Archive for the ‘Conditioning’ Category

5 Things I Wish Everyone Knew about Women’s Pre Workout Supplements

Monday, August 28th, 2017

I started taking pre workout supplements for women after a job change.  The only time I could make it to the gym was 5:30am.  I’m not a morning person! It was hard to find energy to work out to my full capacity.

Woman pre workout

For real gains, you’ve got to train hard!  Pre workouts helped me do that.

Despite how popular they are, not every woman should take pre supplements. And if you do decide to give yourself that extra boost, you need to make sure you are taking it correctly. To get the best results, make sure you know these 5 facts about pre workouts for women first.

1. Start with Basics First

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Work Out or Work In?

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Squeezing a workout into a busy day can be near impossible, but whether because we need the reliable rush of endorphins or because our resolve cannot be challenged, we end up fitting it in there. Despite all the days where we don’t feel 100 percent, completing a grueling workout can turn around our mood for the better. As fitness becomes a habit and a lifestyle, the question shifts from “Will I work out?” to “How will I work out?”

kettlebell workout

Now, designing a routine takes a lot of research and effort, but if you’re not careful, you’ll overlook a very important step. Before you can maximize your workout, you have to know what equipment is available to you, and before you know what equipment is available to you, you need to know where you’re working out. Ultimately, your choices are an outside gym or creating one in your own home.

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The Best Exercises to Build Your Endurance

Monday, June 12th, 2017

The Top Endurance Exercises

Athletes have become bigger and stronger and are in better shape nowadays, and the trend towards endurance training has only accelerated this phenomenon. Athletes are getting leaner and more ‘ripped’ than ever, in nearly every sport.

Ripped Abs Chick
It used to be that a baseball player, for example, would focus on exercises specifically designed to improve the specific skill set that they needed to succeed on the baseball field. The same sport-specific training was true for every sport. But as people began to see the broad-spectrum benefits that came with endurance training for events like the triathlon, it became evident that an individual with greater strength and endurance in any sport could benefit from a more well-rounded circuit of exercises.

It didn’t take long before regular people started to realize that they could benefit from endurance training, too, and it quickly became more and more popular. Today, its appeal is at an all-time high. Even weekend athletes, as a result of endurance training, are becoming almost indefatigable.

Here’s why. (more…)

The Benefits Of Running for the Weight Loss Battle

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Running can help achieve that fit body you’re aiming for. Today, we will explain to you how running can be good in the battle for weight loss!

Many people strive to have a body that will impress. However, the path going there isn’t a simple battle. Many challenges will hinder you from making progress. The first thing that you should ask yourself is, are you up to the challenge?

Spartan Runners

Although running sounds like a simple exercise, its benefits will amaze you. Running has many advantages including better health, uplifted emotions, weight loss, and improved focus. (more…)

How to Run Interval Sprints on a Treadmill

Friday, March 10th, 2017

The High Intensity Incline Treadmill Workout

treadmill sprintsIf you’re looking to keep your cardio fitness levels running high throughout the year regardless of weather conditions or other hindrances, then the incline treadmill workout is the best training option.

Incline workouts offer many benefits.

For starters, it’ll help you simulate hill running, thus burn off colossal amounts of calories without having to go outside and stomach the bad weather. In addition, incline workouts are great boredom busters, hence if you dread indoor cardio training, use the incline to your advantage and make your workout more challenging and fun.

As a result, if you’re not doing an incline workout—at least once per week—then you’re doing yourself a big disservice.

Here are a few practical tips that can help.

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An Active Recovery Day

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Another Blast From the Past

Looking back in my archives, I found this post from 2008; roughly 2 home relocations ago. About 8 years have passed, the ‘kids’ are teenagers now, the beach is in the backyard now instead of across the street, I still have those Powerblocks, and still love sprinting.

Rest dayToday however it’s about 30°F out, 3 days before Christmas, and it’s snowing. Sprints will be much more difficult, biking is nearly impossible, and the unheated garage is freeeeeezing! I’ve been working diligently as a personal garage gym builder though, and now I also have a doorway pull up bar, push up equipment, an ab roller, springs, and big ole rubber tubes that work great for dynamic resistance training.

If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, read the follow piece that details my thoughts on active recovery in 2008 and what I accomplished on a warm sunny day in June. I still feel the same way about active recovery, and if you’re not using it on the occasional rest day you’re missing out on fun activities that can help engage your friends and family, burn extra calories, and improve the recovery process from your strenuous gym workouts.

Even medical journals documenting active recovery research have found that, “active recovery can be prescribed and still retain performance benefits over passive recoveries”. Don’t you miss out!

June 21, 2008 – A Day of Active Recovery

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Mountain Biking is Good For You

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Riding is Fun and Good for Conditioning

Yesterday I went for a serious bike ride and it was good. I jumped on my mountain bike with my buddy Kevin and we hit the trails. After all, bike riding is great cardio and I am in constant need of exercise. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the best mountain bike in the world – it’s a $200 Walmart special – but it works for me!
Mountain Biking

The Great Ride

Now, I am not a hardcore mountain biker by any means. In fact, I haven’t been riding at all lately and quite frankly I am out of shape when it comes to my bike. One might say I’m a novice bike rider but sometimes I just like to get out there and act like a warrior.

I sort of knew what I was in store for but refused to admit it, gazing at my bike with a somewhat incredulous stare. The bike held my stare, as it so often does, with its cold, hard, metallic callousness.
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How to Make Treadmill Training More Fun

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

In cold weather climates, many runners log a large number of kilometers on the treadmill, and most of them complain that treadmill workout is rather boring. If you have the same problem and want to beat boredom while running on a treadmill, try the following tips. They will certainly make your treadmill running more fun.

Treadmill girls

  • Run with friends

If you have a friend who also trains on the treadmill in the same gym, you need to get her/him next to you. This way you will likely motivate each other as well as provide distraction in order to make your workout more efficient and faster. You do not have to run at the same pace with your friend(s).

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Gaining a Better Understanding of Obesity

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

The Obesity Epidemic

Weight Loss TipsOne of the biggest problems in our society today is obesity. This is caused due to a variety of different problems, and this is also leading to a number of different treatment options. As such, finding the best weight loss Westchester NY has to offer depends on a variety of factors. Either way, we must accept that obesity is a true epidemic and that it requires more than a quick fad diet in order to be resolved. Not only must we come up with ways to help the people who are obese, we must also make sure that we prevent further people from becoming obese.

We know that obesity is dangerous. We know that it is a huge health risk. Yet we still don’t seem to truly understand what it all means.

When Does Obesity Happen?

Obesity can happen at any point during your life. It can, sometimes, escalate very quickly, and take on truly dramatic proportions. This is known as ‘malignant obesity’. Malignant obesity usually occurs after the early 20’s when we have stopped growing up, get too ‘busy’ to exercise, and when we still aren’t paying attention to what we’re putting in our bodies.
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What is HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training) and How Should You Use It?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

What is High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT)?

High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT) is essentially resistance training for fat loss, and like HIIT, it really is a big deal. HIRT training is the most effective way to increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), increase your Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), and burn calories at the same time.

When using HIRT you will execute several exercises together (sometimes called a super-set or giant-set), for a certain number of reps per set, for a certain number of minutes, without rest.

Along with HIIT, HIRT is a useful tool when avoiding endurance cardio while trying to lose fat, and it actually increases muscle mass more effectively than HIIT.
Eat Stop Eat
HIRT training will give you the following benefits:

  • Increase metabolism for up to 36 hours post-workout
  • Outperform aerobic exercise in fat loss studies
  • Maintain muscle mass on a low calorie diet
  • Build muscle mass on a moderate to high calorie diet
  • Minimize fat gain on a high calorie diet
  • Burn more calories than treadmills, endurance cardio, the Gazelle exercise machine, and elliptical trainers
  • Increase muscle density
  • Improve anaerobic endurance
  • Improve aerobic endurance

You may supplement this info with the post titled, “What is HIIT?

Browse the Table of Contents for this Post

What is HIRT? HIRT Theory BMR and EPOC
Who Can HIRT Benefit Who Should Avoid HIRT Design a HIRT Routine
Sample HIRT Training Splits Sample HIRT Training Routines
HIRT Routine #1 HIRT Routine #2 Olympic HIRT Routine

The Theory Behind HIRT

The important things to know about HIRT are:

  • HIRT workouts help maintain muscle mass when following a low calorie diet
  • HIRT workouts outperform diet and aerobic exercise in fat loss studies
  • HIRT workouts increase metabolism for up to 36 hours

The principles of HIRT are:

  • Full body workouts using sets of 5 to 15 reps
  • Pushing through the lactic acid burn
  • Utilizing a variety of combo-sets (super-sets, tri-sets, giant-sets, etc…)
  • Utilizing compound exercises
  • Focusing on the largest muscle groups

Most important, we have to stay true to the two rules of HIRT:

Rule #1 about HIRT: Don’t talk about HIRT. er… no, that’s a rule for a different club I attend on Saturday nights… ah, I’ve already said too much…

Seriously though, HIRT is all about maximizing intensity – you will get out of HIRT what you put into it.

  1. You must maximize the intensity of each set. That means pushing it until you collapse or complete the drill. No resting or slowing down before the time limit is up.
  2. You must maximize the intensity of each workout. Use all the time available to you, to complete as much work as possible. This is the only way to realize the maximum metabolic and muscle retention benefits of HIRT.

BMR and EPOC

As I mentioned before, along with burning calories through exercise, two of the most important factors in exercising to lose fat, are increasing BMR over the long term, and increasing EPOC per workout. Let’s learn a little more about BMR and EPOC, shall we?

Why do we care about BMR?

Your BMR describes the base metabolic rate for your body. It tells us how many calories your body burns at rest. Burning more calories at rest means you will lose fat faster or gain fat slower (if your daily calorie intake is too high). Improving BMR is simple: when you have more muscle mass, your body has a higher BMR.

Increasing your BMR will help you burn more calories over the long term.

Why do we care about EPOC?

Your EPOC describes how quickly your metabolism returns to your BMR after exercise. Because it deals more with the aerobic energy system, HIIT is more effective at increasing EPOC than HIRT, but not by very much. When targeting fat loss, we want to focus on workouts that increase EPOC as well as BMR.

The higher we can pump the EPOC after each workout, the more calories we will burn in the short term.

Who Can Benefit From HIRT

Anyone who wants to lose body fat while keeping all of their hard earned muscle mass, or anyone who wants to minimize fat gain while attempting to gain muscle mass. Alongside HIIT, HIRT should be a vital component to any serious fat loss plan.

HIRT would be useful for people who:

  • are looking to elevate their metabolism (BMR) long term
  • are looking to maximize short term fat loss through resistance training
  • are looking to keep as muscle as possible during a cutting phase
  • are looking to minimize fat gain during a bulking phase
  • are looking to increase aerobic endurance
  • are looking to increase anaerobic endurance
  • are looking to burn more calories on a daily basis
  • are looking to supplement their HIIT workouts with additional fat burning exercise
  • are athletes who participate in a sport such as boxing, MMA, soccer, basketball, football, wrestling, etc…, who need to increase muscular endurance in 5-10 minute bursts, while minimizing body fat

Who Should Avoid HIRT

Unlike HIIT, there are virtually no people who should avoid HIRT. Grasping at straws, the few people for whom HIRT might not be the best solution include those who:

  • are not cleared by their doctor to begin a high intensity exercise routine. Check with your doctor before starting HIRT.
  • are overzealous. You can’t use HIRT 3-4 times a week, and strength training or HIIT 3-4 times a week. Even though HIRT is not neurologically as taxing as HIIT or strength training, you still must rest between workouts.
  • are looking to maximize strength gains. Excessive HIRT and HIIT workouts will slow down strength gains.
  • are looking to increase speed. Because no sprints or max effort attempts are included in HIRT, speed will probably not be affected.

Designing a HIRT Training Routine

HIRT can be used for either cutting or bulking, usually maintain muscle mass while decreasing bodyfat, but also to minimize fat gains while increasing muscle mass. HIRT is also somewhat effective at improving aerobic endurance and even more effective at increasing anaerobic endurance.

As always, your diet is still 75% responsible for determining how these goals are achieved. Manipulate calorie intake and macronutrient ratios to gain muscle or lose fat according to your goals.

These are the guidelines I will use for creating a HIRT workout:

  • Each HIRT workout must be a full body routine.
  • Sets of 5 to 15 reps will be used. Lower reps to focus on muscle gain, higher reps to focus on muscular endurance.
  • Each HIRT workout will use super-sets, tri-sets, or giant-sets.
  • Each HIRT exercise will be a compound exercise focusing on the largest muscle groups.
  • Each super-set should last 8-10 minutes.
  • 60-90 seconds rest between super-sets.
  • No rest within a super-set.
  • All exercises should be executed explosively – meaning as fast as possible while maintaining good form.

Three Sample H.I.R.T. Training Splits

There are thousands of ways you can integrate HIRT into your workout routine. You can use full body workouts, a 5 day split with HIRT at the end of your strength training, you can go HIIT-less to avoid sprinting, you can focus solely on HIIT and HIRT for max fat loss. You are only limited by your own imagination.

You can choose to implement several kinds of HIRT splits:

  • Priority: fat lossDay 1: 45 minutes of HIRT
    goal – maximal intensity resistance and endurance trainingDay 2: 25 minutes of HIIT
    goal – maximal intensity cardiovascular trainingDay 3: 45 minutes of endurance cardio
    goal – anaerobic recovery and aerobic endurance training

    Day 4: 45 minutes of HIRT
    goal – maximal intensity resistance and endurance training

    Day 5: 25 minutes of HIIT
    goal – maximal intensity cardiovascular training

    Day 6 & 7: Off

  • Priority: fat loss, but maximize muscle retentionDay 1: 45 minutes of full body resistance training
    goal – maximal strength resistance trainingDay 2: 30 minutes of HIIT
    goal – maximal intensity interval trainingDay 3: Off
    goal – recovery

    Day 4: 45 minutes of HIRT
    goal – maximal intensity resistance and endurance training

    Day 5: 30 minutes of full body resistance training plus 20 minutes of HIIT
    goal – maximal strength resistance training and maximal intensity interval training

    Day 6 & 7: Off

  • Priority: gain muscle and attempt to lose fat at the same timeDay 1: 45 minutes of full body resistance training
    goal – maximal strength resistance trainingDay 2: 30 minutes of HIRT plus 20 minutes of HIIT
    goal – maximal intensity cardiovascular training and maximal intensity interval trainingDay 3: Off
    goal – recovery

    Day 4: 45 minutes of full body resistance training
    goal – maximal strength resistance training

    Day 5: 30 minutes of HIRT plus 20 minutes of HIIT
    goal – maximal intensity cardiovascular training and maximal intensity interval training

    Day 6 & 7: Off

  • Priority: gain muscleDay 1: 45 minutes of full body resistance training
    goal – maximal strength resistance trainingDay 2: 30 minutes of HIRT
    goal – maximal intensity cardiovascular trainingDay 3: 45 minutes of full body resistance training
    goal – maximal strength resistance training

    Day 4: 30 minutes of HIRT
    goal – maximal intensity interval training

    Day 5: 45 minutes of full body resistance training
    goal – maximal strength resistance training

    Day 6 & 7: Off

Three Sample H.I.R.T. Workout Routines

Sample HIRT workout #1

For this workout, you will have to change equipment and/or stations to move to each new exercise, so your best bet will be to plan ahead and keep all the equipment you will need for the super-set at one station. This will keep rest down between sets.

Execute each super-set for 10 minutes without rest.
Rest for 180 seconds between super-sets.
The workout should take 45 minutes including a 5 minute warm-up and stretching after the workout.

Super-set A:

  1. 10 reps of deadlifts with 20% of your 1 rm
  2. 5 clapping pushups
  3. 5 chin ups
  4. 10 ab wheel roll outs

Super-set B:

  1. 5 jump squats
  2. 5 pull ups
  3. 10 bench presses with 20% of your 1rm
  4. 5 windshield wipers


Super-set C:

  1. 5 one leg split squats with each leg
  2. 10 inverted rows
  3. 10 push ups
  4. 5 fold ups with a half second pause at the top

Sample HIRT Workout #2

For this workout, you will have to change equipment and/or stations to move to each new exercise, so your best bet will be to plan ahead and keep all the equipment you will need for the super-set at one station. This will keep rest down between sets.

Execute each super-set for 10 minutes without rest.
Rest for 180 seconds between super-sets.
The workout should take 45 minutes including a 5 minute warm-up and stretching after the workout.

Super-set A:

  1. 5 push ups
  2. 5 inverted rows
  3. 5 jump squats
  4. 5 cable crunches


Super-set B:

  1. 5 chin ups
  2. 5 pistol (or one leg) squats
  3. 5 Russian twists with a medicine ball
  4. 5 push ups on the medicine ball


Super-set C:

  1. 10 skipping lunges
  2. 5 ab wheel roll outs
  3. 5 dumbbell or kettlebell swings with each arm
  4. 5 neutral grip one arm dumbbell or kettlebell rows

Olympic HIRT Workout

For this workout, you will move from one exercise to the next without any rest at all, since you won’t have to change equipment. Each movement will set you up to transition to the next movement, so that you are only executing one rep of each exercise per set and then flowing directly into the next rep of the next exercise.

This workout mainly utilizes Olympic lifts. Use really light weight or you might die, but you will probably puke anyway.

Execute each super-set for 10 minutes without rest.
Rest for 180 seconds between super-sets.
The workout should take 45 minutes including a 5 minute warm-up and stretching after the workout.

Super-set A:

  1. Power Clean
  2. Push Press
  3. Eccentric portion of Romanian deadlift (down)
  4. 5 reps of bent over barbell rows
  5. Concentric portion of Romanian deadlift (up)
  6. Touch the bar to the floor and repeat.


Super-set B:

  1. Deadlift
  2. Hang Clean
  3. Push Press
  4. Back Squat
  5. Back Push Pres
  6. Touch the bar to the floor and repeat.

Super-set C:

  1. Deadlift
  2. Hang Clean
  3. Push Press
  4. Overhead Squat
  5. Barbell Abdominal Roll Out