One Leg Toe Raises

one leg raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

one leg raises

Standing on one leg with your forefeet on a step. One hand holds a dumbbell and the other is placed on a support to have a better balance :

  • Do an extension of the foot keeping your knee joint in extension of slightly bent.

This exercise works triceps surae (composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus). It’s important to do each repetition with full flexion of the feet to really stretch the triceps surae. Only high set until the burning sensation give good results.

one leg raises anatomy

Note

For some people, triceps surae don’t gain volume bit it is gaining strength. Low calves (gastrocnemius and soleus go very down) will easily gain volume. High calves will gain a little volume.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Standing Calf Raise Machine

standing calf raise machine

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with your back straight and your shoulders under the pads. The front of your feet on the step with your ankles in passive flexion :

  • Do an extension of your feet with of your knees joints in extension.

This exercise works the triceps surae composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus. It’s really important to do each repetition with a full flexion to really stretch the muscles.

muscle triceps surae

insertions muscle triceps surae

In theory, it’s possible to locate the work on gastrocnemius medial (toes outward) or gastrocnemius lateral (toes inward) but, in reality it’s very difficult. However, you can easily shift the emphasis from the gastronemius to the soleus by flexing your knees to relax the gastrocnemius.

gastrocnemius medial lateral

Variant

standing barbell calf raise

It’s possible to do this movement with the Smith machine and a step under your feet.

Note

Triceps surae is a very powerful muscle that is used to lifting your bodyweight all day. It’s for this reason why it’s important to use heavyweights to work it.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Manage Repetition When There Is A Lot Of Content

repetition

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

There is a secret to manage repetitions when there is a lot of content. The secret is that you don’t need to manage your repetitions when you have a mission to learn something from your audience. To make a transfer of knowledge to your audience.

Attention, if every day you repeat the same thing, you will make your audience run away. I think you know the limit yourself.

Here are 2 benefits of repeating your content, education and editorial. 

Education

education

One the great keys to education is repetition. Being regularly confronted with knowledge make it possible to memorize and use this knowledge in everyday life.

Editorial

text audio video image format

  1. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time. You can recycle content that you published 6 months, 1 year, 2 years ago, etc.

    If you look at a magazine and compare that the magazine has published in previous years, you will see that there is a lot of content that repeats itself.

  2. You can recycle this content in a different way. You can talk about this content with a different angle because your opinion has evolved (you have improved your knowledge on this subject).

  3. You can recycle this content in a different format. There are 3 type of formats : text, audio and video.

You can be the best in your country, there will always be people who have never read the article you published 2 years ago.

Transfer of knowledge

pass knowledge

It’s necessary to repeat your content for people who discover what you’re doing and haven’t yet consumed your content. If you write your articles thinking that your audience is taking the time to read all of your previous articles, you’re making a mistake and you could lose a part of your audience.

Repetition is necessary in education because human beings forget things easily.

People in your audience who read one of your article a year ago, will forget 3/4 of the content. And it’s the same thing for you when you read someone else’s content. That’s why recycling this content with a different angle or format allows your audience to learn better and memorize better.

If your mission is to make a transfer of knowledge, repetition is a great way to motivate people to take action. It forces people in your audience to ask : « Did I use that knowledge ? Did I act ? ». I didn’t create my blog to do intellectual masturbation. I create and recycle my content to motivate people to take action.

It’s possible that I wrote an article and that a part of my audience didn’t understand it. Recycling this article with a different angle or format may allow this part of my audience to better understand this article. The more I write and the better I can explain, it’s cool.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

From Beginner To Become Your Own Personal Trainer (Part 1)

become your own pesonal trainer

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Before to read this article, I advise you to read Find The Gym For Your Goals Part 1 et Part 2; Back To The Source Of Equipment Part 1 et Part 2; Back To The Source Of Human Strength Part 1 et Part 2.If you already read it, continue and have fun.

A strong body is a healthy body, you have heard this many times but it’s not easy to do. Starting a new workout can be intimidating. It’s, for this reason, a lot of people fail.

How you will train

gym training

To start, you have to find out what kind of strength training you want to do. It depends on the equipment and your goals. Here are several types of training programs :

Bodyweight

With a bodyweight training, you need little equipment (or not at all) and you can train everywhere (home, hotel, playground, workplace). As long as you have room to move, you can train.

If you like bodyweight training, take a pull-up bar and a set of gymnastics rings. If you’re really a beginner, an exercise band  can assist you in the movement like pull ups and dips.

If is that you can do bodyweight training without equipment, the disadvantage is that you need to constantly change exercises difficult to be sure to progress.

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are excellent for starting a workout with weight for several reasons.

First, gyms always have a good set of dumbbells. If you want to train at home, you can buy a set of adjustable dumbbells (that’s how I started in my bedroom).

The second reason is that dumbbells allow you to add a small amount of weight to do an exercise and exercise with dumbells are less intimidating that exercise with a barbell. For example, if you’re a beginner, starting with a 20kg (45lbs) barbell is a bit too much.

Dumbbells also allow you to work your symmetry and allow you to balance the strength of your right side and left side of your body. It’s ridiculous to have an arm or a leg extremely bigger and stronger as the other.

If you can’t finish a repetition, it’s easy to throw dumbbells on the floor compared to a barbell. For a beginner, it’s excellent for learning movements.

The disadvantage is that to evolve, you need to buy new dumbbells and this can be expensive. A gym membership is handy to avoid this problem.

Barbells

If your goal is to gain only strength, this is the recommended option. Barbell allows you to progress cleanly and quickly by adding a small amount of weight each week.

A barbell is really stable because you use your 2 hands instead of 1 hand for dumbbells so it’s easy to lift heavy (especially for the lower body like squat of deadlift). For exercises like the squat or the press, you can use the rack to load and unload weights safety.

The disadvantage is that to do this at home, you need to have a squat rack, a barbell, a bench and enough weight plates in your house or in your garage. A gym membership is handy to avoid this problem.

What’s the best way to train?

The barbell is optimal for gaining strength. Bodyweight training is good but you have to seriously motivate you to train at home.

Sometimes you have to adapt to the situation to be able to do your training. When I travel a bodyweight training is perfect if I don’t have access to a gym.

But the best workout is when you lift heavy. Nothing can replace squat, deadlift and body weight pull up.

There are also other ways to have a strength training like rock climbing, yoga or parkour.

Choose the program to follow

gym training program

Never go to the gym without having a plan. To get results, it’s necessary to have a plan to track your progress.

For to make a lot of progress, a beginner can have a full body program of 3 times a week with a day off between training days. Be sure that the program you choose matches your goals, A powerlifters will have a different training from a bodybuilder or an endurance athlete.

In my article Back To The Source Of Human Strength Part 1 and Part 2, I talk about numbers of repetitions and their goals :

  • Reps in the 1-5 range build super dense muscle and strength

  • Reps in the 6-12 range build a somewhat equal amount of muscular strength and muscular endurance.

  • Reps in the 12+ range build muscular endurance and size

Many beginner strength training programs say to do 5 sets of 5 repetitions to optimize progress to gain strength.

With a circuit or superset, you do a set of each exercise in an order and you repeat the process.

For example :

  • 20 bodyweight squat

  • 10 push ups

  • 20 walking lunges

  • 10 dumbell rows

  • 15 second plank

  • 30 jumping jacks

  • Repeat all these 5 times to do 5 sets

In traditional strength program, you do a complete set of an exercise, you rest and you do another set of the same exercise and so on.

For example :

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Next exercise

If your goal is to be healthy and lose weight, you don’t need to focus on strength, a circuit (superset) is perfect.

This allows you to spend less time at the gym and to make up your high heart rate longer.

If your goal is to have more strength and have more muscle, choose a traditional strength training.

One important thing, your diet corresponds to 80-90 % of your success or failure. The quality of your diet will help you gain strength and lose fat.

When you choose a workout to develop your strength, be sure to increase the difficulty over time. To become stronger, you need to write a plan. This can be to do one more squat, lift 2kg (5lbs) more or do your circuit (superset) 10 seconds faster.

The main goal is to always be better than the last time, this is what ensures the continuity of being stronger and faster.

You can write your own training program or fortunately, there is a lot of excellent beginner program.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Back To The Source Of Human Strength (Part 2)

source river

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read part 1, click here 

Hypertrophy

When I started to train, I thought I can increase the amount of muscle fibers with strength training program. The truth is we have a specific number of muscle fibers. We can only increase the size of our muscles fibers, this is hypertrophy.

I discovered that there were several hypertrophies. Usually when people talk about hypertrophy, it’s sarcoplasmic hypertophy.

  • Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to increase the amount of sarcoplasmic fluid in your muscles. This can increase the size of one of your muscles by 30 %.

  • Myofibril hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to strengthen your myofibril, the part of the muscle that contracts. This increase the strength of your muscle fibers, build strong muscles and super dense.

  • Transient hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to increase temporary the size of one of your muscles during and immediately after an exercice due to an accumulation of fluid (I still don’t know if it’s the sarcoplasmic fluid or glycogen) in the intercellular space. This is what gives the effect « the pump ».

To summarize to buid a muscle super dense and strong, it’s myofibril hypertrophy. To have bigger muscle, it’s sarcoplasimic hypertrophy. Transient hypertrophy is temporary and appears in the other 2 hypertrophies during the training.

During a strength training, here is what happens :

  • During an exercice you’ll break muscle tissue. Your body will repair this muscle and it will become stronger. Whenever you break muscle tissue, your body will do this process.
  • When you increase the number of repetitions, you increase the storage of glycogen in your muscle. This is where you muscle gets bigger.

For the training program

Strength training isn’t just lift weights. It’s more interesting and more complex than that.

Here are details :

chart hypertophy starting strength rep 1rm

A little help for this Excel’s table

  • Repetition (Rep) => An exercice is composed of a starting position and an arrival position. A repetition is when you make the movement from the starting position to the arrival position and you return to the starting position. All that make a repetition. For exemple when you squat, the starting position is standing. The arrival position is when your thighs are parallel to the floor and you return to the starting position, standing.

  • X Rep Max => This is the number of repetitions with the heaviest weight you are able to control. By exemple, 1 Rep Max (1RM), is that the weight is so heavy that you can do only one repetition. 10RM, is that you can control the weight successfully to do 10 repetitions. In the 11st, it’s the failure.

With this Excel table, you can have an idea to how you can do to gain stength (myofribril hypertophy) : A low number of repetition and heavy weight. To increase the size of your muscles (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy) : A high number of repetition and light weight.

ATTENTION : This Excel table give us an idea of how to do to reach our goal. It’s not something specific. When you do a high number of repetition to increase the size of your muscle, you gain also a little strength. Our body is smarter than us.

It’s for this reason I never understand girls or women who don’t want to « get bulk », so they do 3 sets of 16 repetitions or 5 sets of 1000 repetitions with a dumbbell of 2kg (4.4lbs).

It’s hard for a girl to bulk, no matter the weight or the number of repetitions, if they want to increase the size of muscles, that’s exactly what they have to do because it would make sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

Recovery

recovery sleep

I’m sure you’ve already heard that muscles are built in the kitchen, not in the gym.

It’s because when you’re in the gym, you break your muscle fibers. When you’re outside of the gym, your body heals and your muscles become bigger and stronger. So it’s important to take a recovery’s day in your strength training program.

The general rule is to wait 40 hours before to work the same muscle group again.

Remember that your muscles works in team, which means that when you work your chest, you also work shoulders muscles and arms muscles.

Everyone at his own pace to recover, it depends on diet, sleep’s quality, age workout and other items like stretching or massage.

The basis of strength training is 4 days of training per week and one recovery’s day.

Sore muscles or DOMS

DOMS is the acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Sore means that your muscles haven’t recovered to 100 % (hence the « delayed onset »). This can last 1-2 days after your workout and this is normal. The process for your body to rebuild your muscles takes several days after a workout.

It’s normal that you have sore muscle for several days after your first training or after a long break. With each exercice, your muscle gets used to a movement and adapts to the stress caused by this movement so that you have less sore muscles. Stretching helps you to decrease sore muscles.

I think you motivated now, to start a strength training. Don’t worry, there is a lot of stength training program great for beginners on internet. The book « Starting Strength » is excellent for beginners, the Excel’s table of this article comes from this book.

 

 

I also put free strength training program at your disposal. Click on the links below.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Horrible Soulevé De Terre Roumain

fail deadlift

Je t’avais dit que j’avais augmenté les poids dans mon programme d’entraînement et les exercices où je n’arrivais pas à faire toutes les répétitions de façon propre, je gardais le même poids mais je fais 5 séries de 6 répétitions pour mieux travailler la technique.

Mais il y a une exception pour le squat et le soulevé de terre roumain parce que je fais une autre périodisation. Pour ces 2 exercices, je n’ai pas augmenté le poids mais j’ai augmenté de 2 répétitions Le squat avec 4 séries de 10 répétitions à 110 kg, c’est bon. Le soulevé de terre roumain, NON ! A la 1ère série, techniquement c’était de la merde. Je devais faire 4 séries de 10 répétitions et à chaque série le nombre de répétitions était différent.

C’était n’importe quoi ! Maintenant que j’y repense, j’aurais même pu me blesser. Mon ego avait pris le dessus, je voulais faire une bonne performance comme au squat. A chaque série, je pense que je perdais ma prise de main à la 6-7ème répétitions. Quand tu tiens la barre du bout des doigts, tu commences à faire des mouvements bizarre.

fail deadlift

Je l’avoue, je ne suis pas encore prêt pour faire 4 séries de 10 répétitions à 110kg. Voilà, c’est fait ! Donc, à partir de maintenant, je vais faire 5 séries de 6 répétitions. Je le mets dans la catégorie des exercices où je dois travailler la technique et surtout la prise de main.

Je ne sais pas pourquoi mais je voulais que le squat et le soulevé de terre roumain aient le même poids à chaque périodisation mais ça ne marche pas. Chaque groupe musculaire évolue à sa façon donc chaque exercice à son propre poids. C’est simple mais j’étais obsédé de faire en sorte que mes performances avec le squat et le soulevé de terre roumain soient avec le même poids, bizarre ce délire ?!?

Je ne vois qu’une seule solution, c’était un ego trip et un ego trip ne sert à rien. Je vais revenir à la base avec le soulevé de terre roumain. Et toi ? Ça t’es déjà arrivé d’être obstiné sur un exercice et de faire un nombre de répétitions différent à chaque série ?

-Steph

Higher Level

higher level

June 1, I increased the level of my training program. I increased 4 kg (8.8 lbs) all exercises (except those which I couldn’t do 4 sets of 10 reps clean). Well do all of my sets with 6 repetitions.

Exercises I couldn’t do 4 sets of 10 repetitions clean, I kept the same weight and I do 5 sets of 6 reps to work well the techniques. For the rest, it’s 4 sets of 6 reps.

Squat and Romanian deadlift have a different periodization. Now I’m to 4 sets of 10 repetitions at 110 kg (242 lbs). I increased 2 repetitions.

higher level

34kg (74 lbs) for the dumbbells incline bench press, it changes many sensations, during 6 months I lifted the same weight. Every 2 months I added 2 reps, I was getting used to. What’s cool is that I can lift the weight alone, without help. 36kg (79 lbs) for dumbbells bench; 75kg (165 lbs) for one arm lat pulldown; 100kg (220 lbs) for one leg Leg Press; a dumbbell of 30kg (66 lbs) for the decline crunch and decline twist crunch .

I am happy with myself, I have prepared my body to be able to come there. What fun is that my training time is shorter and I feel I can do more but later in the day, I’m hits by a stronger fatigue than usual and there I told myself that I am trained. My body is being reorganized to adapt to this new training. I think I have to be careful with my sleeping hours to really recover.

Right now, I weigh 78kg (171 lbs) with a 8% bodyfat, I focus on my body symmetry, my body aesthetic. 2 last summers, I liked the walk without t-shirt in parks (show off, show off, show off) but this year I don’t want to do it. I want to improve my body as I do an update for a software. People tell me that my body is better than last summer but their compliments make me anything. I know my body can be better and I will.

higher level

It’s special now, the weather is fine, I wear T-shirt and when I hear people comment (wow, he is muscular, did you see his shoulders, etc.), it annoys me ! I’m a discret person, I have always been discreet. I’m not looking to have problems with someone, I do my stuff and I’m not talking. I had too many stories where jealous people broke my plans, that’s why I say nothing now.

When you work hard on a project, after a time you can’t hide because results are there and nobody can contest them, that’s what life is beautiful. I just need to get used to these comments and I simply ignores them. Knowing me, I’ll ignore them because the majority of people who say these comments have a worse physics than mine.

You want my advice, listen only people who are better than you in your domain. This is the only way to be better than yesterday and even become better than them. Being better than the person you admire, that’s motivation. Yeah, that’s what I want !

And you want ? Do you want to become better than people you admire ?

-Steph