Stuck in a rut with your current routine ??
Add some intensity techniques to it …Spice it up a notch and get some bad ass added returns.
Ok where to start, I wouldnʼt go adding these so randomly to your lifts, at least to compound movements until you are an advanced lifter with several years solid training behind you , i.e when maxing out on back squats and doing several drops after reaching failure a couple of times…you gotta know what the fuck your doing !!
Add them initially to what would be safer movements , machine /isolation exercises.
DROP SETS : As given away by the name , you drop the weight up to 20% once you reach failure within the desired rep range ,allowing you to crank out a couple of more reps at a lower weight that will challenge you every bit as hard as the initial first heavy-set, go nuts on these up to 3/4 drops, will test your testicular fortitude ;) leave the ego at the door however , when your pressing an empty bar after a couple of drops and getting pinned it can be a bruiser !!
FORCED REPS : Again failure must be reached in the concentric portion of the lift, you are alot stronger in the eccentric phase of the rep…up to 170% in fact , (side note if you “fail” on an eccentric before concentric you’re a pussy and gave up mentally ) once failure is hit have a training partner spot you back to the top and lower the rep again on your own , don’t go throwing in a ton of extra reps with your partner doing more work than you , 3/4 reps extra should do the trick ,
PARTIALS : These are a personal favourite , once failure is reached in the full ROM , throw in some partials, these can only be a couple of inches of range but you gotta grind hard for them , on the lying leg curl , go to failure, then go balls out for up to 50 partials , a feeling never experienced of blood engorged fibers will be had! Exercise selection for these …..don’t go picking squats or deadlifts …keep it safe !
REST PAUSE : As given way by the title, pick a weight you can grind out 10/12 reps,
fail ….rest 20 /25 seconds …go again…..fail….. rest 20/25 secs ….go again….and etch out a few reps might look like 12/6/4 on the reps
PRE EXHAUST : Pick your given compound movement , throw in an isolation exercise for 15/20 reps before attacking the bigger lift, i,e leg extensions or walking lunges before back squats
you will not be able to lift as heavy as if doing a straight set as you have fatigued the target muscle group prior , it will be filled with blood and already pumped , the reduction of load in the compound will take and excess stress off the joints and tendons which at times has major benefit.
POST EXHAUST : Similar to the previous but swap the order of exercise, squat then lunge ….
DOUBLE : This is a combo of both the previous , i,e leg extension …squat …and then straight back into the leg extension …..expect some pain from this… ALOT in fact !!!
There is a million and one of these style techniques, these are but a small handful try them out give them a go
Don’t add them to every set of your workout if you can ..you simply didn’t go to full failure on each set …let us know how they went…..
Just remember one thing ….they are intensity techniques ….bring some god damn intensity to the plate when adding them to a routine !!!
So with the spring classic just 3 weeks away I’ve decided to write what I feel are 5 of the most important things to remember in these crucial final days.
1. Listen To Only One Person : If you’ve enlisted the services of a coach or have had a friend or somebody from your gym help you throughout the process, listen to them and them only. There is a reason you listened to them in the first place, so that shouldnt have changed. Even if they get it wrong, they obviously have a plan in place, and by seeing through the plan to completion will allow you to access its effectiveness, and how to tweak or change for your next show.
2. Don’t Do Anything Drastic : It’s so easy to undo 12-20weeks hard work in the last few days by trying something extreme. Crazy methods to deplete and load carbs, diuretics, extreme water restrictions, these can all make a huge impact on how you look, either 5% better or 20% worse. If you look on target a week out, just simple changes and cruise in.
3. Practice Posing : The art of posing is dead. In recent years I have been bored to shit at shows due to appalling posing and the same generic tunes over and over. Make your music original and learn how to hit your mandatories . This is the most important part of posing. Yes, transitions during your routine are important too, but unless you can hit all your mandatories properly, it will mean fuck all as the judges wont give you a look in.
4. Be In Shape : No point in dropping water and carbing up if you are not in shape. Just because you have abs and maybe a few veins, doesn’t mean you are in shape. There should at the very least be clear definition between all muscle groups, quads, hams and back with striations in the pecs and minimal skinfolds covering the abdominals is the bare minimum. Don’t be deluded to think you are in shape unless you have seen someone in shape in person before. Remember, if you look lean in the
gym you will look fat onstage, If you look ripped in the gym you will look lean onstage, you really should be aiming for peeled in the gym mirrors in order to be shredded onstage. gym mirrors and lighting can be very favourable, stage lights are not, they are very unforgiving.
5. The Post Show Rebounds : Don’t be a complete pig after the show. There’s nothing cool about putting up 10kg+ in the week or 2 after the show. This is all fat and water, not new muscle. So don’t ever kid yourself. Yes you will look really big yet still lean and vascular for a short time during this rebound, but the water and insane pumps will subside, the weight will drop and the excess calories you consumed while your metabolism post show is at a snail’s pace due to caloric restrictions will leave you fat and bloated before your metabolism and thyroid function manage to stabilise to norms.
Best of luck to everyone competing, and one thing to everyone, but especially those doing their first show, enjoy the day. it is one of the most exhilarating experiences you will ever have and will pass all too quick.
Anyone who follows me in social media will known that I’ve been a very busy little bee lately and have a lot of big changes on the horizon.
I’ve made the decision to hang up the lab coat and give my full focus to my passions! My number one passion, as most of you know, is my gorgeous boyfriend Lex “BoomBABY!” Griffin. Lex and I met through social media and our shared love of bodybuilding, science and food has bound us. Seriously about 90% of our conversations are about what we are going to eat and how much! when we are going to train and what body parts and how many reps sets etc. And how we might scientifically manipulate ourselves to be more aesthetic!! The other 10% of conversation is mainly about Lex’s beard and my BFTs!
So I’m making the big move from the lovely Emerald Isle, dog and all! My immediate plan when I get to the UK is to concentrate on my training and diet and settle into a stable routine. No more nights on call to mess up my training, rest and diet plans which will certainly help when aiming to compete again in 2014! I will also be working on the ladies line of recently launched BoomBABY! Clothing. Working with the company is affording me the opportunity to travel to new places and meet and train with like-minded people in the industry. In march I got to travel with Lex to California! We met some amazing people.
While in LA we met up with one of Lex’s first clients Lisette Howard. Having only recently turned Pro we got to witness her take second in her first Pro show. We trained at muscle beach in the blazing sunshine and topped off our stay with an unforgettable day in, the Mecca, Gold’s Gym Venice Beach. Spending time with Lisette and seeing how her determination and drive to succeed is now paying dividends has fueled my desire to progress! A few sacrifices (house,car,job) are always made in the pursuit of glory!
Following our stay in LA we spent a couple of days with Lex’s fellow Gymshark/LoA team members Matt Ogus and Chris “yucky” Lavado. These guys have such passion for what they do. They just want to educate people within the industry and spread the message of FUARK! No bullshit just fact! Between the SRS conversations we had soooo much fun with 3 am training sessions in 24 hour gyms and Chipotle Burritos for breakfast!
Not to sound corny but I feel truly blessed that this industry and hobby of mine has turned into a whole new life for me not just a good physique! I am surrounded by incredibly driven and focused individuals. Not forgetting my Bluntforce crew who I am proud to be apart of! I solemnly promise to keep my blog updated more frequently when I’m done with the day job, if nothing else to boast about what I’m up to. In the words of a wise man, Keith Burke, your health is your wealth…cringe! But true! Check out the links below if ya fancy it! Love to lift!
Lifting weights and being involved in a strength or physique sport can do many things. The obvious, muscle gain and definition. The not so obvious is the planting of a seedling in your brain that can grow and flourish like poison ivy, captivating ones brain and personality. Now very few people can avoid this happening and the vast majority of them seem to be in the powerlifting community. This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend and lend a hand at the IPO Nationals in Boyneside Strength Facility and we even sponsored one of the overall titles won by Shane O’Neill. I’m a relative newcomer to these events but one thing that was evident throughout the entire day was the sense of community.
Now anyone with their ear to the ground recently with Irish bodybuilding will agree, that for the most part, that community spirit is lacking or non-existent. Not a day goes by that some verbal shots aren’t fired via social media with a jab at something or someone. This seemed on the day to be unheard of and after some looking the same goes for online. This was never more evident than when lifters were setting up for their attempt the other lifters, and (for the most part) their competitive rivals where cheering and looking on, willing their counterparts on under crippling amounts of weight.
The lack of bitching and taunting was like a breath of fresh air. There was no bullshit. You can either lift the fucking weight or you can’t. Simple. Can this be transferred to bodybuilding? You either get in condition or you don’t. Even to type that it sounded too far-fetched. Could we possibly imagine a community where it is all for one and not all for me. Instead its cultivated an undercurrent of begrudging and status. Not to paint everyone with the same brush, 99% of the people I’ve come in contact with in bodybuilding are hard-working and decent people who love this sport. Theres just that 1% that hold it back and show the sport in a dim light. After some of the recent goings on online I’m sure it doesn’t invite many onlookers to take part.
Not only can young and old bodybuilders physiques benefit from incorporating powerlifting into their training but they could also learn how to protect and grow a community. Giving advice and encouragement instead of wasting your time firing up a status about how much you hate the bullshit and backstabbing of the sport and 30mins later morph into a giant spoon to stir shit elsewhere online. I guess some people just want to watch the whole thing burn.
I have this gut feeling that tells me it’s going to get worse before it gets better, I say we take a stand now and actively abstain from ‘trolling’ others and resist the urge to weigh in on an obviously provocational status! Let us stand together as those in the IPO do and unify Irish Bodybuilding.