## Train Smarter : Movements v.s. Muscles

Over the course of history, humans have evolved from single-cell organisms into the multi-cellular complex beings we are today.

In our current form, we are a collection of cells, neurons, hormones, enzymes, bones, muscles that all work together like a super-efficient mega corporation.

And just how does this relate to working out?

It relates if you are still training like a bodybuilder from 1977

Because if your workouts are focused on muscles instead of movements, you are making a big, big, big mistake.

Just like all those cells that came together to become a liver that filters waste products that would quickly build up and kill the entire organism, your muscles weren’t designed to work in isolation.

Even in that most muscle-centric of exercises – the bicep curl – your biceps need your triceps and core muscles and leg muscles and deltoids to pitch in and stabilize

The same holds true for all weightlifting exercises…no muscles ever work in isolation.

Trying to force them to work that way goes against how they are supposed to work.

Think about it…when you walk or run or sprint, you never focus on individual muscles or muscle groups. Instead, your brain sends out the signal to all involved muscles that it’s time to work together and get running.

To that end, one of the best things you can do to improve the efficiency of your resistance training workouts is to stop thinking about muscles and start thinking about movements

Here is a list of the “basic” movements that will serve as a framework for your new movement-based workout program.

• Push Vertical
• Push Horizontal
• Pull Vertical
• Pull Horizontal
• Squat
• Hip Hinge
• Walk
• Run
• Sprint

That’s it for today.

Over the next few days & weeks, I will explain these movements fully and provide exercise examples and teach you how to put them together in a complete training program.

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## How to Get Strong – The Science of Strength

In an earlier post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I divided physical fitness into it’s component parts and provided a brief introduction of each part.

In today’s post, I am going to focus on muscular strength…or as Google likes to say…how to get strong, how to get stronger, how to get brutally strong, how to get freaky strong, etc, etc, etc.

And if you plan on getting freaky strong, you’re going to need to understand the whys and hows behind getting strong. And those whys and hows are all based in science.

So….we’re going to look at some of that science to help you figure out how to maximize your own personal levels of “strong”.

## Intro to Muscular Strength

How strong you are (and how strong you could be) depends on the performance of your body’s skeletal muscles.

Your body’s muscles are highly adaptable. They will react to the stresses that you place upon them.

• Sit on the couch and they will atrophy.
• Try and run fast and they adapt to produce faster contractions.
• Lift heavy objects and they will increase their ability to produce maximum strength.

Muscular Strength can and has been categorized in a variety of different ways. In this article, I am choosing to divide Muscular Strength into four categories, based primarily on Newton’s Second Law.

$vec F = m vec a$ (force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.) Mass relates to how much weight/mass a muscle or muscle group can move. Acceleration relates to how fast that weight/mass is moved.

By using and manipulating force, mass and acceleration, we can force our muscles to adapt and become more efficient at generating…

## 4 Types of Muscular Strength

• Maximum Muscular Strength
• Maximum Muscular Power
• Maximum Muscular Speed
• Maximum Muscular Endurance

NOTE – Each of these categories has different characteristics with regard to mass and acceleration

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## The Secret of Bruce Lee’s One Inch Punch

Bruce Lee accomplished some amazing accomplishments in his short life. One of his most impressive physical feats was his super-powerful one inch punch.

How the heck did he do that?

According to British researchers, it was Mr. Lee’s over-developed cerebellums and primary motor cortex that allowed him to coordinate his body movements to deliver maximum force.

The Science

Previous studies have shown that the forces generated in a karate punch is not determined by muscular strength but by the brain & nervous system, Unfortunately, up until now, they had no idea what parts of the nervous system were responsible for making Bruce Lee a super-freak.

In this recent study, researchers looked for differences in brain structure between 12 karate practitioners with a black belt rank and an average of 13.8 years’ karate experience, and 12 control subjects of similar age who exercised regularly but did not have any martial arts experience.

In the first part of the study, the researchers measure the short range (5 cm) punching power of all 24 test subjects by means of infrared markers on their arms & torsos. As expected, the karate masters punched harder than the control subjects.

Analysis of punch biomechanics and brain function revealed the reasons for the difference in punching power.

• The researchers found that punching power depends on timing.
• Specifically, punching force correlated with how well the movement of the wrists and shoulders were synchronized.
• In short, technique + muscular power = Bruce Lee kicking your butt.
• To test brain function, they used diffusion tensor imaging to scan the grey matter (main body of nerve cells) and white matter (bundles of fibres that carry signals from one region of the brain to another) of the test subjects’ brains.

And what they found is that there was major structural differences in the white matter of the cerebellums and primary motor cortex of the karate masters.

It was these differences in the cerebellum that correlated with the synchronicity of the subjects’ wrist and shoulder movements that produced the larger punching forces.

The karate black belts were able to repeatedly coordinate their punching action with a level of coordination that novices can’t produce. We think that ability might be related to fine tuning of neural connections in the cerebellum, allowing them to synchronise their arm and trunk movements very accurately.

We’re only just beginning to understand the relationship between brain structure and behaviour, but our findings are consistent with earlier research showing that the cerebellum plays a critical role in our ability to produce complex, coordinated movements.

So there you go…your nervous system is what’s going to separate your athletic performance from that of the average gym rat.

And that’s why nervous system function is one of the linchpins of all my training programs.

Reference

## Science of the Squat – Depth & Load – and How They Impact Your Squatting Muscles

The squat is often called the King of Exercises.

And for good reason – because nothing develops lower body muscle mass, strength & power faster & better than barbell squats.

And if you want to be known as the King of the King of Exercises, you’re going to need to take a look at this new research published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine the relative muscular effort (RME) while performing the squat exercise. Specifically, the researchers were looking at the effects of barbell load and squat depth on hip extensor, knee extensor and ankle plantar-flexor RME.

Study Design

Ten strength-trained women performed squats (50-90% of 1 RM) in a motion analysis laboratory to determine hip extensor, knee extensor and ankle plantar-flexor net joint moment (NJM). Maximum isometric strength in relation to joint angle for these muscle groups was also determined. RME was determined as the ratio of NJM to maximum voluntary torque matched for joint angle.

Results

Both barbell load and squat depth had significant interaction effects on hip extensor, knee extensor and ankle plantar-flexor RME (relative muscular effort).

• Knee extensor RME increased with greater squat depth but not barbell load
• Ankle plantar-flexor RME increased with barbell load but not greater squat depth
• Hip extensor RME increased with both greater squat depth and barbell load

Conclusions

This data suggest:

1. Training for the knee extensors can be performed with low relative intensities but require a deep squat depth.
2. Heavier barbell loads are required to train the hip extensors and ankle plantar-flexors.

What does this mean to you???

It depends on your training goals?

• Are you a bodybuilder trying to develop your quad sweep ala Tom Platz?

Then you need to squat deep – Ass to the Grass as they say

• Or maybe you’re a sprinter, or a football player, or a powerlifter, or a strongman looking to develop a uber-power posterior chain to dominate your sport?

Then you need to focus more on load than depth of squat

• Or maybe you’re an all-around / hybrid kind of athlete like myself?

Either way, with this info, you’ll be able to design better/smarter/more effective squat programs…all thanks to science 🙂

Reference

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## What is physical fitness?

To a person with a medical condition, physical fitness may be a day without pain or a day where they have the energy to walk down to the corner store. To the weekend warrior, it is being able to compete with his friends and still be able to go to work on Monday.

To an Olympic calibre gymnast, physical fitness is performing an Iron Cross. The flexibility of an accomplished yoga practitioner is a display of physical fitness. As is the endurance of a triathelete. Or the power of an Olympic style weightlifter. Or the speed of a sprinter. Or the agility of a badminton player…

They are all right and they are all wrong.

For their particular needs, there is an appropriate level of adequate fitness. The weekend warrior has no need to perform an Iron Cross. Or a gymnast to run a marathon.

The decathalete / heptahalete is supposed to represent the ultimate of physical fitness. While the other athletes are specialists, these multi-sports athletes train to develop the ultimate combination of the different components that make up physical fitness.

So that is where we will go. By breaking down physical fitness into it’s components, we will arrive at a better understanding of physical fitness.

## The 5 Components of Physical Fitness

### 1. Muscular Strength

This component of physical fitness deals specifically with the performance of the body’s skeletal muscles.

Your skeletal muscles contract and stretch in order to produce movement. Simple.

How they produce that movement is less simple. Your body’s muscles are highly adaptable. They will react to the stresses that you place upon them. Sit on the couch and they will atrophy. Try and run fast and they adapt to produce faster contractions. Lift heavy objects and they will increase their ability to produce maximum strength.

One way to organize these different types of strength is in relation to time.

Maximum muscular strength is the ability to produce the most amount of force regardless of time. That big guy at your gym that is ALWAYS bench pressing may have a high level of maximum strength. He can produce a large amount of force (to move that heavy barbell) but he does it relatively SLOOOWWWLY.

Maximum muscular endurance is the ability to produce a smaller amount of force, but do it for a long time. A marathon runner has a high level of muscular endurance. His bodyweight requires less force to move than a heavy barbell, but he is able to move that weight for 2+ hours non-stop.

Maximum muscular speed is the ability to produce muscular movement very quickly. A hummingbird’s wings are the epitome of speed.

Muscular power is a combination of maximum strength and speed. An Olympic weightlifter is a great example of power. So are high jumpers and sprinters. Another way of looking at power would be to use our weightlifter friend from the gym.

If he bench presses 300 lbs but takes 3 seconds to perform the lift, his power output is 100 lbs. per second. However, if he drops the weight to 200 lbs and performs the lift in 1 second, his power output shoots up to 200 lbs. per second.

If that wasn’t confusing enough, different types of muscular strength rely on the development of the 4 other components of physical fitness.

Next Page…Neuro-Muscular Co-ordination

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## HIIT Challenge Workout

Try this HIIT workout tonight at the gym.

• Hop up onto a stationary exercise bike – standard, recumbant or spin bike.
• Set the bike to a challenging resistance level
• Perform one 10-second sprint as fast as possible
• Count the number of  revolutions your right foot performs
• Remember the number of revs (let’s say you did 28 revs in 10 seconds)

Now for the fun stuff.

• I want you to give me five 10-second sprints with a minimum of 27 revs .
• 26 revs doesn’t count
• 25 revs doesn’t count
• Only 27 and above

If you’re lucky, you will hit 27 or above on your first 5 sprints.

If you’re unlucky, it might take 10 or more sprints to get all 5 – 27 rev sprints

But, I doubt it…You’ll be surprised how hard you can push yourself in order to get those 27 revs.

Note – Shorter rest periods are going to make this even more difficult. As such, I recommend starting with a 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest protocol the first time you try this workout.

## Circuit Training vs Traditional Strength Training

Researchers have found that high-resistance circuit weight training is equally as effective as traditional strength training for improving:

1. Maximum Strength
2. Maximum Power
3. Shuttle-Run Performance (speed & agility)
4. Lean Muscle Mass

And when it comes to fat loss, circuit training is the best.

Conclusion

If you want to be leaner, stronger, faster and more agile, get doing some circuit training workouts

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Reference

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

## Your Best Body Workout – 2011 – Week 16 – Day 1

Welcome to Week 16 – Workout 1.

In this phase, we’re making 2 changes:

1. Eliminating the supersets
2. Changing the rep scheme, and it’s not gonna be pretty.

If you thought 8 sets of 6 reps was rough, wait until you do 12 sets of 4 reps.

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## PHASE 1

Warm-Up

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up.
The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but as long as your muscles are getting pliable and your joints are feeling “loose”….feel free to do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.
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5 Minutes of the following 4 Mobility Exercises:

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1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

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2.  Rolling Like A Ball

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3. Shin Box
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4.  Lateral Lunges

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5 Minutes of the following Muscle Warm-Up Exercises

I am going to list a bunch of exercises. You choose which ones you want to do….remembering that the goal is to warm up the muscles and make them pliable and ready to handle the following workout

• 1 Arm Swing Snatch – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up
• Bodyweight Squat
• Step-Ups
• Burpees
• Push – Ups
• BW Rows
• Jumping Chins
• Shuffle Lunges
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## PHASE 2

### The HH Quasi Bodybuilder/Athlete/Freak of Nature Workout ver 1.0

Instead of 3 supersets of 2 exercises for a total of 6 exercises, we’re keeping it very simple this time.

• 1 exercise at a time…no supersets
• 12 sets per exercise
• 4 reps per set
• 15 seconds rest between sets
• Choose a weight that will challenge you to just get the 4th rep on the last set
• If you make 4 reps on set #12, increase the weight a little bit the following week
• Perform the “work” part of each exercise as quickly and powerfully as possible
• I recommend that when you feel like you’re running out of gas that you do a 2-5 reps of a light weight, explosive exercise which works the same muscles as the work set (ex. jumping up & down before doing squats)

This will get your nervous system all charged up and help you perform better on the work set.

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### Exercise #1 – Standard Grip Bench Press

• 12 sets
• 4 reps per set
• Barbell

For the neural activation warm-up exercise, I would recommend Explosive Push-ups off of a floor/bench/wall

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### Exercise #2 – Overhead Press

• 12 sets
• 4 reps per set
• Barbell or Machine
• Standing or Seated

Standing presses with a barbell is the most challenging option and the one that I recommend…but as you fatigue, your balance is going to suffer and the potential for a weightlifting accident increases. So, feel free to use a seated shoulder press machine. It’s slightly less effective but increases your stability & your safety.

For the neural activation warm-up exercise, I would recommend 5 reps of Overhead Presses with a light exercise band or Medicine Ball Overhead Press & Throw

..

### Exercise #3 – Standing or Seated Calf Raise

• 12 sets
• 4 reps per set
• Dumbbell/Barbell or Machine

For the neural activation warm-up exercise, I highly recommend 6 reps of Ankle Jumps

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## PHASE 3

Stretching – minimum 10 minutes

Focus on the muscles you just worked, plus the ones that are tight on just about everyone….hip flexors, calves, hamstrings, chest, neck & traps

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## NOTE

• New workouts will be posted on Tuesday & Wednesday.

If you’re interested in gaining some size, perform each of these workouts 2x per week
It all depends on your goals

Instead of repeating these workouts, you can perform them a single time only – Mon, Wed, Fri and perform some other exercise on Tues, Thurs, Sat.
For example:
• you can perform Neural Recharge workouts on Tues/Thurs/Sat –Here is a sample workout
• If you want to improve your cardio, do cardio
• If you want to improve your flexibility, take some yoga classes or stretch
• If you want to have fun while exercising, take a class, play a sport, etc…
• Or, mix & match

You can also rest on those off days. These 3 workouts are pretty intense and will do a lot on their own.

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## Your Best Body Workout – 2011

Based upon your feedback, the next 50 weeks of workouts will focus on:

• Overall Fitness / Athleticism
• Fat Loss
• Strength / Power
• General Health / Disease Prevention

In essence, our goal is to create bodies that can perform at a high level of overall fitness, look great while doing it and potentially live forever.

Alright, so here we go.

Today I am going to lay out an overview of the workouts you are going to be doing for the next 4 weeks.

Later tonight, I will post another article laying out the specifics of Monday’s workout, with videos, etc…

The Plan for the next 4 Weeks

• 3 resistance training workouts per week
• Off days will vary depending on your personal goals
• If your main goal is strength & power, you will perform Neural Recharge workouts – I will post sample workouts
• If you want to improve your cardio, do cardio
• If you want to improve your flexibility, do a yoga class or stretch
• If you want to have fun while exercising, take a class, play a sport, etc…
• But, NO SERIOUS LIFTING on your off days. You’ll screw up your recovery.

The Workouts

• 5 minutes of joint mobility exercises, and
• 5 minutes of exercises designed to get your muscles all nice and pliable

From the warm-up, we move immediately to the main part of the workout

• 4-6 HIRT Supersets (# of sets depends on your current state of fitness)
• Each superset lasts 5 minutes – buy a timer
• NO REST between sets
• Perform the work part of each exercise as quickly as possible
• Rep schemes will change during the 4 weeks
• Neural Recharge exercises will be included to supercharge your nervous system
• As always, the success of HIRT workouts depends on the intensity of your effort – if you’re going to give it 80% effort, don’t bother. I want/need/demand 100% of YOUR best effort to get the most out of these workouts.

After you have completed the 5 min HIRT superset, you will have 3 minutes between sets to get ready for the next superset and perhaps even stretch a little bit. I will suggest a stretch that will help improve the performance of the next superset.

After you have completed all of the HIRT supersets, I want you to spend 10 minutes on a goal specific to you

• If you really want to lose weight, spend 10 minutes doing some HIIT sprints on an exercise bike. I would recommend 10 sprints with a 10 sec ON : 50 sec OFF ratio
• If you want to buff up those biceps, hit the curls for 10 minutes
• If your hip flexors are really tight, put in 10 minutes stretching them along with your quads and lower lumbars.
• And if your goal is power & strength, spend 10 minutes doing static holds or partial lifts

And after the 10 min specialty phase, I really, really, really want you to spend another 10 minutes stretching…even if you just spent 10 minutes stretching your hip flexors.

Believe me, you’ll thank me later.

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Anyway, that’s the highlights of the coming workouts.

Monday’s workout will be posted tout de suite.

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## Health Habits Workout – Week 41/Day 2

### Optional Workout

If you perform an optional Neural Activation Workout a few hours before the main workout for the day, you should see better performance during the main workout.

It takes less than 10 minutes and it really works. So do it.

Here are 4 exercises you can use for today’s NA workout

BW Squats aka Air Squats

Push-Ups

Back & Forth Bounding

Rolling Squat / Burpees

### Main Workout

Warm-Up

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction.

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

The Workout

Today’s workout is a classic HIRT workout designed to burn fat, improve power, strength, speed & your anaerobic energy system.

• 4 Supersets
• 5 Minutes per Superset
• 5 Reps per Set
• As many Sets as possible in 5 Min
• Minimize Rest between Sets

Superset #1

Dynamic Shuffle Lunges

DB Pullovers

Superset #2

BW Skullcrushers

DB Bicep Curl & Press

Superset #3

1 Leg Squat – Bench or Free Standing

Leg Swoop

Superset #4

Shin Box Switch

Pilates Open Leg Rocker

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So, what’s next?

Most of you can stretch, shower & go home knowing that you have done a heck of a workout.

However, I will be doing another 30 min of hard cardio.

Rowing machine, laps in the pool or on that hybrid treadmill/elliptical machine that I love/hate so much.

Feel free to join me.

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## Health Habits Workout – Week 40/Day 3

### Optional Workout

If you perform this optional Neural Activation Workout a few hours before the main workout for the day, you should see better performance during the main workout.

It takes less than 10 minutes and it really works. So do it.

Here are 4 exercises you can use for today’s NA workout

• Band/Cable Pulldowns (or chins if you’re really strong)
• Jumping Squats (BW only)

### Main Workout

Warm-Up

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction.

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

The Workout

Today’s workout is a classic HIRT workout designed to burn fat, improve power, strength, speed & your anaerobic energy system.

• 4 Supersets
• 5 Minutes per Superset
• 5 Reps per Set
• As many Sets as possible in 5 Min
• Minimize Rest between Sets

Superset #1

Medium Width Pronated Pulldowns

Standing Barbell Press

Superset #2

Barbell Snatch (hanging or from floor)

Med Ball or Band Slam

Superset #3

1 Arm Kneeling Pulldown

1 Arm DB Press

Superset #2

1 Arm DB/KB Swing Snatch – 5 reps per arm per set

Hanging Leg Raise – straight leg or bent knees / bench or bar

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So, what’s next?

Most of you can stretch, shower & go home knowing that you have done a heck of a workout.

However, I will be doing another 30 min of hard cardio.

Rowing machine, laps in the pool or on that hybrid treadmill/elliptical machine that I love/hate so much.

Feel free to join me.

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## Health Habits Workout -Week 36/Day 1 – The Deadpool Workouts

It’s the fourth and absolute final week of this Deadpool Workout. Next week is a recovery week and then on to something new.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Same warm-up as always…with the goal being to warm up the muscles & lubricate the joints. Feel free to substitute exercises as long as they get your joints all warmed up.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

As I mentioned in Part Six, each workout has 6 main lifts.

Most main lifts will also employ a “wake up” exercise to get your fast twitch muscle fibers primed & ready

I have arranged each of the six (6) lifts by movement or muscle group in a way to maximize performance & recovery.

Superset #1

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up exercise – Explosive Bodyweight (BW) Hip Thrust –  3-8 reps

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Barbell / Smith Machine Hip Thrusts – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #2

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on hip rotation & core stability

The is NO wake-up exercise …so it’s not really a superset

Main Lift – Standing Cable Woodchop – handle at belly height – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

The aim of this exercise is to rotate through the hips – not at the belly/lower back – The guy in the video does an okay job, but I want you to think of a baseball player swinging a bat…move those hips

5 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #3

This 10 minute superset focuses on a horizontal pulling movement  – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up Exercise Isometric Face Pulls into the floor – Lie on the floor with knees bent and arms flared out to the side – elbows are bent with hands pointing up to the ceiling

Begin the movement by pushing your elbows back into the immovable floor….as hard as you can – hold each rep for 1 second – Repeat for 3-8 reps

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Standing or Seated Cable Rows – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting towards your belly) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #4

This 10 minute superset focuses on a vertical pulling movement  – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up Exercise – Super Fast Band Pulldowns – 3-8 reps –

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Pull-Ups, Chin-Ups or Pulldowns – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting towards your belly) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #5

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on core stability & abdominal bracing

The is NO wake-up exercise …so it’s not really a superset

Main Lift Turkish Get-Up – 5 minutes – as many reps as possible

5 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #6

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on some of your “beach muscles”

The is NO wake-up exercise …just 2 exercises – back to back – for as many reps as you can get in 5 minutes

Lift #1 – Standing Alternate Bicep Curls – palms up/supinated – pick a weight that you can handle 10 reps and then perform between – 3-10 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible

Lift #2 – Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise – pick a weight that you can handle 10 reps and then perform between – 3-10 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible

5 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & go stretch out those muscles

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It’s not exactly the type of workout you’re going to find in your copy of Men’s/Women’s Health.

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## Health Habits Workout – Week 35/Day 3 – The Deadpool Workouts

.
Week 3 – Day 3…last workout of the week
.
Get ready to sweat…this one is a real Mother-Trucker.
.
WORKOUT WARM-UP
.
Same warm-up as always…with the goal being to warm up the muscles & lubricate the joints.
.
Feel free to substitute exercises as long as they get your joints all warmed up.
,
Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction
.
Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP
.
1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up
.
THE WORKOUT
.
As I mentioned in Part Six, each workout has 6 main lifts. Most main lifts will also employ a “wake up” exercise to get your fast twitch muscle fibers primed & ready I have arranged each of the six (6) lifts by movement or muscle group in a way to maximize performance & recovery.
.
Superset #1
.
This first superset focuses on the horizontal pulling movement
.
The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set Start with the…
.
Wake-up exercise – 1 Arm Isometric Row – Grab hold of an immovable object (ie. heavy barbell, cable stack, piece of equipment, flagpole, etc and try to pull it towards you using a rowing motion. Neither you nor the object should move. Hold for 2-5 seconds per rep for 3-8 reps Then, move as quick as possible to the….
.
Main Lift – 1 Arm DB Row – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight
.
Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up left arm, main lift left arm, wake-up right arm , main lift right arm…)
.

Superset #2

This second superset focuses on the posterior chain (lower body).

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set..

Wake-up exercise – Broad Jumps –  3 reps

After a few broad jumps, move as quick as possible to the…..

Main Lift – Deadlift or Pullthroughs – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

.

10 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully.

After 10 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

.

Superset #3

This second superset focuses on Vertical Pulling movements.

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set..

Wake-up exercise – Jumping Chins or Speed Band Pulldowns –  3-8 reps

Note – Perform the lift much faster than the guy in the video

Main Lift – Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups or Pulldowns – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

.

10 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully.

After 10 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

.

Superset #4

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on your core – specifically on bracing the core

Their is NO wake-up exercise …today we have 2 Main Lifts

Main Lift #1 – Ab Wheel Roll-Outs – as many reps as possible with good form

Main Lift #2 – Standing Cable Plank/Bridge

• Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
• With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
• This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
• To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

5 minutes – back & forth between the 2 exercises – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto…

.

Superset #5

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on the core – side flexion and/or rotation

Their is NO wake-up exercise …today we have just 1 Main Lift

Main Lift #1 – Standing Cable Woodchops – Starting with a horizontal woodchop, perform 3-8 reps (using an 8 rep weight) from one side, then switch to the other side and repeat. After chopping to both sides, adjust the position of the cable – setting it higher – this creates a decline movement, provides a different stimulus & decreases the difficulty as fatigue begins to set in.

5 minutes – back & forth between the 2 exercises – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #6

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on some of your “beach muscles”

The is NO wake-up exercise …just 2 exercises – back to back – for as many reps as you can get in 5 minutes

Lift #1 – Cable Tricep Pushdowns – palms down – elbows pinned to your sides – pick a weight that you can handle 10 reps and then perform between – 3-10 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (pushing down) as quickly as possible

Lift #2 – Reverse Grip/Palms Down Cable Bicep Curls – pick a weight that you can handle 10 reps and then perform between – 3-10 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible

5 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & go stretch out those muscles

.

It’s not exactly the type of workout you’re going to find in your copy of Men’s/Women’s Health

.

## Health Habits Workout – Week 34/Day 3 – The Deadpool Workouts

.
Week 2 – Day 3…last workout of the week
.
Get ready to sweat…this one is a real Mother-Trucker.
.
WORKOUT WARM-UP
.
Same warm-up as always…with the goal being to warm up the muscles & lubricate the joints.
.
Feel free to substitute exercises as long as they get your joints all warmed up.
,
Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction
.
Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP
.
1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up
.
THE WORKOUT
.
As I mentioned in Part Six, each workout has 6 main lifts. Most main lifts will also employ a “wake up” exercise to get your fast twitch muscle fibers primed & ready I have arranged each of the six (6) lifts by movement or muscle group in a way to maximize performance & recovery.
.
Superset #1
.
This first superset focuses on the horizontal pulling movement
.
The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set Start with the…
.
Wake-up exercise – 1 Arm Isometric Row – Grab hold of an immovable object (ie. heavy barbell, cable stack, piece of equipment, flagpole, etc and try to pull it towards you using a rowing motion. Neither you nor the object should move. Hold for 2-5 seconds per rep for 3-8 reps Then, move as quick as possible to the….
.
Main Lift – 1 Arm DB Row – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight
.
Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up left arm, main lift left arm, wake-up right arm , main lift right arm…)
.

Superset #2

This second superset focuses on the posterior chain (lower body).

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set..

Wake-up exercise – Broad Jumps –  3 reps

After a few broad jumps, move as quick as possible to the…..

Main Lift – Deadlift or Pullthroughs – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

.

10 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully.

After 10 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

.

Superset #3

This second superset focuses on Vertical Pulling movements.

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set..

Wake-up exercise – Jumping Chins or Speed Band Pulldowns –  3-8 reps

Note – Perform the lift much faster than the guy in the video

Main Lift – Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups or Pulldowns – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

.

10 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully.

After 10 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

.

Superset #4

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on your core – specifically on bracing the core

Their is NO wake-up exercise …today we have 2 Main Lifts

Main Lift #1 – Ab Wheel Roll-Outs – as many reps as possible with good form

Main Lift #2 – Standing Cable Plank/Bridge

• Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
• With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
• This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
• To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

5 minutes – back & forth between the 2 exercises – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto…

.

Superset #5

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on the core – side flexion and/or rotation

Their is NO wake-up exercise …today we have just 1 Main Lift

Main Lift #1 – Standing Cable Woodchops – Starting with a horizontal woodchop, perform 3-8 reps (using an 8 rep weight) from one side, then switch to the other side and repeat. After chopping to both sides, adjust the position of the cable – setting it higher – this creates a decline movement, provides a different stimulus & decreases the difficulty as fatigue begins to set in.

5 minutes – back & forth between the 2 exercises – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #6

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on some of your “beach muscles”

The is NO wake-up exercise …just 2 exercises – back to back – for as many reps as you can get in 5 minutes

Lift #1 – Cable Tricep Pushdowns – palms down – elbows pinned to your sides – pick a weight that you can handle 10 reps and then perform between – 3-10 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (pushing down) as quickly as possible

Lift #2 – Reverse Grip/Palms Down Cable Bicep Curls – pick a weight that you can handle 10 reps and then perform between – 3-10 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible

5 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & go stretch out those muscles

.

It’s not exactly the type of workout you’re going to find in your copy of Men’s/Women’s Health

.

## Health Habits Workout -Week 34/Day 2 – The Deadpool Workouts

It’s Week 2 – Day 2 of this nasty Deadpool Workout

enjoy.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Same warm-up as always…with the goal being to warm up the muscles & lubricate the joints. Feel free to substitute exercises as long as they get your joints all warmed up.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

As I mentioned in Part Six, each workout has 6 main lifts.

Most main lifts will also employ a “wake up” exercise to get your fast twitch muscle fibers primed & ready

I have arranged each of the six (6) lifts by movement or muscle group in a way to maximize performance & recovery.

Superset #1

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up exercise – Bodyweight Jump Squats –  3-8 reps

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Barbell Front Squats or Back Squats – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #2

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up exercise – Isometric Shoulder Press –  3-8 reps

Press up into an immovable object….as hard as you can – hold each rep for 1 second – Repeat for 3-8 reps

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Push Press – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

10 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully

After 10 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #3

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on a horizontal pulling movement

The is NO wake-up exercise …today we have 2 Main Lifts

Main Lift #1 – BW Scapula Row or Standing Cable Scapula Row – 5 minutes – as many reps as possible

Main Lift #2 – Standing Cable Plank/Bridge

• Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
• With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
• This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
• To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

5 minutes – back & forth between the 2 exercises – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #4

This 10 minute superset focuses on a horizontal pushing movement  – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up Exercise – Plyometric Pushups

Main Lift – Bench Press – any variation – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (pressing up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #5

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on core flexion & stability

The are NO wake-up exercises …just 2 main lifts

Main Lift #1 – Hanging Leg Raise

Main Lift #2 – Standing Cable Plank/Bridge

• Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
• With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
• This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
• To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

5 minutes – back & forth between the 2 exercises – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #6

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on core Extension & stability

The are NO wake-up exercises …just 1 main lift

Main Lift #1 – Toes to the Sky

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

.

nothing – you’re done

.

It’s not exactly the type of workout you’re going to find in your copy of Men’s/Women’s Health.

.

.

## Health Habits Workout -Week 33/Day 2 – The Deadpool Workouts

As a personal trainer, I get a kick out of watching my clients transform their bodies over the course of a few months.

Unfortunately, as your online personal trainer, I never get that visual feedback.

So, as you get ready to tackle Day 2 of this nasty Deadpool Workout, think about ole’ Health Habits Doug and shoot me an email about how the workouts are working or not working for you.

and away we go….

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Same warm-up as always…with the goal being to warm up the muscles & lubricate the joints. Feel free to substitute exercises as long as they get your joints all warmed up.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

As I mentioned in Part Six, each workout has 6 main lifts.

Most main lifts will also employ a “wake up” exercise to get your fast twitch muscle fibers primed & ready

I have arranged each of the six (6) lifts by movement or muscle group in a way to maximize performance & recovery.

Superset #1

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up exercise – Bodyweight Jump Squats –  3-8 reps

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Barbell Front Squats or Back Squats – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #2

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up exercise – Isometric Shoulder Press –  3-8 reps

Press up into an immovable object….as hard as you can – hold each rep for 1 second – Repeat for 3-8 reps

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Push Press – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

10 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully

After 10 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #3

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on a horizontal pulling movement

The is NO wake-up exercise …today we have 2 Main Lifts

Main Lift #1 – BW Scapula Row or Standing Cable Scapula Row – 5 minutes – as many reps as possible

Main Lift #2 – Standing Cable Plank/Bridge

• Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
• With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
• This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
• To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

5 minutes – back & forth between the 2 exercises – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #4

This 10 minute superset focuses on a horizontal pushing movement  – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up Exercise – Plyometric Pushups

Main Lift – Bench Press – any variation – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (pressing up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #5

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on core flexion & stability

The are NO wake-up exercises …just 2 main lifts

Main Lift #1 – Hanging Leg Raise

Main Lift #2 – Standing Cable Plank/Bridge

• Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
• With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
• This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
• To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

5 minutes – back & forth between the 2 exercises – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #6

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on core Extension & stability

The are NO wake-up exercises …just 1 main lift

Main Lift #1 – Toes to the Sky

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

.

nothing – you’re done

.

It’s not exactly the type of workout you’re going to find in your copy of Men’s/Women’s Health.

.

.

## Health Habits Workout -Week 33/Day 1 – The Deadpool Workouts

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Same warm-up as always…with the goal being to warm up the muscles & lubricate the joints. Feel free to substitute exercises as long as they get your joints all warmed up.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

THE WORKOUT

As I mentioned in Part Six, each workout has 6 main lifts.

Most main lifts will also employ a “wake up” exercise to get your fast twitch muscle fibers primed & ready

I have arranged each of the six (6) lifts by movement or muscle group in a way to maximize performance & recovery.

Superset #1

The goal is to perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up exercise – Explosive Bodyweight (BW) Hip Thrust –  3-8 reps

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift Barbell / Smith Machine Hip Thrusts – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #2

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on hip rotation & core stability

The is NO wake-up exercise …so it’s not really a superset

Main Lift Standing Cable Woodchop – handle at belly height – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

The aim of this exercise is to rotate through the hips – not at the belly/lower back – The guy in the video does an okay job, but I want you to think of a baseball player swinging a bat…move those hips

5 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #3

This 10 minute superset focuses on a horizontal pulling movement  – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up Exercise – Isometric Face Pulls into the floor – Lie on the floor with knees bent and arms flared out to the side – elbows are bent with hands pointing up to the ceiling

Begin the movement by pushing your elbows back into the immovable floor….as hard as you can – hold each rep for 1 second – Repeat for 3-8 reps

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Standing or Seated Cable Rows – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting towards your belly) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #4

This 10 minute superset focuses on a vertical pulling movement  – 3-8 reps per set

Wake-up ExerciseSuper Fast Band Pulldowns – 3-8 reps –

Then, move as quick as possible to the….

Main Lift – Pull-Ups, Chin-Ups or Pulldowns – 3-8 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting towards your belly) as quickly as possible – choose a weight you can perform 8 reps & stick with that weight

Rest long enough to catch your breath & go again (wake-up, main lift, wake-up, main lift…)

After 10 minutes, rest a little bit & move onto….

Superset #5

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on core stability & abdominal bracing

The is NO wake-up exercise …so it’s not really a superset

Main Lift – Turkish Get-Up – 5 minutes – as many reps as possible

5 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – focus on form

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & move onto….

Superset #6

This time, we have a 5 minute superset focusing on some of your “beach muscles”

The is NO wake-up exercise …just 2 exercises – back to back – for as many reps as you can get in 5 minutes

Lift #1 – Standing Alternate Bicep Curls – palms up/supinated – pick a weight that you can handle 10 reps and then perform between – 3-10 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible

Lift #2 – Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise – pick a weight that you can handle 10 reps and then perform between – 3-10 reps – perform the concentric part of the lift (lifting up) as quickly as possible

5 minutes – back & forth – resting as little as possible – moving quickly & powerfully

After 5 minutes, catch your breath & go stretch out those muscles

.

It’s not exactly the type of workout you’re going to find in your copy of Men’s/Women’s Health.

.

.

## The Deadpool Mega Muscle Mass Workout – Part Six

In Part Five of the Deadpool series, I told you about the four “beta-test” versions of the Deadpool Mega Muscle Mass Workout:

Each version was designed for different types of clients with different types of bodies and different types of goals.

• Version 1 is designed to make a lightly muscled, super quick, speed demon kind of body even faster & more explosive
• Version 2 is designed to take a heavily muscled, bodybuilder kind of physique and push it through plateaus to a new level of muscle mass
• Version 3 was created for my strongman buddies. This workout would add muscle mass, but the primary goal was to build freaky levels of strength & power…size was secondary
• Version 4 is my favorite….

It’s 2 parts Version 3 mixed with 1 part Version 2 and sprinkled with 1 part Fat Loss.

Strength + Power + Speed + a healthy dose of EPOC makes this my favorite workout for creating a truly athletic body capable of just about anything.

Because this workout is a hybrid – we will be using:

All 3 of  the fast-twitch muscle fiber Wake-Up techniques

1. Very Intense Concentric Muscular Contractions – ex. Partial range bench press or Isometrics
2. Very Intense Eccentric Muscular Contractions – ex. Plyometric movements (depth jumps)
3. Very Fast Concentric & Eccentric Muscular Contractions – like a hummingbird flapping it’s wings

Note – we will focus mainly on techniques 2 and 3. The heavy concentrics will only be used  prior to the big compound powerlifting style lifts.

After waking up the fast-twitch fibers, we will stimulate them with a variety of explosive concentric lifts with the focus on muscle tension and speed of movement.

NoteWe will not be using slow  paced eccentric lifts in this program. I use that technique with trainees focusing primarily on maximum strength. For trainees  interested in power, speed & fat loss, this technique tends to do more harm than good.

But, for reference, I am listing all 3 of the main lifting techniques used during the work sets.

1. Slightly Less Intense Concentric Muscular Contractions…through a full range of motion and performed as fast as possible. Think explosive bench presses.
2. Slightly Less Intense Eccentric Muscular Contractions….but we drastically increase the time under tension. Sloooowwww negatives on those bench presses.
3. With no pause at the top or bottom of the lift. The muscle is always under tension.

### Program Design

Because this program is designed to make you look great & perform better, I will be choosing mainly compound exercises that

• use a lot of different muscles
• work in numerous planes of movement
• tax your energy systems quite heavily
• and don’t fit well into split routines

For these reasons, the Deadpool Ultimate Workout will consist of three (3) total body workouts per week.

What you do during the rest of the week depends upon your goals / lifestyle.

• For fat loss, I would recommend some additional HIIT workouts
• For improved aerobic/cardio function, throw in some “cardio” training
• For pain reduction / looser muscles /joint mobility problems, try out a Feldenkrais class or Pilates or a Circular Strength Training class or yoga or go for some chiropractic/acupuncture/soft tissue therapy. And don’t forget the foam roller.
• For a little fun, try a dance class or join a boot camp or play tennis or golf or swimming or tantric sex….

But, keep in mind that your Deadpool workouts are pretty tough on the nervous system and that any additional workouts should be of a lower intensity to allow for nervous system recovery.

### The Workouts

• Each workout will include six (6) main lifts
• Not including warm-up and cool-down, each workout will not last longer than 60 minutes.
• Each work set will consist of between 3-8 reps.
• Each work set will include a “wake up” exercise & a main lift
• During the main lift, the concentric portion of each lift is performed as fast as possible – lots of power
• Minimize your rest between sets

Okay, those are the basics.

There are a lot more options that we can use, but let’s start here and once you have mastered this workout, we will add in some more tricks.

Workout #1

As I mentioned above, each workout has 6 main lifts. Most main lifts will also employ a “wake up” exercise to get your fast twitch muscle fibers primed & ready

I have arranged each of the six (6) lifts by movement or muscle group in a way to maximize performance & recovery.

1. Posterior Chain – Lower Body – Choose from deadlift, cable pullthrough, hip thrust, Olympic lifts, GH Raise, sled push/prowler/etc – Perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per sets – Start with a weight that you can move for 8 reps with good form – for now, leave that weight constant – Use a “wake-up” exercise
2. Lower Body – Lateral / Rotational movement – Choose from Linebacker shuffle – band, cable and cable/band Woodchop – Max reps in 5 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight
3. Upper body horiz pullrows, sternum chins – Max reps in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight – – Use a “wake-up” exercise
4. Vertical pullstraight arm pulldowns / reverse shrugs, high pulls, olympic lifts, shrugs – Max reps in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight – Use a “wake-up” exercise
5. Core – bracing – planks – horiz/vert, roll outs, waiters walk, turkish get-up – Max reps in 5 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight
6. Beach Muscles – bicep curls, lateral raises, forearm flexion – Max reps in 5 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight

Workout #2

1. Anterior Chain – Lower Body – Choose from Squat, lunge, reverse sled drags – Perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per sets – Start with a weight that you can move for 8 reps with good form – for now, leave that weight constant – Use a “wake-up” exercise
2. Vertical push – Choose from Overhead press, push press, thruster, handstand pushup – Perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per sets – Start with a weight that you can move for 8 reps with good form – for now, leave that weight constant – Use a “wake-up” exercise
3. Horizontal pull – Choose from Face pull, horizontal cable shrug / straight arm row– Max reps in 5 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight
4. Horizontal push – Choose from Chest presses, pushups, dive bombers, st arm press or reverse horizontal shrug – Perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per sets – Start with a weight that you can move for 8 reps with good form – for now, leave that weight constant – Use a “wake-up” exercise
5. Core – flexion – Choose from Hanging leg raise, toes to the sky, roll outs – Max reps in 5 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight
6. Core – extension – Choose from Back extension on pulldown machine, toes to the sky, roll outs – Max reps in 5 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight

Workout #3

1. Upper body horiz pull – Choose from Bodyweight rows, face pull, horiz shrug or st arm row – Perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per sets – Start with a weight that you can move for 8 reps with good form – for now, leave that weight constant – Use a “wake-up” exercise
2. Posterior Chain – Lower Body – Choose from Deadlift, pullthrough, hip thrust, Olympic lifts, GH Raise, sled push/prowler/etc – Perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per sets – Start with a weight that you can move for 8 reps with good form – for now, leave that weight constant – Use a “wake-up” exercise
3. Vert pull – Choose from Chins or pulldowns – Perform as many sets as possible in 10 minutes – 3-8 reps per sets – Start with a weight that you can move for 8 reps with good form – for now, leave that weight constant – Use a “wake-up” exercise
4. Core – bracing – Planks – horiz/vert, roll outs, overhead lifts – Max reps in 5 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight
5. Core – side flexion / rotation – Woodchops – bad for lumbars – Max reps in 5 minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight
6. Beach Muscles – Choose from Reverse bicep curls, pushdowns, calf raises – Max reps in 5minutes – 3-8 reps – constant weight

## Now What?

2. Hang on for an hour or so and I will begin posting weekly Deadpool workouts here and on Facebook

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## More Crossfit than Crossfit

Two weeks ago, I ticked off a small slice of the Crossfit world when I posted this workout video on Facebook and asked for their feedback.

Amidst the constructive criticism and numerous questions, there were a few Crossfitters who took the time to offer the following opinions:

• worst workout I have ever seen
• that workout is retarded
• stupid
• fu*king stupid
• useless, and
• not as good as a wide variety of different Crossfit workouts (most noticeably the Murph)

Strangely enough, when asked, none of these commenters could offer a cogent argument as to why the workout was stupid and/or retarded.

No big surprise…amongst every group there are always a few jackasses.

But…the jackasses got me thinking.

They got me thinking about how Crossfit & Crossfitters have changed during the time that I have watched Crossfit explode in popularity.

When it began, Crossfitters thrived as an “us against the world” group of amateur athletes devoted to a pursuit of physical fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive.

Crossfit’s specialty was in not specializing.

Crossfitters believed that in combat, survival, many sports, and most importantly, real life ….this kind of approach to fitness is rewarded while, on average, the specialist – bodybuilding, powerlifting, runners, etc…are punished.

So, why is it that when I talk to Crossfitters, I am noticing an increasingly close-minded approach to fitness….an attitude that Crossfit and more specifically, the WODs… are the end-all and be-all of physical fitness?

Why is it that, instead of creating the world’s most complete athletes, the focus is shifting towards creating the world’s best Crossfitters?

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And that’s where it would have ended….with me mulling over the evolution (de-evolution???) of Crossfit while sitting on my local Starbucks patio, drinking a mug of green tea, enjoying the summer sun and watching the girls walk by.

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Except that I mentioned it to my buddy Amir – aka the guy who designed the 3 Minutes of HIRT workout circuit.

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Perhaps not the brightest idea I have ever had.

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Because Amir took the criticisms a little personal….and proceeded to:

1. engage in a few days of online arguing with the Crossfit jackasses, and
2. take out his frustrations on his personal training clients.

But, luckily for us, after a few days of brutalizing his clients, Amir decided to:

1. Test himself with a bunch of the hardest Crossfit WODs, and
2. Create a bunch of new (and more Crossfit-esque) workouts for your enjoyment.

Here is the first workout.

Note: I had to split the workout into 2 videos because youtube complained that the file was too big.

Amir’s time for the workout was 15 min and 59 seconds

The circuit consists of:

1 round of:

• 2 x 24KG Kettlebell Snatch x 25 reps
• Pistol Squats w/ lateral bench jumps x 30 reps
• Switch Grip Pull Ups x 35 reps
• Dynamic Fly Push Ups x 40 reps
• 2 x 24 KG Kettlebell Snatch x 25 reps
• Bodyweight Dips x 50 reps

And as you may have noticed, Amir’s workout partners were not always able to perform the exact same movements as Amir.

They modified the intensity of the exercises to suit their current level of fitness.

• Pistol Squats became a 1-Leg Squat with the off leg positioned behind the body
• Pull Ups became Supine Body Weight Rows off of a Smith Machine
• And the freaky Dynamic Fly Push Ups became elevated yoga block Push Ups

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So, give the workout a try and let me (and Amir) know what you think.

p.s. I left all the grunts & growns in the video for your enjoyment

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## Creatine is for Crossfitters

It’s also for sprinters and soccer players and linebackers and paddlers and hockey players and HIIT fanatics and just about everyone who wants to maximize their high-intensity, short-duration athletic performance.

That is, if they’re male.

According to this research, male test subjects who consumed 20 g of Creatine citrate per day (4 x 5g doses) over 5 consecutive days exhibited a 23% greater Anaerobic Running Capacity (ARC) than those in the placebo group.

The women didn’t do so well.

Sorry.

Conclusion

If you’re a guy who wants to be stronger and faster for longer, you may want to load up on creatine prior to your athletic competition.

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## There are 2 main reasons professional athletes love Human Growth Hormone.

1. Detection requires a blood test and most professional sports leagues do not require mandatory blood testing of their athletes. Ergo, they can use HGH without fear of a positive drug test.
2. It works.

According to this study, even a low dose of human growth hormone (HGH) was able to significantly improve the sprint capacity in healthy recreational athletes.

The effect was even more pronounced in those athletes who were given a combination of HGH and testosterone.

“We found the enhancement in sprint capacity would correlate to a 0.4 second improvement over 10 seconds in a 100-meter dash.” said Dr. Ken Ho – lead author of the study.

“This improvement could turn the last place finisher in the Olympic finals into a gold medal winner.”

As if that wasn’t enough, researchers found that HGH significantly reduced fat mass among the athletes.

Of course, HGH isn’t without its side effects – the athletes who received HGH also complained of swelling and joint pain.

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But, then again, what’s a little joint pain, if 2-3 months of  HGH therapy turns the average athlete into a leaner, faster, Hulk-like freak of nature.

Is it any wonder HGH is such a popular choice for pro athletes?

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## High Intensity meets High Tech

It’s no secret – I love High Intensity Interval Training.

• I love that it’s great for melting body-fat
• I love that it’s great for improving aerobic fitness
• I love that it’s great for improving anaerobic fitness
• And I love the fact that I get all of these benefits without having to spend hours on a treadmill like some kind of human/gerbil hybrid.

BUT, one thing I don’t like about HIIT/Tabata Training is that intensity is highly subjective.

When I tell a client that I want 100% on a set of interval sprints, how can I know that they are giving 100% effort.

How do we measure intensity?

Well, up until now, here’s what I have been doing (I will use HIIT bike sprints as an example)

• After an adequate warm-up, I set the exercise bike at the appropriate level of resistance.
• Then we start banging out 10 second sprints going as fast as possible
• I help things along by “encouraging” my client to go faster.
• I also ask the client to track the number of revolution one leg makes during the 10 second sprint.
• For example, a new client recently tested out at 25, 27, 28, 28, 29, 27 and 24 revolutions per leg per 10 seconds. (bike resistance set at level 7 of 10)
• This means that their maximum speed at resistance level 7 was 29 revs per leg per 10 sec.
• This is also the number we now use to judge performance.

If they pedal slower than 29 rev @ level 7, then they are either fatiguing, not working hard enough or just having a bad day.

It’s not very high tech, but it has worked pretty well…up until now.

Now, I want to get my hands on some of this technology.

These new pieces of technology (Pulse Oximeters, portable ECGs and Activity Monitors) are being used right now by elite level athletes and in research settings to determine how to make exercise more efficient.

And when you consider that every IPhone and Google Android phone comes equipped with a built-in accelerometer, a proximity sensor and is bluetooth ready, it is highly likely that in the very near future, you are going to be able to ramp up the efficiency of your workouts by at least 25%.

And where did I get that 25%, you might ask?

And the answer is…from this study.

Without going into all of the highly technical details, researchers used some of the technology mentioned above to collect performance data while putting their test subjects through a modified Tabata workout.

Then they took that data, combined it with the data collected via a medical survey questionnaire and plugged it into a data mining decision tree.

I told you it was technical.

The upshot is that after all of this data was crunched, the researchers were able to design optimized interval training programs personalized for each and every test subject.

And, as a result of those optimized programs, the test subjects were able to improve their performance by 29.54%

What do you think of that!!!

29.54%

I can’t wait to get my hands on some of this technology.

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Reference

## The Deadpool Mega Muscle Mass Workout – Part Three

Continuing on from Part 2

Upper Back

Horizontal Pull

• Heavy Partial: I don’t like partial reps for any rowing exercises
• Isos: Isometric Row – Grab hold of an immovable object (ie. heavy barbell, cable stack, piece of equipment, flagpole, etc and try to pull it towards you using a rowing motion. Neither you nor the object should move. Hold for 2-5 seconds per rep for 3-8 reps
• Plyos: N/A
• Vibrations: Using a light weight (dumbbells, barbell, bands, etc..), perform 1 or 2 handed speed rows as fast as possible. I prefer the bands for this…less chance of injury Remember, think hummingbird wings –  3-8 reps

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Barbell/Dumbbell/Cable Rows – 3-8 reps

Upper Back

Vertical Pull

• Heavy Partial: Partial Chin-Ups with added weight, Partial Pull-downs – 3-8 reps
• Isos: Attempt to Chin-Up or Pulldown a weight that is too heavy to be moved – Hold for 2-5 seconds for 3-8 reps
• Plyos: N/A
• Vibrations: Using a light weight (dumbbells, barbell, bands, etc..), perform 1 or 2 handed speed rows as fast as possible. I prefer the bands for this…less chance of injury Remember, think hummingbird wings – 3-8 reps

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Barbell/Dumbbell/Cable Rows – 3-8 reps

Lower Back – Core

Spinal Extension

• Heavy Partial: N/A
• Isos: N/A
• Plyos: Overhead Medicine Ball Tosses to the rear – 3-8 reps
• Vibrations: Band Triple Extension or Swing Snatches (light weight) – 3-8 reps

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Swings or Good Mornings or Deadlifts – 3-8 reps

Chest

• Heavy Partial: Partial Bench Press in the power rack – 3-8 reps
• Isos: Isometric Bench Press – Push the bar into an immovable object (ex. Power Rack) –  Hold for 2-5 seconds for 3-8 reps
• Plyos: Medicine Ball Chest Throws (lying or standing)
• Vibrations: Band Chest Press for speed

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of Chest Presses for 3-8 reps

Abs – Core

Spinal Flexion

• Heavy Partial: N/A
• Isos: N/A
• Plyos: Medicine Ball Slams – 3-8 reps
• Vibrations: Standing Band Crunch – 3-8 reps

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of Standing Cable Crunches (just like the band crunch except using a pull-down cable machine) – 3-8 reps

Obliques – Core

Spinal Rotation/Lateral Flexion

• Heavy Partial: N/A
• Isos: N/A
• Plyos: Rotational Medicine Ball Slams – 3-8 reps

• Vibrations: Band Wood Chops – 3-8 reps (move faster than the girls in the video)

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of Standing Cable Woodchops  – 3-8 reps

Okay, that’s enough for today.

In Part 4, we hit the lower body

Enjoy

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## The Deadpool Mega Muscle Mass Workout – Part Two

In Part 1 of the Deadpool Mega Muscle Mass Workout, I told you that:

• By stimulating the hard to hit fast-twitch muscle fibers, even hardgainers can maximize the size, strength and power of their muscles.
• To wake up those fast-twitch fibers, we need to use 1 of 3 different techniques:
1. Very Intense Concentric Muscular Contractions – ex. Partial range bench press or Isometrics
2. Very Intense Eccentric Muscular Contractions – ex. Plyometric movements (depth jumps)
3. Very Fast Concentric & Eccentric Muscular Contractions – like a hummingbird flapping it’s wings
• After waking up the fast-twitch fibers, we hit them with…
1. Slightly Less Intense Concentric Muscular Contractions…through a full range of motion and performed as fast as possible. Think explosive bench presses.
2. Slightly Less Intense Eccentric Muscular Contractions….but we drastically increase the time under tension. Sloooowwww negatives on those bench presses.
3. With no pause at the top or bottom of the lift. The muscle is always under tension.

Today, I am going to give you some of my favorite Wake-Up Exercises and show you how to pair them with the traditional lifts to get the best results.

### Wake-Up Exercises

For convenience, I am going to shorten my descriptions of the 3 style of wake up exercises.

1. Very Intense Concentric Muscular Contractions will be called “Heavy Partial Lifts” or “Isos”
2. Very Intense Eccentric Muscular Contractions will be called “Plyos”
3. Very Fast Concentric/Eccentric Muscular Contractions will be called  “Vibrations”

I have broken the list of wake up exercises down by body part and/or body movement.

Hopefully, it is easy enough to follow, but if there’s a problem, please comment and I will update the post.

Here we go….

Traps

Vertical Shrug Movement

• Heavy Partial: N/A
• Isos: Isometric Shrug – Grab hold of an immovable object (ie. heavy barbell, pins in a power rack or even sit on a bench and grab the underside of the bench) and try to shrug it. The weight should not move. Hold for 2-5 seconds
• Plyos: Slam Shrugs – Set up a power rack with the pins slightly lower than your shrug lockout height. Grab your barbell and position it beneath the pins. Then, shrug the bar HARD into the pins. Repeat for 3-5 reps
• Vibrations: Using a light weight (dumbbells, barbell, bands, etc..), perform 5 shrugs as fast as possible. Remember, think hummingbird wings

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Barbell Shrugs – 3-8 reps

Horizontal Shrug Movement

• Heavy Partial: N/A
• Isos: Iso Face Pulls into the floor – Just like a regular standing cable face pull, except you are lying on your back and pushing your elbows back into the immovable floor – Repeat for 3-8 reps holding each rep for 1 sec.
• Plyos : Reverse elbow strikes into a heavy bag – 3-8 reps per arm
• Vibrations: Face Pulls using a Jump Stretch band – 3-8 reps – as fast as possible

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of Standing Cable Face Pulls – 3-8 reps

Shoulders

• Heavy Partial: Standing or Seated Partial Shoulder Press out of a Power Rack
• Isos: Isometric Shoulder Press – Shoulder Press into an immovable object –  Hold for 2-5 seconds for 3-8 reps
• Plyos: Medicine Ball Shoulder Press Throws-  Repeat for 3-8 reps – think speed!!!
• Vibrations: Shoulder press using bands – 3-8 reps – moving as fast as possible. Remember, think hummingbird wings

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Shoulder Presses – 3-8 reps – using either barbells or dumbbells

Lateral Raise Movement

Normally, I wouldn’t use this technique for an isolation exercise such as this, but feel free…

• Heavy Partial: N/A
• Isos: Isometric Lateral Raise – Lateral Raise into an immovable object (ex. Power Rack) –  Hold for 2-5 seconds for 3-8 reps per arm
• Plyos: N/A
• Vibrations: Super-speed Lateral Raises using bands – 3-8 reps – moving as fast as possible. ala Speedy Gonzales

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Lateral Raises – 3-8 reps – using either barbells or dumbbells

Reverse Lateral Raise Movement

Normally, I wouldn’t use this technique for an isolation exercise such as this, but feel free…

• Heavy Partial: N/A
• Isos: Isometric Lateral Raise – Reverse Lateral Raise into an immovable object (ex. Power Rack) –  Hold for 2-5 seconds for 3-8 reps per arm
• Plyos: N/A
• Vibrations: Super-speed Reverse Lateral Raises using bands – 3-8 reps – moving as fast as possible. ala Speedy Gonzales

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Lateral Raises – 3-8 reps – using either barbells or dumbbells

Biceps

• Heavy Partial: Cheating Bicep Curls  or Partial Range Bicep Curls – 3-8 reps
• Isos: Isometric Bicep Curl – Curl a barbell into an immovable object (ex. Power Rack) –  Hold for 2-5 seconds for 3-8 reps per arm
• Plyos: Drop & Catch Bicep Curls – Start by holding a barbell at the top position of a bicep curl. As you start to lower the barbell, let it drop and catch it while your elbows are still bent. This will take some practice. You don’t want to drop the barbell. – 3-8 reps
• Vibrations: Super-speed Bicep curls using bands – 3-8 reps – moving as fast as possible. ala Speedy Gonzales

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Bicep Curls – 3-8 reps – keep the form strict…not like the cheat curls

Triceps

• Heavy Partial: Partial Dips, Partial Close Grip Bench Press or Partial Pushdowns- 3-8 reps
• Isos: Isometric Close Grip Bench Press or Iso Pushdown- Your tricep force vs an immovable object (ex. Power Rack) –  Hold for 2-5 seconds for 3-8 reps
• Plyos: Close Grip Plyo Push Ups  – 3-8 reps
• Vibrations: Super-speed Pushdowns – 3-8 reps – moving as fast as possible.

Immediately after completing the wake up exercise, proceed to a set of heavy Dips, Close Grip Bench or Pushdowns – 3-8 reps – keep the form strict.

Okay, that’s enough for today. This post is too long already.

Tomorrow…another bunch of exercises

Enjoy

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## The Official “Make Ryan Reynolds your Beeyotch” Workout

A few months ago, I created a Squidoo Lens about Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool Workout.

The lens was essentially an introduction to the workouts that Reynolds had to endure in order to transform his naturally thin (aka scrawny) frame into a muscular, ripped physique worthy of superhero status.

Since then, I have received a ton of emails from guys eager to build their own Deadpool bodies.

The only problem was that I was underwhelmed by the original workout.

It was good, but it wasn’t great.

So, I re-invented the Deadpool workout and spent the summer beta testing it on some willing victims up here in Toronto.

And, if I say so myself, I have come up with a seriously kick-ass training program.

Over 3 months, my 4 scrawny test subjects:

• Gained between 5 and 14 lbs of muscle
• Increased their max strength between 55 & 197% (Front Squat)
• Saw their speed, power & anaerobic endurance go through the roof (Hill Sprints)
• And, oh yeah, they also lost a ton of baby-fat in the process.
• The average body-fat percentage at the beginning of the test was 21%.
• At the end of the 3 months, the average body-fat was down to 9% (a Bod-Pod was used to measure BF%)

In short, by the end of the summer, my little guinea pigs didn’t just look like superheroes.

They were superheroes.

So, without any further ado, I would like to present…

### The Official “Make Ryan Reynolds your Beeyotch” Workout

(Because this workout is too detailed for one post, I am going to break it into chunks – today’s chunk will outline the theory behind my madness)

Like the original workout, my MRRYB workout had two distinct phases.

### Phase 1 – Muscle Building

The key to the success of this phase was the focus on the nervous system and the development of fast twitch muscle fibers.

Using a combination of high speed movements and plyometric style loading, my GPs forced their fast twitch muscle fibers to engage during part 1 of their 2-part supersets.

(Here’s how I activated their fast-twitch muscle fibers)

Once I had the fast twitch fibers turned on, I moved them immediately to part-2 of the superset.

In part 2, the GPs were able to handle loads much heavier than normal because of the activation of their hard to activate fast twitch fibers.

Taking advantage of this situation, part 2 of the superset consisted of explosive concentric movements combined with slow eccentric movements. The GPs were not allowed to pause at either the top or bottom of the lift.

And yet, due to the activation of the fast twitch fibers, the GPs were able to lift more than ever before, add more muscle than ever before and yet experience only moderate muscle soreness.

Depending upon the exercise, the muscle group and the techniques used, reps for each part of the superset ranged from 3 to 8 reps.

### Phase 2 – Getting Ripped

Phase 2 is all about melting the baby-fat off of the newly built muscle.

To do that, I introduced the GPs to some particularly nasty HIIT and HIRT workouts.

And while I expected fairly rapid fat loss, I did not expect what happened.

For some reason, in the first week, each of the GPs lost over  6 lbs of fat.

And this is after almost 2 months of very intense training and a strict diet. They had already lost fat during phase 1.

I can only speculate on the reason behind the very rapid fat loss, but to be honest, I don’t care. I am more than happy to leave the science to the scientists. All I know is that this workout hit one out of the park.

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In the next installment of this series, I will get into the nuts and bolts of the workout.

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## Are You Tough Enough for This Workout?

Are you tough enough to handle one of my custom HIIT/HIRT workouts?

And by handle the workout, I don’t mean just survive the workout. I mean, can you push yourself harder than you ever have before?

Can you kick my ass at this workout? Well, can you…punk?

### Part 1 – The HIIT.

30 minutes of HIIT sprints on a Stationary Bike

Note: These are short duration sprints – 10 sec. As such, they are to be performed at Maximum IntensityAnd when I say max intensity, I mean MAXIMUM INTENSITY.

The 20 sec Active Rests should be performed at a 6-8 on the Borg Scale…very, very light effort.

### Part 2 – The HIRT

This second part of the workout is a 10 Minute HIRT Circuit consisting of 3 exercises, performed back to back with no rest between sets. The goal is to complete as many reps as possible (AMRAP) in 10 minutes

Each set will consist of 5 reps performed in an explosive manner.We will be using bodyweight exercises.

• Push-Up – 5 Reps per Set – As Many Sets As Possible in 10 minutes
• Body-weight Row – 5 Reps per Set – As Many Sets As Possible in 10 minutes
• Bulgarian Split Squat – 5 Reps per Set – As Many Sets As Possible in 10 minutes

For most, body-weight will be more than enough resistance. However, if you think you can handle it, feel free to add some resistance (weight vest, chains, bands, plates, dumbbells…your choice). But, I don’t want you sacrificing intensity & speed just to add some weight.

• Remember, there is no rest between sets.
• Perform all 3 exercises in the same spot.

I find that a Power Rack or Smith Machine works well for the Body-weight Rows. So, I just camp out there for the full 10 minutes using the bar (or a bench) for the Bulgarian Split Squats.

So, do you think you can kick my ass at this workout? Here’s how I did earlier today:

HIIT Sprints

• All sprints completed as designed
• Bike Resistance set at 80% of maximum
• Fastest Revolutions per Leg in 10 seconds – 32 (3rd sprint)
• Slowest Revolutions per Leg in 10 seconds – 24 (last sprint)

HIRT Workout

• Push-Up – BW (248) + 20 lb Weight Vest for 100 reps
• BW Row – BW (248) + 20 lb Weight Vest for 100 reps (Body held parallel to floor)
• Bulgarian Split Squat – BW (248) + 20 lb Weight Vest + 25 lb plate for 105 reps per leg (Back leg on std. flat bench)

So, can you kick my ass?

PDF copy of the workout

## Workout Burnout

Yesterday was Groundhog Day at my gym.

The same people, with the same bodies, were doing the same workouts that they do each and every day.

• The skinny-fit people were running hard, uphill, on their treadmills
• The skinny-fat people were jogging, like good little hamsters on their treadmills or ellipticals, and

• The wanna-be skinny-fat people were plodding along in their fat-burning zones.

• The resident “strong-men” of the gym were trying hard to hide even more muscle under their generous layers of body-fat.
• The “machine-junkies” were getting a very safe & sensible workout

• The Yoginis were stretching themselves into pretzels
• And the interval training junkies were working out like this:

and this:

And the question I ask is…

Why?

Why do the runners run and the lifters lift?

Why don’t the yoginis ever try to build some strength?

Why do the Crossfit cultists only do Crossfit?

Why don’t the Curves circuit bunnies ever do some sprints on the exercise bikes?

Why?

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Do you have the guts to break out of your routine and try something new?

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## HIIT Workouts – Vol. 1 – vertical jump training

Recently, I introduced you to “The 4 Steps to a Great H.I.I.T Workout“.

I told you how to select exercises that worked well within a HIIT program. I showed you how to correctly increase the volume and intensity of your HIIT workouts for maximum efficiency. I also explained how modifying an external load can be an effective HIIT tool.

In today’s post I will show you some sample HIIT workouts that I have used on some of my clients.

### Different Types of HIIT Workouts

In my business, I work with athletes who are interested in improving their athletic performance as well as the “rest of us” who are mainly interested in improving our overall health and perhaps losing a pound or two.

Lucky for me, HIIT is an effective tool for both groups.

The only differences in designing HIIT programs for these groups is that the level of intensity and resistance is usually higher for the ‘athletes” and that the exercises I choose for them are specifically suited to the needs of their sport.

For example, basketball players need to maximize their vertical jump whereas the rest of us probably have all of the “hops” we need to perform well at our job.

So for all of you aspiring Dwight Howards, or if you are simply interested in improving your vertical jump, while burning off body-fat and lowering your blood pressure, read on:

## Vertical Jump HIIT Workout # 1

### Exercise Combo # 1

Primary Exercise

Vertical Jumps onto Platform/Bench/Step/Etc.

Active Rest Exercise

Rotation Lunges – walking or static

### Exercise Combo # 2

Primary Exercise

Bulgarian Jumping Squats – with added resistance (dumbbells, XVest, etc)

Active Rest Exercise

Bulgarian Squat – bodyweight only – focus on the stretch

### Exercise Combo # 3

Dick Hartzell’s Jump Stretch Hips & Groin Combo

This is a great exercise video. With this exercise combo, you strengthen the lower posterior chain and stretch the hip flexors; all from various angles. Hip mobility is improved, along with hamstring strength and adductor/abductor strength and flexibility.

Great stuff!

## Putting it all together

These are three very specific HIIT workout combinations. They are designed to improve the trainee’s vertical jump while at the same time reaping all of the other HIIT benefits.

Due to their intensity, I usually do not perform all 3 combos back to back. I insert them into the body of a more generic resistance training workout.

As their athletic and jumping abilities improve, I:

• Increase the Volume of HIIT
• Increase the Intensity

I also have a few more jumping exercises that I use now and then, but these are my favorites.

.

## HIIT Workouts – Vertical Jump Training

Recently, I introduced you to “The 4 Steps to a Great H.I.I.T Workout“.

I told you how to select exercises that worked well within a HIIT program. I showed you how to correctly increase the volume and intensity of your HIIT workouts for maximum efficiency. I also explained how modifying an external load can be an effective HIIT tool.

In today’s post I will show you some sample HIIT workouts that I have used on some of my clients.

### Different Types of HIIT Workouts

In my business, I work with athletes who are interested in improving their athletic performance as well as the “rest of us” who are mainly interested in improving our overall health and perhaps losing a pound or two.

Lucky for me, HIIT is an effective tool for both groups.

The only differences in designing HIIT programs for these groups is that the level of intensity and resistance is usually higher for the ‘athletes” and that the exercises I choose for them are specifically suited to the needs of their sport.

For example, basketball players need to maximize their vertical jump whereas the rest of us probably have all of the “hops” we need to perform well at our job.

So for all of you aspiring Dwight Howards, or if you are simply interested in improving your vertical jump, while burning off body-fat and lowering your blood pressure, read on:

## Vertical Jump HIIT Workout # 1

### Exercise Combo # 1

Primary Exercise

Vertical Jumps onto Platform/Bench/Step/Etc.

Active Rest Exercise

Rotation Lunges – walking or static

### Exercise Combo # 2

Primary Exercise

Bulgarian Jumping Squats – with added resistance (dumbbells, XVest, etc)

Active Rest Exercise

Bulgarian Squat – bodyweight only – focus on the stretch

### Exercise Combo # 3

Wicked Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip mobility & psoas stiffness (or lack thereof) is crucial to generating sick hops

## Putting it all together

These are three very specific HIIT workout combinations. They are designed to improve the trainee’s vertical jump while at the same time reaping all of the other HIIT benefits.

Due to their intensity, I usually do not perform all 3 combos back to back. I insert them into the body of a more generic resistance training workout.

As their athletic and jumping abilities improve, I:

• Increase the Volume of HIIT
• Increase the Intensity

I also have a few more jumping exercises that I use now and then, but these are my favorites.

.

If you are looking for a complete Jump Training program, take a look at this one.

## Power Training

In my post, Muscular Strength made simple, I introduced you to some of the theory behind the different types of muscular strength.

Today, we get specific about training to maximize your muscular power. By the end of this post, you will know the ‘whys’ and ‘how-tos’ about getting brutally strong and powerful.

To get you started, I will also give you a ‘tried and true’ program designed to turn you into the strongest, fastest, most powerful version of yourself that you could ever imagine.

### First things first – What is Power?

Simply put, power is the ability to move heavy loads, fast. To do that, we need to do two things. Build your maximum strength as high as possible and teach your muscles to contract as fast as possible.

### Before We Begin – a brief disclaimer

This program is designed for trainees who:

• Make regular visits to their doctor and have been cleared for resistance training. That means you have no medical conditions that could be aggravated by moving large weights very quickly. Serious.
• Have established a basic level of physical fitness. This is not a beginner program. I will be writing an article on establishing a basic level of physical fitness in the near future.
• Do not have serious muscular imbalances. While this program is designed not to cause muscle imbalances; it is not a rehab program. I will also be writing an article on that topic in the near future.
• Are serious about transforming their body. Don’t waste your time if you are not willing to commit yourself fully to this program.

Seriously, this a bad-ass program and unless you’re willing to train like a bad-ass, you might as well stop reading.

### Power = Maximum Strength + Maximum Speed

To develop Power, you need to combine maximum strength with maximum speed.

In a linear periodization model of resistance training, strength and speed training are never performed concurrently. However, my review of the current literature as well as my first hand experience has led me to believe that training both strength and speed concurrently is not just possible; but essential.

With this method, we avoid the de-training effect of switching from one program emphasis to another.

In the linear model, hard fought strength gains begin to dissipate soon after strength training is abandoned for speed training. The same holds true for losses in speed. You are always playing a game of two steps forward and one step back.

Another benefit of concurrent strength/speed training is that since gains in strength/speed are happening incrementally and simultaneously, your increasing speed is not effected by your increasing strength, and vice-versa.

In a linear program, you might focus on 4-8 weeks on your maximum strength. During that time, you might increase your max strength by 10% (X + 10%). Due to lack of stimulation, your speed my drop by 3% (Y-3%). After completing the strength portion of your program, you shift your focus to speed training.

However, not only are your muscles slower, but you are asking them to lift weights 10% heavier than they have lifted. Now, you are two steps forward and three steps back.

When we train both strength and speed together, they both increase together. Your strength may only increase by 7%, but your speed will also increase by 7%.

Remember: Strength + Speed = Power

### Maximum Strength Training

In my program, maximum strength is trained twice per week.

• During each workout, you will focus on 1 major movement.
• That movement will be performed in consecutive sets of 3 repetitions until you can no longer perform 3 repetitions with decent form.
• Once you have maxed out your Sets of 3, drop the reps per set to 1 and keep adding weight each set until you reach your 1 Rep Maximum.

After your major movement is completed, perform a series of complementary exercises in sets consisting of 5 to 10 repetitions.

Each of the two maximum strength workouts will focus on a different movement.

As well, since this workout is very intense, you WILL perform a thorough warm-up before hitting the serious weights. Not just cardio. Calisthenics, dynamic stretching, overhead squats, snatches, or light weight training is required.

### Maximum Speed Training

Like maximum strength training, maximum speed is trained twice per week.

Like max strength day, you will focus on 1 major movement. While it doesn’t have to be the exact same movement as max strength day, it must be in the same family of movements. (Barbell bench press & push-ups or band speed-bench press)

Like max strength day, you will be performing sets of 3 reps. However, the number of sets will be predetermined and the weight will be between 50 and 60% of your 1 Rep Maximum on that lift.

For simplicity’s sake, you may want to keep your movements consistent between max strength and max speed day.

Like max strength day, you will be performing a series of complementary exercises after finishing the main movement.

### Off Days

Off days should focus on rest and repair of your body. This program will test both your musculature and your nervous system. Stretching, chiropractic, massage, light cardio, restorative yoga, hydrotherapy, etc. is recommended.

Quick Nav

## Everything You Need to Know About Muscular Power Training

In my post, How to Get Strong – The Science of Strength, I introduced you to some of the theory behind the different types of muscular strength.

Today’s post is all about developing insane amounts of muscular power…which is important if you play soccer, football, baseball, tennis, hockey or any other activity that doesn’t involve sitting on your butt or covering long distances over the course f an afternoon.

To get you started, I will also give you a ‘tried and true’ program designed to turn you into the strongest, fastest, most powerful version of yourself that you could ever imagine.

I can’t guarantee to turn you into the Incredible Hulk.

But I can sure as heck guarantee that you will be bigger and stronger than the ‘before’ picture.

### What is Power?

Simply put, power is the ability to move heavy loads, fast.

To do that, we need to do two things.

1. Build your maximum strength as high as possible and,
2. Teach your muscles to contract as fast as possible.

Simple….right?

### Before We Begin

This program is designed for trainees who:

• Make regular visits to their doctor and have been cleared for resistance training. That means you have no medical conditions that could be aggravated by moving large weights very quickly. Serious.
• Have established a basic level of physical fitness. This is not a beginner program. I will be writing an article on establishing a basic level of physical fitness in the near future.
• Do not have serious muscular imbalances. While this program is designed not to cause muscle imbalances; it is not a rehab program. I will also be writing an article on that topic in the near future.
• Are serious about transforming their body. Don’t waste your time if you are not willing to commit yourself fully to this program.

### Power = Maximum Strength + Maximum Speed

To develop Power, you need to combine maximum strength with maximum speed.

In a linear periodization model of resistance training, strength and speed training are never performed concurrently. However, my review of the current literature as well as my first hand experience has led me to believe that training both strength and speed at the same time is not just possible; but essential.

With this method, we avoid the de-training effect of switching from one program emphasis to another.

In the linear model, hard fought strength gains begin to dissipate soon after strength training is abandoned for speed training. The same holds true for losses in speed. You are always playing a game of two steps forward and one step back. Another benefit of concurrent strength/speed training is that since gains in strength/speed are happening incrementally and simultaneously, your increasing speed is not effected by your increasing strength, and vice-versa.

In a linear program, you might focus of 4-8 weeks on your maximum strength. During that time, you might increase your max strength by 10% (X + 10%). Due to lack of stimulation, your speed my drop by 3% (Y-3%). After completing the strength portion of your program, you shift your focus to speed training.

However, not only are your muscles slower, but you are asking them to lift weights 10% heavier than they have lifted. Now you are two steps forward and two to three steps back.

Train both strength and speed together and they both increase together. Your strength may only increase by 8%, but your speed will also increase by 8%.

Strength + Speed = Power

### Maximum Strength Training

In my program, maximum strength is trained twice per week.

• During each workout, you will focus on 1 major movement. That movement will be performed in consecutive sets of 3 repetitions until you can no longer perform 3 repetitions. You will continue adding weight to consecutive sets until you reach your 1 Rep Maximum.
• After your major movement is completed, you will perform a series of complementary exercises in sets consisting of 5 to 10 repetitions.
• Each of the two maximum strength workouts will focus on a different movement.

As well, since this workout is very intense, you WILL perform a thorough warm-up before hitting the serious weights. Not just cardio. Calisthenics, dynamic stretching, overhead squats, snatches, or light weight training is required.

### Maximum Speed Training

Like maximum strength training, maximum speed is trained twice per week.

• Like max strength day, you will focus on 1 major movement. While it doesn’t have to be the exact same movement as max strength day, it must be in the same family of movements.
• Like max strength day, you will be performing sets of 3 reps. However, the number of sets will be predetermined and the weight will be between 50 and 60% of your 1 Rep Maximum on that lift.
• For simplicity’s sake, you may want to keep your movements consistent between max strength and max speed day.
• Like max strength day, you will be performing a series of complementary exercises after finishing the main movement.

### Off Days

Off days should focus on rest and repair of your body. This program will test both your musculature and your nervous system. Stretching, chiropractic, massage, light cardio, restorative yoga, hydrotherapy, etc. is recommended.

In my post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I divided physical fitness into it’s component parts and provided a brief introduction of each part.

Since then, I have written in more detail about Structural Balance and Energy System FitnessToday I will try to explain the concept of Muscular Strength and how it applies to overall physical fitness.

### Intro to Muscular Strength

This component of physical fitness deals specifically with the performance of the body’s skeletal muscles.

• Your skeletal muscles contract and stretch in order to produce movement. Simple.
• How they produce that movement is less simple.

Your body’s muscles are highly adaptable. They will react to the stresses that you place upon them.

• Sit on the couch and they will atrophy.
• Try and run fast and they adapt to produce faster contractions.
• Lift heavy objects and they will increase their ability to produce maximum strength.

### What is Strength?

Muscular Strength can and has been categorized/defined in a variety of different ways. I am choosing to divide Muscular Strength into four categories, based primarily on Newton’s Second Law –  $\vec F = m \vec a$ (force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.)

• Mass relates to how much weight/mass a muscle or muscle group can move.
• Acceleration relates to how fast that weight/mass is moved.

Note: You don’t need to know all this science stuff, but it can really help your strength training if you do 🙂

### There are 4 Categories of Muscular Strength

1. Maximum Muscular Strength
2. Maximum Muscular Power
3. Maximum Muscular Speed
4. Maximum Muscular Endurance

Each of these categories has different characteristics with regard to mass and acceleration

### 1.  Maximum muscular strength

Maximum Muscular Strength is an extreme form of muscular strength.

In relation to newton’s Second Law it completely favors mass over acceleration. It is a measure of the maximum mass that a muscle, or muscle group can move, regardless of time.

• Think immovable object v.s irresistible force.
• Pushing your ‘out of gas’ car up a hill to the gas station at the crest of the hill.
• Your maximum squat at the gym.

Got it?

The importance of maximum muscular strength?

While this is a point of debate amongst both academics, coaches and athletes, I believe that maximum muscular strength is the most important component of overall muscular strength.

Looking at the force-velocity curve, we see a relationship between force/mass and velocity / acceleration.

• Maximum Muscular Strength would be represented by the point on the curve in the upper left corner.
• Muscular Speed would be represented by the point on the lower right.
• Power is the combination of strength and speed.

• If you were to increase your maximum strength, you would shift the force-velocity curve and your muscular power upwards.
• Conversely, if you could increase your speed of movement, you would shift the curve to the right, also increasing your power.
• Increasing both strength and speed would push the curve both up and to the right, resulting in even greater increases in power.

For most athletes, that is a welcome goal.

How do you develop maximum muscular strength?

Maximum Muscular Strength is developed using different forms and methods of resistance training. Generally speaking, heavy weights for low repetitions are used to develop max strength.

As this is a very complicated subject, I will be discussing this topic in detail in future posts.

### Maximum muscular speed

As mentioned above, Maximum muscular speed is the ability to produce a low force muscular movement very quickly. As seen in the force-velocity curve, muscular speed is both a relative and absolute term.

Relative, because your mass (along with a bunch of other “stuff”) impacts the speed that you can achieve. To illustrate this point, let’s look at the animal kingdom.

A cheetah, while incredibly fast – 60+ miles per hour is no match for the peregrine falcon, which can dive at speeds up to 200 miles per hour.

In the world of athletics, speed is also relative. The world’s fastest sumo wrestler may be fast against his peers, but against an Olympic 100m champion???

And when we’re comparing apples to apples, Maximum Muscular Speed is often the determining factor in an athletic competition.

For example, superior hand speed often makes the difference in a boxing match between two men in the same weight category.

How do you develop maximum muscular speed?

Like Maximum Muscular Strength, speed can be developed using resistance training techniques. However, Max Speed training most often involves body weight training that attempt to maximize both the condition of the muscles and the performance of the neuro-muscular system as a whole.

I will also be covering this topic in more detail in future posts.

### Maximum muscular endurance

Maximum muscular endurance is the ability to produce a smaller amount of force, but do it for a long time. A marathon runner is a great example of muscular endurance. His body weight requires less force to move than your car, in neutral, going uphill; but he is able to move that weight for 2+ hours non-stop.

Why do you need maximum muscular endurance?

Maximum muscular endurance is the least sexy of the 4 categories of Muscular Strength. However, it is the most vital when it comes to general health and longevity. While not being taken to extremes, the training to improve muscular endurance has a beneficial effect on your cardio-vascular health.

How do you develop maximum muscular endurance?

Maximum Muscular Endurance is generally trained with body-weight exercises. While there may be a need for injury prevention resistance training exercises, most endurance athletes focus their training on their sport of choice.

I will also cover the training methodologies of endurance athletes in a future post.

### Maximum Muscular power

Muscular power is the combination of maximum strength and speed.

An Olympic weightlifter is a great example of power.

How do you develop Maximum Muscular Power?

As Maximum Muscular Power is a combination of Max Strength and Max Speed, the development of power involves a combination of training methodologies.

I look to cover this topic in my next post.

### Muscular Strength

I hope this introductory post was helpful in helping you understand Muscular strength training and how it impacts athletic performance and general physical fitness.

In future posts, I will go into a more detailed explanation of each of the 4 categories. I will also provide same training programs for each category of Muscular Strength.