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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Top 6 Exercises For Increasing Bicep Mass

If there’s one thing that draws people to weightlifting and maybe even bodybuilding as a whole – it’s getting bigger muscles to show off. Whether it’s for show purposes or practical use, many who work towards this end often gauge effectiveness and success on the sheer size, shape and ripped physique they can create.




Biceps are one of the top muscles that people want to have bulging and flexing at all times. It’s one of the main muscles that people can always see – so when you catch someone checking them out, you can wink and give a little nod of satisfaction.

To help you get those massive biceps that you crave or maybe just to help you make them a little bigger than they already are – here is our list of the top six exercises to boost bicep mass.

1.)  Reverse Curls

This exercise is sadly not performed as much as it should be, especially for those who are trying to develop bigger biceps. Reverse curls primarily workout your brachialis, which is the muscle that lies beneath the biceps, and the secondary muscles being worked are biceps and your forearms. You can perform these with a variety of different methods such as barbell, dumbbell, and the cable machine.

2.)  Preacher Curls

When it comes to isolation this variation of the biceps curl places great emphasis on the muscle heads. Squeeze your muscles and increase the blood flow as you perform each repetition with the preacher curl. This is going to stimulate your muscle and increase its development. Keep in mind that the preacher curl is not an exercise to show off how much weight you can pump out. You will benefit from performing this exercise with a moderate weight amount and higher repetition amount than normal heavy lifts.

3.) 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.

Torso swinging is common, and needs to be avoided if you want the most effective workout. The goal is to remain stationary, flexing the arm at the elbow joint without moving your upper body. Perform this bicep curl by holding a barbell in both hands. Hold the weight with your palm outward and let the weight hang at your hip so that your arm is fully extended downward. Tuck your elbow into your sides and curl the weight to your chin without moving your elbow, hips or torso. Maintain tension, let the weight down slow. Do not bounce the weight off your hips or quads to start the next rep.

4.) Barbell Bicep Curls

The classic and king to bulking up your biceps. The key to this exercise is to make sure you get the full range of motion and don’t let momentum cause you to lean back as you lift. This common mistake will prevent the biceps from truly getting the workout you want them to have. Barbell curls will allow you to lift much more weight than many of the other exercises we put on the list – allowing you to power up those biceps with this exercise.

5.) The Hammer Curl

While a significant amount of focus is given to the bicep, some of the muscle groups within the forearm will be working as well. Because the focus here is on a rotated curl there is a lot of emphasis on the brachialis and brachioradialis of the forearm.

The starting position for this curl is identical to the alternating curl, where the palms face in toward the body. Your elbows remain tucked in with your body and upper arms remaining stationary. Lift the weight, curling it upward without rotating the weight or forearm to the point where the weight is almost touching the shoulder of your lifting arm. Think of the motion of swinging a hammer – this is also where the bicep exercise got its name.

6.) Reverse Grip Rows

Reverse Grip Rows will place a greater stress and pressure on the biceps as opposed to straight rows – this makes them better at targeting the bicep muscles. Once again, isolating the biceps specifically is the best way to maximize muscle growth – making this another excellent addition to your bicep workouts.

To perform Reverse Rows, hold a barbell with a supinated grip a bit more than shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Bend forward at the waist slightly, and keep your back straight and your chest up. This will be your starting position. Pull the barbell to your torso by flexing the elbow and retracting the shoulder blades. Avoid jerking the weight backward by extending your back or hips. Reverse the motion to return the weight to the starting position.
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Sunday, January 28, 2018

All About Workout-Progress: When and How?

Progression is the key to muscle and strength building. I often tell lifters to use the following approach during each workout:

Push yourself on every set. Try to perform as many reps as possible without training to failure. When you can perform the recommended maximum number of reps for a set, add weight the next time in the gym.




Let me explain exactly what this means by providing an example. After this example, I want to show you just how powerful the addition of a single rep can be.

The most common methods of weight training progression that come to mind are:

    You can increase the weight being lifted.

    For example, if you are currently lifting 100lbs on some exercise, you can lift 105lbs the next time you perform that exercise.

    You can increase the number of reps a weight is being lifted for.

    For example, if you are lifting 100lbs on some exercises for 3 sets of 8 reps, you can do 3 sets of 9 reps with that same weight the next time you perform that exercise.

    You can increase the number of sets you are lifting a weight for.

    For example, if you are lifting 100lbs on some exercises for 3 sets of 8 reps, you can do 4 sets of 8 reps with that same weight the next time you perform that exercise.
    You can increase the amount of work being done in a given time period.

    For example, if you currently rest 3 minutes between sets of an exercise, you can try lifting the same weight for the same amount of sets and reps, but with only 2 minutes and 30 seconds of rest between sets.

    You can increase the difficulty of the exercise being performed.
    For example, if you are currently doing split squats/static lunges, you can move up to a similar but more challenging version of the same exercise such as walking lunges or Bulgarian split squats.

Once again, depending on your exact goal and experience level, some of these methods are more or less ideal for you than others.

However, for most of the people, most of the time, here’s the method of weight training progress that I (and many others) most often use and recommend…

The Typical Weight Training Progression Protocol

In any intelligently designed weight training routine, you will have specific exercises that you are supposed to perform during each workout.

For each exercise, you will have a certain number of sets that you are supposed to do. For each set, you will have a certain number of reps that you are supposed to do.

And obviously, you will also have a certain amount of weight that you will be lifting during each exercise.

Now, the most basic, generic, and common form of weight training progression works like this:

        Meet the prescribed set and rep goal for the exercise.
        Increase the weight being lifted for that exercise by the smallest increment possible.
        Meet the set/rep goal again with this new, slightly heavier weight.
        Increase the weight being lifted again by the smallest increment possible.
        Repeat this process over and over again as often as you are capable of making it happen.


Confused? Here’s an example…


An Example Of How & When To Progress

Let’s say that for one of the exercises in your workout routine (let’s call it Exercise XYZ) you are currently lifting 50lbs. Let’s also say that your program calls for you to do 3 sets of 8 reps for Exercise XYZ.

Now let’s say today you did Exercise XYZ and it went like this:

    Set 1: 50lbs – 8 reps
    Set 2: 50lbs – 8 reps
    Set 3: 50lbs – 8 reps


As you can see, you lifted 50lbs for 3 sets of 8 reps in this example. Since your program calls for you to do 3 sets of 8 reps, this workout was a success.


Since you’ve reached the prescribed set/rep goal for this exercise, it’s now time to increase the weight by the smallest increment possible. So, the next time you perform Exercise XYZ, you should do something like this:

    Set 1: 55lbs – 8 reps
    Set 2: 55lbs – 8 reps
    Set 3: 55lbs – 8 reps


See what happened? Progressive overload took place. You increased the weight you were lifting by 5lbs (which is usually the smallest possible increment) and performed that same prescribed 3 sets of 8 reps with this new slightly heavier weight.

That means this workout was once again a complete success. The next time you perform Exercise XYZ, you’d go up to 60lbs and again attempt 3 sets of 8 reps. You would then continue increasing like this as often as possible over and over again.

The only thing is, most people will NOT be able to increase this much and/or this consistently from workout to workout (beginners might, but few others will).

In fact, instead of that second successful workout shown above (the 55lbs for 3 sets of 8 reps), many people would have ended up only able to do something like this:

    Set 1: 55lbs – 8 reps
    Set 2: 55lbs – 7 reps
    Set 3: 55lbs – 6 reps


This is completely normal and should still be considered a successful workout (it is still definitely progressive overload). Now, in this case, your goal the next time you perform Exercise XYZ is something like this:

    Set 1: 55lbs – 8 reps
    Set 2: 55lbs – 8 reps
    Set 3: 55lbs – 7 reps


And then the time after that…

    Set 1: 55lbs – 8 reps
    Set 2: 55lbs – 8 reps
    Set 3: 55lbs – 8 reps


And the time after that…

    Set 1: 60lbs – 8 reps
    Set 2: 60lbs – 7 reps
    Set 3: 60lbs – 6 reps


And you would repeat this similar pattern of increasing reps/weight over and over again so that your body continues having a reason to adapt and improve over and over again.

Oh, and in case it isn’t obvious enough, if your weight training routine called for 3 sets of 10, 4 sets of 6, 5 sets of 5, 2 sets of 12, or any other combination of sets and reps, you’d still progress virtually the same way as shown in the above example, just with a different number of reps and sets.



Will progression always be this consistent?

Nope, not always. There will definitely be times when you end up repeating the same exact number of sets/reps/weight that you did the previous workout.

Sometimes this might even continue for quite a while with certain exercises (this is especially true the more advanced you get).

There will also be times where, in the above example for instance, you might only get reps of 7, 7, 7, or 7, 6, 6, or 7, 6, 5 in the three sets after going up in weight. Don’t worry, it’s all perfectly normal.

Just work your behind off to progress in some way as often as you can and beat what you were able to do the previous time. Add 1 rep to every set, add 1 rep to just one set, add 2 reps to one set and 1 rep to another… whatever.

Just work hard to gradually reach your workout routine’s prescribed set/rep goal for each exercise. And then, once you do reach it, increase the weight you are lifting for that exercise by the smallest possible increment and repeat this protocol all over again.

This is all part of the process of progressive overload, and it’s the only true requirement for getting positive results from your workout routine.


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Saturday, January 27, 2018

4 Weeks To Bigger Legs And Daily Multiple Exercise Plan

For the next four weeks let's put away the sleeveless shirts and give your beloved upper body a break. Cuz' you've got bigger priorities, friend. At least, you should have.

See those two pale, sickly looking tent-poles poking out from the bottom of your shorts? Those are your legs, and it's painfully obvious to everyone that you've been ignoring them.

Sadly, you're not alone. And guys have excuses galore for putting their legs on the back burner.

In younger bros, it's usually a misguided attempt to attract the fairer sex – the idea that developing massive pecs, a thick back, and (God forbid) six-pack abs will magically lead to a bevy of succulent silicone-enhanced fitness bunnies following them around like some spray-tanned Pied Piper.

In the older, busier, or just plain deluded lifters, it's thinking that hitting the treadmill for 30 minutes twice a week and playing pick-up basketball every Thursday night is "all the leg work they really need."

Finally, there's the fear factor. Real leg training – the kind that produces results – isn't fun. It can leave you lightheaded and nauseated, not to mention limping for days. Some guys become so afraid of the heavy bar that they can't sleep the night before leg workouts.

It's all a crock. And to help make things right, here's a 4-week leg specialization program that will get your quads blowing up faster than Tom Platz trapped in a leg extension factory.




Week 1

Workout A – Legs

    *Barbell Back Squat – sets= 4, reps= 8-10
    *Walking Lunge – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    *Lying Hamstring Curl – sets= 3, reps 8-10
    Pull-Through – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    Standing Single – Leg Calf Raise – sets= 3, reps= 8-10

*Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30-50% and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. So if you performed 10 reps with 225 pounds on the last set of back squats, drop the weight to 180 pounds and try to get up to 10 reps.

Workout B – Legs

    *Sumo Deadlift – sets= 4, reps= 8-10
    *Dumbbell Split Squat – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    *Hip Thruster – sets=3, reps=  8-10
    Leg Extension – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    Hanging Knee Raise – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    20-Rep Squat – sets= 1 reps= 20

*Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30-50% and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. So if you performed 10 reps with 225 pounds on the last set of sumo deadlifts, drop the weight to 180 pounds and try to get to 10 reps.

Workout C – Legs

    *Front Squat – sets= 4, reps= 8-10
    *Barbell Romanian Deadlift – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    *Dumbbell Step-Up – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    Glute-Ham Raise – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    Seated Calf Raise – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    Farmer’s Walk Medley – sets= 3, distance = 50 yards

*Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30-50% and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. So if you performed 10 reps with 185 pounds on the last set of front squats, drop the weight to 125 pounds and try to get to 10 reps.

Workout D – Upper Body

    *Chin-Up – sets= 4, reps= 8-10
    *Incline Barbell Bench Press – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    *Single-Arm Dumbbell Row – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    Seated Overhead Press – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    Seated Cable Row – sets= 3, reps= 8-10
    Pallof Press – sets= 2, reps= 10

*Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30-50% and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight.

Week 2


Workout A – Legs

    *Barbell Back Squat – sets= 5, reps= 6-8
    *Walking Lunge – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    *Lying Hamstring Curl – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Pull-Through – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Standing Single leg Calf Raise – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Two Minute Leg Press – sets= 1, reps= 2 min.

*Double Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30-50%, and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. Once completed, rest for another 15 seconds, drop the weight by an additional 15-30% and then get as many reps as possible, making sure you maintain proper form.

Workout B – Legs

    *Sumo Deadlift – sets= 5, reps= 6-8
    *Dumbbell Split Squat – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    *Hip Thruster – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Leg Extension – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Hanging Knee Raise – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    20 Rep Squat – sets= 1, reps= 20

*Double Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30-50% and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. Once completed, rest for another 15 seconds, drop the weight by an additional 15-30% and then get as many reps as possible, making sure you maintain proper form.


    *Front Squat – sets= 5, reps= 6-8
    *Barbell Romanian Deadlift – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    *Dumbbell Step-Up – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Glute-Ham Raise – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Seated Calf Raise – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Sprints – sets= 3 x 150 yards/100 yards/75 yards

Perform 3 sets of sprints: 150 yards, 100 yards and 75 yards, resting as much/as little as possible between sprints. You can use a treadmill or a track/field.

*Double Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30-50%, and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. Once completed, rest for another 15 seconds, drop the weight by an additional 15-30% and then get as many reps as possible, making sure you maintain proper form.

Workout D – Upper Body

    *Chin-Up – sets= 5, reps= 6-8
    *Incline Barbell Bench Press – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    *Single-Arm Dumbbell Row – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Seated Overhead Press – sets 4, reps= 6-8
    Seated Cable Row – sets= 4, reps= 6-8
    Barbell Rollout – sets= 3, reps= 8

*Double Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30-50% and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. Once completed, rest for another 15 seconds, drop the weight by an additional 15-30% and then get as many reps as possible, making sure you maintain proper form. If needed, use a lat pull-down machine to complete the double drop set of chin-ups

Week 3

Workout A – Legs

    *Barbell Back Squat – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    *Walking Lunge – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    *Lying Hamstring Curl – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    Pull-Through – sets= 3, reps= 10-12
    Standing Single-Leg Calf Raise – sets= 3, reps= 10-12
    Two Minute Leg Press = 1- 2 min.

*Rest-Pause. After the last rep of your last set, rest for 10-15 seconds and then attempt 2-3 more reps. Rest another 10-15 seconds and try another 1-2 reps.

Workout B – Legs

    *Sumo Deadlift – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    *Dumbbell Split Squat – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    *Hip Thruster – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    Leg Extension – sets= 3, reps= 10-12
    Hanging Knee Raise – sets= 3, reps= 10-12
    20-Rep Squat – sets= 1, reps= 20

*Rest-Pause. After the last rep of your last set, rest for 10-15 seconds and then attempt 2-3 more reps. Rest another 10-15 seconds and try another 1-2 reps.

Workout C – Legs

    *Front Squat – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    *Barbell Romanian Deadlift – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    *Dumbbell Step-Up – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    Glute-Ham Raise – sets= 3, reps= 10-12
    Seated Calf Raise – sets= 3, reps= 10-12
    Farmer’s Walk Medley – sets= 3, distance= 50 yards

Try to use heavier weights than in week one.

*Rest-Pause. After the last rep of your last set, rest for 10-15 seconds and then attempt 2-3 more reps. Rest another 10-15 seconds and try another 1-2 reps.

Workout D – Upper Body

    *Chin-Up – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    *Incline Barbell Bench Press – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    *Single-Arm Dumbbell Row – sets= 4, reps= 10-12
    Seated Overhead Press – sets= 3, reps= 10-12
    Seated Cable Row – sets= 3, reps=10-12
    Reverse Crunch – sets= 3, reps=12

*Rest-Pause. After the last rep of your last set, rest for 10-15 seconds and then attempt 2-3 more reps. Rest another 10-15 seconds and try another 1-2 reps.

Week 4

Workout A – Legs

    Barbell Back Squat – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Walking Lunge – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Lying Hamstring Curl -sets= 2, reps= 15
    Pull-Through – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Standing Single-Leg Calf Raise – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Two Minute Leg Press = 1 – 2 min.

Workout B – Legs

    Sumo Deadlift – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Dumbbell Split Squat – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Hip Thruster – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Leg Extension – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Hanging Knee Raise – sets= 2, reps= 15
    20-Rep Squat – sets= 1, reps= 20

Workout C – Legs

    Front Squat – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Barbell Romanian Deadlift – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Dumbbell Step-Up – sets= 2, reps = 15
    Glute-Ham Raise – sets= 2, reps = 15
    Seated Calf Raise – sets= 2, reps = 15
    Sprints x 3 – distance = 100 yards/ 75 yards/ 50 yards

Workout D – Upper Body

    Chin-Up – sets= 4, reps= 15
    Incline Barbell Bench Press – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Single-Arm Dumbbell Row – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Seated Overhead Press -sets= 2, reps= 15
    Seated Cable Row – sets= 2, reps= 15
    Kneeling Cable Crunch – sets= 2, reps= 15



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Friday, January 26, 2018

The Top 6 Exercises For Increasing Calf Mass

Build thick and powerful calf muscles with these top 5 exercises: standing and seated calf raises, box jumps, leg press calf raises and dumbbell jump squats.

alves seem to be the most overlooked body part in the lower body. The muscle groups of your upper legs may very well support the core muscles of your body when you’re lifting but the lower leg muscles of the calves must work hard to stabilize the body through every movement while bearing the total weight of the body and any additional loads – twisting, raising you up onto your toes, lowering your onto your heels, twisting your feet.





It’s vital that your calves support you through every movement or you risk serious injury. Likewise, it does little good to train the rest of your body but leave your calves alone. You won’t be able to effectively stabilize the weights you’re moving and lifting outside of general workouts – meaning there’s no practical application for your muscle mass. Worst of all you will look like you’ve got chicken legs.

You cant even rely on the best upper leg exercises like squats and deadlifts to completely develop diamond calves. Start working through these top 6 exercises for increasing your calf muscles to ensure that you establish and maintain a well-rounded workout.

 1-Standing Machine Calf Raises

There’s really no way that you can go wrong with a basic standing machine calf raise. This exercise allows you to hammer your calves with a high level of intensity while keeping the weight completely steady and balanced for you.

Make sure to perform this lift with the largest range of motion possible by lowering yourself until your heels hang off the platform and raising yourself up until your heels are as high as possible.

As with all calf exercises, make sure to perform the exercise under strict control by utilizing a deliberate 3-4 second negative followed by a controlled positive with a brief pause at the top of the movement.

In order to generate maximum tension in the gastrocnemius, focus on raising yourself up onto your big toe rather than the entire ball of your foot. This prevents your foot from rolling outward and shifting the stress onto the soleus.

2-Seated Calf Raise

This is a workout that is necessary to achieve complete development of the calf muscles. While this movement is similar to the standing calf raise, the seated calf raise will actually target the lower muscles of the calf (the soleus).

Sit with the machine pads resting on your thighs. Again, drop your heel to 2-4 inches depending on how flexible you are. Raise again and squeeze the calf muscles once you reach the top. The rep range for this workout, as well as the standing calf raise, should between 10 and 20 depending on the needs of your body and what you can tolerate.

3-Calf Press on the Leg Press

The calf press on the leg press is a fantastic variation on the standing calf raise and is one of my favorite exercises for the gastroc.

Sit on the leg press machine and hold the sled with only your toes and the balls of your feet. Do not move with your hips or knees and instead put all the movement into your ankles. This puts all the emphasis on your calf muscles and nowhere else in the leg.

4-Dumbbell Jump Squat

While this movement does also work the upper leg muscles it focuses a great deal of attention on the calf muscles as well and is an integral part of any whole body workout. Like the box jump, the dumbbell jump squat can help add explosive power to your workout routine. This form of workout helps to develop muscle quickly – increased mass equals a higher metabolism and a better calorie burn through your other workouts.

To perform, simply place yourself in a position for a standard squat and lower your body into the squat, moving to the balls of your feet and toes as you do so. Once you’re at your lowest point, propel yourself up and explode upward into a jump. Land on the balls of your feet and immediately move into another squat. Use dumbbells for this exercise to increase the difficult, but avoid using a barbell. Dumbbells will provide a lower center of gravity and give you more central control of your balance.

5-Donkey Calf Raise

The donkey calf raise was one of Arnold’s favorite calf exercises and for good reason.


6-Box Jumps

In many lifting exercises you need to have explosive strength in your legs. The box jump offers that, as it’s a functional exercise made to give your calf muscles far more power and “spring”. This exercise can train your muscles to react and contract much more quickly, and will deliver some serious tone to your calf muscles.

Stand on the balls of your feet and you toes in front of a box, with the height appropriate to your limitations. Jump onto the box and land again on your toes and the balls of your feet. Jump back down to the floor and repeat for 8 to 10 reps. Do not use dumbbells or other held weights during this exercise as you may need your hands free in order to catch yourself if you trip.
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How Do Muscles Grow?

If you’re a guy in the gym working with weights, not only are you probably trying to lose some fat, but also gain some muscle.





When someone like a powerlifter is able to lift very heavy weight despite not looking very muscular, it’s due to their ability to activate those motor neurons and contract their muscles better. This is why some powerlifters can be relatively smaller compared to bodybuilders, but can lift significantly more weight. Motor Unit recruitment also helps to explain why, after practice, certain movements become easier to perform and most of the initial strength gains will be when you first start to lift weights. Muscle growth tends to occur more steadily after this initial period of strength gain because you are more easily able to activate the muscles.

What Causes Muscle Growth?

In order for muscles to grow, three things are required:

1. Stimulus - exercise is needed to make the muscles work, use energy and cause microscopic damage to the fibers.

2. Nutrition - after intense exercise the muscles need to replenish their stores of fuel.

3. Rest - it is during the rest or recovery phase that the muscles repair the microscopic damage and grow.

Muscle size increases due to hypertrophic adaptation and an increase in the cross section area of individual muscle fibers. Intensive exercise impacts more on the strength influencing fast twitch type II fibers, therefore the increase in muscle size is accompanied by greater strength.

This will deplete the muscle's energy stores and cause microscopic damage to the muscle tissue. During recovery, these stores of glycogen and phosphocreatine will replenish from carbohydrates and creatine ingested as food or supplements. Amino acids supplied in the diet will trigger the protein synthesis that repairs the damaged muscle and lead to the creation of bigger muscle fibers.

To achieve continuous improvement you will need to keep reaching for higher levels of training intensity otherwise the improvement process will grind to a halt. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to plan for provided certain basic principles and rules are clearly followed.

3 Mechanisms That Make Muscles Grow

Underlying all progression of natural muscle growth is the ability to continually put more stress on the muscles. This stress is a major component involved in the growth of a muscle and disrupts homeostasis within your body. The stress and subsequent disruption in homeostasis causes three main mechanisms that spur on muscle growth.

1. Muscle Tension

In order to produce muscle growth, you have to apply a load of stress greater than what your body or muscles had previously adapted too. How do you do this? The main way is to lift progressively heavier weights. This additional tension on the muscle helps to cause changes in the chemistry of the muscle, allowing for growth factors that include mTOR activation and satellite cell activation.3

Muscular tension also most dramatically effects the connection of the motor units with the muscle cells. Two other factors help to explain why some people can be stronger, but not as big as other people.

2. Muscle Damage

If you’ve ever felt sore after a workout, you have experienced the localized muscle damage from working out. This local muscle damage causes a release of inflammatory molecules and immune system cells that activate satellite cells to jump into action. This doesn’t mean that you have to feel sore in order for this to happen, but instead that the damage from the workout has to be present in your muscle cells. Typically soreness is attenuated over time by other mechanisms.

3. Metabolic Stress

If you’ve ever felt the burn of an exercise or had the “pump” in the gym, then you’ve felt the effects of metabolic stress. Scientists used to question bodybuilders when they said the “pump” caused their muscles to become larger. After more investigation, it seems as though they were onto something.

Metabolic stress causes cell swelling around the muscle, which helps to contribute to muscle growth without necessarily increasing the size of the muscle cells. This is from the addition of muscle glycogen, which helps to swell the muscle along with connective tissue growth. This type of growth is known as sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and is one of the ways that people can get the appearance of larger muscles without increases in strength.
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

7 Minutes. No Equipment. Abs & Core Workout

In the faster-is-better world we live in, carving out 30 to 45 minutes a day for a good workout can seem like a major challenge—and that can totally mess with your quest for a strong core. Enter: the 7-minute workout.

This strategic, super-effective form of high-intensity circuit training is supported by science. To complement the original—and give you even more 7-minute options.

 Firefighter





    1-Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged.
   2-Shift all weight onto the right leg with the left knee lifted and bent at a 90-degree angle and your arms in front of you as if you’re climbing a ladder.
    3-Extend your left arm overhead as you push off the right foot to explosively lift your right knee until it is level with hips.
    4-Pull your hand down as you lower the right leg and shift your weight to the right side to repeat on your left side.
    5-Continue alternating legs and arms as quickly as you can—this should feel as intense as High Knees.

 Knee Tuck Crunches 





Sit upright on a mat and then lean backwards a bit to lift your feet off of the ground. Engage your abs by extending legs straight, and then drawing them back in again.

Flutterkick Crunches 





 Lie flat on your back, and do a flutterkick motion: one leg will be just a few inches over and parallel to the ground while the other is straight up above it’s joint; switch leg positions rapidly. The twist on this particular motion is that you will do a crunch upward each time you switch leg positions. The entire abdominal panel will be targeted, as will the thighs.

Plank Up & Out Tucks



 

    1-Lie face up with knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
    2-Place your arms on the floor by your sides, palms facing down.
    3-Keep your head and shoulders firmly planted on the ground as you press through the feet, squeezing glutes to lift hips off the floor.
    4-This exercise is not only great for hip stabilisation and boosting ab strength, it also works your glutes.

Bicycle Crunch


 

Lie faceup with fingertips behind ears, knees bent at a 90-degree angle, both feet off ground. Lift head and shoulders off mat. Bring right elbow to left knee as you extend right leg out straight. Quickly reverse the movement to repeat on other side bringing left elbow to right knee. Continue to alternate.

Reverse Crunch





Lie faceup with arms at sides. Bend knees so that hips and knees form 90-degree angles, core engaged. Activate your lower abs to lift hips off the ground, bringing knees toward chest. Lower back to starting position as slowly as possible to keep lower abdominals engaged.
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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Best Movement Killer Back Workouts For Mass

This is a hard and heavy back workout that works the back from top to bottom. Lat thickness, lat width, as well as the spinal erectors. For the first exercise I’m blasting out heavy weights for high reps to really push myself and stimulate some new muscle growth. Then for the remaining exercises I’m doing a standard 5 x 5 set and rep pattern.



The workout consisted of 1 arm dumbbell rows for lat thickness. Weighted pull ups for lat width. And good mornings for developing the spinal erectors, lower back, and core.
 

 Arm Db Row

Sets: 3(each arm), Reps: 8-12, Rest: 90 Seconds

Note: This exercise is going to sculpt your rhomboid muscles and is the best iso-lateral type movement for building that barn house door back. The 1 arm db row allows you to work each side of your back individually chiseling your rhomboids to aesthetic perfection.

The Classic Pull-up

Sets: 3(each arm), Reps: 8-12, Rest: 90 Seconds

Probably the most essential back-building exercise, the pull-up incorporates using the lats to pull through the movement as well as incorporating the stabilizing muscles.

Rhomboids, traps and supporting muscle within the spine help stabilize the movement- allowing the lats to move freely in a singular plane for maximum muscle growth. Definitely a good one!

a) Begin the movement by positioning arms slightly wider than shoulder width apart on pull-up bar, palms facing forward.
b) Keeping the shoulder and scapula down and tight, slowly pull chin to furthest possible.
c) Hold at top for 1 second and squeeze the movement.
d) Slowly return down to bottom, keeping constant tension on the lats.

TOP TIP: Can’t do this many pull-ups on your own? Grab a partner to support your feet to free some weight off the movement or use a pull-up assist machine.

Good Morning

Sets: 3(each arm), Reps: 8-12, Rest: 90 Seconds

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, resting a light barbell across the back of your shoulders, not your neck. Hold the bar in place with your hands and stand upright, core braced and shoulders retracted. Take a breath and hinge forwards from your hips, not your waist, allowing a slight bend in your knees but keeping your back flat. Lean forward until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings (but don’t go beyond horizontal), then, as you exhale, reverse the move to stand up straight.

Good Morning Form Tips

Avoid craning your neck to look forwards as you lean forwards. Instead, keep a neutral spine by looking forwards as you stand and towards the floor as you lower to horizontal.

Push your hips back to maintain balance and drive them forwards to initiate the force to return to standing.

Keep a tight grip on the bar, pulling it into the soft muscle of your shoulders as you lean forwards so it doesn’t put pressure on your neck.
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Friday, January 19, 2018

Forearm Exercises

Your grip strength is an indication of your full body strength, neuromuscular activation, and overall function.

Don't be fooled into thinking you can increase grip strength by training the forearms and hands with isolation movements like wrist curls. The forearms need both heavy work and pump work to maximize grip potential and pack on muscle. Here are  exercises that'll help you forge an iron grip and killer forearms.




Reverse Barbell Curls

These are great to do at the end of your arm workout – shaving or brushing your teeth is really tough after doing these! This exercise is done with the palms facing down as indicated with the red arrow in the below photo. As I mentioned before, this exercise can make tendonitis in the elbow flare up so be careful if you are prone to overuse injuries. Start out with a really light weight and use slow deliberate form. These can be done either standing or seated, I prefer seated because it keeps you from cheating. If you stand while doing this, make sure that your torso is completely motionless. Many people tend to rock their bodies forward and back to swing and jerk the weight around. I suggest doing these at the end of your arm workout when your biceps are good and weak, that way, even though the biceps is stronger than the forearm they are both worked out evenly.

Starting Position: use an overhand grip making the palms face down.
Ending Position: Raise the bar slowly and steadily – yikes what a forearm pump. Keep it slow, 2s up and 2s down. Make sure your torso is completely stationary, no jerking or bouncing.

Seated Wrist Hammer Curls

In a seated position with your back straight, place your forearm on your thighs with your thumbs pointed upward. Use a 5-, 10-, or 20lb weight in a hammer position and lift it back and forth slowly for 3 sets of 20 repetitions. This will develop your brachioradialis muscle, which inserts at the distal aspect of the forearm at the wrist. Greater hypertrophy of this muscle will give more definition and balance of the forearm.

Palms Up Dumbbell Wrist Curls

OK, finally a forearm exercise with the palms up so we can give those poor tendons in the elbows a break. This wrist curl is similar to the above palm down dumbbell wrist curl except our palms are basically facing upward. Again, use a weight bench if you have one to rest your forearms on or sit with spread legs in a chair and rest your forearms on your quads.

Starting Position: In the down position, the wrist is drooping at about 45 degrees and your palms are facing upwards. Your hands should not be horizontal, that’s too awkward. The thumb side of your palm should be about 2″ higher than the pinky side. Now slowly raise the weight to the up position. The forearms remain motionless in this exercise, only the wrists move.
Ending Position: In the up position, the wrist is angled upward at about 45 degrees. The palms are still facing upward. Now lower the dumbbells slowly and repeat.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What’s the Best Workout Bodybuilding ?

When it comes down to it, how you approach your fitness is a combo of goals and priorities. If you want the mass of The Rock or the washboard abs of Matt Bomer or to have the speed or agility of Usain Bolt or Cam Newton, you have to put in the work. If your goals are less lofty—you want to feel good, maybe lose a few lbs or just maintain where you’re at—you still have to figure out how workout sessions will fit into your life. Not to worry, with these strategies, we've got everyone covered, no matter which fitness “guy” you are.




Click through the following pages to find out which one you most identify with—the Guy Who Has No Free Time, the Guy Who Can’t Motivate, the Guy Who Needs to Lose 30+ Pounds, the Guy Who Wants to Bulk Up, the Guy Who Wants to Get Cut, or the Guy Who Wants to Get Faster—and how to maximize your training strategy to fit your persona.

The BEST Workout Program Doesn’t Exist…

The so called Best Workout for a beginner, would not fit the needs of a competitive bodybuilder (and vice versa). In addition to that, your body is constantly changing. The workout routine that may have worked for you in the past will probably not be beneficial to you in 6 months or a years time because your body will have grown bigger, stronger, and your work capacity and recovery abilities will have changed.

So rather than wasting your time looking for the “Best Workout Routine”. Just pick a workout that fits your current situation, your exercise equipment availability, your schedule, etc. and take Nike’s advice and “Just Do It!”

The program doesn’t have to be perfect, all that really matters is that you make progress. Each week strive to do a little better than you did the week before, either by adding 5 pounds to the bar, doing an extra rep per set, or increasing the volume of sets, reducing the rest periods between sets, etc.

Incorporate some form of progressive overload on a weekly basis. While it may not seem like much at first, making little bits of progress like this will add up over time. And before you know it you’ll have made some BIG improvements in strength and muscle gains.

However, you need to realize that no workout program will keep working forever. Your body will eventually adapt and plateau to every single workout program that you follow, it’s just a matter of time. When this happens to you, don’t freak out because it’s normal and happens to everyone. No one can follow the same workout routine forever and make non-stop progress. Everyone from beginners to top level pro bodybuilders will eventually hit a plateau and their progress will come to a screeching halt.

When this happens you need to change things up. Do a different workout program, different exercises, different set and rep pattern, etc. Do something that your body is not used to in order to provide unique muscle stimulation that will start the growing process all over again.

Adapt – Grow – Plateau & Repeat…

Eventually you’ll plateau to this “new” workout routine, and you’ll have to start the process all over again. We are always going to be in the process of starting a workout program, growing, adapting, and plateauing to that workout program – then repeating the process all over again. This process is the secret to making continuous progress over the long term. You grow, adapt, plateau, change your approach, and repeat. Every single successful bodybuilder on the planet has gone through their own unique variation of this process.
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Monday, January 15, 2018

seven Exercises to Quickly Get the Triceps of a Fitness Model

In this workout we have used some advanced home triceps exercises to create a powerful and effective home triceps workout.  You will need the very minimum exercise equipment and most of the time you are using your body weight to provide resistance for you triceps muscle.




So if you want to get bigger triceps muscle and get bigger arms fast then this advanced home triceps

“Your triceps comprise more than two-thirds of your upper-arm mass,” says BJ Gaddour, Men’s Health Fitness Advisor. “So building thicker, more developed triceps muscles makes your entire arms look more like shotguns than pistols.”

What’s more, says Gaddour, triceps also play a huge role in some of the most effective and popular exercises, like the pushup and bench press. “Triceps strength is usually the limiting factor in pressing movements,” he says. “So your bench, pushup, and other presses only go as far as your triceps take them.”

That’s why you need to throw the following seven exercises into your routine. There’s no better way to build gigantic arms—and a bigger bench.

1. Bench Dips: Perform bench dips by placing your feet on one bench and holding another with your hands you slowly lower bench. Begin with 8 to 10 repetitions and as your strength increases so should the reps. You can also take a weight plate and place it on your lap for more resistance. This exercise is a sure fire way to blast your triceps and ignite major growth to make the back of your arms to make them more toned.
2. Foam Roller Press: Lowering the bar to the top of the foam roller cuts your range of motion in half. Pressing from the midpoint of the lift emphasizes the “lockout,” or the ending push of the bench press.

“The lockout is all triceps, and you can use a big weight on the bar” says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Cressey Performance in Hudson, MA. It also allows you to train hard for the bench press, with minimal strain on your shoulders.

DO THIS: Lie down on a bench and place a foam roller length-wise on your chest. Secure it with a resistance band, if need be. Grab the barbell overhead and hold it directly above your chest. Lower the bar to touch the foam roller, and then press it back up.

3. Barbell Extension: (Skull Crushers): In a standing position you need to hold the barbell above your head, making sure not to lock your elbows. Bending the elbows slowly lower your arms down behind your head, making sure to keep your elbows tucked in so the tension in on your triceps, then slowly raise the barbell back to starting position. Repeat 15 to 20 times, until you feel the burn in your triceps.

4. Cable Triceps extensions: (Push Downs): Using a medium-length straight bar and keeping a body straight with knees slightly bent, tuck the elbows in and slowly push the bar down from the chest while concentrating on the triceps. Each rep is strictly controlled and concentrated. At the bottom position squeeze the triceps for a second or two. Do 3 sets for 15 to 20 reps. Once you are accustomed to the initial sets then you can increase the sets. Take a 30 second break between the sets.


5. Dips: Because you’re lifting your entire bodyweight, your triceps have to work against a much heavier load than they would in a triceps-isolating exercise, according to Ian King, owner of King Sports International.

DO THIS: Hoist yourself up on parallel bars with your torso perpendicular to the floor; you'll maintain this posture throughout the exercise. (Leaning forward will shift emphasis to your chest and shoulders.)

Bend your knees and cross your ankles. Slowly lower your body until your shoulder joints are below your elbows. (Most guys stop short of this position.)

Push back up until your elbows are nearly straight but not locked. If you have shoulder issues, skip this move.

6.Rolling EZ-Bar Triceps Extensions: This method of the triceps extension gives your triceps short pauses between each rep. “This allows you to rest more so you can bang out more reps and really pump up the muscle,” says Gentilcore.

DO THIS: Lie with your back flat on the ground, a loaded EZ-bar laying on the floor above your head. Grasp the bar, roll it towards your head until your upper arms are vertical. Now press the weight so that your arms are straight and vertical.

Reverse the move, placing the weight back on the floor and “rolling” the bar back. Repeat. Do as many reps as you can. 



7.Rope Triceps Pressdown: This move zones in on your triceps—but only if you do it right, says Mike Mejia, C.S.C.S. If you use too much weight, you’ll involve your back and shoulder muscles, defeating the purpose.

The trick: Imagine that you’re wearing tight suspenders that hold down your shoulders as you do the exercise. If you can’t keep your shoulders down, lighten the load.

DO THIS: Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Bend your arms and grab the bar with an overhand grip, your hands shoulder-width apart. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides.

Without moving your upper arms, push the bar down until your elbows are locked. Slowly return to the starting position.
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Build Big Muscles - Gain Big Muscle Mass In 10 Steps

If you want to know how to gain muscle fast you need to find the ideal balance between eating the right muscle mass foods, training effectively, taking the right muscle building supplements and recovering between each heavy training session.  Follow these 10 steps on how to build muscle fast to keep you on track and help you build bigger, stronger muscles.



Step 1 – Slim down

No matter where you look, the first thing you have to do to gain muscle mass is always slim down. This gives way for your body to show lean muscles. People who venture into building muscles without going through this will only look bulkier and not any leaner. Try achieving 10-15% body fat to see the changes happen.

Step 2 –Plan a diet

To slim down or gain mass, you will still need to form a diet to match it up. Avoid using diets that have very low calorie intake as you will not have the energy to do your day-to-day workouts sustainably. Moreover, make sure you don’t exceed the calorie intake, too. Doing so will cause the excess to be stored as fat.

Step 3 – Protein

The moment that you already slimmed down, you can proceed to taking in different types of protein. You can take it in form of shakes and bars. Protein is needed to help hasten the building of muscles as they contain the amino acids needed to regenerate torn muscles. They also help generate new muscles to make you look leaner.

Step 4 – Supplement - If you cannot have adequate protein from your normal meals, supplement with protein shakes. If you want more strength so that you can lift heavier weights to grow bigger muscles, take Creatine supplement.

Step 5 – Weight Training - You must lift with heavy weights and to add on more weight consistently to progressively build your muscles. But it is very important not to sacrifice correct lifting techniques and form for the sake of lifting heavier.

Step 6 – Lift Free Weights - Use free weights like dumbells and barbells to recruit more muscle fibers so that more muscle fibers can be worked on.

Step 7 – Compound Exercises - Work with compound exercises like bench presses, squats, barbell rows, chin ups and dead lifts to build big muscle mass. If you concentrate on working your puny muscles like your biceps, then you will only have puny muscle growth.

Step 8 – Plan a workout

Plan a holistic workout that targets the whole body. This avoids making you look like a weird wrestler. Make sure to adjust your workouts accordingly. Do not take workouts you cannot sustain or you cannot bear at the moment. You can easily stop and never come back to doing it again because of injury, making you lose all that you have gained.

Step 9 –  Get Enough Rest - Have rest days in between your workout days and do not work the same muscle group more than twice a week. Your muscles need to recover from your workouts in order to grow big.

Step 10 – Get Enough Sleep - Sleep at least 8 hours a day. More even better. Your muscles grow when you sleep.

If you practise the above 10 steps consistently, your muscles will grow fast and big. Of course there are many more things you can do to achieve a competitive bodybuilder's physique of which I cannot cover in just an article here. So do research for more knowledge.
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Friday, January 12, 2018

One Simple Movement Upper Body Exercise To Fire Up Your Rear Delts

When it comes to training the shoulders, pressing exercises often reign supreme in our workouts. Think traditional bodyweight exercises like pushups and dips, which are great for building front delt muscle definition and strength, no doubt.



But when it comes to building strong, aesthetically pleasing, and injury-proof shoulders, it’s important not to skip out on your rear delts.

Failure to train this part of the shoulder can lead to shoulder restriction, unbalanced strength, and even poor posture. If you’re looking to gain unrestricted, full upper-body strength and range of motion, you must balance all of that pressing with a variety of pulling exercises to strengthen your upper back and shoulders.

Whether you are a seasoned gym buff or simply crunching away at the computer in your daily 9 to 5, it’s important to keep your rear delts in check.

The Bent-Over Lateral Raise is one of the most common exercises used for working the rear or posterior deltoids. For most trainers, it can be difficult to really feel the rear delts working during this movement as the larger, stronger muscles of the back have a tendency to take over.

To really get the most out of this exercise, you need to remove the back muscles from the equation. This can be easily accomplished with a simple technique.

How to Do It:

First, get yourself into position for the Bent-Over Lateral Raise. This can either be standing, seated or with your chest on an incline bench. The same technique applies to all variations.

Your arms should be hanging straight down in the start position.

Now, drop your shoulders down towards the ground without moving your torso. You will be keeping them down throughout the exercise. This forces the back muscles into a stretched position, thereby reducing their involvement in the exercise.

Once your shoulders are dropped, start the movement by doing a reverse wrist curl with the dumbells. This means simply bending your wrists back and up and holding them there.

Now squeeze the weights up to the top position of the lateral so that they are in line with your head at the top and squeeze hard at the top.

Here is an excellent tip for the way up: as you raise the dumbells, imagine as though you are trying to wrap the backs of your arms around a tree. You've often heard that you should try to wrap your arms around a tree for dumbell flyes, now apply it to this movement.

Also, try to force your hands into as wide of an arc as possible and keep the dumbells as far away from your body as possible. This technique will help you to keep your shoulders down as you lift the weights.

What all these tips accomplish is to reduce the ability of the stronger back muscles to contract during the exercise, forcing the rear delt muscles to "shoulder" the burden of the exercise.

The keys to remember are:

Shoulders down throughout the movement.

Do a reverse wrist curl at the start.

Wrap your arms around a tree on the way up.

Raise the dumbells up in line with your head.

Incorporating these tips into the bent-over lateral movement will target your rear delts like a laser beam!
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Top 3 Month Muscle Building Workout

Anyone with experience in the mass-gain department—and we mean muscle mass, not the lumpy kind that accumulates around your midsection—knows the biggest obstacle to getting big isn’t always in the gym. No one is saying heaving heavy weights is easy, but what’s even harder is making sure all that work isn’t for naught. That means eating, then eating the same thing again, day after day.



Many mass-gain meal plan—sor any diet, for that matter—seem to drag on with no end in sight as you cut into another chicken breast, masticate the last spoonful of your 47th bowl of oatmeal and chug yet another protein shake on the 60th day of your 12-week get-big sentence.

Our strategy, on the other hand, gives you options and changes things up in Month 2 and again in Month 3, depending on your progress, which is the key to this plan. Because nothing beats an eternally drab diet like seeing bona fide results.

Truth No. 1: Muscles Grow With Big Lifts In The 8 to 12 Rep Range

Some people like to take a high-volume approach to muscle growth, insisting that challenging, high-rep sets flush the muscles with blood and trigger new growth. Other lifters are monogamous to big-weight lifts, clinging to the fact that to-the-brink sets will build the most muscle, even with very few reps. The middle ground, however, works for everyone — if it’s done right.

Jimmy Peña, MS, CSCS, a Los Angeles–based fitness expert, insists that the greatest gains in muscle come to those who stick to the most proven rep range for muscle growth — eight to 12 reps. “This is the range that is most known, physiologically and anecdotally, to elicit muscle growth,” he says.

Amazingly, there are still debates in fitness circles about which exercises should be used to build mass. Some argue that the greater the variety of exercises, the greater the stress placed on your musculature, the greater your growth in the long run.

“That’s ridiculous,” Peña says. “You can always add variety with single-joint moves, but if gaining mass is your primary goal, you need to stick to bread-and-butter, compound exercises like the bench press, squat and deadlift. Forcing multiple muscle groups to work in concert against progressively heavier resistance is the way to go, period.”

Applied Truth: In this program, you won’t ever perform a set with less than eight or more than 12 reps. Because this is the optimum rep range for hypertrophy — your main goal these 12 weeks — it makes no sense to deviate from it for novelty’s sake. Also, single-joint movements will be a rare find. Major lifts comprise the bulk of the exercises here.

2. Add Little Weight Increments

This is one of the biggest mistakes that gym novices make, adding too much weight, too soon. Adding too much weight to what you can lift before your muscles have had enough time to develop and grow stronger, will only increase the risk for injury.

Making small weight increments to your lifts (or even isolation movements) will allow your body to grow and adapt to progressive overload. This is one of the most basic ways to grow stronger and bigger.

Truth No. 3: Training To Failure (And Beyond) Is Required

One of the most misguided gym practices is stopping a set at a certain number when you clearly had more in the tank. Almost every time you see a prescribed rep range, in this magazine or elsewhere, the goal is to hit failure at that number. Failure is the point at which you can no longer perform reps with good form on your own. So if you bang out 12 reps when you could have done 15 or 16, you’re missing out on a slew of anabolic benefits.

“The key for any set that is based on a particular rep or rep range is to select a weight that causes you to fail at that particular rep,” Peña says. “Weight selection is of paramount importance to this program and just about any other. Hitting failure at these rep ranges triggers the pathways in your body where growth occurs. Going with a weight where you can complete more than 12 reps will instead move you more into the endurance-building zone.”

You can also get additional hormonal benefits by adding key intensity techniques to your sets. Extending sets by lowering the weight and continuing to perform reps after initial muscle failure, also known as drop setting, is one easy way to squeeze even more growth-inducing intensity into your workouts. Another way to build mass fast is by taking short, calculated breaks to take advantage of your body’s rapidly replenishing, explosive-energy stores so you can continue for a few more reps. This is known as rest-pause training. Variations on both techniques will be used in this program.

Training to failure, and beyond, causes additional damage within the muscle bellies which, when paired with proper nutrition, is the ideal environment for exponential growth.



3 Month Muscle Building Workout Training Split

    Monday – Chest and Triceps
    Tuesday – Back and Biceps
    Wednesday – OFF
    Thursday – Shoulders, Traps and Forearms
    Friday – Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
    Saturday – OFF
    Sunday – OFF

Chest and Triceps Workout

    Bench Press – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
    Incline Bench Press – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
    Weighted Dips – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
    Dumbbell Flyes – 2 sets of 8 to 15 reps
    Dumbbell Pullovers – 2 sets of 6 to 12 reps
    Standing Tricep Cable Pushdowns – 4 sets of 6 to 12 reps
    Seated Two Arm Dumbbell Extension – 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps

Back and Biceps Workout

    Deadlifts – 4 sets of 5 to 10 reps
    Pull ups/Weighted Pull Ups – 3 sets of 6 to 15 reps
    Dumbbell Rows – 3 sets of 6 to 15 reps
    Seated Cable Rows – 3 sets of 6 to 12 reps
    Barbell Curls – 4 sets of 6 to 12 reps
    Concentration Curls – 3 sets of  8 to 15 reps

Shoulders, Traps and Forearms Workout

    Military Press – 4 sets of 6 to 12 reps
    Seated Arnold Press – 3 sets of 6 to 12 reps
    Power Side Laterals – 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps
    Reverse laterals – 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps
    Power Shrugs – 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps
    Wrist  Curl Over Bench – 2 sets of 10 to 20 reps
    Static Barbell Hold – 2 sets for maximum time

Quads, Hamstrings and Calves

    Squats – 4 sets of 6 to 15 reps
    Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 8 to 20 reps
    Leg Curls – 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps
    Romanian Deadlifts – 3 sets of 6 to 12 reps
    Seated or Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets of 6 to 20 reps
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Why Am I Not Getting Any Bigger?Muscle

I get asked this question A LOT by skinny guys who are desperately trying to put some solid muscle mass on their bones. And very often the reason for their lack of results is not with the workout program they are following, but rather what’s fueling their workouts.




What you eat is one of the most critical aspects of gaining muscular bodyweight. You can have your weight training routine down pat, but if your diet doesn’t meet your nutritional needs you will NOT get bigger, regardless of how hard you train in the gym.

Most people who call themselves “hard gainers” are usually just under eaters. A lot of folks will skip breakfast, have a small lunch or snack during the day, then pig out and stuff themselves at dinner and say “i eat lot…”

But in order to gain size you need to provide your body with a surplus of calories and nutrients from which to grow from.

There are many different formulas you can use to determine how many calories you need to eat each day. But the quickest and easiest way to guesstimate how much you should be eating is to simply take your total current body weight and multiply it by the following:

    For Fat loss = eat 12 calories per pound of bodyweight
    For Maintenance = eat 15 calories per pound of bodyweight
    For Muscle Gain = eat 20 calories per pound of bodyweight

This is a very easy way to estimate caloric needs. Even though this method is not perfect, it’s good enough to get you started in the right direction. These calorie guidelines will put you in the ballpark and from there you can adjust your caloric intake up or down as needed based on your actual progress.

Traditional bodybuilding diets recommend eating small frequent meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. And one of the easiest ways to go about this is to consume your 3 main meals per day (i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and then have a high protein snack (such as a protein shake or protein bar) in between each meal to help increase your eating frequency and caloric intake.

Now I know that there is a lot of controversy online over whether or not you really need to eat 6 meals per day. And it really depends on your individual fitness goals. For cutting calories and losing weight it’s easier to reduce your calories by simply eating fewer meals per day. But when your goal is to increase your calories and bulk up you should be eating more frequently. When you divide your food up over multiple meals it’s easier on your digestive system and easier on your stomach, rather than trying to stuff more calories into fewer meals.


A good macro-nutrient break down for gaining muscular bodyweight is:
– 30% protein
– 40% carbohydrates
– and 30% fat.

This balanced diet will give you lots of protein which is the raw material needed for muscle growth, plenty of carbohydrates for energy and muscle glycogen, and adequate fat intake for optimal hormone production.

Below you’ll see a sample Bulk Up Diet Plan for a 175 pound man (3,500 Calorie Per Day Diet). You can use this as a template for your own bulking diet. Just adjust the food portions up or down in order to meet your desired calorie and macro-nutrient intake.

If you would like some help with planning your bulk up diet, I can make you a Customized Diet Program specific for your body type and and fitness goals.

1. Your eating is lousy.

2. Your training program is lousy.

3. Your technique stinks

Clean up your technique. This will improve your leverage making you capable of hoisting heavier loads of iron – eventually. But you’ll need the guts and the foresight to cut the weights back a little at first till you re-learn to perform each movement correctly. Once you do your gains will soar and it will also help that shoulder, elbow or knee to stop hurting from the abuse they’ve taken from your poor technique.


4. Get some rest

Cut the TV a little earlier at night and get to bed. Enough said.


5. Train harder

Are you really giving it all you’ve got? Or are you so focused on everything else (technique, breathing, “the feel of the movement”, etc) – even if it is stuff you need to focus on – that you forget to push or pull on that bar as hard as you can? You must concentrate on using great technique, but maximum effort always has to be there.

In Conclusion


Knowing what to do is easy. Developing the discipline necessary to do it is the hard part. I have the utmost confidence that you can develop great strength and a physique that you can be proud of if you’ll just develop the discipline to stay focused on all the basics inside the gym and out. If you do this – and you must if you are to succeed – I’m sure the question will change to “ I wonder how much bigger I can get?”
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Best Foods For Increasing Testosterone

Testosterone is a male sex hormone that affects more than just sex drive. The hormone is also responsible for bone and muscle health, sperm production, and hair growth. You can lose testosterone as you age, as well as from chronic illnesses.

Hypogonadism, also called low testosterone or low T, is often medically treated to prevent future health problems. Along with your doctor’s recommendations, you may consider potential testosterone-boosting foods as a natural complement to low T treatments. Two nutrients that are especially important to your diet are vitamin D and zinc.




Testosterone is the most powerful muscle building hormone in the body and is responsible for 

 increasing protein synthesis rates thus enabling you to build lean muscle mass tissue.

 Tuna


Tuna is rich in vitamin D, which has been linked to longer life and testosterone production. It’s also a heart-healthy, protein-rich food that’s low in calories. Whether you choose canned or fresh, eating this fish can be a natural way of boosting testosterone. A serving of tuna fulfills your daily vitamin D needs.

If you aren’t a tuna fan, you may consider other fishy sources of vitamin D, such as salmon or sardines. Remember that moderation is key. Aim for a max of two to three servings a week to minimize your intake of mercury, which is found in seafood.

Oysters

Topping the list is oysters. This may not be a food that you generally think about eating all that often, but it’s one to start adding to your menu.

The nice thing about oysters is that not only are they a good source of protein (which will help boost muscle building itself!) but more importantly, oysters are loaded with zinc.

Zinc is necessary for the formation of testosterone in the body and men who are zinc deficient are normally also low in testosterone as well.

Try adding these to your plan once a week and get ready to see enhanced progress. Supplementing with a product that contains zinc will also be of great benefit.

Cashews


Need a quick snack on the go? Try cashews. Cashews are an excellent source of healthy fats as well, which will help promote optimal levels. They are also very low in sugar and carbs, which is another important thing you’ll want to look for in testosterone boosting foods.

Consuming too much sugar in your menu will quickly cause testosterone levels to become suppressed, so higher fiber, low sugar foods are going to be your best option.

Low-fat milk with vitamin D

Milk is a great source of protein and calcium. Children and women are encouraged to drink milk for better bone health, but milk can keep men’s bones strong too. The vitamin D content may also keep testosterone levels in check.

Make sure you choose a carton that’s fortified with vitamin D. Choose low-fat or skim versions. They have the same nutrients as whole milk without all of the saturated fat.

Egg yolks

Egg yolks are another rich source of vitamin D. While cholesterol has a bad reputation, egg yolk contains more nutrients than egg whites. The cholesterol of egg yolks may even help low T. As long as you don’t have any preexisting cholesterol issues, you can safely eat one egg per day.

Beef

There are real health concerns about the overconsumption of red meat. Not only do some cuts have more fat than poultry, but eating too much is also linked to cancers, such as colon cancer. Still, certain beef cuts have nutrients that can boost testosterone. Beef liver is an exceptional source of vitamin D, while ground beef and chuck roast contain zinc. To keep animal fats in check, choose only lean cuts of beef and avoid eating it every day.
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Monday, January 8, 2018

Best Shoulder Training for Huge Delts

When it comes to building an aesthetic physique, the area of the body that is often overlooked is the shoulders. Why are shoulders so important? One word: Balance. Many beginners and veterans alike focus most of their effort on the top four areas: the legs, the arms, the chest, and the back. Now these muscle groups should absolutely be the focus of your workout foundation; however, in order to form an evenly shaped physique and build maximum strength, you need to give attention to the rest of the muscle groups that are hungry for attention.



1 – Posterior Delts





Generally speaking, three or four good work sets of one rear-delt isolating movement should suffice. Work sets are simply sets that aren't warm-up sets, thus they're taken to concentric failure, or within a rep or two of concentric failure.

One direct exercise might not seem like much, but remember that one of the functions of the rear delts are to externally rotate the humerus. So, if you're doing some sort of shoulder external rotation exercise each week (like you should be), along with your back training, a few sets of one exercise will probably be enough.

However, if your rear delts are seriously lagging in development, then do two rear-delt isolation exercises. Keep each of them to just three sets. Here are three effective exercises to choose from:

    Rear-delt cable extensions (aka kickbacks)
    Prone rear-delt kickbacks (on an incline bench)
    Incline kickbacks with external rotation

Be aware that these aren't triceps kickbacks. These are more of a reverse flye movement where you don't bend your elbow and you kick your arm back using only your rear delts, which is why I call them rear delt kickbacks.

Avoid retracting your shoulder blades so that you isolate the rear delt. Keep in mind that the function of the rear delt is simply to move the humerus back, not bring the shoulder blades together. I cue this by telling people to keep their scapulae still and then bring their arm back by "pinching" with their rear delts. If you do it right, you'll know what I mean by pinching.

Regardless of what exercises you do for your posterior delts, there are a few biomechanical principles to keep in mind. For starters, to maximize the work of the rear delt, train it in its optimal line of pull, which is with your shoulder abducted (away from your side) ~30-45 degrees.

Likewise, the pinky side of your hand should lead the way. That lines up the posterior delt so that it'll do the brunt of the work.

When isolating the rear delts, the challenge for most people is to actually isolate them and feel a good, strong contraction. For that reason, generally stay on the higher-rep side, 10-15 reps. Going heavier with fewer reps every once in awhile is certainly valid, but wait until your rear delt neuromuscular efficiency is really good before you go heavy.


2. Anterior Delts

 

It’s a good idea to nearly always do some variation of an overhead press in your shoulder workout. Pressing overhead is a fundamental movement pattern.

That overhead press should be a free-weight variation, whether done with barbell or dumbbells. Doing so will help keep your shoulder stabilisers working properly, which will help keep your shoulders healthy.

If your anterior delts are a strong point, then focus primarily on the overhead press, with the occasional front raise variation thrown in. This, combined with the stimulation they’ll receive in your chest training, should be all they need.

If you need to actually bring up your front delts, then you would generally want to do one front-raise exercise in addition to overhead pressing.

The two best overhead press exercises are the basic barbell press (seated or standing) and the basic dumbbell press, done seated or standing. While many overhead press set/rep schemes will work, it’s best to stay around 4 x 6-10, but 5 x 5 and 3 x 8-12 are also solid options that should be implemented fairly regularly.

When it comes to isolating the anterior delts via front raises, alternating dumbbell front raises are the way to go, but barbell front raises are an effective alternative.

Regardless of the front raise variation you choose, make sure to raise the bar to, 110 degrees, roughly level with the top of your forehead. That’s where peak contraction of the anterior deltoid occurs, not at 90 degrees, which is where a lot of people stop.

When doing one of these front raise variations, generally stay in the 3 x 10-12 range, occasionally going as heavy as 6-8 or as light as 12-15.


3 – Middle Delts



If you want bodybuilder-looking shoulders, you should always include a lateral raise variation to emphasize the middle delts, the most fundamental of which is the standing dumbbell lateral raise.

While a lot of people do lateral raises, most don't do them correctly.

To optimize the line of pull of the middle delts, your palm should be facing down in the top, contracted position. Or if you really want to fine tune this, tilt the thumb-side of the dumbbell down a few degrees so that the pinky-side is up.

Likewise, your wrist, elbow, and shoulder should all be level at the top. Another way to think about it is that the pointed part of your elbow (aka, the olecranon process) should be pointing straight backward, not down toward the ground.

At the top of the movement, most people tend to have the thumb-side of the dumbbell tilted too high and their wrist higher than their elbow. That's because this movement pattern allows the more dominant anterior deltoid to help out more than you want it to.

People who have overactive upper traps also tend to shrug the dumbbells as they near the 90-degree finish position. To avoid this, think about pushing the dumbbell away from you, toward the sides.

Don't worry about doing any other lateral raise variation until you've gotten your form down on the basic dumbbell lateral raise. When you're ready for some variations, try behind-the-back cable laterals, finishing in the same position mentioned above.

For more variation, you can change the point of maximum tension (and stimulus) by doing one of the following unilateral versions:

  1- Lying on your side on an incline bench. Your stopping point is 90 degrees of shoulder abduction, where peak contraction of the middle delts occurs.

  2- Leaning your torso to the side you're working.

If you need to bring your middle delts up, typically do three sets of two different shoulder abduction (lateral raise) exercises. Do one with 3 sets of 8-12 and the other with 3 sets of 12-15. And, as is always case, go heavier or lighter every once in awhile.

Two Solid Workouts

Here are two fundamental, programs, each addressing a different shoulder weakness:

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


    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

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

    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           3       12-15
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