Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Time to prepare for summer - My workout plan for may and june

Hey guys,

At the end of april, when the Freeletics project ended, I had to decide what's next...and I made my decision.
I decided to start with a quite "normal" workout style for may and june. I've selected 16 gym exercises that I'll perform in 24 super sets (3 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise sequence that contains 2 exercises) twice and I'll do my kettlebell circuit training once every week. Additionally I try to implement some HIIT sessions.

After doing a lot of bodyweight exercises in the last months I think integrating some free weights and kettlebells into my workouts is a welcome change and that my muscles will benefit from new impulses that could help them to improve further.

And here it is....the workout plan for may and june:

The gym workout (twice per week):
Warmup: 5 min cardio rowing to get your whole body on temperature
Superset exercise 1: Handstand Push Ups & Back Squats*
Superset exercise 2: Bench press & Bent Over Row with a Barbell
Superset exercise 3: Cable Flys & Reverse Cable Flys
Superset exercise 4: Lat Pulls & Double Leg Calf Raises
Superset exercise 5: Flat Bent Leg Raises & Short Bridges**
Superset exercise 6: Deadlifts & Pull Overs with a Dumbbell
Superset exercise 7: Lunges with Dumbbells & Shoulder Compilation Exercise
Superset exercise 8: Parallel Bar Dips & Ball Leg Curls
*You should begin with these two exercises because HSPU could be dangerous if your arms and shoulders are already exhausted and squats are one of the best exercises to force your body to release growth hormones that help to improve the impact of the whole workout
**(This part is important in the middle of the workout to get some recovery time for your arms)

3 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise sequence that contains 2 exercises; 1 min rest between the sets; 1-x-2 cadence (1 sec concentric, no rest in the final position, 2 sec excentric)

The kettlebell workout (once per week):
I'll explained my kettlebell workout in details in my last post (click here).

The HIIT workouts (once or twice per week, not on strength training days):
Cardio Rowing: 5 min warmup then 10 sets of 1 min row as fast as possible + 1 min very slow rowing
Sprint (Running) Training: 800m warmup running then 10 sets of 100m sprint + 300m easy running
If you want to learn more about HIIT Training read my article here.

I follow my diet and my supplement plan strictly.

Let's enjoy the "normal" workout period!


Monday, May 12, 2014

The whole Kettlebell Circuit Training in one article - Functional fitness for a perfect body

Hey guys,

I wrote about the benefits of kettlebell workouts a long time ago (see here). I also wrote 4 articles in which I explained every single workout of my circuit in detail but I haven't wrote a summerizing article yet. As I want to give you one article with a brief overview of the very efficent circuit that I use, I decided to write this one now (it's also easier to have one article to refer to in future posts about workout plans).

The whole kettlebell circuit training:

If you already know how to handle the "cannon balls", try to do three sets with the mentioned reps without a rest between the eight exercises (30 sec - 1 min rest between the sets). If you aren't familiar with kettlebells yet, you should start easily. And with easily I mean with a lower weight and a strict focus on the correct movement sequence. Once you are able to perform the exercises with a perfect technique you can increase the weight and then you should start with one set first and increase the volume up to three sets over time.

1. Exercise: Clean & Press (one-handed) – 10 x right arm, 10 x left arm
2. Exercise: Snatch (one-handed) – 10 x right arm, 10 x left arm
3. Exercise: Windmill (one-handed) – 10 x right arm, 10 x left arm
4. Exercise: High Row (one-handed) – 10 x right arm, 10 x left arm
5. Exercise: 1-Arm Kettlebell Swing – 10-15 x right arm, 10-15 x left arm
6. Exercise: Regular Kettlebell Swing – 15-25 x
7. Exercise: Body Circles – 10 x counterclockwise, then 10x clockwise
8. Exercise: Kettlebell Squats – 10 x

For detailed explanations of the single exercises please click on the exercise name (the link will open a new tab with the explaining article).

If you aren't sure if you should use kettlebells or what they can do for you and your fitness, read my article about the benefits of kettlebell workouts.

Have fun!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Guest Article from Amelia: 5 Best Ways to Maximize Muscle Growth

Hey guys,

After the good feedback to the first guest post I published, I started to get more open minded to the idea of publishing knowledge and ideas from more guest bloggers every now and then. 
Some days ago the passionate blogger Amelia contacted me with the idea of a guest article about maximizing muscle growth. As I myself have written about this topic in several articles (e.g. The Colorado Experiment), I thought that this was a great idea to enrich my blog with another person's point of view on this important issue.  

I proudly present Amelia Verona's article:

5 Best Ways to Maximize Muscle Growth

Many people dream of getting strong muscles, some to impress others or just for personal fitness purposes. Growing muscles requires discipline, patience and most importantly good diet and exercise. Other forms include the use of illegal substances intake to the body such as steroids, they may have impressive results but in the long run they usually have negative side effects. For effective growth, here are five ways to do so:

Increase Calorie Intake
Having more calories in your system increases your body muscles if you exercise properly, note that not all foods have the right amount calories required by your body, other foods like junk food may contain harmful calories that may have a negative impact such as being overweight. Determine your weight, height, sex and your activity factor to determine the amount of calorie intake.

Increase Proteins Intake
Proteins are amino acids and they are body building food. They are essential in building skin, bones, tissues and importantly muscles. Some of these foods are meat, eggs and dairy products, some plants are also a source of proteins, and this includes legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. Taking more proteins by ensuring that, it is included in all your meals in order to help in the increase of healthy muscles for the body. 1-1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight when training is recommended.

Increase Healthy Fat Intake
Fats are not at all healthy for your body. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature while unsaturated fats are liquid (oil) at room temperature. These saturated fats are the major causes of heart diseases and high cholesterol in the blood thus they should be avoided, unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are healthy and helps in decreasing blood cholesterol levels. It is proved that less than 30% of calories in a day should come from fat which can be found in foods such as butter, margarine, oils fried foods, etc.,. For unsaturated fat, you can find it in corn, soya bean, sunflower, and safflower oil.

Proper Multivitamins Intake
To fully understand the use of multivitamins one needs to know what Vitamins are, they are natural substances the body needs to grow, develop and function normally, vitamins are mostly found in vegetables and fruits. Multivitamins are prescribed to those that needs extra vitamins and are unable to obtain the required vitamins. They come in various forms such as chewing tablets, capsules or oral liquid. Taking high potency multivitamins ensure that essential nutrients are available for the thousands of metabolic reactions in the body. Multivitamins are usual supplements and are advisable in order to increase your muscles.

Proper Exercise Guidelines
Overwhelming yourself with vigorous exercises over long periods of time may not be the ideal way of gaining more muscles.
It's always wise to get some proper guidelines, some of these are
1. Great diet intake- To maximize the body potential a good diet is necessary, it also helps in gain energy after exercise.
2. Warm up before an exercise routine — This help to get in the right frame of mind and prepare the body muscles, this will help reduce injuries.
3. Proper amount of rest and exercise — Research shows an hour's work of intense work out is all that is required for your growth. Changing your exercise routine reduces chances getting body stress.
4. Working your whole body — Don't aim at building muscles for only one part of the body, aim to give equal muscle attention, this will balance training, growth and flexibility. Compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, presses and pull ups use different body muscles.
5. Do exercises that your body can handle over time, don't overwhelm the body by doing extraneous task that may lead to injuries.

This is just some of the basic methods of muscle building techniques, adhering to such will give you a healthy increase muscle build. Ehic card covers you for emergency healthcare in Europe.

Author Bio:

Amelia Verona lives in Cambridge, UK and is an avid reader and blogger. Her areas of interest are Food, Blogging, Reviews (Book/Movie), Travel, Fashion, Lifestyle and Fitness. Currently she is creating awareness on Ehic Card which determines European health insurance card providing quality medical care at free of cost.

I hope you enjoyed reading Amelia's article! If you want to share your thoughts about her points, feel free to use the comment area below.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

The 2014 Freeletics + X Project - Week 14 & 15 - Workouts and Progress - The final days are done!

Hey guys,

Finally it's done! And I'm really happy that I finished the whole program without skipping one single workout. Due to a huge lack of motivation  and mental and physical fatigue (which probably was caused by a kind of overtraining) I needed more than a week to do all the workouts from week 15 (as you can see below). I was also very busy during the last weeks so I'm sorry that this article, which closes my Freeletics project, is a bit late.
One special event I attented was the international fitness trade fair in Cologne - the FIBO. Really impressive and interesting to see so many people who are highly interested in all kinds of fitness training. I also tried out some new fitness equipments (like the ladder cardio machine which is unbelievable demanding and effective) and participated in a kettlebell and push up one-on-one competition (which I won :) ). If you get the chance to visit a big fitness trade fair, you should take's fun!

Let's look at the last weeks of the Freeletics project:    

Results and progress of week 14 & 15:

Workout explanations:
Aphrodite - 50 Burpees, 50 Squats, 50 Sit Ups, then 40 reps of each, 30 reps, 20 reps, 10 reps (5 sets in total) - as fast as possible
Artemis - 50 Burpees, 50 Pull Ups, 100 Push Ups, 150 Squats, 50 Burpees
Dione - 3 sets of 75 Jumping Jacks, 25 Burpees, 50 Leg Levers (or Flat Bent Leg Raises), 75 Jumping Jacks, 50 Sit Ups, 25 Burpees - as fast as possible
Hades- 3 sets of 25 Burpees, 15 Pull Ups, 15 Push Ups, 25 Burpees, 2x40 m run - as fast as possible
Metis - 10 Burpees, 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 High Jumps, 25 Burpees, 25 Mountain Climbers, 25 High Jumps, 10 Burpees, 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 High Jumps
Poseidon - 20 Pull Ups, 20 Push Ups, 15 Pull Ups, 15 Push Ups, 10 Pull Ups, 10 Push Ups, 5 Pull Ups, 5 Push Ups - as fast as possible
Venus - 4 sets of 50 Push-Ups, 20 Jackknifes (ab workout), 50 Squats - as fast as possible
Zeus - 4 sets of 5 Handstand Push Ups, 15 Pull Ups, 25 Push Ups, 35 Sit Ups, 45 Squats, 120 sec. Rest
Leg Lever max - AMRAP in 500 sec.
Sit Up max - AMRAP in 500 sec. (real sit ups, not crunches!)

Week 14:
Wednesday (02.04.2014) - Metis (06:54 min.)
Thursday - rest day
Friday - Zeus (23:42 min.)
Saturday - rest day
Sunday - FIBO
Monday - Metis (06:51 min.)
Tuesday - Zeus (24:06 min.)

Week 15:
Wednesday (09.04.2014) - rest day
Thursday - rest day
Friday - Aphrodite (29:30 min.)
Saturday - rest day
Sunday - rest day
Monday - Venus (21:13 min.), Hades (28:37 min.), Sit Up max (96 reps)
Tuesday - Artemis (27:05 min.), Leg Lever max (98 reps)
Wednesday (16.04.2014) - rest day
Thursday - Poseidon (06:22 min.), Leg Lever max (112 reps)
Friday - rest day
Saturday - rest day
Sunday - Artemis (29:02 min.), Sit Up max (83 reps)
Monday - Zeus (20:36 min.), Venus (20:47 min.), Poseidon (06:31 min.)
Tuesday - Dione (46:52 min.)

Weight: 190.5 lbs (86,4 kg)
Abdominal Circumference: 36 inches (91,5 cm)
Chest Circumference: 41,7 inches (106 cm)
Shoulder Breadth: 24,4 inches (62 cm)
Body Fat: 17,2 % (measured with a caliper)

After 15 weeks I can see and feel big changes in my physique and my fitness level. I can really recommend you to give the freeletics program a shot, but, to be honest, to improve fun and motivation of Freeletics I would split the program into two parts (1st one with 7 weeks and the 2nd with the last 8 weeks) and would make a 2 week break in between (with other training styles like kettlebell or gym workouts).

Next week I'll write about my new training plan that I follow now that Freeletics is over.