Bodybuilding Fitness Workouts

7 Bodybuilding Fitness Workouts That Gain You Muscle Faster


fitness workouts
Everyone is becoming more and more conscious of their health, these days, and taking up bodybuilding fitness workouts is becoming more and more common. It seems like everyone is going to the gym lately. If you want to get in on the craze, you should learn some tips on bodybuilding, first, though. That way, you'll be prepared to maximize the experience of bodybuilding.

Before you can create bodybuilding fitness workouts, you need to understand how muscle building works. Knowing the science involved can really give you an edge over casual weight lifters. Here are seven tips on bodybuilding that can help you to build a good workout routine.

Optimal Weight Lifting:

Building big muscles quickly happens because of resistance and weight. So, rather than lifting a little bit of weight many times, you should lift a heavier weight. Do less repetitions with more weight and you will find your muscle mass increasing quickly.

Dumbbells are Important:

With all of the weight lifting machines at the local gyms, these days, many people have lost sight of using dumbbells. Really, though, dumbbells are key in good bodybuilding fitness workouts. That's because they use a wider variety of movements than most machines can. They let you exercise many muscles with one routine, in other words.

Don't prioritize aerobics:

Aerobics are great. They strengthen your lungs and your heart. The problem is, though, they don't have a major place in bodybuilding fitness workouts because they don't really build muscle. So, although you can do a few aerobic exercises, try not to do too many.

Eat Red Meats:

Eating red meat is one of the most important tips on bodybuilding. That's because red meats have omega-three in them, which is very important for growing muscles. Red meats also have lots of muscle-growing protein.

Take Supplements:

Another of the important tips on bodybuilding is to take dietary supplements. There are a lot of supplements out there. A few include glutamine, amino acids and creatine. You might also try whey proteins and hydroxy beta-methyl, to name a few.

High Resistance:

High resistance is very important for bodybuilding fitness workouts. You might try lifting fifty pounds, for instance, and doing one set of ten reps, rather than lifting forty and doing three or four sets of five reps. High resistance can really help you to increase muscle at a faster rate.

Take a Break Often:

Finally, remember that breaks are important. Taking a break from your routines can help you to recover glycogen and you might feel like you're wasting time, but you'll really develop muscles much faster that way.

By following those tips on bodybuilding, you can really be sure to make some excellent progress. So, understand how you build muscle and use bodybuilding fitness workouts to your advantage so you can be a better bodybuilder.





Bodybuilding Workout Programs

Bodybuilding Workout Programs - BodyBuilding Workout Program For an MMA Fighter?


Bodybuilding Workout Programs
Question: I'm an aspiring MMA fighter. I currently train jiu-jitsu and kickboxing for a total of three to four times a week. My question is in regards to weight lifting/cardio. I want to make sure my training is appropriate for my goals. Here's a break down of what I'm currently doing. Does this look good?

Day 1: 
1 hour of cardio before I train (chest and triceps:) 
Flat bench dumbbell press 3 x 14-20 
Incline dumbbell press 3 x 14-20 
Decline press 3 x 14-20 
Cable fly 3 x 14-20(Dips 3 x 14-20 
Cable pushdown 3 x 14-20 
One arm pronated pushdown 3 x 14-20

Day 2: 
1 hr of cardio 2 hours before I train 
Shoulders and abdominals 
(Smith Military Press 4/5 x 10-12 
Lateral raise 4/5 x 10-12(Front raise 4/5 x 10-12 
Shrug 4/5 x 10-12 
Abs

Day 3: 
Same cardio as day 1 
Back and biceps 
(Lat Pull down 4/5 8-12 
Seated Row 4 x 8-12 
Cable row upper 4 x 8-12 
Back Extension 4 x 12-20 
Preacher curl 4 x 6-10 
Dumbbell curl 4 x 4-8 
Seated curl 4 x 8-10 
Cable curl 4 x 8-12

Day 4: 
1 hr cardio

Day 5: 
Same Chest routine as Monday

Day 6: 
Legs( 
45-degree leg press 4 x 8-12 
Leg extension 4 x 8-12(Leg curl 4 x 8-12) 
Calf raises 4 x 8-15

Answer: This is a typical body building style program and it's not of much use for an aspiring MMA fighter, any grappling sport, or any other sport for that matter. Here are some problems with your current program:

1) You're training too often. You don't get stronger while lifting weights but rather from the recovery process that should take place. Based on your program, you only rest one day and for all I know you're still doing jiu-jitsu or kickboxing on that day since you didn't specify what days you do those on.

2) You're doing too many sets per muscle group. On day 1 alone there's 12 sets just for chest. This is way too much. You should focus on the minimum amount required to elicit the desired training adaptation. Any more than that and you're just cutting into your energy reserves that could be used for recovery.

3) Several of the exercises chosen are poor choices (leg extension, smith machine press, front raise, cable flyes, etc.) or redundant. For instance, all your elbow flexor exercises (bicep exercises) are with a supinated grip and again, you don't need 16 sets to get the job done.

4) The strength qualities needed for MMA or any grappling sport are: Relative strength, explosive strength, and strength endurance. (Functional hypertrophy could also be included unless your body fat is very low and you're already within your weight class.) The majority of your repetition ranges are for strength/endurance. There's no work done for the other two strength qualities.

5) You're performing straight sets when you should be super setting antagonistic muscle groups. This will allow you to get more work done in a shorter given unit of time and will assure that your body is balanced on both sides of joints so you're structurally sound.

An example of straight sets is doing a set of a barbell bench press, resting, and then doing another set of barbell bench presses. An example of super setting antagonistic muscle groups would be doing a set of the barbell bench press, resting the desired amount of time based on your goals, and then doing a set of seated cable rows.

6) The cardio workouts you're doing are way too long and close to your weight training workouts. Stop doing cardio before lifting weights and don't do any steady state, traditional aerobic based cardio. You should be getting plenty of effective conditioning while training in your sport. If you're not, you should time your rest intervals between rounds and make sure that they're progressive. If you can't do this, have your coach do it for you.

Since there's no off season for your sport and you're training in it three to four times a week, you need to be concerned with time so you don't over train, therefore, you should select exercises that give you the most return on your investment. I would also only weight train two to three times a week. I can't promise that you still can't over train since I don't have enough information form you (namely diet) but there's certainly less of a chance than what you're currently doing.

Here are some better exercise choices. Select only one exercise from each group:

Pressing Exercises: 
Incline dumbbell press, palms facing each other 
Parallel-bar dips (Close grip barbell bench press, shoulder width grip 
Barbell or dumbbell floor press(Standing barbell press

Upper-Body Pulling Exercises: 
Parallel grip chin-ups 
Supinated shoulder-width chin-ups(Wide grip pronated grip chin-ups) 
Incline dumbbell rows (One-arm dumbbell row) 
Rope face pulls (Parallel grip seated rows)

Leg Exercises, Hip and Knee Dominant: 
Back squats (Front squats) 
Dead lifts, clean-grip, sumo, or snatch-grip 
Romanian dead lifts 
Power cleans 
Split squats 
Lunges, decelerative or accelerative

Assistance/Remedial Exercises: 
Elbow flexor family (bicep) 
(Elbow extension family (tricep) 
(External rotator family 
(Calves family( 
Abdominal family

So here's a three-day sample routine that shouldn't take more than an hour. (Listed are exercise, sets x reps, tempo, and rest interval):

Day 1 
(A. Power Cleans: 4 x 3-5 x 11X0 x 240 second rest 
B1. Standing barbell press: 4 x 3-5 x 20X0 x 120 second rest 
B2. Parallel grip chin-up: 4 x 3-5 x 3010 x 120 second rest 
C1. Lying decline dumbbell tricep extension: 3 x 6-8 x 3010 x 90 second rest 
C2. Seated zottman curls: 3 x 6-8 x 3010 x 90 second rest

Day 2 
(A. Clean-grip dead lift: 3 x 6-8 x 2110 x 180 second rest 
B1. Dumbbell floor press: 3 x 6-8 x 31X0 x 90 second rest 
B2. One-arm dumbbell row: 3x 6-8 x 3110 x 90 second rest 
C1. Incline bench powell raise: 3 x 10-12 x 60 second rest 
C2. Incline garhammer raise: 3 x 10-12 x 3020 x 60 second rest

Day 3 
(A. Telemark squat: 3 x 12-15 x 2010 x 75 second rest 
B1. Parallel dip: 3 x AMRAP (as many reps as possible) w/body weight x 2010 x 60 second rest 
B2. Pronated grip seated cable rows: 3 x 12-15 x 2011 x 60 second rest 
C1. Seated dumbbell external rotation, arm on knee: 3 x 10-12 x 3010 x 60 second rest(C2.) Seated calf raise: 3 x 15-20 x 2210 x 60 second rest

Take one day off between workouts.

Once every four to six workouts you should change all loading parameters: sets, reps, tempo, rest interval, and exercise selection.






Building Muscle

Arm Training - Building Muscle for Bulging Bi's and Tri's


gain muscle mass
Let's face it, most guys who start lifting want two things - a big bench and big arms. So in this issue we're going to talk about bi's and tri's and I'll share a very effective routine for adding inches to your arms in a very short amount of time.

Everyone wants big arms and it seems as if no one is satisfied with their current arm size. This seems rather strange, since most people constantly blast their arms. There are a few reasons that people don't make the progress they want when it comes to packing on inches to their arms.

First, they don't work the big muscles of the body hard enough. Your arms just aren't going to grow if your big muscles, like your back and legs, aren't growing. You need to work your legs and back hard and concentrate on upping your poundages for these body parts, if you want your arms to grow. Your arms will only get so big without the rest of your larger muscles getting big as well.

Secondly, a lot of people focus on working their biceps, when in fact the triceps make up almost 70% of the size of your upper arm. If you want to build big arms, focus on your triceps not your biceps.

And third, most people overtrain their arms. They do as many or more sets for their arms, and do those sets harder, than they do for their back, chest or legs. And on top of that, most exercises for the back and chest also work the bi's and tri's very hard. You have to cut back on the work you do for you arms and up the intensity. Quality, not quantity.

Here's a kick ass routine guaranteed to add muscle to your arms. It's extremely short. Don't let that fool you. If you perform it with the right level of intensity and your nutrition program is solid, your arms will grow.

Biceps

One repetition chin up

Biceps Curl (dumbbells or barbell)

Perform these two exercises back to back as a superset with no rest between sets.

Triceps

One repetition dip

Tricep extension (one dumbbell in both hands)

Perform these two exercises back to back as a superset with no rest between sets.

Seems easy, doesn't it? Here's the key. For both the one repetition chin up and the one repetition dip, you take thirty to sixty seconds to raise yourself up (the positive part of the rep) and thirty seconds to lower yourself (the negative part of the rep).

When you can take 60 seconds up and 60 seconds down, add weight. 
Do 6 - 8 regular reps on the curls and extensions and train to failure.

Do this routine three times per week, for no longer than 2 weeks at a time. If you are currently using a routine that includes a lot of sets for your arms, you may want to drop direct arm training for a week before trying this routine, otherwise you'll quickly overtrain.

Keep your back and chest training to a minimum while performing this routine.




Building Muscle Mass

Building Muscle Mass Tips and Secrets


Building Muscle Mass
Building muscles mass is an easy task to achieve as long as you are armed with the correct information and knowledge. Building mass faster, which you thought is impossible, is never far from reality.

There are too many trainers and bodybuilders that make the fatal mistake of working out too much. They think, the longer they workout the bigger muscle mass they get.

Even if you want to build up that muscle mass quickly, strength training and weight training for long hours is not that necessary. However, for those hard gainers who are in strength training programs, to gain muscle mass quickly cannot be that detrimental.

In fact, you should never train longer than an hour or half a day according to many bodybuilding experts. There are even instances that you may even lose too much weight doing long workouts and too much time performing weightlifting.

The correct way of gaining muscle mass should be a proper strength training program with three days a week sessions with at least an hour of weightlifting and bodybuilding exercises.

It is important to work on your muscles intensely and focus yourself on getting stronger. You should not be caught up on various bodybuilding programs that allow you to do long hours of working out and lifting. The risk of acquiring injuries is also at high risk.

There are many ways on how to gain muscle mass the proper way. We are not talking here with intensity strength training but a proper way of training to failure that is very efficient to building muscle mass.

Here are some suggested tips:

1. Using a bench press, continue your exercise against the immovable heavy weight for 20 to 30 seconds. For most hard trainers, they do the wrong way of starting again with the rep and being stuck at the bottom. The weight is dropped against the safety pins.

2. Using the barbell curls, perform a grinding halt about two or three inches into the rep. when the arms a slightly bent, you have realized that you cannot perform the rep but perform a pull on the bar as long as your strength can.

3. In a bodybuilding exercise, squatting is very effective. It is considered as the perfect exercise in building muscle mass. While others do intense trainings and bodybuilding diet program for muscle building, an effective squat program can be an effective exercise for muscle building.

4. After your warm ups and performing your squat routines, you may lift weight that you normally perform. Do 10 reps and rest for a while, you add another 20 reps to have a more efficient and intense weightlifting exercise.

5. Since squatting is the most challenging muscle building routine exercise, you need to maximize all the weight that you can handle. The squat is also the toughest mental exercise after the physical training exercises that you perform.

These muscle building tips are very effective ways to gain muscle mass quickly. They can be important factors to for your weight training program and eventually seeing your muscle mass develop and improve quickly. Weight lifting is also even more effective for individuals who go through a weight loss program than those who are dieting and doing aerobic exercises.



Bodybuilding Diet Meal Plan

Bodybuilding Diet Meal Plan - 5 Tips For Creating Your Flawless Bodybuilding Diet Plan


Bodybuilding Diet Meal Plans
Developing the perfect bodybuilding diet meal plan for you will boost your muscle gains and healthy fat loss by 1000% or more! All the perfect lifting can only get you so far without the right diet plan. Think of it this way: by driving your car properly, you will keep it in good shape. But without putting the right fuel and oil in it, it will never perform as well, and it certainly won't last as long. As you know, working out is vital, but utilizing a solid bodybuilding meal plan is essential to getting ripped. The key here is to work harder and smarter to maximize your results.

Some key points to consider when creating your bodybuilding meal plan:

  • Eat 5-6 small meals per day, about 2-3 hours apart to keep your metabolism and energy up, cravings down and muscles fed constantly which encourages growth.
  • Determine how many calories you should consume each day, and stick to it. You must consume more than you burn to gain muscle!
  • Shoot for 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20 % fat of all calories consumed.
  • Get 10% of your target calorie intake in grams of protein. (E.g. 3,000 calorie diet: 300 grams of protein per day. 6 meals: 50g or protein each)
  • Drink water in ounces equal to 60% of your body weight in pounds. (E.g. 180 pounds: 108 oz. per day, or 3.2 liters)
These are all widely accepted fundamentals of a proper bodybuilding diet plan, so keep them all in mind when planning your meals. It can get really tough to find the time to meet all of these criterion properly, and follow the plan to perfection, but luckily there are pre-made meal plans you can tailor to your specific needs.

Many professional bodybuilders have come up with bodybuilding diet meal plans, but very few have done so for every level of caloric intake. So, you need to first figure out how many calories you're going to consume, then work with a diet plan that will work well for your level.

Typical sample bodybuilding diet plans look something like this:

  • Meal 1 (Pre-workout): 6 egg whites, 1 cup oatmeal
  • Meal 2 (Breakfast): Meal replacement bar/shake, high in protein and flaxseed oil
  • Meal 3 (Mid-morning): 8 oz. lean meat, 2 cups green vegetables, 1 cup brown rice
  • Meal 4 (Lunch): Tuna in water, leafy salad, whole-wheat bagel
  • Meal 5 (Dinner): 8 oz. lean meat, 2 cups green vegetables, 1 baked potato
  • Meal 6 (Snack): Meal replacement packet, flaxseed oil
This type of bodybuilding diet meal plan will greatly increase your muscle gains, but it is difficult to tell how much of each item is right for your caloric intake. It is also hard to know what you can substitute when you're bored of this regimen after a couple weeks of eating the exact same things every day.

Thankfully, there are some programs that provide detailed meal plans that stick to rock-solid diets like the one above, but allow you to mix up the meals as you see fit throughout each phase of your workout plan, all suited to your level.

It is an excellent idea to start by eliminating bad fats and processed sugars from your diet if you have not already. Do not try to jump into your new bodybuilding diet meal plan right away, either. It will take some getting used to, but by steadily building up to your perfect meal plan, and following the system, you'll get ripped and stay that way!

Like the old saying goes:

"Plan your work, and work your plan!"

But keep in mind that it's a lot easier when you can take out the guesswork by following a professional natural bodybuilder's advice when coming up with your bodybuilding diet plan. Either way, once you have your plan, just stick to it, and you'll love the result!



Weight Lifting Program

Weight Lifting Program - Power Mass Training for Building Muscle Mass




WeightLifting
Many people believe you need to train with a variety of weights and reps in order to maximize your muscle building progress. I believe that you can find the appropriate rep number for your muscles and it is best to stick with that range most of the time.

However, in weight lifting, the mental aspect of bodybuilding is also extremely important. And some people will get more out of their workout when their training includes some variety and they are always feeling fresh and challenged. After all, it doesn't matter that your weight training routine is perfect if you get bored with it and stop training.

With the power mass bodybuilding weight lifting program, it is very important to keep a training log. You need to keep track of you weight lifting exercises, weights and reps you perform at each workout. Your goal during this weight lifting program will be to increase either the weight you use or the number of reps you perform - every workout, or at least every other workout, for the length of the program.

If you're a newsletter subscriber (if not, I suggest you become one - see below for a free ebook), you know that I stress the importance of recuperation. If you overtrain, you won't get stronger, or bigger, and your training progress will cease.

Since overtraining varies from person to person, it's extremely important to keep track of everything in your weight lifting program so that you can make appropriate and systematic changes so you reach your muscle building goals.

Some people can work each muscle group two times a week and make great progress, while others do best with one workout per week. And this changes as you go from a beginner weight lifter, to an advanced one.

As you get stronger, you need more time to recover from the stresses you place on your body in your weight lifting workouts. When you start out, you may be able to work each muscle group three times per week. Eventually, in order to keep making progress, you might be able to work each muscle group only once per week.

The idea of a power mass weight lifting routine is to focus on a compound exercise for each muscle group. Such weight lifting exercises include the following:
  • Bench Press
  • Squat
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Upright Row
  • Dip
Then you follow the compound weight training exercises with isolation movements such as flyes for chest, lateral raises for shoulders or machine pullovers for the back.

In this power mass weight lifting routine, you perform the compound exercises first, for low reps, and then perform the isolation movements for higher reps.

For the compound movements, make sure to warm up properly. Your rep scheme should include these sets. For example, you might do five sets of the following rep scheme - 15, 8, 6, 4, 3. The first two sets of this weight lifting program should be light, and only used to warm the muscle and prepare yourself mentally for the final three sets, which are much heavier.

On the isolation movements, keep the reps in the 8 - 12 range for a couple of sets.

Keep in mind that a weight training program is the best way to build muscle mass but it's also the best way to lose fat, completely change the shape of your body, and keep the fat off. Weight lifting is much more effective for fat loss than aerobics or dieting alone.



Dumbbell Workouts

Dumbbell Workouts Are the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Bigger Muscles


Dumbbell Workout
If you are looking for an easy and highly effective way to gain muscle, then dumbbell workouts are the answer, hands down. There are so many expensive, complicated, not to mention, cheap contraptions out there that it is very easy to overlook dumbbell workouts.

Here's some extremely strong points on why dumbbell workouts are so highly effective:

Long and strong history. Dumbbells have a long and strong history of usage for muscle building. How much shelf life do you think those infomercial machines have? Usually 6 months to a year before the fad wears off. Dumbbells have been around for decades.

Easy and straightforward. People fail at effectively building muscle due to how complicated exercise machines and routines can be. With dumbbells it's as straight forward and easy as it gets.

Cheap. No monthly gym membership needed, no big equipment to invest in. You can get a pair of dumbbell handles, a bunch of plate weights, a bench which is optional, and you have yourself a cheap way to get bigger muscle.

They work! They not only work, they are about the best thing that does work for building up muscle. Seriously, go to any gym and the busiest section will be the dumbbell rack and the people using the bells will be the biggest in the gym. That's very impressive now days with all the fancy equipment out there. Dumbbells still win out every time.

What you need:

Dumbbells. You can either buy individual dumbbells or handles which you can interchange weight plates on. Or there are actual dumbbell racks which are incredibly convenient and with the touch of a button the weight of the bell gets changed immediately.

Dumbbell Instructional Routine and Chart. This is very important to learn how to implement the various exercises safely and effectively. This is the shortcut to achieving muscle building results quickly as well. Everything is laid out for you and you just follow along with the diagrams and routines.


Building Muscle Mass for More Muscle Mass

Building Muscle Mass - A Simple Technique for More Muscle Mass


Building Muscle Mass
Contantly pounding your body with heavy weights and low reps can take it's toll on you, both physically and mentally. Squats may be the most beneficial weight lifitng exercise you can do. However, putting hundreds of pounds on your back workout after workout, always trying to better your performance, can kill your motivation.

The same goes for any of the best exercises - deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, stiff-legged deadlift, etc. So what do you do to increase your muscle mass when you find yourself grinding down on the most important exercises?

A technique that I use to break out of a rut, and one that will kickstart your motivation and new muscle mass growth, is plain old vanilla pre-exhaustion. Sure, it's been around a long time but how many people do you see use it consistently? And why should they? Because it flat out works!

For those of you that may not be familiar with the technique, pre-exhaustion works like this. It's nothing more than a superset, which is performing two different exercises back to back with no rest in between. However, the selection and order of the two exercises is specific to pre-exhaustion. While you could superset bent over barbell rows and bench presses, that's not a pre-exhaust set.

Pre-exhaustion involves using a single-joint (or isolation) exercise, followed immediately by a multi-joint (or compound) exercise that works the same muscle group.

So what's the point of pre-exhaustion and how can you use it effectively to break out of a rut and build more muscle mass?

The pre-exhaustion technique is beneficial in a few ways. First of all, it increases your level of intensity. How does it do this? By allowing you to perform more work in less time. And we know that increasing your intensity level over time leads to more muscle gain.

The pre-exhaustion technique also allows you to pre-fatigue a muscle group, thus possibly bypassing a weak link in a specific exercise, which again allows you to increase the intensity of an exercise.

For example, for many people their weak link on the bench press is their tricpes. Unless you're naturally barrel chested, a good portion of the rep on the bench press is performed by the tricep. By utilizing an isolation movement first, like the pec deck or cable crossover, you fatigue the pec muscles. This allows the fresh triceps to help fatigue the pecs even more on the next exercise, the bench press.

This technique can also help you mentally by giving you a break from the huge poundaged on the compound movements. How does it do that? Obviously, you have to lighten the load on the compound movements when you do them right after a set of the isolation exercise.

Another variation of the technique is to continue to perform straight sets but do so in a certain order. For example, you may perform three straight sets of 10 reps on the pec deck and then move on to your three sets of the bench press. You may even want to use both in different periods of time. Or experiment with both pre-exhuast technique to see which one you prefer.

Either way, you'll get a fresh workout that can help you break through ruts and start building muscle mass again.



How to Get Abs

How to Get Abs - The Best Way to Get Six Pack Abs


What do all of the top models and most movie stars have in common? The answer is six pack abs. A defined midsection is considered the Holy Grail of fitness. If a person has defined abs, that person is usually considered to be in exceptional shape. I believe it has something to do with the fact that the abdominal area is the last place to lose body fat, so if a man is defined in that area he is probably in great shape overall. The crazy thing is that if you go into most gyms, I would estimate that less than 5% of the trainees actually have a six pack. The challenge lies from the fact that people have a misunderstanding of what it takes to achieve this awesome look.

Will Working the Core Muscles Give You Great Abs?

These days if you go into any gym, you will see a large focus on "core exercises." Personal trainers have people doing all sorts of crazy exercises on exercise balls which supposedly forces the body to stabilize itself using "core muscles." Focusing on the core muscles supposedly tones the abs to achieve a six pack abs. I see personal trainers devoting close to 1/2 of the client's time focusing on exercises which work the core. The funny thing is that I see people do this week in and week out and none of these people get any closer to getting six pack abs.

Will Performing Tons of Crunches Give You a Washboard Stomach?

Another school of thought is to work abs hard every day. There are tons of exercises which focus on the abdominal muscles. Many people use various floor exercises such as crunches or sit-ups. People also use machines in their quest for six pack abs. Some people recommend working the abs every day or every other day. Some tell you to use high reps and no weight or heavy weight like every other muscle. I see tons of people do this week in and week out and guess what...very few of those people have six pack abs!

Learn from Someone Who Has Six Pack Abs.

I have a very defined midsection year round, but it wasn't always that way. I followed the above recommendations and failed to get that six pack look. Believe it or not, a back injury helped me figure out what works best to get six pack abs! Let me elaborate...I sustained a back injury 5 years ago and was unable to perform any crunch movement without pain. I was bummed out, because I had a vacation to Cancun planned 8 months later. I wanted to look great in a swimsuit and have firm six pack abs. I had to give up on working my abs directly for 8 full months! I was convinced that my abs would look flabby. A crazy thing happened...I had amazing six pack abs in time for my vacation and I didn't do one ab exercise for 8 months!

My Approach to Getting Six Pack Abs.

Okay, since that time I haven't worked abs directly at all and my midsection looks better than ever. I am convinced that having six pack abs showing is 95% about your body fat percentage and maybe 5% or less about working the abs. You see, all of us already have a nice six pack...it is just hidden under a layer of fat. I guarantee that if you get your body fat to 10% or lower, you will have amazing six pack abs for the world to see. My recommendation is to drop your ab workout and spend that time on cardio. You want nice abs? Hit the Treadmill or the Elliptical Machine. Seriously, it the only way you will ever see those abs.



Pushups

The Benefits of Doing Pushups


Pushups
In my opinion, pushups are the single most effective exercise for improving total body fitness. They offer the benefits of weight lifting, stretching and cardio vascular training all in one exercise. For a beginner, pushups can be very difficult because of how many muscles are involved. Many of which are under trained in the body of a beginner. In fact, even many seasoned bench press veterans have trouble doing high-rep pushup workouts because their secondary and stabilizer muscles are untrained.

Holding the proper form is a great exercise alone, without even performing any repetitions. The pushup form benefits the abdominal muscles in the same way that Arnold Presses benefit the biceps, by simultaneously flexing and stretching. When the lower back muscles contract to stabilize your form, your abdominal muscles are inadvertently stretched. The quadriceps is also relied on heavily to maintain proper form, giving your legs a decent secondary workout.

The actual motion of a pushup trains the chest, triceps and the anterior deltoids, while stretching the biceps and back. Pushups are considered by many people to be the best all-around chest workout. I have found that they are great at increasing muscle size and tone. I have also found that they are easier on the joints than the bench press. Additionally, large pushup workouts are great for circulation and overall cardiovascular health.

When performed in high-repetition workouts, pushups can increase human growth hormone, boosting overall muscle growth. This is the hidden benefit of pushups that many people never discover because they only perform pushups as a supplemental exercise, rather than as a primary chest workout. My article entitled, "Do Pushups to Build Muscle Mass and Boost Metabolism," details how to build up your strength and endurance to completing a 1000-pushup routine. If you plan to use pushups as a primary chest exercise, then I encourage you to perform a lot of sets and reps, and set a goal of completing between 500 and 1000 pushups. Pushups are much more challenging and painful than a standard bench press, but if you commit yourself to them, you can have amazing results.

Pushups were the first bodyweight exercise that I developed any skill at. When I first started doing them, I lost a considerable amount of body fat in a relatively short period of time. This allowed me to start performing other bodyweight exercises that I had previously been unable to perform, such as pullups.



Bench Press

A Few Techniques to Improve Bench Press Performance


Bench Press
Tip 1: Pushups

One great way to build strength and endurance on a bench press is to do pushups every other workout, instead of using weights. When I first began using a flat bench press, I was coming from a world of calisthenic routines such as crunches, pull-ups and pushups. This helped me because my pectoral muscles were trained in the same way long-distance runners train their legs- i.e. light weight, high-rep, long-duration workouts. I seemed that as soon as I became comfortable with any weight, I would be capable of doing entire sets of 8-10 reps shortly thereafter. Pushups are a powerfully effective method for boosting bench press strength and endurance. There are many world-class athletes that swear by pushups alone, and claim to have never incorporated weight training into their routines. I believe them.

Tip 2: Isolation

The bench press is a compound exercise that trains the pectoral muscles, triceps, anterior deltoids and biceps. A great way to boost your overall performance of the compound movement is to isolate the component muscles and train them individually. I would recommend training triceps with the cable/bar on the smith machine because it provides uniform resistance throughout the entire movement of the exercise. In other words, weights always pull towards the ground versus the cable which pulls in the direction opposite of which you are pulling- ensuring constant resistance.

Another isolation method is the butterfly, which stretches and works out the chest all in one motion, similar to the way that incline-curls stretch and flex the biceps in one motion. Butterflies are good to tone/tighten your chest.

One of the more difficult exercises that I would recommend for training the triceps is dips, because dips are a great compound exercise that train the shoulders, back and triceps. Although, they are not my first choice in isolation training because of the secondary/stabilizer muscles that are inadvertently trained, they are a great exercise to boost your bench press performance.

Lastly, I would like to discuss the Arnold Press. I isolation train my shoulders exclusively with the Arnold Press. I have found that the Arnold Press is the best workout for the shoulders because it trains almost the entire shoulder in one motion- and the results come quickly. Although it doesn't train the posterior deltoids, it does a terrific job for the anterior and laterals deltoids. For the sake of the bench press, you should only concern yourself with the lateral and anterior deltoid muscles. Arnold Presses also train the triceps rather well.

Tip 3: Burnout

Burning out on your last set is not a new technique, but I decided to include it on my list of recommendations because it is effective. Essentially what is means is to choose a light weight and do 20-40 repetitions for your last set. If your workout consists of full sets with 185 lbs, then it serve your benefit to drop the weight down to 115 lbs or 95 lbs and burnout on your last set, doing as many repetitions as you can. After finishing a few workouts with a good burnout, you will notice that your muscles feel much tighter. The purpose of this technique is to turn large marshmallow muscles into rock-hard toned muscles.

Tip 4: More Sets, Less Weight

If you have come to a point at which your bench press max has plateaued, a good technique to push you over the edge, and to start making gains again is to perform full sets just beneath your bench press max. It is very common for veteran lifters to be capable of performing ten repetitions of 80-90%% of their max, while only being able to perform one repetition of their max. If you max, for example, somewhere around 205 lbs, then I would suggest doing several sets of 185 lbs, while only maxing one time per week, or every other week. A few weeks of building up core strength near your max will force your max to budge; you can quickly and easily add 5-10% onto your bench press using this method.

Tip 5: Pyramid

When I first began lifting weights, I established a pyramid routine on every single exercise and muscle group. They are good for spearheading strength in every muscle group. Pyramid routines consist of decreasing repetitions as weight increases. For example, begin your bench press with one set of 15 reps with 115 lbs. On your next set, perform 12 reps with 135 lbs. Try a 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 pyramid, adding a comfortable amount of weight on each set. There are two different ways to use a pyramid technique to make progress on your bench press. The first technique is to begin your pyramid at a higher weight, thus forcing every successive set to be performed with a larger amount of weight. The second technique, which is the most effective, is to pyramid back down to your beginning weight, i.e. 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15. If you perform a large pyramid bench press like this, do not perform a bench press workout more than one time per week.



Bicep Workout

Bicep Workout - Tips For Building Bigger Biceps


Bicep Workout
The best way to build bigger biceps is to incorporate a few different types of curls that each trains the muscles in a different fashion. It is important to note that the term biceps refers to two different muscles (long head and short head) and by diversifying your workout and attacking your arms with various approaches; you can be assured that your arms will get a comprehensive workout.

The most grueling biceps training routine is performed with the use of supersets. The concept behind doing super-sets is that there is almost no rest between sets, causing your muscles to overload- thus triggering growth. I suggest using a three or four station rotation. I have always performed a three-station routine. I prefer to do this workout with a partner for two reasons; motivation and timing. Bicep workouts cause a lot of pain, and the extra motivating force, that comes from working out with a competitive partner, provides the extra boost that I need to push my body hard enough to finish the workout. When working with a partner, I begin my rotation just as my workout partner finishes theirs. The competition that comes as a result of taking turns shortens the rest period between sets, making the workout more challenging and thus more effective.

The program consists of three stations, each targeting and isolating the biceps in a unique and specific way. For the first station, I recommend the standing dumbbell curl. Begin the movement with the dumbbell heads pointing to your front and back, and rotate the dumbbells as you lift them so that the heads of the dumbbells are pointed to your left and right as you complete the movement.

The second station is the standing barbell curl. Select a light weight for this station because even the what may seem to be a light weight in the beginning, is going to feel very heavy after just a few repetitions. Make sure you keep your back from excessive rocking back and forth as this may cause injury or help you cheat on your lifts- two very bad things.

Finally, on your third set, move to a bench and perform seated dumbbell curls. Keep the dumbbell heads pointed parallel to your body, i.e. the heads should point over your shoulder at the end of the movement. Do not rotate the dumbbells while doing these curls.

When you have completed 4-6 rotations, it is time to move on to a burnout station. For the biceps, I recommend burning out with incline-curls. These will add significant size to your arms, in a relatively short time. Incline-curls are very similar to the last station in the rotation, except they are performed while on an incline bench. These are great to finish a bicep routine because they simultaneously stretch and flex the biceps muscles. Incline-curls are very effective at adding size to the biceps, and they are most effective at the end of a workout, when your muscles are torn because they double as a stretching routine. You can lift both dumbbells at the same time, or one after another. If you lift them at the same time, this workout offers a good stretch for your chest.



Simple Workout Routines

Simple Workout Routines To Maximize Muscle Gain


Workout Routine
When developing a workout routine, the many decisions to make can be overwhelming. There are often too many cardio vascular and weight training machines to choose from, ultimately leading to frustration and headaches. To make this a much easier process, I am writing this article to explain a bare-bones, simple approach to exercise. I believe that you can train your entire body with just a few exercises, and only complicate your workout program with lots of stations in its later stages, and only to fine-tune your muscle definition.

The first thing that I would like for you to do is look over the machines in your gym. You will notice that many of them target individual muscles, while only a few target several muscles at one time. The machines that target individual muscles are used for what is called isolation training. For the purpose of getting in shape, you can avoid the isolation machines altogether. This simplifies your workout a great deal, because there are only a few compound exercise machines to choose from.

In the early stages of your body transformation program, the only exercises that you should concern yourself with are; pushups/bench press, pulldowns/pullups, squats, abdominal crunches, and leg lifts. These exercises will lead to the most rapid muscle gain. Compound exercises work several muscles and/or muscle groups at the same time by requiring the movement of two or more joints to successfully complete one repetition.

For example the bench press requires the movement of the elbow and shoulder joints; Squats require knee, hip and back movements; and pulldowns require elbow, shoulder and back movements. You might be wondering why I included crunches and leg lifts on the list of exercises to perform in the early stages. This is because crunches will prevent lower back injuries, which are common when beginning strength-training programs.

The frequency of your workouts and the breakdown of sets and reps is up to you. I urge you to challenge yourself, but beware over-training and attempting to commit to a program that is too difficult. I recommend training on a 4 day schedule, consisting of 3 days of training, followed by one day of rest. My schedule looks like this:

Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Back
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Rest

As far as cardiovascular exercise is concerned, consider the intensity of the exercise. If you want to burn a lot of calories, you can walk distances of several miles. But, if you go to a gym and only have 15 to 30 minutes to dedicate to cardio, the more intense the better. If you can get into a high-intensity class, i.e. kickboxing cardio, then go for it. But if not, and you have to select a machine, the stair-climber is probably the most effective option, next to running on a treadmill.



Pull ups Workout

Pull ups Workout - The Benefits of Doing Pull ups


pull ups
Like pushups, pullups are an exercise that is typically avoided because they are incredibly difficult to perform - this is a common mistake in workout planning. When an exercise is difficult to perform, it undoubtedly means that there is progress to be made. Most heavy weightlifters can pull down impressive amounts of weight on a machine, but struggle to perform any amount of pullups. Pullups are the ultimate bodyweight exercise, and to do them well requires an incredible amount of strength. Pullups are a great way to build a lot of lean body mass in a short period of time, and to build a strong back and arms.

Pullups are categorized as a compound exercise, because they require the movement of more than one joint, and they work out a group of muscles. A standard pullup where you grip a bar with your palms facing away from your body concentrates most of the work on your Latissimus Dorsi (a.k.a. wings, or lats), and also provides a secondary workout for the biceps, forearms, chest, traps (center back), and rhomboids (also center back).

An underhanded pullup, also known as a chin-up, also places the primary effort on the Latissimus Dorsi, but shifts part of the secondary workouts to the Posterior Deltoid (backs of shoulders), and puts more emphasis on the biceps. Because chin-ups work out the biceps so well, they are a great alternative to curling.

Using sideways grips, where your palms face towards one another, performs the third common type of pullup. This type of pullup is a blend of the overhand and underhanded pullup. I recommend a thorough workout, consisting of a blend of all three types of common pullups to ensure that you get the most out of your efforts.

Because you will be lifting approximately the same amount of weight every time that you perform a pullup workout, you can make progress very quickly. Of course, as you gain muscle, you will be progressively lifting more weight in each workout, but that is a concern for later. Do not be discouraged if you can only do one pullup, or chin-up, at first. Find a comfortable set size, even if it's one pullup, and do as many sets as you can throughout the day. Take a day of rest, and then try again the day after. Keep doing this until you can either; do more sets, or more pullups in each set.

If you have difficulty performing any pullups, there is another exercise that you can perform to build your strength. It is called a supine row, and it is basically a horizontal pullup. If you have a bar, or a bench press, then lay down underneath the bar, stiffen your body and pull yourself up to the bar. You can perform underhanded or over-handed supine rows with a standard bench press bar. A homemade supine row could consist of a bar, supported by two chairs- just make sure that the bar or chairs do not move when you do your workout.



Pushups

Pushups - The Ultimate Chest Workout


Chest Workout
Many professional athletes choose to work out there chests primarily by doing pushups. The U.S. military also trains their personnel with calisthenics exercises such as pushups and pull-ups. When so many people choose to work out with free-weights, why do so many people that need functional strength, choose to work out with their own bodyweight instead of traditional weight-lifting with free-weights?

The reason is simple: pushups are a far superior chest workout to free-weights. In competitive environments, where speed and explosive power are essential, there is no substitute for pushups. They build stamina, speed, and useful strength. Think about professional boxers. If they were to max out on a bench press that may equate to one really powerful punch, then they may be done for the day. However by training with pushups, and doing large sets of repetitions, their can throw punches for an entire twelve rounds of boxing. Plus, there are very few real-life scenarios where an individual needs to press more than their own bodyweight.

Many people argue that you cannot build substantial muscle mass by working out with your own bodyweight. While this is true for workouts with small quantities of pushups, if you build up to there you can do a workout of 500 or more pushups, you will gain significant size and definition. You will not build balloon muscles like you would with free-weights, but rather, you will build tight and toned muscle.

A standard bench press works out the chest, triceps, and some shoulder muscles. A pushup works out the chest, shoulders, legs, lower back, abdominals, and triceps- all at the same time- you will not have to do so many extra workout stations to supplement the bench press. Additionally, the pushup position requires the use of many stabilizer muscles, for movement and balance. By training with pushups, your stabilizer muscles will be sufficiently trained to support the larger muscle groups.

Pushups are a great beginner exercise for people who wish to eventually perform other body-weight exercises, such as pullups. This is because pushups can help shed substantial amounts of body-fat relatively quickly. When I first started doing pushups, I lost a lot of weight fairly quickly, and then I began doing pullups as well. If you cannot perform standard pushups, then try doing them on your knees or leaning against a sturdy surface (couch/wall). This will allow you to prepare your "pushups muscles" to eventually perform them properly.



Arm Exercises

Big Strong Biceps - Build Triceps - Powerful Arm Exercises


Arm Exercises
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.

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.

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.

Preacher Curl

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

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.

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 every few weeks to shock your biceps into new growth.


Muscle Growth

When Is Best Time To Eat Protein For Building Muscles - Muscle Growth?


muscle growth supplements
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.


Lower Body Exercises

Know Your Muscle Building Exercises - Lower Body Exercises


Lower Body Exercises
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.