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Strength

Isometric Exercises And Partial Reps: Increase Strength And Definition With Or Without Weight


Isometric exercises are very basic but implementing them into your workouts can really help you gain more strength. But before we dive in, let’s lay some groundwork. The principle behind isometric exercises is the contraction of muscles without the use of movement. Ex: pushing as hard as you can against a wall that doesn’t move. Strength and definition can definitely increase with these type of exercises, but a few tweaks are needed.

11323364 350d294417 Isometric Exercises And Partial Reps: Increase Strength And Definition With Or Without Weight(Just another cool picture to look at)

  Muscle Definition(Tone) And The Nervous System

For those who are new here, we can’t move forward on isometrics until we understand how to increase the definition of a muscle while increasing strength. Lifting heavy weights for low reps with ample rest tones the muscle and adds strength without adding size. Learning to activate the mind-muscle link during your lifts will deliver strong nerve impulses to the muscles without actually breaking muscle fiber. Training in this manner primes the nervous system. Over time your muscles will look like they are in a slightly flexed state while resting. Do you see the connection??

Mind To Muscle Activation To Allow Even Heavier Weights

To fully understand the mind to muscle link to weightlifting, let’s use the bicep curl for example. When people are holding a dumbbell, their first reaction is to throw the weight up without thinking about it. You are going to be smarter while making your workouts more efficient. Instead, squeeze the dumbbell hard and increase the tension in your bicep BEFORE you lift the weight. So you will be squeezing and increasing tension until the weight is moved upward. Not only will you be lifting in a safer manner, but you will surprise yourself with increased strength gains from week to week. The more you “think” about activating the muscles before you perform a rep(in any exercise) the more a “lagging” muscle will develop.

Heavy Weight Lifting Isn’t The Only Way To Add Strength

As time goes by you will ultimately get better at contracting the muscle hard when lifting heavy weights so ultimately strength will increase. But what about increasing strength without using heavy weights? Even if you don’t have access to heavy weights, you can actually get stronger with lighter weights by “acting” as if they were super heavy. This goes back to the idea of squeezing and contracting your muscles as hard as you can before the lift, then maintaining the tension during the lift. What about no weights? If you don’t have weights at all, this is where isometrics come into play.

image004 Isometric Exercises And Partial Reps: Increase Strength And Definition With Or Without Weight

(Isometric exercise at its finest)

Isometrics And Bodyweight Holds

You can effectively increase muscle definition and strength with isometrics as long as you have the mind to muscle link down. Isometric exercises do a very good job of contracting the muscles hard without using weights. Planks are my favorite isometric “non-movement” move because they sculpt and strengthen the abs very well without adding bulk. You can also perform various exercises in this manner without weights. Let’s use pushups for example. You can effectively make pushups a lot harder by adding static holds. Holding your body ½ way down in a flexed position for around 30 seconds will contract your muscles without any movement. Now to increase the efficiency of these “holds” would be to concentrate on contracting the muscles as hard as you can.

Isometric Holds With Partial Reps To Get Through Sticking Points

Isometric holds can be very useful with the use of weights as well. Static/partial reps come in handy if you are having difficulty pushing through strength plateu’s.  Mixing in static holds in your rep scheme can help you through these difficult sticking points. Let’s use the bench press for example. A full rep would consist of the lockout position(2-6 inches or so) and then squeezing and contracting your muscles to slowly lift the weight in a controlled manner until it reaches the max height. So what you do is repeat the same process but stop once the weight moves, which is usually in the lockout position. Start over again and wait about 1-2 seconds and repeat. Doing this for about 3-4 reps(partial) and pausing for about a second between each rep will over time enable you to increase the amount of weight being used for full reps.

Note: Partial reps are effective but limit them for a couple times a year with a duration of around four weeks.  Not all exercises can be done in this fashion nor does it work for every body part. Also, be smart and put up the “safety” bars if you decide to do this with the bench press. 

Finish Off Your Exercises With Full Reps

It’s a good idea to finish off your partial reps with full motion lifts. You want to make sure you don’t compromise flexibility. The cool thing is that you will notice the previous weight will feel much lighter in your hands.

Note: If this post is a little confusing, please let me know and I can try and explain a little better. It makes sense in my mind what I am trying to explain but it can be difficult to put it down for others to read.

The Top Women’s Diet And Exercise Routine For A Slim And Feminine Physique


Yes! It’s finally here…a workout routine that has been designed perfectly for women.  Rusty Moore of Fitness Black Book has released his “women’s specific” course to help you achieve a fit but feminine physique. Visual Impact For Women is a detailed and flexible diet and exercise guide that can either be done at home or a gym.  I’m not going to lie…. I truly believe this will be the last program you will ever need. Why?? Because it covers every area of fitness that women need to know to achieve the ideal physique.

Womens Diet And Exercise The Top Womens Diet And Exercise Routine For A Slim And Feminine Physique

Why All Women’s Diet And Exercise Routines Are Not Created Equal

A vast majority of trainers today do NOT help women achieve the body they want. Women want a lean, fit, and slender body. Yet, most trainers and popular exercise routines end up leaving a woman with a thick and muscular body.  You don’t want a workout that will make your body look like a smaller sized man…end of story! There is also way too much useless garbage geared towards women. I have seen so many types of exercise programs come and go, but Visual Impact tackles those issues head on. What an amazing relief to know that you won’t ever have to chase after “the next big thing.” What a time, effort, and money saver that is!

The picture below is definitely NOT what you want.

womenbodybuilder01 The Top Womens Diet And Exercise Routine For A Slim And Feminine Physique

“Nobody seems to be listening to what the majority of women want. More women would rather look good in a bikini…than look like muscular fitness models. I GET this…yet most of the people in the fitness industry simply aren’t listening.”  Rusty Moore

A Chapter Summary Of Visual Impact For Women

Introduction: Finally Someone is Listening!
Nobody seems to be listening to what the majority of women want. More women would rather look good in a bikini…than look like muscular fitness models. I GET this…yet most of the people in the fitness industry simply aren’t listening.

Chapter 1: Myth Busting
Sick of hearing that it impossible for you to gain too much muscle because you don’t have enough testosterone? I will discuss that and other myths told to women on a consistent basis.

Chapter 2: Is Cardio Really “Dead”?
Hollywood actresses use cardio like crazy to get fit for movie roles…so why do so many fitness experts claim that cardio is dead? I’ll explain in detail why cardio is an amazing tool to get a slim and sexy physique and why circuit training isn’t always all it is cracked up to be.

Chapter 3: High-Rep Training
Why women have been pushed towards high rep training to “tone” the
muscles. What actually happens in the body when training for high reps. A study which shows that high reps tend to add muscle mass about as well as low reps.

Chapter 4: Low-Rep Training
What happens in the body during low rep training. Why low reps (done
properly) are the ideal way to get a lean and slim physique that looks great in a bikini.

Chapter 5: Training to Failure
Why training to failure or training short of failure makes a HUGE impact on how your muscle look. This is one of the most overlooked variables in all of women’s fitness.

Chapter 6: Free Weights, Machines, and Body Weight Training
The benefits and drawbacks of each type of resistance (free weights,
machines, body weight training, and resistance bands). Why the ideal
workout uses a combination of various forms of resistance.

Chapter 7: Yoga
Great for mobility, but not the fastest route to a slim and lean physique. Why I believe this should only be considered a supplementary form of exercise, not a way to stay slim and lean year-round.

Chapter 8: Adding Muscle to Burn More Body Fat?
Why putting on muscle to lose body fat is a slow indirect approach to getting lean. I will also discuss how adding muscle burns an insignificant amount of calories per day.

Chapter 9: Dieting Challenges for Women
Why the conventional methods you have been taught will make fat loss close to impossible. Women have it tougher than men…but here is a strategy that works well.

Chapter 10: Dieting Strategies in Detail
How many calories should you eat per day? What ratio of carbs, protein, and fat? How many meals? Strategies for women who like to eat every few hours. Strategies for women who like to eat fewer, but larger meals.

visual impact for women 243x300 The Top Womens Diet And Exercise Routine For A Slim And Feminine Physique

Chapter 11: Dieting for an Event
How dieting for an event like a vacation or wedding is much different than the way you would normally eat. Need to lose 5-10 pounds in less than 3 weeks? I outline a tough but extremely effective plan for that.

Chapter 12: A Flat-Out Effective Cardio Workout
An incredibly effective 30 minute cardio routine that drops fat on demand. Ways to adjust it to complement your resistance training routine.

Chapter 13: How to Customize Your Routines
Why there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all workout solution. Mastering what works best for your body is what is going to help you look exceptional in any situation.

Chapter 14: The “Go-To 2 Day Split” – Gym Routine
I will outline the current routine that I use with my girlfriend. Although we train together, I use different schemes to add muscle while she slims down. This is a great starting point to base your customized routine on.

Chapter 15: The “3 Days Per Week” – Gym Routine
Here is a routine you can use if you are only able to hit the gym 3 days per week. This uses a special 3 day split which makes a lot of sense once I explain the principles.

Chapter 16: Setting Up a Simple & Effective Home Gym
I’ll explain some creative ways to train with very little equipment (adjustable bench and dumbbells). As long as you get the set and rep schemes correct, you can get in tremendous shape at home.

Chapter 17: The “Go-To 2 Day Split” – Home Routine
This is the routine to use if you are able to train 4 days or more per week at home. This is the recommended base routine to use from home, that you can customize over time and use year after year.

Chapter 18: The “3 Days Per Week” – Home Routine

This is a simple but effective routine for women who simply want to work out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is best for women who are extremely challenged for time.

Chapter 19: How to Lose Muscle Mass on Purpose
Legions of women have muscular thighs and calves that they would like to make slim and defined. This is common especially with women who have been given poor training advice. Despite this being a taboo subject, I’m going to give you a strategy that works.

Chapter 20: Final Thoughts
Working hard for 5-6 months and then being in “maintenance mode” the rest of your life. A simple way to look and feel good for a lifetime.

iStock 000011505778XSmall The Top Womens Diet And Exercise Routine For A Slim And Feminine Physique

No More Wasting Time

As you can see, it cuts right to the core that most women encounter.  The fitness industry has provided so much misinformation and frustration among the ladies.  Enough is enough…you now have the top women’s diet and exercise routine available so I don’t want to waste any more of your time talking about it. Grab it now just in time for summer! If you are married….your husband will thank you!

What Is Muscle Tone? How To Increase Muscle Defintion And Density For A Rockin’ Hard Body


iStock 000004874850XSmall What Is Muscle Tone? How To Increase Muscle Defintion And Density For A Rockin Hard Body

(I am itching for a vacation. Here is a picture for great motivation to stay in shape!)

It is extremely important to understand what is muscle tone is so we can move forward and develop an effective way to achieve it. Let’s first define it.  Muscle tone = residual muscle tension or the continuous and passive contraction of the muscles. What this means is that true muscle tone is when your muscles look tense and flexed in a relaxed state.  This happens when the nervous system is actively tensing the muscle even when you aren’t doing anything.   

Strategizing Mind To Muscle Link For Greater Muscle Density

If someone is looking to increase muscle tone in a certain part of the body, elevating the nerve impulses to that area will be the goal.  Contrary to what you may have been told, great muscle tone is actually a side effect of an alert nervous system.  The more you have a mind-to-muscle link when lifting weights, the more toned the muscle will be.

Lifting Soup Cans For High Reps Are Not Effective For Muscle Tone

 Once you understand this piece of information, you will be light years ahead of conventional training advice.  Trainers completely drop the ball in this area of fitness. I would guess that about 95% of trainers have their women clients lifting light weight for high reps to increase muscle tone.  When someone is lifting in the higher rep range, they will experience a “pump” which creates a temporary illusion of muscle tone.  The moment the “pump” subsides, muscle tone will be gone as well.  Muscle tone of this fashion will typically be gone a couple hours after you are done weight training.  Now if you want muscle tone all day and not just in the gym, then you will need to have a different approach.

You Need To Lift Heavy Weights For Muscle Tone!

I’m sure that statement alone will have women running for the hills in fear of “packing on muscle” like a man. Please, give me a moment to explain and I will save you from the heartache and frustration of working your butt off in the gym without getting the results you want.  So take a deep breath, sit back and remember….you are not going to get huge muscles this way.  Now, back to the nervous system! Muscle tone will greatly increase because the nervous system will be activated more from lifting heavy weights.  There is a two-fold reaction to get to this point.  The two ways to lift heavier weights is by increasing “muscle size” or increase efficiency of your nervous system.  You obviously do NOT want the increased muscle size so you will have to learn how to get progressively stronger for muscle tone.  This can be done by lifting in the 3-5 rep range for 5 sets.  Follow a basic strength training routine, but immediately hit the cardio in a very intense manner. I like high intensity interval training so you aren’t in the gym for hours and hours.  I  also recommended cutting back on the junk and implementing fasting to drop even more body fat.  In summary; cut back on the calories,  lift heavy weights for low reps, get stronger for amazing muscle density.

Here is a quick video that explains how HIIT is done.

 0 What Is Muscle Tone? How To Increase Muscle Defintion And Density For A Rockin Hard Body

 If you want a variety of HIIT workouts, these guys have it all. Just a suggestion:  Turbulence Training

Why Don’t Most Heavy Lifters  Have Muscle Definition

Another factor to consider is the presence of too much body fat.  What is muscle tone to you if you can’t see it? It doesn’t matter how hard you work to increase definition if you have body fat that covers it.  This is a big reason why you don’t see a whole lot of really defined men at the gym.  These guys are trying to get as big and strong as possible, but neglect any type of cardio and are eating like pigs.  This isn’t your goal as a man or woman.  You want good muscle definition without the bulk so your focus will be on gaining strength while losing fat.

Enhance Your Upper Body Strength With Thick Bar Training


 I am guessing that most of my readers browsing through this article have no idea what I am talking about nor do they have access to thick bars.  I was fortunate to have thick bars in college but they were always tucked away in the corner and I felt like I was the only one using them. If you don’t have the luxury of using thick bars I found something that will do the trick. It is a genius idea and have found it to be very beneficial. Let me first explain the benefits of thick bar training and how it can greatly improve your upper body strength.

 

UpperBodyStrength Enhance Your Upper Body Strength With Thick Bar Training

Pushing And Pulling Movements Enhanced With Stronger Grip!

 I am assuming you already have an idea how important grip strength is when it comes to pushing and pulling movements.  If you have a weak grip you won’t be able to hold the weights but that is only a part of the big picture.  I was fortunate to read about a very interesting concept of “irradiation.” I learned about this from Soviet Special Forces Trainer, Pavel Tsatsouline and Rusty Moore’s article on “The Strength Training Rep Dissected and Explained.”  I have an outline straight from their site because I want to make sure you have the full content.

Outline of “Irradiation”

Did you know that you can contract a muscle much harder if you contract the muscles surrounding it?

  1. Try flexing your bicep as hard as possible without making a fist.
  2. Now try and flex your bicep as hard as possible while making as tight as fist as possible and squeezing.
  3. You should be able to contract your bicep much harder when making a tight fist.
  4. This is called “irradiation”…what is happening is that the nerve impulses of surrounding muscles can amplify the effect of that muscle.

Surrounding Muscles “Borrow” Strength from Your Forearms

Make a fist as hard as possible and try not to flex your biceps or triceps. This is pretty hard to do. As you flex and generate tension in your forearms, you will also generate tension in your biceps and triceps without even trying. Gaining strength is simply the skill of generating more tension “on demand” to the muscles being worked. If you flex your forearms hard enough you will begin to feel tension not just in your arms, but in your shoulders, chest, and back. This is a fundamental principle to increase uppper body strength.

Sometimes You Just Can’t Get A Good Enough Grip

Gripping a bar hard will stimulate the effects of irradiation but the problem some people have is that there hands are too large. Trying to have a hard grip on a thin bar can be difficult and can really cause you to miss out on some amazing gains in strength in your forearms. This is typically the problem for those who have very large hands or extra long fingers. That is where thick bar training comes in to play!

black iron strength olympic thick bar grid Enhance Your Upper Body Strength With Thick Bar Training

[This is the width of a typical thick bar. These are sold over at FunctionalHandStrength.com]

Using Thick Bars Force Your Forearms to Generate Tension

If you are doing any kind of pressing movements you can generate a stronger squeeze on the bar which causes more tension in the arms.  This just doesn’t work as well with a thin bar. Thick bar training will make you grip the bar a lot harder, therefore allowing the effects of irradiation take their course.  The more the irradiation principle is utilized the better you will be at any other kind of pressing or pulling movements. (bench press, rows, military press, curls, chin ups, etc) One thing I forgot to mention is lifting straps…don’t use them! Lifting straps seem like a good idea on paper in that you can use more weight for pulling movements, but they weaken your ability to generate tension in your forearms and get the full benefit of irradiation.

For Those Who Don’t Have Access to Thick Bars

There is a great solution for those who don’t have access to thick bars and I think it is awesome. Believe it or not I actually saw someone in a gym using them before I even knew what they were used for. I just thought he was being a wuss because he didn’t want callous’ on his hands. I currently use them for just about everything. It really is amazing how durable they are. They are available over at FatGripz.com  I don’t know if they are sold anywhere else. If you find out please let me know.

thick bar fat gripz Enhance Your Upper Body Strength With Thick Bar Training

These Can Be Used on Almost Any Bar or Handle

The best thing about this device is that they fit on just about any kind of equipment with handles, not just Olympic bars. So if you want to increase your upper body strength and don’t have the right weights for thick bar training… I highly recommend using these.   It’s pure genius??

img13 300x259 Enhance Your Upper Body Strength With Thick Bar Training

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