Tag Archives: muscle

Lose Body Fat And Sculpt Lean Muscle With This Workout

Warning: this style of workout is WAY different than anything you’ve ever tried before and may result in a dramatically leaner, stronger body so that your friends no longer recognize you in a matter of weeks!

Alright, I exaggerated about your friends recognizing you, but this workout is still great for busy people that always use the excuse that they don’t have time to go to the gym, or even for the normal gym rat to try out for a few weeks to break out of a plateau.

Please keep an open-mind and don’t worry so much about what other people think, because this is quite different and you may get some funny looks, but you’ll get the last laugh with your new rock hard body! To be honest, most people are too self conscious to try something like this. If that’s the case for you, then that’s your loss.

Here’s how it works:

Instead of doing your traditional workouts of going to the gym 3-4 times a week and doing your normal weight training and cardio routines for an hour at a shot, with this program, you will be working out for just a couple minutes at a time, several times throughout each day, 5 days/week.

The program will consist of only bodyweight exercises done for about 2-3 minutes, 6-8 times per day, throughout each day. Now obviously if you work a normal office job, you are going to have to not be shy about doing a few exercises in your office and having your cube-mates watch you. Actually, I’ve found that some people that have tried this have actually gotten their co-workers to join them! If you have a private office, then you don’t have to worry about anybody watching you. If you work from home, or are a stay at home mom, there’s no reason you can’t fit these in throughout the day while at home. If you end up having a busy day with meetings and so forth, and can only fit a couple of these 2-minute workouts in, then so be it, but try to get as many done each day as you can.

If you’re on a normal 9-5 office schedule, I recommend doing your 2-minute workouts every hour, on the hour, with the exception of lunch. For example, you could try 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm.

Some of the exercises that are the best to focus on are:

-bodyweight squats (and variations)
-pushups (and variations)
-forward, reverse, or walking lunges
-up & down a staircase if one is available
-floor planks (holding plank position from forearms and feet)
-floor abs exercises such as lying leg thrusts, ab bicycles, etc.
-one-legged bodyweight Romanian deadlifts

This list is not fully comprehensive, but I wanted to keep it relatively simple. If you know other good bodyweight exercises, you can add those to your routine also. If you want to keep it real simple and don’t want to get down on the floor for anything, you can stick to squats, lunges, and pushups and still get great results.

The good thing about these workouts is that you do enough in 2-3 minutes to get your blood pumping, heart rate up a bit, a large portion of your body’s muscles worked, and your body temperature raised. However, it’s usually not enough to break a sweat in only 2 or 3 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about sweating or getting smelly in the office or where ever you may be. At most, you might just get a little moist on the skin.

Here’s an example routine (adjust the reps up or down based on your capabilities):

Mon/Wed/Fri
9 am – 10 pushups/15 bodyweight squats, repeat 1X for 2 sets
10 am – plank holds (hold the planks as long as you can taking short rest breaks for a total of 3 minutes)
11 am – 5 pushups/10 bodyweight squats, repeat for 4 sets
1 pm – plank holds (hold as long as possible in 3 minutes)
2 pm – 8 pushups/12 bodyweight squats, repeat for 3 sets
3 pm – plank holds (hold as long as possible in 3 minutes)
4 pm – max pushups/max bodyweight squats in one set (no repeat)

Tues/Thurs
9 am – 6 fwd lunges each leg/6 rev lunges, repeat 1X for 2 sets
10 am – one legged bw Romanian deadlifts (RDL) 6 each leg/floor abs for 20 sec, repeat 1X for 2 sets
11 am – 3 fwd lunges each leg/3 rev lunges, repeat for 4 sets
1 pm – one legged bw RDL 3 each leg/floor abs for 20 sec, repeat for 4 sets
2 pm – 5 fwd lunges each leg/5 rev lunges, repeat for 3 sets
3 pm – one legged bw RDL 10 each leg/floor abs for 30 sec (no repeat)
4 pm – max fwd lunges each leg/max rev lunges in one set (no repeat)

In order to progress on these workouts, you could either add 1 or 2 reps to each set per week, or you could progress to more difficult versions of each exercise each week (for example, close grip pushups, one leg raised pushups, squats with arms raised straight over head, etc.).

The above routines are just a couple examples of how you can use this very unique style of training. Use your creativity and come up with your own. Think about what you’ve accomplished with these “mini” workouts completed throughout each day… You’ve increased your heart rate and pumped up your muscles 6-8 different times throughout each day, burning a lot of extra calories and stimulating your metabolism. Even though each “mini” workout was a very short duration, you’ve accumulated lots of repetitions for almost every muscle throughout your entire body, and you didn’t even have to break a sweat during any of the “mini” workouts. And there’s hardly any excuse for not being able to take a 2-minute break once per hour and do a couple of exercises. Another benefit of this style of training is that now you don’t have to devote any time before or after work to going to the gym because you already got your workout done little by little throughout the day. You’ve now got some extra free time on your hands!

Try this type of routine out for 3-4 weeks and then go back to your normal gym routines. I think you’ll find that it was a great way to break out of a plateau and stimulate new results in your body. You can try mixing in a cycle of these “mini” workouts every couple of months to keep things fresh.

Keep in mind that this is only one method of training and doesn’t mean that you should only stick to this method for eternity. You will hit a plateau on any given training method, so I’d recommend just rotating it into your arsenal of various training methods. And by all means, don’t worry about what other people think so much…have the courage to try something a little different. In the end, you’ll be the one laughing back at all of the “blubber-bellies” that are giving you funny looks while they eat their donuts!

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How To Weight Train For Maximum Muscle Gain

Weight training involves the use of equipment that enables variable resistance. This resistance can come in the form of “free weights” like barbells and dumbbells, machines that use cables or pulleys to help you lift the weight and bodyweight exercises like pull-ups or dips.

Free Weights vs. Machines vs. Bodyweight Exercises

For maximum muscle gain, the focus of your workouts should consist of free weight exercises. Not machines or bodyweight exercises. This is not to say that you should not use machines or bodyweight exercises, but they should not be the focus of your training. To get an effective, muscle blasting workout, you must stimulate the most muscle fibers as possible, and machines do not do this.

The main reason for this is a lack of stabilizer and synergist muscle development. Stabilizer and synergist muscles are supporting muscles that assist the main muscle in performing a complex lift. The more stabilizers and synergists worked, the more muscle fibers stimulated.

Multi-jointed free weight exercises like the bench press, require many stabilizer and synergistic muscle assistance to complete the lift. On the other hand doing a bench press using a machine will need almost no stabilizer assistance.

Since machines are locked into a specific range of motion and help to support the weight along that path, they fail to stimulate the muscles that surround the area you are working (stabilizers). This is a mistake. If your stabilizer muscles are weak, then the major muscle group will never grow!

Free weight exercises like the dumbbell press or squat, for example, put a very large amount of stress on supporting muscle groups. That’s why you will get fatigued faster and not be able to lift as much weight as you did on the machine. But you will gain more muscle, become stronger very quickly and have a true gauge of your strength.

If you use machines in your program, they should be used to work isolated areas and only after all multi-jointed exercises have been completed.

Beginners should begin with a limited combination of machine exercises, bodyweight exercises and mult-jointed free weight exercises. Before increasing the weight levels, they should work on becoming familiar with the proper form and execution of each.

Soon, bodyweight exercises will become insufficient to stimulate growth and they will need to focus on more free weight exercises.

Multi-Jointed Exercises

The exercises that work the large muscle groups are called compound (or multi-joint) movements that involve the simultaneous stimuation of many muscle groups. These compound exercises should be the foundation of any weight training program because they stimulate the most amount of muscle in the least amount of time.

Here are the basic movements:

* Bench Presses (works the chest, shoulders, tricep)
* Overhead Presses (shoulders, tricep)
* Pull-ups/Barbell Rows (back, bicep)
* Squats (legs, lower back)
* Deadlifts (legs, back, shoulders)
* Bar Dips (shoulders, chest, arms)

I cannot overemphasize the importance of these exercises. Do not start an advanced weight training program without them!

They will overload your entire skeletal and muscular system like no machine could ever do, giving you and effective workout in a very short period of time. If you can only do a few exercises, then do these. They have been proven (and not just by me) to encourage muscle and strength gain unlike any other exercises.

Lift Heavy Weight

To build mass, you must weight train with heavy weights. By heavy, I mean a weight that is challenging for you — not me, or anyone else. To consider a weight heavy, you should only be able to do a maximum of 8-12 reps before your muscles temporarily fail.

A weight is considered “light” if you can do more than 15 reps before muscle fatigue sets in.

Heavy weights stimulate more muscle fibers than lighter weights. It’s that simple. More muscle stimulation means more muscle growth.

Don’t Overtrain

Heavy weight training puts a huge strain on your body, so adequate rest and recuperation after your workouts is essential. If you are prone to train too often, several things happen:

You don’t give your muscles enough time to recuperate between workouts. If your muscles have not repaired themselves, you will not be at maximum strength for your next workout. Rest is essential. Other than eating, this should be your main focus.

You are setting yourself up for burnout or an injury. I know you are motivated and excited about working out, but don’t be careless. You must pace yourself, you want to be able to keep this up for a long time, not burnout before you reach your goals. I only weight train 3 times per week, that’s all.

Anymore than that and I would not give my body enough time to repair and build new muscle.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not grow while working out, you only grow when you are resting.

Below is an example mass workout. I did 4 heavy sets for 4-8 reps each.

Wednesday (legs, abs)

* Heavy Squats, leg extension superset
* Seated Calve Raises, 4 strips sets
* Crunches (4 sets of 20)

——-

Friday (chest, shoulder, triceps, abs)

* Flat bench press, incline dumbbell flyes superset
* Shoulder press, side raises superset
* Tricep pushdowns
* Reverse incline leg raises (3 sets of 20)

——

Sunday (back, biceps, abs)

* Wide grip pull-ups, latbar pulldown superset
* EZ bar bicep curl, incline dumbbell curls superset
* Crunches (4 sets of 20)

Nothing fancy, but effective.

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Build Muscle Without Weights

Do you seriously want to build muscle without weights? This is something which some people will say is impossible, but it can definitely be done if you take the time to learn the right methods. Here are the basics you need to be able to build muscle without weights, from right now.

1-Basics
It is even possible to build muscle without weights with the traditional simple forms of exercise – exercises which need no special equipment, and which can be done anywhere. These include such exercises as sit ups, press ups etc. These are no going to turn you from a weakling into a champion bodybuilder, but if you are not used to exercising your body, they can be a great way to start. As with any form of exercise, you need regular workouts to see results.

2-Arms
Although these general exercises are beneficial, to see real results you will need to concentrate on specific muscle groups. This is the best way to build muscle without weights. Building up the biceps, which is a common starting point amongst aspiring bodybuilders, is not easily done without weights. Probably the best way of going about this is just to use something in place of the weights, such as cans of food. Put the cans into a bag, and you have a makeshift weight to lift.

3-Chest
Every bodybuilder wants to work their chest, as this is what gives the appearance of a well built body. To effectively build muscle without weights for your chest, the muscles called the pectoral muscles, one of the simple possibilities is to make regular press ups harder to do. One easy way of accomplishing this is to put your feet up on a chair, making all the weight go in to your arms. You will find these a lot harder to do than the standard press up, so be prepared.

4-Shoulders
The shoulders will definitely benefit from basic exercises such as press ups, and even more so from inclined press ups. One way to go beyond this is to add pull ups. So many people find these exercises hard to perform, so they definitely have the potential to build muscle without weights. To get the very best results from your pull ups, you will need to widen your grips, so that the weight is concentrated in the shoulder area. This will make sure that the effort you are putting in gets the best possible result, by being directed to the right area. It is hard work, though.

It is certainly not difficult to start to build muscle without weights, and you can start this way without needing to invest in gym memberships or home equipment. Click the links below for some great extra resources.

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