Archive for December, 2011

SECRETS TO A BIG CHEST #1: CHEST – Beginners

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

For most guys, ‘chest day’ is the best day of the week, well as far as training goes.

Here I’ll set you on the right path in your chest quest with a machine heavy routine that primes your pectorals for more specialised training down the road.

To begin with, err on the light side when choosing a weight, if you can’t finish the set with good form it’s too heavy.

Where you see a decreasing rep scheme, pyramid up the weight each set; if the reps are the same set to set, choose one challenging weight and use it for all the listed sets of that exercise.

DECLINE BARBELL PRESS


Start: Lie back on a bench set to about a 30–40 degree decline. Grasp the barbell with an overhand, slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. Lift the bar from the supports and hold it over your lower chest, arms extended.
Move: Lower the barbell to your chest, touching down to your lower pecs lightly before pushing the bar back up to full extension.

SMITH-MACHINE INCLINE PRESS


Start: Position yourself on an incline bench (about 45 degrees) so that the bar touches the top of your chest just below your collarbone. Once your position is set, get up and load the bar, then lie back onto the bench and grasp the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
Move: Press the bar straight up, stopping just short of elbow lockout. (Feel your pecs contract to bring your arms up above your torso.) Pause at the top and lower the bar under control to your upper chest.

MACHINE PULLOVER


Start: Sit in a pullover machine, grasping the handles with both hands while placing your elbows against the elbow pads.
Move: Bring the handles down in front of your torso, pause for a moment, then return back to the start under full control. To keep your pecs active, put more emphasis on pushing the bar down with your hands, rather than leading with your elbows pressing against the pads. In addition, actively flex your entire chest as you pull the bar down; using this “flexing” technique on all your chest exercises will help you develop the mind/muscle link that in time gives you pinpoint control over your muscles and their actions.

PEC-DECK FLYE
Start: Sit in a pec-deck station, placing your elbows and forearms on the pads. For best results, position your arms so that your elbows fall just below your shoulders, and limit the stretch to just behind your chest.
Move: Squeeze your pecs to bring the pads together in front of your chest. Flex your chest hard at the moment in the exercise when your elbows are together and always lower the weight under strict control. Don’t bounce.

PUSH-UP


Start: The traditional “drop-and-give-me-50” push-up is done with a flat back and hands just outside your shoulders (on steps or the floor).
Move: Press to full extension, keeping your elbows pointing out, and lower under control. Don’t sag in the middle.

PARALLEL-BAR DIP


Start: Grasp the bars with your arms extended and locked. Lean forward, bend your knees and cross your legs.
Move: Keep your elbows out to your sides as you lower yourself down, dropping until your upper arms are about parallel to the floor. Squeezing your palms toward each other in an isometric fashion, begin pressing back up until your arms are again fully extended. Be sure to keep leaning forward or the exercise focus will shift more to your triceps.

Look out for the next post in the same vein or read one of my other articles;

SIX WEEKS TO A BIGGER CHEST

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED SECRET #4 Hydration cont.

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED #7  Six secrets of  the champions

Or for a more health consciouns perspective why not have a look at my fitness site;

www.onformfitness.com

HOW TO BUILD MORE MUSCLE?

by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

Steven Milner IIST VTCT

There are two ways in which muscle can increase in humans…HYPERTROPHY & HYPERPLASIA…the former relates to an increase in the size of existing muscle cells and the latter relates to cell splitting and division through which there is an increase in the number of muscle cells. Hypertrophy is well proven but there is still speculation about whether hyperplasia through exercise takes place or not. Hyperplasia is generally seen during the growth phase of human beings due to the action of anabolic hormones like Insulin like Growth factor -1 (IGF-1). As a fitness professional you should not concern yourself too much with hyperplasia, however keep an open mind, many bodybuilders have a different view.

The tried and tested methods we use during resistance training to increase muscle tissue in the body deal with muscle hypertrophy.

So we need to understand the process of Hypertrophy in order to be successful in our endeavour to increase in muscle in the body.

The 3-pronged attack…

Firstly we need to stress or overload our muscles using resistance training (preferably weight training), in other words we lift weights which challenge the muscles beyond their usual limits. We accomplish this using exercise techniques, reps and sets for various body parts usually until we cannot do even one more repetition…try to lift weights that don’t allow more than 6 to 10 reps before hitting failure. This causes micro trauma at a cellular level. This micro trauma is not acceptable to the body, consequently the body needs to strengthen itself as a protective measure against further damage in the face of a similar challenge. In other words the muscle strengthens itself to adapt to the level of stress caused by exercise. Now the same amount of weights & reps that caused damage at the cellular level giving the body a need to get stronger are no longer challenging enough after hypertrophy has taken place…thus if further progress is desired then the overload has to progressively increase to initiate hypertrophy again. This is called progressive overload. Suffice it to say that without this micro trauma given to the body through progressive overload (PO), the human body would have no need to strengthen itself.

After the onslaught of training the body initiates the process of repair work…this repair work doesn’t just end at bringing the muscle cell back to its original self but over compensates to make it bigger and stronger than it was, in this way muscular hypertrophy takes place.

Nutrition is the second part of the 3-pronged attack, unless the muscle building nutrients such as protein are present in sufficient quantities exercise will remain a stimulus for hypertrophy, but will not lead to more muscle growth.

The third part is rest & recovery. After inflicting the growth producing damage through intense weight training and allowing for sufficient muscle building material through correct nutrition, if you don’t rest sufficiently you will end up working out again sooner than you should. The rate at which the body can rebuild and over compensate is governed by the amount of rest it gets.

So to sum up, in order to achieve muscle hypertrophy you should train the muscles with sufficient intensity using progressive overload (PO) to break the muscles down. This will initiate in the body a process of repair and regrowth.
This can only happen when the bo dy is given the right nutrition – adequate protein (N) and sufficient time to rest in between workouts (R). This will result in super compensation yielding a bigger muscle cell than before, so as an equation then it reads like this,

PO + N + R = HYPERTROPHY

If you want to know what type of exercises, nutrition and rest best suit your muscles genetics check out some of my other articles

Secrets to growing a muscle

Secrets about body fat and reduction

Secrets about hydration

or visit my fitness site for a more health based perspective www.onformfitness.com