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Isometrics Exercises – 3 Critical Factors to Get Ripped Fast

If you are seeking to gain optimal results from the Isometrics Exercises that you are doing or thinking about doing, then you will want to check out this brief write-up. And discover the 3 top-rated tips for quick strength growth!

Almost everyone is not getting what you could consider great results from their isometrics exercises. If they were to make a few small changes to their work out, they would increase the results by at least 300%.

Within this short write up, I will give you the 3 top strategies that helped me get incredible results from my Iso workouts.

One of the key strategies is to train or workout using Isometrics exercises and Isotonics. Isometric exercises alone will help you build incredible muscle strength. One of the advantages of ISOs is that it will assist you in building greater strength than just about any other exercise or training protocol.

Furthermore, this type of training does a better job at building tendon strength than free weights, or bodyweight exercises. Bear in mind that the amount of weight or resistance that you can use has much more to do with your tendon strength than actual muscular strength. To prove my point, if you were to watch a power lifter working out you would see that he or she incorporates many different partial repetitions or static holds in their workout program.

But, one of the drawbacks of isometrics exercises is that while they help you to develop a great deal of tendon and muscular strength unfortunately, because of the lack of repetition they do not do much in shaping and building muscular size.

That is why one of the best ways to set up your strength training program is to utilize both isotonic and iso exercises into your routine. That way you get the best of both worlds, you will get greater strength gains and muscular size.

Nevertheless, you cannot follow some of the outdated training protocols that are currently being recommended for use in your isometric exercise program. Essentially, what they recommend is that you perform isometrics everyday.

Unfortunately, this type of advice is still being promoted and does not take into consideration the one critical factor that does build muscle size. And that factor is “Rest.”

1. In order to grow muscle mass you must continually strive to use more resistance

2. You must eat healthy and nourishing foods,

3. And you must get at least eight hours of sleep each night. While you are sleeping your body releases growth hormone to help, your body recuperate and build new muscle tissue.

If you work out every day is too much the strain on your body system and as a result, you will suffer a plateau.

One way to increase the results from your iso workouts is to utilize isometric exercise equipment or an iso exerciser. These types of devices will allow you to perform more exercises than you could normally do with just free hand Iso’s.

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The Advantages of Using the EFX Elliptical Exercise Machine

There are many elliptical exercise machines available in the market today. They vary in terms of price, durability, features, structure and design, and purpose. Many manufacturers boast of the high quality of their products and the efficiency of their equipment. Many products are already quality-tested by the users while others have yet to prove their effectiveness. Precor is one of the companies which have a proven track record of manufacturing fitness equipment of superior quality. One of their most in-demand products is the EFX elliptical exercise machine.

Precor’s EFX elliptical exercise machine is one of the most innovative fitness products in the market today. With its high prices, the quality and the superior construction of the machine are what make the EFX elliptical exercise machine in-demand and popular among fitness experts. The Cross Ramp feature which is exclusive for Precor products ensures a full body workout because the adjustable incline of the ramp targets more muscle groups. It also prevents muscle fatigue because you can alternate the muscle groups that you want to tone, giving you a variety of workout routines for your body. This adds to the fun and excitement of aerobic exercise and avoids boredom due to repetitive exercise routines.

The EFX elliptical exercise machine is also incomparable in terms of the smoothness and fluidity of your elliptical motion. This machine makes your body move in a natural way as though you are just walking, jogging or running in the street minus the impact on the heels, ankles and joints. The structure of this machine is especially engineered to minimize the impact on the joints and the stress on the ankles and lower back. Because the EFX elliptical exercise machine is designed to avoid muscle fatigue, it is very effective in burning calories and toning the muscles because you will not get tired easily, thus giving you more time to do your exercise routines.

Finally, the EFX elliptical exercise machine provides both the forward and backward motion giving you a variety of workout procedure aside from the various pre-set programs that allows the involvement of the whole body making your exercise routine varied and effective.

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Compound Exercises Without Weights – Let Me Show You How to Succeed Without a Gym

COMPOUND EXERCISES WITHOUT WEIGHTS – IT CAN WORK FOR YOU

Do you want to use a proven method that’s guaranteed to add quality muscle mass to your frame while bulking you up safely, without the strength imbalances that can sabotage carelessly-constructed strength training programs?

Of course you do. You want to use compound exercises.

If you eat enough food to gain weight while using compound movements, you will build muscle and create a spectacular, powerful body that’s operating at peak efficiency.

COMPOUND EXERCISES WITHOUT WEIGHTS – NO GYM REQUIRED

No well-equipped gym? No problem.

Every good strength training program uses three main types of exercises: push, pull, and squat. You can easily get the benefits of these proven exercise variations without any equipment.

Push exercises are those in which you push away from your body. Movements like push-ups (press-ups), overhead presses, and dips are all pushing movements.

Pulling exercises are those which force you to pull towards your body. Pull-ups, rowing moves, and their variations are all pulling movements.

Squats comprise many movements which all have as their unifying concept the act of straightening a bent leg against resistance. The normal 2-legged squat is the most obvious example, but lunges and step-ups also fit into the squat category.

So, if you pick two exercises from each group — squat, pull, and push, you can get a full-body compound workout that strengthens your body as a unit.

COMPOUND EXERCISES WITHOUT WEIGHTS — SAMPLE FULL-BODY WORKOUT

You always want to start with squats, since they require the most energy. Then alternate a push movement and a pull movement. After completing each category of movement, repeat the squat, push, pull group again, using a different, easier set of exercises.

1 Lunges

2 Chin-ups

3 Divebomber Push-Ups

4 Squats

5 Jumping Pull-Ups

6 Regular Push-Ups

There you have it! A full-body compound workout without any weights required. Some of you are probably shouting “Wait! What about arms?” That’s the beauty of compound movements: you can work your “small” body parts while also hitting the more massive parts like chest and back. Unless you work your body as a single unit, you will never develop the sort of size that’s possible with a full-body compound workout.

Of course, if you add a set of dumbbells, you can add many more movements to your full-body workout. You’ll find it easier to perform overhead presses and rows, but it isn’t necessary for beginners or anyone who wants to keep in shape to use weights. Bodyweight exercises are great, especially compared to doing nothing!

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Brainwash Yourself Into the Exercise Habit

The trick for programming a habit is to reinforce (reward) a good activity, not reward or punish the bad activity (eating junk food). Eventually the mind starts to associate the consequences with the actions. In this case, you do the exercise, you get a reward.

Simple enough, right? But, here is what happens: people will decide that they will take the reward before the exercise. So, after several beers or hours of television, they have lost any incentive that they had to get started. Not many dogs will do a trick after they get a reward. Not many people will work after getting paid.

Behavior conditioning rule #1: The reward comes AFTER the activity.

So, in the case of doing say doing 20 crunches or using the push mower to cut the back lawn, you would reward yourself after the crunches. For instance, after 20 crunches, I would recommend a glass of water or reading the newspaper. (Cutting the back lawn with a push mower earns at least a couple glasses of lemonade.) In my experience, the reward should just be short of total satisfaction.

The reward should not be too over whelming. Not an hour of television, a case of beer or half of a cheese cake. This will set your mind up for failure. Just like a spoiled pet, child, teenager or worker, your mind will tend to wait for the huge reward before doing the slightest bit of initiative.

Now, hearing this sometimes offends people as they do not think that it is very fair. It reminds me of the dieter who gorges on junk on a Wednesday because he or she “was so disciplined” and visited the gym on Monday and Tuesday. That is the wrong reward and the wrong amount.

Even granting large rewards for large efforts has its set backs. Like the lady insists on losing 20-30 pounds and then rewarding themselves with a trip to Mexico or a Liz Clairborne outfit. Each day is like work with no pay. The end seems miles away. In the weight loser’s mind, the dieting and exercise seems like bitter medicine every day. And every day is a small torture session.

Fortunately, there are simpler ways around this goal. For starters, you must go back to the small rewards strategy. In this case of weight-loss, this dieter, could give themselves a mark on the calendar for every day that he/she was true to the diet. Better yet, make that a check mark for every meal that she was true to her diet. There is a greater chance of success with several smaller rewards than a few large ones.

The check marks become the simple reward. Eventually a certain number of check marks, like say, 100, could mean a holiday trip or that fancy outfit. To make it even simpler, every 10 check marks could mean a movie or a visit to a store. 25 check marks could mean a visit to a nice restaurant. The rewards could even be something that you usually do, like walk around bookstores. That way, there is a little more pressure on you to perform.

Here is one: No answering or talking to friends on the telephone until you have finished 20 minutes of your workout (or home work or chores).

So, now you have the positive reinforcement for a good habit. Maybe, even a little pressure by withdrawing the reward if you do not perform. At the risk of repeating myself, the rewards must be small and frequent to influence the mind to form a routine.

I have used this reward system to improve my study habits. I would not allow myself to watch The Simpsons television show until I completed a chapter of homework. While on the bus to and from university, I would study 4 pages of notes, then reward myself with some fiction reading. Using this method, I raised my Biology mark from a D to a B in a few months.

Immediate rewards are stronger than delayed rewards. This is why it is important to reward yourself immediately after short, regular efforts. For instance, rewarding yourself with a telephone call, a juice or meeting with friends after a workout makes a stronger impression on the mind than buying a new outfit after 3 months of training.

To further strengthen your behavior, keep track of your activities. By writing something down each day serves to remind you of your task and your progress.

Date/time – Desired Behaviour – Reward

2 Jan 05 – 30 lunges – Telephone a friend

3 Jan 05 – 40 minutes of running/cycling – Juice/beer/Gatorade

4 Jan 05 – nothing, worked late, pooped – N/A

What we are trying to do here is to get the mind to associate the

unpleasant task as being an enjoyable one. If running means television

and not running means no television, then there is leverage on the mind to get

the body running. And run fast, because your favorite television show is on in an hour.

For more methods read the download: Stomach Flattening

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Build Your Glamour Muscles With These Bicep Exercises

When talking about fitness big arms or the glamour muscles are put in the conversation very easily. Are you pleased with the size or definition of your biceps? If not try these bicep exercises to get them looking nice.

1. EZ-Bar Bicep Curl – One of the most common curl exercises. This one lives up to it’s name. Using an ez-bar to do curls makes life easier. It makes it easier to do the exercise.

When doing these make sure to not rock the weight for momentum or allow elbows to move forward. If you can avoid these two common mistakes you will get the most out of your bicep workout.

2. Resistance Band Curl -Using resistance bands are a great way to attack any muscle group if weights are not an option for you.

Stand on resistance band with feet a little wider than should width apart to do the curls.

3. Concentration Curl – While sitting on a bench with feet on the ground. Bend over and grab a dumbbell with palms up. While doing curl your elbow should be touching the inside of your thigh. Switch arms since you will be doing curls with one arm at a time.

4. Hammer Curl – Stand shoulder width apart with dumbbells at your side with palms facing in. Curl dumbbells one at a time. When you get to the top squeeze bicep, pause briefly and return back to starting position.

5. Standing Dumbbell Curl – Similar to hammer curls with the starting position. The only difference is when you lift the weight. When lifting the weight you want to turn your wrists and the dumbbells toward your body.

6. Kettlebell Bottoms up Clean – With 1 kettlebell on your side swing it back and then curl it up. The bottom of the kettlebell should be facing towards the ceiling. Not only will this build strength in the biceps it will also build forearm strength.

7. Seated Dumbbell Curl – Same as standing dumbbell curls but you are sitting down on a bench. It is just a different option. Maybe you are feeling a little fatigued and want to sit down and work your biceps.

8. Kettlebell Towel Curl – Put a towel through the dumbbell (obviously by the name). Perform a curl. Make sure the towel end toward the kettlebell is facing the outside of your hand with your thumb facing forward. Do this one right and you will torch your biceps.

Whether its spring, summer, fall, or winter you can have your glamour muscles looking awesome if you add these bicep exercises into your workout routine.

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How Old Do You Have to Be to Use a Bowflex?

Image is everything with young people today and many young people want to work out and use equipment like adults, however is it safe? What age do you have to be to use a piece of equipment like the Bowflex?

While there is, little information from the manufacturer on this point the use of a Bowflex is similar to any other weight-training situation. That being said determining what age you can begin using a Bowflex is a matter of common sense.

Children grow continually sometimes until they are 18 years old. This means that bone, tissue and muscle configurations are constantly changing. You should keep this in mind when determining if your child is old enough to begin strength training.

The American Academy of Pediatrics supports children participating in appropriately designed and supervised training programs, even those which incorporate the use of machinery such as a Bowflex. Light strength training is good at any age. This is especially true if a young child is involved in other sports such as little league or gymnastics.

The key to using a Bowflex or any other training program with a young person is adequate training on how to use the equipment. Improper use at any age can cause serious injury to muscle, tendons and possibly bones. Therefore, if you are a first time user of the Bowflex you will want to work with the machine for a while before showing a young person the ropes.

Once you are confident with knowledge and use of the Bowflex here are some base guidelines for use with children or young adults.

o Plenty of fluid intake

o Well lit area

o Three days a week maximum

o Beginners should do one set of ten reps for each major muscle beginning with light weight or resistance

o No maximum lifting or resistance

o Training should be a part of a whole fitness program including nutrition

Following these steps and some average common sense, your young person should benefit from strength training with you. It must be noted that you should never begin any type of training without first consulting a physician about the fitness level of you and your child if training together. How old do you have to be to use a Bowflex? Old enough to take proper instruction on the proper use of the machine.

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Tunturi Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews

Recumbent exercise bikes are becoming ever more popular. Many prefer them because they are more comfortable for someone who is overweight or has lower back problems. One of the brand leaders in exercise bikes is Tunturi. But, how does its recumbent models compare? Are they good value for money?

Tunturi recumbent bikes don’t come cheap; you’ll be paying between $800 and $1,000 for one. There are currently two models being made the E40R and the E60R. The first thing you notice about either machine is how well made they are, combining aesthetics with solid construction. The seat adjustment is a breeze; you can slide it away or nearer the console, raise the height and adjust its incline. The consoles on both machines are identical and are large and easy to read.

Here’s what you get and what you don’t get for each of these machines.

The E40R comes with magnetic resistance of 10 levels, 3 numerical LCD displays and heart rate, effort and resistance controlled programs for motivating and efficient training. The E40R also comes with T-Pulse that allows you to adjust a heart rate controlled workout even when you’re cycling. The T-Scale function means you can edit and adjust the 8 pre-set profiles; again even when cycling. The bike has a weight capacity of 300 lbs and is powered by mains current.

The E60R has all the same features of the E40R but in addition you get to set and save your own workout programs. A Polar wireless heart monitor also comes as standard rather than as an optional extra. The construction is also slightly more robust and has a weight capacity of 330 lbs. It’s claimed that the E60R is for both domestic and light commercial use.

The warranty offered on both models is excellent. Both come with 2 years parts and labor which is extended to 3 if registered with Tunturi. You’ll be hard pushed to find a better warranty on any other bike.

For all but the most serious of users, the E40R is the better choice of the two; most won’t really need the stronger construction or the user programmable workout functions.

Are there any negative points with either machine? Well, like everything in life nothing is perfect. Although both come with magnetic resistance of 10 levels it would be better if there were more. For comparison, the Lifecycle R1 bike retails for around $1,200 or $1,500 depending on the console that comes with it, but comes with 20 levels of magnetic resistance.

Apart from that, I can’t really fault either the E40R or E40R; besides, the styling of these is much nicer than any of the recumbent exercise bikes by Lifecycle.

A Tunturi exercise bike is for those who take cycling seriously. Even if you prefer upright machines, you should definitely take a look at its upright models. When looking for reviews and ratings you’ll be hard pushed to found many negative comments; Tunturi recumbent bikes are among the best you can buy and most who own one appreciate that.

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The Medicine Called Zumba

The music is progressively styled for users to alternate from slow to fast workout movements. This alternating exposes the body to different heart rates thus delivering a good cardio exercise. The Zumba fitness uses body’s own resistance to shape and tone the body. Zumba fitness classes are performed in group to keep individuals motivated and socialize as well. This 45 minutes exercise regime burns a load of calories without the user recognizing it. Zumba as a term means nothing it is just a catch phrase which has gripped the global market.

This Latin inspired zumba performance classes get’s its root & style from different music styles like cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop music, axé music and tango. Music is core to the resources required necessary to perform zumba. This is more a performance class then fitness class; so it keeps the interest of the user occupied and thus achieves the objective of wellness and better health. The fitness classes are designed to address all age groups from the young ones to up to the old ones. Zumba is all about building balance and coordination. The workout intensity it provides targets the upper body and lower body strength. Maintaining body postures while performing zumba is critical such that the entire body gets exposure to the movements and intensive workout.

Zumba fitness was started in 1990’s by Colombian fitness trainer Alberto “Beto” Perez. Since then it has taken the fitness market by storm. Today it is made available in almost every country and is being offered as a special feature by most of the fitness centers. There are a nine different type of classes to address the different age groups and cohorts. Zumba gold is very elementary and progressively styled fitness session which targets the beginners and the older people; it begins with easy workout steps till the body gets used to its rhythm and then explodes. Zumba step targets the lower body and the workout involves routines and step aerobics performed over Latin music. Zumba toning is a workout performed with toning sticks and targets abs, thighs, arms and other muscle throughout the body.

All it demands is an hour long commitment and commitment towards a healthy & clean meal plan. Zumba fitness classes are also available online and on digital media like DVDs; this is for those who prefer to workout at home. A load of people subscribe to digital classes and operate from their respective homes at ease and convenience. Although it is difficult to stick to schedule when operating from home; however it depends on the individual to make a decision. The fitness class objective usually revolves around improving one’s coordination, mobility, agility, and posture and muscle strength. More than just being an exercise zumba is promoted as being a lifestyle. With number of instructors increasing the spread of zumba fitness classes is becoming more evident and a success.

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How to Lose Face Fat

Trying to Lose Face Fat? I know this situation sucks because my face is one of the first places I gain fat. I start to see my double chin and anxiety hits me. Some people or information you will find will suggest that you can reduce face fat by doing a series of exercises or by buying this product. Yes, I’ve even seen devices that go under your chin and supposedly by pressing you head down on this spring-loaded product, you will burn face fat. Unfortunately, all of this is a crock. The only real way to lose fact fat is to get your body fat to a low enough percentage that your face fat goes with it.

So what is the percentage that gets rid of face fat?

Well it differs for each person. For me, I have to get below 10% body fat before I don’t have more chins than…well, you know the joke. But in order to reduce your body fat percentage to a low enough number that you don’t have face fat, you will have to follow a diet that creates a calorie deficit. In other words, you have to eat fewer calories than you burn daily. To determine what this number is for you, check out my Metabolic Rate Calculator on my website.

This handy little calculator will tell you how many calories you need to eat if you want to burn a pound of fat a week. Then, you can take that information and plan to eat that number of calories or fewer. Once you lose enough body fat, your face fat will go with it. This is the only real way to lose face fat – other than expensive surgery to remove excess fat.

So are there any exercises you can do?

Exercise certainly comes into play here as well. The more you exercise, the more you create this calorie deficit because you are adding to the calories that you burn daily. An excellent exercise to do is any one that you will stick with. For me, swimming is the bee’s knees. For you it may be running or elliptical trainer. 

But to help you lose face fat the fastest, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Use interval training. An example of interval training would be running fast for a minute and then running an easy page for two minutes. That three-minute period is an interval. You can apply this to any cardiovascular exercise and it kicks the pants off of regular, boring cardio. In fact, studies have shown that cardiovascular interval training keeps your heart rate elevated for several hours after you finish your workout. This means you burn fat for longer, even after you are done exercising.

So that’s it – the real deal on how to lose face fat. I’m sorry to say there is no such thing as spot reduction, but by reducing your body fat percentage you can lose face fat and burn fat in other trouble areas at the same time.

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My Top 15 Non-Traditional, Muscle Building, Fat Scorching Workouts

If you have been a subscriber to my newsletter for some time, you know that I’m always trying to give you ways to make your workouts more interesting and fun, while also stimulating big-time results. Don’t you agree that your training should be fun? This is what separates the people who jump on and off the “fitness bandwagon” a couple times every year without ever making any real progress from the people that actually adopt a true fitness lifestyle and finally achieve the body they have always wanted. Make it interesting, make it fun, and make your fitness a priority, and you’ll have the body that you want.

What I have noticed over the years is that many people will train regularly for a few months and then will either get bored with the same old weight training and cardio routines, or will get discouraged because their progress comes to a grinding halt after a while. In my opinion, I don’t think your workouts ever need to get boring or stale. You just need to have an open mind to the huge world of various training styles and techniques that are out there. Seriously, there are so many different and fun training styles out there, that there is no reason you should ever get bored with your workouts and give up on that lean ripped body that you’ve been looking for. Also, mixing in various training styles builds stronger joints by reducing repetitive movement pattern overload and varying your training stressors.

Now before I start with some of my favorite non-traditional training styles, I will state that I think one of the best ways to achieve a lean, muscular and healthy body is through a consistent weight training routine with free weights. You can choose to integrate some of these alternative training techniques with your weight training routines on the same day, as alternative workouts on separate days of the week, or even as separate training cycles where you try some of these techniques for several weeks at a time before cycling back to a traditional weight training workout. Try some of these training styles out and you’ll be on your way to never being bored again with your workouts…and your body will thank you with muscles popping out that you never knew existed!

Alright, here are some of my favorite non-traditional training techniques:

1. Staircase Workouts – This is great because stairs are everywhere. You can go to a football field and do stadium stairs, any building that has stairs like a hotel (most people take the elevator, so you will not even have many people looking at you while you’re working out), or even the stairs in your own home. For an awesome full body workout, try mixing stairs sprints with an upper body exercise like pushups or pull-ups. If done with a high enough intensity, stairs workouts help to create changes throughout your entire body due to the muscle building and fat burning hormonal response and metabolism increase that you get through working the biggest muscle groups in your entire body. If you thought that going up and down the stairs was the only way to get a good stairs workout…think again. My fellow trainer and friend, Virgil Aponte, has developed a website that focuses on creative stairs workouts using all kinds of exercises you never would have thought of before. You can find out more info on stairs exercises workouts at my ‘fitness products’ page at truthaboutabs.com at the link below.

2. Wind Sprints and Hill Sprints – Find any open field in a park or athletic field and try 50, 75, and 100-yard all-out wind sprints. After each sprint, rest long enough to catch your breath before the next one (generally 1-2 minutes). Try workouts of anywhere from 6 to 20 wind sprints for a great “cutting” workout. Also, if you have a hill nearby, hill sprints are also great workouts. Sprint up the hill as fast as you can and walk down for your rest interval. Repeat until you’re whooped (a 20-30 minute hill workout is plenty). These sprint workouts are so amazingly effective at changing your entire body for the same reason as stairs exercises…by powerfully working the biggest muscle groups in your entire body, you greatly stimulate your metabolism while simultaneously increasing your fat burning and muscle building hormones.

Just look at any world class 100-meter sprinters and notice how ripped-to-shreds those guys are. Now compare that to the emaciated weakling physiques of many marathoners, and you’ll see that sprinting is where the action is at for a healthy, ripped, powerful body! Now I don’t want to upset all of you distance runners out there. Hey, if distance running is something you enjoy, then go right ahead. But don’t say you’re doing it for the health benefits, because I might just have to disagree. You can read my full story on why I believe variable intensity training is far superior to steady-state endurance training in one of my other ezinearticles.com articles at Cardio-Enthusiasts: Discover a More Effective Training Method for Fat Loss and Heart Health!

3. Kettlebell Training – If you’ve been reading my articles for some time, you’ve probably heard me praise kettlebell training many times before, but I will have to reiterate that it has been one of the best training methods that I’ve ever tried and has taken my physical capabilities to a whole new level. Kettlebells are an alternative type of free-weight training instead of barbells and dumbbells. Their unique construction and weight distribution (basically a cannonball with a handle) allows for a whole different realm of exercises that’s available compared to dumbbells and barbells. Kettlebells have been typically used for training hard-core athletes, military units, martial arts competitors, and other tough individuals, but there is no reason that anybody looking to get stronger, bigger, or more cut can’t learn the exercises and benefit from them.

It’s been a little over a year now since I’ve incorporated kettlebell training into my routines, and I’ll admit that I’m hooked for life! At between $100-$150 per kettlebell, they are definitely not cheap, but they are well worth the money. Just one or two kettlebells and you’ve literally got yourself an entire home gym that you can use for the rest of your life…worth every penny in my book! If you want to give these body-hardening kettlebells a try, you can find more info at my ‘fitness products’ page at truthaboutabs.com at the link below.

4. Bodyweight Workouts – For a change of pace, try adding to your routine one or two workouts a week at home with just bodyweight based exercises. These can be great because you can get a high intensity workout done in only 15-30 minutes without having to go to the gym on days that you might not have time for a trip to the gym. Try alternating bodyweight squats, pushups variations, lunges, and floor abs exercises continuously for 15-30 minutes. Try to take very short rest periods or none at all to really amp up the intensity since this will be a brief workout. If you’re more advanced, you can even incorporate more challenging exercises like handstand pushups, one-arm pushups, and one-legged squats into your bodyweight training routines.

5. Ring Training – This type of training basically uses portable gymnastic rings that you can take anywhere with you. You throw the straps up over any high bar like a pullup bar, the top of a power rack, or even over a football field goal crossbar. Then you can quickly adjust the rings to do exercises like ring dips, ring pushups, ring pull-ups, hanging leg raises, horizontal body rows, L-sits, and more. Dips and pushups on the rings are my favorites and the rings really make them a hell of a lot more difficult, while also incorporating your stabilizer muscles to a much greater degree. The rings allow your joints to move in a more natural pattern and can help you prevent or even recover from shoulder injuries. Personally, when I try dips on a normal dip stand, it hurts my shoulders. However, dips on the training rings feel perfect, and also give me a much better muscle pump. The training rings are one of the best training devices I’ve ever bought. Give them a try…I think you’ll like them if you’re up for a challenge. I found my rings, which you can hang up easily on a power rack, pullup bars, or at a park, at ringtraining.com.

6. Swimming – A great full body workout that stresses the muscles and joints in a much different way than most resistance training. Incorporating swimming workouts once or twice a week into your normal training routines can really enhance your physique. I recommend trying a “sprint” style swimming workout, which will help more for building muscle compared with endurance long distance swimming. For sprint style, swim as hard as you can to the other side of a 25-meter or 50-meter pool (or sprint swim similar distances in a lake or the ocean if you like to swim outdoors). Rest enough to catch your breath between sprint swims (about 20-40 seconds). Try to keep the rest intervals fairly short with swim sprints. You can also mix different strokes (crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, backstroke, butterfly) on each swim sprint. I’ve found that sprint swimming gives me a great muscle pump (especially in the upper body), without any soreness the next day as is typical with weight training. This is because swimming has no eccentric movement (the negative portion of a lift), which is what causes muscle soreness. Keep in mind that even though swimming works your muscles well and is a nice alternative workout to mix in once or twice a week, it does not strengthen your bones. You still need to do regular weight training to do that.

7. Sandbag Training – This form of training is a nice variation to mix in with your strength training. It works your body with an unstable object, which makes muscles that might normally be neglected get in on the action to perform the movements. I’ve been mixing some sandbag training into my routines for over a year now, and I’ve found it is a very intense method of training that works your muscles in a different way and gets you huffing and puffing like crazy. You can make your own sandbags to train with by filling various sized duffle bags with sand, or you can use those construction type sandbags that come in several shapes. Sandbag exercises can be done as squats, cleans, presses, lunges, shouldering, throws or heaves, carrying up hills, etc. Make no mistake, training intensely with sandbags will get you ripped in no time flat! I’ve actually found an entire book devoted to sandbag training, which gave me some great ideas for doing sandbag based workouts. If you’re interested in this type of training, you can find more info at my ‘fitness products’ page at truthaboutabs.com at the link below.

8. Mountain Biking – As you may have figured by now, I’m not a proponent of steady pace endurance exercise, but rather, highly variable intensity exercise that works with bursts of exertion followed by recovery intervals. Well, mountain biking fits this bill perfectly. You get the leg pumping exertion during the uphill climbs, while also getting the adrenaline rush of the downhill acting as your recovery intervals. Mix it all together and you get a super-fun, high-intensity, leg burning workout that will melt fat off of your entire body and build awesome legs at the same time. The climbs can be tough and will challenge you both physically and mentally as you pump away trying to make it up steep hills without having to resort to getting off of the bike. Then after you make it up the challenging climbs, you get rewarded with the adrenaline rush of flying down steep hills while jumping off of boulders and logs and trying not to stumble or fall off the bike. It’s such an addicting thrill…I love it! See, who says that working out has to be boring!

9. Indoor (or outdoor) Rock Climbing – This is yet another fun way to get in a great workout that will also challenge you both physically and mentally. Indoor rock climbing gyms have starting popping up all over the place in recent years and will be more accessible than outdoor rock climbing to most people. Rock climbing is a great workout for your legs, arms, shoulders, and your entire back. It also really works your grip strength and forearms like crazy. Whenever I go indoor rock climbing (which is only on occasion), my forearms are sore for about 2-3 days afterwards. Give it a try if you’ve never done it…it may be just what you’re looking for to spice up your fitness routine.

10. Stick Wrestling – This is a killer full body workout and can also be a great competition between you and your friends. This is probably more of a guy thing for most people. You could even come up with your own “fight club” and have stick wrestling competitions with your buddies to see who is toughest. There are actually sticks designed specifically for stick wresting, but you can even just use a strong broomstick cut down to about 30-36 inches long and taped up with some athletic tape to prevent splinters. For your stick wrestling workout, stand on a soft mat or carpeted area (or grass if outdoors), match up with a friend or foe. You’ll both grab the same stick toward the ends with your hands on the outsides of your partner’s hands, on the inside, or staggered. Then you simply push, pull, jerk, and thrash your opponent around trying to knock them off balance until they either fall or lose their grip of the stick…and you win that round! Be careful not to get the stick up high and knock each other in the face. Use common sense. You can do this in 1-2 minute rounds or just keep going until someone gives up. Be creative and keep going until you’ve gotten a killer workout. Your forearms and legs will be screaming!

11. Strongman Training – This type of training is a little more hard-core, but it’s a blast for those who are into trying something different. The premise is based on the types of exercises competitors perform in the “worlds strongest man” competitions. If you have a yard, you can even set up some of these exercises in your yard and do some outdoor workouts to have a little fun. Your neighbors will probably give you some funny looks, but it’s fun, so who cares! You can get one of those giant tractor tires and do tire flips (which is basically a deadlift followed by a push-press). You can also try your hand at log lifts, boulder lifts and carries, keg lifts and tosses, weighted sled dragging…anything that involves pulling, pushing, lifting, or heaving any types of odd objects. You don’t need to be a monster to enjoy this type of training…just handle whatever size objects are challenging for your individual strength. Strongman training works your entire body in a very intense fashion and could easily spark some new results. If you’re interested in finding out more ideas for strongman training, check out my ‘fitness products’ page at truthaboutabs.com at the link below.

12. Rope Climbing – This goes back to the old high school days of climbing the rope in gym class. Seriously, if you have access to a rope, either at a gym or somewhere outdoors, rope climbing builds a powerful and ripped upper body like no other exercise. A great way to incorporate rope climbing into intense workouts is to do a climb up, then lower yourself back down. Then while your upper body is recovering for the next climb, you can do a lower body exercise like squats or lunges, or go up and down stairs. Keep alternating the upper body rope climbs with the lower body exercises in between and you’ll get one hell of a full body workout.

13. Bag Boxing – You can use a heavy bag, a speed bag, or even one of those rebound bags to get a great workout. Among the three, the heavy bag is the best all around full body workout, while the speed bag will test your rhythm and timing and give you a great upper body workout. If available at your gym or if you have a bag at home, try mixing these in as a good warm-up or as an intense finish to your strength routine.

14. Rope Skipping – You can’t beat rope jumping as a great full body exercise. I like to use it as a warm-up for my weight training workouts. I prefer to use the really cheap “speed” ropes with a plastic rope instead of a fabric rope. Once you get good, you can jump rope much faster with the plastic ropes than the fabric ones, which will allow you to get a more intense workout. And don’t mess with the weighted handle ropes…they’ll just slow you down. Your goal is speed when rope skipping. Try mixing together two legged jumps, one-legged jumps, arm crossovers, double jumps (rope passes under feet twice for each jump) to keep things interesting and increase the intensity. Also, try alternating 15-20 second high intensity bursts where you jump as fast as you possibly can, followed by 15-20 second recovery intervals where you jump slowly to get ready for your next burst. Keep repeating until you’re whooped, which might happen pretty quick!

15. Jumping exercises – squat jumps, box jumps, lunge jumps, and broad jumps are some of the best ways to incorporate explosive jumping exercises into your routines. The explosive and powerful nature of jumping exercises works your leg muscles in an entirely different way than most normal slow grinding strength training moves. I’ve even seen a university study cited once that found squat jumps to elicit the greatest testosterone response of all exercises studied. That means more muscle and less fat on your entire body, not just your legs. Try super-setting jumping exercises with upper body exercises for some really intense workouts.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed all of these ideas for ways to really shake up your workouts and make them fun again. I know some of them may seem a little “out there”, but open your mind to the possibilities and you’ll never be bored again…and your body will respond with new found results!

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