Thursday, December 8, 2016

Circuit Training For Bodybuilding – When It Works, When It Doesn’t

circuit training
The phrase “circuit training” is tossed around a bit in bodybuilding circles, most of the time in a very negative manner. Hey, circuit training is for girls, right? Oh, and old people too! Real men train heavy, using earth-crushing free weights and very low-repetition sets. They spend 4, 5, or even 6 sets at a time on each exercise, and over an hour on each body part. Circuit training is the opposite of that, right?

First, let’s define circuit training. You will be completing multiple exercises in a row for one or more body parts. If it’s chest day, circuit training might entail four straight chest movements. If you’re training arms, you might be completing biceps and triceps movements, several sets in a row, with a few minutes’ rest in between the 60 or 80 repetitions. Additionally, you can train your full body using circuit training. You’ll often see elderly or beginner trainers in your gym using this technique. This doesn’t mean it is only effective for them. Rather, they enjoy the simplicity and full-body nature of this training system.

Now that we know what circuit training is, let’s examine some times when it can be used beneficially. If you’re a bodybuilder, you might automatically assume there isn’t a time when you should be using circuit training. This isn’t entirely true. If you’re 10 days out from doing a bodybuilding show, you had better believe you will be using circuit training at this point. It’s the only way to keep your muscles hard in these closing days of a die without risking clouding your vascularity (from multiple heavy sets) or risking injury (as you are very susceptible to joint damage with body fat and water levels this low). Additionally, there will always be times where you may be on vacation or crunched for time, when you have to get in a full body workout, just once or twice per week. For those times, circuit training is ideal!

There are other times when circuit training is not the way to go. Off—season bodybuilders attempting to gain muscle mass aren’t going to benefit all that much from the almost cardio-style training that is circuit lifting. You need higher volume training for each body part to pack the muscle group with blood, rich in amino acids. While any lifting is better than no lifting at all, circuit training isn’t going to be ideal for mass building.

When you’re burned out on your training, or your circumstances permit it, give circuit training a shot. Remember that you don’t have to train with the comparatively light weights used by the weak and the elderly. And you don’t need their relaxed pace. There is no rule saying you cannot knock out a full set of incline dumbbell presses for 6 repetitions, then move on to a nice set of high-repetition leg extensions! The only rule in the gym is that you make the rules. Good luck, and remember that circuit training is just another tool at your disposal.


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Monday, December 5, 2016

Five-star Calf Training Tips For Bodybuilders

Calf training is tough, no doubt about it. Compare it to training you utilize for body parts such as chest or biceps. When it comes to those areas, you can clearly see the muscle group being stimulated. Motivation is always there because people who take interest in your training or physique will often ask to see these body parts. And since they’re visible in just about any mirror you walk past or photograph you take, you are constantly reminded of them.

calf training tips
Calves are a whole different story. First of all, they are usually concealed in your pants. Even when you’re completing, you have no clue when they look like. When a bodybuilding show arrives, you don’t know if you’re winning handily or being destroyed in the comparison poses on calves, because you can see neither your own calves, nor those of your competitors! Nobody ever asks you to see your calves, and you forget about them any day you’re not training them. Let’s plan a five-point approach to training calves correctly, running the gamut from warm-up to cool-down, which helps us to solve the problems involved with calf training.

Point One

To start the day, you’re going to want to utilize some slow, focused repetitions in the higher rep range, from 15 to 25 repetitions per set. Choose seated calf raises for this movement for 3 to 4 total sets. The focus of this set is to draw blood into the muscle group, period.

Point Two

It’s power training time. Climb aboard the leg press machine and complete 5 sets of very slow, very heavy toe raises from the locked position. Use a repetition range of 6 to 10 repetitions.

Point Three

Welcome to Smith machine time. Reps will be a bit faster for this exercise. It’s okay to deliver some speed and excitement to your cal training and get those fast-twitch muscle fibers firing! Four sets of this movement will get the lower legs blasted and sore as can be.

Point Four

Slower and tougher is the name of the game now. You’ll be completing four sets of seated or angled calf sled raises for your final weighted movement. Rep range can vary from 10 to 20 as your comfort (or pain) levels dictate!

Point Five

This isn’t an exercise, per se. Rather, this is the culmination of the day’s training that will result in you wrapping up the day with some very slow, deliberate calf stretching for 1 to 3 minutes at a time, with and without a dumbbell for additional weight, on a step or ledge in your gym. You aren’t trying to grow new muscle with this movement. Rather, you want to draw blood into the muscle group, breaking up lactic acid and exposing the parts of the calf muscle to as much deep stretching as possible.

Change out the exercises to fit the options available in your gym, as well as your personal preferences. The bottom line is that you should be hitting your calves from a variety of angles, with high, medium, and low repetition ranges to keep your calves growing.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Basic Training Commandments Every Bodybuilder Should Follow

training commandments

Believe me when your success as a bodybuilder and your general health is at stake, you can’t even think of telling yourself that rules were meant to be broken. Bones however have been broken in the gym just by breaking a simple rule called safety precautions. There are guidelines that are set not to make your life any harder than it might already be. On the contrary, they are set to ensure that you achieve your goals in the shortest time possible as well as in the safest way possible. Here are some things that you need to embrace as well as others you simply need to kiss goodbye.

1. THOU SHALL EAT A BALANCED DIET

This is as basic as it can get for anyone, bodybuilder or not. For bodybuilders however, eating the right foods is only halfway there. Quantity is very important when it comes to meeting all your dietary needs. While it is important that you should eat your whole foods well, this alone might not meet you body’s high nutritional demands. This is where supplements come into the picture and makes it whole. There are minerals and vitamins that can very easily be left out of your nutrition not necessarily by choice. These are the ones that you need to ensure that are part of your supplement intake. In order to deal with the quantity bit of it, I’d recommend that you should eat a minimum of 5 meals and a max of 8 meals in a day. This ensures that your body gets the right stuff and gives it time to break it down. It also ensures that you don’t end up binging with the excuse that your body has high nutritional expectations. Overeating will just make you fat or even worse, obese!

2. THOU SHALL WORK OUT CONSISTENTLY

There are people who confuse consistency with overtraining. There is a huge difference between the two for example; consistency won’t leave you nursing an injury while overtraining will. If you hit the gym from the beginning of the week to Saturday and only rest on Sunday because you want to practice football with your son in the afternoon, then you are really overtraining. Working out on consecutive days of the week will only make you wish for a massage and a valium after your time at the gym. A minimum of 3 days in the gym is a good start of cause depending on your reasons for hitting the gym. Consistency means that you don’t skip weeks frequently and even more importantly, you don’t deregister yourself just coz you got the six-pack you wanted! Work even harder to maintain what you’ve gotten at the gym.

3. THOU SHALL REST

It is important that you rest after all your workouts and that you take a few minutes breather in between your workouts. This also gives your body time to replenish your energy levels and reduce the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles. Make sure that you get a good nights rest if you’re hitting the gym the next day.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Five Bodybuilding Training And Exercise Myths

bodybuilding myths

This article will highlight several myths which have mislead a lot of trainers in there goal to stay fit. There are several people who despite how effective there training program is they have been unable to transform there body thanks to these bodybuilding myths. They include;

1. Home workouts are not as effective as going to the gym

Through various studies conducted to measure the effectiveness of training at home, results showed that home based fitness programs are very effective since a person is less intimidated compared to training in a public gym. You are more likely to get intimidated and not stick to a particular training program when you are training in a public gym and not at home. Imagine going to a gym where everyone is very muscular and mean looking and there you are trying to pump weights with your skinny figure.

2. Overweight people have no business weight training

There are several fitness experts who believe that obese people have no business lifting weights and instead should concentrate on aerobic exercises. In fact obese people are the best candidates to lift weights since weight training exercises lead to a permanent lose in weight. The reason is because through weight training a person is able to increase the number of lean body muscles. When you increase the number of lean body muscles you will also be able to increase the rate of your body metabolism. The resulting increase in your body metabolism will cause you to lose even more weight and develop a proper body physique.

3. Obese people can not benefit from water fitness programs

Research has shown that obese people too can benefit a lot from water fitness programs because it is very effective in helping a person stay fit and lose weight at the same time. If you are an athlete seeking to improve your performance you should incorporate water fitness programs in your routine and see hoe effective they can be in enhancing your performance.

4. The benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga are very questionable

There are several health benefits you can derive from this exercise routines. If you are practicing Tai Chi you will be able to treat low back pain and fibromyalgia. If you are practicing yoga you will experience improved body posture, balance, coordination, flexibility, and improved psychological health.

5. Conventional diets will make you lose weight

This myth is very absurd and it has made many people end up gaining weight instead of losing weight. These conventional diets will force your body to go into starvation mode. When the body is in starvation mode it will start to preserve energy by burning muscles instead of body fat. You will therefore experience an overall decrease in the number of lean body muscles and a corresponding increase in the number of body fat. Your body metabolism will also slow down as a result of the depletion of body muscles and therefore your body will not be able to burn a lot of calories. When your body metabolism slows down your body weight will increase since you will be burning fewer calories.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

3 Excellent Training Routines To Lose Weight

training routines to lose weight

There is nothing as wonderful as having a good looking body physique. This is because it will make you get noticed by the opposite sex. If you are a woman, having a beautiful figure will make you get noticed by the guys and if you are a gut having a muscular well toned body will make you a looker among women.

If you are overweight however you tend to be ignored by the opposite sex. It does not matter how great your personality is, if you do not have a good looking body physique no one will take notice of you. When you tend to be ignored by the opposite sex, this leads to a very low self esteem. You end up losing a lot of confidence in yourself and this makes it very difficult to progress in other areas of your life. Having a low self confidence not only affects your relationship with others but it also affects how you perceive things and life in general.

If you want to claim back your confidence level then you need to start by losing weight if you are overweight. When you properly work on improving your body physique then your confidence level will increase. You feel good about yourself when you look great.

I need to caution you however that when losing weight you need to stay away from steroid drugs. The reason is because steroids will lead to very many side effects albeit the fact that they will make you lose weight fast. Some of the side effects of taking steroid include; enlargement of the clitoris, irregularity of the menstrual cycle, growth of facial hair in women, shrinking of testicles in men, low sperm count, decrease in libido, baldness, kidney problems, liver conditions, heart ailments, insomnia, increase in aggression, and depression.

If you want to lose weight you should also stay away from fad diets. The reason why I am cautioning you from using fad diets is because they end up making you lose your body composition. When you use fad diets the body will go into starvation mode. When the body is in starvation mode it will start burning muscles instead of fat and this affects the percentage of fat to muscle ratio. Your muscles get depleted in the process and your rate of metabolism decreases. When your metabolism decreases you will not be able to burn a lot of calories and therefore you will end up gaining weight.

If you want to lose weight you need to perform the three tasks below;

1. Weight Train

The reason why you need to weight train is so that you can increase the number of lean body muscles. This will in turn lead to the increase in your body metabolism which will make your body burn more calories and in the process you will lose weight.

2. Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercises also lead to the increase in metabolism which in turn leads to the burning of more calories.

3. Watch Your Calories

You need to watch the amount of calories you take in each meal because they will determine whether or not you will be able to lose weight.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Effectiveness Of Cross Training

cross training

Over time, cross training has been used by many successful people all over the world. But in the same context it has been the most abused by many people in this profession leading to many complications developing out of it. This strategy should however be taken as serious as it deserves and proper preparations outlined perfectly. If you are interested in the fitness business, and could be you are using it to improve your health and carrying out all your routine activities, be sure that, the approach will give you a way through in meeting the challenges of work, sport, and life with great excellence.

Cross training, is a training that involves the use of more than one routine to gain the desired individual goals. For example, a bodybuilder might workout on the stationary bike, hoping to improve his running performance instead of just training on morning jogs as a single routine. However, there have been debates on the issues involving cross training, the major contention is whether this approach of cross training can truly benefit the athlete’s performance and help improve his skills and capability.

People who train physically for their own health and wholesome body fitness are best suited to carry out cross training. It is mandatory for fitness enthusiasts to cross train, if their goal is to optimize strength, fitness and attain body conditioning.

It is realistic that in any form of training, a single training method cannot give maximum benefits to an individual and its stimulus to develop the physical abilities, which are needed by the individual bodybuilder, might be very low. It is only through a combination of various forms of exercises that this can be achieved. This is because cross training gives a better touch and improves the stresses and intensities of the body building routine.

A conviction to use cross training

Fitness can be termed as a degree of competence in the performance ability in all the fields of cardio respiratory strength, endurance, power, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, accuracy, agility, and toughness. It is as opposed to one form of training which becomes more monotonous and boring to an individual. On the other hand, physical fitness program must be designed to develop an optimization on the competence of performing many physical routines and improving the subsequent abilities, and not to maximize a single physical skill, and all this can only be achieved through cross training.

Cross training allows bodybuilders to use different training methods in their body building programs, intensities and stresses and to create a safe environment for their body exercises in a wide spectrum of various physical abilities. As opposed to one method, the training gives a specialized fitness and it is most recommended by specialists of body building. Cross training also keeps you from any form of overtraining. This is because of a specified program that allocates a specified duration of time on every workout other than a random carrying out of one method of training. It is also fun, meaning that, it gives you a chance to keep your training program on track and evaluate on its relevance in the improvement of your body fitness.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Alternate Focus Abdominal Training

alternate focus abdominal training

Are you looking for an abdominal routine which will allow you to separate your upper and lower abdominals so that you may focus upon each of these groups more effectively? Then you’ve come to the right place. Check out the following workout for alternating your abdominal training focus!

Monday

Start your day with six sets of crunches. You should be lying on the floor with your legs elevated, sitting up on a bench. You won’t have the full range involved with traditional sit-ups, but it’s nothing to worry about. You’ll see far greater results from the limited range crunch, which takes the back out of the movement and forces your abdominals to do the work. Each of these six sets should be completed to ‘maximum’, or as many repetitions as you can fit into a single set. For some people, this will be 20 repetitions, and for others this will be fifty reps. Over time, your maximum number will vary and increase.

Tuesday

Yesterday you focused upon the upper abdominals. Today you will train the lower abdominals. Today’s workout will be simple – ten minutes of lying leg raises. Lay on a bench with your hands under your glutes, and start completing reps. Don’t count, and only rest when your lower abs are fully pumped. Rest should be no longer than 60 to 90 seconds, at which point you’ll start training them again. Ten minutes at the conclusion of your workout is ideal for lower ab stimulation without going overboard. Remember, you’re training them three times this week!

Wednesday

Five sets of cable crunches with very little weight should be more than adequate for stimulating the upper abdominals today! If you can’t complete at least 20 repetitions per set, you’re using too much weight. This movement can be used at the beginning or conclusion of your training day.

Thursday

Four sets of hanging leg raises is a great way to wrap up today’s workout and hit the lower abdominals in a moderate manner. Work to hit 10 to 15 repetitions for set. This movement isn’t easy, so don’t become frustrated if you can only do a few repetitions. In time, this number will steadily climb!

Friday

You will complete four sets of crunches to end your training session. Repetition range should be maximum. After that, you are assigned to stretch a great deal.

Saturday

Today you should use a variety of abdominal machine in your gym, with a special emphasis on lower abdominal training. Spend about ten sets on abdominal training today – you have all the time in the world to rest tomorrow!

Sunday

Rest – it’s that simple!

It’s highly recommended that no abdominal training take place on Sunday, nor any cardiovascular or weight training of any kind. If your schedule dictates you use Sunday for lifting or cardiovascular training with the family, for example, you can shift your training days so that the rest day occurs during the week. Over time, your body will adapt to this training system and it will be time to rotate to another abdominal training rotation. Remember to return to this routine every 2 to 3 months for at least six weeks. This will ensure your upper and lower abdominals are receiving adequate stimulation 6 days out of 7, and more than enough rest is being provided. Good luck, and get training!

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Monday, November 7, 2016

A Simple Training Routine For Natural Bodybuilders

natural bodybuilder

Nowadays there are many people looking to train the natural way since the side effects of using steroids have been publicised in the fitness magazines and journals. In the past people were kept in the dark about the side effects of taking steroids since the commercials only aired the positive side of using steroids. No one can blame them since the steroid industry is just like any other business and the only strategy of succeeding is to downplay the disadvantages of the product.

Nowadays people are also very informed and gone are the days when people used to think that the only way to succeed in bodybuilding is by taking steroids. Many people are starting to take up natural bodybuilding and just as is expected they are getting great results in terms of muscle development. In order to succeed in bodybuilding without the use of steroids, you need to undertake a natural bodybuilding routine. Natural bodybuilding routine involves using effective training techniques which are capable of stimulating muscle growth, without the use of steroids or any other enhancement drugs. The focus of a natural bodybuilding routine is usually proper exercise, weight lifting routines, healthy diet coupled with proper bodybuilding supplements.

The bodybuilding supplement you take should not be steroid based but instead herbal or containing any other natural substances such as fish oils. Herbal supplements have been known to be of great benefit in stimulating the growth of muscles mass without any reported side effects.

If you want to formulate our own natural bodybuilding routine the tips below will help you achieve your goals;

First you need to keep track of your progress and in order to do this you should purchase a set of body fat callipers as well as weight scales. The weighing scale helps you calculate the weight of your body any given time. Your total weight includes that of your fat, muscles and bones. If you are looking to reduce your body fat then the weighing scale will show you whether you are making any progress. The body fat caliper is more effective than the weighing scale because of its ability to differentiate between body muscles and body fat.

The second thing you need to do in order to come up with an effective bodybuilding program is to clearly understand the human muscle anatomy. Once you clearly understand the human muscle anatomy, you will be better placed to custom build your natural bodybuilding routine. We all have different body structures and if you want to build your muscles you should tailor make your own bodybuilding routine according to your body structure.

It is important also that you go to a physician before you start your own bodybuilding routine. A physician will be able to determine whether you are healthy enough to begin your training. If your body is not fit enough health wise you cannot begin the bodybuilding program because this could worsen your situation. Once you come up with a proper bodybuilding routine you should get enough rest so that your body can be able to produce growth hormones.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

A New Variation On Old Leg Training Movements

variation on old leg training

There’s no denying that squats are perhaps the most effective exercise that you can do in the gym. They require power, strength, focus, and some serious willpower. They are hard on the legs, lungs, and back. And they deliver growth in just about every part of the body from head to toe, even though they are intended as a leg exercise. Here are some tips for spicing up your leg workouts and making the squats you do a bit more effective. These movements are in no way intended to replace your traditional squats – only to make the practice of squatting more conductive to new growth.

Box Squats

Are you never sure if you’re going down far enough? Do you seek a little bit of support and safety for that moment when you ‘bottom out’? Are you one of those guys (or gals) in the gym who tries like mad to measure exactly the range of motion you should be using on squats? If so, box squats might be right for you.

Sissy Squats

This exercise uses no weight at all, but allows you to utilize leverage to place pressure upon your thighs. This movement is useful for those times when you don’t have access to a squat rack, but need to deliver some front thigh stimulation. Grab the side of a wall or bench, place your body weight upon the balls of your feet, and slowly lower your body down with the brunt of your entire body weight upon the balls of your feet. Your glutes and hips won’t feel much targeting – but your quadriceps muscles certainly will! Train with high repetitions and with as much intensity as you can muster.

Heel Squats

Are you a taller man who has trouble getting traditional squats to hit your front thighs? Does the length of your upper legs result in your not getting the kind of pump you need? In order to pull some of that tension away from the glutes and hips and move it to the front quadriceps muscles, give heel squats a chance. Place a small block of wood (3/4 to 1 inch thick) underneath your heels and complete squats as you normally would. The result will be a transferred pump – and better growth, hopefully!

One-Legged Squats

This exercise is very dangerous, very tricky, and very effective to boot! Instead of using a barbell for this movement as you would with traditional squats, try a light dumbbell in your hand. Complete squats as you normally would, with a dumbbell in the hand matching the leg doing the work. The other leg should be protruding forward and held out in front of you to balance your body during this very tricky movement. It may take some time to become accustomed to this exercise, but you’ll get the hang of it with time.

As stated, you should keep your standard squats in your rotation. They are tried and true and will never let you down. However, you should also toss in these movements form time to time to keep things fresh and keep yourself growing!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Functional Strength Training

functional strength training

Movements conducted in the gym are commonly divided into two categories. The first group includes those exercises that are used to finish off a muscle group. This group of movements may be known to some trainers as the ‘polishing’ movements, as they are used to clean up and better define existing slabs of muscle. In other words, these exercises (such as curls, pressdowns, flyes, and rows) help to polish up the muscle you already possess.

The second group, and perhaps much more important set of muscle building movements, are those classified as ‘functional strength’. The purpose of these exercises is to build overall body strength. And, as you might suspect, it is this group of heavy movement that leads to brand new muscle mass. The lifting of heavy weights is imperative in building new muscle mass. Ask any huge guy in the gym, and they’ll all give you the same answer. They didn’t reach that size by pumping their muscles up with dozens of sets of lightweight, 25-repetition sets. No, they climbed under the iron and moved some serious weight en route to reaching their current size. Here are a few of the exercises they likely used to improve their functional strength, which led to the addition of new muscle. And, coincidentally, there are the exercises you should be using as well.

Squats

This very heavy, very painful exercise builds not only the legs, but the arms, shoulders, back, and chest as well. Squatting results in the release of growth hormone in greater than usual levels from the brain, leading to greater than usual growth. Young trainers are often told if they want big arms, they need to train legs – and it’s the truth. Complete squats once per week religiously.

Deadlifts

This exercise is perhaps the first one completed by cavemen way back in the beginning of human existence, as they picked up rocks and pieces of wood all day building their huts. Today, we have many technological advances that make the art of picking up heavy things obsolete. You’ll need to resurrect this old process if you want to facilitate the most possible muscle growth.

Military Presses

Pressing an inanimate object over ones’ head is perhaps one of the earliest feats performed by weightlifters. Today’s bodybuilders use back braces, angled benched, cambered bars, and many other tools, but the movement is the same: build up muscle by lifting heavy things overhead.
Walk into any gym in America and you’ll likely see dozens of guys with 14-inch arms who are in very good condition with very low body fat.

You’ll find a much smaller number of guys that have 19-inch biceps and a little fat to lose. The reason is that it’s much easier to get ripped than it is to build muscle. If you place the 14-inch warriors and the 19-inch chubby monster in a bodybuilding contest with 12 weeks to get into the best shape possible, it’s pretty predictable what will happen. Both men will get leaner, and the larger man will probably crush the smaller man onstage when they are both in very good condition. Train for functional strength and you’ll be capable of performing some of history’s most meaningful tasks, as well as scoring well in a bodybuilding show.

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