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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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

 

 

 

 

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.¬†

 

Step 1: Create a Blue-Print for your life.

On May 1, I gave you¬† ‚ÄúSpring into Action.‚Ä̬†

Did you take it? Did you make your changes, stick to your word like you said you would. It’s been four weeks, what can you say you have committed to since then? Do you feel lost, like you need direction? Is it hard to stay focused or keep your eye on the prize?

original- blueprint

I’ve made a 12-step approach. Lookout for #loyalty, next in the series.

1. BLUEPRINT:      Achievement = Talent + Preparation

The number 12 represents a full cycle of experience and the possibility of regeneration toward a higher-consciousness. 12 represents the learning process and  warns of the necessity to be alert to every situation, reminding you of sacrifice as a means to acquiring knowledge and wisdom on both Spiritual and Intellectual levels.

Blueprint: Our Starting Point. Now that you are ready to move forward into a direction, you need a plan. [Err, maybe you personally don’t like to plan. Maybe they confine you and your energy.. If that is you, then you do not need a plan, but you do need prioritization: What the rest of us call plans.]  

We all have our blueprint, our own program that we bring with us to this life on Earth. In order to become fully balanced, we will have to return to our most basic program. Find quiet time. Sit with yourself, and stay long enough to hear all of your worries and mental chatter play out without any busy body movement to distract you. Close your eyes and see what silence looks like.

  • What is your vision?
  • What do you want to spend more time doing?
  • What is important?
  • Who in your world is invaluable?
  • How can you be more present and grateful for the life that you have? What do you wish you could be around all day long?
  • How can you explore your heart‚Äôs inspirations and be financially stable?
  • How can you be more you and less what the world is demanding of you?¬†

It can be said, ‚ÄúIf you don‚Äôt know where you are going, any road will take you there,‚ÄĚ but the logic in me wonders about specificity.

How can we be purposeful, efficient, and exacting if we’re spread in so many directions?

“A Jack of All Trades is a Master of None.”

Can we do a task well if we’re always multi-tasking?

The energy of a blueprint helps you purify your ideas, deletes the constructs that¬†don’t suit¬†you and releases what no longer has a purpose. Through meditation, or even reverse engineering and process of elimination ‚Äď you shall get closer to defining your blueprint. It’s shape, color, and purpose. This is the structure your efforts need, this is what will outline, support, and define you as the master of your project.

IF YOU CHECKED OUT AND YOU’RE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE, ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† “YEA I DON‚ÄôT KNOW HOW TO DO THAT [SHIT].”Image result for blueprint

  • START BY JUST HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH YOURSELF
  1. WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
  2. WHAT DON’T YOU WANT TO DO
  • LET THESE PHRASES SIT SIDE BY SIDE IN YOUR MIND, OR A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER. ¬†– put a notepad and pen near your bed.

If you feel like you’re still not cut out to make a blueprint for your amazing life & that creating a blueprint would take a lot of energy you don’t have. Just read these:

  • Living a life of ‚Äúhave-to‚ÄĚ is draining.

  • We get tired without creativity or fulfillment.

  • We think our problem might be our relationship. We blame our job. We think this feeling has something to do with our geography, or because we need to exercise and eat better. It’s drinking, it has to be.

  • We talk about the past because we don‚Äôt know what present happiness looks like. We’re too removed. It‚Äôs been so long.

  • We buy things that give us a sense of leisure, comfort, or beauty, because we have lost the will to generate it on our own.

  • We buy tons of convenience products with the hopes that life will be made simpler and grant us extra time to rest, but do we ever rest? Do those items of convenience actually take care of our needs as they originally promised?

Do these sound familiar? Make your blue-print. This is your imprint. The impression you leave with yourself -in this short time you get to be alive.

 

 

#12steps #blueprint #healthylifestyle #blueprintforsuccess #direction #focus #goals #howtomakechanges #sacredgeometry #meditation #preparation #achievement # lifespurpose #vision #lifescalling #getfitwithtiff #mindbodyexchange #howto #selfimprovement #personalgrowth #healthiswealth #mindpower

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

 

Wide Legged into Wild Thing

Practicing asana is only one of many details that fall under the umbrella of yoga.

But it’s lovely isn’t it?

yoga- wide leggedBeing able to move and stretch, breathe and hold all of your body weight in ways you never thought possible.  A yoga flow can come from careful planning, or following a flow that sets out to achieve a certain release in an area of the body:

Heart Opening , Hip Opening , Backbending  and so forth.

Sometimes listening to your body and letting her guide you as to where to move next can be the most gratifying part of your yoga session.

Have you ever just moved through space letting your thoughts completely disappear and watch your hand and foot dance without any hesitation?

 

Lunge or Crescent lunge – Anjaneyasana

wide -legged stretch –

Wild thing –¬†Camatkarasana.

Wide -legged stretch

Standing Splits –¬†Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Chatturunga

Downward Dog –¬†Adho mukha ŇõvńĀnńĀsana

 

Practice is Everything

It’s called a practice because it’s not perfect.

yoga pic, practice not perfect

 

The other day I put up a photo of my meal prep Sunday. My caption said, “If I can do it, you can do it.”

Some friends of mine made fun of me. That I was nuts to not only think this, but to¬†write it in a post. But what they don’t realize is that I literally couldn’t do many¬†of of these postures. I owe it to writers and photographers who have captured others’ practice and made books and articles available so we can continue to learn from each other. I owe it to teachers who are fearless in putting new and exciting challenges together that are outside the yoga practice box. And lastly, I owe it to my will for pushing my body &¬†my mind for listening and the trusting the bond between the three. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Mind Body Exchange, Baby.

The goal:

Hold Downward Dog and try to grab a hold of and bind alternate hand and foot. It seems utterly impossible at this moment. But, just like anything else.        You give it effort and it gives in.