WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

RECIPES


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I eat a lot of chicken. No, I will probably never go vegan. I enjoy chicken too much.

easy peasy 

Whenever I need to pull out a never fail, works like a charm sumthin’, sumthins’ out of my culinary hat, this is one of them.

All you need are a few basic things.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

  • Olive Oil – good quality
  • Lemons – several large ones
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper – cracked
  • Garlic – you decide how much, peeled cloves
  • Chicken Breasts – bone in

Personally, I can’t go very long without this in my spice rack.


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As the world’s most traded spice, clearly I’m not the  only one. I use this in just about everything, but get what brand works for you boo.

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“Instead of going out to dinner, buy good food. Cooking at home shows such affection” – Ina Garten

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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash each chicken breast well, dry them, and trim some of the skins.

Season well with salt & cracked black pepper.

In a glass baking dish drizzle olive oil in the bottom and arrange garlic cloves. Bake for 10 minutes. (After this, your neighbors from upstairs will start texting you wanting to know if they can come down for dinner.)

Take baking dish out, add the chicken, skin side down, squeeze the juice of two, (2) lemons over and return to oven for 10 minutes.

Turn chicken, arrange on top of the garlic cloves, and season with more lemon juice,  and pepper.

Grate lemon peel over top.

Bake for an additional 30- 35 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Baste from time to time. Show some affection.

Be sure to drizzle a little of the pan juices over top of each while they are resting as well.

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Clean, natural, and healthy. All the things you could ever want on a plate.

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email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com 

THE CITY DWELLER WORKOUT

WORKOUT IDEAS


Do you feel wiped out when you get home and just collapse on the sofa? Urban living certainly has its challenges. Hiking around the cityscape day to day requires endurance and stamina. Wether it’s that mad dash for the bus or the hike up the stairs with groceries because the elevator is stuck again, urban life can seem pressured and non stop.


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But we love it, that’s why we live here.

Below is not so much a full workout, but ideas to incorporate into your existing routines. Ways to up the ante a little. ✔

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Plyometrics


Also known as “jump training”, incorporating plyometric exercises is almost garanteed to help build the strength and speed needed to navigate the urban jungle. (Or a weekend hike).

Get ready to jump


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First, start by warming up with a few sets of body squats. 2 sets of 10

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Keeping your core tight push off and land squarely on both feet. 3 sets of 10.

Explosive power is what your building.


Get a Grip

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Often times getting creative with workouts simply involves changing the grip your using while performing an exercise. Some basic grips most oftenly used are:

  • Overhand
  • Underhand
  • Close grip
  • Wide grip

Baby got back

If you want an impressive set of “wings” switch your grips in the same workout to target the whole back.

Here are two (2) exercises to help strength the back and build the lean muscle needed to help propel you through this world.

  • The Lat Pull 
  • The V-Bar Pull

The Lat Pull is a standard, all-around, go-to exercise for building upper body strength. Above is the short grip. Position your arms shoulder width apart. 3 sets of 12 – 15

Muscle Group – Latissimus Dorsi

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A wide grip (above) works the inner lats, while a short grip helps to build the outer lats.

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⬆The V – Bar Pull is a mass building staple. Working the inner muscles of the back called the Rhomboids, as well as the lats, this move is also working your biceps.


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It isn’t a jungle in here. This is your sanctuary. This space is where you come to escape the grind.

Utilize it. Think outside the box.

While you have the V – Bar in hand, stand with feet shoulder width apart and switch to working your abdominals.


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The truth about abs is this: Everyone has them. It’s the layer of fat on top that keeps them hidden. Endlessly doing crunches is not the key. Watching what you eat and performing 3 sets of 15 repetitions 

slow and controlled is.

The science of grips applies to your #bicepblowout too. Using your Lat bar, alternate between a short grip and a wide grip:

Muscle Group – Biceps Inner/Outer

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Why? Stimulating the muscles from different angles helps promote hypertrophy, or muscle growth. 

Tip Using an overhand grip here (not shown) will target the forearms. Think Popeye the Sailor Man.

SUPER SET 


The concept of a superset is simple. Maximize your time and your efforts. Working opposing muscle groups,  (“push/pull”) is an effective method for building size as well. Utilizing a Machine Chest Press is a an excellent opportunity to build the back and the chest simultaneously. Rest periods should be little to none during a superset combo.

Muscle Groups – Pectorals/Rhomboids/Deltoids

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When using the Chest Press for the back adjusting it allows for either a full range of motion or partial. The debate about machines continues. Perhaps the critics haven’t learned to get creative. When it comes to sets and reps choose from any number:

  • 12, 10, 10, 8
  • 10, 10, 10
  • 10, 8, 8
  • 5 sets of 5
  • 10, 8, 8, 6

You get the picture? Switch things up. Muscle confusion, man!

Add 3 sets on the Chest Press next while your at it.

Variations on a theme

Dips are a mass building exercise that can be done just about anywhere. Home, gym, office.

Muscle Group – Triceps/Deltoids

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If you can’t fit on the railings, or don’t feel like moving the bench, or simple can’t get downstairs….

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…push two chairs together in the comfort of your home.

If you chose the railings, stay there and add stair step climbs to your routine. Start with 1 step intervals then graduate to two. Eventually, your quads and glutes will thank you for it.

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Muscle Group – Quadriceps/Gluteus Maximus ⬆

Time to stretch. Static stretches, or stretches held for an extended period of time are good at this point.

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Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Repeat 2 – 3 times while your iPod is stuck on replay-ay-ay.

Tip Focus on holding your core tight and on your breathing. Your stretching the Quads, Hamstrings, and Back here.


And of course don’t forget your core. But how do you take a basic plank and change it up?

 

Muscle Groups – Abdominals/Obliques

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Keep your core tight, twist each knee to the right and left, hold each pose for a 5 count. Perform as many as you can.

Again, these are variations to add into your existing routines. By simply changing the grip and the rep counts, you’ll continue to think outside the box and above all else…

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Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com 

MORE GYM HISTORY

ORIGINS


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The ancient Greeks were a fascinating society. Among numerous reasons, their appreciation of the human form was, and to some, (myself included) still unparrelled.

Part I of my eBook series Inventing Fitness,  Amazon.com begins with the origins of physical fitness universally credited with the ancient Greeks.

“Within the ancient Greek society a fit body represented a fit mind. Exercise was no fad, but Civic duty and gymnasiums institutions of higher learning”


Gym life

No need to get your wallets out, these public buildings were funded by the state, and overseen by Gymnasiarchs. Today we call them General Managers, however, in antiquity they were much more and served in these positions with great honor. As a young boy progressed in age so did his level of training and education. Discipline was essential in the formauon of a future citizen, a soldier, a future leader.

Gym talk

In our 21st century clubs we tend to follow an unwritten rule of avoiding certain topics and conversations, and go about our routines keeping to ourselves. 2500 years ago after generations of legends, young men began to focus on logic, morals, and ethics. They came to discuss important matters and what was on their minds.

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Around the world

  • Basque – Gymnasion
  • Danish – Gym
  • Dutch – Sportschool
  • French – Gym
  • German – Fitnessstudio
  • Italian – Palestra
  • Lithuanian – Sports sale
  • Portugese – Academia
  • Turkish – Jimnastik
  • Swahili – Mazoezi

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FADS’, TRENDS’, & BROSCIENCE

FITNESS & EXERCISE


“It is what it is”

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I’ll make this easy so you don’t have to scroll too much. Fads’, Trends’ and Broscience are exactly that…..Fads’, Trends’, and Broscience. I once read a comment from a bro that basically made fun of people who always use definition’s.

Whatever.

I was under the impression, (and have been for some time,) we all needed a little more textbook fact these days.

But I digress.

  • Broscience is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of jacked dudes are considered more credible than scientific research.
  • Fad an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something. Especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the objects qualities; a craze.
  • Trend a general direction in which something is developing or changing.

Oh snap. Yes I did go there. You see, there are two very important words in that first definition which are, “….scientific research”. 

The Takeway

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Every last one of our bodies and metabolisms are different. We are unique in that sense. Our genetics play a part. Our ages. Our lifestyles. All of it plays a part. What one person responds to is quite different than the other. But confusing tried-and-true methods and research, or avoiding them all together, with the latest fad’s, trends’, and broscience, only leads to unnecessary frustration, anxiety and confusion. Just because your workout partner responded to something doesn’t mean you will too. And vice versa. That’s not to say you shouldn’t stray outside of the proverbial box every now and then. You should. Throw in an extra set and some reps. Make a variation on something. Take it to the next level.

Achieving results takes due diligence, dedication, and sweat. Establishing long term goals, researching and then committing to them requires work.

Are you ready to put in the work?

jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

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MILITARY MONDAY

BOOT CAMP STYLE


YOU WANT MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY? How’s this?

You wanna get fit? You wanna get ripped? You wanna shed fat?

Get off your ass recruit!

DROP AND GIVE ME 20!


Okay, so you’ve​ had your morning mocha frappa whateverthehell. You get to work late, because you can. You spend 40 minutes scrolling through your Instafeed seeing what everyone did this weekend before you finally look at your work desktop to check what? WORK? Go figure.

(At around 4:30am they tossed the trash can down the barracks and that’s how we started the day, by the way.) 

You have a long day ahead of you. So what, join the ranks of everyone else in the world. Incidentally, no, everyone’s​ life isn’t la di da like on social media.) Are you hung over? Sucks to be you. Better grab some water.

 


LISTEN UP

You found the time to go to the game. You found the time to go to the wine tasting. You had to find the time to come to work. And YOUR GOING TO FIND THE TIME TO WORKOUT. Period. No excuses.

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Priorities, right? The take away here is the at you make time to do the things that matter. Yes, recruit, that’s right. You do. So instead of happy hour today your going to go for that turn on the elliptical. Your going to try to do those 20 pushups. Your not going to care what everyone else in the gym thinks because your all in the same boat…. right?

RIGHT!

Now, go…do it….

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“GO BIG……”

WORKOUT IDEAS

ROUTINES

Perhaps your apartment/condo fitness room has a little more than most to work with but still doesn’t give you the feeling of a huge box gym with a branded name full of copious amounts of equipment.

So what. You can still get your workout on.

This routine is designed on the “push/pull” theory, as well as to target as many muscle groups as possible. Push/Pull revolves around working with exercises involving one set of motions. For “Push” say, Chest & Triceps, and for “Pull” like those for Back & Biceps. Training can be divided throughout the week or incorporated into one workout to save on time.

Summary

WORKOUT: UPPER BODY

GOAL: BUILD MUSCLE

LEVEL: BEGINNER – INTERMEDIATE

DETAILS: 

  • 10 – 12 rep range
  • 3 working sets w/warmup sets
  • Allow at least 48 hours rest in between

ESSENTIALS:

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  • Commitment
  • Determination
  • Intensity

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STANDING DUMBBELL FRONT RAISES – ALTERNATING 

MUSCLE GROUP – DELTOIDS

1 – 2 Warmup Sets (lighter weight)

3 Sets of 10 – 12

Beginning with feet shoulder width apart, keep core tight and back straight. Dumbbells should be at sides and with controlled form raise them until parallel with floor. Option 2 Use the cable station. The debate rages on about cables. Why? Not sure. They provide constant tension, help with imbalances, and are great if your beginning.

1. a & b

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“You want me to do something….tell me I can’t do it” ~ Maya Angelou 

1. c

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Side Delt Raises 

MUSCLE GROUP – DELTOIDS 

1. d

OVERHEAD DUMBBELL PRESS 

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Here are two (2) starting positions. When you begin with dumbells in front and palms facing towards you rotate back then push up. This works the entire shoulder. (We’re aiming for Boulder Shoulders here)

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 PULL UPS – UNASSISTED

MUSCLE GROUP – BACK 

3 sets of as many as possible


Body weight exercises such as pull ups continue to be a never fail, go-to move for building pure strength and lean muscle. Incorporate them into any workout often and watch those lats pop.


DUMBBELL INCLINE PRESS

MUSCLE GROUP – CHEST

3 Sets of 10 – 12

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Tip:In the starting position rest the dumbbells on your quads. Push off with each knee. – And when finishing bring them to rest here again.  A. No one likes a weight dropper, so please do not toss them so you can hashtag beastmode. B. Proper form is right up there with nutrition.

It’s key.

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DUMBBELL BENT OVER ROWS 

MUSCLE GROUP – BACK

3 Sets of 10 – 12 


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INCLINE DUMBBELL BICEP CURLS 

MUSCLE GROUP – BICEP BRACHI

3 Sets of 10 – 12

Bi, meaning two (2), there are two heads to the biceps. The long and the short. Position the bench at a 45 to 60 degree angle. Adding an angle helps create more tension stimulating the long head of the bicep, as well as helps correct imbalances, such as hunching the shoulders forward common with barbell curls.

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HAMMER CURLS


ELEVATED DECLINE PUSHUPS

MUSCLE GROUP – CHEST

3 Sets of 10 – 12

A chiseled chest is always attainable with a “where there’s a will there’s a way” mind set.

Really.

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After a good #bicepblowout take the dumbbells and position them under you in the pushup position.


INCLINE CABLE FLIES

MUSCLE GROUP – PECTORALS

3 Sets of 10 – 12

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Muscles grow after we workout, tear them down, rest and allow them to repair. Here, towards the end of your workout on your third (3) set shoot for as many reps as you can. Some call it “until failire”. I do not. I call it “until exhaustion”. What ever you want to call it, push yourself.

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For questions, ideas, and more variations please feel free to contact me:  jwilliamstrains@gmail.com