Tag Archives: Training

Over-Training Tips

Teds Tips to Bigger Arms -Tri Harder

Teds Tips to Bigger Arms- Tri Harder

Let’s be honest we all envy that guy we see whose arms barely fit his t-shirt. Who can honestly say that they don’t want bigger arms.. ..The truth of the matter is arms are almost everyone’s favorite body part to train- when we talk about getting an insane pump it’s not usually referring to our calves or our back- its a pump in the arms- its that point where you can no longer touch your shoulders cause your arms are so filled with blood it hurts- this is what Arnie referred to as the ‘feeling that is better than sex’…. Now I might not go as far as to say that but yes we all love the pump..

bigger arms

Here in lies the problem- we all love training arms and whilst I can’t talk about Over-training a muscle group as i train everyday- the problem is too much emphasis falls on isolation moves for the arms  and the muscles that make up the arms (biceps and triceps) are overworked and are not allowed enough time to fully recover and grow before being worked again. What some people fail to realize is that whilst training other body parts the arm muscles will be playing a role (training chest or shoulders you are working your tricpes- whilst training your back your biceps will be working) in either stabilizing the weight or helping lift the weight- therefore too many programs are written that do not allow enough time for the arms to fully recover (when you lift weights you essentially tear the muscle fibres- if you do not allow enough time for them to recover they will just continue to be torn down without ever being able to grow back bigger and stronger… when you rest is when you grow)

Too much volume and emphasis is placed on arm training, considering the size of the biceps and triceps. To reduce the volume i would suggest doing 2 exercises for biceps and 2-3 for triceps- and only 3-4 sets of each exercise- i see programs that have 5 exercises for biceps and hundreds of sets and reps- this will be detrimental to your goals for bigger arms (assuming you are a natural lifter). Also try giving your arms at least 48 hours before training them again- Yes i train everyday but the way i split my training routine up allows me more than 48 hours before training arms again. If you are a natural lifter you might want to consider not training arms on their own day- stick to compound movements of larger muscle groups (bench press for chest- row for back-squats for legs) your arms will play a role in these compound lifts (even in squats) and as you get stronger in these main lifts your arms will get stronger as well-(stronger muscle usually leads to a bigger muscle) It will also lead to an overall increase in muscle size- and these compound lifts have been shown to help increase your natural testosterone levels – more testosterone in your body = bigger muscles .. Try training your arms at the end of the workout after completing your heavy compound lifts- they will already be warmed up – for example if you were going heavy on bench then your triceps will have been worked so they will only need one or two isolation exercises at the end to force growth in the muscle.


The other problem is the focus on the biceps- yes we all want a big bicep but in reality the triceps make up larger portion of the arm- think of it Bi=2 Tri=3. Therefore our main tip to getting bigger arms is to shift focus from training our biceps to training our triceps.


Try varying rep ranges and exercises as our genetics differ from person to person it is impossible to suggest the best rep range for everyone- what i will say is try the basic 8-12 rep range to start with but if you do not see progress (after 6-8 weeks) try going heavier and reduce the number of reps- or what i have found that works better for me is a slightly higher rep range of 15-20 reps.. but like i said it will differ from person to person..

Below is a great video of Steve Cook and Rob Riches taking you through some tricep exercises.. enjoy

Ted Talks- Cardio HIIT or LISS

Cardio: HIIT or LISS ?

Is cardio part of your routine? What type do you choose? Do you choose High Intensity Interval Training.. or Low intensity Steady State ..

cardio HIIT or LISS

Both HIIT and LISS  training has its benefits.. so why not use both…?

FITNESSCOP: The Cardio Question: What Type Of Cardio Is …

The Cardio Question: What Type Of Cardio Is Best For Fat Loss? Unsure if HIIT or LISS is better for fat loss? Bodybuilder Cliff Wilson explains the science behind fat loss and helps you to get shredded. Cardio – HIIT or LISS?

Health Correlator: How to lose fat and gain muscle at the …

… diet and resistance training should be the foundation for changing body composition. Adding cardio (HIIT or LISS) is fine for burning extra calories, but resistance training is the most important as far as exercise strategies go.

Cardio HIIT or LISS 

Why Incline: The benefits of incline running

Why Incline: The benefits of incline running

Why Incline: The benefits of incline running

This morning I woke up and decided to hit the gym for my morning fasted cardio session – having trained legs the day before the thought of running fast on a treadmill became a more and more daunting task the closer i got to the gym. As i began the workout i started with a light jog; (wearing a heart rate monitor so that i can track my heart rate to maintain a level optimum for burning fat) Since my fitness levels have increased I was having to run at a speed that was quite frankly too fast for my DOM’s affected legs to maintain. So without thinking i just slowly started to increase the incline and decrease the speed- this immediately helped raise my heart rate to the required level whilst easing the stress on my legs. This got me thinking what are the benefits of incline running ?

after a little research i found a few articles that gave me the answers and i will now share them with you

Why Incline: The benefits of incline running 

Whist it has the same cardiovascular benefits as flat running …

1)  Incline running also increases your muscle strength and power. Hills can help you build greater aerobic capacity and builds a more efficient stride.
2) Running on inclines of more than 15 percent activates the leg muscles about three times as much as exercising on a flat roads. This means you build greater muscle strength and power when running on an incline so that when you run on a flat road, you can go faster more efficiently.
3) High speed incline walking is a lower impact alternative for you. Flat road running can also aggravate shin splints or knee pain. Running on an incline reduces that stress.
4)  Running up a five percent incline on a treadmill burns about 100 more calories than running on a flat road, says “Shape” magazine. (exact difference will depend on your speed, body weight and running fitness levels) – research also found that going slower up an incline utilizes a greater amount of fat. Running fast on a flat road still burns calories, but more of them come from carbohydrates.
(whilst incline running has its benefits it is also more taxing on the body so i would not advise using it for all your workouts, just mix it in to your workouts to see the benefits)
so next time you are thinking of going for a run don’t avoid those hills


Why Incline: The benefits of incline running 



Why Incline: The benefits of incline running 


Over-Training Boxing class

Over-Training Boxing Class

Learn to box- with our one on one boxing classes (or train together with a friend)

over training boxing class

Burn fat and build muscle – whilst having fun and getting rid of that work stress

Boxing is a great way of getting cardio into your routine without spending hours and hours slogging away on a treadmill- improving cardiovascular fitness has a whole list of health benefits.

It is also a great way of helping build muscle and improve muscle tone- which works to help burn more fat over time.

Boxing can also help improve coordination and reduce stress (which if you are like most people is usually quite high after a long day at work)

Boxing class – Puregym Lambeth – YouTube.

Over-Training Boxing class 

Say goodbye to Bingo Wings

Say goodbye to Bingo Wings

Bingo Wings- A term that refers to the loose skin at the back of your arms (affecting mostly women). For many women as they get older they loose muscle mass and their skin looses its elasticity, for other women Bingo wings are caused due to a lack of muscle mass in the arms or too much fat.

say goodbye to bingo wings

Although bingo wings are an unsightly body part, with the correct exercises you can rid yourself of this problem ( if your bingo wings are caused by dramatic weight loss you may need surgery to remove the excess skin).

By performing exercises to strengthen and build the muscle of the arms, paying particular attention to the triceps you can slowly rid yourself of your bingo wings.

Here are three exercises i would advise you perform 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions- twice a week.

Say Goodbye to Bingo Wings: Routine

 1) Bicep curls– the Bicep makes up the muscle on the front of your arm. When we contract (shorten) the Bicep we cause flexion at the elbow joint. Strengthening the Bicep will help with overall tone of the arms and although it is widely regarded as not as important as Tricep exercises when it comes to getting rid of Bingo wings it is important to maintain muscle balance so when we train our triceps it is important to train the opposing muscle – the biceps. If you do not train both agonist and antagonist muscles this will lead to muscular imbalances.


2) Shoulder Press- the shoulder press is a great compound movement that works the deltoids (shoulders) and your triceps. These will help shape and tone your shoulders which will help hide the appearance of bingo wings. (they will also help to tone your arms and burn calories)


3) TRICEP KICKBACKS- As the name suggests this exercise targets the tricep muscle. The Triceps make up the muscles on the back of your arm and as I previously stated are the opposing muscles to the biceps. As the Bicep flexes the tricep relaxes and vise versa. Due to the location of the triceps, having strong and well defined triceps will help prevent getting bingo wings. This is therefore regarded as the best exercise for removing your bingo wings. Due to the location when performing this exercise you are directly working the backs of your arms (where the bingo wings are found) if you can build these muscles this will help regain that elasticity in your arms thereby ridding you of those unsightly bingo wings- the below video shows three great variations to hit all three heads of the tricep.

Alright Ladies what are you waiting for

Say Goodbye to Bingo Wings

Ab Fab- 4 of the best exercises for abs

Ab Fab- 4 of the best exercises for abs


Abs or Abdominals- Probably the most talked about body part, the abdominals are the corner stone of all good physiques.

There are a few misconceptions though that I would like to clear up before going through 4 exercises to help strengthen your core.

Firstly your abdominals will only show when your body fat percentage is at a certain level (depending on your genetics this will vary from person to person). For most men 8-10% body fat will usually allow your abs to show, and for women it is usually around 12-15%.

You’ve all probably read the phrase ‘Abs are made in the kitchen not in the gym’. And this is true to the extent that you can do a million crunches everyday but if you have a high body fat percentage you will never see those abs as they are being hidden beneath your body fat. For most people diet alone will not give them six pack abs, but a healthy diet in conjunction with an exercise regime will help to lower your body fat and tone up your mid section.

Another point I want to make is that our genetics shape our abs, we can through weighted exercises, add thickness and strength to our abs but we cannot change their shape. Ab exercises help strengthen our abdominal muscles but due to the physiology of our abdominal muscles we cannot change their shape, so if you have abs that aren’t perfectly in line with each other that’s just how your abs will look, no exercises can cause this or correct this.

Over-training abs? It is hard to actually over train your abs. Your abs recover quicker due to their physiology, and they have adapted to over-training as they are used during most exercises to stabilise the body. During most compound and free weight exercises you will be engaging your core muscles. Most people who do exercise regimes that involve weights will not need to focus on ab exercises as they are engaging their core throughout most of their exercises. My advice is once or twice a week at the end of your workout do one or two ab exercises to really target your abs (What is referred to as ‘finishing moves’). Like all body parts if you feel DOM’S in your abdomen allow them to recover before training them again.

Ab Fab- 4 of the best exercises for abs

There are lots of different ab exercises, so how do you decide which to do? There is no perfect answer, however what I advise is 1)  find ones that you enjoy doing so you are more likely to keep adding them into your routine. 2) Try to add one or two weighted ab exercises to increase the resistance 3) Try and target each part of the abs so the Lower Abs, Upper abs, Obliques and the Serratus Anterior (you will hit most abdominals during each exercise but you can find exercises that better target the different sections). 4) don’t worry about number of reps, I usually go to failure each set but for some exercises this could be anywhere up to 20 reps but for others it might be as little as 8 reps. 5) My personal preference is putting the exercises into a circuit and then doing 3 laps of the circuit. This keeps my heart rate up and helps burn more calories

Ab Fab- 4 of the best exercises for abs: 

1) Hanging Leg raises – Targets lower abs 

2) Woodchop – Targets the Obliques 


3) Rope Crunches- Rectus Abdominus (Upper and lower abs) 

4) Toe to Toe Crunches- targets the Obliques and Serratus Anterior

These are just 4 of my personal favourites and provides a balanced ab routine. Just remember during each abdominal exercise make sure to breath out during the contraction of the abdominal muscles, this will allow a greater contraction of the abs.

Ab Fab- 4 of the best exercises for abs

Ab Fab- 4 of the best exercises for abs

Bottoms Up- best exercises for the glutes

 Bottoms Up- best exercises for the glutes


The Bum or ‘Glutes’

Like other body parts some people are genetically blessed; you might have a friend who has a nice pert bum without having to do any work, however for some people it is a source of constant frustration. This is made worse by the constant pressure placed on women via magazines and advertising to fit into a certain body type in order to be sexy/beautiful.


The good news is that like other lagging body parts, with the right exercises and correct technique (and a bit of hard work) you can tone and shape your bum and it doesn’t involve hours and hours on the treadmill.

When it comes to training your bum, the best thing to do is stick to the basics, once you have mastered the basics (or bodyweight versions) you can start either adding resistance (dumbbells/barbells) or increasing the difficulty of the exercise. Your butt will grow when it is under more resistance/Tension so progressive overload is important.

Try these exercises 1-2 times a week performing 3-5 sets of each exercise (you can play around with the rep range depending on whether you are performing weighted or bodyweight versions of the exercises- I would keep it around 10-15 reps) –

(depending on recovery- if you are experiencing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which you are likely to in the first week or two of training then wait till your body has recovered before training the bum again). You can do this workout at the gym, in the park or at home so it is great for when you do not have the time to make it into the gym (and all exercises can be progressed or regressed)

Bottoms Up- best exercises for the Glutes Routine: 

Walking Lunges-

One of my favourite exercises for the glutes, this will work all of your lower body and has many variations. Once you have mastered basic walking lunges you can add weights (barbell or dumbbells) to the exercise and do weighted walking lunges. If you are trying to burn extra fat off- you can try jumping lunges which will raise your heart rate and increase the number of calories burnt. Below is a video that shows walking lunges with kick backs which really help target the glutes.



The king of all exercises- The squat is another great exercise that will help tone your glutes. Starting with bodyweight version – working up to weighted squats. Don’t become too concerned with how much weight you can squat, just make sure to get the full range of motion for this exercise (parallel or below parallel). Go for a shoulder width stance or wider to work the glutes more.

Below is a video demonstrating correct form for bodyweight squats


 Stiff legged/ Straight leg deadlift 

The deadlift like the squat is a great exercise for the lower body- since we are focusing on the glutes the straight leg or stiffed legged deadlift better targets the glutes and hamstrings. This is a great exercise, however I advise you not to go too heavy with it as the back is put into a compromised position so you need to be careful. When performing the exercise make sure your spine remains in a neutral position (do not let your back round). You should feel a great stretch down the back of the leg when performing this. The video below shows correct form for this exercise.



Bridge/ Hip Thrust-

I’ve saved the best till last- the hip thrust or bridge really targets the upper glutes and will help tone and shape your bum better than any other exercise.

Below is a video of how to perform the hip thurst and the progression of a one legged hip thurst.

Further progression of this exercise is with weighted hip thrusts using a barbell

Finally – and my personal favourite for working by bum (yes ladies i work my bum too) is the stair master or stepper.Bottoms Up- best exercises for the glutes

This piece of cardio equipment helps me target my glutes and hamstrings whilst buring more calories than i would on the stationary bike or cross trainer. I would advise using a high tempo playlist with a good steady beat for you to step to. This will help tone up your bum and aid in overall fat loss.

Just make sure your not cheating yourself out of getting better results – many women I see using this machine are either taking very small steps- decreasing the range of movement and taking the emphasis of the exercise away from their bum or they are supporting a lot of their bodyweight with their arms. Make sure you feel your body weight as you step down with your heel. This is very hard cardio when performed correctly but the results will be worth it.



Bottoms Up- best exercises for the glutes

Bottoms Up- best exercises for the glutes

Back it up- Back workout for building mass

Back it up- Back workout for building mass

Below is a video of Mike O’Hearns power bodybuilding workout. I wanted to post this just so you get an idea that just following in the routine of 3 sets of 10- 12 reps doesn’t work for everyone. You need to switch up your workouts to keep your body guessing and continue improving.

A strong back is one of the most important features to building a great body. In order to build a strong back you need to master the basics first. Mike’s workout is great cause it sticks to three key exercises to help build a strong back.


What I love about this workout is that he starts with one of the best overall compound exercises, the dead lift. (i think he refers to them as the superman of all lifts). Dead lifts are the best exercise for adding overall mass to your back, so I would start with dead lifts when working back. There are lots of other exercises for back but none that I would add over dead lifts.Back it up- Back workout for building mass

In the workout Mike does a number of warm up sets before going into his working sets. Warm up sets are like dynamic stretches, it is a way of getting the body ready for the exercise and stimulation that follows (helping prevent injury). Warm up sets should be done with lightweight or no weight and should involve going through the motion of the exercise without eliciting a fatigue response. Warm up sets do not count as working sets so do not fatigue the muscle.

After dead lifts depending on how much strength and energy you have left you can add a number of different back exercises, to hit different areas of the back depending on whether you are trying to build width or add thickness to your back.
A wide tapered back or ‘V look’ is what most guys are aiming for so I would definitely add some wide grip pull downs, or wide grip pull ups to my routine.

(just remember before planning your back workout- your biceps will be involved in all pulling exercises)

Back it up- Back workout for building mass

Building big traps- Trap exercises

Building big traps- Trap exercises


What makes a strong physique?

When i was younger I used to watch a lot of strongman competitions (and wrestling occasionally) and although not all these athletes were in incredible shape they all had one thing in common and that was they all had giant trapezius muscles or Trapswrestler-bill-goldberg-neck-300x162. What these massive traps did was frame their physique and give the immediate appearance of strength.


So why do so many people neglect their traps or struggle to add mass to them?

Traps like calves are often missed in most peoples workouts, or are thrown in with three sets of a heavy shrug movement. Unless you are genetically gifted this will not be enough to get you shirt bulging traps. People neglect their traps as it is a muscle that many find difficult and unrewarding to train. It is also trained incorrectly like calves and therefore even if you are throwing in a trap exercise into your workout, you will not be producing enough stimulation to illicit a growth response.

Building big traps- Trap exercises

1) Shrugs-everyone’s favourite exercise when it comes to traps.  My advice is focus on the range of movement. Use a light weight and make sure you are letting your shoulder depress (go down) all the way and then elevate  them so that they are as high as they can go, try and touch your shoulders to your ears. (as with calves a lot of people use a weight that is too heavy and shorten the range of movement). I focus on the squeeze at the top of the movement, doing slow and steady repetitions focusing on the pump/burn rather than how much weight i can shift.

I like to pyramid up on shrugs and then do a drop set at the end, or i will superset shrugs with another trap exercise like upright rows. I will do anywhere between 10-20 reps each set and on shrugs may do 5-7 sets till my traps are burning. To cause growth in the muscle you need to stimulate the muscle enough to illicit a response.

Building big traps- Trap exercises

When I do shrugs I do them either behind me or I will hold the weight to my side. I don’t understand people who ONLY shrug with the weight in front of them. Ask yourself ‘Where are your traps‘.

2) Heavy compound exercises- 

A strong physique is based around the three main lifts- squats, deadlifts and bench press, and you can bet all the strongman athletes and wrestlers I used to watch were basing much of their training on these exercises. Your traps will be worked during heavy compound movements such as the bench and squat as you are retracting and squeezing them statically while they’re under heavy tension during the lift. You will build bigger traps if you make sure to focus on these compound movements.

3) Variety is key

Remember your body is an amazing machine that will adapt to stimulation over time. It is therefore important to alter the stimulation in order to avoid plateaus.

Building big traps- Trap exercises

Other exercises that hit your traps are:

Upright rowsuprightbbrow2s
Face pulls 681_2

Also change up your grip on the shrugs so do side shrugs, rear shrugs and front shrugs to keep your body guessing ..


Building big traps- Trap exercises




Over-Training: Calf exercises

Over-Training: Calf exercises


Training calves– how many of you can honestly say they train their calves. A lot of guys in the gym forget to do legs all together so it is chicken-legs-gym-relatednot surprising that calves are neglected.

If you are in the gym looking to add muscle or loose fat it makes no sense to neglect any areas. If you don’t train legs you are neglecting the biggest muscle group in the body. Therefore you are limiting your overall potential for growth by half.

If you do train legs why are you neglecting calves? Big quads look ridiculous without good calves below them.

The calves are made up of the Gastrocnemius and the Soleus muscles. It is my understanding that the calf muscles due to their constant use 493x335_calf_muscleduring locomotion have adapted to become very durable and therefore over training the calves is a lot harder to do than any other muscle.


My father’s calf muscles demonstrate this principle. He has never once gone to a gym to train calves but he walks so that the majority of his weight is focused on his toes. By walking like this everyday he is essentially performing a shortened version of a calf raise every step he takes. He therefore ends up doing calf raises everyday, and therefore training his calves everyday. The people who believe in over training who therefore believe that he is over training his calves and would therefore be susceptible to injury and have weakened, small calves. This is however the opposite of what has happened, by training calves everyday his body has adapted and his calf muscles have grown in order to withstand the constant weight and tension they are placed under.

This is how I train calves- high reps- low-medium weight- 3 times a week.

Seated calf raises and standing calf raises- 3-4 sets of 30 reps each. By doing high reps you are pumping the muscle full of blood and nutrients whilst stretching the muscle fascia helping increase the potential for growth.

You use you calves everyday and they are a small muscle so try and avoid the mistake that most people make of trying to go too heavy. Focus on range of motion and the squeeze of the muscle.

when doing seated calf raises- sets of 30-  i do 10 reps feet in the neutral position, 10 reps with toes pointed in and 10 reps with toes pointed out, hitting every angle of the calf during one set. (link below video shows the three foot positions)



Over-Training: Calf exercises

Over-Training: Calf exercises