Free Workout: 3 Day A Week Routine

After your warm-ups you’re going to pick a weight, and use that same weight for all three sets. If it is done perfect here is how it will occur. It would do a set of 10 repetitions. Then rest. Rest periods between sets can be 90 seconds, 2, 3 or 4 minutes. For strength based routines use at least 2 minutes rest on smaller lifts and 3-4 on the big lifts.

You MUST use a stop watch and be consistent with your rest periods. After your rest, using the same weight, you will do another set, this set will be harder then the first but NOT to failure, if you can do more than 10 reps with it DO NOT, we are looking to do the first two sets to add volume, the last set is the only one that will be taken close to failure. Let’s say that on the last set, you get to exactly rep 10 and you know that if you tried another rep you would fail or your form would break down to get the rep, if that is the case it was done perfectly.

Let’s look at what happens if the weight is too heavy. Let’s say you get 10 reps for the first set, 10 for the second. And only 8 for the third. That means the weight was a bit too heavy, no problem you will have still stimulated growth. Do not make your form breakdown or get a spot from your buddy, To make the 10 reps, we are looking to take the last set to one rep short of failure. You should never miss a rep.

Now let’s look at what happens if the wait was too light. Let’s say you got 1 x 10, 1 x 10, and then on the last set you get to rep 10 and it is obvious you can do more reps, go ahead and get the additional reps. But once again take the last repetition only to the point where you get all the reps in good form. DO NOT ATTEMP A REP THAT YOU WILL NOT GET BY EITHER FAILING ON THE REP, OR HAVING FORM BREAK DOWN TO GET IT.

Again, on these routines you will fail if you take all your work sets to failure. On multiple set lifts you should use the same weight for all sets. As an example if you are doing rows for three sets of eight, the first should be relatively easy, the second should be a pretty hard set and a third should be almost a failure but not quite. When you know you going to fail on the last rep don’t attempt it.

Close Grip Bench Press –  3×3
Dumbbell Bench Press   –   3×10
Dumb bell Shoulder Press   –   3×8
Dips   –   3×10
Lat-Pulley Ab Crunch   –   3×10

Rest Day

Pull-Down Machine   –   3×8
Dumb bell Row   –   3×8
Hammer Curls   –   2×8
Reverse Grip Dumbbell Curls   –   3×10
Wrist Curl   –   3×10

Rest Day

Squat   –   3×6
Front Squat   –   3×10
Good Mornings   –   2×10
Hanging Leg Raises   –   3×10
Leg Press Calf Raise   –   3×15

Rest Day

Rest Day


Finishing Well

2014 is winding down.  How was your year?  I always look bad at Cline Eastwood referencing “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” to describe my life.  Some view that as a 2/3’s negative statement but really ugly is self defined.  Sometimes it might be bad.  Sometimes it might be good.  Life isn’t always pretty.  But when you finish well…even with the lack of style points making it a little ugly…you succeed.

I drove thousands of miles and even flew thousands near the end of 2013 in search of something.  In life we get caught up on that “it” component to make us rich, famous and happy.  “If I just had ((insert word)) then my life would take off.”

Consider one of my favorite actors and likely one you also appreciate: Robin Williams.

Sure he played “characters” but he also inspired.  He was rich, famous and I do think happy although he struggled with mental illness.  The “it” fact alluded him.  Or did it?  Maybe there really, truly is no such thing.  Maybe just maybe that “it” is really “you!”

What if really we are just tricking ourselves about our own existence?  What if we really did believe in ourselves?  What would happen if you suddenly believe you had all the tools in the world to be a success in life.  What if what you needed was more really a different perspective?  Maybe a blue or red pill if you will:

Time to unplug friends.  It is time to move beyond the shackles of our own self tyranny and move forward with a perspective of truth: we are enough!

I finished well.  I held on to hope, love.  God Bless and Happy New Year!

Your New Year’s Revolution:"Becoming A Firestarter" How to stoke the flames of intensity to burn bright while not burning out!

New Year’s Revolution is approaching.

Here is a little article I wrote this past fall:

I have a confession: I hate going to meets and training. None of it is fun for me anymore. I bet you are thinking that this is the worst motivational article ever written. You may be right but hear me out as I share how I am getting the embers going and stoking a flame to be MY best.

Before we talk about the INSPIRING FEEL GOOD quotes of the “Dead Poet’s Society” (yes…they are coming!) let’s examine how I became a curmudgeon. Distractions are always what get us off our paths, right? My distractions came in the form of pressure and injuries. Believe it or not I was going to be a 2100 total true raw powerlifter weighing under 275 pounds just a few short years ago. Sponsorships with real money were coming my way, along with pressure. Remember Drago in Rocky 4 yelling at the Russian Premier stating, “Ya b’yus’ radi pobedy! Dlya sebya! Dlya sebya!” Translation: I FIGHT FOR ME TO WIN! FOR ME! I didn’t enjoy training as much with the forced expectations to lift for someone else. It was a distraction to what I really love: THE GYM.

So yes, the gym. It’s my sanctuary, my church and my home. I love the smell of chalk in the morning! Ok not that you can hear me using a Robert Duvall voice ala Apocalypse Now, but I am really feeling it. Unfortunately as my body started to give in my distractedness via depression grew exponentially. A shoulder hear, elbow there and then after getting ready to demolish an 800+ raw squat I damaged my knee and back. I became a has-been in my mind.

Depressed doesn’t begin to describe how I felt with my perceived world falling apart. I shut down totally while making little effort to train. I removed myself from the gym. I stopped engaging in lifting conversations and groups. WHAT WAS I GONNA DO? BICEPS? SCREW THAT! And yet as I type now I gotta say, that wouldn’t have been such a bad thing. I really suffered perception issues. Maybe I broke my “perception” as well? I failed to see all that I had as an athlete versus what I didn’t have. And in my wallow of shame I missed the boat totally. Distraction. It’s a beast.

So here they are, my three points to go napalm in a hurry! (Que Prodigy for dramatic effect please.)

Have a plan: Your plan is the guts of your success.

The plan is your epicenter of it all! Sure a plan sounds simple enough but it is often take lightly and for granted. Take a look around a lot of gyms. Ask someone that is heading to go train what he or she is going to do. You will likely get a vague answer or it is a program that they just started from the other program they just stopped THAT they just started. THAT ISNT A PLAN unless you call planning to fail an actual plan. So you need to map out a strategy. If you want to be the best you have to plan for it. It doesn’t just happen. Preparedness trumps talent any day of the week. Look at NFL players that are studs in college and flop in the league. Then look at the 7th round draft pick that meticulously follows a plan and is suddenly a pro bowler!

For competitive lifters you might be looking at a meet, event etc to participate in. Consider a mock meet and videoing it as well. There are a lot of options but reach for something. Do not be ambiguous with no time line. You need that healthy pressure to reach the finish with your best effort. So write down the plan and goals with a dry erase marker and make your bathroom mirror a motivator with reminders. Use a notepad to log your training, eating and thoughts while keeping it in your pocket at all times. Purchase a calendar and start to work backwards setting up your goals. Break it all up into smaller segments. Create an email reminder for that portion of the training cycle you are in. Add a Youtube video and/or quotes to remind you are why you are pushing yourself. My clients that are training for meets in powerlifting are given detailed spreadsheets for their entire training cycle and I send them quotes to “fan” their flame.

Are you a tech nerd that loves a nice smartphone? Use tools like Google Drive, a good timing app, and video recorder to chronicle your training. Part of having that plan is how well you can execute it so be prepared to pursue! Review and reassess constantly as you go. The fancy term now is auto regulation but for the longest time I have always just stated a lifter should self assess his or her training constantly.

My plan is to help at an upcoming meet. Sure a small plan but as I heal I am getting really excited to help push others to do their best. I have never enjoyed training for meets but I do love seeing others lifting and competing so I just treat an event like a long day at the gym. There is nothing wrong with using the energy of others to help be inspired. Inspiration is the ignition!

Create Accountability: Surround yourself with people to help you “grow.”

A training partner can be a great start to helping to push you especially while lifting weights. You not only are answering to that person via a schedule so you can’t sluff off but your work ethic is exposed! Maybe you don’t need a training partner but still surround yourself with people that are encouraging, honest and supportive of your set goals. There is no point sharing goals with people that don’t get it or are unwilling to support you. With this in mind consider limiting your exposure to social media during this journey. Avoid the distractions remember? Being held accountable doesn’t take a village but it does take the right support network. Remember the dude from “Indiana jones and the holy grail” that didn’t choose wisely? Don’t be that guy!

My accountability partners are individuals I trust implicitly. I ask them to ask me how I am doing and to get on my butt if I am not following through. They get the “keys to the city” to invade my space about achieving personal performance perfection. They ask the tough questions when I least expect it and need it most! Incidentally, this concept of accountability is a great premise to utilize period.

Stay Inspired: Use the right fuel for the flame.

The journey alone may be the inspiration thinking of that goal you keep grinding towards. If that is enough you are one of the lucky ones but use it! And use it to inspire others. Maybe you are keeping someone else accountable. Share with that person your journey too. There is a great quote that says, “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.

Remember when I mentioned distractions? Do not let that smartphone turn you into a selfie fool. Use the phone as a tool for your goals and stay on the plan. I have had clients that would get an upsetting text or message that would totally defeat their training session. So remove the potential for distractions. Turn off those features of the phone to stay focused!

Lastly, I would also like to suggest you practice kindness and humility during your journey. You will be amazed at how strong your are mentally while focusing on much more positive things during this time. I am not asking you to start a soup kitchen or hand out hugs but I do think keeping focused on your own actions will serve you well. We have all seen the troll behavior of some or just the ahole comments from people being petty about technique etc. Let’s go “Field of Dreams:” If you lift it negativity will come. So just dont be that person. Focus on the positives. Consider your tone. Text is so inefficient so be careful how you type so you can be representing yourself with class and integrity. Positive energy is inspiration personified.

Personally, being a coach and working in social services gives me ample opportunities to give and encourage others. Inspiration to me is a guy with MS that does his damnedest to walk a hallway with a Spinoflex machine (harness and walking rig). What excuse do I have?

Well, I am done. My hope is your wheels are turning for ideas and innovative concepts to reach your goals. And my 3 point sermon isn’t a life changer at all but it is a spark. You have the real work of applying these ideas to your own life. The question is will you?