Deadlift Are Good For The Soul

If I had to pick one exercise that’ll make you feel awesome, it’d be some heavy deadlifts. I say heavy because deadlifts are meant to be done in low rep ranges (3-6) reps. I’m not including Olympic lifts because they’re more difficult to teach and learn. I don’t know about you but I feel so powerful when picking up heavy weight from the ground with such explosive ferocity.The deadlift is the best exercise for total body strength. It engages every muscle from head to toe, with emphasis on the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. I’ve heard people say that deadlifts are bad for your back. The truth is using bad form on deadlifts or any other exercise is bad for you. From my personal experience, proper deadlifting has helped me fix back issues caused by weight lifting with bad form.

The dealift is an exercise with real world application. Not only does it make you strong from head to toe, it also helps with sports performance. Due to the emphasis on powerful hip movement, the deadlift can help an athlete improve their sprint speed and vertical jump. The deadlift also teaches you how to properly lift things from the ground, assuming you’re using correct form. This will come in handy when you’re helping a friend move their furniture.

Like any other exercise, it’s important to have good form when deadlifting. Deadlifting is a hinging movement. When deadlifting, it’s important to have the barbell touching your shins on the bottom position. Slightly arch your back and keep a neutral spine. Before you lift the weight, remove some slack from the barbell by slightly pulling it. Also, squeeze the barbell as hard as you can and brace your abs. Focus on pulling the weight with as much force as possible. It’s important to commit to the lift, meaning you have top pull the weight once you get to the bottom position.

Photo credit: ResoluteSupportMedia via Visualhunt / CC BY

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/6940701913/”>ResoluteSupportMedia</a&gt; via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/b22a01″>Visualhunt</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”&gt; CC BY</a>

 

Strong Core, Strong Body

Some lifters believe you get enough core work from compound lifts like squats and deadlifts. However, I’m a huge fan of doing direct core work. Doing core work isn’t only about having a beautiful six pack. Good core exercises will give you a stable mid-setion and protect you from injuries when performing lifts. A strong core also allows you to generate more power in sports. The core exercises I do allows me to not only have nice abs but they give me a strong base when lifting heavy weights or performing sports movements. Here’s a list of my favorite core exercises:

Ab-wheel: The first step is placing the ab-wheel in front of you while holding it firmly with both hands. Start off by kneeling on ttop of a mat. The mat is there to keep your knees comfortable. With your hands firmly on the wheel, slowly lean forward til you have a straight torso. Then slowly get back to the starting position.I usually aim for three sets of 10. To take this move to another level, do five second pauses at the bottom position. You can also use a barbell with weight plates on each side if you don’t have access to an ab wheel.

Photo credit: Surge Lifestyle via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

Farmer’s Walks: There’s many variations of farmers walks. The way I do them is grab a pair of dumbbells and walk. It’s that simple. You can manipulate weight and distance depending on your goals. If you want to focus on strength, you should pick heavy dumbbells and walk a short distance. You can pick lighter dumbbells and walk longer distances if you want a good cardio workout. It’s important to maintain an upright posture. You’ll feel your abs the next morning.

Leopard Crawls: Get on all fours and have your knees slightly above the ground. Keep your hips low and look up the whole time. When crawling, you’ll be moving with opposite limbs at a time. You’ll move your right arm and left leg at the same time and vice versa. Try moving forward and backwards to engage your core in different ways.

Gymnastic Based Core Movements: Gymnastics are pound for pound one of the strongest athletes in the world. I believe a major reason for this is their amazing core strength. I’ve seen benefits from basic level gymnastic exercises like alternate leg raises and half L-sits with one leg still on the ground. Imagine the results you’d get if you master moves like the full L-sit, Planche, and Levers .

I promise you if you use any combination of these core moves, you’ll develop a strong and attractive midsection. These moves will transform your fitness and your life. All your lifts will improve and you’ll look better.

Note: Don’t do crunches and sit-ups unless you want back problems. Planks are a good start but you’ll need more dynamic core exercises if you want to take your body and performance to the next level. Also make sure to brace your core during all these movements.

Top Photo via VisualHunt.com

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/94822773@N08/8669791068/”>Surge Lifestyle</a> via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/b22a01″>VisualHunt</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”&gt; CC BY-SA</a>

Sprints, Sprints, and more Sprints

Faster than a speeding bullet! Was that Superman? No that’s you in the middle of a sprint workout. Weightlifting is the only form of exercise that can compare to sprints in terms of body transformation. The way it makes me feel is phenomenal. There are many benefits like increase in testosterone, better nutrient partitioning, and an endorphin boost.The freedom you feel when you’re running at full speed in open space is almost unrivaled. Sprinting can transform your body.

Have you ever seen a fat sprinter? Sprinting is arguably the best fat loss exercise on the planet. You’re burning fat while sprinting and hours after you’re done. Sprinting will develop your leg muscles as well.Sprinting is also great for sports performance. Speed kills in sports and there’s various sprinting drills depending on your sport.

Here’s a list of the Sprinting protocols I’ve used:

Hill Repeats for fat-loss: Find a steep hill and do 3 sets of 7 hill sprints with 1 minute rest in between. Depending on your conditioning levels you can start at 5 repetitions or go all the way up to 10 repetitions per set.

35 Yard Sprints for power development:One set of twelve repetitions of a 35 meter sprint. After each repetition you’ll rest for 10 seconds. It’s a good workout when you’re in a time crunch. I’ve noticed an improvement in my deadlift power when I’ve incorporated this protocol in my routine.

100 meter sprint for total body transfromation: Do a 100 meter sprint and walk back to the starting spot. Once you get back, repeat the sprint. Keep repeating til you do ten sprints.

400-300-200-100 : This protocol involves doing a sequence of sprints for different distances. First, you’ll do a 400 meter sprint followed by 4 minutes of rest. Then it’ll be a 300 meter sprint with 3 minutes of rest. Followed by a 200 minute sprint with 2 minutes of rest. You’ll finally finish with a 100 meter sprint. This protocol will have you gasping for air like nothing else.

Like any form of exercise make sure you’re physically ready before doing sprints. If you’re not used to sprinting, I’d reccomend doing hill repeats first as they’re the safest form of sprints because you’re not moving at high speed. This will help you work on your sprinting form and develop sprinting muscles like the hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Go Sprint and reap the benefits!

Strength And Hypertrophy

This article is about the importance of improving your strength.

When it comes to weight lifting there’s two primary approaches, strength and hypertrophy. Everyone has their preference and mine is strength. The feeling I get when I’m moving something heavy is exhilarating. Another thing I love about strength training is I don’t gain excess mass from it. Yeah you’ll gain some mass when focusing on strength but strength is primarily influenced by the nervous system.

If you love training at high intensity levels then strength training is for you. If you want to be able to lift heavy ass weight while staying lean then strength training is for you. Don’t be fooled by the large powerlifters and strongmen you see. Their size is primarily due to their large calorie intakes. There’s different powerlifting weight classes so it’s definitely possible to be tremendously strong and lean at the same time. I know of people that weigh 180 pounds that can deadlift over 600 pounds. Since strength is a function of the nervous system, they got so strong due to body adaptation.

I don’t consider myself to be a powerlifter but I am interested in improving my overall physical performance, in life and sports. My current goal is to improve my relative strength, which is my strength to weight ratio. Lifting heavy helps me do that.

The key to get stronger is to do compound lifts at 80-95 % of your 1RM for 3-5 reps. Make sure to rest for 2-3 minutes in between sets. Due to the stress it puts on your nervous system, I wouldn’t recommend strength training on consecutive days. I also don’t recommend lifting heavy more than 3 times in a given week. I currently lift heavy twice a week so I can still have energy for other parts of my life.

So if you want to be a better athlete LIFT HEAVY. If you want to feel like a total badass LIFT HEAVY. If you want to increase your testosterone LIFT HEAVY. Just LIFT HEAVY.  Hell, if you want to improve your muscle building potential, LIFT HEAVY. Who do you think has more growth potential, someone who deadlifts 400 or someone who deadlifts 225? As I work toward reaching my physical potential, I believe strength training will be a valuable asset for me.

Disclaimer: Choose weights in which you can get quality reps with good form.

The Ultimate Upper Body Exercise

This article is about why you should add chin-ups to your workout routine.

If I had to choose one movement to build a great upper body, it would be the chin-up. The reason I like the chin-up is that it hits other muscle groups as well. The upper-back, lats, traps, and core are all engaged during the chin-up movement. The famous bicep curl only works one muscle group. This allows you to build a well-rounded upper-body. It’s also a good way to develop your relative strength. If you want to place a greater emphasis on the upper back muscle, you can do pull-ups instead. Pull-ups is when you have your palm facing away from you. Sometimes I like alternating between chin-ups and pull-ups so I can fully target the different muscle groups.

One version of the chin-up that has given me great results is the eccentric focused chin-ups with a four second pause at the bottom. The idea of this is to lower yourself down slowly when doing the chin-up. Once you’re at the bottom, pause for four seconds. The reason it’s good to lower yourself slowly is because the eccentric/lowering portion of a movement is where the most muscle tear happens. Muscle tear is the key to muscle growth. I like to add more resistance by adding a weight belt with a weight plate attached. You can also do weighted chin-ups without the eccentric focus but your muscle fibers won’t be stimulated as much.

Before using these advance methods of chin-ups, it’s important that you’re comfortable doing regular chin-ups. If you get good at the eccentric focused chin-ups with weights, your upper-body will thank you tremendously. I’ve experienced great results from this and I’m sure it’ll work for you too!

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Fitness is My Medicine

This is the post excerpt.

The great philosopher,Socrates once said ” No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable of”.

This quote applies to women as well. If you’re looking at this page that means you’re passionate about health and fitness. You’re someone who’s passionate about seeing the amazing things your body is capable of. I made this blog because I believe humans are made to move. I feel so alive when I’m moving  moving my body and working a sweat.

I’m passionate about health and fitness. Working out is one my favorite ways of self-expression. Throughout my fitness journey, I’ve tried different methods of training throughout my fitness journey. My favorite training methods are strength and sports specific training. I believe training like an athlete is the easiest way to have a functional and attractive body.

In addition to strength and athletic training, I’ve also tried bodyweight training, yoga, and bodybuilding. Fitness has been a big part of my life and has given me the strength to handle different challenges. It has also helped me increase confidence in my abilities. I hope my experiences and the things I’ve learned along my fitness journey can help you see the amazing things your body is capable of.