David Groscup

David Groscup
David Groscup

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My Books in Print and eBooks

Learn from my years of training and extensive knowledge of weight training and bodybuilding.

Each of my books explain in detail the training methods that bring results fast using the most cutting-edge, scientific techniques available.

Learn how to properly use forced reps, negative-accentuated reps, pure negative reps, rolling static partials and much more!

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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.

Dave



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Beets Boost Muscle Contraction

Nitrate in your food makes muscle fibers twitch harder.

By
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!!!

http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/2014/20140605conkright.html

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
supersetted
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
supersetted
cable crossovers-1x12
supersetted
dumbbell bench presses-1x8 

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

Dave

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.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

HIT Training Frequency

One often-misunderstood ingredient in a bodybuilder’s training program is the correct dosage of exercise needed for optimal muscle growth. In other words, the question of  number of sets and reps and how often to train.  

The temptation is to follow the belief that more is better….if “x” amount of sets and reps are working, then more will work better-right? The goal should be to find the optimum amount of training needed to elicit the best results in both muscle growth and conditioning.

There are two points to consider, the first is the frequency of training for an individual muscle group and the overall rate of training and the effect that it has on the CNS, the central nervous system.

If your program is based on the high volume approach, and you are a natural bodybuilder, a small muscle group such as the arms should be trained hard once per week, with a more moderate session several days apart. 

This is due to the fact that your arms are involved in training every upper body part and receive a lot of work as a result. Larger muscle groups such as the chest, legs and back can handle a much more rigorous workload due to their size. Therefore, they can be trained pretty hard twice per week with the high volume approach.

When using a HIT, high intensity protocol, which is the type of training I specialize in, we must shift gears substantially. This method trains muscles with maximum intensity most of the time. About the only time it doesn't is during intensity cycling, a period when sub-failure training is used to confuse the body to make the maximum intensity efforts more effective.

There are several stages of training, beginning, intermediate and advanced. During the beginning stage, small muscle groups such as arms are trained with 3-4 total sets and large groups such as chest, legs and back are trained using 4-5 total sets with sub-failure training. At this stage, it is more important to learn proper form in all of the exercises and not worry about making gains.

As soon as the exercises are mastered one moves into the intermediate stage where the set count is reduced to 2-3 sets for small groups and 3-4 sets for large groups. The number of sets used depends on the ability of the trainee to generate maximum intensity. 

All sets are taken to the point of momentary muscular failure, that is until no more full reps can be completed. In all exercises use smooth form with no momentum.

After training for 4-6 months, one progresses to the advanced program. Small muscle groups are trained with 1-2 sets while large muscle groups are trained using 2-3 sets total.                                                                                

All sets should be taken to the point of momentary muscular failure. After that a high intensity variable such as forced reps should be used every other set to push the effort past failure.
Now that we have established the outline for progression in HIT, we will focus on the proper frequency of training. Since HIT taxes the muscles and central nervous system so much, it is often necessary to reduce the number of times that each muscle group is trained.

A trainee’s recuperation level must be taken into consideration as each person’s

body has it’s own capacity for work. A lot depends on an individual’s conditioning and the intensity of effort put forth during training. Some trial and error will have to take place, but the overall guidelines are to train each body part once every seven to ten days.

After resting your muscles for seven days, attempt another session. If you are dragging a bit or the weights used during your exercises have dropped try adding an extra 2-3 days between workouts. Since you will be training each group once every 7-10 days, your body should be able to recuperate fully. 

Depending on your training split, the entire body should be trained in 2-3 sessions over the 7-10 days. This is enough to keep your conditioning high and your muscles growing both larger and stronger.

Now, let’s look at some sample training programs.  The first one is a great leg program.

·        Leg extensions, 1 set of 15-20 reps to failure
             Without rest, jump into the leg press machine and do:
·        Leg presses, 1 set of 12 reps to failure
·        Negative-only leg press. Load the weight approximately 40% heavier      than you normally use in this exercise. Using the assistance of a                partner, or your own arms, press the plate to the point of full                    extension. Using your left leg only, lower the plate down to the start        position. Repeat this with your right leg and keep alternating legs until      you can no longer control the downward motion of the machine                safely.
The following is a great arm routine:
·        Incline dumbbell curls, 1 set of 8-10 reps to failure
            With no rest, grab a pair of dumbbells for the following exercise:
·       Standing dumbbell curls negative-only, 1 set of 8 negative reps until         unable to control the downward movement. Use a set of ‘bells heavy       enough to allow you to get a maximum of 8 negatives. Have a partner     lift the weights for you or cheat them up, then lower them to a count       of 8, repeat.
·       Triceps cable press-downs,1 set of 8-10 reps to failure.                                                                                                        
Make sure to keep your elbows against your sides throughout the exercise to keep the tension on your Triceps.
·        Close-grip bench presses,1 set of 10 reps to failure. After completing        the 10 reps, have your partner give you just enough assistance to              enable you to complete an additional 3-4 reps. These are forced reps        and give you the capability to take your set past the point of normal        failure which is a great way to hammer your Triceps to new growth!
·        Seated barbell or dumbbell wrist curls, 1 set of 12-15 reps to failure,        followed by 1 set of reverse wrist curls, 12-15 reps.

You should get a real burn in your forearms after completing these two sets.
These training routines are  great examples of productive HIT programs and give an outline for  large muscle groups and one for a small group. Other large muscle groups are chest and back. They should follow similar routines to what you did for your legs, just insert the appropriate exercises for each. 

Abdominals, lower back, traps and neck are examples of small muscle groups and should have routines that are similar in structure to the arm program.                                                                              
Planned training layoffs

After you have been training for months, it is a great idea to take a break from training to allow your body to completely recuperate from the intense training.  Many bodybuilders will tell you that you will lose strength and size, but in most cases you won’t. In fact, most if not everyone will gain some size and strength after a 1-2 week layoff. This is because many people are over training and need to rest their muscles so they have a chance to grow and recuperate. 

Another by-product is your body will no longer be used to the intense training and will begin to respond very positively once you resume training.

Your body is very efficient at adapting to stresses placed on it and quickly gets used to training at maximum intensity. By resting for a short time from your workouts, you disrupt the status quo and your body quickly adapts to your lack of training. Resting also allows your muscles to completely rebuild and reload with glycogen, creatine and other energy boosters.

After the layoff, when you resume hard training, your body will no longer be used to training and you will begin to make gains again, such as you had when you first began training.

Alteration of volume and intensity

As mentioned before, your body quickly becomes accustomed to high training intensity, usually in 4-6 months of steady training. When this happens gains in muscle size and strength will cease or at least slow considerably.
To restart gains, we must lower the intensity by taking our sets to the point of sub-failure-in other words- end our sets one rep prior to momentary muscular failure. We will also need to slightly increase our set count to reflect the lower intensity of effort.
A sample arm workout is as follows:
·        Dumbbell Curls-1 set of 8 reps
Supersetted with
·        Dumbbell Concentration Curls-1 set of 12 reps
Do two complete super-sets
·        Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions-1 set of 10 reps
Supersetted with
·        Cable Triceps Kickbacks-1 set of 8 reps
Do two complete supersets

Do both supersets with no rest between exercises and carry them to one rep before muscular failure.

Continue training your arms with this program for 3-4 weeks then cycle them back to maximum intensity by carrying the sets to failure.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Medicine Ball Training

There are many exercises you can do with a medicine ball to get in shape and build strength. Just what is a medicine ball?

A medicine ball is a wonderful tool to train your body and improve it. They are available in different weights and textures, which are designed to improve grip performance.

Originally part of a boxer’s training equipment exclusively; they have become very popular among fitness participants, especially cross-fit trainees. If you’ve ever watched a show on boxing training you probably have seen a trainer drop a medicine ball on an outstretched boxer’s stomach to toughen it up. Training for most people has changed dramatically from that. Now training consists of underhand and overhead throws, sit-ups, crunches, side twists, squats and lying upward throws as well as many other exercises.

With these and other exercises, it is possible to train the entire body.  You can use them to strengthen your leg muscles by holding them in front of your chest and doing knee bends, train shoulder muscles by pressing them overhead, and build your arms by curling them. Select a weight that allows safe handling but enough resistance to slow down the speed as you move it.

Weights range from 3 pounds to more than 80 pounds but it is important to remember that medicine balls are used to build explosive power and not raw strength. Keeping that in mind, when you choose the weight that you want to train with, avoid using one that is too heavy because that will cause you to use bad form in your exercises and is counter-productive.  A typical male can do most, if not all exercises with a 6-8 pound ball.

There is a newer variety called a slam ball. These are usually very heavy balls that have a baggy, softer appearance than traditional medicine balls. They are used with moves that involve slamming the ball to the floor in an explosive movement, hence the name slam ball. Often they are thrown hard against a wall as well. These are used regularly in cross-fit training routines.

A good training program using a medicine ball is:

·        Deep knee bends with upward throw
·        Side twists
·        Forward bends
·        Lying press and throw
·        Leg lunge with twist
·        Overhead press
·        Medicine ball push-up
·        Overhead triceps press
·        Ab crunch

Beginners should do one set of 10 reps each. As you progress, increase sets to 2-3, with rep counts of 10-20.






Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Too Much Running Tied to Shorter Lifespan, Studies Find




Too Much Running Tied to Shorter Lifespan, Studies Find

New research rules out heart risk, certain medications as a contributing factor

Too Much Running Tied to Shorter Lifespan, Studies Find
By 
HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Running regularly has long been linked to a host of health benefits, including weight control, stress reduction, better blood pressure and cholesterol.
However, recent research suggests there may a point of diminishing returns with running.
A number of studies have suggested that a "moderate" running regimen -- a total of two to three hours per week, according to one expert -- appears best for longevity, refuting the typical "more is better" mantra for physical activity.
The researchers behind the newest study on the issue say people who get either no exercise or high-mileage runners both tend to have shorter lifespans than moderate runners. But the reasons why remain unclear, they added.
The new study seems to rule out cardiac risk or the use of certain medications as factors.
"Our study didn't find any differences that could explain these longevity differences," said Dr. Martin Matsumura, co-director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa.
Matsumura presented the findings Sunday at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Studies presented at medical meetings are typically viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Matsumura and his colleagues evaluated data from more than 3,800 men and women runners, average age 46. They were involved in the Masters Running Study, a web-based study of training and health information on runners aged 35 and above. Nearly 70 percent reported running more than 20 miles a week.
The runners supplied information on their use of common painkillers called NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen/Aleve), which have been linked with heart problems, as well as aspirin, known to be heart-protective. The runners also reported on known heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, family history of heart disease and smoking history.
None of these factors explained the shorter lives of high-mileage runners, the researchers said. Use of NSAIDs was actually more common in runners who ran less than 20 miles weekly, Matsumura's team noted. "The study negates the theory that excessive use of NSAIDs may be causing this loss of longevity among high-mileage runners," Matsumura said.
So what's the advice to fitness-oriented Americans?
"I certainly don't tell patients 'Don't run,' " Matsumura said. But, he does tell high-mileage runners to stay informed about new research into the mileage-lifespan link as more becomes known.
"What we still don't understand is defining the optimal dose of running for health and longevity," he said.
Even though the heart disease risk factors couldn't explain the shorter longevity of high-mileage runners, there do seem to be potentially life-shortening ill effects from that amount of running, said Dr. James O'Keefe, director of preventive cardiology at the Mid-American Heart Institute in Kansas City.
O'Keefe, who reviewed the findings, believes there may simply be "too much wear and tear" on the bodies of high-mileage runners. He has researched the issue and is an advocate of moderate running for the best health benefits. Chronic extreme exercise, O'Keefe said, may induce a "remodeling" of the heart, and that could undermine some of the benefits that moderate activity provides.
In O'Keefe's view, the "sweet spot" for jogging for health benefits is a slow to moderate pace, about two or three times per week, for a total of one to 2.5 hours.
"If you want to run a marathon," he said, "run one and cross it off your bucket list." But as a general rule, O'Keefe advises runners to avoid strenuous exercise for more than an hour at a time.
More information
To learn more about this field of research, head to the Masters Running Study.
SOURCES: James O'Keefe, M.D, cardiologist and director, preventive cardiology, Mid-America Heart Institute, Kansas City, Mo.; Martin Matsumura, M.D., cardiologist and co-director, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pa.; March 30, 2014, presentation, American College of Cardiology annual meeting, Washington, D.C.
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