Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Strength and Physique has moved

So heads up: the Strength and Physique blog is now on WordPress. This Blogger version of Strength and Physique will now be archived and will remain up until Blogger goes kaput. But for new insights into strength training and bodybuilding, go to the WordPress version: Strength and Physique

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fat bar training equipment

Q: You had mentioned in a previous blog post a site to purchase thick bars. Can you remind me the name of this site again? Thank you.

My best,
Larry K.

My Answer: It was the Heavy Handle. I don't think they make the Heavy Handle anymore.  Which is unfortunate, because it was truly a unique and effective piece of equipment for thick bar training.

You may want to consider Fat Gripz.  It's an inexpensive way to do fat bar training.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What it's like to be both cop and trainer

Q: I was just wondering what its like to be both a cop and a personal trainer. I thought about doing that too.

- Sage

My Answer: There are very few people in the world with both backgrounds. You can really only do one or the other.  I've talked a little bit about this before:

PT or LE?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lat Shock Workout

Q: I want to employ your lat shock routine, but I am on a periodization routine.  I'm working upper and lower every other day.  Instead of putting all 4 exercises in one day, then resting that part for a week, I'm doing it all week.  

If I split up the lat work all week, will it still shock them into growth, or do they need all that work in one sitting?  Or should I do it once a week then the rest if the time do a lightweight lat workout?  Cause exercise done every other day would result in overtraining right?<


My Answer:  The Wingspan Workouts are 4 different WORKOUTS.  So you would not do all 4 in one day.  You can rotate through the 4 workouts through a length of 2 weeks, so that would mean 2 lat workouts a week.

Or you can do one lat shock workout a week, so that would mean 2 lat workouts a week:  one lat shock workout, one light active recovery workout for the back.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Back Friendly Exercises on the RTC Program

Q: I am 19 years old and will be a sophomore in college this fall. I major in Criminal Justice and hope to one day become a law enforcement officer. I am 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, and in the worst shape of my life. I had back surgery for a herniated disc in January and haven't worked out since. 

While browsing articles on law enforcement fitness, I read a piece you wrote for bodybuilding.com. I loved it. My surgeon has advised me to stay away from heavy deadlifts and squats for a long time. Basically, anything that could reherniate my disc is a big no no. In regards to the workout you listed, is there anything I could replace "high risk back" exercises with?

My goal is to become as agile as I used to be, and I would also like to put on a few more pounds of muscle. 

Jacob W.

My Answer: If you want to remove the deadlift and back squat from the RTC program, then I suggest you substitute cable pull-throughs and Bulgarian squats.  You will not add on as much muscle with these exercises, but the RTC program will be tough on you even with these substitutions.

Below is the program without deadlifts and back squats, but with cable pull-throughs and Bulgarian squats.  I've kept the front squats in the program, since the front squat does not stress the lower back as much as the back squat.

Weeks 1 and 2: Density Phase

Workout #1:

Quads Compound Set:

  1. Front squats, 6-8 reps, then go to
  2. Sissy squats, body weight only, as many reps as possible (AMRAP)
  3. Rest three minutes, and then repeat compound set two more times.

Back Giant Set:

  1. Wide-grip pull-ups (overhand grip) to failure, rest 10 seconds then go to
  2. Medium-grip pull-ups to failure, rest 10 seconds then go to
  3. Medium-grip chin-ups (underhand grip) to failure, rest 10 seconds then go to
  4. Narrow-grip chin-ups to failure.
  5. Rest three minutes, and then repeat the giant set two more times.

Wide grip upright barbell rows: 4 sets, 12-15 reps, 1 minute rest between sets

Biceps/Brachialis Compound Set:

  1. Zottman curls, 6-8 reps, then go to
  2. Lying dumbbell curls, 10-12 reps
  3. Rest two minutes, and then repeat the entire process two more times.

Dips, bodyweight only, 3 sets, AMRAP, 1 minute rest

Workout #2: High intensity interval training (HIIT), 20 minutes (90 seconds walk, 30 second sprints)

Workout #3:

Seated cable rows, 6 sets, 4-6 reps, 90 seconds rest

Arms Superset:

  1. Kettlebell curls or reverse grip barbell curls, 4 sets, 4-6 reps, 90 seconds rest
  2. Lying barbell triceps extensions, 4 sets, 4-6 reps, 90 seconds rest

Gironda dumbbell swings, 3 sets, 10-12 reps, 1 minute rest

Workout #4: HIIT – 20 minutes (Farmer’s walks for 30 seconds, walk with no weight for 90 seconds)

Weeks 3 and 4: Decompression Phase

Workout #1:

  1. Side to side pullups, 4 sets, AMRAP, 3 minutes rest
  2. Dumbbell military press, 4 sets, 6-8 reps, 3 minutes rest
  3. Bulgarian squats, 4 sets, AMRAP, 3 minutes rest

Workout #2:

  1. Sternum pull-ups, 4 sets, AMRAP, 3 minutes rest
  2. Close grip bench press, 4 sets, 5-7 reps, 3 minutes rest
  3. Cable pull throughs, 4 sets, 4-6 reps, 3 minutes rest

Workout #3:

  1. Subscapularis pull-ups, 4 sets, AMRAP, 3 minutes rest
  2. Weighted dips, 4 sets, 4-6 reps, 3 minutes rest
  3. Front squats, 4 sets, 4-6 reps, 3 minutes rest

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Workout to get ready for Corrections Physical Agility Test

Q: My name is Trey, and I am writing you today to see if by any way you could possible whip me in to shape with a workout. I would say I have maybe 2-3 months to get in to shape for the job demands. I work out now, but I feel like it's not getting me any where. I bust my ass when I go to the gym, but I see nothing different, so maybe you could refer something? Please help!

Thank you.

My Answer: First off I have no idea what is your physical condition and physical conditioning.  Are you overweight, or are you looking to add more muscle?

The problem I see with a lot of guys trying to get in shape is that they are not honest about what their condition is and what they need to do to remedy the condition.  I know a deputy who doesn't do cardio and was doing 5x5 to get in shape.

I thought to myself, "Dude, you're diabetic and overweight.  You don't need to do 5x5.  You need to do higher reps and cardio."

If you're trying to prepare for the physical agility test, then you should be practicing the physical agility test for corrections. That means running and whatever other body weight exercises they're testing you on (i.e. push ups, pull-ups, etc.).

Now let's just say you're overweight and want to improve your conditioning.  I would focus on strength training done in a cardio fashion.  In other words, do workouts like Tabatas and sprint intervals.  Do higher reps with short rest periods.

If you want to do something different from your usual workouts, then try my Strength Training for Fat Loss program.