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The Most Important Body Parts You're Neglecting So often, we allow the mirror to answer this question and dictate our training emphasis—chest, biceps, abs. It’s the “beach workout” and the reason most of us go to the gym—to look good naked.

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ut there are two fundamental problems with this. First of all, posture slowly goes to hell in a hand-basket. Overdeveloped mirror-muscles will internally rotate and slouch the shoulders and upper back and you’ll end up looking like a depressed gorilla. Second, the mirror muscles will eventually stop growing. You see, the body is smart. So smart, in fact, that it will actually prevent a muscle from developing if the antagonist is too weak. Even if your workout is perfect and your nutrition is perfect, your body won’t grow because it knows that you can’t handle the additional strength. Foiled again by the body's magnificent survival mechanisms. Knowing this, here are some exercises that you’ve been neglecting that will help address your posture and help you make progress in the weight room: EXTERNAL ROTATION Your two primary external rotators are your Infraspinatus and your Teres Minor. These are relatively small muscles that sit on top of your scapula (shoulder blade) and attach to the outside of the humerus (upper arm). When your arm is at your side and you externally rotate, the Infraspinatus does most of the work. When your arm is lifted 90 degrees at your side and you externally rotate, the Teres Minor does most of the work. Both of these muscles are extremely important for shoulder strength and stability as well as continued development of your strong internal rotators—the good ol' pecs. If your bench press has hit a plateau, try adding single arm seated external rotations to your

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routine. Keep your tempo slow and add a pause in the bottom position to make sure you’re properly engaging your external rotators and not throwing the weight up with extraneous movement. LOWER TRAP Many of us are upper trap dominant. Check your shoulders right now. I bet they’re elevated. When we sit, when we read, when we’re cold our shoulders have a tendency to elevate. It’s a natural protective mechanism. But in order to maintain good posture and at least appear to the world to have some semblance of confidence, we want our chest forward and our shoulders down and back. The lower portion of the trap, sometimes referred to as the Trap 3, needs to be strengthened in order to do this. Add bent over Trap 3 work to your routine to help maintain proper alignment. While leaning over an incline bench, relax your arm to your side, slowly shrug your shoulders up and continue the movement by raising the dumbbell overhead. Like the external rotation, I find that these superset well with an upper body push exercise or a lower body exercise.

Bench Press | Spring 2012

Tim Huntbach 212 Main Steet Jenkintown, PA 19046 247 Main Street Philadelphia, PA 19143

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Volume 4 | Spring 2012

PRESS Get in shape and lose weight

Contents

1 Cage Fitness 1 Chest Workout 2 Kettlebell 2 Treadmill Training 3 Weight Room Blunders 4 Neglected Body

Fight weight with 'Cage Fitness'

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ixed martial arts, also known as ultimate fighting, is one of the world’s fastest-growing combat sports. Bouts are fought in an octagon-shaped ring called a cage, and fighters use moves and techniques from various fighting disciplines, including karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and boxing. It’s quick, it’s brutal and it’s incredibly popular.

The 15-Minute Chest Workout If you have only 15 minutes to train, don’t mess around with fancy exercises that waste time. The best workouts aren’t always flashy—plenty of simple routines get the job done. We’ve got one that blasts your pecs with heavy weight and hits the muscle fibers from every important angle. Directions To keep the workout to 15 minutes, you’ll need to rush your warm-up on the bench press a bit. Steadily work up in weight, resting only as long between warm-up sets as it takes to change the plates. This hustle means you won’t be optimally prepared to lift your heaviest possible load for four to six reps—so you should therefore use a slightly lighter weight—but that’s the tradeoff for getting the workout done quickly. To minimize the problem, rest two minutes after your last warm-up set before you go heavy. 1) Bench Press SETS: 1 REPS: 4–6 2) Incline Dumbbell Press SETS: 1 REPS: 8–10 3) Parallel-Bar Dip SETS: 1 REPS: 12–15

Cage Fitness workouts mimic the structure of a championship MMA bout — minus the injury. Created by Matt Hughes, a nine-time world welterweight champion, Cage Fitness workouts are just 30 minutes, with five, fiveminute “rounds,” followed by a minute of rest. It’s high-intensity interval training, using familiar moves like squats, MMA-specific techniques like Kimura crunches, and a weighted fitness dummy for added resistance. Cage isn’t the only MMA-based fitness class – martial arts studios across the country are adding programs that promise to get students into fighting shape, without the impact. Team Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts and Fitness, in Arlington, Va., offers a ladies-only Ultimate Fitness Kickboxing class alongside its judo and boxing classes. And the MMA Fitness Drill class at Houston’s Paradigm Training Center promises to get students into “octagon shape.” It took Vanessa Yanez, of San Mateo, Calif., awhile to work up the nerve to try the Cage classes at Gold Medal Martial Arts. Yanez, a 40-year-old

mother of two, had seen the sessions, which started before her cardio fitness class. And they looked pretty intense. “While at first the class looked a little scary with the heavy bag and all, I found that I really liked the 30-minute aspect of it,” Yanez wrote in an e-mail. It was short enough, she added, where she wasn’t looking at the clock all the time. And: “The exercises end … unlike machine work or long-distance running, there is a reward every five minutes: Rest.” Each Cage workout starts with a warm up, and then moves quickly to an upper body round, a lower body round, a “combo” round, and then a cool-down, with core work. And every round wraps up with “ground and pound,” a 30-second flurry of punches into your fitness dummy.  “No matter how tired people are, they always get a huge burst of energy for the ‘ground and pound,’” said Jessy Norton, who helped design the Cage workout with Hughes. Cage and KiDo, a martial-arts-inspired cardio workout, helped Yanez lose 40 pounds. “More importantly, I’ve increased my endurance and muscle tone to where instead of someone who just works out, I feel like an athlete,” she said. Since its inception almost two years ago, Cage Fitness has expanded to over 280 martial arts schools, gyms, military bases and police academies. There’s also a home kit, which includes a weighted fitness dummy, gloves a training manual and seven DVDs for $349.

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B e 2012 nch Press | Bench Press | Spring May 2011


Make Treadmill Training Match the Real Thing

The mistakes you make running on a machine—and how to combat them

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his time of year, extreme weather and early morning darkness can send even the most hardcore runners inside. You might dread them, but treadmills provide a great outlet for maintaining fitness: The soft belt is easier on joints than concrete, you always hit the desired distance and there’s no cheating on pace. Still, the workout isn’t necessarily as great—mimicking hilly terrain is tough, doing intervals can feel inexact and your form can go out of whack.

YOUR FORM CHANGES

YOU CAN’T GO DOWNHILL

Treadmill running affects your proprioception, or sense of body in space—which can lead to a shorter stride and reduced range of motion. And some argue that hoofing it on a machine is a totally different motion than running on roads because you tend to just pick up your feet and put them back down on the belt rather than propelling yourself forward from the ground.

We consulted with several running experts to compile some tips to overcome the common pitfalls of treadmill running and keep all your indoor workouts up to speed.

The Cure: Beware of striking your heels and make sure you’re getting that push-off motion by running with a base with at least a two or three percent incline, advises Matt Barbosa, a coach for Chicago Endurance Sports and Fleet Feet Chicago.

More high-end models feature a decline setting, but it’s likely that the treadmill in your home or gym doesn’t. The problem with no downhill running? Your quads get off easy. Plus, it can cause you to run with bad form when you do pound the pavement. “A lot of people tend to overstride on the downhill,” explains Morris. “So if you’re on a treadmill and the quads and shins aren’t learning how to maintain proper downhill form, you’ll overstride when you go back outside.”

YOU LOSE TIME DURING INTERVALS Because it can take the machine up to 10 seconds to accelerate and decelerate, some time will slip away while you’re getting to goal speed for repeats. “You might lose a bit, but it’s not significant—unless you’re doing a super-short distance,” says Rick Morris, author of Treadmill Training for Runners. “But if you’re really strict about repeat and recovery times, the delay can throw it off.” The Cure: The goods news? The fix is easy. Simply clock the time it takes the treadmill to speed up and add those seconds to the end of the repeat; same goes for recovery sections. Better news: This is one instance when it is okay to keep the incline at zero percent, Morris says, to replicate the effect of running on a completely flat track.

The 20-Minute Fat-Burning Kettlebell Complex

The Cure: There’s no perfect way to replicate that muscle memory you gain going downhill, but adding some lunges and slow squats at the end of your exercise can supplement some of the upper-leg toning that you’re missing.

NO END IN SIGHT During a run outside, passing lines on a track or other visual cues lets you know how much distance remains and reminds you to run hard to that point. “Without that light at the end of the tunnel, intervals can get discouraging,” says Barbosa. The Cure: Some machines have virtual tours of real race courses to keep you engaged, and most include a 400-meter digital track. Pick up the pace for every other lap, or just imagine each loop like an actual track, with each corner as about 100 meters and each straight as 100 meters—and envision yourself stepping closer to the finish line.

Kettlebell training, for lack of a better word, is hardcore. Throw the concept of a circuit or “complex” into the mix and you're destined for elite level conditioning, strength and power. For those tired of waiting for free weights, machines, or are seeking a fresh and intense way to work out, we’ve asked Mike Stehle of Training Room Online in Avon, New Jersey for his prescription. All you need is one kettlebell and 20 minutes.

Advanced Athlete Complex

Intermediate Athlete Complex

Beginner Athlete Complex

10 Reps

Kettlebell Deadlifts

6-10 Reps Kettlebell Deadlifts

5 Reps

Kettlebell Deadlifts

10 Reps

Push-ups

10 Reps

Push-ups

5 Reps

Push-ups

10 Reps

Kettlebell High Pulls

6-10 Reps Kettlebell High Pulls

5 Reps

Kettlebell High Pulls

10 Reps

Push-ups

8 Reps

5 Reps

Push-ups

10 Reps

Two-handed Kettlebell Swings

6-10 Reps Two-handed Kettlebell Swings

5 Reps

Two-handed Kettlebell Swings

10 Reps

Push-ups

6 Reps

5 Reps

Push-ups

10 Reps

Goblet Squats

6-10 Reps Goblet Squats

5 Reps

Goblet Squats

10 Reps

Push-ups

4 Reps

5 Reps

Push-ups

Push-ups

Push-ups

Push-ups


OUCH!

Weight room blunders that can really hurt

Women are hitting the weight room in record numbers, and a new study found that weight-training injuries among women have jumped a whopping 63 percent. Here are the most common slipups and how to fix them, so you leave the gym strutting — not limping.

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HE MISTAKE: SKIPPING YOUR WARM-UP

You wouldn’t launch into an all-out sprint the second you stepped onto a treadmill, so you shouldn’t jump right into deadlifts the instant you hit the weight room. “Working cold, stiff muscles can lead to sprains and tears,” says Morey Kolber, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. “Warming up increases circulation and improves range of motion, which preps your muscles and joints for action.” The fix: “While opinions about static stretching may differ, a dynamic warm-up can decrease your risk for injury,” says exercise physiologist Marco Borges, author of Power Moves. After five to 10 minutes of walking or jogging, do 10 to 12 lunges and pushups (the bent-knee version is fine) before starting your routine.

THE MISTAKE: USING SLOPPY FORM Experts agree that proper form is the single most important factor in injury prevention, yet many women don’t give it a lot of thought —especially when they‘re in a rush. And women, thanks to their naturally wider hips, are more at risk for form-related injuries than men are: One study found that women had nearly twice as many leg and foot injuries as guys did. The fix: Before you begin any exercise, think S.E.A.K., says trainer Robbi Shveyd, owner of Advanced Wellness in San Francisco: Stand straight (head over shoulders; shoulders over hips; hips over feet), eyes on the horizon (looking down encourages your shoulders to round and your chest to lean forward), abs tight (as if you were about to be punched in the gut, but without holding your breath; this helps stabilize your pelvis), and knees over your second toe (women's knees have a tendency to turn in because of the angle created by wider hips, says Joan Pagano, author of Strength Training for Women).

THE MISTAKE: STRESSING OUT YOUR SHOULDERS As crazy as it sounds, women who lift weights tend to have less-stable shoulder joints than women who don’t lift at all, found a recent study. The reason: Doing too many exercises in which your elbows are pulled behind your body (think chest flies and rows) can overstretch the connective tissue in the front of the joints. If the backs of your shoulders are tight, you’re even more likely to overstretch the front, increasing the imbalance at the joint, says Kolber. The fix: Modify your moves. First, don’t allow your elbows to extend more than two inches behind your body. In the lowering phase of a bench press, for example, stop when your elbows are just behind you. Second, avoid positioning a bar behind your head. Bring the lat-pulldown bar in front of your shoulders,

and when you’re doing an overhead press, use dumbbells instead of a bar and keep the weights in your line of vision (meaning just slightly in front of your head).

THE MISTAKE: NEGLECTING OPPOSING MUSCLE GROUPS “Many women have strength imbalances, which can make them more prone to injury,” says Shveyd. Sometimes they're the result of your lifestyle (hovering over a desk all day, for example, tightens and weakens your hip flexors while your glutes become overstretched and inactive). Other times they’re caused by not working both sides of the body equally (say, focusing on moves that rely on your quads but not your hamstrings). The fix: For every exercise that works the front of the body (chest, biceps, quads), be sure to do an exercise that targets the rear (back, triceps, hamstrings). For instance, pair stability-ball chest presses with dumbbell rows, or step-ups with deadlifts.

THE MISTAKE: DOING TOO MUCH TOO SOON A lot of people think that more is better — more reps, more sets, more weight. But if you increase any of these things too quickly, your body may not be able to handle the extra workload. The fix: Practice a three-step progression. First, learn to do a move using only your body weight. “When you can do 15 reps with proper form, add weight,” says Pagano. Second, stick to one set with light weights for two weeks or until you feel comfortable with the move. And finally, when you can complete nearly all of your reps with proper form, add another set or more weight (increase weight by roughly 10 percent each time).

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B e 2012 nch Press | Bench Press | Spring May 2011

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An issue of my hypothetical newsletter, Bench Press.

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