Paleo: Build Lean Muscle, Lose Fat, Reap the Rewards

The Paleo diet, sometimes called the Caveman Diet, refers to a method of dieting that predates the agricultural revolution. At its core, it is the hunter-gather diet, where we eat only what we can hunt, such as meat, poultry and fish, and gather, such as vegetables, eggs, and fruit. This diet excludes the consumption of grains, wheat, dairy and processed foods.

OK, so apart from keeping alive the hunter-gatherer tradition, what use is the Paleo in todays modern world? Glad you asked. The answer is simple. It almost entirely wipes out the consumption of sugar from your life. It’s that simple. No sugar.

It can’t just be that though, can it?

Well actually, no. The Paleo diet also encourages you to eat grass-fed meats, free-range and wild-caught foods, and looks down on artificial sweeteners, food colourings and preservatives. So apart from eradicating sugar, the Paleo diet discourages eating non-natural foods, grain-fed animals and chemically enhanced foods. As you can imagine, eating this way is the healthiest way to eat. If you are healthy your body and mind will function as it was designed.

The modern diet has us believe that carbohydrates are our primary source of energy then when we have used those up we go to our back up energy source: fat. The trouble with this idea is that most people do not use up enough of the carbohydrates that they consume. Those unused carbs then get stored as body fat.

So, if you haven’t already guessed it, if we have to use up all the carbs before we can make a start on burning fat, it makes sense to skip the carbs and get on with getting ripped.

But what about the food pyramid? Obsolete and dangerous. Why do you think that the majority of the population is overweight, overfat, diabetic and has terrible skin. Yes, that’s right, sugar contributes to all sorts of skin conditions, and we all know that sugar is from carbs. Don’t ruin yourself.

Scheduling Training & Meals

Our daily busy schedules often make it difficult for us to balance our work/family life so how are we to fit in bodybuilding, cardio and 6 to 9 meals per day? It’s a complex issue because there is no one-size-fits-all way of accomplishing this because not everyone works the same hours or has the same amount of family members. But with effective time-management, this can be done by most people.

Below is an example schedule that has worked for me pretty well. If an appointment comes up you’ll have to either move around certain parts of your schedule or sadly miss a session. This schedule is Monday to Friday, leaving the weekend to either spend with the family, use as leisure time, or catch up on a missed training session.

6 AM: wake up, down some BCAAs.

6:15 AM: cardio, stomach vacuums

7 AM: Meal 1, take your liver and organ guard, down your vitamins, shower,

7:20AM: get kids up for school, kids breakfast and dressed. Stomach vacuums.

8:45: drop kids off at school

9 AM work

10 AM Meal 2

12:30: Meal 3

3 PM: Meal 4

5 PM: Finish Work

5:15 PM: Bodybuilding, stomach vacuums, down some creatine

6 PM: Meal 5

7 PM get kids bathed/showered ready for bed. Prep meals for tomorrow. House work. Take a shower.

9 PM Meal 6

9:45 PM Feeder Workout, stomach vacuums

10PM Lights out.

Of course not every day goes as planned. I assumed that your partner or relative collected the kids from school. Maybe you don’t have any kids. If you are a single parent and you alone care for the kids you may have to build a home gym or change something in the schedule.

Also, you may have to take your meals to work and if necessary consume them cold. It’s just something you will have to do.

Also, what this schedule does not take into account is that you may not train 5 days per week. Maybe you bodybuild 3 times per week and do cardio 2 times per week. If that’s the case then you have a few extra spare hours each week to spend with the family, catch up with friends, wash the car or learn guitar. The point is you have to manage your time effectively if you want to accomplish anything other that catching up on your favourite soaps.

Dude, where’s my 6-pack?

I can hear some of you already.

“Coach, I’ve been doing the routines you’ve set for me. I’ve even done extra crunches and leg raises. And on top of that I bought one of those ab-toning contraptions off the TV. I’ve got bigger and stronger, but where’s my 6-pack?”.

OK. Chill. I haven’t been lying to you. You’ve been doing everything right up to a point. Now we need to get a few things straightened out.

Doing ab exercises alone will never get you that coveted 6-pack. The correct term is “spot reducing” and it’s bullshit! It was an idea, probably introduced by fitness companies to sell you those ab exercising contraptions you saw on the TV. And guess what? They’re bullshit too!

You can not shed body fat from one place. You have to shed overall body fat. Usually the first place you gained fat, like your waist and ass, is the last place you will lose it.

Bodybuilding will help you shed fat but there are two other important things you are forgetting: cardio and diet.

Contrary to myth, doing cardio does not inhibit muscle growth. If anything it will enhance it. However, cardio is a good way to burn off excess calories. Metcons are another good option but I’ll cover them in another post. There are many ways to do your cardio that aren’t as boring as running on a treadmill such as martial arts, boxing, mma, sprinting down the beach, swimming, etc. You should be doing about 45 minutes of cardio 3 to 5 times per week. Mornings are usually easier for most people but it’s down to personal preference.

Diet is the second, but no less important part of cutting fat. If you have consumed more calories than you have burned you will gain weight. That’s what we are aiming for isn’t it? Yes, but to gain muscle mass. Now we want to shed body fat.

The best way to accomplish this is not to cut out fatb from your diet. The idea that eating fat will make you fat is another myth. Sugar, or too much sugar makes you fat, sugar that comes from carbohydrates.

So why is that then?

The modern diet has us believe that carbohydrates are our primary source of energy then when we have used those up we go to our back up energy source: fat. The trouble with this idea is that most people do not use up enough of the carbohydrates that they consume. Those unused carbs then get stored as body fat.

So, if you haven’t already guessed it, if we have to use up all the carbs before we can make a start on burning fat, it makes sense to skip the carbs and get on with getting ripped.

This means no pasta, rice, potatoes, bread or oats. No sweets or cakes. Also skip anything dairy.

Although you can still gain some mass doing this, progress will be slow. But remember that your goal here is to strip away body fat to reveal the definition beneath and maintain whatever mass to hace gained so far.

Advanced 4 Day Training Split

You started with the 8 Week Compound Routine to give you a foundation of strength to build upon. Then you undertook the 3 Day Training Split to further build upon, allowing you to exercise more muscles to stimulate more growth. Now I present to you the Advanced 4 Day Training Split to take you to the next level.

You will train all the muscle groups over four days with only a three day break. The recommended schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday as rest days.

The sets and reps will vary depending on the exercise.

The abdominal exercises that should be completed at the end of each workout will remain 4 sets until failure.

Take a 60 seconds break between each set and sip water.
DAY ONE

Bench Press

lie comfortably on the bench with your feet planted firmly on the floor for stability.

• the barbell should be held in an overhand grip an inch away from your chest and in line with your nipples.

• exhale as you press the bar away and above you stopping just short of locking out the elbows.

• inhale as you lower the barbell down to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4
Incline Bench Press 

• lying comfortably on the bench set at a 45 degree angle, with your feet firmly planted on the floor for stability, holkd the be in an overhand grip an inch away from your chest in line with your nipples.

• press the bar up and away from you, stopping just short of full elbow extension whilst exhaling all the way up.

• lower the bar down to the starting position, inhaling as you do so.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4
Dumbbell Flyes

• lie comfortably on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor for stability. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms held out to the sides, elbows slightly bent.

• exhale as you bring the dumbbells together above you.

• lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, inhaling as you do so.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4
Dips

 between two parallel bars, arms bent at the elbows.

• lift your feet off the floor and cross your ankles behind you.

• exhale as you press down with your arms to raise your body up.

• exhale as you lower yourself to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

2 sets to failure.
Pull Overs

• lie comfortably on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor for stability. Hold the barbell in an overhand grip with your arms outstretched in the manner shown above.

• exhale as you pull the bar overhead, with arms straight above you.

• inhale as you return nthe barbell to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

2 sets of 10
Barbell Bicep Curls

• standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold the barbell in an underhand grip, letting the bar hang in front of your upper quadriceps.

• exhale as you bend your elbows and curl the bar up to your shoulders.

• inhale as you lower the bar back to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6.
Dumbbell Bicep Curls

• stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand resting at your sides.

• exhale as you curl the left dumbbell up to your shoulder, supinating at the end of the movement.

• inhale as you return the dumbbell back tomnyour side.

• repeat with the dumbbell in your right hand.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6.
Reverse Bicep Curls

This exercise can be performed with either a barbell or two dumbbells.

• standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold the weight in front of your upper quadriceps in an overhand grip as shown above.

• exhale as you curl the weight up to your shoulders.

• inhale as you lower the weight to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6
Abdominal Crunch

• lie on the floor with your hands resting on the back of your head and your feet resting on a raised platform. Your buttocks should be an inch away from the raised platform.

• raise your shoulders 12 to 15 inches from the ground, exhaling as you do so.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets to failure.


Hanging Knee Raise

 take a shoulder-width overhand grip on the chin up bar.

• bring your knees together, slightly bent.

• arching your back forward, curl your knees up trying tontouch your chest, exhaling as you do so.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets to failure.
Dumbbell Side Bend.

 standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand to your sides.

• lean tomyour right, lowering the dumbbell to the knee, inhaling on the was down.

• exhale as you straighten up and return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rwp.

4 sets to failure.
Weighted Crunch

• follow the exact same method as the regular abdominal crunch, only this time holding either a weight plate across your chest, or a dumbbell in your outstretched hands.

4 sets to failure.
 DAY 2

Follow all the same guidelines from day 1. Abs exercises at the end, don’t forget.

Shoulder Press

This can be done standing or seated.

• with an overhand grip on the barbell, tuck your elbows in, ensuringnthe barnis in line with then shoulders.

• exhale as you press the bar up above your head, stopping just short of locking out your elbows.

• inhale as you lower the barbell to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4
Seated Dumbbell Press

• sitting on the bench in an upright position, hold the dumbbells in line with your shoulders as shown above.

• exhale as you press the dumbbells up above you, stopping just short of locking out the elbows.

• inhale as you lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4
Lateral Raise

• stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for stability, holding a dumbbell in each hand resting at your sides.

• exhale as you raise the dumbbells out to the sides until they are in line with your shoulders.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4
Bent Over Lateral Raise

• standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bending 90 degrees from the waist, hold two dumbbells the way shown above. You may use the back rest of a bench for support as shown above but it is not mandatory.

• exhale as you raise the dumbbells out to your sides until they reach shoulder height.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4
Upright Rows

• stand with feet shoulder-width apart for stability

• hold the barbell with a narrow overhand grip, with the barbell hanging in front of your upper quadriceps.

• exhale as you raise the bar until it is in line with your neck.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4.

DAY 3

Here we are. The dreaded legs day is upon us. As much as you may hate it, training the legs is just as important, if not more so, as training the upper body. You don’t want a gorrila chest and chicken legs, do you? You’d have to change your name to Chickella. That would be a kick in the stones to your ego, wouldn’t it.

Also, feel free at the end of todays workout to incorporate some forearm exercises, e.g: wrist curl, reverse wrist curl, behind-the-back barbell wrist curl, etc. 4 sets to failure should be enough. Enjoy!

Don’t forget the abs exercises mentioned in day 1.
Deadlift



• stand with your feet close, lean forward at the waist, holding the barbell in an overhand grip in front of your shins.

• exhale as you straighten your knees and back into the standing position shown above.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

5 sets of 15, 12, 10, 8, 6.
Squats

• standing with your feet shoulder-width apart for stability, rest the barbell across your upper back supported by both hands.

• inhale as you lower yourself into the squatting position shown above.

• exhale as you push off the ground into the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

5 sets of 

12, 10, 8, 6, 4.
Lunges

• stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for stability, resting the barbell across your upper back supported by your hands.

• inhale as you step forward with one leg, bending the rear leg as shown above. The toes of the rear leg should not move from the starting position.

• exhale as you push off the front leg and straightening the rear legnto return to the starting position.

• repeat on the opposite leg.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4.
Calf Raise

• with the barbell resting across your upper back supported by your hands, stand on a slightly raised platform with the front half of your feet.

• exhale as you point your toes down in order to raise yourself.

• inhale as you lower yourself to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10

DAY 4

This is the last session before a two day break so really try to earn it.

Observe all the rules from day 1 and don’t for get the abs exercises at the end.

Wide-Grip Pull Ups

• take a wide overhand grip on the chin up bar and cross your ankles behind you.

• using your lat muscles, exhale as you pull yourself up to the bar at chin level. Feel free once you get there to lean left then right.

• inhale as you lower yourself to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep

2 sets of 10
Bent Over Rows

• standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, leaning forward from the waist at a 45 degree angle, hold the barbell with an overhand grip, look straight ahead and slightly up to keep your back straight. The barbell should be resting in front of your upper shins.

• exhale as you pull the bar in a rowing motion towards your upper abdominals.

• inhale as you return the bar to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4.
One Arm Dumbbell Rows

• assume the position shown above., ensuring you have good stability.

• exhale as you bring the dumbbell up to your ribs emphasising the use of your back muscles.

• lower the dumbbell back to the starting position whilst inhaling.

• this is 1 rep

• finish the set and repeat on the other side, before moving on to the next set.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6.
Behind-the-Neck Press

• sitting on the bench, with your feet planted firmly on the floor for stability. Hold the barbell behind your neck with a wide overhand grip.

• exhaling, press the barbell up above your head, stopping just short of locking out your elbows.

• inhale as you return the bar to the starting position.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4.
Lying Dumbbell Extension

• lie comfortably on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Hold the dumbbell in a vertical position in the position shown.

• exhale as you extend your arms at the elbows, bringing the dumbbell up and in front of you.

• inhale as you lower the dumbbell to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6.
Close-Grip Bench Press

• lie comfortably on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor for stability, holding the bar in a close overhand grip an inch away from your upper abdominals as shown above.

• exhale as you press the bar up and away from you, stopping just short of locking out your elbows and in line with your chest.

• inhale as you lower the bar back to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4.
Barbell Tricep Extension

• standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold the barbell behind your head with an overhand grip.

• exhale as you straighten your arms, bringing the bar overhead stopping just short of locking out your elbows.

• inhale as you return the bar back to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6.
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback


• assume the position shown above.

 exhale as you extend your arm behind you stopping just short of locking out your elbow.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

• after each set, repeat again with the opposite arm.

4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6.

Creatine: Do You Need It?

Most supplement manufacturers makemsome incredible claims to sell their products but not many of them are really backed up by any thorough scientific research. Not so with Creatine. In fact, Creatine is one of the most well researched supplements on the market today. Most strength athletes swear by it. But why would we need it? What does it do?

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid made up of glycerine, arginine and methionine. It is made naturally in the human body and is an energy-proviing molecule. It is made in the liver and kidneys at a rate of 1-2 grams per day.

Why Should You Use It?

If you use creatine consistently you will notice that you have that extra boost of energy needed tonget in those last ffew reps or lift a few pounds more. It acts kind of like a back up generator. Just whennyou think you’re done, BAM, youy manage to finish your set.

You may notice that you seem to have gained more mass. This will be due to water retention in the beginning. But studies have shown that creatine promotes protein synthesis which allows your muscles to repair themselves at a faster rate when consuming enough protein. So muscle mass may be achieved faster with consistent use of creatine.

Creatine may also help protect against neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. 
When Should You Take It and How Much?

For the best results use Creatine Monohydrate 5 grams min 400mls of water after your workout. You may also add it to your post workout shake.

Stomach Vacuum: Bodybuilding’s Forgotten Secret to a Flat Mid-Section.

Did you ever notice the difference between the bodybuilders of the 70’s/80’s and the bodybuilders of today? There is a huge difference with regards to physique.

You can expect the sport of bodybuilding to evolve as competitors find new ways of training in the bid for better results but at what cost? Some of todays physiques are not only less impressive but downright hideous.

Instead of trying to develop a well proportioned symmetrical physique, some bodybuilders take the attitude that bigger is better and that’s all there is to it.

The bodybuilders of the past preferred the appearance of a thin waist and large shoulders. They attained a flat mid-section by using an exercise called the Stomach Vacuum.

The Stomach Vacuum strengthened the inner abdominal muscles wheras crunhes and leg raises strengthened the outer abdominal muscles.

You can perform the Stomach Vacuum exercisenfrom a variety of positions auch as sitting, standing, kneeling or even lying on your back.

To perform this exercise:

• aasume preferred position with a slight curve of your back and your hands placed for support.

• exhale all the air out of your lungs, squeeze diaphragm

• suck your gut in then try to expand your lungs but don’t let any air in. You should feel that your stomach is touching your spine.

• hold for 10 seconds

• relax and inhale.

• repeat.
Try it for yourself. Do 3 sets of 10 seconds 3 times throughout the day.

The Scamming Little Toads.

The health and fitness industry is full of conmen, peddling their supplements and false training programmes. Most people are unaware of the scams these people pull, believing the lies and buying the lies too.

The majority of protein powders and mass gainers are full of unhealthy products. These fillers just seem to add to your body fat not muscle mass. This is why great men like Rich Piana recommended food instead of these powders, even at the cost of not buying his supplements he asked us to buy food. How many pro bodybuilders really use the supplements they promote on the behalf of these companies? Probably none.

Here in the UK, the authorities that say who can be a personal trainer is a joke. They study theory. Most of thrm are out of shape and the theory they learn is mostly false. If you are going to coach someone to be a bodybuilder you should be a bodybuilder. If you are going to coach a powerlifter you should be a powerlifter.

Don’t waste your money or time on products that don’t work or on coaches that just don’t have a clue.

To quote Aaron Lambo, ” if you want big arms then train with a guy with big arms, if you want big shoulders, train with a guy who has big shoulders”.

3 Day Training Split

OK so you’ve worked hard for the last few months, pounding out compound sets three days a week. Niw we’ll take it up a level.

What follows is a 3 days per week training split. You’ll work each muscle group once a week, training different musclea on different days.

The rules are simple:

• 4 sets of 10 reps on each exercise except sit ups and leg raises which are 4 seta to failure.

• 1 – 1.5 minutes rest between sets, feel free to sip water during rest.

• take a day break between each workout, e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

DAY 1

Bench Press



• lie comfortably on the bench, with the barbell in an overhand grip about an inch above your chest, in line with the nnipples, elbows tucked in.

• press the bar up and away from you whilst exhaling, stopping just short of locking out your elbows.

• inhale as you lower the bar down to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Incline Bench Press

• lie comfortably on the bench set at a 45 degree angle, holding the bar in an overhand grip, about an inch away from your chest, the bar in line with the nipples.

• exhale whilst pressing the bar up and away from you, stopping just short of locking out your elbows.

• inhale as you lower the bar back to the starting position

• this is 1 rep
Dumbbell Flyes

• lie comfortably on the bench, with a dumbbell in each hand held out to the sides, elbows slightly bent.

• exhale as you bring the dumbbells together above you.

• inhale as you lower the dumbbells backnto the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Barbell Bicep Curls

• holding the barbell in an underhand grip, hold the bar in front of the upper quadriceps, feet shoulder-width apart

• exhale as you curl the bar up, stopping just short of the upper chest.

• inhale as you lower the bar down to nthe starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Dumbbell Bicep Curls

• start with a dumbbell in each hand, held by your sides.

• exhale as you curl the left dumbbell up to your upper chest, supinating at the top of the movement.

• inhale as you lower the dumbbell back to the starting position

• repeat on the right side.

• this is 1 rep.
Tricep Extension

• starting with the barbell in an overhand grip, hold the barbell behind your head.

• exhale as you extend the bar above your head, stopping just short of locking out your elboiws.

• inhale as you lower the bar back to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Triceps Kickback

• holding a dumbbell in one hand, assume the position above 

• exhale as you extend the dumbbell behind you, stopping just shirt of locking out your elbow.

• inhale as you lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

• after completing each set, perform a set on the other side.
Abdominal Crunch

• lie on the floor, hands resting behind your head with your feet on an elevated platform. Your buttocks should be about an inch away from the platform.

• exhale as you raise your shoulders 12 to 15 inches from the floor.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Leg Raise

• lie on your back holding your heels about an inch from the floor.

• inhale as you lower your legs back to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

DAY 2

With day 2, the same rules apply. 4 sets of 10 reps. 1.5 minutes rest between sets. The two abs exercises re 4 sets to failure, to be done at the and of every workout.

Although day2 is a leg day, feel free to add some wrist curls and reverse wrist curls at the end. 4 sets of 10 to 15 should be enough.

Barbell Squat

• start this exercise with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the barbell resting across your upper back, not the shoulders and not the neck. Support the bar with both hands.

• lower yourself into the squating position shown above whilst keeping good balance, inhaling on the way down.

• exhale as you push off to return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Calf Raise

• with the barbell resting across your upper back supported by both hands, with the front half of your foot, stand on a slightly elevated platform.

• as if you are pointing your toes to the ground, exhale as you raise your body up.

• inhale as you lower yourself back to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Deadlift

• with your feet together and your back straight as shown above, grasp the barbell with an overhand grip.

• as you exhale, straighten your legs (not to lock out) and stand up straight holding the bar across your upper quadriceps.

• inhale as you lower the bar and return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.

DAY 3

Same rules apply as day 1 and 2 with regards to sets, reps and rest. Don’t forget the two abs exercises at the end.

Chin Ups

• grasp the chin up bar with both hands in an underhand grip. Hold yourself off the ground by crossing your ankles and bending your knees.

• using your upper back muscles, lift yourself up and try to bring your chin level or above the bar, exhaling as you lift.

• inhale as you lower yourself back to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
One Arm Dumbbell Rows

• after completing a set on one side, repeat on the other side also.

• take a dumbbell in one hand and assume the position shown above.

• using the muscles of the upper back, bring the dumbbell up to your ribs, exhaling as you do so.

• exhale as the return the dumbbell to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Bent Over Rows

• leaning forward from the waist, knees slightly bent, face looking forward and slightly up, hold the barbell with an overhand grip just below the knee.

• exhale as you bring the barbell in a rowing motion to the upper abdominals.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Seated Dumbbell Press

• assume the position shown above, with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet firmly planted for stability.

• exhale as you press the dumbbells up, ensuring not to lock out your elbows.

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.
Lateral Raises

• stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, with a dumbbell in each hand.

• exhale as you raise the dumbbells up and to the sides, stopping level with your shoulders.

• inhale as you return the dumbbells to your sides.

• this is 1 rep. 
Bent Over Lateral Raises

You may use the head rest of a bench for support but it isn’t mandatory.

• standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, lean forward at the raise at 90 degrees, holding a dumbbell in each hand.

• keeping your arms slightly bent at the elbows, exhale as you raise the dumbbells out and to the sides as shown 

• inhale as you return to the starting position.

• this is 1 rep.


How Martial Arts Can Improve Your Bodybuilding

There are hundreds of martial arts being practised around the world everyday. Some are for sport, some are for self defence, some are for the sake of art and tradition. Most have something to offer the bodybuilder.

Although I don’t do karate any more (moved on to other systems), I believe that karate helped my bodybuilding more than any other style. The reasons are numerous but I’ll discuss a few.


Discipline

Perfecting every technique that you need for your next belt grading by practicing the same technique over and over again until it becomes as natural as breathing. Same rules apply to bodybuilding. You can’t just do the exercises that you like. You have to train your weak areas ecen more than the others, otherwise you will not have that perfect symmetrical physique.
Focus

When you break boards in karate, you have to understand that if you just hit the board it won’t break. Yoi have to strike through the board.

When you break boards for the first time, it can feel daunting. It takes quite a lot of focus to just try it. When your sensei/instructor does a class on defending against multiple opponents and your fellow students come at you from all directions, it takea a lot of focus to stay calm and keep a cool head so you can methodically defend and counter-attack.

You need to focus in bodybuilding. When you are trying to pump out those last few reps but your body is telling you that you are done, it requires focus to blank out the pain and continue.
Flexibility

Those high kicks require a lot of flexibility. The kind of flexibility that requires a lot of stretching of muscles and tendons. That stretching has a knock on benefit to your bodybuilding training. We all know that if you stretch a muscle that it gets micro-tears that when filled with blood, make the muscle bigger, but another great benefit of this stretching is that it allows you to keep your mobility.

We’ve all seen those big guys that walk like they’ve no knee joints. You know the ones that can’t take off their own t-shirt without a struggle. They’ve trained hard at the gym, ate right, got big, but they forgot to stretch or they just didn’t stretch enough.

Reapect

Every single person in the class will bow toeach other, regardless of rank. This applies to the instructor, senior students and the newbie who just started. 

When you are training witj a partner there has to be respect between you. Your partner is allowing you to practice techniques against him so he has to trust you not to unnecesaarily hurt him. This works both ways abd you must trust him also. If this mutual respect is not there, no meaningful practice can take place.

This respect regardless of rank also shows that no matter how good you are at something, everybody has the same rights to train, learn and live. The same applies to everyday life. The same also applies in the gym.

Just because you are bigger, more defined, can bench press or curl more weight than the next guy, it doesn’t mean that you are a better individual. That guy could be a brain surgeon, who may even save yout life in the near future. 

Respect everyone in the gym. Don’t demand privelages like you are the alpha ape at the zoo. If the skinny guy is using the only barbell inbthe room, don’t rush him. Offer to spot for him if you have nothing else you can be getting on with. Who knows, his hot sister might be single, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Same thing applies to women in the gym. They have the same right to workout as you do. Don’t harass them for their number or laugh at their lack of lifting strength.
Therw are loads more benefits to training in the martial arts to supplement your bodybuilding but these are the ones that stand out the most for me. Why not try it for yourself or if you have or are doing let me know if you feel the same way.

What I Eat When I’m Broke. (Part 2 of Bodybuilding on a Budget)

As much as I enjoy salmon with my sweet potato, broccoli and spinach, and who doesn’t love steak or venison, but at the moment I’m flat out broke. I need to cut back on spending so I can afford to pay the bills. So what do I do about it?

Luckily I have the benefit of a home gym in the shed at the bottom of the garden, consisting of a bench, barbells, dumbbells, a total of 400kg in weight plates, various kettlebells, a ski/cycle cross trainer, a free standing heavy bag, and some focus pads. So, as you can tell, I don’t have to worry about gym fees and membership.

What I do have to worry about is nutrition. When I’m flushed I can afford good organic and free range foods and quality supplements, but now… not so much so.

So I have make do with what is available and affordable. Most of the time I won’t even have the luxury of variety, but it is a sacrifice I have to make if I want to continue with bodybuulding.

So here is my diet most days:

Meal 1:

Poridge/Oatneal sprinked with cinamon and 2-3 boiled or poached eggs on 2 slices of toast. Cup of black coffee.

Meal 2:

Peanut butter on 2 slices of toast.

Meal 3:

Tuna & spring onions with baked potato.

Meal 4:

Mince beef and pasta with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

Meal 5:

2-3 chicken breasts with cauliflower, broccoli and rice.

Meal 6: 

4 egg omlette with peppers (sometimes with bacon and/or cheese.)

Meal 7 ( optional):

Tin of rice pudding.

This is not an ideal diet, but it’s not an ideal situation. Some of this food is processed but sometimes processed food is better than no food at all.

So remember, whatever financial struggles you find yourself in, all hope is not lost. You may not see it straight away, when you think there is no way out of your crisis, but I’m going to leave you with this closing statement:

The only reason you have not found a solution to your problem is not because the solution doesn’t exist. It is because you aren’t looking hard enough.