Secrets for Muscle Size and Strength

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Loading secrets for muscle size and getting strong

Proper selection of weight, sets and reps, critical for building muscle size, strength, power and endurance. Strength and power athletes need a combination of strong muscles, power and muscle size.

The ability to exert force and power combined with the ability to exert force rapidly shows how strong one is. Larger muscles ultimately have the capacity for greater strength because they have more tissue area to exert force.

Brad Schoenfeld from CUNY Lehman College in New York founding a training program. Involving two to four reps per set using heavy weights. Triggered greater strong gains than performing eight to 12 reps per set at a moderate weight. Moderate load training produced increases in muscle size (limb circumferences). The test subjects performed three sets of seven exercises. Three days per week for eight weeks.

Use heavy loads and two to four reps for strength. Use moderate loads and eight to 12 reps for muscle size.

Stretching and Weight Training

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Pre-Training Stretches

Can stretching before training reduce gains in muscle size and strength?

Until recently, pre-exercise stretches was a mandatory ritual. That changed when many studies showed that static stretches before competition or practice decreased strength and power. A study at State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil, found this true about pre-workout stretches.

They found practicing static stretches for 10 weeks resulted in lower increases in strength, muscle endurance and muscle size. While compared to not stretching before training.

The weight training program consisted of four sets of leg extensions to failure at 80 percent of one-repetition maximum (1RM). Flexibility is an important fitness component. For best results with muscle gains and strength, stretch after the workout. After working out is the best time because the muscles are warm. Furthermore, warm muscles won’t interfere with movement control.

Is Testosterone Therapy Right For You?

Testosterone Therapy

Adequate testosterone levels, essential for health and quality of life for the average man.

Testosterone replacement therapy is big business. Prescriptions increased from 1.3 million in 2010 to more than 3 million in 2016. Low testosterone, linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Also linked to depression, decreased sexual performance, low energy levels and premature death.

A subcommittee of the FDA form Endocrine Society recommended that testosterone prescriptions be limited to men with low testosterone levels (hypogonadism). They also recommended large scale studies to determine the effects of testosterone supplements. Checking the long term risks of cardiovascular and prostate disease.

Most, but not all, studies showed that testosterone supplements increase muscle mass and strength. Also improving sexual performance and enhancing mood in aging men. Symptoms that might call for testosterone supplements include drop in sex drive and trouble getting or maintaining an erection. Also breast enlargement, reduced energy levels, poor concentration or depression. You’ll notice decreased muscle mass and strength as well.

Many men use testosterone supplements to build muscle, increase strength and improve sex life.

Gluten-Free Diet?

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Is the Gluten-free diet the fad of the week?

The gluten-free diet is this week’s health fad.Becoming so popular with celebrities, like Russell Crow, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian.

It’s difficult to walk around the grocery store or read restaurant menu without seeing reference to gluten-free foods. Gluten, a mixture of proteins found in wheat and other whole grains. They don’t have much nutritional value but important source dietary fiber.

gluten

Gluten Free does NOT always mean it’s healthy.

About one to two percent of the population has celiac disease. Celiac disease, the inability to absorb gluten. While another one percent has non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Symptoms of both conditions include diarrhea, bloating, loss of appetite and gas.

Gluten is not harmful to most people. Following a gluten-free diet makes it difficult to consume adequate fiber. Also nutrients added to fortified wheat flour such as folic acid, other B vitamins and iron.

 

Avoid gluten if you have celiac disease, wheat allergies or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Don’t follow the diet just because some celebrities do.

Exercise and Heart Attacks

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Exercise Improves Survival After a Heart Attack-

Regular aerobic exercise reduces the risk of coronary artery disease and death from heart attack and cardiac arrest. A Copenhagen City Heart Study, found the physically active suffer 25 percent fewer heart attacks. Also more likely to survive if they had a heart attack. The study involved more than 14,000 people – 1,664 of whom had heart attacks. Staying active, however did not reduce the risk of heart failure in people who previously had a heart attack. Moderate-intensity training provided slightly more protection against heart attack. While high-intensity training is good, only moderate-intensity, needed for protection. Regular training and aerobics can save your life.

 

HIIT vs Volume Training

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The Debate Between Volume Training and HIIT

The perfect exercise prescription for greater size or strength involves the manipulation of several key variables. Two of the most important being exercise intensity and volume training. Knowing the correct amount of each is critical for promoting the greatest gains in size or strength. However, a well defined relationship between these two important exercise variables sparks much debate. Some of the greatest in the bodybuilding industry have their opinion on the matter.

Mike Mentzer and the king of bodybuilding himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, among the legends that joined the debate about training and muscle growth. Arnold advocated higher volume workouts that increase muscle time under tensions. Producing greater muscle cell damage and metabolic stress for enhanced muscle hypertrophy. Mentzer advanced the use of heavier weights for higher intensity, generating greater neuromuscluar activity. Ultimately driving greater muscle growth.

While Mentzer and Arnold were at odds over the best way to maximize muscle growth. Plenty of uncertainty regards the ideal application of intensity and volume for better strength gains. While several studies highlight these differences. Pointing out training prescriptions for hypertrophy differ considerably than those for maximum strength. Requiring different combinations of intensity and volume.

Best Exercise Intensity for Optimal Strength:

Optimal strength training boosts the effort-to-benefit ratio by providing the proper intensity for maximal strength gains. While making sure not to cause injury due to over training or arrest strength improvement from under training. Considerable research into strength training has provided insight into this dose-response relationship. Showing that different training intensities elicit different amounts of strength gained. The data asserts that training with average intensity of 60 percent of your one-rep max (1RM) elicits the best gains for under trained subjects. (Less than one year of training) Whereas 80 percent of your 1RM is most effective for trained subjects with more than one year of weightlifting. Furthermore, when trained subjects worked at above optimal intensity levels. Showed gradual reduction in strength gains where untrained subjects showed a much greater drop in strength. These results suggest that the trained neuromuscluar system should be hit with higher intensity for greater strength improvement.

Optimal Training Volume for Greatest Strength:

Previous studies concluded multiple-set protocols, representing higher volume, produce optimal strength gains. Others show lower volume workout, consisting of only one set, just as effective for strength. Resulting exact volume required for the greatest gains, not defined well. A recent meta-analysis of the data demonstrated four sets per muscle group brought about the largest gains in strength. This in both trained and untrained individuals. Also revealing untrained individuals actually experienced greater strength gains as training volume increased to four sets. This compared to trained individuals. In fact, trained lifters needed to perform four sets to experience the same strength gains as untrained lifters achieved with one set. Suggesting well-trained lifters require greater volume training to cause strength gains.

Best Exercise Intensity for Greatest Size:

Although triggering greatest amount of muscle contraction is vital for muscle growth. Appearing maximal intensity workouts not truly necessary to grow the biggest muscles. However, while the ultimate intensity is not compulsory, levels between 70 to 85 percent of your 1RM appear the most advantageous. Great for the hypertrophic response. Both higher and lower levels of intensity still stimulate appreciable muscle growth. Suggesting other variables, most notably effort, major contributors that uniquely contribute to muscle growth.

Optimal Training Volume for Peak Muscle Growth:

Positive hypertrophic adaptations to weight training reach a plateau at a certain exercise volume. Then diminish quite rapidly with increasing volume. While studies demonstrate 12-15 reps on a specific body part per workout combined with high intensity (90-100% of 1RM). Generating extensive muscle growth. More moderate volumes of roughy 30-60 reps per body part per workout at a slightly lower intensity. This way seems to produce the greatest growth response to training.

In conclusion, while plenty of debate throughout the years over intensity and volume. Using the correct use of exercise intensity and volume required for greatest muscular adaptations.Applying the aforementioned ranges brings the desired anabolic effect.  Additionally, as one progresses in fitness level, all subsequent increases in exercise intensity and volume should be done gradually. Generating a sufficient amount of neuromuscular stimulation while minimizing the likelihood of over training.

Make Sleep a Priority in Your Training

Training and Sleep

Only one night of sleep deprivation prevented recovery from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in competitive cyclists. According to a study at University of Cape Town in South Africa. Rest deprived cyclists showed decreases in power output. While sleepier and lacked motivation to train.

rest

Better Rest = Better Muscles.

Adequate sleep is essential for muscle recovery and restoration. Lack of rest causes tissue breakdown marked by increases in catabolic hormones. Like cortisol. Also decreases in anabolic hormones such as testosterone and insulin like growth factor one (IGF-1).

Because inadequate rest slows pathways involved in protein synthesis. Increases protein breakdown and promotes loss of muscle mass and muscle degradation. In athletes, inadequate rest slows injury repair and tissue recovery. In older adults, deprivation contributes to sarcopenia.  While sarcopenia, the loss of muscle tissue. Poor sleep patterns impair metabolic health, promote abdominal obesity. Also increases insulin levels and diminish blood sugar regulation. While triggering abnormal blood fats and raise blood pressure. Furthermore, make rest a priority in your training program for maximum benefits.

Citrulline Malate for Pumps and Performance

Get the Edge in the Gym or on the Field

Athletes, bodybuilders and weekend warriors alike, always on the lookout for anything that’ll give them an edge. Can you blame them? Who wouldn’t want to take some type of supplement that delivers greater performance and results?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of preworkout supplements on the market are all hype. However, a few standout ingredients among the pretenders that claim as a true performance enhancer. One such ingredient exists-citrulline malate. It’s great for everything.  Performance, energy, stamina, muscle recovery and muscle pumps!

What is Citrulline Malate?

Citrulline malate, a hybrid ingredient formed from the bonding of the amino acid L-citrulline to malic acid(mallage). Citrulline is a naturally occurring, non-protein-a-amino acid created from L-ornithine in the urea cycle. A metabolic process that governs removal of ammonia from the body. Additionally, citrulline can also be found in a number of foods, namely watermelon. A far superior nitric oxide booster than L-arginine. Malic acid, shown to enhance stamina and blunt pain brought on by intense exercise.

What does it do?

preworkout

Preworkout Supplement-Get the most from your workout.

As stated earlier, citrulline is best known as a powerful nitric oxide-boosing ingredient. Increased NO production delivers a number of benefits, including:

  • Increased vasodilation
  • Great blood flow
  • Enhanced glucose uptake
  • Improved oxygen delivery
  • Better nutrient transport

Enhanced nutrient and blood delivery to working muscles increases endurance by offsetting premature fatigue. Both physically and mentally during exercise. Furthermore, on top of that, increased vasodilation leads to some seriously epic pumps during your workout. Citrulline malate also enhances energy production via increased ATP synthesis. It also boosts phosphocreatine (CP) recovery after exercise too. In case not aware, ATP is a cell’s primary fuel source that provides the power to do work. Basically, the quicker you replenish ATP stores, the quicker your strength and power return. While the end result is less fatigue and greater work capacity, setting you up for incredible gains.

Citrulline Malate Benefits

  • Increased nitic oxide production
  • Enhanced ATP production
  • Better endurance
  • Reduced muscle soreness and pain
  • Quicker recovery
  • Improved nutrient/oxygen delivery
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Elevated post-workout growth hormone (GH) levels
  • Improved GI system functioning

Better performance, recovery, energy and pumps! What more could you ask for from a single ingredient? Because citrulline malate is an absolute must have ingredient for your workouts. Furthermore, make sure your preworkout supplement contains this ingredient to get the most from your workouts!

5 Goals-Transform Your Physique!

Physique Goals

A goal can be thought of as a destination. Where do you want to go? When you get in your car, you almost always have a distinct destination in mind, as well as a time for arrival. Just turning on the ignition and driving without particular place to go, your wasting time. Bodybuilding isn’t so different. Unless you’re constantly working toward a specific goal or goals. You’re just spinning your wheels. Any chances of improving your physique are remote. Though you may maintain what you’ve built thus far. If that’s fine with you, cool. But I’m willing to bet that for most of you, you’re not satisfied with your physique. Not reaching your full potential yet. Here are 5 goals that can help you make significant improvements to your bodybuilding physique.

Set a Bodyweight and Body Fat Goal

Ask any guy what his goals are for the off-season. Most of the answers will be “get bigger”. The problem is the vague nature of the answer. How much bigger? The amount needs to be quantified and the simplest way to do that is terms of specific bodyweight. Let’s say your 220 pounds You want to gain mostly lean muscle tissue. Unless you’re a raw novice, forget about outrageous amounts like 20 or 30 pounds. Assuming training for at least a few years, a total weight gain of 10 pounds, far more realistic. A reasonable time to do that is about 12 weeks. To gain more muscle than fat, try adding a weight gaining supplement. Adjust your training and more importantly, your diet. Check your weight every week. If you’re not getting where you want, train harder and up your calories.

strength cycle

Get stronger on a key lift

While not all of us have a hard time putting on size and weight. Also those among you who do those things without extraordinary effort. Maybe big and bulky since your earliest lifting days. Maybe even husky, chubby or even outright fat most of your life. You have appreciable amount of muscle packed on your frame, yet never had a good look at it. Now is the time to get fat tested. Decide how much of that you want to lose, as well as a deadline to lose it. How much leaner you want to get is up to you. Let’s say you find you’re 35 percent body fat. How good do you want to look? By the time you get to 15 percent, changes in your appearance will be dramatic. If you decide to get to 10 percent, you’ll look amazing! This will take most men about 6 months. As with weight gain, fat loss should conform to a realistic time frame.  Do it the right way, moderate cardio and clean eating. Adding fat burning supplements as well. Get your body fat tested at regular intervals to ensure your headed in right direction.

Get Stronger on a Key Lift or Lifts

Odds are that if training for number of years, lifts stuck at the same numbers for a long time. If you’ve accepted that, but not thrilled with the plateau. Now is the time to decide which one or two lifts you want to get stronger on. Before you dismiss this whole goal as being impossible, ask yourself this. How much attention, in terms of time, did you ever apply toward improving this lift? Many bodybuilders, locked into the paradigm of training each body part once a week. Thus probably only been bench-pressing once a week, or squatting once a week. No athlete in pure strength sports like powerlifting or Olympic lifters typically work on their lifts every day. Sometimes two or three times a day! if you set aside a block of time and work that lift hard, three times a week for 10-12 weeks. You bet you will get stronger on it. Even if stuck at the same weight for five to 10 years. And if you manage increasing max squat form 405 to 455 in those weeks for example. That strength will carry over handling heavier weights for reps once your strength cycle is over. Result? Bigger legs.

Make a Trip to the Arnold or Mr. Olympia

goals

Bodybuilding Contest

May seem like an odd goal for those of you who have never been to one of the two big shows. Those who have, attest to the fact that you’ll never see so many men an women in phenomenal shape. Muscular and lean, anywhere else in the world in one place. Not talking about the competitors, but the fit chicks and meatheads strolling around the expo. Plenty of guys plane a “mini-cut” leading up to the Arnold or Olympia. Simply to look good there. It may sound vain, but attending one of these shows is an excellent way to set the goal and achieve it.

Enter a Powerlifting Meet

You certainly can set a personal goal of improving a lift or two. But if you want to seriously want to get stronger, register and compete in a powerlifting meet. The pressure is on when you know you will be up on that lifting platform trying to outlift every other man in your weight class. Win or lose, adding new mass to your frame by increasing your strength in the bench press. Or deadlifts and squats.

Target a Bodybuilding Contest to Enter

Many have absolutely zero interest in ever getting up onstage in little trunks and flexing in front of an audience. The most challenging goal on this list. Entering a contest at least once as a bodybuilder. You’ll never be so motivated on a daily basis to train your hardest. Eating as clean as possible.  Knowing one day coming up on the calendar, your body, out under the bright lights for all to see. And judged against others. Competitive bodybuilders tend to improve at a steadier rate. Ultimately coming closer to full potential than recreational bodybuilders for that very reason. Every workout, every cardio session, every meal and even every hour of sleep serves a purpose when in prep. Driven as never before. Win or lose, looking the best you ever have—and that’s always a win.

 

Weight Training Tips

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Weight Training – Supplementing Before Bed

Weight training plus protein or muscle building supplements before bed maximizes muscle protein synthesis. Consuming muscle building supplements or 30 to 50 gram protein shake before bed. Increases muscle protein synthesis. The effect, even greater if training practiced in the evening before consuming supplements. Researchers accurately assessed muscle protein synthesis by measuring the rate that isotope tracers. Included in the protein supplement incorporated into muscle tissue. Weight training before drinking or taking the supplement resulted in greater incorporation of the amino acids into the muscle. Training before bed and supplementing muscle building supplements and protein, a simple way to boost muscle growth.

Loading: Heavy for Strength and Moderate for Size

build muslce

Heavy VS moderate weight loads…Build power and strength.

Strength and power athletes need a combination of strength, power and muscle size. Strength is the ability to exert force. Power is the ability to exert force rapidly. Larger muscles ultimately have capacity for greater strength because the have more tissue are to exert force. A study found training program involving two to four reps per set using heavy weight triggered greater strength gains. Rather than performing eight to 12 reps per set at a moderate weight. Moderate-load training produced increased muscle size. Performing three sets of seven exercises, three days per week for eight weeks. Use heavy loads and two to four reps for strength and moderate loads with eight to 12 reps for muscle size.