Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bodybuilding Training Tips For Washboard Abs!

Q:  Okay, I have some crazy abs – everyone says so. My abs are like ledges on a cliff face. That is, in the upper region. My lower abs are, in a word, nonexistent. Do you have recommendations for exercises I can do to thicken my lower abdominal wall?

Abdominal MusclesA: Remember that abs are a crapshoot – you either have great shape underneath it all or you don’t. In your case, your upper abs are very well developed – both from resistance and workouts, and from genetics. But your lower abs may truly lack genetics for thickness. Some bodybuilders have abs that stop above their navel and it’s smooth as a baby beneath that. So, let’s think positively and imagine you CAN build your lower abs. Squatting occasionally without a belt helps this, and is one reason people lack abs below the waist. We’ve become too accustomed to helping aids during heavy workouts. The best thing you can do is hanging leg raises, provided you keep good form and reduce swinging. You can also use an “ab wheel” – the rolling apparatus that you get into a pushup position and then roll toward your lower abs as your body arcs at the hips. You can also do an exercise called “climbers” – which is hands down in a push up position, bridging the body as if you were climbing a flat wall. Start with one leg forward and alternate in a climbing fashion, kicking one leg back as the other comes forward.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Which Calcium Supplements Are Effective To Your Bodybuilding Training?

Q: I want to supplement with a calcium product, but don’t know which to use. I am also unsure as to what the ratio of calicum to magnesium ought to be. What is the rule here?

Calcium Supplements
 A: The correct calcium to magnesium ratio is always 2:1. Magnesium is always needed in any calcium supplementation because it helps the body absorb calcium at optimum levels. But Vitamin D and potassium also help the body absorb calcium at the gut level, so they are important in factoring in how your body will “actually” take in the calcium supplements you give it. What you want to avoid is the practice of supplementing in high doses with individual supplements. There is a reason that multi-vitamin/ multi-mineral compilations exist: They keep things in balance. Supplementing high levels of one thing can negatively impact other levels of minerals and throw the body off balance. The recommendation for calcium is between 1000 and 1500 milligrams daily, with a magnesium ratio of half of that. But since the body can only absorb about 500 milligrams at a time, it is always a good idea to supplement 2-3 times per day, throughout the day. It’s hard sometimes with commercial preparations of calcium-magnesium because they are usually in the 1000 to 1500 range in one dose. Remember though that as a bodybuilder your bone matrix is also strong – more than someone who does not work out – because bone density increases as a result of resistance exercise. Blood tests are also a poor indicator of whether you are deficient in calcium because that blood level of calcium in a fixed number, for the most part. Just supplement using a multi-vitamin/ multi-mineral that is formulated for very active people, and you should be fine.
Friday, September 25, 2015

Back Muscle Building Training

For many body parts, attaining a pump is the key to muscle growth. If you are able to flush blood into the region, you are able to create growth. Picture the abs, or the forearms, or the shoulders. High-repetition routines with low weights tend to cut these muscle groups right up, and deliver some sparkling muscularity.

For other body parts, using heavy weight is an absolute must. You can do leg extensions for ten years, but you’ll never develop massive quads without doing squats and leg presses. You can do cable crossovers until you’re blue in the face. But until you pick up some dumbbells or a barbell and do some heavy chest presses, your pectorals will always be lacking. And with no body part is this belief more true than the back. Bodybuilders need to use compound movements with heavy weights to build a massive back. It’s that simple.

Back Training

This movement allows a bodybuilder to let his powerlifter side show through. Even the great Ronnie Coleman, 8-time Mr. Olympia, would do doubles with deadlifts (two reps at 800 pounds) in the final weeks before the Mr. Olympia contest. Usually, choosing a rep scheme below 5 reps is a bad idea for bodybuilders. The muscles receive a powerlifting-style workout, but don’t get the full stimulation that bodybuilders require. With deadlifts, however, the stimulation is there, and then some. The jarring impact upon the body of those extremely heavy sets is very useful for stimulating muscle growth.

Barbell Rows
This movement shouldn’t be completed using the same low rep scheme that deadlifts allow. However it is still a very useful compound movement in the 6 to 12 repetition movement. Barbell rows require many cross-sections of the back to come into play to move the barbell through its range of motion.

Chins create back width like no other movement can. Use them weekly. Bodybuilders with higher bodyweight may need assistance from a spotter or through the use of machine chins, which reduce the workload placed on the back. If you’re a lighter athlete, you can attach a 45-pound plate or two to your weight belt using a chain, and increase the workload by 45, 90, or even 135 pounds when doing chins. This will inspire back thickness growth very quickly.

Don’t neglect your traps – barbell and dumbbell shrugs are essential for complete upper back development. Often, the biggest difference between an amateur and professional bodybuilder – visually – is that thick upper back. Shrugs help with this greatly.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bodybuilding Training And Your Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is defined as the force that blood exerts upon the walls of the blood vessels within your body. It’s used as a measurement tool for determining cardiovascular and circulatory health. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and other conditions. High blood pressure is caused by a variety of factors, including diet, weight, genetics, daily stressors, and level of physical activity.

Bodybuilders and powerlifters are especially susceptible to high blood pressure, or hypertension. The heart and blood vessels cannot tell the difference between a 300-pound muscle man and a 300-pound obese man when it comes to pumping blood – it’s a great deal of extra work no matter what. Diet also comes into play. Bodybuilders consume a great deal of calories each day, including a high level of fats, which do contribute to higher blood pressure. Lifting extremely heavy weights also contributes to higher blood pressure.

Hypertension in Bodybuilding

Ready to take the plunge into improving about your own blood pressure? First off, you should have your blood pressure tested. As far as specific numbers: 120/80 used to be considered normal, but recently some doctors have lowered that a bit. People who are in top physical shape will have lower heart beats a minute rate, something between the low 40′s and 50′s. Some take this as a sign of good blood pressure, but this is not always the case. Some people think that by working out often will make the heart stronger, thus lowering blood pressure. But this also is not always the case either.  A strong heart does not always mean there is no danger from high blood pressure. Many bodybuilders have high readings and do not know it. Take a look at some of the top pro and amateur bodybuilders. Their faces are often beet red, even when at rest.

Suppose you test higher. That 160/80 would be considered in the “red zone” with regards to high blood pressure – with a greater pressure/force the passing blood extends against the blood vessel walls. The top reading would be of more concern to a doctor. There is no perfect reading, as each of us differs. Family history, mental stress, drinking/drug use, weight, and other factors all have a bearing. High blood pressure is pretty easy to control these days with medication. Whatever your reading, keeping an eye on your blood pressure is a way to ensure you have a long, healthy life. Don’t wait – get tested today!
Monday, September 21, 2015

Bodybuilding Goals By Age

Age in Bodybuilding

Gyms are filled with men and women of all ages. With different ages come differing goals, and it’s important that trainers recognize the differences, train according to the stage they fall into, and respect those in differing stages. Breaking down each decade of life into general gym goals and pitfalls allows us to be more realistic about our own expectations in the gym, and recognize the successes of others as they move upward into the later decades of life.

Age 20-30
Your goal in your twenties is to pack on the muscle. Your testosterone and energy levels are the highest they will be in your life. You heal/recover faster. Watch for the metabolism drop off around age 25. This is the best time – enjoy it and pile on that raw muscle.

Age 30-40
The name of the game now is injury avoidance and muscle maturity. You’ve been training for 10 or 20 years now (hopefully) and your muscles will reach their peak this decade. Prepare for the testosterone drop-off as you reach 35. Most top amateur and professional bodybuilders (and athletes in general) find their absolute peak from 32 to 36. Nearly all bodybuilders achieve their best vascularity in their late thirties.

Age 40-50
Your body may begin to break down this decade. Stay on track, but move a bit of the time dedicated to dangerous weights over to cardio training. Your heart is very important and cannot be ignored. Devote four 45-minute sessions to cardio every week for long term viability.

Age 50-60
In your fifties, you’ll want to avoid risky lifting and pushing max poundages. Weights are great, as it is imperative that you maintain some muscle mass. But cardiovascular fitness is more important. Look into HRT this decade – your body’s levels will begin to decline rapidly this decade. In the 50s, being strong and active will certainly begin to differentiate you from your peers.

Age 60 and beyond
Staying active is the most important thing as you pass sixty and move into your golden years. Lift light and frequent. Engage in cardiovascular activity. You’ve made it! After all, the goal IS to get old – you just don’t have to look it. Use weight and cardiovascular training to make the most out of life, and to live the longest life possible.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

High Volume Training Tips

Q: What do you think of high volume training? It just seems to me that these pros are lying – guys like Jay Cutler do six exercises and then do between two and three sets for those six, each. How is that possible?

A: Do you want the short answer? The short answer is they are on steroids and can do it. High volume training is the best way to utilize a cycle, in fact, because it’s virtually impossible to over-train. You recover from almost anything, so getting in tons of high volume work is the best thing for maximizing a cycle’s potential to pack on mass. Could all of us do that much work on a cycle, all things being equal? Probably not. These guys, remember, are pros for a reason. It’s one of the reasons that you could take what Jay Cutler takes and probably never achieve what he has. But you can push yourself as hard as Cutler, relative to your own goals and development currently. I recommend that you try some high volume training on your next cycle. Work up to it, and start with 4 exercises and do 3 to 4 sets for each, doing maybe 10 reps in each set. Try also to work up to taking less rest. Focus during this time on moderate to heavy weight, rather than heaviest lifts of all time. It won’t work if you try to do it all, because something always has to give. You’re going to hate it at first because it’s damn hard to do, but once you get over the hump of “endurance” if you will, you’ll see the benefits of high volume training. But remember, don’t do high volume work in an off-cycle phase.

Jay Cutler Bodybuilder
Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bodybuilding Environmental Hazards and Safety Training

Most of us train in one of two places. Typically, we’ll select a climate-controlled gym where we know it’s going to be florescent lights and a steady 76 degrees every time we walk into the gym. Or, we might train at home, where the temperature is the same as the house – anything you’d like it to be. Typically, it will be similar to the gym, a comfortable 74 to 76 degrees.

However, there is one group or bodybuilders who prefer to bypass the standard comfortable conditions for something a little more hardcore. They are called the Outdoor Trainers. They train at whatever temperature it is outside.

Safety Training

On hot days, they sweat. It’s that simple. Industrial strength fans and cross-winds might help cool them. But they sweat. Training in the heat helps the body to sweat out toxins we ingest every day. It also allows the trainer to experience an almost animalistic feeling. When you’re training at 100+ degrees Fahrenheit, you stop thinking about the small, inconsequential things you face that day. Instead, you focus on just three things: Drinking enough water to stay hydrated, keeping the weight from slipping, and drying your face after each set. That’s it. Being able to ‘leave it all on the gym floor’ and stop thinking about all of the other worries of daily life is very good for training.

On cold days, they bundle up. Training in the cold is especially dangerous, as the muscle group tends to lose flexibility as temperature drops. One must dedicate additional time to stretching and work between sets to keep blood in the region. Cold workouts can be dangerous, but tend to be fairly popular among the hardcore powerlifter types. It must be something about conquering the elements!

Outdoor training is another popular way to add muscle and stay motivated. Remember Arnold and Franco in those infamous Muscle Beach photos? One can only imagine the motivation for lifts that comes from hearing a crowd of tourists cheering and taking your picture as you attempt to lift a personal best. When training outdoors for an audience or within reach of the beauty of nature, safely attempt to break your personal bests. There is a distinct advantage that comes from an adrenaline rush, and nothing creates an adrenaline rush like an impressionable, excited crowd. It’s like having dozens of excited training partners cheering you on, as you lift under the wide-open skies. Who couldn’t lift more in times like these?
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Using Pyramid Sets With Your Shoulder Training

Pyramiding your sets is simple, and it can be used to ensure that you are adequately hitting both the slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Not only does this give your joints a rest in avoiding four ultra-heavy sets and ensure you are properly warmed up before attempting heavy weights, but it stimulates as many possible muscle fibers in the targeted muscle group as possible. Here is a sample shoulder routine, which uses pyramid sets.

Military Barbell Press – Standing Or Seated
12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps
Adding mass is the key with this movement, so you want to go hard and heavy after a nice clean warm-up. Use a back brace to ensure the lower back doesn’t wear too much strain, and hit this exercise like Arnold used to, 30 years ago – Heavy and intense!

Hammer Strength Shoulder Press
15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps
This is a chance to isolate the deltoids without recruiting too many other muscle groups. The arc of the machine ensures you cannot cheat very much, and that the deltoids are doing most of the work on this movement. Complete slow and smooth repetitions, working to feel the shoulders doing the work.

Dumbbell Side Raises
15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps
A little swing is acceptable as you reach the last two sets, but don’t be like many trainers who swing the entire time. On the first three sets, keep form perfect. Use a little less weight if you cannot complete the 15 and 12 repetition sets without cheating. Remember that the goal is to build muscle, not see who can swing the biggest dumbbell. Leave your ego at the gym door.

Bent-Over Dumbbell Side Raises For Rear Delts
15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps
As with the dumbbell side raises, use very light weight for the first several sets of this movement. You’ll see that the burn in the muscle group – the pump resulting from flooding the rear deltoids with blood – is much better when good form, lighter weight, and slower repetitions are used.

Upright Rows: 4 Sets
15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps
This can be a dangerous movement when too much weight is used. Start with a little less weight than you usually use, and work to ensure that the early sets are textbook perfect movements with no back swing to help cheat the weight up. Only when you arrive at the last two sets – and your shoulders are fried from this workout – can you break good form a bit and employ some cheating.

Arnold Shoulder Press
Sunday, September 13, 2015

Drop Sets for Maximum Intensity

The human body is a remarkably adaptive organism. It constantly adapts to new challenges presented to it by growing, changing, and evolving. Bodybuilders are no exception. Every time we enter the gym and present our muscles with a brutal workout, our muscles respond by growing to meet this demand. Once the muscle has adequately adapted to a workload, it stops growing. When you see the same gym members benching with the same 135 pounds, looking the same for 1, or 2 or 3 straight years, you see a perfect example of this. Their bodies have adapted to the 135-pound workload and are no longer required to grow to meet a changing workload.

Since the goal of the bodybuilder is growth, the means by which this muscle growth is achieved should be continual workload adjustment so that no total adaptation is every achieved. The bodybuilder much present the working muscles with a different workload each time. There are several ways to do this, including various rep and set ranges, as well as through exercise selection. However, one commonly overlooked method, which is highly effective, is known as drop sets.

Intense Training

Drop sets start like any other set for the first several reps. You complete your 6 to 10 repetitions with a weight until you reach muscle failure. Then, instead of stopping as you normally would, you should reduce the weight by about 20% and do several additional repetitions. Once you complete them, reduce the weight by another 20-30% and complete several final repetitions.

Drops sets are very effective for two reasons. First, they require the muscle group to exert force using both the fast twitch fibers (from the heavy initial repetitions) and the slow-twitch muscle fibers (from the final high repetitions). Additionally, the overall volume of blood that is moved into the muscle group – the “pump” – fills that region of the body with oxygen- and protein-rich blood, which makes the muscle grow.

A few warnings should be issued before the practice of regularly using drop sets is begun. Drop sets can burn out a bodybuilder very quick, so use them sporadically so as to give the central nervous system (CNS) adequate time for recovery. Use a partner whenever possible to ensure you can safely remove the weight. Running and other rushing while mid-way through an exhausting set can lead to injuries. Above all, remember that the goal is not to achieve any particular number of weight or repetitions – the goal is maximum muscle stimulation. Have fun!
Friday, September 11, 2015

Bicep Training: Short-Cuts To Building More Muscle

We’ve all seen the young trainers in the gym, standing in the squat rack with an Olympic barbell, doing bicep barbell curls. Well, not exactly bicep curls. More like, “back heaves”. They add 40 pounds more than they can handle to the bar, and then use an extremely amusing amount of body English to bring the barbell from belt buckle to chin.

Some cheating is beneficial in bodybuilding training. The goal of bodybuilding training is to stimulate the muscle group by filling it with as much oxygen- and protein-rich blood as possible. So if improper form at the end of a set helps the bodybuilder to push more blood into the region, it’s a positive thing. However, the question is, when does a little cheating become too much? When does the body English and swing result in the muscle not being stimulated enough for the exercise to be effective?

Biceps Training

The barbell curl is the most popular – and most effective – exercise for training the biceps. Standing with the feet shoulder-width apart and grasping the barbell with an underhand grip and shoulder width, the trainer slowly curls the bar out and up in a smooth arc-like motion. At the top, he should full flex the biceps, and then slowly lower the weight. The elbows should remain stationary. There back should have no swing. The legs shouldn’t move. The entire brunt of MOST of the exercise should be born by the biceps muscles.

Once the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th reps pass, the arms are often engorged with blood and lactic acid. No more curls can be achieved using proper form. Failure has been reached. At this point, the trainer can find additional results by training beyond failure. On the last 2 sets of an exercise, attempt to complete 1-4 additional repetitions of the movement by using just a bit of swing to overcome that ‘hump’ that occurs on the upward arc, about halfway up. This failure point would typically end your set. However, by using a bit of momentum and swing to get past it, you are able to complete several additional repetitions, bringing even more blood into the region.

The key to remember is that cheating should only be employed after failure has been achieved using repetitions with good form. Cheating should not be used in every exercise, every set, or you’d quickly burn out due to over stimulation to the central nervous system. Keep is as a handy tool in your repertoire for additional stimulation to the biceps muscle once the body can no longer complete reps in good form.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Recommendations For Your Bodybuilding Training

Bodybuilding Tips

Proportional Training
In most cases in the gym, it is very easy and always to observe that the one and only bench press as well as distinct curl stations are always occupied while on the other hand a number of leg stations as well as squat racks are always idle. Many bodybuilders are naturally in love with training with visible groups of muscle which include the chest as well as the arms such that the most exercises targeting these areas happen to be the most exercises in popular with many upcoming and intermediate bodybuilders. The catchword in this is to never fall anywhere near these traps simply because one is sure to quickly become more and more disproportionate as well as largely asymmetrical.

Any overlook of general training could lead to an upcoming bodybuilder earning very low marks for instance when a certain training bounces the bar from off the chest, where one could have easily realised that the weight must be too heavy. In this regard, a bodybuilder should always be sure and ready to train their lower body as well as the most of the upper body while making sure that less popular units of muscles which include obliques, calves as well as forearms are never overlooked at any one time. These mostly overlooked muscles are known to commonly give the difference which exists between the debates on a good in contrast to a great body physique. In addition it is quite important to have a self assessment or even have a third party assessment of how one is developing every couple of months.

In terms of lifting weights, it is not lifting them that make the body muscles to start growing; in fact the most important thing here is unmistakably the body recovery period which is the one thing which leads to observable gains. Many bodybuilding beginners have always been thinking that it is the more they train that the more they will be growing which is nothing much but a fact of wrongs. In fact in this line, it is the opposite of this wrong fact that is actually live and true which includes rest as a perfect and vital component for any bodybuilder amidst being scheduled as well as allotted at random where it is usually based on fatigue and general soreness.

When a bodybuilder has trained his or her muscle groups, a resistance is created causing the muscle fibres to be torn just slightly. Later, the bodybuilder’s body has essentials which are able to repair as well as building the damaged fibres of the body with the use of protein synthesis as well as with the use of certain various amino acids available in the body.

Protein synthesis is process through which nitrogen arrived from amino acids in the body is linearly arranged in a certain specific way in the paradigm of structured proteins courtesy of the ribo-nucleic acid as well as with other enzymes. Synthesis of proteins is also a type of muscle growth where the catch word is that the more a bodybuilder efficiently makes it so is the building of muscles in an efficient and extensive way.
Monday, September 7, 2015

How To Utilize Fatty Acids In Your Bodybuilding Training

Fatty Acids and Training

Bodybuilders may slather oil over the peaks and valleys of contest-ready muscle for maximum sheen, but it’s the oil they gulp during the off season, and during pre-contest training, that matters the very most.

But while fat is fat is fat when it comes to gaining, losing or shredding, and in terms of how the body sees all fats as mostly equal when it comes to weight gain and fat loss, fats are far from created equal. That’s because some oils serve the body and metabolism much better than others in the long run.

Health may be a six-letter word uttered often by Birkenstock-wearing hippies, but it’s also important to your longevity as a bodybuilder.

Types of fats found in oils:

Monounsaturated fats help lower what health professionals call “bad” fats – those are the low-density lipoproteins known as “LDL” fats. They represent the bad fat in the blood seen and read as cholesterol. “Good” fats – or high-density lipoproteins – can be manufactured by ingesting healthy fat, while bad fats can be diminished. High levels of LDL mean a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. High levels of HDL mean heart protection.

Polyunsaturated fats also help lower total numbers of cholesterol, but shows they may also curtail good cholesterol levels too.

Polyunsaturated fats are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to decrease the risk of blood clotting and inflammation and they help lower the risk for heart disease. Omega-3s are also linked to a reduced risk in Type 1 diabetes – which is also known as juvenile diabetes.

A Primer on Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
In general, Omega-3 fatty acids, and the oils that are rich in them – such as fish oil and flax seed oil – have a protective effect on the cells of the body.

Omega-3 fats have unique properties and are found in distinctly different foods. The three most common Omega-3s are usually remembered by their abbreviations because the names are far too long:
ALA for alpha-linolenic acid
EPA for eicosapentaenoic acid
DHA for docosahexaenoic acid

These three members differ in the length of the carbon chain, and the number of bonds unsaturated with hydrogen (i.e. double bonds between the carbons). ALA has 18 carbons and 3 double bonds and is considered essential, because the body is unable to make it. So you must supplement it or get it as a part of your daily food diet. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found abundantly in flax seed oil, is converted within the body to EPA and DHA – the same fatty acids in fish oil that support heart health, reduce inflammation, and improve the integrity of cellular walls and chains.

EPA has 20 carbons with 5 double bonds. DHA has 22 carbons and 6 double bonds.
DHA is an important brain nutrient that works in tandem with exercise to provide heart protection and heart health.

Benefits of Omega-3:
Promotes healthy cholesterol levels
Supports brain function
Increases learning ability, focus, memory and problem-solving skills
Controls blood pressure
Supports weight loss and balance of blood sugar
Improves mood
Supports healthy hormonal balance, immune function and nervous system
Prevents inflammation and relieves minor pain from inflammation
Supports healthy occular vision
Promotes healthy, youthful-looking skin

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, as well as other marine-based plant and animal life such as algae and krill. It’s also found heavily in nut-based oils, such as peanut, almond, cashew and others.

Balance, Balance, Balance:
But here’s the caveat: Balance is everything. Maintaining an appropriate ratio between Omega-3 and -6 is crucial because they both work together toward health. Omega-3 reduces inflammation and protects the heart. Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation. The typical American diet contains around 15 to 25 times more Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3. A more appropriate, healthy balance should consist roughly of 2 to 5 times more Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3s. Some even say that a ratio of 1:1 is more appropriate.

Rating the Oils:
Main sources of Omega-6 fatty acids come from: Corn oil, soy, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Experts say these are too overabundant in the diet.

Main sources of Omega-3 fatty acids come from: flaxseed oil, walnut oil, fish and fish oils, avocado, and other nut oils, such as peanut and almond butters and oils.

Olive oil, contains little of either, despite being touted as one of the healthiest oils.

Bodybuilders – Why the Fat You Choose Matters
Solid research has emerged over recent years that suggest that EFAs (essential fatty acids) in our diets can exert control over metabolic function at the cellular level. Fat storage and fat burning, along with glycogen synthesis can be greatly affected by the fats we choose to supplement and eat. So while you may not be born with the best of genetic codes, you can make up for it with adequate and correct fatty acid nutrition and reprogram your genetic code.

The best way to begin doing that is to get as much of your fat from flaxseed, nuts and fish as you do from canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Don’t forget to add Omega-6 oils, but make sure it’s 1:1 for metabolic and heart health – something important if you take anabolic steroids.

As Long Chains and Short Chains Go….
Medium chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil, burn fat like crazy. That result isn’t achieved simply because most bodybuilders cut carbs and boost fat intake, along with protein. It’s a conscious choice of the type of fat that causes maximum fat loss and rocket-launch metabolism.

Keep in mind that coconut oil is a saturated fat. Saturated fat is thought to be the devil in the lipid world. Short term use of coconut oil as a supplement can shake loose a stubborn last bit of fat loss and send the metabolism into orbit.

Good Sources of Dietary EFAs
Food Omega-3 (grams per100g) Omega-6 (grams per 100g)
Flax 20.3 4.9
Hemp seeds 7.1 21.0
Pumpkin seeds 3.2 23.4
Salmon 3.2 0.7
Walnuts 3.0 30.6
Rape seed 2.1 9.0
Herring 2.0 0.4
Soybeans 1.2 8.6
Butter 1.2 1.8
Olive oil 0.6 7.9
Wheat germ 0.5 5.5
Sunflower seeds 0 30.7
Almond 0 9.2
Olives 0 1.6


Four Hardcore Training Methods You Could Use
Hyperto-WHO? Periodiz-a-WHAT? Sometimes gaining just seems like hard work – the least of which are the weights that produce the grunts and groans in the gym. So many hardcore mass gaining methods have emerged over the years, it’s hard to keep count.

I remember back in the day when Joe Weider developed a series of “training principles” – like the Instinctive Training Principle, or the Pre-Exhaustion Training Principle. Janet Jackson even got into the act back in the 80s with the Pleasure Principle, but I’m pretty sure she was talking about something altogether different.

An outcropping of that, it all just grew from there.
Now, there are German and Bulgarian training methods, methods that employ super-slow fluid movements, and others that are clean, but still include a jerk. Where to begin, you sigh, as you look across a sea of iron and wonder how to make sense of it all.

What happened to the days of “I’ll see you at the gym for leg day, Bob” and whatever happened, happened? You still did squats and leg press, and had 21 inch thighs back then, right?

Some say the many training methods that have emerged are the exact things most of us used to do in the gym, but never put a name to it. Others say they are refined, well-thought-out, training methods responsible for creating a generation of muscular freaks – the likes of which were never seen in the 80s and 90s.

Here are just a few and what they stand for:

Goal: To complete 10 sets of 10 repetitions with the same weight for each exercise.
How to do it: Begin with a weight you could lift for 20 reps to failure if you had to, says Charles Poliquin. That’s about 60 percent of a person’s one rep max (1RM) load. If you can bench press 300 pounds for 1 rep, that means you’d use 180 pounds for the set with GVT.

Pros: Supersets and tri-sets allow you to perform a lot of work in a short period of time. The rest-pause method allows you to use heavier weights so you can recruit higher threshold muscle fibers. Eccentric training enables lifter to overcome strength plateaus

Cons: Knowing when to increase weight is largely instinctive; no forced reps, negatives or burns with this method; deep muscle soreness can cause even a seasoned pro to limp for 5 days straight, Poliquin says.

Goal: A method of mechanically “loading” the muscle to hopefully induce hypertrophy, HST is based on physiological principles first discovered in a laboratory.

How to do it: Mechanical Load, Acute vs. Chronic Stimuli, Progressive Load, and Strategic Deconditioning are phases of the program, that include principles such as: Higher reps for lactic acid to prepare muscles and tendons for future heavy loads, using compound exercises to maximize effects of loading on as much muscle as possible, using two week blocks per rep range to accommodate loads without injury, and limiting the number of sets per exercise per workout to just two. Repetitions will decrease every two weeks during the cycle.

Pros: Scientific, linear method of training that employs logic and common sense when it comes to injury prevention of muscles and tendons.

Cons: Too complex for a lot of people, and too much to determine prior to a workout.

Goal: To supercede regular training thought by looking at big picture fatigue and exertion, rather than day-to-day exertion, fatigue and rest.

How to do it: Using higher frequency/ loading weeks, and reduced frequency training weeks, Dual Factor Hypertrophy Training looks at big picture growth, fatigue and rest. Unlike the “supercompensation” theory of bodybuilding (Single Factor) training that believes training is catabolic and depletes substances such as glycogen and protein synthesis, DFHT relies upon the idea that there are both positive and negative effects of training. Timing of individual workouts (such as organized splits) is unimportant in DFHT. It’s peaking and unloading of fatigue and strength that matters. Supercompensation views one workout as a period of fatigue. In Dual Factor HT, as much as six weeks might represent a period of fatigue, while up to four weeks may represent a period of rest. (Not four weeks off, but four weeks difference in intensity and frequency).

Pros: Counter-intuitive to bodybuilding’s supercompensation theory, which says all things must rest after being depleted, it follows the leader of traditional channel strength training in mainstream sports that pushes through both rest and fatigue as if there were no walls.

Cons: Complicated for average Joe. Big thinkers, this is esoteric heaven!

Goal: Purports to stimulate growth without workout plateaus by stimulating fiber types within muscle bundles, and says that the pathway to muscle hypertrophy is via variation.

How to do it: The POWER phase focuses on attacking high-threshold Type IIA and Type IIB muscle fibers with heavily weighted compound exercises, in a 4 to 6 reps to failure range. Three to five minute rests between sets characterize this phase. Week two is the REP RANGE phase, which targets fibers that lie in “intermediary” places between Type I and Type II fiber. Rep ranges on exercises (which predominately utilize machines or cables), increase from 7 to 9, 10 to 12, and 13 to 15 in successive sets of one exercise. Rest times decrease to 2 minutes. The SHOCK phase of week three employs intensity-driven techniques of pre-exhaustion, super sets, drop sets and anything that will shock the muscle into growth. Free weights, cables and machines are all used in this week. No rest times during this phase, just cardiovascular workouts in between.

Pros: Can be utilized by, and tailored to, a beginner, intermediate or advanced level bodybuilder. Perfect for off season and pre-contest, but particularly suited to pre-contest; good for women.
Cons: Finding enough weights and weight stations available to stage your attack during the SHOCK phase may be challenging – and annoying to fellow lifters.
Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Guide To Getting The Most Out Of Your Back Training

Most bodybuilders believe that, like legs, the back is a complex muscle group, and therefore requires a higher volume of sets in order to properly stimulate the muscles into growth. They split back day into muscle groups, then train each muscle group as if it deserved its own day. An example of a high volume back day is as follows.

Chins 4 x 10
Lat pulldowns 4 x 10
Barbell rows 4 x 10
Low cable rows 4 x 10

Lower back
Deadlifts 4 x 10
Hyperextensions 4 x 10

This makes back day a 24-set day, which is considerably more than most athletes can tolerate without either reducing the intensity to handle such a 75-minute endeavor, or risking injury or overtraining. Many people, when faced with the daunting task of targeting a single area with that many sets, will subconsciously reduce weights or reps used, reasoning with themselves that they have to leave something in the tank for the next hour-plus of training. Additionally, they might try to convince themselves that it’s acceptable because ‘with all these sets I’m doing, surely I’m making it up somewhere!” Alternatively, some beginning and intermediate bodybuilders will attempt to sustain full intensity for 24 work sets on back day. When this happens, they often find themselves becoming injured. Remember that the human body wasn’t designed to lift weights. It grows as a result of exposure to moderate to fairly intense weight training, coupled with food and rest. The joints, however, are not as adaptive as the muscle groups are. Twenty-four sets of jarring weight training can lead to repetitive stress disorders, or worse, something tearing.

Back Training Tips

So is high volume back training is the only way to go? No. A growing number of bodybuilders feel differently. They believe that only so much stimulation can be attained by the back. They believe that after so many sets, the arms begin doing the brunt of the workload. They feel that we short-circuit our efforts, reduce recovery abilities, and run the risk of injury by training in such a haphazard manner. They feel that maximum intensity can be achieved using a much smaller workout routine. An example would be something like this.

Chins 2 x 10
Lat pulldowns 2 x 10
Barbell rows 2 x 10

Lower back
Deadlifts 3 x 10
Hyperextensions 2 x 10

See which way works for you. The solution may lie somewhere in the middle. As long as you are sustaining maximum intensity and completely working the muscle group without overdoing it, you will find success!
Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Look At Some Of The Best Training Aids For Bodybuilding

When I first started training back in 1985, the first thing I got was a pair of gloves. I soon found out how important they were the day I forgot them. The next thing was a belt. It was just a plain hand-me-down belt and it was stained with the sweat of another person. But I loved that thing because it meant I was serious about training.

We all think we’re big time when we first start training. We have all the enthusiasm in the world, but don’t yet have the strength and development to back it up. That’s when training aids are so important.

First off, the basics:
Wrist wraps

That’s the bear minimum.

But now, there are so many options for training aids in the gym, there’s no excuse not to have a bagful.

First let’s talk about why it’s important to have training aids at the ready whenever you go to the gym. I personally carry a bag of tools that I can use in case I need them. Aids are important because they can give you that extra push, protect you from injury, give you options in how to train faster, smarter, better.

Also, if you go to other gyms, you can’t count on that gym having what yours does. I bring sheepskin lined ankle cuffs, I bring all the basics, and I bring some attachments too, as well as more specialized basics, like collars for the ends of weight bars to lock plates on for safety, and some rubber add-on weights that fit around a lifting bar. But having things that give exercises a different twist are also good. I’ll get to those in a minute and tell you where you can buy some of this stuff.

It’s great to have your own attachments because then you don’t have to wait for someone to finish. I like triangles, two handles, and a short bar, in my bag, because I want to ensure that I have what I need.

Some of the more specialized pieces that are either new and cutting edge or essential are these:

Dip Belt – This isn’t new, but you should keep one handy. Many gyms don’t even have one. You can hook a plate or balance a dumbbell in one of these and increase your chinning weight or add weight to calf raises – something not a lot of people do with dip belts.

Wrist Straps with Hooks – You may have wrist straps, but this is a strap with a hook attached, so you can place the bar into the hook for pulling exercises. The hook is reinforced with metal that is sew into the wrap. It’s a great tool and fairly new. They take the place of straps, and double as straps and wraps for extra support and don’t rely on your grip, which may not be good by workout end.

Weight Belts w/ weight canisters attached – This isn’t a weight belt you use to do bigger squats, this is a weight belt that is, well, weighted. This is great for speed, endurance and explosivity training for other sports. For jump training – if you are a box jumper.

Jump Soles – This is a very new kind of training aid, again for proprioceptive training and balance – which is crucial if you are in the gym training for another sport as well as just lifting. They are half soles, or they have a half ball attached to the bottom of the ball of the foot, and don’t allow flat walking. Some people actually lift in them, doing things like light squats, etc.. to improve balance and prevent injuries. Injuries to joints are often in relation to imbalances that can be corrected with products like this.

Chalk Bags – Carry a chalk bag with you. Very few gyms have them and it’s a great way if you don’t use gloves, to ensure your grips is strong and true.

Manta-Ray Squat assist – protects your upper back from chafing and brusing. It’s a silicone gel pad you place on your upper traps and the large bone at the top of your spine.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Training Tips For Any Body Type

Bodybuilding is a process that has attracted nearly every member of the society irrespective of his temporary or permanent condition, age, just to mention but a few. As members of a society, taking care of other members of the society with special needs is our responsibility. One of such ways is by helping them do things normal people do but in a safer way to meet their special needs, bodybuilding being one of the things. This text addresses some areas of special needs and how they can handle bodybuilding.

Pregnant mothers are the first group of people who requires special attention. They may be interested to the exercise during their pregnancy, since it is always believed that physically fit women deliver easily. This notion can be misleading to some extent, especially if one fails to know the limits for the exercise. One step that is necessary is that, one should not wait until when she is pregnant to start doing some exercise. Physical fitness should come way back before pregnancy such that during pregnancy it is reduced according to the age of the pregnancy. It is recommended that a pregnant woman should not be involved in a vigorous bodybuilding technique. Doing vigorous exercises may cause an abortion or other complications. Light outdoor workouts like walking around can be of use. At the same time, a pregnant lady should never even dream of using steroids during pregnancy. Using such a drug will be exposing both the mother-to-be and the unborn to extreme dangers.

Body Types in Bodybuilding

Children may also feel attracted to the bodybuilding exercise. It is therefore necessary that we form a better way of helping them do it with their age in mind. First, children should not use steroids in their process of bodybuilding. Using steroids at a younger age will interfere with their growth, they will have stunted growth. More so, they are not immune to other dangers of steroid use, including the dangerous medical conditions like diabetes. Children should also not engage in vigorous bodybuilding exercise like weight lifting, especially where heavy weighs are used. This may affect their growth as well as their health. They should just go for light sets like taking a walk, bicycling and other light sets of training.

The sick are also falling under this category of people. The first step is that a sick person should rest, no hurry to exercise. But there are some chronic diseases like epilepsy, asthma among others. These conditions may be for a lifetime and telling the victim to keep off training for life may not be realistic. For an epileptic, the best thing is that when going for training, there should be a companion. This is for security incase of an attack in the process of training, the person should be able to handle the situation until it is all well. For one who is suffering from asthma, never use steroids in your bodybuilding exercise, it will worsen your condition. Otherwise any person who is faced with any medical conditions should consult a doctor before trying the exercise.

The aged are not left out of the bodybuilding exercise. What they should do is to practice those exercises which do not require a lot of energy. This is because based on their age; they have a reduced energy, something which should not be strained further with training. They should avoid using steroids because their body cells may not be strong enough to fight back the side effects of the drug.
People with other forms of disabilities like the blind, deaf, those on the wheel chair among others may also decide to do some form of bodybuilding. What they should ensure is that chosen exercise is done within their capabilities. More so, there should be some person to guide them through the exercise.