Category Archives: Training Exercises

The 15-minute stir-fry that can improve your health

If you’re reading this article, looking for a great meal to prepare in 15 minutes that will benefit your muscle gains, you’ve found it. But, the ingredients in this stir-fry does more than add muscle; the four-ounce skinless chicken breast provides more than 120 percent of your Daily Value of the amino acid tryptophan, which helps relieve stress, regulate sleep and release growth hormone. The bell pepper (red, yellow, green and orange varieties) reduces homocysteine levels in the body, which contributes to arterial inflammation and can lead to arterial damage. Furthermore, some studies suggest that bell peppers may even protect against cataracts. So, dig in and enjoy.

What You Need:

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz grilled chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced raw red or green pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced mango

How To:

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a nonstick cooking pan over high heat. Add grilled chicken and 1 tbsp soy sauce to pan; stir-fry until chicken is cooked and no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add remaining oil. Place onion, pepper and remaining soy sauce into pan; stir-fry until tender. Return chicken to pan and heat through. Place vegetables and chicken on a plate and top with mango.

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Nutritional Info:

Calorie Count: 600; Protein: 44 grams; Carbs: 63 grams; Fat: 20 grams; Sat Fat: 2 grams; Total Prep Time: 15 minutes

Chest Quest for Beginners: Build Perfect Pecs

Three moves that work your muscles better than a bench press.

When you’re walking along a beach, you don’t really care how much you can bench, but rather how much you look like you can bench.

Forget what you know: the bench press isn’t nearly enough for pectoral hypertrophy—a big chest. If that’s all there is to your chest routine, you’re not allowing the pectoral muscles to contract through a full range of motion, due to the fixed grip-width you use with a barbell. For maximum results, you’ll need to add a multi-dimensional component that uses dumbbells and your own body weight.

Once or twice a week, perform the following workout (three supersets) on top of your regular chest program. For each superset, do six to eight reps of the incline dumbbell press, then without resting do a set of dips until failure. Then rest 30 seconds, before doing the T push-ups to failure. Do this two more times.

THE MOVES

1. INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS

With a dumbbell in each hand—palms facing in for a greater range of motion—press up, pushing the dumbbells up in front of your chest. Do six to eight reps, taking four seconds to lower the weight, and one second to lift.

2. DIP

Start with your arms fully extended. Bend your arms, and lean your torso forward as you lower to the bottom of the rep. Pause at the bottom for one second and return to the top by straightening the arms quickly. Do until failure and rest for 30 seconds.

3. T PUSH-UP

This move starts off like a normal push-up, but after each rep, transfer all your weight to one hand and rotate your body, reaching up and behind you with the opposite hand. Your arms should be perpendicular to your body forming a T-shape. Alternate sides, and do until failure. Rest 60 seconds before repeating the superset.

THREE TIPS FOR SOLID PECS

1. A weak upper back will create the appearance of a sunken chest,as if your shoulders are collapsing forward. To show off your chest at its best, make sure you work on strengthening the upper back with rowing exercises. Keep the sets and reps similar to your chest workout for balance.

2. In order to contract the pecs fully, you’ll need to use a full range of motion. Make sure your workout includes dumbbells and cables,which allow you to take your pectorals from a full stretch to a full contraction. This range of motion can’t be performed using a barbell.

3. In a typical chest press, only half the rep targets the chest—the second half targets the triceps. For the best results, do an extra half-repin the bottom portion of each pressing exercise. Lower the dumbbells fully, press up until your arms are bent 90 degrees, lower again completely and then press to finish the rep. So it’s two reps in the bottom half for every full rep. That means your chest will do twice as much work as your triceps.

When you’re walking along a beach, you don’t really care how much you can bench, but rather how much you look like you can bench.

Forget what you know: the bench press isn’t nearly enough for pectoral hypertrophy—a big chest. If that’s all there is to your chest routine, you’re not allowing the pectoral muscles to contract through a full range of motion, due to the fixed grip-width you use with a barbell. For maximum results, you’ll need to add a multi-dimensional component that uses dumbbells and your own body weight. pecs

Once or twice a week, perform the following workout (three supersets) on top of your regular chest program. For each superset, do six to eight reps of the incline dumbbell press, then without resting do a set of dips until failure. Then rest 30 seconds, before doing the T push-ups to failure. Do this two more times.

THE MOVES

press1. INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS

With a dumbbell in each hand—palms facing in for a greater range of motion—press up, pushing the dumbbells up in front of your chest. Do six to eight reps, taking four seconds to lower the weight, and one second to lift.

2. DIP

Start with your arms fully extended. Bend your arms, and lean your torso forward as you lower to the bottom of the rep. Pause at the bottom for one second and return to the top by straightening the arms quickly. Do until failure and rest for 30 seconds.

dips

3. T PUSH-UP

This move starts off like a normal push-up, but after each rep, transfer all your weight to one hand and rotate your body, reaching up and behind you with the opposite hand. Your arms should be perpendicular to your body forming a T-shape. Alternate sides, and do until failure. Rest 60 seconds before repeating the superset.

t_pushupTHREE TIPS FOR SOLID PECS

1. A weak upper back will create the appearance of a sunken chest, as if your shoulders are collapsing forward. To show off your chest at its best, make sure you work on strengthening the upper back with rowing exercises. Keep the sets and reps similar to your chest workout for balance.

2. In order to contract the pecs fully, you’ll need to use a full range of motion. Make sure your workout includes dumbbells and cables, which allow you to take your pectorals from a full stretch to a full contraction. This range of motion can’t be performed using a barbell.

3. In a typical chest press, only half the rep targets the chest—the second half targets the triceps. For the best results, do an extra half-rep in the bottom portion of each pressing exercise. Lower the dumbbells fully, press up until your arms are bent 90 degrees, lower again completely and then press to finish the rep. So it’s two reps in the bottom half for every full rep. That means your chest will do twice as much work as your triceps.

 

CORE TRAINING FOR THE CYBER SURFER

BALL CABLE CRUNCH

Set up a pulley cable so that the cable attachment is about a foot or so higher than the ball. Attach a rope to the cable. Sit on the ball with your back to the cable. Now comes the hardest part: Grab hold of the rope behind you and adjust your body so that your lower back and upper butt are in contact with the ball and you’re holding the rope behind your head (forearms across your chest) near your ears. Keeping your body stable from your knees to your hips, curl up and contract your abs. Hold the contraction for a second; feel the stretch, allowing the weight to pull you back to the starting position.

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SIDE CABLE EXTENSION

Stand with your side toward a pulley cable apparatus. Set up the cable so that you can extend both arms and twist your torso to grasp a handle with your arms straight and just below parallel (the attachment should be at about mid-torso height). Holding your body locked into place from the hips down and keeping your arms straight, rotate your body away from the cable apparatus and past the neutral front position until you’ve rotated 30 to 45 degrees in the opposite direction, allowing your personal range of motion to dictate the midpoint of the move. Hold your abs—especially your obliques—taut as you go through the range of motion, crunching down on them as you reach the midpoint. Deepen the contraction for a second and return to the starting position, holding your midsection tight throughout the move.

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KNEELING CABLE CRUNCH

Face a pulley cable in a kneeling position with the cable coming from the top of the attachment. Hold a rope or narrow-grip pull-down handle behind your neck or beside your ears. You can hold your body straight from your knees to your neck in the starting position or you can bend slightly at the waist, but, either way you should maintain the angle formed between your lower and upper body throughout the set (changing this angle allows you to “cheat” using the leverage at your hip joint). Now, pulling with your abs, round your upper body and crunch your abs down toward your knees. Feel the contraction and, holding your abs tight, fight against the pull of the weight, feeling a slow stretch in your abs as you return to the starting position.

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SIDE CABLE CRUNCH

Attach a handle to the top of a pulley cable apparatus and grasp it with one hand (as if you’re going to perform a biceps curl) with the side of your body toward the cable. Take a stance slightly wider than shoulder width apart, keep the angle at your elbow and shoulder unchanged, and hold your body in one plane throughout the movement. Without moving your lower body, crunch to the side, feeling the contraction in your obliques. Deepen the contraction at the midpoint for a moment and, with your abs still held tight, begin to slowly stretch your side abdominals as you allow the weight to pull you back to the starting position.

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chart

*Percentages refer to the percentage of your body weight that you should be using on the cable machine.

Which are the body essentials?

ARMS – ALTERNATING ONE-ARM CONCENTRATION CURL

Begin this exercise by sitting on a bench with a dumbbell on the floor. Place your elbow on the inside of your leg and pick up the dumbbell. Start the movement by bending your elbow and bringing the dumbbell up toward your face. Squeeze at the top then slowly control the dumbbell on the way down. At the bottom of the movement, make sure that your arm is extended all the way down.

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ABS – ABS BALL CRUNCH

Begin by lying on a stability ball with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms on your chest (or place your hands behind your head to support your neck) and brace your stomach like you would if someone was going to punch you. Lift your low back off of the ball and crunch up like you would if you were trying to stand up. Slowly lower yourself all the way back down until you feel like you are going to fall off the ball and repeat.

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LEGS – LYING LEG CURL

Begin by lying stomach-first on the bench. Then place your heels on the leg supports and, squeezing your stomach, start the movement by bending your knees and attempting to bring your heals toward your butt. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and slowly lower your legs on the way down. To further increase the effectiveness of this exercise, point your toes away as you curl your heels toward your butt.

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BACK – BENT-OVER DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE

Bend slightly forward at the hips so that your body forms a 90-degree angle. Also, keep a slight bend in your knees. With a dumbbell in each hand, begin the movement by raising your arms out to the side with a slight bend in your elbows. Pause at the top and squeeze your shoulders. Lower the dumbbells slowly back to your side and repeat.

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CHEST – LIGHTWEIGHT DB INCLINE FLY

Lay on a bench with a 30 to 45 degree incline. With two dumbbells resting on your lap, lift your arms straight in the air. Begin with a slight bend in your elbows and lower the weight so that your chest gets pushed up toward the ceiling. You should feel a deep stretch at your chest before raising the weight back up and making sure that you squeeze your chest.

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