Saturday, October 25, 2014

2 Top Kettlebell Fat Burning Strength Workouts

by Mike Mahler, Mahler's Aggressive Strength

Kettlebell 5x5 training is a standard protocol that has been around for many years. It is also an extremely effective way to pack on size and strength. It was a favorite of legendary bodybuilder Reg Park who just happened to be Arnold’s idol. Here is how it works.

Pick a training weight and do five sets of five reps. If and when you can complete all sets of five, increase the weight by five to ten pounds and shoot for five sets of five again. Take three-minute breaks in between each set. Obviously incremental weight increases are not possible with kettlebell training so we have to look at other factors to manipulate. One factor to manipulate is time under tension.

Double Kettlebell Military Press

When you can do 5x5 with a quick tempo, increase the negative to four seconds and the positive to two seconds. When that becomes easy, try five seconds up, a pause at the bottom and five seconds down. Another factor to manipulate is the breaks between each set. Instead of taking three-minute breaks in between each set, take two-minute breaks. When that becomes easy, decrease the breaks to ninety seconds. When that becomes easy, go to sixty seconds.

When you can do 5x5 with one-minute breaks and slower tempos, I have no doubt that you will be ready for some heavier bells. A third variable that can be manipulated are the training exercises. When you can do 5x5 on the standing Military Press, work on 5x5 on the seated press, and then 5x5 on the Sots Press. When you can do double swings easily with 5x5, move up to double snatches. There is always something that you can do to make an exercise harder or a training regimen more effective.

Here are two sample 5x5 kettlebell programs (see 15 Top Kettlebell Exercises here)

Option One

Monday

A-1: Double Military Press

A-2: Alternating Renegade Row

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and then do another set of A-1 and so forth. Keep going back and forth between A-1 and A-2 until you have completed all five sets.

B-1: Double Kettlebell Front Squat

B-2: Double Kettlebell Swing

Same directions as A-1 and A-2

Wrap up with

Double Windmill 2x5 l,r (left and right) Take two minute breaks in between each set. One complete set equals five reps on each side.

Wednesday

A-1: Double Floor Press

A-2: Double Bent-over Row

Same directions as above

B-1: Double Front Squat

B-2: Double Snatch

Same Directions as above

Wrap up with

TGU 2x5 l,r (left and right) Take two minute breaks in between each set. One complete set equals five reps on each side.

Friday

A-1: Seated Military Press

A-2: Renegade Row

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and then do another set of A-1 and so forth. Keep going back and forth between A-1 and A-2 until you have completed all five sets.

B-1: Double Kettlebell Front Squat

B-2: Double Kettlebell Swing

Wrap up with

Double Windmill 2x5 l,r (left and right) Take two minute breaks in between each set. One complete set equals five reps on each side.

Option Two

Day 1:

A-1: Double Military Press

A-2: Double Bent-over Row

B-1: Double Floor Press

B-2: Double Renegade Row

Wrap Up with

TGU 5x5 l,r (left and right)

Day 2

A-1: Double Front Squat

A-2: Double Snatch

Wrap Up with

TGU 5x5 l,r (left and right)

Take a day off in between each workout. In other words, do day one on Monday, day two on Wednesday, and then Day 1 again on Friday.

Key Points

Option one involves three full body workouts per week. This is a great program for people that have solid recovery abilities, lifestyles that are not too stressful, and solid nutrition each day. Option two is for people that need more time between each workout. You have more days before a training day repeats itself and more time for recovery. The workouts are split into upper body one day and lower body the next day so that you have less to focus on. Both program work very well. One will work better for you than the other so try them both out and monitor your progress. Stick with the one that works best for you.

Get your Kettlebell Training Manual!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
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Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Eat Protein Pre- and Post-Workout for Muscle Growth

By: Brian St. Pierre, CSCS, CISSN

If there is one nutrient that you need to support your training and recovery, protein would be it! All the exercise in the world won’t help you build muscle or get lean if it is not supported with proper nutrition, which should always include a good dose of some high-quality protein or high quality protein powder.


Many people argue the merits of whether you should have protein before you workout or after, when in reality the best time is both! The purpose of having protein before you exercise is to prevent muscle protein breakdown and to promote muscle protein synthesis. This is fancy talk for preserving the muscle you already have, and helping to promote the growth of new muscle tissue.

In addition to consuming some quality protein before you exercise, you should also consume some after as your muscles are highly receptive to incoming nutrients after a training session. The purpose of protein after training is to simply continue the benefits of pre-training protein, to preserve the muscle you already have and help create new muscle tissue.

That’s the big picture anyway, but let’s dig a little deeper and see more ways in which protein around our training can improve our results!

Protein Before You Train

Recent research has shown that consuming protein before exercise can decrease, or at least prevent the increase of, markers of muscle damage (myoglobin, creatine kinase and myofibrillar protein degradation) more than groups who consumed just carbohydrates or placebo.

This is one of the key reasons to have protein before you train, as reducing the damage to the muscles can improve recovery time and cause better adaptations to training over the long-term.

In addition, protein consumed before training will also flood your blood stream with amino acids as your body needs them, beginning the process of creating new muscle while you are training!

Aim to consume about 15-40 grams of protein within 30-90 minutes before training, depending on your size and needs. This can be consumed either in a shake or a mixed meal, again depending on what best fits your needs.

Protein After You Train

While most people know they should have some protein after they exercise, they often believe that they must have a shake or meal immediately after finishing their last set. The fact is if you consumed an adequate amount of quality protein within 30-90 minutes before you started exercising, then there is no need for immediate consumption. In reality as long as some quality protein is consumed within an hour after cessation of training, you are golden.

On the flip side of that, waiting too long can compromise the beneficial adaptations to training, and decrease your results. So while you don’t have to slam down a shake immediately after training, it wouldn’t be in your best interest to wait for 3 hours either.

A perfect example of the importance of having protein around your training was a recent 10 week trial where the researchers had subjects consume a protein/carbohydrate mixture before and after training, and another group consume that same mixture at the two points in the day furthest from the training.

The group that surrounded their training with the protein/carbohydrate mixture had greater gains in lean mass and strength, while also losing some body fat to boot (the other group actually gained some fat). This clearly indicates that surrounding your training with adequate amounts of high-quality protein (and carbohydrates) will maximize results, even if your total intake for the day is the same.

Aim to consume about 15-40 grams of protein within 60 minutes after training, again depending on your size and needs. Whether this is consumed as a shake or a solid meal is solely dependent on what best fits your needs.

The take home point is that it is a good idea to surround your training, both before and after, with high quality protein to maximize the benefits of exercise. This will minimize protein breakdown, and maximize your ability to build or maintain lean muscle mass.

Download your Free Report, "What to Never Eat After You Workout!" Fuel your body all day to give you better results during and after workouts.

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Sports Fitness Hut