Archive for March, 2010

Project Swole Joins Crossfit

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Crossfit NH
Crossfit NH

Yes it is true, I have joined my local Crossfit. They call themselves The Savage Society, and they are based out of Manchester, NH.

Why Join Crossfit?

Crossfit is a place we can go to use revolutionary exercise ideals to create an elite level of fitness. This is not so much about strength and size, as it is fitness, which is a goal that I think has been lost to the majority of gym goers nowadays.

Rather than paying $10 a month for access to treadmills, ellipticals, and some free weights, with virtually no help or planning unless you pay $100s for a trainer, Crossfit has a formula to help you attain your personal fitness goals with workouts of the day and special routines to help you. It takes some of the thinking out of designing the perfect routine.

This will definitely be a new, positive experience, and I will probably end up getting Crossfit certified myself some day.

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How to Bench Press More Weight Instantly?

Friday, March 26th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

I haven’t verified this tip yet, but Charles Staley once said that you can lift more weight if you look at your dominant hand when benching. Although you are not supposed to turn your head at all.

Really, I have no idea if this works, but if you give it a try please let us know what happens. It doesn’t sound like anything I would ever tell anyone to do, but maybe it has a place in max effort training?

I remain skeptical.

A Tip to Improve Your Biceps Training

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Arnold’s Bis

As most of you know, I am not a huge advocate of biceps training. I think the biceps get worked pretty hard in you train your back correctly using pull ups, chin ups, and various rows. See my post on the top 5 best back exercises.

In reality you probably only like 4-6 total sets of biceps training a week. That would be 2 sets for 2 or 3 exercises a week, spread out over the course of the week. Choose your biceps exercises based on my list of the top 5 best biceps exercises.

At least if you are going to train your bis, whether twice a week or with a dedicated arms day consisting of 8 biceps exercises, let me tell you how to get the most out of each rep.

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Blow Up to Slim Down!

Friday, March 19th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Blow It Out, Suck It In

Blow Out
Blow Out

When doing crunches, sit ups, or any other abdominal work, you should always blow out forcefully at the top of the movement and suck your abs in for a full contraction.

In order to flex your abs and contract them fully, you need to blow all of the air out of your lungs and abdomen. When you do this your abs will experience maximal contraction and will actually work harder to perform the exercise.

Isometric Contractions

For a slimming isometric exercise simply stand up straight, tighten your abdominals, blow all of the air out of your lungs and abdomen, and hold the contraction for 30 seconds.

Do this for 5 minutes a day every day, and you will actually see results after a couple weeks.

Do this all day every day, and you will actually train your abs to stay tight and flat permanently.

Perfecting the Alignment of Your Spine and Core Muscles

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Strong Core
Strong Core

Your core is extremely important – so important that the word “core” has become somewhat of a catch phrase in today’s fitness society. Core training is used nowadays as the focus of group exercise classes, 30 minute workout routines, and garners an entire niche in resistance training.

As a unit, the “core” refers to all of the muscles from your hips to your rib cage, front to back. The transverse abdominals, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominus, and erector spinae (lower back). The latissimus dorsi, glutes, and trapezius are secondary core muscles.

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40 Minute Abdominal Workout

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

This is a 40 minute abdominal circuit. I also refer to this type of workout as a HIRT routine.

Warm-Up

5 minutes of non-stop kickboxing combinations, jump rope, or calisthenics

Circuit 1

Try to perform this abdominal circuit at least four times in a 5 minute time period without resting between exercises or sets. You should attempt to complete the required reps for each set before moving onto the next exercise. When you finish the last exercise, start at the top again until your time is up.

Once the first 5 minute circuit is up, rest for 2 minutes, then repeat this circuit again.

Gauge your progress by counting the number of circuits you can complete in 5 minutes.

  1. Windshield wipers (or Russian twist holding a medicine ball if you can’t handle it) – 10 wipes or twists
  2. Sit-ups with medicine ball on chest – 20 sit ups
  3. Flutter kicks – 40 total kicks

Circuit 2

Try to perform this abdominal circuit at least four times in a 5 minute time period without resting between exercises or sets. You should attempt to complete the required reps for each set before moving onto the next exercise. When you finish the last exercise, start at the top again until your time is up.

Once the first 5 minute circuit is up, rest for 2 minutes, then repeat this circuit again.

Gauge your progress by counting the number of circuits you can complete in 5 minutes.

  1. Crunches with punches: throw a punch past your opposite knee with each crunch – 30 crunches
  2. The Captain’s Chair (vertical leg raise) – 10 leg raises
  3. Ab wheel roll outs to the left, straight, right, repeat – 15 roll outs (5 at each angle)

Cool Down

5 minutes of non-stop kickboxing combinations, jump rope, or calisthenics

Stretch for at least 5 minutes.

How to Stay Motivated to Train

Monday, March 15th, 2010

The best way I have found to stay motivated to train, is to keep track of my stats.

Here are some statistics you can use to measure your progress at the gym:

Motivation
Motivation
  • Pictures of your body.
  • Videos of you posing or training.
  • Measurements using a tape measure:
    • Neck
    • Shoulders
    • Chest/Back
    • Arms
    • Waist at belt level
    • Waist at belly button
    • Hips
    • Quads
    • Hamstrings
    • Calves
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How to Increase Your Vertical Jump

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Increasing Your Vertical Jumping Ability

A single vertical jump for maximum height is one of the most intense exercises you can do.

Why? Because it requires you to utilize your entire lower body chain in a maximal effort contraction, to produce a maximal amount of force in a split second.

The important aspects of training to work on, to increase your vertical leap include:

Vertical Jump
Vertical Jump
  • Squatting strength – Maximal leg strength transfers directly to a vertical jump. A strong 1 rep max = a big jump.
  • Squatting speed – The faster you can squat, the more power you can generate, the higher you can jump.
  • Squatting power – Tied in directly with speed and strength, squat heavier and squat faster and you will jump higher.
  • Acceleration – You want to continue accelerating out of the hole all the way through the top of your jump.
  • Single leg strength – To eliminate strength imbalances and to improve neuromuscular coordination, train your legs individually.
  • Calf strength – Your calves are used at the end of the jump, so max calf strength can mean an extra inch on your vert.
  • Sprint speed – Sprinting trains the Type-II Fast Twitch muscle fibers, which are what you need to attain your highest jump. Acceleration applies here as well.
  • Hip drive – Your hips are responsible for a significant portion of jumping power from a parallel squat position to standing.
  • Glute activation – Your glutes are responsible for driving you out of the hole at the bottom of a squat or jump.

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How to Double the Size of Your Calves

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Double Your Calf Size with These Two Simple Tips

Big Calves
Big Calves

Calves tend to be a bodybuilding problem spot. Even Arnold used to worry about the size of his calves in relation to the rest of his body.

Here is a simple tip to double the size of your calves in no time:

Since your calves are made up of two muscle groups, you will need to train your calves in a standing and seated position. Most calf exercises can be tweaked to include straight-knee and bent-knee variations. Use them both.

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How You Can Look Like a Bodybuilder in Just 90 Minutes a Week

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

By: Michael Lipowski

Pure Physique

Think it takes five hours of weight training, and six hours of aerobics each week to look lean and muscular? Think starvation diets are the only way you’re going to burn body-fat? If that’s the case then you’re about to get a healthy dose of reality… and you’re gonna love it.

That is unless you’re completely turned off by the idea of discovering exactly what your individual requirements are for building muscle and burning body-fat and prefer to aimlessly follow what others do (who also are not training or eating according to individual needs) and continue to waste precious time in the gym.

If you’re one of those who simply loves to exercise regardless of whether you are making progress or not then much of what I’ll say is likely to fall on deaf ears. However, if you’re primary focus is on looking and feeling your best and you’re willing to take a different approach, maybe even workout less, if it means better results, then keep reading because this advice is intended just for you.

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