Archive for October, 2011

What’s up guys!?

Quick update on me and my training recently.

For the last coupe months I’ve been dealing with a faulty hip…technically both hips if we really get down to it. My left hip has been “clicking” on and off and I notice it when simply walking. No pain however and as such I have been able to do my training (phew!). My right hip on the other hand has been quite painful. Something to do with my hip flexor and squatting has not been fun to do. Prolonged sitting does not seem to help either…which makes sense (will save the anatomy lesson for now). Side note tip: if sitting for prolonged periods is part of your job, do yourself a favor and be sure to get up, stretch, and walk around every so often to keep the muscles, joints, and ligaments fresh and loose.

Now of course, as much of an ‘iron head‘ that I am, I have not stopped training nor have I stopped squatting. That would be just plain crazy! Even though it’s probably just what I need to do. My squat weight has struggled to go up in recent months (a sign that something may be wrong) and the pain just won’t go away.

Oh how I will miss thee...

With that being said, in my current phase of training (as of yesterdays lower body workout) I have decided to at least temporarily STOP doing squats! For those that know me, this is a sad day! However, no excuses and my training will continue and I will find ways around squats. There are a number of great options to do, though none can top the squat. But, better to stop and fix myself now so I can get back to squatting ASAP.

The key point here is you sometimes have to work around injuries and can’t be stupid or stubborn about it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve decided to change my ways and I’d much rather fix the problem sooner than later and be back to my old self than let things linger and most likely get worse! So, what can you do instead of squats? Leg presses would be a great alternative. You can pile on lots of weight and still get some decent strength and size gains. Unfortunately for me, I tried leg press and it’s a no go for my right hip. Next?! Step ups, lunges, split squats, etc. I’ll be trying a mix of these over the next couple weeks or more and see how things go. Sadly, nothing can replace the Squat and the slabs of muscle it can put on your legs but I’ll be damned if I don’t try alternatives based on current situations. The worst thing to do is stop training completely. Hell no!

With that being said, yesterdays workout:

Warm-up: including jumping jacks, flings, frankensteins, general body mobility drills, glute holds…

1)Step ups 2×7, 1×20 (Be sure to keep the back foot flat and minimize it’s involvement and drive with the lead leg)

2)BB Shrugs 2×5-7, 1×10

3a)Standing calf raise 2×5-7, 1×20 (always focus on letting the calf stretch out for a couple seconds at the bottom part of the movement before each rep)

b)Incline db curl 2×5-7, 1×10

4)Db reverse wrist curl 2×12-15

Abs.

It was a solid workout and i’m feeling nice and jacked today. Don’t make excuses with your training…find a solution.

Over the next couple of weeks i’ll be doing my best to get my hip back to squatting form. This will include massage, foam rolling, stretching, etc and taking the advise of some pretty knowledgeable guys. One in particular that has taken time to give me some tips is Keith Scott, and I thank him greatly. Check out his awesome site, he knows his stuff!!

Hit me up with any questions or comments!

Straight up,

Matt B

Dang! It is good to be blogging again…apologies for my recent, and far too lengthy, absence. But, like George Costanza, I am back baby!

Joking aside, it’s time to get serious.

Re-read the subject heading: Fail to plan, plan to fail!

As simple as it sounds it should trigger some powerful thoughts and get you re-thinking many of your actions. Far too often (myself included) we all get amped up and pumped up about doing something or wanting to reach a certain goal but don’t implement a proper plan to help attain these goals. New years resolutions are a classic example and unfortunately probably the worst.

In an image conscious society many of us wish we could look a certain way. We all see muscular and shredded athletes and want to look the same ourselves. Likewise, for those health conscious individuals who know the benefits of training and want to get fitter and healthier as a result. Unfortunately for many that try, they will fail. Sound harsh? It’s meant to….if you don’t plan, you are planning to fail.

Too many people see pictures like those above and think that by simply going to the gym and doing some bench pressing, curls, and stair climber, they will magically transform themselves. Unfortunately this is not the case and won’t be the case.

You have to have a plan.  A detailed and well thought out plan. Why are you going to the gym? Why are you doing the exercises you are doing? Why are you doing cardio? Why are you eating the way you’re eating? If you can’t answer these questions you won’t reach your goals and your enthusiasm for what you are doing will soon dwindle and disappear.

To be successful in your training (and in any area of life) you need to have a plan and know how that plan relates to your end goal.

So, for example, someone wants to build strength and put on size. GREAT! Don’t we all! 😉

However, that’s too vague! How much and what type of strength? Break it down into smaller segments and work from there. In other words, if you currently bench press 100lbs, you should want to increase that to say, 125lbs. How much do you squat (and please don’t say you don’t squat) and then decide a reasonable increase. If you select all the major lifts and increase the weight on them…you will get stronger, period!

Now, it doesn’t stop there. You can’t just say “ok, i’m squatting 200lbs and want to get stronger so, tomorrow i’m going to squat 250”. You need to plan how you will get there. What rep and set scheme will you have to follow. How much rest periods in between sets. How often should you train each week, etc. Likewise, you will also need to analyze your diet and plan a way to eat more (if gaining size is part of your goal) and in a healthy manner.

For some people this will take some research and investigation. Reading blogs (yes, this one is a great start ;)), books, and training magazines will certainly help. Of course one of the greatest ways for the majority of people (specifically those with limited training/exercise knowledge) will be in getting the guidance from a professional (personal trainer, strength coach etc). Strength coaches/personal trainers (like myself) will be able to help you devise an intricate plan that will answer all the questions above and get you on the right path towards your goal.

Plan to succeed, work hard, and you will!

As always, hit me up with any questions you may have.

Straight up planning to succeed,

Matt B