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Build Big Upper Pecs With Dumbbell Inclines



Few things round out your upper body muscles more than large, rounded pecs. To get that massive, round look you have to build the upper pecs. The dumbbell incline is the king of upper chest exercises. It’s best to use an adjustable bench. Doing the exercise with a steep incline will work mainly the upper pecs, while doing the exercise closer to a flat bench will work the middle pecs. It’s best to do inclines with dumbbells because that isolates your upper pecs and forces the muscles on both sides of your body to do their fair share of the work. Quality is key, so you have to be able to bring a lot of weight to your chest that you can push hard.

Table of Contents

Correct Exercise Form:

Begin by placing the dumbbells on your lower thigh, just above your kneecaps. Drive up each dumbbell – one at a time – with your thigh moving toward your upper chest and collarbones. After steadying yourself at the starting position, press both dumbbells overhead, keeping your wrists firm and straight. Return the weights to your chest under control. When finished doing your reps, lower the weights to your thighs, and then put them back on the rack. Do this exercise strictly, without arching your back.


Work All Upper Body Muscles. Upper body movements are varied and complicated. Muscles become unbalanced and the joints lose flexibility if you work only a few motions. Some lifters, particularly beginners, spend more time working pecs and delts than any other upper body muscles. Proper upper body development takes a lot more than doing some bench presses, flyes and raises. Slippery Rock University scientists led by J.C. Barlow evaluated shoulder strength and flexibility in a variety of upper body movements in 29 experienced trainers and 25 control subjects. While the experienced trainers were stronger than controls, they showed muscle imbalances and restricted flexibility during a variety of shoulder movements. Do exercise for all shoulder motions – not just the exercises you like. (Nat Strength Cond Assoc, 24: 16-17; J Strength Cond Res, 16: 367-372)

The post Build Big Upper Pecs With Dumbbell Inclines appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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The Batman Workout



Today, I’m going to share The Batman Workout!

If you plan on fighting crime in your city, you’ve come to the right place. 

We specialize in creating nerdy-themed exercise routines in our Online Coaching Program, because we like to have FUN with our training!

Here’s what we’ll cover:


Alright, grab your cape, and let’s do this.

How Would Batman Train in Real Life?

As Ryan from GMB mentions in the video above, Batman needs to train for:

  • Strength
  • Power
  • Agility

Now, a gym could be useful here. However, sometimes we don’t always have access to a fitness facility.

Maybe we’ve been thrown into some sketchy prison somewhere (thanks Bane).

BUT, that doesn’t mean we can’t work out. It just means we have to focus on bodyweight exercises:

As we mention in our Guide to Bodyweight Training, you really don’t need any equipment to get a full-body workout in. You just need the right plan.

Let me show you what I mean.


The Batman Workout DAY 1

 The Batman Workout Day 1:

  • Squat Jump
  • Push-Ups
  • Headstand Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Handstand

Depending on your experience level, we can go with a Beginner or Advanced variation.

Day 1 – Beginner:

  • Rolling Squat Tuck-up Jumps
  • Side-to-Side Push-ups
  • Modified Headstand Push-ups
  • Jump Pull-Up with Tuck
  • Handstands Against Wall

Day 1 – Advanced:

  • Rolling Single-Leg Tuck-up Jumps
  • Exploding Push-ups (Standard to Wide to Right Front/Left Back to Left Front/Right Back)
  • Headstand Push-Ups
  • Ice Cream Makers
  • Free Standing Handstands

The Batman Workout DAY 2


The Batman Workout Day 2:

  • 180-Degree Jump
  • Front Lever
  • Back Lever
  • Planche

Again, we can roll with a Beginner or Advanced variation.

Day 2 – Beginner:

  • 180-Degree Jump Turns
  • Front Lever Hold with Tuck
  • Back Lever Hold with Tuck
  • Low Frog Hold

Day 2 – Advanced :

  • Single-Leg Jump 180 Degree Turn
  • Front Lever Hold
  • Back Lever Hold
  • Floating Frog Hold

Exercises Covered in the Batman Workout

Let’s now cover the exercises in the workouts found above.


#1) Squat Jump

Someone doing a squat jump, by rolling forward into a squat then jumping up.

#2) Single Leg Squat Jump

Someone doing a squat jump, by rolling forward into a squat then jumping up on one leg.

#3) Side-to-Side Push-up (Knee)

Doing side-to-side Push-up on knee

#4) Side-to-Side Push-up

side-to-side push ups

#5) Exploding Push-ups


Someone doing a push-up by pushing off of the ground

#6) Modified Handstand Push-up

Doing a push-up from a downward dog like position

#7) Handstand Push-up

Doing a handstand push-up against a wall

#8) Jump-up Pull-up with Tuck

Jumping up to do a Pull-up, then tucking knees

#9) Pull-up with Tuck

A pull-up with knees tucked

#10) Ice Cream Maker – Tucked


Ice Cream Maker with Tuck

#11) Ice Cream Maker – Can Opener

An ice cream maker, can opener variation

#12) Ice Cream Maker – Front Lever

Ice cream maker, front lever variation

#13) Handstand (In)

Handstand facing wall

#14) Handstand (Out)

Handstand facing out

For more here, check out our guide How to Do a Handstand


#15) 180-Jump Turn

The 180 degree jump

#16) 180-Jump Turn – Single Leg

180 Jump on a single leg

#17) Front Lever – Tuck

The front level with tuck

#18) Front Lever – Can Opener

The front lever, can opener variation

#19) Back Lever – Tuck


Back lever with tuck

#20) Back Lever

Back lever

#21) Low-Frog Hold

The low-frog hold

#22) Floating Frog

The Floating Frog

FAQ on The Batman Workout

LEGO Batman and Batgirl

Let’s answer some of your questions on the Batman Workout.


#1) When should I advance on with the workout?

Once you get proficient at a level, go up one level for that exercise and work on mastering that within the workout.

Don’t try and jump up to the next progression too quickly. Focus on form and performing each rep as cleanly as you can. That is what will get you strong and help you master the moves. Be sure to:

#2) How many reps should I do? How long should I perform the holds?

  • Perform no more than 5 reps per movement for up to 3 sets.
  • Work on performing holds for 5 to 8 seconds per set.
  • Perform all sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise.

#3) How often should I do the Batman Workout?


Give yourself at least a day of rest in between the workouts.

You can even add in sprints or intervals on your off days for extra stamina work if you would like.

#4) What if I don’t have a bar?

In the video below, Coach Jim walks you through what to do if you don’t have a pull-up bar:


For more here, check out How to Do Pull-ups Without a Bar.

#5) Can I wear a cap while doing the Batman Workout?


Get strong without picking up a weight

Batman Action Figure

Maybe you hate gyms. Maybe you travel like crazy. Maybe you just enjoy exercising outdoors.


No matter your reason, You CAN build muscle and size or simply lose weight and get in shape with only bodyweight exercises.

Just ask Jimmy here:

Jimmy before and after he did bodyweight training

Jimmy didn’t want to leave his home to train, so we helped him build a plan to do just that.

Want some help from us too?


No problem!

Here’s how Nerd Fitness can get you ready to fight crime:

1) If you want step-by-step guidance, a custom bodyweight training program that levels up as you get stronger, and a coach to keep you accountable, check out our killer 1-on-1 coaching program:

2) If you want an exact blueprint for working out at home, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).


Try your free trial right here:

3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. 

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll help you start incorporating bodyweight moves into your training.

Download our comprehensive guide STRENGTH TRAINING 101!
  • Everything you need to know about getting strong.
  • Workout routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
  • How to find the right gym and train properly in one.

Alright, that about wraps it up for today.

Tune in for more next time!


Same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel.



photo source: ©rosinka79/123RF.COM, batman action figure

The post The Batman Workout first appeared on Nerd Fitness.


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Exercise at Home

8 Reasons to Try Indoor Rowing



As outdoor workouts become relegated to the weekend and your body requires a reprieve from repeated long rides or runs, a fresh training method could become a welcome change to your training schedule. Enter: indoor rowing.

As the heir apparent to the reigning king of group fitness classes, indoor cycling, indoor rowing is poised to become the country’s newest workout obsession, as rowing studios continue to pop up throughout the country.

If you’re looking to supplement your training regime, consider this full-body workout. Here are eight reasons you should try indoor rowing:

1. It Burns a High Amount of Calories

Harvard Medical School states that a 155-pound person rowing at a vigorous pace can burn more than 600 calories per hour. This is on par with mountain and BMX biking.

2. Rowing Removes Muscular Failings

“Endurance runners and cyclists tend to have many muscular deficiencies that lead to repetitive stress injuries,” says Richard Butler, a UCanRow2 Concept2 indoor rowing coach at Mecka Fitness in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He believes rowing can offset this propensity. “When we row, we use more than 86% of our muscles. [It’s] tough to have deficient muscles using that many muscles.”

3. Rowing Circumvents Compensation

“While running and cycling, it is also very easy to become quad-dominant (overusing your anterior muscles),” says Dustin Hogue, interval studio director of Studio Three in Chicago. “Rowing counteracts this by engaging the posterior muscles of your body: the hamstrings, glutes and back. This helps avoid compensations.”

4. It Burns Fat


In a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, which compared fat oxidation in rowing to cycling across a range of variables — including exercise intensity, mode and recruited muscle mass — rowing beat out cycling. This was specifically due to the greater recruitment of larger muscle mass on the ergometer.

5. It’s a Two-For-One Workout

Rowing works both the upper and lower extremities in synchronicity. “It’s one of the true full-body workouts,” says Butler. He says when done properly, in one continuous movement, athletes use their back, arms, legs and core.


6. There’s a Meditative Component

According to UCanRow2, an organization with a mission to bring rowing to people across the U.S., rowing indoors keeps the mind centered and helps relieve stress as you get into a rhythm with each stroke.  

7. Classes Teach You Proper Technique

Most people have either never rowed or row with incorrect, gawky posture — curtailing rowing’s proper returns. But participating in indoor rowing classes diminishes the inelegance and instructors help you perfect your position. “That awkward feeling of not knowing how to do a move is minimized,” says Butler.

8. It Decreases the Risk of Injuries

For those who recently suffered an injury and feel a little apprehensive getting back into high-impact sports (like running), but feel ready to get back into cardiovascular shape, rowing is a favorable alternative. “Running causes a great deal of stress on the leg joints, so rowing is perfect for avoiding injury while endurance training,” says Butler.


As with any group fitness class, rowing classes vary by studio and instructor. “A typical rowing class at Studio Three pairs bursts of short, anaerobic exercises, with active recovery periods and weighted resistance training,” says Hogue. “Athletes perform a series, or distance or timed pushes on the rower along with multi-joint strength movements off of the rower.” At ROWFit by Mecka Fitness, Butler teaches authentic, crew rowing techniques to increase endurance and train all major muscles. At the popular Row House NYC in New York City instructors encourage participants to row in sync with each other, simulating a real crew team.  

Whatever class you choose, all indoor rowing classes focus on providing low-impact, high-energy workouts, helping you elevate your heart rate and building strength as a complement to any endurance training regime.    

If you’re interested in indoor rowing, you can find a certified instructor at UCanRow2 and even become certified yourself.  

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5 Eating Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Workout



As the saying goes: Abs are made in the kitchen. Of course, time in the gym helps, too. “I think nutrition for optimal performance and recovery has gained recent attention because some high-profile athletes have been public about their nutrition strategies. But the science behind this has been around for years,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, a board-certified sports dietitian who has been a consultant to five professional teams and counsels professional athletes in her private practice.

Chef Lindsey Becker founded Tone House FUEL, a clean-eating program designed to help maximize recovery and boost results for people who work out at Tone House, an athletic-based group fitness studio in New York City. “A balanced, healthy diet with the right key nutrients can help your body become more efficient and enhance your athletic performance [in and out of the gym],” she says. “Consuming the necessary nutrients before and after exerting your body can help replenish energy stores, build muscle, decrease soreness, burn fat and repair damage or inflammation.”

Below Becker shares her tips for eating to get the most out of your workouts, with additional expert insights from Sass. Use their advice to ensure what you’re eating is supporting your exercise.

We often focus on calories, but nutrients also matter, Sass says. “Certain nutrients help your brain and muscles perform more efficiently, and others are crucial for recovering from the wear and tear exercise puts on your body,” she explains. The best macronutrients pre- and post-workout depend on the type of workout you’re doing, as well as the length and intensity.

“Eating the right foods will prevent you from crashing, boost your performance and help your muscles recover and grow stronger,” Becker says. “On the other hand, choosing the wrong foods could cause cramping, nausea, lack of energy and improper muscle recovery.”

Becker recommends beets, sweet potatoes, oats, spinach and eggs for their varied benefits. “Beets increase blood flow to working muscles, which can improve your workout and boost stamina, and are rich in antioxidants, which help fight the oxidative stress that can come with intense workouts,” she says.

She likes sweet potatoes for carbs, antioxidants and potassium; oats for steady energy and B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy; and spinach because a study found that it may help muscles use less oxygen, which improves muscle performance. And of course the incredible edible egg is a source of easily digestible protein to help rebuild muscles.

Aim to eat something that’s high in carbs, moderate in protein and low in fat, sugar and fiber 2–4 hours before a workout. Some macros aren’t ideal before the gym. “Eating too much protein or fat close to the start of a workout can lead to cramps or a brick sitting in your stomach because protein and fat take longer to digest,” Sass says. “Also, the goal of a pre-workout snack is to fuel the workout. If the food is trapped in the digestive system, it’s not available to working muscles when they need it.”

That’s why carbs are great — they’re generally easy to digest and provide readily available, easily burned fuel. Becker recommends oatmeal with a sprinkling of hemp seeds (for protein) and sliced banana or a smoothie.



Sass recommends eating 30–60 minutes after a particularly tough workout. However, although improper recovery can make you go into your next workout weaker and increase the risk of injury, you only need to refuel within an hour after hard-core workouts. This isn’t so crucial after a walk or moderate-intensity group fitness class, particularly if you’ll be eating a meal soon after, Sass says.

“Consuming the necessary nutrients after exerting your body can help replenish energy stores, build muscle, decrease soreness, burn fat and repair any damage or inflammation,” Becker says.

Good advice for anyone, this is even more important for active people because “nutrients are key to performance and recovery, and unprocessed foods are naturally nutrient-rich,” Sass says.

Becker and Sass agree that refined sugars have zero nutritional benefit and fried and greasy foods can be difficult to digest and cause cramping during a workout. So skip that leftover pizza before your morning indoor cycling class.

Great as they are, you shouldn’t only consume these five foods. “Eat them strategically,” Sass recommends. For example, fuel up with oatmeal, sweet potato, beets or green juices pre-workout, and enjoy eggs with veggies and avocado after a morning workout.


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