Tag Archives: lifting weights

Intro to Power Bodybuilding

A few months ago, we tried introducing you to the Barstarzz, street workouts, and their body-weight exercises that can be performed in any neighborhood park. Ever since I saw that first Hannibal for King video in a New York City Subway, I was amazed by his relative strength and how he could manage his own weight so well. It was far more impressive than what most people can do in the gym, whether they are bodybuilders, powerlifters, crossfitters, triathletes, etc. Ever since that time, I’ve used their workouts a bit more in my own workouts to perform muscle ups (without kipping) and the human flag. It is a very practical strength.

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Now, it is time to take a whole new approach to staying in shape and introduce you to power bodybuilding and its founder, Mike O’Hearn. There is a good chance that you’ve seen him somewhere but just didn’t know who he is or what he does. I’m not going to tell you his whole life story or what I know of it because this is about power bodybuilding but there is a chance I’ll talk more about him in the future. We will be in Los Angeles next week so maybe I’ll go to The Mecca at 4 a.m. and see him there. Before we get started, I support power bodybuilding because I sort of it did it without knowing it was actually real. I almost never isolate abs, never hit the treadmill/bike/elliptical, and do tons of power lifts, so it was somewhat similar.

Here is my understanding of it and a brief introduction to power bodybuilding. As you might be able to tell, it is part bodybuilding and part power lifting. Essentially, through exercises from both worlds you maximize your strength while keeping a low body fat percentage and a physique that you enjoy looking at in the mirror. Mike, a 4 time NATURAL Mr Universe, does not “do cardio or abs.” I get a lot of questions about those two. “Cardio” is often used as a means of burning calories to burn fat. People prefer to do it on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical because it is easy to calculate the number of calories you burn. Many individuals also focus on isolating their core because they know you need to strengthen and build your abdominal muscles so once you burn the fat necessary, your “abs” become more visible.

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Power bodybuilding accomplishes both of these DURING your session lifting weights. In theory, if you are putting %100 percent into heavy squats, deadlifts, bench presses, shoulder presses, etc, you are burning massive amounts of calories. You could be more out of breath and have a higher heart rate than when you hit the treadmill. Also, you need to keep your whole CORE tight and engaged during these fairly complex lifts. You want a neutral back and tight core during many “power” lifts. Essentially, during a one hour power bodybuilding workout session you can accomplish multiple training goals, which makes this a very efficient way of training.

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Now, Mike didn’t get on the cover of hundreds of magazines without focusing on all his body parts. He is an expert in the industry with one of the most impressive lists of accomplishments. He also isolates his arms, lives an active overall lifestyle, and does everything he needs to be cover model ready. He does it all naturally as well. Find me someone else that has that impressive a physique and that much strength without using performance enhancing drugs. And for anyone that doubts him being natural, you should trust what good people say and also look at the development of his body. I would never want to look like a professional bodybuilder or even physique competitor in the professional ranks. Too much size, lack of function and also far too vascular. But that’s just me, I find Mike’s physique set on the frame of a taller guy to be more aesthetically appealing. These were my words, I have never even spoken to Mike, but this is how I explain power bodybuilding to anyone interested in taking a new approach to building strength and burning fat. In the end, check out some of the links below and consider following his advice to reach some of your goals. (Hopefully I get to meet him next week at Gold’s Venice! He’s also a huge dog lover and motivator! Mike O’Hearn and power bodybuilding are Hungry&Fit approved!)

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Mike’s website: http://www.mikeohearn.com/tag/power-bodybuilding/

Mike’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mikeohearnvideos

Mike’s Instagram: http://instagram.com/mikeohearn

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah is a stud

Sajah is a stud

How to Battle Weight Room Intimidation

We’ve all been there. When you enter the weight room and feel like a puny little thing in the corner, scared to enter this different realm. But there is a way to get from point A to point B, I promise. I was once there, nervous to enter that scary place filled with a bunch of grunting males. But I got out of that phase (obviously) and now I feel completely natural in the weight room. I don’t even notice a difference between cardio and weight rooms for me because that “status” it once held is completely gone. I feel calm and comfortable in there. Follow these steps and you can too.

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1. Bring a weight room friend. If you really want to broach into this awesome place where epic gains can exist, then it’s good to start with someone who’s already been. Someone who has already been down this path you are now taking and has that comfort that you want when stepping into the weight room. A friend always helps. That way you guys can get into your routine together and talk to one another without noticing the other people who tend to stare.

2. Pump up your jams. Part of this is distracting you from your anxiety of where you are. Make yourself a playlist that you can rock out to, turn it up really loud, and get to your exercise. Make sure you’re really in the music and before you know it, you’ve already spent half an hour in a place you formerly feared.

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3. Have a plan. Have your ideal workout already written down and take it with you (either in a workout journal or your phone) into the weight room. This way there are no awkward pauses in your workout and you can stay steadily focused on what you want to accomplish. Then you won’t even notice everyone around you.

4. Let it all out. A big part of why people are uncomfortable to enter weight rooms is the noise. There’s a lot of plate clanging, grunts, and shouts. Put your all into your workout and you may find a grunt or two escaping your mouth too! Don’t be shy, if you need to grunt to get that weight up, do it! And you will fit in even more so, too. Act like a natural 😉

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5. Ignore them. People are going to stare at you. That’s what happens in weight rooms when people rest between sets. That doesn’t mean they’re judging you, people just like to see what others are doing. Some even look at others to learn from them. Don’t let this add to your anxiety. People staring is normal. 

6. Put on your serious face. This is a big one for me since I’m a trainer at a gym. If I don’t go into serious mode, I will be stopped left and right. However, for you, it’s important to do this so everyone stays out of your way. They can tell that you’re here to do business, not fool around. A big plus in the weight room.

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7. Just do it. Decide one day that you are going to try it. Even if it’s just for a set of curls. Go in there with the heavy-weights (or not so much as it later turns out) and lift! Put in perspective: if you start going now, those nerves will wear down within weeks at the most!

There are some tips from us to you so that you can enter that weight room and get strong. So you don’t have to have any anxiety or nerves about stepping into that zone and beginning another fitness journey. That’s what it’s all about. Battle weight room intimidation to stay hungry and fit! 

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah and Nymeria scoping out our snake, Dovah

Sajah and Nymeria scoping out our snake, Dovah

The Best Way to Cut Calories: Swimming

This post was inspired by an old swimming friend that has more recently gotten involved in lifting weights and trying to transform his body. He is an extremely experienced and skilled swimmer so he has a lot of tools at his disposal. He does not enjoy running or biking as a means to burn calories but he is interested in cutting for the summer.

Cutting is a term used in the fitness industry, primarily among physique based competitions, that refers to a stage after bulking where you lower your caloric intake and increase your caloric deficits in order to lose fat. Through this process of lowering body fat percentage, the muscles that a person developed and strengthened during their bulking phase will be more defined, visible and prominent. It has a certain aesthetic effect.

Not exactly your typical lap swimmer (it's Alana)

Not exactly your typical lap swimmer (it’s Alana)

Mr. M (we will keep his identity a mystery) asked me if swimming was a suitable substitute for cutting and the answer is yes. Anything that helps you achieve your caloric deficit amongst a cutting phase, with proper diet and rest, is a proper form or substitute for the classic “cardio machines.” Most professionals have ellipticals, treadmills, steppers or even bikes in their home gyms. There are a few reasons why swimming does not receive attention on the same level. Those reasons are primarily seen as a disadvantage and therefore complicate the process. However, there are certain advantages as well if you are cutting for your own reasons and not trying to be like everyone else. Here are the reasons why people do not use swimming to lose fat:

1. Most people do not know how to swim. That’s true, believe it or not. Beyond that, many people that do know how to swim don’t know how to swim properly. The number of people that can swim the four competitive strokes and various other safety strokes properly is extremely small. Many bodybuilders are among this population and are not interested in learning how to swim. However, for Mr. M, this is not a concern and with strokes such as backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and butterfly it is very easy to burn more calories than on a machine that plugs into the wall.

2. It is much harder to calculate burned calories while swimming. Machines that plug into walls have abilities to calculate these numbers, therefore making it extremely convenient for someone tracking these figures so strictly to hit their marks properly. This is not the case while swimming, as every stroke will burn a different amount of calories. Pacing yourself will also affect this greatly. Swimming a 100-yard freestyle on 55 seconds and following with a second 100 yard freestyle on 1 minutes and 15 seconds will result in different calculations that need to be made. If you are not extremely strict on your figures, then this is not an issue as you can estimate. You can also buy some new devices in the market that are waterproof and track your calories that are burned. Fit will be doing a post soon about these devices so keep an eye out for that.

3. It is generally more difficult to find a body of water, especially year round, that is safe. You can run and bike on land. You can run indoors in the winter no matter where you live. Finding a safe swimming spot is harder as it is a much more dangerous activity due to the medium of the water. In developing countries swimming is a luxury and something that the majority of the population does not know how to do. Overall, it is simply not as safe.

Despite these factors, I highly recommended Mr. M to swim in order to cut to achieve his goals. The best way is to use all the strokes that you know and incorporate them into a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. Switch up your strokes and change your pace consistently to challenge your body to work harder and burn more calories. Swimming for an hour at the same pace does not do much unless you somehow can maintain your full speed, or something close, for that whole time. I love to do 100 and 200 IMs (individual medley- butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle) with the 100s being all out and the 200s being at a steady pace. I will do 5-10 of each depending on how I feel with minimal rest in between. It makes me feel good, keep my skills fresh and avoids putting extra impact on my heavy flat feet.

If you are interested in specific questions related to swimming or cutting calories please leave a comment below. And look forward to more entries in the Best Way to Cut Calories series. Use this to stay hungry and fit!

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Meow

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