Deborah is not a competitive figure/fitness type, but stays in great condition year round. I’m trying to convince her she should compete! Here’s a chest/back day I did with her recently. Some areas of form to improve on, but she’s getting there for sure:
There’s a lot of fancy programs out there these days, some good, most terrible. Some based on solid science and experience of those who know what they are talking about and have the creds to do so, some based on fantasy and “bro science.”
Nothing, regardless of the program, replaces hard work. A well thought out program will balance the variables of loading, volume, etc, etc. Some of my thoughts on that, as well as other authors thoughts on the topic, can be found here on the BrinkZone, so I will not rehash that here.
As a general rule, I think simple is best. Some times the most effective programs, are the simplest programs. People think complex = more effective. Most of the time, it just = more complex, while the guy who just plugs away on hard work doing squats, deads, etc, is making the real progress in strength, muscle mass, and so forth.
Of course, it depends on your goals. Different goals require different training methodology, and that’s a given. OK, back to why I’m posting this blog.
In my opinion, regardless of the program or the goals, one should also understand being strong/staying strong, is also important. Obviously, various factors like age, injuries, goals, experience levels, and so forth, all have to be taken into account, but bottom line is, within the context of those factors, it’s important to attempt to be strong. There’s no place in life where one can be too strong.
“why haven’t you heard about this yet?” and that is exactly how I feel about Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program for raw strength. I can see how it’s probably far less intimidating to go with whatever everyone else is doing, like the latest bikini body in 30-days program, Zumba/Kickboxing class/Yoga class (all in one now!) , P-90X, or the latest Jillian Micheal’s DVD because your neighbor (I’m not your neighbor), BFF, co-worker, etc did it and so why can’t you? You might be the same person who thinks a powerlifting program like 5/3/1 is only for powerlifters, but it isn’t. The way this program is written (simple), everyone from the relative beginner to an experienced lifter can bust through a training plateau (we’ve all been there), set new personal records, and get a whole lot stronger… man or woma
Busy professionals like us have a laundry list of excuses of why we are justified in abandoning our fitness goals while on travel, and some of them are actually pretty good! But, for the most part, it really isn’t all that hard to make it work. I wrote a piece earlier on eating right on the road here: but I wanted to share some real life experiences from clients, fellow gym-enthusiasts, and professional competitors on tips they have used to make it to the gym, while on the road.
1) Even if your hotel gym sucks, get to it, and put in your sets and reps. A strong male client of mine commented while he was on travel: “I’m jet lagged, the hotel gym sucks, and the heaviest DBs I can find weigh only 60 lbs, but I’m making it work.” Moral: Even with the lousiest tools, you can still “make it work.” Be creative: superset, bump up your reps, keep your heart rate up and keep your rest periods short, do challenging body weight exercises when possible.
2) Do your research and plan ahead. I know clients who look into what kind of gym their hotel has even before they look into the local weather. If you like what you see, great. If you don’t and you crave more, look beyond for a bigger gym. The internet is your friend. I know of a professional powerlifter who travels extensively and manages to keep up with his lifting program, 4 days a week, no matter where he travels. Powerlifting watch has an excellent gym locator link: here Some gyms will sell weekly passes or daily passes, so ask to speak to the manager and see what kind of deal you can get. Plan ahead if you’ve got some really big barbell needs, as most hotels won’t appreciate you deadlifting their treadmills and benching hotel guests.
Will wrote a piece on Why Your Workouts Suck http://www.brinkzone.com/strength-training/why-your-workouts-suck/#more-862 and I thought I’d go on a bit further because with all the other possible things that might suck in your life (traffic, frizzy hair, the electricity bill, your dog’s farts—and yes those are my problems), your workout ought not to suck. Part of my mission in this blog is to help the newbie pave the trail from the couch to the squat rack, but the path can be confusing, and is littered with sucky advice. So, what are some of the things you can do to avoid a sucky workout, other than the things that Will has already pointed out?
I have to admit I had a couple of doubts about writing this piece, but I figure my 3 year old is too young to read this just yet, and by the time she is able to do so, I would have done at least a million things far more embarrassing.
Among the many, many positive side effects of picking up some heavy metal and pounding the weights is that it can boost your libido, and tremendously.
Feeling strong and looking strong is sexy.
Everyone, man or woman, wants to look and FEEL great naked. If you’ve never thought that picking up a barbell or stroking the steel in the power cage could be fiercely sexy and empowering, maybe you should give it a try.
Per a prior vid using some of the same tools (TRX), I decided to do a new vid with more details on how to get an effective workout at home using simple tools, such as a TRX Trainer, SandBags, etc. For me, this type of workout is more a supplement to what I do in the gym, outside, etc, but it’s a perfectly good workout for many, depending on your goals, etc. People are always looking for new whiz bang fancy program or piece of equipment, etc when they can get a better workout using a simple program using these tools.
If you want more information on TRX, sandbags, etc, see the Recommended Products section of the site.
The Importance Of Proper Program Design A.K.A “Why Your Workouts Sucks!”
This vid is a general commentary on the macro reasons people fail to make progress in the gym. Various articles here on the BrinkZone, such as The Mistake of Linear Program Design and Study Shows Best Way To Train? by yours truly – and other authors – go into more depth and detail on topics such as the importance of periodization, de-loading, etc. My ebooks also go into depth on how to optimize training to get the results you want by avoiding the major mistakes most people make in their program design, if they have any real design to begin with…
I’ll admit, I’m not your typical girly girl. My knees are scarred up from old (really old) soccer or track falls, I’ve got bruises on my legs from an occasional multiple bangs in the power rack, my hands are calloused from not wearing gloves or wrist straps, I hate getting my hair done, Metallica is my favorite band, and I really, really hate shopping. I also love lifting heavy weights, the way my heart pumps HARD after a set of deadlifts, the little rush of fear that I get when I stand under a barbell with enough weight that would probably crush me. But my love of lifting doesn’t make me less of a woman, in fact it makes me more of one. So, how do you get off the couch, or out of the group fitness room, and into the weight room? How can I convince you to take that leap of faith?
Been getting a fair number of questions from women who have no donk, no butt, lack O booty syndrome! If you have a nice round butt you are happy with, this aint the vid for you. If you have a flat backside, and it’s not a naturally good bodypart for you, this vid is directed at you…