Dec
10
2014

Muscle Camp 2014 Review

 

The first week in July I took on a project refining the exercise techniques of “advanced” trainees. These work shops were only open to those having competitive bodybuilding experience. Below I share a thoughtful review from one of the Muscle Camp attendees. I am giving much thought to doing more of this kind of work, I really enjoyed it. I’ve come to find out that most anyone who trains isn’t quite as advanced as they think they are, which leads me to my primary interest, which is improving the qualitative aspect of exercise performance. It is my opinion that this concept of getting better at exercise far exceeds what can be achieved as compared to the P.R.E. (Progressive Resistance Exercise) model. I believe that the P.R.E. model has very little use beyond the beginners stage and the focus should be geared toward progressive quality of exercise for long term sustainable gains….and this is what Muscle Camp 2014 was all about.


 Muscle Camp 2014

female flex
Subsequent my participation in Muscle Camp I documented some of the things I learned and experienced. I have made great strides in my training and nutrition from the knowledge that I gained from Muscle Camp and I am eager to return.

Training Biceps

Previously I trained biceps by selecting various ‘biceps’ exercises that I have learned about either from previous trainers or online research. I had an arsenal of exercises that I would incorporate to, for lack of a better phrase, ‘keeps my body guessing’.

Post Muscle Camp I selected exercises that:

  • Provided me with the greatest amount of stimulus
  • Allowed me to sculpt and shape my arms based on the natural shape of my muscle.  My     longer biceps muscles negate the need for me to make reverse- arm curl exercises a priority in my training plan. My brachialis is still activated from other exercises, but my arms do not require specific movements that concentrate on that particular muscle group

Training Shoulders

  • An old injury prevented me from performing different shoulder exercises. With the direction of JT, my injury is nothing more than a memory and I am performing at full capacity.
  • Prior to muscle camp I believed I was performing side lateral raises, upright rows and rear delt lateral raises close to perfection.
  • As he watched me perform lying side lateral raises; once my muscle tired the plane shifted allowing the rear delt to take on some of the work. That was corrected.
  • Rear delts, the muscle I wanted to target was only slightly being engaged until after he made adjustments to direction in which my elbows should be following.
  • Upright rows were performed in such a manner that the greatest amount of stimulus was being placed on the traps. For symmetrical purposes my physique requires more stimulus on the front delts; by making slight changes in movement pattern I am now feeling a huge difference in my front delts as opposed to my traps

Set Up is Everything

  • For every exercise I was asked to perform the way I normally perform. Within moments of my placing my hands on the bar/weight/DB I was stopped. Set up is everything; every foot placement, hand movement and head position must be properly set before I could even begin to come in contact with weight(s). If the set-up is off, the set will be off. Before muscle camp I noticed that in the middle of my sets I would realign my hands, arms, feet, etc.  because I did not spend the appropriate amount setting up.
  • The majority of my workouts are comprised of compound lifts; basic lifts like dead lifts, pull ups, chest press, etc yield the best results for me.
  • My rep ceiling has been removed; I perform as many reps as I can with consideration to stop between 8-12 reps.  My set range has also increased from 3-4 sets to 5-8 sets depending on the exercise. I don’t stop at a ‘specific’ number; I keep going until my quality has been compromised or my strength diminishes.

Squats for my DNA and my injuries

  • There is so much information and misinformation on squats and the execution of the exercise; I was putting a lot of it to the test. One week executing it this way, the next week I would execute it the next way. Regardless of how I did my squats, invariably I was just simply not performing the exercise in a manner that allowed my muscles to develop to their full potential.
  • With my femur being longer than a typical person with my same stature, it makes performing a ‘perfectly’ executed squat more challenging. So, we did them all…front, sissy, back, etc.  We used various bar lengths, elevated feet, and different combinations. The very last squat, performed with a cambry bar allowed me to finally perform a textbook version of a squat and more importantly stimulate the muscle my quads, hams and glutes.
  • Squats begin with the ankle. My order on leg day has been reversed; I begin with calves and then move toward exercises that prepare me for my last exercise of the workout squats.

Nutrition

Follow a good diet. What is a good diet? Chicken, egg whites, tuna, brown rice, broccoli, steel oats, and sweet potatoes? Sure, I could drop much of my excess body fat using the aforementioned foods as my primary food choices. But, how long will that last? For me, typically Monday through Thursday; fall off the wagon for Friday, Saturday and Sunday just to start all over on Monday. In fact, why don’t I just eat ALL of my favorite food this weekend that way I can ‘get them out of my system’ before starting a new chapter on Monday?

I did that for years and needless to say that yielded exactly zero progress.

Previous to muscle camp I spent thousands of dollars on an array of anything related to weight loss; pills, drinks, meal plans, and weight loss doctors. My weight would drop and then the pendulum would swing the other way and the weight I lost had found me and then some.

I like to eat; it’s my cross to bear. So why am I eating all of my favorite foods and losing weight now? By being smart about my foods.

JT designed my meals/macros around what would work best for me; based on my weaknesses and based what I could do consistently for the rest of my life.

He prepared delicious, succulent burgers that would make most anyone want to give their compliments to the chef and all with 1 gram of fat.

His recipe for breakfast sandwiches was no different. I enjoyed ice cream, chips, soda and an incredible homemade pizza that had approximately 10g fat and 60 carbs for the entire pizza. One of my favorite meals was the ceviche; raw chicken with pineapple mango salsa over a bed of warm white rice.

Muscle Camp has taught me not only how to eat in a way that will be help me achieve my goals but it has taught me how to do it for more than 12 weeks; my meal plan doesn’t come with an expiration date.



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