Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Training Guide For Novice Bodybuilders

novice bodybuilder
There are many people who had a daunting experience when they started out there bodybuilding careers. The reason is because there is no sport which can be intimidating than bodybuilding, this is because the sport is characterized with people who are muscular with big arms and large chests. If you are a skinny person starting out on bodybuilding you can be easily intimidated when you come across such people.

However when you go to the gym, you need to keep one thing in mind, even those professional bodybuilders started out where you are right now. They did not come from there mothers womb looking the way they look today. This article will show you the steps you should take in order to develop there body physique;

How to get started

It is spectacular that you have decided to take up bodybuilding. If you are looking to build body mass, grow a pair of six packs, or just to cut down your body weight then you can be able to accomplish all this through weight training.

Before starting your missions you need to first state your reason for starting bodybuilding in the first place. After writing your reasons for taking up bodybuilding you need to also write down what you hope to achieve through bodybuilding i.e. your goal for taking bodybuilding. Your goals need to be classified as either long term or short-term. This will enable you to come up with a training program which will help you meet your goal.

Coming up with your own training program

Before you even develop your training program you must have in mind the reason as to why you are coming up with the exercise routine in the first place. If you are a novice bodybuilder you need to ensure your training program is based on a solid foundation. Therefore the first step you should take is to ensure that your training program is designed in an efficient manner. In order to determine whether the training routine is fit for you, you need to consult a fitness expert who will be able to advice you as to whether the fitness program will help you attain your goal.

Body part training

The only to train your muscles effectively is by dividing your training exercises into body parts. You need to work out each body part separately. There are many professional bodybuilders who can attest to the fact that this approach has enabled them to achieve tremendous muscle growth. The other advantage of clearly defining your different muscle groups from the beginning is to be able to avoid an imbalance in the training of the several muscle groups. Thus your body composition is perfect in terms of muscle development.


There are very many techniques to choose from in order to exercise your different muscle groups. But if you are a novice bodybuilder you need to begin with the basics such as undertaking compound movement exercises. The advantage of this technique is that it trains very many muscle groups at the same time.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Muscle Group Reflective Cardiovascular Training

When it comes to planning cardiovascular training, most bodybuilders don’t put much thought into it. They plan their muscle group workouts with great precision and focus. They select exercises, set and repetition ranges, and even toss in a few training principles to increase intensity, such as drop sets or training beyond failure.

cardiovascular training

However, their cardio training sessions usually involve jumping on the nearest open machine and completing the time required to stay trim, with little regard for muscle group crossover or spillover effect. There are ways to stimulate the muscle group that has just been trained with weights, during the following cardio session. Not only does training in this manner help to avoid overtraining a muscle group, it can also be used to compliment the anaerobic weight training session you just completed by hitting those muscle fibers once again, keeping blood in the region for another 25 to 45 minutes. Let’s look at a few ways we can accomplish this goal.

Following chest day…

If your gym has an Ab Shot machine, you can receive a great cardio and midsection routine (which will also compliment your chest training) by using this movement. The pullover movement of the exercise is great for the pectorals, serratus, and entire front half of your body. Additionally, any sort of pullover cardio machine will make great inroads into hitting the chest after it has already been scorched during your workout.

Following back day…

Rowing for cardio is the first and only cardio movement you should ever consider after completing back training. Your heart rate will be elevated and your back will be pumped when you climb atop the machine. You’ll keep that pump going, and pulse accelerated, for the next 30 minutes. The soreness that will be evidence in your back the next day will be evidence you have done things right!

Following shoulder day…

A nice Pilates, kettle ball, or step workout – one which will require a great deal of arm swinging, with or without weights – is the best strategy for keeping the shoulders pumped following a shoulder day. Remember to keep checking your heart rate to ensure it remains in an acceptable range. Tossing in a few sets of moderate weight dumbbell side raises or lateral raises might be a good way to keep the shoulders pumped if you notice them losing their fullness during the cardio session.

Following leg day…

The standard stepper is the best movement you can use following a tough quadriceps, hamstring, and/or calf workout. The slow and steady nature of the exercise will ensure you don’t deliver too much stress to the muscles, which should be fairly unstable following a tough workout. At the same time, the up and down pumping movement of the quads will keep blood moving to your legs. Keep a watchful eye on your heart rate, as it can become too high with the blood leaving your upper body for 90 minutes or more. Conclude you weight and cardio sessions with 5 to 10 minutes of deep stretching to break up lactic acid and other toxins which will accumulate in the area during your training session.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why Forearm Training Matters

forearm training
When you first begin bodybuilding training, there is a good chance you aren’t going to take forearm training all that seriously. After all, they aren’t listed as target muscle groups in nearly all the articles we read in magazines. In the beginning, we usually employ a group of compound lifts which deliver stimulation all over the body. The forearms grow at a rate determined by genetics, rest, diet and stimulation through secondary training. Every time you complete a barbell row, biceps curl, or lat pull down, the forearms are targeted. In the beginning, they grow as a result. However, there are a few reasons why direct and sustained training designed to isolate the forearms is a good idea. Here are a few of them!


There is nothing more comical to see upon a bodybuilding stage than seeing athletes displaying the “reverse Popeye syndrome”. These men have amazing and well-developed biceps, but their forearms are small and underdeveloped. While this does allow the biceps to appear larger in some cases of competitors with sub-par biceps, this intentional lack of possible muscle can and will eventually cost the bodybuilder in the final placings. The forearms need to be as developed as the rest of the muscle groups in the body, and the judges know this better than anyone. If there’s any doubt in your mind at all, ask the judges at your next competition.

Support in major lifts

When you’re training hard and heavy, you are employing many sets of systems to complete each repetition. Your nerves, muscles, skeleton and tendons combine their efforts to move the weight. When completing a movement such as the deadlift, for example, your body uses multiple sets of muscle groups, aside from just the back (the muscle group being targeted). Your biceps and forearms are both called upon to support the lifting of hundreds of pounds. These muscle groups are much smaller than the back, and weaker as well. As a result, they often fail first. By training the biceps and specifically, forearms, with direct and targeted training, one can improve the number of repetitions and weight used in the deadlift. This applies to any and all movements requiring multiple muscle groups. The forearms are often the smallest and weakest muscle group, and fail first. You need to change that through training!

Injury avoidance

The stronger your biceps and back become, the greater workload (heavier weight and more repetitions) they are able to safely and consistently complete. However, heavier weights also contribute to a greater likelihood of sustaining an injury. Tendons and bones cannot be made stronger – one can only lift to make the muscles stronger and take precautions to ensure the muscles groups being trained are properly warmed up. Developing the forearms using resistance weight training helps them to be better prepared for a workload presented to them, and therefore less vulnerable to injury.

The bottom line is that yes, forearms do matter. Train them with the same intensity and focus you use on your ‘showcase’ body parts and you’ll be very happy with the results!

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Five Parameters Of Chest Training

bodybuilding chest training

While the chest is actually considered to be a single muscle group, it actually contains five separate yet equal areas which need to be developed to their fullest if you wish to display a full and complete chest.

Let’s check out these five areas, along with exercises which hit them most effectively.

The Inner Chest

Close-grip bench press (used for triceps) is a great way to isolate the inner chest. Also useful are incline and flat dumbbell flyes. The contraction and flexion you feel at the peak of every repetition is highly important as well.

The Outer Chest

Cable crossovers, wide incline dumbbell flyers, and parallel bar dips work to help develop that pectoral-shoulder tie-in area. Remember that this part of the upper chest shelf is visible in many poses, and its development is essential if you want to have an impressive upper body. Whenever you see a bodybuilder with poor pectoral/shoulder connections, there’ a good chance he’s not standing in the winner’s circle.

The Upper Chest

Incline “anything” will cause the upper chest to grow. Include a wide variety of incline bench pressing, dumbbell presses and flyes, and machine movements in your weekly training protocol. Always include two free weight exercises for every one machine movement you employ. Otherwise, you may find yourself missing out on some of the added benefits of free weight training, such as stabilizer muscle development.

The Lower Chest

Flat bench presses touch upon the lower chest, but nothing will stimulate this area like decline bench pressing and dumbbell presses. As always, the weight must remain heavy in order to be effective, and the repetitions should be focused and slow. You’ll also stimulate the lower chest (and abdominal tie-in lines) though the use of body weight parallel bar dips.

The Rib Cage

Frequently neglected in talks of overall chest development is the rib cage. In the 1970s, many bodybuilders believed that the use of dumbbell and barbell pullovers would lead to greater rib cage expansion, which would make the chest look bigger in side chest and vacuum poses. It’s hard to argue with the results of training in this manner for such proponents as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane, but the jury is still out on whether or not this practice actually expands the bones of the rib cage. At any rate, and for adequate serratus development as well, include pullovers with free weights or the pullover machine in your weekly training regimen.

It is your goal to include movements from each of these main areas in each chest workout. Neglecting one of them from time to time won’t seriously impair your long-term gains, but it won’t help either. At the same time, long-term ignorance of one or more of these areas will lead to compromised overall chest development. It may look worse than it should, and it will certainly perform without complete structure and support required for safe exercising. Include at least one movement from each of these 5 areas in every chest workout, then add additional movements as you see fit, based upon your experience and own strengths and weaknesses in the gym.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Anatomy Of MAX-OT Training

In recent years, MAX-OT training has seen a huge peak in popularity, followed by a dip in coverage as training methods such as DC training have taken center stage. Still, there is a large contingent of bodybuilders who use MAX-OT training religiously. They believe it offers a way for bodybuilders to train quick and heavy, in a very safe and productive manner.

Body part #1

  • Exercise 1
  • Exercise 2
  • Exercise 3
  • Exercise 4

Body part #2

  • Exercise 5
  • Exercise 6

MAX-OT Training
Body part #1 will be a major body part. This can include back, chest, thighs, or even shoulders, if traps will be the second part to follow. Body part #2 will be a smaller body part, such as biceps, calves, or triceps. Most bodybuilders will group chest with triceps, back with biceps, thighs with calves, and shoulders with traps. However, you can arrange body parts differently to suit your preferences and any recovery factors unique to yourself.

Exercise 1 will be a heavy compound movement. Exercises 2 and 3 will be standard heavy movements. Exercise 4 will be an isolation movement. At this point you move on to the second body part. Exercise 5 will be a compound movement, and exercise 6 will be an isolation movement.

For exercise 1, you will complete 2 very light warm-up movement sets. Your third set will be very heavy (the same weight you plpan to use for the two actual work sets) but you will only complete one repetition. This is called the “Acclimation set” and is unique to MAX-OT training. Every exercise of the workout will contain an acclimation set to help mentally prepare you for the heavy set that is about to arrive. Once you complete the two light warm-up sets and the single acclimation set, it’s time to get to work! You exercise 1 sets will be heavy and in the 4 to 6 repetition range. You will allow yourself up to 2 minutes rest between these sets.

Exercises #2 and #2 will require less warm up. You will simply use a single warm-up set with light weight, then one acclimation set. Then you will only be completing ONE working set for those exercises. As you can imagine, this means you have to work extremely hard to ensure that set is of the absolutely utmost intensity, or you will be wasting your time. Finally, move on to your final exercise for body part #1. This exercise #4 will require no acclimation set, as you’ll be fully warmed up and ready to work. Complete your final exercise and move on to the second body part.

Complete 2 warm-up sets, and one acclimation set, before plunging into two heavy work sets for exercise 5. Then, use just a single warm-up set and a single acclimation set before completing ONE set of exercise #6. That’s it. At this point, your two body parts should be fully engorged with blood and your strength levels tested to the maximum, but your joints shouldn’t have endured too rigorous of a workout, which will keep them working longer for you.

MAX-OT workouts should only take about 45 minutes to complete. You will use small 60 to 90 second breaks between each set. Good luck, and train hard!

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Young Bodybuilders Training Routines

Top of the morning to ya. Word around these parts is that your lower back isn’t so pleasant to look at in the morning. Heck, it doesn’t look good when you’re posing at any time of the day. Perhaps it’s time to get serious about your back training, and really challenge that area to grow. You use your deadlifts for pure mass, and you know the hyperextensions you’ve been using are helping with detail. However, you have been searching for a third exercise which can help deliver detail and mass to the lower back – and you don’t mind a challenge. Well, let’s hope you rested well last night. Good mornings have arrived, and you’re in for a very rough day!

young bodybuilders training routines

Completing good mornings is simple. Begin with a very light barbell on your back. The pre-fitted barbells in ten-pound increments work best for this exercise. Stand with the barbell on your shoulders, and then bend over to the point where your upper body is parallel to the floor. You never want to go below parallel with this exercise, or the barbell may just roll down to the floor. Once you bend over, slowly return to the standing position with the barbell on your back. This is a reverse deadlift in that the weight is above you, not below you, and the mechanics behind the movement are remarkably similar.

A belt should always be worn when completing good mornings. This exercise places the lower back in quite the vulnerable position, and the added support of a ‘second spine’ can be the difference between a great lower back pump and 6 months out of the gym following surgery. Never train to failure with this movement, and never go above a weight that you can move for at least 8 repetitions (and preferable ten!) You may need to insert a towel between your neck and the barbell if pain occurs, or employ the use of the “Manta Ray” or similar pad on the squat bar. The heavier weight you lift, the more risk that will be posed to the neck and upper back.

If you have experienced injuries to the lower back or any place on the spine, you will want to consult with your physician before plunging into the world of good mornings. They’re very effective, but are considered by some trainers to be a “young man’s movement” in that older trainers with more back issues and less flexibility may have a difficult time completing the movement.

Set and repetition range will vary based upon your needs and level of overall development. Four sets should be fine for most bodybuilders, but a limit of two may be used if the lower back is already experiencing a major pump when arriving at this exercise. Your reps should always be in the 10 to 15 range. Going too heavy can lead to serious risk of injury.

Start or finish your lower back days with good mornings, and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Breaking Sticking Points When Training Individual Body Parts

Everyone has that showcase body part or muscle group which always seems to shine above the rest. At the same time, we all probably have that muscle group which lags behind all the others. It’s always better to “nip it in the bud” and fix these weaker areas before they become long term problems.

Many bodybuilders try to avoid thinking about the muscle groups that are very weak, telling themselves they’ll just draw focus to their strongest areas. This only lasts until your first bodybuilding show, where weaknesses are exposed very quickly. In order to avoid this, you should tackle these weak areas now, and make the gains you need immediately. Here are some tips for stimulating growth in each of the major muscle groups.

Training Legs

training legs
If your legs are weak, you need to get work now. Bodybuilders are notorious for spending many hours each week hitting their upper body, but letting their legs lag behind several years in terms of development. Placing them first in your weekly training schedule is a good start. Making a conscious effort to include 4 to 8 sets of low, medium, and high volume repetition ranges is also a very good idea. Instead of working to make them ‘more’ of a priority, they no be THE priority as you train each week. Eat more food as well, since skinny legs are often a sign of inadequate nutrition.

Training Chest

training chest
Most beginning bodybuilders train chest, but many of them do so in a very unbalanced manner. Frequently, bodybuilders will bench press 1 to 3 times per week during their initial months of foray into the weight room. This emphasis on flat pressing (while neglecting incline dumbbell and barbell work) often leads to a thick, bunched up middle chest and very poor upper pectorals. Use a lot of sets, and give chest its own training day each week. Full repetitions in which you flex and feel each repetition with moderate weight are more effective than extremely heavy reps with a spotter doing half of the work for you.

Training Back

training back
Heavy free weight training using a variety of repetition ranges is the answer to back muscles that will not grow. Limit your cable and machine work to 25% of your back training day, and track your free weight poundage used to ensure you are increasing each month. Focus more on feeling each repetition than just moving heavy weight – but move heavy weight nonetheless!

Training Shoulders & Arms

training arms
Particularly on ectomorphs, or trainers that are naturally skinny, the shoulders and arms are a very tough place to add mass. Cut back on the cardio and add some calories to your diet. Give arms and shoulders dedicated training days, and use moderately heavy weights. An equal balance of free weights and machines works best in this situation. On both shoulder and arm movements, you also need to slow your repetition tempo considerably. A 4-count on the way up, followed by a 3-count on the way down, is ideal for drawing as much blood into the muscle groups being trained as possible.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Balancing Your Weight Training With Cardio

Weight training and cardio are exercising routines with very distinct effects to the body. The former is purely concerned with muscles while the later is all about physical fitness. This is exactly where the ladies in body building differ with the gentlemen. When a young girl comes into a gym for the first time ever, she will most definitely head straight to the cardio area and the cardio machines. Body builders call these machines, the cardio bunnies, for reasons better known to themselves.

weight training with cardio

But when young men hit the gym for their first time, they usually go straight to the weight room looking for the barbells. So at the end, it has become an established tradition that the guys usually hit the weight room for weight exercises while and the ladies fall for the cardio as the default option.

The difference is not so much dependent on body strength, than on the existing differences of goals that women and men have for an exercising routine.

Determining whether cardio or weight exercises are fit to be included on a workout schedule based on sex, is a misnomer. Never should a body builder ignore cardio just because they are regarded as feminine exercises. On the other hand even the most basic fat loss programs benefit more from a workout that incorporates both cardio and weight exercises than if it comprises cardio alone. The secret lies in balancing both the weight lifting exercises and the cardio into a harmonious program.

When the ladies incorporate weight exercises in their exercising regimes, they can better ton their muscles and achieve a lean physique. Cardio alone will do nothing more than facilitate the slow loss of some body fats. Cardio without weight exercises end up burning up all your muscle tissue until you look both skinny and malnourished. Cardio-only girls lack the curves that most guys adore in women.

The same is true with weight training without cardio The adamant men who will hear of nothing else but weights, usually develop block muscles that are poorly defined. Absence of cardio in a body building program results to many more ills besides poor muscle definition. For one, the cardiovascular fitness of the body builder is always in question. Breathing is unregulated and uncoordinated during exercises and as such, muscles get into anaerobic state faster due to lack of adequate oxygen levels.

In essence therefore, the optimal physique features only accrue from a balance of the exercises both in the cardio section of a gym and the weight room. Body building men can never get lean and or ripped just by perfecting their weight training. They too need the cardio routines so as to effectively burn the excess body fat spread all over the body. An amazing six pack figure accrues as much from the weight room as from cardio routines.

Cardio help regulate the body fat in the physique while then the weight exercises develop and maintain an amiable muscle network. Cardio also keep the heart and lungs at their prime state. A three session cardio routine (Each for thirty minutes) can be alternated with four weight exercise sessions (60 Minutes each), every week for optimal body building results.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Back-to-basics Chest Training

Today’s gyms are equipped with a multitude of machines which allow the trainer to hit the various areas of the pectorals (chest muscles) with relatively no pain or balance. You can hop on any device in the gym and pump, pump, pump to your heart’s content. The problem is that you’re probably not going to build that much muscle as a result. You’re going to fill it with blood, and you’re going to feel like the strongest man in the gym inserting that pin and moving the stack.

But the bodybuilder across the gym repping out with 225 on the bench press is going to be making better gains.

chest training

Chest machines are highlighted as a safe, efficient way to build a chest. There is a problem with that. They are safe, but not nearly as effective, no matter host much better they may feel than free weights. The pain and balance are the two factors in training that lead to the most raw muscle growth. The easier an exercise is, the less you are going to grow. The tougher an exercise – the more pain you experience – the more you are forcing your muscle fibers to grow.

Let’s get started on a standard chest workout. You may be initially drawn to the wide variety of machines your gym offers. Exercises such as wide grip push press and incline 90 degree machine flyes might sound exciting, innovative, and revolutionary. The truth is, they are nothing more than a set resistance along a certain path. Researchers can work to find a better path for the muscles to take to facilitate growth, but the bottom line is that you’re doing less work, by definition.

How is this possible? Well, when you train with standard weights, your body is forced to balance and control the weight for the entire movement.

Failure to do so can result in serious injury. An ability to do so requires you to control the weight, which activates stabilizer muscles not utilized during your machine exercises. This is where the difference lies. Heavy weights require muscle activation not seen with machine movements, which leads to growth you don’t see with these same machine exercises.

A standard chest workout – if you’re looking to get back to basics and train using good old fashioned hard work – is going to be located mainly in the free weight area. You’re going to start with some sort of presses (incline, flat or decline) with some sort of free weight (dumbbells or free weights). After eight sets of full presses using two exercises, you’ll move on to some fly variety. These can be incline, flat or dumbbell as well.

Finally, your fourth exercise will consist of a pullover or other movement which will allow you to utilize higher repetitions.

It’s acceptable to use these exercises – comparatively painless and certainly quite safe – at the conclusion of a training day when you’re just looking to keep blood in the muscle group after completing a grueling workout. However, to spend your early sets of a workout on a machine is foolish, and something you’ll never see a champion bodybuilding doing.

Be smart – train using the basics to build up the most possible chest mass.

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

How To Increase Your Bodybuilding Training Intensity

It is very important to train intensely because this is the only guaranteed way to achieve muscle gain. When you are in the gym you need to workout up to the point where your muscles reach muscle overload. As soon as the muscles reach this point they are now ready to start growing.

bodybuilding training intensity

1. Prepare yourself mentally

You need to prepare yourself mentally to experience some pain. In bodybuilding you need to expect pain because there can be no gain without pain. The problem nowadays is that many people are pleasure seekers and go out of there way to avoid pain. Ever since we were kids we were taught to monish pain by taking an arsenal of pain killers. However if you are not ready to take in the pain of intense training, you will fail in your bodybuilding career.

If you have just taken bodybuilding as a sport, do not give up because of the initial pain you experience after hours of intense training. As you progress the mind naturally adopts to the pain and you start to enjoy the pain.

2. Brain over brawn

In order for your mind to start relishing the pain of intense training you require three ingredients: Constant effort, Continuous exposure, and Great determination to succeed.

Training has to be supplemented with brain input for it to yield the necessary results. After months of intense training it is only natural to experience muscle burn and muscle fatigue. They soon become part of your lifestyle and act as a barometer in the future to judge whether you have undergone intense training.

3. Relish the pain zone

The moment you turn the pain into ecstasy you will have solved your feelings of self doubt and fear. Once you are able to master your fear there is nothing which can prevent you from achieving your goals both in bodybuilding and other areas of life.

4. Memories

The major reason why many people avoid pain is due to past painful experiences. There is a common saying which says a person is not capable of enjoying pleasure if they have not undergone any pain. Therefore even if you experienced a painful experience when you were undertaking intense training, you should use such memories to motivate you the next time you are in the gym.

5. Start with some warm up exercises

The best way to stimulate the muscles to be able to withstand intense training is through warming up. This is because warm up exercises helps increase the body temperature and metabolism. This warm up exercises should be done for at least ten minutes for them to be effective in jump starting the metabolic process. A bodybuilder also needs to ensure that they undertake light stretching exercises fifteen minutes before the actual workout. This is very important because it increases the flexibility of the trainer. Flexibility is a very important factor when it comes to reducing gym injuries.

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