Training

Articles about working out.

Your name: The Workout

Stardate: 12th March, 2016

Hey all!

So… of late, many of my friends and clients have been inboxing me with a particular workout concept.

It’s called the ‘Your Name’ workout… where, as the title would suggest, the make-up of your name determines your workouts: really, each letter corresponds to an exercise and rep range.

There are many variations of it. And, I’ve been avoiding each one LIKE THE PLAGUE! (Lol)

Today, I decided to stop being a punk. I stepped in headfirst. Here’s the version i tried:

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I’ll be honest… Even after I spelled out my full name, middle name inclusive, it was a bit too easy. So, I tweaked it.

Here’s how it went!

“Your Full Name” Circuit:

1st round:
  • Frog burpees: 20 reps
  • 20 crunches
  • 20 reverse lunges
  • 60 second plank
  • 60 second wall sit
  • 12 plyometric lunges
Comments: The frog burpees were extra work I added in there to make the first round of movement a bit harder. A moderate warm-up. Not bad! Everything’s feeling pretty darn good. I’m not feeling those two leg-dominant workouts I did yesterday at all!

2nd round:

  • Full Burpee (with push-up): 10 reps
  • Weighted arm circles: 10 lb kettlebells x 20 reps
  • 15 push-ups
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 60 second plank
  • 25 push-ups
Comments: So… I added weight to the arm circles, and added full burpees on the top end. Jesus Christ. My lungs! Am I supposed to be winded? Maybe I’m supposed to rest between exercises, instead of switching between them immediately, like a madman.
Maybe…
Hell, there’s only one round left.
“Maybe” be damned! I’ve got this!

3rd round:
  • Plyometric squats: 10 reps
  • 30 bicycle crunches
  • 30 tricep dips
  • 1 minute full plank
  • 1 minute forearm plank
  • 10 push-ups
  • 20 ass-to-calves squats x 135 lbs
  • 60 second wall sit
  • 60 second plank

Comments: Ok. Maybe I was a bit ambitious here. I feel like DEATH warmed over. To the challenge, I added plyometric squats, triple the number of dips, and also tossed on a 135 lb barbell for the squats. In my head, I was thinking ‘this won’t be so bad. I squat WAY more than this. Everything else will be pretty straight-forward’.

Clearly, I have no idea what ‘easy’ or ‘straight-forward’ actually mean however.
Did I mention lying on the floor curled up so tight, that I started to fade in to the carpet?
Holy crap!!!
Now… by this time, I’d completed my workout allotment. I’d knocked off my entire name, PLUS extra stuff. A rational-thinking person would have said ‘excellent. I’m proud of me. Time to leave here, to get that smoothie I’ve earned.’
But, like I said: I’m pretty silly.

Enter – the 4th round:

  • 8 ass-to-calves barbell squats with 185 lbs
  • 8 Bodyweight plyometric squats
  • 8 full burpee with push-up
  • 16 quadruped hip extensions (ie 8 reps per side)
and… for Extra credit:
Barbell standing overhead press: 3 sets: 115 lbs x 10 reps each.

My face at the end:
20160312_085018

 

My thoughts?
Let’s see:

The ‘your name’ workout can be a pretty solid fat-loss/conditioning workout… for both the beginner and intermediate trainee. Well… for the beginner moreso. For the intermediate and up, I’d suggest tweaking it in ways similar to what I did. i.e. Throw in at least one serious strength movement during each round (aside from the warm-up sets).

Additionally, the temptation here would be to half-ass it through the movements.

Don’t.

I know, I know: “It’s hard. I want to get through it as quickly as possible.” – #BlaBlabla

Just don’t.
Injury, with routines like these, is *very* common… particularly when fatigue sets in, as it invariably will. Focus on the quality of movement. Focus on being VERY explosive and landing safely/gently on each rep.

Cover those bases, and you’re on your way!

(Did I mention how fried I was? Holy Crap! and I still have a bootcamp to teach this evening!!!)

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Fitness: The Power of Words

This morning… I awoke with an overwhelming spirit of “can’t”.

IMG_20160221_084731

Stardate: 21st February, 2016

Hi.

Some of you know me: Corey Springer; that insane fitness guy from St. George – “I mean… did you SEE what he made those people do with those tires? Oh hell, are they about to push trucks?!!” – That guy.

Some of you are clients of mine… and aware of my super-long work days: 7-12 one-hour long Personal Training (PT) slots per day, plus 3 hour-long bootcamps per week, plus a couple hours per day of administration and cleaning/upkeep.

Some of you, just see the end product.

Both groups of you miss two things, that I plan on sharing with you today.

And they are:

  1. Despite appearances, I struggle with my own personal fitness… daily!
  2. Sometimes, despite my best intentions, I fail.

Today, I’d like to talk to you about not failing.

Today, I woke with a spirit of “can’t”. For whatever reason, I missed several workouts this week. To accommodate, I’d thrown in some sessions on the days I had bootcamp. So, needless to say, by the end of those days, I was pretty fried mentally and emotionally. Friday and Saturday were like that. Today, Sunday, after my first client – I had absolutely no interest in doing anything exercise-related.

A glass of wine maybe. Some cuddle-time with my daughter and pups, maybe. The cardio I was supposed to do? Hell no.

“I can’t. I am not able.” – These are the words I’d told myself over and over, from the time my alarm went off at 4 a.m… conditioning myself to a day of failure.

And, I would have failed… had I not walked past the mirror and caught a glimpse of the sloped-shouldered, dejected guy there.

It was me… but it wasn’t. The weight of my words bore down on my frame, contorting me into someone unrecognisable. Someone who I, in that moment, no longer wanted to be.

I grabbed my bike. I grabbed my gear. I whispered to myself: “I can.” And, I hurried out through the door. In my haste, I even forgot my water.

2 kilometres in – “OH MY GOD! My legs are burning. How am I going to get home?!”

4.4 kilometres in – “This isn’t so bad. But how am I going to get home?”

7 kilometres in – “My lips! Oh God! I’m parched! But, I’m making it! Why is there so much broken glass on the road? Will I get a flat tire? Is that RAIN I smell?!”

8.9 kilometres in – “I can do this. I can.”

10.94 kilometres – As I live at the top of a hill, I had to sprint the last 50 metres. My lungs were shot. My legs were shot. My legs were shot. Did I mention that my legs were shot?

 

…but I made it.

I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t fed my subconscious different words.

You may have rolled your eyes at this point, if you haven’t done so multiple times before now. I get it. I truly do.

I don’t look like someone who’d understand your struggle. I’m not the fat teen I was (- the fat teen that hardly anyone remembers as being so, because my current persona is so overpoweringly-Mr.-fitness). I’m not the heavily medicated asthmatic teen I used to be.

I’m also not the 20 years old, with no responsibilities.

I’m you: mid-30s, a full time business (-three really); a wife, a daughter, two dogs, and bills that need to be paid every month.

I am your body issues, your deadlines, your logic. All of those things affect my life, as they do yours.

And, like you… I am also my words.

So… Will YOU join me, in changing your defining phrase today?

You “can”.

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Got 20 minutes? I can give you abs!

Stardate: 30th August 2015

Ok, ok… maybe that should read: “Got 20 minutes, a lack of fear, a vomit bag, a box of tissue for your tears, 2 spare t-shirts, and maybe a change of underwear? Well… yea… I can give you abs.”

G’day all!

I’ve heard the complaints of the masses:

  • “I don’t have time to exercise.”
  • “The gym is SO boring.”
  • “3 sets of 10? Who came up with that shit?”

Today, I’ll let you in on a secret: None of my clients have time for those concerns. None of them are applicable. Each of my clients works in a Type-A-primed, 8am-til-whenever, kind of environment. We neither have time to waste, nor any to spare for boredom.

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We aint got time for boredom!

Here’s how we approach fat-loss:

Exhibit A: Kristin.

Kristin is a lawyer, and competitive olympic lifter, who hasn’t exercised in 8 months… due to a rough pregnancy. This is her 3rd week back with me…having been cleared to exercise just days prior. The first two weeks were mobility, skill tweaking, and conditioning. As a new mother, her time is very, very limited… as I’m sure you all can appreciate.

Her Circuit:    1 round

  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • deep squat hold – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • deep squat hold – 1 minute
  • single-arm kettlebell snatch – 1 minute
  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • barbell thruster (ass to calves) – 1 minute (ie squat to overhead press)
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • Barbell front squat (ass to calves) – 1 minute
  • Hyperextension: bodyweight x 30 reps
  • Barbell hang snatch – 1 minute
  • front-loaded barbell reverse lunge – 1 minute
  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • barbell overhead squat – 1 minute

Exhibit B: Kirk

Kirk is an accountant who, one year ago, had a 40 inch waist and zero mobility. After reaching his fat-loss goals with me, his work schedule intensified. So, we’ve had to find ways to use the limited time we have effectively.

His Circuit:        1 round

  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • bodyweight hyperextensions – 30 reps
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Standing behind the neck press x 1 minute (switched to push-press @ exhaustion)
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Standing behind the neck press – 1 minute (switched to push-press @ exhaustion)
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row: 1 minute
  • Brisk 1km run
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • GHD sit-up: 20 reps
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute

Exhibit C: Liam.

Liam works in a quality control setting. That means long hours on his feet, and very odd shifts. Like Kirk, his time is limited. Unlike many others on my roster, Liam sometimes exercises with me in a sleep-deprived state. So our sessions have been optimised to accommodate such..

His Circuit:        1 round

  • half burpee: 20 reps
  • bodyweight plyometric squat: 10 reps
  • push-ups: 10 reps
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • deadlift: 1 minute
  • burpee w/o push-up: 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat: 10 reps
  • push-ups: 10 reps
  • forearm plank: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • alternating arm row: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • barbell squat: 1 minute
  • burpee w/o push-up: 10 reps
  • push-up: 10 reps
  • burpee w/o push-up: 10 reps
  • push-up: 10 reps
  • suspended inverted row: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • half burpee: 1 minute
  • Plate front raise: 1 minute
  • half burpee: 1 minute
  • hang clean and press – 1 minute

Exhibit D:Shane

Shane is a lawyer. His client load sometimes leads to him getting to his personal training sessions late. Optimising that limited time sometimes means scrapping the plan for the day, and compiling a conditioning workout as laid out above.

His Circuit:        1 round

  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric Squat x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minutebodyweight plyometric Squat x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • behind-the-neck barbell thruster x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • behind the neck barbell thruster x 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • plyometric squat x 1 minute
  • barbell clean and press x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • barbell row x 1 minute
  • floor sit-up x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • barbell row x 1 minute

Putting Together a 20 minute Routine For Yourself:

Just how do we go about that? Easy

  1. Assess your skillset. If you aren’t good at olympic lifts, leave them out. Not good at kettlebell stuff unsupervised? Leave them out. Working out at home, and don’t have much equipment? Bodyweight resistance exercises are great, especially for beginners.
  2. Pick 1-2 exercises for each major muscle group (e.g. push-ups for chest, shoulders, and triceps, squats for the lower body, and pulling/rowing exercise for the muscles of the back etc.)
  3. Place a conditioning/cardio exercise between each exercise to keep your heart rate up. You should be able to sustain this exercise for 30 seconds to 4 minutes (e.g. anything from skipping to a brisk walk or run; burpees fit here as well)
  4. Do a light warm-up prior to starting. Nothing exhausting however. Exhaustion before the hard work starts is pointless.
  5. Weight selection, where weights are used: 50-70% of your one-rep max works here. Expects loads of pauses. Don’t let go of that bar however! (NB: DON’T know what a one-rep max is, OR your percentages? Not interested in being that anal either? Pfft… No problem. Pick a weight that you can manage 8-15 reps with. The rest will take care of itself. Trust me)
  6. Post complaints on Instagram @NarkSide. (lol)
  7. Set your timer for 20 minutes. When it goes off, stop. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing. The session is over!

…as is this post. 😉

Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

p.s.
I’m sure you’re wondering what my OWN conditioning workout looks like… so I’ll share it–> How I approach my own conditioning.

(Please don’t try this. PLEASE don’t try this. It won’t take 20 minutes… or feel good. lol)

Ladies: Do you want to get in shape?

Stardate: 12th June 2014

I have a question for you ladies: Do you want to get in shape?

Of course you do!

michelle training

Why else would you be slaving away in those 2-hour-long aerobics classes, scouring the internet for “the best 100 calorie snacks”, and sinking hundreds of dollars into the oddest fitness gadgets to have ever graced the home shopping channel?

I’ve worked with, literally, hundreds of individuals like you, and advised thousands more. Out of it, I’ve devised five very simple tricks to get the most out of the very limited time you allot daily towards fitness.

I need to warn you though: if you are easily offended… this article is *not* for you.

/disclaimer

Ready?

Here we go!

1. Seek professional help.
No, this isn’t a plug for my services. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me WHOSE service you utilise…once you commit to use *someone’s* assistance. (See yesterday’s article: “even the best of us sometimes needs help”).

I’ve seen a recurrent trend over the years: people coming to the gym, fitness magazine (or article of dubious origin) in tow, doing the WEIRDEST of shit…and looking the same way for years on end.

Literally years on end.

These people are adamant that they’ve ‘tried everything’, and that they know just about everything there is about fitness.

The truth?

They/You don’t know what you believe you do.

If they/you did, a magazine cover would be in your near future.

Look in the mirror.

Is it?

I didn’t think so.

Moving on:

2. Ditch your gym membership.
With the exception of a few franchises, gym memberships are expensive.

With the exception of team-driven gyms (e.g. Crossfit boxes, martial arts studios, bootcamp studios, olympic lifting studios and the like), where support is the underlying team, nobody cares about your progress.

This runs contrary to your feeling that everybody’s staring at you while you workout. It also runs contrary to the ads that most gym put out there, that posit that they’re there *for you*.

The actual truth?
1. Most gyms exist to sell memberships.
2. Most gym employees exist to sell membership.
3. Neither of the aforementioned care if you come back or not, as long as your cash is already in their account.
4. You’d be better off spending your gym membership, and fitness fad gadget cash on a results-getting trainer. (See section #1: “Seek professional help”).

3. Strength-train, under supervision, at least twice per week.
Point #4 from the preceding section: hire a trainer.
And, I’ll tell you why.

A results-oriented trainer will push you to your limit from session to session. Each session will be the most productive you’ve ever done. You won’t be tempted to use suboptimal weights. And, even if you were, that annoying guy you’re paying to supervise you will remind you of ust how much you lifted on each of your previous sessions.

There will be no more meandering pointlessly through the gym. There will be no second-guessing.

There will just be work.

deirdre training

Effective. Disgusting. Fruitful. Work.

And that’s exactly what you need, twice per week.

And:

4. Do cardio on your own on non-supervised days. Make it fun. Make it weird. If possible, make it cheap.

This is one of the most important components of a successful fitness routine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that cardio is a *must*… But it can help. AND the more you enjoy the activity, the more likely you are to commit to it.

Learn a new skill: Take up a martial art, swimming class, or dance class. Learn to play a sport. Find a large tire and a sledgehammer. Imagine that tire is your boss, and beat the hell out of that tire for 20 minutes.

jessica training

Take up yoga!

Doesn’t matter what the activity is.

All that matters is:
1. It’s fun.
2. It’s different.
3. It’s fun.
4. It’s intense.
5. It doesn’t cost you much.
6. It’s fun
7. You can do it on the days you don’t train with a trainer (ie a minimum of twice per week).

5. Make better dietary choices.

This is the most important facet. It’s also the place where most people trip up.

Why is that?

Well, people are complicated…and they like to complicate things. Give a person 20 options to work with (which amount to 10 more than they’d usually incoporate in their daily diet, as people are creatures of habit), and they’ll a.) Try to find ways to sneak 5 additional options in, or b.) Claim to be bored.

That’s a whole different article altogether though, so I’ll touch on that another time.

Let’s simplify dieting for the average female.

Ready?

a. Consume protein at every sitting. Women, especially, tend to undereat protein…and overeat everything else. This practice generally undermines their fat-loss efforts.

b. Eat protein first in every meal. Protein yields a significant degree of satiety, so eating it first in the meal generally stops you from overeating anything else. Follow protein with your veggies…and, lastly, finish up with your starchy carbs. Eat in this order and you’ll never overeat carbs again.

c. Eat smaller portions on the days that you don’t weight-train. Eat less because your body needs less. Remember, food fuels activity. So, less activity = a lower need for fuel. Have protein, vegetables, some healthy fats, and small portions of carbs. Carbs here are optional, truly.

d. Cut carbs on the days you plan on cheating or drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a fuel source that can only be used immediately to fuel activity, or stored immediately as fat. It isn’t generally isn’t burnt as heat…or any of the other fun stuff that protein and other macronutrients undertake. It also has preferential disposal. This is to say: While alcohol is circulating, nothing else is being burnt.

So, logically, you’d want to cut back on the other fuel sources you have circulating, so there’s a lower likelihood of them being stored as fat.

My clients, I generally have consume protein and fiber on the days they plan on drinking…and that allows them to have a pretty-much-guilt-free round of drinks that night…without gaining a pound, or feeling lethargic the day after.

There are many other tips and tricks, but I think I’ve typed too much today. <– If you disagree, feel free to comment below… with a request that I continue.

Yours in fitness,
-Corey “Narkissos” Springer

http://www.getnarked.net
www.facebook.com/NarkSide

Too busy for exercise? Really?

I hear this a lot… too much really.
And, when I do, that little voice in my head replies:

Too-Busy-to-Exercise
img src: rippedout.com

I’ve heard that this thought process makes me ‘intolerant’, or ‘an asshole’… but let’s be serious here.

I train doctors, lawyers, teachers, shift workers, hotel workers, drivers… People who have horrendous schedules.

Me personally? I work 12 to 16 hour days… Some days I work more than 16 hours. I work seven days per week: No off days; no vacation. Yes… no vacation.

no vacation
img src: i.chzbgr.com

For many years, I slotted a workout in around work. I added it to my ‘to do’ list, so I it became a part of my daily life.

So, now it’s like clockwork for me personally… as natural as brushing my teeth. I say this, not to trivialise anyone’s personal struggle but, rather, to illustrate that it CAN be done… as a long as a person stops saying “I can’t.” Words are a powerful catalyst for change.

Saying ‘I can’ immediately opens a person up to the possibility of succeeding.

“I can’t. I don’t have time to go to the gym”. Have you ever once said this? I bet you have!

I always say this to clients who claim that they can’t workout: You don’t need 2 hours, and you don’t need a gym.

Something as simple as rolling out of bed in the morning, and dedicating 15 minutes to calisthenics (done in HIIT/Tabata style if you’re keen on losing weight) is way better than doing nothing. 15-20 minutes per day? Yes.

Hell, some days, 7 minutes of exercise can put you in an awesome place: 7 minutes i.e. Seven 50meter sprints, with a casual walk back to the start position. I’ve done it. So can you!

Don’t have 7 minutes? How about 6?!

I made this 6 minute exercise video one day I missed my workout due to my heavy client load:

It was all I did that day…and it was more than enough.

I posted it to show clients that fitness is only as complicated as you make it.

So, what will you do today?

Will you opt to make fitness less complicated?

Will you remove “I can’t” from your vernacular?

I challenge you!

Yours in fitness,
-C. Springer

http://www.getnarked.net
http://www.facebook.com/NarkSide