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  1. The team behind the BMJ study believe muscle strength reflects general fitness, which would explain the link. Experts stress the findings do not mean muscle building makes you live longer. The effect of poor muscular fitness in those tracked was similar to well established risk factors for early death, such as obesity and high blood pressure. When the researchers took into account these better known risk factors, they found the link between early death and muscle power remained. Thin and fat men alike fared worse in terms of life expectancy if they had weaker than average muscles, while more burly men had better survival odds even if they were overweight. Over the course of the study, 26,145 (2.3%) of the men died. The leading single cause of death was accidental injury, followed by suicide, cancer, heart disease and stroke. A third of the deaths were due to other causes and the researchers grouped these together for their calculations. The teenagers who scored above average on muscular strength at the start of the study had a 20-35% lower risk of early death from any cause and also from cardiovascular diseases. They also had a 20-30% lower risk of early death from suicide and were up to 65% less likely to have any psychiatric diagnosis, such as schizophrenia or depression. In comparison, the 16- to 19-year-olds with the lowest level of muscular strength had the highest risk of dying before they reached their mid-50s. The teenagers, who were all conscripts to the Swedish military, were asked to grip and to do some leg curls and arm push ups against resistance to measure muscle strength. A spokeswoman for the British Heart Foundation said: "The benefits of being physically active at any age are well established with studies showing it can prevent children from developing diseases later on in life, as well as improving their concentration at school, their overall mental health and well-being." Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said while there was good evidence exercise was beneficial for health, the study did not show doing more exercise would necessarily prolong your life. And encouraging people to do more regular physical activity could be a challenge, he added. "Sadly the trials of an intervention to increase exercise have not shown notable benefits, though that does not discourage me and many others from exercising," Prof Evans said. ---- Resource: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20406742#story_continues_1
  2. (Adapt from: Jim Smith, C. S. C. S.Muscle&Fitness.com,3-4-2014,(http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-tips/unlock-gains-shorter-range-motion) Go to YouTube and watch a few videos of pro bodybuilders training (as if you haven’t already). What do you notice, apart from the massive weights they use and the faces they make from exertion? Bodybuilders rarely lock out their joints, preferring instead to use a slightly reduced range of motion to keep the target muscles fully engaged. Called ‘constant tension, this trick can end a plateau and save your joints. Try it on a variety of compound and isolation moves. For example, on dumbbell overhead presses, lower the weights until you feel a mild stretch in your shoulders, but don’t go all the way down; then press them back up three-quarters of the way. Because the weights aren’t supported by the joints or connective tissues on either end of the range of motion, the muscles (in this instance, the deltoids) work at their max throughout the entire set. This also means that the joints aren’t stressed by heavy loads. So if you have an injury, constant tension sets will prevent you from aggravating it. Quick Tip: Constant tension isn’t always appropriate if your goal is strength. To lift the heaviest weights, you need to lock out your joints. Do your main lifts normally, and use partial reps on assistance lifts.
  3. 1. You pick the right basic moves you can pile a lot of weight on, but then it is so heavy you need to use your shoulders and triceps more than your pecs to get the weight up. Add the typical turning the flat bench into a decline bench by raising your butt off the bench, and all you get is just more of the easily developed lower pecs, not high, round Arnold pecs. 2. Cable cross flyes are turned into a press and you're leaning all your body weight into the cables and then bounce the weight to the peak contraction. There is better way to do presses; with press movements. 3. Your workout schedule indirectly hits pecs several days around your pec workout. Maybe arms one day so you hit triceps, which assist pecs in press movements - the other day shoulders where your upper pecs will help a lot too. Solution: Make sure you do NOT train those muscle groups back to back with your pec day. 4. During presses, you recruit too much triceps by allowing your elbows to travel too close to your torso. Why does the body do this? You're stronger that way. 5. You have weak links that stop you from progressing. For instance weak rear shoulder muscles like infraspinatus and teres minor. These help the shoulders stay where they're supposed to be (pulled back). You might have a winged scapula, which means your shoulder blade is flaring out due to weak subscapularis or serratus anterior. A solution for the latter one is to do a lot of great pushups. 6. The antagonist to the pecs is the big wonderful latissimus dorsi. I'm sure you've seen many gym people with ILS (imaginary lat syndrome) when there arms are flared out about 4 feet from the body trying to make that "big iguana" look, or what do you call that little lizard which makes itself extra large when threatened? Anyway, you need to keep the lats strong, but also flexible so they don't inhibit your pec strength. 7. Your mind is drifting away during workouts and you forget to feel the muscle. Don't just lie there looking up at the ceiling thinking about what to eat for dinner! 8. You neglect unilateral work. Dumbbells instead of barbells! You always have one dominant side, which will take over most of the work from the sissy side of your body. A great way to achieve strength increases is by prioritizing this before bilateral work. 9. You put the incline bench on too steep an angle, turning it into a front shoulder workout. Put it on a 30% degree angle instead of the conventional 45%. 10. You stick to machines due to a big ego. Yes you can use more weight on them than with free weights, but you also recruit fewer of the stabilizing muscles leading to imbalances. Machines are supplemental to free weights and should not be used as a replacement unless you end up at a hotel gym where the only option is a machine! In that case do tons of pushups and one arm pushups to balance it out. Source:Sorry I really dont remember the source but I just found it inside my laptop,it might be retrieved from Muscle & Fitness if I am not mistaken. I just want to share it based on my courtesy on contributing something for the site to y'all so I hope this information found useful to you guys.
  4. There are three main body types that have been identified, but due to genetic variation, it is usually impossible to put anyone firmly into one of the categories. Instead, people are usually a mix of all three, but with a predominance of one particular type. The different types are as follows: Left to Right: Mesomorph, Ecto-Mesomorph, Endomorph, Ectomorph. Image graciously donated by Cody Frost Endomorph: Often unpleasantly labelled the 'soft body', endomorphs put on muscle easily and retain it for a long time, but are cursed with a very conservative metabolism which makes fat retention common. Endomorphs can usually play to their strengths by being much stronger than other counterpart body types, but losing the fat around the abdomen can be very difficult indeed. Most world-class powerlifters are endomorphs and, as a practical example, Burt from the Carpe-Diem webcomic is probably iconic of this body type. Ectomorph: With smaller muscle bulk and little body fat, ectomorphs are usually the polar opposite of endomorphs - they have great difficulty gaining and maintaining muscle bulk, but are nearly always very vascular, with very visible muscles. Ectomorphs are unusual in bodybuilding competitions due to their lanky and bony nature, but not unknown. This body type is usually found on basketball players, and other sports where speed, but not necessarily strength, is needed. Mesomorph: With the best of both worlds, mesomorphs are a mix of the other two body types. They gain muscle relatively easily, retain it well, and have a fast metabolism. This means that they can also eat large amounts of food and still remain thin. Most championship bodybuilders are mesomorphs and, as a practical example, Kevin from the Carpe-Diem webcomic is probably an iconic mesomorph. Training by Body Type Endomorph: Despite being loathed by many endomorphs starting on the road to greater fitness, cardiovascular training is a must, and needs to be carried out on a regular basis. As the greatest nemesis of an endomorphic body type is a slow metabolism, it will pay great dividends to space out aerobic exercise into smaller sections each day, rather than in one great big lump on a single day each week. This should also extend to weight training - i.e. circuit training, supersets, etc, are highly recommended in the medium rep range, and although it is very tempting for the endomorph to lift heavier weights to impress others, the aim is to keep metabolism up instead of showing off. A repetition range of 10-15 is usually best. A heart-rate monitor is also ideal, as it will allow you to keep within your target heart rate range and maximize fat burning. Ectomorph: Ectomorphs have a very hard time putting on muscle, so the main aim of training is to cause maximal stimulation of muscle fibers. For this reason, ectomorphs should train with heavy weights and aim for low rep sets, with longer rests between sets (i.e. 2-3 mins). Since metabolism is always high, cardiovascular training is not essential and should be carried out at leisure for short periods of time only. Mesomorphs: As the 'middle man' between the other two body types, training for mesomorphs is fairly predictable. The ideal type of training is often said to involve heavy weights performed with interspersed super sets, compound sets, & giant sets to promote maximum intensity and, therefore, muscle growth. Cardiovascular exercise is still a necessity, but not as much as in endomorphs - 20-30 mins 2-3 times a week should be more than sufficient. Diet by Body Type Endomorph: Troubled by a slow metabolism, endomorphs have to pay far more attention to their diet than the other body types. To enhance metabolism and keep energy levels constant it is generally recommended to eat smaller yet more frequent snacks rather than 3 bigger meals a day. Saturated dietary fat needs to be controlled, but with careful attention paid to carbohydrates, which are often packed into 'low fat' alternatives. A thermogenic supplement may be of help for losing the weight initially, but they all come with their own side effects and are no alternative for a carefully controlled diet in the first place. Ectomorphs: Ectomorphs are victims of their own metabolism, and, for this reason, find it hard to ingest enough calories to maintain growth. For this reason, they need to eat lots of starchy carbohydrates and protein at every meal, with moderate amounts of fat. They also need to eat much more frequently than other people - 6 to 8 times a day is a must to keep nutrients firmly in the body. This is not an excuse to 'pig out' of course - meals should not be junk, but at the same time pasta and red meat is definitely your friend! Supplements such as multivitamins and protein are highly recommended. Mesomorphs: Traditional 'balanced' diets are usually written for the mesomorph in mind, meaning that their diet should consist of lots of good quality protein, moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates, and suitable levels of good quality (i.e. unsaturated) fats. Just like the endomorph, it is generally recommended that the 'main-meals' system is abolished and instead split up into several smaller yet more regular meals. There is, however, no need to go quite as overboard with this as the ectomorphs. Well, that's it! Of course, this article is no substitute for more detailed guides to proper nutrition and exercise, but it should help you identify your body type and put you on the right track. Striving for personal physical perfection is not an easy task, but with hard work and a little knowledge, it can become a whole lot easier! Best of luck!
  5. You're not going to build muscle from sun tanning. But the cause and effect relationship between the sun and tanning perfectly illustrates a point I want to make about working out too much. I must get 3 or 4 emails each day from people wanting to know why they're not building muscle as fast as they'd like. They tell me that they're working each muscle group as often as possible. Well, the thing is, there's no law in weight lifting that says if you double your time, you double your results. Usually, if you double the amount of time you lift, you actually lessen your results. It's because weight lifting is closer to the "Less is More" theory than the "The More The Better" one. So I want to show you how getting a tan actually answers why you do not want to weight train a muscle group more than once each week. Getting a sun tan is a cause and effect relationship. The sun is the cause and the tan is the effect. In other words, the sun is the stimulus and the tan is the result. When you get a tan, what is actually happening is that your melanocytes are producing melanin pigment in reaction to ultraviolet light in sunlight. Ultraviolet light stimulates melanin production. The pigment has the effect of absorbing the UV radiation in sunlight, so it protects the cells from UV damage. You have to expose yourself to UV for a short period of time to activate the melanocytes. By repeating this process over 5 to 7 days pigment builds up in your cells to a level that is protective. But what happens when you get too much sun? That's right, you get a sun burn, something you do not want to happen. Too much of the stimulus leads to a negative result. So the key is to find the right amount of sun for the desired effect. Too little sun results in no tan and too much sun results in a sun burn. So, how does this relate to building muscle? Muscle growth happens by overloading a muscle with heavy weight and then allowing it to rest and recuperate. In this case, the lifting of heavy weight is the stimulus and, if the environment is properly set up, the result is lean muscle growth. The proper "environment" for muscle growth is rest and proper nutrition (high protein, moderate carbs, plenty of water). If you train a muscle group (biceps, triceps, etc) more than once each week, it does not get a chance to recuperate and will not grow or become stronger. It's like going back out in the sun too much. Overexposure to the sun leads to a burn. Overexposure to lifting leads to overtraining. When overtraining occurs, muscle growth and strength gains come to a screeching halt. So to maximize muscle growth and keep that "anabolic window of opportunity" intact, you definitely want to train a muscle group once each week. Too much weight training (stimulus) will produce negative results. If you do not allow your muscles to rest, recover, and get ready for the next workout, you're doing the same thing as if you went back out into the sun too much. Too much of something can produce negative results as much as too little of something. So if you want to start building more muscle, start working on your tan ;-) ---------- Article Source: Shawn Lebrun @ http://www.articlerich.com Learn more about eating and training to build muscle and get the body you've always wanted. Check out fitness trainer and natural bodybuilder Shawn Lebrun's proven muscle building programs: Shawn Lebrun's Muscle Building Programs
  6. Muscular Exercise & The Rebuilding Cycle Strenuous muscular exercise in the gym leads to structural damage in the skeletal muscle cells. This causes calcium to leak out of the muscle which activates enzymes that break down the proteins in the muscle fibers, causing the usual inflammatory response that presents itself as water retention around the affected muscle fibers and pain/ache. So... why is this a good thing? Well, when the body rebuilds the muscle fibers damaged by exercise it also increases the amount of intramuscular connective tissue in the local muscle fibers, and causes a hypertrophy in the tissue (i.e. it grows bigger). This leads to bigger, better, and more impressive looking muscles. So... why can't you exercise really often and watch your muscles surge with power? Well, the fact remains that the body only grows in size and strength when its resting, and it is widely accepted that the process of regeneration takes at least 36hours to complete... or even up to 30 days if more substantial muscle damage has occurred! This makes it important to resist the urge to over train, ensure adequate nutrition, and get sufficient rest/sleep. But how do you know if you are overtraining? What are the physical symptoms? This will now be discussed. Overtraining Syndrome Overtraining is defined clinically as an imbalance between muscular stresses and the body's ability to adapt. The most important side effects to the bodybuilder include subsequent losses in strength/fitness, but can also present as the following problems: Physical Symptoms: Elevated waking pulse rate Elevated morning blood pressure Increased joint and muscle-aches Headaches and tremors Tiredness Insomnia Listlessness Chronic fatigue Loss or decrease in appetite Increased risk of Injury Illness Susceptibility to colds and flu Insatiable thirst or dehydration Frequent minor infections Altered function of the endocrine, immune, and central nervous systems. Psychological Symptoms: Apathy Irritability Mood and sleep disturbances Depression & Anxiety Disorders Lack of concentration Lack of appetite. No diagnostic clinical tool exists to definitively diagnose overtraining, but you should be concerned if more than 5 symptoms exist without another defined cause. It should be borne in mind that in addition to these problems, overtraining increases the levels of Cortisol in the body - a hormone that generally leads to a catabolic (i.e. muscle LOSING) state. Cortisol is the ultimate enemy of the bodybuilder, and levels should be kept to a minimum whenever possible! Preventing Overtraining There are many principles involved in preventing overtraining, so for this section I will rely almost entirely on a nice bullet-point list: Train body parts hard, but remember that they take some time to recover. For this reason, leave a bare minimum of 3 days before working the same muscle group again (or up to a week if you have especially intense workouts). Keep workouts no longer than 45 minutes each. Ensure adequate relaxation and sleep. This is pretty self explanatory, but for the sake of students and other insomniacs I will state that 8hours sleep is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED at a base minimum. Ensure that your protein intake is sufficient enough to cover the added train on tissue/muscle synthesis. Protein deficiency is relatively uncommon in the developed world, but may be a problem for vegetarians or those on restricted diets. Carbohydrates are essential to provide the energy for your workouts and offset the effects of cortisol on protein degredation. Ensure that you ingest carbohydrates two hours before and directly after training to help your muscles remain stocked up with energy and promote growth. I shouldn't need to state this, of course, but I'm talking about complex carbohydrates here - simple carbs will give you a sugar rush and probably make you feel worse in the long run. Make gradual changes in intensity rather then rushing headlong into super-high intensity workouts. This may take some self-control with people new to weightlifting, but by exercising restraint you'll experience better results and greatly reduce the probability of injury. Be flexible and keep your workouts varied. In addition to keeping you interested, this will work different areas of muscle groups and prevent site-specific overtraining. Don't be afraid to take the occasional week off from training. In addition to allowing your body to fully recooperate, you'll renew your enthusiasm and come back to the following week bristling with new ideas and energy. Try to relax generally in all aspects of life. Stress and anxiety increases the release of cortisol and hastens the onset of an over trained state. By remaining mellow you'll be able to achieve better gains and feel happier when achieving them too! Conclusion Bodybuilders tend to be very determined individuals, but it is important to ensure that you don't get tunnel vision and become blind to the warning signs of overtraining. Continually reassess yourself during your training and if you suspect that you are not realizing your training goals, check the listed signs for overtraining to ensure that it is not your problem. Remember that an injury caused by putting yourself in an over trained state can involve weeks (if not months) of recovery - time that would be better spent making more cautious yet continual gains. Good luck! References THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 29 - NO.5 - MAY 2001 Lehmann MJ, Lormes W, Opitz-Gress A. (1997). Training and Overtraining: An Overview and Experimental Results in Endurance Sports. Journal of Sports Medicine Physical Fitness, 37(1):7-17. Stone MH, Pierce KC, Sands WA, Stone ME (2006). Weightlifting: Program Design. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 28 (2), 10-17.
  7. 1. You need to drastically cut your calories to lose weight and build muscle. False. You need to actually eat more food, it just has to be better food and smaller portions. The goal is to increase metabolism and this can be done by eating a smaller meal every 3 hours. If you reduce calories by too much, your metabolism will actually slow down, causing you to hold onto stored fat. That is why diets DO NOT WORK!!! My clients eat more food and still keep losing body fat. Eating often keeps metabolism running smooth and it helps keep nutrients on tap for your body to utilize in the repair of muscle. Not only that, building muscle without enough calories is impossible. It takes calories (energy) to build muscle. 2. Aerobic exercise should be done every day. False. Over-training can be done by doing too much cardio as well as too much weight training. Doing anything everyday will have a negative impact on your muscle building results. When do you rest? Imagine yourself going to your job and working 7 days a week, 365 days a year. How long until you go crazy? Keep cardio to 2-3 sessions per week. Any more than that and you negatively impact your muscle building and your recovery time between workouts. 3. The longer the aerobic session the better. False. It's not the duration, it's the intensity level of what you are doing. Again, more is not better. Doing something better is better. So instead of doing long, drawn-out cardio sessions, make them short (no more than 30 minutes) and intense (work harder!) This will bring about better muscle building results. 4. You need to spend hours a day, many days a week weight training to see results. False. This is the quickest way not to see results. The process of building muscle is fairly easy. You just lift weights to stimulate muscle growth and then you allow that muscle to recuperate before you train it again and then you try to lift a bit more the next workout. Keep workouts under an hour and try not to weight train more than 4-5 days a week. Adopt the "more is NOT better philosophy" to all you do. 5. Ab stimulators and energizers will give you a great set of Abs. False. Abs, just like any other muscle group, need to be worked with resistance training in order for them to develop. Not to mention you need to do cardio to help burn off fat around the midsection and focus on proper nutrition to make sure you keep the fat off. Abs are developed through overload and these electric stimulators do not overload the muscle. Ab stimulators create involuntary contractions. This may help the therapeutic effect on abdominal muscles but not the muscle building process. These will do nothing for the abs, plain and simple. They will work your wallet more than the abs. 6. You need to work a muscle more than once a week. False. If done well and intensely, a muscle will not need to be worked more than once a week. In fact, you may get less results if you train a muscle group directly more than once a week. Muscles need rest and recovery time in order to grow and get stronger. If you are training them all the time, they will not get the needed rest. It's like trying to get a good tan when you are always sunburned. These are a few of the top myths I've found floating around the internet. These myths have a negative impact on your muscle building goals, so avoid them at all costs! ---------- Article Source: Shawn Lebrun @ http://www.articlerich.com Learn more about eating and training to build muscle and get the body you've always wanted. Check out fitness trainer and natural bodybuilder Shawn Lebrun's proven muscle building programs: Shawn Lebrun's Muscle Building Programs
  8. What age should they start? This is more of an ethical question. A child can start training with weights at any age, but the real question is: should they? Providing they have a well-designed program and constant supervision by a qualified trainer they will achieve benefits from weight training. But before you do start your child with weights consider what they are trying to achieve. If it is to improve their sport, then you will find that concentrating more on the skills of the sport, rather than strength will usually provide faster improvements. If you are looking to build muscle and strength, then it’s no good starting them with weights until they start producing testosterone. This is usually between 14-17 years. Making Weight Training Safe for Kids Make sure your child has a positive experience with exercise by following these guidelines: All equipment should be safe and inspected regularly for defects. Training equipment should be located in an uncrowded area. The child must have the emotional maturity to follow instructions relating to technique and safety. There must be adequate supervision of the child by an experienced and registered Trainer to ensure correct technique is used. Training should start with a thorough warm-up and finished with a thorough cool-down. No weight should be added to the exercise until the child can perform it with correct technique. Full range of motion must be performed on all exercises. If this cannot be done then the weight is too heavy. No maximum lifts or competitions should be attempted. Full body programs are advised. These should be done 2-3 times per week. The child should perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. The weight should only be increased when the child can perform 15 repetitions with correct technique. Make It Fun!!!!! ---------- Article Source: Raymond Kelly @ http://www.ArticleWorld.net Ray has worked extensively in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years. He has a degree in Exercise Science and is a Level 2 Strength and Conditioning coach. http://www.free-online-health.com
  9. First of all, there are may reasons to get involved in a physical training program... and you must first determine yours is you are to choose correctly. Some people's physical training program are targeted toward muscle growth, others toward burning fat, others toward gaining strength, others to meet general fitness goals, etc. I personally believe a physical training program should be used to improve the physical abilities of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, power, speed, flexibility, balance, coordination, agility, accuracy and toughness. A physical training program should improve the physical abilities that are needed to face the challenges of sport, work and life with excellence... basically, allowing us to become better suited human beings for the unpredictable environment in which we live. Here are the guidelines I use to develop, analyze and evaluate my physical training program: A physical training program should commit to functional strength, superior conditioning and fitness excellence OPTIMIZATION... Not muscular size and aerobic conditioning MAXIMIZATION. Your physical training program must address the improvement of all the physical abilities... and not just one physical ability at the expense of all others.The sad fact is, most people get caught up in becoming the best at one particular physical ability... and completely ignore the others. Who cares how strong you are when the life challenge calls for balance and flexibility. True physical fitness is a compromise between all the physical abilities and the seamless transition from on ability to another. A physical training program should continue performance improvement through deliberate variation of training methods, intensities and stresses... Not monotonous, unsustainable and long term routines. There is no one best, one size fits all physical training program that universally fits everyone's goals, needs, abilities and limitations. Use variety to produce an environment that keeps the body improving... long term routine will only bring about limited results. A physical training program concentrate on quality physical training and proper technique and then increase the quantity of your training... Leave your ego out of your workout program. Your physical training program is where you work on your weaknesses and seek improvement... and not a place to show off. Make sure to perform the exercises correctly before increasing the quantity. A physical training program should focus on core strength and developing a body that functions as one complete unit... Just say "no" to machines. Isolation exercises on machines teach you to do isolation exercises on machines... a skill which is of little value in the real world. Make your core strong by including it in all your exercises and use the body as one complete unit... just like you would in the challenges of sport, work and life. A physical training program should train movements through compound exercises, single limb and alternating limb exercises... Not muscles through "isolation" exercises. Who cares how big your muscles are if you can't use them to complete a task in the real world. Train movements that translate into real world performance improvements. A physical training program should train muscular strength, muscular power and muscular endurance for functional strength improvement... not muscular size for appearance. Strength training should address all aspects of strength... and not be treated as the secondary effect of size seeking. It is better to be stronger than you look... Than to look stronger than you are. A physical training program should train the anaerobic, anaerobic lactate and aerobic energy pathways for superior conditioning under the greatest set of circumstances... Now only one energy pathway for "specialized" conditioning. Metabolic conditioning training should address all the energy pathways for versatile conditioning. Extreme aerobic conditioning is not the measure of fitness excellence. Sport, work and life challenges are made up of intense flurries of activity broken up be periods of less intensity and rest... not one long, continuous, monotonous, rhythmic activity. A physical training program should train the physical abilities of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, power, speed, flexibility, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy and toughness for fitness excellence... Not just one or two abilities creating unbalanced fitness performance. True fitness is not the maximization of one physical skill at the expense of all others... But the optimization of all physical skills in fluid interaction. Fitness is a compromise. A physical training program should fortify your strengths while concentrating on improving your weaknesses for the greatest over-all fitness improvement. It is a waste of valuable physical training time to spend all your energy trying to improve your strength while your weaknesses go untrained. Greater fitness improvement can be made by turning your weaknesses into newfound strengths. A physical training program should be personalized, short, intense and frequent. Keep the training sessions short and intense for the best results... but don't forget to throw in some medium intensity, medium duration and high intensity, long duration training for variety. Varying your workouts this way will allow you to work out more frequently without the fear of overtraining and injury... and prepare you for a greater amount of physical circumstances in the bargain. Ultimately, any physical training program must be personalized to the goals, needs, abilities and limitations of the individual. These are the guidelines I use to keep my physical training program on track and the physical improvements coming that will allow me to meet the challenges of sport, work and life with excellence. So how does your physical training program stand up to these guidelines? ---------- Article Source: Eddie Lomax @ http://www.articlerich.com Coach Lomax is a strength, conditioning and fitness coach dedicated to building better humans for sport, work and life. Learn more at Optimum Physical Training or take his FREE Tabata Calisthenics Workout Mini Course.
  10. Muscle is a very metabolically active tissue. It takes a lot of work for your body to maintain it. Fat, on the other hand, takes no work to maintain. It just sits there, lumped together like, well, fat. This is an important concept in fat loss because the more lean muscle tissue you can build, the more calories that will be burned off, without you having to do any extra work. Your muscle will burn off more calories 24/7 than if you didn’t have that extra lean muscle. This makes the case for why weight training, also known as resistance training, is so important to include in any weight loss program. So if you can add a couple pounds of lean muscle to your frame, you’re going to burn off more calories, even while sleeping, than if you didn’t have that extra muscle. The more calories you burn off at rest, the more likely that the calories burned off during exercise will create a calorie deficit in your body. A calorie deficit is a must for weight loss to occur. Weight gain occurs from consuming more calories than your body burns off during the day. Since there is no deficit of calories, your body does not have to dip into stored body fat to get energy. In fact, due to the surplus, it stores the extra calories as body fat. If you create a calorie deficit, meaning, your body has used all of the energy from calories it has received from food and it still needs more (like to support muscle tissue) it is going to go after your fat stores to get that energy. Fat is a highly condensed form of energy. So, when your body starts taking fat from fat stores to use as energy, that is how weight loss occurs. Weight training may benefit any weight loss program, possibly more than any other component. Weight training can be a future investment for permanent weight loss and weight maintenance because as you continue to lose stored body fat and gain lean muscle, your muscle will continue to aid in the calorie burning process. As there becomes less stored body fat to use as energy, the muscle tissue will start to directly utilize the calories you consume on a daily basis. Since there is now more muscle tissue than there is fat to utilize calories, chances of storing any excess calories as body fat is greatly reduced. Resistance training may offer the most benefit of all to women past the age of menopause. It can help prevent or reverse the effects of osteoporosis by strengthening and maintaining bone density often lost by diet alone. So how much resistance training is necessary for long-term weight loss to be successful and to increase your lean muscle and strength? Not as much as you would probably think. In fact, any more weight/resistance training than 2 to 3 hours a week may be counterproductive. The best results I have witnessed while in the personal training field come from 3 sessions a week with weights, less than an hour each session. Most people like the Monday, Wednesday, Friday approach to weight training. This leaves Tuesday and Thursday for cardio, which should be done separately from weight training. The key to proper weight training is to establish a good foundation in which to build upon, much like building a solid foundation for a house. So hire a trainer or check out a good program online. You can find my proven muscle building and fat loss program below. Bottom line, if you want to lose stubborn body fat, start building muscle and you'll soon see the pounds disappear. ---------- Article Source: Shawn Lebrun @ http://www.articlerich.com Learn more about eating and training to build muscle and get the body you've always wanted. Check out fitness trainer and natural bodybuilder Shawn Lebrun's proven muscle building programs: Shawn Lebrun's Muscle Building Programs
  11. In the end, only your wallet looks slimmer! Think about this for a moment. How does your body know to burn fat from just your stomach? And how funny would you look if, after doing a few hundred crunches a day, you had a "ripped" set of abs but the rest of you remained fat? When you gain fat weight, your body stores it according to your genetics. Some people store fat around the middle, while others store it in the hip, legs and butt. Ab exercises - or any strength training exercises for that matter - have one purpose and one purpose only...to strengthen your muscles. Yes, exercise helps burn calories but nutrition plays the biggest role in your weight loss efforts. When you lose fat, you lose it all over, with your trouble spots being the last to disappear. Unfair? Maybe. Frustrating? You bet. So how do you rid yourself of that pesky pooch? Combining a balanced nutrition plan with regular strength training and cardiovascular exercise provides the quickest and most reliable results. Some important guidelines for weight loss success include... Eat 5-6 small meals a day, never going more than 4 hours without eating something. Doing so helps keep blood sugar levels in check which in turn allows your body to burn fat more efficiently. And in the long run helps minimize your risk of developing type II diabetes. Eat adequate amounts of protein with each meal and snack. Unlike carbs and fat, your body can not store protein for future use. So you must provide it with a steady supply throughout the day for proper maintenance and creation of tissue. Eat mainly high quality, fiber-filled veggies and fruit as your carbohydrate choices. Studies show a strong link between obesity and the amount of refined carbohydrates a person eats. Limiting the amount of refined carbs you eat may be the single most effective thing you can do. Include healthy fat at each meal and snack. It will help keep hunger pains and cravings to a minimum. Be sure to include Omega 3 fats in your diet. Your body needs them to survive and thrive but does not produce them on its own. Cut out all drinks containing sugar. That includes pop, sweetened ice tea and all fruit juice. Yes, juice. You may be surprised to know that 8 oz. of orange juice has the same number of grams of sugar as 8 oz. of regular soft drink. And if you're concerned about missing your vitamin C, take a pill...a multivitamin pill that is. Perform 2-3 strength training workouts each week that work the entire body. For many busy people, full-body workouts promote consistency and ensure that all the major muscle groups get equal amounts of attention. Finally, work towards being able to complete three to five cardiovascular workouts per week. And be sure to work at the right intensity. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being all out effort, strive to work in the 7-9 range for most of your workout. When I talk to people who exercise regularly but are not making any progress, it's often because they don't work hard enough. Some people ask me if you have to workout to lose weight. My reply is "No". But it helps build strong muscles and bones. Something we all should be concerned with, especially women. Exercise also helps improve flexibility -another important component of overall health and fitness. Others would rather just exercise and not change the way they eat. Unfortunately, this approach rarely works. When you can eat a 250 calorie chocolate bar in less than five minutes but need to walk for more than half an hour at four miles per hour to burn those calories off, you begin to see the problem with using just exercise to lose weight. The fact of the matter is, you can't outrun your mouth. In the weight loss world, knowledge really is power. The next time you hear or read of a product claiming to give you a flat, sexy stomach, remember that no machine...no ab exercises will do it on its own. You must combine a balanced nutrition plan with an effective exercise program. ---------- Article Source: Curtis Penner @ http://www.articlerich.com "Imagine Never Having To Worry About Your Weight Again" Curtis Penner has created a proven step-by-step system that takes the guesswork out of losing weight and shows you exactly how to take control of your weight once and for all. Find out how and receive a FREE weight loss e-book... => www.BestBodyGuaranteed.com/abs.html.
  12. 1. A Belt: Belts are probably the most used weight lifting accessory. Belts help increase your strength by providing back and ab support during exercises. The tighter the belt, the greater the ab pressure against the spine. This helps keep the spine and your entire torso tight, maximizing your strength and safety. The belt can be used to increase your strength on deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses. Belts allow you to use more weight safely, therefore increasing muscle stimulation and growth. 2. Gloves: Getting blisters or calluses on your hands can prevent you from gripping the weights. They also can help prevent grip slippage. They help you get a better grip on almost all exercises that require pulling or curling movements. A better, stronger grip means a stronger lift. 3. Wraps: Wraps are used to help support the knees. They are best used on maximal lifts and should not be used as a crutch. Most powerlifters use wraps on the knees when squatting and deadlifting. They provide knee support, so you can use more weight in the squat. The key with wraps is to use them for only a few sets and a few reps, since they can stop circulation if used for too long. 4. Straps: When you start using heavy weights on your lifts, it's possible your grip strength will give out before the muscle you're training gives out. When you have weak grip strength, it can limit how much weight you lift on lat pulldowns, deadlifts, and shrugs. Straps can help you gain muscle mass because they allow your arms to act as hooks to lift the weight. Straps prevent grip failure from coming into play before reaching muscle failure on the muscle you're training. You can use cotton straps, nylon straps, and even straps with hooks. 5. Chalk: Like gloves and wraps, chalk is meant to give you that little edge. It helps you grip the weights better, preventing grip slippage or failure. Many times, just by using chalk, you can get 4 to 5 extra reps on an exercise. You can use chalk for your bench press, deadlift, squat, curls, and shrugs. There you have 5 effective tools for increasing your strength and gaining more muscle mass. Any time you can give yourself an edge and allow yourself the chance to lift more weight, you will also gain muscle mass as a result. ---------- Article Source: Shawn Lebrun @ http://www.articlerich.com Learn more about eating and training to build muscle and get the body you've always wanted. Check out fitness trainer and natural bodybuilder Shawn Lebrun's proven muscle building programs: Shawn Lebrun's Muscle Building Programs
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