Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anaerobic for Dummies - Part 1

Here is a generalized work out, {Day One} that I am keeping record of to hand out to people when they need a start on getting into shape. It just saves time, to have this ready and alter it as needed since I think to date I have written out about 400 of these and 2 may have been used. You can see how an hour of my time gets treated and why I get grouchy about it sometimes and never made it as a personal trainer. I will say this though, the two people that actually listened to me look fabtabulous. After I get this out there, and it is ignored by most people that have wanted my time to write them a program and a diet, I will probably post Day Two, maybe tomorrow, who knows. Technically this is a Four Day plan so you probably know how it goes from there. I will post the diet regimen after those are done.

We are going to use a staggered growth process here, which means that I am going to list things in phases, which you are going to “attempt” until you are actually doing them. The top most will be “achievable” and the bottom most probably will not be, but you will make “attempts” at all of them until you are realizing the goals of actually doing them. This could take weeks could take months. I will give examples {using myself} as to what was a stage by stage process and how it worked for me. Everyone is different so, you may “get it” quicker and you may not. Each exercise is important for a specific muscle group and will in effect strengthen and tone your body. This will not make you look like Hulk Hogan, without the assistance of steroids, so don't go there. Women in particular should learn to build muscle to look better, because you will never look like Arnold without the roids and bigger muscles burn more fat. 10 pounds of muscle on the scale takes up one third the space fat did on your body, and will give you an extra 400 calories a day that you can put in your system without effects on your hips.

Now the principals that you will apply to ALL weight lifting is simple. Everything is multiplied by 4. You need to get yourself to 4 sets {sets are the series of reps – reps are the actual count on the exercise you are doing} but in the beginning you might only do 2 or 3. In the end you are at your optimal values doing 4 sets. Your goal is always 12 reps {3 x 4} but as long as you stick to 4s you have benefits. If you can do 8 reps you are at your maximum weight for the next time you lift, if you can only do 4 then you need to drop your weight the next time. When I say start light I mean “start light” and a good example would be when I bench press. My first set is set at about 100 lbs and my last set is at about 250 lbs {100 – 150 – 200 – 250} and you DON'T have to jump up as fast as I do, it just works for me. That first set being really light, will tell you if you are using bad form or setting yourself up for an injury every bit as much as it works as a warm up. Also keep in mind for every set you do you need to take the equal amount to a bit more of “rest” before you take on the next set. I make sure I do this by walking to the water fountain and taking a drink between each set.

Day One .. Chest
Bench Presses – I prefer to use a Smith Machine {the one which the bar has hooks so you can set it in mid air on the frame} .. Everyone can do these even if you are using almost no weight. When I started out I was doing 50 lbs, I felt pathetic, but I just did it. To get the best effects from this exercise you really do need your hands on the bar further out than your shoulders. Keep your elbows out strait, and move the bar at a measured pace {don't drop it or push it quickly! If you have to be herky jerky with it your weight is TOO HIGH!}

Incline Bench Presses – Same as above but with a 45 degree angle on the bench. Women will usually start whining here about how they don't want to lose their boobs, or don't want to look like an umber-hulk, but ladies. Stronger firmer pecs at any age gives you those perky 20 year old boobs that poke everyone as you walk by. Everyone can usually do these, even if they have to do very low weight.

Dips or Decline Presses – Parallel Bar Dips are when you hold the bars at the sides and with your elbows out lower yourself and push yourself up. THIS IS VERY DIFFICULT. It may take time for you to do it, but again ladies {perky ass boobs that make men die} and men {that curve under your pecs that differentiate from Adonis too Man Boobs} but as I said, you may only be able to do one the first time you try this. I know I did. After a few years I am only up to about 20 on a good day. As you are working your way up to these you can do decline presses. Just like the others above, but with a 45 degree decline on the bench. You will actually find decline bench presses to be easier than regular or incline bench presses.

Cable Fly's – You've seen people do these, but I am going to tell you how to do them right and then you can get results from them and laugh at the people who do them to show off. Standing up almost strait {very important} you take very low weights on each arm {hell I start at 30 lbs} you hold your arms out strait {Jesus Christ Pose, as we would call it at the gym} bring your arms down towards your knees keeping your elbows strait. Bring your arms up slowly. Repeat. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK. Do this with a low weight and keep your form strict and you will have killer RESULTS. That's what matters.

Day One .. Arms
Bicep Curls – Form is important with these. It doesn't matter if you do them standing or sitting {I prefer standing} but you have to do them properly. Holding a dumbell in each hand you have to hold them sideways like your hands would go naturally {weight facing forward and back} and as you curl them up you are going to let your wrist curl around so that the weights are 90 degrees from the starting point {weights facing left and right} and then let them curl back into the starting position on the way back down. If you are doing this right you will feel a pinch in your bicep as well as a burning in your forearm.

Preacher Curls – That's the bench you put your upper arms on and curl a curvy bar up towards your nose. Keep a low eight to start and get moderately heavier. I find that this works a lot better if you if you adjust the seat so that the bench is right up under your armpits and you aren't leaning over at all.

Seated Over Head Curls – This one is the hard one at first but damn it works great. Using the lat pull down, attach the two handles that you would have used for your cable fly's. Keeping your back as strait as possible just curl your arms down so that your hands end up behind your head. You should feel a whole different kind of burn in your biceps. Let me remind the women at this point that firm biceps are a lot sexier than you think they are so just DO IT!

Triceps Rope Push Downs – More people mess this up than anything else at the gym. I don't know if it is an ego thing or whatnot, but there are several ways they do, so follow these instructions properly. You want to use an actual Triceps cable. This is the one that usually has a pad so you can put your back against it, and the cable goes above your head and you pull it down in front of you. The other cable downs are easier and you can do more weight, but it DOESN'T do the job right. Using the rope {with the balls on the end to hold your hands} you keep your upper arms strait down at your sides. DO NOT let them lift or you are working your back! Pull the rope downward and pull your hands away from each other at the end so they end up at your sides. This is VERY important as it will help you get that “fork” on your triceps as opposed to just a big lump. The Triceps are the biggest muscle on your arms and it will keep you from getting the wobble wings that time tends to force on us.

One Arm Reverse Grip Cable Pulls – This is easier than it looks but you have to do it this way. Remember that we are not at the gym to show off. We want to use the gym to show off at the beach! Using the same principals above {upper arm at side} you grasp the handle so that your fingers are up, not down. It looks like the end of a bicep curl. Slowly {very slowly} bring your arm down and make damn sure that at the end of the push down your arm is about six inches behind you. That extra 6 inches or so will create such a burning sensation that you can tell it is working.

Kneeling Presses – This is one that does some damage and might take a while to really integrate in. Using the rope from before you need to set up the cable on one of the bottom attachments. You will hold the rope over your head while you are kneeling down and bend forward until the cable is taut, and your elbows are pointing forward with your forearms behind you. Pressing the rope forward until your arm is extended you will feel a burn on the back of your arms. The hardest part of this is making sure that you do it at a moderate speed. Don't let yourself have hurky jerky motions and you should be all set.

This is the end of Day One. It looks daunting but it should only take 40 minutes to an hour after you do it a few times. After I list all the days you might change it around to your liking. I know a lot of people that have to work “Shoulders and Arms” together but it never worked well for me. I never liked working “Back and Chest” together either, so you will understand why the next part will be “Back and Shoulders or Day 2”