Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Friday, October 04, 2013
Every good "pre-prep" bulking period includes an attack on weakpoints. For me, this includes (among other things) back. Everything about it, width, thickness, I need more of everything. Here are some of the exercises I've been trying lately to help this pet project along.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Whether you've been relaxing on the beach, travelling the world without a gym, or coming back from an injury, getting back to the gym can be a bitch. And not easing your body back into the swing of things can hinder more than help. Here are a few pointers for getting back on the wagon--and staying there.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Saturday, August 03, 2013
So even though I've been somewhat off-the-grid lately, I still get a fair amount of questions and/or comments from the other fitness geeks I encounter. One of my more recent discussions centered around building mass for the upper inner chest. The gent I was speaking with was complaining about having difficulty with this area and it wasn't too difficult for me to diagnose the problem. Here's what I told him, and here are some of the things I focus on myself.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
We all know the human body is lazy. And while the degree of laziness can vary from person to person, even the most dedicated and well-trained individuals will still fall victim to the body's own energy saving techniques. If you're seeking an adaptive response, that is, if you want to grow, you'll need to actively counteract these tendencies. Here are my thoughts on the subject.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
After bailing on the Nevada State back in May, my interest in bodybuilding and blogging has been waning. A few days ago, I fielded some advice from a few different friends and colleagues, some of whom also train or bodybuild. Some suggested to let it go and pick it up again when it felt right. One suggested to get myself into the gym more often to avoid the habit of laziness. Another suggested shorter workouts. But it was my training partner (of course) who needled me into the proper perspective:
After patiently listening to me complain about being fat and gross and generally un-motivated, he suggested to simply eat less and stop working out. His point was this: Exercise isn't necessary if you want to be in decent shape; you can diet your way to skinny if you want to. This was the wake-up call I needed. It made me realize that I didn't want to be in "decent shape," or "skinny," I wanted to be in excellent shape--I wanted to be a shining example of human power, strength, and dedication.
I still wanted to be a bodybuilder.
And there it was.
I've said this before, standing on the other side of the equation, but it holds equally true on this end: You either want to do something or you don't--there's not a lot of gray area in between. For me, this simply meant abandoning my excuses and doing the hard work necessary to get where I wanted to go. And let me just say, it's amazing the improvements you can make in just a week when you stick to it.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
In the midst of falling off the wagon, bailing on my original competition plans, and trying to get my shit together again, I've also switched gyms. There's so much to love about my new "home" and I can't wait to shoot some sweet-ass videos there! Here are a few things to look for in a gym if you're in the market.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Want to know where I learned everything I know about bodybuilding? From the guy who literally wrote the book on the subject! My training partner just finished writing The Healthy Bodybuilder, and you can find a sneak peek here. I read the book several times during the proof-reading phase and it is chock-full of very valuable knowledge.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Well, I'm 8 weeks out from the competition, and that means it's time to start thinking about the finishing touches. To be fair, if you don't have your diet and training on track, none of these little details will make or break your performance, but a polished and professional appearance and presentation certainly can't hurt! A few things to think about as the competition nears...
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Here's a short and sweet post-cheat posing video from 10 weeks out--gotta love that half-time carb-up! I debated on whether or not I should even post this video--not because I don't look awesome, but because there's so many things going on in the background. I especially hesitated because of those RIDICULOUS one-arm t-bar rows. Honestly, I just didn't want to embarrass that poor guy on YouTube. Hope it isn't too distracting, and no, t-bar rows should NEVER EVER be done like that.
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Let's be honest, most of us only perform cardiovascular activities to burn fat. Yeah, yeah, it's good for your heart and lungs, but many of us who take the time to do cardio are more interested in the aesthetic benefits. I'm not saying there aren't people out there who only care about the health benefits, but they are fewer and farther between. Cardio seems like such a simple thing to add to your fitness routine--you basically just hop on a machine and go for it, right? Well, not exactly, there are some basic techniques you can use to maximize the effectiveness of cardio; here are the ones I try to keep in mind at 6 a.m. Note: These tips are best suited for "leg-based" cardio--ellipticals, walking, stationary cycling, etc.
Monday, April 01, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Biceps training has always been one of my favorite training sessions, but my biceps are probably one of my weakest bodyparts--why? Improper training of course! Here's some changes I've been making that have helped, plus selected sets from today's training at 15 weeks out.
Monday, March 04, 2013
It goes without saying that the beginning of a diet is always going to be the easiest: you're not super hungry yet, results come faster since your metabolism is high, and your deficit is probably pretty mild. The first four weeks of this prep were no exception. I skated through them with a carb decrease of a mere few grams, no cardio, and yet still managed to make significant improvements. Here's the recap!
Thursday, February 28, 2013
We can all agree that progressive resistance and high intensity training are the key to seeing serious strength and size gains. But warming up properly is equally important, and in fact, warming up is an integral part of HIT--too few warm-up sets and you could miss out on strength and power during your working set, too many and you'll end up in the same boat. Here's my guide to a great warm-up (and a great workout).
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Female bodybuilding has long been an issue of contention within the bodybuilding community. Public opinion has varied throughout the years, but in general, it's kind of a niche market. Female bodybuilding peaked in popularity in the late 80's, and since then, division after division has been introduced in an effort to get us to tone it down and try something else. So far, none of these new additions have worked. At all. Female bodybuilders are bigger, harder, and more determined than ever--but that shit doesn't put asses in the seats now does it? The recent introduction of the Physique division is the latest attempt to shoehorn muscle girls into something smaller and more "appropriate." Here's a breakdown of the two divisions and the drama that surrounds them.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Well, it's 20 weeks until the Nevada State Championships and that means it's time to start my diet. My most recent prep went really well overall, so I'm not going to change my approach in any drastic ways this time. The primary alteration will be the duration of the diet--for my last show I only had 12 weeks by the time I decided to compete and it just wasn't long enough at the pace I was going. An additional 8 weeks should be enough to really bring a dialed in package this time around. Here's my jumping off point for the first few weeks.
Friday, February 01, 2013
I can't believe it's already been a whole year since my first post on FM and my first appearance on YouTube! And what a year it's been. I'm working on my FIFTH year of bodybuilding--whew! That's a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and short shorts. The coming year has a lot of excitement in store as well. FM has been a great outlet for everything I've picked up over the years, but I originally started this blog to share the contest preparation experience. The next few months are going to be pretty intense, and I'm super excited to share it with you guys. Get ready for more pictures, better videos, and an unlimited supply of new things to learn and share. It's going to be a wild ride, so buckle up!
I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project over the past year. Big thanks to Jordan Cronin who put me in a video of his once upon a time, and gave me no choice but to jump right in and stop procrastinating. I'd probably still be hemming and hawing about it if it weren't for that final push--thanks man! I'd also like to thank the music producers who have let me use their work in my videos. You guys have given me SO many amazing workouts, srsly :) Thank you, thank you, thank you Grant, Kevin, Jeff, and Matt! And finally, thanks to anyone and everyone who has read, skimmed, followed, subscribed, commented on, or even been aware of this project. I know bodybuilding isn't for everyone, and I know female bodybuilding really isn't for everyone, so.. Thanks!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Eating chicken breast every day gets old real fast—especially if you’re eating it more than once too. Keeping your go-to staples delicious and appetizing goes a long way towards helping you stick to a stricter intake. Here are my favorite ways to dress up plain ol’ chicken and rice.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
For my previous injury-related post regarding knees, shoulders, and hips, read this.
When initiating a back rehabilitation routine, it is important to remember a few key spinal qualities. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the spinal extensors are static muscles. Unlike other skeletal muscles, which stretch and contract in order to facilitate movement, these extensors are only meant to hold a static, stable position with a (relatively speaking) very limited range of motion. To perform this function, the spine is held in place not by one or two pairs of extensors, but by many overlapping pairs of varying lengths. This network stabilizes and supports the spine, while myriad other skeletal muscles use this layered foundation to rotate, extend, lift, and lower the shoulders, arms, neck, and legs--there are almost no activities which do not affect the back. This means that this musculature can both withstand and exert an extreme amount of force, making it highly resilient but also highly susceptible to injury--especially if the spine is not supported properly. And in spite of this strength and resilience, the back is still fairly delicate, so working around an injury involving the back may contraindicate lots of exercises, even for non-affected areas. Sharp pain is usually a good indicator that an exercise or stretch should not be performed—this is not to be confused with muscular “discomfort” that needs to be explored and pushed!