I have a few sayings I’m known for.
One of them is, “It’s not about how much you lift, It’s about how much you LOVE Lifting.”
What that means is, lifting is about being passionate about something and doing it with fire.
Lifting is about setting goals to always be improving.
Lifting is about feeling good, and feeling good about yourself.
So, a couple months ago, or so, when I really took a look at some of my training, I came to realize I wasn’t following my own advice.
The whole idea about that saying is that you should be pushing yourself because you love lifting.
It has nothing to do with pushing yourself so hard that you reach your goals at the expense of everything and everyone else.
But, there I was, trying to reach some goals related to the Barbell Bench Press, and instead of getting closer, I was coming further and further away each session because the exercise was tearing my shoulders up, and leaving me in pain.
It’s now been the better part of this year, that I have quit Benching with the Bar, and moved exclusively to Dumbbell Bench Press. And although my numbers were completely embarrassing at first, I now feel like I’m living more in tune with my beliefs.
And, after a couple months, or however long it’s been, I’m starting to see some good increases, feeling better in the shoulders, and I think even seeing a bit of growth.
I LOVE LIFTING, but I think I was coming severely close to having the majority of my training SHUT DOWN due to the pain I was feeling in my shoulders.
I encourage you to do the same as well – by all means train hard – don’t just go through the motions in the gym.
But, if there’s a movement that is tearing you up inside, don’t feel the need to push through pain and suffer because of it.
Remember…It ain’t about how much you lift. It’s about how much you LOVE lifting.
All the best in your training.
P.S. Along these lines, I want to help you out as much as I can, to get you to your goals. And that means helping you learn to do your goal lifts properly and as safely as possible.
Check Out the the Special Offer I’ve Got Going On This Week:
Tags: avoiding injuries, barbell bench press, bench press, lifting for life, loving lifting, smart strength training, smart training, strength training
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, how to build muscle, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, strength training powerlifting, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury, strength training workouts, strongman, strongman competition training, strongman training for athletes, strongman training log stone tire farmer, your daily inspiration | No Comments »
There’s lots of reasons I respect Eric Cressey as a strength coach.
First and foremost is the fact that he is STRONG. Guy deadlifts over 600-lbs, despite the fact that he’s not a genetic freak or anywhere near 300lbs. RESPECT.
But the biggest reason is his ability to see deeper, and analyze possible solutions to problems, ASIDE FROM what everyone else sees.
I don’t like to bag on the Fitness Industry. I think that happens far too often.
The problem is not the industry itself, but rather, the bad apples spread throughout it that tend to spoil the proverbial bunch.
Every so often, a new buzz word or catch phrase comes out, and you can just see the Johnny-come-lately’s ready to to swoop in, pick up on the new terms, and use them like they thought of them.
In the video below, Eric Cressey touches on one of these such buzz words, “Ankle Mobility.”
He’s a bit more diplomatic than me in the way he covers this topic, as you’ll see when you watch the video, and he may even make you question your previosu thoughts about ankle mobility and how it influences movement patterns, such as the Squat.
Like Eric points out, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
This attention to detail is why I trust him so much.
This week, Cressey has dropped the price on one of his most popular products, the High Performance Handbook, by $50.
So for the next few days you can add this to your library at a much lower investment.
Eric Cressey is one of the best strength coaches in the world. If you’re a budding strength coach and you’re looking for someone to follow, Eric is the man, and High Performance Handbook is a great place to start.
Get it today. I can’t recommend it strongly enough.
All the best,
The High Performance Handbook Right Now $50 Off
Tags: eric cressey, high performance handbook, strength coach
Posted in baseball strength and conditioning, basketball strength and conditioning, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training powerlifting, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury | No Comments »
Avoiding Arm Pain from Kettlebell Training
Kettlebells continue to become more and more common in gyms and more popular these days.
And no wonder – they have proven to be very useful tools that can help you accomplish your strength, muscle and fat burning goals.
But, even with all their awesome benefits, if your form is off, kettlebells can cause some issues if your not careful.
Here are three very common errors in kettlebell training that can lead to elbow pain if you don’t correct them.
1. Grip in the Rack
When you hold a kettlebell near your chest/shoulder, it is called the Rack. This is a starting point for lifts such as the Kettlebell Press and Jerk, so it is also a common position to be in.
Unfortunately, this can also be a very annoying position if your technique is off. The kettlebell can sit on your forearm in a way that cause pain.
This pressure can later cause further issues in your elbow if you don’t correct things right away.
Luckily, this can usually be corrected by adjusting how you hold the kettlebell. By changing where and how your hand is positioned, you can reduce a lot of the pressure (you’ll see it later).
2. Crashing on the Snatch
New Kettlebell lifters often experience brutal forearm pain when performing Snatches, because they catch the kettlebell incorrectly at the top of the movement.
Usually, this comes from being too passive at the end of the Snatch. Lifters get into the habit of letting the kettlebell handle swivel in their hand. This may be what it looks like should be going on, but it is not.
When the kettlebell handle spins in the hand like this, the giant belly of the KB will smash with full force into the forearm, and this can cause deep contusions, surface bruising, and even knock the forearm bones slightly out of whack.
Having a tender forearm is bad enough, but when bones are starting to get moved around, that can throw up every press, row and curl movement you do in the gym.
Instead, what you need to do when finishing the snatch is allow the kettlebell to turn on an axis in the center of the bell itself.
This video shows exactly what you should do:
3. Bottom Portion of the Swing
The Swing is one of the foundational movements of Kettlebell lifting. It is a lift in itself, plus it the initial stage of many other lifts, such as the Snatch and Clean, because it is the most efficient way to bring the kettlebell from the floor to the shoulder or overhead position. Remember that word – “Efficient.”
When many lifters are starting out, they develop a habit where they keep their hand and forearm pronated at the bottom of the swing. That is, at the very bottom of the Swing, their palm is facing to the sky and the back of their hand is facing the ground.
In the true spirit of efficiency, this is not what should be done. Mechanically, during this follow-through portion of the swing, you should allow your forearm and hand to actually turn over BEYOND pronation. Otherwise, you are essentially resisting this rotation and fighting the bell.
Considering the number of repetitions that are possible with Kettlebell Swings, fighting the bell like this could potentially add up to a great deal of stress on the common flexor tendon in the forearm and result in pain that can be very irritating and get in the way of a great deal of your other training as well.
Correct Your Technique with This Video
These 3 areas of kettlebell training are easily fixed, once the lifter is made aware of them. The problem is that most people don’t even realize they are setting themselves up for injury to their forearm and elbows until it is too late.
For more information on how you can correct and prevent injuries and pain in the forearm and elbow, check out Fixing Elbow Pain. This program has helped hundreds of lifters get back to pain-free workouts and healthy lower arms.
Pick it up today => Fixing Elbow Pain
All the best in your training,
There are a ton of crazy workout gadgets out there that are absolute wastes of time.
Curling with Globe Gripz
I am sure you have tried a few now and again and can name some that were totally useless.
Well, one item that you might have seen at one time or another that is NOT useless, is the Globe Gripz handles.
I have been training with Globe Gripz off and on since 2012. I immediately was impressed by their packaging and the quality of the product.
For the last few weeks, though, Globe Gripz have been a weekly part of my training. In fact, I have had a resurgence in my Biceps training, especially in the Barbell Curl.
For several years, I did not do Barbell Curls because they hurt my wrists and forearms so intensely sometimes that I would feel the leftover pain for several days down the line.
However, with Globe Gripz on the bar, I feel ZERO pain in these areas when curling. I have been able to put several good, solid weeks of training in and have upped my 1-Rep-Max in the Barbell Curl to 160-lbs and have been increasing my repetitions with 135-lbs on the bar on a near weekly basis, nearly hitting 10 reps just yesterday.
Barbell Curl Training
Here some clips of some of the recent Bicep Curl training sessions…
Barbell Curl: 135-lbs X 10 (Almost) + Attempt at 170-lbs Barbell Curl with Globe Gripz
Strict Barbell Curl: 155, 157.5, 160-lbs
If you feel the same kind of pain in the Barbell Curl that I do, I strongly encourage you to check out Globe Gripz. Naturally, there are LOTS of other ways Globe Gripz can be used, just like Fat Gripz and the other Instant Thick Bar Handles that are on the market. Barbell Curls is simply what I use Globe Gripz for the most. Actually, that’s all I really use them for.
You can get Globe Gripz here => Globe Gripz
I am sure the Form Police will show up and say these curls ARE NOT STRICT. That’s fine. My response is “Show me your video with stricter form and comparable weight.”
Now, I am also aware that there are strict curl competitions, where people stand against a wall or some other structure to prevent swaying back or using the delts and back for assistance.
Awesome! I am all about competition and comparing my lifts against others, ESPECIALLY when there is a standard, so I tried them too.
I have seen a few clips of these competitions and an EZ-Bar is often used. So I gave this a try using an EZ Bar in an attempt to match the competition standard as closely as possible. Here is the video…
Strict Curl with Back Against Door: +/- 158-lbs
I really do not know where this would put me in the established competition lifts that exist. I am assuming that for my bodyweight (about 235 on the day of that lift), this would be pretty low, as I am sure the competitors have a much better grasp on the proper technique of the lift. For instance, I noticed some substantial stress on my lumbar during the first rep and had to adjust where I had my feet to reduce it. It’s definitely not just a vacation performing this lift, especially when you are going for a near-max.
So, here’s the deal. Some people think Curls are stupid. If you feel this way, that is fine.
I personally like to keep track of things like this. I have an idea of my PR in lots and lots of lifts and I like to push myself in this nature.
Plus, I love competition. Ever since I was a child and played baseball, I have loved the field of competition.
Over the years, that field turned from a diamond of dirt and grass with a fence around it to the Strongman and Grip Strength Platforms.
If I can find a Strict Curl competition nearby, I might add that to my Competition Portfolio as well. If anyone is familiar with them, I’d love to hear about them.
Now, if you are not into competition, but just want to get bigger and stronger arms, then be sure to check out Call to Arms, an ebook I put out last year with Joe Meglio.
Check out Call to Arms => How to Get Bigger Stronger Arms
Naturally, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If you are not training your biceps with some intensity on a regular basis, then they could be your weakest link. At the least, they might hold you back on other lifts. At worst, you could run the risk of tearing a bicep and be out of competition and training for a while, waiting for it to heal.
Intense Arm Training, like what we cover in Call to Arms can help you erase that weakness.
Also, if you are Grip Enthusiast, you should consider adding Arm Training of some sort to your routine. Both Paul Knight and Steve McGranahan have made mention of the relationship between Grip Strength and their overall arm strength.
All the best in your training,
Armaid: The Best Lower Arm Therapy Device on the Market Today
Tags: arm training, Biceps training, get bigger arms, get bigger biceps
Posted in muscle building nutrition build muscle mass, muscle-building-workouts, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training to prevent injury | 2 Comments »
This is Part II to the Epic Upper Body Workout that I started at the tail end of September when my good friend Chris came up to train. This is the Pulling Work we did.
I wanted to show him some new stuff he add into his training to not only build muscle, but also to balance out his shoulder training, as well as be better prepared for physical altercations in his line of work as a Corrections Officer.
Part IV: Bigger Back and Stronger Grip with Pull-up Variations
This video shows several variations for Pull-ups that will not only build your back muscles, but will also balance your shoulder strength and build better grip strength. Having a strong set of hands is very important for Chris in his line of work as a Corrections Officer.
Part V: Build a Big back with Low Cable Row Variations
We split these sets up with both wide and narrow rows. I showed Chris a correction to keep the emphasis on the lats and other big back muscles and to reduce the level of upper trap involvement. The set-up we used made the range of motion much shorter than normal, but this was because of the seat we used, due to my left lumbar area being very touchy. You can see once Chris adjusted, it began feeling totally different.
Part VI: Upper Back Postural Strength with Bodyweight Training
The Inverted Row is a great exercise and it can be loaded with chains draped over the body to make it more difficult. On top of that, we also held the concentric for a 3-count pause. I also used some mental distraction tactics to mimic the sound of an alarm going off due to a prison riot. This may sound annoying, but it is something that would be real during an actual emergency in the jail.
Part VII: Odd Object Loaded Hyper Extensions
Since Chris occasionally runs into situations where an inmate will get physical, instead of loading the Hyperextensions with normal dumbbells or barbell plates, we bear-hugged sandbags and heavy bags. This feels much more like actually having to control an inmate than just gripping some weights.
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I still have several clips coming your way from this workout. Stay tuned in a couple days for the Arm Training that we did. My arms were blown up like water balloons after what we did. It was AWESOME.
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All the best in your training.
Tags: "big back", get better hand strength, improving your grip, muscle building, strength training, strong shoulders
Posted in how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, muscle-building-workouts, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury | No Comments »
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