Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shoulder Day: A Recap Worth Noting

I still remember it like it was yesterday... a certain coach/guru at a bodybuilding show in Flint, Michigan, told me that one thing I lacked was shoulder development -- granted at the time, I must have been weight 315lbs. I'm sure the shoulders were there -- somewhere!

Ever since, training deltoids (aka 'shoulders') has been a key component to my training. I mean, I always hit them, but in the sport of bodybuilding (whether you're competitor or a fan of the sport), it's those knocks that you keep with you. And while I'll usually include bi's with chest and/or tri's with back, I usually reserve a day exclusive for shoulders.

My strategy is to stimulate the front, middle rear delts -- but I also like to vary my approach (sometimes including traps with delts, sometimes including them with back -- it really depends on how my body's feeling). And like with any other muscle group, I try to do my heavy lifts first, though in recent time I've all but discontinued the riskier exercises (e.g. behind the neck presses and even seated dumbbell presses).

It's absolutely critical that people realize that one of the bodyparts most susceptible to injury are our shoulders. Other muscles, like calves & traps can take a beating, but unless you want surgery -- train smart!

Christian Duque's Shoulder Assault!
5 Sets / 8 Reps Db Raises @20lbs
5 Sets / 8 Reps Db Side Lateral @20lbs
5 Sets / 8 Reps Cable (Rear) 10lbs
5 Sets / 8 Rep Cable (front) @ 10lbs.

By simply incorporating 40-60% of your total workout into light-weight, controlled movements, you will ramp up your endurance, increase your definition, and perfect every aspect of range of motion. So many people in the gym heave massive amounts of weight with horrible Body English, terrible form, and seldom using the target muscle effictively.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tornado Sirens

As of the last few days, I've been going out for 5mile walks in an attempt to get my cardio in, but at the same have a time during the day for self-reflection. During these walks there are no mp3 players, no textbooks, no internet; there's plenty of distractions, but these instances help to create an overall atmosphere which is what I'm after anyways.

If you live in Lansing, you know the weather the last few days has been cloudy and muggy, and on the last couple of walks (before yesterday), I'd get hit with an ocassional raindrop or two as I wound down the homestretch to my building's front door. However yesterday was a whole different story! By the half-way point the rain started, the wind grew more and more violent, and as puddles formed and my shoes became drenched, I could have sworn I was being pelted with sleet!

But while most people ran for cover I kept walking, I was determined that water wasn't going to keep me back. Then the sirens went off, and for a moment I thought I heard air raid sirens. Then the sirens went off again, I could see lightning before eyes, I heard loud thunder, and a third siren.

Oh well... as the lightning seemed to flash before my eyes, all I could think about was, I must finish this walk and I can't wait to eat.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

SAN Tight Extreme

Team SAN, sponsors of one of my favorite sites on the web -- RxMuscle.com, sent me a couple t-shirts and some samples. Yesterday, I went out on a 4mile walk, with only one serving of their Tight Extreme fat-burner.

I experienced great energy response, which was sustained throughout the entire walk. By the time I climbed the first couple of steps to my building's doorway, my legs tingled a bit, and I felt as I could another mile or so. I kid you not!

What I liked most about this product, is that it only has 200mg of caffeine, so you know that a great time "r&d" (research and development) has gone into the perfect its accompanying proprietary blend. I am not opposed to stimulant-based fat burners, but I'm quick to commend companies that ensure thermogenic results through the use of berbs (e.g. cayenne).

This is by far a product I highly recommend you try!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Amanda McDonald Prepares for Boston!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Similar Physiques, Similarly Driven

Damon Rizzo, 24, and Donovan Leonard, 18, are two of the hardest working young lifters at Gym Bumz Fitness in Lansing, MI. Both are committed to making strategic strength goals, meanwhile reducing fat (no small feat by any means in the gym). Unlike many of their peers, they resist the "bulking" temptation.

The concept of "bulking" means a great many things, to a great many people. Some lifters live by the tenets of the "the clean bulk," suggesting that others will eat whatever/whenever simply to put on weight (regardless if this weight comes in the heightened fat levels).

With many irresponsible (and just downright greedy) supplement companies in the here long enough to profit category, more than happy to hype up high sugar, poorly fortified "gainers" on the market, it's a breath of fresh air to see young lifters taking the tougher road to gains!

Both Damon and Donovan have put on great size. They have done so gradually, and continue to make key improvements through a variety of different training methodologies.

Monday, May 16, 2011

John Nolan

John Nolan, who trains at Gym Bumz Fitness in Lansing, MI, is currently preparing for the upcoming Detroit Grand Prix, held on June 11th. He'll be entering the bodybuilding contest in the Over 50 category, but he assures us that if he enjoys the experience, he will continue competing.

To say that Nolan has been training hard just for this contest, would be the understatement of the century. Under the tutelage of his training partner and guru, Amanda McDonald, John has been able to get lean and put on muscle - almost simultaneously. The idea seems to be an emphasis on diet, with an aggressive cardio-vascular program, which sees a variety of machines with interval frequencies.

The photos in this post were taken by John's (and our) good friend, Alan Lewis, who took two sets between May 1st & May 8th. Although this may be a first show to John, he's got a great support system of friends that are rooting for him, and people that will be most proud of him for getting onto than stage, than whatever place he gets. The real battle in this sport is about being able to be the best possible you on contest day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

T-Bar Rows: A Tried & True Back Builder

A lot can be gleaned from the photo above, featuring Ryan Vaughn, training at Lansing's GymBumz fitness center. The exercise is one of the most basic, blue-collar foundational movements for back development, but whether knowingly or not, Ryan has opted to use the 25lb plates as opposed to the 45's. So what's the big deal?

For starters, smaller 25's allow for several inches of greater range of motion (popularized back in the day by 8x Mr. Olympia Lee Haney, who coined the phrase "stimulate don't annihilate"). This strategy will increase shape and muscle control, because the athelete is more concerend with nailing form - as opposed to heaving large poundages in the hopes of some ill-conceived semblance of respect amongst the guys.

(An aside) You want respect from the guys around you? Offer a spot, don't leave your bench dripping in sweat, and if you're on the only machine available and some guy is waiting, offer him the option of working in with you -- SHARE! How much lift isn't your rite of passage in the sport.

Remember... always remember ... that's not how much you lift, it's how you lift.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fat Reduction Requires Variety

Training is more the lifting more weight or running faster down an open road. The key to successful and consistent losing bad weight, is to stress the value of a diverse array of exercises which include different cardiovascular machines, a combination of walking and running, and monitoring of one's heartrate.

Remember that effective training requires a watchful eye, as much as it requires endurance and energy. We cannot run ourselves to poor health, because then what can be said about the entire process? Why do most people want to lose weight -- or get stronger? The answer is an obvious one - people want to be healthier.

So keep in mind that you always want to keep the body guessing, but the important caveat being - you don't want to over exert your body's own present limitations. The more you exercise, the more your abilities will develop - but you must be as patient as you are passionate.

Remember, we want to be in this game for as long as possible. Good luck!For more great tips, check out http://StrengthAddicts.com