Back Attack

 

Back day is another favorite day of mine. I love doing back workouts and the pump you get from it. From Pull-ups to deadlifts and everything in between.  I believe having a strong back is key to being strong in all your other lifts. Here are my favorite back workouts.

Let’s start with the king of all back workouts, the deadlift.  This is another favorite lift of mine. I started doing sumo deadlift (wider stance) then I fell in love with doing conventional (shoulder length stance). This is the lift where form is key, if your form is crappy you’ll have a one way ticket to snap city and snap something. This isn’t only a great back lift, but it also hits other parts of your body. If you don’t know how to do this lift or you are having trouble with it here’s a video on how to do them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rRfS49JG6c. It’s a little long but it’s worth not getting injured and learning how to do  the lift correctly.

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Rows are another staple in my workout. I like doing seated cable rows, your gym should have something where you’re able to do these. I do close and wide grip to attack different parts of my back.

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If your gym has this, take advantage of it. The T bar row is another great lift to do, I do close and wide grip just to attack the back. You can do different variations of this lift if your gym doesn’t have this machine. For example sticking a bar in the corner and using a close grip attachment and then do some rows.

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If your gym has this machine, I recommend doing it. To not only help hit the rear delt, but to hit your upper back even more. The high row machine, I  started doing these and I fell in love with them.

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I also like adding wide and close grip lat pull downs for more variations. Here is how to do the lat pull down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQFyIWak8K8. You can use the different attachments to change the grips at your gym.

 

I like to end my workout with these, the good ol’ pull ups. I like to do two variations of the pull up.  I start off with doing regular pull ups, palms facing forward and a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. Then I use a neutral grip where your palms are facing each other, your gym should have something where you are able to do neutral  grip  pull-ups. Doing neutral grip is different, it’ll feel kind of weird at first, but I enjoyed doing them and it’s another way to attack the back.

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I like to do shoulders on my back day too. Here are some of my favorite shoulder workouts if you’re looking to build Mount Rushmore on your shoulders and to attack the three heads of your shoulder (front, mid, and rear). I like to start off with working my rear delts.

I’m sure some of you do a lot of presses, i.e.  bench press and overhead press. You might notice you’re be walking like a caveman. To fix this you want to open up and a great way to do this is by working on your rear delts.

I start off with the rear delt flies, like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0bxHj1bvPs. I also liketo add   face pulls to work my rear delt even more. I just started incorporating them in my workout and I love them. Here’s how to do the lift by Omar Isuf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSoHeSjvIdY&t=5s.You

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Then I do the king of all shoulder workouts, the overhead press. I like to do strict overhead press, but some people like to do push presses and add  a little help from your legs. Here is a video by Omar Isuf for more help  with  the lift https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fOPh9g0TIQ. This is a great lift to get those boulder shoulders.

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I like to attack the mid head of your shoulders by doing shoulder dumbbell fly’s like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VcKaXpzqRo

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I like to end it with dumbbell or barbells shrugs. You can do whichever you prefer, but I like to do dumbbell shrugs to grow them bear catching traps.

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There you have it, my favorite back workouts to attack that back and shoulder workouts to get those boulder shoulders. Try adding some of these to your workout, you might like them too! You will hit your next goal, lose those last couple pounds, and get that PR! Don’t forget about time under tension, mind to muscle connection and most importantly remember  YES YOU KEN!!

 

  • Ken

 

 

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Typical day of eating

 

I wanted to give you guys my typical day of eating. You might get some ideas of what to eat to help you reach those goals!

Right now I’m maintaining my weight, long story short. The life threatening accident I had a couple years back is stopping me from putting on muscle. My left side is still weak from the traumatic brain injury I suffered and it wouldn’t make sense to and have one side be bigger than the other. So right now I’m just maintaining my weight and having fun when I hit the gym. Trying out different lifts and seeing which ones I like and will be good to do once I’m fully recovered.  I’m 5’ 7” 150lbs and eat around 2400 calories.

I go to the gym 3 days a week (MWF) in the morning and don’t really track what I eat on my off days.  I usually start my fast depending on how bad I ate on my off day and fast for 16-19 hours.  I stop eating around 7-9 and won’t eat until 2-3 the next day.

My typical day on the days I work out goes like this. Right before I hit the gym, I drink a cup of coffee 20-30 min before my workout. I don’t need much caffeine to give me the energy to kill a workout and a cup of coffee usually does the trick. When I feel like I want go extra hard I take 500 mg of l-tyrosine with my cup of coffee.  I’m at the gym for an hour and a half to 2 hours and break my fast according to how late I ate the day before.

My post workout meal consists of a protein shake and waffles made with Kodiak cakes brand mix. I like to break my fast with a protein shake and I like to  add  dark chocolate to my waffles for some healthy fats and top it off with some lite syrup. This comes to about 310 calories per waffle with the chocolate, and syrup. I usually have 2 servings of the waffles. Protein shakes usually come out to around 140 calories. That’s 450 calories for a waffle and a shake.

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Then maybe 30 min to an hour later I’ll have some cereal and dried fruit. I’m a big cereal fan and to add more calories, fiber, and vitamins I like to add dried fruit. I usually buy “healthy” cereal i.e. cheerios, hone bunches of oats, special k, Kashi, and whatever else you like. Dried fruit I usually buy them at Costco and get that bulk price.  All of this together with milk will comes to around 400 calories. I say that would be great for one meal.You can use whole milk or 2% whatever fits best for you.

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For my main meal I prepare pasta. Pasta bought in bulk from Costco and ground turkey also bought in bulk from Costco. You can use any sauce, but I prefer red sauce. Classico and Bertolli brand to be exact. You can use any sauce but the calories and macro-nutrients will change. The pasta meal comes out to around 500 calories.You can add whatever you like to your pasta (spices, vegetables, or cheese), but remember to keep in track of the calories and macros

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I like to eat snack in between meals. For example I have fiber one bars to add some fiber to my diet. The bar I eat is 140 calories per bar. I sometimes eat nuts, cookies, anything I can find the fill in the rest of my calories and that fits my macros if I need to eat some more.e creative and eat whatever fits in yours.

 

I eat the same meal every time I work out and to keep me sane and keep things “juicy”. I like to add some cereal to my diet i.e. lucky charms, captain crunch, and any interesting one I find at the store. Right now I have this blueberry pancake captain crunch cereal that is pretty damn delicious. This meal comes to around 300 calories. This will sort of be my dessert. If you like ice cream, skinny cow is a favorite of mine. It’s great tasting and has great macros.

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There you have it, my full day of eating. This is an example of what I eat on my days I go to the gym. I hope you got some ideas on food to eat when you hit the gym from reading this! Remember you can mess around with this and make them perfect for you. For example add more than one serving and have a bigger meal, don’t have to add dried fruit and add fresh fruit instead,  or you can take out the cereal all together and replace it with another treat and  whatever fits around your macros. Thanks for reading and remember YES YOU KEN!

-Ken

Chest day

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I wanted to write about my next favorite day, chest day! I love working out chest, I get a great pump every time I do. I like to do whole bunch of workouts to help build them chesticles and target every part of the chest. Here are some of my favorite lifts  to do on  chest day.

Let’s start off with the main lift that I feel like everyone does the bench press! Everybody wants to push a lot of weight on this lift “aye bro how much you bench?” This is a great lift to help build chest, but some people are doing them incorrectly and hurt their shoulders. The key is to press your shoulders on the bench and have your scapula’s touch, keep your shoulders tight, and arch your back to  keep your shoulders  healthy. Here’s is a video by Chris Jones that helps you set up for the bench https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ5iCcKzg2Q&t=201s

Next one I feel like is the king of all chest workouts, dips. Dips are a great lift for your lower part of the chest, I like that dip on my chest to show. It doesn’t only activate your lower chest but it also hits your triceps. I see a lot of people who do this lift and tend to dip forward while they go down and end up hurting their shoulders too. The key is to also retract,  have your scapula’s touch and be upright so you won’t hurt your shoulders when you dip down. Try to go below parallel when you go down or as low as you can go. Here is a video by Omar Isuf showing you how to dip correctly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqxwoQvMEjY&t=4s. If you’re a beast, you can add weight in between your legs or get  a belt where you can add weight to add more difficulty.

If your gym has a decline bench, you can use that for your lower chest also. This is a great lift to do, but remember to retract your shoulders and keep them tight to prevent injury!

Now for your upper chest, I like to do incline bench press. I don’t like using the fixed incline bench they have at your gym and do barbell incline presses because it seems to be more of a shoulder workout to me. I like to use the bench they have at your gym where you can choose the angle and do dumbbell incline presses. Set the bench to about 30 – 40 degrees, from trial and error and advice from many people I watch on YouTube.  This seems to be the best angle for your upper chest.

If your upper chest is still lagging try doing the landmine chest press lift. This is a lift that will help your upper chest a lot. I like doing these and get that upper chest sore. Here is a video on how to perform them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G-_FTEkoNw

I also like to isolate the chest to help them grow further and get those titties. If your gym has this machine, I like using the chest fly machine. You can also use dumbbells and  go on the flat bench to help isolate them too like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S298ziysRdI&t=65s

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Lastly I like to go back to basics with this one. The good ol’ pushup is  a great tool for working out your chest. They activate muscles that the bench press doesn’t  hit and it’s a great workout too! Challenge your friends when you work out together and see who can do more.

I like to work out my triceps on my chest day as well. Besides the dip this is another favorite tricep workout of mine, the single cable pushdown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl46Cxc4DDs

There you have it, some of my favorite chest workouts. Try some of these on your next chest day. You might enjoy doing some of them too. I like to do 3-5 sets of 4-7 reps on these lifts, more or less. Tailor it down to what works best for you. Remember the mind to muscle connection and have time under tension, but most importantly YES YOU KEN!!

  • Ken

 

 

ALL KINDS OF GAINS

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I’ve written a lot about losing weight and now it’s time to  make some  gains. Whether you’re looking to gain a few pounds, fit in that large tank top,  want to get arms that are illegal to carry around unless you have a permit or hit a new PR. I believe that getting  your calories in are  the priority. You can work out like crazy and do thousands of reps, but they won’t do anything if you don’t eat enough.

It’s calories in vs. calories out. You want to make sure to eat more than your recommended daily caloric intake. You can find this number in a previous post I wrote about calories. Here is a video just in case you forgot by Michael Kory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKIuW_-03wQ&t=364s.

Let’s use an example person, Tony is 5’7” 140 and is tired of being scrawny and decides he wants to “bulk” up a few pounds. He’s thinking of going to the gym 3-5 days a week, he would need to consume around 3100 calories in order to gain weight. It might seem a lot of food but you can eat that throughout the day. I recommend getting a weight gainer and you’ll be able to drink a lot of those calories, but make sure it’s not replacing most of your meals and you’re getting most of it from food. Treat the gainer as a supplement and you’re drinking it to get in the rest of your calories.

For workouts, I like going high reps. I believe that you need to put tension on your muscles as much as you can,  it will help with building them up. I like going 3-4 sets of 5-7 reps for each lift. You can tweak it to what works best for you.  Here are some tips to help you with your workout.

Tips:

  1. Mind to muscle connection
    1. I believe this is one of the top advices I can give you. You want to think about the muscle you are working on. For example when you are benching  you want to think about your chest working and contracting. You don’t want to just push the weight. Think about it, you’ll feel it more.
  2. Focus on the negative
    1. When you lift the weight and go back down, you don’t want to just go down and put it back on the rack. Focus on controlling the weight when you go down, going down slowly. You’ll feel your muscles contract. You’ll feel sorer but that’s when you know you are using those muscles, it’s a good sore. The key is time under tension.
  3. Focus on yourself
    1. Don’t worry about the person next to you. You are in your own lane. The person next to you might be lifting more or is bigger, but have that mentality that you’re going to get stronger and bigger than that.  Patience young Padawan
  4. Watch videos on some of the lifts you are doing
    1. I like doing this, I watch a lot of fitness people on YouTube and they give great advice on some of the mistakes on common lifts that people do and how to fix them. I catch a lot of my mistakes when I watch these videos and once I fix them, the lift feels so much better. Omar Isuf has a great video on improving your deadlift https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40K74N1Nu-8&t=532s. Your glass is always half empty, there are always new things to learn about lifting. He also has one on doing dips correctly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqxwoQvMEjY&t=3s. Keep an open mind and always be willing to learn! Most importantly learn to do them correctly to avoid injury!

5. Don’t forget to track your macros!

6. Sleep! Get plenty of sleep, it is proven that sleep will help build muscle. In my onion, sleep is the best supplement you have. Better than anything you can buy. Try to aim for 8 hours.

Here’s a video on how to figure out your bodybuilding macros by Michael Kory  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa1DOQ2r5MQ&t=16s

There you have it, my take on gaining weight. These are things that I believe will help you bust those sleeves, make you buy a bigger size shirt, have guns that will require permits. You’ll hit your next goal, gain that 5 pounds, hit another PR (personal record)! YES YOU KEN!

 

-Ken

80/20 rule

 

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I wanted to give my take on dieting again. I still encounter a lot of people who don’t take diet so seriously and just worry about the workout part. They think they can eat anything, workout and boom they’ll get the body they want or simply eating “healthy” will help them lose those extra pounds. For example someone said they were going to hit the gym then get  some all you can eat KBBQ(korean bbq) right after, why?!  Your diet should be as important or more than your workout.

I strongly follow this ratio for reaching my fitness goals.  It’s 80 percent diet and 20 percent  gym. Yes I believe your diet is more important than your workout. Abs are made in the kitchen after all. Doing countless ab exercises won’t do anything if you’re not keeping track of what you eat.  You won’t be able to see them cheese graders if you keep doing crunches and still eat over or way under your daily caloric intake.

For example let’s say you want to lose weight. You work out 3-5 days a week, but you don’t take your diet seriously. You eat burgers, go to buffets, AYCE KBBQ, and just make whatever and not knowing how many calories you’re taking in. Those workouts you did were pointless in my opinion. You went to the gym so you can eat unhealthy, that just cancels out your workout. If you want to reach your goals you have to be really serious about it.  It’s not as easy as some people think. Having a solid workout regimen, a good diet plan, and being consistent are keys to success.

I’ve said this in a previous blog. In my opinion you have to take your diet as serious as your workout. The way I look at it, if I go to the gym and my goal is to lose or gain weight. If I didn’t get what I needed to eat that day or I didn’t eat very well, my workout was useless.

The most efficient and fastest way to reach your goals are counting your calories and measuring/weighing out your food. Yes it might be tedious and time consuming, but no one said it was easy. There are people who don’t measure or be so exact, but I’m sure they are tracking something.

You want to be defined as a dictionary, track what you eat! You want those sleeved busting arms, track what you eat! You want to have a thigh gap, track what you eat! Trust me, once you start doing it and start making it a habit. It will all start being second nature. Don’t worry; you can still have that pizza, cake, or ice cream. That’s what cheat days are for. But don’t let them become cheat weeks or months. .

Remember this is a process. You won’t see changes in a day or two. It’s going to take time, but all your hard work and dedication will show in the end! Remember consistency is key, track what you eat and don’t cheat yourself; you’re only going to suffer in the end. Sacrifices will be made, but they’re for your good. You don’t want to waste those countless hours in the  gym. You can reach your next goal, you’ll fit in those jeans, and you’ll bust those sleeves. YES YOU KEN!

-Ken

Supplements I reccomend

Supplements are a multi-million dollar business. There is a bunch out there, but I believe you only need a few. Here are the supplements I recommend taking. I like to keep it simple and as long as they do the job, I’ll take it.

Let’s first start with what I think is the most essential no matter what your goal is, whey protein. It is really hard to get your daily protein from just food. Some people need 150+ grams of protein. It would be hard to get that simply from your food. You’d have to eat a bunch of steaks. Each scoop of preotein contains around 20+ grams of protein and only has around 100 calories. You can fit this in your diet plan very easily. There are many kinds of whey protein out there. If you want something that just does the job.  I recommend protein from Optimum Nutrition, their gold standard one. It gives you 24 grams of protein with only 120 calories. It is also affordable and great tasting.

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If you’re looking to gain weight and need something with a lot of calories. They also have a great weight gainer that adds a whopping 1000+ calories and 50G of protein. This is a great supplement if you’re looking to reach your caloric intake.

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For those looking for something to help you get that extra push in the gym , I recommend taking this as a pre-workout.  1-2 hundred mg of caffeine and 1 gram of L-tyrosine. I’ve used this and I must say it worked very well for me. I was very focused in the gym and had a ton of energy. It’s also very cheap , each workout will only cost you only a couple cents. These two bottle can be purchased at your local supplement store or you can grab them on amazon for a total of 20+$. This will last you for a couple months if you go to the gym a couple times a week. Compared to spending 40-50$ on a bottle of pre-workout that will last you for maybe a month

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If you’re looking to gain weight and want to build some muscle, I recommend taking creatine. This is a supplement that is proven to help you in the gym and help you push heavier weight/get those extra reps, which means more muscle building. You can get creatine from food sources but you’ll have to eat a lot of it to get the recommended daily amount. You’d need to eat 3 pounds of steak to get the daily recommended amount. If you buy a supplement, each scoop will give you 5 grams. That’s all you need in a day. There are a ton of creatine supplements out there, but you need creatine monohydrate. I recommend the one by optimum nutrition. It’s cheap and does the job. It also gives you 100+ servings for one bottle. Make sure you drink a lot of water while taking creatine too. Here is a video about creatine by Omar Isuf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLRbUHAfkV0 .

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This last supplement is not really a supplement but I like getting my daily amount in. Fiber is essential for everybody. If you’re fasting it will help you stay full longer when you start your fast and your rear end will be very happy. Women need at least 25 grams of fiber. Men need 30-38 grams. It’s hard getting your fiber in just from food. I like to buy fiber bars, these bars can be bought at your local grocery store. I buy the big box of fiber one bars from Costco. It comes with 48 bars and each bar has 9 grams of fiber. With the right food, you can easily reach your daily recommended amount.

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Your micro-nutrients are also important to get in. Your vitamin Cs, As,  calcium, potassium, etc.  It’s hard getting your daily recommended daily intake from just food. I highly recommend taking in a daily multi-vitamin supplement. Your over the counter one-a-day is good enough.

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These are the supplements I recommend taking. I’m sure there are  a bunch more, but these I feel like are essential. You’re going to reach your next goal, YES YOU KEN!

Send your questions or a topic you want me to write about to yesyouken90@gmail.com.

Thanks!

  • Ken

My 2 cents on the big bad word, Diet

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It’s the first of the month, why not start it off with something I think everyone should know and give my take on dieting. Diet, many   of you have heard of it, but few understand.

I’ve spoken to and come by a lot of people who have different ways of looking at a diet. Whether they are looking to gain weight or shed a few pounds. It isn’t easy as some people think it may be.

A lot of people have that mentality where they think they can just eat whatever they want, workout and expect to see change.

It’s not that simple, transformation for your body takes a lot of time and patience. There isn’t a pill or special drink that will magically make you skinny or buff. If it was that simple, everyone you’d come across would have the body they want. I like to tell my friends this; all you need are 2 things hard work and dedication. The hard work you put in the gym/diet and Dedication to your goal.  You need to put in work not only in the gym, but also in your eating habits.

For example if you like to drink alcohol, you need to completely cut that out if you’re really serious about transforming your body.  Think about it,  it’s all  just carbs. You’re drinking calories straight up. If you are a heavy drinker that can drink  a lot of drinks. An average pint of beer has about 200 calories.  If you drink 5 in one day that’s already 1000 calories of what I like to call empty calories.

If you like to drink mixed drinks, an average mixed drink is about 100 calories. 5 a day  comes out to 500 empty calories. Not only that, think of all the sugar you get from them. It all adds up and at the end of the day you could  be close to 3000  calories with the drinks and all the food and drunk munchies  you’ve  eaten combined.

Speaking of drunk munchies, they have to go in order to reach your goal and desired body as well. No more fast food joints and eating out has to be kept to a minimum.  If you do go out, stick to the healthier alternatives. Getting them  cheese grater abs is harder than you thought right?

If you are looking to gain weight, you need to watch what you eat as well. It’s not easy as having a seefood diet (whatever you see you eat). If you take that approach you might end up eating more than you really need. All that excess calories will end up becoming fat. By the time you’re done with your bulk, you’ll have gain so much fat and it’ll be twice as hard to cut down and look all sexy. You’ll take even longer to lean out. I like to go 3 to 5 hundred over my maintenance calories; I believe that’s good enough to build muscle and not gain too much fat in the process. You can choose to go more, but remember if you go over too much, all that extra calories will end up becoming  fat.

One thing I like to do to be really accurate with what I put in my body is buy a food scale, measuring cups and spoons.  It can be really tedious measuring everything out, but that is one  price you have to pay in order to get that sexy body. It might seem a lot at first, but as long as you keep doing it,  it will get easy and become second nature, plus it’ll save you some money in the long run. Instead of pouring milk by sight and pouring more than one serving, you measure out one serving and get more out of that gallon of milk.

Looking sexy takes hard work, dedication and patience. If you read my post on what i like to do to attack a diet, you won’t have to die.  All the hard work you put in the goal you’re trying to reach will show in your body I promise! Don’t worry, you got this  in the bag and YES YOU KEN!

– Ken