Thursday, 7 July 2011

Getting rid of those moobs

I wrote this article 2 days ago but there was an issue with my ISP so it's a bit late, I can't apologise enough guys.

Yesterday I mentioned that it deserved an article entirely to itself as opposed to smaller answers for the other questions and you're about to see why.

Moobs (man boobs) are a collection of fat around the chest area. How they're formed on boys who aren't overweight isn't confirmed but generally assumed to be hormonal. Most people are pretty self conscious about them, I know I sure as hell was a few years back. Getting rid of them doesn't require all that much effort, just consistency and time like most fitness goals.

First of all, start with a 10 minute light cardio warm-up such as jogging or skipping before you begin. Do NOT forget to stretch between the warm-up and workout.

Exercise 1 - The classic push-up.

I actually began working on getting rid of my moobs after discovering the 100 push-up challenge. They explain it far better than I will so check it out here.

As it says, do it three times a week and do the next exercise alongside them during your chest days.

Exercise 2 - The Bench press.

The good old bench press, one of the most widely recognised weighted exercises around. You know better than I would what weight you should use (do it so that you can knock out a few but are struggling by the end, some trial and error might be required).

3 sets of 8-12 reps.

Exercise 3 - Incline bench press.

It might sound too similar to the regular bench press but it works well in conjunction with the other exercises.

Same as above, 3 set of 8-12 reps.

Cardio Section

This part comes down to your personal tastes in terms of cardio, most people will suggest one thing, other suggest another. Personally, I just think you should do what you're motivated to stick with and do something you enjoy. I would mix up jogging/running and swimming on different days depending on my moods.

I'd suggest doing about half an hour of jogging/running and switching intensities every couple of minutes and really pushing yourself for one or two. Do something similar for swimming.

So if you combine a similar workout schedule to this with good nutrition then hopefully, after a month or so, you'll have noticed a definite improvement in your chest area.

Let me know how it goes for you guys!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Quick Question - Answers

Thanks to everybody who posted a question, I've written the answers all below but first of all I'd like to direct those who asked about ab exercises to an earlier post I made a couple of weeks ago. There you'll find all you need in terms of ab exercises and how to make that six pack shine through.

Back Strengthening Exercises

I think it's worth mentioning that you shouldn't train your abs too much without training your back and vice versa. You need to hit a good balance between the two which in order to help your posture.

Deadlifts: You probably hear a lot of the broscience guys at the gym talking about how much they can deadlift and you usually will see them trying to do them at the gym. A lot of guys I've noticed have the form wrong which is actually pretty bad for your back.
   1. Stand with the barbell over your feet.
   2. Grab the bar and bend your knees until your shins are in contact with the bar.
   3. Keep your chest up.
   4. Lift the bar pushing down with your heels and making sure to keep that chest up but do NOT lean back.
   5. Lower the bar and repeat.

The Magikarp (I don't know the actual name for this exercise so this is just a pet name I gave it): This is a much less intensive exercise for those that suffer from mild back pain. I'd still advise consulting your physician though.
   1. Lie on your stomach with your legs and arms outstretched behind and in front of your, respectively.
   2. Raise your legs and arms as high as you can comfortably.
   3. Hold for about 5-10 seconds.
   4. Lower and repeat, try for 3 sets with 10 reps.

Getting started on fat loss

FOOD INTAKE IS KEY. I can't emphasize how important that statement is. You'll need to cut the junk food considerably. I'm not going to say completely because taking too many steps, too quickly is just setting yourself up for failure. I've been through this before myself so I know that a gradual change makes things much easier.

In terms of exercising, a half hour jog every morning or swimming is a good place to start. Once you're into the way of exercising you should step it up and throw a weights routine into it. Simply put, you can't bulk up and slim down at the same time, it's not realistic. The way most bodybuilders do it is switching it every couple of months. Building muscle, then cutting fat.

With some time and perseverance, you'll be shedding the pound in no time. If anybody has any questions about this, comment and I'll respond as soon as I can.

Getting rid of those moobs

I feel that this deserves an article on it's own because many men seem to suffer from this, so I'll make another post tomorrow about this. If you want to make a start on it today, work on strengthening your pectorals.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Quick Question - Requests

I've got plenty of blog ideas lined up to last a good while but I think a major part of blogging is interaction so I was thinking of doing a request post once per week. Basically that would consist of you commenting requests in a post (I'll add it as a footnote in the post before) and I would give some solutions/answers to you guys in the day or two after.

What do you guys think of this idea? Any current requests?

Edit - To those asking about ab exercises, check down a few posts.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Gym membership?

If you're looking to just get in shape, make some gains so you look good for the beach then I see no reason whatsoever to spend a lot of money on a gym membership. The only investment I'd advise would be some weights, dumbbells and a bar that you can add weights to yourself. It shouldn't set you back much and in a couple of months you'd make up what you'd have spent at a gym.

On the other hand if you're looking to become a bodybuilder or you're interested in picking up a martial art then I would indeed recommend a gym. It's got a large selection of equipment, most gyms tend to have fighting equipment (gloves, bracers, pads, punchbags) and you'll be able to find sparring partners.

Unless you're in a serious need for somebody to push you to your limit then I wouldn't bother chipping in for a personal trainer. A lot of them will just fill you with broscience and make you use all the machines that they lay their eyes on at that particular moment.

Hopefully you can take some of this advice on board and make some savings as well as achieve your fitness goals.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Basic Nutrition Tips

In response to the question I posed at the end of my previous post I wanted to give you guys an answer quickly because improving your nutrition is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It's not just important for losing weight (it is, very much so) but it's also important for building muscle and keeping your body overall healthy.

Water intake

You know the way it's a well known fact that you need 8 glasses of water a day? Well it's not a fact, it's wrong. 8 glasses of water in a day isn't bad for you but what you need is far less and a lot of it can be gained through food. Personally I drink the equivalent of about 4 or 5 glasses per day. Maybe more depending on the intensity at which I work out. If you find drinking water boring, go for some green tea. Green tea tastes good, hydrates you and boosts your metabolism.


Protein is necessary for muscle maintenance and if you're looking to build muscle it's crucial that you get enough. If you're looking to build muscle it's recommended that you consume 1-1.5g of protein for every pound of lean body mass you have. Good sources of protein are fish, white meats, nuts (almonds are good as you can easily add them to breakfast cereals such as oatmeal) and whey protein. If you're not looking to build a lot of muscle, you probably won't need to make a whey protein shake.

Replacing the crap with the goods

It's easy to make small changes in your diet in order to improve your overall health, here's a list of things you can do with little effort and minimal cost.

  • Replace white bread with wholegrain.
  • Instead of coffee, drink green tea.
  • Eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of sugary cereals, it can be sweetened by adding fruit.
  • Instead of eating chocolate for a snack, grab a handful of nuts and eat them over time.
  • If you're looking for a good breakfast and aren't fond of oats, bran flakes are a personal favourite of mine and they're pretty good for you.
  • To increase your vegetable intake, mix in some cauliflower to mashed potatoes. They have similar consistancy and taste so you might not even notice a difference.

Hopefully you'll find these tips useful and in future articles I'll go more into what each of the nutrients do and why you should take them.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bodyweight Exercises

Personally, I think weights are overrated. Don't get me wrong, they're great but I've found that body weight exercises are just as good if you're looking for good, lean muscle. I've listed below a few common but nonetheless effective body weight exercises and which muscles they train.

Bodyweight Squat - Quadriceps
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your feet as parallel as possible facing the front (don't worry if they're a few degrees off).
  • Push your waist down whilst bending your knees. Think as if you're sitting in a chair, keep your butt down, don't lean forward.
  • Keep your core tight and push up to your starting position.

Push-up/Press-up - Chest and Triceps

Now there are a few different forms of push-ups which work the chest and triceps to different ratios. Some variations include close grip, wide grip, etc. I'm just going to cover the standard but let me know if you're interested in an article covering different types of push-ups.
  • From a lying position, place your hand on the floor shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your body straight and your feet fairly close together.
  • Use your arms, bending at the elbows to push yourself up and lower yourself down.
  • When moving downwards keep your body straight and make sure you're lowering your chest towards the ground, not moving your hips or head downwards.

Chin-ups - Biceps, forearms, lats and traps (a few others but these in particular)

As with the push-up, there are a few variations. I'll just cover the standard one here. Now some of you might not have an actual pull-up bar. I don't either so I make do with using the bar of a swing set outside.
  • Grab the bar at approximately shoulder width apart with your palms facing you.
  • Do NOT jump, pull yourself off the ground until your chin is over the bar
  • Lower yourself down without landing on the ground and repeat.

Well that covers a few simple but good bodyweight exercises, they might seem a challenge initially but after a few weeks you'll be noticing you can perform a lot more without a break in between.

Question: Is anybody interested in some basic nutrition posts?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ab exercise request

One of the comments on my previous post was asking about ab workouts. I'd recommend starting ab workouts after your body fat percentage has been cut down a bit. As for actual exercises, I'm not going to tell you to do hundreds of crunches and sit-ups because to be completely honest they're not all that effective for abs compared to others.

In a study done by the American Council on Exercise they found that the best exercises were as follows: the bicycle maneuveur, the vertical leg crunch and planks

The Bicycle Maneuveur - Don't rush it, form is key.
- Lie on the floor with your hands at the side of your head.
- Raise your legs and bend your knees at a 90 degree angle
- Lift your shoulders off the ground
- Straighten one leg out in front of you and bring the other to your chest
- You should twist your body so the opposite elbow meets the knee at your chest
- From this position you should mirror your current position to complete a rep.

Vertical leg crunch - Simple but you'll start to feel it.
- Lie on the floor and raise your legs 90 degrees in the hair
- Contract your core towards your legs

Planks - A good core stabilising exercise.
- Lie on your front on the floor using your elbows to support you
- Raise yourself off the ground leaving only your toes and elbows in contact with the ground
- Keep your back straight making sure not to round it or let it sag
- Hold for as long as you can

Hopefully these are of some use to you!

Note: I only included exercises that require no equipment