Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pinch Grip Strength Training (video)

Pinch Grip Strength Training (video)
Your grip truly defines the way you execute full weight and bar movements, and it’s something I’ve always focused on to make sure my hands don’t negatively impact my other more focused bodyparts during exercises. This is a great little introduction into getting stronger finger tension to ensure this, pinch grip is one of a few hand grip training methods.

Also, you’ll be able to crush a guy’s hand on a whim. Check it out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home Made Protein Bars On A Budget

Home Made Protein Bars On A Budget
Make High Protein Fudge Bars For less than 49 cents per bar!

My friend Dave Ruel used to be addicted to protein bars, eating 2-3 bars a day thinking they were good just because they were called "Protein Bars"... He would go for anything that had a lot of protein and tasted good.
Then, as he kicked his training up a notch, he realized he had to kill this fetish, a pretty expansive one too as a protein bar costs about $5... He had to stop eating these "candy bars with protein" but still needed convenient access to healthy protein. This is when he decided to create the perfect homemade protein bar. One that had all the good stuff and none of the bad.
Dave wanted them to be healthy but cheap to make.... Here's the result!They are damn good tasting and can be made in under 5 minutes... Enjoy!
(This one one of the many protein bar recipes he has for you in my Anabolic Cooking Cookbook).
Makes 5 Bars
- 8 scoops chocolate protein powder
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup 1% milk
- 3 tbsp crushed peanuts

1. Mix together the protein powder, oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and milk.
2. Form into 5 bars and then roll in the crushed peanuts to finish.
3. Place in the fridge for about 30-45 mins or until solid

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top guns: the 40 best arms of all time and the workouts that built them.

Top guns: the 40 best arms of all time and the workouts that built them.

Even in his teenage years, the future winner of seven Mr. Olympia contests had fantastic arms, and many contend that the biceps standards he set at his peak in the '70s have yet to be superseded. Schwarzenegger's right biceps, especially, reminded one of a mountain in the Alps of his native Austria. A typical biceps routine consisted of barbell curls, incline dumbbell curls, concentration curls and standing alternate dumbbell curls.
"The reason I was able to devastate the other champions is simple: I did not leave things to chance as they did. Forearm work was always as
important to me as, say, biceps or calf work. Usually, I worked forearms after biceps, though sometimes I did them after triceps, because the gripping involved in curls tired the forearms. My favorite forearm movements were reverse barbell curls and end-of-bench wrist curls."
--Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The reason I was able to devastate the other champions is simple: I did not leave things to chance as they did. Forearm work was always as
important to me as, say, biceps or calf work. Usually, I worked forearms after biceps, though sometimes I did them after triceps, because the gripping involved in curls tired the forearms. My favorite forearm movements were reverse barbell curls and end-of-bench wrist curls."
--Arnold Schwarzenegger



Barbell wrist curls 4 10
Reverse curls 4 8
Taylor won more IFBB pro contests (22, including six masters events) than anyone except Ronnie Coleman. Two key reasons for Taylor's success were his right and left arms. At his peak in the early to mid-'90s, Taylor's upper limbs were nearly unmatched for their combination of shape, size and delineation.
"I consider hammer curls an essential biceps movement. They build
the brachialis, the lower biceps, the tops of the forearms where they
blend into the elbows and, if you perform them my way, the belly and
peak of the biceps. When I perform hammer curls, I move the dumbbells
alternately, bringing one across my chest and trying to touch it to my
opposite shoulder. For each rep, I hold the weight in that top position
and tense my biceps hard."
--Vince Taylor



Barbell curls 5 6-12
Seated dumbbell curls 5 10-12
Hammer curls 5 10-12

Of Hungarian birth, Szkalak won his adopted country's 1976 Mr. America title at only 23 and the Mr. Universe the following year, only to prematurely quit the IFBB after finishing fifth in the '78 Mr. Olympia. If the Mr. O was judged on upper-body muscle only, Szkalak would've won at least one Sandow. The arms he sported then--superabundant and yet freakily peaked--still rank as two of the best ever.
"The mind-to-muscle connection is the key to great arms. More than any
other bodypart, you can easily watch your biceps moving with each rep,
and with a simple hinge joint, you can focus on getting a maximum
stretch and contraction. Make the reps harder, not easier."
--Kal Szkalak



Incline dumbbell curls 5 8-10
Barbell preacher curls 5 8
Machine curls 5 12
Cable concentration curls 5 12
Reverse curls 5 12
The winner of 17 pro bodybuilding contests between 1993 and 2001, Flex Wheeler also finished second in the Mr. Olympia three times. Known for his symmetry and flowing lines, his upper arms were so abundantly curved that they looked like bowling balls beneath his equally circular delts.

Keep hanging and Banging!!!


Leon Cruz.
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

Keep Hanging and Banging.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Real Muscle Real Fast!

Real Muscle Real Fast! by: Jesse Cannone


Real Muscle Real Fast! by: Jesse Cannone

Adding muscle seems to be a mystery to most, yet if you pick up a copy of any fitness or bodybuilding magazine and you’ll almost always see a headline like this: “Gain 15 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks.”

If it were so easy you’d have millions of muscle-heads running around. Even though building muscle tissue can be a challenge, I’m going to outline some very specific principles that can pack on the muscle faster than you can throw away that copy of “Muscle and Fiction”!

Before we get started though I want to clarify a few points.

The ridiculous claims made by most fitness and bodybuilding magazines are only there to get you to buy that issue – nothing more! If you are serious about strength training you need to be reading books and NOT cheesy fitness magazines.
Ok… here we go.

In order to add muscle tissue you must force the body to add it. Your body won’t just add a pound of muscle just because you followed a 3-set workout that you read about in Muscle + Fitness. You need to give the body a reason to make improvements – in this case add muscle tissue.

You have to provide what I call a “stimulus”. This can be done in many ways and I’ll address a few in just a moment. Basically, you need to force the body to add muscle by subjecting it to levels of stress it is not used to. Some methods are more obvious than others but all can work. Here are a few examples of how this can be done effectively.

First, the basic and common methods:

Increase weight or resistance
Perform more repetitions
Perform more sets
Move the resistance slower
Rest less between sets and exercises

Now for the more advanced methods:

Pre-exhaust (perform an isolation exercise first and immediately continue with no rest on a compound movement. ex. chest flye and then chest press)
Static holds (hold the resistance in the hardest position of the range of motion. ex. the top position during a leg extension)
Partial reps in weak range (perform a portion of the rep where you are weakest. ex. the top half of a rep of leg extensions)
Strip-set (after a warm-up set, perform 3 sets back to back with no rest while starting with the heaviest weight possible and each time strip off some weight to allow you to continue)
1 ½ reps (perform one full rep and then on the second rep only perform half the normal range of motion and then return to starting position to begin the next rep. ex. one full rep of lat pull downs, pull second rep all the way down, resist weight back up but only half way and then pull back down)
These are just a few examples of methods of increasing intensity to ensure progress. The key point to remember is that whatever you do it must be progressive in order for it to elicit a physical change. This is even more critical for those looking to add muscle size.

Although this article is geared towards individuals who are interested in gaining muscle size, the principles can also be used for individuals who want to build strength, increase metabolism, or tighten and tone muscles.

Here are some general recommendations for different goals…

If your goal is to tighten and tone muscles:

Focus on increasing reps, decreasing rest, and changing exercises frequently
Train each muscle group twice per week
Perform fewer sets of many different exercises (1-2 sets per exercise)
If your goal is to increase strength and power:

Focus on increasing weight
Train each muscle group once every 7-10 days
Perform multiple sets of each exercise (2-5 sets per exercise)
If your goal is to increase muscle size

Focus on shocking muscles by changing variables frequently (exercises, set and rep schemes, rest time, etc)
Train each muscle group on a variable schedule (experiment by training a muscle group 3 times a week and then once every ten days)
Perform multiple sets for a while and the perform single sets for a week or two
Some final reminders:

The recommendations above are general and of course would need to be adapted and adjusted for your personal goals and experience. For those of you who are advanced and may be thinking there’s no way you can build strength by training once every 10 days I challenge you to try it for at least 4 weeks, or those of you who think that you need to stick to the same basic movements like bench to build size I challenge you to try shocking the muscles by changing the exercises you perform each week for 4 weeks, and those of you with little experience I hope that you’ll throw away the fitness magazines and learn what really works.

There are some great books on these subjects and for those of you who are serious about strength training I personally recommend you check out the books “APEX” and “No Turning Back” by Brian Johnston. You can find them online at

If you have any questions about the techniques described in this article please feel free to contact me. You can email me at

I wish you the best!

Keep hanging and Banging!!!


Leon Cruz.
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

Keep Hanging and Banging.


Grip Work.

Grip Work


Here is some great information on grip work as told by the

Blond Bomber, Dave Draper. and remember, our quarterly newsletter
and DVD subscription is now $57.00. You will get our newsletter,

Barbells-Dumbbells-Bodyweight along with a follow along training

DVD to use in your training. Now on to the grip information.

Warren Tetting
I met Warren at his shop yesterday and it was certainly an
experience. He loves to talk training and the "good-ole-days." He's
really not impressed with current state of sports, especially the
strength sports. So, I got an education about the Golden Era. He
speaks so passionately about these times, it's understandable why
he would be nostalgic.

We spent quite a bit of time talking grippers. I brought my CoC1,
CoC2, and Heavy Gripper HG 300 just for kicks. He took a quick look
at the HG 300 and was appalled by the construction. The spring is
huge, .295, same as a BBE! However, the handles are mounted at
least 1/4" from the spring, making it much easier. My HG 300 is
barely harder than a Co C 2, and definitely easier than a BBSM. If
the handles were mounted properly, it would be harder than a 3!

He was also surprised to see my Co C 1. He had not seen the
polished GR 8 springs. Also, the spring is .245 which is heavier
than before. Co C 1 used to be a .235 spring. So, Ironmind has
quietly made the Co C 1 harder, probably to make room for the T, G,
and S. We talked about Ironmind and Strossen for a while, but I was
confused by the history and didn't really follow.

Big Grippers
"Warren, why the hell do you make these?" That was my question upon
picking up some Super-Nova-Galaxy-Evil-Gripper thing. It was
whichever gripper is the hardest one he makes. The spring looked
like brains. My best effort on the gripper, with both hands,
yielded no movement. "Did you say you have a BBA around here
somewhere?" Apparently, some benders buy the huge grippers to
practice the two-handed crush at the end of a bend. They can have

(If you're not familiar, Warren's hardest gripper is about 3 times
as hard as an Ironmind Co C 4. Three times as hard...)

Warren grabbed my hand and says, "Lemme see here." He had me touch
the middle of my palm with my thumb so he could poke my thumb pad.
"Is that as hard as you can make it?" Sorry, Warren, that's it! So,
my thumb pad has a long way to come. He also said my hand needs to
get thicker in the palm overall. He recommended telegraph key.

Telegraph Key
I ended up buying one of these from Warren. He reiterated, "There
is no substitute for building the thumb pad." Sounds like a deal.
We went through how to use the thing, and it's pretty
straight-forward. With the machine about waist height, hook the
fingers under the bottom key and the thumb on the top key. Close
your hand. It's not the presidential-hand-gesture-grip like I
thought. Your fingers should be a supinated hook grip. I noticed
while using the machine that my thumb would bend at the bottom of
the rep. Warren said that's fine, just make sure your thumb is
doing the work.

Other training
Warren recommended squats squats and squats. Specifically 20 rep
squats, twice a week if possible. Also, forearm work like wrist
curls and hammer curls. Never on grip days, though. Telegraph Key
twice a week. Get rid of bench press and do reverse dips instead.

Warren does not have a website, but you can reach him by phone or
snail mail at: Warren Tetting, C/O Thor Strength, 1063 W. 7th St.,
St. Paul, MN 55102. Phone: (651)-222-1889.

This is "dogleg" of the gripper.

Note: This photo is missing from the server

To clarify the picture, its the front and back of the same gripper.
The straight leg is the dogleg.

This is a confusing part of gripper anatomy that beginners have a
hard time identifying. The "dogleg" is the straight leg of the
gripper in the picture. It's a byproduct of how the spring is
wound. There is a consensus that the dogleg should be in your palm
when closing the gripper in your right hand. The straight leg is
the better leg for bracing the gripper, in other words.

For the left hand, opinions differ. Some say the dogleg should
still be in your palm for maximum bracing. However, if you look
closely, this reverses the direction the spring is wound. Because
of this, some say the dogleg should be in your fingers on the left
hand in order to create a similar experience as the right. Either
way, I personally haven't noticed much of a difference. ~Matt

Keep hanging and Banging!!!


Leon Cruz.
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 Blog is protected by copyright, 2010, 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

Keep Hanging and Banging.


Friday, September 17, 2010

How To Build Big Triceps!

How To Build Big Triceps!
By Jeff Anderson

Want to know how to build big triceps?
Good question since the quickest way to build big arms is to build big triceps.
Your triceps take up the vast majority of your upper arm, yet frustrated hardgainers everywhere are knocking out bazillions of curls to try to get bigger arms.
Well I asked one of my friends to give me his very best exercise to build big triceps.

His answer was…

…“do dips”!

How To Build Big Triceps And Get Bigger Arms!
Guest Article By Jason Ferruggia of

That’s right. If you want to know how to build big triceps you gotta do dips…and lots of ‘em!
Why, you may ask?
Well, have you seen the size of the triceps on male gymnasts in the Olympics? They got that big from body weight excises like the dip.
In fact, dips are basically the only true triceps male gymnasts do and they are absolutely jacked with huge, thick, horseshoe triceps.

Here’s Why Dips Work So Well To Build Big Triceps…

Whenever you use your bodyweight exercises for your triceps, especially when you can add additional weight with a chin/dip belt or weight vest, you actually activate a much greater number of muscle fibers than you would if you simply used a machine.
Machines exercises for triceps don’t recruit the smaller stabilizer muscles and don’t force the muscles to contract naturally as they would in real life.

Whenever possible you want to try to move your body instead of simply moving the arm or attachment on a machine.

But What About Free Weight Exercises
To Build Big Triceps?

Although free weight exercises are very effective and a much better option than training on a machine, moving your own body will always reign supreme when it comes to building muscle and to build big triceps.

And dips are the “squat” of your upper body so they’re just as powerful as squats are for your legs.

How To Perform Dips To Build Big Triceps:
•Dips can be performed on parallel bars or, if you are really strong, gymnastics rings.

•Be sure to squeeze the bars tightly, brace your abs as if you were about to be punched and lower yourself no lower than the point where your triceps are parallel with the ground. Going lower than that puts too much stress on the shoulders and getting the extra stretch is not worth the risk of an injury.
How Often To Train Dips To Build Big Triceps:

•Dips can be performed three times per week as a beginner. After a few months of that I don’t think you will be confused about how to build big triceps anymore.

•When you get more advanced it is recommended to cut your dips down to twice per week.

How To Use Weighted Dips To Build Big Triceps:
Although I used to love weighted dips and routinely had many of my clients perform them with numerous 45 pound plates strapped to their waists I have found, over the years, that there is simply too great a risk of injury with heavy weighted dips and now do not allow anyone in my gym to do dips with more than just one 45 pound plate.
Anything beyond that seems to get too risky.

For intermediate lifters you could do one day heavy, where you add resistance to your weight belt, and one day light where you simply rep out with bodyweight.
The two days should be about 72 hours apart.

Once you get strong enough to do a 45 pound plate you will probably only want to use weighted dips as a rep exercise and not a heavy strength movement anymore.

Advanced Exercise Techniques To
Build Big Triceps Using Dips

To make dips more difficult without adding more weight, try doing them on gymnastics rings or on straps.

You can also try holding your legs straight out directly in front of you as well.
Either option will be very challenging and are great muscle builders.
Give these muscle-building strategies a try and I promise you’ll never again wonder how to build big triceps!

Train hard,
Jason Ferruggia

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jay Cutler Back Training Sept. 6 2010

How to Build Intimidating Traps

How to Build Intimidating Traps
By Matt Marshall

There is something fearsome about big trap muscles.
The muscles of the trapezius give a man a look of strength and power.
So today, let me show you 3 exercises you can do to build bigger traps.

#1) The Power Clean

My traps are noticeably larger thanks in part to this exercise. It will take a few weeks to master the technique involved here, but it is well worth it. You should be able to quickly work your way up to a body weight power clean.

#2) Dead lift

If you have avoided dead lifts, you might be surprised at how sore your traps will after your first session. When you can hit a double body weight dead lift for five reps, you will be amazed at how much your traps have grown.

#3) The Overhead Press

Next time you are in the gym, try the overhead press. Notice how your trap muscles contract HARD to stabilize the bar when it locks out over your head. Strive for a single rep with a weight equal to your body weight and you will build fearsome traps quickly.
There you have it: 3 old-school exercises that will help you build bigger traps quickly.
Forget about shrugs and other specialized trap building programs until you hit the milestones in this article.

To recap:

Focus on the power clean until you can do reps with at LEAST body weight resistance. (So if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be doing power clean reps with 200 pounds.)
Focus on dead lifts until you can do at LEAST five reps with double body weight.
And shoot for a body weight overhead press.

Matt Marshall is the author of the Tried and True Fitness blog - a site that reveals time-tested methods for building muscle, burning fat and achieving optimum health.
To discover his free tips, visit
Article Source:

Get Big, Strong & Ripped With Baby Steps

Get Big, Strong & Ripped With Baby Steps
By Matt Marshall

If you want to gain size, get strong and get ripped, here is the secret:
Baby steps.
You see, the human body is a remarkable machine. It can adapt and adjust to almost any changes you throw at it.

But only IF you are patient and methodical.
Let me give you an example:
Say you want to increase you bench press strength by 10% and you are currently benching 225 pounds for five reps.

If you try to add 10 or even 5 pounds to the bar for your next session, you will mostly likely fail to get all five reps.

But if you add just 1 pound to the bar (using micro plates), you will get all 5 reps easily. Then you simply repeat the process - adding one pound to the bar each week. And before you know it, you will be benching 250 pounds for five reps - an increase of over 10%.

Of course, you have probably heard me preach about the benefits of micro-loading before. Because it is a tried and true method for gaining strength.
But did you know you can also micro-load your way to getting bigger and even getting ripped too?

Check it out:
If you want to gain weight, you need to eat more right?
But instead of just mindless shoveling food down your pie hold, you can micro load your way to your goal. It is easy: Weigh yourself once a week. If you have NOT gained at least 0.5 - 1 pound in the past week, you need to increase your calories.

Just add one sandwich per day, or one egg or one shot of olive oil. Then check the scale again in a week and see what happens. By microloading your weight gain in this manner, you can ensure you are gaining muscular weight slowly - and not just getting fat.
Getting Ripped? Baby steps again...

And it is not any different if you want to lose weight. Start slow - eliminate junk food from your diet but do not make any effort to eat less.
Add cardio - again starting slow. Begin with a 5 minute jog and then increase the time by just one minute per session.

Most people get excited about achieving a goal - be it gaining size or burning fat. And they jump in with both feet only to burn out a week later.
But if you take small, consistent baby steps you can keep making progress for weeks, months and years.

Matt Marshall is the author of the Tried and True Fitness blog - a site that reveals time-tested methods for building muscle, burning fat and achieving optimum health.
To sign up for his free newsletter, visit
Article Source:

Review of Mike Mentzer's High Intensity Training

Review of Mike Mentzer's High Intensity Training
By Matt Marshall

Background: In the early 70's Arnold Schwarzenegger burst onto the bodybuilding scene. And he brought the idea of "volume training" into the lime light. After all... if it made a champion out of Arnold, then surely pumping iron for 3 hours a day was the way to go. Right? Right?
Well... maybe not.

While many guys attempted to tackle the Herculean volume training regimen that Arnold developed... it flat out didn't work for 99.9% of trainers.
The reason? The volume of training that Arnold recommended was far too much for the average joe.

Enter Mike Mentzer.
Mike Mentzer made a name for himself by saying the opposite of what everyone else in bodybuilding was saying.

While all the muscle-heads were telling people to work out six days a week... Mentzer talked about working out once every 14 days.
When the pro's advised people to hit the muscle from all different angles and perform multiple exercises for each body part, Mentzer said that one exercise per body part was enough.
When most bodybuilders were recommending 15-20 sets per body part, Mentzer recommended just one set per exercise.

The Argument: While most bodybuilders believe that you had to include a variety of exercises and a large volume of sets to adequately work the muscle and activate the growth mechanism, Mentzer differed.

Mentzer reasoned that if you perform one set... and you perform that set until your muscles can move the weight no more... wouldn't that be enough to activate the growth mechanism?
The Experiment: I was intrigued by Mentzer's approach and I thought the idea of one-set to failure made sense. So in 1999 I hired Mike Mentzer for a series of phone consultations.

There wasn't much small talk, but I do remember Mike asking me specifically about a brand new website that had just launched at the time. It seems there method of attracting attention was to go after Mike and try to bash not only his theories but everything else about him as well.
Mike started me out with only two workouts per week. He also told me that the actual amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat I was ingesting per day wasn't important. He said that a balanced diet was fine and that I should eat frequently but not obsess over the nutritional aspect.

After a month, I had gained weight but my strength increases were moderate at best. Mike reduced my training workout down to one workout every seven days. Ultimately, he took this all way down to once every nine days but I still never gained much strength or made much progress in the gym.

The Result: The result of this training program was a failure. I gained very little strength and my over-all level of conditioning actually worsened from so much in-activity.
The Good: I personally believe that Mike Mentzer advanced the sport of body-building a great deal by questioning whether or not it's really necessary to do more than one set to failure.

This principle... and the logic behind this principle... still guides much of what I do today in my training programs.
The Bad: Unfortunately, I think Mike's version of High Intensity Training had some serious flaws.

First and foremost, Mike's thinking on nutrition was seriously flawed. Without proper protein intake, you simply cannot gain massive amounts of muscle.
Second, Mike only had one solution for every problem. You know the saying, when all you've got is a hammer... all the world looks like a nail?

Well, Mike took that to heart. For example, if progress stalled the solution he proposed was always to train less or take more time off.
At times, he took this to extremes. For example, I told him that my calves were one of my biggest weak points and asked him what we could do about that. His solution? Stop training calves all together and see if they would grow from the indirect work of squats and other leg training.

Needless to say... this approach didn't work. Although many a times I've wished my muscles would grow simply by not doing anything... it simply doesn't happen.
Another flaw of the program is assuming that every person is capable of generating the kind of intensity necessary to trigger muscle growth in just one set.

For example, it's relatively easy to fry your biceps with one set of bicep curls. But when was the last time you saw someone truly perform one set heavy barbell squats to COMPLETE muscular failure? Or go to complete muscular failure with 1400lbs on the leg press machine? Frankly, it just doesn't happen because it's incredibly exhausting both on the body and on the mind.
Overall: If you've been volume training for years and feel burned out, you might find Mike Mentzer's H.I.T to be a nice change of pace. You'll probably experience some new muscle and strength gains during the first few weeks.

But unless you address the nutritional and intensity flaws of the program, your progress will ultimately stall.

Average White Dude Final Rating For Mike Mentzer's High Intensity Training: 6/10.
Not the worst training program, but far from effective for most average dudes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Experts Talk on Low Back Health

I feel compelled to start today’s post with a small confession. I don’t pay too much attention anymore to many internet websites and articles. Back in college (wow, we are going back in time) the internet was JUST starting to carry some really cool training information. There were rumors that some of the guys that were writing for the very innovative Muscle Media 2000 were going to do a spin off internet site.

Wow! Nothing could have been cooler than to hear this news. I was already fortunate enough to attend seminars by many of these great strength coaches and I knew they were on the edge of training information. The site didn’t disappoint as I could hardly wait till the end of each week to read the site updates. It was so bad that I would actually read these articles in my exercise science classes that were sorely outdated!

What’s the difference between now and then? Back then magazines and internet sites like this pulled from strength coaches that had a long history of success. Nowadays it is all about leveraging yourself with the right people and optimizing search engines. That has led to a whole new breed of “internet experts” that have a very small history of any type of success coaching and even a bunch that have not coached more than a handful of people, but man are they good at optimizing Google!

So, what does this have to do with training and our program? Once in awhile I come across a good article, something that really points strongly to things we have been doing for some time. Today it was an article by popular strength coach, Eric Cressey.

Eric Cressey is well known for his corrective exercise techniques and this specific article was in regards to low back injury prevention and health. His article, “Bulletproof That Back”, he outlines 19 great training tips to prevent and help low back pain. A few that really stood out to me were….

1. One other realm of stability I think is important to cover is single-leg stability or, simply stated, how well you stand on one foot. It’s crucial to overall health and performance for a number of reasons.

First, we spend a good chunk of our lives standing on one foot. Lunges, split squats, 1-leg RDLs, step-ups, and other single-leg drills are specific to the real world.
Second, and more specific to back pain, in many (but not all) cases of lower back pain, you can use appreciable loading on single-leg exercises because it’s much easier to maintain the spine in a neutral position in split-stance than in the position of bilateral hip flexion that occurs with squatting and deadlifting variations.

2. If you’re me, you categorize your core exercises in one of the following four disciplines (although there may be some overlap):

1. Anti-Flexion
2. Anti-Extension
3. Anti-Rotation
Today’s workout focused on these two principles very strongly. Dealing right now with not low back pain, but some serious neck issues, I found it a good time to really reinforce these principles.

It is amazing how normally that these types of movements and drills get thrown off to the side for drills we think are going to make us strong. However, if we take an honest inventory of our training and what we need, it can shock many that this type of routine can go a long ways in not only making them injury resistant, but VERY strong!

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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