REST DAYS

PROGRESS


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Truth be told

If you do not workout more than 4 times per week this post probably isn’t for you.

The goal for most avid gym dwellers, gym rats, serious lifters, and amateur physique competitor’s, (at least the majority that I know) is muscle growth and development.

It’s called hypertrophy.

  • hypertrophy  the growth and increase in size of skeletal muscle through a growth in size of it’s components cells. 

Sound like a lot? Meh, itjust means your muscle are getting bigger through doing activities like weightlifting. Without getting too scientific, there is something called progressive overload. Increasing weight means increasing strength. Increasing strength in turn, increases muscle mass.

Intensity

Starting out, many of us ferociously hit the weights with a determination like few. We hit it hard and for many, results come quickly.

Quite often, especially in our youth, we take for granted our youth, and our bodies ability to adapt. We can go longer and harder and with more intensity. Our bodies respond and handle these self-induced beastmodes well. But youthfulness aside, everyone hits a plateau, slows their roll, or simply gets fatigued .

Enter the “rest day”.

Lot’s of Rest = Superior Workouts

Break it down

While we are curling, benching, shrugging, and squating we are make tiny tears in our muscle fibers. “Micro tears”. Shredding them really, utilizing Type I and Type II fibers. The workout or activity dictates which ones are being activated. If you’ve ever had a really good workout, (I mean truly beastmode) with your trainer, workout partner, or on your own, and your sore 2 days later this would be a prime example of that shredding.

The body then instinctively rushes in to repair those muscles, with the help of us replenishing needed protein, vitamins, and minerals, and the muscles grow. How does taking time off from working out play a part? Well, in layman’s terms, if you are constantly tearing down the muscles but not giving them time to repair and grow, at some point you’ll reach a plataeu and you’ll stop seeing dem gainz kid.


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Central Nervous System

Forget about all that pre-workout and caffeine, overtime the exertion required to “go big” takes its toll on the brain. Let’s say you’ve got one of those jobs that you absolutely dread showing up to, and when you do all you think about is “lifting”:

a. props for making the gym a part of your life.

b. think about finding another work place environment.

The human body doesn’t compartmentalize between physical and mental stress. It all builds up and manifests itself with the tell-tale signs:

  • Moodiness/irritability
  • Constant soreness
  • Lagging performance levels
  • Injuries
  • Headaches

Quick Takeaway

How much rest a person needs is absolutely dependent on how intense, frequent, and what volume a person’s training schedule has. In weightlifting for example, conventional wisdom has dictated allowing 24 – 48 hours rest in between working the same muscle group. (Scratching head) Then next month someone promotes 72 hours minimum. The fitness is an ever changing industry and there are “new discoveries” all the time. I am a strong proponent of the “Push/Pull” method. A typically schedule may look something like this:

  • Monday – Chest/Triceps
  • Tuesday – Back/Biceps
  • Wednesday – Legs/Abs
  • Thursday – OFF 
  • Friday – OFF

This is one of many splits, however I chose this one because the two (2) rest days in a row are after three (3) consecutive days of heavy lifting. High volume and heavy weight.

If exercise is a mainstay in your life, seriously, you get double props from me. ✊If you are experiencing any symptoms mentioned above though, or lagging in the gains department, think about your rest days. When you place them. How many you take.

 

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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YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT pt I

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Exercise alone isn’t enough to shed fat and build muscle. There is an unofficial official rule (yes, another rule to follow in the world) throughout the fitness industry called, “the 80/20 rule.”

But more on that in a bit.

The foods we eat say a lot about who we are. Our cultures, lifestyles, tastes and habits. Food is a basic necessity of life. Here, in the United States we have influences from all around the world. We’re lucky like that.

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food” – George Bernard Shaw

COUNTING MACROS


What is a macronutrient?

mac • ro • nu • tri • ent

  • a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, in particular.
  • a type of food (i.e. fat, protein, carbohydrates) required in large amounts in the human diet.

PROTEIN


Protein is considered the main building block for muscle, bones, skin, tissue and most everything in the body. After consuming it, the body breaks it down into amino acids which fuel all the aforementioned, as well the immune system. The more you put in the more the body has to work with.

HOW MUCH


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That depends on your size and your goals. In the definition above it states, “in large amounts.” However, to simply things, the general rule accepted is to aim for one (1) gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Sound like a lot? It is. Can it be done? You bet.

Highlighted below are bonafide protein sources garanteed to boost your efforts….twofold. Some are tried and true, some are on the “say what” side of the list. “Abs are made in the kitchen” they say, so get your whisks and your measuring spoons out. It’s time to protein up.

The Skinny

Eggs – Why? Eggs are considered the perfect protein source. One medium to large egg contains 4 – 6 high quality grams. Harb boiled, scrambled, or over easy, they are budget friendly and extremely versatile.

– The french eat have a penchant for eating omlettes at dinner with a little fines herbes. Tres chic! 

Turkey – Gobble Gobble. Lean, lean, and ever so lean, turkey continues to be near the top of the list.

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Fuggedabout the Thanksgiving trimmings you normally have with it, (like green bean casserole) turkey is lower in fat than the other meats and, as of this writing, remains relatively inexpensive.

Chicken – Boneless/skinless or a beautifully roasted breast, chicken can be prepared so many different ways how could anyone get bored with it. Like the jingle says, “We’re having chicken tonight, yes chicken tonight.” 

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One large chicken breast has close to 22 grams of protein.

Peanut Butter – Creamy or chunky, PB is an excellent source and couldn’t be easier to consume for those who don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen. You just stick the spoon in and voila!

– A St. Louis businessman named George Bayle first sold peanut butter as a snack in 1894. 

Chocolate Milk – Yup. But go for low-fat. Chocolate milk helps to replenish glycogen stores directly after a hard workout. It has been said it especially good for the ladies. There you go.

Cottage Cheese – A bodybuilders staple, cottage cheese is full of casein, a slow digesting protein, which makes it good to eat before a fasted period like sleeping. With high amounts in a typical serving, cottage cheese is affordable and goes well with a ton of stuff. (Like fruit)

The Takeaway

Slamming stacks and pumping iron is the first step. However, if you want to make all those sessions really pay off and pack on the muscles, pack the shopping cart with the fuel your body needs.

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Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

 

 

 

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