Blog Archives

Pull Ups, Rows, Squats and Booty Building

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written some great posts on Redefining Strength covering the differences between Inverted Rows and Pull Ups as well as posts on Squat Variations and workouts to build and strengthen your glutes.

Here are some quick summaries of the articles as well as links if you are looking for something fun to read this weekend to help you change up your workouts next week! (Or well “fun” if you happen to be a fitness nerd haha)

1. Booty Burners – So I’m OBSESSED with glute activation and strengthening and toning your glutes. Weird? Maybe. But I personally believe they are the reason many of us suffer from pain and the reason many of us can’t lift as much as we would like. I also think “Heck yea..Who doesn’t want a freaking amazing ass!?!”

booty-burners-glute-workouts

Anyway, I love glute work. And I think it is super important. Active glutes are strong glutes. They are sexy glutes. And they help make sure that the correct muscles are working so that muscles that can’t handle the load, like your hips and low back, don’t take over and get injured.

That is why I created Booty Burner Workouts. These workouts activate, strength and tone your glutes. And the best part is they are quick and easy and you can do them easily at home.

So if you happen to like working those butt cheeks, check out this Booty Burner Workout post.

2. The Pull Up vs. The Inverted Row – I was talking to a new trainer about pulling and pushing in different planes of motion and we got into discussing the difference between Horizontal Pulls and Vertical Pulls. This lead to us discussing the differences between Pull Ups (vertical pull) and Inverted Rows (horizontal pull).

the pull up vs. the inverted row

But not only did we discuss the differences. We also discussed how Inverted Rows can be used to build your Pull Ups even though they are a horizontal pull instead of a vertical pull.

Click here for more information about each move and some fun Inverted Row and Pull Up Variations!

3. Squat Variations – Squats are a great compound exercise to work your legs and core. But as much as even I love heavy barbell back squats, they can get a bit boring. Plus sometimes you have specific things/muscles you want to target, but you don’t necessarily want to skip your squat day.

That is why it is important to mix up the type of squat you do.

squat-variations

Want to work your core more? Try a front-loaded squat.

Want to build core stability? Try a unilaterally loaded squat.

Want to correct imbalances, work each leg independently and even improve your balance and core strength? Try a Single Leg Squat.

Want to target your inner thighs more? Want to target your glutes more? Want to get your heart rate up?

THEN MIX UP THE SQUAT VARIATION YOU USE!

Here are 30 Squat Variations to check out.

Hope everyone had a great week!

Do you use any of these moves? What are your workout plans for next week!?!

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Find Your Strong – Happy Fourth of July!

I think every holiday should be celebrated with a special workout…And of course food…But definitely a special workout.

Ryan and I every Fourth of July have gone out and done workouts outside at playgrounds.

This year we had our own indoor playground as well as a ton of friends around to play with us!

Celebrate your fourth in style and try our 4th of July Team Workout Challenge!

redefining strength bootcamp

TEAM WORKOUT CHALLENGE

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the exercise as possible in the 5 minutes. Try to get a team of 3-5 so that you can alternate turns during the 5 minutes. Only one team member may work at a time. Record your score.

#1:
5 minute Rower (record meters completed by team)

Erg

#2:
5 minute Bag Pulls (record number of pulls…This can also be back rows)

pulley system

#3:
5 minutes Stagecoach Battling Rope Waves (record the number of waves that go all the way down)

battling ropes

#4:
5 minutes Partner Sled Pull (your partner stands on slider and you walk backward pulling them. Each 50ft length is one rep)

partner exercises

#5:
5 minutes Monkey Bars (every length you complete is a rep. You can also replace this with a hanging ab exercise or even an inverted row.)

monkey bars

#6:
5 minutes Slam Bagz Burpees (every burpee is a rep…Press the bag overhead then bring it down to the ground and jump back then jump back up and press overhead)

burpee variation

#7:
5 minutes Sledgehammer (count the number of slams…Can also be med ball slams if you don’t have a hammer)

sledgehammer and tire

How’d you do!?! Share your scores below!

Here are our scores:
1st Place Team USA with 2,079.5 points
2nd Place Team Cougars with 2,019.5
3rd Place Team Musketeers 1,868
4th Place Team Giraffes 1,845
5th Place Team Pup ‘n Suds 1,639

And I’m also proud to announce that one of my good friends has joined me at Redefining Strength. Jeff has launched his own training program The Resistance Training!

the resistance training

He is absolutely amazing and I can’t be happier for him. I’ve never had someone smile so nicely at me as I just wanted to roll over on the ground and not move for the next hour.

He tailors all of his workouts to meet your specific needs and he knows how to push you just the right amount to get results.

So if you have a chance, check him out!

Goal Setting and The 3 Words Project

Goal setting is essential to success.

But it’s boring.

And goals are easily forgotten in the heat of the moment.

So if goals are important, but easily forgotten, how do you make them something you can easily stay focused on day in and day out?

I thought this “3 words for 1 year” idea that I saw on Julia Ladewski’s blog was a great way to keep your goals easily in the forefront of your mind. (Here is her post and a post to the original 3 word project if you want to learn more.)

This 3 word project gives you an easy and quick reminder of what your goals are. It makes visualizing your goals on a weekly, daily basis easy and quick.

And I personal think it is super motivating.

What you do is basically pick 3 WORDS that represent your goals and will motivate you to keep working toward them even when the going gets rough. These 3 words can be a great VISUAL for you to even post somewhere. While no one wants to post long freaking sentences of SMART goals, posting a word or three really isn’t a big deal and is very easy to do (and a much prettier visual…not to mention quicker to read and refresh your memory and improve your mindset).

My three words are below.

I’ve picked words that will instantly remind me of my WHY, my reason for setting my goals in the first place. These words, for me, also instill the emotion I’m looking for when it comes to my goals. For example, the word pause makes me think to breathe deeply. It makes me think RELAX and that is a big part of the goal it is set to represent.

Anyway, give your goals some thought. What would your 3 words for this year be?

Pause – This word means a couple of different things to me this year, but they all boil down to RELAX. Pause and take a second to relax if stressed. Pause to take a second and step back and think. Paused to take a second to celebrate the small successes. Pause and enjoy life and don’t always get bogged down with moving right on to the next project. I like to keep going. I have trouble stopping at points…partly because I love what I do and partly just because I’m type A. But celebration, relaxation and shutting your brain off are super important components of not only a healthy lifestyle, but also of success. Take a second today and PAUSE!

Thought this was another great reminder!

Uncomfortable – It is strange to feel like I’m listing “uncomfortable” as a goal. But by using the word uncomfortable, I’m reminding myself that it is good to stretch my boundaries. That feeling “uncomfortable” is not only OK but GOOD. We’ve all see those motivational pictures and quotes stating that success happens outside your comfort zone, and it’s true. And while I find I’m good at tiptoeing around outside my comfort zone, I sometimes lack the will, the strength, to just throw myself in the deep end. So here is to throwing myself in the deep end and not fearing the unknown, the uncomfortable!

Love this quote.

STRONG – Strong is a super meaningful word to me. Each and every year I want to grow stronger, both physically and mentally. And while I don’t always want to get stronger in the same way, I do always want to be getting stronger, learning more, growing. And with that strength, I want to inspire others to find their strong. So to me strong means not only growing myself both inside and out of the gym, but also helping others to find their physical and mental strength – to become more empowered! This year is about remaining dedicated to becoming STRONGER.

RS Girl

What are your 3 words? And what do they mean to you? Share yours and inspire others!!!

And The Winners Are….

A big THANK YOU to everyone that has shared, commented, liked and been a huge support in the launch of Redefining Strength.

And now to announce our winners of the Redefining Strength Launch Contest!!
RS Girl

Winning 4 FREE Weeks of Online Trainings is…..Jodi.

Winning $100 Off Online Training (or Redefining Strength Products) is….Kim.

Winning $50 Off Online Training (or Redefining Strength Products) is….Jess.

I will email you three today and we can discuss further your goals and current program to draft up some great workouts for you!

For anyone else interested in Online Training, E-books or The Redefining Strength Elite Workout Library, we are offering some great deals during the rest of January.

For the rest of January, the Elite Workout Library is just $25 and with the code: RSLAUNCH, you can get 25% off of Online Training and/or any E-Books in the Shop.

Thank you all for your support! And Congrats to our winners!

Get ready for a great breakfast hash recipe tomorrow!

AND if you want to be able to do more push ups and missed it on Social Media yesterday…Check Out my post “Do you want to be able to do more push ups!?!”

CONTEST!!! – Let Me Help You Achieve Your New Years Resolutions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Today I would like to announce the official launch of Man Bicep’s Redefining Strength.

redefining strength deadlift

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve run Man Bicep for about 3 years now. And over that time, I’ve seen a number of different trends and run into a ton of different questions from clients and readers.

While I’ve tried to answer all the questions, all the desires on Man Bicep, there is only so much I can do from this platform.

Which is why I launched Redefining Strength. Redefining Strength provides everything I’ve been asked for over the years in one place.

On Redefining Strength, you will find a wealth of new content, including more blogs, The Workout Library, a Trigger Point Video Library, E-Books and even online personal training. (I have even more content to come soon too!)

In The Workout Library, there are 50 workouts. There are workouts you can do at home, at the park or at the gym. There are workouts you can do with bodyweight, sandbags, power wheels and suspension trainers. There are workouts for runners, cyclists, beginners and advanced exercisers.

Want even more workouts? Want 24/7 support to help you modify the workouts?

Then join The Elite Workout Library.

Want workout progressions, nutrition tips, goal setting guides and trigger point guides and videos?

Then check out Redefining Strength.

Want a program specifically designed to meet your needs and goals?

Then check out our Online Training.

Online training that you could get for FREE to help you get started on your New Years goals.

Interested? Check out the contest details below.

THE REDEFINING STRENGTH LAUNCH CONTEST

redefining strength

This contest will run from Jan. 1, 2014 till Jan. 8, 2014. Three winners will receive the prizes below:

The first place prize is 4 weeks of online training for FREE. This is a $200 value that can also be applied to Redefining Strength Products.

The second place prize is $100 off Online Training or any Redefining Strength Products.

And the third place prize is $50 off Online Training or any Redefining Strength Products.

To be entered to win, follow these two instructions:

1. Share RedefiningStrength.com on two social media sites and comment below with the sites you posted it to (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, LinkedIn…)

2. Comment below with your New Years Resolution.

And as an added bonus, during January, I’m offering all Man Bicep readers 25% off all products in my shop (use coupon code RSLAUNCH) as well as 50% off of The Elite Workout Library.

I hope you all check out Redefining Strength and enjoy the new site.

And don’t worry, Man Bicep isn’t going anywhere! You are stuck with me and my ramblings!!

Redefining Strength – Empowerment through exercise

So over the last year, I’ve thought a lot about what Man Bicep stood for in my life and the life of my clients.

It wasn’t about powerlifting. It most definitely wasn’t about running. And it wasn’t even about a specific diet.

It was about doing something….anything…that made you feel healthy and strong. It was about working out to feel empowered.

It was about taking on new challenges and feeling like you COULD do anything.

It was about redefining what strong really means.

And so I started considering what could really make us feel more empowered. And I began developing workout programs based around this principle.

I believe that working out can be an outlet, a release. I believe it can help us build confidence in a way few other things can. Overcoming physical challenges – lifting more or running further than we thought possible – is just about the most empowering thing you can do.

So I created “Redefining Strength.”

Right now the site has a few products that I’m giving away. I spent a lot of time considering what would be most helpful and supplement everything that I post here, on Man Bicep.

If you go over and subscribe, you will get 4 different reports. One is bodyweight exercises that can be done by beginners and advanced a like. They are basically exercises you can do anywhere and get a full body workout.

handstand progression

Handstand progression…I show you ways to progress up to one!

You will also get a list of 10 Simple Diet Changes. Be you vegetarian or Atkins dieter, there are tips on there that EVERYONE needs to follow.

I also spent a lot of time creating a foam rolling video library and cheat sheet. I believe that foam rolling is one of the most important things when it comes to moving well and feeling great. I even included some foam rolling videos that show you how to roll out even if you don’t have any of the fancy trigger point equipment.

And last, but not least, you will get a goal setting sheet. I debated about putting this one in since many of you will skip it. But honestly, goal setting is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

I know it’s cheesy. I know it’s boring and seems stupid. But trust me it’s worth the time if you really set goals that MATTER.

Goals that MATTER are what keep you committed even through the roughest of times. Goals CAN be motivating and keep us on course.

You just have to set goals in a way that don’t allow them to fall by the wayside like most people’s New Years resolutions!

So head over to Redefining Strength and check out those four guides and the video library. I hope it gets you as excited as I am for the programs launching in August!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at manbiceps@gmail.com.

Home Workouts – 10 Moves You Can Do With An Ikea Table

So yesterday when Ryan and I were doing some foam rolling stuff, I used a table for a couple of the moves.

It was just our little $10 Ikea table, but it was amazingly sturdy considering I put it together…Although that may be better than if Ryan put it together…Sorry Ryan…But it’s true…

Anyway, when I used the table, Ryan said to me, “I wonder if you could do a full body workout with just that table?”

My answer, “You totally could!”

Here are 10 moves you can do with just a cheap little Ikea side table! Love you Ikea! 🙂 (The moves are in no particular order)

1. Decline or Incline Push ups – You can make the push up easier or more advanced using the table. To make the push up easier, put your hands on the table and then perform the push up from your knees or toes. Doing the push up from your knees will make it easier than from your toes. To advance the push up, put your toes on top of the table.incline push up

2. Balance Lunges – The balance lunge is a great leg move to do if you don’t have weights. Place your back foot up on the table and hop your front foot out so you are in a nice wide stance. Then lunge down, dropping your back knee toward the ground. Really sit back into the lunge. Make sure you aren’t going forward and that your front knee is not going past your toe. You should feel a nice stretch in the front of the leg that is back when doing this move.

bulgarian split squat

3. Single Leg Squats – This table is a great way for beginners especially to start working on their pistol squats. It is also a great way to really correct imbalances since you are working legs individually. If the table is too low for you at the beginning, start with a two-leg squat to bench. Then progress to one leg. Beginners can completely sit down on the table. As you advance, try to only barely tap the table with your butt before standing up. Do not rely on sitting on the bench to stand back up.

single leg squat
4. Incline or Decline Climbers – These aren’t mountain climbers. With climbers you are working your shoulders and triceps. Beginners should start in a plank position with their forearms on the table. Next climb up one hand at a time until you are at the top of a push up position. Then climb back down to complete the rep. Advanced exercisers should do this move with their feet elevated on the table instead.

decline climbers

incline climber
5. Glute Bridge off table – A great way to advance the glute bridge is by putting your feet up on the table. You can do either a double leg glute bridge, which is a bit easier, or a single leg bridge, which is a bit more difficult. Start by lying on the ground with your heels on the table. Your butt should be close to the table. Arms are bent to 90 with elbows driving into the ground. Squeeze the glutes and drive through the heels, lifting your hips as high as you can in the air. Keep your core tight and glutes squeezed. You should not feel this in your low back. To make the move even more beneficial, hold each rep at the top for 2-5 seconds.

single leg glute bridge
6. Handstands – Handstands are a great upper body move. Using the table you can either do a beginner handstand hold or you can make the move more advanced by adding in a push up. To do the hold, place your feet on top of the table. Walk your hands back a bit and push your butt up towards the ceiling. Push off your toes to get as vertical as possible, creating a nice straight line from your hands, up your arms and core to your tailbone. If this is easy, add the push up in while holding this position. Drop your head down to the ground and then lift back up.

handstand push up
7. Plank Holds – Plank holds are a great overall core move and the table can be used to make the move easier and more difficult. Beginners can hold front and side planks with their hands on the table and feet on the ground while advanced lifters can have their feet on the table and hands on the ground.

decline plank
8. Lying Bat Wings – One of my favorite moves is scapular wall holds. When playing with the table, I realized you could do the same hold while lying face down on the table. Lie down with your chest on the table. Bend your arms to 90 degrees and then pinch your shoulder blades down and back. Try to bring them together you are pinching back so hard. Hold that move. Beginners can hold for 30 seconds. Advanced can hold for up to a minute. If you want to make it even more challenging, you could add weight to each hand…even if it is just in the form of a book.

lying bat wing
9. Reverse Hypers – A great move for the glutes and hamstrings and most easily done with a piece of equipment; HOWEVER, using a table is a PERFECT way to do reverse hypers at home. Lie face down on the table. Make sure your hips are right at the edge. Squeeze your legs together and lift your legs to basically parallel to the ground. Hold for 2-5 seconds and lower. You can do reverse hypers with either bent or straight legs. Both have their benefits. You should not feel either though in your low back. Keep the core tight and really squeeze the glutes.

hyper
10. Dips – One of the most common home exercise moves, dips can’t be ignored. Place your hands behind you on the table with finger tips hanging over the side. Beginners can bend their legs while more advanced exercisers can keep their legs straight. Drop your butt as close to the ground as possible, bending your arms to 90 degrees and keeping your back and butt close to the table. You could even make the dips harder by doing two push ups followed by two dips for 3-5 rounds. Talk about a way to smoke your triceps….

dips off bench

If you like these moves and have enjoyed other Man Bicep posts, I suggest you head over to my new site Redefining Strength for a sneak peek and a few great workout freebies, including a COMPLETE FOAM ROLLING VIDEO LIBRARY!

P.S. Thank you Ryan for an amazing post idea!

Real Role Models

So as I’ve been preparing for this Women’s Conference this weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about female role models and the transformative power of exercise/sports.

And then the other week, when Ryan and I were watching TV, I stumbled across a woman who’d undergone a great transformation and was also a GREAT role model – Nicole Eggert.

So I don’t know how many of you have seen the show “SPLASH”…And it is actually really really stupid but for some reason we watched it anyway…And now I’m sort of glad we did because I came across Nicole…

But anyway, it is a diving show in which celebrities who have never dived before compete.

And Nicole Eggert, a lifeguard on Baywatch, was one of the participants.

Nicole in her Wonder Woman suit. YES!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – sports and exercise are incredibly empowering.

Over the course of the show, you saw a huge transformation in Nicole. She became stronger, more confident and empowered as she overcame physical challenges day in and day out.

At the beginning of the show, you could tell that she wasn’t confident in her body or in her abilities. But she had decided to compete and didn’t want to give up with her daughter looking on. She even bounced back after suffering a bad fall when practicing one of her dives publicly before the show.

She could have given up and even done an easier dive when she fell from the board in warm up.

But she didn’t.

She had worked hard and she was willing to risk everything to prove to herself that she COULD do it.

And guess what!?!

She did do it!

And each week, her dives got better and you could see her confidence grow.

Nicole wasn’t a world-class athlete competing for huge rewards. Many people won’t even remember what she did because she didn’t end up evening winning the Splash title.

But she was a REAL woman working hard to overcome challenges she’d never faced before. She was a REAL woman battling the same self-doubt that most of us women struggle with daily.

Nicole did probably the hardest thing that many of us could do – she put herself out there and risked failure…and in this case…very public failure.

She put herself outside her comfort zone and didn’t give up when the going got rough. She competed to the very end.

Nicole was a REAL woman who found REAL STRENGTH through sports.

Nicole is a REAL role model.

So this weekend, decide to become your own real role model. Set some goals and take a risk to achieve something you previously thought impossible.

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