Saturday, April 11, 2015

Gym - tips and exercises

It's that time of the year when I dust off the old gym trainers, read up on the latest exercises (see above), and head on down to the local gymnasium, where I have paid good money to lift some stuff up and put it back down. 

I've learned that I work out best when I don't get involved in researching the latest ideas about optimum techniques or the latest work out crazes, don't buy health magazines, don't follow a set regime with strict targets ("Sinner!", I hear you cry out), don't pay attention to the latest studies. I try to keep it as simple as possible. I put my trainers on, am broadly mindful of getting enough protein, follow the general tips below, and choose random exercises from the menu I've put together over the years (also below), depending on my mood and what's available at the gym. That's it. The aim is general fitness and mood lifting, not to achieve a particular physical ideal beyond improved posture and slightly more mass.

Below are some general tips and exercises, copied out from my notebook:

One of the few neutral images I was able to find - most seem to be narcissistic or are signalling an ethos I don't find particularly appealing.

  • Keep the body tight and the core engaged
  • Train basic - act, enjoy
  • Squeeze the contraction and control the negative portion
  • Slow, controlled movements. Minimise momentum
  • Breathe
  • Progress progressively and don't 'work through the pain'
  • Watch for joint lock-outs and flaring of the joints
  • Growth comes from time-under-tension
  • Drop sets: Go to failure, reduce weights, repeat.
  • Pyramid sets: High reps, low weight up to low reps, high weight
  • Protein: RDA 0.8g per kg of bodyweight, or 1-2g/ per kg if training. (for me = approx 100-120g per day)
  • Possible split routine. Chest, Back, Triceps / Legs, Shoulders, biceps / Cardio and core. 2-3 exercises per body part. 45m to 1 hour max.
Abdominals and Core
  • Ab-wheel roll outs
  • Ab-wheel side rolls
  • Ab-wheel tips: Arch back and crunch abs at start like a cat > push hips out and wheel forward. > When hips are in a straight line, roll out to the max. Don't drop or engage the lower back.
  • Russian Twists - sit in a v-shape, exhale and rotate the body side to side either clasping hands or holding a plate.
  • Cable woodchops
  • Standing cable lifts (reverse of above)
  • Lying leg raise
  • Leg raise crunches
  • Hanging leg raise
  • Full rotation leg/knee raise
  • Crunches
  • Cross body crunches
  • Kneeling rope crunch
  • Hang from pull up bar
  • Farmer's walk
  • Wrist curls (palms up and palms down)
  • Hammer rotations
  • Reverse bicep curl
  • Wrist rolls (use barbell and roll up like a newspaper, keep arms stationary)
  • Standard curls
  • Alternating hammer curls
  • Alternating hammer and twist
  • E-Z curls
  • Cable curls
  • Concentration curls
  • Incline hammer curls
  • BB/DB curls lying face down on ncline bench
  • Overheard cable curls
  • Spider curls
  • Zottman curls
  • One arm kick-backs
  • Seated one-arms overhead extension
  • 2 handed o/h extension
  • Cable tricep press downs (normal and reverse grip)
  • Tricep overhead rope extension
  • Skull crushers
  • Bench dips
  •  Seated DB press
  • Cable/DB internal and external rotations
  • Arnold press
  • Side lateral raise
  • Cable face pulls 
  • Car drivers
  • Rear delt flyes/reverse flyes with ext.rotation
  • Front raises
  • Side laterals leading into front raise
  • Standing military press 
  • DB shrugs
  • Standing DB upright row
  • Smith machine shrugs
  • DB bench press (+ incline)
  • DB flyes (think you're hugging a tree)
  • Incline DB flyes
  • Push-ups
  • DB pull-overs 
  • Low cable cross-overs
  • Standard cable cross-overs
  • Chin ups
  • Reverse grip bent-over rows (DB/BB), palms in/out
  • Bent-over row with DB
  • Pull ups
  • One arm rows
  • Seated cable rows
  • Rack pull deadlifts (like the second portion of the deadlift)
Back/Legs Compound
  • Deadlift
  • Tips: Stand in front of BB (bar over feet but not quite touching the shins), push from heels up. As approach standing position, pull shoulder blades together (like a soldier standing to attention). Don't think of pulling the bar but of standing up (natural movement). Imagine a cord is pulling you up from the head. 
  • Farmers walk
  • Goblet squats
  • Dumbell calf raises
  • Leg press machine  (also use for calf extensions)
  • Stiff legged Romanian deadlift
  • DB lunges
  • DB squat

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