Monthly Archives: August 2013

Last Post

This will be my last post at jwilliamsfitness.

Before you start to cry and feel an empty void in your life. I have some good news. I have started a new website at williamstrainingsystems.com .

Check it out and let me know what you think.

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More cat pics over at my new website, click the cat

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3 Signs That You Should Hold Back

If you are stepping into a workout facility, I hope you have the mind set to go hard. That your goal in the next hour is to get some serious work done and not to just socialize with you fellow friends and gym buddies.

The mind set to go hard and get everything out of that 1 or 2 hours of gym time is a great one to have, and few people have a mindset like this. For the people that are constantly pushing the weights, you have to know yourself.   You have to know when to push your body and when to hold back. The idea of holding back can seem foreign and almost offensive to you as a determined individual.

Learning when to hold back in the long run will save your body a lot of pain down the road. It will also help optimize your gains and prevent burn out.

Missing Lifts

There are different thoughts on whether or not missing lifts is O.K. or not. I would never say it’s good to miss a lift. Some will say it is good because it shows that you are trying and always pushing yourself.

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He lost a part of his manhood that day

I fall on the other side. I do not think it is ever O.K. to miss a lift.

My reasoning is this. When you miss a lift it hurts your confidence, so that next time you go to lift heavy there will be a thought in the back of your head thinking, “I might not get this”. This will hinder your progression. The other reason is that if you are missing lifts you are lifting more then you can handle. Even if you get the reps in, you most likely compensated somewhere else to get those reps in.

When you notice that you start to miss more lifts, then maybe you should take notice and back off. This is not the time to think that you need to push even harder. Take a step back and reassess why you are missing.

Poor Form

I will always say form is king. When you lift with bad form, eventually something bad will happen.

bad_footbal_clean

This is bad clean form and on top of it you have a guy spotting, you don’t spot cleans

Let’s take a simple bicep curl. What do you do when you are trying to get those last few reps. One, you will start increasing the momentum and incorporating the shoulder. Or the other common method is to just arch your back way back and lift with all you’ve got.

You will get your reps in this way, but it’s the wrong way and we all know it. By doing this you are bringing in other muscle groups, such as the back muscles. The bending of your back just gets you through the hardest part of the lift, the middle portion, by making the pull more horizontal and less vertical thereby decreasing the effects of gravity. This is not O.K. because now you are putting a lot of unnecessary stress on the lower back.

This is just one simple exercise where you can see bad form. Just imagine all the ways you can get more reps out of a deadlift if you let your form go. If you are lifting with bad form you are compensating somewhere else. This will put stress somewhere that it does not belong, eventually this will lead to an injury of some sort.

If your form starts to go, take a step back. You will be much stronger and healthier in the long run if you lift with good form.

Pain

You would think people would listen to pain, but most people will just push it aside as their body being a puss. If you feel pain, stop. I should not even have to write this. Just stop. This is not the time to push on.

Stop what you are doing and look at what is causing you pain. It could be that you are weak in a particular area or have instability or that you are over working a particular area. There could be many reasons. Listen to your body and take a step back and get healthy.

Conclusion

If you learn when to hold back it will save you a lot of pain in the long run. The goal of weight lifting is to feel better, not worse. Listen to these three simple rules: Don’t Miss Lifts, Form is King, and Listen to Your Pain.

Have a great week.

Best

Josh Williams 

 

Fed Up With Food: A Simplified Look at What You Should Be Eating

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It seems to me that over the years eating has somehow become an over-complicated and analyzed thing. You would think that more information on a subject would be better, but it almost seems as if all this information is inhibiting what we humans were supposed to do – enjoy and eat food.

Now it does not help that most of the foods we call foods are actually highly processed food, full of things our body was not meant to handle. Such foods as the high fructose corn syrups and refined white flours for example.

On top of this there are so many different views of food and how it should be eaten and how much of what. Over just the past few years the thinking has done a full 180. It was eat lots of carbs and little fats, now it is eat lots of fats and proteins and little carbs. You also have the, eat only veggies and fruits people, the vegetarians, pescetarian, and many other tarian groups. I guess your safest bet is to just not eat, and stick to water (don’t do this you will die).

The question is what should I eat? Are fats evil? How about carbs (Legend has it that the devil created carbs. Sounds plausible), and what about proteins, why isn’t anyone talking about proteins?I guess they get a pass. How can three macronutrients get so over complicated?

Lots of questions

Here’s my attempt at simplifying what you should eat. This is my opinion, you can take it or leave it, but here it is.

Fats are good, proteins are good, and carbs, carbs are well, good. All three are good for you. You should be eating all three of them. Your body needs all three of them. None of them are inherently bad for you. All are good in the right quantities and from the right sources.

Picking the right foods is the problem  for most people. So what is food? Strange question right? Food is something that is ingested for its nutritious substance, which comes from plants and animals. So food is meat, fruits, vegetables, and unrefined grains. Food is not processed breads, pastas and meats.

There are 7 rules that Michael Pollan goes over in his book, In Defense of Food, which should help you make good

5D9850BC01E24CC9AAF538937E3E2D1E.ashxfood choices.

  1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
  2. Don’t eat any thing with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarkets; shop on the perimeter, and shop at farmers markets or grow your own food when possible.
  4. Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot
  5. Stop eating before you are full, leave the table a little hungry
  6. Eat as a family, not in front of the TV, but at the dinner table
  7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline.

If you follow these simple rules you will be healthier for it. There is no, eat this much fat or this many carbs. If you are eating real foods, as your body was designed to do, you will be doing just fine. And, have some control and don’t pig out every meal.

Closing

Stop over-complicating eating. You know what you should be eating for the most part. Eat in moderation and eat real foods. It sounds too simple to work, but it works and has worked since the dawn of time.

Best

Josh Williams

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3 Ways to Get a Great Workout in Less than 30 Minutes

I just got back from a nice long four day weekend. It really hit the spot. I spent the time celebrating the marriage of two of my good friends. There were lots of laughs, some tears (talking about you Matt), and even more drinking, singing, and dancing.

You are all probably wondering. Did I partake in all of these festivities? Hell Yeah I did. I am not going to pass up an open bar, you crazy. I was also able to show off my two left feet on the dance floor. Did I mention singing? I sound like Barry White, in my head and William Hung to everyone else. Needless to say it was a great wedding, Congratulations Matt and Cory.

After two days of having Dunk and Doughnuts for breakfast I am happy to be back home and away from all those delicious treats.

So now that I am completely off track on this post let me get back to what the title is all about and what I promised last week. Last week I talked about the, oh so popular excuse, of not having enough time to do something healthy for yourself. You can read that here.

As promised, here are three ways to get you in and out of the gym in less than 30 minutes.

Complexesbarbell-bw

Complexes or finisher as some people call them are a nice quick easy way to get a quick workout in if you don’t have a lot of time. The great thing with complexes is you don’t have to have a gym and they require little to no equipment.

What You Need:

As I said above you can use anything. Barbells, Dumbbells, Straps, Kettelbells, Bands, or Bodyweight. These can all be used to complete a complex. You don’t need any fancy equipment or even a gym.  All you need is enough space.

How to Set UP:

Pick 3 to 5 exercises, which will transition well from one to the other. The complex will be full body. Your set range will be 2 to 5, your reps 5 to 10, and your rest 30 sec to 2 minutes.

When it comes to selecting a weight you will base it off of the exercise that you are the weakest at.

Example: If my complex is a Barbell front squat, to push press to good morning for 3 sets of 5. And I can front squat 185 for 5, push press 110 for 5, and good morning 165 for 5. My weakest link is the push press so I will pick a weight of about 95 pounds.

Intensity:

I put this in here because you should be doing every rep as fast as you can without compromising form. After every set you should be breathing hard and if you are not then you are not doing it right. You need to push past your comfort zone, it’s not meant to be easy. You need to go as hard as you can for every rep and set.

Progressing:

Beginners: 3 exercises, 2-3 sets, 5-7 reps, and 90sec-2min rest

Intermediate: 3-4 exercises, 3-4 sets, 5-8 reps, and 60 sec-90sec rest

Advanced: 4-5 exercises, 3-5 sets, 5-10 reps, and 30sec- 60sec rest

You can also increase the weight but I would leave that as the last progression.

Example Complex:

Barbell Lunge to Good Morning to Push Press: 3 sets of 6 reps 2 min rest

DB Clean, front squat, push press, RDLs, bent over row: 3 sets of 5 reps 60 sec rest

Tabata

I am sure you have heard of the Tabata protocol. And I bet a lot off you have tried it, but I also bet only a small percent have actually done it to the intensity it was meant to be done at.

With this being said it is an extremely effective way to get a great fast workout in.

What You Need:BattleRope1

Like the complex you can use anything. Refer back to the complex.

How to Set Up:

The traditional Tabata is 20 sec of work and 10 sec of rest for 4 minutes. You can just do one exercise or cycle through a couple of different exercise. I prefer to use bodyweight exercise, med balls, or anything that is simple and can be done quickly and at a high intensity.

Intensity:

Again you are going as hard as you can go for 20 seconds. The first time you do this there is a good chance you will feel light headed or even not be able to complete the whole 4 minutes. Which is ok.

Progression:

Beginner: 10 sec work 20 sec rest 4 minutes

Intermediate: 15 sec work 15 sec rest 4 minutes

Advanced: 20 sec work 10 sec rest 4 minutes

Example Tabata:

Burpees, that’s it, just do a crap ton of burpees as fast as you can. Does not sound too bad but I bet you won’t be able to finish your first time.

Squat Jumps to Med Ball Slams, do 20 seconds of squat jumps and then your next round do 20 seconds of med ball slams.

Go Big

If you are in a crunch for time then go big. Stick with your multi joint lifts, it’s not sexy but it works.

What You Need:

I prefer the barbell but you can also use dumbbell and kettelbells. But you will get the most out of the barbell just because you can lift more weight using a barbell then you can with the other pieces of equipment.

Unlike the two other protocols you are going to have to go to a gym or at least have some weights lying around the house to complete this.

How to Set Up:

Pick an upper and a lower body exercise. You’re going to do 5×5 for sets and reps.

If you do a knee dominant exercise and push dominant exercise on one day, then the next day you will do a hip dominant and a pull dominant exercise the next day.

Intensity:

You are not going to be going as intense as the two other protocols but you are going to be lifting heaver weights. This will allow you to maintain and gain strength.

kitten

Excuses make kitty mad

Example:

Day 1: Squats 5×5 and Bench 5×5

Day 2: Deadlifts 5×5 and Pull Ups/Bent over Row: 5×5

Final Two Cents

Complexes and Tabatas are a couple of great ways to get a quick intense full body workout in less then 30 minutes. If you do these correctly you will see an increase in aerobic and anaerobic capacity as well as see a decrease in body fat.

With the go big principle you will be able to maintain your strength when you can’t devote hours to the weight room.

With these three protocols you should have no excuse to find time to get a good effective lift in.

Best

Josh Williams

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