Sunday, January 11, 2015

Workout of the Day: Rut Buster

Going to the gym in January and February is always frustrating because you have so many Don'ters taking up space with resolutions to lose half their body weight but only giving themselves a couple weeks to negate years of inactivity and shitty eating.  Don't get me wrong, if you want to change yourself, to better yourself, I'm all for it.  But do a little research, read some magazines, maybe even a book and talk to professionals before you go all or nothing into your new year workout routine.  I always say you either have it or you don't when it comes to lifting weights.  There has to be some kind of instigating incident or insecurity to propel you into spending countless hours alone putting your body under duress.  Whether it's being too fat or skinny, needing to get stronger for sports, everyone who lifts weights has a reason why they're putting on "body armor".  Arnold wanted to get stronger for soccer, Van Damme wanted to gain weight and power for karate, I was a chubby kid, etc.  When you go in guns blazing with no plan of attack, enthusiasm quickly wanes and the gym is back to being empty.  Fitness is a lifestyle and it doesn't even half to be that strict.  I eat fast food several times a week and at my last physical was told I was in excellent health.  Could I be in better shape if I cleaned up my act?  Of course!  But I don't make a living at having my shirt off so there's no need to beat myself up mentally and emotionally over some unattainable standard.

For me, December was pretty good, I worked out 23 times which is excellent because I always find myself to be in the best shape when I hit 20 workouts in a month.  That can be 5 days a week, that can be twice a day a couple days a week, a day of walking, outside activity or cleaning, whatever.  If you make time for it and or you break a decent sweat, I consider it a training session.  Having lots of time over the holidays to relax, I dug into some Frank Zane and Vince Gironda reading.  Zane of course was a master of symmetry and had a statuesque physique at under 6' tall and 200 pounds.  Always mindful of the mind and muscle connection, physical harmony, rest and nutrition, Zane was truly a guru of the sport.  But Gironda was known as The Iron Guru due to his unpredictable temper, strong opinions and unusual but effective training techniques.  Reading through some of his literature, it's crazy how guys used to eat and train back in the day.  For Gironda, he figured you should stick mostly to whole, close to raw foods including fertile hen eggs and certified raw cream.  A breakfast might consist of cream mixed with raw eggs, lunch was a salad and hamburger patty while dinner could be steak and cottage cheese.  In between meals, liver tablets and amino acid tablets in the dozens.  With no complex or starchy carbs in the mix, Gironda figured the body would derive energy from the fat and use the protein to rebuild muscle.

Training wise, Zane seemed to always be doing some form of cardio, usually bicycling around town or rowing after a weight session.  Gironda placed such a heavy emphasis on nutrition, stating that it was 85% what you ate VS 15% how you trained, that no cardio was involved since there was little rest been sets.  If you wanted to lose weight, you simply ate less and worked out more.  For me, I always feel at least 10 minutes of cardio after weights helps me feel leaner and less bloated.  Zane would usually work 3-4 exercises per body part with 3-4 sets in the 8-12 range.  Gironda believed that you had to find your perfect range by working out until you felt a pump that couldn't get any better and as soon as you started to lose it, you'd found your ideal rep/set range.  At Vince's Gym, he generally preached 3 exercises and 4 sets for each in under 45 minutes as the perfect workout.

Gironda's Rut Buster workout has been kicking my ass this month with it's 10/8/6/15 rep range but I'm feeling strong and pumped.  An example of my version of Shoulders and Arms at the gym:

1) Dumbbell Press w/ Rear Deltoid Lateral 2) Spider Curl w/Tricep Pullover and Press 3) Behind the head Rope Extensions 4) Incline Dumbbell Curl 4) Cable Upright Row w/ Side DB Laterals 5) 1-Arm Preacher Curl w/ 1-Arm DB Extension 6) Forearm Curls

As you can see, wherever I could do Super Sets, I did.  But if I would have to walk across the floor to get weights, I would just do straight sets.  The descending then ascending rep range is frigging hard but the pump I got was out of this world.  My muscles felt huge, shaped and striated at the same time.  My arms were so sore I could barely type on my laptop that day.

Zane's Ab-Aerobics are a great way to get in some cardio and midsection work.  You'll see lots of people plodding away on a bike or treadmill for what seems like hours and still looking dumpy as shit.  With Ab-Aerobics you simply pick a cardio exercise to do for one minute then hit some abs, lower back or twists then go back to cardio.  In my complex gym I opted for:

Treadmill - 3, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5 MPH at a 10 incline with Stepper and Jump Roping 200-300 reps in about 2 minutes.  For abs I stuck to simple stuff like frog crunches (instead of knees pointing up, butterfly them out to the sides), toe touches and Swiss ball crunches.  Then I'd do trunk twists or Good Mornings as well.  So 1-2 minutes of cardio, ab/back/twist exercise, repeat for 20-30 minutes.  Boredom doesn't have a chance because you're constantly moving from one exercise to the next. 

And there you have it, new year, new pump, same old drive.  Now get out there and remember that what's cool is being cool with yourself!

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