5 Exercises That Build Muscle

When it comes to exercising, most people just focus on losing weight. There's nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to ensure that you're making the most of your time, and you want results to come in faster, building muscle is the key. No, you will not become a bodybuilder if you go this route. When you focus on exercises to build muscles, you will burn more fat, even if you're not working out. Imagine sitting at home, watching television, and getting your metabolism to spike. That can be done if you focus on the right elements. The following are just 5 exercises that can accomplish this for you.

Squats With Weight

The first major thing that you can do is a simple squat. You can start without weights, but ever, you will want to rest some weights across your shoulders, and then dip, and rise. Squats do not just work out your legs, they help build your back, shoulders, and posterior. Done right, this can absolutely help you make gains, as well as drop fat cells faster.

The Mighty Bench Press

For those that want to build muscle and burn fat, this is one of the best things that you can do. Bench presses do not have to put on hundreds of pounds to be effective. Over time, you will be able to increase the weight. This helps your arms, chest, and allows for better definition overall.

Push-Ups

What may seem like something simple, is actually a very good upper body workout. This is something that anyone can do, just about anywhere. When you're working on this, you'll want to just clear the area and get to work. Push-ups can work out the arms, back, and help with balance. You can start your day with a set, end your day with a set, and do these any time you feel the need to get a quick workout in.

Pull Ups

Look for a pull-up bar, and do this often. This is going to use gravity to help you out. As far as exercises to build muscles, this is one that you can not miss. This will help your arms, back, core, and keep you focused on building muscle the right way. Every rep will increase the resistance that you have, and the more you do this, the more stamina you will build along getting your heart rate up.

Jogging Intervals

This may sound counterproductive to some, but this is not something to stay away from. You want muscle growth to occur, but you also need your heart to be strong, and your overall cardiovascular health strengthened for better stamina. Do not overdo this, but put in 25 to 30 minutes of jogging uphill, downhill and straightway as well. This will improve your stamina, resistance, and will complement the other exercises that you do.

If you push the exercises to build muscles mentioned above, you are going to see results within a short span. Just do not do “one” thing over the other, balance things out, schedule your workouts, and stagger them with a good diet. You'll find results manifest very much as a result of your efforts.

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4 Tips For Naturally Increasing Testosterone Levels Today

There are a lot of different ways that you can increase levels of testosterone today. Some people look for shortcuts that are dangerous, and that's not a good thing. When you seek out natural solutions, you will find the root of the issue and build a great momentum moving forward. If your goal is to increase healthy and wellness, then you will no doubt want to try the following tips. These are natural options that will help you move forward. Some things may seem harder than others, but if you seek out long-term solutions, you will find the benefits will manifest for longer than going the synthetic route.

Increase Your Exercise Levels

The first thing that you can do is simple, exercise a great deal. Increase your exercise levels in an extreme manner. This means that you should look for higher intensity options. Intense workouts increase the body's circulation, heart rate, and builds muscle properly. Not only that, you will find that glandular secretions rise, including testosterone. Push yourself, as an athlete would push themselves for professional leagues, and you'll see major gains.

Weight Lifting and Training

Here is something that you should be looking into as a whole. Do not just go with cardiovascular exercise. Focus on weight lifting as well. Strength training is going to help you not only build muscle, burn fat, and get healthy, it's going to push levels that you need to increase natural production of testosterone. This takes time, of course, but just keep pushing weights, and you'll find that you'll feel the increase sooner than later.

Throw Away Sugar In The Diet

Sugar does not help the body and diminishes your results. Throw away sugar content in your diet. That means that you'll want to focus on eliminating certain foods that only break down into sugars. If you can not eliminate this completely, start to scale back drastically until you can replace them. Sugar is going to stifle your progress.

Boost Your Protein Supplements

One of the most important things that you should do in regards to trying to increase your levels is to increase your protein. You should focus on amino acid increases. This includes quality protein supplementation, as part of your routine. There's a lot of discussion as to what's going to be best here, but you can start with whey protein to get you moving forward.

As you can see, there are a few things that you can do to increase testosterone. If you can boost this element in the body, you will find that building muscles will become a bit easier. Through strength training, interval exercise, and weight lifting, your body will utilize the elements that you're putting into it, and will rise through the right areas you're looking for. It's important that you not only work on these tips, but you should also eat a balanced diet with enough calories to burn through your workouts, and a boost of supplements to assist your body's natural resources. Done right, you'll see results manifest in due time.

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Building Muscle – Setting Your Calorie Intake For Lean Muscle Mass Gain

If you have a goal to build more lean muscle mass, one step you will want to take is to make sure you take into account your calorie intake. While it's great to get to the gym and …

  • focus on lifting heavy,
  • doing all the strength training exercises you know are critical to success,

If you are not fueling your body to build new muscle, you simply will not get very far.

So how does one go about building more lean muscle mass? Let's go over what you need to know about setting your calorie intake for lean mass gains …

Step One: Identify Your Maintenance Requirements. The very first thing you'll want to do is identify your maintenance needs. Basically, how many calories do you need in a given day to just maintain your body weight?

If you do not know this, it's time to start tracking your calories. Once you do, you'll have a place to start. Until you know how many calories you need daily to maintain your body weight, you will not know where to start from to start seeing muscle mass gains.

Step Two: Add 100 to 250 Calories Per Day To Your Eating Plan. The next step is to beginning adding 100 to 250 calories per day, based on how quickly you want to build lean muscle mass. Keep in mind though adding more calories is not necessarily better.

Your body can only build so much muscle in a day, so any calories taken beyond this will just lead to excess fat gain.

Slow and steady is the name of this game. It takes roughly 3500 calories to gain one pound of body weight: something to keep in mind. For staying lean, you should aim to gain anywhere from 1 to 3 pounds per month. Males can err on the higher end of this range while females should err on the lower end.

Step Three: Monitor Your Progress. Once you have your new calorie take figured out, it's time to get going. Begin eating at this level and monitor your progress.

If you are not gaining at the weight you expected, adjust your calorie intake accordingly – either up or down.

Step Four: Re-Evaluate. Finally, you'll need to re-evaluate your calorie intake on a regular basis. Remember you may start hitting a plateau after you have gained some weight: this is the time you need to increase your calorie intake further. Constantly be adjusting so you can see ungoing results.

If you calculate your eating plan properly, you can rest assured you will be on track to building more lean muscle mass, transforming yourself in the process.

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Muscle Building May Be Hard, But It’s Easier Than You Think

If one of your goals is to build muscle, then these 4 tips can help you get faster results. Regularly following these tips can lead to quick results compared to what you have in mind.

There are a lot of myths floating around in the muscle-building world. Some of these myths are confusing, and some are downright silly. Some myths may lead you to think that your muscle gains are limited to X factors. What you need to do is sift and sort out the information. Find the workouts that work and do it the right way. Following these 4 tips below will guarantee that you will experience muscle gains faster and easier than ever.

1. Proper Form –

When it comes to building muscle, the basic idea is to make the lightest weight you can handle feel like it's the heaviest. Basically, going slow is your best bet. Avoid lifting tons of weight as fast possible, as this will not tear your muscles compared to going slow. When those muscles tears begin to heal, your muscles start to grow. Also, there is a tendency that when you speed up, you will be losing the form of your exercise, which is very critical. If you have been doing it all wrong in the past, it's time to make the right change. Go slower and you will gain faster muscle growth.

2. Muscle Confusion –

To gain faster muscle growth, its important that you force your muscles to adapt all the time. If you are doing the same routines constantly for months at a time, your body and muscle adapts to the workout. It will anticipate the exercise and optimizes the muscles. When the muscles adapt, muscle growth halts or slows down. By constantly changing your workout routine every week, you will experience better muscle gains as your body and muscles is not able to expect and it's forced to adapt. You can change the days you do your workout, change the weights or change the workout routine. By doing so, you will have more muscle gains in the least time possible.

3. Proper Diet –

If you do not follow proper diet, you will simply not gain any muscles no matter how you push yourself. Keep in mind that your body will need energy in order for it to build your muscles. If you do not have a proper diet, then your body will have to burn other sources of energy, and one of those commonly used sources is your muscle itself. Muscles mostly need protein, and that should be your primary focus. You can get protein from a lot of sources like dairy products and meat. You can also make use of protein supplements. It's a quick and easy way of getting all your protein needs. As you grow bigger, your protein needs will also grow with it. At some point in your growth, you will need protein powder to keep your muscle growth. See Fitness Tips' 15 surprising muscle building foods here: http://workouttips.net/15-surprising-muscle-building-foods/16/

4. Determination –

Building muscles will take time. Here, you will need to be determined and motivated. When you first workout, you will be exhilarated as you will experience fast muscle growth. This is normal as your body is not used to such kind of activity. As you grow bigger, your body adapts, and your gains will not be as fast when you started. Also, there will be a time that your muscle growth will hit a plateau. Everyone experiences this. The solution is to simply continue working out and you will pass this plateau. By then, you will start growing muscles again.

It may take time to build muscle, but it's not as hard and long as most people think it would be. It does not matter if you are casual or a serious about building muscle, the tips mentioned above can significantly help you experience more muscle gains. Follow a proper routine, adopt a proper diet and change up your workout routines and schedules. The rest will simply sort out itself.

Good luck! and remember #addsomemuscle

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Advance Your Bodybuilding Program – Simple How To Guide

As you continue with your bodybuilding program, there is a need for you to add an increased amount of difficulty to continue your progress. If you are not advancing the difficulty of your workout program, there is a tendency that you will hit a progress plateau. Luckily, to advance your workout program is not that problematic and difficult. All you need to do is keep a few important keys in mind. There are plenty of ways you can safely push the barriers of your body's capabilities. The tips below are only a few of those important ways.

The Key Details to Advance Your Bodybuilding Program:

  • Alter your workouts – Take an effort to alter your workouts and / or exercises. For example, rather than doing back squat, do a front squat. Rather than doing grip bench press, do a regular bench press.
  • New Exercises – Find and try proven workouts that you have never done in the past. This will challenge the muscles in your body to perform at a higher level.
  • Shorter Rest Periods – The shorter your rest periods, the harder you are pushing your body. Keep in mind that when you follow this advice, make sure that you are keeping your proper form. Otherwise, injury might occur.
  • More Reps – Increasing your reps will mean that your body is going to push harder as you will be performing more reps per set.
  • Superset – Super-setting pertains to a workout that combines two exercises. You will do these two exercises back to back, with no rest period in between. This is an effective way of increasing muscular endurance, improving strength and boosting the metabolism.
  • Drop Set – Performing a drop set is simple. You start with a set using your usual weight. Then, drop 5 pounds and do another set. Finally, drop another 5 pounds and do another set before moving on.
  • Program Split – If you are doing full-body exercise or workout, try doing an upper-lower split or vice versa. However, avoid body parts split since they are not that effective.
  • Exercise Ball – Try to integrate an exercise ball, also know as a stability ball, to your common routines like lateral raise, bicep curl or shoulder press.
  • More Weight – Adding more weight is the simplest way of progressing your workouts.
  • Switching Weights – If you commonly used barbells, then switch to dumbbells or vice versa. You could also switch to using cables or something that is entirely different.
  • Kettle-bells – Using kettle-bells are one of the fastest growing fitness trends. Kettle-bells have been popular in Russia for quite some time now. This is because Kettle-bells are easier to handle and known to bring faster results.

Bottom Line

To advance your bodybuilding program, make sure that you continuously add one or two new methods into your regular routine. However, do not integrate too many new methods or exercises at once. This may overload your system, causing injury and health issues. The important thing is to add new elements on a regular basis. Follow the tips mentioned above whenever you experience a progression plateau. Do not be discouraged and keep at it. Sooner or later, you will be progressing again.

A fast way to advance your bodybuilding program is to invest in buying a program to help you. Great programs I would suggest are.

Adonis Golden Ratio

Bench Muscle

Bar Brothers

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How to Build Core Strength With Long Log Training

Unilateral carries are great for the core. For those who do not know, unilateral training is a form of training which utilizes training one side of the body at a time. Unilateral training is a very functional form of training which transfers to many real world scenarios and to sports.

When one is training unilaterally the core has to work to balance the body and this helps with activating the core muscles.

Unilateral training helps with balancing imbalances in the body and thus preventing injury. The core needs to work harder during unilateral training to stabilize the spine and pelvis.

Unilateral caries are a great way to work the core and activate some of the deep core muscles. The core muscles are made up of transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal obliges, external obliges, rectus abdominis, pelvic floor muscles, sacrospinalis, logsisimus thoracis, trapezius, diaphragm, latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus.

Some examples of unilateral carries are suit walkers, kettlebell rack walkers, kettlebell overhead walkers, sandbag shoulder walks, waiter walks.

A good advanced unilateral carry is the long log carries. When you carry a log on one side, your core has to work harder to balance the spine and the pelvis but when you do this exercise with a very long log, the log will not just substantially shift side to side but the two ends of the log will shift up and down at a greater extend while compared to short log carries. You will have to work harder to make sure the log does not fall back or forwards. This will get your abs involved at a whole new level. Once you master the short log carries I highly recommend getting a long log (it can be the same weight) and doing the same exercise and trust me, it will feel much different. Try not to use your arms too much to stabilize the log if you want to work on your core. I just use my arms to hold the log still and then use my core to stabilize it. This tip helps with getting your core in to the game a lot more.

With short log carries you can do heavier loads so it has it's slightly different benefits. I recommend using a short log and long log for carries to get maximum benefits from your core training. Once you master the carries, the next step is learning how to do squats in this position.

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Bodybuilding Tips For People Who Are Naturally Thin

Most thin individuals are struggling to experience muscle gain even after long periods of working out. In the bodybuilding world, thin people are also known as ectomorphs. Thin individuals have very high metabolic rates compared to the average, so they have more difficulty in gaining muscles.

While it is true that thin individuals have larger challenges when it comes to gaining muscles, it is not impossible. To experience that muscle gain you are looking for, you only need to do a few, but critical changes. As long as you follow the tips mentioned below, add a little focus and determination and together with a proper diet, you will soon get those bigger muscles that you want. The most important is to never give up and keep at it so you can see the difference over time. Without further delay, below are a few tips for gaining muscle for the natural thing individuals.

The Key Details:

Less Work –

Many thin individual workout in the gym for countless hours, thinking that it's the way for gaining bigger muscles. However, thin individuals have a very high metabolic rate. This means that it's better for you to spend less time at the gym. More gym hours will only mean more stress for your body and longer recovery time.

Full Body Workout –

For thin individuals, the best routine is a full-body workout at a rate of 3 times a week.

Compound Movements –

Thin individuals are highly advised to do compound workouts only. Compound workouts involve working the majority of the fibers within the muscle. Also, this is to stimulate the best anabolic response in your body. Since one of your goals is limiting your workout time, isolation exercises are not advised.

Calories –

For your diet, aim for food that is dense in calories and are of low volume. A few examples of these kinds of foods are pasta, dry oats, steak, nut butter, seeds and nuts. These kinds of foods will load your body with enough calories, without making you feel bloated.

Calorie Drinks –

Another great way of ensuring that your calorie intake is sufficient is by drinking your calories. This translates to protein shakes that are high in calories.

Stress Levels –

It's important that you keep your stress levels down. Whenever your body feels stressed, it turns on the catabolic state. In this state, the body has a tendency to burn muscle tissues, which is counterproductive for what you are aiming for.

Enough Rest –

When you are sleeping, it's the body's change to recover. Here, put a high priority on sleeping. 8 hours a day is a must.

Daily Activities –

Keep your daily activities to a minimum. The more activities you do, the more calories you will need to burn. Remember, you are trying to store calories, so you can burn it for building your muscles.

Cardio –

Do the right amount of cardio. It is important that you do not do more cardio than needed. In fact, it's better to err on the “less cardio” side.

Workout Routines –

Do not fall into the trap of doing the same routines over and over again. Keep your muscles and body guessing so it will work to the fullest.

Attitude –

It is very challenging to stay motivated, especially if you see little progress. However, it is important to stay positive and commit yourself. This also means not skipping gym time. Take note of when you are making excuses to make it to the gym, and focus changing that.

Bottom Line

You might be surprised with the tips mentioned above. If you are a thin individual, your body works differently. This means you will need to have a special approach to bodybuilding. If you are overlooking the tips above, it could be the reason that you are not getting the results you desire. Make the necessary changes, and experience the difference it makes.

Remember! nutrition! nutrition! nutrition!

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A Great Recovery Trick That Can Also Boost Immunity

This is a recovery trick I picked up from the movie Choke Dee, which is the movie about the kickboxing legend Dida Diafat. In the movie, you will see the main actor using a leg up posture to help with his recovery. This method is something that made me think about inverted yoga asanas, such as: Viparita karani or Salamba Sarvangasana. Positions like this can really benefit the recovery of athletes and can aid with the lymph drainage.

To perform Viparita Karani, what you need to do is: lay down with your legs perpendicular to the floor and resting on the wall. You will need to bring your hips to the corner where the floor and wall meet. Make sure your lower back is touching the ground. Your hands can be by your side with your palms up, similar to corpse pose in yoga. You may focus on your breathing in this position.

This helps with recovery, since inverted posts use gravity by stimulating flow of the lymph fluid and increases the rate of lymph drainage.

The lymphatic system is a network that is responsible for transporting the lymph, which is a fluid containing white blood cells through the body. The lymphatic system also aids with removing toxins and waste products, which can be a result of training.

The lymph system duties consist of:

Removal of interstitial fluid from tissues
Absorbs and transports fatty acids and fats from the digestive system
Acts as a system that carries the white blood cells to lymph nodes from the bones and vice versa
Responsible for our immunity and transports antigen presenting cells to the lymph nodes.

During the process where the arteries provide nutrients to the tissues, the blood pressure forces plasma out of the arteriole end of the capillaries and into the interstitial fluid between the cells of the tissues. Most of this blood plasma enter the capillaries on the venous end due to the osmotic pressure; However, some of this fluid enters the lymph capillaries. Our body sends 20 liters of blood through the arteriolar end of capillaries and 17 liters of this makes it to the venous end. The 3 liters lost is what enters the lymph capillaries. Three liters is more than half of our entire volume of blood and it is very important that these 3 liters end back up in the circulation system.

The lymph fluid does not have a pump, like our circulation system has with the heart; rather, the lymph fluid is moved by muscle contraction or massage. This is why working out or being physically active improves the immune system. This also explains why light workouts aid with recovery, since the lymphatic system aids removal of waste products and toxins. Massage and inverted positions such as Visparita Karani are also great for helping with lymph drainage.

The three liters of blood that enter the lymph capillaries goes through various lymph nodes and ends up at two major lymph ducts: the Right Lymph duct or the Thoracic Duct. The right lymph duct sends the lymph back into circulation by sending this fluid to the inter jugular vein. The larger thoracic duct sends the lymph back into the subclavian vein.

For those who sit for long hours every day, activating the lymph system is very important. Much of the current research focuses on howitting effects the circulation system, but the lymph system is also affected and to boost our immunity it is very important to go for 5-10 minute walk after every hour of sitting.

According to ancient yoga texts, it is claimed that this pose will fight aging and will keep you young. It is also claimed to have helped with headaches, anxiety, depression, muscle soreness, arthritis, digestion issues, insomnia, blood pressure problems, respiratory disorders, urinary track ailments, and menopause.

This pose is also claimed to:

Improve immune system
Calm the Central Nervous System
Aid the regulation of blood pressure
Help with lymph collection at feet
Balance the Endocrine system

Olympic lifters such as Dmitri Kholov use inversion tables to help decompress the spine but this is something that can help with recovery as well. They may not be focusing on the lymph drainage benefits but still this is something they gain when they use this. Since the lymphatic system does not have a pump and it is activated by massage, it is very important to perform foam rolling, lacrosse ball rolling, and other myofascial release methods after workouts to aid with the lymph drainage process. After workouts rolling methods and inverted posts are great for aid with recovery. Inverted posses also improve the cardiovascular system function by assisting with the deoxygenated blood in the extremities to flow to the heart.

Additional to the Viparita Karani, Salamba Sarvangasana other inverted posts such as the headstand or anti gravitational yoga poses work in similar fashion.

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Jack Up Your Workout by Demystifying the Myths About Caffeine

Have you ever wondered about the pros and cons of caffeine? Well, most of us and at most times must have heard that caffeine is harmful to our health. But, wait here and think again! Forget what we have been reading and hearing in the past, and let us here understand if or not caffeine is right for our daily diet needs!

Popular Opinions?

When it comes to scientific and other expert opinions on caffeine, we may feel that we are in a hurly-burly situation. Every next day, we hear or read different views and notions about different forms of caffeine. Some beliefs such as it helps avert diabetes, alleviate headaches, curve asthma, and can even help one in losing weight.

And, as soon as these speculations start increasing your body's endorphin levels, you may hear reports about coffee or caffeine affecting your arteries, increase your heart rate, get you craving carbs and also contribute to problems related to osteoporosis.

What is the truth?

Browsing the latest information, we will find that around 20K thousand studies have been examining the various benefits and drawbacks of caffeine. Out of those, a good number of research and studies conclude caffeine to be acceptable, with the exception of pregnant women and heart patients advised to avoid caffeine. Rather, it is rightful for people looking at weight loss. Let us see how.

Caffeine and Weight Loss: Is it a yes or no?

We have not noticed that caffeine is an essential ingredient in a number of handmade fat-burning stocks as well as many well-known diet pills. Moreover, we have also heard experts advise you to drink coffee or other caffeine drinks to help you in losing weight. However, all this controversial calls for the question if caffeine actually helps in weight loss. Well, the answer comes to is a sure yes. Let us see how it primarily helps one lose weight.

  • By providing an instant energy boost: One thing that everyone can be sure about coffee and similar caffeine drinks is that these act as stimulants. Further, they increase alertness as well as temporarily avert drowsiness, helping us to perform certain tasks in continuity. Well, this is not just limited to mental functions. It also includes physical tasks, like running or weight lifting. This can also convey that a small shot of caffeine can provide you with all the energy that is required to deliver your 100% during the workout. And, what else than giving his or her her 100%, can anyone ask for while working out to facilitate quick results.
  • Boosts your metabolism: Caffeine take can electrify the process of your body releasing free fatty acids into the bloodstream, commonly known as lipolysis. This course usually takes place, while the body is breaking down its fat storage to convert the same into energy. Specifically staining, caffeine alleviates enhancing your metabolism rate and also helps you burn fat.

With this, we have well-established our analysis that caffeine can indeed help you with your weight loss efforts. Common forms of caffeine contain tea, coffee, canned drinks, dark chocolate and caffeine capsules available at a popular online store for supplements .

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A Guide to Progression in Workout Planning

Developing your own long term workout plan requires consideration of multiple principles of fitness development. One of the most important principles, and one you should consider very early in your planning process is progression.

Progression is the process of increasing the general demand on your body periodically through exercise. The methods you can use to implement it through your workout are: increasing weight, changing the number of sets or reps per exercise, decreasing rest time, and changing the complexity and difficulty of exercises conducted. It is a method that professional bodybuilders and athletes all use.

When you start any program it is important to start with one repetition max test in order to establish a baseline. Gathering data on your one rep maxes allows you to set a baseline for where your level of strength currently is. With this baseline, you can plan out your weights using 1 rep max percentages, and you can also set your strength goals for the end of the program. It is also important to test at the very end in order to assess your plan.

Below is an example of a simple 6 week workout plan for the bench press that implements progress.

Exercise: Bench Press

Week 1: Test for 1 Rep Max

Week 2: 4 sets x 6 reps (50% 1RM)

Week 3: 4 sets x 6 reps (60% 1RM)

Week 4.5 sets x 4 reps (75% 1RM)

Week 5: 5 sets x 4 reps (80% 1RM)

Week 6 Re-Test for 1RM

This example increases weight resistance during exercise and changes set and rep count. A realistic expectation for a short and simple workout like this would be a 10-15% increase in 1 rep max. This amount of improvement may not seem like enough for most people looking to greatly improve their level of strength in a program, however the effect of progress is compounded when it is implemented over many exercises and a longer period of time. Common plans like this can cover a 15 week period and include 6-10 exercises per workout.

Overall, this is an important principle to consider when creating any gym plan. It can help prevent plateaus in strength gains and is one of the easiest ways to track your weekly progress through a workout plan. Many professional body builders and strength athletes implement it into their workouts in order to ensure they are in optimal shape come competition time. You do not have to be a professional athlete to use progress, and in fact it sometimes works best for average weight lifters with a lot of strength to gain.

These types of strength programs can easily be found online, or you can make your own! Just be sure to test your initial strength levels before you start planning.

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The 3 Best Weight Training Options for Building Muscle Mass

Do you think that lifting heavy barbells and dumbbells is the only way to build muscle mass? Then think again. In this article you will find 3 weight training options that are proven to build muscle mass.

Add these weight training options to your bodybuilding repertoire and maximize your muscle gains.

So heavy barbells and dumbbells are taking the fun out of your muscle building workouts. You have enough motivation but weights seem to be going now. What is happening you think!

The solution might be simpler than you think.

No. It does not require any $ 200 per hour coach to figure it out. You need a change in your bodybuilding option.

Why change works in the bodybuilding world

In one word. Homeostasis .

Homeostasis, also called adaptation or your body's ability to adjust to any new stimulus is the largest enemy of your muscle building gains.

When you constantly lift heavy barbells and dumbbells, the stress on the muscles, joints and nervous system compounds. Every week the stress adds and finally the body adapts.

It adapts not just to the workout routine, but to the kind of stress itself. At this point your body demands new stimulus, it wants new options to grow.

Your 3 Awesome Weight Training options to build muscle mass

The language of muscle is tension. It does not care how you provide it. Machines, dumbbells or barbells. All it perceives is tension.

With that being the constant factor there are 3 options you have to build muscle.

Each stresses the muscle-skeletal and nervous system differently and hence should be part of your muscle building toolbox.

Option One: Bodyweight Training

Before you reserve bodyweight training only to rehab, travel fitness or when you get back from layoff, let me share a secret.

Bodyweight training, also called calisthenics is becoming the next best thing in bodybuilding, flexibility training and sports.

The new body dynamics researched in calisthenics is showing us how to use it either individually or in conjunction with weight training to maximize muscle gains.

Since bodybuilders are excellent at doing push ups, pull ups and other bodyweight exercises, the best way to incorporate them is by doing single limb moves. Master one arm pull ups and single leg squats for 4-6 weeks and see how your barbell weights go up.

If you are serious bodybuilder, take time for bodyweight training. Your brain and muscles will thank the new stimulus and grow from it.

Option Two: Kettlebell Training

The latest craze for kettle bells has not gone unnoticed by intelligent bodybuilders. Although kettle bells do not provide the incremental poundage increase, they are VERY different in stimulating your nervous system and are more easy on the joints.

Mobility drills have been shown to carry over to heavy weight training easily. All this means more weights loaded and more muscle mass gained.

Option Three: Plyometric Training

Want to increase the recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers which have the highest potential for growth?

Add 2-3 week plyometric workouts to build a new muscle-brain connection that no other form of weight training can bring.

How to add new weight training options

Heavy barbell and dumbbell training is the bread-and-butter of bodybuilding. But do not fall to the routine.

Intelligent bodybuilders should realize the value other options bring to the table and maximize your muscle gains by adding them.

The best way to add them is by creating a 3-4 week window every 4-6 months. During this time you train exclusively with the newer form of training. At the end of 3-4 weeks, get back to your heavy barbell training.

Conclusion: Business leaders know that the largest marketing breakthroughs come from non-business world. Bodybuilders should realize the important of adding newer options to their muscle building workouts to keep them fresh, up to date and effective.

Calisthenics, kettle bell and plyometric training are excellent for accelerated muscle training for both beginner and advanced bodybuilders alike as they stimulate your brain and muscles in unique ways to maximize muscle growth.

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20 Reasons Why You Should Squat And How To Do Them Correctly

If I had to choose just one weight training exercise that builds overall lean muscle mass and increases strength, it would have to be squats.

But it's important to learn how to squat correctly.

Having good form and technique is critical to get the maximum benefit and to avoid injury. It's not a difficult exercise to perform, and I recommend it to anyone.

Originally, I had planned to make a list of “10 reasons why you should squat”, but I ended up expanding the list as I went on.

Some of these I have researched and some are from my experience of squatting over the years.

People still have a misconception about squatting and think they are meant only for pro athletes and bodybuilders.

That's not true; squatting is suitable for anyone, both male and female, who are interested in building lean muscle and burning fat as well as improving their health.

Why Every Woman Should Squat

It is especially great for the ladies that want a great set of legs and a sexy butt. Think Jen Selter, Instagram Sensation.

Jen Selter has inspired thousands of women around the world to get a bigger butt.

If you do not know who Jen Selter is, you can do a Google search to get more information about her.

If you are on Instagram, you may have seen her photos.

It's quite possible that Jen Selter had a huge influence on a lot of girls wanting to follow in her footsteps to getting the body of their dreams. Who knows …?

Okay, back to what I was saying before …

When you think about it, everyone, whether they realize it or not, we all have to sit down, stand up and pick something up off the floor.

We never think about making these movements. Our bodies have been programmed to do these things ever since we were kids.

It just feels natural.

Squats, when done properly, is the best compound exercise for building mass as well as increasing size and strength in the body.

Before I get into the 20 reasons why you should squat, I'd like to share my squatting story …

I remember when I first took up squatting in the gym. I used to squat with bad form for months without realizing what I was doing wrong.

And one day, while I was holding a 100 kg bar cross my shoulder, I lost my balance, and the weight came down on top of me.

Lucky enough, two guys rushed over and were able to grab the bar in time. This was all a result of bad form and not setting myself up to do them properly.

Not only did I have bad form, when I squatted, I did not go all the way down, afterall, it's the deep squat that activates your glutes and hamstring muscles to it's full potential.

I still see guys at the gym, with bad form and usually point out the mistakes that they make and the correct way to do them. Usually appreciate my guidance.

So guys, save yourself the time of causing an injury. Trying to impress your gym buddy, is not worth it, unless you both know what you're doing.

For extra safety, you can even do your squats on a smith machine. So if you are a beginner, then I suggest squatting on a smith machine until you get used to doing them properly.

Squatting on A Smith Machine

Most good gyms have a smith machine, where the bar is connected within steel rails, for added safety.

This will prepare you for when you're ready to do them on a squat rack.

I think one of the main reasons why some people avoid doing squats is because they are afraid of risking the chance of getting injured.

But if you know how to do them correctly, not only will it increase muscle mass in your lower body, but it will do them same for your upper body.

It does not matter whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or increase strength, squatting will help you achieve each of these goals as long as you stay consistent and aim to lift heavy often.

I would not recommend doing squats more than twice a week. Like any weight lifting exercise you do, your muscles need time to grow. So recover is essential.

If you keep exercising the same muscles every day, you're not giving them time to recover and could do some damage if your not careful.

If you're a skinny guy and you want to build muscle, a good start would be to do five sets of five, at your body weight. Once you can get to a stage where you can lift your own body weight, you can gradually increase the weight as you get comfortable lifting heavier.

It's a big achievement when you know you can lift more than your own body weight. That's how you know you are getting stronger each week.

When you can lift heavier weight each week, you will feel inspired so that you look forward to your next squat session.

Here are the 20 reason's you should squat

1. Increase Size And Strength In Your Entire Body

When you squat, you will also build muscle in your hamstrings, quads and calves. Due to the high amount of HGH released, you will also build size and strength in the rest of your body.

The reason this happens is because when you perform a squat the correct way, your body is forced to naturally increase its own anabolic hormones that will cause other muscle groups to get larger quicker the next time you train them.

2. Improves Circulation In The Body

Squat exercises get the blood pumping in your entire body and improves your health all round.

3. Increase Testosterone & Growth Hormones

Exercises such as squats and dead-lifts release essential growth hormones that contribute to muscle growth and strength gain in the entire body.

4. Increase Core Strength

Squats hit your entire core muscles from every angle, so it gives you every reason to do them if you want killer abs.

5. Improve Flexibility

Because the deeper you squat, the more flexible you become. Squatting will also increase hip flexibility. A lot of people carry a lot of stress in their hips because they have bad post so they feel the need to sit down more often.

6. Great For Burning Fat

Most of the muscle you gain from squatting heavy will come from your lower body, and the more muscle that you gain the more fat you will burn.

7. Squats Strengthen Joints

Once you know how to perform squats correctly, not only will it prevent injury, but it will also strengthen your joints too. When you squat down, with all that weight on the bar, you are engaging your ankle, knee and hip joints at the same time.

8. It's Functional For Completing Daily Tasks

What I mean by this is that It makes your daily tasks easier, like if you are carrying groceries' home or lifting or moving furniture in your house. So it makes your body safer during real world activities.

9. Reduce The Risk Of Getting Injured

Squatting is a safe exercise; once they are done correctly it will reduce the risk of injury. Because as you expand the depth of each squat, you will increase strength in your quad muscles that will also enable you do perform other compound exercises with ease.

10. Become A Better Athlete

It does not matter what sport you do; you need to be squatting. It's essential to have a strong lower body, whether you're doing swimming, playing tennis or basketball. You should squatting.

11. Increase Vertical Jump

Squats are great for increasing your rate of force development that is important if you want to be able to jump high. I found barbell jump squats a great way to increase vertical jump.

12. Improved Workout Efficiency

I'm a strong believer that squats improve strength, stability and efficiency when it comes to doing other weighted exercises such bench bench, deadlifts and even pull-ups. I find that it gives you that extra edge over that's crucial when you're trying to squeeze out one last repetition, when you've reached failure.

13. Develop A Great Set Of Legs And Butt

It makes no difference whether you are male or female. Squats will give you a great set of legs and butt. So ladies, If you want to activate those butt muscles, do deep squats with a wide stance so that it gives your butt a better workout. Your friends will want to do what exercise you did, while the lads will be drooling over you.

14. Get Killer Calves

For those of you who are accused of having skinny legs, like I once had. When you squat heavy, it will gradually build muscle in your calves. No more chicken legs.

15. Squats Are Cheap

All it takes is a barbell or a set pair of dumbbells. You do not have to buy them brand new either.

16. Increase Sprint Times

According to research, studies show that sprinters can increase their sprint times by a significant degree as a result of squatting.

17. Improve Athletic Performance

Not only will you gain size and strength in your legs, squats will also increase your performance capacity to run faster and jump higher.

18. There Are More Than One Variation Of Squats

Not just the traditional bodybuilders squats where you place a barbell over your shoulders. You can do dumbbell squats, kettlebell squats, wall squats, plie squat and barbell front squats. There are lots more ways to squat.

19. You Can Squat Just About Anywhere You Like

You do not have to be in the gym to squat, and you do not even need gym equipment. You can do them at home, at work or the beach.

If you do a Google search for “Squat without equipment, I'm sure you will find lots of variations. Try doing 100 bodyweight squats, and I'm sure you will feel the effects from it. Even 50 is good enough.

20. Squats Are A Universal Compound Exercise

Other than dead-lifts, squats are a mainstream exercise that uses more muscles in the body.

Now It's Your Turn

Now that you have read all the reasons why you should squat, it's time to add squats to your next workout. It does not matter whether you're a bodybuilder or a beginner, you can start squatting and will notice almost immediately results as long as you stick with it.

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10 Reasons To Get Off Your Ass and Work Out

I know you have probably heard a lot of the propaganda as to why you should get off your ass and work out. They say working out helps you to maintain lean body tissue, helps you look sexy, and the list goes on and on.

The truth is, anyone can work out for whatever reason they want. It can be to attract the opposite sex, reduce stress, build self-confidence or improve a sport.

My reason for writing this article is to motivate more people to get their ass to the gym today or at least make exercise a regular everyday habit. Whether you do it at home, at a park or the gym, it's entirely up to you.

But some people just are not bothered and make all sorts of excuses and procrastinate when it comes to exercises.

My Reason For Working Out

The main reason I go to the gym is to increase strength, build muscle, improve health, look good and of course to reach my fitness goals.

I love working my butt off in the gym, I am passionate about it and nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.

If you are not used to working out it can be quite tedious, especially if you're not sure what you're doing.

Maybe you just do not have the motivation to work out. If that's the case, get yourself a workout buddy to make exercise more enjoyable and worthwhile.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Work Out

1. Reduce Stress

Exercise will reduce your stress. When you have a hard day at work, try to do a 30-minute cardio session. Trust me, it's better to do little than do less.

Get up an hour earlier every morning and go for that 20-minute jog or join a gym.

You will feel a lot better through the day if you make exercise a part of your daily routine.

2. More Energy

When you feel lazy, almost everything goes wrong. You put things off that your were supposed to do.

Exercise gives you the energy to get through a busy day. It will feel a lot more rewarding to put your feet up at the end of the day when you got all the important stuff done.

So instead of relying on caffeine to boost your energy, a good workout will make you seem more energized for the rest of your day.

3. Look Good

Not only does exercise make you lose weight, you will also look better in the clothes you wear. If you're a woman, you might want to look good in those skinny jeans or tight skirt so you do not have to keep wearing that long dress that covers up most of your body.

If you're a guy, there is nothing worse than wearing baggy trousers with your belly hanging over it. When you lose all that weight, you can throw away the baggy jeans and buy yourself a pair than fits perfectly and makes you look thin.

Being overweight can make you feel self-conscious in social situations, but when you lose the weight, you will find yourself being the life and soul of any party you go to. At least when Christmas rolls around, you will not feel guilty about binge eating for just one day.

4. Slows Down the Aging Process

As you get older your metabolism slows down, so exercise is an excellent way to slow down the aging process and keep you feeling young and fresh.

5. Sleep Better

Whenever I work out, I never have a problem getting a good night's rest.

6. It's Fun

For me, the only time exercise is not so enjoyable is when I did not get a good sleep the night because so I'm feeling tired. Other than that, exercise is a lot of fun, especially when you have a training partner to do it with you.

7. It Strengthens Your Memory

A recent study from the journal behavioral brain research shows that regular, steady state cardio such as brisk walking or jogging is reflected in higher blood levels of hormones that is associated with a strong memory.

8. Reduces The Risk of Cancer

According to Research done at the National Cancer Institute, exercise lowers risk of endometrial and breast cancer.

9. Feel More Confident

After all that hard work from working out at the gym, while gaining strength and muscle, it's no wonder why you would not feel more confident in yourself and your abilities. And of course the more your friends and family compliment on your body, the more confident you will feel.

10. Improves Your Mood

If you find yourself sitting at home doing nothing but feeling anxious or depressed, a 20 minute walk or jog can boost your mood and make you feel happier and more relaxed.

We all have a bad day, but I've found exercise a great way to relax our minds so that we can come up with a solution to any problems in our lives.

Anytime I feel stressed, I put on my trainers and head out for a 20 minute jog and that always puts me in a better mood than before. There is nothing quite like having that spring in your step that you get from running or jogging. Feels great!

So if you're not into the whole gym scenario that's perfectly okay, but as long as you get off your ass and make an effort to work out a few times per week. Trust me, you will be doing your body a huge favor when you do.

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4 Traps Workouts For Crafting The Perfect Shoulders

Yes, it's easy to notice the guy with big arms, but huge traps are even more impressive. When it comes to building the upper body, the trapezius muscles are often neglected – even though they can make a HUGE difference to your overall physique.

The best workouts for your traps focus on sculpting the shape of these muscles, as well as packing on a good amount of size.

This combination of definition AND mass is a sure-fire winner, but it's important not to overdevelop the traps if your chest and shoulders are missing. It's all about striking the right balance.

By the end of this article, you're going to have a clearer understanding on the best exercises that will transform your traps from scrawny to super-size. Read on to find out what my top 4 traps workouts are for Crafting The Perfect Shoulder muscles …

Is bigger really better?

Good traps are not too bulky and have a good cut where they meet your shoulders. When combined with the lats, the traps should help to create a kite-like shape – the perfect balance of lean mass and definition that we talked about earlier.

Why definition is important

When looking at the back, you will want to see a good amount of definition from the bottom of the head to the outer shoulders, and the traps should extend to the middle of the back.

The top part of the traps – which is also the most visible – is often the hardest to develop. But if you're up for a challenge, I'll tell you how to do it …

Workouts for Bigger Traps

Say 'traps workout' to any bodybuilder, and they'll probably recommend doing lots of shrugs.

Yes, these are effective exercises for building up this part of the body, but there are even better workouts that will really give you the mass and definition that you need.

If you're looking to build 'tall' traps that have a slight hanging look, you're going to have to do more than scratches.

Here are some of the best exercises you can do for taller, more defined traps.

1. The shrug (3 sets of 50 reps)

The classic shrug is pretty self-explanatory and once you've mastered it with a proper form, you'll be good to go. Perform with a dumbbell, straight Olympic bar, trap bar, hex bar, or even cables – it's up to you.

It's not about how much weight you use but how you perform the exercise.

What's the correct weight to use, I hear you ask? It should be heavy enough for you to struggle on the 11th rep, and then you can use that last bit of strength to push out the 12th.

If you get to the 12th rep and could probably do a couple more, the weight you're using is too light.

2. Single arm dumbbell upright rows (3 sets)

Ever heard of the weight-to-rep concept? This is basically when you match the number of reps to your chosen amount of weight. For example, if you can use a 50 pound dumbbell, you'll do 50 reps with it.

Remember – start from the elbow and focus on your form – even when you get tired .

3. Low cable face pulls (3 sets)

Attach a rope to the bottom part of a vertical cable rack – you know, the ones that you can adjust yourself. Next, stand a couple of feet from the rope to position yourself properly.

This exercise can be tough, but it's definitely one that will sort out the men from the boys. Try not to pause at the top of each rep, and keep the movement steady.

4. Upright row (3 sets)

A great exercise for building traps – even if you've probably done it before. Just concentrate on pulling up – placing a slight pressure on the traps – and do not cheat by leaving backward or forward.

Customize your workout

The truth is this: the traps can be difficult to build so you'll need some patience. But you'll soon notice a difference if you continue with these exercises.

The best workouts for your traps focus on both size and definition, and although heavy weight is good, you'll get more out of it if you focus on form.

Complete the following 4 traps workouts:

  • 4 sets of 5-8 reps of shrugs
  • 4 sets of 5-8 reps of single arm dumbbell upright rows
  • 4 sets of 5-8 reps of low cable face pulls
  • 4 sets of 5-8 reps of upright rows

One last thing …

keep safe at all times, and do not overdo it! You'll soon build impressive tracks that will make you stand out from the crowd. Good luck!

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20 Benefits of Deadlifts You Probably Never Knew

Without question, deadlifts are one of my favorite compound exercises after the squat. Before I share the top 20 benefits of deadlifts, in case you do not know, deadlifts are a weightlifting exercise which involves lifting a bar of weights off the ground.

Deadlifts will help increase your overall strength and build lean muscle mass unlike any other exercise. All you need is a standard Olympic bar and the appropriate weights for your body size and you are good to go.

Some people are afraid to do deadlifts in case they get injured. You will only get injured if you do not know how to perform the exercise safely. Like any exercise, if your form and technique is bad you're going to injure yourself ever.

There are several variations of the deadlift, but I prefer just regular conventional deadlift as I find it more beneficial, also, I've been doing it for years now.

Other Deadlift Variations Include:

  1. Rack Pulls
  2. Sumo Deadlift
  3. Romanian Deadlift
  4. Trap Bar Deadlift
  5. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlifts

I personally do not do any of the above deadlift variations, but are more suited for different people based on their goals, especially if they are just learning to improve their form or lack mobility to pull the bar safely off the floor.

How often should you deadlift?

I do deadlifts once a week when I do my back and biceps workout in the same day. I usually start off every back workout doing deadlifts because it's the only exercise that requires more effort than any other back exercise I do. So, after deadlifts, it's, barbell rows, pullups etc.

Some people like to deadlift 2-3 times a week because they are not pushed to their maximum limit, therefore they are able to recover faster.

Deadlifting is popular among athletes and non-athletes alike and it's never too late to start. So, there is no excuse!

Here are 20 benefits of deadlifts which you probably did not know exhausted.

1. Fat burner

For anyone who would like to lose extra pounds, deadlifts can come in very handy. Deadlifts facilitate the rapid burning of body fat and it complements dieting and aerobic exercises. Some experts say believe that with deadlifts alone, one can burn more pounds of fat than they would while dieting

2. Muscle Workout

Deadlifting is the best workout for those who would love to exercise as many muscles as they can. What most people do not know is that deadlifts engage all the major groups of muscles of the body. Not only do deadlifts work out the upper body, but also the lower body and the muscles of your back. If you have no time to do many exercise routines, this one will suffice.

3. Improves Posture and Stability

If you have problems standing or sitting upright, you should try deadlifting. The idea behind deadlifting is to enhance core stability and strength. Regular deadlifting can help you achieve the appropriate posture, even when doing other activities.

4. Improves Grip Strength

What most people do not know is that when they perform deadlifts they actually work out their finger muscles. The forearm is exercised as well, but the fingers are related to to hold the weight in place. With time, you will increase your grip strength, something which may come in handy when you have a task that requires you to hold onto something for long.

5. Makes Real Life Lifting Easier

When you do deadlifts over time, you will realize that lifting things become easier and effortless. Unlike a bench press, which requires you to lie on your back and push things up, deadlifts are more realistic since nobody really pushes items in the air on a daily basis. On the other hand, people lift items off the ground or from other surfaces on a daily basis.

6. Sculpt and Strenghten Your Core

Deadlifts will help sculpt and tighten up your entire core section, upper and lower abs, obliques

7. Increases Testosterone

For a man, testosterone is a very important hormone as it is responsible for most of their features. Doing deadlift is advisable for anyone who would like to increase their testosterone levels. Testosterone improves the growth of muscles and their repair.

8. Increases Growth Hormone

Any form of exercise, especially deadlifting, increases the levels of growth hormone in the blood. This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for tissue healing, muscle growth, strong bones and fat loss.

9. Keeps the Heart Healthy

Doing 10-20 repetitions of deadlifts in a single set will definitely increase your heartbeat. Deadlifts can be an alternative to aerobics as they work the same way to increase your cardiovascular competence.

10. Affordable

One of the reasons why people avoid signing up for a gym membership is because of how expensive it is. Instead of spending that much money to stay fit, simply buy yourself an Olympic bar and a few plates and you are good to go.

11. Strengthen Hamstrings and Butt

A note to all women: Do you want curvy legs and a sexy butt? Deadlifts will help you achieve this. Squats and deadlifts are the two best compound exercises that will help strengthen and tone your entire body.

12. Prevents Potential Injuries

According to fitness experts, deadlifts may reduce the chances of one getting injuries affecting the tendons and ligaments. The reason behind this is that deadlifts enable you to develop strong muscles that support the joints.

14. Suitable for women

Women are always concerned about getting a male physique when working out. Unlike common belief, deadlifts do not distort one's femininity, but improves on their physique.

15. Not just for athletes

I do not consider myself a professional athlete although of people who do not personally know me, think I am. So you do not need to be a pro athlete to do any compound exercises – squats, deadlifts of bench press. Anybody can do them.

16. Slows down the aging process

Strength training exercises such as deadlifts and squats helps make your muscles firmer as well as and speeds up the metabolism and keeps the skin taut and strong.

17. Reduces Depression

Deadlifts help your body release feel-good hormones which are responsible for lifting the mood. After your workout, you will feel a lot happier and peaceful. This is the perfect way to deal with stress.

18. It's Fun

If you would like to exercise with friends or family, this is the best exercise to do. You can challenge each other to do a number of deadlifts and have fun while at it.

19. More than one squat variations

There are several different squat variations that you can do based on your goals and experience.

20. Builds Stamina

Deadlifting is one type of exercise that challenges a person to go beyond their comfort zone. Apart from strengthening your core, you will also get lessons on stamina and discipline.

It is obvious that deadlifts are very beneficial to both men and women. However, apart from these 20 benefits of deadlifting, there are many more reasons why you should create your own deadlifting routine.

The good thing about it is that you can do it anytime and without supervision. Start doing your ten repetitions today and take advantage of these benefits!

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