Going Up – Taking The Stairs

 

stairs

Start Small and Work Your Way Up

The average office worker/professional spends 70% of their day seated. The average american spends 13 hours a day seated and 8 hours a day sleeping.

Do the math.

Personally, I cannot sit for long periods of time. It drives me nuts.

Americans are becoming an increasingly sedentary population. Juststand.org calls it “Sitting Disease,” A term coined by the scientific community, used when referring to metabolic syndrome and the ill effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.”

In other words – it’s legit.

So why take a flight of stairs every once in awhile? Your Quads and Glutes will thank you. And yes, you will feel better.

stairs

Goal Setting

Okay, so maybe leg day at the gym isn’t your thing. Yet. And maybe the stairwell isn’t the most glamorous of places. 2018 is all about getting back to the basics, and more often than not, the smallest changes can make some of the biggest differences.

Make the change.

stairs

Low Impact 

Is it still exercise? Yes, it is. Stair climbing is considered  low impact exercise, or those exercises designed to put little or no harmful stress on the body. And while stair climbing has been declared an organized sport, unless you are trying to set the next Guinness Book of Records record, start small and work your way up.

Literally.

Start with a flight or two per day.

stairs

Benefit

It’s free. If a personal trainer is not in your budget yet then be your own trainer.

stairs

Keep Going

Work up to taking two at a time. This will put even more emphasis on the Quads. Hold on to the railing for balance and focus on keeping the core tight. Yo booty, too. Feel the gluteous maximus engaged.

Before long you’ll have more pep in your step and finish a flight in no time.

stairs

stairs

Who says exercise isn’t free?

Fact World record stair climb

“The greatest vertical height climbing stairs in 12 hours is 13, 145 m (43, 128 ft 8in) and achieved by Christian Riedl (Germany) climbing Tower 185 in Frankfurt, Germany, on 28 September 2014.

Riedl made 71 ascents with each ascent comprising of 988 steps.”

stairs

Like I say, start small and work your way up.

6 AM – 8PM Monday – Saturday

By Appointment

email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

“If you get, give. If you learn, teach”Maya Angelou

Progressive Overload

Raising the Bar ( How Much?)

At some point, after getting started lifting, everyone wonders when to up the ante. After all, we aren’t going through the motions for the sake of it – we want results. For those looking to build solid, lean muscle learning when to add weight is key for muscle hypertrophy. (Growth)

Raise

Sensei Says 

Building muscle requires a combination of variables, all fine-tuned and adapted to each of our metabolisms and body types, based around specific goals. Proper diet and nutrition, intervals, workout splits, and rest days, just to name a few. If I had to pick two of these to live by they would be a. protein intake b. progressive overload. For those who may question my choices, protein for the obvious – our bodies require it, and progressive overload because without providing constant tension, the muscles simply will not grow.

I remember the days when, after spending serious time in the gym and giving it my all, pushing out those last few reps and feeling proud of myself – someone would inevitably walk in and warm up with the weight I had just pushed that last set out with. Ego check.

Progessive

Check Your Ego At The Door

Forget the weekend warrior who tells you to, “go big or go home.” You, my friend, want actual results. Go bigger, but do it smartly.

Slow and steady wins the race.

NASM defines progressive overload as: “The Principle of Overload is that in order for a tissue (bone, tendon, ligament, etc.) to adapt to a demand, it must be progressively overloaded.) Sounds simple enough, right. Not really. The body has an amazing ability to adapt to what ever it is we are doing to it. Perhaps you have noticed those at the gym who seem to go through the same routines week after week. I make it a habit not to criticize others, especially when it comes to gym time – they are there and that speaks volumes. After all, “A little progress everyday adds up to big results.” At some point though, we want the muscles to grow.

So When Do I Add More Weight?!

Conventional training advice, which I still adhere to, recommends dding ten pounds to your working set once you can comfortably perform three sets. Three sets of ten repetitions with excellent that is. No jerking swinging, or yanking the weight. Now lets expand on that.

As we work out we make tiny tears in the muscle fibers. (micro-tears) Those tears heal themselves and the muscles grow.

Progressive

Gaining Muscle

The pumped look you get after a workout is one thing.  That’s  blood rushing to the muscle. That will go away. Dem tears tho, their another thing. When they heal they build new ones. And abracadabra, muscle.

Progressive

Giving the muscle a significant amount of time to adapt and then adding more weight is key for achieving results. Start small. Start with a 4 – 6 week plan. OR, when you can easily perform 3 sets of 10 reps with near perfect form then up the weight by 10lbs.

And remember,

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying breaks everyday”

6AM – 8PM Monday – Saturday

By Appointment

Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

“You must do the things you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Flair Out & Stretch Your Lats

Lats

I was told once way back when, as a lanky, ectomorph of a gym newbie by a yoked lifter, “If you want to show everyone up, just walk in and do 20 unassisted pull-ups before you workout.” I was on a serious mission and had he told me to stand on my head and whistle old lang syne I probably would have. None the less, “lat work” became a big part of my training. And still is. Over the years I’ve trained back several different ways. It has never been enough for me to “just do deadlifts.”

Wings

The latissimus dorsi muscles, or the “Lats,” are one of the widest muscles in the body and are commonly referred to as “the wings.” Triangular in shape, the lats flair our from either side of the upper spine along the scapula to the humerous, or upper arm, and down to the lumbar.  Swimmers, rock climbers, and bad-ass physique competitors all have lats worth a little envy.

Lats

Building a nice set of wings need not be an arduous task or futile. It simply requires a little fine tuning and getting out of the comfort zone of standard, cookie-cutter routines. As in daily life, making the smallest of changes can have the biggest impact. Alternate between these three exercises so baby can get some back.

Short Grip Lat Pull-Down

The Pull-down is a standard in any back workout. Switch the grip often and target the lats a more efficient way. Perform the exercise with hands slightly shoulder width apart.

Tip (switch it up) 

Lats

Wide Grip Lat Pull-Down

I incorporate the wide grip at the end of a workout using a high rep/low weight formula. My goal here is to exhaust the muscle. Grow baby, grow.

“When looking back doesn’t interest you anymore, you’re doing something right”

Bent Over Dumbbell Rows

Lats

Form is always the game-changer with any exercise as targeting the muscles correctly is the ultimate point. I equate it with a nutrition plan that’s on point. It also helps seperate the truly serious from the knuckleheads. Here, focus on keeping the elbows tucked in. Avoid letting them flair out.

And of course don’t forget bro-mans advice from earlier. Throw in as many unassisted pull ups as you can, whenever you can. Trust.

Lats

Balance and symmetry. Strength and agility. Get it right, get it tight.

6 AM8 PM Monday – Friday

By Appointment

jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

“The desire for symmetry, for balance, for rhythm in form as well as in sound, is one of the most inveterate of human instincts” – Edith Wharton 

Upright Cable Rows

Stand up straight

Symmetry is a hallmark of smart training. Known as “Mr. Symmetry” Frank Zane once said, “Understanding symmetry will help you achieve it and maximize your body’s potential.”

Z man is correct, however there are times when we get into the cycle of training what we want – all the time. No bueno. Before you go straight into “Sun’s-Out, Guns-Out” bicep day take a moment to assess what muscle groups will help fill out the bro tank and give you a defined and well rounded look.

Upright Cable Rows

Rows

“The desire for symmetry, for balance, for rhythm in form as well as in sound, is one of the most inveterate of human instincts.” – Edith Wharton

Rows

Unlike a barbell or pair of dumbbells which hang directly below you, the cable is out in front of you adding an angle to the motion. This will activate certain muscle groups differently, specifically, the teres minor and lateral deltoid. Boulder Shoulders.

Raising the bar

#1 Standing in the starting position with your the feet slightly shoulder width apart and firmly planted, grasp the attachment bar with knuckles facing forward.

Side note: Be sure to focus on two (2) thingsa. firm stance and b. a tight core.

#2 With a steady and controlled movement raise the bar until your hands are chin level and your elbows are raised slightly above the shoulders. Hold for 1 count, then lower to the starting position.

There is no need for whackadoodle modifications or variations here – it is a pretty straigthforward exercise. If you are a beginner, or even an intermediate lifter, start with a conventional routine and tailor it to help achieve your overall goal.

Someone looking to build more size may use a higher weight/lower rep range of 8 – 10, while someone looking to build leaner muscle would focus on a lower weight/higher rep range of say 12 – 15.

Rows

If you are a beginner start with a weight you can comfortably perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions while still able to execute very good form, and build from there.

Not exactly your everyday, garden variety exercise, upright rows are an excellent move to incorporate into any upper body strength building routine. Rome wasn’t built in a day. (But they were laying bricks every hour.)

For more ideas:

Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle