Functional Cardio: The Monstrosity

wittig-1503Who likes to challenge themselves? I got the perfect little routine for you. Every Sunday I go to the studio where I train clients (Elite Training Tulsa) and come up with routines on the spot to push myself. These are typically lower body focused functional HIT cardio type workouts. This latest one I put myself through I called “The Monstrosity”. It really kicked my butt- perfect! I am thinking of doing something similar here soon and stepping it up. Give this a go and let me know what you think.

The Monstrosity Circuit: Do each of these back to back with no rest for 1 round. Do 4 rounds total.

A. Box Jumps: 15-20 reps. I prefer to use a height I know I can make and just jump higher versus running the risk of face planting.

B. Squats: 10 reps. These are barbell squats going very deep, full range, and slow. I used just 135lbs.

C. Kettle Bell Swings: 15-20 reps. Sumo position and swing high. I used a 35lb kettle bell.

D. Squats: 10 reps.

E. Ball Slams: 15-20 reps. I used a 20lb weighted ball. Hold it high overhead and slam down with as much force as you can. Drop the hip to pick it up on the rebound.

F. Squats: 10 reps.

G. Rope Slams: 30 reps. Using battle ropes double slam. Switch out if you do not have access to battle reps.

H. Squats: 10 reps.

I. Walking Lunges w/Twist: 10 steps each leg. I held a weighted ball and did a slow side-to-side twist at the bottom of each rep. These lunges were done wide and deep.

J. Squats: 10 reps.

So you are hitting 50 slow, deep squats each round and 200 total. Have fun.

*Keep your energy and intensity at top levels with Kaged Muscle “In-Kaged” inta-workout. I mix 1 scoop with 20 oz of water and sip on throughout each workout. It keeps me pushing hard until the very end during demanding workouts like the above. Get 15% off Kagedmuscle.com with my code “Wittig15”.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete

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Lower Ab Monster Set

Getting the lower portion of the abs to show often comes down to diet, but it also a difficult area for some to develop. Recently I wanted to bomb my lower abs specifically so I designed this Monster Set and it exceeded expectations. Give this lower ab focused workout a go and let me know how it goes.

leg-raise-aLower Ab Workout: Monster Set
Do each of these 5 exercises back to back with no rest for 1 set. Do 3-4 sets total. Hit 10-12 reps of each exercise.

1. Captains Chair Leg Raises (to ceiling)
2. Captains Chair Leg Raises (legs parallel to floor)
3. Captains Chair Knee Raises
4. Floor Leg Raises
5. Reverse Crunches

*Do each rep slow and controlled. Hold each contraction for a count or two and take the negatives slowly.

 

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*Don’t wait until January. Be awesome by January! Personal support by me.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete

Back Width Giant Set

img_0649One area of my physique I have put extra effort in working this last year is my Back specifically back width. It’s an area I continue to prioritize by starting my week with Back and hitting it twice a week. I try to get the most out of every rep by making sure to go through the full range of motion and take negatives slower. Between each set of chins and pull downs I stretch my lats by grabbing onto something with a reverse grip and pulling. Here is a Giant Set I will occasionally do that is especially nasty.

Back Width Giant Set:
Do these 4 exercises back to back with no rest for 1 set. Do 4 sets of 10, 10, 8, 8 reps of each exercise.

A. Wide Grip Chins
B. Wide Grip Pulldowns to back
C. Wide Grip Pulldowns to front
D. Close Grip Pulldowns

Give it a go and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Fuel your workouts with Kaged Muscle’s Pre-Kaged. Mix with 16oz of water and drink 30 minutes before workouts. Get 15% off Kagedmuscle.com with my code “Wittig15”.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete

My Approach To Reverse Dieting

14206226_10210183804331473_4034940874299023269_oCutting carbs and dieting down for a contest is one thing, but there is also an art to reversing the process and getting back into maintenance and then gaining mode. The last thing you want to do after getting extremely cut is gain a bunch of unwanted fat right away. I am sure many of you have heard of the term “reverse dieting”. I am going to breakdown the concept and how I do it. Let me explain I am not a daily macro counter. I’ve ran the numbers enough in the past to know what I need to be eating for a particular goal.

Reverse Dieting: This is the process of slowing introducing calories, typically carbs and a little fat, back into the diet. I slowly add in each of these carbs (which also means calories) over a period of 3 weeks or so.

A. Carb Up Breakfast: The first thing I add back into my diet right after a contest, or low carb cycle, is a solid carbohydrate source for breakfast. For me this might include 1/2-3/4 cup oats, 2-3 slices of 100% whole wheat bread, or 100% whole wheat pancakes or Belgium waffles. Each of these with a little fruit such as a banana or berries. Looking to bring in 30-50gs of carbs that had been missing.

B. Post-workout Dextrose: There is debate rather glycogen stores are low enough after workouts to warrant spiking glucose levels, but after personal experimentation I do supplement with 30 grams of dextrose immediately after every workout with exception to a few days before a contest. I mix in 3 tablespoons of non-flavored dextrose into my post-workout Re-Kaged whey shake. **Get 15% off Re-Kaged on Kagedmuscle.com with code Wittig15.

C. Light Carbs for Lunch: My typical low carb lunch is 8oz of lean protein, 2 cups veggies, and 16-20 oz of water with Kaged Muscle Hydrachrage. I will roll with this set up for many weeks. I start adding carbs for lunch very slowly. The first thing might be just an apple. I’ll wait 2-3 weeks before adding in potato or rice in addition to the fruit.

D. Dinner Carbs: The weeks leading up to a contest or near the end of any cutting cycle my dinner will be similar to lunch- 8oz of lean protein and 2 cups veggies. I typically add in two 100% whole wheat tortillas and make wraps.

So my reverse dieting might breakdown as follows:
Week 1: Introduce A and B.
Week 2: Introduce C (apple only) and D.
Week 3: Increase amount of A (1/2 to 3/4 oats) and add to C.

cv8ogxfvyaalj-xI shoot to get to a healthy maintenance level in around 3-4 weeks, then if I plan to start building muscle I slowly continue to increase carbs over another 3-4 weeks. My protein is always high and remains around the same until I am really pushing to increase calories in a gaining cycle.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me: Michael@WittigWorks.com

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete

Time Off or De-Load?

img_0694After a intense program or a big event like my recent physique contest it is important to find a way to let your body rest and reset. Intense programs stress our nervous system, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and mental state. But does that mean we should skip the gym for a week or do what some call a “de-load” week. I am in favor of de-load weeks and feel they can help kickstart progress. They not only provide a time for our bodies to make a full recovery, but more importantly our minds. I feel its a good idea to do de-loads every 6 weeks or so especially if you lift very intensely like I do.

I am not a big fan of taking a extended break out of the gym. I tried that once a few years ago when my family and I were on vacation and it was a mess for several reasons. Not only did I get my ass handed to me in the gym when I got back, but it also had me feeling slightly depressed. I lost weight, strength, and my motivation was lacking. It took me a while to really get back in the swing of things. Whereas with de-load weeks you are just toning down intensity and volume. Just holding back versus skipping had me revving to tear up the gym the following week. But that is just me. Find what works best for you.

Here is how I de-load:

*Lower volume: Instead of 20 sets for a particular muscle group I might only do 15. If I typically hit 15 sets I might only do 10-12. I am a higher volume type of guy in general.

*Stop before failure: I still lift fairly heavy, but I stop several reps before failure. I don’t try to hit any PR’s during this time.

*Form over weight: I tend to lift slower and go through the entire range of motion during de-load weeks. This is a time to reset and evaluate lifting form.

*No advanced techniques: Along with stopping before failure I don’t include any drop sets, strip sets, forced reps, negative repetitions, etc.

*Strategy building: I use this “down” time to re-focus and formulate a plan on how to make improvements in my physique, program, and nutrition. Don’t continue doing things that are not working.

*Nutrition: I keep my nutrition consistent during de-load weeks. Unless I am close to a competition I also have ~2 cheat meals a week.

*Cardio: I continue to do cardio during de-load weeks, but I shorten the time and intensity.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete

Post-Competition Mindset

snapchat-764597934This last Saturday I competed at the NANBF USA Super Pro all-natural and tested competition in the Men’s Physique Open and Masters 40+ classes. I placed 1st in Masters and 2nd in Open against some great physiques. I got to hang out with some good friends and made some new ones along the way. I did miss my family being able to join me in Oklahoma City for the event. Their presence was missed. While I am very pleased with how I did what matters to me most is the concept of making up ones mind to do something, working hard to make it happen, and following through until the very end. I am proud of every competitor that showed up regardless how they placed. These guys had a vision and saw it through to completion and did something many only talk about. Use this as encouragement to go do that one thing you’ve been wanting to do and stop talking about it.

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Afterwards the eating began! My friends Sam, Eric (Open 1st place) and family, and I went to BJ’s where I enjoyed 1/2 rack of ribs, wedge fries, cheesy mashed potatoes, and the best warm cookie cake with ice cream on top. Oh, and that is not it. After my 2 hour drive home I got cleaned up and took the family out for Hideaway Pizza. Yesterday (Sunday) wasn’t nearly as bad, but did include some donuts and brownies. Friday morning I weighted 182 and today (Monday) I weight 189. A lot of that is water weight because those carbs made me thirsty, but still.

15025179_10210831785130588_5058276789901330220_oToday I am back at it. You can’t keep me away from the gym. Most people take a few days off to rest after competing. But no rest for the wicked. I just love it too much. Not working out and getting off eating schedule even for a few days was messing with me mentally. I felt a tinge of depression even. I like the discipline and structure. I think it keeps me sane if that makes any sense. It helps put my life in balance. I went to the gym today without a plan and just enjoyed it. I didn’t lift extremely hard because our bodies do need some respite from the beat downs. While I will enjoy more of my favorite foods in general I will eat clean and on schedule. What’s next? I am going to keep enjoying this journey and focus on my family during this holiday season. Then I will crush 2017 in many ways. Watch and see.

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Love and thanks to my wife Stacie and children Kaden, Kyler, Kinley, and Kennedie for putting up with all this. Special thanks to my friends and ALL of you. Radical thanks to my sponsors and friends at Kaged Muscle Supplements (Kris Gethin, Nick, Nate, and the rest of the crew), RyderWear (Sally and crew), SwoleO’Clock, 6 Pack Bags, P28 Foods, and Shields of Strength.

Go do that ONE thing!

-Wittig, ISSA CPT

The Eve of Competition

The day is almost upon me. Tomorrow I compete in Oklahoma City, OK at the NANBF USA Super Pro in Men’s Physique Open and Master classes for my natural pro card. The mental preparation for this begin as I walked off stage in August. I was very pleased placing 2nd in Open class then against much younger guys. I’ve worked extremely hard on my weak areas and made slight adjustments to my preparation to grow upon what I’ve learned last time. I do this to push myself physically and mentally. I enjoy the self discipline involved. I also want to be an example that you can be your best at any age naturally.

Yesterday I met with my friend Jason Story to run through posing one final time. He seemed pleased with the work I put in and we made a few minor adjustments. Afterwards I did a final workout to deplete all remaining glycogen in my body. I just went through a fairly simple circuit 5 times almost continuous.

The Circuit:

Do each exercises back to back with no rest for 1 round. Do 5 rounds. I alternated exercises for some muscle groups from set to set. Almost no rest between rounds. 15-20 reps each exercises stopping several reps before failure.

A. Chest press machine or Pec Deck
B. Back row machine or pulldown
C. Side Lateral Raises, Front Raises, Bent Over Laterals
D. Seated DB Curls or Incline Curls
E. Overhead DB Extensions, Kickbacks, Pushdowns

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After the workout I hit my final tan and put my account on pause. Had to make a trip to Walmart to pick up self tanning gloves. Picked up some P28 White Chocolate peanut butter spread. That is a must have for my chocolate rice cakes. The combo is crazy good. Once I got home I did some light packing and the fun job of shaving my legs. The good news is I finally started eating some carbs. Up until this point I’ve been pretty low carbs and was really dragging by this point. After that circuit I could hardly function ha. Some potatoes and then chocolate rice cakes with pb made my life much better.

Today will start pretty normal, but with glorious carbs included. I will help get the kids ready for school and go train a few lucky clients. After a carb infused lunch I head to the city to check into my hotel, register for tomorrow’s event, and then relax until tomorrow’s 8am mandatory meeting.

Follow my next 36 hours on Snapchat (WittigWorks). I am going to put some serious effort into documenting everything well 😉

Thank you for all your amazing support. Special thanks to my family, Jason Story, Colton Powell, Matt Gillespie, Whitney Finch, and my home gym Elite Training Tulsa.

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(NPC Oklahoma Men’s Physique Masters Champion Jason Story and myself working on posing)

Special thanks to my sponsors and friends at Kaged Muscle Supplements and Kris Gethin, Ryderwear, SwoleO’Clock, 6 Pack Bags, P28 Foods, and Shields of Strength.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete
NANBF Competitor

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