Dumbbell Pullovers and why you should do them

Back in the classic era of bodybuilding, before steroids were a thing, the “squats and milk” routine was the number one method for getting ectomorphs jacked. What most people forget though is the third piece to this routine: pullovers. Squats for testosterone boost and whole-body muscle growth, and pullovers for the wide and thick barrel-chest,…

Dumbbell Pullovers and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

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Back in the classic era of bodybuilding, before steroids were a thing, the “squats and milk” routine was the number one method for getting ectomorphs jacked. What most people forget though is the third piece to this routine: pullovers. Squats for testosterone boost and whole-body muscle growth, and pullovers for the wide and thick barrel-chest, and great back development. Bodybuilding greats swore that the dumbbell pullover played a huge role in their upper body development.

Arnold believed this exercise was responsible for expanding his rib cage. Though nobody knows for sure whether this is true, one thing is for certain: it’s an excellent exercise for the upper chest. For those of you out there wondering why you’d even want a thick upper chest, read on.

Benefits of a thick upper chest

pulloversNowadays, there’s too much focus on the flat bench press, which overdevelops the mid and lower pecs. As a result, you could end up looking like you have ‘man boobs’, even if you don’t. And for guys who have man boobs, this exercise can make them look worse by making them stick out more. A nice, thick upper-chest can really give your chest that stone-slab-like appearance. Also, if you have man boobs, a thick upper chest can help improve your appearance. The trouble is that isolating those upper chest fibers is no easy feat. Most people think the incline bench press is the only solution. However, the trouble with incline presses is the greater the incline, the more stress is placed on the anterior deltoid muscles of the shoulders.

Why pullovers?

To really grow a muscle to its maximum potential, you have to attack it from multiple different angles. Your chest muscles control the movement of your upper arm at the shoulder joint. Any movement where your upper arm is moving in toward the front of the body, will involve the pecs. Most people make the mistake that the only way to work the chest is to push something away from you or in a bear-hugging motion. This type of movement is called ‘horizontal adduction’ of the upper arms. But this is only one type of movement, which will limit your gains if you don’t change it up.

Dumbbell pullovers involve using upper arm extension. By doing this exercise, you work the upper chest from a whole different plane than if you were to do the incline dumbbell press. You stimulate different muscle fibers in a new way, leading to awesome gains.

How do you do pullovers?

Be sure to start out with a light weight and gradually increase over time. Lie on a bench with your head hanging over the end. Grasp the dumbbell from the side or from behind. Position the dumbbell over your chest with elbows slightly bent. Slowly lower the dumbbell over and beyond your head until your upper arms are in-line with your torso. Breathe in deeply while doing this. Slowly pull the dumbbell up and over the chest, back to the starting position. Breathe out while doing this. Repeat.

Do you incorporate pullovers in your chest routine?

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Dumbbell Pullovers and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

The FitExpo Chicago 2018

My first FitExpo experience was a blast! This wasn’t my first fitness expo ever, but it was the first time I attended this specific event in Chicago. Actually, it was in Rosemont at the Donald E. Stephen’s Convention center. With the help of Groupon, I got in on the low for a few hours Saturday…

The FitExpo Chicago 2018 was originally published on Self Evolve

My first FitExpo experience was a blast!

This wasn’t my first fitness expo ever, but it was the first time I attended this specific event in Chicago. Actually, it was in Rosemont at the Donald E. Stephen’s Convention center. With the help of Groupon, I got in on the low for a few hours Saturday afternoon. I had so much fun walking around getting lots of free stuff and watching the various types of fitness shows/competitions. To anyone considering attending the FitExpo in the future, this is why you should go.

Swag

Not only did I get two t-shirts, I also got tons of samples including a tub of protein. Like a legit 1 pound tub. I also got other samples of BCAA’s, pre-workout, and post-workout supplements. There was a heavy protein focus all through the expo, and my friends and I would joke with every vendor if their product didn’t have protein then why bother? 🙂 I mean, we were there for gains weren’t we?

Competitions

FitExpoThere were several bodybuilding competitions going on, and I kept getting distracted by the amazing guys and their abs on display. I literally stood staring as my friend was trying to meet up with me. Whoops. Other than bodybuilding, there were powerlifting, crossfit, max reps, and other cool fitness competitions going on.

Workout classes

We got to get a good workout in, mostly by walking around for many hours. But my friends did take on the Spartan obstacle course which was a condensed version of the Spartan race. While this was an additional cost (unless you do it right before they close), there were other fitness classes offered for no fee. Unfortunately, they looked cardio based and I had already gotten in my cardio workout for the day.

Deals

There were many deals going on at the expo. Nearly every product there was at least 50% off the regular price. I bought some great-tasting BCAA’s at half the cost. I left with more muscles than I entered with. 😉

Two thumbs up

All in all, I would highly recommend The FitExpo Chicago. It’s an annual event that occurs either in May or June of every year. I had a great time and I look forward to attending next year!

 

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The FitExpo Chicago 2018 was originally published on Self Evolve

Should you work out until you puke?

Have you ever worked out so hard you puked? After a recent extra-tough training session, the topic of vomit came up at the gym. Some people think it’s not the worse thing to push yourself until you puke, especially if you’re out of shape. These people see puking as a side effect to working out,…

Should you work out until you puke? was originally published on Self Evolve

Have you ever worked out so hard you puked?

After a recent extra-tough training session, the topic of vomit came up at the gym. Some people think it’s not the worse thing to push yourself until you puke, especially if you’re out of shape. These people see puking as a side effect to working out, similar to calluses and popped eye blood vessels after reaching your squat PR. But most people find it disturbing to puke during or after working out. And from a personal trainer who manages trainers and handles hundreds of clients, I’m here to share my opinion on the matter of puking before, during or after a workout.

To puke or not to puke?

First of all, if you’re eating the right foods and performing the right exercises for your fitness level, you shouldn’t be puking ever. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked out to the point of feeling nauseous but have never puked before during or after working out. I think there’s a fine line between puking and feeling nauseous. When I do feel nauseous, I tend to pull back a little bit while working out. Whether that means taking a short break or slowing down (cardio) for a minute, I allow my body just enough slack in order to not actually vomit. This is best both for me and those around me.

Ideally, instead of pushing yourself into nausea, monitor your heart rate and make sure it’s between 65 to 85% of your maximum during your workout. It’s good to sweat, but not good to vomit. Next time you’re at the gym, keep these pointers in mind: watch your heart rate, drink lots of water, and push yourself in relation to that heart rate and not until you’re dizzy.

How do you push yourself to workout hard?

 

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Should you work out until you puke? was originally published on Self Evolve

Functional training: my two weeks at F45 training

Have you heard of F45 training? Functional training is the newest trend straight out of Australia. Or maybe it’s been here all along, but now there’s a name for it. F45 training is the newest studio popping up all over the Chicagoland area. It’s 45 minute long classes (yes, you have time) that will literally…

Functional training: my two weeks at F45 training was originally published on Self Evolve

Have you heard of F45 training?

Functional training is the newest trend straight out of Australia. Or maybe it’s been here all along, but now there’s a name for it. F45 training is the newest studio popping up all over the Chicagoland area. It’s 45 minute long classes (yes, you have time) that will literally kick your butt. With over 4000 exercises in their database, no two workouts are the same.

Why functional training works

First of all, it’s functional. This type of training helps you improve everyday functions such as balance, walking, opening a jar, and lifting heavy objects. Ok, maybe you don’t normally lift heavy objects. But do you drive or sit in a chair? Did you know most people who sit most of the day end up having terrible posture? But functional strength training can help correct your posture!

Also, it’s great since every time you show up for a class it’s a different workout. This leaves your body guessing so that you avoid hitting a plateau! They also have weights that go relatively heavy so that over time you can increase the amount of weight you’re lifting. The only weird part about F45 is there’s no stretching at the end. But you can do your own stretches as long as there isn’t another class right after yours.

But is it circuit training?

Yes and yes. The classes are split up into strength classes, cardio classes, and a mix of both. But all of them target almost all of your muscles, so you will get a full body workout. While circuit training is great to burn fat in the beginning, in the long run it can actually decrease your muscle mass which leads to increased body fat. We definitely don’t want this, so not really sure how great the F45 training will be in the long run.

What are your thoughts on F45? Do you like functional training?

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Functional training: my two weeks at F45 training was originally published on Self Evolve

May the Fourth be with you: force of working out

If you’re a nerd like me.. You know that according to Newton’s second law, force equals mass times acceleration. What does this have to do with exercise? Everything! Think about that bicep curl. How much can you curl? 20 pounds? 40 pounds? That’s the mass. Then how fast are you curling the dumbbell? The faster…

May the Fourth be with you: force of working out was originally published on Self Evolve

If you’re a nerd like me..

You know that according to Newton’s second law, force equals mass times acceleration. What does this have to do with exercise? Everything! Think about that bicep curl. How much can you curl? 20 pounds? 40 pounds? That’s the mass. Then how fast are you curling the dumbbell? The faster you curl, the more force you need to apply. But why does this matter? Who cares how much force you use when working out? Our muscles do!

May the Force be with you

While we may not be able to move objects with our minds (yet), we can definitely lift some pretty heavy objects as long as we’re smart about it. What do I mean by this? I mean by training to lift heavier. It may seem straight-forward but it actually takes work to be able to lift heavier. You can’t just grab the heaviest weight to start. It’s best to start light then over time add weight. But just adding weight over time isn’t enough since doing the same exercises over and over will no longer cause micro-tears to the muscle. Instead, our muscles adapt and get used to doing the same exercises. So a change is needed!

A change in you, I sense

Much like training to fight, you must learn different fighting techniques. If you only know one attack, you will be easily overcome and likely will lose every time. Every so often it’s smart to change up your workout routine. Depending on your goals is how you determine in which ways you change your routine. For me, most of my goals revolve around running. Both further and faster since I can’t just decide on one. Also, I want to look and feel like a superhero. With these goals in mind, most of my workouts are centered on helping me improve my running speed, endurance, and building muscle for strength and aesthetics.

What are your fitness goals? How do you change up your routine?

If you need help with workout planning and/or ideas on how to change it up, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

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May the Fourth be with you: force of working out was originally published on Self Evolve

Change up your routine: try crossfit

Have you ever tried CrossFit? What is CrossFit, you ask? It’s a type of strength and conditioning workout that uses your bodyweight for resistance to build power all over. Most people do CrossFit to get back into shape. But did you know there are competitions and professional CrossFitters? Did you know that this workout is now…

Change up your routine: try crossfit was originally published on Self Evolve

Have you ever tried CrossFit?

What is CrossFit, you ask? It’s a type of strength and conditioning workout that uses your bodyweight for resistance to build power all over. Most people do CrossFit to get back into shape. But did you know there are competitions and professional CrossFitters? Did you know that this workout is now active all over the world? To be honest, I didn’t really give it a second thought until recently. And historically, CrossFit has had a bad rap. For awhile there, it was believed that the sport wasn’t safe and led to a higher risk of injury. The CrossFit gyms and coaches in operation today are trained and show their clients the proper form and technique for their exercises. They also have scaled-back versions of these workouts (WODs?) so even beginners can do them safely.

Benefits

There are many reasons to give this sport a try:

  • Better conditioning and versatility. CrossFit athletes train their muscles, joints and ligaments using functional movements, which means they’re useful for more than just looking good in a bathing suit. Well-rounded workouts that use large muscle groups and various ranges of motion lead to better overall health, posture, flexibility, strength and balance.
  • Break through plateaus. Since the exercises are constantly changing, there’s no room for boredom. This also keeps your muscles guessing as they are always being used in different ways.
  • Lose weight fast. Most people dread cardio, but high intensity interval training keeps things more interesting and the fat burns off quicker.
  • Less time working out. Ain’t nobody got time to be wasting at the gym. Most people are so busy these days that they have limited time to workout. CrossFit helps you make the most of your limited time.
  • Motivation and support. The community is a large one. There is a huge social media presence, but also most gyms are full of supportive coaches and many other CrossFitters. Since it’s a group-based workout there is a great sense of community and accountability.

Have you tried CrossFit?

Check out CrossFit Defined if you’re in the Chicago area.

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Change up your routine: try crossfit was originally published on Self Evolve

Health supplements to take to unleash your fitness

Do you take supplements? If so, which ones? Fitness isn’t just about hitting the gym, it goes beyond those intense workouts. Your diet plays a huge role in your fitness and health. Some say even more so than lifting or running all day. Supplements are trending more and more, even making their way to India.…

Health supplements to take to unleash your fitness was originally published on Self Evolve

Do you take supplements?

If so, which ones? Fitness isn’t just about hitting the gym, it goes beyond those intense workouts. Your diet plays a huge role in your fitness and health. Some say even more so than lifting or running all day. Supplements are trending more and more, even making their way to India. The main driving factor? Social media. But with all the images and information out there, it can be difficult to navigate through which supplements are actually beneficial to you. 

The supplements I take

  • Multivitamin: I take a women’s multivitamin daily. My favorite brand is Vimerson Health, I order it from Amazon and a bottle lasts me a month. This vitamin helps fuel me, so I take them every morning.
  • BCAA’s: I can’t say enough good things about Xtend BCAA’s. They have helped me achieve my fitness goals and continue to help fuel me during and after my workouts. I like to take these right after working out, or right before depending on my mood. Sometimes both.
  • Protein: While I prefer to get my protein naturally, sometimes it is necessary to drink a protein shake. My favorite, hands down, is Vega protein. It’s vegan and delicious. I get the chocolate flavor, but I’m sure the other flavors are great too. I’m just a choco-holic.

Things I don’t take

For the most part, I don’t take pre-workout. Sometimes I do take it when I’m feeling extra-tired, but I don’t find it necessary at all times. I also don’t take creatine. For some reason, I just don’t find the need to add in extra supplements into my daily routine. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? What do you think?

What supplements do you take to reach your fitness goals?

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Health supplements to take to unleash your fitness was originally published on Self Evolve