Jul 26, 2011

I'm moving my blog - www.plyoathletics.com

Hi Friends. I have moved my blog and website to TUMBLR. The reason for this is to make a more modern and interesting website. I think the one-column-blog is outdated and oldfashion. Most internet newspapers and magazines now use a multicolumn type of layout with uneven columnbreaks. Blogger does not support this at the moment, and I have therefore chosen to move my blogging to tumblr.

The adress: www.plyoathletics.com now points to my tumblr-page, but you can also use the direct link: http://plyo.tumblr.com. This blogger site will not more be updated.

Looking forward to see you all, and promise a better and more interesting website.

All the best, PLYO

Jun 20, 2011

Front squat day

I love frontsquats. It's a very good way of building quads, speed, jumping power, balance, agility and strength. It puts more stress on the quads and less on the glutes and back. My athletics background makes frontsquats easy to perform due to good flexibility, but still it's hard to keep posture with the heavy weights on.

Here is my sets: 4x245 pounds, 4x265 pounds, 3x288 pounds, 2x310 pounds, 1x330 pounds
And then some deadlifts. Lifted several sets of 380 to 440 pounds

Jun 11, 2011

Homemade cinnamon rolls.

It's Saturday and this is my first cheat meal of the week. It's homemade cinnamon rolls with american caramel and vanilla.

Jun 9, 2011

Frontsquatlegs by Plyo

This is the frontsquatlegs at todays workout. Twisting the legs a little outwards to get a better view of size and shape, but that also make them look a little odd ;-) Extremely hot and humid at the gym today, and the workout was one of the tougher once I've had in a while. This is what I did:



Walking lunges

Standing legcurls

Seated leg ext

Some more frontsquats high rep

Jun 8, 2011

Volume back training workout

This was my volume back workout for the week. Had been eating quite bad for several days while putting up some new floors in my house, and not as crisp as I should be. However the workout went OK, and I did 42 reps of 3/4 pullups as a starter. Here are the exercises:

Pullups (3/4 rom) - 42 reps, then 4 more sets
Bent over rows with 140 to 220 pounds
Dumbbell pullover with 90 to 105 pounds
Pulldowns with 140 to 220 pounds
Rack rows for reps

Today at the bodyweight of 180 pounds

This picture shows the contrast to my previous post. 3 weeks until summer.

This was me, fat and bloated, 6 weeks ago ;-)

Soon to be posting some new leaner pics...

Barbell or dumbbells?

Well, I use them both, in most workouts. There are some exercises that are superior with barbells and there are some exercises that are best with dumbbells. In short you get the range of motion with the dumbbells and the ability to twist and turn your arms during the movement. With barbells you get the stability to move higher loads. Here are my favorites to compare.

Benchpress: I usually start out with the barbells and the heavy loads, and when my pecs are fatigued from the barbell, I use dumbbells for increased Range of Motion and stretch.

Shoulders: Here I actually prefer to start out with dumbbells because I can use a true lateral movement with the weights on each side of my head during the shoulderpress. Later on in the workout I add the barbell overhead press for my front and lateral delts.

Rows: In my mind the barbell row is superior to the one arm dumbbell row. I get a better contraction and higher load. Barbell row is, together with the deadlift, my absolute favorite exercises for back thickness. One arm dumbbell row is an exercise I use for from time to time to get a better ROM for the rows.

Biceps: I often start out with the dumbbell curls. It's an more intens exercise then the barbells, and I feel a better effect from the eccentric phase of the barbell curls if I do them later in the workout. So a good routine for me is to start with the alternating dumbbell curls and finish off with some superintense EZ-curls.

What do you all think, agree or not agree?

Jun 7, 2011

High load or high volume chest workout

A normal year I train chest with high load 8 months a year and high volume 4 months a year. There is some slight differences between these workouts. For high load workouts I use three or four sets with the same load and just focus on controlling the movement and increase the load for several weeks alternating between adding weight on the bar and adding an additional rep.

For high volume workouts I use a traditional bodybuilders regime where I build up every exercise from 15 reps of light weights until I do one last set of heavy weights to failure and beyond. I also use more exercises and shorter rests between. Here is two typical examples of chest workouts:

A typical high load routine is:

Benchpress - 4-6 reps for 4 sets
Incline dumbbells - 6-10 reps for 3 sets
Dumbbell flyes - 10-12 reps for 4 sets
Weighted dips - 10-12 reps for 3 sets

A typical high volume workout might be:

Benchpress - 15, 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps
Dumbbell press - 15, 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps
Cable flyes - 15, 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps
Dumbbell flyes - 12, 12, 10 and 10 reps
Decline hammer - 15, 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps
Assisted dips - max reps for 4 sets

May 31, 2011

8 minute chest workout video

I'm now halfway through my 10 week diet. There is still a way to go, but I'm getting more ripped every week. I have lost about 22 pounds since starting the diet. Here is a 8 minute workout video from my latest chest workout. The exercises are as follows:

Dumbbell press with 100 pound dumbbells
15 degree smith benchpress with 120-200 pounds
Cable flyes with 70-130 pounds
Decline hammer press with 90-160 pounds
Dumbbell flyes with 35-50 pounds
Eccentric dips for max reps

Feb 6, 2011

Finished first week of new routine

First week of new routine finished. The first week is always hell-week, but this was badass tough. My body hurts everywhere... chest, lats, tric, biceps, quads, glutes, hamstrings and calfs, shoulders... and abs...

No I'm looking forward to two days rest before hitting the gym again on monday. The weights are the same as this week, but 5 reps are now 6 reps. And thats my progression for the Plyostrength workout. For size I try to add maybe 5 pounds on exercises next week, or add one or two more reps on my final sets. As I have said before. Sizetraining is all about auto-regulation. You have to know your strength, know your body and keep pushing the limits of your performance. 

Until later. Take care and keep lifting!

Feb 2, 2011

The 40 greatest Nr 2 - Deadlift

Deadlift is an awesome exercise. Many coaches believe deadlifts to be a better indication of total body strength then squats. Deadlift works most of the posterior muscles in the body and many of the anterior muscles as well. Deadlift also works the core in an extremely effective way. Deadlift makes you stronger and more explosive as well as building size. The main muscles worked are, depending on style: gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, deltoideus and rectus abdominis. But in stabilizing the body during the lift virtually every muscle is working either dynamically or static.

There are many different ways of doing deadlifts. The powerlifter deadlift with an upright position and bending of the knees. Sumo style deadlift with a wide stance. Straight leg deadlift with less bending of the knees. Trap bar deadlift similar to the powerlifting style but with a trap bar. Rounded back deadlift and straight back deadlift. Atlas stone deadlift with a big stone, and many more variations.

One main difference is the amount of force produced by the quadriceps and the hamstrings muscle. In an upright powerlifterstyle movement, quadriceps is a major forceprovider, while in a bodybuilding style straight leg deadlift the hamstrings is a dominant muscle. Both ways are excellent methods of doing the deadlifts, depending on your goal.

Here are some examples:
Standard deadlift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6aM0CYPh3w
Straight leg deadlift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtsQUpy13eQ
Trap bar deadlift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvz7wdfCJuk
Rounded back strongman lift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DchUE6Wy67s

And finally some tirelift you could try ;-)

Jan 31, 2011

New PLYOREPS routine

Today is the first week of february and I'm starting my new 12 week routine. This is the last strong and heavy routine I do before summer. By the end of the 12 week I will have started cutting and my strength will likely drop, and I'll do a slightly different routine. But this one is for strength and size.

I train monday to friday in this order:

Monday - Plyostrength fullbody
Tuesday - Plyosize back, calfs
Wednesday - Plyosize chest, biceps
Thursday - Plyosize legs
Friday - Plyosize shoulder, triceps, calfs

Here is the whole 12 week routine. You can download it as an excel spreadsheet. The only thing you have to do is change the yellow to your numbers and you are ready to go. You can also change the progression and the reps but I recommend not doing that unless you are very experienced. Here is the spreadsheet:  http://plyoathletics.com/PLYOREPS_spring_2011.xlsx

You don't have to know your 1RM. It's calculated for you. You just have to know what you lift for a really heavy set with 2-8 reps. Also notice that the weight you enter for dips is the added weight by using a dips-belt.

You see that it's only the monday workout that has a fixed progression. For all the other workouts you kinda have to find the weights for yourself. I've written more about it here:

and here:

If you have any questions just ask me. Also keep me posted on how you are doing on this!!
Here is a quick walkthru:

1) Download the file and save it on your computer
2) Open in excel. If you don't have excel you can find it on the net
3) Change the yellow squares

4) You don't have to change the progression, but it is possible
5) Notice how load changes based on what you write, but its only first workout that change.
6) Print and you're ready to go. It should be prepared for a 12 page print. One page for each week so just hit the print button
7) Keep me posted on how its working out for you!!

Good luck!

Jan 30, 2011

2011 Archive


Jan 28, 2011

The 40 greatest Nr 1 - Squats

In this section I'll try to dig a little deeper in the world of exercises. Exercises are an essential part of PLYOREPS, and knowing how to choose the right exercises and the right way to perform exercises can make a huge difference. And we start out with the king of all leg exercises, the squat!

Squats can be performed in numerous ways and with different focus. It is one of the main exercises in many sports, and in bodybuilding. Squats gives you strength, power, speed and size. The main muscles worked are quadriceps and gluteus maximus. You will always use both muscles, but shifting bar position, body position, feet position and execution will make some difference in the outcome. Lets go through the most important different types of squats.

Back squats - This is the traditional squat performed for years and years, and by all kind of athletes. Best for overall quad and glute strength, and for building muscles in the legs.
Front squats - By putting the barbell in front of your torso, you can do the movement more upright. This puts more stress on the quads and less on the glutes. Favored by olympic weightlifters and many bodybuilders.
Jump squats - This is the most explosive version of the squats where you jump as high as you can with the barbell. The load effectively limits how high you can jump, so really dig dip in this one.
Box squats - Squats where you sit down on a box. This guides you to the right depth and activates the quads more on less weight. Good for people who suffer from weak lower back.
Bottom position squats - This is a squat where you start in the bottom position without the stretchreflex to help you. A good way to increase ability to generate power and explosiveness.
Overhead squat - Probably the most difficult form of squats where you hold the barbell in a wide grip over your head on stretched arms. Important for olympic lifters and perfect to develop a balanced squat.

Full squat - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8NdXv2EqGU
Front squat - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2JVleuCrQ0
Jump squat - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhaNf6Jl92A
Bottom Position squat - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52uIbkC8bGA
Overhead squat - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kke58vAP46c

And just some good old fashion squatting in the end

Jan 25, 2011

Choosing the correct load and progression for PLYOATHLETICS

STEP 3 - Finding the load

Finding the right load for your strength training workouts is essential in heaving progress. The biggest problem we see at gyms is not training too hard, or overtraining, it is training too light. The safest way to get results from your training is increasing the load, the volume or the intensity. Our body tries to adjust to any challenge you throw at it, but if you never challenge yourself, the body has no reason to get stronger. Here are some words you need to know:

1RM - This is the heaviest weight you can lift for 1 repetition.
6RM - This is the heaviest weight you can lift for 6 repetitions etc...

You get the picture. This is your max effort sets on fully recovered muscles. We use this to estimate progression  and deciding about the load.

Failure - This is the point where you cannot complete one more repetition.
Beyond failure - This is when you get help to lift even more when by yourself, you cannot do more.

The second to last set of an exercise is usually to failure. The last set of the same exercise is usually beyond failure. This is a very motivating way of training because you always feel you're doing your best, and you have rapid strength progression. Here is an example from bench. If I have a 6RM of 260 pounds I would choose the following load for plyostrength and plyosize:

Warmup 1: 12x120 lbs
Warmup 2: 10x140 lbs
Working set 1: 5x250 lbs
Working set 2: 5x250 lbs
Working set 3: 5x250 lbs
Working set 4: 5-6x 250 lbs to failure


Warmup 1: 12x120 lbs
Warmup 2: 10x140 lbs
Working set 1: 10x180 lbs
Working set 2: 10x200 lbs
Working set 3: 8x220 lbs
Working set 4: 7x230 lbs
Working set 5: 5-8x240 lbs to failure
Working set 6: 4-7x240 lbs to failure and beyond

You see from this example you don't lift as heavy weights on a SIZE day as you do on a STRENGTH day. But you compensate by doing more sets and more reps, and you have shorter rests between sets.

I'm a big fan of auto-adjustments. This is a way of adjusting the load according to how you feel during your workout. I do this to a large degree on my SIZE workouts, and to a lesser degree on my STRENGTH days. If I start out my first set on a strength day, and feel crappy, I reduce the weight bu 10 pounds. If I feel incredibly strong I increase the weight by 5-10 pounds from my initial plan.

STEP 4 - Progression

In plyoathletics you try to increase the weights by approximately 5 pounds each week for 5 weeks. Then you reduce the load and increase the reps, before going another 5 weeks. Here is an example from benchpress.

Week 1 - 5x250 lbs for 4 sets
Week 2 - 4x255 lbs for 4 sets
Week 3 - 5x255 lbs for 4 sets
Week 4 - 4x260 lbs for 4 sets
Week 5 - 5x260 lbs for 4 sets
Week 6 - 7x250 lbs for 4 sets
Week 7 - 6x255 lbs for 4 sets
Week 8 - 5x260 lbs for 4 sets
Week 9 - 4x265 lbs for 4 sets
Week 10 - 5x265 lbs for 4 sets
Week 11 - 4x270 lbs for 4 sets
Week 12 - 5x270 lbs for 4 sets
Week 13 - 7x260 lbs for 4 sets 

Note that you deload in week 6 and 13 before building up again stronger then before. You repeat this cycle over and over again, and keep getting stronger and stronger as long as I stick with this program.

For PLYOSIZE you don't really follow the same strict plan. You try to increase the weights as you go, and  just do another heavy set or throw in another exercise. The progression in size-training pretty much follows the strength increase in a natural way.

Jan 18, 2011

Getting started with PLYOREPS

We are about to get started with PLYOREPS. Remember this is an extremely demanding way of training, but if you truly want results, it's the fastest way to get there. We'll take you thru all the steps to design your perfect workout routine to meet your needs.

STEP 1 - How many workout days?

First you have to decide how many days a week you want to lift weights. You can choose to do strength training 2,3,4, 5 or 6 days a week. I recommend keeping the number of days from 3 to 5 which provide enough volume and enough recovery. Every week must include at least on day of PLYOSTRENGTH training and one day of PLYOSIZE training. We'll get back to this later.

Two days a week:
Day one - Plyostrength fullbody
Day two - Plyosize upperbody

Three days a week:
Day one - Plyostrength fullbody
Day two - Plyosize chest, back and shoulders
Day three - Plyosize legs and arms

Four days a week:
Day one - Plyostrength upperbody
Day two - Plyostrength legs
Day three - Plyosize chest and back
Day four - Plyosize arms and shoulders

Five days a week:
Day one - Plyostrength upperbody
Day two - Plyostrength legs
Day three - Plyosize chest and biceps
Day four - Plyosize back and triceps
Day five - Plyosize shoulders and legs OR Plyopower workout

Six days a week:
Day one - Plyostrength upperbody
Day two - Plyostrength legs OR Plyopower workout
Day three - Plyosize chest
Day four - Plyosize back and biceps
Day five - Plyosize leg
Day six - Plyosize shoulders and triceps

Now that you have chosen how many days a week you will lift weights, the basic outline of your week has been made. All we have to to is fill in exercises. But first we have to see the differences between PLYOSTRENGTH and PLYOSIZE. This in a very important understanding to have when you are planning your workout.

PLYOSTRENGTH is workouts designed to make you stronger. To do this we use heavy weights, longer rests between sets, and a lower number of reps. We don't have too many exercises and basically work our way through the list of the big compound exercises. In plyostrength we don't use intensity enhancing techniques such as cheats, forced reps, half reps, drop sets etc. Obviously you also have some gains in size from this training, but that is not our main focus.

PLYOSIZE is workouts designed to increase musclesize and make you bigger. You will also get stronger from this type of routine, but our main goal here is adding pounds to the frame. In a plyosize workout we use several different exercises to target the muscle from different angles. We use lighter weights, more reps and more sets. And intensity enhancing techniques like cheats, forced reps, supersets, dropsets are an important part of plyosize workouts.

STEP 2 - Choosing your exercises?

A Plyostrength workout is pretty straight forward. You alternate between pushing and pulling exercises and you use all the basic exercises you allready know.

Plyostrength fullbody:
Full squats - 10x, 8x, 5x, 5x, 5x
Benchpress - 10x, 8x, 5x, 5x, 5x
Deadlift - 10x, 8x, 5x, 5x, 5x
Pulldown -  10x, 8x, 8x, 8x
Militarypress - 10x, 8x, 8x, 8x
Barbell row - 10x, 10x, 10x

Plyostrength upperbody
Benchpress - 10x, 8x, 5x, 5x, 5x
Pulldown -  10x, 8x, 8x, 8x
Militarypress - 10x, 8x, 8x, 8x
Barbell row - 10x, 10x, 10x
Incline dumbell press - 10x, 10x, 10x
Dumbbell pullover - 10x, 10x, 10x

Plyostrength legs
Full squats - 10x, 8x, 5x, 5x, 5x
Deadlift - 10x, 8x, 5x, 5x, 5x
Frontsquat - 10x, 8x, 8x, 8x
Legpress - 12x, 12x, 12x
Legcurl - 12x, 12x, 12x

A Plyosize workout, on the other hand, is all about choices and variation of exercises. Here there are few rules, but the rules we have are tough. In Plyosize there are 2-5 exercises for each musclegroup each workout. Lets say you are working chest and biceps, I would have probably four exercises on chest and two or even three exercises on biceps for that workout. The first exercises on each musclegroup are basic exercises where you build up your set from light weight until your last set where you lift to failure and beyond. The last exercises on each musclegroup is straight forward high-reps with a fixed resistance. Lets use a chest workout as an example:

For chest we have the following basic exercises: benchpress, incline benchpress, decline benchpress, dumbbell benchpress and dumbbell incline. My first two exercises on chest will always be from this list. Further more we have the following secondary exercises: flyes, cable flyes, pullover, machine press, machine flyes, dips, pushups, pec-dec, and many more... 

I start out with benchpress. My 6 reps max is maybe 270 pounds. I would start out at 120 pounds and do 12 reps. Short rest and do 12 reps on 150. Short rest and do 10 on 180. A little longer rest and do 8 on 210. Stop just before failure, with maybe one more rep to go. For my second to last set I increase the load to 230 and do 7 reps in the same manner. Now my good friend walks over and I take a 3 minute rest. For my very last set I increase to 250 pounds and do as many reps as I can possibly squeeze out. My friend is helping me with two or three forced reps at the very end. This should really be beyond failure. After this I walk over to the dumbbell rack and do dumbbell incline the same way but with less warm-up sets. I do four sets of, 80, 85, 90 and 90 pounds before finish off with as many possible with the 100 pound dumbbells. You get the picture. Building up your set for your first two exercises. 

After this, I may do the cable flyes for three sets of 12 reps, before finishing off with three sets off dips. And I'm done with chest. I move on to biceps and build up my first set of barbell curls from smaller to larger weights. And in the very end I do three sets of 12 reps on the dumbbell curls and the preacher curls. If I'm doing this correctly i'm done in less then an hour. And this is a perfect Plyosize workout. 

The different ways to increase your reps on the last sets are as follows:

Cheats - Lifting with body momentum to be able to do a couple more. Typically used in barbell curls, seated rows, pulldown and military presses.
Forced reps - Having a friend help you to a couple more. Can be used on most exercises.
Drop-set - Reducing the load when you reach failure, thus beeing able to do some more reps.You can drop the load one or two times.
Super-set - Continue on with a similar exercise when you reach failure. An example of this is dips/push-ups
Eccentric load - Doing one or two more eccentric reps and having help on the concentric phase.

Here are the basic and secondary exercises for each muscle:

Chest Basic - benchpress, incline bench, decline bench, dumbbell benchpress, dumbbell incline.
Chest Secondary - flyes, cable flyes, pullover, machine press, machine flyes, dips, pushups, pec-dec, and many more...

Back Basic - chins, pulldown, barbell row, seated row, T-bar row
Back Secondary - machine pulldown, pullover, cable pullover, machine row, rack chins, cobra, dumbbell row, horizontal row, laying barbell row etc...

Shoulders Basic - standing military press, seated military press, dumbbell press, arnold press
Shoulders Secondary - lateral raises, cable laterals, frontraises, face pulls, bent over laterals, machine press, machine laterals, upright row and more...

Legs Basic - squats, front squat, stifflegged deadlift
Legs secondary - legpress, legcurls, legextension, hacksquat, bulgarian split, lunges, walking lunges, sissy squat, nordic hamstrings, dumbbell squats etc...

Biceps Basic - barbell curls, standing dumbbell curls
Biceps Secondary - seated dumbbells, preacher curls, dumbbell preacher curls, cable curls, double cable curls, machine curls, hammercurls, spider curls, 45 degree curls, reverse grip chins

Triceps Basic - frenchpress, narrow grip benchpress
Triceps Secondary: pushdown, one arm pushdown. rope pushdown, kick back, behind back triceps extension, jm-press, close grip pushups, dips and many more...

This was STEP 1 and STEP 2 of the Plyoathletic getting started guide. Stay tuned for STEP 3, finding the right load, STEP 4, periodization, STEP 5, sample routines, and STEP 6, Plyopower training. Later on we will also talk about the speed and endurance training.

Keep asking questions. It's in sharing knowledge we progress!!

Is it possible to have muscles and endurance?

This is a question I hear from time to time. The truth is kind off both ways. We are used to see images of skinny enduranceathletes like marathon runners or cyclists. Rarely do we see top level athletes with impressive muscularity in this sort of sports. The reason for this is pretty simple. Having too much weight slows you down and you won't win your races. If you don't win, you don't get your picture in the newspaper. But does that mean you cannot have impressive endurance and still keep your muscelsize?

No, you can still have both. One doesn't kill the other. But you might not win your long distance races. But think of it, how many of us do really compete at top level. Most of us only want to be in good shape, be healthy and look good. So the "yes, I want both" approach is perfect for us. I'll write more about it later so until then. Lift and run. You'll get to like it!

A good way to run some high intensity intervals are the 45/15. Start out with a warmup. After 5 minutes find a pace where you are running with a little effort but still easy breathing. Run 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds. Repeat. Every minute you increase the speed by 0.2 miles pr hour until you cannot complete the 45 seconds. You're done. Total number on intervals should be between 12 and 25. Next time you start at the same pace and try to complete one more compared to your last HIIT workout.

Some top level endurance athletes with muscles:

Olympic Rowing champion Olaf Tufte

Olympic cross country winner Marit Bjørgen

Olympic cross country winner Petter Northug

Jan 17, 2011

What is Plyoathletics

PLYOATHLETICS, or PLYOATHLETIC TRAINING is a training philosophy where you combine the benefits of three different forms of training into one, very demanding form of training. You get the best of strength, power and muscularity from strength training, the endurance and stamina of endurance training, and the speed, agility and quickness of plyometric training. The downside; you have to commit to it, wholehearted, because it takes time, will and strength. Plyoathletics consumes you and spit you out the other end as a complete athlete.

STRENGTH TRAINING has been around for ages. Strength has always had an important role in defining masculinity. No one will today question the benefits of strength training. Hippocrates explained the principle behind strength training when he wrote "that which if used develops, and that which if not used wastes away", referring to muscular hypertrophy and atrophy. Progressive resistance training dates back at least to Ancient Greece, when legend has it that wrestler Milo of Croton trained by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day until it was fully grown. Another Greek, the physician Galen, described strength training exercises using the halteres (an early form of dumbbell) in the 2nd century. Ancient Persians used the meels, which became popular during the 19th century as the Indian club, and has recently made a comeback in the form of the clubbell.

The dumbbell was joined by the barbell in the latter half of the 19th century. Early barbells had hollow globes that could be filled with sand or lead shot, but by the end of the century these were replaced by the plate-loading barbell commonly used today

Strengthtraining has progressed into many forms, but the most widespread are hypertrophy, training for musclesize, or bodybuilding. Training for strength, like the powerlifters do, and training for speed and power, like olympic lifters and many athletes do. Most people you see in gyms all over the world combine these goals in their strength training.

But how many strong men and women in gyms and healthclubs around the world has equally well developed endurance or speed. How many bodybuilders do you see running a 10k. Or sprinting with ease on the track and field. Some NFL players and many other athletes, obviously, has these characteristics. And the truth is that these athletes in many ways follows the plyoathletic principals of training. But other then that. How many hobby lifters out there do really posess this qualities? I'll even go as far as saying that too much lifting kills your endurance and makes you slow.

ENDURANCE TRAINING is another form of training that is very popular all over the world. In short, endurance training is what to you do to keep on going for a longer time at higher speed. Endurance training has an effect on the heart, lungs, muscle cells, bloodstream, bloodcells, recovery and many more important factors in the human body. Exercises for endurance tends to be aerobic in nature versus anaerobic movements. Aerobic exercise develops slow twitch muscles. Performing these exercises strengthens and elongates the muscles for preparation of extended periods of use.

Athletes train for endurance to compete in 5k and 10k races, half marathons, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons, Ironman competitions, Century bike rides, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and so on. Non-athletes can train similarly with an aerobic workout to burn calories and fat. It is known that long distance training (LDT) for endurance over long periods of time can be helpful to joints and ligaments as one ages.

But endurance training doesn't make you strong or fast. Infact it might make you slower or weaker. If you only train endurance this will very likely happen. And endurance training, while keeping you thin, doesn't prompote the aesthetics and the looks that many people want in our moders society. Be real, who wants to look skinny?

PLYOMETRIC TRAINING is often referred to the gap between strength and speed. The link between weights and performance. And the connection between strength and pure power. Plyometrics (also known as "plyos") is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities. Plyometrics are useful for several sports - notably soccer, rugby, basketball, track and field athletics, racket sports, parkour, martial arts, skateboarding among others.

Muscular power and muscular strength are two different things. Muscular strength refers to how much force can be applied (The ability to lift a heavier weight as opposed to a lighter one). As per common knowledge, strength alone is not indicative of speed. Power refers to the combined factors of speed and strength (force). Performance in many sports is based on different types of power. In American Football, a lineman and a receiver may have the same power, but they have different limitations in how their power is delivered. The lineman would be speed limited, whereas the receiver would be strength limited. The purpose of plyometrics is to emphasize speed- based power. One activity that requires speed-favored power is high jumping. Ultimately, jump height is determined by how fast one is moving once his legs have left the ground. Good jumpers may not have exceptional leg strength, but they can produce their strength at exceptional speeds.

Plyometric training without strength is practically useless. You have to have the foundation to truly utilize the benefits of plyometrics. And you need the endurance to recover fast, to chain movements and to not let your cardiovascular system limit your performance. And it is from this understanding, that plyoathletics was born. We train to be the ultimate athletes. We train to lift heavy weights. We train to build muscles. We train to keep on going when others fail. We train to fast and powerfull in every way. And we train to look the best, always!!

To do this we have the following routines and guidelines to help us:

PLYOSTRENGTH - Strength training to make you stronger.
PLYOSIZE - Strength training to increase muscle size.
PLYOPOWER - Strength training to increase power and speed.
PLYOREPS - How to build a perfect routine.
PLYOSPEED - Plyometric training and speed training to make you faster.
PLYOINTERVALS - Intervalltraining to increase endurance and VO2max
PLYODISTANCE - Endurance training to keep you going for ever.

Read more about the founder of Plyoathletics here:

Jan 16, 2011

The back workout

One of my friends at misc asked about my Back workout. Here it is. I train deadlift on my legdays so all I'm really doing on backday is several pulling exercises.

I always start out with chins. Chins is done in two different ways. Hi-rep or low-rep. If I'm doing hi-rep, I do four or five sets ow 15-30 chins with bodyweight. If I work low-reps, the routine is 3-4 sets with 60-110 pounds added weight. On the last two sets I often throw in a drop-set by just dropping the weight and finish of with bodyweight.

After that I alternate between horizontal and vertical pulling exercises and some pullovers, machine or cabel, wide cobra and one armed exercises. Rep-range is 10-12 but I often build up the sets by adding plates. Let's take T-bar rows. I start out with 12x200 pounds, then 12x220, 10x240 and 8x260. I try to have a good variation each time for my secondary exercises.

A typical back workout will look something like this:

Chins - 10xBW, 10xBW+40lbs, 8xBW+50lbs, 7xBW+60, 6xBW+70lbs, 5xBW+80lbs
T-bar row - 12x200lbs, 12x220lbs, 10x240lbs, 8x260
Pulldown - 12x200lbs, 12x200lbs, 10x220lbs, 8x240lbs
Cable pullover - 12x80lbs, 12x80lbs, 12x80lbs
Rack chins - max reps for 3 sets (don't give up, you can always do one more...)

Chins heavy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGd5fE192eY
Chins easy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYe-3kkqJFg
Chins wide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvYOT-EImgw
Barbell row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVV4DKLp5C8
T-bar row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgfXDj_2HtM
Cable row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQhm1hbnkhg
Dumbbell row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-2P1bcO_VQ
Pulldown v-grip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt8c3Yqp-xU
One-arm pulldown - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SBqBZy44E8
Power-ups - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aQMG4jA6tc
Wide Cobra - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7eZQh9LoF0
Cable pullover - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF8GMpwS3Ss
Lying cable pullover - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBFFfIxVexw
Lying barbell row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7PAb7_p-8I
Machine pulldown - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmBHbTRmPQk
Horizontal row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xBfJo-BAhg
One-arm cable row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFWWoCu9ZHw
Rack chins - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ATXmNN92mY

Jan 14, 2011

11 years of progress with Plyoathletic training.

I have put together a small comparison of how my progress have been during 11 years of plyoathletic training. My training have been good in some periods and not as good in other. The last couple of years however, I have been training on a fairly regular basis. Here is 11 years.

FIRST PICTURE: Here I am 18 years old and weighing 135 pounds. Not been lifting much weights, but done some rock climbing. Trying to keep the weight down because of the rock climbing. But doing quite a bit of push-ups and chins. Also running a lot and have very little muscles in legs and arms. Notice the thin arms and small shoulders. Kept on doing hard rock climbing until I went to the military for a year.

SECOND PICTURE: Some years has passed and I'm 23 years old. Bodyweight of 160 pounds. I'm not taking parts in climbing competition anymore, and I'm just working out to keep in shape. Have started lifting weights, but I'm still not very strong. Doing quite a bit of spinning because I'm an instructor at my local gym. Still a bad diet with too much crappy food. The muscles are not very full, and with very little cuts. Still lifting weights has added some mass to arms and shoulders.

THIRD PICTURE: A little over a year later, and I'm 171 pounds. Has decided to focus on strength training this year and gained some pounds of muscle. Eating lots of quality food, and the gains are quite lean. Not too much added fat yet. Working out with all the big important compound exercises and this is paying off. Still doing lots and lots of running, both intervals and distance.

FOURTH PICTURE: Here I am 26 years old. Bodyweight has increases to 185 pounds. Most gains has been made in legs, back and thickness in general. Thank god for all the squatting and deadlifting. Still lacking in arms though. Even with the pump in this picture, they are too small in my opinion. I'm quite happy with both training and nutrition at the moment. Lifting heavy weights. Running a little less distance and a little more intervals.

FIFTH PICTURE: In this picture I'm 28 years old. My current bodyweight is 195 pounds. In the picture I have just finished a short swim, but the muscles aren't really pumped. Still you can notice I have gained some weight in arms and shoulders. My % of bodyfat is also a little higher cause I'm getting older and it's hard to keep lean year round. Doing more bodybuilder type nutrition with bulking up in the winter and cutting in the summer. This is april, so I'm not quite shredded yet.

SIXTH PICTURE: Here I'm 29 years old at a bodyweight of 200 pounds. I'm not training as much as I used to do. Beeing married and having a little daughter just takes time from workouts. I still try to keep in shape on a daily basis though, but workouts are shorter and more brutal. Does lots of heavy lifting, hard running and plyo training.

So this is it! More pictures to follow in july 2011 ;-)

Jan 13, 2011

Asymmetric exercises. How and why?

Asymmetric exercises are exercises working only one side of the body at the time. Good examples are the lunges, dumbbell row, and dumbbell curls. There are several reasons why you could include this in your workouts. I'll try to outline some of them here:

Larger ROM - Larger Range Of Motion is a good reason for working one side of the body. You easily see this in the dumbbell row and the machine row. Twisting the body during movement increases the length of the movement, which is impossible in a symmetric approach.

Less rounding of the back - This occurs when you only work one leg at the time to keep your pelvis in a more fixed position. Good if you suffer from lower back pain or weakness in the lumbar region. You get the same overload for your quads by doing one legged legpress, but with half the weight and a fixed pelvis. The same goes for the one legged deadlift and the lunges.

Less stiffness of the neck - Some people are summering from stiffness and pain in the neck and upper back region. For them will a one armed shoulderpress in many cases be much less painfull. The light shifting of the bodyposition during this asymmetric lift puts less pressure on the neck and upper back.

Easy to maintain body position - This is typical in the dumbbell curls. You can do this symmetric as well, but the leverage arm of the movement makes it harder to keep your posture during the exercise. This is much easier with the asymmetric approach.

Putting your body in a diagonal position - This is true for the cable laterals. Here you target the muscle in another angle by using one-sided movements.

Here are some exercises where you benefit from asymmetric lifting:

Cable laterals - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWkh0b7g2d0
One arm snatches - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-wlaFs1fYI
Cable curls - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOHO1hobLUM
One arm pulldown - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SBqBZy44E8
Step-up - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vxBsVcH7j0
One arm row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFWWoCu9ZHw
Dumbbell row - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-2P1bcO_VQ
Kettlebell laterals - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt2Kq9FRF1w
Machine shoulderpress - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaQ0ra0pK5I
Bulgarian split - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0oMQXEwSac
Dumbbell curls - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHvjKotxHbE

Jan 12, 2011

Working on my vertical jump

Vertical jump is achieved by having good leg strength combined with the ability to transform this strength into power in explosive movements. You increase your vertical jump in several ways. One is to gain strength by doing some heavy leg exercises. Another is to gain speed by plyometric training. I like to combine these by doing  some workouts with heavy weights, some workouts with lighter weights and explosive lifts, like my olympic workouts, and some workouts with pure jumping drills. Here is a short sample from my latest jumping workout. In this video I finish of with 8 Reebok steps. I challenge you to do the same thing, and comment here with a link to your video! Go have fun!

Diet for adding size

One of my readers asked me what diet I use for adding size. I bulk up for about 20 weeks each fall, before maintaining weight during the winter. I feel the bulking up gives me more power during the important volume and strength phase I have in the fall. I also add quite a bit of bodyfat, but I never found it too hard to get rid of that later.

I try to get at least three good meels every day, and add some proteinshakes on top of that. Basic foodsources is what I use. Easy to find in any grocerystore, easy to store and cook. Here is a typical day in my bulking season:

07:00 - Proteinshahe with 50 g whey, 80 g gainer, 5 dl skimmed milk + 1 espresso
09:00 - 100 g oatmeal and 3 dl skimmed milk
11:00 - 4 dl orange juice and 0.8 dl vegetable oil
13:00 - Salad with 200 g salad, 200 g chicken breast, 80 g rice and soysauce
16:00 - Proteinshahe with 50 g whey, 80 g gainer, 5 dl skimmed milk + 1 espresso
19:00 - Dinner with 200 g vegetables, 200 g steak, 250 g baked potatoes and bbq sauce
21:00 - 60 g of peanuts
22:00 - Proteinshahe with 50 g whey, 80 g gainer, 5 dl skimmed milk

Total: 5242 kcal

Jan 11, 2011

The fight continues! Plyo is working on his leg power

Legs are important. Ask any good athlete running, jumping or throwing. Ask any good bodybuilder and they will tell the same thing. Legs matter!! Ask the young kids at the gym and the chance is they doesn't train legs at all. I like legtraining, but it also is a real battle. It can be so hard but in the end so revarding.

I train legs in three different ways. Bodybuilderstyle with lots of reps, sets and exercises. Powerlifterstyle with heavy lifts and the big compound exercises. And explosive style with the olympic lifts and other explosive moves. All three is equally important in my eyes.

A bodybuilderstyle workout starts out with building up a set of squats. Gradually adding plates and lowering reps until I reach my final set and failure. I repeat with stifflegged deadlifts the same way. After that I just throw in bunch of reps on the legpress, legext and legcurl, before finishing of with walking lunges. Get the picture. You have seen it before in all the bodybuilding movies.

A powerliftingstyle workout is more focused on heavy lifting. I start with the squats and do a couple of warmups before doing 3-5 heavy sets on my target weight. Repeat for deadlift. Then throwing in either the frontsquat, jumpsquat, bottom position squat or dumbbell squats. Finish off with either the hacklift or the legpress, two or one leg.

An explosivestyle workout starts out with snatches, then doing som jumpsquats or pushpress. Trying to keep the weigths down and the speed up. I also include boxjumps, jumping lunges and dumbell snatches. I rarely do the heavy clean and jerk lift, but I include that as well now and then.

A typical workout might look like this:

Squats (full) - 12x110lbs, 10x180lbs, 10x240lbs, 8x310lbs, 3x380lbs, 2x400lbs
Stifflegged deadlift - 10x240lbs, 8x310lbs, 6x380lbs, 4x440lbs, 2x480lbs
Legpress - 12x850lbs, 12x850lbs, 12x850lbs
Seated legcurls - 12x220lbs, 12x220lbs, 12x220lbs
Walking lunges - 30steps x140lbs for 2 sets

Squats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8NdXv2EqGU
Jumpsquats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhaNf6Jl92A
Bottomposition squat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52uIbkC8bGA
Frontsquat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2JVleuCrQ0
Jumpsquat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9cHSvars3U
No lockout squats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfCbRJf-wc
Overhedsquat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kke58vAP46c
Deadlift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZpKmWJK1-Y
Overhead press: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kke58vAP46c
Box jumps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFXmx90D4uc
Legpress: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siEGhdLbewk
Step-up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vxBsVcH7j0
One leg legpress: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCAoYXn942c
Bulgarian split: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0oMQXEwSac
Dumbbell snatches: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-wlaFs1fYI
Leg extension: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP7b3UNcHSs

And if you really are inf or a challange. Try these moves by my buddy Timo and tell me how it went!

Jan 10, 2011

The diet of the Plyo

One of my readers asked me about my diet. I thought I should write a little bit about both the cutting and the bulking phase. Basicly I diet down 12 weeks each spring, and I bulk up 20 weeks each fall. The rest of the year, I keep my weight leveled. During my cutting phase I remove one foodsource each week for 12 weeks. It goes like this:

Week 1 - Sugar
Week 2 - Wheat flour
Week 3 - Juice
Week 4 - Yoghurt
Week 5 - Fruits
Week 6 - Pepsi max
Week 7 - All flour except oatmeal
Week 8 - All dairy products except skimmed milk
Week 9 - Red vegetables
Week 10 - Skimmed milk
Week 11 - Oatmeal
Week 12 - Yellow vegetables

A typical day in the middle of my diet might look something like this (i'm sorry for the metric system)

07:00 - Proteinshake with 4 dl skimmed milk and 80 g whey + 1 espresso shot
08:00 - 60 grams of oatmeal and 2 dl skimmed milk (no milk in week 10, 11 and 12)
10:00 - 200 grams of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and celery) + 100 g skyr
13:00 - 200 grams of salad and 200 grams of chicken breasts + soysauce
16:00 - Proteinshake with 4 dl skimmed milk and 80 g whey + 1 espresso shot
19:00 - 200 grams of vegetables (wok), 20 g oil and 200 g beef + bbq sauce
22:00 - Proteinshake with 4 dl skimmed milk and 80 g whey

Totalt: 2380 kcal

In the last three weeks I use water instead of milk in my shakes. Other than that, this is my basic cutting diet.
What do you think? Any suggestions on how to change it?