Monthly Archives: October 2011

A good fitness program should match the individual’s needs, goals and abilities.  Each person has a unique combination of physical characteristics and so this should be considered when selecting fitness activities. Also very important is to “do no harm” to the spine, joints, muscles and tendons. Exercising to the point of pain is never a good idea.  Proper positioning and body mechanics are crucial to maintaining injury free fitness for the future.

Generally, moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking is safe for most individuals, but it is always important to check with your health care professional to ensure that a selected physical activity is appropriate for you. If you want to build muscle, then you have to take part in strength training. Your trainer will show the way to build muscle providing workout routine and you have to follow that program strictly to get in shape and stay injury free.

How could you know that you are following well balanced workout routine to live a healthy lifestyle? Followings are some key characteristics for a successful fitness program.

Exercise Session Must Be Short (Between 45 To 75 Minutes Maximum)

After 75 minutes, the levels of muscle building and fat burning hormones that your body produces (such as testosterone) begin to drop. What this means is that training more than 75 minutes will prevent you from gaining muscle and losing fat fast! It will also prevent you from fast recovery. As crazy as it sounds, that is the way it is.

Mostly Multi-Joint Exercises

Effective weight workout routines should have numerous multi-muscle movements for you to do. This means that rather than performing exercises that are only going to target a single muscle at a time, you’re performing movements that work multiple muscles all at once. For instance, a dumbbell bicep curl will only work the bicep muscle. But Deadlift, Barbell Row or Pull-up like exercises work both the back and bicep muscles. This gives you a much better return for each minute you invest on your workout.

The Rest In Between Sets Should Be Kept To a Minimum (90 Seconds or Less)

Keeping your rest in between sets and exercises down not only helps you to perform a lot of work and still finish within the 75 minutes, but it also helps improve your cardiovascular system. In addition, it has also been shown that this kind of training stimulates growth hormones output the most.

Sets of Each Exercise Should Consist of 8-15 Repetitions

It has been shown that within this range that growth hormone output is maximized. In addition, you get a great pump that provides nutrients to nourish muscle cells and helps them recover and rebuild faster. Moreover, studies show that muscle building and fat burning occur more efficiently at these repetition ranges. Finally, it reduces the possibility of injury dramatically since you will need to use a weight that you can control in order to perform the prescribed amount of reps.

*** Note: For bodybuilding, however, we also recommend periods of 5-8 repetitions as well. This is of crucial necessity for a bodybuilder as an increase of strength is required in order for continued muscle growth to occur.

Training Must Be Varied and Cycled

Don’t get stuck with the same routine day in and day out. If you are a bodybuilder and you do this, this guarantees zero muscle growth. This is without even mentioning boredom and lack of enthusiasm. Variation does not necessarily mean changing all of the exercises in your program. It can occur in the form of using different techniques to stimulate the muscle, changing repetition and set parameters and even changing the rest in between sets.

Cardio, Strength Training and Stretching In Every Workout

When it comes to exercise, there’s a huge push to do cardio. It burns calories, reduces stress, helps you lose or maintain your weight, helps relieve muscle soreness and is good for your lungs and your heart. While that’s true, cardio isn’t the only thing your body needs. It’s also important to strength training to build your muscles, increase your metabolism and increase your strength. Of course you also need to stretch as well to increase flexibility, which will prevent injury.

So a good rule of thumb is to include all three — cardio, strength training and stretching — in every workout. You can start with 10 minutes of jogging or cycling, followed by 45 minutes of weight lifting and finish with 20 minutes of yoga or stretching.

Minimize the Chance of Injury

Sometimes people don’t think about this but minimizing the chance of injury is absolutely crucial to a successful workout program. If you’re injured you can’t work out!!!  And all those gains you made will slowly go away. That’s kind of counterproductive, isn’t it? So if you’re doing a workout program that requires you to do full depth squats or jumping lunges with weights or bounce the bar off your chest during bench presses or some other crazy dynamic motion, be careful. This is where injury can happen.

Prevents Trainee from Overtraining

This goes hand in hand with injury prevention. You can’t go balls to the wall 5-days a week forever. You need to give your body time to rest. If you go 110% you will fry your central nervous system, which will lead to injuries, colds, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. Moderation is the key. You can build muscle by just going to the gym 2-3 times a week, if you do it right.

overtraining

Allow For Sufficient Time to Rest

Your weight training routines should allow you enough time to rest and recover. Remember, you actually only get stronger and fitter when you are recovering between your workouts. Don’t do weight training every day. Even if you have the time for that, you still require some time to rest and re-energize. If you don’t allow for this recovery time, you’re going to quickly become burnt out and won’t progress.

Must Allow for Consistent Training

Being consistent is one of the most important qualities of a successful training program.  Take up a hobby and practice nightly and you will be good at it in short order. Same goes with a weight training program. Do it consistently for an extended period of time and you will get results. However this means that the program must fit into the trainee’s lifestyle.

Ask someone to do 8 hour workouts everyday like they do on the Biggest Loser and how many people you think will stay consistent with that? Of course if you workout for 8 hours a day you will get results but how long will you be able to keep that up? What is the most you can dedicate to a workout program to say with consistently? Remember, for the workout program to be successful it must work for the trainee’s lifestyle.

We are all unique. There is no way to design a perfect exercise program that will fit everyone everywhere all the time. You will always be the judge taking the final decision. Your body and your training journal will tell you what is right for you.

So those are some characteristics that define a successful fitness program. Take a look at the program you are doing right now and see how it compares?

Basic Ab-Crunch

A fantastic, safe exercise for people of all ability levels. You may not know this, but many people do not use good form when doing an ab crunch. Not only can this cause back problems, it will also make your ab workout less effective. Learn to do it right!

How to Do It

  1. Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands behind your head or across your chest.
  2. Slowly contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about one or two inches off the floor.
  3. Exhale as you come up and keep your neck straight, chin up.
  4. Hold at the top of the movement for a few seconds, breathing continuously.
  5. Slowly lower back down, but don’t relax all the way.
  6. Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions with perfect form for each rep.

Video Demonstration

Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle crunches are a great way to target the rectus abdominis and the obliques in one easy exercise. This exercise considered as No 1 best exercise for abs. Good News! No special equipment is needed for this top notch abdomen exercise. You need to lay on the floor. If you can afford an exercise mat that would be the best option.

How to Do It

  1. Lie face up on your mat and place your hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers.
  2. Bring the knees in to the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.
  3. Bring your right elbow over to your left knee, and then bring your left elbow over to your right knee in a twisting, bicycle pedal motion.
  4. Alternate opposite elbow to opposite knee with hands interlaced behind your head in a slow and controlled manner and with full extension of each leg on every repetition.
  5. Continue alternating sides in a ‘pedaling’ motion.

Video Demonstration

Captain’s Chair Leg Raise/Vertical Leg Raise

The captain’s chair leg raise is the second most effective move for the rectus abdominis as well as the obliques. You can do a variety of exercises on the captain’s chair, which is a rack with padded arms that allows your legs to hang free and can be found in most health clubs and gyms. The key to keeping this move safe and effective is, first, to avoid swinging the legs or using momentum to bring the legs up. Second, keeping the knees bent will help you focus more on the abdominals and less on the hip flexors.

How to Do It

  1. Grip the hand holds, and place your forearms on the pads to stabilize your upper body.
  2. Lightly press your lower back on the back pad support
  3. Start by holding your body up with your legs dangling. Slowly lift your knees up toward your chest with your knees and feet together
  4. The motion should be controlled and deliberate as you bring your knees up and return them back to the starting position

Video Demonstration

Ripped Your Abs With Following Three Moves!!!

Abs Exercise Tips!!!

  • Make sure you do not pull your neck forward too. Just make sure your shoulders lifted slightly and not your back.
  • Breathe naturally, extend your legs fully to increase intensity and perform the motion very slowly.
  • Keep the tennis ball size distance between your chin and your chest.

Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. Although fat and carbohydrates are also required for muscle function, it is the protein that builds muscle tissue. However, protein is not stored effectively in the human body, so if it is not used it is expelled as waste relatively quickly. This is why regular protein intake is required.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

The amount of protein you need to consume is something that is often debated in bodybuilding and athletics forums. Some people calculate the daily protein requirements based on your lean body weight, others on your total body weight. Some just suggest a very high amount, taking the approach that if your body does not use it, it will expel it anyway.

Whether or not too much protein is harmful is also often debated. Many people speculate that it leads to kidney problems, whereas many bodybuilding coaches say that they have never seen or heard of such problems. Some dieticians do believe that many bodybuilders and athletes consume far more protein than they really need and do put themselves at greater risk of heart disease in later life.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition has set the following recommendations for protein intake:1

Note: Growing teens should add ~10% to all values

*Athletes using anabolic agents (e.g growth hormone, insulin, testosterone), a higher protein intake may be required to maximize gains. I find using 1.5g/kg of bodyweight/day is a nice even figure to calculate protein intake for the day.

So for an average male of 60kg who wants to gain a bit of muscle, the recommended protein intake per day is about 90g.

When is the Best Time to Eat Protein for Maximum Muscle Growth?

Protein timing is as much an art as a science. However, the key rules are:

  • Start the day with protein. Your body is in a catabolic state when you wake up and therefore you are at risk of breaking down muscle tissue for energy. So a quick protein boost helps you to change your metabolism to burn fat instead. Whey protein is best in the morning.
  • Eat more protein as snacks in between your meals. Casein protein is a good choice throughout the day because it is a slow release protein which means protein will remain in your blood longer to keep replenishing muscle supplies.
  • Protein after your workout. Most people are in agreement that this is the most important time to consume protein. Research has shown that protein should be consumed within 30 minutes of exercise for maximum benefit. The best way to take this protein is as a shake. Whey protein is an excellent choice.
  • More protein before bed. As you will ideally be sleeping for at least 8 hours to give your body every chance to recover and rebuild, you need to stock up on protein before you sleep. A late night shake is a good idea here.

Protein Sources

Ideally you should get as much of your protein as possible from healthy dietary sources. One of the pitfalls of attempting to get all your protein from your usual diet is that you start to consume food that is also high in saturated fat and salt. Processed and fried meats should be avoided, so do not eat more hot dogs and salami to get that protein. Here we list some good protein sources:

  • Red Meat. Steaks & ground round. Top round, sirloin.
  • Poultry. Chicken breast, ground turkey, whole chicken.
  • Fish. Canned tuna, mackerel, salmon.
  • Dairy. Milk, cottage cheese, plain low fat yogurt, quark cheese, whey.
  • Eggs. Whole boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, Poached eggs.
  • Nuts. Walnuts, almonds, cashew, pistachio,  Garbanzo, Lentils.
  • Whey and Casein protein shakes

Really the key is to eat micro-meals throughout the day that are well balanced. Do not neglect your carbohydrates and fats while in the search for more protein, as these are both essential for healthy growth too. Fresh salads with your protein choice are an excellent way to eat a balanced diet.

Possibly the most important thing to remember is to test and analyze results. If you start putting on too much weight or you hit a plateau with your training, then look at your diet again to check that you are not eating too much of the wrong type of food.

[1] Antonio J, Kalman D, Stout JR, Greenwood M, Willougby DS, Haff GG. 'Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements'. International Society of Sports Nutrition. Humana Press 2008

The undisputed King of Bodybuilding, the man known in iron circles as the Austrian Oak, Arnold Schwarzenegger, undoubtedly built one of the best physiques the world has ever seen, so much so that 28 years after he last set foot onstage, people still talk about his bodybuilding accomplishments in revered tones.

Although known for having an aesthetic body with muscle in all the right places, Arnold did have certain exceptional body parts. Indeed, what was particularly impressive about Arnold’s amazing physique was his legendary arm development, clearly some of the best of all time regardless of era.

When it came to demonstrating the best arms of his era, Arnold was the perennial winner; there was no real competition for him in this area. Sure, some competitors had slightly better balance, others had greater fullness and a few had superior shape, but Arnold had all of these attributes in perfect measure, a significant reason why his front and rear double biceps poses are, according to many, the best of all time.

So how did Arnold build his own mini versions of Mt. Olympus? If you look at very early photos of Arnold flexing his arms, you can see that, although they did have reasonable shape and size for his age, they were far from perfect or what one might call genetically gifted.

Front double biceps pose by Arnold Schwarzenegger

To build the massive upper appendages that allowed him to win seven Olympia titles, Arnold had to employ every trick in the bodybuilding book. And there is one thing we all know about Arnold: he would move mountains, and occasionally envision his arms as such, as he sought to develop his body to perfection.

Training arms Arnold-style was not simply about hitting the gym and doing a few finishing sets, or limiting the intensity applied to them so as to not overdevelop this area and potentially throw his proportion off. Not Arnold.

He hit every body part with mind-numbing intensity and developed every muscle group to its maximum. Arms were no exception. As with all body parts, Arnold used a number of effective techniques to adequately stimulate his biceps, triceps and forearms.

What follows is a detailed look at exactly what arm-training techniques Arnold employed, what exercises he favoured and why, a program based on the Oak’s methods and one he himself used along with principals that you can use to develop your own massive guns.

The Poke a Muscle game is structured on 3 levels of difficulty and each level has the human body with two views of it, anterior and posterior. Also the two views are each separated in 2 learning branches, scan and poke. In the scan part the major muscles in the body are shown to you and you have to remember them for the poke the muscle part.

The difficulty of the Poke a Muscle free learning game is rising with each level because at each one there are more and more human muscles to remember. Fascinating isn’t it? The human body of course. So if you’re a beginner in bodybuilding here is your chance to easily learn the major muscles in the body.

Did you enjoy the game? Hope this game will help to enrich your muscle building knowledge. 

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