My trip to the 2017 FIBO Expo in Cologne, Germany, was full of firsts. It was my first time in Europe and it was my first international expo. It was also my first time training with Animal‘s Roman Fritz. Thinking back, that training session was probably the part of my trip I was most nervous about, and with good reason.
Let me tell you, training with a respected IFBB pro bodybuilder is a world of difference from training with your local gym buddy. But even other IFBB pros have told me Roman is one of the most intense guys they’ve ever met. And best (or worst) of all, I’d be training on Roman’s home turf in Germany.
Since the first workout wasn’t legs, I wasn’t going to worry—too much. With the exception of a few “filler sets” of calves—Roman’s choice, since he was trying to bring them up—this was a full-on upper-body assault, and I knew from the opening reps that this was the real deal. But, there was no way I was backing out.
Chasing The Pain with Roman Fritz and Vincenzo Masone Watch the video: 16:13
Simply Brutal at Simply Fit
Roman and I took the local bus to Simply Fit Gym in Cologne. I was anticipating that we’d train shoulders and some chest, but Roman had different plans. Upon arriving at the gym, Roman told me we’d train chest, after warming up with a little back—since it’s the antagonist to chest—and calves. Then, we’d crush chest…and finish off with shoulders later that same night.
Because I was still jet-lagged and because I knew I would need to dig extra-deep today, a pre-workout was a must. I alternate between Animal Fury with Animal Rage for three months at a time, then go without a pre-workout for a month to ensure my tolerance isn’t shot. Aside from that, my stack was the norm for a long, heavy workout: a scoop of aminos and 30-50 grams of Universal Carbo Plus. I knew I was going to be tested to my limit, so fueling up strategically was a no-brainer.
Roman’s philosophy is to train two or three body parts per workout, twice daily. That may sound like a crazy amount of work to cram into a single day, and he’s heard that response plenty of times, but he doesn’t care.
“People will say, ‘That’s a lot of volume. You’re starting out with calves, then you go into back, then the third exercise is chest.’ What I say to that is if you’re eating enough, and you’re sleeping enough, trust me, there is nothing that will break you down or overtax you in a way that you can’t build muscle,” he says. “Fuck overtraining. Bring the pain. Go for it.”
Roman Fritz’s “Chase the Pain” Chest Workout
Chase the Pain, Find the Pain, Befriend the Pain
I live for training sessions like this. When Roman screamed at me, it felt like he could wake the dead. But even with that voice in my ear, throughout the workout I had to work to mentally push past the pain I was experiencing. 10 sets of dumbbell bench, then 5 supersets of high-rep flyes and bench press—that’s more than most people do in a week. At that point, I remember thinking—hoping—the workout was nearly over. I was wrong.
Roman had saved the best for last. He took me through one of his favorite chest exercises: the dumbbell pull-over. Not only does it effectively work out your chest and back, it also improves your flexibility in the upper spine and shoulders. The important things to keep in mind with the dumbbell pull-over are: have your head and waist below the bench, take deep breaths with the stretch, and keep focused. Of course, it also helps to have a pro push you through that last rep—or those last 5, as it ended up being. Not wanting the dumbbell to knock out my teeth was also motivating.
So, what does it take to improve? I traveled halfway around the world for the answer: you have to chase the pain. And when you catch it, you have to push past it. Improvement happens in the extra reps, the extra set you didn’t think you could make. I know this will not be the last time I train with the kind of intensity I experienced in Cologne. Hopefully, I’ll be able to return the favor one day and train Roman here in Long Island.
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia diving coach Dan Laak and former swimmers Paige Wilson Penze and Elizabeth Hill Newman have been chosen for induction into the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will take place Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Laak is entering his 31st season as the Georgia diving coach. He was picked as the National Coach of the Year in 2006, 2008 and 2014. Laak earned SEC Coach of the Year honors in 2001, 2005 and 2006 with the men and in 2014 with the women. He has coached two divers (Chris Colwill and Laura Ryan) to five NCAA titles and also has produced 12 SEC champions. Laak was a member of the United States coaching staff for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and served on the Brazil staff at the 2016 Games. This past week, Laak was chosen as the Team Leader for the United States diving contingent going to the World Championships in Hungary in July.
An Athens native, Penze competed for Georgia from 1990-93. She picked up 21 All-America citations and won conference titles in the 100-yard and 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter backstroke. Penze was a two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American and earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Newman, a native of Atlanta, swam from 2005-08 and helped the Lady Bulldogs win the national title in 2005 and the SEC championship in 2006. In 2005, Newman swam the third leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay that won the NCAA title. She finished her career with seven All-America citations and was picked as a CSCAA Scholar All-American.
WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) will face fellow American Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) on July 29 in a non-title bout at light welterweight.
Three-weight world champion Garcia will move up five pounds to meet Broner, a former world champion in four weight divisions.
Garcia, who has won world titles at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight, claimed the WBC 135lb belt with a third round knockout over Dejan Zlaticanin in January.
Broner, who has won world titles at super featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight and welterweight, recently held the WBA 140lb belt but was stripped of the title 14 months ago because he failed to make weight a day before a a defence against Ashley Theophane, which Broner won by ninth round TKO.
Broner’s last fight was at the 147-pound welterweight limit when he outpointed Adrian Granados in February, but he has agreed to come back down to 140 pounds to fight Garcia.
-5 M Orrin (Eng), R Paratore (Ita); -4 J Donaldson (Wal), B Dredge (Wal); -3 E Pepperell (Eng), H Li (Chn), B Herbert (Fra)
Selected others: -2 T Lewis (Eng); -1 M Southgate (Eng); E H Stenson (Swe); +2 A Noren
England’s Max Orrin shares the lead with Italy’s Renato Paratore at the Nordea Masters in Malmo.
The 23-year-old European Tour rookie, world-ranked 469, shot a five-under-par 68 at Barseback Golf and Country Club.
Welsh pair Jamie Donaldson and Bradley Dredge are both just one shot behind after the opening round.
“It was tough out there, a lot of swirling winds which made it difficult judging clubs, but I managed to put a good score together,” Orrin said.
Donaldson’s opening round 69 belied his recent form – he has just one top-10 finish in the last 17 months – while Dredge’s strong show came in the week he qualified for his first US Open at the age of 43.
Open champion and Barseback member Henrik Stenson carded a level-par 73 while fellow Swede and world top 10 player Alex Noren – fresh from winning the PGA Championship – finished two over on 75.
Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week”. Swimming World will be bringing you a drill, concept, or tip that you can implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), Drill Of The Week excerpts are meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.
This week’s drill progression is a short series of drills meant to work on setting up maximum distance per stroke for your sprint freestyles. Take a look at the drill progression below and the description that follows:
The progression starts with hand lead kick drill, with your swimmers simply kicking on their stomachs with their arms extended, working on engaging their core to keep a long and stable body position while kicking. Next, swimmers will keep that same length and core engagement while transitioning to front position sculling, finding good contact with their hands in the same position where they will be entering the water on their freestyle stroke.
The last two 25’s are straight arm free and finish drill, both of which are meant to exaggerate either end of the stroke to lengthen out your athletes’ freestyle. On straight arm free, make sure your swimmers are entering at the maximum distance in front of them, entering the water far in front of their shoulders and making instant contact with the water. On finish drill, make sure they aren’t dropping the elbow in the second half of their stroke and are really accelerating into their recovery. This progression will help your athletes cue into all of the details that are essential to maintaining length in their freestyle when sprinting and make it easier to transition into high quality sprint work. Happy swimming!
All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.
Thick traps and cannonball shoulders make a good physique great. DTP will make you great. Get ready to torch every fiber in your delts and traps with a variety of reps and weights. You’ll be hitting this exact shoulder workout for the next four weeks, so you’d better get acquainted.
KRIS GETHIN’S DTP DELTS & UPPER TRAPS WORKOUT Watch The Video – 15:24
We go behind the head with the press. If you have tight rotator cuffs or if you’ve had an injury there, I suggest you start off by stretching and warming the area. Stretch different angles: overhead, behind-the-back, trigger point and arm circles.
“If you want to attain a physique that others deem as unnatural, you gotta do things in the gym that are unnatural.”
On the upright rows, I take a wide grip. This is to specifically target the rear delts of the shoulders. I use a little bit of a swing, which I call “controlled cheating,” just to make sure I have a little bit of give within my spine. If I go too strict on this movement, I’ll feel more pressure within the joints instead of the muscles.
I don’t completely lock out my elbows, so it may look like I’m doing just a partial movement. I find I get a lot more stress on the delt by coming all the way down, really low, and just coming 3/4 of the way up. If I just go to parallel, then go all the way up, I find that I’m relaxing and using a lot of triceps. I find it harder doing more of a partial rep, like you see in the video.
I lean forward slightly, especially on the bottom portion of the rep, just to take pressure off the spine and put it a little bit on the erectors (the muscles around the spine). I find it a little bit safer and I may be able to get a slightly fuller range of motion, as well. Your grip might start to weaken during shrugs, even if you’re wearing wraps. That’s normal. Keep punching through this; dig deep and it all just comes down to how bad you want it.
I use gloves and straps, instead of wrist wraps. I find that shrugs, on the barbell or dumbbell, just totally rip my hands apart. It hurts my hands more than it hurts my traps. Must be getting soft in my old age!
Dynamic Transformation Tips
I don’t always stretch between shoulder press sets. Sometimes I do, if I’m feeling a little tight. I stretch to make sure I’m improving the elasticity of the muscle, the muscle fibers and the muscle fascia. If you have tight shoulders, I recommend you stretch between every set.
Trigger Point Therapy
If you’ve got really tight shoulders, a Trigger Point kit can help. I use the ball and the block for front delts. Lie face-down with the ball directly atop the block and under the front of the delt, where it meets the pecs. The pressure of your bodyweight breaks down the tissue, and opens up that tight area. Roll back and forth slightly, rotating your arm. Roll both sides.
While stretching, I focus on the physical aspect of what I am about to go through. I use this time to mentally focus on the workout and get rid of anything that might block my mind: work issues, relationship issues, whatever it may be.
You will experience mental fatigue, but will also incur a lot of physical and cardiovascular fatigue. You are not used to high reps with such high intensity. You’re going to gasp on some oxygen. I recommend you hit a lot of cardio with DTP to prepare your whole body.
If you don’t reach failure in 40 repetitions on the first set, you didn’t use a heavy enough weight. If you haven’t done an exercise recently, or ever, or with DTP, it may be hard to gauge. Wherever you start, count it as a set. Adjust the weight for the second set so you always reach failure.
Make sure that you lift smart! If you choose a weight that’s too heavy, don’t hesitate to rest/pause. Rack the weight, rest for about 5 seconds, and continue lifting. Make sure you’ve recovered enough energy to continue the set. Always hit the target number of reps, even if you have to rest/pause.
Around sets 8, 9 and 10, fatigue starts to sneak in. It is easy to take a longer rest period or pick a lighter weight, but you have to dig deep. Remember, if you want to attain a physique that others deem unnatural, you gotta do things in the gym that are unnatural. Select a heavier weight, keep the rest times down and dig deep and get it done. You’ll feel better for it in the end because you’ll achieve something that no one else does.
Take your post-workout shake, rest, recover and get ready for cardio tomorrow.
Check out the full range of DTP accessories!Go Now!
After three weeks on the Squat Every Day trainer, you may be tempted to cut corners here and there, but don’t do it! Completing the pause in today’s squat variation is just as important now as it was during the first week. Incorporating these pause squats into your routine will help your body develop explosive strength.
Your shoulders and triceps will get a workout today as well, helping you to create that sculpted upper body you crave. Use the warm-up sets to prep your muscles to do a maximal amount of work!
Don’t forget about your nutrition and supplementation. By now, you should be noticing some great changes in your physique. Keep it up!
Squat Variation Front squat with pause Watch the video – 1:04
Photo Courtesy: Charlie Neibergall / AP & USA Today
Michael Phelps is taking his competitive spirit to poker this summer when he participates in several World Series of Poker (WSOP) events in Las Vegas. In fact, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal, he played an event with a trio of professional players at the Rio Convention Center this week.
Phelps played with Antonio Esfandiari, Jeff Gross and Brian Rast in the $10,000 buy-in Tag Team No-limit Hold ’em Tournament. Phelps, who had previously been friends with Gross, explained to the Review Journal that he had already competed in two WSOP events and planned on competing in more later in the summer, including the World Championship in July.
Phelps explained that playing high-level poker was “something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and now I semi have the freedom to.”
“I’m just learning more from what these guys do on a day-to-day basis and trying to just figure different things out,” Phelps said, according to the Review Journal. “It’s always fun. It’s a challenge, but it’s entertaining for me. It’s something I’ve always liked, and my wife (Nicole Johnson) plays as well, so it’s in the family.”
Read more from the Review Journal by clicking here.
When people talk about abdominals, the conversation usually doesn’t go far beyond the six-pack, but the core actually goes much deeper than any of the visible ab muscles. It’s time to learn how and why these muscles matter to the healthy movement and function of your body.
I’m going to teach you which muscles make up your core, what they do, and how they collectively work to stabilize your trunk so you can move heavy weight. Your abdominal training is about to get a serious pick-me-up. Here’s how science can help you achieve stronger, healthier abs.
Built By Science Abdominals Watch the video: 15:56
Despite popular belief, your abdominals are much deeper and more complicated than that superficial six-pack you check out in the mirror. Let’s get to the core of the issue.
These are the abdominal muscles you’ll find on the front of your body. They’re comprised of three layers: the deep layer, the intermediate layer, and the superficial layer.
These three muscles work together to help pressurize your inner-core musculature. Without this pressure, your core couldn’t stabilize and allow you to do those heavy deadlifts, squats, or overhead presses.
A lot of people don’t talk about the diaphragm in terms of exercise, but it’s critical to respiration. The diaphragm starts on the front inside of ribcage, comes up and around, and connects to the lower back.
The pelvic floor is made of muscles positioned below your pelvis. When you take a deep breath, your diaphragm comes down, and your pelvic floor catches the breath. The thoracic diaphragm and the pelvic floor pressurize and stabilize your spine.
Transverse Abdominus (TVA)
Your transverse abdominus is layered below your internal obliques and is another significant part of stabilizing your pelvis. It starts on the linea alba—the connective tissue that runs down the center of your torso—and attaches to the lower back.
The internal layer of your core lies between the deep and the superficial layer. It’s made up of a few muscles, but the most important is the internal oblique.
This muscle runs from linea alba—a vertical line down the middle of your anterior trunk—and attaches to the hip bone. It runs low to high, perpendicular to the external obliques. The internal oblique is an important muscle in respiration and torso rotation.
These are the muscles everybody wants to talk about. If you’re lean enough, the superficial layer of abdominal muscles forms a visible six-pack.
The external oblique runs from the ribcage down to your hips. Most people think of the external oblique as a trunk flexor or rotator, but it’s also a crucial muscle for stability through the core and midsection.
The external oblique helps posteriorly tilt the pelvis. A lot of people have the tendency to fall into anterior pelvic tilt, in which the lower back is arched and the hips are back, which creates a lot of pressure in the lower back. The external oblique is important for pulling the pelvis back to a neutral position.
The rectus abdominus originates on the pubis and inserts on the fifth, sixth, and seventh ribs, as well as the bottom portion of the sternum. It’s separated vertically by the linea alba and horizontally by three or four bands of connective tissue. These separations create six or eight muscle bellies that are collectively called the six-pack.
Your abdominals are much deeper and more complicated than the six-pack in the mirror.
Your core consists of more than just the muscles on the front of your body. It’s important to know what’s happening on the back. We’re going to focus on three specific muscle groups in this section: the multifidus, quadratus lumborum, and erector spinae.
The multifidi are small muscles that span 2-4 segments of the spine. You’ll never see them, but they’re important because they give your brain feedback about where your body is in space. These muscles also help control little movements throughout your spine.
Quadratus Lumborum (QL)
This big muscle runs from the top of the hip all the way up to your lower back. It’s important for side-to-side movements, but it’s even more important for preventing side movement. Your QL is necessary for controlling or resisting motion.
This muscle group starts at the sacrum and the top of the hip and connects to the ribcage, the top of your neck, and even as high as the base of your skull. These muscles are important for controlling motion during squats and deadlifts. If you need to maintain a little extension, that’s where erector spinae come into play.
The erector spinae are important for controlling motion during squats and deadlifts.
We many not think about them as often, but the bones and joints of your abdominal region are just as crucial to your training and development as your muscles.
The pelvis has two major motions: anterior tilt, which is rolling the hips forward and popping the hips back, and posterior tilt, which is rolling the pelvis underneath.
Your lumbar spine is comprised of the five vertebrae between your rib cage and your pelvis. It moves in lumbar flexion, or bending over forward; lumbar extension, which is arching backward; lateral flexion, or bending to the side; and rotation, which is rotating your torso to one side or another.
As important as these movements are when it comes to training, resisting motion is just as important. The lumbar spine doesn’t move much, other than front to back, so the more you can control or resist motion, the healthier your lumbar will be. A healthy lumbar means bigger, heavier lifts for a longer period of time.
The following are the exact movements your core is designed to do. A lot of people like talking about big-bang exercise like crunches, sit-ups, and side bends. In reality, your abs do a lot more than just flex. Here are the five motions you should know:
Take a deep breath in and hold it. That’s your diaphragm pressing down into your pelvic floor and out into your transverse abdominus. This pressure gives you a strong, stable spine to squat, deadlift, and overhead press.
Most people think your abdominals are only made to flex your trunk. They also control extension through the spine and lower back. Many people struggle to control arching backward. Your rectus abdominus and your internal and external obliques connect to the front of your pelvis and help control your lower back.
Lateral Flexion and Anti-Lateral Flexion
Lateral Flexion and Anti-Lateral Flexion
Internal and external obliques help you bend toward one side. This is called lateral flexion. The obliques and the quadratus lumborum are also important for keeping your spine neutral, which is called anti-lateral flexion. Imagine carrying a heavy bag of groceries. You need one side of your body to stay strong to control the motion so the other side doesn’t just drop to the side.
The rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, and internal and external obliques are responsible for keeping your body from rotating too far. Like anti-lateral flexion, anti-rotation helps keep the torso neutral against pressure. To do any push or pull with one side of the body, you need anti-rotation.
Medicine Ball Twist
Crunches and sit-ups are examples of flexion. Your ability to bend forward is important, but if you’re squatting or deadlifting, you better hope you don’t fall over forward. Your core’s ability to keep your torso from rounding over is going to keep your spine healthy and allow you to move more weight.
Now that you understand the anatomy and biomechanics of your abdominals, it’s time to put that knowledge in action. It’s time to move past endless crunches; here are some key movements that will help you get the most out of your core training.
The TRX fallout is a great exercise because it will help you sculpt that six-pack and create balance. Many of my clients have a tight, stiff lower back. They need some core strength to help offset the tension and build better anterior and posterior balance.
Set up on your toes with your hands under your shoulders, holding onto the TRX straps. Exhale to keep your core tight and hold that position. From here, allow your hands to fall in front of your body. Keep your core tight and your back straight and pull yourself back up.
In the bottom position, you use your rectus abdominus and internal and external obliques to control the motion and force a neutral spine, neck, upper back, and butt.
A lot like the TRX fallout, this movement will help you control and resist extension through your lower back.
Lie on your back and reach your hands toward the ceiling. Bring your feet, knees, and hips up to 90 degrees. Exhale hard to bring your ribcage down and flatten your back to the floor. Hold this position through the set.
From your starting position, extend and push through one heel and then bring it back up to 90 degrees. Your back is going to want to arch. Resist that tendency. Stay tight and reach long through the heel.
This is a fantastic exercise for teaching your body how to resist and control rotation from side to side.
Grab a D-handle cable attachment and pull it to your chest. Stand up and extend the handle so that your arms are straight. The weight will try to pull you back, but you can resist with your internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus, and QL. These muscles will keep you from rotating toward the weight. Hold the resisting position for 20-30 seconds, and then switch sides.
The suitcase deadlift will teach you how to control side-to-side motions through your core and the spine. Pick up a dumbbell from a bench and stand straight up. From this position, shift your weight back through your hips into a single-handed deadlift, and then pop back up. Keep your hips down and your chin down. Progressively work through a greater range of motion.
Because that weight is on one side, you’re going to work hard to keep the opposite side stable. So not only is this exercise great for strength, it’s also going to train those stability muscles like your obliques and your QL.
Better Abs, Built By Science
At the end of the day, your abdominal muscles are everything to your core. They literally tie your upper and lower body together. Whether you’re doing this trainer for a better physique or you want to lift more weight, you need a strong, stable midsection for optimal results.
Ab training is not about moving through your lumbar spine, but it’s about being able to resist motion. Understanding this aspect of your core can help you train it more effectively. All in all, this knowledge will help you look and perform better.
Follow the Built By Science Program
Look for the exercises and techniques discussed above in the weekly abs workouts of the six-week Built by Science program. Watch all the overview videos before attacking the gym. Remember, you need to combine mind and muscle to build your best possible body.
UltraSwim returns to the Queen City this weekend, when the four-day meet kicks off on Thursday, June 1 and runs through Sunday afternoon, June 4. SwimMAC Carolina plays host with events being held at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center, located at 800 E M.L.K. Jr. Boulevard, in uptown. The event brings together a wide range of competitive swimmers from teens to professionals — in swimming lingo, “age groupers,” typically 13-18 years old; 18 and up, high school through college; and professional swimmers, who compete for prize money at international events.
The Carolinas will be well-represented with swimmers attending the meet from Duke University, East Carolina University, North Carolina State University, Queens University, and University of South Carolina.
Other universities and clubs attending the meet include University of Georgia, University of Virginia, Missouri State University, Israel Swimming Association, Rose Bowl Aquatics (California), Tennessee Aquatics, and Saint Peters Aquatics (Florida).
UltraSwim is considered to be among the leading competitive swimming events in the country and has seen swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials, make national swim teams and even set a world record.
“We are very excited to return to our roots and bring back this prestigious meet that has always been so well attended by top level athletes and coaches from around the country,” said SwimMAC Head Coach Terry Fritch.
SwimMAC appreciates title sponsor, UltraSwim and all of the other sponsors who are supporting the event: Novant Health, Speedo, Harris Teeter, Charlotte’s Got a Lot, Carolina Swim Shop, Paddock Evacuator, Shiel Sexton, Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte Latin School, Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Kate Weaver Photography, Nothing But Noodles, and Carefree Boat Club.
About SwimMAC Carolina
SwimMAC Carolina is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers swimming programs for people of all ages and experience levels. Established as the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club in 1977, we have grown from a small competitive team into a highly-respected organization that provides aquatic instruction and training for nearly 10,000 people in the Charlotte region each year. Our mission is to empower young people to excel in life by developing the qualities of empathy, leadership and commitment.
Press release courtesy of SwimMAC Carolina and Geri Rosman.