Archive | Building Muscle

Building Muscle – How to Build Up Your Biceps In a Short Period of Time

Building muscle is hard work but it also depends on the genetic structure of the body. Some people seem to build muscle in no time, while others need month after month to see any positive result. Biceps are perhaps the most widely used judging tool in people’s hands to determine the progress of your work out. A few exercises are designed specifically for this muscle group and if we do these exercises systematically with concentration and dedication, you can surely have an eighteen-inch bicep within a very short period.

To get strong and big biceps, you need to lift heavy weights at low repetitions, anything from 2 to 8, depending on the exercise. The most effective form of arm training and build big biceps is pre exhausted training. When you eventually move on to train the muscle of choice it will tire very quickly and you will increase your gains in a shorter period of time.

• USE STRAIGHT BAR: Use a straight weight bar with a light amount of weight on it and curl the bar to your chest. Hold the weight for about 1 second and then release the weight back down only half the speed that you brought it up. Take a 40 second break than repeat it 4 times.

• USE HORIZONTAL BAR: Grab a fixed horizontal bar with your palms facing you and leave 4-7 inches of space between them. Lift your self up until your chin is level or over the bar than bring your self down half the speed that you came up. Take a 40 second break and repeat this 4 times.

• USE DUMBBELL: Take a set of dumbbells with a decent amount of weight. Turn your hands so your thumbs are up. You bring the weights up just like you have done with the straight bar curls. Take a 40 second break and for 4 times!

Bicep curls using dumbbell can be performed, either with both arms simultaneously or with one arm at a time. Lock the elbows into the sides of the abdomen for weight support. Slowly lifts the weight from an extended-down arm position to almost reach the shoulder, then stop, and then slowly lower the weight.

Biceps are one of the smaller muscles in your body so don’t over do them. Give them a lot of rest and that is how you build your biceps! The biceps should be worked out once every 4 to 5 days and no more.

USEFUL TIPS FOR BICEP WORKOUT

• Warm up by using a light set of dumbbells.

• Control the weight at all times.

• Perform all repetitions (reps) s to failure. This means performing the exercise until you cannot lift anymore weight.

• Do not arch your back or swing the weight up.

• Do not lock out your arms at the bottom of the curl.

In order to get big biceps, you need to eat a lots of protein (meat, eggs and fish) rich food. Protein is what makes up your muscles, and you need a lot of it for building muscle. Eat as much protein as you can; your body needs to have an excess of calories each day before you can start to build muscle. Make sure to have a protein drink or a good meal after your biceps workout. Enough rest and good food is necessary for building muscles.

Get plenty of sleep (9 hours would be good, but 8 is fine) and limit your cardiovascular workouts to 1-2 per week.

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Perfect Pushups For Women

Pushups are the best exercise for women to define their muscles. Why? adding pushups to your workout not only hardens your chest but it will give you great muscle definition in your shoulders, triceps, deltoids, as well as traps. You will get that sexy definition you’ve always wanted, looking better and feeling great. Trust me women, men love your arms, you need to get muscle definition to gain more attraction toward yourself.

Pushups are the best and safest way to build your upper body and back. You need to do pushups reason being you can do this every single day without injury. From handicap pushups to incline, the advancement in pushups is up to how in shape you are and can handle. Excess pushups won’t give you bulky, ugly male muscle in-fact, you’re going to look way better than you ever though you could by increasing the reps with your pushup routine.

You will shred off calories and even give yourself an extra boost. When you do pushups in the gym, men are attracted to the hardness of your workout routine and you will see more men starring in awe when you do pushups and you have a nice physique.

Beginner pushups are for anyone starting out, you simply make your arms squared to your shoulders and your feet together. Start by going down and pause for 1 second than you want to go back up and repeat 12 times.

Handicapped pushups are usually for out of shape, obese women and you simply use your knees instead of your feet, keep your hands squared to your shoulders and you go down, pause for 1 second, go back up and repeat.

Decline pushups are more advanced pushups, for women who are in decent shape and want a tougher course of a workout routine. You find a chair or bench chair, put your feet up together and you slowly go down, hold your position for 1 second and come back up repeating this 12 times in 5 sets.

Incline pushups are the opposite, you simply find a chair or bench chair and you put your hands on top of it and your feet on the ground. You go down slowly and back up, make sure you hold your down position for 1 second.

Advanced stability pushups is where you use a medicine ball, put your hands down on top of it as the ball will support your weight, keeping your feet on the ground. When you are 2 inches from the ground hold your position for 1 second and raise back up slowly repeating this 12 times.

You should pick which type you are most comfortable with, after you do this everyday and you start gaining resistance to the workout, you can increase your reps or difficulty. Your getting stronger if you can’t feel pain after the workout, it’s time for you to upgrade your pushup routine and go for a more advance workout.

Stick to pushups everyday you will start to see the desired results you’ve always wanted. Your going to look great and feel go when you are dedicated to doing pushups.

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IGF-1 Side Effects and Benefits

Insulin growth-like factor 1, or IGF-1 as it is more commonly referred to, is one of the most important hormones to help the growth and development of a child. In adults, it is widely recognized that decreased IGF-1 levels are responsible for the aging process, which normally starts to affect adults around the age of 30. To combat this, many adults take IGF-1 to boost their IGF-1 levels. However, before you decide to buy the first IGF-1 booster you see, you need to know the side effects and benefits of IGF-1.

Side Effects of IGF-1

The good news about IGF-1 enhancers is that they are composed of vitamins, minerals, and other natural substances, which means there are no common side effects. However, if you take IGF-1 injections, there’s a completely different story. Common side effects of IGF-1 injections include jaw pain, swelling, headaches, and an irregular heartbeat.

Obviously, with needles, you always pose the risk of developing an allergic reaction to the needle, which is sometimes referred to as injection-site reaction. Likewise, with needles you have to worry about whether or not the needle is sterile, which can be frightening.

Finally, taking too much IGF-1 can be counterproductive. Too much IGF-1 has been identified as the culprit for causing bloating in the abdominal region, which explains why you see some bodybuilders with a potbelly.

IGF-1 Benefits

Despite what you think of IGF-1 right now, you should know there are almost endless benefits you can experience from IGF-1. Some of the most common benefits include:

Increased Muscle Mass/Strength: IGF-1 is closely related to HGH and together the two hormones can dramatically increase your strength and muscle mass in a short period of time. It is not uncommon to see results within weeks of when you just start taking IGF-1.

Decreased recovery time/improved endurance: IGF-1 improves the body’s ability to transport nutrients into your muscle cells. Doing so decreases the amount of time each muscle cell and each muscle fiber needs to recover from your workout.

Improved joint health: IGF-1 has potent anti-inflammatory properties and numerous studies have shown that IGF-1 can dramatically reduce joint pain and inflammation. Sometimes, IGF-1 supplementation is used as an alternative arthritis treatment because it can provide almost immediate relief for joint pain.

Improved mental functions: Studies in New Zealand have found that IGF-1 can drastically improve short and long-term memory, focus, and overall productivity. In the studies conducted, researchers noted that IGF-1 had the ability to “improve the overall health of the brain and all brain functions.”

Improved heart health: IGF-1 has shown promise as one potential way to naturally lower both blood pressure and cholesterol without the use of statins. For people that are hypertensive or have high cholesterol, IGF-1 is the perfect way to help maintain a healthy cholesterol profile. This not only reduces your risk for a heart attack but also improves the overall health of your heart.

These are just five of the dozens of benefits IGF-1 can provide. IGF-1 also has a positive impact on your immune system, your prostate, the nervous system, and can help alleviate sexual dysfunction as well.

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Do Isometrics Burn Calories?

Muscles in themselves burn calories, and strenuous exercise has a great effect on burning calories in the body, but do isometrics burn calories? Is an isometric workout strenuous enough to burn fat in the body?

One isometric exercise case study performed by the owner of Isometric-Training showed a cut of 20.3 lbs of fat in 4 weeks. That was a total loss of 9.4% body fat, not water weight. Furthermore, he showed that, by doing isometric exercises, he burned 14lbs of body fat in 7 days, with video updates and archiving each aspect of his training. That’s a roughly 49,000 kcal deficit in one week. These numbers don’t appear from thin air; real people have performed isometric exercises of varying intensities in order to reduce not just water weight from their bodies, but actual body fat. Isometrics don’t simply burn calories; they turn your body into a furnace that can torch the calories like a space shuttle does jet fuel.

Isometric exercises are a critical key to lean functional muscle, as they have been in the martial arts for hundreds, yet thousands of years. Even without addressing the art behind isometrics, the science is irrefutable; in 1954, two German scientists, Muller and Hettinger, conclusively proved in over 5,000 independent clinical trials, that one could increase strength by 5-15% with a single 7 second stimulation once a week. Subjects in a later study performing a daily 7 second contraction increased their strength by 72% in 46 weeks. The fall of strength after the end of training is very slow. 70 weeks after the end of training their strength was still 42% higher than before the beginning of training. After doing nothing for over a year and a half they were still 42% stronger than when they started.

Ah well, that research must be outdated by now, as much as exercise science changes over the years. I suppose I’ll have to refer to this study by John Little (et. al. 2006) which showed a single 5 minute routine comprised of 10, 7 second contractions produced up to 9.3lbs of muscle tissue. That is enough muscle to drastically increase your body’s resting ability to burn body fat.

There are hordes of thoughts about the best method of strength training; what I will say is that your regimen should include something that builds your body from the inside out. For me, isometric exercises build strength from the tendons, ligaments, and nerves out to the muscles. I do training that isolates individual muscles for maximal muscle fatigue, and training that involves large muscle groups for fatigue of the central nervous system. As long as your training does not neglect internal principles of strength (like bodybuilding training that focuses solely on muscle without long-term development of the tendons), it can be a part of what gives you stability and fat burning ability.

But a true fat burning fitness program cannot only have intensity. In fact, when you look at cardio machines in the gym, the core of their effectiveness is in interval training. Having a metabolic calorie increase from intense interval training, coupled with a massive calorie demand from intense muscle training will do wonders to burn calories in the body, and isometric exercises will do both.

Naturally, nutrition will play a strong role in your body’s ability to burn fat; isometric exercises will still burn calories, but it would be more like a tug of war match between your fitness and your diet, when it should be a team relay to the lean muscle finish line. It is not as simple as eating fewer calories than you burn, and isometrics can burn a LOT of calories.

It also means things such as eating protein that will promote muscle growth, eating saturated fats that actually promote your metabolism, and slowing down with your meals (takes about 20 minutes for your brain to note that food is filling your stomach to trigger a cessation response — slowing down your meals can mean feeling full, and avoiding overeating).

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So What Exactly Are Abs?

It may seem like the most obvious question in the world but believe me, without at least a basic understanding of the physiology and composition of this particular muscle group then your goal of well defined ripped abs will remain a distant dream.

There are six groups of abdominal muscles, hence the term six pack, and they make up the core abdominal muscles. Your abs begin just under the rib cage and make their way all the way down to the pelvic area. On each side of your torso are two pairs of abdominals known as the external and internal obliques. These muscles are there primarily to support the movement of your spine from both side to side and the bending of your spine backward and forward. Your obliques are absolutely fundamental in your quest for ripped abs as they play a key role in developing core strength, but they will not form part of your visible six pack as they are impossible to see.

Now one extremely important fact to remember when working to develop ripped abs is that although the abs are made up of distinct muscle groups the abdominal area is in fact one muscle known as the Rectus Abdominus. Therefore it is physiologically impossible to isolate just one area of your abs completely, because by definition when you work your abs you will be working them all. You will sometimes hear people saying “I need to work my lower abs” or something similar. This is simply not possible without working the rest of the muscle group at the same time.

The third and final group of abdominal muscles are known as the transverse abdominus muscles. Again just like the internal and external obliques they are not visible from the outside, however, they play just as important a role in your plan for ripped abs as the other ab muscles. They are mainly responsible for ensuring correct body posture. The best analogy would be to think of your transverse abdominus as your very own natural weight belt.

I believe it is vitally important to stress at this point just how vital strong abs can be. Ripped abs are a wonderful goal to work towards, not just from an aesthetic aspect but also because strong and well defined abs will go a very long way towards reducing problems in later life. Weak abdominal muscles will contribute towards problems such as lower back pain or indeed any other postural issues. Strong abs will go a long way towards reducing the risk of injury when you train or indeed just help to build your core strength when performing everyday activities.

It is also important to remember that the abs are muscles just like any other and as such they will require a period of recovery after a workout. The good news however, is that given their unique fibre composition they actually require slightly less recovery time than most of the other major muscle groups. Devise your workout plan around your ultimate goal, whether that be just to build strength or to develop awesome ripped abs, and stick to it rigidly. Good luck.

Now you have a basic understanding of the anatomy of abs you will be better equipped to Get Ripped Abs Quick

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If You Are Over 40 Years Old, You Can Still Get Big Biceps – Here’s How

You’ve seen the photos in the muscle magazines and watch the heavily muscled men pose in videos. If you work out regularly and have been working on your biceps you know how important it is to work your triceps as well for balance.

The process of developing your “guns” as they call them is one that a lot of men fixate on. That’s because they have been given a lot of press. Women rate biceps second to abs as the sexiest part of a man.

Although it is much easier to build up your biceps brachii, than say your calves, you will find that genetics and age will come into play when you reach middle age. There are two heads to the biceps brachii, the short head and the long head are responsible for flexing the elbow and rotating the hand upwards.

Along with the biceps, there are ancillary muscles that work along with them; the brachialis and brachioradialis, muscles that are situated on the side of the arm between biceps and triceps, and connect the main bicep to the forearm. You will need to work these muscles as well to get the overall body builder’s look.

I’m going to tell you from my experience as well as of top trainers, what the best biceps exercises are for men over 40. The reason I point to the middle aged guys is that building muscles at mid life is tough for men because testosterone and other growth hormones are not as plentiful as in their formative years.

As men age, the quality of their muscles change especially if they are sedentary for long periods. The battle is to stay fit and ward off the onset of fat. You can do it if you are diligent about your fitness program. I work my body parts to failure but give them the rest of the week to recover. If you train intensely, you can build more muscle or at least avoid losing mass as you grow older.

The three most effective biceps exercises:

Standing Bar Curls –

Hold bar with a shoulder-width grip, with arms straight towards the floor and elbows locked an inch from your sides.

Curl weight towards the chest, while keeping the elbows and back fixed.

Contact the biceps as the bar reaches the front of the chest.

Resist weight as it slowly lowers to the floor for a full stretch.

Preacher Curls –

Using a regular preacher bench, hold dumbbell with an underhand grip while locking elbow firmly in place in an extended position on the bench.

Slowly curl the dumbbell up, trying to touch the shoulder of the arm being worked.

Incline Dumbbell Curls –

Lying back on an incline bench, hold two dumbbells with arms extended down and back.

Curl the dumbbells up and out with both hands, being sure to turn the wrists as the weights are raised.

Slowly return to starting position.

Hammer Curls –

With elbows fixed at the side of the body, place the palms in a neutral position (palms facing one another).

Curl the dumbbells up, the same way you would for a regular dumbbell curl.

Lower dumbbells slowly and repeat.

Note: Ensure elbows are fixed at sides throughout the movement, as this will eliminate any shoulder movement, thus placing a greater load on the brachialis.

These exercises will get your biceps up to speed in short order. These will isolate your muscle and focus the contraction on the greatest number of cells. Keep working on your form. Isolate your contractions to avoid using your shoulders and back.

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Body Building and The Mediterranean Diet

The Seven Basic Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet in Body Building

Introduction

As we move forward into the 21st century, more and more men and women are involving themselves in body building. In order to be successful at body building, a person needs to coordinate an ambitious exercise routine with an appropriate diet regimen. In the end, body building success depends as much upon what you do with your body in a gym as it does with what you put into your body at home.

Certain diet routines and plans have proven to be beneficial directly to the goals of body builders. One regimen that contains the elements of health eating that are essential for a dedicated body builder is found in the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet is a perfect choice for an ardent body builder for seven basic reasons.

1. Body Building and Fruits and Vegetables

Nutrition experts believe that a typical diet should include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables during the course of a given day. A body builder needs to more than double this amount of fruits and vegetables. In this regard, the Mediterranean diet is ideal. In the Mediterranean diet, a person typically consumes upwards to over ten generous servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day.

In body building, it is recommended that the fruits and vegetables included within the diet be taken in raw. (Steamed vegetables are acceptable. However, over steaming can result in a loss of some of the nutrients that naturally are contained in fruits and vegetables.)

2. Body Building and Raw Foods

Various raw foods, including fruits and vegetables, are also rich in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants “clean up” oxidants that can form in the body. Oxidants are the negative byproduct of oxygen burnt within the body for energy. Anti-oxidants assist a body builder on many fronts, including lessening muscle atrophy which can be a significant problem in a body builder as he or she ages.

3. Benefits of Protein for the Body Builder

Protein is the essential ingredient necessary to build body mass — which is the ultimate goal of the body building in training. Through the Mediterranean diet, a person interested in pursuing a healthy course of body building can take in protein through lean meats and whole grains.

4. Embracing a Diet Low in Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are destructive to any reasonable body building routine. Obviously, one of the ultimate goals of body building is to eliminate unnecessary and unwanted fat from the body.

While working out is a surefire way of eliminating fat, it is also important for a body builder to elect a dieting course that is low in saturated fat. The Mediterranean diet fits this bill perfectly. Although a person utilizing the Mediterranean diet will be taking in calories from fat — primarily from olive oil which is used effusively in the diet regimen — the that is being ingested is not saturated.

5. Satisfying the Energy Demands of the Active Body Builder

A person following the Mediterranean diet draws in calories and “energy food” from three primary sources:

— carbohydrates

— protein

— unsaturated fat

The key benefit to the Mediterranean diet is rooted in the fact that it is balanced and draws energy in appropriate proportions from these three dietary sources. Because the diet is balanced by definition, your body does not end up operating “out of whack.” Through the Mediterranean diet you are able to obtain the extra energy boosts necessary for body building without causing your overall caloric and energy levels to end up out of balance.

6. Body Building and Moderate Portion Sizes

The key to establishing a beneficial diet to advance body building goals is eating in moderation at each meal. In addition, a body builder should elect to eat smaller meals throughout the day. Rather than the standard three square meals a day, a body builder is best served by eating six smaller, evenly spaced out meals throughout the day.

7. Diet Balance is Always the Key

In the end, the reason that the Mediterranean diet is so beneficial to body builders is precisely the same reason that it is a perfect plan for healthy eating for “average folk.” The Mediterranean diet is a solid plan because it consists of healthy food items eaten in balanced, appropriate proportions throughout the course of the day.

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Stimulate, Not Annihilate!

The goal of any training program should be to work your tail off in the gym. A great workout does indeed require incredible intensity, heightened focus, and reinforced determination. However, what separates the great physiques and strongest pound-for-pound athletes alike from the “boys” is the intelligence behind lifting weights. In other words, it’s not how much you do, but it’s how smart you do it.

This is not to suggest in any way that you should not train hard. Proper training requires a tremendous amount of “difficult work”. However, the goal should be to stimulate the muscle. Steps should not be taken to annihilate it. Hence the phrase “stimulate not annihilate”. Live by it every time you step foot in the gym or fitness center.

Stimulation requires work to be performed on a particular muscle group. The work that is required is one that necessitates a strain on the fibers, so they can be repaired for further development. Consequently, growth really does not occur in the gym. Damage is occurring inside the gym, where you actually weaken your muscles. The growth, however, takes place outside of the gym. That is why proper rest and nutrition is so important. During this restoration stage, provided enough nutrition, nutrients and blood infiltrate into the damaged tissue, building the fibers stronger than they were previously so it can adapt to the trauma it was presented with. Ensuring adequate downtime and rest between workouts that concentrate on the same muscle group and you’ve got bigger, stronger, and longer muscle bellies.

Stimulation occurs when you’ve gone to failure. However, that does not suggest to you that you should go to failure each and every set. Studies show that stimulation occurs with just one set to failure and that anything more than that provides no further stimulation. The muscle fibers are completely torn with that one failure set. Going to failure set after set is going to damage them to the point where over training occurs.

There is such a thing as over training and over stimulation to the point where repair cannot adequately take place. Once a muscle has been thoroughly stimulated, anything applied further beyond that can actually hurt you, hindering growth, rather than supporting it. Think about it. If you damage the fibers properly, then they are forced to repair. However, if you stress it further than that, you are damaging the already torn fibers to the point where it takes that much longer to repair them just to reach the level that they were at prior to exercise. Now logic may tell you that the more they are damaged, the more they are going to rebuild past their normal level. However, this is not the case. Once the muscle fibers are torn, that’s all the muscle requires to stimulate growth of the muscle to develop stronger and bigger. Damaging of these torn muscles is just going to hinder your growth.

So what is the key to success? What constitutes stimulation and how should you know when not to cross that fine line between proper stimulation and over training? The answer is in properly going to failure on only one set per exercise per muscle group. Easy you may say to yourself. However, the problem that lies is in that your definition of failure and my definition of failure are two totally different worlds.

Failure does not occur when you put 225 on the bench press, lift it for 6 times and because you can’t get it up for the 7th rep, you stop. Many people refer to that as failure. However, do not get confused because of the misuse and misunderstanding of this commonly used term. Too often do I see people refer to their cowardly set as reaching failure. It is just that their either a) uneducated on how to properly perform an adequate failure set or b) their mental c

onstraints were too tight to allow their bodies to experience failure or c) they don’t have what it takes. They may be uncomfortable at that present moment in time…but definitely not realizing what their muscle is actually capable of. They have not reached complete exhaustion to the point where there is a total cessation of performing potential additional work.

So referring back to the previous example of the 225 pound bench press. Stopping after 6 may mean you have failed to perform 225 anymore, but think logically here. Isn’t it possible that you could perform 220 for 1? And then 210 for another? And then 200 for 2 additional reps? And so on down the line? The answer is yes! To all of the above. That means your muscle technically has not reached absolute failure when failing to complete rep 7. Your muscle still has juice left in it to continue to work. Therefore, theoretically, failure would have to mean that you’ve worked your muscle so hard that you couldn’t lift 1 more pound off of your chest. Obviously that is unrealistic, but do you get my point? You’ve got to apply more effort than what you are currently doing. That one set to failure needs to be the definition of living hell if you want to see the best possible results.

In order to arrive at failure, you need to incorporate one intensity set per exercise for each body part. Choose one of the following:

Drop Set- When you cannot complete another rep on your own with the weight you currently are performing, drop the weight down and bang out some more reps without any rest in between. In a 2-set drop set, decrease the weight so that you can perform at least 8 reps on your second set.

Strip Set This is a drop set, but performed multiple times. Perform a three, four, five, or six set drop set, where you continually lower the weight upon each successive set. In a strip set, the range of reps is up to you, but make sure you mentally push.

Forced Reps-When you cannot complete another rep on your own, have a training partner assist you by applying only the required help necessary for you to keep the weigh moving for extra reps. Shoot for 5-6 more reps with the assistance.

Negatives- Using heavier weight than you are used to, lower the weight very slowly on the negative portion of the rep (it should take 4-5 seconds to complete that half rep) and have a partner help you as much as necessary on the positive portion of the rep. For instance, aim for 6-8 total reps on a weight that you possibly could only do for 2 reps with your partner’s assistance.

Rest-Pause Theory- Take brief rest periods during a set to squeeze out more reps. For instance, if you use a weight you can lift for 6 reps, only do 2-3 reps. Take a brief rest of up to 20 seconds at most and try for another 2-3 reps. Rest again and repeat the process. You will essentially lift the same weight for more reps in this one set.

5, 5, 5- This set consist of 5 fast reps (explosion of only 1 second for both the negative and positive portion of the rep), followed by 5 very slow reps (5 seconds on each the negative and positive portion of the rep), then followed by 5 normal reps (2 seconds on each the negative and positive portion of the rep). This works all twitches of the muscle fibers. Keep the same weight for all 15 reps, but make sure a proper weight is chosen, where you are really struggling to get those last 5 in. Have a spotter help you.

Giant Set- Using multiple exercises that focus on the same body part, one set consists of performing at least 3 exercises in a row without rest. For instance, during back you could do a pull-up straight to a bent over barbell row straight to a wide grip lat Pulldown, making sure that there is no rest in between the set.

Slow and Controlled Reps- Take 4-5 seconds on each portion of the rep. Have a spotter help you just enough when you’ve failed.

Pause Contraction Reps- Pause at different phases of the movement to realize an incredible contraction. For instance, during a squat throw on 50% of your one rep max and pause halfway for 3-5 seconds, then pause at the bottom position at parallel for 3-5 seconds, and then back up halfway with a hold, and then at the top with a hold (that is one rep). Complete it as many times as you can. Once you can’t hold it anymore, bang out as many normal reps as possible with the help of a spotter. You can switch up the times you are paused. For real intensity, hold it at the bottom, midway, and top positions for 20 seconds at a time.

Peak Contraction Reps- Hold the peak contraction for up to five seconds on each rep. Squeeze the muscle as hard as you can before starting the next rep.

Rep Overload- Instead of performing your normal rep range, which most people keep within the 6-15 rep range, you are going to shoot for 30, sometimes, 50, and even up to 100 reps. Choose a moderately heavy weight but one where you can perform a good amount of reps. Keep focused and keep pushing them out for an incredible amount of reps. It’s really all mental. For instance, put 135 on your back for a squat. Bang out 10 at a time, hold at the top position for 5 seconds and breathe, then bang out another 10 reps, and another 10 reps and so forth until you’ve reached failure. Read the Power of 50 to get a better understanding.

Make sure that throughout this intensity set, you really give it your all. It is going to require a great deal of mental toughness and will necessitate you to break through the comfort zone. The body is so

much more capable than what you think. It’s up to the mind to allow it to reach new heights. Hopefully there will now be a convergence of your definition and my definition of failure.

Proper stimulation, without annihilation, requires reaching this type of failure, but only through one set. The reason for this is because once you reach failure you have properly stimulated the muscle. Any more stress can actually overtrain the muscle and can lead to a much higher chance for injury. Several warm-up sets need to be performed before leading up to the intensity set and then there needs to be several cool downs after to provide stimulation. Just make sure not to incorporate too many intensity sets, because then cortisol, a stress induced hormone that hinders muscle growth and promotes fat growth, builds up, and testosterone, a hormone that promotes muscle growth and fat loss, decreases. Additionally, levels of myostatin increase, which is a hormone that sets in to prevent muscle growth. Annihilating the muscle with dozens of failure sets in one workout will only hurt.

Here is an example of a chest routine to follow in the gym using these aforementioned concepts for a guy whose max bench press is 315 lbs. (As you can see, the warm up sets include a weight and according rep that do not constitute failure. The one intensity set is the failure set. Adjust accordingly with weights and reps):

Push-Ups (Warm-Up Sets w/ 20-30 second rest in between)- 25 normal, 25 wide

grip, 25 close grip, 25 normal-then repeat process, but with feet on the bench

Bench Press (30 second rest in between warm-up sets and 2 minutes rest before

the 1 intensity set)- 95 lbs. x 15, 115 x 15, 135 x 12, 170 x 8, 205 x 6, 225 x4, Strip set starting with 235 x 10 and going down weight 3 times, 135 x 20

Dumbbell Incline Press (45 seconds rest in between warm-up sets and 2 minutes

rest before the 1intensity set)- 40 lbs. x 12, 65 x 10, 90 x 6, Rest pause theory with 100 x 3 for four sets, 90 x 6, 55 x 15

Weighted Push-Ups (30 second rest in between warm-up sets and 1 minute rest

before the 1 intensity set)- Unweighted x 30, 45 lbs. x 20, Strip set starting with 135 x 10 and taking a 45 lb. plate off the back each until there is no weight performing as many reps as possible with each successive weight, Unweighted x 30 reps

Dumbbell Incline Flyes (30 second rest in between warm-up sets and 1 minute rest

before the 1 intensity set)- 25 lbs. x 10, 30 x 15, 35 x 12, Slow and Controlled Reps of 30 lbs., 25 lbs. x 15

Cable Crossovers s.s. w/ Pec Deck s.s. w/ Push-Ups (No rest in between sets)- 1 giant set of C.C.= 70 lbs. x 25,

P.D.=110 x 20 reps, P.U.= Failure

In terms of exercises, the best way to properly stimulate a muscle is to focus on basic, explosive training with compound movements. The main focus of your workout should be primarily on compound exercises, such as the deadlifts, bench press, military press, squats, hang cleans, etc. These types of compound exercises have proven to be most effective to build lean muscle mass because they require the most work from your muscles. Furthermore, they have to work in conjunction to lift the weight and you are much stronger in these areas, moving more total poundage (which is going to stimulate the muscle most and burn the most calories-hence, build muscle and burn fat). After you’ve performed compound exercises, then it is time to stimulate the muscle with isolation exercises that focus on the contraction. Your goal in the compound movements should be for explosive power, whereas your primary goal for the isolation exercises should be to infiltrate the blood into that muscle. However, that does not mean that you should sacrifice form for weight in any movement. Hoisting weight up for the sake of itself does nothing to stimulate growth. Proper form is required and actually working the muscle is the only way to adequately stimulate the muscle.

The best way to make tremendous strides in the gym with both muscle growth and strength is to document and log your progress each time. Always strive to beat what you did the week before. For example, if you did 225 pounds for a set of 6 reps, then next week increase the weight by 5 pounds or do the same weight for one extra rep. Now go for 230 pounds for a set of 6 reps or keep it at 225 pounds and go for 7 reps. Each week keep working for it. Using a progressive overload technique like this will ensure that you will gain proper size and strength but make sure the measures taken are gradual to dramatically reduce the likelihood of injury.

8x Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney, known by many to be one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, always preached to “train to stimulate, not annihilate”. He also believed that “it doesn’t take a ton of weight to stimulate a muscle to grow, just the correct stimulus.” He swore by this training routine and it obviously worked. He had one of the greatest physiques of all time and won the most bodybuilding titles than anyone, which was later tied by recent great, Ronnie Coleman. Scientific research and experiences have proved that this type of training and knowledge is one of the best ways to build lean muscle mass. “Stimulate, not annihilate”.

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Exercises and Workouts – Tips To Improve Lean Muscle Mass Gain

Whether you want to transform your health, improve your physique and appearance, or gain functional strength for day-to-day life, adding lean muscle mass to your body is something you should be focusing on. Sadly, many people fear weight gain and shy away from trying to achieve this. Remember, fat gain and muscle gain are very different. Gaining lean muscle mass is good for your body as it will not only help you keep your overall body fat percentage lower, but it can also contribute to boosting your insulin sensitivity as well, making it easier to manage your Type 2 diabetic symptoms.

So how do you go about building muscle? To do this successfully, you will need two things…

  1. A workout program providing an overloading stimulus.
  2. A diet plan providing a few more calories than you need to maintain your body weight.

Get these in order, and you will be on track to building lean muscle mass. This said, there are a few things you can do to take your results to a whole new level. Let us go over what these are so you can maximize your results…

1. Time Your Carbohydrate Intake. When it comes to adding carbohydrates to your diet plan, add them before and especially after your workout period. This is when your body is most likely to use those carbs. Eat them at other points in the day, and you may find you are putting on more body fat and less lean muscle as you are not maximizing your nutrient window.

Around 50% of your total carb intake for the day should come in the meal before your workout, your post-workout shake, as well as your post-workout meal.

2. Focus On Compound Movements. Next, when you do hit the gym, think compound movements. These are going to give you the best bang for your buck so to speak, allowing you to work multiple muscle groups at once.

These exercises include moves like…

  • squats,
  • deadlifts,
  • lunges,
  • bench press,
  • shoulder press,
  • bent over rows,
  • pull-ups, and
  • pull-downs.

Focus your time on these, adding isolation exercises to the mix only once these are completed. You will not build more lean muscle mass doing bicep curls all workout long.

3. Think Frequency, Not Volume. Finally, when planning your workout sessions, think frequency, not volume. While it is great to be doing multiple sets each workout, it is better to hit the gym more often than go overboard each workout session. Do too much each workout session, and it will take you a long time to recover, which will slow down your progress…

  • 15 to 24 sets each workout is the most you should aim to do.
  • some people may even get away with less – 12 to 15 sets per session.

Keep these points in mind, and you can feel confident you are on your way to muscle building success. Do not fear scale increases – if its muscle you are gaining: perfect.

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Build Muscle Mass – 3 Key Ingredients to Building Lean Muscle Mass Quickly

If you’re anything like I was a short while ago, “a skinny guy trying to build muscle mass”, then I have some important tips that could help you start seeing results instantly.

There are 3 key ingredients that you MUST HAVE in order to build muscle mass and quickly at that. And here they are:

Muscle Mass Ingredient #1 – More Protein

If you want to build muscle mass quickly then this is a “must”. Just remember, the only thing that can build muscle in your body is Protein. So if you’re not consuming enough protein it’s IMPOSSIBLE to build lean muscle mass and stack on the pounds.

In order to maintain your weight, you should be consuming 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. So if you’re a 150 lb. guy then in order to maintain your muscle mass at that weight you need to consume 150 grams of protein each day. And if you want to build muscle mass, you’re going to have to consume “more” protein, to not only maintain the muscles you have now but to build more.

So if you want to build muscle mass quickly and safely a general rule of thumb is to consume 1 – 2 grams of protein for each pound of body weight. So if you’re a 150lb. guy you’d want to consume at least 150 grams of protein upward to 300 grams of protein a day.

Muscle Mass Ingredient #2 – More Carbs

Despite what Dr. Atkins said, for all us skinny guys “Carbs are GOOD”. We need carbs as a source of energy. But you don’t want to consume just any ‘ol carbs. You want to consume a lot of complex carbs rather than simple carbs.

In other words, you still want to stay away from the sweets and simple sugars that are found in a lot of our junk food, and you want to consume more complex carbs like those found in whole wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grain cereals, yams, spinach etc.

Why complex carbs? Because unlike simple carbs (sugars) it’s virtually impossible to turn complex carbs into fat – which means more energy to burn (work out with) and less fat to deal with in the end.

If you want to build muscle mass fast, ideally you’d want to consume 2 – 3 grams of carbs for each pound of bodyweight a day.

Muscle Mass Ingredient #3 – Heavy Weight Training

You cannot build muscle mass without “Heavy weight training”. Let’s just put it this way “the more stress (heavy weight) you put on your muscles, the more it will grow”. And it’s simply because when you put extreme stress on your muscle by lifting heavy weights, your body responds (builds more muscle) so that next time it won’t be as hard or strenuous on your body to lift the same weight.

Ideally, if you want to build muscle mass – lean muscle mass to be more specific, you’d want to lift weights that allow you to do 6-8 reps and no more.

Of course there’s a whole lot more to building muscle mass, but if you follow these 3 key ingredients you’ll be on the road to building lean muscle mass quickly and a whole lot easier than you ever thought possible. Good luck and grow “Massive”.

Copyright 2006 Richard Knight

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