Bike Sharing Programs have been rolling out across cities over the past year, now a brand new bike sharing station kicks off the Spring Season in Boston, with a new station outside the Boston Design Center…Making lunch time exercise no possible in the Innovation & Design District along Boston’s Industrial Seaport.
Fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry that changes lives everyday but there is still one myth that plagues consumers and is pushed over and over again.
After a some internal debate I finally broke down and decided to get Jay-Z’s latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail. Having been a fan of Jay’s music for some time I figured I would give it a shot.
Is Magna Carta Holy Grail All Its Cracked Up To Be?
I guess it depends on who you ask but, all in all it’s a decent album. I personally don’t think it was Jay’s best by any means. Who cares. What I can say is that the beats are awesome for the most part. And they should especially when he had some of the industries best on the tracks.
The best part about Jay’s lyrics is there is always an underlying message. He has always been a great wordsmith even on his whackiest tracks. Either way I enjoyed Magna Carta Holy Grail for what it was, just another album.
Add These Tracks To Your Playlist From Magna Carta Holy Grail
If your looking for some new tunes to bump in your headphones while you workout I would totally add a few.
Holy Grail – feat. Justin Timberlake
There is no doubt that every now and then we need a little motivation to get things going. And there is no doubt that right now Andreia Brazier is one hot hottie in the fitness game.
So for a little bodybuilding motivation here are some pics and videos of Andreia Brazier. Enjoy in a non creepy way please.
Bodybuilding Motivation—Andreia Brazier
One of the most forgotten muscles on the body is the calves. Growing bigger calves seems damned near impossible depending upon who you ask. Most people will say its all about genetics. Well I’m not a believer in you get what your given. Yes, some people have amazing calves. But some also have amazing triceps, however the sport of bodybuilding relies on the development of the physique. So if Arnold the 6’2″ Austrian Oak who had puny calves and a weak upper chest can grow his weak points to be some of his best features than so can you.
Don’t Be a Potato on a Toothpick, Grow Bigger Calves
The calves take a beating all day long. They support the body and are constantly stimulated whether it be walking, running, or climbing stairs. With that in mind how in the hell are 4 sets of 12 reps supposed to make them puppies grow! I am a firm believer in heavy weights and proper form. Especially when it comes to calf training.
Here are a few videos I found that talk about different ways to grow bigger calves. Find out what works for you by experimenting and GROW BIGGER CALVES!!!
Idea for Growing Bigger Calves
Grow Bigger Calves FAST
Series Three Ep.#3 Calves & Forearms with Supermutant Rich Piana
How To Build Big Calves – Exaggerated Range Of Motion Calf Raises
How to Superset Calves on Smith Machine
Have you ever looked at a finely sculpted physique and noticed such great shape and definition in the back muscles? Have you ever wondered how to develop your own back muscles in such a way? Well then the barbell row is for you. A defined and muscular back is key in building your body but also has a lot of practical use.
This guide will cover the basics of a barbell row and how to begin doing it.
I must call to attention that the barbell row has several variations. Some even made up that I care not to name. I’m sure you have seen guys at the gym with an underhand grip almost standing up pulling the bar into the hip area. Sure looks like the back is being hit hard but, more than likely they are just building the traps and biceps.
The row that we will be talking about is the bent-over parallel barbell row. Or barbell row for short. The barbell row is a favorite of many bodybuilding legends. It builds the upper back as well as helps to stabilize the lower back and core. By returning the barbell to the floor on each lift we can call on all of our muscles to lift and grow.
Notice in the diagram how the weight begins on the floor and comes up to the sternum returning to the floor before lifting up again. Thinking of rowing a boat, you dig deep with all your might thrusting your arms back and then pushing them forward again, propelling the boat forward.
The Benefits of the Barbell Row
The results of any compound exercise are going to carry over into many of your lifts and day to day activities. Case in point every time you bend over to pick up that barbell, expect . . .
Gains in Size and Strength—Your muscles are going to grow and you’re going to get stronger. Thats a fact. If you went to university and there was a rowing team, guaranteed they had backs that even the greeks would admire. This simple yet complex movement will shape your body like no other.
Improvements in Flexibility—Hard to believe but yes you will become more flexible. When performing the barbell row properly you are stretching your hamstrings by keeping your legs as straight as possible and as well as loosening up any kinks in your posterior chain.
Better Posture—Is a given. The stronger your muscles are the easier it is for your body to support itself and keep an upright posture. Improper positioning due to daily activities have lead to more and more cases of poor posture and overall health conditions.
Common Barbell Row Misconceptions
Many people are led to assume that the barbell row puts too much strain on your lower back and it is unsafe to do. As it so happens, that is not true. Yes, there will naturally be effort exerted by your lower back, legs, and abdominals to stay in proper position. However, when you learn to perform any exercise the right way and only increase the weight as your strength increases, then you minimize the chances of hurting yourself.
A Lesson on Barbell Row Form
Attempting anything for the first time poses its challenges. Learning to perform the barbell row correctly is essential to any training routine. The barbell row is not as challenging as it may look. With time and dedication you will be lifting weights off the floor with ease.
This lesson will cover the proper form used for a bent-over parallel barbell row. I will begin by assuming you currently know nothing about rows and are eager to learn. However, even if you are a seasoned lifter a good refresher course never hurts.
I cannot advocate enough the importance of proper form. Learning to row correctly without any weight will instill the correct motor patterns in our body and will assist in our efforts.
Note: Smith machines are great inventions and have their purpose. However they are not beneficial for this workout. Barbell rows on a smith machine puts the body in a fixed path and does not allow the stabilization muscles to engage. Always row with free weights.
A few things will come into play when performing the row. However a proper setup is key.
- Begin the row by approaching an empty or loaded bar on the floor.
- Ideally if the bar is weighted and raised off the ground you would step to the bar and allow the middle of your foot to be directly under the bar. If you are beginning with no weight at all you can simply hold the bar in your hand and let it hang as if it were weighted resting on the floor.
- Approach and foot placement will be similar to the setup of a deadlift.
- Bend at the waist using an overhand grip, gripping the bar slightly wider than shoulder width.
- You can vary grip width the more advanced you get. To begin we will keep a similar grip to our bench press, since the barbell row movement is a mimicking movement of the flat bench press.
- With your hands firmly placed on the bar and the bar directly over the center of your foot, keep your knees slightly bent and slightly elevate your chest so your back is parallel to the floor.
At this point you will look almost like a runner at the starting line. Head in a neutral position. Back parallel with a slight arch. Hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Legs slightly bent depending on flexibility. The key is to keep the back flat throughout the movement.
Beginning to Row
Now that your are setup and in the proper starting position, we can begin the rowing movement.
- Begin by taking a big breath. Grip the bar firmly and tense your upper back muscles.
- Slowly pull the bar off the floor by engaging your upper back and lat muscles.
- You should feel a pulling across your back, this will indicate the lats are engaged.
- As the lats engage and you begin to lift the bar off the floor in line with your sternum, keep your elbows locked and in position.
- The elbows play a significant role in the row as well as other pushing and pulling lifts.
- You will need to find the best position for your elbows. A good starting position will be about 45 degrees from the body.
- Pulling the barbell up in a straight path, close the body tightening your upper back, lats, and everything in between.
- Squeeze hard at the top of the movement.
- Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position over the center of your foot.
- By lowering the barbell slowly, you will be able to feel your lats really work.
There you go! It’s as easy as that. You just learned how to do a barbell row. And you’re well on your way to building some serious size and strength.
Keep at it. Pretty soon you will have a back all your friends will envy!
As a resource a great video on learning the barbell row is Pendlay Row by Glenn Pendlay.
Apples have always been touted as a great pre workout snack. Consuming an apple within 30 minutes prior to working out is a great way to get some low-glycemic or slow-digesting carbs in. Due to the fact that apples are high in fructose the liver must convert the apple to glucose aiding in the slowing of digestion. Another key factor in apples digestibility is the high fiber content.
Apples provide additional benefits along side carbs and fiber. Studies done by the Nippon Sport Science University and the University of Arts and Sciences discovered that ables provide benefits similar to green tea by increasing strength and endurance, and decreasing body fat.
The teams gave make rats apples or placebos for three weeks. During that time frame the researchers studied body fat, strength, and muscle fatigue. Reported earlier in 2007 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the rats given apples had 30% less body fat as opposed to the placebo group. The genes that spur fat-burning within the rats activity was increased due to the consumption of apples.
More than 70 obese male and female subjects were given an ample percentage of apples or a placebo as well for a 12 week period. LDL, total cholesterol, bodyweight, and abdominal fat were measurements taken to provide the data for the study. By the end of the study the subjects who consumed the apples had a significant loss on abdominal fat and bodyweight, as well as lower cholesterol and LDL levels.
Try supplementing your diet with apple polyphenols which come in capsule or pill form. Best taken with breakfast and dinner, as well as a large apple pre workout with your pre workout shake.
An apple a day keeps the fat away!