Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Do what you've always done....

...and get what you've always got! (or should that be 'gotten'?)

The point Gym Ninja is trying to make is, whatever you do be it with your love life, work or gym routine, if you keep on doing the same stuff over and over again, WHY do you expect any results other than the ones you already have?

There ya go! That was a short blog eh?

Okey dokey, so GN will elaborate a bit......

Gym Ninja was at the gym tonight. No surprise there! Tonight, due to tiredness and wanting to mix stuff up a bit (see blog title statement combo above) she decided to bin off any running and instead do a  fast 10% hill walk on the treadmill interspersed with 1-2 minute sprints up the same 10% incline.  Gym Ninja's body would then get all confused and befuddled, and start cranking up it's fat burning efforts somewhat in response. Oh, and thanks to 'tiredness-induced Pigface-itis, (aka overeating) today (remember if tired your body craves more food for energy) it was certainly needed!!!! 7 days today is the photo trauma remember!!!!

As Gym Ninja climbed her fake hill in a gym-based 'tribute' to JAGS mountainous climb she watched other people train. There was a young lad performing Triceps Pushdowns on the Cable Machine. He was a pipe-cleaner of a boy, all lanky and legs like strings of cotton with knots on the ends (his feet!). Gym Ninja watched him as he worked on his triceps, and it got her thinking.....

She scanned her eyes across the gym again, and saw someone doing Reverse Flyes for their posterior deltoids (rear shoulder muscles). That person was a tad shapeless but working their smaller posterior deltoids anyway.

Now listen up!

If you want to change your body. Gym Ninja means REALLY change your body composition and shape significantly so people can actually SEE a difference, then piddling around with these iddy diddy muscles isn't gonna get the job done! It's just not!
Muscle is, as we all know by now, metabolically 'active'. It is a greedy fat pig of a tissue that craves calories to survive. Fat, is a blob of fat. Big and blubbery and not metabolically active.
Yep, we all remember that ok? Good. Just checking!

So, the more muscle you have, the more calories it needs to 'stay alive' so to speak, thus meaning YOU need more calories to keep it alive. If you have surplus body fat (and don't we all?) then you can burn that to placate the greedy pig of a muscle. This way, we can reveal the glorious (yet greedy) shapely muscle that was hiding, all shy and self-conscious, under the fat layer. Voila! Beautiful lean body with nice shape and functional strength.

So, why are you wasting time by doing these 'isolation' (aka single joint) exercises you ask? Doesn't it all count? Well yes it does, cheeky face! But don't get all clever clogs on Gym Ninja. Think about it. What ARE You sculpting with these exercises? The isolation exercises are the ones we all see in the magazines. If you read Body Building magazines then the Body Builders are always firing off these isolation exercises to 'accentuate the tie in of the delt to the triceps' or to 'add the peak to the biceps muscle'. Sound familiar? But you know what? They CAN do this as they have something there to shape to begin with! Aka...


The Pipe-cleaner boy was trying to shape something he didn't really have to begin with. He was putting in a lot of effort on a very small set of muscles. Same goes for the person doing the Reverse Flyes.

So how should it work?

Nobody ever built an amaaaaaaaaaaaaxing body faffing with these exercises alone. Nope. You need to start off with COMPOUND (multi-joint) exercises.
Things like:
Pull Ups (or Lat Pulldowns if you cannot do pull ups)
Chest Press
Shoulder Press

Job done.
Hey, what about the Clean & Press? You get even more bang for your buck doing that.

The point is, these exercises work more than ONE muscle group at a time and thhe way your body is designed to working muscles together you can recruit more muscle fibres and also burn more calories. Your abs and core work to stabilise you, and these smaller synergist muscles you faff about with doing isolation moves work to help the bigger muscles of the chest, back and legs, to perform the exercise. So they don't get left out! They are working and working hard!

You don't even need to train your triceps and biceps. They get worked hard when you train back (biceps), Chest (triceps) and shoulders (triceps). Too much (as in then adding 4 or 5 arm exercises on top of that) and you can over-train them and flatten them out!

Squats work pretty much the entire lower body and your core.  Stop faffing with the leg extension or hamstring curls ffs! Squats will build and shape your legs & glutes, strengthen your core, burn calories as it's hard work...everything in one effectively!

Clean and Press? Think  pretty much the entire body from the legs to the core to the shoulders back, get the picture.

By working and shaping and building and creating with these exercises, the smaller muscles will take care of themselves. They'll look amazing because they are working WITH the larger muscle groups. You'll burn calories, you'll get fit and look amazing! Once you have built this foundation of a fantastic body then sure if you want to start tweaking and sculpting and shaping with the isolation moves, by all means do so. But you NEED to build the foundations and you do that with compound exercises.

 Poor pipe-cleaner boy (a classic ectomorph) would be better off benching, doing pull ups, and squats and then recovering and getting his nutrition & rest right rather than playing around with triceps work. Why waste time? There are no prizes for those who train the longest and hardest. You don't get a certificate for training and doing more exercises than anyone else did that day! SO, go back to basics...

If you are doing the isolation moves predominantly and still not liking what you see in the mirror then think back to the title of this what you always do and get what you've always it!


Gym Ninja needs to go to bed. Too many late nights. Enough of the rant. See what tiredness does? Grumpy Ninja! ;-)

Toodle pip

Gym Ninja x