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A Future Lawyer’s Take On Supplements

Supplements are very effective, but before I give my recommendations, please note that your drive is the biggest tool in bettering your fitness and health. Fitness success requires personal goals, coupled with proper determination in achieving them. That determination means generally eating healthy and showing up at the gym. You can improve your TV settings by sitting on a couch, but a couch potato is still a couch potato. They do say, “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.”

So now it’s time to seek supplements. Supplements steer you towards your goals, such as building muscle, leaning out, bulking up, losing body fat, making the insides of your body happier, and yada yada yada. Supplements neither workout for you nor feed you all of your nutrients, BUT when used right supplements will GUIDE and ENHANCE your fitness ability. They are called SUPPLEMENTS because they help feed your body the necessary nutrients that you can not find in your daily diet. 

What supplements to buy is contingent on your goals. (Name your goal and Campus Protein sells a supplement for it). In simple terms, if you want to bulk up, mass gainers may help. If you want to lean out and get more shredded, a better supplement would be a leaner protein shake, such as whey.

Bear in mind here that while “J.D.” will follow my name in a year-ish (I hope), I’m not a Doctor nor Registered Dietician. I honestly cannot use great detail to discuss how every ingredient works, so research more if you’re concerned about something.

Here’s what I consider the core supplements, and then I’ll give one of my recent workouts at the end.

Whey Protein

 

Whey protein is the best hire for building muscle, as it’s the fastest digesting protein on the market. After the workout breaks down the muscles, protein builds them back up. Whey protein is best taken immediately post-workout (I’ve brought it in the shower many times) and also serves as a healthier snack, lacking the bad fats and carbs from shitty alternatives.

Buying protein powder is more convenient and economically smarter than getting protein from just food. Personally, 300 grams of protein per day is ideal for me, because my training burns away calories like it’s the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 (nearly 150 years since still too soon?). That would be dozens of dollars more spent on food, and life would suck carrying around several extra meals all day.

Cellucor Performance Whey is a stellar brand. It provides high protein, has barely any fat and carbs, and it’s extremely low in cholesterol and sodium, something that many cheaper brands are too high in. Two other brands worthwhile are Gold Standard Whey and Platinum Hydro Whey.

Whey Better Options

Whey Better Options

SIDE NOTE: Casein protein is a super slow digesting protein, so it’s a really good snack to fill you up between meals, or drink right before bed to feed your sleepy-self protein throughout the night. I buy Casein every other month or so, and it’s usually Gold Standard Casein.

ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: I don’t buy mass gainers because bulking up is not a priority. Cardio, endurance and stamina are my priorities. If you desire a mass gainer, check out Optimum Serious Mass.

Creatine

 

Creatine gives muscles energy. It increases activity in muscle cells that I cannot name, providing for better lifts and more muscle growth.  It’s insignificant with a strictly cardio regimen but is essential for muscle growth in weightlifting. Creatine has the most positive impact in a program that incorporates both lifting and cardio.

Creatine comes in many versions, so beware of what you buy. I dislike creatine monohydrate because of the bloatedness and puffy looks that come with it. Contrary, creatine HCL produces similar gains, while avoiding the adverse effects of monohydrate. Con-Crete is a great creatine HCL brand.

Con-Cret

Con-Cret

Pre-Workout

 

Pre-workouts are better than espresso shots and energy drinks when it comes to waking your ass up and getting you to the gym. In addition to the caffeine that several contain, the beta-alanine in most pre-workouts creates better pumps. Many pre-workouts contain creatine too but not enough to do shit.

Since I usually workout around 5AM, pre-workouts boost my energy at a time where I’m usually a bum. Reasonably priced and top quality, Campus Protein’s FUEL is a great deal. I’ve already gone through two tubs. Other brands well known to my warehouse are Cellucor C4 and USPlabs Jack3d.

CP FUEL

CP FUEL

BCAAs

BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) take on the body maintenance role and are beneficial whether it’s before or after the workout, or any other time during the day. They improve how you take in protein, help you recover quicker and workout for longer periods, providing natural energy.

I often hear that BCAAs are the “building blocks of muscle” (something like that), and since taking them I believe it. I’ve noticed quicker recoveries and more gains in the lifting arena. Solid brands include USPlabs Modern BCAA and BSN Amino X.

Cellucor's Cor BCAA

Cellucor’s Cor BCAA

SIDE NOTE: Glutamine is also great for muscle recovery.

So if you’re looking for the core supplements, consider whey protein, creatine HCL, a pre-workout, and BCAAs. These supplements perform various tasks that will help you achieve your fitness goals and make you healthier overall, but they will NOT complete your goal for you.

Get the right drive in you first, buy some supplements, and then it’s all fun from there – LeanBerg

Twitter/Instagram ~ @lean_berg

Email ~ jordangreenberg32@gmail.com

PS: I promised a routine, so here’s one completely different than my usual ones:

Legs, Shoulders & Cardio

  • Bar ASS TO GRASS Back Squats
    • 5 total sets – 25, 10, 6, 4, 25 reps
    • Standing Dumbbell Arnold Press:
      • 5 total sets25, 5-8, 5-8, 5-8, 25 reps
      • 4 Round Superset
        • Standing Dumbbell Lat Raise 20, 10, 10, 20 reps
        • Dumbbell Upright Row (use two dumbbells together) 20, 10, 10, 20 reps
        • 4 Round Circuit:
          • Seated Calf Raise Plate Machine 12-20 reps (hold at least three seconds per rep)
          • Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise 10-15 reps
          • Dumbbell Shrugs Overhand and In Front Of You 20, 15, 12, 8 reps
          • Run 3-5 Miles (why the hell not?)

 

Before/After

Before/After

 

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Self-Confidence Knocks Out Fear

Self-Confidence Knocks Out Fear

 

            Take a moment to guess what your body can achieve…YOU’RE WRONG, because you can do more. The first step is establishing whether or not you believe in yourself. Don’t expect me to spit out bullshit by saying you can do anything if you believe in yourself, because you can’t. Nobody can do everything, but if you’re self-confident, you’ll try more things and will be shocked as to how good you truly are.

Fear is inevitable. You will always be afraid of something. Self-confidence will fight its nemesis for eternity, so you must choose whether to fight for Team Self-Confidence or Team Fear.  

ToughMudder - LeanBerg_ThumbsUpHere’s my attempted Batman metaphor:

I’m a diehard Batman fan (no, not because Heath Ledger died). Being trapped in a dark hole with bats swarming everywhere really frazzled the crapshoot out of young Bruce Wayne. However, after growing up angry and afraid of bats, Bruce Wayne finally grew that pair of balls needed to defeat his fear. In short, he became Batman, embracing the Bat-Suit, Bat-Symbol, and most importantly, the Bat-Cave. Bats scatter throughout the Bat-Cave, but this time, Bruce Wayne owns them, not the other way around. Batman’s confidence outweighs his fears.

I’m not saying you should pick your most-feared animal, make a suit of that animal, and then fight crime. BUT what I am saying is acknowledge your fears in a way where they enhance your confidence, embrace them, and go accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

You’re better off going for your goals than letting fear stop you. If you get your ass kicked like Batman did when Bane broke his back, the worst that can happen is you’ll have to fight harder next time. Trust me…there’s very few feelings of success that can compare to breaking through your fear and coming out more confident.  

 

Here’s where I relate this to my recent Tough Mudder experience:

Last Saturday, I participated in Tough Mudder with five other brave souls for Team Mind Over Mudder. We wore these sick-ass shirts, thanks to Fitness Wear, Inc. Wearing their shirts made me want to workout, so running 12 miles in deep mud, while pushing through 22 brutal obstacles was a blast.

Running, crawling, climbing, carrying, and pushing are fine, BUT I’m scared shitless of heights and electric shock. Knowing that one slip would cause me to fall far to injury makes me nauseous, and the thought of a sudden jolt causing uncontrollable, bodily twitches is discomforting.

However, the LeanBerg self-confidence refuses to grant fear the satisfaction of sending me home defeated. My Mind was Over the Mudder. (I had to link this theme with the team name somehow).

So what if I’m afraid? That didn’t stop me from completing the following obstacles (we nailed all of them but here’s a few of the milestone ones):

ü  EVEREST. We sprinted up a tall, steep, and muddy quarter-pipe. I ran like the Tasmanian Devil. (That’s a GreenbergRippedPicLooney Tunes reference).

 

ü  ELECTRIC EEL. We crawled through ice-cold water and mud, just inches under live, electric wires. I took some shots in the arms. Oh, they twitched, but the pain was minimal. Thank God I didn’t get hit in the head or neck.

 

ü  WALK THE PLANK. We jumped off a 15+ foot cliff into freezing water. Saying, “screw you,” and jumping anyways lead to a glorious feeling of knocking out one of my biggest fears.   

 

ü  ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY. We ran through a field of live wires. We had to keep our eyes open or else we’d trip over the scattered hay bales into deep mud. Regardless, we showed our guts charging through that field, got shocked, thrown back on our behinds, but got back up and crossed the finish line with success.

 

            WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER. Tough Mudder was a success! BigBerg’s fear would have prevented him from even showing up to such a challenge. But that wimpy attitude is different today, thanks to self-confidence.

Whether it’s heights, electricity, bats, or whatever, I know what my fears are, but I’m confident that I can break through them. It’s an awesome feeling when that happens, and I hope you all can enjoy it too.

Don’t let your fears stop you. Control your fears. You got this.

Oh, and by the way, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram @lean_berg. If you follow me, I’ll feel good about myself…plus I’d love to hear about your workouts, progress, advice, critiques, and answer any questions. You can also email me at jordangreenberg32@gmail.com. The world is your oyster.

ToughMudder2

Till next time – LeanBerg

 
 

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Chicken Legs

37291489            Chicken legs suck and don’t look good. That’s the moral of this post. Legs make up half of your body and are practically everything’s necessity. If you don’t work them, you’ll look disproportionate with a big upper body and tiny lower body.

WORKOUT YOUR LEGS TWICE A WEEK…OR IN A 7-DAY SPAN. Like any big risk, leg workouts produce the biggest rewards (that’s my cliché for the day). It’s an amazing feeling after getting through an exhausting leg workout and your upper body lifts will improve at a substantially higher rate too.

My preferred method is making a solo leg day and pairing legs with an upper body muscle within a 7-day span. I’ll usually pair legs with either shoulders or back, but I’ve paired them with chest and arms as well. Another method would be breaking up leg muscles into different routines, such as gluteus with hamstrings and quads with calves.

leg-day-1Ask people with chicken legs why they constantly ignore leg workouts like redheaded stepchildren and they’ll all spew out the same bullshit. For my magic trick today, I shall bullet point some notable excuses, checkmark some of my favorite lifts for legs, and then share somewhere between 1-350 of my leg routines.

Here are some chicken shit excuses:

 

  • “I work my legs enough from cardio.” Cardio is critical to workout success and bikes do provide some resistance, but you better lift weights for legs just as much as you do for upper body. People just make these claims, because working legs is too challenging. Discrimination is wrong, so don’t segregate your legs from the weight room. BOOM.
  • “I don’t need to work my legs, because they’re naturally muscular and strong.” You’re better off producing big legs from badass workouts at the gym, instead of a Burger King fetish. Believe me, I know, and I’ve been there.
  • “Nobody sees your legs, so nobody cares.” This one is not as common, but I’ve heard it. It’s just another thing people say to avoid a challenge.
  • “I have bad knees.” This is overused. I don’t have much experience with this excuse, so just ask Derrick Rose (too soon?). His knees are cleared to play basketball, yet he’s still not using them. He might have some insight on this one.

Here are amazing lifts for legs:

ü  FORM > WEIGHT. Put your pride aside, because lighter weight with proper form produces better results than heavy weight with shit form. Also, aside from my machine section, EVERYTHING IS DONE WITH FREE WEIGHTS. Less assistance creates faster, better, and stronger results.

ü  Bar Back Squats. Bar back squats will nail your quads the most, while also requiring strong gluteus, back, and core. For the best results, squat BELOW 90-DEGREES, while staying on your heals and not hunching your back.

 

ü  Bar Deadlifts. Deadlifts nail your hamstrings, while also working your quads, gluteus, hips, arms, forearms, core, and lower back. The main issue is that deadlifts scream injuries, so you cannot get away with crap form.

ü  Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats. This one is a burner. In short, hold two dumbbells, get in a lunge position with one leg back on a bench instead of the ground, and then squat BELOW 90-DEGREES with the other leg, using your core to stabilize and balance. This lift will isolate the hell out of whichever leg is on active duty. Bulgarian split squats may be hell’s version of hell, but it’s one of the best definition producing mechanisms.

ü  Lunge Variations. You all know what lunges are, so do them. I switch up lunge variations every few weeks with bars, dumbbells, walking lunges, standing in place and alternating lunges, forward lunges, backwards lunges, jumping lunges with weights or no weights, and the list goes on.

ü  Machines For Bonus Sets. Machines make for good set-adders, and they’re great to circuit with the bigger, free weight lifts. Some notable machines are leg press, hack squat, leg extensions and leg curls.

ü  Do Weighted Calve Raises Or Something Like That. Enough said there.

…………

You’ll be hearing about leg workouts and my distaste for chicken legs plenty more from me. You cannot go ALL IN without treating your legs the same way you do your upper body. Order yourselves Campus Protein’s awesome FUEL pre-workout before the next time you work legs. It’s a fantastic energy booster and will get you in the zone.

Below are three leg workouts. You absolutely can these. I’ll see y’all next week and please read. I’m putting off a lot of studying for finals to write these, so if I fail law school, it’d at least be nice to know one or two people read.

–       LeanBerg

Legs Workout A

  • 10 Round Superset!!
    • Bar Back Squats 8-10 reps rounds 1-3, 5-6 reps rounds 4-5, 10-12 reps rounds 6-7, 15-20 reps rounds 8-10
    • Leg Curl Machine 8-15 reps
    • 3 Round Circuit
      • Leg Curls 10-15 reps
      • Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise 10-15 reps
      • Bar Alternating Lunges 10-12 reps each leg (10-24 total reps)
      • 3 Round Abs Circuit
        • Weighted Jackknife Situps 20-30 reps
        • Cable Crunches 20-30 reps
        • Lying Down Leg Lifts While Holding Up Plate 20-30 reps

Leg Workout B

  • 4 Round Superset
    • Deadlifts 10-15 reps
    • Leg Extension Machine 10-15 reps
    • 4 Round Circuit
      • Leg Press Machine 15 reps
      • Frog Situps 30-50 reps
      • Seated Calf Raise Machine 10-15 reps
      • 4 Sets
        • Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats 15, 12, 10, 8 reps each leg
        • Run 3 Miles (LOVE CARDIO ON LEG DAYS!)

 

29456555Leg & Shoulders

  • 4 Round Circuit
    • Deadlifts 20, 15, 10, 6 reps
    • Sitting Dumbbell Arnold Press 10-15 reps
    • Standing Dumbbell Side Raise 10-15 reps
    • 4 Round Circuit
      • Dumbbell Squats (resting on your shoulders) Followed With A Shoulder Press 8-12 reps
      • Leg Curl Machine 10-12 reps
      • Bar Upright Row 10-15 reps
      • Abs – 100 Weighed Jackknives Situps As Fast As Possible
      • Abs – 100 Situps on Decline Bench As Fast As Possible
      • Run 3 Miles
Before/After

Before/After

 
 

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Chest Day Rest Day

“Lie down on this bench and push that bar upwards.” That’s a chest day for y’all, and those are actually great instructions for most chest workouts.  

 (Be a bodybuilder, not a weightlifter video)

While necessary for a strong physique, people often overuse chest days, leading to a disproportionate body. If your chest is stronger than your back, Disney fanatics will worship you as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (too mean?).

 

Chest workouts are easy with their lack of conditioning prerequisites, since it’s not hard to push something while you’re lying or sitting down. Whether done with free weights or by a machine, flat, incline, and decline bench presses require that resting support. The same goes with pectoral fly exercises. A lot of people perform standing cable fly variations, but that’s shitty if it’s the one I have to refer to as “the standing chest exercise.” 

 

People seem to measure each other’s strength by how much a person benches. That’s completely false. Even though I’m Jewish, I hope for next Christmas that Santa will shut those people up. Most fat people can bench more than me, because they’re fat and heavy. Simply put, fat people bench a lot, because they’re fat and heavy. Their bodyweight/bench ratio sucks, though.

 

Bench pressing is a narrow lift, hitting mostly chest, while indirectly working shoulders and triceps. Full body lifts, such as deadlifts, squats, and STANDING rows, demand more physicality by also requiring your back, quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders, arms, traps, and core.

 

This is all because Chest Day is a Rest Day. I’m living proof of that. Overloading chest workouts is a fantastic idea for lazy people like BigBerg.  A couch potato can bench press while being a couch potato. Rest on a couch or a bench…it’s still resting!  

 

GreenbergRippedPicBut when done right, chest days can enhance your physical abilities. So allow me the honor of sharing just a few of my dos and don’ts for chest workouts, followed by two different chest-working routines.

 

Chest Days Should Not Be Your Focus

 

There’s a time and place for chest days. Registering for chest workouts should be done for the same reasons why college students register for blow off classes: they’re easy credits to earn and help ease the steam as you exercise your mind in the difficult classes.

 

Chest day is a blow off day and should be utilized to recover from the more difficult days, while earning some extra, easier workout credits at the same time. My favorite time to work chest is the day before longs runs, such as my 17-miler last Sunday (7:36 minute per mile average, baby). This allowed me to still workout the day before running, while also resting most of my body. You can do the same thing with arm workouts, but you know that already.

 

To toughen up chest workouts, take advantage of fatiguing that upper body by circuiting the hell out of your chest lifts, coupled with pushup variations. I prefer 8-15 rep-ranges for my chest workouts. If that’s a no-go due to your hard-on for heavy lifting, make rep pyramids, such as 15, 10, 6, 6, 10, 15.  

 

The 90-Degree Form IS More Bullshit Than Actual Bull Shit

 

Today, you’re going to end that “bring the bar 90-degres down” crap. Why the hell would you do anything halfway? Half-ass form will lead to half-ass results, and you will not be satisfied. It’s like driving to Potbelly to purchase a chicken sandwich for lunch, stopping midway, saying, “fuck it,” and then driving home without that lunch. 

 

So take those presses down to your chest every single time, unless there’s some injury or medical reason (that’s my disclaimer). This may require dropping the weight, but do it right and you’ll be seeing those gains in no time. Plus, you’ll look better!

 

Bouncing The Weight On Your Chest Is Bad News Bears

 

Bars and dumbbells are not bouncy balls, so a lifter shouldn’t bounce it on his chest to gain momentum per each press. The hardest part of benching is pressing the weight from your chest to halfway up, and that unnecessary momentum disallows maximizing your strength. Rather, you want the kind of momentum that gets your ass in the gym nearly every day, not the cheating kind that bakes shit reps faster than an Easy Bake Oven. BOOM.  

 

Proper form increases difficulty and forces you to use lighter weight, but the results are better. So instead, touch the bar to your chest and pause for a second. By preventing yourself from bouncing the weight, your chest muscles will finally have the chance to press without assistance. Give your chest the opportunity it deserves, and it won’t let you down.

 

Pressing Like A Speed Demon Is Pointless

 

Applicable to any lift for any muscle, slow reps produce more pleasing results. I’m not going to cite stuff or bullshit you, because I don’t have data. But what I do have is knowledge from trial and error. Fast reps go in the error section, while slow reps go in the success section. Slow reps burn more, there’s more contraction, and muscles will build at substantially higher rate.

 

So when you’re pressing, count no less than 3-seconds down and then 3-seconds up. And for each pectoral fly, when you bring the weights in, hold it there for no less than 3-seconds. Soreness will be a bitch, but after a full recovery you’ll be stronger the next round of chest.  Don’t count this way every time, as you should mix it up every few weeks, but this count serves as a good base.

 

……….

 

Moral of the story: Chest Days make for good Rest Days. They’re useful, but not useful enough to become a priority. Don’t let your chest workouts mess you up. Do it right, nail your back, legs, and shoulders, focus on those full body lifts, and you’ll walk strong with a better posture than any chest day junkie.

 

Below are two sample chest workouts, one a solo chest day and the other paired with back. Expect some sort of leg workout rave next week. Until then, thanks for reading and go hit the gym. And man, I really don’t want to study for these fuckin’ law school finals.

 

Use your flaws in a positive way to exceed your potential – LeanBerg.

 

 

Chest and Back

  • 6 Round Circuit
    • Dumbbell Flat Bench Press while doing a Leg Lift with each Press 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
    • Standing Bar Rows with Overhand Grip 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
    • Lat Pulldown Machine 10-15 reps
  • 4 Round Circuit
    • Bar Incline Bench Press 15, 12, 10, 8 reps
    • Standing Dumbbell Rows with Underhand Grip 10-15 reps
    • Dumbbell Flies on Flat Bench 20, 15, 12, 10 reps
  • 4 Round Superset
    • Reverse Fly Machine 12-15 reps
    • Standing Cable Flies with Underhand Grip 12-20 reps
  • 3 Sets
    • Chinups till Failure (do as many as you can, then rest a minute)
  • Run 3 Miles (LOVE CARDIO BABY)

 

Chest Day Rest Day

  • 6 Round Superset
    • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 12-20 reps rounds 1-3, then 6-10 reps rounds 4-6
    • Dumbbell Flies on Decline Bench 15-20 reps rounds 1-3, then 8-12 reps rounds 4-6
  • 4 Round Circuit:
    • Bar Flat Bench Press 10-15 reps
    • Abs – Weighted Lying Down Legs Lifts with HANDS TO SIDES, not under your ass (hold dumbbell between ankles) 20-30 reps
    • Pec Fly Machine 15, 10, 10, 15 reps
    • Abs – Frog Situps 30-50 reps
    • Diamond Pushups till Failure
  • As Fast As You Can (hit total number of reps as fast as possible, only resting when you absolutely must, and make sure to touch your chest to the floor each time)
    • Decline Pushups with Feet on Ball 100 reps

 

Before/After

Before/After

 

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Multi-Dimensional Strength Training Starts Now

My routines are a mind-fucking, physical challenge that will get you to do things you never thought your body was capable of doing, and you’ll feel a high better than any drug.

Last week, I introduced my origin story. Today’s post will show you what my fitness side is all about. I’m going to start you off with a Five-Day-Split Workout Plan of my choosing and then I’ll provide an excerpt from my Workout Handbook.

Multi-Dimensional Strength: my correct theory that will improve everything in your fitness

It’s wrong to define strength as how heavy a person can lift. Strength deserves to be a broader concept that grasps FITNESS IN ITS ENTIRETY:  heavy weights, but also lighter to middle weights, cardio, endurance, stamina, conditioning, mentality, pound-for-pound power, and more.

GreenbergRippedPic

Back in the BigBerg days, weighing-in at roughly 200lbs of saturated fat, my strength was one-dimensional: lifting heavy weights for low repetition. After a few pats on the back, nobody gave a shit that I used 5 seconds of energy to bench 300lbs for just one rep.

But today, weighing-in at roughly 160lbs of lean muscle and low body fat, I’m a professional practitioner of Multi-Dimensional Strength. I’m pound-for-pound the strongest I’ve ever been, while also able to run like hell. Most prominent lifters suck at running, and I’m proud not to be a member of that club. 

Follow my lead to become the next Hulk and know that you’re better off better at everything than good at just one thing.

Routines

Below is a sample Five-Day-Split workout plan. Do all five workouts in order, each on a different day, and then start over from the beginning. Do your best, and do what you can. This is the real deal. Perform each lift back-to-back for the specified number of rounds, resting 60-90 seconds between each round. The numbers next to each lift are the reps, given either at a range or strict number, correlating with however many rounds there are.

I cannot sit and type explanations for each lift. I assume most of you reading will understand most of the lifts, but if not, they’re easy to lookup. A rest day is okay, but do not rest two days in a row.

Five-Day-Split

 

Workout 1: Back & Triceps

  • 6 Round Circuit
    • Standing Bent Over Underhand Bar Rows: 25-30, 15-20, 12-15, 12-15, 10-12, 10-12
    • Lat Pulldown Machine 15-20, 15-20, 12-15, 12-15, 10-12, 10-12
    • Standing Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flies 10-15
  • 4 Round Superset:
    • Weighted Dips 10-15 (hold a dumbbell between your ankles and dip slightly below a 90-degree angle)
    • V-Up Crunches holding a Dumbbell 20
  • 4 Round Circuit:
    • Bar Reverse Skull Crushers 10, 10, 15-20, 15-20
    • Bar Close-Grip Bench Press while Holding a Straight, 45-Degree Angle Leg Lift 10-15
    • Wide V-Bar Row Machine 10-15
  • Run 4 Miles (Just get the distance and try not to walk)

 

Workout 2: Legs

  • 6 Round Superset:
    • Bar Deep Back Squats 8-15 (you better squat below 90-degrees)
    • Leg Curl Machine 8-15
  • 4 Round Circuit:
    • Bar Alternating Backwards Lunges 8-12 each leg (16-24 total)
    • Leg Extensions Machine 15, 12, 12, 10
    • Seated Calf Raise Machine 10-15
  • 3 Round Superset:
    • Kettleball Swings 20
    • Weighted Situps on Decline Bench 20-30 (hold a plate along your chest)

 

Workout 3: Shoulders & Traps

  • 6 Round Circuit:
    • Standing Bar Overhead Press 15, 12, 12, 8, 8, 15
    • Standing Dumbbell Front Raise 20, 15, 15, 10, 10, 25
    • Standing Dumbbell Shrugs 10-15
  • 4 Round Circuit:
    • Straight Bar Shrugs 10-15
    • Standing Dumbbell Side Raise 10-15
    • Standing Dumbbell Military Press 10-15, 10-15, 10-15, 25 
  • Run 3 Miles

 

Workout 4: Chest & Biceps

  • 5 Round Circuit
    • Dumbbell Incline Bench 25, 8, 8, 8, 20 (HIT YOUR CHEST)
    • Standing Dumbbell Straight Curls 20-25, 8-12, 8-12, 8-12, 20-25
    • Dumbbell Flies on a Ball 25, 8-12, 8-12, 8-12, 20
  • 5 Round Superset
    • Standing Straight Bar Close-Grip Curl 8-15
    • Dumbbell Bench lying on Ball 8-15 (HIT YOUR CHEST)
  • 5 Round Superset
    • Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls 12-20
    • Standing Underhand Cable Flies 12-20
  • 4 Round ABS CIRCUIT
    • Lying Down Leg Lifts with Dumbbell between Ankles 20
    • Cable Crunches 20-30
    • Slow Crunches on Ball 30-50

 

Workout 5: CARDIO DAY

  • MINUMUM of 45-Minutes of Straight Cardio…..this is where I do long runs (17 miles next week). I recommend you do my version of HIIT, which is high intensity interval training by jogging and running. Do your best not to walk, because we walk enough throughout the day (like me walking to class), so why incorporate that in our workouts? 

…………….

 

Excerpt From LeanBerg’s Workout Handbook

  • PROTEIN, PROTEIN, AND PROTEIN. Gold Standard Whey is an awesome, affordable post-workout product. Drink 1-2 servings of that shit immediately after every workout.
  • PRE-WORKOUTS HELP. Many of my workouts start as early as 4:45AM. C4 is the most well know pre workout out there and has helped me get through those drowsy mornings. Also, rumor has it that Campus Protein came out with their own pre workout
    $20.00 for a Month Supply!

    $20.00 for a Month Supply!

    thats even better than C4 (had to do it lol).

  • CREATINE HELPS BUILD MUSCLE Cellucor and Muscle Pharm both do a great job with their products.  But if you don’t do your cardio while taking creatine, you’ll become a tubby, overly bloated weirdo.
  • ARM DAYS ARE FUN, but they’re easier workouts. Don’t heavily rely on them.
  • CHEST DAYS ARE REST DAYS, because working out while lying down is still resting. I’m lying down during naptime too.
  • ALL HAIL LEG WORKOUTS, but they’re also good to pair with shoulders so you can add presses to your squats, lunges, and split-squats.

 

  • SUPERSETS, CIRCUITS…OH MY GOSH! Single-set lifting is too easy. You just pick shit up and put shit back down, whereas my style produces Multi-Dimensional Strength.
  • DON’T WORRY ABOUT WEIGHT. Gains will come.  Producing gains with higher reps is indeed more difficult, but also more awarding with definition and muscles that actually pop out.
  • FOCUS MORE ON MID-HIGH REPS. Reps are Thor’s hammer in directing the body’s shape and composition. Don’t be one of those fat, 1-rep max lifters. Those guys really look like disguised donut gurus rather than physically fit.
  • INCORPORATE EVERY-GODDAMN-THING IN SOME WAY. You name it, and I do it. I had a dream that all kinds of workouts were treated equally, and now that dream is part of my reality While I just said to focus more on mid-high reps, adding in lower reps is good to mix things up or create rep pyramids.
  • LIFT EVERY SET TO FAILURE. Don’t ever stop when you can do more reps. You need full fatigue to get the best results.
  • DO YOUR CARDIO, BECAUSE LIFTING SHAPES YOUR BODY WHILE CARDIO SHAPES YOUR CONDITIONING! I’d have a lot more body fat if I did everything I do now minus the cardio. Cardio is the Holy Grail, and running is God.
  • DON’T NEGELCT YOUR ABS. Too many people say lifting works enough of their abs, but that’s false. It’s usually the people with no abs saying that. The best way is either by an abs circuit/superset or including abs within lifting circuits/supersets.

 

  • WEIGHTED ABS > CRUNCHES.  Treat your abs like you treat any normal muscle, and they’ll respond by showing more. My biceps are not going to bulge out if I do air bicep curls.
  • To have Multi-Dimensional Strength, hold tightly and grasp onto the most important formula of the day:

CONDITIONING > STRENGTH, and that’s the bottom line because LeanBerg (not Stone Cold) said so.

…………….

Going ALL IN is a commitment, so EMBRACE THIS SHIT.

I’ll see you next Wednesday when I detail stuff that I feel like detailing. I don’t know what yet, but I promise I’ll know when I know. Best of luck to anyone who begins the Five-Day-Split. Stick to it and you won’t regret it.

Do not forget where you came from, but always strive to get better! – Leanberg

Before/After

Before/After

 
 

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Unconventional Mentality

ALL ABOUT MENTALITY

Hi. My name is Jordan Greenberg, I am currently finishing up my second year at The John Marshall Law School, and I had a fat stage in my life.

Before/After

Before/After

From this before/after picture, there’s a fat, insecure guy on the left and a lean, more confident guy on the right, clearly capturing the extremes at both ends of the spectrum.

AND THEY’RE BOTH ME!!

Was I strong? Hell yes. That was the strongest I’ve ever been in my life. Of course you can naturally lift heavier when you weigh so much more. But pound-for-pound, I was absolute garbage, and this was the most out of shape I’ve ever been in.

But that’s not the end of things, because I’m lean and shredded in the after picture. I had to get there somehow, and it wasn’t easy one bit. I’m so grateful that I reached an extremely low, self-depreciating point, because it forced me to find a way to put all that aggression into something that would eventually change my life forever.

So, can I please share a brief overview of my story? Thanks!

There are actually two stories: 1) BigBerg’s Story and 2) LeanBerg’s Story. Each version of myself possessed a different mentality, so they respectfully deserve their own stories.

BigBerg’s Story

A few months before my junior year at Indiana University, I hit an all-time low. I literally swam through an ocean of negative thoughts every damn day. I was getting in stupid fights, boozing too much, smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco when I was not smoking cigarettes, eating Burger King like it was my full-time job, eating McDonald’s when I was not eating Burger King, and I think you get the point now.

There once was an extended weekend when I didn’t even leave my apartment. Luckily, I got some exercise by walking to my door to generously tip the pizza guy. However, like any short-lived, glorified moment such as opening your door to see a smiley, bicycle helmet-wearing pizza guy graciously hand you 3,000 calories of greasy crap, all temporary things come to an end.

Like any fat person, I would go through phases where I thought I was going to get back into fitness and health. I’d try these temporary workout plans and diets, only to see zero results. Something was fudged up in my head. I didn’t eat too many paint chips as a child so it’s not that, but I lacked dedication.

Motivation needs to be permanent if you’re seeking a lifestyle change. Temporary motivation will only change you temporarily, and then you’ll go back to being that person you hated. Yeah, I would prance like a bitch on the treadmill and try to bench a shit load of weight, but that did nothing. Additionally, I thought I could cheat more on eating if I spent more time at the gym. That’s bullshit. Period.

My workout attempts failed, my diet attempts failed, my don’t drink to blackout attempts failed, my don’t fight people attempts failed, my don’t love nicotine so much attempts failed, and for the worst attempt grand finale, I failed to be happy.

Special Note To Dieting: while I regret to announce this, the Fresco Menu at Taco Bell is not healthy, placing fruit in ice cream is not smart thinking, McDonald’s salads are not good for you, and cutting calories does not mirror decreasing your daily desert dosage. You need to cut the right calories, and everything I did at this time was the opposite.

I would constantly get pissed off and blame other people. But finally, a big influence in my life pointed out that I was the common denominator in every occurrence. That was hard to soak in, but it was true. Finally for once, I was angry at myself. I needed to be angry at myself to this degree in order to light the fire and get that motivation going.

This sentence is my transition to my second story.

LeanBerg’s Story

 

So now it’s summer, and I’m still fat. LeanBerg doesn’t begin when I become lean. It was never about that nor will it ever be.

It’s All ABOUT MENTALITIY, and LeanBerg was beginning to emerge immediately after I finally took responsibility. You cannot rely on these workout and diet plans to fix you. Sure, they can improve your physique for some time, but they’ll likely not become a ritual in your lifestyle. I needed the latter, not just some physical improvement. I needed a mentality fix more than anything.

The event that stands out most is when I signed up for a private boxing lesson nearby my house. I didn’t put much thought into it. I just decided to sign up, and that was that.

I go in at 7:00AM (that’s sleeping-in for me today), and the guy hands over a jump rope, hits the buzzer, and says I have two minutes until my next breather.

I couldn’t do it. I literally could not jump rope for two minutes during a warm-up and that really got to me. It was pathetic and symbolizes how pathetic I allowed myself to get. It’s just 120 seconds, and it was too hard.

Something happened that day where I realized I’ve been such a pussy lately. I finally acknowledged that I had to go All IN and work hard for something other than placing the perfect fast-food order. I needed to stand toe-to-toe with a physical challenge and not let it get the best of me.

WOAH, THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF LEANBERG.

There’s a major correlation with fitness, health and wellbeing. That’s why they’re grouped together. Not so your Health teachers could feel good that their textbooks are dense, but because they really do correlate.

I, now LegBerg, figured that if I kept working out and dieted by my own research rather than looking up FADs, something good would rise, and it would get me to believe in myself, helping with everything else life offers. I didn’t know it’d lead to an intense addiction that I’m really passionate and proud about, but hey, “It could happen.” (That was my Angels In The Outfield reference, starring Danny Glover).

It’s been uphill from there, and I’ll bullet point it, since I haven’t shown off my formatting skills yet. Think of the training montages in the Rocky movies while you read through this.

  • That summer in 2009, I cut around 60-70lbs just from intense boxing, building up my running, and barely drinking alcohol, and ACTUALLY eating healthy. I did not eat fast-food, limited my carbs, ate lots of lean protein, and didn’t binge eat at night. Those are the basics, and they were enough then.
  • While studying abroad in London for three months, I literally ran 6-8 miles six or seven days a week and became a force at running. The runner’s high is real!
  • In summer 2010, I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile in a 7:12 minute per mile average. The was a big one, because I made the commitment to run that at my grandfather’s funeral, so thank the lord I didn’t bail on that one. That wouldn’t have been nice and would have resulted in a lifetime of cranky karma.
  • I then finally got into lifting weights. I have such a passion for weightlifting and have developed my own style that I’ll guarantee works for anyone. I’m all about high intensity supersets/circuits with middle to high rep ranges, every set till failure, usually working multiple muscles a day, often topped off with running a few miles at the end. Conditioning is more important than strength. Fat people, like BigBerg, are strong. Anyone can lift weights, but not everyone can do it in a way that forces topnotch conditioning.
  • Currently, I’m training for the 2013 Chicago Marathon, still lifting five or six days a week, and happy as can be. There are still setbacks, but that goes with anything. I ran 16 miles this week in a 7:50 minute average and know I can do more.

Like I said, it’s ALL ABOUT MENTALITY. Everything put together, from losing fat to jump roping to weightlifting to running to dieting to not drinking as much and more, they all are just factors into becoming happy, altering your lifestyle for the better, and changing your mentality permanently.

Fitness-wise, when you put your body through hell, suffering excruciating exhaustion, sweat and fatigue, the end result is that you know you just went ALL IN for the day and nobody can ever take that away from you. It makes you believe in yourself, and when that’s in your mind, you’re an unstoppable force. Any strength gain or advance in definition is a bonus.

After finally jump roping for two minutes and years of trial and error figuring this stuff out, I know what works. I write every single one of my workout plans and do it all my way. I have final cut, and every decision is pursuant to my discretion. As for dieting, the most important work is done in the kitchen. If you eat shit, you’ll become shit, no matter how hard you workout. Get ready to hear that a lot.

I went ALL IN, and I have not been out since. I love what I do, but the best part of it now is sharing with people and also learning from others. Are you ready to go ALL IN too?

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Unconventional Mentality

 

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Brauny’s “Female” Take

This week’s take is going to be a little bit different. One of my best friends, Alyssa, works at a gym in Chicago and is around fitness 24/7. She is as much a fitness addict as I am, so I trust her every opinion.

With that being said, this blog will pertain to women only. Guys, you can read it, but I don’t think it’s going to do you any good (pervs). You can skip right to the bottom.

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 4.24.19 PMI asked Alyssa several fitness and health questions that I thought girls would be interested in knowing, especially from a girl’s perspective, since I know nothing on the topic.

1)    Alyssa, what is your favorite workout to do at the gym? And why? My favorite workout is featured at the gym that I work for. It specifically features a high intensity interval training (HIIT) class. The class combines 4 15-minute intervals on the treadmill at varying inclines and speeds, along with weight-training incorporating bozu balls, bands, and more (switching every 10-15 minutes) totaling an hour-long workout. It’s a pretty intense high calorie-burning workout, but with any workout unless I am sweating and busting my butt it’s a waste of time. Outside of shredding, I really enjoy running, hot yoga, and spinning. I’m all about the sweat J

2)    Do you have a favorite gym outfit? I am a full-blown lulu addict. I wear their leggings almost every day to class and work and have racerback tops in enough colors to last me for about 2 weeks before doing the laundry. I love the bright and fun colors. I used to always run in baggy clothes and my life changed after discovering how great cute workout clothes actually are. I think that looking and feeling good in your workout is very important. Also – Lulu pants seriously do something amazing to even the most average-looking tush. The splurge is worth every penny.

3)    Do you like it when guys hit on you at the gym? If so, what’s your favorite pick-up line? No I actually find it annoying. Gym time is me time and there is a 100% chance that I don’t want to talk to you while I’m at the gym. Any girl that likes to get hit on at the gym isn’t really there to workout. But “Brauny’s Take” about how to pick up girls at the gym does bring about good topics and is kind of true. (She winked)

4)    What’s the creepiest story that’s happened to you at the gym (guy related)? I’ve had a few trainers approach me at the gym and offer me free personal training lessons. At first I was excited about this…who doesn’t want a free personal trainer? Most of them are just pretty desperate. So in the end, I said no thanks. Didn’t want to lead them on. That’s never a good idea.

5)    What classes do you usually take at the gym? Refer to number 1 🙂

6)    Have you ever made out at the gym? Never. (But I have had fantasies at the gym……who hasn’t?!)

7)    What’s your favorite apparel brand? Why? My typical gym outfit is spandex shorts or crops and a lulu racerback top. Some of my spandex crops are from lulu and some of my shorts are from target. Target’s brand is honestly almost as expensive as lulus and is the same quality, in my opinion. Workout clothes are all about personal preference. I like body-hugging clothes that don’t move around while I run. I also like really bright gym shoes, although I know you aren’t supposed to choose running shoes based on how they look. I currently rock these Asics, planning Mizunos for my next pair:

8)    What’s an average day like for you at the gym? 1 hour of kickass HIIT. There is a timer in the room set for 60 minutes start to finish. As long as you are getting an intense high calorie-burning workout, an hour is really all you need.

9)    Are you a healthy eater? If so, what’s your normal meal plan? I’m a pretty healthy eater. For breakfast I stick to thin ½ a sandwich with egg, avocado, and salsa or peanut butter and banana with a cup of coffee and some fruit. I have been ordering a gourmet meal service for lunch/dinner because I’m in grad school and work 2 jobs. I unfortunately haven’t had a lot of time to cook for myself. These meals all incorporate clean eating and options to stick to the paleo diet (although I don’t consider myself to be on a diet of any kind). This 304669_2821778139838_852973517_nincorporates grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts, healthful oils. I eat a lot of quinoa and spaghetti squash as a substitute for bread and pasta. This meal service is delicious but also super expensive. It is definitely possible to cook your own healthy meals! Today for lunch I had turkey with sundried tomato and salsa incorporating free-range turkey served over dairy free pesto and vegetable quinoa. Tonight for dinner I’m having paleo BBQ chicken pizza. I order this food service from the gym I work at and actually get a small discount. If I can’t cook my own healthy meals, at least I know I am still eating meals that are prepared healthy each containing 400-600 calories. If you are in the Chicago area I can tell you more about the company if you are interested. I definitely need to say that I allow myself a day to splurge on the weekends. Typically on Sunday’s I eat whatever I want…which always includes a greasy hangover-helping brunch with my boyfriend 🙂

10) Why do you think it’s harder for girls to get jacked than it is for guys? Genetically, men have more lean muscle mass and less body fat than women do. More muscle + higher metabolism = faster fat burning.

Sometimes life just isn’t fair!

11) Do you take a pre-workout or post-workout (protein) drink? I don’t, but I probably should. I usually workout in the mornings after a cup of coffee, but I definitely think that I would benefit from adding a pre/post-workout drink. Any suggestions for women @campusprotein?

 @campusprotein: Redline is a great pre-workout for women. As well as Amino Energy. We recommend the best of the best for after, HydroWhey.

12) When you go to the gym, what is your goal? What do you want to achieve? When I go to the gym I want to utilize my time to have the most effective workout possible. I honestly don’t have time to be in the gym for more than an hour a day. I want to make sure that I am burning calories, sweating, and most importantly toning during my daily 60-minute workouts.

13) Who do you aspire to look like? Who’s your role model? Shakira and I are both 4’’10’. Although she isn’t my role model, I’d kill for her body. (pre-baby)

14)  If you had a microphone and had to tell every female gym rat something, what would you say? I would probably say be yourself. Work with what you’ve got. Don’t try and change yourself because someone tells you something or you see things. You gotta do you and be comfortable with yourself.

Well thanks a lot Alyssa!

Now Ladies, I hope you take what Alyssa says with an open mind. She has some great advice and knows a lot about the industry, or so I think she does.

So for the rest of this blog, I’m going to pick up where I left off on my spring break workout plan (because I realized that men are already reading this).

I hope everyone’s been eating right and working out daily. If so, here’s what I want you to do next.

EAT SUPER FOODS.

Quinoa, Chia Seeds, Black rice, Cacao, Raspberry Ketones etc. Look em up.

Super foods are great to incorporate into your diets. They are terrific antioxidants and taste yummy!

They are packed with nutrients that your body needs, plus more.

Something that I do that helps me is I like to run 2 miles everyday to every other day, especially for spring break season. Some people may say, “it slims you down” or “that’s stupid”, but I don’t really give a crap. I do what I want to do and it makes me feel good and fit. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for a long time, but just for a few weeks or something before your workout or after, or even in the morning or at night. Mix it in to your workout, along with jump ropes. Try and get your heart rate up and you’ll burn more. Run on an incline (1.5-3) and you’ll easily burn twice as many calories. Try it out. If your legs start to hurt, walk on a high incline at a speed of around 4-4.5. Switch it up. Try alternating the two in 10 minute intervals or something. BE CREATIVE. Have fun with it.

If you do this and mix it with healthy eating, I promise you’ll be on your way to a ripped a toned spring break body.

You can also work your abs every other day. But don’t abuse them. Limit it to about three ab workouts per day, and mix it up. Confuse your abs. Again, BE CREATIVE!

Lastly, always try to listen to tunes that will get your heart racing and get you in a good mood. Sometimes the gym plays absurd songs and that can really affect me. My obvious recommendation? The Campus Protein mix, its actually really really good: http://www.soundcloud.com/campusprotein/iworkout

Anyways, Stay tuned for next weeks take.

Pce. Love. Protein. @CP

@andrewbrauny

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in The Brauny Take

 

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