Archive for the ‘Workouts’ Category

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 Muscle Building Workout Routine 4 Days Per Week

4 Days Per Week Muscle Building Workout Routine


Your muscle building workout routine, or training split, will be dependent upon a few factors, primarily your goals and weekly schedule.  A 4 day per week routine is ideal for most people because you can give the proper attention to each muscle group in four days.  Also, with people living busy lives, it is possible to fit a 60-90 minute routine, 4 days as week, into your weekly schedule.  A 4 day per week muscle building workout routine allows your body to recover from intense workouts which is very important for muscle growth.


In this routine, you will train your entire body over the course of 4 days.  Each workout day, you will train a larger body part and a smaller body part.  You will train the larger body part first because that is when your body is fresh and you will be able to train with higher intensity at the beginning of your workout.


Each day in your muscle building workout routine, you will warm up and stretch prior to hitting the weights.  Your warm up can be an easy 5 minute ride on the exercise bike or a few light sets with just the bar.  This helps get your body temperature up and your joints limber.  At the end of your workouts, you can do some abdominal training or conditioning work like a brisk walk on a treadmill if you want to add cardio to your routine.


A popular 4 day split among bodybuilders is:


Day 1: Legs (Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Calves)

Day 2: Chest and Triceps

Day3: Lats and Traps

Day4: Shoulders and Biceps


The day of the week in which each workout falls is dependent on your schedule and recovery abilities.  You want to try to spread the workouts throughout the week to allow your body to recover.  A sample of a workout week could look like this:


Monday: Day 1

Wednesday: Day 2

Friday: Day 3

Saturday: Day 4


Sunday: Day 1

Monday: Day 2

Wednesday: Day 3

Friday: Day 4


Monday: Day 1

Tuesday: Day 2

Thursday: Day 3

Friday: Day 4


Now that you picked the days you will perform your muscle building workout routine, you need to figure out what to do on these days.  The sample workout below is only an example of what you can do on these days.  There are plenty of effective workout routines.  Please note the characteristics of this workout.  It targets a larger and smaller muscle group each day.  It also has a combination of big multi-joint compound movements and isolation exercises.  Only working sets are listed below.  Be sure to warm up and “work up” to your working sets.


Day 1: Legs


Squats: 3 sets of 8 repetitions (3×8)

Leg Press: 3×10

Leg Extensions: 4×10

Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 4×8

Leg Curls: 3×10

Calves: 3×15


Day 2: Chest and Triceps


Bench Press: 3×8

Incline Dumbbell Press 3×10

Dumbbell Flyes: 4×10

Skull Crushers: 3×10

Rope Pushdowns: 3×10

Abs: 3×25


Day 3: Back and Traps


Deadlifts: 3×6

Bent Over Rows: 3×8

Lat Pulldowns: 4×10

Barbell Shrugs: 3×10

Rear Delt Flyes: 3×10

Calves: 3×15


Day 4: Shoulders and Biceps


Barbell Military Press: 3×8

Dumbbell Military Press: 3×10

Lateral Raise: 3×10

Front Raise: 3×10

Preacher Curls: 3×10

Dumbbell Curls: 3×10

Abs: 3×25


This muscle building workout routine is a good way to get started on your quest to build muscle.  Over time, you may find that your body responds better to different exercises, rep ranges, or training frequency.  The best advice is to give a routine time to work before discarding it.  It may take weeks or months before you can determine if an exercise or routine is effective.



postheadericon Best Exercises To Build Muscle

The Best Exercises to Build Muscle I: Legs and Back


Building muscle takes time, commitment, and motivation.  The best form of motivation is seeing your body improve over time.  This tells you that all the hard work you put in the gym is paying off.  If you want to build muscle in the shortest amount of time, you need to perform the best exercise to build muscle.




Squats: This is often called the king of all exercises to build muscle and for good reason.  Although squats are a leg exercise, they build muscle from head to toe.  If you are serious about packing on muscle and don’t have a bad back or sore knees, squats should be a part of every lifters program.


Variations: front squats, box squats, close stance squats, power squats


Leg Press:  Leg presses are a good exercise to build your quadriceps.  The learning curve is short due to the fact you don’t need great coordination and balance to perform this movement.  There are many leg press machines and they are all built differently.  500 lbs on one machine may feel heavier or lighter on a different machine due to leverages.


Other quadriceps exercises: lunges, step ups


Stiff Legged Deadlifts:  This is a variation of the deadlift that really hits your hamstrings.  These are performed by holding a barbell in front of your body and bending at the waist until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.  The weight you can handle might be limited by your grip strength so you might need to invest in a pair of lifting straps.


Other hamstring exercises: good mornings, lying leg curls, seated leg curls


Calf Raises:  Calf raises are fairly simple.  Most gyms will have a machine for seated or standing calf raises.  Calves usually respond better to higher reps.




Deadlifts:  If squats are the king of exercises to build muscle, deadlifts are a close second.  This is primarily a back movement but it builds your traps, lower back, hamstrings, and calves.  Many people avoid deadlifts due to fear of injury.  However, like most exercises, they are safe if you utilize good form.


Bent Over Rows:  Bent over rows hit your lats and upper back.  These are performed by bending over with a barbell and pulling the weight to your abdomen or sternum.  The lower back must stay tight to avoid injury.  These are call horizontal rowing movements because they are pulled perpendicular to your body.  Horizontal movements promote back thickness.


Other horizontal rowing movements:  dumbbell rows, machine rows, T-bar rows, cable rows


Pulldowns: Pulldowns also hit you lats.  Unlike the horizontal pulling exercises, pulldowns focuses on lat width.  Because you are pulling the weight parallel to your body, this is considered a vertical pulling movement.


Chin ups/Pull ups:  This is another vertical pulling exercise where you are pulling yourself up to a bar above your head.  This is a very effective exercise but the main disadvantage is that not too many people are strong enough to perform the repetitions needed to stimulate muscle growth.


Other vertical pulling movements: any machine variation of pulldowns.




Shrugs:  Your traps get hit to some degree with heavy deadlifts but in order work your traps directly, shrugs should be part of your arsenal.  This exercise is very simple but effective.  Hold a barbell in front of you at arms length and shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.  You can also perform these with dumbbells.


These are exercises to build muscle in your back and legs.  In part II, we’ll discuss building your chest, shoulders, and arms.


The Best Exercises to Build Muscle II: Chest, Shoulders, and Arms


In the first installment of the Best Exercises to Build Muscle, we covered the legs and back.  In this installment we’ll cover chest, shoulders, and arms.




Bench Press:  This is one of the most popular exercises to build muscle.  If you’ve been in any gym, you’ll notice the bench press area is the most crowded.  This exercise is performed lying on a bench.  While lying on the bench, you lower a loaded barbell to your chest and press the weight back up to the starting position.  This exercise hits the chest, front delts, and triceps.  The main problem with the barbell bench press is that some people develop shoulder problems, due to poor technique, and are forced to find alternative chest exercises.


Incline bench press:  The incline bench press is similar to the bench press except the bench is fixed in an incline position.  The incline usually ranges from 20-45 degrees.  This exercise targets the upper chest, delts, and triceps.  Depending on your benching style, you may have less chance of developing shoulder issues compared to using a flat bench.


Dips:  Dips are one of most underrated exercises to build muscle.  It seems too simple to build a lot of muscle.  Most gyms have a dip station where you can perform dips.  You can add weight by tying a dipping belt around your waist and attaching plates or you can hold dumbbells in between your feet.


Other chest movements: decline bench press, dumbbell variations of all bench presses, machine (Hammer Strength) bench, cable crossovers, pec deck flyes, dumbbell flyes, floor presses, and board presses




Military Press:  The military press is one of the primary exercises to build muscle in the shoulders.  These can be performed either sitting or standing.  You grab a barbell, hold it in front of you at shoulder level, and press it over your head.  These can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells.


Lateral Raises:  The deltoid muscle has three heads: lateral, front, and rear.  The lateral raise is performed by holding a dumbbell at your side and raising it until you arms are parallel to the floor.  These can also be performed with cables.


Front Raises: These are similar to the lateral raise except that the dumbbell is raised in front of you as opposed to your side.  These can also be performed with cables.


Rear Flyes:  This exercise hits your rear deltoid.  In order to perform these with a dumbbell, you need to be in a bent over position.  You can either be standing and bent over; or seated on a bench and bent over.  While in this position, you raise the dumbbell until your arm is parallel to the floor.  You elbow will be moving towards your back.  These can be performed with cables also.  Rear delts can be trained by performing a reverse pec deck fly.




Close Grip Bench Press:  This is one of the best exercises to build muscle on your triceps.  You can overload your triceps with more weight than other triceps movements.  This is similar to a bench press except that your grip is closer together on the bar.  The space between you hands should be 12-24 inches to activate the triceps.


Skull Crushers:  a.k.a. nose breakers and French press.  This is performed with a shorter bar, usually an EZ curl bar.  You start by lying on a bench with the loaded bar extended at arms length above your head.  Begin the movement by bending your arm at the elbow until the weight is right above your head and reverse the movement until the bar is extended over your head again, hence the name skull crusher.


Pushdowns:  This triceps movement is performed at a cable pulley machine.  There are many attachments available that you could use.  You just grab the handle on the attachment with your elbows close to your side.  Push the handle downward until your arms are fully extended.


Other triceps movements: dumbbell kickbacks, overhead dumbbell/EZ bar extensions




Barbell Curl: This is a very basic movement that targets the main head of the biceps.  While standing, grab a barbell while your arms are fully extended and curl it up to your shoulders.


Hammer Curls:  These are performed with cables or dumbbells.  Instead of curling the weight up in a straight line, the weight is curled to the opposite shoulder.  This movement hits the brachialis which is the muscle near your elbow joint.


Other biceps movements: dumbbell curls, preacher curls, cable curls, any machine variation of curing exercises


These were a few exercises to build muscle.  Anyone who works hard at these exercises will gain muscle provided that the trainee focuses on progressive overload and maintains a sound nutrition strategy.



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




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.




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




Deadlift: 3×5

Leg Press: 3×8

Bench Press: 3×6-8

Pulldowns: 3×10

Curls: 3×8

Calves: 3×15

Abs: 3×20




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.




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 Anabolic Exercise

Anabolic Exercise For Muscle Building Excellence