chris wilson | Critical Bench

Your Muscle & Strength Authority Site Since 1999

Time-Saving CALORIE BLASTING Muscle Building Tips

 

By Chris Wilson

In today’s world, “time” has become a very valuable thing.  It’s the ONE thing that money just cannot buy.  Many of us wish we had more of it in the day but sadly besides tricks like daylight savings time (DST), it’s just not possible.  Work, family, bills and errands all rob us of our valuable time and pull us in multiple directions.  And because of this “lack of time” issue, our bodies have a tendency to get neglected.  That means soft, mushy, and weak.

Enough with the depressing news…let’s talk about getting leaner, more muscular and burning off unwanted fat.  Yeah, that’s better!

How can this be done effectively from home in just a few minutes per day???

It’s actually much easier than you think.

chris wilson

Calorie burning, muscle gains and fat loss ALL happen at the same time, regardless of what you’ve read in the past.  Our bodies can do LOTS of things at once…without us even having to think about them.  Our bodies are so adaptive and so intelligent that we just never give them the credit they deserve.  Talk about a TRUE multi-tasker.  In as little as 5-10 minutes every day, you can have lingering effects on your metabolism, muscle building capabilities and fat burning processes.  That’s the TRUTH!

How?

By doing a series of Continuous Anaerobic Movements (CAM) you can have a HUGE impact on all the muscles in your body allowing you to burn some serious calories in very short bursts.  The bonus is that this method has an aerobic element even though you’re not on a boring treadmill, uncomfortable bike or in an over-chlorinated pool at the local “Y.”

Aerobic activity is simply defined as your bodies need to consume oxygen more rapidly due to the physical nature of what you’re doing.  Thus, you breathe heavily when jogging or doing sprints versus walking slowly at the grocery store.  By forcing your body to move nonstop with resistance exercises, you create this perfect blend of anaerobic and aerobic activity which not only impacts the muscles but also the heart, lungs and circulatory system.

Whenever you mention the heart, lungs and circulatory system you are talking about CARDIOVASCULAR exercise which is NOT what you’re actually doing.  That’s the amazing side effect of C.A.M.  Getting the heart to pump and work hard is a result of your bodies demand to get oxygen to the muscles which also places great stress on the respiratory system.  This is a “healthy stress.”

Much like a well-oiled race car, the body is a machine doing several things at once.  It WANTS to move, it LONGS to perform.  Age should not be the reason for laziness and living a sedentary life.  No matter what your age, there are exercises that can be done daily to enhance your body’s ability to slash fat, build muscles and devour calories.

Here is a list of some of my favorite C.A.M. movements and how they can be used in a workout program:

High/Low Plank Drill

Push-ups (any variation)

Jump Squats

Jump Lunges

Mountain Climbers

Burpees

Rotational Planks

Hip Bridges

Take any 4 of the exercises above and create a circuit workout.  The key is to either count reps or do them for time.  For example, you could do 10 reps of each OR do each movement for 30 seconds.  The reps and time amounts will vary and should become more challenging over time.  The other KEY element to this is rest period.  Rest should only come at the end of a round and try to only rest when you must.  Whether you can devote 5 or 10 minutes or somewhere in between, try to minimize rest and maximize movement. 

Just the 8 exercises listed above can yield tremendous results for the man or woman trying to slash annoying belly fat, add quality muscle tone and feel healthy and energetic!

Bodybuilding Historian From Alaska Compiles
101 of The Best Exercise Tips From The
Legends of Pro Bodybuilding

My “Kettlebell” Rude Awakening

by Coach Chris Wilson of Team Critical Bench

The weekend before my big debut with Team Critical Bench started with a 3 Day Workshop in Tallahassee Florida and about 30 hours of kettlebell exercise.A few months prior to this amazing weekend the Founder of Critical Bench who is my good friend Mike Westerdal reached out to me with an opportunity.

We had already been discussing the possibility of me joining the business but at the time he was searching for a training partner.

He wasn’t looking for a spotter or motivator…he was looking for a commitment from a hard working friend.

Mike had recently been rewarded with the chance to train with kettlebell’s. And not with Joe Schmoe either. With the most prestigious organization in the world for Russian Kettlebell Training…Dragondoor.

He’s like, “Hey, do you know much about kettlebells?” I said, ”a little bit, stuff like swings and squats I guess.”

He proceeds to tell me a little bit more about this awesome chance to learn from the best in the business and offered me the opportunity to join him. Knowing that I had a real chance at joining Critical Bench in the near future, I felt almost an obligation to say YES to Mike.

So the date was circled on the calendar and I felt great about it, until…I drove up to where Mike had been training for the past few weeks with an RKC Instructor and I had a…….

RUDE AWAKENING.…..

I meet this really nice, reserved fellow named Mike Wille as well. We make friendly conversation during warm ups and then we start doing some basic kettlebell exercises.

Fast forward about 5 minutes…

I’m already dying and scared about what’s coming next!  Meanwhile, Mike the trainer is tossing these things around like they’re 5 lbs AND I outweigh him by at least 50 lbs! Talk about feeling wimpy.

Mike Westerdal & Mike Wille, RKC 

I barely get through the hour long workout and I have to drive back to my old work (almost two hours by the way…ughh). Let me tell you, I’ve been training with weights for years and just one hour of doing strict kettlebell movements left me beaten, battered and extremely humbled.

I was so nervous about not only the next training session with ”Mr. Nice Guy” Mike the trainer but I was seriously considering bailing out on that RKC Workshop thing at the end of April.  Well, I didn’t quit just yet…I wanted to stay the course for my friend and see if there was any chance that I could improve my skills with that darn 24 kilogram weight. I’m usually pretty confident when it comes to strength movements and being explosive.

But not doing stuff like deadlifts, power cleans, clean and jerk, and push presses for a while will drastically destroy your chances of being truly explosive with weights. I practically had to reteach myself  to be explosive and move with real power through my hips.

By the fourth session with Mike the trainer I had a smidge of confidence in myself. Enough to remain committed to my friend and this upcoming weekend workshop.

=======================================
Russian Kettlebell Certification ”RKC” WEEKEND

Mike and I make the drive to northern Florida from the Tampa Bay area in good time. We decide to eat some burgers (with some reservations of course) the Thursday night before the workshop started.Little did we know, we could have eaten 5,000 calories if we wanted to and still lost weight over the weekend.

By Friday evening (after 10 hours of straight exercise), Mike and I were so sore, so exhausted that we looked at each other at dinner and thought, “how in the world are we gonna be able to do that again on Saturday AND Sunday???”

Well, Saturday came and went ending with the kettlebell Snatch Test, an RKC special. After moving around all day long with kettlebells varying in weight from 16 kg to 32 kg, we were asked to do 100 reps of kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes or less….it still scares me to think about.

I was toasted. I failed to get 100 snatches. My hands were destroyed with open sores and I fumbled my way to 67 reps.   Mike did much better and got to 88 reps. His powerlifting background really helped his efforts. For the rest of my life, I will remember those numbers!

Sunday was more of the same with even more testing at the end along with the final workout called the Graduate Workout….let me just say, imagine the worst 20 minutes of your life and multiply it by 5.

Easily, one of the most grueling exercise routines I’ve ever participated in. A non-stop combination of kettlebell swings, cleans, presses and squats….I mean non-stop…you never put the weight down!

Mike and I received certificates of attendance and we passed on several of the skills but both of us had to retest the Snatch Test and we had 90 days to do it following the workshop.  Good old Mike was the first one to nail it and a few weeks later (after 3 failed attempts) I reached 100 reps with the 24 kg kettlebell in 5 minutes and became an RKC certified instructor too.

Here is a cool video of me passing my snatch test finally.  This was months after the RKC but it is an example of what perseverance and dedication can do when achieving your goals.

 

And of course, we can’t forget the man himself, Coach Mike passing his snatch test!

 

Easily, one of the greatest and most challenging  accomplishments of our life.

==========

Get Ripped in 8-Minutes or Less with Kettlebell Finishers…

===>http://criticalbench.com/goto/kettlebellfinishers

Muscle Saving, Waist REDUCING Holiday Tips

By Chris Wilson

 

The Health and Fitness community really benefits during this special time of year.  It is this particular 2 month stretch where normally healthy people end up making very unhealthy decisions.  And you know what….good for them!

I’m the first one at the dinner table to indulge in mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, corn bread and of course turkey (and in some cases ham too).  I work my tail off all year long as do many health conscious people across our great country.  This is the time of year for reflection and celebration.  A time to give more and be kinder to those around us.

Being thankful and extra thoughtful for a few months seems to come naturally to some during the months of November and December and FOOD is often the catalyst!

Just think about, co-workers and patrons bringing delicious treats into the work place for you.  Desserts and high calorie food present in almost any place of business and certainly sitting on the kitchen counter at home.  Leftovers for days and weeks.  It’s impossible to avoid the stuff.

So don’t!

Okay, be smart about this and have a game plan.  Don’t just throw caution to the wind.  Like any good sports team, you need to do some homework and have a plan of attack.

Tip #1: The 10 minute rule

We’ve all heard this one before and guess what…it works!  After you have ONE plate of food, STOP and give yourself 10 minutes before loading up the second plate.  I promise you, that second plate will be smaller than had you immediately restocked after the initial consumption.

Tip #2: Drink water before you eat ANYTHING

This one is a no brainer and easily forgotten by many.  A majority of the country is dehydrated on a regular basis.  Instead of drinking water and recognizing our thirst indicators, we very quickly jump to food which satisfies both hunger and thirst.  If you fill up on a large glass of water every hour or so and certainly just before a meal…you will do a much better job satiating the body.  That translates to LESS superfluous calories at dinner time leaving you feeling more comfortable and less lethargic.

Tip #3: Workout Finishers

Exercise is critical in the effort to maintain a muscular build and keep the body revved up all day long.  This can be done in less time than you might think.  The 5-10 minute workout finisher can be extremely useful during a time of year when family, friends and celebration take center stage.  Making time for working out is very hard and for some of us, nearly impossible.  Enter the 10 minute (or less) workout.  By doing a series of movements like push-ups, body weight squats, lunge patterns and planks, it is possible to burn off those extra calories AND hold on to that well-earned muscle you’ve been piling on all year long!

When it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas time, I’m ALL IN.  I want to eat and drink with my close friends and relatives.  I don’t want to miss out on the fun and enjoyment of home-cooked meals and hand-made desserts.

By plugging in the 3 BEST muscle saving and waist reducing tips, I can still look good on January 1st and have memories that will last for years to come.