Plateau Shmateau

Everyone gets frustrated from time to time, everyone. It is a human emotion. When it comes to exercising and working out – after first plunging feet first with passion and verve – we begin to see the telltale signs of progress. The too-legit-to-quit kind of progress. Then it seems to level off, reach a stalemate. We ask ourselves, “Wth?”

Plateau

Ain’t gonna steal my thunder

Every trainer, fitness enthusiast and self proclaimed gymrat has their own special way of explaining things. Without using a great deal of complex, scientific mumbo jumbo, I will begin by saying the human body is complex. It also has an amazing ability to adapt to whatever it is we are doing to it. NASM describes something known as SAID, or Specific Adaptations of Imposed Demands. “….our body gets better and more efficient the more it is exposed to the same stimulus.”

Sheer determination

Legend Frank Zane once said, “A lot of guys have better genes but if you work hard and consistently, you can outperform them.” Never one to enjoy being stuck  – nor do I know anyone that does – and also knowing the signs, once I feel like my progress begins to stall I consult my fitness rolodex to shake things up.

Shake it off

Tip one: Keep things simple. Sometimes the most basic of methods can be the most effective. Changing variables can be as easy as reversing the order of the exercises in your current routine. Structure and routine are good, however doing the same reps, for the same exercises, week after month gets dull – and your muscles think so too.

I am also a strong proponent of “muscle confusion”. YES, there is debate on this too. It seems everything is up for debate however this isn’t a soap box, it’s a place to try and share practical advice.

Whether it be my own workouts or a clients, I try to constantly target the muscles from different angles. Again, this can be as easy as adjusting a grip, a bench angle, or standing vs sitting. Once you master proper form – ramp it up.

To show how much things change, my very first exam instructed future trainers to not lecture, or suggest to clients what to eat. I am going to leave this one alone other than saying I’ve always believed diet and nutrition is crucial – and still do.

With some outside the-box-creativity combined with an eye-on-the-prize mentality, you’ll get over the plateaus, revitalize your workouts, and move forward.

6AM – 8PM Monday – Friday

By Appointment

 

Bicep Blowout

Bicep brachii

Let’s keep it 💯 who doesn’t want an impressive set of pythons stretching out their shirt sleeves? Like abdominals, biceps are one of the most recognized, focused on, and trained muscle groups. The universal sign of, “I workout.”

Ironic, since they are a relatively small group compared to the triceps – which make up two-thirds of the upper arm, so this isn’t just about the Bi’s. Over all development is important.

Poppin’ Bottles? Poppin’ Sleeves!

You may feel like Bruce Banner at the office, but think Hulk at the gym. Twice a day workouts can be effective for stubborn muscles as well as for busting through the inevitable plateau. Fellow ectomorphs unite.

Pick a day where you have plenty of time – a day off – to allocate at least 6 – 8 hours in between each session. I also recommend training one muscle group like this at a time.

1. BARBELL BICEP CURLS

Sets 3/Reps 12, 10, 10

If you do not have a Barbell use a bar attachment on the cable station.

Bicep

2. REVERSE GRIP TRICEP EXTENSIONS

Sets 3/Reps 10, 10, 10 

3. DUMBBELL HAMMER CURLS

Performing these slowly and steady with eyes straight ahead, you’ll feel like Thor.

Sets 4/Reps 10, 10, 10, 10

4. V-BAR PUSHDOWN 

A mass gaining requirement.

12, 10, 10 

SUPERSET

5. CONCENTRATION CURLS 

Sets 3/Reps 12, 10, 10

6. CABLE TRICEP ROPE EXTENSION

No one likes to feel isolated – except triceps.

Sets 3/Reps 12, 10, 10 

Bicep

Finish

7. PREACHER CURL MARINE DROP

I was first shown this a few years back by a former Marine and personal trainer with some serious bicep envy. I’ve never heard anyone show me anything similar, or call it different, so I call it “The Marine Drop.” It is one heckuva way to finish a workout.

Bicep

The pump is real

 

Bicep

Get your stopwatch ready for strick 30 second rest periods in between each set. As he instructed me, pick a weight with which you can easily perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Starting a set of 10, rest for 30 seconds, perform 9 reps and rest for 30 seconds, repeat down to 5 reps.

You’ll be stoked and probably want to keep working out. Do not. You need to load up on protein and recovery because your going to do it again in just a few hours.

Contact

6AM – 8PM Monday – Saturday

By Appointment

 

Go Big

WORKOUT IDEAS

Building muscle is the name of this game. 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:

Muscle

  • Commitment
  • Determination
  • Intensity

Muscle


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

Muscle


Muscle


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

1. c

Muscle

Side Delt Raises 

MUSCLE GROUP – DELTOIDS 

1. d

OVERHEAD DUMBBELL PRESS 

Muscle

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)

Muscle


Muscle


 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

Muscle

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.

Muscle


Muscle


DUMBBELL BENT OVER ROWS 

MUSCLE GROUP – BACK

3 Sets of 10 – 12 


Muscle

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.

Muscle

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.

Muscle

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

Muscle

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 failure”. I do not. I call it “until exhaustion”. What ever you want to call it, push yourself.

Muscle