Monday, March 22, 2010

5 Strategies For Getting Started In Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is not just a sport; it is an investment in your body and your life. If you think it is as simple as getting in a few reps at the gym every now and then, you?ll be sadly mistaken when you can?t see results or you begin to injury yourself. Instead of putting yourself through that torture, make sure that you know what to do and how to do it in bodybuilding first. Here are some tips to getting started with bodybuilding.

* Find A Great Gym. While you can purchase a membership to many gyms, that doesn?t mean that it is a good one. If you are serious about bodybuilding, you?ll need more than just a standard gym offering yoga. You need a gym that is packed with the equipment that you need and all of which is in good solid working condition.

* Find A Trainer. The best way to bulk up is to use a professional trainer. If you can afford the investment, interview a few people and find the one that challenges and motivates you the best. Sure, you know what needs done and you know you can do it by yourself, but when you use a professional, you?ll see results faster and safer.

* Safety is necessary no matter what. While you want to push yourself for the next set of reps or you want to go just a little longer, you need to realize that too much can tear muscles, and possibly injure them permanently. This is destructive of what you are trying to do. Develop a personal plan, hopefully with the help of a professional, to help you reach your bodybuilding goals.

* Eat right. Not only do you need to eat a good amount of food, but it is also important to eat the right foods. Your body will crave meats and proteins as it builds muscle. If you don?t give it good stuff, though, you?ll hinder its ability to expand and grow.

* Dedicate yourself. Not only is it enough to get to the gym, work with the trainer and eat right, but you?ll also need to make sure that you are 110% motivated and dedicated to becoming the bodybuilder that you want to be.

Successful bodybuilding can only come from hard work.

Marcus Thompson is an editor at where you can find more articles about fitness and exercise.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bodybuilding: Volume Manipulation - Overtraining for Over-Growth

"How often should I go to the gym"? This is one question that always comes up in consultation with individuals seeking improvements in size OR strength. Unfortunately the answer is far from simple, and even the recommendations from various strength coaches can be completely opposite depending on the philosophy of the training advisor.

One may suggest that training frequency be reduced in order to allow increased recovery and sufficient muscular adaptation following a training stimulus. Increased rest may also be planned to prevent OR avoid a training plateau (when performance no longer improves despite administration of a training stimulus). The opposing view is to increase the training frequency in order to apply a greater stimulus to the muscle and demand a greater level of adaptation. Therefore, basing a workout design solely on training volume is not optimal.

Certainly, it is important to design the program with sufficient rest and recovery intervals so that the optimal training adaptations will be obtained from the effort given in the weight room. In fact, at the end of a training session, an individual is gets weaker throughout the workout. It is the recovery period between training sessions where tissue adaptation occurs and enables the individual to return stronger and bigger for the next training session.

The training volume of each individual workout can also be manipulated to allow for greater recovery OR an increased training stimulus. A reduction in the amount of sets OR repetitions will decrease the volume in a given training session. In contrast, performing additional sets is the best manner to increase the overall training volume of a workout.

Training intensity is the final variable that can be manipulated in the training prescription. It may in fact be the most important factor in determining the neuromuscular response. As a detailed description of the adaptations to different training loads is an article in itself, let us generally consider high-intensity (>90% 1 RM) loads as most effective in training the nervous system and moderate-intensity (70-90% 1 RM) loads most effective in stimulating hypertrophy of the muscle fibres. An individual that has been lifting consistently at a single intensity most certainly would benefit by varying the load for a short-duration training phase (i.e. 3-6 weeks).

Lifters stuck at a plateau may need to consider alternative & novel program designs to elicit further gains in performance. A "novel" training routine could be followed for a short period (2-4 weeks) and would stress the neuromuscular system in a manner that it is not accustomed.

This may promote adaptations in the neuromuscular system that could enhance immediate performance OR future training sessions. Each of the above variables can be manipulated within a single training program to help achieve maximal results in the gym.

I theorize that a period of overstress followed by a period of reduced training volume and frequency will result in even greater adaptations than normally occur with regular training frequencies and recovery intervals. The program is based on "tapering" strategies used by elite athletes prior to important competitions.

Tapering is defined as periods of high-intensity training followed by a brief "unloading" phase. In theory this may enable complete neuromuscular adaptation to the training stimulus and allows for rest and recovery prior to competition.

The basic concept of the following program design is similar to the "tapering" concept as the trainee reduces the training volume in order to allow for maximal adaptation (whether it be muscle growth OR maximal strength development).


This week should be characterized by 6 full training sessions. A typical "bodybuilder" routine of a 3-day split, perhaps as legs, chest & back, and shoulders & arms would be performed. The split would be repeated twice and followed by a rest day. The intensity (weight OR load) is moderate (8-12 RM) and the volume is high. Exercises would be predominantly single-joint to isolate the particular muscles.


Total training frequency is reduced by 1 session (~20%) and the training frequency of each body part is cut in half to a single session per week. Again, a typical "bodybuilder" routine is performed. The training split would be changed to 1 body part per day, for example, chest, legs, back, shoulders, and arms. The training intensity in this week would be higher (6-8 RM) for the entire program. Total weekly training volume is lower due to the reduced frequency BUT/ daily volume is greater per muscle group due to the isolated training routine.


Four training days (2 total upper-body & 2 lower-body workouts). The intensity of this week should be slightly reduced from Week 2 for 1 of the 2 workouts per body split. For example, on Monday, a very intense lower-body workout (6-8 RM) may be performed, while a moderate intensity lower-body workout (10-12 RM) may be done on Thursday. Multi-joint exercises should be performed to recruit many muscle groups to compensate for the lack of isolation exercises. In fact, no direct work should be performed for the shoulders OR arms unless time permits at the end of the upper-body training day.


A return to high-intensity training (6 RM) offset by the lowest frequency and volume of training over the course of the program. Three training sessions should be performed this week, in a similar split to WEEK 1. Allow for a full day of rest between each training session to provide the optimal recovery period. This program borrows from scientific principles but also is based on several theories of recovery. It is merely a suggested training routine that is extremely safe and may prove to be extremely successful in developing strength and mass. However, slight variations in the program may prove to be more successful between individuals. For example, a lifter may respond better to different lengths for each training phase. For example, some trainees may have greater success lifting in the high-volume phase for up to 3 week before entering a reduced-volume phase.

As well, one of the attractive attributes of the program is its flexibility. It should appeal to individuals that have varying levels of life commitments. For example higher volume phases OR increased training frequencies could be scheduled during relaxed times of a student's semester and then "tapering" weeks could be planned around exams to take advantage of an increased recovery time. Businessmen may consider overtraining prior to a business trip OR vacation.

It is important to maintain a distinction between tapering and detraining. Tapering permits the optimal adaptation to a stimulus while detraining indicates a loss in performance due to the removal of a training stimulus. It is important to reduce training stress only far enough that adaptation is allowed to occur at maximal levels, and not so that the organism returns to a pre-training state due to lack of stress.

It is important to determine exactly what length to time should be devoted to applying overtraining and how long should be committed to recovery emphasis. The length of the recovery period may depend on the training intensity just prior to the reduced frequency phase. As a rule, the final stage should be maximal intensity and the lowest volume.

The training program is certainly advanced in both theory and in the demands it makes of the trainee. It is not recommended that a lifter with less than 6 months lifting experience attempt this program. Certainly the first week of high-volume training at a high frequency will test the recovery system of even many advanced lifters.

The program was meant to provide a variation in the training stimulus, something that is generally recommended to occur frequently in an individual's resistance training regimen. The risk of injury in this training program is minimal provided proper exercise technique is followed. In fact, a study at McMaster University where subjects trained 6 days per week for 8 straight weeks resulted in only minimal minor overuse complaints.

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men?s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bodybuilding: Building a Standout in the Crowd Chest

Since the beginning of bodybuilding time, men have wanted to build a chest that enters the room a good 2 seconds before the rest of their body. They want a chest that stands out and commands attention, a chest that steps up and sticks out. A broad chest that women seek to lay their head upon.

And ladies too, seek a beautiful chest, one that accents their natural assets. But they also want their chest to be sleek and feminine like the rest of their physique at the same time.

Well, achieving either of those goals is easily attainable with a thorough chest routine. And add a few expert tips and tricks into your overall plan, and you?ll have the chest of your dreams without the shoulder injuries of your nightmares.

Shoulder injuries have always been the rain on the chest training parade. Injuries are often due to overtraining, improper form, or simply not applying a back training ying to the chest training yang.

So when you do this routine, it will train your entire upper, upper body. By that I mean your chest, your rear delts, the rhomboids between your shoulder blades, your traps, and your rotator cuff muscles. From your ribs to your collarbone, at both the front and back of your body, your muscles will be exhausted, but trained to just the right level of exhaustion.

With just the right volume, but without overloading the shoulder joint, we are going to use basic chest exercises, but with a twist in a few cases, to make the most of the least. By training with supersets, you?ll get in and out of the gym if you do only the 6 exercises below. Talk about a beautiful chest fast.

While the full program offers the optimal volume for mega-chest-mass, I?ve included some substitutions for women that are a little concerned with adding too much mass too fast to their chests. So make sure to read training substitutions, included below the workout, so you can customize the program to your goals.

I?ve also included a summary of the methods, and a bonus instant chest building technique you probably never think of, after the workout. As well, a complete set of exercise descriptions is included at the end of the article.


Superset 1:
Rest 60 seconds between exercises. Rest 90 seconds before repeating the superset.
A1) DB Flat Chest Press (4 sets x 6 reps) Tempo: 3-0-1
A2) Barbell Row or Seated Wide-grip Row (4x8) 2-0-1
Superset 2:
Do not rest between exercises. Rest 60 seconds before repeating the superset.
B1) DB Incline Press (3x8) 2-0-1
B2) DB Chest Fly (3x10) 3-0-1

Superset 3:
Do not rest between exercises. Rest 60 seconds before repeating the superset.
C1) Medium-grip Bench Press (3x12) 2-0-1

C2) DB External Rotation (3x10) 2-0-1
Female exercise substitutions:

Do only 2 sets of each exercise.
For exercise A1), substitute the maximum number of pushups you can do in place of the DB Flat Chest Press.

How to Instantly Increase Your Chest Size

This is something that everyone should be doing, several times per day. If you work at a computer, you should be trying to hold this position all of the time.

Here?s what to do:

In a seated or standing position, hold your arms down by your side. Externally rotate your shoulders so that your palms are now facing forward. Use the muscles between your shoulder blades to bring your shoulder blades together. Squeeze extra hard and pull your shoulders back by contracting your rear delts. At the same time, try to pull your shoulders down (you might feel a stretch running along your neck between your shoulders and your ears ? the more stretch you feel, the more you need to work on holding this position). This should pull your shoulders back and pop your chest out at least two inches. You should feel tension between your shoulder blades as your muscles work to hold that position. You might also feel a stretch in your chest. Now hold this proud posture as much as you can all day and when standing around in the clubs or in line at the grocery store. Trust me, someone will notice!

Exercise Descriptions

DB Flat Bench Press

Hold the dumbbells above your chest with your palms turned toward your feet. Lower the dumbbells to chest level. Press the dumbbells straight up above the chest. BB Row

Stand with your torso bent and parallel to the floor. Contract your glutes, brace your abs and keep your spine in a neutral position. Keep the lower back in a neutral position and your knees slightly bent. Grasp the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Row the barbell to the abdomen and bring your shoulder blades together. Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat. Do NOT round your lower back. Wide-grip Seated Row

Use a long bar and take a greater than shoulder-width overhand grip. Keep your arms and back straight, knees slightly bent. Row the handle back as far as possible bringing your shoulder blades together. DB Incline Press

Lie on a bench with the backrest inclined at 45 degrees. Hold the dumbbells above your chest with your palms turned toward your feet. Lower the dumbbells to chest level. Press the dumbbells straight up above the chest. DB Fly

Lie flat on your back on a bench and hold the dumbbells with your palms turned towards your body (palms will face each other). Maintain a slight bend in your elbows at all times. Slowly begin to lower the dumbbells out to your side until your elbows reach shoulder level. Don?t lower the dumbbells any further. At this point, squeeze your chest and bring the dumbbells up and in to the start position under control.

Medium-Grip Bench Press

Keep your feet flat on the floor, legs bent, and upper back flat against the bench. Grip the bar half-way between shoulder-width and your normal bench press grip. Keep the elbows close to the sides to emphasize the triceps. Have your spotter help you take the bar from the rack. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, lower the bar straight down to the bottom of your chest. Pause briefly and then press the bar back up above the chest in a straight line. DB External Rotation

Sit on a flat bench holding a light dumbbell (start with 5lbs). Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the end of the bench. Rest your right elbow on the top of your right knee and hold the DB in the bottom position. Slowly, using the small muscles of your rotator cuff, externally rotate the DB up and back until it is in the finish position (your forearm is perpendicular to your body at the top of the movement).

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men?s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bodybuilding Hypnosis: Mind Over Muscle

Those rugged individuals who pursue bodybuilding and other strength related sports are known to be a group bordering on the fanatical-and they often cross over that boundary. Whether it is a new diet or exercise regimen, they are always on the lookout for whatever will give them the extra edge. Bodybuilding hypnosis is another tool that can have considerable potency.

Contrary to the image of hypnotism in funny stage shows or scary movies, a hypnotized person does not become unconscious or out of control. Rather it is a relaxed state of awareness where an individual learns to better activate his full mental and physical potential.

Clinical hypnosis is often used to help people successfully overcome fear, pain, lack of confidence, stress and unwanted habits. There are also three primary areas where hypnosis can help the bodybuilder as well, these being relaxation, breaking past barriers and maintaining focus.

Relaxation. As every strength athlete knows, muscle is actually built during the resting phase. Exercise that progressively increases in intensity places stress on the muscle fibers. During rest the body adapts by making them larger and stronger in preparation for future challenges. Although regular exercise is a great stress-buster, it is a rare individual who can relax deeply and completely at will. A lack of sleep and rest interferes with the hormonal system?s ability to respond to stress; dampening energy, immunity and yes, muscular development. Hypnosis has a well deserved reputation for helping people to develop deep relaxation skills.

Breaking past barriers. Are the limits on your potential solely physical or is there a mental aspect involved as well? Sports history tells us the story of Sir Roger Bannister, the first human to run a mile in under four minutes. Prior to that, many ?experts? proclaimed that this feat was impossible and possibly life-threatening. What is most interesting is that after Bannister smashed that barrier, several other runners followed suit soon after. Nothing had changed about them physically. Rather the collective belief system of those athletes had undergone a transformation for the better. Hypnosis enables you to overcome self-imposed limitations. Maybe your potential is greater than you have suspected?

Increasing focus. It has been noted that successful people are usually both confident and intently focused on what they truly want. The word ?confident? itself is derived from the Latin for ?with faith.? If you can persistently focus on a compelling goal image, your behaviors will unconsciously change in order to turn that picture into reality. Most people lack focus and are vague as to what they want out of life or from their training routine for that matter. As a result their efforts tend to be scattered and inconsistent. Is it that you want greater size, strength or definition? A few minutes spent every day relaxing and focusing on your desired outcomes will pay handsome dividends.

If mind over matter is possible, certainly mind over muscle is as well and should be considered when putting together a well-rounded training program.

James Malone is a Certified Hypnotist from Point Pleasant, New Jersey and is also the publisher of the wildly popular Creative Calm Online Newsletter. He realizes that you would probably kick sand in his face (and deservedly so) if he were to suggest that hypnosis could replace proper diet and exercise when it comes to building your ideal physique. But what if it gave you an added 5% edge in your performance over the next year, would you be interested? You may wish to learn more about his Mind Over Muscle Audio Program.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wholesale Bodybuilding Supplements

If you are serious about building a better body, the advantages of buying wholesale supplements are hard to deny. But with an abundance of products on the shelves, it can often be hard to distinguish a good supplement from a potentially harmful one. So, how can you buy the best wholesale bodybuilding supplements with peace of mind? Let?s examine some of the nutritional compounds that every good supplement should have.


Creatine has been proven to enhance results among serious bodybuilders. This amino acid is naturally produced in the liver and kidneys, and when taken in a supplement form increases strength and stamina in athletes. As with any nutritional supplement, you should only take the recommended dosage of creatine, but for fast results this compound fits the bill.

Whey Protein

Bodybuilders have long appreciated the value of protein in achieving muscle gains. The benefit of whey protein is in building and repairing muscle tissue at a much faster rate than protein alone. This allows bodybuilders to work out harder and longer, in turn producing results in a quicker amount of time.


This amino acid serves to carry nitrogen to muscle cells, and also helps in storing glycogen within the muscles. In addition, it is also vital in transporting certain wastes to the kidney. This can help fight off some of the immunity disruption caused by bodybuilding. All in all, this compound should be a staple in any serious bodybuilder?s supplement.

Cheapest Isn?t Always Best

Now that we have discussed some of the crucial supplements, let?s turn our attention towards price. Granted, cost probably plays a large factor in the wholesale bodybuilding supplements you purchase. After all, the very fact that you are buying wholesale implies that you are receiving a large discount. And while that may be true, you should still be buying from reputable dealers, who carry only the top brands in the business. This way, you can be sure that the supplements you are taking are both cost-effective as well as safe.

Here?s To Your Health

By keeping these tips in mind, you should now know what to look for in order to buy the best wholesale bodybuilding supplements. Just remember to keep it simple: Always buy smart, and always buy safe.

Dean Iggo is the webmaster of which reviews a number of different supplements including the best bodybuilding supplements, weight loss supplements and more...

Labels: , , ,