Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Inspiration, Motivation and Leg Day Training


Saturday was leg day, I lift weights 7 days a week (twice on Wednesdays) and I train most body parts twice a week, once with Roy and then once on my own. Weekends I spend a long time at the gym, I take my time stretching and warming up, I would like to be able to do this on weekdays but I have a thing I have to get to called a "job". 

One of the stretches I have found very useful is this stretch for my hip flexors. If you have been reading my blog you know that I have been having hip issues since June of 2012, so I have learned to do an awful lot of stretches and roll a lot. I do have to laugh about why it took so long to shut the video recorder off, I kept getting messages from several people at once on Facebook and they just popped up over and over as soon as I could dismiss them! (email readers will need to navigate to the blog to see this and another video below.)


 


I had gone out the night before and had three glasses of wine, I am not yet in full blown competition prep yet, and I tend to get way too lean, so I could afford to do this once in a while. I was in bed by 9:00 pm and could feel the affect the alcohol had on my body the next day anyway. That's why I rarely drink, I am not as vibrant and alive the following day, even with just one glass. I think because I expect so much of my body, I just need to learn to treat it well all the time.

I started to get the squat rack ready, adjusting the hooks for the Olympic bar when a guy walks up to talk to me. I don't know his name, I have never spoken with him, but I see him there all the time, he is a regular morning lifter and trains with another guy, they are both in their late 20s or early 30s, they carry big waters and training books, recording their reps and sets as any dedicated lifter does.

He walked up close to me and this is the conversation:

Guy: "I don't want to interrupt you when you were lifting, but I wanted to talk to you. Everyone has heard about those people who inspire others, who push them to keep going when they don't want to. You inspire me and you have for a long time."

Kristy: "I do?! Really?! Wow! I'm not sure what to say.....Thank you for telling me!"

Guy: "There are so many days I don't feel like coming in here, I want to skip it, then I think how I see you everyday, your workouts are all so intense, you train harder each day than the day before, you never stop, you are so focused and never give up, ever. I wanted to tell you this yesterday, but I didn't, then I knew I would see you here today."

I was floored. He wasn't trying to pick up on me, he wasn't being rude, he was sincere. A big, strong alpha male, who is serious about his training said I inspire him.

It motivated me to push on, I didn't have as much energy as usual, but I would never dream of skipping the gym, ever.

Roy had just changed my program, I was doing a different type of squat, one where there is no rest at the top, it's easy to shoot up and stand there "resting", but these are a lighter load, a very long "time under tension" on the eccentric portion, and then as soon as I straighten up, right back down again. They become almost aerobic. I warm up with 95 pounds, lighter than I will use for the squats.




I have my phone attached to the mirror and I set it on the timer. I am to aim for 44 seconds time under tension for 10 reps. It's much harder than it sounds. I am using 115 pounds, my legs are under tension the entire time. I finished my sets, and rested before going on to step ups. My left hamstring is still weaker than the right after my injury, it's taking a long time to rebuild that strength.

For the step ups I have to have a box 25 inches high, so I have stacked two here and they are perfect! I will hold a 25 pound bar in front, on my clavicle, front squat style and slowly push up, re-setting at the bottom with each rep. 10 on each leg, three sets. I carry this little tape measure in my gym sack with my training log, lifting straps and fingernail file! I cannot stand having a nail with a snag....




I use the leg press on Saturdays, I don't when I train with Roy but I have extra time on Saturdays so I do just to totally exhaust my legs. I don't use a lot of weight, as it starts to hurt my knees, so I keep it light. Here I have 450 pounds added to the machine. 

That's Aaron in the background, to put things into perspective the day before he was pushing 1,500 pounds on this same machine. He's a beast! He also has some added advantages, he's male (lots of testosterone), he's very young (I have been married longer than he has been alive and....still more testosterone) and he used to be a Power Lifter and wrestler. He's still a beast though!

We met because I went up to him one day and told him that he looked just like my previous trainer (SC), it's uncanny how much they look alike!

Aaron stops to help me and advises how to place my feet for quad development, he lifts his long shorts and displays some very impressive quads! Nothing worse than skinny legs on a big guy....(think most Male Physique Competitors). 



Aaron asks if I have ever competed in a National level show and I tell him, "No, although I have qualified several times". "Why??!!" He asks. "You look great- you could get your Pro-Card!" He went on to say that I look as good as several others he knows, I would be successful if I did it. 

I explain that I have no desire to, what would I do with a Pro-Card? I do this because I love to lift, I love the training.  He walks away, saying "You would win, but if you do it just cause you like it, that's really cool!"


I love to lift. I cannot say the same thing about competing.


His comments floored me again. He was genuine in them, he thinks I have developed a physique worthy of Pro status! 


Two males, motivating me now.


I do my sets, it take time as I do 5 sets of 20 reps. So a total of 100 reps. I have my timer for rest periods, and the same funny guy from the previous week interrupts me and asks to work in. He did the same thing last week, There are four machines, the only one being used is the one I am on and he taps me on the shoulder and asks if he can "work in". I wasn't  sure if he he was trying to hit on me, or just was lazy and didn't want to load plates on the machine or what. This week I found out, I was finished so turned it over to him and he was asking all sorts of questions about weight training. I think it's odd he would be asking me when guys like Aaron are right there, but maybe I am less intimidating.


I have inspired and I am motivated. And I am lifting, it's a great day at the gym.

Think about your days in the gym. Try to inspire others. Try to motivate others. And please, please...help the world stamp out "chicken legs", train your legs!








Monday, January 28, 2013

Motivation



"Happiness is the result of my decision to be happy. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. In other words, happiness is a feeling I tap into, not an outcome of events. I can be happy without changing anything in my life except my relationship to my own thinking. I decide to be happy and commit myself to making happiness my state of mind, rather than relying on a set of circumstances to do it for me."
~Richard Carlson

"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do."

~Bob Dylan

"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins."

 ~Bob Moawad

"If you’re not enjoying the journey, you probably won’t enjoy the destination."

~Joe Tye

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."

~George Bernard Shaw

"If you hear a voice within saying, ”You can’t paint”, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced."

~Vincent Van Gogh
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
~Albert Schweitzer

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last and the greatest of human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstance, to choose one’s own way of life."

~Victor Frankl

"You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it."

~Robin Williams


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Women's Physique Posing Routine Music



I have finally selected music for my posing routine! It's been a very difficult decision, and the funny thing is, whatever I do really has no bearing on my score or placement really! The routine is simply entertainment for the audience, thanking them for sitting through the long and (sometimes) very boring day or evening of judging.

These pictures were taken 16 weeks out from my next competition, I have just stated cardio and...a modified diet. I don't have a lot to lose!

The routine is part of the excitement of Women's Physique for me though. I love to dance, I love to move, and just being able to do my own thing, instead of "quarter turn to the right" over and over will be fun and rewarding.



I have competed exclusively in Figure, its where I belonged when I started, in fact, the division of  Physique did not exist when I started and Bikini began my first year competing, in fact, at my first competition was a woman competing in Bikini who went on to become the very first Bikini pro! She looked great and really seemed to set the bar, but Bikini got softer and softer. I never would compete in Bikini, it's not for me. I don't have the physique nor am I comfortable with the posing (and I have friends who compete in Bikini, so I will end my comments here).

As Bikini expanded, the look for Figure changed, it became "softer" and I liked looking "harder". I also grew and developed my physique more, and basically made myself too muscular for Figure. At least, that is the feedback I received from the judges and other competitors. That's great news to me, I like a more muscular look and it suites me better, I have wider shoulders and narrow hips. I worked hard to add more muscle, eating right, letting myself get a little "big" in between competitions, but never fat. 


My last competition was May of 2012, and although I placed first in my category, when I asked for feedback from the head judge, she said:

You are too hard, striated and separated for both figure and physique. You have the size to transition into women's physique if you wanted. If you want to stay in figure then you need to soften the look and bring your muscle size down some. The new criteria for either division is a softer look. No striation and no hard/deep separation. The difference in the figure and woman's physique is size. Physique competitors can have more muscle but must maintain a softer feminine look. It is not woman's bodybuilding.”

No one could have said anything better to me! As a natural athlete (drug free), to be told I am too hard, striated and separated, especially for a woman of 51 is quite an accomplishment. It shows a lot of dedication to diet and training, rest and recovery.

Picking my music has been tough because being on stage is a very scary event for me, so I needed something I was completely comfortable with. Much of the advice I received said to pick something "feminine and slow", but I am not a particularly "feminine" woman and I never do anything slowly! So why would I start with this. I decided to forgo the advice and picked what I liked, something that I felt I could move to and enjoy. 

I was referred to JSinn at MasterMindz Productions, and put my trust in him. I was glad I did, just as I have experienced most of my life, trusting others is always the right decision. I sent him the song and asked "what next"? He said just to tell him the length, where to start and where to end and he would do his magic and he would cut out "the swears". The rules state that the music cannot have profanity or explicit content  and there were a couple problems, this song had some swear words, and the entire song is about nasty sex! The more I thought about it though, I realized that all music seems to be about sex doesn't it? Either wanting sex, having had sex, wishing they were having sex, talking about sex, or breaking up with someone they already had sex with! I decided to move ahead with the song.

He pushed me to make a decision, don't wait! I made it, emailed him and he quickly emailed me right back. He told me I couldn't do what I wanted. I didn't understand and I tried to explain. "I like the chorus, so I need you to start here so I can have some of the chorus and some of the other part". He explained that I need an intro, a middle and an outro.

JSinn sent my music right away, with a watermark (his voice over) so I could listen and let him know my thoughts. And what were they? I was dancing the happy dance! I loved it! I never could have imagined it this way, he took bits and pieces, cut them and spliced them (I guess that's' the lingo) and created a smooth song with a lead in (intro) and the middle and a definite end!

I have known a few people who did their own, but at what cost? JSinn's prices were amazingly affordable,  I had thought it would have been much more expensive, but I was wrong. And, he was great fun to work with too, he's got quite the personality, but then he's an artist so that makes sense huh? Why would I work so hard dieting, training, calculating, paying entry fees and going through all the emotional ups and downs of competing just to save a few bucks on my music? The place to save money is on a hotel room (share one) not on the important stuff. 

I have inserted a YouTube of the original song I liked, remember that I have only 60 seconds to perform my routine, so it's not long! JSinn started in with some of the intro, then the chorus and the real end, its fabulous! Keep in mind this version has his "watermark" on it (MasterMindz over and over) for copyright protection.

I could only add this as a widget on the main blog page, so just look for the hot pink arrow right under the woman with the snapping whip on the right hand side! You can hear his fantastic version of the there.

Email readers will need to navigate directly to the blog- the blue Ready In 5 Weeks link at the top to view the video).



Shoot JSinn and email, check out his Facebook page, and talk with him before you make a big mistake with your routine and music! 

Now...I can start practicing the routine!



I attempted to add an MP3 player to my blog, but after a week of reading and setting up accounts to host my files, I was unsuccessful and very frustrated. So.....I will have to write another post when I finally figure it all out. Any techies out there who can help me, please do so!

I set up a Dropbox account and copied the files into the public folder, but nothing! If you want to hear his magic just email me and I can send the file to you!



Monday, January 21, 2013

Motivation






“The sun shines not on us but in us.” 
~John Muir

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” 
~Plutarch

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.” 
~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Men who are comfortable with powerful women are more powerful men.” (Comic Con, 7-13-2012)” 
~Joss Whedon

“What we become shouldn't be dictated by the mud and the dung and the dust and the fire and the ice and the dirt and the spit that hit us in the face, but what we become must be a choice made every day in the heart; and they who threw all of that at us to try and defile us– they will look up at us and see us no less beautiful. And even more beautiful.” 
~C. JoyBell C.

“Know your magic, trust your magic, use your magic and know that you are a manifestation of life's magic.” 
~Rasheed Ogunlaru

“I feel that we are often taken out of our comfort zones, pushed and shoved out of our nests, because if not, we would never know what we could do with our wings, we would never see the horizon and the sun setting on it, we would never know that there's something far better beyond where we are at the moment. It can hurt, but then later you say "thank you." I have been pushed and shoved and have fallen out and away, so very, very, many, many times! And others around me have not! But then, the others haven't seen what I have seen or felt what I have felt or been who I have been, they can't become what I have become. I am me.” 
~C. JoyBell C.

Monday, January 14, 2013

San Pedro Square Market


One my favorite places to go in San Jose is the San Pedro Square Market. I have been coming here since it first opened, in fact I was at the soft opening and the official opening. I have watched it grow and absolutely love what it has become. 

Several evenings there is entertainment, you can find the large chalkboard in the Perazzo building along one side of the market, there are tables, chairs and booths set up and this is where the musicians will be found. 





Sama Zama has a very good Caesar salad, nice crunchy whole romaine leaves with a very light dressing and big, thick anchovies! They will leave them off for those who don't care for them, but then why, oh why would you order a Caesar salad? 



I'm in the Perazzo Building enjoying my wonderful salad. What makes this so great is you can get food at any of the restaurants, or a bottle or glass of wine from the Vino Vino wine bar and bring it to any table! There is even a cocktail waitress wandering around for those who want to imbibe! 



Our all time favorite is Little Chef Counter. Usually David and I just sit at the small counter, and when they have french fries cooked in duck fat we always get an order. If you see that they are serving steak frites, don't miss it! 



Tonight we stopped by Vino Vino and picked up a bottle of Windy Oaks Winery Pinot Noir, then wandered outside between the buildings. The market is comprised of three distinct buildings, be sure to wander among them to discover everything! 


The lights and heaters were on, and big screen TV's right there for those who HAD to watch football!




We decided to try a new restaurant, called Phonomenal Noodle house, located in the Lusardi building. 



The fellow at the counter was very friendly, we chatted about the wine and he snapped a picture so he could buy some later. He recommended our two dishes, Shaking beef with red rice for me and Oxtail Pho for David. We paid and had a seat at one of the tables in the center. That's what makes the market so wonderful, we can wander and pick and choose from different restaurants, they are all neighbors and share tables, there are no boundaries. It becomes almost like a party, you wander where you want and enjoy it for a while, then move along to another location. 

They delivered our food to the table, the service was casual and friendly. My beef was wonderful, the flavor was amazing! The beef was very tender and the spice just perfect. I had to hold off from eating all of it so David could have some.


I am happy! Beef is one of my favorites, and to find beef that is extremely tender, while still having flavor is a treat. It was Filet Mignon.....



David said his Pho was perfect! He had just driven Cooper back up to school at Chico and had eaten a lot of heavy foods in the last two days. The Pho was comforting, and the flavors complex. The broth was delicate yet packed full of intense flavors, there were three large oxtails and plenty of fresh bean sprouts, basil and jalapeƱo to add in.




As we always do, we stopped at Pizza Bocca Luppo and picked up a pizza Margherita to go. Whether you decide to have a pizza here, or one to go, don't miss it!




You can park in the city parking garage across the street, and then have your parking validated, where else in San Jose can you do that! 

When summer comes the tables outside are great for sitting and people watching, and listening to music and enjoying the wonderful flavors of the restaurants. 

I was given $50 to spend at San Pedro Square Market. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Motivation




"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training...what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable." 
~Socrates

"Take care of your body.  It's the only place you have to live."
~Jim Rohn

"To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."
~Buddha

"How idiotic civilization is!  Why be given a body if you have to keep it shut up in a case like a rare, rare fiddle?"
~Katherine Mansfield, Bliss and Other Stories

"Emotion always has its roots in the unconscious and manifests itself in the body."
~Irene Claremont de Castillejo

"Man is the sole animal whose nudity offends his own companions, and the only one who, in his natural actions, withdraws and hides himself from his own kind."  ~Montaigne

"Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat.  For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else."
 ~Samuel Johnson

"The body is your temple.  Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in."  ~B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga: The Path To Holistic Health

"The Church says: The body is a sin.
Science says: The body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The body says: I am a fiesta."
~Eduardo Galeano

"If we were meant to be nude, we would have been born that way."
 ~Author Unknown

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fear of Training





I have found that the largest hurdle in my life is always my own fear. Some people may not consider the fact that fear is holding them back, but whenever I hesitate, or stumble, or approach something with less enthusiasm than I should,  I analyze it and decide that it is fear. 



I think that many people are afraid of looking foolish. I love laughing and actually find some of the best situations are when I do something that I can laugh at, that seems to be quite often. I rarely try to be serious. 




I think that many people are afraid of failing. Who ever started out being able to do something right the very first time? You learned to roll over, crawl, walk and then run. It takes time. Why do so many people feel they need to be "experts" at something the first time they try it?



I think many people live lives that are boring and predictable because they are afraid to venture out into something new, it's like a prison. I know people who won't go out dancing because they "can't dance". I hate to burst your bubble, but it's the people who CAN dance that we are all looking at! 



How many times have you wanted to do something, yet didn't, and years later you replay "what might have been" in your head over and over and over? It could have been something small, or something bigger, something life changing.



We always seem to make our fears much bigger than they ever really were, or even could be. Are you someone who thinks the worst all the time? Or says "what if....? So exactly WHAT are you afraid of? Write down a couple of things that scare you the most.  Now next to them, write down the worst possible outcome if these fears came true. Next to that, write down what the most likely outcome is.




Next, write down what that fear is holding you back from. Is it worth it? Is the most likely outcome really that bad? 

I am petrified to speak or even stand in front of a group of people, that's tough because standing and posing, almost naked in front of them is just as scary to me. What's so scary about speaking in front of people? Well...I guess I could say something silly, or an incorrect fact, or I might not know the answer to a question. Or, I might bore someone! Funny thing is, people think I LOVE speaking in public, I tend to be quite animated. People actually tell me that I am a great speaker! They think I like it!

So what do I do? I face my fear. I get on stage and pose. Sure, there is no talking, but I am standing in front of 1000 people and they are critiquing my body, my physique.

I am still scared every time I go out there but I cannot let that hold me back from doing what I want to do. I train hard and eat very specific meals so my body looks a certain way, I want to show it off. I have grown tremendously by doing exactly what I fear most. I have become more self confident, self reliant and...I respect myself more. I realized that I am worth it, I am an important person who has something to say!



Everyone is afraid of something. But how often do they think about that fear and the reality of it? Spiders....I am scared of spiders. So what does that prevent me from doing? Hmmm...digging in wood piles; sorting through old papers, sleeping in my bedroom sometimes. Yes indeed, I won't sleep in there if there is a big hairy spider in there. It might crawl on me. It might bite me. Right...that's so stupid! The damn thing is probably scared of me! I am working on it, believe me.




I know many people who are afraid to go to the gym because they are overweight  They are afraid that they don't know how to properly use the equipment. They are afraid they may look........foolish.


I was there once, I knew nothing. But I went in, I watched and I learned. Sure, I watched a lot pf people who did things wrong, but that is easy to figure out by watching many different people. I hired a trainer. I started with once a week, that's all I could afford. He taught me slowly, but I practiced. I felt very proud when I mastered something new. I felt accomplished. I felt smart.


I think people tend to forget that each day could be their last, most of us won't win the lottery (heck, I don't even buy tickets, so I definitely won't be winning!);  it's unfortunate that fears hold some people back from experiencing thrilling events that can enrich their lives for the remainder of their years.

Think about your fears. Think about your satisfaction with your life. If throwing caution to the wind might make things just a little more thrilling.....stop letting fear hold you back.




Monday, January 7, 2013

Motivation





"There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth."
~Maya Angelou

"I used to be scared of uncertainty; now I get a high out of it."
~Jensen Ackles

"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass."
~Maya Angelou

"If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living."
~Gail Sheehy

"My life is the eye of the hurricane - an island of calm in a sea of uncertainty."
~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

"We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance."
~Harrison Ford

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight
of the stars makes me dream."
~Vincent van Gogh

"When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to 
step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two 
things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will 
be taught how to fly."
~Barbara J. Winter


"There is no doubt that life can be a bumpy ride.
But so were those roller coasters you loved as a kid.
Savor the adventure.
Find excitement in the uncertainty and the constant change.
Even let a touch of fear add spice to your life -
as you did on that roller coaster."
~Jonathan Lockwood Huie



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wasting Time In The Gym



The purpose of this is not to make fun or ridicule others, it's really meant to make you think about what you are doing when you go into the gym. First, kudos to everyone who actually makes it to the gym, that's the first step!

When you go into the gym, you need to have a plan, going in without a well thought out plan is like grocery shopping without a list. You will end up forgetting things you needed, and leaving with many things you didn't. You will have wasted time and money, and I am not sure about you, but I have a shortage of both of those things!


If you are serious, you have a written plan, a book or binder that has your workout already recorded - at least the exercises you are supposed to do. Mine has my own "code" where I will discuss it with Roy ahead of time, and then on one side (right of the page) in parentheses, I record what I am supposed to aim for (weight, sets, reps and rest periods), then on the left side of the page I record what I actually do. 

This conversation takes place three times a week based on what he and I just trained that day and how that training went.



It is important, more important than you may realize. If you are not increasing weight, sets or reps every workout, you really are not making progress are you? The human body is amazing at adapting to it's environment so if you do not change things up, it won't need to change to adapt to the surroundings. Don't expect to remember- if you can then you are doing the same thing over and over, I guarantee it!




A timer is also important, to make sure you don't rest too long and you may want to time the amount of time you spend lifting, the "Time Under Tension", the longer the muscle is under tension, the better. It forces you to concentrate, to really think about the tempo and what you are doing.

I also record my weight, how I feel that morning and how I look. It changes, I can look hard and ripped or soft and flabby in a matter of days. 


So, some things that I see that are truly a waste of time? I think the number one is using this for their abs:


Yes, I see people come up to this and lean back and quickly jerk their knees up and down a whole bunch of times, I swear, maybe 100 of them! I am sure they are convinced they are building abs of steel, but why don't  they get a clue when their abs don't look any better, any tighter, or any different at all? Sure, there is an effective way of very slowly performing leg lifts, but no one does it, no one. And, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn't matter what you do, unless you diet long and hard, and get rid of all that body fat, no amount of ab training will help you.

A lot of people spend a great deal of time on this, or something that looks like this: The Ab Crunch

And they are chatting with their friends at the same time! Same thing here, no good, it's just a waste of your time if you don't do it correctly and start the diet first.

I also see people run all around, with no rhyme or reason, training all different body parts. You don't have to train in the bodybuilder style where you train one body part a day, but you do need to consider which muscles you are training and which ones may exhaust from one exercise before you can actually effectively train another. There is actual science behind all this........

Squatting with little weights, I mean really little, like a 45 pound bar, or maybe 65 pounds. The legs and glutes are massive muscles, they need some heavy weight, squatting like this is really a waste of time.

Using the entire body to perform a lat pull down. That's this thing:



The point of this exercise is not how heavy you can go, it's how strict you can do it and isolate the correct muscles, the lats:



If you just pile the machine with lots of weight and then lean waaaaay back to pull it down, you are missing the entire point, you are not utilizing the lats at all.  You are supposed to be pulling down with the upper back muscles (lats), not your arms, not your torso, not your entire body.


Lifting weights then launching into a long period of cardio. This is OK if you are trying to lose bodyfat or lose weight (two completely different things folks), or perhaps just participate in "General Physical Fitness" but not if you are trying to add lean mass. It's counter productive. 

And last: Doing the exact same thing over time and time again, with the same weights.  This has got to be the biggest waste of time. There is no challenge to the mind or body here, muscles will not grow, and you won't lose any bodyfat or weight since your body will be accustomed to the same thing every single time. Might as well stay in and watch a move! 

I think that many people seem to forget a fundamental rule about weight training. It takes time, effort and practice to excel. You need to give 100% effort when you are doing it. Just like any skill, you need to learn to be good and you need to put the energy and love into it or you won't reap the rewards. It doesn't happen over night or even in a few weeks.

If you just want to go in and burn off some calories, and don't really care about body composition or sculpting your muscles, then this can be accomplished easily by just jumping rope in your driveway, or any other method of energy expenditure you can think of. 

Take a look at what you are doing and make sure you are challenging your body every single day!