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Ask The Master Motivator: How Can I Motivate My Significant Other To Work Out? Rowing machine workout CrossFit: try it now! CrossFit: try it now! Interval training Interval training Interval training Interval training Interval training Interval training
 

Ask The Master Motivator: How Can I Motivate My Significant Other To Work Out?

Vital StatsName: James GrageBodySpace: JamesGrageHeight: 5-foot-10Weight: 175 lbsOccupation: Co-Founder and Vice President of BPI Sports Q "How Can I Motivate My Significant Other To Work Out?" Just like bills and household chores, fitness can mark a tipping point for relationships. It’s a challenge that might be more common than you think: one person wants to get in shape, and the other isn’t as motivated. It’s a two-fold problem and a recipe for insecurity and jealousy.Your partner might be threatened by your newfound passion and wonder why you’re doing it or who you’re doing it for. You might feel like he or she is unintentionally sabotaging your fitness goals. If you’re steadfast with your goals and start to achieve some success, it can become frustrating when you don’t see your partner making the same effort. You feel like you are trying to improve yourself, look better, and live healthier, and your partner’s lack of passion might upset you.So what do you do if you can’t get your spouse onboard with your new fitness goals and lifestyle? Try some of these tactics to help motivate your partner to make healthier decisions so you can live your lives together as one happy, fit family. 1 DON’T PUT YOUR PARTNER ON THE DEFENSIVE If you want your significant other to be receptive to what you’re sharing, don’t make him or her feel ashamed about current lifestyle choices. That’s only going to spark resentment. You don’t want to bully your loved one into making a change, which often results in a negative outcome down the road. Always keep your eye on the prize, which is having a healthy and happy relationship."If you want your significant other to be receptive to what you're sharing, don't make him or her feel ashamed about current lifestyle choices." 2 EXPLAIN WHY YOU’RE MAKING A CHANGE If your spouse is reacting negatively to your new fit lifestyle, it might be because your loved one simply doesn’t understand why you’re doing it. The solution? Communicate. Have a caring, understanding conversation where you explain the importance of your goals. Explain that you’re doing it both for physical health and for a healthier self image. Let your significant other know that you want to be the best person you can be, and that you want to train often and eat smart so that you can be around longer. Your relationship deserves that.Get your partner involved by asking for help. Some people are more motivated by doing things for others than they are for themselves. In some cases, the desire to help you will be a strong enough motivator for your partner to get active, as well. 3 HELP FIND A MEANINGFUL GOAL Just because you’re focused on achieving your goals doesn’t mean your significant other is equally as amped. Don’t assume your partner is working from your timeline. Instead of expecting him or her to feed off your energy, help your partner create inner motivation by pinning down a goal that has personal meaning. This meaning is going to propel your loved one forward and stay on-track during hard times. It has to create that spark. If your loved one is still having trouble finding a sense of purpose, help him or her set a time-sensitive goal—whether that be looking great in a bikini for an upcoming trip or shaving 20 seconds off a mile time for an upcoming race. This creates a sense of urgency, which might just be the push that’s needed. 4 CREATE A FRAME OF REFERENCE Sometimes we don’t realize how much we’ve slid off course until someone mentions it. One of the most valuable things about a relationship is having someone who cares enough to be your mirror and be honest with you. The important thing is being honest in a non-judgmental and loving way. If your spouse knows you’re doing it out of love, and not just being hurtful, it’ll be easier for him or her to hear the truth.Find a subtle way to bring your partner’s current health issues to light. An old photo or video is a great way for your better half to see how far his or her fitness has fallen. Another helpful reference point is getting your bodyweight and body fat tested together. While it’s a great way to see where you are for your age, it’s also a great tool for setting goals and measuring progress. 5 MAKE IT FUN Remember that not everyone shares the same interests. Explore different exercise-related activities until your spouse finds one that he or she enjoys. Cater to your partner’s personality type. Someone who’s self-conscious might shy away from group classes, while someone who loves heights might take well to bouldering. Remember that you can’t transform fitness habits overnight. First, you have to build a foundation."Explore different exercise-related activities until your spouse finds one that he or she enjoys." 6 MAKE IT A “TOGETHER THING” It’s easy for your partner to feel like he or she has taken a backseat to your new fitness goals. That can lead to resentment. Instead of letting fitness tear you apart, allow it to bring you together. While you don’t have to spend every moment lifting together, take the opportunity to spend some time training side-by-side. Try hitting the stepmill at the same time, or joining each other on a nightly walk or post-dinner run. Having a common interest and common goal can bring a relationship even closer together. 7 HELP CREATE MOMENTUM Getting started is always the hardest part. Find a way to give your partner a supportive initial push without being too forceful. Help your loved one test out fun things while encouraging him or her to dismantle the excuse word “can’t.” If your partner used to like to ride mountain bikes, drop into a bike shop on a Saturday. If you’re with a guy or gal who likes MMA, get a punching bag or sign up for classes at a martial arts studio. If your partner is brand new to fitness, take him or her to the gym for the first time. All of these things are easy to do, but they’re also easily left on the backburner. Help make sure they become action, not inaction. 8 SET THE RIGHT REWARDS Remember to reward yourself when reaching milestones. The act of treating yourself is bigger than a new pair of jeans or concert tickets. Treating yourself creates a positive association with your goals, recharges your batteries, and makes you eager to achieve your next major triumph. Help your significant other create small “stepping stone” goals and a complementary reward system that reflects something your partner really wants to do."Help your significant other create small 'stepping stone' goals and a complementary reward system that reflects something your partner really wants to do." 9 LEAD BY EXAMPLE Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. Just like having your spouse’s support makes it easier for you to stay on track, the same is true the other way around. Stay strong for both of you. If your partner sees you get lax with your training or cheat on your meals, it just makes it easier for him or her to fall off the wagon. In the beginning, you’re going to have to be strong enough for the both of you. 10 ALIGN VALUES If all other efforts fail, take the direct approach and have a serious conversation with your partner about health. Remember that, even though this is a more direct tactic, you want to approach it with love and understanding. If you go in guns blazing, it simply won’t work. You’re just going to make your partner put up defenses. Make the conversation about values, principles, and beliefs. If you’re working hard at getting in shape and being healthy, then chances are you value your health, respect your body, and believe it’s a reflection of who you are as a person. When the personal values in a relationship aren’t in alignment, it’s bound to cause conflict. Take the time to talk things out and come to a mutual understanding. Who knows, maybe next time you’ll be headed to the gym together, hand in hand.About The AuthorContributing WriterVIEW AUTHOR PAGECheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

Rowing machine workout

Rowing machine workout

Hands up if you find the rowing machine a little daunting? We don’t blame you. On a treadmill, you run. On an exercise bike, you cycle. Perfect rowing technique, however, can seem far less straightforward, which means many people are steering clear of this effective piece of gym kit – and missing out on its big-time benefits. But, master the moves for this machine and you can expect weight loss, better fitness and increased upper and lower-body strength – all without the harsh impact that some cardio exercise can have on joints. ‘Indoor rowing is a complete form of exercise,’ explains Olympic rowing coach and Concept2 fitness expert Terry O’Neill (concept2.co.uk). ‘Rowing is a combination of cardiovascular and strength conditioning, making it a great addition to any fitness regime or training programme – for people of all ages with a wide variety of goals.’ Whether you’re a beginner or an Olympian, there’s a way to make rowing a key player in your workouts.Full-body workoutOne of the main reasons that people opt for a workout on the rower to get their cardio fix is because – unlike the treadmill, stepper and stationary bike – it offers plenty of added value. Using correct technique harnesses the power of both the upper and lower body, so your bum, thighs and calves will get a real push as well as your arms and shoulders. Rowing also requires solid activation from your core and back to maintain good form (particularly in the upper back) with each and every stroke, which means that a good session on the rower can hit almost every muscle, offering total-body conditioning. Plus, the cardiovascular movement of rowing gives your heart and lungs a great workout, too. ‘Indoor rowing is great for toning up, as it involves more muscle groups over a wide range of movement, with little pressure on the joints,’ says Terry. ‘No matter why you choose to row, the rowing machine will offer just the right level of resistance for your goals, as well as an infinite variety of workouts.’Fuss-free intensityIf you think rowing is just for steady-state fitness, think again – the machine is great for both endurance and interval training. ‘Because the rowing machine activates a large muscle mass, it helps you achieve better cardio results in less time,’ Terry explains. ‘It can also provide excellent anaerobic workouts complementary to explosive power sport training. Plus, indoor rowing is a great endurance exercise that really helps to boost both your heart and lung functions.’If you’ve ever tried high-intensity interval sprints on the treadmill, you’ll know how annoying it is having to repeatedly press buttons while you’re trying to run to adjust the speed of the belt. One of the great things about the rowing machine is that – although the resistance can be tricky to adjust once you’ve got going – you can control the speed simply by increasing or decreasing your own work rate. So, while some people enjoy longer, steady-state sessions on the rower, those looking for a heart-pumping interval sessioncan get on with focusing on their technique, instead of pushing buttons.Of course, the crucial element here is technique – the better your form, the more efficient your workout. Use the steps below to perfect your stroke and practise rowing at a comfortable pace until you’re ready to up your speed. The rowing masterclassUse these simple step-by-step instructions to get to grips with perfect rowing technique. Remember to avoid letting your shoulders round or your lower back arch beyond its neutral position. Ready, set, row!• Keeping your legs straight, lean back slightly with the handle close to your body and your forearms parallel to the floor.• Extend your arms fully, rocking your body forward slightly and keeping your arms extended.• Slide your lower body forward from the hips until your knees are above your feet, keeping your arms extended.• Push down on your feet to drive your body back, straightening your legs and leaning your body back slightly as you do so.• Pull the handle back past your knees towards your body to return to the starting position. Repeat.

CrossFit: try it now!

Can an all-encompassing, time-saving, virtually free workout that can be done anywhere and at any time really exist? By our estimations CrossFit pretty much ticks all these boxes.   CrossFit was born in 2000, when American fitness expert Greg Glassman applied his work with police cadets to everyday fitness training. He realised the best way to get results was to combine elements of weight training with long and short periods of high-intensity aerobic efforts. There are now more than 3,400 dedicated CrossFit boxes (name given to these gyms) worldwide.What is CrossFit?Essentially, CrossFit is an intense strength and conditioning programme with cardio circuits thrown in. Reebok CrossFit trainer, Steve Bradshaw-Haydock believes CrossFit is the only workout you need because it covers cardio, combat, survival, resistance, plyometrics, bodyweight, and endurance exercises. One minute you’ll be doing heavy weight exercises and next you’ll be sprinting for 400m.Why should you do it?CrossFit has the ability to make you fitter and stronger, as well as boosting your endurance, stamina and speed. The high intensity of each exercise engages your fast twitch muscle fibres, increasing your muscle power and performance. Most CrossFitters do three consecutive days then have a rest day.Regardless of your fitness level, the CrossFit programme can be scaled to your ability. Motivation is one of the key elements of CrossFit. If you finish the WOD before the person next to you, you’re encouraged to rally round them as a team to motivate them through the workout. Plus, you’re encouraged to track your progress by noting down how long it takes to do a WOD or how many reps of an exercise you manage in the specific time, which is a great motivator.Get started…There are currently more than 70 CrossFit boxes across the UK. To find your nearest, visit map.crossfit.com. You can try the workout by logging on to crossfit.com where you’ll find every WOD for the past ten years.Try one - or all - of these CrossFit circuitsTime yourself doing the circuits and monitor your progress. Maintain correct form at all times- don’t let the intensity ruin your form.20 burpees15 reps/12 reps/ 9 reps of: Squats, Press-ups, Sit-upsFinish with another 20 burpeesRun 1 mile, Row 2K, Run 1 mileRun 800m50 back extensions50 sit-upsRepeat 3 times21 reps/ 15 reps/ 9 reps of: Plank walkouts, Press-ups, Sit-ups, SquatsDo 250m row between each roundFor more fitness tips subscribe to Health & Fitness magazine. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1!

CrossFit: try it now!

CrossFit: try it now!

Can an all-encompassing, time-saving, virtually free workout that can be done anywhere and at any time really exist? By our estimations CrossFit pretty much ticks all these boxes.   CrossFit was born in 2000, when American fitness expert Greg Glassman applied his work with police cadets to everyday fitness training. He realised the best way to get results was to combine elements of weight training with long and short periods of high-intensity aerobic efforts. There are now more than 3,400 dedicated CrossFit boxes (name given to these gyms) worldwide.What is CrossFit?Essentially, CrossFit is an intense strength and conditioning programme with cardio circuits thrown in. Reebok CrossFit trainer, Steve Bradshaw-Haydock believes CrossFit is the only workout you need because it covers cardio, combat, survival, resistance, plyometrics, bodyweight, and endurance exercises. One minute you’ll be doing heavy weight exercises and next you’ll be sprinting for 400m.Why should you do it?CrossFit has the ability to make you fitter and stronger, as well as boosting your endurance, stamina and speed. The high intensity of each exercise engages your fast twitch muscle fibres, increasing your muscle power and performance. Most CrossFitters do three consecutive days then have a rest day.Regardless of your fitness level, the CrossFit programme can be scaled to your ability. Motivation is one of the key elements of CrossFit. If you finish the WOD before the person next to you, you’re encouraged to rally round them as a team to motivate them through the workout. Plus, you’re encouraged to track your progress by noting down how long it takes to do a WOD or how many reps of an exercise you manage in the specific time, which is a great motivator.Get started…There are currently more than 70 CrossFit boxes across the UK. To find your nearest, visit map.crossfit.com. You can try the workout by logging on to crossfit.com where you’ll find every WOD for the past ten years.Try one - or all - of these CrossFit circuitsTime yourself doing the circuits and monitor your progress. Maintain correct form at all times- don’t let the intensity ruin your form.20 burpees15 reps/12 reps/ 9 reps of: Squats, Press-ups, Sit-upsFinish with another 20 burpeesRun 1 mile, Row 2K, Run 1 mileRun 800m50 back extensions50 sit-upsRepeat 3 times21 reps/ 15 reps/ 9 reps of: Plank walkouts, Press-ups, Sit-ups, SquatsDo 250m row between each roundFor more fitness tips subscribe to Health & Fitness magazine. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1!

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

The Ultimate Beginner's Full-Body Workout

22 July 2014

What, you ponder, do you have in common with bodybuilding greats like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jay Cutler, or even with a successful fitness model like Whitney Reid?Each of those men, like you, had modest beginnings. None was born with six-pack abs and none came into this world with a 250-pound bench press. But like you, they had a desire for self-improvement and undertook resistance training as a means to build up their physique.All of these men committed serious mistakes along the way, but fortunately we've compiled a summary of the 10 most important training elements so that you, as a beginner, can learn from others' errors. To get you started off right, we've also put together an eight-week full-body beginner's program that's built to challenge you as you get stronger.After that break-in period, you'll have one more thing in common with those superstars: None of you will be a rank beginner any longer.10 KEYS TO BUILDING MUSCLEThere are a lot of guys long on desire, but without the know-how who use the show-up-and-lift-it method, working any and every exercise in the gym every single day and hoping that something happens. Something usually does: They usually quit after about a month because nothing's happened. Fortunately you're on Bodybuilding.com and won't be making those same mistakes. Here's the info you need to understand to get started. 1 WORK THE MAJOR MUSCLE GROUPS Chances are you started lifting to get a bigger chest and arms, or strengthen your body for a particular sport. But working all the major muscle groups—chest, back, shoulders, quads, glutes, hamstrings, biceps, triceps (smaller muscle groups include the forearms, calves, abs)—allows you to build a symmetrical physique. This complete training also prevents muscular imbalances that can arise when you favor some body parts over others. Imbalances are no joke: They can lead to serious injuries. 2 PRACTICE FORM FIRST Many of the basic movements presented here may be new to you. As a result, your coordination may be challenged at times. If so, don't worry. Keep practicing and rehearsing the movement pattern and soon it will feel like second nature—and that's when your gains in size and strength will take off. Until then, it's important to understand and practice the basic movements before using more challenging weights.Seated Dumbbell Press 3 MULTI-JOINT EXERCISES ARE SUPERIOR OVER SINGLE-JOINT MOVES Exercises can be categorized into two classes: multi-joint and single-joint. The distinction is that with multi-joint exercises, two (or more) sets of joints work to accomplish the lift. With a single-joint move, only one set of joints is working. During a bench press, for example, action is taking place at both the elbow and shoulder joints, while in a barbell curl the movement is restricted to the elbow joint. Because more muscle is engaged when doing multi-joint moves, you can use far heavier weights and they're therefore better for achieving muscle and strength gains."There are decades of scientific research now available on resistance training, and the evidence points to doing 3-4 sets of a given exercise for maximum benefit." 4 DO MULTIPLE SETS OF AN EXERCISE There are decades of scientific research now available on resistance training, and the evidence points to doing 3-4 sets of a given exercise for maximum benefit. Typically you should do a warm-up set or two of that movement before tackling more challenging weights. 5 Too Heavy Or Too Light Is Too Bad So how much weight should you lift? Warm-ups are always done with light weight to get the target muscles working in coordination. As a beginner, you'll choose light weights so you can do about 15 reps on each set. The last few reps should be very difficult to achieve but you should always be using "good form."As you progress, you should use even more challenging weights, ones in which you reach muscle failure by 8-12 reps with good form. If you can do more than that number, the weight is too light. Individuals training for strength choose even heavier weights, typically doing fewer than 6 reps. Remember to never sacrifice form to lift a weight that's too heavy. 6 CONTROL THE REP The approach you should follow on each and every rep is like this: Inhale and hold your breath as you lift the weight in a strong and forceful manner, exhaling only over the top portion of the movement. Then lower the weight under control as you breathe in. Reverse direction smoothly at the bottom position, never bouncing the weight at the bottom. 7 TAKE A SHORT REST BETWEEN SETS Your muscles fatigue during a set. They need time to clear the lactic acid and changes in the pH that build up in the surrounding tissue. This usually takes 90-120 seconds, though larger body parts like legs and back may take longer, and smaller muscle groups like arms and calves may take less. A good measure: when you catch your breath and feel ready to go, start a new set. 8 GET AT LEAST 48 HOURS REST BETWEEN WORKOUTS This is key: The lifting you do at the gym is the stimulus that begins a chain of events that causes the muscle to repair itself and make itself stronger the next time you hit the gym. That takes time, nutrients and rest. Clearly, then, you can't train too often, and dismissing good nutritional habits and shortchanging your rest will be counterproductive to your muscle gains. In terms of training frequency, don't hit a given muscle group more frequently than once every 48 hours. As you become more advanced and add volume, you'll want to increase that rest period. 9 STRIVE TO DO A LITTLE MORE EACH WORKOUT If your body responds to the training stimulus by growing stronger but you do the same weight for the same reps each workout, it's just not going to grow any further. Hence, you can't fall into the rut of repeating the same workout week-in and week-out. Strive to do more reps with a given weight or increase the weight from one workout to the next—that's the progressive stimulus you need to keep making positive improvements. 10 FOLLOW THIS PLAN FOR 8 WEEKS As a beginner you'll make noticeable jumps in strength the first two months, but typically gains start to stall when following any given program for too long. That's when it's time to make some larger changes in your training.After the novice period, you can change your training split by re-arranging muscle groups and the number of exercises, sets, and reps on given days. Manipulating all these variables keeps your training fresh and offers new challenges to overload the target muscles. This is an exciting time for beginners because there are few other times in your training career in which you'll see jumps in strength on your basic lifts from one workout to the next."After the novice period, you can change your training split by re-arranging muscle groups and the number of exercises, sets, and reps on given days."THE 8-WEEK BEGINNER'S OUTLINEDo one exercise for each of the major muscle groups. The first two weeks you practice your form so the weight should be light. Do additional sets if you want to keep rehearsing the motion. The second two weeks you'll add another set. Start with a light warm-up set, then choose a slightly heavier weight for each of your next two sets. You should approach muscle failure by the target rep listed. Don't sacrifice good form to do more reps if the weight is too heavy. You know you reach muscle failure when you can't do any more reps on a given move with textbook form. You'll start with a light warm-up set during the third phase (weeks 5-8), then choose a more challenging weight for your second and third sets. Try to choose a weight so you can just reach the target rep; if you can do more reps the weight is too light, and if you can't reach the target rep the weight is too heavy. As you get stronger over the course of the program, do more reps and/or increase the weight to progressively challenge the working muscles. If a given barbell or dumbbell exercise is too difficult, find its machine counterpart and practice on that before going back to free weights. Follow this workout three times per week on nonconsecutive days (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays). THE 8-WEEK BEGINNER'S REGIMEN Bench Press2 sets of 15 reps Supported T-Bar Row2 sets of 15 reps Seated Dumbbell Press2 sets of 15 reps Standing Barbell Curl2 sets of 15 reps Triceps Dip Machine2 sets of 15 reps Leg Press2 sets of 15 reps Lying Leg Curl2 sets of 15 reps Machine Crunch2 sets of 15 reps Bench Press3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Supported T-Bar Row3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Seated Dumbbell Press3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Standing Barbell Curl3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Triceps Dip Machine3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Leg Press3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Lying Leg Curl3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Machine Crunch3 sets of 12-15 reps Bench Press3 sets of 12, 8, 8 reps Supported T-Bar Row3 sets of 12, 8, 8 reps Seated Dumbbell Press3 sets of 12, 8, 8 reps Standing Barbell Curl3 sets of 12, 8, 8 reps Triceps Dip Machine3 sets of 12, 8, 8 reps Leg Press3 sets of 12, 8, 8 reps v Lying Leg Curl3 sets of 12, 8, 8 reps Machine Crunch3 sets of 12, 8, 8 reps Recommended For YouAwesome Abs: Whitney Reid's Six-pack Carving Protocol That six-pack hiding under your belly fat doesn't have to stay there! Learn how to make those ripped abdominal dreams a reality.5 High-Protein Snacks To Fire Up Your Muscles Working hard at the gym doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of things like muffins, crepes, or even frosting! Make these high-protein recipes work hard for your muscles.Ultimate Summer Strength Circuit Outdoor workouts don't have to be limited to running or biking. Add a strength session to your summer workout with this routine.About The AuthorBill GeigerBill Geiger, MA comes to Bodybuilding.com after six years as Group Editorial Director with MuscleMag and Reps magazines in Toronto.View All Articles By This Author

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Ask The Fitness Jewell: How Do I Stop Beating Myself Up Over Food?

22 July 2014

Vital StatsName: Jen JewellOccupation: Personal Trainer, Cellucor Athlete, fitness model and fitness writer Q I beat myself up if I don't stick to my meals 100 percent of the time. I get off track and think, "What's the point if I don't eat perfect all of the time?" Do you have any advice to break free from this mentality? Why is only diet an all-or-nothing proposition? Can you imagine if this mindset spilled into other aspects of life? In school, when you received less than 100 percent on a test, you would simply drop out. And what if you'd missed one of your scheduled workouts during the week: Would you decide not go back to the gym again because missing that one day got you so off track?Look, life isn't perfect. It's unrealistic to expect your nutrition to be spot on day-in and day-out. Things might shake up your otherwise perfectly laid out dietary plan. Maybe a work meeting suddenly popped up during lunch hour, and then you might have had to eat on-the-go. Heck, you might even want to enjoy a slice of birthday cake on—gasp—your birthday! Life happens, and guess what? Everything is going to be okay.These four tips will help you keep your cool! 1 One Meal Doesn't Rule Them All I don't look at the occasional social event or life circumstances as getting me off track or "ruining" my plan. Instead I view them as being part of my plan. Flexibility and moderation are the keys to the fit life. If one healthy meal doesn't transform you into an Adonis or Aphrodite, then neither does one "off track" indulgent meal undo all of your hard work. 2 Make Your Motivation Visible Find your motivation, remember why you began your journey, and write it down. Then put the note on your fridge or on the bathroom mirror, or even schedule a daily reminder on your phone to pop up whenever your cravings typically strike. Never, ever lose sight of your journey. A constant reminder of your goals reinforces the bigger picture. 3 No Pressure, Seriously We all have ups and downs—myself included! Take the pressure off yourself to eat perfectly all of the time. Don't let a "slip-up" be an excuse for you to eat like crap and hit the drive-thru every day for a month. If you have a meal or two that you deem as "off track," make your next meal a healthier one rather than throwing in the towel for the rest of the day and eating everything in sight with wild abandon. Reel in that impulse to let it turn into a vicious cycle.Plus, people seem to overlook that some healthy meals are always better than a diet lacking in any nutritional value. I remind my clients that each time they opt for the healthier version of a food, that's progress in itself and a step in the right direction. 4 Prepare Foods and Snacks Ahead Of Time Hunger strikes! There isn't a healthy option within reach. This is when most people fall into dietary danger. Sure, you may not have the time nor desire to prep an entire week's worth of food on a Sunday, but planning ahead—even just a bit—is crucial to staying on track.I don't expect everyone to weigh out every ounce of every meal, but I do expect you to have healthy foods and snacks in the fridge or in any other place you think you might be throughout the day. I mean it: Your work desk, the car, your bag, or your gym bag.As far as meal or snack prep goes, you can easily whip up a couple of batches of your favorite proteins, such as chicken breast and lean steak, in the oven or Crockpot while you go about your day. It'll pay off because having these proteins readily available makes it super easy to quickly throw together meals throughout the week—no endless hours in the kitchen! I know that whenever I'm tempted to eat out I'm far more likely to eat at home if I already have pre-prepared meals, leaving restaurant fare for times when I actually need to eat on-the-go.Every time you make the healthier choice you're already more than halfway there. Just take it one meal and one day at a time until choosing lean steak and veggies over a fast food hamburger becomes a no-brainer to you. You got this!Recommended For YouAsk The Fitness Jewell: What Are Some Booty-Building Squat Alternatives? Although squats are great for constructing a better butt, they're sometimes hard on an injured or stiff lower back. When that happens, call on these excellent glute-building alternatives!Be An Alpha Girl: 5 Tips To Better Workouts And More Self Confidence The rank of alpha is reserved for the boldest, baddest girl in the gym. If you want to be that girl, apply these 5 tips to your workout regimen today.Lovely Lady Legs: Jen Jewell's Leg-Sculpting Workout Don't hide your legs this winter, display them! Build your legs and burn some fat with Jen's intense lower-body workout.About The AuthorJen JewellInternationally published fitness model, fitness writer, and certified personal trainer Jen Jewell has maintained a passion for staying active...View All Articles By This Author

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Teen Amateur Of The Week: Oleg Fought For New Muscle!

22 July 2014

Vital StatsName: Oleg LaptsevichEmail: ol3g97@hotmail.comBodySpace: Oleg97Location: New ZealandAge: 16Height: 5'10"Weight: 169 lbsYears Bodybuilding: 2 QHow did your fitnessjourney begin? I was born in a small European country where nutrition is valued to stay healthy during cold winters. I got a set of weights for my seventh birthday and moved to New Zealand where I got into karate and MMA. At age 12, I trained up to eight times per week and saw my baby abs come in.At age 14, I gave up gymnastics, which was my favorite activity at the time. I was too old to compete and battled lingering knee injuries which still hamper me to this day. The doctors recommended that I lay off sports for a minimum of two years, but I ignored their recommendations and participated in Jiu Jitsu nationals and a few MMA fights."My training depends on what my body feels like and I usually work on at least two body parts per session."A childhood memory that I won't forget happened while I lived in Belarus and failed PE because I couldn't do 20 pull-ups. That negative memory drove me to train. Before signing up at the gym, I spent one year training with a set of rusty 17.5 kilogram (~39 pound) dumbbells in the garage. I also woke at 6 a.m. on many mornings to train on the beach.What workout regimen delivered the best results?I started going to the gym consistently a year and a half ago. I usually do moderate-length workouts for up to two hours, 4-5 times per week. My training depends on what my body feels like and I usually work on at least two body parts per session. I mix up the routine every three weeks.I warm up with a 1-2 kilometer run and use moderate weight with 12-20 reps per set. I finish every session with 10 minutes of core work. Incline Bench Press3 sets of 12-20 reps Bench Press3 sets of 12-20 reps Decline Bench Press3 sets of 12-20 reps Cable Fly3 sets of 12-20 reps Weighted Dip3 sets of 12-20 reps Push-Up3 sets of 12-20 reps Lying Cable Fly3 sets of 12-20 reps Deadlift3 sets of 12-20 reps Pull-Up3 sets of 12-20 reps Wide-Grip Pull-Down3 sets of 12-20 reps Close-Grip Cable Row3 sets of 12-20 reps Seated Cable Row3 sets of 12-20 reps Leg Extensions3 sets of 12-20 reps Leg Press3 sets of 12-20 reps Front Squat3 sets of 12-20 reps Single-Leg Extension3 sets of 12-20 reps Seated Calf Raise3 sets of 12-20 reps Standing Calf Raises3 sets of 12-20 reps Barbell Curl3 sets of 12-20 reps Dumbbell Curl3 sets of 12-20 reps Skull Crusher3 sets of 12-20 reps Cable Push-Down3 sets of 12-20 reps Weighted Dips3 sets of 12-20 reps Chin-Up3 sets of 12-20 reps Military Press3 sets of 12-20 reps Upright Row3 sets of 12-20 reps Dumbbell Lateral Raise3 sets of 12-20 reps Reverse Pec Deck3 sets of 12-20 reps Dumbbell Shrug3 sets of 12-20 reps Dumbbell Reverse Fly3 sets of 12-20 reps Behind-the-Neck Barbell Press3 sets of 12-20 reps Amateurs Of The Week Bodybuilding.com honors amateurs across all categories for their hard work, dedication, and great physiques. Learn how our featured amateurs built their bodies and hit their goals!What nutrition plan fueled your body?I don't follow a regular meal plan usually. I follow rules like not eating past 7 p.m., drinking plenty of water, keeping my sugar intake low, and eating one cheat meal per week. I drink a minimum of two liters of water per day. Banana1 banana Peanut Butter1 serving Whole Wheat Bread2 slices Oats1 serving Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey1 serving Eggs2 eggs Rice100 grams Chicken100 grams Banana1 banana Apple1 apple Rice150 grams Fish150 grams Vegetables1 serving Peanut Butter1 serving Whole Wheat Bread2 slices Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey1 serving What supplements gave you an edge? Optimum Fish Oil Softgels Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey Cobra Labs The Curse SciVation Xtend Creatine Monohydrate Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey "I'm not competing against anyone but the man in the mirror staring back at me. The progress and changes I see in the mirror make me want more."How did your passion for fitness emerge?Bodybuilding is more than a sport; it's a habit. Going without bodybuilding is the same as going sleepless. The pump and endorphin rush post-workout is one of the greatest feelings and makes me feel reborn. I'm not competing against anyone but the man in the mirror staring back at me. The progress and changes I see in the mirror make me want more.What or whomotivated you?I'm motivated by myself and the people I'm surrounded by. Going to the gym with mates and teaching them what I know is very rewarding.What are your future fitness plans?I plan to keep walking the road I'm on to get bigger and compete. I want to concentrate more on nutrition to strengthen my weak points.What is the most important fitness tip?Be determined and go hard or don't do it at all. If you don't go all in, you will waste time and energy. Be patient and respect bodybuilding, because nothing comes easy. Nutrition is the key total success. Following a strict diet is important and it's made easy because most healthy foods taste good. Be hungry and crave success.Who is your favorite competitor?Arnold Schwarzenegger is my unrivaled favorite.How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?Bodybuilding.com is a great place for all nationalities and opinions. The training routines always give me new ideas. The Teen Amateur of the Week features give teens something to look up to.Oleg's Top 5 Gym Tracks"Lose Yourself" by Eminem "Shot Yourself In The Foot Again" by Scream & Example "Warp 1977" by Bloody Beetroots & Steve Aoki "Remember The Name" by Fort Minor "Back In Black" by AC/DC Recommended For YouTeen Amateur Of The Week:Daniel Fought Injury With Iron! Hip degeneration and labral tears ripped basketball from Daniel's life, but he didn't give in to injury. See how this teen battled back and lifted heavy iron to build a powerful physique!Teen Amateur Of The Week:George Unleashes Teenage Tenacity! George went from wanting a six pack more than anything to firmly believing that he can build a body worthy of the Olympia stage. Get the plans that fuel his tenacious work ethic!Teen Amateur Of The Week:Jonathan Bludgeons Heavy Weight! Training came naturally to Jonathan in his early years, but learning the power of nutrition took his gains to unforeseen levels.About The AuthorTeen Amateur Bodybuilder Of The WeekWant to share your story with the world and get some free supplements? Well, send in your info to Teen Amateur Of The Week! Learn more here!View All Articles By This Author

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mammoth Chest And Back Workout

21 July 2014

It was more than three decades ago that Arnold Schwarzenegger last trained for a competition (1980 to be exact), but even today many young bodybuilders point to The Oak as their biggest source of inspiration.Though the black-and-white images have long faded on the walls of hardcore Southern California gyms, the training philosophies that built the world's greatest bodybuilder live on. In this, the second exclusive installment exploring Arnold's training, we focus on his chest and back workout."Though the black-and-white images have long faded on the walls of hardcore Southern California gyms, the training philosophies that built the world's greatest bodybuilder live on."Arnold paired chest with back, which are antagonist muscle groups; while one contracts, the other is stretched. Though they are both very large muscle groups, Arnold followed a high-volume, high-frequency approach, performing this workout three times per week. If that wasn't demanding enough, he typically came into the gym later in the evening for his thigh workouts!Here's a closer look at the specific techniques and approaches that helped lay the foundation for his superhuman gains.ARNOLD'S CHEST TRAININGArnold pecs were truly impressive, even as teenager. It was always one of his strong body parts. Arnold prioritized chest training; he did it first in his training when fatigue levels were low so he could train it with maximum intensity."I seemed to train my chest hard and correctly from the beginning," he wrote. "My chest grew because I gave it the most attention, placing it first in my workout.""Arnold prioritized chest training; he did it first in his training when fatigue levels were low so he could train it with maximum intensity."Here are some of Arnold's best chest-training tips culled from the many articles he wrote and interviews he gave over the years.Arnold competed as a powerlifter early in his career, so building a big chest started with training for strength. Arnold's top weights on the bench included a 500-pound single and 405 for 8 reps. Arnold once did a 225-pound bench for 60 reps!Arnold believed the concept of progressive overload was critical to building his pecs. "I strongly believe that the size of your muscles grows with the size of the weights you're using for repetitions."Arnold included basic multi-joint movements in his routine that hit the pecs from every angle, which he knew would lead to optimal pec development from top to bottom. "I knew the routine had to be basic and very heavy."Arnold hit every body part, not just chest, with high volume and frequency. His offseason routine consisted of up to 26 working sets on a high-volume day, and he trained his pecs three days per week, taking at least 48 hours off between workouts for recovery. That kind of volume and frequency suited The Oak during his competitive years, but for anyone with a full-time job, it's likely to induce significant jumps in cortisol levels and fatigue. Cycle short periods of high volume or high frequency training into your workout on occasion, but listen to your body for signs of overtraining. Arnold also cycled heavy and light days to both work the muscles with different relative intensities and ensure he wasn't overtraining his pecs.Once you become familiar with the various basic movements in the gym, evaluate your weaknesses and try variations of basic exercises. "Not everybody responds to the bench press. You need to determine for yourself which are the best exercises for your body." Other variations he commonly tried included using slightly closer or wider grips on the barbell to move the area of emphasis in or out a few degrees.Know the advantages of dumbbells and barbells, but use both in your training. "I feel a better stretch when doing dumbbells, especially with incline movements. The dumbbells can be lowered deeper than a barbell." This is important because a muscle that's fully stretched is capable of a stronger contraction, so long as you don't overstretch the shoulder joint.Arnold commonly started with 1-2 warm-up sets and then increased the weight on succeeding sets (called a pyramid set) while decreasing the reps. Still, he trained in a fairly low rep range, often starting at 12 and working his way down to six.Arnold believed that a lack of focus and concentration was the biggest mistake bodybuilders made when hitting chest. "Flex your pectoral muscles throughout the movement, but especially at the top." Contracting your pecs hard at the top increases the intensity of the movement.ARNOLD'S BACK TRAININGIt would be a mistake to think the "back" consists of a single muscle. It's a group that includes the middle and lower traps, rhomboids, the upper and lower portions of the latissimus dorsi, the erectors (low back), and even the rear delts. Arnold's approach to this complex group came from all angles.When he began competing at the elite level, Arnold's back wasn't as imposing as his mammoth chest and arms. By employing basic, multi-joint movements to target all areas of his back, he was able to bring it up.Here are some the basic principles Arnold followed when training back.Arnold typically broke his back training into two types of movements: chinning and pull-downs for lat width, and rows for overall thickness. Lat pull-downs and pull-ups build a strong V-taper, while rows and bent-over movements better target the middle-back musculature."When he began competing at the elite level, Arnold's back wasn't as imposing as his mammoth chest and arms. By employing basic, multi-joint movements to target all areas of his back, he was able to bring it up."Chins with an underhand grip and pull-ups were a big part of Arnold's approach to building wide lats. He also varied his grip width, went up to the bar behind his head and to his chest, and sometimes used added resistance or simply his bodyweight. The net result was an assault the worked the lats from multiple angles for better overall development."Wide-grip pull-ups coax the upper lats to come out," Arnold said. With wide-grip movements, the elbows stay out away from the sides, meaning the upper lats become the focus. With close-grip and reverse-grip back exercises, the elbows stay in tighter to the sides; this reduces the emphasis on the upper lats and instead places more of the focus on the lower lats.One technique Arnold favored was to shoot for a total number of chins, say 50, rather than target a particular number of sets. "On the first set you may do 10 reps. Perhaps you struggle with 8 reps on the second set. You have 18 reps now. If you make 5 on the third set, you have 23 reps. You continue to add them until you reach 50, even though it may take you 20 sets to do it. That's how I built up my chinning power, and I was very successful with it."For Arnold, with chins or with any other back move, gains in strength meant he'd have to increase the weight. "After you've mastered 10-12 reps in any type of chin, then you can start to put weight around your waist." Arnold argued that just increasing the number of reps you do as you get stronger wasn't as beneficial to the bodybuilder looking to maximize muscle growth as increasing the resistance.Not everyone can do chins or pull-ups with their bodyweight. Arnold recommended using the pull-down machine until your strength levels increase. Once you can do at least 8 reps with the equivalent of your bodyweight, he suggested switching over to the chinning bar.Exercises in which you pull the weight perpendicularly into your body—often called rows—were also a big part of Arnold's back workout. He favored all kinds of variations—seated cables rows, T-bar rows, bent-over barbell rows—but again each one was done with high volume and progressively heavier weights, pyramiding the weight up on successive sets for fewer reps.Between sets, Arnold stretched out his lats, either hanging from a bar or holding on to a stable object and leaning away. Stretching helped maintain the flexibility around the joint. He often tensed his lats between sets as well, contracting the muscle as hard as he could to help achieve a superior pump. Barbell Bench Press1-2 sets of 15 reps (warm-up); 5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps Barbell Incline Bench Press5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps Flat Dumbbell Flyes4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 reps Dips4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 reps Dumbbell Pullover4 sets of 15 reps Arnold would alternate behind-the-neck and regular pull-ups between workouts. Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Up5 sets of 15, 12, 10, 8, 8 reps Chin-Up (close grip)4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8 reps T-Bar Row4 sets of 15, 12, 8, 6 reps Bent Over Barbell Row4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8 reps Seated Cable Rows4 sets of 12, 12, 10, 10 reps ReferencesMuscle & Fitness, July 1997: Arnold Talks Training, July 1997. Schwarzenegger, A. & Dobbins, B. (1999). The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Simon and Shuster: USA. Recommended For YouArnold's Blueprint Trainer: Mass Training Overview Watch this video to learn some of Arnold Schwarzenegger's favorite exercises and preferred training techniques for building muscle. Get the knowledge you need to grow!Arnold's Blueprint Trainer: Mass Nutrition Overview Quality mass comes from quality calories. Arnold Schwarzenegger knew that fact inside and out. Learn more about how he ate and follow his nutrition blueprint for more mass!Arnold's Blueprint Trainer: Mass Supplementation Overview Look under the hood of Arnold Schwarzenegger's signature supplement line! Learn about the products Arnold recommends for incredible results.About The AuthorDavid RobsonAs an active martial artist, bodybuilder and accredited personal trainer, David employs the latest cutting edge research to enhance his own progress.View All Articles By This Author

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International Transformation Of The Month: Pankaj Dhiman

21 July 2014

Name: Pankaj DhimanEmail: dhimanpan@gmail.comBodyspace: dhimanpanLocation: India, New DelhiGetting StartedIn January 2013, I weighed a whopping 230 pounds (104 kilos). I couldn't climb stairs, started to have breathing problems, and was consistently outgrowing all my clothes. I was overweight, depressed, and suffering from continuous back problems.I knew that I was digging myself a bigger hole every day, and that if I didn't take any action soon, I might end up on a hospital bed. That thought scared the hell out of me, so I enrolled myself in Fitness First [a gym chain in India] and got started on January 9, 2014.From late-night drinking and binge-eating sessions, I moved on to purposeful and results-oriented gym sessions. I hit the weights with a vengeance. I was angry for putting myself into this situation, and I wanted to correct it. So I waged an all-out war against fat. I replaced all the oily, fried, processed food with egg whites, steamed or grilled chicken breast, green vegetables, and fruits. Once I got my nutrition in order, I started to see great results. After that initial change, I wanted more after each session, each rep, and each pound.There is a warrior inside me and he wants more. He refuses to give up and wants a new challenge every day. I am going to start competing and have my eyes set on the Mr. World title.I am going to get it, no matter what.Before After AGE 30 / HEIGHT 5'11" / BODY FAT 35%AGE 31 / HEIGHT 5'11" / BODY FAT 9%Post To FitboardSmall Steps, Big RewardWhen I started exercising after a gap of almost 2 years, I couldn't walk on the treadmill for more than 10 minutes in succession. I had to do just 5-minute intervals. Despite my early struggles, I always knew that I was capable of changing my body. I had done it before, and I'd do it again. I had to make it happen in my mind first. Then everything just followed.I was determined to shed all the extra pounds and I wanted to look my age. From low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio sessions, I moved to weight training. I shed another 22 pounds (10 kilos) and gained some lean muscle mass. The change I saw in the mirror gave momentum to my dreams of competing in a bodybuilding show. I pushed myself harder each day, and today I am sitting at 9% body fat.My lifting has improved, my nutrition is in place—which couldn't have happened without my wife—and there is more method, purpose, and technique in my training thanks to my coach, Keshavanand Sharma. I train under him at his gym The Body Temple in Dehradun, Uttarakhand India. He has really been a calming influence.It took about a year for me to get to this stage and I am hungrier than ever. During the last year, I have also completed my BOSU international certification and I also intend to get my Certified Personal Trainer certificate from the American College of Sports Medicine.Supplement ProgramThe timing of the supplements has to be spot on. Glutamine 10 g Fat Burner 1 cap Mass Gainer 7 g Protein Powder 45 g Multivitamin 1 cap HGH 1 cap Ginseng 2 caps Flaxseed Oil 5 mL Flaxseed Oil 5 mL Pre-workout Supplement 7 g Protein Powder 45 g Multivitamin 1 cap Casein Protein 45 g Fat Burner 1 cap Ginseng 2 caps Diet White Bread 4 slices Protein Powder 45 g Apple 1 Egg Whites 10 Seasonal Fruit 200 g Black Chickpea 1 bowl Grilled Chicken Breast 250 g Rice 1 serving Salad 1 serving Egg Whites 10 Black Chickpea 1 bowl Seasonal Fruit 200 g White Bread 4 slices Glutamine 10 g Grilled Chicken Breast 250 g Chapatis 2 Seasonal Vegetables 1 bowl TrainingI alternate doing A and B cycles every week. This helps me target a particular muscle group from all the angles using different exercises. Every set is done "to failure" using strict form. I also concentrate on keeping my muscles constantly under tension.Week 1: Morning: Pectorals Walking, Treadmill45 minutes Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip4 sets of 6-10 reps to failure, last set is a drop set Incline Dumbbell Press3 sets of 6-10 reps to failure, last set is a drop set Machine Bench Press3 sets of 6-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Flat Bench Cable Flyes3 sets of 6-12 reps to failure, last set is dropset Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Evening: Biceps/Forearms Barbell Curl4 sets of 8-12 reps to failure Incline Dumbbell Curl3 sets of 8-10 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Preacher Curl3 sets of 8-10 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Barbell Wrist Curl3 sets of 20 reps to failure, 15 reps to failure, 12 reps to failure Morning: Quadriceps Bicycling, Stationary15 minutes warm-up Barbell Squat4 sets of 8-12 reps to failure Hack Squat3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Weighted Sissy Squat2 sets of 5 reps to failure Evening: Triceps Triceps Pushdown - V-Bar Attachment4 sets of 6-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure Standing Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension3 sets of 10-12 reps to failure Morning: Back Walking, Treadmill45 minutes Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown4 sets of 12-15 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows4 sets of 6-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Seated Cable Rows2 sets of 12-15 reps to failure One-Arm Dumbbell Row2 sets of 12-15 reps to failure Dumbbell Incline Row3 sets of 6-15 reps to failure Evening: Abs/Calves Jackknife Sit-Up3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure Kneeling Cable Crunch With Alternating Oblique Twists3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Oblique Crunches - On The Floor3 sets of 5 reps to failure Flat Bench Leg Pull-In3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Standing Calf Raises4 sets of 10-30 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Seated Calf Raise3 sets of 10-30 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Morning: Hamstrings/Glutes Bicycling, Stationary15 minutes warm-up Thigh Abductor2 sets of 15-30 reps to failure Hip Extension with Bands2 sets of 15-30 reps to failure Lying Leg Curls4 sets of 10-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift3 sets of 15-20 reps to failure Evening: Delts/Traps Arnold Dumbbell Press3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset One-Arm Incline Lateral Raise3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Dumbbell Lying One-Arm Rear Lateral Raise3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Reverse Flyes2 sets of 12-15 reps to failure Barbell Shrug4 sets of 10-15 reps to failure Standing Dumbbell Upright Row2 sets of 12-15 reps to failure Morning: Biceps/Triceps Walking, Treadmill45 minutes Lying Cable Curl4 sets of 8-12 reps to failure Concentration Curls3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure Standing One-Arm Cable Curl3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment4 sets of 10-12 reps to failure Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure Tricep Dumbbell Kickback3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure Evening: Abs/Calves Air Bike2 sets of 30 reps to failure Lying Side Leg Raise2 sets to failure Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure Decline Oblique Crunch2 sets of 5 reps to failure Cable Crunch3 sets of 15-20 reps to failure Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise (Single-leg)3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure Donkey Calf Raises3 sets of 15 reps to failure Morning: Thighs/Chest/Lats Bicycling, Stationary15 minutes warm-up Barbell Walking Lunge4 sets of 10-20 reps to failure Dumbbell Step Ups4 sets of 15 reps to failure Hack Squat2 sets of 10-12 reps to failure Leg Extensions3 sets of 8-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Seated Leg Curl3 sets of 6-12 reps to failure Evening: Chest/Lats Cable Chest Press4 sets of 6-12 reps to failure Ring Pullup3 sets of 5 reps to failure Incline Dumbbell Flyes3 sets of 8-10 reps to failure Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure One Arm Lat Pulldown2 sets of 8-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Seated Cable Rows3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure "There is a warrior inside me and he wants more. He refuses to give up and wants a new challenge every day."Week 2: Morning: Pectorals Walking, Treadmill45 minutes brisk walk Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip4 sets of 6-10 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Dumbbell Hammer Press3 sets of 6-12 reps to failure Machine Chest Press3 sets of 6-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Pec Deck Straight-Arm Fly3 sets of 6-12 reps to failure, last set is a dropset Decline Barbell Pullover3 sets of 10-15 reps to failure Evening: Biceps and Forearms Standing Biceps Cable Curl4 sets of 6-10 reps to failure, last set is a dropset

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The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide To Fitness

21 July 2014

When most people decide to start working out, they head straight to the gym, hit the machines, or jog on the treadmill. It's the same whether they want to lose weight, build muscle, or accomplish any fitness goal. They dive right into the "what" without knowing the "why." They skip the basics and, unfortunately, often set themselves up for failure.It's time to change that approach.The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide to Fitness is a one-month course to teach you the essentials of training, nutrition, and supplementation. It's for anyone who doesn't know where to start. It's for those who think fitness is complicated or intimidating. This is fitness made simple: one day at a time, one challenge at a time.You have the right to be fit. We'll teach you to exercise that right.Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Watch The Video - 04:58Ultimate Beginner's Guide Starts InMeet Your BEGINNER'S GUIDE COACHESSteve CookIFBB Physique ProInternational Fitness PersonalityKathleen TesoriBodybuilding.com AthleteFitness ModelUsing their years of experience in the fitness industry competing, modeling, training clients, and helping change thousands of lives, Steve Cook and Kathleen Tesori have built the perfect plan to help ease you into the fitness lifestyle.Every day, your guides will present a new challenge. After 30 days, you'll know how to train with barbells, machines, and just your bodyweight. You'll learn how to make wise choices and manage a busy lifestyle. You'll understand the ins and outs of fitness nutrition and smart supplementation. You'll have everything you need to change your life.The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide to Fitness Includes:Specific daily challenges. Learn the fundamentals of training, nutrition, and supplementation. Daily videos from Kathleen and Steve. Daily coaching from your elite trainers. Progressive workout program. Master bodyweight, machine, and free weight exercises. Beginner's cardio plan. Learn and perform multiple forms of cardiovascular exercise. Nutritional guidance and recipe ideas. Try healthy recipes and learn what you need to eatto get fit. Essential supplement information. Learn about the supplements you need for great results. Weekly emails. Messages from your coaches will help you stay on track. Sign Up We'll also send you everything you need to burn fat, build muscle, and become your best self!SIGN UP TODAY AND START RECEIVING EMAILS WITH: New Workouts Inspirational Member Stories Supplement Discounts Healthy Recipes Exclusive Products And much more! Your information is safe with us. View our privacy policy.EMAILS BUILT TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK!The Beginner's Guide to Fitness will teach you new concepts every day, building on what you've learned to deliver a full course in the essentials of fitness. Each week gets slightly more advanced so you can progressively challenge your mind and body.Beginner's Guide Breakdown Week One: Determine your starting point, learn the important parts of a workout, and master the basic principles of nutrition that fitness professionals rely on every single day. Week Two: Tackle more advanced workouts, learn the basics of movement and recovery, and practice essentials of nutrition and supplementation. Week Three: Uncover key strategies to carve off body fat and build shapely muscle, including lifting, cardio, and nutritional techniques. Week Four: Learn everything you need to raise the bar and continually progress in your workouts. What you'll need to beginComfortable workout clothes and shoes. Access to a gym with weight machines, barbells and dumbbells, and cardio equipment. A BodySpace account to enter your before pictures and stats and track your progress. Optional: Foundational supplements like a protein powder, multivitamin, and fish oil. It's time to kick the couch, break free from frustration, and become your best self. It's time to experience the power of your body, the joy of energy, and the strength of muscle. It's time to change your life.About The AuthorContributing WriterCheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Gavin Brings Intensity To Ireland!

21 July 2014

Vital StatsName: Gavin NeesonEmail: gavinneeson@hotm...Location: Belfast, IrelandAge: 21Height: 6'0"Weight: 209 lbs (95 kg)Years Bodybuilding: 4 QHow did your bodybuildingjourney begin? I used to play football and Irish sports like Gaelic football and hurling. My dad bought weights when I was 15 years old and he started lifting with my brother. I was skinny and started lifting with friends at age 16 in the garage where my dad kept his weights. My dad had posters and magazines that showed how to do exercises properly.My friends and I lifted, listened to music, and challenged each other to determine who was strongest, but I took it more serious. At age 17, I created my own workouts and my dad bought my first protein supplement. I thought I would get huge if I worked out and drank protein, but I wasn't prepared for how difficult it would really be.I got more serious about lifting and trained five nights per week after school with friends as spotters. I slowly drifted away from playing sports to focus my energy on the gym. At this stage, I never imagined I would get big enough to compete in bodybuilding. I lifted to look good and impress the ladies.Cool FactGavin studies software engineering in college when he's not dominating the weightroom!I looked up to Arnold Schwarzenegger, watched his movies, and was fascinated by his body that looked to be carved from stone. I constantly thought about how badly I wanted to look like him."I was delighted with my finish but was determined to come back stronger, so I trained consistently and put on some mass."When I moved out of my parent's home to attend college, I became serious about the gym and tried to put on some muscle. I was 18 years old and didn't know much about diet or training, but I read as much as possible to learn quickly.At age 20, I entered my first junior bodybuilding competition without guidance and placed fifth. I was delighted with my finish but was determined to come back stronger, so I trained consistently and put on some mass.When competition time came around a year later, I was put in contact with a competitor named Mark Getty who helped me with diet and training. Mark taught me what it meant to really train hard and diet properly.With Mark's help, I competed in the junior category again and placed second. I was pumped about the results and was in the best shape of my life. I knew then that this is the path I want to take in life. Fitness is everything to me.What workout regimen delivered the best results? Squat4 sets of 8, 6, 6, and 4 reps Romanian Deadlift3 sets of 12 reps Leg Press3 sets of 12, 10, and 8 reps Hamstring Curl4 sets of 12 reps Leg Extensions2 sets of 12 reps Seated Calf Raise3 sets of 12 reps Incline Dumbbell Press4 sets of 8, 6, 6, and 4 reps Cable Flye4 sets of 12 reps Bench Press4 sets of 12 reps Push-Up3 sets to failure Pec Deck2 sets of 12 reps Skullcrusher3 sets of 12, 10, and 8 reps Dip3 sets of 12 reps Reverse Cable Push-Down3 sets of 12 reps Preacher Curl3 sets of 12, 10, and 8 reps EZ-Bar Curl3 sets of 10 reps Incline Dumbbell Curl3 sets of 12 reps Deadlift3 sets of 5 reps Wide-Grip Pull-Up4 sets to failure Barbell Row3 sets of 12 reps Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Down3 sets of 12, 10, and 8 reps Straight-Arm Pull-Down3 sets of 12 reps Military Press3 sets of 6, 6, and 4 reps Reverse Dumbbell Raise3 sets of 12 reps Dumbbell Lateral Raise4 sets of 12-15 reps Barbell Upright Row3 sets of 12 reps Dumbbell Shrug4 sets of 12 reps Amateurs Of The Week Bodybuilding.com honors amateurs across all categories for their hard work, dedication, and great physiques. Learn how our featured amateurs built their bodies and hit their goals!What nutrition plan fueled your body? Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey50 grams Grapefruit Juice1 serving Black Coffee1 serving Oats100 grams Egg Whites7 whites Eggs3 eggs Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey60 grams NOW Waxy Maize70 grams Chicken200 grams Sweet Potato1 potato Chicken200 grams Basmati Rice100 grams Fish200 grams Basmati Rice100 grams Chicken200 grams Garden Peas100 grams Steak200 grams Egg Whites6 whites What supplements gave you the greatest gains? Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey BCAAs Creatine Monohydrate Omega-3 BCAAs Creatine Monohydrate Omega-3 Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey NOW Waxy Maize "I love the dedication it takes to prevail in bodybuilding because it's all worth it in the end."How did your passion for bodybuilding emerge?I always strive to become better. When I reach a goal, I immediately set another to stay motivated and hungry. I love pushing myself to the limit and testing my boundaries to see how far I can go and how much pain I can take. I love the dedication it takes to prevail in bodybuilding because it's all worth it in the end.What or who motivated you to be a bodybuilder?Having an aesthetic physique drives me to continue bodybuilding, but I believe the initial spark came from Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was blown away by his body and how cool he was in movies.Where did you go for inspiration?If I lack motivation to diet or go to the gym, I think about my competitors who are taking another step. This drives me to push through workouts and fuels my motivation. Listening to motivational speakers on YouTube helps too.What are your future bodybuilding plans?In the next few years, I plan to bulk and put on size before competing again. The next step will most likely be a novice bodybuilding or fitness model competition."If I lack motivation to diet or go to the gym, I think about my competitors who are taking another step. This drives me to push through workouts and fuels my motivation."What is the most important bodybuilding tip?Eat as much as possible, especially if you struggle to gain weight. Know your macros!Who is your favorite bodybuilder?Arnold Schwarzenegger had the most aesthetic physique of all time. His charisma and determination is mind blowing. He knew what he wanted and what it took to get there. He worked hard and earned it. He is, in my opinion, the greatest bodybuilder of all time.How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?When I started lifting, I always looked at the workout articles and tried new workouts until I found one that worked for me. This helped a lot when I started lifting and didn't have a clue.Gavin's Top 5 Gym Tracks"Hold Strong" by Rob Bailey "Never Gonna Stop" by Mind The Gap "Get Up" by 50 Cent "Till I Collapse" by Eminem "Party Up" by DMX Contest History2013 NABBA Junior Mr Northern Ireland - 5th Place 2014 NABBA Junior Mr Northern Ireland - 2nd Place Recommended For YouAmateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Christopher Bet On Brawn! Christopher's competitive bodybuilding career started with a bet and turned into a full-blown fixation. Get the training roadmap he used to build muscle with authority!Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week:Michael Survived The Gain Gauntlet! Michael ditched college football to become a personal trainer and never regretted his decision. Check out the methods he used to build muscle consistently and win competitions!Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week:Bradley Burns With Brawn! Bradley lifted with his father as a teen and let the passion thrive as a man. Get the intense workout plan and spot-on dieting regimen that transformed Bradley into a beast!About The AuthorAmateur Bodybuilder Of The WeekOur Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week has the extraordinary qualities to endure the pain and discipline of bodybuilding. Of course, he/she also...View All Articles By This Author

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6 Keys To Effective Ab Training

18 July 2014

The secret to a sculpted midsection is that there is no secret. It takes a combination of hard work in the gym, excellent dedication to a good nutrition plan, and adequate rest and recovery.The basics are always important, but sometimes we need a little more detail so we can create the best plan for ourselves. That's where I come in. Follow these six steps and you'll have all the tools you need to burn body fat and build strong, good-looking abs. 1 Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition Let's get it out of the way right off the bat: You can't talk about abs, a sculpted midsection, or a great six-pack without putting an emphasis on your nutrition. A good diet is absolutely critical to burning off that layer of body fat hiding your abs from the world. If you don't have a good grasp on nutrition, then you sure as heck won't see your abs."A good diet is absolutely critical to burning off that layer of body fat hiding your abs from the world."The simplest way to handle your nutrition is to stick to all-natural food sources. Avoid overly processed foods, high-calorie beverages, and excess sugar. Eat meals which include a lot of lean protein, like chicken; complex carbs, like asparagus; and healthy fats, like avocado. If you eat enough to feel satisfied, but not overly full, you'll stay satiated longer and be less likely to overeat. Once you understand how a healthy diet works, then you can start to figure out your limitations and the ratio of carbohydrates, fat, and protein which works best for you.If you're already on a healthy meal plan but need to tweak your calorie intake to finally uncover your abs, try this. Calculate your estimated total daily energy expenditure (TEE) by multiplying your weight in pounds by 10, and then multiplying that number by your activity factor. TEE Activity Factors Activity Level Description Activity Factor Low activity Office work; no vigorous activities 1.2-1.3 Low/Moderate Activity Moderately active; some planned activity 1.5-1.6 Moderate activity Active; 1-2 hours of daily exercise 1.6-1.7 High activity Planned vigorous activites; physical labor; full-time athletes 1.9-2.1 The total you get should be the number calories you need to maintain your current weight and body composition. To lose weight: remove somewhere between 200 and 500 calories from your TEE. The number of calories you remove depends on your goals, body type, and timeframe. Be strategic about how many calories you remove. If you've never been in a calorie deficit, then start by removing 100-200 calories from your daily total. You can always decrease the calories you consume as you move forward."Without your abs, you would just crumple forward. Your abs keep your torso upright, preventing the weight from crushing you." 2 Reach Beyond The Crunch Instead of doing endless crunches and other spinal-flexion (bending the spine forward) movements to work your abs, we're going the opposite direction! Although the sheer amount of crunches you see on a daily basis will tell you differently, the main function of your abdominal wall is anti-flexion, anti-extension, and anti-rotation. In other words, your abs keep you upright and balanced against force.If you need a visual for your abdominal "anti" properties, think of yourself doing a front squat. Without your abs, you would just crumple forward. Your abs keep your torso upright, preventing the weight from crushing you. If you have a weak front squat because the weight causes you to fall forward, then guess what? You need some abdominal work.Another great way to train your abs is to focus on the negative portion of flexion exercises like crunches. Instead of doing regular crunches, do negative crunches. Start from the top and slowly lower yourself down. Try this same method when you do reverse crunches and cable crunches. Resist the force of gravity or weight and move slowly through the exercises in reverse. Exercises For Abdominal Wall Functions Anti-extension exercises Anti-rotation exercises Anti-flexion exercises Anti-flexion (lateral) exercises Plank and plank variations, Push-up, TRX fallout Pallof press variations Squat, Front squat, Loaded carry, Deadlift Single-arm loaded carry, Suitcase deadlift, Single-arm waiter walk 3 Hydration Helps You Burn Fat Oh, I know. You've seen bodybuilding shows and you've read things about being "dry" and "cutting" water. But, you're not trying to step on the Olympia stage any time soon, so there's no reason you need to worry about seeing striations in your ass. Water is vital to your health. There's just no reason to stop drinking it.Further, water is an essential part of the fat-burning process. Your liver, which processes fat, needs water to function optimally. If you're dehydrated, you actually put the brakes on fat burning. Water also aids in distributing nutrients and regulates body temperature. Bottom line: If you want to increase your performance and obtain results, stay hydrated!"Water is an essential part of the fat-burning process. If you want to increase your performance and obtain results, stay hydrated!"Don't think for a minute that your Diet Coke is a sufficient alternative for water. Sugar-sweetened beverages—even if the sweetener is artificial and calorie-free—could still potentially add size to your waistline. If you need a break from water, stick to tea or coffee. Diet beverages and energy drinks should be used rarely.But water's boring, you say? I like to put BCAAs in mine. Not only do they taste delicious, but they also help me build and maintain my muscle mass!The amount of water you should drink depends entirely on your body and activity level. You can go by the 8-glasses-per-day rule, but most of us need more than that. 4 Let Your Abs Recover Treat your abdominals like you would any other muscle group—don't train them every day! We don't do a 20-minute leg circuit after every workout, so why would we do an abs circuit?Make a training plan for your abs that incorporates a rest and recovery phase. Then stick to it! Remember that your abs are engaged in many, so many of the exercises you already do. Chances are you already train them every day. 5 Supplements Can Help Supplements can't build your abs, do the work in the gym, or create your nutrition plan for you! But, products like L-carnitine, raspberry ketones, green tea, green coffee bean, chromium, CLA, and caffeine may aid in body fat reduction.Get your training, diet, and recovery right before you worry about supplements. Once you feel ready to try the afore-mentioned supps, do some research so you can find the perfect product for your goals. 6 Be Transparent About Your Goals The more people you make aware of your intentions, the more support you can gather. If you're surrounded by a positive group of supporters—family, friends, coaches, trainers—your chance of success increases dramatically. So aim to build a robust support system.I'm an avid user of BodySpace for this exact reason! I tell people what my goals are and my plans to get there. In return, I get a huge amount of support and a way to hold myself accountable. I don't want to disappoint any of my followers.Recommended For You8 Shoulder Exercises You Must Do Don't settle for the caps you've been dealt! Here's a fun, effective workout that is sure to put some extra muscle on your shoulders.Pack On 60 Pounds: Your NewMuscle-Building Plan Zane Hadzick knows what it's like to be skinny and weak. He can help you pack on pounds, increase your strength, and leave your scrawny self in the dust! Here's the plan.BodySpace Member Of The Month: Zane Hadzick When BodySpace launched, Zane was there. He watched it grow into the network it is today. See how it helped him over the years.About The AuthorContributing WriterCheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

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16 Heavy Metal Workout Songs From The '80s

18 July 2014

On a scale from Taylor Swift to Ozzy Osbourne, we can only hope that your workout playlist falls toward the latter. But, if you're not familiar with the face-shredding guitar riffs of '80s metal bands, your workout music needs an upgrade.Push past poppy tunes, break out your leather lifting gloves, and get ready to head bang your way to PR glory. Take a gander at this list that’s sure to help you delve into the pits of hard core metal and rip that bar from the ground.These 16 songs encapsulate the era and the sound. For best results, play music loudly.And feel free to rock out on the air guitar between sets. 1 Metallica, "Master Of Puppets" via Warner Music GroupLet this heavy metal riff empower you to smash PRs, destroy your muscles, and make them obey their master. Remember, you pull the strings. 2 Metallica, "One" via Warner Music GroupEven if you're having the worst day ever, it's got to be better than this guy's. Push through the pain, fight the stifling silence, and scream your way through that last rep. Don't forget to go full-on air guitar during that sweet riff. 3 Metallica, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" via Sony Music Entertainment / RED DistributionTheir lyrics are great, but it's the power of the guitar, the texture of the music that makes Metallica an essential part of any workout playlist. We'll let you in on a little secret: the bell tolls for the workout you're about to kill! 4 Guns N' Roses, "Welcome To The Jungle" via Universal Music GroupWelcome to the weight jungle. Swing from the bars, sling around barbells, and be prepared to bear crawl your way through cardio hell, baby. 5 Motörhead, "Ace Of Spades" via Universal Music GroupKick your training off with this fast-paced song and you've already secured a winning hand. Train hard, up the ante, but be sure to take pleasure in the moment. Do this, and you'll come out on top. Aces! 6 Iron Maiden, "The Number of the Beast" via EMIYou need a song for beast mode motivation? There's no better choice than this Iron Maiden classic hit. Work on your shred while you listen to some '80s metal guitar shred. 7 Iron Maiden "Hallowed Be Thy Name" via EMIWe dare you to use this song as a measuring tool for your fitness feats. Can you make a set of squats last seven minutes? We dare you to try it. 8 Slayer, "Raining Blood" via Universal Music GroupNo matter how hard you try, you'll never achieve the head-banging badassness that is Slayer's legacy. You can, however, create your own awesome legacy—start with lifting heavy weight! 9 Judas Priest, "Breaking the Law" via Sony Music EntertainmentTake a leaf out of Judas Priest's book and start breaking the laws...of genetics! Crank up the volume, grab a barbell, and grow. 10 Judas Priest "Electric Eye" via Sony Music EntertainmentThe only problem with having "Electric Eye" playing in your headphones is that you might spend the whole song wondering what the hell an "electric eye" actually is. A laser? A robot? Will we ever know? 11 Dio, "Holy Diver" via Warner Music Group"Holy diver" and "ride the tiger": We're not sure there are any two more glorious lines in all of music. Can your workout keep up with the awesome? 12 Manowar, "Brothers of Metal (Part 1)" via Universal Music GroupThis one's pretty self explanatory. Whether we're talking musical genre or weights and plates, the message is clear: Strike while the iron's hot, brothers of metal. We'll always be there with our hands in the air. That is, unless they're wrapped around a barbell. 13 Ozzy Osbourne, "Crazy Train" via Sony Music EntertainmentType A's are overrated. Feel yourself going off the rails? Embrace that sentiment with this Ozzy classic. All aboard! 14 Danzig, "Mother" via Universal Music GroupTake this as a letter of forewarning, parental units. The truth is, no one can hide from the waiting world. What can help protect you? Muscles, lots of muscles. Lift heavy and make your competition cower. 15 Mötley Crüe, "Shout at the Devil" via Warner Music GroupIf this song doesn't motivate you to finally shout at the asshole doing biceps curls in the squat rack, you're a lost cause. Be the wolf screaming lonely in the night. 16 Anthrax, "Madhouse" via Universal Music GroupWe can all relate to feeling insane sometimes. That's why we go to the gym, right? Catharsis! No matter how crappy you feel, remember how awesome you'll feel after your workout.Recommended For YouFitstagram Vol. 17: 15 Posts Of Undeniable Awesome Bodybuilding, gymnastics, powerlifting—we love all types of fitness. Here are 15 Instagram posts that show just how diverse talent can be. #bestselfWe 'Mirin Vol. 68: 22 TRANSFORMATIONS YOU HAVE TO SEE TO BELIEVE Congratulations to the Dymatize $100k Challenge winners and finalists! Your hard work and dedication to achieving your goals makes us all proud.WORKOUT MUSIC VOL. 8: CT FLETCHER'S TRAINING TUNES CT Fletcher is one of the biggest, baddest trainers in America. We caught up with this beast to hear the sweet sounds he listens to when he lifts.About The AuthorContributing WriterCheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

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We 'Mirin Vol. 76: 15 Amazing Summer Bodies

18 July 2014

Home | Store | Products | Careers | Help | Contact Us | Terms of Use | About Us | Checkout | Site Map | Advertise With Us | Affiliates© 2014 Bodybuilding.com, LLC. All rights reserved. Bodybuilding.comsm and BodySpace® are trademarks of Bodybuilding.com, LLC.© Bodybuilding.com, 5777 N. Meeker Ave, Boise, ID 83713 USA - 1-866-236-8417

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