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Perfect 10

When time is short, hit one of these mini-blasters and get on with life.
By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC
As a gym owner, I witness the typical influx of “New Year’s resolution” members in the gym every January. Ironically, these are the same members who also quit the gym after they can’t find a valentine come mid-February. And of course, these same members are also the same ones to rejoin in the late spring (usually May), in order to achieve that “summer beach body.” And once again, by the end of summer, they are nowhere to be seen. Not until next January, at least.
This right here is the plight of the average gym-goer. And they wonder why they can’t achieve their goals in the weight room.
I’ve always said that when it comes to fitness and training, consistency is the most important aspect. Without consistency, everything else crumbles. Not every athlete is going to produce progress day in, day out. Sometimes, even with consistent training, we will undergo a slight loss in performance or a step backward in regards to our goals. Those small setbacks really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Those are merely skirmishes in the larger war. You aren’t going to win each little battle. So take each day of training as a chance to win, and if it’s a bad day of training, cut your losses right there and start fresh tomorrow. Over time, the consistency of showing up, battle after battle, will eventually prove the victory.
And that’s what these average gym-goers are missing: a sense of consistency. When they don’t see the results they want after only a few short weeks, they give up. What they fail to miss is that training is a long-term investment. There are no shortcuts and there is no

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The Magnificent Seven

The best isolation exercises for hypertrophy.
By Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes
 
Isolation exercises have been utilized for over a century, but their usefulness is still debated to this day. Some lifters favor them, while others shun them, but the truth is not binary. Isolations movements can be more effective than compound exercises when used appropriately, and knowing how and when to apply them is the key to incorporating them into your training
An Isolated History
Isolation exercises have existed for thousands of years. There are historical records dating back to Ancient Greece, Persia, and India, depicting soldiers training with weighted implements and performing movements that resemble curls, shoulder raises, and various swinging movements. Clearly mankind recognized early on that resistance training and muscle growth had a very clear relationship.
Flashing forward a few thousand years. The “Physical Culture” movement arose in the late 1800s and was led by Arthur Saxon and Eugen Sandow. Both of these men published various guidebooks on how to lift weights, and you can bet that isolation exercises were part of their repertoire. The weights they used were very primitive, as the adjustable barbell had yet to be invented. The most common “weights” for recreational use were the globe-style dumbbells and fixed-weight barbells, along with various odd implements like sledgehammers, weights for measuring cereal grain and produce, and ballast weights.
Isolation exercises were in use, but compound lifts were recognized for being the most effective at adding muscle across the entire body. Up until the 1940s, bodybuilders were usually also competitive weightlifters and strongmen at the same time. Bodybuilding competitions almost always had an athletic competition as well, so the bodybuilders of the classic age had to perform gymnastics, Olympic lifts, or some combination feat of strength.
As the sport of bodybuilding grew, the athletic component was eliminated and the competitions became focused

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To-Do List

If you aren’t doing these five underrated exercises, you better start now.
By Nick Nilsson
You want to build serious mass. You want to get “forklift” strong. But are you doing the right exercises you should be performing in order to maximize your results?
We all can get stuck in a rut doing our favorite exercises: the ones we’re strong at and the ones that feel good. However, staying too focused on just a selection of favorite exercises is holding you back from achieving your true physique. These five exercises will help unlock that potential.
Heavy Lockout Bench Presses
The lockout bench press, when done properly and for the right reasons, is not just an ego lift; it has a real purpose and provides amazing benefits. Partial training (i.e., lifting a heavier-than-normal weight in a short range of motion) can substantially increase both connective tissue strength (tendons and ligaments) and high-threshold motor unit activation. Your body doesn’t function in terms of “full” range of motion. All it knows is load, and it specifically adapts to the loads you place on it.
When you get stuck in a plateau with your bench press, you might naturally think it’s your muscles that have hit their limit. That’s not always the case. If your connective tissue has not been strengthened at the same rate relative to your muscle strength, your body will actively put the brakes on your strength gains in an attempt to avoid injury to the connective tissue, which is now the weak link in the chain.
Then we have your nervous system. Submaximal loads will not fully activate all your high-threshold motor units. It’s the reason why a one-rep max bench press is a very different lift than a 10-rep max bench press. Supramaximal loading over a partial range of motion will train those high-threshold motor units.
To

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The Hybrid Week

A simple and effective program for the athlete interested in well-rounded strength and conditioning.
 By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC
 
You’re a hybrid athlete. You lift heavy things, run long distances, and do just about everything else in between. Given the broad range of physical demands required, it’s sometimes difficult to determine which exercises are worth our valuable time in the gym.
I would never deem any exercise a “waste of time,” but there definitely are some movements that elicit far more benefit and carryover than others: squats, deadlifts, and other primal functional movements that incorporate the whole body. As nice as it would be to cap off our delts and blow up our calves, our goal is not to isolate every single muscle.
So how does a hybrid athlete train during his/her weekly program that ensures progress in both the strength and conditioning attributes without spending all day in there like a hamster on a wheel?
This is a very simple yet effective weekly program designed to aid both strength and conditioning. The program is on a weekly cycle that involves six days of work, followed by one day of rest. It alternates between a day of strength training, followed by a day of conditioning. Active recovery is included, but almost every day you will be doing something. Afraid of the lack of rest? You’re a hybrid athlete. Toughen up, buttercup.
Let’s begin by dissecting the strength aspect of this weekly program. Strength days fall on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each strength day will repeat three main functional lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. On each day, only one of the three lifts will be maximal (2 to 3 sets of 1 to 3 reps at 95 to 100 percent). The other two remain submaximal (4 sets of 7 to 10 reps at approximately

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Fueling The Hybrid Athlete

Eating for optimal performance is easier than it sounds.
By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC
 
First and foremost, this is not the most effective method of building mass and size, nor is it the best diet for losing crazy amounts of body fat. What this is, is a diet plan for someone looking to fuel their level of performance. That is, to intake the proper nutrition in the right quantity so that you can repair what’s been torn down, rest what has been exhausted, and continue to perform at the same, if not higher, level of output. So, in short, this is a “my body’s a machine and I need to fuel it properly” diet.
I once read this quote and it really stuck with me: “Food is fuel and nothing more.” Sad but true, isn’t it, foodies?
As a performance athlete, nutrition is an essential part of the game. But nutrition changes depending on activity, degree of intensity, and even timing around an event. And it’s important to fuel yourself properly, along with the correct timing and proportions in order to achieve ideal results. For example, fat is best utilized before activity, whereas protein is best consumed after. Carbohydrates, however, remain relatively consistent throughout both eating cycles. But let’s take a deeper look at when someone should intake protein, carbs, and fat.
(Percentages shown as protein/carbs/fat unless noted otherwise)
A) Morning Training Schedule
– Morning (breakfast): 33/33/33
– Late morning (snack): 30/70 (carbs/fat)
— AM workout —
– Post-workout (lunch): 40/60 (protein/carbs)
– Late afternoon (snack): 40/40/20
– Evening (dinner): 40/30/30
– Late evening (snack/dessert): 40/60 (protein/fat)
 
B) Afternoon Training Schedule
– Morning (breakfast): 33/33/33
– Late morning (snack): 30/70 (carbs/fat)
– Afternoon (lunch): 30/40/30
– Late afternoon (snack): 10/30/60
— PM workout —
– Evening (dinner): 60/40 (protein/carbs)
– Late evening: 40/20/40
Along with determining when and how much to eat, I think it’s just as important to identify

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