Perspective on Proper Strength Training

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I am not sure how many times I need to say this stuff…Okay, maybe just one more time.

Strength training programs should be comprehensive in nature with the emphasis placed on exercising the major muscle complexes throughout their fullest range of functional motion. The selected movements should include a variety of multi-joint and single-joint exercises, utilizing a good mix of machines and free weights whenever possible, and be safe and relatively easy to perform in terms of technique.

Muscle overload can be applied with a variety of tools: barbells, dumbbells, machines, manually applied resistance, body weight, sand bags, etc. Anything that can create high tension in the muscles can be used.


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A variety of exercise prescriptions can be used provided muscle overload occurs, such as heavy resistances / few repetitions, lighter resistances / more repetitions, minimal exercise bouts (i.e., 1 to 3 sets per muscle group) and / or varied rest time between sets and exercises (i.e., 30 seconds to 3:00+).

Set and repetition schemes may be varied, but the program should strive for intense efforts, accurate record keeping, a system for progressive overload and time efficiency.

Image result for Keep it simple

The short version is: 1.) Select exercise tool(s), and resistance / repetition schemes that reflect your current goals. 2.) Perform as many perfect repetitions as possible with the selected resistance. 3.) Write it all down. 4.) Next time attempt to do more than you did last time.

YES!! It’s really that simple.

Now get to it!

PAU for NOW

TAKU

TAKU’s NOTE: Movements requiring excessive momentum for the execution and/or completion of the lift should be avoided. (More specific information is available upon request.)

 

 

“PEOPLE SAFETY”

I have been working with the international non-profit organization known as Kidpower for the past 15 years or so. At Kidpower, we use the term “People Safety” to mean people being safe with and around people. A strong foundation of People Safety skills can prepare individuals of all ages and abilities to enjoy life more through increased confidence, better relationships, and fewer problems with people. We teach these 10 core People Safety skills to children, teens, and adults, including those with special needs:

 
1. Act with awareness, calm, and respectful confidence so that people will listen to you better and bother you less.

 

2. Protect your feelings from hurtful words or behavior instead of taking negative messages inside where they can make you miserable for a very long time.

 

3. Stay in charge of what you say and do by managing your emotional triggers so that you are able to think clearly, make wise choices, and act respectfully towards others no matter how you feel inside.

4. Recognize what is and is not safe so that you can assess a situation and avoid most trouble before it starts. This includes knowing and using Kidpower’s Relationship Safety Rules and Stranger Safety Rules.

5. Move away from trouble and towards safety so that you can stop problems quickly, before they grow.

6. Check First and Think First before you make decisions about what you do, who is with you, and where you go. Until they have the experience and the skills to make these decisions for themselves, children are safest if they Stay Together with their parents and other responsible adults and Check First before changing the plan. Both children and adults are safest if they Think First.

 

7. Set powerful and respectful boundaries so that you can speak up for what you do and do not want, listen to what other people do and do not want, and work out problems with others.

8. Follow the safety rules about touch, teasing, and play in healthy relationships so that you can have fun and avoid unsafe behavior.

9. Persist until you get the help you need so that you know how to find people who have the power to help you, when and how to interrupt someone who is distracted or busy, and how to keep asking if someone doesn’t listen.

10. Be prepared to use your voice and body to stop an attack so that you can escape from a violent situation and get to safety where someone can help you.

Not sure how to practice these skills? Our many books make excellent holiday gifts that can prepare you to use People Safety skills in your daily life and teach them to others.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful, safe week,
PAU for NOW
TAKU

EATING “FAST”

In the twenty-first century people seem to be moving faster then ever. I guess that makes sense. I mean aren’t we all supposed to be driving flying cars, commuting by jet-pack and taking vacations to the moon by now? The point is, in this fast paced society where people get upset when it takes thirty seconds for something to download on their computer; nothing seems to move fast enough. Add to this, jobs with crazy hours or frequent commutes across town or across the country and you begin to see why so few people find it easy to eat at home regularly.

With the above in mind you can see why people end up opting for fast food so often. Add to this that most of these fast food options are loaded with fat, salt, and sugar (all the things that taste so darn good) and you can see why this stuff can seem hard so to pass up. Below I am going to outline a few basic ideas that will help you make better choices when eating out. Then I’ll make specific recommendations for when you find your self standing at that fast food counter or even worse the dreaded drive through window. I’ve touched on some of these ideas before in some of my other articles at www.hybridfitness.tv so if this sounds familiar, good you’ve been listening.

First if you are at a restaurant for a special occasion and this is not just a meal on the go, then forget the rules and enjoy yourself. We all need to cut loose once in a while. If we don’t we may go crazy later. The place to start cleaning things up with restaurant dining or eating in one of those international food courts is to limit your Carbohydrate consumption. Contrary to some peoples feelings, carbohydrates are not evil or bad in and of themselves. They are however easy to over consume so avoid having too much bread or pasta and remember just because it came with your meal, does not mean you have to eat it. If you have the option, choose extra salad or veggies instead of bread or pasta and have the dressing, (preferably oil and vinegar) on the side. Be sure to have a nice portion of protein (beef, chicken or seafood) as the main course.

Another strategy is to plan your meal before you even go to the restaurant. For planning purposes, I like this site www.dietfacts.com.  When you are eating out, you can go to the restaurants tab and find many national chain restaurant’s menu items, and their corresponding calorie values.  If you know you are going somewhere in particular, you can check out the menu and make a decent selection ahead of time.  Strategies like this this will be far more likely to make your efforts successful.

Now let’s cut to the chase and see what we can do at the real fast food joints. These days just about every fast food joint has a salad option. Skip the ones with fried meat in them. While you are at it avoid all fried food options completely. And if you find yourself eating a salad that comes in a giant, edible, bowl. Do not eat the bowl. Besides the fruit and salad options that you may be able to find here is a list of what to look for at the major fast food chains.

Taco Bell

  • Light Chicken taco
  • Light taco salad (skip the chips and or bowl)
  • Light chicken burrito supreme
  • Light bean burrito

Wendy’s

  • Plain hamburger*
  • Chili
  • Grilled chicken sandwich
  • Grilled chicken salad

McDonalds

  • Egg McMuffin
  • Grilled Chicken sandwich
  • Plain Hamburger*

Jack in the Box

  • Chicken Fajita Pita
  • Plain Hamburger*

Burger King

  • BK Broiled chicken sandwich (no      mayo)
  • Plain hamburger*

Boston Market

  • TurkeyBreastSandwich
  • Turkeybreast, small potato and      steamed veggies

Deli Chains (Togo’s, Subway, Quiznos, etc.)

  • Turkeysandwich with extra meat,      extra veggies, no mayo, no cheese, on wheat or rye bread (have the oil      & vinegar and mustard)

* Ordering a couple of plain hamburgers and throwing away one of the buns is an easy way to create a better burger in fast food land. I actually do this with Egg McMuffins as well.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

Secrets to Performance Enhancement

Do you want to lose body fat, gain muscle, and feel more alert and energetic every day? Would you like to feel more productive at work and at play? Would you like to improve your concentration and memory? Well I can tell you the secret that may help you accomplish all of the above and more.

What is the secret you may ask? Is it some new wonder drug, or the latest super supplement from the eastern bloc? Is it a weekend with Tony Robbins or some other self-help Guru? No. All you need to help you get the most out of your fitness is SLEEP.

That is right sleep. Could it be that easy? Well for many of us it is not. Many of us find it difficult to get enough sleep these days. This lack of one of our simplest and most precious commodities may be what is keeping us from achieving our fitness goals.

There are many types of stress in our daily lives. There is work stress, relationship stress, financial etc. Stress is caused by both emotional and physical stimulus. We have a finite amount of recovery ability in our body and although we view exercise as a positive thing in our lives, it still adds to the pool of stress that we deal with on a daily basis.

Most of us know that to get the most out of our exercise plan we need to expose our bodies to new challenges and then allow the body to adapt to these challenges. This adaptation takes time and resources. If we overload our bodies with too much, too fast, too soon, we break down and become sick and or inured. If how ever, we give our bodies the time needed to adapt,

We slowly but surely get stronger and fit over time.

Sleep is our bodies’ natural repair and replenish cycle. When we get enough we are able to recover fully from the strain of not only exercise but also all the other stimuli we face daily. Too little and we start to break down.

Let’s look at a few ideas on how we may improve our ability to sleep, naturally.

  1. Stick to a bedtime. While this may seem obvious to most adults, going to bed and getting up at the same time, even on days off from work, is an essential key to obtaining a quality nights sleep.
  2. Have a comfortable mattress and pillow. You mattress and pillow are essential tools in helping you get a good nights sleep. Preferences vary from person to person, but there are many options including air mattresses, which adjust for firmness as well as new memory foams and other high tech and low-tech options.
  3. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Both of these are stimulants and can keep your brain wired. Keep in mind that chocolate has small amounts of caffeine, so if you like chocolate desserts eat them at lunch instead of later in the day.
  4. Avoid large amounts of food or liquid within three hours of bedtime. Large amounts of food or liquid in your stomach before bedtime may result in heartburn, acid reflux and multiple trips to the bathroom.
  5. Make your bedroom cool and dark.  Turn down your thermostat so your bedroom is a few degrees cooler then the rest of the house. Also, reduce the amount of light in the room to create a dark, comfortable environment.
  6. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise 30 – 60 minutes a day can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful.
  7. Avoid long naps. Daytime naps may take away from your ability to sleep. Limit your day time sleep to less then one hour and eliminate naps after3 PM. This will help ensure a good nights sleep.
  8. Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol may be relaxing but it will deprive you of REM* sleep. Constant deprivation of this type of sleep can result in depression a mood disorders.
  9. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Turn on relaxing music, take a hot bath within 80 minutes of bedtime, or pull out a fun book. Such activities aid in relaxation.

So, there you have it. Some simple tips on how to get a more restful nights sleep. Try incorporating some or all of these ideas into your sleep routine and you should reap the benefits of a well-rested and fully recovered body, mind and spirit.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

WEB-SITE SPOT-LIGHT

This week I want to shine the Spot-Light on an excellent Strength and conditioning resource,  Dave Durell’s High Intensity Nation.*

Dave is a fantastic coach, and author, with a great deal of experience working with both elite athletes, and every day fitness enthusiasts.

Dave has written some excellent books on strength training.

The first book is titled: High Intensity Muscle Building, and actually features two books in one (along with some great extras). The first of the two books outlines his safe, and simple yet highly productive, approach to training. My favorite part of this book is the fantastic section on goal setting, and creating commitment. The second book offers a straight forward approach to creating balanced nutritional plans for almost any goal.

Dave has recently released a new book titled Hyper Intensity Training” . Much like his first book, this one offers a lot of bang for your buck. Some of the awesome features include,  in depth explanations of these extremely effective, Ultra intensity techniques, along with audio programs, videos and a few other bonus items.

Dave’s approach to Strength Training offers a clear and proven path,  is time efficient,  extremely safe, and finally will help to stimulate maximum results in less time. I highly recommend that you explore Dave Durell’s High Intensity Nation and all that it has to offer.

P.S. if you decide to buy one (or both of his books) tell him TAKU sent you.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

*TAKU’s NOTE: Check out Dave’s other great web-site High Intensity Muscle Building

Lower Body Blast

This week features another awesome workout from my friend, coach Tom Kelso.

Sometimes you want to get in the gym and really just crush it. The following workout will be both extremely challenging as well as highly effective. If you are looking for a tough workout, look no further. This workout features targeted lower-body exercises, combined with total body intervals.

Productive lower body workout combined with intervals:
Med. Ball squat-to-press :30 on/:30 off x 4 sets
Leg Press x 10-14
Burpees :45 on/:45 off x 3 sets
Barbell Squat x 10-14
Mountain Climbers :20 on/:20 off x 6 sets
Single-Leg Leg Press x 8-12 each leg
Versa Climber 1:00 on/:30 off x 3 sets
Stiff-Leg Dead Lift x 8-12
150 lb. dummy or other object drag/push :30 on/:30 off x 4 sets
Dumbbell Wall Sit for time
Leg Curl x 10-14
Completion time: 35:00 – 45:00
 
Do your best, and try not to get sick…
 
PAU for NOW
 
TAKU

Time Flies

By Jim Bryan

I still remember when I started weight training. I was about 12 years old and had trained for a couple of years on a small weight set my Dad got me. Then I was involved in a serious Motor Cycle accident and was out of training for a while. That was when I was 14. The Dr. told me If I hadn’t been lifting I’d probably be pushing up daisy’s.

I got back into training as soon as I could and have been at it ever since.
I also remember the severe diets when I was doing Bodybuilding Contests. Don’t miss them at all. This was before Dr. Atkins. Funny thing is we were doing the Low Carb thing long before it got popular. It happens that way in Strength Training. Much of what is considered “New and Cutting edge” is actually old and recycled. We trained to failure back then without making a fuss over it. We also used free weights AND machines and never thought about the latest “Functional Training” smokescreen.

A little story about “Functional Training.” It seems the KING (That’s what he’s called) of “Functional Training” was doing a seminar and was going to demonstrate how to develop balance by jumping onto a “Swiss Ball.” He did and busted his ass…….right in front of everyone! I don’t know if anybody got their money back but this type of BS goes on all the time. Thank goodness in my day we were limited to basic training ideas and didn’t have to deal with as much BS as trainees today.

I also remember the Supplement Craze in my day, that has continued up till now. The idea that you can’t gain without supplements is still big business. Now you have Pro Hormones that companies are hawking that may only have bad side effects and none good. In my day There was the Body Building Camp and the Strength Camp. I did both and am happy I did. But Body Building back then wasn’t near as freaky as it is now. I don’t believe for a second that today’s top BB’s are healthy. AND they haven’t been “clean” in years.

Things have gotten much simpler for me now. I still try to train hard and often. I still try new things. I still read. But I don’t worry about all the small things. I have some strength left but I find it’s hard to stay lean as I want to. I just eat less most of the time. I don’t go to Internet Discussion boards much anymore for the simple reason that I’ve heard most of it…..several times. I don’t worry about TUL or TUT. I’m not looking for the latest get big drink. I filter BS pretty good but now and then I find some good Info or Friends to discuss it with. I don’t give a c**p about “what’s best Free Weights or Machines?” They both work. I also don’t care if “Failure Training” works for the masses. I know it worked for me and everyone else that I have seen. I don’t see anything wrong if you do or don’t want to train to failure. It’s your business. Why are you training? Is it for you or someone else? If it isn’t for you, you’ll fail. I also think you can enjoy training, most people won’t continue something they don’t enjoy. I also believe Safety should be an issue for your training. Without it you may be limping around someday.

Mahalo Nui Loa!

TAKU’s NOTE:
This article was originally written by Jim Bryan  on 03-28-04. I want to thank  Jim for sharing another one of his excellent, straightforward, no-nonsense articles with me.

DEVELOPING A SPORT PERFORMANCE PROGRAM

SPORT PERFORMANCE PROGRAM IDEALS
By Tom Kelso

The goal of a sports performance program is to maximize physical qualities needed for optimal athletic performance and injury prevention. Simply put, athletes want to perform at their best from start to finish each contest, over an entire season, and throughout their playing careers without incurring injury setbacks. Many programs that address this can be complicated, time-consuming, and unproductive, but a sound program simplifies the process by focusing on the alterable physical qualities to assure time-efficiency and measurable results. The bottom line is following a sound program makes sense and optimally prepares you for the rigors of competition.

Program components:

1. Progressive strength training. The benefits of increasing muscular strength are numerous. Increasing over-all body strength will improve your potential to exert maximum strength, explosive power and muscular endurance during competition. It will also assist in improving running speed, agility, body composition (body fat levels), and injury prevention. I utilize a variety of intensity-based protocols for both in-season and out-of-season programs.

2. Sport-related conditioning. Fatigue can inhibit maximum skill performance and increase the risk of injury, especially in the latter stages of competitions and important contests at the end of the season. Being in top condition is therefore vital. A good program addresses the energy demands required for your sport by using various interval runs, speed &, agility drills, and sport-specific activities to improve your ability to work at a high level the entire contest. Numerous methods can be used to get you “in shape,” but the closer you can replicate work demands of your sport during conditioning training, the greater the transfer to the sport.

3. Flexibility. All other factors being equal, applying muscular force over the greatest range of joint motion can improve power output during skill execution. Therefore, maximizing one’s inherent flexibility can be beneficial. One’s joint flexibility is contingent upon skeletal muscle origins and insertions, body composition, and to some extent activity level. Some athletes are quite flexible while others are not. Whatever your level, it can be maximized by emphasizing full range of motion strength training exercises and performing basic pre- and post-workout safe static-stretching exercises. An inordinate amount of time spent on static stretching is normally not necessary unless there is a specific need for it.

4. Nutrition. Nutritional intake can have a significant impact on your performance potential as it can both positively and negatively effect body composition, energy levels during training and competition, and the ability to grow muscle and build strength. Following a sensible nutrition plan is therefore very important. A sound program offers advice and guidelines for adhering to a proper food intake plan to optimize your training results. If one eats sensibly from healthy products obtained at the local grocery store, it will augment their training and recovery so expensive nutritional supplements are really not necessary.

Benefits of the sports performance program components:

Strength training:

> Increased muscular strength
> Increased muscular power
> Increased muscular endurance
> Increased muscle size
> Improved running speed
> Improved agility
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Reduced injury risk

Conditioning:

> Improved endurance
> Improved running speed
> Improved agility
> Improved reaction/quickness
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Reduced injury risk

Flexibility:

> Improved force production potential
> Improved skill execution
> Reduced injury risk

Nutrition:

> Maximizes muscle strength
> Maximizes muscle size
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Improved endurance
> Assists in recovery time

TAKU’s NOTE:

This weeks article courtesy of my friend Tom Kelso. Visit his newely updated web-site for tons of great information and some of the best books in the industry. 

1. THE INTERVAL TRAINING MANUAL:
2. THE STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUT ENCYCLOPEDIA:
3. TRUTH, MYTH & REALITY

One and Done

Five Easy Steps to a One Hour Workout

Two of the biggest mistakes I see in the gym are people training too often, and not training hard enough. Most folks mistakenly believe that they can make up for lower quality workouts, by simply upping the quantity. Unfortunately this does not work.

Most of these people hit the gym five or six days a week, repeating the same old stuff over and over, like a hamster going round and round on his little wheel. The sad thing is they make about as much forward progress as that hamster does…they are basically going no where.

On the other end of the spectrum are the folks who feel they just don’t have time to train. They want to do cardio, lift weights, stretch, and still have a life. They look at the gym hamsters, and wish that they to could somehow find the time to spend 10-12 hours a week in the gym.

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

First, you will not make progress by doing the same thing over and over. If you expect your body to produce a change, than you must start by inducing that change with an unaccustomed stimulus.

Next,once the stimulus has been introduced, get out of the gym and let your body do it’s thing. The workout does not produce the change. Change happens during your recovery period.

Finally, 5-6 workouts every two weeks is enough to get the job done. Not only that, each workout should not take more than an hour to complete. That’s right, one hour. You will do cardio, weights, stretching…and all in one hour.

Here’s how it works:

Step One. 0-5 minutes. Warm-up = Easy cycling @ 60% Max Heart Rate

Step Two. 5-20 minutes. Endurance exercise (Cardio) = Interval cycling alternating 3-min @ 70% Max Heart Rate and 3-min @ 80% Max Heart Rate

Step Three. 20-25 minutes. Cool-down = Easy cycling @ 60% Max Heart Rate

Step Four. 25-55 minutes. Strength Training = One set each of 8-12 exercises covering all major muscle groups. Example: Leg Press, Leg Curl, Chest Press, Row, Shoulder Press, Pull-down, Triceps, Biceps, Ab’s, Low-back

Step Five. 55-60 minutes. Cool-down and Stretching = the Big-4: Hamstring stretch, Low-back Stretch, Shoulder Stretch, Calf Stretch

WOW…That was easy. Now, get into the gym and create your own workout using the above guidelines as your template. If you like free-weights, use free-weights. If you prefer running or rowing to cycling, DO IT!.  Try alternating three days in the gym the first week, and only two days the next. Mix things up, keep it fresh.

Before you know it, you’ll be having fun, getting fit, and still have time for a life outside the gym.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

I want it All

I keep hearing that song by Queen in the back of my head. The one with the chorus that says “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all and I want it now”. Many of my clients are very busy people and do not have tons of time to devote to exercise outside of the time they choose to spend with me.

Most personal trainers focus on strength training with their clients. They have come to think of “cardio” as some long duration, low intensity activity that the clients should be doing, but on their own time. They make recommendations like “do 30-60 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week”. I actually know a trainer that tells his clients that in order to be successful they need to do four, 90-minute strength sessions a week, plus another 3-5 hours of cardio on their own time. Talk about inefficient.

This workout is one I use to make sure that my clients can get everything they need in our time together. This plan combines heavy weightlifting with interval style “cardio” training, alternating between the two. Depending on the current needs and abilities of the client there may be from 3-5 exposures to each. The strength training is done in three set mini circuits where in you choose a pushing movement a pulling movement and a lower body movement. The interval training is conducted in four minute blocks using mixed modalities in which the work to rest ratios are varied during each exposure. Rest between the strength and interval bouts is the time it takes to walk from one area of the gym to another. During the strength movements you may vary the rest from 30 – 90 seconds depending on how heavy you wish to train and how challenged you wish to be.

If you are an athlete looking for a great GPP plan for any sport or activity give this style of mixed mode training a try. If you are a trainer who usually just does strength training with your clients, surprise them with this brief and brutal workout. I guarantee you or your clients will see and feel a difference in performance in no time.

Remember the circuits below are just a few examples of 100s you can create. Use these as a template and see what kind of workouts you can come up with. You are limited only by your imagination and the tools you have access to.

Example of Mixed-Mode Hybrid:

 

Strength Circuit 1. 1 x 6-10 reps each

  • Chin-up or weighted Chin-up
  • Dip or weighted Dip
  • Single leg Squat off a box Bodyweight or weighted

H.I.I.T. Mode 1. Four minutes

 

  • Concept 2 – (20 sec work / 10 sec recovery)

Strength Circuit 2. 1 x 6-10 reps each

  • Dumbbell Row
  • Dumbbell Bench
  • Dumbbell CDL+S

H.I.I.T. Mode 2. Four minutes

  • L.B.E. (exercise bike) 30 sec work / 30 sec recovery

Strength Circuit 3. 1 x 6-10 reps each

  • Dumbbell Alternating High pull
  • Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder press
  • Dumbbell reverse lunge

H.I.I.T. Mode 3. Four minutes

  • Stair Sprints 20 sec work / 20 sec recovery

Strength Circuit 4. 1 x 6-10 reps each

  • Hanging Knee raise (weighted if more then 10 reps can be completed)
  • GHD raise (weighted if more then 10 reps can be completed)
  • Cable rotations

PAU for NOW

TAKU