Friday, April 28, 2017

Strength Training Without Weights

Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody want to lift no heavy weights!

This line was shouted by 8-time Mr. Olympia winner Ronnie Coleman in one of his bodybuilding training DVDs. His point was simple. Most people would love to possess a highly muscled physique, but most people don’t have the determination or fortitude to spend years in the gym moving the heavy weight required to attain such gains. His words are true. The use of heavy weights is required for achieving this goal. You cannot build new muscle mass without a caloric surplus and the movement of heavy weights in the range of 6 to 10 repetitions per set.

strength training without weights

So we can all agree that the use of weights – particularly free weights requiring stability and balance – is key to building muscle in the bodybuilding sense. But what about strength training? This area of lifting isn’t concerned with how you look or how big your muscles are. Rather, the focus of strength training is to improve the function of your body. The amount of resistance you can move from point A to point B is all that matters to those who train for strength. And the use of weights, while common and very useful is not a requirement for making strength gains. Yes, it requires a bit of imagination and creativity and plenty of hard work, but strength training without weights can be an effective means of getting stronger.

First, you will have to find a suitable replacement for the weights you have been using. You are currently surrounded by things that weigh a great deal. Your couch, your television, even your car all offer potential as resistance movement items. Your body doesn’t know that the large rock in the center of the garden in your back yard isn’t an Olympia barbell. You can conduct many of the same movements you would complete in the gym for strength training, using non-traditional items. In other words, strength training without weights is very possible – and often, actually preferable.

You’ll have to break out of your traditional “4 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions” mindset if you with to make strength gains while not following the traditional weight room path. Look at the World’s Strongest Man competitions. These athletes manage to pick up a single heavy object, move it a fixed distance, then drop it. And that’s it. One very long set of one very tedious and painful repetition. If you pick up a tree trunk and carry it 400 feet, will you make strength gains? Absolutely! If you flip a huge tire 75 times on your path around the parking lot, will you stimulate multiple muscle groups and force your body to adapt by growing stronger? Of course!

Strength training without weights offers a more natural approach to improving your body’s performance. It can be completed at any time, under any set of circumstances. You can use low or high repetitions, but the low variety (less than 6 movements or repetitions per set) is going to be more effective. Shock your body. Pick up any object and use it to push your tendons and muscles as never before. Use manual resistance against any wall or floor surface. If you are able to force your body to emulate the movements you would normally use in the gym to make strength gains, then you will see those same gains. Very often, you will even see greater gains, as your body has not become accustomed to these movements. If you’re going to attempt strength training without weights, you’ve got to be creative, hard working, and resilient. But in the end, the changes you see will be for the better!

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  • Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Weight Training For Runners

    runners

    Weight training for runners can be very useful for improving muscular endurance and delivering better running performance on the track. It can also help the runner – often plagued with the curse of being eternally skinny – with a bit more muscle to show off!

    When is comes to designing a workout program that integrates standard running along with weight training for runners, many factors need to be taken into consideration.  You have to eat more, recovery better, and balance it all together if you wish to have the most success. It can be done, but you’re going to need to be more disciplined than ever before. Let’s look at a few of the factors you will need to consider.

    Caloric Concerns

    You’re going to need to eat more calories in order to give your body the fuel it needs to cover your running and weight lifting demands. Adding junk to your menu won’t suffice, however. The use of more slow-burning carbohydrates such as rice, beans, and pasta, along with some fast-burning protein sources such as chicken and whey powder is ideal.

    Create A Schedule

    Keeping your weight training and running on the same day is a recipe for failure. If you’re a bodybuilder who is just using running for cardio, then it can work fine at the conclusion of a weight training session or at the start of any day. The runner seeking to improve his levels of muscular strength and mass using weight training will not want to group them on the same day. Their workouts focus upon running, which is very demanding on the body. The simplest schedule will likely be one that involves running one day, and training with weights the next. You can rest every third day, or whenever you feel you need a rest day. You should choose at least one day per week to rest. Many runners choose Sunday.

    Recovery

    Pay close attention to the soreness you face as you begin combining the two activities. Weight training for runners can be quite a shock to the system. You may need more rest than you needed previously. Eight hours of sleep each night is essential!

    Watch The Joints

    Bodybuilders have joint pains and problems, and so do runners. When you add weight training to a runner’s routine, you get a situation where they face the rigors of both sports, which can be very tough on the joints. Imagine how sore your knees will be if you trained with heavy squats, sprints, and marathon training each week! Pay special attention to soreness and rest whenever necessary. Glucoasime and other supplements can go a long way in preventing injuries and deterioration of the joints.

    Weight training for runners is a great idea – as long as it is done correctly! It can be very easy to incur injuries when training in this manner, and many athletes will decide that either one or the other is the best option for them – but not both. If you can manage to combine the two, you should be very happy with the results you will see. Listen to your body, and always look for new ways to push yourself to new levels of physical achievement – in the weight room as well as on the running track!

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    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    Training Partner Tidbits

    training partner tidbits
    Training with a buddy can help you to advance further than ever before, or it can hold you back from achieving your goals and fulfilling your potential. It all depends on the person you choose, and the path the two of you take together. Here are some factors to consider when training with somebody else in the gym.

    Creative Ideas

    Challenge one another to think of ways to make every movement more productive. Often, a training partner will notice what sections of a particular lift are easier, or more difficult, for you to complete. Find ways to change the movement to overcome these weaknesses.

    Goals

    If your goal is to crack 600 pounds on the deadlift, and your training partner’s goal is to win a state-level show as a light-heavyweight, then your training is going to be counterproductive to at least one of you – and will probably short circuit both of your efforts. Train with somebody who possesses similar goals to your own and you’ll reach them together.

    Temperaments

    Are you a super laid-back individual? Does nothing ever get under your skin? Does your training partner explode at the drop of a hat? Decide if you will get along well enough to make progress in the gym. If your meandering into the gym 5 minutes late is going to send your super-punctual training partner into a tizzy, you may want to find somebody else with which to hit the iron.

    Honesty Is The Best Policy

    If your girlfriend has ever asked you if a particular dress makes her look fat, you either got the answer right, or you slept on the couch that night! When your training partner asks you if his body fat is too high or if his legs aren’t big enough to match his upper body, you can and should be completely honest. The only way to make improvements is to assess your weaknesses with the help of a completely objective and knowledgeable outsider.

    Areas of Expertise

    Sure, you and your training partner are both going to enjoy a situation where you come from similar backgrounds or share a lot of common interests. It will help to solidify your friendship and ensure lots of good conversation between sets. However, at the same time, this may be a limiting factor in both of your advancement. You’re both strong in the same areas, but you might also be weak in other areas. A good idea might be to assign areas of expertise to one another. Each of you will have to research a particular field of nutrition, anabolics, or training each evening, and teach it to the other person during the workout the following day.

    Ménage-a-Training

    Consider the use of two training partners. This will help ensure continuity if one person cannot train for any reason. It will bring in three minds, chock full of ideas and learning potential, into the lifting blend you’re forming. And it will make spotting heavy movements like squat and bench press be that much more safe on spotting. If you see a duo lifting, consider asking them if you can join in. Or, invite a third person onto your training team.

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    Monday, April 17, 2017

    Training Tips For Achieving Symmetry

    training tips symmetry
    For most new bodybuilders in the gym, the goal is simple – to get big! New lifters train for mass the vast majority of the time, eating, training, and sleeping big in that ever-vigilant journey to greater size and new dimensions. Over time, they do see these mass gains, and with the new muscle often arrives the desire to show off the physique a bit. However, at this time, things change for the new bodybuilder. When you haven’t yet completed, you’re undefeated in the symmetry department. It doesn’t matter all that much if your calves are sub-par when your only shirtless appearance is on the beach. However, under the experienced eye of professional judges, flaws in symmetry can become apparent, and can keep you from winning the trophy that you certainly hold enough mass to claim. But how can you measure and improve your symmetry? Let’s learn more!

    It’s often been said that the measurements of the neck, calves, and upper arms should be equal. It is believed that this is the mark of true perfect symmetry. For many bodybuilders, it may be easy to reach either 18 inch arms or calves, but both? That is the challenge! You can spend years of your life training the smaller area to catch up, halting the growth of the larger muscle group in the meantime to help facilitate this symmetry faster. Or, you can keep growing the larger area at a slower rate, and emphasize greater efforts to the muscle group that is behind.

    Perhaps training your lagging calves twice a week might be the answer. And neck training? That should be simple! Use plyometric pressure 2 to 3 times per week. If you’ve never trained your neck before, you’ll likely find you can add a full inch in just a month of dedicated training and two inches over three to four months of training. Those calves and upper arms might take a bit longer, however!

    In bodybuilding, there is no such thing as a waist that is too small. Sure, some argued that IFBB Pro Brian Buchannan had a waist that was too small for his body, but his major flaw (to go with his legitimate 24 inch waist) was a lack of development in the lower back and lats that tied in too high in the upper back. For most bodybuilders, keeping the midsection tight and trim is a major goal. Since the beginning of bodybuilding time, the ideal physique has been one with a very small waist and wider upper back – one resembling the letter “V”. This V-taper is awarded in judging, and very often a bodybuilder with less muscle and poorer conditioning with score higher marks in a show because his waistline is smaller than his competitors and he nails down that V-shape.

    Finally, you will encounter situations where you best body parts are simply too good for the competition you are entering. If your biceps grow well, embrace this – but don’t let them overpower your physique. Even top IFBB professionals like Mr. Olympia runner-up Branch Warren have cut back a great deal on their standout body parts (in his case legs) to allow other muscles groups to play “catch up”. You can and should do the same!

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    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Why You Should Do Your Aerobic Training Earlier

    Q: I keep getting told that I should switch my aerobic training to first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Is this really going to help me burn more calories or should I stick with an energy meal prior to working out?

    A: I’d go with the energy meal for two reasons. Firstly, the right kind of small snack about 30 minutes prior to training will help get you primed for a productive training session. After all, it’s hardly fun to train while you’re stomach’s rumbling. More importantly, though, a high carb pre-workout snack, especially first thing in the morning, will supply the glycogen that your brain needs to function properly. The glycogen that your body needs to exercise will come from what you’ve eaten over the preceding couple of days, as it takes some time for the glycogen to make its way to the muscle cells. This glycogen, however, cannot get out of the muscle once it’s in there to be used by other parts of the body such as the brain.

    aerobic training

    Now, overnight your body still requires glycogen for brain functioning. Since you’re not eating, it gets it from the small amount (about 20 grams) of glucose circulating in your blood stream as well the glycogen that is being broken down to glucose in your liver. This supplies a minimal amount of glycogen to the brain – just enough to see it through the night. In the morning you need to start re-supplying glucose to your body in order to keep your brain functioning. Failure to do so will still keep your brain working, but it will be at the expense of your muscle. Your body will convert body protein to glucose. By stripping the nitrogen from the protein in a process known as gluconeogenesis, it transforms your muscle protein into brain food. It would be nice if the body used stored fat rather than protein to supply the brain with glucose during this time. Unfortunately, however, that’s not how our bodies work. Fat simply cannot be used to make glucose.

    The concept of exercising early in the morning on an empty stomach, then, doesn’t really stack up under the evidence. You need to have a decent carbohydrate meal about 30 minutes prior to working out – not to supply energy to your working muscles, but to supply it to your brain. An easily digestible energy bar along with a cup of black coffee (hold the sugar) will do the job nicely.

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    Monday, April 10, 2017

    Tips For Strength Training Without Weights

    strength training without weights
    Nobody can be at 100% all of the time. When athletes try to play with that intensity, they usually wash out of their game after a few years. Those professionals who have the ability to step back for a few months every off-season to allow the bodies – and more importantly their minds – to rest are usually those with much greater longevity in the sport of their choosing. When it comes to bodybuilding, the same tenets apply.

    Those bodybuilders who take 2 to 3 months off of continuous training following a tough competitive season are usually the guys that end up being able to compete for 10 year or more. On the other hand, the men who complete a show, take the afternoon off, then return to the gym at full voracity the next morning are more likely to burn out, either mentally or physically, before their more relaxed peers.

    The same rules can apply to you, on a much smaller scale. We all know that as a non-professional bodybuilder, you have many more things in life that are more important than bodybuilding. Family, work, school, and friends should always come first. Bodybuilding is but a tool to help you enjoy these things more! Finding the time and discipline to force yourself to train, eat right, and use proper supplementation for months without a break is very tough when you have other things on your mind. For this, reason, a program where you “follow all the rules” during the week (Monday through Friday) then give yourself a break on the weekends might be your best bet!

    Training

    You should be training Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday should be automatic rest days. It may be easy to force yourself to hit the gym on a Thursday or Friday when you’re feeling run down if you know that from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon, you don’t have to think about the iron! One caveat – don’t start your week with chest when training in this manner – the bench press area is packed on Mondays!

    Diet

    Force yourself to eat extremely clean from Monday through Friday. Zero cheat meals, and complete portion discipline. However, when the weekend rolls around, you stop counting calories and protein grams, and just eat whatever your body craves. Just keep the junk food in small portions to prevent digestion problems.

    Supplementation

    Use your supplements religiously from Monday through Friday. When the weekend comes, give yourself a break! Multivitamins should still be taken over the weekend, but leave the creatine in the cabinet. Your body will be much more receptive to it on Monday anyway!

    And when the weekend rolls around…

    Don’t think about anything related to bodybuilding on Saturday or Sunday. The good news is that after conducting yourself with 100% discipline in all of these major areas for the last week, you’ll probably keep up many of the habits you developed during the week. You may discover your body is craving solid carbohydrate sources and a protein shake by noon on Saturday! However, the mental recharge and the fact that you know you don’t have to stick to such a rigid regimen will keep you refreshed and with a positive mindset during those rigorous weekdays.

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    Friday, April 7, 2017

    Importance Of A Diet And Training Regimen For Bodybuilding

    diet and training regimen

    The greatest sport has to be bodybuilding. The reason why I am saying this is because it has a lot of benefits. If you want to lose weight it is a must that you rev your body metabolism. When you increase your body metabolism you will be able to burn more calories. Your body metabolism is determined by your lean body muscles and when you weight train you will be able to increase your lean body muscles. If you want to increase your body mass and muscles, bodybuilding will also help you achieve your goal. Apart from helping you improve the appearance of your body physique this sport will also increase your body strength and this will help you do day to day tasks without struggling. Bodybuilding will also help boost your psychological health through increasing your self esteem and confidence. People who have been suffering from insomnia are also able to get proper sleep when they take up bodybuilding.

    These are just some of the few reasons why you should take up bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is no rocket science and all you need to do is to master the two most important facets which include eating a proper diet and choosing the right training regimen. If you want to succeed as a bodybuilder it is very important that you develop a proper bodybuilding regimen for yourself. The bodybuilding regimen should suite what you want to achieve at the end of the training. If you are not well versed with how to develop a proper weight training regimen you can seek the assistance of a qualified fitness instructor or trainer. The major reason why many bodybuilders are not able to achieve there goals is because they did not take some time to come up with a proper training regimen. If for example your goal is to develop well toned muscles your training regimen should not include the use of very heavy weights instead you are supposed to use lighter weights with many reps so that you do not bulk up. However if your intention is to bulk up then you should include the use of heavy weights in your training regimen. Your bodybuilding regimen should also include proper techniques which will help you achieve fast muscle development. When you use the wrong technique during training you are likely to injure yourself severely. This could shorten your bodybuilding career and therefore in order to succeed in bodybuilding you have to master using the correct techniques when training.

    The second most important factor to consider when bodybuilding is the diet you are taking. It should be very different from the diet of an ordinary person. Your diet should for instance contain plenty of proteins since they are the building blocks of muscles. You cannot be able to achieve muscle growth if you do not go on a high protein diet. You also need to take a lot of carbohydrates since they contain plenty of calories needed for intense training. last but not least you need to take plenty of vitamins so that you boost your health.

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    Tuesday, April 4, 2017

    Deadlift Safety Training Guide

    deadlift

    A strong back wins more bodybuilding titles than any other body part. Look at the list of past Mr. Olympia winners. Dorian Yates started the trend in the 1990s by beating far freakier bodybuilders with much better arms and chests, because of his superior back thickness. Ronnie Coleman picked up on this trend. His back was wider than anyone else’s, and he won 8 straight Olympia titles by simply outclassing competitors from the back. Once Coleman injured his back and didn’t have that advantage, Jay Cutler, who now owns the biggest and baddest back in bodybuilding, promptly beat him.

    If the back is the most important body part in bodybuilding, then the deadlift is the most important exercise in the sport. The deadlift is one of the most effective exercises known to man. It stimulates the upper and lower back, as well as the legs, glutes, arms, and other body parts as well. It is one of the big three mass-builders, along with squats and bench presses.

    The mechanics of the deadlift are remarkably simple: Pick up the barbell. Stand over the barbell on the floor. Grab the bar with a medium grip, knees slightly bent. Bring up the weight in a controlled motion, and then lean back at the end of the movement to lock out for just a second. Then slowly move the weight back to the ground. The legs drive the weight up, and the back stabilizes the body during the entirety of the movement.

    If you find that the grip gives out before the lower back in this exercise, which is very common in Ectomorphic (skinny) trainers, use chalk and wrist wraps to help hold onto the weight. Very often, the hands and forearms are the weak link in the exercise, which short-circuits back muscle gains.

    The back should be vertical, and tight. Movement of the weight should be in a controlled, slow manner. There should be no jarring effort. The back should never be rounded. Rather, the head should be up, leading the back to be upright and ready to move the weight without placing undue risk upon the spinal cord.

    Always use a weight belt when deadlifting. The lower back is a very weak area in some people, so care should be taken too properly warm up to minimize the chance of injury. Use higher-rep work on deadlifts once per month to ensure many slow-twitch fibers are recruited, so maximum back growth is stimulated. Good luck, and be safe!

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