Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Complex Training

One reasons why I made a blog was to be able to find different fitness programs and learn from a wide variety of resources, never limiting my knowledge base to only a few philosophies. Variety of programs is always helpful in one's toolbox and one of the people in the fitness world that really inspires and motivates me would have to be "Steve" Javorek.

I'm in awe everytime I read about Steve Javorek's history and his barbell complex routines for athletes. He is the founder of complexes and almost every fitness guru seems to have some kind of Javorek inspired complex in their program design on the internet. People use the term MRT nowadays, some crossfitters as well...but this is THE flat out the old school effective training tool that's been existent even before I was even born...shoot even way before the world wide web caught up with this type of training - this guy's been using this for over 40 years!

So I went looking online for his book "Javorek's Complex Conditioning" after watching a video testimonial by female boxing champ - Sumya Anani who's been applying Javorek's conditioning principles for over 10 years. Here's her youtube testimonial:

Couldn't find his book (they are out of stock on I googled up a website of his and in here he shares some of his greatest complexes ever created; here are some of them in action on youtube. Btw, I highly doubt those plates are even close to 45 lb on each side - but with this type approach - you don't need heavy weight. He still has great form none the less. So for the ego lifters - throw out the ego when trying to attempt these:

Complexes..a perfect cardio workout to utilize as a method to burn more fat without ever having to hit a treadmill or bike while still creating a positive stimulus to burn belly fat. You can do them for strength training as a full on workout on it's own. It's your choice. The variations are endless...Results: unbelievable.

So as an off day routine and to play around a little...I decided to do his BB complex 2 with just the bar. Upper back still sore from yesterday's workout and battling a little cold here - I did a light routine of Javorek's Barbell Complex # 2, performing 3 reps per exercise for 6 cycles. Believe me this can really stimulate a very good cardio vascular response. I just wanted to try it for kicks within the confines of home and I already was huffing by the 4th cycle (don't know if the cold has anything to do with it). Anyway it felt great. Here's how it went down:

Bar Upright Row
Bar High Pull Snatch
Bar Behind the Head Squat Push Press
Bar Behind the Head Good Morning
Bar Bent Over Row

He also has dumbell complexes that can be utilized too. Again, the variations are endless...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Today completes 4 weeks of this mass building program venture. In order to continue getting gains...I believe I would have to do at least another 4-6 more weeks...but it's just mentally gratifying to even complete 4 weeks on a program. I honestly thought I can do both (build muscle and lose fat at the same time - but guys, that's just hard to do. Creating blocks in the year for mass build and fat loss should be the way to go for me. It's one way or the other...not both).

Whatever which way I go I could still make a mass building program work towards fat loss. It's fun to be able to get all bulked up and all that - it doesn't take much discipline in dieting at all.

The workout I did was brutally tough but fun...body sore almost every day of the week...even on off days.

But now I'm ready to get back to conditioning circuits and metabolic strength training - and seriously get my bodyfat down to what's acceptable, which would require me to get down to 167 lbs.

Approach...I know it's going to take better nutrition but it's just tough trying to figure out which way to go with my training program. I have a few days to contemplate here.

I want to continue to develop my upper body but keep on squatting and I might throw a curve ball here in my approach i.e. more intervals, HIT, metabolic resistance style training...I know what I need to's just a matter of putting it into play.

Coming down with a little cold. May be from the snow trip we had to Big Bear over the weekend. Should be good in a few days...


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shoulder Day and Lent

So today was shoulders. Got a wake up call from a very good friend of mine and it was off to the races to the gym to close out week 3 with some shoulder work.

3 weeks in and am really enjoying the workout design. Slightly tweaked but definitely doing them. Shirt is getting tighter. Love the upper body work I'm getting from it right now. can't say anything bad about the program and I'm really contemplating on doing another 4 more weeks here, something similar to this but will combine back and shoulders. Hope to add some intervals for more of a cardio feel on some days.

Anyway, history...born and raised as a Catholic. Well most Filipino's are 90% Catholic anyway. Went to a private Catholic High School and University to finish my Nursing Degree. It is tradition to hold and honor alot of the old practices and traditions that I've followed since I was young, that my parents have sort of engrained in me if you will.

Ash Wedesday I laid off any type of meat. Lots of people are giving up some things for this Lent season before Easter. So I've decided to give Friday's the day where I keep my calories at a low. Still eating - but I'd rather keep Fridays where they are way below what I should be eating. And of course: fish, fish and fish.

Hopefully this in turn gets me mentally prepared when I start to cut calories when I really start leaning out through the spring and summer.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wussup!? =)

Getting warmer around these parts. Loving it. 2 more weeks of this current muscle building program - and it's off to athletic conditioning/endurance workouts for the next several months. For some reason it's much easier for me to lose fat than it is to gain muscle. One thing I can definitely's so easy to eat on a mass building phase. ;)

I'm learning alot from this strength/mass building phase here. I've been working on this since December. I really want to get some lean mass on this 5'7" frame and do it the right way as best as I can but I can't say for sure if I have because I haven't taken the time to get measurements. My bad.

Again, I won't make it sound so scientific here - but if you want to get big... you better be eating big and do your best to lift heavy, get your rest and recover on off days.

But you will never ever out train a bad diet and I've been one to have my hand caught in that cookie jar on several occasions.

If you're more on the "want to lose body fat" stage...the same rule applies here - eat right to compliment your training and vice versa. Burn more calories than you eat and do workouts that are more geared towards full body circuits, supersetting and conditioning. It's a simple equation but takes alot of discpline to do either one. Alot of it.

But I'm always enjoying these fitness journeys...always aiming to learn new things and improve your health through right nutrition and exercise.

People say see sawing weight fluctuations...for some that can be mentally trying for alot of us. It's been mentally trying for me for many years. People see weight gain, some flab growing around the waist and they freak out like it's a hopeless case that they'll ever lose weight. Its almost like a negative than a positive. But I've been on both sides of the spectrum so when I see 182 lbs...I'm happy as hell! But not so hot about the extra fat that comes with it. Take out the carbs, the water...I'm probably hovering around the high 170's.

Choose the right program. Choose the the right nutrition. And stick to it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Cold today. Very atypical weather down here.

Got up early and I just felt like staying in bed. I don't know how people in cold whether cities manage to get up when it's butt freezing cold. I guess Southern Californians are spoiled like that. I mean, even with the slightest rainfall - So Cal drivers are at their worst out on the freeways...

Shoulder day today...was so looking forward to it too.

It's all about the bigger picture here for me. If I indeed intend to improve on mass building and improving my physique (well at this point, I've gained a little fat to go with it), I have learned to appreciate the importance of rest to the muscle building equation. I've always like to train more than I have to - the 5 day a week mentality was me. But I've realized what works five days a week will not necessarily gain more muscle than the one who trains two days a week. Yada, yada, yada..but that's why I love this split...but I just couldn't get my ass out of bed early enough to get today's workout in.

One thing I've also learned to develop is to concentrate on eating and getting proper rest. Again, quality dieting and quality rest will prove just as important to one's mass building goals in relation to my chosen weight training program I'm on. Dude - with a young family, work...there is a life out of the gym - but I always have a saying to always make exercise a lifestyle and everthing else should fall into its proper place.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Training Split and other stuff

I like the training split Im on...2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on...2 days off. Like the focus on specific body parts on a given day.

Lots of time left to do other things and it's been great so far. Enjoying this program very much. The chest work is just killer. Weights gone up...don't know if that's really a good thing or a bad thing but when training for strength and lean mass - best approach is to take the good with the bad, even with some increases in bodyfat. That just comes with the territory.

I just know when I get to full body strength training programs and conditioning workouts again - it should be really interesting to observe at a fitness standpoint. I've never really trained this long for strength and muscle development and I know how deconditioned my body feels - I almost forget what it feels like to go through a circuit.

Fat loss and conditioning workouts will always be my cup of tea...and still is. I love em! That's what I'll call my "in season workouts"; that's when I peak and at my best. I'll call this my "off season" from now on if you will every year. Still training hard...but smarter, I'd like to believe. This is not a break at all and the volume is a bit more, as has the eating. But it's all good.

Have a great day...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Drew Brees and the TRX

As a Chargers Fan...I've been a huge supporter of Drew Brees when he was drafted by our GM back then in the 2nd round in the 01 Draft (well, we all know who the Chargers drafted in the 1st round right? The "#21"! ).

I can only hope for him hoisting that Lombardi Trophy over his head tomorrow night because he's nothing but a class act not only while he was in San Diego...but also for the city of New Orleans.

Anyway, I found a great youtube video of Drew Brees and him using the TRX system that I wanted to share here. He's apparently a believer in Suspension Training (something I'm barely scratching the surface on with my own training repertoire) so this I had to post it up here in my blog. Todd Durkin is well known strength and conditioning coach and I believe he also trains LT during the off season.

Anyway, check him out in action! Kill them Colts tomorrow!

Friday Night Pizza...and my AM Workout

Had pizza with the family last night. about carb overload. It's been sometime since I had a pizza. What a way to end the week.

So today is week 2 of my current program with focus on chest and abs with some back work. Got up at 5 am and got it out of the way. Hardly anyone at the gym but a few guys and gals. Very quiet, very low key - gym music was just right. That's how I like it!

All weights have gone up 10 lbs from last week on all lifts except for the cable crunches which is still at 120 lbs.

Finished the workout with some spinning and sauna for about 5 minutes. What a way to use those carb stores from last night...hehehe. Felt good though.

Today is a new day.

I'm really noticing some nice upper body toning. I have broad shoulders and I think that's one thing that really sticks out no matter what I do. But I really want to get those chiseled delts that are so hard to train as you don't want to do too much to mess up your rotator cuff or too little to not get any significant gains. There's enough pressing moves in this program to work on delt development which is great.

Enjoy the weekend and go Saints!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Rack Pull aka Partial Deadlifts

Started on a new TT workout last Saturday and today was supposed to be back and abs. Was reviewing the program all weekend and noticed that there was rack pulling on Day 4. It's basically a partial deadlift and you can really place more loads on the bar than you would on a true deadlift, because you don't really have to go the full range of motion that a regular deadlift would require.

So I added the rack pulls into todays workout for the variety...too many rows set today so I took out the barbell row and added rack pulls today. For the shoulder workout coming up, I may just add a power clean or snatch to start it off.

I think I've definitely developed a love for the deadlift as I have the squats. It is an excellent exercise to improve the posterior chain muscles (you're non mirror muscles). Want a nice back and improve strength - then you definitely want to do rack pulls or deadlifts no doubt. But if you want to concentrate more on your back then the rack pull is definitely a great alternative.

Here's a video of doing the proper deadlift via Again if you want an excellent alternative to deadlifts, this has to be it.