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This Is How I Got Big Quads

For me, my gym is more than athletes and members.

I spend more time with these people, than I do anyone else.

Building relationships and memories, as cliché as it sounds, through blood sweat and tears.

Every athlete I train, I can identify their physical identifying trait. 

I would bet if you ask anyone what mine is, it would have to be my smile…..

Yea right!

Legs, Quads, Turkey Drums, call them what you will, my physical identifier is by far my quads.

Any sport I’ve participated in, they’ve always got noticed.  I’d have to call myself a liar if I said I didn’t take advantage to show them off…..I worked hard for them.

But what did I do?  The answer may surprise you…

To me they’re just legs.  They help me move weight from point A to B.  But to some of my athletes at the gym, they’re abnormal quads.

Due to the abnormality, I’m often ask what should they do to get their quads larger.

Short answer…..everyone is going to be different, I sure was.

This video was requested on how I grew my quads, I always took it as a joke when people ask me…

It was never something I’ve really considered anyone would be interested in.


 

What Are Best Ab Exercises ?

What is the best exercise to get six pack abs?

Arguably the most common question in the fitness industry and one of the most irrelevant.

I’ve seen some amazing athletes come through gym, with abs looking as if they just step straight off Abercrombie & Fitch poster.

Because they have abs, the perception is they’re strong. This is not always the case…

Some abs are built for function, some for show.

To really tap into your potential for general fitness or any sport, we need a well balanced and stable core.

Stabilization is the key to success with all fitness.

If we’re lifting weights, throwing a ball, swing a bat, mixed martial arts, or running.  Our power, control, and success will be made by having established positioning.  Which originates from our core.

There are literally thousands of core (ab) exercises, with new ones originating each week.  Some useful, some flashy, some are not needed.

Like everyone, I have my favorite exercises. 

Weighted Sit Ups

Planks (and variations)

GHD Holds (Glute Ham Developers)

These are just three of my favorite, its not the only ones I put into my programming.  All simple and effective to building a stable, tight, sometimes flashy, core! 


 

Best Accessory/Assistance Exercsie : To Build Strength

 

Strength!

We’re talking pure, uninhabited strength! You want it, I want it, we all want it.

I’m commonly ask “what’s the best exercises to get stronger”.  Which is irrelevant question, what works for one does not work for all.

That said, I do have a my favorites that have helped me become stronger through the years.

I’m not talking about our traditional lifts, Bench Press, Back Squat, Deadlift.  Or even the advance lifts, Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

More so what exercise are the best accessory work, or some call auxiliary work, to help develop a sound, solid, STRONG base for strength.

The Single Arm Row.

One of the easiest, purist, bang for your buck exercises you can do in the gym.

Single Arm Rows (one arm rows) help us build stronger lats and rhomboids,  In turn allows us to push, pull, and squat more weight.

This is however an exercise EVERYONE seems to do different.  THAT DOES NOT MAKE THEM WRONG!

Different variations of the exercises and different placement allow us to work different muscle groups, allow stronger emphasis and focus on our weaknesses.

If its not something you currently add to your training, I would strongly suggest doing so.  


 

Deadlift For Grip Strength : Which Grip Should You Use

I never trained to improve my overall grip strength through grip strength training exercises. I was lucky enough that the strength training I completed, indirectly and adequately strengthen my grip as well.

This is not true for all, some may need that supplemental grip strength training.

I’ve posted videos before about exercises I find beneficial to directly improve your grip strength. Most frequently when I’m approached about this topic, everyone refers to the deadlift to improve their grip strength.

You’re not wrong…

But how are you using the deadlift?

There is a vast difference between using the deadlift to improve overall strength gains, and using a deadlift to improve grip strength.

On top of that, what grip are you using?

If you’re using the deadlift to improve your overall strength gains, then by all means use any grip or straps you need to complete the lift safely.

After all we’re testing your deadlift in this scenario not your grip strength.

If you are using the deadlift to improve grip strength, I would highly suggest a double overhanded grip. And doing sets to failure or just a few rep shy of failure.

Getting that deep burn in the forearms, that you simply can not hold onto a bar any longer.

Overhead Press : 1 Easy Tip To Push More Weight

I could not believe the difference in the videos!

This video just started out as a simple and effective drill I like to use, I wanted to share with my gym members to also improve their overhead position.

Then during the editing process I needed to go back and pull some of my old lifts to compare for contrast.

The differences was simply astonishing!

Now, there have been many hours of practice, drilling, and maybe a few kicks and screams going into the process.

As you can tell the end result is very visible.

It’s a simple drill, we’re just strict pressing (or military pressing) from the receiving position of our jerk.

I had a terrible problem of not maintaining midline stabilization during my earlier lifts in which allowed my chest to travel forward, pushing the barbell out in front of me and having to finish the lift pulling the barbell back overhead.

It happen in almost every lift I did.

Once I started implementing this drill, it drasticly improved and fixed my overhead position. Since the drill is not happening at lightning speed, it allows you to visibly see any imbalances occurring in the lift.

I do this drill every day before moving weight overhead!


 

2019 New Years Resolutions : How 2018 Set Me Up For Success

It’s already time for the “New Year, New Me”.

It honestly feels like 2018 lasted all of five minutes… While I could write a book on my own mistakes from this year, failed resolutions, I find myself also wanting to hit the reset button. “I’ll start Monday” button as I like to also call it.

New Years, is more about reflection, and adjustment than “new you” As I look back on 2018, I realize I finally started to become the individual I always wanted to be.

A better Husband to my Wife, Father to my Daughter, and Friend to all those around me. I’ve grown more as a person this year than any.

I began to open up, talk about my past, have the realization that we all have a story to be told. That story helps define who we are and the choices we make.

So looking ahead, my adjustment for 2019 is to service those around me better. Every day I wake up to be a better version of myself than I was the day before.

I’ll not focus on what I shouldn’t do, but fine tune all the things I should do. I wish you all the same!

From myself and the DCMMA staff, Happy New Years.


 

Hand Placment : Finding The Perfect Barbell Grip

In the beginning, we think its as simple as gripping the barbell and moving the weight.
Or at least I did…
It seems like such an innocent question, but its ask so frequently, its dismissed just as fast.
“Where do I grab the bar?”
I never really thought about how many times over the past twenty years I’ve been ask that question.
I honestly can’t think of any new athlete or new movement where this question has come up.
Yet I’ve always dismissed it as common core lifting 101.
The answer may surprise you, it’s that simple. Whatever feels natural. 
With the understanding that some lifts have certain parameters that are optimal, there is wiggle room.
For some of your most common movements, a universal grip is not only natural, but efficient and consistent!
Take me for example, I use the same barbell grip and hand placement for my back squat, front squat, clean, jerk, and my overhead press.
I also fine when doing push-ups I continue to have the same hand placement on the ground as when I grip a barbell.

Do you find yourself constantly moving your hands for your weightlifting?  It may help improve your lifts!


 

Three Simple Rules to Easy Nutrition

With all the new fad diets and countless food options out there it seems like nutrition and healthy eating is becoming more and more complicated every day.

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what we should be eating and what we shouldn’t, but by following three simple nutrition rules, we can start the process to healthy eating and lifestyle changes.

Shop on the outside of the grocery store

All of the real, healthy, natural food in the grocery store is located on the outside edges. These foods are your produce, proteins, and dairy.

If you have to walk down the aisles to find an item you should stay away from it. All of your nutritional needs can be met from the food on the outside of the store.

Eat vegetables with every meal…including breakfast

Vegetables are a great source of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and are a low source of calories. This means that you can eat a ton of vegetables without having to worry about consuming a large amount of calories.

Outside of that, the vitamins and minerals in vegetables are invaluable to living a healthy lifestyle. You will want to eat as many vegetables as possible

Limit processed carbohydrates

These goes along with the first rule. We want to limit the amount of rice, bread, pasta, quinoa, etc. that we eat. These can be a source of carbohydrates but should be limited as they can lead to increased fat storage.

Following these three simple rules have helped me to clean up my diet, change my habits, and lose weight. Give them a try and see how they affect your own nutrition and lifestyle.


 

Strength Training For BJJ : How to Find Balance

“Train Smarter Not Harder”

I’m sure at some point you’ve heard any variation of that quote. Buy why wouldn’t we work on training harder AND smarter.

I’m frequently ask in one way or another from athletes in our gym, how they should split up their strength training with their Jiu Jitsu.

First, don’t over do it! Don’t think you HAVE to do BJJ and strength training in the same day.

Like most cases limiting factors outside of time is sleep, nutrition, and age. All playing a major role in your capacity to train and recover.

Those being our limiting factors, I NEVER recommend doing BJJ and Strength training back to back.

There is some gray area here in which you use one for technique one for a hard session. But in general when this question is ask,

I’m assuming you’re looking at putting eighty to ninety percent effort into both your Jiu Jitsu and strength training.

In which case one will suffer. Split it up based on your priorities. Not everything has to be done EVERY DAY!

Be mindful of your training, your body, listen to it! You have to find what works for you, don’t force it!


 

Belt Squat: The Back Squat Substitute

There is no movement in the weight room more natural to humans than squatting.

For some setting weight onto the back of the shoulders can cause anxiety, failing the lift before its even started.

For others, there could be some lower back or shoulder issues not allowing you to squat.

Belt squats are a little different, its going to be a different feel, but it will work. Not every gym has a belt squat machine, so like any good lifter we adapt with variations.

The belt squat provides us with a variation to increase leg and hip strength without loading or damaging your back.

The weight pulling at the hip can also provide traction for the spine.

I get a hip pinch form time to time, and when I do I switch from barbell squats to belt squats, which help clear up the issue.

The greatest benefit for the belt squat is it will allow you to load the lower body without loading the spine.

I will also use these as a primer before squats on some days, just to get everything tight before the barbell.