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.

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.

Explosive Pushups with Dumbbells

Explosive Pushup 1

Explosive Pushup 2

Explosive Pushup 4

Explosive Pushup 3

I was recently asked to post more exercises that really target your chest. In the past few months, I started adding more pushup variations into my workouts and have noticed a significant change in the strength and size of my pecs. This exercise destroys my chest at the end of a great workout. Explosive Pushups with Dumbbells test your upper body strength and allow you to use all areas of your chest in one exercise.

To do Explosive Pushups with Dumbbells:
1. Take two dumbbells and lay them upright on the ground. (One side of the dumbbells should be flat on the floor, and the other side should be up in the air, leaving a flat surface at the top)
2. Start in a raised plank position with your feet on the floor and one hand on each dumbbell. *Image 1
3. Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor. *Image 2
4. As you push up, lift your hands off the dumbbells. Now your feet should be the only part of your body touching the floor.
5. As your body starts to lower back down to the ground, land with your hands on the floor between the dumbbells. *Image 3
6. Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor. *Image 4
7. As you push up away from the floor, lift you hands off the floor and try to place them back on top of the dumbbells.
8. End in a raised plank position with a slight bend in your elbows, your feet on the floor and one hand on each dumbbell.
9. Repeat steps 3-8 for the allotted amount of reps.
Click Here to watch a short video to see an example of Explosive Pushup with Dumbbells.

TIPS:
1. Do not arch your back. During the explosive motion you may want to arch your back to get your chest higher and get your body higher off the ground. By keeping your body straight, it may seem harder, but you will activate and train the correct muscles.
2. If you are feeling sharp pains in your wrist or elbows, stop the exercise. This exercise can have a high impact on your joints in your arms, especially if your form is not correct. You do not want to cause any damage.
3. You can place your feet together, shoulder width apart, or wide. The closer your legs are together, the harder your core will work to stabilize your body.
4. If you do not have dumbbells, you can use other surfaces like a small boxes, steppers, or anything else you can think of as long as the surfaces are the same height.
5. I try to do 5 sets of 5-10 reps with a 60 second break in between each set. If this is the last exercise I do of the day, I do as many reps as possible until I reach failure.




Have you ever tried Explosive Pushups with Dumbbells? Are there any other variations of pushups that you like to do? Contact me with corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

Hollow Body Holds

This is one of the greatest core conditioning exercises out there. It may look simple, but after only a few seconds, you will feel your core burning! Hollow Body Holds will strengthen your entire core and will help condition your body for many other exercises.

Hollow Body Holds 3

How to Perform Hollow Body Holds:
1. Lie down with your back on the floor and hands by your side
2. While keeping your lower back flat on the ground, activate your core to lift your legs, arms and shoulders a few inches off the ground.
3. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds (or as long a possible). The image shows the position to hold during a Hollow Body Hold.



TIPS:
1. You must keep your lower back flat on the floor. Keeping your lower back connected with the floor will activate the appropriate muscles for this exercise.
2. You may find yourself shaking during this exercise. As long as you are not uncomfortable, try to push through it. You may shake because your muscles are not used to the tension from this exercise, but it means that your muscles are working hard. Be prepared to be sore tomorrow!
3. BREATHE! Do not hold your breath during this exercise. Focus and take slow deep breaths.
4. Keep your legs tight together!

Have you ever tried Hollow Body Holds? How long can you hold a Hollow Body Hold? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, and ideas for new topics.

Feature Friday: Mike Stalker

Mike Stalker 1

First name: Mike
Last name: Stalker
City and State: Split between New York and New Jersey
Age: 23
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 180
Profession: Entrepreneur

Follow Him:
Twitter: @TheMikeStalker
Instagram: @TheMikeStalker
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheMikeStalker

Where did you go to school? What degree did you graduate with?:
Fordham University class of 2014. Graduated with a degree in Finance.

Did you play any sports in school?:
I played Division I Men’s soccer.

Mike Stalker 2

When did you start modeling?:
About 2 years ago.

Are their any shoots you have done or photographers you have worked with that specifically stick out as some of your favorites?:
Have to give a shout out to Rick Day. He is the one that got my name and look out. If it wasn’t for him, I may not have had much success at all. I am also a big fan of Richard Phibbs. His work is brilliant and shoots some awesome campaigns, celebrities, and professional athletes. Also, need to give a shout to Sonny Tong. He is a young photographer from LA, and I think he has a bright future.

When did you start working out?:
Started to work out my junior year of high school.

How many days a week do you work out?:
I shoot for 5-6 days a week.

Mike Stalker 3

How long is your average workout?:
1-2 hours.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Back and Chest.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs!

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
My fitness goals are usually to stay lean all year with some respectable muscle mass – 5-7% body fat. It also motivating to see your strength levels increase. Other fitness goals are to inspire people all over the world in fitness, health, and nutrition.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they? Do you have any other people you look up to?:
In terms in the fitness industry, I really look up to entrepreneurs John Romaniello and Tim Ferriss. While they are not models, they are fitness professionals – authors, trainers, investors, etc (both make over 7 fig a year). Tim Ferriss has an awesome book out – The Four Hour Body that has had some huge commercial success.

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
1st Phorm supplements. I love a good pre-workout to get me going. Pre-workouts with creatine are great because they kill two birds with one stone. And protein is huge.

Mike Stalker 4

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
High protein with healthy fats and carbs. Lots of protein (chicken, fish, eggs) and greens.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
I like to do everything. Play sports, bike, sprints, and lift. I also recommend doing a bodybuilding type split to increase muscle. M- Chest/tris T-Back/Bis W- Legs T- Shoulders F- Arms S- and finishing each workout with abs 3-4x a week.

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Stay patient. Your body won’t change overnight. Stay focused – nutrition is huge and you need to really pay attention to what you are putting in your body, not only for physical changes but for mental and psychological effects as well. Lift hard, heavy, and often to really lose body fat and increase lean muscle mass. GET IN PROTEIN.

Mike Stalker 5

I know you also have your own fitness website. What type of content do you share on your website?:
I share content based on fitness, nutrition, success, and life.

What is the website address?:
mikestalkerfitlife.com —> Will soon be launching TheDailyAce.Com

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
I have a huge digital magazine launching in November.

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

Raised L-Sits

Are you ready for another great stabilization exercise? L-sits are one of my favorite core strengthening exercises to perform because you can engage your entire core with one simple move. L-sits are a great exercise to add to any workout plan, and no matter what your fitness level, there is always room for growth and improvement with this exercise.

Raised L Sit

How to do Raised L Sits:
1. Grab two bars or stable surfaces of equal height and set them about 1 to 2 feet apart from each other. (The distance apart depends on the comfort of each person individually)
2. Place one hand on each surface and squat down to prepare for the exercise.
3. With your arms straight, raise your legs up off the floor in front of you.
4. Straighten your legs so they are now parallel to the floor.
5. Hold this position for as long as you can and then lower your legs back to the floor.
6. Repeat this exercise for the allotted amount of sets.

TIPS:
1. Track your progress with L-sits. The first time you try this exercise, you may only be able to hold this position for a few seconds, but after only a few weeks, you will see a huge difference in what you can do. Seeing your time increase will help motivate you to keep pushing your limits.
2. Keep your chest open and up. Keep your back straight and do not hunch when doing this exercise. Hunching will activate the wrong muscles and may even cause muscle strain.
3. Breathe. Like most stabilization exercises, it is common for people to hold their breath. I am sometimes guilty of this too, but holding your breath will cause unnecessary tension throughout your entire body which will actually make this exercise harder.
4. Look straight ahead! Try not to look down at the floor or at your legs, and don’t lift your head up. Pick something straight in front of you to focus on.
5. Your toes can be flexed or pointed during this exercise, but choose one. You want to really activate your legs and keep them straight and tight in this workout. If you let your feet just dangle, you will not be fully engaging your legs in this exercise.
6. If you do not have bars for this exercise, you can use two platforms, chairs, or even stacks of books.
7. My goal for this exercise is usually to hold the L-sit from 30-60 seconds and I do about 5 sets. If I do them right in a row, I try to take about a one minute break in between each set.

Have you ever tried Raised L-sits? Let me know what you think of this exercise and let me know if you have any other questions or comments by emailing me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com.

Handstand Negatives

Handstand Negatives 1

This is the next step in learning how to do Handstand Pushups. If you have not tried any of the previous workouts suggested in order to learn how to do a handstand pushup, CLICK HERE. Handstand Negatives depend on a slow controlled motion to strengthen and train your back, shoulder, and core muscles.

To Perform Handstand Negatives:
1. Place a pad, pillow, or soft surface on the floor and against the wall.
2. Face the wall and prepare to kick up into a handstand. To do so, place your hands a few inches away from the wall, on either side of the pad, and kick your legs up. You should end in an upside-down position with your back facing the wall.
3. Bend at your elbows and slowly lower your head down to the pad.
4. Lower your legs back to the ground by pushing off the wall with your feet.
5. Stand back up and repeat steps 2-5 for the allotted amount of reps.

Handstand Negatives 2

TIPS:
1. The exercise is ALL ABOUT CONTROL. Holding the handstand position will practice stability, but also the lowering down will activate those muscles needed to do a handstand pushup.
2. When lowering your head down to the pad, try to lower as slow as possible. Taking 3-5 seconds is ideal. The slow motion will make this exercise hard, but effective. It will really test and work a wide arrange of muscles in your upper body.
3. Once your head is down on the pad, try pushing up from this position. It is ok if you can’t, just kick up into a handstand before every negative. If you can do a pushup, do another handstand negative after the pushup.
4. Try doing 5 negatives at a time at first and then try and work your way up to 10 consecutive reps. At first you may not be able to lower yourself slowly, but over time really test yourself and try to lower yourself as slow as possible.

Have you ever tried Handstand Negatives? Have you been following my guide to learning handstand pushups? Let me know what you think. Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics.

Feature Friday: Jerdani Kraja

Jerdani 1

First name: Jerdani
Last name: Kraja
City: San Diego
State: CA
Age: 21
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 180lbs
Profession: Fitness Model and Revlabs Athelete Manager

Follow Him:
Instagram: @jerdanikraja

Are you signed to any agencies or do you do promotions for any companies?
Revlabs (https://www.revlabs.com/)

When did you start working out?:
I started working out freshman year of high school when I was 14 years old.

Jerdani 2

How many days a week do you work out?:
I usually work out 6 days a week.

How long is your average workout?:
About 2 hours.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Biceps and Triceps

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Chest, its boring to me.

When did you start competing?:
I started competing when I was 19 years old, while being active in the military.

Jerdani 3


Do you have a coach to help you prepare for your competitions?:
I don’t have a coach to help me prepare.

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
There is a pro show in November, but my ultimate goal is to be one day competing at Mr. Olympia.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
I have two. Gregg Plitt is someone who I have looked up to for a while now. My other inspiration is also my best friend, owner, and mentor. He is the president RevLabs, Joshua Nussbaum.

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
For my pre workout I take RevLabs Endorev. It’s like crack, and I need a tough pre workout. For my protein shakes, I use RevLabs protein and testosterone booster. It makes me feel great and brings my workouts and results to the next level. I also take any BCAAs or glutamine.

Jerdani 4

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
I try to eat 6 meals a day, spaced 3 hours apart. I also have 2 shakes a day.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
I believe in super setting and drop setting everything I do.

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
It takes time… be patient. Consistency is key.




Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
I love people and helping, so feel free to hit me up for anything.

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

Killer Core Workout

Photography:  Peter Brown Apparel: Body Aware

Photography: Peter Brown
Apparel: Body Aware

When it comes to core workouts, I like to dedicate one day during the week to just core exercises. This workout is the one that I have been using for the past few weeks to help build and tone my core. So far I have been feeling and seeing some great results. The thing I really like about this workout is that it does not only focus on one area of your abdominals, but instead focuses on your entire midsection from your abs, to your obliques, and even your lower back. This workout consists of groups of exercises that should be done right after another followed by a long rest. This will test your endurance and will help give you the results you are looking for. Try it out and let me know what you think.

KILLER CORE WORKOUT!

Cardio and Warmup:
30 minutes of Cardio
10 minutes of Stretching

Group 1: (3 sets)
Leg Lifts with Alternating Stability Ball x 15 reps (Click Here)
Reverse Crunch with Stability Ball x 25 reps (Click Here)
Leg Lifts With Stability Ball x 10 reps (Click Here)
90 second rest
* Do 3 sets of this Group of exercises

Group 2: (3 sets)
Kettlebell Side Bend x 20 reps on right
Kettlebell Side Bend x 20 reps on left
Ab roller x 15 reps
90 second rest
* Do 3 sets of this Group of exercises

Group 3: (3 sets)
Raised Side Plank on right x Hold for 1 minute (Click Here)
Raised Side Plank on left x Hold for 1 minute (Click Here)
Toes to Bar x 10 reps
* Do 3 sets of this Group of exercises

Group 4: (3 sets)
Hollow Hold x Hold for 1 minute or until failure
60 second rest
* Do 3 sets of this exercise

Group 5:
Back hyperextensions x 200 reps. Rest when needed.
* I usually do about 5-10 at a time and then rest for about 5-10 seconds.
Stretch

That is my Killer Core Workout that I have been doing once a week for the past month. It is definitely not easy, but it will help get you a strong and toned core. Let me know what you think of the workout and contact me with any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics at corestrengthalec@gmail.com