Hi again everyone,
I can hardly believe I have been blogging for over one year now and am up to my twentieth Blog! It has great for me to be able to share my knowledge, experiences, emotions, personal thoughts and advice regarding my health and fitness lifestyle. For me having gained so much pleasure from my chosen sport of Bodybuilding it is important I feel that I give something back. And in doing so I hope some of you can benefit from my information and use it to either motivate you to train harder, set new goals or simply enhance what you are already doing.
So more than just a sport!
Bodybuilding for me is not just a sport, it is a way of life that some people just don’t understand. It has always been an avenue for me try and improve the way I look and feel but more importantly, in recent years, I have simply just enjoyed the physical act of training in the gym. No different to the way a jogger likes to run 10km or a golfer likes to hit balls on a driving range or a footballer attends a training session in the evening. All of these activities can result in some form of self-improvement if we persist. This gives us that passion and purpose we all need to keep evolving and developing personally. And of course those wonderful brain chemicals that are released during vigorous exercise induce a very pleasant euphoric feeling that is again necessary sometimes to help us deal with stress and clear our heads. I find that when I am in the gym and getting stuck into a workout I am able to live in the moment and push any worries of past, present or future to one side. Try to think of your training session as an appointment and time out for you. Even if you are time poor you can make great gains from only 3 or 4 sessions in the gym per week. And these need not be longer than 45-60 minutes each. Most of you would know by now, as I have outlined in previous blogs, that my low volume High Intensity Training certainly lends itself well to a busy lifestyle and allows you fit it all in.
Exercise of the month
One my young clients asked me what would be a great exercise for the upper pectoral region. He felt, like a lot of young guys, that his lower chest was overshadowing his upper chest. I told him to try the the incline dumbbell fly on a bench inclined at 30 degrees. My version of this, however, is more like a hybrid fly/press whereby you start with the dumbbells overhead and palms facing each other, make sure you try and pin your shoulder blades together to minimize front deltoid dominance, allow the elbows to bend as you lower the dumbbells and most importantly tuck your chin on your chest and keep it there during both the negative and positive part of the movement. This ‘chin on the chest’ technique enables you to get that mind to muscle feeling as you attempt to contract the upper pecs into the bottom of your chin as you fly/press the dumbbell to the top of each repetition. I saw Jay Cutler demonstrate this on a training video from the musculardevelopment.com website, definitely worth checking out when you get a chance. And as always try and focus on the negative by slowly and deliberately lowering the dumbbells, this not only maximizes muscle stimulation but is safer on your shoulder joints too.
West Australian Bodybuilding page on Facebook
As you may be aware the good old ANB is venturing over to WA later this year to give West Australians more opportunities to compete in a Federation that really looks after it’s athletes. The state of WA has always been a great bodybuilding state and has certainly produced some fantastic champions over the years. As you may also remember I live in WA, so this is very exciting for me that’s for sure!
The West Australian Bodybuilding page on Facebook was set up by figure champion Rae Cattach some time ago. It’s intention is to promote bodybuilding federations and their contest calendars for WA competitors and post photos and results from contests. A very knowledgeable bodybuilding friend by the name of Aaron Kohn and I thought that we could perhaps enhance Rae’s page by making it more interactive with the sharing of ideas via forums and Q & A sessions as well as a place for people to acquire some knowledge and motivation from our regular posts and status updates. Rae was more than happy to add us as administrators on her page which was certainly an honour for Aaron and I who are both very passionate about bodybuilding and really enjoy helping and inspiring others. Rae also added another female administrator by the name of Holly Shawcross who is also a very qualified and knowledgeable WA trainer as well as being a great fitness competitor herself. Holly’s nickname is ‘pocket-rocket’ and as you can imagine she has the physique to back this up.
So we will certainly be promoting the ANB WA show as well as many other interesting aspects of the bodybuilding health and fitness lifestyle. So if you would like to boost your Facebook newsfeed with more motivating updates then go ahead and ‘like’ our cool page…”West Australian Bodybuilding”.
(Pictured below are the humorous caricatures and initials of the 4 admins)
My own Facebook page by the name of Craig Bodychisel is like my own personalized online magazine. All of the friends I have and pages I have liked are positive, like-minded people or organizations. My 2 golden rules on Facebook are 1. Keep things positive and constructive and 2. Don’t enter into cyber-soap! By sticking to these guidelines I have found the social network to be very informative as well as a bit of fun in my own areas of interest. It doesn’t have to be a place of trolling, bullying and bitching. The absolute opposite can be achieved if you use it wisely.
Easter in Melbourne 6 weeks out
I have just returned from Melbourne after 4 fabulous days with my fiancée Louise. We had a great time with the usual shopping, dining out, movies, rest and relaxation, great workouts at the awesome Derrimut Gym and yes CW still managed to eat clean and do twice a day cardio!
Louise has a cross-trainer in her unit as well as a humungous 55 inch television with all the Foxtel channels. This is a perfect set up to either do a 45 minute low intently session or a 20 minute HIIT cardio session. We still chat and have a few laughs while I continue to whip my butt into shape for this first contest season and my first show only 6 weeks away. Like I always say pre-contest preparation doesn’t need to be boring or feel like a chore…”You can have it all!”…if you plan your day carefully so as to still enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Craig & Aaron’s Quads and Calves workout
Quads day the day after I got back from Melbourne was a “Good Day to Die Hard!!”
WA Bodybuilding’s male admin’s AK and CW decided to team up at Nonstop 24 Hour Fitness in Port Kennedy for a grueling Quads and Calves workout.
We started with leg extensions for 4 sets of deliberate negatives with 2 second contractions at the top of the positive.
CW’s compound movement this week was Leg Press(I do deep squats next week when I don’t deadlift).
25/15/12/12 reps with AK attaching rubber bands to the machine on the last 2 sets to make it even harder with that constant tension feeling again combined with slow negatives.
Finally 2 sets of lung-busting heavy lunges in the Smith Machine, one leg at a time! CW’s golden rule here is to stay upright with a fairly wide stance from front foot to back foot and the back knee MUST touch the ground at the bottom of each repetition!!
An oxygen mask and spew bucket were almost necessary after doing that!
We then did AK’s great version of the seated calf raise that works not just the soleus but also the gastrocnemius. A deliberate full range of movement where at full stretch at the bottom of the negative you flare out the inside of your gastrocnemius and then slowly press up the weight keeping your weight on the inside balls of your feet. This seriously blow-torched my calves and I can now see why AK’s calves are such hugomungous diamonds!
All that was knocked off inside one hour! High intensity, grueling, great pump and DOMS duly delivered the very next day! Thank god my staff toilet at work has the disabled bars fitted!! :-/
‘Twas a great workout and really enjoyed training with such a hardcore partner and all-round top bloke!
AK and CW will blog another workout very soon.
My next blog will be in about 4 weeks time when I am back in Melbourne for the April/May school holidays. And at that point I will be just 2 weeks from my first contest for 2013. Louise and I are going to both have a Dexascan, which I have never had done, so I will discuss my results of that as part of my progress update. I will also reveal a couple of things I will be doing in my final week prep before the show to hopefully try and create an overall better look to my physique.
So until Blog #21 hits the the ANB Australia New-stand I wish you continued success with your health & fitness lifestyle as well as with your family and friends.
Kind regards and best wishes, Craig W.