Friday, October 28, 2016

How To Determine The Frequency And Duration Of Your Training

frequency duration training

There are many bodybuilders who are not sure about the training pattern which is going to make them attain optimal results. When it comes to the training frequency many bodybuilders are not sure whether they should train for consecutive days. In order to determine when you should train, you need to look out for any soreness in your muscle tissues. If you are feeling any soreness in your muscle tissues then you need to postpone training until the following day. The recent trend among seasoned bodybuilders nowadays is to divide there workouts into the upper and lower body part workouts. When they separate there workouts as such they are able to train for consecutive days in the gym. When it comes to the frequency of your training you should avoid skipping training for four consecutive days. If you choose training on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this will be an effective training frequency. A three times a week workout frequency is still effective in helping you stimulate muscle growth.

The other query that many bodybuilders have is with regards to the duration of there training. If you want to stimulate muscle growth you should avoid training for more than an hour. You need to shorten the time you spend in the gym if you want to increase your muscles mass. In order to spend less time in the gym, you need to train using compound movement technique. Compound movement exercises help you train more than one muscle at the same time and this help you reduce the amount of time you spend in the gym. When you are weight training, the first twenty minutes are the most important since this is the period needed to stimulate muscle growth. You should therefore avoid any weight training program which proposes that you should train for an hour. You need to ensure that during those twenty minutes your training session is very intense.

Apart from the frequency and duration of the training other important aspect of the training will be highlighted in the gym. The first aspect involves warming up properly before even starting to lift the weights. Failure to warm up before lifting weights will make you injure yourself when training.

The reason why you need to warm up is because it helps increase the flexibility of your joints. The reason why many bodybuilders injure themselves when they are lifting weights is because there joints are not flexible. When you are lifting weights you should also ensure that you first stretch before doing the actual lifting. Stretching also helps increase the flexibility of the joints thus you will be able to reduce the probability of getting injuries when lifting weights.

It is also important that you maintain text book form when you are lifting weights. The importance of training using proper form cannot be overemphasised. When you train in text book form you will be able to avoid ‘cheating’. Cheating is where you use your body movement to do the actual lifting.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Top-Down Chest Training

down chest training

Ask any top bodybuilder what area of his chest he works to stimulate most, and barring a few exceptions, they will all answer in the same manner: Upper chest! The upper pectoral shelf was made legendary by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his bodybuilding heyday, and not a whole lot has changed since then.

Arnold could balance a full glass of water on his upper pectorals, and bodybuilders have been trying for years to match that feat! Here is a training style which emphasizes the upper pectorals.

Incline bench press

For this particular movement, you will be challenging yourself to bring the barbell down to a point at the very top of your chest. Remember that you’re working from the top of the chest down, so you will need to start at the top of the chest. Flex the pectorals at the top of each repetition as you press the weight out. Use a lighter weight which allows you to lower the weight all the way down to a point about an inch above the chest, and an inch below the neck. Repetitions should be slow and focused.

Incline dumbbell press

Immediately move to the incline dumbbell press, done in standard form. You can’t control where the dumbbells come down due to the fact you are using independent arms on two different dumbbells, but you can work to use as much weight as humanly possible. If your repetitions don’t go all the way down, you shouldn’t panic. You’ve covered that base with the last exercises and you will again with the next movement. For now, you just want to build mass by using heavy weight in the 6 to 8 repetition range for incline dumbbell presses.

Incline dumbbell flyes

Now that you’ve lifted heavy, it’s time to return to a bit of control with your movements. Select a weight that will allow you to pause for just under a full second at the lowest point of contraction when you lower the weight to the extended position. Make your repetitions slow and deliberate, and don’t attempt to go too heavy. You’re trying to build muscle, not break any silly records regarding incline flye weight being used. Be smart, safe, and you’ll see the upper pectorals and shoulder/pectoral tie-ins improve dramatically.

Flat dumbbell presses

It’s time to go heavy again, this time targeting your middle chest. Knock out 4 to 6 sets of very heavy flat dumbbell presses. Use a spotter cupping your elbows if at all possible. Repetition range should be in the 6 to 10 range using heavy weight and 75 to 80% range of motion. No need to go all the way down!

Decline bench press

Finally it’s time to hit the bottom portion of your chest. You’ve torched the top section with three movements. You’ve tortured the middle section with flat presses. Now you should use a decline movement. Bench press with a 15 to 18 degree incline is probably the safest movement out there in terms of controlling the weight (with or without a spotter) at the end of your workout when control may be an issue. Use moderate weight – don’t go too heavy! You’ll need to bring the barbell down to the lowest point on the pectorals possible, around the nipple area. Make every repetition slow and focused.

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Breathing Repetitions For Arm Training

arm training

For years, bodybuilders have used breathing squats to push their bodies to new levels of growth, for both the legs and overall body size. The technique is simple. Squat for ten repetitions using an amount of weight which normally causes you to fail after ten repetitions. Then, take deep breaths for 10 to 60 seconds, and complete an 11th repetition. Then take more breaths and complete a 12th rep. Soon you’ll be completely exhausted, your legs will be beyond pumped, and you’ll be on rep 16 or 17. Your goal is to hit twenty repetitions. This same principle can be applied to arm training, to help push your biceps and triceps to levels of pump – and resulting growth – that you’ve never seen before.

Let’s begin with biceps. Grab an EZ-curl bar and complete your usual 10 repetitions. Once you hit that 10th rep (and presumably fail to be able to move the weight any more), take 5 to 15 deep breaths and complete another repetition. The time will allow more oxygen to move to the trained area, but will also allow you to catch your breath and break up some lactic acid buildup. In 30 seconds or so, you’ll be up for another repetition. Complete this 11th repetition. Take more breaths then move on to the 12th, 13th, 14th, and repetitions beyond. Can you reach twenty? After completing one brutal set of EZ bar curls, repeat this process for standing alternate dumbbell curls. Keep the weight moderate, the breathing breaks long, and again hit your twenty repetitions before dropping those dumbbells on the floor and calling it a day for biceps.

You’re not done yet, however, despite however bad that pump in your biceps may be. Now, it’s time to move on to hitting the triceps. You’ll be using the same procedure as listed above. A total of 40 repetitions, divided between the two exercises will suffice. Select a mass building movement such as skull crushers, then move on to rope pressdowns for your second movement. Be sure to use a spotter when completing the skull crushers, or any other movement which may result in injury should the weight fall. You’re training way beyond failure, so an inability to maintain the bar can occur, and often does.

Remember that with this heavy training, you are going to need more resources in order to recover properly. Your joints are going to hurt. Your central nervous system is going to need a greater recharge each evening. You’re not going to be able to heal so fast following your workouts, since you’re doing more than ever before. Bump up your caloric intake to ensure you are providing your body with the resources it needs to grow, and cut back any unnecessary cardiovascular training to ensure you are growing, and not getting leaner. Above all, once you have trained using breathing reps for arms for 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll want to return to the “easier” methods of training to give your joints and CNS a chance to recover.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

All-Machine Chest Training

all-machine chest training

Do you ever seem to have one of those days in the weight room where you just don’t think you have it in you to move those heavy free weights around? You know that moving the heavy iron is in a major way responsible for the muscle you gain. You know machines are usually not the way to go, unless your goal is toning up. Today, however, you might be nursing an injury, dodging an illness, or just plain not in the mood for the free weights. Or, more commonly, it might be 5:05 PM on a busy Monday afternoon, and the free weight area is absolutely packed with people. Whatever the case, you’re in a situation where you wish to opt for a day off the free weights, say for a chest workout. Let’s get to work!

Nautilus Flat machine press

You will be able to go very heavy on this movement, which is ideal for the first chest movement. Since you don’t have to control or balance the weight – all you have to do is push – you will be able to use more weight than you normally would for this exercise. Don’t waste your energy with a ton of stretching or warm up, outside of two minutes on the treadmill and 60 seconds pectoral stretching. Get on that machine and press out 4 sets of 8 repetitions.

Incline Hammer Strength machine

Scoot on over to the Hammer Strength machine and get to work. By this point in the workout, you’re probably aware of the fact that you won’t be needing as much time between each set for recovery. You can essentially take about 90 to 120 seconds between sets and you’ll be ready for the next round. Complete 4 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. You’re still training heavy, but not as heavy as you would be with free weights.

Chest Fly Machine

This machine may be very hard to get to, in many gyms. The fact that the machine reverses to serve the role as a rear deltoid movement means you’ll probably have double the users. Don’t let it get you down. If you’re the biggest guy waiting in line, there’s a good chance you’ll see the machine shortly! Knock out 4 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Keep the weight moving slowly and flex your chest at the top and bottom of every repetition.

Cable Crossovers

Finally, it’s time to finish off those pectorals of yours with a safe, zero balance movement which is very safe for avoiding injuries. Plus, this exercises targets the pectoral-deltoid tie-ins, which are very important if you wish to place well in bodybuilding competition. Keep the repetitions in the 12 to 20 range, and keep these reps very slow. Your goal is to feel full contraction in every repetition, and force every muscle fiber in your pectorals (which have just endured 12 steady targeted sets) to do it all over again! Stepping forward or backward can also vary your angle of attack.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

An Excellent Way Of Training With The Exercise Ball

exercise ball

An exercise ball is a very common and inexpensive type of equipment used mostly for the home gyms. Turbo Jam of late has adopted a workout package that incorporates the exercise ball in its performance. The turbo Jam creator, Johnson blended the wholesome funkiness of the Turbo Jam with the different challenges of ensuring that stability is maintained on the respective exercise ball. The end result is the ball workouts and the total body blast. This is why the equipment is used by many body builders in reaching their goal for a fit body.

Using the exercise ball helps efficiently in getting the perfect workout for your body building. However, it is very unusual to get a body building workout, which uses the exercise ball as the main part of its cardio workout. Most often, the exercise ball workouts puts its focus on the common strength training. For the typical ball exercises, they include either pushups or crunches when using the ball. Turbo Jam usually uses the ball in a different and effective way.

There are very many keys to successful use of these exercise balls and they serve as the roots for effective training. The first thing which should always ply in the mind of the body builder is that, the ball must always b filled with enough air. This can be well determined by the type of exercise that many people choose and a trainer is best suited to provide guidance on this. The exercise ball must always be inflated to such a point that the body builder’s knees are at an averagely 90-degree angle especially when he is sitting on the specific ball. Proper inflation of the ball, allows the completion of the exercise but when is poorly inflated it can lead to failure or unsafe training therefore causing injuries.

It is very important for a body builder to learn how to sit on the respective exercise ball without any blunders or hurting himself since the technique is usually tricky. The process requires more of training and assistance before getting used to the whole process. What is more challenging about the whole routine is staying on the ball for certain duration since perfecting of the balance is the ideal for the body builder. This therefore requires a well balanced body in terms of development and also demands the fitness of the body builder because of maintaining such a balance.

As a wise body builder always research more on the different packages meant to help you learn more on exercise ball usage. These packages come in varying forms and they suit individuals differently and this is why they have to be well chosen. There are in video formats and this illustrates well on how to go about the exercise balls. It is all upon the body builder to dig deeper in the pocket and get the best for his routine so as to ensure success and avoid failure completely for his training program.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Abdominal Training For Those Short On Time

short abdominal training

In a perfect world, we could all count on two hours each day in the gym to allow us to train to our heart’s content. We would always have the time to properly warm up, stretch, train with 15 to 20 sets, stretch and cool down, shower and head home with a cold whey shake.  Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. In our real lives, we have to make trade-offs involving our time, and often that translates to leaving some of our favorites from the gym.

It’s very easy for off-season bodybuilders to leave cardio off their menu when time is short. They’ll also shave off stretching, warm-ups, and other parts considered non-essential. And, when time is very short, it is the very important muscle group known as the abdominals that often take the hit and end up on the chopping block. It’s understandable to neglect abdominals in terms of the 45-minute workouts you might assign to other body parts – even smaller body parts such as calves or biceps. It is still possible to get in a good workout in a lot less time.

Divide into three

The abdominals can be hit in the upper, lower, and side areas. Use exercises like crunches for the upper abs. Lower abs are targeted with movements such as lying leg raises. Use side bends and broomstick twists for the side abdominal muscles. Each area should receive dedicated attention every workout.

Short rest periods

Allow yourself only 30 to 60 seconds rest between each set of abdominal exercises. You’ll soon discover 12 sets can be completed in less than a half hour! After 30 seconds your ATP levels have corrected and the muscles are ready for more. If you’re still breathing hard at that point from abdominal exercises, it might be time to work on your endurance and stamina with some weight training.


Your body doesn’t know if the bench you place your feet on during floor crunches is located in your gym, or is simply your couch during commercials of a television show you’re watching. If you have 5 or 10 minutes to spare at home, you can knock out an adequate abdominal workout without disrupting your life much at all. Leave the time in the gym devoted to the heavy movements requiring heavy equipment. Sneak in 4 to 6 abdominal workouts per week wherever you can squeeze them!

Keep the flex

The point of contraction at the very top of an abdominal crunch is by far the most beneficial in terms of leading to bodybuilding gains. Therefore you could improve your abdominal lot dramatically by simply keeping this contraction going as much as possible. Keep the abdominals tensed between sets when you are training. At home, flex them in the mirror once an hour. Keep them flexed the entire time you’re shirtless in any situation. The tension will lead to greater muscle definition and an 8-pack you can be very proud of, in only a little time each day!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Pro Training Tips For Massive Quads & Hamstrings

massive quads hamstrings

Are you looking for a way to hit those quadriceps and hamstrings quickly, and then get the heck out of the gym? If so, then you have some to the right place. The following workout will allow you to target both sides of the upper thigh muscles, and do so in a manner which will stimulate both the fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. The next time you’re facing a time crunch and really want to hit the legs in a new way, give this routine a shot! It will deliver a full workout in minimal time.

Leg extensions, immediately followed with leg curls

It’s time for a quick workout, and this includes a quick warm-up. You don’t need to utilize the treadmill or elliptical to warm up your legs today. Instead, you can use 1 to 2 sets of these lightweight movements to draw the blood into your legs and get your body ready for the heavier free weights. Use 12 to 20 repetitions per set, making 15 the target number. Despite the fact you’re trying to train fast, your repetition speed should be slow and deliberate. After you complete each set of leg extensions, immediately jump to the nearby leg curl machine and complete an equally slow and deliberate set of 15 repetitions. The goal is a slow pump and burn.

High repetitions Squats, immediately followed with stiff-legged deadlifts

Now that your legs are fully warmed up, you’re ready to move some weight. You will be using the same weight for squats as you will for the high repetition squatting, so this may entail a reduction in your squat weight. Don’t let this worry you. The next exercise will allow you to go heavy for the front thighs. For this movement, you will want to use enough weight to keep you at 12 to 15 repetitions. In the meantime, you will be using very heavy weight for stiff-legged deadlifts. Focus upon flexing the quadriceps very intensely, and then focus upon moving a lot of weight for the hamstrings.

Hack squats, immediately followed by seated leg curls

Up to this point in the workout, you haven’t used much weight. You’ve pumped your legs up greatly and done so quickly, but you haven’t yet hit those fast-twitch muscle fibers that come with training heavy. That time is now! You will be using weight which will only allow you to train in the 6 to 10 repetition range. Once you complete the heavy reps on the hack squats, jump to the seated leg curls machine, where you will use equally heavy weights. You must use full range of motion on both of these movements, with no hesitation. Keep the form solid until the last rep or three of each set, when you will be allowed to break form a bit in the name of getting in a few extra repetitions.

You may choose to follow up this workout with 6 to 10 sets of calf work. This sort of supersetting isn’t all that tough once your muscles and lungs become acclimated to the tempo. The results will be steady and the time spent in the gym will be minimal.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Bodybuilding Training

bodybuilding training

There's not a lot of debate in bodybuilding circles as to how many different training rotations or protocols should be employed during the course of a single year. Most experts would agree you should give a protocol at least 4 weeks to work, then move on to something else after 8 or 12 weeks. When you see the same guys in the gym using the same routines month after month, year after year, you will likely notice they look the same during this period as well. This is not to say you don’t need training consistency. You certainly do.

This just means you need to apply various rep, set, and exercise selection variations as you train consistently throughout the year.

It is very important, when selecting a training protocol, to keep your goals in mind. Differentiate between off-season and pre-contest training phases. You certainly wouldn’t switch from a 10 to 12 repetition, high-volume scheme in the off-season, to a low-volume, heavy weight routine for the pre-contest phase. Typically, bodybuilders will train with the heaviest weights in the off-season, when their joints are well padded with water and fat to prevent injury.

Additionally, low-volume training is best for adding muscle, while the higher volume variety leads to more shape and definition. If you are doing two shows in a year, approximately six months apart, then you will use at least four training protocols during that year. This will include two 3-month phases for gaining mass, and two 2-month phases for dieting. This also allows for 8 weeks of rest, any place where you feel you need it.

Even off-season training periods can be divided into several different training style phases. Suppose you take four months for your off-season phase next year. That gives you 16 weeks to train. Most training protocols are going to become highly useful after a month, and begin to lose their ‘kick’ after two months.

Your muscle groups are going to simply adapt to the workload of this repetition scheme, and you may stop growing. This is why most trainers would mix it up several times each year. Your individual number, or the number of training protocols you should use each year, will depend upon your goals and the number of shows in which you plan to compete.

Finally, a word should be said about body part splits. Many bodybuilders adhere to fairly rigid body part splits, and most people seem to use the same ones. Monday will be chest day, and back will be trained on Tuesday.

Wednesday is dedicated to shoulders, with arms on Thursday and legs on Friday. With some variation, most guys stick to this. If you need proof of this, visit any bench press area on a Monday and look for an empty bench. It seems half the city likes to train chest at 6 pm on this day. Perhaps you could find better results with a routine that places legs first, combines back and shoulders, or uses some other unique twist. It’s food for thought, in the buffet of training that you must visit. It’s time to try something new!

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Inside-out Chest Training

chest training

When targeting a specific muscle group, it is often beneficial to select movements which will hit a specific portion of the muscle, then move to different sections. Chest is one such muscle group in which it may benefit you tremendously to start with one area, such as the inner pectorals, and use exercises to target it specifically. Then, you would move to the center then outer pectorals with each preceding exercise. The result would be a spreading of blood throughout the pectorals, and presumably, more targeted growth.

Incline Dumbbell Flyes

Use very moderate weight which will allow you to reach 12 to 15 repetitions per set. Your goal for this movement isn’t to hit some personal best with the poundage. Rather, you want to stimulate that area where the pectorals meet. Keep your reps slow and steady, and focus upon flexing at the top of each repetition.

Incline Dumbbell Presses

Now it’s time to beef up the pectorals. They should already be fully engorged with blood from the dumbbell flyes, so now it is time to make them do some work. Remember – this workout isn’t designed to pump. Rather, it is designed to help you build up the chest. Complete sets of 8 to 10 repetitions with some seriously heavy poundage.

Flat Bench Presses

Moderate to moderately heavy would describe this movement for the purpose of inside-out chest training. Your first set should be in the 12 to 15 range, and your fourth set should be about 8 reps. The rest should connect the high and low range. Your last set will be the heaviest. The blood flow to the chest should be very intense by this point in your workout.

Dumbbell Pullovers

This exercise will cap off all of the heavy presses and flyes with a vertical approach to hitting the muscle group. Lie on the bench and let the dumbbell drop as low as possible over your head. This will stretch the pectorals completely from top to bottom. Bodybuilders from A to Z (Arnold to Zane) swear by pullovers, and so should you!

Standing Cable Crossovers

Finally, it is time to finish off the pectorals for the day. This movement is very useful for allowing the bodybuilder to hit the outside pectorals, where they meet the deltoid (shoulder) muscle group. By adjusting your standing position, grip, and position of the crossover handles, you can target the upper, middle, and lower sections of the outer pectorals. You will have started at the inside with incline dumbbell flyers, and worked your way all the way down to the outer pectorals. Good work!

You can change the types of exercises to better fit your available equipment and to select movements to which you know your body responds well. As long as the first exercise targets the inner pectorals, the middle movements hit the middle pecs, and the final exercise wraps it all up with an outer pectoral movement, you will be in good shape. Remember to fully stretch following this workout to alleviate soreness and keep the growth coming!

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Training Tips For Building Back Muscle

building back muscle

Training back can be quite a challenge for new bodybuilders who aren’t all that aware of which exercises target which muscle groups, and which set and rep schemes work best. Many will bounce around the gym, tinkering around with different movements, never quite getting a grasp of what makes a solid back workout. Never fear. Here is an easy plan for setting up your back day training. Choose exercises to your liking from the groups listed below, and train your hardest. Manipulate the poundage you use for the movements to hit the designated set and rep scheme below. Good luck!

Select a lower back movement

Hyperextensions, deadlifts, or rack deadlifts should always start your back day. This will be the most weight you’ll move today, and probably all week! You might as well hit this movement while you are at your absolute strongest. Use a weightlifting belt to protect your back during either flavor of deadlift. Don’t fall into the hype of training with an insane amount of weight for just a few repetitions just to keep up with your compadres in the gym. If you cannot move the bar for eight repetitions, then you are using a powerlifter level of weight, and not bodybuilding levels. Keep the weight heavy yet manageable, and training the lower back will add a lot of beef to your physique.

Select an upper back movement

This is the exercise which will target the lats, the “wings” of the back that flare out in almost every single bodybuilding show. You will want to choose a barbell or dumbbell rowing exercise for this area of the back. Free weights always work best. They stimulate not only the back, but the arms, shoulders, wrist grip, and other parts of the body as well. Your repetition range should be at least ten each set for this exercise. While the lower back may be more about moving the weight, the upper back movements you choose should be dedicate to “feeling” the weight with each repetition. Stay focused!

Select an isolation upper back movement

Walk to the machine area of your gym and select a high, medium, or low row Hammer Strength machine which fits your liking. Or, opt for a t-bar rowing machine. Many gyms experiment with machines offering a wide variety of back training arcs, and so should you. These machines allow the trainer to use his energies for moving the weight, not balancing, controlling, or aiming it. You simply push. This doesn’t develop the stabilizer muscles, but they’ve already had their workout with the first two exercises.

Select a Trap Movement

Barbell shrugs are an excellent choice for developing your trapezius, but you don’t have to settle. Dumbbell shrugs allow for just as much growth, with perhaps a bit more flexibility. And, you can always check out cable shrugs using the entire stack. Some gyms have dedicated shrug machines, and others have a flat bench press machine which can double as a shrug machine by creative lifters!

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