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Showing posts with label weight training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight training. Show all posts
March 12, 2018

Weight Lifting Workouts

Weight Lifting Workouts For Insane Muscle Growth


Weight lifting workouts are the cornerstone of any successful muscle gain program. Without the proper stimulation, your muscles simply will not grow. If you're trying to build muscle mass but don't know how to structure your weight training workouts for muscle growth look no further.

While everybody knows that weight training is the way to go if you want to build muscle mass. Very few people understand the basics of designing a growth stimulating workout. Listed below is the framework that I use to put together 90% of my weight lifting workouts.

Weight Lifting Workouts

Before we get into the workout structure, It's important to talk about the muscle building process and how it works. Here's a simplistic overview of how the muscle building process works:

In order to build muscle mass you must first stimulate muscle growth with intense weight lifting workouts. After you have given your body a reason to grow, you must then focus your attention on fueling muscle growth. Just like your car, your body will not function properly without the right fuel (nutrients). After you have put in the hard work to stimulate and fuel muscle growth, you must give your body a chance to actually grow. The fancy term for this process is rest and recovery.

That's really all there is to the muscle building process. Armed with this knowledge, you should have a better than average idea of what it takes to build muscle.
Here's the formula for growth stimulating weight lifting workouts

1.) Always perform a complete warm up prior to jumping into any weight lifting workout. If yo decide to skip the warm-up and jump right into your workout, you will get hurt!

2.) limit the duration of your weight lifting workouts to 60 minutes max. I personally like to design them to complete in under 45 minutes. There are two reasons that I strictly follow this methodology.

The first reason is that studies have shown that the muscle building hormones begin to spike within 30 - 45 minutes. If you continue to train past the 60 minute threshold the muscle building effect of your workouts will not be as effective as an intense weight training session during your bodies peak hormonal period.

The second reason is that you'll have a very hard time maintaining the proper muscle building intensity level for more than 60 minutes. Another way to say it is - If you are able to train for 2 - 3 hours, chances are your workouts are not intense enough to stimulate muscle growth.

Besides, who has the time to commit to 2 -3 hours a day in the gym anyway?

3.) Design the majority of your workouts around compound exercises like squats, bench press, dead lift, rows etc. If you really want to add an isolation exercise into the mix, make sure that you only perform it after you have completed at least 1 heavy compound movement.

4.) Train heavy to stimulate muscle growth. If you're serious about building as much muscle mass as quickly as possible you need to train with heavy weights through a complete range of motion. I've found the 6 - 8 repetition range to be effective for most body parts.

5.) Incorporate stretching and flexibility into your weight training routine by stretching between sets.

6.) Focus on only 1 or 2 body parts per workouts max! If you want to stimulate muscle growth you need to hammer each muscle group with heavy weights. If you're trying to cram in 3 or 4 different body parts you will not be able to train heavy enough towards the end of your workout.

7.) Perform between 2 - 4 sets of each exercise beginning with your heavy compound exercises first and moving on to your secondary isolation exercises second.

8.) Rest for 2 - 3 minutes between sets. This is enough time to allow for complete muscle recovery, but not so long that your body cools down between sets.

9.) Train each body part only 1 time each week. This will allow for full muscular recovery between workouts.

Here's what a typical chest and bicep workout looks like following this model:
  • Bench Press - 4 warm up sets, then 3 sets of 6 - 8 reps.
  • Dumbbell Incline Press - 2 sets of 6 - 8 reps.
  • Straight Bar Curl - 4 warm up sets, then 3 sets of 6 - 8 reps.
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curl - 2 sets of 6 - 8 reps.
While it may seem counter intuitive to limit your weight lifting workouts to 60 minutes, you'll soon find that you can actually train with heavier weights and wind up stimulating more growth in the process!


February 25, 2018

Lifting Weights to Become Strong

Lifting Weights - How to Become Very Strong in 30 Minutes a Week


Some body builders lift weights for more than six hours a day, but you don't have to waste that much time to become very strong. Training for weight lifting is done in sets. A set of ten means that you lift and lower a heavy weight ten times continuously before you rest. If you repeat these sets of ten three times with a rest period between each set, you have done three sets of ten.

Lifting Weights

Pick 6 to 10 weight-machine exercises and do them in three sessions a week. In each exercise, try to lift the heaviest weight that you can lift comfortably ten times in a row without hurting yourself. When an exercise becomes easy, increase the weight. In five months, you should be able to increase your strength significantly and be proud of your larger muscles.

You now decide that you want to become even stronger. Would you increase your strength more by increasing the number of repetitions or by increasing the weight that you lift? For example, should you try to do three sets of ten for each exercise or stay at one set of ten, just try to lift a heavier weight once a week? Dr. Michael Pollock of the University of Florida in Gainesville divided recreational weight lifters into two groups. In one group, they tried to do three sets of 10 three times a week. In the other group, they did just one set of 10 three times a week, but tried to lift progressively heavier weights. Those who did one set of ten with heavier weights three times week were stronger than those who did three sets of ten without increasing the weight.

The single stimulus to make muscles larger and stronger is to stretch them while they contract. When you try to lift a heavy weight, your muscles stretch before the weight starts to move. The greater the stretch, the greater the damage to the muscle fibers and when they heal after a few days, the greater the gain in strength. The results of this study give a clear message. You become stronger by lifting heavier weights, not by exercising more. If you do too much work, you can't lift very heavy weights and you do not become stronger. When it comes to becoming very strong, less is more.
Most competitive bodybuilders spend hours trying to do many sets over and over again. You don't need to do that. Various studies show that you can gain up to 80 percent of your maximum strength by picking out four to eight specific lifts, lifting one set of ten of the heaviest weight in each, and repeating your program twice a week. The reduced workload causes fewer injuries and leaves you with a lot of extra time to do other things.

Lowering a weight slowly, called negative lifting, is a greater stimulus to make you stronger than raising it. You can lower much heavier weights than you can lift. As you raise a weight, you have to slow down because gravity works against you so that the weight feels heavier as you continue to raise it. On the other hand, when you lower a weight, you tend to move faster as gravity works with you and the weight feels lighter.

This negative lifting workout should be done only by experienced lifters not more often than once a week. Pick 10 to 15 lifts that you do regularly. Start out by lifting the heaviest weight that you can lift ten times in a row. You will struggle to get through the last three or four lifts. Then add five to 15 pounds, which may be too heavy for you to lift. Two spotters should lift the weight for you and you try to lower it six times. You'll really hurt and you may want to quit. Add another ten pounds and try to lower the weight three times. Then pick your arms off the floor, replace them on your shoulders and take at least two days off.

Lifting weights enlarges your muscles and makes you stronger, but it does not make you fit. Fitness refers to your heart and is gained by exercising in an activity where you move continuously, such as running, cycling, skating, dancing, walking or swimming. A complete exercise program should include lifting weights two or three times a week and doing a continuous sport three times a week. Alternating your activities gives your muscles a chance to recover and helps to prevent injuries.
Source
February 24, 2018

5 Best Exercises For Building Mass & Power


There are plenty of exercises to choose from in the Iron Game, but only a handful are considered essential exercises.
And of that handful, five are what's known as tools of the trade exercises, the indispensable few you must have in your workout program.

Building Mass


Here are the five best exercises on the planet for building muscle and power. Add these to your workout and watch your gains soar.

1. The Squat 
The big boy of all weight bearing exercises. The squat has been called the king of all exercises and rightly so. The squats have am indirect effect on your body, meaning squats work just about every muscle in the body, especially the thighs and quads. Even the calves get worked with heavy squats.

2. The Deadlift 
Another exercise with massive indirect effects. The deadlift works the whole body and some say all you need is the deadlift and a pressing exercise and you're in business. The hamstrings and back are the hardest hit. The deadlift is also the best ab exercise around. Do a couple sets of good, hard deadlifts once and see how sore you abs are after.

3. Overhead Press 
Great exercise for your shoulders and upper back. Do them standing up instead of setting down. Why? Because it's harder that's why. The old timers did heavy presses and they always did them standing. Many of the old-school lifters liked to press heavy dumbbells to work one arm at a time. Barbells or dumbbells, either way, do presses.
4. Bench Press 
Works the chest and the triceps hard. No need to do wimpy tricep pushdowns or french presses with this bad boy. Heavy benches are the only exercise you need to work your chest and triceps.

5. Chins 
The chin up is the best bicep exercise around, bar none. Try this experiment: Flex your bicep but keep the palm of your hand facing away from you. You should be looking at the back of your hand. Now grab your bicep with your other hand and feel how soft it is. Now rotate your wrist so that the palm of your hand on the flexed bicep is now facing you. Did you feel the contraction? That's what happens during heavy chins. If you're getting off too many reps, add weight to your body. If you can't do chins, switch to pulldowns instead, but keep your palms facing you.

There you have it. The five best exercises for building mass and power. If you make these fabulous five the foundation of your program, lift heavy and with max intensity, you'll be out-growing your clothes before you know it.
February 22, 2018

How to Build Muscle Without Gaining Body Fat


Building muscles without gaining fat mass is not the easiest task in bodybuilding, but it can definitely be done.
There are several factors that can influence this process:
How to Build Muscle

Level of training
Diet
Cardio
Age

Level of training

People that are beginners in training usually have the capacity of building easier muscles than accumulating fat mass. This is due to the fact that when you are a beginner your body needs to do many adaptations in order for it to face the future trainings. So it will consume a lot of energy do these adaptations.

These adaptations usually are things like: increasing muscle size, strengthening tendons, strengthening ligaments, strengthening bones and improving some functions. All these things will need calories that the body will take from the fat deposits.

On the other hand a person that is advanced in training, for example 3-4 years, usually will build muscle mass and fat tissue at the same rate, if the diet and training are not adjusted accordingly.

Calories

In order for someone to build muscles without gaining fat is important to know his maintenance calories.

The maintenance calories are basically the amount of calories that someone can eat without gaining weight. A method through which you can find your maintenance calories is to eat every day the same amount of calories and see if you gain, lose or stall in weight. If you gain weight you reduce them with 200-500 calories, if you lose weight you have to increase them with 200-500, but if you stall you found your maintenance weight.

Keep in mind that you have to eat the same amount of calories for 1 week to draw conclusions.
Diet composition

To build muscles without fat gains you also have to have a diet that is based on foods rich in proteins and low in other macronutrients..

The diet composition can look something like this: 25-30% proteins, 20-30 carbohydrates and the rest percents fats.

A trick which you can do to keep fat accumulation away, is to eat carbohydrates like in the above example in the training days and in the off days to reduce them to about 100-150 grams max per day.

Cardio

Cardio is a tool that can help you burn some extra calories in order for you to reach your maintenance levels. Depending how you use it, cardio can have a good or a bad impact on your muscle gains.

The best thing to do if you need to burn some calories is to do low intensity cardio, mainly a fast walk.

The duration of cardio will depend of your needs, for example with 10 minutes of low intensity cardio you can burn around 100 calories. So, if you need to burn 500 calories in a day, you will have to do around 40-50 minutes of cardio.

Usually, if you do the cardio on a treadmill it will show you how much calories your burned.

Age

This last factor can have an important impact when it comes to building muscles without gaining fat, mainly because with the passing of years the body's metabolism decreases in its activity, usually with 10% at every 10 years.

A younger person will build lean muscles easier, than a person that let's say is 40 years old. At this age you must be very careful about every factor that can influence fat gain.
February 01, 2018

Squats Workouts - 3 Fun and Easy Squats Workouts

The goal of any exercise regimen involving explosive squats workouts is to get faster and jump higher by doing them. It is not just about squatting with heavy weights, but you will be adding jumping with heavy weights into the mix. You want to get to the point where you are jumping higher as you use light weights to squat with.
For the speed aspect, the most important part is when you begin your movement. This factor is called the starting speed. The second factor is the explosive strength needed to get airborne, just like all those basketball stars. Reactive strength, on the other hand, plays the role of least importance with these squats workouts. Following these exercises will get you jumping higher by focusing your attention on applying that explosive strength that is needed for liftoff.

Squats Workouts

The first of the squats workouts is called the Box Squat. You will sit on a box, with your legs wide. Between each rep you will pause. The amount of weight you use is based upon your best back squat weight. When you determine that weight, you will use 50-60% of that weight for your box squats. Once you have the weight secured, you will explode up off the box, using just your hamstrings and your hips. Do from 2 to 5 reps for your Box Squat sets.

Moving on to the paused Jump Squat, you are going to use 16-30% of your best squat weight. Move your body down to just above parallel. Here you will wait three seconds, then explode upward, jumping as high as you can. You are going to do 5 to 10 reps here. The paused Jump Squat is a fun and helpful exercise to help you jump higher.

The Jump Shrug is next in your Squats Workouts. With this you are going to begin from the floor. Explode upward using just your legs and your hips. As your feet lift off the floor, shrug your shoulders. Come back down and start again. You'll do this 3 to 6 times.

This is a good start to your Squats Workouts. Have a good time with them, and you'll start to see a vast improvement in your vertical jumps.





February 01, 2018

These Magical Workouts Keep Burning Cals Long After You Hit the Shower


Sure, you're probably blasting a reasonable number of calories during the hour that you spend at the gym. But what about the other 23 hours of the day? Turns out, the fat-blasting doesn't need to end just because your sweat sesh does.



Choose the right workout and you could end up torching calories for hours after you've changed out of your sports bra. “[Having] a mix between maximal heart rate aerobic conditioning and anaerobic, or muscular, stimulation is the key,” says Joey Thurman, creator of The Lifestyle Renovation and author of 365 Health and Fitness Hacks That Could Save Your Life. “And if you challenge every muscle in your body, as well as your cardiovascular system, you’ll generally always be working at a fast tempo (but under control) to really maximize your calorie-burning efforts.”

So next time you’re struggling to figure out exactly which workout is worth it, choose from this list. You’ll get sweaty AF—and probably feel pretty sore the next day—but knowing your body is working even when you’re not? That’s pretty nice.
workout plan

High-Intensity Interval Training

Steady-state cardio definitely has a place in a well-rounded workout routine, but Thurman says it’s not the way to go if you want to stoke your metabolic fire. Instead, you should turn to high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. “Intervals are a form of cardio where you perform an intense exercise as hard as you can—like running sprints, swimming fast, jumping rope—to elevate your heart rate for a brief period, then following it up for a short resting period.”

The benefits? First, Thurman says intervals force your body to improve its ability to use and burn energy. “If you strictly perform endurance-style cardio, you can [actually] lose muscle in the long run because your body starts to become catabolic—a state where you burn through muscle tissue and lower your metabolism,” says Thurman. “Adding in intervals and weight training increases your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), meaning your body is better able to burn calories throughout the day.”


Plus, Thurman says working at an all-out effort (sprinting at a 10 on a scale of one to 10) increases the size and strength of your fast-twitch muscle fibers. (Translation: You’re way more likely to nab a PR in your next 5K.)

After committing to HIIT, you might even find your muscles peeking through in hard-to-tone areas like your belly, butt, and legs. In fact, one study shows that those who did 20 minutes of bike intervals for three months added about a pound of leg muscle while losingnearly 4.5 pounds of fat. You’re not likely to get that with your Saturday long run around the park. “The problem with consistent steady-state cardio is you will not develop a well-defined physique,” says Thurman. “You may lose weight, but there won’t be a lot of muscle definition.”

That said, there are a lot of different HIIT programs you can try. Erin Oprea, author of The 4X4 Diet and celebrity trainer to the likes of Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini, and The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe, prefers Tabata intervals. You’ll work in eight rounds, pushing hard for 20-second bursts followed by 10 seconds of rest. “The smaller rests don’t give you a full recovery period to [help your body burn calories] faster and longer,” she says. She suggests alternating between pushups and squats for each round of 20 seconds for a well-rounded burst of fat-blasting.


Weight Training

“Many assume that just getting in cardio is enough, but that’s not so,” says Oprea. “Weight training is a must to get that burn to last, and adding it on top of cardio will really get you over a plateau.” And with the array of bodyweight workouts available these days, there's really no excuse to miss out. (To build sexy, toned muscles while enhance your burn, pick up Lift to Get Lean by Holly Perkins.)

Other than the fact that you’ll spike your metabolism—studies show that it can help speed your resting metabolic rate, or how fast you burn calories when you’re doing, well, nothing—you’ll also give your bod a much-needed break from high-impact activities like running. Thurman says that leads to greater muscle recovery due to less stress. Plus, it’ll boost any weight loss efforts, as one study showed that dieters who lifted weights lost 21 pounds of almost all fat, while those who did cardio attributed some of their 21-pound weight loss to muscle loss.

To make the most of your lifting session, both Thurman and Oprea suggest total-body workouts. “It gets rid of the ‘I don’t have time to work out’ complaint that I hear far too often,” says Thurman. “They’re efficient, can be fit into a tight schedule, and you only need to do it two to three times a week to really reap the rewards.”

Some of Oprea’s favorite moves: Reverse lunges into bicep curls, squats into shoulder presses, or pushups with rows. Thurman suggests doing three to four sets, with 10 to 15 reps of each exercise. “It’ll allow for muscular growth and endurance as you are in both the hypertrophy range (eight to 12 reps), which is where you’ll see the most muscle development, and the endurance range (over 12 reps), which helps with muscular endurance,” he explains. And whatever you do, don’t rest for more than 30 seconds in between sets. “It’ll keep your heart rate up, elevate your metabolism, and make your workout more efficient with less time,” he says.

Plyometrics

Now that you’ve got weight training and cardio down, it’s time to add some ups to your routine. Enter plyometrics, or jump training, which ensures your muscles are exerting as much force as possible in a short period of time, with the goal of increasing power (so, moves like box jumps, burpees, and jumping lunges are your jam).

Why are they so great? “Getting your feet off the ground engages so many more muscles and really spikes your cardio at the same time,” says Oprea. “And it elevates your heart rate because of all the jumping you’re doing.”

Research also shows that plyometrics sends your EPOC into overdrive, especially when combined with HIIT. In one study, females who added two sets of 45 seconds of plyometric exercises (with 45 seconds of rest) to their HIIT routine improved their lean body mass by 3 percent and squat jump performance by 22 percent.

Oprea suggests trying it out with moves you’re already familiar with, like a squat. After you lower into your squat, start to rise back to the starting position, but instead of stopping with your feet flat on the ground, lift off into the air to turn it into a jump squat. “Get as high as you can after each squat, landing softly from toe-to-heel and going straight down into the next squat,” she suggests. “It’s a simple and very effective exercise. Repeat for 10 to 20 reps, and do three to four sets.” Can you feel the burn already?



December 05, 2017

Exercise The Right Way - The Leg Press

Other articles in this series looked at a number of exercises, mainly from the perspective of developing a comprehensive muscle building program. Sometimes we take things for granted, especially when it comes to performing the basic exercises that constitute the core of most bodybuilders' training regimes.


It is useful, therefore, to describe in detail the processes involved in actually doing these exercises. This will help beginners to start out using the correct techniques before moving on to potentially more dangerous heavy weights. If it also helps more experienced lifters to redress some of the little faults that have almost imperceptibly crept in over the years, all the better.

In this article we'll take a close look at the leg press.

leg press

MUSCLES TARGETED: vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, rectus femoris

STARTING POSITION

Lie on leg press machine with buttocks supported on seat and back pressed against the back rest pad. 
Place feet flat on the platform, shoulder width apart. Angle toes slightly outwards.

Grip handles and unlock weight in readiness for performance of the leg press.

EXERCISE TECHNIQUE

Slowly bend legs, allowing knees to move towards the chest. 
When the knees have reached a point just beyond 90 degrees, slowly straighten the legs until you return to the starting position. 
Do not lock your knees at the highest point of the movement. 
Repeat this movement until you reach your target number of repetitions

OTHER EXERCISES WORTH CONSIDERING

Other exercises that tackle these muscles include the Squat, Hack Squats, Smith Machine Squats and Seated Leg Extensions.



January 06, 2017

An Effective, 4-Exercise Biceps Workout to Blast Your Arms Into New Size Gains


If you have been weight training and building muscle for very long, you have probably figured out that the most important movements to do in the gym are the heavy, compound exercises such as squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. You probably also know that working the big muscle groups such as legs, back, and chest is of primary importance. That being said, most bodybuilders and other weight lifters still love a good biceps workout and are always looking for new ways to get bigger arms. Here is a great 4-exercise biceps workout that you can use to blast your arms into new muscle growth and strength gains.

Biceps Workout


EZ bar Curl

The first movement in your biceps workout should be the one that allows you to use the most weight. While a straight bar might allow you to go a little heavier than EZ bar, I have always found it to be far too painful for my wrists to use it long-term. Using about a shoulder-width grip on the bar, curl all the way from top to bottom, using a full range of motion on each rep. It is definitely okay to use a little bit of a swinging motion here. Do 4 pyramiding sets of 8-10 reps. Your last set should be an all-out effort.

Rope Hammer Curl

Hammer curls are one of the best exercises for working your forearms and building your grip. Most people use dumbbells for this movement, but I have always preferred to use a cable stack and the rope attachment. It is okay to use a very slight swaying motion to curl the weight to the top, but make sure you stay strict and slow as you lower the weight. The last few reps of a hard set of this movement are usually very slow, painful, and taxing, but push through them to get some huge growth in your arms. This can be one of the most effective movements in your biceps workout. Do 3 progressively harder sets of 12-15 reps.

Incline Dumbbell Curl

This is one of the most challenging biceps movements. Set an incline bench at about 45 degrees, sit back, and curl all the way from the stretched position to full contraction. The laid back position will keep you from putting any body English into the movement and will force a maximum amount of stress onto your biceps. Since your biceps are already warmed up at this point in the workout, go straight into 2 hard working sets of 10-12 reps. Fight the urge to stand up or lean forward when the reps start to get hard.

Machine Curl

For the last exercise of your biceps workout, pick your favorite curl machine. Your biceps will probably be too taxed to use free weights at this point, and you just want to force some more blood into the muscles. Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps. You might want to follow this movement with some aggressive stretching, as this can facilitate muscle growth when you do it with a pumped muscle.

Progressively Heavier Weights

You can do endless sets of reps of curls, but your biceps will never grow if you don't gradually increase the weights you are using for your curling exercises. Keep a log of your exercises, weights, sets, and reps, and aim to beat your previous records every time you train. An extra rep or an extra five pounds every session leads to huge increases in muscle mass over time.

Working Your Whole Body for Big Arms

Though you need to train your biceps hard and directly in their own biceps workout, they will never grow to their full potential if you do not train the rest of your body with the same intensity. Back exercises such as rows and pull-ups will indirectly work your biceps, forearms and grip to give you somewhat of an extra day of stimulation. You also need to be doing heavy lower body movements like squats and deadlifts, for they cause a huge increase of anabolic hormone levels in your body. There is a reason you don't often see a guy with huge biceps that doesn't also have a monstrous back and thick legs. To add muscle optimally, your body must add it everywhere.