Combat Cholesterol

December 31, 2012 11:51 am Published by Leave your thoughts

By: Noel Pena

 

First and foremost to help reduce unhealthy cholesterol we first must understand
the two primary forms.

HDL (high-density lipoprotein) helps remove fat from the body by binding with
it in the bloodstream and carrying it back to the liver for disposal. It is sometimes
called good cholesterol. HDL enhancing food sources would include:

Shitake mushrooms
Apples
Walnuts
Blueberries
Salmon
Green leafy vegetables
Olives
Avocado

Each one of these foods have properties of increasing HDL levels, while providing
necessary fiber, and nutrient content to help reduce negative effects from LDL (Low
– Density Lipoprotein)

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) carries mostly fat and only a small amount of protein from
the liver to other parts of the body. It is sometimes called bad cholesterol. High levels
of LDL have been linked to many cases of heart disease.

The key to avoid LDL causing foods is to avoid saturated fats, with a special emphasis
on trans fats, or hydrogenated fats. Hydrogenated fats are bonded fats attached with
a hydrogen atom ensuring room temperature stabilization. These are by far the most
harmful fats, and have a likely hood of creating plaque and hardening of arteries.

With all good game plans, necessary steps are needed to ensure ones overall wellbeing.
A solid diet chalked full of high antioxidant foods, and foods rich in monounsaturated/
polyunsaturated fats should help to prevent negative side effects of LDL cholesterol.

When diet, and exercise are not enough, an option of incorporating supplementation
could help in premature heart failure. Natural supplements, which should be
considered, would be garlic, CoQ10, as well as Red Yeast Rice. These supplements do
not replace a doctor’s visit nor do they replace current medication, but rather they
should help in prevention along with a healthy lifestyle.


joshstrength| pH Balance and its Effects on Performance| publish|1| 12/24/2012 11:53:00 AM|

By: Noel Pena

 

Human Performance is based on many variables, which range from genetic
structure to blood type. Its has been confusing for many to understand how
certain athletes perform below their natural abilities, when training and diet seem
to be on key.

To understand the effects of performance and its correlation to pH balance, it is
crucial to understand the basics. Below is a brief synopsis of pH and the human
body.

Proper pH balance is a key component of good health and it is absolutely essential to athletic
performance. pH is measured on a 14-point scale, with 7 being neutral. The lower the pH value,
the higher the acidity; the higher the pH value, the more alkaline. pH values vary throughout
systems in the human body. So, as you might imagine, stomach acid has a very low pH value,
ranging from 1.0 to 3.0. Pancreatic excretions are very high in pH value, ranging from 8.0 to 8.3.
The pH value of arterial blood in a healthy human is balanced around the middle of the 14-point
scale at a narrow range of 7.35 to 7.45, or just slightly alkaline.

The body converts glucose, or glycogen into lactic acid, which in turn is used as
fuel in the muscle cells mitochondria. The lactic acid requires buffering agents to
minimize hydrogen ion deposits which have been linked to pH imbalance, which
contribute to muscle failure, and reductions in performance. Several catalysts
are necessary to help stave of excessive hydrogen deposits; these consist
mainly of magnesium phosphates, sodium and potassium. It is essential that
an athlete ingest adequate amounts of magnesium to ensure proper potassium
retention and fluid balance.

Simply put, it is crucial for an athlete to monitor their diet in order to achieve
proper balance for optimal health, human performance and pH balance.







Robert Burns Ph.D. is President of TAMER Laboratories, a Seattle-based supplement
company dedicated to pH health. Dr Burns served as Chief Scientific Officer for pH
Sciences from 2003 to 2005. He has directed numerous studies at TAMER Laboratories
and pH Sciences analyzing relationships between pH balance, health, and athletic
performance. He has more than 30 years experience in research and product development,
engineering management, operations, and general management for a number of
successful Northwest companies.


joshstrength| Theory of the XXL t-Shirt Part 2| publish|1| 12/21/2012 11:57:00 AM|

By: Noel Pena


Part one of our elusive XXL shirt we examined the most fundamental and discussed
aspect of building size, which has always been protein. Unfortunately protein is
only one only part of this fascinating formula. Part two we will discuss the purpose
of carbohydrates, and why they are necessary to increase size and strength.

First and foremost we must understand what carbohydrates do, where they
come from and why they have such a significant part in our quest in reaching our
ultimate goal, SIZE

Carbohydrates 101 include the breakdown of what, why and when we consume
these types of foods. To understand what type of carbohydrates that we should
consume, we must examine types of these anabolic agents. Monosaccharide and
Disaccharides, which are more commonly referred to as simple carbohydrates, and
oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, better known as complex carbohydrates,
distinctly serve specific purposes. Rather than refer to these muscle-building
ingredients in scientific mumbo jumbo, we will stick to common terms of simple,
and complex. Complex carbohydrates help the body maintain an anabolic state
of increased levels of glycogen in which our precious muscles require to produce
power and overall function. The conversion of carbohydrates by our bodies
produce elevated levels of glucose, which in turn enable glycogen utilization by our
bodies. Although complex carbohydrates are a preferred method for sustaining
normal blood sugar levels, simple carbohydrates enable quicker insulin response
and fast utilization for nutrient replenishment. Timing is essentially everything
as better noted to “carbohydrates 101”. It is imperative to replenish glycogen
levels after bouts of training to ensure that proper absorption of amino acids are
channeled or partitioned into the muscle cell.

The facts:

We need sustained fuel- complex carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, whole grains,
fruits, and vegetables. .

We need quick replenishment- simple carbohydrates such as sucrose, dextrose
fructose, and waxy maize.

Part 2 of the “theory of the XXL t-shirt” concludes with this simple statement.

Fuel before, Fuel after = Sustainable growth


joshstrength| Theory of the XXL t-Shirt| publish|1| 12/18/2012 11:55:00 AM|

By: Noel Pena






Part 1

For as long as memory can recall man have strived for physical superiority through
resistance training, and simply eating as if calories alone would define the next
generation of physical greatness. For those whose success has come upon this
haphazard approach, we tip our hats. For obvious reasons genetic structure, dictates
our ability or limitations in seeking out that elusive XXL shirt. The skin bursting, striated,
rock hard beast like physic often eludes even the greatest efforts. You need not be
predisposed to blue chip genes, born of royal descendants, or be the son of today’s
greatest athlete, but you do have to follow the “theory of the XXL t-shirt”.

The theory is simple, easy to use and realistically achievable since it includes the
pathway necessary for muscular development. It begins with the understanding of how
and why the body is influenced into harnessing its maximum abilities. As the theory is
fundamental, so are its rules.
Protein is the most basic ingredient in developing sizable gains in mass and strength.
Protein generally comes from animal produced sources such as fish, chicken, beef,
egg and turkey. There are obviously others, but as size goes, its always best to stick
to the highest biologically available sources. Along with these foods come other types
of building blocks, and these come in the form of man made supplements derived from
natural foods. Today we have powdered products such as whey, egg, and casein
proteins, which have eliminated excessive sugars, fats and other waste. Additional
consideration should be taken into the use of supplemental tools such as branched
chain amino acids (BCAA’s), glutamine, creatine, nitric oxide precursors, as well as
products that help optimize human growth hormone, and testosterone levels. Although
this list is lengthy, each part serves a direct piece into the success in achieving that
XXl shirt size. The use of BCAA’s has been conclusively proven to create an anabolic
environment while diminishing unwanted catabolism during bouts of intense training.
Glutamine while very similar in its anabolic effect, also aids in glycogen replenishment,
which has been shown to maximize recovery time. Creatine agents as well as nitric
oxide precursors help enable maximum oxygen to the muscle cell by transporting
necessary nutrients enhancing functional power through ATP synthesis. Growth
hormone and testosterone supplements can be effective for those who meet general
requirements of age and or deficiency of natural hormonal output. Genetics, body types
and general health vary, but the most benefited participants of these products tend to
be twenty-five years of age and older. With all regiments it very important to know your
limitations, and acceptable expectations.

Next time we will discuss carbohydrates and lipids and how they can aid in the
transformation from boy size shirts to that elusive XXL.


joshstrength| Prostate Health and What You Should Know| publish|1| 12/17/2012 11:52:00 AM|

By Noel Pena

 

At some point you are going to encounter someone whom may be suffering from
an enlarged prostate or symptoms of prostate abnormalities. It is well know
that men should get their prostate checked after their 40th birthday but what isn’t
quite understood is what we can do to help prevent and stave off unfortunate
issues with prostate health. Prevention is a lifestyle, and not just a quick fix,
so the following information is designed to support an active lifestyle filled with
good eating practices. Saw Palmetto and Zinc seem to be efficient herb/mineral
agents associated with increasing prostate health.

Saw palmetto is a shrub that grows down south in Georgia and Florida along
the ocean.  The leaves are palm-like, and the stems are saw-toothed, hence
the name. According to The Herb Book by Dr. John Lust, a teaspoon of the
dark-colored berries is steeped in one cup of water, and that is taken once or
twice daily. There are no side effects or contraindications listed. This is in sharp
contrast with the drug Proscar. Proscar has many serious side effects, and they
are stated on the package insert, published in advertisements for the drug, and
listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR). The PDR is available in any
bookstore or library, and you will find a copy at all drug counters.  European
studies have confirmed that saw palmetto berries are a statistically significant
therapy for enlarged prostate. They are clearly a safer treatment, and cheaper as
well.

Zinc is as helpful with enlarged prostates as it is with inflamed ones, since zinc
deficiency results in prostate enlargement. Very few men obtain even the low US
RDA of 15 milligrams of zinc a day, and this would explain a lot. Supplemental
doses, commonly between 50 and 100 mg daily, may help shrink a swollen
prostate. Toxicity of zinc is very low.

Knowledge is power, and prevention is key to increasing our likelihood of
avoiding problematic issues with the things that we can clearly defend. Now that
you are armed with the knowledge it is time to put into action prevention, and
entitle yourself to a prescription of health.

Always seek your medical professionals advice before self-diagnosing yourself.





REFERENCES:  Balch and Balch. Prescription  for  Nutritional  Healing. Avery Publishing, Garden City Park, NY,
1990, pp 271-273.

Fair WR and Heston W. Prostate inflammation linked to zinc shortage. Prevention 113: June, 1977.

Gerson M. A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases. Gerson Institute, P.O. Box 430, Bonita, CA 91908.

Lust J. The Herb Book. Bantam Books, 1979

Pfeiffer CC. Zinc  and  Other  Micro-nutrients. Keats, 1978 p 46-47. Taylor DS. Nutrients can remedy prostate
problems. Today’s Living, February 1990, p 12-13)


joshstrength| Check out Josh’s new article on TNation| publish|1| 12/16/2012 10:07:43 PM|

4 Gadgets to Amplify Upper Body Mass HERE


joshstrength| Theory of the XXL t-Shirt| draft|1| 12/13/2012 6:57:25 PM|

By: Noel Pena






Part 1

For as long as memory can recall man have strived for physical superiority through
resistance training, and simply eating as if calories alone would define the next
generation of physical greatness. For those whose success has come upon this
haphazard approach, we tip our hats. For obvious reasons genetic structure, dictates
our ability or limitations in seeking out that elusive XXL shirt. The skin bursting, striated,
rock hard beast like physic often eludes even the greatest efforts. You need not be
predisposed to blue chip genes, born of royal descendants, or be the son of today’s
greatest athlete, but you do have to follow the “theory of the XXL t-shirt”.

The theory is simple, easy to use and realistically achievable since it includes the
pathway necessary for muscular development. It begins with the understanding of how
and why the body is influenced into harnessing its maximum abilities. As the theory is
fundamental, so are its rules.
Protein is the most basic ingredient in developing sizable gains in mass and strength.
Protein generally comes from animal produced sources such as fish, chicken, beef,
egg and turkey. There are obviously others, but as size goes, its always best to stick
to the highest biologically available sources. Along with these foods come other types
of building blocks, and these come in the form of man made supplements derived from
natural foods. Today we have powdered products such as whey, egg, and casein
proteins, which have eliminated excessive sugars, fats and other waste. Additional
consideration should be taken into the use of supplemental tools such as branched
chain amino acids (BCAA’s), glutamine, creatine, nitric oxide precursors, as well as
products that help optimize human growth hormone, and testosterone levels. Although
this list is lengthy, each part serves a direct piece into the success in achieving that
XXl shirt size. The use of BCAA’s has been conclusively proven to create an anabolic
environment while diminishing unwanted catabolism during bouts of intense training.
Glutamine while very similar in its anabolic effect, also aids in glycogen replenishment,
which has been shown to maximize recovery time. Creatine agents as well as nitric
oxide precursors help enable maximum oxygen to the muscle cell by transporting
necessary nutrients enhancing functional power through ATP synthesis. Growth
hormone and testosterone supplements can be effective for those who meet general
requirements of age and or deficiency of natural hormonal output. Genetics, body types
and general health vary, but the most benefited participants of these products tend to
be twenty-five years of age and older. With all regiments it very important to know your
limitations, and acceptable expectations.

Next time we will discuss carbohydrates and lipids and how they can aid in the
transformation from boy size shirts to that elusive XXL.


joshstrength| Make Your Shoulders Into Boulders| publish|1| 12/8/2012 12:48:00 PM|

By: Dan Edwards

This is a top tier hypertrophy exercise I picked up from Josh Bryant. This exercise is a seated DB press with a twist. Instead of every rep going from the shoulders to lockout and back, you are to do two 1/2 presses followed by one full rep (equaling 1 rep).

I say again, this is an absolute beast of an anterior delt exercise!

While I love traditional seated DB pressing for my deltoids, when it comes to muscle mass, these are on top of my list of considerations. Just a massive amount of time under tension without any need to control the negatives. Typically with traditional presses, when I’m in a bodybuilding mindset, you have to approach the reps differently than with strength training.

When I’m trying to gain strength, the goal is just a controlled descent, slight pause on the delts, and a powerful concentric back to lockout, rinse, repeat for however many reps. For bodybuilding, things change a bit for me. While maximal weight is still boss, you’re trying to get the most out of your reps, so cadence slows down further. Now you’re looking towards a hard 3 second eccentric, slight pause, explosive concentric to almost lockout. I like constant tension on my muscles, and the best results I have had came from never fully locking out each rep. Your set should remind you of a well-oiled machine.

Enter the exercise of the week. I just did these this morning and forgot how tough these were! All you’re basically doing is extending your time under tension. To start off, put the dumbbells into position resting on your deltoids. Each rep will be to the tune of pressing the DB’s halfway up, back down, halfway up, back down, all the way up. That equals one rep. When I do these, I’m looking for complete control the whole way through. Doesn’t have to include slow eccentrics. Just full control of the weight from start to finish.

Progression: The best way to progress on these I have found is to look for rep increases while holding over the same weight for a few sessions. Like I said, it’s a tough exercise and you’ll no doubt feel the burn after a couple of reps worth. What I recommend is to start off on the low end until you get the hang of these (for example 3 x 5-6 reps and build up from there over time).

Here’s an example of what progression could look like for these presses:

40’s x 6, 6, 6 (maybe had a few more reps left in the tank)
40’s x 8, 8, 8 (very tough, maybe 1-2 more reps)
40’s x 10, 10, 8 (max effort)
45’s x 5, 5, 5 (much better)

And so on. When it comes to dumbbells in particular, they are much harder to progress long term compared to a barbell exercise. Rest between sets is up to you. Anywhere from 90-120 seconds should suffice to start. Over time as you continue increasing your strength you can consider longer rest periods.

 


joshstrength| Mental Training For Combat Athletes| publish|1| 12/1/2012 12:20:00 PM|
 
By Adam benShea

A famous old-time grappler once said that the true test of a wrestler is not what is between his elbow and shoulder, but what is between his ears. Therefore, while you are pouring your energy into countless reps and rounds, it is important not to discount your mental preparation.

Concerning this, many neophytes in competitive combat sports believe that working yourself into a mental frenzy is the best way to prepare for a pending event. However, more often than not, the inverse is true.

As the former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, said, “There’s nothing more deadly or more proficient then a happy fighter. Everybody believes the mean, and the surly fighter is the tough fighter but that is not true. It’s the guy who is most relaxed, and loves what he does, and is happy to be in there doing what he does.”

The first step in achieving this level of emotional balance is to recognize whether you are competing for the ‘right’ reasons. You should be fighting because there is, at least, some part of the process that you enjoy. This must be something that you are doing for yourself. If you are competing to make your coach proud or because you want to impress friends or family, move on and find another way to fill your days.

Second, if you want to fight, surround yourself with positive people. Find a camp where you are able to work hard, but not at the expense of being able to share an occasional laugh. Adding humor to a hard working training camp can be a crucial component to success.

Third, find a quiet escape from the frenzied pace of fight training. Being able to find meditative moments during training is essential for achieving emotional equilibrium. Meditation can take many forms, so it does not have to include incense and chanting. A short walk/hike in nature can quiet the brewing storm in a fighter’s head. MMA pioneer, Erik Paulson, does his meditative practice during his morning bath.

Fourth, picture yourself victorious. Including as many details as possible, see yourself at the event with the referee raising your hand. This mental image should be replayed every day.

Start training your mind today and the rewards will be knocking on your door tomorrow. Yet, do not let your mental training become a substitute for physical preparation. Too much time focused, exclusively, on mediation and visualization could lead you to an occult group and a Ouija board, rather than competitive success.



About the

Adam benShea is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Ricardo “Frajinha” Miller (Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). Adam has won the World, Pan American, and California State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and holds an MA from Indiana University. Check out his website for more workout ideas: Adam’s Website. Adam is the
joshstrength| What the Heck is Kreb Cycle?| publish|1| 11/28/2012 10:08:16 PM|By Noel Pena






So what the heck is the Kreb cycle, and who cares?  Well if you are reading this article, you must care because by nature the Kreb cycle effects everything you do as a human.  Ah see you just used this cycle while reading this article, scratching your chin, and bobbing your head while listening to the latest tracks from the Bee gees greatest hits.  Ok in all seriousness Kreb cycle is defined as the following:

n.

A series of enzymatic reactions in aerobic organisms involving oxidative metabolism of acetyl units and producing high-energy phosphate compounds, which serve as the main source of cellular energy. Also called citric acid cycle, tricarboxylic acid cycle.

SAY WHAT?

Alright so here is the 411 on this geographically entangled mess of a definition.  Essentially the concept of this cycle involves the conversion of energy into a functional use. An example of this process would the breakdown of carbohydrates, into glucose , then in turn converted into glycogen which our body utilizes for muscular contractions, mental functions, and other daily movements our bodies need to continue normal functionality.   As an athlete wanting to maximize our potential it is alway wise to understand what things enable a higher efficiency of this cycle.  It is well known that there are many determining factors, from age, race, blood type, genetic structure…..etc.  Scientifically it is understood that there is one constant effect of enhancement that involves vasodilation of receptor sites responsible for energy pathways.  These type of intermediaries stem from supplementation of nitric oxide potentiators such as citrilline malate,  arginine, and beta alinine.  These precursors enable increased absorption of nutrients which help the body maximize conversions of fuel into functional uses. 

Maximize your cycle with today’s advancements in supplementation.

Always consult your medical professional before beginning any supplementation/training regiment.



Reference:

Dictionary

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, published by Houghton Mifflin Company


joshstrength| Full Range of Motion Produces Better Strength Gains| publish|1| 11/26/2012 11:36:00 AM|


Every gym has some washed-up bodybuilder, that’s never actually competed, that workout after workout piles on his dream weight and lifts it for pathetic partials. This practice is clearly self-indulging and it’s obvious because this cat hasn’t put on any size since Clinton’s second term in office. Even 13 year old kids snicker when they see this brouhaha. Have you ever wondered why these guys don’t get their desired results? Look no further than science.  

Next time you consider piling on plates and moving the leg press an inch, opt for the blood and guts, proven basic- the full squat.


A recent study by Brazilian researchers published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed performing weight training exercises through a full range of motion yielded superior gains in strength when compared to performing partial range of motion movements.

Full range of motion training was 50 percent more effective than partial range of motion training. Although both yielded strength gains, full range of motion remained superior.

Numerous studies have already shown that full range of motion movement is superior for gaining muscle mass. Just think about it logically, a partial range of motion squat that moves six inches with 600 pounds for six reps (6 x 600 x 6 = 21600). Now, let’s say you use half the weight but do a full range of motion squat with 18 inch range of motion for six reps (18 x 300 x 18 = 32400). Lo and behold, you have done more mechanical work with half the weight and the same amount of reps. Of course you will get bigger and stronger this way.

Take home point: There is certainly a time and place for partial training. Generally, it’s full range of motion for full development. This strategy induces more work, more muscle damage, more metabolic stress and uses more muscles.


joshstrength| Tune Up Your Takedown| publish|1| 11/24/2012 11:15:00 AM|By Adam benShea


The reason that many fail to finish a takedown (or ‘shot’) can, usually, be attributed to two easily remedied details.

First, you have to change levels with your legs, not your back!

The first action in a takedown should be ‘changing levels,’ or using your legs to lower your center of gravity so that you are level with your opponent’s hips. Too often, we see people changing levels with their backs. They bend their back forward and charge like a mummy suffering from a bout with vertigo! This makes for a takedown that is predicable and lacking in strength. However, when you change levels with your legs beneath you, they will offer a resource for strength and movement (both of which are crucial for the successful takedown).

Second, the initial contact of a takedown should feel like a punch to your opponent’s gut!
To accomplish this, one must use the back leg (or ‘trail leg’) as an anchor point from which to push off. Specifically, the back leg should be used to launch you into your opponent. If executed correctly, your opponent will fold over your shoulder (making the completion of the takedown much more likely).

Drilling the movement of a correctly executed takedown will improve your shot. But, sometimes drilling just isn’t enough. So, here are some sport specific exercises to tune up your takedown.

Lunge Away!

Lunges are a great exercise that mimics the action of a takedown. In a lunge, you change levels with your legs, not your back. Moreover, lunges increase leg strength in the replicated takedown motion. This makes for a stronger ‘pop’ into your opponent.
Some variations of the lunge include: Walking Lunge, Standing Lunge, Jumping Lunge, and Barbell Lunge. (Note: To reduce the chance of injury, do not let your knee fall over your toes). (

Just Band It!

Get a resistance band and attach it to your waist (any strong resistance band will do, but resistance bands specific to grappling training are available). Make sure you attach the other end to an immovable object (e.g. you training partner holds it, tie it to the leg of that big dude who rules the buffet line…whatever). Once the band is in place, shoot away! The resistance of the band will increase as you drive through your takedown. Drill your shot for one minute with the band, then one minute without the band. And repeat.

Get Wet!

Find access to a pool and get in the shallow end. With the water at waist level, drill your takedowns. The natural resistance provided by the water will offer a great way to strengthen the action of your takedown. Work on your takedowns for 10-15 minutes. Once on dry land, you should notice an increase in the speed and strength of your shot. You may look weird, but, in a public pool, you will just be one of many.


joshstrength| Increasing Testosterone Levels| publish|1| 11/20/2012 1:28:27 AM|Arlington, Texas personal trainer, Josh Bryant, talks about increasing testosterone levels in Men’s Health Magazine HERE.  
joshstrength| Sprawl’n’Brawl Your Way into Better Shape| publish|1| 11/17/2012 4:11:11 PM|

By Adam benShea

Fitness trends like Crossfit, Booty Bootcamps, and P90X have breathed new life into the old school burpee.  However, a close fitness relative of the burpee remains largely unknown to the trend seeking herd.  Hidden away among old, sweat-stained grappling mats, the “sprawl” is a movement that resembles the burpee in form and function, but has the additional benefit of direct crossover into grappling and MMA.

Like the burpee, in a sprawl you progress from standing, to the prone position, and back to standing again.  The significant difference between the two is that during the sprawl you focus on driving your hips into the mat, while keeping your chest up and your back arched.  The point of the sprawl is to mimic the movement used when protecting your legs from a potential takedown.  The harder your hips hit the mat and the more arch in your back, the less likely you will be taken down. 

The sprawl is a beneficial training exercise for high school wrestlers and aspiring MMA fighters.  It is also a valuable addition to any self-defense program that trains potential combatants to stay on their feet in a barfight, pitfight, and jail yard riot (or any other rough and ready environment where your goal is to stay standing and keep swinging).  For the Average Joe and Jane, sprawl workouts offer a way to combine martial techniques with a tushy toning and delt defining workout.

Happy Feet Sprawl Workout

Similar to everyone’s favorite dancing penguin, start standing and begin to “chop” your feet (move them up and down).  Then, every two to three seconds drop to a hip slamming sprawl.  On different sprawls, fluctuate between putting heavy hip pressure into both legs, just the left leg, and then on just the right.  Changing hip pressure allows you to mimic defending double leg as well as single leg takedown attempts.

Start with 3 sets of 2-3 minutes

Medicine Ball Sprawl

Begin sitting on your knees with your feet tucked underneath your butt and with a medicine ball held at chest level.  Throw the medicine ball toward a partner or a wall and kick back into a sprawl position.  Your goal is to return to the original sitting position before the medicine ball returns from your partner or bounces back from the wall.  A favorite of UFC hall of famer, Randy Couture, this drill develops increased explosion in your takedown defense, better hip movement, and increased upper body strength.

At first, work to get through one continuous minute.

Sprawl’n’Brawl  

Wrestling coach Darell Gholar would use this drill to drive the fighters of the legendary Brazilian Top Team to a state of complete exhaustion.  The concept of the workout is simple, but the benefit is immeasurable.  Begin shadow boxing, but follow every combination with a sprawl.  Like with the “Happy Feet” drill, switch between putting heavy pressure on one leg at a time or both legs simultaneously to simulate defending single and double leg takedowns.  For best results, have a training partner or coach call out “sprawl!”  Like a real combat situation, this prevents you from knowing when you need to defend the takedown. 

The goal of this drill is to create muscle memory for sprawling and brawling.  That is, not getting taken down and keeping the fight on the feet.  The aspiring fighter should complete this drill within the same time frame of the rounds of the upcoming fight (i.e. five minute rounds mean five minute drills).

         


joshstrength| Congrats to Loraine Hamilton| publish|1| 11/14/2012 3:06:08 AM|

I want to congratulate one of my clients, Loraine Hamilton, for bringing home some nice hardware at a recent figure competition. Although she looks like she is in her 30s, she is 50 years old. Not only is she a mother of two but a breast cancer survivor. She is one of the toughest clients I have had the pleasure to work with. She trains with me at Metroflex Arlington and the dust doesn’t scare her. I could go on and on but I think the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words holds true here.”






joshstrength| Greg Allen Body Transformation| publish|1| 11/13/2012 1:54:05 AM|

I want to congratulate one of my clients, Greg Allen. He was featured on Bodybuilding.com for Top 10 insane body transformations.  This is a huge accomplishment!  Check it out HERE.


joshstrength| Brandon Cass Breaks World Record| publish|1| 11/5/2012 3:29:36 AM|This past weekend, Brandon Cass deadlifted the most weight of any human being in the 220-pound weight class, regardless of federation or equipment with a conventional stance. Brandon is one of the hardest workers I have ever worked with and a dream client. He doesn’t just sit around and lift weights; he has a family and a very lucrative business. As a long-time Veteran at the sport and 38 years old, he keeps improving. The key to getting Brandon’s deadlift to continuously improve was extensive work on his glutes and really bringing his upper back strength up. Speed pulls were huge for him. Also, working his grip paid huge dividends. At one time, grip was an issue for him. Watch as he locks the weight out- he holds it with ease and looks around at the crowd. He even made a bonafide attempt at 866 pounds. Watch for huge things to come from Brandon Cass. 


joshstrength| Strength Matters| publish|1| 11/5/2012 1:52:12 AM|
Arlington, Texas Personal Trainer, Josh Bryant, explains why strength matters HERE.

 

joshstrength| Grip Strength| publish|1| 11/2/2012 2:38:39 PM|Arlington Personal Trainer, Josh Bryant, gives these tips on building grip strength.

Why is grip strength important?

It is important because it serves a purpose in every aspect of weight lifting and athletics. If you are a fighter, it could provide a stronger punch, a tighter choke and even better take downs. If you are a powerlifter or bodybuilder, you will be able to handle more weight on various exercises because grip won’t be a limiting factor. If you are a “regular person” having a firm handshake is important. In the old days, hand strength was a very important trait and the initial indicator of physical and moral strength of a man. Training your grip builds more muscular forearms. The bottom line is you have a stronger physical prowess with big forearms.

Five ways to increase grip strength:

1. Take a towel and throw it over a pull up bar. Do pull ups griping the towel, not the bar. If you are not able to do a pull up, even a static hold can help build tremendous grip strength. Remember there is always more muscle growth with movement rather than a static hold.

2. I got this tip from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion, Adam benShea. Take a sheet of newspaper and lay it flat in your hand. Work it into a tight ball with your fingers. This can be done at the office without anyone noticing.

3. Farmers Walk provides a great bang for your buck. If you don’t have traditional strongman cylinders, dumbbells can work fine. If you want to work more of a pinching grip, you can even do a Farmers Walk with two plates in your hand, smooth side out. Not only does this work your grip, it works your core, traps, back, and legs- basically your entire body. This will build functional stength and add more muscle than the more traditional gripping exercise.

4. Lose the straps. One way you can kill your grip strength quickly is by using straps. It has gotten to the point of such absurdity that some people are even using straps on the bench press. Don’t deadlift with straps. Don’t do pull ups with straps. Don’t do lat pull downs with straps. Straps do the work that your grip should be doing. It looks silly to have huge upper arms but have forearms like a 10 year old school boy.

5. This is a good one for your pinching grip. Grab two plates in one hand and hold them together smooth side out (You might have to start with 5s or 10s). Do hammer curls with them. Not only does this work pinching grip, but instead of a mere static hold, you are doing a dynamic movement. Therefore it becomes more functional for other activities.


joshstrength| Maximal Training for Muscle Mass| publish|1| 10/23/2012 4:49:15 PM|

Check out the article Joe Giandonato and I co-authored for TNation on maximal training for muscle mass HERE.


joshstrength| Modified Lightning Deadlifts| publish|1| 10/22/2012 6:17:36 PM|

src=http://images.quickblogcast.com/3/5/4/4/1/320932-314453/orlandogreen865deadlift.PNG?a=58
Orlando Green deadlifting 865 pounds at 230 body weight. He has built explosive power using lightning deadlifts.




As a trainer of many top strength athletes out of Metroflex Gym in Arlington, Texas, I have access to some pretty cool toys and it’s easy to get a helping hand when I need one. One modality I feel has been very effective in developing explosive power in the deadlift is the lightning deadlift. Unfortunately, you generally need two helpers to perform the lightning deadlift. Check out the solution one of my clients, Andy Polk, configured with his training partner, Trey Hill, to make this a one-man solution without slowing down the process.





If you’re not familiar with lightning deadlifts, HERE is the original article published on EliteFTS.


joshstrength| Mechanical Advantage Drop Sets| publish|1| 10/21/2012 11:37:41 PM|

 

This is a favorite technique used to pack on slabs of muscle from the playbook of Arlington personal trainer, Josh Bryant.  He uses these techniques not only with clients at Metroflex Arlington but also with online clients. Check out the article published on EliteFTS HERE.



joshstrength| Therse Janc 462 deadlift raw @170| publish|1| 10/5/2012 5:28:24 PM|Here is a video of my client, Therese Janc, hitting a huge 462.5 raw deadlift at the USPA Olympia deadlift meet. Therese wanted 435 to beat her 424 at Johnnie O. Jackson’s meet in June. Therese worked her butt off and really brought up her glute and hamstring strength this training cycle. All I can say is, I am very proud of her. 500 is next!!


joshstrength| Ronald Dioniosio Success Story| publish|1| 9/14/2012 5:56:30 PM|

Ron worked his butt off and made some great gains!!  Congratulations, Ron, and thanks for your hard work.  Here is his story in his own words:

Just got done with testing and hit PRs across the board. 200 on the push press for a 35lb PR, 365 squat for a 30lb PR, and a 405 deadlift for a 70lb PR since we started working together back in June.  Prior to working with you, my lifts had stalled and really seemed like they were going nowhere fast.  Thanks to your coaching, I’ve made more progress in the last 12 weeks then I did in 1 year on my own. Also, the shoulder issues that I had prior to training with you seem to have disappeared thanks to your programming. If anybody is on the fence about hiring a coach, Josh Bryant is your guy. He will motivate you and take your training to a whole new level. He will program things that you would never think of doing which will ultimately make you a better lifter. He was also great with critiquing every video that I sent him and gave me great tips on my form during the training cycle. Thanks again Josh, you are the most motivating person I have ever met and I am honored to have you as my coach. I look forward to continued success under your coaching.


joshstrength| Two Marine Success Stories!| publish|1| 9/10/2012 2:09:06 AM| 

I wanted to give a shout out to two of my clients that have done exceedingly well. Both are stationed in Switzerland, both are full time Marines that make no excuses and get extraordinary results.  The first exceptional young man is Kofi Opoku a Corporal in the USMC.

 Below he tells his story in his own words:

 “The Program may seem easy paper but it is difficult and the results are hardcore. I never saw myself getting this strong. Discipline is hard, but if you really are determined, you can push your yourself beyond any level. I don’t take any supplements or protein, just salad and steak and cardio on a daily basis. This program is worth more than the money I spent because this showed me results from week 1-12. After I went to see my maxes, I was amazed

 Bench press- 255 did 3 reps up from a 205 RM. Squats- 295- did 3 reps up from 205 for a 1 rm. and deadlifts- 300 (hell yea!!) did 4 reps, old max was 180.

 This may sound like unreal to people but your training, advice, and exercise pushed me to that level. Thank you!’




Marine Steve Gonzales has made amazing progress over the last few months and loves to train hard, real hard. I have to be careful to make sure he doesn’t do extra. This is his story in his own words:

 

“This 12 week training program has been a learning experience and by far the best investment I’ve made to personal fitness. As a U.S. Marine my job is to stay fit and healthy, you helped take that to a completely new level. I had the desire, and self discipline, but lacked the knowledge to elevate my physique to a higher platform. With your help and encouragement I was able to push harder and harder every single day to get the results I was looking for. Once I started to see my body evolve it was like adding fuel to the fire. Doing this program has me convinced that anyone that is ready to set their ego aside, and put their heart and mind into doing what they love can achieve the results they want. For me these 12 weeks are a reminder that I am only beginning to scratch the surface of how far i can push my body. With you leading the way I’m confident that I can push further than I ever thought I could.”

src=http://images.quickblogcast.com/3/5/4/4/1/320932-314453/SteveG.JPG?a=97

joshstrength| Brian Scott and Tom Emelander Success Stories| publish|1| 9/6/2012 2:46:35 PM|

This past weekend was very exciting. There are two lifters I want to give a congratulatory shout out
to.

The first one is Brian Scott. Brian did his first meet ever and he totaled 1500 lbs RAW at 220. He
squatted 520 with a close miss at 585. He benched 420 and deadlifted 560. In the past few months,
he has added over 50 lbs on each of his core lifts. He is very diligent with his training, to the point of
emailing me redundant, bizarre questions at times. But, hey, clearly Brian’s diligence paid off. I am very
proud of him, watch for huge things to come.

Here is a video of his 520 RAW squat:




Tom Emelander has been a power house on the raw circuit for some time. At the APF meet in Houston, Texas, Tom smashed his previous PRs in the squat and deadlift. He squatted a RAW 628 (no wraps) and deadlifted a huge raw 755. When he came to me, he was working around some serious pec issues, so we did not go for a PR bench. Watch for him to bench in the mid 500s soon. Sixteen weeks ago, before I started working with Tom, his PRs were 600 in the squat and 701 in the deadlift. He worked his butt off. He had some very strange work hours and other things come up, but always found a way to get things done.

Check out this video of Tom’s 755 RAW deadlift:


joshstrength| Heavy or Light Weight- You Decide| publish|1| 9/4/2012 12:59:20 AM|

Eight-time Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney, once said, “The key to building massive, powerful muscles is to doggedly increase the training weights you use.”  Was he wrong?

A recent study by McMaster University of Canada showed no difference between heavy and light loads for muscle hypertrophy. The study basically showed, when training to failure, light weights increase muscle size as much as heavy weights. They have measured the effects of workouts ranging from 30% of a 1RM to 80% of a 1RM. This may sound like some sort of great epiphany for those that prefer to train with light weights, but let’s look at this a little more carefully.

The subjects had no formal weightlifting experience and had no regular lifting activity over the last year. In other words, when it came to the pig iron, they were green. Even in textbooks dating back decades, it has been established that beginners have similar neurological adaptations to weight training with light weights and heavy weights. Hypertrophy usually isn’t even a major factor for three months into weight training.  This study was performed for only 10 weeks.

There are two ways to get stronger. One is improving neural factors (a.k.a. get more coordinated with the movement you are performing). By training deadlift, you are getting better at the deadlift. The other way is to increase cross-sectional muscle fiber size. If a muscle gets larger, it’s getting stronger. That right there would make the case for lifting heavier weights to build bigger muscles. Generally, the only time the amount of weight lifted isn’t one of the biggest factors in increasing muscle size, is when someone is on an absurd amount of drugs. Other factors, like time under tension, volume, rest periods, are also important for putting on size. No matter what anyone says, the heavy pig iron is the gateway to building big muscles.


 

Scranton Strongman Big Jim Williams built Massive Muscles using Massive Weights, with the basics in Rockview Penitentiary.


joshstrength| Back Arms Intensity Revisited| publish|1| 8/30/2012 12:50:00 PM|By Josh Bryant and Adam benShea

Drop sets, Forced Reps, Intense Rest Pause Variations, Time under Tension, Heavy Training and Holistic Training are all proven muscle building methods that can aid in the quest for developing slabs of muscular bulk. In this video we see some hardcore bench press training by “Brutal Bertil.”. In a method that is antithetical to the fitness gospel preached in the strip mall gym of suburban America, Bertil incorporates all of these high intensity fitness philosophies into one set.

In response you ask yourself: Is this the best way to consistently train Is this safe? Is he using perfect form every rep?

To which we answer: NO!

But, here is the deal,it takes a pair of balls for a dude to get this jacked. What is more, it is refreshing to see a man of might bucking the temper of the time in his quest for sincere strength. In an age where crowds rush to broke financial ‘experts’ for retirement advice and late night infomercial salesmen spout the benefits of dance workouts to solve the obesity epidemic, there is a comfort in the man who stands alone with his strength.

You know this man by sight. The bulk filling out his shirtsleeves are called “back arms,” not triceps. He bases his workouts on intuitive intensity, not on a blind adherence to scientific solutions or a sardine like willingness to be stuffed inside the can of fitness BS being sold to the general public. He follows his gut to heavy pig iron training and leaves the hard marks of his blood and sweat on the soft padded cushions of the gym equipment.

Of course theories related to periodization, and the concept that periods of extreme volume/ intensity must be followed by periods of lower volume/intensity, have their place in a comprehensive workout problem. But, in the midst of creating a workout which adheres to physiological reasoning, do not forget that ‘back arms’ style intensity.


joshstrength| Congratulations to Dan Kyser| publish|1| 8/19/2012 3:15:02 AM|

I want to congratulate one of my clients, Dan Kyser. He is a young lifter, very disciplined and intense. He is a very nice man and seems like the church-going type, but he is also the same man that if you ran into in a dark alley, would pull your pancreas out through your nose.  He is the kind of person you have to keep close tabs on close to a meet- if it were up to him, he would probably deadlift heavy the day before a meet. He is that intense. Earlier this year, he hit a huge PR total of 1590 lbs RAW via a 585 squat, 330 bench and 675 deadlift. Last weekend, he totaled 1750 lbs. RAW in the 220 pound class via a 650 squat, a 380 bench press and 720 deadlift.

Here is a video of Dan deadlifting 750 at the meet. It was turned down from a technicality. He was credited with 720.

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