The Mother of All Chest Workouts???

Holy crap, I just obliterated my chest, shoulders, and triceps with this routine, and for some reason my biceps are pumped up too.  My intention was to do some warm-up exercises on the floor and then head into the garage gym to hit the weights and get the ‘real workout.’

Yeah.  Never made it.  Right now it kinda hurts to write this, but I might not be as inspired later.  So is this the ‘mother of all chest/shoulder/tricep workouts?’  Maybe, maybe not, but give it a shot and I’m sure you’ll give it its distance if you see it walking down your side of the street. 

One note, I’m including videos of as many exercises as I can find.  I would love to show you my personal routine, wait…no I wouldn’t.  It was ugly.  Just check out the videos:  You can also just get the whole routine and some other crazy exercises by picking up this program-Bodyweight Revolution.  Sick stuff 🙂

The following are recommended reps and sets, do less or more depending on your superhero status.

Warm-up:  Joint rotations ala “Intu-Flow” (youtube has some great examples.)

-Sun salutations + Hindu Pushups x10 + ‘Snake Throughs’x5-10 + Flat Push-ups x5-10-Do a couple rounds until warmed up.

Then: (do as supersets, non-stop, rest 30-60 seconds between supersets)

3 rounds:

Screwing Press + Snake Throughs + Screwing T Press: x5each side/ 5 / 5each side (do more if you can!)

***In between each superset, roll onto back and do push throws with medicine ball.  Not to failure, this is a plyometric movement.  Push ball immediately away as it comes down.  x5-8

Then:  (do as supersets, as above.)
 

2-3 rounds

Divebomber Push-up: x5-10 +
-Wide Position (hands) Knuckle Push-Ups with Bottom Rocking:  (wide hands, on knuckles, lower body, rock forward and back, push-up, repeat) x 5-10

***In between each superset, roll onto back and do push throws with medicine ball.  Not to failure, this is a plyometric movement.  Push ball immediately away as it comes down.  x5-8

Then:

Extreme Decline or Handstand Push-ups (whichever you can do) x 5-10 +
-Bent-Over Push-Ups:  (Legs apart, palms on floor about 6-12 inches in front of feet or more if necessary, military press form, lower and press up.) x5-10


Good luck everyone, have fun.  Now for the videos:

Screwing Press and Screwing T Press:

This next one is what I call a ‘snake through.’  Do the straight or rotating version, but finish in upward facing dog post, looking towards the ceiling, then push back through:

If you don’t know how to do a proper divebomber push-up (a mean exercise,) check this guy out:

If you just want to have a comprehensive resource for all things bodyweight, here’s that link for the most original routines I’ve ever seen..  I actually mean ‘ever’ too.  Refreshing and innovative.  Check it out:.:  Bodyweight Blueprint

Continue Reading >>>  Great Workouts to Build Chest Muscles

Full Body System Shock Workout with …Rocks?

Wow have I been negligent!  One of the most wicked whole body, strength and conditioning routines I’ve done in my life is not on this blog!  Plus, it’s a workout you can do for free!  This is a workout which should kick your butt thoroughly and leave you wondering what it was you did to make your body so sore; and if it doesn’t, work hardermovefasterliftheavier!

Now here’s what you’re going to need:

Rocks.  (Did he say rocks?)  Yes.  Big ones.  This is strongman or strongwoman training, but using a variety of rocks.  Let me give you an example.  I have four I use to mix up the exercise routines every couple of weeks, and they are 35 lbs., 93 lbs., 113 lbs. and 130+ lbs. respectively. 

Much like Atlas stone lifting, but these have the added benefit of being unbalanced, causing your body to compensate and squeeze everywhere to hold onto and manipulate these weighty objects.  Now you can go out and do curls and military presses, and front squats, etc., but why waste the true potential of these monsters on movements better accomplished with more suitable exercise equipment?

No, no.  Here’s the routine, and I’m sure after some playing around (after all, we are just throwing rocks around,) you will come up with your own.  This is NOT for the feint of heart, so if you are just coming back from an injury, or recently picked up resistance training, start out light or don’t do this at all.

For most people I would recommend starting out with three rounds of the following, leaving out the fourth exercise if you pass out:

-Thorough warm-up, especially a dynamic general and joint warm-up, such as windmills, joint rotations, good mornings, etc.

Clean and Push Throw:  Squat down and imagine you are wrapping your upper body around the rock.  Tighten your abs from below your belly button, squeeze your legs, butt, and hips, grip the ground with your feet.  Now, pull the rock off the ground and up to your chest.  If necessary, ‘lap’ the rock, by catching it in your lap as you drop into a squat, much like you would with a clean.  Once the rock is at chest level, get both hands behind it, and push it out horizontally, driving off of your legs with a slight squat.

High Rise High Pull (I had to call it something!) This is basically a high pull from the ground, but you are hugging the weight instead of hanging on to a bar.  Bring the rock up as high as possible in one smooth motion, standing up tall enough to give your back a good contraction at the top of the motion.  However, try not to go too far with the back bending.  Imagine you need to lift the rock onto a platform sitting somewhere between your chin and your eyes, and get the rock to the level in a controlled manner.  Then carefully lower the rock to the ground and repeat.

Hulk Slam/Throw:  I couldn’t resist calling it this, but once you do it you will see why.  Switch to a lighter rock if you have to, and just like a medicine ball slam, get the rock up over your head with arms full extended before using your whole body to slam it to the ground.  Watch out for your feet!

The throw definitely requires a moderate weight rock, and instead of slamming the rock down, use a slight flex in your legs, drive the balls of your feet into the ground, and throw the rock.  Your arms will still be extended, and your will be using your body to flex like a bow before releasing the rock into the stratosphere.

Side Lunge Toss:  Just as if you were going to lift the rock for a high pull, get low and prepare to push off both legs.  However, as the rock leaves the ground, drive your straight torso, powered by your legs to one side, ‘tossing’ the rock in an underhand throw to that side.  The drive for this move starts with the legs, and as you torque to one side will become a core movement.  Practice this until it is smooth before picking up heavy rocks.

When the movement is smooth, you should be hopping from one side to the other, alternating which side of the body is moving the boulder.

Start by doing a ‘lap’ that takes about three to five reps to close the distance on going one way.  Do three rounds of one exercise before moving on  to the next.  For the Hulk Slam and High Rise High Pull, start with 5-6 reps or less for 3-4 sets.  I suggest doing this workout in the order I’ve listed the exercises above.

A couple notes:

You will feel this, and if odd object lifting is new to you,  the entire back, especially the lower lumbar, will be taken through a fuller range of motion than it is accustomed to.  To be safe, keep activating your lower abdominals and your glutes as you push off the ground.  Also, utilize your feet and use them to grip the ground and push against.  It seems obvious, but when you do this consciously, the effects are noticeable.

Finally, give your self a couple of minutes between exercises.  Doing the rounds of one exercise for 3-5 reps each way on a ‘lap’ is a heart-pounding interval you will need to recover from.  Also, don’t underestimate the effect this workout can have on your nervous system.  This is not an everyday exercise routine, but it is a great way to deviate from your regular routine!  So get to work and have fun!

Continue Reading Here >>> Strength Training with The Ancient Macebell

Basic Exercises and Simple Workouts Still Bring the Pain

After about ten takes demonstrating my homemade suspension trainer for my first YouTube video, my body is wired, and I can feel a deep muscle soreness creeping up on me.  With so many ways to explore body movement and so many fun ‘tools’ to experiment with, it’s easy not to give the basics the attention they deserve.

The exercises I demonstrate in this video are simple enough for  anyone to perform:

-Body Rows
-High Pulls
-Bicep Curls
Chest Press, or suspended Incline Push-Up
-Incline chest flyes
-Leaning Pullover
-Tricep Extensions.

Nothing complicated there, but whether you perform them with a piece of rope slung around a fence post or heavy iron, these are basic exercises which we all need to perform some variation of to hit major muscle groups of the upper body.  Just as it is important to explore all the planes of movement, and to incorporate whole body exercises, it is important to directly address the specific actions of our muscles.

So while you’re getting ready to swing around that homemade Macebell (you can read about how I made mine here:  http://www.mosladder.com/2010/03/building-strength-and-grip-with.html  ) or clean a sandbag from the floor, don’t neglect to do your basic bodybuilding.  The benefits will ripple outward and help in all areas of your strength training.

Now get to work and have fun!

Gym In A Bag. Free Gift with Purchase. Shop Now. TRX Fitness Anywhere

Functional Homemade Suspension Training Tools

Ahhh!  Summer!  Freedom!  Water! Escaping to the great outdoors for serious strength and conditioning workouts!  Whether you live in the blazing deserts of the Southwest or the dripping humidity elsewhere, and we’ll even count you lucky folks on the coastline of California, getting your muscles and heart pumping outdoors is a must.

You can do just about any form of exercise outside, but if you are not looking to sweat it out biking, hiking, jogging, or doing yoga, it is time to get out the suspension trainer!

Yes!  Suspension training is the ultimate summer workout.  You can take it anywhere with ease, and if combined with other exercise “equipment” in the urban, beach, or park jungle, even you serious muscle-builders can get satisfaction.  However, this is not an article detailing different workouts  (we’ll do those later,) but it is about different ways to get started with suspension training.

First off we have the lovely TRX.  This little two or three pound package is awesome.  It may not replace the iron completely, but it is seriously challenging.  For less than you spent on miscellaneous food, trinkets, and ahem, alcohol last week, you could have the ‘Home Training Bundle,’ which has instructional dvd’s, and an anchor to put it anywhere. 

Here is what the least expensive package looks like:

If you are on a budget, which usually translates to ‘nearly flat broke,’ you can easily improvise a suspension system to take on the road with you, or to use in the house.  These home made training devices require a little more imagination to make them functional and safe, but they are just as light and portable as the TRX.  One version even doubles as a jumprope, so read on.

Option number one:  The thick-handled, fixed length rope with PVC handles. 

This is a bit of a monster to hold onto, but that’s the point.  However, it may be too thick for some.  In the picture below, 1 1/2″ pipe was used, and knots were carefully tied for strength, or at least carefully tested.  The stirrup style allows you to put your feet in and do pendulums, jackknife pushups, etc.  This can be hung from a tree, play set, fence, or railing, or anywhere else you see fit.

Advantages?  Thick grip (which can be substituted for normal diameter,) promotes wrist strength and is a greater challenge.  It is also cheap; it would be hard to pay more than $15 dollars for the rope and pvc, and you may have the necessary materials around the house already.

Disadvantages? The biggest is the fixed length.  You can adjust it, but it requires tying and re-tying of knots.  This is not the worst thing, as the length can be shortened quickly by wrapping it around the bar, tree, or whatever you are using; but adjustable is not a strength I would list.

Option Number 2:  The free-handled suspension trainer/jumprope

Another very inexpensive tool which is strong enough to hold a grown body, and makes a great jumprope, is comprised of the following:
1/2″pvc pipe
strong rope

It is complicated, isn’t it?  To make the setup, be sure the rope you buy can be stuffed through the 1/2″ pvc pipe, or 3/4″ if you prefer.  Then simply tie a knot big enough to keep the ends from coming back through and you are done.  To make nice smooth handles, cut the pipe with a sharp hacksaw and smooth it out with sandpaper.  The end result is below:

Advantages?  Deceivingly effective for many of the same exercises performed on the TRX.  Also, did I mention it makes an excellent jump rope?  As it turns out, the ideal length for doing most exercises on this ‘system’ is also about right for jumping rope.  Perfect for interval training!

Disadvantages?  The handles can be a challenge to hold onto, and if that is the case, some baseball bat grip or bicycle grip rubber can be wrapped around them.  The other is the fixed length issue again.

Bottom line?  Either one of these tools will give you a great workout for very little money, just be sure the rope you purchase is strong enough to hold your weight, that your knots are strong enough to hold your weight, and that you buy enough rope to practice with.  Also, if you take a strong eye hook and screw it into a ceiling joist or beam, you can use your new suspension trainer at home.

For more information on workouts with these homemade tools or the TRX, visit SuspensionExercises
To shop the TRX, go to:  TRX Info

Life is short, so get to work and have fun!

Read more here:

A Great Leg Workout you can do from Home
How to Strengthen the Rotator Cuff
Suspension Training Applications to Football