Archive for the ‘Workout Routines’ Category

10 Reasons Not to Train Like a Professional Bodybuilder

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when attempting to gain muscle is to imitate your favorite professional bodybuilder.

Look Like a BodybuilderIf you’ve seen the magazines: Flex, Iron Man, Muscular Development, etc…, you’ve seen the pro bodybuilding routines. These guys train one body part a day, 10 exercises for each muscle group, 6 sets per exercise, 12-20 reps per set, and they put together brutal 6 days per week workout routines, sometimes with 2-a-days.

What they don’t tell you, is that routines written by professional bodybuilders are not going to work for you if you are not either a pro bodybuilder yourself, or an unemployed, juiced up, genetic freak. If you follow these routines, you will overtrain faster than Arnold shows his bare ass in a Terminator movie. At least you will learn how NOT to train, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My Experience Training Like a Pro

I wish someone told me all these things before I started on some ridiculous pro routine when I was 16. This guy had me using ramps, training 6 days a week, once a day for two weeks then twice a day for four weeks, and focusing completely on machines, cables, and leg presses instead of squats.

What a complete waste of 6 months that was. When I finally confronted a personal trainer about my sore body and lack of progress, he ripped up my routine and set me straight. Thanks Ted!

Here are 10 reasons why you should not train like a professional bodybuilder:

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Five Exercises to Strengthen your Core

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Strong CoreSome people have difficulty getting six-packs, and others have trouble believing that abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym, but this doesn’t downplay the importance of exercising and strengthening the core. Having strong muscles in your abs and back make it easier for you to do everyday tasks; from lifting your kids (and pets) to carrying your groceries.

A solid core can also help you to maintain good posture and prevent back pain. As important as exercising the core is, crunches are boring. Keep reading to find out five great exercises you can use to strengthen your core. (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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Strength Training Guide for Motorcyclists

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Motorcycle FitnessThis article is exclusively on the right exercises to improve the strength of motorcyclists and make them better riders. For the record, the exercises will yield other desirable results such as improved metabolic activities, improved body detoxing, reduced unwanted fat, improved sleeping orders, improved looks etc., but these are only peripheral perks. The sole essence is to improve the riding performance of the motorcyclists.

These exercises are great for beginner riders and veteran riders alike. If you think you are not fit enough to ride your bike and you are not motivated enough to try to get into riding shape, you can always visit sellbike.com for quick valuation of your motorbike and then unsubscribe to Project Swole, because those without ambition might not bother wasting their time reading these posts.

Lower Body Conditioning

Your lower body and ‘core’ plays the most crucial role in establishing contact with your motorcycle and balancing you on it, as a rider. Therefore, these exercises will be focused on those parts of your body.

Exercising to improve those parts of your body is essential because, while riding, there’s a need to do a number of things, some of which are the need to shift the weight of your body between opposite pegs as your motorbike tilts from side to side when negotiating bends. There’s also a need to engage your legs as props and shock absorbers while doing an off road, and so on.
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How to Work Out in the Daily Grind

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Lifting While You Work…

Being fit and achieving your goals is no easy feat, even if the basic idea is simple. Eat the right foods and push yourself. It doesn’t take a lot of time to figure these things out, especially with experts to guide you. It’s the execution where most people fail.

Working Dude

It’s hard to get fit, and it’s easy to skip that morning workout. It’s too cold, you need to go decompress after work, and the gym will be too crowded anyway… We make up a lot of excuses to get out of pushing ourselves. But the truth is, barring some serious circumstances, there isn’t an excuse.

While heavy gains require sticking to a fitness routine, if you really can’t make it to the gym, you can still maintain your fitness and be productive around the house. Homeowner projects provide plenty opportunities to maintain fitness, you just need to recognize that opportunity.
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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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7 Effective Exercise Proven to Shred Those Lady Thighs

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Here’s one for the ladies of Team Swole – a guest post by Emily of Body Shape 101

One of the biggest problems that women face is inner thigh fat. Flabby inner thighs that rub together while walking are not only a sore but irritating as well. Most people can relate as this quickly jogs their mind to painful friction burns especially when wearing a dress or skirt.

Besides this painful fact, inner thigh fat interferes with your figure and self-confidence as well. However, you’d be pleased to know that inner thigh flab is not chronic and that you can easily get rid of it through simple exercises. There are leg exercises and equipment purposely meant to curve and tone your legs, such as recumbent bikes, but you may need to indulge in some cardio exercises as well. 

1. Cossack Squats

This is a highly effective workout that targets your lower body. It will shape the glutes and thighs on all angles by burning the excess fat and in this case, inner thighs.  (more…)

The Thor Workout

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Chris Hemsworth hammerHow to Look Like Thor

The results of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor workout are clear for all to see in the media. As the film and the actor remain subject to a great deal of interest, many news and entertainment outlets continue sharing the best traits of Thor. But how did the Australian achieve his impressive physique in time for his work on the fantasy-action film?

It was ex-Navy SEAL Duffy Gaver who trained Hemsworth, and pushed the actor to gain 20lb for the role. Gaver devised an eight week exercise plan, which he split into two.

During the first four weeks, there was a careful focus on helping Hemsworth gain the level of strength appropriate for the God of Sky and Thunder. The second four weeks were dedicated to fat loss…

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The Best Pull-Up Workout You Can Do at Home

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Build Upper Body Muscle & Strength At Home

Pull Up Workout at Home

Pull-ups are simply one of the finest body weight exercises that can be carried out for your upper body. Pull-ups workout your core, back, arms, and shoulders working out almost every muscle in the upper body. Pull-ups can be performed virtually anywhere that you can locate a bar to cling from.

We all know about the normal pull-up; how tough they are! This exercise in itself demands great power, and if you cannot perform at least 20 standard pull-ups in a row, then I suggest you do not attempt any of these advanced pull-up versions until you can.
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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