7 Things You Are Doing Wrong In The Gym

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Many people go to the gym, but end up seeing very little results. The reason for that is not the routine they are doing. The problem is often much more basic, especially for beginners, office jockeys and weekend warriors. So if you fit in one of these categories, then try to examine what you are doing and what things you are doing wrong.

If you thought that this post was going to be about progressive overload, compound exercises and deadlifts, then you are in for a surprise. The main mistakes of most people are much more basic than that. If you are a more advanced lifter than this is most likely “well, duh” for you, but unfortunately most people keep on repeating these mistakes, sabotaging their own progress.

Here is a list:

1) You don’t go regularly to the gym

You might go to the gym one time one week, three times the second week, skip the third week and go back the fourth week. Your gym schedule is irregular and you do things haphazardly. No wonder you are not seeing results.

If you want to see results, then you need to go regularly. Pick a number of days a week (whether 2 or 4 or whatever) and stick to that number.

2) You are not consistent with your routine (you don’t stick to your routine)

Many people try to look for the perfect routine. In reality, it doesn’t really matter what routine you do, as long as it encompasses a few basic principles and most importantly you stick to it.

Many people go the gym, do cardio one week, then work on some chest presses the next week and do something totally different the third week. You need to pick a routine and stick to it. The key to anything is staying consistent.

Also don’t forget to work all your major muscle groups, a lot of guys go to the gym and keep on working their chest and biceps over and over again. Yes, they are being consistent, but it is a stupid type of consistency which can only lead to muscle imbalances and injuries.

3) You think some magic supplement will solve all your problems

I have a friend who I noticed had not being going to the gym for a while. I asked him why that is and he replied:

I can’t train if I don’t buy protein powder first.

He is obviously under the impression that some magic bullet (especially in the form of supplements) will make the difference. However his problems are much more fundamental: he is not consistent and his routine does not follow the basic principles of lifting. No wonder he never sees any progress. Yet, he still doesn’t listen.

4) You spend too much time fiddling with your smartphone

Seriously you don’t need to check your cell phone in between sets or play with it when you are on cardio machines. In fact, leave it in the locker room or at home.

5) You train through injuries and don’t give your body time to rest and heal

Contrary to popular belief, your muscles don’t grow in the gym doing exercises, but after that during the time you are at home and at rest. If you are not resting, then you are not giving your body time to recover and grow.

Also when you train through your injuries, you are settign yourself up for bigger problems later on. If you have a major injury, then take a break and give your body time to heal. That way you can continue on training for a long time.

6) You don’t pay attention to your diet

Whether you are fat or skinny depends on what you do in the kitchen: what you eat. If you want to see results, you need to fuel your body up with nutrients.

7) You can’t take a hint

If what you are doing isn’t producing results, then you are doing something wrong and need to change what you are doing. This is pretty obvious, but it’s amazing how many people can’t take a hint and continue on doing things in the wrong way.

Read More:
Top 12 exercises that must be a part of your routine

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The Modern “Gladiator” Workouts – How The Stars Of The Spartacus Series Trained For Their Roles

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You might have seen the latest movie remake of the Spartacus story. Spartacus was a Thracian warrior, turned slave, turned gladiator. He is famous for escaping from his gladiator school and leading a slave revolt that kept the Romans busy for years.

Many people are interested in how the ancient gladiators used to train. I wrote an article on ancient Roman gladiator training techniques.

Unfortunately we only have partial information on how the Roman gladiators really trained, so all the modern “gladiator” workouts are really just inspired by the ancient gladiators or just use the word “gladiator” to sound more hardcore. Most of these workouts incorporate circuit training and focus more on functional exercises.

Here is how the stars of the “Spartacus” series trained:

Bodybuilding.com Spartacus workout:

Read more:
The real gladiator workout
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Get Rid Of Them Chicken Legs: How To Get Bigger Calves

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If you step into the gym, you will immediately notice something. You will see guys with huge arms, huge chests…. and chicken legs. It’s pretty amusing watching these guys with huge biceps as they strut around on their toothpick legs.

The problems is that many guys spend most of their time working on their show muscles, and totally neglect the legs. If you are one of those guys, then you should remind yourself of the fact that legs make up half of your body. If you don’t work them, then you will never see the total gains you want.

With that said, I will assume that you do spend a considerable time working your legs with such staples as deadlifts, squats and a variety of other exercises. However your calves have not attained the size that you want.

For many people, the calves are their most stubborn muscles and even if you spend considerable time working them, they still refuse to grow. If you have that problem, then you should consider changing your approach.

The calves support and stabilize your legs and the rest of your body. So having big and strong calves, isn’t just a matter of having good looking legs, but also results in many functional advantages. With stronger calves your performance in many sports will improve, you will be able to jump higher, run faster and perform many activities in a more explosive manner.

In order for you to better understand how the calves work and what types of things you need to do to train them, you should have a basic understanding of what the calf muscles actually are. The back side of the lower leg (the calf) is made of two main muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The entire system of calf muscles is sometimes called the triceps surae muscle, or the three-headed calf.
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Top 12 Exercises That Must Be Part Of Your Routine

Your lifting routine should ideally consist of a few basic exercises that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. If you want to bulk up, gain weight and just gain loads of muscle, then your training needs to be focused.

If you are a beginner or an intermediate lifter, forget about isolation exercises for now (you can add them once you are on the upper intermediate or advanced level) and just focus on a few key exercises. These should be heavy compound multi-joint exercises that recruit muscles from various parts of your body and work the entire muscle chain.

However you should also remember that if you have been leading a sitting lifestyle all your life, then you are most likely imbalanced and need to work out to try to lessen those imbalances. Even if you have been playing sports for most of your life or just led a less stationary lifestyle, some of these imbalances can still be present in your body, whether that’s due to the nature of the sport you played, injuries or a myriad of other reasons. Also heavy lifting can be very taxing on your body and can cause injury.

So in order to try to straighten out those imbalances and also to lessen the chance of injury, your routine should also have a good set of stretching and rehabilitation exercises. Injuries can kill your growth and the best way to avoid them is to try to prevent them by having a routine which tries to strengthen and stretch vulnerable parts of your body.

Here are the essential exercises that need to be a part of your routine:

The lifts
Lifting free weights is one of the easiest ways to really create huge muscles. That said, you need to keep a few principles in mind while doing them. Proper form is very important, as doing things wrongly can ultimately lead to injury. Also the principle of progressive overload is the basis of getting bigger. If you want to get bigger, you need to keep on lifting heavier and heavier weights.

1) deadlifts
The deadlift is the king of compound exercises. It is one of the key parts of my current routine. The deadlift works all parts of your posterior chain, including the back muscles, the glutes and the hamstrings and is essential for any routine which has as its aim the growth of muscles. Deadlifting also stimulates the creation of things like testosterone and the human growth hormone. There are several variations of the deadlift, including the normal deadlift or a stiff-legged deadlift. With the deadlift, you need to watch your form, as it is very easy to get injured, if you make a mistake.

2) squats
The squat is also a must-do exercise. Unfortunately most gyms today don’t have a squat rack, making it hard to perform it. It works primarily the quadriceps, but also recruits other muscles as well.

3) bendover rows
You seriously need to pay proper attention to your back muscles and the bendover rows are a good way to do that. Whether you do them with dumbbells or a barbell, bendover rows need to be in your routine.

4) dumbbell bench presses
Bench presses are probably in your routine already, so no need to explain more. 🙂 However I prefer doing bench presses with dumbbells, as you need to lift each dumbbell separately with your individual hands, which prevents you from cheating.

5) cable rows
Cable rows are really great for your back, as they keep the tension on. This is a good exercise for people with bad postures.

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The Real Gladiator Workout: Train Like A Gladiator

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The Ancient Roman gladiators were some lean, mean killing machines. Fighting was their way of life, the very essence of their being. This gave them an unwavering strength and a tremendous drive and determination. Their courage was legendary. If a gladiator wanted to be the champion, he could not let his focus waver. A single mistake, a slip up, a short lapse in his attention or a bit weaker stamina could end it all for him. His very life depended on being in peak physical condition and the master of his weapons.

Gladiators needed to be driven, not only to become the best they could be, but also to always be better than their opponent. For them, being second best could often mean only one thing: death.

Unfortunately only very few fragments describing their training survive, so it is very hard to reconstruct their training regimen. There was also never just one specific way of training gladiators. Gladiator training varied across time and geographic location. The type of training they received, as well as their diets, also often depended on how rich the owners of their schools were.

The richest and most prestigious schools could employ the very best trainers and physicians and also provide the highest quality food, while the poorer schools, especially in the outlying provinces often suffered from a lack of resources.

This article will focus on the ancient gladiator training techniques and what we can determine about them from the ancient sources. If you are looking for a modern “gladiator” inspired workout, then click here.

Sport specific training
The most important training for any gladiator was the training done with the specific weapons that he would use in the arena. If he wanted to win in a fight, he needed to be extremely proficient in their use.

The main weapons used by the gladiators included different types of swords, knives, shields and special weapons such as the trident for the retiarius, or a spear for some other types of gladiators.

In practice, the gladiators utilized wooden replicas of these weapons. Much of the training was spent sparring with these wooden weapons against other gladiators. Part of the time, wooden weapons that were heavier than the ones the gladiators wielded in actual combat were used. The idea of training with heavier weapons was that once they got used to fighting with these, it was much easier to fight with normal weapons.

During sparring, gladiators were taught the proper way of using the sword. They were taught not to slash at the opponent, but instead to stab him. This was considered the most efficient way of killing the opponent or causing him the most harm.

One of the most important exercises was called the “post” exercise. This was done using wooden weapons of normal or larger size against a large pole stuck in the ground. The exercise was described by Vegetius, a writer from the period of the Late Antiquity, in his book called “De Re Military“:

They gave their recruits round bucklers woven with willows, twice as heavy as those used on real service, and wooden swords double the weight of the common ones. They exercised them with these at the post both morning and afternoon.

The gladiators also spent considerable time practicing fighting without weapons. Things like wrestling were a very important part of training for any gladiator. Not only did they need to be skilled in the use of the sword, but they also needed to be good at hand to hand fighting.

Some descriptions of ancient hand-to-hand fighting survive. For example boxing, wrestling and an ancient version of MMA called pankration were official sports in the Ancient Olympics.

We do not know how the actual gladiator training without weapons proceeded, but it probably involved a lot of drilling of different moves and resembled the instructions for wrestling moves found in one 2nd century AD Greek papyrus or the even more ancient scenes from Ancient Egyptian wall paintings.

General training for physical condition
The historical record for what type of physical training the gladiators did is very patchy. There undoubtedly were a lot of manuals produced during Roman times, however very few survived to the present. So unfortunately we cannot produce a full “real” gladiator workout, but we can only surmise at the types of exercises they did from some of the writings that do survive.

The trainers of Roman gladiators did realize that fight specific training is not enough in order to build the ultimate fighting and killing machine. They knew that in order to develop strength, speed and stamina, the gladiators would need to do a variety of generic exercises in order to do that. Many of these were based on what was developed by the Ancient Greeks.

Different ludi (gladiator schools) organized their training regimens differently, however at the time of the Roman Empire, the most popular organization of training was based on the “tetrad” system developed by the Ancient Greeks. This divided training into 4-day cycles:

  • Day 1 – day of preparation, which consisted of toning and short, high intensity workouts
  • Day 2 – day of high intensity, which consisted of long, strenuous exercise
  • Day 3 – day of rest (short, very light workouts were also done, but it was mostly about resting)
  • Day 4 – day of medium intensity

In his work “Concerning Gymnastics” (one of the earliest surviving works on sports science), Philostratus, a Greek philosopher who lived during the time of the Roman Empire, described the tetrad system like this:

By the tetrad system we mean a cycle of four days, each one of which is devoted to a different activity. The first day prepares the athlete; the second is an all-out trial; the third is relaxation; and the fourth is a medium-hard workout. Regarding exercise of the first day, it is made up of short, intense movements which stir up the athlete and prepare him for the hard workout to follow on the next day. This strenuous day is an all-out test of his potential. The third day employs his energy in a moderate way, while on the day of the medium workout or last day, the athlete himself practices breaking holds and preventing his opponent from breaking away.

Once this cycle was over after Day 4, a new cycle of the tetrad would begin.
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How A Routine Of Deadlifts And Pullups Made Me Blow Up To My Biggest Weight Ever

gaining weight and muscle, scale

gaining weight and muscle, scale

Today I got to my parent’s house. I live far away from them, so visit just a few times a year. The scale at my house is broken, so I wasn’t really aware of my weight. I thought I had actually lost weight, as I had not really been eating right and my working out routine has been severely limited due to the fact that I am still trying to strengthen up my knee after the ACL operation I had in the fall of last year. My focus this year has been recovering from my ACL injury and not gaining weight and muscle.

So today for the first time I had access to a functioning scale. Imagine my surprise when the scale showed 86 kilograms! That basically equals my all time high weight ever. And I had actually thought I had lost weight and was probably howering somewhere around 80 kilograms.

That’s great news, since not only am I close to my biggest weight ever, my abs are showing as well, and all this after not even trying to eat properly. 🙂

What can I thank this to? I think it’s due to my routine now heavily relying on pullups and deadlifts.

This is what my routine consisted of:
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When You Know It’s Time To Turn Back Before Reaching The Peak

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If you want to win and succeed in life you need to try to overcome your mental limits, to push through the pain and reach the top. Yet sometimes there are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, if the pain is too great, you need to turn back before reaching the top.

There are times when you need to forget about the pain you are feeling, clench your teeth and continue, yet at other times, when the pain is too great, you need to stop and turn back. The smart man can distinguish between the time when he should not give up and the time when he should. This is a vital skill, which will help you succeed in life.

When you are working out (or doing any other type of physical or even mental activity), your body will feel pain, you will be reaching your limits, yet you continuing to push through, forgetting about the pain and finishing up those reps, will be the key to achieving your goals or even surpassing them. Getting big (and gaining weight) means having to go through a rigorous exercise process and not giving up when the going gets tough.

So why am I talking about times when the pain is too great and you should give up? There are two types of pain: the pain you feel when your body is working harder than it ever did before, that is a good pain, and the pain you feel when your body is breaking down, that is a bad pain.

When you are lifting heavy or sprinting hard and you feel you can’t push anymore, using your mind to supress that pain will help you finish up strong, which will give you the ability to lift heavier and sprint harder the next time. That is the key to improving.
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Lazar Angelov Transformation And Inspiration

One of the most impressive physiques on the net belongs to a Bulgarian bodybuilder named Lazar Angelov. Dude is seriously ripped and symmetric. He started off as a basketball player, but later turned to bodybuilding. The guy has impressive genetics, but also a lot of hard work went into getting the body he has.

Here is a video that can serve as inspiration:

Lazar Angelov Transformation and Inspiration

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The Best Bodyweight Exercises To Do When Travelling

I often find myself travelling and that cuts into my workout routine. Unfortunately when travelling, usually there are no weights available and the only way to get some exercise in, is to work with your weight. There are a few exercises that you can do in your hotel room, only using the things that are commonly available there.

I usually start with some light stretching (my muscles are sore after travelling) and some warmups with jumping jacks. After that I get into the actual routine itself. I try to do about 2 sets of 20 reps each of these exercises, but you can figure out your own number of sets and reps, depending on how strong you are and how much you want to work out.

Here’s the routine:
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