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The Derek Poundstone Empty Barbell Curl 100 Rep Challenge

Friday, August 29th, 2014
poundstone

There are a couple of very sick, twisted and sadistic people out there who deserve to be punished severely.

They are Derek Poundstone and Jason Steeves.

Yes, that Derek Poundstone – the pro strongman competitor.

He’s the one that came up with this craziness.

The other one, Jason Steeves, is someone who I thought I was my friend, but now I know the truth – HE IS NOT – since he’s the one that introduced me to the challenge.

The way he put it, he was “helping me out” with a way to spice up my #AugustOfArms training this month.

But, I think he was actually trying to maim me, brother.

What is the Poundstone Barbell Curl Challenge?

Apparently, for some reason, Derek Poundstone thought it would be a great idea to try to curl an empty barbell for 100 reps.

I guess he started doing this a couple years ago, once a month.

Well, up until a couple weeks back, I had steered clear of this challenge and knew nothing about it.

That’s where Jason Steeves comes in.

The conversation went a little something like this…

Jason: Hey Jedd, I see you’re doing #31DaysOfArms. Ever hear of Derek Poundstone’s 100-rep Empty Barbell Challenge?

Jedd: No man. What is that?

Jason: Oh, just try and curl a barbell 100 times. You’ll love it. It will change your life. Best thing ever. It will help you sleep better at night. You’ll never want to put sugar or salt on your food ever again. You’ll start getting discounts on your meals at fancy restaurants, and so on…

Jedd: OK, I’ll give them a try.

So I moseyed on down to the gym that night and tried it, and I couldn’t believe the PAIN in my biceps.

I couldn’t believe how quickly it went from being easy and feeling like a complete waste of time, to being so ridiculously hard!

I had to double check and make sure Poundstone or Steeves hadn’t actually snuck into my gym and quietly slid a 45-lb plate on each end of the bar, brother!!!

I think the first time I tried it, I got 24 reps and I couldn’t believe how pathetic I felt.

I must have been having a bad day.

I HAD to try it one more time.

Trying the Poundstone Empty Barbell Curl Challenge

Here is the second day I tried the Poundstone Empty Barbell Curl Challenge:

So I post the video above and who comes and leaves a comment below? Jason Steeves himself.

Jason: “You had more Jedd!!! Where was the fire to blast out another 15? The last rep looked just as crisp as the first. If you were really bagged physically I would’ve seen them slowing down. Get mad!! Get your 50!!!!”

Jedd: “I will do it again tonight duuuuuuude!”

True to my word, I picked my poison again and hit the challenge that night.

Here it was:

Poundstone Barbell Curl 100 Rep Challenge

And just like someone who is hooked on crystal meth, now, I can’t stop doing these.

Just like someone who gets hooked on pain killers, and they need more and more and more, now I even find myself trying this challenge WITH EXTRA WEIGHT ON THE BAR.

Do you see how crazy this is?

Poundstone Curls with Weight Added – Purely Crazy Barbell Curl Challenge

And now, just like a drug dealer who pushes their addiction on others, I’m pushing this Poundstone Barbell Curl Challenge on YOU, brother.

Honestly, just like I talk about in Call to Arms, I don’t like mindless reps when training PERIOD, let alone when training arms.

I don’t like just standing there and curling weight just to hit a target number.

I like squeezing each rep and having control over the bar or dumbbell, so that each rep has a purpose.

But this Poundstone Empty Barbell Curl 100-Rep Challenge thing has been different.

I want to keep on pushing the envelope to see where it will take me.

If you want a crazy, illogical, bicep curl challenge, then give this a try my friend!

Let me know what you think.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

P.S. Regardless of the fact that the barbell is empty, it KILLS my wrists and forearms if I don’t use Globe Gripz. If Barbell Curls hurt you, you need to get some of these life savers.

globe-gripz

P.P.S. I have no heat against Derek Poundstone or Jason Steeves regarding this Barbell Challenge. That was all a work.

August of Arms – 31 Days of Arms

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

31 Days of Arms – August 2014


Brad Martin and Jedd Johnson

I was recently talking with my old friend, Brad Martin of Titan Strength in Horseheads, NY.

As it turns out, he is just as OBSESSED with Arm Training as I am, and we cam eup with a pretty crazy idea.

Inspired by a friend of mine, Dave Depew, owner of Grinder Gym in San Diego, CA, we are going to embark upon a new training program for the month of August.

We are calling it “31 Days of Arms.”

31 Days of Arms

Starting August 1st, and going through the entire month, every single day we will be hitting some form of Arm Training.

I want to do this to set a foundation for my Arm Training Initiative of reaching 20″ Guns while cold.

What I mean by that is I want to reach the point that my arms are 20inches, just walking around.

Not during the workout, not with a pump, and not after training, but ANYTIME during the day.

Brad and I were talking about it on Facebook and we already have one guy interested in joining us, Nate Gagnon, an Arm Wrestler from New England.

Guidelines for August of Arms

So, do you want to be a part of this “August of Arms” initiative?

If so, leave a comment below or get a hold of me in some other fashion.

Stay Up to Date on August of Arms
And Get More Info on Arm Training


We are going to take before and after pics, measurements, and we are going to document our workouts on Facebook.

I hope to hear from you soon.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

Need Ideas for Your Arm Training? Check out Call to Arms


10 Reasons to Try Dips Plus Weight

Friday, March 14th, 2014
dip425

I love variety in my training.

If I do the same old stuff all the time, I get bored.

Honestly, as good of a lift the Bench Press is for developing upper body strength and putting on muscle, I just can not get “into it.”

Lately, I have been doing a lot more Dips instead.

And, I have been going super heavy on them.

I think you should try Dips Plus Weight too, and today, I am sharing my Top 10 Reasons for why you should use Dips Plus Weight in your Upper Body Training.

10 Reasons to Train Dips Plus Weight

1. Better for Shoulders and Elbows

On most Dip Set-ups, your hands will be in a neutral grip, or close to it. If your shoulders are beat up, this will take pressure off them. If your elbows are beat up, this will give them a break. Less distraction from pain, better effort during the exercise!

2. Freedom of Movement for the Shoulder Blades

When you lie on a bench, the shoulder blades are restricted in their movement. When you perform Dips, the scapulae can move freely. Again, if you are feeling beat up, this can give your body a chance to recover while still training hard.

3. Better for the Back

If you have lower back issues, a hard arch of the lumbar spine can really cause you problems. Believe me, I know. But with Dips, you actually experience a degree of traction, and the back can feel better. I talk more about how dips can make the back feel better here.

4. No spotter needed

When you are going heavy on the Bench you want NO DOUBTS whatsoever. It is a lot easier to do this if you have a spotter. No spotter, and you are taking a risk. You don’t even need a spotter with Dips. If you miss, you just drop down to the floor or foot platform.

5. Better Stretch for the Chest

One key aspect of lifting weights is getting the muscles to stretch under tension. This results in microtrauma that our body must repair, making us bigger and stronger. With Dips, I feel a better stretch than with Bench Press, and if you pay attention to your form closely, I think you will feel this too.

6. Works the Triceps Big Time

Just like the Bench Press, Dips will hit the triceps hard too. Depending on how wide the handles are and how you angle and load your body, you can also switch up how hard the triceps get hit by the movement.

7. Add Weight with Belts or Chains

You might not have tried this, but you can add a lot of weight to your body for Dips. You can use a Dip Belt and hang Kettlebells, Inch Dumbbells, Weight Plates or a Loading Pin from it. You can also use Weight Vests, Chains, and other forms of weight to your body to progressively overload Dips and keep your body growing.

8. Dynamic Stability for the Grip

I like the stability aspect that Dips require. You need to grip the handles harder in order to keep your balance, especially when you are loaded with a dynamic load, such as weight from a Dip Belt, or Chains around the neck/shoulders. Your hands get good solid work from Dips when you go heavy.

9. Improve Speed

You’ll quickly notice when training Heavy Dips that SPEED is your FRIEND. Being explosive out of the whole will get you more reps with heavy weight, and help you build more muscle and strength.

10. Deload the Body from Bench

If you are feeling beat up from the Bench, make Dips your primary lift for a couple of weeks. When you go back to it, your body will feel refreshed and ready to set new PR’s on the Bench Press.

Here is a recent video of 1RM Dip Plus Weight from the Grip Monsters Challenge. While super tough, I felt no pain in either of these attempts in my shoulders or chest, which is something I could never say about Bench Press.

Dip Plus Weight: 442.8 Total Lbs

Obviously, you don’t have to go adding close to 200 pounds to your body to get great benefit out of dips. Instead, start lower and go up. I think you will be happy with your results.

Dip Plus Weight Training Plan

Try this ramp-up for Dips Plus Weight.

Week 1: Bodyweight Only. 3 Sets of 20

Week 2: 25lbs Weight Added. 3 Sets of 15

Week 3: 50lbs Weight Added. 3 Sets of 10

Week 4: 50lbs Weight Added. 4 Sets of 12

Week 5: Deload

Week 6: Return to Bench or Dips + 25lbs 3 Sets of 20, and so on.

Enjoy your Dips and all the best in your training.

Jedd

P.S. Due to an ordering error, I am overstocked on copies of the Nail Bending DVD. Through this weekend, you can get your copy and save $10. Click below for the Nail Bending DVD. ONLY 20 COPIES AVAILABLE

The Morning Ritual Just Got Greener

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Every morning, I start my day with the same exact routine, whether I am home, in a hotel, or at a friend or family members house.

You see, about 4 years ago, I was having a run of nearly daily headaches.

a-bad-headache
This is kind of what the headaches felt like

Every day I went to work, the headache would start about 9 AM.

That meant the daily dose of Tylenol or Advil or some other pain relief pill.

Sometimes it worked a bit, but usually it did nothing.

I knew it wasn’t migraines. I’d had migraines before, and these weren’t that bad. They didn’t stop me in my tracks. They were just that dull, annoying, ache, that never changed, kind of like when the radio dial isn’t quite exactly where it needs to be for the station to come in perfect, and you are stuck with that little bit of static over top of every song that plays.

You know what I mean.

Ice-Ice-Baby

The static where it’s not Ice Ice Baby that’s playing, but Zice Zice Baby.

I knew it wasn’t a sinus infection. I’d had those before, too. I still do to this day. Generally, once in May and once in September my cheeks, forehead, and sinus cavity gets so filled with junk and the tissue so inflamed that every step feels like someone jabbing me in the sinus cavity with a pitchfork. And the only way to sleep is by placing my face on top of my fist so that the skin is pulled off to the side.

And I hadn’t had any head injuries, thank god, so it wasn’t some kind of trauma that had set these things off.

So I began looking at what else could be causing these low-grade daily headaches.

And the hunch that I came to was “maybe I was dehydrated?”

So, the next day, when I got up out of bed, I used the toilet, and I walked straight to the kitchen.

There, I filled up a glass of water, about 12 to 16 ounces, and drank it down. Then, I did it again.

My hunch was that I had somehow gotten myself into a rut of dehydration. I hypothesized that I was going to bed dehydrated, waking up dehydrated, and going through the entire day dehydrated, and this was causing me to have this crazy, nearly hungover, type of headache.

And I was RIGHT.

super-mario

Once I downed that water, it was like I had hit the re-set button on a bad game of Super Mario and was able to start over from the beginning.

That day at work, it felt awesome to be able to look at other Managers in the eye without having to squint if there was a light behind them. I could sit and have conversations with employees without shuddering in pain if their voice was high pitched. And my workout that night was the best I’d had in a long time.

two_glasses_of_water
Every Day Brotherrrrr

So now, every morning, since then, with only a handful of exceptions, I have started the day with the Morning Gulp – 24 to 32 ounces of water, depending on how big the actual glass is, and I always will from now on.

But tomorrow, I am running a new experiment.

You see, my good friend Mark, with whom I train Back and Triceps on Friday mornings, pointed out something that I have been over-looking all year.

The water that I have been pouring down the sink after steaming my vegetables every other day or so, is most likely LOADED with nutrients and vitamins. So, today when I steamed the latest batch, afterwards I poured it into this giant plastic glass, and even though it looks like alien urine, tomorrow, I will be pounding this like a Keystone Pounder instead of just plain water, broccoli stubs and all.

veggie-water
Left-over Water from Steamed
Broccoli, Green Beans, Cauliflower, and Carrots

The idea is that tomorrow I will not only start the day off with a burst of hydration surplus, but also get a shot of vitamins and nutrients along with it.

Can’t wait brother.

Are You Chronically Dehydrated?

A quick google search on dehydration will tell you that an estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

When you consider that it takes only a 1% dehydration level to drastically decrease your mental focus and physical prowess, let alone cause headaches, it is worth it to sacrifice the 30 seconds of your morning in order to jump start your hydration status.

Yep, 30 seconds to fill and chug two glasses of water, first thing in the morning.

Risk of Water Intoxication

798742-mark-webber

Naturally, if you drink too much water, it can reach levels that are considered poisonous, even carrying the names “water poisoning,” “hyperhydration,” and “dilutional hyponatremia.” So, you can’t go overboard here. I am not a doctor and have no idea how to figure out how much is “too much.” So don’t try this until you talk to one about it.

Either way, if you aren’t drinking enough water, you’ll know it when you take a leak throughout the day because your urine will be yellowish, or if you’re really dehydrated, then it will be like neon orange, and you’d better start drinking more water.

Why not get ahead of the curve by drinking it first thing upon waking up?

Start with just one glass.

Give it a try and let me know how you feel by leaving a comment below.

It’s been roughly 6 months since I’ve gotten a legitimate comment on this site. I half wonder if anyone reads this site anymore, since I get no feedback, no props, no complaints, nothing.

All the best in your training,

Jedd


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Epic Upper Body Workout – Build a Big Back, Chest, Shoulders, Arms

Friday, September 27th, 2013
IMG_0172
Me and Chris

A few months back, I was talking with an old friend of mine from college, Chris Christian.

Chris was one of my main training partners when I was in college between 1999 and 2001.

Unfortunately, he had been through an extended stint of “training vacation” and he wanted to get back into it.

He asked me for some guidance, and I asked him what he was currently doing.

He began to tell me about all this Beach Muscle work he was doing – each workout was filled with all this Pushing work and very little Pulling work.

Multiple Bench Variations, Shoulder Isolation work, Arm Training, but barely any Pulls.

Oh man…

So, we began working on that right away, because when you do too much Pushing and not enough Pulling, you run the risk of serious shoulder issues. Any doctor, physician or therapist will tell you that.

I laid out some new routines for Chris and shot him this video on balanced shoulder training guidelines.

He set forth following these new guidelines and said that once the Summer was over and his weekend job working security at an amusement park was done for the season, he would be up to hit a Big Workout, just like Old Times.

This past weekend, Chris made it up, and we had an awesome training session.

The way I laid it out, I wanted to give him plenty of new options for his training that were balanced between Pushing and Pulling movements for his entire upper body: Chest, Shoulders, Back, and Arms.

What this meant was that we would be hitting three upper body movements all in one day.

DISCLAIMER: I would not normally recommend training sessions like this on a regular basis. We trained for a solid 2.5 hours with very little rest. Doing this on a routine basis will almost definitely result in undue soreness and most likely over-training. That’s your warning, DIESELS. Don’t try this at home.

Part I: Intro Video, Warm-ups and Pressing

In this video, you’ll get to meet Chris. I immediately got him going on some warm-ups for his hips since he spends much of the day sitting on his ass and had just driven nearly 2 hours to my place. Even though we weren’t going to be hitting much lower body stuff, I still wanted everything to be limbered up well so that he was feeling right and performing well.

As I mentioned in the video, Chris’s job has recently been pretty intense. It was a long week filled with altercations, so I decided to add in some Odd Object Training along with the conventional barbell and dumbbell work. The idea behind the Odd Object Training is to get him better prepared for the altercations he sometimes sees in his job.

Part II: Log Incline Press, Incline Flies and Shrugs

Since Chris’s gym’s equipment selection is limited at best, I wanted to give him a treat of working the Incline Press with a Log. He said he loved it.

Also, since Chris is limited to a 30-minute workout since he trains at work, we threw in a nice super-set combo of Incline Flies and Shrugs. There’s no reason why Chris can’t get back into awesome shape. Even with 30-minute workouts, he can build muscle and burn off fat if he keeps his sessions intense, by including back-to-back pairings like these.

Part III: Pull-up Variations for Back and Grip Development

One of the ruts Chris and many people get into is they abandon Pull-ups and instead do all kinds of work on the Lat Pull-down Machine. I told Chris to start working Pull-ups back in because they are the Ultimate Back Builder.

You’ll also see in the video that we varied the grip and hand position throughout this section of the workout. We did this because I want Chris to start training his hands harder in order to be ready for anything on his job. You will see several different grip implements you can use.



This doesn’t even scrape the surface of what we did that day. Here it is almost a week since we trained, and I still haven’t got all of the footage edited and uploaded.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you get to see all of the footage from this awesome workout.

All the best in your training,

Jedd

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