In today’s digest we bring you articles on The five most effective core exercises for runners no equipment needed, Tip: Get Rid of Lifter’s Belly, Watch: Rich Piana Talks Mike O’Hearn Natty in New Released Footage and 8 Training Rules to Pass the Army Combat Fitness Test. Hope you enjoy them…
The five most effective core exercises for runners no equipment needed
The beauty of a core workout is that they quite literally can be done anywhere. Most exercises require minimal or no equipment, there’s endless variations to keep you motivated, and better still, you can complete an effective core circuit in less than 15 minutes. Vital for daily movement, it’s important to understand having a strong…
The beauty of a core workout is that they quite literally can be done anywhere. Most exercises require minimal or no equipment, there’s endless variations to keep you motivated, and better still, you can complete an effective core circuit in less than 15 minutes.
Vital for daily movement, it’s important to understand having a strong core means far more than flashing a six pack of abs. Investing time into training this area will pay dividends. For more intense activities such as running, core training is integral, ensuring you’re providing maximum support, flexibility, and form when you move.
Here are my top 5 exercises that’ll get your abs fired up in no time:
1) Planks. This trusty isometric exercise fires up all your muscles in the core, including assisting
in spinal stability.
2) Russian twists. Perfect for firing up the sides of the torso, this rotation exercise targets your
obliques. Try using a weight for added resistance.
3) Single leg glute bridge. This glute focussed exercise requires a strong core for an effective
movement. Single-leg exercises focus on strengthening each side at a time, acting as a
rehearsal for running.
4) Standing single leg reach. Standing core exercises are often forgotten about. This exercise
works the entire core as well as the quadriceps and hamstrings. The single leg movement
improves balance too.
5) Leg raises. This exercise targets the lower abdominal muscles, which will keep the common
issue of lower back problems at bay. Keep the movement controlled and the core engaged
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The five most effective core exercises for runners no equipment needed was originally published at https://www.womensrunning.co.uk/training/the-five-most-effective-core-exercises-for-runners-no-equipment-needed/
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Tip: Get Rid of Lifter’s Belly
Answer these three questions, drop that last bit of flab, and make sure it never comes back. Start here. by Chris Shugart What is Lifter’s Belly? No, we’re not talking about the drug-induced belly bloat that many pro bodybuilders develop. We’re talking about the average lifter in the average gym. You know this guy. In…
Answer these three questions, drop that last bit of flab, and make sure it never comes back. Start here.
What is Lifter’s Belly?
No, we’re not talking about the drug-induced belly bloat that many pro bodybuilders develop. We’re talking about the average lifter in the average gym. You know this guy. In fact, you may be this guy.
Usually, this dude is an experienced lifter who trains hard multiple days per week. His diet is okay… well, most of the time. But to go along with the big arms and big chest, he’s also got a big belly. Or at least a bigger belly than he wants.
In other words, this guy is carrying around maybe 10-15 pounds of extra fat. And being a guy, most of that is stored in the belly and love handle area.
The good news is, it doesn’t take much effort to get rid of it. Hauling around a lot of muscle mass means that all you need is some tweaking, not a strict diet or training program overall.
How to Lose It
Here’s the first question you need to answer:
1. Have you been at this level of conditioning for several months, maybe even a year or more?
If the answer is yes, then whether you count calories or not, you have found your maintenance level of caloric intake. If you’re a little chubbier than you want to be, then realize that everything you’re doing now is “maintenance mode.”
But maintenance mode is about more than just how much you eat. It’s also about your output: how much do you burn? If you have sustained the “10 pounds too fat” level, then you’re just slightly out of balance. So the second question is:
2. Do I want to burn more calories or take in a fewer calories?
Think practically. For this to be sustainable, you have to chose the one you’re most likely to stick with. Are you more comfortable with moving a little more or adjusting your diet?
If you want to move a little more, it can be as simple as tacking 5-10 minutes of metabolic conditioning onto the end of your normal workouts. Since you’re already in a heart-hammerin’ sweaty state after your lifting workout, it won’t take much to create an inroad into your fat stores.
Example: Finish every workout with 5 lung-crushing minutes on the stairmills. Or rope skipping, battle ropes, sled pushing, stationary bike etc. Choose something you’ll stick with. Your body fat really know the difference.
It doesn’t sound like much, but you don’t need much. Remember, you’re maintaining the condition you’re in now, which isn’t too shabby. A little metcon will tip the scales and you’ll see a difference in two weeks.
If you’d rather tighten up your diet, just drop an easy 100 to 200 calories from your daily intake. It shouldn’t be too painful. If you like throwing two servings of nut butter into your oatmeal or protein shake, drop that down to one serving. Boom. Easy.
But there’s a third option here too, and a third question:
3. Is there anything you can do to make your body handle calories, especially carby calories, more efficiently?
The answer is yes, and my top choice would be to take Indigo-3G®. In a nutshell, it helps you partition nutrients toward muscle gain instead of those same nutrients being shuttled off to that storage depot just below your belly button.
While changing nothing else about their training or diets, most people are able to easily drop some fat and build more metabolism-boosting muscle after a month or two of use.
Tip: Get Rid of Lifter’s Belly was originally published at https://biotest.t-nation.com/articles/tip-get-rid-of-lifter-s-belly?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article
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Watch: Rich Piana Talks Mike O’Hearn Natty in New Released Footage
A few weeks ago, the company 5% Nutrition, who runs Rich Piana’s Youtube channel, posted a video where he fired back at Rich Gaspari for comments that the latter made about him in the film Generation Iron 2. Well, this got a lot of backlash from fans and Piana’s mom especially, who wasn’t happy that…
A few weeks ago, the company 5% Nutrition, who runs Rich Piana’s Youtube channel, posted a video where he fired back at Rich Gaspari for comments that the latter made about him in the film Generation Iron 2. Well, this got a lot of backlash from fans and Piana’s mom especially, who wasn’t happy that they shared this video showing Piana in a negative light.
Read more: Family Of Rich Piana Slams 5% Nutrition For Uploading Old Video Trashing Rich Gaspari
Well, they recently released another unseen/resurfaced video of Rich Piana but this time he was talking about his relationship with the legendary Mike O’Hearn. Piana explained that he knew O’Hearn for over 20 years and that they used to audition and compete against each other.
But then he wanted to address the controversy surrounding O’Hearn’s natty claims. “Honestly, who the f–k cares, what the f–k does it matter,” he said. He used the analogy that it doesn’t matter how a car wins a race and who cares what’s in it as long as it’s the top car.
He also explained that when he used to train at Gold’s Gym Venice, it didn’t matter to him how the other guys were bigger and better than him but rather, his goal was to do what he had to do to be bigger and better than them.
“Right now he’s making me look like a fucking pussy, he’s f—ing destroying me in every way. But just wait motherf—er because I’m going to work my motherf—ing ass off and do whatever it takes to fucking pass your ass up, and that was my mentality.”
He acknowledged that there are a lot of people who talk bad about O’Hearn and it’s essentially just because they’re jealous that they don’t look like O’Hearn even after taking lots of steroids/drugs.
“Why don’t you become a stronger person, give props where props are due and say man that guy f—ing looks amazing, he looks better than me“. He suggested that people focus on getting better themselves rather than being jealous and bad-mouthing someone.
“Mike O’Hearn has never talked shit about one motherf—ing person as far as I know.”
Piana also gave his opinion on whether he thinks O’Hearn takes steroids or if he thinks he’s natural.
“I couldn’t f—ing tell you, I have no f—ing idea because unless I see him f—ing put something in his ass or put something in his mouth, I don’t know. But I can tell you one thing that looking at him, there is not one fucking sign of him taking steroids.”
He elaborated on the signs of a steroid user explaining that O’Hearn doesn’t have crazy veins everywhere, isn’t bald, doesn’t show signs of acne, and he has never seen him look bloated before. Regarding how strong O’Hearn is, well, he put it down to the fact that he was a powerlifter at a young age. And as far as his size, Piana mentioned that O’Hearn hasn’t continued to get bigger and bigger. He said that his body only got more refined over the years.
“He hasn’t gotten bigger, he was a fucking monster as a teenager”.
“I definitely believe he could easily 100% be natural, I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t”. He’s not 300 pounds, he’s not some like holy shit that’s unbelievable.” “He just has a perfectly put together amazing physique which is what he chooses.”
Piana praised O’Hearn’s work ethic and consistency over 30 years to attain his physique which no one could deny. He closed by reiterating his previous statements.
But there were definitely some true words of wisdom in this video and his honesty was one reason why he was admired by many…
Watch the video below…
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Watch: Rich Piana Talks Mike O’Hearn Natty in New Released Footage was originally published at https://fitnessvolt.com/rich-piana-mike-hearn-natty/
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8 Training Rules to Pass the Army Combat Fitness Test
The new Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT, is a total departure from the way fitness has been measured and tested in the military—and it’s got a lot of people feeling nervous. Army lifers who could pass the old test (2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, and a 2-mile run) in their sleep…
The new Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT, is a total departure from the way fitness has been measured and tested in the military—and it’s got a lot of people feeling nervous.
Army lifers who could pass the old test (2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, and a 2-mile run) in their sleep are having to train for events that they have to Google to see performed, using equipment they don’t have easy access to. And for new cadets without any real background in strength training it’s an even more daunting challenge.
Trust me: You can pass this test—and you don’t need six months or a year of prep to do it. But don’t count on it happening without smart, strategic training to help you crack the toughest events.
These are my training rules for a no-doubt passing score on ACFT test day. If you want to put them into action, check them out in my new program Combat Fit: 8-Week ACFT Training Plan, exclusively in BodyFit.
1. Build Your Base First
How do you prepare for an intense physical test—one that your professional livelihood depends on passing? Your first impulse may be to say, “By practicing the test.” And sure, that’s part of it. But so is building up the fundamental skills and strengths that will help each and every one of those practice tests be more effective.
That’s why the Combat Fit program consists of two four-week phases:
- Combat Fit Phase 1: Base Training Phase
- Combat Fit Phase 2: Peak Training Phase
Why start with base training? Because smart training means not just leaping into a challenge, it means gradually increasing the intensity of your training to ensure that you continually improve, while minimizing the risk of injury or overtraining. A solid base training phase doesn’t just “get you in shape,” it familiarizes your body with the demands of consistent training, as well as ACFT-specific exercises. It also increases muscle tissue and increasing connective-tissue strength before those muscles and tissues get severely tested by training and the test itself.
You can spend as little as four weeks in a phase like this, but ideally, you’ll spend more like 6-8 weeks. That’s why I recommend aspiring ACFT-takers plan out far enough ahead (if it’s an option) to perform Phase 1 twice.
Once you’ve got that base in place, you’re ready for a peaking phase.
2. Don’t Over Peak
For the ACFT, a peaking phase accomplishes two goals:
- Familiarizes your body with lifting heavier loads in order to increase motor unit recruitment and force output on test day.
- Increases your event-specific conditioning.
You may think all the lifting and cardio you’ve done in your life—or in a base-building phase—is enough to prepare you for the sprint-drag-carry medley. And it might be. But it also might not be enough. No matter how conditioned or strong you are, you’ll definitely do better—and feel better—if you trained for that specific event than if you didn’t.
As I mentioned, it’s fine to spend a little extra time in a base-building phase. In fact, if you’re just starting out with regular challenging exercise, or if it’s been a while since you’ve done any strength training, it might be necessary.
But this doesn’t apply to a peaking phase. A well-designed peaking phase isn’t the sort of place you want to spend extra weeks and months in. Put another way, if you’re tempted to just make an ACFT peaking program like Phase 2 of Combat Fit your “go-to” program from now on, don’t.
Spending too much time at the highest level of intensity in a program will inevitably cause your performance to drop. Just ask any powerlifter who went too hard and bombed out on meet day!
My advice: Peak for four weeks, or if absolutely necessary, repeat the fourth week one time for a total of five weeks. Then, give yourself 7-10 days off from doing the final workouts in Phase 2 before your ACFT testing day.
Don’t worry, you definitely won’t fall “out of shape” during this time! On the contrary, this way your body (and mind) will be full rested and ready to crush the test.
3. Don’t Lift Too Heavy, Too Fast
A nice thing about the ACFT is that there’s no secret about the performance standards you’ll need to meet. The information is out there right now, and if you want to know how your trap bar lift measures up, there are tools like Bodybuilding.com’s ACFT calculator to tell you.
However, given how easy it is to find out what you’ll need to lift to pass at your standard—say, 200 on the trap bar—it can be easy to start lifting with that weight right out of the gate. For many people, this is going to be too much, too soon.
If you’re a beginner, or if it’s been a while since you’ve done any strength training, I recommend spending the first four weeks of your base training phase using weights that allow you to maintain good control and create only mild muscle fatigue at the end of each set. In other words, choose a weight for each set that allows you to complete all indicated reps, with another 2-3 reps in the tank. And don’t be afraid to lighten the load on the second or third sets if needed!
On the other hand, if you’ve been weight training consistently for a while, it’s OK to use a weight load that allows you to achieve the indicated number of reps in each set—but no more. In other words, at the end of each set, you should not be able to perform any more reps than indicated while maintaining proper control and technique.
This approach is referred to as taking each set to “technical failure” because your muscle fatigue prevents you from maintaining proper technique. But once you hit that failure point, don’t just drop the weight. Be sure to maintain control in the eccentric (lowering) portion of each rep.
4. Think Beyond Straight Sets and Supersets
Many gym workouts are built around either straight sets or supersets. An example of straight sets is 3 sets of 10 reps of curls, doing all 3 sets before you do a different movement. A superset would be 3 sets of 10 curls, alternated with 3 sets of 10 triceps push-downs, with little to no rest between.
There’s nothing wrong with either approach, or doing both together. But for the ACFT, I like to use two slightly different schemes: paired sets and trisets. These two approaches give the benefits of supersets—allowing you to accomplish more work in less time—while delivering a greater balance of strength, muscle growth, and conditioning.
For example, here’s one of the paired sets from Week 3 of Combat Fit:
- Trap bar deadlift (or barbell hybrid deadlift): 3 sets, 8-10 reps (rest 1-2 min.)
- 1.5-rep push-up: 3 sets, max reps (rest 1-2 min.)
The only major difference between this and a superset is the extra rest time you get between movements. Sure, you may look at those two movements and think, “They use different muscles. I don’t need to rest 2 minutes.” But try it, and you’ll notice a difference in the second and third sets. By the time you get to your third set of push-ups, it’s been several minutes, leaving those muscles plenty of time to fully recover and get ready to exert maximal intensity with every set. And because each set is more intense in paired sets, you also still get a serious cardiorespiratory effect, which improves your conditioning levels.
There’s still a time and place for short-rest, pump-style movements, though. In Combat Fit, I like to perform those as trisets (three movements performed back to back, often using the same piece of equipment) at the tail end of a workout.
By performing 2-3 exercises that work different muscle groups—say, glutes, hamstrings, and adductors—you’re constantly changing where your body must increase blood flow. This makes sure your heart and lungs are continually challenged, which helps you improve your conditioning while also increasing your strength and muscle in the targeted groups.
5. Train Both Generally and Specifically
A lot gets written online about the difference between training for aesthetics—like muscle gain and fat loss—and so-called “performance.” To be clear, the two aren’t as clear-cut as many people portray them. But one major difference is that the goal of exercise programming for performance is to maximize training “transfer.”
Think of it this way: Some exercises provide obvious and direct transfer to improved performance in a specific sport or test. These are “specific” exercises. Others provide less obvious transfer—that is, “indirect” transfer. These are more “general” exercises.
For the ACFT, specific exercises are the exercises and drills that are part of the test itself, or very close. “General” exercises are essentially conventional strength-training exercises and may include compound or isolation movements using free weights, cables, or machines.
That doesn’t mean they can’t help you better perform come testing day. In fact, general exercises offer general transfer into improvements in human performance by increasing muscle hypertrophy, motor-unit recruitment, bone density, and connective tissue strength, which can improve overall health and reduce injury risk.
In Combat Fit, you’ll do both types of exercises—and you’ll feel, look, and perform better because of it.
6. Split Up Your Strength and Conditioning Workouts
Many of the world’s best powerlifters have certain days where they focus on their maximum strength, others where they lift very heavy, and other days where they lift lighter weights but at high speeds using bands. Likewise, the world’s best speed coaches have certain days where their athletes focus on their linear speed, and other days where they focus on their change of direction speed. Having these different “themed” days emphasizing certain physical qualities is a long-proven training approach.
Since the ACFT equally challenges your strength, power, and conditioning, splitting up the training into separate strength-focused and power-and-conditioning-focused workouts is a no-brainer.
Here’s how it looks in the first four weeks of Combat Fit:
- 2 strength workouts per week, focusing on 3 ACFT events and accessory work
- 2 power and conditioning workouts per week, focusing on 3 ACFT events and accessory work
Remember: You achieve what you emphasize. Emphasizing certain physical qualities each day makes it easier to focus on learning them and improving your performance on them. This, along with the occasional practice test to tie it all together and give you the “feeling” of the test, is a time-honored recipe for success.
7. Front Load Your Workouts
Take a look at the workouts in Combat Fit, and you’ll see that exercises specific to the ACFT are placed earliest in all of the workouts—right after a full-body warm-up. This is when you’re freshest, so you can devote the maximum amount of physical and mental energy toward them.
For example, max rep push-ups and trap bar deadlifts are two of the exercises in the ACFT. So, on the two strength days in Phase 1, you’ll do variations of those. When it comes to the push-ups, you’ll even do multiple variations depending on the day:
- 1.5-rep push-ups to help you improve your strength coming out of the bottom of the push-up
- Band-resisted push-ups to help improve your strength at the top portion
- Mechanical dropsets by removing the band and banging out more reps, to improve push-up endurance
Max-rep sets of those movements are seriously tough. It’s customary to place these types of neurologically demanding exercises earliest in the workout because they require the most coordination and concentration, and are the most negatively affected by mental and physical fatigue. On the other hand, isolation exercises, which require the least coordination and concentration, are placed last in the workouts.
8. Don’t Do Too Many Practice Tests
It can be incredibly tempting in a test like the ACFT to spend most of your training simply seeing “where you’re at” with the test—maybe even multiple times a week. This approach has, unfortunately, caused countless people to underperform or straight-up fail at important physical challenges over the years.
It’s also one reason why you won’t see any practice tests in Combat Fit until Phase 2, the peaking phase. And even then, it’s only one test a week.
Make no mistake, you’ll still be working hard during Phase 2—harder than ever, in fact. You’ll do a lower-body strength day and an upper-body strength day, each of which involves more exercises and total sets than in Phase 1. You’ll also have a conditioning day to improve your overall power and endurance, including one of the best, most proven conditioning methods ever used: 300-yard shuttle runs.
These require power because you’re trying to finish each lap as fast as possible. And they require superior endurance because the constant change of direction makes your legs and your lungs burn. If you’re in shape enough to perform the mile run in a respectable time after doing several 300-yard shuttle runs (spoiler alert: that’s what the workouts will ask of you), you surely are in shape enough to crush the 2-mile run on testing day.
After this challenge, you have two full days of recovery before your weekly practice test. When you’re fresh and recovered, practice tests will not only prepare your body for the specific demands of the ACFT, they will also prepare you mentally. You’ll learn how to pace yourself, how to manage your fatigue, and simply what to expect through the entire ACFT.
This instills confidence because there will be nothing new to you on testing day. It’ll be business as usual. You’ll be ready and you’ll crush it.
8 Training Rules to Pass the Army Combat Fitness Test was originally published at https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/8-training-rules-to-pass-the-army-combat-fitness-test.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=Social_content&utm_campaign=fb_articles&utm_content=fb_articles