Understanding Time Under Tension

1 week ago, I introduced a technique to my workouts which I believe have given me results in a relatively short period of time.

Coming to think of it, it’s not so much a technique as it is a process in how you train. I’m talking about time under tension, or TUT for short.

Nothing pains me more than seeing guys (and girls, although not as bad) training aimlessly, going through the motions while paying little or no attention to what they’re actually doing. And then they have the cheek to come up to me and ask me “what are you taking?” simply because they’re not seeing the results they’d hoped for. Sorry if I sound a little self-conceited, but it’s true!

Now, I know you’re not ignorant, but that’s not to say I can’t help you. More after the cut.

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Somatotypes – What’s Your Body Type?

Before taking that first step towards a healthier lifestyle, there’s something you need to know: no two bodies are the same.

“Somatotype” is a term that refers to an individual’s body type, of which can fall into either one of three categories: an ectomorph, a mesomorph or an endomorph.

Typically, your somatotype has influence on both your diet and training, and for that reason it’s important that you know yours. More after the jump.

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Forming a routine

 

Be honest; how many times have you said “diet starts on Monday”? Honestly, I used to say it a lot.

Therein lies the problem; as the week progresses, the workload also progressively piles up. In the end, there is very little time left on the clock to workout or prepare a healthy meal. Before we know it, we’re already waiting for next Monday to come along so that we can once again turn over that so called leaf.

It’s a vicious cycle.

After the cut, you will find some tips that will hopefully put an end to this leaf turning once and for all.

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From Square One│Hamstrings + Calves + Abs

Saturday 8th October 2011

Muscle Groups: Hamstrings + Calves + Abs
Started: 11:00am Ended: 1:00pm

It’s been a while since I last update you on my training.

Since then, I have become stronger, bigger and yet leaner. Today marked the 36th day of the From Square One series, which means that there are only 11 weeks or 77 days left to go. How am I feeling? Right now, I’m feeling confident that I’ll reach my target of 78kg for 6% body fat.

When I woke up this morning, I felt relieved that there was no cardio. I usually do cardio first thing in the morning Monday to Friday, and now that I’m 11 weeks out, Sunday too. That said, Saturday’s mean one thing, no wait, three things – hamstrings, calves and abs. Man, I was feeling insanely sore after yesterday evening’s shoulders, forearms and abs workout.

Furthermore, those of you who have been following this series will know that I’m planning on reducing my daily carbohydrate intake by 30g’s every week, except for the first two weeks which will be 60g. So, up until today, my daily carbohydrate intake has been 365g’s, which I have now reduced to 305g’s.

I eventually rolled out of bed at 8am (as oppose to 5.45am) and headed downstairs to make breakfast, which also doubled up as my pre-workout meal. More after the cut.

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From Square One│Chest + Biceps

Monday 17th October 2011

Muscle Groups: Chest + Biceps
Started: 5:30pm Ended: 6:45pm

With 66 days left of the From Square One series, I knew that from now on out, it was all or nothing.

Considering I was in this mood, I made sure that my body was adequately fed before the workout; tuna, sweet potatoes, almond butter and spinach – a killer pre-workout combo.

On the way to the gym, I mapped out the workout in my head. I really wanted to focus on sculpting the chest today as oppose to lifting super heavy for the sake of building mass. Find out how it went down on the reverse.

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Back Attack

I remember when I first joined the gym in ’06 as a chubby teen. During my induction, I was asked how and where I would like to improve physically. Besides the obvious, I replied “I would like a wide back with broad shoulders, like those guys on the cover of magazines”.5 years on, and I would argue that my back, along with my shoulders and arms, are my strongest muscle groups. How? Find out after the cut.

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5 Must Do Exercises

Over the past few days, I have compiled a list of the top 5 exercises that I couldn’t go without.

Now as I’m entering the second-half of the From Square One series, I’m finding myself chopping and changing the exercises I perform, which is a good for two reasons. First, it keeps my body guessing; the human body has a tendency to adapt to any stress that’s placed upon it and for that reason, sticking to the same routine could result in your progress plateauing. Therefore, throwing in new exercises and/or training techniques here and there helps to “shock” the body, thus leading to growth. Secondly, adding variety to my workouts will help keep me on my toes, mentally. It’s human nature to get bored of the same routine. So, experimenting as oppose to sticking to what I know often pays dividends. That said, there are a handful of exercises that no matter how I’m feeling, always feature in my workouts. Find out which exercises after the cut.

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Stuck in a rut? Shock it up!

To physically progress, you must understand that the human body is designed to adapt to stress.

Over the past 3 weeks, I have seen myself go from strength to strength as I attempt to regain and exceed my former strength. Much of this is owed to change. Before I even step foot into the gym I tell myself that I’m stronger than I was this time last week. Even if I’m not, the fact that I have told myself otherwise is enough. You see, weightlifting is a mental game; to change physically, you must first change the way you think. So, instead of giving yourself reasons why you can’t, give yourself reasons why you can.

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Give This A Go│Nordic Hamstrings

Level: Intermediate
Muscle Groups: Hamstrings, Glutes, Lower Back and Core

Do you play Football? Rugby? Basketball? Or are you a lady looking for a way to firm up your bum and thighs? If so, read on. This is a great exercise for strengthening/conditioning the hamstrings/glutes and moreover, is suitable for both men and women. Furthermore, this exercise has an array of sports-related benefits, which includes improving explosive power for activities that involve running and jumping. More overleaf.

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From Square One│HIIT

OK, “almost” may be pushing it a little.

Even so, there are 92 days left of the From Square One series (or 91 if you’re reading this tomorrow), but more importantly (for you), there are just as many days left until Christmas Eve – how time flies! Moving on…

I slept late last night; my nephew, who I was babysitting, had his 4 month shots yesterday and so, trying to stop him crying was as much of a struggle as it was getting out of bed this morning!

Eventually I did manage to get out of bed, and soon after I found myself at the gym geared up and ready to begin my morning cardio.

Except this time, I found myself in the mood for something different.

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