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Showing posts from September, 2009

Cut Out the Excess, Stick with the Core

"I just read your article on Pyramid training and the ectomorph. I am a dad that is 'monitoring' my son's workout program. He would probably be what you would call an ectomorph. 5'8", 120lbs, 16yrs old. He is currently working out twice a week with this routine (Monday and Thursday). Doing 8-6-4-10 (70%, 80%, 90%, 60% of his max):


Smith Machine BenchTricep "push down" machineMachine rowsLat pulldown machineCurl machineShoulder press machineSquats (seated with free weights)Leg extension machineLeg curl machineCalf raises on the same squat machineSitups
"Is there anything he is doing wrong or he needs to change? I appreciate your help."

-Dwayne


MyAnswer- Looks fine, but there is one glaring problem with your list of exercises: You have too many of them. 4 sets per exercise with 11 exercises would put you at 44 total sets. Your son would be working out at least 90 minutes to 2 hours. Anything over an hour and 26 sets is overtraining.

Cut so…

Train Yourself

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Everybody wants to outsource these days. You get your accountant to do your taxes, your maid to clean your house, your babysitter to watch the kids and your personal trainer to get you in shape.

What ever happened to learning to do stuff on your own? I find it funny that people nowadays, including men, are so quick to hire a personal trainer. That's great for trainers, but I think a lot of people have been misled to believe that getting into shape is too daunting of a task to do on their own.

I used to go to a small neighborhood gym where they didn't push a personal trainer on you. You learned by trying stuff out in the gym, observing how other guys worked out and asking for advice. There was a sense of camaraderie. More experienced lifters helped younger lifters, and respect was given to those who put in hard time and hard work to achieve a hard physique.

Nowadays, commercial gyms seem to be meat markets with men strutting around like peacocks. God forbid you give your friend…

Quote of the Day

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“I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character.

"Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

"The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

"The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in …

7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat

So here's an interesting blog post by Tim Ferriss on the benefits of saturated fat:

7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat

Read the entire post when you get a chance, but in the meantime, here are the 7 reasons listed:

1) Improved cardiovascular risk factors (partly by raising HDL, the good cholesterol)
2) Stronger bones
3) Improved liver health
4) Healthy lungs
5) Healthy brain (your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol, BTW)
6) Proper nerve signaling
7) Strong immune system

Not only does saturated fat have the above health benefits, but saturated fat from sources such as meat, eggs, butter and coconut oil helps you gain muscle. If you didn't have saturated fat in your diet, then your body will have a hard time manufacturing hormones such as testosterone, the singular reason why men have more muscle than women as a whole.

BUT... before you go out scarfing down bacon cheeseburgers, you have to understand that eating saturated fat is only half the story. What the blog post doesn…

Muscle Specialization Programs

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"Hello,

"I'm following the 20 pull-ups training program and am training pull-ups Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

"Is it safe to do other biceps exercises on Monday and Friday? Or should I leave out any other biceps exercises? I did 4 sets of curls yesterday, and it didn't seem to hurt. I did them about half an hour after the pull-ups and did squats in between."

-CS


My Answer: It shouldn't be a problem. In general when you do a specialization program, you'll need to put all other body parts on maintenance mode. So if you're doing a specialization program for pull-ups, then you have to scale back on your sets for body parts other than the back and biceps. That means 3-4 sets each for chest, delts, quads, hamstrings, calves and triceps during the pull-up program.