Browsing: Build Muscle

The Power Of The Pull Up

There's plenty of bad advice floating around gyms. Everyone has their own theory on how to lose weight and build muscle. You may find yourself gravitating towards the guy bench pressing over three hundred pounds or the girl that does over three hundred crunches. Everyone has their own definition of fit. I can not count how many times I've been asked how much I can bench. The amount of pounds you can bench press does not equate to how strong or fit you are. You can build muscle and strength by lifting heavy weights, you can also do the same with your own body weight.

You may see some gym goers packing on the plates as they bicep curl. They may consider adding weight to their max a progression. In one aspect it is, the weight increased. On the flip side, their mobility may have decreased. This same person may attempt to do pull ups and can not do a single one. This is an exercise that is more functional and requires a great deal of upper body strength. It recruits more muscle groups than isolated weight training and is more impressive, quite frankly.

The difficulty of this exercise tends to discourage some people from trying it. The problem with isolated weight training is that it does not work muscular coordination. When you isolate your muscle groups, the muscles develop individually. Think of climbing a ladder, your legs are working with your arms to move up and down the ladder. If you tried to climb with only your arms or legs, it would be more of a challenge. A pull up engages muscles to work together, rather than isolated. This requires development of more muscles to execute the move.

No matter what your goals are, whether you are male or female, pull ups will build your arms the way you want them to look. If you can not do a single pull up, you can start by getting to a bar. Grab the bar with your palms facing away from you and propel yourself up. You can use a step to reach the bar or jump from the floor. Get to the position where your neck is lined up with the bar. You do not have to pull yourself up. Jump or climb to get there and hold for about five seconds. After the isometric hold, slowly lower your body until your arms are fully extended. Try doing this five times. The next time do it for two sets, then three sets. Try pulling yourself up every time. You'll soon notch your first pull up. This is a vertical pulling exercise. It is beneficial to work it in tandem with a vertical pushing exercise. A dip is a vertical pushing exercise. To build the strength for a dip, find a set of parallel bars and start with your arms extended and your back straight. Let your feet hang and lower your body so your elbows make a ninety degree angle. At that point, hold for five seconds and try to push your self back up. If you can not, reach your feet for the floor. Follow the same sets and reps as the pull ups. You may excel at one faster than the other, which is completely normal. Do more work on your weaker exercise to compensate.

Once you start doing pull ups and dips, they will be building building exercises. When you reach the point that you can complete about ten repetitions of each, it transitions to an endurance exercise. If you want to keep building on your strength, use a weighted belt to increase the load. If you want to tighten up your arms or if you want to build your arms, work on your vertical pushes and pulls. If you can bang out ten reps of each, you will have some solid upper body strength. A side effect may be flab free arms.

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Muscle Strain Recovery – PRICE

There is no worse feeling for an athlete than to be in a training session or competition and they feel a tweak in a muscle. Some are minor little pains while others are excruciating. Having had a hamstring tear, I could barely walk after wards and for the next month and a half. How athletes handle muscle strain recovery will dictate how soon they can return to full time action.

Damage to soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendons) can be acute or chronic. Acute injuries occurs at a specific point in time. A chronic injuries are caused by overuse or repeated stress. Acute injuries that are not properly rated can turn into chronic problems. In either case, the area will swell, feel painful and have a decrease in ability to perform normal tasks.

Types of Injuries

Muscle strain recovery will change depending on the type of injury experienced.

1. Pull – a pulled muscle or muscle strain is a while the muscles fibers have been stretched too far but have not torn apart. Muscle fibers do naturally go through strains as a part of weightlifting heavier weights. The muscle will feel weak and sore but this is very different from an injured muscle that is more painful for a longer period of time.

2. Tears – can be quite painful and will have swelling and possibly bruising which will discolor the skin. The severity of the tear in the muscle will determine how much mobility it will have. A small number of muscle fibers teasing is called a Grade 1 tear. The covering around the muscle (the fascia) is not damaged. A Grade 2 tear is the same but involves more fibers. Grade 3 tears involve even more damaged fibers but in this case the fascia is damaged as well. The highest is grade 4 which is a complete tear of the muscle and fascia.

Muscle Strain Prevention

To minimize the chance of injuries:

· Warm-up properly with cardio and active (dynamic) stretching to increase body temperature and muscle elasticity. Warm muscle are less likely to tear.

· Start your training or pre-competition warmup with lighter exercises. This will increase blood flow and prepare the muscles for heavier work later.

· Stretching muscles after a workout has been shown to aid in recovery efforts as well as prevention.

· Lift under control and do not attempt to go beyond what is comfortable and safe.

PRICE

P: Protect – if you get hurt, STOP! Do not keep lifting weights or playing, it will just make it worse.

R: Rest – avoid any activity that will stretch the muscle again. Use a physio therapist or sports doctor to determine how much and type of exercise to do to remain active. This will help to avoid loss of conditioning.

I: Ice – apply a bag of ice wrapped in a wet towel immediately to reduce pain and swelling. 20 minutes every hour the first day is recommended.

C: Compression – use an elastic wrap to provide support and to help decrease swelling. Tight wraps are not good as they restrict blood flow.

E: Elevate – depending on the affected area, raise it to a level above your heart to decrease swelling.

Pain relievers like Tylenol can help but do not have anti-inflammatory effects like Motrin or Advil. Some experts do not like using them as they may not allow the body to respond properly to injury.

Minor injuries are not difficult to treat yourself. For more serious injuries, it is always recommended that you see a specialist to avoid possible complications. Muscle strain recovery can be cut much shorter with the proper care

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Training Like a Manual Laborer

Being a laborer for over 30 years and training for the same amount of time I have a different outlook on training. For years I earned and still do earn a living with my physical and mental toughness. I have to keep myself in shape to continue to feed my family. In 30 plus years doing manual labor I have never hurt my back or ever missed work because of injury on the job.

I do not always lift with my legs, and never look or worry about form I just do my job. I bend, I twist, I climb, I lift and carry all day long.

It is rare for someone to go and work as many years I have and throw in years of training and not have the body already broke down. One thing is I take care of myself, I eat well and I have a different mindset then most men doing labor work.

I hear it all the time on sites about bad backs, and I'm getting old (Most are younger than me) I can not lift things like that anymore. Why is it these guys continue to do a job they physically struggle to do?

The reason is because for years they have heard from others just like them that when you get older you can not do the same things you once did. Bullshit! At some point you will probably have a decline but these guys just listen to all before them. I have heard it for years, wait til your my age and I have been listening this since I was 18 I do not hear it much anymore because of my age.

I get tired of people who will chime in tell you how “They know a guy” or “My Dad” or My Grand dad “there will always be exceptions but do not include me in the general labor population, because I do not follow the standards of the basic man.

I decide how things will go, not history. People hate that I act like this and can care less and I am living proof so until someone can prove me wrong I will continue to train like I always have. Training to win in life, training for honor, training for survival is the reason I continue to push my mind and body. The minute we decide we no longer need an advantage is when we will start to lose our edge. Once you feel it no longer matters you are right, you have already lost the edge!

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Achieve Best Muscle Growth With Short Intense Workout Sessions on One Muscle Group at a Time

A fit and muscular body is what many young men aspire for. However, not many of them show the kind of dedication and grit that is needed for achieving well toned muscular bodies. Some people give up mid way, while others may end up injuring themselves.

You must first understand the science of muscle building, before embarking on your journey to grow your muscle mass.

Take the right steps for sustained increase in muscle mass:

For a sustained muscle mass increase, it is important to work on a training program that is custom designed according to your capacity and goals. It has to be complimented with a proper diet plan, which includes a lot of proteins. If your food does not have sufficient natural proteins to sustain your workouts, then you will need to include protein supplements in your diet plan.

Another aspect that some people tend to forget is that proper rest is very important for bulking up the body. When we do the weight training workouts, we are actually working on the fine muscle fibers that together form the muscle tissue.

Training and exercises damage the muscle fibers. When we eat well and take proper rest after training, these muscle fibers repair and grow, thereby increasing the overall muscle mass.

Choose the right body building plan for the best results:

If you want to grow your muscles, then you will need to go with a proper plan, in order to achieve the desired results. There are many types of weight training programs like the Body Beast that are designed by experts. Choose the plan that suits you the best, but you will need to be totally dedicated towards it.

Tips for injury free, fast, and long term increase in muscle mass:

  • Focus on different muscle groups in each training session. Avoid repeating the same muscle group on two consecutive days. This way the trained muscle gets rest, and you avoid injury.
  • Do not overdo weight training. Training 3-4 times a week is a good idea. On the remaining days, you can do cardio exercises. The resting for the muscles is important for their re-growth.
  • Have short and intense training sessions. Too long training session can lead to injuries.
  • Train to failure, or do the workouts to such an amount that you are unable to do another rep. There is no point in choosing low weights and then doing repeated reps of the same exercise. Instead, choose more weight and do fewerer reps for better results.
  • Gradually build up on your exercise plan. To avoid injuries, ensure that you have achieved enough strength before increasing the weights.
  • Right body postures during exercise sessions are important not only to avoid injuries, but also to get the best results. While lifting weights, keep your back straight. Back injuries can cripple you for life.
  • For an overall muscles growth, your exercise plan should have enough options to work on different parts of the body.
  • High intake of proteins is very vital to promote muscle growth. You might also think of including additional supplements in your diet plan.
  • Maintain a record on your progress to see when your growth chart reaches a plateau, or takes a dip. This is the time to change your exercise plan a little.

Last but not the least, you exercise plan should have an option of adequate and proper rest. Consuming enough water should also be part of your plan. Stick to your exercise plan patiently and diligently, and you will start seeing results real soon.

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How To Build Lean Muscle Mass – Find Proper Information

Many guys want to gain lean muscle mass, but find it tough to achieve this. Skinny guys have such a hard time putting on any weight at all, and oftentimes their efforts seem to be futile. Bigger guys likewise want to be ripped and although they can gain weight, it's often fat and not muscle. What is a guy supposedly to do?

Do not give up quickly

First and foremost, before any other advice is given you should develop a determined attitude. Be determined that you WILL have a ripped body and that you WILL get there. Never give up. Remember the words of Michael Jordan who said “I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeeded.” Know that if you initially fail in your endeavors to develop a ripped physique with lean muscle mass, you will eventually succeed if you get back on your feet immediately and try again.

Bodybuilding Information Overload

You do not have to look very far to find an array of information and advice on how to develop lean muscle mass. There's bodybuilding magazines, pamphlets and posters at the gym, guys at the gym telling you how they do it, internet forums and blogs, websites, books and DVD'S (information overload). Despite the fact that there's more information than ever before on how to get a lean body, guys are still finding it hard to gain lean muscle and get ripped. What's the problem?

The problem is that most of the advice out there is fake, fraudulent and junky. It is written by money-hungry people who often know nothing about bodybuilding, and only want to make a quick buck. Many so-called “experts” who sell poor guys information and advice on how to get lean and muscular do not even follow their own advice. And it's a good thing that they do not too, because if they followed their own advice they would not get very far themselves. So if you want to get a ripped body you need to find non-fraudulent information, written by an expert in that field.

Find Proper Advice

What can a guy do amidst all this junky information? Is developing lean muscle mass possible?

First of all, find out if the advice is legitimate. Who is the creator of this bodybuilding program? Does the guy who wrote it have qualifications and experience? If you can not even find the author of the bodybuilding information, though they are trying to hide their “zero-experience in this field” identity.

Second, who has had success on this program? Can you find enough evidence and legitimate testimonials that this program actually works? Again, if you can not find much evidence that other guys have had success from this program, think twice before spending any money on it.

Finally, is the information to build lean muscle mass based on and backed up by science (the science of bodybuilding and of the human body)? Is the program created on the knowledge of the mechanisms of muscle growth and of the skeletal muscle system?

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Bodybuilding Is Not Just About Huge Body and Great Looks

Many young men decide to take up bodybuilding to increase their muscle mass, and to grow in size. In addition to achieving a great looking body, there are many other benefits of bodybuilding. In this post, we will touch upon a few points, where bodybuilding can help you in many other aspects of life.

Bodybuilding helps you relax:

While doing intestinal workouts, you tend to forget about the things that normally worry you, or make you feel stressful. After a good weight training session, you will feel a complete sense of contentment and relaxation of mind.

There is no better stress buster than a good session of total sweat-out. It helps them in handling the everyday stress that could have related to workplace, traffic, relationships, job security, finance, or family related issues.

Since they eliminate stress through intestinal workouts, they are able to maintain their calm and composition while handling other problems.

Bodybuilders look at life with a different perspective:

When you see your muscles growing and taking shape, your self confidence will also grow. Bodybuilders understand the fact that success comes only as a result of continuous efforts and dedication. It requires a lot of self motivation, which will also help them in achieving many other things in life.

Improves goal setting and organizing skills:

Bodybuilding takes years of efforts, but you will need to follow the goals, and stick to your plan. When you are into bodybuilding, you will have to set short term goals, as well as long-term goals. You will need to be aware, and be mentally prepared to do the workouts that are charted out for you for the week.

You learn to set goals and work your way towards them. That kind of attitude will also help you in becoming more systematic and organized in your personal life as well. Gradually, you will see the environment around you change for better.

Gives you the inner strength to sustain the hardships:

Make no mistake here, as there is no easy way to build a muscular body. There will be pain and frustration at times. Only the people with grit and determination will be able to take such setbacks, pick themselves up again, and come back stronger than before.

Bodybuilders do not quit. They may be down at times, but are never out. They always keep coming back.

One of the main mistakes which many bodybuilders commit is that they do not take a break from weight training. Since bulking is all about breakage and repairs of muscle fibers, it is very important to take a break from weight training. It is recommended for them to take it least one week of break, once in every three months.

Follow a plan:

One of the best ways to take of bodybuilding seriously is by following some of the top muscle building programs like the Body Beast. Whichever program you choose, it must be personalized to suit your health and body condition. Also, you should be able to track the progress, which will also keep you highly motivated.

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3 Keys To Building Muscle Mass

I know that we typically hear people complaining that they can not lose weight. Personally, I am on the other end of the spectrum. My struggle has always been to put on weight. After a lot of trial and error, I finally found something that worked for me. It breaks down into 3 simple categories.

Step 1 To Building Muscle – Exercise
If you are not breaking down muscle, how do you expect it to get stronger. More important than just exercise, you need to know how to exercise in the right way for building muscle. The key is strength training with variety, and increasing intensity. It is not enough to just go lift weights. You need to keep your muscles guessing. If your chest workout is the same every week, your body is going to adapt to it. You will plateau quickly, and your muscle growth will me minimum, if existing at all. In order to make sure that you are increasing your difficulty, it is important to keep track of what you are lifting. If you do not know what you did last time, how are you supposedly to have a goal for this time. I suggest hitting 1-2 body parts every day that you workout. You can put together muscles that work together, such as chest and triceps, or you can work opposing muscles, such as chest and back, or biceps and triceps. remember that you are expected to be mixing things up, so you can do 1 for a few weeks, and then switch to a different combo for a few more weeks.

Step 2 – Nutrition
I have had plenty of people tell me that if I want to gain weight, I needed to be drinking milk shakes and eating peanut butter all of the time. That will not help you gain the weight that you want to be gaining. If you want your muscles to grow, you need to feed them the right way. That means that you need protein, carbs and fats. Also, water, lots of water. The key is to prevent your muscles from starving. You should be eating something every hour or two. Think small to medium snacks with 3 good meals. Eggs, whole wheat toast and a glass of milk make a great breakfast. Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread with an apple or a salad is a simple, healthy lunch. Chicken with whole wheat pasta and vegetables is one of my favorite dinners. Drink water and eat fruit, vegetables and other healthy snacks throughout the day.

Step 3 – Rest To Build Muscle
It takes a lot of energy to build muscle. If you are not getting enough sleep, you are taking away the time that your body needs for optimum growth. Be sure that you are getting at least 7 hours each night. This will give your body time to rest and recover. Without that rest time, your body will struggle to recover, and you may be wasting your time lifting.

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One Weird Trick To Smash Unwanted Belly Fat

It is a good thing to know how to burn belly fat fast because it will allow you to flaunt your amazing bikini body. However, many women choose to forgo the bikini because of the endless list of things they have to end to get a flat and toned stomach. It need not be tedious and time-consuming anymore as I will give you one weird trick to smash unwanted belly fat.

It is all about exercise. The more you exercise, the easier it becomes to get rid of belly fat. Exercise can be laborious, but when you undertake the right exercises, for the given duration at the required intensity, it becomes enjoyable and fruitful. Here's how to go about it.

Add Time Consistently

Beginners find it hard to keep up with hours of intense exercise all of a sudden. It is normal as the body is not used to exercise and you should not try to push it beyond its normal limit for the fear of injury. A better way to increase workout time is by adding an extra 5-10 minutes to each workout, every week.

Increase Intensity with Interval Training

Interval training is a great way to get rid of abdominal fat as it increases fat burning in the body, more than what steady exercise can achieve. It also builds endurance helping you to exercise more.

You need not do interval training throughout, but simply add short bursts of high intensity exercise to your regular workout. For instance, you can alternate a slow walk (1 minute) with a high-speed sprint (30 seconds). The other advantage of interval training is that it keeps your work challenging and exciting. If you do high intensity interval training, keep it to two times a week as overtraining the muscles can cause injury.

Do Ab Exercises

Ab exercises play a crucible role in reducing belly fat. Ab exercises are not as effective in burning calories, but they help achieve a flat belly by strengthening and toning the core muscles. This includes the lower and upper abs and the obliques. The most effective ab exercises include the reverse crunch, the ball crunch, the bicycle, long arm crunch and plank.

A Combination of Cardio and Strength Training

Including cardio and strength training in your workout makes sense because on the one hand where cardio burns calories, on the other strength training builds lean muscle tissue. You can split your weekly workout to include 3 days of strength training and 3 days of cardio. Along with reserving cardio and strength training for different days, you can also split it to do cardio in the morning and strength training in the evening.

Precautionary Measures

Exercising regularly is not only important to maintain healthy weight and burn belly fat, but it also promotes general health and well-being. However, exercise is not meant for everyone especially for individuals with physical disabilities. It is advised that you assess your general health and physical capacity before you take up any form of exercise to burn belly fat. Start with exercises you can handle comfortably and build it from there.

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Cheap But Valuable Prohormones

Prohormones are supplements that are precursor to hormones already in the body. They are generally designed to strengthen and enhance the hormones that are already in the body. A reduction in production or level of any hormone in the body can lead to different health issues. This makes fit important to maintain the right levels of hormones in the body and this is what the prohormones are made to do. There are lots of prohormone options in the market today and you will need to make the right choice to reap the benefits. Gym goers and athletes need good quality supplements to improve their performance and strength needs especially with intestinal workouts.

The right Prohormones can help in increasing endurance, strength, size, lean body mass and decreasing recovery time with intestinal exercises. This makes the supplements most suitable for individuals who have serious intentions with their exercises. They are usually used to increase muscle mass and to reduce the levels of body fats. The prohormones are also now being used by life extension groups as hormone replacement therapy. They offer a better alternative to prescription drug usage, which is why they have gained popularity.

The supplements are suitable for weight lifters, athletes and bodybuilders because they are effective in adding amazing output possibilities. They, however must be used with proper and right diet and a healthy workout regimen for the benefits to be enjoyed fully.

Finding Cheap Prohormones

Cheap, for the longest time has been looked at as low in quality, but this is not always the case. Prohormones can be expensive, but you can still manage to find valuable high quality prohormones that are cheap. You can find cheap Prohormones online, but it is important to make sure that you settle for brands that are reputable and trustworthy in fetching you the kind of results that you are looking for.

When looking for a good dealer online, always look at the supplement variety that it has to offer you. This is simple way of making sure that you not only enjoy cheap prohormones but also find all other supplements that you might need and still trust in the quality. You can evaluate the quality of your product by looking at any reviews given to it by users and your ideal site of purchase should be in a position to offer you such helpful reviews. It should also offer you customer support where you can have all your questions answered before making any purchase. When you have all information that you need on the available supplements, you will manage to make the right decision with your purchase.

When looking for cheap prohormones, never compromise on the quality since it can determine your results. The more natural ingredients the better the supplement so be sure to look at the ingredients. Understand the risks and side effects too before purchasing. Some require right care and post cycle therapy to offer desired results so be sure of what it takes to enjoy the best with your prohormones.

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Top Ten Exercises for Men

To get the most from your exercise, and especially to remain mentally engaged, it can help to keep a certain level of variation in your workout. The problem with men's exercise is that there are so many options, and it can be hard to know what the best ones are to keep in your core repertoire. When it comes down to it, it's actually not too difficult to narrow down the 10 best exercises for men's health today. We're going to look at each one, to help you decide which ones are best for you.

Dumbbell Incline Curls for Biceps: Try this from an incline bench to allow more freedom of movement. 10 repetitions at a time will be enough to tone and build new muscle.

Bench Presses for Chest: Bench presses are not just a great way to build chest and upper body strength, they're also fun for most who do them, especially when there's a competitive element with your workout group.

Push Ups for Core Strength and Chest: Push ups are one of the best and most intense exercises that should always feature somewhere in your repertoire. Widen or narrow your hand position to work on chest or triceps respectively. Keep a straight back, and keep all movements smooth and controlled.

Butterfly Machine Fly: This is a great machine for beginners and seasoned fitness buffs alike. The butterfly machine works a range of muscles in your chest, especially the pectoralis major. The resistance of the machine can be scaled for strength, so ask an assistant or instructor if you're not sure where to begin.

Dumbbell Bench Press for Chest: Similar to the standard barbell bench press, using dumbbells helps to even distribute weight for beginners, and does a little more for the triceps along with the chest.

Leg Curls for Legs: One mistake many men make is to ignore their lower half. Working all areas of your body will improve variation, and extremely help you to look and feel better. The leg curl machine is essential for leg workouts, works for beginners as well as advanced users, and can be scaled for strength.

Calf Raises for Calves: Doing calf raises with dumbbells at your side can quickly build calf strength and mass. Try this with your heels over a step edge, slowly raising yourself on to your toes and back down. Parts of your core are worked at the same time as you maintain balance.

Cycling for Aerobic and Core Strength: When you're not working on muscle through resistance exercises, aerobic activities can help to improve fitness and stamina, while burning calories and strengthening your heart. Cycling is a minimal impact exercise that you can do in the gym, or take to the outdoors to mix recreation with your workout.

Running / Walking: Some of the most basic exercise you can do. Those with smaller and lighter frames can run for excellent aerobic results, whereas heavier set men should try walking to avoid damage to ankles and knees.

Rowing Machine for Fat Burning and Core Strength: The rowing machine allows for a fantastic all body workout. If your gym has one, it's a fun way to get in some aerobic and resistance exercise in a single set.

Your workouts do not have to be boring, and you should make them as varied as possible to maintain your motivation. Try incorporating any of our top 10 in to your regular routine, and do not forget to always find a balance between upper body, legs, and aerobic workouts.

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Manipulating Weight Training Variables: Time Under Tension

We all know lifting weights is about progress, right? You're working your way up that dumbbell rack, increasing reps, increasing sets, increasing weight. You know how it is, you and dude hombre having a curl-off trying to impress the mirror in front of you. Yeaaaa babay! Well that's all fine and sexy until that shoulder starts to hurt, you develop muscle imbalances, results plateau, and you're doing 15 sets of bench press while spending 2 hrs in the gym. If any of this sounds familiar, over the next few weeks I'll show you 5 weight training variables you can manipulate to help revolutionize your workouts and skyrocket results. And ladies, do not think this is just for the bro chacho's out there – weight training should play a fundamental part in your fitness routine as well.

I'm not going to harp on the traditional reps / sets resistance training variables most of us are familiar with – that's boring stuff. Today's article will be looking at what I believe is the most underutilized weight training variable, specifically if you want to build some of that precious muscle: time under tension. Let's get started.

Time Under Tension (TUT)

One bad ass SOB. That's what this is. Time under tension is referring to how much time a muscle is exposed to tension (in our case, weight or load). This may seem like the most fundamental weight training variable known to anyone who's stepped foot in a gym, right? Maybe so, but most of us, myself included, are vastly underutilizing this bad boy. If any of you have seen the tempo of an exercise written out in a number format (for example, 4-0-1-0), that is referring to TUT. These numbers are how long (in seconds) each phase of the exercise should take. The 1st number refers to the eccentric / stretching phase of the movement (4 seconds), the 2nd sentences to the maximum stretched position (0 seconds), the 3rd referees to the concentric / contraction phase (1 second), and the fourth reiter to the maximally contracted position (0 seconds). If we were to look at bench press, with this example, that would be 4 seconds lowering, 0 seconds at the bottom (no pause), 1 second pushing up (controlled power), and a 0 second pause at the top. That means a single repetition takes 5 seconds. If you were to do 8 reps at this pace, that would be 40 seconds of total TUT. Now ask yourself, when was the last time a set of bench press took you 40 seconds? Probably never. That's because most of us completely ignore 3 of these phases (eccentric, maximally stretched, maximally contracted) and only concentrates on the lifting phase. Hypothetically, if all these sentences played an equal role in us building our dream body (which, thankfully, they do not), that would mean we're ignoring 75% of the exercise, W … T … F. If you still think this has no implication on your ability to build muscle or burn fat, which I'm assuming are your goals since you're lifting weights – that's where you're wrong. For muscle hypertrophy (growth), sets should last between 30-70 seconds. And I'll let you decide which method, if done correctly, could potentially burn more fat: 8 reps taking 40 seconds or 8 reps considering 15 seconds? Time under tension is a weight training variable we need to take into consideration if you're looking for dem gainz. Now, there's a lot of science and experts out there looking into what total TUT is best and it's pretty straight forward depending on your goals, here's a chart that gives us a good generalization:

So as you can see the above guidelines have quite a large range within them. That's perfect for a Da Vinci like yourself, get creative and freshen up those boring ass workouts. So that brings up the next question, what rep tempo is best? I'll be honest, the hell if I know what's the best. This is something I'm experimenting with constantly; you have dozens of combinations to choose from and every individual will respond differently. Although, here's a few guidelines to get you started, but remember, they're just that – guidelines. These suckers are meant to be bent, twisted, and broken.

• 4-0-1-0: A tempo that exaggerates the negative phase, which is a phase that contributes the most to strength and muscle tears, while focusing on controlled power in the concentric phase.

• 3-0-3-0: A tempo which still controls the negative phase while having a controlled concentric phase.

• 8-0-2-0: This is also known as a 'negative'. You could go about performing these in many different ways. Using extremely heavy weight, more than your 1RM (and a spotter), where you only perform the negative (8-0-0-0), a regular hypertrophy set where you go beast-mode cowboy for 8-12 reps (8- 0-2-0), or forced reps after you've completed your regular set (again with a spotter, 8-0-0-0).

• Manipulating full stretched and fully contacted positions: These are the toughest to manipulate because most people have difficulty keeping tension on the muscle in these positions. Let's look at the notorious bench press. At the fully stretched position, if you were to pause here, most people would just rest the bar on their chest. If you were to pause at the fully contracted position, most people lose all tension in the chest as their wrist, elbow, and shoulder are stacked because the joints are holding the weight. As you can probably see, manipulating these sentences are exercise-dependent. I would only recommend manipulating these phases if you're able to maintain tension on the muscle (which is something I highly suggest learning); otherwise we're just cheating ourselves into having a rest, which is the exact opposite of tension! Examples of exercises which it would be beneficial to exaggerate the fully contracted position (4-0-2-3) would be tricep kickbacks, lateral rises, cable flies. Try it and this will quickly make sense.

• A decent rule of thumb to remember is the hardest phase of any given exercise is probably the best phase to exaggerate.

There's no possible way I could cover rep tempo or time under tension in just one article. This is partly because it's such a massive weight training variable to manipulate, but mainly because I'm constantly learning about it. I'll be experimenting with this puppy for the rest of my life. My next article will be looking into another weight training variable that's completely ignored, but has some of the biggest returns on your fitness goals. Stay tuned.

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How To Sculpt Six Pack Abs Fast

The market abounds in secrets on getting 6 pack abs. While many do work as they claim, a few are out there only to rob you of your hard-earned money. But in the desperateness to tone a flabby stomach, you are willing to try everything. The methods we are about to discuss will give you six pack abs fast and the good news is that you will not have to spend a single penny.

1. Eat good carbs only:

Carbs are always looked at as the abs destroyer. Yes, carbs are unhealthy and fattening, but only the white or refined carbs. You can always eat good carbs such as brown rice, whole wheat and oats without bothering much. They are rich in fiber and take a long time to digest.

2. Pack on a good amount of protein:

Proteins are the building blocks of the body and since must be ateen in judicious quantities if you want to lose weight and build a set of rippling abs. Protein builds muscle tissue and also controls appetite. People who ate protein cereals for breakfast were found to be less hungry throughout the day. You can eat Greek yoghurt, egg whites, lean meat and low-fat dairy products.

3. Cut back on processed goods:

Processed and fast foods offer fast and convenient meals, but they are not the healthiest option because they only supply empty calories to the body. They add fat pockets without adding any nutrients. And, in order to get six pack abs fast you need to get rid of the fat sitting on top of the abdominal muscles.

4. Go slow on the sugary foods:

Sugary foods like candies, cookies and cakes are a real treat to a sweet tooth. However, with them the six pack always remains elusive. Another reason you should not eat too sugary foods in excess is because they contain artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup which are more fattening than natural sugars.

5. Eat six-pack superfoods:

If you cut back on fats, sugars and sodium, what should your diet combine? The answer is six pack superfoods. Superfoods are low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods. The list includes colored fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats.

6. Drink loads of water:

If you want to burn fat to sculpt washboard abs, you should drink loads of water. It is best to drink water cold as your body uses up energy to warm it before breaking it down. Another trick is to drink water before a meal. It will make sure you do not overeat when you sit down to eat.

7. Eat healthy fats:

It may sound absurd that we are advising you to eat fats. You need to cut back on the amount of fats you eat, but do not cut it out completely as the body needs some amount of fat to sustain its activities. A better option is to consume healthy dietary fats such as olive oils, fish oil and nuts.

Beside this, eat often and do not skip meals.

8. Exercise the abdominal muscles:

The best six pack workout engages the full body but puts greater emphasis on the core muscles. The plank, the reverse crunch and the bicycle are some of the exercises you can do to tone the abdominal muscles.

9. Weight train:

Weight training helps build muscles as well as body resistance. They train the shoulders, the back and the pecs. The wood chop, the trunk rotations and the dumbbell fly are just a few recommendations when it comes to weight training.

10. Cardio to burn fat:

Cardio exercises will do what weight training will not do for the body. Cardio exercises such as walking, cycling, jogging, swimming and boxing bust fat and make your abs more visible.

Above all, keep your workouts wide and varied; Go for interval training instead of only high or low intensity training.

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Discover The Secret to Get 6 Pack Abs And Lose Belly Fat Fast

Different people have different fitness goals. However, getting 6 pack abs and losing belly fat fast is a common goal across all ages and genders. Everyone knows that the key to get six pack abs is to burn fat and build muscle. However, this time, people fail to achieve the sexy, washboard look.

When I ask what the possible reasons are for it, many tell me that they are either eating the wrong foods or doing the wrong ab workouts. While the diet and workout is to be blamed, the main reason people fail to get the perfect six pack is because they do not in the first place understand what needs to be done.

What is a six pack and how do you achieve it?

We harp about creating a six pack. The truth is that those chiclet-styled muscles, also called the rectus abdominis muscle, are already present in the abdominal region along the front of your tummy. When it is invisible, it is overshadowed by the layer of fat sitting above it. So, what you're actually doing when you say you are trying to get a six pack is that you are only ignoring and toning it. Therefore, achieving a six pack involves lowering your body fat percentage by losing weight.

And, how can you reduce body fat percentage?

It is simple provided you follow each step diligently.

1. Create a calorie deficiency:

The body has a certain calorie requirement in order to go about its daily activities and to maintain healthy weight. The caloric requirement is influenced by various factors such as your age, your height, your weight and the amount of activity you undertake. This is the amount of calories your body burns daily. If you consume more calories that your body burns, the excess amount is stored in the form of fat to provide energy when food is not available.

A calorie deficiency is when you eat less than the amount your body burns. In such an event, the body tries to get its energy from the existing fatty deposits and burns them in the bargain. This automatically trims the body fat percentage.

2. Spot reduction will not help:

The first question many will ask is what spot reduction is. It is the practice of doing a particular exercise to target a particular muscle group. Thus, if you are looking at an ab workout, it involves doing endless reps of crunches. The reason spot reduction does not work is because it only trains the muscles in the targeted area, but does help much when it comes to burning the fat sitting there.

We do not deny the effectiveness of crunches, squats, planks and dumbbell fly. Ab workouts make your abs stronger, bigger and well-developed. However, the ab workout must also be supplemented with cardio and weight training exercises. Cardio helps burn fat by elevating the heart rate and boosting metabolism. Weight training on the other hand, works towards building muscles. Also, the ab exercise exercises should train the upper and lower abs and the obliques.

This is how you should work to lose weight and build your six pack ab. Follow these tips and achieving the 6 pack will be a breeze.

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Natural Testosterone Boosters That Actually Work – Increase Lean Muscle Quickly

Testosterone is the hormone that regulates muscle growth in your body. This is the precise reason bodybuilders try to enhance their testosterone levels by various means.

Here are some simple and easy ways to help boost testosterone in your body naturally:

1. Whole Milk – Having whole milk just before going to bed is one simple way to boost testosterone in your body. Whole milk is not just a great source of proteins but it is also rich in fats. It's important to keep in mind that your body needs fats to produce testosterone.

2. Squats and Lunges – As a bodybuilder, I am sure you are already aware that strength training is excellent for increasing testosterone. However, certain exercises such as squats, lunges, leg presses etc. are immensely effective for increasing your T-levels. That, never ever skip your leg workout.

3. Get Enough Rest – An intense and hard workout must be followed by enough rest. Lack of sleep can raise cortisol or the stress hormone in your body. Cortisol inhibits testosterone production. So, you must try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Adequate sleep not only helps boost testosterone in your body but also increases growth hormone production.

This can help speed up muscle growth in your body.

4. Cold Showers – A cold shower early in the morning is supposed to be great for increasing testosterone in men. So, try to begin your day with a cold shower, whenever possible.

5. Get Enough of Zinc, Magnesium and Selenium in Your Diet – Minerals like zinc and magnesium play an extremely important role in testosterone production in your body. So you must enough of foods that contain these minerals. Oysters are rich in zinc and so is lean meat. Fish like salmon, sardines etc. are a great source of zinc, magnesium and selenium.

6. Try Natural Testosterone Supplements – Moreover, you can also try natural testosterone supplements. Such supplements are a powerful blend of herbs like tribulus terrestris, tongat ali, muira pauma, l-arginine, maca etc.

These ingredients stimulate your pituitary gland so that it can increase its secret of LH or luteinizing hormone. This hormone in turn, stimulates leydig cells in your testes so that they can produce more testosterone.

Top of the line testosterone supplements are made with input from professional bodybuilders and do not have any negative side effects.

So, if you want to get bigger and harder muscles, check out the Best Testosterone Supplement that has helped thousands of men like you over the past few years.

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Proper Plyometrics

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding plyometrics, reactive or high intensity training. I've heard arguments of setting a time limit for the exercise versus a controlled amount of reps. Let's review some of the facts. The movements generated are explosive. They are designed to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time possible. Your heart rate increases faster than it would by doing any other types of exercises. Therefore, the duration of the exercises should not exceed a certain amount of time. Moreover, your body requires more oxygen during the exercise, which makes the recovery time longer in between sets.

To perform any of these moves, your body needs a substantial amount of strength, stability and balance. Let's use a box jump as an example. To jump on to the platform, your body needs to produce enough force to reach it, then decelerate and stabilize into a soft landing. This exercise should be performed in a safe manner, anywhere from 1 to 10 reps. The landing should be as soft and light as possible. The purpose of the jump is to jump further and higher, not to jump more frequency. Performing this exercise for time of failure will negatively impact the muscles and present a greater risk of injury. Let's suppose that on your sixth jump, you realize that your previous jump was better. You elevated higher and your landing was more stable. Stop the exercise immediately! Every jump will be weaker than the last, there is no need to continue. Wait about three minutes until you perform another set. Every jump you continue to do will cause more harm to your body than it's worth.

The next example I want to discuss is a kip. A kip is a form of a pull up in which you thrust your knees up towards your chest as you're trying to pull yourself up. This generates more upward force and recruitment of more muscles to safely bring yourself back down to the starting position. The problem I find is that people are trying kips that can not even do a single pull up. A substantial amount of strength is required to safely decelerate your body back into the starting position. Here, it is critical to have the strength to do pull ups before trying a kip. My prerequisite is to see 10 pull ups with proper form and control of the negative or eccentric part of the movement. As a precaution, I would also require 10 dips to be completed in the same fashion. This exhibits a balance in vertical pushing and pulling exercises.

Save your body the agony of injury. The advice I offer is to prevent injury while keeping your workouts productive. You should never leave a workout feeling worse than when you started. That means that your posture, range of motion and flexibility should not decrease after a workout. If you feel like any of these has declined, then you should reevaluate your training regimen.

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