I train on the beach in my jeans all the time. Don’t you, bro?
You know, lately, I’ve seen a lot of wacky workouts with sensationalistic themes or titles. Things like…
The EXTREME Pec-Punisher Workout!
The INSANE Home Workout That Will Set Your Body Fat on Fire!
The Ab-Annihilator That Will Drive You CRAZY (and will get you institutionalized, too)
The list goes on and on. And you know what I think? What a bunch of wusses! I mean, do you really think that a workout – or any workout program for that matter – is really that extreme. Who are you kidding? Have our standards dropped so low that we really think that lifting weights, doing calisthenics, and the like borders on the extreme. Because when I think of something extremely hard that could actually drive someone to the point of insanity, I’m thinking hell week for Navy SEALs hard – not “I just did a 5×5 workout, gulped down a protein shake, and went home to take a nap before my afternoon massage” hard.
I’m sorry, but working out – as challenging as it can be – isn’t exactly on my list of extreme activities. And sure, there are fitness and athletic events that are truly extreme – like competing in an Ironman, or running an ultra-marathon. But those events involve a little more than an hour or so at the gym. And no, sorry, the Tough Mudder doesn’t count, and I won’t think you’re tough because you did one. Sure, it may be tougher than making pancakes on a Saturday morning, but not by much. The Death Race, on the other hand, probably comes pretty close, though.
My point being that in an effort to pump up egos, and make average, mostly unfit people feel like superheroes for doing a few pushups, we’ve lost sight of what hard work really looks and feels like. And this only complicates the problem because so many people are falsely indoctrinated that they have to train to the extreme in order to get the results they want – when simply working hard enough would be enough. Of course, most people these days aren’t all that familiar with real hard work, but I digress.
And sure, it’s easy to make a workout hard. If you make someone do more than they think they can, then trust me, it’ll be hard. For example, take a guy who thinks his max set of pushups is 50 reps, and then don’t let him get up until he’s done 100 reps. That’s hard. And believe it or not, it’s more of a mental/emotional challenge than a physical one. But that doesn’t mean it’s extreme – not by a long shot.
And this is very good news because most people don’t need to go to extremes in order to achieve their fitness goals. And so, with that said, here is a workout that is NOT crazy, insane, or extreme, but still works just fine.
Continue reading This Workout is not CRAZY, INSANE, or EXTREME… but it works.
I recently learned about a man named Steven Proto who currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s heaviest weighted pull-up. I got in touch with him, and asked if I could pick his brain about training. He said, “sure!” So, I sent him a long list of questions, and below, you’ll see what he sent back. But first, a little background info about Steven’s accomplishment from the Guinness World Record’s website…
The heaviest weighted pull up weighed 206.2 lb (93.53 kg) and was achieved by Steven Proto (USA) at a personal gym in Edmond, Oklahoma, USA, on 9 July 2011.
Proto attached four gymnasium weight plates to a belt worn around his waist during the pull up. The plates were tied together with a chain. The entire apparatus was weighed before and immediately after the attempt.
Here’s a video of the official event…
Steven Proto sets the Guinness World Record for the World’s Heaviest Pull-up
Not too shabby! That is some serious weight. I mean, I’ve done weighted pull-ups – sure. But nothing anywhere near this kind of performance. And even though Steven made it look easy, I’m sure it was anything but easy. To think how much work went into that display of strength, and the fact that the performance only took a few seconds from start to finish… but enough blabbing from me. Onto the interview…
Continue reading Interview with Steven Proto about his Guinness World Record for the Heaviest Weighted Pull-up
Maximize Your Back and Arm Musculature with These Expert Tips From the Man Who Can Do 55 Pullups – Hugo Rivera
Awhile back, I was talking training with my friend Tom Venuto, and he mentioned a friend of his who once did 55 pull-ups in one set – an almost inhuman performance that would [...]
Flatten Your Stomach and Carve Your Abs With this Head-Turning, Fear-Inducing, Posture-Improving, Advanced Plank Exercise
You want core strength. Good. You want spinal stability. Good. You want six pack abs that turn heads so quickly that necks are breaking left and right… Err, nevermind.
But seriously, if you want core strength, spinal stability, and abs built like a brick wall (good visual, eh?), then let me introduce you to the ballistic plank exercise. I personally guarantee that not only will you develop serious core strength with this, but you will also turn heads with this exercise – lots of heads. No matter who you are or where you train, if there are other people within eyesight, they will be staring at you while you do this. They’ll be thinking “what on Earth is that guy training for. I don’t think I could do that if I tried.” So, I hope you don’t mind the extra attention because the ballistic plank is an attention-GRABBER. Fair warning.
Before now, I’ve only taught this particular exercise to a handful of people. And after showing my clients a quick demonstration, every single one of them was hesitant to try it – at least, the advanced version. There was some serious fear-reactivity going on. And so, I told them they needed to trust in their own ability and in their coaches wisdom. And then I showed them the beginner-level version, and each one of them said something to the effect of, “oh, that’s easy. I could do that.”
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do today – provide you a blueprint for working your way up to the ballistic plank exercise. You see, after you’ve spent some quality time with the standard plank exercise, it’s time to step things up a bit, in a big way – and that big way is the ballistic plank. You’ll see why in a minute.
Note: This is an advanced exercise. Beginners should start by learning the basic plank technique here: Plank Exercise Technique. Then work up to a 5 minute plank before attempting the ballistic plank exercise: The 5 Minute Plank Challenge. Also, please do not attempt this if you have any pre-existing injuries or chronic pains, especially in and around the shoulders, elbows, neck, and lower back. And I mean that! These problems usually don’t respond well to high-impact, ballistic training. Healthy, fit persons whom have their doctor’s clearance only, please. Any questions, see the medical disclaimer. Capeesh?
The Ballistic Plank Exercise For Rock-Hard Abs
note: Exercise intro starts at 1:30, Exercise Instruction starts at 4:00.
Continue reading The Ballistic Plank Exercise For Rock-Hard Abs
Learn How to Hold a Plank for 3 Minutes or 3 Hours From The Man Who Set The Guinness World Record In The Plank Exercise
Eleven thousand, two hundred, and thirty-three… Eleven thousand, two hundred, and thirty-four…
Apparently, this is old news since it happened a couple of months ago (and nobody told me!), but WAY back in April 2013 a new world record was set for the plank exercise (news article here – hat tip goes to Chris). Now, you may recall that I posted a brief article about George Hood performing an elbow plank for an hour and twenty minutes – securing him yet another spot in the Guinness World Record Book. Well, not to be out-done, George Hood was at it again this past April and absolutely shattered his former record. Because being the best in the world isn’t good enough.
For those who care about such abstract numbers, Hood managed to hold a plank for 3 hours, 7 minutes, and 15 seconds (Guinness World Record page here). Just as a means of comparison, I don’t think I’ve ever even taken a nap for that long (new Guinness category?).
Perhaps it’s too obvious to state, but this guy is clearly a machine. So, how does he do it? And what does it look like to prepare for a world record in the plank exercise?
Continue reading Training Tips From The 3-Hour Plank World Record Holder