Archive for the ‘Workout Routines’ Category

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 TheoryBMR and EPOC
Who Can HIRT BenefitWho Should Avoid HIRTDesign a HIRT Routine
Sample HIRT Training SplitsSample HIRT Training Routines
HIRT Routine #1HIRT Routine #2Olympic 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

The Swole 3×5 Approach to Strength Training

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

The Swole 3×5 Workout Routine

What's your strength goal?If you have been reading weightlifting materials for any length of time, you have probably heard of 5×5 training. It has definitely worked for many trainees. I even made excellent progress on a 5×5 program. But with all this 5×5 hype, has anyone stopped to think that there might be an even more efficient way to train?

In my experience, at least for experienced athletes, there is.

The Goals of Swole 3×5

This can be a powerlifting routine, a bodybuilding routine, or a conditioning routine. Sports athletes can use it, aspiring weight lifters can do it, beginners, novice, and advanced trainers can use it.

Swole 3×5 approach to strength training is a free weight routine designed to get you back into shape, to give you a break from a more mundane routine, or to blast you through a plateau.

Beginners

Learn how to put together an exercise program the right way. Learn all the basic compound exercises, as well as some variations there of. Start to build a foundation for future sports or weightlifting success.
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Where to Begin – Bodyweight Exercise

Monday, August 5th, 2013

There are two common comments that I hear from people that want to start on a fitness program. They can not afford to go to a gym. They do not know where to start.
Supergirl Push Up
Probably the best way to start involves no equipment and very little space. In other words, you can do it at home, in the park, whatever. Bodyweight exercises are just what they sound like; exercises that use your own body’s weight for resistance.

When used with no rest from one exercise to the next, not only can you get great resistance training, but fantastic cardio as well.

Below is an example of a workout that involves nothing but your own will and weight (and maybe a watch). If you are a beginner, do this one time through, three times a week.

For instance, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The next week, try doing it two times through on those days.
Then Four times per session.

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Leg’s Day: A Workout Guide

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Legs

Leg’s Day: A Workout Guide

Here is a brilliant leg training article from the team at JackedPack. If you don’t know, JackedPack is a membership subscription service that sends you a monthly box of the samples of the best in sports nutrition supplements.

You can subscribe for 50% off your first month by using the coupon code SWOLE at checkout.

One of the best feelings in the world is when someone says to you, “Oh my gosh, are those Giant Sequoias or are those your legs?” We hope that all JackedPack members and non-members alike are able to experience the satisfaction and benefits of leg strength and size, and that’s why we’ve dedicated this post to giving our lower extremities the attention they deserve. We want everybody to be squatting school buses and deadlifting beached wales back into the ocean. We have included a stellar legs day workout that incorporates some awesome exercises that are sure to have people singing Sir Mix-A-Lot every time you walk in a room.

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The Very Best HIIT Routines for Fat Loss and Fitness

Sunday, May 6th, 2012
Male Sprinter

If you want a debriefing on my most recent stance on endurance cardio versus high intensity intervals, check out this post:

High Intensity Intervals are Far Superior to Endurance Cardio

Once you understand how useful HIIT training is for fat loss, read about the following routines that you can use to burn fat and get in awesome cardiovascular shape.

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HIRT and Swolen

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Cleans

HIRT and Swolen is a High Intensity Resistance Training routine that you can use to either burn fat, build muscle, or maybe even both. It is a circuit of compound exercises performed back-to-back-to-back without rest (sometimes called a giant set), followed by a taxing abdominal superset.

You can use HIRT and Swolen twice a week with light weight in addition to your standard workout routine, if you are looking to get ripped. If your only goal is to build muscle, then use more weight and opt for 90 seconds rest between sets, but be careful not to overtrain if you are still performing your standard workout routine.

Prescription:

  • 5 sets
  • 5 reps per set
  • no rest during the set, that means no rest between exercise and no rest between reps
  • 1 rep means you have to complete each of the exercises back-to-back-to-back once
  • Level 1: 90 seconds rest between sets
  • Level 2: 60 seconds rest between sets
  • Level 3: 30 seconds rest between sets

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Jillian Michaels RIPPED in 30 FREE DVD Giveaway

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30
Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30

I still have 8 of these babies to give away to YOU for free!
1 winner will be chosen every Friday from 9/23/11 – 11/11/11!

Update!

That’s right, I gave away a dozen or so of these DVDs back before it ever came out. Now, 6 months later, everyone loves the DVD and I seem to have uncovered another 8 copies! They don’t do anyone any good sitting around my computer, so instead of selling them, I’m going to give them away.

All you have to do is follow the simple qualifying instructions, and you could win a copy too. All previous entries are null and void, so lets restart this campaign and give some DVDs away for free.

I’m sure plenty of you will enjoy working out at home in your living room instead of dragging your butt to the gym. Actually the Jillian workout would be great for anyone looking to take a day off from weight training, and it would be perfect for anyone who regularly works out at home, especially those who use DVD workouts.

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The Chris Hemsworth Thor Workout

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Would you rather look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Chris Hemsworth in Thor? Fitness model or super hero?

Brad Pitt Fight Club
Brad Pitt in Fight Club
Chris Hemsworth Thor Muscle
Chris Hemsworth in Thor

The Fight Club fitness look comes from eating little food, doing lots of cardio, and lifting light weights for high reps. Is that really what you want? I’m going to guess that most Swole readers would prefer the Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman look.

So how did Hemsworth transition from the fitness look to the super hero look? The simple answer is, lots of protein and heavy compound weight lifting. Just like Werewolf Muscle Training and Swole 3×5.

Let me tell you a little more about the Chris Hemsworth Thor workout.
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