Posts in : Strength Training Tips

  • Sep

    Machines versus Free Weights

    Closed-chain exercise, Squat

    Machines versus Free Weights

    Machines can be used as a learning ground, a smart device to teach you the proper execution of a particular exercise.  The only disadvantage is that the rest of the body just sites there and waits for you to finish and move on to the next body part.  You will make gains depending on how well rounded your workout is and how rapidly you move from one machine to the next, as well as the weight load you are using.

    By using free weights, you enlist most of the body to assist you in the lifting and lowering of weight with most exercise.  You have to recruit other muscles to help you lift the load for a single muscle group.  Open and closed-chain exercises are what we are talking about here.

    Open-chain exercise is just that, an open link of a chain, singular and unattached to the rest of the link system.  This is what weight machines will offer.  You sit on the machine and extend your legs against the weight affecting the quadriceps only, or you site on another machine and press against the bar that will exhaust only the shoulders.  The key here is “only.”  These muscles are working alone.

    Closed –chain exercise closes that link and promotes the chain to work as a unit, with each link working collectively to carry the load.  Therefore, the same muscles that were described above using free weights would require doing a squat.  The squat involves holding the weight and stabilizing the body by contracting the middle of the body;  as you perform the squat, the entire lower body (butt, hamstrings, abs, lower back, and the quads) benefits, not just the quads.  You are getting more work done in less time. Whether you are a hardcore bodybuilder or a weekend warrior, try to get the most from your workout!

    Give your body and your brain something to do together.  You body will always look for the easiest way to perform (execute) an exercise.  Your brain will help the body obtain the maximum benefits by developing your sense of postural balance and building stronger muscles.  Don’t go for the quick fix. Focus less on the amount of weight your moving and more about how your body is moving that weight.

    Weightlifting requires proper form and proper gym attire.  Weightlifting Gloves are key to instill confidence and assure a solid grip.  In addition comfortable clothing that allows for ease of movement is essential.

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  • Aug

    Best Triceps Exercises – Triceps Pushdown


    One of the Best Triceps Exercises for bigger arms is the Triceps Pushdown.  This is probably one of the most common Triceps exercises I see performed at the gym and it is often being executed improperly.  Of course the key to optimizing the effects of any exercise is proper form.  Everyone wants bigger arms, a thicker chest, and / or more defined abs, but few take the time to understand how a specific exercise works the muscle group.  In my experience, the mind-body connection is the single most important factor when working out and trying to achieve goals.  It is important to focus on the exercise you’re performing and what muscles you’re body is using to move the weight. (more…)

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  • Jul

    One of the Best Triceps Exercises The Triceps Pushdown

    One of the Best Triceps Exercises; The Triceps Pushdown


    When you are working on your guns at the gym, you need to remember that your arm is not made up entirely of the bicep alone, but also your triceps. When properly training, your triceps can give your arms that well rounded-cut look you sought after. One of the best triceps exercise is the triceps pushdown. (more…)

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  • Jul

    Build More Muscle

    Build More Muscle - New Year's ResolutionChances are you’re one of the millions who put “get to the gym more often” as one of your New Year’s resolutions.   While that’s an admirable goal, you need a basic gameplan to make sure you’re  working smarter not harder. Whether you’re a weekend athlete or a true gym rat, let’s review some basics for building muscle in the new year!


    As you begin a new routine, it’s important to build a solid foundation.   The first month or two focus on  building up your abilities, so when you’re mentally ready to hit it hard, you’re body’s primed and ready to go.   Pay attention to pain or weaknesses.   You first goal should be to address any painful joints or extremely tight muscles.  Think of it like putting a coat of primer on your wall.  It may take 2 weeks or 2 months, but it’s absolute imperative.  Yes you want to be building muscle and working out hard, but don’t be a rockstar.


    If you want to put on a ton of muscle this year, building a strong strength foundation is necessary.  For example, if you lack bicep and forearm strength you’ll need to focus on getting the smaller muscles stronger before you can jump into pull ups and rows to work the big back muscles.

    After you’ve addressed any pain issues, this foundation stage is all about getting ready for the hard work.  This is a general fitness time, where you’re focusing on increasing endurance, strength, and power… along with building muscle.  Remember… one of the most important strategies with any workout routine, weight loss program, or strength training goal is to keep a solid mind body connection.  That means don’t just feel the workout physically, but feel it mentally.  Concentrate on the muscle group you’re working and your goals in general.


    Assuming you’ve addressed any weaknesses and built up an amazing foundation, now you’re ready to make a strong run towards reaching the goal of building more muscle.  Go hard or go home!  If you don’t leave the gym everyday feeling completely exhausted, you’re not doing enough.   By the end of the day you will likely feel exhausted.  In the morning, your muscles will be sore and you’ll feel like you were hit by a bus… but sometimes that’s the price we pay for a good weightlifting program.  Good job!  Learn to love it because it means you’re building muscle and on your way to a healthier you!

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  • Jun

    Is Red Your Favorite Color?

    ProGrips Weightlifting Glove RedRed is the color of strength, health, and vitality.

    It’s often the color chosen by someone outgoing, aggressive, vigorous and impulsive… or someone who would like to be!

    The color Red has been shown to speed respiration, heart rate, and even elevate mood level.

    Red weightlifting gloves just might give you that extra boost you need for your workout; to squeeze out a couple more reps or motivate you to get to the gym in the first place!

    ProGrips™ Red weightlifting gloves have a genuine leather palm, and a cool 4 finger loop Neoprene backing.




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  • Jan

    Easy Meals for Bodybuilders or Fitness Buffs

    You’ve heard your Personal Trainer say it a thousand times “eat more protein!” And whether you are a cardio queen who’s focus is weight loss and losing inches around the waist, or a hardcore bodybuilder who wants to add inches to his biceps, this is good advice. Protein shakes and meal bars are great quick fixes for on the go people but the best nutrition sources are real food. No trainer or nutrition supplement rep can deny that.

    Sometimes the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is come home from work and have to prepare yourself a good high protein meal. As prepared as we may try to be, planning out or making meals ahead of time isn’t always easy either. Here’s some great recipe ideas for a low maintenance and high protein meals using a crock pot or slow cooker. (more…)

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  • Dec

    Best Triceps Exercises – Close Grip Bench Press

    Close Grip Bench Press is one of the best triceps exercises you can do to get bigger arms and build muscle!

    The triceps muscle is technically called the triceps brachii muscle which is latin for “three-headed arm muscle.” This is the large muscle on the back of the upper arm opposite the bicep and its purpose is to extend the arm from the elbow joint.

    The triceps brachii can be trainer through compound movements or isolation exercises and will statically contract to keep the arm straight against the resistance of weight of force.

    How To Do Close Grip Bench Press:


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  • Oct

    Incline Chest Press with Resistance Bands – Video

    Performing an incline chest press with resistance bands attached is definitely a more advanced exercise.  You may already know that the incline chest press is a great way to focus more attention on the upper pecs.  Technically speaking the incline bench press targets the clavicular head of the pectoralis major which is basically referred to as “the upper pecs.”  Adding this exercise to your best chest workout may help you gain the muscle mass you’re looking for, or to push you past the plateau! (more…)

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  • Jul

    Best Back Exercises – Pull Ups


    What you can’t see can hurt you!  More often than not I see clients and gym goers focusing soley on what I call the show me muscles… or those muscle groups they can see while checking themselves out in the mirror!  The back muscles comprise the largest muscle group of the body, second only to legs and training these powerhouse muscles is important to achieve an optimized and well defined body composition.   Even more importantly strong back muscles can help alleviate common problems with posture and can help balance out the effects of over-training the chest muscles. (more…)

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  • Jun

    Build Bigger Biceps – Run The Rack!

    Build bigger biceps
    Everyone would agree that toned arms on a woman and well developed or down right big arms on a guy are sexy!  Biceps are one of the most commonly worked out muscle groups at the gym and there’s countless activities and exercises to target them.  However there’s no need to be doing 10 different bicep exercises, because they’re all doing the same thing.  The bicep is the muscle that flexes the arm at the elbow joint.  Biceps brachii is the latin word for it,  which means “two headed [muscle] of the arm.” (more…)

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