Freitag, 21. Juni 2013

Gaining Muscle 101: Blasting Shoulders!

You want those nice cannonball delts?

Shoulders is a hard muscle to train. If you don't give it your all nothing will grow.

You can divide the shoulder muscle (M. deltoideus) in three functional parts, the front delt, the side delt and the rear delt. To train your shoulder right you have to stimulate all three parts.

Easiest to train is probably the front delt, since every shoulder press will mainly use the front delt.
So we actually won't focus much on that part. Much more important, especially for shoulder health is the rear deltoid.

But let's begin our shoulder workout:

Exercise 1: Standing Overhead Barbell Press. This one is a classic it works your whole body and is in my opinion the best upper body exercise in existance! You probably need to start with low weight but that's totally fine. Keep a straight back, if needed use a belt. Do the OHP heavy, 3 sets 5 reps.

Exercise 2: Sitting Machine Side Lateral raise. Machine because form is king for this exercise, and the machine enables you to concentrate 100% on the form. Squeeze hard at the top and go real slow to the bottom again. 4 sets 8-12 reps.

Exercise 3: Face Pulls. My favorite exercise. Targets the rear delts and will keep your shoulder heavy. Not much sense talking about when you have a great video to show how it's done.
4 sets 8-12 reps

Exercise 4: Sitting Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Another pressing movement, fairly easy to execute. Use a decently heavy weight. Squeeze on every rep, never lose tension in your shoulders! 4 sets 8-12 reps.

Exercise 5: Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Fly. 
4 sets 8-12 reps.

Now if you can still handle it.

Bonus Exercise: Heavy Shrugs. Doesn't matter which variation, dumbbell, barbell, trap-bar or kettlebell. Important is a squeeze and hold for 2 seconds on top and a slow negative.

Try it as a shoulder day! 

Dienstag, 18. Juni 2013

Gaining Muscle: Time Management

Managing your time isn't always easy. Finding time for the gym sometimes is even harder.
Be it studying, family or work. Life has it's own ways of interfering with our pursuit of muscle.

When i find myself stripped of time for an expanded period my go to strategy is HIT (High Intensity Training).

When doing HIT you are doing a much smaller amount of volume per workout and muscle. When i'm training HIT i usually do just one or two sets per muscle group, two for the big muscles like the lats and one for the biceps for example. 
But the set you are doing is super-intense extremly slow reps to absolute failure. I usually train with a 3-1-4-1 cadence which means for example on the leg press: 3 seconds pressing the weight, 1 second of squeezing, 4 seconds slow negative rep and 1 second break between reps. With that much intensity you will be sweating in no time.

A typical HIT workout for me looks like this:

1 sets leg press
1 sets incline dumbbell bench press
1 sets lat pulldown
1 set face pulls
1 set machine lateral raise
1 set biceps curls (any variation)
1 set triceps pushdown

All in a real slow cadence but not much rest between exercises and sets.

Should take you less than an hour and really helps breaking down those muscle fibers.

Sonntag, 16. Juni 2013

Saturday Product Review! Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

I know, i know it's sunday already, but well we all know it, saturdays can sometimes be really busy!

Today i'd like to present a new category: Muscle Gaining Product Reviews!
We start with one of the most important ones: Whey.
Namely: Optimum Nutritions Gold Standard 100% Whey.

Whey is one of the staples of every athlete in the pursuit of muscle. It's quick absorbing easily digestable protein. Perfect in a post-workout shake for example. It's also very rich in branch-chain amino acids.
This study demonstrates on a rat model that post-exercise whey supplementation might induce a greater increase in muscle protein synthesis than a just carbohydrates solution, or carbohydrate mixed with amino acids.

Let's get to the Gold Standard, it's got a whooping 5,5g bcaas per scoop also over 4 grams of glutamine and precursors. There is a reason it's one of the best selling protein supplements in the market. All in all it has: 

  • 23 grams of protein
  • 2-3 grams of carbohydrates 
  • 1.5 grams of fat

It mixes great with either water or milk, no clumps nothing. It's even mixable with a spoon if You don't own a  shaker. 

Taste. Let me tell you about the taste. If i've got the option of a real nice thick chocolate milk and the Double Rich Chocolate Gold Standard, i'd probably take the chocolate milk. But i would have to think real hard about it. And i love my chocolate milk.
The taste is amazing, especially Double Rich Chocolate mix it with milk and you got a real healthy chocolate milk all of the sudden. 
In this price range and with that low amount of carbs there is no whey protein which tastes better.

If you don't have a protein supplement yet, i'd really suggest starting with this one. 

What's Your favorite Whey Protein? Just write me in the comment section!

Freitag, 14. Juni 2013

Muscle Food: Skinny Guy Breakfast Shake

First things first for this you'll need a blender. Any cheap one will do, just make sure it measures at least 5 cups. I've looked on amazon and this one for example is perfect. Cheap and it's got prime. 

Now let's get to the recipe, this one is for skinny guys, it has a lot of calories. So for the bigger guys out there, you can spread it out over the day and actually use it as a meal replacement, since most ingredients are damn healthy. You can also leave some of the little tricks for the skinny guys out. 
But let's start.

1 Cup of cottage cheese (Low fat)
2 Scoops of whey protein (Vanilla or chocolate works best)
1/4 Cup of steel cut oats
1 Cup of berries (Strawberry, blackberry, a bag of mixed berries, whatever you like)
1 Piece of fruit (Banana, apple, pears for example)
Now for the skinny guys:
1 Tbsp all natural peanut butter
1/4 Cup of heavy cream (if you want or need you can add even more)

After that add a little milk or water and blend it. If it's still to thick for you add more water/milk.

If you can't finish everything don't worry put the rest into a travel mug or put it in the fridge for later use. 
I recommend drinking it first thing in the morning and the rest with lunch.

Donnerstag, 13. Juni 2013

Gaining Muscle: Motivation Edition

Sometimes dragging your ass to the gym ain't easy.
You woke up early, worked all day, didn't eat much and just want to lay on the couch.
Well sucks to be you.
Did you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger worked as a bricklayer while he was training for Mr. Olympia?
Did you know he usually still trained twice a day?
I bet you didn't. So go and move your lazy ass to the gym.

Need more motivation? New studies show that people who rigorously exercise sleep much better than a couch potatoe. ( Source )
Just take a look at the mirror, are you happy? Is that all you want? By doing nothing you won't improve, you will just get weaker.

After doing something four times it becomes a habit. So try to train four days a week always the same days, no excuses. By the end of the first week it's already a habit and you will feel like you lost something if you don't head out to the gym.
Remember your goals. If you followed my other article you will know, you have to keep a constant eye on your goal, or you'll never reach it. So if you still don't have a picture of your goal hanging somewhere visible, the time is now!
There is hardly a better feeling than going to the gym on a day where you thought about skipping, leaving it all at the gym and going home to eat a huge well deserved meal. Trust me on this one.
Recovery tip: Drink a protein shake 30 mins before you sleep, studies show that will help with overnight recovery, which leaves you fresher in the morning. Also since it enhances protein synthesis rate: you'll likely get bigger! ( Source )

4 Simple Tips:

  • Set appointments, everyone got a smartphone now, use the calender app. Set up a GYM appointment, one thats like every other appointment, if you get asked to get a coffee, just say you are sorry but you've got an appointment. Unless it's a hot girl of course.

  • If you find yourself unable to get up from the couch, don't go to the couch. Go to the gym directly after your work. Pack everything you need and don't drive home.

  • Pack food if needed. Eating directly before going to the gym isn't very smart, after eating food your body just wants to digest it, the lazy part of your nerval system takes over, that's why you'll get sleepy after eating a large amount of food. Try to eat at least an hour before going to the gym or if you don't have the time just eat a smaller meal and a protein shake. No reason to drive home to eat anymore.

  • Sleepy? Take some caffeine, or good pre workout supplement like old formula Jack3D. Look for stuff that works at pubmed for example.

Move your ass to the gym, do those heavy ass deadlifts feel great, sleep great.

Mittwoch, 12. Juni 2013

Gaining Muscle 101: Get Big!

You want to grow some muscle?
Don't know where to start? Or already experienced and at a plateau?
Here is what I learned in years of training. It might not seem like much but it is crucial information.

First you got to decide what you actually want.
Want to get as big as possible? Want to be stronger than everyone else? Want to get the hottest girls? Just want to get healthy?

You have to choose what you want and then act accordingly.
But the start is the same for all of those categorys.
Set a GOAL, this is the most important step whatever you want. Set a big goal not a small one.
Wanna get as big as Arnold? As lean as a fitness model? Do It!
Get a poster, use a desktop background, you need to be exposed. Constantly have your goal in mind.
After you found a big goal, look what you need to do to reach it. Small steps is the key. And set multiple smaller goals. Grow one inch on your arms, bench ten pounds more, cut the soda. But never ever leave the big one out of sight.

This article is about getting big.
I'm a former skinny dude 6" 135lbs. All my life i had no ounce of muscle, a single pull up was impossible just because i was so very weak. All changed when i set my goal on becoming big.

  • To get big you need to eat big.

This, for some, will be the hardest part. You need to eat more than you do right, and good foods. Don't go to McDonalds because it's easier then cooking a nice meal.

  •  Learn to cook.

There are thousands of recipes online for free. Use your resources, it's cheaper than fast food and you have to eat a lot so it might as well taste good.

  • When training for size do a bodybuilding style split routine.

I know some people say they got huge on strength routines, most of them i know have pretty good genetics for mass. If you're a skinny dude, probably won't be that way.
Important: Still use the big four. You have to Bench, Deadlift, Squat and Overhead Press. Do it for strength, 5 reps for 3 Sets. Do it on training days where it fits. Bench on chest day, squat on leg day etc.
But don't stop here, assistance exercises are what seperates your workout from a strength workout. If you don't train like a bodybuilder, you ain't gonna look like one.

  • Focus on the muscle you're training.

That sounds a bit esoteric now, but trust me on this. It works.
See the muscle work in your mind. Feel the contraction. You have to have a vision of the muscle growing.

  • Educate yourself.

You being here is a good sign, it means you want to learn. Get to the big sites, study articles. Read all you can. Make your on routine.

  • Supplements.

Don't get sucked into the supplement market. Whey and creatine is all you need. Don't buy any more. If you want to evaluate a new supplement, go to pubmed and look for articles on the ingredients, simple as that. Eliminates nearly all those hyped up supplements on the market.

  • Eat.

Can't stress this enough. To grow means eating. A. Lot.

Reach your goal, however small it may be!

Gaining Muscle: Arms Edition

Look into the mirror. Go, do it.

You feel like You could use a little more size on the arms? Bigger guns? Don't have the horseshoe triceps yet? Well everyon feels like their arms could use a little more.

What You need, other than chin ups, is a pump. A big ass PUMP in Your arms. All the usual stuff applies of course:

  • You need to eat a lot. Remember ten pounds of muscle gain roughly equals one inch on arms.
  • Train hard, intensity is what counts here, not necessarily the weight You lift.
  • Chase the pump.
  • Contract the muscle at all times, if you train arms it's got to BURN.

When I train arms I'm usually sweaty as hell after just a few sets. 
THAT is the intensity You have to go for. Don't pussy out just cause You nearly cried last time. Big Arms won't come if you don't put everything into it.

You can't forget the basics though, progressive overload, intensity techniques and focus.

For some more insight and an actual training plan use this as a resource: Click Here

Gaining Muscle Fast Or How To Do More Chin Ups!

Let's be honest, You can't do enough chin ups. Neither could I.

But let us start at the beginning. You want to gain muscle and You want to gain it fast, right?
One of the best back builders is the simple chin up, I say simple, but everyone who tried to do 12 chins with perfect form knows, it ain't that simple. But it doesn't stop at the back, Your arms will grow noticeably. That was one of the things I couldn't believe, when I started doing weighted chins my arms got huge.

Now the good part is You can train chin ups nearly everywhere, be it that low hanging branch in the garden or one of those door mounted chin up bars. 
Important is, start early, start now!

The first one is the hardes, trust me, I've been there. But the feeling after doing it, You may have just started training, or lost a lot of weight. The feeling is just incredible!

I won't write a program here here there are plenty online for You to read. But I will recommend one I used to bring up my chin ups to a solid 20 reps.
The program which helped me the most is right HERE. Free to view.