Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
If you can’t control your own bodyweight, you should have no business playing around with an external load (barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells etc.).
Make sure you are barefoot when performing any shoulder press or deadlift work. Runners place their center of gravity forward, which shifts all the stress onto the lower back and away from the glutes. Not good.
For every hour of exercise you should match it with an hour or stretching. Make sure you hit your hip flexors the most. Tight hips flexors come from sitting down all day and cause bad posture and lower back problems.
When doing any back exercises (one-arm rows, inverted rows, pull ups, chin ups, bent over rows) make sure you pull back with the elbows and don’t just bend the elbow. This will turn on your back and not just your bicep.
To make your pull ups and chin ups stronger, wrap your thumbs over the bar to avoid the biceps taking over the exercise, and keep more weight on your pinky and ring fingers to turn on the lats. – Pavel Tsatsouline.
If you can perform more than 15 push ups with no sweat it's time to take things up a notch. Grab yourself a pair of rings to increase the difficulty due to the greater stabilization that is required.
Place more weight through your hypothenar (the soft cushion bit in the bottom corner of your hand). – Pavel Tsatsouline. This will turn on your tricep which will make your pushups easier.
If you struggle with chin-ups try adding a couple sets of 5-6 reps of bicep curls. The bicep is an assisting muscle in the chin up so if this gets stronger so will your chin ups.
Monday – Chest
Wednesday – Legs
Friday – Back
Saturday – Arms
Training like this results in hitting one muscle group 52 times a year. If you perform full body workouts every session 3 times a week you now hit each muscle 156 times a year. Training frequency is key.
Common exercises such as tricep extensions and push downs can beat up your elbows. If you want to train your triceps without any elbow pain do tricep push downs with a band or lying tricep extensions with chains. Both have accommodating resistance and are at the lightest weight when the elbow is at its most vulnerable position (which is about 90 degrees).
Wrap a band around your chin up bar and place your feet in the band. Hang from the bar and start doing chin ups. The band will apply accommodating resistance. When you can complete 8-10 rock solid pull ups it’s time to decrease the band tension and start the process again.
The Kettlebell Turkish Get Up is one of the most underrated exercises in the fitness industry. It taxes the entire body whilst promoting mobility at the same time.
Always choose bodyweight, dumbbell, kettlebell and ring exercises over the straight barbell. The barbell locks you into place and doesn’t allow any room for you to move naturally. This will eventually result in wrist, elbow or shoulder problems.
Straight bar chin ups (palms facing up) will lead to a TON of elbow issues in the long run. A better choice would be to use rings, a neutral grip (palms face each other) or if neither are available just stick with pull ups (palms face away from you).
Hang from a chin up bar. Make sure you keep your shoulders in the sockets. Keeping the legs as straight as possible pull with your abs to lift your legs above your head and touch the bar without your feet. Return to the starting position and repeat from a dead start (no swinging).
Due to the offset center of mass from the kettlebell it builds both strength and stability. Stability is very important. Injuries usually occur because your stabilizer muscles haven’t caught up to your prime moving muscles.
– 1 x pulling exercise
– 1 x pushing exercise
– 1 x lower body knee dominant exercise
– 1 x lower body hip dominant exercise
– 1 x core exercise
If you hate cardio, like me, try this barbell complex at the end of your strength training program. This will act as your cardio. A bb complex is when you do all the reps of one exercise before moving onto the next exercise and you don’t put the bar down until all the reps are complete. That counts as one set. You’ll take a brief rest and repeat for the recommended number of sets.
The calves are a slow twitch muscle fiber which means they can tolerate a lot of volume and frequency. You’ll get a ton of volume with 10 minutes of skipping. Also, it will act as a great form or cardio.
If you want to increase your training frequency, but find you’re always sore and cannot recovery properly, try training with a sled in between your training days. The sled eliminates the eccentric (lowering of the weight) stress. The eccentric stress is what causes the most muscle tearing and soreness. Strap a sled to your waist and do some forward and backward walking for 20-30 minutes. You’ll get a nice lactic build up as well. But again, no DOMS. Winning!
If you see a training program that has 3:1:3:1 or some other number combination next to the exercise throw it in the bin. Here’s 3 reasons why…
1. The slower you go the greater DOMS you will have. Not cool if you want to increase your training frequency.
2. Force = Mass x Acceleration. So in other words, If you want to produce force you need to lift a weight fast. Not slow.
3. In life you don’t move to tempos. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever sat in a chair with a perfect 2:1:2:1 tempo.
Notice all the muscles in your legs turn on? You just made that lift a full body exercise.
If you struggle to get down to the bar and keep and arch in your lower back when performing deadlifts, do some hip and thoracic mobility and pop the bar up a little higher in the squat rack until you can do so.
Grant Lofthouse is the founder of Cardio Haters Training. He specializes in getting people sexy without cardio and has a current mission to help 100,000 cardio haters set themselves free from the treadmill grind. Grant is Australia’s Women’s Health & Fitness “weight training advisor”. For more information visit www.CardioHaters.com