Calf training

These days everyone talks about functional training, training for performance over aesthetics, training movements and not muscles. Well the truth is that the majority of people who workout do it because they want to look and feel better. Sure they want to be stronger and perhaps they even play a sport and would like to be able to run faster and jump higher but the bottom line is we all want to look good naked.

I am a strength and conditioning coach and I work with athletes all of the time. They come to me to improve their sports performance but many of them still want to work on some of the show muscles. One area that often gives people trouble is training the lower leg.

With this is mind, I offer a calf training program that I have had success with over the years. It is broken down into three separate workouts. Each one has specific volume, intensity, and cadence recommendations.

First let’s define our terms.

Very Heavy = 6-8 reps with maximum tension*. Rest = 180 seconds between sets.

Heavy = 10-12 reps done explosively. Rest = 120 seconds between sets.
 
Moderate = 12-15 reps, slow up & down. Rest = 90 seconds between sets.
 
Light = 20-25 reps, slow up & down. Rest = 60 seconds between sets.
 
Straight leg = Standing calf raise, donkey calf raise, or toe press on leg press machine with legs straight.
 
Bent knee = seated calf machine, or toe press with legs bent to 90 degrees.
 
Each workout has two movements done at different positions (straight or bent) and for different volumes (# of sets) and different intensities (very heavy, heavy, moderate) etc. Regardles of which rep range you are working in  (Heavy – Light – Moderate) choose a weight that will cause you to hit failure as close to the recommended reps ranges as possible.

Workout A: movement 1. Is straight-leg, intensity is very heavy, # of sets = 5. Movement 2. Is straight-leg, intensity is moderate, # of sets = 3.

Workout B: Movement 1. Is straight-leg, intensity is heavy, # of sets = 4. Movement 2. Is bent-leg, intensity is moderate, # of sets = 4.

Workout C: Movement 1. Is bent-leg, intensity is light, # of sets = 4. Movement 2. Is straight-leg, intensity is heavy, # of sets = 3.

Start with Workout A, and cycle through them in order, Train your calves  no more than twice a week. You may do calf work on regular leg days if splitting your training, or work it in with neck and grip work.

Be careful if you are not used to training your calves with high intensity. You will get very sore and feel like you are walking on stilts. Good luck and keep an eye out for more.

*Maximum tension = pause for 3-5 seconds in the contracted position on each rep.

Pau for Now

 TAKU
www.hybridfitness.tv
www.blackjackfitness.com

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Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: Low-carb Dieting Made Easy

This P.E.P. is based on the work of Dan Duchaine (Body Opus) and Lyle McDonald (the Ketogenic Diet). The version that I am presenting is a highly simplified version of the original Duchaine / McDonald works as laid out in their above named books. If you wish to attain copious amounts of detail into how to really tweak this approach I suggest you purchase one or both of the books written by these two gentlemen. Although their approach is reliable, I am confident that similarly consistent results will be attained without following some of the extreme guidelines set forth by these two authors.

With my personal experimentation using this approach I have found it to consistently reduce BFP% while maintaining LBM. Below I have shown examples of weekday and weekend eating plans consistent with this style of P.E.P. The basic premise is to reduce Carb consumption to as low a level as possible during a five-day period Mon-Fri. Then take in high carbs on the weekend to facilitate glycogen super-compensation and the sparing of LBM. My weekday goal for carb consumption is 30 grams or less a day. On weekends the carb consumption is unlimited and should be as high as is comfortably possible. Once you feel you have fully re-loaded your carb stores (usually indicated by an increase in water retention), you may begin to de-carb once again.

WEEKDAY MACRONUTRIENT GOALS:

The goal for protein consumption is a minimum of 1 gram per pound of total body-weight, with a maximum of up to 1.5 grams per pound of total body-weight. The calorie level should be set at approximately 90% of daily maintenance levels*. Once protein levels have been established, the remainder of the calories should come from “friendly” fat sources and a minimum of low glycemic carbs (as indicated in the eating plans below). When trying to make up the proper calorie levels start with protein. Then add the “good” fat, + bad fat, then finish with the LGC.

WEEKEND MACRONUTRIENT GOALS:

Protein consumption should be set at a minimum of 1 gram per pound of LBM with a maximum of up to 1 gram per pound of total weight. Carbs should be set as high as 3-5 grams per pound of total body weight. Fat should be set at a maximum of 1 gram per every 2 pounds of total body weight.

SUGGESTED EATING AND TAPER PLANS

You may notice an energy slump in the first couple of weeks, this is normal and is the interim period between your body burning carbohydrate for energy and converting to burning fat. Stick with it and you will achieve your goals.

The program is a 5-days on 2-days off schedule, the days off may be fitted in at your convenience but weekends are probably best.

Suggested eating plan No1

Meal 1.

4 eggs any way, or 6-10 egg whites, 2 slices of ham, 2 Oz l/f. Mozzarella cheese. Make into omelet, if desired add chopped veggies

Meal 2.

Small tin of tuna (6 Oz) in oil (drain oil), ¼ avocado, salad or 2-3 scoops Whey Protein + 1 Tbsp Flax Oil in 10 Oz water

Meal 3.

Chicken breast w/- veggies &/or salad (stir-fry) & ¼ avocado

Meal 4.

Handful of nuts or 3-4 Oz meat (ham, turkey etc) & 2 piece string cheese Or protein drink as above

Meal 5.

Steak (8 Oz) with veggies, salad & ¼ avocado

Drink tea, coffee, or water. (If not using the ECA stack** then a load of brewed coffee is best)

Use artificial sweeteners to sweeten protein drinks & hot beverages only if you feel it is required. (I do not recommend artificial sweeteners)

Absolutely no fruit or sugar sources outside the weekend.

Suggested eating plan No. 2

Meal 1.

(6-10) Egg white omelet w/- mushrooms, tomato, l/f cheese, onions etc and tea, coffee or water.

Meal 2.

Chef salad w/- ham, cheese & egg. Or handful of raw nuts & cheese

Meal 3.

Chicken Caesar, Cobb, or Spinach and bacon salad etc w/- (no croutons)

Meal 4.

4 eggs, 4 strips bacon (or ham, Canadian bacon, sausage etc)

Meal 5.

Salmon (6-8 Oz) grilled, poached or baked with veggies, salad & ¼ avocado.

Meal 6.

(Optional, use only during transition phase if you are really craving sweets), nonfat yogurt, whey protein (1 scoop), flax oil 1 Tbsp (mix together as pudding)

Note: For the best results I recommend you stick as close as possible to the weekly examples I have provided. It is really not hard once you get into a groove.

The taper in.

In order for the transition to this P.E.P. to be smooth and relatively discomfort free, a lead in period of gradual carb reduction is suggested. This is a fairly simple process, as follows;

Week 1. P.E.P. only on Tuesday & Thursday.

Week 2. P.E.P. on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Week 3. P.E.P. every day except Wednesday.

Week 4. P.E.P. Monday to Friday.

This should see you make a smooth, pain free transition into the amazing world of fat burning.

During a 48 hr period on Saturday & Sunday basically eat what you feel like, try to keep it fairly healthy but succumb to your cravings because Monday you get strict again.

EXAMPLE OF WEEKEND EATING PLAN:

Meal 1.

Non-fat milk (8 Oz), Oatmeal (8 Oz cooked), 3 egg whites (stirred into oatmeal), 5 dates (chopped & stirred into oatmeal)

Meal 2.

“Power Shake” 8 Oz Non-fat milk, 8 Oz Non-fat yogurt, 1 Banana (mix in blender)

Meal 3.

Roasted chicken (6 Oz), rice (1 cup), beans (6 Oz), Sherbet (3 scoops)

Meal 4.

Cottage cheese (1 cup), Pears (canned in own juice) 4 halves

Meal 5.

Peanut butter sandwich 1 Tbsp p-nut-butter + 1 Tbsp jelly on sprouted (flour-less) bread, Non-fat milk (1 cup) 1 Banana

Meal 6.

Tuna sandwich (tuna packed in water) on sprouted (flour-less) bread, 1 apple, handful of nuts (your favorite)

Meal 7.

“Power Shake” 8 Oz Non-fat milk, 8 Oz Non-fat yogurt, 1 Banana (mix in blender)

When trying to maximize strength, size and power, I load creatine on the weekends (5 grams with every meal). You may of course add whatever supplements you currently feel are beneficial to you reaching your health goals.

LBM = Lean Body Mass

BFP% = Body Fat Percentage

LGC = Low Glycemic Carb

P.E.P. = Personal Eating Plan

**ECA STACK = Ephedrine, Caffeine, Aspirin combined to elicit a Central nervous system stimulus which aids in fatty acid mobilization as well as increasing mental focus, suppressing appetite and may also aid in the increase of workout intensity.

If you have never experimented with this “stack” do so cautiously. I suggest using a mainstream brand such as “Ripped Fuel” by Twinlab etc. Start with less then the suggested dose and work up from there. I use one dose a day Mon-Thu when on this plan. If you do choose to use it, do not take it Friday-Sunday as it may interfere with the carb loading process. It is not required that you use the ECA stack to achieve success on this plan I mention it, only FYI.

*Lowering calories further during the weekdays can speed up weight loss but will increase the challenge and potential discomfort during this phase of the eating plan.

Supplement recommendations and all other aspects of this article are intended for informational purposes only. Consult with your primary care physician before experimenting with the CKD or any other P.E.P.

PAU for NOW

TAKU
http://www.hybridfitness.tv

http://www.blackjackfitness.com

Four Week Strength Cycle

This week I offer a simple strength cycle. Each week you will vary the reps striving to use the maximum possible weight and still complete the desired number of reps (with perfect form). If you can complete at least 90% of the reps then you are doing fine. Any time you can complete the desired reps of each set with perfect technique, then it is time to add a little more weight at the next workout.

 

  1. Trap Bar Dead-lift & Shrug*
  2. Front Squat
  3. Glute-Ham Raise**(see black & white image below)
  4. Chin-Up**
  5. Standing BB Press
  6. TRX Row / Recline Pull**
  7. Towel Bench Press
  8. Land-Mine Anti-rotation (see photo and video links at bottom)
  9. Plank w/ V-up + Static Hold**

 

WEEK 1:

Movement 1.) 3-4 sets x 5 reps rest 90-120 seconds

Movement 2 – 7.) 1-3 sets x 10 reps rest 60 seconds

Movement 8-9.) 60-90 seconds each

WEEK 2:

Movement 1.) 3-4 sets x 3 reps rest 90-120 seconds

Movement 2-7.) 1-3 sets x 5 reps rest 90 seconds

Movement 8-9.) 60-90 seconds each

WEEK 3:

Movement 1.) 3-4 sets x 5 reps rest 90-120 seconds

Movement 2-7.) 1-3 sets x 8 reps rest 60 seconds

Movement 8-9.) 60-90 seconds each

WEEK 4:

Movement 1.) 3-4 sets x 2 reps rest 90-120 seconds

Movement 2-7.) 1-3 sets x 3 reps rest 90 seconds

Movement 8-9.) 60-90 seconds each

*For those of you who enjoy using quick-lift movements, replace the Trap BarDL&S w / your favorite Barbell, Dumbbell or K-Bell Snatch or Clean variation.

**Add weight if needed. (I recommend using an X-vest or similar device)

https://i0.wp.com/z.about.com/d/weighttraining/1/0/D/1/-/-/gluteham_small.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/www.designmyworkout.com/images/Landmine.jpg

The video links below will show how to execute the Ant-rotation exercise with the Landmine or with a regular barbell.

http://tinyurl.com/29rtexj

http://tinyurl.com/2etcj8g

PAU for NOW

TAKU

http://www.hybridfitness.tv
http://www.blackjackfitness.com

What do you do?

PART TWO

BASIC EATING PLAN

Last week I told you that I would give an example of my basic Personal Eating Plan or P.E.P. My plan is designed to help burn fat and keep calories in check. This isn’t a fad diet” in any way. Think of it more as a way to rethink how you eat. At the end of this article I will show you how best to ease into what may be a new way of eating for some you. But for now, let’s just dive in with some examples of what my week-day P.E.P. looks like.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DRINK?

1) Drink 8-12 ounces of water at the start and end of each day.

2) Drink 6 additional 8-12 ounce glasses of water throughout the day.

3) Avoid or eliminate sugar and caffeinated beverages along with those containing artificial sweeteners.

4) Appropriate drinks include: water, mineral water, herbal tea, green tea, caffeine free, natural, soft drinks, hot or cold water with lemon or lime.

5) If you drink juice do so in small amounts and dilute with extra water.

6) I do not recommend soda pop of any kind but if you must drink them, choose natural sodas that are caffeine free. I make my own “soda pop” by mixing fresh juice 50/50 with flavored, sparkling mineral water.

BREAKFAST IDEAS:

1) O.J. Smoothie: 1/2 cup Orange juice, 1 Orange (peeled), 3/4 cup water and/or ice, 2-1/2 tbsp Almonds sliced/or 1 tbsp flax oil, 30-40 grams Whey Protein.

2) Blueberries Smoothie: 1-1/2 cups blueberries, 1/2-cup water and/or ice, 30-40 grams Whey protein, 2-1/2 tbsp Almonds sliced/or 1 tbsp flax oil.

3) Eggs and Bacon: 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, 2 Oz Canadian Bacon, I medium Tomato (sliced), 1 cup grapefruit sections.

4) Cheese Omelet: 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, 1-1/2 Oz Low fat Cheddar Cheese (grated), 1 grapefruit.

5) Eggs & Fruit: 2 whole eggs, 3 egg whites, 1 Apple, 1 Orange.

6) Canadian Bacon & Fruit: 4 Oz Canadian bacon, 1-1/2 Apple.

7) Salsa & Eggs: 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, 1 tbsp Low fat Cheddar Cheese (grated), 3 tbsp Salsa, 1 Tomato (sliced), 1-1/2 Orange.

LUNCH IDEAS:

1) Tossed Tuna Salad: Romaine or Red leaf Lettuce 1/2 Head, 1 Apple (cored & cubed), 1/2 cup Mandarin Oranges (soaked in water and drained), Water packed tuna 6 Oz (drained), 1tbsp Chopped walnuts, 3 tbsp Low-fat Mayo, 2 tsp Soy Sauce, 1 tsp Lemon juice.

2) Egg Salad: 2 whole eggs + 4 whites (hard boiled), 1 green Onion (diced), Celery 2 tbsp (minced), Mayo low-fat 1-1/2 tbsp, Mustard 1 tsp, Salt & Pepper to taste, 1 Tomato, 1 Peach, 1 cup cherries or grapes.

3) Chef’s Salad: Lettuce 2-1/2 cups (torn), Deli Turkey 2 Oz, Deli Ham 1 Oz, Hard Boiled Egg 1, Swiss Cheese 1 Oz, Cherry Tomatoes 4, Cucumber 1/2 (sliced), Salad Dressing 2 tbsp (your choice), 1 Pear or Apple.

4) Chicken Caesar Salad: Romaine Lettuce 3 cups, Cooked Chicken Breast 4-6 Oz, Caesar Dressing 3 tbsp*, Parmesan Cheese 1 tbsp (grated), 1 Apple, 2/3 cup grapes.

5) Chicken Waldorf Salad: Cooked Chicken Breast 4-6 Oz, Celery 2 tbsp (diced), Grapes 1/3 cup (sliced), Apple (diced), Walnuts 2 tbsp (chopped), Mayo low-fat 2 tbsp, Lemon Juice 1/2 tsp, Romaine Lettuce, 3 leaves.

* Tasty Caesar Dressing:

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 tbsp fresh Lemon Juice

3 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp anchovy paste

1 tsp Creamy Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp pepper

DINNER IDEAS:

1) Mixed Veggie Salad: Romaine lettuce, 1 cup (3 medium leaves), shredded. Green peppers 1/4 cup, chopped. 2-3 stalks Celery, chopped. Cucumbers 1/4 cup, sliced. 1/4 cup Mushrooms, sliced. Hard-boiled eggs 2, sliced. Feta cheese 1 ounce. Dressing = your choice, 1-2 tablespoons.

2) Steak & Veggies: Steak (8 Oz) with veggies, salad & 1/4 avocado.

3) Salmon & Veggies: Salmon (6-8 Oz) grilled, poached or baked with veggies, salad & 1/4 avocado

SNACK IDEAS:

1) Deli Meat Slices & Cole Slaw: Chicken or Turkey slices 3 Oz, Cole Slaw 4 Oz.

2) Deli Meat Roll-ups: Chicken or Turkey or Ham 1 Oz, Swiss cheese low-fat 1 Oz, Apple or Pear.

3 Tuna Salad & Apple: Tuna Salad 3 Oz, Apple 1 (sliced).

4 Apple and hard boiled egg: 1 each

Many “diets” fail because they demand too much, too soon from the participant.

For people new to this plan I offer a taper-in period that virtually eliminates the “shock” of altering your eating plan and lowering simple carbohydrate (sugar) intake. By doing things in moderation, adherence to better habits is much higher and your results are much more likely to become long-term.

The taper in:

The program is a 5-days on 2-days off schedule, the days off may be fitted in at your convenience but weekends are probably best.

In order for the transition to this P.E.P. to be smooth and relatively discomfort free, a lead-in period of gradual simple, “carb” reduction is suggested. This is a fairly simple process, as follows:

Week 1. Eating plan only on Tuesday & Thursday.

Week 2. Eating plan on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Week 3. Eating plan every day except Wednesday.

Week 4. Eating plan Monday thru Friday.

This should see you make a smooth, pain free transition into the amazing world of fat burning.

During a 48 hr period on Saturday & Sunday basically eat what you feel like, try to keep it fairly healthy but succumb to your cravings (within reason) because Monday you get strict again.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

http://www.hybridfitness.tv
http://www.blackjackfitness.com