Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Get A Grip! Get More Out Of Your Biceps Curls

Would you like to know how to get more out of every single dumbell curl you do? Amazingly enough, you can do this simply by changing where you grip the dumbell.
First, I'm going to tell you what the trick is, then I'm going to tell you exactly how and why it works. Then I'm going to finish by telling you how to make the trick so powerful it'll blow your mind!
In a nutshell, instead of gripping the handle in the middle (as is normally taught), grip the handle with the thumb and forefinger side of your hand pressed up against the inside of the dumbell plates. There will be a space of several inches between your pinky and the other side plates.

To take full advantage of this change in your grip, start the curl with your palms facing in to your thighs, otherwise known as a neutral or hammer grip. As you curl up, rotate your forearm so that your palm is facing up at the top of the movement. You should feel a strong cramping in your biceps.
For pictures demonstrating exactly how to execute this technique go to: http://hotbodybuilder.tk/
Here's how and why it works:
The biceps muscle has two main functions. The first is flexing the elbow (in essence, bringing the forearm closer to the upper arm like when you bend your arm to scratch your nose). The other function is called supination, which is a biomechanical term for forearm rotation. Supination occurs when you turn your hand from a palms-down position to a palms-up position.
The traditional dumbell curl without forearm rotation addresses the flexing function of the bicep. Rotating your forearm as you curl the dumbell up invokes the supination function of the bicep, working more of the muscle mass of the bicep and giving you a stronger contraction.
Holding the dumbell off-center essentially adds resistance to the supination function of the bicep muscle. If you think about it, when you hold your hand in the middle of the dumbell, the two ends are balanced like two identical-weight people on a see-saw. You get very little, if any, resistance on the supination.
By holding the dumbell off-center, you tip the balance of the dumbell towards the pinky side of your hand. Your bicep must then work against resistance to accomplish the supination, adding in more resistance to the curl movement.
This resistance translates into more efficient work for the bicep and, ultimately, more results for you!
Now I'm going to tell you how to adapt this trick into something that will make your jaw hit the floor on the first rep you do.
You've learned about supination and adding resistance to the supination movement by holding the dumbell off-center. You've felt the difference this makes in your biceps.

Now imagine how much more effective this trick will be if you add actual weight for resistance instead of just shifting your hand over!
In order to accomplish this, you're going to need one of two things: do-it-yourself dumbells with which you can add or remove weight or Plate Mates (TM), which are small magnetic weight plates that stick to the metal of the dumbell.
The execution is simple: make a dumbell with more weight on one end than the other. That's it. For example, place 20 pounds of weight on one end and 25 pounds of weight on the other.
Grip the dumbell in the middle when you use it, making sure that the heavier end is on the pinky side of your hand. If you are using Plate Mates (TM), stick a few of them onto only one side of the dumbell to accomplish the same imbalance.
Now when you curl up and supinate, your bicep is going to have that added resistance on the supination movement. The cramping sensation you get on the very first rep as you come to the top and squeeze the muscle hard will show you just how powerful this technique is. The pump you get in your biceps after your set will seal the deal!
You will also notice that your forearm and grip are getting a lot of work with this trick. This is just icing on the cake and will not decrease the tension on your bicep in any way.
Note: If you are using dumbells that weigh less than 30 pounds total, I would recommend you use a 2 1/2 pound plate on one side rather than a 5 pound plate. Any more than 30 and you should use a 5 pound plate.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Chest Dips

Chest dips are an exercise that many fail to perform in their workout routine, but they are one of the best exercises for adding muscle definition and density to the chest muscles.
Chest dips work a large number of muscles in the chest, arms, and even shoulders. Chest dips are similar to tricep dips, but the chest does more of the work.
Now it's time for you to start doing some Chest dips!!!
Chest Dips Instructions
1) Take hold of the bars on the dip machine or parallel bars and push yourself upwards to the start position. You should cross your feet behind you, with your knees bent and arms fully extended.
2) With total control, lower your body until your triceps are parallel with the floor. Allow you elbows to go out wider. Your body should be tilted around 45 degrees at this point, and you should feel a stretch in the chest that extends across the shoulders, when you go right to the bottom.
3) While continuing to lean forward, push yourself back up to the start position. You should stop short of locking out at the top.
4) The last 3 inches or so of the used by your triceps. Don't work in this range. Stop short and start dropping down. Including these last few inches, would cause fatigue in your triceps, causing you to end this exercise based upon the failure of the triceps, not the chest.
Muscles Worked While Doing Chest Dips
Primary: Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor.
Secondary: Anterior Deltoids, Triceps Brachii, Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae, Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major.
Some Advice
  • Your lower back and abs should be tensed throughout the whole exercise, this will keep you keep your upper body in the correct position.
  • If you start busting out chest dips real easy like, you should strap on some weight to add extra resistance. Simply add weight plates to a dip belt.
Chest Dips Mistakes I Commonly See
  • Working through shoulder pain. The furthest you should go is just beyond parallel to the ground, don't go any further.
  • Roll your shoulders. Having your shoulders move forward can easily take the focus off your chest muscles. Keep your lower back and abs tight and your chest up.
  • Failure to lock out the elbows. Locking out your elbows at the top of your chest compels you to squeeze the triceps. Putting you in a good position achieving full ROM of the exercise.
Now get off the computer and go hit the gym. Be sure to incorporate chest dips into your next chest workout.
- David McCready
David McCready is the founder of Game Strength Insider found at http://hotbodybuilder.tk/ He specializes in helping athletes and average Joes alike, gain long term lean muscle mass, strength and cardiovascular conditioning without gimmicks, supplements or fad dieting. © 2012 Game Strength Insider. All rights in all media reserved.

Muscle and Fitness - The Third and Final Key to Successfully Achieving Your Fitness Goals

Before delving into Muscle And Fitness - The Second Key, the final and most important key to success in your muscle and fitness routine, I'd like to remind you about what the previous article discussed.
In a previous article, you were given a number of steps to follow. In summary, Muscle And Fitness - The Second Key is the 'DO' key. This is where you structure your actions to take you to your goals. You must decide which action (Exercise) is the most effective tool to help you achieve that particular goal.
Which brings me to the third and final key:
The 'BE' Key
This is what you must BECOME in order to ensure that you take the necessary action to DO whatever it takes to get what you want to HAVE.
You should already know what your goals are - The 'Have' key.
You should already know what you have to DO to achieve those goals - The 'Do' key.
In order to make sure that you carry out the DO key (your chosen exercises), you must BE the type of person that consistently and persistently follows the routine. You must do this without fail, so that you can have the ideal muscle mass, weight loss, fitness goal or whatever your goal is.
How do you become someone that you are not?
By not giving in!
Lets say that you have a chosen goal. Lets assume that goal is to lose 28lbs by the end of three months. What do you have to be in order to make sure that you achieve that goal of 28lbs of weight loss?
You have your goal. You have your exercise routine sorted out that is the most effective way, for you, of achieving that goal. Now it's time to guarantee that you don't stop after a week or so.
Your goals should be on your index card, as described in a the First Key.
As you are about to perform your training routine, go through this little scenario...
1. Read your goals aloud.
2. As you do, visualize that goal having already been achieved.
3. Feel that goal, as if you have already achieved it.
4. Then ask yourself:
* How good do I look? - I look GOOD!
* How great do I feel? - I feel GREAT!
Now say to yourself...
I feel Great - I look Great - I am successful!
I feel Great - I look Great - I am successful!
I feel Great - I look Great - I am successful!
Ok... Lets Do It.
Do this daily...
* In the morning, upon rising.
* Just before you begin your workout.
* Just before going to sleep.
When you repeat this each time, feel it with conviction and say it with conviction. Feel your blood boil with excitement. Feel your heart beat hard. Get right into it. Stir up that passion and throw yourself right slam into the middle of it.
Don't give in. Persist and be consistent with your efforts... no matter whether you feel like it or not.
I have often found that the thoughts of having to do something are horrible at times. But, once I throw myself into it I feel absolutely fantastic and so happy that I didn't give in.
Have you ever found that?
If you have, remember that feeling. Feel it every time you are about to begin your training. Stir it up. Love that feeling and then get stuck in. Become what you need to become so that you can DO whatever it takes to achieve the goals that you said you want to HAVE.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/40932

Build More Muscle Mass And Strength Without Supplements

Who should use this method to build muscle quickly?

If you're serious about your fitness or weight loss, you hate the 
idea that you're not making the most of every workout. For those of us with long work-days and kids, there's no time or physical energy to waste. We have to make every drop of sweat worth the work.
I'm going to show you how to build more muscle in less workout time. Keep in mind that this method is meant for people who want to build muscle mass and pure strength.
Now, what is your key to building muscle quickly? I mean, say I really want to bulk up in a week. How can I do this?
The key to more muscle mass out of every workout is to lift enough weight to cause muscle failure in only a 3-5 reps (repetitions of the movement). Rather than burning calories and creating lean muscle by doing many reps with lighter weights, you're taking just a bit of time to literally tear your muscle fibers apart, preparing them to build mass and strength when they receive protein from your next meal.
I've heard that it's good to eat directly after exercise. What do you do?
You must eat right after your workout. Not only will this quench your muscles' thirst for proteins, but it will help maximize your metabolism. An efficient metabolism comes in handy when you do cardio exercises, since your body is already working at high speed to burn the calories you have stored.
What Foods Should I Eat In My Post-Workout Meals?
Your meal after the workout should be high in protein from foods such as lean meats, protein shakes, liquid protein supplements, and others containing minimal fat content. Don't forget the carbs though. Make sure you include a normal, healthy source for carbohydrate such as fruit or vegetables, and even a whole-grain bread.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Why You Must Use The Right Dumbbells For Your Workout

A dumbbell exercise program is effective with the right 

equipment These days, more so that in decades gone by, 
dumbbells are growing in popularity in fitness centers and 
health clubs across the United States.

In addition, they are increasingly being purchased by 
people who want to include them in their personal gyms at 
home so they can conduct a dumbbell exercise program in the 
comfort of their own home when it suits them best.
Rubber encased dumbbells are usually the most popular 
choice of dumbbells as they offer a myriad of benefits to 
the user.
While they may be made from high quality cast iron material 
to give the desired weight effect, they are coated with 
rubber for added protection, comfort during the dumbell arm 
workouts and style - the rubber is available in different 
Not only are rubber encased dumbbells comfortable to use 
and safe to use but if you accidentally drop one of them on 
the floor they will not damage the floor or other equipment 
because of the rubber exterior. Similarly they will also 
make a softer thud as opposed to a loud crash with an iron 

Iron weights can make a loud continuous clanking sound and 
can be distracting if you are counting repetitions where as 
rubber dumbbells allow you to use dumbbells in any way and 
even drop them on the floor without making much noise.
This is ideal for conducting dumbell arm workouts in the 
home. The rubber used on rubber encased dumbbells is 
usually of a very high quality, is odorless, does not crack 
and is designed to be extremely durable, so the need for 
maintenance is almost non existent.
On the other hand, chrome dumbbells will also be a welcome 
addition to any personal fitness room. These dumbbells and 
the dumbbell weights are usually polished with high grade 
chrome to give optimum functionality.
Chrome adjustable dumbbells are usually sold in 5 pound 
increments so you can build and decrease your dumbbell 
weights as your fitness program changes. These adjustable 
dumbbells give you the flexibility to quickly and easily 
perform a variety of exercises according to what you are 
doing with your strength exercises.
Dumbbells - whether they are rubber encased or chrome 
adjustable dumbbells -can be purchased easily and usually 
cheaply from stores or catalogs selling exercise equipment 
Online prices are generally lower than those of the 
traditional stores and the dumbbells can be sent directly 
to your home -sometimes even with free shipping and 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Muscle and Fitness - The First Key to Achieving Your Goals

Lets discuss what I term as Muscle and Fitness -- The First Key.
In a previous article, I went through the 'Three Keys To Success' in any muscle and fitness regime that you use.
Remember -- 'BE - DO - HAVE'?
Here's just a very quick overview of what it was about:
1. Decide what you want to HAVE. What are your goals?
2. Decide what the necessary steps are, that you must DO to reach those goals.
3. Choose what you need to BE. What do you need to become in order to DO what is necessary to HAVE what you want?
If you are at all confused about this article, please re-read it, and again if necessary. You've really got to get this right so that you can succeed in anything you choose to do, including achieving any sort of success with your fitness goals.
Assuming you understand the concept I've just discussed, here are the ten most important steps of the 'HAVE' key:
1. Get out a note pad and pen. Lets name the very top of the page Muscle and Fitness Goals.

2. Write the day and date just below the title.
3. Decide what your ultimate fitness goal is. When all is said and done, what is it that you really want to have out of your Muscle and Fitness regime? What is that end result that you're trying so hard to get? Write it down.
4. It's not enough to want just one thing, because you won't feel justified in doing something well if that's all there is to it. So lets justify it.
Are there other benefits that you want your training program to achieve? This is the time to think. Just think about what you want.
For example, it could be to become more aerobically fit and lose weight, while increasing your lean muscle, increasing your confidence and building up your joints. Think of the benefits that you'd like to have as a result of your training routine, as well as the ultimate goal in '3' above. Write them down.
5. Take your time. Don't rush it. Just review what you've written so far. Is everything you want to 'HAVE' written in your note pad?
If so, great. If not, then continue to write your goals. Do this until you just can't think anymore, or until your head hurts.
6. Now just leave everything alone and go about your daily routine. Forget about what you've just written for a few days. Just give yourself a break. You can come back later on to your muscle and fitness Have key.

7. After a few days, I want you to look through what you've written. Some of you will only have a few lines done, while others may have written an essay. Either way is good. Just read it again.
8. Is there anything you'd like to add? If so, write it down. Any ideas that spring to mind, write those down too. If you're satisfied with the end result - great.
9. Now it's time to re-write those goals. So move to a new page on your note pad and give it the same name again -- Muscle and Fitness Goals Refined. Then write the date just below that.
You need to shorten your goals so that they're specific and achievable by a certain time. At the same time they must have the essence of what you want to have achieved by the end of your training program. For example:
If one of your goals is to have lost weight. Then word it so that it's specific, time limited and has the essence of what you want to achieve. So you would write it like this:
"I am achieving a weight loss of 16lbs by March 5th, 2005."
Or --
"I am increasing my arm size to 16 inches by April 21, 2005."
Get what I mean?
10. Now that you have written your goals, again, I want you to get a card. Lets say 'Postcard' size. Again write the title: My Muscle and Fitness Goals and the date of starting your program.
Now write those specific goals onto your card. These are now ready to be a part of your training routine. Every time you're about to commence your training, just read those goals aloud.
As you do, see yourself perform those exercises. Feel your muscle work, your heart pump and how great it is to be achieving your goals.
I have got you to write your goals three times. Did you notice that?
Because I want you to --
* Establish those goals in you heart and in your mind.
* To be passionate about those goals that mean so much to you.
* To feel the benefits, as if you already have achieved your goals
* To see the benefits, as if you already have achieved them.
To conclude, follow these ten steps. Be patient. Be focused. And believe that this will help, even if you are doubtful. Where most people fail, is the point where they think negatively. As soon as you begin this negative thought process, you have damaged your chance of success on that occasion. If this happens, correct it immediately and continue.
Muscle and Fitness is the 'HAVE' key. There are still the 'BE' and 'DO' keys to go. But, that's for my next article. Make sure you read all related articles and you'll be well on your way to success in your Muscle and Fitness program.

Hair Removal Tips For Bodybuilders

One of the most time consuming and frustrating parts of bodybuilding is not building muscles, it's removing unwanted hair.

For any competing bodybuilder, hair removal is a must but it's also growing in popularity among casual bodybuilders.
Permanent Methods
Before looking at recommendations for specific body areas it should be stated that laser hair removal or electrolysis are regarded as the only permanent hair removal methods.
Although the most effective, they are also the most expensive! For full information on laser hair removal and electrolysis, visit this Laser Research Library: about-hair-removal.com/Laser-Library
Here is checklist of body areas and recommended hair removal methods for each:
Upper Lip, Chin, Mustache and Beard -
Men: Shaving.
Women: Waxing or sugaring.
Back of Neck -
Men: Shaving, clipping.
Women: Waxing or sugaring
Chest -
Waxing, shaving, depilatories.
CAUTION: Some find the shaving option unacceptable due to the irritation it causes when stubble reappears shortly afterwards. There can also be an acute problem with ingrown hairs in some cases. Once the shaving option is taken for chest hair removal it will need to be done regularly.
Nipples -
Tweezing. Stretch the skin slightly, grip the hair close to the root, and pull gently, firmly and evenly. Yanking the hair may cause it to break off thus increasing the risk of ingrown hair.
Shoulders, Back, Arms, Hands, Tummy -
Waxing, sugaring, depilatories. Waxing or Sugaring is the best method for all these areas. Taking a shower directly after waxing the back helps eliminate the possibility of acne breakouts and skin redness.
Underarms -
Shaving is safe in this area. Hair under the arm grows in all directions so a side to side stroke as well as up and down strokes may be necessary to catch all the hairs. Do not apply deodorants or antiperspirants right after shaving as this can cause acute irritation and soreness. Waxing or sugaring are also safe.
Do not use depilatories to avoid the risk of chemical burns on the sensitive skin in this area.
After the skin in this area has become accustomed to shaving, applying a thin layer of Vaseline petroleum jelly instead of a shaving foam or gel will give a really close shave.
Pubic Area and Bikini Line -If the hair is long it can be cut down with scissors. Then use a waxing or sugaring solution. Careful shaving is also possible.

Genitals - Male -
Hair growing on the shaft of the penis and on the testicles can be removed by shaving using a new wet razor. Great care is needed to avoid cuts.
Genitals - Female -
Waxing or sugaring is generally best. Shaving will only cause stubble to appear after a few days and it may cause skin irritation and painful bumps.
Anus and Perineum -
The Perineum is the area of skin rich in nerve endings located below the anus. In men it extends to the base of the testicles, in women to the vaginal opening. The anus is a mucous membrane. Depilatories should not be used as they can result in serious damage. Shaving produces stubble which may cause irritation as the sides chafe and rub together. Waxing or sugaring are the best methods.

Legs, Feet, Toes -
Shaving the legs is popular but the hair grows back after a short time. Waxing or sugaring are preferred although you have to wait until there is about a quarter of an inch of growth.

Tips to Help You Gain Weight

There are a couple of reasons why most people fail in their attempt to gain more muscle mass:

A. Improper diet.
Most people are not eating enough protein and eating too many simple carbs.
They are not stressing their muscles during each workout.
You don't have to kill yourself, but you must subject your body to out of the ordinary stress each workout to grow muscle.
B. They lack consistency.

They do not stay focused throughout the entire 12-week period. If they don't see results immediately, they get discouraged and quit. You have got to stick with your plan. No program will work for you if you are not consistent.
To get results, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes, and work as hard as necessary and you have to be consistent. Your body responds to consistency. Sometimes it may get to the point of obsession, but it has to be that way for you to reach your goal.
Here's some basic information and things you should be doing to help you bulk up:
1. To gain weight you must eat more calories than your body burns off, so EAT MORE!!!!!! The most important thing that I cannot over stress is that you need to eat to gain weight. You need to eat like you've never eaten before. (but not junk food like donuts and chips or candy).
Start eating six meals per day (space them out to about once every 3 hours).
2. Increase your protein intake and reduce your simple carbohydrate intake. Without protein your body cannot build new muscle
3. Keep your workouts under one hour. Short and intense!
4. Concentrate on free weight exercises that work the large muscle groups. The best weight training exercises for building mass are the simple ones. For mass, stick with compound free weight exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, barbell rows, pull ups and bar dips.
5. Use heavy weights and low reps, rest 3 minutes between each set.
6. Do only 2-3 exercises per body part.
7. Split your workout. Since you have a very high metabolism like me, you need to train with more intensity, but less frequently.
Day 1: Chest, shoulders and triceps
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Back, and Bicep
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Legs and abs
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest
8. Increase you water intake. A good formula for this is to multiply your bodyweight by .66 to get the required number of ounces per day.
9. Use nutritional supplements. If you can't afford too many products, just stick with the basics; like whey protein. If you can't afford whey protein the next best thing is egg whites.
Fitness consultant Anthony Ellis was the classic skinny guy. Super thin and unable to gain weight.After almost giving up on his dream to actually wear a pair of pants without a belt, he learned the proper way to eat and weight train exclusively for building muscle.
Since 1998, he has gained over 60 lbs in the last 6 years. You can learn more about him at http://hotbodybuilder.tk/

Are You Too Old to Pump Iron?

Are you too old for weight lifting? Will weight lifting help
you stay and look younger? The answer to the first question is
no and to the second is a resounding yes. Weight lifting will
help both men and women stay fit and supple and might even help
you look younger. And, no matter what your age, you're not too
old to start.
In 1982, Dr.Walter Bortz,writing in The Journal of the American Medical Association, stated that a number of the physical
changes we undergo as we age, such as loss of muscle tone,
organ deterioration, and osteoporosis are "indistinguishable
whether caused by age or inactivity." He believed that exercise
could delay many of the diseases associated with aging, adding
"at least a portion of the changes commonly attributed to aging
are in reality caused by disuse and, as such, subject to
As we age, we lose bone density and muscle mass. We get stiff
and our joints creak. Instead of using our body, we "rest" it
even more, starting a very dangerous downward spiral. The
synovial fluid dries up, the tendons become brittle, the sinews
grow weak. It hurts to move, so we don't.
More recently Dr Henry Lodge and Chris Cowley published a new
book on this theme, "Younger Next Year: A Guide to Living Like
50 Until You're 80 and Beyond". The premise of this book is that weight lifting will help reverse the loss of both bone density and muscle mass that begins to take place as we get older. And they're not talking about light weights, but rather big heavy weights.
In July 1983, Terry Todd wrote in Sports Illustrated that "Anyone who has spent much time in what is sometimes called the "Iron Game" has, of course, seen weight trainers over 40 whose physiques were...surprisingly youthful. Apparently there is something about the act of regularly stressing your body with heavy exercise that gives it the wherewithal to resist the visual manifestations of advancing age...research in this area suggests that men and women of middle age
will respond to systemic progressive resistance with weights by
becoming more powerful and more flexible, with more endurance and less fat."
In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control reported that strength
training "can be very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions, among them:arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain and depression."
Strength training will also increase your flexibility and balance, which decreases the likelihood and severity of falls. One study in New Zealand in women 80 years of age and older showed a 40% reduction in falls with simple strength and balance training.
I don't agree that we need to undertake heavy weight training to see substantial benefits.
The American College of Sports Medicine strength training
guidelines say we should start with at least two days a week of
any type of resistance exercise by doing 8 to 10 different exercises and doing 8 to 12 repetitions per day. A repetition is how many times you lift the weight or do the exercise.
So start off with a weight that you can lift correctly for at least 8 reps, even if it's only 2 to 5 pounds. Rest between each set of repetitions and between each exercise. If you can't make it to 8 reps during the first few tries, don't give up. Do as much as you can do. You'll be surprised at how soon you will feel like you need to add a bit more weight.
But the goal is not to become a body builder, but rather to restore your muscle tone and joint movement. You can gradually work your way up to heavier weights if you desire, but you will obtain the best benefit by avoiding injury and sticking to the program - lifting weights every two or three days.
An excellent resource on this subject is Getting Stronger: Weight Training for Men and Women by Bill Pearl and Gary Moran, Ph.D. I have the edition that came out in 1986. A newer one is now available. I have referred to it constantly over the last 19 years.
The book gives you tips and pointers on how to set up a strength training regime. There are illustrations of every exercise with step by step instructions on how to do them properly.
You can either learn beginning to advanced body building, sports fitness routines to help you do better in 22 different sports, exercises to help prevent injuries at work or just the principles of general conditioning and strength training.
And you don't need any fancy equipment to get going. Almost all the exercises use cheap dumbbells and weights that are available in just about every sporting goods store. All in all, this is a very comprehensive book on weight training and is especially helpful to those of us who have never lifted weights before.
If you have any disease, injury or physical disability, consult the doctor who has been treating you before undertaking these exercises. Follow his advice on how to get started and do not strength train if he says not to.
Start off slowly with light weights. Follow the diagrams in the book to make sure you're positioning your body correctly to avoid injury and obtain the best result from your workout.
After several weeks, you will be well on your way to improving your appearance, physique and general attitude toward life, while doing wonders for you internal organs and maybe even fighting off disease.
"Use it or lose it" applies to just about every part of your body. Don't "lose it" because of inactivity and disuse.
This article is for informational purposes only. It does not purport to offer medical advice. Consult a qualified physician before undertaking any exercise program.
Jean Bowler
Ms Bowler has been a ballet dancer and teacher, a gynmastics coach, and aerobics teacher and a private coach.
She has a strong interest in antiaging research.

Pakistan Bodybuilder Masoom Butt

Friday, 12 October 2012

Real Muscle Real Fast!

Adding muscle seems to be a mystery to most, yet if you pick up a copy of any fitness or bodybuilding magazine and you'll almost always see a headline like this: "Gain 15 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks."

If it were so easy you'd have millions of muscle-heads running around. Even though building muscle tissue can be a challenge, I'm going to outline some very specific principles that can pack on the muscle faster than you can throw away that copy of "Muscle and Fiction"!

Before we get started though I want to clarify a few points.
  1. The ridiculous claims made by most fitness and bodybuilding magazines are only there to get you to buy that issue - nothing more!
  2. If you are serious about strength training you need to be reading books and NOT cheesy fitness magazines
Ok... here we go.
In order to add muscle tissue you must force the body to add it. Your body won't just add a pound of muscle just because you followed a 3-set workout that you read about in Muscle + Fitness. You need to give the body a reason to make improvements - in this case add muscle tissue.

You have to provide what I call a "stimulus". This can be done in many ways and I'll address a few in just a moment. Basically, you need to force the body to add muscle by subjecting it to levels of stress it is not used to. Some methods are more obvious than others but all can work. Here are a few examples of how this can be done effectively.
First, the basic and common methods:
  1. Increase weight or resistance
  2. Perform more repetitions
  3. Perform more sets
  4. Move the resistance slower
  5. Rest less between sets and exercises
Now for the more advanced methods:
  1. Pre-exhaust (perform an isolation exercise first and immediately continue with no rest on a compound movement. ex. chest flye and then chest press)
  2. Static holds (hold the resistance in the hardest position of the range of motion. ex. the top position during a leg extension)
  3. Partial reps in weak range (perform a portion of the rep where you are weakest. ex. the top half of a rep of leg extensions)
  4. Strip-set (after a warm-up set, perform 3 sets back to back with no rest while starting with the heaviest weight possible and each time strip off some weight to allow you to continue)
  5. 1 ½ reps (perform one full rep and then on the second rep only perform half the normal range of motion and then return to starting position to begin the next rep. ex. one full rep of lat pulldowns, pull second rep all the way down, resist weight back up but only half way and then pull back down) 
These are just a few examples of methods of increasing intensity to ensure progress. The key point to remember is that whatever you do it must be progressive in order for it to elicit a physical change. This is even more critical for those looking to add muscle size.

Although this article is geared towards individuals who are interested in gaining muscle size, the principles can also be used for individuals who want to build strength, increase metabolism, or tighten and tone muscles.
Here are some general recommendations for different goals...
If your goal is to tighten and tone muscles:
  • Focus on increasing reps, decreasing rest, and changing exercises frequently
  • Train each muscle group twice per week
  • Perform fewer sets of many different exercises (1-2 sets per exercise)
If your goal is to increase strength and power:
  • Focus on increasing weight
  • Train each muscle group once every 7-10 days
  • Perform multiple sets of each exercise (2-5 sets per exercise)
If your goal is to increase muscle size:
  • Focus on shocking muscles by changing variables frequently (exercises, set and rep schemes, rest time, etc)
  • Train each muscle group on a variable schedule (experiment by training a muscle group 3 times a week and then once every ten days)
  • Perform multiple sets for a while and the perform single sets for a week or two

Some final reminders:
The recommendations above are general and of course would need to be adapted and adjusted for your personal goals and experience. For those of you who are advanced and may be thinking there's no way you can build strength by training once every 10 days I challenge you to try it for at least 4 weeks, or those of you who think that you need to stick to the same basic movements like bench to build size I challenge you to try shocking the muscles by changing the exercises you perform each week for 4 weeks, and those of you with little experience I hope that you'll throw away the fitness magazines and learn what really works.