guide me to do what I should be doing.

It took a couple weeks before I felt that I was getting it right. At that time I was testing exercises, variations, loads and rest. It started coming together and I was seeing myself hit new PR’s without struggling for them.

Of course, the testing (and moving into a new place) led me to be doing different exercises and different volumes so it wasn’t hard to be hitting PR’s. Anytime you start new exercises there is a period of time were your body adapts quickly becoming more efficient at the exercises. You become better at the exercises rather than building much strength or muscle to do the exercises.

That’s why I always encouraged sticking to a routine. You need to work the same exercises over a period of time in order to see real improvements. If you jump from routine to routine you aren’t doing much more than spinning your wheels.

This isn’t really in contrast to biofeedback training though. You still have your goals. If that involves being able to deadlift more you’ll aim your testing in the direction. Unless your body is messed up and dead lifting is not right for you you’ll be able to continually work the lift and do more.

More on this subject real soon.

In strength,
Logan Christopher

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Goal Orientation - Part 1

Goal Orientation - Part 1

By Charles Staley, B.Sc, MSS
Director, Staley Training Systems

Author’s note: I know that goal setting is viewed as a bit cliche, but it’s hard to argue against once you consider it carefully. My first exposure to the con cept of conscientious, aggressive goal setting occurred in the early 80’s when I tool a course from Success Motivation Institute based in Waco, Texas. It made a huge impact on me, and I wanted to see if I could present a convincing argument for the idea. I’m quite happy with this article— I think it expresses the concepts very simply.
Paradoxically, everyone agrees that goals are important, yet less than 5% of the population has one...

Someone recently asked me if I’d ever like to be able to bench press 500 pounds. I replied that, no, not really, because obviously, if I had really wanted a 500 pound bench, I would have taken the steps necessary to get it, which I obviously haven’t. Now of course, it might be the case that even if I applied maximum effort and resources to the goal of bench pressing 500 pounds, it might not be in the cards for me anyway.

But my point is that selfactualized people make things happen, rather than hoping they will happen. (Incidentally, I’m also philosophically against playing the lottery, because it takes you away from making it happen and toward hoping it happens.).

Where Are You Going?
We all have desires, things we hope to achieve in life. The question is, what exactly do you want? And how badly do you want it? How serious are you really? Have you really considered what you’ll have to give up to get what you want?

Anatomy of a Goal
A goal is a written expression of intent to accomplish a specific, personally meaningful objective within a predetermined time-frame.
Based on this definition, I’d guess that fewer than 5% of all people have even a single goal at any one point in time. Sad, isn’t it? If you’re in the 95% club, this article will show you how to cross over. As a starting point, let’s examine the above definition point by point:

1) A goal must be stated in writing: If it isn’t written, it isn’t a goal. Period. It may be a wish, or a vague desire, or a fantasy, but it isn’t a goal, and you’re not likely to achieve it.

2) A goal must be specific and measurable: Your desire to become "as big as a house" isn’t a goal. It isn’t specific enough. We need to talk pounds at a certain bodyfat percentage, not real estate.

In order to be specific, your goal must be quantifiable. This is a very significant for bodybuilders, who’s sport is by definition qualitative and subjective.

Why Are You Going?
3) A goal must be personally meaningful: Your goal must be worthy of your unconditional resolve and personal sacrifice (defined as giving up something in order to gain something greater as a result) for the allotted time-frame, or you won’t bother to pursue it. It must have real value and undeniable potential to improve your life. The desire to get down to 7% bodyfat by May 1st so that you’ll look great at the beach this summer is specific, challenging, and has a completion date, but other than soothing your ego, what meaning does it really have?

Now of course, if this goal (getting down to 7% bodyfat by May 1st) is part of your long-range objective to become a champion bodybuilder or fitness competitor, we now have a more meaningful context for your objective, since your competitive aspirations will have rewards above and beyond ego-gratification, such as career possibilities, character development, and so on. Once you can see the complete range of benefits that accomplishing the goal has for you, you’ll be ready to commit enormous personal resources to achieve it.

Now think back to your original motivation— looking great at the beach. Is this goal really worth the considerable time and effort that it’ll take to achieve? If so, proceed. If not, explore other goals which will significantly impact your life when you accomplish them.

Additionally, goals must be framed in such a way that they push your emotional "hot buttons." For example, it may be that you have a goal to parallel squat 400 pounds by your 30th birthday which is in eleven months. Your current PR is 355. This is a specific, challenging, and presumably meaningful goal for you. However, step back for a second and consider which sounds more attractive: 400 pounds (a nice even number), or, 405 pounds, which is (4) 45 pound plates on each side of the bar. Or, if you happen to weigh 205 pounds, perhaps the concept of lifting 410— double your bodyweight— has the most appeal.

There is no right or wrong answer here— the point of the exercise is to see how slightly different ways of framing an objective can effect your emotional reserves. Which option seems most appealing to you?

4) A goal must be challenging: If your goal isn’t challenging, you’re not likely to mobilize significant resources to attain it. For example, using the previous example of the 400 pound squat, some would argue for a more "realistic" goal of 365 pounds. However, while certainly realistic, a 15 pound improvement in 11 months is hardly the stuff of dreams, is it? In fact, it’s such a small increment that you might be likely to forget about it before the day is over! Better to aim for the stars and fall on the mountain peaks, as they say.

How Long Will it Take?
5) A goal must have a specific date of completion: Time-frames are what create pressure to get the job done. Your time frame must be aggressive, but realistic. If you’re not sure if your goal can be accomplished within a certain time frame, you’ll have to either base your time-frame on personal past experience, or you may have to do a bit of intelligence work in order to find out.

6) Your goal must be stated in the positive: Remember the old story where the football coach says to his star receiver "Whatever you do, don’t drop the ball!"? Guess what he ended up doing? You can’t plan to not accomplish something.

A Few Essential Items to Pack for the Trip
The following collection of strategies and skills are like a psychological "toolbox" which will properly arm you while in pursuit of your objectives.These tools are found in the blueprints of all champions, not only in sport, but in life as well.

Visualization and Imagery: If you can’t genuinely picture yourself achieving your goal, it’s very unlikely, probably impossible that you will achieve it. The old, overused, cliche axiom "conceive, believe, achieve" is packed with truth. Let me relate a story from my martial arts background. When I taught martial arts professionally, I always had very successful kid’s classes.

Occasionally, during a quiet moment either before or after class, or simply when the moment seemed right, I would take a kid from a beginner’s class, and I’d remove my black belt and tie it around his waist. Words simply cannot express the wonder and complete change of "state" that would instantly overcome that child— you could literally see the gears turning as that child imagined what it would be like the day he achieved the rank in the future.

You know the old expression "I’ll believe it when I see it"? Long before I ever squatted 400 pounds, I saw it clearly in my mind. I actually practiced by loading the bar on the power rack and just pondering the day when that bar would be mine. I’d even perform "walk outs" with the weight in preparation for the big day. I also frequently used Olympic bumper plates, which are much thicker than iron plates for their weight— using bumpers, a bar loaded to 176 pounds occupies about the same space as 405 pounds of iron plates. This way, I was really able to see myself squatting 405.

Funny thing was, the day I actually lifted 405, it wasn’t particularly a big deal for me— I’d felt as though I’d already done it, and this was simply the physical expression of a capability I already knew I had. The moral of this story is, I could give you 50 ways of becoming more successful, but if I could remove your self-doubt, those 50 things would improve all on their own!

Affirmations: An affirmation is a statement of belief. It can be regularly recited, or written and posted at a place that you’re likely to see it often during the course of a normal day. The concept of affirmations is to overload your psyche with positive belief statements until there is no longer any room for preexisting negative self-perceptions— much like taking a jar filled with water (which represents old, limiting beliefs), and filling it with pebbles (representing the positive affirmations) until all the water has been forced out of the container.

Although the concept of affirmations is often the butt of late night TV humor (e.g., Saturday Night Live’s Stuart Smalley), in truth, they are very powerful tools for the acquisition of goals. The mind is immensely powerful— if you can control it, that is. Ever notice how women will tell you that they gained too much muscle after 2-3 weight training sessions? Or have you ever heard lifters (usually guys) extol the virtues of XYZ supplement, even though science has proven it completely useless? This is the power of belief, my friends. If you can harness that power to a well-designed plan, the battle is already half-won.

Sample affirmations:
"Because I expect to succeed, I find it easy to take daily action on achieving my goal."
"I am responsible for my own future. I expect to succeed. I control my own destiny."
"I dream big dreams, believe in them, set goals to achieve them, and take action to make them become reality."

Create your own affirmations to support your goal, as well as the habits and attitudes necessary for achieving your goal. Write them on note cards and choose a consistent time to read them at least once a day.

Modeling: A very useful concept, popularized by Anthony Robbins (if your only exposure to Robbins are his info-mercials, don’t rush to judgment— his concepts and teachings have very real merit), implements what I call the "don’t reinvent the wheel" principle: find other people, similar to yourself, who have accomplished similar goals. Then, find out what they did to accomplish the task(s), and repeat those steps. Since all humans share essentially the same biology and physiology, you should get the same result, or at least very similar results.

For example, if your hectic, 6 day a week work schedule is a severe obstacle to accomplishing your goal, find a talented lifter who has succeeded with a similar schedule. Find out how he managed to do this, and then implement the same strategy. Chances are very strong that it’ll work for you as well.

Cognitive dissonance: The mind can’t maintain two contradictory beliefs simultaneously. When you’re trying to extinguish a negative or limiting thought process, or emotion, cognitive dissonance can be your best friend. Let me provide an example from my competitive fighting career: When you step into the ring with a skilled opponent your own size or bigger, and you don’t have Don King on your side, it’s natural to be afraid. After all, you can get hurt doing this stuff! While fear is not entirely a bad thing (it’s a self-protective mechanism), it does tend to make you doubt your abilities, and your skills erode accordingly.

Over my own fighting career, I learned little trick that helped me enormously: I learned to act. I would put on an air of total disregard, joking with my opponent, yawning, goofing off, and so on. It’s called "acting as if..." What I learned is that you can’t be scared and act like you’re bored simultaneously— something has to give. Incidentally, this can also be called the "fake it ‘till you make it" principle.
How does one apply this principle toward the acquisition of challenging goals? Going back to my personal experience with the 405 pound squat, I remember that I thought, acted, and presented myself as a 400 pound squatter long before I could actually do it. I would look for any and every opportunity to demonstrate this, for example, squatting 315 completely cold (i.e., no warmup) when someone asked me to demonstrate something about the lift.

Although inwardly, it was quite a challenge for me to squat this weight cold, outwardly I’d act completely nonchalant about it, talking through the lift and acting as if I could squat that weight all day long.

The idea behind all of this is that I was gradually convincing my unconscious self that I was a 400 pound squatter. With a bit of creativity and imagination, you’ll come up with various ways to employ the "fake it ‘till ‘ya make it" principle in your own training. And if it’s not obvious by now, yes, it IS dangerous to squat big weights without a warm-up.

About The Author
Charles strength/performance coach...his colleagues call him an iconoclast, a visionary, a rule-breaker. His clients call him “The Secret Weapon” for his ability to see what other coaches miss. Charles calls himself a “geek” who struggled in Phys Ed throughout school. Whatever you call him, Charles’ methods are ahead of their time and quickly produce serious results.

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