Get the Most Out of Your Squats

Best Lifting Shoes for Squats?

Chuck Taylor Converse for SquatsUsing recreational sport shoes during the squat causes greater ankle dorsiflexion than using weightlifting shoes. Dorsiflexion, the backward bending of the food toward the shin. Research found dorsiflexion increased as athletes lifted heavier weights. This study has important implications with no universal or practical application. Many powerlifters prefer Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers because they allow greater dorsiflextion. Also more hip hinge during the squat. Taller athletes and those with poor technique or restricted ankle range, perform quad-dominant squats.  They may prefer weightlifting shoes because of their elevated heels. Many athletes squat incorrectly by not fully implementing the hip hinge and breaking at the spine. A good shoe for squatting big iron, needs a non-compressible sole. Also a metatarsal strap that allows you to “spread to the floor”.Using your feet during the exercise and good arch and foot support. Supplying a stable platform during the lift.

Leg Day MotivationNeuromuscular Function Impaired for 48 hours After Squats

The squat is a critical exercise for bodybuilders and power athletes.  A recent study found neuromuscular fatigue, evident for at least 48 hours after a squat workout.  Young men performed four different intense squat workouts. Traditional, eccentric, flywheel and plyometric squat jumps. The immediate metabolic load was greatest during flywheel and eccentric. All programs caused neuromuscular fatigue for at least 48 hours after exercise. Measured by several jumping tests. Maximum isometric force decreased for one day, but recovered after that. The lesson for power athletes is not to do heavy squats in the days before a competition.

Big Guns-Secrets of the Pro’s!

Big Guns Secrets from Bodybuilding Pros-Tips, Tricks and Lessons form the Greats!

No body part captures the attention of bodybuilder pros like the arms. We love to build them. We love to show them off and admire and covet exceptional arms in others. For building ” big guns” we’ve collected valuable advise on building biceps and triceps. Follow these tips and maybe your guns can someday swell to jaw dropping dimensions!

Avoid Training Mistakes

2 Common Biceps Training Mistakes: One error seen that needs corrected is to train biceps with back. On the surface, it makes sense, since the biceps used indirectly in all types of chins. Also pulldowns, rows and the deadlift. That is exactly why you shouldn’t train biceps after back. Already under stress from those heavy back exercises. Subjecting tendons to more stress with direct biceps training immediately after proves too much. Also use caution doing barbell rows with an underhand or curl grip. The argument of reverse-grip rows is that they put the biceps in stronger pulling position. While true, bu the fact of the matter is the biceps, relatively small muscle. They aren’t meant to be pulling hundreds and hundreds of pounds.

Big Guns Arm Routine

Dexter Jackson Typical Arm Workout:

Dexter Jackson Arm Routine

Big Guns! Tips and Tricks the Pros Use

Biceps:

Preacher Curls 4 X 8 -10

EZ-Bar 21’s 4 X 8 -10

Dumbbell Concentration Curls OR One-Arm Machine Curls (elbow above shoulder joint) 4 X 8-10

Triceps: (Dexter performs tri-sets, or three exercises back to back without resting, for four to five rounds.

Cable Pushdowns, V or Straight Bar 4 -5 X 10

Skull-Crushers or Dip Machine 4 -5 X 10

Rope Pushdowns 4 -5 X 10

” I don’t care how much weight I’m using on anything in the gym as long as it’s stimulating the muscle like I want it to. If I can’t get that feeling, I use a little less weight.”- Dexter Jackson

Go for Max Pump, Then Stop

While some guys do as many as 30 sets for arms, is that number right or too much? You can’t put a number on it. Once you get a maximum muscle pump in the arms, then you should stop. Whether that’s after 10 sets or 25. If you find yourself losing the pump or feeling weak, you did too much. For most, it never takes more than three or four exercises each for the biceps or triceps before reaching that point.

Take the Delts Out of Curls and Grow Those Biceps

If you have strong shoulders, be careful or they take over everything. Like chest work and biceps. Once your biceps start getting fatigued after a few exercises, you need to take the shoulder out of the motion. Try the preacher bench, doing one-arm curls. Or sit on a bench where you can brace one arm on inner thigh for concentration curls. Either way, your arm is locked into position and takes the shoulders out of the motion so the biceps do all the work.

Biceps are a Simple Muscle

Guys train them too often and they do way too much. Biceps in particular are a pretty simple muscle. There is no reason to ever do any more than three different exercises for them in any one workout. Your form needs to be good, too. You have to squeeze the muscle at the end of each rep. Controlling the negative so you get that good stretch. You can’t do that when you’re going too heavy. Don’t let your ego get in the way of progress with the arms.

Fat-Loss Supplements—What Works?

Fat-Loss Supplements

Is there a magic pill out there? Do Olympia winners have a secret island to learn how to win? Bodybuilders are the most loyal fat-loss supplements and muscle building supplement users and believers. Hearing of bodybuilders taking everything! From some peptide made in a kitchen to oil filtered from cow pellets. Bodybuilders want to be the next Mr. Olympia, even if it means risking their health.

Get Cut and Shredded

Bodybuilding supplement for cutting and shred

The fat burning pills and legal steroid industry is bursting with fat-loss supplements. Not only preying on bodybuilders, but also targeting millions of overweight people. Those who want to lose a few pounds between burgers. At least bodybuilders realize hard work at the gym is a crucial component of getting lean. Knowing that fat burning requires some dietary modifications. Like calorie restrictions, reducing carbohydrates and nutrient timing. Weightlifters and anyone who takes care of themselves appreciates the importance of fasted morning cardio. Along with the concept, “sweat is fat crying”.

Dieting does result in metabolic adaptations, counterproductive to your goals. As we go into any caloric deficit to burn fat, our bodies try to adjust. Slowing down metabolism and conserving energy. This is where fat-loss supplements assist. Knowing a “magic pill”, not existing letting you laze around all day and eat burgers. However, supplements augment diets and improve metabolism.

Weight Loss Pills

Weight loss supplements improve weight loss objectives through a number of mechanisms:

  1. Suppression of appetite
  2. Impairing fat absorption
  3. Increased fat oxidation during exercise
  4. Increasing resting energy expenditure (turning on brown fat and thermogenesis)
  5. Promoting mobilization and metabolism of fats.

Research your supplements by reading reviews of products. Also look for companies that have been around for a while and not some quick by night companies looking for a quick buck. Once you find your “magic pill” your body goals will be within reach.

Increase Anabolic Hormones

Free Weights VS Machines

Free weights increase anabolic hormones more than machines?  Anabolic means “building up” and catabolic means “breaking down.” Anabolism and catabolism are the two sides of metabolism. Building up and breaking down components to maintain the function of the body and the balance of energy stores.

An ongoing controversy in strength training is the relative benefit of free weights versus machines. Gyms typically emphasize machines because they are more profitable and considered safer than free weights. Free weights and machines are not the same. Even when they work the same muscle groups. For example, squats and leg presses appear similar. While squats, a closed kinetic-chain exercise. While leg presses are open chain.

Closed kinetic chain means that the lower or upper body stays in contact with the ground during the movement. Free weights require more spinal stabilization, which increases the load of the exercises. Free weights also trigger a greater neural-hormonal response.

Elevated anabolic hormones appear to promote muscle hypertrophy and strength. Research found testosterone and growth hormone levels were greater following the squat than the leg press. Even though the perception of effort during the exercise was equal. At least for the large muscle, lower body exercises, free weights increased anabolic hormones more than machines.

To even make your muscles more anabolic, adding legal steroids promotes many benefits to your muscles and body. Increase in strength and building big muscles. Legal steroid supplements are safe and contain no banned substances. Whether adding  pre workout or daily muscle building supplement, you’ll achieve your body goals.

Avoid Training Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Training Mistakes and How to Fix Them-

Lack of Sleep: If you don’t eat enough, you won’t grow. And if you don’t sleep enough, you won’t grow either. Lack of sleep increases the body’s release of the catabolic hormone cortisol. Catabolic is muscle wasting, the opposite of anabolic, or muscle building. You can’t recover and grow from your workouts without enough sleep. FIX: Sleep a solid eight hours a night if possible. If work, family or other demands make that impossible, do the best you can. Take any naps you can to make up for a nightly deficit. Sleep late on the occasions you are able to.

Checking your iPhone Constantly: Most of us are addicted to our cell phones. Constantly checking text messages, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Not only do these thing wast tremendous amounts of our time, but also providing a continuous distraction. Weight training requires extreme focus on the task at hand. If you are going through workouts with an iPhone in one hand, you are not focused. FIX: Unless you have a job that demands accessibility at all times. Or have children , lock up your phone with your jacket and wallet and leave it behind in the locker room. Your workout will be more focused and productive.

legal-steroidsThe attitude these days seems to consider training to be a mere afterthought. “Just do what you want in the gym…it doesn’t matter.” The dismissal of training’s true significance has led to an entire generation of bodybuilders failing to realize their full potential.

Stinky Form/Ego Lifting: These two things occur simultaneously often enough. Though not always. Stinky form means your not properly engaging the target muscle. It could be swinging or heaving the weight. Or cutting the range of motion short as in quarter reps with every plate in the gym stacked on the leg press. Typically bad form stems from using more weight in an effort to look like a bad-ass. Ego lifting is simply using more weight than you can handle in good form. FIX: Leave your ego at the gym door. It doesn’t matter how much weight you lift if you’re not working the target muscles. Use good form and leave the stunt lifting to the ignorant fools who don’t know any better.

Lack of Nutritional Support: Probably the most common training mistake is not supporting your workouts and recovery with adequate nutrients and muscle building supplements. A lot of guys put out plenty of effort in the gym, but lazy when it comes to eating and supplementing right. FIX: To get the best results from training, eat a meal containing quality protein and carbohydrate sources every two to three hours. From the time you wake up until you go to sleep. For the most, this will wind up being five to six meals every day. Lots of work, but it pays off.

Reach New Heights With A Versa Climber

Have you seen that machine in the gym that mimics climbing?  It’s been around for years! If you haven’t tried it yet, you’ll want to if your goal is to increase intensity of your workouts.

The piece of equipment is the Versa Climber, and many people are calling it one of the hardest- but most effective -machines to train with in the gym. In shot, the Versa Climber is a vertical climbing machine-except with no actual climbing takes place. It’s effective because it’s been shown to burn lots of calories in a short amount of time. And while your increasing your heart rate and cardio, you are also working your upper and lower body. This intense machine also helps burn fat.

Some tips for getting the most out of the VersaClimber: 

burn-fatFoot placement-The VersaClimber has straps, so you can choose how much control you want in the workout. If you strap the band around your shoe tightly, it will stay in place. If you keep it looser, you’ll be able to adjust your foot placement during the workout.

If you place your foot center-this allows for equal distribution and targets the glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and calves. If ball of foot in center mostly targets quads. Heel in the center targets the hamstrings.

Workouts- Try the 30, 20,10

This workout involves stride length-go for 30 seconds with a neutral stride length, 20 seconds with an exaggerated stride, then 10 seconds with a short stride (that is basically an all out sprint) After finishing, repeat again right away, starting with the 30 second neutral stride. You can also carry dumbbells that are heavy and do a farmer’s walk for 45 seconds in between flights (climb 100 flights-farmer’s walk-back to climber) try 3-5 rounds of this for ultimate cardio.

7 Simple Workout Steps for Losing Fat Without Losing Muscle

The ability for you to burn fat and build muscle boils down to diet, exercise, and the right bodybuilding building supplements.

There are plenty of competing bodybuilders who’ve accomplished these goals simultaneously. Serving as absolute evidence that it’s possible to achieve body re-composition. Follow these seven tips to burn fat quickly, without losing any hard-earned muscle.
 

1. Combine Strength Training With Hypertrophy

Power lifting and strength training routines, such as lifting heavy singles, doubles, or triples, relies heavily on your neural drive, the speed you shift from using Type I to Type IIb muscle fibers, and your ability to get maximal muscle fiber recruitment. While those are extremely beneficial for setting personal records in the gym, they don’t maximize how much muscle you put on or maintain during a cutting phase.

2. Use Slow Aerobic Cardio

burn-fat-build-lean-muscleWith fat loss comes cardio training. Yet the kind of cardio you do can maintain all your hard-earned muscle or destroy it.
 
Use slow and easy methods of aerobic exercise such as walking on a treadmill at an incline, an easy bike ride, or a light jog. Maintaining an consistent pace will only use your Type I muscle fibers, which are extremely fatigue resistant, and promote more blood circulation to help clear lactic acid and metabolic waste. It also improves your aerobic energy system to support more intense workouts, better recovery between sets, and more results.
 

3. Eat Quality Lean Protein

If you want to maintain as much muscle mass as possible (if not, grow it) during a cutting phase, you must consume the optimal amount of protein. First, it boosts your metabolism throughout the day because protein takes more energy to digest than carbs or fat. Second, it keeps you full to prevent overeating.

 
Finally, it prevents excessive muscle loss that could happen during a cut. Target at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, and get your protein from clean sources like lean meats, nuts, eggs, fish, and quality muscle building supplements.
 

4. Amino Acids and Anabolic Supplements

Branched Chained Amino Acids are the essential amino acids, meaning they must come from the diet. As the building blocks of protein, BCAAs are stored within muscles and can actually be used for energy during exercise. During a cutting phase, they’re a great alternative to high-calorie protein powders because they’re calorie-free (or close to it), which will ensure that you’re still maintaining the calorie-deficit necessary to get leaner. Anabolic supplements are beneficial, as they are packed with growth factors such as IgF1 and peptides which stimulate muscle growth and fat loss.
 

5. Eat Carbs After Your Workout

Carbs are not evil. In fact, even during an ambitious leaning phase, you still need carbohydrates, especially if you’re still lifting heavy. Timing your carbohydrate consumption is very important.
 
After a hypertrophy-driven workout, your muscle fibers are damaged and your energy reserves need refueling. Starving your body of carbs will hurt your recovery and lead to increasingly crappier workouts. Instead, eat carbs post-workout. Once you finish your last set, your metabolism is high and your insulin sensitivity—your body’s ability to tolerate carbs—is at its highest.
 
Pick starches like rice, baked potatoes, and sweet potatoes to start the recovery process and fill your body with energy it needs to perform at a high-level.
 
 

6. Get Good Sleep 

Recovery is just as important as your training, especially during a cutting phase. Since you’re putting your body through the tremendous stress of calorie-restriction and heavy weights, you need time to let your muscles recover and rebuild. 8 hours of sleep is the standard, and research indicates anything less is not optimal.
 
While your body secretes growth hormone throughout the day, it peaks at night while you sleep and it’s also highest when your sleep is deepest. Skimping on sleep, however, will only short-change your muscle growth and repair. If you fall behind on sleep, REST. Take the time on weekends to just sleep in and let your body recover from the weeks physical and mental stress.
 

7. Maintain Moderate Caloric Deficit

Crash dieting will cause muscle loss no matter what you do. Depriving your muscles of much needed nutrition is not going to benefit you in the long term. It’s far too extreme on the body and won’t give your body the proper dose of nutrients to heal and recover. Worse, you’ll also risk health problems and even over training. Fatigue is guaranteed !
 
If you want to cut after a bulking phase and still have muscle mass, start with a slight deficit of only 500 calories—it’s just the right number to spark fat loss without sacrificing muscle building or strength gains. Track your progress every few weeks in the form of body-fat percentage, circumference measurements, and photos to ensure you’re on the right direction. 

Pre-Exhaust a Lagging Chest? Chest Training Tips

Pre-Exhausting Q & A

Q: Is pre-exhausting a good idea for a lagging chest? Hearing people say it’s great because you don’t have to go as heavy on your presses. If you do flyes and pec deck first. Feeling the presses more in your pecs instead of your shoulders and triceps. Others say the fact that you can’t use as much weight on your presses makes pre-exhausting a bad idea. Which is the best idea?

bodybuilding-supplements-build-big-chest-musclesA: Pre-exhausing can be a good idea. But not relying on it all the time. You should make more of an effort to figure out exactly what you need to do to get your pecs to do the work. Even if you start with presses. Sometimes a problem is shoulders wanting to take over. You need to play around with different body positions. Like rolling your shoulders back and down and pinching your shoulder blades together. You’ll be better off in the long run using heavier weights on the pressing movements for chest. Some will say a muscle doesn’t know how much it’s lifting and that you can make a lighter weight feel heavy. That’s something you consider if injured and really must go lighter.

Otherwise, work harder on feeling your chest. Don’t be afraid to use lighter weights to learn that. Also don’t be afraid to try machines like the Smith or Hammer Strength. Machines can definitely be effective if you have a good mind-muscle connection and work hard with decent weights. Supplementing with bodybuilding supplements can help with building big muscles and muscle recovery. Helping you achieve your bodybuilding and chest goals.

 

Arm Training Goals and Workouts

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Arm Training and Bodybuilding

When starting bodybuilding, many individuals training in a manner that allows feeling the individual muscles working. Not doing any compound exercises for triceps like dips or close grip pull presses. Some feel those exercises not seeming the best for isolating the muscles and making them grow. Feeling that too much chest and shoulders working, which seems wrong.  Below arm training exercises that will set you in motion for building big muscles and intense strength gains.

Biceps/Triceps Superset Workout A

Three sets of Cambered or Straight bar cable curls. Superset with: Cambered bar triceps press downs (with elbows tucked, not elbows out)

3 sets of Dumbbell Curls. (Sometimes alternating or together, sometimes hammer or cross body). Superset with: Lying dumbbell triceps extensions.

Three sets of Seated High Pulley Cable Curls. Superset with Bent over cable triceps extensions.

3 sets of  Cambered bar Preacher Curls. Superset with Lying cambered bar triceps extensions. (skull crushers)

Try doing three out of four supersets for the days you decide to superset arms.

Biceps/Triceps Superset Workout B

Do three sets of the exercises above, then three sets of the other, like this.

Three sets of cambered bard preacher curls.

3 sets of skull crushers.

Three sets of cambered or straight bar seated high pulley cable curls.

3 sets of cambered or straight bar press downs (elbows tucked).

Three sets of dumbbell curls (sometimes alternation or together, hammer or cross body).

3 sets of lying dumbbell triceps extensions.

Three sets of one arm cable curls.

3 sets of bent over one arm cable press downs.

Anabolic Back Workouts

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Anabolic Back Workouts

Get your back muscles in an anaboic state to build big muscles and intense strength gains. Below are four different workouts you can choose from. Switching it up keeps your muscles growing. Adding muscle building supplements helps your muscles grow and recovery quick so you can lift more and go heavy.

Workout 1

Chins (only as a warm up-four sets of 10-12 reps or more if you can, may use various grips)

Barbell Rowing

Reverse-grip Pulldowns

Machine Rowing

Do six sets of each exercise. Trying to use weights that allow you to reach failure at these rep ranges. 16, 8, 12, 6, 10, 5. Use the muscle confusion principle. Muscle confusion involves doing a different rep range for every set of an exercise. Not pyramiding up or down in a steady manner. Instead, go back and forth between heavy and more moderate weight from set to set. This really stimulates the muscle in a way that’s totally unaccustomed to. It may sound silly, but give it a try and you’ll change your mind.

Set 1: 15 reps – Set 2: 6 reps –  Set 3: 12 reps – Set 4: 8 reps – Set 5: 10 reps – Set 6: 5 reps.

anabolic-supplementsWorkout 2

Chins to front- four sets to failure

Pullover Machine- four sets of 20 reps, if there is no machine, use a dumbbell

Cable Machine Rowing- three sets of 12 reps.

High Rows- three sets of 25 reps. Pull from a high pulley to your chest using either a shore straight bar or a rope attachment.

Workout 3

LOWER BACK:

Machine Rows- five sets of six reps

Reverse-grip Barbell Rows- three sets of 12 rep

Dumbbell Rows- one drop set for each arm. Eight reps then drop, eight more then drop, and eight more.

UPPER BACK:

Wide-grip Pulldowns- three sets of nine reps

Reverse-grip Pulldowns- three sets of nine reps

High Rows-three sets of nine reps

If you can do this whole workout at once, that s fine. You may be able to do it better if you split it up into a morning and evening workout, time permitting.

Workout 4

Reverse-grip Pulldowns- four sets of 15-16 reps (pyramid up in weight)

T-bar Rowing- same sets and reps

Pulldowns to Front- same sets and reps

Barbell Rows- same sets and reps-Superset with Pullovers-four sets of 20