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samedi 24 mai 2014

Bodybuilding Training ( The Killing Routine )

Since you’ve decided that you want to build muscle, lose fat, increase strength or improve your body in any way, the first subject that always comes up is
In order for you to get the best results as fast as possible, you must make sure your workout routine is designed specifically for you, your body, your experience level, and your exact goal. The problem is, there are a ton of different weightlifting factors to set up, and a ton of conflicting, confusing and all around horrible advice out there about how you should do it.
Seriously. Just spend a few minutes searching around online for workout routines and you’ll come across thousands of different weightlifting and bodybuilding programs, plans, schedules, splits and methods that your head could explode. I’ve been there before, so I know exactly how annoying it is.
That’s why I want to eliminate all of your confusion about workouts and programs right now by taking you through a FREE guide that will cover every major factor of weightlifting workouts and show you exactly how to create the workout routine that will work best for you.

The 6 Factors Of A Perfect Workout Routine

In order to put together the best program possible, there are 6 weightlifting factors that we need to set up effectively. They are:
  1. Frequency: How often should you work out?
  2. Weekly Split & Schedule: How should your program be organized throughout the week?
  3. Intensity: Should you lift heavy or light weight? High or low reps?
  4. Volume: How many sets and reps should you do?
  5. Exercises: Which are best for you?
  6. Progression: How, when and why should you progress?
To build muscle, lose fat or improve your body, you need to get each factor just right. Here’s how…

The Best Frequency

Workout frequency most often refers to how many total workouts you’ll do per week, and how many times you will train each muscle group over the course of that week (once, twice, three times?). Let’s figure out both.

How many workouts per week?

This answer is easy. The majority of the population should be doing 3 or 4 weightlifting workouts per week. Yes, it’s possible to get by with just 2, and it’s possible to still recover well enough to make 5 work. However, workout routines that consist of 3 or 4 total workouts per week are definitely most ideal and most often recommended for getting the best results possible.

How often should you train each muscle group per week?

On the other hand, this answer is a little more complicated. Luckily, I’ve already written an article that fully answers it: How Many Times Should You Work Out Each Muscle Group Per Week? Here now is a quick summary of what I explained works best:
  • Beginners with ANY goal should train each muscle group 3 times per week.
  • Intermediate or Advanced trainees whose #1 goal is building muscle, losing fat or just improving the way their body looks should train each muscle group about 2 times per week. Those mostly interested in JUST increasing strength or performance (rather than looks) should train each muscle group 2 or 3 times per week.
So, if you’re a beginner to weightlifting (training for less than 6-8 months correctly), stick with 3 times per week. If you are anyone else with pretty much ANY goal, training each muscle group about twice per week is what has been proven to work best in most cases.
Training each muscle group once per week is the LEAST EFFECTIVE weightlifting frequency of all. Workout routines built around this lowered frequency work well for bodybuilders with amazing genetics and tons of steroid use, and it works fine for just maintaining muscle (rather than actually building it), but it sucks for everything else. It can still work if done right, it’s just NOT what works best.

The Best Weekly Split & Schedule

Now that you know what weightlifting frequency will work best for you, you need to pick a weekly split and schedule that allows that ideal frequency to be reached. At the same time, it also needs to allow for optimal recovery and fit your own personal schedule. Here are some recommendations…

The 3 Day Full Body Split

Monday: Full Body Workout
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: Full Body Workout
Thursday: off
Friday: Full Body Workout
Saturday: off
Sunday: off
Literally all of the most highly proven and often recommended weightlifting workout routines for beginners with ANY goal use this 3 day full body split. It allows each muscle group (or key exercise) to be trained 3 times per week, which allows beginners to build muscle and increase strength at the fastest rate possible. For this same reason, it’s also ideal for people past the beginners stage whose #1 goal is increasing strength.

The 4 Day Upper/Lower Split

Monday: Upper Body
Tuesday: Lower Body
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Upper Body
Friday: Lower Body
Saturday: off
Sunday: off
And here is the workout schedule that I personally use and most often recommend to pretty much EVERYONE besides beginners. It allows for each muscle group to be trained twice per week, which is what has been proven to work best for intermediate and advanced trainees. Many of the most effective workout routines on the planet use this split.
A 3 day version of this upper/lower split is also possible and equally effective, which is ideal for people who can only manage to work out 3 days per week or would just prefer a slightly reduced weightlifting frequency. You’d just do upper, lower, upper one week, and then lower, upper, lower the next and keep alternating like that (with 1 day off between workouts and 2 days off at the end).

The Push/Pull/Legs Split

Monday: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Tuesday: Back, Biceps
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Legs
Friday: off
Saturday: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Sunday: Back, Biceps
Monday: off
Tuesday: Legs
Wednesday: off
And here is one of the only true “body part splits” that I actually like. Most body part splits used in typical bodybuilding programs train each muscle group once per week. As I explained earlier, this is the least effective weightlifting frequency. However, this split avoids that. It’s slightly less frequent than the 4 day upper/lower split above, but still more frequent than once per week.
The only problem with workout routines using this schedule is that the days the workouts fall on will vary from week to week, which could be a problem for people whose personal schedules aren’t that flexible (which is a big part of why I usually recommend upper/lower). Still, while there are a few other ways to make the push/pull/legs split work, this is probably the best of them all.

My Recommendations

For beginners with any goal, the full body split is definitely my only recommendation. For everyone else, the 3 or 4 day upper/lower split is what I recommend most, with the push/pull/legs split being another great option if your schedule can make it work. For additional details on these splits as well as a few other variations, check out my article about workout plans and weight training splits.
As for the typical once-per-week body part splits, leave them for the bodybuilders on every drug known to man. Us regular people with average genetics do best with these.

The Best Intensity

As far as weightlifting workout routines go, intensity can have a few different meanings. In most cases (including this one), we’re talking about how heavy or light the weight you are lifting is. The heavier it is, the higher your intensity is and the less reps you’ll be able to do. The lighter it is, the lower your intensity is and the more reps you’ll be able to do. The question is…

How many reps should you do per set?

Honestly, anywhere between 1-20 reps per set can serve some type of purpose in weightlifting. However, this could definitely be narrowed down quite a bit based on your specific goal:
  • Doing 1-6 reps per set is best for increasing strength.
  • Doing 5-12 reps per set is best for building muscle.
  • Doing 10-20 reps per set is best for improving muscular endurance.
Which means, for the majority of the people reading this, you’re most likely going to want to do between 5-12 reps per set. This is the rep range used in nearly all of the workout routines aimed at building muscle or improving the way your body looks.
And for anyone wondering why I didn’t mention that higher reps were best for getting toned, it’s because they’re not. As I explain in my article about How To Get Toned & Defined, it’s pure bullshit.

The Best Volume

Volume refers to the amount of work being done (sets, reps, exercises) in your workouts. This could mean total volume per workout, or per week, or per exercise, or per muscle group. Each is important, but the one we need to care about the most is total volume per muscle group. Why? Because this is a crucial part of ensuring we’re doing enough to get results, but not too much to hurt recovery. So…

How many sets should you do for each muscle group?

Of all of the weightlifting factors we’re looking at in this guide, volume is the hardest one to pin down to an exact number that’s best for everyone. Goals, experience level, and individual ability to recover play big roles in this answer. However, here is an amount that tends to be just right for most people.
  • 8-15 sets per bigger muscle group per week (chest, back, quads and hamstrings).
  • 0-8 sets per smaller muscle group per week (shoulders, biceps, triceps).
Now, the key words there are “per week.” Meaning, the same weekly frequency isn’t being used in all workout routines. Some people will train each muscle group once, twice or three times per week. Depending on that frequency, you’d need to divide that volume up among your workouts. For example…
  • If you’re training each muscle group 3 times per week (which I recommend to all beginners), you should do between 3-5 sets per bigger muscle group per workout, and half that for smaller muscle groups.
  • If you’re training each muscle group 2 times per week (which I recommend to intermediate and advanced trainees), you should do between 4-8 sets per bigger muscle group per workout, and half that for smaller muscle groups.
  • If you’re training each muscle group 1 time per week (which I rarely recommend to anyone), you should do 8-15 sets per bigger muscle group per workout, and half that for smaller muscle groups.
The most effective workout routines on the planet generally follow these recommendations. Oh, and most people will do best sticking towards the middle of these ranges, not the high end.

The Best Exercises

Now that you have a pretty good idea of how much volume to do, you need to figure out which exercises you’re actually going to do in your workouts to get that volume. There are hundreds of different weightlifting exercises to choose from, and each one can serve a different purpose and be more or less ideal for certain people’s bodies, goals and experience levels than others.
In general however, the majority of the workout routines that people create should be based around the following exercises:
  • Bench Press (flat, incline, decline, barbell or dumbbell)
  • Rows (barbell, dumbbell, cable, chest supported or machine)
  • Overhead Press (barbell, dumbbell, seated or standing)
  • Pull Ups (various grips, chin ups or lat pull downs)
  • Squats (back, front, split squats, lunges)
  • Deadlifts (conventional, Romanian)
There are definitely some exceptions, but for the most part, some variation from each group of compound exercises listed above should be included in virtually ALL workout programs and get most (or sometimes even all) of your attention. Beyond those, isolation exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, leg curls, etc. can be fine secondary additions to your program if they support your goal or preferences.
My articles about choosing the true best exercises for you and the differences between free weights vs machines and compound vs isolation will help explain all of this in much better detail.

The Best Progression

While those are the main components that go into creating workout routines, there’s one final component that matters more than all of them. It’s the only weightlifting component that MUST be in place in order for your workout to actually work and produce positive results.
I’m talking about the absolutely required concept of progression.
As I explain in my muscle building article, there is no aspect of your workout routine that is more important than progression. You can set up everything else just right, but it will always fail to work if there is no progression taking place over time.
What I mean is, your body will not improve unless you increase the demands you are placing on it. So, if you keep lifting the same weights for the same number of reps on the same exercises over and over again, your body will NOT improve. You must gradually attempt to do more reps with the same weight or do the same number of reps with a heavier weight, or some combination of the two.
For example, if you can lift 100lbs on an exercise for 8 reps, you need to try to do 9 reps the next time you perform that exercise. Once you can, you need to try to do 10 reps. From there, you can increase the weight to 105lbs and do 8 reps. Then try for 9, then 10, then 110lbs for 8… and so on.
This is a common example of weightlifting progression, and your workout routine MUST be built around making this happen as often as realistically possible. If it isn’t, then you’re just wasting your time.
Progression is always the key to getting results from your workout. Make sure it’s always your #1 focus.

Need A Workout Routine That’s Already Proven To Work BEST?

We’ve now covered all of the factors that go into creating effective workout routines, and you learned how to adjust each of those factors based on what works best for you. The articles I’ve linked to throughout this guide will help provide a few extra details as well.
Now, it’s still possible that you’ll have some additional questions about how to put everything together and design the best weightlifting program for your exact goal. You may also just want some help doing it. Well, after nearly 10 years of people asking for it, I’ve finally created the solution.
and in it I provide every additional answer, detail and fact you will ever need to get the best results as fast as possible. It contains the proven sample workout routines (and diet plans) that I’ve used to help countless men and women completely transform their bodies.

five best workouts training ( Chest )

By  the chest exercises out there and with new ones addedchest_strong, seems like daily, it can be confusing which ones work the chest muscles best. Some new chest exercises are trendy to get attention or to sell new products, but most work your chest to a lesser agree. The question is then asked what are the best chest exercises? Most agree the top five chest exercises that are listed below are the top chest exercises for the developing a great chest.
Although these chest exercises have been around for many years, they still are proven to be most effective chest exercises according to most health and fitness professionals. If you incorporate the suggested top chest exercises: incline press, flat press, flies and dips you will hit all your chest muscles from various angles and as a result you will see great results.

Top 5 Most Effective Chest Exercises

Although the following chest exercises are in some order of importance, they all are equally beneficial for developing a picture perfect chest. None of the top 5 movements should be avoided if at all possible. By incorporating these top 5 chest exercises you will target all parts of the chest including: the Pectoralis Minor, Pectorlis Major (Clavicular, Sternal),  while incorporating secondary muscles of the triceps and deltoids .

Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press (Bench Press) is the most recognizable and most use chest exercise. The Bench Press seems to gauge your strength in many eyes. How many times have you heard the question asked "how much can you press". There is very little relevancy in that question unless you're competing as a power lifter. Barbell Bench Press is by far the best exercise for targeting the Pectoralis Major, Sternal. Barbell Bench Press uses the Petoralis Major Clavicular, Deltoid Anterior and Triceps Brachii as synergist with stabilizer Biceps Brachii, Short Head.
The following is the correct procedure for completing Barbell Bench Press:
  1. Lie on a flat bench and grip barbell slightly wider than shoulder width. 
  2. Keep feet flat on floor, butt and shoulders planted firmly on the bench and un-rack the weight.
  3. With arms straight over your chest lower the bar to your upper chest, while inhaling, pause briefly.
  4. Drive the weight back up, while exhaling, to the starting position. 
  5. Continue until the desired number of repetitions has been met. 
Tips: Come to a complete stop after the barbell touches your chest. Avoid bouncing and jerking the weight up using momentum, instead use a smooth and controlled motion. Avoid locking elbows at top of movement. 

Barbell Incline Bench Press  

Barbell Incline Bench Press is listed as number 1 because it is simply the best exercise for hitting the Chest's Pectoralis Major, Clavicular. Barbell Incline Bench Press works the Deltoid, Anterior and Triceps Brachii as Synergist and with Stabilizers Biceps Brachii, Short Head.
Follow this procedure for performing Barbell Incline Bench Press correctly.
  1. Lie on an incline bench and grip barbell slightly wider than shoulder width. 
  2. Keep feet flat on floor, butt and shoulders planted firmly on the bench and un-rack the weight.
  3. With arms straight over your chest lower the bar to your upper chest, while inhaling, pause briefly. 
  4. Drive the weight back up, while exhaling, to the starting position.
  5. Continue until the desired number of repetitions has been met.
Tips: Make sure that the bench is angled at no more than 30 degrees. Avoid bouncing and jerking the weight, instead use a smooth and controlled motion. Avoid locking elbows at top of movement.

Flat/Incline Dumbbell Press (Dumbbell Bench Press)

The Dumbbell Bench Press is similar to the Barbell Bench Press but with arms working independently of one another and not lock together as with the barbell. For some the Dumbbell press is easier on the shoulders because the arms moving independently of one another. Another difference with Dumbbell Press it will allow a deeper stretch at bottom by allowing the weight to drop deeper and pushing the barbells closer together at the top with a slight arch movement. Remember when performing the following Dumbbell Press exercise always maintain control of the dumbbells at all times.
The following is the correct procedure for performing the dumbbell press:
  1. Sit down on bench with dumbbells resting on lower thigh, then kick weights to shoulders and lie back. An option to kicking weights up to shoulders is to have someone hand you the weights when you're in the lying position.
  2. Lift weights overhead to starting position as you would a barbell. With feet planted firmly on floor for stability lower the dumbbells from arms length to as low as possible on you outer chest.
  3. Pause briefly, push up and return to starting position with a slight arch motion.
  4. Squeeze, then repeat.
Tip: You can vary the distance between your sides and elbows to take pressure off the shoulders.


Chest Dips is similar to the triceps version. Chest Dips closely resemble what you would be trying to accomplish with the decline press when trying to work the phantom 'lower Pecs'.  With using a wide dip bar you will target the Pectoralis Major, Sternal more than just the Triceps Brachii. Chest dips is a great finishing exercise that also strengthens the triceps for chest pressing exercises. To work the chest and not so much the triceps, lean slightly forward. As you increase in strength you can add a weight belt and some plates, hold a dumbbell between your feet or use other weighted dip equipment.
Perform Dips as Follows:
  1. Start with your arms almost fully extended with shoulders above hands.
  2. Lean slightly forward to keep tension more so on the Pecs than the triceps.
  3. Lower body by bending arms allowing elbows to flare out to sides.
  4. When stretch is felt in the chest, pause and squeeze your Pecs then push body up to starting position.
  5. Repeat reps to failure. 

Flat/Incline Dumbbell Fly

The Dumbbell Fly is an isolation exercise for the Pectoralis Major, Sternal. When the Dumbbell Fly is performed correctly, your  Pecs will be doing almost all the work. Both Flat and Incline Flies are performed the same way with hitting the chest at slightly different angles. For optimal results you should alternate between the flat and incline flies.
  1. Lie on bench with dumbbells at arm's length with a slight bend in elbows (internally rotate shoulders so elbows to the sides). 
  2. With palms facing in, slowly lower the dumbbells out to the sides while inhaling until you feel a comfortable stretch.
  3. Bring the dumbbells back up together while exhaling as if you were hugging a barrel.
  4. Repeat.
Tip: Be sure not to bend your arms too much. If you bend your arms to a 90 degree angle to complete the rep, the weight is too heavy.
Tips: To work the chest and not so much the triceps, lean slightly forward. Never lock your elbows. Bending your legs and crossing your feet will shift the center of gravity to aid in leaning forward, allowing more of the chest muscle to be involve. If you have shoulder problems, consider skipping this exercise.
Honorable Mention: Incline Smith Machine Press, Decline Barbell Fly, Pec Dec Fly, Cable Cross Over would be mention if doing top 10 chest exercises. 
Note: Decline Bench Press is left out of the list of the most effective chest exercises because the decline bench press is reported to work the lower chest, however, there is no lower chest muscles; therefore there is no need to perform an exercise like the decline bench press. However, if you are a big fan of this movement, feel free to work in the Decline Bench Press to change up your routine a bit. I will reiterate however, that there are better chest exercises to spend your time doing that will work your chest in a more complete fashion. If you love being upside, then my suggestion, is work in decline flies. At least with a fly movement you will use less triceps than you would doing the decline press.

mercredi 14 août 2013

Hydratation Importance

I've always been the person who barely drinks enough during the day. Causes were exhaustion, bad breath as well as weakness and headaches.
One week ago I started drinking ~4 liters of water a day and I feel so much better! I used to be sleepy and have the above symptoms all the time! It's time to share this simple knowledge.

A special thing I've noticed is me waking up early. Since the last 4 days I've always been waking up at exactly 6:15 AM, feeling great after only a few hours of sleep. It's strange but I'm sure it's related to me drinking more than twice as much than before. Kind of annoying though since I set my alarm to 7:00 AM lol. However it's great not to feel sleepy and worn-out anymore.

The core of the article and it's studies on the benefits of good hydration is solid. However disregard the part where they recommend bottled water over tap water.

Apparently, studies have proven that muscles are ~19% stronger when hydrated compared to a dehydration level of just 3%! The weights today felt much lighter than usual!

Here's an interesting article concerning the correlation muscle strength and hydration.

I highly recommend reading the article above. It's very detailed and accurate.

Here's a list of the changes I could personally experience:

- Bad breath went away (I've always been worried about this one. I could've saved that money for chewing gums if I had known the importance of hydration)
- Less acne
- Not sleepy anymore (actually feeling energetic after waking up)
- No insane hunger all the time
- More strenght
- I lost water retention by drinking more water, basically doing the same as lowering the amount of sodium in your body

The only side-effect:

- Having to pee every 30-60 minutes

As for drinking too much, a lot of people are scared because they hear those freak news reports of people dying from people drinking too much water. Yes you can die from drinking too much water, however that would require at least 10 liters within a really small time frame.

So there you have it. Might be general knowledge for most of you but apparently, I didn't realize hydration was so important.
However I hope it was helpful for the people who disregarded proper hydration so far.

mardi 13 août 2013

The best diet : High-fat..low-fa ?!!

High-fat, low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free…. One look at the dizzying array of diet books on bookstore shelves pitching the latest diet craze is enough to make you question which diets are simply passing fads, and which ones really work.

In the fourth of the Harvard School of Public Health’s summer Hot Topics lecture series, Eric Rimm provided advice for those wanting to lose some pounds in his talk, “Deconstructing Popular Weight Loss Diets.” The lecture was held July 31, 2012 in FXB G-13.
“Is there a magic bullet to losing weight? Probably not,” said Rimm, associate professor in the departments of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH and director of the Program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology.
Rimm gave an overview of what’s known scientifically about some of the more popular diets. Regarding the low-fat diet craze of recent years, he said, “A low-fat diet is not a viable weight loss option for most people.” Recent studies tracking progress on a range of weight loss plans found low-fat diets generally don’t work and can sometimes be harmful because people need some healthy fats in their diets.
Research shows many popular diets result in a modest weight loss, reduced cholesterol, and improved insulin sensitivity with moderate compliance over several months, said Rimm. But when these participants are followed over the course of a year, compliance tends to slip and much of the weight is regained. In some studies, women in control groups who didn’t adjust their diets ended up at the same approximate weight as the dieters after one year.

Ease of adherence to a meal plan—how easily people can stick to it over time— is one of the most important attributes to any diet. The macronutrient composition may not matter as much, especially since many diets include similar healthy options—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and the like, only in different proportions, said Rimm.
“There’s no perfect diet. Adherence to the diet one selects rules the day,” he said.
Here are some tips from Rimm on successful weight loss:

  • Tailor your diet: Successful diets tailored to individuals’ personal and cultural preferences are more likely to result in long term success.
  • Get support: Ongoing counseling sessions are important to achieving and maintaining weight loss.
  • Eat a range of food choices, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
  • Unprocessed foods are best. Stay away from processed food.
  • Fats: Not all fats are created equal. Replace unhealthy fats, such as trans fats and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, with healthy fats, such as olive oil or canola oil (mono and polyunsaturated fats). Use liquid cooking oils and check nutrition labels on products you buy for fat content.
  • Fish: If you are able, try to eat two servings of fish weekly or consider fish oil supplements to get an average 250mg/day of omega 3s or n-3 fatty acids. Choose your fish wisely to avoid mercury, especially if you are pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, or a small child or infant. Albacore tuna, shark, and swordfish are among the fish with higher mercury levels.
  • Alcohol: A number of studies have shown moderate alcohol consumption to have some health benefits, such as to heart health and increased longevity. However, deciding whether to drink alcohol or not is a personal decision and not advisable if you are at risk for alcoholism. Studies also have shown that one drink a day can increase women’s breast cancer risk by 10%. If you do drink, do so sensibly and in moderation: up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
  • Consider following HSPH’s Healthy Plate as a guide to healthy eating.
  • Dark chocolate can be good for blood pressure—just don’t consume too much of it.

Training Program Basics Especially for women

It is said that "working out" is when one just goes to the gym and does exercises whereas "training" is what one does when they are on a program designed to specifically progress them. If you are reading this, you are interested in finding a program that will progress you.

Is This Training Program Good?

One of the most common questions we get here is to critique some beginner's training program. The answer is ALWAYS the same. Don't create a program if you are beginner. (in fact don't create one if you aren't highly versed in the fitness field.)

Instead, go find a program written by a professional that works for your goals. I wandered around the other sections of the board and found this amazing "sticky" that I thought we might have stickied in the Female Forum too….

An addition to that thread is the "female" part of this. Women often have a tiny bit of a dissadvantage in the whole "lifting" world in that it is such a "man's world" and lifting can be very intimidating. We are often so confused by existing pardigms such as "you will get bulky" if you lift too heavy and "cardio is the way to a lean/tone body".

IMHO one of the very best books that a woman (new to lifting and bodybuilding) can possibly read is New Rules of Lifting for Women. Even if a woman has another training program in mind, the basic concepts of lifting and nutrition and how a woman needs to act in the weight room are worth the 12 or so dollars for the book. There is also an entire section devoted to nutrition. An added benefit of this book is that both Lou Schuler and Cassandra Forsythe (the nutrition expert) will answer your questions personally if you email them.

Another possible program for female beginners is the Man's version of the New Rules book (Simply titled, New Rules of Lifting). I personally like this program better than the women's version. It gives you an entire years worth of programming and is (again) well worth the 12 dollar investment for the program.

Some people ask which of the two to get. My answer is if you are female and have never stepped into the free weight section of the gym definitely get the women’s book. Even if you have been lifting for a long while and are female, you will still benefit from the nutritional information if not the actual program.

If you already are very comfortable in the gym and with mixing and matching programs than the man’s version might be better for you.

I personally have both.

Some other good programs are:

Starting Strength (Mark Ripptoe)

Power Training (Men's Health)

5-3-1 (Jim Wendler)

There are many, many other good choices for a beginner to pick so pick one and work it. It bears saying that working your butt off on a crappy program will give you better results than working half-assedly on a good one. So whatever program you chose, work it hard!

What program is good for FAT LOSS?

Fat loss is not really a product of any specific training program but a product of your diet. If your diet is not set up for fat loss, then you will not lose weight no matter how hard you train. You cannot out-train a bad diet. Go to the nutrition section of the female folder and read the stickies on Clean Eating and Cheating and on setting your calories and macros. Sure there are some programs better for fat loss than others but for the most part, people who participate in a good lifting program will be able to obtain their goals of fat loss with the correct diet. (NROL has a fat loss specific program)

Once you have established the correct diet, then you can work in a program to help you with your goals.

If you have not looked at these videos yet, you will definitely get a giggle from them if not a big Ah Hah!

What about cardio

Cardio is generally not recommended for most persons wishing to do body re-composition. (Even fat loss) This especially goes for the female population who has for so long been doing way too much cardio. In the book, New Rules for Women, the directive is given to all women to “Step away from the treadmill!” While cardio arguably can do some good things it generally is done far too much and for all the wrong reasons with the female population.

The biggest problem IMHO with just adding cardio outside of a weight lifting program is that it will potentially cause a woman to drop muscle faster than fat. Since most women have less muscle and lose it faster than men, this is a big problem. Doing only cardio or too much cardio results in women who are skinny fat. For some of the more overweight female populations, cardio can serve to help with the fat loss and will not have negative consequences. Keep in mind that the closer you are to an ideal bodyweight, the harder it is to preserve muscle.

If you pick a strength or resistance program such as NROL or NROL4W it will tell you what to do for cardio. I like these programs because they introduce HITT as opposed to ss cardio. Outside of the specific guidelines for cardio in a program I have found that as a general rule, trainers say about 20-30 min 2-3 times a week is maximum time for anyone wishing to do cardio and weight train.

Now here is the “rub” for those of you who are “hard-core” cardio queens and just cannot give it up. Doing cardio can actually completely stop or thwart your fat loss efforts especially as you get closer to your ideal weight. The way that works is that we all burn a certain amount of calories per day in NEAT type of activities. NEAT stands for Non Exercise Thermogenesis Activity and is basically all the moving that you do every day outside of exercise. This could be climbing stars, walking from the car to the door or even fidgeting. Some of us are really good NEAT people. When cardio is added to the mix of a training routine it has the potential to wear a person out and they decrease their NEAT. Net result is even less calories burned. Consider another scenario. Some people do cardio and it triggers mad hunger. They go home and EAT THE HOUSE. Net result is more calories added then burned.

Often times all a person has to do (if they are stalled on weight loss) is to stop all exercise except for NEAT and focus on diet. This will give them the "correct" baseline for diet and then they can add back in the exercise based from this baseline.

So the answer is not to just add cardio to your training program. Cardio is certainly not the root of all evil and there are legitimate reasons to do it. Just know that fat loss and muscle gain goals can be easily disrupted with too much cardio. It is about finding the right balance of food, lifting and cardio for you and your goals.

Happy program picking folks and keep in mind that if you need to ask on a forum if your program is "okay".... ...it most likely is not.

lundi 12 août 2013

How To Make Success Complet ??!

How can one achieve bodybuilding success?

There are too many steps to take to achieve success. As noted above there are a few things any bodybuilder must utilize to become competitive and make a name for themselves as they step on stage. To get things started lets keep it simple. Dedication, motivation, consistency, posing, meal planning, working out smart, and supplementation all have to be put into a puzzle and pieced together slowly. Bodybuilding is not a sprint it is a marathon. To be successful this individual must realize the amount of time and effort to be put in to reach their goal of stepping on stage and placing. With all of these pieces to the puzzle you have to notice that without all of them there is a less chance of becoming that person you dreamed of. The best way to achieve success through my eyes is through transformation with pictures and/or videos. Take pictures every 2-3 weeks and notice how much your body composition changes. Seeing the weekly changes it motivation to keep working harder and striving for your goal. Seeing that gut slowly diminish, the lower back fat starting to shed, and your upper body shredding and veins starting to pop are all signs that you are on the right track and making success to getting your body in prime shape to be successful.

What are some important characteristics a bodybuilder should have?

Dedication - The first thing people struggle with is dedication. They start out having a dream and wanting to achieve success on stage, but in the end they really do not have what it takes to lift and diet on a consistent basis. The first major step for your dedication is picking out a show. If its 10 months away, 1 year away or 2 years away pick a show that you want to do , and STICK TO IT. After you pick your show now its your time to stick and be dedicated to diet and training because that is going to be 95% of how your body shapes up to be successful. Plan ahead for your meals by however you track them (fitday.com, the daily plate, or writing down your calories on a sheet of paper). Write down your workouts in a notebook, and continually take it with you to the gym to measure progress. Are you becoming stronger? Are you hitting a plateau? Are you seeing success in adding more reps to your exercises? These are things you have to gauge to see if you are being successful. 

Motivation - As stated above motivation is critical. If you cannot walk into the gym and want to be a better person and improve on what you did yesterday you are setting yourself up for not being successful but going through the motions (which is what you do not want). There has to be a trigger going off inside of yourself saying that this is what I want to do, and if you do not have the fire burning inside you can bet your competition does and that they are outworking you. Motivation for me as stated is best seen through pictures or videos of my physique. I have always taken pictures every 2-3 weeks or a video update once a month to see the body composition changes. I try to pick out lagging body parts, or body-parts that tend to hold more fat and take measurements to see if they are reducing through diet and cardio. If things are not moving in the right direction this is a signal I need to make a change to get my body going in the right direction. As I continue to track my progress I can notice where things are starting to dial in, and where I can improve to bring up my body for the stage to make an identical physique to impress the judges.

Consistency -

Ever hear the phrase "Consistency is Key" That statement is not a lie its 100% truth. If you are not consistent you are setting yourself up for failure. Bodybuilding is all about being consistent. Posing and nailing your routine to make sure things go smooth on stage. Planning your meals and getting in adequate calories to diet and preserve as much Lean Body Mass as possible. Getting in your workouts and cardio every week to attain your ideal physique. Being consistent with taking all your supplements to give yourself that extra edge above your competition. Look at how many scenarios I am giving you and how if you fall off one of them you may be falling behind in success. There are so many little details in bodybuilding that can sidetrack your progress. Not spiking your foot on your side chest, side tricep, or rear lat spread may give your opponent an edge in revealing your body, the only reason to not have this down is by consistently practicing your posing or getting a coach to look over you. Are you willing to give a certain chunk of your time everyday/every week towards fulfilling your goal? That is what consistency is all about. Getting into a rhythm and never skipping a beat, by doing this you are making good habits and allowing yourself to slowly make progress.

Posing -

A vital part of going on stage and showing off your physique is posing. One of the most underrated tools in bodybuilding is knowing how to expose your body and show your strengths/weakness's. While many people do not believe in practicing posing in the offseason, and only paying attention as time closes in on you contest they are setting them self up for failure. Posing is a great tool to know because by showing your weakness's in the offseason it allows yourself time to hammer away at them in the weight room prior to your show. Bringing up a body part that will lack on stage is a good tool to know because this will create symmetry which judges will be looking for. Having a big back, thick striated glutes, bulging biceps, and thick triceps will make a complete package, but if you step on stage and you cannot show off your lats or know how to nail a front double bicep by forgetting to flex your quads or suck in your gut, You are falling behind! I highly recommend finding or hiring a posing coach. If not try to find someone in your gym who has competed to spend time with them on getting to expose your body and understanding how to get down the basic 8 mandatory poses.

Meal Planning -

What makes the most of your physique? Diet. People have said your body is reflected 80% through your diet and what you eat. I have to confirm that this is true. While calories are calories if you fuel your body with sugar laden foods, high amounts of trans fat, and greasy burgers are you really going to set yourself up for success? Not so much. Finding the foods that suit your body best is the first and foremost things bodybuilders need to do. Some people do not react very well to grains. People will find that they get bloated very easy off eating whole wheat breads, oatmeal, and pasta. If this is the case you need to go back to the drawing board and sketch up a low carb, higher fat, and high protein diet. A great example of this would be the Scivation Cut-Diet or CHA diet which has been utilized by many members of Team Scivation in Contest Prep and have come back with hardware! Some individuals on the other hand swear by carbohydrates. Some people can eat up to 350-400g of carbs while dieting and achieve success. They are flowing with energy, keeping a very full physique, and slowly losing weight. A prime example would be Tommy Jeffers in his prep with Layne Norton when he won his Pro-Card at the OCB Midwest states. At the lowest caloric total he had carbohydrates at a steady rate of 250 grams a day! Most people do not even bulk on that amount. Through that number he planned out his meals and made sure to take in 50% of his carbs around his training, 25% at breakfast, and the other amount spread throughout the rest of his meals. Focusing on a diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, and essential fatty acids is the key to success is keeping a bodybuilding physique!

Training Smarter Not Harder -

Some people believe that when dieting its essential to do a lot of reps and a lot of sets. FALSE! Lyle McDonald sums this up best when dieting and training. You must train with lower volume, higher intensity, and less frequency. To achieve success you have to put as much pressure on the muscle as possible to preserve what you have. Doing a lot of reps and sets is only depleting your body and stressing cortisol to the max. Doing that will decrease recovery and lead your body to being banged up and run down. This is the last thing you need while on contest prep and going down the stretch towards peak week. Some people may fall off the train, but to those who go into the gym, get their session in, hit their cardio, and stay on track with diet will be walking away with hardware at the end of their show. I would suggest training hard and heavy on compound movements 4-5x a week, you can increase the reps on small isolation movements, but the sole focus should be on a 45-60 minute session.

Supplementation -

The last piece of the puzzle is supplementation. As a bodybuilder you should be taking the essentials - Whey Protein (to hit your protein needs), Creatine (to give your body extra ATP towards strength gains), Fish-Oils (to hit your EFA's), and a Multi-Vitamin (to get those essential vitamins you cannot get through whole foods). As you continue to drop calories you get to eat less food. This is critical while a multi-vitamin can give you those vitamins and minerals which cannot be obtained in your caloric limit. The last two products I would add are Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's) and a Fat-Burner. Branch Chains are awesome because they are instantly absorbed by the bloodstream. A great product to have is Scivation Xtend. During training what do you lose? Aminos and Protein because the body is breaking down muscle. BCAA's instantly recharge your body of what it is losing to keep yourself in an anabolic state at ALL TIMES!. What do you need to get rid of that last layer of fat on your abs? Are you holding a little extra water/fat on your hamstrings? Have no fear when you add in a fat burner on top of good cardio and diet. This will be able to give you a boost of energy and shed that last layer of fat to have you looking your best on stage!

Compared to other sports, how difficult is it for one to achieve success in the bodybuilding sport?

It is very difficult to achieve success. There are so many pieces to the puzzle to become the best and be successful. First and foremost genetics are going to play a part. Some people have great genetics and can look good all year round, some people on the other hand will have to add a lot of weight to add size, and with that they are setting themselves up for a longer diet and a bigger chance at losing muscle during their contest prep. Those lucky individuals with good genetics may only need to diet 12-16 weeks to get into contest shape and step on stage to be successful. With other sports you will always have to be consistent in everything you do. Just like practice plays in football, you will have to practice your posing on a daily/weekly basis. Just like in baseball you can work on your baseball swing, while for bodybuilding you can focus on attacking those lagging body parts in the gym. As with every other sports Bodybuilding takes a lot of time. For some they are born strong and can build a strong lean physique in no time! Others will have to work for years upon years to get themselves in contest shape to come away successful. Bodybuilding is a very under-rated and unheard of sport that needs to get more attention. Bodybuilders put in as much time, if not more than some professional athletes when it comes to doing what they do best to get on stage and show off their body. Not too many athletes will you find hitting a diet 24/7 for 365 days. Getting in the gym on a daily basis to enhance their physique, or spending that extra time traveling hours away to meet with a posing coach to expose their weakness's to bring up in the offseason.

The Best Way To Change The Routine Training

What is the best high frequency workout routine? Be specific.
This Routine should be used for 6 weeks.
The first week should be an introduction to the High Frequency Routine.
Follow a basic three day workout for the week in order to assess your bodies tolerance and to allow for recovery. Rest periods between sets should be kept between 1 and 2 minutes. Follow the 5 basic exercises and feel free to change the exercise for each day if needed. Stretching for 15-30 minutes is an ideal goal after each workout.

Week 1: (3 workouts)
Keep the weight light, the goal is to work on range, control and form.
1 minute rest between sets
Sets X Reps for all exercises
Day 1: 2 x 12
Day 2:5 x 5
Day 3:3 x 8
Exercise 1: Dead Lifts/ Romanian Dead Lifts
Exercise 2:Bench Press/Incline Press/Shoulder Press
Exercise 3:Bent Over Rows/ Pull Ups/ Chin Ups
Exercise 4:Squats/ Leg Press / Lunges
Exercise 5:Ab Roller/ Sit-Ups/Crunches

Week 2: (4 workouts)
Keep the weight the same as last weeks. We are working on adapting to less rest and one more workout day. Focus on what exercise you are the weakest at for this week.
1.5 minute rest between sets
Sets X Reps for all exercises
Day 1: 2 x 14
Day 2:5 x 6
Day 3:3 x 9
Exercise 1: Dead Lifts/ Romanian Dead Lifts
Exercise 2:Bench Press/Incline Press/Shoulder Press
Exercise 3:Bent Over Rows/ Pull Ups/ Chin Ups
Exercise 4:Squats/ Leg Press / Lunges
Exercise 5:Ab Roller/ Sit-Ups/Crunches

Week 3: (5 workouts)
Add weight, but not too much. The focus is on high frequency, not failure.
1.5 minute rest between sets
Sets X Reps for all exercises
Day 1: 2 x 11
Day 2:5 x 5
Day 3:3 x 7
Exercise 1: Dead Lifts/ Romanian Dead Lifts
Exercise 2:Bench Press/Incline Press/Shoulder Press
Exercise 3:Bent Over Rows/ Pull Ups/ Chin Ups
Exercise 4:Squats/ Leg Press / Lunges
Exercise 5:Ab Roller/ Sit-Ups/Crunches

Week 4: (5 workouts)
Add weight if last weeks workout seemed too easy and you still felt like you had plenty of energy in reserve. The focus is on high frequency, not failure.
1 minute rest between sets
Sets X Reps for all exercises
Day 1: 2 x 14
Day 2:5 x 7
Day 3:3 x 9
Exercise 1: Dead Lifts/ Romanian Dead Lifts
Exercise 2:Bench Press/Incline Press/Shoulder Press/Lateral Raises (Barbell or Dumbell)
Exercise 3:Bent Over Rows/ Pull Ups/ Chin Ups/ Dumbell Row
Exercise 4:Squats/ Leg Press / Lunges/ Hack Squats
Exercise 5:Ab Roller/ Sit-Ups/Crunches

Week 5: (5 workouts)
If last weeks workout was easy, add weight. If last weeks workout was too rough, keep the weight the same. The goal this week is to keep the reps close to failure, you should have about 2 more reps after the set before failure.
1.5 minute rest between sets
Sets X Reps for all exercises
Day 1: 2 x 10
Day 2:5 x 5
Day 3:3 x 6
Exercise 1: Dead Lifts/ Romanian Dead Lifts/ Back Extensions
Exercise 2:Bench Press/Incline Press/Shoulder Press
Exercise 3:Bent Over Rows/ Pull Ups/ Chin Ups/ Pull Downs
Exercise 4:Squats/ Leg Press / Lunges/
Exercise 5:Ab Roller/ Sit-Ups/Crunches

Week 6: (5 workouts)
This is the last week. Do all workouts within 1 rep of failure. Adjust weight accordingly.
1 minute rest between sets
Sets X Reps for all exercises
Day 1: 2 x 12
Day 2:5 x 5
Day 3:3 x 8
Exercise 1: Dead Lifts/ Romanian Dead Lifts
Exercise 2:Bench Press/Incline Press/Shoulder Press/ Arnold Press
Exercise 3:Bent Over Rows/ Pull Ups/ Chin Ups/ Pull Downs
Exercise 4:Squats/ Leg Press / Lunges/ Farmers Walk
Exercise 5:Ab Roller/ Sit-Ups/Crunches

That's it. Take 1 full week off to allow your body maximum recovery. Go ahead and start the next routine.

What are the benefits to this type of routine?
There are many benefits for this kind of routine. Bodybuilders will often use high frequency routines in order to shock the body with a new workout regimen and put some mass on their body frame in no time! Athletes will use these types of routines to prepare themselves for the hardships of the season and the long enduring hours of practice and games. Higher frequency routines can also be used to increase rep ranges for certain exercises such as Pull-ups in a short amount of time.

What are the drawbacks from this type of routine?
Users following the routine will need to dedicate a lot more time in the gym, than a normal weight lifter. This can cause problems for someone with a busy schedule who can only get in quick lifts. Another drawback is that the workouts need to be of lighter weight in order to allow for faster recovery. Because the workouts are of high frequency and are used often, there is not as much time for recovery. One final drawback is the potential hazard of overtraining, this could be caused by doing too many exercises or using too much weight.

How can you avoid overtraining when following a high frequency routine?
The biggest factor in avoiding overtraining is never going to failure during a workout. Going to muscle failure during a workout will cause your body to have a longer recovery time, which will inhibit your high frequency training. Overtraining can have some serious consequences and needs to be watched out for with a keen eye.
Here are some symptoms for overtraining
Physical Signs & Symptoms
* Increased susceptibility to colds and flu's
* Increases in minor injuries
* Chronic muscle soreness or joint pain
* Exhaustion
* Weight loss
* Appetite loss
* Insatiable thirst or dehydration
* Intolerance to exercise
* Decreased performance
* Delayed recovery from exercise
* Irritability
* Anxiety
* Depression
* Headaches
* Insomnia
* Inability to relax

If you notice any of these symptoms chances are you have overtrained. The best thing to do is REST. Continue eating and sleeping normally. Give your body 3-5 days to recover and then alter your workouts and make them a little easier, until you can find a good regimen to help you avoid overtraining.

BONUS QUESTION: Have you ever used a high frequency training regimen? If so, how were the results and would you recommend it to others?
I have used a high frequency training regimen several times for sports and for my own personal gains. In certain exercises such as Pull-Ups I was able to increase my rep range from sets of 10 reps to sets of 15-18 reps in a short period of time. Using high frequency has also allowed to be pack on muscle quickly and it is a nice change up from the usual heavy weight low reps routine.