Grip training is (or should be) an integral part of any workout. A strong grip is an absolute pre-requisite for any genuine athlete, strongman, or fitness professional - not only that, but your grip strength, or lack of it, can actually limit your gains in other exercises that require a solid grip.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of proper, regular grip training, and when I say this, I'm not referring to athletes, boxers, fitness pros etc alone - I'm also talking about how important grip training is for the average Joe next door. Yes, my friend, that includes YOU too - a strong grip will help you immeasurably in a variety of day to day activities as well. A strong grip will also ensure you stay clear of the much dreaded Carpel Tunnel syndrome, which, given the pre-ponderance of computers everywhere, is a huge problem these days.
On a side note, I've read that some of the old time strongmen used to unscrew the wheel nuts on their cars by HAND - think about the finger/grip strength these guys must have had!
And today, I'd like to talk about a very simple exercise that will build the ENTIRE grip - forearms, wrists, tendons, fingers, everything - and it requires NO equipment at all.
That's right, NO equipment. No "wrist rollers", no dumbells for wrist curls (not a particularly good exercise anyway), and for those of you that are wondering, not even a chinning bar or somplace to hang from. Now, that last one is actually a GREAT grip builder, but I said something which requires no equipment, and thats what we'll talk about in today's email.
It's an exercise that the old timers used to perform with great regularity. It's an exercise done by most serious martial artists, wrestlers and boxers the world over. And it's something YOU need to do as well.
What is it, you might ask?
Well, the answer is: finger tip pushups - as in, pushups done on your digits. Sounds simple enough, and it is - but believe me, finger tip pushups WORK.
This exercise is an incredibly good grip builder - and it works EVERYTHING from the elbow to the tips of your fingers. It's important to remember that grip strength is not just depending upon strong muscles in the forearm - you need strong fingers, ligaments and tendons as well. And there are few other exercises that do a good job of training all this - with no equipment - than the finger tip pushup.
As I said, this exercise has been used for ages by martial artists, wrestlers and other sports people - but (as with many other GREAT exercises), it seems to have fallen by the wayside these days. Let's face it, you'll hear folks talking about closing grippers, doing the "farmer's walk", or hanging from chinning bar - and while all these are fantastic exercises, we rarely find folks talking about doing fingertip pushups in their routine.
And for those who claim that fingertip pushups aren't a great way to build finger strength - well - work up to 4 sets of 25 fingertip pushups in good form, and then tell me how you feel. Most average people (even those who've been doing pushups) would find it tough to do ONE set of 15 fingertip pushups, let alone 4 sets of 25.
I myself use this exercise regularly in my training routine, and while it's NOT the only grip exercise I do, I make sure I do it on a regular basis. And the best thing is, you require nothing but your own bodyweight to get it done - so there's no more excuses for not training your grip!
Make sure to incorporate this humble and often forgotten exercise into your daily exercise routine - and let me know when you work up to 4 sets of 25 done in good form!
PS: Pushups are a fantastic exercise, and I cover them in excruciating detail in Fast and Furious Fitness; be sure and grab your copy now!
Had some real trouble peeling the shirt off my back this morning. I tugged and tugged - but the darn thing just wouldn't come off my upper back. I finally managed to "reach around" and get it upto my shoulders - whence the tug of war began all over again.
I pullled, grunted, groaned - did everything possible to get the darn thing off my shoulders and into the laundry - at one point it seemed I'd have no option but to literally cut the damn thing off my body.
And then, finally, I managed to get it off - whoa!
Now, the reason behind me telling you this is not to detail my after workout struggles with apparel - but it fits in rather nicely with what I'm going to tell you today.
Today was one of those days where I suddenly got a little constrained for time as far as my workout schedule goes. Arrived at the park with a plan in mind - that being doing a long pull up and pushup session there - but wouldn't you know it, the best laid plans go awry at the last moment. Don't you hate that - I know I do, especially since I'm a creature of routine when it comes to exercise.
But, there wasn't much I could do - except to train in the very limited time I had, which was a sum total of 10 minutes.
So what I did was I took one movement out of each "group" of exercises I was going to do, and focused on that. I did this for THREE exercises - and did not rest between movements. And at the end of that 10 minutes (or maybe 12), I was breathing pretty hard and sweating all over. Not quite as much as during my regular routine, but nothing to sneeze at either. Called it a day at that point - will make it a point to make up for the lost time tomorrow.
And you'd think that this type of training wouldn't be too hard - after all, all I did was THREE exercises - right?
WRONG - and my struggle with the shirt bears testament to this.
This type of "abbreviated" training can work great sometimes, especially when you're a bit stressed for time. It can also work great if you're exhausted from an extra hard workout the day before, or simply for a change. Key things here are to CONCENTRATE - concentrate HARD on form as well as the movement, and to move FAST - faster than you would during your regular workouts. And you'll quickly see that you can get a fantastic workout in even if you have a sum total of just 10 minutes to spare.
So, give this type of training a try sometimes - it really works!
PS: I include a killer routine that will have you puffing within 10 minutes flat in Fast and Furious Fitness - check it out HERE!
I've often spoken about the amazing benefit that one can get by doing handstand pushups (and handstands) on a regular basis. Talk about some serious, serious strength gains - especially in the upper arms, shoulders, back and chest - and talk about some SERIOUS cardio benefits when you combine this exercise with some others. The handstand pushup lends itself toa fearsome workout, even if I'm saying that myself after completing 3 sets of 10 slow, shoulder popping handstand pushups. . .
But, the very nature of this exercise seems to scare most people off. First, holding your body in an upside down position is in itself not "easy" for most people to think about doing (as opposed to doing - note the difference) - and those trainees that are slightly (or more so) on the heavier side will automatically shy away from them thinking that they are "too big" to do the exercise without injuring themselves.
Bad, bad mistake - remember that when performed with good form, and adequate strength, just about ANYONE can do handstand pushups safely. Executing the movement correctly might be harder to do if your on the heavier side, but you CAN do it - provided you use good form.
And don't just take my word for it - look at some of the "heavier" folks that have done it in the past. Take the English wrestler Bert Assirati - he weighed no less than 240 lbs, and he'd perform movements like the iron cross - and a ONE ARM handstand for reps without giving it a second thought. John Davis (I'm sure you all know who he is!) could do sets of 10 handstand pushups at a bodyweight of 200 lbs - and that ain't no joke either.
And the list likely doesn't stop there either.
Now, I know that these men perfected their skill through hours of practice, which the average trainee isn't willing to put in. I also know that these were some EXCEPTIONALLY strong men - but nowhere does it say that YOU cannot become exceptionally strong through regular training. And while these men may have been on the heavier side, note that it doesn't mean they were FAT - they were big and strong, but not necessarily FAT - there's a difference, and it's an important one.
And I know that some of you are going to Google the guys I just talked about, and come back with "well, he doesn't have a toned midsection", or "where is the 8 pack", or similar comments. And my response will always be the same "Guys, REAL strength has got absolutely nothing to do with a six pack". Why? Well, I've been over that a bunch of times (see the blog for more), but take your average guy with a six pack, and see how well he does on handstands as compared to a wrestler or real strength enthusiast (NOT bodybuilder).
Last, but not least, this isn't an excuse to get fat or heavy - all I'm saying is that being big and strong (a.k.a "heavy") does NOT mean you cannot reap the benefits of this amazing exercise. It takes practice - lots of it - will power to stick at it - but it CAN be done - and it can be done SAFELY at that.
And that's that for today - over and out!
PS: Fast and Furious Fitness shows you handstand variations that will build shoulders like boulders: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
This morning, I did a workout that hammered the entire body, but focused a lot more on the core than I generally do during my regular workouts. Note that this does NOT mean I don't work the core every time I work out - what I'm trying to say is that I concentrated especially on the core today. I do this from time to time, and am absolutely delighted with the progress I'm making.
Remember that the core is one of the most important parts of the body you can train. Train nothing else but the core, and you'll have good all round development - but concentrate mostly on the "beach muscles" as most of the gymgoers do, and you'll end up as a disconnected bunch of bulky muscles which lack real strength and power.
I could give you a host of reasons behind why core training is so important - and indeed, that would a great topic to cover in a future email, but for now, bear in mind that the core is responsible for connecting your upper body to your lower body - and for facilitating transfer of power as well. If you've got a weak core, there's simply no way you can perform to your full potential on any decent exercise.
Anyway, as I said, today was a "core training" day for me and it went well. One of the exercises I did in my routine was straight leg hanging leg raises for reps - while holding for time - this ONE exercise alone is enough to bring the average gym goer to his knees within a matter of minutes. I did some other exercises as well - exercises that are ignored for the most part - and then finished things off with gymnastic bridging - another superb exercise that I cannot endorse enough.
On that note, when most people talk about bridging - they are referring to the neck bridge, or the "wrestler's bridge". And while these are great as well, the gymnastic bridge is a fantastic variation that you can use from time to time - or use exclusively as a "finisher" if you wish. For those of you that are interested in learning the gymnastic bridge, be sure and grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness where you'll learn how to do it the right way. Do NOT attempt these unless you have the form down pat - this goes double for all exercises, but especially tough core exercises.
And make sure you make core training a regular part of your routine - not just something to do "at the end of your workout", or "something else to do after the cardio". That is NOT how to approach core training - you need to approach core training with utmost seriousness, and devote certain days almost exclusively to core training. Do so religiously, and you'll make great progress in all your other exercises as well.
And that's the tip for the day - back again tomorrow!
PS: There are many other great core movements that you can do that will give you a fantastic workout - for more on this, see Fast and Furious Fitness.
One of the more common mistakes many new trainees make is to do too many exercises in a given workout. This is sometimes due to misinformation from the muscle mags or from junk posted on the Internet - you know, the type of routines that purpotedly take 3-4 hours daily to complete, include just about every exercise under the sun and then some (except the good ones) and put plenty of emphasis on "pumping and toning".
And sometimes, it's not even that - you'll find a beginner raring to go with GOOD exercises. He'll read about all the different types of good exercises he can do, and he'll start working them - but trouble is, a lot of times, he ends up trying to get good at ALL of them - at the same time. And this usually leads to frustration as he's attempting something that isn't easily done (unless you spend your entire day training, and even then it's tough to improve on tons of exercises at the same time). This leads to frustration, the trainee stops getting the results he'd like from his routine, gets disillusioned with it, and may end up dropping it altogether. Not good.
It's more common than you'd think, and yet, it's easily avoided by keeping this one maxim in your mind "One thing at a time, partner" (pardner, if you so choose).
Remember that it's ALWAYS better to pick a HANDFUL of exercises, and literally grind your body into the dust trying to get better at them, than picking 50 exercises and moving from one to the other without really improving on any of them. If your doing things right, and giving it your all, then it should be impossible for you to focus fully on - and make good progress in - more than a handful of exercises.
For instance, I focused on JUST pushups and pullups for my upper body routine this morning. That's it - no dips, no supplementary exercises I often do - just pushups and pullups. And my shoulders, chest and forearms feel like they're about to explode - at one point, I was doing good just to make it past a set of pushups and move on to the pull ups.
And I'm not saying not to try new things - not at all. Once you get good at a certain exercise, by all means try another one and get good at that as well - that's what I do myself. But the thing to avoid is "flitting from exercise to exercise without getting good at any of them" - do so, and you'll make great gains.
And just so you know, this is just as applicable to advanced trainees as it is to those that are just starting out. It doesn't matter if you can bang out 500 pushups per workout, or if you max out at 50 - the advice is just as applicable. Focus on ONE thing at a time for a given workout, and literally work that exercise (and your body) into the ground.
Incorporate this bit of advice into your training, and watch your results go through the roof in very little time.
PS: For more shoulder popping workouts, Fast and Furious Fitness is what you need to be focusing on.
Most of the modern day theories about training the abdomen aim at developing the trainee's "six pack", to get the desired "look". Whenever someone talks about a healthy midsection, the first thought that springs to mind is "does have a six pack"? Apparently these six muscles at the front of the stomach are the ones that determine if your in good shape or not. In fact, I've seen razor thin folks with six packs that were unable to do a single pull-up - and they were being referred to as "fit". Uh, not in my book though. . .
People have literally forgotten that "abdominal training" is NOT "six pack training". Further, REAL abdominal training is actually all about CORE training - a concept that is an alien to most people as pull-ups done to the chest are for those tugging away at the lat pulldown machines.
And so, we have a host of modern day exercises that claim to get the job done. When one talks about ab training, the first exercise that springs to mind for most people is the "crunch" - an exercise that supposedly "isolates" the abdominal muscles, and allows you to develop them to the fullest. Or you have folks talking about gadgets such as the "tummy trimmer" - this particular contraption was one I saw advertised on late night TV once - a semi-circular sort of instrument in which your lower back "rests" and you rock back and forth - supposedly developing the abdominals. The advertisement claims to have your "abs showing within 10 days without any other exercise".
Uh-huh. . .
And note that while there's nothing inherently wrong with wanting the "six pack" look; most people mess up in that they sacrifice real core strength in favor of crash diets and thousands of crunches. It's OK to get a six pack as a RESULT of your training - but training FOR a six pack is usually a big mistake.
And this brings to me to another topic - forgotten ab exercises. Despite what the "experts" nowadays say, crunches are probably the worst way to train your midsection. They do NOT engage the core to any degree - instead they attempt to isolate certain muscles which defeats the purpose of training the abs in the first place. The old timers did plenty of situps - but those have somehow fallen by the wayside in favor of the "crunch", which is much easier to do - and given how modern day training theories work, that doesn't surprise me one bit.
And while situps are great, and will give you a good core workout, there are many, many other "forgotten" core exercises that will get the job done FAR more efficiently - and will bring even the strongest man to his knees ultimately. Here is a sample "core" routine consisting of some of the core exercises the old timers did: -
- Warm up
- Bear crawl for 30 seconds to a minute
- 50 situps
- Bear crawl for 30 seconds to a minute
- Hanging Leg Raises (shoot for 10 reps, and try and hold for at least 10 seconds on each rep)
- Crab walk for 30 seconds to a minute
- Table pushups
- Hanging "L" holds (10 reps, hold for at least 10 seconds on each rep)
- 50 situps
There, that's a "simple" 15 minute or so routine that should get your core quaking like an earthquake's hit it (along with your grip and shoulders as well). No crunches, and believe me, you won't NEED them once you are through with this.
And if these exercises sound like completely alien to you - well, that's because they've been ignored in favor of easier exercises that don't give you half the results these will. Do them in proper form - the way I teach you in Fast and Furious Fitness - and you'll reap dividends you won't believe.
And one last thing - diet is of paramount importance when it comes to ab training. Actually, any training for that matter - but especially when it comes to abs. You can exercise all day long, but you'll never completely burn the fat off (and keep it off) unless you combine a good exercise routine with a decent diet, such as what I advocate in the Simple and Effective Diet.
So, train the way the old timers did - and follow a good healthy diet along with it - and that's really all you need!
Ok, that endeth today's tip. . .
Regular readers will have noticed that I generally do (and recommend doing) my exercises in a set pattern/order. By that, I mean that there is a "method to the madness" as in, I don't just hop, skip and jump from one exercise to the other. So I'll be talking about doing a 100 pushups, then maybe some pullups, finish off with some stretching - that sort of thing, as opposed to "a pushup here, 2 there".
And truth be told, sticking to a sensible routine is one of the keys to making good progress. Map out a good routine for yourself, and stick to it religiously for a length of time - and you'll see what I'm saying.
But what I'm going to say today is going to go against what I just said above - or will it?
Today was "one of those days" for me - I didn't particualrly feel like getting out of bed due to a nasty head cold that I seem to have picked up, and my energy levels were practically at zero. Not the ideal recipe for a great day, let alone workout, but yet, I knew that I'd feel way worse if I didn't get the blood flowing a bit.
So, laced up my running shoes, got out my trusty jump rope, and started jumping.
(Note: There are some of you that will take this a bit too literally and attempt to train hard when you're REALLY sick - and I'll say this right now - DON'T do it. Training with a case of the sniffles is one thing, training when your bedridden and really sick is quite another. The contents of this email are not medical advice - when in doubt, ALWAYS seek medical advice first).
My workout today was strange in some aspects. I didn't feel like I was doing good at all on the jumps, but ended up setting a personal best with regard to numbers. Then moved into pushups, but for some reason, I couldn't do them well at all today - so did about 75 (no real reason behind that number) and then figured I'd do pullups.
Now, I normally train my pull-ups in sets, along with other exercises. This allows me to hit each exercise HARD - and get the most out of the movement. But today, I didn't really follow any such pattern - it was pullups, grip work, then some ab work, then back to pull ups again. NOT the kind of order I'd follow generally - but it seemed to work for me today.
Ended up getting a decent workout in, and am feeling much better for the effort I put in.
So remember this: While sticking to a routine is key, and will lay a solid foundation for great future gains, also remember that there are going to be times you're going to have to deviate from the routine. The reasons are varied - you may not have access to a chinning bar at times, you may choose to focus on one exercise more than another on some days, or you may just not feel up to your normal routine sometimes. Whatever it is - remember that an occasional deviation from your regular routine is perfectly fine, and may even help you get better at certain exercises. And here's the main thing: Your deviating from your routine - but your still doing SOMETIHNG. Beats the heck out of sitting on the couch complaining to yourself that your too bushed to workout - don't you agree?
Just make sure that an occasional deviation is just that - occasional. For the most part, you still need to stick to your regular routine - and if you don't have a regular routine as yet, well, you need one - Fast and Furious Fitness would be a good start for some great routines.
And that, my friend, is that for now. Off to the trusty Post Office shortly. . .
Scary term, ain't it? "Decagenarian" - took me a while just to spell that one correctly (if I have this time around); in other words "the over 100 age ground". Century plus, whatever you prefer to call it. Those of us that make it to the ripe old age of 100 and beyond (senior PLUS discounts??) fit into the category I just mentioned.
Living to the age of 100 itself sounds scary to most people, but it doesn't have to be that way. Follow the right diet, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and you'll be adding on years to your lifespan without even thinking about it. In other words "do as Grandma advised", and you'll stick around for way longer than you think.
Sounds like the right thing to do, doesn't it? And while it is - the funny thing is that there are some of us in the 100+ age group that contradict a lot of these principles, and are still as hale and hearty as can be at 100+.
I was reading an article on decagenarians in the local newspaper today. I normally have little use for the mainstream media - most of the news is either politically motivated or does nothing much to motivate and inspire - but some of the stuff they write about is actually good, and this was one of them.
Anyway, they profiled (as in, spoke to personally and then profiles) a few decagenarians to find out what the secret of their longetivity was. And what they found out might surpise you.
Two of the "young" men are twins living in China. They are 103 years of age - and what do they eat on a daily basis? Snakes. That's right, SNAKES - and thats what they say has enabled them to live on to such an advanced age. Apparently snake bile cleanses the phelgm and cures chest problems - and these fine "young" men say snake bile is what enabled them to live in until 103. They can still walk unassisted - and do so for 2-3 km daily.
Another "young-un" lives in India, and follows a simple diet of tea, milk, pulses and vegetables - but that isn't the entire story. This dude took up running at the tender age of 80, and is one of the, if not THE, oldest marathoners around.
That's right - he STARTED to run at the age of EIGHTY - 55 years after most folks give up - and he's STILL DOING IT AT THE AGE OF 101!
100 too young for you? Well, let's move on to a lady from Georgia (I think) who is about 130, and drinks a ton of vodka daily in addition to walking daily. NOT the ideal thing to do for long lasting health - or so WE think. Here's someone that's living proof of the exact opposite.
A slightly younger person from China (102) does much the same thing, except he substitutes vodka for the local liqor, and he smokes a ton of cigarettes to boot. And yet, he's fit and raring to go - more so than most 20 year olds are in this day and age. When asked, he too said he walks on a daily basis - unassisted, of course.
Anyhow, I think you can see what most of these people have in common - and that is, they MOVE on a daily basis. Specifically, they WALK - and thats one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and fitness as well. And you shouldn't just walk to lose weight, though some forms of walking do help you lose weight fast. No, I recommend talking long, leisurely walks - and relax, and breathe deeply while doing so - this simple practice alone will add on a couple of years to your life.
And while you may not have the time for long WALKS (at least not daily), I recommend you make walking a part of your daily life anyway. Walk for 15 minutes in the morning before work, or before bedtime. It doesn't matter when you do it - and you don't have to do it for hours - but make sure you include some sort of walking into your routine. You'll benefit more from it than you realize at this point!
Anyway, I suddenly got a bit rushed for time, so I'll end this here. Back again tomorrow!
PS: Walking is something I cover in great detail in Fast and Furious Fitness -- grab your copy ASAP!
Pull-ups are one of the most "complete" exercises that I have ever done. A workout consisting mainly of pull-ups and related exercises will give you strength benefits that are almost unparalleled. You'll build your ENTIRE upper body - especially your back, shoulders, arms and core. And if you do them right, some of the "related" exercises can give you a decent cardiovascular workout as well.
YES, you heard me right - certain types of exercises that fit into the "pull-up" category do have the ability to give you a cardiovascular workout as well. I'm sure your agog to find out just how, and I'll speak about it in a later post, but for now, let's concentrate on another question that is very common. That being "What if I cannot do a single pullup?"
And the reason I'm focusing on this for now is simple - more than 90% of adults cannot do a proper pull-up - and I'm being generous by saying 90% - it's probably more like 95% or so.
The reasons for this vary - some people may not be strong enough, and some are too overweight to do them (I've seen many cases of this). Some may just not WANT to do them because they've been brainwashed into using the lat pulldown machine with false assurances - and if you know someone that falls into that category, well, your not alone.
But whatever it is, the fact remains that a lot of people are unable to do a single full pull-up with proper form and range of motion - even those that genuinely want to get good at this amazing exercise. So, what next? How do you get that first elusive full rep in?
Well, my answer may surprise you. It's NOT doing "negative reps" as is written on most of the Internet, although the concept of negative reps is not a bad one in itself. It's NOT developing the strength to do pull-ups by lifting weights. And I won't even say the secret lies in losing weight if your overweight - though that also helps.
What is it, then.
Well, simply put - just put yourself in your shoes when you were a "young un" runing around in the playground - and do what you'd do back then to improve.
Huh? What good can that do, you might ask. And I can see why your saying that - but still, think about it for a minute. When you were a kid unable to do an exercise (let's say pull-ups), or were just starting out, did you research hours on the Internet for how to do them?
When a baby starts to walk - does it ask others or research how to start walking before it does so?
The answer to both these questions is a big fat NO. The kid simply tries doing pullups until he can do them, and the baby keeps on trying to walk until it can - it's that simple.
The kid does "half-pullups", or "quarter pull-ups" (or whatever he can). He then comes back the next day, and the next, and the next - and does much the same thing. He's not in the least bit worried about "focusing on the lats", or "negative reps", or "slow reps", or anything of that sort - he simply DOES what he can - and before he knows it, he's banging them out with no problem at all - without even thinking about it.
And thats what you need to do as well if you cannot do a single pull-up in proper form. Keep doing what you can, and you'll eventually improve. If all you can do is "half pullups", do sets of those regularly. If you can do one pull-up, but can only do halves after that - then do that - and your strength will improve.
YES - the other things I mentioned (negative reps and all that) do help as well, but what helps the most is doing things naturally. Do what you can - do it regularly, and you'll improve for sure.
And while I'm sure there are some folks out there that will titter upon reading this and say "oh, thats nothing so complicated" - well, no, it's not - but it's also a fact the simplest and most effective things are often ignored by most people!
And as I close out today's email, here's a quote to remember - "Do the thing and you will have the power. But they that do not the thing, had not the power." ~ Emerson, Ralph Waldo.
He's said it better than I ever could.
My family members (other than my wife) don't think much of my training at all. And come to think of it, it's not that difficult to understand WHY they don't.
Why not? Well, here are but a few reasons: -
Does my routine include running on treadmills for hours while watching TV?
Does it involve working on a menacing looking contraption (er, machine) that looks like it was brought straight out of Star Trek - with absolutely no concern for form or even caution while tugging at the cables of this behemoth?
Does it involve keeping the cell phone on - and answering it - while exercising?
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. It's sad, but true - all of what I've said above holds true for the average person - especially that last point about the cell phone, and since I don't believe in doing any of that, my routine's obviously "strange" and "doesn't work". Oh, and I don't put much emphasis on six packs (and don't have one myself) - so the routine obviously "is pointless".
Anyway, the other night one of my family members (I'm not going to say who) made this sarcastic comment about "Oh, you've got such huge bulky arms. What's the point of all this? You exercise to excess!".
And that particular comment almost made me laugh out LOUD - though I managed not to.
First, having huge bulky arms (bulky as in strong) and broad, powerful shoulders is NOTHING to be ashamed of. Modern day training "wisdom" emphasizes hours of "pumping the chest" but devotes little time to developing the shoulders and arms - and this is one of the biggest mistakes one can make. And even if we set aside this "wisdom", well, isn't STRENGTH what most folks would like to attain? The family member that made this comment hasn't done one pushup in his entire life - and that in itself says a lot.
Second, my routines don't take longer than 30 minutes (at most). I can do more if I want to - but I don't have to - and I don't think that time period is "excessive".
Third, if the routines "don't work" - how would I develop big bulky arms? You see the point - these sorts of comments are common when your training hard, and doing things DIFFERENTLY from other people - but most of the time, they have little substance behind them.
Anyway, rest assured (if you need assurance on this one) that having big, strong arms and shoulders to match is NOT something to be ashamed of. And no, doing endless sets of bicep curls or "tricep extensions" won't cut the mustard - and won't bring you any results as well. If you really want huge upper arms, arms that look - and ARE - as strong as they look, then follow the upper body routines I mention in Fast and Furious Fitness - and you'll soon be sporting a set of arms that you'll be more than proud of.
And last, but not least, remember to work the shoulders and back into the ground as well - these are KEY to developing huge arms. You should feel TIRED after you got done with your workout - good, but tired as well. In fact, I just got done with my workout - doing exercises I do daily - and my triceps are singing out loud to me as I type this.
And THAT'S the type of training that will bring fantastic results for you as well.
All for now - train hard, and be safe!
PS: The kind of training that will bring superlative results for you can be found right HERE.