Ideally a workout should accomplish more than just one thing…
It should help improve lean mass gains, while also helping you improve your athleticism. A workout – ideally – shouldn’t just accomplish one thing, and it doesn’t need to simply accomplish one thing to be successful.
A lot of it has to do with tempo, your sets, and what exercises you are doing. Below is a list of 5 exercises that accomplish two or more things at once:
My guess is that if you have spent some time working out, you’ve achieved some results. You may have improved your strength, lost a bit of weight, or gained a bit of muscle, but in maintaining consistent improvements is where you found a problem.
I was there with you. I tried for 7 years, gaining, and then losing, constantly hitting plateaus like a flies hit my high beams. That is, until I figured things out. Here are 7 strategies that will help you consistently build lean and athletic muscle mass.
1. Change your goals.
Having a goal to build 32 pounds to your skinny frame in “x” amount of days is a great goal, so keep that as your vision of where you want to be down the road. But rather than being focused on the end result – the muscle or the strength you want to gain – identify specific tasks or steps you need to take, that will get you there. Make those steps your weekly and monthly goals.
For example, if you are doing the PowerHowse Challenge, you could have a goal of following the program word-for-word for 2 full months. Follow that up with a week off. You could also have a goal of not missing 1 workout for a 2-month period, or only having 1 cheat-day each week.
Keep your goals short, and focused. By focusing on the things that will get you to your goals, you’ll be less likely to get ‘tripped up’. But if you’re always focused on the end-point, you can get discouraged and sidetracked because it seems so far away. You may think that missing one workout isn’t the end of the world. But it reality, missing one workout will make it more acceptable to miss other workouts later on down the road.
As we discussed in the first article in the series, “Building the Body Women Want,” we talked about what type of physique a women finds most desirable. It’s not the massive, steroid injecting, freak that most women will be attracted to. It’s also not the guy who’s carrying too much fat or the guy who has the body of a school-girl.
I’m not saying that guys with these body-types aren’t going to get beautiful girlfriends or wives, because, obviously, a lot of them do. Things like personality, morals, character and sense of humor account for a hell of a lot more than looks do in the long run, but for the purpose of this series we’re only talking about the physical; what type of body will most women find most desirable, and will get you noticed in a positive way.
We touched on shoulders in the last article. Shoulders are a large part of building that “X” shaped physique, or “V” shaped upper body and torso, and so are your chest and back muscles. Even if your waste is on the thicker side, having a thick and lean chest and back will make your waste appear much thinner.
Keep in mind that you don’t just want to build a lean and muscular body, but also an athletic and powerful one as well, and it’s not always the exercise that’ll get you both, but how you do the exercise. On the movement that goes against gravity (pull on a chin-up, or push on a push-up), or concentric contraction, you should push or pull as powerful as possible. Push as though you’re launching the weight into the air on a bench press, and then slowly bring the weight back to it’s starting point. Read the rest of this entry »
There is such thing as useless muscle as far as sports are concerned. Muscle that’s just for looks and not athleticism. Here are 5 exercises that’ll boost your power, help with the weight you lift in other exercise and improve your athleticism at the same time by working the fast twitch muscle fibers which are often neglected in “bodybuilding circles”. I kept it to exercises done in a gym, but plyometrics are an obvious one to add to the list. Each of these exercises is to be done with as much speed and power as possible.
Sometimes is not the exercise you’re doing, but how you do it. You can perform a slow, steady squat to only build muscle, or blast through the up-phase and both build muscle, power, and explosiveness. Anyways here’s the list, let me know what you’d add to it.
1. Medicine Ball Push-ups
One of my favorite exercises by far. It’s a great explosive pushing exercise that forces you to use a full range of motion with the arm that is on the medicine ball. Focus on exploding in the first few inches of the push-up and get some air between your hands and the ball.
How the hell do you change the image that appears above? I look like I’m going to explode!
I think it’s great to build muscle. Hell, I gained 32 pounds in 8 months and I was ecstatic, but I didn’t just focus on putting on the pounds, and in a way I think that helped me big time. Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks for the emails that you guys have been sending me. I’ve been getting some great questions that let me know specifically what goals you have and which solutions I can provide to help you reach those goals. So again, keep up with the comments on the blog and the emails, they really help!
Lately I’ve been getting a few emails a week from guys asking if it’s possible to build muscle and a better body while improving your athleticism at the same time, and if so how the hell do you do it?
Two Birds with One Stone
How can you improve your muscular endurance and power, while building muscle and losing fat? Don’t they kind of go against each other?
When I started boxing I needed power, but I needed it to not only be there in the first minute of the fight, but also the final seconds. I wasn’t just looking for one time power like a one-rep max, but power that lasted the whole fight, much like a one-rep max done multiple times in a workout amidst other exercises. I also needed muscle because I was so friggin’ tired of being skinny, but I needed to pack it into my fighting weight, which meant losing fat at the same time. Read the rest of this entry »