Kettlebell Fitness

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postheadericon 10 Tips For Quick Muscle Building

Muscle Building Quickly Tips

Here are 10 tips to help you build muscle quickly.  Sometimes we all lose sight of important aspects of training.  Hopefully these tips will get you back on track.

Squat:  Squats is a great exercise to build muscle quickly.  If you are going to squat, learn how to do it properly to avoid injury and to improve its effectiveness.  You should be squatting down until your thighs are AT LEAST parallel to the floor.

Supplement Wisely:  Supplements can be a great addition to your muscle building strategy but they are not magic pills.  Supplements can’t compensate for a lousy diet and training.  If you are not making any gains, your diet and training are the likely culprits.  If your training and nutrition are sound, supplements can give you that extra boost.

Get 1 Gram of Protein per LB of Bodyweight:  If you weight 200 lbs, you should be getting at least 200 grams of protein per day.  You can get your protein through whole foods and protein shakes.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with higher protein amounts but don’t go overboard.

Train the Whole Body:  If you want to build muscle quickly, you need to train the whole body.  Many trainees make the mistake of training their beach muscles: chest, arms, and abs.  You need to train the body parts you can’t see in the mirror (your back) to build muscle.

Learn to Deadlift:  Deadlifting is one of the best ways to train the muscles you can’t see in the mirror.  It hits the lower back, traps, lats and hamstrings all in one exercises.  Learn how to do it properly to avoid injury.

Focus on Compound Movements:  Compound movements are exercises that use two or more joints.  Choose exercises like the squat instead of leg extensions.  The squat uses the hip and knee joint as opposed to leg extension, which only uses to knee joint.  Compound exercises target the most muscle.

Sprinkle in Some Isolation Exercises:  Although compound exercises should make up the majority of you training, you need isolation exercises to maximize growth in certain body parts.  You can build biceps with rowing exercises but you need to hit your biceps directly with curls to maximize their size.

Add Healthy Supplements:  These are supplements that don’t directly build muscle quickly but are good for your health.  If you want to train for a long time, you need to stay healthy.  Supplements such as a Multivitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Fish Oils should be part of your supplement stack.

Train with a Partner:  This is not a necessity but a good training partner will help you build muscle quickly.  Partners hold each other accountable therefore you won’t miss a day of training.  Training partners also push each other and encourage you to squeeze out that extra rep.  Are you going to let your partner outdo you?  I think not!

Recovery:  Recovery is an underrated aspect of weight training.  Your muscles don’t grow in the gym; they grow while recovering in between sessions.  Recovery can include many things such as getting enough sleep, waiting a few days before training a muscle again, eating enough to fuel your training, massages, hot showers, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

postheadericon How To Become A Rockstar At The Bench Press

Increase Your Bench Press and Build a Big Chest with Proper Bench Technique

 

“How much do you bench press?”  This is the most asked question in the gym and bodybuilding circles.  The bench press is the most popular weight training exercise.  Go the gym on any Monday night and you’ll see the bench press area populated by those who want to build a bigger chest.

 

“Why would you want to increase your bench?”  If you’re goal is to build a bigger chest, you should look no further than the bench press.  The bench builds the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps.  If any of these areas are weak, you will not be able to lift to your full potential.  Handling heavier weights in the bench press will lead to increased size in the aforementioned muscle groups.

 

There are three components that make up a big bench press: technique, programming, and supporting muscles.  The technique is the manner in which you execute the lift.  The programming is the bench routine you will use to increase your bench press.  The supporting muscles are all other muscles that contribute to the bench press.  Technique is the one component that can improve your bench press almost immediately.

 

There are many bench press styles and your goals will dictate what type of technique you will use.  There is the power technique that powerlifters use and the bodybuilding technique.  The goal of the powerlifter is to lift the most weight possible from point A to Z.  He is not worried about feeling the chest muscles working or stimulating growth.  He will use his legs to help him power the bar off the chest.  He will also utilize an arch in his back to shorten the distance between the chest and lockout.

 

The bodybuilder has the ultimate goal of building a bigger chest.  He wants to bench press heavier weights but not at the expense of stimulating the muscles of the chest.  If your goal is to build muscle, you still need to increase your bench press but utilize a technique that will stimulate the chest muscles while pressing the most weight.  Here are some points to remember while bench pressing.

 

Feet

Your feet should be planted firmly on the ground.   During the bench press movement, you should be pushing down with your heels.  This will give you a stable base.  There should be no excessive foot movement.

 

Butt and Upper Back

If you compete in bench press contests, your butt must remain in contact with the bench.  However, it should still remain on the bench whether you compete or not.  Your butt coming off the bench is a sign of excessive leg drive which will take stimulation away from the chest, which is what we do not want.  Your butt should be squeezed tight and in contact with the bench throughout the whole lift.

 

 

Your upper back should be tight if you want to increase your bench.  The best way to do this is to squeeze your shoulder blades together and “dig” them into the bench.  This will give you a solid launching pad from the chest.

 

Grip

 

Your grip is the manner in which you grab the bar.  You should grip the bar as tight as possible.  This will activate the triceps.  Grip spacing is how far apart your hands are from each other.  Generally, a closer grip involves more triceps and a wider grip involves more shoulder and chest.

 

The best grip spacing for a big bench press is high individualized.  A triceps dominant lifter will prefer a close grip while a shoulder/chest dominant lifter will prefer a wider grip.  To find the best grip spacing for you, you will need to experiment with different positions.

 

Execution

 

Once you’ve found your proper grip spacing, it’s time to execute the lift.  Go through your mental checklist: feet planted firmly, butt squeezed tight, shoulder blades squeezed and dug into the bench, and bar gripped tight.  Many lifters are tempted to start the lift immediately after taking the bar out of the hooks.  Don’t do this!  Take the bar out of the hooks and let the weights settle for a few seconds.  You will feel your upper back really start to press into the bench.

 

Pay attention to your arms, in relation to your body, when you start bringing the bar down to your chest.  Many lifters bring the bar down with their arms flared out and almost perpendicular to their body.  This causes shoulder strain and short benching careers.  You should be tucking your elbows closer to your body where your arms and body will form an almost 45 degree angle.  This position also brings your lats into the picture allowing you to handle more weight.  Once the bar touches the chest, push the bar back to the starting position.

 

If you want to increase your bench press, you need to improve many components such as programming, supporting muscle groups, and technique.  Technique improvement is the one thing that can give you almost instantaneous results but is the least discussed.  Improving your technique will give you a better bench press and bigger chest.

postheadericon Basic Tips For Building Muscle Fast

Trying to build muscles fast seems like an oxymoron because building big muscles is a long term endeavor.  If you’re trying to build muscle that turn heads, you should be in this for the long haul.  If you truly want to build muscles fast, you need to adhere to a few basic principles:  hard training, adequate nutrition and supplementation, and rest.  This article will cover the training.

 

The best way to build big muscles is to train with a plan.  Going to the gym and just haphazardly lifting weights with no goal might work in the short term but building muscles in the shortest time possible requires a plan.  Here are a few things that should be part of your training plan.

 

Hit All the Big Muscles

 

The biggest mistake that most trainees make is that they don’t train all the big muscle groups.  These groups are comprised of chest/shoulders, legs, and back.  Look in most gyms and you’ll see trainees pounding away at their chest and arms, or beach muscles, but neglect to train their backs and legs.  While you should train smaller muscles like arms and calves, the bulk of your training should be spent hitting the big three muscle groups.

 

Progressive Overload

 

Big muscles aren’t built by lifting the same poundage week after week.  You must stimulate the muscles to grow.  Your body’s ultimate priority isn’t to maximize its muscle size therefore you must give it a reason to grow.  The best stimulant for muscle growth is heavier weights!  Each training session, you should be striving to lift more weight than the previous session.   For example, Tom goes to the gym and bench presses 225 lbs for 8 reps.  The next bench press session, his goal should be at least 230 for 8 reps.  In this example, he increases his training weight by 5 lbs.  You can also increase the repetitions each week.  Instead of 8 reps, Tom could try to lift 225 lbs for 9 or 10 reps.

 

Periodization

 

Periodization is the planning of you training cycle.  If you want to build muscles fast, you should plan your training cycles.  During the course of a training year, one must vary the intensity, exercise selection, and training goal.  In the example above, if Tom keeps adding 5 lbs a week to his bench press, he’ll be benching 485 for 8 reps by the end of the year.  Sound great, right?  It’s not going to happen!  Somewhere during this cycle, he is going to stall.  He might progress to 275 lbs but only lift it for 5 reps.  At this point, Tom needs to change his training.  He could go into a strength cycle where his goal is to lift 5 reps or less; or he could change exercises altogether where the incline barbell press is his main chest movement.

 

If your goal is to build big muscles fast, you need hard work, rest, good nutrition, and a good training plan.  Don’t start a training program with no plan.  At the end of six months, you’ll end up with minor progress and six months of wasted time that you’ll never get back!

postheadericon Bodybuilding Training For The Working Man

Someone trying to gain muscle may see bodybuilding training routines that call for 6 or 7 days a week in the gym and believe that is the only way to build muscles.  There are people that thrive on this type of training but it is not totally necessary.  There is a time in peoples lives where they simply can’t make it to the gym due to career or family obligations.

 

If you find it difficult to commit to training at least 4 days a week, can you commit to 2 or 3 days?  If finding time to train is difficult, here are a couple routines that call for 2 and 3 days a week.  It might not be the most optimal way to train, but there are people that train in this fashion and make great gains.

 

Three Days a Week

 

You can’t always gauge effective bodybuilding training routines based on their frequency.  In this routine, we are going to split the training days by body part.  We are going to train legs on day 1, chest/shoulders/triceps/ on day 2, and back/biceps on day 3.  You can train on any 3 non consecutive days like Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.  Only working sets are listed below.  Be sure to perform warm up sets with lighter weights prior to your working sets.

 

Monday: Legs

 

Squat: 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions (3×8-10)

Leg Press: 4×10

Lunges: 3×10

Stiff Legged Deadlift: 3×10

Leg Curl: 4×10

Calves: 4×15

Abs: 3×20

 

Wednesday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

 

Bench Press: 3×8-10

Close Grip Bench: 3×6-8

Incline Dumbbell: 3×10

Seated Military Dumbbell: 4×10

Dumbbell Flyes: 3×10

Cable Pushdowns: 3×10

Abs: 3×20

 

Friday:

 

Bent Over Rows: 4×8-10

T-Bar Rows: 3×8-10

Barbell Shrugs: 4×12-15

Pulldowns: 4×10

Preacher Curl: 4×8-10

Dumbbell Curls: 3×10

Abs: 3×20

 

Two Days A Week

 

It’s rare that you see bodybuilding training routines that call for only two days a week.  Surprisingly, there are weight lifters that enjoy this type of routine and say they made better gains with this type of training.  If you really don’t have time to workout or have recovery issues, this routine is for you.  Since, we are trying to fit a lot of work in a small amount of time, this routine will have very few isolation exercises.  To make this work, we need to perform big multi-joint exercises that targets large amounts of muscle.  This routine should be performed three days apart such as Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday, Wednesday/Saturday.

 

Monday:

 

Squat: 3×6-8

Stiff Legged Deadlift: 3×8

Bent Over Rows: 3×8-10

Military Press: 3×8

Pushdowns: 4×10

Calves: 3×15

Abs: 3×20

 

Thursday:

 

Deadlift: 3×5

Leg Press: 3×8

Bench Press: 3×6-8

Pulldowns: 3×10

Curls: 3×8

Calves: 3×15

Abs: 3×20

 

Advantages

 

There are advantages to infrequent workouts.  They don’t consume a large part of your schedule therefore you shouldn’t miss many workouts.  They allow your body to recover from intense training so you should be fresh for each workout.  Also, if you play other sports, you can work on conditioning and skill training for your sport on other days.

 

Disadvantages

 

The main disadvantage is that each body part won’t get the attention it needs.  Since time is limited, you can only hit a body part with a limited number of sets.  Also, the exercises that occur later in the routine won’t be trained with a lot of intensity because you are fatigued from the exercises you did earlier in the session.

postheadericon 5 Valuable Tips For The Beginner Bodybuilder

If you are wanting to build muscle and are considering bodybuilding then there are 5 valuable tips for the beginner bodybuilder you should know.

It does not matter if you are new to bodybuilding or a seasoned pro, everyone makes mistakes at some point. These mistakes can lead to injury or set backs in your ability to achieve your bodybuilding goals.

The objective of this article is to provide you with 5 valuable tips to help prevent making mistakes and start building that muscular body.

1. Stay The Course

Aside from taking drugs, there are no short cuts in bodybuilding.  If you are someone with average genetics, it may take years to build quality muscle.  Don’t expect to gain 30 lbs of lean mass in a year unless you’re in the midst of a growth spurt.  The key to gaining muscle is hard work, consistency, proper nutrition, and intelligent supplementation.  If you plan to build a physique that turn heads, plan to be in this for the long haul.

2. Magic Pills

This is one of the most important bodybuilding tips for beginners, especially teenagers.  The purpose of supplements is to SUPPLEMENT good nutrition and training.  Each year supplement companies produce the next greatest supplement promising to add X amount of muscle in Y weeks.  Each year, these wonder supplements are replaced by the next greatest thing.  There are great supplements on the market but they will not perform miracles.  If a fat burner promises to shed fat without changing your eating habits, leave it on the shelf!

3. Eat More To Gain Muscle

One of the biggest mistakes I see beginners make is trying to stay super lean while gaining muscle.  There are blessed individuals that can gain muscle while maintaining a chiseled six pack but the majority of trainees don’t fall in that category.  To gain muscle, you must consume more calories than your body uses.  If you do this correctly, the excess calories will be used to build muscle.  Unfortunately, some of this new muscle will be accompanied by fat gain.  This is NOT an endorsement to get fat (over 15% bf) but don’t expect to be super lean while in a gaining phase.

4. The Role Of Genetics

Don’t you hate that guy that can eat McDonalds and pizza everyday and not gain a pound?  Or that guy that barely touches a weight and seems to gain muscle quickly?  That is genetics.  Thanks Mom and Dad!  Every individual has to play the hand he was dealt.  If you have a high metabolism and can’t seem to gain muscle no matter what you do, you better start eating A LOT, everyday.  If you seem to gain weight by just looking at a cheeseburger, you better cut back on the carbs, buddy!  Your calves won’t grow?  You need to train them almost every day.

5. Get Stronger

This is one of the bodybuilding tips for beginners that most trainees don’t understand.  Bodybuilding is about looking good and building larger muscles.  With this in mind, most newbies go to the gym and hit set after set with little regard for strength.  Your muscles need a reason to get bigger.  If you are constantly exposing your muscles to the same stimulus (weight), it has no reason to get bigger.  If you are constantly trying to add weight to the bar, your muscles will need to grow in order to handle the extra weight.  You don’t need to train like a powerlifter but your goal should be to handle more weight in a rep range conducive to building muscle.

The above tips should help you avoid bodybuilding mistakes that can delay your progress.  Mistakes aren’t entirely bad, because it is part of learning how your body responds to different exercises and nutrition.