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Weight Training – Advantages And Disadvantages

Weight training is a great way to get your whole body in shape. Many people associate weight training with your upper body and arms. However if you have the right equipment then you can easily exercise the lower part of your body, such as your chest and legs. You may think to yourself that everything about using weights is an advantage. However there are disadvantages to using weights and all the advantages and disadvantages will be described below.

One of the advantages of using weights to work out is the way that you can strengthen your whole body. We all know that weights are used by the person using them standing still and then performing an action using the weights. This action can be moving your arms up and down or side to side. If you are not the type of person that likes to partake in running, swimming or any other kind of real life sport, then weights is the perfect solution to keeping your body toned and in great shape.

Another advantage of using weights to keep fit is when you are using these weights and your body is standing still. Your bones in your body are becoming active as they are trying to support you as you are doing the exercises. So you are in effect working out the entire body every time that you use weights to exercise.

There are disadvantages to using weights for exercising and the main disadvantage is safety. You should never exercise with weights alone. You should always have a supporter with you in case the worst happens. The most common safety concern is using the barbell. There is a possibility of becoming trapped under the barbell if you are unable to do a repetition due to the amount of weight on the barbell.

Another disadvantage when using weights is causing damage to your own body. As stated before you need your whole body when you are using weights. If you cannot keep complete control of your body when you are working out, then you are going to pull or even tare a muscle in your body. Also using heavy weights when you are not ready will always cause an injury to the part of your body that you are exercising. Always remember to start off small and then move on when you feel perfectly ready to do so.

Overall weights are a good way to work out. Millions of people use weights to do a daily work out. After one or two weeks you can start to feel your body becoming more and more toned. You can also feel the muscles in your body start to bulge a bit more then before. However safety will be the major concern to remember when you are using your weights. You must remember to stretch all the muscles in your body before you attempt to exercise your body. You have to get your heart pumping and when you are done remember to warm down so that your body knows that the workout is over. Warming down will prevent trapping any Lactic Acid in your body.

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Chest Workout Routine – Get Ripped With Push-Ups

A chest workout routine is one of the most important parts to an exercise program. But many guys think that push-ups are a waste of time when you could be lifting heavy weights at the gym. Don’t fall into this mentality because push-ups will get you ripped and stronger.

If you are trying to put on mass or just get stronger there is something you must try. The 7 minutes of hell push-up challenge is one of the quickest ways to get a strong chest. The workout is as simple as doing 30 push-ups each minute for 7 minutes straight. This means that you only do 30 each minute, no more and try not to do any less. If you can get all 210 push-ups in 7 minutes you are considered to be in elite fitness status.

This does not take the place of all of your normal chest workouts. You can and should substitute it for 1 of your chest workouts each week. Give yourself at least 7 days of recovery time the first time you try it because you will need a lot of rest. This goes for you even if you can bench your own body weight 20 times.

It might sound very easy but wait until you try it. Once you get your time down, you can try for 35 push-ups each minute but that won’t be for a while. Good luck on your first attempt and don’t feel bad that you can’t get all 210 in 7 minutes the first time, nobody does.

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How To Make Exercising Fun

“Take Control of Your Health Naturally”

Trying Something New and Doing What You Love

On way to make your exercising fun it to try something new. If you’re just going through the motions of a workout you are bored. Chances are you’re doing the minimum and getting minimum results. Switch it up. If you’re excited about what you’re doing in the gym, on the track or on the trail, you’ll be more into it, and you’ll get more out of it. Another way to make exercising fun is to do what you love. The biggest benefit to doing something you love for exercise is that you’ll actually do it and like it. The psychological benefits suggest that “forced exercise” isn’t as helpful and voluntary exercise. Voluntary exercise attributes to well-being while forces exercise does just the opposite.

Finding a Partner and Playing Games

Getting a workout partner can always add an extra spice to your workout routine. A like-minded individual to push you, offer encouragement, suffer and succeed with you will make things a lot easier and much more interesting.

You can also incorporate games while you workout such as lifting odd-shaped weights, or playing a team sport such as basketball. You can also add a little competition between the two of you which can always make things a little more riveting.

Go Outside and Make it Count

Go camping, or take in a sunset. Simply being outside has health benefits. Sunlight increases testosterone levels via vitamin D production. It also helps recharge your body and soul. There are many volunteer projects that require lots of physical efforts that will give you a workout, while contributing to the community such Habitat for Humanity for example. Not only will you get exercise while being outside, but you will be contributing to your community as well. Positive all the way around.

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Nordictrack Exercise Bike Reviews

NordicTrack are a popular brand of exercise bike. They are popular because they come with one of the best consoles on any bike – certainly for a machine under a $1,000. But, are they a good machine overall, what sort of user do they appeal to, and what kinds of rating do customers give NordicTrack exercise bikes? The answers you get depend on the model of machine.

Most people can’t afford or justify paying more than a thousand dollars on a LifeCycle or Schwinn exercise bike. The biggest market for this type of fitness equipment is around the $500 mark and this is the niche that NordicTrack exercise bikes fall in to.

The most popular model is the AudioRider U300 bike; it’s also the cheapest, retailing for around $400. It’s an upright model and, for its price, you do get a lot of features. As you would expect it has magnetic resistance and it runs smoothly and quietly. The console really is the big plus point about this machine. It’s large, well laid out and easy to use; someone has described it as being like the dashboard of your car, which is a very good analogy. It displays the usual feedback data of time, speed, distance, resistance, pulse, RPM, carbs burned and calories burned. The handlebars have grip sensors to monitor heart rate and the seat is nicely cushioned. Another great feature is the AutoBreeze Workout Fan, which automatically adjusts the airflow to match your speed.

Getting to the more important features, you get 20 built-in workouts; 18 Personal Trainer workouts and 2 Heart Rate workouts. The personal trainer workouts will automatically adjust both pace and resistance during the workout to maintain the best optimized settings for aerobic, weight loss, or performance goals.

Many, especially first-timers, need motivation. It’s now quite common for all sorts of exercise equipment to be fitted with iFIT card technology. Each card is designed by a certified personal trainer and plugs directly into the bike’s console. During the workout, the trainer’s voice can be heard over the load speaker, helping you to achieve your specific goals. You can also download iFIT programs off the internet.

The bike also comes with Interactive Audio CrossTrainer, which is an interactive fitness coach that verbally and visually prompts you to perform a variety of strength-training and calorie burning exercises.

The AudioRider U300 is a great piece of kit however it really has been designed for casual or entry-level users. Those who are serious about bike training may find this machine lacks teeth. For instance, the position of seat and handle bars results in a sit-up-and-beg position. For more demanding training many prefer a more trapezoidal position with the hips up and shoulders down.

The AudioRider U400 is the same as the U300 except that it is a recumbent exercise bike. The features and workout programs are pretty much the same. It costs an additional $100. These bikes in which the user is in a reclined position are proving to be increasingly popular as they are more comfortable for those who have lower back problems or those who are overweight.

Lastly, there is the NordicTrack SL710 recumbent exercise bike. It retails for a little less than the U400. Personally, you are better off spending the extra and getting the U400. You only get 8 rather than 10 programs and the user weight capacity drops from 300 lbs to 250 lbs. The biggest claimed benefit of this bike is the Step-In design – this is where the center of the bike has been designed to be as near the ground as possible making it easy to get on and off the bike. The only reason to buy this model would be because you find it difficult to get on and off a more conventional recumbent.

In conclusion NordicTrack bikes are great value for money. If you’re a first time user or need something with a lot of motivational features then you should take a close look at these machines. However, if you’re a seasoned pro you should be looking at something a little more substantial like a Schwinn exercise bike.

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Get Ripped Legs Not Big Legs!

The popular idea in the gym lies in developing a huge upper body, in order for you to be able to showcase those mighty muscles to everyone you meet. Much of the time, choices that we make earlier are the better ones. Somewhere on the way, you start to hear things like, this guy or that other guy looks silly with their huge upper body and slender legs. You start to think about developing big legs so that your physique appears more in line with the people you are hanging with in the gym.

The Times That it Is Right to Build Up Your Legs

In particular, specific points in an individual’s life, performing routine leg training does make sense. When you are a novice in weight training, this is the only point where I suggest a person perform any routine leg build up exercises. To safeguard himself from any potential harm later on in the workout lifespan, an individual who is a newbie in working out with weights might practice a little leg work regimen so that he is able to develop some trunk and quad strength. Younger kids only beginning to work out with weights also fall under this category.

If a person has very slender legs, then I would make a second exception to my personal rule. A little dead-lifting and squatting might be in order, in such cases. The two most efficient exercises for legs that will put on muscle fast are the dead lift and the squat.

I just suggest such routine training for legs on a basis of once or twice every week for no more than six months, in the two situations that I talked about.

Building up huge legs destroys your physique.

Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s as bodybuilding began to be more accepted in the popular culture, this concept of developing enormous legs caught on. To have a good looking proportion, you had to develop that “hour glass” physique, but this concept was only in males’ heads.

To power up my legs, I used to pile on 315 pounds of weight on the squat rack. That turned out to be a horrible mistake. For what purpose did I really need such enormous legs?

Enormous legs causes you to look ridiculous.

When you look at a man with enormous legs nicely dressed for an evening out, have you considered that something about him does not seem exactly right? Either he wears baggy jeans which appear laughable, or his pants are worn too tightly and his legs are squeezed into them like sardines in a can. What about if you happen to see a big man wearing a suit? It simply does not appear right.

You don’t want them to think when they see you in the gym, dude that guy probably spends all of his time here; this is exactly my point that I want to get across. All that you want is to appear pleasant to look at, like a man who stays in good shape.

Then what is it that I do to hone my legs without performing heavy leg lifting work?

You will see that they have something in common, when you check out NBA players and sprinters. The majority of them all have well defined legs, but not enormous ones. In order to not over develop their legs, the majority of them steer clear of too much muscle building. Huge legs would only interfere with their natural abilities to compete effectively. Without the enormous sized legs that you see when you look at bodybuilders, these sports only develop good dense muscles in their legs.

To ensure that I do enough leg workout without performing routine heavy leg lifting, I have a certain regiment that I do; allow me to share it with you.

On Monday: Back, abs, chest

On Tuesday: Biceps, triceps, and shoulders

Repeat this regimen on Saturday and Sunday.

I pound the cardio work out hard using High Intensity Interval Training following every resistance type of workout; that is my secret. I alternate between the treadmill and the stepmill.

Remember: Yet another advantage of performing such a leg workout lies in having a good butt. Better looking than with squats, your glutes will gain that fine appearance. Sprinting toughens up the butt to give it a firm appearance. Making it appear overly large, squats build the butt up instead.

I did a post over on my blog about getting ripped legs

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Exercises and Workouts – How The "Reps for Time" Workout Principle Works

Want a fast way to boost your fitness level? Try a “reps for time” workout set-up. Reps for time is a concept that originated in a unique community gym, however, now more and more people are adding it into their workout protocol.

What does it entail? Let’s take a closer look…

1. What Reps For Time Is. “Reps for time” essentially means rather than aiming for a target number of reps each set, you are going to perform as many reps as you possibly can in a particular time frame. Usually, this time frame is around one minute in length, but if you are a beginner, you might just use 30 seconds instead.

You will perform the exercise in question, doing as many reps as possible in that period and if you have to stop at any point during the time frame to rest, so be it but do pick back up again as soon as possible once you are ready. Then once you have finished the time frame, jot down the number of reps you did and next workout, work at beating that number of reps.

2. The Benefits Of Reps For Time. What are the advantages of using the reps for time protocol? First, you will work your endurance level. Since you are exercising for a longer period than normal, this can cause your body to become better trained and withstand fatigue.

Second, you will also get the ultimate metabolic boost. Since you are essentially doing more work in less time, this means you will jumpstart your calorie burn, so you burn more calories both during the workout session as well as after the workout is over.

Finally, you will also work your strength level. As you are still performing a strength training workout session, this means that you will still have the benefit of keeping your muscle strength and power up, despite working in an endurance related manner

All in all, if you want to get…

  • great conditioning,
  • improved fat loss, and see
  • good strength progress,

this is a set-up for you.

3. Adding It Into Your Workout Session. To add this into your workout, choose one or two exercises you want to perform with. Usually, this will be enough when first starting and from there if you become more skilled, you can begin adding more exercises to the mix from there.

If doing this on a compound focused exercise…

  • squats,
  • shoulder press,
  • rows, etc.,

do it at the start of the workout when you are feeling fresh. If you are doing it on an isolation move, the end of the workout will be just fine and will help to “finish you off” so to speak.

Do this once or twice each week depending on your recovery ability.

There you have some facts about the “reps per time” workout protocol. It can be an excellent way to structure your workout if you are looking for a change of pace.

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Building Your Best Body – The Volume Factor

The Intensity Factor article explained how in order to derive the greatest benefit from our workouts we must train with the highest intensity of effort as possible. Particularly performing each set to the point of momentary muscular failure. To quickly recap; intensity is the possible percentage of momentary muscular and volitional effort exerted. This translates to ‘how hard’ one is working or the degree of the strain one’s muscles are under at any point during an exercise. The process of building muscle begins with stimulating the muscle(s). The stronger the training stimulus–the stronger the response. With this is mind you need to place the muscles under as much strain possible during your workout.

This however is only the starting point. How much muscle development that takes place is dependent upon the total demands of the workout and the appropriate amount of recovery time. The purpose of this article is to discuss another contributing factor to the total demands of your workout…training volume. Volume is defined as: the amount of exercise performed in a workout. This refers specifically to the length of each set (Time Under Tension) and the number of sets performed. In many instances a single bout of stimulation (even a very intense bout) may not be adequate in giving the muscles a reason to grow larger or stronger, so we must then determine how much stimulation is necessary to induce growth. The ideal dose of intensity and volume (relative to each individual) is essential to introducing the muscles/body with demands that will produce results.

Anything above what is ideal or necessary to induce growth is superfluous and over time will lead to stagnation or worse, regression. Furthermore, excessive volume, in the form of too many sets, is directly responsible for joint pain, worn cartilage and tendonitis. Because of the potential negative impact of excessive volume it stands to reason that the only logical approach to training should be to perform the least amount of exercise necessary to achieve the best overall results. This is accomplished by training with a high-intensity of effort and as little volume (number of sets) as possible, as per individual needs. Another component of volume relates to the length of each set, which is known as the Time Under Tension (TUT). The time under tension is the total time (in minutes/seconds) a set last minus any rest that takes place between reps. Time under tension reflects the amount of time that the muscles are straining (under tension) during a set.

An individual’s ideal TUT is determined by their muscle fiber type. Some individual’s have muscles that are most receptive to set lengths that last over one minute while others may be more receptive to sets that last less than one minute. By receptive we mean increases in muscular size and strength. To briefly elaborate, fast twitch (FT) muscle fiber is characterized as being large in size and produces a great deal of power but has poor endurance. Stimulation of FT fibers is responsible for increased muscular size and strength. Slow twitch (ST) muscle fibers are small in size, have poor strength capabilities but excellent endurance. Most of us possess both fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers but vary in the degree or amount of each. Consequently those individuals who possess an abundance of FT fibers will find it most easy to build muscle while those who do not will find muscle development most difficult.

Understand that if a muscle or muscle group fails to reach its lower limit TUT it will not recruit and utilize as many muscle fibers as is necessary nor create the chemical/hormonal environment needed for maximum muscle stimulation . Likewise, if it is trained beyond its ideal TUT then you are not utilizing a weight heavy enough to call upon your FT muscle fibers or secrete the muscle building hormones. Similarly it is just as important that the, proper number of sets are performed so as to not over-stimulate or under-stimulate the muscles. The efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of your workout, depends upon how you balance volume with other training variables such as intensity and frequency, and is a fundamental aspect of exercise prescription. Knowing and understanding how much total volume is required and is tolerable for certain muscle groups as well as an entire workout has significant implications. Prescribing the ideal amount of volume will allow you to enjoy a training career that is productive and with a reduced risk of injury.

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How to Start and Maintain a Weight Training Program

You should begin your weight training program with both short and long-term goals. Identifying goals is an important means of maintaining interest and enthusiasm for weight training. A key point is to establish realistic short-term goals that can be reached in the first several weeks of training. Reaching these goals provides the motivation needed to continue training.

Developing an Individualized Exercise Prescription

The exercise prescription for strength training has three stages: the starter phase, the slow progression phase, and the maintenance phase.

Starter Phase

The primary objective of the starter phase is to build strength gradually without developing undue muscular soreness or injury. This can be accomplished by starting your weight training program slowly beginning with light weights, a high number of repetitions, and only 2 sets per exercise. The recommended frequency of training during this phase is twice per week. The duration of this phase varies from 1 to 3 weeks, depending on your initial strength fitness level. A sedentary person might spend 3 weeks in the starter phase, whereas a relatively well-trained person may only spend 1 to 2 weeks.

Slow Progression Phase

This phase may last 4 to 20 weeks depending on your initial strength level and your long-term strength goal. The transit ion from the starter phase to the slow progression phase involves three changes in the exercise prescription: increasing the frequency of training from 2 to 3 days per week; an increase in the amount of weight lifted and a decrease in the number of repetitions; and an increase in the number of sets performed from 2 to 3 sets.

The objective of the slow progression phase is to gradually increase muscular strength until you reach your desired level. After reaching your strength goal, your long-term objective becomes to maintain this level of strength by entering the maintenance phase of the strength training exercise prescription.

Maintenance Phase

After reaching your strength goals, the problem now becomes, how do I maintain this strength level? The bad news is that maintaining strength will require a lifelong weight training effort. Strength is lost if you do not continue to exercise. The good news is that the effort required to maintain muscular strength is less than the initial effort needed to gain strength. Research has shown that as little as one workout per week is required to maintain strength.

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Understanding Intra-Workout Supplements

Getting the body you’ve always dreamed of – defined abs, broad shoulders and that overall-ripped physique you see on Hollywood actors and actresses and the most popular professional bodybuilders can be a challenging prospect especially if you can’t keep up with the often grueling training and workout routines that need to be done to achieve just that.

But then again, when you want something bad enough, you’ll always find ways to get what you want. Fitness isn’t easy but it is not something impossible. When you’re an athlete, you’ll need to be able to complement your training to be able to maximize your workouts and ensure you meet your goals. To do this, you have to make sure you have the best pre, intra and post workout supplements and to make sure you have the best, here are some things you need to remember and understand, especially about intra-workout supplements, which are said to be the newest means to achieve muscle gains.

First of all let’s define intra-workout supplements. These are supplements that boost your energy while you train. During training you do so many routines and switching from one to another for extended periods of time can take its toll on you especially if you lacked energy at the start of your training. Intra-workout supplements are the reinforcements you call in to minimize catabolism and to ensure your muscles keep being repaired and built during training. They increase your intensity to help you keep training for longer times.

Intra-workout supplements are usually made of three components namely electrolytes, carbohydrates and amino acids. Electrolytes help maintain adequate hydration, carbohydrates act as a fuel to keep you going during training and amino acids prevent muscle breakdown and promotes protein synthesis. Athletes who are serious about reaching their goals stack them together with their pre and post workout supplements to make sure they will see changes in their physique.

What many bodybuilders don’t realize is that during training they expose themselves to many catabolic factors which can interfere with their strength and muscular development. Doing resistance exercises for example, induces changes in the rate of muscle protein turnover, resulting in both the promotion and degradation of protein synthesis. This is only one of the reasons why taking during workout supplements is necessitated because failure to do so may result in muscle degradation or simply put a waste of your efforts. Being unable to take the best intra-workout supplements also increases the likelihood of developing hypersecretion, a highly catabolic hormone that could also out a stop your muscle-building efforts.

Intra-workout supplements also work fast and are easily digested and absorbed by the body. They also fight cortisol, which is a hormone that is released during exercise that can break down the muscle tissues and during workouts, when glycogen levels go down, the cortisol levels go up. Taking these supplements can reduce the effects of this process.

Again, fitness isn’t easy and anything that is easily done or had can also be taken away just as easily and you can feel and look worse than you were before your workout failed. If you are to undergo serious bodybuilding, it is best to do it right and to do it right, make sure you have the best pre, intra and post workout supplements at hand. Do research on your own and check your own body as well to make sure you can take these supplements safely so that you can use them effectively.

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Exercises and Workouts – Three Benefits Of Using Pull-Up Assist Bands

One exercise you will want to consider adding to your workout routine is the pull-up. Pull-ups are a fantastic back training that will help to strengthen the entire back region as well as working the biceps.

The drawback? They are tough. So tough in fact many people cannot even perform a single pull-up at the start. If this is the case, you may be feeling quite frustrated and not sure how you can progress along when it seems like you cannot get started.

This is where pull-up assist bands come into play. These bands are going to help you execute the full pull-up by taking some of the weight off the lower body. The result is you can complete a pull-up – albeit a modified one, getting you closer to your end goal of doing a full pull-up straight. So this all said, what other benefits can you receive from using pull-up assist bands?

Let’s go over a few points to keep in mind…

1. Direct Transfer Over To The Exercise In Question. First, you are going to get excellent transfer over benefits to the full pull-up training. Alternatively, you could just perform a standard pull-down, but this is not going to be exactly like a pull-up. It will be similar, but you would not be making the same movement pattern. Thus, the transfer over benefit is not as high.

By using the pull-up bands and doing a standard pull-up, this ensures you are going to be best able to move into the full pull-up with ease.

2. Improved Core Strength. These pull-up bands are also an excellent way to improve your overall core strength. When using them, you are going to be contracting your abs hard, resisting momentum from coming into the picture. The result is you are keeping your core nice and tight, building up better overall muscular endurance.

Overall muscular endurance can then not only make the pull-ups easier but provide excellent transfer over benefits to other exercises as well.

3. Perfect For Home Workouts. Finally, the last super benefit pull-up assist bands have to offer is they are ideal for those who are doing home workouts. While at a gym you do have the option of using the lat pull-down machine, at home, chances are you do not have this choice. Therefore, using the pull-up bands provides an excellent alternative.

So consider pull-up bands for your next workout. Don’t get discouraged you cannot perform the full pull-up. Just work your way up to it by using this piece of equipment instead.

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