Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Alejandro Lopez, CSCS

If you have exhausted every possible option for biceps training, traveling to and fro the usual barbell biceps curl and the preacher curl; it may be time to enlist the Zottman curl. This little gem will elicit greater gains throughout the entire bicep/forearm complex producing noticeable gains in your biceps, your brachialis muscle (a synergist which runs betweenyour biceps and triceps on the outer portion of your arm), and your brachioradialis(which runs along your outer forearm, lying just below the brachialis). The Zottman curl works not only by stressing these muscles due to the grip change at the top of the movement but but also by producing a hold during the top portion as well to facilitate the aforementioned grip change. Here is how to do it:

  1. Hold the dumbbells in each hand at arm’s length close to your sides with the usual supinated grip (palm facing up)
  2. Perform a normal curl by utilizing your elbow flexors to pull the wait to your shoulders in a steady, controlled fashion.
  3. At the topmost point in the movement, flex your biceps forcefully for a count of one and slowly pronate your grip by turning your wrist 180 degrees so your palms are facing downward
  4. With palms facing downward, lower the weight through the eccentric, falling motion, in a controlled manner.
  5. When the weight is at its lowest postion with arms fully extended at your sides, reverse your grip to a normal, palms up grip and begin again for reps.

Happy Lifting!

This exercise can also be performed by beginning with palms facing downward wtih a switch at the top to palms facing upward.


Power to the Elderly!

Posted: January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Alejandro Lopez CSCS

Strolling into your local gym, you will typically see all of the youngins swarmed around the heavy weights and latest machinery leaving the elderly participants relegated to the old-school machines and cardio machinery. They normally perform resistance and cardiovascular exercise with the lowest possible resistance at a very slow pace. Though this may seem to be the safe, proper form for the elderly, it certainly is far from the most beneficial.

When individuals age (past 40 and sometimes sooner), hormone levels including testosterone fall dramatically and muscle loss, sarcopenia, becomes almost inevitable when a sedentary lifestyle is the predominant one. Therefore, to delay the onset and progression of sarcopenia and osteopenia, bone loss, regular exercise is recommended. But which form of exercise is most beneficial and how is it best accomplished?

Muscle mass and, specifically,  its ability to express power, the velocity at which a weight is moved or displaced,  is the first to go and this proves problematic for the elderly who still require the ability to carry objects around the house without injury and without long delays. This means that when older gym-goers engage in resistance exercise the weight should be low enough to prevent injury but high enough to pose somewhat of a challenge (overload principle). The weight should also be raised at a relatively high rate of speed to improve on the power lost with age. It is extremely important to note that the weight should never be lowered quickly nor jerked back and forth forsaking form and function. Power training involves a quick concentric, upward motion and a more controlled, evenly paced eccentric, lowering motion.

Because safety is of the utmost concern when working with the elderly, machines rather than free weights should be utilized for power training. Machines typically offer a strict movement path for the exercise and a seated position to prevent slip and fall. So you can leave the light free weights for assistance work during arm and shoulder workouts.

So there you  have it. Though resistance training was solely mentioned, this does not imply that cardiovascular exercise is unimportant. On the contrary, maintaining function of the heart and lungs is vital for anyone, particularly the elderly.

Happy Lifting!

My Amazing Reason for Silence

Posted: December 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ever since I began my fitness blog journey only 5 months ago, I was extremely enthusiastic to demonstrate my knowledge of human physiology, nutrition, and general fitness and to hopefully engage my readers and lead them towards healthier, more-knowledgable choices. I was posting daily in hopes of garnering as many readers as possible in the shortest amount of time. I wanted nothing more than to teach–to provide no b.s., unadulterated, no strings attached information to the masses so that each reader may come to love the fit lifestyle as much as I do. The thing was, I was merely a health freak with no title and no backing.

But my last post was months ago and I am glad to, now, tell you why. For the past three months, I have been studying incessantly to transform a loved hobby into a lifelong career. I have sought the best available benchmark in fitness, strength, and nutrition, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and reached for the furthest star by seeking the most prestigious fitness certification available. I am very proud to say that I am now a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS)!!!

I pledged three months ago to not provide a single piece of advice until I had the distinction under my belt. I didn’t want to become Joe Shmoe delivering all kinds of broscience to my audience. Now I can truly claim that I know what I’m talking about and I sincerely hope that you will listen. Thank you very much.

Studies have shown that engaging in aerobic or endurance exercise prior to anaerobic or resistance training can result in diminished strength when engaging in the anaerobic portion. Though I am not advocating dropping steady-state cardio from your routine, I am recommending that you split the resistance and cardio, electing to weight train on one day and do cardio another. This allows for greater recovery between the two portions and helps prevent overtraining.

P.S. As an added bonus, adopt HIIT training instead of steady -state cardio for maximum strength and muscle gain.


Go Green! No, I am not advocating being carbon- neutral, I am requesting, nay, urging that you give green tea extract a whirl if you want to lose an extra pound or two of unsightly fat. Though drinking the actual tea has its many benefits, you would have to consume dozens of cups a day to reach the fat burning dosage you could easily find in a few pills a day. Just make sure that when choosing the perfect pill,they contain a proven amount of EGCG, a polyphenol that is the prime mover of those stubborn fat cells in your body.

Also, caffeine and EGCG work very well synergistically to combat fat throughout the day, so take both throughout the day with meals for a killer combo.

Note: It is vital that you take the appropriate dosage of each for your given bodyweight, no more and no less, to achieve the perfect combination of safety and results.


When a certain bodypart is lacking in your physique, be it your calf muscles or back muscles, and you wish to see them grow and become stronger, you must prioritize that specific bodypart. This means that before anything else, before working on your absolute favorite, strongest , most responsive muscle, you should stimulate that stubborn muscle. So if you need bigger calves, throw in a few sets of seated calf raises  either before you begin your leg workout or before any workout at all. (working any muscle for a few sets before every workout of the week sends a signal to your body that you will be using it often so it must grow!) So priotize this!

Hey guys, check out this link and your stomach will be very glad you did! There are new studies that lay grounds for more progressive thought on nutrient timing and this one blow them all out of the water. But remember, do your research and never take anything at face value. Enjoy!

Always eat your breakfast and never falter. You have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for good reason. Breaking that night-long fast allows your body to kick catabolism (eating up muscle-bad) out the door and initiate an anabolic state (muscle creation-good) which allows for greater fat burn. Aim to consume a solid protein source such as whole eggs to supply much need amino acids and a wholesome carb source such as whole wheat toast or oatmeal to kickstart your new day! Happy Break-Fasting!

Instead of steady-state, regular ol’ cardio try HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. It is basically a cycle session composed of a sprint for about thirty seconds to a minute followed by 30 seconds of very low intensity cardio for a total of 10-20min. This can be accomplished by running, cycling, or any other  form of cardiovascular exercise. Studies have shown that, as a whole, HIIT burns more calories and tends to build muscle faster than normal cardio. So HIIT it up!

Allow me….

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I wanted to take this time and step away from providing the best fitness info on the web (At least I like to think so) and request that you all do something for me. It is very simple and should take no more than a minute out of your day. It will be greatly appreciated and handsomely rewarded.  I would love if you asked me for help. That’s it. Post any question, query, comment, picture, likes, dislikes, anything so that I may do my best to help you or better my site and delivery.

I started this blog for this very reason and I am asking a simply favor: allow me to help. Thank you and happy blogging!