Spartan30 Squat Week 2

By Todd M. Cambio | December 17, 2014

Week 2 Goal: Build off Your Mobility

Phase 2 of Spartan30 was about resetting your classic body weight squat or air squat.  There were several quastions about knee pain, so Day 9 (Sit and Stand Squats) addressed that.  The classic squats are still an incredibly valuable tool to build strength and lose body fat, posture and strength.  Go to my FAN page on Facebook, Coach Cambio for all the videos on these squat variations.  I have also recieved a lot of questions on Knee Pain.  If you have knee pain, read THIS: http://www.toddcambio.com/are-squats-bad-for-your-knees/

Day 8: Wall Sit Squat

Wall Sit Squat

Day 9: Sit and Stand (Best place to start if there is knee pain)
Day 9 #Spartan30 #squat Challenge!  Sit and Stand Squat.  3 x 10.  Here is how to reprogram a proper squatting pattern: - find a chair, box, a toilet, etc. that is a comfortable height to start - stand with feet shoulder width apart  - toes slightly turne

Day 10: Air Sqaut
Air Squat

Day 11: Arms Crossed Squat
Day 11: #Spartan30 #squat Challenge!  Was out for a run and thought the waterfall would be a good background for today's squats!  Arms crossed air squats x 30...GO!   #coachcambio #spartanup #spartansgx #spartanrace #spartanracing #spartancoaches #spartan

Day 12: Prisoner Squat
Prisoner Squats

Day 13: Sumo Squat
Day 13: Sumo Squat #Spartan30 #squat Challenge!  This variation is great for working on your inner thigh and hip flexor mobility!  Here are the basics: 1. Start a little wider that shoulder width 2. Turn toes out to about 45 degrees 3. Squat straight down

Day 14 Cossack Squat
Day 14: Cossack Squat x 30 #Spartan30 #squat  Time to move in the lateral plane!  #spartanup #spartansgx #spartanrace #spartanracing #spartanstrong #spartanworkout #Spartantraining #coachcambio

 

Be Fit,

Coach Cambio

www.ToddCambio.com

“Sweat Happens When Muscles Cry!”

Comments: No Comments »

 Spartan30 Squat Week 1

By Todd M. Cambio | December 17, 2014

Week 1 goal: Improve Your Mobility

Phase 1 of Spartan30 was all about getting into a Deep Squat, as in one where your butt gets all the way down to your heels, or more acurately, the back of your calves, AKA “Ass to Grass”.  The deep squat will help you maintain your hip flexion mobility.  Deep squatting using only your bodyweight is the best way to fill any lingering gaps in your strength, stability and form.  Even though it may be frustrating for advanced lifters, re-establishing this deep squat pattern will really improve everything else you do.  Deep squats are an incredibly valuable tool to build strength and lose body fat, for better mobility (specifically ankles, hip flexors and knees), posture, strength and flexibility.

Day 1: Overhead Squat x 30 second hold

Time to re-assess my movement patters!  FMS in full effect!  I got some work to do!  #fms #movement #strongfirst #xtremefitness #coachcambio
Here is the criteria I used for Day 1 of the #Spartan30 squat challenge.  For those needing a side view, here you go!  Goal is at least a score of 2.  A score of 3 is perfect, a score of 1 means you need some extra corrective type exercises.  A score of 2

Day 2: Assisted Deep Squat Low Hold x 30 reps

Day 2 #Spartan30 the Assisted Deep Squat with low grab.  AKA the "Jackknife" squat!  Goal is to use the low hold (12" height or so) to pull yourself down into a deep squat.  Use the low hold as needed to stand up.  Keep feet flat on the ground and work on

Day 3: Assisted Deep Squat High Hold x 30 reps

Assisted Deep Squat

Day 4: Gorilla Stomp (Assisted or unassisted) x 30 reps

Gorilla Stomp Squat

Day 5: Face the Wall Squats (Prayer, Prisoner and Overhead positions) x 10 reps each position

Day 5 #Spartan30 #squat challenge!  Today is 3 variations of "Face the Wall" Squats: Prayer, Prisoner and “Y”. Great way to open up hips and upper back while training the squat pattern.   Brace the abs, hip hinge down and keep that lower back arch, Heels

Day 6: Toe Grab Deep Squat x 10 x 3

Day 6 #Spartan30 #squat Challenge!  Goal...pull yourself down low! #spartansgx #spartanrace #spartancoaches #spartanworkout #spartantraining #coachcambio

Day 7: Y-Squat x 10 x 3

Day 7: #Spartan30 #squat Y-Squats 3 x 10!  Great corrective to improve overall mobility of the ankles, hips, T-spine and shoulders!  #spartanup #spartansgx #spartanrace #spartancoaches #spartanworkout #spartantraining #coachcambio

 

Be Fit,

Todd

www.ToddCambio.com

Comments: No Comments »

Learn Hard Style Kettlebells

By Todd M. Cambio | December 15, 2014

Hard Style Kettlebell Training will teach you the precise ways in which kettlebells should be used for developing, maximizing, and maintaining strength!

Hard Style Kettlebell Training.  Learn the precise ways in which #kettlebells can be used for developing, maximizing and maintaining strength!  #coachcambio #spartansgx #Spartantraining #strongfirst

This is for anyone looking to improve their skills as a kettlebell instructor, avid kettlebell student or a beginner.

You will Learn:
– Tension skills for instant strength gains
– Single and Double Bell techniques
– The Deadlift—the most “functional” exercise
– The Goblet Squat—the squat for the people
– The Swing—the “fat-burning athlete builder”
– The Get-Up—a lesson in moving strong
– The Military Press—a classic test of strength
– The Windmill – strength stretching and core
– The Snatch – ridiculous cardiovascular endurance

Programs Availabe: One Day StrongFirst Kettlebell Users Course, Private Workshops or 1 on 1’s.

Contact: StrongFirst Level II Instructor Todd M. Cambio, CSCS

860-287-3768
www.ToddCambio.com

Location: At your Gym or Box

Comments: No Comments »

Are Squats BAD For Your Knees

By Todd M. Cambio | December 9, 2014

I have recieved a ton of questions about sqauts being “BAD” for your knees.  There seems to be some misinformation out there about squatting being “bad for your knees”.  That is a load of crap.  Squatting is a normal developmental pattern that should be done on a daily basis.  Our ancestors used to perform many daily functions (i.e. harvesting, gathering, hunting, cooking, eating, etc.) in a full or deep squat position.  By deep squatting you actually improve the integrity of your knee joint.

Squat Mistake

So when I get that statement from my students “I can’t squat, I have bad knees” I really need to dig a bit deeper because these same beloved students of mine are running mile upon mile, doing box jumps and squatting under load?!?!?!  Many times they skip a proper warm up routine, skip foam rolling and never stretch.  Basically they keep compounding the issue instead of fixing it.

My answer to you is this: YOUR FORM SUCKS!  

You probably have someone telling you you should never go below 90 degrees or that your knees can’t go over your toes or some other crap like that.  Now, there is some truth to these afore mantioned statements, but you need to know where and when these statemants are true.  These are not blanket statements that cover everybody and every squat variation…however, this is a different discussion for another day!

Squat-Knee-valgus

Most of the time (baring true structural damage) it is simply poor form rehearsed over and over and over again that is causing the pain.  This poor form has also robbed you of the most important factor you need for everything, your mobility!

Even though squats are technically a knee dominant movement, they are powered through the hips, therefore your knees should not be feeling the brunt of a squat.

My simple solution to a poor squatting pattern: Sit and Stand.

Day 9 #Spartan30 #squat Challenge!  Sit and Stand Squat.  3 x 10.  Here is how to reprogram a proper squatting pattern: - find a chair, box, a toilet, etc. that is a comfortable height to start - stand with feet shoulder width apart  - toes slightly turne

Here is how to reprogram a proper squatting pattern:

Find a chair, box, a toilet, etc. that is a comfortable height to start

NOW FOR STANDING

Now Let’s Talk About Why You Should Deep Squat

Deep Squat

Deep squatting is the best way to fill any lingering gaps in your strength, stability and form., even though it may be frustrating for advanced lifters.  Re-establishing this deep squat pattern will improve everything else you do.  Deep squats are an incredibly valuable tool to build strength and lose body fat, for better mobility (specifically ankles, hip flexors and t-spine), posture, strength and flexibility.

As I said before, the SQUAT has HUGE benefits!  The DEEP SQUAT has even MORE benefits!

The  NUMBER 1 benefit is mobility!

Day 7: #Spartan30 #squat Y-Squats 3 x 10!  Great corrective to improve overall mobility of the ankles, hips, T-spine and shoulders!  #spartanup #spartansgx #spartanrace #spartancoaches #spartanworkout #spartantraining #coachcambio

This basic movement is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, as well as developing core strength. It can be an indicator for ankle, hip and thoracic mobility, or it can be an incredible conditioning tool.

Here are some basics of doing a deep squat:

Once you reprogram your body to squat properly, many oher things get “fixed” magically!  I also recommend working with an experienced coach, such as someone certified as a CK-FMS, FMS or CES  just to name a few.  So in conclusion, squat and keep squatting.  Master the movement with body weight before progressing to loaded versions.

Be Fit,

Coach Cambio

www.ToddCambio.com

***I am not a medical professional, if you have knee pain, seek one out and get evaluated before doing anything else. ***

Comments: 1 Comment »

Spartan30Squat

By Todd M. Cambio | November 30, 2014

Spartan30_SQUAT_Logo

I had he honor of being selected by Spartan Racing and Spartan Training to present to you (and the 4.3 million Facebook FANS) the #Spartan30 Squat Challenge for the month of December.  What a way to close out 2014!

Basically, I will coach you through 30 days of squat variations so you can incorporate these movements into your daily routine or WOD.  These variations are also meant to educate you on progressions towards perfecting and eventualy eloborating on this movement.  There will be one video a day for 30 consecutive days.

I encourage you to publish your own videos and photos of your daily workouts (you could win a FREE Race!)

Here is my philosophy on the squat before we begin the daily squat progressions:

The SQUAT has huge benefits!  This basic movement is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, as well as developing core strength. It can be an indicator for ankle, hip and thoracic mobility, or it can be an incredible conditioning tool.

The squatting pattern can be held (isometrically) to target even more muscles like the lower back, upper back, abs, trunk muscles, costal muscles and even the shoulders. Many times the squat is only performed to about 90 degrees.

We will also work on getting into a deep squat, as in one where your butt gets all the way down to your heels. The deep squat will help you maintain your hip flexion mobility, which is a technical way of saying that you’ll retain the ability to squat all the way down throughout life. The deep squat is performed much more commonly in many Asian and Middle East countries on a daily basis. Unfortunately in America (vs rest of the world)…we have lost our true ability to squat. The beautiful thing about squatting is that if you use this ability, you will keep it. If you don’t, you will lose it. Deep squatting using only your bodyweight is the best way to fill any lingering gaps in your strength, stability and form. Even though it may be frustrating for advanced lifters, re-establishing this deep squat pattern will really improve everything else you do. Deep squats are an incredibly valuable tool to build strength and lose body fat, for better mobility (specifically ankles, hip flexors and knees), posture, strength and flexibility.

Assisted Deep Squat

Spartans can benefit from squatting in numerous ways. In terms of running, squats build the capacity to complete your stride (extend your hips) more efficiently. Good running technique is the ability to control the position of the thigh relative to the hip before and during contact with the ground.  If you have weak glutes and abductors, you are setting yourself up for possible injuries or nagging issues like IT Band Syndrome, runner’s knee and shin splints. Squatting helps alleviate these issues by allowing your legs to stay under your hips where they should be.  Running with strong buttocks muscles engaged gives a lot more pop and bounce in your stride, which is great for when you approach an obstacle like a 10 foot wall!  Having stable hips from squatting is vital to preventing your valuable energy from wasting away during a race.

As for dominating obstacles in a Spartan Race, squats are what give you initial power to jump and climb up a wall or find some energy reserves to jump over the fire at the finish. Squats are what help you land safely from any obstacle and they are one of a Spartan’s best training exercises!

Learning to squat effectively with proper form teaches you how to be a better athlete by addressing and improving basic athletic skills. While completing this #Spartan30 squat challenge, if any part of the squatting motion feels tight, but doesn’t cause any pain, there’s nothing wrong with continuing to improve this squatting pattern. You will only get better at squatting. If there is pain, back off. We will be performing squats against a wall to drill proficiency and technique. We will use them as part of a bodyweight circuit. We will also perform complex plyometric movements so be ready to get your squat on!

Like, Share and Tag #CoachCambio too!

Gearing up for some Spartan SGX training!  Realizing I need to get my mobility back on track! #spartansgx #spartantraining #coachcambio

Aroo!

Coach Cambio

 

Comments: 1 Comment »

5 Ways to Refresh Your Workout

By Todd M. Cambio | November 29, 2014

Has your exercise routine gotten stale?

Boredom with your routine quickly leads to shorter and shorter workouts, and then before you know it you’re skipping the gym altogether.

While it’s common knowledge that the most effective exercise routines aren’t routine at all, most of us stumble through the same exercises every time we hit the gym. And then we wonder why our results are lackluster.

In order to really see results your routine must continuously change and challenge your muscles in new ways. Here are 5 ways to refresh your existing workout routine in order to see quicker and more dramatic results…

Refresh #1: Circuit Training

The days of doing single sets of each exercise are over, now it’s all about circuit training. Increase your workout intensity by creating a circuit with 4 exercises and moving quickly between each one. Circuits will keep your heart rate up for longer periods at a time and will force your muscles to work double time.

Always choose different exercises to be included in your circuit, to really keep up the intensity and the challenge. Also vary the resistance and increase the load at each session. Doing circuits does NOT mean use light resistance!  See next tip, but 1st check out this circuit training workout…

Refresh #2: Go Heavier

Most of us grab the same weights each time that we exercise, simply out of habit. Unfortunately this is one habit that is seriously hindering your results. Next time that you reach for a set of kettlebells or dumbbells grab heavier ones. This will force you to do fewer repetitions, and will challenge your muscles with greater intensity.

Always use a spotter when using a heavier weight than you’re used to.

It’s not pretty, but I got 2 reps of double 44 kg (98 lbs each) Kettlebells with a little bit of a push press. Just a random test to see if I could do it. Working on strength as of late. Still on Pavel’s press program for a few more weeks! #strongfirst #spartanracing #precisionfitness

A video posted by Todd Cambio (@coachcambio) on

Refresh #3: One Side at a Time

Do you find yourself doing presses, curls, raises and squats with both arms/legs at the same time? Increase the challenge and focus by singling out each arm and leg alone. Focus all of your effort and concentration on that single movement and be sure to increase the weight as you’re able.

Have you tried single legged RDL’s lately? The act of using one leg forces all of your core stabilizing muscles to pitch in. Start without any weight at all, simply focus on your form and range of motion. You’ll be surprised how sore you feel the next day!

Single Keg RDL's with double bells are one of my favorites!  Great for balance, coordination, stability and hamstring strength!  If you aren't doing single leg work...start doing it!  #strongfirst #kettlebells #spartanworkout #spartantraining #precisionfi

Refresh #4: Pump Up Music

Do you have a personal exercise playlist? This is a quick way to instantly add some pep to your workout. Spend time selecting each song to add to the playlist. These songs should be ones that get your toes tapping and get you in the mood to move. Songs with a strong beat are always a good choice.

Make your playlist long enough to cover your entire workout time. It’s great to have fun, upbeat songs without any repeats. Unless you have a specific song that really gets you going – in that case play it on repeat!  Here is some help with music!  MANDATORY Metallica for Lifting Heavy!

Refresh #5: Know Yourself

Are you highly competitive? Then the best way to push yourself during your next workout is to exercise with someone who is in a little better shape than you. You’ll spend the workout pushing yourself to new heights.

Are you happiest in nature? Then move your workout to the great outdoors. Find a new and challenging outdoor activity to immerse yourself in.

Are you a social person? Then structure your workouts around a group of likeminded, fit individuals. Don’t try to go at it alone.

Tap into that unique part of yourself that make you tick and cater your workout time in a way that best suits your needs. You’ll be happier with your results and you’ll be more likely to stick with it for a longer period of time.

Use these quick and effective workout refreshers in your routine to instantly see improved results. Don’t forget to change things up often, and to always keep your muscles guessing.

Be Fit,

Coach Cambio

Comments: No Comments »

How to do the Hollow Position

By Todd M. Cambio | November 21, 2014

Learning the hollow postion

 

This is a great exercise to truely strengthen the abs and to teach the body total tension.  The benefits are numerous.  The most obvious one is that increased strength in the abs and core body muscles.  It is fansastic for improving your strict pull up as well as aiding in development towards basic gymnastics exercises such as handstand or support hold.

The number one thing to remember is keep the abs and butt tight at all times.

Here is the basic Position: Back is rounded, pelvis tucked under. The arms are extended next to the ears and the toes pointed slightly in front of the body. The lower back should be against the floor at all times.

Try these steps to master the hollow position:

  1. Lie down flat on your back and contract the abs, pulling the belly button towards the floor.  Squeeze your glutes hard like there is an acorn between your cheeks (crush the acorn!).
  2. The arms and legs should be held straight out from the body with hands and toes pointed.
  3. Slowly raise shoulders and legs from the ground. The arms and head should be raised along with the shoulders.
  4. The lower back must remain in contact with the floor.
  5. The goal is to find the lowest position that you can hold the arms and legs, without them touching the floor and without breaking lower back contact (the point at which the lower back begins to arch from the ground).
  6. I like to imagine I am about to get punched in the stomach…see me poking people in the gut to test for tension??
  7. Hold for sets of 30 seconds to start then work owards full minute sets!

Here I am using the same position at the top of a strict pull ups, the bottom position is literally a hang from the bar in hollow position!

 

Top of a pull up

 

Be Fit,

Todd

www.ToddCambio.com

Comments: No Comments »

Sports Nutrition Pro Shop is Online

By Todd M. Cambio | October 2, 2014

Finally I got the basic sports nutrition products I use and recommend available to buy anytime and anywhere!

Herbalife24-Rebuild-Strength

I use Herbalife24 and a few other products. It is a comprehensive performance nutrition line empowering athletes 24-hours a day.

Herbalife24 has surpassed industry standards of pre-, during- and post-workout nutrition to help you train, recover and perform like never before with all the nutritional support you need as an athlete.

This product line is customizable so you can determine your day-to-day needs based on activity levels and training demands.

Order Online

HBL24 Chains

Comments: No Comments »

BEST Ab Exercises

By Todd M. Cambio | September 16, 2014

Are you still doing dozens of crunches in the hopes of getting flat, washboard abs?

Traditional crunches are old news, so let’s take your ab routine to the next level with the following 5 Best Ab Exercises.

The most effective ab exercises strengthen your core as a whole –which helps prevent dreaded back pain, increases your agility and, of course, makes you look good.

In your new ab routine the focus is on quality over quantity. A few concentrated movements are always more effective than dozen and dozens of old fashion crunches.

1) Plank: When performed correctly, a simple plank is one of the most effective ways to tighten your entire core. Proper form is key. Keep your back flat and your belly button pulled in toward your spine.  You can start with a High Plank or go right to the Low Plank.  Squeeze those Glutes, quads and abs hard!

Lie face down on mat resting on your forearms.  Push off the floor, raising up onto your toes and resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.  Work towards a 60 second hold.

  

2) Mountain Climbers: This vigorous variation of a standard plank kicks the core tightening up a notch. Angling your knees toward the opposite shoulder is a wonderful way increase the intensity even more.

Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg.  Learn them slowly then work on doing them quickly. DO NOT LET YOUR BUTT GO IN THE AIR!  Keep that plank position.  Try 15-20 per side.

 

3) Russian Twist: Nothing quite brings the burn like a properly done set of Russian Twists. By holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in your hands, the exercise becomes even more effective.

Sit on the floor with knees bent like in a “sit-up” position. The feet should be kept together and slightly off the floor. Keep your torso straight and your back off the ground at a 45 degree angle. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands. Next, the arms should be swung from one side to another in a twisting motion, with each swing to a side counting as one repetition. Move slowly for a more challenging workout.  Try 15-20 per side.

4) Knee Tucks: All too often I see people neglect their lower abs in favor of quicker, easier exercises. The fact is that our lower abs typically need the most work, so give them the attention that they need with these Knee Tucks.

Start on your back, straighten your legs with knees touching. Prop yourself up on both elbows, palms facing down, and raise your legs off the ground about 6 inches. Inhale and bring your knees up towards your chest while exhaling.  Slowly extend your legs back to the start position.   Keep your abs hard the whole ime.  Do not allow your back to arch.  If you need to place your hands behand your tailbone, do so. Try 15-20 reps.

5) Side Bridges: In yet another variation of the fantastic plank, Side Bridges are much more challenging that they appear at first glance. While the focus is mainly on your waist, due to the stabilizing nature of this exercise, you’re also working your entire core as a whole.

Put your feet and legs together as you lie on your right side. Place your right arm under your body and lift your upper body so that your right elbow is directly under your shoulder. Your left hand should be resting on your left hip. From this position, slowly raise your hips from the ground until a straight line is formed from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold the position for a moment, slowly return to the starting position, and repeat.  Work towards a 60 second hold. 

Even the best exercise routine in the world is fruitless if you throw away your results with sloppy eating. Remember to keep your meals lean by avoiding processed carbs, packaged foods or fried items. Fill up on lean proteins and fresh vegetables and reward yourself with organic, seasonal fruit. That, my friend, is lean living!  It’s 80% Nutrition and 20% the right Exercise routine!

Be Fit,

Todd

www.ToddCambio.com

Comments: No Comments »

Tactical Strength Workshop

By Todd M. Cambio | September 2, 2014

With so many questions being asked about the Tactical Strength Challenge, I decided to do a workshop to clearify all the questions I have received.

Specifically technique and programming.

The Tactical Strength Challenge tests the three primary types of strength:

  1. Absolute strength using the deadlift
  2. Bodyweight-relative strength with pullups
  3. Cardiovascular endurance through kettlebell snatches.

The three events test a unique trade-off between these abilities. While larger participants may have an advantage in the deadlift, lighter participants have an advantage in pullups, and the kettlebell snatch tests all participants equally.

Goal of this Workshop : Get Stronger!

Nobody ever said they were too strong…simply working to get stronger will have a profound effect on getting you more athletic.

“Sparta, Rome, the knights of Europe, the samurai… worshipped strength… Because it is strength that makes all other values possible.” (Enter the Dragon)

We will work to learn and improve (test numbers):

While also fine tuning:

In order to judge progress at an end point we must know where we are starting.  Here is your starting point.  The TSC will be your end point.

When: September 6th

Time: 9:30-11:30

Where: XTREME Fitness, 7 Scott Road, Hampton, NH

Cost: $20

Contact: Coach Todd Cambio at 860-287-3768 or tcambio@hotmail.com to reserve your spot.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Todd Cambio, CSCS

Comments: No Comments »

« Previous Entries