Posts Tagged ‘bodybuilding’

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

by STEVEN MILNER IIST

If you want huge, fully developed arms you have to work bloody hard and a side effect of working bloody hard and following these arm training techniques and exercises with maximum intensity is maximum growth.

To build the kind of quality muscle you want you need to employ variety and change to shock the muscle groups of the arms as much as possible to make them respond and grow no matter what size they are now. For absolutely fantastic arm development the biceps, triceps and forearms have to appear equally and evenly developed in proportion to the surrounding muscle groups, e.g. the deltoids, pecs, lats and traps.

The great advantage to training arms is that it doesn’t take much motivation to want to hit them hard, but, developing arms worthy of competition is more than just a matter of building size. It takes a variety of high intensity arm exercises to confuse the arms into gigantic, ripped proportions. Make sure each part of your arms gets equal training for maximal activation and growth, a front-double biceps pose for example requires the biceps to have high peaks while the triceps sit with density and thickness beneath. The forearms should have good angles and mass below the elbow and beyond to complete the pose and tie in with massive delts, traps, and pecs. Sweeping lats, ripped abs and full rib cage complete the pose.
This kind of development doesn’t come easy, it takes hard work, dedication and hard training over the entire body to bring balance, symmetry and power.

Want 20″ Arms? Then read on.
Although the first thing you may think of when you imagine perfect arms is bulging biceps, it’s interesting to point out that the biceps is only one-third of the upper arm, the other two-thirds are triceps. In order to get those much sought after 20 inch guns it takes heavy work on both the biceps and triceps. 20 inch arms were considered unattainable until John Grimek finally achieved them. John won the Mr. America in 1940 and 1941 with his show stealing arms. Since then, many hardcore bodybuilders have been able to reach the magical 20 inches and beyond including the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Pearl, Larry Scott and Franco Columbo, just to name but a few.

Building Biceps
“In general, when you are trying to build up a weak area of the biceps, the best technique you can employ is one-arm dumbbell exercises. Doing an entire set with just one arm at a time allows for maximum concentration and intensity, and ensures that each arm works to its maximum. This keeps a stronger biceps from overshadowing the weaker, which can result in asymmetrical arm development. Also, be sure to twist the wrist during the movement for total biceps contraction. However, I believe one major reasons bodybuilders show weak points in the biceps is that they do the exercises incorrectly. You need to master proper technique–keeping the elbows steady, lowering the weight rather than dropping it, employing as many Shocking Principles as possible–and then you will be much less likely to have problems in this area. For example, I see a lot of bodybuilders using their forearms when they do curls, starting the motion with a kind of Wrist Curl which takes away from the effectiveness of the exercise. Or they will do a curl and, at the top, instead of flexing their biceps, to maintain maximal tension, they will just throw the weight back toward their shoulders, leaving the biceps loose and not working at all. I recommend instead using the peak contraction principle, flexing the biceps as hard as possible when you get to the top of the curl.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

For Overall Mass. Lift Heavy. Takes intense mental focus and concentration. Visualize your biceps growing! Do Barbell Curls and Cheating Reps.

For Length and Thickness. You must full stretch the biceps to the max and concentrate on working the lower one-third of the mass. Try prone curls or incline curls to really focus the biceps to the max.Preacher curls work very well for isolation and thickness development. For even better isolation, try the single arm isolation preacher machine (Ex – Shown with two arms). Try rotating the wrists 180 degrees for your last set.

For Height. Concentration curls work well to build that peak. Use a dumbbell or cable for the movement. The intensity should be placed heavily on the top one-third of the muscle mass. Flex your biceps as hard as possible without causing them to cramp at the top of the movement for peak development.This should really burn and give you a tremendous pump. Dumbbell curls that cause your thumb to point outward by twisting the wrist towards the outside of your body as you lift the weight will build great height also. After completely burning the biceps strike some poses in the mirror emphasizing your peak.

For Mass & Outer Thickness. Any kind of curls that bring the wrists in toward your chest, such as Close-Grip Barbell Curls or Close-Grip Preachers will develop great mass and outer thickness. Concentration curls that are done inward toward the centre of the body will get that outer thickness growing too.

Mass & Inner Thickness. Hammer curls work very well for developing inner thickness. Hammer curls are where you face your palm inward rather than upward as you lift the weight in a semicircular arc. You will notice the difference in stress this places on the biceps. Also, some basic movements work will such as standing barbell curls (wide-grip), seated or standing dumbbell curls, incline dumbbell curls, wide-grip barbell preacher curls.

For Striation, Separation, & Definition. Use as many different biceps exercises as possible. Dumbbell movements are a must because of the great range of motion they provide and the ability you have of hitting every different angle with them. Reverse curls are very good at developing the brachio radialis and biceps so that your back double bicep pose shows lots of definition.

Building Triceps
“If you have a real problem with the triceps, I recommend training them according to the Priority Principle, working them first, when you are fresh. I did this myself years ago when I realized that my biceps had developed out of proportion to my triceps. I began to concentrate on this area, using the Priority Principle, and soon they began to respond so I had an Olympia-quality arm rather than just Olympia-quality biceps. I also found that super setting triceps exercises, going right from one to the other, was another way of getting extra triceps development. I would first do a few sets to pump up the biceps, which creates a “cushioning” effect, and then really blast the triceps. After the superset I would continue to flex and pose the triceps, never giving them any relief.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

For Overall Mass. Use heavy weight on Close-Grip Barbell Bench, Dips behind the back, and Weighted Dips.

For Mass & Upper Triceps. Do dips, one-arm cable press downs, cable press downs (reverse and regular), and kickbacks very slowly and strictly, flexing completely. Hold the concentration briefly at the top of the movement.

For Mass & Lower Triceps. Weighted dips and dips behind the back in which you descend fully, but only go three-quarters of the way up force intense concentration on the lower portion of the triceps because stress is placed on them constantly during the set.

Building Forearms
“Many bodybuilders end up with a weakness in forearm development simply because they don’t train forearms right from the beginning. Another reason for forearms lagging behind, aside from the obvious one of bone structure, is failing to execute the exercises correctly and in a strict enough manner. The more you isolate the forearms and force them to do the movements without any help from the upper arms, the more they will respond. This means being very, very strict in your execution. It is important to work the forearms through a long range of motion. You need to lower the weight as far as possible, getting the maximum stretch, and then come all the way back up to get a total contraction of the muscles. Working through only three-quarters of the range of motion is not that beneficial because you already use this part of the muscle in a variety of other exercises. If you want to drastically increase your forearm development, you can use the Priority Principle in a special way: train forearms by themselves when you are rested and strong, or train your forearms on leg days when your arms are rested. You can also keep a barbell or dumbbells at home and do a couple of sets of Wrist Curls and Reverse Wrist Curls as often as you like, even once an hour every hour.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Upper Forearms. Hammer curls, reverse wrist curls, one-arm cable reverse curls (Ex – Shown with two arms), and every other kind of reverse curls really hit this area of the forearms not to mention the biceps.

Inner Forearms. Single arm wrist curls, barbell wrist curls, and behind-the-back curls are excellent inner forearm builders.

Finally some tips to bear in mind for super sized arms.

Huge Biceps; Train consistently, never miss workouts. Concentrate hard on each set. Do standing 21’s with a barbell.
Do basic movements to begin with to build mass.
Standing barbell curls
Preacher curls
Seated or Standing dumbbell curls
Do isolation work for maximum peaking.
Reclined curls
Concentration curls
Cable curls
Huge Triceps; always train the smaller triceps complex after the larger muscle groups of the deltoids and pectorals. Use continuous tension throughout triceps isolation movements over the full range of motion. Completely flex the entire triceps by extending the arms fully so that the maximum numbers of muscle cells are recruited throughout the movement.
Huge Forearms; Save your forearms for last when training because they are the smaller weaker group. Train them (seriously and painfully) hard and consistently to build them up.Train heavy.

Train like a monster, eat like a predator, sleep like a baby. Keep growing.

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Edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST

20 SUPER FOODS FOR THE GROWING BODYBUILDER.

 

To build muscle & lose fat, you need a variety of proteins, vegetables, fruits, carbs, and healthy fats. Eating protein helps to build and maintain muscle, but it also helps fat loss. Protein has a higher thermic effect on the body than carbs and fats.

Dietary fat actually helps with bodyfat loss, how?  Your body stores fat if you don’t get enough in your diet. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals, necessary for recovery from your workouts. And carbs fuel your muscles so you feel full of energy at the gym.

Many of you struggle to balance these foods efficiently. Sometimes because you’re too busy or sometimes because you just lack the right information. This list will help you — 20 super foods you need to build muscle & lose fat.

1. Whole Eggs. Cheap & rich source of protein: 7g/egg. The yolk contains most nutrients: half the protein, vitamins A/D/E and cholesterol to naturally increase your testosterone levels.
Don’t get too worked up about cholesterol in eggs. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol. Really! If you have bad cholesterol you should be working on lowering your body fat rather than wasting a perfectly good and healthy yolk.

2. Fish Oil. Reduces inflammation (joints/skin), lowers body fat and increases testosterone levels. You need 9000mg EPA/DHA per day. Since you’ll probably struggle to get that from eating fatty fish, consider a fish oil supplement.

3. Salmon. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids that also gets you 20g protein per 100g serving. Farm raised salmon is, however, omega-3 deficient because it’s corn/grain fed. Go with wild salmon if you can.

4. Berries. Strong antioxidants that prevent cancer, heart & eye diseases. Any kind works: cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. Buy fresh or frozen berries and mix with oatmeal.

5. Yogurt. Contain bacteria that improve your gastrointestinal health. Don’t buy frozen yogurt or yogurt with added sugar and fruits at the bottom. Get plain low fat yogurt. Eat it with berries & flax seeds.

6. Flax Seeds. Source of fibre, protein & omega-3. Grind the flax seeds to get the most out of them, but be aware they won’t keep for more than a week when ground. Take 1 tbsp with yogurt & berries before going to bed. Stay away from flax oil: it’s unstable and contains no fibre. I should tell you that in the UK flaxseed oil is Linseed oil. Obviously you can’t just use any old linseed oil.

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 70% monounsaturated fats protect against heart diseases and cancer. Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil to your salads. Buy extra virgin olive oil if you can afford to, it contains more polyphenols and tastes better.

8. Mixed Nuts. Contain mono- & polyunsaturated fats, proteins, fibre, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, magnesium, etc. Mixed nuts are calorie dense, great if you’re a skinny guy who wants to gain weight. This is easy to get right because anything works, almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, etc., peanut butter also works as long as you buy natural or organic peanut butter without added salts/sugars.

9. Red Meat. Protein, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, creatine, carnatine and even omega-3 if you eat grass-fed beef. Eat steaks & hamburgers from top round or sirloin

10. Broccoli. High in cancer fighting phyto-chemicals and anti-estrogenic indoles. Broccoli is also high in soluble fibre and low calorie, helping fat loss. Eat other cruciferous vegetables for a change, such as  cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, etc.

11. Spinach. One of the most alkaline foods. Spinach prevents muscle & bone loss, but also cancer and heart diseases because of its high nutrient profile.

12. Turkey. If you don’t believe saturated fat is good for you, try white turkey. The leanest beef has about 4.5g saturated fat/100g, while white turkey has close to 0g which is why it’s so dry.

13. Quinoa. Mainly consumed in the United States, quinoa is often called the South American “king of grains”. Quinoa is higher in fibre & protein (18%, and a complete protein at that) than rice or oats, tastes a lot better and is gluten free, yet still high in calcium which is great for the lactose intolerant. Buy the whiter grain, it’s better quality. Eat it post workout as part of your post workout meal.

14. Oats. Oats and whole grains reduce cholesterol, provide you with low-glycaemic index carbs for energy, and are high in soluble fibre. Try a post workout shake of whey & crushed oats. (If you like that sort of thing)

15. Tomatoes. High in lycopene, which prevents cancer. The lycopene in tomato paste is 4 times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. Have pizza or pasta with tomato sauce & olive oil post strength training.

16. Oranges. Vitamin C to fight diseases, magnesium to lower blood pressure, anti-oxidant beta-carotenes, etc. Avoid drinking processed orange juice from concentrates which often has added sugars. Eat oranges or make your own orange juice.

17. Apples. Pectin in apples helps weight loss by increasing satiety (the feeling of fullness). Apples are also the strongest antioxidiant after cranberries (eat the peels). Unfortunately apples are one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits. Go organic.

18. Carrots. The high vitamin A content in carrots improves eye-health, especially night vision. Carrots are also h in fibre, low calorie and taste good (to some), even raw.

19. Water. Try to read some of my other articles on hydration (secrets of hydration)for more in depth information. Your body holds water if you don’t drink enough. Drinking prevents water retention, helps muscle recovery and prevents dehydration from strength training. Get a brita filter and drink 2 cups of water with each meal.

20. Green Tea. Green tea is a strong antioxidant and natural diuretic. Green tea can also speed up fat loss, prevents cancer and improve blood sugar & circulation. Try to drink green tea in the morning instead of coffee. Real green tea please, not the teabags!

Put It All Together. Eat proteins, veggies, fruits & fats every 3 hours. 2 cups water with each meal. Carbs post workout only. Junk food 10% of the time. Get stronger in the meanwhile and you’ll build muscle & lose fat.

by STEVEN MILNER IIST

SECRETS TO A BIG CHEST  15 Minute Chest Workout

Do you sometimes find yourself a bit short on time and on CHEST DAY of all days? No worries, I’ve got a 15-minute workout for every body part, and this one is for chest.

The first two exercises and the last two are super sets, which are two exercises for the same body part done back to back with no rest in between. For instance, on your first set you might do the smith machine flat bench press for 12 reps, then immediately pick up two dumbbells for 8 reps of the neutral grip flat bench press.

Rest 60-90 seconds between compound sets (by the way, this general guideline applies to most compound sets).

NEUTRAL GRIP FLAT BENCH DUMBBELL PRESS
Start: Take two dumbbells, lie on a flat bench and turn your wrists so they face each other, hands at each side of your torso.
Move: Press the dumbbells upward, allowing them to naturally move toward each other at the top (without touching or under control at the very least). Then reverse the move back to the start, getting a good pectoral stretch at the bottom.

SMITH MACHINE FLAT BENCH PRESS
Start: Position yourself on a bench so the bar lines up with the middle of your chest. Now get up and load some plates on, lie back on the bench and grasp the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
Move: Keep your elbows pointing outward as you press the bar straight up. Pause at the top, then lower the bar until it’s slightly above your chest. If you reach failure without a spotter, simply rack the bar on the nearest hook rest.

SEATED CHEST PRESS MACHINE
Start: Position the handles of the machine so they line up with your mid to upper chest, sit back in the seat and grasp the handles with an overhand grip.

Move: Press the handles straight out in front of you until your arms are fully extended but not locked, then slowly bring your hands back toward your chest without letting the weights touch the stack.

EXERCISE BALL DUMBBELL FLYE
Start: This exercise is similar in execution to the flat bench flye, except that here your body works harder to keep you stabilised (personal note here; destabilising you’re core is only effective if you can still handle weight that takes your muscles to failure safely. Grab two dumbbells and lie back on a ball so that you face the ceiling with the ball supporting your chest girdle. Extend the dumbbells out above your body, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows throughout to protect them from hyperextension and to keep the tension on the pecs.
Move: Without altering the angle in your elbows, bring the dumbbells up in an arc toward each other, stopping just short of touching over your chest. Lower them back along the same path to the start. To get more upper-chest emphasis, lower your hips toward the floor and perform 
in the same manner.

EXERCISE-BALL PUSH-UP
Start: This one will really work your shoulder stabilisers and improve your strength, balance and muscular coordination. Make sure the ball is fairly secure (place it in a ring rest if you can find one), and with your hands on the ball and feet on the ground, get into push-up position.
Move: Keeping your body straight as a plank, lower your chest to the ball by bending your elbows (let them point outward as you descend). Once you reach the bottom, press yourself back up to the start, don’t play bouncy bouncy it’s not big and it’s not clever.

Bodybuilding Secrets, the drop set

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

You wanna start at this end?

Drop sets (also known as strip sets and staged sets) are a great tool to incorporate into your strength training routine. For one it is a great way to change up an existing exercise routine that has hit a plateau. But mainly it is a great way to work on muscle endurance and strength. The idea here is to start with a heavy working  weight for a low rep count (4, 6 or 8 for instance) then immediately lighten the weight and continue with reps and so on, this could mean three drops of 6 reps making a drop set of 18 reps, these are the basics of a drop set. Drop sets place extra demands on the cardiovascular system so aerobic fitness is a factor. In a small way you are getting an interval cardiovascular workout while strength training. In order to get the most benefit from drop sets in your workout you should have a personal trainer or even better two training partners to take off the weight, normally while you’re in an extended position, for you as quickly as possible so that you don’t have time to rest between reps. You should not rest until the set is done, there should be nothing left to give.

Example of a drop set
Bent over barbell rows
25lb plate, 10lb plate and 5lb plate on each side (5lb plate on inside)
6 reps with all weight on both sides; no rest
take off the 25lb plates on both sides
8 reps with 10lb and 5lb plate; no rest
take off the 10lb plate on both sides
10 reps or to failure; end of set, then rest, then repeat

You can do this with nearly all exercises, both with free weights and even easier, with machine based exercises. The idea is that you will build muscle using weight of around 80% of your max, muscle endurance is improved due to the high rep count (the example set laid out above accounts for 33 reps in one set). Make sure you rest 1-2 minutes between sets to insure maximum strength gains. Also you are burning fat by cycling your heart rate throughout the set.

Your muscle doesn’t know what weight’s written on the dumb bell

Don’t do drop sets every single day for weeks at a time, you will overtrain. You would typically take  one week out of the month do drop sets for every body part then go back to regular sets for 3 weeks and so on. The rationale behind all this only works if you allow adequate time for recovery, remember recovery is different for everyone and influenced by many different factors. I know one doorman who used to claim that steroids allowed him to recover the same day, whatever. That said, if you break down your muscles with intense exercises techniques and do it right, with correct recovery and diet you WILL see results and fairly safely too!

MY TIP? If you are ready for your third set of an exercise and the previous two were shit,  finish things properly with a heavy drop set, you will know what I mean.

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT