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.

Narrow Squats

Narrow Squat 1

This is a move I just started adding to my leg day routine, and it kills my legs! You will feel your quads, glutes, and hamstrings burn and swell. This move may feel weird at first, but once you start understanding the mechanics and form, it is a great exercise to add to your leg routine.

To do a Narrow Squat:
1. With a bar set on the squat rack, load the bar with the appropriate amount of weight.
2. With the bar resting on your traps (lower neck/upper back), lift the bar off the squat rack
3. Set your feet slightly closer than shoulder width apart, but not completely together.
4. Keeping your back straight, squat down. (As seen in the second picture)
5. When you are as low as you can get, push through your heels to return back to the standing position.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 for the allotted amount of reps.

Narrow Squat 2

TIPS:
1. Be careful of your knees during this exercise. During the entire movement of the squat your knees should stay in line. Make sure they do not start moving in toward each other. If they do, this will easily cause injury. When pushing up, I try to focus on pushing me knees slightly out to avoid them from caving in toward each other.
2. This is another exercise that is all about control and less about weight. Although the resistance of the weight is important, if you can control the movement of the exercise and perform this squat with slow, but strong movements, you will definitely feel and see a change in your legs.
3. When squatting, try to get your legs to at least make a 90 degree angle, but lower even more toward the floor if you can. A wider range of motion will cause your legs to work harder which will then lead to more strength gains. If you cannot lower to create a 90 degree angle, you may be lacking flexibility in your hips. Stretching regularly will help alleviate this issue.
4. Push through your heels to activate your hamstrings and give your movement more support and power.
5. I recommend starting this exercise with a very small amount of weight to get the movement down first. Once you have gotten used to the motion, slowly add on weight to see what weight is challenging, but still comfortable for you. You will probably not do the same weight you use for your normal squat. Right now, for my narrow squat I do about 5 sets of 10 reps 185lbs, while for my standard squat I can do 10 reps of 185-225lbs, and my max squat is 330lbs.
6. As you can see from my picture, my feet are turned out. Growing up as a dancer and also being bow Legged, my legs are more comfortable in the position. When I put my feet straight forward and parallel to each other, I feel a lot of pressure on my knees. Try to have your feet straight on, but also know your body and its limits. If you need to turn out your feet as well, do so.

Have you ever tried a narrow squat? If you add narrow squats to your leg routine, let me know what you think. Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics!

Sumo Deadlift

Similar to a standard deadlift, the Sumo Deadlift helps build and strengthen your legs and back muscles. Most of the strength should come from your hamstrings, glutes, and adductors, but muscles in your core, back, and forearms are also needed for stabilization and grip strength.
Sumo Deadlift
To perform the Sumo Deadlift:
1. Place a bar on the ground and load it with the appropriate amount of weight.
2. With the bar below you, set your feet in a wide stance. The bar should be touching your shins.
3. Bend at the hips and grab the bar. Your hands should not be wider than shoulder width apart. Contrary to a standard deadlift, your hands should be between your feet, not on the outside of your feet.
4. Lower your hips slightly and keep you chest up. Have a tight grip on the bar and activate your lats. You are now in the correct position for the sumo deadlift.
5. By pushing through your heels and activating your hamstrings and glutes, pull the bar up off of the floor. The motion should be coming mostly from your hips.
6. Once the bar is past your knees, drive you hips forward and lean slightly back. At the peak of the lift, you should be squeezing your glutes with your legs straight, and your lats should be activated with shoulder blades together.
7. To lower the bar back to the ground, hinge at the hips. Keep your back activated and control the motion down as much as you can.
8. Repeat steps 5-7 for the allotted amount of the reps.

Sumo Deadlift 2
TIPS:
1. The amount of weight all depends on your progress with weighlifting. For beginners, start off with just the bar to work on your form, and then add weights slowly.
2. Lower your hips slightly and keep you chest up. You do not want to be hunched over.
3. Any variation of a deadlift can be dangerous is not done correctly which is why form is so important. Really push through your heels and keep as much strain out of your lower back as possible.
4. At the peak of the lift, hold the position for a second and really feel the nice squeeze in your glutes and hamstrings.

Have you ever tried Sumo Deadlifts? Let me know what you think! Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, or ideas for other 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.

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.

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.