Everyone knows how important having a strong CORE to me is as I mentioned it in the previous article I wrote. To read this article please click here.
Below is a video compilation of the top 10 exercises that my clients and I do for strengthening the whole abdominal wall. We don’t perform these exercises merely for aesthetic purposes, but to build a functionally strong set of abdominals that can perform as good as it looks (assuming a good clean diet plan is also being followed).
Here’s the video
Please note that some of these exercises may need to be modified for different individuals depending on their strength/fitness levels and physical abilities as some of these movements are very difficult to perform. Using proper exercise progression is vital when designing an abdominal training program to produce the desired results, prevent injuries and ensure long term training success.
In this blog I am going to share with you a list of the things that one must do in order to increase vitality, improve health and enhance physical and mental performance. In other words, becoming a superior physical specimen also known as BEAST.
Please note that everything I am writing in this blog is solely based on my own experience as an athlete/trainer and from what I have learned through reading books and other articles. Everything on the list below is not just something I am trying to preach others but something that I practice myself.
I have been following these lifestyle principles since the beginning of 2010. I can now honestly say that have seen some great results in increasing my overall strength, gaining a significant amount of muscle mass on my frame and dramatically improving my health and mind set by following these simple principles.
1. Wake up early in the morning
Getting out of bed early has many benefits. One is it can increase your productivity because you can get your day started early and get more accomplished by lengthening your day. This is also a great way to eliminate the excuse of not having enough time to exercise that many people try to make.
So if you want to get things done, you better rise up before the sun!
2. Eat breakfast EVERY morning.
It’s been said too many times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I couldn’t agree more to this statement. However, some still don’t realize the importance of it and many still skip their breakfast in the morning.
Eating breakfast after getting out of bed is a great way to refuel the body after a long night of fasting. Hence, why it is called break-fast. It can kick-start your body’s metabolic process as soon as you wake up. Doing so can increase your energy right from the get go and help you get ready to take on the rest of the day.
3. Train hard in the gym by lifting HEAVY shit with the goal of getting stronger and reaching peak physical condition.
If you don’t already know, this is what training at Carpio Strength and Conditioning is all about.
Here’s a training video of myself to show you how I get this one done:
4. Eat natural and fresh wholesome foods throughout the day while staying away from unnatural junk like highly processed foods.
This should be a no brainer. You are what you eat. Like a powerful automobile, your body and mind need to be fed the right fuel for it to perform at an optimum level. But unlike an automobile, your body is a natural organism and requires natural unprocessed foods.
When you feed your body what it needs, it will perform just the way you want and need it to perform.
5. Strictly NO bad habits such as smoking, getting high on drugs and/or excessive alcohol consumption.
Another no brainer. I don’t have to say much more about this one.
6. Keep your mind occupied and stimulated by learning new things and increase your knowledge about anything that interests you.
Being a beast doesn’t always have to be just being physically strong. The mind also plays a big role in becoming holistically strong.
You must exercise the brain just like you exercise the muscle to keep it healthy and a healthy brain belongs to a smart person.
7. Stay busy throughout the day but with a specific purpose by getting real work done.
Now this should be the whole purpose for getting up in the morning.
You must set daily goals that you want to get done. Don’t just do random things just so you can tell yourself that you’re doing something. Have a plan, execute it, attack and get the work done.
Stay busy because there is nothing beastly about being idle.
"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing." -Thomas A. E.
8. Keep your stress level LOW.
Stress sucks. Period. It robs you of your vitality and energy, keeps you from building muscle and getting stronger due to the high levels of cortisol it produces, and it can make some people over eat therefore making them fat and miserable (a shitty combination). It affects the way you think and lowers your overall quality of life.
So bottom line here, stop stressing so much. Just remember that there are many others out there that are going through a lot more bullshit than you.
9. Learn to relax when the right time comes. Teach your body and mind to settle down.
This one is crucial. After a long day of hard work, your body and mind are beat. At the end of each day, it’s important that you give your body and mind a rest so that it may replenish itself and recover. This is the only way that you can expect it to perform at the same or even at a higher level the next day. This is when anabolism (building up) takes place and you must take full advantage of it.
Eating a nice dinner and unwinding with your family is a great way to do this. Also, try meditating or listening to some relaxing music but stay away from aggressively stimulating music such as gangsta rap music and/or heavy metal. You can leave those types of music for when you’re killing it in the gym. These relaxing activities let the parasympathetic nervous system take over allowing you to “rest and digest”.
His music will probably not help you relax
Remember the saying “no pain, no gain”? Well, I believe it’s more like no rest, no gain.
10. Sleep well at night and preferably before midnight for 7 to 8 hours.
Sleeping is highly anabolic because this is the time when your body peaks in production of anabolic hormones such as melatonin, growth hormones and of course, testosterone. These are the hormones that play a huge role in musculoskeletal repair and regeneration.
Your body grows and recovers best when you sleep at night. If you’re someone who’s looking to build muscle, get stronger and perform better physically for your sport or in life in general, you need to make sure that you get some really restful slumbering every night.
11. Help others to do all of the above.
Last but definitely not least; help and teach others how to become stronger and healthier physically and mentally. This will show them the way to becoming a superior physical specimen.
Yesterday I have finally purchased the equipment I had been wanting to have since I first opened Carpio Strength and Conditioning gym. This equipment is called the prowler sled. I was very excited about having it and couldn’t wait long enough to give it a try.
After being able to use the prowler sled for the first time today as part of our post-strength workout conditioning finisher, I am now totally convinced that this is one of the best conditioning tools any athlete or any fitness enthusiast can have who are looking to take their physical conditioning to the next level. The prowler is absolutely brutal that punishes the legs, hips, core and even the sole of the feet! When you’re using an equipment that hits those big muscle groups simultaneously, you know you are in for a great workout. Not to mention the intense cardiovascular conditioning that you get from stressing the heart and lungs.
The video below that we shot today will show you how effective and brutal the prowler can be. I mean I have been doing conditioning for a very long time and I still felt like I had never exercised in my life. So if you think you’re in shape, wait until you try pushing the prowler for the first time.
Today was such a beautiful day in Toronto. It was the first time that the temperature went up double digits (14 degrees!).
The weather was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but to take advantage of it and finally opened up the garage door of the gym while I did my training for the day.
Here’s the video:
I can honestly say that I had one of the best workouts in a very long time. The fresh air and the natural lighting from the sun coming into the gym were just awesome! It actually felt like it gave me more vitality and energy to go through the hard and intense workout. Not to mention the new personal records I set for my deadlifts and overhead presses!
Spring and summer time are just right around the corner now and I am very excited to get more open garage training when the weather gets even better. I can hardly wait!
Today is the third month since Carpio Strength and Conditioning moved into the new training facility. Training there has been totally kick ass and here are some of the training videos I’ve recorded for the past two months.
Now, go get your popcorn ready, sit back and enjoy the show! =)
Here’s the first video I shot on Jan. 2 2012. What a great way to start off the year with a deadlift PR!
This is my youngest athlete/client, an 11 year old hockey player getting explosive prior to his main strength session.
A brutal finisher doing different push-up variations on the medicine ball. A great way to finish off an upper-body day workout session.
Now, this is one tough exercise to perform on a pair of gymnastic rings.
This one hits the mid-section hard and heavy like no other.
Here’s compilation video from Feb. 20 2012 showing the personal workout I did that day.
This is another challenging exercise done on a pair of gymnastic rings to strength the tricep muscles and also challenges the core as well.
Ok, this one totally kicked my ass. A finisher I did at the end of a heavy squat session using different sizes of sandbags.
And this is the latest video I posted just last night. It’s one of my personal favorite pull-up/chin-up variations that effectively strengthens the grip.
Thank you for watching and I hope that you enjoyed all the latest training videos from the past two months. Stay tuned for more new videos coming real soon!
To view more training videos, old and new please go to my Youtube channel:
I’d like to gladly announce that Carpio Strength and Conditioning has now been relocated to a bigger and better training facility! Here, check out some photos of the evolution new facility from the day I signed the lease up to the day we finished renovating it and moved all my training equipments in: (Please click on the photos for better viewing)
The new facility is now more than twice the size of the old gym. It has 1300 sqft. of dedicated training space. It has a ceiling clearance of 14 ft., perfect for any climbing activities such as rope climbing.
The large window provides some natural lighting from the outside which is something we never had in the old gym. One thing I am really excited about however is the huge garage door that can be opened when the weather permits. So it will be awesome when it starts to warm up in the spring and during the summer time. Can’t wait!
The new facility is located at 342 Westmoreland Ave. in Toronto. It’s in the same building and just a couple of units down from where my old gym was located.
The new Carpio Strength and Conditioning facility is now open to provide training services to all clients, current and new comers. So if you or anyone you know is interested in getting some serious results, come on by for some serious training!
I hope to see you all here at Carpio Strength and Conditioning!
The way I train my female clients is no different from the way I train my male clients. The strength training philosophy remains the same for both genders and that is to lift HEAVY iron, use bodyweight strength exercises such as push-ups, chin-ups and horizontal body rows, and plyometrics using different jump variations.
Within the video below you can see these strong women lifting weights; doing squats, deadlifts, split squats, step ups with dumbbells in both hands and single arm dumbbell bent-over rows. A lot of women of today avoid doing these types of exercises for the fear of getting “bulky muscles” or looking like a man, but these misconceptions couldn’t be any further from the truth. As you watch the video, you will notice that non of my female clients have ever put on any bulky muscles nor any of them have developed a manly physique and I’ve had them lifting heavy weights for some months!
The truth is women don’t have the same ability to build muscles as men do due to their hormonal differences, specifically testosterone. Testosterone is an anabolic hormone that plays a big role in muscle building and developing male characteristics. It is naturally produced in the body of both men and women. However, women can only produce about one-tenth of the amount of the testosterone males produce. So unless a woman is using some kind of synthetic anabolic hormones or steroids, she will never build big and bulky muscles by lifting heavy weights.
Lifting heavy iron along with proper diet is probably the best way to burn fat and improve body composition whether you are a male or a female. Females can definitely benefit from a strength training program that requires them to lift weights by helping them get physically stronger to improve their quality of life. The only side effect women are going to get from lifting weights is having stronger and leaner sexy muscles.
Here’s a compilation video of some of the women that train at Carpio Strength and Conditioning Gym.
Today I have set a new personal record on my ass to grass (ATG) squat with 230lbs. for 8 reps.
Here’s the video:
I was pretty satisfied with the result I saw today just after doing ATG squats for 4 months. I began doing ATG squats back in July of this year. I started by only being able to squat 220lbs. for 5 reps. It was my very first time trying out ATG squats after exclusively doing just the box squats down to parallel (squatting down until the top of the thighs are parallel to the ground) for about a year.
Here’s the video I shot 4 months ago:
My personal record on the parallel box squats was 300lbs. for 2 reps. That 300lb. squat shrank dramatically just by dropping my butt a few inches down closer to the ground. I was surprised by the difference in the difficulty between parallel squatting and squatting ass to grass.
From what I’ve experienced in the last 4 months of exclusively doing ATG squats, I personally believe that this is the best way to develop brute strength in the lower body specifically the quads, hamstrings and the hips. The longer range of motion also keeps the tension longer in the working muscles, thus creating more opportunity for greater muscular development. I personally have seen some significant amount of muscle mass added onto my frame since I started ATG squatting.
My current goal is to hit 300lbs. for at least 1 repetition maximum on the ATG squat. I expect to accomplish this in the next 4 months of training.
On this page, I will be posting all the latest training videos directed from my Youtube channel and training photos as well as my latest blog posts from this site. I will also be posting other articles, videos and photos from other websites that I find interesting and worth sharing.
Here’s a short clip of the awesome workout we had at the gym this morning. The video shows a typical strength training day done by a group hard training guys.
We initiate the session by warming up with some mobility drills (not shown in the video) to mobilize and lubricate the joints, and increasing the blood flow into the working muscles. Next we do some explosive drills by doing different jump, throw and slam variations.
In the beginning of the video you will see the athletes perform the kneeling jump to knee tucks followed by medicine ball slams and finishing the drill with some feet wide outs. These explosive drills further stimulates the nervous system, priming it up for the heavy lifting and it’s a great way to get the athletes amped up for their main workout!
Next we move on to our main workout consists of some very basic strength exercises like squats and deadlifts for brute strength development. Weighted dips, push-ups, pullups, body rows, dumbbell bent-over rows and overhead presses for some upper-body pushing and pulling exercises. Some of the guys are also doing weighted squat jumps using heavy dumbbells for some lower body power development.
As you can see, most of the exercises we do for strength are nothing but basic old school movements. There are no fancy ass exercises such as standing or squatting on a bosu-ball being done. I believe that these simple and yet highly effective exercises are still the best when it comes to building brute strength and power while slapping on some good amount of muscle mass on your frame!