Monday, February 14, 2011

Back Version 1

Since I'm trying to improve the strength of my back, I typically train for it twice a week. This is also the body part that I try packing on as much weight for resistance that I possibly can. Therefore, typically this work out is done after a day of rest. Also, since I train back twice a week, I try to make adjustments between the first and second work outs to change things up. I may change the actual routine, the weighted resistance, or I may add more sets. For the most part, I start off the week with this back work out which is almost identical to Frank's work out:

Ice1cube's Back Work Out

45-50 Minutes Work Out with Minimal Rest

Pull Ups:
  • 2 sets of 10 reps warm up
  • 2 sets of 8 reps with 35 lbs
  • 2 sets of 6 reps with 45 lbs
  • 2 sets of 4-5 reps with 55 lbs
  • Burn out set until failure with 45 lbs
  • Burn out set until failure with 35 lbs
  • Burn out set until failure with no weights
I bought the dip belt on Amazon for less than $30, and it is definitely useful for extra resistance for dips or pull ups. Personally, I enjoy doing weighted pull ups because it is so difficult. It requires and allows me to really push my own limits. I used to struggle doing body weight pull ups, but since trying to push myself through these weighted pull ups, I have seen improvements in my strength. I get a drive out of doing what I'm not good at and what makes me struggle. If your strength is in pull ups, then find another routine you struggle in and push yourself to improvement. I also like to do weighted pull ups because not only does it work on your back, but it really burns your biceps. This is the reason why I rarely do any bicep curls because I'd rather work multiple muscle groups with an intense work out routine.

Stiff Legged Deadlifts
  • 1 set of 10 reps at 135 lbs
  • 2 sets of 10 reps at 155 lbs
  • 2 sets of 10 reps at 175 lbs
Stiff Legged Deadlifts. I stacked 2x45 lbs plates as a platform.

Stiff legged deadlift is another compound exercise. It concentrates on multiple muscle groups. Stiff legged deadlifts really concentrate on the lower back, legs, and butt. The platform really allows for a further stretch to these muscles compared to the regular deadlifts. Also, as you get tired and increase the weighted resistance, there will be the additional burn in the forearms. Working multiple muscle groups allow for more calories to be burned and provides an efficient work out.

 Underhand Barbell Row
  • 1 set of 10 reps at 95 lbs
  • 2 sets of 10 reps at 125 lbs
  • 2 sets of 8-10 reps at 135 lbs
Make sure to keep your back straight and flex your back when you bring the bar to your abdominal region during these barbell rows.

Seated Rows, Lat Pull Downs, Body Weight Pull Ups CIRCUIT STYLE
  • Seated Rows: Sets of 10 at 105-120 lbs
  • Lat Pull Downs: Sets of 10 at 100 lbs
  • Body Weight Pull Ups: Sets of 8-10
Lat Pull Downs. I have my knees pointed down to the floor to flex my core while working on my lats

With the remainder of the time of the 45-50 minutes, I usually try to push through these routines in a circuit training style. At this point, I am not too worried about how much weight there is. I'm more worried about the burn and the pace I'm going at. Basically, move quickly and try to beat the clock while maintaining good form to prevent injuries. The more sets you are able to push through, the more burn and better results you will have. Do not waste time resting because you will be able to rest after this last leg of the race!

Post-Work Out February 2011
Do not forget to refuel your body after the work out ASAP!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Legs and Core Version 1

It is very easy for our bodies to quickly adapt to the same work outs. We work out to see changes. This same concept of change in our bodies and fitness levels should also be applied to the work outs. Lack of change to our work outs lead to a plateauing effect, in which our bodies have adapted to the exercise routine. This leads to no gains being obtained whether our goals are to become stronger, leaner, or fitter. In terms of gains, our bodies thrive under a state of confusion. New routines or intensity levels prevent our bodies from becoming accustomed to the typical daily moves. Confusion requires the body to expend more energy. It also forces our muscles to work harder, and in turn, this allows us to become stronger. With that being said, this posting is called version 1 because it is one routine out of many possibilities for legs and core.


Warm up
  • 5 minutes of moderate to fast paced walk at 2/3 max incline on the treadmill.
Because the walk is on an incline, it is easier to get a stretch into the legs. Try to alternate longer and shorter strides to stretch out the muscles in your legs.

  • 10 sets of 10 squats at 135lbs.

Squats are one of the best exercises to do. Whether your intention is to burn calories or strengthen and build muscles. Squats are classified as a compound exercise. This means that it works out multiple muscles in your body simultaneously. This is in comparison to isolating and focusing on one muscle (such as a bicep curl). Working multiple muscles allow for building overall strength and burning more calories. The weights used in every work out is relative to your abilities, but that does not mean that you should not try to push your limits. Remember to minimize your rest duration in between the sets. Keeping the intensity level high allows for better results. If there is no struggle, then the work out is not intense enough. Personally, I keep the weight at a moderate level in order to be able to push for a total of 100 squats. My focus is to keep proper form and to squat as low to the floor as possible. The lower the squat, the more of a burn you will feel in your gluts and buttocks.

  • Hanging leg raises
  • Prison cell push up
  • Decline leg raises
  • Sit ups/Crunches
I use the remaining of the 45 minutes after the warm up and squats to work on my core. Leg raises have more of a focus on the lower abdominal region while sit ups and crunches focus more on the upper abdominal region. Prison cell push ups focus on your overall core strength. I usually do these work outs in a circuit training fashion. Meaning, one exercise comes up right after another. Circuit training is designed to make you burn calories and sweat vigorously. There should be no rest period in between any of these exercises other than to catch your breath for a quick second. This is the last stretch of the work out and all of your energy should be expended for the remaining time of the 45 minute work out.

Do not forget to rejuvenate your body with the proper nutrition after a work out. If you do not refuel your muscles, there will be no strengthening or building of the muscles. Instead your body will continue to break down your own bodily supply of necessary proteins to fuel your body (this prevents obtaining the gains stated earlier). The reality of working out is that what we eat and when we eat is just as important or more important than what we do in the gym.