Thursday, July 30, 2015

Building Muscular Legs & Glutes

If you’re an intermediate or advanced bodybuilder looking to add some thickness to your quadriceps, then higher volume leg training might be a good fit for you. The total number of sets isn’t significantly different from many leg routines. The major difference here is the use of rest-pause training at the end of each body part grouping. After scorching each body part with three solid sets of standard compound lifts, you then employ one giant set of rest-pause repetitions. These are unique in that there is no time limit, and there is no stopping. You begin your set of 20 or 30 or 40 repetitions, and you do not put down the weight until you complete that set. You can stop between repetitions and take 5 or 10 or 20 breaths between repetitions if indeed necessary. You’ll notice an incredible pump in legs, lungs, and everywhere else in your body. Here is a high volume leg training routine (which does not include warm-up sets).

Barbell squats
Set 1 – 10 reps
Set 2 – 8 reps
Set 3 – 6 reps
Set 4 – 20 reps using rest pause technique*

Hack Squats
Set 1 – 15 reps
Set 2 – 12 reps
Set 3 – 10 reps
Set 4 – 20 reps using rest pause technique*

Leg extensions
Set 1 – 25 reps
Set 2 – 20 reps
Set 3 – 15 reps
Set 4 – 40 reps using rest pause technique*

Leg curls (for hamstrings)
Set 1 – 10 reps
Set 2 – 8 reps
Set 3 – 6 reps
Set 4 – 20 reps using rest pause technique*

Seated Calf Raises
Set 1 – 15 reps
Set 2 – 12 reps
Set 3 – 10 reps
Set 4 – 20 reps using rest pause technique*

*Rest pause technique involves completing as many reps as possible, then taking as many breaths are required to complete the set. The set of 20 repetitions may take up to three minutes to complete, and will require several minutes of rest upon completion.

Legs Workout

This routine will definitely lead to gains in overall leg mass. The volume is high – the complete routine will take about 90 minutes to complete. This routine is designed for off-season use by intermediate or advanced bodybuilders with no known injuries to the legs.

You’ll want to adjust your diet, supplementation, and rest schedules to accommodate for the added workload and stress to your central nervous system (CNS). An increase of 500 calories on leg day and the day afterwards is a reasonable diet adjustment. Ensure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night, with 8 being preferable. Supplements such as protein powder and glutamine can help with recovery, but nothing beats good old protein from solid food sources. If you feel yourself feeling weak or run down following a workout of such volume, dose with 1.5 to 2 grams of vitamin C for two days to boost the immune system. High volume training is very effective as long as you train intelligently and support your gains with proper nutrition, diet, and supplementation.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Training Techniques To Help Reduce Soreness

Are you looking for a set-training scheme which can reduce soreness, stimulate more muscle fibers, and give your joints a rest, all while hitting the muscle group with some high-volume training? If so, then the “Division of Sets” technique might be for you. Let’s check out a sample workout for chest, one day per week.

Week one – Incline Bench Press
Warm-up sets: 1 set of 15 to 20 repetitions
Actual training sets: 2 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions
Cool-down sets: 1 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions

Week two – Incline Bench Press
Warm-up sets: 2 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions
Actual training sets: 4 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions
Cool-down sets: 2 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions

Week three – Incline Bench Press
Warm-up sets: 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions
Actual training sets: 6 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions
Cool-down sets: 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions

Week four – Incline Bench Press
Warm-up sets: 4 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions
Actual training sets: 8 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions
Cool-down sets: 4 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions

Week five – Incline Bench Press
Warm-up sets: 5 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions
Actual training sets: 10 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions
Cool-down sets: 5 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions

Muscle Soreness
As you can see, by week five, you’re giving your body a tremendous number of high-repetition warm-up and cool down sets, allowing the slow-twitch muscle fibers to come into play as you pass the 12th and 15th and 18th repetitions. However, the fast-twitch muscle fibers are also receiving a great deal of stimulation, with their own ten sets of heavy training.

Division of set training has many benefits. First and foremost, it is a high-volume training regimen. It allows the bodybuilder to pump a whole lot of blood into the muscle group, which is the goal of training. Second, it is low impact. Despite being higher volume, the routine doesn’t cause major stress to the muscle group being trained, due to the great deal of warm-up and cool-down sets. Third, and perhaps overlooked in many other places, this training protocol stimulates both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers quite thoroughly.

Always train with a partner when embarking upon division of sets training. You’ll discover you keep one another honest on number of sets, reps completed, etc. Also, since you’ll be pushing your number of sets per movement a whopping 400 to 500%, having a spotter is a great idea for safety purposes. You have probably never completed twenty straight sets of the same movement for the same body part, and you might find yourself failing sooner than you’d like. Having a spotter there to cover you is a great idea.

You’ll likely want to bump up your protein consumption, and add 500 calories to your daily totals when training with division of sets. Sleep more, rest around the house more, and perhaps toss in a supplement like glutamine to help with the potential soreness.
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tips For Adding Muscle Mass To Your Chest and Shoulders

Most bodybuilders are well aware of the importance of flat and incline bench presses. Some even discover dumbbell flyes before long. A small percentage learns of the benefits of pullovers. However, most don’t discover the benefits of low cable crossovers until years after they’ve started training. By then, the pectoral-deltoid tie-in is a weak area in many bodybuilders. Using this exercise early on ensures that this area never is a weakness; rather, a strength!

Use the standard cable crossover station. However, instead of having the handles set up over your head, lower them down to the lowest peg, just a few inches off the ground. Then, complete the exercise in the standard motion. Grab a handle with each hand, with your body bent slightly forward and your feet shoulder-width apart, in a staggered position. Slowly bring the handles together, taking a full second to flex at the peak of contraction, just as the handles meet in the middle. Lower the weight slowly on each repetition to emphasize the negative pulling upon the shoulder-pectoral tie-in.

Complete four sets of 8 to 14 repetitions for this movement. Higher repetitions are desirable; as this exercise isn’t something you want to do with an insane amount of weight. The goal is to pump blood into regions of the chest that don’t receive stimulation from the standard mass-building movements such as bench press and incline dumbbell presses.

 The middle and lower pecs, as well as the shoulder-pectoral tie-in, are trained by this exercise. It’s similar in effect to dumbbell flyes. However, the cables allow a much wider range of motion to be attained. Additionally, adjusting foot placement on this movement can result in stimulation of different parts of the muscle group. Step backs 18 inches, and you’ll notice the inner pecs receiving the bulk of the stimulation. Change up your feet position now and then to ensure all areas of the pecs are equally stimulated, as well as to keep things interesting mentally.

The pressing movements will always be king among bodybuilders. There is nothing more gratifying that delivering a new personal record on the bench press, and nothing better after two days away from the weights than coming back and hopping on that incline bench. These movements should be employed regularly to ensure the foundation of mass is present. However, once you have the mass, exercises like low cable crossovers can help to fill out that shoulder-pectoral tie-in area, which isn’t affected as much by bench presses. Overall pectoral development is the name of the game in bodybuilding, and this exercise certainly helps to deliver that.
Friday, July 24, 2015

Cardiovascular Training Tips For The New Age Of Bodybuilders

Cardio for Bodybuilders

Tired of the same old treadmill, starting at the same TV screen, while you work to burn the same 300 calories each day?  Why not spice up your cardio?  Here are a few tips for getting more out of your cardiovascular training and keeping it fresh in the meantime!

Sports Cardio
Tennis, basketball, and soccer (as well as many other sports) provide a unique way to burn a few hundred calories, while having fun.  You also enjoy the thrills of victory and the agony of defeat, which some people believe helps boost natural testosterone production. Joining an intramural team, or just shooting the ball with friends or family, you’re much more likely to stick with a cardio regimen that you enjoy.  One warning, however – you must work to keep heart rate elevated for the same amount of time you’d have it elevated doing traditional cardiovascular training.  Standing around in basketball, allowing your heart rate to return to normal, will not help your cause.

Nintendo Wii
The Nintendo Wii is an entertainment system which allows the user to enjoy almost virtual-reality participation in sports activities.  You can play tennis, jogging, bowling, and other sports in the comfort of your own living room.

Get a dog
Need a reason to get off your keyster and go for a walk or run several times a day? Get a dog!  Not only will it add enjoyment and pleasure to your life, but you’ll have a built-in reason to open the door, walk outside, and get some exercise each day!  Dogs enjoy going for walks or runs, and it keeps both of you in shape!

It’s true – Sex does burn a lot of calories.  And it’s certainly something that you will never skip, unlike the 45 minute trek on the elliptical.  Keep an eye on the clock, and work on your endurance.  The partner in your sex life will thank you, as will your waistline!

Keeping up with the kids
It’s very rare that you see an extremely overweight person with small children.  Kids keep you running in circles, which can help with keeping body fat low.  This doesn’t provide for high-intensity stimulation (unless you’re running while playing), but it can deliver a sustained calorie burner.  Plus, the time you spend with your children will be priceless!

Cardio before training
Most bodybuilders complete their cardio training either first thing in the morning, or at the conclusion of their weight training.  Why not mix it up, and try completing your cardio training upon first arriving at the gym?  Obviously, this practice should be limited to the pre-contest phase of your diet when cardio may supersede weight training in terms of importance.  You can also help your progress by keeping a bit of fruit or a lean protein source on hand to snak on following your cardio workout, before you hit the weights.

Cardiovascular training isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it is necessary if you wish to remain in good health and maintain low body fat.  Completing the same exercise day after day can become tedious.  Instead, work to find creative and fun ways to complete your cardio.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bodybuilding Tips For Effective Chest Training

We’ve all been asked “how much ya bench?” by a non-trained person about a hundred times in our lives, correct? Perhaps as a result, the chest is the body part that most bodybuilders tackle first when they enter the gym. Many beginner bodybuilders are solely flat bench pressers for the first year or three in the gym, and this is okay for establishing a baseline of muscle for future growth. However, there comes a time for maturing chest training so that a well-balanced chest sits atop your upper body. Here are some tips and tricks to follow for complete chest development.

Get the ratios right
You should be training chest with a 3:1 ratio for the incline:flat pressing movements. In other words, if you complete 9 sets of inline barbell presses and dumbbell flyes, you should be completing 3 sets of flat pressing or flyes. Many bodybuilders – particularly those with the standard Weider flat bench at home – don’t complete any incline bench pressing for their first year or two of training. This creates an aesthetic and strength imbalance which can only be rectified using a 3:1 incline:flat training ratio.

While cable crossovers can provide a great pump and deliver some stimulation to that pectoral-deltoid tie-in, many bodybuilders treat this movement as a mass-gainer. It will deliver a lot of blood to the region and might feel very good, but this movement will not build your pecs in the same manner that flat and incline presses and flyes will. Play with the cables a few times per month, but stick with the heavy compound movements until you have a well-sized chest and are focusing upon shaping it.

Just a little patience
It may seem confusing to train using this wide variety of chest movements when you’re used to just plugging away on the bench press each workout. Deal with it. Your chest is comprised of a vast network of interlocking mesh of muscle sheets. They need to be hit from many different angles in order to stimulate complete growth.

The 20-rep set
At least once per workout, complete a set containing twenty reps. This will stimulate your slow-twitch muscle fibers (those which are only activated by repetition number 12 or 15) and assure you’re stimulating every possible muscle fiber in the chest region. Most of your day should be hard and heavy, but the 20-rep set should always make the trip!

Chest Exercise

You can have a superb chest routine and follow all the rules, but if you’re not training legs or back, you’re going to develop imbalances which can potentially lead to injuries. Utilize a full-body routine, and don’t skip days. If you have weak body parts, it’s usually because you’re not training legs hard enough.

The chest is the centerpiece in most physiques, the place the judges’ eyes first rest when scanning the stage for competitors. Possessing a well-developed chest is imperative for success at even the local bodybuilding level. Follow this tips and tricks, and train hard and intelligently. A powerful chest will follow!
Monday, July 20, 2015

Forearm Muscle Training Tips

You enter the gym and you are intent on wrecking your arms today. You’re going to train biceps and triceps to complete failure. You’re going to start with free weights for triceps, brutalizing them with skullcrushers, behind the neck triceps presses, bench dips, and kickbacks. Then, you’ll attack that cable center and finish them off. Set after set of pressdowns and overhead triceps presses. You can’t move them anymore, but you’re just getting started! You return to the free weight area and grab a barbell (EZ or straight, your choice!) and begin biceps curls. After a few tough sets, you attack the dumbbell rack and work some “down-the-rack” curls where you exhaust the biceps over and over again with descending weights. After a brief four sets on the preacher curl bench, you head over to the cables, where you finish off the biceps with some sustained-tension concentration curls, both one- and two-armed. After a shower and a protein shake, you’re driving home with the pump of your life, almost smug in the fact that you just did everything possible to stimulate your arms to grow. Except for one thing: you forgot to train forearms.

Biceps Training

You spent 90 minutes torturing your arms to grow, but then neglected a muscle group that is longer than your upper arm, and visible much more of the time! A single failure point for most upper body exercises, the forearms are a highly important muscle group. You, like many other bodybuilders in the gym who arrive with detailed plans for biceps and triceps, walked out the door without so much as a single set for them. This is unacceptable for two reasons. First, you are short-circuiting your bodybuilding goals. Your upper arms are going to become disproportionately large compared to your forearms. Judges will penalize you for it, and you’ll never fully display that “monster” look of thickness and power.

Tossing the aesthetics out the window, you’ll also short-circuit your gains in another way. As previously mentioned, the forearms are the single most common point of failure in upper-body movements. Deadlifts, rows, pulldowns, curls, and many other movements usually see their sets end because the forearms (and your grip) fail – not the muscle group being trained. This is highly unproductive, as we all know the most muscle gains come once we are able to train for failure. Therefore bodybuilders (and powerlifters) who neglect forearm training are fostering an environment where they’ll never fully train to muscular failure on many movements in the desired muscle groups – and therefore never make their potential gains.

Here’s a sample forearms routine to get you on your way. Use it once or twice per week according to your levels of soreness, and desired forearms development goals.
  • Dumbbell Hammer curls 4 x 8
  • Behind-the-back wrist curls 3 x 12 – 15
  • Seated bench wrist curls 4 x 12 – 20
These three basic movements should be completed at the conclusion of your biceps and triceps training, and again on back day following your back routine, provided you don’t train arms for at least 2 days afterwards, so that the forearms will have time to recover.
Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Necessity Of Proper Nutrition During Bodybuilding Training

Lots of people are becoming more and more attentive to the need of developing that perfect body as has been illustrated on fitness magazines over and over again. The quest for the fit body has seen the rise of many gyms around the cities and towns in which we live in. It is not only gyms that have been opened to support this phenomenon but the market is now awash with health spas and various other fitness centers. These facilities are attracting fitness aficionados and they are making roaring business.

The media is instrumental in making the public aware about various happenings and this has not been the exception when we consider the manner in which various fitness aspects have been presented to the viewing public. There are numerous ads that call for the use of this and that fitness supplement or this and that fitness machine. More than ever in history people are now being made aware of their fitness through a whole lot of media channels and also over the Internet.

Healthy nutrition

A person who is intent to get fit and lead a healthy lifestyle will not bother too much about this and that hyped product because he or she understands what is required; this boils down to regular exercise and proper dieting. Apart from this, the only thing that can be added is the determination and endeavor to succeed in this quest.

Exercise and diet are two of the most compatible bedfellows; each is as important as the other if at all there will be success on the fitness front. The diet that you choose to follow will be the main determinant of whether you are making the proper inroads that are required for success. The chosen diet should be able to supply your body with the right nutrients that are required for both growth and the recovery of worn out muscles and tissues. The importance of maintaining a proper diet can be evidenced by the fact that there are lots of products that have been developed in this area ranging from dietary programs, guides, and books. There are also professional diet consultants and professionals who seek to guide persons that have problems in these areas. To add on to these we are now at a stage where there are fat diets and carbohydrate diets…quite amazing to say the least.

The evolution of such diets is not necessarily a market gimmick as many will tend to dismiss them but when you consider what is entailed here you will grasp the importance that is attached. A carbohydrate diet will augur well with a bodybuilder mostly because it will be the source of glycogen which is the chief energy source stored in both the liver and the body muscles. We all know how important this is for the aerobic exercise regimens.

Fats have their own importance in the bodybuilding process though this is a topic for another day. Their inclusion in the diet needs to be watched though lest this results in unwanted fat accumulation and thus proving counterproductive for the fitness effort.
Thursday, July 16, 2015

Leg Presses vs. Single Leg Presses

It is very rare that we witness trainers in our gym using single-leg presses. Most typically, we’ll see it being demonstrated to a physical therapy patient by a personal trainer. The client will awkwardly limp through the movement. He or she may return to try it out alone down the road, but that will be about it. It’s oddly strange that we so rarely see people in our gyms using a movement.

Why is this odd? It’s interesting so few amateurs use this movement because it’s actually a fairly common movement among advanced and professional athletes. Why does such a chasm exist on what should be an obvious movement? What do the pros know that the amateurs do not? What possible reason do they have for using a movement that 99% of gymgoers don’t attempt? Let’s look at some of the reasons.

Leg Workout Machine

Isolating the weak leg
For elite athletes, every minute detail matters. When the judges are looking at two athletes vying for the top spot, each very close to perfection in terms of muscular development, posing, symmetry, and conditioning, the trophy often goes to the man with the most flaws. In many cases, when dealing with bodybuilders who have almost perfect genetics, it can be something as minute as one leg being slightly smaller than another. We all have differing centers of gravity and behavioral tendencies, and as a result our arms and legs develop to different extents. Devoting more weight, reps, or sets to the weaker leg allows the advanced bodybuilder to nullify a weakness.

Keeping workload equal
Furthering the theme from the above example, when a discrepancy does exist between two body parts on opposite sides of the body, some exercises tend to exasperate this problem. Movements like the leg press (with two legs) allow bodybuilders to put 51% or more of the workload onto one of the legs, giving the other leg less of a workout.

The need for shock
Advanced athletes are always looking for ways to shock their bodies into growing. New movements like the single leg press are good ways to do this.

More available time
It should be noted that training each leg individually during a set-intensive, high volume body part such as thighs can take a great deal of time. The fact that many pro bodybuilders use this movement, while amateurs often do not, may be a direct result of the fact that professionals often have more time to train in the gym. The use of unique isolation movements like this can sometimes drive a workout over 90 minutes.

The split leg press
Some advanced gyms are becoming aware of the needs of the advanced athlete. Hammer Strength has delivered a leg press machine which allows for independent use of each leg. You can alternate legs on each rep, train only one leg, or train them at the same time. Each leg pushes up it’ own independent load. This machine allows the bodybuilder to achieve the same results as the single leg press with greater safety and ease of use. If your gym has one, you owe it to yourself to check it out!
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Setting Realistic Goals To Overcome Obstacles In Bodybuilding Training

Bodybuilding progress never occurs in a straight line. The body is a living organism capable of adapting to changing workloads. We are stimulated by many things in our lives – good and bad – that affect our training, recovery, and growth.

Achievement in bodybuilding growth also occurs on several different simultaneous levels. A gain in muscle mass is an achievement. A loss of body fat is an achievement. Lifting more weight than before is an achievement. Some achievements come at the expense of others. A gain of five pounds of muscle is usually accompanied by a gain of 1 to 5 pounds of fat and water. Inversely, a loss of 5 pounds of fat is typically accompanied by a loss of 1-3 pounds of muscle mass.

A clean measurement of success with bodybuilding growth is very hard to achieve. Typically, every person in the gym has the same goal – get big muscle and be lean. But achieving that goal requires the accomplishment of a thousand smaller goals, all of which are very different for many trainers.

Famous Bodybuilders

Starting lines are different for every person. Some naturally small and skinny people might train their entire lives to achieve the conditioning and muscle mass that some mesomorphs are blessed with by age 16. Given these differing starting lines, the paths we take to achieve gains in the gym will be different. The skinny ectomorph will focus more on mass gains for several years, while the more genetically blessed mesomorphs will achieve optimal mass quickly and then devote time to refining the muscle groups. Understanding and accepting that you may transform your physique completely, yet still not come close to the physique that some people were naturally blessed with, helps in setting goals and staying focused over time.

We’re all going to hit obstacles in terms of bodybuilding progress. Often, it’s external. Real-life stress from family, work, and school will cause cortisol levels to rise and place stress on the central nervous system (CNS), which will slow recovery. Additionally, sometimes we’ll reach bodybuilding progress plateaus without any external pressure. Your body has natural limits, and we do reach them sometimes. When this happens, it’s important to adjust training, diet, sleep, and supplementation in order to stimulate the body and encourage growth in new ways.

Realistic expectations lead to realistic goals. Understanding that obstacles will arise, and progress will never be a consistent linear path is important to long-term bodybuilding success.
Sunday, July 12, 2015

Revolving Splits For Hamstring and Calf Bodybuilding Training

Are you ready for a new way to improve your lagging hamstrings? It’s very likely you’ve never heard of this routine, even though you may have used it very extensively for other body parts. This is common. However, it’s time to break out of your old way of thinking and apply tried and true techniques to new areas of your physique which may be lacking.

First, let’s take a look at a popular routine used to boost development of arms. This is very popular among bodybuilders of all levels, from amateurs to elite lifters. Train them twice per week – once with a larger body part, and once on their own day. The routine would look like this:
  • Monday – Chest & Triceps
  • Tuesday – Back & Biceps
  • Wednesday – Shoulders
  • Thursday – Legs
  • Friday – Biceps & Triceps
  • Saturday & Sunday – Rest
As you can see, the biceps and triceps each receive a full workout twice per week. This workout is popular among athletes with poor arms, or those seeking to convert the arms from a good body part into a standout body part. You train the weaker body parts second in the beginning of the week, then you end the week by isolating them again, and training them with a great deal of sets. Then, you have the weekend to fully recover without any training interference or strain upon the central nervous system.

Now, let’s examine a routine which also uses a revolving split routine, this time for hamstrings and calves.
  • Monday – Quads, Hamstrings, & Calves
  • Tuesday – Chest, Triceps
  • Wednesday – back, biceps
  • Thursday – Shoulders
  • Friday – Hamstrings & calves
  • Saturday & Sunday – Rest
Friday’s workout could entail both hamstrings and calves, or just one of these parts. You would suddenly possess the freedom to deliver a full 20 to 30 sets of stimulation to hamstrings alone. If this doesn’t spurn growth, nothing will!

Revolving Splits
You can apply this sort of training methodology to any body part. Ideally, the first training session of the body part should take place on Monday, or Day 1 of your training week. You’ll want to hit the body part second on that day. This way you are able to devote fresh training resources to it, while at the same time fully training a major body part first, meeting your requirement for the week for that muscle. Remember that your goal is to train the focused muscle group again on Thursday or (preferably) Friday, which will allow you the full weekend of rest.

When devoting so many sets to a particular muscle group on Thursday or Friday, you may notice new soreness or DOMS which you haven’t experienced before. Spend your weekend eating additional calories, getting additional sleep, and stretching the muscle group as much as possible. The goal is to be fully recovered 72 hours later for your Monday workout, and that won’t happen if you spent your weekend eating junk food and staying up all night watching video games. If you’re going to be training the body part twice as hard, then you’ll need to work to recover twice as hard as well.
Friday, July 10, 2015

The Necessity Of Warming Up Prior To Bodybuilding Training

Pre workout Warm up

The importance of doing warm ups before engaging in bodybuilding activity is of much significance but despite this fact there are many people who disregard this fact and proceed to do strenuous exercises that are taxing on the body; this is done in total oblivion to the effects imparted on the body. It is only after some time that these persons will realize their mistake and as such this article would like to preempt the occurrence of such ill effects especially to those new to bodybuilding.

When a person is starting on exercise activities that are physically involving the body responds in such a manner that sees it increase the rate of respiration, and the rate of blood supply to the muscles which means that the amount of both nutrients and oxygen supplied to these locations is also increased. The body should thus be prepared prior to this heightened level of activity just to be assured that the increases will be taken gradually and steadily.

The importance of doing warm up before taking up the rigorous activities that consist exercise is evidenced on a number of fronts. Firstly, the body’s nervous system is stimulated into action. This ensures that the body is very alert which is a good thing because the bodybuilder will be able to respond faster in case there is injury and also because the person will be able to detect various signals that the body will send either to communicate discomfort, undue stress, need for rest,or even muscle fatigue which is not necessarily a bad thing to feel.

Warming up will also serve to stir the joints and tissues into action by literally warming them up for action. They become more flexible and loosened such that the risk of gaining injury is reduced. How is this? Basically we can explain this phenomenon by likening the situation to that involved when attempting to shape iron. Before this can be done the smith will need to heat up the iron so as to make it malleable. The same applies to the muscles. When they are trained cold then it is quite a task to go through the motions that require fluidity and flexibility. Muscular injury is likely to result in this case.

The warm up session is thus very vital in getting the joint fluids ready for their role of acting like lubricants in the various parts of the conventional car engine. Warming up is also of essence for the heart primarily because it needs to be readied for action. The action of course involves pumping more blood to the various extremities of the body, specifically the muscles.

The importance of warming up may be seen to be of little consequence to the younger generation of bodybuilders and athletes. As one gets older the body’s joints and muscles tend to lose their fluidity and also the heart’s muscles will end to get weaker. This is when warm up will be totally appreciated. There are cases that have been reported detailing the deaths of older people due to unprecedented high levels of physical activity. Such deaths may as well have been avoided if they were careful to do some warm up.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Leg Training Plateaus: Tips and Tricks for Breaking Through

Leg Workout Plateau

Are you an intermediate or advanced bodybuilder who just can’t seem to spurn growth in your legs to keep up with that of your upper body? It’s not an uncommon condition to face. In the gyms and bodybuilding stages across the world, you’ll meet many bodybuilders who focused upon their chest and arms in the beginning years of their training, and neglected their legs. When they finally did begin training legs, their upper bodies already had a 1 to 2 year advantage in terms of overall development. They may have worked hard to bring their legs up to par, but they also kept their upper body training at the highest possible intensity. As a result, their legs may have grown, but still have not been able to reach the level of development seen on their upper bodies.

As the bodybuilder reaches the age of 28 or 30 and beyond, it becomes harder and harder to make gains in terms of leg mass. Most bodybuilders slowly realize the unfortunate truth, that they probably won’t make much in the terms of leg mass without extraordinary means. These means can include the use of anabolic steroids, or advanced training methods. Let’s discuss some of the training methods which can be employed to spurn leg mass when gains are slow to come.

Begin your leg routine with a set of high repetition leg extensions, and then move directly to the squat rack for a set of heavy squats. Repeat for 5 sets. By then your front quadriceps, an area which is weakest on most bodybuilders with weak quads, will have received the most stimulation they’ve ever felt in your life! You can follow this act with a nice combination of high-repetition leg press

Front Squats
Many bodybuilders dislike them because they are awkward and only allow you to use a fraction of your standard squat poundage. However, front squats are remarkably effective for adding mass to the front thighs. Use them 2 to 3 times per month.

Go Heavy
If you’re lifting as much weight as a 180-pound bodybuilder, then you’re going to remain 180 pounds. If you’re lifting as much weight as a 230-pound beast, and providing your body with adequate nutrition and rest, then you are going to grow beyond the 180 pound mark and move closer to 230 pounds. Lift light, stay light – it’s that simple!

It’s well known that it’s impossible to gain several inches on your thighs without adding 10 to 20 pounds on the scale reading. If you wish to gain several pounds of muscle on your legs, it’s time to add a great deal of calories to your daily caloric intake. You can always diet away fat gains later. Right now, it’s important to add as much muscle as possible as early in your training career as possible.

If you’ve not yet reached the age of 30, you are in good shape. You should immediately make leg mass the focus of your training. The time is now to make improvements. Your natural hormone levels after reaching age 30 will make it very tough to add any meaningful leg size.
Monday, July 6, 2015

Understanding Your Training Frequencies and Durations To Achieve Optimal Results

Workout Duration

For the bodybuilder, the frequencies and durations of training are subjects that need to be addressed effectively so that the envisaged results will be optimized. The bodybuilder also has to address various other issues including the considerations that should be weighed before selecting an appropriate training pattern and rhythm. One should know the amount of time that should be dedicated to training say in a week.

From experience and the experience of other bodybuilders in the fraternity, the frequency that is required in the training process should be pegged on actual days and not on the week calendar days as we know them. In the bodybuilding training pattern there is absolutely no need to count the days in terms of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday etc. The bodybuilder should ensure that on each day that he trains he/she will work on a single group of muscle or two if need be.

One of the best ways to plan on your training pattern as a bodybuilder would be to think of the days in the form of numbers such that you will have day 1, day 2 etc. When such a pattern is followed then it becomes much easier to factor in for the days when the routine has been interrupted through one reason or another. This manner of planning for training of curse does not mean that all other activities must be suspended; here we are detailing what an ideal scenario would be.

Another consideration that the bodybuilder must have in mind is the fact that not all the body muscles are developed at the same rate. There are muscle groups that possess a slow twitch while there are others that need the fast twitch. This is in terms of the training stimulus. Without a doubt you will realize that the larger muscle groups like those in the glutes or in the quadriceps will require longer rejuvenating while the smaller muscle groups like the biceps and calves will require shorter to get fully recovered.

One question that arises as a result of the planning strategy is whether the amount of rest will suffice if it is equally allocated. The answer to this is a definite NO and the reason for this is given in the previous paragraph where we have seen that the different muscle groups will need varying rest times. As such, when the bodybuilder is planning his training schedule he/she should factor in these resting times and some of the factors that will help in determining this will be the training intensity that is required and also the individual physiological activity.

The planning of the training sessions as has been mentioned above will mainly require an individual assessment of personal strengths and weaknesses. That said and done we need to note that it is also very advisable to get the recommendation of a training partner. This is because such a person is constantly there when you are training and will thus be able to note out some aspects that you may tend to ignore personally but which could get things pretty awry especially in terms of injury.
Saturday, July 4, 2015

Push and Pull Motions Using Free Weight Movements Exclusively

Many beginner and intermediate bodybuilder have found great success with a push/pull training method.  It allows them to train half of their body’s muscles, twice per week.  This results in the training receiving a full-body workout twice each week, and gives them three full days of rest and recovery in which to grow.  This method is popular, especially among bodybuilders who are new to training and prefer to use machines in their training, as opposed to free weights.  Machines (Hammer Strength, Nautilus, and others) can provide a great foundation for teaching range of motion and allowing the bodybuilder to ‘feel’ the particular muscle group being targeted.  However, as one becomes more accustomed to these machines, their training gains begin to subside.  At this time, it’s essential to move to free weights and dumbbells.  This will keep growth constant, and will challenge the muscle groups in new ways.  However, this adjustment from machine to free weights should take place in an organized manner which allows for the most recovery and best use of rest time to continue hitting each muscle group twice weekly and still allow for adequate growth.

Let’s examine a training protocol which incorporates all the training and rest advantages of the push/pull training methodology, using nothing but free weight movements.

Monday - Push Day
Squat (4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 repetitions)
Deadlift (4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 repetitions)
Bench Press (4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 repetitions)

Tuesday - Pull Day
Barbell Military Press (4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 repetitions)
Barbell Biceps Curl (4 sets of 15, 12, 10, 8 repetitions)
Skullcrushers for Triceps (4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 repetitions)
Standing Barbell Calf Raises (4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 repetitions)

Wednesday - Rest.  No cardio scheduled.

Thursday - Same as Monday

Friday - Same as Tuesday

Saturday - Rest.  Cardio can be performed on this day.

Sunday - Rest.  No cardio scheduled.

If you have a tough work week and find that you have much more time on the weekends to train, you can always switch up this routine so that your rest days fall on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Additionally, you can move one of your rest days back a day so that your schedule looks like this.

Monday - Rest.  No cardio scheduled.

Tuesday - Push

Wednesday - Rest.  Cardio can be performed on this day.

Thursday - Pull

Friday - Rest.  No cardio scheduled.

Saturday - Push

Sunday - Pull

Weight Exercise Routine

The use of free weights provides many advantages over machine training.  Stabilizer muscles are recruited to assist with balance.  Additionally, the muscles of the targeted groups themselves receive a constant tension that machines sometimes relieve as you reach the top or bottom of the movement.

The push/pull training style is very popular with trainers of all experience levels, especially those with good natural recovery abilities or those who peruse AAS to assist with quicker recovery.  Use these compound movements according to the days prescribed, and be sure to spend every minute you can healing, recovering, and growing on your rest day!
Thursday, July 2, 2015

Eastern Bloc Training

The Soviet Percentage System – or Eastern Bloc training – involves complex mathematical calculations for determining weight/rep schemes to use, in order to make measurable progress and to continue challenging the body to perform at new levels. While this routine should be used with deadlifts, squats, and bench press in order to lead to the most gains and progress for both powerlifters and bodybuilders, for the sake of simplicity we will only be using the bench press for our example. Additionally, we will assume a flat 200 pound maximum bench press, for ease of calculation. Your numbers will differ, of course, based upon your own 1-repetition maximum lift ability (1RM). You’ll need to ascertain your 1RM on the three major lifts before embarking upon this program. There will be times when you can go beyond the day’s requirement – but you should not. Instead, leave those body resources available for growth. Likewise, there will be times when you cannot quite complete the day’s required workload. On those days, a spotter will help you move the weight, and you’ll need to increase food and rest to allow your body the additional resources required to make this lift the following week.

Week #1
70 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #2
75 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #3
80 percent of your max lift. Use 6 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #4
85 percent of your max lift. Use 5 sets of 2 reps each.

Week #5
Attempt a new 1-repetition max today. Rewrite your training goals for the next few weeks, based upon your findings.

Week #6
70 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #7
75 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #8
80 percent of your max lift. Use 6 sets of 2 reps each.

Week #9
85 percent of your max lift. Use 5 sets of 2 reps each.

Week #10
80 percent of your max lift. Use 1 set of 2 reps each.
85 percent of your max lift. Use 1 set of 2 reps each.
90 percent of your max lift. Use 1 set of 2 reps each.

Week #11
70 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #12
Take a rest week if needed. Then begin with Week #1 once again!

This is a flexible lifting routine in that is allows you to keep the rotations brief, and allows for instant measurable success. Just five weeks in, you are re-evaluating your one-rep max. If you are able to make gains in that time period, you’ll gain some serious momentum as you re-calculate your lift numbers for weeks # 6 through #11. This type of training can be used for the three major compound movements, and some Olympic style lifts if you so choose. Give a shot, and see if Russian percentages are right for you!

Training Routine Example