Saturday, 21 September 2013

5 mistakes you're making when training back

It's on the list - thick chest, chiseled abs, big arms and a v-shape back. But guys always struggle to build an impressive back. You can always tell the ones that lack a good back, because they walk around with their lats flared to try and compensate for the lack of width. So you've got 2 choices. 2 very easy choices. Either eradicate these 5 mistakes from your back day routine, or continue to walk round like you've got a coat hanger down your t-shirt! The choice is yours.....

You don't train it 
You might do a back day, but do you train it with the exact same intensity as when you do biceps in front of the mirror whilst the blonde treadmill bunny is watching? Probably not. 

You don't visualize 
With muscles like chest and biceps you can see the muscles working. You squeeze harder at the top of each rep and as a result the intensity ramps up, but you can't see your back. That's where you need to really work on the mind-muscle connection. Visualize your back contracting hard at the top of each rep. Imagine it getting wider after each rep. Why walk out of the gym after your session when you could be flying on your newly built wings...

You fail to hit your back with a pull, row and a lift
If you want complete back devepment, you need to hit it from all angles. The back can do 3 main movements:

Horizontal pull (rope facepull, seated row)

Vertical pull (pull ups, lat pull downs)

Hip dominant (deadlift, good morning)

You neglect grip strength 
If your grip isn't strong enough you won't be able to pull or lift a sufficent amount of weight to have a significant training effect on your back. 

You don't use a relevant tempo
Going back to caveman times when man had to catch his own food. The back and biceps were made to grab and hold. With that said, a slow tempo on the eccentric portion of exercises like dumbell rows and pull ups work really well for your back. Try 4010 (4 seconds down, 1 second up). Isometric holds also work well as a shock tactic for back training. How do you do that? Easy, hold the exercise in the top position for as long as you can. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Peri-workout supplements for lean muscle

I didn't start seeing proper results until I did 2 things.

1. Work harder

2. Not neglecting the fact that peri-workout supplementation is paramount!

In the last year, by focusing on these 2 points I've seen some of the best results of my life. Take a look at this before/after shot. On the left is pic from August 2012 (69kg) and on the right is one from August 2013 (73kg).

Today I wanted to talk about point number 2. Peri-workout supplementation. This basically means the supplements you take before, during and after your workout. Now I used to have a whey protein shake after my workout with a fast digesting carb. Which is great, but I was neglecting things. This was potentially holding me back from making each workout better than the last, which if you want results, is what you need to do! Now I'm forever experimenting with different products, but right now this is what I believe to be the most effective peri-workout supplement stack for lean muscle and strength gains....


⚫ Caffeine - this fires up the adrenal glands and increases energy for the session. Aim for 5-10mg per kg of bodyweight. You'll have to experiment with this as its obviously going to be down to your tolerance to caffiene. You want to feel a good buzz, what you don't want is to be so jittery and shakey you can't even focus on a task for less than 5 seconds!

⚫ L-carnitine - boosts certain neurotransmitters that control focus and drive. Try 2000mg.


⚫ BCAA's in water - sip 10-15g grams of powdered BCAA's during your session. This will help prevent catabolism. BCAA's also compete with the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. In non-fitness geek terms, this means it will prevent you from getting a sleepy slump half way through your workout.


⚫ Whey protein - aim for 30-40g of good quality whey. This will increase protein sysnthises and help your muscles recover.

⚫ Vitargo - a fast digesting carb such as vitargo will help replenish depleted glycogen levels after your workout. Depending on your goal, aim for 50-100g.

⚫ Glutamine - this amino acid is needed for cell growth and serves as fuel for the immune system. During periods of heavy, intense training, muscle and blood glutamine levels drop quite dramatically. Therefore athletes/trainees are more susceptible to infection at this time. Glutamine after your workout will help replenish levels, and support the immune system. Go for 5-10 grams.

combine this stack with a good diet and some intense workouts, you'll see some epic results! I look forward to seeing your before/after photos...

To receive an exclusive 10% off all myprotein supplements use discount code: 007PT80

Monday, 2 September 2013

Ultimate obliques

I get asked a lot how to get those lines up the sides of your stomach. They look cool right? Ladies love 'em and they're responsible for hundreds of daily activities like twisting to pick your shopping bags up and supporting the core. Visually, the obliques help add detail to the torso and draw attention to the main event, the 6 pack. I would say they're visually one of my best muscles. Here's a candid iPhone shot I took the other night....

Now to get them showing through, your bodyfat needs to be sub 10%, so a good clean diet is a must. However training them will help strengthen and develop them so they pop through. Here's 5 of my favourite exercises I use and reccomend to everyone to train your obliques effectively.

Seated medicine ball twist - a classic! this should be in everyones routine. use an 8-10kg med ball and aim for 20-30 reps for 3-4 sets. Try to perform it with your feet of the floor for more of a challenge.

1 arm kettlebell rack walks - I love these! By using just 1 kettlebell you offset the weight and make your obliques engage more. 3-4 sets of 30 metres

Cable woodchop - aim to keep that neutral spine through this one, its so easy to mess up. Aim for 3 sets each side of 8-12 reps.

Hanging windshield wiper - this is a toughy and will leave you in bit for days after, but its a great exercise. Do as many revolutions as you can for 3-4 sets.

Side crunch to twist on exercise ball - this is a great money exercise for your obliques. They work to flex the torso up and rotate it around. Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps. If you've got the big boy pants on, hold a dumbbell or weight plate.

Pick 2-3 of the exercises each time you train your obliques and try them for 3-4 weeks to see how your body responds to them. Any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch

Happy training!