Rep Schemes: Taking Lifting Seriously

So you’re a Body-Builder and deep in a program ..Looking for some more info.. Need a change-up?

Do you know what kind of lifter you are? Do you know what a rep is and why changing training styles is important? Below is some more detailed info on how to play around with rep schemes.

You must perpetually overload the muscle. This means that you’re talking yourself into lifting, pushing, or pulling something that seems heavier than you could ever want to lift– and it’s changing the look on your face as you do it– yet, you still do it– and as many times as possible.

HOW WELL YOU DO THIS,

IS DIRECTLY RELATED

TO THE LEVEL OF YOUR GAINS.

Gains can be: Strength, Endurance, Muscle Size,  Body Composition, Skill, Speed/Power, etc.

You must shock your body- with movements that you haven’t done before, exercises you aren’t good at. You have to work on your weaknesses and imbalances. Think of yourself as one huge muscle.

You must diversify the style, speed, and duration of your movements, the kinds of exercises and planes and ranges of your motion, as well as when and in what sequence, and with what energy source.

Why is this all so important?

You have to break down muscle fibers so that when your body restores this damage and lays down new fibers – they are much more capable of meeting the demands of your movement, aka ADAPTATION

Same Muscle Group:

Working the same part of the body is attempting to control and use blood flow in the most efficient manner. The thinking behind this method is that you are capable of lifting greater loads as all of your oxygenated blood and energy is concentrated in the target muscles.

Opposing Muscle Groups:

This method is my personal favorite. It gives you an awesome feeling — what lifters call a pump– and you will feel in command of your anatomy, maybe even learn a thing or two about your body. Think of it as holistic lifting. ūüėČ

You train opposing muscles, so let’s say you are working on lower body.

1st set: Work the Anterior: Quadriceps with knee extensions – bilateral work, or pistol squats – unilateral work.


Rest


2nd set: Work the Posterior: Hamstrings with reverse hyper-extensions or leg curls taxing the muscles just opposite the Quadriceps.


Super Set: or Tri-Set:

The fastest and easiest way to increase the intensity and caloric expenditure of your workouts. Using the same example above, do exercises back to back without taking a rest. You will be fatigued for sure but burning fat and building endurance simultaneously.

For Tri-Sets, you do three instead of two without resting in between.

Pyramiding:

The most common training method of them all. After warming up:

1st set: Start with a load that you can complete 12-15 reps


2nd set: Increase load and shoot for about 8-10 reps


3rd set: Load for 6 reps.


This overloads the muscle successfully and works well for building lean muscle, strength and endurance.

Reverse Pyramiding:

This is the reverse of the above description. Always warm up first.

1st set: load for 6 reps max (meaning you can load for 1, 3, 4, etc)


2nd set: reduce load and push through 8-10 reps


3rd set: load for 12-15 reps.


This Rep Scheme gives your body the chance to lift maximum weight before fatigue sets in. It is a great way to get your numbers up. The more frequently you are able to maximize the lbs on the first set, the easier this whole routine will become and you will be lifting heavier than you thought you could in no time.

Drop Setting:

This is a really great Rep Scheme to wake up a certain muscle group that is just not responding in the way you would like. It could be genetics, or neglect, whatever the case, you’re ready to face it head on.

1st Set: Any exercise at your heaviest load but bearable. The load you can do for about 6 reps.


2nd Set: Reduce the load by half and do as many reps as possible. AMRAP. Depending on the exercise, it may be advisable to have a spotter present because this is very close to training to failure.


Optional Continuation:¬†Drop Setting to Failure: You can continue to decrease the weight and by any increment you like until it is the lightest it can be – and you can no longer move in the exercise’s range of motion.

Types of Training to Failure:

  • Set Assistance /Positive Failure

Any exercise any load, in the final reps a spotter assists you past a sticking point or muscle fatigue. By doing this it is a successful and positive way to not only overload the target muscle but complete the set. You can use a resistance bands on a pull-up as a form of assistance.

  • Negatives

This is the greatest way to acquire any skill/movement/exercise when strength held you back in your first attempt.

Ex. Pull ups. Hold yourself at the top of the bar and slowly lower. Rest and repeat. Soon the pulling motion will come much more naturally to you.

  • Partial Reps/ Pulses

However many sets of any exercise it takes to find yourself exhausted and target muscles fatigued. Continue going through sets getting through all reps at the original desired load, BUT by moving in pulses that cover only a portion of the full range of motion of the exercise.

  • Giant Set:

1st set: Any exercise with a weight that you can do for about 10 reps.


Pause for five seconds


 2nd Set: Do it again- and then again and again and again until you can only complete two reps of the exercise.


  • Pausing and Repeating:

This is another overloading method where instead of dropping the load, or doing partial reps aka pulses, you put the weights down and rest for 10 seconds and then repeating until you move. Failure, get it.

 

 

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Step 3 : Wisdom

Step 3 of 12: See Step 2 Loyalty

Wisdom ‚Äď To be wise or to be open to wisdom.

These are not the same things. It is thought to be wise when one uses logical analysis, or reasoning. It is widely accepted that wisdom arrives through experience, but doesn’t this leave out the innate sensitivity or cultivated sensibility of awareness. ¬† ¬† What if:

To be aware is to be human.

To be human is to be always listening.

Wisdom is eternally and spontaneously arising in life and only needs acknowledgement and reflection to become part of your experience.

If you allow yourself the opportunity to create your own experience, you will see that Gurus are around you all the time. They can come in any forms. But, one must begin by understanding that cutting corners on your life is not an option: Practice Asteya¬† Read: Understanding the¬†Mind, ¬†Body, and¬†Spirit, how each of them¬†connect¬†and¬†¬†Pantanjali’s 8 Limbs.¬†

Gurus are vehicles – they are some sign – ¬†some observational moment where light shines on your darkness. Where you’re guided away from a strong emotion and into a calm abiding. Gurus can be an animal, song, child, scent, or memory. It’s a spirit with a message for you in a language you understand and in the corner of a looking place you regularly see and already waiting in destinations you haven’t yet stumbled upon. By being open, (not resisting or attaching to one particular outcome – yamas) opportunities will flourish, manifesting thoughts into reality, and bringing your future to you..

#wisdom3.png

Your Higher self can pick up sounds, vibrations, and symbols as this is what your spirit speaks, and if you ¬† listen and work at becoming a better listener – even see your being’s purpose as a receiver- you will tap into this consciousness.

“The front part of the body receives information and the back side of the body passes it on. We are receivers of memory, listening stations of cosmic truths in the here and now, and senders to the future.¬†With the front we face situations, we face life, we walk into things, we meet people face on. The front receives heat from psychic energy, and the backside is the cold “chi” releasing side.¬†That is why we have a front side and back side of the body.

We are little broadcasting stations that openly bridge the future while washing all our moments with memory. That is how we know things. We are simply actors in this life unfolding before us and, as we face life, we leave behind our trail of moments for those who come behind us to resonate to.”

-Joseph Rael & Mary Elizabeth Marlow from ‘Being and Vibration

Wisdom is a noun.

It is as a thing to be attained, but it is also a direction to be pursued, a characteristic to acquire, a perception someone may carry with them, an impression you wish to impart on someone else and it is a feeling of serendipity, a perfect alignment with cosmic energies.

Wisdom is gracefully connecting you to your personal evolution. Every moment is a moment to be cultivating how you play with and manifest energy. The beauty of life is to experience (and learn from) yourself.

The energy of Wisdom centers you in your body, but gives you access to experiences outside the physical plane.

 

High Intensity Varieties

We all want the quick fix, right? The magic pill that will bring us the greatest body we’ve ever had. So, why then don’t we all do high intensity exercises?

High Intensity Interval Training, known as HIIT usually refers to aerobic based exercises, and High Intensity Resistance Training, known as HIRT is basic lifts but put into an interval scheme with a timed period of work and rest. The concept behind this training is that you are not letting your heart, muscles, and cells recover before adding to their workload. The only thing you need is an interval timer – Get an App, there’s tons.

Benefits of High Intensity anything:

  • See what you are capable of.

  • Change body composition in a considerable way in a very short period of time.

  • Shrink abdominal/ trunk fat mass.

  • Improve aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.

  • Maximal Caloric Expenditure:¬†

What is most interesting, to me anyway, is that the caloric expenditure during prolonged cardio is greater than the calories burned during short bursts of high intensity cardio BUT calories keep burning long after the short bursts of HIIT is over.

This is a bang for your workout buck!

When looking at caloric expenditure Рthe energy your body uses to produce the work to complete your exercise,  it should be calculated over a period of a week, or daily and looked at a glance, NOT just what was burned during exercise. When trying to change body composition, it is important to think big picture to keep a meaningful perspective.

Higher EPOC:¬†HIIT, HIRT¬†does an incredible things for Excess Post-Exercise Oxidation Consumption, aka the amount of calories burned after the exercise is over. Why do we still burn calories even after we’ve stopped moving? The body has to restore itself, i.e. replenish energy resources, re-oxygenate blood and restore the circulatory hormones, decrease body temperature, and regulate your breathing and heart rate. How long does this process take? The higher the intensity of your workout, the longer it will take to balance the body to pre-exercise levels, aka more calories are spent. YAY!

#hiit

But are you ready?

Now, just like anytime you level up: There’s pre-requisites. High Intensity is like entering the High Stakes poker room. Are you properly bank-rolled?

  • You need a strong base. You can’t be five years out of doing any movement at all and then begin a High Intensity training session and expect to feel good, perform well, or be able to move afterwards. Start Here: Foam Rolling, Weightless routines, or beginning Movement.

  • HIIT cannot be your only mode of exercise. Learn about training styles.

  • Be ready to change routines:¬†Meaning you have to change up the actual exercises you do in the intervals.

  • A proper¬†lifting diet¬†of¬†carbohydrates,¬†proteins, and¬†fats. You need ample glycogen for your high intensity game. This is not a fasting type exercise, otherwise it will be fast and over. If you haven’t eaten in the past twelve hours – you may not have what it takes to push through muscle fatigue.

  • When you are OFF: Rest. Do not move. Go brain dead, even.

  • When you are ON: TRAIN LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

Go Hard or Go Home = Hard as a Mother F*cker = HAM

There is a reason that HAM means “I am” in Sanksrit. High Intensity pushes you to the absolutely edge of what you’re capable of, and it is the greatest mind-body conversation you can have, particularly when you’re the one testing your limits and demanding all that you have.

Kinds of High Intensity:

1.The Tabata method is kind of miraculous in the sense that it taxes the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems almost to the edge of what they can bear. Dr. Tabata’s research- yes he’s a real life doctor- and his work demonstrates that it’s possible to generate maximum power while simultaneously conditioning your heart in an incredibly short period of time.

Technical Details :

Total time: 4 min: Intervals: 8 rounds: 20 sec on; 10 sec off.

Whether you’re training arms, legs, core or some other push/pull split, finishing a workout with Tabata may provide you with a pump and fat burning boost you have never experienced before.

Be aware: You are not going to perform like a champ throughout your first Tabata attempt. In fact, it is more realistic to say that you probably won’t complete what seems [to your mind] to be a moderate amount of exercises. GO SLOW! It’s the Tabata style that makes the world of a difference. Instead of focusing on completion, put your effort on maintaining, i.e. staying alive. I kid, but this is no joke.

EXAMPLE: Let’s say the exercise you’ve chosen is the classic Push Up.

You do 20 push ups in your first round, pretty impressive. So impressive and it took so much energy that you were only able to complete 12 in the 2nd. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. You now have to focus on maintaining. You must try for 12 in the 3rd round. If you only get 10, this does NOT mean you are a weakling. You have to build up to withstand this kind of training. Just try to match the reps you completed in the previous round and stay upright. So, even if you absolutely could not lower to do one more push-up, hold the plank until that timer dings done.

While four minute workouts sound almost too good to be true, it is only good if you give it your all –and even then– the goodness is only felt after it’s over. ¬†

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† *Advanced Tabata – Do work in both intervals, as in don’t rest. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Create a high intensity for 10 sec and low intensity for 20 sec. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† EXAMPLE: Mountain Sprinters – 20 sec : V-ups/Boat Variation – 10 sec Don’t hate me, I love you

Where to use Tabata:

  • On vacation
  • Limited Equipment or Space
  • Going out on a hot date – or critical interview and need to feel invincible

When to use Tabata:

  • Limited Time
  • After a quick warm-up as a cardio boost to begin your lifting program.
  • In between lifting sets so that you maintain an elevated heart rate and continue to burn fat.
  • Post-lifting to purge lactic acid built up in the muscle, flush the waste out of your system, and burn maximal fat.

How to use Tabata:

  • Maintain a controlled slower pace – they’re brief intervals – but there’s 8!
  • Use lighter weights than normal
  • On a belly that has had food in the last three hours
  • Make a Move Like a Beast Playlist¬†
  • Stay hydrated – you’ll need more water post -workout than other workouts


2. HIRT: High Intensity Resistance Training Routine:

EXAMPLE: SEATED ROW: Pull max weight for 6 reps. Do this 3 X with a rest between. Rest could be 20 sec to 1 min What if you can’t get 6 reps on the 2nd try, and not even ready for the 3rd round when it shows up? TOTALLY NORMAL This is what you are working towards, duh. ¬† ūüėČ


3. Spinning Intervals – Spin 1 min, 2 min, even in 3 min intervals using resistance and the following positions as variables to change as you see fit. See Spin Playlists.

  • Seated climb
  • Standing climb
  • Seated fast (downhill)
  • Seated upright (the biggest chance to recover)
  • Hovering just over the seat with a flat back

The beauty of interval training is the constant shifting that you’re putting your body through…so don’t get stuck on the actual movement you’ve designed for the interval. *Never fully rest when spinning, just slow down or take incline/resistance away.


4. Sprinting Intervals – Run like someone is chasing you.

Switch between walking, jogging, low, middle, and extreme inclines. Play with sprinting for distance or speed. You have to really sprint in numbers you have never seen before. Run at 9,10, even 12 mph. Don’t be scared, its only for .20 of a mile, or for 1 minute. You can do anything for 1 minute! *Try not coming to a full stop, just walk, jog, or raise the incline making it more anaerobic than aerobic or get off the treadmill and do something else in your rest, like push ups.


Already convinced that high intensity is better than long-duration training for calories burned and fat loss, but just not ready for Tabata, AND maybe you like your cardio or workouts to last longer than 4 minutes. It is the journey for you, not the destination. 

Turn up the intensity on your existing workout as a change-up in routine – AKA DON’T REST. Or where you would normally rest, do jumping jacks, or jump rope. And then right back to the lifting set of what you working on.¬†

WANT TO TRY BUT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO : You can do high intensity with anything. It doesn’t have to be eight rounds, it could be three, and the intervals don’t have to be measured in seconds, try minutes or reps.¬†Lift, something as basic as bicep curl or dynamic like Kettlebell snatches, Run, Jog, Jump rope, Body weight exercises, you name it. The possibilities of creating a timed effort of speedy work followed by timed rest or no rest is incredibly easy and fun!

Have fun going HAM.

Heavy Hitters, Suckers…

#hot97 #throwback #eastcoast

 

 

 

 

Step 2 : Loyalty

Step 2 of 12: See #1 Blueprint

Loyalty ‚Äď What does this mean?

What does this word loyalty first make you think of? What visualizations come to mind? It typically sends us by the droves to the idea of friends, family, God, perhaps a heritage — dare I say country?

Women: We may not be our past but we cannot deny how history is still with us.

Society, may not be innocent. History does have the word “his” built into its structure. Perhaps, we have come a long way but attached to this word Loyalty are codes of behavior defining our role and sexuality as it pertains to a man or our man. Why? Naturally, some cultures reiterate more than others, but bottom line here is that:

Loyalty starts and ends with you.

#loyalty.png

Stay true to what it is that your heart sings.

True to the words you have said out loud. The ideas you have committed to and the actions you have planned. Be loyal to yourself and those that are depending on you, no matter how scary it may seem or how much work is staring you in the face, and despite all those that stand in your way. Be the best you can be. You don’t need anyone’s approval. Practice Swadhyaya.

Perseverance: Loyalty’s right hand woman

Sometimes you are going to put your kindness out there. You are going to go the extra mile and say something when someone else does not. You are going to assume the responsibility, the fault, the whatever it is – You’ll throw it on your back, metaphorically, because you’re strong enough to carry it, particularly when you know it needs to be carried and have the sense of the bigger picture: it means everything to just do it.

And- when you do and are met with nothing but resistance.. From friends no less? From family, even?

This is your trying moment.

When you’re backed by humility & morality, all of your good effort and karmic pleasantries:

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†— that you pulled from deep inside yourself, in the way a ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†seed pushes through soil, despite the gravity—

And you are met with contrarians, people bent on arguing because they’re uncomfortable. Their upset is beyond even their comprehension but still, it falls in your lap. How will you console them, and pursue greatness even if these two things seem to be in direct competition?

This is the moment you cannot be disgusted by them or their confusion. It is this moment that you have to persevere and say your message one more time with an even greater amount of love — and then peace out.

“… And I knew that as long as I had that disgust, the world would evade me and I would evade myself. I knew that the basic error in living was finding cockroaches disgusting. Finding disgust in the thought of kissing a leper was my missing the primary life inside me… for disgust contradicts me, contradicts the matter in me.”

-Clarice Lispector, “The Passion According to G.H.”

The energy of loyalty helps you remain true to yourself. Once you have learned how to do that, you can be loyal through and through, without forgetting yourself.

Fasted Cardio

Fasted Cardio It means that you have not eaten before an activity. Whoa…. that is crazy talk! You gotta have your Pops, I know.

Well, it’s not really crazy. I’m a true “For the Love of Breakfast Kind of Person,” and here to tell you that Fasted Cardio is totally possible.¬†

It’s typically is done in the morning because it’s hard to have a true fasted workout if it’s not first thing upon waking. Once we have our first meal we are in the process of digestion kind of all day long. Don’t we all just love to eat?

Is the goal of Fasted Cardio different from regular cardio? Sort of.

The goals here are to use fat stores for fuel instead of food in the belly. Why is that important? It means more calories from fat are going to be burned than if you had eaten before the activity.riseandshine

Can you burn more total calories with high intensity cardio activities anytime of day and still achieve the same desired end game without committing to a fasted cardio routine?

Yes, most likely. But every road looks different and each body responds differently.

Here’s the information: Do it for 1-2 weeks – See what it does for your composition. (and let’s be clear that is what we are talking about: Nothing about fasted cardio pertains to training your heart. It is about playing with energy sources.)

Let’s talk for a moment about calories so this whole thing makes a bit more sense.¬†If you burn more calories than you take in, your body goes into¬†caloric deficit.¬†

  • A¬†caloric deficit inevitably brings about weight¬†loss as that stored fat and glycogen that you once were saving is getting used faster than you can replenish it. ¬†

IPSO FACTO: Only 2- 3K calories of carbohydrates can be stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle. The liver and muscle glycogen are what you use when you move, particularly high intensity, anaerobically, and/or when moving heavy loads. 

HOWEVER, Even a lean person can store up to 75K cal of fat in triglycerides all over the body. Fat has no home.. she’s more of a squatter but not in the leg exercise squatter ¬†=)

PERSPECTIVE on what calories mean for activity: A ten- minute mile burns around 130-150 calories depending on how much a person weighs.

There are four main factors that contribute to the efficacy of a Fasted Cardio:

  • Diet/Genetics (How much you eat, when you eat,etc)

  • Hormones

  • Intensity

  • Conditioning

Diet:

  • Low Blood Sugar: From the¬†7-8 hours you were sleeping and not eating,¬†two things were happening. Your blood sugar (glucose) dropped as well as your¬†insulin. Your blood glucose dropped because your body needed that sugar to continue functioning: ie. breathing, organ function, all the basal metabolic needs. An average person can burn 80 calories a minute while they are sleeping. But your individual diet and level of conditioning can take you further from these averages. Some people think low blood sugar impairs cardio performance, however¬†low blood sugar forces the¬†body to use stored fats for energy. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†

                                                                                                         

  • Low Insulin Levels: When insulin levels are very low, your body is better able to release and transport fatty acids into the mitochondria. Right about now, we are all seeing our elementary science teacher shout out, “The Powerhouse of the Cell,” but honestly what in the hell does a mitochondria have to do with fat burning? Don’t worry it’s just literally the site in the cell where we convert nutrients into energy- so everything. The Mitochondria is everything.

Hormonal Interaction:

  • Growth Hormone and insulin are antagonistic, meaning they have an inverse relationship. Growth Hormone is secreted while you sleep for muscle repair, memory consolidation and regulating growth and appetite.

Intensity: (The most important : it makes a world of a difference – Duh)

  • Lower Intensity (50 % VO2 Max) = using stored fatty acids¬†to get to that 50%VO2 Max and then the amount decreases.¬†

  • Mid-Grade intensity or intervals so that your avg is (75%VO2 M) is the sweet spot for a sustained pulling and burning from fat stores.

  • Higher Intensity Exercises inhibits stored fats from being primary energy source. As the body wants to use glycogen.¬†

Conditioning:

  • A trained person will have increased fat oxidation and decreased carbohydrate oxidation than an untrained individual.

Meaning as a beast who stays in beast mode, you burn more fat, more of the time. You’re also in need of more calories because there’s a good chance you’re more active than the un-trained individual and that your body composition has more muscle.¬†

 

A Plank-less Sun Salutation (save your wrists)

There are many of you that cannot and will not be able to include plank in your practice. It hurts. It hurts your wrists, your elbows, your shoulders. You shake, you’re uncomfortable and it just doesn’t make for an¬†enjoyable experience. So why push for something if it is causing ACTUAL pain?

That being said, if you want to get better at holding plank, you have to persevere beyond the shakes and discomfort. 

Actual pain is something that you cannot get through.

We use the mind to go beyond the limitations of the body.  

yoga pic backbend

 

Practice this flow to open up you shoulder joint and soon, almost like magic, planks will be that much easier. Activate your core throughout this entire flow. 

Uttanasana –¬†Forward Fold

Malasana – Deep Seated Squat (with wide legs/ head up or down/ many arm options)

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

 

Hip and Shoulder Warm Up

Like a moth to the flame burned by the fire;

My love is blind, can’t you see my desire.¬†

Burning inside you is all that you will ever need.

       Give your joints the blood flow they need. Move Slow. Put yourself into a trance.

yoga- pic hip and shoulder

 

UJJAYI BREATH: Breath in through your nose with a narrowed back of the throat. What does that mean, almost like you are purposely growling. This kind of breath feeds the fire within. Grip the floor. Push off and pull in. Activate your insides. How much can you suck your belly button in? Become small. How close can you get your nose to your knee? Close your eyes. Bask in the silence of your concentration.  Exhale to get even more compact. Become long. From the wall in front of you to the wall behind you, draw your head away from your feet. Spread your fingers away from each other. Everything blooms. Inhale into into that new space you just created. 

Move Fast. Your skin will open up and perspire. Your heart will forcefully push blood to all ends of your body. Open your eyes. See how grounded and ready you are to move with intention. Every great practice needs a great warm-up. 

(This video was sped up. Going through this sequence once can take 4 minutes.)

Forward Fold –¬†Uttanasana

Inverted Plank – Purvottanasana

Rolling Wave – ¬†Kumbhakasana –>¬†Adho mukha ŇõvńĀnńĀsana