Building W I D E Powerful Shoulders

Building wide shoulders can be difficult without the understanding of certain fundamentals.

Today, we’ll talk about these and how to build shoulders big, strong, and wide.

a

Building W I D E and Powerful Shoulders

Of all the muscle groups, the shoulders constitute the most complicated, and with the possible exception of the back, requiring the most careful attention to form.

Rotator cuff and other shoulder injuries will put more guys out of the gym this year than any other injury except Lumbar.

But, if you like working upper body, you simply cannot get around working your shoulders.

Most kinds of presses put tremendous reliance on the shoulders for stability and balance – and a hurt shoulder means you can’t do these.

So you’ve got to take care of them…

…….. and if you want to build them, you’ve got to understand a little about how they work, first.

I said earlier that shoulders were complicated.

Just think about it….

your spine passes within a half inch of the bar you’re using to back press or squat with,

—– right there at the point of your shoulders where your clavicle, traps, back and neck meet….

In this area, there are muscles rotating, moving side to side, up and down, laterally, and even diagonally…

If this was a machine,
Detroit couldn’t make it right,
’cause there’s too many moving parts.

You’d have to call the Germans.
(and then, it’d be too damn expensive,
………. and you couldn’t read the manual.)

When you talk about working shoulders,
the major groups you’re dealing with will be:

First, come the Deltoids – anterior, posterior, and medial ……

Then, the Trapezius, the Sternohyoideus, the Omohyodeus, the Scalenus , the Infraspinatus…. the….. oh hell.

Let’s just narrow it down to the Traps, Delts, Upper Chest and the Upper Back-us. I mean… Back.

(Hey- don’t blame me– all these muscles got named by a bunch of Roman guys……. )

Some general rules to remember when working shoulders

1: One thing you gotta watch out for right away is the potential for hyperextension of the spine….
— use a bench when doing dumbbell or bar presses when possible.

2: If a certain movement gives you sudden pain, STOP immediately.

(Here’s where the ‘see your doctor’ stuff usually comes in – and if he’s on the bench next to ya, why not?
Otherwise , you aint gonna do it, so I aint gonna waste my breath. )

Once you’ve convinced yourself that you are not hurt, then ask yourself –
— was there something off about the way you were doing it (FORM) ??

Lighten up the weight, and try it again nice and slow,
—— making sure you are doing it according to Hoyle.

If the pain returns, go pay that MD some of yer hard earned cash –
— cause it’s still better than losing the hard earned muscle you’ll lose if you tear somethin…..

3: Your shoulders contain a good deal of pennate muscle- that means, they can lift more, but with a shorter range.

Don’t expect your shoulders to rotate more, or raise higher, than they do naturally.

Maybe a yoga expert can learn to extend his shoulder range,
——- but as far as weightlifting is concerned, what you got is what you got.

Start your presses at a comfortable position, and stop before you go beyond your comfort range. Don’t push it.

Your rotator cuff muscles are particularly vulnerable to the results of such ego-lifting….
—and there’s all kinds of activities you won’t be able to do with your hands if you screw THEM up.

(Oh well, you can always give her MY number…)

4: Don’t go ape-shit on the weight if you want to target your shoulders.
A lot of the extra weight, sloppy form and all, will be taken by the supporting groups like Teres major and minor, Rhomboids, Pecs, etc…

—- and you won’t get the results you want… not to mention you could do some damage.
(ok, I did mention it… )

5: Stop looking in the mirror every once in a while while you’re working, close your eyes, and feel the rep…
—— go for the burn, and once you get it, you’ve hit on your rep point.

6: How narrow or wide you grip the bar on bar-based movements will tend to have a bearing on which groups the movement ends up targeting- for instance, on the front press, a wider grip will hit the upper pecs higher – while a narrower one will focus on the delts.

Movements and Implements for the Shoulder

Upright Rows
Hits the traps, delts, and biceps. Spread your feet to shoulder width, keep your back naturally arched. With an overhand grip lift the bar from thigh level to chin level in a smooth motion. Slow on each eccentric.

Single Dumbbell Front Raises
Hits the pecs, traps, delts, and biceps. Suck in your abs, spread your feet slightly, and holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of your beltline, arms straight out, slowly raise and lower the dumbbell to shoulder level and back. This movement is very effective at building strength throughout the shoulder structure.

Reverse Pec Deck Laterals –
Hits the traps, delts and teres minor, and the rhomboids. Mount the deck facing the back pad.
Bring your elbows back, and bring your shoulder blades as close together as comfortable.
Great for back detail, and lateral power.

Bent over Low Pulley Crossover Laterals –
Hits the delts hard – also the traps, teres, and rhomboids. Spread your feet about shoulder width,
— knees bent, back straight and bent over to 45 degrees, hold a handle in each hand with cables crossing in front of you, —- and raise to a comfortable point above the level of your shoulders.

Low Pulley Raises –
Can you say DELTOID power? Position yourself perpendicular to the low pulley machine, keep your back straight, grasp the handle, and pull up and out diagonally to a comfortable position above shoulder height.

Back Press –
This is another one that works your delts, but also hits the traps, triceps, and serratus…. keep careful watch on your form. I like to do these seated on a Smith Machine- as you can really wrench your back if you hyperextend. Pick a comfortable starting point behind your head that’s not too low that it’s gonna hurt. Keep your natural arch, but no more. Push up to a comfortable point above your head, but don’t lock out.

Hammer Strength Shoulder Press –
A great machine that will force form if you adjust the seat properly. Works the same groups as Back Press, except more of the upper pecs, and not so much the serratus. You can go ape shit on the weight if you’re careful.

Dumbbell Press –
Works the delts, traps, serratus, and triceps. Again, seated is safest. I know that hottie on the otherside of the gym might not be able to see ya that way, but your spine is more important. (Ok… it’s a close one, but spine wins.)

I like to press them both at the same time to keep my form and balance better, but you can do these one arm at a time. Grip the dumbbells with an overhand grip, starting at the elbows parallel to the floor position, and pushing up to extension. Don’t lock out, and don’t shove… slow and easy will get ya more results. And don’t drop the damned weights on the floor when you’re finished, pleeeeeeze. ———-> If you can’t put em down , don’t pick em up.

Nautilus Laterals –
I love this machine. You can work the full range, and it doesn’t stress the tendons… works the delts, traps, and supraspinatus. You can go abover horizontal to hit the traps harder…

Shrugs –
Nothing complicated here.. works the traps, delts, supraspinatus, serratus, but mostly the traps.
Be sure you’re maintaining your natural arch, and don’t spin your shoulder when loaded.

Double Front Raises –
Here’s an all around exercise for the shoulders and upper chest and back. Grab the dumbbells with an overhand grip, starting at your thighs and raising them to shoulder height. Feel da burn.

Alrighty…. have a fun time working your shoulders, and I’ll see ya in a coupla days.

And don’t forget what yer ole Uncle Nuts says:

STAY AWAY FROM THE SNACK BAR !!!!

Advertisements

Protein Supplements for Muscle and Strength

What can the right kind of protein do for you?

It can help you build muscle and strength, that’s what.

Here’s a blog on the ins and outs of protein supplementation.

92

Ever read a muscle magazine?

It’s bizarre…

There’s usually about 20 pages of articles of how to build muscle

—- and about 174 pages of ads… mostly for supplements.

One of the most commonly over-advertised item is Whey Protein.

I say over-advertised not because it isn’t important.. it is….

… but because there are so many companies selling the same product claiming that theirs somehow magically works better than everybody else’s.

Man, take it from your ole Uncle Nuts…
— if you buy pure 100% Whey Protein Isolate- (compare and get your best price!!)
— you’ll get 100% of what you need, and 0% of what crap somebody wants to put it in it to make it more profitable.

Let me tell you why supplementation with Whey Protein is important in the first place.

There’s no doubt the average shmoe gets more than his daily requirement of protein, -along with way too much fat – consuming products like Big Mac’s, Hot Dogs, BBQ, fried cheese sticks, shakes, ice cream, etc.

He doesn’t work out, so he doesn’t build muscle- he wastes it. His body doesn’t need supplemental protein. One morning dose of a BK fastfood breakfast sandwich, and Mr. Average Softbody’s got a high fat-carb artery hardon, for Chrissake!

But if you’re working out pretty hard, you’re probably not eating that crap anyway, and your body needs GOOD QUALITY protein for muscle synthesis (new muscle fibers)– as much as 2 grams per pound of body weight. (1-1.5 g should be ok unless you work out like the Governator, or want to bulk up real quick.)

It’s important to remember that while Carbohydrates are necessary for the proper operation of the Central Nervous System and for energy to workout—
———— Protein is the stuff that makes muscle.

Whey Protein provides plenty of BCAA’s – Branched Chain Amino Acids – nutrients that are essential for all sorts of functions in the mind and body… one of them, leucine, a key agent in strength and recovery.

It provides glutamine- used throughout the gastrointestinal system to insure healthy digestion and waste disposal – as well as being another key agent in exercise recovery.

Supplemental protein also enhances glutathione production – an antioxidant which slows the aging/mutation of cells. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and boosts the strength of your immune system. And it’s another extremely important element in post-exercise recovery.

There are no side-effects that have been documented with moderate use of supplemental protein, either.

Why wouldn’t every hard-working gym rat want to supplement with it? I got no idea.

Ok, now- here’s the curve: not all proteins are created equal.

Yeah, I know what I said earlier about competing products… but that’s not what I’m talking about.

There are several forms of protein available in supplement form… milk proteins
(like Whey, Cassein), egg proteins, and soy proteins.

While all three of these types are considered high quality bio-available proteins,
Whey is considered by most body builders as the most readily synthesized..
— although if you’re one of those alternative veggie types, Soy should work almost as well until you (hopefully) evolve into a carnivore like nature intended.
(Good luck with that… in the meantime, might I you take a Savate course, instead?… Oh, and keep those soy farts outta MY gym. Thanks.)

Seriously, Soy Proteins are high in certain phyto-estrogens, so it’s not a great first choice,
—- unless you’re trying to look good in tube top, pumps, garter belt, and a micro skirt.

To make it more difficult, many protein supplements aren’t 100% protein.

Remember- buy 100% protein isolate- no fillers, no junk.

I know the price has skyrocketed recently, but repeat – Don’t buy CHEAP CRAPPY PROTEIN!

You want the “isolates” instead of concentrate, if only to avoid extra lactose and fats… the cost difference is nominal.

“Hydrolysates” are fancier and much more expensive than either concentrates or isolates… but their easier digestibility doesn’t really make up for the cost difference.

Watch the ingredient list on the brand you’re looking at… a few carbs in the mix might serve to help get muscle synthesis going.. but more than a few grams will just add unwanted calories to the equation.

If I’m gonna intake carbs, I want to taste them…..

….. not gulp em down like you’ll end up doing with every protein shake you’ll ever take regularly.

YUK.. why can’t these companies make a protein supplement that doesn’t smell or taste like the inside of a bovine intestine??? Jeezzz.

In all fairness, the protein companies have ramped up the tastiness of their products in the last coupla years…

Back in the bad old days, all we had wuz smelly, gloppy egg protein powder…. and that -wuz indescribably horrific- in comparison. I personally find Optimum Nutrition’s (ON) French Vanilla flavor not too terrible at all .. and it mixes well with all the other crap I throw in with it. “Designer Whey” tastes pretty damn good, too.. but it’s not all isolates.

There are ‘pre-mixed’ bottles of protein drinks – you’ve probably seen these in the cooler at the gym. Again, look for a lot of added stuff… and since these are ‘pasteurized’, much of the protein has been denatured- so less of the protein is really bio-available. And considering the taste of these products…. I think Elmer’s glue tastes better – it’s not worth the price to me.

There are protein products made for hard-gainers… these contain mucho additives, mostly in the form of carbs and fats… sure, they’ll put weight on ya, but eating two of mom’s lemon meringue pies a day will too.

I’m not saying these are worthless.

I’m just saying I’d rather have pie.

Here’s another curve:

There are sometimes when you might want a slow absorbing protein like cassein, instead of a quicker absorbing protein like Whey; for instance, at night before bed.

All nite long while you are sleeping ( theoretically sleeping… you might be doing all kinds of stuff other than sleeping… how the hell should I know… but if it involves more than 3 redheads, and you need help, call me )…. your body is rebuilding your muscles and creating new muscle fibers. It uses protein to do that.

But, if you took Whey at 10:30pm, by 2 am it’s all absorbed – and your protein gauge is on E.

However, Cassein takes about 4-6 hours to absorb, it’s kind of like a time release deal…

So, you got protein to burn until it’s time to tell all them girls to go the hell home.
(why the hell didn’t you call me???)

Some guys try to get around using whey protein powder by taking AMINO tabs, BCAA’s, and Glutamine.

While I readily admit that I use these supplements myself, I use them to kick up the value of the protein powder which I also use.

They’re not a substitute for whole protein strands… which is what your body looks for to build muscle.

Interestingly enough, though…

BCAA’s are being studied because of their ability to be burned directly as fuel for a workout, when carbs are depleted. I swear by em…. but, again they’re not a substitute- they’re a add-on.

The bottom line of Protein is this:
you gotta have it if you’re gonna build muscle.
Too much is too much, but enough is just right.
But prepare yourself; it’s not gonna smell or taste like the girl next door.

Tough it out, buddy.

oh…., and STAY AWAY FROM THE SNACK BAR!!!

Mens Health and Soy Products

3640937_f520

I’m really tired of watching lie after lie being told in pursuit of the Almighty Buck;

—- and, this lie –
well, it really gets my goat,
not just because it’s SO BLATANT,
but because it reinforces and speeds up the trend toward the demasculinization of American men.

You’ve seen the commercial; a smartly dressed cow in a business suit reaches for his breakfast, when he realizes that his 2% has been replaced with something called ‘Soy Milk’. He protests- meekly, and is told- by his also smartly dressed, but much more intelligent and well-informed (not to mention dominant) cowess (is that a word?) of a wife- that Soy ‘Milk’ is delicious and nutritious and healthy and HE’S FREAKIN’ DRINKIN IT.

Oh what a happy domestic scene.

Notwithstanding, that is,
NONE OF IT IS EVEN REMOTELY TRUE.
(…… Except for the talking bovine in a business suit part….)

First of all, you can’t MILK a soybean;
it’s no more MILK than Rosie O’Whatsername is a Certified Etiquette Instructor.

It’s obtained by soaking and mashing soybeans up and packaging the watery residue as something a lot fancier than watery residue of what in many other countries is used for nothing but FERTILIZER.

And just to keep our facts straight, it will, from hereon be referred to in this blog as what it is: “SOY RESIDUE”.

But PROFITABLE?? Oh man, just imagine how much overhead you WOULDN’T have, and profit you would, if you could just soak your old gym socks, squeeze em out, and sell the watery residue as a HEALTHY alternative to milk.

Whoo Boy! And it’d probably TASTE a whole lot better than Soy Residue.

Which reminds me; Soy Rez doesn’t taste GOOD; it tastes just like you’d imagine a watery residue of a plant used as fertilizer would taste like. AWFUL. And it doesn’t make a good replacement for milk, it’s too runny and biley.

So, let’s see now… it ain’t MILK, it doesn’t taste good, it’s NOT nutritious… soy intake blocks calcium and causes a deficiency of vitamin D, both of which are needed for strong bones.

…… what’s left? Oh yeah…. and this is the one that REALLY GETS ME; it’s the complete opposite of HEALTHY.

Here’s just a few of the “HEALTHY” aspects of Soy Residue:

Soy products contain dangerous levels of various toxins ranging from phytates, (which block the body’s uptake of minerals) ; isoflavones (phytoestrogens) like genistein and daidzein, which ape, block and replace the hormone estrogen; enzyme inhibitors, which slow down protein breakdown; and hemagluttin, which encourages the clumping of red blood cells, and suppressing oxygen uptake.

Dependence in vegetarians on soy products puts them at serious risk of dietary deficiencies, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and especially zinc– because of its levels of phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of essential minerals in the digestive tract. To reduce these effects of a high-phytate diet, one would have to do as the Japanese, and consume lots of meat or fish with tiny bits of soy.

It’s not widely known but soy is actually the second most common allergen, while only less than 2 percent of the population is allergic to cows’ milk. ( of those, two-thirds will also be intolerant to soymilk) .

Soy protein isolate is made by acid-washing in aluminum tanks, so it is also high in aluminum.

No wonder it tastes bad.

More? Soy depresses thyroid function- a Japanese study in 1991 found that only about 30g of soy a day can trigger an astronomical increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone, thus, increased chance of goiter, hypothyroidism, and auto-immune thyroid disease.

A study of babies born to high soy consuming mothers showed that infant boys had a five times greater risk of hypospadia, a birth defect of the penis. Phytoestrogen rich-foods, especially soy, during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can also cause damage to the fetus’s developing brain,

“Soy-fed babies are taking part in ‘a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored human infant experiment”, said Daniel Sheehan, director of the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research, in 1998.

A newborn baby’s sole food is the milk it drinks: a soy-fed baby receives the equivalent of five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day, according to Mike Fitzpatrick. These babies’ isoflavone levels were found to be from 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than in non-soy fed infants. and —- Why would you give this stuff to a BABY BOY???

Hey, guys… imagine what this stuff does to your T-Levels… I guess maybe that explains the dominant cowess in the commercial, huh?

The phytoestrogen overload in soy-fed male babies cause double the risk of thyroid abnormalities and retarded physical development, while girls risk early puberty (1 per cent of girls now show signs of puberty, such as breast development or pubic hair, before the age of three) and infertility.

Diabetes, changes in the central nervous system, infantile leukemia, extreme emotional behavior, asthma, immune system problems, and pituitary insufficiency have also been linked to the early consumption of these isoflavones and other toxins in soy. .

A 2005 study on Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii showed that men who had ate tofu twice or more a week had ‘accelerated brain ageing’, and more than twice the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia… and they looked five years older than those men who didn’t.

In 1996, a cancer study showed women eating soy had an increased risk of epithelial hyperplasia, and in 1997, genistein (a toxin in soy) was also found to stimulate human breast cells to enter the cell cycle.

Now, the even BADDER news: you can hardly avoid being exposed to this crap, even if you can ignore the cute TV cows….

Sure, you can stop eating the obvious candidates such as soy milk and tofu…………………………………………………………… ,

— but soy is also found in breakfast cereals, ice cream, convenience foods such as hamburgers, fish fingers, hot dogs and lasagna, as well as all types of baked goods from cakes and biscuits to tortillas and bread.

You’ll have to read labels carefully, and eat organic processed foods wherever possible.

Of course, if you’re with the pro-soy lobby, you might respond: ” in the US, a quarter of the population has been fed infant soy formula for 30 to 40 years, with no adverse health problems. So why should I worry?”

NO ADVERSE HEALTH PROBLEMS? Look around, bub.

Scientists are only just beginning to research and understand the harmful long-term effects that eating large quantities of soy can have on the human body. As researchers Fallon and Enig wrote: ‘The industry has known for years that soy contains many toxins. At first they told the public that the toxins were removed by processing. Then they claimed that these substances were beneficial.’

Sounds like the BIG MONEY will be getting out THEIR BIG SPIN-GUNS.

GEEZ.. can’t somebody stand up for the truth once in a while?

3640942_f520

Building Legs of Steel

legpress

Lemme tell ya…

Of all the muscle groups in the body, legs are the group that a lot of guys just downright refuse to work.

Most guys just love to work upper body, particularly arms…

But so many neglect legs- maybe ’cause working legs HURTS.

(Damned if my knees aren’t burning and screamin most of the time…… )

That’s why you see so many unbalanced physiques….
………….. mooks with big upper bodies and lil bird legs.

Guys struttin around the gym looking like Purdue chickens, all breast meat.

Ok… well, that may not be the ONLY reason…..

Genetics plays a part, but genetics can be partially overcome with the proper work, diet, supplementation, and rest.

In the end, one must apply heavy force, while protecting the joints, if you want to strengthen and grow your legs and calves.

Form is vital –
’cause your joints take all the weight that isn’t properly balanced and folcumed.

But take heart.

You can love working legs. I promise.

I do – even though my knees hate me most of the week because of it.

Working legs separates the men from the boys…

And working heavy separates the strong from the wanna-look-strong.

‘Cause there’s no faking legs.

I always say – “If you’re scared- say you’re scared.”

The truth is, a lot of guys are scared of working legs heavy…

But, actually, your legs and calves are the strongest groups in your body-
they’re meant to take heavier weight than the rest of your body.

Of course, when you work legs, you’re working several other groups usually, too…

But the ones we’ll concern ourselves with in this discussion will be CALVES (soleus, etc), THIGHS (quads, etc), and BUTTS (gluteus, etc.)

No guy wants to admit to working his butt, but your butt (…Wait, am I stuttering?) is part of the whole leg package –

……. and strength here will help drive heavier deadlifts and other lifts, too.

Baby may got back, but you – – well, you want POWAH.

And you ain’t strong- unless your legs, butt, and calves are strong……

You gotta be able to put the power to the ground.

Before we discuss implements and movements, lemme tell you a couple things that you might want to consider.

Number One is the use of knee wraps.

I use them every time I work legs.

They are NOT a crutch.
They are NOT weight bearing.
They do NOT ‘cheat the weight’ (like a bench suit, etc.).

They simply provide support for the patella (knee cap) and the surrounding ligaments and tendons.

You don’t need to stress those bad boys to build powerful legs – if you do, you won’t be able to put the power to the ground when you need to.

And, no power to the ground means you might as well have them bird legs we were talking about.

Number Two is about how much weight you should use when working legs.

Remembering that I don’t want any of you burning out your wheels or blowing out your knees, and reminding you of my disclaimer at the bottom of this here post, I can tell you that the harder you work em, the bigger and stronger they’ll get.

Growth is nature’s way of coping with a recurring stressor of muscle fiber – especially those fast twitch fibers — and fast twitch fibers respond particularly well to short duration, high intensity work.

The wrong way to grow legs is to do high reps and low weight…. and that’s how most guys work em.

No wonder they won’t grow.

You’ll end with legs that look long and lean in running shorts, but them dogs won’t hunt.

So, how much weight?

Depending on the implement or movement, around 75% of 1RM for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Number Three is knowing the difference between good pain and bad pain.

Good pain feels like pain, but you’ve gotten to know it as temporary , as a result of the pump, and the build up of lactic acid and ammonia from the application of force.

You should feel THIS pain every time you work out.

If you don’t , get the hell back in there and work some more.

Bad pain feels like pain, too… but it also feels like you’re tearing something up…. you know- like the difference between the usual grunt and growl of your V-Twin and the noise it makes when the damn thing is about to throw a rod.

You gotta learn the difference.

You do that the same way you learn to lift heavier weights.

You start slow, you pay attention to what it’s supposed to feel like, and then you build up… all the time asking yourself if you’re doing it right and everything’s still OK.

Again, high resistance , low reps…. rest about 3 minutes between sets.

You should need the rest – and you shouldn’t have much left after your 8 or 10- if you do, throw some more weight on that thing.

Slow and easy on the reps…. don’t ‘lock out’, and never go in the well unless you know how you’re getting out again… better yet, stay outta there.

It’s too rough on your joints for so little return.

Number Four: Blocking is an important technique especially when squatting.

Basically, this means sucking in some air, pushing your chest out, your shoulder in, and flexing your abdominals.

This supports your internal structure, and gives you more stability and concentration of power.

Here’s how Delavier describes it:

” The chest expands with compressed air, which supports the rib cage and prevents the chest from collapsing forward.

Contracting the abdominal muscles during compression supports the core and increases the intra-abdominal pressure, which prevents the torso from collapsing forward.

Arching the lower back by contracting the lumbar muscles positions the spinal column in a strong and proper alignment during extension. “

——————————————(Frederic Delavier, “Strength Training Anatomy”)

and Number Five:

I’m not gonna go back over all the stuff you need to know about how important your hormone levels and proper supplementation is to your gains… see my posts on supplementation for more info….

just remember—-
—- the proper diet, supplements, and rest —
are just as important as working hard!!

Now…. on to brass tacks.

Movements and Implements

SQUATS
Works all parts of the quadriceps and gluteus. I like to use the Smith Machine, and position the bar between the traps and the posterior delt – you may be more comfortable with the bar resting on the traps. Stay outta the well. When your quads are parallel to the ground, that’s plenty good. Don’t flex your spine during your squat, and remember your natural arch and blocking. Breathe in before going down, breathe out coming up.

GOOD MORNINGS
Works most of your thigh muscles and your erectors in your back, as well as your gluteus. You can target your hammies by keeping your legs straight. Don’t do these while incarcerated or at the beach in Key West.

LEG PRESS
Works all parts of the quadriceps and gluteus. Make sure you keep your back flat to the pad, and your butt on the seat. You can change up where you place your feet, and how far apart they are, to target more specific groups… for instance, high and wide hits the glutes and hammies harder… low and close hits the quads harder. Vary it up and see which spots are the sweet ones fer you.

CABLE KICKBACKS
Works the glutes and the bicep femoris. Don’t extend any further back than is comfortable. Slow movement back and forward is the key here.

LEG EXTENSIONS
Works all parts of the quads. Decline the seat more to work the outside quad (the rectus femoris).

LEG CURLS
Works the hammies, biceps femoris (no- not the biceps in your arm…) and the gastrocnemius (back of your calves). Go to 12 oclock and stop- don’t bounce – and then back down.

CABLE ABDUCTIONS
Works the hammies, abductors, and your G-Spot if you got one. I hate these, and I don’t do em. If you want to, be sure to keep your natural arch and don’t go too heavy. They’re great for building inner thigh strength- just in case you’re a female assasin and meet James Bond in the shower.

CALF RAISES
Works the gastrocnemius and the soleus in your calves. I love these, and do them on a Smith Machine so I can get more range of motion. Don’t be afraid to go heavier!!

SOLEUS RAISES
Works the soleus… keep your patella at the end of the pad, and don’t go ape shit on the weight here… that’s a small group.

LUNGES
Works the quads, hams and glutes. Ok… I hate these too,,,, and I’ll usually do more squats and skip these for the sake of my knees. However, Ronnie Coleman loves them, he used to go very heavy on em… and he’s not exactly a small guy, legs or anything else. He used to do these in the parking lot of the Metroflex Gym in Dallas, rain or shine, hot, hotter, or hottest- with 400 pounds of chains around his neck. Step longer to get the hammies, shorter to hit the quads.

Alright.

Well, there you have it.

This leg split you can do once or twice a week, and you’ll start seeing results in 6 to 8 weeks.

Don’t be tempted to break these up into separate days, cause that’ll cut into your rest and recovery, and these groups need it.

Just pick the ones you like the best (spread the groups around, though, and stick with your push-pull rotation when possible) and do them first, then pickup the rest as your endurance allows.

And, Hey — lemme know how you’re doing !!!

HOY !

Disclaimer: any and all commentary contain herein is for entertainment only, and does not constitute advice- which can only be given under the up-close and personal supervision of a personal trainer who can watch you closely to make sure you’re doing the stuff right and not hurting yourself. see your medical professional before entertaining any ideas of using the entertainment contained within this entertainment for your own entertainment. Yeah, and tell him I said ‘hey’. 

Fitness Confusion

Fitness confusion?

ummm

I’m not surprised.

There is an awful lot of ‘he-said this’, ‘she said that’ kinda stuff in the fitness world.

By that I mean, that no matter what kind of question you may have about the subject,

… you’ll end up hearing very differing answers, depending on whom you ask.

So, lets say ‘newbie A’ wants to know about weight training…

She’ll ask trainer #1 a question like: “Can you burn more fat with weights than with cardio” – and voila!

The answer given is very simple, very cut and dried: NO, “cardio burns more fat“.

For some reason, now, she gets around to asking Trainer #2 the same question …
and voila!

The answer given is very simple, very cut and dried: YES, “weight training burns more fat”.

Now, ‘newbie A’ is very confused.

Who/what to believe?

Hmmmmm…… that’s a tricky one.

I’ll explain it the way I see it…
…………………… and then you can take it or leave it.

‘Cause basically…, that’s how it works.

You see,

there’s always a cutting edge study being done at some University somewhere,

studying everything from what amino acid gives rats the biggest boost on the treadmill,

to whether bananas are good for erectile deficiency.. ( or just erectile replacement )

And it never fails,
.. the results conflict with a least one of the previous studies on the same subject,
done at some other University. ( sometimes – the same one! )

Anyone who has any experience with the ‘scientific method’ understands something about why that is….

… any kind of variation in the test conditions can mean completely different results.

And these variations can be minute –

— testing muscles from a rat’s leg instead of body,

— testing well-trained athletes instead of newbies,

— or whether an amino acid being tested is administered with, or without, a particular enzyme.

But, that’s only the beginning –

— you can’t really say that your average trainer is a voracious reader, exactly.

When they do read, most read very short blurbs or extracts of studies…

— and these, they may interpret differently– or miss the point of the study results entirely.

Many trainers havent picked up a book or read a study since their certification.

So, a lot of times, they’re operating on outdated information.

Stretching, for instance.

If you were certified (like me) in the late 80’s or early 90’s,
you might still think that 30 to 45 minutes of stretching is a good thing before heavy lifting, even though more recent studies have shown it reduces power and strength, and increases susceptibility to certain types of injuries.

And it’s like that across the board.

so, again… what can you do to insure you’re getting good info?

I think the answer is to read everything you can get your hands on,
— try out different ways of doing things,
— and then adding the ones that you like and you feel are working into your regimen.

Because every body is different , and what works for subject 28,737 might not work for you.

No matter what the study says.