Saturday, January 21, 2017

Techniques For Weight Training Variance

weight training variance

Are you seeking a few new ways to vary your training so that you can keep challenging your muscle groups, and keep the grow coming? You have come to the right place. Check out these techniques that you should be using every single workout to keep raising the challenge in the gym that you are facing, and raising the response from your body (namely, muscle growth!)

Use more weight with each successive set

This should feel like common sense to some lifters, but others seem to miss out on the point entirely. You should never complete 3 or 4 sets of a movement using the same amount of weight. Each set should require you to add another 5, 10, or 25 pounds to the bar. This means you will be completing fewer repetitions with each successive set, but that you’ll be stimulating more fast-twitch muscle fibers with each successive set as well.

More sets each month

Each month, you should be adding 1 to 2 sets to the total number of sets used on each training day. This will mean that in the course of two years, you might be moving up to 30 sets. But at the same time, your body will have grown to meet this new demand. It is only through new stimulation that our muscles are forced to grow, and adding new sets is a fine way to do this!

Reduce time between sets

Part of adding more sets each month will also involve moving the sets closer together (by virtue of less rest time between sets). You’ll always want to keep at least 30 to 45 seconds of rest between sets so that blood and ATP levels can reset. But you don’t need to be spending 4 minutes resting between sets. Work it down to at 60 to 90 seconds between sets, and you’ll be stronger for longer with each workout.

Training past failed repetitions

Use a spotter to help you lift when you cannot do it on your own any more. After your final repetition, when you would normally halt all lifting, have the partner assist you in moving the bar through another 2 to 5 repetitions. Even if you are only able to move the bar through the negative portion of the repetition, you’ll still be making strides in terms of your strength and size. You cannot use a technique like training past failure on every set of a workout, but it can add some spice and spurn some new growth when all else fails.

Bump up the training frequency by one day

There’s a good chance you have been training in the gym using the same week split for quite a while. You probably hit each muscle group each per week, which may work fine for your schedule and sanity. However, you should try stepping back for a moment and imagining what it would be like to train each body part once every six days instead. Try that for six weeks and see what a difference it makes!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

High Volume Training – The Key To Improved Muscle Growth

high volume training

There is no doubt that high-volume training is very effective for thousands of bodybuilders for building the kind of mass necessary for standing on the bodybuilding stage. Sure, those low-volume, high-intensity articles look really good on paper. Why can’t a person attain maximum muscle in only one working set? Scientifically speaking, it looks great. However, in the real world, with so many factors (nutrition, diet, recovery, and those factors on the neuromuscular level), it’s darn near impossible to reach your bodybuilding potential without a lot of food, sleep, and yes, training sets.

In order to make your high-volume training most effective, you have to ensure you aren’t missing any of the crucial recovery factors. It’s going to be impossible to stay up half the night partying, then show up at 9 am and give it your all for 20 sets of leg day. Nutrition matters more than ever. You don’t just need a ton of nutrients – you now need them in highly consistent delivery. No more missing meals. In terms of training days, you can no longer push a day forward, skip, or combine your training days when it’s convenient. You have to attend the gym every day as scheduled. In addition, you should take your vitamins and supplements without fail. Your muscle growth is very dependent upon these little things!

There is no lying to yourself when it comes to high volume training. Twenty sets is twenty sets – it’s that simple. You can superset a few of them. You can make a few of them warm-up sets. But the fact of the matter is that you are going to require an hour of lifting to hit those 20 sets, any way you look at it. Shortcuts have all gone out the window at this point. You are going to do your time, without fail. Design your daily schedule so that you’re not rushing in or out of the gym. There will be time to take breaks in 8 or 10 weeks when you switch to a lower-volume training protocol to give your body a break. The time to train is now!

Bringing a training partner into your equation can help with many factors, both inside and outside of the gym. In the gym, you’re much more likely to reach failure several times per workout when you have someone pushing you and making sure the weight doesn’t crush you. At the same time, you’re going to be much more religious about your diet and supplementation – never missing a meal or creatine dose – if you know your partner is hitting the mark right on time. You wouldn’t want him growing that extra one-eight a pound of muscle, if you’re not!

Finally, patience is a major factor with high volume training. Initially, in the first week of training, you are going to initially see some hardness and new volume during that first week of training, but then you may see a crash as your central nervous system adapts to the highest volume. As the weeks pass, however, your body will adapt and growth will continue!

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Training Techniques You Should Use In Your Bodybuilding Program

training techniques bodybuilding program
Bodybuilding is one of the most effective ways of boosting your self confidence and general self image. If you look at the life styles of bodybuilders you will find something in common, almost every bodybuilder lives a fulfilled life. This however only applies to bodybuilders who have become successful without the use of steroids use or any other enhancement hormones.

In order to mold your character through bodybuilding you need to train the natural way. This is difficult sometimes and that is the more reason why you will feel fulfilled when you know you succeeded through your hard work. Even if you are experiencing a bodybuilders plateau, do not be dismayed because a lot of bodybuilders also passed through the same experience before they were able to become successful. The first thing you need to do is to find out your objective for going to the gym. Your objectives should suite you and only you, so do not try to mimic the objectives of another bodybuilder.

Your objective for going to the gym could be to develop massive muscles and transform your whole body physique to look like a wrestler. Your objective on the other hand could be not to look like a wrestler but to simply acquire a well toned body physique characterized by lean muscles. Whichever the case you need to clearly define your objective because this will determine the kind of training regimen you are going to use.

Prior to any training exercise you need to warm up first. When you are training you need to ensure that your body temperature is elevated so that you can be able to warm up your muscles. When you undergo any form of training and yet your muscles are cold you will only be increasing your chances of getting muscle injuries. The muscles normally respond well to training when they are warm. After warming up, you should undertake the following training regimen according to your objectives;

1. Developing a well toned body

A person can be able to develop a well toned body and it is not a must that he gets bulked up. For you to be able to develop this type of body structure, you need to ensure that the weights you are using in your training are not very heavy and the number of reps you are doing should be more. In other words use light weights with high repetition.

This kind of training regimen will enable you to stay fit and sculpt your muscles as well.

2. Developing massive muscles.

You need to completely change your strategy all together if your objective is to get huge muscles. The training regimen you use should involve very heavy weights, with few repetitions. The whole idea of using very heavy weights is to be able to reach muscle overload and ensure that you have damaged your muscles to maximum capacity. This is known as constructive damage of the muscles and it is the only way in which your body can be able to grow tremendously.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Training Tips For More Intense Workouts

training tips intense workouts
Q: My buddy and I were having a debate the other day about what “intensity” means in terms of an actual workout on paper. Do you think this workout is intense, too intense or not intense?

  • Straight Leg Deadlifts – 4 x 4 (12,10,8,6 + drop set for
  • Hamstring curls – 3 x 8-12
  • Good Mornings – 3 x 10,10,10
  • Calves – 6 sets
  • Biceps – EZ Bar Curls 5 x 12,11, 10, 9, 8
  • Preacher Curls – 5 x 12,11,10,9,8
  • Hammer curl – 2 x 8-10

What do you think?

A: Well, a few observations. Number one, it’s a big workout day- though I will say that I like it. I think it’s a lot of volume, but then, I also think that most bodybuilders don’t work hard enough. I wouldn’t say you are overtraining, unless I saw you and thought, “He’s not up to the task at his size” or something.

I do think the biceps workout is a bit too much. Doing 5 EZ Curl exercises with little variation in rep length, etc. is probably not ideal.

Also, EZ curl + Preacher curl is very intense for one workout. You probably won’t have much luck by the time you do preachers. I’d almost flip them in order. If you are trying to do an actual HIT routine, this is definitely too much.

The rule of thumb for anything is this: If you are doing your sets, and you are halfway through and your pump goes south, never to return in that workout session, then you’re done, whether you have 3 more or not!

This is especially true for biceps. When it’s gone it’s gone. Remember to keep moderate weight in your stiff-legged deadlifts too, because you lose the benefit and ultimately, the intensity, if you don’t.

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Circuit Training Bodybuilding Program

circuit training bodybuilding

Most body builders who have not tried to adopt a circuit training technique in their program live in ignorance of what is the use for a circuit training routine. It is important that you understand the aim and thus the benefits that accrue from a
circuit training workout routine.

In the basic, circuit training workouts are specifically designed to evenly strengthen all the major muscles and muscle groups in the body builder’s physique using specialized isolation exercises and a dose of compound exercises. The body must be built from the perspective of individual muscles and their supporting attachments, ligaments and tendons. Such an isolationist perspective helps determine how often and to what level of intensity, we stimulate muscle growth in the distinct body parts within a weekly training routine.

This does not however dismiss the importance and need of compound exercises in the training regimen, since it is through the compound movements that we harmonize the growth of distinct muscle and muscle groups. Compound movements are particularly important in building a solid strength base from which you can then progress to isolation exercises. The beginning point is always in compound movements, which stimulates growth in as many muscles as possible. In fact, there are those muscle groups in the body that can not be trained in complete isolation, since every form of exercising you use will unconsciously recruit supporting muscles.

After the preliminary training that solidifies body strength, especially in beginner and intermediate training levels, it is then important that the body builder plan the next move upwards in pursuit of greater muscle mass, strength and definition. This next phase is the one that requires him or her to split the workout sessions into isolation training where a particular muscle or muscle group is trained during a particular session, for so many times within the training week. By so doing, the body builder ensures that he or she imposes a far greater stress, ore rather workload, on the specific muscle group, than would have been possible using compound exercises. Inn essence therefore, circuit training it is all about achieving progress and intensifying intensity.

It is circuit training workouts that will ultimately perfect and amplify your overall body strength, muscular endurance, balanced physique development and the cardiovascular fitness to boot. Your circuit training ought to be designed in such a way as familiarize your muscles to the isolation exercises and the weight training equipment first before you move on to building intensity. Try alternating the muscle groups during the week, allocating a specific workout session for at least two different muscles or muscle groups. You must also ensure that the week’s training involved all the major body parts you have so as to balance gains.

Circuit training enables you to leave the trained body part out of the workout during the consecutive days, as you train the other body part and as it recovers from its training session. Actually, this is the principle used by hardcore trainers who hit the gym every day and still achieve crazy intensity levels without overtraining.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Power Training

Since our first days in the weight room, we’ve no doubt been indoctrinated to train in a method that splits the entire body up into a group of 4 or 5 days. Chest and back are given their own training sessions, as are legs and shoulders. Often, arms will have their own day or they will be split up, biceps falling on back day and triceps being placed with chest. If you look around your gym, there is a good chance you’ll see plenty of people training in exactly this manner. They arrive in the gym, train one body part, and call it a day. It’s a tried and true method for bodybuilding training that has been the norm for a long time.

Then there is another school of thought employed by a very small group in your gym. These lifters know that the 4 or 5 days splits are going to be useful down the road when they have built up a decent level of muscle mass on the body. But they know that in the meantime, they have to build that level of muscle mass up first. They achieve this initial level of muscle mass and strength not through 5-day a week specialized training, but through a 3-day per week method based upon the use of heavy, compound movements that focus more upon major lifts instead of body parts. Here is such a training program for your consideration.

Monday – Squat Day

Begin your day with squats, of course, in the range of 6 to 8 reps for a full 5 sets. Then, move on to some other heavy leg movements including leg press and hack squats. Hamstrings and calves follow, as you would normally do, but the emphasis isn’t a pump, as would normally be the case for bodybuilders. Instead, you train explosively, moving more weight than normal with a bit less form than you would normally use. Train harder and heavier than usual, and then take a full day off to heal.

Wednesday – Bench Day

You’re back in the gym after a day of rest, and you’re going to train just as heavy and explosively. Today you’re going to be all about chest, followed by some triceps and shoulder work. Start with four sets of flat bench pressing in the range of 3 to 8 reps. Move on to incline bench pressing for four sets of 6 to 10 reps. From there, some heavy dumbbell work will finish your chest routine. Move to some seated shoulder dumbbell work, followed by some heavy skull crushers and triceps presses, and your day is complete. The heavier the better – and you should use a spotter whenever possible.

Friday – Deadlift Day

Start with four sets of deadlifts in the 3 to 8 repetition range. Barbell rows will follow, as will a few sets of chins or pulldowns. From there, spend about 20 minutes in the free weight area hitting the biceps with some very heavy barbell and dumbbell curls, toss in some grip work to keep the hands and forearms strong, and call it a day! Remember that this is not a powerlifting routine. It’s for bodybuilders looking to add muscle to their frame by adding some serious strength.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Little Confused About Ab Training

Q:  I’m confused about ab training. I’ve heard some guys say they never train them and that dieting and cardio will bring them out. Others seem to tag them on as an after-thought at the end of their workout. When’s the best time to train them, how often should they be trained and, also, is it beneficial to train different portions of the abs separately?

A: I know how you feel. In fact, I remember attending a seminar once where  Mr. Olympia legend Lee Haney claimed that he never trained his abs. Dieting and cardio were all he needed. We should all be so lucky (read genetically gifted). Unfortunately, few of us are and that means that we definitely need to work our abs to bring out our six-packs, not to mention the obliques and intercostal striations. So when and how should we do it?

While the abs does require concentration, they’re not really going to exhaust you for any upcoming weight workout. So, it would appear to make sense to train them first in your workout, when you’re fresh and motivated. This seems logical but recent publicity has surrounded the idea that training abs first places your body at risk because it will pre-fatigue the abdominal wall and place it in an unstable position during compound movements like squats and dead-lifts. There are, however, no credible studies that verify such an idea. And real gym experience seems to contradict it. Most trainers actually report that they are able to lift more weight and feel stronger on compound movements performed after training the abs. In effect, the ab session acts as a warm-up, both mentally and physically, for the compound movements to follow. It makes sense then, to train the abs first in a workout.

As far as frequency of abdominal training goes, again there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Many people assert that the abs are very resilient and respond well to frequent training, advocating daily ab training sessions. It’s true that the abs do bounce back quickly – if you fail to train them with sufficient intensity. Keep in mind that when we’re talking about the abdominals we’re referring to four muscles at the core of your body (the rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques and transverse abdominis). While proper training of these muscles will not impair future compound movements, over training them may well have a detrimental affect on movements like squats and dead lifts. So, if you’re working your abdominals with the same level of intensity that you’re giving to other body parts (which should be your goal), you wouldn’t want to train them more than two times per week, with at least a two day gap between training sessions.

Specifically targeting different areas of the abdominal wall is another hotly debated topic. On the face of it, the rectus abdominis, being one muscle, would get worked in its entirety by an exercise that stimulated it. After all, that’s the way it works with other muscles. Scientific studies seem to prove this (although there are some that show just the opposite – so much for science). Again, the real litmus test lies in real life experience on the gym floor. The majority of trainers would swear that specific exercises target specific areas of the rectus abdominis because they can feel and see that very thing in action. So, it’s pretty safe to conclude that yes, the rectus abdominis can be specifically targeted and it is proper to speak of exercises that target either the upper or lower areas of this muscle. So, for lower abs concentrate on bench leg raises, hanging leg raises and reverse crunches. For upper abs perform weighted crunches and weighted pull-downs (seated).

So, in summary, train your abs first in your workout. Limit your abdominal workouts to two sessions per week. Train abs just as you would any other muscle group. Do 3 sets of 8 reps per exercise and remain totally focused on the working muscle group throughout the movement.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Focused Back Training For Bodybuilding

focused back training
Do you have an extremely poor back? Has it cost you a few spots’ worth of placing in shows? At the local and regional level of shows, it is usually conditioning and structure that wins shows. At the national and professional levels, most bodybuilders already have superior shape and structure, and conditioning is usually pretty similar among the top 5 or 7 athletes in each class. At the lower levels of bodybuilding, having an excellent back is a rarity, as many people just getting into bodybuilding have spent their first few years of training focusing upon the showcase muscle groups of chest and arms. It’s never too late to make back a focus if you wish to go far in the sport of competitive bodybuilding, but the time to act is now. If your back is poor, there is only one person who can correct the situation: you.

The first thing you need to do if you want a bigger back is to start eating. Scrap whatever diet you’re on, and add ten to fifteen pounds to your frame with the addition of some clean protein sources and some slow-burning carbohydrates. Some fats in the form of fish oil caps won’t hurt either. You cannot grow new muscle, particularly on an area such as the back, without the addition of some size onto your frame. And that size only comes with weight gain. Gyms across America are littered with “lean-ish” bodybuilders who weight a lean 170 and will never develop impressive back thickness because they just can’t eat enough food to reach a point where they are 190 pounds.

Training for width is the most important aspect. You will want to begin using wide-grip chins in every workout. You may only be able to complete a few reps at a time, but that will change quickly as you add more to your daily workload. Thickness training is only slightly less important. The use of deadlifts and rows in particular will make the middle and lower back muscle pop a bit more, and you will look thicker from all angles. This lack of thickness on some competitors is obvious when they are stood next to competitors with complete backs.

Outside of the gym, you can also make a major difference in terms of back development as well. Daily flexing of the back will help greatly. Stretch the lats using a door jam. Spend some time just hanging from a chin bar or door jam. This will give you more width and better mind-muscle connection. Finally, you will want to begin evaluating your back development and tracking your progress (or lack thereof) so that there are no surprises the next time you step foot on the bodybuilding stage. You will see growth of various areas of the back within weeks of starting your new movements with heavier weight and more food. Tracking this growth with photographs will allow you to more accurately measure the return on your work investment, and will keep you keenly aware of your strengths as they emerge and weaknesses as they remain. Severe back lag can be defeated, but only with a strict regiment of eating, training, and back mind-muscle connection and awareness.

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Friday, December 23, 2016

The Kingpin Approach To Bodybuilding Training

kingpin bodybuilding

There is an ancient technique among loggers in American states. Those who have ever seen logs being transported by water, such as when logs are assembled from the forest where they were harvested and dropped into a river to swim down stream and then be lifted off at the factory, the technique is easy but very ingenious. An average guy would not transport more that ten in a day, for most will lie across the wrong way, others will block the flow, others will get out of the water and mostly, others will assemble together and then stop somewhere creating a dam.

But professional loggers in the industry have over the years developed a very effective and wise way of clearing huge log-jams in the water. In this they are able to send large logs, thousands of them in a day down the river. What they have learned and therefore do, is to go at some intermittent points downstream and identify a huge log, just one which is repositioned in such a way that prevents others for jamming. This is the kingpin. It is just a single log, which if accurately re-positioned even slightly, restores the orderly flow of other logs down the river.

That is the idea, as simple as that. And in a much similar way, body builders must find their personal kingpins that help accelerate and rejuvenate the rate of progress enroute a body building program. This might be the area where the body builder is more conversant with, an area where the body builder is more willing to engage than others, a muscle that is stronger and more developed than others, a habit that is more ingrained than any other or a technique that has been perfected. One example is a body builder who is just so addicted to smoking and cannot do without it. He would do anything, or fail to do anything, just for a smoke.

This can be taken as a weakness which finally delimits gains in a body building. If so, then the body builder needs a lesson from the loggers. Consider this. If it is a must you smoke, just for an example, whet about putting conditions on when you smoke. One cigarette after successfully achieving such and such predetermined intensity, is a trick, isn’t it. If you hate cardio and still know that they must be part of your training, then what about getting on the gym and bringing the workout to conclusion with the promise that you will have a puff after the training is done? The smoking, negative as it is, has in this case been used as a kingpin.

It does not have to be that extreme but each of us has weaknesses and strengths. The kingpin approach recognizes the weaknesses and the strengths and then uses the strengths in pursuit of the weaknesses, so as to build up a comprehensive training regimen. By using strengths to overcome weaknesses, the kingpin approach helps you maintain training and remain focused on the goal without delimiting omissions.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Propel The Body Out Of a Comfort Zone

training intensity
At the very outset, body building relies on intensity. Maximal gains are only achievable when the maximal intensity is achieved in the training regimen. It is maximal intensity that the body is propelled to commission growth of new muscle tissues. Without reaching optimally maximal intensity, the body pretty remains in the same level, comfortable since it can handle the demands of training. But once that absolute failure have been achieved, when intensity has fully stimulated particular targeted muscle group, then the body is forced to build some more in anticipation of handling the intensity better tomorrow.

Increase Your Training Intensity To Propel The Body Out Of a Comfort Zone

The human body is a masterpiece or adaptation. For instance, if you are new in body building, even the smallest barbell intimidates you. You see it and you wonder how you can ever lift that for a second rep. after a while, you see guys lifting the huge one at the corner for eight reps and you are perplexed. At that time, you are no longer intimidated by the small one, but the bigger one. The attitude, even before you get physical, has adapted and shifted to a higher level.

Then one day you start training and of course you start at the bottom of the rack. The body complains, it is angry with you, it is totally crises, asking, how could you push me through that? The muscles ache all over, you cannot even have a shower, the biceps can not allow that. You are seriously in pain. If you are determined enough, you go for the second session and the body complains again, this time not so vehemently. By the fourth session, the body learns that you are never going to let it free. Consequently it commissions an emergency operation. Muscle growth goes to the overdrive, muscles are built up and fortified to provide enough strength to get the fifth session going without pushing the body too far.

By and by, what was initially a hustle to get done becomes comfortable and the body no longer wimps. If you remain at that same intensity, the body is okay, comfortable and appreciative, but no further growth will be commissioned. The fact is, you must give the body a reason to grow, it never does so willingly or volitionally. Next time, after some months maybe, you decide to increase the barbell poundage and you add a few on the rod.

The first days, the body is totally mad, why do you have to go and do what I don’t feel comfortable with. It watches and hopes you will never again demand so much of it. When you persist in the second and third day on the amplified intensity, the body knows now that things are no longer okay. Again an emergency operation is put in place, growth is commissioned to cater for the increased intensity. To the body, the hope is in your maintaining the same intensity level throughout so that it remains comfortable with training. Yet for the body builder, priority ought to be prompting the body out of that comfort zone once it adapts to the level of intensity, for that is the only way to achieve progressive gains in both strength and muscle mass.

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