Weekend Workout

You don’t need any equipment for this workout.  You don’t need a timer.  And most of all, you don’t need any excuses.  Take 10-15 minutes out of your weekend and burn off a few of those beers you threw back last night.

Here’s the deal, you’ve got two exercises: Burpees and Situps

Here’s how you’re going to do it:  However many Burpees you do on Set 1, that’s how many Situps you do on Set 1 (Example 5-5, 12-12, 20-20, etc).  You complete as many Burpees at once as possible, then move to your Situps, completing the same amount.  There is no minimum or maximum for each round, just complete the same for both exercise.

You have 100 repetitions of both.

WORK HARD!!!!

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Healthy and Homemade

Protein Pancakes

Let me tell ya folks… If you like pancakes, and you like eating healthy, then this is a must for you.  I found a recipe for these online; there are plenty to choose from.  I must warn you that I had to tweak the ingredients a few times to get them to come out right, but, once I got it down, they were awesome.  Feel free to deviate a little bit if you feel the need.  Here’s how I do it

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Eggs
  • 1 scoop vanilla/unflavored protein powder
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp dry oats
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese

Directions

First of all, the protein powder is optional.  If you don’t have any, you can always add more oats in there to make the batter a little thicker.  The cottage cheese serves to give the batter a little bit of moisture – it will dry out a bit without.  Those two are the ingredients you will probably have to play around with the most.  Once you’ve got all your ingredients ready, throw them in a blender and mix thoroughly.  Remember, if it’s too thin, add more oats or cottage cheese.  When the batter is mixed, spray down your pan, put it on medium to low heat (prevent burning and allow to cook all the way through), and cook just like a normal pancake.  This ingredient list should yield about four 6-8 inch pancakes.

The kicker here is going to be the topping(s).  We all know that pancakes without a few toppings just aren’t worth eating.  But you have to be careful here to make sure it stays healthy.  I use “sugar-free” maple syrup from Kroger.  I put that in parenthesis because it still have a few grams of sugar alcohol, but it beats the 37 grams of sugar in a serving of big Jemima’s special sauce.  Also, I cut up a banana and spread a very thin layer of peanut butter on top.  This is going to be a breakfast (or lunch) that packs a mean punch.  It’s going to be loaded with protein, carbs from the oats and banana, and some healthy fats from your peanut butter.  One of my favorites.

ENJOY!!!

The Right Time for Cardio

When is the right time for you to do your cardio???

I had a conversation with a client this morning about whether or not it is better to do your cardio before you lift weights, or to lift weights and do your cardio work second.  To be completely honest with you all – and I told her the same thing – this question could get 10 different answers from 10 different people.  Some people are going to throw all of the research at you that they can find, not only to give you a “science-backed” answer, but to also appear smarter than they are.  Some people, on the other hand, will have no clue and make something up.  For most people asking this question, though, they don’t want a complicated, or bull-shitted, answer.  And to be honest, there isn’t a need for one.  The answer is really very simple.

It all boils down to one simple question:  What are your goals?  Are you wanting to primarily increase your cardiovascular endurance, and using resistance training as another avenue to help you along the way?  Or is your primary goal to gain strength, and use cardio to help reduce body fat and lean up a bit?  Are you training for a half marathon or a weightlifting competition???

The answer to my first question will lie in the answer to my second question.  Simple put, your primary goal should take priority in your workouts.  If you are training for an endurance event, do your cardio FIRST.  If you want to gain strength and muscle, do your cardio LAST.  The reasoning for this is that, obviously, whatever your main focus, you want to be fresh for that.  If you’re training for a half-marathon, you do not want to go into your cardio workout already drained and feeling sluggish from an intense resistance training workout.  On the other hand, if you want to get as strong as you can, you want to use all of your body’s fuel toward lifting heavy things, not cardio.

It really is as simple as that.  Don’t let some big shot in the gym try to impress you with “research” that he got online somewhere.  Don’t let somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about BS you into doing something that won’t help you out any…. All you need to do is this: Figure out what your PRIMARY goal is, and make that your priority during your training.

Shaking My Head

Not so subtle there big guy…

First and foremost, this picture is funny.  If you don’t laugh at it, clearly you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Every guy I know (hell, even most girls I know) have been in this situation before.  Let’s face it, some people are more gifted than others, and some people also have a hard time not gawking over said gifts.  This picture (staged or not) brilliantly captures both ends of the spectrum.  The rather gifted female.  The guy who can’t keep staring at her instead of actually lifting.  Even though I’m laughing, I’m still Shaking My Head.

 

Some Good Ole Common Sense

Are you one of those people who second guess the legitimacy of High-Rep Olympic lifting?  This has been made famous by the Crossfit Cult over the past few years, and has been received with mixed (negative) reviews from anyone who has a clue about weightlifting.  For those of you who don’t know, Olympic lifts are the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch.

Crossfit is infamous for using these exercises as a form of conditioning for its athletes.  Well, as I mentioned, anybody who is worth their weight in dog crap knows that conditioning is NOT what these exercise were developed for.  These movements were designed long ago for purposes of strength and power, both of which utilize minimal repetitions at a time, not upwards of 20-30.  I found a very unique article from T-Nation a few days ago that deals with the problems of using Olympic lifts for high-repetitions, which you can read in it’s entirety here.

The main problem that you are going to run into with high-repetition movements, regardless of the exercise, is fatigue, as pointed out in the article.  What happens when you begin to get fatigued??  In a nutshell, your technique goes to shit.  That’s true for any exercise.  Now, take exercises like the Snatch and C&J where the weight is overhead.  What happens then?? Gravity is going to take over when you get tired, and that’s going to lead to some serious problems.

My point behind this article is simple:  DO EXERCISE AS THEY ARE INTENDED!!!  Just because you see somebody on TV contorting their body in some weird manner to get under or over a bar, doesn’t mean that’s the way that exercise was designed.  For the average person, doing an exercise meant for strength purposes with the intent of conditioning can be quite dangerous.  There are plenty of exercises designed specifically for strength, conditioning, and everything in between.  Find the ones that fit what you’re looking for, and do them properly.

The Right Type of Carbs

what-are-carbohydrates

There are as many opinions about how to get your carbohydrate intake as there are fitness professionals out there.  Some people count vegetables as useful carbs, while others claim they provide no useful energy to the body.  I’m not going to really make any bold claims here, because we all know that vegetables count as carbohydrates, but they’re usefulness does depend on what you’re wanting to get from your exercise.

The topic really boils down to one, simple question: Are you training for performance, or are you training to lose weight???

The answer to that question will tell you what you need to be putting more of into your body.  Simply put, if you’re wanting to just lose weight, you’re going to want to stick with vegetables (and LOTS of them) as your main source of carbohydrate.  However, if you are wanting to improve your performance – in ANY endeavor – you ARE going to need some starchy vegetables in your diet.  Any intense type of activity, whether it be sprinting, swimming, weightlifting, etc, requires a VERY FAST utilization of glucose.  Starchy carbohydrates provide a perfect avenue for this.

Many people do not approach diet from the “I want to improve my performance” side of things.  Most will approach it from the weight loss standpoint.  There is nothing wrong with that.  If you are one of those who wants to improve at what you are doing, though, you might want to rethink a few things.  I have found a great article, which you can read here, that deals with looking at food as a means of fueling the body for activity as opposed to a weight loss tool.

Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with slow, low carbohydrate diets.  They work wonders for those looking to trim some fat.  But, if you are concerned at all with how you actually perform in the gym or on the road, consider a different approach to fueling your workouts.

Workout of the Week

Four Exercises.  15 Minutes.  Complete as many rounds as you can in that time.

  1. KB Swing – 25 Reps
  2. Cross Toe Touch Jump – 20 Reps
  3. Burpee Crossover – 15 Reps
  4. Plank Climb – 10 Reps

Rest only when needed.  WORK HARD!!!!!