April172014
9PM

Go Out Guns Blazing With These Curls

Feeling like you’ve hit plateau in your biceps? Or just not seeing progress? No problem. These curls have been working well for me, they should do your biceps good. The anterior deltoids and traps work as stabilisers while the biceps are worked and the forearms being prime movers. So you won’t really be building bigger biceps and still having tiny forearms.

1. Pronated Dumbbell Curls

How to: Grasp a pair of dumbbells with a pronated (palms down) grip. Set the feet at roughly shoulder width, with a slight bend in the knees. Brace through the core and establish a neutral spine posture. Curl the weights up to your chest, keeping your elbows at your side and eyes straight ahead. Do not let your upper back round over - consciously pull your shoulder blades together to provide a stable base for your arms to pull from.


Hammer Curls

How to: Grasp a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip - so that the palms of each hand are facing each other. Set the feet at roughly shoulder width, with a slight bend in the knees. Brace through the core and establish a neutral spine posture. Curl the weights up to your chest, keeping your elbows at your side and eyes straight ahead. Do not let your upper back round over - consciously pull your shoulder blades together to provide a stable base for your arms to pull from.

Zottman Curl

How to: Grasp a pair of dumbbells with an underhand grip. Set the feet at roughly shoulder width, with a slight bend in the knees. Brace through the core and establish a neutral spine posture. Curl the weights up to your chest maintaining the underhand grip, keeping your elbows at your side and eyes straight ahead. At the top of the movement turn the wrists until the hands are in an overhand, palms-down, position, and lower the weight back to the starting position.

Preacher Curl

How to: Find a preacher curl apparatus with an EZ bar. Grasp the bar using a narrow underhand grip. Keeping the elbows at your sides and your eyes forward, curl the bar up to your chest. Lower the bar under control. Do not let your upper back round over - consciously pull your shoulder blades together to provide a stable base for your arms to pull from.

1PM
12PM
Another one from Futurelife for the High Protein diet guys, also to be had as a meal or shake. Packed with high protein, whey protein, caseinate, 19 amino acids, high energy, soya protein, 25 vitamins and minerals etc. Its also wheat and gluten free. 
Will set you back about R55 (ZAR) for 500g.

Another one from Futurelife for the High Protein diet guys, also to be had as a meal or shake. Packed with high protein, whey protein, caseinate, 19 amino acids, high energy, soya protein, 25 vitamins and minerals etc. Its also wheat and gluten free.

Will set you back about R55 (ZAR) for 500g.

11AM
“A Re-Feed day is a day where you increase your carbohydrate intake by 100% or more, increasing your calories up to maintenance or slightly above. This is to help restore your Leptin hormone levels. (Leptin is the king of all FAT BURNING hormones!) When dieting and on a low calorie diet, your leptin hormone levels will drop in attempt by the body to spare body fat. (safety mechanism for the human body). With low leptin levels it becomes much harder to burn body fat. So including a re-feed day into your cutting diet will be really beneficial and allow you to continue to burn body fat at an optimal rate. A re-feed is basically taking 1 step back, but 2 steps forward.” Josef Rakich Fitness
April122014
10PM

Great Post-Workout Ideas

Just as important as pre-workout snacks/meals, here are post-workout meal ideas, very important to replenish your system:

1. One or two poached eggs on whole-wheat bread

2. A bowl of stir-fried chicken and vegetables (try pepper, zucchini and carrot) over brown rice

3. Whole-wheat pasta tossed with chicken, broccoli and egg plant

4. Whole-grain cereal or oatmeal, with milk and fruit (such as a sliced banana/berries)

Of course its also good to have your whey and casein shakes pre and post workout, respectively.

10PM

Great Pre-Workout Foods

Oats - Packed with fibre (slow release of carbs). Contain B vitamins, which help convert carbs into energy. You can have a bowl pre-workout. The best carbs and protein combo in a bowl, you need them more together than just protein alone.

Bananas - Packed with carbs that’ll be quick fuel and Potassium; Which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function. For instance, having some banana with half a cup of Greek yoghurt 30 mins prior to heading to the gym; will give you the carbs and protein you need respectively.

Fruit Smoothies - High in carbs and protein. Easy to make, quick into your system. Try blending half a cup of plain, low-fat yoghurt, half a cup of fruit and 1 cup fruit juice. You don’t have to skip fruits that are high in carbs, really. Protein doesn’t break down fast enough to become fuel for a workout. The carbs from fruit break down quickly and the protein is used later to prevent muscle damage.

You can also have:

1. Half of a chicken, turkey or lean roast beef sandwich on whole-wheat bread
2. Low-fat string cheese and 6 whole-grain crackers

April112014
8PM

Body-weight Exercises To Help You Burn Fat and Build Muscle

Burn fat fast and build muscle, all in the outdoors and inside your home with these body-weight exercises. The crème de la crème:

Side Plank - Works the entire core, its a static exercise for strengthening the abdominals, back and even shoulders.

Dips - Primarily a triceps move, also
hits the chest and shoulders just as much (variations).

Burpee - Motion that uses the entire body better, not only does it torch fat but it improves co-ordination as it requires it.

Glute Bridge - If you strengthen your glutes, you strengthen (also increase) your back gains. Good for a healthy back.

Plank - Get a strong core. According to some fitness experts holding a plank for a minute+ is considered to be an impressive measure of fitness. The more time under tension = more muscle. This demands good shoulder stability, muscle endurance of the abdominals, lower back, shoulders, neck and legs.

Push Up - With different variations comes a big chest, deltoids and triceps.

Pull Ups - Is a major back and biceps builder, overall strength achieved.

Prone Back Extension - Huge, deep contraction, leading to a strong, healthy lower back. Again, the higher amount of tension a muscle is put under, the stronger it will respond. (Harder contractions means more muscle).

April92014

Basics, basics you should consider investing in. I know supplement prices can be too damn high but it’ll be worth every penny. I’ve also listed only a few of the really good ones that are really affordable. Taking supplements is important because they “supplement” or add in anything missing in your regimen. If you’re eating well, working out regularly and still not seeing more muscle, they’re are the answer.

GLUTAMINE:

Glutamine provides numerous bodybuilding benefits, such as aiding muscle growth by increasing levels of leucine in muscle fibres; helping decrease muscle breakdown and strengthening the immune system.

Glutamine taken before workouts can help decrease muscle fatigue and boost growth hormone levels. It may also play a role in fat loss by increasing the amount of calories and fat burned at rest and during exercise. Best to take it in the morning with breakfast, with your pre and post-workout shakes, and with your night-time snack.

WHEY:

The most important for protein synthesis! Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start
building muscle. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles. This is
why its mostly recommended we consume whey protein immediately after training.

For the best results: Take 20g of whey protein powder in the 30 minutes before working out and take 40g within 60 minutes after training. Some guys take 20-40 grams of whey immediately upon waking every morning to kick-start muscle growth.
*Choose whey protein hydrolysates (whey protein broken down into
smaller fragments for faster digestion) or whey protein isolate.

CASEIN:

Casein has a very slow digestion rate, yet this makes it ideal as a pre-bedtime snack because it prevents catabolism while you sleep by emptying slowly and steadily. When it’s taken post-workout, it boosts muscle protein synthesis much like whey does. It’s even suggested that a whey and casein protein shake taken after training increases muscle growth better than either protein taken alone.

You’ll see however that some guys take whey pre and casein post/bedtime. Using it sparingly because it doesn’t really come cheap. For better results, take 20-40g right before going to bed. After workouts, add 10-20g
to your whey.

BCAAs:

Branched-Chain Amino Acids. The term branched-chain amino acids refers to leucine, isoleucine and valine, the most important amino acids for repairing and building muscle tissue. Leucine is the most critical of the three, as research shows that it can stimulate muscle protein synthesis on its own. Yet it’s still best to take all three together, since they work in synergy to provide a multitude of benefits, including muscle growth, increased energy during workouts, the blunting of cortisol (a catabolic hormone that inhibits testosterone and increases muscle breakdown) and decreased delayed-onset muscle soreness.

You should Take 5-10g of
BCAAs with breakfast, as well as in your pre-and post-workout shakes.

I purposely left Creatine out, I’m familiar with it and its very good for the most part but I don’t use it anymore. I ceased pre-T when it made me sick after a while, I may have been consuming it wrong though. But it definitely does work, it got me ‘swole’ and gave me a huge boost of energy. Too bad I didn’t continue and apply the principles I know now.

Its better to buy these as muscle building stacks, at stores like Bodybuilding.com. You may choose a package best for your goals and the good thing is they may also include things like multivitamins and essential oils.

10AM
I know that whey protein prices can be too damn high. You won’t always have it readily available. Which can be a bit frustrating if you’re putting in all the work with training and eating clean. 

If you’re trying to gain muscle with your low-carb high-protein diet and weight training plan, make sure you have a box of Futurelife - which you can use as a pre/post-workout shake by adding milk (and a whole fruit for post-workout carbs to replenish you and aid your proteins). You can also add in yoghurt and softer nuts like pecans. It cannot replace powder such as pure whey but is a damn good substitute with even more nutrients than your average morning bowl meal.

Also, Jungle Oats as your breakfast with egg whites/pecans (I prefer pecans) is brilliant. I’d have a Futurelife shake upon waking up and then a post workout fruit then oats with egg whites etc. 

I don’t know about other countries but here, together they’d set you back R60 (ZAR). So a serving of each, a day, really keeps the protein blues away.

I know that whey protein prices can be too damn high. You won’t always have it readily available. Which can be a bit frustrating if you’re putting in all the work with training and eating clean.

If you’re trying to gain muscle with your low-carb high-protein diet and weight training plan, make sure you have a box of Futurelife - which you can use as a pre/post-workout shake by adding milk (and a whole fruit for post-workout carbs to replenish you and aid your proteins). You can also add in yoghurt and softer nuts like pecans. It cannot replace powder such as pure whey but is a damn good substitute with even more nutrients than your average morning bowl meal.

Also, Jungle Oats as your breakfast with egg whites/pecans (I prefer pecans) is brilliant. I’d have a Futurelife shake upon waking up and then a post workout fruit then oats with egg whites etc.

I don’t know about other countries but here, together they’d set you back R60 (ZAR). So a serving of each, a day, really keeps the protein blues away.

April82014

The Best of Machines

Having been to a lot of gyms I noticed, well what occurred to me was that each facility had a circuit area with machines lined up or set up in circumference.

These circuit areas varied from gym to gym of course, short 1 or 2 machines or having a couple more. I used to stick to the circuit floor because free-weights intimidated me. If you’re just starting out and feel the same here’s a list of the best (I really think) machines in the gym. Don’t be discouraged, machines are just as good as free-weights, they’re the best teachers of technique/form pre-free-weights. You’ll still benefit, the circuit is the best place for a total body workout in short amount of time you have to spare.

1. Seated Cable Row (its not always in the circuit area but its really good nonetheless, my favourite)
Middle Back
Biceps, Lats, Shoulders

2. Seated Chest Press
Close-grip (palms facing down) - Chest and Triceps
Neutral-grip (palms facing each other) - Shoulders become secondary muscles

3. Lat Pull-down
Lats
Middle Back, Biceps and Shoulders

4. Seated Shoulder Press
Shoulders
Triceps

5. Pec Deck
Chest
(Perform them well and you won’t hurt your shoulders)

6. Bicep Curl Machine
Biceps

7. Tricep Pushdown
Triceps

8. Leg Press
Quads
Glutes, Calves, Hamstrings

9. Leg Extensions
Quads

10. Hamstring Curls / Leg Curls
Hamstrings

11. Abductor
Glutes

12. Adductor
Glutes, Hamstrings

13. Seated Calf Raise
Calves

14. Standing Calf Raise
Calves

15. Abdominal Crunches
Abs

10PM

Training Glutes

The gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus) are forgotten, almost as much as our forearms. We take them for granted, leaving it to compound exercises to do the job. Truth is, they also need their isolation time. The gluteus maximus is a hip extensor and plays an important role in pelvic and spinal stabilisation.

Strong glutes enable speed, acceleration and swift conversion of energy from horizontal to vertical in the case of running jumps. Especially in sprinting, strong glutes will help you as an athlete do a lot of things better. Like? Being more powerful out of the bottom of a squat.

Hip thrusts and glute bridges will provide a glute training stimulus that goes far above any other type of exercise, including squat variations.
Squats and deadlifts are great but they won’t work glute like hip thrusts and glute bridges will.

Our glutes stabilise the hip. They counteract gravity’s hip adduction torque and maintain proper leg alignment by eccentrically controlling adduction and internal rotation of the thigh. Tough job, wouldn’t it make sense to make it a tough muscle group too?

A trainer over at Bodybuilding.com has compiled an excellent way to work on the glutes regularly, using these supersets:

For each of these supersets, you’ll perform the isolation exercise first. The rep range for the first movement should be around 20-25 reps, followed immediately by 6-10 reps of the compound movement. After
both exercises, you’ll rest and repeat for a total of 2-4 supersets.

1. Glute Bridge with Deadlift
When performing the glute bridge, squeeze up through the glutes and try to keep your quads and hamstrings
relaxed. Pause ever-so-slightly at the top before lowering again to complete the rep. Once you feel the glutes burning, stand up and immediately move into a stiff-leg deadlift. As you do the deadlift, make sure you are squeezing through the glutes and not pulling from the back.

2. Glute Kickback with Step-Up
The glute kickback targets the gluteus medius; you will feel it when you move into the step-ups. You can do
kickbacks with your body weight, with an ankle weight, or using a cable pulley system. To create maximum glute activation during the step-ups, use the highest bench or step you have available.

3. Hip Abduction with Weighted Lunge
When doing hip abductors, pull the weighted leg back in a slightly diagonal pattern. This will better activate the
glute medius. Lift your leg as high as you comfortably can. After doing hip abduction on both legs, move directly
into lunges. Your balance may, that’s okay.

These supersets aren’t meant to be done one after the other. Add one of these superset to the end of your normal lower-body training session.
If you do too much extra work on your glutes, you may find you’ve over-trained.

9PM

Attention Ectomorphs

Are you finding it just a bit too hard to pack on muscle? Then you’re probably an Ectomorph… It may be genetic, it may be some other reason but many guys especially pre-T are ectomorphs (Low T being the reason). That’s why this is a good article to read and good program to try for every guy that’s struggling:

Ectomorphs are usually [hard gainers] when it comes to gaining muscle mass…

www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ectomorph_pyramid_training.htm

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