Posts Tagged ‘Bodybuilding News’

Big bodies of Asia

bodybuilding BODYBUILDING as a sport has been gaining popularity in Asia, with Thailand, China/Hong Kong and South Korea taking the lead. Nongyao Kosinam of Thailand lifted the gold medal in the 49kg category at the Asian Women’s Bodybuilding Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2009.

Due to a 1988 government ban on bodybuilding for women, professional women bodybuilders are virtually unheard of in Malaysia. Enthusiasts such as Lilian Tan have only recently begun to enter competitions such as the Asia/World Bodybuilding Championship – the most renowned bodybuilding competition in Asia – held in Singapore last year.

Malaysian women bodybuilders are currently opting for “physique” rather than bodybuilding competitions since the latter has been banned. Although both categories are almost similar, the physique category requires a more proportionate body and essentially, less bulk.

Ultimately, the nature of physique competitions allows for the women to look more feminine.

So when you see a physique contestant like Lilian Tan, you will notice that while her body is well-sculpted and toned, she is not necessarily hulky compared to global competitors.

On a global level, there are many organisations that actively encourage the participation of women bodybuilders.

One of these is the Arnold Amateur competition in the United States which attracts contestants from Europe, Asia and Canada. Many aspiring bodybuilders start here.

Then there’s the famed Universe Championships organised by the US National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA). Arnold Schwarzenegger won the Mr Universe title in the professional level, for three consecutive years from 1968 to 1970. A number of competitions such as the NABBA Mr Universe (amateur and professional), Miss Physique and Miss Figure, are organised by this association.

Xroids.NET: Very Very Good Reviews

Xroids.net is one of the hottest bodybuilding topics of all time right now. Every product, every comment, and all their customer service is top knotch and this company is without a doubt the best around.

From informative profiles down to the prices and quality, feedback is incredible! If you haven’t yet checked them out, please do so and you will not be upset here folks. Top notch products for top notch athletes.

Bodybuilding: The Myth Of Lean Bulking

Go to any forum on the Internet and you will see at least one or two threads started by someone asking for advice or a critique of a lean bulking cycle.
The first thing that needs to be realized is that the AAS you use have a very small part in how lean your gains will be.
Yes, I have heard the proposed tren/prop/masteron with var or winny type cycles. Yes, those will deliver a harder physique with a dieting athlete, but not when one is truly bulking. And yes AAS that promote more estrogenic kick back tend to make one gain a bit more bodyfat, but in the big scheme of things your not going to notice a big difference either way.
In fact the best thing AAS do so far as increasing ones ability to stay leaner, is 2 fold. One, the body grows more muscle tissue and this new tissue increases the metabolic rate and the tissue now adds a calorie burning effect, but this also means gains can halt if more of the proper macros are not added back into the diet. Two, some AAS promote a bit more secretion of IGF-1 from the liver and its effect on nutrient partitioning and body composition are well noted as promoting a leaner physique…however remember the standard life of your bodies natural IGF is 12 minutes or so, once again a negligible difference in the big picture.
The sad reality for any of us is, in order to gain size, we must gain some bodyfat…and to lose bodyfat we must lose some muscle.
But, there are some strategies we can employ and some guidelines we can use when attempting to gain offseason mass with out making it look like we are some sumo wrestler in training.
These strategies are centered around our diet, not our cycle. Quite honestly the AAS I use make only a slight difference in the types of fat loss, or muscle gains that I make.
What makes the biggest impact is how we eat, and secondly how we train.
In the past 3 years for diets and contest I have used a carb cycling approach.
Its actually very simple and its predicated on a system that our bodies use all the time anyway.

The two types of weekly cycles I have personally employed and had good success with are a 5 low and 2 high or 4 low and 3 high on a low carb system…alas this can be used in reverse when we bulk.
Lets look at a 4 high day 3 low day system for the purpose of keeping this simple.
With this type of carb cycling we will eat higher carbs and calories for 4 days of the week with another 3 being much lower.

So for example the first 4 days you would eat 1.5 grams per lb of protein based on your body weight, and 3.5-4.5 grams of mostly complex carbs on your high days, fats will come from your naturally occurring food sources (trust me there’s more than enough) and EFA’s.
Then comes the low days where protein will stay at 1.5 grams per lb and carbs will drop to 65% less. On these days we will eat more red meat and take in extra EFA’s, this will be done mostly with the last 2 meals.
Now you may be scratching your head and thinking AJ has lost his shit, YES maybe, maybe a long time ago in fact, but this is science.
Those of you who have done hard contest diets know from experience what happens after a show? REBOUND. Most bodybuilders make fantastic gains after a show eating JUNK, and still look good for a good amount of time.
WHY? Well its all about insulin sensitivity…when doing a lower carb diet and cardio for that amount of time insulin sensitivity increases up to 3 times its previous mark, making the muscle cells have the ability to soak up glycogen and really kick start the growth process, while the body fat stores are low the body has a bit harder time storing excess calories as fat, it still does it but at a much lower rate than someone who has higher body fat concentrations.
So, when we apply this rationale to the off season we can see that on a much smaller micro scale if weekly we prime the body with lower carb days then flood the system again with higher carbs and macros we get a much sharper anabolic response to food intake that is independent of any AAS we are taking.
Its a simple cycle to follow, and it will work for most people, there are some nanomoles out there and there is no 100% sure fire one size fits all diet for everyone, but the strategy can be manipulated in to weekly cycles as well 2 weeks high one week low, be creative and experiment.
The other side of the cycle is during your lower carb days you get a bit of fat loss but since your 4 days of higher outweigh the low days in frequency you should see positive weight gains every week.
There is also the fact that when we attempt to straight diet (eat the same or more day after day) that our bodies lose the sensitivity to insulin and the carbs are easier and easier to be converted into body fat…not what we want here.
The cycle keeps the bodies homeostatic mechanism off balance allowing for increasing glycogen uptake and some slight body fat reduction all in one weeks micro cycle.
The days you are high on carbs the body is being primed for the low days by increasing leptin.
What is leptin- well heres wiki’s definition:

Leptin (Greek leptos meaning thin) is a 16 kDa protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. Leptin is one of the most important adipose derived hormones.[1] The Ob(Lep) gene (Ob for obese, Lep for leptin) is located on chromosome 7 in humans.[2]

Basically its a hormone that can really determine alot of how are bodies utilize fat for energy, low leptin levels mean somewhat inhibited fat burning and conversely higher levels lead to better fat burning.
When the body is thrown into a fasting state or heavily reduced calories leptin production drops off sharply, when food intake is re-introduced the levels return to normal and in the on set become a bit higher than they were at baseline.
So, with your immediate return to higher carb days that were pre-empted with those 3 low ones your bodies leptin production is greatly increased and this carries through the next 4 days of high calorie and high carb intake.
As you can imagine this means greater uptake of nutrients but also less bodyfat being deposed, subsequently the 3 low days leptin is still remaining high into the second low day or so (individual genetics allowing) that there is more fat burning taking place on those 3 low days.
So in short by keeping the body in this un-balanced state we can allow for muscle gains and fat loss simultaneously.
But don’t be fooled, mother nature isn’t…YOU WILL STILL BE IN MORE POSITIVE SURPLUS CALORIE DAYS PER WEEK, AND YOU WILL STILL GAIN BODYFAT. The idea here is to gain LESS fat than someone who just goes about this in a linear fashion eating more and more as each day goes by.
I have some simple guidelines that I follow during this phase:
1)cardio- I still do 45 min of cardio about 4-5 times a week- try not doing it and when you start to get really heavy and find breathing to be harder see how it negatively effects your training, especially on leg days…great to be strong as an ox, but if you cant take the set to the max point without giving out from 02 deprivation you will never see peak gains.
2)You MUST eat clean- eating junk food will only throw a wrench in the program. Allow yourself a meal a week but nothing more than that.
3)Like rule #2 as much as possible- DO NOT MIX FATS AND CARBS IN THE SAME MEAL. Carbs, and especially higher carbs will promote the release of insulin, insulin has two functions, push glucose and nutrients into muscle cells, and push fat into fat stores, its very easy for insulin to do this with a lot of fat from a meal present in a high glucose environment.
Carbs+Protein=good…fat+protein good…carbs and fat BLEH!
4)You should approach your training in a cyclic fashion as well, just because week in and week out you feel the need to push heavier and heavier weights doesn’t mean your connective tissues will. Allow for some weeks of joint recovery with lower weights, if you end up injured or in too much pain to train properly it will defeat the whole purpose of the diet.

The AAS I chose for this type of diet are a base of Test enanthate+test prop+deca…from their I may add 2 other ancillary compounds that I will switch during the bulk phase.
IGF can be used effectively during the bulk, along with GH.
If you use insulin it will enhance the gains but I recommend using the slin on your high days and then on the low days supplementing with 2-400 mg of r-ALA, Apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon. These supplements help enhance insulin sensitivity and prime your body for the higher carb days when insulin is re-introduced.

As you gain size your caloric needs WILL change-so from a weekly basis keep an eye on the scale and the mirror to see if you are gaining properly, as you gain each 1 lb of muscle it basically adds another 500 or so calories to the thermic effect, so that has to be accounted for as each passing week increases body mass…1lb of muscle gain not gross weight gain…1lb on the scale is nothing, I usually look and see 4-5 lb changes I can assume about 2lbs of muscle…if I’m lucky.
Try to eat as much whole food as possible, I know from my personal experience as the high calorie days go up you have to really be able to pound down the food and a gainer is just about a necessity…but if you can on your low days eat all whole foods. The therm effect of whole food vs supplement powders is close to a 5 fold increase in BMR- that’s more calories you can burn as fat on those days so try, I know its not possible every day, but if you can do it most of the time this will really work in your favor.
That is about my cycle diet for gaining.
Try it or not, it gives us something to think about and possibly apply to our own off season goals, remember the holidays are right around the corner so GET HUUUGGE!

NPC :National Physique Committee

 

NPC RULES AND PROCEDURE

PREJUDGING

Attire

During the prejudging a solid color suit will be worn. Suits of metallic nature are not allowed. There will be no “T” suits or “G” strings worn. The style of suit that will be worn at the actual competition must be worn at the weigh-in especially at all National competitions. No jewelry or hair ornaments will be allowed at the prejudging. Female bodybuilders are permitted to wear jewelry and hair ornaments at the evening competition. Numbers will be worn on the left side of the suit.

Scoring

The Placement System is used for scoring the contest. Each round is considered to be equally important, however only one placing will be marked on the judges score sheet for each contestant. The final placing for each competitor is a reflection of the combination of all three rounds. Notes should be kept on each competitor so that a judge can tell a competitor where they excelled or where improvement is needed.

When calculating the scores from the 7 judges, the highest and lowest scores are discarded. The remaining 5 scores are added together. The contestant with the lowest score wins and the rest are placed accordingly.

Prejudging – Elimination Round

If there are more than 15 competitors in a weight class the elimination round will be done. All of the competitors will be brought out in groups of 8 competitors at a time. The group will be directyed to do Relaxed quarter turns and the Mandatory poses so that the judges are able to see the overall level of competition. No placings are decided during this round. At this time the judges will be deciding the top 15 competitors.

Individual Posing Round

Each of the top 15 competitors will then perform their Individual Posing Routine. The Routine is done with no music and is limited to 60 seconds with a 10 second warning. During this round the judges will be focusing on how well the contestant is able to “present their physique” – showing both muscular and symmetrical development. The moon pose has been banned by the NPC and the IFBB and will not be allowed at either phase of the competition. If it is done it will result in immediate disqualification from the competition.

Mandatory Comparison Round

After each contestant has finished their Individual Posing Routines, they are brought out as a group in numerical order. The head judge will call them out in groups of 3-5 and direct them through the Mandatory poses. There are seven for women and eight for men. The judges will take this time to assess muscular development (See Judging criteria, Muscular development). The Side Chest and Side Tricep poses may be done from either side.

During the Prejudging, the judges look for a balance of size, symmetry and muscularity. The judges may ask to see certain competitors together for comparisons.

The judges then mark their score sheets, consisting of a single placing for each competitor based on all three rounds of posing.

MANDATORY POSES

  • POSE#1 – FRONT DOUBLE BICEP
  • POSE#2 – FRONT LAT SPREAD
  • POSE#3 – SIDE CHEST POSE (either side)
  • POSE#4 – SIDE TRICEP EXTENSION (either side)
  • POSE#5 – BACK DOUBLE BICEP
  • POSE#6 – BACK LAT SPREAD
  • POSE#7 – ABDOMINAL POSE
  • POSE#8 – MOST MUSCULAR (Men Only)

Evening Finals

The competitors perform their Individual Posing Routine to their choice of music. The time limit is 90 seconds. Female bodybuilders are permitted to wear jewelry and hair ornaments. Some competitions, if there are a lot of competitors, are forced to limit Individual Posing at the Finals to the top 5 competitors. Check with the promoter of the event for details.

Awards Presentation

The emcee will call out the top 5 finalists in numerical order. The emcee will announce the final placings starting with 5th place and working up to first place. Each trophy is awarded as the placing is announced.

Overall Posedown

Each Weight Class Winner advances into the Overall Posedown. The Head Judge guides them through the quarter turns and the Mandatory poses. They are then given 30 seconds of free posing with some background music. While the free posing is being done, the judges give their sheets to the head judge so that the scores can be tallied. The competitor with the lowest score is the overall winner.

 

NPC JUDGING CRITERIA

The sport of bodybuilding represents the balanced muscular development of the physique. The quality of this development is determined by the overall assessment of these areas:

  • PRESENTATION
  • SIZE – MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT
  • SYMMETRY – BALANCE OF THE PHYSIQUE
  • MUSCULARITY – LACK OF BODYFAT

It is imperative to remember that each category is of equal importance. The judges will submit one final placing for each competitor after the completion of all three rounds of posing – Relaxed Round, Individual Posing Round, Mandatory Round.

Relaxed Round

The Relaxed Round is designed to show the proportion, shape and balance of the physique in a relaxed state. Competitors are directed to do ¼ turns. The following are important guidelines to correctly doing the Relaxed ¼ turns:

  • Head faces the way your feet are facing
  • Hands at your sides
  • No twisting
  • Feet flat

Individual Posing Round

The Individual Posing Round is the opportunity for the competitors to display their physique by showing their strengths and hiding their weaknesses.

Each pose should emphasize one or more muscle groups and must be held momentarily in order for a judge to assess properly.

There is a time limit of one minute during the Prejudging and 90 seconds in the Finals. No music is used other than background house music.

Mandatory Comparison Round

Competitors are directed to perform the Mandatory Poses. Judges assess muscle size, symmetry and muscularity by comparing one competitor to another.

MANDATORY POSES

  • POSE#1 – FRONT DOUBLE BICEP
  • POSE#2 – FRONT LAT SPREAD
  • POSE#3 – SIDE CHEST POSE (either side)
  • POSE#4 – SIDE TRICEP EXTENSION (either side)
  • POSE#5 – BACK DOUBLE BICEP
  • POSE#6 – BACK LAT SPREAD
  • POSE#7 – ABDOMINAL POSE
  • POSE#8 – MOST MUSCULAR (Men Only)

Criteria For Female Bodybuilders

Judges look for the Total Package – the balance of size, symmetry and muscularity. There are, however, limits to the size of the muscles and the degree of muscularity that are acceptable. Competitors must maintain a feminine look. Extreme hardness and extreme muscle size is not acceptable.

MANDATORY POSES

  • POSE#1 – FRONT DOUBLE BICEP
  • POSE#2 – FRONT LAT SPREAD
  • POSE#3 – SIDE CHEST POSE (either side)
  • POSE#4 – SIDE TRICEP EXTENSION (either side)
  • POSE#5 – BACK DOUBLE BICEP
  • POSE#6 – BACK LAT SPREAD
  • POSE#7 – ABDOMINAL/THIGH POSE

* If your looking to join a bodybuilding organization, then this is the one. The most competitive and well known association ever. If you have what it takes, then this is the place.

Training Routine:Mass Builder

A good mass builder always includes compound exercises but the main secret is to keep your body guessing for what’s coming next. I’ve laid out one of the best 5 day training routines you can possibly follow for the extreme bodybuilder.

Monday-Chest

Flat bench press-4 sets x 10-12 reps

Hammer Strength Incline Press-4 sets x 10-12 reps

Cable Crossovers-4 sets x 10-15 reps

Flyes(machine)-3 sets x 10-15 reps

 

Tuesday-Back

Bent-over rows-4 sets x 10-12 reps

One arm dumbbell rows-4 sets x 10-12 reps

Lateral pull downs-3 sets x 10-12 reps

Hammer Strength rows-4 sets x 10-12 reps

Wednesday-Legs

Squats-3 sets x 10-15 reps

Quad extensions-3 sets x 10-15 reps

Ham extensions- 3 sets x 10-15 reps

Lunges-3 sets x 15-20 reps

Hack squats-3 sets x 15-20 reps

Thursday- Shoulders

Upright rows- 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Military Press-3 sets x 10-12 reps

One arm front raises-3 sets x 10-12 reps

One arm side raises-3 sets x 10-12 reps

Plate raises (front raises using a plate,45 then a 25 , then a 10 without taking a break)-3 sets x 30 reps

Rear delt extensions(reverse flyes)-3 sets x 10-12 reps

Friday- off

Saturday-Arms

EZ-bar curls-3 sets x 10-12 reps

Straight bar curls-3 sets x 10-12 reps

One arm dumbbell curls-3 sets x 10-12 rep

Hammer curls-3 sets x 10-12 reps

Tricep press-down-3 sets x 10-15 reps

Skull Crusher-3 sets x 10-12 reps

Close grip bench press-3 sets x 10-12 reps

Super set press-downs and bicep curls- 2 sets of each without breaks…10-12 reps on each

Sunday-off

*If you follow this routine and your diet is in check, i will guarantee you that your results will be nothing less then incredible. Be sure to change your routine every week and keep yur body guessing. FI: if you do triceps first one week then do them second the next week and alternate exercises .

 

The Secrets Of Training

The secrets of training that pros won’t tell the regular gym guru, I WILL!

TRAINING:

Secrets to the training aspect are fairly simple. The biggest mistake that amateurs make is that they do not listen to their body. If you need a break,then take it. If you feel you need more fluids, drink it. If you need more gear, then do it. Alot of the game is all in listening just as it is in school, you must listen to learn. Shocking your bod into different plateaus is what it begs for. One week if your doing squats for legs then switch it up the next week and do lunges and leg presses instead. Also, if your doing pyramid training one week, then switch to high rep low weight sets the next, and then maybe do high weight low rep the next. You just have to keep your muscle guessing into what’s coming next. You hear of a ton of bodybuilders saying they do not get sore anymore; this is bad, very bad. If your not getting sore, your not growing, simple as that. When the muscle breaks down and tears, it rebuilds itself during sleep and recuperation, hence, getting sore. Your post workout shake is a MUST after every hardcore session, right away.

Sleep:

The average Joe only gets about 6 to 7 hours of sleep per night. This is simply not enough and in order to have optimal results, you need optimal sleep. HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is a perfect way to get the REM sleep needed to grow into your full potential. If your pocket allows for the money to supply it, then by all means, it’s well worth it. If you can’t get the much needed 8 full hours of sleep at night because of life’s circumstances, then try to set aside the extra time for a nap sometime during the day, it will tremendously boost your energy and training.

Gear:

I usually will not even touch on this subject because alot of people take my advice as a “go ahead” to start using. So before I tell you, this is not me telling you to go ahead and do it. Gear is only used or should only be used once your genetics have fully maxed out. Anabolics are only going to do what you want them to do if there is nothing else stopping it. What do I mean? Your diet has to be dead on, your sleep has to be perfect, your genetics have to be worn thin from natural bodybuilding, and you have to have the time, money, patience, and the right attitude. Steroids are not for people that just want to hurry up and slab on fifty pounds, so everyone at school likes them! If you are ready and have exhausted your options then a good start would be to follow a simple beginner’s cycle. A anabolic, a androgenic, and a good anti-estrogen. Therefore, the cycle would always contain a testosterone base and maybe deca would be a great choice to run with it,and nolvadex as your anti-e.  Before starting this be sure to read up on as much information as possible, so you know what to expect and what your putting into your body.

Nutrition:

Nutrition is key. My outlook on things are much different then you have heard in the past. The difference is that mine is based on living longer and healthier, and also I have a master’s degree in nutrition to back this up. Protein intake should be 0.8 kg per kg of body weight. (your weight in lbs. divided by 2.2 will give you your weight in kgs). Now this sounds low right? It’s been proven many times that caloric intake is a must to build muscle,therefore, you must keep your calories high if your following this regimen. The protein intake I have listed is because the body simply can not handle digesting 500 grams of protein a day! It’s insane to hear about these guys taking in that much per day. Trust me when i say, your liver will not last long eating like this. Keep your carbohydrates fairly high too, 150 to 200 grams per day is adequate for gaining weight and muscle. Eating clean is the best you can do for your body. When I say eat clean, this means to simple eat home cooked meals and limit your butter, oil, and nasty cooking greases. You want to eat high quality protein from sources like fish, lean beef, chicken, and certain sea-foods. Always keep you carbs mostly eaten during the day to stop from fat forming at night. Sodium should be less then 1000 mg per day, otherwise you will retain too much water especially if you on AAS also. Water intake should always be above 1 gallon per day. In the summertime, you should consume more due to the heat causing you to perspire more often. Remember, nutrition is the most important, if you eat like crap, you will look like crap.

This is just a small portion of how to successfully train and bodybuild, you should always do as much research as possible with any questions that you have. Some people keep log books and other’s don’t. Some people do alot of things that others don’t, so have fun with it and find what works best for you.

Written By: Kane Congdon, NPC National Competitor,and M.D in biology/sports science.

Gaining Weight For Bodybuilders

Weight gain is something that isn’t easy to do and you probably know this already. I know first hand because it is something I have to do every day. I am an ectomorph by genetics, which is the “skinny body type” and the one with the fast metabolism which makes gaining so hard for guys like me. The key to weight gain is to do everything BIG. You have to eat big, to lift big, to get big. Say that over and over again in your head until you fully understand it. A lot of people think weightlifting is the key to gaining weight, and I won’t argue, it is an extremely important part. BUT, there is another thing that is just as important when it comes to how to gain weight, and that is your diet.

So, to put it as simply as possible, there are 5 simple steps to how to gain weight, and here they are:

1) Count how many calories you eat in a normal day. Don’t change anything, just eat like you normally would and count how many calories you consumed. This is an extremely important step, so try to be as exact as possible. Also, weigh yourself.

2) Starting the day after you counted calories, eat 500 calories MORE then you normally do. So, lets pretend that the day you counted calories you counted 2000. For the rest of the week, you would now eat 2500 calories a day. Instead of eating 3 big meals a day or eating all day all the time, spread those calories out over 5-6 smaller meals. Eat one meal every 2 and a half to 3 hours. To get big, you have to eat big! Remember that.

3) Weightlifting! Get in the gym and lift! This is another important step to how to gain weight, so make sure you are doing it correctly.

4) At the end of that week, weigh yourself. You’ll notice you’re gaining just after one week! Now, don’t expect to see a 10lb increase. Gaining anymore then 1 or 2 pounds a week is unhealthy and means you’re putting on way to much fat or water. So look for 1 or 2 pound gains at the end of the week. Don’t sound like much? You can be gaining 5-8 pounds a month!

5) Heres an important one. At some point, you will stop seeing weight gain. At this point, you will have to eat even more. So, when you stop gaining for at least 2 weeks, it means it is time to start eating an extra 250 calories a day. Every time you see you haven’t gained weight for at least 2 weeks, add an extra 250 calories.

- Stay away from bad fat! Even though weight gain is your goal, you don’t want to be gaining fat and eating junk. Get rid of the chips and candy. No more fast food, nothing fried. Stick to high protein, low (saturated) fat foods like fish, chicken breast, turkey, lean meats, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables,and nuts.

- Track your progress! Weighing yourself once a week is extremely important, but so is figuring out if the weight you are gaining is muscle or fat. In order to know this information, you will have to monitor your BF%.

- WATER! Drink water! Drink around a  gallon a day, more if you can. Yes that’s a lot of water, but it’s that water that will give you the energy you need to gain that weight!

- Sleep! YES! Sleep! The easiest, yet most over looked step. Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. You’re gonna need it!

Follow these instructions and helpful tips and you will have no issues whatsoever in achieving your goals. Keep at it and never give up!

Muscle Building 101

Muscle building is not easy. If it was, everyone you know would be 250lbs of pure muscle. Muscle building takes time and effort, and if you aren’t willing to dedicate your time and put in extreme amounts of effort, then you are wasting your time. However, if you fully understand the amount of dedication that is needed, then read on and lets get down to business.

Muscle building requires 3 steps. Step 1 and the most important step is the weightlifting, which must be done correctly. This includes your workout routines and programs, as well as the actual exercises that you do. Your workout routine must allow your entire body to get the best workout it can (so that you are not overtraining), and you must do the most effective muscle building exercises. There are tons of different exercises and machines for each muscle group, but there are just 4 that have the greatest effect. These 4 exercises are your “compound” movements. Let me explain.

The most effective muscle building exercises are compound movements. Compound movements are exercises that require your body to use more than one muscle. For example, bicep curls will only require your body to use your biceps. This is known as an isolation exercise. An exercise like the bench press, which mainly requires the use of your chest, but secondarily requires your triceps and shoulders is a compound movement. Including the bench press, there are 4 weightlifting exercises that MUST be included in your workout routines.

The 4 biggest, most effective, muscle building exercises are Squats, Deadlifts, the Bench Press and the Military Press. All 4 are compound movements and all 4 are are extremely important to your workout. The main exercise of your chest workout should be the bench press, the main exercise of your leg workout should be squats, the main exercise of your back workout should be deadlifts and the main exercise of your shoulder workout should be the military press.

Exercises like dumbbell flyes which works the chest, leg extensions which works the legs, lat pulldowns which works the back and lateral raises which works the shoulders are all fine exercises and I do every one of them, however, the “big 4″ exercises are the ones that will allow you to gain the most muscle, size and strength.

Muscle building step number 2 is your diet. Diets are just as important as the actual weightlifting, because if you aren’t eating to grow, then you will NOT grow. You have to eat big, to lift big, to get big. Say that over and over again to yourself until you fully understand it. Some of the diet basics are eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight EVERY DAY whether you worked out that day or not. Protein is the building block of muscle. If you can’t get at least 1 gram of protein per pound every day from real food, supplement with shakes.  Most people use them, and so do I.  Eating very little (if any) saturated fat is important as well. You want to get big, but you don’t want to get fat. Also stay away from the rest of the junk food like cookies, candy, cake, anything high in sugar, soda, fast food, fried food, etc. and make sure you are eating enough calories! You have to eat big to get big, remember?

Muscle building step number 3 is “everything else.” This includes overtraining and giving your body enough time to rest and recover from your workouts. Make sure you are not overtraining! Overtraining can be just as bad as not training at all. This step also includes motivation and dedication. If you aren’t consistent, then you are wasting your time. You must stay dedicated and stay motivated. The results won’t come easy, and they won’t come very fast either, so stay dedicated, and stay consistent, and do all 3 steps correctly, and the muscle building results WILL come!

Growth Principles:Training

This is a general guide for beginning and intermediate bodybuilders that don’t know the principles behind muscle growth yet or are not happy with the results that they are currently getting.

We will go through training, diet and gear. I will tell you the principles behind everything that I recommend for you to do, so you can understand why certain things happen, so in the future you can fix problems yourself. Bodybuilding is a very simple and logical endeavour. Everything that you do has to be logical. Only logical actions will give you results. Every time that you come across a new principle, always ask yourself it it makes logical sense. If it does not, dump it!

TRAINING

Why does a muscle grow? Because it has to adapt. When does it have to adapt? When you expose it to something that it has not done before. When is something that it has not done before? When the muscle is taxed 100%. That’s 100% effort. What’s 100% effort? When you train to 100% PHYSICAL, not mental failure. So, to make the muscle grow, you have to train with 100% effort otherwise, the muscle will not adapt/grow.
Now, using the above logic, for a set to be beneficial to your growth, it needs to be 100% effort. So, a 100% effort set of an exercise, will make you grow. Then, what is the point to do a second set of that exercise? You cannot go more than 100%. The muscle already has been taxed by 100% from the first set, so why should you do a second one? You will just eat into your recovery ability. So, you should only do one set to failure per exercise. Later on, I will describe the training program and how exercises and warm-ups are involved.

A muscle will not grow until it’s recovered. The muscle will not begin to recover until the nervous system is Recovered. It takes roughly 24hours for the nervous system to recover from a workout. Only then will the muscle begin to recover and grow. So, you should never train 2 days in a row. Even if you train different bodyparts, you still use the same nervous system. You train 2 days in a row, your nervous system recovers, but by the time the muscles begin to, you train again, so the body has to concentrate again on recovering the nervous system.

A training frequency of 3 days per week (Mon, Wed, Fri) is more than enough. Numerous pros, including myself, train like this offseason for maximum growth. Even if you use streroids, you still have to train like this. Steroids increase your recovery ability, but they also make you stronger at a quicker rate. The extra strength will give you the ability to train harder/tear more muscle tissue, so you will need the extra recovery that the steroids will give you.

The following is a great training program that I recommend:

Mon – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
* Incline press – warm-up sets, 1 work set
* Flat flyes – 1 work set
* Millitary press – 1 warm-up, 1 work set
* Lateral flyes – 1 work set
* Rear delt machine – 1 work set
* Tricep pushdowns – 1 warm-up, 1 work set
* Lying tricep extensions – 1 work-set

Wed – Quads, Hams, Calves
* Squats – warm-ups, 1 work set
* Leg press – work set
* Leg extension – work set
* Leg curl – warm-up, work set
* Stiff leg deadlift – work set
* Standing calf raise – work set

Fri – Abs, Back, Bis
* Rope crunches – warm up, work set
* Lat pull down – warm-ups, work set
* Deadlift – warm-up, work set
* Bent-over rows – work set
* Shrugs – work set
* Standing BB curls – warm up, work set
* Concentration curl – work set

You do a lot of warm-ups for your first exercise of the day. You do one warm-up for the first exercise of each bodypart, only to optimise the firing of the neuropathways.
Let’s use chest as an example – if for example your max (work set) in the incline press is 3 plates, then you do 2 warm-ups with the bar, 2 warm-ups with one plate, 1 warm-up with 2 plates and then your work set with 3 plates. The work set is a set where you fail at about 6 reps. Every workout, you have to do more reps or increase the weight in that work set (remember, the muscle has to do something that it has not done before). So if one work out you fail with 6 reps, the following nothing less than 7. When you reach 8 reps, the following workout you should do (increase) a weight where you can do minimum 4 reps. Then increase your reps again every workout until you reach 8 again, and so on. Each rep has a tempo of 2-1-1. That is 2 seconds in the negative, one second in the contraction
and 1 second in the positive. Then, after you fail in the incline press, you move straight to flat flyes. You do not need a warmp now because your chest is more than warm after you failed on presses. And that’s it for chest. The basic routine stays the same. If you want variety, small changes as using DB’s instead of BB or doing flat presse and incline flyes for example, is mor ethan enough variety to keep the muscle ‘confused’.

DIET

VERY simple. Very important that you try to get as close to 500g of protein per day. Easiest way to do that is to have a whey protein shake in water with every meal. Fats and carbs don’t matter. Calories don’t count, macro nutrients (protein, fat, carb) do. If you get to add fat on, just cut out the fats and keep your carbs bellow 300g/day. That’s all it is! Very simple, but hard to stick to, so not many people get results. On gear, the more protein you eat, the more you grow. Is as simple as that. Gear maximises protein synthesis.

GEAR

You need a testosterone base. 750mg/week is plenty. You need an anabolic – deca or Eq at 400mg/week is plenty. You need for optimum growth, a good oral like d-bol at 30mg/d or A-50 50mg/d. You use the test and the anabolic non stop. The oral is 4 weeks on 4 weeks off. Every 6th week (the half way point between the off oral period – so 2 weeks after you finish the oral) you have a blood test. If the blood test is OK, then you can begin your next 4 weeks on oral. There is no reason for you to come off. The only 2 reasons are health or your receptors are saturated. If the regular blood test is OK, your health is OK. If you are still making progress, your receptors are OK. Coming off, will just sabotage your gains. That’s why I do not believe in set time frames for cycles. Listen to your body. When you use the oral, you need to use all the liver aids available – Synthergine, Milk Thistle, L-methionine, Liv-52, etc. Of course you cannot drink or do rec drugs during that time. Using these precautions, your blood tests will be OK.
You also need to use an anti estrogen like Nolvadex at 10mg/d throughout the whole time. Also, you have a choice between HCG every 4 weeks at 5000IU or Clomid at 50mg EOD. These will make sure that your balls will stay at a decent size and they will not forget how to function. The blood tests that you need are: full blood count, liver and kidney function tests, FSH, LH, TSH, cholesterol. If the Total protein test in the liver tests is high, that is because of your diet. You need to keep an eye on the Billirubin and Urea test results. Your FSH and LH will be suppressed – that’s normal because of the gear. If the TSH is low, add 20mcg/d T3. If the kidney function is off, then drink more. Protein stresses the kidneys, so you need more fluids. When you eventually come off the gear, you make sure that you are off the orals. Then cut out the anabolic over 2 weeks. Then the testosterone over 3 weeks. One week after that, you need to add primo tabs or anavar (oxandrin) for 3 weeks. That will ensure that you will keep your gains.
Ideally do a gainkeeper’s formula that is outlined in another article.

These are the basic principles behind muscle growth. You do the above, you will GROW, no matter what.

Stubborn Muscles?

Plateau Busters

Pre-Exhaustion Training – Pre-fatiguing a larger muscle with an isolation, single-joint movement so it can be even more exhausted by the compound movements to follow. When you do an exercise like the bench press that works not only the chest, but also smaller muscles, one of the smaller muscles might fail before your chest is fully exhausted. By doing a chest isolation exercise beforehand, you can fatigue your chest so you can do bench presses to chest failure, which is what you want.

Muscle Priority Training – Training your most underdeveloped muscles first, so as to subject it to the maximum possible effort. If you have a weak body-part you want to improve, train it first in your workout, before you begin to fatigue. Pyramiding – When using multiple sets for a given exercise, doing your first set with less weight for more reps, gradually increasing the weight and decreasing the reps over the remainder of your sets. This allows you to gradually warm up a muscle group, preparing it for the resistance to come in the next set.

Supersets – Working opposing muscle groups in back-to-back fashion, taking as little rest as possible in between sets. Alternating sets between opposing muscle groups – such as biceps and triceps/chest and back – greatly increases intensity. When you train one muscle group, the other is recovering (sometimes even being stretched) as you complete the set. With two muscles or muscle groups being worked, more blood is pumped into the area.

Tri-Sets – Doing three sets in a row for the same body-part with as little rest as possible in between sets. Three exercises in a row more thoroughly exhaust the muscle. This training technique is so demanding that it should only be done on occasion, and is more often used by bodybuilders in their pre-contest training.

Set System Training – Simply doing more than one set for each exercise. This is the opposite of high-intensity training, which involves performing one set per exercise. Often, the first couple of sets aren’t enough to fatigue your muscle.

Giant Sets – Doing 4-6 exercises for the same body-part with as little rest between sets. Giant sets are used to create overwhelming stimulation to a body-part and totally exhaust the muscles involved. This technique should only be used occasionally as your body needs time to recover from this level of effort. This type of training is used more for muscular endurance and calorie burning then for putting on muscle size.

Instinctive Training – This involves experimenting with your workouts and paying attention to how your body reacts to certain types of training. The fundamentals of bodybuilding training are the same for everyone, but we are all unique. The further along you get in your training, the more you have to fine tune your workouts to suit your needs. It takes time to develop this “feel” and have this type of knowledge. Whatever you are used to is going to feel best for you, but you have to figure out what really produces the best results for you and make adjustments accordingly.

Compound Sets – Alternating two exercises for the same muscle group, taking as little rest as possible between each set. Each same-bodypart exercise fatigues the muscle involved in slightly different ways, so doing two exercises in a row with little rest in-between achieves a deeper level of stimulation and muscle pump.

Staggered Sets – Training smaller, slower-developing body parts like calves or forearms in between all sets for your major body parts. Arnold Schwarzenegger relied on this principle early in his career to develop his calves. He would do a set for chest, back or shoulders, then he would do a set of calf raises while his major muscle group was recovering for the next set. He’d then alternate sets for the working body part and calves. His calves got plenty of time to recover in-between sets and by the end of his workout, he would have subjected them to as many as 15-20 total sets of various calf raises.

Descending Sets – This is done by starting with the heaviest weight you can use for at least 8 reps (or more) and once you fail you drop the weight and get a few more reps and then again and even drop the weight again. This is commonly done on the standing calve raises. I generally start with 400lbs get 12 reps, drop the weight to around 350 get around 8 more, drop the weight again to about 300 and do it until I fail. This should be done with no rest when dropping the weight. After you did a few weight drops and failed after the third drop, take about 2-minute break and go at it again.

Burns -This is a great way to break past barriers if you have no partner. This can be done by dropping the weight after you have came close to failure, to weight in which you can handle for around 20 or so reps. Rep it out to break through your barriers. This should be done on you last set of that particular exercise.

Partial Reps – Performed when you have came close to failure but can still get about half the movement in. Do not perform to many of these for these can cause injury. Perform about 3 of these at the end of the set or until you can no longer move the bar. Only do these with a partner.

Forced Reps – This is done after you have failed on a set and your training partner helps you move the weight as you just go through the motions trying to do it. This should be done only after you have failed completely and can not get another on your own. This should be done after you have done the partial reps and failed. Perform no more than 3 of these.

Rest/Pause -Pyramid up to the maximum weight you can do for two or three reps, rest 30-40 seconds, then squeeze out another two or three reps, rest 40-60 seconds and get another two reps, rest 60-90 seconds and get one or two more reps; you will have done one long set of seven to 10 reps, all of which have been at or near the most weight you’ve ever lifted.” The effect is one of extending maximal effort over a high volume of sets and reps, all in the intensity range that produces the best results. In other words, think of it as being able to use your single-rep maximum weight for seven to 10 reps. Even then, rest-pause must be approached with respect. Try it initially with one exercise in your body part workout; keep in mind that, since this technique is primarily for maximum mass gains, it should first be used with the most basic compound movement in your workout for that day. Once your muscle conditioning and cardiovascular efficiency have caught up with your rest-pause performance for that exercise, you can try using it for a second heavy basic movement in that workout. Of course, always remember that since your intention is to spend most of your workout in the maximum-poundage register, you need a thorough warm-up and protracted pyramiding.

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