The City Dweller

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

Grip

Keep you’re grip on things. Below is not so much a full workout, but ideas to incorporate into your existing routines. Ways to up the ante a bit.

Grip

Plyometrics 

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

Get ready to jump

Grip

Begin by warming up with a few sets of body squats. 2 sets of 10

Grip

Keeping your core tight, push off making sure to land squarely on both feet. 3 sets of 10.

Explosive power is what your building.

Get a Grip

Grip

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 GroupLatissimus Dorsi

Grip

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

Grip

⬆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.


Grip

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.


Grip

The truth about abs is this: Everyone has them. But why can’t we see 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 is. 

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 GroupBiceps Inner/Outer

Grip

Why? Stimulating the muscles from different angles helps promote hypertrophy, – 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 GroupsPectorals/Rhomboids/Deltoids

Grip

Grip

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.

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 GroupTriceps/Deltoids

Grip

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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.

Grip

Muscle GroupQuadriceps/Gluteus Maximus

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

Grip

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.


And, last but def not least, don’t forget your core. But how do you take a basic plank and change it up?

Muscle GroupsAbdominals/Obliques

Grip

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. 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.

6AM – 8PM Monday – Saturday

By Appointment

Anatomy of a Workout 101

GYM TIME


“Sweat plus sacrifice equals success”

With all the fads, trends, and broscience out there these days, it can be very confusing trying to design an effective workout regimine. On one hand, I always say routines are not a one-size-fits-all. On the other, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. That being said, you’ve made up your mind and your ready to sweat. Now you need a simple plan of action.

This is meant as a quick overview for getting started. If you already rock it out in the gym….props to you. Keep going.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started”

Anatomy

I. WARM UP

All workouts need a short period of warming up. Look at this portion of your workout the way you do your treasured automobile. In the winter, you turn it on and let it run for a bit, all the while gently wiping any fingerprints from the dash.

Why?

Besides getting your metabolism going and circulating blood and oxygen, warming up properly helps the respitory system get ready for what is to come. Keep it somewhere between  5 – 10minutes.

A little dynamic stretching at this point is good as well. Those being stretches that are quick, ideal for getting blood pumping, and geared specifically toward the muscle groups being worked.

II. BODY 

Depending on your routine allot a specific amount of time for the entire workout, including time for rests in between sets. And stick too it. If it sounds too complicated, think about first learning to ride a bike.  (Insert ironic selfie)

Say, for example your working the back. Below is known as a pyramid, typically used in a mass building phase.

Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

  • Warm up Set x 8 – 10
  • Set I (12 reps)
  • Set II (10 reps)
  • Set III (10 reps)
  • Set IV (8 reps) 

Leave 1 to 1-1/2 minutes in between sets for rest. Tip Watch out – scrolling through your newsfeed will seriously derail your concentration and turn that minute and a half into 10. With a quickness.

Workouts should be structured. You made it into the gym and that’s awesome. Now, make your time in it count. Aimlessly going from one thing to the next with no clear idea only hinders progress.

Take a moment to plan out your weekly routines based on what your ultimate goal is. Decide how the week will go ahead of time.

Sample Week 1

  • Monday – Chest
  • Tuesday – Legs/Abs
  • Wednesday – Back
  • Thursday -Shoulders/Abs
  • Friday – Biceps/Triceps (Yeah, Arm Day)
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Rest

This is known as your training split. Dividing your workouts by muscle group. Above is a basic “Push/Pull” with the mass gainer in mind.

It includes two (2) rest days assuming the other five (5) are spent truly hitting the weights.

III.COOL DOWN

Anatomy

The cool down period is just as important as the warmup. Save static type stretching for afterwards. Meant to elongate the muscles, these stretches help prevent lactid acid buildup and stiffness. True, “leg day” wasn’t a killer if your not a little sore a day or two later. Stretch anyway. Static stretches have been found to be most effective if held for a minimum of 40 seconds.

If your heavy on cardio and just performed an awesome H.I.I.T session – don’t just stop. We aren’t 747’s that can throw up spoilers.

Gradually reduce your speed until the last, 1 – 1/2 minutes are a slow walk. Take sips from that water bottle you’ve brought along. I require clients to bring one. It’s in the contract.

Then do your stretching.

Spring will start officially in a few weeks. Summertime fun after that. Get a head start on all of it.

Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

 

The Concrete Jungle

Jungle

Sky high

At the moment I live in a densely populated, frenetic metropolis. I call it, “The Concrete Jungle”, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon from expanding…..up.

jungle
noun
a situation or place of bewildering complexity or brutal competitiveness.

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The noise, crowds, smells, and all around chaos combine to fuel that brutal competitiveness. It takes strength to go about the daily grind day after day. Both physical and mental.

The proven benefits of regular exercise are numerous. Besides helping prevent obesity, illness and chronic conditions, regular exercise helps to keep us alert – mentally strong. For me, it’s lifting weights. For others it may be jogging or yoga.

The ancient Greeks are considered the inventors of organized fitness, and with whom I am completely fascinated with. They believed simply, that a strong body equalled a strong mind. And as such, are considered “The Thinkers.”

So like a lion in the Serengeti, be alert, be active…

Be strong.

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