WOD: CINDY

Cindy

For any of my Crossfit readers, you know exactly who Cindy is. “Cindy” is a WOD (Workout of the Day) done in Crossfit gyms around the world. Cindy is a full body workout that consists of only body weight exercises. What is great about Cindy is that people of all different fitness levels can do this workout because every exercise can be easily modified.

CINDY – 20 minute AMRAP(as many reps as possible):
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 air squats

For 20 minutes, you cycle the three workouts and see how many rounds you can get in. My last time trying CINDY I did 19 rounds plus 5 push-ups. This means I did 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats 19 times in a row, and the time ran out after I did 5 more pull-ups and 5 push-ups.
Cindy 2
In total I did 100 pull-ups, 195 push-ups, and 285 air squats in 20 minutes! Talk about a hard workout!

TIPS:
1. The pull-ups and push-ups can easily be modified depending on your fitness level. For beginners, a resistance band can be used over the bar to assist in the pull-up, or pull-ups can even be switched out for body weight rows using rings or a TRX. For the push-ups, they can be done on and incline instead of parallel to the floor, or they can be done on your knees.
2. This workout will really test your endurance and your heart rate will shoot up. If you have any heart or breathing conditions, consult a doctor first and don’t perform this workout unsupervised.
3. A dead hang pull-up will make this workout much harder Cindy 3
on your arms and back. Try kipping the pull-up to relieve strain. You will be doing a lot of reps; dead hang pull-ups will cause you to fatigue quickly.
4. When doing air squats, keep your back straight and get your glutes as low to the ground as possible. Remember “Ass to Grass” when doing squats. Also push through your heels, not your toes.
4. CINDY is a perfect full body workout to perform when you are short on time. It combines cardio with muscle building and will make you sweat like you have never sweat before.

Have you ever friend CINDY? Do you have other WODs that you really like? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, or ideas for new topics.

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Scissor Jumps (Jumping Lunges)

Scissor Jumps 2

Scissor Jumps are one of my least favorite exercises to do on legs day because of how badly they can burn. But as they say, NO PAIN, NO GAIN! Because of the high repetition, Scissor Jumps get your heart rate up and add a bit of intense cardio to your leg workout while also toning and building your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Scissor jumps are a great complex movement that anyone of any fitness level can add to their workout routine.

CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW THE EXERCISE IS DONE

To Perform Scissor Jumps:
1. Start in a lunge position with one foot forward and your knee bent so that it is over the foot, with the other foot behind you and that knee bent and almost touching the ground.
2. Pushing off the heel of your front foot and the toe of the back foot, jump up.
3. While you are jumping, switch the position of your legs.
4. When landing you should land in a lunge position again, however your starting front foot should now be in the back, and the foot that started in the back should now be in the front.
5. Repeat Steps 2-4 for the allotted amount of reps.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO OF THIS EXERCISE BEING DONE BY RAMIN KARIMLOO

Scissor Jumps

TIPS:
1. For people new to this exercise, you can swing your arms to help with the lift of the jump.
2. When landing, always land with bent knees. This will help absorb some of the shock from the landing and help avoid any joint injuries.
3. This exercise is to be done at a quicker pace. Although you would definitely feel a burn with more controlled motions, we also want to get our heart rates up.
3. I aim to do about 5 sets of 40 reps of this exercise with about a minute rest in between each set.
4. To make this exercise more difficult, try doing it without swinging your arms at first, and then try doing this exercise while holding a weight. As you can see in the pictures, last time I did this exercise I held a 45lb plate and it killed my legs!
5. When doing this exercise with a weight, add a slight twist to your body (emphasis on SLIGHT… no need to throw your back out). This will help activate your obliques. The weight will not only make the jump harder on your legs since you will be pushing more than your body weight, but you also will be testing your core stabilization.

Have you tried adding Scissor Jumps into your workout routine? Do you have any other leg exercises that really burn? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, or ideas for new topics.

Feature Friday: Zach Deal

Zach Deal 1

First name: Zach
Last name: Deal
City: Miami Beach
State: Florida
Age: 23
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 245
Profession: International Online Trainer/Private Trainer

Follow Him:
Twitter: @zachdeal90
Instagram: @zachdeal
Website: http://zachdeal.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/zachdealtv
Youtube: http://youtube.com/zachdealtv

Are you signed to any agencies? If so what agencies?
Currently signed with MAD Talent Agency.

When did you start working out?:
I began my fitness journey with Martial Arts at age 5. I have a black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu as well as Taekwondo. I’ve competed in both, and competed on an Olympic level with Taekwondo. Around the age of 20 I developed a passion for weight training and more bodybuilding oriented workouts. I lost touch with my Martial Arts training for sometime. It’s a completely different world. Martial arts focuses more on metabolic, fast pace, high intensity workouts, as opposed to bodybuilding focusing on keeping the body anabolic.

Zach Deal 2

How many days a week do you work out?:
5, sometimes 6. All depending on how my split looks for that week.

How long is your average workout?:
It depends. It takes me a lot longer to train a primary muscle group. My leg workout could last me 2 – 2 and a half hours, as opposed to my arm workout lasting 45 minutes.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Shoulder day is by far my favorite.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
I wouldn’t say, I have a least favorite, but there are certain days when I REALLY don’t want to train legs or back. Can be a pain in the ass.

Do you compete in competitions? If so, when did you start competing?:
I don’t. No desire to compete.

Zach Deal 3

Do you have a coach or trainer to help you maintain your physique?:
I don’t. I have before, and I highly recommend it. I have a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science with special studies in the human muscular structure, so I’ve done my own research, and I’m very familiar with formulating diet regimen’s for all shapes and sizes, and any particular fitness goal. That being said, even with my background in nutrition and myology, it was VERY helpful to have someone there to make sure I was reliable to.

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I always have new fitness goals. Anyone that looks in the mirror should have new fitness goals. Your body will never be perfect, and there’s always fine tuning you can do to your physique. I also enjoy surpassing my physical boundaries when it comes to weight barriers as well. Being 6’5 requires a lot of extra practice when it comes to movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench. I’m always trying to break my own personal records… (as well as all my friends lol)

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
There are a few that stand out in my mind when thinking of note worthy physiques. Greg Plitt was someone that inspired me during the beginning stages of my weight training. Always super shredded, and motivating in his videos. My good friend Bradley Martyn has an INSANE physique in terms of size, low body fat %, and symmetry, along with being one of the strongest weightlifters I’ve ever trained with. A few others would be: Phil Heath(obviously), Mike O’Hearn, Calum Von Moger, Lou Ferigno in his prime, and Frank McGrath for his ridiculous vascularity.

Zach Deal 4

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
I take your staple supplements like, CLA, L-Carnitine, BCAA’s, protein powder, etc… but all of these supplements are simply going to be useless if your nutrition is not 100%

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
High carb, high fat, high protein. My body reacts very well to high calories at all times. A low carb day for me is typically 500g of carbs. This method does not work for everyone. A lot of my clients react better to a Ketogenic diet (Moderate protein, low carb, high fat) and some clients that that actually lose weight with higher carbs.


What is your favorite cheat meal?:
Damn… Hard to choose just one, but I would have to say buffalo wings.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
I especially like what most people refer to as the ‘big 3’. Squat, bench, deadlift. If performed correctly, these 3 exercises can be some of most effective exercises you can utilize.

Zach Deal 5

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
CONSISTENCY. You can get involved with all the mumbo-jumbo BS that people spew online about overtraining, or IIFYM/Flexible dieting, and spend all your time trying to determine who to side with; or you can find a suitable program that’s worked for others, get in the kitchen, make your meals, and then get to the gym, and train your ass off. Along the way, ask questions, do your research, and stay consistent.

How do you go about online personal training?:
All of my clients go through a detailed evaluation process that involves a thorough assessment of body composition, fitness goals, and dietary restrictions. Once they divulge all of this information to me, I will begin formulating a diet/training program personalized to meet their personal fitness needs.

How can people contact you if they are interested in Online personal training?:
Contact via email (zachdeal@ymail.com) or my website zachdeal.com

Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Zach Deal? Would you or someone you know liked to be featured? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

Push-up pattern with Dumbbells

I made up this exercise myself when I was testing out different push-ups to add to my chest workout. While messing around, I put together this push-up combination that destroys your pecs after a great chest day.
-> CLICK HERE AND WATCH THIS VIDEO TO SEE HOW TO PERFORM THIS PUSH-UP PATTERN EXERCISE

Pushup Pattern 1

To do the Push-up Pattern with Dumbbells
1. Get two Dumbbells and place them slightly wider than shoulder width apart on the ground with one plate of each dumbbell flat on the ground leaving the other plate flat-side up.
2. Start in a push-up position with your legs slightly apart and both hands on the left dumbbell.
3. Do a push-up with both hands on the left dumbbell, then a push-up with your left hand on the left dumbbell and right hand on the ground, then a push-up with your left hand on the left dumbbell and right hand on the right dumbbell.
4. Do a push-up with your left hand on the ground and your right hand on the right dumbbell, then finish with a push-up with both hands on the right dumbbell.
5. Reverse the pattern you just did to return back to having both hands on the left dumbbell. To do so, do a push-up with your right hand on the right dumbbell and your left hand on the ground, then a push-up with your right hand on the right dumbbell and left hand on the left dumbbell, and then one more push-up with your left hand on the left dumbbell and your right hand on the ground.
6. You should now be back at the starting position with both hands on the left dumbbell. Repeat the full pattern (steps 3-5) for the allotted amount of reps.

-> CLICK HERE AND WATCH ANOTHER VIDEO TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE FORM AND PATTERN NEEDED TO PERFORM THIS EXERCISE CORRECTLY.

Pushup Pattern 2

TIPS:
1. This is an advanced push-up exercise. Before trying this push-up pattern, I suggest trying explosive push-ups first. To see how to do explosive push-ups, CLICK HERE
2. One full pattern of this exercise has 8 push-ups in it. 2 close hand push-ups, 2 wide push-ups, and 4 uneven push-ups. When doing this exercise I like to so 2 full patterns (16 push-ups) and then I take a minute to rest. I will do about 4 sets.
3. Make sure to keep a strong core when performing this exercise! Arching your back will compromise form and cause you to target the incorrect muscles.
4. To modify this exercise, you can use a shorter surface, such as an aerobic stepper or even a book. This exercise can also be done on your knees if using a shorter surface is still too difficult.
5. Focus on using your chest to do the push-up. Your pecs should be the primary muscle used in this exercise and will start to fatigue quickly. Your other muscles will naturally start to compensate, but really try and focus on using your pecs for most of the work.

Are you ready to try this push-up combination? Do you have any push-up variations that you like to add to your workout? Let me know and contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

New Years Resolutions

The new year is just around the corner which means that millions of people will be making goals to achieve in the next 365 days. One of the most common resolutions has to do with loosing weight and achieving “the perfect body”. Every year I hear countless amounts of people saying that they will loose the excess weight, they will build their muscles, and they will get the six pack they always wanted, but only a small fraction actually see any results. It is estimated that only 8% of people actually reach their New Years resolutions. Why is it so hard reach these goals? I have a few tips that will hopefully make it a little easier to stay on track.

My Personal Transformation @alec2austin

My Personal Transformation @alec2austin

The first thing we need to do is realize that small changes can make a big difference. Although you may have a big weight loss goal in mind, making a small change to your diet and exercise plan can make that once out-of-reach dream more attainable. Switching out a snack food for something healthier, not eating before bed, or even simply adding 20 minutes of cardio a few times of week can start the process of reaching your bigger health goals.

Another important idea to adapt when setting a resolution is that instead of just setting a goal, decide on what steps need to be made in order to reach that goal. Making a plan helps you better understand why kind of commitment it is to reach your “dream body.” It is A LOT of work and A LOT of commitment, but that still does not mean that it is unattainable. Once you plan out what needs to be done to loose that extra weight, you need to start applying the changes to your life, but not all at once. Making a lot of drastic changes in a short amount of time literally puts your brain and body into shock, which in turn makes these changes near impossible to adapt. So instead, apply one or two changes at first, and once you have adapted the new changes and turned them more into a habit, you can apply another change or two.

Jen Piccolo @jenthefitfoodie

Jen Piccolo @jenthefitfoodie

The last important thing to understand when making a resolution is that patience is key. Nothing happens over night, especially when it comes to weight loss or muscle building. There is no quick fix. Living a healthy lifestyle is just that, a LIFESTYLE. You have to adapt new habits to a point where you would rather go exercise than sit on the couch all day; you would rather eat chicken and vegetables than a Big Mac; you would rather go to bed than stay up late and watch movies. To some this may sound weird, but by adapting these habits, I have never felt better in my life. I am happier, I feel healthier, I have more energy, I am more productive, I have better focus, and overall live a more fulfilling life.

Think of it this way… If you have a resolution to lose 50 pounds in the new year, that may sound like a big almost impossible obstacle to overcome. 50 pounds?!?!…. That’s a small child! How can you do that? You have 365 days to reach this goal; 12 months to lose 50 pounds. This actually comes out to about 4 pounds every month or 1 pound a week. Now doesn’t that sound a little easier to do? If you set small shorter goals such as “I want to lose 4 pounds in January,” all of a sudden that big intimidating goal now seems way more doable.

Know that you are not alone and that we all are still trying to achieve our dream bodies. There are resources everywhere to help you get where you want to be. I know you can do it!

I hope this article helps you make next year the best year yet! I will help in any way I can and I would love to hear about your progress. Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, ideas for new topics, or updates on your personal fitness successes.

Make Your Own Healthy Ice Cream

Choco PB Banana Ice Cream 1

I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, but I had to share this one because I LOVE Ice Cream. I know most diets out there don’t allow you to have ice cream on a regular basis, mostly because it is high in fat and sugar. Fear not, because I have found the recipe to help your ice cream craving. Although you may not believe me, this ice cream actually tastes really good, and just like any ice cream sundae, you can add whatever ingredients and toppings you want to make it your own.

Healthy Chocolate Ice Cream
INGREDIENTS:
Makes 1-2 servings
2 Chopped Frozen bananas
1/4 cup of milk (skim, almond, or soy)
1 scoop of Chocolate Protein

(Optional Ingredients:)
1 tsp. of Natural Peanut Butter
Banana Chips

Choco PB Banana Ice Cream 2

DIRECTIONS:
1. Peel, cut, and freeze 2 bananas in a zip lock bag.
2. Once the bananas are frozen (at least a few hours), place the bananas in a food processor or blender.
3. Add a splash of milk. DO NOT add all of the milk at once.
4. Blend the bananas and milk, slowly adding the rest of the milk in as you continue to blend and obtain the desired consistency.
5. Add and blend 1 scoop of Chocolate Protein Powder. Mix well.
6. Scoop Ice cream out into a bowl and add any extra ingredients. I added a peanut butter drizzle and banana chips on top.
7. ENJOY!!!

TIPS:
1. Chopping the bananas into smaller pieces makes the blending process a lot easier. Blending a whole frozen banana can be much more of a hassle.
2. It is important to add the milk in slowly. If you put it all in at once, you can easily make a mess… Trust me.
3. The 1/4 cup of milk measure measurement is an estimate, but usually I just eyeball it. Sometimes I use more and sometimes I use less. The less milk you add, the thinker the ice cream will be.
4. You may have to use a spoon to mix the ingredients around in between blending. Because the ice cream is thick, it can stick to the side of the food processor/blender. Just push the mixture back down toward the blade while the machine is off and then blend again.
3. If you make too much, put the rest in the freezer, and enjoy it at a different time. If you save any in the freezer, however, you may need to let the ice cream thaw for a little before you get the right consistency back.
4. This recipe can be altered to make many different flavors and varieties of ice cream. Try adding different toppings like cashews or coconuts flakes, or even try adding frozen fruit into the mix or changing up the flavor protein powder that you use. BE CREATIVE!!!

Do you like this recipe? Do you have any creative ingredients you add to make your own unique Ice Cream concoction? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, and ideas for new topics.

Feature Friday: Brandon Moore

Brandon Moore 1

First name: Brandon
Last name: Moore
City: Franklin
State: New Jersey
Age: 20
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 190
Profession: Fitness Model/Actor/Entrepreneur

Follow Him:
Twitter: @bmoore_fit24
Instagram: @bmoore_fit24
Facebook: Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/bmoorefit24
Youtube: Brandon Moore

Brandon Moore 2

Are you signed to any agencies? If so what agencies?
Silver Models/Chelsea Talent out of NYC.

When did you start working out?:
I started working out during my freshman year which was about 7 years ago.

How many days a week do you work out?:
I work out everyday. I don’t plan an off day; if I need an off day, I take one.

How long is your average workout?:
I usually work out for about 1-2 hours.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
I like to train my chest, shoulders, and back.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs. I also don’t train arms because they grow too easily. I like to focus on my weak points.

Brandon Moore 3

Do you compete in competitions? If so, when did you start competing?:
I started in May of 2014 and I got 3rd out of 5 in teen physique. I will be competing more in 2015. I am working hard to step on the national stage!

Do you have a coach or trainer to help you maintain your physique?:
I do all my diet and training myself. I like to learn about fitness and nutrition and try different diets and programs to see what works best with my body.

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
– IFBB pro
– Cover of a fitness magazine
– Become a Sponsored Althete
– Do more online training to help others achieve their goals.

Brandon Moore 4

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
Greg Plitt of course. Also my good friend and roommate Shawn Russell (@shawnrussell3). He is a huge inspiration and motivator!

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
Protein, Creatine, Multi, Fish Oil, and BCAAS.

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
I am currently carb cycling. Low carb – low carb – medium carb – medium carb – low carb – high carb – medium carb. I have about 4-6 meals a day. All healthy whole foods and about 2 gallons of water every day.

What is your favorite cheat meal?:
Pizza, wings, or pasta.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
Deadlift (strict form), bench press, and lateral raise. Every exercise should be controlled reps, always hitting failure, and time under tension (supersets, dropsets).

Brandon Moore 5

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Consistency! Stay consistent with your training and your diet.

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
Definitely follow my Instagram or facebook fan page. I am doing a daily post called the #bmoorefitexperience, which tracks my workouts and diet. I also post workout videos, supplement reviews, meals, and motivational content! #bmoorefit everyone !

Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Brandon Moore? Would you or someone you know liked to be featured? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.