Today's fitness programs tend to focus on functional fitness, which refers to exercise that simulates real-life activities and uses a wide variety of movements through a wide range of motion. At the heart of these routines are a variety of compound exercises. Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles or muscle groups at one time. A great example of a compound exercise is the squat exercise, which engages many muscles in the lower body and core, including the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the calves, the glutes, the lower back and the core.
What Are Isolation Exercises?

Isolation exercises work only one muscle or muscle group and only one joint at a time. Examples of isolation exercises include the biceps curl or the quadriceps extension. These exercises are often performed with the commercial weight machines found in health clubs. The idea is to isolate one muscle group and move from from one machine to the next until you "work" your whole body. Isolation exercises are frequently used in physical therapy clinics and rehab centers in order to correct a specific muscle weakness or imbalance that often occurs after injury, illness, surgery or certain diseases.

Why Use Compound Exercises?

For healthy athletes who are trying to get the most out of a training program, compound exercises are generally preferred and recommended. There are many reasons to use compound exercises during your workout, including the following:

Using more muscle groups. . .

means more calories burned during exercise.
simulates real-world exercises and activities.
allows you to get a full body workout faster.
improves coordination, reaction time and balance.
improves joint stability and improves muscle balance across a joint.
decreases the risk of injury during sports.
keeps your heart rate up and provides cardiovascular benefits.
allows you to exercise longer with less muscle fatigue.
allows you to lift heavier loads and build more strength.
Examples of Compound Exercises

Kettlebell Swings
Shoulder Press
Pull Down
Pull Ups
Push Ups
Chest Press

Why Use Isolation Exercises?

Isolation exercises are often recommended to correct muscle imbalance or weakness that often occurs after an injury. Isolating a specific muscle is sometimes necessary to get it to activate and increase it's strength. Often, after an injury, a muscle becomes weak and other muscles compensate for that weakness. If you never retrain the injured muscles to fire properly again, it may set up a biomechanical imbalance that is difficult to correct.

Even if your weakness isn't noticeable because other muscles are compensating, imagine how much stronger you would be if all the muscles were firing at maximum contraction. That alone is a good reason to occasionally do isolation exercises.

Another reason to perform specific isolated exercises is to increase the size or bulk of a specific muscle group. If you want big biceps for your spring break beach vacation, you'll probably want to add some bicep isolation work to your regular exercise routine.

Most healthy athletes will use compound exercises for the majority of a training program and use isolation exercises to complement that program as needed.

Examples of Isolation Exercises

bicep curls
tricep kickbacks
lateral raises
front raises
rope pull-downs
leg extensions
hamstring curls
calf raises

The Bottom Line:

If you are interested in getting a complete, efficient and functional workout, doing predominantly compound exercises during your training is ideal. But there are times when isolating a specific muscle, muscle group or joint is necessary and recommended. If you aren't sure what is best for you, a personal trainer or athletic trainer can help locate any muscle imbalance or weakness you may have and design a program to fit your needs.

EXERCISE AND INTENSITY LEVEL, what it means too you!

Exercise intensity is defined in several ways—by measuring heart rate and oxygen consumption or by how an individual feels when performing an activity.

Intensity is the amount of physical power, expressed as a percentage of maximum, the body uses in performing an activity. For example, it defines how hard the body has to work to walk a mile in 20 minutes or to skip rope.

There are several ways to measure exercise intensity.1 One common method measures the amount of oxygen consumed by the body as an activity is performed. This method is expressed in studies as the percentage of maximum oxygen consumption, or %-VO2 max. The oxygen consumption method is used most often in a research setting.

Another method of measurement works with the increased heart rate that occurs with exercise. The greater the intensity of the activity being performed, the higher the heart rate. This method is expressed as a percentage of maximum heart rate or %-MHR.

Measuring heart rate is the method most often used to evaluate intensity in everyday life or to set the level of exercise in physical training.

Low, moderate and high levels of exercise intensity, as measured by heart rate, are defined as follows:
Low (or Light) is about 40-54% MHR.
Moderate is 55-69% MHR.
High (or Vigorous) is equal to or greater than 70% MHR.
An individual's maximum heart rate can be estimated by using the formula: 220 &150 age in years = MHR. Pulse rate can then be monitored while an exercise is being done and the % MHR calculated to assess intensity.

So, for example, the estimated MHR for a 50-year-old individual would be 220 - 50, or 170. Let's say that an individuals heart rate measured 100 beats per minute performing a certain activity. Since 100 is approximately 59% of the MHR (170), that would be considered a moderate level of exercise. The overall levels of intensity for a 50-year-old would be as follows:
Low Intensity: heart rate is 68-to-92 beats per minute.
Moderate Intensity: heart rate is 93-to-118 beats per minute.
High Intensity: heart rate is more than 119 beats per minute.
Rating of Perceived Exertion
A simpler method than monitoring heart rate, which also corresponds with measured MHR, is the Rating of Perceived Exertion (or RPE).2 RPE is measured by having a person rate how they feel (psychological perception) when performing an activity. This kind of a survey, in which a person rates their perceptions, attitudes or feelings on a scale, is known as a Likert scale.

The ratings of physical effort and feelings correspond with heart rate, and people can learn to exercise at a desired level of intensity based on their subjective feelings of exertion. It should be noted, however, that people who have been previously inactive tend to overestimate their intensity level, especially for moderate activity.3

Level of Intensity RPE Physical Cues
Light Easy Does not induce sweating unless it&39s a hot, humid day. There is no noticeable change in breathing patterns.
Moderate Somewhat hard Will break a sweat after performing the activity for about 10 minutes. Breathing becomes deeper and more frequent. You can carry on a conversation but not sing.
High Hard Will break a sweat after 3-5 minutes. Breathing is deep and rapid. You can only talk in short phrases.

All activity whether done at a light, moderate, or high level of intensity expends energy, so remember...intensity is simply the amount of effort you give in any exercise endeavor.


I remind myself daily of my good fortune and blessings, I remind myself that because as a child I had a mother and father that loved me and instilled in me very valuable tools for life and for achieving. As I start each new day I ask myself these six simple yet defining questions whenever a new challenge presents itself. I call this "My six."

1) My cause- Having a goal and a plan on how to achieve it is a huge driving force in my life. I believe in achieving simple goals first leading up to the main objective. Attacking any goal this way simply allows for success and reward.

2) My passion- Fitness and competition are without a doubt a strong passion that I have. My health is my greatest possession. I cherish it and thrive on discovering new ways to achieve overall physical and mental health. My years after professional boxing have been filled with educating others in the benefits of a fitness lifestyle.

3) My diet- Food is fuel, plain and simple. Without a doubt you are what you put in your body. The reflexion in the mirror is all the proof of this you need. I enjoy cheating with tasty treats, however ultimately I stay true to eating clean.

4) My workout- For anyone that reads my site regularly, you know the answer to this. My training preference is my H.I.G.T ( high intensity group training ) program. Heavy weight, multiple exercises, up to four performed back to back with little to no rest.

5) My stuff- I have come a long way from living in a dingy studio apartment on seventh st. in Allentown PA. driving a beat up used car. Through hard work, belief in myself, and some luck I have done good for myself. I remind myself daily of the harder times of my life. It keeps me sharp, motivated, and excited about the future.

6) My style- Yeah I am a jeans and T-shirt guy, but that isn't what I mean by style. By style I mean my way of living life and seeing the world as a grown man. I believe in honoring my wife and our marriage vows. "Honor and Respect, baby."
I believe in loyalty and commitment. I dream "big" because that's the only way I can. I believe each and everyday I will be better. I feel sad for those that make excuses for not believing the same. I don't hold grudges and I don't hate, I will not carry those burdens. I love my boxers, Zoe & Hayden, the quest for adventure and loyalty that they posses, I believe are traits every human should also strive for. I have heroes that I admire and try to be like, they are my parents. Without them I could never be the man that I am today!


Please read some of these
Related Articles:





Five ways to recover from your toughest workout

It's hard to get excited about cold showers, taking naps, and popping fish-oil capsules. But all three can help you grow muscle and gain strength.

Take Fish Oil
It has been linked to reduced inflammation, which helps fight the soreness you feel a day or so after a heavy lifting session. You can find fish oil in pill and liquid forms in most drugstores and supermarkets.

Don't Go To Failure
It's OK to do it in a couple of workouts per month, but routinely hitting the wall will damage your body's ability to recruit your strongest muscle fibers and will deplete your protein and carbohydrate reserves. Instead, cut off your sets one rep shy of the most you could do with perfect form.

Drink A Post-Workout Shake
Chugging a mix of high-glycemic carbs and whey protein as soon as you're done lifting stops muscle breakdown right away and begins repairs. Look for a powder that offers a rough ratio of two grams of carbs for every gram of protein.

Get Wet
When you're showering after a workout, make the water as cold as you can withstand, and let it beat on the muscles you trained for one minute. Then immediately turn the water to as hot as you can withstand for another minute. Repeat the process a few times. The contrasting temperatures flush more blood into your muscles, providing essential nutrients that speed healing.

Your body releases growth hormone while you sleep, so staying up late every night robs it of the ability to build muscle. Make sure you get eight to 10 hours, and sneak in a nap during the day whenever possible

Phelps breaks 200 free world record by nearly a second

Michael Phelps is looking to become the most decorated Olympian in history, vying for eight gold medals in a single Games. Here's a preview of what we can expect from this super American swimmer.

Michael Phelps climbed out of the pool, unzipped his skin-tight suit and ambled over to chat with his coach.

"Well, you're tied," Bob Bowman reminded him.

"That's pretty cool," Phelps replied.

Yawn. This guy is making monumental feats look ridiculously easy.

Phelps etched his name with Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis among the winningest Olympians ever with his third gold medal and third world record in as many days.

In winning the 200-meter freestyle Tuesday, Phelps ran his career Olympic total to nine golds and avenged his only individual loss in Athens four years ago, when a 19-year-old Phelps took on the 200 free just so he could compete with Ian Thorpe and Pieter van den Hoogenband.

He finished third that night in what was called the "Race of the Century." This time, it was hardly a race at all.


A Cup of Joe

Studies that demonstrate performance-enhancing benefits of caffeine often imply that drinking coffee will give you a boost. Not so, according to the latest research. Scientists put nine endurance runners through five trials after ingesting either a capsule (caffeine or placebo) or coffee (decaffeinated, decaffeinated with caffeine added or regular coffee). Only the caffeine capsule increased endurance. Researchers think that other compounds in coffee may counteract some of the benefits of caffeine.

Upshot: Have your cup of coffee if you need it to get moving, and your stomach can tolerate it, but don’t expect it to keep you going through a long workout.

A Spoonful of Honey

Recent research suggests that carb blends (foods containing fructose and glucose) may be superior to straight glucose for boosting energy during endurance activities. But before you reach for a sports drink, consider honey: like sugar, it naturally has equal parts fructose and glucose, but it also contains a handful of antioxidants and vitamins.

Upshot: While not exactly a “super food,” honey has plenty going for it besides being sweet. The darker the honey, the more disease-fighting compounds it contains.

A Bowl of Yogurt

Constant training takes a toll on your immune system, leaving athletes susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections, but new research suggests that probiotics—the live active cultures in yogurt—may help keep you healthy. A 2008 study of 20 endurance athletes (published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine) found that taking daily probiotic capsules enhanced the activity of the athletes’ immune-boosting T-cells and cut the length of time they experienced upper respiratory tract infection symptoms by more than half. Probiotics can also help calm a queasy stomach, which is great for nervous athletes.

Upshot: You’d have to eat vats of yogurt to reach the levels of probiotics the athletes in these studies consumed. Still, yogurt has a balanced mix of carbs

A Glass of Chocolate Milk

A small 2006 study (partially funded by the dairy industry) found that chocolate milk might help tired athletes refuel as well or better than popular sports drinks. In the study, nine cyclists rode until exhaustion, rested for four hours, then biked again. During the rest period, they drank either low-fat chocolate milk, Gatorade (a fluid/electrolyte-replacement drink) or Endurox (a carbohydrate-replacement drink). The cyclists who refueled with chocolate milk were able to bike about 50 percent longer during the second bout of exercise than those who drank Endurox and about as long as those who drank Gatorade.

Upshot: You don’t need a “sports drink” to refuel after a workout. Regular or chocolate milk—both of which contain a mix of carbohydrate and protein—may work just as well. Before or during a workout, however, stick with Gatorade or a similar carb/electrolyte drink.

TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT.....Yes you can!!!!!!

Even In the most unlikely places if you look hard enough you will find it. If you listen, I mean really listen, you can hear them tell their stories. If you pay attention you may even learn what it takes to find your own sucsess. Stories of hard work unbelievable acts of sacrifice and commitment. Emotional tales of achievement and perseverance.

These people, these places I am speaking of are all around you. Every human being has a story to tell. These things I speak of don't just happen on the playing fields and in stadiums. They don't only happen on the courts, pools and gymnasiums. No in fact these stories of human excellence I am talking of also take place in our everyday lives.

Other people from all walks of life are our best source of inspiration, because this I promise you. No matter how hard you have worked or sacrifices you made. You better believe some one has worked harder and sacrificed more. The tough times you have gone through, some one has experienced worse.

You can learn allot from others if you take the time to listen, hear their stories and find inspiration in the heart and triumphs of the human spirit. Now go achieve your dreams.


The Perfect Body Formula

To build the perfect body, it helps to have the right dimensions. Thankfully, the magic formula for those dimensions has been known for centuries. It's called the golden ratio—a dividend of two measurements that's roughly equal to 1.618-. Its influence can be seen in the shape of a seashell, the spirals of a pinecone, and the Parthenon in Athens. And in blueprints for the archetypal human form: Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man and Michelangelo's David. In fact, whether you're looking at art or nature, you'll find this ideal proportion turning up everywhere.

So it's no surprise to learn that chicks dig a physique that measures up to the golden ratio. An Archives of Sexual Behavior study reveals that women are most attracted to muscular men whose shoulders measure 1.6 times the size of their waists.

Of course, it's not always easy or practical to measure the width of your own shoulders—you need someone to do it for you. But you can use your chest circumference as a handy stand-in stat. "They're just different measures of the same thing," says Viren Swami, Ph.D., author of The Missing Arms of Venus de Milo: Reflections on the Science of Attractiveness. One of Swami's studies shows that women prefer a chest-to-waist ratio of 1.4 instead of one in which the two measures are closer to each other. (It's a smaller ratio than 1.6 since your chest is narrower than your shoulders.) The bottom line: When women look at men's torsos, the V shape is victorious.

You can figure out your own proportion in three easy steps. All you need is a tape measure and a calculator.

1. Measure your shoulder circumference at its widest point—usually around your shoulders and chest in a line halfway between your nipple and collarbone. (If you're on your own, you can measure your chest at its widest point, just below your armpits.)

2. Determine your waist circumferenceby wrapping a measuring tape around your abdomen so that the bottom of the tape touches the top of your hip bones.

3. Divide the circumference of your shoulders(or chest) by that of your waist.

You don't have to look like a cartoon superhero to hit the ideal proportion: If you use the standard from Swami's studies, you could hit the jackpot by having a 45-inch chest and a 32-inch waist.

To visualize the look, think Muscle Beach 1940, not WrestleMania 2008. (For the sake of comparison, the most popular muscleman from the presteroid era, Steve Reeves, had a 52-inch chest and a 29-inch waist—a way-beyond-golden ratio of 1.8.) Leanness rules over hugeness. What's more, lower-body dimensions don't have the same appeal as those of the top half. "This point is pretty conclusive," Swami says. "When women judge a man's physical attractiveness, lower-body shape plays a negligible role."

Which isn't to say that you should ignore your southern hemisphere, because it's exceedingly difficult to develop a lean, muscular upper body without using your body's biggest and strongest muscles: your hips and thighs. Their immense power to drive metabolism and generate muscle-building hormones will help grow your chest, shoulders, arms, and upper back, too. The trick is to use your meatiest muscles strategically to produce the eye candy women find so tasty. That, of course, is the goal of the three-exercise workout below.

But before you launch into the workout, know that you don't have to achieve picture-perfect results to get the girl. "There's some research to suggest that women aren't too keen on the most attractive men—they consider them too far out of their league," says Swami. The golden ratio is nice to shoot for, in other words, but you won't be disappointed with a silver or bronze.