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I just wanted to make a quick post to inform everyone of a small change I made regarding the sign up process to become a Hunt Fitness client.
Due to the increasingly popular demand I have had to implement a waiting list. Basically what this means is once you send me an email stating your interest in becoming a client your name gets put on a list which I will be drawing from on a first come first serve basis from now on.
This does not effect currently enrolled clients at all.
As always if you have any questions feel free to let me know. KyleHuntFitness@gmail.com
Ps. This is the Intra Workout Product I have been using lately. Be checking the YouTube channel for a review on this product soon!
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Last week I met up with Kevin Lisak for a shoulder collaboration! During the video Kevin was 7.5 weeks out from the Arnold Classic Amateur event where he will be competing in the Men’s Physique division.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, I am helping Kevin with his diet leading up to the contest. Since he only lives about 40 minutes from where I live it was nice to be able to see where his conditioning is at in person.
This summer expect a lot more videos/projects where Kevin and I join up to bring everyone some SICK content!
The Workout – January 10th, 2013
- Standing Overhead Press 4 sets of 5 reps
This exercise was not shown in the video. Kevin has a lower back issue and the overhead press put too much strain on his lower back so he opted out of this exercise. I hit this before moving onto seated dumbbell press.
- Seated Dumbell Press 4 sets of 6 reps (Last set we used a 6 sec negative)
You will notice in the video we don’t have the bench directly 90 degrees up and down. There is a couple of reasons for this. One, I feel it prevents excessive arching in the lower back that pressing directly straight up and down causes. Two, it puts less pressure on the lower back in general so if you have a lower back condition like Kevin it works best.
- Alternating Dumbbell Front Raise 3 sets 10-12 reps
- Cable Lateral Raise 2 sets x 10-12 reps
- Ascending / Descending Cable Lateral Raise 1 set x 2-4-6-4-2 reps
This involves going from a heavy weight / low reps ascending to a lighter weight / higher reps and then descending back down from a heavier weight to the lighter weight. Check out the video for a better explanation.
- Lying Face Pulls 3 sets x 10-12 reps
- Dumbbell Shrugs 3 sets x 10-12 reps (Drop set on the last set)
Recently I met up with Kevin Lisak of Kevin Lisak Fitness for an EPIC training session at Diamond Gym.
Kevin recently contacted me to help him prep for the Arnold Classic Amateur event help in Columbus Ohio during the Arnold Sports Festival weekend. He will be competing in the Mens Physique division.
We only live about 40 minutes apart so we are going to try our best to do a lot more collabs together in the near future.
After the workout we were both starving so we decided to hit up a common favorite – Subway. Kevin is in FULL contest prep mode so explain how you can STAY 100% on track with your contest diet while going out to eat and pretty much having what you want.
Check out out Subway trip below. I talk a little bit about my nutrition philosophy as well.
This was originally posted on MachineMuscle.com the Online Fitness/Bodybuilding webzine I am the editor of. I thought I would re-post it here on my site because there is a lot of useful information. Enjoy!
Interview conducted by – Nick Smoot
Q: I’m sure there are not many people who follow Machine Muscle that have never heard your name, but for those readers who haven’t, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started in Bodybuilding, and when did you decide to become Strength/Nutrition Coach? What are your credentials?
A: Well considering I’m the editor of Machine Muscle I would assume most of the readers are at least somewhat familiar with the name lol!
To answer the second part of your question, I have always been involved with sports for as long as I can remember. I started wrestling and playing football when I was around 8 years old.
My 8th grade year I got called up to wrestle on the Varsity team. The only problem was the lightest weight class in NY at the time was 96lbs which required you to weigh in at a minimum of 88lbs. During that time I only weighed about 83-84 pounds so I would literally have to drink 4lbs of fluid and eat before weigh ins just to be able to wrestle! To make a long story short my coach told me I needed to get into the weight room in the offseason to grow into the weight class.
Basically from that point forward I really took an interest in learning as much as I possibly could about becoming big, strong and ripped!
As far as credentials, I am an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, ISSA Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and will be graduating in May with a B.S in Exercise Science. I run my online training/nutrition company Hunt Fitness.
Q: Do you prefer to create training or nutrition plans for your clients? Which would you consider more of your specialty?
A: That’s a tough question. I will start by saying I work with a lot more Nutrition Coaching clients than anything else. I think that is in part due to being know as the nutrition guy.
But to be honest I actually prefer creating training plans, its a lot more fun. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy coming up with nutrition plans but they all boil down to numbers. Nutrition is really just a numbers game. When I am working on nutrition clients I will have my calculator out and I will be going at figuring out macros like I’m in a high school math class. Designing training plans allow me to be a lot more creative. I can really dig in and have fun with it.
Q: What do you feel sets you apart in such a large industry?
A: Really this industry is all about getting your name out there. I mean marketing is HUGE in any industry but with the emergence of all these online training companies it becomes even more important. The last thing I want to be is just another guy with a website and YouTube channel selling T-Shirts. I actually never expected Hunt Fitness to turn into a business. I initially just created a free blog site to post up a few articles. HF has really grown into more that I ever thought it would.
I try to set myself a part by offering an unmatched value to my clients. When trying to come up with prices for my services I never really looked at what others were charging in the industry. I was honest with myself and what I was offering and came up with what I thought the VALUE of the service was.
But at the end of the day its all about the results. The best way to set yourself and your business apart is by delivering excellent results for your clients.
Q: What is your philosophy regarding training? Compound over isolation exercises, high volume training..etc?
However, I am big on designing programs around basic compound exercises. I tend to have my bodybuilding clients or just body composition clients in general do a lot more performance based stuff then they are probably used to.
I absolutely hate the general 3 sets of 10 approach most bodybuilders follow. I like to incorporate a wide variety of rep ranges. There is a lot of benefit for going through training phases of high reps for muscular endurance, low reps for strength and moderate reps for hypertrophy. It doesn’t matter what your goal is there is a benefit to training in all rep ranges. I feel a mistake people sometimes make is staying in one rep range for too long.
Another point I like to stress is progress. Obviously for a training program to be successful there needs to be built in progression. Everyone is quick to equate that with lifting more weight. While that is true, lifting more weight is a form of progression but there are other ways to incorporate progression into your training. For example, I like my clients to break rep records as much as possible. Think about it, if you could only bench 225 for 10 reps and over the course of a training cycle you were able to hit 225 for 15 reps, you got stronger. On the other hand if you are constantly using the same weights for the same reps week after week month after month you have not gotten any stronger and chances are you haven’t got any bigger either.
Volume is relative but for the most part I would consider myself someone who prefers a higher volume approach. In the literature a high volume approach tends to consistently be superior for hypertrophy. As far as strength goes, some of the best powerlifting programs such as Smolov and Sheiko are both a higher volume style as well. I think high volume is starting to come back in style. It went out of style in the 90s when it seemed people were getting good results from using a considerably less volume style popularized by Mike Menzer and Dorian Yates.
I also prefer a higher training frequency approach. I believe in hitting muscle groups more than once a week. I did a video on this recently, check it out Optimal Training Frequency to Build Muscle.
Q: What is your current training like and what goal are you currently striving for?
Right now my training is centered around getting bigger and stronger. Basically I will start my sessions off with a couple (usually 2 sometimes 3) “main lifts” where an emphasis will be put on hitting a desired weight and trying to break a rep record. Typically these are kept in the lower-ish rep ranges depending on what type of program I have myself on.
After my main lifts I will do some assistance exercises based around where I need work. I tend to do quite a bit of volume.
Q: What is your general nutritional philosophy in regards to bulking and cutting?
A: Man your killing me with these tough questions haha! Questions like this make me want to say…it depends.
Its hard to boil it down to a nutrition philosophy but I will try to give you a little insight into what goes through my head when designing nutrition protocols.
I want to start by saying the end of the day macronutrient, fiber, and micronutrient intake accounts for 95% of your success and/or failure in regards to your nutrition. The other 5% or so will fall to things such as nutrient timing, meal frequency, etc.
In my opinion most people start the dieting process ass backwards. What I mean by that is they start a diet by eliminating what they consider “bad” foods and start loading up on what they feel is “good” foods. The problem with this logic is they have no idea how much and of what they should be consuming. Just eating ”clean foods” whatever the hell that means is not enough.
The first step is to get a handle of what your macros (Protein,Carbohydrate and Fat) and calories should be. Once you have that figured out then you can begin to eat to fulfill your requirements.
When a nutrition client starts with me I first figure out what I feel their macros should be for their goal. Once I have that figured out I like to give a sample meal plan to follow. Basically I just take the calories and macros I figured out already and fit common foods into it. Its like the expression “if you give a man a fish he eats for a day but if you teach a man to fish he eats for years”. The sample meal plan is like giving the man his fish. I then proceed to explain/teach the client how they can really eat almost whatever they want as long as they can fit it into their macros. That is teaching the man how to fish. Once someone grasps the concept of using My Fitness Pal, Daily Burn, or Fitday their dieting future is wide open! No one can eat the same thing day after day, so having the ability to mix and match a variety of foods while still staying true to the plan is huge.
As far as specific bulking and cutting philosophy, I will leave you with something very simple and to the point.
When bulking, slowly increase your calories consistently until you start gaining too much body fat. At that point either slow down the increase or stop increasing altogether. Once you have your protein set it should not need to be increased therefore you will be increasing either carbs and/or fat.
When cutting try to eat as many calories and carbs as possible that will still allow you to lose fat at the degree in which you choose to. Again once you have your protein set it should not fluctuate much when dieting. So that means you will have to decrease carbs and/or fat.
In both cases the slow and steady path is the best way to go!
Q: Where do you see Hunt Fitness going in the future? What does the future hold for Kyle Hunt?
A: Well I see it always being a project of mine. This is something I want to continue to build and grow no matter where life takes me. I absolutely love doing Hunt Fitness work. My favorite part is working with clients and making a difference in their lives. I know that sounds corny but its the truth! The relationships are what is very important to me.
Fitness is my passion. I will be graduating in may with my exercise science degree so I assume 2013 is going to be a HUGE year for me. I am excited to see what the future holds.
Q: What inspires you to push through any challenge you face?
A: That is easy, success. I am driven by a desire to not want to be average, the worst thing I can be is just like everyone else. To me progression is huge. I have have to be able to see myself making improvements. That is probably what attracts me to fitness and business.
As Marc Lobliner would say “Complacency is Mediocrity”. I love that quote.
Q: Will you be at the Arnold this year?
A: Oh hell yeah and I hope to see everyone there as well!
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. It will be inspiring to watch your continued rise to the top.
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I get asked what my favorite exercises are for building muscle and strength quite often. While I do think there is a benefit to rotating in a variety of exercises, I always find myself going back to these select few when programming for my clients.
Before we begin remember this is only MY OPINION. You may agree or disagree. I am actually very curious to see what exercises YOU the readers would have on your list.
Drop your list in the comments below!
Now lets dig into my TeamHF approved exercise list for building crazy muscle and strength!
Chest - Barbell Bench Press
Ok, I predict one of two scenarios happening after reading the bench press listed as my favorite chest exercise.
Be honest…it either completely pissed you off or you are saying to yourself “of course the bench press is the best chest builder”.
In my opinion depending on the group in which you talk to the bench press is either grossly over or under appreciated. The “whadda ya bench?” crowd would lead you to believe your bench press numbers are the end all be all of strength and that’s just not true. However, on the other end of the spectrum there are people out there that never bench press BUT complain about not having sufficient chest size. Those people will say things like…the flat bench press puts too much stress on my front delts but then they proceed to do incline presses on a bench with a greater than 45 degree angle. Go figure…
Most people who have trouble with the bench press have trouble with their form. The fact is the bench press is not necessarily a “Chest” exercise, rather it is a total body exercise and should be executed as such. I put it as my favorite chest exercise because if done correctly it will really blow the pectoral muscle fibers up like nothing else I have found!
Rather than spend a bunch of time on writing up proper bench form, just watch the video below! Note: This has a Powerlifting spin to it but the info presented is very applicable to bodybuilding as well!
Want a Dumbbell Version?
Try the one arm Dumbbell Bench. There may not be a dare I say more Functional type of pressing movement out there. Like any bench press the force development starts with the legs and requires a great deal of stability across the hips and into the entire upper body just to complete one rep.
Want a Six Pack…The one arm bench press will not only destroy your chest, but after a few sets it will leave your core feeling like you just did a complete ab workout as well! You will notice I only use ONE dumbbell at a time. I see people at the gym doing a variation of this exercise while holding two dumbbells. While that might seem like the correct choice, only using one forces you to use more stability over the entire body!
Check out the One Arm Bench Press in Action!
Back - Chins
This was a hard choice for me. The back is such a complex muscle group it was difficult to narrow my choice down to just one exercise. Did I want to go with a rowing exercise or a pulldown?
Finally after I went back and thought about what I program into more of my athletes routines the answer came to me…Chins.
The Chin is another exercise with a ton of variability. You can use a supinated grip, pronated grip, neutral grip, rings, etc.
The key is to use a FULL range of motion. That means starting from the bottom position (dont need to start from lock out – think tension) and come up to at least the point in which your chin is above the bar. Your chest should be up during the movement so your goal should actually be to pull to your upper chest although I have found most clients are not initially capable of that range of motion.
If you have trouble with chins I suggest taking the volume approach. You have two options here:
1- Get one of those pull up attachments that go over your door frame. Every time you walk by the door do 5 chins or if 5 is too challenging just do 1-3. Believe me those reps will add up over time. Shoot for 50 a day to start. Before long you will be able to complete full sets of chins.
2- If number one is not an option include sets of chins in between exercises while training. For example, if you start your workout with 5 sets of bench press than super set Chins after each set of bench. Do this nearly every workout. This is a technique Jim Wendler recommends in his popular 5/3/1 program.
Shoulders - Overhead Press
This was a clear cut winner. I honestly could not think of another shoulder exercise that could compare to the Over Head Press in terms of strength or muscle development. The problem is, if I had to guess which exercise on this list the least amount of people are doing it is probably the Over Head Press.
If you are one of those people who are not currently doing the Over Head Press START right now!!!
The key is to minimize leg drive and focus on pressing the weight. Don’t turn it into a push press. Also, I prefer to use a thumbless grip on the Over Head Press. It may just be psychological but I feel it allows me to feel more comfortable and the bar path seems to go better.
Legs - Squats All Variations
Anyone want to argue this one? Didn’t think so. The Squat is King.
If you want big legs the best way to get there is through squatting. I really don’t care which form of squat you do. You could do front squats, back squats, low bar, high bar, box, etc. The only thing I am going to say is go with free weight squats whenever possible over Smith Machine or even Hack Squats.
The argument is sometimes made that you do not NEED to do squats in order to build huge legs. People will point to the fact that 6 time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates has said he never free weight squatted (he hack squatted) during his entire Olympia reign. While that is true, the fact is Dorian built his legs with squats and then determined that biomechanically squats were not the best exercise for him any longer. Bottom line is show me a guy with chicken legs who squats over 500lbs ass to ankles…I’m sure one exists but you get my point. Heavy Squats lead to BIG legs.
Posterior Chain – Deadlifts All Variations
The almighty deadlift!
Outside of the Squat, the Deadlift has to be the next best overall exercise for building muscle and strength. Again, like the squat I dont really care what variation you choose weather it be traditional, Romanian, Sumo, etc.
I want to point out how I listed the Deadlift as a Posterior Chain exercise. The deadlift is a lower back, glute and hamstring movement that should be done on lower body days. I know a lot of bodybuilders like to perform deadlifts on back day but in my opinion that is a mistake. The reason being where do you put it in your routine? If you start with the deadlift (like you should) it is going to be very hard to perform any type of rowing movement where your lower back is going to be heavily engaged such as barbell rows and t-bar rows. Then if you put it at the end of your routine you will not have sufficient energy to give the exercise like you should.
One last point I cannot stress enough is FORM. The deadlift is one exercise in which using improper form can lead to serious injury. Make sure you know what you are doing before you jump right into heavy deadlifts. If you need some help with your deadlift form be sure to read the article Tips and Trick of the Deadlift.
Triceps - Crush Grip Bench
I was first introduced to this exercise training with Smitty from Diesel Strength. This exercise is a great triceps builder that is easy on the elbows. As a bonus for you guys who have poor upper chest development, try this exercise on an incline bench. You get to kill two birds with one stone. Amazing triceps exercise as well as some upper chest action as well.
I will let Smitty describe this one:
“This exercise is money. It will not only keep you in a good shoulder position and target your triceps, it will create tension across your entire upper torso (irradiation). The focus during every rep should be to drive the dumbbells together as hard as you can. Also, more time under tension should be utilized by making sure you lower slower than you press, i.e., lower under control and drive as hard as you can.” – Smitty
Check out Smitty’s 4 Best Mass Building Exercises for Triceps
Biceps - Fat Gripz Barbell Curls with 4 sec Eccentric
Any form of curl could be the winner here but I went with the BEAST of all curls. The first added dimension comes in the form of the Fat Gripz. Anyone who has ever used Fat Gripz before knows exactly what I am talking about.
Fat Gripz attach to a barbell or dumbbell and increase the diameter mimicking a fat bar. This obviously brings in more grip/forearm activation but it also creates a different stimulus for the biceps as well.
The second part of this particular movement is the 4 second eccentric (negative). By using a slower negative you are increasing the time under tension of the movement which is important for hypertrophy. The eccentric portion of the lift causes the most muscular damage so I wouldn’t go wild with a ton of extra eccentric work. It is important to properly program it into your training plans because it can be an invaluable tool to induce growth!
There you have it.My complied list of the Best Exercises for Building Muscle and Strength. You will notice I left some muscle groups out such as Abs/Core, Forearms and Calves. I didnt feel any of those muscle groups had an exercise worthy of the list.
Like I said in the beginning,I am curious to see everyones list! Be sure to comment with your list of Best Exercises for Building Muscle and Strength below!
Until next time,