Spartan Insider VIP – Sixth Edition

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Welcome to the first edition of Spartan Insider VIP for 2014. January usually brings with it New Year’s Resolutions and goal setting for the year ahead. A common goal is fat loss. Most blokes want to lose it off their guts, whilst at the same time building or shaping up muscle on the pecs, arms and back.


M
ost fitness experts will tell you fat loss comes as a result of diet and the right type of regular intense exercise. Genetics also play a role but that’s a factor you can’t change so work on the ones you can.

What you can do is:

 

1. Watch your diet. In a nutshell, most meals you eat should be protein and veges with a small serving of healthy fats. Save your carbohydrates for AFTER exercise. Guys who want to put on some mass can afford to load up on carbohydrates more often especially on training days involving strength. If you need help with nutrition watch for our next Precision Nutrition Course starting on 20/01/2014.

2. Prioritise compound movements first in your workouts. These are movements that force you to squat, lunge, push, pull and press. If after these you want to include some isolation exercises like bicep curls, lateral raises etc to define certain areas of your body you can, but they should be supplemental to the heavy compound exercises that give you most bang for your buck.

3. Increase your muscle mass. Increased muscle mass leads to an increase in your metabolism which in turn leads to fat loss.

4. Keep your routine varied. Change your routine every 6 to 8 weeks to keep your body guessing and your metabolism firing.

5. Perform high intensity anaerboc exercise for cardio. This type of cardio training helps preserve muscle mass instead of destroying it like low intensity long slow (and boring cardio) does. Cardio like that burns calories only while you’re exercising, the minute you stop, so too does your metabolic engine. High intensity cardio, on the other hand, fires up your metabolism during the actual training and then keeps it at an elevated state for up to 48 hours afterwards. So you continue to burn calories at a higher rate even after you finish.

 

This is the reward you get for pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone which unfortunately too few people are willing to do. Instead they stick to cardio in their “safe zone” all the while telling themselves they had a tough workout. Realistically it was probably only tough because it took so long and bored the hell out of them!

Here’s to a great year of high intensity Spartan training.

 

Dave Lambert

Oxygen Health & Fitness

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Power Cleans

Training for power is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of becoming a better athlete. Athletes that want to get faster, get stronger, and get bigger need to train to improve their power. Lots of programs include the power clean for just that purpose.  Unfortunately though, a lot of people do it incorrectly, get injured, or don’t get any good at the lift and don’t get to reap the benefits.

In terms of pure power output not many other exercises in the gym compare to the power clean. The power output of a power clean dwarfs movements like the bench press, squat and deadlift by three fold.

By training with loads at high velocities the clean is the best tool to simultaneously train both speed and strength.  Many of the most important tasks in sports rely on well-timed sequential movements. The timing of the power clean mimics many of those movements, and shares movement qualities like explosive hip extension.

There aren’t many people that are legitimately strong in the power clean that aren’t also strong squatters, deadlifters, and even bench pressers. The power clean is a great total body movement that develops Type II muscle fibers unlike much of the rest of the weightroom. If someone has the strength to get in positions for the power clean they will have the strength to move serious weight around in the rest of the gym.

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Spotlight
Tighten the Lats in the start position

Tighten the Lats in the start position. I’m going to throw a few tips into this short article but the main one which may seem fairly insignificant is to tighten the lats before you even lift off. From the top here’s a list of tips to get set up properly for the Power Clean:

  1. RDL (that’s one of those stiff legged or Romanian Dead Lifts) down to knee level.
  2. Squat the rest of the way down to the bar.
  3. Tighten the Lats!
  4. Now you’re ready to start.
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More Spartans take on the extra challenge

SpotlightEarly January is typically a time of high motivation in regards to health & fitness but the highlight for me this week has been the extra Spartan guys who have taken on the challenge of VIP Spartan Cardio sessions. Sleds, Battle Ropes, Tyre Flips, Sledgehammers, Skipping and very high heart rates have been the order of the day.

It was a tough initiation for the newbies on at our new Monday 7pm session as the grass was BONE DRY and those Punisher Sleds certainly lived up to their name. Wednesday night proved to be much better with some dew on the grass (not that it was easy) but the overall session was described by renown fit guy Guy Farland as “the hardest session he has done in a long time.”

Spare a thought also for Geoff Spence who went for a 20km run on Tuesday before doing a Kendalls Killer Interval Run with Oxygen on Wednesday right before this session. It must have taken it’s toll on him though as Geoff was nowhere to be seen at 6am Spartan Strength this morning.

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An Inspiring Transformation
 
Obviously we can’t show any big transformations over the Christmas period so I thought I’d put a different photo in to inspire you for the year ahead. I’m keen to see who’s next. Is it you?
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You can’t live without it!

Dave Lambert
Oxygen Health & Fitness
02 4233  2963

 

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