Category Archives: BCx BOOT CAMP™
Lots of workouts and videos coming soon. Learn more about my BCx Boot Camp at www.DoBCx.com!
If you have been following this mess I call a blog at all for the last 5 months you may have heard me whine and whine about my knee. If not, you’re in luck because here I go again. 5 months ago I was getting ready for my first ever MMA tournament. I know,… shut it! But anywho, I was gonna try. Here’s a shocker: my 42-year-old butt got tore up by a 19-year-old monster. I tore my medial meniscus and sustained a 90% tear to my MCL. I was devastated, but now I’m back and I want to not only return to competing, I want my quads bigger and stronger than ever. The area I want to focus on for this workout is the Vastus Lateralis, the largest and most outer portion of the thigh.
How to Improve Your Sweep
How do we isolate out the vastus lateralis muscle, or as we call it in the physique world, “the sweep”? Vastus externus or vastus lateralis, depending on your A&P professor, is the largest of all the quadricep muscles. The action of this muscle is to extend the tibia or shin bone at the knee, but I’m here to help you learn how to perform knee extension to isolate out the other muscles that synergistically aid in this action. In sculpting, it is very important that we learn isolation. Whether we are a bodybuilder, a bikini competitor or a stay-at-home mom that wants to scult their body, we can all use these principles to learn to sculpt nicer legs.
Fat burn or spot reducing fat can not be limited to specific areas of the body, no matter what ”bogus science” and pills tell you. However, sculpting most assuredly can be reduced to a single area, action, and in some cases, specific fibers of a specific muscle – all based on how we execute the exercise. You don’t need a degree in kinesiology to learn these principals, just a little common sense is all.
So, how do we excite and fatigue the fibers of our outer quad to hypertrophy our SWEEP?
Ok, so here is one exercise you should be narrow-minded about. Narrow is better when we talk about our stance to accentuate or facilitate the contractile tissue of the outer quad. So lets think narrow when doing squats and leg extensions. Whatever exercises you do, stand with a more narrow stance (feet together). You may stop and ask, does that mean if I stand wide, I will work my inner thigh and medial quads? Yeppers! Now you are getting it. (another blog perhaps) Moving on…
With leg extensions, it’s all about being self-centered – literally. If you point your toes outward, you are working the vastus medialis, the tear drop shaped muscle on the medial side (inside) of the legs close to the knee. Since we want to work the opposite side of the legs, then (yes, you guessed it) we want to point our toes in the opposite direction, pointing toes together. Note: this doesn’t work by just pointing the feet from the ankle down, the whole leg must internally rotate to the center to excite the appropriate muscles.
Here is an example of my own leg workout where I use these same principles to improve my sweep.
Yesterday’s Leg Workout
Warm up: 4 sets / 20 reps
Deep weighted walking lunges (35-50 pound dumbbells) 45 seconds rest btw sets
Couplet: Leg Press & Leg Extension Super Set
(zero rest between super set, 1 minute between sets)
#1 Heavy leg press
5-8 plates each side, narrow stance (4″ apart) and push only on your heels
10 sets / 15 reps
#2 Moderately heavy leg extension
Moderately heavy leg extension (130lbs-160lbs) internally rotate your femur’s in (toes are pigeon-toed), and squeeze your outer quad in terminal extension.
10 sets / 12-15 reps
Repeat Super Set 10 Times
Puke and repeat for 10 rounds(sets) with 1 minute rest between (rounds) sets
Here are some pics from my last show, the Daytona Classic, just 10 days after getting hurt.
What would you consider the perfect shoe? Maybe one that compliments that perfect ensemble? A high heel that lifts your bottom and makes your legs look a mile long? , or maybe one that eases knee pain when you run, or add stability and traction on the field? Before you can define the “perfect” shoe, you need to know “Perfect for what?”. The real question is “perfect for what purpose?”. This brings me to your needs and goals. To help keep this blog short, I want to give a quick example and review of the craziest shoe I’ve come across in a long time, and I LOOOOVE shoes. (no homo)
Reebok just launched a new outdoor functional training shoe, called the ATV 19+, designed for all-terrain training, like trail runs and mud runs. When I first saw the advertisement for this shoe I laughed out loud as UFC fighter, Rampage Jackson, gave a quick monologue boasting of its many accolades. (Pretty funny commercial)
My passion in training is outdoor functional training. Bonnie and I are the co-founders of BCx Boot Camp, an extreme functional training program that focuses on aesthtics, performance, and nutrtuion. What makes BCx different from many other training programs is all the trainiers lead by example, many time teaching the class by doing it with them. With this philosphy in mind it is important that the trainers are able to continue this high pace, class after class, safely – running on all kinds of surfaces, rain or shine. The trainers have to be right in the thick of it with the members to keep them on task.
5 months ago when I was at our MMA club, I juked when I should have jived, and I tore my medial mensicus and sustained a 90% tear to my MCL. Not just my training, but my vocation, was compromised. How could I continue to teach, lead, and fight with a serious injury?
Stability for the Unstable
The last five months have taught me a lot of mental fortitude, but that is for another time. So here we are. My knee is better. I’ve gained about 70% of my strentgh back. I have 80% of my range of motion. It still hurts, but it is there all the same. What I am dealing with, that I can’t overcome, is the instability and “freaky” feeling I get when I walk on uneven sufaces. Imagine trying to teach 30 people how to climb a 12 foot wall and climb back down a cargo net, and then sprint across a muddy field to the next obstacle, all with no confidnce that your knee will hold you. It’s horrible not to be able to do what you love 100%.
Then, at my doorstep, arrives the ATV. My first time trying them on was indoors on a hard even surface. The ATV’s pushed my foot into a neutral postion, which I hated. It felt weird. I invert (or supinate) as I walk, so I walk on the outside of my shoes. This is how my body is and its comfortable that way, so these shoes pushed against what felt natural – until I got in the grass. This, my friends, is when the heavens opened up and light shined through the clouds. The stability I gained in the grass and mud was amazing. The shoe and ground combo allowed my foot to find that solid spot that is right for just me. No knee instability – and my confidence grew with every step.
I thought that a shoe with that much stability would be heavy and clumsy, but the ATV’s were the exact oposite. I tested them out on diffeent obstacles, different terrain, and different gates. I was impressed. I was able to run on my toes through the tires, jog through the mud, and run through the uneven grass field – and do it all with confidence.
I love fundamentals. Fundamentals are the foundation from which more complex and effective derivatives are built upon. So many pro athletes achieve stardom and fame only to eventually fall into a slump and return to the basics. Many coaches and athletes alike will tell you, if you perfect the fundamentals, there may be no need for much else.
My Striking, and grappling skills are continuing to get better. As I get more advanced, I’ve noticed that every class starts with repeating basic drills that I learned from the very first day; and so it is with abdominal work.
You can do V-ups, X-ups, sit ups, roll ups, knee ups, or just about any abdominal exercise you want, and without using basic fundamentals, you will never effectively work the target area. Most ineffective abdominal work is caused from poor set up. If you can accomplish a good starting position and maintain good positioning during the range, your abs will cry sweaty tears of bliss. So, how do we set up to get all the “goody” out of our abdominal training? glad you asked!
1. Lay down on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor
2. Roll your belt line (low back) into the mat or ground (a slight posterior pelvic tilt)
3. Use the hamstrings to lock your pelvis into position. Do this by digging your heels into the ground and pull them toward your buttocks to tighten your hamstrings holding your pelvis in a posterior tilt
4. Place your hands behind your neck holding the base of your noggin (nuchal line) and keep your elbows open and wide.
5. Look straight up keeping your chin off your chest.
6. Pull your naval into your spine AS YOU EXHALE.
7. As you exhale, PULL YOUR TRANSVERSE ABDOMINALS IN, LIFT YOUR SHOULDER BLADES OFF THE FLOOR UNTIL ONLY THE MID BACK (THORACIC REGION) IS TOUCHING
(NOTE: LIFT STRAIGHT UP AS IF YOU HAVE A GLASS OF WATER ON YOUR CHEST… TRY NOT TO ROLL UP IN AN ARC)
Congratulations, you just executed a perfect crunch!
Continue to use these same principals for all abdominal work. These fundamentals will help facilitate and recruit more abdominal musculature durring your workout giving you “perfect abs”.
NOTE: Don’t forget – no matter how great your ab exercises are, you’ll never see them if you don’t diet. Diet is 80% of getting the abs of your dreams!
Tractor Tire Abs
Here is an entire ab & core workout I put together for GNC utilizing a tractor tire. Since many MMA camps and boot camps us tractor tires, I decided to come up with a few exercises to help you make the most of your tractor tire. Don’t have one? You can get a used on free at your local tractor repair store or dealer – or you can use a stability ball or bench.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.
Who says you need to have a gym to get a good workout in. Here was a workout I threw together while in the mountains – MILES away from the closest fitness center. Maybe it will give you some ideas for your own vacation workout!
- Sprint Uphill
- 10 Burpees
- Climb Rope
- Sprint Uphill
- Carry 20-40lb Objects
- Jump the Ranger
- Race Downhill
- Lumber Lunges
- Climb Rope