core-workout

BootCamp, or nah?

Stardate: July 11th 2015

Hi all.

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So… as many of you would know, I operate some pretty brain-bending bootcamp classes. We get clients from all over the world; from all age groups and interests. It’s fun. It’s hard. But, did I mention, how fun it is?

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Before we get side tracked with the fun element, let me slip in a disclaimer:

Boot camp
noun
  1. a military training camp for new recruits, with strict discipline.

    • a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training.

Bootcamp is HARD. Yes, there are multiple levels of difficulty with each of my classes. Yes, there are multiple variations of each exercise, to accommodate (basically) all levels of fitness and/or injury. BUT… it. is. hard! Make no mistake about it. Often (- and because we don’t mask the difficulty in our pictures and videos on social media), people shy away from trying it for the first time, because ‘it looks too hard’.

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So how do you decide if bootcamp training is right for you? Let’s find out!

Bootcamp Benefits:

  • Accelerated fat-loss: If you’re already active, but you find that you’ve stagnated, the always-new stimuli (-and high intensity) inherent to bootcamp WILL put you back on the right path. And, while we’re on the top of new stimuli:
  • A good bootCamp is never boring: This is super-important for the average exerciser. So many people fall short of their ultimate health and aesthetic goals because of boredom. I mean, crap… how many months would you last doing the same thing, over, and over, and over? Me? I’d last 3 weeks. Trust me. I haven’t been on a treadmill in YEARS, for that reason. Bootcamps are my only form of cardio, outside of walking the dog, and sex.I’ve digressed however.
  • Community Support: A well-structured bootcamp is a family. It is the support system that many people lack in their lives. Where else in life will you find people who will celebrate you overcoming struggles, or hold your hand whilst you try to? Almost nowhere. Trust me.
  • Guilt-free introspection: BootCamps are competitive, but supportive. This balance allows one to push oneself, comparatively, against others… whilst objectively deciding what areas you need to improve on. It is a mirror that doesn’t scream back at you “you’re fat”.
  • It’s fun!!! – Where else can you push trucks, climb trees, swing from things, flip, cartwheel, crawl, jump, roll, and shamelessly get dirty? Seriously. BootCamps are SO much fun.

Don’t take my word for it though.

Try one today.

Here are a few videos from ours.

I challenge you to be successful.

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Abs in 8 weeks? AB-solutely!! – Part 2

Abs in 8 weeks? AB-solutely!! – Part 2
by Corey Springer

NarkSide: November 8th 2009

And we’re back for another core-melting installment!

Part 1 was a piece of cake wasn’t it?

*Loud silence ensues*

Breathe!

C’mon… Breathe! I was just kidding. I know just how brutal it was.

Hm… Well… I… really don’t mean to scare you guys but, that…that was just the warm-up.

From this point on, we step into a world where mere mortals never venture.

Are you guys game?!

(BTW: The correct answer is AB-SOLUTELY!)

Now we get down to the REAL meat of the matter. Let me introduce to you Abdominal Anarchy (c2) – “The Finisher”.

c2: all advanced moves… all ridiculously hard.

Let me suggest this to you now: if you’re not physically up to this challenge, do another two circuits of the c1 work-out… and skip this (harder) circuit altogether!

/end disclaimer.
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c2 – Exercise 1: The side plank

Start:

Finish:

Yep… we’re bringing out the big guns from the very beginning! We’ll be doing one repetition of this exercise on each side… holding the peak contraction for 30 seconds (on each side).
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NB:
Our advanced readers out there can do the elite version of this static hold instead of the above version:


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c2 – Exercise 2: The plank

Start:


Finish:

The plank looks easy… but it really isn’t. Heck, you’ll find that out on your own soon enough. Our goal here is a 30-second hold at the ‘Finish’ position. Make it happen!

c2 – Exercise 3: The plank – push-up position

Start:

Finish:

Looks like a push-up right? Don’t be fooled!

This exercise is like the push-up’s abusive step-father!

It’s BRUTAL! It’s SO brutal that I’ll take two 10-second holds here… each with a different arm extended. (i.e. you’ll do one 10-second hold with the left arm extended… and then you’ll repeat with your right arm extended).

By now your core should feel like it is no longer your own. We’re not done yet though… We JUST GETTING STARTED!

c2 – Exercise 4: The spider-crawl.

In this exercise we basically move from a totally upright position, to a modified plank position… all the while bending our legs only minimally. Basically, you’re ‘walking’ on your hands until you’ve reached full extension. Sounds hard?

‘Hard’ is an understatement!

Start:

Mid-Point:

End:

Upon reaching full extension, I want you to hold that position for 10 seconds. Don’t worry, it’s soon over.

…well, at least that’s the story I’m sticking with!

c2 – Exercise 5: A full hand-stand, from the ‘frog’ hand-stand position!

Start:

Mid-point:

End:

“Nark… are you serious?”

Yes.

Hell Yes.

At this point, it doesn’t matter how long you can hold this end-position. Whether you get there or not, we WILL move on to the next exercise in this circuit. However, it’s important that you try. I mean, hell… you’ve come this far, why give anything other than 100% now?

c2 – Exercise 6: Pseudo-Spiderman

http://www.youtube.com/v/oCWYKSld1ps&hl=en&fs=1

30 seconds of crawling around like a crazed costume avenger. You’ll look absolutely ridiculous… Just about as ridiculous as the the burning this movement will generate in your core. Do NOT take this exercise lightly!

c2 – Exercise 7: The “crab-back” and modified “crab-back”.

“What the hell Nark?”

You asked for it… and now we’re delivering gatdammit!

The crab-back is a childhood favourite of mine which I rediscovered while working out with some gymnasts a decade or so back. I can’t tell you just how important stretching the core is for people who spend most of the day sitting… particularly where injury prevention is concerned.

Nothing stretches the core quite like this exercise. Trust me!

Position 1:

Position 2:

Position 3:

We’ll be using this 3-part move to stretch the abs, obliques, and hips. Each position will be held for 10-20 seconds, for a total of a 30-60-second crab-back.

c2 – Exercise 8: The modified “Flag”.

Now you’ll see why we call this circuit the “Finisher”. Our last exercise is absolutely insane. If you can’t get it done, I really won’t hold it against you.

The standard ‘flag’ ends when the trainee’s body is parallel to the ground (and perpendicular to the pole). However, we’ve added a twist to the movement. In our version, the ‘end’ is that point where the torso is parallel to the ground…and the lower-body is parallel to the pole.

SICK… I KNOW!

Start:

Mid-point:

End:

I’ll take whatever you can give me here… be it a 1-second hold at peak contraction, or a 10-second hold.

Having completed the circuit, take a 3-minute rest and then repeat it once more… if you can.

Kudos to you if you’ve made it this far.

Regards,

Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of:
“The
NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Apollo Fitness Barbados
NarkSide Apparel

Abs in 8 weeks? AB-solutely!!

Abs in 8 weeks? AB-solutely!!
by Corey Springer

NarkSide:
October 12th 2009

I promise that this isn’t another one of “those” articles. You know the type I’m referring to: Articles which promise unreasonable (and some would argue, IMPOSSIBLE) results in an unreasonably short space of time. I know, I know… they’re attractive. Articles like that seem to speak to our innermost desires. The supplements they inevitably push have the “it factor”. But do they honestly work? No… So let’s move on to some things which do!

Here are the things I’m going to assume:

  • I’ll assume that you want a lean and sexy mid-section.
  • I’ll assume that you’ve been pushing hard at the gym, following the last four installments of our “Lean and Sexy 101” series.
  • I’ll assume that you’re stoked and ready to take your work-outs to the next level.


So why sit around waiting for the next ‘sure thing’? There are only two more months left in the year 2009 after all.

Let.

Us.

OWN.

Them!

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NB: If you’re just joining us for the first time, I encourage you to check out the “Lean and Sexy 101” series:

  • Part 1: Killer shape-up tips – “Groove your way forward”.
  • Part 2: Killer shape-up tips – “Get your Game Face on”.
  • Part 3: Killer shape-up tips – “Run, baby Run!”.

…They’re chock-full of tips and tricks to bring you up to speed. 🙂
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So how DOES one go about changing one’s body in 8 weeks? I’ll show you! Let me introduce you to Abdominal Anarchy (c1) – the core-blasting circuit work-out which WILL kick your ass!

c1: The general ‘warm-up’… 5 exercise which you may know, executed in a way you may not recognize.

Exercise 1: The basic crunch.

Start:

Caption: Basic = Easy… right?

Finish:


Caption: Trust me when I say that he’s only smiling because he doesn’t know what’s coming next.

Here, you’re going to do as many repetitions as you can (with good form) for 30 seconds. Then we’ll move on to the next exercise.


Exercise 2: Oblique static hold

Peak contraction:


Caption: See what I’m mean? That smile is quickly fading.

Again, we’ll be executing this movement for time… However this time around we won’t be doing multiple repetitions. What I want you to do is to hold the contraction for 30 seconds on either side.

That’s right… ONE rep on either side.

Trust me when I say this won’t be as easy as it looks!

Exercise 3: Leg raise w/ hip thrust

Start:



Mid-point:

End:


Here we’ll be doing 10 reps (or as many repetitions as you can [with good form] over 30 seconds). Sounds easy huh? Well, wait until you see what I have planned for the REST of your session!

Exercise 4: Jack-Knife Static Hold

Peak Contraction:

Here we go again, frying that core at its very core. We’ll be doing one repetition of this movement… which we’ll be holding for 30 seconds. After you’ve experienced our version of a core meltdown, we’ll move on to the next exercise in this circuit. Can you say BURN?!

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NB: Our intermediate-level readers out there can do the mid-level versions of this static hold instead of the above version:


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NB: Our advanced readers out there can do the elite version of this static hold instead of the above versions:


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Exercise 5: Jack-Knife

Start:

End:

I figure by now that you’re ready to send a hitman my way. While I wait for the doorbell to ring, I’ll accept no less than 10 repetitions of this exercise from you. You’ve got 30 seconds to work with… so if you can exceed 10 repetitions, DO SO!

I know you’re fatigued as hell, but you’ve got to keep it tight.

Keep that chin tucked in to your chest and remember to breathe, breathe, breathe!
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NB: Our advanced-level, ab-ninja readers out there can do the elite version of this static hold instead of the above version:

Start:

End:

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Winded? I expect you are… but we aren’t finished as yet! I’ll allow you 60 seconds of ‘rest’ at this point.

“How gracious of you Nark”.

No… not really. Here’s what I want you to do when you’re ‘resting’:

Active Rest AKA ‘The Vacuum’:

Yep… this is exactly what it looks like: I want you to lay on your back, with your feet together… and I want you to extend your arms overhead, reaching as far as you can. While reaching, I want you to exhale and suck your stomach in. When you’ve fully emptied your lungs, your stomach should be sucked in as far as it can go. Upon reaching this point, I want you to hold it for 10 seconds… and then release slowly, inhaling at the same time. Repeat as many times as you can during your allotted 60-second break.

Then it’s back to the grind. I want you to repeat this entire circuit three times. That should take you approximately 15 minutes. i.e. half of the total duration of this work-out. If you think that was brutal, wait until you see the other half of the work-out!

In our next article, we’ll be introducing c2 – “The Finisher” – a core-killer like NONE OTHER!

Stay tuned!

Regards,

Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of:
“The
NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Apollo Fitness Barbados
NarkSide Apparel

Narkissos’s killer shape-up tips!!! Part 3!

Narkissos’s killer shape-up tips!!!Part 3
by Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of: “The NarkSide” Fitness Forums,Apollo Fitness Barbados, & NarkSide Apparel.

October 12th 2009

Dear Readers,

October’s here… and the temperature is slowly dropping in my part of the world. Everywhere around me I see people dragging their butts behind ’em. Gym-enthusiasts seem to have lost their enthusiasm.

Well I’m here to tell you guys to SNAP OUT OF IT!

I assume you’ve read the previous two installments of this series, and have been hungrily awaiting the third (and final) article in this series. Your wait is OVER! Let’s get this party started!
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NB: For those of you are now joining us, here are links to this series’ previous two installments… Narkissos’s killer shape-up tips:

Part 1 (tips 1-3): http://www.getnarked.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9992
Part 2 (tips 4-6): http://www.getnarked.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9994
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7. Need motivation to move daily? Then start a running club!!

Let’s face it… running kicks major ass, literally AND figuratively! The motion burns a hell of a lot of calories, as it heavily recruits a lot of musculature… particularly those of the core, hips, buns, and thighs… i.e. our problem areas. Need an endorphin boost? Then just about nothing beats a good all-out sprint. On a budget? Then hit the park. Running doesn’t cost much in and of itself… it requires very little equipment, and can be done just about anywhere!** Running just rules.

( **NB: For the sake of joint preservation, please avoid running on uneven and overly hard surfaces. Also…Please select footwear appropriate to your activity.)

So where’s the catch? Well, it’s the same for any form of exercise: Motivation. People often complain that they “can’t” motivate themselves to start or adhere to the activity. As regular readers of the NarkSide, you know that I don’t believe in coddling… however, I’ve had my moments of impaired motivation myself. I’ve found that even the most hardcore athlete has ’em… and even said athlete can benefit from the structure and support that a group can lend. At the very least, it’s great for a change of pace… and we all know that a change, however small, can help us bust through plateaus. So, let’s get some plateau-busting action going!

6 simple start-up tips:

  1. Think about what you’re trying to achieve, and set goals.
  2. Connect with like-minded individuals, and bring only those individuals on board.
  3. Discuss and implement a running schedule that each of you can stick to.
  4. Plan your distances in advance.
  5. Sub-divide your group into smaller groups based on individual fitness levels (re: pace-setting)
  6. Set up a notification system to alert your group to cancellations.

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8. Circuit-train!

And no, I’m NOT talking about those generic, bordering on geriatric, circuits that some health clubs have set up for self-processed couch potatoes. Those things are obsolete. Health clubs generally set up those useless little circuits so they can pack as many people as possible into each square foot of the gym. Logic would dictate however that a 5 dissimilar people, with dissimilar builds, workout experience, and goals would not benefit equally from the same workout… particularly where, as is typical for health club circuits, the resistance and machine settings aren’t adjusted to the individual.

No… for the purpose of this article, we’re talking personalized circuit training: exercise with purpose. Cookie-cutter work-outs SUCK!

That being said, why circuit training?

Why? Because it works… particularly for our purpose: getting in shape quickly.

Let’s face it… most of you have full-time jobs or classes. Ergo, most of you require work-outs that are efficient, and not overly time-consuming. Workouts don’t get much more efficient than circuit training! With circuit training, one gets the benefit of moderate resistance work as well as that of aerobic work… via keeping one’s heart-rate up. What’s not to love?

Sample circuit-training week:

Monday: Back; abs; Biceps

  • Hyper-extensions — 10 repetitions
  • Horizontal Pullups — 10 repetitions
  • Crunches — 10-15 repetitions
  • One Arm Dumbell Rows — 12-15 repetitions
  • Lat Pulldowns — 15 repetitions
  • Laying leg-raises — 10-15 repetitions
  • Barbell Curls — 15 repetitions

NB: Rest 60 seconds, then repeat 3 times.

Wednesday: Chest; Shoulders; triceps

  • Dumbbell Pullover — 12-15 repetitions
  • Dumbbell (floor) Fly — 12-15 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Floor press — 12-15 repetitions
  • Kneeling Lateral Raises — 12-15 repetitions
  • Kneeling Overhead Press — 12-15 repetitions
  • Kneeling Bent-Lateral Raises — 12-15 repetitions
  • Triceps Kickback — 12-15 repetitions

NB: Rest 60 seconds, then repeat 3 times.

Friday: Legs; abs

  • Squats — 20 repetitions. (Use dumbbells if bodyweight alone isn’t a challenge)
  • Hyper-extensions — 10 repetitions
  • Decline sit-up — 10-15 repetitions
  • Dead-lifts — 10 repetitions
  • Step-ups — 10 repetitions (each leg)
  • Reverse Hyper-extension — 15 repetitions
  • Standing Calf Raises — 20 repetitions

NB: Rest 60 seconds, then repeat 3 times.

Suggestions: Add aerobic work on alternating days. 45-90 minutes should do the trick!
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9. Cycle EVERYTHING!
“Everything Nark?”

Yes… everything: from calories, to protein, to fats, to carbs, to training intensity/duration… cycle it all!

The best way to avoid getting stuck in a rut in life, is to add variety. Why would we approach fitness in any other way I ask? Most trainees don’t have an answer… though their motivating factor is plain: it’s easy. Yes, it’s easy to get up and do the same thing everyday. It’s easy to complain about it as well. It’s easy to eat the same thing every day… boring yes, but easy… much easier than putting some thought into it. Much easier than scouring the grocery aisle for something new, ‘exciting’, and low-calorie to incorporate into one’s diet… again, much easier than doing a little research on a new approach. It’s ‘easy’ to look the same way for years on end… but hell, I doubt any of you is actually satisfied with just that, though you behave to the contrary. Let’s nip it in the bud. Let’s have a targeted approach!

Cycle your training:

  • Weeks 1-2: Low volume, low frequency weight-training

(NB: 4 days per week, 2 exercises per body part, training each body-part once per week)

  • Weeks 3-4: High volume, high-frequency weight-training

(NB: 6 days per week, 3-4 exercises per body part, training each body-part twice per week)

  • Week 5: De-load

(i.e. moderate weight-training: 3 days per week, 1 exercise per body part, training each body-part once for that week)

Cycle your diet:

  • Weight-training days: Moderate protein; High carbs; Low-fat
  • Cardio-only days: High protein; Low carbs; moderate fat
  • Off-days: Moderate protein; Low carbs (vegetables only); High (healthy) fats


Cycle your cardio:

  • 3 days each week: high volume/duration cardio
  • 3 days each week: low volume/duration (high intensity)

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Part of the reason I wanted to write this series, is because of the number of people I see struggling in gyms across the country. Hopefully you guys internalize these tips, and use them to the best of your abilities. I’m looking forward to seeing some KILLER transformations over these coming months… so don’t let me down. 🙂

Good luck all!

-Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of:
“The NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Apollo Fitness Barbados
NarkSide Apparel