Since I started this fitness blog, I’ve come across numerous guys and gals that publish amazing fitness courses so I decided to share ten of these top fitness professionals with you today. These aren’t the standard magazines like Men’s Health or talk show doctors like Dr. Oz. These are fitness trainers that you should be following on Twitter, liking their Facebook pages and subscribing to their blogs.
Alright, I did say that this list was going to contain new top fitness professionals, training experts and instructors that you’re probably not following already but David has been so integral to my success that I’m including him here. Of course, you’ve might have seen his books like The Abs Diet, The 8 Hour Diet or Eat This, Not That or one of he many articles in Men’s Health Magazine.
David is one of those guys that doesn’t just come up with some idea diet and make the facts fit his idea. Instead, he studies diets and health and develops his ideas from the facts that he’s uncovered.
Davey Wavey is a gay model and personal fitness trainer. I mention his sexuality not because I have a problem with him being gay but because some of his content is very gay and sexually explicit. But he’s also at the top of my list of top training professionals because he knows how to get results.
“Becoming The Strongest Version Of Ourselves.” That’s Elliot’s motto and it’s why it makes him one of the top strength coaches that I’ve come across. He takes wimps and turns them into warriors. Athletes that take his fitness classes always up their games.
If you want to get no bullshit, daily nutrition tweets then you simply need to be following this account. Frankly, it’s geared toward women, but there’s phenomenal advice for men as well. Plus, the “eye candy” doesn’t hurt either.
Can we be honest? While I believe the CrossFit revolution works wonders for a lot of people, I don’t practice their programs because of previous injuries I’ve suffered throughout my life and I’m not completely sold on its safety. That said, Crossfit fans and haters both can find a lot of great advice here.
Most vegans drive me crazy with their pushiness and I want to scream, “Give it a break pal! I like to eat meat so I’m never going vegan!” BTW, here’s a really funny clip from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World about “vegan powers” which is really funny.
Well, Leo Bahauta is not one of those vegan freaks. He’s one of the top fitness professionals because he presents daily fitness and zen motivation to get your ass in gear.
I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I wake up in the morning and I just don’t want to do anything let alone work out. On those days, I definitely need some nudging motivation to get me going which I why I follow The Fitness Motivator on Twitter.
OK, this one’s not entirely about fitness. In fact, they only have a few things about fitness. But I included it because legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano used to say, “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” Well, this Twitter account makes me laugh which simply leaves me with having to think and cry something throughout the day.
Rich Roll is an ultra-marathon running vegetarian that has been named one of the 25 fittest guys in the world by Men’s Fitness Magazine. Of course, I’m not some granola-crunching, veggies-only, gluten-free zealot because I love a fatty, marbled steak from time to time but I’ll admit that even red-meat-eating cavemen like me will discover tons of great advice from Rich.
Do You Have Any Top Fitness Professionals You’d Like To Recommend?
Of course, my list of top fitness professionals that you may not be following is by no means all-encompassing. So, if you have any top fitness professionals that you think everyone should know about, then please let us know by submitting a comment below and sharing this article with your friends.
Even though this site is mainly for men over 35, I thought that it would be awesome to give some advice to our better halves. So, I’ve come across some amazing workout routines for women at home and here are 14 secrets that I discovered plus one phenomenally effective (and time saving) workout.
Secret #1: Set Realistic Goals That Are Just Out Of Reach
If you want to run a marathon but haven’t owned a pair of running shoes since high school, it’s not at all realistic (and probably even a little dangerous) to say that you’re going to run a marathon in a month. However, it would be a little bit of a stretch (but completely realistic) to say that you can walk a 5K in a month.
This also applies to your individual workouts. For example, say you normally perform a plank for 30 seconds then shoot for 35 seconds… then 40 seconds. Normally squat 150 pounds? Try 155 pounds a few times. Pushing yourself is how you grow.
Secret #2: Be Consistent With Your Routine
You don’t have to do the same workout routine every time you go to the gym. If you’re bored with the current routine then change it so that you keep yourself motivated.
However, you do want to consistent with your routine schedule so that life’s little blindsides don’t knock you out. Hit the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays after you go to work. Go for a run every evening for a half hour. How you schedule your workouts doesn’t really matter as long as you schedule them.
Secret #3: Make Your Plan Fit Your Life
I hate doing cardio at the gym because I feel like a hamster on a wheel when I get on the elliptical or rower so I only do so when I’ve been a bad boy and eaten something that I shouldn’t have. Instead, I make my cardio fit my life… I surf a lot… I play basketball… I go hiking.
If you hate doing something, it’s pretty much impossible to keep it up for long periods of time. So why fight it? Simply find something that you do love and work it into your lifestyle.
And if you’re not sure if you’ll like an activity, give it an honest try. Don’t like it? Ditch it and try something else. Go kayaking. Swim. Run sprints. Just try different things.
Secret #4: Work Hard Every Time With Total Concentration
We’ve all had those days when you know that you should go to the gym but you just don’t feel like it. Of course, sometimes you just have to kick your own butt into gear and get to the gym. But when you get there, you should give it 100% every single time. Fight to the end and you’ll feel better when you leave.
You won’t always be able to do so, but you should try to push yourself a little harder or a little further each time because that’s how we grow in every aspect of our lives… not just with fitness. That said, if you simply know that you won’t be able to work as hard as you can, stop punishing yourself and take a day off.
One aspect of fitness training like weight lifting that most people don’t understand is that you don’t actually get stronger as you are lifting. You get stronger as your body repairs your muscles during your rest periods. So, again, go 100% when you workout but give yourself extra time to rest when you can’t go 100%.
Secret #5: Pull, Push, Hinge, Squat And Carry
Oftentimes, fitness plans overcomplicate things with weird exercises when the process can be dumbbed down a lot. So, keep it simple stupid (KISS) as you think about these five “movements”: pull, push, hinge, squat and carry.
Pull: pull-ups, chin-ups, tug of war, etc. Push: pushups, medicine ball throws, etc. Hinge: partial crunches, lunges, leg extensions, etc. Squat: body squats, ball pickups, etc. Carry: farmer’s walk, sandbags, etc.
When it comes to this secret of fitness training, it’s really more about just using your God-given brain and thinking, “What can I do that would meet this requirement?” Then do it rather than finding an exercise to do in some magazine.
Secret #6: Diet Is 80% Of The Battle
How long does it take you to eat one serving of Fritos? One minute?
And how many calories does that one serving have? 160 calories for 32 chips… as if anyone ever counts how many Fritos they eat. Be honest, you’ve downed a whole bag like everyone else has, right?
OK, so to burn off those “32 chips” you’d have to go for a 15 minute run or 30 minute walk. Do you really want to do that?
The simple fact is that you can lose one pound per week by simply cutting your calories by 3500 each week but you can’t undo poor eating habits by exercising. It’s the old 80/20 rule… 80% of your results come from your diet and 20% from exercising.
Secret #7: Hone A Skill As You Sweat
File this under “Two Birds… One Stone”.
Do you want to learn a new dance? Try capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that teaches you how to fight through dancing and games.
Like to get out in the water? Learn to surf.
You get the idea. You might even be able to find a way to exercise as you work.
Secret #8: Vary Your Positions
As you work out and get stronger, you will hit plateaus because your body does it’s best to be as efficient as possible. Genetically, our bodies haven’t evolved much in the last million years, so your body still wants to conserve energy and store fat because it’s preparing you for the starving months of winter.
Therefore, unless you change things up and “confuse” your body, you’ll keep running into plateaus. However, busting through these plateaus is easy… just change things up a little.
For instance, if you hit a plateau on the bench press, widen your grip for a week or two. Then go back to your normal grip and see the results. I, for one, like to use FatGripz every once and a while.
Secret #9: Cardio To Lose Fat
At the gym there seems to be two camps… the “I Only Do Cardio Camp” (usually women) and the “I Never Do Cardio Camp” (usually men).
But both camps can learn from each other and benefit greatly if they would only get over their concerns and misconceptions. So let’s address the most common concerns and misconceptions.
The Cardio Only Camp
Most women think that if they do any kind of weight training that they are going to look like some “She-Hulk” or, to a lesser extent, like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. Well, first of all, it’s impossible for most men to bulk up like that let alone women. Second of all, even if it is possible, it’s not like you’re going to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and go, “Oh shit! Where did these bulky muscles come from?”
Additionally, most women would kill to have a “Victoria’s Secret” model body, right? I know that as a red-blooded American man, I’d like my girlfriend to be in that kind of shape.
What they may not realize is that all of those Victoria’s Secret models follow a rigid weight lifting routine to develop “clean lines” on muscles like their triceps rather than bulky muscles. Additionally, muscle burns calories all day long whereas cardio stops burning calories about 20 minutes after ending.
The No Cardio Camp
Guys in the “No Cardio Camp” tend to believe that if they do cardio then they’ll actually lose muscle and this is partially true. Oftentimes, as you burn calories, your body cannibalizes your muscle in the very beginning. However, what they forget to take into account is that losing the body fat over their muscles reveals the muscles that they’ve been working so hard to develop.
They also seem to think that the greatest bodybuilders never did any cardio and that’s just not true. Joe Weider did cardio all of the time. And “The Oak”, Arnold Schwarzenegger, also performed cardio every time he lifted weights throughout all of his Mr. Olympia championships. Even modern tough guys like Jason Statham do cardio.
Cardio burns fat… plain and simple
Secret #10: Cheat On Some Of Your Lifts And Your Diet
I don’t claim to know everything about weight lifting. Which is why when I’m lifting weights, I copy those that have gotten the best results.
Cheating On Your Lifts
And even though “The Oak” has the most impressive biceps of all time, I get guys at the gym telling me that I doing my curls wrong when I “cheat” on my arms. And because I generally don’t have the time or energy to argue with them, I usually just agree with them and go back to cheating.
Why? Because cheating allows you do to lift heavier weights and shock your body into growth. Here’s how the Governator cheated with his bicep curls and if it was good enough for him, it should be good enough for you:
Step up to a dumbbell rack and start with a weight (your “base”) that you can lift with perfect form five times and then perform the following sets with 100% intensity and without rest as a superset:
Base X 5
Base -5 X 5 reps
Base -10 X 5 reps
Base -15 X 5 reps
Base -20 X 5 reps
Note: for optimal results, start with your forearms at your side (palms facing your thighs as if you’re starting a hammer curl) and twist your wrists as you raise the dumbbells to the top of the range. This is called supination and it hits different parts of your biceps at the same time.
Repeat all sets five times without rest. Of course, your first set you’ll probably be able to complete with perfect form. However, as you progress through each additional set, you’ll need to cheat more to get the weight moving and eventually raise it. This whole “swing” process increases blood flow and muscle growth. And if you want to try the whole thing a different way, simply try doing it seated instead of standing; or alternate between your left and right arms.
Cheating On Your Diet
Likewise, did you know that legendary MMA fighter Chuck Liddell likes to pig out on a dozen donuts every Saturday? Well, cheating on your diet is the same thing as confusing your body with different exercises because it basically resets your system.
You see, your body doesn’t know that food is easy to get today. Instead, it’s still in caveman mode and when you starve yourself by “going on a diet” and greatly reducing your calories for more than a week at a time you essentially make your body believe that it’s actually going to starve.
Then, when you do fall off the wagon a month or so into your diet and pig out, your body does two things:
It reduces muscle mass because more muscle makes it think it needs more calories, which is correct. It does take more calories to maintain more muscles.
It stores the excess calories it is now saving from the muscle reduction as fat because it thinks it basically thinks it needs to “store up for winter” as it were.
So, it’s a double whammy but it’s a double whammy that can easily be averted by simply having a cheat day during which you indulge in foods that you love and normally wouldn’t eat. Now, don’t mistake this for having permission to eat like a hog. You probably shouldn’t just pound down a dozen donuts like Chuck Liddell because you’re most likely not torching calories at your job like he is at his. It means that you can have a donut or piece of cake without feeling guilty and get better results than you have in the past.
Secret #11: Use Perfect Lifting Technique
I’m always surprised by how many people perform exercises the wrong way when it’s so easy today to discover how to do them right. When I started working out in high school back in the 80s, you pretty much had to do what the coach said because he was the expert. The problem was that he was usually right only 50% of the time.
In my case, I was never taught how to perform the bench press correctly and it might have cost me my baseball career when I tore my shoulder. So, while I make every attempt to help people that ask for it, I also suggest that don’t trust anything that anyone at the gym says without researching it for themselves because everyone at the gym does at least one thing wrong… even personal trainers get things wrong.
And why is it so important to use perfect technique?
It leads to faster and greater growth.
It causes fewer injuries which lead even faster and greater growth because it keeps you in the gym.
Therefore, learn how to perform any exercise with perfect technique using these two tricks:
Watch videos on respectable sites like Bodybuilding.com, WomensHealth.com or LiveStrong.com to learn how to do an exercise the right way.
Don’t look in the mirrors! Studies show that people who don’t look in the mirrors counter-intuitively perform exercises with better form. It’s weird but true.
Secret #12: Keep Things In Perspective
Look, you’re probably never going to be a Victoria’s Secret model and I’m never going to look like George Clooney. All you can be is the best version of yourself so don’t make yourself feel guilty that you might not have achieved the results you wanted. Simply acknowledge your situation and make some changes until you find something that works for you.
Think of it this way… each day you come across dozens if not hundreds of locks yet there are only a few keys that will open each lock. You just have to keep looking for your key until you find that one that unlocks your success.
And there’s truth to the cliche “The best day to start exercising was yesterday. The second best day is today!”
Secret #13: Pound Your Core
When I tell people to work their core, they invariably think, “Oh great! Now I got to do a bunch of crunches!” Well, crunches don’t have much to do with “pounding your core.”
Do you play golf? Every time you drive the ball down the fairway, you engage your core.
What about soccer? Each kick contracts your abs and every cutback uses your back.
Tennis? There’s a great twisting movement.
And what about when you lift weights or do cardio? Well, if you perform squats the right way, you’ll definitely strengthen your core and with cardio, rowing or the jump rope will make your core burn.
Try to make at least half of your workouts engage your core and you won’t even have to do a single crunch if you don’t want to.
Secret #14: Use Your Own Body Weight To Increase Your Strength
While you might not have gone through the Army’s basic training, you’re probably at least a little familiar with it to know that they don’t have recruits lifting weights in the gym because it’s simply not cost effective.
Dumbbells and barbells cost a lot of money but gravity costs nothing. So, now you’ve got no excuse to not exercise on a regular basis. Just “Drop and give me 50!” as they say.
Pushups, pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, pushdowns and even the much now maligned sit up are excellent ways to get in shape without spending a dime.
Even if you have a gym membership or a stocked home gym, try body weight exercises from time to time. Maybe even hop on the TRX straps which I love because they’re always available; you can switch from exercise to exercise in 15 seconds; and you can adjust the straps to your fitness level. Hell, even magazines like Muscle & Fitness, which used to pooh pooh TRX, are now preaching its benefits.
Conclusion To 14 Secrets About Workout Routines for Women at Home
If you want to get in better shape, you don’t have to spend every waking hour in the gym. And you don’t have to spend any time in the gym if you don’t want to. All you have to do is experiment with different fitness regimes and discover the one that works best for you.
Like millions of other guys, I have a gym membership for two reasons: 1) I don’t have the space at home to build my own gym and 2) I don’t have the money to buy the best exercise equipment for my own gym.
However, if you have the space and money, building your own gym has its advantages:
You’ll save time because you don’t have to…
Drive or walk to the gym
Find a locker
Wait for equipment… your home gym is never crowded!
Wait for the shower
Be polite to that annoyingly talkative guy (BTW, if you aren’t annoyed by this guy, then you ARE this guy)
You can actually save money.
The average gym membership costs $50 per month. That’s $600 per year. And that doesn’t even include sign up fees or any other additional fees.
You won’t be tempted to pay $3.50 for a sports drink that you can get at the grocery store for half that price.
Not sure that you’ll stick with it? Well, you can always sell the equipment on Craigslist and recoup a lot of your investment.
You make the rules!
Don’t want to wipe down the machines afterward? Fuck it! You don’t have to!
Want to do a circuit? You don’t have to worry about monopolizing the machines.
Re-rack the weights wherever you want… if you even re-rack them at all!
So, now that you’re aware of some of the benefits of having your own home gym, I’ve put together a list of the best home exercise equipment for various investment levels. With this equipment you’ll be able to develop the best at home workout program.
The #1 Piece to Any Home Gym: TRX Suspension Trainer
I bought one of these two years ago because I couldn’t even afford a gym membership and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent because it’s so versatile.
In a pinch, you can hook it up to any door and knock out a variety of workouts. Push ups, bicep curls, squats. Just about any exercise you can think of. Plus, with a simple rope, you can take it to the park and tie it to a tree branch. Personally, I like to take mine to the beach and tie it to the lifeguard tower to get my workout in before I go for a surf but I also created a setup where I can attach it to the roof joist over my patio.
Hell, even sometimes when I go to the gym and I discover it’s really crowded, I jump on one of the TRX suspension trainers to get my workout in. That’s why it’s #1 on the list of best home exercise equipment
I’ll start the process of creating a home gym with one really simple litmus test… if you don’t have the money or space for a power rack then sign up for a gym membership because a power rack is the most essential piece of equipment to any home gym.
With just a power rack, you can do numerous full-body exercises to shed fat and build muscle because not only can you do squats and deadlifts but you can also add a bars and suspension equipment for more versatility.
Of course, a power rack is pretty worthless if you don’t have an Olympic bar or weight plates to lift because you’d only be doing body weight and, then, you wouldn’t need a power rack.
And when it comes to weight plates, I highly recommend that you spend a little bit extra money and buy the rubber protected hexagonal plates because they’ll save your floor from damage and they won’t roll away from you. Buy two of each:
10 lbs (buy four)
2 ½ lbs
This will give you a total of 305 lbs to start with but if you don’t have the money for all of that, skip the 35 lbers and buy only two 10 lb weights.
The #3 Piece To Any Home Gym: Kettlebells
As a huge fan of Tim Ferriss’ books, I read The 4 Hour Body and was floored by how effective Kettlebell Swings are at helping me shed the fat and that’s why they make my list of the best home exercise equipment. At least once per week, I do 100 Kettlebell Swings at 55 lbs and that engages my entire core, glutes, arms and legs plus it’s a major cardio workout. Usually, when I’m done with the 100 swings, I’m drenched in sweat and my legs feel like Jello.
But Kettlebells can be rather expensive to buy and ship so I built my own with some pipe from Home Depot and some standard weight plates for about half the price. Plus, one advantage to building my own kettlebell is that I can change the weight which is something you can’t do with standard kettlebells.
Watch the girls on any playground (without being a perv) and see if you find any fat girls jumping rope. I’ll bet you can’t find one because while there might not be a simpler cardio workout, there are not many more effective cardio workouts than jumping rope.
Plus, you can do it just about anywhere.
And even MMA fighters and boxers jump rope all of the time… dare you to call them “little girls!”
Now, I favor the extra long, weighted jump ropes because I’m a pretty tall guy but, really, you can even buy a piece of rope at Home Depot for a buck when you’re buying the parts to make your kettlebell.
The #5 Piece To Any Home Gym: PowerBlocks or Adjustable Dumbbells
Go to any gym and you’ll find a wall of dumbbells that are usually out of place. I have poor vision so I seem to be always looking for the weight that I need. Well, adjustable dumbbells are a great option for any home gym and there are two ways to go:
1. Dumbbell bars with weight plates
Adjustable by adding weight plates
You can use “arm builders” like Fatgripz to turn them into “fat bars” like pro bodybuilders use
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why my gym has two incline/flat benches and two decline/flat benches when they could have bought four incline/decline/flat benches for the most versatility because it seems like every time I need one type, it’s not available but the other type is.
This is the last piece of the best home exercise equipment on my list because there are so many cardio options that are a lot less expensive or free. After all, you can get a great cardio workout by just going for a run or, like I mentioned before, jumping rope.
However, if you got the money, a cardio machine can be a wonderful addition to your home gym because it makes it possible to workout while you watch TV. You can really do that when you go for a run. So what are the most effective cardio machines?
Rowing machines give the most intense cardio workout because
They fully engage your legs and core with a thorough, metabolic workout
The Airdyne style machines use a fan that the harder you row, the harder the rowing becomes. Added bonus… the fan cools the entire room!
The #8 Piece To Any Home Gym: Fatgripz
You’ve probably never heard of, let alone seen, “fat bars” because they aren’t used at the big box gyms. You’ll usually only find them at gyms like Gold’s Gym if you even find them there. Standard gyms don’t have them for three reasons: 1) they’re 4-5 times more expensive; 2) most people aren’t psychologically used to them; and 3) they’re heavier so they are harder to move around the gym.
However, fat bars are great for a variety of reasons. For one, when performing deadlifts and curls they engage your forearms much more than standard bars because it’s hard to grip things that are fatter.
Secondly, they engage more muscles than the standard versions of exercises because they actually shift the weight farther out from your fulcrum point. Not to get into much physics, but the farther a weight is from the fulcrum, the harder it becomes to move that weight so you have to do more work to lift the same amount of weight.
But again, the main problem with fat bars is that they are so expensive. So, that’s why I use Fatgripz. You see, Fatgripz was invented by a former Navy SEAL that trained using fat bars but needed another less expensive option when he retired. At Fatgripz are really simple to use because all you have to do is slip the rubber grips right over any bar you want to lift. Done! Eazy, peezy, lemon squeezy!
The #9 Piece To Any Home Gym: “Outside the Box” Equipment
One problem with big-box gyms like mine is that they don’t add really effective, outside the box equipment. For example, one of the best exercises to rip up your abs is the Sledgehammer during which you hit a huge truck tire with a sledgehammer. I don’t know why they won’t buy this equipment (maybe they’re afraid somebody will get hurt with the sledgehammer) but it’s a cheap way to get ripped.
For another great exercise, all you have to do is take that same truck tire and tie it to a rope around your waist and drag it around your backyard.
And yet another simple exercise can be done by lifting a sandbag above your head or carrying it around.
The #10 Piece To Any Home Gym: An Affordable Home Theatre System
Let’s face it, one of the awesome benefits of having your own home gym is that you get to choose the music instead of having to listen to the shit that gets played over and over again at the gym.
Side note… who the hell thought it was a good idea to play Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise” at the gym? We’re trying to lose weight you dumbass!
Plant a wide screen TV on the wall and you can watch the game you want to watch as you workout! That’s what I want in a home gym!
Conclusion About How To Choose The Best Home Exercise Equipment To Create The Ultimate Home Gym
A home gym can be a great, affordable alternative to a gym membership if you have the money and space to get started. Money-wise, the least expensive on this list can cost as little as $1 and the most expensive item can set you back $1200 if you buy it new. However, you can find many deals online through sites like Craigslist.
So many people ask me what the best gym workouts for men are to burn fat and my answer is usually, “The one that you will stick to!” Because if you can’t stick to a routine, it doesn’t matter if it’s gotten amazing results for other people if you won’t do it. Therefore, if you give one of these workouts a valid try for a couple of weeks and don’t like it… don’t stick with it! Quit doing that routine and try another until you uncover a strength training routine that works for you.
If you want to:
Increase muscle size
Boost your strength
Improve tendon and ligament health
You can do that with any of the workouts listed below… you just need to find the one fits you. First though, before you hit your gym and start lifting weights, I think it’s really important to go over…
Important “Gym Etiquette” So Many Guys (Even Some Gym Trainers) Seem To Be Lacking
Use a damn towel! Nobody wants to be rubbing your sweat in their face.
Re-rack the weights where they should be re-racked. The 100 pound dumbbells don’t belong in the space for the 25 pound dumbbells.
Don’t monopolize the a machine or bench as you go on to another machine. It’s only OK to do super-sets on multiple machines when the gym is slow. Otherwise, proper etiquette dictates that you allow someone else to use the machine.
Don’t rest for extended periods of time on a bench or machine. For one, resting too long is just unnecessary and, two, it’s rude. You don’t own the gym!
When it comes to the Smith Machines and power racks, don’t use them when you can use a simple bench. For example, don’t be the guy that uses the power rack to do Overhead Presses, Deadlifts or Bench Presses… that’s what the regular benches (and the open floor for deadlifts) are for. Power racks are meant for exercises like Squats that cannot be done safely without a safety rack. There’s nothing worse than waiting for and watching some idiot use a power rack when you know that they could easily do it elsewhere. Don’t be that guy!
Finally, don’t talk on your phone or text! Nobody wants to hear you argue with your wife or make goo-goo noises with your mistress. There are only two reasons to use your cell phone at the gym: to listen to music and track your workout. That’s it!
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Any Of The Gym Workouts For Men Below
OK, now that we’ve covered proper gym etiquette and you’ve promised not to be a douche bag, when you try any of these strength and fitness routines, you should avoid these common mistakes that even a lot of “experienced” guys make:
Using too much weight the first few times that you try a new exercise is just asking God to strike you down with an injury. When you try a new exercise, it’s critical that you use proper form and train your body to complete the motion before increasing the weight.
Conversely, though, don’t be a wuss… estimate how much you think you can do if a gun was put to your head and then do about 60-70%. Once again, perfect form is paramount because swinging a weight or using momentum signals that you are trying to lift too much weight.
Not increasing the amount of weight or reps. You see, the only way to burn more calories is to do more work; and when it comes to weight lifting, there are only two ways to do more work: liftheavierweightsorperform more repetitions.
For instance, let’s say that you normally bench 200 lbs 20 times. In this case, you have lifted 4,000 lbs overall and to increase the amount of work that you are doing, you could either increase the amount you are lifting by 5% to 210 lbs and lift that 20 times or increase the number of reps by 5% to 21 reps. Both of those equations equal 4,200 lbs overall.
If you keep doing the same thing… you’ll get the same results. If that reasoning is good enough for Einstein then it should be good enough for you.
Also, don’t increase the amount of weight you are lifting until you can perform the maximum number of reps in each set. Case in point, if you are told to perform 8-10 reps for 4 sets at 100 lbs, do not increase the weight to 105 lbs until you can do 10 reps on all 4 sets.
Going too fast OR too slow. For the most part, you’ll only hear the fitness gurus complain about going too fast. And that’s usually the problem that most people run into. But going too slow can also be trouble because you put in extra time when it might not benefit you. So here are some simple rules to gauge how fast you should go:
Think “How would this motion work in the real world?” For example, the bench press would most likely translate to pushing someone and it should be pretty obvious that you don’t push someone slowly… you explode.
However, pulling motions tend to be naturally slower (for instance pulling yourself up a rock face) so exercises like Lat Pulldowns should be done slowly.
If the routine doesn’t tell you how slow or fast you should go and you really have no clue, use the simple 1-1-3 method. With this method you essentially explode up during the “positive” movement (against gravity), pause for a second at the top and then lower the weight down through the negative portion over 3 seconds.
Not resting enough OR resting too long between sets.
When you don’t rest enough between sets, you’re not letting your muscles get all of the oxygenated blood they need to get ready for the next set.
On the other hand, when you rest too long, you’re letting your heart rate drop; and if you want to lose fat, you need to keep your heart rate up.
Nowadays, most workout routines tell you how long to rest but if they don’t then follow this simple rule: take 90 second breaks between complex lifts that use multiple muscle groups (i.e. deadlifts and squats) and 30-60 second breaks for all other exercises.
Not resting enough between sessions. It’s pretty simple, the older you get, the longer you need to rest between sessions.
Of course, everyone is different so you’ll have to gauge your fitness on your own but if you find that you performed an exercise like the bench press, took three days to rest and then came back and couldn’t do the same amount of weight as you did the last time, then you are most likely not resting enough.
Monkey wrench alert… other things can also cause a decrease in the amount that you can lift so this isn’t a hard and fast rule. For instance, I surfed 7 out of 8 days last week and that caused me to be much more fatigued when I hit the gym. Needless to say, I couldn’t come close to what I did the last time.
Now let’s break down the top 10 weight lifting routines that I have discovered recently (in no particular order)
The Best Workout for the Guy Just Starting Out: The 7-Day Beginner Trainer
The biggest danger when getting back in shape is injuries because your body isn’t primed for the task at hand. So, I’ve developed a couple of rules for those just starting out or who have been away from the gym for a while:
Most workouts as listed as Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
Beginners are those that have been lifting for less than 6 months.
Intermediate lifters are those that have been lifting between 6-24 months.
Advanced lifters are those that have been lifting for more than 24 months.
You can do any routines that are at your level or below.
If you have not been working out for 1-3 months, drop down one level for the amount of time that you have not been working out. For example, if you are an Advanced lifter, and you have been away from the gym for two months, then drop down to Intermediate routines for two months.
If you have not been working out for 3-6 months, then drop down two levels and spend the same amount of time on each level as you were away from the gym. For instance, if you were and Advanced lifter who was away from the gym for 5 months, you should spend 5 months at Beginner level and 5 months at the Intermediate level. However, if you were at the Intermediate level, you would spend double the amount of time at the Beginner level.
Now, if you are just starting out or haven’t been to the gym in over six months, you’d be very well served by doing this7-Day Beginner Trainer.
When you’re just starting out, you really need to keep things simple so that you can stay the course and achieve the results that you desire. Well, this workout plan will get you started on the road to fat loss quickly. Plus, you’ll learn how to eat properly to achieve the results that you are looking for. But don’t take my word for it, let me prove it with our FREE report, 101 Belly Fat Tips.
The Best Gym Workouts for Men To Transform Their Bodies (Beginner Level): Lee Labrada’s Lean Body Trainer
Take on this workout and you will work hard, train smart and build that dream body that you want. It’s a 12-week program that’s great for any fitness level.
Lee Labrada’s 12-week training program is for anyone who is ready to work hard, train smart, and achieve a dream lean body. The program has everything you need to burn fat, sculpt muscle, and get fit. It includes daily workouts, a full nutrition plan, recipes, and more. Start getting leaner and stronger today with fitness expert Lee Labrada!
The Best Gym Workouts for Men To Build Muscle (Beginner Level): The Complete M&F Beginner’s Training Guide
One major problem with a lot of workout routines is that they are too long. Most of them are 12 weeks long or more. Now, there’s not much wrong with them for guys that have been working out because they can look at the routine and think, “I can commit to that!”
But guys that are just starting to work out may not have the confidence to take on that challenge because they just can’t imagine working out for 12-weeks. Or they might have the confidence to start but when they hit a bump, it completely derails them because they think, “I’ll never make it through the rest of this routine.”
That’s why I tracked down this fast-track workout plan and training guide over at Muscle & Fitness. I guarantee that it will improve your body image enormously in just four weeks. Then you’ll have the confidence to take on other fitness challenges.
The Best Gym Workouts for Men To Lose Fat (Intermediate Level): Doug’s 5 Day High Definition Routine
Doug Lawrenson at Muscle & Strength developed this demanding, fat torching and muscle building routine. As many of you already know, it’s very tough to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. However, with the proper nutrition and this workout, it’s possible. Test your metal and give it a try.
The Best Gym Workouts for Men To Transform Their Bodies (Intermediate Level): Intermediate Boxing/MMA Workout
To be honest, I’m not really a fan of MMA or boxing but I am a fan of the determination that these guys have. And when it comes to fitness, few guys are in better shape than boxers and MMA fighters.
Anderson Silva… Floyd Mayweather Jr… Georges St. Pierre… Manny Pacquiao… Randy Couture… Oscar de la Hoya…
The Best Gym Workouts for Men To Build Muscle (Intermediate Level): Intermediate Boxing/MMA Workout
When your car gets stuck in the mud, how do you get it out?
You have to nudge it out.
Similarly, when you get stuck at on a weight plateau, you have to nudge your body to bigger gains by shocking it with new exercises.
Just take this routine and slip it into your current workout. By doing this, you will be shocking your body when you switch and then, once again, when you switch back to your standard routine.
The Best Gym Workouts for Men To Lose Fat (Advanced Level): Use Gym Equipment in New, Powerful Ways
Thomas Jefferson said, “It’s a poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word.”
Well, when it comes to the gym, there are numerous ways to use just about every piece of equipment. Thus, when you use the equipment in a new way, you hit different muscles and, oftentimes, you can modify an exercise to get great benefits.
For a workout that takes normal equipment and tweaks the movements for better results, check out The Body Shocker Workout at Men’s Fitness. It’s pretty cool and chock full of exercises I would never have dreamed up.
The Best Gym Workouts for Men To Transoform Their Bodies (Advanced Level): The Wolverine Workout
Want to hear about a true transformation? Look at Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables and then look at him in his most recent turn as Wolverine.
It took him only ten days to make that transformation. And, in case you think you’re too old, check out this image of Jackman playing Wolverine back in 2000 and then in 2013. Even though he’s 14 years older, he’s 14 times more ripped. See how he did it!
The Best Gym Workouts for Men To Build Muscle (Advanced Level): Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Blueprint
Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, True Lies… was there a bigger action star in the 80s and 90s than Ahnuld? Hell no! The guy is a legacy and even at 67 years old, he’s in better shape than 99% of all men. He’s probably forgotten more about fitness than anyone else even knows so when he puts together a workout plan, you better pay attention. Warning! This workout is for seriously advanced lifters. Check it out here!
I’ve put together this list of the top 10 core exercises for men I’ve come across for you because, if you’re anything like me, you want to know how to build muscle and lose fat as fast as possible but you don’t have boatloads of time at the gym or tons of money to spend on work out supplements. Maybe you put in a lot of work hours because you have a demanding boss (or perhaps you’re the demanding boss.) Then again, maybe you’ve got a half-dozen little rug rats running around the house plus a stressed out wife and you need to pitch in more and spend less time at the gym.
Hell, there are thousands of reasons why you don’t have hours upon hours to spend in the gym every day. So, with that in mind, I found the best at home ab workout that you can perform. Honestly, if you do just this one core exercise and , you’ll feel the burn and create a chiseled six-pack in no time. Plus, I’ve uncovered nine other exercises for core strength that, while not as great as the #1, will spice up your workouts and build core muscle mass like never before. You might even consider them 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G, 1H, and 1I instead of #2-10. And for a lot of them, you don’t even need any work out machines.
The #1 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Puncher’s Pushup
I discovered this phenomenal exercise at Men’s Fitness because I was actually having a problem with my lower back. I kept feeling this little “pop” every time I did a crunch. It didn’t hurt or anything but you never want to risk injuring your back because a back injury can linger forever and simply make your life miserable. Plus, it will keep you out of the gym or doing just about anything fun.
Now, to do this core muscle exercise, you will only need a medicine ball and, if you want more of a challenge, choose a larger medicine ball. However, if you don’t have a medicine ball, a box will function about as well as a medicine ball.
Here’s How You Do The Puncher’s Push Up Workout
Drop into a pushup position with your legs spread wide because you will eventually be balancing on the one hand that is on the medicine ball, with your arm fully extended. Then place one hand on the floor and the other on the medicine ball.
Like you would with a normal pushup, pushup up off the ground until your arm with the hand on the floor is fully extended. At that point, continue to push your body further off the ground until your arm with the hand on the medicine ball is fully extended.
Finally, without rotating your hips so that you activate your abs, extend your free arm out in front of you like you’re Superman and hold it there for a second. Then rinse and repeat with your other arm.
Complete three sets of five reps each resting 60 seconds between sets.
Again, if you don’t have hours to spend in the gym every day, this core exercise should be in your arsenal because it will give you the results that you want while spending much less time working on your abs than you currently do. So, give them a try during your next workout!
The #2 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Landmine
I have no idea how they came up with this name but will it explode your abs? Hell yes! Wait… maybe that’s why they named it “The Landmine”.
What you will need: A barbell, one 45 lb weight plate, and either a barbell anchor plate or a corner of a room.
Here’s how you do it:
Lay the barbell on the floor with one end of the barbell buttressed up in a corner of the room.
Add the 45 lb. weight plate to the other end.
Grab the weighted end of the barbell (at the very end; not like when you do a press or curl) and raise it up to the top of your chest. You should be almost able to touch the backs of thumbs to your chest.
While keeping your core tight and your legs stationary, twist and lower the bar to one side.
Reverse the action and lower it to the other side kind of like a metronome.
Repeat 8-10 times on each side, rest 60 seconds and repeat for three sets.
The #3 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Kettlebell Bottoms Up
Since the main focus of this article is to get ripped abs in the shortest time possible, I’ve included this exercise for you to try because it will hit your abs and strengthen your shoulders at the same time. Here’s some workout videos on Men’s Health that show you how to do it but basically you do a kettlebell press with the bottom up instead of simply letting it hang to the side. Of course, this takes a great deal of grip strength as well to keep the kettlebell from falling over.
Plus, if you want to make it a little more difficult, kneel on the ground. This shifts a lot of stabilization to your abs instead of your legs.
The #4 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Spider Crawl
Who the hell thinks up exercises like the Spider Crawl? If I ever meet the guy who started this, I’m going to punch him in the face!
OK, I won’t punch him after all because this is a really effective ab workout.
The problem is that it’s also torturous! Just watching the video above pains me.
The #5 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: Sledgehammer Swings
There are two little problems with this effective abs exercise… you need a sledgehammer and a huge truck tire. However, there’s one main advantage to this exercise… if you have the tools then you can pop out back in your yard and get a quick yet thorough workout.
Of course, you can buy a sledgehammer at any hardware store but the truck tire can be a little harder to come by. It took me a little time but I was able to find one by calling the truck rental companies around my house. You could also try salvage yards or tire centers.
When you finally have the sledgehammer and tire, the exercise is pretty simple. All you have to do is strike the tire as hard as you can with the sledgehammer and switch sides from time to time.
The #6 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Plank (AKA Prone Iso Abs)
The plank has to be the least creative exercise ever developed but it works very well. Simply drop down into a prone position on the floor and support you body on your elbows. Straighten your body and hold for at least 60 seconds.
And if you want to hit your obliques, rotate all of your body weight onto one elbow for 30 seconds and then the other for another 39 seconds.
The #7 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Rope Crunch
Instead of doing a million crunches, which can be hard on your neck, you can “lift more weight” by attaching a rope to a cable rack. Then kneel down about 2 feet away from the rack and pull the weight down towards the ground by performing a crunch, hold for a second and then slowly raise back up. Do three sets of 12 reps.
The #8 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Spell Caster
I just recently stumbled upon this core exercise when I was watching a guy at the gym. You could just see the grimaces on his face and you knew that he was getting a good workout. So I ask him how to do it and gave it a try.
The next morning, I tried to roll out of bed and I couldn’t!
I was that fatigued!
So I had to roll over onto my belly and push myself out of bed. Each time I’ve done this exercise, the same thing has happened although it is getting less and less painful each time.
Here’s how you do it:
Take two light-medium dumbbells and hold one in your right hand slightly behind your back and hold the other in your left hand crossing over to the right side of your body.
In one movement, like you’re sweeping a magician’s cape (or, if you’re feeling more super-hero-ish, Batman’s cape), swing the dumbbells up in front of you to about chin level and over to the mirror side.
Rinse and repeat 10-12 times on each side for three sets.
The #9 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Standing Cable Lift
Play in a softball league? Then this exercise will help you raise your slugging percentage to Hank Aaron levels. OK, maybe not that high but you get the idea.
Here’s how you perform the standing cable lift:
Connect a standard handle on a tower, and move the cable to the lowest pulley position.
With your side to the cable, grab the handle with one hand and step away from the tower. You should be approximately armâ€™s length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable. Your outstretched arm should be aligned with the cable.
With your feet positioned shoulder width apart, squat down and grab the handle with both hands. Your arms should still be fully extended.
In one motion, pull the handle up and across your body until your arms are in a fully-extended position above your head.
Keep your back straight and your arms close to your body as you pivot your back foot and straighten your legs to get a full range of motion.
Retract your arms and then your body. Return to the neutral position in a slow and controlled manner.
Repeat to failure.
Then, reposition and repeat the same series of movements on the opposite side.
Tip: You will twist your entire body with this exercise, but focus on getting maximal torso rotation and a strong clinch at the end of the movement. To ensure a good mind-muscle connection, keep your abs tense at all times.
Sometimes, taking a standard, tried and true technique and modifying it slightly produces huge benefits. The cross-body crunch is one of those exercises.
Here’s how you do it:
All you have to do is lie on the floor like you would if you were performing a standard crunch but keep you feet on the floor.
Then place your hand behind your ears or on top of your head. Do not pull your head up with your hands because this will put strain on your neck.
Raise your body up along with your right leg and touch your right knee to your left elbow.
Return back to the original position and then repeat but, this time, raise your left knee and touch it to your right elbow.
Repeat 10-12 times on each side. Rest 60 seconds and then repeat twice more to complete three sets.
The #10 Core Exercise For You To Get Ripped As Fast As Possible: The Cross-Body Crunch
Take the simple crunch, add a little twist and…
Much better results!
Here’s how you do it:
Lie on your back with your hands either on your ears or on top of your head. Do not pull your head up off the ground with your hands because this can strain your neck.
Place your feet flat on the ground in a sit-up position.
In one movement and keeping your leg at a right-angle, raise your right foot off the ground so that your lower leg is parallel to the floor and touch your left elbow to your right knee.
Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg and elbow.
Repeat as many times as you can with proper form.
Rest 60 seconds.
Perform three set total.
The Conclusion About These Core Exercise Moves
If you only have a limited amount of time and need to get in and out of the gym as fast as possible (or you want to do some core exercises at home) then performing two or three of these core strength exercises will help you carry out your fitness goals. Really, you’ll be shocked that you can get such great results without living at the gym and you’ll have much more free time to spend with your family and friends… or just watching more sports.
And, once again, if you want to keep everything really simple and not learn ten different core strengthening exercises then just do the Puncher’s Pushup and skip everything else. Honestly, if you do just this one core exercise for all of 2014, you’ll feel the burn and created a chiseled six-pack in no time. I think you’ll discover that these core strengthening workouts beat the crap out of everything you’ve tried before.
Whether you want to torch pounds of fat because you’re just starting to get back in shape or want to burn off that last ounce of fat before a bodybuilding meet, try “finishing” your circuit training workouts with regular or reverse pyramid training. Both of these types of fitness training programs effectively combine weight training and cardio to burn calories faster than either alone… and they only take about 10 more minutes.
Here’s how regular pyramid training works and why it might be the best weight training for fat loss…
Both of these routines are very simple but don’t let their simplicity fool you into thinking that they’re not worth your time. First we’ll cover how to do regular pyramids and then reverse them.
Choose a complex, multi-muscle exercise such as a squat, deadlift or bench press. Picking smaller muscle groups such as your biceps can work but not as effectively.
Pick the number of reps that you will perform for your first set. I recommend 12-15 reps for the first set. I usually choose 15 reps and will be using this number in this example.
Calculate the proper amount of weight to perform the whole routine with. I recommend a weight that is between 50-70% of your one rep max (I usually choose 60%.)
Now start your pyramid training by startingwiththehighestnumber of reps and working down to one rep.
Perform 15 reps as quickly as possible.
Rest for 30 seconds
Perform 14 reps as quickly as possible.
Rest for 30 seconds
Perform 13 reps as quickly as possible.
And repeat while reducing each set by one rep until you reach 1 rep.
Here’s a very informative video from T-Nation that give some more details…
And here’s how reverse pyramid training works…
Just reverse the number of reps for reverse pyramid training but keep in mind that you won’t know the “upper limit” the first time you try this so be sure to err on the side of caution.
Choose a complex, multi-muscle exercise such as a squat, deadlift or bench press. Picking smaller muscle groups such as your biceps can work but not as effectively.
Calculate the proper amount of weight to perform the whole routine with. I recommend a weight that is between 50-70% of your one rep max (I usually choose 60%.)
Now start your reverse pyramid training by starting with the one rep and working up until you can nolongerincreasethenumber of reps from one set to the next.
Rest 30 seconds.
Perform two reps.
Rest 30 seconds.
Perform three reps.
Rest 30 seconds and continue performing additional sets while increase the number of reps by one each time until you are not able to increase the number of reps.
Important: Because you are increasing the number of reps per set with reverse pyramid training rather than reducing them, it’s important to be cautious and start with a lesser weight.
Take regular or reverse pyramid training to another level with super-sets
Sometimes, you don’t have a bunch of time to do your whole gym training program or a bunch of circuit training exercises. Instead, you just need to get the hell out of the gym as fast as possible. However, on days that you can spare a few extra minutes, try alternating between two complimentary exercises. For instance, you could alternate between the bench press and the upright row or between leg extensions and leg curls.
If you add regular or reverse pyramid training to your workouts, you’ll see dramatic results in a short period of time because it provides the short-term calorie-burning benefits of cardio with the long-term calorie-torching benefits of muscle building. And again, the main advantage is that only takes a few additional minutes to complete.
Let’s face it, your college days of drinking beer all night, grabbing a burrito at 3am and still being able to see “Little You” without a mirror are long gone. It’s simple biology really… the older and fatter your get, the lower your metabolism drops and the fatter you get. And it seems like a downward spiral until your eventual death. But fear not. Mr. Stoked is here to save the day by helping you start your day right and show you excellent tips for weight loss for men!
Weight Loss for Men Over 30 Begins at Breakfast (And It Takes 5 Minutes)
This is rule number one because skipping breakfast makes all of the other steps involved with weight loss irrelevant and pointless because it’s self-sabotaging.Basically, skipping breakfast causes you to start your day with a lack of energy to convert to work. To make up for the lack of energy throughout the day, you eat more foods high in sugar because your body craves quick energy that can only be obtained by sugar. Other types of food energy like complex carbs and protein take much longer to convert. Therefore, skipping breakfast causes you to eat much more throughout the day.
But, I completed understand that you already wake up at the crack of dawn to make sure that you get to work on time and that you don’t want to spend an hour making breakfast. Damn, even just writing that last sentence makes me tired so I have put together a list of six great-tasting yet quick breakfast recipes (One of my own and five from Corinne Dobbas).
Mr. Stoked Super Fast Weight Loss Breakfast for Guys Over 30
This breakfast is really easy and fast. Here it is:
What makes this breakfast great is that you get the grains and oats in the Cheerios plus the protein and benefits of mono-unsaturated fats in the Greek yogurt to get you through your day. Plus, it literally takes 2 minutes to put together and you can even take it with you if you are really in a rush. Finally, you can also substitute other healthy cereals or rolled oats for the Cheerios but if you do substitute rolled oats, mix them the night before so that the Greek yogurt can soften the rolled oats. Also, regular yogurt and Greek yogurt are not the same thing. Greek yogurt is much more healthy.
Cereals that I recommend mixing with Greek Yogurt giving you 72+ combinations:
More Great Breakfasts for Weight Loss for Men
Here are some excellent and quick breakfast recipes by Corinne Dobbas.
Berry Protein Smoothie: 1 scoop protein powder (look for about 20 grams of protein and 100 calories per scoop … whey is my favorite) + 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 1 cup berries + 1 small banana
The Nanner-Nut Muffin: 1 whole-grain English muffin, topped with 1 tablespoon of natural nut butter and banana slices (from one small 5-inch banana)
Protein Power: 1 hardboiled egg + 1 light string cheese + 10 almonds+ 1 piece of hand fruit (i.e. banana, peach, pear, orange, etc)
Gluten-Free Goods: 1 brown rice cake, topped with 1 tablespoon of hummus, 1 tablespoon of guacamole and 2-3 ounces of turkey, chicken or smoked salmon. Heat, if desired.
Taco Goodness: 1 small corn tortilla, filled with 1 scrambled egg, ½ cup black beans (if from a can, rinse them off before heating to reduce sodium by about 30%), and salsa to taste! Note: add any non-starchy veggies you dig (all except peas, corn, and potatoes) to help fill ya up, without filling you out.
Look if you follow these simple weight loss for men recipes, you discover that the fat will get melt off your body. Plus, you’ll have much more energy and you’ll be a lot happier. Trust me and give it a try.
Let’s face it guys… we all think that we’re much younger than we are when we try to determine our recovery time for our muscle-building training programs. We tend to think that we can still workout as much and as often as we did when we were 21.
Not so! As we get older, our body requires more and more time to recover from the intensity of our workout training programs. So calculating your recover time can be a little problematic when you try to do a workout routine you found in Muscle and Fitness, you might find it difficult to break one-rep maxs and bust through plateaus.
Which is why I want to show you how you can determine how much time you, specifically, need between days of your weight training programs.
Update: While the calculation below follows the KISS rules, the best way to determine whether you have fully recovered is to use a Heart Rate Variability (HRV) monitor like the one from Bioforce. Basically, with this monitor, every morning you strap it on for one minute and then it calculates your HRV for the day and recommends whether you should rest or what intensity you should train. I have not tried this myself yet but the research seems to be solid and users have reported significant gains.
Calculating Your Recovery Time for Your Weight Training Programs
The process of calculating the recover time your body needs is rather simple but it might take a few weeks to tweak it to perfection.
Choose a basic exercise to benchmark such as the bench press or squat.
Determine your one-rep max (I recommend using JEFit to keep track of all of this).
Exactly 24 hours later, try to tie or beat your one-rep max by one pound. If you can do this, your recovery time is less than 24 hours. If you can’t beat it, go on to the next step.
In all likelihood, you won’t be able to tie or beat your one-rep in 24 hours as even few young guys can either. So, wait another 48 hours and then try to beat your one-rep max again. If you can’t, go on to the next step.
Most guys can tie or beat their one-rep max with 48 hours of recovery. But if you can’t, try 72 hours.
If you really want to optimize your muscle growth, once you determine how many days you’ve calculated you need, cut a few hours off your recovery until you can’t tie or beat your one-rep max. Think of it like a weight scale, you move the weight to the right and it’s too much, so you move it back to the left and it’s too little and you keep repeating until you find that balance. That’s kind of how this works.
Also, it’s important to know that your recovery time will most probably not be equal to another person. So, if you work out with a partner for your weight training programs, try to find a partner that is close to your recovery time and then schedule your workouts to meet the recovery time of the guy that needs more time to recover. And don’t ever cheat yourself on recovery time as you can experience poorer results and, even worse, injure yourself.
Lots of guys find it hard to pack on the muscle. They seem to either be really skinny or fat with no muscle. If you’re one of these guys and are wondering if a guy over 30 can pack on muscle like a 20 year old then you need to check this out.
You see, most guys suffering from this problem are doing something wrong. It’s not that their body can’t add weight. Frankly, the idea that our genes predetermine whether we’re a sprinter or a marathon runner just doesn’t make sense. Like the whole “White Men Can’t Jump” thing, this is a bunch of bullshit.
Why? Everyone has the same ratio of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. But sprinters train their fast-twitch muscle fibers more than they do their slow-twitch muscle fibers. That’s why they look all muscular whereas marathon runners tend to be a lot more wiry.
So, throw out the old mindset that you can’t add muscle because you’ve never been able to do it. Everyone can pack on muscle and gain weight fast. You just know what not to do and what to do.
What Not to Do to Gain Weight Fast and Put on Some Serious Muscle
Don’t overdo the cardio! It’s pretty simple… any time you do cardio, whether it’s playing beach volleyball or jumping jacks, you’re burning calories. Essentially, your results are impacted by overdoing the cardio (notice that I said “overdoing”). So, keep your cardio to a minimum. Cut back to 20 minutes three to four times per week. And if you like to play sports like basketball then make that the extent of your cardio and don’t do any more.
You’re not eating enough! Another simple factor to gain weight fast… the more you eat, the more calories. More calories equals weight gain. To pack on muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn and those calories need to be high in protein, the essential building block of muscle.
You’re not pushing yourself enough! The last simple factor to gain weight fast… you only get stronger and bigger by doing more work. How? Add weight or push out another rep. You’re body builds itself when it discovers that it doesn’t have the overall strength to accomplish what you are trying to do.
Until I recently discovered a new workout for a larger chest, I was one of those guys that’s been really frustrated with getting a lot stronger but not seeing a bigger chest. Every four days of exercise, I work on my chest and arms and I’ve seen my maxes grow by nearly 40% but my chest still doesn’t look bigger. I’d do bench presses, three board presses, bottom end drives and more but I still would see the results that I wanted.
Of course, trying to find excellent, scientific and proven bodybuilding workouts to get a bigger chest is not as easy as you would think. Everybody and their father has an opinion but most don’t have the science and facts to back it up. “Oh, you just have to lift really slow.” Or, “No, no… You have to explode up and go slow down.” How the hell you know who to trust?
Well, just like people used to only blindly trust certain reporters like Walter Cronkite, there are only a few publications that I trust without reservation. One of those pubs posted an article a while ago about the best bigger chest workout. Now, honestly, I have to admit that I just started trying what they recommend but I can tell you that I already feel some positive results.
This Bigger Chest Workout Simply Adds a Few Chest “Finishers” for Amazing Results
While I don’t have any statistical results, I have felt like these additional exercises are triggering muscles that all the previous exercises I was doing were not hitting. Plus, Men’s Fitness always backs their claims with statistical proof that what they are recommending works. And their program, which you simply add to your current chest exercises, doesn’t take longer to perform.
Basically, here’s their bigger chest workout is essentially a chest “finisher”, set up as a descending ladder utilizing dips and push ups:
Start with 7 reps of dips. Rest as little as possible.
Perform 7 reps of push-ups. Rest as little as possible.
Perform 6 reps of dips, followed by 6 reps of push ups.
Continue this descending rep pattern (5 reps of dips, 5 reps of push ups, 4 reps of dips, etc.) all the way down until you are getting one rep of each movement.
The goal is to complete all the reps under control and with good form but rest as little as possible between sets. The dip should be performed with a slightly forward lean as to place more emphasis on the chest as opposed to the triceps. And you can think of the 7 reps as a benchmark starting point. If the finisher was too easy, try starting at 10 and work your way down to one next time. Or, if it was too difficult, start at 5 reps.
As always, don’t just trust me because I say that this bigger chest workout works. Instead, give it a try for yourself and, if you want more detailed info and advice, visit the article at Men’s Fitness.