The role of whey protein in achieving significant muscle gain

Most bodybuilders would agree that supplementing with whey protein is an important element in achieving serious muscle gains. This article will examine the facts relating to whey protein as a supplement and help you decide whether you need to follow this particular strategy.

Whey protein is produced during the process that sees milk turned into cheese. It is also found naturally in dairy products, eggs, soy and vegetable proteins but none of these compares in quality to whey protein powder. It also scores highly in providing the branched chain amino acids (BCAA's) that are important in the building and retention of muscle.

Whey protein is highly favored by bodybuilders because it provides the necessary building blocks to produce the amino acids that the body uses to build lean muscle tissue. Many studies have shown that whey protein contains the perfect combination of amino acids, in just the right concentration for optimal performance in the body. It is also thought that whey protein has a role as an anti-oxidant and immune system builder.

It is best taken in powder form mixed in juice or milk, spread throughout the day to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. Serious bodybuilders often consume up to 150 grams each day but as a rule of thumb, daily protein intake for active trainers can be calculated by taking your weight in pounds and multiplying by 1 or 1.5. But remember, you need to work out how much protein is taken from food and other sources, and then spread the remaining whey protein balance over the day.

Whey protein is a relatively safe supplement but no more than 30 grams of protein should be taken at one sitting as excessive single doses could overload the liver. The safety of whey protein has been well documented in many scientific studies and there is clear proof that taken consistently, coupled with regular exercise, it will result in meaningful muscle gain.

7 reasons why your muscles stop growing. how to get muscle to grow again

Have ever wondered why your muscles stopped growing after a few months of training even though you are training very hard? Here are 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing and how to get your muscle to grow again.

• You are training too hard – Every time when you train your muscles intensely, you are actually breaking down your muscles. So your muscles need to recover from the damages you inflicted on them. So train each muscle group only once or at most twice a week.

• You are training too long – Keep your workout intense but do not workout more than an hour each time. After 45 minutes of intensive training, your cortisol level will increase. This hormone is known to destroy muscle cells.

• You are sleeping too little – You need to sleep more for good muscle growth. Your muscles grow when you sleep. So sleep more than 8 hours a day and watch those muscles growing fast.

• You are abusing alcohol – Alcohol is known to break down muscle mass plus many other body destruction ability.

• You do not change your workout routine – You must change your workout routine every 6-8 weeks. Your muscles adapt to your routine and stops growing.

• You do not progressively overload your muscles – You must try to increase your reps or weight every time you next train a particular muscle group. Otherwise, there is no reason for your muscles to grow.

• You do not eat sufficient protein – If you want to build bigger muscles, you must eat more protein. Protein is the building block for your muscles. It is recommended that you need 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight equivalent. If not enough protein is consumed with your normal diet, do supplement with protein shakes.

There you are, the 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing even though you are training hard. There are many more methods on how to grow your muscles bigger but these 7 reasons and how to overcome them will be sufficient for an average bodybuilding beginner.

Steroid articles and information and their side effects - shrenksonlinepharma

Contrary to what many would expect, this compound is actually only a weak agonist of the androgen receptor (AR), with poor binding. It follows, then, that its value must mostly come from non-AR-mediated effects. It is therefore a Class II steroid. Since it is not very effective in activating ARs, it should be stacked with a Class I steroid that is effective in

this regard, such as Primobolan, Deca Durabolin, or trenbolone acetate. There is no point in stacking it with Anadrol®, which has similar activity -- one ought to simply use the more appropriate drug. With testosterone or Deca, Dianabol is to be preferred; with Primobolan or trenbolone acetate, Anadrol® is to be preferred (though Dianabol is still a good choice) because Anadrol® does not aromatize. For an oral-only cycle -- something I don't recommend -- Anadrol® is the better choice in my opinion for that also, at 150 mg/day (preferably divided to 3 or 6 doses.)

Methandrostenolone converts to estradiol via aromatase. The amount of this conversion may be reduced by use of Arimidex, or less preferably Cytadren (see previous articles discussing dosage and dose pattern.) Or if the conversion is allowed, Clomid may be used to block adverse estrogenic effects.

Irreversible hoarsening of the voice has been seen in some women from very few tablets of Dianabol: one per day for a few weeks. For this reason, in the 1960s doctors decided to end what had been a fairly common practice of prescribing this drug at one tab per day to women as a "tonic." It is not a good choice for the woman who chooses to use anabolic steroids.

The usual dosing for men is 25-50 mg/day in divided doses, preferably four or five doses. The drug is 17-alkylated and so use should be limited to no more than 6 weeks, and preferably no more than four weeks, with at least an equal amount of time off.

Trivial name Methandrostenolone

Systematic name 17в-hydroxy-17б-

methyl-1,4-androstadien-3-one

CAS registry number 72-63-9

ATC code A14AA03

Merck Index Number 5978

Chemical formula C20H28O2

Molecular weight 300.435 g/mol

Bioavailability

Metabolism Hepatic

Elimination half-life 6 hours

Excretion Urinary:

Pregnancy category X

Routes of administration Oral

Increase your training intensity - forced repetitions

You can only build muscle tissue if you can generate progressively stronger muscular contractions, so this calls for an emphasis on finding ways to increase exercise intensity. This should not be confused with exercise duration as maximum training intensity will actually shorten the time needed to achieve maximal muscular growth.

In an earlier article I outlined the ways in which you can intensify your training. Here we'll focus on the role that forced repetitions have to play in intensifying the training effect.

When you reach the point of muscular failure it is impossible to manage one more complete repetition of any exercise, at least not without losing form or correct technique. There is, however, one way in which you can increase the intensity even further and that is by completing one or more forced repetitions with the help of an experienced training partner.

The best way to achieve this is by keeping the same weights on the bar and have your training partner do no more than is necessary to allow you to complete up the three extra repetitions with good lifting form.

Beginning bodybuilders should avoid forced reps until they have learned good lifting techniques and have prepared their muscles for the stresses involved in this particular approach. Intermediate lifters should consider adding forced reps to one exercise in the pre-exhaust sequence. Advanced bodybuilders can utilize forced reps based on their own needs and judgement.

Gain more muscle by training less often

The more work you put into something, the better results you will achieve. This has always been a widely accepted truth that applies to many areas of life. The harder you study, the better grades you will achieve. The more time you spend fine-tuning your athletic skills, the better athlete you will become. The longer you spend learning to play an instrument, the better musician you will become. Therefore, it only makes sense that the more time you spend in the gym, the stronger and more muscular your physique will become, correct? Contrary to what you might think, the answer to this question is a gigantic, definite, absolute no! It is in this area of bodybuilding that conventional wisdom goes straight out the window, down the street and around the corner.

I know what you might be asking yourself…

“What? Spending less time in the gym will actually make me bigger and stronger?”

Yes! It really will, and when we examine the muscle-growth process from its most basic roots, it becomes quite clear why this is the case.

Every single process that occurs within the human body is centered around keeping you alive and healthy. Through thousands of years of evolution the human body has become quite a fine-tuned organism that can adapt well to the specific conditions that are placed upon it. We become uncomfortable when we are hungry or thirsty, we acquire a suntan when high amounts of UV rays are present, we build calluses to protect our skin, etc. So what happens when we break down muscle tissue in the gym? If you answered something to the effect of "the muscles get bigger and stronger", then congratulations! You are absolutely correct. By battling against resistance beyond the muscle's present capacity we have posed a threat to the musculature. The body recognizes this as potentially harmful and as a natural adaptive response the muscles will hypertrophy (increase in size) to protect the body against this threat. As we consistently increase the resistance from week to week the body will continue to adapt and grow.

Sound simple? Ultimately it is, but the most important thing to realize in relation to all of this is that the muscles can only grow bigger and stronger if they are provided with sufficient recovery time. Without the proper recovery time, the muscle growth process simply cannot take place.

Your goal in the gym should be to train with the minimum amount of volume needed to yield an adaptive response. Once you have pushed your muscles beyond their present capacity and have triggered your thousand-year-old evolutionary alarm system, you have done your job. Any further stress to the body will simply increase your recovery time, weaken the immune system and send your body into catabolic overdrive.

Most people train way too often and with far more sets than they really need to. High intensity weight training is much more stressful to the body than most people think. The majority of people structure their workout programs in a manner that actually hinders their gains and prevents them from making the progress that they deserve. Here are 3 basic guidelines that you should follow if you want to achieve maximum gains:

1) Train no more than 3 days per week.

2) Do not let your workouts last for longer then 1 hour.

3) Perform 5-8 sets for large muscle groups (chest, back, thighs) and 2-4 sets for smaller muscle groups (shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves, abs).

Take all sets to the point of muscular failure and focus on progressing in either weight or reps each week. If you truly train hard and are consistent, training more often or any longer than this will be counterproductive to your gains!

Bodybuilding supplements may not be necessary

To supplement or not to supplement – that is the question on more bodybuilder’s lips than ever before. Are they safe? What works and what doesn't?

Lets have a look at the basics.

There are various reasons why athletes may be interested in supplementation.

 Concern about getting adequate nutrients from our food supply.

 Suspicion of pharmaceuticals.

 Belief that diet alone will not achieve optimal nutrition

Supplements include the following:

 Vitamins

 Minerals

 Amino Acids

 Herbs

The concerning thing about supplements is that anything classified as a dietary supplement is not required to meet any FDA or other standards! Think about that! there are no regulations in place that guarantee the safety or purity of something sold as a supplement.

They are also not made to meet the similar safety requirements as prescription drugs or any other manufacturing standards. They are not required to meet product potency or purity ratings and are not required to prove the effectiveness of any health claim that is made.

Studies suggest that a number of supplements may deliver on advertising claims. However, trainees are spending large sums of money on products that have little or no proven usefulness.

Personally I find the use of supplements over rated and as with strength training, supplementation asks the same question “if a little is good then maybe more has to be better”

Supplementation and steroids started to proliferate when volume strength training became the training system of the day. Young strength trainees slaving in the gym for five to six days a week was seen as normal. All this without making any progress or putting on any size whatsoever.

They then turned to the latest supplement or steroid thinking that this is the magic bullet to put on that added muscle when all the time they were just plain "overtraining"

The cold hard facts are that the majority of the regular trainees in your gym are overtraining. The sad reality is that the type of training that you find in bodybuilding books and magazines (and used by the stars) are irrelevant to the majority of

the population and has a high failure rate.

If more bodybuilders started using more infrequent, short, high intensity weight training sessions, followed by the required amount of time to recover and become stronger…

MOST OF THE WEIGHT GAIN SUPPLEMENTS AND STERIODS AVAILABLE TODAY WOULD NOT BE NEEDED.

The bottom line on weight gain supplements

 Before taking a supplement try to make modifications to your diet that might achieve the same goals.

 Only choose products that show the amount of active ingredients on the label that are required.

 Be aware that “natural” does not mean ‘safe’

 Some herbal supplements may have unpleasant side effects.

Listed below are some popular bodybuilding supplements available on the market today:

Creatine monohydrate

Creatine was first introduced to the market place some eight years ago and has since become the most popular bodybuilding supplement of all time.

Creatine is said to significantly increase lean muscle mass,

improve performance, increase energy levels and speed

up recovery rates. Creatine also stimulates the uptake

of amino acids in the proteins, which means that the

more that it's used the more muscle that may be grown.

Dosage: A loading phase of 20grams a day for the first five days then a

maintenance phase of 5grams a day from then on.

Whey Protein isolate

The highest yield of protein currently available

and is extracted from milk. This is another popular supplement

for athletes and bodybuilders because of its high proportion of

amino acids. It is supposed to be high in potassium, which is essential

for muscle growth and is an antioxidant and a good

immune system builder.

Dosage: 20gms - 100gms a day.

Tibulus Terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is a plant that grows in many

tropical and moderate areas of the world and is

very rich in chemical compounds such as saponins,

flavonoids and alkaloids.

Tribulus terrestris is supposedly a testosterone enhancer.

and increases sex drives in both men and women.

Dosage as per bottle.

Glutamine

Is a non-essential amino acid, which makes up to 60% of the amino acids in the bodies muscles. Glutamine containing products are protein

shakes and good quality protein powders; it can also

be added to protein shakes for added potency.

Dosage: 5grams to 15 grams per day.

So please remember a supplement is something added to the diet to make up for a nutritional deficiency or imbalance they are not intended to substitute for eating a balanced diet. If they are to be taken at all they should only be used to supplement the diet and not replace it.

Choosing the right bodybuilding supplement

Before wasting your money on a pile of bodybuilding supplements you really need to work out what you are hoping to achieve. Don't lose sight of the fact that sound nutrition forms the basis of any muscle building program and no amount of supplementation with the latest and greatest products will make up for bad eating habits. The bottom line is, bodybuilding supplements should be used IN ADDITION to regular food, not INSTEAD OF it.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's go on to think about what supplements could be of use and this is something that can only be determined by your physical and performance goals. Don't make the mistake of copying your training partners or believing all the garbage spouted in magazine ads. Decide first what you want to achieve and then choose the supplements that will help you reach your goals.

To help you make an informed choice, the most popular and useful bodybuilding supplements available today are listed below, broadly divided into two goal-related categories.

Determined to build muscle? This cannot be achieved without dedication, sheer hard work and sound nutrition. With a solid foundation in place you can help the process along with supplements like creatine, whey protein, prohormones, testosterone boosters and amino acids.

Need to lose fat? There is no point in building awesome muscles if they're covered by layers of fat. Once again, the key to success is hard work but you can boost fat loss by using products from supplement categories that include fat burners, stimulant-free products, appetite suppressants and carb blockers.

Many more supplements are available to support your bodybuilding endeavors. These include energy boosters and products aimed at enhancing the condition of your mind and body. As we progress through this series of articles we'll look at each of these in turn.

The truth about achieving a ripped rock-solid chest

Everyone wants a huge chest, plain and simple. It is all too common to see inexperienced lifters slaving away on endless sets of bench presses and cable crossovers in search of full, thick pecs. The reality is that there is nothing complicated about building an impressive chest. The bottom line for huge chest gains is consistency, effort and steady progression in weight and repetitions.

The chest is made up of two main heads, the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. To stimulate the chest using weights you will be using one of two motions: a press or a flye. If you want the greatest bang for your buck from your chest workouts, the true gains lie in your pressing movements. Flyes may have their place from time to time, but nothing can compare to the overall anabolic effect of high intensity pressing movements. I’m talking about the basic, bread-and-butter lifts such as heavy barbell presses, dumbbell presses and wide-grip dips. Save the pec-deck and cable crossovers for the pencil necked geeks on the treadmill; real men train with real lifts.

Like I said before, building a thick and well-developed chest is fairly simple. There are no secrets, magic formulas or killer techniques that will "shock" your chest into massive growth. Stick to your basic presses, focus on overload and progression, and I promise that you will see impressive gains. Here are the most effective lifts for packing muscle onto the chest:

Flat/Incline/Decline Barbell Bench Press:

A standard barbell press is the meat and potatoes of any effective chest routine. This basic compound movement will allow you to handle the most weight through the given range of motion. The incline press will shift more of the stress to the upper region of the chest while the decline does the opposite, targeting the lower/outer region. The flat bench press works the upper and lower regions equally. I highly recommend a standard barbell press as a basic component of your chest routine.

Flat/Incline/Decline Dumbbell Press:

Dumbbell presses are another basic and highly effective movement for stimulating chest development. The main advantage that they have over the barbell is that they allow you to move through a more natural range of motion, helping to prevent shoulder injuries. They also prevent strength imbalances from occurring since one arm can't cheat for the other. The only drawback is that you are not able to handle as much weight. Overall, a standard dumbbell press is an awesome movement that allows for great chest stimulation.

Wide-Grip Dips:

An amazing movement for the chest that is often overlooked. Make sure to use a wider grip and lean forward to shift the stress from the triceps onto the pectorals. If pressing your own body weight is not sufficient then you can always add weight using a weight belt. Dips are an excellent compound movement for overall chest development.

Here are a couple sample chest routines:

1) Flat Barbell Bench Press: 2 x 5-7

Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 x 5-7

Wide-Grip Dips: 2 x 5-7

2) Incline Barbell Bench Press: 2 x 5-7

Wide-Grip Dips: 2 x 5-7

Flat Dumbbell Press: 2 x 5-7

All sets should stay within the 5-7 rep range and should be taken to complete muscular failure. Write down the details of each workout you perform and focus on progressing in either weight or reps from week to week. There is nothing more to it than that. Good luck!

Build big strong shoulder muscles for v shape upper body build big deltoids

Most people think that in order to get that V shaped upper body like comic book super heroes, they only have to develop big broad back muscles and lats. Well, by having broad back muscles and well developed lats is only part of the equation to get a V shape upper body. For complete V shape upper body development, you will also need to build a powerful chest, big strong shoulder muscles or commonly called deltoids or delts for short and a slim waist.

We shall discuss how to build big shoulder muscles in this article. You see, you may have a wonderful six pack abs or well defined chest muscles, but when you are in your street clothes, no one can see them. But if you have that massive V shape with bulging shoulder muscles, your body frame will tell the world that under those clothes is a well defined body of a gym warrior.

As with building any muscles in your body, intensity is the key to building big deltoids. Your shoulder muscles are made up primarily of the anterior deltoid (front delt), medial deltoid (middle delt) and posterior deltoid (back delt). All 3 parts of your shoulder muscles must be targeted to build well defined and big strong deltoids that threaten to burst through your shirt. The problem here is that most people do not know that they must work on all 3 shoulder muscles and do most shoulder workouts by just concentrating on the anterior delts with exercises such as military press. Furthermore, working only on anterior delts could lead to over training your shoulder muscles because many other exercises like the bench press, dips and push ups also recruit shoulder muscles for its movements.

Your should be careful when working on your shoulder muscle exercises as your shoulders joints are very susceptible to injuries and therefore proper form in executing the exercises is crucial. Don’t let bad exercise form cause you injuries that may be permanent and put you out of the gym forever. One common injury prone exercise is the narrow grip upright row. Although this is a great trapezius and shoulder muscle exercise, it should be avoided because this exercise invokes unnatural and awkward shoulder joint movement.

So what exercises are good for building big strong deltoids? Well, besides the military presses, try Arnold Press, Lateral Raise, Bent Over Lateral Raises, Shoulder Width Upright Row and Shoulder Cable exercises. Ask your personal trainer or read up on how to perform these exercises in excellent form for great shoulder muscle development.

Remember that you must also develop other aspects such as a big broad chest, wide back muscles and flared lats as well as a slim waistline to get that much coveted V shaped upper body.

When is best time to eat protein for building muscles muscle growth

Every bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast knows that you must eat enough protein for muscle growth. Without the amino acids of protein, your muscles cannot grow no matter how hard and often you train your. Protein is the building block of muscles and there are no other nutrients to substitute protein for muscle growth.

It is recommended that if you want to grow and build muscle mass, the rule is to eat one gram of protein per pound of your body weight per day. That is a lot of protein which many people cannot get in their normal dietary meals and protein supplementation is often necessary. Without eating enough protein, all your muscle building training in the gym will be futile. Such a waste isn’t it?

So when is the best time to eat protein to optimize muscle growth? How and which type of protein should you eat to get spectacular muscular growth?

•Eat protein first thing in the morning – After a good night’s sleep, your body is in a catabolic state. That means your body is burning your muscle for energy since your glycogen store is low. So eat quickly digestible protein such as whey protein the first thing in the morning even before you brush your teeth to prevent your muscle wasting away or catabolism.

•Eat protein between your meals – To keep protein flowing in your bloodstream so as to feed your muscles continuously throughout the day, take casein protein in between your meals. Casein protein is slow to digest and as such will continuously release protein into your bloodstream to feed your muscles for many hours in between your meals. In this way, your muscles will be constantly receiving protein throughout the day.

•Protein before/after gym workout – It is a known fact that eating fast to digest protein such as whey protein before your workout will promote muscle growth as your muscles are being fed as you training to build muscles. Then take whey protein again after your workout along with some carbohydrates to repair your muscle cells after you have damaged them during your workout.

•Protein before bed – Since you will be going without food for many hours when you sleep and muscle building is at its optimum when you sleep, you must encourage your muscle to grow by eating casein protein before you sleep. As casein protein is slow to digest, it will continuously feed your muscles for as long as seven hours when you sleep and thus encouraging your muscles to build and grow.

So now that you know when is the best time to eat protein and to encourage building muscles, follow these tips and see your muscles growing like you have never seen before.

Increase your training intensity - negative repetitions

You can only build muscle tissue if you can generate progressively stronger muscular contractions, so this calls for an emphasis on finding ways to increase exercise intensity. This should not be confused with exercise duration as maximum training intensity will actually shorten the time needed to achieve maximal muscular growth.

In an earlier article I outlined the ways in which you can intensify your training. Here we'll focus on the role that negative repetitions have to play in intensifying the training effect.

At the most basic level, human muscles have three types of strength:

1. Positive strength - the ability to raise a weight.

2. Static strength - the ability to hold a weight.

3. Negative strength - the ability to lower a weight.

Many bodybuilders concentrate primarily on their muscles' positive and static strength but equal focus should be given to negative strength, or lowering the weight, if true muscle failure is to be achieved. You can emphasize this aspect of training by completing a set of negative reps after reaching positive failure.

You'll need one or two partners to lift the weight to the top position so that you can lower it under your own control. Once you can no longer control the descent, the set ends. Take special care with leg exercises and avoid negative squats to protect the knees.

Beginners should not attempt negative reps while intermediate and advanced bodybuilders can be imaginative in how they incorporate negative reps into their training programs.

Weight gain myths

The vast majority of myths about weight gain are mostly passed down from

"gym talk" and so-called experts who know nothing about the body's workings.

Myths that lead to wasted time, frustration and if are taken blindly as truth, can really set back your progress in the gym. Don't believe everything you hear in the gym when it comes to exercise and weight gain, do the research yourself.

Simple, basic principles apply to all weight and muscle gain such as progressive overload, variable frequency of reps and high intensity workouts. Lets take a look at some of the most common weight gain myths.

High repetitions burn fat while low repetitions build muscle.

Progressive overload is needed to make muscles bigger.

Meaning that you need to perform more reps than you did

for your last workout for that particular exercise.

If you perform the same amount of reps at each workout nothing

will change on you, also if the weight doesn’t changes on the bar nothing

will change on you. You need to become stronger.

Definition has two characteristics, muscle size and a low

incidence of body fat. To reduce body fat you will have to

reduce your calories; the high repetition exercise will burn

some calories, but wouldn't it be better to fast walk to burn these off?

Better still; use the low reps to build muscle, which will

elevate your metabolism and burn more calories (less fat).

Vegetarians can’t build muscle.

Yes they can! Strength training with supplementation of

soy Protein Isolate has shown to increase solid bodyweight.

Studies have shown that athletic performance is not impaired

by following a meat free diet, and people strength training

and consuming only soy protein isolate as a protein source

were able to gain lean muscle mass.

Strength Training will make you look masculine.

If it is not you’re intention to bulk up from strength training

you won’t. Putting on muscle is a long hard slow process.

Your strength-training regime coupled with quality food will

determine how much you will bulk up. To bulk up you also require

more food. Women don't produce enough testosterone to allow

for muscular growth as large as men.

By working out you can eat what ever you want to.

Of course you can eat whatever you want, if you don't care

how you want to look. Working out does not give you an open license

to consume as many calories as you want. Although you will

burn more calories if you workout than someone who doesn't,

you still need to balance your energy intake with you energy

expenditure.

If you take a week off you will lose most of your gains.

Taking one or two weeks off occasionally will not harm your

training. By taking this time off every eight to ten weeks

in between strength training cycles it has the habit of refreshing you and

to heal those small niggling injuries. By having longer layoffs

you do not actually lose muscle fibres, just volume

through not training, any size loss will be quickly re-gained.

By eating more protein I can build bigger muscles.

Building muscle mass involves two things, progressive overload

to stimulate muscles beyond their normal levels of resistance

and eating more calories than you can burn off. With all the

hype about high protein diets lately and because muscle is made

of protein, it’s easy to believe that protein is the best fuel

for building muscle, however muscles work on calories which

should predominately be derived from carbohydrates.

If I'm not sore after a workout, I didn't work out hard enough.

Post workout soreness is not an indication of how good the

exercise or strength training session was for you. The fitter

you are at a certain activity, the less soreness you will

experience after. As soon as you change an exercise, use a

heavier weight or do a few more reps you place extra stress

on that body part and this will cause soreness.

Resistance training doesn't burn fat.

Nothing could not be further from the truth. Muscle is a

metabolically active tissue and has a role in increasing

the metabolism. The faster metabolism we have the quicker

we can burn fat. Cardio exercise enables us to burn

calories whilst exercising but does little else for

fat loss afterwards.

Weight training enables us to burn calories whilst

exercising but also helps us to burn calories whilst

at rest. Weight training encourages muscle growth

and the more lean muscle mass we possess, the more

fat we burn though an increased and elevated metabolism.

No pain no gain.

This is one myth that hangs on and on. Pain is your body

signalling that something is wrong. If you feel real

pain during a workout, stop your workout and rest.

To develop muscle and increase endurance you may need

to have a slight level of discomfort, but that's not

actual pain.

Taking steroids will make me huge.

Not true, strength training and correct nutrition will

grow muscle. Taking steroids without training will not

make you muscular.

Most steroids allow faster muscle growth through greater

recovery, while others help increase strength which

allows for greater stress to be put onto a muscle.

Without food to build the muscle or training to stimulate

it nothing will happen. Most of the weight gain seen

with the use of some steroids is due to water

retention and is not actual muscle.

Strength training won’t work your heart.

Wrong!! Strength training with short rest periods will

increase your heartbeat well over a hundred beats

per minute. For example, performing a set of breathing

squats and you can be guaranteed that your heart will

be working overtime and that your entire cardiovascular

system will be given a great overall body workout.

Any intensive weightlifting routine that lasts for

20 minutes or more is a great workout for your heart

and the muscles involved.

I can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

Wrong. Only a few gifted people with superb genetics

can increase muscle size while not putting on body fat.

But for the average hard gainer, they have to increase

their muscle mass to its maximum potential and then cut

down their body fat percentage to achieve the desired shape.

Workout without a gym

We know that using free weights and machines is the fastest and most efficient way there is to improve your metabolism and strength, but for many reasons these may not be convenient or readily accessible to you.

You may also have no access to a commercial gym, home gym or are on business trip, but there can be a solution, a strength-training workout without the need of expensive machines.

As with any exercise, whether you are using your own body weight, machines or free weights, if the resistance doesn't increase, your muscles won't be worked to their maximum capacity and the stimulus these fibres need to grow will be missing.

Exercises done correctly will build the lean muscle and increase your metabolism in the same way as performing exercises at a gymnasium, but without the time constraints and associated costs.

These exercises can be easily done in a bedroom, hotel room, a park, school yard, ceiling rafters in a garage or in a doorway and all you have to do is use your imagination. There will always be a way to add more resistance to your workouts.

Please remember: It doesn't matter where you are working out — at home, a hotel, or a park — always warm up properly before beginning your session, and cool down and stretch when you are finished.

Leg Exercises

Squats -

They build muscle in the thighs, shape the buttocks and improve endurance. Position your feet about 13 to 17 inches apart or at shoulder width, keeping the back straight and your head up. If you want you can use something that will give you some support, i. e. a desk, bookcase, sink etc.

Now squat down to where the tops of the thighs are parallel to the floor, hold for a second and then stand up, but don’t bounce at the bottom of the movement, use a nice fluid motion. Always exhale your breath as you stand up.

Lunges –

Stand straight in correct posture; now stand with one leg forward and one leg back. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight and chest up, lower your upper body down, bending your leg (don't step out too far).

You should have about one to two feet between your feet at this stage, the further forward you step, and the more your gluteus and hamstring muscles will have to work.

Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down and stop where your feel comfortable (try not to let your back come forward) then push directly back up. Do all your reps on one leg then switch legs and do all your reps on the other leg.

Back Exercises

Chin-ups -

Chin-ups are a great upper body workout, particularly targeting your biceps, deltoid and lat muscles. Use a doorway chin-up bar, ceiling rafters in a garage or grab the moulding of your door frame, position your hands with an under hand grip and hang down stretching the lats, slowly raise your body until your chin reaches the bar level.

Pause a moment before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position. Don’t swing or use momentum to get your body to the top, just use the target muscles. Doorway chinning bars remove from the doorway when you are not using them and can be put up and taken down in seconds.

Bent Over Row -

Take up a position with your right hand and right knee braced on a sturdy bed or some other flat surface that will provide a good support. Now pick up a dumbbell or something heavy that you can hold onto with your left hand.

Visualize your arms as hooks and slowly bring the dumbbell or object up to the side of your chest, keeping your back straight, then lower the weight back down to arms length, no lower, on extremes, safe form only please. Concentrate on your back muscles. Reverse the whole procedure and do the exercise now with your right arm.

Chest Exercises

Push-Up -

The push up is used for building chest, shoulders and arms. Lie face down on the floor with your hands about shoulder width apart and keeping your palms turned slightly inward. Now push-up until your arms are straight, lower and repeat for repetitions.

To make it more difficult elevate your feet. Try placing the toes of your feet on a stable, elevated surface such as a bench, chair or a stair. Straightening your body, position your hands on the floor at shoulder width, lower your body until your chest touches the floor at the bottom, and then return to the starting position in a nice fluid motion.

Dips -

This exercise can be done between two sturdy chairs or other surfaces that provide stability. The dip is another great upper body exercise. It’s a compound movement as well and involves working all the muscles that the push up works.

Keep your head up and body as vertical as possible. For the beginning of the movement, start at the top (arms fully extended) and lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the seat of the chairs, hold and then push up to the top of the movement until your arms are fully extended again. Keep looking straight ahead and don’t bounce at the bottom of the movement.

Adding Weight

Although the simple weight of your own body is enough resistance to provide an effective workout we need progressive overload (added resistance) to become stronger.

So all we need to do is add some weight wherever we can find some. Because there are no metal plates and fancy machines to use it doesn’t matter because the body doesn’t care where it is as long as it's receiving resistance of some kind.

You can use heavy books clasped in your hands. You can buy some cheap weighted dumbbells or ankle weights. A weighted vest will also allow you to add resistance for both chin-ups and push-ups. Try to buy one that will let you remove and add weight as you see fit. Also a backpack filled with books can be perfect for most of the exercises and is a cheap alternative.

How about a couple of buckets and fill them with a certain level of water? As you get stronger fill them with more water. This is perfect because depending on the exercise, all you need to do is to increase or decrease the amount of water in the buckets for the required amount of resistance.

To wrap things up…

We know that using free weights and machines are the fastest and most efficient way there is to gain lean muscle and strength, but by performing the exercises in this article you’ll find that they will provide you with the same benefits as going to a gymnasium but without the ongoing costs and time constraints.

Know your muscles - the shoulders and arms

Becoming familiar with the muscles that make up your body has more benefits than simply allowing you to talk shop with your training partners. The more familiar you are with the muscles you're working, the better you'll be able to judge what's needed to make improvements. In this article we'll get to know the muscles that make up the shoulders and arms.

Shoulders and arms work together but they require significantly different exercises to make them bigger and stronger. The main muscles found in these areas are as follows:

1. Deltoid - this is comprised of three separate segments that cover the shoulder and run a few inches down the arm. The anterior deltoid raises the arm to the front. The middle deltoid raises the arm to the side. The posterior deltoid draws the arm backwards.

2. Rotators - these are small muscles of the rotator cuff that control small movements of the upper arm. Consisting of an internal rotator, external rotator and supraspinatus they are used in lifting and throwing actions.

3. Biceps brachii - the biceps covers the front part of the upper arm and consists of a long head and a short head. The long head crosses the shoulder joint and works with the front deltoid to raise the arm to the front.

4. Triceps brachii - the triceps covers the the back of the upper arm and consists of three sections - the long, lateral and medial heads. The role of the triceps is to straighten the arm at the elbow.

5. Brachialis - this muscle lies between the upper arm bone and biceps. It helps the biceps to bend the elbow when the palm is facing sideways.

6. Forearm muscles - the forearms consist of many little muscles called flexors and extensors. The largest forearm muscle is the brachioradialis that lies close to the elbow.

Add intensity to your muscle building workout

One of the biggest difficulties facing bodybuilders is how can they be sure that all muscle fibers have been recruited and exhausted during a given exercise and it is only by achieving this that muscle gains can be maximised.

The simple answer is, you have work beyond failure and experience a higher level of training intensity than before. This also ensures that workouts remain challenging and continue to engender progress over time thus reducing the likelihood of regression.

But how do you go about intensifying your training? Fortunately there is a tried and tested path to follow as outlined below:

1. Increase resistance - increasing the weight lifted in meaningful increments ensures the muscle is pushed beyond its previous point of failure thus maintaining the muscle building process. Aim to increase the weight when you reach six to eight reps and failure does not occur.

2. Change the exercise - to achieve maximal gains all muscle fibers in a body part must be trained. Changing the angle (e. g to incline bench press) or introducing a new exercise will stimulate growth.

3. Reduce rest intervals - giving the muscles less time to recover before exposing them to further work has the effect of increasing intensity.

4. Pre-exhaustion - when an exercise involves two or more muscles the weakest will prevent you from working the primary muscle to failure. The answer is to first isolate and tire the primary muscle before immediately moving to another exercise that works the set of muscles to failure.

5. Introduce supersets - this involves performing two exercises for the same muscle group without a rest interval. This means you have to utilize different muscle fibers which stimulate greater growth.

6. Use partial reps - at the point of failure you will not be able to complete the full range of movement for a given exercise. Completing a partial rep that uses only a segment of the lift will still work your muscles beyond the point of failure. This technique is especially useful to advanced bodybuilders as it allows them to increase intensity without adding extra routines that could cause overtraining.

7. Use isometric contractions - this involves holding the weight still at the point of failure to stimulate a static contraction in the muscle.

8. Employ forced reps - this involves completing one or more final reps after the point of failure has been reached. You will need the assistance of an experienced helper to attempt this.

Once you have added these techniques to your training regimen you'll know you've done your best to maximize muscle growth.

The role of repetitions in your muscle building program

Repetitions are the basic building blocks of any strength or muscle building program but it is something that many lifters take for granted. How often do you see people at the gym speed through their reps, breathe haphazardly or fail to complete each rep correctly from a technical perspective? There is much more to the simple rep than meets the eye.

The first thing to note is that a repetition consists of three elements - namely lower, pause and lift. The speed at which this is achieved depends on the desired outcome, but to maximize muscle growth a slow, controlled tempo is required. The process should never be rushed, jerky or bouncy but instead should be controlled and smooth.

The second consideration relates to how many reps need to be performed. Once again, this depends on what you hope to achieve but you can use the following as a basic rule of thumb:

1. A single repetition maximum (1RM) increases muscle strength.

2. A six to eight repetition maximum increases muscle size.

3. A higher number of repetitions will have more effect on muscle endurance and little impact on size or strength.

Your aim therefore should be to complete six to eight reps of a load equivalent to 75-80% of your 1RM. This will maximize your muscle building potential, provided you complete each lift with perfect form in a smooth controlled manner.

Build big biceps strong arms and solid triceps

In every gym that you go to, you will see people pumping their biceps. Biceps along with the pecs and abs are sometimes called vanity muscles because they are the most visible and therefore commands the most respect. Invariably, when you ask someone to show you his muscles, he will probably flex his biceps.

Before we discuss biceps development, I want to point out that the biceps make up only one third of your upper arm with triceps the other two-thirds. So to have an impressive arm, you must build your triceps too or the effort on your biceps will not show good results. Many people fail to realize this and that is why you see them doing curls after curls without much improvement. We will touch on triceps exercises in another article. For now, let's talk about biceps.

Here are some exercises that will blast your biceps. Most of you would have done some or all of these exercises. The question I am asking is, are the exercises done in the correct form and techniques because if they are not, you will most likely be wasting your time as your biceps will not grow to its full potential. Perform each exercise for 3-5 sets once or twice a week and at reps between 6-10, but make sure that at the high end of the reps, you will not be so fatigued that you can't perform another rep in good form.

a) Standing Barbell Curl/ EZY Bar

You can perform this exercise with either a straight bar or an ezy bar. This is a great mass building exercises for your biceps.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and grasp the bar with an underhand grip, hands should also be about shoulder width apart. Curl the bar up slowly focusing intensely on the biceps contraction. Do not swing or use momentum to curl especially at the later stages when your biceps get weaker. Never swing or move your body, only your arms are moving. Keep your elbows locked to the side of your body and do not pivot them.

Then lower the weight, taking 3-4 seconds resisting the weight on the way down to emphasize the negative part of the exercise. Never let gravity pull the weights down.

At all times, do not curl or bend your wrist which must always be in a straight neutral position.

b) Incline Dumbbell Curls

This exercise will hit different fibre in your biceps and gives you the peak bicep look.

Sit back on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows well forward throughout the movement, curl the weight upward and toward the shoulder level. Then squeeze your biceps hard at the top position. Lower the weights again, slowly under full control. The speed and techniques are similar to what was described earlier.

c) Preacher Curl

Similar to barbell curl but using the preacher curl station. This is an excellent bicep peaking isolation exercise.

d) Hammer Curl

Hammer curl gives your biceps the full look and your forearms are also working hard.

Similar to incline dumbbell curl except you will be using the hammer grip on the dumbbell like holding a hammer knocking nails in and standing up instead of sitting down.

e) Build Biceps Tips

Focus on the movement of your biceps all throughout the motion. Don't lift weights that are too heavy that will compromise your form and techniques to show off.

By slightly turning and squeezing, you'll build more peak on your biceps. Like all exercises, pose and stretch the biceps between sets. This is to flush out lactic acid and help your biceps recover better for the next set.

Remember to change the order of the exercises you perform after 6-8 weeks to shock your biceps into new growth and watch those arms grow!

Know your muscles - the lower body

Becoming familiar with the muscles that make up your body has more benefits than simply allowing you to talk shop with your training partners. The more familiar you are with the muscles you're working, the better you'll be able to judge what's needed to make improvements. In this article we'll get to know the muscles that make up the lower body.

This is where you'll find the big, strong muscles that allow us to get around. The main muscles found below the waist are as follows:

1. Quadriceps femoris - this is a group of four muscles found at the front of the thigh. These are the vastus lateralis on the outside, the vastus medialis on the inside, the vastus intermedius between them, and the rectus femoris above them. The role of these muscles is to extend the leg from a bent position.

2. Hamstrings - these are found to the rear of the leg and consist of the biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus. The hamstrings are used to flex the knee in the act of pulling the heel towards the buttocks.

3. Gluteals - these make up the buttocks and consist of the gluteus maximus covering the hip joint and the gluteus medius and minimus on the outside of the hip. The gluteus maximus facilitates hip extension while the other two lift the leg to the side in an action called hip abduction.

4. Hip flexors - these are found opposite the glutes on the front of the pelvis. Consisting of the psoas major and iliacus they raise the leg to the front.

5. Calves - these consist of the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Their role is to extend the foot at the ankle.

Your weight in muscle

You probably have heard that muscle weighs more than fat. Many people notice a small weight gain when they begin lifting weights consistently. As a general rule, if you lift weights 2 to 3 times a week, you can gain 1 pound of muscle per month for about 6 months. After that, the rate of increase slows down as you start to reach your genetic potential. For the same reason, you will make a lot of progress on weight progression at the beginning, but the longer you lift; your progression will lessen because you are reaching your genetic potential.

Don’t be alarmed at the extra pounds of weight from weight training because it is well worth the effort. For every 3 pounds of muscle you build, research shows you increase your resting metabolic rate by about 7 percent. For example, if your body burns 1,200 calories per day (not counting exercise or any other movement), you would burn an extra 84 calories per day with those 3 extra pounds of muscle.

Many women have a difficult time outgrowing 2-3 pound dumbbell weights, because they are afraid that if they increase the weight they will bulk up. If you are happy with the strength and appearance of your muscles, you can do a maintenance program with 5 pound weights. However, if you want more strength, you could progress to 8 or 10 pound weights and still not bulk up. Using heavier weights can increase muscle size, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get bulky. Women don’t naturally have enough of the hormone, testosterone, required to build huge muscles, and even if you could bulk up, you’d have to use significantly heavier weights.

Another option to tone muscle is to increase your repetitions instead of increasing weight. A high-repetition/light-weight program will develop muscle tone and increase strength and endurance without significantly increasing muscle size.

I like to tell my clients to not just go through the motion when lifting weights. I use the word “squeeze” a lot to describe the contraction of the muscle you should be focusing on. Think about the muscle you are working and squeeze or contract it as you are lifting. You will get a lot more benefit for your efforts if you squeeze the muscle on the lift rather than just raising and lowering the weight without focusing on the muscle.

For more information and tips on exercise, go to http://www. easyexercisetips. com

Can you build muscle and lose body fat at the same time

One question I am continually asked is, "Is it possible to lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time?" My answer is an emphatic YES!

First of all, to build muscle, you must constantly overload the muscles in the gym. Heavy training is of utmost importance. Even when you are on a calorie-deprived diet to lose body fat, you must be mentally tough and continue to train heavily to preserve-and even build-muscle mass. And, as I've discussed several times already, back up heavy training by eating high-quality protein on a consistent basis.

To lose body fat and still gain muscle, you must really watch your diet closely. Keep your daily caloric intake below your maintenance level. When you reduce your calories, be sure to keep your diet high in quality protein. Most of your calories should come from your carbohydrate consumption. Of course, watch your fat intake.

Here is how I suggest you manipulate your carbohydrate consumption: For a couple of days, eat only vegetables for carbohydrates then go back to grains like rice, potatoes, and pasta for a couple of days. Rotate in this manner and see how quickly you start melting the fat. Because carbohydrates give you energy, this may become difficult at times. Nevertheless, it is a very effective strategy.

The three most important keys to understanding effective bodybuilding nutrition

Let's break down and simplify this important aspect of bodybuilding. You basically need to understand three things about nutrition:

• The main purpose for each of the three macronutrients: Protein, carbohydrates, and fat

• The “right” ratio, or the “correct” percentages, of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that your food should be divided into in order to meet your bodybuilding goals

• The number of calories you should consume to meet your specific physique-enhancement goals

Good nutrition seems much easier when it is broken down and you look it at from that perspective, doesn't it? But what do the three macronutrients do for our bodies? What ratio of our food should be allocated to protein, carbohydrates, and fat? How do I determine how many calories I should eat? I'll answer those questions—and a whole lot more.

Those questions about nutrition provide a wide range of answers that are not necessarily easy to find. But, with experimentation, patience, and persistence , you'll eventually figure out what's best to help you reach your personal goals. Unfortunately, there are no easier ways around this fact. There are no magic numbers, solutions, or formulas that I, nor anyone else, can give you to make the process effortless—no matter what you are told. These answers not only vary from person to person, they also can vary within the very same person during different periods of time.

Muscle fatigue-how to blast through the dreaded muscle failure that hits us all

If you've been working out for any amount of time, you're probably well acquainted with fatigue—that sensation of your muscles being "done," "cooked," "toast"... You know, the "please have mercy before I'm permanently trapped under this weight," or "you might just have to drag me off the track because I've collapsed" feeling.

We typically use the term fatigue to describe general sensations of tiredness and the accompanying decreasing muscular performance. What this really means is we "hit the wall" and can no longer perform reps on a particular lift; we can no longer run any farther or harder; we can no longer produce the "optimal" output of muscular contractions as we did at the beginning of the set or workout.

What Is Muscle Fatigue?

Fatigue is a very complex phenomenon in which multiple sites fail during muscular work. The underlying causes of fatigue fall into one of two categories: central (neuromuscular—the mind/central nervous system) and local (peripheral—the actual muscle site).

The central nervous system (CNS) acts much like an automobile engine regulator. Most cars are made with a regulator that causes them to "shut down" when the engine revs too high for too long. This mechanism protects the engine from "over-heating." In the same way, our brains attempt to protect our muscles from tearing by reducing the rate nerve impulses are sent to our working muscles. In most cases, you'll experience central fatigue before local fatigue. In other words, when you think you simply can't do any more work because you're so fatigued, essentially what's happening is your mind is telling your body (muscles) to shut down. But in fact, you're probably able to continue for another couple of reps.

"...when you think you simply can't do any more work because you're so fatigued, essentially what's happening is your mind is telling your body (muscles) to shut down."Local fatigue is related to local factors that limit the ability to perform muscular work. These include the energy systems (ATP-CP, glycolysis, and oxidation); the accumulation of metabolic byproducts (such as lactic acid); and the failure of the muscle fiber's contractile mechanisms. The energy systems act much the same way as fuel in a car or a battery in a flashlight. However, humans are different in that we have three energy systems within the muscle's cells that are called upon at different times depending on the intensity and duration of an activity.

The first energy system is called the ATP-CP system and is called upon during extremely short and intense bouts of exercise (e. g., weight training, sprinting, and jumping). It works by repeatedly breaking down ATP (the basic currency of energy in the body) and rebuilding ATP using CP (creatine phosphate). During repeated maximal contractions, fatigue coincides with CP depletion.

The other two energy systems are called into play during exercises that last longer than 30 seconds. Known as anaerobic (or glycolytic) and aerobic (or oxidative), these energy systems are very dependent on the availability of glycogen (the stored form of glucose—sugar). As with CP use, the rate of glycogen depletion is controlled by the intensity (i. e., how hard you train) of the exercise.

During sprinting, for instance, muscle glycogen may be used 35 to 40 times faster than during walking. Glycogen depletion and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) limit performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes. Long-distance runners often speak of "bonking" or "hitting the wall." This refers to a perceived fatigue usually related to glycogen depletion. At this point, the body begins to use other forms of energy, such as fat and protein (which are not as efficient sources, thus making it harder to sustain energy levels).

During high-intensity anaerobic exercise, such as sprinting and weight training, our bodies produce metabolic byproducts such as lactic acid and CO2. As these accumulate in our bodies, our ability to maintain the duration and intensity of exercise diminishes. And, when they finally reach a point of saturation, our muscle capacity comes to a screeching halt. This is often referred to as the "burn," whereby the muscle feels like it's on fire—signaling you to stop.

Got all that? I realize it sounds like some fairly complex processes, which they are, so here are a few instances I'm sure you can relate to that will help clarify how these energy systems work in our bodies, and more importantly, how we can assist our bodies to increase their output and delay (or temporarily overcome) the onset of muscle fatigue.

How Can You Overcome Muscle Fatigue?

While we can't completely overcome muscle fatigue, we can certainly delay it. But, sometimes this delay can be the difference between sprinters winning or losing in competition or allow weight trainers to "push out" a few more reps (to produce new levels of strength and muscle gains). There are many strategies we can use to accomplish this goal, but here are a few I've found over the years to be particularly effective:

Diet

First, we must ensure your diet is optimized. Consuming an adequate amount and ratio of carbohydrates, fat, and protein is paramount. Typically, endurance athletes require more carbohydrates (anywhere between 40 and 60% carbs) than strength athletes but slightly less protein (from 30 to 35%); whereas strength trainers (weight lifters) or those who regularly participate in sporting activities should consume equal or greater amounts of protein to carbohydrates on a daily basis (about a 40:40 ratio of carbs to protein). In essence, carbs are to the body like fuel is to a car—they provide the necessary fuel to maintain or sustain energy levels during workouts.

Hydration

A common mistake made by many athletes is the failure to stay well hydrated. I am not talking about drinking when you're thirsty (as you may know, thirst is a sign your body is already slightly dehydrated). The importance of being properly hydrated cannot be overlooked. Dehydration can lead to significant performance decrements, not to mention the risk of sickness and, in severe cases, death. Even a three to four percent drop in body water levels (signaled by thirst and fatigue) can decrease your muscular contractions by 10 to 20%. To combat this, at least 10 to 12 glasses (eight ounces each) of water (this doesn't count sodas, coffee, or juices) should be consumed daily—always including during and after events when your body is perspiring.

Recovery

Adequate rest is very important for delaying premature fatigue. Inadequate rest during training (i. e., between sets) and between workouts can cause unnecessary fatigue. A great rule of thumb for resting time between sets is just long enough to catch your breath. Squats take a little longer to recover from (maybe two to three minutes) because you're training such a large muscle group. For smaller muscles, like biceps, you would need a much shorter rest—more like 45 to 60 seconds at most.

Another quick tip: recent research that studied the effects of enhancing recovery between sets showed that keeping intensity high after completed sets allowed weight trainers to perform more reps in later sets compared with those who passively recovered (sat) between sets. This means we need to keep moving during rest periods, so instead of sitting down to rest, walk around or go to another exercise for a different muscle group.

One of the most common (and fatal) errors I see with weight trainers, both beginner and advanced alike, is over-training. Trapped by our "more is better" mentality, many of us seem to think if we train longer, harder, and more often, we'll multiply our results. Nothing could be more detrimental to your efforts to put on muscle and gain strength than training muscle groups too frequently. In fact, over-training can significantly impede the body's ability to properly recover and rebuild itself. Only through enough rest (which includes proper sleep) and an adequate number of days in between training, will the body be able to recover and rebuild itself. The most common signs of over-training are lethargy, chronic fatigue, continued muscle soreness, insomnia, and a decrease in strength. If you sense any of these coming on, try taking off a day or two more in between training sessions and see how you feel.

"Trapped by our "more is better" mentality, many of us seem to think if we train longer, harder, and more often, we'll multiply our results."For adequate recovery times between workouts (of the same muscle group), consider this: the smaller the muscle group, the faster the recovery; the more intense (speed of workout), the longer the recovery; and the higher the volume (i. e., the number of reps) and lower the load (weight), the faster the recovery, and vice versa of course. In general, I normally suggest not training a muscle if it's still sore, and then once the tenderness subsides, I say give it another day on top of that.

Supplements

There are many supplements that can help today's athlete postpone muscular fatigue. Endurance athletes may benefit greatly from carbohydrate/electrolyte beverages such as Revenge, Gatorade, Ultra Fuel, and a great new supplement called G-Push. These contain precise ratios of carbohydrates and electrolytes (vital salts and minerals) that can replace those lost during prolonged exercise, as well as enhance the body's ability to sustain long-term energy.

Nutritional stimulants such as caffeine (or its herbal counterpart guarana) can help delay fatigue for two reasons. First, it stimulates a cascade of hormones that cause a release of free-fatty acids into the bloodstream, causing the body to burn fat while sparing carbohydrates to use as energy. Second, it affects the CNS, thus postponing central fatigue and decreasing the perceived difficulty of the exercise.

However, if you can't handle the jittery, nervous-type feelings you get from stimulants (such as caffeine), you might give supplements like tyrosine or Ginkgo biloba a try. These supplements are not stimulants, so they do not affect your central nervous system (which causes the nervousness). Rather, they help increase your mental alertness and delay central fatigue (in the brain), thus helping to crank up your workout intensity.

And, let's not forget creatine monohydrate, which has been scientifically shown to aid short-duration, high-intensity exercise, such as weight training. It increases the body's creatine phosphate stores needed to replenish ATP, thus delaying the onset of glycolysis. In other words, creatine helps quickly replenish energy stores within the muscle cells, allowing you to work out longer and harder, which may lead to increased strength and muscle gains.

Last Words

So there you have it... there's nothing fancy here... but enough to get you through that next workout with a little more flare and pizzazz! With the information at hand, you're now armed with practical, safe, scientifically sound methods to overcome muscle fatigue, so you can train harder (possibly even longer) and become stronger, both mentally and physically—making every workout that much better.

Weight lifting what every beginner should know

Here are a few things that beginners should know about weight lifting.

First you put good strain on your joints as well as your bones when you lift weights. This strengthens your bones. Strong bones protect our bodies against breakage and osteoporosis.

Another important point about weight lifting is that as your muscles increase in size your body becomes more shapely and firm - more attractive.

Weight lifting also helps you more vigorously perform your aerobic exercise, which in turn will increase your cardiovascular endurance and help your heart. The reason you are able to perform at a higher level is the weight lifting has increased your muscular strength, and therefore your ability to tolerate more intense exercise.

Weight lifting also gives you nice after effects to your metabolism. By adding muscle to your body through weight lifting, you likely will increase your metabolic rate. If you increase your metabolism you increase the amount of fat burning enzymes in your body. This means you’ll burn more body fat even at rest! What a great bonus!

When you lift weights you should find the right weight that allows you to do 8-12 repetitions of the same movement with the same weight. If you are able to repeat it more than 12 times the weight is too light for you. If you can't do at least 8 reps the weight is too heavy.

This 8-12 repetition practice is called a set. A beginning weight lifter should only be doing one or two sets of any weight lifting movement at one time.

Beginners often forget to breathe when they lift weights, which is dangerous because it can elevate your blood pressure. You should concentrate on inhaling on the eccentric or lowering phase of the lift and exhale on the concentric or lifting phase of the lift.

When weight lifting, you should always work your largest muscles first. Smaller muscles get tired faster. If they tire too quickly they can't help you work your large muscles. The first things you are going to work are your chest, back, shoulders and thighs. Then you do weight lifting exercises for your arms, abdominals and calves last. If you’re new to weight lifting, I would suggest picking 6-8 exercises that covers all the major body parts above. Perform these exercises 2-3 times per week making sure you allow at least 48 hours between workout sessions, so your body has time to recover.

Good Luck!

Want to own a muscular greek god body

If you are clueless at the gym and yet hungry for plain, good 'ol professional advice to help you on the road to that sculpted physique of a Greek god, fret not! All you have to do is to have a solid commitment, use the knowledge gleaned from this article and you will attain the body you want pronto. But remember to warm up and cool down, as well as stretching before and after each session; Or even better, after each set for better muscle recovery and prevention of injuries.

Use Free Weights instead of Machines More Often

Machines will have its uses, but for a start, concentrate on free weights. That means work almost exclusively with barbells and dumb bells. Free weights recruit many stabilizing muscles for balance and control. That means you will work a lot more muscle parts other than the intended ones. That will give rise to little bumps, striations and definitions all over your body instead of one huge lump of muscle on your intended muscle. Because of the extra stimulant created, your muscles grow faster too. Why else do you think all professional body builders almost exclusively use free weights?

Compound Exercises Instead Of Isolation Exercises

Use as many compound exercises as possible to your workouts. Compound exercises are exercises that involve 2 or more joint movements. Because they utilize more joints, that means greater muscle mass are involved. Greater muscle mass means heavier weights. Heavier weights means greater muscle gain.

Some excellent compound exercises are the Squat, Deadlift, Chin ups, Dips, Bench press, Barbell Press, Lunges, Bent-Over Barbell Row...etc.

Train with Intensity

You must train intensively like a mad man for your muscle to grow. Try to do more reps or add more weight than the previous session or your muscles will think, "Ah... we've done that. Nothing new, so no need to grow bigger and stronger."

Because of this, it is important that every time you train hard, you give your body time to recover as it has suffered strains and actually sustained many small scarring. Your muscles grow when you rest, especially when you sleep and not in the gym. So sleep at least 8 hours a day. Also, do not train everyday or work the same muscle group more than once or twice a week. If your training was vigorous enough, do no more than an hour per session.

Try not to do cardio work on the same day as your weight lifting work. In fact, during the muscle building phase, you should do less cardio work as aerobic exercises burn muscles. You can increase your cardio work when we come to the cutting phase, to lose fats and gain rippling definition.

Correct Technique And Form

Everywhere, everyday, you will see people using wrong form and technique when training with weights. This not only compromises your growth, it will also make you susceptible to injuries.

Wrong form occurs usually when people try to lift weights that are too heavy, whether out of vanity or ignorance. As a guide, always lift with strict focus on the muscle you intend to build for that particular exercise. Feel it contract and extend. Lift the weights deliberately and slowly. Never ever swing your weights up especially when doing bicep curls or the military press. Lower the weights slowly, taking about 3 seconds instead of letting gravity pull the weight down. You must fight gravity to stimulate the muscles, if not, half of your effort is going to waste. Another common mistake is when people arch their back when they are doing their bench presses. By arching your back, you are using your spine to press the weight up. Your back must be pressed against the bench at all times for the exercise to be effectively working on your chest! However you MUST arch your back when doing squats and deadlift.

With some exceptions, as a general rule, if you can lift a weight in good form for more than 10 reps, it is too light. Conversely, if you can't lift it more than 5 times in good form, it is too heavy.

To Grow Fast and Huge, You Must Perform Lower Body Exercises!

This is what most people don't realize. Your lower body makes up 60-70% of your musculature. If you don't train them, not only will you look spider-legged, your entire body will not grow as quickly and as large. Don't think that you can hide those skinny legs in your pants! Most people do not train their legs because squats, dead lifts and lunges can be very grueling exercises. But it is precisely because of such intensity that you will produce more growth hormones when you sleep and overall muscular development is stimulated.

EAT and EAT Correctly

Losing weight and building muscles cannot happen at the same time although there are methods to do so and will be too technical to describe here. To lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit. To build muscles, you must have more calories, period! So do not be afraid to eat. Have plenty of protein, moderate complex carbs and some good oil like Omega, olive, flaxseed, fish etc., especially immediately after a workout. That is when your body is most nutrient hungry and will absorb whatever you eat very quickly. The longer you delay eating after a workout, the less effective it will be. Even better, take quick absorption protein shakes and high glycemic carbs during this time. The carbs will induce insulin production almost immediately and shuttle the protein to your muscle cells very quickly.

Eat about 2 gm of protein for each kg of your bodyweight or 1 gm per pound of your body weight. Spread your meals evenly throughout the day about 3 hours apart. It is advisable that you have supplementation of Creatine, Protein, Multivitamins and L-Glutamine.

Yes, you will probably gain weight, but a lot of it will be muscle weight because muscles are heavier than fats. You may also gain some fats because of the extra calories consumed. Don't worry, it is a happy problem because the more muscles you have, the easier the fats are to shed when you come to the cutting up phase to get those rippling definitions.

Easy isn't it? Now that you know the facts, the rest is up to your determination.

Arm exercises for beginning bodybuilders

Most people new to bodybuilding pay a lot of attention to building big arms, sometimes to the point of overtraining. Don't forget, the arm muscles are brought into play during most exercises aimed at other body parts so care must be taken not to overdo things.

Having said that, the arms are complex body parts in their own right and deserve a properly focused exercise program. In basic terms the arm consists of three main muscle groups:

1. Biceps brachii - two muscles at the front upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulders.

2. Triceps brachii - three muscles at the rear upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulder.

3. Forearm - several smaller muscles that run from the elbow to the wrist.

There are seven classic exercises that will allow beginners to get off to a good muscle building start without overstraining their bodies. For all of the exercises that follow, use a weight that is light enough to allow between 10-15 reps.

Three biceps building exercises are recommended for beginners:

1. Standing barbell curl - 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

2. Alternative standing dumbbell curls - 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

3. Preacher bench curls - 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Three triceps building exercises are recommended for beginners:

1. Dips - 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

2. Close grip bench press - 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

3. EZ bar lying extensions - 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

One forearm building exercise is recommended for beginners:

1. EZ bar reverse curls - 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

As with all exercises you need to take care in scheduling specific body parts. To begin with you should incorporate your arm exercises into a program similar to the one suggested below:

Day 1: Biceps, Back, Abs

Day 2: Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs

Day 3: Quads, Forearms, Calves

Day 4: Triceps, Chest, Abs

For the first couple of weeks complete one set but then add one set each week to a maximum of three. At the end of three months you will be ready to move on to more intensive intermediate level exercises.

Learn to gain weight and build muscle

If you want to increase muscle mass and gain weight, remember that in order to effectively bulk up, you will need to be persistent in your efforts. Increasing your caloric intake is an important part of gaining weight and building new muscle tissue. When you feed your body more food than it can burn, you gain weight. Weight training is also an important part of gaining weight and increasing your muscle mass. Weight training stimulates the muscles and promotes growth. The combination of weight training and proper diet is the best, most effective way to gain weight and increase muscle mass.

Failure to eat properly while weight training could result in loss of muscle tissue. Make certain you get plenty of protein, fats, and carbs and in large enough quantities to allow your body to gain weight. Supplements can play a role in building body mass if taken while adjusting your diet and training with weights. Meal replacement bars, powders, and protein drinks can be an excellent way to increase your daily caloric intake. In order to increase muscle mass, you must give your body approximately 500 more calories per day than the number of calories your body uses.

Exercise and diet are the most important things to consider when attempting to gain weight and increase muscle mass. Weight training and the adequate food intake will leave your body with no choice but to gain weight and add mass. Make sure to get enough rest between workouts to give your body time to recuperate and build new muscle tissue.

If you want to get the maximum benefit from your mass building routine, you must avoid the most common reasons that cause people to fail at building muscle and gaining weight. A quality mass building routine combined with proper nutrition and plenty of rest can produce results that you never dreamed possible. Consistency, smart eating habits, the proper weight lifting techniques, and lots of rest are the common elements shared by every successful body builder.

Building muscle is a slow process and it could possibly take several months before you see noticeable results. If you are determined and consistent in your muscle mass building routine and your eating habits, you efforts will pay off in time. Nutrition is also crucial in building muscle mass. The right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats must be included in your diet in order to give your body the fuel it needs to add muscle tissue. The trick to building muscle is to find the combination of foods that allow you to add new muscle mass. Trial and error combined with sound dietary guidelines will allow you to find just the right nutritional plan for you.

The proper weight lifting techniques are a very important part of a muscle mass building routine. If you don't work your muscles, they won't grow. You will need to find the right amount of weight and the right weight lifting exercises for your body. Determination, trial and error, and a consistent effort will eventually give you the results you want. The most important thing is to stay focused and realize your reward is waiting for you down the line.

How long should you rest between muscle building sessions

In an earlier article we concluded that muscles must be worked to failure if an adequate hypertrophic response is to occur. Whether this involves one or more sets is irrelevant as in either scenario the muscles must be worked to failure and beyond. This causes significant microscopic damage to the muscle tissues and it is during the period of recovery that protein synthesis undertakes the repair process that results in bigger muscle fibers.

But how long does this process take and when is it safe to expose those same muscles to further intensive exercise? Scientific studies suggest that muscle fiber degradation takes approximately five to seven days to repair and recover. Any further exposure of the affected muscle to intensive activity will interfere with the recovery process and actually prevent it from achieving maximum growth. However, using the muscle to assist in exercising other body parts or even taking part in low intensity aerobic exercise will not prevent recovery.

It follows therefore that each muscle group should be trained intensively only once each week in order to allow full recovery. This can be achieved by incorportating a split training regime that allows you to work out several times each week but still exercise each muscle group intensively only once every seven days.

The importance of sets in your muscle building program

In an earlier article we looked at how repetitions contribute to the muscle building process, but is the position regarding sets just as clear cut? Unfortunately, the answer to this is no as some experts feel one set to failure is sufficient, whereas others argue that multiple sets are needed to ensure maximum muscle gains.

Research to date suggests that, when using six to eight repetitions to failure at 75-80% 1RM, there is little significant difference between training with single and multiple sets in terms of increasing either strength or muscle size. Any small differences that have been recorded indicate that a single set completed to failure encourages strength gains but subsequent sets have a slightly greater impact on muscle size. What is clear is that the law of diminishing returns applies, so you have to question if the marginal improvements in size justify the extra time and effort expended.

Like everything else in life, bodybuilding does not remain static and several cutting edge experts have redefined the boundaries of achievement. Increasingly, serious athletes are using methods that extend the set beyond the point of failure. This involves forcing the muscle to perform more work despite having experienced failure in the previous rep. In practice, you perform one last forced repetition with the help of a training partner.

This obviously calls for great commitment and high motivation but the rewards include better mass gains thanks to the greater muscular overload. Such intensive training places additional importance on the need to lift with sound technique and to incorporate sufficient recovery time into your muscle building program.

8 proven strategies for maximum muscle gains

There is so much conflicting information out there when it comes to the topic of building muscle, and sometimes it can be very difficult to know where to start. If you’re an average beginner looking for some basic guidelines to follow in the gym, the following 8 points will start you off on the right track.

1) Train With Weights and Focus On Compound, Free Weight Movements.

If you want to make solid, noteworthy gains in muscle size and strength, you absolutely must train with free weights and focus on basic, compound exercises. A compound exercise is any lift that stimulates more than one muscle group at a time. Examples of these lifts are the squat, deadlift, bench press, chin up, barbell row, overhead press, dip and lunge. Compound movements allow you to handle the most weight and will stimulate the greatest amount of total muscle fibers.

2) Be Prepared To Train Hard.

One of the biggest factors that separates those who make modest gains from those who make serious gains is their level of training intensity. In order to stimulate your muscle fibers to their utmost potential, you must be willing to take every set you perform in the gym to the point of muscular failure.

Muscular Failure: The point at which no further repetitions can be completed using proper form.

Sub-maximal training intensity will leave you with sub-maximal results, plain and simple.

3) Track Your Progress In The Gym From Week To Week.

Our bodies build muscle because of an adaptive response to the environment. When you go to the gym, you break down your muscle fibers by training with weights. Your body senses this as a potential threat to its survival and will react accordingly by rebuilding the damaged fibers larger and stronger in order to protect against any possible future threat. Therefore, in order to make continual gains in muscle size and strength, you must always focus on progressing in the gym from week to week. This could mean performing 1 or 2 more reps for each exercise or adding more weight to the bar. Keep a detailed training log to track your progress as your strength increases over time.

4) Avoid Overtraining.

Overtraining is your number one enemy when it comes to building muscle size and strength. When most people begin a workout program, they are stuck with the misguided notion that more is better. They naturally assume that the more time they spend in the gym, the better results they will achieve. When it comes to building muscle, nothing could be farther from the truth! If you spend too much time in the gym, you will actually take yourself farther away from your goals rather than closer to them. Remember, your muscles do not grow in the gym; they grow out of the gym, while you are resting and eating. Recovery is absolutely vital to the muscle growth process. If you don't provide your body with the proper recovery time in between workouts, your muscles will never have a chance to grow.

5) Eat More Frequently.

The main area where most people fail miserably on their muscle-building mission is on the all-too important task of proper nutrition. Training with weights is only half of the equation! You break down your muscle fibers in the gym, but if you don't provide your body with the proper nutrients at the proper times, the muscle growth process will be next to impossible. You should be eating anywhere from 5-7 meals per day, spaced every 2-3 hours in order to keep your body in an anabolic, muscle-building state at all times. Each meal should consist of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates.

6) Increase Your Protein Intake.

Of the 3 major nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) protein is without a doubt the most important for those who are looking to gain muscle size and strength. Protein is found in literally every single one of the 30 trillion cells that your body is made up of and its main role is to build and repair body tissues. Without sufficient protein intake, it will be physically impossible for your body to synthesize a significant amount of lean muscle mass. If your body were a house, think of protein as the bricks. A general guideline is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day from high quality sources such as fish, poultry, eggs, beef, milk, peanut butter and cottage cheese.

7) Increase Your Water Intake.

If you want a simple, easy and highly effective way to maximize your muscle gains, drinking more water is it. Water plays so many vital roles in the body and its importance cannot be overstated. In fact, your muscles alone are made up of 70% water! Not only will drinking more water cause your muscles to appear fuller and more vascular, but it will also increase your strength as well. Research has shown that merely a 3-4% drop in your body's water levels can impact muscle contractions by 10-20%! Aim to consume 0.6 ounces for every pound of bodyweight each day for optimal gains.

8) Be Consistent!

Consistency is everything. Those who make the greatest gains in muscular size and strength are the ones who are able to implement the proper techniques on a highly consistent basis. Simply knowing is not enough, you must apply!

Building muscle is a result of the cumulative effect of small steps. Sure, performing 1 extra rep on your bench press will not make a huge difference to your overall results, and neither will consuming a single meal. However, over the long haul, all of those extra reps you perform and all of those small meals you consume will decide your overall success. If you work hard and complete all of your muscle-building tasks in a consistent fashion, all of those individual steps will equate to massive gains in overall size and strength.

Muscle gain visualization tips

We now move into an area that is far too neglected by mainstream health and fitness professionals, the mind. Most books or courses concentrate on the physical side of weight gain and completely neglect the mental side of things.

Visualization can play an important part in gaining weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Gaining weight can be difficult for many people who don’t use their minds to help in the process.

Visualization is a powerful technique that can help you make lasting lifestyle changes. Just by "day dreaming", you can significantly improve your chances in achieving your goals.

Visualization is a great weight gain tool and its as simple as visualizing your body as you want your body to look like. This mental image of yourself is then transferred to your subconscious mind, which in turn starts to work on your body, shaping it in accordance with your mental image.

This means that if you program your subconscious with a mental image of yourself as a more muscular person, through persistence your mind will accept this and aid your body to conform to this mental image.

Once your mind is programmed with the proper mental images, it will start to work in assisting you to gain weight. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to believe in your visualization goals. You have to let go of your past failures and refuse to entertain any negative images that come into your mind.

If you can visualize your body at its perfect proportions, the subconscious mind will work to make it become a reality. It will then begin to positively reinforce your body into aiding the metabolism and eating habits.

Programming your mind into believing that you can gain weight, and to visualize yourself with your perfect proportions is of the greatest importance.

Try to think of a different image of yourself, then let your subconscious do the work for you. If you think of your body as being out of shape all the time, then the subconscious mind will find ways to make it so.

The sub-conscious looks after all of all your vital functions, it is the cause of all your good and bad habits, and also regulates the muscles of the body (The muscles are controlled by the sub-conscious) and body-fat composition on the body.

Try to visualize your body as lean and as muscular as you would like, and your mind will work on that image. The mind can be a great partner in gaining weight.

Relaxation

Relaxation the best way to reach the sub-conscious and will slow down the mind, turn off the exterior world so as to tune in to one's inner self. The best times for these sessions are in the morning and late at night right, just before going to sleep.

Perform two sessions, one in the afternoon (Primary) and the other before going to sleep (Secondary) but once a day is quite sufficient. Sessions usually last 20 minutes, which isn't time consuming especially when taking in the benefits received.

It has been stated that one of these sessions is equivalent to 2 hours of deep sleep and upon waking you will feel revitalized and full of energy. Believe me instead of worrying about time constraints; you will be looking forward to the next session.

When you begin your relaxation sessions, make sure you won't be disturbed - lock the door, take the phone off the hook and loosen all clothing. Now find a comfortable position, whether it is lying down or sitting in a comfortable chair.

Sitting may be preferable as you may fall asleep if you become too comfortable. You want to be conscious and not asleep in order to tap into your sub-conscious mind.

Try to exhale all the air from your lungs completely and then breathing in through the nose. Take ten seconds to fill the lungs with air (not to capacity, but comfortable) hold for ten seconds and then exhale slowly through the nose for another ten seconds.

Each one of these breathing cycles should last for 30 seconds, complete five cycles and after each cycle you will be feeling more and more relaxed.

Having reaching this calm relaxed state, start your visualizations. Put together images that power your emotions. Make them alive and colourful. Make the scenes as real as possible and imagine yourself as muscular and toned as possible.

Picture yourself ten weeks from now on the beach, walking briskly and confidently to your favourite spot, your breathing is normal and relaxed. You smile to yourself; you could keep walking like this for miles without feeling fatigued.

You lay your towel out and begin to take your clothes off revealing a muscular, toned, well conditioned body. You have just bought a brand new swimming suit which just weeks before would have been lying in your closet waiting to be used.

Glancing around you notice the beach is busy, you catch the eye of someone of the opposite sex, they smile at you and you smile back. You walk confidently to the water and swim a couple of hundred yards with no problem or fatigue.

Or try this:

Visualize your family and friends complimenting you about how good your body looks. Try to view the scene as it is happening this instant - in the present, not in the future.

Using these visualizations you can construct in your mind any scene that desire. See yourself exercising, socializing, in the company of friends. Try and hear people complimenting you about your new muscular body, and watch their admiring glances. Make the mental image as real as possible.

 Remember set a goal for your ideal weight

 You must want to gain weight

 Visualize yourself at your ideal weight

 Use positive images at every opportunity

Practice these sessions on a daily basis and over a period of ten weeks you’ll be on your way to become more fulfilled, happier and muscular.

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