July 20, 2020

The Wolverine Workout: 4 Weeks to Shred Like Hugh Jackman and More…

In today’s digest we bring you articles on The Wolverine Workout: 4 Weeks to Shred Like Hugh Jackman, How To Master Hill Running And Why, 8x Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray: From Cheerleader To One Of The Greatest Female Bodybuilders Of All Time and Tip: Eat a Chocolate Bar a Day. Hope you enjoy them…

The Wolverine Workout: 4 Weeks to Shred Like Hugh Jackman

If you wan’t a body like the man who can’t die, Wolverine, you’re going to have to work for it. Learn how the man who plays the beast trains to look absolutely shredded no matter his age. Main lifts are based off a percentage of your 1-rep max in that lift, and the percentage changes…

If you wan’t a body like the man who can’t die, Wolverine, you’re going to have to work for it. Learn how the man who plays the beast trains to look absolutely shredded no matter his age.

Main lifts are based off a percentage of your 1-rep max in that lift, and the percentage changes each week (see the percentage charts to determine what weight you should use). Rest between sets is listed in seconds. Flexibility work such as static stretching and foam rolling should be performed at the end of each session.

Percentages for Week 1 (5 Reps)

60% of W1RM65% of W1RM75% of W1RM75% of W1RM
Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4

Percentages for Week 2 (4 Reps)

65% of W1RM75% of W1RM85% of W1RM85% of W1RM
Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4

Percentages for Week 3 (3 reps)

70% of W1RM80% of W1RM90% of W1RM90% of W1RM
Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4

Percentages for Week 4 (10 reps)

40% of W1RM50% of W1RM60% of W1RM60% of W1RM
Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4

The Wolverine Workout: 4 Weeks to Shred Like Hugh Jackman was originally published at https://bit.ly/3eMRPSn

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How To Master Hill Running  And Why

If you’re a regular runner looking to improve your speed and endurance you’ll know that it’s essential to mix up your training sessions. Sometimes that means short sprint sessions. Sometimes it means getting miles in your legs with a long, easy run. And sometimes, it means hill training. If you’re struggling to find the motivation…

If you’re a regular runner looking to improve your speed and endurance you’ll know that it’s essential to mix up your training sessions. Sometimes that means short sprint sessions. Sometimes it means getting miles in your legs with a long, easy run. And sometimes, it means hill training.

If you’re struggling to find the motivation to tackle some hills – either on the treadmill or outside – Myprotein health and fitness expert Faye Reid has shared four benefits of incline training. Then we have three training sessions from trainer Steve Halsall, graded in difficulty for different fitness levels so you can find one that challenges you. Finally there are top tips for tackling hill training from Ieuan Thomas, Saucony UK Athlete and British world championship competitor.

Four Benefits Of Hill Running

1. It Burns More Calories

If your number one aim is to burn calories, find your nearest incline. The extra effort involved compared with running on the flat means you’ll be calling on your body’s reserves at a much faster rate, while also strengthening your muscles

“Uphill running utilises more muscle fibres than flat running and therefore improves strength while burning fat,” says Faye Reid.

2. It Prevents Common Running Injuries

Regular runners place a lot of pressure on their shins and knees, often resulting in persistent niggles in those areas. Running uphill can help you avoid exacerbating those issues.

“Flat and downhill runs will mean that your weight is shifted forward and have more impact on your shins than on the supporting calf muscles, quads, hamstrings and glutes that are used to propel you forward when running uphill,” says Reid.

“The same can be said for your joints – your knees feel more strain on a flat or declining surface than your posterior muscles do.

“Uphill running is a perfect option for anyone looking to work those rear muscles and avoid excessive strain on your shins and knees.”

3. It Improves Endurance

No flat run feels easier than the first flat run after a hill session, and the overall endurance improvements you make will be clear next time you tackle a long race.

“By regularly running uphill, you’ll find returning to your previous flat runs comparatively easy,” says Reid.

“As the incline requires more effort and puts your muscles fibres to work, in time your overall running stamina and form will improve.”

4. It Increases Speed

Running both up and down hills helps strengthen the muscles in your legs so if you feel the need for speed, incline work can get you there.

“The extra workout to your leg muscles helps increase your running speed,” says Reid. “The same can be said for downhill running, which will build your quads. If it’s a personal best you are training for, add hill running intervals into your routine.”

Hill Training Workouts

“Hill sessions are probably the hardest sessions you do and your heart rate gets up high very quickly,” says Steve Halsall. “In the advanced session, the exercises between runs will pre-exhaust your energy systems and give you a cross-over into strength training.” Find a hill with an 8-10% incline (ie, very steep) that you can run up for about 100m, take a deep breath and get moving. We’ve treated level 2 as the standard but if it’s too hard, start with level 1. When you’ve mastered it move to level 3.

Hill Workout 1

Warm-up Jog for five minutes on flat ground followed by bodyweight lunges and squats.

  1. Walk fast to the top, then walk back down x3.
  2. Skip to the top, then walk back down x3.
  3. Jog to the top, then walk back down x3. Keep your strides short and swing your arms to help you move fluidly up the hill.
  4. High-knee skips to the top, then walk back down x3. Exaggerate your knee raise with every step while swinging your arms to assist the move. This will help you bring your legs through powerfully and efficiently when you go back to running on the flat.

Warm-down Jog for five minutes, then do some static stretches, focusing on your quads, hamstrings and calves.

Hill Workout 2

Warm-up Jog for five minutes on flat ground followed by bodyweight lunges and squats, star jumps and side lunges.

  1. Hill sprints x10. The key to running fast uphill is to make sure you pump your arms. Your legs will naturally follow that powerful movement. Do the first repetition at 10% of your maximum perceived effort, then add 10% more effort every repetition. Jog, rather than walk, back to the start.
  2. High-knee skips x10. Leap and bound up the hill, keeping your knees high and using a powerful arm action to propel yourself. Jog back to the start.
  3. Lateral shuffle x10. Crouching in a squat position, move diagonally forwards, sidestepping all the way to the top.

Warm-down Jog for five minutes, then do some static stretches, focusing on your quads, hamstrings and calves.

Hill Workout 3

Warm-up Jog for five minutes on flat ground followed by bodyweight lunges and squats, star jumps and side lunges. After that do 20m of fast, small steps on your toes to prime your calves.

Split your path up the hill into four equal points 25m apart and do the following drills.

  1. Hill sprints x10. Increase your speed after every 25m marker. Jog back down to the start.
  2. Leg circuit and sprints x10. At each marker you will perform 30 reps of just one leg exercise – squat, lunge, squat to calf raise or jump squat – then sprint to the next marker and perform the next exercise. Jog back to the start.
  3. Descent sprints x10. Jog to the top of the hill, then run flat-out to the bottom. This will teach your body to run faster.

Warm-down Jog for five minutes, then do some static stretches, focusing on your quads, hamstrings and calves.

Hill Running Tips

1. Choose A Good Hill

Go steep, but not too steep. A study published in the Journal Of Applied Physiology found that anything over 9° (the max on most treadmills), is more efficient to walk than run. And keep it short – ten- to 30-second intervals beat endless slogging.

Why it works You’ll recruit more fast-twitch muscle fibres by going near maximum intensity, so go for intervals you can only maintain for a short time to overload your muscles and get your nervous system firing.

2. Keep It Quick

Resist the urge to slow down too much. “Maintain a fast leg cadence,” says Ieuan Thomas. “Think about your ground contact and ‘springing’ back off the ground as soon as possible after contact.”

Why it works Your tendons naturally store some energy with each step. Landing on your heels or slowing down will only make you less efficient and more tired.

3. Resist The Lean

You’re going to want to hunch up like Rocky. Don’t. “Fight the urge to lean too far forwards,” says Thomas. “This will reduce your range of motion, leading to a shorter stride and less power output.” Instead, let yourself angle naturally towards the incline.

Why it works Lean too much and you’ll end up bending at the waist, which will constrict your hip flexors and suck away energy. Keep a straight line between your legs, hips and shoulders.

4. Keep Moving Your Arms

Hill runs are a full-body endeavour. “The faster your arms move, the faster your legs will move too,” says Thomas. “Use them to generate more leg power.”

Why it works The idea that our arms and legs are “neurocoupled” as a result from our evolution from quadrupeds is speculative – but studies are clear that arm-swinging works for power generation. Tone it down on the flats for greater efficiency.

5. Watch The Terrain

Even if you’re not going to race off-road, it’s worth doing it in training. “If you’re going off-road, be wary of loose and uneven terrain,” says Thomas. Look up and ahead to spot your next foot placement rather than looking directly at the floor.

Why it works Off-roading will force you to change your gait and recruit balance, activating and conditioning stabiliser muscles that don’t normally get a look-in on the road.

6. Enjoy The Downhills

“Avoid the temptation to lean back on the downhills,” says Thomas. “It’s a waste of energy. Instead of striding further and braking, up your cadence and focus on turnover.” In a 2008 study, anything steeper than 5.8% will start to wreck your form.

Why it works Artificially increasing your stride rate can train your neuromuscular system to work faster. Short bursts of speed on the flat will also work, but downhills are better.

How To Master Hill Running – And Why was originally published at https://www.coachmag.co.uk/running/6807/how-to-master-hill-running-and-why

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8x Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray: From Cheerleader To One Of The Greatest Female Bodybuilders Of All Time

In every sport, there are athletes who reach the pinnacle and achieve things that they never thought they could accomplish. For female bodybuilding, few people have had the opportunity to do that. However, Lenda Murray managed to get the most out of all of her opportunities, which led her to a staggering eight Ms. Olympia…

In every sport, there are athletes who reach the pinnacle and achieve things that they never thought they could accomplish. For female bodybuilding, few people have had the opportunity to do that. However, Lenda Murray managed to get the most out of all of her opportunities, which led her to a staggering eight Ms. Olympia titles.

Lenda Murray 6
Photo via Instagram @themsolympia
Full Name: Lenda Murray
WeightHeightAgeDate of Birth
150-164lbs(68-74kg)5’5 (165.1cm)58 yearsFebruary 22nd, 1962
NationalityEra
American1980, 1990, 2000

Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1962, Lenda Murray was always athletic in her youth. Attending Henry Ford High School, she was a varsity-level cheerleader and even set some records for track at the time. From there she went on to college, cheerleading at Western Michigan, and even becoming the second African American to be homecoming queen in the school’s history.

After earning her political science degree, Lenda would work briefly as a cheerleader for the Michigan Panthers. From there she was asked to audition for the Dallas Cowboys, where she would almost make the squad. When she was unsuccessful, she decides to focus more on her work in the gym, in order to slim down her thighs. Little did she know, this would be the start of a new chapter in her athletic career.

Photo via Instagram @themsolympia

The Bodybuilding Career Of Lenda Murray

At the age of 22, Lenda Murray got a membership to the Powerhouse Gym in Michigan, with the intent to tone her physique for cheerleading. However, she quickly discovered that her true passion was in something else. Under the advice of one of her friends, she began weight training, with the goal in mind to try her hand at bodybuilding.

Murray’s first amateur show was the 1985 Michigan State Championships, where she would land in the 4th place position. This would inspire her to find a real love for the sport, and begin to really devote herself to training. She would take a few years to develop her frame and find her groove, having mixed performances in 1986 and 1987.

Beginning in 1988, the skills of Lenda Murray began to really shine through, winning her second event to that point. This led her to feeling confident enough to go for her pro card in 1989, securing it by winning the Junior Nationals. Shortly after, she would make her pro debut at the 1989 North American Championships, making a splash with her first-place win.

Lenda Murray 1
Photo via Instagram @themsolympia

Lenda Murray’s Ms. Olympia Run

After making her pro debut, and five years into her bodybuilding career, Lenda Murray entered her first Ms. Olympia contest in 1990. This would be a huge step up for her, and it was her biggest showcase to date. However, she would perform with flying colors, winning the title that Cory Everson had left behind.

Lenda Murray 4
Photo via Instagram @themsolympia

As remarkable as this was, it was just the beginning for Murray, who would never compete in any other bodybuilding event again. She would spend the next five years winning the Ms. Olympia, dominating the competition with her massive size, and developed physique. This led her to the 1996 Olympia, where her six-year reign as champion would end after Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls would show up with a more complete package, snatching the crown from Lenda’s head.

After losing to Kim again in 1997, Murray decided to step away from the sport, retiring after the Olympia. This is how she would stay too, all the way until 2002 when she would return to the sport. In her comeback, she went head-to-head with Iris Kyle and came out on top, making herself the most successful female bodybuilder at the time. That record would extend in 2003, with a whopping eighth Ms. Olympia win, securing her place as one of the greatest to ever do it. Following a 2nd place at the 2004 Ms. Olympia, losing to Iris Kyle, who went on to beat Lenda’s record for Olympia wins, the 42-year old would hang it up for good.

Photo via Instagram @themsolympia

Lenda Murray Competition History

1985

  • NPC Michigan State – 4th
  • NPC Eastern Michigan – 1st

1986

  • NPC Michigan – 3rd
  • NPC Ironwoman Michigan – 3rd

1987

  • NPC Michigan – 3rd
  • NPC North Coast – 2nd

1988

  • NPC Michigan – 1st

1989

  • NPC Junior Nationals – 1st (HW and Overall)
  • IFBB North American Championships – 1st (HW and Overall)

1990

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st

1991

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st

1992

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st

1993

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st

1994

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st

1995

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st

1996

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd

1997

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd

2002

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st (HW and Overall)

2003

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st (HW and Overall)

2004

  • IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd (HW)
Lenda Murray 8
Photo via Instagram @themsolympia

Life Outside Of Bodybuilding

During her reign as Ms. Olympia, Lenda Murray proved herself knowledgeable and personable with roles doing commentary with ESPN. She uses these skills to help others after her career ended, making training videos and instructionals to help others to reach their potential. In addition to that, she found herself working as a coach, training professional wrestlers for the WWF. She even attempted to be a pro wrestler in 1997, after her initial retirement.

Following her career, Murray would not spend any time away from the fitness world. She had a gym that she operated, called the Fitness Firm, but she would close this down in 2005. Although 2015 would see Lenda reemerge in Hollywood, with a small role in the film The Ridiculous 6.

In 2010, Lenda was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame, with her being put into the National Fitness Hall of Fame the following year. Recent years have seen her serving as an ambassador for the Wings of Strength, working to further the sport of female bodybuilding. She is also the promoter and organizer for the Lenda Murray Bodybuilding Figure and Bikini Championships, an annual NPC event at Norfolk State University.

Lenda Murray 7
Photo via Instagram @themsolympia

Lenda Murray Training and Diet

When it comes to her training practices, Lenda Murray has always felt it important to listen to her body. She credits this as the reason she never suffered any major injuries in bodybuilding. Even as she aged, she would still train in ways that she considered best for her, not necessarily listening to others say that one technique is better than another, if she feels like it puts her at risk.

As far as her training split is concerned, Murray works out four days a week, with each session being about 90 minutes. She will do two days on, one day off, with every day including a 30-minute cardio session. This is how she breaks down her weekly training:

  • Day One: Chest and Biceps
  • Day Two: Quadriceps and Hamstrings
  • Day Three: Rest
  • Day Four: Back and Calves
  • Day Five: Shoulders and Tricep
  • Day Six: Rest
  • Day Seven: Rest
Photo via Instagram @themsolympia

The most important thing for Lenda is to listen to her body. With that in mind, she often does sets of about 12-15 reps, never doing supersets or giant sets. She will usually take 90 seconds to rest between sets, but if she struggles getting to 12 reps, she will adjust that to avoid injury.

Diet and nutrition is admittedly something that Murray has always struggled with, especially during her amateur career. She has also loved carbs but had to adjust what she ate as she transitioned from cheerleading to bodybuilding. That being said, she has found a way to adjust her nutrition for the sport, and manage her calories appropriately. She now keeps a strict diet, with only the occasional cheat meal.

Lenda Murray 5
Photo via Instagram @themsolympia

What We Can Learn From Lenda Murray

The career of Lenda Murray was one of domination, but it was not without struggles. She had a slow start, and it took her a while to get the hang of her diet and skills on the stage. However, once she got her groove, she was nearly unstoppable.

Although her record of most Ms. Olympia wins no longer stands, Lenda is still one of the greatest to ever do it. Her life is a perfect example of how it may take you a while to find the athletic ventures that work the best for you. For her, she thought that she was destined to be a cheerleader, but her true calling was clearly in bodybuilding.

At the start of her career, Lenda looked to the likes of Cory Everson as inspiration. Although the two narrowly missed competing against each other, there were a lot of similarities between both their physique and training approach. It would have been interesting to see who would have been victorious if the two faced off.

You can look at the run of Lenda Murray as the end of an era of female bodybuilding. She gets a lot of comparisons to Lee Haney, and given the parallels between them it is hard to argue with that.

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8x Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray: From Cheerleader To One Of The Greatest Female Bodybuilders Of All Time – Fitness Volt was originally published at https://fitnessvolt.com/lenda-murray/

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Tip: Eat a Chocolate Bar a Day

About 10 or 15 years ago, research came out suggesting that eating chocolate was good for you. It supposedly had something to do with positive effects on arachidonic acid metabolism and the health of the human heart. People went nuts. Men and women who’d gone to great lengths to hide their Russell Stover assorted chocolates…

About 10 or 15 years ago, research came out suggesting that eating chocolate was good for you. It supposedly had something to do with positive effects on arachidonic acid metabolism and the health of the human heart.

People went nuts. Men and women who’d gone to great lengths to hide their Russell Stover assorted chocolates box for years could now store them openly on the same shelf as their spirulina. Citizens of Hershey, Pennsylvania rejoiced. Willy Wonka gave raises to all the Oompa Loompas and they all went on a weeklong bender.

People who took the advice to heart lived happily ever after. Until they died. Except for all the obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis in between.

As usual, the humans misinterpreted the information, ate lots of chocolate, and essentially invalidated what was initially good advice by growing less healthy instead of more healthy. The thing is, eating a chocolate bar every day can be hugely beneficial to human health in a number of ways, provided you’re eating the right kinds of chocolate or chocolate bars. It can also have various bodybuilding benefits, too.

What’s So Special About Chocolate?

Chocolate, or more specifically, the cocoa it’s made from, is rich in a couple of particular sub-groupings of polyphenols (a class of plant chemicals). These sub-groupings of polyphenols in chocolate are known as flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanins and they can do terrific things for the human body, including the following:

  • Lower your risk of dying from a host of diseases: Meta analyses of people who eat a lot of cocoa report a 37% lower risk of cardiovascular disease (five studies), a 31% reduction in diabetes (one study), and a 29% lower risk of stroke (three studies). Cocoa polyphenols help the cardiovascular system by reducing the incidence of arrhythmias and heart disease in general by lowering blood pressure and improving endothelial function, while its effects on diabetes relate to its ability to increase insulin sensitivity.
  • Facilitate stronger erections: Cocoa augments nitric oxide (NO) levels, which in turn allows more blood to flow into the penis when sexually excited.
  • Improve gut health: The flavan-3-ols in cocoa have been shown to increase butyrate, an anti-inflammatory compound that influences intestinal homeostasis and energy metabolism by improving intestinal barrier function and mucosal immunity. This qualifies cocoa as an actual pre-biotic food.
  • Help grow muscle: Flavan-3-ols also inhibit myostatin, a factor that inhibits muscle growth, while simultaneously stimulating the production of follistatin, which functions to increase muscle growth.
  • Act as a natural “nerve tonic”: Cocoa is a proven neuro-protectant (it protects nerves from disease or chemical assault), along with improving nerve function and cognition.

So What’s the Healthiest Type of Chocolate to Eat?

Years ago, pretty much your only choice was buying milk chocolate bars because Europeans ate dark chocolate and Americans ate milk chocolate, thank you very much, you commie bastard.

The trouble is, the darker varieties of chocolate are the healthful ones since they have a lot more of the juicy polyphenols we want, in addition to containing more caffeine, which acts synergistically with the polyphenols. The cocoa polyphenols increase the cognitive-enhancing effects of caffeine while simultaneously reducing its jitter-causing effects.

Old-fashioned American chocolate bars were also confectionerily jacked up with lots and lots of sugar, in addition to worrisome amounts of heart-gunky trans fat. As a result, they probably inadvertently negated any of the healthful effects of the limited amount of cocoa polyphenols they contained.

Some of the newer chocolate bars have fewer of these nutritional drawbacks. Play it safe, though, by looking for bars with the following properties:

  • It should be made with dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa. Avoid milk chocolate.
  • It should have a short ingredient list, containing not much more than milk solids, lactose, casein, whey, and butter fat.

Luckily, many of the new keto chocolate bars on the market fit the bill and use, as a bonus, either natural sweeteners or no added sugars. Eating one (a small one) or half of a larger one every day should pose no problems and actually be healthful, as long as you take into consideration their high-fat content and make adjustments elsewhere in your diet.

Related:
How to Supercharge Your Coffee

Related:
Is Dark Chocolate a Bodybuilding Food?

Sources

  1. Ali Boolani, Jacob B. Lindheimer, Bryan D. Loy, Stephen. “Acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue: a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover experiment,” BMC, 13 January 2017.
  2. Frage, Cesar, et al. “The effects of polyphenols and other bioactives on human health.” Food and Function, Issue 2, 2019.
  3. Guitierrez-Salmean, Gabriela, et al. “Effects of epicatechin on molecular modulators of skeletal muscle growth and differentiation.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2014. PubMed, PMC.
  4. Yu, PL. “Effects of catechin, epicatechin and epigallocatechin gallate on testosterone production in rat leydig cells.” Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 2010. PubMed-NCBI.

Tip: Eat a Chocolate Bar a Day was originally published at https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/tip-eat-a-chocolate-bar-a-day?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article8666