Archive for the ‘Workouts’ Category

Q & A with Team True Alpha member Eric Broser

Q. I am extremely ectomorphic. My goal is to gain as much bulk as possible, but I don’t want to get too fat. I weigh about 155 and wish to get to about 185 in the next year. Should I be doing cardio along with my weight training?

A. I was in a very similar situation as you when I first started, although I was even skinnier if you could believe that! I weighed a paltry 125 lbs when I first wrapped my hands around a barbell! So, in other words, I feel your pain, and can fully appreciate your question. As for my response…I would have to say no, you should not do any cardio at this time. As an ectomorph struggling to add muscle and bodyweight the last thing you want to do is burn more calories and further increase your already racing metabolism through cardio. You want every calorie you ingest to be pointed toward muscle repair and growth, even if you store a little bodyfat along the way. The best way to avoid adding too much extra adipose tissue while gaining size is to make sure that you are eating a relatively clean high calorie diet. Try to get the bulk of your calories from foods like steak, eggs, milk, chicken, fatty fish, protein powders, rice, pasta, potatoes, whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables. While the occasional pizza, ice cream and pancakes will not hurt you, make foods like this the exception and not the rule. Another point about cardio and the ectomorph that I want to make is that in my experience, those with this body type tend to have more limited recovery ability than most…not as much in regards to individual muscles as to systemic recovery. This means that as an ectomorph, overtraining is more of a concern than with other body types. Thus, the addition of cardio on top of weight training is not a good idea for us naturally skinny types (at least in the early bulking stages), as too much exercise will make too far an inroad into our recovery ability, which will all but bring gains in muscle to a screeching halt!

So, my advice to you is to train hard and heavy no more than 4 days per week, eat at least 6 clean, high calorie meals per day, and to sleep 7-9 hours every night. That is your simple, yet most reliable equation for muscle growth.

www.alphamaleadvancedworkouts.com

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Bad Day on the Dumbbell Bench

Those who follow me on twitter (www.twitter.com/rickcollinsesq) or facebook (www.facebook.com/rickcollinsonline) or train at my gym know that in late January 2011, I tore my right triceps off the bone. The tendon was pulled out at the elbow, yanking out loose bits of bone and spilling what seemed like an ocean of blood within the tissue over the next few days.

I’m now recovering from the worst injury I’ve sustained in nearly 35 years of careful but extremely high-intensity bodybuilding. It wasn’t pretty, and it seemed to happen in an instant. One minute everything seemed to be going just fine and the next, out of nowhere, in a flash, everything suddenly went terribly wrong.

So, in response to the many questions I’ve gotten, here’s what happened. Read the rest of this entry »

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Words To Lift By # 1

Stop running-Try uphill sprints-The anatomical angle will decrease range of motion-Try it on grass hills. You’ll have less knee and back pain too! Try the Alpha Male Challenge Kilimanjaro Climb…It’s totally True Alpha!

Keep Going!

James Villepigue CSCS

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The Training Trio: Are 3 Partners a Crowd?

In a blog last month, I covered the 4 Big Benefits of working out with a training partner.  But does the old maxim that “two’s company and three’s a crowd” apply to gym workouts?  Some people would say so. The disadvantage of a training as a threesome is obvious: an extra training partner can slow everything down.  With two partners, both are always occupied – one is doing a set while the other is spotting, and vice versa.  It’s easy for two partners to get into a steady rhythm and there’s no excuse for extended rest periods.  Nobody is ever standing around with nothing to do.  With trio training, one partner is always neither doing a set nor spotting.  That’s when a talky partner can become a distraction, diverting the spotter’s attention – a potential danger – or simply slowing down the overall workout pace.

But the advantages of trio training can be significant, too.  Here are 3 suggestions for making the most of a training trio: Read the rest of this entry »

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STRETCH to GROW!

As a natural for life bodybuilder I need to gain every advantage possible when trying to build muscle. This means that any training or nutritional strategy that I can implement that will force my system into an anabolic (muscle-building) state has to be utilized consistently if I have any chance of pushing my physique (and my “alpha-ness”) to greater levels as I age. One of the best methods I have found for inducing new growth is the use of a technique called “stretch under tension.” Now, you must understand this is no ordinary form of stretching, and is not part of any kind of warm-up or cool-down from exercise. Rather, it is a vital part of your actual workout! What you need to do to make use of this little muscle-inducing “trick” is to pick one exercise per workout (for each muscle group that you are training) that has a strong stretch component. Some examples would be DB flyes for chest, seated cable rows for lats, sissy squats for quads, stiff leg deadlifts for hams, and overhead DB extensions for triceps. Now, instead of performing the movement at a normal rep speed you will utilize a tempo of 3/4/X, which means lowering the weight slowly over 3 seconds, holding the deep stretch for 4 seconds, and then exploding out of the bottom using only muscular power. By doing this you will be forcing the muscle to undergo a deep/exaggerated stretch using the tension that the weight provides, which has been shown to stimulate both the natural release of the powerful growth hormone IGF-1 and the proliferation of satellite cells! These are two absolutely essential ingredients in the process that leads to muscle hypertrophy! So, you now have your mission…stretch to grow!

To learn about more physique-transforming methods go to www.alphamaleadvancedworkouts.com and get the newest training E-book that is taking the fitness industry by storm!

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How can you tell if you’ve had a Great Workout?

One common way to tell if you’ve had a terrific and challenging training session is if you accomplished a new personal best in the poundage department.  It’s simple mathematics.  If your previous record was 8 reps at a given weight and now you grind out 10 strict reps at that weight, you’ve scaled a new strength peak!  Great workout!

Of course, handling increased resistance isn’t the only way to have a fantastic workout.  You can juggle other variables of intensity such as number of sets, repetition ranges, rep tempo, or rest between sets, or you can throw advanced intensity techniques like forced reps into the mix.  Whenever you can add intensity to your regular exercises, you’re heading in the right direction.

I say “regular exercises” because most guys tend to gravitate toward certain favorite exercises, and even toward specific machines.  The usual reason?   It’s because they suit our individual biomechanics and we’re good at them (as in, we can handle weights on them that are more impressive relative to the weights we handle on other similar machines). Read the rest of this entry »

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The Ultimate Look-Your-Best Program is Here!!

It’s officially the New Year and the gyms are once again filled with the short-term commitment people.  Most will be long gone by late February, and will never meet their goals of losing fat, building rock hard muscle, and getting into amazing shape.  You can go to the gym and flounder around if you like.  But I’ve got a better solution.  Put yourself in our hands.  My True Alpha brother Eric Broser has worked with James and I to design an absolutely jaw-dropping ten-week advanced program for anyone looking to take their Alpha Male status to new heights! 

The Alpha Male Advanced Workouts program is something completely new, a sophisticated but easy-to-follow, science-based cross-periodized training blueprint that can jack up your body to a whole new level of size, strength and definition in only 10 weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Four Big Benefits of a Training Partner

Over the decades in which I’ve been hitting the iron, I’ve trained alone for stretches but mostly I’ve trained with a lifting partner.  The faces have changed over the years, but I’ve always consistently gotten my best workouts with a partner.  Why do many people get their best results from training with a partner?  Here are my top four reasons!    

Accountability:  There are days when most people don’t feel like working out.  Maybe they’re tired, or upset about something that happened at home or at work.  Maybe things are hectic, and the time could be spent elsewhere.  Maybe they’re just lazy that day.  Regardless of the reason, sooner or later most people will have a day when they physically could go to the gym, and could make time for it, but choose not to.  The occasional missed workout won’t hurt you in the long run, but once it starts happening regularly your results will stop … or go in reverse!  Consistency is the key to progress, and lapses in workout discipline can lead to lapses in diet as well.  That’s where a lifting partner can help. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wrist Wrap Revelation

For the first several years of my training I literally refused to wear wrist straps. I thought that only “girly (non-Alpha!)-men” wore them because they were too weak and lazy to take a good, solid grip on the bar. However, as I began to get stronger, primarily on back exercises, I started to notice that no matter how hard I tried, my grip would give out more quickly than the muscle(s) I was targeting. And that my friends a definite is a no-no! Thus, I reluctantly decided to give wrist straps a try and I was amazed at how much more weight I could lift and how much more productive so many exercises quickly became. In other words, NOT wearing wrist straps was hindering my overall muscle and strength development by limiting my intensity on several essential, basic movements such as bent rows, weighted pull-ups, deadlifts, upright rows, seated rows and DB rows. After just a few short months of implementing the use of lifting straps I absolutely noticed new width and thickness throughout my entire back, which changed my opinion that it is not “girly-men” that use straps, but “burly (True Alpha!)-men!” That said, I should point out that I use them primarily for pulling exercises and only for my heaviest sets. I do enjoy having a powerful grip, so I do not rely on straps for each and every working set. In addition I must mention that utilizing straps properly and efficiently takes some getting used to. There is a definite technique involved when securing wrist straps around a bar and feeling comfortable with them in your hand. Just do not give up and soon enough using straps will become second nature.

So there you have it my fellow Alpha Males (and females too!)…”just say YES to wrist straps!”

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: The Alpha Male Advanced Workout E-Book is NOW AVAILABLE! This is the perfect holiday gift for yourself or a friend who is looking to literally transform their body in the new year! Check it out right here:

http://www.alphamaleadvancedworkouts.com/

**Note: Interested affiliates for the AMAW E-Book can sign up right here:

http://www.alphamaleadvancedworkouts.com/affiliates.html

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Rest = Recover = RESULTS!

Sleep is a rarely considered piece to the total fitness puzzle, but is one of THE most important aspects of becoming a muscular, lean, mean, fit machine! Going to the gym and putting in intense, gut-busting workouts day after day acts only as the stimulus for gains in muscle size, strength, and power, as well as decreases in body fat. Proper nutritional intake is then necessary to provide you the building blocks needed to actually create new lean tissue and melt ugly adipose. However, all of this will be meaningless if you do not allow your body the time and opportunity to “work” this magical process. When does your body do 99% of its building and repair work? WHEN YOU SLEEP! During sleep all other body processes slow down and an intense recovery period takes place. The conscious mind is allowed to “chill” while the subconscious keeps us entertained. Read the rest of this entry »

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