Burpee and Ab circuit

On top of the usual 3 x p/w gym sessions, started doing 50 burpees & 40 abwheel rollouts (on knees) in the shortest time possible every other day (ideally on an empty stomach).

Simple, quick and easy to do at home. Give it a go, you literally have NO excuses apart from being a pussy. This stills kicks my ass when I really push for time. Easy to scale too, once you can get it done consistently in under 5 mins, then go for 75 burpees and 60 rollouts in under 7.5mins etc, etc.

If you are wondering you can get an abwheel for less than £10.

Back to basics – finding the best exercise for upper back thickness

Recently out of curiosity I decided to experiment and see which movements work my muscles best from a hypertrophy perspective.

Not exactly very scientific but to keep it simple, I just used muscle soreness as my KPI for how effective the movement was. Basically the more sore the muscle was, the better the movement (I know this is flawed).

I kept sets and reps the same and I moved between a different movement each week.

I would then just blast that single movement for that particular week doing 8 work sets of 8-15 reps after warm ups. To start with, I have been focusing on upper back thickness.

The movements I tested were:

  1. Chest supported T-Bar rows
  2. Cable rows
  3. Bent over rows
  4. DB rows
  5. Free weight T-Bar rows

There were two stand out winners here, bent over rows and free weight T-Bar rows. Both these movements left me as sore as hell. Weird though, as I thought the chest supported T-Bar rows would be better as it would allow me to focus more on the contraction but these I found left me with a great pump but not much muscle soreness afterwards?

I think the Free weight T-Bar rows are the winner just because I find them less stressful on my lower back and if my legs are knackered after a heavy legs days, I can still move some decent weight on this compared to bent rows where I would need to significantly reduce the weight.

I remember Arnold wrote about this in his encyclopedia, so nothing that hasn’t been done before. Saying that it was a good learning experience and gave me very good insights into which movements provided the most bang for their buck.

Going forward I’m just going to use the free weight T-Bar rows as my sole back thickness movement to see what happens long term – these kind of experiments give a little spin to training and makes it a bit more interesting.

I thinks as long as I increase the weight when appropriate I should continue to get a lot of benefit out of these. I remember back in da day when I used to train at home, all I had was a barbell and a pull up bar and I manage to build up a pretty decent upper back just by doing chins/pull ups and a tonne of bent rows.

Sometimes you get a bit spoiled with all the fancy equipment in the gym and it helps to take a step back and remember what worked in the first place – going back to basics and lovin it!

Don’t forget everyone is different, give it a go and see what movements work best for you.

Quick & easy tips for diet food prep

Dang, World Cup is on and I ain’t got no time for food prep, here is what you do if pressed for time and you still want to stay the course and eat relatively clean.

Don’t forget you can pick up a copy of my diet book on Amazon (bargain) or borrow it for free if on Amazon Prime. Please leave a review if you had a chance to read – good or bad all criticism welcome.