Lawnmower Rows For Abdominal Development

 

New Demonstrational video on my Youtube Channel  showing you how you can turn the lawnmower row into an abdominal and upper back exercise.

 

 

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Back Workout For Mass!

 

Today I show you all one of my back workouts for mass during my bulk! If you are wanting to add slabs of muscle to your back and biceps give this workout a try! If you like the routine don’t forget to share the video with your friends 🙂

FULL ROUTINE:

  1. Lat-Pulldowns 1 set of 20/1 set of 15/5 sets of 10
  2. Reverse Grip-Pulldown 1 set of 20/5 sets of 15
  3. Vbar-Pulldown 5 sets of 20
  4. 1 Arm Seated Row 1 set of 20/1 set of 15/5 sets of 10
  5. 1 Arm Seated Row 5 sets of 20
  6. Superset: Cable Pullovers & Facepulls 5 sets of 20
  7. Dumbbell Bicep Curls Clusterset Until Failure (pick a weight you can do 15-20 reps with)
  8. Superset: Go Home & Eat Everything

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I hope you all have an amazing day, take care, and most importantly GOD BLESS!

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Overcoming The Fear Of Loss

Hello everyone! This week’s video is about “overcoming the fear of loss”. From experience I know losing someone you love and brings your life purpose is hard. We tend to fear that loss more than anything in this world….even death itself. What you need to realize are these 4 things that I discuss in my video.

If you like the video don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE.

I hope you all have an amazing day, take care, and most importantly GOD BLESS!

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Why I Quit Drinking Coffee And Why You Should Too!!! (Anxiety)

 

Hello everyone! Today I uploaded a video to MY OFFICIAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL explaining why I quit drinking coffee and why you should too!

This video caters to those who:

  1. Feel sluggish without coffee
  2. Have trouble sleeping/Waking up
  3. Have anxiety/shyness/nerve issues
  4. Feel drained
  5. All of the above

I hope you all enjoy the video and all I ask if for you to share this video to spread awareness of anxiety and to help those that are seeking help 🙂

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If you like the content don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW.

Wherever you are…thank you for your time, have a great day everyone, and God bless!

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Photography:

SarahFayePhotography

 

Sarahfayephotography Fitness/Physique Photoshoot (Part 1)

Photography done by SARAHFAYEPHOTOGRAPHY

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If you like the content don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW.

Wherever you are…thank you for your time, have a great day everyone, and God bless!

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Benching Bigger! (Increasing Your Bench Press)

 

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“How much do you bench?”…Sounds familiar right?Anyone I have chatted with about training has always managed to pulled this question out randomly. I seems like how much you bench has became the new measurement of being a man. With the bench rising in importance for “bro acceptance”, many actually do not know how to improve their bench. To most, increasing a lift seems to be done just by doing the lift and doing all the work you can do. This can have some merit to it, but is not the way to go about your bench progress. Without a purpose for each component, your plan will have wasted potential to be as optimal as can be. Benching, against common belief, is a very technical lift just like the squat and dead-lift. When you must tighten your entire body to complete a lift, the execution must have timing, correct muscle activation, and proper form (form varies on goals, but is recommended to use a power-lifting style bench to prevent pec tears from excessive elbow flair).

So we understand the bench is important to our manhood, needs a plan of attack, and is a very technical lift. So where do we start? The first, and foremost starting point is analyzing your goals. What do you desire? Do you want a strong bench, a big chest, weight loss, endurance, etc.. Picking a goal will be the biggest factor in how you will want to set up your routine. For the sake of this article, let’s assume what most “bros” want, a bigger bench and a bigger chest. With this goal now set, we can start planning ways to reach that distinct goal.

The first and most important way to increase your bench is benching. I know this sounds very common sense, but too many individuals will search the entire web and use every exercise in the book, before they run out of ideas and realize this is the ultimate exercise to raise your bench. Benching for your bench will not only help strength increases and mass increases, but help your efficiency at executing the best form to reach your goals. When it comes to any motor patterns required for highly technical lifts, we must practice them as if they were a skill you were trying to master. With benching more, I would suggest either increasing your volume in the session (amount of sets and reps) or increasing your frequency of the lift. Increasing the frequency of the lift with the same weekly volume has been proven both through research and experience to increase strength for a specific lift. Raising your bench frequency to three times a week and only 5 sets per session rather than 15 sets on one day can be very beneficial for practice and hypertrophy. Then sets and reps might total the same weekly, but the increased practice from the frequency and the increased weights used by being more “fresh” each session will aid in further progress towards your goal.

Secondly, a very over looked tool for aiding in your bench would be to gain some weight. I know, I know, this world envies six packs, skinny jeans, and Bieber haircuts…but you are here to get big and strong, right? I’m not telling you to become a fat slob, but to maybe gain 5-10lbs. Though this doesn’t sound like much, this little bit of added weight can actually help your bench tremendously by aiding in your leverages with a bigger chest to touch the bar on, bigger lats to rest your elbows/triceps on, and bigger arms for your bicep/forearm to flex against one. All these three things will aid in support at the bottom of your benching where the lift is most difficult for raw lifters. (Need weight gainers?)

Something I find every single novice lifter to overlook is their back. Your upper back has got to be one of, if not the most important body parts to train.Every lift you can think of will benefit from a strong back. Just like the core, the back is used to help stabilize the body. During squats the upper back keeps you from collapsing forward. During the dead-lift the back is used to stabilize the spine (alongside your abdominal muscles) and is used in some extent of range of motion, giving it more somewhat more popularity in the dead lift. Now with the bench, the upper back will help your stabilize the bar as you lower and press it. The rear deltoids specifically are great stabilizers and are utilized more than you can imagine. Next time you bench pretend you are ripping the bar in half, get back to me on your sore back. I would typically train my back heavy back with higher reps/bodybuilding style (5-6sets 6-15reps). Exercises like chest supported rows and pull-ups are amazing for myself and many others as they allow you to push your back to a great extent without taxing your lower back. This can be very beneficial for your lower/upper split or full body split as you will need some rest for the lower back before squatting or dead-lifting. Other exercises I have used have been band pull-aparts, rear delt flys, lat-pull-downs, barbell rows, dumbbell rows, and even pullovers. On your lower body days, you could incorporate snatch grip dead-lifts to hit your entire posterior chain (back/hamstrings/glutes) very hard with some added frequency/stimulus to your upper back training.

A common tool used by every level of lifter, but not utilized correctly by novice lifters would be to do more accessory work. Doing stuff like bicep curls, triceps extensions, lateral raises, and chest flys seems to interest many lifters with the goal of a bigger chest and a stronger bench. The only problem with their utilization is they pick exercises they are good at rather than bad. “Well what is a light weight on an exercise I suck at going to do for my bench?” The answer is….EVERYTHING! Lifts are progressed by strengthening what is weak. If you can bench 225 for reps, but anything around 275-315 your elbows get stuck in the elbow rotation/tricep extension phase of the lift, it will be safe to say your shoulders are weak. Something like this can be improved by dumbbell incline neutral grip/Arnold press presses (used commonly in power-lifting). You are only as strong as your weakest link. You may be a bro that only does arms with intensity and has strength potential to bench 315+, built without a strong enough chest and shoulders, your arms will be of no use to you benching. This is why you must decide your accessories based off of your weak points. To keep the routine from being entirely things you suck at, throw in a favorite exercise for every exercise you use to improve a weak point, just do not skimp over the weak point training to rush towards the rack for your endless sets of dumbbell curls.

The last tip I think would be highly beneficial to every lifter would be to utilize full body tension. You will see all sorts of Instagram videos of individuals benching heavy with their legs up or squatting with no hands. This is impressive and entertaining to watch, but remember the weights these individuals use with these lifts will be much lighter than their actual work loads used for regular benching. These videos are used more for entertainment purposes, rather than improving their lifts in a whole ( though I will state some power-lifters will do some benching with their legs up because they have benched so long with leg drive that they try build solid press only power). Utilizing your legs in the bench ( pressing down with your toes or heels and being in a tight position) will help you contract your glutes, which help you tense your lower back. Your tense lower back and glutes help with your upper back in aiding stabilization. This can be very beneficial when under heavy loads.

Benching can be seen as a lazy lift, or a just downright easy exercise. After you decide you want to push some serious weights, you will have to wrap your head around the fact that benching 300,400,500 pounds is a process requiring tremendous amounts of smart planning/training. For some lifters, a 300 pound bench will be enough to satisfy them (Most will get stuck at 135-275). Rethinking how you think about the bench is crucial. If you want to bench heavy, you will have to change your perception of the exercise.

 

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Pull Up & Dip Variations For A MASSIVE Upper Body!

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If you have followed my training journey, by now you can see that I have a raging man crush on pull-ups and dips. These two exercises and their variation are on another level when it comes to building the strength and mass of the upper body. These exercises can be considered the squat and dead-lift of the upper body. Though most are aware of dips and pull-ups, some may not know the variations that hit specific muscles differently. Below are a list of variations for dips and pull-ups that will not only be the biggest bang for your buck exercises, but variations that will allow you to hit all the surrounding muscles.

(Note: Demonstration Videos Are Linked)

BENCH DIPS: These should not necessarily be a main exercise for the day, but an accessory movement to build up your strength for dips. Individuals who say these hurt their shoulders either have a history of shoulder issues, add more resistance than they can handle, use an excessive range of motion, or use momentum to complete more than they can under control. Bench dips are used for beginners to get them used to the dip motor pattern (a downward press that involves a more narrow front deltoid path) and help strengthen the muscles required for parallel bar dips.

FORWARD LEAN DIPS: Though seen as bad form, leaning forward and going through a lower/shorter range of motion can help individuals target their pectoral muscles better and provide a longer time under tension. The forward lean is used to keep more pressure on the pectorals and less on the shoulders/triceps (though regardless of the variation, all muscles will be hit to some degree). The shorter range of motion is used to stay at the bottom of the dip for more tension on the chest pectoral muscles (at the bottom of the any press movement the pectorals are activated to a greater degree due to the stretch/contraction process). It is only recommended that you have already accomplished doing multiple sets and reps of regular dips before you try adding in this variation.

ARCHED BACK TOP END DIPS:Just like the forward lean dips, arched back top end dips will have people judging you (that is…..until you get bigger/stronger, then the same people either copy your exercise form or ask for advice). This variation of dips are used to primarily strengthen your triceps. Rather than doing endless tricep extensions, using a tricep dominant compound exercises will give you a better ability to progressively overload, will provide the body with a greater stimulus, and will have a better carryover to your competition lifts (if you are a strength athlete). The goal here is to place the most amount of stretch/contraction on the triceps without the adding more stress to the chest/shoulders (after already doing a lot of pressing, the last thing you want is to add more stress on the muscle that has no added benefits, aka diminishing returns. The goal with this exercise is improving the triceps).

BONUS: PUSH-UPS: Any variation of push-ups will benefit your upper body. Between different angles, different grip width, or different loading parameters, push-ups are the first step in advancing to dips. Before want to accomplish your first repetition on dips, you should be able to bang out multiple sets and repetitions of push-ups. Though the angle and difficulty is different, the same muscles are being taxed (only to a different degree).

PULL-UPS: Though pull-ups are not necessarily a variation of pull-ups (go figure) many get confused between pull-ups and all of it’s variations. Pull-ups are when you have your hands pronated (palms facing away from you) and pull yourself up by pulling the bar to your upper/middle/lower chest (bring to upper chest rather than to your lower pectorals/with elbows more to the side to focus on your mid back more). You can complete pull-ups with a narrow, shoulder width, or wide grip depending on your focus. It is recommended to mix up your grip widths to keep yourself mentally fresh. I tend to start at a more narrow grip and add resistance (using a spud dip belt) until I cannot add more resistance for that given width. Once I cannot progress any farther I drop the resistance amount, but increase the difficulty by widening my grip.

CHINUPS: As pull-ups are to be done pronated, chin-ups (also called “chins”) are to be done supinated. Chin-ups may look very similar to pull-ups, but are done a little differently. While pull-ups are done by pulling yourself to where the bar meets your upper pectoral, chin-ups are performed by bring the bar a little more down to your lower pectorals. This is because during the pull-up the elbows are more towards the side trying to squeezing the shoulder blades together by a folding like action (think of the upper arm movement during a rear deltoid fly except angled higher). This activates the mid back more than the chin-up. During the chin-up you are kind of (forgive me for saying this) “scooping” the elbows underneath you while keeping them directly to your side. This activates the lats/biceps to a greater degree and the mid back to a lesser degree than the pull-ups. Just like the pull-ups, chin-ups can be done with different grip width to add difficulty or to focus on different primary muscles.

HAMMER/NEUTRAL GRIP PULLUPS: If the pull-up and the chin-up had a baby and that baby’s name from Frank, and Frank was not a usual child, not usual even the slightest (don’t know where I am going with this), then the hammer grip pull-up would be Frank. Just like the title states, the hammer/neutral grip pull-up will be performed with a neutral grip (palms faced towards one another) or faced the way you would use a hammer (hence the name “hammer grip”). These seem to be easier than both the chin-up and the pull-up due to the hand placement (neutral grip) and the motor pattern. With pull-ups and chin-ups you are initially pulling yourself to a bar you need to get in front of you (go ahead and try to pull straight up, there’s a head in the way) which makes the process a little more complex than “just pull straight up”. With neutral grip pull-ups you have the ability to pull straight up due to (most of the time) nothing being in your path during the full range of motion. I also find these to stretch/contract my lats better and tax my biceps less. Most beginners should start here due to the same muscles being taxed. but the variation is much easier and does not require as much grip strength (palms facing together provides mroe of a “lock” with your grip).

BONUS:INVERTED ROWS: If the neutral grip pull-up is the baby Frank. Then inverted rows are the ugly long lost cousin no one wants to be seen with or hear from (apparently his name is Jimmy). Though seen as such an easy exercise due to allowing your feet to be resting on the ground, inverted rows provide tremendous amounts of benefits for those who are beginners, those who have trouble retracting their scapula during a pull-up, and those who are somewhat heavier. This exercise can be done supinated (palms faced up) or pronated (palms faced down). It is difficult to do neutral grip inverted rows unless you have access to “TRX straps” or gymnastic rings. The exercise can be modified for those who need more/less resistance by changing the angle in which they are performed. Either by changing the height of the bar your are rowing yourself towards (changing the angle changes your center of gravity which in turn changes the exercise difficulty) or by changing the elevation of your feet (same as the bar height, changing the angle changes the difficulty).

Now that you know many variations for both exercises, you must remember that adding in too much variation can cause less efficient ability to track progress while too little variation can cause you to stall. Try a few variations one day (1-3) and the others on another day (1-3) if you are on a split such as upper/lower or push/pull. If you are on a full-body split then try one variation each day.

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If you like the content don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW.

Wherever you are…thank you for your time, have a great day everyone, and God bless!

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