Archive for the ‘Weight Training’ Category
The Top 13 Reasons Why You Need to Start Doing Bodyweight Exercises
I’ll admit it; I am hooked on bodyweight exercises. I have been working out for 2 decades, rotating through dozens of different workout fads, but one aspect to my workout programs that have always been consistent are the use of bodyweight exercises.
This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of HIIT the Game now on Kickstarter –the most fun way to get fit!
Fitness fads come and go, but this new fad called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) might be here to stay.
HIIT uses a combination of quick intervals of intense exercise and short recovery periods to increase your heart rate, burn fat and work muscles in a short amount of time. In fact, HIIT is becoming the go-to training method for many professional fitness instructors. The allure lies in the ability to complete an entire workout in less than 20 minutes and burn fat. In fact, this type of training burns more fat than a regular 45 minute cardio session since it keeps your heart rate up and gives your metabolic rate a boost.
Here is the 26th favorite workout of the week posted on the Military.com Fitness Forums.
During the winter cycle, we start to add in more heavy lifting workouts but we always like to keep with the “heavy weights of the PT exercise world” — the pullup. You can also add in some weighted pullup sets if you prefer. Here is a fun cycle of building up to near 1 rep max level weight in the following lifts:
This workout was done years ago using calisthenics only while deployed on a submarine for a few weeks doing OPS in the Med. Many people ask about good underway workouts so the calisthenics version is a great one. The second version that we did this week is a combination of many calisthenics exercises and lifts:
Calisthenics version: Reverse Pyramid from 25 to 1. Start off with 25 reps of a few exercises that focuses on legs, abs, lowerback, and upperbody. An advanced challenge is the following:
Squats, Pushups, Crunches / Situps, and Plank pose (rep per second) — do 25 of each, then 24, 23, 22,21, 20…all the way down to 1. Totals 325 reps of each exercise. For an added break, every 5 sets do a 5 minute cardio of run, bike, or elliptical.
Here is another way to build a Spartan 300 but with a weighted version of exercises in five different categories to get a fullbody workout:
Here are the movements of the body that when arranged like this insures a full body and balanced workout:
Push — Pick bigger movements like bench press or military press / some push press too.
Pull — Do weighted pullups, pulldowns, heavy rows
Leg — Exercises with moderate weight like squats, lunges, leg press
Full — These are more dynamic movements like dead lift, power clean, hang clean, thrusters, but easier versions too like the MJDB — multi-joint dumbbell exercise. (Take out the tricep ext if weight is too heavy)
Abs / Core — Mix in plank poses per cycle as well as weighted abs exercises.
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.
As the weather gets cooler up here in the Northern hemisphere, we typically transition from the higher rep calisthenics, mileage of runs, and move toward the heavier lifting cycles, some cold weather rucking, and indoor swimming for a healthy mix of non impact cardio. If you do not have a pool and cannot swim with fins for 1–2 miles of cardio, try the stationary bike, elliptical, rower or a SPIN class even. Here is our first 5 x 5 workout of the season.
One advantage of being in the military is having a fit body. But you can’t look buff without big pecs, so whether you’ve hit a plateau or you haven’t been focusing on your chest at all (tut tut!), this is a workout to help you work your chest region and get bigger, stronger pecs.
Here is a short but sweet question that requires a fairly lengthy answer to do it justice. Periodization is nothing new to fitness and the training world, but it is one of those things that people have a hard time applying to their fitness program. Here is the email question:
Stew, I am in my mid 40’s and have been doing roughly the same thing for more than a decade (run, lift, and some PT) – seems to be working for me. I read about your periodization concept. I think I understand the basics but what is periodization and why it is important to me?
The best definition I have seen: Periodization is an organized approach to training that involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period of time. (Kravitz)
If you’re determined to have a successful military career, you’re going to have to make fitness and working out a big part of your life. While your personality, work ethic, and skills will also have a huge bearing on your success as a member of the armed forces, it’s those things are not as easy to change and improve as your fitness level.
The military requires its men and women to have outstanding physical fitness. They need to be able to perform at the highest level, not only to be recruited into the military, but throughout their careers. Their country is depending on them, so slacking is not an option.
But how should an army hopeful prepare for the fitness tests and career before him? Which workout resources should he or she use? Whose advice should he or she take?
In this article, we set out the movements you should focus on and the exercises you should do to prepare yourself for the boot camps, the fitness tests, and the rest of your career in the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, or as a coast guard. Get stuck in.
This series of articles is a favorite workout of the week for TWENTY weeks. This is WEEK 20. See links below for weeks 1–19 for great ideas to add to your workout routine. These are some of the latest workouts we have been doing with our Spec Ops Heroes of Tomorrow group. If you are ever in the Annapolis MD area and want some of these workouts they are FREE to people seeking military, police, fire fighter professions or those serving / have served.
This is a mix of weights and calisthenics and higher intensity cardio events using the Tabata Interval protocol.
We do 5 minute sets of the Tabata Interval which is a 20 second sprint / 10 second easy pace repeat 10 times (equals 5 minutes). Then you spend roughly 5 minutes in the gym doing a Push, Pull, Full Body, Ab exercise for 1 minute each. Give yourself 15–20 seconds in between each exercise for transition time.
If you have ever stepped into a gym, most like you’ve used the old school method of 3 sets with 10 reps to try and build muscle. Then, 90% of you won’t return after a month because you don’t see any gains. Of course not! Think about what you’re doing. In order for a muscle to increase in size you have to first break it down. You’re not going to accomplish that will 3 measly sets of a weight you can lift 10 times.
Here is a different type of 50–50 split workout we like to do in October as we slowly transition from higher rep calisthenics and move into more weight training programs to build strength and power. The term 50–50 refers to the workout being about 50% calisthenics and 50% weight training. This is one of our new workouts we created this Fall.
Burpee / Run Pyramid:
1 burpee — run 30m
2 burpees, run 30m
3 burpees, run 30m
4 burpees, run 30m
5 burpees = burpee 1–5
Stair crawls down/up
As many of the readers know, I use a method of periodization that evolves with the seasons. Some have called it the Solstice Running Plan, while I tend to just like changing my workouts every quarter (12–13 weeks) so not to burn out with any one type of exercise. For instance, each change of season brings in something new and gradually fades something out:
Spring (March — May): Progressive running build up as well as shift from winter weights to higher rep calisthenics, taper from longer swimming workouts, with shift in speed / agility training.
Summer (June — September): Peak build up of miles running, high rep calisthenics, high speed on swimming, only bodyweight exercise to include fireman carries, crawls, log PT, etc…(Almost no weights — focus is PFT testing scores)
Fall (September — November): Drop high rep calisthenics, introduce weight training, increase swimming distance / rucking, reduce running mileage over 12 weeks and focus on faster paced shorter runs.
It’s not hard to find hundreds of search results for workout tips when searching the internet. That’s why I was on a mission to find quick and easy workout tips that actually work, proven by scientific studies. Below are my findings:
Have you ever enjoyed a summer day that you wish would never end? Labor Day was one of those days for us here in Maine. Usually, by this time of the season, the crisp chill of autumn has set in and I’m reaching for my fleece. Instead, this week has ushered in steamy, hot weather and brilliant sunshine. So, you guessed it, I’m spending as much time as possible outdoors to soak up every ounce of warmth before it becomes a fleeting memory in a few short months. Last week we talked about peaking your performance with a better approach to sports nutrition. Whether you’re at the gym, on a bike, in the water or at home, this week we’ll continue to shed the light on overcoming inflammation to keep you moving.
The Two Minute Bodyweight Workout –4 to Floor
This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards.
I don’t know about you, but I have too much stuff to do. Like you, every day I deal with email, Facebook, tweets, work, pets, family, and so on. Finding time to go to the gym is getting harder and harder each day. Well, have no fear. I have assembled for you a workout you can do anywhere called the 2 Minute Workout that only takes, you guessed it, 2 minutes! This workout will get your blood pumping, increase your energy level, burn some calories and strengthen muscles. Not a bad way to spend 2 minutes!
Here is a favorite combination workout we like to do once a week during late Summer / early Fall. It is a combination workout of weight training, running, calisthenics, and swimming and/or rucking.
Full body workout in it’s truest form:
For years, I have written about and discussed the fine line between training for Special Ops type programs and over-training. But until recently, I realized I forgot one very important piece of information:
TELL OTHERS AROUND YOU THE SYMPTOMS OF OVER-TRAINING.
Because, you will not notice it until it is too late (typically). Even though, over-training is actually hard to do by just training — it is easy to see symptoms pop up occasionally when your recovery balance is off: Not enough sleep, not eating or hydrating well, and too many crazy workouts in a week are just the things to push any training program into the over-reaching / over-training zone if not attended to.
Come on, you know where the back machines are in your gym right? Well if you don’t, it’s the group of machines that rarely have anyone on them. That’s because people like to work muscle groups that get attention, like biceps and abs. However, those with strong backs will be the first to tell you it is one of the most important muscle groups on your body, not only for posture, but for any type of athletic movements.