My workout series won’t make you as cool as Molly Shannon, sorry.
Time is flying by (or is that just me in my paranoia over this weekend’s competition?). We are a month into my Work It Out series! Thanks you guys so much for reading, trying out the workouts, and providing feedback! I love all of the comments and emails. Things are a little hectic, but I promise to answer as fast as I can.
In case you’re new, this series focuses on changing up your gym routines. You don’t need to write new workouts to keep making forward progress – another approach is to change how you perform the exercise.
Another Disclaimer: I am not a certified anything. I’m a figure competitor (or I will be as of Saturday). Use good judgement when trying new exercises. These tips won’t change your body overnight, but it’s a start. A clean diet and working out regularly will produce results.
I have heard these referred to as “static,” but I prefer super… because they will make you feel super
after you get over the soreness. This method is designed to deliver the maximum possible overload to each targeted muscle or muscle group. This is done by using your strongest range of motion; in most exercises this is the last few inches of your reach. This is the range where you can handle the most weight and are least susceptible to injury.
Choose the heaviest weight that allows you to hold for the length of time on the final rep. Perform 8 reps of an exercise. On the last (8th) rep, hold it for an 8 count. Immediately perform 8 more reps and hold for another 8 count, and finish up the set with 8 final reps. Repeat for 3 sets.
This is a great technique for building endurance and gaining strength. It can also force you to make some super faces while fighting to hold the weight up.
How do you use this technique?
Standing Lat Pull-Downs
The lat pull-down targets the back, and this standing variation especially hones in on the upper back.
Start standing in front of high pulley with close grip “v” attachment. Reach up and place hands on either side of the V; roll shoulders back to insure your shoulder blades are tucked. Contract the upper back, pulling your arms and hands down bending at your elbows, until the bar is below your chin. Release the contraction in a controlled manner, keeping some tension in the back to and raise arms and return bar to the starting position to complete a rep.
Note: Placing one leg on the thigh bar helps to provide a good base during the lift to prevent the weight from lifting you off of the ground. This will allow you to use heavier weight without worrying about going flying through the air.
EZ-Bar Preacher Curls
Using the Super 8 method here gives you a combination of dynamic and isometric contractions, which not only improves upper arm definition, but it also improves strength level.
Grab an EZ-curl bar with an underhand, shoulder-width grip with your palms angled inward. Place the backs of your upper arms across the top of the bench. The mid-part of your upper arms should be the only part touching the bench. Lower the dumbbells until your arms are bent about 20 degrees. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the bar toward your shoulders. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Note: Proper body alignment is important when doing curls. Throughout the exercise, make sure to keep your abs tight. This will help with force production and it will also stabilize your spine.
Caution: It is easy to “over train” with these modifications. They challenge your muscles to work much harder than usual, so these moves are not recommended as a long-term regimen. Avoid doing more than 2-3 of these per muscle group on any given workout.
I am never eating asparagus again after this week. Just let me know if you need my address to send post-competition treats. LOL!
Did anyone try last week’s Drop Sets? What did you think?
Are you dressing up for Halloween? What are going as? Let me live vicariously! 🙂