Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Armed & Dangerous: Part II

Yes those are arms to die for, and you will probably have to do just that before you get there without developing STRENGTH

The first part, a bit to my surprise, actually elicited responses which I hardly expected! The general view was that it is "a Strength program" and not a "Mass" program!?! Huh! I will not run the gamut of explaining the WHY YOU NEED STRENGTH FIRST FOR WHATEVER GOAL YOU HAVE, because any monster truck with the engine of a moped will get you the same results as a program geared to build size without strength will. Choose what you will.

The more sensible people among you who have followed the first month base template as was laid down, should be curious about what next? (By the way, do report me back about your results, I would be curious too!) Well, the next part will focus on increased volume as well as intensity but lower frequency.

This time the arms get the treatment for only two days of the week, and that too biceps get their own day as well as the triceps. A split of Arms really! First, I'll lay down the program and then onto the explanations.

Day 1                                                                                                       Day2            
30 total chin ups                                                                               50 total bar dips
Add weight if the number is too easy        Use rings or add weight if the number is too easy

Strict Barbell Curls                                                      Strict Close Grip Bench Press
3 sets of 10 reps                                                                                 3 sets of 10 reps
Put your back on the wall                                           Pause for 1 second at the bottom

Heavy 2 arm Db cheat curls                                                  One arm Db push Press
Choose a wight you can do 10                                            2 sets per arm up to failure
reps with and complete 25 rep                                     Use enough momentum to start
s with as little rest in between                the Db but finish with your Triceps strength.
as possible.                                             only

You are going to follow this template for 3 weeks only. Yes, 3 weeks this time and not 4 for reasons you need not know for now. And you do not have permission to change anything at all! In the words of Pavel, step to the left and I shoot!
Yeah, this man has to be there in a post about arms, Weighted dips, as you would like it
Freaky is the first word that came to my mind when I saw this. What was yours? Weighted chin ups

Now for some finer points. For the Strict Barbell Curls and Strict Close Grip Bench Press, pick a weight that you can just manage for 10 reps and no less. You should be well equipped to handle heavy loads by now after running the first part of the program. So do not shortchange yourself. Next, in the Heavy 2 arm Db cheat curls use as much momentum as you would like as long as the weight is too heavy to strict curl. I, actually come up on my toes while doing it and believe me it is a killer! The one arm Db push press is, for some reason rarely and barely used! The reason, if there is any, must be completely irrational to say the least! Done in the manner mentioned, this will build triceps like little else. You may add a twist for these. Ask someone to time you for 30 seconds and let yourself loose. Crank and bang out rep after rep, keeping in mind that you fully extend your arm. Beat the reps in the next set! You will not believe the hammering your tris will take.
This heavy is definitely accepted...

And there you have it. The complete map to treasured ARMs.
Do summon your inner savage if you even hope to get through this torture. If you actually manage to go through without it, you know what, my grandma was laughing at you!!!

Make me proud Gunners, put the cranes to shame, lift scarily heavy! Nothing less is even worth consideration.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Martial Program for Strength: Equipment worth INR 500 or <$10.

If this is all you got and are still grizzly focused on building so much strength that you may twist your opponent into never before seen contortions( inside or outside the ring), then first of all, get a job.And second, read on. Because this will be an eye opener program for those who are of the notion that strength, like almost every other good thing in this world is the sole possession of the rich. Damn wrong!

In reality, the rich are soft, narcissistic cry baby pussies readily shitting in their diapers at the mention of Hard Work that actually gets you strong. So, my friend it is not time to lose heart against the fight with weakness due to lack of finances. Tighten your belt, literally, and you can with a bit of cunning improvisation have all the equipment you need for free. Yes, you read it right.

All you need for this TURN YOURSELF INTO A WRECKING MONSTER program are these

Two versions of the sandbag, the first one costs INR 300 and the second...NOTHING

Again two versions of the keg, the first one costs  NOTHING and the second, well find it out yourself!

Yes, sand, a lot of it...

That's it. Now, fill up the bag with sand, the keg with water and there you have it. All the tool you need to unleash a reign of terror on your enemies.

Now that you are filled with even more morbid curiosity, here is the program overview:

  • Three alternate days per week of training.
  • A mix of bodyweight movements( including the weighted versions) and odd object( i.e. the sandbag and kegs) lifting.
Not only brutal strength is the goal but an unprecedented rate of fat loss too. Choose the weights and volume of work according to your level of physical capability. Do not be rash, but be rational. There is nothing wrong to start light. Crashing out faster than India in FIFA qualifiers will not bring you any glory.

You might turn into one like Eugene Sandow, the Bon Appetit of the ladies of his time...

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Sandbag Zercher squats Squat jumps Pistol squats
5 sets of 3 reps 5 sets of 10 reps 4 sets of 5 reps per leg
Pull ups(Any variation) Pull ups(Any variation) Pull ups(Any variation)
5 sets of 10 reps 10 sets of 7 reps 10 sets of 10 reps
Keg carry Sandbag Shouldering Keg loading
4 sets of 1 minute each 4 sets of 10 reps per side 4 sets of 10 reps
Hanging leg raises Zercher Keg carry Sandbag overhead carry
4 sets of 10 reps 4 sets of 1 minute each 4 sets of 1 minute each
Wrestler's bridge Cobra stretch Wrestler's bridge
As you choose As you choose As you choose

Fill up the sand and water into the bag and keg respectively as required. Of course, you will have to increase and decrease the amount of fillings according to the movements. One convenient method is to pack the sand in small packets and then put it into the bag as required. If you do not want to experience even this, then well, F**k you!

Sandbag Zercher Squats for you...

Sandbag Overhead Carry

Keg Zercher Carry

Keg Carry

At last, the last of this post. You should follow this routine for 4 weeks and then take a week off before getting back at it again. When you do, mix and match a bit for the sake of variety. You will need it!

If you are wondering why I did not include any push ups in the program, then you probably ain't a martial artist at all! You should be doing them every time you see the floor! All the possible and impossible variations of it.

Another word for those of you who are not martial artists. You can still follow this program, because if you do, the jackasses around will be more afraid of you than the phony Black Belt Brigade frequenting the shame of a dojo nearby.

An installment is due for those who do have access to heavy duty dumbbells and barbells. Till then peg away and you WILL become an unstoppable force of nature.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Martial Art of Strength Training and Vice Versa

Mr. MARTIAL ART himself. Salutations from an unworthy disciple, Master!

"Sparta, Rome, The Knights of Europe, the Samurai... They worshipped strength, because it is strength that makes all other values possible. Nothing survives without it. Who knows what delicate wonders have died out of the world, for want of the strength to survive."

The above quote from the epic film ENTER THE DRAGON probably sums it up all. Nothing in life and nothing in sports, whatever that might be, survives without strength. It is THE base quality that makes the world go round, again in life and in sports. Strength has a multitude of forms. But for now we will stick to the types required to demolish your opponent in your chosen endeavour.

Lets talk strength training for various combat sports. Be it boxing, kickboxing, judo, tae kwon do or the BAAP of it all, MMA. Speed, some say is the number one requirement, and skill is a very close second or the reverse order for some. Strength, raw, mind numbing, bone crushing strength, surprisingly rarely makes the top three which is downright blasphemic.

As is evident, the Master was an avid lifter himself.

Master Bruce, probably THE fastest martial artist to ever glorify the human race, was incredibly strong, too.
Some of his strength feats are still untouched even today. There are a lot of resources depicting his strength training routine which I would not care to elaborate any more. The fact that remains is YOU GOTTA GET HELLISHLY STRONG! Period!

Consider this, Matt Brown, the celebrated UFC fighter, who has broken the jaw, cheek bone and nose of one of his opponents recently  (I cannot recall the name for now), uses 365 pounds or 166 kilos in the belt squat walking around. 

The PAIN himself is a living proof that brutal strength can earn you an UFC belt...

The recent surge of extreme strength athletes into the MMA world and at times crushing their opponents is proof enough that strength can road roll your opponent into pulps. Then why are you smirking at me? I have won the State championship in kick boxing in my State with not so impressive technique but " I'll tear you up in a minute" kind of a maniac intensity that stemmed from strength.
My teacher, an unbelievably strong guy for his bodyweight...Wanna taste?

You will definitely turn into a terror to your opponents if you do invest at least 40% of your training time into building strength for the sake of strength for the next 6 months.
Junior Dos Santos can break your jaw without even noticing...

Here is one of Brock " the Pain" Lesnar's strength routines:

DAY   EXERCISE                 SETS   REPS

MON   Bench Press              6      12-1
MON   Dumbbell Press           4      6
MON   Dumbbell Flye            3-4    8
MON   Cable Crossover          3      8
MON   Dip                      4      8-10
MON   Pressdown                4      6-8
MON   Lying Triceps Ext.       3      10

TUE   Wide-Grip Pull-Up        4      6
TUE   Med-Grip Pull-Up         4      6
TUE   Close-Grip Pull-Up       4      6
TUE   Close-Grip Pulldown      4      6
TUE   Seated Cable Row         4      6
TUE   Stiff-Legged Deadlift    4      6
TUE   Deadlift                 6      12-1
TUE   EZ-Bar Preacher Curl     3      10
TUE   Hammer Curl              3      10
TUE   Seated Dumbbell Curl     3      10


THU   Dumbbell Front Raise     3      10
THU   Dumbbell Lateral Raise   3      10
THU   Upright Row              4      6
THU   Overhead Barbell Press   6      12-1
THU   Seated Dumbbell Press    4      6
THU   Shrugs                   4      15

FRI   Leg Extension            3      10
FRI   Leg Curl                 3      10
FRI   Close-Stance Squat       4      6
FRI   Med-Stance Squat         4      6
FRI   Wide-Stance              4      6
FRI   Leg Press                6      6



Though the weights are not mentioned, you can and should be pretty fuckin' sure that they were HEAVY.

Another UFC legend George St. Pierre is no wimp about lifting weights either.

But in my opinion the best kind of strength training for a fighter would tend to be more of a mixture of advanced calisthenics movements (including weighted push ups, pull ups, dips, etc.) and strongman type movements, including Sandbag lifting and carrying, lifting partners and moving, farmer's walk with very heavy weights, etc.

The barrel carry WILL give you jaw breaking striking power, even with shitty technique!

The Farmer's Walk, not just for farmers. I might even term it as The Fighter's Walk...
A sandbag and a rope, tools of opponent destruction...

Be it increasing punching power, kicking power, plain old ground and pound or just slamming your opponent onto the mat at 49 m/second square, you get to shop everything at this store. Focus on building rugged strength that others can barely match and be the biggest supplier of patients to the local orthopaedic!

nothing in this post, though, means that you undermine the basic fighting techniques in any way. Far from that. Strength training shall be IN ADDITION TO and NOT IN PLACE OF.
Rugged, Spartan, Effective...

Good technique is a necessity for protecting yourself and strength is indispensable so that your opponent withdraws his name the next time he sees you...

Coming up, a neck break strength routine for the blood thirsties out there with minimal equipment. Till then CRACK the bones... 

Friday, 2 August 2013

ARMed and Dangerous: Part I

 No Post on Arms can start without this man, Bodybuilding himself...

As the festive season is drawing close, the closet bodybuilders will start to swing into action to load their guns by any means possible and dazzle the chicks with their often misplaced valor. The gyms will start to swell with "Will turn the next Mr. Olympia the very next month" candidates. All curling their way to individual Hall of Fames about which no one else gives a fuck about. And that too with weights that even the weight machines would fail to register. A couple of months( may be weeks?) at the gym, toiling hard every day( at the curls mind you), and once the festive season is over, the gyms are like haunted ruins once again with the same old lunatics grinding out excruciatingly heavy weights, people who TRAIN and not workout. The supplement comps have made their dough in the meantime already. An extremely tiring process. All for what? Nothing but hope of making it BIG the next time. What a shame! 

I'd bet that's you!


First a word of caution. This is not an absolute beginner's program. If you cannot hit 10 reps at least in the pull ups or chin ups then get to this program at your own risk.

Well, for the appropriate iron army out there, this is the deal:
  • Curls may not be the only move to die for when it comes to loading some freaky Guns, but utilised properly, they are one of the best. Trust me on this one or trust him...
    That is World's Strongest Man Magnus Samuelsson curling a man as weights in the gym probably fell short
  • When specializing on arms it is absolutely ridiculous to consider the moves as pumping exercises only. Make them Max Effort moves, seriously. Not all but some. I'll show you how later on.
  • Breaking your own Personal Records every week on the primary focus arm movement is key to this program. Not just bar weight PR but volume PR as well.
  • NO machines.NO machines.NO machines.NO machines.NO machines. Machines are for them...

Are you one like him? Then use machines.
  •  Use MOMENTUM. Yes, you read right, use momentum. Fuck the form nazis, The Barbarian Brothers were right. Used correctly momentum is an weapon rather than a flaw. Heavy cheat curls have built million times more muscle than slow, controlled movements. Ask the Governor

Any comment is needless. 

Now onto the rice and butter, The Program.

This is a 4 week block. You train for three alternate days.

WEEK 1 and WEEK 3

Day 1                                                       Day 2                                           Day 3

Heavy Cheat curls                         Alternate Db Curls                       Heavy Kroc rows 
3 sets of 3 reps(Go heavy)             4 sets of 10 reps                          5 sets of 5 reps ( HEAAAVY)
Weighted dips                               No tricep work                           Close grip Bench Press
3 sets of 5 reps(Go heavy)                                                                5 sets of 5 reps (HEAAAVY)                                       
In week 3 break your bar weight PR in Day 1 and Day 3 Exercises.

WEEK 2 and WEEK 4

Day 1                                                       Day 2                                           Day 3

Heavy Rope Curls                                  Chin ups                               Weighted pull ups
3 sets of 5 reps                                       50 total reps                          5 sets of 3 reps
( You can use towels 
instead of ropes if you                                                                         Weighted push ups 
wish)                                                                                                   3 sets of 5 reps

Ultra strict Military
or Overhead Press
3 sets of 5 reps 

In week 4 break your bar weight PR in Day 1 and Day 3 Exercises.

Do not change any parameter in this program or you will lose your results. Go heavy like you mean it every time. No movement mentioned above is complex to execute, so no excuses please. You will get fugitive strong at the end of the 4 weeks and ready for Part II. Coming up next. Till then, carry on GUNNERS!