prefix='og: http://ogp.me/ns# fb: http://graph.facebook.com/schema/og/ article: http://graph.facebook.com/schema/og/article'> 2015 - Strong Muscle

Poundstone Power: Eat Clean, Get Jacked

Nutrition tips from the strongest man with a six-pack Derek Poundstone

Bent-Over Barbell Row vs. Old Fashioned T-Bar Row

Both moves work the back, but which move is better at targeting the lower lats

7 Tips From a World Class Squatter

Inflate your wheels with these strategies from a man who specializes in squatting bar-bending loads

6 Tips for a Ripped Six-Pack

Stop neglecting your abs training. These six strategies will help you retool your training to get the midsection you want

4 Moves to Bring Your Biceps to New Heights

Add some elevation to your cannons with these targeted bicep exercises

Hardcore Nutrition: Are Artificial Sweeteners Killing Your Shred?


There are no absolutes when we’re talking about how the substances we ingest affect our bodies. No matter what we claim—or what studies claim—we’ll always be proven wrong by examples to the contrary. A perfect example of this is the ongoing debate regarding artificial sweeteners and their effect on fat loss and muscle gain

How does this apply to you as a bodybuilder? Well, if you’re restricting carbs, you obviously can’t consume sugar on a regular basis. As I’ve said repeatedly, however, if you’re liberally consuming diet drinks and having trouble making progress on an ultra-low-carb diet, the sweeteners in the drinks may be the reason for your stall out

I’m telling you about this because of a research article published a few months back that’s still resounding in bodybuilding nutrition circles. This particular study showed an increased insulin response as a consequence of pre-ingesting sucralose, the artificial sweetener in Splenda, followed by a bolus ingestion of real sugar

What this really demonstrated was that just the oral stimulation of “sweetness”— by way of the sucralose—caused an increase in the release of insulin, and poor blood sugar control. This, unfortunately, has been interpreted as irrefutable proof that non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) make us fat

A FLY IN THE OINTMENT

The problem with this study, however, is less about the effects of sucralose than it is about the spread of information. What nobody mentions in all this furor is the fact that the subjects of this study were all grossly obese, with body mass indexes over 40—a statistic that becomes more accurate at predicting body fat composition as the number gets higher. You can’t assess this study without focusing on the people studied, and how obese bodies don’t respond the same way healthy ones do

Sweetness, as far as how the body detects and reacts to it, is something we’re only just beginning to understand. One discovery that seriously challenges our assumption that NNS’s can’t make us fat is the revelation that mammals, including humans, possess receptors for sweetness throughout key parts of our digestive tract. Your body can determine if something’s sweet in your gut the same way it can for your mouth. It’s possible, then, that eating something sweet—even if it has zero caloric value—could cause a hormonal reaction, priming your body to get fat

To fairly evaluate the results of this study—and this is especially relevant to the bodybuilding community—we need to see if ingesting this same sweetener by itself can cause a reaction in healthy, non-obese subjects. And, shockingly, there’s a study published in 2011 where researchers found no hormonal response to sucralose in healthy subjects. Of course, you don’t hear quite as much about this one, because it didn’t generate sensational headlines like “Coke Zero Makes You Fat”

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON HERE

We have two studies here with contradictory results, but is that actually what we’re seeing? Or is this more of a conditioned response that obese people have and healthy people don’t? In the case of obese humans, it’s possible that their bodies start producing insulin and other hormones in anticipation of eating, skewing the results of the study—and making athletes think they can’t ingest sucralose

If you smell, taste, or even think about eating, you might trigger an insulin response before food even hits your stomach. I say “might,” because this isn’t always the case in lean, muscular, athletic humans. In some cases, these people don’t reliably secrete insulin in these situations. Overweight and obese people react differently, primarily from an anticipated response, along with some degree of insulin resistance. Research shows this response to be greater with greater amounts of body fat, and that it can lead to difficulties in clearing blood sugar

Think about it, though. Obese people have extra body fat in the first place because they’re more likely to indulge in carb-heavy foods more often, and to a greater extent. The body is wise to start its metabolization engine (insulin secretion) early if it’s taking in big loads of carbohydrates on a regular basis. In other words, their engines start for a completely different reason than yours does, and the advice I’d offer them isn’t necessarily applicable to you

ARE SWEETENERS OK, THEN

Our discussion of Pavlovian conditioning brings us full circle to a direct examination of sucrose itself. Despite all the vibration in the Twittersphere, did this study show that sucralose actually caused the release of insulin? The answer appears to be no. We can even explore this further, looking at studies where researchers directly inject artificial sweeteners into the gut, bypassing the oral taste sensation. In that case, no insulin response occurred in healthy people

Going back to my own assessment of the use of artificial sweeteners while on ultra-low carb diets, everything still falls nicely under the aegis of my customary “it depends” response. If you’re not making progress, chances are the sweeteners are problematic for you

Phil Heath's Mass-Building Shoulder Routine


QUESTION

I’m looking for a new strategy to attack my shoulders—any tips for me



ANSWER

When I’m doing shoulders, I like to mix it up. There are a lot of options, including dumbbell presses, barbell shoulder presses, and Smith machine overhead presses. It’s important to hit the shoulders in different ways and work different angles. Little differences and unique exercises can have a big impact

For example, you can do a hammer strength shoulder press forward and backward. Turning it around can make it into a different exercise. Plus, in terms of time, I like to hit as many exercises as possible in each spot. Why not do everything you can while you’re there

After doing four sets facing forward, with your back against the seat back, turn around and do four more sets facing backward, with your chest against the seat back. Start with your range of motion from ear level at the low point to just short of lockout at the high point. You’ve got to focus on the shoulders, and if you feel other muscles being worked, then you can shorten the range of movement to bring them back out of it




Feel the Burn: Low Reps vs. High Reps


HYPOTHESIS

According to the principle of progressive resistance, in order to keep making gains over time, one must continually increase the weight loads used. Naturally, a training program will go from lighter weight and higher reps to heavier weight and lower reps. The increasing weight loads should ensure continued gains in strength and size

RESEARCH

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan took two groups and had them use two different training progressions. For the first six weeks, both groups used a program of nine total sets divided into groups of three sets. Thirty seconds of rest was taken for three sets, then three minutes was allowed for recovery before three more sets were performed. After six weeks, both groups switched to a traditional strength-training routine of five sets using 90% of their one-rep max (1RM) with three minutes’ rest between sets, with the exception of one group, who performed a quasidropset after the last set. This group was dubbed the “combi” group

FINDINGS

Both groups grew significantly during the first six weeks of using the higher-rep/short-rest style of training. After the switch to a more traditional style of strength training using 90% 1RM, only the combi group continued to grow for four more weeks

CONCLUSION

A combination of both load stress and metabolic stress optimizes gains
APPLICATION

This study points out the importance of metabolic stress to optimize gains from resistance training. It’s important to increase the loads throughout a training cycle. When doing so, reps inevitably drop as the weight gets heavier and heavier. As a result, the metabolic stress is reduced as the number of reps decrease. In order to keep making size gains during the heavy phase of your training, add a high-rep set immediately following the last set of each exercise. This can be a single high-rep set using ~50% 1RM, or it can be more of a dropset where you keep grabbing a lighter weight each time you reach or get close to failure

Breakdown Sets To Build Up Muscle And Strength


Get more growth bang for your training buck by combining low reps, moderate reps, and high reps. Look strong—and be as strong as you look

At one end of the weight room, there's the bodybuilder who decrees that high-rep pump training is the canonical scripture for gaining muscle mass. At the other end—over in the shadows in the rack—is the strength-happy, smorgasbord-destroying powerlifter, who preaches "lift big to get big
Both men claim they know the gospel for entry to hypertrophy heaven—and that you must choose one or the other. Luckily for those of us who don't see the appeal in only being big or strong, there are ways you can have it all. Try this research-backed take on the classic back-off set and get ready to give your muscles a shock they won't soon forget

MODERATE VS. HEAVY TRAINING FOR SIZE
A study published last year in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by muscle hypertrophy researcher Brad Schoenfeld and his colleagues investigated muscle-growth gains using a bodybuilding-type training program against one that was based on a powerlifting routine.1

The eight-week study wasn't performed on malnourished, untrained college kids, but rather on 17 well-trained weight-room veterans. Volume was equated with the traditional hypertrophy group performing 3 sets of 10 reps with a 90-second rest interval, while the powerlifting group did 7 sets of 3 reps with a 3-minute rest interval between sets

Here's what the researchers found

Powerlifting-type training proved superior for enhancing maximal strength
Both groups made similar gains in muscular size
The first point isn't exactly earth-shattering. Powerlifters are strong; train like them to get strong like them, right? The real takeaway seems to be the second point: Big loads make muscles just as big as moderate loads, if you program them right. So let's all put on our three-ply suits and stagger into the monolift, right

Good luck with that! While there is definitely a case to be made for training like powerlifters some of the time, it's not something that most people want to embrace all of the time—nor should they, unless that's their goal

For gym-goers who want to be somewhat stronger—which should be all of us—but not spend all of their time laboring under heavy-ass weight, I recommend keeping a foot in both camps. You can do this by alternating strength and growth phases for a few weeks or months at a time, but you can also do it in the same workout, adding strength and size at the same time

THE BREAKDOWN ON BREAKDOWN SETS
Fred Hatfield, Ph.D., aka "Dr. Squat," founder of the International Sports Sciences Association, is credited with inventing what has come to be known as "breakdown training." As both a record-setting powerlifter and longtime trainer of champion bodybuilders, he knows plenty about mixing strength and size, and his tool of choice for doing it is to mix high and low rep ranges within workouts. A Japanese study backed up the good doctor's thinking in 2004, when the researchers concluded that the simple addition of a light-weight back-off set to a traditional strength protocol led to both muscle gains and strength gains

Before you start rubbing your hands and saying, "Of course. How easy!" let me assure you that it's not. Breakdowns are extremely intense and often painful! Your joints may not hurt like they would after 7 sets of 3, but your muscles will be melted, so approach your training with your war helmet on. If that sounds like too much, Planet Fitness and Curves are accepting signups

Breakdowns consists of three distinct reps ranges including low reps, medium reps, and high reps. The sets are performed in reverse-pyramid style, so that after warm-ups you start with heavy weights, then move to moderate ones, and to lighter ones for the final burnout

Why change weights? Because the amount of weight you lift relative to your maximal strength largely determines which kinds of muscle fibers are recruited. Heavy weights for low reps recruit both fast and slow-twitch muscle fibers to help build strength, while light-weight, high-rep sets hit primarily the slow-twitch fibers, increasing muscle endurance, pump, and muscle acidity
Here's how I like to use breakdowns. After warm-ups, perform your first working set with a heavy weight for 4-6 repetitions. Use the absolute maximum weight you can handle while still maintaining proper form. On the second set you reduce the weight by 15-20 percent to a load that
you can handle for about 10-12 reps. On the third set, cut the weight from the first set in half, with a goal of hitting 20-25 reps—but don't stop at 25 if you can do more
Let's put some numbers to the percentages, using the dumbbell bench press as an example. If your max was around 120 pounds for one rep, you could probably move 85-90 percent of that weight for 4-6 reps, so you'd be using about 105 pounds. On the second set, you'd use 85-90 pounders for about 10 reps. On the third set, you'd go with the 50s for 20-25 reps. There's a little math involved, but if you can remember your locker combination it should be no problem

INCLINE CABLE FLYE FOR A STRONGER CHEST


Beef up your chest with this single-joint constant tension movement

We know. The cable crossover station is crowded! Then, when it does open up, you have precious little time before people start asking to work in. That probably explains why you’re always doing the same exercises over and over—a high crossover and a low crossover

The next time you hit the station, switch it up by wheeling an adjustable bench to the center of the rack for incline cable flyes. It’ll stimulate the fibers of your upper chest like an incline dumbbell flye, but also provide a unique stimulus because of the cable’s constant tension
START POSITION
Hands Out To The Sides, Elbows Slightly Bent

Get Huge, Ripped, and Perform Better Than Ever With the Rock Hard Challenge Workout

Place an incline bench halfway between two cable stacks in a cable crossover machineWith the cable pulleys set to the lowest position, lie back on the bench and grab hold of the d-handlesStart with your hands directly out to the sides, at about shoulder height, and your elbows slightly bent (not locked out)FINISH POSITION
 
Hands Together Over The Chest

Contract your pecs to pull your hands up and in toward each other until the handles nearly touch
Don’t bend your elbows any farther from the start positionmaintain a slight bend in the arms throughout
At the top of each rep, squeeze your pecs together for a second or two to maximize the contraction

QUICK TIPS
Do it late in your chest workout (after incline and flat bench press)
Focus on hitting your upper pectorals
Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps

Master the Medium Sumo Deadlift


THE MEDIUM SUMO DEADLIFT ISN'T JUST FOR POWERLIFTERS. BUILD POWER SAFELY WITH THIS DEEP-STANCE DEADLIFT
       
The deadlift is one of my favorite exercises in the gym, and it should be yours, too. That’s not broscience. The amount of reach a deadlift has compared to many other lifts is incomparable. It’s one of the most primitive movement patterns ever, but it’s responsible for training so many muscles at the same time. By practicing and strengthening the deadlift pattern, a lifter can prevent hip and knee issues, lower back pain, core weakness, poor posture, and develop an awesome looking pair of legs and butt in the process

But it’s not that simple for all of us

Especially if we’ve got a history of old injuries, are predisposed to new injuries, or aren’t built in a way that suits a good, strong deadlift setup. But there are ways around it. I personally learned this through experience, since I currently deal with all three of the above situations. At 6’4” with longer legs and a shorter torso, attempting to get into position for a conventional deadlift is more awkward than seeing an ex girlfriend at your wife’s family reunion. The typical result is one that includes a high hip position to accommodate, while the knees are crossing forward over the bar. The accompanied back stress this can create may not be your cup of tea, if you’re susceptible to injury

Most would suggest a sumo deadlift as a fix. Getting the feet out wide makes it much easier to create a more vertical torso, get your knees wide, shins vertical, and even reduce the bar’s travel distance. I used this variation with many clients early on, but the common thought was that it’s just plain not comfortable when compared to a conventional deadlift. It made sense. Getting out of your comfort zone is something we all need to do as lifters, but if something is going against our typical skeletal frame, you’ll be able to feel it

In the case of sumo deadlifts, this may be true. Recent research suggests that deep squatting with a standard foot width may not be a good fit for everyone, since the stance has to reflect the position of your hip sockets on your pelvis (if you have a narrower spacing, a narrow stance may work better for you than a wider one, and vice versa). For some reason, this isn’t touched on with the deadlift, although the same problem would prevent itself. A sumo deadlift may not be biomechanically advantageous for a lifter with narrow hip socket spacing, and may cause undue joint stress

Related: Master the Sumo Deadlift

That’s why it’s helpful to play with the foot position of deadlift variations, too, when doing styles other than the conventional stance. I’ve found that the medium sumo deadlift works best for me. I’ve also heard this exercise referred to as a “semi sumo deadlift.” In simplest terms, the forearms are still in contact with the knees and shins in the setup, except the legs are on the outside versus the inside. Your stance will be about 6 to 8 inches wider than a typical conventional deadlift pattern, and this will give deadlifters a few crucial degrees of geometrical change. Even five degrees at the hip and knee joint can mean a world of difference for the back stress endured

For once, I’m glad I get to use myself as an example. Tall lifters don’t have it easy in this exercise, and my history of SI injuries has kept me playing it safe when it comes to my deadlift workouts. I consider my form technically sound, so I’ll show you this first video so you can examine my lift geometry for a conventional deadlift first

The medium sumo style allows my inner thighs to become more active, pulls my shoulders back, and (for me) stimulates more glutes — probably due to the slight external thigh rotation. Note the difference in posture and angles
The deadlift is one of my favorite exercises in the gym, and it should be yours, too. That’s not broscience. The amount of reach a deadlift has compared to many other lifts is incomparable. It’s one of the most primitive movement patterns ever, but it’s responsible for training so many muscles at the same time. By practicing and strengthening the deadlift pattern, a lifter can prevent hip and knee issues, lower back pain, core weakness, poor posture, and develop an awesome looking pair of legs and butt in the process

But it’s not that simple for all of us

Especially if we’ve got a history of old injuries, are predisposed to new injuries, or aren’t built in a way that suits a good, strong deadlift setup. But there are ways around it. I personally learned this through experience, since I currently deal with all three of the above situations. At 6’4” with longer legs and a shorter torso, attempting to get into position for a conventional deadlift is more awkward than seeing an ex girlfriend at your wife’s family reunion. The typical result is one that includes a high hip position to accommodate, while the knees are crossing forward over the bar. The accompanied back stress this can create may not be your cup of tea, if you’re susceptible to injury

Most would suggest a sumo deadlift as a fix. Getting the feet out wide makes it much easier to create a more vertical torso, get your knees wide, shins vertical, and even reduce the bar’s travel distance. I used this variation with many clients early on, but the common thought was that it’s just plain not comfortable when compared to a conventional deadlift. It made sense. Getting out of your comfort zone is something we all need to do as lifters, but if something is going against our typical skeletal frame, you’ll be able to feel it

In the case of sumo deadlifts, this may be true. Recent research suggests that deep squatting with a standard foot width may not be a good fit for everyone, since the stance has to reflect the position of your hip sockets on your pelvis (if you have a narrower spacing, a narrow stance may work better for you than a wider one, and vice versa). For some reason, this isn’t touched on with the deadlift, although the same problem would prevent itself. A sumo deadlift may not be biomechanically advantageous for a lifter with narrow hip socket spacing, and may cause undue joint stress

Related: Master the Sumo Deadlift

That’s why it’s helpful to play with the foot position of deadlift variations, too, when doing styles other than the conventional stance. I’ve found that the medium sumo deadlift works best for me. I’ve also heard this exercise referred to as a “semi sumo deadlift.” In simplest terms, the forearms are still in contact with the knees and shins in the setup, except the legs are on the outside versus the inside. Your stance will be about 6 to 8 inches wider than a typical conventional deadlift pattern, and this will give deadlifters a few crucial degrees of geometrical change. Even five degrees at the hip and knee joint can mean a world of difference for the back stress endured

For once, I’m glad I get to use myself as an example. Tall lifters don’t have it easy in this exercise, and my history of SI injuries has kept me playing it safe when it comes to my deadlift workouts. I consider my form technically sound, so I’ll show you this first video so you can examine my lift geometry for a conventional deadlift first


The medium sumo style allows my inner thighs to become more active, pulls my shoulders back, and (for me) stimulates more glutes — probably due to the slight external thigh rotation. Note the difference in posture and angles


Although the weight being lifted is much lighter in the second video (I was still in “rehab” mode), I was definitely feeling stronger and more confident regarding the lift itself and my back health being protected while making this change

Here’s how to set up for the medium sumo

• Make sure to step right under the bar and don’t drastically change the width of your hand position in your setup

• Keep the feet a bit wider than normal and set the knees so that they’re outside the arms instead of inside

• The forearms and legs should still be in contact with each other, much like they are during a conventional deadlift

• The shin should be as vertical as possible before you pull, and it should also be perpendicular to the ground. If your shin is on a slant, your stance may be too wide

• Remember to “squeeze” your chest out and attempt to bend the bar before you pull it. This will ensure you remain tight through the duration of the lift

• Keep the bar close the entire time, and drive through with the hips and glutes

Sometimes it doesn’t take the most drastic of changes to have a positive effect on your body’s ability to handle movements, set new PR’s, and stay injury free. Try the medium sumo deadlift if you’ve been struggling with your conventional pulls

3 KEYS TO A BIGGER BENCH PRESS


There's nothing quite like the feel of pushing big weight on the bench press. It's probably the most often used measuring stick of strength in the gym, No one really ever asks you, Hey, what do you donkey press

But getting to those plate-clanging, bar-bending weight loads is no easy task, which is why we're offering you our three best tips for boosting your bench in a hurry

Negatives
Performing heavy negatives once or twice a month does wonders for building strength. Bodybuilders that don't have a "negatives day" in their routine are really missing out on huge gains. As a quick refresher, negatives are reps that concentrate on the eccentric, or lowering phase of an exercise. Our muscles can handle 30-40% more weight on the negative portion of a rep, so taking advantage of that taps into plenty of underexploited fibers in your pecs and trains your body and mind to deal with heavier weight

To perform negatives on the bench, add 30-40% more weight than you'd normally use for 10 reps (after a few warm-up sets, of course). So if you're pressing 250 pounds for 10 reps, add an extra 75 pounds (30%) onto the bar. Unrack the weight and resist the negative all the way down for a full five seconds or more. Once the bar touches your chest, have your training partner help you bring the bar back up to the starting position and repeat this for 3-5 total agonizing reps. Use this method sparingly - 1-3 sets, once or twice per month - to avoid overtraining or injury. Besides, after training like this, you'll likely be too sore to want to do it again soon

Training upper back
A missing piece of the puzzle when trying to increase your numbers on the bench is working your upper back. Without a strong upper back, it is difficult or impossible to stabilize heavy weight on either side of the repetition. Training your lats and rear delts with regularity and enthusiasm will take your bench higher, faster

Stick to mass-building exercises like barbell rows, T-bar rows, pull-ups, dumbbell rows and pulldowns in the 8-12 rep range on back day. And make sure not to neglect your rear delt raises on back or shoulder day. Don't let your rear delts fool you - just because they're a small muscle group doesn't mean you can't train them heavy. Aim for the same rep ranges (8-12) as your back - just be careful to maintain strict form on all exercises and avoid using any elasticity or momentum to complete reps

Grip strength
You might be thinking, "What the heck does my grip have to do with my bench press." The answer is "More than you might think." And that doesn't just apply to this exercise - grip strength translates to more poundage on nearly every exercise. For the bench press, however, it pays its biggest dividends by providing greater wrist stabilization. With shaky wrists and flimsy forearms, you have less control of the bar, which is particularly troublesome if you're into pressing big boy weight. Plus, keeping your wrists locked helps you maintain proper form. Training your grip then is a huge factor in maximizing your bench

The prescription? Grab a hold of a 45-pound plate in each hand at the fingertips and perform as many finger curls (lifting the edge of the plate towards your palm) as you can. Rest for 30 seconds and keep going until your forearms need a fire extinguisher to put out the flames

Take these three tips and go start tossing some iron around - we guarantee the results will come swift

HOW TO BUILD MUSCLE


Gaining muscle seems like an unreachable goal at first, this is because most people follow routines from weightlifters that create unrealistic programs for the average person, Muscle magazines are filled with routines from genetically modified musclemen who are looking to make money from the hopes 
and dreams of the ‘less muscular fortunate’

Subscribing to muscle magazines might give a person interesting reading material, but it will not give them a realistic opportunity to gain muscle, Beginners need to know the basics before they can ever begin to successfully gain muscle, All the routines in the world will not help a beginner who doesn’t have a full understanding of the most important and basic elements of weight training 

This 10 step list will give the average person a solid foundation from which to refer to during their training

Develop a Technique
Learn the proper way to do each exercise whether it is pushups or weight training, Developing a solid technique will maximize the workout and strengthen the muscles
Strength training is a method that should not be overlooked because it allows a person to start with minimal weight and add more weight as they progress, This builds more muscle which in turn builds more strength

Machines vs. Free Weights
Those weightlifting machines that are for sale on the television are ridiculous and a waste of money. Resistance training is vital for building muscle, Resistance training 
includes

Stretch bands
Free weights

Using body weight such as push ups
This type of training increases strength and power because the muscles are working against the resistance; this not only builds muscle but also develops stronger bones, Using free weights forces the arms to balance the weight, whereas machines are fixed into place and add no real benefit other than the actual weight itself

Full Body Workout
Before taking part in isolation exercises, consider a full body workout, Most isolation workouts are only effective until a solid foundation has been built, which means that a good portion of muscle mass has already formed. A full body workout builds muscle throughout the body and includes exercises such as

Bench Press
Pull-ups
Overhead Press
Squats

Legs are Important
Squats and deadlifts are an important and fundamental exercise for building muscle throughout the body, not just in the legs, While doing squats, the entire body tenses and flexes, thus working other muscles, Also, deadlifts strengthen muscles in the back, which can help eliminate back pain and improve other aspects of a person’s life

Compound vs. Isolation
As mentioned already, isolation exercises are one method to continue building muscle after mass has already been built. Until then, focus on compound exercises that work more than one muscle at a time, This includes

Pull-ups and Chin-ups
Barbell Rows
Bench Press
Deadlifts
Dips

Working one muscle continuously will only hinder growth and possibly cause injury, All the bicep curls in the world will not develop a rock-hard muscle unless the surrounding muscles have also been worked

Recovery
Muscle must be allowed to recover in order to grow; without rest, muscles will weaken and fail, Overtraining is the biggest mistake for a beginner and is avoided by allowing a day of rest between workouts, Remember these four rules
- Keep a bottle of water on-hand during the workout, Take sips often and drink plenty of water during each meal
- Allow a minute of rest between each exercise. Also, choose three or four days of the week to work out and rest on the off days

- Try for eight hours of sleep per night. Natural HGH, or human growth hormone, is released during sleep and aids in the muscle building process
- Be sure to get enough calories in a day to make up for calories burned during training. If calorie intake is low, then both fat and muscle are burned during the workout

Proper Diet
Increase the amount of whole foods in the diet and throw the boxed food in the garbage, Eating more whole foods aids in lowering body fat, which helps the muscles show better, Here is a small list of important foods that are beneficial while training

Proteins: Chicken, tuna, salmon, eggs
Vegetables: Avocado, carrots, broccoli, spinach
Fruits: Bananas, apples, oranges, blueberries
Carbohydrates: Brown rice, whole grain pasta
Fats: Flax seeds, olive oil, fish oil, nuts

Increase Protein Intake
Protein builds muscle, and it is important to have one gram of protein per pound of body weight, Here is a list of foods that contain necessary protein for bodybuilding

Red Meat: Steaks, ground round
Poultry: Chicken, turkey
Fish: Tuna, salmon
Eggs: Whites contain more protein; the yolk contains the vitamins
Dairy: Milk, cottage cheese

While writing a grocery list, keep in mind that some fruits also contain proteins and fats, such as avocados. Avocados are relatively inexpensive and contain seven grams of protein, and they are also packed with fats that the body needs, This is an important fact for people who live a vegetarian lifestyle and still want to build muscle

Gain Weight
It is hard to look muscular if a person is underweight. A man who weighs 140lb/63kg will still look skinny compared to a man who does the same exercises but weighs 160lb/72kg,That 20lb difference is a lot when it comes to looking big and muscular, Here are a few tips on how to gain weight

Eat more calories. Use a food scale to track daily caloric intake
Do not skip breakfast. Start eating early and eat every three hours
If a man weighs 160lb/72kg, then he needs to eat at least his bodyweight in pounds times 20kcal a day to gain weight

Stay Motivated
Train properly, get stronger, gain weight and stay motivated. Stay on target and do not lose sight of the goal, The only way to see results is by following a reliable and realistic method, A bigger physique doesn’t happen overnight, but those muscles will begin to show with a little hard work and a lot of dedication and passion

5 TASTY WAYS TO ENJOY OATS


Fuel up with this heart-healthy whole grain

ADD THEM TO MUESLI
Mix 1¼ cups oats, ½ cup skim milk and ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt; let stand 15 minutes. Mix ½ cup orange juice, ¼ cup honey, ¾ cup almonds, 2½ cups fresh fruit, and 1 cup shredded apples. Stir mixture into oats

ROLL THEM INTO BITES
Mix 1 cup oats, ½ cup nut butter and ground flax, ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup coconut flakes, and ¼ cup cacao nibs. Form balls. Chill

PUT THEM IN A PANCAKE
Whisk ½ cup old-fashioned oats, 3 egg whites, ½ shredded apple, and ¼ tsp cinnamon. Spoon mixture onto pan. Flip when pancakes bubble

USE THEM IN BREAD PUDDING
Blend raw or toasted oats and mix with panko flakes or ground almonds/walnuts to create a nutritious breading for steak, chicken, or fish

MAKE THEM IN A BURGER
Cook 1 cup black beans and 1 cup white beans. Mash and mix with 1½ cups oats, 1 cup roasted bell pepper, ¾ cup water, and dashes of black pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Form patties. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes

JOINT CUSTODY


IF YOU WANT TO PRESS HEAVY WEIGHT, YOU BETTER TAKE CARE OF YOUR TRICEPS TENDON

Big arms are like fast cars: everyone wants to have them, but not many are willing to pay the cost to get them. If you’ve been in the iron game for a while, you probably understand that a large portion of the arm anatomy comes from the posterior aspect of the arm known collectively as the triceps. As the name implies, the triceps consist of three heads: the long head, medial head and lateral head. While the origins of the heads are all slightly different, they all insert into one common triceps tendon. A well-designed program has you performing exercises that hit all three heads. The problem is, all of those exercises utilize the same triceps tendon, which has a tendency to become inflamed from overuse.

The action of the triceps is to extend (straighten) the elbow. Compound movements such as bench presses (barbell or dumbbell), shoulder presses and dips all target the triceps. Isolation exercises such as rope or straight-bar pressdowns, triceps kickbacks and overhead triceps presses (with dumbbells/barbell/EZ-bar) also target the triceps. While isolation and compound exercises are fairly common knowledge among experienced lifters, it’s often forgotten that the triceps also statically contract in exercises such as pullovers, straight-arm lat pulldowns and bent-over lateral raises/reverse flyes. This can sometimes lead to trouble — you might think you’re giving the muscles a rest day after your triceps workout the day before, but if you’re incorporating pullovers or straight-arm lat pulldowns as part of your back workout, you’re not really resting the triceps at all. This could result in overtraining and injuries to the triceps and/or the triceps tendon.

Due to the different insertion points of the triceps, specific exercises target certain areas more effectively. For example, an overhead triceps exercise such as a skullcrusher will target the long head of the triceps more effectively because that head is put in a prestretch position due to its anatomical origin. These particular exercises, while providing fantastic results, must be integrated into your training program intelligently due to the amount of excess tension that the prestretch position places on the long head of the triceps as well as the triceps tendon.

Strain on the triceps tendon from repetitive pushing movements or from overloading it beyond what it can tolerate may cause triceps tendonitis, which is when damaged triceps tendon tissue experiences swelling and pain in the posterior aspect of the elbow or slightly above or below the posterior aspect of the elbow. In severe cases of triceps tendonitis, you may notice swelling in the back of the elbow or experience weakness when attempting to straighten the elbow against resistance. You may also feel pain and tightness when performing a stretch to the triceps or point tenderness when firm pressure is applied near the posterior aspect of the elbow. In less severe cases, you may only experience a minor ache or stiffness when performing activities requiring a forceful or repetitive contraction of the triceps.

Once you have developed triceps tendonitis, it’s essential to provide a period of rest for healing to take place and for the swelling to subside. (Even if you can’t see the swelling, the tissue may still be swollen internally.) Ice, flexibility exercises and, occasionally, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are sometimes recommended by your health-care practitioner. A certified athletic trainer or physical therapist may also help in providing you with an appropriate rehabilitation plan that will get you back to your normal activities. See “7 Tips For Pain-Free Elbows” for some tried-and-true injury-prevention tips to help keep your elbows healthy

7 TIPS FOR PAIN-FREE ELBOWS

 Perform a general cardiovascular warm-up for five to 10 minutes and a movement-specific warm-up for two to three sets before beginning your heavier work sets

 Don’t begin your triceps workout with an overhead movement, as this places excess stress on the triceps tendon. Instead, start with either compound triceps exercises such as dips, or isolation exercises such as rope triceps pressdowns

 Allow at least one day of rest between working the triceps. Remember that exercises such as shoulder presses, chest presses, pullovers, straight-arm pulldowns and reverse flyes also recruit your triceps. If you perform these exercises the day before or after triceps training, you’re not really providing adequate rest

 Perform no more than one to two overhead triceps exercises for a maximum of eight sets per workout so as not to provide excessive strain on the triceps tendon

 Check your ego at the gym door. Don’t lift more weight than you can safely handle, and don’t reach failure on every rep of every set of every exercise

 Stretch your triceps with static stretches upon completing any workout in which you utilized the triceps

 If you feel elbow tightness or discomfort, ice the elbow for 15 minutes as a preventative measure