Posts Tagged ‘jacked’

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

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Shut up and Squat!

Posted: November 2, 2010 in Training
Tags: , , , ,

THE number one exercise (maybe tied with deadlifts) is the SQUAT!

Squats are a CHAMPIONS exercise!

Squats are the KING of all exercises!

Squats are a BEASTS reason for being!!!

In case you haven’t caught on yet…squats are “da whol’ bizness” (think Arnold)….and if you’re not doing them..start NOW!

You simply can’t get strong, built-up legs by doing leg extensions!

I’m JACKED up after my squat session yesterday, which is why i’m so pumped to brag about the benefits of squatting!

I won’t get technical this time around, but you need to get down to basics, get a bar on your back and attack squats.

Squats will build pure strength, size, power, and explosiveness. If you want your legs to grow, throw some HEAVY weight on the bar and SQUAT!

DISCLAIMER for my female readers: Don’t think you are omitted from the use of heavy squats! Do not think that your legs will get too big or too muscular. It takes much more than squatting heavy to do that (drugs, hormones, and ample amounts of calories, etc).  Besides, squats will help develop your Kardashian/J-Lo butt! It’s a win-win!

There are a bunch of different rep/set schemes you can use (especially depending on your training experience) but I generally like rep ranges of 5-8 with about 3-4 working sets.

Currently, I’m trying to get my legs to grow again and have been doing reps in the 2-8 range and training them twice per week. Great for beginners, but be sure to take a deload after several weeks of heavy squatting.

The legs are known to respond well to high rep work. Therefore, along with my heavy squatting, I have been throwing in a last set HIGH REP finisher….and these are just pure BRUTAL! I love it! These will rock your legs and will definitely be a good test of strength and will power…you just have to want it!

I wouldn’t do more than 2 high rep sets per session…one is all it takes if you’re doing them right 😉

A couple key points to a strong and safe squat:

Feet outside hip or shoulder width, feet slightly turned out.

Get your eyes fixed on a point straight ahead and avoid the temptation to look up too much and strain your neck.

GRIP the bar TIGHT!

Before lowering the weight, fill your belly with air to create a nice ‘belly of support‘ (Practice without a bar first). Keep the air in the belly until you have gone down and then up. Some pros can maintain the “belly of support” for a couple of reps, but this takes some work…..or you’ll just pass out! Not fun!

Break at the hips first (not the knees) to start the decent.

Attack it…be aggressive…and explode up!


There is so much more to squats than this post addresses. You can incorporate many different types of squats from Zercher squats to Overhead squats and squats with sandbags or kb’s, etc etc. I will get into more on this in another post...time is precious and I want you getting out there and squatting!

My squat workout yesterday:

A couple warmup sets, then;

1×6, 1×4, 1×2, and 1×25!

It was GREAT and I felt STRONG! I am feeling it today and LOVE it…I just know my legs are growing!

Nothing left to say but, Shut up and Squat! 😉

Get after it!

Matt B

Naughty by Nature really rocked it when they busted out their “Down with O.P.P” hit and now it’s time that you all rock it and get down with B.O.B.

The Benefits Of Body-weight training (B.O.B) are immense, yet sadly often overlooked and underused.

How many times do you incorporate body-weight  training? How many times do you see others using body-weight exercises?

Conversely, how many times do you see people endlessly using and waiting to use machines or any other piece of equipment?  A sad state of affairs.

One of the best machines or pieces of equipment that you can use is your own body! Look at gymnasts for example. They have arguably some of the best physiques in the world and spend very little time in the gym. They have the type of physiques and muscular development that most guys wish they had and yet you won’t find them spending countless hours in the gym or wasting time on the peck deck, leg extension, etc.

Master your own body-weight and you will start to display a body that is a lean, mean “machine”.

These are just a few of the basic bodyweight exercises you can and should be doing:

Push-ups

Squats

Lunges

Any sort of jumps (squat, lunge, one-legged, etc)

Handstands or handstand push-ups

Step-ups

Close grip push-ups

Pull-ups

Planks (front, side)

Mountain climbers

Burpees

The list is endless….all you need to do is pick a few, head to your local park/playground, enjoy the weather and bust out a few sets and begin to get lean and jacked!

In my bootcamp, I have all my guys/girls incorporating and mastering many of the above exercises and they are definitely put to the test. After all, if you can’t handle your own body weight, you have no right setting foot in the gym.

Here’s an example:
Perform the following exercises and then rest for 60-90 seconds and complete 5 rounds:

Push-ups x 20

Reverse lunge x 15 each leg

Mountain climbers x 50 (25 each leg)

Squat jumps x 10

Rest 60 seconds and repeat 4 more times.

Short, intense, and result producing.

The next session you could do step-ups, plank to push-ups, pull ups (on any bar at the playground), and burpees.  These types of workouts will crank up your metabolism and turn you into a fat burning machine.  And as you can see, the options are endless…it just takes you doing some work, busting your ass and using your body to its fullest!

So, are you down with B.O.B….

Yeah, you know me!

Keep well, keep strong,

Matthew B

Thanks M.O.M.

Posted: June 16, 2010 in Training
Tags: , , ,

If you don’t mind…it doesn’t matter.

I’m sure you’ve heard this saying, but even if you haven’t….read it, take it in, understand it and let its power help you. It can be used in many areas of life but for this post, training specifically.

The power of the mind can be awe inspiring and you often hear that we don’t use anywhere near its full potential.  Add to that the stories of the mother who lifted a car off her child or, more simply, walking over hot coals, and you can start to get an idea of how strong the mind can be…and how strong the mind can make the body. You can even say the mind is more powerful than the body.

Use your brain the right way, tap into it’s power and you’ll surprise yourself. Give into any seed of doubt planted in the brain and you will find yourself not growing and not reaching your potential.

Mind over matter can be surprisingly strong. As an example, a couple of weeks ago while training with my bro, it was his turn to do a set of weighted push-ups. We determined what weight he should use based on the previous week and once he got into  position I piled on the plates and he pumped out the required number of reps. It was only afterward, when I took the plates off his back, that he looked at the weights, turned to me and said “dude, is that what you put on my back?” I replied “yea, of course” and then realized I had placed an extra 25lbs, yet he blasted out the reps thinking it was less than what it actually was! Simple explanation: Mind Over Matter!

He can thank me for that personal best! 😉

I’m sure you may have had similar training or even life experiences. I know I have. A number of times training by myself and simple arithmetic not at it’s best left me thinking the bar had less weight than what it actually did. But time again, I always ended up doing the same number of reps, if not more, that was required for the lighter weight. Thanks M.O.M!

Now obviously you can’t purposely trick your mind. But the point is that you have to stop holding back. Don’t be afraid to do more reps or to go heavier (women take note).  Without risking injury or crap form, surprise yourself once in awhile by adding an extra 5, 10 or so pounds to your lift Besides, you should always be aiming to do more (reps, weight etc) than the previous workout. The mind is a powerful weapon and will surprise you.

If you really want to get jacked up and shredded….you have to tap into the power of mind over matter.

I wish that I had pushed myself harder and realized the power of the mind when I first started out. Even today I catch myself sometimes holding back but then force myself to go heavier, to do more reps, to do that extra set of sprints or whatever. And the results have all been positive.

M.O.M can be applied to dieting too…it’s simple will power and knowing what you want and what it takes to get there. Do you have what it takes? Are you strong enough mentally? Do you have the power to push through? The answer should be YES to all of these…

As my dad always tells me: successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t like doing!

Let M.O.M help you, I mean after all…how many times has she been there for you time and again and helped you throughout the years growing up?! 🙂

Straight up thanks to my mom! (yes..a play on words)

Matthew B

It’s amazing how time flies.

Still putting the final touches on the blog and will start posting hardcore this month!

I wanted to bust out one quick post to get things going.

A little about me:

I graduated university with an Honors degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science and have been a personal trainer for several years. Recently, I finally quit procrastinating and completed the final installment of my CanFit Pro PTS training exam…and rocked that mo-fo! Last year, I had the pleasure of taking a road trip with my dad to New Jersey to go meet Zach Even-Esh and complete his Underground Strength Coach certification course. Zach and his course are one helluva combo and have influenced me greatly. I came out of that trip a better, smarter, hungrier, and different trainer (more on that in a later blog). Big thanks to Zach for that!

The aim of this blog will be to share my experiences, thoughts, and ideas in many areas of life but mostly related to strength/athletic training. Specifically, I will bring you ways to get jacked up like an elite football player, develop athleticism and conditioning like an MMA fighter, kick a$$ music to train to, and a dose of nutrition for good measure.

I personally have struggled for many years in my pursuit to a bigger, stronger, more muscular physique…one that can move explosively at the same time.
What motivates me:
In high school I tried out for the football team and although I made the cut, I was relegated to 3rd string (aka bench warmer) because my weight was below the requirement for all starters. What was I clocking in at? An embarrassing 118lbs….yup, your stereotypical skinny hard-gainer. Was it not for my charming personality, good looks, and sexy accent (according to the laaaadies) I would have had my share of bullying ;). So, I put it in my head that I had to put on some size and fast. Long story short, I spent the remainder of the school year and summer months in the gym and learning about weight training. It worked (not perfectly…again, another post) and I put on a little less than 20lbs, enough to get me playing games when the season started again.
This is what I love to do…what I am most passionate about and what I want to share with those that are interested. I am not done with my own physique and as such, will continue to learn, build, grow, and improve.
Join me…it will be a fun journey and you never know what you might gain from it too. Roll theme song….

Keep well, keep strong,
Matt B