Archive for the ‘Bodybuilding’ Category
With the Thanksgiving holiday upcoming, chances are you’ve got a lot on your plate to do, that is, before you have a lot on your plate to eat! For most, Thanksgiving is a great time to get together with family and friends, eat too much, and move too little. While I don’t begrudge your well-deserved R&R, taking too much time off from your workout regimen and healthy eating habits can take its toll. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to stick with your program, keep inflammation at bay, and reduce injury.
We just put the finishing touches on our latest project…a custom-built bar made out of reclaimed barn boards, posts, and a massive slab of live-edge pine as the bar top. Mark can now boast that he has an official man-cave! The project required a lot of mental energy and more than a few trips up and down the stairs to get it done. In the end and by some miracle of construction and design prowess which comes naturally to neither of us, everything ended up level, plumb, and square. No small feat when you’re dealing with 100+ year old lumber, a tile floor and unskilled labor! The keys to our success were patience and preparation. Those qualities rarely translate to others areas of my life especially when it comes to working out. If you find yourself diving in too fast, you may be surprised by the latest research.
I come from a family of patriots. We all support our Veterans, our military service men and women and our country regardless of the date on the calendar or the status of world events. My grandfather is part of the Greatest Generation as a WWII Veteran. My uncles are Veterans of the Vietnam War. I am a the spouse of a GWOT Veteran who served our country valiantly during a career that saw both peace and conflict. So, during a time when we celebrate our Nation’s birth, it seems fitting to also thank those who graciously and unselfishly support our troops, respect our flag, and serve our Veterans. This week, while we’re spending time with family and friends, I want to introduce you to a couple of patriots & patriotic organizations that have inspired me.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars in a new movie version of Hercules (out July 25th) and he’s given us a copy of the actual workout he used to get ready for the movie.
This is definitely not for the faint of heart. The Rock completed 1-hr of cardio prior to all routines.
I consider my sister-in-law, Dana, a real sister to me. She is kind, compassionate, fun, wonderfully opinionated and loves me unconditionally. I always welcome her advice and recommendations and she has never steered me wrongly. Last summer she said I must watch The Avengers movie. What a fun ride! It was cool to see so many of my favorite characters like Thor, Ironman, and the Hulk joining forces to fight evil. The only challenge was that I knew nothing about Captain America. Friday night, I finally watched the first Captain America movie and can’t wait to see the sequel that apparently was a blockbuster at this past weekend’s opener. What caught my attention was the desire this scrawny little guy had to serve his country and sacrifice for the greater good of mankind. Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far to find those willing to raise their shields to protect our country. From our incredible service men and women to every day difference-makers, we all have a little bit of Captain America in us.
They key to the best workout plan is balance. You need just the right amount of push and pull and you need to protect your back. Avoiding back pain while working out is all about balancing the muscle groups your strengthening and stretching, and how often you are rotating those exercises.
The goal is to keep the muscles that support your back strong and flexible. And while most of us work our core, we either do too many of one type of exercise and not enough of the other (causing an imbalance that leads to back pain), or we think we are working one muscle group when we are actually working another and thus NOT getting the results we really want.
There is more to bodybuilding than just pumping iron. True, resistance training will result in crucial muscle tears that are required to build muscle; however without providing your muscles a strong foundation at the most basic level you won’t get the results you desire.
Think about building anything — like a skyscaper. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s important to build that physical structure, with quality building materials all laid out on a strong foundation?. Your body requires the same kind of thought and planning. Just like a building that is intended to be around for year, it requires the best quality and best mix of nutrients. This helps to sustain your gains for the long haul and allows you to build muscle to last.
Bottom line: Nutrition is crucial for muscle growth and retention.
Everyone’s busy nowadays; we’re lucky if we can find time to cook a healthy dinner for ourselves. Having an alternate plan for getting a great workout is vitally important to staying in great shape. Our busy lives sometimes pull us away from the important things in life like healthy food and time in the gym.
I have assembled the top 5 portable fitness equipment to keep you healthy in 2014 (and beyond):
I often get emails from people young and old about getting prepared for military training, and also from veterans who want to be in the shape they used to be when they served in the military. Many are looking for veterans to help them get into “fighting shape”. Here is a list of many former military officers and enlisted who train civilians to not only lose weight and get healthy, but prepare for military training too. If you are a veteran in the fitness business, send me a paragraph and link of what you do and I will add to this page.
Military Fitness programs are popular. In fact, many former military personnel of all ranks and services are now getting into the fitness business — myself included. Check out the list of veteran-owned fitness businesses around the country:
Boot Camp Fitness, Inc. — Created by former Army sergeant, Jay Johnson of Dallas TX, who has become the Official Fitness Trainer of The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (Enough said! THAT is a success story in the fitness business!). He has been featured on many television shows and magazine publications for his creative workouts that yield great results.
British Commando Fitness — British Army Commando “Sol” Sollerer has retired from the British Army, married an American, and has started his own fitness business in the Annapolis MD area. Also working as an assistant boxing coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, Sol has planted roots in the US and helping active duty and future military candidates prepare for service. Still competitive as well, Sol assists with the Heroes of Tomorrow program in Severna Park, MD giving the students a taste of how nice a drill instructor will be when they join. He is also involved in high school / college team sport mental toughness and team building training.
Hostyle Conditioning - With the help and support of Curd Hos, Owner and Operator of the best training facility in Orleans, Ontario—Curd is helping CPT Smash take the youth strength coaching platform by storm, as well as developing ongoing programs for older adults to help increase the awesomeness within Ottawa, CA. The youth program engages kids as young as 9–13 years old in our bootcamp style training, that will help them move better, get stronger and enhance their overall level of conditioning far beyond what the other kids are able to achieve nowadays. The upper level athletes (15–20+) are slotted into semi-private training sessions to really focus on certain performance goals for their sports in order to make them super tough athletes that are unstoppable on the field, ice or track!
Extreme SEAL Experience - Former SEAL Don Shipley puts on a great training program complete with shooting, survival, mission planning training in the Chesapeake VA area. See his youtube channel for great footage of the training they put on for civilians and wanna-be’s.
The Health Colonel – Bob Weinstein, LtColonel, USAR, (ret.) can be found on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale, FL conducting early morning workouts with his students. Training many out of shape and overweight people per year, he also prepares young men and women for the physical demands of the military. If you are looking for a motivational/health speaker, The Health Colonel is your man. He motivated me by telling me that “the United States has enemy soldiers within its borders — they kill more than 3,000 people a day, their names are cancer, heart disease, and stroke.” I immediately responded, “yeah and over 20 million people are being held hostage by diabetes in America.”
NavySEALs.com, SEALFIT.com, UnbeatableMind - Mark Divine has evolved into a fitness / mental toughness powerhouse. His programs / store enable any fitness enthusiast, SpecWar candidate pick and choose what he needs to make himself better — mentally, physically, and more. For gear, books, ebooks, training, hellweek simulation, etc.
Owen Richardson — NeoLife: Owen is an active Navy Reserve IS1 and promotes the neolife club products for two reasons: “When I was deployed to Iraq in 09–10, I saw you guys (SPECOPS) everyday with tons of energy. Last year I was talking with Chris (SEAL Team 8) and he told me this was the same vitamins they took day after day. I started on it without promoting for 3 months, once I saw the benefits personally, I started telling everyone about it.” NeoLife has different products for different lifestyles, and at a reasonable price. A months supply of vitamins or weight loss shakes will run about $40
Platoon Fitness.com – The folks at Platoon Fitness located in Philadelphia PA and throughout Pennsylvania and New York City was founded by Todd Scott, a Navy veteran. They have been in business for over 10 years and have indoor and outdoor training facilities with over twenty fully certified trainers who train everyone from working men and women, stay at home Moms, and kids too. They also offer franchising opportunities and training for instructors.
The Sergeants Program – Patrick Avon opened one of the first military group training businesses in the U.S. Patrick is a former Navy enlisted man who has created a military fitness empire in the DC/Virginia area, catering mostly to overweight executives — he also gets several students per year who seek a career in the military. He has over 45 instructors in 35 locations, all certified with a nationally recognized program. He also has his own outdoor boot-camp certification program. Check out his site for his annual Jolly Fat Man’s run/party.
The SEAL PT Course – Jack Walston — former Navy SEAL in Houston TX and Central Park Manhattan NYC — has been doing SEAL PT for over a decade. He has weekly workout plans for locals as well as a SEAL Training/Special Forces mini-camp that will test you to your limits. This program actually mimics many of the events experienced in Hell Week at SEAL Training, including a 24 hour non-stop period of training.
SEALGrinderPT.com - Brad McLeod, born in Thomasville, GA, grew up in Tallahassee, FL. He is a former Navy SEAL and graduated from SEAL training in BUD/S class 132 against all odds. Despite having no athletic background and having life long asthma Brad climbed his personal Mount Everest and made it through BUD/S the second time and went through Hell Week twice.
Training Philosophy for Spec Ops: Our philosophy on workouts is to try to keep as many functional movements as possible that have carry over to your day to day sport or occupation. SEAL grinder PT is dedicated to working out and improving your mind and body to unleash the inner warrior in you. The grinder PT is a mixture of the same exercises that SEAL recruits perform on a daily basis at the BUD/S training camp in Coronado, California. We are also throwing in a few CrossFit style drills, some exercises from SEALFit, Mountain Athlete, Gym Jones and a few others you may not have seen before.
SWAT Personal Training – Ron Holland (former USAF) out of Tucson AZ, created an outdoor and indoor fitness business in 1991 after a career in the military and police department. He has a one week in-residence boot camp where they create a military indoctrination environment (0500am wakeup!) He has recruits run, PT, eat a well balanced and nutritious chow, and hike 2 –12 miles in the Tucson area desert. Also water skills, aerobics, yoga, stretching, and other anti-aging programs are taught in a teamwork/military style program. It is very informative and positive feedback and teamwork is highly encouraged.
SEAL Team PT – Former Navy SEAL John McGuire has translated his experience into a one-of-a-kind, non-military fitness program, offering the dual benefit of world-class fitness and team-building to people of all ages and walks of life. Offered in the Richmond, Virginia area since 1998, SEAL Team PT has legions of satisfied, fit, and fulfilled graduates of all ages. To date, SEAL Team PT has graduated over 175 basic fitness classes, conducted more than 50 custom-tailored corporate team-building programs, and led more than 40 SEAL Teen and SEAL Pup classes for youth and children.
StewSmith.com – My website/fitness business has evolved since 1998 when I resigned from the Navy. At first I had a fitness business with as many as 40–50 hours of group PT and personal training a week. Now, after writing everything down for years, I created programs that have helped thousands prepare for military, special forces, and law enforcement physical fitness tests. I still do some online training and local group training in the Baltimore/Annapolis MD area, but my group workouts during the week and weekend are free to those who want to join me on my swims, runs, PT etc. Once on month, we test with a variety of PFTs and we also do quarterly Spec Ops Triathlons — Run, Swim, Ruck. These workouts now give me ideas which to write as I see issues, troubles, and ways around personal obstacles with a variety of students. I figure if I am going to write about training — I need to train.
VO2MAXUSA.com — With 24 years of fitness programming experience, Kevin Hite of VO2MAX,LLC is uniquely qualified to serve his community’s preventive health care needs. A former US Navy search and rescue swimmer with a B.S. in Health and Wellness (The Citadel, 1990) and member of The American College of Sports Medicine, Kevin offers health risk appraisals, fitness assessments, personal training and 24/7 gym membership from his studio in Chapin, SC. 803.422.8584.
Products Invented by Vets — SEALS / SF Specifically:
The TRX - Fitness in a Bag! Former SEAL Randy Hetrick has created another device that is easy to carry and so versatile I still cannot name all the exercises you can do with this thing. My latest count is over 200 exercises. In an article, I compared his TRX to a Universal Weight Machine and for a 1/10 of the price it easy outperforms the machine tenfold! This is great for travelers as the straps are easy to pack and unfold in seconds. See some of the videos on his site.
The Perfect Pushup and Pullup - My former SEAL buddy Alden Mills has created awesome fitness products that capture the most beloved and most hated exercises we do in the SEAL Teams and at BUD/S. The rotational motion of his products challenge the best pull-up and pushup performers. In fact, his products cut my reps in half and after a few years of using the Perfect Pushup, they still work like new and continue to make my pushups tougher. Supplemented with some weights, the Perfect Pushup and Pull-up are great additions to a home weight room.
The Fit Deck - Former SEAL Phil Black is probably the real genius of the bunch to take an idea and turn it into a successful business. When on a deployment or just bored, the SEALs as well as other military groups, do a workout with a deck of cards. Usually it required some imagination: face cards = 10 pushups, aces = 25 pushups / 25 abs, jokers = 50 reps of anything…BUT what Fit Deck does for you is take out the mystery and when you shuffle the deck and start to flip the cards you get told what you need to do. Now he has Pull-up Decks, Kettlebell Decks, Navy SEAL Decks, Navy SEAL Audio Series on Acing BUDS, Combat Sports Decks and so many more — even some for kids.
Refactor Tactical - Army SF veterans create tactical gear that works. Designed by the operator for the operator. Check out the gear list and training videos. Anything from bags, caps, survival bands, medical gear, fun t-shirts and more — you can find it on their store and talk with other operators on their blog.
Any of these make great gifts for your fitness guru in the family or those seeking a profession that requires some form of fitness test.
After a brief discussion with the veteran trainers, we all agreed upon a few things. We focus on teaching on a basic level of fitness, habit building, and just adding basic fitness as stretching, walking/running, light PT, and drinking water to people’s lives. Let them see and feel the progress they are making. Take them as they advance and PT them harder, but you have to give them a plan that works.
The plan I have here works…it will help people lose up to 25lbs if they just following the simple directions:
1- Stretch Daily! This is very important if beginning a fitness plan. See Stretch article.
2 — Drink more water — up to a gallon a day
3 — Do something everyday for 45 days straight – even if that is just walk after dinner. This FREE 45 day plan shows you how.
4 — Repeat above — do not worry about food intake yet, but if no results are seen in 3–4 weeks then focus on a food plan as mentioned in plan above.
Look up one of the above veterans and try a boot camp workout program this year. If you know of another veteran operated fitness business that is not listed, please send the website address/contact information and I will place it in an updated article archive so I have close to a comprehensive list. Please email me atStew@stewsmith.com with your questions.
Here’s a question: Is there a supplement you can take to get ripped and get better results from your workouts?
Anyone who has spent time researching fitness and athletic performance has heard about nutritional supplementation. By providing your body with additional amounts of certain natural nutrients you can promote performance, boost your immune system, and aid muscle recovery. This combo allows the body to function at a higher level. It also leads to improved workouts and muscle growth. However, it can be difficult to determine which supplements are effective. Here are some of the most popular supplements to get ripped.
Are you training for a military sport? Are you training so that you are ready for your next mission? Or are you traiing so that you can keep up with your kids once you get home?
It is important, both as an athlete and as a normal Joe or Jane looking for quality of life, to have a well-rounded diet that consists of a variety of healthy foods. And I’m saying healthy as in “real” food so you think that the variety pack of donuts counts as a well-rounded diet (even though most donuts are round)!
Think about it…you wouldn’t go putting lesser quality gas into a Ferrari, now would you? Here are some great foods that can be found in a healthy diet.
Are Vegan Bodybuilders at a disadvantage?
Many bodybuilders may avoid vegan diets because they believe that it will prevent them from winning any bodybuilding competitions. After all, how can you possibly compete against a bunch of meat-eating “meat heads?” However, vegan bodybuilders say that their vegetable-based diet actually enhances their training program because going vegan improves their overall health and decreases fatigue. This has all sorts of beneficial side affects when you’re training!
How to Workout Like an Olympic Champion - The Full Body Workout You Need to Start Doing NOW
The winter Olympic games are among us and as we see one chiseled athlete after another competing at what they do best it makes me want to reiterate to the fitness community what it really takes to have well defined muscles and slim waistline. I see one fitness blogger after another writing workout plans that tell you do hit the weights and do three sets of legs on one day, and three sets of another body part on another day. The truth is getting a chiseled body doesn’t come with spending 15 minutes working out one or two body parts a day in the gym. Aside from eating healthy, you need to stimulate all the muscles in your body 3 times a week. A full body workout is especially useful for you 8-5ers who sit in an office all day waiting for that time you get to go to the gym to release energy. Follow my 3 day full body workout routine below to ensure you hit all the right muscle groups in the right sequence.
A common myth is that Vegans don’t get enough protein. For a bodybuilder and athlete, lack of protein could make all the difference in the world! So, does that mean that you have to resort to eating animal based products in order to achieve the results you want in Previewthe gym, on the sports field and even on the field of battle?
Not at all! The reality is that plant-based products possess an abundance of proteins. You just have to know which ones will give you the most bang for your buck.
Though red meat is rich in protein, many people are paying attention to the potential negative health effects from consuming meat (especially pork and beef). This can cause some problems, especially when you’re active, working out, or building muscle because protein is needed to maintain your physique and your muscle. While there are other sources for protein, many people are raised in a “meat and potato” kind of environment so making the jump to a more plant-based diet can be challenging…at first.
So what’s wrong with meat? Many cuts are rich in fats. These aren’t those “good fats” like you find in avocado or olive oil. In studies, animal fats seem to contribute to a number of health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, arthritis and diabetes. Some also believe that certain compounds found in meat-based protein promote different types of cancer.
Endurance training and endurance sports can be tough on your body. They challenge you beyond what you think you’re capable of. They also allow you to reach levels of fitness so you can experience peak performance and health. That’s why many people try to improve their endurance by using endurance supplements.
When herbs and supplements are paired with proper diet and exercise, you can see amazing results. Endurance Supplements can play a KEY role in helping you reach your fitness goals by improving your body’s endurance.
If you’re interested in improving your endurance, look for products made with these endurance boosting supplements.
Cordyceps: The mushroom that will keep you going!
The slow transfer of oxygen from red blood cells to mitochondria is one of the biggest problems people exercising to improve their endurance face. The obvious solution is to improve that transfer, right? Cordyceps is a Tibetan mushroom which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for lung protection and to balance Qi. In clinical studies the mushroom has been shown to cause significant improvements in feelings of fatigue, oxygen uptake, and endurance exercise performance.
Rhodiola: Improved Oxygen Transfer, Energy and Endurance
Rhodiola has been shown to help improve oxygen transfer from lungs to red blood cells. The root’s anti-fatigue effects are a result of an enhancement of oxygen efficiency.
When the root has being studied on people living in high altitudes, they saw that the root had beneficial effects on blood oxygen levels, time to exhaustion, VO2 peak, and pulmonary ventilation during endurance exercises. Himalayan Sherpas were the first people to discover the health benefits of this Himalayan root. They would chew on the root for an energy and endurance boost when they would climb high mountains.
Quercetin: The Nutritional Supplement that Improves Blood Flow
Quercetin is an antioxidant that improves blood flow by dilating blood vessels. This antioxidant has been used to improve blood flow in individuals with high blood pressure and heart disease. On the sports training front, research has shown that taking 500 mg of quercetin twice a day for 3 weeks before, and during 3 days of long and intense cycling sessions, reduces the number of upper respiratory infections in the 14 days following heavy exercise.
Siberian and Indian Ginseng: Centuries-old Natural Energy Boosters
People have been using ginseng, a natural energy booster., for thousands of years. However, there are two particular species of the ginseng plant that can help you improve your endurance. Siberian ginseng (also known as Eleuthero) and Indian ginseng (known as Ashwagandha) can provide resistance to physical stress and also help boost your energy levels. They used in traditional medicine as “adaptogens”, herbs that can help the body adapt to stressful situations. Some people claim that Eleuthero tends to have more of a noticeable affect on energy than Ashwagandha. High-quality supplements that use Siberian Ginseng as part of their formula offer someone working in extreme climates and in high-stress situations an advantage. Adapt is the name of the game, right? NS Formula.
Resources for Endurance Supplements:
These days, it seems like everyone is trying out a vegetarian or vegan diet of some sort for environmental, ethical or health reasons. Documentaries like Forks over Knives, Vegucated, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead have shined a spotlight on some of the effects of the typical Western Diet on overall health, and there have been numerous studies linking plant-based diets to better cardiovascular health.
But what happens when you remove meat at a source of protein? Is it really good for you and if not, then what do you need to know before embarking on a plant-based diet?
No matter what technological advances come out to make our lives more efficient and effective, we seem to have less and less free time in our daily lives. With the daily responsibilities of being a parent, it seems nearly impossible to consistently make time for the gym. But don’t worry; there are exercises you can fit into your existing day that can be surprisingly effective. If you want to lose weight and have more defined muscles, fit the below routine into your daily schedule for 4 weeks.
The makers of the Insanity workout plan claim that it’s the wildest and most intense workout that anyone ever saw. Coming hot on the heels of the P90X program, it ushers in a new era of workouts. Men and women who previously thought they could only get the ripped abs and great arms they wanted in a gym can now tone up at home. Beachbody states that anyone can get in shape using the workout plan, but not everyone has the same experience.
The Insanity workout comes with ten discs. One of those discs is a fitness test that users take before using any of the workout plans. According to the manufacturer, this test lets users see how strong they are in different areas, and they can compare their strength and fitness to how they feel after using the program. Even those who do well on the fitness test might still have problems with the workout plans.
Want to be the best? Then master the basics.
A strong foundation of nutrition and training is vital. Most of you already know that, right? But where people tend to mess up is what they do beyond the plate and beyond the gym. You also need muscle recovery. Hard training takes a heavy toll on the body, so we’re going to talk a little about rest, about real food, and about how you can use science to give you the edge for your training, results and overall performance.