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

Advertisements

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?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “upper chest workouts”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “6a8c0d8ad97e7db9ea81fb22d32295fd”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Dumbbell Pullovers and why you should do them 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?

 

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “working out hard”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “6a8c0d8ad97e7db9ea81fb22d32295fd”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

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?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “functional training”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “6a8c0d8ad97e7db9ea81fb22d32295fd”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Functional training: my two weeks at F45 training 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.

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “crossfit”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “5717135fa8463818355cdea45245d180”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

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?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “supplements”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “5717135fa8463818355cdea45245d180”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

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

Go big or go home: why women need to lift heavy

Cardio only gets you so far More and more women are stepping out of their comfort zone and lifting weights, which is great news because the benefits of weight training greatly outweigh those of cardio. Cardio may burn calories, but once you step off the treadmill that effect ends. With weights, you build muscle which…

Go big or go home: why women need to lift heavy was originally published on Self Evolve

Cardio only gets you so far

lift heavyMore and more women are stepping out of their comfort zone and lifting weights, which is great news because the benefits of weight training greatly outweigh those of cardio. Cardio may burn calories, but once you step off the treadmill that effect ends. With weights, you build muscle which allows you to burn fat all day long. Unfortunately, most ladies still avoid lifting heavy with the fear of getting too bulky. This couldn’t be further from the truth and is a shame since recent studies show that women may benefit from heavy lifting even more than men. Here’s why you should lift heavy.

Ask a bodybuilder

Bodybuilding is no where near easy. Especially since women don’t produce as much testosterone as men do, they need way more than just heavy lifting to look the way they do. Hormone injections are needed to get big and bulky, so you have nothing to worry about! Moreover, strength training can help you unlock some amazing health benefits that you shouldn’t miss out on just because someone told you women should only lift light.

Lift heavy for less fat and powerful muscles

lift heavySince women can’t get bigger muscles than men, they should lift heavier to improve their muscle strength and definition. When it comes to weight training, one of the key differences between male and female bodies is that the first relies more on testosterone whereas the latter relies more on growth hormone to increase muscle and bone strength. Lifting heavy (3-4 reps per set) helps maximize growth hormone production in women, which is a good thing. This hormone is vital for metabolic function and muscle and bone development. The more growth hormone stimulated, the bigger the benefits of the workout.

One recent study found that growth hormone was most responsive to moderate (about 12 reps) to heavy (about 3 reps) lifting regimens. Being afraid of heavy weights will only limit your gains! Also, just having the muscle allows you to burn fat while resting, helping you achieve your goal body sooner and easier than from just cardio alone. There are many other benefits that women can get from lifting. Many large studies have shown that strength training lowers blood pressure and levels of bad cholesterol, increases bone density and helps prevent osteoporosis, normalizes stress levels and even eliminates symptoms of depression. If you lift heavy, you may also sleep better and have increased energy levels.

What’s holding you back from lifting heavy?

 

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “women who lift”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “5717135fa8463818355cdea45245d180”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Go big or go home: why women need to lift heavy was originally published on Self Evolve

Find your power: get explosive by adding plyometrics

Get plyometric! Jumping isn’t only for basketball players. The right explosive exercises can help make your next run feel lighter and faster than ever. Most runners think about speed work, hills, and strength training to improve their run times, but often overlook adding power. Adding plyometrics- explosive, energy-honing exercises- to your training can make your…

Find your power: get explosive by adding plyometrics was originally published on Self Evolve

Get plyometric!

Jumping isn’t only for basketball players. The right explosive exercises can help make your next run feel lighter and faster than ever. Most runners think about speed work, hills, and strength training to improve their run times, but often overlook adding power. Adding plyometrics- explosive, energy-honing exercises- to your training can make your usual miles feel like you’ve switched to warp-speed mode. Plyometrics help convert strength into speed and explosive power.

What is it?

“Plyometrics involve a fast, high-intensity, involuntary eccentric contraction of the muscles and tendons, followed by an immediate, powerful concentric contraction,” Adam Rosante, strength and performance coach and founder of the Montauk Barbell Club. There are a lot of exercises that may look plyometric (i.e. box jumps, squat jumps, jumping lunges) but don’t fit the true definition. In order for it to be considered plyo, it has to be executed in less than two-tenths of a second. This is the amount of time in which your body can experience the shock that elicits the involuntary stretch, and use the accumulated energy for the returned action. The key to doing this well is a small number of good reps.

Slash seconds off your time

Studies show that just a month of performing traditional, resistance, or assisted plyo programs two to three times a week cuts seconds off sprint and agility times. They also show an increase in running economy and performance. But the right exercises are needed in order for this to be effective. When incorporating plyometrics into your workout routine, be sure to do them at the beginning of a strength-training day, before a run, or on it’s own for a quick power session. Then give yourself a 2 to 3 days break from plyos. Try this routine (do 3 sets of each exercise):

  • Depth jumps. Stand on a raised platform, such as a box or bench, toes on the edge. Step out and drop straight down (don’t jump). When you land, immediately jump straight up. Land softly. Do 6 to 8 reps.
  • Hurdle hops. Set up four to six 10 to 12 inch hurdles in a straight line, one in front of the other. Leave about 3 feet of space between each. Lower into a quarter-squat and explosively jump over each hurdle, making minimal contact with the ground and moving as fast as possible. Do 4 to 6 reps. To increase difficulty, move the hurdles either closer together or further apart. Change is up by not putting them in a straight line and incorporating lateral hops as well.
  • Depth jump into med-ball throw. Stand at the edge of a raised platform, holding a medicine ball with an underhand grip. Step off the platform and drop straight down. As soon as your feet hit the floor, jump up and throw the ball as high and far behind you as possible. Do 6 to 8 reps. Try not to throw the ball at anyone nearby.
  • Ankle jumps. Stand tall with both feet together. Bend knees slightly and jump straight up. While in the air, pull your toes toward your shins, emphasizing flexion at the ankle joint. You won’t jump very high, due to limited knee involvement. Do 6 to 8 reps.
  • Running leaps. From standing, take a few approach steps, keeping your body as low as possible, then leap off your left leg. Land on right leg and immediately push off again as quickly as possible (it should look like an exaggerated running form). That’s 1 rep. Do 6 to 8 reps.

Do you incorporate plyometrics in your workouts?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “plyometrics”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “5717135fa8463818355cdea45245d180”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Find your power: get explosive by adding plyometrics was originally published on Self Evolve