Exercises

Looking for some new exercises to introduce into your workout? I've got you covered... give these a try!

Does Tabata Work?

six pack absYou may have heard some chatter about Tabata workouts. But what are they? Do they work? And how can you use them?

Back in the mid-1990s, Tabata workouts were created by coaches of the Japanese speed skating team. Based on research around high intensity interval training, Tabata workouts consist of eight, 20-second high intensity rounds followed by 10 seconds of rest. In total, the workout is just four minutes long.

Here’s what an example Tabata workout could look like:

  • 20 seconds push-ups
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 20 seconds squat-jumps
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 20 seconds plank
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 20 seconds burpees
  • 10 seconds rest
  • Repeat x2

Short but intense, these four-minute, ultra-efficient workouts have become increasingly popular and widespread – especially in CrossFit and group exercise classes.

But does Tabata actually work?

The American Council on Exercise studied Tabata-style workouts and concluded that they meet or exceed established guidelines for improving cardiovascular fitness and modifying body composition. In terms of calorie burn, Tabata met guidelines for calorie expenditure for improving health and facilitating weight loss. In other words, Tabata workouts can provide some great benefits – especially for individuals with tight schedules.

So how can you use Tabata workouts?

If you don’t have a lot of time, doing a 4-minute Tabata workout is certainly better than nothing. Keep in mind, the idea is to crank up the intensity and power through the 20-second intervals. Even with just 4 minutes, you should feel significantly challenged.

If you want something more, many people perform 4 Tabata workouts in a row, with 1 minute of rest in between. In all, the workout will take just 20 minutes. And you’ll certainly feel it.

Personally, I like to use Tabata workouts as a finisher. In other words, I like putting a 4-minute Tabata workout at the end of my cardio and strength training program. If I worked my leg muscles, I might end the workout with a 4-minute Tabata workout that focuses on my lower body. It really can give your workout that extra oomph.

So, give it a spin. Try the above Tabata workout or put together your own routine.

P.S. Crunched for time and want to try a high intensity interval workout? Download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout and get started right now.

Friday Workout: Can You Beat My Time?

tumblr_myhrg90ghT1rbvfj1o1_500It’s Friday and a solid workout is a great start to your weekend.

Because I’m a big fan of efficient workouts that don’t waste time, I’ve got a challenge for you. Below, I’ve put together a kick-ass workout that I’d like you to try. You can do it at home, in your dorm or even in your office during a lunch break. Time yourself with a stopwatch and complete each exercise. Then, post your time in the comments below.

In case you don’t know how to perform any of the exercises, I’ve linked to an instructional video on YouTube for each.

Here’s the workout:

Remember, you’re doing this for time! So move quickly through the workout – but don’t compromise your form.

My time was 4:32. What did you get? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. For guided, 15-minute workouts that you can do at home and without any equipment, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout.

10 Commandments of Building Muscle.

davey wavey gymLike many gym goers, you’re probably looking to add some bulk in the form of muscle.

It’s true that all of us have different bodies and have experienced different fitness journeys – but there are some common threads that can help create an effective foundation for building muscle.

  1. Thou shalt perform 8 – 12 repetitions of each exercise. Different repetition ranges target different goals; for purposes of building size and strength, most trainers recommend a rep range of between 8 and 12. Lower ranges target strength and higher ranges target endurance.
  2. Thou shalt perform each set until failure. Simply put, this means that you’d be unable to perform an additional repetition at that resistance level without compromising form. If you are targeting 10 repetitions, this would mean that you couldn’t do an 11th. If you can, increase the resistance.
  3. Thou shalt use an overloading stimulus. This means subjecting the muscles to more than they’re capable of handling. When you do that, you’ll be creating tiny tears in your muscles, which then must be rebuilt back up stronger than they were before.
  4. Thou shalt progressively overload. Keep in mind, your overloading stimulus won’t be so overloading after a few weeks or a month. As your muscles grow, you’ll need to up the resistance to keep your muscles growing. You’ll need to continue doing this until you reach your goal.
  5. Thou shalt use free weights. If you’re just getting started with building muscle, you can get great results with your body weight (i.e., push-ups at home) or by using machines. But to really progress to create athletic-level muscle size and strength, you’ll need to hit the free weights. They allow you to progress to higher levels of resistance without the balancing assistance and limitations of strength training machines.
  6. Thou shalt eat before and after exercise. Before your workout, consume some sort of complex carbohydrate to ensure a steady release of energy during your workout. It will help you power through the routine. After your workout, consume simple carbohydrates (the resulting spike in your blood sugar will quickly get the glucose from the carbohydrates into your muscle cells where they’re needed) and protein.
  7. Honor thy body with rest and recovery. After you’ve created the tiny tears in your muscle, you must back off and allow your body a chance to rebuild them. This process makes the muscles stronger and bigger.
  8. Thou shall still do cardio. The truth is, cardiovascular exercise is great for all people, regardless of their goals. Because you don’t need the additional calorie burn, you’re doing cardio for the overall health benefits; as such, limit cardio to a handful of sessions per week that last less than 30 minutes. High intensity interval training is best-suited for individuals looking to retain and/or build muscle.
  9. Thou shalt consume sufficient calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat. Remember, you can’t build something out of nothing! To add any type of mass, you must consume more calories than required to maintain your body weight. Most trainers recommend a calorie surplus of 250 – 500 calories per day. Proteins provide the amino acids that muscles need to generate new tissue. Carbohydrates and dietary fats, on the other hand, provide the energy for the process to occur. Without these in place, your results will be hampered.
  10. Thou shalt assess progress. Every few weeks or perhaps once a month, look at your progress. Take measurements including muscle size, waist size and so on. Compare pictures. And then adjust your program accordingly. If you notice that you’re gaining fat, for example, decrease your calorie surplus accordingly.

Do you have any additional commandments for building muscle size? Share them in the comments below.

P.S. If you’re looking to add muscle mass, download Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle. It’s a guaranteed, step-by-step guide to achieving your size and strength goals.

Is Crossfit Better Than The Gym?

Dear Davey,

I have a few friends that are obsessed with CrossFit and swear that it’s a million times better than the gym. I know that you go to CrossFit and I was wondering what you think? Should I ditch my gym membership and try CrossFit?

From,
Stevie

7022884_nHey Stevie,

Comparing CrossFit and the gym is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Both provide great benefits, but it really depends on the person.

There are a few things that I love about CrossFit. For one, you get a sense of community and support. The workouts are completed in a group setting and they are highly structured. The entire workout is planned out – and instructors and classmates will push you to get through. The classes can also be competitive; for some people, this can be the motivational kick-in-the-butt that they need. And there’s no question that the workouts are awesome and effective.

On the flip side, CrossFit tends to be more risky. When you push yourself hard – especially with exercises that are unfamiliar – the risk for injury increases. That’s why CrossFit studios offer classes for beginners so that they can learn proper form and technique. If you do opt for CrossFit, it’s important to complete these introductory classes. Moreover, CrossFit is expensive; an unlimited CrossFit pass to my gym is $200/month. Having said that, I like to think of it as an investment in myself rather than an expense.

As someone who tends to be more introverted, the team spirit of CrossFit isn’t something that I particularly enjoy. In fact, I find it to be a bit cult-like at times. I much prefer the solitude and independence of a solo gym workout. Like CrossFit, my solo workouts are structured and effective (though some exercisers may lack the knowledge to put together a goal-oriented workout). And because I’m only competing with myself, I know that I’m less likely to push myself too far – and get injured.

For me, the answer isn’t either or… but both. Six mornings per week, I workout independently at my gym. And then two afternoons per week, I take a CrossFit class. It’s a big commitment, but it’s also something that I love doing. But at the end of the day, the debate over CrossFit versus the gym is really a personal decision.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear what you guys think. Have you tried CrossFit? Do you prefer the gym? Let us know!

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to building muscle, download Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle today! You’ll even get a free gift!

How To Tighten Your Anus.

Dear Davey,

I’ve been in a relationship for a few months now, and my boyfriend is extremely large down there. He’s around 10.5 inches and very thick. I enjoy bottoming for him, but I have to admit that I’m getting more and more loose. Sometimes it feels hard to hold my sh*t.

Any suggestions?

From,
Ben

how_to_measure_410Hey Ben,

Sounds like a crappy situation. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. :-P

I give exercise advice on this blog, and… as it turns out, your anus has two muscles. The inner ring is the internal sphincter and it’s an involuntary muscle. That means, it’s an automatic muscle and you’re not able to exercise it. The external sphincter, on the other hand, is a voluntary muscle and it is something that you can exercise.

But first things first, you may just be paranoid. Instead of becoming “loose”, it’s possible that you’ve just become more accustomed to handling his size. Problems can occur when inserting truly large objects like bottles, arms and so on. These objects can even result in muscle tearing.

A good indication that you truly have an issue is leakage. But there can be many causes of this including constipation, straining, general wear and tear or even childbirth.

Obviously, if you do have an issue, it’s important to consult with a physician.

Having said that, try this.

  1. First, squeeze your sphincter while sitting in a chair with your legs slightly apart. It will feel like you are trying to prevent a leak; you should feel the muscle contract. Do this without contracting your buttocks, tummy or legs. You should feel the sphincter lift up and off of the chair. Continue breathing!
  2. Now, try the first exercise. Tighten the sphincter as tight as you can; hold for five seconds. Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat at least five times to increase the strength of your sphincter.
  3. Now, try the second exercise. Tighten the sphincter to about half of your maximum tightness; hold for as long as you can. Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat at least five times to increase the endurance of your sphincter.
  4. Now, try the third exercise. Tighten and relax the sphincter as quickly as you can. Try for at least five sets.
  5. Do these exercises several times a day. You can do it in the car, while watching TV or even right now. No one will know!

I hope that helps.

And as a side note, I’m probably not the only one that wants to see a picture of your boyfriend’s… well, anyway! Good luck.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If tighter abs (and not just a tight anus) are part of your fitness goals, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program and get started today!