Want muscle? STOP the quessing game
People who engage in very repetitive tasks such as long distance running, labor or swimming show very little or no improvement in the size and strength of their muscles. Long distance events are by nature very low in intensity.
Compare a marathon runner to a 100 meter sprinter. Marathon runners who train for very long periods at a very low intensity are emaciated looking having less than normal muscle mass and carry on average 14 ? 16% body fat. Sprinters, on the other hand, who train for short periods at a high level of intensity are very muscular and have half the body fat levels than marathoners. If cardio is the key to getting lean, as many people presume, why do marathoners have a higher body fat than sprinters? The reason is, a specific stimulus is required for a specific outcome.
The specific stimulus needed to stimulate muscle and strength is high intensity training. This is a universal training principle that affects everyone without exception. This is due to the fact that we are anatomically and physiologically the same. If this were not true doctors could not perform surgery and prescribe medicine. Consequently, the stimulus needed to induce biochemical changes that build muscle and strength in humans is the same.
Intensity, when referring to training, is the percentage of physical exertion that one is capable of. Training with one hundred percent intensity is the best way, the only way, to stimulate muscular size and strength in the shortest amount of time. How does one gauge the intensity of their workouts? By taking your working sets to positive or concentric failure.
Taking a set to the point of failure, where you cannot possibly perform another rep despite your maximum effort is one of, and perhaps the most important of several factors in your success. There are many who disagree and advocate high volume training with 60%, 72%, 95%, or whatever percentage of intensity they decide is the best. Some even claim training all out, with one hundred percent intensity is not only unnecessary, but detrimental. Over the years I’ve seen so called strength coach specialists, and personal trainers with 15 letters after their last names, concoct the most ridiculous routines, using almost every percentage, that have yet to show any effectiveness in real world application.
The main problem with these bogus routines is that there are only two accurate measures of intensity. Zero, when you are at rest; and 100%, when you?re training to the point of failure. How do you measure anything less than 100% intensity? If I can do 10 repetitions to complete failure with 100 pounds on the leg extension machine, where do I go for 80% intensity? Do I perform 10 reps with 80 pounds? Or do I use 100 pounds and only perform 8 reps? Is 80% the optimum percentage, or is it 65%? There is no evidence that suggests, let alone proves, anything less than 100% effort is equally or more effective. Are you starting to see the ridiculousness and inaccuracy of such training prescriptions?
Intensity cannot be measured accurately with reps or weight. While performing a set, intensity increases exponentially with each successive rep. Performing the first 5 reps on the leg extension is not equivalent in intensity to performing the last 5 reps. Hence, 5 reps is not the equivalent of 50% intensity.
The only way to train that is completely accurate is with all out intensity to failure. This will give you a concrete view of how you?re performing. If you train with 100% intensity during every workout and you do not progress, you know you are not recovering. There will never be a question whether you are providing a strong enough stimulus for progress. However, if you follow the percentage of intensity or the percentage of max rep principles, how will you know you are training intensely enough to stimulate muscular size and strength? If you plateau, are you training too hard or too long? Do you lower the percentage or raise it? Do you need more rest, or do you need to train at a higher intensity? There is no need for this guessing game.
Your goal is to bring about the largest, most rapid outcome for your individual genetic potential. In order for this to occur, the body requires 100% intensity every working set of every exercise. This is the only truly accurate way to gauge the efficacy of your training program. Nothing less than 100% will do. The body needs a reason to adapt. Give it!
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Tags: Building muscle, Building strength, Cardio programs, free weight lifting programs, High intensity training, high intensity training HIT training, high intensity weight training, HIT trtaining, HIT vs. high volume training, Is cardio neccessary, losing weight, tips for adding muscle, tips for gaining strength and muscle, training programs, Weight Lifting advice, weight loss, Weight training, weight training programs, weight training routines, Weight training vs. Cardio, weight training workouts
Yogilates, The Yoga Hybrid with Staying Power
Back in 1997, when Yogilates was created by certified Pilates instructor and Vinyasa yoga practitioner Jonathan Urla, no one thought this yoga hybrid would stick. After all, hybrids like disco yoga, ballet yoga, and soul yoga faded away just as quickly as they exploded onto the scene. Well, Yogilates is still standing, nearly 15 years after its inception, with a sizable number of devotees and a dedicated website selling everything from DVDs and exercise gear to eco bottles and books. It’s safe to say that this is one yoga hybrid that’s here to stay.
Yogilates combines moves from Pilates and yoga to create a challenging workout that strengthens and tones the muscles, exercises the heart, and relaxes the mind. According to the official Yogilates website, this hybrid is designed as a unique style of yoga that “integrates the core strengthening and alignment principles of Pilates with the practice of hatha yoga” – a 5,000-year old discipline. As a result, Yogilates gives practitioners “more rapid and balanced development of their bodies than when either discipline is performed separately.”
A typical Yogilates session begins on the floor. Participants prepare for practice through breath and alignment awareness, followed by a warm-up that integrates “the core strengthening and spine lengthening of Pilates matwork with hatha yoga breathwork and essential poses.”
Through a series of smooth transitions from one exercise to the next, participants eventually move from the floor and into Sun Salutations (a series of 12 yoga poses) and a Vinyasa yoga flow. As the session progresses, the poses become more and more challenging before ending with restorative poses and relaxation called Shavasana.
Yogilates has a number benefits including:
Combines the most effective parts of yoga and Pilates for a challenging and invigorating workout
Improves flexibility of the spine, posture, breathing, and alignment
Improves performance in all activities from sports to everyday tasks
Helps to develop coordination and concentration
Helps achieve weight loss goals
Reduces risk of injury
Helps sharpen the mental and physical skills needed to achieve peak performance
Safe for all ages and exercise backgrounds
An additional benefit of Yogilates is it can be practiced in a studio or at home. It is possible to find Yogilates classes at a health club, but you are more likely to find quality Yogilates classes at a yoga or Pilates studio. To safely and comfortably practice Yogilates at home, you should purchase a yoga mat and comfortable exercise gear made of breathable and non-irritating fabrics. You should also make sure that you are well-hydrated before and after practicing.
Where to Find Yogilates DVDs
You may purchase one of three Yogilates DVDs produced by Jonathan Urla online at www.yogilates.com. You can also view or purchase other Yogilates videos by visiting Amazon.com or Youtube.
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Tags: yoga, yoga hybrid, yoga poses, yoga weight loss, yogalites
Q&A with Mike Furci
In my Q&A column posted in January, I discuss the NCAA legality of Tribex and Hardcore ZMA and drug tests, whether or not kids and teens will stunt their growth if they lift weights and use creatine supplements, and I share some fan mail from a wellness chiropractor.
Nice job on the recent health article. I’m a wellness chiropractor and I’m always looking for ways to communicate ideas of health to people. I never in my life thought I would use Bullz-eye.com as a professional reference, but you did a bang up job writing in simple, but not watered down language.
Do you have links to some of your other works? And, do you have a good form of your recent article that I can hand out (I’d rather not direct conservative clients to bullz-eye.com’s bikini page for nutritional advice. That said, what you wrote needs to get out everywhere in America!
Concord Family Chiropractic
A: DR. Hughes
Thanks so much for your kind words. I understand as a business owner not wanting to offend any clients. Being considerate and service oriented is lacking in for too many businesses. I am glad to hear that there are some people out there as considerate as you. However, I do feel Bullz-eye.com?s ?bikini? features are very tasteful. Offensive, risqu? content, which I understand is subjective, is something Bullz-eye.com?s partners have always wanted to stay away from.
I appreciate you taking the time to visit B-E.com and reading my articles. I’m attaching several articles you can use as hand outs.
Arms, Creatine, Men's Health and Wellness, Protein, Specific workouts, Supplements, Testosterone boosters, Weight training, Xternal Fitness, Xternal Furci
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High intensity or high volume?
The question, “What’s best workout for building strength and muscle?” has been the subject of heated debates for years.? My answer is always the same.? There is no one workout that is the best.? There is no one workout that works for all.? However, there are training principles that do apply to everybody.
Anatomically and physiologically we are identical.? A bicep is a bicep and has the exact same function from person to person.? An aorta is an aorta.? Our anatomical structures may have different shapes and sizes, but they all function the same.? This holds true for all tissues in our bodies from blood to hormones.? If this weren’t true medicine could not exist.? How could an anesthesiologist do his job if everybody were different?
Therefore, in order to get bigger, stronger muscles the same stimulus is needed.? That stimulus is short, intense training sessions.? Why short?? Because we have known for centuries the body can either train long or train hard.? A perfect example is to compare distance runners to sprinters.? Because of the types of training, one is emaciated looking and one is muscular.? Remember you can not sprint a mile.? Is it difficult to run a mile, yes?? But it is essentially impossible to run a mile with 100% intensity.
The other factor one needs to take into consideration for building bigger, stronger muscles is recovery.? How much or how often can you train?? Or better yet, how much “should” you train?? Here is where the differences in genetics lie.? Our muscles need the exact same stimulus in order to cause a chain of events that forces them to adapt by making bigger stronger muscles.? However, the rate at which we are able to recover from these intense bouts is as different as the shapes and sizes of our bodies.
So what are you to do?? If you’re training using the typical muscle building routine, which is 3 or more working sets per exercise and 4 or more sessions a week, and not getting anywhere, change it.? First, reduce your sets per exercise by half and only train each body part once a week.? If you still don’t make gains or you plateau after a short while, reduce your sets again.? Remember, if you’re training with 100% intensity and you’re not making gains, you’re not recovering.
More is only better when it comes to sex and money.????????
Arms, Back, Bodybuilding, Chest, General training, Legs, Power lifting, Weight training, Workout programs, Xternal Fitness, Xternal Furci
Tags: Building muscle, High intensity training, high intensity weight training, How to gain muscle, muscle building, Tips for more muscle, Tips to gain muscle, Tips to put on Muscle, Weight training, weight training routines, weight training workouts, Workout tips to gain muscle
Time equals muscle
A highly overlooked, but very useful tool for progressive resistance training is – Tempo. I will even go one step further and call tempo an essential tool for attaining optimum results from weight training. Yes, it’s true one can attain results performing reps just like every other hack in the gym, but I’m talking about optimum results.
If you’re going to spend the time in the gym, why not get the most out of it. The biggest reason most people who weight train don’t use tools like tempo is shear laziness. Performing a set to momentary failure, to the point where you can’t possibly get another rep is grueling. Few people have what it takes to train correctly, achieving 100% intensity. Hence, the legions of frustrated people in gyms across the US. Like any endeavor, doing your best takes hard work, focus and dedication.
So what is tempo? Tempo goes hand in hand with “time under tension” or TUT. TUT is simply the amount of time a muscle in under tension. To develop the optimum amount of muscle in the shortest amount of time, a set should last between 20 and 60 seconds.
Tempo is the speed of your reps. It is expressed and recorded by three or four digit numbers representing the seconds required to complete a rep. Example: 402 (four, zero, two) or 50X0 (five, zero, explosive, zero). Using the bench press, the first digit is the speed in which the weight is lowered (negative). The second digit is the amount of time one pauses once they’ve reached their chest. The third digit is the amount of time one takes to raise the weight (positive). The forth digit, if used, is the amount of time one takes before lowering the weight again. If an “X” is used, it means explosive, or as fast as possible.
Designing Your Workouts
Is it really necessary to count each rep in order to build strength and muscle? No. Is it necessary to lift under control and to vary your speeds to get the best most rapid gains per your genetics? Yes. When you perform an exercise under control, the muscles are truly doing the work. ?Slower?, not ?slow? speeds make the muscles work harder by eliminating momentum and bouncing. There?s nothing impressive about performing a bench press by allowing the weight to drop, bounce off your chest and then barely being able to complete the lift.
If tempo is used properly, the target muscle group is truly performing the exercise. Tempo forces one to lift in a very controlled manner, but like any training tool it should be used as an adjunct to your weight training program.
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Tags: adding muscle, Building muscle, High intensity training, How to gain muscle, how to gain strength, muscle building programs, muscle building routines, muscle building tips, progressive resistance training, strength building programs, strength building routines, strength training, Time under tension, TOT, TUT, Weight training, weight training routines, weight training workouts
Partial reps are equal to full range of motion reps.
Most experts have long held that partial repetitions provide no benefit to the serious weightlifter. This was not the finding of a study done at the University of Southern Mississippi compared using partial range of motion (ROM) repetitions and full ROM repetitions in the development of strength in untrained males. As far as the development of maximal strength was concerned, partial and mixed repetitions were found to be equally as effective as full repetitions.
This study was conducted over 10 weeks and used the bench press as criterion for measurement. Fifty six subjects were divided into three groups: the first group used three full ROM sets; the second group used three partial ROM sets; the third group used a combination. The researchers found no differences between the three groups. However, they do point out that this study does suggest partial reps can be a benefit to a person?s maximal strength. (J strength Cond Res 18(3), 518-521, 2004)
Does this mean partial reps should be the major component of a strength training routine? Absolutely not. As with all studies concerning progressive resistance training, there were too few subjects, and the length of time involved was too short in duration. However, this study does find support in using partial reps in addition to a traditional strength training program. This is especially true for power lifters and other athletes who need to ?lock a weight out? at the top portion of the lift.
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Tags: benefits of strength training, Headlines, high intensity weight training, journal of strength and conditioning, Journal of strength and conditioning research, strength and conditioning, strength training, strength training advice, strength training programs, strength training routine, strength training routines, strength training workouts, Weight training, weight training programs, weight training routines, weight training workouts
Kneeling Dumbbell Curls
No other body part exemplifies strength and muscular development like arms. Big muscular arms are in high demand in gyms across this country. Go to any gym and you will always find somebody training arms. The same cannot be said for legs, as is obvious by the lack of leg development in a lot of men who workout.
One exercise that I think deserves a place in your program is kneeling dumbbell curls. They are performed just like standing dumbbell curls. Be prepared to use less weight than you do with standing dumbbell curls. Kneeling helps keep the body from assisting the movement.
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Tags: Arms, big biceps, build bigger biceps, bulging biceps, Headlines, How to get bigger arms, huge biceps, largest biceps in the world, Ways to get bigger biceps and triceps
People are befuddled
The question, “What’s best workout for building strength and muscle?” has been the subject of heated debates for years. My answer is always the same. There is no one workout that is the best. There is no one workout that works for all. However, there are training principles that do apply to everybody.
Anatomically and physiologically we are identical. A bicep is a bicep and has the exact same function from person to person. An aorta is an aorta. Our anatomical structures may have different shapes and sizes, but they all function the same. This holds true for all tissues in our bodies from blood to hormones. If this weren’t true medicine could not exist. How could an anesthesiologist do his job if everybody were different?
Therefore, in order to get bigger, stronger muscles the same stimulus is needed. That stimulus is short, intense training sessions. Why short? Because we have known for centuries the body can either train long or train hard. A perfect example is to compare distance runners to sprinters. Because of the types of training, one is emaciated looking and one is muscular. Remember you can not sprint a mile. Is it difficult to run a mile, yes? But it is essentially impossible to run a mile with 100% intensity.
The other factor one needs to take into consideration for building bigger, stronger muscles is recovery. How much or how often can you train? Or better yet, how much “should” you train? Here is where the differences in genetics lie. Our muscles need the exact same stimulus in order to cause a chain of events that forces them to adapt by making bigger stronger muscles. However, the rate at which we are able to recover from these intense bouts is as different as the shapes and sizes of our bodies.
So what are you to do? If you’re training using the typical muscle building routine, which is 3 or more working sets per exercise and 4 or more sessions a week, and not getting anywhere, change it. First, reduce your sets per exercise by half and only train each body part once a week. If you still don’t make gains or you plateau after a short while, reduce your sets again. Remember, if you’re training with 100% intensity and you’re not making gains, you’re not recovering.
More is only better when it comes to sex and money.
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Tags: Building muscle, building muscle fast, building muscle mass, Building strength, fitness workouts, gym workouts, Headlines, home workout programs, muscle building programs, muscle building tips, recovery, recovery ability, Strength, Weight lifting tips, weight lifting workouts, Workout programs, Workout routines
More is only better when it comes to sex and money
The duration of exercise is the volume or number of sets performed. Intensity and duration have an inverse relationship. Meaning, the harder you train, the less time can be spent training. This is because we have a finite amount of fuel available to carry that level of stress. This is not a choice or an opinion; it?s fact.
Let?s take another look at a sprinter versus a marathoner. By definition a sprint is: To move rapidly or at top speed for a brief period, as in running. The key words here are ?top speed? and ?brief?. A sprinter runs with all out effort or 100% intensity. Because of this all out effort, which is a tremendous amount of stress on the body, the duration of the movement is brief. Now it becomes clear why a 400 meter run and longer are not considered sprints. Although some do consider the 400m a sprint, runners are not running with all out 100% effort as in the 100m or 200m sprints. Point being, one can only exert themselves with 100% effort for so long.
In the case of marathon runners, they train at a very low intensity. Because of the inverse relationship between intensity and duration, unlike sprinters, endurance athletes can train for extended periods of time. This is not to say endurance training is not difficult, I am merely pointing out the physiological fact the body can only train so hard for so long.
This brings us to the second way most people train too much, but the most common; too many sets. Although training hard is the best way to move forward, some people are under the impression that doing more is training harder. This couldn?t be farther from the truth.
Training all out, poses extreme demands on the body’s resources, which are governed by genetics and in limited supply. Because of this finite supply, the body will not allow you to train ?too hard? for too long, and gives clues you are reaching your limits. Once you reach failure performing a set, or run out of gas during a workout, you?re simply not able to train any harder. It doesn?t matter what you do at this point, the body is done. Performing anything more than what is optimum, will hinder your progress. Yet, at this point, most perform more sets with reduced weight or reduced intensity because of the more is better mentality. Do not get caught in this no win cycle.
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Tags: benefits of exercise, bodybuilding routines, exercise programs, Exercise tips, fitness training programs, Headlines, natural bodybuilding, Powerlifting, powerlifting routines, powerlifting workouts, sports training programs, training programs, training routines, Weight lifting tips, weight training programs
Most people who workout love training their arms; rarely do you here of somebody skipping their arm workout. You never see somebody walking around with large muscular legs and skinny arms. In fact, it’s just the opposite. This is in no small part due to the fact that no other body part exemplifies strength and development, and is the envy of others like a muscular pair of arms. In the following article I walk you through one way to properly bang your your triceps to new growth.
All too often, a personal trainer or instructor will isolate a particular muscle so much that it becomes detrimental to the workout. You may be asking, “How can you isolate a muscle too much? Isn’t that what all the magazines say to do?” Yes, that is what a lot of magazines tell you to do, and I agree it’s good to isolate the muscle being worked. I’ll even go one step further and say that it is not only good but also absolutely necessary for optimum muscular growth. However, many instructors and fitness enthusiasts are so concerned with isolation exercises that they’re neglecting form and function.
How does form and function relate to triceps training? Let’s look at what the triceps actually do. The triceps extend, or straighten, the arm. For example, without your triceps it would be virtually impossible to grab a beer from the fridge. That would truly be a tragedy. Without triceps, your arm would be in a constant flexed state. This having been said, exercises that stress movement only at the elbow (such as triceps pressdowns) are solid movements. However, I am starting to see less and less multi-joint movements used in workouts. Examples of multi-joint movements for the triceps would be close grip bench presses, dips and a few others. These exercises involve not only the elbow joint but the shoulder joint as well.
9 Weeks to Bigger Arms
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Tags: big biceps, Headlines, how to build bigger arms, how to build bigger triceps, How to get bigger arms, huge biceps, triceps brachii, triceps exercise, triceps training, triceps workout, Ways to get bigger biceps and triceps