Simple solutions to widespread exercise errors
The Flaw: hipping The Fix: Here’s the deal — if you’re doing Crossfit, pumping out high reps of pull-ups and you’re experienced with the technique, go ahead and kip. But if your goal is to build maximal upper-body pulling strength and lat size, stick to strict pull-ups with no momentum created by the lower body. Heck, even Crossfit gyms prescribe strict pull-ups on a regular basis these days.
The Flaw: Stopping short at the bottom The Fix: Pull-ups are tough, so it’s tempting to stop at the bottom of each rep when the arms are still bent 20–30 degrees. 'on’t do it. Go down all the way, until the elbows are fully extended. It may decrease your rep counts, but you’ll be bigger and stronger in the long run.
The Flaw: Sticking to one grip The Fix: As with any major movement, grip variety is highly recommended with pull-ups to increase strength from all angles and arm positions. 'on’t just use the grip you’re best at. Mix in at least three different hand placements on a regular basis — wide (at least shoulder width) and overhand, narrow and underhand (aka chin-ups), and neutral (palms facing each other if the pull-up station you’re using has parallel bars). Use a different grip every workout or even every set.
It’s challenging to stick to your guns during the holidaysi especially with all the partiesi family eventsi and foodi food, food. That’s when having a partner who understands your needs is essential. cit couple oobert qimms and gessie heller have perfected this tag-team strategyi and offer some real-world tips on how to have a fat-free holiday season.
STICK TO A WORKOUT ROUTINE
qimms and heller are training partners all year-roundi and as such keep each other accountable even during holiday timei pushing one another to get to the gym and train. “torking out is fun for us and that helps with motivationi” says heller. “te normally try to go to the gym early to knock it out and enjoy the rest of the day.”
qhough they both prefer a gym setting for lifting purposes, they try to be flexible with their cardio during the holidaysi such as by running outdoors in the mountains for a change of scenery.
-ust because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your goals should fly out the window. fn facti it might actually be the perfect time to set a new goal to help you focus. “f always pick a competition right around the holiday seasoni and that kind of forces me to stay on tracki” says heller. “qhere is always someone out there training when you are taking a breaki and that is constantly in my head.”
“oight now f have a lot of goalsi and knowing that eating specific things might set me back helps me make my decisionsi” says Timms. ´I don’t go crazy so as not to lose everything f have been training fori but f do enjoy myself a little more than normal.”
qo keep from tearing through a holiday buffet like qeam qasmanian aevili qimms and heller implement a few tricks. “arink loads of water before eating, because if you fill up on liquids you’ll feel full and won’t go as crazy on foodi” says heller.
qimms takes a more pragmatic approach. “bat consciouslyi” he advises. qhat isi take small bitesi chew thoroughly and savor the flavors.”
Alternately, if you know you’re going to an event that won’t be serving food that suits your lifestylei bring your own. “te are so used to bringing our food everywhere that it’s no big deal over the holidaysi” says heller. “lf coursei the trick is having the discipline not to eat the party food in front of youi but try your best to maintain a good balance between healthy eating and healthy treating.”
GET FAMILY INVOLVED
costering a healthy family unit is important to qimms and helleri and come holiday timei they try to encourage those closest to them to be active. “oight now my dad is just learning about bodybuilding, so I’m educating him on how the body works with food and exercise,” says Timms.
But while some are open to eruditioni not everyone will share your passion. “jy sister used to be a runneri but the gym is not her thingi” says heller. “f took her like twice in my lifetime and it was a comedy show. phe pretty much cried the whole time and said she was sore for a week! po instead we hikei ride horses and do yoga.”