Archive for November, 2010

Mass Building Squat Secrets

Mass Building Squats

Revealed: Missing Link in Mass Building Program

What I’m about share with you may not seem like a revelation at first but the truth is, 90% of all gym rats completely ignore this one critical aspect of their mass building program. I don’t want you to make that mistake. In fact, by committing yourself to doing this one mass building exercise on a consistent basis, and doing it exactly the way I tell you in this article, you’ll be amazed at how much faster you’ll grow!

The Secret Path to Gaining More Muscle Mass…Revealed!

Scientifically speaking, your ability to build new muscle mass is directly linked to your ability to naturally increase anabolic hormones in your body (testosterone, growth hormone, IGF-​​1, etc.). We know this is true because the reason why pro bodybuilders are so freakishly huge is that they use steroids to artificially pump their anabolic hormones through the roof. But we also know that steroids are dangerous and in my opinion, not worth the health risks and side effects.

How to Get Hit in a Fight…and Fight Back!

If you’ve ever been hit hard in the head in a real street fight, then you know that the slight concussion from the blow can completely disorient you, at least momentarily. This can result in dizziness, nausea, and potential fainting, all of which can put you and your loved ones at risk as your aggressor takes advantage of your weakened state by following up with an even more vicious attack. This confusion and disorientation is compounded even more when you’re the victim of a “surprise attack” that comes out of nowhere.

Most people, after getting punched and disoriented, will just curl up into a ball and pray for the beating to stop. However, this just makes you an easy target and you can typically count on further, more damaging punches and kicks while you’re lying there. You can’t afford to count on mercy from your attacker.

NikkiFitness Approved: Holiday Fit Gift Guide

Each year I make my list and check it twice, and take out anything that does not support a fit lifestyle . Sometimes, I find something I like so much I get on for myself and 10 for my friends and family! Here are the top four gifts that I have already made staples in my fit life, and recommend to you as well. They include a way to stay fit on the road and have fun at the same time, exercise shoes guaranteed to last, mini-​​treats to entertain at home without ruining your diet, and something personalized to carry it all in!

Rubberbanditz — $39.95. Work out Anywhere, Anytime! You all know I am a fan of “Fitting in your fitness” and I myself traveled around the world shooting my Fit Travel Workout. So I fell in love with the exercise bands (not tubing) and video of the creator working out in crazy locations in Guatemala. (You must check out his video on the RubberBanditz home page.) His story: After enduring the rigors of a Division 1 collegiate basketball career, Ari Zandman-​​Zeman followed his dreams by joining the U.S. Peace Corps, where he was posted in Union Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Eastern Caribbean. He created an inexpensive, sustainable, portable and fun way to work out in the developing nations. Ari is a certified personal trainer and native Alaskan who enjoys working out in out-​​of-​​the-​​ordinary places. The gym is no longer far away or too expensive, because these bands, handles, how-​​to video, booklet, and accessories let you exercises your freedom to go anywhere and stay in shape. If facing a deployment in a geographically isolated place, these pack light and take up very little space and stay “army strong.” A portion of the proceeds go to set up small exercise band gyms in the developing world and help promote personal health and hygiene on a grassroots level.

Fit Travel Workout

All week I have been teaching my fitness classes without using equipment, so that my class members can take these moves along with them for Thanksgiving and other holiday travel. It’s easy as pie to work off those desert calories without needing to get to a gym or pack a suitcase full of dumbbells. All you need is my Fit Travel Workout DVD shot in China, Mexico, Italy, Chicago, NYC and Tampa that proves you can work out wherever life takes you. If you don’t have the DVD, you can also print out my three Military​.com fit travel columns for free.

Here is a 10 minute portion of the 30 minute workout that slims you with cardio and sculpts you with muscle toning.

Thanksgiving Fit Travel Booty Camp

You’ll be perched at the dinner table, and maybe slouching in a car, plane, train or bus to travel for your Thanksgiving meal next week. Your booty will need a break from all that sitting, and instead of packing weights or finding an open gym, there is an easy way to pack some boot camp toning for the backside while you’re on the road.

Rules or Lack Thereof

Since the beginning of no-​​holds-​​barred fighting, the rules have been evolving. Early on, strikes like head butts and head stomps were allowed and were quickly discovered to be too dangerous to use in a sport fighting environment. If you want to know what works to incapacitate an opponent, look no further than the list of fouls for the Unified Mixed Martial Arts rules. The list includes fouls more specific to the sport environment such as unsportsmanlike conduct or disregarding the instructions of the referee, but here are the ones that relate closest to close quarters combat or self defense, with notes on usage included. If you actually like and enjoy your training partners, please restrict yourself to using visualization to practice these techniques.

Stay Motivated to Work Out in the Cold Weather

It’s getting cold out and suddenly there is no looming beach body day on the calendar.  Here are my tips to stay in shape before the “heavy holidays” hit!

1. Make yourself an upbeat iPod play-​​list or CD and dance around as you straighten up at home; find a hip-​​hop or African dance class at the gym; learn to belly dance at an adult education class or at the Y; plan a girls’ night out dancing.

2. Hire a personal trainer if you have the money. If not, many gyms also offer free training sessions with a new membership. You’ll learn some new moves and if you have to meet someone for a planned session, you’re more likely to show up.

3. Heat yourself up by staying inside with a new fitness DVD (like my new Fit Travel Workout www​.fittravelworkout​.com that was shot around the world and requires no equipment) or fitnes channel on TV. Just hit play and before you know it you’ll be done.

Running for the Wounded

Marine Corps Marathon

A great motivational story to get your week started off right. Check out this Reserve Corpsman who runs marathons to raise money for Wounded Warriors.

To say Petty Officer Third Class Travis Haley loves running could be an understatement. Haley, a corpsman with the Maryland-​​based Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, Marine Forces Reserve is a distance runner and is putting his abilities to the test in an effort to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project.

While the idea of service members running marathons for charity is not uncommon, Haley is pushing the idea even farther with the goal of running five, 26 mile marathons and one 50 mile ultra marathon in the span of less than two months; a goal he began Oct. 2 and plans to finish Nov. 20.

Free 5 Minute Multitasking Workout!

Multitasking Workout

The heavy holidays loom on the calendar, so you need a good defense. I’ve edited a free 5 minute abs routine from my Hard Core Abs DVD for you to try out multitasking your workouts (by using the arms abs and legs together in one move). These moves work your abs, biceps, triceps, chest and inner and outer thighs while saving you time. That means just three moves for six muscle groups, and every one works the abs in an intense way.

Check out the free video here…

Appreciating MMA Striking

Photo from The Sun.

MMA striking can often look very different than boxing or kickboxing striking, and it can even differ quite a bit from what you might see in traditional martial arts. I’ll hear fans talk of a lack of precision or conventional boxing form in the punching, a perceived lack of conditioning by the fighters in later rounds, or that is hard to tell what is going on when ground striking is employed. Here are 3 major factors that contribute to these perceptions.

Need a Goal? Build Your Own PFT

Military Fitness Test

Even though you may be working out several times per week, many get into a rut of doing the same old routine. It is true that this “rut” is better than the alternative of not exercising at all, but it can lead to plateaus in progress whether your ultimate goal is performance or aesthetics based. This can be somewhat de-​​motivating.   A recent email prompted me to create a method for people to develop goals by using a standard PFT style program for testing.

Do you have any previous research on making physical fitness tests to give my workout group some goals to shoot for? We have used Army, USMC tests in the past but need some ideas on making our own.  

I have always done better if I had a goal and worked out with groups. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I created the non-​​profit Heroes of Tomorrow, so young men and women seeking military, law enforcement, fire fighting professions could get some pre-​​training before they start their basic training schools in a group /​ goal oriented format for FREE! 

Pre-​​Season Ski Workout

Ski Workout

Ski season is fast approaching and it is time to get your muscles ready.  The following dry land training workout will train the muscles involved in the most common movements in skiing:

1) Isometric  Narrow Squatting – keeping knees close together (quads, glutes)

2) Twisting – trunk rotation with leg balance and control (obliques, quads, hips)

3) Skating – core stability and upper body power (triceps, shoulders, core)

This circuit calls for very short rest periods between moves to keep your heart rate in an aerobic state for the entire workout.  Perform each exercise as recommended in the progression below.  After you have completed one set of each exercise, take a 1-​​minute rest.  Repeat the circuit three times.

Operation Take Two

Two Person Workout

Interested in working out with a friend? This workout is built for two:

Warm-​​up Phase

1. Aerobics (5 minutes): Suggested exercises: Running, Biking, Jump Rope

2. Hip Crossovers (30 seconds on each side; two sets each)

A. Lie face up on the floor on a gym mat with your legs together in a 90-​​degree angle, your feet on the floor and your arms held perpendicular to your sides. 

B. While keeping both legs together and your feet on the floor, lower your legs down to one side while maintaining a 90-​​degree angle.

C. Switch sides.

Warning: Do not stretch beyond your comfort level.

Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Makes His Mark

Brad Pigage Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer

Coast Guard photojournalist Petty Officer Prentice Danner catches up with one of their rescue swimmers, who is also a triathlon champion, after winning the Try Andy’s Tri in Sugarland, Texas.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brad Pigage’s latest triathlon victory wasn’t his first one of the season, in fact, it was his seventh.

Pigage, a 26 year old Coast Guard rescue swimmer at Air Station Houston, has been competing in triathlons in his short career. In those competitions, he has done far more than make his mark representing himself and the Coast Guard in the sport.

I caught up with him after his 1st place victory in the Try Andy’s Tri in Sugarland, Texas, Oct. 17, 2010.

Airman Shares Fitness Success Story

Airman Fitness

Need some inspiration this week? Check out this great story about getting motivated and taking control of your health…

Deployed airmen face many challenges, but Air Force Staff Sgt. Michelle Rose transformed her mental and physical obstacles into a fitness success story.

Rose, noncommissioned officer in charge of 22nd Operations Support Squadron aviation resource management, began her battle to improve her fitness in September 2009. Her physical fitness test score was 76 points, one point from failing, and it affected many parts of her life.

“I weighed 175 pounds and was completely unhappy with myself,” she said. “My self-​​esteem was low; therefore, I never wanted to go out when friends asked me.”

The MMA & Self-​​Defense Guard — the Hold Down Position

The hold down position is the one most effective bottom guard positions to be in; whether it is a MMA fight or a Self-​​Defense situation.The hold down position allows you to to control your opponent’s posture, body position, and easily transition to a variety of submissions (if MMA), joint breaks (if Self-​​Defense) or get back to your feet.

The man demonstrating in these is 3rd Degree Brazilian Jiu-​​Jitsu Black Belt, American Top Team MMA Trainer and MOST importantly my jiu-​​jitsu teacher: Luigi Mondelli.

These videos go over the basics of securing the hold down position, as well as 2 simple submissions and finally how to get up from the position.