Two Silver Bullet Workouts for Calves

My Calves were one of my biggest physique weak points. After prioritizing calves I feel they are starting to get respectable. Here are two recent workouts that had my calves screaming and are sure to get you on the path of gains. These workouts are from my current “Extreme Load Training” program which is a 8-week ‘extreme muscle building’ trainer. I will include links to watch the video down below. You can start the full program FREE from Day 1 HERE. It includes daily videos, downloadable PDF’s, and nutrition guidance.

29351801_10215642147786648_1500173499567632419_o

Calf Workout #1:

Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 25, 20, 15, 10 ELT
(Note: On Set 2 take a short ‘pause rest’, only 8-10 sec rest, while increading weight by 10lbs. Do two of these increased weight pause rest rounds on Sets 3&4.)

Superset: Do these two exercises back to back with no rest for one set. Do 3 sets total.
A. Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 10 reps
B. Donkey Calf Raise: 3 sets of 10 reps
(Note: I used the standing calf machine for these with the shoulders bars at the lowest setting. These can also be done on a smith machine rigged up.)

Watch this entire leg workout video HERE.

Calf Workout #2:

Seated Calf Raises X-Sets: 4 sets of 10’s, 8’s, 6’s, 4’s.
(Note: Start with very light weight, I started with only a 25 plate, for 10 strict reps, increase the weight by 10lbs and hit another 10 reps, continue doing this until you hit absolute failure. Then after a short rest increase starting weight and do repeat this process again for Sets 2-4 with 8’s, then 6’s, and finally 4’s.)

Superset: Do these two exercises back to back with no rest for one set. Do 4 sets total.
A. Uni-Lateral Donkey Calf Raises: 4 sets of 10-12 reps each side alternating.
(Note: I don’t have access to a Donkey machine so I used a Standing Calf Machine set at the lowest setting. Watch today’s video to see how I did it. These can be rigged up easily on a smith machine as well.)

B. Calf Jumps: 4 sets of 30-40 secs.

Watch this entire leg workout video HERE.

28424610_1071620712978789_243668995754855727_o

 

Advertisements

“Extreme Load Training”: 8-week ‘extreme muscle building’ trainer guidelines

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 11.58.35 AM

IMG_0180-Edit

Extreme Load Training” is a highly intense method of training I developed over the last few years and now this 8-week ‘extreme muscle building’ daily video trainer. Releasing this program has been in my mind for over a year and I am honored to share my ‘Extreme Load Training’ methods with you. I touched on E.L.T. during the final weeks of my recent “Basic & Big” 12-week ‘lean bulk trainer’, but now we will dive into the full depths of intensity. I would recommend going through my “Basic & Big” program first to get you conditioned for this type of training. You can start from Day 1 HERE.

I have always been a fan of “pause-rest” and “negative” repetitions so I devised a way to combine them in a organized sequence even for those who train alone. I have found that by “pause-resting” for 5-10 quick seconds our bodies restore enough ATP (energy) to not only do additional reps, but more weight as well. We are naturally stronger on eccentric (negative) movements than the concentric (positive) so I take advantage of this strength and also use increased weight. Negatives are often times difficult to do when training alone, but I have techniques to safely do negative repetitions for many exercises. You will want to watch my daily videos to see how many of these negatives are pulled off. This is all a very intense way of training and requires mental toughness and proper recovery.

Here is an example of how a series of E.L.T. sets would go:

  • Warm up. Then Set 1 is 10-12 reps to failure.

  • Set 2 we up the weight to hit failure in the 8-10 rep range and do one-pause rest round with slightly increased weight (5-10lbs).

  • Set 3 we up the weight to hit failure in the 6-8 rep range and do 2 pause rest rounds with slightly increased weight each set if possible (5-10lbs).

  • Set 4 we up the weight again to hit failure in the 5-6 rep range, do 2 pause rest rounds with slightly increased weight (5-10lbs), but incorporate the slowest negatives possible on each final rep. When possible we will also do final ‘negative’ only repetitions with increased weight (5-20lbs).

**There are a handful of variations we will be doing including higher repetition ranges, no final negative sets, drop sets, supersets, etc. I will explain each variation as it comes up.

Here is how this trainer is going to work:

The Workouts: I will be filming the full workouts daily on my Instagram Story and Snapchat (WittigWorks both) live as I am doing them. The sets and reps will be laid out along with tips. At the end of the workout I will screen shot a summary of the entire days work. I encourage you to save the videos you need and screen shot the summary. I will then later upload the entire workouts to my Youtube.com/WittigWorks under the “Extreme Load Training” folder. Please go subscribe. I will also upload a detailed PDF of each workout HERE. Both the video and PDF’s will be uploaded every afternoon starting Feb 19th.

Live Q & A’s: I plan to go live most Wednesday afternoons to answer any questions you all may have. Some weeks I might pick other days. The times will vary. Watch for me. You can also send me questions through any of my social media.

The Schedule: We will start with a 4-day gym split for maximum recovery. After the first 4 weeks we will switch and finish with a 5-day gym split. There will always be home Saturday workouts.


Monday: Chest and Biceps
Tuesday: Legs
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Back, Traps, and Abs
Friday: Shoulders and Triceps
Saturday: Home Workout
Sunday: Off

Guidelines and Nutrition

The Guidelines:

Journal: I highly recommend, no demand, that you keep a lifting journal noting the day, workout, exercises, sets, reps, and weights used. Be as detailed as possible. I will show photos of mine daily. Mine typically looks like:
Date, Body part: 
1. Exercise: reps/weight reps/weight reps/weight
2. Exercise: reps/weight reps/weight reps/weight

Sleeping: Do your best to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. You will be working hard and putting a significant strain on your body. The recovery process is just as important as the lifting. The more rest you can get the better.

Weight Selection: Use a weight that allows you to hit muscular failure on or near the rep ranges indicated. If a weight is too light or too heavy continue to failure, but adjust the weight accordingly on the next set. It’s ok to repeat a set if the weight was way too heavy or too light. Keep your journal accurate so you can select the correct weight in future workouts.

Warming up: It’s always a good idea to warm up before lifting weights. I will typically jog, ride a stationary bike, or jump on a rowing machine for 5 minutes before lifting. Then on the first exercise of every superset I recommend doing 1-2 warm up sets with light weight in the 12-15 rep range.

Stretching: Stretching for a few minutes after your warm up is also a good idea especially before working your legs or back. I always spend time on my lower back and hamstrings.

Breathing: You should exhale while exerting force and inhale while performing the negative. Never hold your breath while lifting weights.

Lifting Partner: I do recommend you find a lifting partner with the same drive as you. Iron sharpens iron. Not only can lifting partners help motivate you, but they can help keep you safe. A few of the techniques I am going to share with you in this book are best done with a lifting partners assistance.

Lifting to failure: This means to do as many reps as possible with strict form until you cannot do another rep. Always ask yourself if your form is correct. Are you isolating the muscle you are working? It is best to have a lifting partner to spot you. Most importantly be safe!

Imbalances: Many people including myself have strength imbalances. One arm might be stronger than the other. In these cases only use DB exercises. If I have a barbell exercise listed, switch to a DB version. Always let your weaker side dictate the weight and number of reps. Don’t ever do more reps on your stronger side. If you are doing unilateral exercises start with your weaker side. Eventually, your strength levels will even out. Make sure you are using proper form on your weaker side otherwise lower the weight.

Weekly Weigh-in: Before you start this program weight yourself and take key measurements including calves, thighs, waist, chest, and arms. Note these in your workout journal. Then at the end of each week weigh yourself again. You can wait until the end of the program to re-do measurements. The goal is to gain 0.5 to 1.0 lb. of lean muscle per week.

Cardio: This is a ‘lean bulk’ program meaning that the plan is to put on the max amount of lean muscle while staying relatively lean. I have worked this way for the last several years to stay looking lean enough for modeling and sponsor work while putting on muscle. It’s a slower process, but I feel healthy and will keep you looking better. As a result I will be doing some minimal cardio throughout this program and only short steady state sessions. I will be avoiding HIIT only because E.L.T. is so demanding on our body and central nervous system we need cardio to be on the lighter side for recovery purposes.

Lifting belts and straps: I feel weight lifting belts and straps are useful. But I don’t always recommend using them. You want your lower back and grip strength to develop naturally. So I personally only use my belt when I am squatting, deadlifting, or shoulder pressing very heavy weight. My light and moderate sets I do without a belt, so my lower back strengthens. But also, do what makes you feel safe. When it comes to wrist straps again, I only use them when necessary. You don’t want your grip to give out before the muscle you are working. Wrist straps come into play for me on heavy deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, barbell shrugs, DB rows, and maybe super heavy pulldowns. If you use them all the time your grip strength will not develop.


Nutrition:
Don’t fool yourself. If you don’t eat properly, you will not get the results you want. Nutrition is just as important if not more than the exercise in your quest to get fit. Read and follow the Nutrition guidelines below.

Let me just say plainly that if you are not eating right, you won’t get the results you want. You have to take nutrition seriously. This will be difficult for some of you, but if you are going to sweat in the gym don’t you want maximum results? I will break this down for you and make it as simple as possible. Our bodies need the macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. I recommend determining food intake by macronutrient amounts rather than calories. Read labels and use Google to figure out what macronutrient profile your food contains.
Gaining Lean Muscle:
Protein: 1.5 grams per pound of body weight
Carbs: 1.5 to 2.0 grams per pound of body weight
Fats: 0.65 grams per pound of body weight
*1 pound = 0.454 kg
I recommend starting with 2.0 grams per pound of carbs. If you start gaining too much body fat lower the amount of carbs down to 1.5g. If you are overweight, out of shape, and over 230lbs use 230 for your calculations until you are below 230lbs. If you are over 230lbs, but muscular, use your own body weight.

Nutrition Guidelines:
1. Drink more water. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake of water is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups or 1 gallon) per day. I try to drink at least 1 gallon a day.
2. Avoid processed foods. This includes most things in boxes, cans, and wrappers.
3. Don’t add salt, sugar, or butter. Use natural seasonings whenever possible. Check out http://www.flavorgod.com for natural seasonings that taste incredible.
4. Spread your meals, snacks, and shakes out over 6-8 servings a day. Upon waking try to eat every 2-3 hours. You should bring in more calories before high energy events. Fewer calories before long periods of sitting or sleeping.
5. You can allow yourself several planned cheat meals a week. Eat and drink whatever you want until you are comfortably full. Plan ahead and eat a little less before and after these planned cheat meals. I typically give myself 2 cheat meals a week plus a sweet treat.
6. The key to eating healthy and bringing in the proper amount of food on a daily basis is proper planning. Always think ahead and make sure you have the foods available and prepared before you run into trouble. Consider a meal management bag so you are always prepared. I use bags by Fitmark. Check them out at Fitmarkbags.com. Get 15% off with my code Wittig15.
7. Drinking a high quality Whey protein shake immediately after workouts is always a good idea for recovery. I personally take Kaged Muscle’s Re-Kaged after every workout. More information on this in the supplement section.
8. Try to avoid fast food unless it is for a planned cheat meal. Even the “healthy” choices are typically not very healthy.
9. Eating properly and exercising with intensity are priority. If you are doing both of those things some supplements can help assist with your goals. They are not a requirement, but can definitely help. Read the Supplement section for my recommendations.

Part articles and videos you might find useful:
Lean Bulk vs Cutting Diet
My Go To Lean Snacks
My Lean Bulk Nutrition
5 Healthy Snacks
My Daily Nutrition

Supplements:
Supplements are not absolutely necessary to build muscle. If your nutrition and exercise are not on point supplements are a waste. But if you are eating right and working out with intensity the right supplements can give you more energy, help you build muscle, and recover faster. Let me put it this way, “Extra-ordinary lifestyle requires extra-ordinary nutrition”. Read the Supplement guidelines below to see what I am personally taking and recommend.

I have never taken steroids or any illegal performance enhancing drugs and do not recommend that you consider taking them. I exercise for health first and then physique. Supplements are not absolutely necessary to reach your goals, but they can surely help if used properly. Remember if you are not eating correctly or working out with intensity, supplements can be a waste. Let me put it this way, “Extra-ordinary lifestyle requires extra-ordinary nutrition”. I am honored to an official Athlete for Kaged Muscle supplements. When I stand behind any company it’s because I am personally passionate about it. Read the Supplement guidelines below to see what I am personally taking and recommend.

Here is why I am a Kaged Muscle Athlete:

  • Manufactured in FDA inspected and NSF certified facility.
  • Banned substance free- BSCG certified.
  • 3rd party tested for label accuracy.
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or dyes.
Highest quality ingredients in the correct dosages for maximum results.
  • Every ingredient and dosage is on the label.

Get 15% off everything Kagedmuscle.com with my code “Michael15”. If you dig and appreciate this trainer please use my code as it helps me and allows me to continue releasing free trainers to you.

Re-Kaged: Fast digesting whey protein. Drink immediately after workouts and sometimes between meals when you are in tight situations.
Pre-Kaged: Pre-workout primer. Drake 30 minutes before workouts.
In-Kaged: Takes off where Pre-Kaged leaves off. Start sipping at the beginning of your workout and slowly until the end.
Hydra-Charge: I often drink this in 16-20oz of water with meals and following to make sure I stay hydrated and keep me from over eating. Twice a day I add Kaged Muscle Glutamine and BCAA’s to the mix for that extra recovery edge.
Kasein: Slow digesting protein ideal to drink before bed to help prevent muscle breakdown while sleeping. The chocolate is bomb.

Extreme Load Training E.L.T.

IMG_5550

Extreme Load Training will be my legacy. I am not saying this is a completely unique method of training. But it is a combination of a few of my favorite high intensity techniques (Pause-Rest and Negatives) organized in a systematic way to ensure maximum overload. Being a 41 year old, all-natural athlete I have to push the boundaries to get the results I want to be competitive at a international Pro level and to hold my own against these youngsters. I introduce to you Extreme Load Training, or E.L.T., for short. E.L.T. involves taking advantage of the ATP our body regenerates during a short ‘pause-rest’ to not only do more reps, but with increased weight. Oh, and there might be increased weight negative repetition involved. Here is a sample of how E.L.T. sets should go:

Bench Press (Smith Machine): Extreme Load Training

Warm up: Lighter weight for 12 easy reps.

Set 1: Start with a weight for 10-12 reps at failure.

Set 2: Increase weight for 8-10 reps. Pause-rest (no more than 10 secs) while increasing weight by 10lb total for another 1-2 reps.

Set 3: Increase weight for 6-8 (where you left off last set after the weight increase). Pause-rest and increase weight by another 10lbs for 1-2 reps. Then perform a 2nd pause rest. If you hit 2 reps on the last set increase weight another 10lbs for 1-2 final reps. Otherwise hold weight for another 1-2 reps.

Set 4: Increase weight for 5-6 reps. Repeat everything from Set 3, but after that last rep increase the weight by 10-20lbs for a very slow negative. If you are training alone like I use the Smith Machine so you can catch it at the bottom. If you are so inclined stand up, raise the weight, and do 1 final slow negative.

I have tricks to do the final negative for many exercises. Watch my E.L.T. videos on Youtube.com/WittigWorks for the next 3 weeks to see how I do it. Note: Only do the negative portion of E.L.T. if you feel safe and comfortable. The system is intense enough without the negatives. Any questions you can always email me. Michael@WittigWorks.com.

Time to get EXTREME!

Start my 12-week ‘lean bulk’ trainer “Basic & Big” anytime from Day 1 HERE! Daily videos and downloadable PDF’s included. E.L.T. starts at Week 10.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
IPE Natural Pro
Kaged Muscle Athlete
All socials: WittigWorks

Power Rack Training

Here in Week 7-9 of my free 12-week lean bulk trainer “Basic & Big” we are doing some ‘Power Rack Training’. I wanted to explain my process so anybody can give it a go. This is a great technique to build strength and muscle.

IMG_5112

I’ve been selecting one compound movement for each major muscle group to do in the power rack and I typically start with this exercise.

Chest: Bench Press
Triceps: Close Grip Bench Press
Back: Bent Over Row and Deadlift
Shoulders: Military Press
Legs: Squat

I’ve been doing 4 working sets of each movement on their respective day. My process is as follows:

  • Sets 1 & 2 are done near full range of motion or without side bars at all. I strive to increase weight on Set 2 while still hitting the desired rep range and incorporating ‘pause-rest’ if needed. Pause-rest: Upon hitting failure resting 4-8secs and then continuing on with the set.
  • Set 3 I raise the side bars by one and increase weight completing the desired rep range.
  • Set 4 I raise the side bar by one more and increase the weight again completing the desired rep range and incorporating pause-rest as necessary.

On that final set you should be using quite a bit more weight than you started and still hitting the same number of reps. I do my reps from a dead stop off the side bars, but do my best to been the muscle I am working activated. I won’t lift this way all the time, but for a short cycle of weeks to increase strength and muscle then I get back to the normal ‘free’ versions of these exercises.

Start “Basic & Big” HERE!
View trainer videos HERE! Subscribe.
Downloadable PDF’s HERE!

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 3.32.04 PM

Michael Wittig, ISSA CPT
IPE Natural Pro
Kaged Muscle Athlete
All socials: WittigWorks

 

The New Year message you need to hear

The internet is flooded with all the standard New Year statements and pitches. Everybody is trying to sell you a program or product to help you get in shape. You’ve heard all that before. I am going to keep it real and tell you that this new year will be just like years previous. There will be great opportunities, challenges, happy times, down times, excitement, and yes, sometimes disappointment. It’s called life. Somethings will be completely out of your control so let’s just focus on the things you can control. What things have you done this last year that were positive in your life? List those things and what you did to accomplish them. It’s a good idea to then continue practicing those same actions leading into 2018. Now let’s talk about the areas you would like to improve. Instead of making blanket statements let’s define your goals and how you plan to accomplish them.

  • Make a short list of things you would like to accomplish. Be reasonable and detailed. For example, “I want to lose 15lb or 50lb by X date”.
  • Make a plan of action describing how you will do these things. If it’s to change the way you are eating you may want to seek nutritional advice, design a daily template of what to eat and when, plan a grocery schedule, and then go buy the food. When it comes to exercise maybe you need to seek a personal trainer, join a gym, or find a solid program to follow. Without the plan there can be no results.
  • Execute the plan. Do your best to be consistent. You may need to adjust the plan as time goes on.

Recognize that creating good nutrition and exercise habits takes time. It won’t always be easy and there will be set backs. There will be days you get sick or just feel like quitting in general. Challenge yourself now to not quit and be consistent as you can. Try to find joy in each day and every year instead of always trying to “catch” that perfect situation which is always just out of reach. Do what you can today to help your tomorrow, but also enjoy what you have now. The best year we have is the one we are living in. Every day is a blessing. I wish you ALL the best in this coming New Year. Bring on 2018 and everything that comes with it!

-Wittig, ISSA CPT

IMG_0368-Edit

Art of the “Pause-Rest”

Did you know you can “rest” to make an exercise MORE intense? It’s called the “Pause-Rest”. This is a technique I incorporate very often especially since I lift alone most of the time. It is very simple to do:

  • After warm up sets hit a set to failure or very near failure while keeping safe.
  • Rack the weight and rest for a quick 5-10secs.
  • Get right back into the set to failure or near failure again.
  • It’s possible to do 1-3 of these “Pause-Rest” rounds in one set.
  • A technique I will sometimes do that I call “Extreme Load Training” is actually increasing the weight slightly during that 5-10 sec pause-rest for 1-2 reps.

IMG_4475

I am sharing this because we will be doing lots of “Pause-Rest” rounds here soon in my free 12-week lean bulk trainer “Basic & Big”.

Start “Basic & Big” HERE!
View trainer videos HERE! Subscribe.
Downloadable PDF’s HERE!

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 3.32.04 PM

Michael Wittig, ISSA CPT
IPE Natural Pro
Kaged Muscle Athlete
All socials: WittigWorks

Daily Nutrition: Lean Bulk Edition

I get asked often how I am eating to keep the condition I hold while building muscle. Since we are at the end of Week 3 of my free “Basic & Big” 12-week lean bulk trainer I thought this would be a good time to give you another nutrition breakdown. Last Sunday was evaluation day and decided at that time to drop my 3 steady state cardio sessions (15 mins each), keep my 3 HIIT sessions, and add 50g of carbs daily to continue making my desired progress. It worked out great as I am up 1lb this week which was my goal. Below is what a typical day of my personal nutrition looked like this last week. I plan to continue eating this way this coming week until next weekends evaluation.

Start “Basic & Big” anytime HERE.
View daily trainer videos HERE. Please subscribe to my channel.
Download trainer PDF’s HERE.

IMG_0285-Edit (1)

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
IPE Natural Pro
Kaged Muscle Athlete

My Daily Nutrition for Week 3 & 4 of “Basic & Big” while lean bulking:

5:00am: Upon waking
Glass of water
1 scoop whey

6:30am: Breakfast
1 cup Kodiak Cakes
Sprinkle of crushed walnuts
5 blackberries
Real syrup (just a little 🙂
Supplements: multi-vitamin, 2 Clean Burn, 1 Purcaf

7:00am: Breakfast 2
2 whole eggs and 5 whites

10:30am: Pre-workout
1 scoop Pre-Kaged

11:00am: Start of workout
1 scoop whey + 10g dextrose

11:20am:
1 scoop In-Kaged (sip until end of workout)

1:00pm: Post workout
1 scoop Re-Kaged + 20g dextrose

2:00pm: Lunch (1 hr after workout)
8oz lean protein (chicken, turkey, lean beef)
2 cups veggies
1 cup white (dry measure)
2 rice cakes
Supplement: 2 Clean Burn, Purcaf

5:00pm: Snack
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
Sprinkle of crushed walnuts
Light honey drizzle
2 rice cakes

7:00pm: Dinner
8oz lean protein
2 cups veggies
Carb: 1 cup white or sweet potato equivalent
Supplement: 2 Clean Burn

10:00pm: Before Bed
1 scoop Kasein (slow digesting protein)

Wittig is fueled exclusively by Kaged Muscle Supplements. Third party tested. Banned substance free. No artificial flavors or colors. There are NO alternatives. Get 15% off KagedMuscle.com with my code “Wittig15”. Get the gift of gains!

IMG_4401