This past year has been a year of transition and hard work for me. Having worked two jobs for over a year, I finally quit one and am full time now in my new career. Because of this I was not able to update The Iron Game like I wanted to. I am able now to devote more time to it and look forward to updating it on a more regular basis. In the meantime feel free to visit my OSU blog. New Post at Buckeye Leaves-Buckeyes Clinch The Leaders Division Title By Beating Wisconsin In Overtime 21 – 14!
Weight Training, Routines and More
Over the course of the last several months I have been entrusted with opening up a few times a week for King’s Gym in Bedford, Oh. Being that I live an hour east of this great facility, my waking time is around 2 am. I would like to share this past week with you if I may. Last Monday, April 16, I received a call from my youngest son, Aaron, that he had been in a car accident on his way to work in Columbus, Oh. His vehicle was completely totaled and he was basically okay and this father counts his blessings!
Do you have goals to improve your life in 2012? The Iron Game is a good start to get you going and achieving whatever your goals or resolutions may be for this coming year. It all begins with getting physical! Let me explain-New year’s resolutions are a defense mechanism, or excuse for achievements that for the most part will never be reached.
As a member of The Iron Game for most of my life, I have noticed an ebb and flow at the gym where I train. Why do some people go to the gym and barely break a sweat and others train their butts off? Then there are those who used to train hard yet now hardly train. They come into the gym, barely break a sweat, take three minutes or more between sets and watch the TV’s scattered about the gym. This inactivity and half-hearted effort only fuels my drive and enthusiasm to train even harder!
This activity is about self discovery, there is no one way to train just as there is no one way to cut a cake. For seasoned weight lifters who are not competing in organized power lifting or body building events, but compete with themselves just for the love of training and the benefits you derive from it, it’s a good thing to shake up your routine! There is nothing wrong with shaking things up now and then, noone’s keeping score except you. The bottom line is to have fun, sweat you rear end off and train like a mad man! Here’s my routine that I’ve been using the past six weeks and looks like will be doing for awhile. Take note that not only is this a lot of fun, it has increased my strength significantly!
Sometimes we feel like we’re stuck in a rut with getting bored with our regular aerobic routines. Here’s how I solve getting out of that rut with a sound aerobic alternative to the traditional running on the treadmill, using the step climber or peddling on the stationary bike. I do high volume reps, 16 to 25 reps per set and 5 to 6 sets of exercises such as seated cable rows. Sumo deadlifts, with 2 sets of 30 reps, and squats, 2 sets of 20 reps or bench presses/and or inclines of 45 sets of 15 reps per set. Stick with compound movements as these difficult exercises will tax your heart and lungs quicker!
This message is for those of you who have been disciples of the The Iron Game for literally the better part of their lives. I’m directing this to those folks who may have started their weight training in their teens and have continued through their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.
Fundamental weight training movements are your basic tools. That is a formula for success, whether you’re baking cookies or building a house. When it comes to muscle it’s never a bad time to return to the basics. If you’re a newbie looking for the best place to start, or you’ve been at it so long and have tried so many different workouts that you now find yourself performing goblet squats with a kettle bell while standing and trying to balance yourself on a half moon beach ball and wondering why you aren’t making any gains in size and/or strength.
Remember the story of The Tortoise and The Hare? Both were engaged in a race with one being much faster and quicker, the hare, while the other one was much slower and not very quick at all, the tortoise. When the race began the hare got off to a quick and easy lead while the tortoise began the race with a much slower and methodical approach. The hare would bolt ahead, retreat and expend additional energy by making fun of how slow the tortoise was moving. We all know the moral of the story, the hare eventually ran out of gas, became tired and lost the race to the slower, yet consistently moving tortoise.
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For us seasoned lifters, continued gains can be made by reducing the number of exercises performed per body part per workout. I’m currently finding out that less is best in terms of the number of exercises performed per workout. So here’s my story: Over the last several weeks I have redirected my attention to the importance of focusing on the mind/body link in my training, which is really focusing on that mind connection to the exercise movement. In refocusing my attention I’ve deliberately reduced the number of exercises performed per body part. Here’s why, if your workout consists of five or six exercises you will invariably begin to think about the next exercise coming up in your routine. This distraction will lessen the benefit of the exercise you are presently performing. Instead of training and having mind blowing workouts you find yourself going through the motions. I will have none of this kind of training! If you want to have great workout sessions, keep it simple and train harder than hard!
In baseball a pitcher will confuse a hitter, keeping him off balance by mixing up the pitches. One moment the hitter might see a fast ball, followed by a curve ball, change up, knuckle ball to a slider. In order for the batter to be a complete player he needs to recognize each pitch and through advanced preparation, successfully make the adjustment in his swing to make contact that results in a successful on base hit. Reacting to the stress of this confusion the batter has adapted and developed into a solid ball player.
This message is especially for those who are long time veterans of The Iron Game. In your 20’s and 30’s, if your focus was on training real heavy, as mine was, you’re into benching, doing inclines and sit down behind the neck presses with some very serious weight! You’re rocked up and strong as heck, and most importantly doing everything naturally.
Welcome to a new challenge! Remember, we need to keep this great activity fun and sometimes a short term change can be a good thing! On occasion it’s a good idea to make a change from focusing on gut busting, heavy training for strength and instead focus on training to increase muscle size. Of course a certain amount of strength can be developed as a result of this program, but strength is not the goal here, rather our focus is on making greater muscle size gains.
Guys, I’ve been weight training for a long time, 43½ years and I am still learning, still discovering new things. What I discovered recently was a small subtle change involving one’s descent from an upright starting position down to the bar as you execute a sumo deadlift. This new found discovery goes something like this: Under normal circumstances certain exercises need to be attacked with flat out gut wrenching desire, enthusiasm and effort! Sumo deadlifts require that you set your feet, arch your back and it’s all about “gripping and ripping.” A quick descent grip pull like hell and visualizing shoving your feet through the floor. On a number of enthusiastic attempts I’ve missed the bar, jammed my fingers on the bar or pulled so hard that I lost my balance during the completion of the lift! Many of you can identify with this kind of effort.
Want to take your workouts to another level? Well, there is a way to increase the stress level and benefit of certain exercises within your program by incorporating short 2” to 4” partial movements after you have completed your target number of regular full range reps per set. As a reminder, you’ve heard me say that this great activity, weight training is all about stress and adaptation to that stress. Your objective is to tear down your muscle tissue as much as possible, then allow it to recover through rest and nutrition. Pulse reps is another technique that you can use to maximize the benefit of your training.
A thought, a realization hit me, like a sledge hammer square in the middle of the forehead while training one day last week and it was this: With all of the turmoil, bickering and uncertainty about the state of our economy and the status of our current health care system, we now more than ever owe it to ourselves to take a step back and reassess the value of this great activity that we so passionately engage in-weight training/working out!
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For young people who participate in sports, maximum gains during your off season program are achieved by following a disciplined program in terms of your set/rep scheme as well as the order in which you perform your exercises. For you, it’s all about “sawing wood.” That is, working consistently hard and giving it your all! Remember, this activity is pretty simple, it’s all about stress and adaptation to that stress. For you, two things should change: