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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Simple Rep Range Rules for Strength Training


I remember the first time I ever picked up bodybuilding magazine with the intention oflearning how to train and grow. I knew nothing at the time but was ready to soak up all the information that this magazine was ready to give. I found the workout of the biggest guy in the magazine (an IFBB pro who shall remain nameless). This magazine listed his favorite workout plan and his reasons why it was his favorite.
One statement gave me an answer I was looking for. This bodybuilder stated, “When I am trying to get big, I lift heavy for low reps, but when it is time to get lean for a show I lift light weight for high reps. This is what really burns the fat.” I figured this had to be true since he was huge and lean.
As I became more embedded into the bodybuilding world, I would hear this same bit of “knowledge” over and over again. In my never-ending search for knowledge it did not take me long to discover that this common mantra of, low reps for mass and high reps for cuts, was just plain wrong. The truth about rep ranges is something that is largely unknown within the bodybuilding community.
I work with clients of all different experience levels. Some have been competing for years and have reached top levels of competition, while others are just starting out on their bodybuilding journey. It doesn’t matter the level of the trainee, I am always shocked to find that this is a rather simple topic that is largely misunderstood.
Well, no more! I want to clear the air. This may not be groundbreaking new information to the bodybuilding world, but it is something that every bodybuilder should know.





Low Reps (5 reps or less)

In weight training, one adage has stood the test of time: To get big, you have to get strong. Taking that to an extreme, many lifters adopt a powerlifting approach, coupling very heavy weights with low reps. Take a look around your gym, and you're likely to find an aspiring bodybuilder or two struggling through sets of squats or bench presses with weights at or near their one-rep maxes.

This method is a sure strength builder, and if you take a close look at any successful powerlifter, you'll notice the added mass in his frame. However, low-rep training has one significant shortcoming: Muscle-fiber stimulation, and thus growth, is correlated closely to the amount of time a muscle is under tension. Short, intense sets of 15 seconds or less will develop strength, but they simply aren't as effective in prodding a muscle to grow as sets of 30 to 60 seconds.

Moderate Reps

The time-under-tension theory leads us to our third suspect: eight- to 12-rep sets. At a cadence of two seconds on the concentric (lifting) action and two seconds on the eccentric (lowering) movement, your set will end up smack dab in the middle of the optimum 30- to 60-second range.

Why is that range critical? Because when the set lasts longer than a few seconds, the body is forced to rely on the glycolytic-energy system, which leads to the formation of lactic acid. You may think of lactic acid as a bad thing, since it's mistakenly associated with the muscle ache you feel days after a workout, but that soreness is actually a very fleeting reaction that's vital to new muscle-tissue production.

When lactic acid, or lactate, pools in large amounts, it induces a surge in anabolic-hormone levels within the body, including the ultrapotent growth hormone and the big daddy of muscle-building, testosterone. These circulating hormones create a highly anabolic state within the body and if you're after more muscle, that's exactly the state you want to be in.

The increased time under tension also leads to more muscle damage, imperative if you plan on getting larger any time soon. Theoretically, the longer a muscle is contracted, the greater the potential for damage to the tissue.

The moderate-rep range, when coupled with a challenging weight, will also bring about a much-desired condition: the muscle pump. That tight, full feeling under the skin, caused by blood pooling in the muscle, has value beyond its ego-expanding qualities. Studies have demonstrated that the physiological conditions which lead to a pump activate protein synthesis and limit protein breakdown. Thus, more of the protein you eat goes toward muscle construction instead of being burned off for energy. In a scientific twist of good fortune, the fast-twitch fibers appear to be the biggest beneficiaries of this phenomenon.

High Reps

By now, it's probably ingrained in you that you need to perform high reps per set (I'm looking at you, bodybuilders). Let me clarify that I define high reps to dawdle in the 8-12 rep range but could be as low as 6 reps per set.

There shouldn't be anything really earth-shattering here. If you train with high reps, your goal is to build a bigger muscle.

Some folks call this "structural hypertrophy" since the higher rep sets allow you to focus primarily on the muscles themselves. They also lend themselves to fewer total sets per exercise. By virtue of slowing down the movement, coupled with the sheer amount of reps you do per set, you're going to increase time under tension, which is a necessary stimulus for hypertrophy. No doubt, gains in strength will come along for the ride, but increases in muscular growth will outpace the increases in strength.

But what happens if you spend all your time here? Quite simply, your body will adapt to your training in this rep range if you continue it for extended periods of time. Furthermore, training in that zone will ultimately limit the amount of intensity you can use as well.

Do high-rep sets (15, 20, or more reps per set) have a place in programming? Sure, but they're probably the exception rather than the rule.

The solution here is clear: Focus on getting stronger! This brings me to my next point.


Comparing The Ranges

So you now know what function each rep range serves, but that is not the whole story. To really be able to put this knowledge to good use you really need to be able to interpret this info. Let's take a closer look.

Even knowing all of this info there are still those that say high rep training is not necessary and it is best to train only with low to moderate rep ranges and focus solely on progressive overload. A fairly recent study recently proved that this is just not true.

This study took 15 young men and compared two protocols in the leg extension. The researchers compared the protein synthesis response from 4 sets with 90% (RM) taken to failure, with 4 sets with 30% (RM) taken to failure. This study found significantly higher protein synthesis rates after the high rep protocol (Burd et al. 2010). This means that the old saying, low reps are for size and high reps are only for fat loss is way, way off.

There is still one problem with high rep training that cannot be ignored. As stated earlier, high reps do very little for increasing strength gains. Progressive overload is essential for growth to continue and this should lead us to one conclusion. While a high rep protocol will work well in the short term, the lack of continually increasing the resistance will eventually lead to a stall in growth.

There is actually a way around this stall though. By training with low to moderate reps and loads you can increase strength over time. These strength gains in the 1-5 rep range will have sort of a "trickle down” effect. This means that strength gains in the 1-5 rep range will transfer and lead to more strength in the other rep ranges. If a bodybuilder increases his one rep max from 250 lbs. to 350 lbs. on the deadlift, you had better believe that his 20 rep max will increase as well. This is what I mean when I say the strength will trickle down.

So using a variety of reps and loads will have a synergistic effect. Rep ranges are not independent of one another. Improvements in one area will lead to improvements in other areas. This exchange is important to understand when putting the whole picture together.

The Takeaways

There are actually two main takeaways from all of this information. All rep ranges will increase muscle growth but through different pathways. Therefore all ranges should be utilized, no matter if you are gaining or cutting.
Do not use high reps to stimulate fat loss. All weight training will stimulate the metabolism and cause a calories burn. No one rep range will cause significant fat loss over another. Diet and cardio should be the primary tools you use to shed fat and get lean. Let the weight build muscle, let your diet cut the fat.
As you can see, there are no rep ranges that are magically going to make you lose fat or get shredded more than other rep ranges. There is also no merit to the idea that high reps will not allow you to gain lean mass. If you are dieting for a show, just trying to drop a few pounds, or trying to gain as much muscle as possible you must use every single rep range to maximize growth to your fullest potential. So how do you apply this to your own workout? It depends if you are training a muscle group once or twice per week.


If training a muscle group only once per week the best way to work in all rep ranges are as follows:

  • First 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with heavy loads in the 1-5 rep range with compound movements.
  • Next 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with moderate loads in the 8-12 rep range with mostly compound movements.
  • Last 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with light loads in the 15-30 rep range usually with an isolation movement.
When training a muscle group twice per week this really allows you to specialize and focus on one type of training at a time. This is why I most often recommend more frequent training to my clients. Here is a good way to split it up:

Session 1

  • First 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with heavy loads in the 2-4 rep range with compound movements.
  • Next 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with moderate loads in the 4-6 rep range with mostly compound movements.
  • Last 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with light loads in the 6-8 rep range usually with an isolation movement.
Session 2
  • First 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with heavy loads in the 12-15 rep range with compound movements.
  • Next 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with moderate loads in the 15-20 rep range with mostly compound movements.
  • Last 1-2 Exercises – 3-4 sets with light loads in the 25-30 rep range usually with an isolation movement.

The bodybuilding world is filled with misinformation. It is important to constantly question everything. The guy at the gym that is a legend in his own mind is not the only one spouting nonsense. Even top level pro bodybuilders are often misinformed themselves.
I say it all the time, for every method you use in your training and diet it is important to ask, “Why I am I doing this?” If you don’t have a good, scientifically sound answer, then it’s time to reevaluate your methods. The outdated ideas about rep ranges are now a thing of the past.
So get out there, lift brutally heavy weight, achieve skin tearing pumps, and burn it out with high reps. Do this and you’ll be good to grow!
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How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need?



 A perennial question, argument and debate in the field of nutrition has to do with how many carbohydrates people should be eating. While the nutritional mainstream is still more or less advocating a large amount of daily carbohydrate (with fat being blamed for the health problems of the modern world), groups often considered at the ‘fringe’ of nutrition are adamant that carbohydrates are the source of all evil when it comes to health, obesity, etc. They advocate lowering carbohydrates and replacing them with dietary protein, fat or both.





Arguments over recommended carbohydrate intake have a long history and it doesn’t appear to be close to ending any time soon. Typical mainstream recommendations have carbohydrates contributing 50% or more of total calories while many low-carbohydrate advocates suggest far fewer (ranging from the 40% of the Zone diet to close to zero for ketogenic diets).

It’s safe to say that most carbohydrate recommendations that you will see are put in terms of percentages, you should be eating 45% of your calories as carbs, or 65% or whatever number is being used.

In that context, a typical ketogenic/low-carbohydrate diet might contain 0.5 g/lb (~1 gram/kilogram) of carbohydrate. An average moderate carb diet (such as The Zone or Duchaine’s Isocaloric Diet) might contain 1 g/lb (~2 g/kg) of carbohydrate or slightly more.   A typical high-carbohydrate diet would, of course contain more than that (perhaps 2-3 g/lb or more).  Typical recommendations for endurance athletes are in the 3-4 g/lb (6-8 g/kg) range and carb-loading may require 5-8 g/lb (10-16 g/kg) of carbohydrate.

Still, whether you’re looking at carb recommendations in terms of percentages of g/lb (g/kg), there is still a huge discrepancy between different experts. Some recommend lots of carbs, some recommend medium amounts, some recommend almost none.

Who’s right? Well, I am. Because rather than giving some single carbohydrate recommendation (that can’t possibly take into account all possible situations), I look at the individual and their needs to decide how many carbohydrates should be consumed daily.

 The punchline, of course is that I’ll end up concluding that how many carbohydrates someone needs (or should consume) daily depends on the same factors that affect other nutrient recommendations: goals, preferences, types and amounts of activity, and our old friend, genetic variation. By the end of the discussion, I’ll have set both minimum and maximum intake values depending on different conditions that might crop up. Let’s start with minimum amounts.

Are Carbohydrates Essential?

Despite oft-heard claims to the contrary, there is no actual physiological requirement for dietary carbohydrate. Even the RDA handbook acknowledges this, right before recommending that a prudent diet should contain a lot of carbohydrates.


To understand why carbs aren’t essential, I need to discuss the concept of an essential nutrient briefly. And, in brief, an essential nutrient is defined as:

  1.  Any nutrient that is required for survival.
  2.  Can’t be made by the body.
Quoting from my own Rapid Fat Loss Handbook:

    The second criterion is the reason that dietary carbohydrate is not an essential nutrient: the body is able to make as much glucose as the brain and the few other tissues need on a day-to-day basis from other sources. I should mention that the body is not able to provide sufficient carbohydrate to fuel high intensity exercise such as sprinting or weight training and carbs might be considered essential for individuals who want to do that type of exercise.
 

Practical Applications for Low-Carb Diets
  • Lower carb diets may be the best approach for improving body composition and biomarkers of health for severely overweight, insulin resistant, and sedentary populations.
  • Give your body just enough carbs to support liver glycogen stores and fuel the brain and central nervous system at rest, have good cognitive function, energy, and mood, etc., without overshooting your daily energy needs and gaining fat.
  • Shoot for 100-125 grams of carbohydrates per day.
  • The balance of your calorie requirements should be made up of protein and healthy fats.
Practical Applications For Moderate-To-Higher Carb Diets
  • There's a wide range of appropriate carbohydrate intakes for performance athletes, strength trainers, and bodybuilders.
  • A good ballpark starting point would be in the range of 1-3 grams of carbohydrate per pound (2-7 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram).
  • Those with good insulin sensitivity or on the higher end of training intensity or volume who want to maximize performance or gain muscle mass would lean towards the higher carbohydrate range.
  • Those with poor insulin sensitivity or on the lower end of training intensity or volume and/or looking to lose fat would lean towards the lower end.
  • Test, assess, and refine until you find your sweet spot in the carbohydrate continuum.

Make small adjustments during the assessment period (10-20%) rather than extreme changes. For example, if you start with 250 daily grams of carbs, increase or decrease by 25-50 grams, depending on the goal, rather than cutting to 50 grams or ramping up to 500 grams.



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Monday, August 29, 2016

The Best 6 Exercises for Increasing Biceps


When it comes to arm training, one muscle in particular always seems to hog the spotlight. The biceps brachii is the large two-headed muscle that makes up much of your upper arm, but it doesn’t work alone.

The brachialis and brachioradialis muscles, which help flex the elbow joint, also add size and shape to the pipes, though it takes a little extra manipulation to get them to grow. The brachioradialis makes up a good part of your forearm as well and will complete your arm development by adding a Popeye-like lower arm to that bulging biceps. In other words, biceps training isn’t just about training the biceps.






The Standing Barbell Curl

If you have any interest in building your biceps up in order to look like a tank, the standard barbell bicep curl is the best all-inclusive bicep exercise. Regardless of the amount of weight, your body will use all of the bicep muscles and some forearm muscles to raise the weight as you flex the arm closed. The standard curl forces the arm to work in relative isolation from the back and shoulders, but on one condition – you can’t cheat.

The Alternating Dumbbell Curl

The alternating dumbbell curl is a simple exercise that functions as a cross between a hammer curl and a standard curl. Instead of curling one weight using both biceps, or simultaneously curling with two separate weights, the alternating curl lets you focus the intensity of the workout in each bicep separately.

Cheat Curl

Sets: 3 Reps: see below Rest: 60 sec.
Choose the heaviest dumbbells you think you can curl, and perform as you did the conventional dumbbell curl, but use momentum from your hips to power through the sticking point (halfway up, when the weights are most difficult to lift). Do not lean back as you lift, but get into a rhythm where you rock your torso forward and then extend your hips to complete each rep. Stop each set one rep shy of total failure.

Reverse Cable Curls

Just like a normal cable curl but with an over hand grip!

Once again you will not be able to go super heavy on this exercise because the slow eccentrics will really fry and fatigue your muscles.

It is critical that you follow the slow eccentrics though if you want to see significant muscle gains as this is how you stimulate the brachialis;

The brachialis is a muscle in between your bicep and triceps on the outside of your arm – if you flex your arm you might see a little bump appear.

The brachialis actually runs underneath the bicep and by training it and forcing it to grow you will actually push your bicep upwards.

This is a bit of a sneaky way to add some extra size to your arm and therefore it’s crucial that you perform this movement with slow eccentrics as this is what the brachialis responds best to.

Supinated Bent Rows

Resistance breeds muscle gain, and more weight equals more resistance. You can sack more weight into a bicep workout using rowing. Bent over straight bar rows can let you work double the weight over your standard curling or straight bar curls.

Preacher Curl

This exercise works the long head of the biceps and is responsible for building the peak of the biceps which will create the illusion of the arms appearing much bigger.

Performing with correct form is incredibly important – at first you will need to use fairly light-moderate weight as the Preacher curl is not an exercise you can expect to be lifting the heaviest weight with.

Really focus on pulling the weight up with your biceps whilst squeezing at the top.

Can be performed with dumbbells, cable pulley or if you want to use a barbell or EZ curl bar, use a wide grip to emphasise the short head or a narrow grip for more emphasis on the long head.

Perform on a Preacher Curl bench, however if you do not have access to one then you can still put a normal bench on a steep incline and use it to the same effect.
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7 Best Abs For Men and Women


Athletes of all sports from baseball to football to hockey base their physical training on improving the strength of their core using compound movements. That's great for professional athletes, but what about guys who just want to get a ripped six-pack?

First off, let's acknowledge a hard truth: Not all abs are created equal. Some guys need to work their belly to exhaustion before they can carve out abs, while other dudes seem to get  their abs to pop without a single situp.







Regardless of where you fit on the fitness spectrum, effectively training the core comes down to the three planes of motion: frontal, sagittal, and transerve. Doing abs exercises in a circuit style keeps the intensity high and will likely lead to more fat loss.

Ready to get ripped? Let these 8 abs exercises will be the last guide you'll ever need.


Cable Crunch

The cable crunch is one of my favorites because it’s weighted and targets the entire rectus abdominis.

You can use it to hit the obliques as well by doing twisting reps where you touch your right elbow to your left knee, following by a regular straight rep, followed by one where your left elbow touches your right knee, back to the middle, and so forth.

Captain’s Chair Leg Raise

This exercise is one of the best for developing both the rectus abdominis, including the “lower abs,” and obliques.

You can start with knees bent but you want to work toward legs straight. Then, as you get stronger, you can add weight by snatching a dumbbell in between your feet.

 Mountain Climber

Think of the mountain climber as a moving plank. You perform a mini crunch when you explosively draw one knee into your chest.

What makes this move so difficult, however, is that your core has to work overtime to keep your body stable and straight every time you lift a foot off of the floor, according to Gaddour.

“You can also do it interval-style, making it a serious conditioning move to ramp up your heart rate and burn a ton of calories,” he says. For example, do as many reps as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat for 4 minutes.


Resisted Reverse Crunch

Lie on your back on the floor and wrap the band around the arches of your feet. Cross the ends of the band over each other to make an “X” and grasp the ends with opposite hands. Bend your hips and knees so that your knees are near your chest and then crunch your torso off the floor. Extend your legs while you raise your arms overhead—keep your shoulder blades off the floor. That’s one rep.


Medicinale Ball seated Knee Tuck

Sit on a bench and squeeze the medicine ball between your feet. Extend and elevate your legs out in front of you and extend your torso so that your body forms a straight line. Hold on to the bench for support. Crunch your torso forward and bring your knees to your chest.

Dragon Flag

Find an anchor to hold onto with arms extended overhead—like a chair, bench, or closed door. (We used a floor anchor in the photo above.) Lie faceup with knees bent. Shifting weight into shoulders, engage core and lift feet overhead (think shoulder stand). Try to keep legs as straight as possible. Lower legs, without allowing them to touch floor, then repeat. Do 3 to 5 slow and controlled reps.

Note: Do not perform this exercise if you have preexisting shoulder issues. Once in shoulder stand, look straight ahead, never side-to-side, to protect your neck from injury.

Hanging Leg Raises

Start by hanging from a pull-up bar with your feet off the floor. Contract your abs and tuck your hips underneath you. Raise your legs up towards the bar without swinging, using only your core strength. As your legs come up, relax your glutes and tense your abs pushing into your armpits and lift them as high as you can. Lower slowly to keep core muscles engaged for max benefits. Repeat.
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The Best Shoulder Workout For Mass





Now, if you’re reading this article, I don’t think I have to do much to convince you to build bigger, stronger shoulders. You’re sold. You just need to know how.

I bet you’ve tried too. You’ve poured who knows how many hours of time and gallons of sweat into your delts only to be disappointed. I know how that goes.

The reality is anyone who says building impressive shoulders is easy is lying. It takes a lot of work–the right work–and patience. It can be done though. And this article is going to show you how.






BOULDER SHOULDERS: THE BEST SHOULDER WORKOUT FOR MASS

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Sets: 4

Reps: 4-8

Rest Time: 60 Seconds

Pace: 2 Seconds Down

Standing Barbell Military Press

Sets: 4

Reps: 5

Rest Time: 75-120 Seconds

Pace: 2 Seconds Down

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Sets: 4

Reps: 6-10

Rest Time: 75 Seconds

Pace: 1:2 (one second down, two seconds up)

Dumbbell Arnold Press

Sets: 4

Reps: 8-12

Rest Time: 60 Seconds

Pace: 2:2

Dumbbell Shrugs

Sets: 4

Reps: 8

Rest Time: 75 Seconds

Pace: 1:2

Seated Dumbbell Rear Deltoid Raise

Sets: 4

Reps: 8

Rest Time: 75 Seconds

 Single -Arm Standing Cable Reverse Flye

Sets: 4

Reps: 8

Rest Time: 75 Seconds

Try it out and work on transforming those shoulders into boulders. Make sure to keep strict form while doing heavy shoulder presses, as it’s easy to get out of line and end up with an injury. Avoid behind the neck presses!
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Tips Trainig for Complete Pec


People always seem to mention my chest when discussing my bodybuilding physique. You might say it was my best body part. You could also say that I’m something of an authority on the subject, considering how well-developed my pecs were.




Here's an oldie but a goodie to help get you to isolate your pecs on the flat bench press. It's a simple technique that can really make a difference in how fully and intensely you're able to hit the pecs:

Sit upright with perfect posture on the end of a flat bench. Roll your shoulders back and down slightly-almost as if you're pushing your shoulder blades towards each other. Hold this position as you lay back on the flat bench.

With a shoulder's width grip and your elbows in, maintain this position throughout the bench press. It may feel awkward at first and you won't be able to lift as much weight as you're used to, but you'll hit your pecs hard and you'll feel the pump.

Add some variation to your chest training and blast your upper chest (the key to that ripped look) with this killer Giant Set:

warm-up your pecs thoroughly first. Dumbbell Flyes on the Incline Bench. Set the bench at a slight angle of around 30 degrees or so. Be sure to get a full stretch on each rep, and push yourself to failure. I like to use moderately heavy weights here (60 lbs. or so).

Dumbbell Incline Presses. Go right into these without any rest at all using the same dumbbells you have in your hands from the Flyes. Go deep on each rep, throwing your chest out and upward at the stretch point. Then squeeze hard at the point of full contraction. Go to failure.




Barbell Incline Press. Now jump right into Barbell Incline Presses with a moderate weight. Your pecs will be substantially fatigued at this point, so you'll want to have a spotter to help you push out some solid reps. Again go to failure.





Dumbbell Flyes on the Incline Bench. Drop your original dumbbell weight in half (30 lbs. in my example). Maintain great form and go to failure. Dumbbell Incline Presses. Finally, go right into Dumbbell Presses again with the same weight you already have in your hands. No rest. Pump out as many as you can. This final leg of the Giant Set really separates the men from the boys, or the women from the girls as the case may be.






Take a 90 second rest and repeat entire Giant Set once or twice more if you dare.

To bring out the full striations in the pectorals, you need the type of continuous tension you get from doing cable work. Here are a couple of my favorite cable movements for the chest.

Cable Crossovers. These are standard exercise for almost every advanced trainer, and yet you watch ten different people perform the exercise and you're likely to see ten different variations. Almost all variations of this movement have some redeeming value.




 Crossovers standing almost straight-up. Pull your arms down and hands together at a point about 6 inches in front of your lower abs. Perform the negative slowly, allowing your arms to rise above your head before exploding downward again.

In addition to this technique, I also like to do Crossovers bent at the waist (about a 45 degree angle) leaning forward. When the arms go up, the shoulder blades pinch together. When the arms come down, you should flex as if striking a "most muscular" pose.

Cable Flyes on the Flat Bench. A personal favorite. I really enjoy the continuous tension Cable Flyes provide and the explosive pump you get in your pecs when the exercise is performed properly.





Place the handles on the low-pulley on the cable machine, and position a flat bench in the middle. Use moderate weight, keeping your elbows only slightly bent throughout the entire movement. As with all cable work, emphasize the movement by flexing hard at peak contraction.

Cable Flyes on the Incline Bench. Another favorite of mine. For best results you want to use an incline bench with about a 30 degree angle. This will really hit the mid and upper pecs. A great movement for carving that chiseled, plate of armor look into your chest.






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Top Tips for developing “Six Pack Abs” 2018


It will take dedication, time and patience to get a six pack. You need to do two things: lose fat and build muscle. You get this by dieting and exercising consistently. You can have the most toned and muscular abs, but it will not show if there is a layer of fat over them. This article will discuss ways in which you can accomplish both of these goals.




Proper Eating

Proper eating is a must if you want to get lean abdominals, there is no way around it. I am sure that you know the basics of proper eating. For example, you should eat approx. 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For protein eat foods such as lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, protein drinks, protein bars, etc. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables. Eat starchy carbohydrates such as brown rice, potatoes, yams, oatmeal, high fibre cereals, etc. Limit your fat intake and avoid eating “junk-foods”. Eat a small meal or snack every few hours. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. To satisfy your sweet tooth you can eat fresh fruits in moderation. Protein drinks and protein bars can help satisfy your cravings for sweets.

Drink Your Calories!

This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Liquid calories are so easy to consume, but they do not please you, nor your waistline. ALSO, many people don’t even figure in the calories from liquids when tallying up their kcals. They almost always forget about the 2 glasses of OJ (SUGAR) and the 1 can of soda they have each day.

Along with saying “no” to fruit juices and sodas, you should also try to eliminate all other liquid calories, such as milk, smoothies and alcohol. If you’re SERIOUS about attaining that six-pack, you’ll be able to say no to these items, at least for a few weeks or months. You don’t have to never drink beer again, but if you want to jump-start your six-pack development kiss it good-bye for now.

The only liquids you should be consuming is water, water and more water, as well as green tea and some other herbal teas are also OK to consume.

Just make sure you are getting the vast majority of your calories from actual foods that you need to place in your mouth and chew on.

Cardio

If you have excess bodyfat on your midsection, you will not see your abs no matter how developed they are. Doing hundreds of crunches / sit ups does not burn fat from your stomach. Cardiovascular exercise is the only exercise that will burn off any substantial amount of bodyfat. Weight training builds muscle and cardio burns fat. You should do cardio for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week and more if you are trying to lose bodyfat. I personally work up to doing two 30 minute cardio sessions per day when I am getting ready for a bodybuilding contest.

Train your abs 2-3 Times per Week

Some people believe that the fast way to six pack abs is to train the abs every day. This will not speed up the process because the muscles need time to recuperate and grow. Training causes damage to the muscles, and the muscles respond by getting bigger and stronger. Daily ab workouts will not allow enough time for the abdominals to rest and grow. However, the abdominals do recuperate faster than most other muscle groups. So you can train them up to 3 times per week (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)

Use Athletic Abdominal Exercises and Routines For Better ABS!


I’ll admit it, I am just like everybody else and I love to train my abs. However, I fully understand that direct AB training IS NOT the key to developing great abs and I ALWAYS make sure I address the key components when looking to get my abs to show, which is nutrition and the metabolic type work I just discussed in tip number 5.

When I do train my abs, you won’t see me doing traditional abdominal exercises such as knee raises, side bends and numerous crunch variations.
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Macronutrients & Proteins



What’s for dinner? In the U.S, this question is usually answered with some type of meat like pot roast, chicken, salmon or meatloaf. Meat, because it’s rich in protein, is usually central to the meal, and vegetables and grains are frequently the afterthought. This may give the impression that a meal isn’t complete without meat and that we need lots of meat or protein for good health. The truth is, most Americans eat much more protein than their bodies require. And even if you choose to eat no meat at all, you can still meet your protein needs.




The first group of macronutrients is proteins. Proteins consist of amino acids and are the building blocks of your body. Every muscle in your body is made out of proteins. Without proteins your body will be unable to repair itself: when you cut yourself on something sharp your body will require proteins to repair the damage. Or when you have a great workout and your muscles need to recover it will need proteins to do this. Proteins are even so important for your body that it will do anything it can to have an adequate supply of them. This goes even so far that when you finish training and your body lacks the necessary amount of proteins to recover the exhausted muscles it will go to the only supply available: other muscles. It will break down some of your current muscles to help recover your exhausted muscles. As you can imagine the effect of this on your body will be that no matter how hard and how often you train, you will not increase your muscle strengths, muscle density, or total muscle mass.

Proteins: maintains and repairs – 4 calories/gram
Proteins have major roles in our body. It maintains and repairs body tissue (especially muscle), makes hemoglobin that transports oxygen, forms antibodies to fight infection, and produces enzymes and hormones to keep the body in balance and working properly. Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, providing you with a feeling of satiety (feeling full). Protein also helps to maintain muscle mass and assists in repairing muscles after your workouts. It is recommended that 15-35%* of our diets are comprised of protein. Keep in mind that our bodies can only process a certain amount of protein in one sitting- the rest is excreted in our urine. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, it is recommended that our bodies only need 0.8g/kg of protein. Also be mindful of consuming protein in food forms- not just powder and bars.

shape and size, some consisting only of ^20-30 amino acids and others of several thousands. They are present in every living cell. In the skin, hair, callus, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments, proteins hold together, protect, and provide structure to the body. As enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and globulins, they catalyze, regulate, and protect the body chemistry. Important biomolecules like hemoglobin, myoglobin and various lipoproteins, that carry oxygen and other substances within the body are also proteins.

Besides providing energy to the body, dietary protein is also required for growth—especially by children, teenagers, and pregnant women, tissue repair, immune system function, hormone and enzyme production, and for lean muscle mass and tone maintenance. When eaten, the proteins contained in foods are broken down into amino acids, an important dietary source of nitrogen. To make the proteins that it needs (protein biosynthesis), the body also needs them. There are 20 amino acids and the body can make some of them from components within the body, but it cannot synthesize nine of them, accordingly called the “essential amino acids” since they must be provided in the diet. They include: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Protein that comes from animal sources are called “complete proteins” because they contains all of the essential amino acids while protein from plants, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables are called “incomplete proteins” because they are lacking one or more essential amino acid(s).

Proteins are complex molecules and the body needs time to break them down. This is why they are a slower and longer-lasting source of energy than carbohydrates. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes (RDI) published by the Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA), adults need to eat about 60 grams of protein per day (0.8 g per kg of weight). Adults who are physically very active or trying to build muscle need slightly more. Children also need more. If more protein is consumed than is needed, the body stores its components as fat, which can be broken down and used for energy as need arises. Proteins are broken down during digestion, which exposes them to acid in the stomach and to degradation by the action of enzymes called proteases. Some ingested amino acids are converted to carbohydrates (gluconeogene-sis), which is also used under starvation conditions to generate glucose from the body’s own proteins, particularly those found in muscle.

In general we can state that proteins coming from meats, seafood, poultry, milk, yoghurt, and eggs contain these essential amino acids while proteins from vegetables do not. It is therefore recommended to combine eating proteins from vegetables with eating proteins from animals to make sure your body can make use of these macronutrients.
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Biceps Cable Superset & (Horizontal) & (Vertical)


The biceps brachii muscle is the muscle flexed most often to demonstrate one’s strength and dedication to the weight room. In order to get the biceps to grow, it is important to stimulate the muscle using a variety of different exercises.




Lying Bicep Cable Curl (Horizontal)

When you reach the top position, try curling your wrists inward towards your chin to further emphasize the contraction.

Lower the weight slowly to really work the eccentric part of the movement. Shoot for 8-12 reps to failure.

When complete, immediately drop the weight stack by half—in this case from 100 lbs. to 50 lbs. The other side should already be set at 50 lbs.; this is to save time as you need to transition from one movement to the next as quickly as possible (no break).

Grab the two upper handles as if you were going to do cable crossovers, only have your palms pointing up towards the ceiling.

Now, curl both arms in towards your head as if you were striking a front double-biceps pose. Squeeze at peak contraction and hold for a count of two. Be sure to emphasize the negative part of the movement.

Stick with a rep range of 8-12. Take a minute, repeat the superset once more, and feel your arms explode.

Lying Bicep Cable Curl (Vertical)

Move to the side with the high cable and this time lay with your head at the machine end – it should be about 6 inches from the machine. The cable shouldn’t be set at maximum height or you won’t be able to reach it! Another change – don’t lay flat. This time, bend your knees.
Begin the move by grabbing the EZ-bar or straight bar attachment. Your arms should be virtually straight. The important thing here is to keep the upper arm, from shoulder to elbow, at 90 degrees to the floor.
Now, contract your biceps to pull the bar down towards your forehead. Then slowly release back to the original position, again trying to keep the upper arm fixed in place.
Again, you’re choosing a weight that allows you to do 8-12 reps.
Complete this set and take a 30 second break, then move back to the horizontal lying bicep cable curl. Do 2-4 supersets in total.

This exercise makes a brilliant ‘finishing move’ on your arm day, and it will keep things interesting in the gym too. The result? Bigger biceps, and all thanks to cable supersets.
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beginners shoulder workout


The main shoulder muscles that concern bodybuilders are the deltoids and although they work closely with the arms and chest muscles, it is possible to isolate the delts in a training session. Unlike other body parts though, the shoulder is not designed for heavy lifting in all directions so beginners need to take care and use lighter weights than usual for shoulder-isolating exercises.




The deltoid covers the shoulder and consists of three distinct segments:

1. The anterior or front deltoid allows you to raise your arm to the front.

2. The medial or middle deltoid allows you to raise your arm to the side.

3. The posterior or rear deltoid allows you to draw your arm backwards when it is perpendicular to the torso.

The front delt usually receives plenty of work with chest exercises such as the bench press and pushup, so you'll need to use common sense and listen to your body when performing exercises that specifically target this muscle. The recommended shoulder exercises for beginners are as follows:


For lagging middle and posterior delts (but good anterior delts): 1.

     Exercise                                                       Sets                  Reps   

A    Barbell Overhead Press                              4                      6-8
B    Dumbbell Lateral Raise                              3                       8-12
C    Cable Lateral Raise (behind back)             3                      12-15     
D    Rear-Delt Dumbbell Kickback                   4                      10-15

 For lagging anterior delts (but good medial delts): 2.

     Exercise                                                                        Sets                    Reps

A    Dumbbell Overhead Press                                          4                       6-10
B    Barbell Front Raise                                                      3                       8-12
C    Dumbbell Lateral Raise                                               3                       8-12
D    Rear-Delt Dumbbell Kickback (w/ext rotation)       3                       12-15

As with all exercises you need to take care in scheduling specific body parts. To begin with you should incorporate your shoulder exercises into a program similar to the one suggested below:

Day 1: Biceps, Back, Abs

Day 2: Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs

Day 3: Quads, Forearms, Calves

Day 4: Triceps, Chest, Abs

For the first couple of weeks complete one set but then add one set each week to a maximum of three. At the end of three months you will be ready to move on to more intensive intermediate level exercises.
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How to Do the One-Arm Dumbbell Row ?


Exercising your upper back without machinery isn’t easy, but the one-arm dumbbell row does a good job. This exercise also strengthens your biceps and shoulders. Be especially careful if you have lower-back problems.





STARTING POSITION

Grasp a dumbbell with an overhand grip and palm facing body.

Rest your opposite knee on a flat bench.

The supporting leg should be slightly flexed with the foot flat on the floor.

The back should remain straight, parallel to the floor.

The dumbbell should be held at arm's length.

EXERCISE TECHNIQUE

Pull the dumbbell upward in a straight line with the elbow kept close to the body.

Lower the dumbbell slowly to the starting position.

Repeat this movement until the intended number of repetitions have been completed.

Repeat on the other side.

OTHER EXERCISES WORTH CONSIDERING

Other exercises that tackle these muscles include Bent-Over Barbell Rows (mid trapezius), Chin-Ups (upper trapezius) and Lat Pull-Downs Behind the Neck (upper trapezius).




Exercise Tips:

  •     Keep your head up and eyes facing forwards, as this will keep your back straight.
  •     Your shoulder blades shoulder be pulled back throughout the set.
  •     Do not let the working shoulder drop down at the bottom of the movement. Keep your entire torso fixed!
  •     Pull the weight straight up while keeping your elbow tucked in.
  •     Focus on pulling the weight up with your back muscles and not your forearm.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Developing the 6-Pack Men and Women


A six-pack is top of the list when it comes to desirable body parts for men and women, yet the abs muscles often cause confusion when it comes to training. Here, we outline the science behind the six-pack.




Solving this problem means first fully understanding what you are trying to accomplish. Most miracle abdominal products on the market fail to advertise the many contributors to an undefined mid-section. Instead, they focus on selling a product designed only to work the muscle.

By regularly using these products, you may develop great abdominal muscles. Unfortunately, hidden under layers of belly fat your 6-pack will go unseen.

The answer to this mystery is actually quite simple. This is a three-phased approach involving the cardio and weight training you may already be focusing on, but relying heavily on your diet is the answer.

Eating the wrong foods can be very counterproductive to all the hard work you are already doing. (Refer to the Nutrition section to understand why we put on excess body fat in the first place.)

The Three Keys to Success
Diet - focuses on reducing the amount of fat that gets stored on the body, repairs muscle tissue, and helps you get LEANER!

Weight Training - helps build muscle, speeds up your metabolism, and helps you burn calories 24/7, even when you are not active.

The first mistake a lot of men and women make is thinking that more is always better. They crank out hundreds of crunches a day and wonder why those squares of muscle aren't developing properly. The reason is that, like any other muscle, the way to build your abdominals is to keep the reps per set fairly low - in the region of 10-12 - and increase the resistance when you find it too easy, not the number of reps. That means adding weight when doing crunches or using a cable machine.

Cardio - methods used to burns excess body fat, helping to speed up results.

The other mistake that men and women often make when hunting for abs is to forget about the layer of fat that covers them. Men tend to store fat around the gut, so you really need to work hard at lowering your overall body fat percentage if you want to see your abs. This means watching your diet and doing plenty of big muscle moves, such as squats and deadlifts, that torch calories.

The 6-pack comes about by reducing your body fat, which is accomplished most effectively through your diet. Think about how you train your other muscles. You do not lift a 1000 times on the bench. Nor do you perform a thousand curls while working your chest or any other muscle group. It is still important to train the abdominal muscles regularly, but the best results come after the body fat is removed, revealing your stunning 6-pack.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

6 Essential Lifts For a Bigger & Thicker Back


Much of the time, the iron game of bodybuilding isn’t exactly a thinking man’s sport.  If you want to get big and strong, then you have to lift a lot of weight, for a lot of repetitions.  That part is clear & simple and not exactly rocket science.  And early on in your lifting experience, you are going to grow, no matter what you do in the gym.  Beginners’ gains are a wonderful thing!  However, as time passes, gains to the larger muscle groups – in particular the back muscles – become tougher and tougher to see on a regular basis.  For this reason, it is important to continually analyze our back training and at times, rededicate ourselves to the heavy compound movements that have been proven time and time again to deliver the best back training results.  Cables and machines are fun, but the heavy stuff is what gives us results – and it’s time to get to know them once again!  Let’s check out these 5 key movements for building back size, thickness and strength! and Sample workout.





Back Building Basics

Deadlifts

Without a doubt, if you want a back that is crazy thick and strong, you need to be doing deadlifts.  Wear a back brace, warm up thoroughly, and completely torch your lower back with this heavy metal movement.  Keep the repetition ranges in the 4 to 8 range to ensure you’re targeting fast-twitch muscle fibers for muscle growth, and still growing stronger at the same time.  Pull up the barbell as close to your body as possible, using chalk to protect your shins.  Rest 90 to 180 seconds between each set.

Barbell Rows

Barbell rows are not as popular as deadlifts, yet they are just as effective. This exercise is perfect for strengthening the upper back, providing good growth to your muscles. It also targets the shoulders, arms and grip. To avoid injury or straining your muscles, always warm up.

It’s essential that you keep your form to do this exercise correctly, i.e. to hit the back muscles without redirecting the effort to the hips and shoulders.   If the barbell is swinging you are missing to target your back muscles. Keep the reps into the 6 -12 range, with pyramidal scheme where you lift heavier weights for fewer reps in each set.

Chins

Many lifters will take the easy way out, opting for the lat pulldown machine in lieu of actual body weight chins.  However, after you’ve seen 300-pound professional bodybuilders knock out sets of 15 chins while wearing a weight belt, your reasoning may sound a little soft!  Climb up and pull yourself up for slow, controlled gradual repetitions.  Even if you cannot reach the desired 10 to 15 repetitions, you’ll start the growth and improvement process and get your body primed for new muscular size and strength growth in order to meet this increasing workload.  Use them, even if you’re lousy – you will improve!


Bent over Barbell Rows

For a thick, muscular, strong back perform bent over barbell rows. These are great at developing the upper back. They will engorge you traps, lats and all the support muscles with blood, producing an intense pump.

 Kroc Rows

If you’re not doing dumbbell rows with the heaviest weight in the gym, you’re missing out on everything this exercise has to offer. Failure to row with the heaviest possible weight both impedes your back development and limits how much you can bench. None of these outcomes is acceptable. I don’t care if the dumbbell rack in your gym goes up to 220—you’re capable even if you don’t know it yet.

You’ll never find a heavy bencher who doesn’t have huge lats. This is no accident. Contrary to what most amateurs believe, lowering the bar on the bench press is not only an eccentric movement. When you lower the bar, you should actually “pull” it to your chest, engaging your lats the whole way. This controls the descent and prepares the lats to flare at the bottom of the movement, which then propels the bar of the chest at the movement’s start.

Cable Rowing

This exercise should be performed after you’ve exhausted your back muscles with the previous ones, and once you’re ready to end your workout. Although you might be tired as a dog, you can rely on the machines to provide you with support. All you have to worry about is pulling the cables from different angles to completely drain out your already exhausted muscles and deliver the final punch which will require a week of rest.

As you progress in your bodybuilding workouts going from beginner into an advance lifter, you’re going to do much more cable exercises which deliver the finishing touch and shape the muscles.


Sample workout

A. Deadlift

Week one: Work up to one heavy set of 5 reps in 4-5 sets.
Week two: Work up to one heavy set of 3 reps in 4-5 sets
Week three: Work up to a heavy single in 4-5 sets.
Week four: No deadlifting.
Repeat

B. Chin-up
Warm up. Then perform as many sets as necessary to total 100 reps, alternating each set between a wide overhand grip, a medium neutral grip, and a close neutral or underhand grip. Each week try to achieve the 100 reps in fewer sets. When you can achieve this in four or fewer sets, add weight.

C. Kroc rows
Work up to one all-out set (with each arm) of 20-30 reps with as heavy a dumbbell as possible. Every week strive to set a new rep PR. When able to perform 30 reps, increase the weight. Don't do the wimpy where you keep your elbow tucked!


Finally, in the real world, a big strong back is highly functional. Anytime you pick up something heavy, the back is doing the majority of the work, so when you lift a heavy box at work, it's your back strength that will determine your success.
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Shoulder Exercises to Help you Avoid Shoulder Pain





The shoulder is one of the most amazing joints in the body. In fact it is not a 'joint', but rather a 'complex' of 5 joints, over 30 muscles and 6 major ligaments. The shoulder can assume no less than 1,600 different positions! There is more movement at the shoulder joint than at any other joint in the body. As such, it is easily prone to overuse and injury.
Athletes, such as swimmers, tennis players, golfers, baseball pitchers, javelin throwers, cricketers, rugby players and martial artists use their shoulders a huge amount and often take it for granted.





Because shoulder injury can happen, seemingly without cause, prevention is so much better than cure.

 BALANCE – THE KEY TO AVOIDING INJURY

Balance is key to injury prevention of the shoulders. And balance is achieved through five ingredients of control:
• Sports-specific technique
• Flexibility
• Core stability
• Rotator-cuff control
• General strength

•Limit your range of movement, and take it easy

Sports-specific technique – poor performance and shoulder pain commonly originate in bad habits and faulty technique. Often these faulty methods are only revealed when muscle fatigue sets in, and injury occurs.

Flexibility

The purpose of flexibility varies for the different muscles around the shoulder. For the major power muscles, flexibility facilitates freedom of movement for the pelvis, trunk, scapula, and humerus. For the rotator cuff, the critical issue is balancing forces that center the head of the humerus, and whatever provides overall more freedom of movement. This is why stretching is so important.

Core stability

core stability is critical it is for the inner core of the body and providing a stable strong support for the shoulder to work off. A good shoulder needs a good foundation. The core also provides the kinetic chain for overhead activities, allowing the trunk muscles to transfer energy and momentum to the shoulder for overhead sports. For the shoulder, the critical areas are the lumbar and cervical spine and the scapulothoracic joint. If these areas are not stable, significant extra loading and strain is passed on to the shoulder joint.


Rotator-Cuff Strength And Control

The rotator cuff is dependent on the good positioning of the scapula for effective control. If your scapula is angled too far forward or downward, for instance, rotator-cuff muscles are biomechanically disadvantaged and prime mover muscles may fail to generate enough power to be effective or avert injury.


General muscle strength

 once the essential issues of technique, flexibility, core stability, and rotator-cuff control are being implemented, we then should also look at the 'outer core'. What is the rest of your body like - does it help or hinder the performance of the shoulder?

Athletes often overwork and build up their 'mirror muscles' at the front of the shoulder, such as pec major, front deltoids, trapezius and rectus abdominis ("six pack"). What is often critically overlooked, however, is the imbalance that can develop between the front of the shoulder and the back. In those athletes that are carrying an overuse injury in the shoulder, nine times out of ten they have overdeveloped pecs and lats relative to their lower trapezius, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and posterior rotator cuff.



Limit your range of movement, and take it easy

Rehabilitation from a shoulder impingement injury should focus on rotator-cuff strengthening, as explained in Dr Kemp's article last time. However, it's important to remember that when it comes to re-introducing your weight training exercises, you must progress slowly. Often this means avoiding certain ranges of motion where the shoulder joint sub-acromial space is compressed the most. The impingement zone to avoid is between 70 and 120 degrees of shoulder abduction (when you move the arm laterally away from the side of the body)


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Monday, August 22, 2016

Tips Fat Loss



That's normal. But too much belly fat can affect your health in a way that other fat doesn't.

Some of your fat is right under your skin. Other fat is deeper inside, around your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs.

It's that deeper fat -- called "visceral" fat -- that may be the bigger problem, even for thin people.

Generally speaking, a bodybuilder would want to maintain the same consumption of protein, while cutting the levels of fat and carbohydrates consumed. To increase this caloric deficit and maximize fat loss, it’s a simple matter of incorporating more cardio (aerobic) activity into your workout regiment. It is very hard to determine exactly the changes necessary to make in your total daily calorie consumption when cutting. This depends on a number of factors including body type, body weight, level of daily exercise, and natural metabolism. Since your goal is to put your body into a calorie deficit, you should follow the simple rules outlined below, and you will become more experienced in time:




Calories Consumed When Cutting

In order to put your body in a caloric deficit, determine the number of calories you were consuming to gain mass during your bulking stage. Once you begin to cut, subtract 500 calories from this amount, and possibly increase your level of cardio activity. If you find that you are not losing any fat with this new total quantity of calories consumed, decrease your calorie consumption by an additional 500 calories per day, and continue to do this until you are losing about one pound of fat per week.

Remember, once you get experience in cutting, this will become easier and easier, and should hopefully become instinctual. The main things to remember are to decrease your calorie consumption, or increasing your cardio exercise, or both.

(1) Continue to eat the same amount of protein as you did when you were bulking, while cutting the number of total calories consumed in carbohydrates and fat.

(2) Consume a low fat diet. Make your ratio of calories 1/5 of your total daily intake.

(3) Reduce your carbohydrates as far as possible without going into a state of ketosis.

(4) Perform 3 to 5 sessions of cardio activity for periods of 25 to 40 minutes a session in one week.
 

(5) Spice up Your Dinner : Chop up an extra chilli in your stir-fry. A study in Physiology & Behaviour showed that spicy foods slash cravings for fatty, salty and sweet grub, while the University of Wyoming found that the capsaicin in chillies increases your fat-burning metabolism.

(6) Diet: There is no magic diet for belly fat. But when you lose weight on any diet, belly fat usually goes first.

(7) Getting enough fiber can help. Hairston’s research shows that people who eat 10 grams of soluble fiber per day -- without any other diet changes -- build up less visceral fat over time than others. That’s as simple as eating two small apples, a cup of green peas, or a half-cup of pinto beans.


Once again, everything depends on you, and there is no set formula for everyone to follow. In due time, and with some experience, you will find cutting a much more fun and simple experience. Don’t give up at first, just remember, if at first you don’t succeed.
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Complete Dumbbells Only Home Workout



Have a pair of dumbbells at home? That’s all you need to do a complete arm workout for bigger biceps and triceps. This workout consists of only 6 exercises and that’s all it takes to overload your arm muscles for growth.




So grab those dumbbells and let’s get started. Let’s go through each exercise first and then set up a complete workout that you can do at the comfort of your home.

A Squat with biceps curl

Hold the dumbbells by your sides. As you lower into a squat, curl the weights up to the top of your chest, keeping your knees wide apart. Reverse the move to the start.

Close Grip Press

We’ll start with the close grip dumbbell press which you can perform on a bench or the floor. Tuck your elbows close to your body and bring the dumbbells together in a neutral grip as you press the weight up. Focus on muscle contraction and especially the extension at the top. This exercise will work both, the triceps and the biceps at the same time.

Concentration curl

Start by sitting with your knees a little wider than shoulder-width and your feet flat. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and rest the back of your arm against your inner right thigh. Curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulder; make sure your upper body is motionless. Do 8-12 reps, then switch sides.


Two-hand Dumbbell Row

Bend forward at the hips as you did in the romanian deadlift and then row both weights to your sides. keep your eyes focused on the floor in front of you. Perform 4–6 reps.

Deadlift to upright row

Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs. Keeping your back flat and your chest up, bend your legs to lower the weights until they’re at shin height. Drive your hips forwards as you stand powerfully and raise the weights to the top of your chest, keeping your elbows high.

Triceps extension

Sit up straight and grab a dumbbell with both hands. Raise it above your head so it's vertical and in line with your spine. Brace your core and lower the weight behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps; then press back up to the start, keeping your upper arms stationary.

Wrist curl

Sit with your knees 2ft apart and feet flat. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms up, and lean forwards so your forearms rest on your thighs and wrists hang over your knees. Using your wrists only, curl the weights up as high as possible. Now rotate to a palms-down position and bend your wrists up.

The Workout

So here is the complete workout for your arms using only a pair of dumbbells:

    A Squat with biceps curl  –3×15 reps
    Close grip press – 3×15 reps
    Concentration curl – 3×15 reps
    Two-hand Dumbbell Row – 3×12 reps
    Deadlift to upright row – 3×12 reps
    Triceps extension – 3×15 reps
    Wrist curl – 3×15 reps

Make sure you choose weights right if you can, you should be exhausted at the end of each set. All it takes is a set of dumbbells and if you don’t have access to an incline bench, change the incline exercises to regular ones.
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Total Upper-Body Workout


A majority of women stay away from lifting weights because they want to avoid getting to muscular or big. They are looking to tighten up their physique as appose to putting on size but just aren’t sure of how to go about doing that. Kathleen Tesori understands that and provides an effective workout that will help redefine your entire upper-body. Her quick, and efficient routine is composed of super-sets which allows you to get the most out of your time spent in the gym. Which is exactly what those with hectic schedules and limited time to chase after their fitness goals are in need of. The goal of this routine is to help build a well proportioned physique over time. Making it a perfect routine for those who aren’t looking to put on size but rather develop a nicely toned upper-body.

Try this workout a few times as written to get a good feel for it. When it gets too easy, increase the weight, decrease the rest periods, or change some of the exercises. I think you can make this session work for you no matter what!

PULL-UP AND DIP





I'm not pushing for a ton of reps on these exercises because I know many women who can't perform a full pull-up by themselves. However, I want you to do the best you can by completing the full range of motion through both movements, so feel free to use an assistance machine or bands. You can also use a box and do jump pull-ups.
As much as possible, perform both exercises nice and slowly. Squeeze your lats to pull yourself up on the pull-up, drop slowly on the dips, and keep your arms close to your body. These two movements can be very difficult, but if you can do them unassisted, do!

DUMBBELL PULL-OVER




Dumbbell Pull Overs are one of our favorite Lat exercises because they’re easy to coach and we feel they’re very effective at building bigger and stronger lats when used in conjunction with more compound Back-Training exercises.

In addition to using the traditional style Dumbbell Pull Overs, there are a few other Lat Pull Over variations we also utilize in the Performance U training system.

SEATED ROW AND DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS




Dumbbells should follow slight arch pattern, above upper arm between elbow and chest at bottom, traveling inward over each shoulder at top. No need to drop weights.

To begin the seated row take hold of the handles of your favorite bar (it could be like the one shown). Sit with your back straight while keeping your legs bent and feet against the metal block. Extend your arms feeling your lats stretch. Pull the weight back into your body until the handles touch your abdomen. Seated rows are a staple in any back workout.
TIP

Make sure to bring your shoulder blades as far back as you can and keep your back straight.

Although it's not always popular for women to train chest, it's an important part of developing a balanced, symmetrical physique. Control the weights throughout each rep of the chest press. Get a nice stretch at the bottom of the movement, and squeeze your chest at the top.

 
REAR-DELT RAISE AND LATERAL RAISE





Although there are many ways to do a rear-delt raise, I prefer to do them bent over and seated. Your rear delts are a small muscle. You can't use a lot of weight while maintaining good form, so don't go too heavy. Drop your shoulders and keep your shoulder blades contracted as you do the movement.
Lateral raises are also difficult, so you may need to drop the weight midway through the set. Keep your shoulders down—don't hunch them up. Concentrate on only using your delts to move the weight.


CURL AND ALTERNATING STATIC CURL




Grab a pair of dumbbells with palms facing out. Allow them to hang at arm's length by your sides. Raise the dumbbell on one side so that the elbow is flexed at a 90-degree angle.

Maintain that position while keeping an upright posture. Then curl the dumbbell in the opposite arm to shoulder. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to your side. Keep the static hold throughout all the reps of the lifting arm.


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