Hi there everyone,
I hope you all enjoyed Blog #6 as I do enjoy imparting my knowledge and experiences in the sport of Bodybuilding and hope you can take something away for yourself that may help in some small way to improve the way go about your health and fitness lifestyle.
I always like to talk to people who are stale with their training about ways to get those juices flowing again, so to speak, and get some enthusiasm back so that hitting the gym doesn't seem like such a chore.
I just spent the last 10 days in Melbourne with my fiancée Louise and was in a situation, 9 weeks out from my next show, of having to train somewhere to keep up the contest intensity.
Lucky for me I was able to workout at good old Doherty's Gym in both Brunswick and the The Vaults City Gym. The hardcore atmosphere in those gyms suits my training approach perfectly and really motivates me to train harder. I even bought myself some Doherty's gym-wear as a way to get in theme and really get my head around training somewhere different.
We even made a special trip to Caroline Springs some 30 minutes from Louise's place to train at the new Derrimut 24:7. All I can say is WOW what a gym! It is bigger than Bunnings and has everything a bodybuilder could ever want or need as a proverbial one-stop shop. Awesome gym equipped with multiple Hammer, Nautilus and Life Fitness pieces, a massive supplement and clothing store the size of some gyms, amazing murals on the walls, UFC fighter cage, Crossfit area, all the various classes, massage, waxing & chiropractic services, cafe/restaurant that serves up good clean food and great coffee at very reasonable prices and much more. I was like a kid in a candy store, we spent all of last Saturday afternoon there, had an awesome back workout, interval cardio, bought a few gym bits and pieces and finished with a superb omelette, protein balls and expresso coffee.
So those sorts of changes made to your repetitive routine can really inspire and motivate you to get out of that rut and spark some fire into your training. It is even better when you can share it with a friend and treat the different training venues as an interesting outing rather than the usual run of the mill place where you work out week after week.
This week's HIT workout I will touch on is my second workout for the week, on Tuesday, being Chest, Biceps & Forearms.
I will start off with Incline press on the Smith Machine with the bench at a 30 degree angle for 3 sets of 15, 12 and 6-8 reps...remember it is that last set that you do to failure only.
The next exercise is my flat dumbbell press/fly hybrid movement that you do for 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps. I do this lying on a flat bench with my arms bent somewhat and my chin on my chest to feel the pecs contract at the top of the movement. You can go quite heavy on this exercise and because your arms are quite bent that takes some of the stress out of your shoulder joints and more into the pectoral muscles.
The third exercise for chest is the awesome cross bench dumbbell pullover that I described in detail in my last blog #6. I usually do just 2 sets, as you are already warmed up, for 12 and 8 reps each.
I will finish chest with cable crossovers going from high to low so as to target the lower and outer pecs. Again only 2 sets here of 15 and 12 reps each.
Remember High Intensity Training is based on the premise of moving quickly between sets, around 1-2 minutes rest, low volume and only going to failure on the last set of each exercise.
I now move over to Biceps & Forearms with just 3 exercises. The first is one arm dumbbell preacher curls for 3 sets of 15, 12 and 8 reps each.
The second exercise is a fantastic movement that a lot of people neglect to do in their arm workouts...the barbell reverse curl. I have done this exercise for many years and have found that it has not only improved the look of my fore-arm flexor muscles but has developed my brachialis muscle, between the bicep and tricep, so as to I improve the overall thickness in my biceps. I also remember, before I used to start focusing on fore-arms, that I used to get lots of little injuries and niggles in my fore-arms that then affected the training of my other body parts. I no longer have any problems in this area and the added bonus is that the improved fore-arm strength has greatly assisted my back training. I usually again do 3 sets of 15, 12 and 8 reps.
The final exercise for this workout is the barbell wrist curl with your palms face up and wrists on the edge of a bench. This really targets the fore-arm extensor muscles which looks great when fully developed in the front double biceps compulsory pose. I only do 2 sets of 15 and 12 reps each.
I spoke in a previous blog about my own version of "Peak 9" interval cardio, 20 minutes in duration for 3 sessions per week on non-consecutive days. Well it was a pleasant surprise to see the following article from the body & soul section in the newspaper last Sunday basically backing up what I was alluding to. Interval cardio is a proven fat burner, can fire up your BMR and is great if you are time poor as it only takes round 20 minutes. Worth giving it a shot.
As you all know by now I am a big believer in the cheat meal so last week's Supa Food Friday certainly was another fine feed. Louise and I met up with good friends Debbie and Brendan and had a delicious 3 course luncheon banquet at Jack's Satay Bar. It was Malaysian cuisine and actually quite clean, very similar to Thai food.
We then went to see The Dark Knight Rises at IMAX in Highpoint Shopping Centre...and that is where I had my fourth and final course at Donut King with my favourite chocolate eclair style donut, banana & cream flavoured protein shake with expresso coffee. Oh and by the way the Batman flick was sensational and I reckon easily the best in this last Batman Trilogy...do yourself a favour and check it out on the big screen, you won't be disappointed!
I am now about 7 weeks from my milestone 50th contest and am reluctant to take any food out of my diet. I will continue the twice a day cardio with my combo of low intensity canine cardio accompanying my Beagle first thing in the morning and higher intensity/interval cardio post-workout in the evening. I am slowly getting leaner and tighter, so as the saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!"
My very first contest back in 1994 was the very first 'natural ' show in WA where I did the Novice Men's Division at age 29. So it is fitting, I guess, that some 18 years later at age 47 I give something back and sponsor the Novice Men's Division at my 50th contest under my "Bodychisel by Craig" consulting business name! This really feels like I have come full circle in almost one whole generation of bodybuilding competitors. This sport has been so very good to me so I will feel proud to reward these up and coming fine gentlemen with their trophies and prizes.
Until next time I hope you are getting out of your training what you are putting in and if not then make some changes to boost it along not forgetting that what you eat is at least 50 % of your overall gains. Set up a plan, be consistent, get focused, create some goals and reap the rewards of the bodybuilding lifestyle!
All the very best, Craig W.