Archive | Building Muscle

Fibromyalgia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A 25 Year Battle Before Moringa

It started with a bad case of the flu. Throughout the rest of that year I visited the clinic because of sleep marathons and strange body aches and each time I was told I had the flu. People just don’t get the flu 5 times in one year. That was in 1986. When I started needing a nap every day I thought it was allergies, the doctor laughed and told me I was a bored housewife. Other symptoms cropped up, a spastic colon and inflamed bowel. Diagnostic tests of upper and lower GI’s failed to find any underlying medical issues.

In 1991, I had a strange feeling in my hands. Within 4 days every joint in my body had stiffened and swelled, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Essentially I was disabled for the next two weeks, unable to stand without support, unable to open my hands, and too exhausted to think. It took about 6 months to return to a regular level of health. Muscle and joint pain continued to be a frequent problem. When the RH factor did not show in a blood test I was diagnosed with disrupted sleep patterns and treated with Ambien.

Between 1997 and 1998 I lost two jobs because of problems with memory, and the inability to properly react in a situation involving clients. In 1999, I was physically exhausted and in pain, for a time I had to forgo cooking at the stove because I would get distracted and walk away letting pots boil dry. It was when a pan of oil caught fire that I decided to stick to the microwave for a time. One day I even walked out of a store to find that I had left my keys in the car with the motor running. Another visit to a doctor finally gave me a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Of course a diagnoses doesn’t end the problem, it merely gives you the information to help you cope. Once I knew what the problem was I was able to get more information and find ways to better live with the disease. As I became more educated I was able to keep better control of my symptoms. Regular exercise in the form of dancing and walking kept my body in fairly good conditioning. A good diet avoiding fried foods and excess sweets made a big difference. I noticed the increased pain if I indulged is some foods like chocolate ice cream. Keeping hydrated and avoiding stressful situations is also key in controlling the symptoms. However, we can’t always stay in control of our lives. Stress happens and Fibromyalgia Chronic Fatigue` Syndrome can often go into a downward spiral; I was fighting that downward spiral when I found Moringa.

I received an e-mail from a friend telling me to look up Moringa, and the Miracle Tree on line. There was a wealth of information about the amazing tree, its nutritional benefits, and the promising research into its medicinal properties. This plant is said to have properties that inhibit the growth of cancer cells, provide unsurpassed nutrition, are high in antioxidants, speed healing, and can have positive effects on over 300 medical conditions. When my friend stopped by a few days later she brought me a packet of promotional information, and told me about another friend of hers who also suffers from fibromyalgia. The woman had been using the products developed from the Moringa plant and within a month had been able to stop using her cane for the first time in 10 years. In addition to getting relief from the fibromyalgia symptoms, she lost weight, and saw improvement in her glucose levels from diabetes. After hearing that astonishing news and impressed by what I had read on line I decided to go ahead and try the product myself. I don’t believe I have ever made a better decision. Within a week I saw and felt improvement in my concentration, memory, and skin. I was able to sit down and read a book for the first time in a year. My hands which were chapped from the dry winter weather were now well hydrated and healing.

I have continue to take Moringa over the last 4 months and seen an improvement in my moods, my energy levels, my hair, and complexion. I am not cured, I never will be; however the downward spiral of poor health was halted and I am now working my way back to a higher level of well-being with the help of this remarkable product. I plan on continuing the Moringa Daily Nutrients and I am sure my symptoms will continue to lessen as time goes by, hopefully to complete remission.

If you suffer from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I suggest that you try the practices that gave me relief.

· Healthy diet

· Avoid fried foods and frequent sweets

· Active lifestyle

· A Regular schedule with consistent bed and waking times

· Keep well hydrated

· Avoid Stress

· Try Moringa

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Varicocele And Kindred Disorders

This is a fairly common male disorder, consisting of a swelling or enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord present in the scrotum. The enlargement of the vessels may be slight and insignificant or so prominent that the scrotum also becomes quite swollen and pendulous. Usually it exists in mild degree, and is said to occur in about one in every ten young men. Many of those with mild varicocele give the condition more thought and worry more about it than some with a pronounced degree. The condition results from disturbances of the local circulation.

In some cases there is fullness and twisting of the spermatic veins in which there is no definite varicocele, the veins being normal and the functions normal. Varicocele is one condition which charlatans and quacks in the past have utilized to increase their revenue – at the expense of the peace of mind of their patients. They often make much of insignificant degrees of varicocele. Unscrupulous physicians often claim that every other possible sexual ailment except venereal disease results from or can result from varicocele.

The spermatic cord is a sheath-like structure suspending the testicle on each side, and containing the duct of this gland, the vas deferens, the spermatic arteries and the spermatic veins, which take the form of a network. A poor general circulation and any condition which results in local congestion in the parts, general low tissue tone, constipation, lifting of heavy weights, long standing on the feet, bicycle riding and certain jars and stresses may cause varicocele.

Symptoms: Upon palpation of the scrotum there is felt within it a mass resembling earthworms. These may be few or many. There may be no other signs (other than the enlargement of the scrotum) or symptoms. The scrotum also usually hangs very low, particularly on the left side, and in pronounced cases or in nervous individuals there is a sensation of weight and a dull dragging sensation. Sometimes an aching pain is quite pronounced. There may be tenderness in the veins of the parts involved, or of the spermatic cord or of the testicle.

There are several reasons why varicocele is more commonly found on the left side. First, the left cord is longer than the right; second, the left spermatic vein opens at right angles into the left renal vein, which does not favor ready return of blood on that side, while the right spermatic vein empties at a pronounced angle; third, the left spermatic vein runs behind the sigmoid colon, with the result that in constipation there is pressure upon and obstruction of the vein, which produces the stagnant circulation in the scrotum. Therefore the person who is habitually constipated is much more likely to develop varicocele than the one whose bowels are functioning normally.

Long standing does not have the effect of producing varicocele, unless there is defective circulation or general weakness and lowered tone of the tissues. One who is physically active and energetic may remain on his feet for long hours daily without the development of varicocele, provided other factors also do not tend to produce it. General debility and lack of nerve- and muscle-tone is one of the prominent causes and is necessary, in fact, to the development of a pronounced degree of the condition. Another important factor is continued or frequently repeated congestion of the parts due to too much sexual excitement, especially in early life. Masturbation, through its effect in causing frequent engorgement of the veins and a state of more or less general debility, may be a factor in the development of the condition. Many believe that all cases of varicocele result from masturbation or some sexual excitement, but this is far from a fact.

Sometimes a truss worn for the relief of a hernia may cause varicocele. Sometimes the hernia itself will result in the condition through direct interference with the return circulation. Any other type of tumor located in this region may have a similar effect. Lifting of heavy weights, especially when certain of the abdominal structures are not on guards may produce it; also sedentary habits.

In a great many cases worry has done more to reduce the general health than has the varicocele itself. There is no occasion to worry over the condition, and nothing need be done in the very mild cases. Some cases become so pronounced, however, that there is failure of development of the involved testicle; or if there is development It may gradually atrophy because of the failure in its circulation. In this case there is more or less “sickening” ache in the testicle itself during the process of atrophying. In these cases the testicle function becomes much impaired, but the other testicle may maintain normal sexual vigor and productivity.

Treatment: Since it is poor general tone, vigor and circulation that make the condition possible, whatever factor or factors may have been responsible for its immediate development it is necessary that the treatment include those factors which have to do with building up the body and the quality and circulation of the blood to the highest degree possible. One of the most important of all factors of treatment is cold applications. The cold sitz-bath is the best single factor in the treatment of this trouble. Sometimes through the draining of the vessels by the cold bath and the improved local tone, there will be an eradication of the trouble if causes have been removed. In any case, however, the cold will have the effect of removing the feeling of tension and bearing down so common to this affliction.

The hot sitz-bath should not be taken in this condition unless there is pain or unless there is inability to react from a cold sitz-bath. In this latter case, the hot sitz-bath may continue for a minute or two in order to improve reactive powers. The cold sitz-bath may and should be taken morning and evening. The colder the water the more valuable will the treatment be, but reaction is necessary, of course. At any time the hot sitz-bath is taken, it should always be followed by the cold sitz.

Another excellent bath is taken as follows: Seated in three or four inches of cold water in an ordinary bath tub, after two or three minutes use the cupped hands in the order of a water wheel between the flexed knees to splash the water quite vigorously against the scrotal area. A modification of this treatment is to have the arms on the outside of the legs (knees flexed), which gives a more pronounced splashing effect against the perineal region. Still another very excellent cold water treatment is the cold spray with a portable hand spray.

While seated in the bath tub, or while supported over the side of the tub (so that the hips are suspended inside and the back leaned against one side of the tub while the knees support the body on the other side), one may play the cold spray as long as desired with less chilling effect upon the body as a whole, thus resulting in more prompt reaction. After this spray has been given to the scrotal, perineal, and lower abdominal regions, it may be given also to the lumbar region of the spine. This is the sex center of the spine, and treatment at this region will have a good tonic effect upon the circulation throughout the sexual system and pelvis. The alternating hot and cold sprays may be given to this region with benefit, terminating with the cold.

Exercise is very necessary for the correction of this trouble. While standing may aggravate the condition, walking and running will tend to drain out the veins of the scrotum through the effect upon the entire general circulation. Running while in one place, rope-skipping, moderately fast walking and running, or any one or more of these should be included in every system of treatment for this trouble if there is no contra-indication. Other exercises of value are those taken reclining, either on the level or, especially, on the slanting table – such as were recommended for rupture. One may lie on the inclined table several times daily without exercise, but at least once a day exercise should be taken, mainly on the back^ but also some movements face down – all taken head down.

Diet is of considerable value in this condition also. It is important that a diet providing ample bulk and laxative foods be provided so that bowel functioning is maintained at normal or is re-established. The milk diet is one of the best diets for the condition. It gives the blood all the elements that are required, but it gives ample fluid also, and the circulation in general is pronouncedly increased on this diet. This is what is required for the correction of varicocele. Naturally if the milk diet is constipating, the enema must be used, or bran, bran muffins, figs or prunes in sufficient amounts to secure at least two good evacuations daily. If the milk diet is not used there should be considerable milk in a diet otherwise composed of natural foods.

The wearing of a supporter with elastic straps is advisable when there is pronounced distension of the veins, or when there is tenderness and pain or a dragging sensation. Within a comparatively short time these sensations will be reduced, but it does no harm to wear the support. After the cold water treatment by any of the methods suggested above, the sac of the supporter may be wrung from cold water before putting it on. This, with the outer clothing, has somewhat the effect of a heating compress.

One remaining leading factor of treatment, and in some cases the most important of all, is the avoidance of sexual excitement and erotic thoughts. So long as physically or mentally one is maintaining a congestion of these parts, it is impossible for any combination of treatments that do not include surgery to correct the trouble.

Keeping the mind on other subjects and free from worry over the existing condition, adopting a blood-making diet of vital foods only, with ample fluid, exercising sufficiently to develop good muscle tissue and muscle-tone, securing enough relaxation that there is no enervation, and also employing local treatment, will do wonders in this condition and often in time will completely restore the parts to normal. Whether or not they have this perfect effect, they will prevent aggravation of the condition, will remove unpleasant sensations resulting from it, and will maintain functioning of the sexual glands.

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So What Exactly Are Abs?

It may seem like the most obvious question in the world but believe me, without at least a basic understanding of the physiology and composition of this particular muscle group then your goal of well defined ripped abs will remain a distant dream.

There are six groups of abdominal muscles, hence the term six pack, and they make up the core abdominal muscles. Your abs begin just under the rib cage and make their way all the way down to the pelvic area. On each side of your torso are two pairs of abdominals known as the external and internal obliques. These muscles are there primarily to support the movement of your spine from both side to side and the bending of your spine backward and forward. Your obliques are absolutely fundamental in your quest for ripped abs as they play a key role in developing core strength, but they will not form part of your visible six pack as they are impossible to see.

Now one extremely important fact to remember when working to develop ripped abs is that although the abs are made up of distinct muscle groups the abdominal area is in fact one muscle known as the Rectus Abdominus. Therefore it is physiologically impossible to isolate just one area of your abs completely, because by definition when you work your abs you will be working them all. You will sometimes hear people saying “I need to work my lower abs” or something similar. This is simply not possible without working the rest of the muscle group at the same time.

The third and final group of abdominal muscles are known as the transverse abdominus muscles. Again just like the internal and external obliques they are not visible from the outside, however, they play just as important a role in your plan for ripped abs as the other ab muscles. They are mainly responsible for ensuring correct body posture. The best analogy would be to think of your transverse abdominus as your very own natural weight belt.

I believe it is vitally important to stress at this point just how vital strong abs can be. Ripped abs are a wonderful goal to work towards, not just from an aesthetic aspect but also because strong and well defined abs will go a very long way towards reducing problems in later life. Weak abdominal muscles will contribute towards problems such as lower back pain or indeed any other postural issues. Strong abs will go a long way towards reducing the risk of injury when you train or indeed just help to build your core strength when performing everyday activities.

It is also important to remember that the abs are muscles just like any other and as such they will require a period of recovery after a workout. The good news however, is that given their unique fibre composition they actually require slightly less recovery time than most of the other major muscle groups. Devise your workout plan around your ultimate goal, whether that be just to build strength or to develop awesome ripped abs, and stick to it rigidly. Good luck.

Now you have a basic understanding of the anatomy of abs you will be better equipped to Get Ripped Abs Quick

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Do Isometrics Burn Calories?

Muscles in themselves burn calories, and strenuous exercise has a great effect on burning calories in the body, but do isometrics burn calories? Is an isometric workout strenuous enough to burn fat in the body?

One isometric exercise case study performed by the owner of Isometric-Training showed a cut of 20.3 lbs of fat in 4 weeks. That was a total loss of 9.4% body fat, not water weight. Furthermore, he showed that, by doing isometric exercises, he burned 14lbs of body fat in 7 days, with video updates and archiving each aspect of his training. That’s a roughly 49,000 kcal deficit in one week. These numbers don’t appear from thin air; real people have performed isometric exercises of varying intensities in order to reduce not just water weight from their bodies, but actual body fat. Isometrics don’t simply burn calories; they turn your body into a furnace that can torch the calories like a space shuttle does jet fuel.

Isometric exercises are a critical key to lean functional muscle, as they have been in the martial arts for hundreds, yet thousands of years. Even without addressing the art behind isometrics, the science is irrefutable; in 1954, two German scientists, Muller and Hettinger, conclusively proved in over 5,000 independent clinical trials, that one could increase strength by 5-15% with a single 7 second stimulation once a week. Subjects in a later study performing a daily 7 second contraction increased their strength by 72% in 46 weeks. The fall of strength after the end of training is very slow. 70 weeks after the end of training their strength was still 42% higher than before the beginning of training. After doing nothing for over a year and a half they were still 42% stronger than when they started.

Ah well, that research must be outdated by now, as much as exercise science changes over the years. I suppose I’ll have to refer to this study by John Little (et. al. 2006) which showed a single 5 minute routine comprised of 10, 7 second contractions produced up to 9.3lbs of muscle tissue. That is enough muscle to drastically increase your body’s resting ability to burn body fat.

There are hordes of thoughts about the best method of strength training; what I will say is that your regimen should include something that builds your body from the inside out. For me, isometric exercises build strength from the tendons, ligaments, and nerves out to the muscles. I do training that isolates individual muscles for maximal muscle fatigue, and training that involves large muscle groups for fatigue of the central nervous system. As long as your training does not neglect internal principles of strength (like bodybuilding training that focuses solely on muscle without long-term development of the tendons), it can be a part of what gives you stability and fat burning ability.

But a true fat burning fitness program cannot only have intensity. In fact, when you look at cardio machines in the gym, the core of their effectiveness is in interval training. Having a metabolic calorie increase from intense interval training, coupled with a massive calorie demand from intense muscle training will do wonders to burn calories in the body, and isometric exercises will do both.

Naturally, nutrition will play a strong role in your body’s ability to burn fat; isometric exercises will still burn calories, but it would be more like a tug of war match between your fitness and your diet, when it should be a team relay to the lean muscle finish line. It is not as simple as eating fewer calories than you burn, and isometrics can burn a LOT of calories.

It also means things such as eating protein that will promote muscle growth, eating saturated fats that actually promote your metabolism, and slowing down with your meals (takes about 20 minutes for your brain to note that food is filling your stomach to trigger a cessation response — slowing down your meals can mean feeling full, and avoiding overeating).

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Top 8 Digestive Enzymes That Aid in Muscle Building

1. The Digestive Enzyme PROTEASE

Protease is an elementary enzyme. It can help you in eliminating toxins in your body, and make your blood system as clean as ever. As a result, we will get a sort of instant energy, console, and self satisfaction. Besides, protease can also be helpful and productive for you in battle with colds, flu, cough, cancer, etc. One the major benefit of taking protease is that it makes your immune system as strong as ever.

2. The Digestive Enzyme AMYLASE

The second most influential enzyme is ‘Amylase’. It is mainly responsible in improving your digestive system quite instantly. You will burn quick carbohydrates and calories as you use amylase. It is considered as the naturally oriented antihistamine. Amylase is the best mineral against many diseases, obesity, such as blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, allergies, depression (such as bipolar, obsessive compulsive disorder, hypo manic, panic disorder, etc.). Amylase successfully works in muscle building and improving immune system in order to burn the calories and fight against those chronic diseases.

3. The Digestive Enzyme LIPASE

It is a tonic for your digesting system. Lipase gets its modes towards blood stream. It helps you in quick muscle building. Lipase is very beneficial against many diseases, such as heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, blood clotting, depression, anxiety, and abdomen pain, etc.

4. The Digestive Enzyme CELLULASE

It is also an outstanding antioxidant as it binds to profound metals and other contaminants, and it discharges them from your body. Usually, we use a blend of soluble and inexplicable fiber. Soluble fiber is successful in binding to excess cholesterol, noxious substance and eliminating them from body for a proper muscle building.

5. The Digestive Enzyme MALTASE

This is mainly responsible for taking the multifarious sugar found in malt and granule products and shifting it into glucose.

6. The Digestive Enzyme LACTASE

Such kind of enzyme (Lactase) is highly productive for absorbing the milk sugar found in dairy products, and it increases your muscle mass.

7. The Digestive Enzyme PHYTASE

The Phytase enzyme is extremely beneficial for you in muscle-building and enhancing immune system. Phytase is particularly useful in producing vital nutrients, such as B-Complex.

8. The Digestive Enzyme SUCRASE

Surrase is mainly helpful for muscle mass, immune system and combat against chronic diseases. This enzyme is often found in many nutritional foods.

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Build Muscle Mass – 3 Key Ingredients to Building Lean Muscle Mass Quickly

If you’re anything like I was a short while ago, “a skinny guy trying to build muscle mass”, then I have some important tips that could help you start seeing results instantly.

There are 3 key ingredients that you MUST HAVE in order to build muscle mass and quickly at that. And here they are:

Muscle Mass Ingredient #1 – More Protein

If you want to build muscle mass quickly then this is a “must”. Just remember, the only thing that can build muscle in your body is Protein. So if you’re not consuming enough protein it’s IMPOSSIBLE to build lean muscle mass and stack on the pounds.

In order to maintain your weight, you should be consuming 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. So if you’re a 150 lb. guy then in order to maintain your muscle mass at that weight you need to consume 150 grams of protein each day. And if you want to build muscle mass, you’re going to have to consume “more” protein, to not only maintain the muscles you have now but to build more.

So if you want to build muscle mass quickly and safely a general rule of thumb is to consume 1 – 2 grams of protein for each pound of body weight. So if you’re a 150lb. guy you’d want to consume at least 150 grams of protein upward to 300 grams of protein a day.

Muscle Mass Ingredient #2 – More Carbs

Despite what Dr. Atkins said, for all us skinny guys “Carbs are GOOD”. We need carbs as a source of energy. But you don’t want to consume just any ‘ol carbs. You want to consume a lot of complex carbs rather than simple carbs.

In other words, you still want to stay away from the sweets and simple sugars that are found in a lot of our junk food, and you want to consume more complex carbs like those found in whole wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grain cereals, yams, spinach etc.

Why complex carbs? Because unlike simple carbs (sugars) it’s virtually impossible to turn complex carbs into fat – which means more energy to burn (work out with) and less fat to deal with in the end.

If you want to build muscle mass fast, ideally you’d want to consume 2 – 3 grams of carbs for each pound of bodyweight a day.

Muscle Mass Ingredient #3 – Heavy Weight Training

You cannot build muscle mass without “Heavy weight training”. Let’s just put it this way “the more stress (heavy weight) you put on your muscles, the more it will grow”. And it’s simply because when you put extreme stress on your muscle by lifting heavy weights, your body responds (builds more muscle) so that next time it won’t be as hard or strenuous on your body to lift the same weight.

Ideally, if you want to build muscle mass – lean muscle mass to be more specific, you’d want to lift weights that allow you to do 6-8 reps and no more.

Of course there’s a whole lot more to building muscle mass, but if you follow these 3 key ingredients you’ll be on the road to building lean muscle mass quickly and a whole lot easier than you ever thought possible. Good luck and grow “Massive”.

Copyright 2006 Richard Knight

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Stimulate, Not Annihilate!

The goal of any training program should be to work your tail off in the gym. A great workout does indeed require incredible intensity, heightened focus, and reinforced determination. However, what separates the great physiques and strongest pound-for-pound athletes alike from the “boys” is the intelligence behind lifting weights. In other words, it’s not how much you do, but it’s how smart you do it.

This is not to suggest in any way that you should not train hard. Proper training requires a tremendous amount of “difficult work”. However, the goal should be to stimulate the muscle. Steps should not be taken to annihilate it. Hence the phrase “stimulate not annihilate”. Live by it every time you step foot in the gym or fitness center.

Stimulation requires work to be performed on a particular muscle group. The work that is required is one that necessitates a strain on the fibers, so they can be repaired for further development. Consequently, growth really does not occur in the gym. Damage is occurring inside the gym, where you actually weaken your muscles. The growth, however, takes place outside of the gym. That is why proper rest and nutrition is so important. During this restoration stage, provided enough nutrition, nutrients and blood infiltrate into the damaged tissue, building the fibers stronger than they were previously so it can adapt to the trauma it was presented with. Ensuring adequate downtime and rest between workouts that concentrate on the same muscle group and you’ve got bigger, stronger, and longer muscle bellies.

Stimulation occurs when you’ve gone to failure. However, that does not suggest to you that you should go to failure each and every set. Studies show that stimulation occurs with just one set to failure and that anything more than that provides no further stimulation. The muscle fibers are completely torn with that one failure set. Going to failure set after set is going to damage them to the point where over training occurs.

There is such a thing as over training and over stimulation to the point where repair cannot adequately take place. Once a muscle has been thoroughly stimulated, anything applied further beyond that can actually hurt you, hindering growth, rather than supporting it. Think about it. If you damage the fibers properly, then they are forced to repair. However, if you stress it further than that, you are damaging the already torn fibers to the point where it takes that much longer to repair them just to reach the level that they were at prior to exercise. Now logic may tell you that the more they are damaged, the more they are going to rebuild past their normal level. However, this is not the case. Once the muscle fibers are torn, that’s all the muscle requires to stimulate growth of the muscle to develop stronger and bigger. Damaging of these torn muscles is just going to hinder your growth.

So what is the key to success? What constitutes stimulation and how should you know when not to cross that fine line between proper stimulation and over training? The answer is in properly going to failure on only one set per exercise per muscle group. Easy you may say to yourself. However, the problem that lies is in that your definition of failure and my definition of failure are two totally different worlds.

Failure does not occur when you put 225 on the bench press, lift it for 6 times and because you can’t get it up for the 7th rep, you stop. Many people refer to that as failure. However, do not get confused because of the misuse and misunderstanding of this commonly used term. Too often do I see people refer to their cowardly set as reaching failure. It is just that their either a) uneducated on how to properly perform an adequate failure set or b) their mental c

onstraints were too tight to allow their bodies to experience failure or c) they don’t have what it takes. They may be uncomfortable at that present moment in time…but definitely not realizing what their muscle is actually capable of. They have not reached complete exhaustion to the point where there is a total cessation of performing potential additional work.

So referring back to the previous example of the 225 pound bench press. Stopping after 6 may mean you have failed to perform 225 anymore, but think logically here. Isn’t it possible that you could perform 220 for 1? And then 210 for another? And then 200 for 2 additional reps? And so on down the line? The answer is yes! To all of the above. That means your muscle technically has not reached absolute failure when failing to complete rep 7. Your muscle still has juice left in it to continue to work. Therefore, theoretically, failure would have to mean that you’ve worked your muscle so hard that you couldn’t lift 1 more pound off of your chest. Obviously that is unrealistic, but do you get my point? You’ve got to apply more effort than what you are currently doing. That one set to failure needs to be the definition of living hell if you want to see the best possible results.

In order to arrive at failure, you need to incorporate one intensity set per exercise for each body part. Choose one of the following:

Drop Set- When you cannot complete another rep on your own with the weight you currently are performing, drop the weight down and bang out some more reps without any rest in between. In a 2-set drop set, decrease the weight so that you can perform at least 8 reps on your second set.

Strip Set This is a drop set, but performed multiple times. Perform a three, four, five, or six set drop set, where you continually lower the weight upon each successive set. In a strip set, the range of reps is up to you, but make sure you mentally push.

Forced Reps-When you cannot complete another rep on your own, have a training partner assist you by applying only the required help necessary for you to keep the weigh moving for extra reps. Shoot for 5-6 more reps with the assistance.

Negatives- Using heavier weight than you are used to, lower the weight very slowly on the negative portion of the rep (it should take 4-5 seconds to complete that half rep) and have a partner help you as much as necessary on the positive portion of the rep. For instance, aim for 6-8 total reps on a weight that you possibly could only do for 2 reps with your partner’s assistance.

Rest-Pause Theory- Take brief rest periods during a set to squeeze out more reps. For instance, if you use a weight you can lift for 6 reps, only do 2-3 reps. Take a brief rest of up to 20 seconds at most and try for another 2-3 reps. Rest again and repeat the process. You will essentially lift the same weight for more reps in this one set.

5, 5, 5- This set consist of 5 fast reps (explosion of only 1 second for both the negative and positive portion of the rep), followed by 5 very slow reps (5 seconds on each the negative and positive portion of the rep), then followed by 5 normal reps (2 seconds on each the negative and positive portion of the rep). This works all twitches of the muscle fibers. Keep the same weight for all 15 reps, but make sure a proper weight is chosen, where you are really struggling to get those last 5 in. Have a spotter help you.

Giant Set- Using multiple exercises that focus on the same body part, one set consists of performing at least 3 exercises in a row without rest. For instance, during back you could do a pull-up straight to a bent over barbell row straight to a wide grip lat Pulldown, making sure that there is no rest in between the set.

Slow and Controlled Reps- Take 4-5 seconds on each portion of the rep. Have a spotter help you just enough when you’ve failed.

Pause Contraction Reps- Pause at different phases of the movement to realize an incredible contraction. For instance, during a squat throw on 50% of your one rep max and pause halfway for 3-5 seconds, then pause at the bottom position at parallel for 3-5 seconds, and then back up halfway with a hold, and then at the top with a hold (that is one rep). Complete it as many times as you can. Once you can’t hold it anymore, bang out as many normal reps as possible with the help of a spotter. You can switch up the times you are paused. For real intensity, hold it at the bottom, midway, and top positions for 20 seconds at a time.

Peak Contraction Reps- Hold the peak contraction for up to five seconds on each rep. Squeeze the muscle as hard as you can before starting the next rep.

Rep Overload- Instead of performing your normal rep range, which most people keep within the 6-15 rep range, you are going to shoot for 30, sometimes, 50, and even up to 100 reps. Choose a moderately heavy weight but one where you can perform a good amount of reps. Keep focused and keep pushing them out for an incredible amount of reps. It’s really all mental. For instance, put 135 on your back for a squat. Bang out 10 at a time, hold at the top position for 5 seconds and breathe, then bang out another 10 reps, and another 10 reps and so forth until you’ve reached failure. Read the Power of 50 to get a better understanding.

Make sure that throughout this intensity set, you really give it your all. It is going to require a great deal of mental toughness and will necessitate you to break through the comfort zone. The body is so

much more capable than what you think. It’s up to the mind to allow it to reach new heights. Hopefully there will now be a convergence of your definition and my definition of failure.

Proper stimulation, without annihilation, requires reaching this type of failure, but only through one set. The reason for this is because once you reach failure you have properly stimulated the muscle. Any more stress can actually overtrain the muscle and can lead to a much higher chance for injury. Several warm-up sets need to be performed before leading up to the intensity set and then there needs to be several cool downs after to provide stimulation. Just make sure not to incorporate too many intensity sets, because then cortisol, a stress induced hormone that hinders muscle growth and promotes fat growth, builds up, and testosterone, a hormone that promotes muscle growth and fat loss, decreases. Additionally, levels of myostatin increase, which is a hormone that sets in to prevent muscle growth. Annihilating the muscle with dozens of failure sets in one workout will only hurt.

Here is an example of a chest routine to follow in the gym using these aforementioned concepts for a guy whose max bench press is 315 lbs. (As you can see, the warm up sets include a weight and according rep that do not constitute failure. The one intensity set is the failure set. Adjust accordingly with weights and reps):

Push-Ups (Warm-Up Sets w/ 20-30 second rest in between)- 25 normal, 25 wide

grip, 25 close grip, 25 normal-then repeat process, but with feet on the bench

Bench Press (30 second rest in between warm-up sets and 2 minutes rest before

the 1 intensity set)- 95 lbs. x 15, 115 x 15, 135 x 12, 170 x 8, 205 x 6, 225 x4, Strip set starting with 235 x 10 and going down weight 3 times, 135 x 20

Dumbbell Incline Press (45 seconds rest in between warm-up sets and 2 minutes

rest before the 1intensity set)- 40 lbs. x 12, 65 x 10, 90 x 6, Rest pause theory with 100 x 3 for four sets, 90 x 6, 55 x 15

Weighted Push-Ups (30 second rest in between warm-up sets and 1 minute rest

before the 1 intensity set)- Unweighted x 30, 45 lbs. x 20, Strip set starting with 135 x 10 and taking a 45 lb. plate off the back each until there is no weight performing as many reps as possible with each successive weight, Unweighted x 30 reps

Dumbbell Incline Flyes (30 second rest in between warm-up sets and 1 minute rest

before the 1 intensity set)- 25 lbs. x 10, 30 x 15, 35 x 12, Slow and Controlled Reps of 30 lbs., 25 lbs. x 15

Cable Crossovers s.s. w/ Pec Deck s.s. w/ Push-Ups (No rest in between sets)- 1 giant set of C.C.= 70 lbs. x 25,

P.D.=110 x 20 reps, P.U.= Failure

In terms of exercises, the best way to properly stimulate a muscle is to focus on basic, explosive training with compound movements. The main focus of your workout should be primarily on compound exercises, such as the deadlifts, bench press, military press, squats, hang cleans, etc. These types of compound exercises have proven to be most effective to build lean muscle mass because they require the most work from your muscles. Furthermore, they have to work in conjunction to lift the weight and you are much stronger in these areas, moving more total poundage (which is going to stimulate the muscle most and burn the most calories-hence, build muscle and burn fat). After you’ve performed compound exercises, then it is time to stimulate the muscle with isolation exercises that focus on the contraction. Your goal in the compound movements should be for explosive power, whereas your primary goal for the isolation exercises should be to infiltrate the blood into that muscle. However, that does not mean that you should sacrifice form for weight in any movement. Hoisting weight up for the sake of itself does nothing to stimulate growth. Proper form is required and actually working the muscle is the only way to adequately stimulate the muscle.

The best way to make tremendous strides in the gym with both muscle growth and strength is to document and log your progress each time. Always strive to beat what you did the week before. For example, if you did 225 pounds for a set of 6 reps, then next week increase the weight by 5 pounds or do the same weight for one extra rep. Now go for 230 pounds for a set of 6 reps or keep it at 225 pounds and go for 7 reps. Each week keep working for it. Using a progressive overload technique like this will ensure that you will gain proper size and strength but make sure the measures taken are gradual to dramatically reduce the likelihood of injury.

8x Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney, known by many to be one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, always preached to “train to stimulate, not annihilate”. He also believed that “it doesn’t take a ton of weight to stimulate a muscle to grow, just the correct stimulus.” He swore by this training routine and it obviously worked. He had one of the greatest physiques of all time and won the most bodybuilding titles than anyone, which was later tied by recent great, Ronnie Coleman. Scientific research and experiences have proved that this type of training and knowledge is one of the best ways to build lean muscle mass. “Stimulate, not annihilate”.

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Bodybuilding Diet – 9 Step Checklist to Build Muscle Fast

Creating an effective bodybuilding diet is the most essential aspect of any muscle building plan. Even if you have the best weight lifting routine known to mankind, you can forget about putting on size, you can absolutely forget about adding muscle mass if you fail to consistently follow a high quality diet plan. So hit the back button now if you’re not serious about eating to gain muscle…

…Still here? Good.

Now I’ll continue by laying out the 9 steps you must follow to guarantee your bodybuilding diet plan is on on-point. No extras. No frivolous BS. Just integrate these simple steps into you muscle building plan, forget about all the distracting details that you can find on the vast abyss that is the Internet; then simply add water and watch your muscles blow up like balloons.

  1. Choose Your Goal. More specifically, decide on your short-term goal. Many of you reading this may want to lose fat while gaining muscle, but you will see significantly more rapid results if you focus on one goal at a time. From this point on, I am assuming your goal is to gain muscle mass.
  2. Calculate Your Caloric Needs. If you remember one fact from this bodybuilding diet article, then make sure you remember this: You must consume more calories than your body burns per day if you want to gain muscle. As a starting point, consume 18 calories per pound of your bodyweight (i.e. total calories = 18 x bodyweight in lbs). You may very well need to eat more or less than this, but remember it’s an estimate.
  3. Calculate Protein Intake. Your muscles need protein to physically increase your muscle mass. Consume 1.0 – 1.5 grams of protein per pound of your bodyweight (i.e. grams of protein = 1.0 x bodyweight in lbs). To figure out how many calories this is, multiply your daily protein intake (in grams) by 4.
  4. Calculate Fat Intake. Dietary fat plays a vital role in a laundry list of body functions, related to both general health, energy and muscle building. So don’t skimp on it – And FYI, eating fatty foods does not equate to being fat. Start by eating 30% of your calories from fat. To convert calories of fat into grams of fat, divide your daily fat intake (in calories) by 9.
  5. Calculate Carb Intake. Carbohydrates give you energy, but technically, your body doesn’t even need them to survive (which is why we calculate carb intake last). But just because your body doesn’t need carbs, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have any. Okay, so now to calculating: You know how many total calories you need per day; and you also know how many of those calories will come from protein as well as how many will come from fat. So, to find the number of calories from carbs that you should eat per day, simply subtract protein calories and fat calories from total calories. In mathematical terms, that’s: Calories from carbs = total calories – (protein calories + fat calories). To convert calories of carbs into grams of carbs, divide your daily carb intake (in calories) by 4.
  6. Eat Pre- & Post-Workout. Be sure to eat meals before and after your workout. Pre-workout nutrition fuels your muscles and provides your body with energy for the ensuing workout. In simple terms, post-workout nutrition halts catabolism (the breakdown of muscle caused by weight training) and triggers anabolism (the building/re-building of muscle). For pre-workout nutrition, eat 0.25 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight as well as 0.25 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. For post-workout nutrition, eat 0.25 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight and between 0.25-0.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. Fats are optional for both meals. These meals can be solid, “regular” meals; or they can be liquid meals, using weight lifting supplements such as whey protein and dextrose.
  7. Foods to Eat. I am a proponent of flexible dieting. It’s much more productive to eat foods that you enjoy eating; restricting so-called “unhealthy” foods from your diet will make you less successful in the long term, and you’ll constantly be grumpy. That said, you can’t eat candy and junk food all day long without expecting to gain some hefty lard rolls on your pouch. Eating too much junk and greasy foods makes you fat because it produces a surplus of calories. So what to eat then? A large portion of your food should be common sense “healthy” foods, but never deprive yourself of a food you crave – Assuming you follow this one condition: Make sure you still hit your caloric requirements (step 2), protein intake (step 3), fat intake (step 4) and carbohydrate intake (step 5).
  8. Drink Water. Water is a true life force. Everything and everyone needs it. And you, in your muscle building pursuits, need a lot of it. Although it varies between people, and there are many factors that can influence your optimal water intake requirements, most people should try to drink about 1 gallon per day of high quality H20.
  9. Test & Modify. Put it into practice. Don’t expect for your bodybuilding diet plan to work like a charm the first time around. You’ll likely have to adjust the total calories up or down until you strike a balance. Aim for a steady rate of lean weight gain. On average, pure beginners can expect about 1-2 pounds per week (although a portion of this will be water weight). Check the mirror or take pictures; drop the calories if you start to resemble the Michelin Man. More experienced lifters will be should aim for a slower rate of weight gain (unless you want to be a fat blob) since it is more difficult to build muscle after the beginner stage.

Now take the relatively little time needed now to implement these directions and create a bodybuilding diet that actually works! Seriously. It takes a maximum of 20 minutes, but it will guarantee success in the years to come. It’s the best time investment you can make.

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How to Build a Soccer Conditioning Base

Soccer is a game where conditioning is of huge importance when it comes to maximizing performance.

At the beginning of pre-season, most coaches today focus a lot on building an aerobic base that prepare the players for the season.

Building an aerobic base

The term “aerobic base” has been frequently used over the last 10-20 years, and the reason for building this base is because of the evidence that a player run 8-12 km during a soccer game over the period of 90 minutes.

So far so good. But when it comes to the distance covered during a soccer game, shouldn’t we really focus on how we reach that distance, rather than just focusing on the distance itself?

Is the actual distance the most important aspect?

Sure, a professional soccer player may run 11-12 km during a game, but that distance is not accomplished through long distance running at the same tempo throughout the whole game, quite the opposite.

What separates a world class player from an average player is not necessarily the distance covered, but rather the number of high intensity runs and sprints being performed.

Long distance running will make your players slower and weaker

If you still think running long distance running is the way to go for soccer conditioning, then this should hopefully change your mind.

Running long distance will stimulate your slow twitch muscle fiber, meaning your body is adapting to the slow tempo being performed during long distance running, and over time your fast twitch muscle fibers will “drown”, which will make you slower and weaker.

Soccer is a “power-sport”, where sprinting, maximum strength and jumping ability is of extreme importance. Running long distance will do the opposite for your players and make them weak and slow.

Is there a need for an aerobic base?

Not in the traditional way through long distance running. My philosophy on soccer conditioning is that it all should be performed on the soccer field, and most of the conditioning should be sport-specific, meaning most of it should be performed with the ball.

However, during the beginning of pre-season, I build an aerobic base through tempo running.

Tempo running is where the players run at around 75-80% of what they would run when sprinting that distance. The distance I use for tempo running is 100 meters (the length of a soccer field), and 200 meters (back and forth).

A rule of thumb for the distance and time is:

– 100 meters: 18-22 seconds

– 200 meters: 38-44 seconds

So if they do 100 meter tempo runs, they should run at a pace where it would take them 18-22 seconds to run 100 meters.

I use tempo runs for 3-4 weeks, 2-3 sessions/week, increasing the distance with 200-300 meters per workout. I coach a Boys 18 team, so if you coach younger players, be a little more careful with the volume.

The first session might be 8 x 100 meters, and then the next 10 x 100 meters, and then after that I would alternate 100 meter runs with 200 meter runs in the same session.

I often let the players rest halfway through for 2 minutes, and then let them run the rest of the distance after that.

Tempo running will help you build that aerobic base necessary for soccer, and it will ensure that your players still stay strong and explosive.

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The Best Punching Bag Workouts to Get Ripped

Working out with a punching bag, is one of the best kinds of workouts you can do. It will increase your strength, agility, and stamina. It meshes together cardio and weight training all in one. It’s an absolute killer on your muscles and great for your heart. Here is a great routine to try out, while you train on your punching bag.

Top Heavy Bag Workouts

The good thing about a heavy bag, is its heavy. It allows you to work your muscles and build strength up. Hitting the bag constantly will work your lungs and heart. Follow this workout, to get you into fighting shape

Hard Jabs

Reps: 10 each arm, with no rest in between

Hit the bag with a hard jab, alternate arms after each jab.

Knees

Reps: 10 each knee, with no rest in between

Hold the bag in a Muay Thai clinch, and drive your knee into the bag, do one leg at a time.

Hooks

Reps: 10 each arm, with no rest in between

Hit the bag with hooks, alternate arms after each hook, throw hooks as fast as you can with good form.

High Kicks

Reps: 10 each leg, with no rest in between

Kick the bag with high kicks around the stomach and head area. Step back and kick.

Uppercuts

Reps: 10 each arm, with no rest in between

Continuously uppercut the bag.

Low Kicks

Reps: 10 each leg, with no rest in between

Hit the bag with kicks, lower body shots are what you should aim for.

Punching bag workouts are a lot more fun than hitting up a cardio machine. How do you think fighters get in shape so easily, they use their entire body and use all their muscles. By hitting a heavy bag on a regular basis, you will force your body to become a fat burning machine. So buy a hanging or freestanding bag and get to sweating.

The reason why these workouts burn so much more fat than regular workouts, is because it is high intensity and you have resistance. Combining the two makes for a high interval, high intensity workout. These types of workouts raise your metabolism and it makes your body burn more calories throughout the day.

Normal workouts only burn calories during the workout. This is why fighters are a lot more condition and a lot more lean, than other types of athletes.

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