The Secret Lunge Exercise

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

This is an exercise that I found way back in the 90’s when I used to train on the track. Back then I learned many secret exercises to help park muscle growth, but as time has gone by, they seem to have faded slightly in my mind. But recently, I had a trip down memory lane and began to reminisce of how obsessed I was when executing all of those exercises to help keep my performance up. As my thoughts ran wild, I remembered how I used to lunge down the track for 30metres a set. ‘PAIN’!

And then another exercise came to mind.

The Side Lunge

Many of you are probably used to performing lunges which involves stepping forward and then stepping back. That is a great exercise yes, but to stimulate your muscles you will need to innovate and show them something new. Open them up to the world as such.

Side lunges work the muscles of your hips and thighs from an all-new angle. This, of course, can spark muscle growth, as well as improve the stability of your knees–lowering your risk of injury.

Now, this exercise doesn’t look to difficult to perform, and doesn’t necessarily require the use of weights either. But don’t be fooled. Just like my favorite beverage Long Island Ice Tea, it will break you down before you can even begin to notice. But that’s a good thing, as you will always be faced with a challenge.

Enough talk from me. Here’s how you do it

The Dumbbell Side Lunge

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length next to your sides, your palms facing each together.
  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and pointed straight ahead.
  • Lift your right foot and take a big step to your right as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your knees. Push yourself back up to the starting position as quickly as you can.
  • Your lower right leg should remain nearly perpendicular to the floor.
  • Your left foot should remain flat on the floor.
  • Try to lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Do all your reps with your right leg, then perform the movement by lunging with your left leg.
  • 3 sets
  • 8-10 reps

Tip

Make sure you push your hips back as you lower your body and be sure to keep your lower back naturally arched as you perform the exercise.

And for those of you who are interesting in growing the size of your butt… this will help with that too.

See you in the comments.

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Elite Exercise Execution (Part 1)

January 7, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug



Tricep Cable Pull downs

This is one of my favorite exercises for building up my triceps, as it seems to give me the best results every time. However, to get the best results for your efforts, you will need to perform the exercise the correct way. Which is something you might not currently be doing.

Common mistakes

1) Using your whole body to push the weight back down at the top of the motion.
2) Elbows raise up to high.

This is a double negative because you are putting extra strain on your body (which can sometimes lead to injury) and performing the exercise incorrectly. Which in turn means you are getting the least results for your efforts.

The correction

1) Instead of using your whole body, just use your arms. That is where you want to build muscle, so that is the only part of your body that needs to move with this exercise.

2) This could be happening for one of 2 reasons

  • Using your whole body to control the motion of the exercise, which results in an uncoordinated body movement. Hence why your arms are all over the place.
  • The weight you’re currently using is too heavy. I’ve previously mentioned the disadvantages of using a weight that’s too heavy for your current self and if that is the case, make sure you lower the weight and increase it over time, as you grow stronger.

Raising your elbows too high will kill the concentration of the movement to your tricep muscles. However, you can allow them to travel a few inches upward as you reach the top level of the movement. Just make sure that you stay close to the cable at this point, as doing so will provide more resistance.

Dumbbell Lateral Raises


This again is another favourite exercise and is the reason why most people can tell I workout, just by looking at my shoulders… when fully dressed. However, this is another exercise that I see being performed incorrectly far to often.

Common mistakes

  • ‘Good’ Posture (Yes, it’s actually bad)
  • Arms not bent enough
  • Shoulders raised to high

I see many variations of the wrong. But here is a single variation to get it right.

The first thing you will want to do is stretch before the exercise and then relax your muscles a little when you begin the stance. Then,

  • Hold both dumbbells together vertically in front of your thighs
  • Bend over slightly with your knees and hips bent too

Raising your arms

This is all about correct technique. What you will need to do is raise your arms with a bend in your elbows (10-30 degree angle) and keep them that way throughout the whole movement.

Raise your arms until your elbows are shoulder height and keep them above your wrists.  At this point your elbows should be directly lateral to your shoulders, as your elbows will be slightly bent forward.

Improve your grip strength

If there were one thing that I wish I had done back when I first performed this exercise, it would be to focus on my grip strength. Not doing so meant that I couldn’t perform the exercise to it’s full potential.

Why?

If you have weak grip strength, then you may notice your hands slipping from the dumbbells during the later sets or later reps of early sets. This will happen for sure as you increase the weight too.

Tip: Don’t increase the weight too much with this exercise, that won’t be needed. This exercise is all about execution and focusing on that is what will get you those killer shoulders.

There are many exercises that I have performed and watched others perform ‘incorrectly’ which deserve to make their way to Elite Exercise Execution. I will cover more of these and feel free to let me know which exercises you have struggled with or watched others struggle with, which you think would be worthy to be mention in Elite Exercise Execution.

See you in the comments.

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The Future of Fitness Is FUN

December 28, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

And innovation.

Since starting Stayfitbug.com I began to find that many of you like to be introduced to new ways of building muscle, for specific muscle groups only, with the most popular being,

How To Build Killer Shoulders?
The Art of Building a Bigger Butt
Effective 6pac building techniques
Plateau Busters – The Chest Workout Routine

I also know you love being introduced to unique bodyweight exercises too. In fact, there is actually a product that’s lets you utilize both aspects of the above.

The ViPR aka Whole Body Workout Tool

(Innovative new fitness equipment that incorporates the utility of the barbell, dumbbell, Kettle bells, stability ball, medicine ball, balance device and speed ladder)

The good thing about this kind of product is that it puts what I continuously preach about here on stayfitbug.com into practice.

‘To prioritize whole body workouts!’

That is how you ‘properly’ build all of the muscles of your body.

This is not necessarily ‘fun’, but it is an interesting an exciting way to build muscle and maintain fitness.

Build Muscle with Video Games

We all know about the glory of Wii-fit and I have previously talked about mixing video games and fitness back in Guitar Hero for fitness. And the reason to do both is to have fun while getting into shape at the same time.

It’s all about the enjoyment rather than treating exercise as a chore. You don’t have sex just to make babies right? (Most don’t plan babies at all actually) You do it for enjoyment too… right?

Most will answer yes to that, and if so, then start treating your workouts the same way. Personally, I like to go a ‘good’ gym at least twice a week. But I don’t treat this as ‘time to workout’. Instead i treat this as entertainment/ social time. Just like hitting the club/ bar/ restaurant or playing on the Playstation 3. Whether it’s Guitar Hero, Wii-fit, simulation bikes or special dance classes, take action and do more of those things. You’ll start building great functional strength without even noticing it because you’ll be too busy having fun.

TRX Suspension, Kettle-bells and others

These are the products that you may want to include in your workouts. Not only are these kinds of products great to use, they also bring something new to your workouts and muscles.

TRX

TRX suspension training involves using a set of nylon straps that are positioned to create resistance using your own body weight and gravity. This form of  training has been used by professional gymnasts for years, but now you can use it too, all from the comfort of your own home as well.

Kettle-bell

The Kettle bell has been around for years, but it is still great as it does 2 things.

1) Conditions your whole body
2) With a very simple plan

Mixing these products into your workouts (which may currently only consist of machine weights and free weights) will also make your workouts more interesting as you’ll be learning and trying something new. And ‘NEW’ is always good, no matter what it is.

If you aren’t already doing some of the things mentioned above, then it’s likely that you will be very soon

Why?

Recent trends show that activity in the gym is moving away from just ‘hardcore’ bodybuilding and machine work. Today fitness in general is becoming more about attitude towards whole body wellness with products such as the ViPR. (Mentioned above)

I don’t see too much wrong with this, as we are always on the search to find new and unique ways to build muscle and keep fit. Besides, that statement right there is the mantra of this site.

What ever happens in the future, we will always find new ways to build muscle, will getting more virtually interactive with our workouts, but most importantly will be having fun while doing it all. What you read here is just a start for things to come.

Bodybuilding and fitness is good!

See you in the comments.

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Hard Gainer Weightlifting Workout Routine

December 17, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

I did promise you all a hard gainer workout routine, and here it is. After reading the previous post you would have begun to understand that less is sometimes more when building muscle as a hard gainer, and this weightlifting routine is a testament to that.

Monday

Squat  2 x 8 reps
Bench Press  2 x 8 reps
Weighted Chins  2 x 6 reps

Thursday

Deadlift  2 x 8 reps
One arm dumbbell press  2 x 8 reps (each arm)
E-Z bar curls  2 x 12 reps
Calf raise  2 x 15 reps

This routine may not look like a lot and after looking at it you might just be tempted to hit the ‘X’ button on the top browser. But if you open up your mind slightly and give this workout a try with the intensity that I have described, you will see some amazing things happen with your body.

The approach

The best way to approach this weightlifting workout routine is by starting with a weight that you can easily handle. Then what you do is increase the weight by 2% every single workout. If you find that things get a bit tough after the first few workouts, then stick to the weight that you can manage. To be honest though, the first few weeks should be easy. The real challenge begins when you get to weeks 3 and 4. The only advice that I have for you at this point is to up the ante, keep working out like a barbarian and be ready!

It’s all down to you on how far you can take this workout… the sky really is the limit. Just be sure to get organized and track your progress.

See you in the comments.

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Plateau Busters – The Weightlifting Routine

November 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Bugs Workout Routines, The Fitness Bug

On Monday I introduced the idea of a weightlifting version of the popular TV show ‘Biggest loser’. The main idea behind this is that all participants will gain rapid first hand experience of how they can custom their workouts to be more effective for achieving weightlifting goals. But it will also prove to be a way to overcome weightlifting plateaus,

Since introducing plateau busters last week, I described some key methods of how you can overcome weightlifting plateaus with certain muscle groups.

Chest
Legs
Arms

But what I’ll do today is propose a weightlifting workout routine for a 3-day week to help start you off in overcoming those plateaus.

MONDAY (Chest, Triceps, Shoulders)

Chest Exercises

Incline dumbbell press – this is a compound exercise that targets the chest but also works the triceps and shoulders.

Pec-deck flye – This is an isolation exercise that works the pecs.

Triceps

Dips – This compound exercise targets the triceps but also works the chest and shoulders.

Shoulders

Front military press – A compound exercise that targets the shoulders but also works the triceps.

Dumbbell lateral raises – An isolation exercise that works the shoulders only.

Bent over dumbbell laterals – An isolation exercise that works the rear deltoids.

WEDNESDAY (Back, Biceps, Forearms)

Back

Front lat pulls – A compound exercise that targets the lats but also works the biceps and mid-back.

Deadlifts – A compound exercise that targets the back and quads but also works the hamstrings, calves and glutes (the butt)

Dumbbell rows – A compound exercise that targets mid-back but also works the biceps and lats.

Dumbbell shrugs – An isolation exercise that works traps.

Biceps


Dumbbell biceps curl – An isolation exercise that works the biceps.

Dumbbell hammer curls – An isolation exercise that works the biceps.

Forearms

Barbell wrist curl – An isolation exercise that works the forearms.

FRIDAY (Lower Body)

Legs

Squats or leg press – A compound exercise that targets the quads but also works the hamstrings, calves and glutes.

Leg extension – An isolation exercise that works the quads.

Leg curls – An isolation exercise that works the hamstrings.

Standing calf raise – An isolation exercise that works the upper section (Gastrocnemius)of the calf muscle.

Seated calf raise – An isolation exercise that works the lower section (Soleus) of the calf muscle.

What you have to keep in mind here is that you are trying to reignite that burning flame that your muscles had when you first began building muscle fast. As I have mentioned before, the key way to do that is to work your muscles with an increased intensity. Up the Ante! And workout like a barbarian.

Key pointers

– Muscles will need more recovery time (A full week for each muscle group)
– 3 day a week workout (No less, No more)
– Aim for two sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise, but as your strength and size increases you should introduce techniques that boost the intensity even further such as,

  • Pre-exhaustion
  • Super sets
  • Partial reps
  • Isometric contractions
  • Forced reps

All of which I’ll cover this week.

See you in the comments.

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