Building a Muscular Back

Hi! Welcome to Hogg’s Blog

In this post I have some great exercises for building a broad and muscular back. It’s not just about having a massive chest and arms anymore! Working out your back will give you a more well rounded physique.

I have detailed four simple movements to work on your Latissimi dorsi (Lats) and rear deltoids (delts) as the main muscles hit. These movements will also work your triceps, traps & biceps.

Form is very important here, as it is with every movement. It is anti-productive going for heavy weights straight away without perfecting the form. Lets learn to walk before we run!

The first movement is the Seated Cable Row:

1: Sit on the machine with your knees slightly bent. I have used a close grip V bar here.
2: Sit upright with your back slightly arched and extend your arms
3: Pull the bar close to your body, squeezing your shoulder blades together and keeping your elbows tight.
4: Extend the bar back to the starting position to complete the rep.

Sets: 4    Reps: 8-10    Time: Each rep 2-3 seconds    Rest: 20-30 seconds between sets
Tip: Keep your back arched and pull the bar into your lower stomach for the best results

 

Second we have Lat Pull Down

1: Adjust the machine to fit to your height and sit so the padded bar keeps your legs in place
2: Hold the bar with your hand wide apart, fully extending your lats upwards.
3: Keeping your back arched and chest pushed out, pull the bar down until it is just by your chin.
4: Slowly raise the bar back to the starting position, keeping resistance the whole way back up.

Sets: 4    Reps: 8-10    Time: Each rep 3-4 seconds    Rest: 20-30 seconds between sets
Tip: Keep your chin up and shoulders back to target the lats

 

Now we move on to Rear Delt Fly

1: Adjust the machine so that the hand holds are the same level as your shoulders
2: Keep your back arched, your shoulders back and your chest pushed out. This will target the rear delts instead of the shoulders.
3: In a semi-circular motion, pull your hands out and back to your sides, contracting your rear delts
4: Briefly squeeze your delts while holding the weights back to increase blood-flow
5: Return to the starting position while keeping the tension during the entire movement

Sets: 4    Reps: 8-10    Time: Each rep 2-3 seconds    Rest: 20-30 seconds between sets
Tip: Keep your back arched and chest pushed up high to target the delts fully


Lastly, we have the most simple movement on this post, Pulls Ups. 

I have used an assisted Pull Up machine below to keep the form perfect and to take some weight off. Aim to reduce the weight (making it more difficult) every couple of sessions to see a difference!

1: Choose an appropriate weight (if using assisted machine).
2: Grip the outer handles, keep your knees on the edge of the seat and lean forwards.
3: Fully hang your body, extending your lats.
4: Slowly pull your body up so that your chin goes just over the bar.
5: Return back to the starting position for one rep

Sets: 4    Reps: 8-10    Time: Each rep 3-4 seconds    Rest: 20-30 seconds between sets
Tip: Look directly above you and keep your chin up during the movement.

 

 

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Fat Loss – A Casual Approach

Hello! Welcome to Hogg’s Blog

In my last post I wrote about a strict fat loss diet, the Ketogenic Diet. I understand this will not be for everyone and I’d like to introduce a more casual approach to fat loss that anyone can follow. Most elements to this will be simple lifestyle changes and choosing the right food and drink.

The main thing to remember that losing fat and toning up is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not be disappointed if you don’t see immediate results, it can take some time for your body to change. Keep it up, and in the long run, you’ll be happy you did!

Let’s get started!

Firstly, an obvious one… MOVE! 
Move your body every day to get the best results. Sure, a trip to the gym once a week is better than not going, but aim for 2-4 times a week. Even if you don’t go to the gym, you should be getting your heart rate up every day. Walk to work, climb the stairs instead of getting the lift, go for a run in the morning. All these simple things will help you burn off calories and get rid of some unwanted fat.

Count your calories.
No, I don’t mean weigh all of your food download an app to track your meals. Simply read the label on foods and go for the low-calorie options. Choose brown rice/ bread instead of their white counterpart for slower releasing energy making you feel more full for longer.

A memorable quote is “Every calorie not eaten is a calorie you don’t have to burn off”. Take that with a pinch of salt, don’t go starving yourself.

Drink Water
Say goodbye to Coke, Fanta and good old Dr Pepper… Drink water!
Not only is water great for keeping you alive, drinking it also increases your energy by stopping fatigue caused by dehydration. It clears your skin making you beautiful and spot free. Water will lessen your urge for empty calories making you feel full and slowing your hunger.

Water is zero calorie. Unlike fizzy drinks, alcohol and most soft drinks which contain sugar, sweeteners and a load of calories, water is pure and calorie free.

Cut the crap
I love a KFC as much as the next guy, not that it loves me, but lets face facts… it’s no good. You should be eating food that is rich in nutrients such as vegetables, nuts, meats and dairy. Quit the kebabs, say goodbye to the Dominos and throw away those take-away menus. Of course, on special occasions it wont hurt, but having take-aways regularly will hinder all of your other efforts to get in shape.

My favourite… Sleep!
Getting 7-8 hours a night is an absolute must for a healthy life style, and it helps with fat loss too! I’m certainly not the poster boy for a great nights sleep. I tend to stay up late way too often and have to catch up on sleep on the weekends, but I’m making an effort to change that.

Sleep rests more than just your brain. It “recharges your batteries” and restores the energy you burnt off during the busy day.

Turn your phone to ‘night mode’ before bed and switch to ‘do not disturb’. My phone is definitely the #1 factor that affects my sleep.

Don’t consume caffeine in late afternoon/night. This will definitely hinder your efforts to sleep soundly and keep your heart and mind racing.

The more you sleep, the more you can exercise tomorrow!

 

There you have it, some simple tips to helping you casually lose fat and have a healthier lifestyle.

In my next post I will discuss the best exercises for a muscular back.

Thanks for reading!
Jack,
Hogg’s Blog

 

Lets Talk Food! – Ketogenic Diet Plan

Hi! Welcome to Hogg’s Blog.

In my previous post I discussed a diet that I followed earlier this year – the Ketogenic Diet (Keto for short). Simply put, this diet is a carb restricted, high protein and high fat diet that causes the body to burn off fat very quickly. I lost almost one stone from following the diet and added some much needed muscle! (alongside a training regime).

The changes I made to my diet were pretty simple. When eating at home and cooking, I cooked food that is low in carbs, for example scrambled eggs and salmon. When eating in restaurants I chose low carb options, for example vegetables instead of fries.

Your nutrient intake should be approximately 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate.

This plan is going to be a strict diet which is not for everyone. I will also post a healthy diet that is not so “extreme” for a more casual approach to fat loss, in a separate post.

Time for the food you can eat! In a later post I will offer some great recipes made with the food listed below.

Breakfast

  • Scrambled/ Fried or Poached Eggs
  • Grilled Bacon
  • Sausages
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Fried Tomatos
  • Bananas
  • Full Fat Natural Greek Yoghurt
  • Avocado
  • Berries (Strawberries & Raspberries)

Lunch

  • Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Trout, Shrimp, Sardines)
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Leafy Green Salad
  • Avocado
  • Nuts (Peanuts, Walnuts, Pecans)


Dinner

  • Red Meat (Ham, Steak, Sausages, Gammon, Lamb)
  • Beef Burger (no bun)
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Vegetables (Broccoli, Tomatos, Carrots, Peppers, Green Beans)
  • Omelette
  • Cheese, Cream, Butter

Snacks

  • Dark Chocolate (80%+ ideal)
  • Peanuts & Walnuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds
  • Full Fat Natural Greek Yoghurt
  • Peanut Butter

Drinks

  • Water
  • Black Coffee
  • Green Tea, Peppermint Tea, English Breakfast Tea (no sugar)
  • Soda Water

 

If you are also going to the gym whilst following this diet, which I highly recommend to burn even more fat, you will need some carbs after training for energy. I have mine in the form of a protein shake.

Post Workout Shake
300ml Semi Skimmed Milk
1x Banana
1 Scoop of Whey Protein (I use Vanilla Flavour)
70-80 grams of Porridge Oats
1 Large teaspoon of Peanut Butter

Put everything in a blender and blend it up! The concoction is pretty thick due to the Oats but it tastes really good! This shake will be the only serious carbs consumed.

IMG_7100[1]

 

There you have it! The Keto diet covered. It worked well for me and I will be going back on the diet very shortly and discussing my progress.

In my next post I will offer a more casual healthy diet that anyone can follow!

Thanks for sticking around,

Jack,
Hogg Blog

 

A Fat Loss Diet That Works

Welcome! Today I’m going to be discussing how you can lose body fat and tone up whilst being healthy and happy with the food you eat.

I recently followed a Ketogenic diet and lost almost one stone in the 6 weeks of this diet! The “keto” diet, as it is known, is a restrictive and very low carb diet which causes the body to burn fat much more quickly than if eating normally (similar to Atkins).

The aim of a ketogenic diet is to put the body into ketosis. This means the body will break down fat to use for energy instead of carbohydrate (as there will be much fewer carbs eaten)

I generally don’t follow diets that have an end, whether it be 6/8/12 weeks, as usually the person dieting just goes back to their previous eating habits. But, ketosis works, and you do not need to go back to a ‘regular’ diet. Of course the occasional 20 inch pizza with chicken wings, garlic bread, 2L of Coke and tub of Ben and Jerrys will be fine if it is only once in a while!

Either way, the ketogenic diet 100% works.

The photograph below is me, the left is before Keto, the right is 6 weeks later.
(newspaper for date reference, not to cover my genitals)

IMG_6676[1]

Honestly, I wasn’t 100% strict. I would say I followed the diet 60% of the time. I still drank alcohol on weekends, still went out for Nandos and had Chinese Takeaways but I restricted myself and cut down on the carb content. When I ate Nandos I chose 1/2 Chicken and Chargrilled Veg (no Chips!) and water. For Chinese I would get Spare Ribs & Chicken in Black Bean Sauce (no Rice!).

This diet is about eating fairly normally, but without the carbs. It is easy to follow and you will see differences following it.

My list of NO’s

  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Alcohol
  • Sweets/ Sugar
  • Fizzy Drinks (only water allowed)
  • Fruit (even natural sugars contribute to carbs)

 

My list of YES’s

  • Meat (yes, even Bacon!!!)
  • Dairy Products (Cheese, Milk, Yogurt)
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts (Peanuts, Walnuts)
  • Eggs (vital for nutrients)
  • Avocados
  • Fatty Fish (Salmon, Tuna)
  • Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

The main difference between my NO’s and my YES’s are that the first list contains high carbohydrate content. The second list is low carb, high protein and natural fats which the body needs.

 

In my next post I will offer a detailed meal plan and advice for what to eat for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (as well as some snacks to get you through the day!). You do not have to follow the keto diet, I will also write a more relaxed healthy one that is much easier to follow.

Until next time!
Jack,
Hogg Blog

 

 

What every man wants… Big arms!

For my first post about specific body parts and exercises, I thought I would start with what men want the most… big, muscular arms. I’m talking bulging biceps, defined triceps and some nice veiny forearms.

There are some exercises I feel work very well, and some that are rubbish! I will show you 5 simple movements to make the most out of your work-out and get your arms pumped.

We will start with Dumbbell Hammer Curls:

Hold the Dumbbells straight down by your sides. Keep your shoulders back with your chest pushed out and your elbows in tight to your body.
For 8-10 reps, bring the weights up so your arms are at a 90 degree angle and then back down to the starting position with control and lowering slowly. Each rep should last between 2 – 3 seconds depending on the weight

Secondly, staying in the same position, you want to supinate your hands so that they are facing forwards.  (supinate means to turn your hand so the palm is facing upwards) Again, 8-10 reps, each taking 2 – 3 seconds, bringing the weight down slowly.

In my photograph below, I am curling both weights together, however you can curl alternate arms each time.

Time for our first body weight exercise, Tricep Dips.

Using parallel bars or grip rings, keeping your chest up, bend your elbows and lower your body until your shoulders are just below your elbows. Then, press back up powerfully to complete the movement. You should aim for 8-10 reps with each rep being 2 – 3 seconds each.

Most gyms have an assisted dip and pull up machine, this works by providing counterweight upward pressure during the lift. Essentially making you lighter!

We’re going to stick with triceps and move on to Cable Pull Downs.

Firstly, your shoulders should be kept back and chest pushed out with your elbows close to your body. The starting position should be with your arms at a 90 degree angle, pull the bar down until your arms are fully extended and your triceps are squeezed at the bottom. Slowly bring the bar back to the start position for 8-10 reps, each rep lasting 2 – 3 seconds.

The last exercise is the most difficult movement (for me at least!) Say hello to Skull Crushers.

For this exercise I am using the EZ Bar as the grip is perfect for this movement. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Keeping your elbows in, lower the bar until it is just above your forehead and then extend back out completing the movement. You should aim for 8-10 reps, 2 – 3 seconds for each rep.

There you have it! Five easy exercises that are great for building muscle on your biceps and triceps. You don’t need to use massive weights. Making sure you have the correct form is important to target the correct muscles.

Thanks for reading! In my next post I will discuss diet and body fat loss.

Cheers,
Jack

Introducing Jack…

So this is my first blog post, and my first ever blog! Welcome! My name is Jack, I’m an average guy looking to change my life.

In this post I’d like to briefly introduce myself, tell you what my plan is and why I’m writing this blog.

Firstly, as I mentioned my name is Jack, I’m 23 years young and from Reading, UK. Living with my Parents at the moment (gutted, but its cheap!). I’m just an average guy who likes to lift weights, eat healthy and drink plenty of alcohol.

My plan is to change my routine of a 9am – 6pm office job to include plenty of exercise and a good diet. All whilst being more alert and productive at work. My body is pretty average, I’m not fat but not fit either.

This blog will be regular updates on my progress, from different exercises targeting different parts of my body, to easy and healthy meals anyone can cook (even if you can’t cook!).

My aim is 2-3 posts a week. I don’t want to become lazy, forget to upload a post or be discouraged from blogging. Even if this gets zero readers, I will continue as this will serve as a progress timeline. Hopefully one or two people will read it though! Looking at you Mum and Dad!

So that’s it for my first post! Thanks for reading if you got this far, it will get better, I promise. Until next time!

Jack,

Hogg Blog