Build Muscles And Smash Plateau For Beginners

Before and AfterFive times a week, two hours each visit. You’ve been more faithful to your gym schedule than you’ve ever been to any girlfriend you’ve had. And for a while it paid off: those muscles started rippling and the girls started paying attention.

But then, like a bad dream you wake up from, your muscles suddenly wasn’t growing like what it used to do. Your muscles stop responding to your heavy workout no matter how intensely you’ve been training. So you said to yourself, now I will train harder. So now you put in three hours a session and but even as you upped your gym dosage, horrors of horrors, your muscles are actually shrinking.

Ahhhhh, the Gym Plateau. It afflicts all of us and few of us ever gotten out of it. In fact, most people don’t even know that they have hit the dreaded plateau and thought that their muscles can only grow so much due to inherent genetic factors. Not to worry though, if you read the following fitness tips, and follow these tips to the latter, I can assure you that your muscles will start growing again and grow bigger they will.

Here are your free fitness tips.

Fitness Tip #1
Take A Break

This tip is easy to comply for most of us but very difficult for some gym rats. Simply take a break from your workout. Do not step into the gym or do any workout for 2 weeks. Its time to let your body recover from the punishments you are dishing out to your muscles. Some bodybuilders may find this difficult to do because working out is addictive. You produce endorphin when you workout and endorphin is also known as happy hormone. The same hormone you produce when having sex.

Professional bodybuilders take a break after every 4-5 months of hard training and when they are back in the gym, they shock their well rested but complacent muscles back into massive muscle gain.

Fitness Tip #2
Are you training too often?

If your exercises are intense enough, you need only to train each muscle group once or twice a week. Your training schedule shouldn’t repeat muscle groups in the same week. Every time you train, you do your muscles damage. Muscles need time to repair and it does so in the after your training when you are resting. This means that if you lift weights on consecutive days, there isn’t sufficient time for the body to recover. Try to have one day rest between each weight lifting day.

If your routine requires intensive weight training, remember not to prolong your gym time longer than an hour. This is because your cortisol, a muscle eating hormone level will be elevated and thus will be counter productive to your efforts. It eats your muscles.

Most of all, you must sleep! Eight hours or even better, go for ten hours. Muscles do not grow in the gym; they grow when you sleep. When you sleep, you are secreting growth hormones for many bodily functions and one of those functions is to build muscles. That is why they called it beauty sleep!

Fitness Tip #3
Are you using the correct weight lifting techniques?

If your technique or form is incorrect, not only is your training retarded, you are also inviting injury. Don’t laugh. But when you exercise you must think and focus, instead of mindlessly repeating the motions, do take note of how you perform each exercise and rep. Do so with deliberation and at the beginning and end of every lift, pause and squeeze the muscles you are exercising. Mind and muscle must connect! Never never use momentum of the swing to lift the weights and let gravity pull the weight down. That is why you must lift slowly and lower slowly feeling the tension in your muscles and resisting the load all the time.

In order for muscles to want to grow, you have to stress them to the maximum, and then further. Do enough repetitions until you feel you cannot go any further using good form. You must then either increase the weight or the number of repetitions at the next session. This is called progressive overload, and progressive overload is what forces your muscles to grow. As a general guide, if you can lift more than 12 reps the weight is probably too light and it is too heavy if your muscles fail you in less than 5 reps. You may wish to consult your physical fitness trainer on the correct form and technique for each exercise.

Fitness Tip #4
Are you using free weights?

Most machines do not involve as much of the synergistic muscles (supporting muscles) as free weights do. And, therefore, do not build as much muscle mass. Synergistic muscles are the smaller muscles that aid the main muscles in balance and strength in each lift. Machines has its uses, but for beginners and for smashing plateaus, use free weights.

Fitness Tip#5
Workout with compound exercises

Compound exercises are exercises that involve 2 or more joint movements and thereby employing bigger muscles and more synergistic muscles . Bench presses, dead lifts, squats, and barbell curls amongst others are fantastic compound exercises . For example, when you squat , all the muscles in your lower body get a workout and that alone is about 60 percent of your overall musculature . Squat also works your back and abs too. Using more muscles at one go means that you get a better overall workout. To add icing to the cake, because of the massive utilization of your muscles , you will pant, huff and sweat more. That means your routine also has a cardio effect and you will burn calories even hours after you stepped out of the gym .

Fitness Tip#6
Are you working out your legs?

Your body is programmed to grow proportionately with only slight variations. If you do not train your legs, your upper body mass will stop growing before it becomes large. Surely, you’ve heard of chicken legs! Just because leg training can be brutal, it doesn’t give you reason to hide your legs in your pants. To get that super hero X-frame, pepper your routine with squats . A word of caution though: compound exercises such as dead lifts, squats, and bench presses must be done in excellent form and a spotter is highly recommended. This is where your physical fitness trainer will come in handy as your spotter. If not, injuries are bound to happen and that may put you permanently out of the gym.

Fitness Tip#7
What are you eating?

Muscle building requires protein – the more, the better. Meat, especially red meats and fish, are the best source. It is in your food that your body will draw nutrients from, for strength and necessary fats for joint and organ protection.

To have massive muscle gain and help in muscle preservation , you need about 2-3 grams of good protein per kilogram of your body weight . If you want to get serious about muscles , you may need to supplement them with protein shakes . Eating a meal and having a protein shake immediately after your workout also maximizes the window for rapid absorption of nutrients. This is important as you need to feed the muscles now that you have damaged them. You should also 6 small meals a day so your muscles are constantly fed throughout the day. This will help rev up your metabolism to burn fat too. This will tremendously help you in your build muscle lose weight program. Remember to take your protein shake half an hour before you workout too.

Fitness Tip#8
How about Carbs?

Glycogen is the main energy source for any muscle-building exercise. The body stores whatever carbohydrates you eat as glycogen and muscles use it to give you energy during your workout. After an intense workout, do consume carbohydrates immediately to replace the used glycogen. You can even indulge in high glycemic carbs such as ice creams and white bread as these will turn into insulin and shuttles nutrients such as protein to your muscle cells quickly.

Fitness Tip #9
And Fats?

Yes, your body do need do need fats . But try to avoid saturated fats such as animal fats or worse, trans fats which are artificial fats found in pastries, confectionaries and preserved food. Consume healthy unsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, fish oils, flax seed oil.

Fitness Tip#10
Water Water is essential.

Water is essential. It is the most underrated macronutrient. You need at least eight glasses of water every day but when you exercise , you lose even more water because of the sweating. So drink before, during and after your workout. Weigh yourself before and after the workout, and compensate for the loss by drinking at least 16 ounces of fluid for every pound or half a kg lost.

Fitness Tip#11
Creatine

While meats are the best source for creatine, which is a nutrient that helps speed up muscle gain and power you up during workouts, those who do not get enough from their regular diet must be supplemented. Creatine puts volume into your muscle cells and gives you that muscle pump thus your muscles feels tighter, look bigger and overall illusion of superb muscularity . It also helps to prevent muscle breakdown.

Fitness Tip#12
Glutamine

When supplemented, it may help bodybuilders reduce the amount of muscle wasting away or used up as energy. It also helps in muscle recovery.

Fitness Tip #13
Do you change your routine?

The human body is fantastic at adaptation. So whatever routine you are on, your body will get used to it. So do change your routine every 6-8 weeks. For example, instead of working out your chest muscles at the start of your workout, work your back muscles instead. You can reverse your whole routine or change the variations of your exercises or add new ones and take away some old ones. By changing your routines, you not only shock your muscles to new growth, it will also prevent boredom by doing the same thing all the time.

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Are You Having Trouble Building Muscle?

Food GroupHave you been going to the gym regularly for months and haven’t been able to put on any serious poundage? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to take a step back and make some plans. Building muscle is not rocket science. There are four key factors that will mean the difference between building muscle and staying skinny. You have to ask yourself these four questions.

Is my diet optimized for building muscle?

It’s time to get out of the “3 meals per day” mentality. If you want to gain (or lose) weight you need to feed your body whole foods, six times per day. This means splitting your large meals up and eating about once every three hours. Not only is this good for your metabolism, but your body will use the foods instead of storing them as fat.

Your six meals per day should consist of mainly complex carbohydrates and protein. You should aim for at least thirty grams of protein per meal. High protein foods include lean meat, chicken, fish, egg whites, cheese and milk products. Complex carbohydrates are found in brown rice, brown bread and potatoes. Stay away from foods high in salt and sugar

Should I be using supplements, and when should I be taking them?

If you can afford supplements you should be using them. The basic three you should be considering are protein, carbs and creatine. Whey protein supplements are the fastest known way to deliver quality protein to your muscles. This makes shakes particularly effective after your workouts, when your body is craving protein for muscle re-growth.

There are three key times that supplements should be taken. First thing in the morning, after your workout and before bed. If your diet is up to scratch you shouldn’t need supplements at any other time. Don’t use supplements to replace meals. Supplements are supplements, not meal replacements.

Am I training hard and not smart?

The biggest mistake the new lifters make is thinking that the more they workout the bigger they’ll get. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Two basic rules you must remember when it comes to weight training. First, quality is better than quantity. Second, compound exercises are the kings of building muscle.

Compound exercises require at least two joint movements. Big compound exercises are the squat, bench press, wide grip pull up and seated row. These movements recruit many more muscles fibers to use to move the weight. This means more muscle groups are worked, the exercise is more challenging and the potential for growth is much greater.

Generally you should be doing three compound exercises for one isolation exercise. For example your back/biceps workout might consist of wide grip pull ups, seated row, bent over row and standing bicep curl. You might think this is not enough work for your biceps? Wrong. Your biceps are worked heavily in all over these exercises; the bicep curl just finishes them off.

The length of any training session should not exceed one hour. And you only need to train one muscle group once per week. This means a split routine should only need to be three days per week. In fact, most professional bodybuilders only train four times per week. Remember, it’s quality not quantity.

Do I get enough rest and recovery time?

When you workout you’re not building your muscles, you’re breaking them down. The reason why you looked “pumped up” when you’re in the gym is because your muscle tissue is swollen and damaged. Your muscles actually grow when you are resting. So in simple terms, no rest equals no muscle growth.

So take it easy when you’re not working out. Ease up on the cardio. And make sure you get plenty of sleep. Sleep is the body’s number one time for building muscle. This is also why it’s important to eat before bed, so your body has the fuel to repair muscle in your sleep.

Simple isn’t it?

So you can see that despite what you read in magazines or on the web about building muscle, it’s surprisingly simple. If you get the four aspects I have mentioned in this article right, you will build muscle. If you’ve got any questions, I’m available on the forum on my site. See links in my bio.

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Age-Related Muscle Changes

One of the hallmark features of aging is the loss of muscular mass and strength. Much of this loss can be explained by changes to the neuromuscular system such as decreased number of motor neurons, decreased number of muscle fibers, and decrease muscle fiber size. But it is important to ask whether these changes are a consequence of aging or simply a result of an inactive lifestyle.

Age-Related Changes to Muscle

The age related decline in muscle mass appears to occur in 2 phases. The first or “slow” phase of muscle loss, in which 10% of muscle mass is lost, occurs between the ages of 25 and 50. The majority of muscle loss occurs thereafter where an additional 40% is lost from the ages of 50 to 85. Overall, the human body loses 50% of its muscle mass by the age of 80. This muscle atrophy can be explained by significant decreases in both the total number of muscle fibers, as well as in muscle fiber size.

It has been shown that aging results in a loss of the power and speed producing fast twitch fibers (particularly IIb) and an increase in the more aerobic slow twitch fibers. This seems to make sense since movements that demand a high velocity of contraction (such as jumping and sprinting) tend to be less in the older years.

Mechanisms of Strength Loss

The problems with decreasing strength can be seen in its contribution to osteoporotic decline in bone density, arthritic joint pain, and an overall reduced functional capacity.

With the loss in muscle mass evidently comes a decrease in muscular strength. However, as with muscle loss, most strength losses are not significant until the sixth decade. As briefly mentioned, this loss in strength can be attributed to a decrease in the number of motor units (nerve-muscle fiber complex), the decreased number of muscle fibers and the reduction in muscle fiber size. It is also known that a decline in leg strength precedes upper extremity strength loss in the elderly. This is important due to the fact that strength, rather than cardiovascular function, is considered to be the most physically limiting factor in the elderly. This is apparent when considering strength-limiting activities faced by many seniors such as getting up from a seated position or walking up stairs.

Encouraging is the finding that aging does not seem to effect eccentric strength. This phase of contraction is an important consideration for the elderly due to the possible linkage between poor eccentric strength and the incidence of falls in the elderly.

The Importance of Active Living

Regular exercise is the most effective way to slow and counteract the effects of age-related muscle and strength loss. Comparisons between active and sedentary older adults suggest that much of the strength loss with aging is due lifestyle factors. For example, individuals who continue to use certain muscles on a regular basis do not show the same age-related decreases in strength. In general, muscle atrophy, and thus strength loss, will occur any time the muscles are not required to work against a given load. The result will be a decrease in protein synthesis accompanied by an increase in protein breakdown. Overall, the muscle atrophies and loses much of its strength, characteristics commonly seen in astronauts during space flight. Incorporating regular resistance training is the most effective means of attenuating this effect.

Encouraging Findings

Studies have consistently shown that regular exercise can improve muscular endurance and strength in the elderly in a manner similar to that observed in young people. One of the largest studies in this field was done at McMaster University several years ago. The researchers looked at the effects of 2 years of twice/weekly strength training (80-85% 1RM) across 114 subjects between the ages of 60-80 years. The results indicated steady increases in strength in each of the muscle groups tested with no evidence of plateauing. There were also significant increases in muscle mass accompanying the gains in strength and, perhaps more importantly, there was evidence that these strength gains translated into improved function (as measured by walking and stair climbing performance).

Although there are certain unavoidable changes that occur with aging, it is possible to delay or attenuate the losses muscle mass and strength normally accompanying these changes. Since so many daily living activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and standing up from a chair are so dependent on strength it is imperative to minimize the age-related loss in strength as much as possible. The muscles in older adults maintain their ability to adapt; therefore, regular resistance training (2-3x/week) should be implemented into the lifestyle of such individuals. Moreover, a similar strength training protocol needs to be employed in younger adults as means of prevention and staying healthy into the golden years!

Copyright 2006 © Total Wellness Consulting.

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Basics Of Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is a sport of building muscle. Bigger and stronger is the name of the game. One of the great things about bodybuilding is that you can achieve great results with only very basic equipment and a few hours of training three to four times per week.

The key to building bigger and stronger muscles is to keep progressively adding more and more weight over time. Building bigger muscles is about consistent regular training, eating properly, getting plenty of rest, and lots of weight at low repetitions.

As a starting any new exercise program, is important a first check with your physician before starting a bodybuilding program. In the beginning is important that you start slow and learn proper technique. Time and time again professional body builders have said that technique is one of most important aspects of getting a good workout. It might be helpful to schedule a session with a professional trainer in the beginning so you start on the right track. If this is not an option for you there are various instructional books on the subject of bodybuilding. Above all take the time to learn proper technique.

Lifting heavy weight damages muscle fibers. It is only when the muscles repair themselves that they grow larger and stronger. For this reason it is very important that each muscle group is given plenty of rest following each workout. This is why most body builders alternate muscle groups. For example, you might work on your back on Monday, your legs on Tuesday, your chest on Wednesday, and your arms on Friday. Most successful body builders will recommend that you not work a particular muscle group more than twice per week.

The question may come up of whether it is best to use weight machines or free weights. The general consensus is that free weights are your best option for increasing muscle mass. Machines are typically used for isolating muscles and this is something that only professional body builders need to do before contest.

The following are some basic exercises for the major muscle groups.

Chest

1. Flat Bench Press
2. Dips
3. Incline Bench Press

Legs

1. Squats
2. Straight Leg Dead Lifts
3. Leg Press

Back

1. Pull ups
2. Barbell Rows
3. Deadlifts

Biceps

1. Curls
2. Incline curls

Triceps

1. Lying Tricep Extensions
2. Close Grip Bench Press

Shoulders

1. Military Press.

Remember to increase muscle size you will need to progressively increase poundage. Be patient. Overworking your muscles can actually have adverse effects. If you maintain a consistent regular workout routine coupled with proper nutrition and rest you will begin to see results in no time. Keep in mind it is common to see more obvious results initially and in overtime your gains will seem less apparent. This is because your body becomes used to your work out routine and in a sense knows what to expect. It is helpful to keep your body guessing by changing your workout routine on a regular basis.

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Best Weight Lifting Workout Tips

After twenty plus years of celebrity fitness training in Beverly Hills, California, I would like to share with you my top six, most effective, weight lifting tips. If you follow these tips, you will know you have accomplished the maximum in the least amount of time.

Here are the six best muscle building workout tips I have discovered throughout my years as a celebrity fitness trainer. Please note: consult with your physician prior to taking part in any exercise program. Each individual has their own specific medical history, and overall objectives.

1. Use Multi-Joint Exercises

You will want to incorporate weight lifting exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. Two or more joints are moving throughout a
particular strength training exercise. Performing an exercise like this will utilize a greater amount of muscle fibers, thus stimulating growth, as well as burning more calories. Examples of such multi-joint exercises are the chest press, leg press, leg squat, pulldown, and shoulder press. These are all very effective exercises leading to greater muscle development.

2. Focus on Form Before Weight

While lifting weights, it is important to focus on form. Let the particular muscle do the work, not momentum, or other muscles you are not targeting. You goal is to fatigue a particular muscle to its absolute maximum. It is not important to impress someone else in the gym with the weights you are lifting. Focus on working the muscle!

3. Repetitions Should Be Slow and Controlled

Eliminating the external force, momentum, is the key. Once again, let the targeted muscle do the work, and nothing else. Zone in on that particular muscle. You should concentrate on moving the weight using a cadence of two seconds positive motion, and four seconds back (negative). Please remember, this is weight lifting, not weight throwing.

4. Proper Rest Between Workouts Is Critical

Make sure your weight training workouts are high enough in intensity to stimulate muscle tissue growth, and have the proper rest between workouts to allow this growth to occur. The average amount of rest between workouts is 2-10+ days depending upon the intensity level. You shouldn’t feel tired, and sore before your next workout, but eager to conquer the weights.

5. Don’t Do Too Many Sets

Too many sets will put you in an over-trained zone. All you need is one, all out, set to momentary muscle failure in order to stimulate optimal muscle growth. Anything more is counter productive. However, light warm up sets are fine, and necessary.

6. Track Your Progress

Without tracking your workouts you will not know where you are, and where you need to go. Be a mad scientist and track your workouts. The information you gather will tell you more about yourself than a muscle magazine will.

If you want the most effective, efficient weight training workout, then follow these six simple tips to maximum muscle development.

Jim O’Connor – Exercise Physiologist / The Fitness Promoter

Copyright (c) – Wellness Word, LLC

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Can Growth Hormone Boosters Enhance Muscle Growth?

Many experts feel that supplementation with growth hormones offers exciting possibilities to adult bodybuilders, especially those aged over thirty. They should not be taken by anyone aged under twenty. In the past growth hormone was available only in injectable form but recent years have seen the development of HGH precursors and more advanced delivery systems. The most popular means of taking growth hormone boosters today include sub-lingual spray, homeopathic pills and capsules containing HGH secretagogues.

That’s all very well, but do these supplements have any place in bodybuilding? To answer this, we’ll need to look first at what growth hormones actually do.

Human Growth Hormone is responsible for the regulation of insulin, protein synthesis, transportation of amino acids across cell membranes and fat metabolism. Clearly, these are processes that are of relevance to serious bodybuilders. Users have reported higher energy levels, enhanced libido and greater cardiac output. In addition, superior immune function, lowering of blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels have been documented. Add in other potential benefits like improved sleep, shorter recovery times, quicker regeneration of damaged muscles and you can begin to understand why some experts are excited by the possibilities offered to bodybuilders.

No adverse side effects have been reported when used as directed but persons aged under twenty should not use growth hormone boosters without consulting a health care professional familiar with HGH therapy.

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Building Muscle, What Is It Worth To You?

It seems like steroids are everywhere you turn your head these days. On the news, in most sporting circles, in high schools, on the street, in foreign drug rings, and on and on. It’s amazing what people think they know and really don’t know about building muscle. While most people are probably getting sick of it, I for one and glad that this is happening. I as a bodybuilder think that it is about time that this became “dinner table” talk because people’s perceptions really need to be changed in order for this sport that I love to be a legitimate endeavor.

Building muscle is a very complicated and often abused activity. I believe there are good and bad reasons for doing it. Human strength and the muscular body are amazing and beautiful things, in my opinion, but only if it takes hard work to do it and only if it is done in a healthy way. Pushing the limits of human performance in athletics is awesome and a great motivator for people to stay healthy and fit, but the problem is that these have stopped being the prime movers in the “business” of sports. The whole problem is that is has become a business and whenever money becomes the motivation the dark side starts creeping in.

It is amazing what people will do for power whether it is prestige, or wealth, or popularity, or visibility, or whatever. All that happens is that people get hurt and the sport is denigrated and ends up losing the respect and all of the above things that people are craving when they become involved in it. I mean come on can it be that fun to be better than everyone else, when it means that you have to resort to cheating to do it? Aren’t the best things in life those things that don’t come easy? And since when did the risk of death become worth it to so many people in exchange for a few fleeting moments of “respect” that you’re give? Well I want to be the first to tell you that all people who spend a lot of time building muscle are vain.

Why do I spend lots of time building muscle? Well for one thing it is a healthy thing to do when done correctly. It protects you from all sorts of injuries and pains. It keeps you fit as muscle is one of the best metabolizers in your body. It makes your bones strong, it protects your joints, it gives you good balance and control of your body, it allows you to do activities that you enjoy for longer. It also has positive effects on you mental health. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, it elevates your mood, makes you more confident, gives you the same kind of high that a runner gets by releasing natural endorphins, etc.

So by all means get into sports and get strong but do it for the right reasons and in the right ways or you are going to end up exactly where you don’t want to be—an object of scorn and ridicule and lying on your back in a hospital bed.

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