Sunday, February 22, 2009

The 20 Rep Squat.

A.K.A. Super Squats, Breather Squats

Its amazing how things come full circle, I've watched people in the gym doing all kinds of routines and with all kinds of weird lifting techniques. The latest greatest craze that is supposed to pack on tons of muscle and double your strength. These complicated mind boggling routines keep you busy running from one machine to another in a clock watching frenzy. Super sets, triple sets, drop sets etc. and don't forget that tempo.

It seems that most newbies believe that the more complicated the routine is the better it works. More sets equals more growth ( never mind diet and rest).

So anyway, what got this post started is the come back of the 20 rep squat, I've noticed recently in my browsing of internet forums, websites and blogs that this routine is again rearing its head and drawing attention to itself.

20 Rep Squats - No hype, all over muscle growth and 1 simple set.

Sounds to good to be true?

Don't take my word for it. Try it out for yourself.

A few guide lines for the gym.

Drink plenty of water. (this should be a given)

The workout part of routine should never be more then 1 hour or 30 sets. What ever comes first. (If you're working out more then this your just setting yourself up to overtrain.)

Warm up properly. If you don't know how to do this then you shouldn't be working out in the first place.

Eat something about an hour before you go to the gym and immediately after. This is what pre workout drinks and meal replacements are made for. Give you body some fuel to burn so you can get the most out of your workout and no a snickers bar doesn't count.

Here is the basic Idea, No wimps allowed.

Start slowly especially if you have not worked out recently. I recommend that for 20 rep squats you should start with half your body weight. Add 5 lbs to your squats every workout and do all 20 reps each workout.

This method will allow you to work into the squats over a period of time. If you start off with the max weight that you can handle you will be so sore you won't be able to walk the next day or maybe even the rest of the week.

So here it is.

The squat 20 reps 1 set, eat, rest and eat. (its that simple)

Wait until you are not sore anymore (this may be two to four days depending on you) and do it again.

By the very nature of the 20 rep squat program you won't want to do anything else. Most people feel a strong need to go lay down for awhile. If you don't this is a good sign that your not using enough weight or you are a seasoned pro.

So if you feel like doing more and are just plain masochist...Then below you will find my favorite workouts.

Basic routine: (I'm not sure when or where, or who introduced me to these routines but they do the job and keep things simple, feel free to print these workouts.)

Seated press behind the neck 3x10
Bench press 3x12
Bent over rowing 2x15
Standing curl 2x10 (be careful with this its very easy to overtrain the biceps and stunt growth)
Parallel squat 1x20
Chest Pulls 1x20
Stiff legged deadlift 1x15
Crunches 1x25
As a cool down toss in some sets for your wrist and calf work if you so desire.

The quick workout looks something like this.
Bench press 2x12
Squat 1x20
Chest pulls 1x20
Bent over rowing 2x15

And my low rep program looks like this.
Cleans 5x5
Dumbell press 5x5
Incline press 5x5
Upright rows 5x5
Squats 5x5 Followed by light pullovers after each set.
Leg raises 2x25

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

2 Lbs. Per week or more.

How much weight should I expect to lose on this diet a week? Always a good question, in the past I've had to face the question about this diet or that diet. The answer is usually always the same, "Well... how much weight do you have to lose?" It only makes sense that if you have only 10 lbs to lose then 2 lbs a week might seem a little extreme, but when you have 100 lbs of body fat to lose then 2 lbs a week may seem way to little. In an article that recently published on my nutrition and health blog, Tom Venuto discusses this very thing in his article The 2 pounds per week rule and how to burn fat faster.

Its a rather simple idea, you always have to consider
  • Workout intensity.
  • Calorie intake.
  • Current body fat and weight loss goals.
If you only have 10 lbs. to lose it may be the hardest 10 lbs. you ever had to lose. Were as, if you have 50 lbs. to lose the first 10 lbs. my drop off relatively easy compared to the last 10 lbs. I usually start my diet off by cutting back on my calories first and then increasing the intensity of my workouts gradually over several weeks to keep my metabolism up and my weight loss steady. Tom's article also mentions cyclical diets, for all the low carbers out there, Lyle McDonald goes into greater deepth with The cyclical ketogenic diet a good read if you plan on making low carb diets a lifestyle and not just a short term solution.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Working out in a fasted state.

So okay... This always seemed like a no brain'r to me. If your trying to lose weight, doesn't it make sense todo your high intensity workouts on an empty stomach?

I always have, but I guess there are those that believe that eating before a workout tends to let them have a more intense workout thus burning more calories then they have consumed.

But then I've always followed some simple rules,

don't eat if your not hungry (and I mean real hunger, not just habit hunger or cravings but the deep down my stomach is empty kinda hunger)

and don't drink if your not thirsty.

I think that doing anything else, makes eating and drinking a habit that ends up on your waist line. I've linked to a couple of articles below that are worth reading about this subject. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Fasted workouts and fasted cardio vs. Epoc For fat loss

The Physiology of Fasting

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Free printable workout logs

Great free workout, exercise and training logs free for downloading. In html, pdf and word formats. I really love free stuff. Free Printable Workout and Exercise Logs. <-- Click Here.

How To Download Your Free Printable Workout Log

The daily workout log is offered in three versions, which you can download below:

The weekly exercise summary log is also available in three formats, which can be downloaded here:

Find more great stuff at

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Some low carb tips and yummy bits

Some great videos on low carb substitutions and a few yummy low carb snacks. I'd make some videos of my own but these guys do a great job so please visit their sites and show'm some support. Thanks for visiting.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Does God Punish You For Being Fat?

Another great article written by Tom Venuto, I was thinking about this very thing a few weeks ago in church. Personally I don't think that God will punish us if we are too fat, too skinny, don't eat right etc. I believe in Tom's point of view about the world be a place of checks and balances, we surely do pay the price in the end here on earth for our poorly practiced lifestyles, I believe its all part of the design. Enjoy.

Faith Based Diets: Does God Punish You For Being Fat?
By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

Faith based diets have been around for decades. But is overeating really a sin? Does God punish you for being fat? A recent column in an issue of USA Today answers, “weight loss is hard enough without feeling that the almighty is on your back, too”… To Read more click here

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