David Groscup

David Groscup
David Groscup

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Static Pulse Leg Workout


Try the following Static Pulse Training Routine for an effective new way to stimulate muscle growth in a way never experienced before:
  • Leg extensions-1x10 reps
Do these in the following way. Select a weight that's 30% lighter than normal. Lift the weight one third of the way and do a 10-second static hold. Do a series of short,pulse reps(these should be 1-3 inches in length) before doing another 10-second hold. Continue lifting the weight to the top. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the weight come down to a random point approx. mid-point and do a series of pulse reps. Do one complete rep. Continue in this way until failure.
  • Leg presses-1x10 reps
Do these in a similar fashion to the leg extensions. A good addition is to do these in a negative-accentuated fashion-during the negative lower the weight using your left leg only, then your right. This is a great way to receive the benefits of negative training as well.
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts-1x8 reps
Do these in the same fashion as the others. Keep your knees locked to put the emphasis on the hamstring muscles.
  • Standing calf raises-1x15 reps
Lift the weight to mid-point and do a series of pulse reps then do a 10-second hold. Continue lifting the weight up and do a series of pulse reps and a 10-second hold. Lower the weight, do a series of pulse reps and a 10-second hold. Repeat to failure.
If  enough effort is put forth during all three exercises and failure is reached, it won't be necessary to do any additional training for legs.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Partial Pulses


A great technique to hit your muscles with is what I call my Partial Pulses HIT variable. This technique causes an increasing number of muscle fibers to be used during an exercise by intensifying the effort needed to complete the set.

Using the one-arm cable rope curl as an example, curl the handle up to mid-point and do a series of very short, rapid pulse reps before lifting the handle a little further and repeating the rapid pulsing reps. Lower the handle to the beginning and repeat the pulsing reps. Continue performing rapid pulsing reps in different zones of the exercise until you hit failure. Reduce the weight by 30% and repeat for a second set. Eventually you will be really tuned into this method and able to focus all of the resistance to the muscle being trained. This will allow you to increase the weight being used safely.

Experiment with dividing an exercise into different zones and varying the number of pulse reps per zone. This keeps your workouts fresh and avoids many of the sticking points associated with training staleness.

This HIT variable can be used with virtually any exercise to make it more intense and effective at building additional strength/muscle.


Friday, August 8, 2014

There are no shortcuts in bodybuilding: Ronnie Coleman

The following article is a really nice short piece on how eight-time Mr. Olympia winner, Ronnie Coleman got into bodybuilding and what he feels is an important guideline to success in the sport. While I have a couple of disagreements with his suggestions, his results speak for themselves.

There are no shortcuts in bodybuilding: Ronnie Coleman

At 5-feet 11-inches and weighing over 150 kg, Ronnie Coleman stands true to his nickname — The Big Ron. A staunch promoter of the right form in training exercises, Big Ron is only the second person in the world to win eight Mr Olympia titles in a row. He also holds the record for most wins (28) as an IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) professional.
The GUIDE caught up with Big Ron, during his maiden visit to Mumbai last week, when he inaugurated a new gym, Your Fitness Club (YFC), in the city. In this interview, the Big Ron busts a few gymming myths, and talks about what makes body building such an amazing sport. Excerpts from the interview:
How did you get into bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is not something you chase. It’s inside you. You only discover it. Brian Dobson of MetroFlex gym was the man who guided me towards competitive bodybuilding and got me into the sport.
I was always a fit guy. I was a linebacker in American football and then served in the police force, so fitness and physical training was always a factor. Bodybuilding is about building your body. So yeah, I was always building it to be fit. But I took up competitive bodybuilding as a sport only in 1990.
Did you always want to be Mr Olympia?
The first time I competed in the Olympia, I was ranked 16th. Even then, I was in it to win, but it just wasn’t my time yet. You can’t compete in any sport professionally if you don’t have the desire to win it all. So yes, once I started competing, I not only wanted to be the best I could be, but also the best there can be — which was then, the Olympia. And, I did it eight times over.
You will turn 50 in a few months, what is the secret behind your strength and a fit body?
Bodybuilding has no shortcuts. Every shortcut you take will eventually cost you. So the only way to stay fit, stay muscular and to keep fighting the ageing process is to keep on training. Keep fooling your body that you ain’t ready to give up and give in to aging yet. Get your knowledge right, get your training right, get your fitness and strength high and then keep on building on it. Keep training to be stronger, better, greater than you can at that given moment. That’s the only secret if there is any at all in this sport. Everybody wants to be a great bodybuilder (have a great body) but no one wants to lift no heavy a** weight. And, that just doesn’t work.
Meet Ronnie at BodyPower Expo 2014
Ronnie Coleman is expected to return to Mumbai in March as part of the BodyPower Expo 2014, scheduled to be held on March 29 and 30 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon
Ronnie's six step-guide for the perfect body
Never skip your protein
The one thing that I never compromise on is protein — in any form, in any way. I’m surprised at how protein deficient diets here in India are. If you want a great body and a fit physique, there’s no way you can ever compromise on your protein intake. Meats, steaks, hot dogs, roasts, eggs scrambled or a la chef — the proteins got to be coming in.
Never compromise on your major lifts
No matter what I do in the gym, I do it heavy. And no matter what other exercises I do, there’s no replacing or compromising on the major lifts — the mother lifts of strength and bodybuilding — dead lift, squat and bench press. Do them with right form and technique and you won’t need to rely on sissy workouts and get-fit-quick plans being sold to you by cons out there.
If you are a newcomer...
Stay away from the machines: Avoid the machines as far as possible. It’s the free weights — the barbells and the dumbbells that will do you good in the long term. Start building your relationship with them as early as possible.
Always do the three major lifts: Your workout should be such that it gets you to do squatting, dead lifting and bench pressing heavy as soon as possible. And yeah, don’t wuss out.
Rest and workout are equally important 
People think bodybuilders literally live in the gym. But they don’t understand that rest is as important as training. I workout just four days a week. And, never more than an hour and a half at the most, at a time.
Physical activities like football play a big role
I always loved football. I love travelling to new places and exploring places. I enjoy having a good time with friends. So yes, all of that gives me enough exercise outside the gym anyways.
Never skip a workout
Bodybuilding is a religion. It’s a way of life. You have to live it. You have to put in your worship and your offerings in pain and sweat at every session. Skipping a workout is like skipping a prayer; the only difference is that these prayers show visible, quantifiable results. As hard as you pray, and as correctly as you worship, the better your prayers are answered. It’s got to be driving you from the inside 24x7x365. And then, some more.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Does How A Muscle Feel After a Workout Determine If Your Workout Was A Success?

Does the way your muscles feel after a workout dictate how successful you were in developing sufficient stimulus to cause your muscles to grow? Not necessarily. While delayed soreness is an indication of micro tears in muscle, which are necessary to cause the body to overcompensate and build more muscle tissue after a workout, it doesn't indicate if proper training protocols were followed during the workout.

For instance, one could get on a stationary cycle and peddle at a moderate pace for an extended period of time and get sore in the leg muscles a day or two later. But that training does little to build muscle. It will build endurance but offers insufficient resistance to stimulate muscle growth. 

The trick is to find the proper intensity level,number of reps or time under tension and resistance level to use in your training to get optimum results. One of the ways to do this is to do an analysis of muscle fiber content in each muscle group. That way you will be able to use the proper tut for each muscle group. A muscle fiber analysis is done in the following way:

Select an isolation exercise and strictly perform an arbitrary number of repetitions at a moderate to slow speed, e.g., 6-12 repetitions, at about a 5/5 cadence (make certain the TUT is at least 60 seconds;

Rest approximately three minutes then complete a second set of that exercise with the same weight

In both sets train to muscular failure and record your TUT. If the TUT in the second set is 50%
or less than the first set, that muscle group is predominantly fast twitch (since the muscle lost
so much strength). If you lose less than 15% TUT, maintained or even increased your TUT
in the second set (which is possible), that muscle group is predominantly slow twitch.

Anything between these two figures represent a mixed fiber type, whose ratios reflect the degree of TUT reduction.

Now that you have determined muscle fiber type and ideal tut, or number of reps,whichever method you use, it is time to develop an ideal training regimen to maximize muscular development. If your muscle is mostly fast twitch, use a tut of 45-60 seconds per set. If it is slow twitch, use a tut of 90-120 seconds. If it falls in-between use a tut of 65-90 seconds. 

Some important points to take away from this is to use:
  • Ideal tut or reps for each muscle fiber type/group
  • proper amount of resistance to cause muscular failure or exhaustion with this rep count
  • constantly attempt to use more weight every workout
  • get the proper amount of rest
  • train the right amount and none extra to avoid over training

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Muscle Gains with Superslow Continuous Tension Training


An offshoot of Arthur Jones' Nautilus High Intensity Training is the Superslow protocol designed by a former associate of Mr. Jones', Ken Hutchins. After formulating this method of practicing HIT training, he opened a chain of gyms where specially certified instructors would train clients using this protocol exclusively. 

The theory behind this method is because of the slow exercise cadence there is additional tension placed on the muscle(s) and it is safer because all swinging and momentum is eliminated decreasing stress on ligaments, joints and muscles. While this is true, if momentum is eliminated from faster cadence routines, injuries are usually non-existent as well. While there are many different techniques, or variables, that can be employed to increase the resistance on the muscle(s) being trained, Superslow definitely increases inroading of the muscle. Give this system a try and I think you'll agree it is a very effective HIT variable.

During the execution of the sets, use a rep cadence of 10/4, a 10-second positive, or raising of the weight and a 4-second negative, or lowering.

An arm routine using this method is as follows:

  • machine curls-1x5
  • close-grip pulldowns with palms facing-1x5
  • triceps kickbacks-1x5
  • bar dips-1x5
  • grip squeezes with multi-grip device-1x15
Special note: Since each rep in the first four exercises is going to take 14 seconds, to achieve a total time under tension of no more than 70 seconds, five reps are recommended. During each set never allow your muscles to rest. Make the entire set one continuous movement except for the top where you should contract the muscle as hard as you can for one second before lowering the weight. 

Since the grip squeezes are much shorter in length, a higher rep count is used to increase the time under tension. In all exercises use a weight that is 65-70% of what you normally use in each exercise.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Beets Boost Muscle Contraction

Nitrate in your food makes muscle fibers twitch harder.

Alex Hutchinson
Hearty Beet Soup
Beet juice boosts endurance for many (but not all) people, according to a series of studies over the past five years or so. The active ingredient appears to be nitrate, which somehow reduces the oxygen cost of muscle contractions. How does this happen? There are a number of overlapping theories related to blood circulation, neurotransmission, and even the contractile properties of the muscle fibers themselves. A new study from researchers at Loughborough University, recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, takes a look at this last theory. There have been some studies of nitrate and muscle fibers in mice, but this one uses real live humans.
The study design was fairly straightforward. A group of 19 volunteers (untrained men, average age 21) supplemented with beet juice or placebo for 7 days; everyone did both protocols in a double-blind, randomized design. The amount of beet juice was 1.5 shots of Beet It concentrated beet juice (total 600 mg of nitrate). After 7 days, they did a series of muscle tests, including maximal voluntary contractions and various electrically stimulated muscle contractions. There are a number of subtleties in the measurement of electrically evoked muscle contractions, but the basic result is that the involuntary contractions were enhanced but the voluntary contractions weren't.
Here's a graph showing the increase in twitch force as a function of time; the difference between placebo and nitrate at peak is statistically significant with p<0.01:
How does nitrate affect muscle contraction? Based on the mouse experiments, the researchers suggest that it has to do with the muscle fiber's response to calcium, which is an important signalling molecule. By some estimates, calcium handling eats up 30-50% of the ATP used in muscle contraction, so a change in calcium sensitivity could indeed explain why nitrate makes endurance exercise more efficient. Is this the "secret" to nitrate's ergogenic powers? Hard to know, but it bolsters the idea that muscle contractile properties play a role.
Why, then, was there no effect on voluntary muscle contractions? When you use electricity to make a muscle twitch, you're just testing the properties of the muscle. When you ask a volunteer to contract as hard as possible, you're testing a much more complex system that includes the brain and the network of nerves that connect the brain to the muscles. As a result, voluntary contractions have a huge amount of variability (especially in untrained subjects), so it may simply be that the effects of nitrate on muscle are too subtle to show up in voluntary contractions.
Last point: the volunteers kept dietary logs during the weeks of supplementation to assess how much nitrate they were getting from other sources. Here's how the increases in muscle twitch force were related to the amount of nitrate the volunteers were getting from other sources:
Not surprisingly, those who ate the most nitrate (e.g. from leafy green vegetables) got the least benefit from adding beet juice. Perhaps a reminder that, rather than thinking of beet juice as a magic supplement, we should think of nitrate-rich foods as something to be incorporated into our regular diets.

This is an interesting article from Runner's World which is relevant for our bodybuilding training-Dave

Saturday, June 7, 2014

New Study on the Effect of Short, Intense Workouts!

Check out this article on the effects of High Intensity Exercise. Just one more study proving the power of short,intense workouts!!!


Monday, June 2, 2014

A Great Double Pre-exhaust Routine for Chest

Pre-exhaust supersets are a great method to increase the intensity of your workouts to build more muscle. They allow a muscle to be trained past the point of failure by utilizing both isolation and compound exercises. The isolation exercise is used first to exhaust the muscle then the compound exercise, which uses assistive muscles which are fresh from not being trained, to drive the muscle past the point of muscular exhaustion. 

An example of a chest workout using this principle is:

pec flyes-1x15
dumbbell bench press-1x10

All sets need to be taken to failure with no rest between exercises. If you rest even as little as 3 seconds your muscles recuperate half their strength , which negates a lot of the benefit of this HIT variable. 

The following is an example of a double pre-exhaust routine, which uses two isolation exercises to exhaust the muscle then follows them with a compound exercise to drive the muscle past failure.

dumbbell flyes-1x10
cable crossovers-1x12
dumbbell bench presses-1x8 

There are numerous examples of this technique that are effective muscle builders.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Samsung Simband Debuts

Not content to stop at fitness bands and smartphones with heart monitors, Samsung today showed off a new prototype wrist monitor while announcing a new cloud-based health data service that aggregates all your readings from different devices. At an event in San Francisco, the Korean tech giant talked about its desire to create an open platform for digital health information that doctors,developers and patients can all take advantage of.
Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions (SAMI), will be a cloud-based open software platform, where a variety of devices and sensors can securely store data. Developers and scientists can then create algorithms to analyze the data, and find new insights, Samsung says. The personal data stored in SAMI will still be owned by the individual and is totally secure, like money in bank.
SAMI will allow your many health and environmental sensors to collaborate in the cloud. Your fitness tracker usually can't communicate with your thermostat, but through SAMI, developers could design an app that turns the temperature down when you come back from a run, Samsung said.
"We want to provide a platform to accelerate the speed of innovation," Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer at Samsung, said at the event.
"This is a really exciting time for the medical community to engage with Silicon Valley," Blum said. "We can collect massive new datasets" to develop new understandings about how our bodies work, he said.
Samsung said that the beta APIs for SAMI would be ready by the end of the year.

Monday, May 12, 2014

HIT Chest Workout


Try the following chest routine:

  • Dumbbell Flyes- 1x10 reps plus 4 negative-only reps
After going to failure at 10 reps have a training partner lift the weights for you while you lower them to a count of 8.
  • Incline Smith Machine or Incline Machine Bench Presses- 1x8 plus 3 forced reps
or try this one:
  • Rest-Pause Bench Presses- 1x10-single reps
Load a 1rm weight on a barbell or machine and do a single, max rep. Rest 10 seconds and do a second rep. Continue until you have done a total of 10 reps. It will be necessary to reduce the weight after the 2nd rep and further reps as you make inroads into the muscle.
  • Seated Machine Dips- 1x12 Static Holds
Select a weight that allows you to hold the machine's arms at the position prior to lockout for 10 seconds. After completing the first hold, reduce the weight and immediately do a second max hold. Continue in this fashion until 12 static holds have been done.

These two routines are examples of effective chest training using several advanced HIT Variables. See my books for more details.