Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why You Should NOT Try To Isolate Muscles When Body Building

Doing work as a fitness expert, there is one kind of query I get all the time that shows that many individuals are lacking the big picture concerning the use of resistance training. This kind of well-known question typically goes like this:

"Exactly what routine does one do to isolate my _______ (insert your muscle of choice - abdominal muscles, quads, biceps, triceps, etc)?"

No matter which muscle anyone is actually asking about, they always look like asking how to 'isolate' it. My initial response to this particular concern is usually - Exactly why in the world might you need to isolate it?

The first thing I aim to show my clients is that the human body doesn't work well in muscle isolation. Instead, it does work better in exercises along a kinetic chain; that is, large portions of the human body aid other parts of the body in doing a complex movement. Actually, there really isn't any such thing as true muscle isolation. There is certainly almost always a close by muscle group designed to help in some manner with whatever movement you are doing. Even so, this article analyzes trying to 'isolate' areas of the body through single-joint exercises to the even more useful technique of executing multi-joint complex exercises.

Once you try to 'isolate' muscle groups through performing single-joint exercises, you're truly creating a physique that is non-functional and will be more at risk of injuries. Fundamentally, you might be developing a physique that is the compilation of body parts, instead of a powerful, functional unit that actually works together.

Today in case you want to end up hobbling around in a body wrapped up with joint problems, tendonitis, and excess fat, then be my guest, continue attempting to 'isolate' areas of the body. On the other hand, in case you would prefer to have a slim, muscular, injury-free, functional body that works well like a complete strong unit to perform complex movements (in athletics or even everyday duties), you will want to move your focus far from muscle isolation. Trust me, concentrating on how well your own body functions will give you the side effect of a body which appears better than it would have if you focused on muscle isolation. For instance, examine the physiques of any NFL running backs, wide receivers, or even world class runners. Believe me when I say that these people virtually NEVER workout for muscle isolation (their strength coaches wouldn't be insane enough to let them), however they're absolutely ripped to shreds! Merely look at guys like Maurice Green or Terrell Owens and tell me who wouldn't want a body like those guys.

Another advantage to moving away from the 'muscle isolation' attitude to a more 'complex movement' attitude is that you will discover it's less difficult to shed excess fat. This is because that by paying attention more on multi-joint complex exercises as opposed to single-joint muscle isolation, you not only burn additional calories during every exercise routine, but you could also increase your metabolism, as well as promote output of more fat burning and muscle building hormones like growth hormone and testosterone.

Let's consider a good example. The machine leg extension is a single joint exercise that actually works primarily the quadriceps, could possibly bring about knee joint instability in the end, and doesn't even burn that many calories. However, exercises such as squats, lunges, step-ups, as well as deadlifts are multi-joint complex actions that work hundreds of muscles in your body (such as the quadriceps) as a functional unit, produce more stable and strong joints over time (when done properly), as well as melt away enormous levels of calories when compared to single-joint exercises.

For more hardgainer training tips, check out The Hardgainer Manifesto.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Put on A Lot More Muscle Mass By Exercising Considerably Less Frequently

Develop A Lot More Muscle By Training Substantially Less Frequently

The more work you put into something, the better results you will accomplish. This has become a broadly well-accepted truth that is applicable to many aspects of your life. The harder you study, the better grades you will get. The more time you invest in fine-tuning your sports abilities, the better player you will become. The longer you spend learning to play an instrument, the better music performer you will become. Therefore, it only makes sense that the more hours you spend in the gym, the stronger and more muscular your physique will become, correct? Contrary to what you may think, the answer to this question is a gigantic, certain, complete no! It is in this area of building muscle mass that traditional wisdom goes right out the window, down the street and around the corner.

I know what you might be asking yourself…

"What? Spending less time in the gym will actually make me bigger and stronger?"

Yes! It really will, and when we investigate the muscle-growth process from its most fundamental roots, it becomes clear why this is the case.

Each and every process that occurs within the human body is structured around keeping you well and vibrant. Through millions of years of evolution the human body has become quite a fine-tuned organism that can adjust well to the distinct circumstances that are placed upon it. We become uncomfortable when we are hungry or dehydrated, we acquire a suntan when large quantities of UV rays are present, we build calluses to shield our skin, etc. So what happens when we break down muscle tissue during a workout session? If you answered something to the effect of "the muscles get bigger and stronger", then congratulations! You are absolutely correct. By battling against resistance beyond the muscle's present capability we have posed a risk to the musculature. The body recognizes this as potentially dangerous and as a natural adaptive response the muscles will hypertrophy (increase in size) to safeguard the body against this risk. As we constantly increase the resistance from week to week the body will continue to adjust and grow.

Sound easy? Actually it is, but the most crucial thing to understand in relation to all of this is that the muscles will only grow larger and stronger if they are supplied with sufficient time to recover. Without appropriate recovery time, the muscle growth process just cannot come about.

Your objective in the gym should be to train with the minimal amount of volume needed to generate an adaptive response. Once you have pushed your muscles past their existing capability and have triggered your million-year-old evolutionary alarm system, you have completed your task. Any further stress to the physique will simply increase your recovery time, damage the immune system and send your body into catabolic overdrive.

The majority of people exercise way too often and with far more sets than they really need. High intensity weight training is a lot more demanding to the body than most people think. The majority of folks construct their exercise programs in a way that really prevents their results and stops them from making the improvements that they deserve. Here are 3 basic suggestions that you should adhere to if you want to attain optimum gains:

1) Train each bodypart no greater than a couple of times every week.

2) Do not let your work outs last for longer than 30 minutes.

3) Do 3-4 sets for large muscle groups (chest, back, thighs) and 1-3 sets for smaller muscles (shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves, abs).

Take the last set of every exercise to the point of muscular failure and focus on advancing in either weight or reps each week. If you really exercise hard and are consistent, training more regularly or any longer than this will be detrimental to your growth!

Acquire A Good Deal More Muscle Mass By Training Considerably Less Frequently

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hardgainer Workout Programs

Hardgainers are not able to train like a common gym rat. Following a typical work out regimen posted in a bodybuilding magazine not only will not work for a hardgainer, but it will probably result in overtraining.

An effective hardgainer exercise routine requires less intensity, reduced volume, and lesser frequencies. In short, you have to work with lower intensity, with fewer sets, for fewer sessions each week.

A hardgainer also has to work way more strategically.

Some housekeeping:
  • Get 8 + hours of sleep each night
  • Take in at least 6 higher-protein meals a day
  • Take your supplements, but don't rely on them ONLY. True food matters.

Hardgainer Training Basics

  1. Train three times a week (or every other day time if you're impatient)
  2. 2-3 sets for every major bodypart
  3. 6-10 reps per set, none to failure (once in a while, take the last set of each exercise to concentric failure)
  4. Your primary exercises are Squats, Bench Press, Overhead Press, Rows, and Deadlifts
  5. Add a bicep and a tricep exercise, a couple of sets each
As you can see, working out for the hardgainer is a different animal than working out for the far more genetically-gifted mesomorphs.