Pull ups with Resistance Bands

Bruno-Pullups-Bands

Athletes who performed band pull ups had a much greater increase in pull up strength and power compared to those who performed standard pull ups on a study by National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2004.

Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York) researchers found that athletes combining bands with pull ups, bench and squats increased strength by twice more than those using traditional free weights and also had an increase in muscle mass more than the athletes who only used free weights.

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Rep Range Truth

Bruno-BFit
-the “certified” personal trainer at the local big-name gym doesn’t really give (or know) a rat’s ass about training, as he’s just working there to hit on the girls on the exercises bikes. So really, he wouldn’t know a power rack from a Powerbar, much less the difference between training routines.

-the local natural, genetically gifted “wonder boy” does XYZ routine, so half his school copies him

-professional bodybuilding magazines want you to use routines that don’t work to get you to buy recovery-enhancing supplements, so they publish all these goofball routines in their magazines

Reasons like this could go on forever. Whatever the reason, many of these misconceptions have lasted for a very long time.

Using Heavy Weight with Low Reps Will Get You Big?

No, eating a lot of food will get you big. Now, traditionally, it’s been thought (and rightly so) that if you were looking to put on some muscle, that using heavier weight for sets of lower to medium weight would work well. While this is true, a couple of other things have to be done as well.
First of all, just as long weight (bodyfat) requires adjusting your diet to eliminate calories, gaining weight (muscle) requires adjusting your diet to add in excess calories. Without the excess calories, I don’t care what kind of routine you’re on, unless you already eat a lot (in which case you’d be overweight anyway), you’re not going to gain any muscle.

Secondly, you need to optimize rest times between sets. Hypertrophy training (i.e. – gaining muscle size) requires a larger amount of volume of training within a shorter amount of time. The way to do this is to keep rest periods relatively short.

High Reps Get You Cut?

No, they don’t. High reps get you, well, better at high reps. Getting “cut” (i.e. – making muscle definition more pronounced) is a matter of diet, rather than routine. Drop some bodyfat, and you’ll get “cut.” Now, using higher reps can have a slight effect on fat burning in that higher reps can burn more calories, but not enough so to make a very significant difference. You’d be better off performing some HIIT conditioning and adjusting your caloric intake if your goal is to get “cut.”

High Reps Are Good For Building Endurance?

Not necessarily – While higher reps may build some overall endurance, it won’t do squat for your strength-endurance.

Few Sets of Low Reps Can’t Help You Build Strength Without Putting on Some Size?
No Extra Muscle = No Extra Size?

Doing just a couple sets of a couple reps each or almost each day can build strength so quick, it would make your head spin. Now, granted, the strength built is based around improving neural efficiency, and there have been arguments as to the carryover of such strength to other activities.

The point is that you can dramatically increase strength and not gain a pound of bodyweight.

What Else to Consider?

When designing a strength training routine, aside from the number of sets, how many reps, and how much weight you use, there are a couple other things you should figure on calculating.

Diet?

If you’re looking to gain weight, regardless of what kind of training you do, altering you diet should be where you start. The same goes for when you want to lose weight. And if you’re looking to just maintain the muscle you currently have, you need to make sure to take in the right amount of calories – and the appropriate breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

Rest Intervals?

I think that rest intervals are one of the most important, yet most overlooked parts of setting up a strength routine. Many times it is the rest intervals you use that can change the entire scope and results of a workout regimen. For example, say you’re performing Barbell Clean & Press for 10 sets of 1 rep. Using 3 minutes of rest time between each set, you’re got a workout designed pretty much just to improve basic brute strength of the Clean & Press – maybe add a little muscle size if you’re in a caloric surplus. However, if you do that same workout, but instead of resting 3 minutes, you rest only 20 seconds, you’ve got a workout that will not only build brute strength (though not as much as the workout with the longer rest periods), but also heavily taxes strength-endurance and easily lends itself to Hypertrophy training.

Just be sure you are using the correct rest intervals – the shorter they are, the more you’ll be working endurance/strength-endurance. The longer they are, the more you’ll be working just brute strength.

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Training your Calf Muscles

Bfit-Calve

Your calf muscles are different from your other muscles. The calf muscles are dense, highly fatigue resistant and must be trained in a specific manner to achieve results. The calf muscles also recover very quickly after each set and workout. They are hard to overtrain. The calf muscles can be capable of handling high intensity functions such as 100-meter sprinting, high jumping, long jumping, while also being capable of handling high endurance activities such as walking, jogging, running and racing a 26-mile marathon. Of course, genetics play a role in whether you’re more suited for high intensity or high endurance activities. However, your calf muscles are quite versatile and very durable.

Because of the special characteristics of the calf muscles, a higher level of training intensity must be employed to induce muscular size and strength. To do that, you must work through the “pain zone” to muscular failure and growth. This is one of the most important principles to understand and employ in calf training.

When you train the calves hard, especially at higher repetitions, you’ll achieve a lactic acid burn. The “lactic acid burn” is the buildup of the byproduct of Glycolysis (the energy process used during muscle contraction). The lactic acid buildup stimulates Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone in the blood during and after training. Therefore, the lactic acid burn is a good thing and you must train in a manner to achieve a “lactic acid burn”.

There’s no question that the lactic acid burn hurts like hell! This is the “pain zone”. For some it becomes the “pain barrier” and they stop exercising to stop the pain. If you want to build your calves, then you must work through the pain zone and keep forcing out the reps until you cannot lift the weight anymore. This is called “total muscular failure”. Reaching “total muscular failure” stresses the muscle fibers and causes them to grow. You must push through the “pain zone” to achieve muscular growth.

Stopping when you get to the “pain zone” is not “total muscular failure”. Going to “total muscular failure” is necessary for you to achieve maximum calf growth. Don’t be afraid to train through the “pain zone” to “total muscular failure” and maximum muscle growth.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3886108

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Symmetrical Bodies Are More Attractive To The Opposite Sex

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Scientists using hi-tech body scanners have discovered that people with more symmetrical bodies are more attractive to the opposite sex.

The research backs up previous findings that symmetrically proportioned faces are more attractive and suggests that our brains are hard-wired to find symmetry sexy in a potential partner. In our evolutionary past, symmetry may have been an honest signal of flawless development and health.

“It is widely believed that human beings are attracted to one another as a result of genotype and phenotype quality – in other words, their prospect as a mate who will yield higher quality offspring for the chooser,” said Dr William Brown, an evolutionary psychologist at Brunel University who led the study.

“Your body proportions, shape and stature are signals that conspicuously advertise your good development or health and therefore the degree to which you are a desirable reproductive partner. In many species fewer departures from perfect symmetry are associated with good development, health and reproductive success.”

The theory is that disturbances in the womb, infections, poor nutrition and genetic flaws all increase your degree of asymmetry and so good proportions are an honest indication of healthy development and hence a partner’s ability to produce healthy children.

Brown’s team asked 40 men and 37 women to strip down to their underwear and enter a 24-camera body scanner. The device rapidly takes hundreds of measurements of the subject’s body allowing the researchers to build up a 3D image. They also calculated a composite measure of symmetry from the hundreds of minute symmetry differences recorded by the cameras.

The team showed each of these images to 87 evaluators who rated them for attractiveness. The researchers were particularly interested in how body asymmetry would affect the ratings, so to avoid adding another factor to the evaluators’ decision, the team presented each image with the head of the subject removed.

The evaluators preferred more symmetrical body shapes in both men and women. “They are choosing individuals who would have evidence for good development which means that maybe their offspring would be more healthy and have good development as well,” said Brown.

The results are reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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The Importance Of Proper Form

Proper-form


Prevents injuries

One of the most important reasons for maintaining proper form is to prevent injuries. If you are lifting a lot of weight, your body is likely to become slightly misaligned, which can place your muscles, joints and tendons in awkward positions that could potentially cause strains or tears. It is best to ease up on the weight if it means you are better able to maintain proper form.

Ensures correct muscle targeting

Since many weightlifting exercises are targeted toward specific muscle groups, a lack of good form can cause you to work out a completely different muscle or to strain the muscle you were targeting. Proper form, on the other hand, ensures optimal results in the correct muscle group.

Helps maintain proper breathing

Proper breathing is essential in resistance training exercises because it helps you generate more force and reduces the chance of heart problems or severe increases in blood pressure. When you use correct form, you will find it easier to move the air in and out of your lungs, which will also help you focus your attention on the task at hand.

Enables you to lift more weight

In order for you to lift the maximum possible weight, your muscles need to be in the ideal position to generate force. When you begin to move out of alignment, you place your muscles at unnatural angles, decreasing their functional capability. By maintain proper form, you will be able to lift a larger amount of weight, which will translate into more visible results in a shorter period of time.

Reduces unnecessary stabilizing actions

When you use bad form, a number of muscles — predominately those in your core — must work overtime to stabilize your body and try to prevent an injury from occurring. All these actions eat up available energy and significantly reduce the effectiveness of your exercises. That means more work with less results — not and ideal situation.

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Complex Training

Stromer-Complex-Training

Complex training is a type of weight lifting that is meant to replace your traditional cardio sessions. Because the body often shows adaptation to repetitive endurance activities, complexes allow you to overcome this barrier so you are consistently getting results from your workout. Additionally, because complexes are done using strength training exercises, there will be a better transfer to your lifting workouts as well.

Due to the manner in which complex training is performed you will be primarily focusing on the cardiovascular side of your conditioning, rather than the pure strength side. This means that while they are definitely a good addition to your lift training, complexes are by no means a replacement.

 
How do you perform complex training?

Complex training involves a number of exercises performed in succession. During this time you will need to keep the weight exactly the same so that you can move fluidly from one exercise to the next. Because of this lack of a break period, you will increase your metabolism sufficiently so that the routine is more comparable with a high intensity interval training cardio session.

After choosing the exercises that you will perform, you will want to complete all of your specified reps for one exercise and then move to the next immediately afterward. It is not an alternating type of protocol where you would perform a squat movement, then an overhead press movement, followed by another squat movement then an overhead press and so on. Rather, you would do all of your squats, then move directly into your overhead press reps.

This type of workout is incredibly demanding on the body in terms of metabolic processes and recovery, so you will definitely need to keep that in mind. The weight you are using will need to be reduced drastically from the amount you would normally lift, particularly as you are reaching the end of the complex series when both your muscular and nervous system are likely to be extremely fatigued. Don’t try and be macho for these exercises — less really is more when it comes to complexes.

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Depletion Workouts

Stromer-Depletion

Depletion workouts are weightlifting sessions that are geared toward exhausting the body’s muscle glycogen supply. Muscle glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates in the body, and this is what powers you throughout your workouts. When it becomes depleted, you will not physically be able to continue, as the body will be exhausted.

Depletion of muscle glycogen is a good thing for those looking to gain lean muscle mass; however, it’s important to note that if you take correct measures as far as your diet is concerned, the muscles will overcompensate with their ability to uptake the nutrients, leaving you with fuller muscles that are able to store more glycogen.

Along with this, a very large intake of food immediately after the workout will send your body into an anabolic state, which is required in order to gain lean muscle tissue. As long as your food intake is planned properly, you should not see much in the way of fat gains, and most of the calories you take in will be directed toward repairing and growing your muscles.

To do a depletion workout, you want to adopt a circuit-style training protocol. Basically, you will be moving from one exercise to the next with little or no rest in between. You are also going to aim to perform 15-20 reps per set, so take note that the weight you are lifting should be on the lighter side.

Generally, the less carbohydrates you have in your diet, the less work you will need to do in order to deplete the muscles of their glycogen (since less will be replaced on a continual basis from dietary carbohydrates). Therefore, if you are already eating a low-carb diet, you may only perform one to two rounds of the circuit, whereas if you regularly consume a larger portion of carbohydrates, you will need more reps to burn through the carbs.

Most individuals will want to perform the complete workout circuit 4-5 times. If you find you get to the third one and are feeling extremely fatigued, however, then you should stop there, as pushing yourself too far will inhibit certain enzymes in the muscle that aid in glycogen supercompensation, thereby defeating the whole purpose for doing the depletion work in the first place.

*Note
A good recommendation would be to consume about 5-7 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 175 pounds, you should be shooting for 3,500-4,900 calories from carbohydrates alone, both immediately following the workout and also the day after.

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Muscular Endurance

BJSept
Muscular endurance can be defined as the ability of muscles to endure over a period of time when they are in active use. Put another way, muscular endurance is the ability of muscles to be put through repeated contractions without weakening.

Examples of muscular endurance can be found on all fitness levels, from jogging and weight lifting to crossfit and even some strength-based Pilates programs. Muscular endurance can also be found in everyday life, such as walking numerous flights of stairs to your office or carrying your toddler through the store while grocery shopping.

Muscular endurance is different than muscular strength. Muscular strength is the amount of force put into a particular move (or contraction). The two together, muscular strength and endurance, go hand in hand in order for anyone to achieve any type of mid to high activity level every day. Muscular endurance does more than just get you through an intense workout, though it certainly does help with that.

4 ways Muscular endurance helps

1. Stamina

Those with muscular endurance find an ability to press though and keep going, no matter what they are doing. It may be an intense workout program, but it also may be a hike with friends, shoveling the snow or hoeing the garden. Muscles that are used repeatedly and have a high level of endurance do not tire easily when day-to-day demands require that they be used.

2. Increased Metabolism

Muscles do not have endurance unless they are toned and firm. Bodies that contain toned muscle, though not completely without excess fat, usually have less fat on them. Because muscles burn calories more efficiently and quickly than fat does, those with muscular endurance find themselves with quicker metabolisms, which in turn, can lead to healthy weight levels.

3. Fewer Injuries

Muscles that have endurance are not as prone to muscle strains and tears as muscles that do not have endurance to them. That is because these muscles are used to the actions they are being put through, and instead of being unduly strained, are able to respond properly to the demands being put on them.

4. Extended Workout Times

Muscles that have built up their endurance are able to keep being put through the same actions repeatedly, thereby allowing a person to extend and intensify workout sessions. This results in a full-circle type of situation, in that a person who is able to extend his workout time is able to build up more muscular endurance, which in turn allows for a longer workout time, continuing the cycle.

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Natural Muscle Is The Way To Go

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There are various kinds of natural body building muscle regime which will benefit in the long run in many ways. The most important benefit of these regimes is that the muscles of the body are built through the natural process. So there is no fear of side effects and other kinds of health problems. And the muscles of the body also remain firmer and healthier for a longer time as compared to taking steroids. Hence it is best to chose the natural way of building muscles instead of opting for chemicals and drugs which cause the body more harm than good.

A healthy diet and the natural growth of muscles also help the body to develop naturally and hence enhance the immune system of the body to combat various kinds of diseases. It is the most preferred and safest way of building muscles.

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How To Avoid Injury During Your Run

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1. PROTECT YOUR POSTURE
Keep shoulders back and down, chest lifted, abs tight. Lean entire body slightly forward from ankles (don’t bend at the waist), allowing gravity to gently pull you forward.

2. KEEP EYES ON THE HORIZON
Look out ahead, rather than at the ground. Keeping your gaze up makes walking and running easier.

3. RELAX YOUR HANDS
Clenching your fists can send tension up your wrists and arms; loosen up by pretending to cup something fragile, like a potato chip or butterfly.

4. MAKE SMOOTH TRANSITIONS
In the final seconds of each walking interval, pick up your pace so when you switch to running, it feels easier than if you tried to walk any faster.

5. LAND MIDFOOT
Unlike walking, striking the ground with your heel when you run puts on the brakes. Aim to come down with the middle of your foot landing under you, then roll through smoothly.

6. SHORTEN YOUR STRIDE
Protect knees and absorb shock better by maintaining a short stride and keeping a slight bend in your knee as you land.

7. PICK YOUR FEET UP
Instead of pushing into the ground, which can fatigue muscles, focus on keeping legs relaxed and lifting feet up.

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