Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Tools for Getting Big

Sorry it's been so long in between posts the last few weeks.  I've had to put a lot of the time I normally spend blogging into prepping and programming for my joint venture with the Jiu-jitsu school.  We've got some really exciting things in the works, and it's taking quite a bit of my time right now.

Anyway, let's take a look at the tools you need for getting big.  One of the key differences between lifting to get strong and lifting to get big is that isolation of some individual "show" muscles becomes important.  To assist in this, it is important to add some dumbbells to the list of equipment we bought for getting strong.

The dumbbells will allow you to add in some unilateral exercises like single arm dumbbell: rows, bench presses, overhead presses.  They will also allow you to get some better curl variations like reverse, hammer and Zottman.

For home dumbbell purchases, I like to recommend the power block, if you can swing it.  They are expensive, but you'll be set for life with a full range of dumbbells from 5 - 90 lbs. in 5 lb. increments.

If the power blocks don't fit into your budget, I recommend that you start with 3 sets of dumbbells.  Pick a weight that you can curl for 5 reps, overhead press for 5 reps and bench press for 5 reps.  Once you grow out of a weight, pick up a pair of plate mates to save some dough.  This way you can reduce the total number of dumbbells you need to purchase.

Until next time:

Train smart; eat right!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Exciting Announcement

I'm very pleased and proud to announce that I will be working with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Juliano "Banana" Coutinho to help him prepare for his first MMA fight.  Juliano recently placed first in his weight class in grappling at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH.  He holds his black belt under Daniel Gracie, and is the owner of The Daniel Gracie Academy of Cape Cod, located in Hyannis, MA.

MMA presents a new challenge to Juliano's conditioning, as it is much more explosive and involves many more muscle groups than the jiu-jitsu that he is used to.  I am excited at the opportunity to help Juliano rise to meet this new challenge.

I will also be working with Juliano's classes to revamp their warm-up process, making it both more efficient and and more sport specific, as well as providing some conditioning work one night a week as part of the class.

Juliano and I are also in the process of putting together plans to expand his studio to include a conditioning room where I will work with both fighters and non-fighters to improve their strength, conditioning and body comp.  There will be times for private sessions, as well as open gym time, with coaching.

Juliano has developed a great environment at his school, and I am looking forward to helping him enhance that even further, while expanding the services he provides to his members.  We are also looking to open the conditioning area up to new members, who may not be interested in the fighting side of the business, but would like to do their strength and conditioning training in a small, supportive, family environment, where expert coaching is provided at no extra charge.

Train smart; eat right!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Tools for Getting Strong

Honestly, this couldn't be any more simple. The number 1 tool for getting strong is the barbell. If you want to get really strong, you can't mess around with this purchase. You are going to need to be deadlifting, cleaning, squatting and pressing. You need a full size olympic bar with the large diameter plates. The 45# plates that come with this bar are going to set you up at the right height off the floor for your deads and cleans, and no other bar is going to support the kind of weight you are going to be lifting a year from now.

The second most important tool for building strength (and this comes before a bench or a squat rack) is a pull-up bar. You are going to need to match all of the pressing strength you'll build with the barbell with some pulling strength.

Once you have your barbell and pull-up bar, you can go ahead and buy yourself a bench and a squat rack. For the novice lifter, these four tools will keep you busy for the next 3-5 years before you even need to think about making another purchase.

Train smart; eat right!

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