Aim for the body of a gymnast - using calisthenics for aesthetic muscle gain

23:13 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments


I know you have probably heard this before but I am going to say this again because it is true, to get a body like a gymnast you must train like a gymnast. Gymnasts have it all if we look at total fitness and looking the part, just think about it, gymnasts have ripped built bodies, they have super strength, they have flexibility and they have incredible balance. I find it more impressive if someone can control their own bodyweight like a gymnast does then if someone can lift super heavy.

Gymnast muscle and strength


Gymnasts are not weight lifters; they are more about balance, coordination and agility. In order to do their events they need to develop strength and power for proper control of their bodies and for proper execution of gymnastics activities, their primary aim is not to build muscle but the muscle growth is brought upon by their activities as they continue to develop strength and control, their muscles grow.
Male gymnast muscle
image from english.sina.com 

Bodyweight exercises create a gymnast like body


Most of the body development of male gymnasts can be attributed to bodyweight exercises, performing gymnastic activities such as the pommel horse, still rings, high bar, vault, floor and parallel bars is a form of bodyweight training and difficult bodyweight training at that, it works every part of the body.

All the exercises require great arm strength this means that your biceps and triceps need to be developed or that doing these events develops your arm strength and size. Most of these gymnastics events require gymnasts to have a strong grip which is developed through bodyweight exercises as well. The floor exercises that gymnasts do consist of a lot of tumbling which requires flexibility, strength and balance.

Not all of us can afford the expensive gymnastics training equipment, but we can still resemble some of the training the gymnasts do from home without having to join a gymnastics club.

RELATED POST: Get a Body like a Heavyweight Boxer

What bodyweight exercises to do to get a body like a gymnast?


If you have ever seen a gymnastic event in real life or just watching past Olympic events you might have noticed that most the events are core centred, so one needs to develop core strength first. Core strength can be achieved by doing multiple abs exercise that can all be done from home. These are exercises such as hanging leg raises and plank exercises, of course there are more core exercises, those were just a couple of examples to show you the kinds of abs exercises you need to do.

It is easier to control your body if you are lean. So you need to burn as much fat as possible by doing some cardio exercises that will help you shed fat and be a lean as you can naturally be. You can try jogging, sprinting or other cardio exercises; you are really spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing cardio exercises.

You could try out intermittent fasting for leaning out if you are willing to try a new kind of diet plan that is not as restrictive as the traditional diets in terms of calories and food selection.  Intermittent fasting has shown really good results for many people and I myself have seen some good results after a few weeks of trying it out.
get a body like a gymnast
Get Muscle Like A gymnast

Now for the actual bodyweight workouts you could try to do handstand push-ups which are great for awesome shoulders and strength, but they are difficult to do. Pull-ups for overall strength, grip strength and back muscles and arm development, push-ups for strength, arm and chest development and body-weight squats/one legged squats for strong powerful legs.

The bodyweight exercises are simple but you should do them in rep combinations and sets that challenge you, not sets you can do with ease. Gymnasts also lift weights to help with muscle and strength gains but this was an example of workouts one could do at home. Gymnasts are not huge in size or overly muscular they just have enough muscle to help control their own bodies with ease, if you are someone that wants to be lean and fit and you want to look the part then maybe training like a gymnast is the option for you. I am personally looking forward to the London Olympics this year and I am not only looking forward to watching the girls do crazy moves but I look forward to being amazed yet again by talented male gymnasts who control their movements so elegantly.

Here is an example of how to train in the outdoors using bodyweight training for free to build lean aesthetic muscle:

     

These are the Bar Brothers and amazing Calisthenics pair.

I want to have big muscles – A reminder from watching wrestlemania

14:54 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments


I was watching wrestlemania the other day and it reminded me of my childhood dream of being big with huge muscles. I did not care about aesthetics, or what girls thought all I cared about was one day becoming this tall muscular guy, who other guys would not mess with and I would be super strong.

Unfortunately because of my genetics I could not become a giant in terms of height instead I am on the taller side of average. I am fine with my height at least I am not short. Seeing as I shall not tower over people the only thing that was left for me was to be strong or at least look strong but than girls came along and getting girls was all of a sudden more important than having a Conan the Barbarian physique. I could not look all big, bulky and overly muscular so for the sake of attracting the opposite sex and looking good so I now workout towards building a lean fitness model and athletic physique.
the rock muscles dwayne

I always have internal debates with myself regarding whether to just say screw the world I am going Super Saiyan and building the biggest baddest muscular physique in the world, but then common sense kicks in and I realise that the world is about social interactions and perceptions, and I do not want to be seen as a meat head or to be scary looking.

If I were to go big I would go for the Franco Columbu, Frank Zane type physique not the modern day Mr Olympia type of physique. The Olympia guys are just too big these days. Not that I do not find inspiration in them as well, there is nothing more inspirational than watching a Ronny Coleman workout video just before a workout, the comments he made and the super heavy of the weights he lifted is truly inspirational. It activates the caveman in me, a genetic trait awoken within guys that girls and feminine guys would not understand.

Oh and to get back to which Wrestlemania match brought about this desire to be big and tower over mere earthlings (hehe), it was the John Cena vs The Rock match. Those guys have some serious size, John Cena is tall but you can hardly notice it because he is so muscular, he has the biggest arms and forearms not to mention his strength. The Rock is a beast he is a beast that towers over mere mortals with the size to match, unlike Cena he looks tall and even though he is also very muscular he does not look bulky at all.

Unfortunately as I stated before some of us were not blessed with tall genetics but watching WWE Wrestlemania made me want to pack on some serious size and forget about 6 pack abs for a while.  

The winning formula for fast gains and getting ripped

11:39 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments


I have now realised that it is much easier to create a crazy ripped body if you follow the right steps from the very beginning when you first start working out. Following a system whether that system has various phases or not always works because one, you know that there are specific things that you are only going to do in that phase and two working in steps allows you to evaluate your goals and makes it easy to see whether  or not you have achieved the objectives of that phase.

Thinking and working in phases is sort of like blinders on a horse, this allows you to block off everything else and concentrate on working to towards and reaching your goals. This also makes it easier to the see flaws in your program so that you can make little adjustments that you think will give you favourable results.

Joe manganiello trueblood workout
Joe Manganiello from true blood

So now I will give you an idea of the kind of systematic plan I am talking about. I have mentioned it in previous posts but not with much detail, this is the kind of workout system I would have used in the beginning had I known any better.

The Formula for Muscle Gains

It is a really basic system; it involves doing compound exercises, intermittent fasting and doing a 5 day split. I also believe that even though all workouts work, some work best for certain goals like bulking and others work best for later when you are no longer looking for big mass gains but are perfecting your physique, not that one can ever achieve a perfect physique.

Phase 1: Compound Exercises

To begin with at the early stages you want to gain strength and as much size as possible and your body pretty much responds to anything if it’s significant enough to challenge you. It is best not to waste this phase by doing the wrong exercises that will get you results but not the optimal results. To gain the most strength you will need to do compound exercises, compound exercises are great for gaining overall strength because they involve using most of your bodies’ muscles to lift the weights. They also workout large body-parts like your back and legs which help you gain both strength and size because they help to increase secretion of hormones like Human Growth Hormone.

The reason you need to increase you strength in the beginning is because most people do not have much to begin with, and to lift big enough weights to gain size you need to first gain strength. Gaining strength will also make some hard labour around your house more manageable for you.

I mentioned intermittent fasting, in the early stages it is good to gain weight but you also want to make sure it is the right kind of weight gain that is more muscle and as little fat as possible. Intermittent fasting is great for making lean muscle gains but during this first step you will be using intermittent fasting geared more towards gaining weight so the amount of food you eat will be much more than you normally need to eat because you are looking to get bigger, exercising will burn a lot of calories so some of that eating is to supplement those lost calories because you need to keep energy levels high. Eating more will become easier because working out increases your metabolic rate and you will be hungry all the time.

Workout 3 times per week using compound exercises

Working out 3 times a week is all that is needed to gain muscle when you first start out, using only the compound exercises, this will give each of your muscles enough time to recover and grow bigger each week. It is important that you challenge yourself during this phase or any other phase for that matter, I mean you have to increase your lifts over time so that your strength increases and you continue to make gains.

This phase would last for about 3 months, at the end of this phase you would have gained enough strength and size but you body would not yet be complete in that it would need some finishing touches, that is where the second phase comes in.

Phase 2: Mixing Compound & Isolation Exercises

In the second phase you continue to build muscle but at a slower more detailed pace, now you mix your compound exercises with isolation exercises with less emphasis on your compound exercises. The aim is to target specific body parts which you think need the most work; the aim is to add detail to your body. In this phase you can now break up your workout into a 5 day split where you target different muscle groups per day for 5 days a week and then have 2 rest days in the week.

During this phase you can do your cardio and abs exercises on the rest days or you could add abs after your workout every other day and cardio in the mornings or before your workouts. The intermittent fasting in this phase should be tweaked according to your current goals, if you want to get super ripped than you would decrease caloric intake and watch that fat burn away and reach levels of leanness that you have never achieved before.

This is just one system to get results, there are other systems that work as well, this is just to say it is better to have a plan or road map to look at when-ever you embark on a journey, whether in life or in fitness. Knowing what you are doing and why you are doing it helps you reach you goals faster and easier than someone who is all over the place, doing everything under the sun.

Put your heart into your fitness and you will get results

09:49 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments


I know it is cliché but it is true, in most things you do in life if your heart is not in the activity it becomes nothing but a chore, fitness included. Think about it, your head is one of those things that comes up or picks up ideas easily, but as fast as your head gets inspired it loses that inspiration faster than you can say lean body. It is very possible that one can see a guys fitness transformation on the web or TV and then find themselves temporarily motivated but as they realise it’s not as easy  to work out, set fitness goals and get results, the initial inspiration is gone out the window.

Flaws in our mentality towards fitness


The problem with TV ads and the internet is that one has to sift through a lot of bullshit just to find a real truthful source of information, and people tend to have a mentality that wants results now, so they fall prey to these get fit quick scams and buy silly products they often do not need. In the end the peoples get fit quick mentality is the same mentality that will lead them to failure, they will believe most things do not work and give up on getting fit all together.
fitness inspiratio, have fun
image by Vlado

Getting fit and working out is no easy thing but it is not difficult either depending on your state of mind and why you are doing it. Working out takes a lot of your time, that is why it is important that you don’t waste your time and use your time allocated to fitness effectively.  Most people say they do not have time but they spend hours watching TV,  which is my opinion is okay but watching too much TV has no real benefits. If most people spent even a fraction of the time they spent watching TV or using social media on some fitness activity we would have a much fitter global community. 

How you should view your fitness to get and stay inspired


The trick is to not see fitness as something you have to do but make it a part of your daily or weekly routine, a part of your life like breakfast. If you don’t love doing something obviously it becomes a chore right? So you need to make it a hobby, not something you have to do but something you want to do, something that you can do with a partner or with your family.

It all begins with how you see your health in the first place, the reason you first worked out. It may be easier for someone whose life may be in danger if they do not start working out, so in fear of losing their life and leaving their family they get to put fitness as a priority by linking it with their family so what they are actually doing is doing it from the heart which is the best source of long term inspiration.

Another kind of person who would maybe have it easier to stay inspired is the fat or super skinny person who takes shit everyday about the way they look, out of sadness, disappointment or anger they can use that emotion to prove everyone wrong get in the best shape of their life. Let me not get ahead of myself to be truthful most fat/skinny people have an issue with self esteem and would much rather react by seeking comfort by eating some more or not eating at all but if this person gets inspired the inspiration comes from the heart because it is linked to all the emotion associated with their lives. Their inspiration comes from their heart not their heads.

Ditch the bad mentality


It is more difficult for a person who has no internal desire to work out to find it in themselves to wake up and jog in the morning or workout every other day. If you don’t really feel you need to work out you will never put in the effort that is needed to get results and you are more likely to drop out of your fitness program because you were not inspired in the first place.

If you want to get results get rid of the one night stand mentality, you will not get results that way instead you will fall prey to scams and silly programs. Getting results requires that you put your heart in, and invest time and effort into your fitness like you would for a long term serious relationship.

Warming up before working out – find out why you need to warm up

01:10 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

Most people have heard that they should warm up before working out but they do not warm up because they do not know why they should warm up. I often see guys just walk into the gym and head for the weights without stretching or warming up using a light workout that gets the blood flowing.

Warming up basically makes you perform better hence you will get more out of your lifts and you will perform better if you are an athlete. Warming up also helps to prevent unnecessary injuries which you would otherwise get if you did not warm up. I will go into more details about the two points I just mentioned above.

HOW DOES WARMING UP ENHANCE YOUR LIFTING AND ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE


As the term warming up literally states that is what you are doing, you are engaging in a short activity before you begin you workout to warm your muscles. You do this by increasing your heart rate which then pumps more blood into your body, increased blood flow leads to increased body temperature. The increased blood flow means that there is more oxygen available for use by your body, in this case your muscles; this in turn leads to a boost in lifts and athletic performance.

image by arztsamui

AVOIDING SILLY INJURIES


If you could prevent a muscle tear or any other kind of muscle injury that you got while working out, or while doing your favourite sport you would right? It turns out that something as simple as stretching and warming up can help prevent that injury that keeps you on the sidelines for months or that injury that prevents you from doing certain exercises because you damaged that muscle while working out.

Most acute muscle tears happen when you suddenly put force or cause tension to a muscle that is not ready (It’s like expecting to go from 0-90 mph without changing gears, this is not a perfect example but you get the point). Cold muscles are like new Prestik (a white reusable putty-like adhesive used to stick charts on walls) it is stiff and rigid at first and it no good for sticking charts but once you stretch it for a couple minutes  and increase its internal kinetic energy ( increase temperature) it becomes flexible and it stick to the wall and chart paper. So just like the Prestik you need to stretch and warm up your cold rigid muscles in so doing help them become more flexible so that they can handle more stress without tearing.

TIME SPENT WARMING UP IS TIME WELL SPENT


It does not take too long to get warmed up, you can start by mimicking the movement you would make when you are using weights without the weights first so that you make the muscle ready for the type of movement that you are about to do, you can add light warm up weights before your actual workout. These are just a few examples of what you could do, there is a whole bunch of other warm up techniques you could learn about, the basic idea is to spend a few minutes before you actual workout visualising what you are about to do, warming you muscle and letting them get used to the type of motion they will be in during the workout so that there is no sudden unexpected forces from the muscles point of view. It only take 10 minutes to warm ups whereas recovery from injury can take anything from a few weeks to a couple of months just because you act a fool.  

Get crazy 8 pack abs – abs exercises part 5

14:25 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments


This is the final post of the get crazy 8 pack abs series of posts. I will explain how to do the final 4 abdominal exercises to add some variation to your abs workout routine. Again as I have mentioned in some of the other posts in this series, I am not a fan of doing too many abs exercises at once, I like to do maybe 4 or less at a time.

A great plan is to have 2 abs workout days per week if you are not one of those people who like working out abs every other day, during these abs workout days you could do all 4 abs exercises and break them up into a few sets of not too high reps (for example 10-20reps of 3-4 sets for each exercise) or you could do two abs exercises per workout day but this time have very high reps and fewer sets (1-2). The idea is to get the most out of the exercises so that you do not waste your time and you get the results you want using an effective method that works best for you.

how to get 8 pack abs


So let us get down to business, the workouts that I will describe in this post are a mixture of simple and difficult exercises depending on your fitness levels and core strength, like all other abs exercises as the number of reps increases the difficulty increases as your abs start to burn and you start sweating.

Abs Workout Number 5:


Leg climbs – You have lie on your back flat as if you were about to do a sit-up the bend your knees so that your feet are touching the ground, lift on leg up as straight as possible then wake up as you would for a sit-up but this time grab you leg and climb it until you reach your toes then go back to starting position. Once you are done with your set, change legs for the next set and repeat.

Vertical leg raises – I like the leg raises, they serve the same purpose as the hanging leg raises without the hanging from a bar part. You have to lie on your back to do these, then if you have a partner ask them to stand by your hear with you head between their legs and you hands holding their legs for support and stability. Next you have to lift your legs straight up until they are vertical or touch your partners’ hands (your partner must place their hands at the end position of your movement, this also makes sure you do not kick them somewhere else on their body) and then go back to starting position. To make exercise more challenging you could make the starting position the point where your legs are just about to touch the floor.

Reverse Bicycles – Reverse bicycles are the same as the bicycle exercise I described in one of the previous posts of this series but the difference is you go in the opposite direction. Basically you sit on the floor with your buttocks being the only part of you touching the floor (you can use your hands for support if you cannot find balance), you upper body should be leaning back and you bent legs should be raised. To begin exercise all you have to do is to move your legs in a cycling motion as if you were paddling your bicycle backwards.
   
In & outs – This workout is simple all you have to do is to sit down on the floor with your upper body leaning towards the back and your arms supporting you so you don’t fall on your back, your legs must be in the air. All you do next is to bend your legs and bring them towards your upper body then move them away from your upper body whilst straightening them without putting them on the floor. The aim is to continuously bend and straighten you legs whilst they are in the air so as to increase difficulty and give your core a real good workout.

GO BACK TO PART 4  

The intermittent fasting bulk - update

22:20 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

Its been a couple of weeks since I have been doing this intermittent fasting thing and combining it with compound exercises in the hopes of bulking up.  Ideally combining these two systems would produce great results, because it would allow me to add mass slowly over time while not adding as much fat as the bulk and cut type of combo used by body-builders and most people who want to gain mass.

Changing of workout days - Inconsistency


I have not been working out abs as I have in the previous months but that is not my concern right now. I have been working out 3 days a week doing compound exercises but I have been mixing up days, the plan was to have a day in between workouts for example I would have to workout Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays but I have been having a hard time doing that. I have often gone a couple days with out workout out like I would workout Monday and then maybe Thursday and Sunday if I don't workout Saturday which would mean I could only workout Tuesday.
couple of weeks of intermittent fasting

Fluctuating energy levels


I have fluctuating energy levels, sometime I have lots of energy and my workouts are amazing, and my day is amazing but sometimes my energy levels are non-existent and I feel tired and slow, so its either I do not workout that day or I force a workout out of me and it is usually horrible and I struggle to lift the weights. This has been the reason I've had to change the days I workout sometimes to accommodate for the lack of energy.
intermittent fasting bulk

Contributing factors


I have been having a hard time sleeping in the past couple of weeks so that is the main reason my my whole routine has gone bonkers, not sleeping or having enough rest leads to fatigue and a general slowness associated with fatigue. Maybe my meal timing also has a contributing factor especially if I eat less than an hour before I workout on other days or If I am not really active and the food has not gotten absorbed yet before my workout, leaving me feeling without strength and energy during my workout.
my intermittent fast

Action plan


I am going to try and sleep earlier than usual now, and I will be looking for foods which are more energy boosters before my workouts, I will start drinking coffee again( I had stopped drinking coffee a couple weeks ago as-well that could be a contributing factor in my energy drain). I guess I had too many things going on at once.

 I feel I would have gotten better results if I had been following a consistent schedule but I'm am pleased non the less with what I have seen so far, as I become more consistent and rest more and play around with meal timing I will see what works best for me, It is all about trying things out and tweaking them to suit you.

The reason why body weight exercises don’t make you bigger

04:02 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

I am a fan of body weight exercises; I have been a fan since I was a little kid. I was just like any kid, if I saw a guy beating bad guys up on TV I couldn't wait till the next day so I could try those moves out myself. These movies usually used to start off with a guy getting his ass whooped by some bullies or bad  guys, then they would train  hard or find a master to mentor them,  a little time would pass by and these guys would be ripped and masters of martial arts using only their body weight to look that good.

Now you are probably wondering why I’m going on and on about typical olden day action movie, I will tell you how watching these movies led  to giving me a wrong impression of how to go about doing body weight exercises and how you can use body weight training effectively to gain as much muscles as you can.

The reason for you not being able to lift actual weights may be that you are only looking to be fit and strong while still looking decent without having to pay for a gym membership or buying your own weights , you live far from a gym or you work/travel and don’t find time for going to a gym.

will smith I am legend pull-up
Body-weight training Will Smith Pull Ups I am Legend.

Why action movies give wrong impression on getting in great shape


You see when you watch an action movie or those Bruce Lee, Rocky, Jean Claude type movies, you will often see guy go from average to amazing shape but you hardly see them doing any actual weight lifting, they do martial arts, boxing type training and you see them doing mostly stuff you think you can do at home to look like them, only to find out that you do not get the same results as them. Some of the stuff they do there in those movies to improve their toughness is stuff we won’t be able to do because most people just cannot take the pain, or dedicate each and every day to only improving their conditioning. We only see them doing bodyweight exercises and a lot of cardio, and mind and body (concentration) type training, so their bodies are in tune with their minds, that works but what we don’t see is the that those guys also did weighted workouts (specifically Van Damme and Stallone), Just doing bodyweight training would never have given them their size and even if they did mostly bodyweight  training the characters that is, they would need to be difficult targeted workouts which I will talk about next.

Why doing the same old body weight exercises for high reps just won’t cut it


Doing push-ups will only get you so far, the truth is you get used to them and it becomes a matter of doing more and more and more... just to get the same results you got at the beginning with lower reps. It is the same for dips, squats, lunges, crunches, pull-ups/chin-ups, you get used to all of those exercises and it becomes more about endurance than actual muscle building, its like a bodyweight exercise marathon, now tell me the last time you saw a buff champion marathon runner?   Now if you go with this strategy of increasing your reps, and you like it that is fine maybe you are aiming for the world record, but for people with no time who want results the time it takes to complete a workout is an important factor but the effectiveness of the workout is also an important factor.

How to maximise the effectiveness of bodyweight training to get bigger


To increase effectiveness, and get the same or better results in less time, and ultimately gain more muscle we need to split the reps up first to begin with, we need to do them at a high intensity to get the most burn, or alternate between high intensity and normal pace when doing these workouts. I mean going hard and fast for your first set of 20 push-ups or whichever body weight exercise then in the next set going slower at a steady controlled pace as you now feel the burn that your previous set did not allow your body to register. Let’s say about 4 sets each exercise( this is just an example of how you can increase the effectiveness). Please note that we are still doing these exercises with our bodyweight only, so that we get used to controlling our body as we do these exercises, we learn to do these exercises properly and we improve basic fitness and gain some strength in the process.

After gaining all the benefits of simply doing bodyweight exercises and we have become accustomed to lifting our own bodyweight, the exercises simply become inefficient in  further improvement except for maintenance purposes. So what do we do? Do we stop doing body weight exercises or continue doing them to maintain the body and strength we have built up till that point? The answer is no we continue to find something to challenge our body; we have now acquired the necessary skill set and strength to move on to the next level of difficulty. What is this next level of difficulty you ask? Hehe, do not worry I will tell you...

The next level of difficulty for effective body weight training


At this point everything you have been doing has been preparing you for this level. In this level of bodyweight training, you will now add weights on your back or hold them between your legs depending on the exercise for example if you are doing squats(weights on your back), pull-ups/chin-ups(weight between legs/weight on back), push-ups(weight on back), and you will hold a weight at the back of your head or on your chest if you are doing crunches. The weight can be a back pack filled with heavy thick objects or anything you can find to create a weighted effect so that it becomes more difficult for you to do the bodyweight exercises.

The heavier the weight you carry the greater the amount of difficulty, but also the more strength and muscle that you will gain. When it comes to abs you will be able to now do the hanging legs raises with your legs lifting to the bar from which you hang, instead of stopping at just above a 90degree angle to the body (legs/knees parallel to floor). There are various other more difficult abs workouts, if you are a freak and want test your core strength like the human flag which requires strong lats and core but I’m not an extremist and I will not even think of trying such things. For legs you can even try one legged squats and for people who like difficulty as you gain strength you could try one arm pull-ups/chin-ups and one-arm push-ups to challenge you, that's what I call extreme strength and fitness, more impressive than any lift.

That would the end of today’s post I hope I have given you some ideas of how to get the most out of your bodyweight training, to maximise your strength and weight gains. Final note, these exercises will also help you if you eventually find time or move elsewhere close to a gym or find a way to pay for a gym membership, they will help you lift heavier (increased strength and grip strength) and become bigger.

Why I change my workouts every now and then

22:03 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

Changing your workout every now and then is needed, it gives you a chance to do a workout that targets different muscles then the workout prior to it. It gives you a chance to align your current goals for your body, be it getting ripped where you would be engaged in more cardio than your bulking oriented workout or a workout that is more focussed at increasing specific body part such as shoulders, chest, arms (this does not mean you do not work out your other body parts) etc.


I like changing my workout plan but not too often because I like to at-least do a certain workout long enough to see if it brings about any changes in strength, muscle growth or fat burning. If you don't give a workout enough time, you may never know its true potential, some workouts work better than others, whereas others just take more time depending on the body-part you are targeting. It is hard to see the progress in body-parts such as your legs and back in the early days, if you are working a certain body-part out most growth is not noticeable but then one day it becomes what to want it to be because all that little growth adds up.

image by Chrisroll
Sometimes we become obsessed with the scale and notice that our mass has not changed and we often think the workout is not doing anything, in the early stages you may gain muscle and lose fat and some water so even though the workout is working you would not notice because you still weigh the same the last time you weighed yourself.

A couple of weeks ago I was getting bored to my old workout which was a 5 day split, and I also felt it was not best suited for my current goals so I changed it to a 3 day compound exercise focused workout plan, one similar to the workout I used to gain my first 10kg(22lbs) before I switched to body-part per day workout.  

And lastly I like changing my workout every now and then because I get bored easily, especially if I'm always doing the same workout for more than 8 weeks. I do not want my body to get used to the workouts and stop responding, I want my muscles to continue developing. Yes I can challenge my muscles using the same workouts by changing rep ranges and increasing weight but I can only do that for so long. 

I like change, I like new things and experimentation but most of all I'd like to continue developing, both physically and in the acquisition of new knowledge

My first week of intermittent fasting

18:32 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

It has been just over a week since I started using intermittent fasting to lean out, and to gain lean muscle. I can say that the results are already visible even though it's only been a week. I have lost some weight, even though that was not the plan it had to happen, I am not sure yet whether it is mostly water or fat that I have lost or the combination.


Water-loss & fat-loss

                                                 Image: chainat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What makes me say it could be a combination of fat and water loss is that I have been losing a lot of water which has dehydration as a side effect because I was not drinking enough water lately. I have also noticed that my muscles are tighter, and Its gotten hard for me to inflate my stomach because my abs have been feeling tight(the skin around them). Also my arms, chest and legs are tight giving me that lean look, what that means is that I look skinnier (smaller) than before but now all my gains will be lean muscle even though they might take more time.

How the compound workouts and Intermittent fasting complement each other


My new compound exercise routine has had a hand in the tightness of my muscle I believe, so this combo is working really well so far, I am expecting good results. I know it is a bit early but signs are positive. In terms of me adapting to the intermittent fasting eating style I have found that since I stopped eating in the mornings, whenever I eat, the food that I eat is used more effectively, meaning not matter how large the portion I eat I feel like it is being used to the max (or close to the max) by the body since I spend so many hours without eating, after meals my stomach remains flat.  I am also satisfied by the food I eat now, I do not feel the need to eat a lot (which may cause me to consume less calories good for fat loss, not so much for muscle gain), but I am trying to eat most of my carbs after my workout.

I will post pictures to show progress soon, and I will post and update, every now and then to document my progress.

Tall fitness guys - workout inspiration

03:04 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

It is harder for tall guys to pack on lean muscle to the point were they look good. It becomes even harder if that tall guy is a hard gainer but it is possible to look ripped and shredded even though the taller you are the more muscle you will have to put on. The long frame of tall guys makes it difficult but not impossible to fill with good lean muscle, that is why today I am going to share some pictures of some tall fitness model the tall dudes can model themselves after, so as to get a general idea of what is achievable and to give you some inspiration, a target to aim at.

3 tall top fitness models :

Matus Valent - This Slovakian has hit the fitness world by storm ever since he moved to California. He is 6'3" tall and has managed to build a great aesthetic body despite his size. It does not mean if you are tall you should be bulky.


matus valent tall fitness models
Matus Valent 6 pack abs




Jed Hill - another really tall fitness model who is killing it in fitness modelling. He also stands at 6'3" tall.

Jed hill tall fitness models
Jed Hill tall fitness models


 Obi Obadike - one of the top fitness guys in the world, constantly on magazine covers month after month. Also considered the most ripped fitness model. He used to be an athlete (sprinter)  in his high school and college days, so he knows how to get in shape (who am I kidding this guy is in top shape 365days a year, always cover ready). He stands at 6'2".

obi obadike tall fitness models
Obi Obadike tall fitness model


It does not matter what kind of physique you have, or how tall or short you are, you can train towards attaining a physique that is impressive to others and one that satisfies you. Just check out a guy wit a similar build and height as you and work towards that, when you get lazy just google your role model or whom ever you want to look like and say to yourself that, this person never got here by being lazy. You can do it!

How you can build a physique like that

Rusty Moore from Fitness Black Book has an awesome program that helps average guys build the fitness model hollywood type physique that will help you pull those chicks instead of scaring them, if getting such a physique interests you, go check out his free video and see if this is the program for you.

A FREE VIDEO ON HOW TO ADD AESTHETIC MUSCLE AND GET THE HOLLYWOOD LOOK

 NOTE: Click on the picture above and watch video #4
 

Crazy 8 pack abs workout - part 4

19:49 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

Its been a while since I have broken down some abs exercises, so today I am going to share how to do the next 4 workouts in the 20 abs exercises you can do to get 8 pack abs series. The reason I did not just share them all at once is that I believe you should not do too many different abs exercises at the same time, its good to focus on a few and kill it! That way you get results, when you do change your abs workout, those new workouts will work wonders for you since you will not be used to them.
  

Here are some tips/methods of doing the following abdominal exercises:

celebrities with 8 packs

  • Wide leg sit-ups

    - you have to lie flat on your back for this one, straighten your legs and spread them so that there is a distance between them. Place one hand behind your hand, if its your left hand then raise your right hand straight above, wake up as you would for a normal sit-up, when your upper body is vertical your hand is still above your head then reach for your left toe and go back to starting position. Now switch hands and do the same, this time with your left hand, you touch your right toe.
  • V-ups

    - oh boy these are test for your abdominal strength, these like the jackknife sit-up exercise work both your lower and upper abs at the same time. I love how after doing a few of these, I feel like I have done hundreds of sit-ups. So to begin lie on the floor with your arms extended behind your head and you feet together. Keep your legs straight and then raise the up as you raise your upper body up, touch your toes and lower your legs down slowly with control, try to pulse up age just before your upper body and legs touch the floor to make it more challenging to get that extra burn.
  • Oblique v-ups

    - these are extremely difficult to perform but are a great exercise to target obliques. You first have to lie on your side, and make an angle of not more than about 30 degrees (small angle).      If you are lying on your right side first then place you right arm close to your body so that your elbow touches the ground as support and the palms of your hands face down. Your left hand is on your head. To start raise  your upper body, your legs as high as you can at this angle and then go back to starting position, instantly pulse up again for your next rep to maintain rhythm. When you are done with your first set switch sides and do the same thing.
  • Mason Twists

    - This one is a killer as well, it starts off pretty easy but when you reach the higher reps it starts to really burn. I have not talked about reps for the others because you will do the amount of reps you can handle, but for this one I have to say that you must do very high reps for it to be effective. Don't stop until it starts to burn and even then push a little harder until you are close to failure. For this on you sit on you buttocks while your legs are as straight as possible and not touching the floor. Your upper body is also raised and not touching the floor. You put your hands together in front of you and start twisting to your sides, touching the floor with your joined fists in and alternating movement.
To go back to part 3 click here

The 3 kinds of people when it comes to personal fitness

14:15 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

A thought came across my mind yesterday when I was getting my daily dose of fitness information from other blogs, I like reading how other people get in shape, I like learning about their diets and what has worked for them in terms of workout frequency. I also like to see how different people stay motivated. And so this lead me to this  post, I would like to further talk about how your personality in terms of studies and studies is related to how you approach fitness and your fitness education.
   

When it comes to learning we all have different ways of taking in information and then putting it to use, it is sort of like problem based learning for example when you are out of shape you should not just learn about losing weight but you should be implementing what you learn along the way so that your learning actually helps you to get into shape. 

hard work pays off
What I want to focus on today is how we prefer to do our learning, as the title of this post says, I want to talk about fitness personalities, the 3 kinds that are most common. 

First there is the kind that needs to be spoon fed like in high school where most of your teach give you basically all the resources to pass and you hardly do anything by yourself, in fitness you can compare this to people who need to buy a step by step workout instruction book that has everything written down for them, which makes it easier to follow.

Then there is the kind of person who has the school teacher but needs additional help like a tutor to help them understand better so that they have more time focussed on the subject, these people in fitness are the kinds that get personal trainers for a more one on one approach, they actually need to be pushed and told what to do to achieve their fitness goals.

Then there is the third kind of person, the person who does not pay attention in class because they prefer studying at home by themselves or the person who reads all the resources before they are thought, this person often seeks out their own extra resources and usually thrive at a university level or at things they are passionate about. In fitness you can compare this person to someone who like experimenting and doing their own thing, prefers to set up their own workout plan based on findings from the research they have been doing, whether its reading peoples blogs or health and fitness magazines.

You have to figure out which type of person you are and do what is best for you whether it means doing some research, buying an ebook or hiring a personal trainer, as long as you are actually using that rasource and  working out. 

Get a body like Peter Mensah - Peter Mensah Workout

14:50 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

Peter Mensah from the Spartacus series spots one of the best bodies in entertainment. Part of the reason he has such a lean muscular body is because he has been doing martial arts since he was a kid and naturally by doing martial arts he developed a lean flexible physique and a set of ripped abs.

Peter Mensah Spartacus Workout

peter mensah workout
ripped to shreds in spartacus

Even though Peter was already lean and in great shape for Spartacus, he too did some extra training with the Spartacus crew, their goal was for the main actors, the Gladiators to have well toned athletic muscle, functional muscle so they could move fast and look impressive during the various action scenes.


These guys really trained like gladiators, they used a combination of body-weight exercises and free weight focusing on the basic compound exercises. They even sent all the actors to a gladiator boot camp 3 (which included cardio as well as core training) weeks before filming started to get the actors into an even better condition.
peter mensah gladiator trainer.
peter mensah spartacus

They trained for up to four hours every 

morning doing the following bodyweight and 

compound exercises:


  • Dead-lifts
  • Squats
  • Bent over rows
  • Lunges
  • Bicep curls
  • Pull-ups
  • Dips
  • Kettle-bell raises
  • Push-ups/Side planks combo
To look that ripped they also had intense cardio training which involved functional cardio training like sessions on the rowing machine, medicine ball throws, mountain climbers and shuttle runs.

This must have been one of the toughest jobs because it included intense workouts, plus acting and including the action scenes. Obviously Peter and the guys of Spartacus must have had to eat a lot of food with energy, such as energy shakes but their diet had to be low calorie at the same time to allow for fat loss, so they stayed away from sugars and alcohol beverages such as beer.

Spartacus Gladiator Camp Video





How you can get a physique like this:


Well if you are a beginner and want to gain muscle fast in a methodical progressive manner then check out these 10 ways to gain muscle fast and have a look at an alternative style of burning fat, using intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is not for everyone just look through the article to see if its your cup of tea.

Going back to weightlifting basics combined with intermittent fasting

12:51 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

Intermittent fasting/compound workouts combo


Compound lifts are said to be the best exercises for whole body growth and gains in strength. I wanted to go back to the basics of lifting because they are what I initially used to gain weight the first time around. I am reverting back to a 3 day workout plan, in which I will do a whole body workout playing around with the reps during each of those days. In most of these exercises I will not do more than 10 reps and a lot of the workouts will only be 5 reps (3 to 5 sets). I am using information I have being reading from the lean gains blog and a sample workout for mass gaining I found while reading Men's Health magazine.


So even though I wrote a post about my new intermittent fasting diet a couple of days ago, I started doing it a couple days before that. I was so excited and wanted to see how it would work for me, I want to see If I will make lean gains while maintain a low body fat, while also increasing my strength. I will share progress regarding this in the coming weeks/months.

crazy ripped 6 pack abs
lean muscle - ultimate physique
I break my fast at about 12pm everyday and I eat again at about 4pm an hour or hour and a half before I workout, then I usually have my biggest meal at around 8pm which just so happens to be my last meal followed by my 16hour fast. I like having 3 big meals since I want to gain mass. As I said before we will see where this program takes me.

The whole body workout I spoke about consists of only these exercises, 3 times a week: Dumbbell clean press, barbell bench press, barbell squat, dead lift, Pull-ups, bent over row, and barbell curl. I train abs on days when I am not doing the whole body workout.

These are links to other related post on this topic:

Intermittent fasting to shed fat
My first week experience with intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting bulk update
The end of 6 weeks of intermittent fasting and bulking combo
The winning formula for making lean gains

My new fasting plan to shed the fat

07:21 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments

So a few days ago I found a really cool post, which inspired me to look into intermittent fasting as an option to shed fat and gain lean muscle over time. My current method of gaining was leaving me feeling a little heavy and a bit on the fat side, I was not as ripped as I wanted to be but that what you usually have to sacrifice to gain some mass. Now imagine how happy I was to find out I could be lean and gain lean mass simultaneously.

 So now I too have decided that I will skip breakfast and fast for 16hours a day(because that about as long as I can handle being without food) and eat during the last 8 hours of the day. So I will fast from 8pm (which is when I will have my last meal of the day) till about 12pm, which is when I will have my first meal of the day, then I will eat sometime between 12 and 8pm, probably at about 4pm and finally my last meal will be at around 8pm. My diet consists of mainly carbs and protein, but a high percentage of carbs especially on workout days because I need the energy and I'm trying to get bigger.

I'm always tempted to drop the whole 85kg plan to see how I would look if I got completely ripped but I feel it will be worth the effort in the end being ripped at around 85kg. I reckon I'm close to that weight now but I have too much fat that is why I wanted to get to 90kg to cut, but since I'm trying fasting out, maybe I could go straight to cut 85kg without the need to go to 90kg then cutting.