Here’s my buddy Brian training with the Slayer Barbell at Gold’s Gym Natick MA, one of the best equipped gyms in the area. Some of the fun stuff you see in my vids used the gym like the Slayer Bar, Prowler Sled, Ultimate Sandbags, and others are mine and left for members to use.
When at the Arnold Classic, I’m always on the lookout for something new and interesting for training equipment, and this year didn’t disappoint. People can get a taste of what I got to see in my recent vid from from 2013 Arnold Classic. On the Expo floor, I saw The Kettle Clamp, which grabbed my attention and I investigated. Glad I did! The Kettle Clamp allows you to convert any dumbbell into a Kettlebell, but there’s FAR more that can be done with The Kettle Clamp.
To be honest, I’m not a big kettlebell person. Although I do use them semi regular, they are not a central part of my exercise programs. I could see however The Kettle Clamp would not only allow me to convert the dumbbells I have in my home gym into KBs, there was plenty of other benefits to having a pair of Kettle Clamps in my tool box. Here’s a recent workout I did using The Kettle Clamp:
In this workout, I do a GPP/conditioning workout in two blocks:
Pull ups and farmers walks
KB swings, grappler press, dead lifts using Fat Gripz
I took no time between exercises and tried to take less than a minute between rotations.
More info on The Kettle Clamp go HERE
ARNOLD CLASSIC 2013 Expo Highlights!
Here’s my vid from “The Arnold” as it’s referred to. Each year I try and focus on something a little different so people can get the real flavor of the show and its diversity of events.
I think this year it has a good selection people may not expect to see at The Arnold, plus my usual ‘favorite’ topics to video…
It’s not often I come across a new piece of training equipment that makes me say “I wanna try that!.” Most of what I see for “new” training equipment is either a rehashed concept, or more a novelty.
The Slayer Barbell is a new design that has merit, so I decided to get my hands on one and try it. I also left it at my gym for other members to use, and it’s quickly become one of the most popular training tools in the gym. Below is a vid I made with a few friends using the Slayer.
Although the “bread and butter” of this bar is arm training, one can do a surprising number of effective exercises with it in a very small footprint as well as a few specialty exercises, such as bridges. See an example of whole body training I did with fitness model Kelly HERE.
As with any training tool, it’s a tool in the tool box. Not going to change your life and make you “a mass monster in 20 days and give you a body of a God” or any such nonsense, but I think it makes a great addition to a home gym or commercial set up. There’s more that can be done with this bar then my simple vids shows.
The manufacturer is currently giving away a copy of my book The Sports Supplement Bible FREE with any purchase of a Slayer Bar for the month of February, so if you’ve been thinking of trying one, you’ll have my book to read! Hit HERE if interested
PS, they liked my video so much they asked permission to use it on their site, so you’ll see the above vid their too
Bridges: An Underrated and Underutilized Exercise
I’m often asked what’s a good exercise for the gluteus and hamstrings. Bridges are one of the most underrated and underutilized exercises for working those muscles. The bridge is an excellent exercise to isolate and strengthen the gluteus, hamstrings, core stability muscles, hip/lower back as well as improve spinal stabilization. Most people do this exercise without added resistance, but that’s a mistake (see “tip” below vid). Done with added resistance, there’s improved responses, as all muscles require added resistance (vs volume) to adapt and get stronger. And NO, they are not just for women!!!
Bridges are a highly functional exercise that can lead to both functional improvements as well as visual. For example, one practitioner of Brazilian jiu jitsu I know said “This is a key exercise for anyone who competes in jiu jitsu tournaments. Strong bridge makes all the difference in escaping. I work bridges hard.”
Bridges are an exercise that have both expected and unexpected benefits both functionally (for various sports) and visually, for bodybuilders, figure/fitness, or the average person looking shape up and strengthen the area. It’s also used for both rehab and prehab. Personally, I tend to incorporate it into lower body days. A typical workout might look like: front squats, RDLs, Bridges, and planks, or a workout I did the other day geared more toward conditioning/GPP/conditioning was a complex of:
Sand bag step ups
Slayer Barbell Bridges
High/low Prowler sprints
Did three circuits of the above then some planks and side planks. My butt was sore for days!
Tip: most people do bridges with body weight only as adding additional resistance comfortably is not always easy. The Slayer Barbell allows for as much added resistance as you could want in perfect comfort, which is one of many exercises this bar allows. If not using a Slayer, try putting a foam pad around an Olympic bar (so the bar does not dig into your hips), or try a plate across your lap, or a heavy medicine ball. None of those options are as comfortable and smooth as using the Slayer Barbell, but experiment with those options and see what works for you. As with any body weight only exercise, your own weight will only get you so far and added resistance will be needed for continued increases in strength, etc.
Note: if you want more information on Sandbags, Slayer Barbell, or Prowler sleds, go HERE and or use the search function (upper right hand corner of this site) to see more vids, articles, etc on them. They are “must have” training tools in my book.
Monica is a regular contributor to the BrinkZone. Her articles here cover the gambit of topics from fish oil, to successful aging, to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for men, and many other topics. I highly recommend readers take a look at her stuff if they have not already. If you read her materials here, you know she’s a rare intellect and why she’s hand picked by yours truly as a writer for The BrinkZone.
If you look at her pictures in her articles, you can see she puts as much effort into her workouts and body as she does her well researched articles. I was recently in southern FL for business, and met up with her at World Gym Fort Lauderdale, where we did a quick upper body workout. I’m sure none of you will complain I’m not in this short training vid
Versatility of the Slayer Barbell
In my prior post and video with the Slayer Barbell I focused on arm training, the “bread and butter” of this bar. However, as this latest video shows, it’s a very versatile piece of equipment for home or commercial gym use. This whole body program I did with figure competitor and model Kelly Anne DeCollibus shows this to be an effective piece of equipment that has a very small foot print. A workout like this can be done in minimum space and easily finished in under and hour depending on the pace you keep and number off sets of each exercise you perform. It’s going to hit all major muscle groups and allow for a wide variety of workouts.
One can do it as circuits, complexes, or straight sets, depending on goals. Beginners might do one set of each exercise 2-3 times per week, while more advanced trainers might do 3 sets per exercise while increasing the weight, and or reps, as they progress. One could also do the lower body workout one day, followed the the upper body portion the next day, then take a day off. Just a few possibilities on how to construct a program using the Slayer. Obviously it would change if there was additional equipment involved, etc.
If you’re looking for a piece of equipment that allows whole body training for conditioning, metabolic work, ‘burning’ calories, and general fitness, that takes up minimal space, the Slayer Barbell would be on my short list. If I was looking to build a highly effective home gym for around 1k, a Slayer Barbell with stand, TRX suspension Trainer, set of sand bags from Ultimate Sandbag, a balance ball, and perhaps a kettle bell or two, would cover it well for overall fitness, conditioning, “functional” training, metabolic work, etc.
No, it’s not a set up design for say bodybuilders or power lifters per se. That’s pretty much my home set up BTW when I can’t get to the gym and the products on that list can be found in my Approved Stuff section if looking for more info. For more information on the Slayer Barbell, hit HERE
Been asked many times regarding vegetarian eating in terms of athletics/athletes, so here’s my take on the issue. I cover the topic in greater depth, using what exists for data (which as mentioned in the vid is limited), as well as “real world” experience, in the Body Building Revealed Program.
Should you invest in a home gym? If so, what do you need in the home gym? Are home gyms for everyone? No! Here’s some thoughts on the issue of home gyms vs commercial gyms.
The End Of The Protein “Debate”?
Protein intakes – especially as it relates to strength athletes and those involved in regular resistance exercise – has been a hotly debated topic for decades. That’s due in large part to nutritional authorities simply ignoring the data… While the bulk of the data suggests strongly that there’s benefit to protein intakes well above the RDA for protein for those involved in resistance training looking to improve body composition, not all of the studies agree. Why?
The reason for that appears to be explained in the recent paper by Bosse and Dixon which covers the protein “spread” and “change” theories as it applies to the bulk of studies that examined the issue. This excellent review postulates the “spread” and “change” theories accounts for why some studies find clear benefit to higher protein intakes, while others failed to.
Although the bulk of the studies finds benefits to higher than “normal” protein intakes for those hitting the weights intensely, not all studies find the effect. This review examines why, and answers it. I highly recommend people read this paper, and stick it under the nose of the next person who tells you ‘there’s no benefits to additional protein,’ and I have posted the (provisional) abstract below with link to full study.
Finally, my article on protein myths, also explores some of the issues surrounding studies on the typical myths of protein and athletes, and there’s additional articles and vids covering the topic here on the BrinkZone.