Archive for February, 2016

6 Great Warm-ups You Didn’t Know Were Warm-ups

Ditch the treadmill and ready your body for action with these simple, adaptable drills. Some will be new, others you’ll remember from your youth, and others you were glad to forget!

Does your idea of a warm-up find you on a stationary bike, cruising at a comfortable speed while catching up on the latest gossip in Us Weekly for exactly 10 minutes—no more or less—before heading off to the iron pit to start your ramping sets? Sure, that counts as a warm-up, but making some changes could lead to drastically improved performance in your training and your athletic arena of choice.

Some trainers would hit you with their epic prehab-rehab-mobility-stability routine, guaranteed to humiliate you and take up only 75 percent of your allotted workout time. Not me. We’re going to keep things loose, because this is your general warm-up.

In case you don’t know the term, a general warm-up is, well, general. It’s just to get your body warm, limber, and ready to perform work. But when done properly, it can also make you stronger, more mobile, and more resilient to injury. Hell, it may even save your sanity.

I think of warm-ups as a chance to play before the serious work of training. Variety belongs here. Fun belongs here. Try replacing your current warm-up with one of the suggestions below, and you won’t regret it.


1

5-Minute Flow

I got this idea from Max Shank, a man so strong and limber, I often suspect that he has entered the dark world of medical tourism to have his DNA spliced with a tiger’s. He’s created a solid explanation video to give you a place to start, but his Instagram account is also loaded with sped-up versions to poach ideas from.

A video posted by Max Shank (@maxshank) on

The idea is to set a timer for 5 minutes and just…move. Try not get too structured. Just seek out areas of restriction within the body and move through them, trying to expand your capabilities. You can perform joint circles, light calisthenics or stretching, whatever moves you liked best from a past yoga class—really, anything that feels good.

I’ll often have a theme to my flows. For instance, I might concentrate on making circles with my joints, usually starting with shoulder circles. Do circles to the front and rear, fast and slow, then try finding new ways to perform the circles, like using bent elbows or from the bottom of a lunge or toe touch. You could follow this up with neck rotations and nods, again changing tempo or position to make them more effective.

The first time you do this, yes, it’ll feel weird and awkward, but it gets easier with repetition. Over time, you’ll learn to spot areas of your body that don’t move as well and spend time getting to know all about them. This is a conversation that you have with your body, so don’t try to bully anything into becoming more pliable. That will always come back to you as pain.


2

Get Down, Get Up

I work with a lot of elderly clients. Over time, years of sitting at desks and on couches and even sleeping on an elevated platform have left them unable to comfortably get on the ground or even tie their shoes. You can avoid this fate by purposefully interacting with the ground on a regular basis—no matter your age or strength level. Along the way, you’ll also help ensure that the strength you’re developing with your squat, deadlift, and lunge is applicable to the real world.

Wondering where to start? The great strength coach Dan John offers up a simple reintroduction to the ground that could be scaled for just about any level of ability.

Get back up Wrestling Techniques
Watch the video – 5:26

You can freestyle this as well. From a standing position, get down on the ground and lie down on your belly. Stand back up. Repeat on both sides as well as your back. That is one round. For the next round, add one challenge to the movement, such as placing one hand behind your back, interlacing both hands behind your head, “gluing” one hand to the opposite knee, keeping your legs crossed, or only using one leg.

For other fun variations, add light tumbling or calisthenics to the mix. Get down on your belly, perform a forward roll, and stand back up. Next, get down on your back and perform a backward roll before standing up. Perform 4-6 rounds, and you should be ready to start your workout.


3

Over/Unders

This was a favorite of my wrestling coaches back when I was in school. In fact, it worked so well at raising my heart rate and loosening up my hips and back that I was happy to forget all about it when I left school. Over/unders were reintroduced to me when I was attending a workshop with Erwan LeCorr, the founder of MovNat, years later, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Coaches like these because they’re incredibly simple and can work with just about any equipment. Just set a bar or resistance band at midthigh height, or put that Smith Machine you like to make fun of to good use.

Then, well, just step over the bar, and return by stepping under it. When you’re ready, start adding movements that you are comfortable with, such as jumping over the bar, crawling both over and under, or using the duck walk (remember that awful movement?) or wrestler shoots to return under the bar. No bar? Just use your workout partner.

Level Change Shooting Drill, Good Wrestling Warm Up Drill Wrestling Techniques
Watch the video – 0:40

Remember to change the direction you face periodically; moving forward, backward, and to the sides all have their own unique benefits. You can also just focus on going under in your own free-form limbo warm-up.

Limbo drills with a stick
Watch the video – 3:14


4

Foam Rolling

There are a lot of contradictory scientific and anecdotal reports on foam rolling these days. Some people claiming that SMR (the fancy acronym for “self-myofascial release” we trainers use to save time and sound smart) will increase range of motion. Others aren’t so sure.

I’ll let someone else argue about the benefits or lack thereof. I still use the foam roller for two reasons, and both of them are in the general warm-up. First: if I have you foam roll for 10 minutes, I guarantee you’ll be warm and ready to move on. It’s another way to interact with the ground and move through all kinds of positions you don’t encounter in life, some more painful than others.

Rolling your triceps, lats, and upper back before overhead pressing might just help you feel that mind/muscle connection a little better.

Secondly, in my experience, I find that I have a better connection to a muscle after rolling it. For instance, rolling your triceps, lats, and upper back before overhead pressing might just help you feel that mind/muscle connection a little better—which is never a bad thing.


5

Locomotion Drills

Remember how, before practice or gym class in middle school, the coach would have everybody line up and move from one end of the room to the other while kicking your butt, skipping, or somersaulting? It’s still a good option for warm-ups.

Mix stretches with light skipping drills and animal walks, and you’re good to go. Stretches can be standing on one leg and touching the ground with both hands or taking big lunge steps and adding rotations. Then, return with butt kicking or skipping drills before moving into an animal crawl.

This can look a lot of different ways, as Ido Portal demonstrates.

Locomotion Conditioning Routine Beginner Level
Watch the video – 3:00

Crawling is gaining a lot of popularity these days, but why should you care? Well, it’s really hard and will challenge your strength and mobility at the same time. If you’ve never done it before, try doing a lizard crawl across a good-sized room forward and backward.

You’ll be warm, guaranteed. Twice, and you’ll be panting. Three times… You won’t make it three times.

10 Different Animal Walk Exercises
Watch the video – 5:01


6

Partner Games

There’s no limit to the number of things you can cook up here to challenge your balance, coordination, and timing—in other words, your athleticism. Some suggestions:

Tag

Come on, do I really have to explain this? Just make sure you do it somewhere that won’t have you diving through the squat rack or otherwise annoying the other members of the gym.

Rock-paper-scissors

You know this game too, but to make it interesting, stand in the middle of the room. Whoever loses must sprint to one wall—any wall—before being tagged. If they get tagged, they have to do five push-ups (or whatever you agree on) as punishment. Don’t make the punishment too severe. The idea isn’t to wear yourselves out, but to start sweating while being engaged in the activity.

Crawl/hand-slap game

Get into a bear-crawl position facing your opponent. You can move in any direction, but your knees cannot touch the ground. Try to slap your opponent’s hand while it is on the ground. Every time one of you gets your hand slapped or touch a knee to the ground, pause the game while that person does a few punishment push-ups. Once the debt has been paid, begin again.

Note: I’ve seen people stand in a “bear crawl” position with a wide stance, keeping their hands close to the ground but not really on it. If you aren’t keeping weight on your hands, you’re cheating. Knock that shit off.

Stick-drop game

This is another classic, recently repopularized in the now-famous video of fighters Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson training with Ido Portal.

Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson learning with Ido Portal
Watch the video – 3:13

You can create rules like catching the stick as close to the ground as possible and only on the top 1/3 of the stick. Then, you can add layers of complexity by only allowing the stick to be caught with the left or right hand and only in a squat or lunge position. Play with it and make up your own rules.

A variation also featured in the Ido Portal video is the stick-avoidance game. The purpose isn’t to hit your opponent with the stick—that would be easy. The real purpose is to move at a steady speed on a steady course and challenge your opponent to move out of the way. This is a variation of a drill called “zen archery.”

Catch

Play it with a medicine ball. You can make it more interesting by throwing the ball over a net or some other barrier (called “Hoover Ball” in honor of the president that used to play this game every morning for 10 minutes on the White House lawn).

Another great variation is to throw the ball and have your partner run to it, scoop it up and toss it again in any direction. Then it’s your turn to run it down. You’ll quickly learn to start anticipating body language and reacting to movement. It’s also been known to make people speak profanely to a higher power after about three minutes.

The Sky’s the Limit

Admit it: At least one of these sounded like fun—and that’s exactly the point. There is no need to waste your time in the dreaded cardio room of shame and self-loathing. All you need is a little bit of space, some creativity, and a willingness to look silly, and you’ll be a better athlete for it.

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Charlie Mike: Day 3 – Rest

Show your muscles a little love today. Rest!

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If you decide to follow the two-days-on-one-day-off protocol, today is a rest day. If you’d rather keep going and perform tomorrow’s workout, you can. However, it’s essential that you get at least 2-3 days of rest per week.

Give your body a chance to recover. Otherwise, you’ll find it tough to see results and even tougher to maintain the motivation. So unless you’re really itching to train, take it easy and spend a little time stretching out your sore muscles. Then, get ready to hit your workout hard tomorrow!

NLA for Her: “Charlie Mike” Performance Stack

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Charlie Mike: Day 41 – Test Max Front Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press

You know where you stood six weeks ago. Today, you’ll see how you match up now against the front squat, deadlift, and bench press!

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Remember six weeks ago when you weren’t sure exactly how far you could push it? Remember when you doubted yourself and your abilities? You’re a whole new person now. The new you isn’t afraid to try. The new you isn’t afraid to be ambitious. What are you waiting for? Let’s go lift!

Start with the front squat. Before you even think about getting under the barbell, though, make sure you warm up adequately. Spend five minutes on the bike, and perform some dynamic stretches. If you lift as heavy as you can without a proper warm-up, you can get seriously injured.

Because you’ve been lifting with percentages, I’d like you to follow this 1RM warm-up plan:

  • 30% for 8 reps
  • 40% for 6 reps
  • 50% for 4 reps
  • 60% for 2 reps
  • 70% for 1 rep
  • 80% for 1 rep
  • 90-95% for 1 rep
  • 95-100% for 1 rep
  • 100-105% for 1 rep

Use this same platform for all three big attempts. Take at least 2-3 minutes of rest between sets, and at least 5 minutes of rest between movements. Today is not about breathing hard or burning fat. It’s about testing your strength. It’s about proving just how strong you can be.

If you’re a little short on time today, you can move the deadlift to tomorrow.

Day 41: Test max front squat, deadlift, bench press
1

Front squat

1 rep max test

Front squat Front squat

2

Deadlift

1 rep max test

Deadlift Deadlift

3

Bench press

1 rep max test

Bench press Bench press

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3 Simple Steps To Get Stronger This Year!

Before embarking on an ambitious strength program, follow these 3 simple steps, and you’ll be far more likely to succeed!

I’ve written several strength programs for Bodybuilding.com, to which I’ve pointed a number of eager readers desiring to build Herculean strength. But a good program isn’t everything, and it doesn’t necessarily guarantee success.

So, aside from following a well-constructed lifting plan, what else should a lifter do to begin his or her strength journey? For starters, keep the process simple and follow these three important tips!


1

Win the First Battle

Whether your goal is performance based or aesthetic, the hardest part of any achievement is simply getting started. Breaking inertia is the toughest action, but it’s without question the most important. Luckily, the solution to getting started is simple: Win the first battle.

People often fail to achieve their goals because they start too big—they see a massive, far-off goal on the horizon and it looms over them, stifling action. But if you start with a small, winnable battle, it’s easier to kick inertia where it counts and get the ball rolling.

For example, let’s say you want to increase your training frequency. In fact, you’d like to do some kind of workout every day of the week. That’s a big goal. Furthermore, let’s say that if you don’t train first thing in the morning, your chance of achieving your goal steeply drops.

But working out every morning is still a big change. There must be a momentum-building, smaller battle to fight that increases your likelihood of success, right? There is: getting out of bed as soon as your alarm clock goes off!

Decide what your first, small battle is…and win it.

If you can win the small battle of responding immediately to your alarm clock, you can build on that moment in your workout-frequency goal. Winning early frames your mindset positively and shrinks the obstacles that you face. Tasks that normally seem dauntingly shrink from perceived mountains to molehills.

But this entire chain of positivity begins with winning small battles. Decide what your first, small battle is…and win it.


2

Find Consistency

Training is a world full of variables to manipulate. There’s intensity and volume, rest periods and training frequency, and many other dials to turn and levers to pull. Now, I’m no scientist, but that certainly seems like a lot to consider.

Ready for a bold statement? None of those variables are as important for reaching your strength goals as one often-forgotten variable: consistency.

Remember the momentum you started by winning your first battle? It’s consistency that takes that momentum and turns it into progress. Progress, in turn, becomes achievement.

The people who find a way to show up every day are the ones who reap the biggest rewards.

Screw the sets and reps. Screw how much weight you’re putting on the bar. What’s going to keep you training consistently? Is it an environment like a hardcore gym? Is it doing exercises that you like? Is it having a training partner?

These are the questions we all need to answer to keep ourselves consistent and building momentum, because despite what we’re often led to believe, it’s not the individual who crushes himself with crazy programs who most often succeeds. The people who find a way to show up every day are the ones who reap the biggest rewards.

Determine what will keep you consistent, and use it to power through the year.


3

Find Sustainability

I’ve been a strength coach for nearly my entire adult life, and during my developing career, I’ve been asked more questions about diet than anything related to hoisting barbells. It’s always, “What do you think about this diet?” or, “Do you think this diet will help me lean out?”

My answer to both questions is always, “It depends.”

Diets have a finite beginning and end. That’s all well and good—so do most training programs. But most diets call for ridiculous behavior changes, consuming inordinate amounts of one or two macronutrients, or creating severe caloric deficits. With the right application and the right person, they all might work. But what happens when they diet is over?

There’s no diet in the world that will do what good, sustainable nutrition does.

There’s no diet in the world that will do what good, sustainable nutrition does. Sustainability comes from building small habits over time and consistently winning small battles one at a time.

Going all-in on some outrageous diet is rarely the answer, especially when someone hasn’t established good behaviors to underpin that diet. Alas, most diets demand too-big changes, and they often don’t help people develop habits that carry them forth after the diet ends.

So what are you to do?

Start simple with a food journal. For three days, write down everything that goes into your mouth without judging yourself or changing your behaviors because you’re putting pen to paper. At the end of those three days, examine what you’ve written, and find what you’re already doing well. Celebrate it, and build momentum based on those bright spots.

If you’re already eating breakfast every morning, great! But maybe your breakfast could have a little more protein, so start there! Improve your breakfast, conquer that one goal for at least a week, and then re-evaluate. Find the next bright spot to improve, and introduce another small, sustainable change.

The same process holds true for training. A sustainable program always trumps one that kicks your ass every day. Discover what kind of training you can sustain, and do that. If powerlifting fits your body and your psyche and keeps you progressing, do it. If kettlebells keep you strong and feeling healthy, sling bells all over the place. Find what fits you and get moving!

A Stronger Year

All three of these tips are simple, and all three can lend structure to your training, nutrition, and life. Start now, act on all three, and you’ll have a stronger year ahead!

If you’re just getting started, try my Beginner’s First Strength Phase and Phase 2. You may even like to check out the five biggest beginner’s strength-training mistakes to make sure you’re really off to a great start!

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Carbs: Your Macronutrient Frenemy

Carbs can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how you use them. Here are 6 benefits they provide to hard-training women!

It’s the trend that just won’t die. Have a few conversations at a few parties, and you’ll get an earful about how consuming carbs will inevitably lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, double chins, and, ultimately, death. Carb phobia is even more pervasive among active women.

This is a shame, because in my experience, active women have the least to gain by going low-carb—and the most to lose. Carbs also provide many benefits, particularly to those who train with intensity.

The key is to know the difference between different types of carbs and when to consume them. Here are six reasons you shouldn’t fear carbs, and my personal tips on what you should do to get the most from this maligned macronutrient.


1

Carbs can fuel intense training

Intense training leads to immense gains. But you can’t have a dance party without any dancers—and carbs are, without a doubt, the partiers of your body. They provide most of the energy you need to really dial it up, and without them, intensity quickly becomes misery. Cutting carbs too severely can leave you feeling lethargic, perhaps even miserable.

Intense training leads to immense gains. But you can’t have a dance party without any dancers—and carbs are, without a doubt, the partiers of your body.

To have enough fuel to light up your workouts, I recommend drinking a shake with protein and powdered carbohydrates before or during your workouts. Another tried-and-true approach is to eat a small meal of carbs such as potatoes or yams an hour or so before training.

However you get them, consuming carbs during this window will help power you to better workouts.


2

Carbs help spare protein for building muscle

One thing you may not know about protein is that it can be converted into blood glucose. I said “can be,” not “should be.” In fact, the last thing you want is for valuable protein to undergo this conversion because there aren’t adequate carbs around. Sure, you might lose some weight, but much of it will be from a loss of muscle. You need to have a lot of muscle mass to make a long-term, low-carb diet worth the effort.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to consume an adequate amount of carbohydrates each day. I recommend about 2 grams per pound of body weight when the goal is to maintain body weight or add muscle, and closer to 1 gram per pound when dieting.

I usually eat the majority of my carbs at two times: around workouts and when I’m really hungry. When I’m hungry, I eat fibrous veggies in big servings.

So unless you have a very good reason to do it, think twice.


3

Veggies provide your body with crucial micronutrients

I have a rule about diet plans: If it recommends you cut out all carbs, including vegetables, don’t follow it—ever!

While most versions of what people call the paleo diet includes fibrous vegetables, other diets recommend cutting even highly nutritious carbohydrates. Even if you’re not cutting them out entirely, you’re often limiting them or weighing them out using complicated ratios.

Limiting fibrous veggies is for the birds! Aside from being filling, these are among the best sources of many vitamins and minerals. Your body needs these micronutrients to fight free radicals, the damaging chemicals caused by stressors such as intense training.

I have a rule about diet plans: If it recommends you cut out all carbs, including vegetables, don’t follow it—ever!

Your sweat carries away vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium when you work out, all of which are needed for growth, recovery, exercise performance, and overall health.


4

Carbs provide fiber for enhanced health and fitness

Regardless of whether your current goal is building muscle mass or losing fat, you need fiber—and plenty of it.

Fiber not only helps improve overall health, it also fills your stomach (and your toilet) and provides satiety between meals. It’s crucial for building and maintaining a healthy environment in your gut, as well—all of those healthy microbes eat fiber, too!

While you can take fiber supplements, they’re not a suitable replacement for the fiber you get from whole foods. In addition to fruits and vegetables, eat enough root vegetables, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds. This is non-negotiable!


5

Carbs boost post-workout recovery

So you consumed enough carbs that you felt great going into your workout. Long story short, you crushed it—and now you feel crushed!

This is when more carbs can help you. Insulin gets a bad rap these days, but the truth is that at certain times, it definitely has its uses. For instance, post-workout, the insulin that gets released in response to the carbs you eat acts as an anabolic hormone, helping to drive protein to muscle tissue for better growth and faster recovery. This is why bodybuilders often consume sugar after they work out.

You don’t have to go that far, but you should definitely refill your carb tank with glycogen—the form of sugar your body stores up for energy—after depleting it through hard training. After all, you still have to make it through the rest of your day and to your next workout!


6

Carbs are delicious

This is news to nobody! Aside from what they do for us, carbs are popular because we all love to eat them. Women who train intensely often underestimate this aspect of carb consumption. We often cut carbs too drastically because we love being disciplined in our approach, but we end up feeling awful. Our bodies need to feel good to maximize growth and performance. This isn’t about being miserable!

Of course we’ve all experienced that tasty, regretful evening with Ben, Jerry, and all of their delicious mixed-in friends. Have they helped expand waistlines across the world? Of course! But newsflash: This isn’t the only way to get your carbs.

Consume enough carbs every day to feel good and fuel your body to smash your goals, and it’ll be easier to resist the lure of the freezer case! That’s a win any way you slice it.

Learn more about Pauline Nordin and Fighter Diet!


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Transformed In 20: 4 Quick And Effective Workouts!

Think you need an hour to get an effective workout? Think again! These 4 routines will push your lungs and muscles harder every minute. The good news: After 20 minutes, you’ll be done!

Time is the ultimate hurdle, and the ultimate excuse—if you let it be. Sure, life gets busy— a jam-packed schedule can derail even the best organizers among us. The lucky few may be able to perform whole-life overhauls to make more room for fitness, but the rest of us don’t need to cut exercise from our calendars. We just need to do more with less!

Not sure how to do that? Let some of the fittest people in the industry guide you. Here to share a few of their favorite and most effective 20 minutes-or-less-workouts are EAS athletes, competitors, and trainers Jason Wittrock and Annie Parker.

Make no mistake; just because these workouts are short doesn’t mean they’re easy. In fact, these may just be the most intense workouts you do all week! Even if you aren’t short on time and just want to push the intensity of your gym routine up a notch, these are great routines to keep in your back pocket.


1

The Fat-Blasting Cardio and Bodyweight Combo

One of Parker’s favorite intensity-boosting techniques is to alternate a cardio machine with bodyweight moves. The combo torches calories, but it also sends a serious “get stronger!” signal to the target body parts.

A photo posted by Annie Parker IFBB Pro

We ‘Mirin Vol. 131: 10 Aesthetic Animals

Get motivated for your weekend workout. Scroll through these amazing photos and hit the gym!

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Bearded Brawn

Is your studly beard accentuated by a badass physique? Prove it! Submit your photos to We ‘Mirin for a chance to be featured in an upcoming special edition!

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3 Healthy Chicken-Wing Recipes

Everyone knows that, when it comes to chicken, wings are the best. Treat your palate by delving into these 3 unique varieties.

Chicken wings are a staple food. From parties and gatherings, to tail gates and the Super Bowl, they’re the go-to meaty option when you’re looking for delicious, protein-rich finger food. But there’s more out there than the mild and spicy varieties. Venture into the depths of deliciousness with these three must-try wing recipes!

Fit Men Cook 3 Easy Wing Recipes for Chicken or Cauliflower
Watch the video – 3:36

1

Savory “Cold Brew” Wings

Nothing says party time like a serving of good-ol wings. These coffee-inspired nuggets turn tradition on its head. The combination of coffee beans, cayenne, and smoked paprika will give you that extra kick, while the addition of cinnamon and coconut sugar add a touch of sweetness.

Ingredients

Drummettes (with fat and skin trimmed) 4 lbs.


Coffee beans 1/3 cup


Smoked paprika 2 tbsp


Cayenne 1 tsp


Cinnamon 1 tbsp


Coconut sugar 1-1/2 tbsp


Extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp


Lime for garnish


Sea salt crystals for garnish


Directions
  1. Set oven to 420 degrees F.
  2. Trim excess fat and large pieces of skin from the drummettes or wings using a sharp knife or food scissors. This is important to reduce the amount of calories—just be careful not to cut the protein. You can cut the calories of each chicken wing by up to 15 calories! So, imagine if you eat 10 wings—that’s 150 fat calories you saved!
  3. Add the ingredients for the rub into a food processor. Blend until it becomes a fine powder with a few coarse pieces of coffee grounds.
  4. Place about a pound of the wings in a large bowl, and add a heaping tablespoon of the rub mixture to the bowl. Add a few pinches of sea salt and pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix it all together. Repeat until all of the wings have been coated.
  5. Place the wings on a baking rack (recommended) or a nonstick baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes at 420 degrees F. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the amount of chicken.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 wing

Recipe yields: 16 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 133
Total Fat5 g
Total Carbs1 g
Protein17 g
2

Golden Mustard Wings (With a Lil’ Curry)

Add an extra element to honey-mustard chicken with these wings. The addition of turmeric and curry powder will give them a flavor-packed taste and bright-yellow hue that people can’t help but gravitate toward.

Ingredients

Drummettes (with fat and skin trimmed) 3 lbs.


Coconut oil 1 tbsp


Apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp


Garlic 1 tsp


Turmeric 1/2 tsp


Curry powder 1 tsp


Raw honey 1/4 cup


Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish


Lemon for garnish


Directions
  1. Set oven to 420 degrees F.
  2. Trim excess fat and large pieces of skin from the drummettes or wings using a sharp knife or food scissors. This is important to reduce the amount of calories—just be careful not to cut the protein. You can cut the calories of each chicken wing by up to 15 calories! So, imagine if you eat 10 wings—that’s 150 fat calories you saved!
  3. Place the wings in a bowl, add a few pinches of sea salt and pepper, and mix together.
  4. Place the wings on a baking rack (recommended) or a nonstick baking sheet. Before placing the wings in the oven, spray them with olive oil so that the outside gets somewhat crispy while baking.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes at 420 degrees F. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the amount of chicken.
  6. Set a nonstick or cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Once it has melted, toss in all of the ingredients for the sauce. Stir it together with a spatula, and bring it a simmer.
  7. Once it has simmered for about 2 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and allow the sauce to thicken.
  8. Place about a pound of the wings in a large bowl and add a few tablespoons of the sauce from the bowl. Toss the wings in the sauce until all of them are fully coated. A little sauce goes a long way, so don’t overdo it! Repeat until all the wings have been covered.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 wing

Recipe yields: 12 wings
Amount per serving
Calories 153
Total Fat4 g
Total Carbs6 g
Protein17 g
3

Tangy Balsamic Glaze Wings

Bring the punch of balsamic glaze to life with this sweet recipe. When combined with the tartness of the lime and garnished with the fresh taste of chopped green onions, it’s a clear win-win. Prefer a spicy kick? Add a sprinkling of chili powder to take things up a notch.

Ingredients

Drummettes (with fat and skin trimmed) 4 lbs.


Balsamic glaze 1/3 cup


Chili powder 1 tsp (optional)


Lime juice 1/2 lime


Fresh green onion, chopped for garnish


Lime for garnish


Sea salt crystals for garnish (optional)


Directions
  1. Set oven to 420 degrees F.
  2. Trim excess fat and large pieces of skin from the drummettes or wings using a sharp knife or food scissors. This is important to reduce the amount of calories—just be careful not to cut the protein. You can cut the calories of each chicken wing by up to 15 calories! So, imagine if you eat 10 wings—that’s 150 fat calories you saved!
  3. Place the wings in a bowl, add a few pinches of sea salt and pepper and mix together.
  4. Place the wings on a baking rack (recommended) or a nonstick baking sheet. Before placing the wings in the oven, spray them with olive oil so that the outside gets somewhat crispy while baking.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes at 420 degrees F. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the amount of chicken.
  6. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce in a glass bowl. Before tossing the baked wings in the sauce, heat the sauce in the microwave for about 1 minute.
  7. Place about a pound of the wings in a large bowl and add a few tablespoons of the sauce of the bowl. Toss the wings in the sauce until all of them are fully coated. A little sauce goes a long way so don’t overdo it! Repeat until all the wings have been covered.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 wing

Recipe yields: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 140
Total Fat3 g
Total Carbs7 g
Protein17.5 g

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Bodybuilding.com Articles

4 High-Performance Cardio Workouts

Take your cardio training to the next level with these athlete-recommended routines.

Some people are satisfied simply slogging through their cardio, counting the calories burned, and hopping off the machine. Others want more. They want conditioning that makes their engines bigger and their entire bodies more capable.

But if you’re looking to take your cardio to the next level, you need to find workouts that push you to your limit. These four routines definitely will. They’re from RSP’s super-fit athletes, all of whom are always on the search for new ways to put more into all aspects of their training—and get more out of it.

Here are their top workout choices.


1

Gasping for Air in 15 Minutes

When he needs to look defined in a hurry, athlete and fitness model CJ Koegel turns to circuit training. “Circuit training is the perfect choice for time-crunched workouts because it allows you to get maximum fat-loss results in a minimum amount of time,” he explains. “It can also be designed to combine cardio and weight training, allowing you to work on all aspects of fitness.”

A video posted by CJ Koegel (@cjkoegel) on

Still not convinced? Give Koegel’s workout a try. You’ll need a couple of dumbbells, a single kettlebell, a box, and definitely a towel.

15-Minute AMRAP />
Repeat the following circuit as many times as possible in a 15-minute period. Keep rest to a minimum.
1

Man-Maker

5 reps

Man Maker Man Maker

Box Jump

10 reps

Box Jump (Multiple Response) Box Jump (Multiple Response)

Kettlebell Swing

15 reps

One-Arm Kettlebell Swings One-Arm Kettlebell Swings

Bodyweight Squat

20 reps

Bodyweight Squat Bodyweight Squat


2

Steel Mace, Barbell, and Box

When athlete and Army veteran Grant Weeditz needs to take his training up a notch, he doesn’t limit himself to what he can find in a commercial gym. His favorite piece of equipment? The steel mace. This unconventional fitness tool is a hollow, straight bar with a solid steel sphere at the end of the handle.

“My steel mace conditioning workout is one of my favorites because it helps build total-body strength and stability,” he explains. “The added benefit is the massive amount of core and scapular stability required to control even weights as light as 10 or 15 pounds.”

A video posted by Grant W. (@weediddy) on

Weeditz regularly performs a 20-minute nonstop “flow” of squats, lunges, and overhead 360-degree rotations with the steel mace. “You have to experience this to really get how intense it is,” he says. That would be enough for most people, but Weeditz follows it up with a deadlift and box-jump protocol he’s designed for maximum results. Getting some expert instruction is a no-brainer if you want to try it.

To perform this workout, choose a barbell weight you can deadlift comfortably 8-10 times and a box-jump height you can hit for 10 reps.

Steel Mace, Barbell, and Box />
1

Steel-mace flow

20 min., alternating movements like squats, overhead rotations, and lunges

Steel-mace flow Steel-mace flow

Superset:
2

Deadlift

8 sets of 5 reps, no rest

Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift

Box Jump

8 sets of 3 reps, rest remainder of 90 sec. interval

Box Jump (Multiple Response) Box Jump (Multiple Response)
Note: Set the timer to 90-second intervals. At the start of each interval, perform 5 reps of deadlifts without bouncing them off the ground. Then perform 3 box jumps, standing up completely after every rep, and stepping rather than jumping down. Once finished, rest until the 90 seconds are up. Repeat this 8 more times.

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3

Monster Monday

Hannah Eden, co-owner and founder of PumpFit Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, loves interval training so much that she offers her clients a different HIIT workout every single day of the week. “My go-to is called ‘Monster Monday,’ which is arguably the most challenging workout of my week,” she says.

A photo posted by Hannah Eden (@hannaheden_fitness) on

Eden explains that while HIIT is largely known as for short bursts of cardio exercise with brief recovery periods, that’s far from the only way to use it. “My goal is to burn fat and calories while also building muscle mass, strength, and endurance,” she explains. “This is where resistance training comes in.”

Eden forms her workout by adding timed sessions of multijoint strength movements to her already grueling cardio component. “In my experience, high-intensity cardio plus short recovery times and heavy resistance training equals more effective and intense workouts,” she says. “Don’t count the reps; just set the timer and go to town!”

Monster Mondays 30-60-90 />
Circuit: 3 rounds
1

Double-under

30 sec., rest 10 sec.

Rope Jumping Rope Jumping

Goblet Squat

60 sec., rest 20 sec.

Dumbbell Goblet Squat Dumbbell Goblet Squat

Burpee-to-pull-up

xxxsetsrepsxxx

Burpee Burpee
Note: Set the timer to 90-second intervals. At the start of each interval, perform 5 reps of deadlifts without bouncing them off the ground. Then perform 3 box jumps, standing up completely after every rep, and stepping rather than jumping down. Once finished, rest until the 90 seconds are up. Repeat this 8 more times.


4

Short-And-Sweet Track Workout

Trainer and fitness personality Lita Lewis doesn’t have time for half-assed cardio. She changes things up often, but always keeps the intensity level high.

A photo posted by Lita Lewis (@followthelita) on

“To keep myself motivated, I switch up my cardio efforts every 2-3 weeks,” she says. “This helps me avoid boredom and the dreaded plateau.” A standard element in her approach is sprinting, which can be combined effectively with any number of dynamic movements. After all, you have to get back to the starting line somehow, right?

Cardio Track Workout />
Perform each of the following exercises nonstop, doing a light jog back to the start after each drill. Repeat for 3-4 rounds.
1

Run

15-20 yards at 50% effort, repeat until warm

Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill

Walking Lunge

15-20 yards

Bodyweight Walking Lunge Bodyweight Walking Lunge

High Knee

15-20 yards

Walking High Knees Walking High Knees

Butt-Kick

15-20 yards

Butt Kicks Butt Kicks

Frog jump

15-20 yards

Frog Hops Frog Hops

Straight-leg shuffle

15-20 yards

Straight-leg shuffle Straight-leg shuffle

Backward run

15-20 yards

Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill

Jumping Jack (jumping forward)

15-20 yards

Jumping Jacks Jumping Jacks

Skip

15-20 yards

Fast Skipping Fast Skipping

Bounding High Knee

15-20 yards

High Knee Jog High Knee Jog

Build-up sprint

15-20 yards, accelerating from 20 to 50%, then to 100% as you finish

Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill

Sprint

15-20 yards at 100% effort

Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill

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Bodybuilding.com Articles

Get In Superhero Shape With Daredevil’s Workout!

Actor Charlie Cox went from not owning a gym membership to becoming a chiseled crime fighter in the hit show “Daredevil.” Get his story and training plan here!

Before “Daredevil,” actor Charlie Cox didn’t fit the traditional superhero mold. He had the acting skills to star in the critically acclaimed “Boardwalk Empire,” but Cox didn’t have the chiseled body he’d need to successfully take on the lead role of Matt Murdock in Marvel’s hit Netflix series.

That is, until he went on a tough muscle-building regimen, a long schedule of fight training, and a burly muscle-building diet. Now, the 33-year-old has a sculpted and ripped physique that would make any ass-kicking superhero proud.

After a thrilling response to the first season, Cox and the gang have taken the new series to another level, both visually and physically. We caught up with Cox to unearth the details of his Daredevil training and discuss Season 2, which will be available on Netflix on March 18, 2016.

Becoming Daredevil

When cast as Daredevil, the London native’s first course of action was to hit the gym to improve his athleticism and build lean mass. Becoming the Hell’s Kitchen vigilante wasn’t enough; Cox wanted to be involved in every aspect of filming, including the stunts.

“It’s funny,” explains Cox, “but when I first got the Matt Murdock/Daredevil role, I wasn’t built like your textbook superhero. For the first season, I was trying to put on weight instead of losing it, so that was pretty interesting.

“When it came to the fighting scenes, I worked very closely with the stunt coordinator and my stunt double,” says Cox. “I learned everything and tried to do as much of it as I could. My trainer, Naqam Washington, is awesome. When I first started with him, I just did what I was told, but then I gradually developed an interest in it. Now I really enjoy it, and I get a lot out of it. I kept up with training after Season 1, and I got better and better throughout the shoot.”

One More Round

Picture this: As blackness washes over a once bright blue sky, a canopy of stars assembles overhead. All the lights in the little matchbox trailers dotted around the “Daredevil” set flick off—except for one.

Get a little closer and peek through the window, and you’ll see Charlie Cox pummeling a punching bag. Very much like his character, Cox loves training in the dead of night, running through fight sequences for filming the next day. Fight scenes are the part of training he enjoys most.

“I’m not a trained fighter, so my technique isn’t brilliant, but we really tried to use as much of me as possible,” [Cox] adds. “[For the] second season, I’ve definitely stepped it up.”

“I love that stuff! We do a lot of Thai boxing and jiujitsu, hand work, and bag work. There’s a lot of shadow boxing and hitting the bag,” he says with a grin.

“I love the training, especially the fight training. I got to do as much as I was able when it came to the actual fights, and because of that generosity, I made sure I could do the moves. I do as much training as I can to get comfortable with the sequences.

“The great thing about this second season is that my character has now really honed his skills, and my stunt double, Chris, pulls off some moves that will blow your mind. I tried to do as much as possible, but Chris is insane,” Cox says.

“I’m not a trained fighter, so my technique isn’t brilliant, but we really tried to use as much of me as possible,” he adds. “[For the] second season, I’ve definitely stepped it up.”

Even if you aren’t training for a role on the big screen, it’s not a bad idea to follow in Cox’s footsteps. Research in the Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal found that people who trained in kickboxing one hour a day for five weeks showed significant improvement in upper-body muscle power, anaerobic fitness, flexibility, speed, and agility.1

The writing is on the wall: If you want to improve your all-around physical prowess, take up a martial art to get in ass-kicking shape.

Super Strength

Daredevil is more acrobatic, agile, and athletic than your usual muscle-bound comic-book character. To hone his physique to perfection, Cox trained using a lot of multidimensional movements and didn’t stick to a traditionally rigid training structure.

“[To train for] ‘Daredevil,’ it’s not really your one day, one body-part thing,” Cox says of his training split. “It’s not the Monday is chest day, Tuesday is shoulder day type of thing. My trainer wanted me to train like an athlete because the character needs the movement—movement is a big thing, considering the physical aspects.

“There are a lot of multidimensional movements, jumps, and compound movement, so if I do something like a lunge, that will be mixed with an overhead press, and then there might be a rotation with that,” says Cox. “It’s sort of a full-body workout, and it’s very flexible, to fit the role. There are weights, but then they’re mixed in with plyometrics and fight training, so all of this is very adaptable. We spend about two hours [per workout] in the gym, jumping into different things, and I love it.”

Cox’s undoubtedly successful transformation is evidence that, with a little hard work and the right training, anyone can build slabs of muscle and get ripped without having to rely exclusively on moving around huge mounds of iron.

Some guys are naturally drawn to lifting and being in the gym, but that hasn’t always been the case for Cox. “It was interesting because I’ve never really been a gym head before. I’d never even had a gym membership!” he laughs.

“With the first season, I had about a month to get into shape, so that was manic. With this second season, it’s a lot easier to maintain [that muscle], but the aim is to be more a lean athlete than a bulked-up superhero.”

And Cox’s undoubtedly successful transformation is evidence that, with a little hard work and the right training, anyone can build slabs of muscle and get ripped without having to rely exclusively on moving around huge mounds of iron.

Train Like Daredevil

Use this Matt Murdock-inspired workout twice a week to get a taste of superhero training. The session is built around compound and plyometric movements, as well as combat work.

What You’ll Gain

  1. Improved strength
  2. More agility
  3. Improved leanness
  4. Thicker muscle density
  5. Increased athleticism
Full-Body Workout />
1

Bench Press

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

2

Chin-Up

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Chin-Up Chin-Up

3

Front Box Jump

3 sets of 10 reps (weighted)

Front Box Jump Front Box Jump

4

Barbell squat jump

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Weighted Jump Squat Weighted Jump Squat

5

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press

6

Dumbbell reverse lunge with rotation

3 sets of15 reps per leg

Dumbbell Rear Lunge Dumbbell Rear Lunge

7

Medicine-ball power slam

3 sets of 20 reps

Overhead Slam Overhead Slam

8

Seated Cable Row

3 sets of 12-15 reps

Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

9

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

3 sets of 10 reps

One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Fight-Training Session />
1

Jump Rope

3 min.

Rope Jumping Rope Jumping

2

Shadow boxing

2 sets of 2-min. rounds

Punches Punches

3

Heavy bag punch combination

3 sets of 3-min. rounds

Heavy bag punch combination Heavy bag punch combination

3

Heavy bag power kick

20 reps per leg (full power)

Heavy bag power kick Heavy bag power kick

4

Thai pads

3 sets of 3-min. rounds

Thai pads Thai pads

5

Focus mitts

3 sets of 3-min. rounds

Focus mitts Focus mitts

5

Jiu-jitsu

1 hour

Jiujitsu Jiujitsu

Hell’s Kitchen

When it comes to eating like a superhero, Thor may crush Creamsicles and Deadpool seems to enjoy chimichangas, but Daredevil likes to eat clean. And that was good news for Cox, who needed to pack on lean muscle to complement his training and develop punch-proof abs.

“For the first season, I was quite skinny,” he says, “but I ate a ton of chicken, broccoli, sweet potato, rice, and pasta. I put carbs in all my protein shakes, so I’d have a protein shake with sweet potato in it.

“But for Season 2, it’s been all about maintaining a certain level [of fitness], so it’s been very much about eating balanced. Of course, I ate a good amount of protein, but it was really all about training and eating like an athlete.”

Listen to Cox’s wise words, because consistency and dedication to nutrition and are essential to unlocking your own superhero body.

Zero to Hero Diet

Try this superhero meal plan to put on weight the right way and forge the body you want!

Meal 1

Egg whites: 6


Whole eggs: 2


Banana: 1


Oats: 1/2 cup


Meal 2

Chicken breast: 8 oz.


Brown rice: 1 cup


Meal 3

Protein shake: 1


Oats: 1 cup


Meal 4

Chicken breast: 8 oz.


Brown rice: 1 cup


Broccoli: 1 cup


Meal 3

Avocado: 1 small


Protein shake: 1


Meal 6

Egg whites: 8


The Magazine For People
Who Actually Train

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References
  1. Ouergui, I., Hssin, N., Haddad, M., Padulo, J., Franchini, E., Gmada, N., & Bouhlel, E. (2014). The effects of five weeks of kickboxing training on physical fitness. Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal, 4(2), 106.


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