Tag Archives: workout tips

How to Get Better at Push-Ups

Just like pull-ups, push-ups can be a really tough point for most people (especially females who aren’t used to strength training). However, you can get there! As you may know, one of my summer goals is to be able to do 20 consecutive push-ups. And I am already at 14! I really hope to be able to finish my goal by the end of October, and I think I can do it! It’s all about practice. And what are you trying to practice exactly to reach multiple push-ups? Muscle endurance

Those major and minor pectorals need to build up their endurance if you want them to be able to carry you through twenty repetitions of full body-weight! I’ve built a few different workouts, but here are some exercises that will help you get there. Remember, to build muscle endurance, you want to do at least 12 reps for each set. 

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Summer Outdoor Workout Tips

Our friends at Grape-Nuts are always thinking about movement and health–and how they can power us through the day. As you know, we love Grape-Nuts and have since we were little. With summer beating down on us, here are a few tips from Grape-Nuts that we heartily agree with to keep you working out through the heat!

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Don’t Lift Those Heavy Weights!

Last night while getting back into squatting regularly, someone else was making some serious mistakes in their form and training program. I was concerned for their health and said something to their friend, hoping he could convince him to clean up his act for his own good. Then, the friend asked me about his own issue relating to some pain in his shoulders when he is doing what his demonstration seemed like dual bent over posterior deltoid flyes with 35 lb dumbbells.

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 This all leads to my point, to stop lifting heavy weights… if you’re not ready for it. I know you want to get big and strong fast, but this process is a progression that needs to be taken slowly. The muscles in your chest are large and can handle a significant amount of weight, but with poor form (or even with proper form) your shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints might not be conditioned to do the same. It will take correct technique and a significant amount of training to make sure your stabilizing muscles that protect your joints are prepared for a larger load.

 Here are five tips to protect yourself and maximize your effort!

 1. Warmup! It’s important to perform warm up exercises to loosen muscles fibers that are shorter, tighter, and colder from inactivity. Some internal and externals rotations can really help maximize your bench results without fatiguing your shoulders for the lift.

2. Set a rep range and stick to it. If you’re going for five reps of 135 lbs on the bench press, you’re doing that for a reason. Make sure you can perform all of those repetitions almost perfectly before considering doing five reps of any more weight in the same exercise.

3. Use assistance when necessary. I’m not telling you to let your spotter row the weight from your chest, but protect your joints when performing heavier weights or higher repetition ranges. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of using belts, straps, and wraps often (because I want to strengthen my core and stabilizer muscles), but it’s important to protect your body!

4. Rest! Someone at my facility benches and curls weights every single day of the week. When you isolate a body part and damage muscle fibers to the point that they need to be repaired, you actually have to let them repair before you hit that muscle group hard again! Don’t waste your progress by being reckless.

5. Do it properly! When you walk in the gym, leave your ego at the door. No one is going to be impressed by your 1/3 squats with two plates on each side. Well, no one who knows what they’re talking about. Ask for advice, learn proper form, use a coach, and make sure you are getting the most out of the exercises without risking getting injured.

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 So there you have it. Be smart. Condition your joints and strengthen your stabilizer muscles. Everyone complains about elbow pain after doing chest and triceps with flared elbows and heavy skull crushers. Everyone complains about their lower back hurting when they deadlift and squat. Avoid being sidelined and train smarter! And as always, stay hungry and fit!

Follow Us!

Drum roll please…Hungry and Fit now has a Twitter and a YouTube. Yes, this isn’t an exciting post…at all, but we try to keep you updated with what’s going on with us in accordance to this blog. Both are pretty easy to access…twitter.com/hungryandfit and youtube.com/hungryandfit. Pretty simple, no?

We will be updating it as regularly as we can, probably more so the Twitter than the YouTube, but the YouTube already has some cute kitten videos up on there! So you can follow us (our twitter handle is now on the left side of the blog page) and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

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For the Twitter page, we will be updating it with workout tips, eating/cooking tips, and lifestyle guides. Much similar as to what you see us posting here, but in very short condensed form!

For the YouTube page, we will be putting up videos of kittens (duh), workouts, home cooking, and more! It will be well worth it to keep an eye out as we will keep them to a shortened length.

Sajah ninja-attacking Chris

Sajah ninja-attacking Chris

Thanks for following/subscribing to us, stay tuned, and as always…stay hungry and fit!

Where Did My Arms Go?

It’s the third week in January and I haven’t focused on my arms in the gym once. Add that to the fact that we haven’t really really worked out since mid-November-ish and it’s been months since I’ve touched my arms. Now, are arms a body part that I enjoy working out? Not entirely, and I don’t think that they need the same amount of focus that other body parts need.. but should anything be neglected? Of course not, so it almost had to be done. With a recent chest-back workout that left me sore and somewhat sore shoulders, I knew I would have to be very careful and not cheat with any motions. Considering they’re one of my weakest body parts, due to neglect and injuries, it wasn’t awful. Here’s how it went.

Working Out

Working Out (Photo credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums)

6:22Warm up superset: chinups 6-7 reps/tricep dips 8-9... 90 degrees on all my reps, no full range of motion but hitting my contractions right
6:28main superset 1: iso incline pinky offset curls/incline iso cross-body extensions… alternating a 30 and 45 degree incline, 4 sets of increasing weight and decreasing reps, to failure
6:43main superset 2: ez bar preacher curl/horserope cable tricep push downs4 sets increasing weight and decreasing reps, to failure
6:53main superset 3: iso seated hammer curls/seated overhead dbell extensions: 4 sets of increasing weight and decreasing reps on the curls while decreasing weight and increasing reps with extensions, to failure
7:07main superset 4: standing iso reverse curls/flat ez bar skullcrushers4 sets of increasing weight and decreasing reps with a drop set for the last set of skullcrushers, to failure
7:23 – (Running a little long, realize cardio is out of the question) main superset 5: cable iso lowering achilles curl/cable no grip iso tricep kickback4 sets of maintaining weight at 1-2 setting until failure
7:37tricep cool down: over the top horserope cable presses... 4 sets of increasing weight and decreasing reps with a drop set at the end, until failure
7:44bicep cool down: arm curl machine, bilateral… 4 sets until failure with decreasing weight and increasing reps
7:49finished, 4 minutes of boxing on the bag with gloves to finish up, maintain some discipline and get the heart rate up a little bit
English: an exercise of triceps

English: an exercise of triceps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Overall, it was good enough and since I never feel like I get a good arm workout, I wasn’t at all disappointed that I felt like I didn’t get a good arm workout. Try to work opposing muscle groups sometimes to really reach great contractions and full stretches during your “rest” periods. Supersets are a great way to keep you moving, shorten your workout, and push yourself harder. Just be careful committing to one when the gym is busy because you might have your equipment or machine taken, no questions asked.

 

At the gym for an hour and a half, pretty long for just arm strength training but sometimes you need to take it slowly when you’re getting just back into your routines so you don’t get hurt. Especially when working on one of your weaknesses. Also, remember that there are many ways to grip a dumbbell when working biceps, neutral/thumb offset/pinky offset. It could be a little detail you can adjust this week and work some different muscles. That’s the tip of the post!