Shoulders, Tiny Waists, and Drop Sets-Oh My!…

I love training shoulders because there are a variety of ways to mix up exercises to keep your deltoids on their toes!  Deltoids are a very important part to a person’s physique. Broader shoulders are the perfect compliment to a bigger chest on a man, giving him the coveted V-taper.

GSP (Georges St. Pierre rocks an amazing pair of shoulders, giving him a solid V-Taper from shoulders to waist)

On a woman, a defined pair of shoulders can actually make her waist look smaller and is the perfect accessory to that little black dress!

(Francisca Dennis-does anyone have a better set of shoulders than she?????)


In my video, I show you a variety of different exercises and you have many different options in performing them.  You can perform them traditionally with 3 sets of 10-12 reps.  You can superset them, performing 2 of the exercises back to back without rest. You can perform them in a circuit format, chosing 4-5 exercises and throwing in short bursts of cardio between sets.  For example, you can perform 12 reps of military press immediately followed by a minute of jumprope.  Quickly move on to lateral raises followed again by jumprope or running stairs.  Continue until all 4-5 exercises have been completed.  Repeat for 3 total sets with a 2 minute break in between.  This will really fatigue your shoulders and help to burn fat and build up more lean muscle tissue.

You can also perform a drop set.  A drop set is typically used on your last set of an exercise when you can no longer lift the weight you are lifting.  Just because you can not lift anymore weight does not mean your muscle is completely cashed.  It means that you have exhausted some muscle fibers, but not all.  You can still engage the muscle fibers by lifting a weight that is slightly lighter than the weight you just lifted.  Let’s say you are on your final set of military press using 30 lb dumbbells.  On your last couple of reps you are completely exhausted.  Put the weight down and immediately pick up a pair of 2o lb dumbbells and do as many reps as you can until you can’t do anymore.  Immediately put the weight down and then pick up a pair of 15 lb weights and go until fatigue.  The purpose is to continue dropping about 3-4 times and moving IMMEDIATELY to the next drop set.  If rest time is given then the drop set is pointless.

Baby Got Back!…

“I like big butts and I can not lie. You other brothers can’t deny, that when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get sprung!”  Well, you get the gist.  Men like tiny waists and shapely booties, and you won’t find us girls complaining about a nice firm behind on our men!

As women, we usually have two main target areas: bellies and bums.  And most men tend to neglect the muscles of the bum, concentrating more on the muscles of the legs such as the hamstrings and quads.  The muscles that are located in your behind are called the gluteals.  There are actually three muscles that compose this powerhouse muscle group: The gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and the gluteus medius. The glutes are actually the largest muscle group in your body.  This is due to the functions that the glutes provide such as running, jumping, walking, walking stairs, turning from side to side, sitting, stability, posture, and the list goes on and on.  It doesn’t make sense to ignore this muscle group, or to not put it on your top priority list in your training.

In this video I demonstrate a glute workout with options that you can do in your home without any equipment.  I am going to warn you that some of these exercises may seem a bit strange and may seem like I need to rent a room for myself…I don’t suggest dropping to the ground and doing these in public.  But, they are strictly glute focused, with the exception of the squats.

If you chose to use no equipment, believe me, you are still going to get a good butt-focused workout.  Just make sure to really focus on squeezing the glute and performing the exercise to failure, which may require you to do more than 10-12 reps.

Some of these exercises I was doing for years, but after coming across an article a little over a year ago, I read some pretty interesting information on exercises that really only focus on glute activiation, rather than hamstring and quad.

Give this glute workout a try!  You can also turn it into a butt-blasting circuit…follow the instructions at the beginning of the video.  And share it with your friends!  This is one you have no excuse not to do!

And I’ll put this directly on MY WORKOUT page under LOWER BODY & CIRCUITS for future reference.


Create Your Own Arm Workout…

In this video I put together 8 Bicep and Tricep Supersets.  The first 4 supersets only require you to have a dumbbell.  The last 4 need a little more equipment.  Pick 4-5 supersets and either perform them traditionally, with 3 sets of 10 reps of each.  Or perform it as a circuit, going through each superset once with no rest between sets.  Once you have gone through all of your supersets, return to the beginning and go through it 2-3 more times for an arm-exhausting circuit!

If you need further explanation of the exercises, go to “MY WORKOUT” page and under UPPER BODY exercises you will find a longer video with demos, along with this one.

Go get strong arms!


CrossFit Circuit attempt #3…

I just love this workout I talked about in my previous post “Doesn’t even compare to a 10 Mile Run or all out 200 yard Sprint!…”!  This is the third time I’ve done it, and I am already seeing improvements.  I can last longer while performing reps, which means I will able to increase the weight very soon.

I now do 75lbs on bench, 125lbs on squats, and 45 lbs on Clean & Press.  If you’re looking for a routine that will allow you to lift heavy and kick your butt on cardio, all in a short period of time, this circuit is definitely for you.  Here is the info from my previous post on where I found this circuit and how to perform it-the video below was recorded on my last set.


Have you been paying attention to your Abs?…

I’ve been looking around for some new abdominal workouts and I’ve found one that I really enjoy doing and it kicks my butt at the same time.  It’s a fairly long ab workout, which I was trying to avoid, but it incorporates a good variety of moves targeting all areas of the abdominal muscles.  So far I have been doing this workout twice a week and because it is a longer circuit, I have decided to perform the circuit on days where my lift workout is not quite as long in duration as others. One day of which is strictly my cardio day, so I focus on just this routine before hitting the pavement.  The other day is strictly a lift day without cardio, so I will perform this ab circuit after completing my lift routine for the day.

It does require some equipment, although there are definite ways to modify.  An olympic bar, stability ball, weight stack, and abdominal bench are needed.  If you do not have access to these pieces of equipment, still read on and watch the video.  You can modify the olympic bar with any heavy piece of equipment that you can hold in both hands.  A stability ball is no more than $20 at Target.  The weight stack you can replace with either heavy ankle weights or placing a dumbbell between both ankles while performing a laying leg raise.  And you don’t absolutely have to have a bench.  You can perform that particular exercise on the floor, or on the stability ball which will allow your body to decline almost as much as the abdominal bench…you may need something to secure your feet under if holding a heavy weight.

Here is the video for HD Abs and I will also post this on My Workout page under Abdominal Exercises.

What’s the deal with 3 sets/10 reps?…

Everyone has their own way of studying for a test.  You might go hard for hours with no rest in between.  You may take many breaks and focus on a lot of different info during the study session.  Or, you just pace slow and take breaks when needed.  So, when it comes to exercise why does everyone hear about and follow the same “3 sets of 10 reps” rule?

What this means is that every time you workout, you are focusing on performing the exercise 3 times.  Every time you perform the exercise it is performed for 10 repetitions.  When you have completed 3 sets of 10 reps you just performed 30 repetitions.

When you do your own research on this topic you are going to find an array of people agreeing, disagreeing, and people getting outright enraged with everyone and their theories.

First off, if you have specific goals in mind (strength gains, bodybuilding, toning, etc.) this will change the amount of repetitions you are to perform during sets.  If your goal is to gain strength, the general rule of thumb is to perform around 6 reps.  If you are looking to tone you are going to end up in the higher rep range which is around 13-20 reps.  If you want to focus on muscle hypertrophy, then your rep range is usually between 8-12 reps.  So, the amount of reps you perform is pretty much based on your fitness goals.  Since we are all individuals and our bodies are all unique, adapting to stimulus differently, even these numbers will need some adjusting during your training.

But, what about the rule of 3 sets?  Man, oh man!  There is just not a set answer out there!  The 3 sets 10 reps rule began in the 1940’s and 1950’s when an Army surgeon general concluded that three sets were better than one.  But, there are training programs that do use the 1 set rule as a training regimen.  People that use this training method of 1 set say that mental focus, intensity, and speed of the rep are detrimental to this type of training.  I have to say, aren’t ALL of those factors detrimental to any training regimen, regardless of sets?

First off, if you feel the 1 set rule is working for you I truly think it is important to at least get a warm-up set before you perform the high intensity 1 set workout. In my opinion without having a warm-up set, it is difficult to perform a heavy weight, high intensity 1 set workout.  A warm-up set can even be necessary when abiding by the 3 set rule.  Remember, it’s really all personal preference, but you don’t want your muscles to be tight and not loosened up before a workout.

Second, studies are showing that when compared to 1 set, the 3 set rule is allowing for greater strength gains…up to 46% in one study!  Some people even exceed the 3 sets rule and aim for 4-6 sets, but usually with less reps and heavier weights.  Most studies only focus on the 3 set rule, so there isn’t much data out there on strength gains exceeding 3 sets.

Lastly, just remember what your fitness goals are and find ways to adjust your workout to fit your desired outcome.  I generally do not lift to tone.  I lift to put on some muscle and am hoping in the near future I can train to put on more.  I do live by the 3 sets rule (sometimes adding in a 4th set if I’m feeling freaking awesome!)  and I lift until I cannot lift anymore, which is between 8-10 reps.  I want to lift heavy to put on muscle, therefore I do not perform a lot of reps.  If I can lift a weight more than 12 reps, I am now into the toning stage of training and my weight is not heavy enough for my training desires.  I also lift with intensity, focus, and I lift slowly-not lifting fast compromising my form.  But, I have had days where I was sick and all I performed was 2 sets of each exercise.  2 sets are better than none!

You can always change up your sets by using drop sets, pyramid workouts, circuits, 21’s, super sets (click and see super-sets for bi’s/tri’s and shoulders), negatives, partials (21’s again), etc.  Just find ways to tailor sets to your workouts.  Everyone is different and we all succeed differently.  That’s what makes us unique and allows for so much debate on the 3 sets 10 reps topic!

Check out this article for information regarding working out for beginners.  It’s great and sets forth some clear strategies and key points in exercise.

Another In-Your-House-Cardio-Circuit…

Here is another In-Your-House-Workout.  No equipment is needed.  It’s a great cardio circuit created by fitness celebrity Lindsay Messina.

HIIT Glute Circuit…

I have uploaded the workout I described in my post “Bring it up a notch with a different approach to HIIT…” to My Workouts page titled: LOWER BODY HIIT w/ HEAVY WEIGHTS & CARDIO.

Like I’ve said before, when doing the side jumps on the plyo box, you should really push off your foot and spring up into the air, but because my plyo box is in my basement (dang winter keeping it indoors) I don’t push off as high as I should or I’d crack my head on the ceiling.

And pardon my lip syncing at the end. Thank goodness for mute!

5 minute warm-up

10 reps squat, deadlift, walking lunge, squat jumps, side plyo jumps, 1-2 minutes fast cardio…rest and repeat total of 3 times.


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