Tip of the Week

We have all heard the saying “Shows are won from the back”, and whenever you think of superheroes, a dramatic taper is always apparent . The wide-shoulder to small-waist ratio signifies a dominating, muscular, and fit physique.

So why are so many novice lifters always able to develop their chest, shoulder, and arm muscles so much better than their back muscles? It's called mind to muscle connection. When you can see the muscle working it's easier to engage the proper mechanics to work the muscle; but when you can't see the muscle working, too often what is stimulated most are the biceps and forearms.

I'm going to give you a few tips to avoid wasting your precious time in the gym so you can get the most out of your back workout. First, always use straps when working your back and if you are not a powerlifter use them on deadlifts also. Your grip will never be as strong as your back muscles over the course of a 10 or more rep set, so why sacrifice your back strength when your grip gives out. Second, think about pulling your elbows into your hips. Whether doing pulldown motions or rowing motions, it's all about driving your elbows in and behind your hips. A mistake people often make is dropping your sternum in the contracted position. There is absolutely no way you can retract your shoulder blades and squeeze your scapula if you drop your sternum. So the third tip is to elevate your sternum high when you pulldown or do a pull-up, and arch and elevate your sternum when you do a seated, bent-over or dumbbell row.

Follow these simple tips and you will feel your lats, rhomboids and mid trapezius like never before and your back will Get Big. ‘Til next time, train big and follow me on Instagram @fredbiggiesmalls to see how I train day in and day out.

Fit Tips

  • Stop procrastinating. Don't wait for a New Year's resolution. Start today.
  • 7 to 8 hours of sleep is crucial for a healthy body
  • Drinking ten 8 oz. glasses of water daily is necessary to keep an active individual hydrated so the muscle can perform optimally. Enough water is essential for nutrient absorption an maximizing metabolism. The body cannot process nutrients it ingests if it does not have enough fluid to transport those nutrients to where it is best utilized.
  • Eating whole unprocessed foods keeps energy levels high. For example, choose wheat bread over white bread; vegetables over crackers, etc.
  • Be sure to take a multi vitamin and mineral supplement daily to ensure you are getting enough necessary to maintain a healthy balance and keep energy levels high.
  • Limit alcohol consumption to keep body fat levels reasonable. Each gram of alcohol has 7 calories.
  • If you are trying to lose weight, set reasonable goals. Aim for weight loss of no more than 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per week.
  • Crash dieting, over exercising, and fasting only results in water weight loss and muscle atrophy which results in a decrease of metabolism.
  • For maximum fat loss benefits, keep your heart rate between 60-80% of your maximum heart rate for your age while doing cardiovasular activity.
  • Exercise reduces stress
  • To avoid eating when not really hungry, try chewing sugar free gum.
  • Any physical goal (such as looking fit and healthy or maximizing strength, etc.) can only be achieved by following a proper nutrition plan. Without proper nutrition, you will never reach your potential no matter how much you exercise.
  • Lifting weights 3 to 4 days a week will increase your muscle mass which helps your body burn more calories at rest.
  • To provide contstant energy to your body throughout it's day, eat 5 to 6 small meals (every 3 hours). Eat only whole, nutritionally sound foods.