Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Private Fitness Sessions in London - Availability now limited

Due to a change in my schedule during my trip to England, my days that I am available for private training are now limited to just 5 days: January 4th - January 8th.
The gym that I will be training at is a newly remodeled, 35000 square foot, state of the art fitness centre. 

The address is:
Royal Leisure Park,
Great Western Way,
Park Royal,
London W3 OPA

Each session will last 90 minutes, and includes a full training session based on your needs.
If you would prefer to join me on one of my workouts then please note this when you purchase your time slot. There will be no cost to you to enter the gym, as this will be covered within the training price.

Below are the times that I currently have available for each day. When purchasing your session, please note which time slot you would like, as I will remove this from this link straight away.

Monday 4th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 11.30am - 1.00pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Tuesday 5th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 12.00pm - 1.30pm
Time Slot 3: 2.00pm - 13.30pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Wednesday 6th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 12.00pm - 1.30pm
Time Slot 3: 2.00pm - 13.30pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Thursday 7th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 12.00pm - 1.30pm
Time Slot 3: 2.00pm - 13.30pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Friday 8th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 12.00pm - 1.30pm
Time Slot 3: 2.00pm - 13.30pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Time Slots must be purchased online prior to the session taking place.
To book a time slot, see the link below, and include the day and time slot that you would like.
Nutrition plans also available as an add-on package.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First day back training hard: Rear Delts, Biceps & Forearms

Since winning the WBFF World Fitness Model Championships in canada a few months ago, I took some time away from the gym to not only give my body some time off, but to also get my motivation back. After all, during the 4 months I was training for the contest, I was in the gym pretty much every day, and when your putting your body through such an intense regime, it can start to feel less enjoyable, as it first did, and when that happens, you really have to give it everything you've got just to make it through the end of the workout! Taking some time off every now and then (just when you begin to lose that 'eye of the tiger' that we all first had when we first stepped into the gym, or started a new workout).
How do you know when it's time to get back into the gym? Well, when you find yourself getting excited again just thinking about going to the gym, then it's time. I took the best part of a month off from the gym, and because I ate fairly clean (Ok, so I had my fair share of cheat foods but that was part of my motivation when I was sweating it out in the gym for months during my pre-contest training, so I did feel like I deserved a little time off), when I did step back into the gym for a fully-focused workout (as opposed to going there because I felt as though I needed to keep some level of fitness up), my strength was still there. In many ways, I actually felt stronger because I had given my muscles adequate rest in which time they had fully recovered from all the stress they had received from months of hitting the weights hard.
I wanted to start back at the gym with a real enjoyable workout, and so decided to train rear delts (which had always given me an incredible pump in the past), Biceps (C'mon, who doesn't like working out their biceps), and Forearms (from reviewing the pictures of me on stage, I needed to work a little more on my lower legs and my forearms).
I went to my local gym in the valley close to where I live (Powerhouse). This is the workout that I did: (all weights in pounds)
Seated Military Press on Smith Machine (Behind the neck to top of ear line)
A great first exercise for warming up the shoulder complex. Good for building size too, especially if you want to work on the rear of the shoulders - which is most of us!
First two warm up sets: 15x50 / 15x70
First Workset: 8x90
Second Set: 8x100
Third Set: 7x105
Wide-Grip Cable Row (Using a Lat-Pull down bar)
Perform as you would with a seated row, except your grip is much wider, and performed with a limited range of movement. Only the 2nd half of the movement, keeping your elbows high, and pulling the bar up towards your upper chest.
First Set: 12x150
Second Set: 12x160
Third Set: 12x170
Incline-Facing Rear Flys (Dumbbells)
Set up a bench at a 35-degree incline, and keeping your knees on the lower-half of the bench with your chest on the upper part of the bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand and keeping the arms straight - raise the arms up towards the hips, rotating your knuckles outwards, pausing when the dumbbells are inline with your hips.
First Set: 12x20
Second Set: 12x20
Third Set: 12x20
Seated Rear Delt machine (Reverse Fly machine)
I only performed this exercise with a limited range of movement (the final part), thus keeping constant tension on the deltoids)
First Set: 12x120
Second Set: 10x150
Third Set: 10x165
Straight Bar Curl 
This is a great exercise for mass building as it places maximum stress on the muscle. If you feel a strain in the wrist, use an ez-bar, or stick with a preacher bench to isolate the bicep more. I stopped short of my thighs to keep constant train on the muscle, and squeezed hard at the top.
First Set: 12x80
Second Set: 10x90
Third Set: 10x90
Seated Preacher Curl (Alt. Arms w/Dumbbells. Single Sets)
A great exercise for peaking the bicep. I twist as I curl, rotating my thumb outwards as I curl, which places more stress on the inner part of the bicep. Great tip if your aiming to thicken out your biceps like a grapefruit!
First Set: 10x35
Second Set: 10x35
Third Set: 10x35
Seated Cable Preacher Curl (using straight bar)
Sit on a seated-row bench with your feet up on the bench, and position your elbows just below your knees. Keep this position fixed as you perform the exercise, curling the bar towards your chest.
First Set: 8x60
Second Set: 10x60
Third Set: 10x60
Performed as a tri-set x3
Each exercised performed once, then moving on to the next exercise without rest. Wait two minutes before repeating the tri-set.
Reverse EZ-bar curl
Perform like a standard curl, except use an overhand grip, and keep your thumbs over as well so that its more stress on the forearms 
Set: 12x50
Dumbbell Extension
Seated on a bench with your forearms resting on your knees.
Set: 12x50

D-Grip Squeeze
This is an old-skool piece of kit that's shaped like a large 'D', and really works on your grip and forearms.
Set: 15reps

after 3 complete sets of each exercise performed as a tri-set, I finished my workout with another tri-set - one the will really show out your endurance to the test, and a great gauge for if your comparing your workout to a previous one or that of your workout partners..

Here it is:

After only allowing a few minutes to recover from your last tri-set of forearms, perform these three exercises without any rest between each one, and executing each rep with a full range of movement.

Wide-grip chin-ups: 12
Dips: 37
Push-ups: 17

Give it a go and leave a comment on how you feel after!!

Good luck!

If your interested in having a personalized workout program or nutrition plan built for you, you can contact me at

Monday, December 14, 2009

Metabolic Meal

Meat Eater Type Meal

Since before the contest when I was on a very strict calorie restricted diet (somewhere between 1900 - 2300 calories a day), and consisting of a limited range of foods, I've decided to go back to the way I was eating before I started to diet hard, which was eating certain foods that fit my metabolism. That's to say that based on how my ancestors ate generations and generations ago, that these are the foods that my body has become able to digest and make use of best.

The fact is that nutrients not part of a persons cultural heritage are incompatible with that individuals biochemistry.

This has a lot to do with one's balance of blood ph between being acidic or alkaline.
Before I continue, let me first tell you about the nerves of the the autonomic nervous system, which extend from the brain through the spinal cord, and from there to the organs, are composed of two branches, the parasympathetic and the sympathetic, each regulating a different set of organ systems. 

The parasympathetic nerves ensure the survival of the internal body environment by accelerating the process of digestion and assimilation of food, and the repair and rebuilding of body cells.

The sympathetic nerves, on the other hand, protect the body from danger in the environment outside the body by speeding up the flow of hormones from the thyroid, adrenals, and pituitary. This makes the heart beat faster, the blood circulate more rapidly, and more oxygen to flow into the lungs, actions that speed up the thought processes and supply the body with bursts of energy needed in earlier times for fighting, hunting, and outmaneuvering enemies.

The sympathetic  and parasympathetic, however, not only speed up the functions of the organs over which each has control, but act as a brake on the other half of the autonomic nervous system by slowing it's actions.

I am a parasympathetic dominant individual (determined by answering a few short questions of which I'll come to a little later on), which means I am a fast oxidizer, and should eat foods such as beef, lamb, and venison because the body burns them up slowly, forcing the parasympathetic nerves to slow the rate at which they normally use up energy.

Now, I'm sure like I was at first, when reading this I was a little unclear as to how this impacted which foods I should be eating, and perhaps more importantly, which foods I shouldn't be eating, but with a little more research into the acid/alkaline diet, I soon uncovered a new level of understanding of how the body responds to certain foods, which will serve me well in continuing to build on my success as a natural athlete. And don't worry - I'll be making this all available for you to follow!

As a parasympathetic dominant individual, my body has large quantities of acid for the digestion of meat, and should limit my intake of of certain acidic nutrients such as Vitamin C, lemon juice, and vinegar so as not to speed up my already too rapid digestion of protein. An important factor to bare in mind when trying to build muscle because if your body is digesting protein too quickly, your body will be excreting higher levels of amino acids instead of your muscles uptaking much of what you think they are. Ask yourself this - Have you ever increased your protein intake whilst lifting heavy weights expecting to build muscle, when all you truly experience is a stronger smell to your urine, and perhaps even a little indigestion. 

In individual's with a slower digestion (sympathetic dominant individuals who are typically grain eaters, and usually blood type A), they are left with undigested food particles that turn into acidic waste. These find their way into the blood and lymph vessels that feed the insulin-producing glands in the pancreas. As these vessels become clogged with waste, they block the transport of insulin form the pancreas to the blood. Lack of insulin in the blood means that sugar doesn't get burned up, so that blood sugar levels become elevated and produce diabetic symptoms.

Ok, so back to the meal in the picture. This was a strip steak cooked on a George Foreman grill, and sprinkled with cayenne pepper, which stimulates good digestion, including the breakdown of fats. It's also a good overall body tonic. I cooked several root vegetables (bok choy, kale, and sprouting kale), in a closed pan with little heat, and instead of cooking in water, I used organic (no added salt) peeled tomatoes from a tin, so that much of the nutrients from the vegetables were not lost in the water when it was strained (unless you keep the water and drink it once cooled). Limiting my carbohydrate sources, I added a salad of organic endive leaves, romaine lettuce, green beans, plus spinach leaves - all of which provide an excellent source of roughage and rich in digestive enzymes. I added two tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which aside from increasing the flow of bile, olive oil assists in the breakdown of long-chained fatty acids.

Aside from water, there is more fat in the body than any other substance. Cellular membranes that surround the cytoplasm of each cell are made up of almost entirely of fatty acid (the form of fat into which the fat we eat is broken down), and the brain is more than 60% fatty acid. Moreover, fatty acids, along with protein (in the form of amino acids) play a vital role in the manufacture of energy. Transportation of oxygen by the red blood cells would not be possible without the fatty acid and protein membrane of the red blood cell through which oxygen gains entry into the cell.

I also added a handful of mixed berries (blueberries and blackberries), and mixed nuts (raw and natural almonds, cashew's, and walnuts), for added fiber and fats. (The combination of nuts and legumes - peas, ensure all the complete amino acids that the body cannot synthesize itself).

This is just a small glimpse of how I'm going to be changing my diet from now on, and I'll show you the results by posting my newly designed training program and progress pictures shortly on my website (which is also being rebuilt and launched early 2010).

If you are interested in having your own metabolic typing diet created for you, I have created a link of my store for only $99:

To keep up to date on all my workouts and meals, plus more on metabolic typing, make sure you sign up to follow my blogs.

Until next time - stay fit and strong, both in body and mind!

Rob Riches

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Morning Cardio/Abs Blast & Chest & Triceps & Gold's Gym, Venice

Woke up on time today. I was determined to. I made a promise to myself before going to sleep that I would be up and out of bed and get down to the gym to ensure I stay on track. It's so easy to hit that snooze button, and grab another 30+ minutes of sleep, but then that not only pushes my whole eating schedule back (by more than 30 minutes!), but also mean's I'm then rushing to get my morning workout in, and more likely to miss my final few sets, so it's important to stick to your schedule with as fewer deviations as possible if you want to succeed at your goal. Trust me - the pay off far outshines those moments of weakness or cravings, that it you can just get past them, will soon leave you, and you'll be all the more happier that you managed to stay on track!

Ok, so today I opted for 40-minutes of steady pace cardio on the upright bike. (I sometimes alternate 20 minutes on the bike, and 20 minutes brisk walking on an incline treadmill, but recently have been reading up on many of my old nutrition notes, books, and journals to refresh my knowledge and understanding of nutrition and how everything responds to certain stimuli. I mean, at this level, you really need to be aware that if you do this, that might happen, or if this isn't happening, then if you do that, you'll change the balance and see greater results - if you get what I mean. Only when you have a solid understanding of nutrition, kinseology, and a little experience I find helps, can you then start to really see the type of changes that I know we all wish for when were putting in the countless hours of training, and dedication and commitment to the lifestyle that must entail.

I'll soon be compiling many of my notes into several topic-repated articles available for all to see on my website - as well as eventually writing my book on progressive cycles and core nutrition, which I am getting close too each month. Once the competition is over, I will have a lot more time to dedicate to other projects that I am working on.

After 40-minutes of pretty intense cardio (level 12-14 @ 70+ RPM), I was determined to do my monster set of Abs (which is actually a reworked circuit of the ones that the great Frank Zane - an idol of mine, and with a good-will message from another one of my inspirations - Shawn Phillips I was determined to finish the 1,020 reps without unnecessary rests bewteen sets. If you haven't already - I urge you to read his book: ABSolution - a must for anyone wanting to achieve lean, tight abs, showing full definition and separation across the entire abdominal region. I've read it back to front, many times, and it continues to be a source of reference for me when I'm brining my abs back to their full competitive glory!

For the purpose of future blogs, I'm going to call this particular ab circuit as "Abs Circuit A", so that when I do them again, I can just refer to this page of my blog without having to write the full set each time.

I'll try and post a few pics shortly!

Superset 1:
Hanging Knee Crunches - 50:50:50
Cable Crunches - 50:50:50 (using 50-65lbs on the weight stack)

Superset 2:
Lying Leg Raises (of a bench) - 50:50:50
Crunches (25lb plate on chest) - 50:50:50

Superset 3: (triset)
Seated Twists (small barbbell across neck, arms out-stretched) - 50:50:50
Single Arm Cable Twists - 30*:30*:30* (*30 performed on each side)
Hyper-Extensions (Holding 25lb plate) - 30:30:30

Although my abs by now were feeling super tight, and somewhat fatigues, I was surprised to feel like I still had some energy left. A sign that I was conditioning my abs, as I can remember only a few weeks ago, when just one superset of 50 reps each seemed like that was all I can do. My advice to you is do whatever you can the best that you can do, and keep track of it. Each time you do it again, try and add 5-10 more reps on, and soon enough you'll be up there in the higher rep range. But remember - it's not just about the reps. As Shawn writes in his book - ABSolution, there are many factors that contribute towards a getting a solid six pack, and variation is perhaps your best weapon for fighting fat and chisiling those abs! Keep records, and when your progress slows, its time to change variables, and continue with your success! All you have to have is belief in yourself. The rest is in your hands!

By the way, I'll also be posting a full log sheet of my newly revised nutrition plan(s) over the following days, so stay tuned for those.

That wasn't the end of my training for the day though! No, I was heading back down the gym by 3pm to meet with my friend - a sexy hot new up'n'coming fitness model I'm helping to train (who really motivates me to train hard, plus she actually follows the same routine as I do, just a little lighter. After all, muscle is muscle, and if you want a certain muscle to grow, there's only real way to train - and thats heavy!).

We worked out Chest and Triceps, and as usual, you can see my training split at my Bodyspace.

Here's a quick overview though, and again, I'll try and post a few pics of the exercises soon enough so that you can see what I am talking about, as I know many of the same exercises have different names and slightly different areas of focus.

Bench Press: 4 x 12-6 reps
Incline Machine Press: 3 x 10-6 reps
Weighted Dips: 4 x 15-10 reps
Incline Dumbbell Flys: 2 x 9-6 reps
Dumbbell Pullovers: 2 x 8-10 reps
Lying French Press: 3 x 10-6 reps
Overhead Dumbbell Press: 2 x 9-6 reps
Tricep Pushdowns: 2 x 10 reps

Chest and arms felt as though they were on fire by the end of it. 9 out of 10 for the workout!

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I'm back at the gym early morning for cardio and abs - again, plus legs back at Gold's Gym. I'll be filming this workout, so make sure you don't miss it!

Stay strong and healthy.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Morning Cardio + Evening Calves + Forearms

I had all the intention of waking early this morning - I'm talking 5.30am, so that I could get down the gym and back for my morning cardio/abs blast and be back home by 7-7.30 for my first meal of my new nutrition plan, so that I could start the week of on track, but for some reason, I slept through my alarm and didn't wake until 6.30 am which meant it was already past 7 am when I got to the gym, and nearly 8.30 am by the time I got back home to eat - at least an hour past my first scheduled meal, which consequently forced me to push all my other meal times back a little, and to try and get them all in for the day, which has left me feeling a little rushed throughout the day.

But more about my new nutrition plan later, as I will be posting an overview on my fitness site - once I have developed a further 2 entire new food days, but remember - if you are following my exercises and nutrition plans, don't expect the same results that I am planning for, as there are many different factors that aside from just 'what I eat' and 'what I do', plus, I have been doing this for many years now, so my body is perhaps far more accustomed to these changes, and therefore will adapt quicker than likely those who are not as experienced or conditioned. I will be posting how I worked everything out, although much of what I do is based on me knowing how my body responds to changes, so even if you were following everything excactly word-for-word, you still may not see the results you want.

You can follow me on twitter, and see many of the meals that I am eating, including the nutrition ratio breakdowns.

Ok, morning cardio - same as yesterday. 30 minutes of short 20-second interval sprints, followed by just 1 set each of my usual ab circuit - as I was conscious of time, and wanted to get back home to eat!!

Usual day - editing (a really cool program I shot at the 75th Muscle Beach Physique Show in Venice, with Ms. Fitness America - Sherry Goggin hosting. Soon to be seen on LAMuscle.TV and quite possibly Sky TV), plus my new meal plans every 2.5-3 hours, which can be seen on my twitter site.

Today was my small muscle group day - Calves & Forearms, which allow me to really hit them both very hard, with maximal intenisty, instead of trying to hit them after a full workset on a large group such as chest, back, or legs.

Again, you can see a full breakdown of my exercises, sets, reps and weights on my Bodyspace site, but I have also posted an overview of my workout below.

Standing Calf Raises: 4 x 15-12 reps (New personal best set)
Seated Calf Raise: 3 x 12-10 reps
Donkey Calf Raises: 3 x 10-12 reps (New personal best set)
Decline Donkey Calf Raises: 3 x 10-12 reps
Rotary Calf Press: 3 x 15-12 reps

Reverse Grip Preacher Curl: 3 x 15-8 reps
Supinated Barbell Wrist Curl: 3 x 15 reps.

2 new personal bests! Not a bad workout at all, although once home, I had to apply a heat pack to my lower back as the stress from the 1/2 deadlifts had caused it to become slightly inflammed - a sign that I had created a lot of micro-tears in my lower lumbar, and with adequate rest, recovery and good nutrition, I can expect some good gains over the following months in size in my lower back.

Ok, early-ish night for me today, as i've gotta be up early to do it all over again tomorrow.

Stay tuned..

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lower Back & Hamstrings at Gold's Gym, Venice, CA

Again, I was debating after waking up this morning, whether to take another day off from the gym, as my body was still feeling sore and somewhat tight! Another sign that with good rest and nutrition, I could expect to see some gains, even though I'm now 10 weeks out from the WBFF World Finals. In fact, after eating my oatmeal and egg whites, I went back to sleep for another 2 hours. After waking at around 10.30 am I was feeling a little more my normal self, and decided that I was just tired and not suffering from the past workouts - although they could still be felt, believe me!

After showing, and my 2nd meal (canned sardines mixed with a Tbspn of Salsa and 1 tspn of hot sauce, all on a slice of dark toasted rye bread) I put together my supplement stack that I've created for weight training when dieting into my pill box so that I could take when I am half way to the gym for maximum results, as the drive from my home into Venice is about 40 minutes, but can take over an hour if traffic is bad, and once in the gym, the supplements will have faded from providing optimal results.

You can find a full list of my supplements and which ones I take and when on my new fitness website - although to give you a quick overview of them, they consisted of:

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine
Co-Enzyme Q10
N-Acetyly L-Glutamine
Norateen Hollywood Body

On the way to the gym I knew I was in for a good workout. I was training with a good friend of mine, Dave Catudal, who has competed in a few similar shows that I have, plus we share much the same attitude to training - do it right, or go home. Also, after a days rest, and with lower back and hamstrings on todays muscle menu - both muscle groups being 'Pull Muscles', in which I seem to be far stronger comparatively than with push exercises, I knew that I would be achieveing some new personal bests, and because of that very approach before even stepping into the gym - I did. In fact, I not only achieved some personal bests, but I smashed them by at least 15%!!

You can view the full breakdown of all my exercises, sets, reps and weights at my Bodyspace by clicking here.

After a relatively short workout (compared to most where I usually have more exercises involved, but was so caught up with talking to different people in the gym, and allowing longer rest times bewteen sets given the heavier weights I was attempting), I walked out of the gym expecting to feel very sore in my lower back and hamstrings, but couldn't wait until a few more sessions like over the following weeks, and to be standing on stage a good 5-8 lbs heavier than I ever have been previously, with my condition peaking at somewhere between 4-6%. I knew I was doing everything I possibly could to ensure I gave myself the best chance of winning the world title at the WBFF World Championships!

My work had been done for today.

Thats all for now folks, but stay tuned for even more intense workouts this week, as I attempt to train with different people who motivate and inspire me, at different gyms around LA to keep my motivation high.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Morning Cardio - Abs (New Split)

When I woke this morning, I knew I had performed well in the gym the past few days, as my body was unusually sore, which on one side was good sign that I was on the right track for the competition which was now 10 weeks away today, but on the other side, I really felt like I could have done with a few more hours in bed. Although, had I off done that, I would not have only missed out on my morning cardio/abs blast, but it would have also pushed my whole days nutrition into chaos, so with my eyes still only half open, and my body feeling like what I can only imagine it being like after being hit by a car, my auto pilot kicked in, and somehow managed to get to from my bed to the gym, all before the clock hit 7 am.

I had already taken my usual stack of fat-burning and muscle-protecting supplements, which can all be found on my fitness website: along with all my competition prep and forth coming projects.

Once at the gym, I decided that I wouldn't - or rather couldn't, manage intervale sprints on the bike, but also didn't want to do steady pace for 40-minutes plus, as then by the time I got through Abs, and got back home, it would be pushing for 9 am and would have caused me to have to compact all my daily meals closer together, or consume more in fewer meals - either I don't like doing, as this will not only slow my metabolsim, but could also spike my insulin high enough to cause my body to start to hoard extra calories into fat cells for fear of a drop again as I go back to fewer calories in smaller meals the following day.

I decied to do shorter intervals which would only last for about 20 seconds each interval, and then allow an uncapped time for recovery, allowing as long as I felt I needed before cranking up the interval and going into another sprint.

Therefore my morning cardio today looked something like this:

3 min warm up on upright bike, level 5 at 65rpm.
Then I cranked up the intensity to level 9 (normally I am at level 12 for intervals), dropped my shoulders, and keeping my toes only on the pedals to allow for faster revolutions, I hit 20 seconds at 135 rpm (again, normally my rpm during intervals doesn't creep up much past 100). After just 20 seconds my HR was racing, and I could already start to feel the lactic acid build up in my legs.

My recovery took about 30 seconds, but after a few more of those, I found it took as long as 60 seconds to get back down to a point where I felt I could give it my all again for 20 - 25 seconds.
I was purely working on my phosphate energy system, and so 20 seconds was about all I could manage of all-out-effort sprints - Which is about the time it take for some of the fastest men on earth to complete the 200m. The longest distance that most can run at full energy!

I talk alot about the different energy systems, and which ones are best for fat-loss, dieting, and during competition when trying to preserve as much muscle as possible whilst also trying to burn those final few pounds, or by then, even just 1 pound, of body fat, that coud make the difference between placing first of second, in my competition DVD called Turning Pro, which you can order exclusively from my online store.

After 30 minutes, and I guess, somewhere of 12-15 x 20 second sprints with varying times of recovery, I was done. I mean I was really done. My heart rate was pounding, I was sweating from head to toe, and I really felt like I had had a great fat-burning cardio session.

Time to move on for Abs.

Even though I had a great cardio session, I was still feeling exhausted from my previous days training, but couldn't leave without doing at least some abs, so I decided to cut the final sets out of my usual 1000+ rep ab routine that I've been doing lately, and have been seeing some impressive results!

As usual, all exercises are performed as a superset, completing one exercise then moving straight on to the next with no rest, and then allwoing a minute for recovery before repeating the same super-setted exercise 2 more times, except today I would only do each superset twice.

Superset 1
Decline Fixed Leg Hip Raises: 50:50
Ab Crucnhes (Shoulders of ground with 25lb plate on chest): 50:50

Superset 2:
Hanging Knee Crunches (using Aboriginals): 50:50
Cable Crunches (45lbs on cable stack): 50:50

Superset 3 (Performed as Tri-Set):
Seated Bar Twists: 50:50
Single Arm Cable Crunches (45lbs on cable stack) 30:30
Hyper-Extensions (holding a 25lb plate to chest): 30:30

Total reps: 680

I actually left the gym feeling pretty good considering that just over an hour ago, I was debating whether I should even go to the gym or not. Proof that even if your not feeling 100% up for it (unless you actually are sick, in which I say rest, rest, rest!), modifying your workout by switching up the exercises, the intenisty, and/or the time training, can make the difference between benefiting from the workout, or just wasting your time at the gym.

Now I've got my weights workout to look forward to later today!!

God give me strength!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Shoulders and Biceps @ Gold's Gym, Hollywood

Today I workout with my good Buddy, Dave Catudal at the Gold's gym that he works at in North Hollywood. I always love training with Dave as we both have the same mentality when it comes to 'all or nothing' so we always push each other and motivate each other to often more than we can when we train alone. Plus, Gold's Hollywood is a different gym than I am used to training in, and so that also kept my motivation high, and helped get me through my workout, which are now becoming increasingly more difficult - as I push for every last muscle fiber to be taxed before ending my workout, as every session really does count now that it's down to the final 10 weeks.

For the full breakdown of my workout - check out my Bodyspace link here.

Made some great gains this workout, and lifting with someone different (on the same page as I am when it comes to training), and switching up the locations every now and then can really help towards pushing your workouts, and therefore your progress into an entirely new level.

For full updates on my training progress, check out my fitness website:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back @ Gold's Gym, Venice

The race is on! I'm telling you, I am back on track, no, in fact, I'm on a whole new track.
I dont remember ever being this focused for a competition, and with 10 weeks left, and my 6 (or more like 8) pack starting to become clearly visible, I'm now more motivated than ever!!
I'll be posting a few new pics soon!

I met with my friend today at Gold's Gym in Venice. No, we're not dating or anything, we just both share the same passion for fitness, and as she's looking to do her first competition in August, we are helping each other stay highly motivated.

Today's focus group was Back - the Lats and middle-upper back to be more precise, as I felt after a heavy quads session the day before, any lower back work such as deadlifts and hyperextensions would somewhat aggravate my legs, and impact their recovery.

You can see the full breakdown of my exercises, sets, reps and weights on my Bodyspace, as well as all my other previous workouts to date (I've only recently started using it again overthe last 2 weeks, but I'll try and keep it updated as often as I train).

Today was a fairly quick workout - mainly because my friend had to drive back to babysit her nephew, and I had to get back home to finish some more editing.

After a couple of light warm up sets on the Lat Pulldown machine, I strapped up (wrist straps), and loaded up the stack. After just 2 sets, I was lifting the heaviest weight I can remember doing - 240lbs, with control and good form for each rep, finishing off with a couple of underhand pulldowns with even more weight - 260lbs.

After feeling a great pump in my back, I moved onto Bent Over Rows, and once again, loaded up the weight for a couple of overhand sets, followed by 2 more sets of close-grip underhand rows. Using straps on each set to ensure my hands would not be the weak link in the chain, and force me to rack the weight before my back had fully fatigued.

By now, my gym vest was feeling tight on my body, as my lats had flared out and delts and traps were pumped full of blood. I decided to make full use of this pumped effect, and knock out some heavy sets of machine pulldowns (Iso Lateral - Fixed angle pulldown) and managed - with a little help from my friend who was spotting, to pull down 300lbs for 8 solid reps. If you'd have seen her spotting, it would have put a smile on your face, as there I was, nearly 190lbs pulling down 300lbs, with my friend weighing little over 100lbs (she's built well, and is by no means skinny), holding onto the top of the bar with al her might! I swear, had I of let go quickly, it would have flung her half way across the gym!!

I finished off with seated cable pulls, using two handles attached to the cable (so that both arms were pulling an equal weight, and not compensating for the weaker side by using a fixed grip or bar). Again, I went heavy-ish, and loaded the stack up to 210, with a solid 10 reps. I still feel as though I could have done more though! One of the many benefits of keeping records each time you lift - so that you can make necessary changes to each workout, and look back and see when you hit a plateau, what can be changed or modified!!

Although it wasn't a very long workout, and only 4 different exercises in total, I actually felt better that I lifted as heavy as I could for as long as I could, then got out of there before I started to become catabolic, and waste my time trying to do more exercises when I should be refuelling, and letting my body start the recovery process.

As soon as we were out of there, I took my supplements (5g L-Glutamine, 5g BCAA's, a further 2 Norateen Hollywood Body, and had an Orange, Carrot, Lemon and Ginger smoothie, plus a few cubes of Papaya fruit - great source of anti-oxidants, fiber and free-radical fighting properties, followed by about 6oz of chicken on the drive home. Not my usual post-workout meal, but sometimes you just need to make the most of what you have available to you, and when I'm with friends, I'll always try and accomodate them first, rather than grab a protein shake, and leave them feeling like they shouldnt be eating anything! Just make sure that what you do eat is within your daily nutrition plan. Once you know your numbers, its easy to modify and be able to continue a successful training plan no matter where you are.

For more updates and everything health and fitness - join up a free fitness account at

Morning Cardio/Abs Blast

Woke feeling good today. Alarm went off at 5.45, but I hit sleep for another 15 minutes. (I gotta be getting out of bed by 5.30 so that I can get to the gym, do my morning cardio, and be back home ready for my first meal, so that I can stay on track with smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to help burn off these last few pounds of body fat).

Usual supplements taken prior to gym.

5g L-Glutamine
5g BCAA's (mixed in with a little low-cal sports drink to aid uptake, plus to make it taste a little better!)
2 LA FatStripper Intense
6g L-Carnitine

and about half a liter of water.
For more information about these supplements, check out this link here.

If you've been keeping up with my blogs, you'll know that I trained legs hard yesterday, and so cardio sprints just didn't seem an option for me this morning.

Instead, I did upright bike for 20 minutes at an intensity of 12 (12 out of 20), with a speed of 70 rpm, and then a brisk walk on the treadmill for another 20 minutes at a speed of 3.6 mph and an incline of between 6.5 - 8. Again, my HR watch ceased to work, but I would guess I burned close to 500 calories from cardio alone.

Then on to abs.. Here's my insane abs split!
performed as supersets with no rest between exercises, then 2 minutes rest before starting the next set of supersets with new exercises.

Superset 1
Bent Leg Hip Raises (on a decline bench) 50:50:50
Standard Crunches (Shoulders off ground) with 25lb plate on chest. 50:50:50

Superset 2
Lying Leg Raises (performed on a bench, hands by side, legs straight to 70-degrees up) 50:50:50
Cable Crunches. 50:50:50

Superset 3
Oblique Rotations (holding a plate close to my chest) 50(25lb) : 50(25lb) : 50(35lb)
Single Arm Cable Crunch (with a twist to work obliques) 30:30:30 (all with 90lbs - single cable pulley)
Hyper-Extensions (Holding a 25lb plate). 30:30:30

Total time in gym: 80 minutes
Total reps on abs: 1020
Total calories burned: At a guess, probably just over 1000!

As soon as I got home, I took the same supplements as I did prior to hitting the gym (minus the fatstripper's), and took my multi-vitamin packet with another 1/2 liter of water.
Plus 5g of Fish Oil capsules, high in Omega 3.

For breakfast, I kept it simple.

80g of Quaker Oats
60g of BSN Syntha 6 Chocolate Mint protein (mixed with water for a shake)
100g of frozen raspberries & blueberries (split 50:50) - good source of fiber.

Here is the total nutritional breakdown.

Total Calories: 611
Total Protein: 40
Total Carbs: 80
Total Fat: 15

I always have 25% of my total carb intake for my morning meal, and a further 25% of my carbs post workout, with the remainder 50% split throughout my other 4 meals of the day.
More on this later.
You can keep track and plan of all your nutritional meals by using my nutrition planner that I devloped for this very purpose. To be your own nutrition accountant!

Got work to do now.
Stay posted for my evening workout when I'll be hitting back and arms.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quads & Calves - Heavy @ Gold's Gym, Venice, CA

After taking a day off yesterday to rest, and allow my body to recover from the previous two days of grueling workouts (except an hour of steady pace cardio yesterday morning), I felt refreshed and eager to get down the gym and hit my legs hard in the hope that I could shock the type 2b fibers into a growth spurt before my calories become too low to the point where it will be impossible for me to gain any additional muscle, and am purely just trying to hold on to muscle as my body sheds as much fat as possible.

For those of you who have been to Gold's gym in Venice, California, you'll know that it just has this atmosphere that motivates you to go above and beyond your usual level of commitment to the weights.

It was hot today, although not as hot as it has been for the past few days. (peaking at 100f), and whilst I like it when it's warm, when it's too hot, hitting the weights is one of the last things I want to be doing. In fact, my body just wants to shut down and sleep, but today was different.

I was focused, and had been looking forward to training legs since the last time I hit them hard, and found it difficult to walk the day after because my muscles were so sore! A sign (for me at least), that my workout was efficient, and my legs would have to grow in order to take on the increased poundages that I would unwaveringly subject them to until I was happy with them.
That, and I was once again training with a friend of mine - no, not some big beefhead who'll scream at me if I can't finish the set, but a woman I met at a recect fitness filming who is on a similar pathway to become a model. Although she may not be able to support me in the exercises that someone of equal size and strength may be able to do so, but just her being there is enough to get me pumped for some of the biggest sets I've attempted this year! Must be all those brain stimulants in the form of dopamine that are being realsed, and such a rush that even with nearly a 1000lbs on the legg press wanting to squash me into a pulp, I still didnt want to give up!

Seriously - give it a try. Train with your girlfriend, your partner, or just someone who perhaps looks to you for help, as you find your sudden conscious awareness of explaining form and technique translate into your workout, making sure that you get every last muscle fiber engaged in the set, and really make the most out of every exercise!

Ok, enough about that.. here's the work set that I did:
Sorry about not keeping track of the weights. I was so focused on helping my training partner with her form that I just couldnt keep track of everything. I'll keep better records next time.

Squats (2 sets warm up): 3 sets - I know that my main workset consisted of 8-10 reps of 315lbs
Leg Press: Straight into heavy sets. 4 heavy sets. My best being 8 reps at 900lbs
Walking Lunges (Barbell) 3 sets. I walked the length of the outdoor pen with 155lbs on the bar.
Knee Entensions. 3 sets. 12-15 reps.I maxed out the rack on my 2nd set, and so tied a 25lb plate to the stack for the 3rd set.

Calves - sweet and short here. I was starting to feel hungry and needed to refuel, plus my legs were starting to shake even when I was walking between machines.

Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets. maxed out at 195lbs
Slanted Calf Raises (like standing calves but on a machine at a 34-degree angle). 4 sets. 12-15 reps.

Not the most I've done for legs (quads) before, but certainly one of the most intense leg workouts I can remember.

As soon as I was out the gym, I took 6g of L-Glutamine, and took 5g of BCAA's mixed into a low-cal sports drink. I also took a multi-vitamin pack (2nd of the day).

We then both headed to the famous Firehouse restaurant to eat, which consisted of a shared bowl of turkey and egg white scramble, with cilantro and tomato (if you've ever eaten there - on the corner on Rose St and Main St in Venice, you'll know they have some of the best food you can ever eat post-workout), and shared a plate of buckwheat pancakes with added blueberries and chocolate chips - which we both needed to replenish delpleted glycogen stores.

Keep posted, as they'll be more tomorrow as I'm back at Gold's training.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Morning Cardio - No Abs

I have been hitting it hard in the gym over the past few days and had planned today to be a complete rest day, although I woke early (as I normally do now as my body clock has settled back into its old routine), so I decided I would just go to the gym and do cardio, and possibly some abs, depending how I felt after.

As per usual, I drink close to half a liter of water when I wake, and then take 5g of L-Glutamine along with 5g of BCAA's, 6g L-Glutamine, and 2 capsules of LA FatStripper Intense.

I knew even before I had got into the gym that it was perhaps not the best idea to had come, as I had that feeling just behind my eyes that I get when I feel my body is over stressed - often in the days before coming down with a cold, but I hoped that that was not the case.

I was in no mood to do any type of interval training, so figured at least if I sat on the bike and kept my HR at least above 60% (MHR) then it would be worth coming for.

When doing steady state cardio, I normally read, and today I continued reading a book that I have read many times before, and was one that had I of not read before, would have written one almost word for word. The book is called 'Everything you need to know about fat loss' by Chris Aceto. If you have't yet already read it from cover-to-cover and then re-read it time and time again, I strongly urge you to!

No much to write about for my cardio. Just 60mins on an upright bike with an intensity level ranging from 12-14 and an RPM of around 60. Then I went home, and ate breakfast (oatmeal with added coconut oil and sweetened with Stevia), and a Chocolate-Mint, BSN Syntha 6 shake.

Plus a further 5g L-Gluatmine, 5g BCAA's, and my multi-mineral supplements, and as of today - 8g of EFA's

I feel well rested today. Check back tomorrow for another double-gym session, and a heavy legs session. I'll try and get some video of it too.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Calves & Forearms

I didn't think I would make it down to the gym again tonight.
I had a stressful day in the editing room preparing programs I have been involved in for the launch of LA Muscle TV on Sky TV early next month, but I seemed to be on auto-pilot as I found myself at the entrance to the gym thinking to myself - What am I doing here? I have too much work to do, and am feeling drained from my morning cardio/ab blast, and stress of the day.

But I continued on auto-pilot into the gym and started my calf workout. I soon found the energy and strength within to somehow turn around what could have quite easily been a missed workout, into what was probably my best calf workout I think I've ever had!

I'm never without my iPod in the gym, and can always be heard listening to either Trance from such DJ's as Tiesto, Armin Van Burin, and Deadmau5, or hip-hop/rap, mostly going through the entire catalog of Lil' Wayne's songs. (I mostly have on Trace during cardio because the fast beat, and europhic state of mind it puts me in, helps me keep to a rythmn during such workouts, and Hip-Hip/Rap when weight lifting, which has a slower beat that I usually lift to, and melody's that just get me pumped. If you've heard some of Lil Wayne's latest mix tapes then you'll know what I mean!)

Ok, so here is the workout that I did this evening, and as always, you can check out my bodyspace for a full listing of the sets, reps and weights.
As always before training, I took 5g of L-Glutamine, and 5g of BCAA's to help protect from the breakdown of muscle , which is especially important as I am dieting and want to try and keep as muscle muscle as possible whilst losing fat. I also took 2 tablets of Norateen Hollywood Body. A natural testosterone booster that helps give me focus and a greater sense of strength when training. For a full listing of supplements, check out my post on my fitness website.

Standing Calf Raises
Seated Calf Raises
Bent Donkey Calf Raises
I couldn't even find enough weight to hit muscle failure!

Incline Donkey Raises
Rotary Calf Machine

Each exercise performed as a tri-set with no rest between exercises.
Pronated Dumbbell Wrist Curls
Seated Barbell Wrist Curls
D-Grip Squeezes (aka: Ivanko Super Gripper)

Morning Cardio/Abs Blast

Up at 6.15am today - a little later than I wanted to, as I normally set my alarm for 5.30, but I had a bit of a late night last night watching Slumdog Millionaire. If you haven't already seen this film, I urge you to watch it. One word. Incredible.

Ok, so back to the training, which is why you guy's follow me, and not to hear about which films I watched last night :-)

Right, so upon waking, I consumed 1/2 liter of water, with 5g of L-Glutamine, plus 5g of BCAA's.
I also took 2 LA Muscle Fatstripper Intense and 5g of L-Carnitine.

Once at the gym, I did 20 minutes of HIIT on the upright bike:
3 min warm up @ Level 7 Intensity (out of 20), and 70RPM
then 10 x 1 minute sprints, where I turned the intensity up to level 12 and maintained an RPM of no less than 100. During my recovery times, I dropped the intensity back down to 7 and allowed my RPM's to drop to about 60.
After my 10 sprints, I did a further 3 minute cool down to allow my HR to return to a near normal level.

Once done, I embarked on my new Ab routine, in which I've cut out doing any side bends, so as to focus on a smaller, more muscular waistline, without building up my side obliques quite as much.

Here is the workout routine, which took me about 35 minutes to complete.

Performed as supersets:
Hanging Knee ups. (Using Aboriginals) 50/50/50
Cable Crunches: 50/50/50

Lying Leg Raises (only up to a 75degree angle) 50:50:50
Ab Crunhes (10lb plate on my chest): 50:50:50

Seated Rotational Twists (using a light barbell - no weights) 50:50:50
Oblique Cable Crunches (Single arm to knee) 30:30:30 (each side)
Hyper Extensions (holding a 10lb plate): 30:30:30

Towards the end of each workset, I may only be able to do 30 reps, rest for a few seconds, and then complete a further 20 reps.

Unfortunately, my Polar Heart Rate watch wasn't working today, so I cannot post how many calories I burned, but form past experiences, I know it was between 700 - 900 calories.

I sipped on water throughout, and made sure I consumed another half liter once done, along with taking a further 5g of L-Glutamine, and 5g BCAA's.

Once home, I prepared the following meal:
Egg White Scramble (6 egg whites, 2 yolks)
Cooked with a little coconut oil

1 slice of slightly toasted dark Rye bread.

1/2 a small avocado

Plus my multivitamins and 1 capsule of EFA.

If interested, you can check out my nutrition planner and create your own options, with full nutritional breakdown

Stay tuned for my weights workout later this evening.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shoulders & Biceps Workout

Feeling like I'm really back on track now with my training. It's been about 2 weeks since I started really focusing on my competition approach by starting my early morning cardio training and Abs split, and I won't lie - it wasn't easy getting into such a strict routine, and my diet took almost as long for me to not feel like cheating or eating more. They say that a habit is formed over 3 weeks, but can be broken within 3 days. So if your embarking on such a training routine, or following my plan which I'll be posting daily, don't expect to stay on track from the get-go, but by staying as close to the plan as you possibly can, you'll be sure to form a habit that will allow things to get easier over time. That said, if you do go off track from your diet or training, except it, forgive yourself, and get back on the starting blocks the very next day. If you leave it for too long, you'll find it so much harder to get back on the track to success. Stay focused, forgive yourself for any minor set backs, and keep your eyes on the bigger picture!

Ok, so on to the workout! Before I layout my workout, let me first tell you about the supplements I am taking. For past competitions I have relied pretty heavily on supplementation (Natural ones that can be purchased from the shelves of any sports supplementation store), but whilst I cannot say that they did not give me an edge over had I have not taken any, I felt that I was becoming to reliant on them, which would not only effect my state of mind during workouts when I ran out of them, or forgot to take them during a few sessions, but was also a pretty heavy weight on my wallet, as I'm sure you've all found - supplements stacks are far from cheap. With that said, there are still a number of supplements that I wouldn't want to go without, and these are:

Glutamine, BCAA's, Whey Isolate, EPA, Multivitamin, in addition to ZMA and Melatonin (prior to sleep). More about these later on.

I felt really good going into the gym today. The weather was crazy hot - close to 100f, and I was already starting to look vascular from the drive to the gym.

Here is the overview of my workout for Shoulders and Biceps. I know it was a lot of sets, but seeing as though I was in the mood to keep going, I just kept going (I wouldn't normally train like this, and as a result, my workout tomorrow will no doubt be at a lower intensity, but I made some of my best lifts this year today).

Weight in lbs / Reps
For full sets, reps and weights, check out my BodySpace:

Seated Military Press (Behind the head - to top of ears)
Seated Dumbbell Presses
Standing Dumbbell Front Raises
Bent Over Rear Dumbbell Flys
Standing Behind-the-back Lateral Cable Flys
Upright Rows

Olympic Bar Curls
Standing Alt. Dumbbell Curls
Cable Preacher Curl

Gave myself a 9.5 out of 10 for today's workout. One word. Awesome!