Showing posts with label Muscle Building. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Muscle Building. Show all posts

Friday, November 23, 2018

Know Your Muscles - The Chest And Upper Back

Photo: Wikimedia
Becoming familiar with the muscles that make up your body has more benefits than simply allowing you to talk shop with your training partners. The more familiar you are with the muscles you're working, the better you'll be able to judge what's needed to make improvements. In this article, we'll get to know the muscles that make up the chest and upper back.

Although they are two distinct areas, the chest and the upper back will be considered together because achieving a muscular balance between them is crucial, particularly in relation to maintaining good posture. Creating an imbalance between the two is likely to result in injury.

The main muscles found in the chest and upper back are as follows:

1. Pectoralis major - these are the large chest muscles found to either side of the breastbone. Its main job is to bring the upper arm inwards across the body, a movement that is known as horizontal adduction.

2. Latissimus dorsi - this is the largest back muscle that runs from the lower back to the upper arm bone. It pulls the upper arm towards the body and acts as an internal rotator of the upper arm.

3. Trapezius - this muscle runs from the mid spine to the shoulder and then to the neck. Its main role is to facilitate movement of the shoulder blades.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gain More Muscle By Training Less Often

Photo: Pexels
The more work you put into something, the better results you will achieve. This has always been a widely accepted truth that applies to many areas of life. The harder you study, the better grades you will achieve. The more time you spend fine-tuning your athletic skills, the better athlete you will become. The longer you spend learning to play an instrument, the better musician you will become. Therefore, it only makes sense that the more time you spend in the gym, the stronger and more muscular your physique will become, correct? Contrary to what you might think, the answer to this question is a gigantic, definite, absolute no! It is in this area of bodybuilding that conventional wisdom goes straight out the window, down the street and around the corner. 

I know what you might be asking yourself… 

“What? Spending less time in the gym will actually make me bigger and stronger?” 

Yes! It really will, and when we examine the muscle-growth process from its most basic roots, it becomes quite clear why this is the case. 

Every single process that occurs within the human body is centered around keeping you alive and healthy. Through thousands of years of evolution, the human body has become quite a fine-tuned organism that can adapt well to the specific conditions that are placed upon it. We become uncomfortable when we are hungry or thirsty, we acquire a suntan when high amounts of UV rays are present, we build calluses to protect our skin, etc. So what happens when we break down muscle tissue in the gym? If you answered something to the effect of "the muscles get bigger and stronger", then congratulations! You are absolutely correct. By battling against resistance beyond the muscle's present capacity we have posed a threat to the musculature. The body recognizes this as potentially harmful and as a natural adaptive response, the muscles will hypertrophy (increase in size) to protect the body against this threat. As we consistently increase the resistance from week to week the body will continue to adapt and grow. 

Sound simple? Ultimately it is, but the most important thing to realize in relation to all of this is that the muscles can only grow bigger and stronger if they are provided with sufficient recovery time. Without the proper recovery time, the muscle growth process simply cannot take place. 

Your goal in the gym should be to train with the minimum amount of volume needed to yield an adaptive response. Once you have pushed your muscles beyond their present capacity and have triggered your thousand-year-old evolutionary alarm system, you have done your job. Any further stress to the body will simply increase your recovery time, weaken the immune system and send your body into catabolic overdrive. 

Most people train way too often and with far more sets than they really need to. High-intensity weight training is much more stressful to the body than most people think. The majority of people structure their workout programs in a manner that actually hinders their gains and prevents them from making the progress that they deserve. Here are 3 basic guidelines that you should follow if you want to achieve maximum gains: 
1) Train no more than 3 days per week.
2) Do not let your workouts last for longer than 1 hour.
3) Perform 5-8 sets for large muscle groups (chest, back, thighs) and 2-4 sets for smaller muscle groups (shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves, abs). 
Take all sets to the point of muscular failure and focus on progressing in either weight or reps each week. If you truly train hard and are consistent, training more often or any longer than this will be counterproductive to your gains!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Know Your MUSCLE BUILDING Exercises - The Back

Pulldown exercise to the front
Pulldown exercise to the front (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every bodybuilder and weight trainer will have his or her favorite exercises for each body part. That's how it should be - as you progress through the various stages of learning you'll understand what works best for you. It is useful, however, to take stock of your progress every so often and carry out an analysis of where you are and what changes, if any, are needed to move onwards and upwards.

Part of this analysis should include an assessment of the core exercises that make up your bodybuilding training program. In this article, we'll look at the back exercises that have proven their worth to serious bodybuilders for many years. Where appropriate a series of exercises suitable for achieving pre-exhaustion will be presented. All exercises should be performed to failure with one set of six to eight reps.

1. Lat machine pulldowns - this exercise has been chosen because it allows you to isolate the lats and rest the biceps for the compound exercise to follow.

- Take a shoulder-width grip.

- Pull arms towards the thighs keeping the arms straight.

- Pause.

- Return the bar slowly to the starting position.

2. Pulldowns - you can move straight on to this exercise if you are sufficiently experienced. Using the same machine, take an underhand grip because this will make better use of biceps strength thus maximizing the effects of the workout.

- Take a shoulder-width grip.

- Pull the bar to the chest area.

- Pause.

- Return the bar slowly to the starting position.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Why Everyone should BUILD SOME MUSCLE

User:Extremepullup performing a muscle-up - a ...
Extremepullup performing a muscle-up -
a variant on the standard pull-up.
(Photo credit: 
In these days of health crazes and the numerous types of advice  on diet and  lifestyles it is wise to sit back and  research what you want to do  and have the most efficient way possible to get it done. A half hour of aerobic training a couple times a week just isn’t going to cut it to keep you healthy through your lifetime.  As we age out routines and bodies change and require different strategies to stay healthy.

It has been recommended by the medical experts on training Americans, ALL of them, men and women, should strength train at least twice a week  to work all the major muscles as well as doing some aerobic activity. Adults 65 and older should strength train with less weight and more repetitions two to three times a week.

The public is finally seeing to build muscle you don’t need to have big equipment and gyms or even a trainer. Just some common sense and a good diet will do a lot to build muscle and maintain health. The things that building muscle can do for you are  give you an improved body, better immune system for fighting off illnesses and a faster metabolism so fat burning is easier .

It is said that without proper use and exercise we can possibly lose only 5 to 7 pounds of muscle per decade!  And since we gain fat as we get older this is a recipe for disaster in the making. And we know that besides building muscle, strength training is a help in adding bone density and potentially prevent osteoporosis.  We should all do some strength training to just keep ahead of getting out of condition and making life worse as we get older.

Building muscle is good at any age as long as you start according to your condition now and don’t over do it.  Muscle building that involves the whole body such as squats, bicep curls and bench presses are the best to do as they burn more calories and involve big groups of muscles. 

You should alter your program every month and a half or so to avoid boredom and the plateaus in muscle building that happen. And don’t forget your cardio workouts. These are important for building the most important muscle, your heart!  As with any new exercise, if you are a beginner start slowly to begin to build muscle if you aren’t used to the work out you can hurt yourself trying to lift too much. 

Keeping your muscles toned isn’t necessarily about continually lifting heavier weights. It is the way you lift and how many reps you do that work to build muscle and maintain it.  And don’t forget your nutrition!  Plenty of protein, fruit and vegetables at every meal is what you need.  Watch that fat! You don’t need nearly as much as you might think even for serious body building.

Drinking plenty of water it is essential for life and all body processes.  Eat foods in as natural a state as possible: raw or steamed for veggies. Please cook the meat, however! Men and women can follow these same guidelines for their muscle building and cardio fitness though the number of calories and the workout length may need to vary as it does between individuals anyway.  If you are older, don’t stop if you are in training now, it is the best thing you can do for the rest of your life!  If you follow a good diet along with a routine you should have results with you building muscle and re toning what is already there. If you are a beginner, start slowly and in no time you will be healthier and feel much better about yourself as you build muscle and your health!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

How Long Should You Rest Between MUSCLE BUILDING Sessions?

In an earlier article we concluded that muscles must be worked to failure if an adequate hypertrophic response is to occur. Whether this involves one or more sets is irrelevant as in either scenario the muscles must be worked to failure and beyond. This causes significant microscopic damage to the muscle tissues and it is during the period of recovery that protein synthesis undertakes the repair process that results in bigger muscle fibers.

Robert Cheeke, an American bodybuilder.
Robert Cheeke, an American bodybuilder.
(Photo credit: 

But how long does this process take and when is it safe to expose those same muscles to further intensive exercise? Scientific studies suggest that muscle fiber degradation takes approximately five to seven days to repair and recover. Any further exposure of the affected muscle to intensive activity will interfere with the recovery process and actually prevent it from achieving maximum growth. However, using the muscle to assist in exercising other body parts or even taking part in low intensity aerobic exercise will not prevent recovery.

It follows therefore that each muscle group should be trained intensively only once each week in order to allow full recovery. This can be achieved by incorportating a split training regime that allows you to work out several times each week but still exercise each muscle group intensively only once every seven days.