Fitness for Busy Folk

Monthly Archives: July 2010

Workout for Skinny Guys to Gain Muscle

If you’re a skinny guy that wants to pack on a lot of muscle without gaining fat at the same time, then you need to check out Craig Ballantyne’s Meatheads workout series. He just released his fifth installment of the series: Meatheads V.

I would like to share with you one of Craig Ballantyne’s previous Meatheads workouts:

Superset:

1A) Deadlift – 8 reps – Rest 1 minute
1B) DB 1-Arm Standing Shoulder Press with Palms In – 8 reps – Rest 1 minute

  • Repeat 1 more time

2) Chin-up – 1 short of failure (So if your max is 10 reps, perform 9 reps)

  • Do only one set

Kettlebell 555: (You can use Dumbbells instead of Kettlebells)

  • 2-hand Kettlebell Swings – 100 Reps
  • Superset:
    • Prisoner Squats – 25 reps
    • Stability Ball JackKnives – 12reps – Repeat superset 3 more times
  • Superset:
    • Bodyweight Squats – 25 reps
    • Pushups – 26 reps – Repeat superset 3 more times
  • 2-hand Kettebell Swings – 100 reps

Here’s a video of Craig explaining the full workout:

If this workout challenged you, then you need to grab Craig’s latest Meatheads V workout. Click here to learn more.

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Full Body Workout to Gain Mass and Lose Fat

If your goal is to gain lean muscle mass while burning fat, or at least minimizing fat gain, then you need to check out Craig Ballantyne’s Meatheads workout series. He just released his fifth installment of the series: Meatheads V.

I would like to share with you one of Craig Ballantyne’s previous Meatheads workouts:

1) Dumbbell Forward Lunge – 8 reps per side – Rest 30 seconds, and repeat 2 more times

Superset:

2A) Barbell Squats – 12 reps – Rest 1 minute
2B) Back Extension – 12 reps – Rest 1 minute

  • Repeat 2 more times

Kettlebell 500:

  • 2-hand Kettlebell Swings – 200 Reps
  • Superset:
    • Bodyweight Squats – 200 reps
    • Stability Ball JackKnives – 100 reps

Here’s a video of Craig explaining the full workout:

If this workout challenged you, then you need to grab Craig’s latest Meatheads V workout. Click here to learn more.

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Turbulence Training for Meatheads V

july2010_meatheads5

I trained for years with a variety of different training methods. The moment I started incorporating the principles from Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training, my fitness level began to change dramatically. Most training programs work, but they stop working after a while. Craig Ballantyne recognizes this, which is why he comes out with a brand new program each month.  The program I want to share with you today will help you get bigger at home:


Craig Ballantyne’s new Meatheads V workout is a Home Fitness program designed to help you build lean muscle mass. You only need to perform 4 intense workouts per week, which last under 45 minutes each. The program is based on Turbulence Training principles that have helped thousands of people all over the world transform their bodies.

Here’s a sample meatheads workout to show you exactly what Turbulence Training is all about:

<center>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ_gLV4VSv8</center>

What Kind of Equipment will you need for this Workout?

  • Barbell – If you don’t have a barbell, you can substitute movements such as the Deadlift and Barbell Walking Lunges with Dumbbells
  • Dumbbell – This is an absolutely crucial element in your home gym. If you have no equipment at all and wish to gain muscle, then try this Bodyweight only Muscle Building program here.
  • Rings or Straps - If you do not have rings or straps, then there are substitutions for the movement. For example, to substitute for Strap Triceps Extensions you can perform Plank Triceps Extensions with your bodyweight. For any other exercises substitutions, you can contact me at Shah@shahtraining.com. Every movement has a substitution, so don’t think you can’t perform a workout just because of a lack of equipment.
  • Cables – Most home gyms don’t have cables. However, you can grab resistance bands for $15 at your local sporting goods store.
  • Elevated Surface – You will need some sort of elevated surface. You can use chairs, an edge of bed, or thick book to perform single leg calf raises.
  • Pullup  Bar – this is another crucial piece of equipment you will need in your home gym. There is no effective way to work your back without a pullup bar. You can get one for about $20 at your local sporting goods store.
  • Low Hanging Bar – For movements such as the bodyweight rows, you will need a long hanging bar. You can find one at your local bar, or build one yourself by placing a barbell between two sturdy chairs. Be creative with your home training.
  • Stability Ball – I strongly suggest grabbing this piece of equipment. It will transform your training. You can get one for around $20 at your local sporting goods store.
  • Glute-Ham Raise Machine – Once again, I do not expect you to have this piece of equipment. There are stability ball variations for this movement. You can also do back extensions on a stablity ball.
  • Incline Bench – I don’t have an incline bench. So I usually perform incline presses with my back against a stability ball. That ball is extremely useful! Even if you don’t have a flat bench, you can use a regular chair to perform movements such as Dumbbell rows.
  • Dipping Aparatus – Dips are another important element in your training. I don’t have a dipping bar. But I do have two sturdy chairs. Just place the backs facing each other, stand in the middle, and perform dips.

It may seem like a lot of equipment, but once again, if you want to train in the comfort of your own home, you need to be creative. I can perform most of the movements Craig Ballantyne recommends despite minimal equipment just by searching for alternatives.

Click here to Grab your Copy of Turbulence Training Meatheads V Today! – Or Forever be Weak and Small!

Or…Click here to Check out Craig’s Previous Meatheads Workouts

Or…Click here for a Bodyweight only Muscle Building Program

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Fastest Way to Build Muscle: Use Correct Form on All Exercises

The Following is a Guest Post by Reuben Bajada.


Is Using Correct Form All That Important?

Above is a really big question for anyone who spends time improving themselves in the gym each week.

The technique (form) you use on each and every exercise can play a pretty big role in how fast you make gains and how much of an impact those gains will have on your performance.

This week’s post isn’t a ‘step by step’ form guide for a big group of exercises, this is rather a complete explanation as to what form actually is, how best to treat it and how correcting any weaknesses in your form at the moment will benefit you.

What is exercise form?

For me, instead of talking about why one form or technique is better than another, I want to discuss forms practical application when training.

Perfect form can be measured and classified into 2 groups;

1) Using correct ROM (range of motion)

ROM stands for the distance (range) a muscle travels throughout a particular exercise. Some exercises like the barbell squat have a very large ROM and others like the bent over dumbbell tricep kickback have a rather short range of motion.

Now imagine an exercises range of motion as a long footpath, the further you walk along that path the more things you see and the more experiences you encounter.

The same thing applies to your muscles, the larger the range of motion you use, the more muscular fibers you recruit and therefore stimulate.

The only difference is that a muscle has different peak points of stimulation along that range of motion. These peak points are areas of stimulation that enforce much more isolation on a muscle group than along other parts of the muscles range.

To put simply, you should combine full range of motion exercises to stimulate an entire muscles range and should also use partial ROM, like half reps or static reps to further isolate individual muscle groups when training.

2) Maintaining exercise safety and remaining injury free.

Naturally, weight lifting causes much greater stress to our internal organs, muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and cartilage. Because of this it has the potential to take them to dangerous levels above what can be handled, causing damage and injury.

Not using correct form when training with resistance is one of the most common reasons for those injuries and can easily be avoided with the implementation of some basic principles.

It is all about controlling your movements when under ‘hyperextension’

Hyperextension is when a muscle and its surrounding structures are taken past their normal range of motion, as seen in the pictures above.

Many common weight lifting exercises enforce slight hyperextension to reach full range of motion, here are some examples.

Hyperextension of the shoulder – Barbell / Dumbbell bench press of fly’s


Hyperextension of the knee – Leg extensions / straight leg deadlifts


Hyperextension of the elbow – Bicep preacher curl / tricep extensions


Hyperextension of the spine – Barbell Deadlift / Lying rear leg raises

As you can see some of the most common exercises even have potential to cause injury so make sure you follow these simple rules when taking your muscles into hyperextension;

1) Ensure your movement is slow, controlled and deliberate

2) Never use explosive force in a hyperextension. Use explosion to get to the point before hyperextension and then slow down your movement

3) If you have a previous or current injury to a muscle, don’t take it to the point of hyperextension. If you do you are a very good chance of re-doing it or causing it further damage.

Summing things up on form…

So are you currently using correct form?

Well if your exercise technique is taking each muscle through its full range of motion and you are in total control of the weight throughout and more importantly through hyperextension, then the answer is YES!

But if you’re using excessive momentum (swinging) during an exercise you are more than likely recruiting other muscle groups to assist in the lift. This not only increases your chances of injury from hyperextension but also takes away valuable stimulation from the muscle you’re actually targeting.

LESS STIMULATION = LESS RESULTS

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About the author.

Reuben Bajada is known around the world elite results based coach and trainer. He is a renowned strength & conditioning coach, personal trainer and sports performance nutritionist who offers his time, knowledge and training advice to anybody ready to commit to both improving the way they look and perform.


He is the author and mind behind 2010’s most popular muscle building program; ‘Permanent Musclewhich guarantees to build real muscle, on real people, real fast.

http://www.permanentmuscle.com

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How to reduce your risk for Heart Disease the Natural Way

The Following is a Guest Post by Isabel Rios.

Are you one of the millions of people that is suffering from heart disease or even worse?  Have already experienced a heart attack.

These days it’s difficult not to meet someone who is either suffering from heart disease, has had a heart attack or has been told they are at risk for heart disease. It’s just about as common as meeting someone with brown hair. Unfortunately, the media and even many well-meaning doctors are completely misinformed on how to tackle this growing epidemic. It’s the number one killer in the US and plaguing many other countries as well.

What are we to do?

The best plan of attack is to combat the risk factors the best we can.

Use the following 5 tips to get you started on a heart healthy plan:

1. Drop the smokes. Yes, smoking has been shown to be one of the biggest risk factors in heart disease, mainly because of all the toxic chemicals added to cigarettes (not that I’m recommending tobacco or anything.)

2. Walk, walk, walk. If finding time for a structured exercise program is just too much of a challenge right now, just start by walking. I have known many people who have strengthened their heart and reversed severe conditions by getting outside and walking. If you can, find a scenic route. There’s nothing more calming than the outdoors. (I highly recommend whistling and singing while you walk. It makes for happy thoughts.)

3. Calm down. By this I mean, don’t stress about the stuff you don’t have to. This is actually a very funny statement coming from me who used to stress about everything! Deadlines, laundry, work, family… you name it, I stressed about. Not until I realized that this would kill me no matter how healthy my food was did I drop the stress and pick up the laughter. Right now as I write this newsletter, I’ve got more things that need to get done today than are humanly possible. My reaction “Haha..better put my Superwoman shirt on”

4. Do not and I repeat, do not go on a low-fat diet. Your heart condition may get worse in your attempts. Drop the bad fats (like hydrogenated oil and the nasty oil in French fries and donuts) and start eating more healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, salmon, walnuts and whole organic eggs.

5. Do not be afraid to eat saturated fat. If read “The Truth About Saturated Fat” in The Diet Solution Program you know that eating saturated fats is not what is causing people to get heart disease. It is processed foods, sugars and an overabundance of refined carbohydrates that is making this country so sick. The whole saturated fats topic gets me so fired up, I even made a video to further inform you – check it out here:

Even tackling each one of these tips one at a time will get you closer to a healthy heart and a lifetime of good health.

For a full diet program to help transform your health and fitness, check out Isabel’s website: TheDietSolutionProgram.com

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7 Steps to the Most Insane Workout Ever!

By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Turbulence Training.com

Here are, in order, the 7 key phases you need to go through in order to have the perfect “fat burning, lean body sculpting” workout.

1 – Self-Massage

I’ve been doing this half-heartedly for years, but recently started taking this more seriously, using a foam roller, tennis ball, and  Acuball to “tenderize” my muscles prior to training. I’ll do some  videos and articles on this soon, I promise.

2 – Mobility Warm-up

Just like you see in all of the TT workouts, I use bodyweight exercises, dynamic stretches, and even static stretches prior to training – depending on my needs or my client’s needs.

3 – Explosive Exercise

Before I hit my main strength exercise, I’ll do a jump exercise (if I am focusing on a lower body workout) or a medicine ball throw (if I’m focusing on bench presses or military presses).

You’ve already used TT programs with jumps, but expect more medicine ball throws soon.

4 – Main Exercise

Now I move to the main exercise, such as squats, deadlifts or bench presses (and military presses or handstand pushups).

In your TT workouts, you’ll start with a superset of the most important exercises as your main lifts.

5 – Assistance Exercises

We’re about 15-20 minutes into a workout by now, and this is where I’ll add assistance exercises for my strength work or metabolic circuits for a fat loss program.

6 – Ab Endurance Exercises

Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of the basics – planks, side planks, Stability Ball planks, and rollouts. In TT programs, you get a little more variety, including TRX or Ball Pikes, plus Jackknives, cross-body mountain climbers, etc.

Just remember, you do NOT need (or want) to do crunches or sit-ups.

7 – Interval Training

If you are new to interval training, just listen to what Turbulence Training Transformation Contest Winner Charles Hiller has to say about it:

“Interval training, has opened my mind up to a better way of getting in shape and loosing weight. I am spending much less time in the gym, and obtaining results that I never thought possible – over 30 pounds in 6 weeks with TT. I have more energy, feel better, and no longer suffer bouts of depression. TT and intervals gave me back my life.”

And from Turbulence Training fan, Annette Hall:

“As an aerobics teacher since the age of 16, it has been extremely hard for me to accept that Intervals are the most effective fat burning method of training. However, I realised after reading on the TT site that if aerobics were effective I should have been as thin as a stick and I wasn’t! Since switching to intervals and TT workouts I have not only lost over 28 pounds, I am fitter than I have ever been and am wondering why people bother with aerobics for fat loss!”

Interval training is powerful and proven, and is an essential part of the perfect workout. If you aren’t using interval training in your workouts, make sure you get the Turbulence Training for Fat Loss System to discover how to boost your fat burning with intervals today!

Editor’s Note:

Here are my top 3 Insane Workouts from Craig Ballantyne:

  • TT Hardcore 2K10
  • TT Adrenaline
  • TT Bodyweight Cardio
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P90x vs Insanity vs TacFit Commando

Sceptics…sceptics….sceptics… The biggest question is…does it REALLY work? Let me tell you guys a secret….IT ALL WORKS!

It’s all about finding something that challenges your body….something that enhances your fitness level…and something that you truly enjoy doing. That’s why I promote so many different programs on this site…I’m trying to help you find something that will get YOU results.

ABOUT P90X:

P90X is a great regimen that has helped lots of people transform their bodies. Whether or not you get super ripped depends more on you then the program. Just like anything else, nutrition is key.

They give you a solid nutrition plan. Beach Body, the company that came out with P90X, has also put out a nutrition program named Shakeology. As the name suggests, you get a months supply of Shakes each month to help you stick to your nutrition.

Shakeology is great because you don’t get the bloating feeling you get when you drink those ready made shakes like Muscle Milk. I used to drink a lot of muscle milk, and always felt horrible afterwords.

Click here to learn more about P90X and Shakeology.

ABOUT INSANITY:

Insanity is a 60-day program that uses just your bodyweight to workout. The program revolves around using 3-minute intervals followed by rest intervals. These long intervals are killer! Most programs incorporate 30-60 second intervals.

The second feature of insanity is that it constantly keeps you moving by alternating between aerobic and anaerobic training. The result is a leaner, fitter body. The biggest downside to this program is that it will not help you build lean muscle mass.

Click here to learn more about Insanity.

ABOUT TACFIT COMMANDO:


The great thing about Tacfic Commando is that there are different levels in the program. Choose the program that is challenging for you.

On top of that, Scott Sonnon breaks down each movement to explicit detail. They even have a deluxe version that you can download into your iPod so that you have the full exercise library anywhere you go!

Additional Benefits of Tacfit Commando:

  • The program is bodyweight only. Many people have complained that it’s difficult to train your back with just bodyweight movements. However, they have solved that problem by introducing the TacFit ROPE, allowing you to enhance your training with just one piece of equipment.
  • The program focuses on functional fitness. It’s about moving better, moving faster, and improving your overall health and fitness. So if you want to get leaner, but also want to become more athletic, then Tacfic Commando is the one for you!

My recommendation is to stick to TacFit Commando. Click here for more information about this program.

In terms of price, all three programs are quite expensive. Tacfit Commando is the most expensive, and is not a DVD set. All the videos are online, so you access them immediately. Lets go over which one to choose:

If your goal is strictly to look good and you want a lot of variation in your training, then choose P90X. For a bodyweight only routine, choose Insanity. Click here to learn more about these BeachBody programs.

However, if you want a more functional program and learn how to move your body in really weird ways while at the same time burn fat and build muscle, then try TacFit Commando. Click here to learn more.

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Is Scott Sonnon’s TacFit Commando Okay for Females to Use?

Scott Sonnon’s TacFit Commando is made for everyone: young, old, men, women, beginner, and advanced trainees.It is especially great for women who are on that go and need to get a workout anywhere and at anytime.

TacFit Commando is 100% portable and does not require any equipment. The program focuses on tactically-specific movements which help you deal with daily stresses. It is especially designed for crises management situations.

The program can be scaled for complete beginners, and advanced trainees. The art of sophistication, which is where you gradually make a movement harder by adding layers of activity to the exercise, allows you to take a basic movement and transform it into a complex exercise.

Here is a sample of how CST sophistication works:

Besides the sophistication aspect, TacFit commando also includes exercise-specific recovery methods, so that you actually recover faster from the high intensity training. Most programs leave you too sore and tired to help you with daily life functions.

TacFit Commando is different. Click here to learn more about TacFit Commando.

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Three Steps to High Frequency Training (HFT)

High Frequency Training is a no-nonsense training method that works. I realized just how many people do not perform HFT after my cousin asked me, “How do I train my entire body multiply times a day?” The following are three steps to creating your own HFT training program:

Step One: Make a grand list of exercises

Sit down and take out a piece of paper and a pen or sit in front of your computer with some reliable word processing software. Now process a list of at least ten exercises that you can think of. Just jot down whatever you can think of. Often the exercises that pop into your head will be those that you enjoy and know how to do well. Here is what I came up with:

1. Pushups
2. Pull-ups
3. Bodyweight Squats
4. Push Press
5. Dead lift
6. Medicine Ball Wood chop
7. Medicine Ball Hay baler
8. One-arm Dumbbell Clean and Press
9. One-arm Dumbbell Overhead Squat
10. One-arm Dumbbell Swings
11. One-arm Dumbbell Snatches
12. Dumbbell Windmills

Step Two: Categorize the Exercises

Seconds step is to categorize your exercises. Body part training is simply a way of categorizing your training. Be creative and think outside the box when you categorize the exercise. Strive to keep cutting the list in half until you have four to five good categories.

Let me take you through this step-by-step. From looking at the above list, we can easily categorize this list into dumbbell exercises and others. So lets start with that:

Dumbbell Exercises
1. One-arm Dumbbell Clean and Press
2. One-arm Dumbbell Overhead Squat
3. One-arm Dumbbell Swings
4. One-arm Dumbbell Snatches
5. Dumbbell Windmills

Other Exercises
1. Pushups
2. Pull-ups
3. Bodyweight Squats
4. Push Press
5. Dead lift
6. Medicine Ball Wood chop
7. Medicine Ball Hay baler

Now you can take the other exercises and split them up into Bodyweight and Other
Exercises. So here is how the list would look like:

Other Exercises
Bodyweight
1. Pushups
2. Pull-ups
3. Bodyweight Squats

Other
1. Push Press
2. Dead lift
3. Medicine Ball Wood chop
4. Medicine Ball Hay baler

Lets go back to the first list. We can break the dumbbell exercises up into full
body and isolation. Even though the overhead squat and windmills work multiply muscle groups, they are more isolation oriented than the clean and press, swings and snatch. Here is how the list would look:

Dumbbell Exercises
Full-body
1. One-arm Dumbbell Clean and Press
2. One-arm Dumbbell Swings
3. One-arm Dumbbell Snatches

Isolation
1. One-arm Dumbbell Overhead Squat
2. Dumbbell Windmills

Step Three: Build the Routines

Now that you have a good categorized list, take each exercise and perform that each day. Let me reproduce the entire categorized list below:

Dumbbell Exercises
Full-body
4. One-arm Dumbbell Clean and Press
5. One-arm Dumbbell Swings
6. One-arm Dumbbell Snatches

Isolation
3. One-arm Dumbbell Overhead Squat
4. Dumbbell Windmills

Other Exercises
Bodyweight
4. Pushups
5. Pull-ups
6. Bodyweight Squats

Other
5. Push Press
6. Dead lift
7. Medicine Ball Wood chop
8. Medicine Ball Hay baler

Here is a sample Day One:

A-1) One-arm Dumbbell Clean and Press
A-2) One-arm Dumbbell Overhead Squat
B-1) Push-ups
B-2) Push Press

There you go. You may not be working out every muscle in your body, but you have the basics down. To choose your next workout, simply choose the second exercise in each category. Like this:

A-1) One-arm Dumbbell Swings
A-2) Dumbbell Windmills
B-1) Pull-ups
B-2) Dead lift

Now the fun part begins. Because each category has a different number of exercises, your workouts will be different each time. Based on the number of total exercises you have, your categories, and days per week you choose to train, a workout may not repeat for a while. Lets pretend the two above workouts were week one. Here is what week two would look like:

Day One:

A-1) One-arm Dumbbell Snatches
A-2) One-arm Dumbbell Overhead Squat
B-1) Bodyweight Squat
B-2) Medicine Ball Wood chop

Day Two:

A-1) One-arm Dumbbell Clean and Press
A-2) Dumbbell Windmills
B-1) Pushups
B-2) Medicine Ball Hay baler

The slight variation in the combination of exercises will provide a slightly different training stimuli each time preventing you from getting bored with your workouts. Less bored equals more consistency!

For more high intensity training ideas and workouts, check out TurbulenceTraining.com.

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    Should I Buy Turbulence Training Or TacFit?

    When it first came out, Turbulence Training was not 100% bodyweight program. However, now, Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training has come out with a myraid of programs that are bodyweight only.

    On the other hand, Scott Sonnon, creator of TacFit Commando, and his team, Coaches Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock have been teaching unique bodyweight movements for many years. So which one do you choose?

    To start off, I really think you should try both programs first. Each coach offers a free workout program for you to try:

    Free Turbulence Training Bodyweight routine:

    Free CST Bodyweight Routine:

    Now that you’ve tried each of the programs, make your own decision. Which is best for you?

    Click here for Craig Ballantyne’s Bodyweight Workouts

    Click here for TacFit Commando Bodyweight Workouts

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    Hello world.