Every bodybuilder and weight trainer will have his or her favorite exercises for each body part. That's how it should be - as you progress through the various stages of learning you'll understand what works best for you. It is useful, however, to take stock of your progress every so often and carry out an analysis of where you are and what changes, if any, are needed to move onwards and upwards.Part of this analysis should include an assessment of the core exercises that make up your bodybuilding training program. In this article we'll look at the shoulder exercises that have proven their worth to serious bodybuilders for many years. All exercises should be performed to failure with one set of six to eight reps.1. Dumbbell lateral raises - this exercise provides the best way to develop the lateral head of the deltoid.- Hold the dumbbells at the sides with the palms facing the thighs.- Raise the arms up and to the sides until parallel to the floor. Make sure the elbows remain slightly bent.- Pause.- Lower with control to the starting position.2. Bent-over dumbbell lateral raises.- Bend over at the waist with the knees slightly bent.- Raise the arms up and to the sides as high as possible.- Pause.- Lower with control to the starting position.
In part 1, I touched on general weight gain rules and reasons why you can't gain weight. Now it's time to get into workout specifics...WORKOUT RULES4. Stop listening to every ridiculous piece of advice you hear in the gym or read on a message board.Recently a client of mine informed me that someone in the gym stated that he was training all wrong and he needed to train 5-6 days a week, and aim for more reps during his workout. Somewhere in the range of 15-20 reps per set.The person giving the advice was quite confident about his recommendations, and he had an impressive physique that typically elevates him to the elusive "listen to me if you want to look like me" level in the gym. He was bigger than my client, so even though my client's "intellectual" mind knows that advice is absurd; his "unrealistic dreamer" mind took this information very seriously. So seriously that he changed his program and didn't inform me until a week or so later. This particular person had been making great progress on his current program, yet he allowed this one persons comment to overshadow that progress and convince him that his program was inadequate. This is a mistake and it showed in his lack of further progress.In addition, don't judge the validity of what a person says by how they look. Just because the guy is huge doesn't mean he is spewing pertinent advice for you. Many people that have big physiques are big despite of their training, not because of it. I know some huge guys that know very little about training and dieting correctly. They can do whatever and still gain muscle; unfortunately we are not that way, so we much approach things in a more intelligent way.5. Workout InfrequentlyThis is the most difficult concept for many to grasp simply because it involves less action, instead of more. When we get motivated and start a new program, its natural to want to do something. We want to train and train and train. Thinking all along that the more you train, the more muscle you will build. Unfortunately, this could not be farther from the truth.More training does not equal more muscle growth. Understand that the purpose of weight training is to stimulate muscle growth. That takes very little time. Once that has been done, the muscle needs to be repaired and new muscle needs to be built. That only happens when you are resting. You do not build muscle in the gym, you "build muscle" when resting! If you never give your body any essential non active time, when will it have a chance to build muscle? Think about that.Now, add in the fact that you have a difficult time gaining weight and the importance of rest increases. Individuals who are naturally thin and have difficulty building muscle tend to require less training and more rest.6. Focus on Multi-Jointed LiftsMulti-jointed exercises are those that stimulate the most amounts of muscle fibers. Unlike isolation exercises which only work individual muscles, multi-jointed lifts work many different muscle groups simultaneously. For those needing to "gain weight" , this is ideal because these lifts put your body under the most amount of stress. This is the stress that will shock your nervous system and cause the greatest release of muscle building hormones. This results in increased muscle gain all over the body.You can still do some isolation work; however it should not be the focus of your workouts, and should only come after your multi-jointed lifting is complete.7. Focus on Using Free WeightsFree weights are preferred over machines for many reasons, but most importantly because they allow the stimulation of certain supporting muscle groups when training. Stimulating these stabilizer and synergistic muscles will allow you go get stronger, and ultimately build more muscle faster. Yes, some can most likely still build large amounts of muscle using machines, but why make it more difficult if you already have a difficult time gaining weight?8. Lift a weight that is challenging for youBuilding mass involves lifting relatively heavy weight. This is necessary because the muscle fibers that cause the most amount of muscle size growth (called Type IIB) are best stimulated by the lifting of heavy weight. A heavy weight as one that only allows you to perform 4-8 reps before your muscles fail.Using a lighter weight and doing more reps can stimulate some Type IIB fibers, but again if you have a difficult time gaining weight, why make it more difficult? You need to try and stimulate as many as you can with the use of heavy weights.9. Focus more on the eccentric portion of the exercise.When you lift a weight, it can be divided into three distinct periods. The positive, the negative and midpoint. The concentric or positive motion usually involves the initial push or effort when you begin the rep. The midpoint is signaled by a short pause before reversing and returning to the starting position. The eccentric, or negative portion of each lift is characterized by your resistance against then natural pull of the weight.For example, when doing push-ups, the positive motion is the actual pushing up motion. Once you have pushed all the way up, you hit the mid point. The negative motion begins when you start to lower yourself back down. Most would simply lower themselves as fast as they pushed up, but I recommend extending and slowing down this portion. Slowing down the eccentric part of the lift will help to stimulate more muscle growth. It actually activates more of the Type IIB fibers mentioned about in Rule 7.10. Keep your workout short but intense.Your goal should be to get in, stimulate your muscles and then get out as quickly as possible. It is not necessary to do large amounts of exercisers per body part trying to target every muscle and hit every angle. This should only be a concern of someone with an already developed, mature physique who is trying to improve weak areas.If you have no pec, dont concern yourself with trying to target inner, outer, upper, lower or whatever. Just work your chest. You should do no more than 2-3 exercises per body part. Thats it. Doing more than that wont build more muscle, faster. In fact it could possibly lead to muscle loss. Long training sessions cause catabolic hormone levels to rise dramatically. Catabolic hormones are responsible for breaking down muscle tissue resulting in MUSCLE LOSS. While at the same time, long training sessions suppress the hormones that actually build muscle.If you dont want to lose muscle during your workouts, I suggest limiting your sessions to no more than 60-75 minutes MAXIMUM. Less if you can.11. Limit your aerobic activity and trainingHonestly, I do not do any aerobic activity when I am trying to gain weight. This is mainly because it interferes with the important non-active time my body needs for muscle building and recovery. I do understand that people have lives and other activities that they don't want to give up, so it must be kept to a minimum. It wont hurt your progress as long as you dont over do it. If you find that you are doing more aerobic activity weight training, thats overdoing it.I also dont recommend it because people tend do it for the wrong reasons. Many start aerobic activity because they believe it will help them to lose fat. While that is true, it wont do so on a high calorie mass diet. To lose fat, you need to be eating fewer calories.12. Dont program hopHeres how it usually happens. Youve just read about a new exercise or workout that is supposed to pack on the mass. Now, even though you had already started another training program a few weeks ago, you are tired of it and really want to start this routine instead because it sounds better.I call these people, program hoppers. They are very enthusiastic when starting a new program, but they never follow it long enough to actually see any results. They are easily distracted and love to drop whatever they may be doing to follow the latest "hot" workout or exercise.My advice is dont do it. This is a bad habit that never leads to a positive outcome. Understand that it takes time for any program to work. To be successful, you must follow your program consistently. Yes, there are many different training methods and interesting routines out there, but you cant do them all at the same time and jumping around wont allow enough time for any of them to actually be effective for you. Pick one that is focused on your current goal and stick with it. There will be plenty of time to try the others later, but NOT NOW.In Part 3 of this article, I will cover your eating rules and guidelines to MAKE SURE you know how AND what to eat to build muscle mass.
A well-planned exercise routine will not only help you replace fat with muscle, it will help you gain strength and flexibility.A bodybuilding exercise plan also improves bone strength, and lowers blood pressure. Whether you are a professional bodybuilder or you just enjoy hitting the weights hard at the gym, setting a goal for your bodybuilding exercise plan will help you achieve maximum results. Remember to make your goal challenging but be realistic.Plan a routine that will help you reach the goals you have set. You may choose to plan on paper or on computer; whichever method you chose in planning your bodybuilding exercise goal, state your goal in a positive, precise way. It is best to choose performance-oriented goals instead of outcome-oriented goals. You can only control your own bodybuilding exercise goals, you have no control over other peoples routines, so dont make you goal winning a competition. You might make your goal to gain a certain amount of muscles mass, or lose a specific amount of body fat. This type of goal works whether you compete or not.Planning before you begin helps you get organized and stay focused. Putting it in writing makes it more formal, and more likely that you will stick to the plan. You should include short-term goals that help lead to your main long-term goal. Breaking down your main goal into smaller goals makes it easier to stay on your bodybuilding exercise routine.Set a deadline for achieving your main goal. Without a deadline it can be easy to put off your bodybuilding exercise routine. Keep track of each workout you complete successfully. Plan on rewarding yourself once your long-term goal is met.The most important step in planning is to include a proper warm-up period. Warming up reduces the change of injury and improves your performance. Warm up exercises of your bodybuilding exercise could include an aerobic activity such as treadmill walking, stepping, rowing or stationary cycling, or it could be arm circles, knee bends and shoulder circles. A third alternative is to lift light weights with a high number of reps.The next step of your program will be tailored to the specific goal that you have set or area that you want to improve. If your goal involves your legs plan a bodybuilding exercise that works your legs, such as barbell squats or leg presses. Choose specific exercises that will increase your chest, like the barbell press, if that is your goal.Perform each exercise carefully to avoid injury. To build mass, do fewer reps but include more sets and heavier weights, Rest at least 1 minute between sets. Another important part of your bodybuilding exercise plan is to eat properly and drink plenty of fluids.
Want to build Big Huge Muscles? Then you must Squat! The Squat will build big muscles on your entire body frame. There are 3 types of people in this world. First, there are those that make things happen. They calculated and know very sure what they want, then they take action and get it no matter what happens. They single mindedly pursue their ambition and they will ultimately succeed. In bodybuilding, they want to grow big and strong with big huge muscles. They SQUAT and squat and squat again. Have you ever seen anyone who is big, have "huge muscles" and have a well proportioned body like a Greek god who does not squat? Never. Then there are those who watch things happen. They will savor the world around them. Then say, we will see what happens next. If it works, well we will decide if we are gonna do it. These are the majority of the average Joes. They want to grow big muscles and be strong and muscular but are reluctant to make the effort to include the squat in their workout routine. Even if they do, they will do it haphazardly and will give up before they achieve their objectives. Then the excuses will flow. "Squats are too hard on my knees" or "Doing squat will stunt your growth" or "Squats are for my back" or "I just want a well toned body." Excuses from sour grapes. That is why average joes just remain well... average. We will debunk those excuses later in this article. Finally there are those that are always saying "Omigosh! What happened?" Needless to say, these people are the ones oblivious to what is happening around them. They will walk leisurely on a treadmill reading a book at the same time when others are raising their heart rates to improve endurance and burn fats. They are the ones doing dumbbell curls after dumbbell curls when others are doing bench presses, dead lifts and squats. They are the ones who ask the champions why the champs are growing biiger muscles and getting fitter all the time whereas they are at the gym longer, more regular and yet not achieving any result. They will take note of the advises and the next time you see them, they are back to what they were doing. Reading that confounded book on the treadmill. They actually expect changes to take place by doing the same things. How is that possible? Then they will say, "Ah... but you are just lucky to have good genes!" What nonsense! To build muscles fast and big, you must SQUAT! The squat is often touted as the king of exercise and is grouped together with the dead lift and bench press, collectively called the Big Three for power and muscle mass building. If you want to "build big muscles" and enjoy a symmetrical physique, you must squat. Period. In most gym, the squat rack is there collecting dust. Why? Because most people think that their legs will be hidden by their pants. Why bother? How dead wrong they are. Wait till you see them in their shorts or swim wear. You will see Spiderman ..er ..I mean spider legs. Another reason why people avoid squatting exercises is because the squat work on many major muscles and is grueling work. When you perform squats correctly, you will huff and pant, wheeze, head spinning woozily, see stars, sweat profusely and your entire body will be screaming for you to stop. Of course the exercise is brutal! You are working out about 75% of your entire muscular structure including your shoulders, traps, back, gluteus, hams, calf, abs and many other synergistic muscles in a single exercise, isn't that supposed taxed your strength, endurance and your cardio health? Isn't that the best exercise? Isn't that why the results from squats will be astounding? As an added bonus to building big muscles , you will be burning fats like crazy since the squat, given the intensity placed on your body, your metabolism zooms straight up! If your body fat ratio is high, it will help you lose body fat. And because of the degree of difficulty, squats also force your body to release higher amounts of growth hormone , resulting in new muscle growth in all areas of your body. In addition, squats will cause a spillover effect, enabling you to gain strength in all of your other lifts. Awesome! It just befuddles me why, with all these benefits, people are avoiding squats like a bubonic plague. As for the hard gainers, squat will pack on pounds after pounds of muscle on your entire body! So hard gainers, you must squat to grow big! If you squat with the correct form, heavy weight and sheer intensity, you will see good results in just weeks. Not just your lower body. Your entire frame will take on a different form. A total body transformation. Guaranteed! You must know that since squats are performed with heavy weight, so correct form and techniques are critical and cannot be compromised. Anything less, you may sustain serious injury. However, when you adhere to the proper technique, you will be very safe and will enjoy all the benefits that come with the squat. Don't cheat yourself and substitute squats with leg presses. They are of a different class! Debunking Excuses! It's bad for the knees - In fact, it's on the contrary. Just like the muscle tissue in your body strengthens when exposed to stress, the tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues in your body will also thicken in response to weightlifting. That means, it actually improve knee health when you squat. It also strengthens all the muscles around your knee and thus providing your knees with support when the muscles are strong and less stress is placed on the knees on your day to day activities. I know. I used to suffer from knee pain until I started squatting and now, my knees are in perfect health that I can even play competitive soccer. Knee problems only occur when you squat improperly like resting at the bottom of the movement or letting your knee protrude over your toes. It's bad for my back - For the same reasons about strengthening your tissues, squats also exercises your lower back. When done in correct form, it actually builds strong muscles on your lower back and not only correcting you from bad posture that results in a bad back, it may even give you a healthy strong back. Again, it will only hurt your back if done in poor form like bending forward or doing it with a rounded back instead of arching it during the movement. It will give you high blood pressure and bad for the heart - Sure, your blood pressure will rise as your heart will beat faster from the exercise. That is only temporary and not dangerous unless you already have those problems in the first place. Other than that you are actually exercising your heart and cardio vascular system to strengthen it. How can that be dangerous? Don't most exercises elevate heart rate and increase blood flow? Then they should ban the treadmills and close all swimming pools! Do you buy that nonsense? So, now that you know that squat is the king of bodybuilding exercises, are you the type that makes things happen or are still contend to be wondering what the heck happened?
Becoming familiar with the muscles that make up your body has more benefits than simply allowing you to talk shop with your training partners. The more familiar you are with the muscles you're working, the better you'll be able to judge what's needed to make improvements. In this article we'll get to know the muscles that make up the chest and upper back.Although they are two distinct areas, the chest and the upper back will be considered together because achieving a muscular balance between them is crucial, particularly in relation to maintaining good posture. Creating an imbalance between the two is likely to result in injury.The main muscles found in the chest and uper back are as follows:1. Pectoralis major - these are the large chest muscles found to either side of the breastbone. Its main job is to bring the upper arm inwards across the body, a movement that is known as horizontal adduction.2. Latissimus dorsi - this is the largest back muscle that runs from the lower back to the upper arm bone. It pulls the upper arm towards the body and acts as an internal rotator of the upper arm.3. Trapezius - this muscle runs from the mid spine to the shoulder and then to the neck. Its main role is to faciltiate movement of the shoulder blades.