LEGS LEGS LEGS

Want a good way to build and tone your legs without having to lift heavy weights? Yesterday I put together and tried a workout for the first time, and although it was hard, it worked great. The important part of this workout is to really monitor your rest time. If you go light, but take small rests between each set, you will be working your muscles in an effective way. Try this workout and let me know what you think!

LEGS LEGS LEGS

  1. Cardio:
    1. 10 Sets of 10 weighted Box Jumps (1 minute rest between each set)
  2. Strength:
    1. Superset of Squats and Deadlifts.
      1. 10 Sets: 10 Back Squats, 45 Minute Rest, 10 Deadlifts, 1 Minute Rest, Repeat
  3. Tone:
    1. 5 sets of Leg Extensions (10 reps)
    2. 5 Sets on the Thigh Abductor Machine (15 reps)
    3. 3 sets of 20 Jumping Lunges
  4. Stretch

This was the entire workout that I did and now my legs are SORE! It was a great way to change up my normal workout. Below are some tips on how to perform these exercises correctly and find weights that would work well for you.

TIPS:

  1. For the Weighted Box Jumps, I used a 24″ box and held a 16kg Kettle Bell. When doing this exercise, I really made sure to get my squat down as low as possible before jumping to the box. If you are not comfortable with weighted box jumps, start with no weight at all, or if you are just learning box jumps, start with a smaller height.
  2. The insane Squat and Deadlift Superset is the big strength portion of this workout. I used 135lbs for both exercise and I was exhausted. My max weights for both my squat and deadlift are over 300lbs, so DON’T go heavy with this superset. Choose a weight that you feel comfortable doing 20-25 reps with in a normal set (usually 50% of your max weight or less). Start with 10 squats, wait 45 seconds, do 10 deadlifts, wait 1 minute, and then repeat this cycle starting with the 10 squats again for 9 more sets. 10 full sets will take about 30 minutes. Make sure to get low with your squats and also really keep the tension out of your back for both exercises.
  3. For the toning exercises, I really just wanted to exhaust some of my leg muscles. Trying to only keep about a 60 second rest in between each set,  I did leg extensions, abductors, and jumping lunges. By the end of this workout I was drenched in sweat and my legs were numb.

Let me know what you think of this workout. Were you able to do the whole thing? Did you make any changes that worked well for you? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or ideas or new topics.

4 Traits of a Great Workout

Photo By Jason Jaskot

Photo By Jason Jaskot


I have been weightlifting for about 4 years now, but I have been active my entire life. I have been to numerous types of exercise classes, I’ve tried different workout regimes, and I’ve even made up my own. Through trial and error and seeing which plans make me feel the best and also show results, I have put together the 4 attributes that I think every workout should have. I like to call these traits the 4 S’s.

The 4 S’s are Stretch, Stamina, Stability, and Strength.
1. Stretch – It is important to start and end with a good stretch during your workout. Yes, stretching can sometimes feel tedious and annoying, but there are so many benefits to stretching that should not be over looked. Stretching not only improves your flexibility and mobility, but it can greatly reduce your risk of injury, and also even support faster and stronger muscle growth. When stretching you are getting more oxygen and blood flow to your muscles, therefore providing your muscles with more nutrients to repair and grow.
2. Stamina – It’s time to get your heart rate up. Cardio has endless amount of benefits no matter what your fitness level may be. Cardio burns calories for weight loss, strengthens your heart, helps reduce the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, it helps you reduce stress, promotes sleep better, etc….
3. Stability – This is the one that I think many people forget to add into their workouts. Unless you are taking a Yoga or Pilates class, many workouts don’t incorporate stability into the regimen. Practicing your balance and stability will lead to fewer injuries, better posture, and improvement in your coordination and athletic skills.
4. Strength – This one is pretty self explanatory, but still can be forgotten, especially by people who are mostly just focusing on weight loss. It is very common to see people on the treadmill for an hour and then just leave the gym. Although they may be loosing weight, its usually is not in the areas they want to loose it in. I frequently get approached by people asking me how they get rid of their “belly fat” or “arm flab.” What I tell people who want to loose weight is that cardio and diet is obviously important, but strength training is your way of focusing on the exact body parts you want to improve on.

Examples of exercises for each aspect of the 4 S’s
Stretch – Arm Circles, Elbow Circles, Touch Your Toes, Lunges, Straddle, Splits
Stamina – Walking on an Incline, Running, Swimming, Stair Master, HIIT Workout
Stability – Planks, Holds, Handstands, Balance Drills, Yoga, Pilates
Strength – Weightlifting such as Bicep Curls, Tricep Extensions, Chest Press, Deadlifts, and Squats.

Try adding these aspects to your workout routines and let me know what you think. Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, or ideas for new topics.

Back And Core Workout – April 2015

This is a workout I did the other day. I was pleased with how well it worked and how efficient it was. It did not take too much time, but I definitely felt a great pump and was sore all over the next day. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia KTGnyc.com

Model: Alec Varcas
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia
KTGnyc.com

Warmup:
30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio.

Working Sets:

  • 1. Superset 1: 4 rounds
    • 3 Drop sets of seated rows. 10 reps each. (10 reps at heavy, medium, then light weight)
    • 10 raised shoulder push-ups
    • 45 second hollow hold
    • 1 minute rest
  • 2. 50 reps of Lsit pull-ups
    (10 sets of 5 with a 30 second rest)
    • 3. Superset 2: 3 rounds
      • 15 reps of rear delt flyes
      • 1 minute side plank on each side
    • 4. 5 sets of farmer carries
      • 5. 10 handstands until failure
        • 6. Stretch
          • TIPS:
            1. For my moderate intensity cardio, I decided to walk at 4.0 speed on a 7.5% incline on the treadmill for 30 minutes. This burned a little over 300 calories.
            2. When I say “3 Drop sets of seated rows. 10 reps each,” start with a heavier weight and do 10 reps of seated rows. Immediately after, lower the weight and do another 10 reps, and then lower it one more time and do another 10 reps. You will do 30 reps total during this drop set, and eventually end up doing 120 total after you do the 4 rounds of that super set. I ended with doing 120lbs, then 80 lbs, then 40 lbs.
            3. During the “50 reps of Lsit pull-ups,” you can break them up however you want. I did 10 sets of 5 reps with a 30 second rest in between each set. Also, during this exercise, you can use a wide grip, or a close grip.
            4. When I did the “10 handstands until failure,” I did mine off the wall and just tried to hold my position. If you are not comfortable with handstands, try holding the handstand against the wall for as long as you can.

            Hope you enjoy this workout as much as I did. Let me know what you think or if you ended up modifying any of the exercises. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics, contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com

            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.

            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.

            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.