The Stabilizer Muscles Weightlifting Workout Routine

December 9, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Today I am going to share with you a workout routine that will help strengthen your stabilizer muscles. This was actually handed down to me back in 2004 by a security guard I used to train with and is a workout routine that you should incorporate into your training at some point if you,

  • Mainly use machine weights
  • Don’t life weights often
  • Have balancing issues

The Full body stabilizer weightlifting workout routine

Monday

Chest, Triceps, And Shoulders

  • Barbell Bench Press: Work up to a heavy set of 5 reps.
  • One-Arm Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 Sets Of 8 Reps (each arm)
  • Dumbbell Chest Flyes: 3 Sets Of 10 Reps
  • Alternating Dumbbell Tricep Extensions: 3 Sets Of 10-12 Reps
  • Dumbbell Front Raises: 3 Sets Of 12-15 Reps

Wednesday

Legs, Abs, And Lower Back

  • Deadlift: Work up to a heavy set of 5 reps.
  • Front Squat: 3 Sets Of 6-8 Reps
  • Barbell Step-Ups: 3 Sets Of 10-12 Reps
  • Weighted Back Raises: 3 Sets Of 15-20 Reps
  • Leg Extensions: 3 Sets Of 12-15 Reps
  • Weighted Sit-Ups: 3 Sets Of 12-15 Reps

Friday

Back, Biceps, And Traps

  • Weighted Pull-Ups: 4 Sets Of 6 Reps
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 Sets Of 8-10 Reps (each)
  • Close-Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 Sets Of 10-12 Reps
  • Dumbbell Rear Delt Flyes: 3 Sets Of 12-15 Reps
  • Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 3 Sets Of 12 Reps (each)
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 Sets Of 12-15 Reps (each)

If you are already lifting  a lot of free weights then you are already doing what is required to work your stabilizer muscles. But following this routinwill help you build strength in your stabilizer muscles specifically.

In the next couple of posts I will show you some great ways on how to build parts of your body that don’t necessarily need the growth of your larger muscle groups to give you that hot bodybuilder body.

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The Dumbbell Weightlifting Routine

November 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Bugs Workout Routines

This is a dumbbell routine that you can use if you ONLY have dumbbells to workout with. This coincides with my review of the Powerblocks which you can see here.

Monday – chest and triceps

flat bench dumbbell press – 4 sets
incline bench dumbbell press – 3 sets
flat bench flyes – 2 sets

skull crushers – 3 sets
single arm overhead extensions – 3 sets

Tuesday – legs

squats – 4 sets
lunges – 3 sets
stiff legged deadlifts – 4 sets
standing calf raises – 4 sets

Wednesday – off

Thursday – shoulders and traps

seated dumbbell press – 4 sets
single arm lateral raises – 3 sets
shrugs – 4 sets

Friday – back and biceps

deadlifts – 4 sets
bent over rows – 4 sets
single arm bent over rows – 2 sets

standing dumbbell curls – 3 sets
preacher curls – 2 sets

Now you don’t have to perform this dumbbell routine if you don’t want to. But it does happen to be a really effective weightlifting routine if dumbbells are the only piece of workout gear that you have access to.

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The Super Hero Workout – The Weightlifting Exercises (Part 3)

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

In previous posts such as balancing cardio and weight training, I talked about the importance of including cardio training into your weightlifting workouts. I also explained how you can set your own personal fitness goals and how to balance both resistance training and cardio training for overall fitness. Another thing I always ramble on about is the importance of building real functional strength, especially with the use of bodyweight exercises, and in terms of being able to run faster and improve your endurance, the formula is quite simple.

Strength = Speed

Now, when I think of super heroes who can move at lightening speed, Cheetara of the Thundercats always comes to mind.

The only thing is, Cheetara never did reach that real super hero status. So who else could take the crown as speed king of all super heroes?

The Flash

He is without a doubt the undisputed king of speed in the super hero world, and if you have been living under a rock these past few decades, then here is a recent video from the cartoon Justice League, which will show you why he has that name.

You may not be able to move as fast and sustain that level of speed in the real world, but the exercises you will see here will allow you to get close to it.

The One Legged Squat aka The Pistol Squat


This exercise happened to be a crowd favourite out of all of the bodyweight exercises that I covered in unique bodyweight exercises some weeks back. The only thing is, that it will take some time to master. Once you do master this bodyweight exercise it will build supreme strength in your legs, as well as improving your balance. Here’s how you do it,

  • Stand straight.
  • Hold one leg out in front of you.
  • Hold both arms out straight in front of you.
  • Lower your self down on one leg.
  • As you reach the ground, tense your butt and stomach muscles.
  • Hold the position briefly.
  • Rise back up and repeat.
  • (Stand in front of a wall to use for support if you need it.)

Perform three sets of 10 reps on each leg, resting three minutes between sets.

Run Up Hills – The Hill Sprint


Running up hills is something you should do as a part of a high intensity cardio workout, but if you do run up hills then you only want to do that once or twice a week, as you will definitely feel the burn after doing so. But in terms of building strength, speed and endurance to move like the flash, you will want to perform hill sprints as a part of your cardio training workout.

  • Find a hill or other surface that’s inclined by at least 15 degrees
  • You will want to feel resistance when you sprint it, but it shouldn’t feel like you are climbing The Mount Everest.
  • Sprint up the incline for 25 yards
  • Then walk back down
  • Rest for two minutes.

I did something similar to this back when I was training as an athlete. But what this exercise teaches you to do is to apply greater force to the ground with each step that you take while running as fast as you can. Again… strength = speed

The A skip

This is one of many techniques to help improve how fast you can move your feet and the effect that you will want from performing this exercise should look something like this,

Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap!

But the reason that I like this exercise is because it teaches you to drive your feet straight down and land underneath your hips ‘properly’. Here is how you do it,

  • Bring your right knee up in a skipping action, so that your left leg is hopping.
  • As soon as your right heel clears your left knee, drive the right leg down in a “piston”-like action.
  • You should then land on the ball of your foot.
  • Each hop is only a couple of inches off the ground.
  • As you drive your right leg down, your left arm should also be going down and vice versa.
  • Keep your torso tall and straight.
  • Do this for 15 yards.
  • Perform three sets at your own pace.

There are other techniques you can use to increase your running speed, strength and endurance as I’ve had first hand experience with many. But for now, give these exercises a try and be sure to include them into your weightlifting routines.

Read part 4 here:

The Super Hero Workout – The Weightlifting Exercises (Part 4)

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The Winter Recession Home Workout

October 2, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

home workout training

It’s Friday people, and your weekend should start today. But before you go away and have fun i’m going show you how to create an effective home workout for the coming winter months. You may also be recovering from the (hopefully) soon to be over recession, if so, then this is for the last days of it.

Cardio in the home

Now… just because you are at home, it doesn’t mean you are allowed to skip cardio training for the whole of winter. You WILL keep up that cardio training and here is what you can do.

  • Running up and down a set of stairs (moderate intensity)
  • Using a skipping rope (moderate intensity)
  • Step-ups on a step or box (moderate intensity – the higher the box, the more intense the workout… and make sure the box is sturdy! I don’t want you getting injured now)

If you want to be sure that you are performing these at a moderate intensity, then train like a barbarian and go hard for 30-60 seconds on each one, taking a one minute break before starting the next set.

Strength Training

I always do go on about strength training and how you should always aim to build functional strength. If you have been following that advice, then you will need to maintain the strength that you have built up.

Free weights

If you are not entirely broke then it would be a good idea to purchase a set of iron weights.  These are ideal because you will want to mimic your gym workouts as much as you can.

  • Barbell
  • Dumbells
  • With at least 80kg to use

Bodyweight exercises

I’ve talked about these before and i will be doing so some more soon in the up and coming ebook, but for now here are a few others you can do.

Bodyweight squats with a wall squat

What to do?

Perform a set of 25-30 body-weight squats (squats without weights)

Then move over to the wall and perform a stationary wall squat and hold it for one minute.

Push-ups on an exercise ball

Since this is a home workout routine, we will have to up the ante. Performing push ups on an exercise ball will make it harder, thus working your muscles harder. This will be great for your upper body muscles.

Tricep Dips

Now we have to go truly frugal and start using furniture as gym equipment. Find a chair and place your hands behind you on the end of both sides of the chair, then start performing dips. Now we must up the ante again.

Increase the difficulty

1) Place your feet on a stool. This will work your muscles even more.

2) If you find that too easy then place a weight plate on your lap while you dip.

Jump Lunges

These will work your,

  • Glutes (butt muscles)
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadraceps

10 – 15 reps should be enough for you to feel the burn.

Pull-ups

Do yourslef a favour and get your self the Iron gym extreme pull up bar. This will allow you to perform,

  • Pull-ups
  • Chin ups
  • Press ups
  • Sit-ups

All with one bar!

Single-leg deadlifts

Now for the finale exercise.

  • Stand in front of a bed and place one leg back and up on top of it.
  • Place a chair two feet infront of you
  • Bend down and hold the bottom of the chair
  • Rise up while holding the chair and keep both legs as straight as possible.
  • If you want to work your glutes then squeeze while you perform
  • Stand up to the starting position and then lower the chair to the ground once again to complete the rep.

This is a simple workout you can all do over the next few months and it is quite effective too. Now go and enjoy the start of your weekend.

See you in the comments.

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Not Happy With Your Muscle Building Results? Then Workout Like A Barbarian!

September 30, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

weightlifting-workout-barbarian

We all know that for most of us, building muscles that stand out that will get you jaw dropping stares from people is no easy task. And I’m sure many of you have hit the gym, eaten the right foods, worked relatively hard and got some results.

But… there comes a day when you look in the mirror, like what you see, then put your top on and think.

‘Damn, I so need to be bigger than this. How can I do this’

You may have even taken some advice. But it could possibly have been advice from the wrong people. If some fabulous mesomorph body type of person who builds muscle even when they sneeze is advising you, then obviously things probably won’t work out the same for you.

Now most of you are going to turn around and say something logical like,

‘Take Creatine’ or ‘ take some protein supplements

Yes you can do that and I have used both at times. But many don’t want to use those products initially and I think that it is important to learn to live without them and how to get real weight gains when you are the skinny guy.

These are the type of gains that allow you to stand out when you wear everyday clothes and where you can actually start to feel content with your size. (perfectionist talk here)

So what is the answer?

You have to train like a barbarian!!

Let me try and make things a bit more clear and real for you.

You already workout pretty hard…right? But I bet you are not sweating buckets that could quench the thirst of a marathon runner.

I bet you are not pumping weights where everyone in the gym stops and stares and remembers who you are every time you train.

And I bet… In fact I know, that you are not training to your full potential every time you are at the gym!

If everyone in the world pushed themselves to their utmost potential, we really would be living in a very interesting world. But that is not so. So you must make it a priority that YOU are pushing yourself to your max potential and adapting it to your training.

Train like a barbarian and attack the weights with superior rage. If you want an idea of the kind of rage I am talking about, take a look at this guy this guy.

If you do not know who this is, he is a warrior from the popular Playstation game God of war. Now, you should not have this attitude 24/7, as that is not healthy for your mind set, but you should the moment you step into the gym.

Training like a barbarian

Now I’m going to give you some tips on how to do this, and you must follow this through consistently, otherwise you will fail.

1.  Treat every single set like it is your last set.

Having this mind set will ensure that you really are pushing yourself every step of the way.

2. Treat every single rep like your life depends on it.

I mean it… every step of the way.

3. Wear a stop watch and ensure that you keep the rest period honest.

No cheating, when it is time to get up, GET UP.

4. Wear a sweater so you can’t stare at yourself in the mirror.

I talked about this before. But you really must stop loving yourself during this time. Focus on building muscle and take a good look at yourself every other day instead, even better… once a week.

5. Wear a hat that tells others ‘do not disturb.’

This is extreme, but it may be necessary as many like to lounge around, talk s*** and not train. You do not need distractions.

6. No girlfriend’s allowed or non-training partners who are going to compromise the intensity of your workout.

As I mentioned, some people are not serious. If you have a gym partner then make sure they have the same goals as you.

In terms of girlfriends or women in general, my philosophy has been to train at an ‘all guy gym’. What I mean here is that women are allowed in these gyms, but you want to be in a place where everyone there has the same mindset and goal as you… to strictly workout.

It will most likely be a non-commercial/ local gym (as mine is) and you’ll probably get help from others too.

7. Train with an intensity that scares the hell out of every person that walks in your path.

You may not have been doing this before, but if you train like a barbarian, you will catch attention for sure.

For many things that you achieve in life, you will get out what you put in, and that will be the same here.

Get explosive with the weights
weightlifting-workout

Now I’ve previously talked about how you should lift weights. To summarize,

1) Start with lightweights – This will allow you to understand how to lift the weights properly regardless of the exercise.

2) Do the exercise properly – Once you have mastered how to do it, focus on control and execution.

3) Lift at moderate speed – Explosive yes! But not fast and not slow.

And for the purpose of the barbarian workout you need to increase the weight and build your strength to the max. Use only one compound exercise per major muscle group and focus on a 5% increase in strength from week to week. This will then allow your muscles to grow.

Time and work balance

Now you don’t want to be in the gym for 2 hours just for the sake of it. For some people, they think that the longer you are there, the better results you will have. This is not always the case.

Instead lift heavy weights close to your max threshold but with shorter rest periods and more exercise selection per muscle group.

Stick to a program

It is very easy to test drive a musclebuilding routine for a few weeks and then say it does not work and move on to the next latest ‘breakthrough’ workout program. Training for results is not a ‘fail fast’ game and this is not acceptable!

The reality is that virtually every weightlifting workout routine will work for a certain period of time if it is done at the right intensity.

Whichever routine you choose, make sure you study the details of it fully. And make sure every aspect of that routine matches the goals that you have set out. Do not ask a million questions and try and find holes or flaws or attempt to make it ‘perfect.’ The perfect program does not exist. Trust the program, follow it honestly and monitor the progress. The experience and results you gain from following one program for a consistent period of time will be priceless.

There you have it, if you aren’t seeing the results you want, you must go into your closet and drag your barbarian alter ego out and workout like one. Once you do, you will then soon find that you will look like one too.

How have you overcome your weightlifting workout plateaus?

See you in the comments.

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Workouts For Teens

September 28, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

teen-body-building

Over the past few weeks I have been assisting many teens (under the age of 16) on how they should workout, and the lack of knowledge some of them have does amaze me. However, I was that young once (in my mind I still am :)) and I do remember what it was like. One thing I did know for sure though, was that you shouldn’t be hitting free weights (power lifting) or supplements before the age of 16. So to drum it into the mind of any teenager that reads this,

‘What you don’t know will kill you’

Well… not literally, but possibly. That applies to many things in life, but lets stick weight training and exercise.

Whether you are a teen or you have a nephew, brother, son or someone you know that is one, they will most likely be inspired to workout. But until they reach the age of 18, or even 21, the exercises that they perform in their workouts will and should be different compared to those performed in an adult’s workout.

For myself it was at age 16 when I started to workout, but I made a pact to myself not to start high intensity resistance training until I was 17-18 years old, and there was a good reason for this.

Prevent Stunt Growth

The reality is that the skeletal structure of the younger person is likely to still be growing and any teenager really doesn’t want to interrupt that growth process. It may lead to being short, or under developed in terms of adult size and frame. Even worse, you may just carry on growing, and if you become a skyscraper (like me 🙂 ), then you are likely to develop stretch marks.

Avoid-stretchmarks-gain-weight-healthilystretch marks-avoid-gain-weight-healthily

There is nothing wrong with being short at all, but you might as well find out if that is how you will be once you reach the age of 21. If you then find that you are to be tall then the girls will love you for your height too. 😉

I was always tall growing up but I still didn’t want to interrupt my natural growth, so I waited until 17 years old before lifting heavy weights. It was good that I did wait, as many other ‘shooting stars’ that I knew in and outside of school started to early and without a doubt, I am certain that doing so stunted their growth.

Ok, point taken, I’m a teen, what should I do?

In terms of building strength or some weight gains, teens should stick to bodyweight workouts, performing many of the exercises that I have recently covered such as

  • Sit-ups
  • Leg lifts
  • Crunches

Use an exercise ball to maximize your ab building potential with the above exercises.

  • Press-ups
  • Chin ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Leg raises

Use the Iron Gym Xtreme door chin up bar to perform the above exercises effectively.

  • Knee jumps
  • Mahler body blasters
  • Weight-less squats
  • Lunges

Swimming, running and cycling are good moderate intensity cardio exercises, but are also good for building functional strength. Climbing trees is also another good activity to include in your workouts.

You could always take up activities such as martial arts to keep your muscles and strength gains active. Martial arts will not only be good for improving body strength, but will be good for improving flexibility too. The best part of taking up martial arts is that it will set you up well for your knowledge in self-defence with a strong mind set for discipline and improved attitude.

Overall, as a teenager, your goal should be to only increase your strength and build the ‘ripped’ look and of course, general fitness. Be patient and wait it out for 2-3 years before you start bulking up and pumping those heavy weights. Time will fly after reading this, and believe me, when that time comes you will thank me for it.

Are you a teenager?

If not, how old were you when you began to lift weights?

See you in the comments

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Altus Deluxe Door Chin Up Bar

September 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Gym Equiment, The Fitness Bug

Altus Deluxe Chin Up Bar, 1 Bar Altus Deluxe Chin Up Bar, 1 BarAltus Deluxe Chin Up Bar, 1 Bar

The Ultimate Upper Body And Abdominal Workout!


Some of you may still be buzzing from the unique bodyweight exercises. But before i give you the Ebook lowdown on that, i would like to prepare you for those bodyweight workouts that I’m sure you’ll be doing as we lead up to the festive season in these sure to be cold winter months.

The door chin up bar

If you haven’t already got one of these, then this should be the first piece of home gym equipment that you should get. I’m now onto my 2nd chin up bar that I’ve put onto a 2nd door in my home.

Why?

Well, The chin up bar allows you to perform some of the best bodyweight exercises there are that will give you the best strength gains.

  • Chin ups
  • Pull ups (Wide grip, close grip, both with a dipping belt)
  • Hanging Leg raises

And when you are just relaxing in your home, or feeling energetic after a good meal, you can just easily jump on to the bar and max out on a few sets of the above bodyweight exercises. No real preparation, just spontaneous muscle action.

There are many chin up bars you can buy out there, but this was the 2nd one I bought earlier this year. It’s been pretty sturdy since putting it up and hasn’t given me any problems (such as falling down scares when in use!). This one is better than my all steel chin up bar as it has rubber handles that don’t slip, which also absorbs sweat from your hands. The grips are actually a vital accessory for any chin up bar, and if you have performed chin ups on a groove-less steel bar, then you’ll know how frustrating slipping across the bar can be during a workout. If you truly are heavy handed then you can always use a paper towel for extra grip, although i don’t think it will be necessary. (see picture)

Atlus-chin-up-bar-1atlus-chin-up-bar-2

atlus-chin-up-bar-4

So if you haven’t yet got one, be sure to get it, as the Ebook won’t be to far off, and i definitely want you to be ready in time for that. I’ll be updating you on a few other must-have bodyweight exercise accessories, until then, get pulling.

But wait…

Whether you have been hit by the recession or not, one can always save money… right? Any how, I’ll leave you with these coupons for you bodyweight enthusiasts.

Take $5.00 Off Your $100 Order! Use coupon code 5off100.

Take $10.00 Off Your $200 Order! Use coupon code 10off200.

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