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Bodybuilding

The Truth Beneath That 6-Pack

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The world of ab training is full of gimmicks and quick-fixes. Learn the truth about getting that coveted 6-pack, even if it’s not what you want to hear!

If you've done more leg lifts than a toll gate or spent more time in a Roman chair than Julius Caesar, but that coveted 6-pack is nowhere to be found, you've probably exhausted Google searching for answers. Ab training seems like a mystery.

Maybe it's because the abs have so many functions and are responsible for so many movements; or perhaps it's the infinite number of ab exercise choices; it could also be all those TV commercials offering the new secret ab weapon for $29.95.

Despite their aura of mystery, ab training questions do have answers. But, before you read any further, let me warn you: some of this information may make you realize you've been wasting a lot of time. Until now, that is.

What Exactly Is A 6-Pack?
abs-myths-2

The abdominal region is made up of several different muscles, but the actual 6-pack that shows through is the rectus abdominis.

It's a single muscle that's long and flat like a small surf board and it runs vertically from your hips to your rib cage.

The 6-pack is formed by the fibrous tendons reinforcing the fascia that covers the muscle.

You could possess abdominal muscles that resemble the underside of an ice cube tray, but if your body fat level isn't low enough, no one will ever see them.

The rectus abdominis has a couple functions. The primary role is "anti-extension" of the spine; the secondary role is to pull the hips toward the chest or the chest toward the hips.

This muscle is made up of mostly slow-twitch fibers, designed for endurance; but it's basically a muscle like any other, and it should be worked with the same principles of muscle building that you would apply to all your other muscle groups.

What's Wrong With My Ab Training?

If you ask 10 fitness experts how to build great abs, I guarantee you'll get vastly different answers. Some say you best grow abs by performing structural exercises like squats, deadlifts and standing overhead lifts.

While these exercises are some of the most effective for building overall strength - and involve just about every muscle in your body - you still need to single out each muscle group separately for maximum growth.

Another expert would have you do static holds like planks, dead bugs or Supermans. These, too, are worth your effort because they've been shown to improve core stability and protect the spine. But would you try to build any other muscle group with a static hold?

Another strategy I see in most articles, and from most trainers, is a long list of low-intensity ab exercises done one after the other. This adds up to hundreds of reps. I guess the intention is to make trainees believe that never-ending reps burn fat right off their bellies.

I hope there's no one out there who still believes in the myth of 'spot reduction.' Sadly, the general rule of body fat is "the first place you gain fat is the last place you lose it."

I often see experts advising various leg or knee lift movements. Let's get one thing straight: ab muscles are not connected to your legs! Hip flexors are responsible for pulling your legs forward.

Don't believe me? Take this test: Stand up straight and relax your abs. Press your fingers into your abs so you would feel if they activate. Now raise one leg up in front of you. Did you feel any flexion in your abs? No!

If your spine isn't moving, you're only using your abs for stabilization. For leg lifts or knee lifts to hit your abs, you need to crunch your hips toward your shoulders.

Like the rectus abdominis, hip flexors bring your hips to your shoulders, and your shoulders to your hips. Hip flexors pull the legs forward; they also pull the torso toward the legs.

If your legs are stabilized in a Roman chair or your feet are anchored for old-fashioned sit-ups, chances are you're just holding your abs in a static contraction. Meanwhile, your hip flexors do all the real work.

I see the same situation when someone does cable crunches using a high pulley. They hold their spine in a fixed position and the hip flexors are responsible for all the effort.

So, Which Exercises Are Most Effective?
Lying Knee-Raises

Lie on your back on a flat bench and scoot down so half of your butt hangs off the bench. The edge of the bench should be just at your tailbone.

Grasp both sides of the bench firmly. Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle and your toes should touch the floor. You should feel a stretch in your abs. This is your starting point.

Slowly tense your abs and bring your knees up in an arc until they point up toward the ceiling. Continue to contract your abs, bringing your butt off the bench, until your knees touch your elbows. Hold for a second. This is your finish position. Slowly lower your knees back down and tap your toes on the floor before starting another rep.

This exercise feels like it's performed in two stages, because it actually is.

You cannot isolate the upper and lower abs, so the first stage of this movement emphasizes the lower abs and the second stage hits the upper abs.

Stability Ball Crunches 

ab-crunches-stability-ballTake a wide stance and put your lower back against the top half of the ball. Lower your butt while leaning back and raise your arms over your head. Then, lean your head and your arms all the way back and feel a deep stretch in your abs.

I love the feeling of this stretch and I tend to linger here for a while, not only because it feels good, but because it serves to stretch out the fascia encasing the abs. Your abs are almost always working, but the muscle and fascia never get fully stretched, so take full advantage of this opportunity.

Play around with your positioning on the ball, make adjustments to find that perfect spot. Keep your hands on top of your head, but don't pull on it.

Contract your abs and crunch your shoulders toward your hips, while expelling air from your lungs, until your abs are fully contracted. Hold for a second and slowly lower yourself back down to your fully-stretched position.

I perform my warm-up set without any weight for 20 reps. If you're able to complete this set without any problem, grab a weight and hold it above your head for the next set. Use a dumbbell or plate as if you were doing behind-the-head triceps extensions.

Work up to a weight where you fail at 12 reps. I find that 3-or-4 working sets are all I need. Many gyms have done away with stability balls due to liability issues, but you can perform this same movement lying perpendicular on a flat bench.

Because abs are made of slow-twitch fibers, I wouldn't work them with anything less than eight reps. But, stay below 25.

Should I Add Resistance To My Ab Work?

Some advise against it, claiming it will make your waist wider and your belly protrude. I don't believe this to be true. The rectus abdominis is a thin wall of muscle framed by the fibrous bands of the fascia that retain their shape.

The result of building mass in the muscle is that the individual sections pop out, showing that desired grid pattern. The farther out these sections pop, the more body fat you can carry and still have visible abs.

Twisting - Good Or Bad?

No article on abs is complete without discussing twisting movements. Any twisting or bending sideways involves the obliques. The oblique muscles attach your hips to your ribs and run diagonally on both sides of your trunk.

One of the most popular exercises, aimed at the obliques, is the good-old broomstick twist. What is it supposed to do, and how could it possibly be effective? It's one of those exercises people do because they've seen a lot of other people doing it. They must do something, right? Wrong.

I also see a lot of people doing the dumbbell side bend. My favorite fitness faux pas is when people do side bends with equal weights in each hand. They must have been absent the day this principle was covered in physics class.

Equal weights at each end of a horizontal beam (your shoulders) cancel each other out. The correct way to perform this exercise is to hold a dumbbell in one hand and then work the opposite oblique.

Stay away from the seated trunk rotation machine unless you want a thicker waistline and harmful shearing forces on your spine.

If you want to build oblique muscles, fine. Just know that oblique resistance training builds thickness in the muscle. This may produce a blocky waistline.

Ever seen a picture of a dude with ripped up abs and love handles? Those love handles aren't fat, they're well-developed obliques. If you're a physique athlete, or an aspiring one, developing your obliques isn't going to win you any contests.

Building muscle is what i like to talk about. If your aim is to build a solid body, then my posts would be very beneficial to you. I always want to know your opinion, so don't hesitate to drop a line below or contact me on my G+ or Fb page.

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Bodybuilding

The Most Effective Growth Hormone Protocol for Hypertrophy

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The Most Effective Growth Hormone Protocol for Hypertrophy

Would you like it is equipped with an effective method that will get bodybuilders to glance at your with confusion? But, it will then be followed by an utter irritation? Actually, you need to understand that growth hormone will cause the lean body mass to increase.

This is also believed to be highly anabolic. But, it will never ever grow the skeletal muscle tissue.

Introduction to Muscle Growth:

 

You will first need to understand about hyperplasia, hypertrophy, and anabolism. These are sometimes used interchangeably.

Still, there are some major differences between them. For example, if something is considered to be anabolic, it does not necessarily mean it will cause the growth of the skeletal muscle tissues.

And, only because something is believed to be catabolic, it does not mean that it will not anymore contribute to the growth of the skeletal muscle tissues in a positive way.

Introduction to Anabolism:

Introduction to Anabolism:

Anabolism is defined as a state whereas nitrogen is retained in the lean body mass. This could either be a stimulation of the protein synthesis or the suppressed rate of proteolysis. This is also a term for a possible protein breakdown.

The measurements of the lean body mass include free water and total body in their calculations. The growth hormone is also expected at increasing.

Even if you read a research or a study claiming that lean body mass is increased by the treatment of GH, it is not assumed that it is the same as the skeletal muscle tissue is increased.

Skeletal Muscle is Believed to be Highly Complex:

Skeletal muscle is actually believed to be a highly complex organ. This is also a plastic tissue that could adapt to the changing and functional demands.

With the increase in the mass of the skeletal muscle, it could actually be done by way of 1 or 2 primary mechanisms like hyperplasia or hypertrophy.

What is Hypertrophy?

What is Hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy is basically defined as a process wherein an increase in the skeletal muscle mass occurs by way of an increase in the size of the cross-sectional area.

The process of hypertrophy is mediated by a lot of factors with an exercise-induced hypertrophy. This also became a special interest to the bodybuilders.

This is also mediated by way of combining muscle damage, metabolic stress, and mechanical tension.

Hormone of Growth and Its Discovery:

It was already past one-hundred years until hormone growth was discovered. It was then later on identified, extracted and isolated from the pituitary gland of humans in the year of 1940. After ten years, a hypothesis was proposed that the GH peptide was not actually what causes growth.

But, it is the group of serum factors that control the GH. Prior to the serum factors, they were considered as the sulfation factors. This is to further indicate that the substances are controlled by the GH. In this hypothesis, it helped researchers in reconciling the growth of somatic glands.

It was actually regulated by a specific substance that is secreted by a pituitary gland. This also simultaneously reinforce that the secreted substance from the pituitary glands did not actually act on the targeted issues that promote growth.

Effective Growth Hormone Protocol for Hypertrophy:

It is recommended to follow an effective growth hormone protocol for hypertrophy. It is required to control the estrogen balance by way of a stack design.

Nevertheless, DHT derivatives will not be useful in preventing aromatization. They are present to increase the androgens that are found in the body. But, they do not increase the estrogen levels.

Long-Acting Insulin Being Suggested:

Long-Acting Insulin

The idea of following long-acting insulin is quite intriguing like planning on more frequent and multiple than every six to eight hours.

Most will also eat a lot pretty regularly. It does not actually take more insulin in order to re-sensitize the pathways.

In addition to that, it will take a lot of guesswork from the insulin/GH timing protocols. It will also simplify the CHO consumption including the risks of the hypoglycemia that will go down.

But, having an elevated basal insulin level for about twenty-four to thirty-six hours could bring out undesirable effects. Thus, you need to understand that there are certain cons and pros for you to weigh.

Must Read: Insulin Usage For Gaining Muscle Mass in Bodybuilding

Do Some Sort of Self-Experimentation:

It will be a good idea to do some sort of self-experimentation. This is prior to the effective growth hormone protocol for hypertrophy. This way, you will be able to get your own anecdotes.

In some articles, they shed off some light on the reason for the right timing of insulin that will not be actually as important. This is because it related to the direct effects of hypertrophy.

Post-Workout is also More Ideal:

It is also highly considered to follow a post-workout activity. This is even more ideal in order that there will no longer be risks to face when battling hypoglycemia, especially during a particular workout.

It will also be a good idea to use LOG-type insulin for some sort of nutrient shuttling along with a post-workout meal.

Click Here to Find out More & Price of Post-Workout

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Your Blueprint For Building Bigger Shoulders

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Your Blueprint For Building Bigger Shoulders

The old adage remains to be true that shoulders make a man. In this regard, the shoulders are a muscle group that really screams strength and power. You cannot even hide them in a hoodie, jacket, and t-shirt. There is, of course, no one who would want to hide them. That is due to the reason that shoulders were once regarded as a symbol of virility and masculinity for men. They are even included in the wish list of a lot of people. With wider and bigger shoulders, expect that one also has his or her slimmer and smaller waist.

In this article, you will discover and learn more about the blueprint for building bigger shoulders:

Make Delts as a Number One Training Priority:

Make Delts as a Number One Training Priority:

If you really aim to build bigger shoulders, you will need to work on your muscle group. This will need to be a priority in the entire training for quite a limited time period. In the ten-week period, you will need to work on your shoulders two times a week. Also, include working on every muscle group once.

As long as you devote your energy and time to your shoulders, you will be able to adapt to grow stronger and larger. But, remember that you could only force your shoulders for only quite long. If you will continue this one for over a long time period, you might over-train your muscles. And thus, you might not expect to see the results after. That is the reason why the length of this training is cut short.

10-Week Shoulder Specialization:

You will need to consider in mind shoulder prioritization split. For day 1, you will need to prioritize your shoulders. For day 2, you will have to prioritize your legs. For day 3, you will have to consider in mind the biceps and back. For day 4, focus on triceps and chest. For day 5, you will need to take some rest. For day 6, you will need to focus on your shoulders. For day 7, you need to take some rest.

RELATED ARTICLE:: 18 Week Chin Up & Dip Program for An Impressive Upper Body

Weekly Schedule Giving you a Chance to Make the Fastest Shoulder Gains:

In this weekly schedule, it will give you a chance to make the fastest shoulders gains in just ten weeks. After the heavy workout, you will need to have your body completely rested. It will also be followed by a specific leg workout. This way, your shoulders will be able to recover. As per the 2nd workout, it will, of course, be far more demanding. This is especially true when it comes to recovery and execution.

2 Shoulder Workouts to Try Every Week:

You need to keep in mind that every day, it will begin with a warm-up. That way, your mind, Cand body will be ready for what is ahead on that day.

  • Heavy Shoulder Workout
  • 2 sets and 20 repetitions of Smith Machine Overhead Shoulder Press
  • 2 sets and 15 repetitions of Seated Dumbbell Press
  • 8 reps when seated on Side Lateral Raise. Stand and then repeat 8 some more. Add weight while working with the sets.
  • 8 reps of cable seated lateral raise. Reduce the weight and do some 8 more.
  • 3 sets and 8 reps of Smith Machine Overhead Shoulder Press.
  • 5 sets and 10 to 12 repetitions of Reverse Machine Flyes
  • Pumping Shoulder Workout
  • Superset
  • 4 sets and 10 to 12 repetitions of Power Partials for increasing weight and decreasing weight
  • 4 sets and 12 to 15 repetitions Upright Cable Row
  • 4 sets of Superset

Essential Tips to Include in this Program

The following are the essential tips to include in this program:

Never Include Direct Front-Delt Work:

Front-Delt

There is actually no such thing as anterior-deltoid work. If you will follow any pressing movement, you will expect that the front delts will be worked hard on. To develop an imbalanced shoulder, one will need to develop the front delts, the side delts, and the non-existent rear delts.

More pressing movements will be included in this program in focusing on the front delts. Put more of your effort and energy into the 2 delt heads. That way, you will expect to get bigger and bolder shoulders.

Take Care of the Cuffs:

Cuffs

You will need to work out on your rotator cuffs two times in a week. Cable internal rotation and external rotation exercises will help you to stay strong. These might somehow be tedious to consider in mind. But, it will only take a few minutes to do it.

Better yet, do some back squats with the rotator cuff. You will observe how significant this part of the shoulder. You will improve your shoulders only if you keep the cuff muscle injury-free and strong.

Never Skip Working the Rear Delts:

Never skip working the rear delts. If you really aim for having impressive shoulders, full and round, working on the 3 heads of deltoid muscles is essential. Work them really hard and include them as part of the routines.

Concentrate Further on the Feel and Form of the Lateral Raises:

Later raises are not classified as power movements. They are not also intended for heavyweights. You will need to keep them in mind as something like finesse movements. They are intended to isolate a specific muscle.

Now, if you will make use of momentum and all other muscles just so you could raise the weights, you will not feel the medial deltoids contracting and firing. This is the time that the growth really comes from.

Better yet, live them all explosively. Hold them in just a split-second with pause on top. Control them as much as possible. Lower them down afterward. If you will lift a lot, you will not practice this one. Just go light and just focus on your movement pattern.

The good thing is that there is no one who will ask about it. You need to do the laterals right. They will for sure ask you about the ways you follow on your shoulders!

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Bodybuilding

The Perfect Chest Workout Routine for Power and Strength

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If your goal is to build a powerful and big chest, it will help if you follow the perfect chest workout routine in order to avoid wrong repetitions and exercises. You need to remember that with wrong repetitions and exercises, you will eventually lose all your efforts and gain poor results.

Good thing, this article will introduce you to the perfect routine for more hypertrophy, power and strength that you want to achieve from the very beginning.

Some of the Common Issues That Concern Previous Chest Workout

Chest Workout Focuses only on the Middle Part of the Chest

You will notice that one of the common issues in a chest workout is only in focusing on the middle part of the chest. And, mostly all workout enthusiasts will do a dumbbell fly and barbell bench press. One should not only be limited to these equipment’s.

The perfect chest workout routine is something that focuses also on developing each part of the pectorals. In addition to that, the uppermost part of the chest called as pectrolis major must also be worked on completely.

The upper chest must be developed completely to be able to notice something in your body. This will also give people the impression that you have a bigger chest.

Huge Chests are Developed Just by the Use of High Reps and Pec Flys Machines

When you work on your upper chest, you will look so awesome upon wearing V-neck. Other people also believed that huge chests are mainly developed through the consistent use of high repetitions and pec flys machines. This is not always the case.

Below are the ways to consider in mind for a chest workout routine.

Begin with the Right Mindset

In almost any endeavor that one chooses to enter in, it will always be essential to have the right mindset. This fuels the success of the workout, for instance. As you start to believe having a big chest, thinking of achieving it in the end is also essential. Without the right frame of thinking, it will mostly be difficult for one to reach this goal.

Develop Both Pec Minor and Pec Major

You need to closely understand that it is necessary to develop both pec minor and pec major of your chest. By doing so, you will expect of bringing a dramatic result on strength and aesthetics. You will need to follow a strategic approach when it comes to keeping in mind chest training. This will give you the maximum results as far as development of all sections of the chest is concerned.

Never Forget the Clavicular Pectoralis

Never ever forget working on the Clavicular Pectoralis which can be found in the uppermost part of the chest. If you follow a specific chest workout, you need to emphasize working on this part up to the middle and lower portions.

Follow the Three Rules of Training to Achieve the Perfect Chest Workout

Below are the following rules of training that you need to keep in mind in achieving the perfect chest workout.

  • Heavy Resistance & Progressive Overload.

You need to specifically work on training the pectorals by means of a heavy resistance & progressive overload. In this regard, you will need to lift heavy equipment’s in three to eight repetitions for chest exercises.

It will help to follow a few simple exercises like barbell with bench press, dumbbells with bench press, barbell with bench press and more. These will all be needed to stimulate your growth and hypertrophy.

You will need to do the bench pressing including chest related exercises to one repetition maximum.

  • Huge Basic Lifts.

To achieve more power and strength, it will be necessary to focus on compound and huge lifts. Exercises that involved the use of pec flyes and pec dec machines will be effective during the last part of the workout. This will help add extra volume on your chest. But, you should never just focus on them.

If you aim to grow your chest, it will be essential to be committed on exercises that include dumbbell incline press and barbell, dumbbell bench press and barbell and heavy dips. There should be no pec decs and machines unless you already worked well on the heavy press machines.

  • Full Development of the Chest

You need to completely work on the uppermost part and the lower part of the chest. This is one of the most significant rules when it comes to working the chest. The muscles of the upper chest are most stubborn when it comes to growth. That is why you need to focus on these areas all the time.

As per the estimate, it must be fifty to fifty development of the lower-mid pectoral development of the muscles. The chest workouts can be considered as the best if the lower and upper sections grew equally.

Workout Routine for Chest Perfection

The following are the lists of the workout routine that will promise you with chest perfection:

  • Barbell Bench Press. Sets of Four, Repetitions of Five to Eight and Rest Time of Ninety to One-hundred eighty Seconds.
  • Weighted Dips. Sets of Four, Repetitions of Eight to Twelve and Rest Time of Two Minutes.
  • Barbell Incline Bench Press. Sets of Four, Repetitions of Six to Ten and Rest Time of Ninety Seconds

These are all exercises that you need to follow consistently. There should be no super-sets, drop-sets, tri-sets. Once you try any of these exercises, you will prove that they build your muscles. These will help you to fully focus on what you want to achieve. However, you should save all your effort for the last set of every exercise. If you can do bench press two-hundred twenty-five for five repetitions, do two-hundred five to two-hundred ten for four sets of five.

Add Supplements as Part of your Routine

If you want to jump up your training, you need to mix it with supplements to power up your body. And, this is the only way that will let you to train and then recover more. There are supplements that can be purchased on the market but are only a complete joke. There are still some that utilizes the best ingredients backed by technology and science. That is why you need to take them for the best workout performance!

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