Get Real: Real Strong, Real Fast

In the world of the super-sized everything, bigger is not always better. I've worked with hundreds of large, muscular guys firefighters and civilians that had trouble with even the lightest weight on certain exercises, while some of my 130-pound female clients could pull out five-rep sets of dead lifts at 250 pounds. It turns out that strength and size are not the same attributes.

Body building and firefighting are like oil and water. Bodybuilders train to build muscle as their primary goal. Athletes and firefighters should train to perform better, accepting the vast improvement in appearance and muscle tone as an unavoidable side effect (please don't feel sorry for them) with the extra baggage of bloated muscles.

When training for performance you need to abandon the gym rat, health club rhetoric of the self-absorbed, wanna-be bodybuilder for the sensible advice of professional strength and performance coaches around the world. When it comes to exercise, you need to GET REAL.

Never Isolate

Never again will you strive to isolate this muscle or that, but instead you'll opt for BIG movements that train multiple muscle groups in a very real-life way. Properly performed squats and lunges are a great example of exercises that mimic very common movement patterns that can be used to forge tremendous fitness.

Bye-Bye Reps, Hello Sets

High reps will be a thing of the past on all but a few drills. You'll learn how to utilize low repetitions with more sets to enhance skill and strength development while saving high-rep ballistic type workouts for building the hybrid quality known as strength-endurance. For your own custom strength-endurance program, click here.

Mental Conditioning

You'll take a new approach to each and every exercise, keeping your mind totally focused on the work at hand. Full body stability will be emphasized, always bringing the true core muscles into play. A rock hard midsection and pure strength are inevitable.

Logical Progession

Your workouts, though not overcomplicated, will have a logical progression toward an achievable goal, with periods of varying levels of active rest workouts in between. The technique of incorporating active rest (training that takes place at about 60 percent of your full capacity) is probably the fastest way to improve overall performance while you keep fatigue to a minimum. And fatigue can easily counteract or mask all improvement.

Breaking from the pop-fitness culture is never easy, but I urge you to leave the Bally's trainers behind. Take an active interest in your body. Give yourself an education on what it truly takes to make the changes you need. As a start, take a peak at the rest of this website, peruse some of the articles, and take it from there.

I also offer one-on-one training at my fitness studio on Long Island, New York, as well as online personalized fitness plans.

For more information please visit Captain Mike's website at www.firefightersworkout.com.

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