Nothing’s Worse Than a Busted Shoulder
Weight training programs that focus on moving heavy weight through a single plane of motion leave many bases uncovered when it comes to functional strength and joint stability. It’s quite possible to develop super-strong and ultra-sculpted shoulders with free, multiplanar motion. You begin by palming two weight plates and assuming an athletic-ready position:
Locked and Loaded
1. Skim the Meniscus
2. Throw the Discus
You look in the mirror to check form, not to admire muscle definition or despise figure.
It Takes Years of Dedication
The Disc Drive Series can be a useful way to become immensely strong. Practice the techniques demonstrated in each of the blog entries and you’re well on your way to a pro-form physique. The path to a peaking vessel is years long, and has no particular end. You go through your routines and before long, it’s automated–the highest level of systems functioning. Don’t let stagnation, discouragement or social distraction derail you. No one wants this for you as bad as you do; it’s one of the universal inequalities in life. So sink your teeth in, and plan on having tenacity.
Always The Upstanding Citizen
Grab two plates…hold on tight.
Get a Grip–Now Walk Forth, Young Man
Different foot strikes indicate a stability challenge, as well.
Make sure to take even paces, with shoulders pinned back.
Just Think: Age 30 will be my most athletic year…
Chin up. Shoulders back…this is Charm School, sucka!
So, let’s make this harder, ey?
Doubling the stack width coupled with added surface viscosity places increased demand on the gripping muscles.
The Farmer’s Walk
I can’t tell you how many exercises I take my clients through that could be more effective with improved grip strength. I’ve known this since somewhere near the beginning of my personal training career nearly 8 years ago. Clients would complain of searing, burning pain focused in the forearms, elbows and hands when performing lat pull-downs and rows; dead-lifts were a near impossibility; heavy weight couldn’t be moved without the use of wrist straps.
Your appendages and digits are your most literal translation of the tactile world outside. You get full neural input of the resistances placed on your frame when you are in direct touch with them. The Farmer’s Walk forces you to squeeze with all your might and to manage an efficient posture while swaying. This is truly a strength-building exercise.
1. Grip the rims of two weight plates using just finger tips. Hold them by your sides.
2. Stand up super tall and let the arms hang down, with a little stiffness in the elbow to avoid hyper-extending.
3. Walk forwards as far as you can until you feel like the grip is about to slip!
4. Hold on for dear life and take a few more steps for good measure.
5. Progress to stacked plates when you become bored with the traditional version.
6. Total 4 sets, mixed into core work (gluteus, abs, trunk, etc.)
Questions, comments or concerns, e-mail:
Time to Get Even: Side Bends
Half a Parabola
Bend and Extend
Keep It Close to the Heart
OK, Diver Down!
“On the Rise”
Burn It Out and Let It Hang
The Key to 6-Pack Abs:
Frequent Cardio: this is not new information.
Intense Weight Training: this is not new information.
Durable Nutrition: this needs to be the focus. I am willing to guarantee, that if you put yourself on a diet where you only eat foods that were grown within a 150-mile radius of where you live, you will lose the unwanted weight that you have.
Adequate Rest (see “Rest” on the Blog): habitual small abuses (frequent, small alcohol intakes; environmental pollutants; restless nights, food toxins, etc.) drain the body of its vitality. If you rejuvenate (see “Rejuvenate” on the blog), you’ll look great.
Repetitive Routines: Successful busy-ness hinges on systems. Be a corporate monolith of consistency and the pounds just melt away and evaporate *(gone forever; into mist)
Set the Intention: what are you going to do?
Change Speeds: you have to do sport; bottom line. Milling about on cardio machines is linear and unshocking. Pick up a floor-hockey stick or relive your glory days in an adult recreational soccer league.
Do all these things, and expand to your Volume!
Oh, and about the slideshow we just saw:
Side Bends are some of the riskiest, and therefore most rewarding, abdominal exercises you can perform. The vertebral column is designed to be stacked straight up. So imagine little pin cushions sitting atop each bone in the column…As you crunch in, you smear the pressure of the bones unevenly across the cushions and it literally smushes the cushion. When you flex your side across the frontal plane, it can really pinch unevenly to one side. The spinal discs contain nerve jelly within its walls, and the last thing you want is some of that squirting out of a rupture.
The upside is that laterally flexible people will be able to really develop their core by stretching the psoas, TFL, QL, lats, IT Bands and pec minor. It also hardens the body by challenging you to overcome inertia and move weight with no appendages. Here’s the program:
Set 1: body, 15-25 reps each side (stability challenges like bird-doggin’ a side plank better prepare the body for the variability of actual exercise repetition. It turns a general warm-up, into a specific warm-up).
Set 2: Plus 12kg, 12 reps each side.
Set 3: Remain neutral, select the same weight. 15 unilateral reps and challenge the depth.
Set 4: Grab a 45, 4-6 reps each side.
Stretch: Hip Flexors, Abs and Quads
Questions, comments or concerns, e-mail:
Twist & Shout: The Barbell Swivel
Alright. I’ma, like, hurl this thing…
(*brain teaser: how many triangles can you find in this picture?)
Your core is EVERYTHING
…are you strong?
Swinging for extra bases…doubles or better. Shoot it to the gap…
Six-pack abs? What can they DO?
Centered! New Balance!
Move Your Feet
(What’s Wrong With This Picture?)
If you guessed “distended rectus abdominis”…you’re right!!! The most common cause of ineffective abdominal work is lack of proper core engagement. Here, I failed to contract my deep core stabilizers and thus my “six-pack” turns into a “turtle shell”. Whether you’re doing a standard Crunch or a complex move, like a Barbell Swivel, if your deep core stabilizers are not online, your exercise is rendered utterly ineffective 🙁
I risk a hernia, bulged vertebral disc or torn muscle in my core rotators. The more you know about exercise, the longer the athletic career you’ll have. Even toying around with a 10-pound weight plate, you can suffer a devastating back injury.
Now Load Up!
++take note: When bending over, the author uses the “off-hand” (left) as a kickstand to support a hefty upper frame…perfect spinal alignment almost guarantees no repetitive stress injuries to the back or hips.
Shoulder Striation (after years of work)
Follow-Thru is Key
Thank you, Sir!… May I Have Another?!
This Is It:
Please look at my feet.
They are such beautiful sneakers: MADE IN USA!!!
1. Stand up tall
2. Hold a standard olympic barbell at arms length
3. Use only the core muscles to swivel the bar side-to-side
4. Fancy footwork ensures spinal safety
5. Each time the core rotates, you must “catch” the bar softly and redirect it!
6. Add weight as needed
Muscles to Stretch: Psoas, Iliopsoas, Quadriceps, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Maximus, Rear Deltiods, Scalenes and Trapezius
It comes down to sheer will. Determination… I could easily quit, OR I could overcome difficulty and get the job done. One results in one, while the other results in the other–get me?
If you have been following this blog, then you are two moves away from rut-busting freedom!! Share this link with friends, family and colleagues, as your support structure ultimately determines the likelihood of your success!
I’m here to tell you that “it” is hard work. Whatever “it” is: GO GET “IT”!!! My workout is the most challenging part of my day. If–by some chance–my body happened to be in order without hard work behind it, then I’d find some other insurmountable task to excel at (finance, law, etc.). Turns out I value longevity, strength, mindfulness and discipline. Thus, physical training is uniquely suited for me. Find your values, and pursue perfection within them without compromise–there is your greatness…
*author found 13 triangles
Q & A
This Is How They Greet Each Other
Enthusiastic, Heart-felt Love
Glad to See You, Pal!
Don’t Start Looking Apathetic, now…
They Might See Us!!
They Might See Us…
There…We Got It Back.
1. Love Somebody You Love the Way They Like To Be Loved
Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
What will that look like? How do they envision it? Where does true understanding occur? Finishing the picture in someone’s head is truly difficult, so we give our best guess. Expectations are a prism of speculation; no two will match. Talk it out and connect with the reasons why their expectations looked the way they looked. Achieve this, and you’ve formed a connection that will last a lifetime.
Q & A
Hmm, how do I get this 12 Kg plate from over-my-head to-the-left, to beside me on the right? Hmm…
Focus on the Footwork
The Multi-Planar Lunge is one of fitness’ greatest challenges. It focuses on the entire body, while moving the limbs through three different planes of motion. It stabilizes the ankle and hip with powerful pivots, while developing spatial and proprioceptive awareness with optimal structural alignments.
It’s All In the Hips
You End Up Looking Like a Heiroglyphics Character
Step by Step
1. Elevate the plate, pivot the back leg to face torso to plate.
2. Initiate movement with the pivot foot, open the angle at the hip and begin the plate’s descent.
3. Allow the arms to fall straight as the plate swoops its way across the pendulum of your body.
4. Let the weight bottom out in the middle.
5. Transfer the force with a counter pivot and whip the pendulum through your midsection.
6. Allow the plate to freely fly upward to the opposite side.
7. Ride the transition and catch it high.
8. Reverse kinetic orientation and repeat.
Repeat on Both Sides as Directed
Integrated within the same workout as the Chop Squat, the Multi-Planar Lunge brings strength and athleticism together in gorgeous harmony. Master these moves and look for the next issue of the Disc Drive series to continue to build a better fitness program!
Q & A
Time to Clean Your Plate
Plate work is some of my favorite. Just like kettle bells, dumbbells and machines, plates are just another tool in the gym that I can use to shape my body in a totally unique way. The demands placed on the core are equivalent to working with kettle bells. The majority of moves are bi-lateral, so it offers the same potential for symmetry as the machines. Unlike dumbbells, however, plate manipulation requires more advanced skill probably gained through extensive exercise experience.
Where to Begin?
Chop Squat with Rotation
1. As the basis of working with plates, understanding the Chop Squat is critical.
2. Hold the plate bi-laterally (evenly balanced right to left). Choose the weight wisely.
3. Let the plate sway in an arc to better understand the mechanics.
4. Drive from the hips and lower back to propel the plate skyward along the arc.
5. Overcome inertia, knock it off axis and shift the center of gravity.
6. Lock in rhythm with the swaying pendulum.
7. One Max Effort hurls the plate skyward on an arc.
8. Catch it high.
9. Once elevated, observe the distribution of different downward forces on your body as the position of the plate changes overhead.
Big Wide Orbital Arc
The Laws of Physics: The longer the lever of the pendulum, the more force it takes to overcome inertia, accelerate and decelerate it.
10. Arms bone straight, collapse the hips, knees and vertebral rotators simultaneously as the plate scrapes the perimeter.
A Complete Collapse
11. Catch it low.
12. Allow your body to give into the force so that you can accurately calculate how hard to counter.
The change in direction is initiated at the waist and then transferred through the arms. Drive first with the gluteus on the side over which the plate falls. Sequentially fire the external obliques, the erectors and the [rear] deltoids. Stabilize the shoulder with the middle trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids and the muscles with scapular insertions.
Repeat In Sequence
Mastering Plate Chop Squats does a body good! Everything gets stronger; you become more flexible; your heart rate is jacked and it’s highly functional. Whether for recreation or pro-competition, Chop Squats build athleticism and physique, and conquer uncoordinated efforts and imbalances.
– Use Plate Chop Squats as part of your general warm-up prior to weight training
– Start with a light 5-pound plate and become acclimated to the mechanics
– Always use a mirror to observe yourself
– Do Three Sets of 15 repeats to each side with 30 seconds of rest between sets
See beauty in yourself and the world loves you all around. You are Beautifully Sculpted; evenly shaped. Have a grasp on your reality by touching something–it’s likely right there, in the same place at the same time…everyday. Celebrate the pendulum of your life. It’s time for the upswing.
Excerpt from “The Art of Exercise”
Q & A
Is your support system in place? Do you have special routines or systematic processes? How often do you analyze? What would be the next level on (such and such…)?
These are the questions that, if unasked, take away from the chances of having your communal, personal or professional vision materialize. But first, you must make a bold step and declaration! Put the same vision in others’ minds–the more who see the same pictures you do, the more satellites for transmission you have floating out there.
Here is a blend of ideas that can serve as a reminder that you literally make your own rules. You define what matters, and what doesn’t. And in your life, nothing is more consequential than your goals.
Reach For It
Every attempt you make brings you closer to your goal. Set the bar just a little higher, and the path will slowly come into focus.
Have a Grasp
Grip strength is an issue that every client faces. The system is only as durable as its outermost extension. Use smooth, heavy, paper thin plates for farmer walks and manual labor to get a grip.
Set the stage for your one true effort and spring forth. Swing momentum’s curve for leverage to gain repetitions.
Again, grip strength: how long can you hold on? Plus, when you weed the hands out as a limiting factor, major muscle movers plow the turf and promote wild growth.
V-Body with Lat Pulldows:
Forward Facing Grip Pulldowns: 2 Sets, light resistance, for reps. (rest :30)
Body Weight Pull-Ups: 5 Sets, 10+ repeats (rest :30)
Chin-Up Grip Pulldowns: 3 Sets, 12-15 repeats, Light Heavy resistance (rest :60)
Behind-the-Neck Pulldowns (*for those with adequate rotator cuff flexibility [external]): 2 Sets, light resistance, 12-15 repeats
*Nerve Flossing is also highly recommended.
Let Her Down Easy
Acrobatics: you never know when you’re gonna need them.
The Abs become the other axis…could you do a Muscsle-Up from here?
The ceilings are low, so a simple Reverse Push-Up with “feet on the table” will extinguish the core.
Stretch and Be Quartered
“Hang around” for the wonderful feeling of blood rushing to the nerves and connective tissue as they get a rare chance at visiting abysmal sites. A nourishing tide sweeps and flosses, delivering the goods (blood).
Q & A