Getting Lean And Ripped Without The Bulky Fat Look


The days of trying to bulk up as much as possible and look like a bodybuilder are out. Now the body image most men are looking for and most women find attractive is that of professional sprinters and swimmers. They are lean and toned with just the right amount of muscle and body fat to turn heads wherever they go. This is not a simple look to achieve, though. You must follow the right training protocols and make sure your diet is in check.

Top 4 things you should do

1. Cardio sprint training

When it comes to cardio, the preferred method is interval training. This allows you to push your body for a short period of time, and then take a period to rest and recover before going once again. It is preferable because it will also help develop your fast twitch muscle fibers and will kick your metabolism into high gear.

Any form of exercise that is very intense will help with your fat-burning process as the body will expend a great deal of calories repairing the damaged muscle tissue once you are finished your workout. Try to incorporate at least two sessions of interval training into your week — one focusing on longer intervals of one minute with two minutes of rest, and the other focusing on shorter intervals of 20 to 30 seconds with one to one and a half minutes of rest. Note: The shorter the interval, the more intense it should be.

2.Plyometric training

Plyometric training uses exercises that require you to move very quickly using only your body weight. They are great for developing explosive power and strength. Since you are not acting against a heavy weight load, you will not get the same hypertrophy effects that result in the bulky muscle look. Typical plyometric exercises are:

Box jumps: Jump onto as high of a box as you can, and then back down again. For added difficulty, try doing this off one leg.

Squat jumps: Begin by moving from a standing position down into a full squat, then rapidly push off the ground using your thigh muscles to propel yourself as high as possible. Land once again in a full squat position and repeat 10 to 15 times.

Clap push-ups: Perform the normal push-up action, but use your muscles to propel your body off the ground in the up phase. While in the air, clap your hands together and then land back into the push-up position to complete the downward portion of the exercise.

3. Circuit speed training

Circuit training is another good option for those looking to get lean and toned. It works in a similar way to supersets, but instead of working opposing muscle groups, you complete an entire circuit of exercises for your whole body. Perform one set of each exercise before moving onto the next one with little or no rest in-between. Once you finish one whole circuit, take a few minutes to rest, and then complete it again one to three more times.

Additionally, you may want to focus on increasing the velocity in which you perform the concentric (working portion) of your exercise, as this will help develop your fast twitch muscle fibers more.

4. Supersets

Supersets are an exercise technique in which you perform one set of an exercise for one muscle group, and then another set for an antagonistic group. For example, complete one set of bicep curls followed by one set of overhead tricep presses. Since these muscles oppose one another, while one is working, the other can rest. This both cuts down on your total workout time and increases the overall amount of calories burned during your training session.

Getting lean and toned is dependent on burning more calories than you take in to remove excess body fat, so anything that helps you accomplish this is a step in the right direction. Try to incorporate these types of exercises into your workout as much as possible. Good examples are chest presses supersetted with bent-over rows and leg extensions supersetted with hamstring curls.

Top 3 things to avoid

1. Taking long rest periods during sets

The general guideline for building a great deal of mass states that you should allow ample rest time between sets to let your muscles recover. This enables you to lift maximally on your next set. While this principle still holds true for putting getting big, reducing this rest time will increase your metabolism, helping you get leaner.

Since your goal is not to achieve your maximum size, the shortened rest breaks will not hinder you in getting good muscle definition. You still need to rest enough so that you can challenge yourself, but there is no need for two-minute rest periods anymore.

2. Neglecting all forms of cardio

If you want to get that lean look, you have to do some cardio training. Former methods enforced the principle of boycotting all cardio as it burned precious calories that could potentially go toward muscle growth. This is fine if you don’t wish to control your body-fat levels, but in order to see your hard-earned muscles, cardio is essential.

3. Eating everything in sight

Doing this will add mass, but a greater portion of it will be body fat, bringing you further away from the toned physique you’re looking for.

*Also note
If you are looking to develop a defined yet muscular body, put some of these principles into effect. You do not have to be huge to be strong, and most people these days prefer a more toned appearance over a bulky look. Don’t forget to stretch, make sure your diet is free from all junk and processed foods, and make sure you are eating five to six times a day to keep your metabolism up. Once you have mastered both the workout and the diet, your physique will get noticed.

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Compound Exercises Build Big Arms

Natural Biceps

Why compounds will help you build big biceps.

If you goal is building muscle mass (which it must be to build big biceps) compound exercises should make up the core of your weekly routine. We’re not saying stop doing isolation exercises, but use them to compliment your big bicep compound exercises.

Compound exercises allow you to lift heavier weights and work more muscle groups at the same time than isolation exercises. This saves you precious time in the gym while stimulating the maximum amount of muscle fibers. In addition, compound exercises, due to the increased amount of muscle used for the movements, are better at sending your endocrine system a “distress call” to pump out more anabolic hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone.

Having a good mix of compound and isolation.

If you want to build maximum muscle mass and big bicep size, you need a good combination of both compound and isolation exercises. Pretty much all big bicep compound exercises incorporate your back muscles. So it makes sense to work your biceps on the same day that you work your back. This will make it easy to incorporate compounds into your bicep workout because most back exercises are actually bicep compounds.

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You Need To Eat Lots Of Protein To Build Muscle Myth

Bruno Natural Muscle

The more protein you eat, the more muscle you will build, right? Wrong.

The body only needs so much protein every day; when you surpass its requirements, it simply processes the extra calories the same way it would excess carbohydrate or fat calories. The protein is broken down, and some of it is excreted while some is stored as body fat or used as energy. The requirements for protein are 1.2 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight; this amount will ensure that your body is getting enough of the building blocks it requires to create new muscle.

Rather than ingesting too much protein, a better option would be to supplement your diet with good sources of carbohydrates, as they are the body’s preferred source of energy to create the muscle tissue from the protein you took in.

Whatever your goal, many organizations and individuals (particularly within the bodybuilding community), insist on athletes eating an extraordinarily high amount of protein sometimes more than triple the levels typically recommended by international government health boards.

Here are a handful of recommendations on protein intake from multiple sources, from numerous locations around the world. Here they are, in approximate order from least to greatest:

1) World Health Organisation 0.45 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

2) British Nutrition Foundation 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

3) Food & Nutrition Board (USA) 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

4) Health Canada 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

5) National Health & Medical Research Council (Australia) 0.84 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

6) American Association of Kidney Patients 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

7) Ask the Dietician 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

8 ) Journal of Applied Physiology (USA) 1.0 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

9) Medscape (USA) 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (for endurance athletes).

10) Canadian Dietetic Association 1.0 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

11) American Dietetic Association 1.0 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

12) Medscape (USA) 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (for bodybuilders).

13) Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1.6 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

14) Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (UK) 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

15) Iron Magazine (USA) 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

16) Protein Calculator (USA) 3.3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

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The Absolute Truth About Abs And Getting Them


One of the most frequently stated goals of men in the gym is to “get ripped abs.” The ab muscles are what really identify someone who is serious about their fitness and diet plan, because without determination and a fair amount of effort, getting ripped abs is a goal that will never be reached.

While everyone has developed ab muscles to some extent, it’s getting them to show that becomes the biggest issue for most. This is due to the fact that most of us tend to store our body fat, at least partially, in the abdominal region. This is also one of the most stubborn places to lose fat from.

That said, if you know the principles for how to get ripped abs, you can make this goal a reality.

Genetic factor
The first thing you must realize is that every guy has his own uniquely shaped abs. Randomly selecting a picture out of some men’s magazine or billboard and saying that’s what you want your abs to be like could be slightly self-defeating, because even if you did get to low enough body fat levels, your abs may not be genetically shaped in a similar way; therefore, the appearance of your abs will still be different.

Recognizing that this factor is out of your control and not getting hung up on it is one step forward on your quest to get ripped abs. If you are unable to do this, you’ll only become more frustrated as time progresses, which is a serious motivational killer.

Rest assured, though, that if you can get your body fat levels low enough and perform correct, targeted exercises for this muscle group, your midsection will garner second glances.

Next comes the diet aspect of the equation. Ever heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Nothing could speak the truth more. As stated, everyone has some ab muscles, but most have a layer of body fat hiding them. Removing this layer is going to be about 90% dietary effort and 10% exercise effort when it comes right down to it. If you aren’t ready to take control over the foods you are putting in your mouth, getting ripped abs should not be a goal for you.

While the old notion used to be that you should eat a diet as low in fat as possible in order to remove body fat, this has changed in modern times. Now, diets that are higher in protein, moderate in fat and low or moderate in carbs are making headway, as this helps to control insulin levels better, and insulin happens to be the prime hormone that stores body fat (in a hypercaloric balance).

That’s not to say you can’t get lean on a higher-carbohydrate diet; you most certainly can — and some guys do — but for the vast majority, hunger levels are much more manageable on a low to moderate carb approach, which correspondingly makes eating fewer calories easier.

At the end of the day, it’s really going to come down to your total calorie intake, with less importance placed on how you get there — assuming sufficient protein is present, of course.

Finally, you have the actual ab routine. The regular performance of these exercises will play a large role in shaping the way your abs look once the fat is removed and they are visible.

Furthermore, since your ab muscles form the core of your body and are recruited for all other lifting exercises, it only makes sense that you’d want to dedicate some time to strengthening them.

When selecting ab exercises, think of anything that will decrease your stability — this effectively causes the abs to work harder as they are recruited. Exercise balls are the perfect tool for this, and there are a variety of movements you can do with them.

Examples of such exercises include basic front and side crunches, ball kick-outs (lying on the floor with feet on either side of the ball and palms on the floor, squeeze the ball with your legs and move from a crunched to a straightened position), and lying leg raises with the ball between your legs.

If you are looking to actually increase the size of your ab muscles, weighted ab work will be your best bet. Since muscle tissue will only grow significantly when an overloading weight is placed upon it, you must treat your ab muscles like you would any other muscle in the body. You wouldn’t get as developed doing push-up after push-up as you would with heavy bench pressing, so the same principle applies here.

Terrific options here include decline weighted sit-ups, weight abdominal twists (moving from side to side), and hanging leg raises with weight strapped onto your ankles.

Finally, the last types of ab exercises to include in your program are ones that have you contracting the ab muscles and holding this contraction for an extended duration of time. The benefit to this is that it will help the abs learn how to remain contracted, which will help when it comes to keeping them slightly flexed, allowing the muscularity to show even more.

As you’ve likely done before, if you stand in the mirror and flex your abs they look better, right? Well, the more isometric contractions you do, the more habitual this type of positioning will become, and you’ll likely start to keep them contracted to a slight degree all the time without really noticing it.

This could include performing the plank exercise and variations of that or simply tensing your abs, holding for 10 seconds and releasing. Repeat this tense/hold combo 5 to 10 times a couple of times a day and you should notice a difference in a few weeks.
abdominal greatness

If you are trying to get ripped abs, be sure to keep these major factors in mind. Most importantly, do not overlook the importance of your diet. Far too many guys think that they can just be sure to do enough ab work and cardio to make up for a less-than-stellar diet, but this kind of thinking almost always leads to less-than-stellar results.

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