Results matching “Bird”

The Ultimate Legs Program - Test articles

Tom PlatzOver on T-Nation Scott Abel takes a great look at some serious leg training. Think you already know how to work your legs? Think again.

Deb Leung - Daily Curves

deb18.jpgIFBB Figure Pro Deb Leung.

Jason KirbyI thought I was in pretty good shape until I met Personal Trainer Jason Kirby. As you may have noticed throughout his many articles, he might well be called a 'human dynamo'. Here's a little more insight into this highly inventive trainer.

  1. Hi Jason. Let's begin with a little background - how did you first get into the world of fitness? Did you play any sports as a kid?

    I got into the world of fitness at 15 after watching John Basedow’s Fitness Made Simple. Being a scrawny kid with no muscle or strength, I decided to start lifting weights sporadically with no real game plan. When I was younger, and still to this day I’m an asthmatic and so sports as a child were difficult and I would have rather played video games. When I was 8 I joined martial arts, and trained in many styles on and off for 14 years. I fell in love with Judo, and so that is the style I most identify myself with. I love outdoor sports although most of my old co-workers at New Mexico State University Outdoor Adventure Program would tell you I’m the worst at climbing, biking, and backpacking.

  2. How did you get started as a Personal Trainer?

    I ran into a bit of a crossroad in my life my last year in college and after much deliberation I decided that whatever I was going to do should be something that I wanted to do. I love to lift weights, I love to teach, and love to play, so somewhere on a career continuum I decided personal trainer would encompass all three aspects. I took a semester of personal training from New Mexico State University from Strength Coach Doug Briggs, and studied ACSM coursework and got certified through NCSF (go figure).

  3. What are your personal fitness goals for the next year or so? The next 10 years?

    Ah, a very simple question with a simple three pronged answer. I want to merely be aware of my personal and physical freedoms, have working joints, and the desire to continue learning. That’s all I can really hope for.

  4. What type of clients do you usually work with - professional athletes? absolute beginners?

    The overwhelmingly large majority of my clients are beginners, or comebacks. I don’t have any professional athletes but I have those who given their age, occupation, and education they train just as hard as an athlete would. More than anything I act as a counselor to most of my clients and it’s an uphill battle trying to convince them that they CAN do something instead of cannot. Although if any professional athlete wants me as a trainer, don’t hesitate to ask.

  5. I know you're fond of outdoor training. Why should everyone spend some of their gym time outside?

    Great question, and really the only reason I would be a huge proponent of outdoor training is because being inside all day gets boring. Outside you get views, the elements, wide open spaces, low cost to exercise, and you’re not confined to a building like a gerbil or hamster.

  6. What changes would you like to see in the gym equipment found in public parks, schools and universities?

    We need to see more reverse hypers in every gym. Those things work the posterior chain and it does wonders for lower back weaknesses and is a great preventive exercise to keep lower back health optimal with aging. I’ve only used one and that was in the athlete gym at my university. The fitness industry really needs to stop pushing the preacher curl, that thing is worthless, and the more people I see doing it, training their biceps for 45 minutes, the more my stomach churns. Schools, especially high schools who have wrestling and football programs need to go back to the old ways of dinosaur lifting using kettlebells, sandbags, rocks, sleds, and calisthenics, instead of relying on hammer strength. Universities ought to have a gym set up like the one at UCSD over at the Rimac. Now that is a gym to behold, or better yet, a gym like the one at Ice Chamber.

  7. Looking around, there seem to be many approaches taken to working out. What are some of the more common mistakes you see? How would you correct them?

    I’ll give you my top three in no particular order. I would have to say that cardio is overrated, and improperly used, for fat loss. It is extremely important to have good cardio respiratory fitness especially with all the ailments one can get with the heart these days. But I would suggest that resistance training has better all around benefits. This does not have to be using machines and lifting weights, but a little manual labor here and there makes the body stronger. Remember we as humans have a long track record of doing manual labor, and it just so happened to double as a form of exercise. The more stagnant we are, the worse our bodies get. The next blundering mistake I see is people training bar muscles. Those are the ones you would most notably spot at a bar on a Friday or Saturday night. Mainly the chest, biceps, triceps, and abs; some of these guys have the audacity to say that their leg training is some running and biking sprinkled about like fairy dust, here and there. Leg training is amazing for making the entire body strong. The last mistake I see around a lot these days is bodybuilding style programs for competitive athletes. Three or four sets of 10 of bench press, dumbbell bench press, incline bench press, incline flys, decline press, and pullovers is over kill, and has no real merit. Train an athlete how they move in their sport and you’ll get better results.

  8. What's your own training schedule like (apart from your time with clients, of course)?

    Apart from my clients I train for an hour, or at most an hour and a half everyday, with on rare occasion, a day off. My training split is simple pull, legs, push, legs, pull, legs, push. The first leg day is up and down movements, the next one is multi-planar, and the last one is machines strictly for hypertrophy. I do a lot of pull ups, dips, overhead presses, push ups, high pulls, and body rows for the upper body. For the core I spend time doing lots of rotation, and lateral flexion, with some heft emphasis on the posterior chain. For legs I do a ton of squats and variations, jumping, SAQ (speed agility, quickness) drills, and hip extensions. Nothing really serious or difficult, but everything is done with strict form and done purposefully. I no longer train for aesthetics because that didn’t seem to work so well for me, I solely train for technique performance and use tons of compound movements.

  9. What types of training have you found to be most effective?

    All training that falls under specificity, but in my case, I try to do the water downed versions of gymnastic moves, and a lot of conditioning in the spirit of CrossFit. Anything Ross Enamait says or does, is also a great place to get ideas from. I would say that ineffective training is really anything done without a foundational base of knowledge, and anything that leads to injuries.

  10. What is your current diet like? Do you take any supplements?

    My diet is real simple, eat, eat, eat. I consume around 4,500 kc a day, and most of it comes from grains, and dairy, with some emphasis on fruits and vegetables. That’s my biggest set back is keeping fruits and vegetables fresh long enough to eat them. I get most of my protein from milk, soy milk, yogurt, and cheese. I eat lean meats fairly often, but in moderation, and I never eat cream(s). As for supplements I drink water, and I eat Zone Perfect bars as replacement meals. I recently began taking fish oil and it’s helped me drop body fat the quickest. I love green tea, and if I am reduced to taking some sort of stimulant to wake up really early in the mornings then I’ll take a cup of green tea to work, to get things kick started. I tried taking creatine but it spikes my blood pressure and then I can’t sleep at all. All natural has greater long term benefits I suspect.

  11. Are there any other thoughts you'd like to share with our readers?

    There are tons of things, but this interview shouldn’t be over 100 pages right? I would say that train with some sort of goal in mind as opposed to working out here and there. Research on your own time the things you want to know most about because there are a lot of great ideas out there. Observe the veteran lifters, they know a lot you might not, and don’t ever get discouraged that you cannot do something right there, at that time, you need to practice something a lot before you get really good at it. Words like “can’t” should not exist in your vocabulary, and in the spirit of Jim Bathurst “Impossible is only a word”.

  12. Finally, how can people get in touch with you?

    Phone, e-mail and All Around Strength are the best ways. My e-mail is carpediemcat AT gmail DOT com, phone # is 480-316-0093, and people can drop comments on the site which is checked daily. If anyone wants to get together and build a gym, I would totally be up for relocating away from Phoenix, Arizona and seeing the rest of the world.

For more insights into the thinking of Jason Kirby, check out the articles at All Around Strength and here on Straight to the Bar. A few personal favourites :

Nick McKinless. Photo by Steve Gardner.Another great week here. Whilst sheltering from the rain :

Keri Doudna - Daily Curves

Keri0002.jpgVia Lori Braun : Figure competitor Keri Doudna.

The Ice Cream Maker - Test articles

Ice Cream MakerYet another reason to invest in a decent pair of rings - the Ice Cream Maker. Love it.

Kelly MillsThis is a guest post by Kelly Mills of Fitness Fixation - Women and Weight.

Okay, am here with barbell in hand to answer your top five burning questions about women and weight training. Because while many guys are spending hours in the gym doing bicep curls and shrugs in front of the mirror, many women are camping out on the cardio equipment and rarely lifting anything heavier than a cup of coffee. So here's everything you ever wanted to know about weight training, as long as these five questions were all you ever wanted to know. Ahem. Let's begin.

  1. Should women lift weights as part of their fitness program?


  2. Could you elaborate a little bit on that?

    Yes, but please note that you have now used up two questions, so be careful or you'll end up with none left. Look, weight training is essential for us ladies, because it builds strong bones and keeps you from getting osteoporosis. It reduces the risk of injury in other activities. Muscle burns calories. You get to be strong and toned. You get better at your other athletic stuff. And it is totally badass. You need to be badass.

  3. But won't I get bulk...

    No! No to the no. No no no. Look, the majority of women do not have the testosterone to build muscle mass the way guys do without taking steroids. Really and truly. Yes, if you make that muscle a wee bit bigger but you lose no fat at all, then might get a teensy bit larger. Add cardio exercise and you should be set. And if you are in the very small percentage of women who can build mass, hooray, because that's insta-tone for you. I'm one of those women, and can I tell you something? It's obvious I build muscle because I keep mass even when I don't work out. My six-year-old, who inherited this too, has defined deltoids. But even for me, as long as I don't do giant lifts every dang day, I'm fine. And since I'm gonna have big muscle no matter what, I'd prefer it looked defined and ripped and all that good stuff. So there's really no excuse.

  4. What kind of weight training should I do?

    That really depends on you, your situation, your personality, and so on. I do believe that all weight training is at a minimum enhanced by a good professional opinion, since form is important for protecting yourself from injury. And I prefer free weights myself, because while machines have the safety element of isolating a muscle, free weights force you to use multiple muscles (abdominals, for example) and therefore are great for the lazy multi-taskers among us.

    Beyond that, you do what you can. Some folks like a routine circuit, others need to mix it up. I'll mention again that trainers can be helpful for creating a program that works for you, teaching you new moves, and adding variety. I get bored easily, so I like classes and this crazy anaerobic functional training and Olympic lifts and so on, but you should do what you like.

    One thing to keep in mind: researchers have done studies on ladies and weights, and as it turns out, most of us don't lift anywhere near what we should. We pick up weenie little dumbbells and stick with them until the end of time. Your weightlifting should be challenging, you should feel muscle fatigue and all that good stuff. You should find three sets of eight to twelve reps hard. Plus, again: big weights are badass.

    Use body weight exercises in your routine too, like squats and lunges and push ups. Lunges are the key to a nice ass, I'm telling you. Every celebrity trainer makes their starlet do lunges. And yep, you can do those with weights as well, and you should, because you are (wait for it) a badass. With a nice ass, thanks to your lunges.

  5. Anything else I should know?

    I'd just like to review the big, important stuff: form is crucial, so get help from a pro if you can; you won't get big rippling muscles unless you 'roid up; make those weights big and good and heavy, and yeah, do it. A few times a week. Please.

    Oh, one last thing. Try and work your whole body, because you don't want to fall into the man-trap of neglecting one part of the body (some men ignore anything that isn't going to beef up arms and chest). It all counts, your body works best when you get the whole thing in shape, and you end up looking more proportional. Hmmm, maybe we oughta do a men's weightlifting advice thing too...

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out Kelly's other work at Fitness Fixation, the Ice Chamber, That's Fit, and Babble.

Headstand with a twistYou heard this term over and over again; core exercises. Now what the heck is the core? Is it your abs? Not exactly, it's comprised of several muscles that span all the way around your midsection from the bottom of your hips to to your shoulder girdle. It's what transfers force from your hands to your feet, or vice versa.

Think of it as a coupling between two pipes. The stronger the coupling, the more pressure that can be handled within those pipes. Your body is very similar. Now there are a few things that your core does; I'd explain what core stability is, but to some (especially on T-Nation) it's a buzzword. So let's just say that it's your ability to maintain any position throughout any plane of movement, whether it's standing up, upside down, on your sides, in a handstand, on your tip toes, etc.

That's the stability portion, and All Around Strength loves a strong core. In fact all the authors have benefited greatly from direct core training. All the movements in this video fall into one or more categories; flexion and/or extension in the transverse or coronal plane, rotation, and lateral flexion and extension. So here are a few explanations of some of the exercises to go along with the video.

Dragon flag

Made popular by Bruce Lee, and Stallone in Rocky IV. Real simple (not really) all you have to do is bring your legs up and maintain a straight and rigid position with all your weight on the back of your neck, and upper back. You bend your body without compromising your waist (flex your butt, this usually helps) and lower yourself to the bottom without losing form. Josh demonstrates at the end, a lateral version twisting his feet and hips, to load each side a bit more independently.

Hanging Lateral Hip Swings

Real simple to do, grab a bar overhead as wide as you can, and allow your hips and legs to swing while maintaining an upright torso. Going slow and holding really makes a difference, and to make things a bit easier, you can add a straddle to offset the weight a bit. To make things harder, try doing this with one hand, as Josh demonstrates with amazing total body strength and coordination.

Standing Russian Twists

Throw a barbell against the wall, add a weight, and then outstretch your arms so that the barbell is in front of you, and you are leaning slightly into it. Keep your feet, hips, and face pointing forward, and allow your arms (as straight as you can get them) to slowly drift towards your hips. Then bring it up to the other side in a fluid motion.

NB : For a great collection of exercises similar to this one, head over to 29 Things to do with a barbell in the corner. You won't be disappointed.

Andrew Engelson on the way to Mount RainierVia The Adventure Blog : today's question and answer on Outside Online looks at the physical preparation necessary for mountaineering. In short - train like an endurance athlete. A lot of interval work and cardio in general.

Foot-Ring Push-up - Test articles

Foot-Ring Push-up

Another unusual exercise idea from the Ice Chamber - The Foot-Ring Push-up.

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