Monster Mass Building Part II: Shoulders of Steel

This week we continue The Dragon’s Mega Mass Building Training Series with a post dedicated to the shoulders.The shoulder complex doesn’t just include the Deltoid muscles but the Trapezius muscles as well. They come together to give your frame a wide, strong and dominant look. Let’s take a quick look at what these muscles do:

  1. Deltoids: The Deltoids are divided into 3 parts (or heads) that essentially handle all the lifting and rotating of your arms. What’s important for you to know is that these 3 heads are divided into Anterior (front), Lateral (side) and Posterior (rear) fibers. It’s important to train all three heads equally to have nice round capped shoulders.
  2. Trapezius: The Trapezius is a large diamond shaped muscle that attaches to your mid back, fans out to the back of your shoulders and collarbone and extends all the way to the back of your head. The “Traps”, as they are called, give the impression of a thick neck and tall shoulders. They help with neck rotation, back and forth motion and raising of the shoulders (shrugging). *If you want great examples of extremely well defined (borderline scary) traps, Google actor Tom Hardy and MMA / WWE Athlete Brock Lesnar.

The “Shoulder Complex” consist of Deltoids and Trapezius Muscles

Some fortunate individuals were born with big broad boulders for deltoids and perfectly symmetrical diamonds for “Traps”. These guys have to do very little work to maintain them. The rest of us, however, have to adopt a complex training routine in order to get our shoulders to stand out.

Now, let’s get to work:

The Dragon’s Shoulders of Steel Training Program

Workout #1:

  • Shoulder Press / Military Press: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5-7 reps.“Superset” with Lateral Dumbbell Raises: 4 Sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 4 Sets x 10-12 reps
  • Upright Rows (with curl-bar):  1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps.3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Dumbbell Shrugs: 4 Sets x 15 reps

Workout #2:

  • “Arnold” Dumbbell Presses: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5-7 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Raises:        1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 10 reps
  • Reverse Cable Flys:              1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Shrugs:                 1 Warm-up Set x10 reps.  3 Working Sets x 5-7 reps
  • Machine Shoulder Press:     1 “Failure” set: Do as many as possible until failure!

As with your chest workout, you should aim to work out your shoulders every 5 days. You must work them hard at least once per week in order to make them grow. Warm-up sets get your muscles loose and prepared for the heavy workload. Don’t skip them! Each “Working” Set should be at least 5 – 7 reps, at about 80% of your 1 rep maximum. Make each repetition strict. Squeeze those muscles and go slow. If you are able to lift 7-10 reps during each set then it’s time to add on more weight. Be sure to push yourself by resting no more than 2 minutes between sets. Finally, remember, the only way you will get big is to eat big! That means lots of lean protein and proper complex carbohydrates. Need help? Go here and send me a message.

Now get to it!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Actor Tom Hardy has very well defined Trapezius and Deltoid Muscles. Great exercises to develop your shoulders and neck include Military Press, Shrugs, and Dumbbell Raises!

Monster Mass Building Part I: Creating a Colossal Chest!

This week’s post begins the first of The Dragon’s “Monster Mass Building” Training Series. For the next four weeks I will provide a workout program designed to add tons of lean muscle onto your frame. There will be one program per body part consisting of 2 different workouts that you will do for 6 weeks each. If you’ve been feeling like you’re stuck with your workouts and you want to get bigger and stronger, be sure to follow each program consistently for all 12 weeks.

My very first program is geared toward developing your Chest. Ah, the chest. Besides your arms, nothing oozes masculinity like a well-defined voluminous chest. It’s a universal symbol of strength and what separates the men from the boys!

The human chest is composed of the two Pectoral muscles:

  1. Pectoralis Major: This is the “upper”  portion of the chest and covers most of it’s surface area. It attaches at the sternum (the breast bone) and the clavicle (collar bone) and stretches from the center of your body to your shoulder.
  2. Pectoralis Minor: This is the “lower” portion of the chest and covers approximately the lower 1/3 of the surface area. It also attaches at the sternum and the upper ribs and also stretches to your shoulder.

The two muscles of the chest:
Pectoralis Major
Pectoralis Minor

Each of these muscles can be worked together with traditional exercises like the bench press and push-ups. But to get a well defined, full chest you will need to attack it from all angles. Let’s find out how to make this happen…

The Dragon’s Shirt Destroying Chest Program:

Workout #1:

  • Bench Press:  1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Flat Dumbbell Flys: 4 sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 3 sets x 10 reps

Workout #2:

  • Incline Bench Press:  1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Decline Bench Press: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Flat Dumbbell Press: 4 Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Dips: 3 Sets x 10 reps

You should aim to work your chest every 5 days. If that’s not possible you must train it at least once per week! The Warm-up set listed above is designed to get your muscles loose and prepared for the heavy workload. Each “Working” Set should be  5 -7 reps, at about 80% of your 1 rep maximum. If you are able to lift 7 reps during each set then it’s time to add on more weight. Be sure to push yourself by resting no more than 2 minutes between sets. Finally, be sure your diet reflects your new lifting habits. Remember, in order to get big, you gotta eat big!

Follow this program and chisel out the chest of A Greek God!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Girl Power! Exposing the three biggest myths about women and strength training.

It’s a common scene in any gym or fitness club. Most of the guys spend their entire workout time in the weight room. Most of the ladies spend their entire workouts on the treadmill, elliptical machine or exercise bike. But occasionally, there is an anomaly…The fit and very toned woman who confidently “crosses over” into the world of weights. Armed only with a bottle of water, workout gloves and a towel, she is almost always focused and seems to happily ignore the common myths of women and weight training.

During this post, I will uncover three of the most common myths about women and weight training. After it’s over, you will see why you too should ignore them and be that woman!

  1.  Strength training will make me bulky and look masculine.

This is the greatest, oldest and most inaccurate myth about women and strength training. The main factor in the size and level of muscle development is the amount of certain hormones (specifically Testosterone) that each person has. I will say this again in a different way just for emphasis. TESTOSTERONE is the main factor in determining the amount of muscle mass that each person can develop. So, as a woman, YOU CAN TRAIN WITH WEIGHTS AND NOT BECOME “BULKY”. What you can become is TONED! Strength training will help everything get “tighter” and leaner and help shape those curves.

 2.  I should stick to only very light weight and do only high repetitions to tone up.

I choose this as a common myth for women but can really be applied to men too. The only way to strengthen and tone those muscles is to challenge them! By challenge, I mean performing weight training exercises that become difficult after about 8 reps. You don’t need to attempt anything that feels impossible. You should to seek a nice burn at around 8 reps. Don’t stop there, though. GO FOR 10! And try to do this for at least 3 sets. Don’t worry if you can’t make it at first. The key is that you’re placing stress on your muscles that will make them grow stronger and look better.

  3.  If I do all this working out and stop, then my muscle will turn into fat.

This is another oldie but goodie and my favorite myth to debunk. Muscle tissue will not magically transform into fatty tissue after a person stops working out. They are two different types of body tissue. This myth is probably so popular because when a relatively fit person stops working out, their diet often changes as well. They will begin to appear softer as a result of bad eating habits and lost muscle. After all, you will either “use it or lose it”. So make sure you “use it”!

Ladies (and Gents) don’t be afraid of strength training. The weights won’t hurt you. In fact, they will help you tremendously with your transformation goals. Any well designed, comprehensive program should include strength training. If you would like a plan designed for you, contact me for help!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Weight training will increase your strength and tone your muscles. Not make you bulky!

“Welcome to the gym, Son…”

So you’re the “new guy” in the gym. You wanna get ripped but you really have no idea of how to do it. Maybe you’ve asked a few of the bigger guys what they did to “get swole” and they give you the typical answer: “I just lift heavy and eat everything not bolted down, bro!”. Or you went online and found an insanely hard program written by a bodybuilding champ. You try it and wind up feeling like a wimp for not finishing it.

Well, there’s hope! I’m going to set you up with a simple program that will take you through your first 6 weeks in the gym.

If you’re serious about building some muscle and ready to prepare yourself for serious growth then this is for you:

This program is designed to work all of your muscle groups and start you on the path to more complex routines. It is spread out over 3 different training sessions, ideally with at least 1 day rest between sessions.

 Day 1

Chest / Triceps:

  • Bench Press – 4 sets (warm-up set with bar, 12, 10, 8 reps). Increase weight each set
  • Incline Dumbbell Presses – 3 sets (8-10 reps). Same weight
  • Dumbbell Flys – 4 sets (8-10 reps). Same weight
  • Cable Triceps Push-down – 4 sets (12, 10, 8, 6 reps) Increase weight each set
  • Bent Over Triceps Kickback – 3 sets (10-12 reps). Use light weight and go slow
  • Triceps Dips1 set until your muscles fail!

                                                                 Day 2

Back / Biceps:

  • Pull-ups – 2 sets (5-10 reps)
  • Lat Pull-down – 4 sets (12,10,8,6) Increase weight each set
  • Bent over dumbbell rows – 4 sets (10,10,8,6) Increase weight each set
  • Seated EZ Bar Curls or Seated Curl Machine – 4 sets (warm-up set with bar, 12,10,8 reps). Increase weight each set
  • Seated Concentration Curls – 3 sets (8-10 reps). Light weight
  • Alternating Hammer Curls – 3 sets (8-10 reps each). Same weight

                                                                Day 3

Legs:

  • Barbell or “Smith” Machine Squat – 4 sets (warm-up set with bar, 12,10,10). Increase weight each set
  • Leg Extension – 3 sets (10 reps each). Increase weight each set
  • Lunges – 3 sets (10 reps each). Light weight
  • Standing Toe Raises – 5 sets (20 reps each). Same weight
  • Seated Toe Raises – 4 sets (10-12 reps). Same weight

Follow this program for six weeks and you’ll begin seeing weird bulges (muscles) where skin and bones used to be. Remember to squeeze on each rep.

Don’t cheat yourself!

Work hard each session and feed those muscles immediately after you lift. Now, no more talking. Go get to work and remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.