Muscle Building


March 21, 2018

Shoulder Exercises

5 Best Shoulder Exercises for Mass

Well developed shoulders are right up there with the most important features of a noticeable physique. Authority and power are associated with someone bearing broad, strong shoulders. The coveted V-shape is achieved by building broad shoulders and trimming down to a rippled set of 6-pack abs which are free from body fat.
Shoulder Workouts

Even women's fashion provides them an edge by adding padding in the shoulders of many clothing items, especially in business clothing.

Besides the aesthetic benefit, strong shoulders add power to other bodybuilding exercises such as deadlifts, bench presses, and other upper body workouts. Athletes with big, developed shoulders often have an advantage over their lesser-formed rivals in both performance and avoidance of injury. Since most shoulder injuries involve damage to the rotator cuff, building shoulders through a targeted strength training program significantly reduces this debilitating injury.

Shoulder Anatomy 101

Before you can properly develop a set of strong shoulders, you first have to understand the underlying muscle structure. By knowing shoulder anatomy, you can target the shoulder muscles with specific exercises that will strengthen all of them and keep your form in balance.

Also, the shoulder contains a delicate system of small muscles which are built around a ball and socket joint and can easily be overworked and sustain injury. Since your shoulder provides an incredible range of motion, it's important to know how your shoulder moves and what muscles govern those movements so you can reduce shoulder injury during workouts.

The deltoid muscles cover the outer surface of the shoulder joint and consist of three separate layers:

Anterior Deltoid - The anterior deltoid muscle is located at the front of the shoulder and is responsible for rotating the arm inward. The anterior deltoid is often over-developed because it is engaged through a variety of arm and chest exercises. If you do not develop the other shoulder muscles when building the anterior deltoids, you may experience posture problems and muscular imbalance.

Medial Deltoid - This shoulder muscle is located on the outside of the shoulder head. The medial deltoid flexes to move the arm away from the body. By developing the medial deltoids through isolated shoulder abduction exercises like lateral dumbbell raises, you round out the shoulders and increase the width of the upper V-shape.

Posterior Deltoid - The muscle responsible for rotating and extending the arm outward is the posterior deltoid. It is located at the back of the shoulder and is strengthened through such exercises as pull ups, chin ups, reverse flyes, rows and other back building exercises.
5 Best Shoulder Exercises for Increasing Mass

Keep in mind when incorporating shoulder exercises into your strength training program that most arm exercises already engage the shoulder muscles to some degree. Therefore, exercises and exercise splits need to be planned carefully so as not to over train the shoulders and cause damage or injury. 

Shoulder Exercise #1 - Overhead Squat

Traditional squats are one of the best exercises for developing strength, definition and balance in the lower body. The overhead squat achieves the same goals in the shoulders. This shoulder exercise uses significantly less weight than standard squats for the legs.

To perform the overhead squat: You want to bring the barbell to a position where you are holding it over your head. You can either snatch it to the starting position, begin with the bar on a high rack, or have spotters assist you with raising it into position. When holding the bar overhead, ensure that the weight is held in line directly over your head and feet and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Now, go into a squat while maintaining the weight directly overhead. Return to a standing position and repeat.

Shoulder Exercise #2 - Military Press

The military press will add a great deal of muscle mass and definition to the shoulders. Most bodybuilders include this exercise at the top of their training program list along with the bench press, squat and deadlift due to its effectiveness in increasing shoulder size.

To perform the military press: Raise the barbell from the floor, remove it from a rack, or receive it from spotters until the bar rests on your upper chest. Press the weight straight up and directly overhead, stopping at full extension but without locking your elbows. Slowly lower the weight back down to your chest and repeat. Take heed not to use your legs during this exercise as you want your shoulder muscles to receive the full benefit.

Shoulder Exercise #3 - Upright Barbell Row

This shoulder exercise can significantly build the medial deltoid, but can also exert a great deal of stress on the shoulder joints if the medial deltoids are under-developed. Therefore, make sure you build a foundation of shoulder muscle before attempting the upright barbell row.
To perform the upright barbell row: Grasp the barbell at about a shoulder-width space. Lift the bar up by bending your elbows until it reaches just under your chin. The bar should stay close to your body through the entire movement and should end with your elbows pointing outwards. Slowly lower the weight back down and repeat.

Shoulder Exercise #4 - Dumbbell Shoulder Press

This is a great exercise for building strength and mass in the overall shoulders. You can perform this shoulder exercise from either a standing or seated position, but be sure to use a weight that is not excessive. Remember, your shoulder joints are vulnerable to injury, especially if you're just starting out and they are underdeveloped.

To perform the dumbbell shoulder press: Begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms held at your sides. First, bring one dumbbell up until it rests on your shoulder and then raise it straight up and over your head until your arm is at full extension without locking the elbow. Slowly return the weight down and to your side and repeat with the other arm.

Shoulder Exercise #5 - Hang Clean and Press

The hang clean and press is considered to be one of the best shoulder exercises and should be included in a bodybuilding training program. Keep in mind when performing this shoulder exercise that you can lift more weight if you use momentum from the starting position through the pressing motion.

To perform the hang clean and press: Stand while facing the bar with feet about shoulder width apart. Bend over and grasp the bar at about the same width as your feet. Keep your back flat and lift your chin up. Lift the bar until you are in a standing position with the weight held against your thighs. From this starting position, complete an upright row by flexing your knees, extending your ankles and flaring your traps until the bar reaches your shoulders. At this point, catch the bar with upright palms by rotating your arms and elbows under the bar. Slightly bend your knees to help absorb the impact of the catch. Press the barbell over your head until your arms reach full extension without locking your elbows. Bring the bar back down to your shoulders and then back down to your thighs and repeat.
March 20, 2018

Best Bodyweight Exercises

The 5 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Building Big, Muscular Arms

I've recently read several articles in which some self-proclaimed fitness "guru" insists that you must choose between bodyweight and weight lifting exercises in setting up your strength or muscle building program. The usual argument claims that bodyweight exercises are absolutely better than weight lifting techniques without any consideration of your specific training objective.
Bodyweight Exercises
In reality, it's a false debate because if your goal is to build big, muscular arms you should use both bodyweight exercises and weight lifting movements to do so.

Specifically, if your goal is to maximize the size and strength of your biceps and triceps, you need a program based primarily on isolation bodybuilding techniques that are supplemented with compound exercises. These compound exercises should include both weight lifting movements (which I've discussed in other articles) and bodyweight exercises. While the isolation training will stimulate maximum growth in your biceps and triceps, there's no question that the following bodyweight exercises can enhance the amount and rate of that growth and ensure balanced development of your entire upper body.

1. Triceps Pushups

Triceps pushups are the only isolation exercise in this group and designed to minimize chest and shoulder involvement with targeted resistance on your triceps. For proper performance, simply take a standard pushup position with your hands and arms extended and shoulder-width apart. Then slide your hands closer together until your thumbs nearly touch each other. This is the starting position. Slowly lower your arms underneath you and then push yourself back up to the starting position as you would with regular pushups. Make sure that you keep your back straight and your head up for maximum resistance on your triceps.

If your bodyweight doesn't provide sufficient resistance, have a training partner gently place barbell plates on your back as needed to keep your rep range within 6-10 reps per set. A sample pyramid sequence could consist of 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps with gradually increased poundage in each set.

2. Seated Triceps Dips

Seated triceps dips are another terrific triceps builder. To do this exercise, sit on a workout bench or chair with your legs together and extended on the floor in front of you. Your arms should be fully extended and shoulder-width apart behind you. Slide your body slightly forward to suspend yourself so that your arms are bearing your bodyweight between the bench and the floor. With your arms extended and your hands nearly touching behind you, slowly lower yourself as though to sit on the floor and then push yourself back up by extending your arms and returning to the starting position. This exercise, when performed properly, will add tremendous power, shape and definition to your triceps.

Again, if your bodyweight doesn't provide enough resistance, keep your legs together and extend them to another chair or workout bench in front of you so that they're parallel to the floor. Then have a training partner gently place barbell plates on your thighs as needed to keep your rep range within 6-10 reps per set. A sample pyramid sequence could consist of 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps with gradually increased weight in each set.

3. Parallel Bar Dips

Parallel Bar Dips are great for shaping and building mass in the long and medial heads of the triceps. Grasp the handles of a parallel dip apparatus and hold your body suspended between them. For substantial training emphasis on your triceps, hold your torso as erect as possible (leaning forward puts primary resistance on your chest). Inhale as you lower yourself as far down as you can comfortably descend and then exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position. This exercise is a great bodyweight triceps builder as long as you watch your technique and keep your torso straight throughout the movement.

For an overload effect or to pyramid your work sets, use a harness to hang a barbell plate or dumbbell from your waist for added resistance. Most commercial gyms and some health clubs have these harnesses, so if you need one, ask for it. Make sure to keep your rep range within 6-10 reps per set. A sample overload sequence could include 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps with gradually increased weight in each set.

4. Chin Ups

Chin Ups are excellent for building strength and muscle mass in your biceps. This exercise also thickens the latissimus dorsi ("lats") and rhomboid muscles on the sides and upper-middle portion of your back. Simply grasp the Chin Up bar with an underhand grip and your arms shoulder-width apart. Inhale as you pull your body upward until your chin nearly touches the bar. Exhale as you lower your body to return to the starting position.

For variation and balanced biceps development, you can alternately do this exercise with your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width to place more emphasis on the short head or inner portion of your biceps.

Use a weighted harness if you need to increase your resistance beyond your bodyweight. Make sure to stay within the 6-10 rep range with gradually increased weight in each set.

5. Pull Ups

Pull Ups are another excellent bodyweight exercise for adding power and muscle density to your biceps. Like Chin Ups, this exercise also works your lats and and rhomboids. Pull Ups also put significant resistance on the trapezius muscles in your shoulders when you squeeze your scapulae together at the top of the movement. Simply grasp the Pull Up bar with an overhand grip and your arms spread comfortably but wide apart. Inhale as you pull your body upward until your eyes are slightly higher than the bar. Exhale as you lower your body to return to the starting position.

For variation you can pull your body upward with your chin facing the bar or with your head facing downward as you pull yourself up with the bar behind your neck. When performing this movement with your chin facing the bar, primary training emphasis in on your biceps and lower lats. But when you pull yourself up with the bar behind your neck, focused resistance is placed on your biceps and upper lats. Either approach will add strength and muscle tone to your upper arms.

As with your Chin Ups, use a weighted harness when doing Pull Ups if you need to increase the training resistance beyond your bodyweight. And always make sure you stay within 6-10 reps per set with gradually increased weight in each set.

As you can see, bodyweight exercises and bodybuilding techniques go hand-in-hand when it comes to building big, muscular arms. If anybody tries to tell you something different, tell them to go do some weighted Chin Ups and Dumbbell Preacher Curls.

March 19, 2018

Full Body Workout Routine

Full Body Workout Routine - Using Bodyweight Exercises to Get Great Results

When it comes to working out you always have options. Doing body weight exercises gives you options even when you don't have weights to use. That makes working out at home easier even with little space to work with.
Workout Routines
So what are some body weight exercises you can do to get a stunning body with your new full body workout routine?

1) Push Up - The most well know and most used body weight exercise is the push up. It is a great exercise to build a strong upper body.

If you are just beginning working out you might want to start doing pushups with your knees on the ground until you build your strength up. There is no shame in that. Everybody is in a different place in their fitness quest.

2) Chin Up - Another very commonly used body weight exercise is the chin up. All you need is a chin up bar, if you don't have a chin up bar you can use a low lying rafter somewhere, make sure it is secure.

If you need assistance use a chair to help you get through the reps until you are ready to do regular chin ups.

3) Chair Dips - Another great exercise to attack your upper body. Chair dips work your triceps, shoulders, and chest. Be careful if you do too many you will wish you didn't the next day or two.

4) Rows - This is a little different than the other examples on the list. Do this one if you don't have a pull up bar handy.

Lie under your kitchen table, chest at the edge of the table, pull yourself up as high as you can to the bottom of your table. Be careful when doing this, if you don't have a very sturdy kitchen table do not attempt this exercise. Your significant other would not like it at dinner time if there is no kitchen table to eat on because of your morning workout.

5) Squats - The first few exercises mentioned target upper body, but squats when done properly blast your lower body. There are plenty of variations of squats.

Including: regular squat, pistol squat, split squat jump, prisoner squat, sumo squat, lateral squat, Bulgarian squat. Some of the names are pretty hilarious.

6) Lunges - A close cousin of squats, lunges are an excellent body weight exercise to build strength in your legs. Do squats and lunges regularly and watch your leg strength explode.

7) Step Up - Have one leg on a higher elevation than the other. Step the lower leg up to where the higher leg is. Inhale as you lower exhale as you are coming up. Do about 8-12 reps per leg.

There you have it a great full body workout routine using body weight exercises. You can build strength with your upper and lower body in just one workout. How cool is that? Get busy burning those unwanted calories.
March 18, 2018

Best Muscle Building Supplement

Best Muscle Building Supplement - How to Build Permanent Muscles

Those who had been for a while in the GYM know exactly what the term permanent means. It is common to see someone taking a muscle supplement and claiming that it is the best muscle building supplement in the world. You will even see a sudden and marked increase in his muscles and he will really get
Muscle Building Supplement
into the shape, which he is looking for, but does this will last for a long time? A big no. the problem is that, you really need a good supplement to help you develop the look you want, but you need to only use those muscle building supplements that does not contain Creatine as Creatine is the main reason of temporary muscle pumping. Therefore, you need to be aware of that.

In fact, there are only few muscle supplements that do not contain Creatine and really contains supplements that your muscles can benefit from to develop bigger size and more power. When you are shopping around for the best muscle building supplement, you need to make sure that it would induce your Growth Hormone because this is the only way you can guarantee permanent results that would not disappear after couple of months.

Also look for the supplement that contains good amount of Dimethyleamine because it helps your muscle to consume more nutrients and that will help your muscle to grow in size. In addition to this, you should make sure that your muscle building supplement is free from artificial dyes because you do not want to build your muscles and destroy all the other organs in your body.

Finally, you should know that the best muscle building supplement should be backed up by a strong and powerful company that can give you the needed support in order to use their product in the right way and get the proper results from that product.
March 17, 2018

How to Get Ripped Chest Muscles Fast

How to get a ripped chest quickly is one of the most common questions asked in the gym. Why? Because large chest muscles look sexy, they look great when you take your top of down at the pool or beach and girls can see how fit you are by the way those pectoral muscles create a great shape in your shirt.
chest workouts
The chest muscles are basically made up of two main muscles - the small pectoralis minor muscle that lies on top of the chest wall and then the larger pectoralis major muscle which lies on top of this and which gives the chest its shape.

In order to build the chest muscles you need to perform exercises that focus on these muscles and also, surprisingly, exercise the large muscles of the body such as the quadriceps muscle - the large muscle on the front of the thigh, to promote growth hormone production. A popular exercise that stimulates the chest muscles is the bench press. You basically lie on your back, holding a barbell with your hands at shoulder width apart. You then lower the barbell slowly to your chest and then push it back up until your arms are back to the straightened position. It is important to lower the barbell slowly and not drop the weight allowing it to bounce off your chest.
The next important factor if you want to know how get a ripped chest is diet. I don't mean starving yourself to lose fat. Yes, you have to lose that fat layer that covers the chest muscles but you also have to build and maintain the muscle bulk. If you try and starve yourself you will send your body into what is known as a catabolic state which will have the effect of breaking down all that hard gained muscle. So, what you need to do is maintain adequate protein intake but also incorporate cardio routines to your workout to burn calories otherwise you will just bulk up with muscle and fat leaving yourself looking bloated.

How long will it take? That depends on how much work you are willing to put in, whether you are performing the correct workout routines, your diet and more importantly - consistency. In all sporting areas, consistency is the key. Making small gains, regularly over a period of time soon amounts to large gains. In as little as 11 weeks you should be able to get a ripped chest fast.

To know more about how to get ripped visit

March 16, 2018

Trap Workouts

Trap Workouts - The Top 5 Trap Exercises

While many weight trainees, bodybuilder, fitness enthusiasts, and other gym goers focus a great deal of their attention on the lats, too many neglect to train and develop their traps to their fullest potential. When fully and properly developed, the trapezius muscles complete a
back exercises
physique, making it appear much thicker and more powerful. Here are the 5 best trap exercises for building the biggest upper back possible:

1. Deadlifts

Though it does not directly target the traps the way shrugs and rows do, the deadlift is the best overall trap builder there is. Take a look at any good powerlifter's or deadlifter's traps for evidence of this fact.

The immense loads that deadlifts allow you to use, coupled with the enormous stretch the movement places on the traps and upper back, cause it to seriously stimulate the traps. If you've ever done a set of deadlifts to absolute failure, you probably felt your traps practically screaming at you by the end.

Even if you don't "feel" your traps working in the deadlift, they almost certainly are. Though I feel them working my traps very well, several lifters I know report immense trapezius growth from the exercise, even though that particular muscle doesn't get sore.

The best way to build huge traps with the deadlift is to simply use the same heavy weights in the 4-6 rep range that you should already be using. Make sure to do some form of heavy deadlift every week, and watch your traps take off.

2. Barbell Shrugs

Though deadlifts are probably the best trap builder, barbell shrugs are certainly a close second. This movement is a favorite for extra traps work among bodybuilders and powerlifters alike, and it is one of the most tried and true overall muscle builders in existence.

Like the deadlift, barbell shrugs allow you to use very heavy loads. Though the range of motion is very small, this particular muscle group seems to respond extremely well to large loads and extreme stretches more than large ranges of motion.

The best way to perform shrugs for big traps is to use a strong set of straps and really load the barbell up. Don't get too carried away with weight, but also don't think you have to use super-strict form. A little jerking motion in the shrugs can be a great tool to get some very heavy weight moving and stretching your traps.
3. Barbell Rows

Though most people do barbell rows more for their lats and rhomboids, I have found these to also be one of my most productive trap exercises. The way I do them allows me to still use very heavy loads (though not as heavy as the deadlift or barbell shrug), and I have always felt them working my traps very hard.

The best way to perform barbell rows for trap development is to use a bend at the waist of about 45 degrees. Wear a belt and wrist straps if you have to, and row the weight to the bottom of your stomach. Use a little bit of jerking motion if you have to, but don't let the brunt of the stress shift away from your lats and traps.

4. Face Pulls

This is one of the most underrated movements, both for traps and upper back development, as well as for shoulder health. For the last couple of years, I have done at least a few sets of these at the end of nearly every workout, and my trap development has really taken off. I have also not had any real shoulder problems outside of the occasional little twinge.

This movement is essentially a row to the face or forehead. Connect a rope attachment to a high pully on a cable station, and row to your face. You can use either an overhand or underhand grip on the rope ends.

Unlike the last few movements, face pulls are best done for higher reps with moderate weight. You should really feel your traps and rear delts moving, and you should keep the movement slow and controlled.

5. Hang Cleans

Most bodybuilders and even powerlifters rarely do any form of cleans, but they can be one of the best trap builders in your weight lifting arsenal. The explosive nature and potential for heavy loads make this movement another of the best traps and upper back movements.

Fortunately, you do not need an Olypmic lifting coach to be able to get form on the hang clean. Just deadlift the weight up to the standing position to start. To perform the main movement, just jerk your upper body upwards, shrugging your shoulders as hard as possible while bringing your arms up to shoulder the bar.

March 15, 2018

How to Bulk Up

How to Bulk Up - 3 Skinny Guy Muscle Building Tips

If you're a skinny guy who's frustrated with your muscle building efforts and can't seem to put any weight on no matter how hard you try, then you're not alone. We hardgainers have a tough time building muscle mass if we follow what the rest of the crowd is doing.
bulking diet
The following 3 skinny guy tips will help clear the fog and show you how to bulk up.

Reduce The Amount Of Isolation Exercises You Do

As I always recommend to skinny guys who are looking at how to bulk up, compound exercises are much better than isolation exercises for gaining mass and building muscle quickly.

Now, don't get me wrong...isolation exercises do have their place, but they are simply an inefficient way to build multiple muscle groups at the same time, since they focus or "isolate" certain muscles. This is why you'll often hear guys say "Monday is Chest Day, Tuesday is Legs Day, Wednesday is Arms Day, etc..."

Skinny guys who try to use isolation exercises to bulk up fast, end up making these common mistakes:
- They train each muscle group only once or twice per week

- They spend too much time in the gym

- They end up working out every day and overtraining, thus reducing their body's recovery ability.

If you want to know how to bulk up, stick to compound exercises like Squats, Chest Press, Barbell Curls, Dips, Bent Over Rows and the like, and incorporate them into 3 full-body workouts per week, lasting between 45 minutes to an hour.

Give 110% in your workouts and you won't be able to manage more than that.

Increase Calorie Consumption MASSIVELY

Insufficient calorie intake is one of the biggest reasons skinny guys fail in their attempts to bulk up fast.

According to nutritionists, an average male should consume around 2,500 calories per day. However, if you're looking at how to bulk up and build muscle mass, then you should be consuming at least another 1,000 on top of this.

These calories should be quality calories from sources like lean meats, eggs, beans, pulses, oatmeal, and plenty of vegetables. Split them between 5-6 meals per day and reduce your saturated and processed fats in order to bulk up fast.

Harness Your Natural Growth Hormones

Growth hormones have become synonymous with pill-popping, needle-using extreme bodybuilders, and have a bad reputation.

While this kind of behaviour is rightly condemned, there is a way that skinny guys can harness their own natural growth hormone without resorting to dodgy pills and potions.

Our own bodies supply us with a natural growth hormone which is anabolic in nature and helps us to build muscle and bulk up. This growth hormone is secreted particularly when we are asleep, especially when we reach deep sleep, and provides us with the ability to repair and strengthen our muscles.

For this reason, plenty of good quality sleep is essential for the skinny guy who is looking at how to bulk up fast.

In the same way, avoiding stress and lack of sleep is important, since this makes the body produces Cortisol which is a catabolic hormone, and takes essential nutrients away from the muscles causing them to lose mass or hamper their growth.
March 14, 2018

Upper Back Exercises

Upper Back Exercises - What Most People Are Doing Wrong

Upper Back Exercises

The upper back region consists of the lats, the middle and lower traps and the rhomboids. In attempts to target these muscles, most people perform all kinds upper back exercises such as rowing movements and pull-up and pull-down exercises.

This is exactly what they should be doing; however, as they execute the upper back exercises, they're neglecting an important technique that will optimize the contraction of the targeted muscles.

As people perform rowing movements (perhaps the most popular of the upper back exercises), they tend to just whip the weight back without really focusing on the technique. This sloppy technique only makes it difficult to target the muscles that you're trying to isolate. Rather then just throwing the weight back, you should take your time, focus on feeling the muscle contraction and you should initiate the movement with what's known as a scapular retraction.

Essentially, retracting the scapula simply refers to drawing your shoulder blades together. By initiating your rowing movements with a scapula retraction, what you'll be doing is isolating the muscles of the upper back while minimizing the recruitment of the biceps. You see, when people simply jerk the weight around while performing upper back exercises, the biceps are heavily involved as they work to flex the arm.
You'll want to initiate all your upper back exercises with either a scapula retraction (rowing movements) or a scapula depression (pull-down movements). Without seeing images or video of the upper back exercises, you may have a hard time picturing the movement. Envision the dumbbell row exercise. You'd basically want to draw the dumbbell up as high as you can while keeping your arm straight. Realistically, this is only around 4-6 inches or so. Once you've brought the weight up as high as you can while keeping your arm straight, you would then flex your arm and bring it up towards your ribcage or hip (depending on what variation you're performing).

For upper back exercises such as pull-downs, the same concept applies. The only difference is rather then drawing the scapula back, you'd draw it downwards. To simplify, envision someone performing pull-downs. To properly perform this "shoulder depression" technique, they would initiate the movement by drawing the shoulders downwards while keeping the arms straight. Once they've gone as far down as they can (usually a couple inches), they would then flex the arms and draw the pull-down bar down towards their chin/chest area.

Simply applying these techniques to your upper back exercises will make a world of difference. You may find it awkward at first but after a couple workouts, you'll get used to it and will just become second nature.