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Recent Bodybuilding Articles

Picking The Best Protein Bar

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Protein bars are an important tool for the bodybuilder. A good protein bar is a convenient way to get that much needed protein in between meals or on the road. The supplement market has been inundated with protein bar choices. The hard part for the average bodybuilder is sorting through all the choices and figuring out which is the best choice for them.

Most protein bars have certain aspects in common. They have all three of the major macronutrients in them; fats, protein, and carbohydrates. The variable factor is how much of each is contained in the bar. All the bars contain calories, as well. The amount can vary from 100 to 700 or more calories. Finally, all bars are marketed by companies trying to make money, therefore they will all claim to be the best on the market.

When looking for the best bar for your needs, it is important to understand your needs. Most bodybuilders fall into one of three categories. Some lifters need a lot of additional calories to offset a very fast metabolism. Other bodybuilders may need to limit the total calories to lose body fat. The third group is strictly looking to increase overall protein intake, without a lot of extra calories or other nutrients.

The protein bars vary widely by nutrient content and calories. Some bars are designed for the bodybuilder looking to control overall calorie intake. They are made with fewer calories and usually have fewer carbohydrates and fats. The protein intake may be lower, as well. There are some good bars with fiber and complex carbohydrates, limited fat, and a higher protein content that still keep the total calorie level below 250. These bars generally are not as sweet as others, and usually do not come in as many flavors.

Some protein bars have a great ratio of nutrients within a moderate calorie bar. They have an adequate amount of fats and carbohydrates along with a good protein amount. These bars often parallel the nutrient breakdown of the normal diet. These bars are so complete they can serve as a meal, when needed. These bars usually run around 300 to 500 calories.

Other bars may have more calories due to increased carbohydrates and fats. The fats give the bar a better consistency and the carbohydrates make the flavor better. Some of these bars come in extravagant flavors like Strawberry Smoothie, Mint Chocolate Chip, or Cookie Dough. They generally have calorie counts above 300, with some over 700 calories. The best high calorie protein bars get their calories from complex carbohydrates, some fats, and protein, with only enough sugar to flavor the bar.

A bodybuilder who needs extra calories may find the higher calorie protein bar convenient in this quest. Eating a protein bar between meals to increase calories may help boost muscular gains. It makes an easy way to get those extra calories. The bodybuilder who is looking to reduce overall caloric intake may use a complete protein bar to replace a meal or two during the day. This will ensure adequate nutrients without the extra calories often consumed in a regular meal. The bodybuilder who is simply looking to increase protein intake may seek a bar with very few carbohydrates and fats, and lower caloric content. This allows the bodybuilder to increase total protein without increasing overall caloric intake by a lot.

When searching for the best protein bar it is important to know your needs and how the right bar can feed that need. Whether you are trying to bulk up or get ripped the protein bar can be a great tool. Finding a bar that is low in simple carbohydrates and high in protein, and balanced in overall nutrients, will take you a long way toward your goal of developing the best physique possible.

My favorite protein bars are Detour bars because of the taste and high amount of protein (30 grams per bar). Luckily I have a GNC close to me that sells them for $24 for 12.

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Top Foods That Build Muscle

So what are some of the best foods that build muscle and lose weight?  When looking to build muscle a good ratio of carbs to protein to fat would be around 40% 40% 20%. Remember these are quality fats and complex carbohydrates.

The most important building blocks for building muscles is protein. Protein is used to repair the damage done by resistance or weight training. So to build muscle you need protein. See some of the top choices for protein below.

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Top protein choices
  • Chicken Breast
  • Turkey Breast
  • Tuna
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Egg Whites
  • Salmon
  • Lean Beef
  • Whey Protein

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Carbohydrates are what give the body energy and fuel to workout. See some of the complex carbohydrates below:

Top Carb Choices
  • Brown Rice
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Bagels
  • Oatmeal
  • Fat Free Yogurt
  • Beans

Veggies

  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Spinach

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When you think of building muscle or being fit you tend to think that you should avoid fat altogether. This is not true. Fats are a necessary component to sustain the metabolic functions of humans. See some of the top carb choices below.

Top Fat Choices
  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Nuts
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Fish Oil

So the next time you go to the grocery store, be sure you stock your cart full of the best foods that build muscle.

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Top Dumbbell Bodybuilding Exercises

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Dumbbells are often the forgotten tool in bodybuilding. With the advent of machines, the popularity of dumbbells declined. The problem with that is the reduction in stabilizing muscle involvement. The muscles that stabilize the joints during a free weight lift are often taken out of the exercise during a machine exercise.

When training to build muscle many of the exercises are the same whether you use barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, machines, or any other equipment. When developing the chest and shoulders you need to use pressing motions. The back requires lots of pulling motions from different angles. The arms can really be developed using dumbbells. Many people forget about the potential for some great leg work using dumbbells, as well.

Since they are often forgotten, let’s start with the legs. Squatting with dumbbells adds an extra degree of comfort because the weights can be held in a position that fits your body. The weights can be held at the shoulders, in tight to the chest, or hanging down at the sides. The position of the weights also allows for a more natural body position during the lift. Avoid the temptation to lean forward or look down because it can cause back injury just as it does in regular squats. Stiff-legged dead lifts are also a great leg exercise with the dumbbells. Heel raises can be done for the calves. One of the best all around leg shaping exercises is the lunge and dumbbells are ideal for performing this exercise.

Moving up the body to the abdominals and obliques, dumbbells can be used to sculpt this area, as well. Crunches with dumbbells for resistance are great for a change up. The resistance lowers the number of repetitions needed to get a great pump. Side bends holding one dumbbell or twists with the dumbbells out in front are also great for the obliques. Good mornings with the weights held in front are a great way to work the lower back area. These are done in a bowing motion, as if greeting someone good morning.

Moving farther up still, to the chest, we find many more dumbbell exercises. Dumbbell bench presses call a lot more support muscles into play than the regular bench press. It also allows for more involvement from the inner attachment. These can be done from the flat, incline, or decline positions. Dumbbell flys, again from any of the angles, are great for overall chest development. Dumbbell pullovers, done from a lying position, will bring all the attachments into play.

Now, the shoulders are another area that dumbbells are commonly used for. Dumbbell overhead presses really hit the meat of the shoulder. Dumbbell lateral raises done standing, or bent over for the rear deltoids, are great for shaping and sculpting. Using dumbbells for upright rowing motions can take some of the stress of the wrists and make the exercise more effective. Shrugging exercises with the dumbbells will place the shoulder in a more natural alignment and may reduce some of the stress on the rotator cuff muscles.

Okay, finally we are at the back. The king of back exercises would have to be the deadlift. And, the deadlift can be performed with dumbbells. Mind you, the weight may be reduced, but the strict form that can be adhered to with dumbbells can make this exercise tough. The weight can be held closer to the body and a straighter back can be accomplished with dumbbells. Bent over one-arm rowing can be done with dumbbells also, to help develop the sweep of the lats. Two arm rowing, from a bent-over position or lying face down on a high bench, is great for developing the thickness and lines of the upper back.

When planning your training routine don’t forget the value of dumbbells. They really call the supporting muscles into play and allow for a great range of motion. They can be used for bulking, as well as shaping, exercises. Most exercises can be adapted to dumbbells. So don’t be a dumbbell, use dumbbells in your training.

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Health Facts On Green Tea

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Green tea has received a lot of press lately. It has moved from the fields of the Far East to the world market. It has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The Western culture has begun to recognize many of these herbal remedies and their value in medicine. Due to the late stage involvement of the scientific world, research is behind on these remedies. However, real world (anecdotal) evidence supports many of the claims of these herbal treatments.

Green tea has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity due to some of the claims about its health benefits. Many of the health claims are based on historical claims and anecdotal uses. Some others have some scientific backing. Unfortunately, since research on herbal medicine has been lagging behind there may not be as many studies to verify the claims. The promising fact is that green tea has not shown any major side effects from its use, even over the long term.

Green tea has been shown to have the following health benefits:
  • Anti-cancer benefits: The antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been shown to help prevent a range of cancers.
  • Increasing metabolic rate: Green tea contains caffeine and catechin polyphenols that help increase thermogenesis. It may also help with fat oxidation, which will help reduce body fat stores, as well as, increasing endurance.
  • Increasing insulin sensitivity: Green tea has been shown to increase the body’s own affinity for insulin, especially in those who may have a slight insensitivity developing. This may also lead to a reduction in the chance of developing diabetes.
  • Increased mental acuity and focus: A combination of factors may help increase the ability to focus and cut down on age related degenerative diseases that affect the neurological system.

Green tea has been used for combating many conditions and preventing many others. The following list shows some of the current uses for green tea.

Those uses with no, or little, scientific research yet:
  • Preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Treatment for cancer
  • Treating multiple sclerosis
  • Reducing LDL and increasing HDL
Those with scientific backing (or solid real world backing):
  • As a diet aid, to increase metabolism
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Improving insulin sensitivity
  • Reducing free radical damage
  • Increasing mental acuity and focus
Whether enjoyed as a tea or taken in capsule form, green tea has some very promising health promoting benefits. The research continues on this herbal compound and more studies are being conducted every day. The results of the previous studies show that this is a good supplement for promoting overall health, as are many teas. It may or may not have all the benefits made by marketing claims, but it does promise to be a valuable tool in overall health.

The caffeine content helps increase energy without some of the negative effects associated with coffee. Green tea has no side effects, outside those associated with caffeine, and the potential benefits are numerous. Can you afford not to give it a try?

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How To Strengthen The Forearms


Forearm muscles account for approximately thirty-three percent of arm mass. They are indirectly stimulated with "straight-bar" exercises that work the biceps, triceps and back. However, it is helpful to occasionally use exercises that isolate the forearms for direct stimulation.

Strong forearms are particularly useful in injury prevention, sport specificity and grip strength. Research has shown that an effective strength & conditioning program can improve maximal force and power production, reduce the incidence of injuries and contribute to faster recovery times (Cockram & Tolley, 1997).

Reducing Injuries Resulting From Under Trained Forearms

Weak forearm muscles increase susceptibility to overuse injuries. For example, tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful inflammation resulting from a lesion primarily at the muscle-extensor carpi radialis brevis. The condition often arises from movements which hyper-extend the elbow joint.

Similarly, golfers elbow or medial epicondylitis affects the muscles on the medial side of the elbow joint (Cockram & Tolley, 1997). The occurence of each injury is reduced with more attention to direct forearm training. Competitors in other sports that involve throwing grabbing, pulling, pushing or gripping also benefit from direct forearm stimulation. Strengthened forearm muscles allow athletes to spend more time competing.

Strong forearms are not just for athletes. Regular people who strengthen their forearms can better perform everyday tasks that involve bending (contracting) and straightening (extending) the arms. For example carrying groceries, small children and pets become easier when weak forearms aren’t a limiting factor.

Basic Strengthening And Stretching Exercises For Lower Arms

Forearm strengthening exercises might include squeezing a tennis ball, wrist circles using a weighted object, dumbbell wrist curls with the forearm pronated (palm facing downward) and supinated (palm facing upward) and pull/chin ups.

Pull ups using a thick bar (over 1.5 inch diameter) may have a very positive impact on forearm and grip strength. If you cannot do a pull up then jump up to grip the bar and slowly lower your body weight downward. When stretching your forearms it is important to keep the elbow fully extended and ensure you stretch both flexors and extensors (Cockram & Tolley, 1997).

Basic Anatomy Of Forearm

The forearm is comprised of various muscle groups such as flexors, extensors, supinators and pronaters along with major nerves and arteries that facilitate movement of hands, elbows, wrists, fingers and thumbs. Bones of the forearm are the radius and ulna.

Common anterior forearm muscles include:
  • Brachioradialis (flexion of forearm)
  • Flexor Carpi Radialis (flexion/abduction at wrist)
  • Palmaris Longus (assists in wrist flexion, absent in nearly 20% of Caucasians)
  • Flexor Carpi Ulnaris (wrist flexion).

Common posterior forearm muscles include:
  • Extensor carpi radialis longus (wrist extension/hand abduction at wrist)
  • Flexor digitorum superficialis (finger flexion).

The anterior and posterior muscles listed are but a few of the many muscles that comprise the forearm.

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Massive Chest and Shoulder Workout

The Pectoral muscles, combined with the deltoids, create the most dramatic muscular impression in your upper body. These are two critical muscle groups to consider when bodybuilding for mass. In this section, I will walk you through a typical workout that incorporates both muscle groups into one, intense, muscle-building experience.


Note: It is strongly recommended that a spotter be present when this workout is done. We are going to fail in some sets, and with free weights that can be dangerous. Play it safe. Injuries suck.

So without further delay, let’s begin.

Stretching

Stretching is always a key pre-workout activity that is going to help you in a number of ways. In this workout, we are going to focus on stretching out our chest and also our shoulders before we begin to stack on the weight.

For the purposes of this example routine, we will first work our chest and then move on to our shoulders. In some cases you would order the exercises differently, or even stagger between each muscle group. This type of fine tuning will come in handy once you are well on your way and comfortable with the routine. A separate article will go into more detail on that subject later.

Incline Bench Press

The first exercise we are doing is Incline Bench Press. This is first for a couple of reasons, but primarily because it is going to be one of the more demanding lifts of the workout. Begin your first set at a weight that allows you to complete 10-12 reps with good form and control with moderate strain toward the final reps. Spot your partner for his/her set, and then add more weight, roughly 20% would be a solid increase. So, if you did your first set with 100lbs. your second set should be at 120 lbs. and fall somewhere in the 8-10 rep range. For your third set, you will again raise the weight and go to failure.

Ideally this failure would occur in the 6-8 range, but may not.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Next is Decline Dumbbell Bench Press. This exercise is a variation of the pressing movement we just finished. The declined position will better target the lower portion of your chest. Additionally, by removing the Olympic bar from the movement, it will isolate each side of your chest. We are going for the same set and rep scheme here as we did with the incline bench press. So use your spotter to your advantage and push for that failure on the third set at around 6-8 reps.

Dumbbell Fly

The last chest exercise we will do on this particular workout is a Dumbbell Fly. This is going to target the center of chest primarily. At this point in the exercise your chest should already be very fatigued. If its not, I would suggest taking a careful look at the weight being used, as well as the rep scheme. You may not be working hard enough. For this exercise you can use the same rep scheme as the previous movements. However, since your chest should be pre-exhausted, you could also just move to the two working sets and skip the first set which would normally fall in the 10-12 range.

Some bodybuilders would say that this split does not include a flat pressing exercise and therefore does not fully incorporate the chest. It is my experience, however, that when the lower and upper portions of the chest are trained in isolation, the strength gain carries through to the entire pectoral muscle. It wouldn’t be out of the question to incorporate, for example, a 3-set of Flat Barbell Bench Press, but I don’t find it necessary.

So now that we are already exhausted, it’s time to grab a drink of water, shrug off the soreness and hit those deltoids. Nobody said today was going to be easy.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

First in line is the Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Three sets is the magic number here. First set should fall in the 10-12 range and should be moderately difficult. The second set is a working set with more weight and should land in the 8-10 range. As in our other final sets, this third should be to failure with heavier weight, and end around the 6-8 mark.

Side Lateral Raises

With little rest between exercises we are going to move directly to Side Lateral Raises. This move is less about stacking on huge weight that it is about fully controlling the motion and really isolating the lateral deltoids. This exercise will play a big part in creating that rounded, prominent shoulder that we want. You can do this set two ways, the usual 12, 10, 8, with added weight. Or you can drop the weight substantially and do three sets all in the higher rep range of 15-20.

Bent Over Cable Laterals

The last exercise we are going to do today is going to be a finisher move that should take the rest of the energy we have left right out of us! This is called Bent Over Cable Laterals. With this exercise you can go back to our normal rep scheme and give it your all. You will feel the rear deltoids throbbing at the end of each set if you are isolating them properly. Focus on the movement, and put everything you’ve got into it.

Tomorrow should be a rest day, so take your shaking, sweating frame home and get some protein and rest.

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Build Big Shoulders With This Easy Mass Building Workout Guide

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To build big shoulders, workouts need to be tough, demanding and bring about a process called 'hypertrophy'. This is when muscles are broken down and damaged during repetitive weight training and grow back stronger and larger than before. To avoid over training, keep shoulder workouts to a maximum of two per week, resting at least 48 hours between workouts. The shoulders are one of the most easily injured muscle groups so it is important to listen to the body and not overdo things.

At the same time, it is important to reach muscle failure regularly when training shoulders to stimulate hypertrophy and therefore growth. High repetitions of relatively low weights will give a good, strong muscular pump, driving blood cells and nutrients to the muscles.

Understanding the Anatomy of the Shoulder Muscles to Build Big Shoulders

The major muscles that make up the shoulders are the deltoids, trapezius, infraspinatus and, to a lesser degree, the triceps. These muscles need to be worked hard to encourage them to grow. A good training programme would look like this:
  • 5-10 minute warm up
  • Barbell overhead press - 5 sets of 12-15 repetitions
  • Pullups - 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Dumbell shrugs - 5 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Tricep dips - 5 sets of 12 reps

Rest for one minute between sets and one minute between different exercises. This will keep the intensity high and the metabolism fired up. Try to reach failure on the last set for each exercise, using a spotter where necessary to ensure safe lifting.

For the barbell overhead press, load a bar up with a fairly light weight: 60 percent of 1 rep maximum. Press it explosively overhead and lower slowly. Don't lock out the arms at the top of the movement to keep the tension on muscles and off the joints.

When doing dumbbell shrugs, keep the arms straight and try to shrug the shoulders up to the ears, tensing at the top then relaxing slowly, lowering the weights.

Eat a Muscle Building Diet to Grow Muscle Mass in the Shoulders

To build muscle, it is necessary to eat a diet high in quality protein and carbohydrate and healthy fats. A good muscle mass building eating plan will help to build big broad shoulders. It is important to ensure a calorie surplus in order to stimulate muscle growth. A 180 pound bodybuild should look to eat around 3700 calories per day but this should be adjusted if there is too much fat gain or not enough muscle growth.

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Easy Bodybuilding Diet Plan

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According to the National Federation of Professional Trainers, most bodybuilding diets will consist of high amounts of protein, an increase in water consumption and extra fiber. It is recommended that you consult your physician prior to engaging in any kind of bodybuilding diet.

What to Eat


A typical list will consist of oatmeal, lean meats, eggs, fiber rich vegetables, peanut butter and lots of water. Protein shakes are the most popular way to save time when trying to meet your protein quota. You can add most of your ingredients into a blender and take the shakes anywhere. According to the American Council on Exercise, the easiest way to diet for bodybuilding is to stick to the same kinds of foods so that you never have to wonder what your next meal will consist of.

Eating Schedule



The hardest part about bodybuilding diets is making sure to eat when you are supposed to, even if you aren't hungry. Preparing meals ahead of time can save time and make it easier to grab food when you're on the go. Try cooking all meats in batches so you have enough for two to three days. You also might think about preparing protein shakes in larger portions so you can pour what you need during the day. This cuts down on prep time considerably and when you're drinking 3 to 4 shakes a day, you really notice how much time you save.

Keep a Journal



To make things easier for you, it is best if you keep a journal listing all the foods you are supposed to eat and what you've actually eaten. Include a daily menu and try separating meals in time slots so you know roughly what time you will be eating. Eventually you'll memorize the schedule, so the only thing you'll need to make sure to do is keep track of what you've eaten. The journal will help your eating habits become second nature making it easier to stick to your regiment.

Hire a Trainer


If you are having a hard time sticking to the diet, hiring a personal trainer with experience in bodybuilding can make life easier. Your trainer will keep you accountable making sure you stick to your eating plan. He will make any necessary tweaks to your diet in case you notice you aren't gaining as much muscle as you would like.

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Body Building Diet: Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

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Many scholars believe that bodybuilding diets began with the ancient Greeks. According to Ken R. Wells and Jacqueline L. Longe in the article "Bodybuilding Diet", the desire for physical strength and beauty was influenced by the ancient Greek society that wanted to emulate the perfect physique like the gods, Hercules and Apollo. The same desire for physical strength is apparent in Rome and Egypt.

According to Wells and Longe, "The modern era of bodybuilding began in the late 1800s in England; German strongman Eugen Sandow is credited with being the first professional bodybuilder of the modern era. He was a featured attraction at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago for his feats of strength." Sandow published a magazine that included diet tips. He also opened several weight training studios in England.

Wells and Longe also state, "Sandow's own diet was high in calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats."

Bodybuilding Diet Plan

The premise of the bodybuilding diet plan is to help people build muscle and reduce body fat. While bodybuilding nutrition consists of a diet high in protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread, cereal and pasta, a regular strength-building and exercise program is also essential.

According to Wells and Longe a "bodybuilding diet generally contains 2,500-5,500 calories per day for men and 1,500-300- calories daily for women, depending on the types and levels of exercise." The ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fat differ somewhat. Some programs recommend 20 percent from fats, 40 percent from protein and 40 percent carbohydrates, while other programs recommend a ratio of 30 percent fat, 30 percent carbohydrates and 40 percent protein. Bodybuilding nutrition recommendations suggest eating six to eight small meals throughout the day.

Nutritional supplements and protein powders are recommended as well for a bodybuilding diet plan. Several bodybuilders believe nutritional and other kinds of supplements are necessary for bodybuilding.

According to Sean Andros in "Diet Dangers," bodybuilding dieters should never "eat too much junk food when trying to add muscle mass, because extra fat will be gained. Some junk food is OK once a week, but remember, 'You are what you eat.' So eat healthy, nutritious, low-fat bodybuilding foods."

Benefits of Bodybuilding Diet

The benefits of following a bodybuilding diet along with exercise are health and appearance. Since a bodybuilding diet induces muscle mass, a bodybuilder's metabolism usually increases; however, people on this type of diet and exercise program usually gain weight.

Medical and bodybuilding communities consider building body mass and eating a bodybuilding diet a safe and effective way to build muscle and lose fat. Keep in mind there is no general ratios for the amount of fats, protein and carbohydrates.

Risks of Bodybuilding Diet

People with heart disease or other health related condition should consult their doctor before starting a bodybuilding diet and exercise program. A bodybuilding diet and exercise program is also not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.

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How to Get Cut Muscles

get cut musclesBefore beginning a diet and exercise program to get ripped, get a fat test. Fat levels for men who really want to show off muscle striation should be in the 7% to 12% range for men, and up to 22% for women t look ripped. If you go too low, you may risk your health. Fat tests are usually available through your local gym or a doctor office.

Burn Fat Stores

Keep your calorie intake at or below recommended levels to burn fat fast and get cut. Men and women who are sedentary to active should consume no more than 3000 to 3500 and 2000 to 2500 calories respectively. Count calories to lose weight quickly.

Since a pound of body fat is 3500 calories, you will need to cut 500 calories per day to burn a pound of body fat and get cut. Eat foods that are high in nutritional benefit, but low in calories such as raw fruits and vegetables, to burn the most body fat. Foods such as asparagus, melons, parsley and artichokes act as diuretics and will help you lose water weight that may be hiding your ripped abdominals as well.

Exercise

The best way to get cut or shredded is to exercise. Workout for 60 minutes daily at 85% to 90% of your fat burning rate to decrease fat stores and show ripped muscle. Determine your fat burning level by subtracting your age from 220 and keeping your heart rate at the maximum end of that number while working out. Add specific abdominal exercises such as crunches and reverse crunches to tighten the muscles in the abdominal as well.

Increase Protein

The majority of your foods should come from protein if you want to lose fat and get cut. Excess carbohydrates are often converted to glucose and end up as triglycerides in the blood. These can form fatty deposits on the body that hide muscle tone. To get really ripped, eat no more than 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates daily. Good sources of high protein, low carbohydrate foods include lean meat, eggs, vegetables and nuts. High protein foods will help you to lose weight healthily as well.

Stay Hydrated

The liver needs water to function correctly and process fat. If you do not drink enough water, your liver will process fats more slowly, and fat will likely accumulate. When the liver is working properly you will burn belly fat in particular. Getting cut abs requires you to drink 2 liters of water daily to help increase liver functioning and flush fat.

Sleep

Sleep is essential for getting cut abominals. When you do not sleep as you should, your body does not produce enough leptin, which helps to regulate appetite. In addition, you may produce an overabundance of cortisol when lacking in sleep, which has been shown to increase your chances of obesity. Be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night if possible to get cut abdominals.

Supplementation

Supplements that will help you burn fat and get cut are choline (250 to 500 mg), chromium picolinate (5 to 35 g per day), l-arginine (5 to 35 g), and l-carnitine (500 mg to 3 g).These supplements are helpful for metabolizing triglycerides, and helping to increase energy. They also act as appetite suppressants and fat burners. Take l-arginine (5 to 30 g) to help eliminate sodium and bloat. Most fat burners are available in supplement form and can be taken once or twice daily and help you to get ripped abdominals.

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How To Build Huge Arms

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First of all, stop the endless curls and pushdowns for trying to build huge arms. They might work alright at first, but they lose their touch pretty quick. Plus they only work a small portion of the whole muscle, minimizing your muscle and strength gains. Isolation exercises should be used occasionally, but your main focus should be on compound movements. Exercises such as the deadlift, squat, clean, and bench press are the best exercises for building strength and muscle. This is because they put the most stress on your muscle fibers and activate the most motor units. The same applies to building huge arms, compound exercises must be used as well. Now, do these to build huge arms and really see results.

Biceps

  • Barbell Curl: This differs from dumbbell curls. This places more stress on your biceps, from different angles. To perform the barbell curl, choose one of three different grips: neutral (shoulder width), wide grip, or close grip. All grips are done underhand. Then curl the weight up to to your chest. Do not use your hips or arms to help swing the weight up. Use only your arms, swinging the weight up defeats the purpose, and increases your chances of injury. Lower the weight back down and touch your waist with the bar. Do 3 sets of 8.
  • Pull Ups/Chin Ups: Pull ups and chin ups are another great exercise to build huge biceps. Doing chin ups puts more emphasis on your biceps, while pull ups puts more emphasis on your lats and back. To do chin ups, use an underhand grip. To do pull ups, use and overhand grip. You can vary between neutral grip, close, and wide grips to keep your muscles guessing. Make sure to lower down so that your arms are fully extended, and that you touch your chest to the bar. Do 3 sets of 8.

Triceps

  • Dips: By far the best exercise to build huge triceps. Since the triceps compose two thirds of the arm, having big triceps is a must. Plus it will make your biceps look bigger. To perform a dip, find a set of parallel bars. All gyms will have them. To put the focus on just your triceps, keep your torso perpendicular to the floor. Lower down so that your arms are at 90 degrees, then raise back up. Once you can do your desired reps easily, use a weight belt and add some more resistance. Do 3 sets of 8.
  • Close Grip Bench Press: Not a very common exercise for the triceps, but it is great for building them. To perform the close grip bench press. Lay down on a flat bench, and assume the proper benching form. You won't be able to do nearly as much weight as you could in a normal bench. Use a much lighter weight. Put your hands in the middle of the bar, so they are 6 inches apart. Lower the weight as close to your chest as possible and then press it back up. Do 3 sets of 8.

Incorporate these exercises into your routine 2 to 3 times per week, and you'll be on your way to huge arms in no time.

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Can Soy and Whey Protein Help in Muscle Building?

If you are focusing on strength and muscle building, you may want to include a high quality protein supplement to assist your hard work.

How Is A Protein Supplement Used?

The general rule of thumb is to take one gram per pound. You should do some experimentation to find what how your body reacts. You may need to adjust that number.

Athletes in training should consume about 25 grams of protein a day, while bodybuilders will consume closer to 150 grams. These higher doses of protein should be spread out throughout the day. An easy way to get those kinds of protein numbers is to use whey protein shakes three to five times a day. These shakes can easily supplement a weightlifter's diet. However, while the shakes replace a meal, be sure to eat at least one well-balanced meal of carbohydrates, meat and vegetables.

What is Whey and Soy Protein?

soy vs whey protein
Whey protein is the purest form of protein and will help you build mass. Because whey protein comes from cow’s milk, it is not a good choice for those with milk allergies or who are lactose intolerant.

Whey protein normally comes in three forms: concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate. The protein availability in whey protein concentrate is more diverse and lower than that of whey protein isolate. The whey protein concentrate levels are higher in levels of lactose, but lower levels of cholesterol. In whey protein isolate, the lactose has been removed. Hydrolysates are, in part, broken down making absorption easier, but this form is more expensive than concentrate or isolate.

Soy protein comes in concentrate form and in isolate form. All forms of soy protein are lactose free.

Whey protein has long been chosen for serious muscle building because of the excellent supply of branched amino acids. Branched amino acids are taken directly into the muscle and used during periods of exercise and resistance training. Leucine is a branch amino acid that is 50% higher in whey protein than soy protein and plays a significant role in starting protein production. On the flip side, soy protein has higher amounts of arginine, which, similar to leucine, plays a role in protein production and in glutamine, which supports the immune system.

What Are The Differences With Soy or Whey Protein?

Both soy and whey protein powders can provide high quality protein even with differing amino acid functions.

With proper use, whey protein will undoubtedly support muscle building and more recent reports show soy protein may as well.

Soy protein does not have the anti catabolic or muscle building abilities that whey and red meat do, but soy does provide actual benefits to a bodybuilder. 10-30 grams a day of high quality soy protein isolate is recommended for most people.

Are There Health Concerns With Soy Protein?

With soy being a newer protein source, some concerns are that it may produce unwanted results of decreases in testosterone and increases in estrogen in men. There are reports of long-term effect concerns on the health of both men and women with increasing or decreasing risk of hormone related cancers and soy’s relationship to other health concerns. One study, however, supported muscle building results from soy protein with no negative effect on testosterone or estrogen levels in men.

So, in shopping for a whey or soy protein to supplement your bodybuilding, figure your own needs. You can always combine soy and whey to get the best of both worlds.

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Bio-Genetic Muscle Weight Gain System Review

Bio-Genetic Muscle Weight Gain

Although most people feel that they need to lose weight, for some individuals gaining weight is more difficult. This is especially true when the weight you want to gain is muscle. The Bio-Genetic Muscle Weight Gain System is a program that promises muscle weight gain. If you simply increase the amount of calories you consume, you are likely to put on fat. Gaining muscle requires a different method, one that combines exercise and meeting caloric requirements.

Bio-Genetic Muscle Weight Gain System Authors
The authors of “Bio-Genetic Muscle Weight Gain System” are Lee Hayward and Bryan Kernan. Hayward is a well-known competitive bodybuilder, author and winner of the 2007 Heavyweights Classic Bodybuilding Competition. Kernan is a bodybuilder and the author of three books, including “Instant Cuts,” “Bodybuilding Supplement Secrets Revealed” and “The Bio-Genetic Weight Gain System.”

How to Judge Your Progress
The program advertises a 25 lb. increase in muscle weight over 12 weeks. As a way to see if the weight you gain is fat or muscle, and therefore prove that the program worked, first determine your starting body fat percentage. The book gives you instructions on how to determine your body fat percentage through the use of calipers. After 12 weeks, assess your body fat percentage again. Your total weight should have increased, but your body fat percentage should be reduced because more of your weight is coming from muscle.

Program Manual and Extras
The program is sold as an 114-page e-book that discusses how to gain muscle weight. As of 2011, the e-book costs $38 and can be ordered online in a PDF format only, although versions for PCs and Macs are available. In addition to the e-book, you also receive eight bonus items as part of the Bio-Genetic Muscle Weight Gain System. These bonuses include “How I Gained Weight Fast With A 'Fool Idea,'" “Simple Food Trick Causes Unexplainable Rapid Weight Gain,” “Bodybuilding Supplement Secrets,” “72 hour Weight Gain Secret,” “How To Get Six Pack Abs,” “When Natural Bodybuilders Need To Gain Weight Fast This Is What They Do,” “The Key Secret To Gaining Weight” and “Bodybuilding Recipes and Resources.”

Bio-Genetic Muscle Weight Gain System Exercises
The e-book includes a comprehensive workout program for building muscle. The exercise plan is broken up into three phases. Both pictures and descriptions of the exercises are included. You'll find traditional weight lifting exercises included, such as squats, dead lifts and bench presses. In fact, the book emphasizes dead lifts and squats with the ultimate goal being that you can squat with 1.5 times your bodyweight for 20 repetitions, according to LeeHayward.com.

Bio-Genetic Muscle Weight Gain System Diet
The book stresses diet as the most important aspect of gaining weight, with an emphasis on the adequate consumption of calories. Some dietary guidelines recommended by the program include a list of nine "anabolically charged natural foods" for muscle gain and 53 foods that stimulate the release of a muscle-growth hormone. There is a heavy emphasis on supplements, however, which may or may not appeal to some readers, as supplements are expensive and it can be quite time-consuming to remember to take them consistently.

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Training for Size and Aesthetics with Fabrice Rinaldi

fabrice rinaldi

Training both himself and other clients for over two decades, bodybuilding champion Fabrice Rinaldi has always been aware of the importance of the balance between building new muscle size and definition while also maintaining overall aesthetic appearance. Here he discusses his most recent training and competitive experience:

WorldBodybuilding: What made you decide to enter the NPC (National Physique Committee) Europa Dallas bodybuilding event in 2011?

Fabrice Rinaldi: Actually, it wasn't my first contest in 2011. I was thinking at first about competing in the NPC Ronnie Coleman show in April, but because of a leg injury I could not be in top shape for this event. So I decided to compete first in two shows in France in May, in which I won both my class and the overall. I also decided to compete in the NPC Branch Warren Classic in Texas, where I won the masters over 40 class. That's also a reason why I decided to compete a month later for the Europa in Dallas, in which I won the light heavyweight open class.

I hadn't competed for about five years and since I also just turned 40 in 2011, I thought it would be a great challenge for me to improve my knowledge about contest preparation, nutrition and special training system that I created and have been experimenting with for years for myself and many clients I've coached for show events. By the way, all my clients won their class and the overall event that they decided to compete in. As far as my own improvements, many people were telling me it would not be possible for me to be in better shape than when I was ten or fifteen years younger - but they were wrong!

WorldBodybuilding: What were your goals in training for the Europa Dallas?

Fabrice Rinaldi: A month before the Europa Dallas I decided to train heavier, not doing a lot of cardio and concentrate my energy on deep contractions and great intensity. My goals were to be harder, with much more definition and bigger - and that's exactly what I achieved at contest time. I didn't modify so much the quantity of protein I normally have - I'm always high in protein - but I did decrease my carbs a lot over three weeks, just increasing them when I was really too tired to maintain a really high training intensity. I also increased my carb intake three days before the show. I was seven pounds heavier for the Europa than the Branch Warren Classic, with much better definition, hard muscles and mass.

My plan was to compete as a light heavyweight. I was building more muscle during this preparation and my weight was not changing very much even while dropping a lot of fat. I focused my training program on my arms/shoulders and back especially, for me those parts of my body needed to be much bigger but also with a much better definition. I gained 2.3 inches in my arms in a few months, using different techniques I describe in my book.

WorldBodybuilding: How many weeks was your pre-contest training?

Fabrice Rinaldi: Well in fact I started my diet in November a little bit, but more and more strict after January. Before that I was fat... I could not even see my abs. So 16 weeks before the first show I was in contest diet with one cheating day every week, and very strict 6 weeks before the first show. Actually, I did maintain a diet plan over 8 months before the Europa staying in shape all this period. I trained before the Branch Warren Classic and the Europa at the Metroflex Gym in Arlington.

WorldBodybuilding: What was the weekly training regimen?

Fabrice Rinaldi: I trained 5 days/week: Day 1: Hamstrings-Biceps-Abs; Day 2: Chest-calves; Day 3: Quads-Abs; Day 4: Shoulders-Triceps; Day 5: Back-Abs; Day 6: Rest or Cardio; Day 7: Rest. Or if needed, I would change to a split routine that was the same except: Day 3: Rest; Day 4: Quads-Abs; Day 5: Shoulders-Triceps; Day 6: Back-Abs; Day 7: Rest.

I trained for six weeks using my "1 rep mass system" for the first movement of each muscle. One movement I feel the best for each body part. And following that, I performed other different movements but all depending on how I feel that day. I can isolate any part of my body and a specific muscle, so I just changed the exercises as needed either for more density, mass or definition to a specific muscle or body area.

In general, I use 3 to 4 sets for each exercise, I always go to the failure doing 6-8 reps but also using supersets, pick contraction and explosive contraction for each repetition. I never cheat when I perform a movement, and always use the best technique and angle to feel the maximum intensity on that muscle.

WorldBodybuilding: What was the typical daily meal plan during this period?

Fabrice Rinaldi: My diet in-season is always high in protein, low in carbs and medium in good fat. My protein amount is about 3-4gr/kg body weight and I change the carbs a day to another if needed, but always keeping low carbs. I eat 6 times/day every 3 hours in general and only organic and simple foods. I don't eat wheat, corn, soy, anything with aspartame or any kind of non natural sweetener. I only drink water or unsweetened tea that I make myself. Also, I never count calories.

WorldBodybuilding: What are your other current projects in training or bodybuilding?

Fabrice Rinaldi: I wrote a book three years ago about my own training system, 1 Rep Mass, which is a complete training and nutritional program for increasing your strength, muscle mass and definition.

Mass-Building Leg Workout

mass-building leg workout

Let’s face it, all us hardgainers have been there. You’re working your butt off, eating right and hitting the gym religiously, but the weight isn’t climbing the way you want it to. Ask yourself a question. Are you really doing enough in your leg workout? Are you putting in the type of grueling weight training that it takes to reach the next level? Our legs make up an enormous part of our physique, and the muscles in them, especially the quadriceps have giant growth potential. If you really want to tip the scales with solid muscle, pay attention to these leg guidelines.

High Reps = Skinny Legs

Picture a runner’s legs. They have very strong legs but they’re skinny. That is because the action of running promotes small, yet sometimes very strong, leg muscles. In our case we are seeking a different outcome. We want a powerful leg with a striated profile to prove it. From the quads to the calves we want to see size and definition. Leg day should be taken as seriously as any day in our training schedule, and special attention should be given to resting your legs after an intense workout in order to promote muscle growth. All our leg lifts are going to begin with a warm-up set and end in a working set to failure. Remember, we are HARDGAINERS. Nothing comes for free. The following workout will provide examples of exactly what we want to accomplish.

The Hardgainers’ Mass-Building Leg workout:

Ok let’s get those legs ripped. No time to waste. Follow this plan.
Stretch Out: It is important we stretch properly before each leg workout to prevent injury and allow us to reach our full weight-lifting potential for the workout. Click here for some basic leg stretches.

After our stretches we begin with seated quad extensions. This is a good early workout exercise because it acts as a warm-up movement for your quadriceps and also allows you get the blood pumping through your knees which will help us with the rest of our routine. Remember we start with a high rep set for this exercise, around 15 under moderate weight, depending on your ability level. The second set should fall in the 10-12 rep range and the final set should be the heaviest and land somewhere near 8-10 repetitions.

Now the heavy lifting begins! Squats are going to be the bread and butter of any serious lifter’s leg workout. This is where we develop explosive power and pack on slabs of muscle. Squats are no joke and should always be done under strict form and preferably with a spotter present. Using a weight belt is recommended to prevent unnecessary lower back strain. With squats it’s important to complete the full range of motion in each repetition. Bring your body down by bending your knees until your quads are parallel with the floor or even lower if possible. This can be hard on the knees so use caution. Our rep set on this is going to be a little different. The first set we are going to 10 reps with the last 2 or three reps being challenging to complete. On the second set we are going to increase the weight and shoot for 8 repetitions. Finally we are going to stack on a few more plates and do our third set. Every one of these reps should be very physically demanding. Squeeze out as many as you can. If you can’t do five you might have too much weight on the bar. I am always happy when I hit 6 and any extra are just icing on the cake. Really put your mind into it.

At this point your legs are shaking. You’ve put your all into the squats and guess what? Its time for some more lifting! You got it, we’re headed to the leg press. We are going to utilize the machine in this exercise to help us reach complete exertion in our legs. Unlike squats where the balancing of the weight falls on our core muscles, in the leg press the weight glides smoothly on a sled allowing us to focus more of our energy on the pressing motion. It is not uncommon to be able to press much heavier weight than you can squat. On our first set we are shooting for 8-10 reps under moderate strain. You should be breathing heavy at the end. On our second and last set, we will target the 6-10 rep range with even heavier weight. At this point in the workout you have successfully depleted your quads and you should also be feeling moderate pre-exhaustion in your hamstrings.

As a finishing movement we will head over to the hamstring curl machine for two more sets that should completely finish off our upper leg workout. First set should go to 10 reps and the last set should be from 8-10 under good strain. Really grunt it out; you’re done with the upper leg.

So you’re tired, sweaty, and ready for some water and a protein shake, but wait, we’re forgetting something. That sad, scrawny section between your knee and that worn out cross-trainer you’re wearing. Your calves! Take a minute or two to recharge mentally and then get ready to go out with your last push of energy. Calves are muscle that MANY people have a hard time developing and the reason is simple, it hurts!

First thing we are going to do is a standing calf raise. You can do this on a machine or using free weights to add resistance. The way I prefer to complete this exercise is using a rest-pause method. I select a resistance that allows me about 25 reps under heavy strain at the end. Waiting about 20 seconds after the first set I get right back at it and shoot for as many as I can. Usually, under the same resistance, I fail at about 20 reps. Again, waiting 20 seconds, I start again and shoot for 15-17 rep range or until failure.

Last we are going to do two finishing sets of seated calf raises to completely exhaust our calf muscles. The first set should be a challenging weight for 10 reps and the second should go to failure around 6-8 reps.

At this point you should be totally out of gas. If you still have muscle strength than you didn’t hit the failure points correctly throughout the workout. Look back at the weights and repetitions you did and make adjustments for the next time. As hardgainers we must get everything we can out of a workout. It might seem like a bad deal, when others seem to so easily pack on mass, but you can’t change your genetics. You will be that much prouder of the muscle you do develop knowing how much hard work and devotion went into it.

Go home. Eat. Rest. Repeat.

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Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes

Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes

From his path of downtrodden-youth-turned-bodybuilding-extraordinaire, to his unlikely rise to cinematic fame, to his impressive political ventures, Arnold is a man who gets things done. People are naturally drawn to his confident air and his ability to make his mark. He has, much to the general public’s benefit, given us nuggets of wisdom that can be used to guide our minds in the right direction.

Here are some of his most uplifting quotes:

“Failure is not an option. Everyone has to succeed.”

“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.”

“You can achieve anything.”

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.”

“If you want to be a champion you can’t have any kind of outside negative coming in to affect you.”

“Every year I make a plan. I do it. It will be done.”

We all have great inner power. The power is self-faith. There's really an attitude to winning. You have to see yourself winning before you win. And you have to be hungry. You have to want to conquer.”

“To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach."

“What I’m doing is the thing I want to do. I don't care what other people think. If the rest of the world disagrees and says I shouldn't waste my time, I still will be a bodybuilder. I love it. I love the feeling in my muscles, I love the competition, and I love the things it gives me. I have never really had to work in my whole life. I’ve never had an eight-to-six job. I’ve always made good money. I’ve travelled all over the world competing and giving exhibitions. I’ve made a living out of a pastime, which perhaps only five percent of the population can do. The other ninety-five percent are frustrated office workers, working for someone else. I’m totally independent. So, I ... feel ... if I would live again ... or if I would be born again, I would do exactly the same thing.”

"What we face may look insurmountable. But I learned something from all those years of training and competing. I learned something from all those sets and reps when I didn't think I could lift another ounce of weight. What I learned is that we are always stronger than we know."

”Everything I have ever done in my life has always stayed. I've just added to it...But I will not change. Because when you are successful and you change, you are an idiot.”

"I will not fail, I will not disappoint you, I will not let you down."

"I know that if you leave dishes in the sink, they get sticky and hard to wash the next day."

Enjoy these great thoughts on your journey!

Lift Lighter, Build More Muscles

Tired of waiting around in the gym for the right weights to be free? New research form the US means you can make gym queues like this a thing of the past, as it proves that you can build muscle just as fast using lighter weights. Traditional exercise wisdom says that the quickest way to build big muscles is to lift as heavy as possible. However, the new study shows you can get equally impressive results from going lighter but performing more repetitions. The only condition is that you must do all your sets to failure. So, next time your preferred dumbbells are taken, just switch down and up your reps. You'll be out of the gym that much quicker and still see the growth you're looking for.

 
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