Archive for October, 2010


Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I was on the road for work, and as usual, I decided to hit a nearby gym for a workout. Fortunately it wasn’t one of those super posh gyms with plasma TV’s on every wall, chrome weights starting at 1.5 lbs. and a smoothie bar stock full of sugary blends. No, this place was pretty basic, with enough equipment to get the job done, and then some. It had plenty of cardio equipment, an area for core and abdominal work, Hammer Strength and cable machines and plenty of free weights.
It was nearing the end of my workout as I powered through the eleventh rep of lying triceps extensions and thought, “One more rep, c’mon just one more!”  It was a killer set and my triceps felt like they were about to explode. The burn shot from under my arms to my elbows. I dropped the weight after squeezing out the twelfth rep, then laughed to myself because it burned so freakin’ much. As the world came back into focus, I notice that this guy was trying to say something to me. “What’s that?” I asked.
I saw him in the gym when I first walked in, bull crappin’ with his buddies, grabbing a drink of water, and doing a set here and there. I could barely catch my breath. The lactic acid flushed from my arms as I grabbed my towel to wipe the sweat dripping down into my eyes.
He said, “Sorry to bug you, but what do you think I should do to gain more size?” I wanted to lay into this guy and tell him what I really thought, but I took a deep breath and said, “You gotta change what you’re doing.” With that he looks at me and says, “Well, right now I’m doing four exercises for chest, three for shoulders…”
I stopped him right there, “I’m not talking about what exercises you’re doing, or how many sets you’re doing. I’m talking about everything else you’re doing in the gym other than working out! You wanna gain size, you gotta kick up the intensity!”
He says, “I train pretty hard.” At that point all I could do was smile and shake my head. I was standing there sweating my butt off and trying to catch my breath – time for my next set. (more…)


Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

We all have experienced those days in the gym when you can’t seem to pick up the intensity and it feels like you’re just going through the motions. Maybe you’re not feelin’ the mojo that day, or maybe you’re growing tired of the same routine. Whatever it is, quick fixes like these listed below will help add flavor to a ho-hum workout. And if all else fails, lighten up the weight and blast out a 100 rep set of an exercise!

Some of the most memorable workouts I’ve experienced happened off the cuff with a crazy rep challenge or a monster back-and-forth set with some rediculous number of total sets between me and my workout partner. Bottom line: If you want to get better you’ve got to stimulate your muscles and give them a reason to grow. Let’s start with these 10 quick tips to ramp up your gym time so that you can create epic workouts you won’t soon forget!

  1. Pull-ups are natures back builder! Grab the bar just outside shoulder width, pull to your chin, and shoot for 5 sets of 10.
  2.  To really isolate your quads, do leg presses with your feet in the middle of the press plate, about shoulder width apart, and pointed straight ahead. This enhances that great looking leg sweep and separation between the hamstring and quad.
  3.  For thick n’ wide biceps, do dumbbell hammer curls. They’re a great complement to refining movements like preacher curls, and allow for even more biceps peak!
  4.  Half-reps will take your calves to the next level. Do half-reps starting at the top and go only halfway down, then repeat for reps. For the second half of the set do half-reps staring at the bottom and come only halfway up. The catch is that you gotta rep out till they’re on fire!
  5.  Finish your chest workout by standing two twenty-five pound Olympic plates on end about shoulder width apart. Grasp the top of each, and do push-ups for 3 sets of 10 while balancing between them. (more…)


Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

“Waiting for the fish to bite, or waiting for the wind to fly a kite.
Or waiting around for Friday night.
Or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake, or a pot to boil, or a better break.
Or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants, or a wig with curls, or another chance.
Everyone is just waiting.”
– Dr. Seuss

When it comes to making a change for your own physical wellbeing, most people prefer to wait for the perfect time to get started. They’re waiting for that special moment when all the stars are aligned and they can finally dedicate themselves to the gym and a healthy diet.

Let me tell you something – whether you’re sitting on the couch chowing twinkies, or at the office buried in paperwork…grass is still growin’, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Mow the lawn and you’ll be out there again in a week to do it all over again. It’s just the nature of the beast. So while we might not be able to stop this big blue marble from spinning, we can embrace every moment and make the best of it.

Dr. Seuss is right – what are we waiting for? Forget New Years resolutions, don’t wait till Monday, never mind the first of next month – if you’ve been thinking about making a change (and I know you have), now is the time to map out a plan and get started. (more…)


Thursday, October 14th, 2010

The other day I was at the grocery store and this big dude approached me. To tell you the truth I wasn’t sure if he was gonna check out the grub in my cart or challenge me to an arm wrestling match! He says, “Hey bro, I have a question for you. I come from the old school of hard knocks and believe that you need to get in the gym and move heavy weight if you want to get big. What’s your take?” So we spoke for about 15 minutes and this is what I had to say:

First of all I love old school training! There’s nothing that feels better than going in the gym and hitting the weights hard old school. Watch the flim Pumping Iron (25th Anniversary Special Edition)with Arnold Schwarzenegger barefoot repping out full squats and all the dudes of that era moving weight. The Venice Gold’s was a gritty gym and the sound of everyone grunting through those last few muscle numbing reps is inspiring to watch. When I had an apartment in Santa Monica I used to train at the Venice Gold’s Gym every day and you could still sense an air of the classic Pumping Iron flick in some of the dusty corners. (more…)