Yesterday, I ran a short interview with my good friend and client, Dom K. Re-reading the interview made me realize four strong facts about fitness that he expressed through the short interview:
1) You can put on muscle and lose fat at the same time, it just takes longer.
Dom stated that he was 170 lbs when he first started, and he’s still a 170 pounds. However, his arms, legs and chest are much leaner. He’s also starting to see some signs of a six pack, whereas before, you could see that this guy was on a “bulking” phase. Everyone around him’s telling him he looks a lot “smaller.” Smaller while maintaining the same weight only means one thing: he’s put on muscle, while losing fat.
2) You can’t do everything in one day.
When Dom started out, he was hitting the gym 3 days a week, training with me 5 days a week, and playing basketball 5 days a week. I suddenly saw a decline in his performance in my workouts and he constantly complained of feeling tired. I knew he’d been over training. I told him he had two choices: eat more, or cut down on training. He decided to cut back on basketball at first. But when school started for him, he dropped our sessions to two days a week. Since then, his performance has gone up.
3) Train fast and explosive for a higher vertical jump.
When I asked Dom what results he’s seen in basketball game, he said “I don’t know how, but I can jump higher.” Our training involves a lot of explosive moves such as the kettlebell swing, a variety of cleans, and sprinting. We also train as fast as humanely possible as we’re constantly pushing ourselves against the clock. This style of training is what helps with your explosive power.
4) It takes time, consistency, and proper form.
Dom said that he’d wasted three years before he got it right. I gave him his first gym workout a little more than a year ago and I trained him for a few days with a free one week pass to LA Fitness. In that time I basically taught him the big lifts he wasn’t doing: push press, deadlift, power clean, and bent over row. He has been following my advice ever since and the amount of time he spends on bicep curls has dramatically decreased. Everything takes time and consistency, but only if you’re doing things the right way.
I’m five weeks away from my one-year anniversary of deciding to make changes in my training and diet. Since my first 13 pound weight loss, it’s been an uphill battle to lose those last 7 pounds that I wanted to. I’ve gotten considerably leaner in the mirror, however my scale hasn’t changed much. I’m unsure how much fat or muscle I need to lose/gain to start seeing that six-pack of mine. However I do know one thing: I’m not giving up. After all these years of training I’ve sure learnt a few things. The following is an analysis of everything I’ve tried over the years and how I plan to use them over the next few weeks:An Analysis of Weight Loss methods and Training Program.
It’s pretty strange…isn’t it? To go to Bruce Lee for muscle building advice? I mean, the guy is known more for his strength, speed, flexibility, agility, power, explosiveness, and crazy leanness than for muscle.
However, Bruce Lee became stronger and faster due to weight training. And if your goal is pack on functional mass – the kind of muscle that helps you perform better and look better – then Bruce Lee is the guy to go to.
My obsession with Bruce Lee began in my Karate days. I remember walking into Barnes and Nobles trying to find something that would help me become a better athlete. I found John Little’s book “The Art of Expressing the Human Body.” This was basically a compilation of workouts and exercises performed by Bruce Lee. His training philosophy spoke to me, and I began picking up a lot of his training techniques.
The back is important for martial arts, because the lats (upper back) are the muscles engaged when throwing a punch. Training the lats also help you develop the V-Shape, which is essential for looking lean and trim. In bodybuilding circles, this is known as the V-taper.
So, regardless of whether you’re training for purely size, or if you’re training to become a better athlete, the following are some of the back exercises used by Bruce Lee:
One-arm Dumbbell (Kettlebell) Row
Yeah, Bruce used a Kettlebell, isn’t that crazy? The One-arm Row, either done with a dumbbell or a kettlebell, is one of the most basic upper back movements. When I first started, I only had a 15 lbs Dumbbell to work with. So I just did super fast One-arm rows until I felt a burn. I had no clue what I was doing, but it worked! My punches became faster and stronger!
Behind the Neck Pulldown
Bruce Lee installed a fitness machines known as the Marcy Circuit Trainer. Nowadays, you can perform this movement in most gyms. If you do not have a gym or equipment to perform this movement, then simply grab a resistance band, place it over a pullup bar, grab a chair, and pull the resistance band down behind your neck.
Pullups to the Back of the Neck
Another no-equipment option is to perform pullups to the back of the neck. This is a tough movement, and if you can’t do regular pullups, then it’s gonna be super hard for you to execute the movement. The pullups themselves are a great movement for the upper back. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that all you need for a solid back are rows and pullups.
If you’re looking for a complete functional muscle building program, which will help you pack on size and improve athletic strength, then I recommend Craig Ballantyne’s Meatheads workouts. Click here to learn more!