Archive | January, 2014

Bodybuilding.com Original Fiction: Survival Of The Fittest

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<div id="DPG" webReader="151"><p>When it comes to building muscle, boosting your performance, adding strength, or torching fat, staying hungry for success is key. No matter how hungry you are, however, plateaus and hurdles will rise. Whether your workout program stops yielding results or you just hit a motivational snag, the time will come when you need to push the envelope and hit some new training techniques.</p><p>Don't get complacent with your workouts, personal bests, or results. Focus on progress, and keep getting better! Every training session is a chance to improve, especially if you add some new tools to your training kit. To kick things up a notch, break free of plateaus, and jumpstart your workout, check out these six cool tips and techniques.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">1 Go Slow to Grow</h3>
</p><p>Wander into any gym and you're bound to see someone lifting at lightning speed. I'm sure you've seen a guy at your local gym blasting through biceps curls by the dumbbell rack, gunning each arm like it's a death race. Alas, many trainees make this mistake. They perform every exercise and rep as quickly as possible, using momentum to swing the weight up before letting pull it back down.</p><p>When it comes to training, tempo and timing are key. Slow down your movement pattern. You don't necessarily have to use a glacial training tempo, but you should pause at the top and bottom of each rep. Keep tension on the working muscle, but don't let yourself swing the weight. Doing this will place more total stress on the muscle tissue, causing more stimulus for growth.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/6-training-tips-to-skyrocket-your-results-1.jpg" width="560" height="397" border="0"/><p>"When it comes to training, tempo and timing are key."</p><p>If you really want to spur new results, slow the down the eccentric portion of your big lifts. The eccentric portion of a repetition is the lowering phase, like lowering the weight in a biceps curl. Slow eccentric lifting can create more mechanical muscular damage and lead to increased growth, so go slow when you want to grow!</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">2 Stagger Your Calories</h3>
</p><p>If you're like most people trying to build muscle or cut fat, you're probably pounding calorie-boosting, muscle-building meals or eating light to ensure you come in at a calorie deficit. If you're eating the right quantity and quality of foods, you should be seeing results in either direction. But are you seeing the best results possible? If progress has slowed, try staggering your calories.</p><p>Those who stagger their calories tend to see superior results over those who keep them at a baseline level throughout the week. Sure, staggering takes a bit more work on the planning front, but it's worth it, and the main recipe is pretty darn simple: Eat more on the days you train, and less on the days you don't.</p><p>If your aim is more size, a staggered calorie approach with a greater surplus on your training days will give you fuel for exercise and growth when you really need it. Likewise, if you're dieting, taking a larger deficit on non-training days and eating closer to maintenance on workout days will keep you better fueled for intense training and help prevent a metabolic crash due to constant low-calorie intake.</p><img class="float-left c11" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/6-training-tips-to-skyrocket-your-results-2.jpg" width="239" height="321" border="0"/><p>"Find that next level, discover what it feels like, and then raise your expectations of what you need to do to create change."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">3 Train With Someone<br /><span class="c13">Stronger</span></h3>
</p><p>BPI Vice President James Grage rebuilt a competition-worthy physique after surviving a brutal car crash. Once he recreated his foundation, he found a workout buddy with more experience to take kick his results up a notch. "To take your training to the next level, you have to know what the next level is," he says.</p><p>"You may think that you're giving it 100 percent, but what are you basing that on?" James asks. "Do you really know what you're capable of? You won't know until you push yourself beyond what you're familiar or comfortable with." Train with someone who trains harder than you. Find that next level, discover what it feels like, and then raise your expectations of what you need to do to create change.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">4 Alter Your Macronutrient Ratio</h3>
</p><p>You've probably read diet advice that says moderate-to-high carbs, moderate protein, and lower fat intake is best for muscle-building success. But, have you ever tried something else? While a higher carb intake works for some people hungry for weight gain, others see even better results when they boost their fat intake and keep carbs down.</p><p>In short, don't chain your diet to one specific macro ratio without engaging in some personal exploration. Once you've mastered calorie management, try shuffling your macronutrients around. Play around with your different macronutrient percentages to find what works best for your body. Different ratios might boost your results and help you feel better on a day-to-day basis.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">5 Shut Down The Machines</h3>
</p><p>Weight machines are great for specific applications and overall exercise variety. With many machines, you don't have to worry as much about technique or form, but if you're really looking to advance, free weights are essential. Using dumbbells and barbells requires more total muscle activation because you need to stabilize yourself through each lift. That same required stabilization will help strengthen your core and various accessory muscles.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/6-training-tips-to-skyrocket-your-results-3.jpg" width="560" height="357" border="0" class="c14"/><h6 class="altH6 c15">Barbell Deadlift</h6><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">6 Try A Heavy, High-Rep Set</h3>
</p><p>If you really need to supercharge a single training session, combine intensity and volume for one heavy, high-rep set. Unlike other sets, where you goal is to move through each reps before resting, this protocol calls for you to take a brief 10-second pause between each rep you perform. Doing this will allow you to move into a higher rep range per set while using a heavier weight.</p><p>Using this technique, you can train your body to better tolerate fatigue while lifting a near-maximal load. You'll start developing a higher level of muscle strength than you previously thought possible, and you'll create more muscular damage and metabolic stress. Guess what those cause? More growth.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bpisports/bpisports.htm"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bpi-sports-banner-2.jpg" width="560" height="144" class="c16"/></a><br class="c17"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="40.009569378"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.54088050314"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm">Shannon Clark</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm"><img src="images/2013/writer-shannon-clark-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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6 Training Tips To Skyrocket Your Results

When it comes to building muscle, boosting your performance, adding strength, or torching fat, staying hungry for success is key. No matter how hungry you are, however, plateaus and hurdles will rise. Whether your workout program stops yielding results or you just hit a motivational snag, the time will come when you need to push […]

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Lying Leg Curls

Leg Slayer: Rich Gaspari's Transformational Leg Day

Vital Stats Name: Rich GaspariOccupation: CEO of Gaspari Nutrition, IFBB Hall of Fame BodybuilderWebsite: gasparinutrition.com/richgaspari The first cover I did for “Iron Man” magazine was in 1988 as the hero, Hercules incarnate. My last cover shoot was the April 1992 edition—or so I thought. I never dreamed I would be featured on a cover 20 […]

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Fitness 360: Dr. Sara Solomon, Fitter Faster

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2014 IFBB Legends Classic Pro Bikini

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, 2026 S Silverstone Way, Meridian, ID 83642 USA […]

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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Randy Goes Hard At 54!

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Workout Music Vol. 7: Amanda Latona's High-Energy Playlist

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<div id="DPG" webReader="178.5"><p>I've been hearing a lot lately from people "in the know" about how competitive athletes should never lift heavy. "All it'll do is make you bulky and slow," they say. "You need high reps. Don't ever squat/deadlift/clean/snatch/row, because those are bad for your knees/back/whatever." You get the picture.</p><img class="float-right c10" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/heavy-lifting-for-athletes-2.jpg" width="225" height="361" border="0"/><p>So what's the alternative? I look around, and damnit if coaches don't have their clients standing on a stability gadget with legs akimbo and a kettlebell dangling somewhere or other. For crying out loud, they do stuff that would make my yoga friends cringe! And they call it "functional training for sports." What is that? When has training for sports ever not been "functional?" Can somebody tell me the last time they saw a football field or an MMA cage made up of Bosu balls?</p><p>It's time to set things straight. There is a time and place for non-heavy training, for sure. But forsaking heavy training altogether is a bad idea. I've got more than two decades of training elite athletes under my belt from over 30 different sports, and at some point, they all trained heavy. If you want to be elite, I'm here to tell you that, sooner or later, you've gotta put a heavy bar on your back.</p><h3 class="article-title">Forget What You've Been Told</h3><p>Before we get into any of the nitty gritty, let's destroy the most prevalent myths I hear from athletes about lifting heavy.</p><ol class="dpg-list"><li><em>Lifting heavy will make me fat.</em> Only if you eat more than you need. So don't.</li>
<li><em>Lifting heavy will ruin my flexibility.</em> Two words: Flex Wheeler. Next.</li>
<li><em>Lifting heavy will make me overtrain.</em> Not if you cycle like I'm going to show you. If you do any type of training too much, you can overtrain.</li>
<li><em>I will develop an imbalanced physique if I take out isolation exercises.</em> Way wrong. Compound and multi-joint movements will work every muscle like you never have before. If anything, you're more likely to get "unbalanced," whatever you think that means, by living on a steady diet of isolation movements.</li>
</ol><img class="c11" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/heavy-lifting-for-athletes-3.jpg" width="560" height="363" border="0"/><p>None of this is to say that you should lift heavy all the time, like hitting max lifts five times per week for six weeks straight. Nor is this an excuse to throw around ego-inflating amounts of weight with crappy form. Unfortunately, these are some of the things many people do when they think they're training heavy. Lifting heavy is a planned assault, and I've got your plan.</p><h3 class="article-title">Why Train Heavy?</h3><p>In short, resistance training enhances all other types of training. It's simple physics: Whether you want to hit harder, move faster, or hit an extra gear when victory is on the line, you need your muscles to be able apply more force than your opponent's. And your muscles get better at applying that force when you train with heavy weight.</p><p>When you train heavy—and correctly—these are some of the benefits you can expect:</p><ul class="dpg-list"><li>More power for hitting or pushing into balls, the ground, obstacles, or opponents</li>
<li>More explosive speed</li>
<li>Long-duration power production from more efficient motor unit recruitment</li>
<li>Denser muscles</li>
<li>Bigger muscles</li>
<li>Increased testosterone production</li>
<li>Denser bones</li>
<li>More resilient muscle fibers</li>
</ul><p>How does this sound so far?</p><p>Plus, no matter how exciting your sport may be, trust me when I say there's a special type of thrill that comes from walking up to a weight that should kill you, and then moving it against all that gravity. Knowing that you beat the iron, yourself, and your previous PR, even though you're physically drained, delivers an unequaled rush.</p><h3 class="article-title">The Wavy Road to Heavy</h3><p>I'm a proponent of what's called undulating periodization, or non-linear periodization. Simply put, it's a training regimen that succeeds by having you alternate very light days with I'm-gonna-crush-myself-to-death heavy days. There have been some people over the last few years who claimed to have invented it, but it's been around for about 60 years and originally came from the Eastern Bloc countries.</p><p>Like other forms of periodization, undulating periodization's ultimate aim is to get you to lift a heavier weight over time. But alternating workouts allows you to actually train more than you would be able to if you simply pushed for absolute strength in a linear progression. Along the way, you develop other athletic traits while also saving yourself from injury—and insanity.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/heavy-lifting-for-athletes-1.jpg" width="560" height="375" border="0"/><p>"Like other forms of periodization, undulating periodization's ultimate aim is to get you to lift a heavier weight over time."</p><p>Generally, I suggest hitting a one-rep max on a particular lift only about once a month. Now, don't take that to mean you have license to slack off the other three weeks. During that time, you'll be training for speed, power, and hitting maxes on your other lifts. Yeah, not much rest here.</p><p>Still, I strongly recommend that a program like this should only be undertaken by an experienced lifter, and if you're a competitive athlete, during an off-season. It can be pretty intense, and I don't want you to overdo it.</p><p>The easiest thing for most people to do when implementing a heavy training program, no matter their sport or goal, is to organize their program around three weekly training sessions: a push day, a pull day, and a leg day. Each of these days will also further break down into a weekly heavy strength day, a medium power day, and a light speed day.</p><p>Here's an outline of how it would work over the course of a three-week microcycle:</p><h4 class="article-title">Week 1</h4><div class="left-side-stripe" webReader="-10"><p><strong>Monday: Heavy Legs</strong><br />>95% 1RM, 3 sets of 4 or fewer reps, 5 minute rest<br /><em>Example movement: Back squat</em></p><p><strong>Wednesday: Light Push</strong><br />70-75% 1RM, 4 sets of 10-12 reps, 1 min rest<br /><em>Example movement: Medicine ball chest throw</em></p><p><strong>Friday: Medium Pull</strong><br />83-88% 1RM, 3 sets of 6-8 reps, 2 min rest<br /><em>Example movement: Pull-ups, weighted if necessary</em></p></div><h4 class="article-title">Week 2</h4><div class="left-side-stripe" webReader="-7"><p><strong>Monday: Medium Legs</strong></p><p>83-88% 1RM, 3 sets of 6-8 reps, 2 min rest</p><p><em>Example movement: Front squat</em></p><p><strong>Wednesday: Heavy Push</strong></p><p>>95% 1RM, 3 sets of 4 or fewer reps, 5 minute rest</p><p><em>Example movement: Bench press</em></p><p><strong>Friday: Light Pull</strong></p><p>70-75% 1RM, 4 sets of 10-12 reps, 1 min rest</p><p><em>Example movement: Speed deadlifts</em></p></div><h4 class="article-title">Week 3</h4><div class="left-side-stripe" webReader="-7"><p><strong>Monday: Light legs</strong></p><p>70-75% 1RM, 4 sets of 10-12 reps, 1 min rest</p><p><em>Example movement: Plyometric box work</em></p><p><strong>Wednesday: Medium push</strong></p><p>83-88% 1RM, 3 sets of 6-8 reps, 2 min rest</p><p><em>Example movement: Incline bench presss</em></p><p><strong>Friday: Heavy pull</strong></p><p>>95% 1RM, 3 sets of 4 or fewer reps, 5 minute rest</p><p><em>Example movement: Barbell deadlift</em></p></div><h3 class="article-title">The Details</h3><p>Now, after all of this is said and done, you may be asking yourself, "But wait! What about my beloved accessory movements?" You can include them judiciously in this program, but you need to alter your way of thinking about them.</p><p>Accessories in this regimen are not the same as in a bodybuilding program. As I mentioned before, we're not really concerned here about isolating any single muscle; rather, our thinking must stay focused on the development of overall strength and improved neurological connection to the muscle group. So accessory lifts should be planned to that end: placed after your primary movements, with similar reps, sets, rest, and loads to the rest of the program. A couple of examples include walking lunges on leg day and floor triceps presses on pressing day. Just don't go so overboard with them that they interfere with the project of building strength!</p><p>Another question that rarely gets asked but usually should: "What if I miss a day? Is the whole cycle ruined?" The great thing about this program is that it is flexible and can be altered depending on the condition of the athlete on a particular day. For example, say we're doing a 6-week cycle, and we have an athlete scheduled for a heavy leg day, but he comes into our facility feeling exhausted from practice. Max effort is out of the question, so we can switch out his heavy leg day for a light leg day, and then we'll make up the heavy day the next week. As long as the integrity of the overall program is maintained, he'll keep making progress.</p><p>This program is simple, but I've seen it work wonders with a wide range of athletes. Cycle it in and benefit from the basics. Strong muscles are the foundation of everything else in athletics, so don't be afraid to go heavy!</p><br /><br class="c12"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="38.4738095238"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.25"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/michael-palmieri.html">Michael S. Palmieri</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/michael-palmieri.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Michael is the Director of Performance and Research at The Institute of Sport Science & Athletic Conditioning in Las Vegas.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/michael-palmieri.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-michael-palmieri-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/michael-palmieri.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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Get Under The Bar: Heavy Lifting For Athletes

I’ve been hearing a lot lately from people “in the know” about how competitive athletes should never lift heavy. “All it’ll do is make you bulky and slow,” they say. “You need high reps. Don’t ever squat/deadlift/clean/snatch/row, because those are bad for your knees/back/whatever.” You get the picture. So what’s the alternative? I look around, […]

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<div id="DPG" webReader="171.46547675"><p>Physical transformation is no easy feat. From Tupperware-packed meals to early morning workouts, successful transformation requires planning and execution. However, even with the details dialed, meal prep and good intentions won't get you out the door. You need motivation to put your plans into action.</p><p>If you're like most people, the "can do" attitude of week one won't necessarily carry through to week 12. So, how do you turn a discouraging bump down the road into a motivational push? If you've ever fallen off the transformation bandwagon and lost hope on the path to a brand new you, it's time to solidify some techniques to help you nail success.</p><p>Here are seven foolproof tips, including some pro suggestions from the athletes of <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cellucor/cellucor.htm">Cellucor</a>, that are guaranteed to keep you pumped for the entire transformation process.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">1 Make Micro Goals</h3>
</p><p>Step before you leap! One of the biggest mistakes people make is placing all their focus on a long-term goal instead of looking at short-term milestones. Why? Because focusing on the big picture alone can get frustrating and derail your success.</p><p>"It's great to have a big picture in mind," Cellucor athlete <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/craigcapurso/">Craig Capurso</a> explains, "but many people get discouraged when they don't see their year-long goal physique materialize in a matter of weeks."</p><p><img src="images/2014/7-transformation-tips-image-1.jpg" width="560" height="172"/></p><p>By focusing on more immediate and measurable goals—like getting stronger every week, or losing a small amount of weight in two weeks—you can keep your focus laser sharp.</p><p>Completing and setting micro goals will help you reach your long-term goal without even realizing it. You'll hit the finish line with more accomplishments in what seems like a shorter timeframe.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">2 One Change At A Time</h3>
</p><p>Sometimes, you need to break things down even further. <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/fitnessjewell/">Jen Jewell</a>, who <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/body-transformation-jen-jewells-road-to-pro.html">completed her own transformation</a> by losing 45 pounds and dropping her body fat by 21 percent, made just one small change at a time.</p><img src="images/2014/7-transformation-tips-image-2.jpg" width="239" height="154" border="0" class="right-image"/><p>For example, swap in one old habit for a healthier alternative. Not sure where to start? Think simple and straightforward. "It could be something as simple as eating an extra serving of veggies, packing your gym bag the night before your workout, or adding an extra five minutes of cardio to your training sessions," Jen explains.</p><p>Jen brought gym clothes to work during her own transformation so she could hit the gym after work without stopping at home first. "When you go home, it's too easy to sit down, relax a bit, and make excuses about why you should just hit the gym tomorrow," she says.</p><p>By omitting the middle man, Jen significantly increased her gym attendance—key point in any transformation.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">3 Celebrate Every Success</h3>
</p><p><img src="images/2014/7-transformation-tips-image-3.jpg" width="188" height="568" border="0" class="right-image"/></p><p>As you set, crush, and surpass your micro and super-micro goals, remember to make time to celebrate each and every achievement. Don't consider yourself a failure if you don't reach your transformation goal by the set end date. Keep the big picture in mind and remember the importance of the word "progress."</p><p>Have you increased your effort in the gym? Has your one-rep deadlift max gone up? If you're in a better place than when you started, you're transforming.</p><p>Just like strikes in baseball, small failures in life are inevitable, but you still have to keep swinging. One failure isn't grounds for quitting. Swing again and keep the game going.</p><p>Remember, every positive change you make is a step in the right direction.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">4 Banish Self-Doubt</h3>
</p><p>Do everything in your power to banish self-doubt. As <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/fitnessjewell/">Jen Jewell</a> says, "Know that you're capable of far more than you think." If you work hard and stay dedicated, you'll accomplish what you set out to do.</p><p>If you're riddled with self-doubt and negative self-talk on a daily basis, set aside some time to get to the root of the issue. Are you letting one bad experience fuel your sense of failure? Is someone's discouraging comment dragging you down?</p><p>Start questioning whether your doubts are actually valid. Often, when you really start to think about it, you'll realize you've confirmed negative thoughts that aren't even true. That's also when you realize that you have the power to overcome them.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">5 It's a Lifestyle</h3>
</p><p><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/kbaymiller/">Karina Baymiller</a>, who lost 50 pounds during <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/body-transformation-fitness-formula.html">her initial transformation</a>, points out the importance of undergoing a maintainable lifestyle change rather than adopting an all-or-nothing attitude.</p><p>"We expect so much from ourselves that we move away from a lifestyle of eating right and training into an all-or-nothing diet and exercise program," she says. "This is the mindset that many people get stuck in. They eat one cupcake and think 'I screwed up today, so I may as well eat 30.' That's when failure happens."</p><p><img src="images/2014/7-transformation-tips-image-4.jpg" width="560" height="442" class="c11"/></p><p>Remember that creating, implementing, and building on healthy habits happens slowly. Allow for weekly cheat meals, don't beat yourself up for occasional slip-ups, and don't try to sprint an entire marathon. Build up your fitness endurance slowly and surely.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">6 Put the Past Behind You</h3>
</p><p>The past is in the past. There's no going back to change it. If you made a mistake yesterday, indulged in something you shouldn't have, or skipped the gym, that doesn't mean that you can't do better tomorrow. Don't let yesterday's failure bog you down today.</p><p>Live in the moment, and put forward 100 percent effort. If you live in the past, you'll let it influence the choices you make today and tomorrow, which can render you powerless to create change. Think of each day as a fresh start to do exactly what you need to do to reach your short and long-term goals.</p><p>While you may not be able to control everything, you do control how you let situations impact you.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">7 Always Be Prepared</h3>
</p><img src="images/2014/7-transformation-tips-image-5.jpg" width="282" height="321" border="0" class="right-image c12"/><p>The best way to foolproof your transformation is to go in as prepared as possible. If you don't take the time to prepare for each day, you're inviting unhealthy choices.</p><p>Just ask <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fitness-360-colton-leonard-stronger-than-stone.html">Colton Leonard</a>, former football player, bodybuilder, and current strongman: "Shortcuts don't work," he explains. "Take some time out of today to prepare for tomorrow, whether that means packaging your meals or organizing your schedule to make time for the gym. You must plan ahead to reach your goals."</p><p>Start scheduling your workouts just like you would a doctor's appointment, and never leave home without some type of healthy snack. You never know when you may get stuck in a meeting, get caught in traffic, or otherwise get stuck without nearby healthy choices.</p><p>Prepare for obstacles so that, when they do appear, you can overcome them with ease.</p><br /><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cellucor/cellucor.htm"><img src="images/2013/cellucor-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144"/></a><br class="c13"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="40.009569378"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.54088050314"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm">Shannon Clark</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm"><img src="images/2013/writer-shannon-clark-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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Fitness Made Easy: 7 Foolproof Transformation Tips

Physical transformation is no easy feat. From Tupperware-packed meals to early morning workouts, successful transformation requires planning and execution. However, even with the details dialed, meal prep and good intentions won’t get you out the door. You need motivation to put your plans into action. If you’re like most people, the “can do” attitude of […]

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<div id="DPG" webReader="189.623640961"><p>How do the toughest athletes in the gym summon the strength to hit their goals rep after rep, set after set, and year after year? How do they consistently add weight to the bar, train harder, and perform better? Brute force and sheer willpower can do wonders for a single workout, but elite trainees have to maintain a high level of mental intensity for the long haul. They have to find ways to take that inner voice that screams "one more rep" and let it ring in <em>and</em> out of the weight room.</p><p>Take the members of <a href="http://proseries.twinlab.com/militia/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Twinlab's Fuel Team Militia</a>. Their goals and backgrounds run the gamut, from former college football player and powerlifter Jason Wheat, to competitive bodybuilder Ronnie Milo, to Twinlab executive Chris Thompson, who aims to stay lean and ripped at age 45 amid a hectic travel and work schedule. But these diverse brothers in iron share a vision of what works best in the gym, and they hold each other accountable to it.</p><p>Here's how they manage to keep upping the ante over the long term, and how you can, too.</p><h3 class="article-title">Meet the Militia</h3><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/militia-mindset-5-must-read-mental-intensity-tips-1.jpg" width="560" height="185" border="0" class="c10"/><div class="c16" webReader="15"><div class="cool-fact2 c13" webReader="12"><h3>Ronnie Milo</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/brklynkd/" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c11"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/ronnie.milo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Facebook"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><a href="http://instagram.com/_musoles#" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Instagram"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/instagram-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><p><strong>Occupation:</strong><br />Sales rep, Twinlab<br /><strong>Athletic Goal:</strong><br />Competitive bodybuilder</p><p>"I want to be proportionate, work on my weak spots, and make sure I give 100 percent in the gym."</p></div><div class="cool-fact2 c14" webReader="11"><h3>Jason Wheat</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/jwheat54/" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c11"/></a><a href="http://instagram.com/jwheat54" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Instagram"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/instagram-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><p><strong>Occupation:</strong><br />Firefighter, Florida<br /><strong>Athletic Goal:</strong><br />Powerlifter, coming back from pec injury</p><p>"My goal is to compete in powerlifting again."<br /></p></div><div class="cool-fact2 c15" webReader="12"><h3>Chris Thompson</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/MilitiaMuscle/" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c11"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/CTFitness" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Facebook"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><a href="http://instagram.com/christhompsonfitness#" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Instagram"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/instagram-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><p><strong>Occupation:</strong> VP of Sports Nutrition, Twinlab<br /><strong>Athletic Goal:</strong><br />Ripped physique</p><p>"I just want to be as strong, hard, and lean as I can be."</p></div></div><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">1 Compete</h3>
</p><p>Jason Wheat spent two years working as a contract firefighter in Iraq, where he buddied up with Army Rangers, Delta Force operators, and other service members on the base where he was stationed. Surrounded by these strong allies, his competitive side came to life as Wheat smashed one insane workout after another.</p><p>Soon enough, Wheat started thinking bigger. He began working specifically to realize his long-held goal of becoming a competitive powerlifter. Along the way, he cut down from 295 pounds to a ripped 245, finding the type of athleticism he hadn't experienced since his college football days. When the opportunity to compete finally arose, he was so determined to make it happen, Wheat flew 25 hours straight from Iraq to Honolulu, Hawaii for a powerlifting meet.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/militia-mindset-5-must-read-mental-intensity-tips-2.jpg" width="560" height="404" border="0"/><p>Jason's competitive side came to life as he smashed his insane workouts.</p><p>Does this mean you have to set your eyes on an international competition in order to get results? Of course not. You just have to be as serious as if a title <em>were</em> on the line. You can battle against your buddies, your heroes, adversaries in your head, or just against yourself. Chris Thompson does this every day in his current training program, which requires that he push himself to failure on every movement, every day. "It feels like a tug-of-war with myself," he says. "Like a fight for my life."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">2 Create Rituals</h3>
</p><p>"I have a rule: Leave it at the Door," says Ronnie Milo. Every day when he walks into the gym, Milo sheds every distraction so he can focus on becoming the best bodybuilder he can be. This has been crucial for his success, he says, but he admits it isn't always as easy as it sounds. That's why he engages in a precise pre-training ritual to get his mind into the weight room, which includes dropping the day, taking a <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/twinlab/pro-series-mvp-fuel.html" target="_blank"></a>pre-workout supplement, and visualizing the battle ahead.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/militia-mindset-5-must-read-mental-intensity-tips-3.jpg" width="560" height="381" border="0" class="c18"/><p>Thompson says the same approach works for him. "When I take my pre-workout, it gets me fired up, focused, and intensified. It puts me in the right mood and frame of mind to be ready to work out," the busy executive says, "but it's also important simply because it's a ritual. It's the signal that helps me shift my mindset to the place I need to be in to give my workout everything I have."</p><p>Don't expect a pre-workout to create all your intensity and motivation for you. That's still your job. But as part of an established ceremony, one can help you place a bull's-eye on the task at hand and attack it relentlessly.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">3 Follow the Leaders</h3>
</p><p>Social media isn't all pictures of babies and cats. It's also a free, interactive hall of fame where you can have unparalleled access to the athletes you admire most. Use it! Put your overpriced data plan to work by integrating some world-class inspiration into your pre-workout ritual.</p><p>"Instagram is a great way to get inspired before you train," Jason Wheat says. "I like to look at photos of people I look up to, who have physiques I admire, and who have achieved things that I want to achieve. I do it almost every time before I train, and it helps me focus. I follow Phil Heath, Dana Linn Bailey, Kai Greene and Jay Cutler. Cutler posts photos of his food, what he's doing day-to-day, training pictures, and posing pictures."</p><iframe src="//instagram.com/p/jrU1cNNPQS/embed/" width="560" height="650" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><p>Follow your heroes on social media, if they're there. If they aren't, find <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/" target="_blank">an inspiring fitness community</a> and discover a new set of up-and-coming fitness role models. Look at their photos, read about their routines, and visualize yourself achieving the results you want when you hit the gym.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">4 Train with Other People</h3>
</p><p>Sometimes your schedule or your goals mean you have to train alone. Milo, for example, usually has to lock it down and go solo to fit his very specific, strict bodybuilding routine into his workday. But all three athletes featured here believe that when your workout program and timing afford you the opportunity, you should train with a partner or around other people.</p><p>"You can feed off a training partner's intensity, and if you're feeling bad, he can change your mindset around completely. It gives you someone to push you and someone for you to push," says Wheat. The members of the Militia have been known to take this technique to the next level by staging entire gym takeovers at weight rooms around the country. When you look at every barbell in the room and see it being crushed by a friend you admire, you'll know the power of training as a team.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/militia-mindset-5-must-read-mental-intensity-tips-4.jpg" width="560" height="228" border="0" class="c18"/><p>If a takeover isn't for you, the people in the facility where you train can be an incredible source of inspiration, too. "There's a guy in a wheelchair who trains in the LA Fitness where I train when I'm at home," Chris Thompson says. "I see how hard he works and say to myself, 'He's not quitting. Are you going to?'"</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">5 Turn Up The Music</h3>
</p><img class="float-right c19" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/militia-mindset-5-must-read-mental-intensity-tips-5.jpg" width="268" height="430" border="0"/><p>The music you choose is as personal as your goals and program.</p><p>By now, you've probably seen two guys working out together who are both wearing headphones and totally ignoring each other. If you're training with a partner, don't be one of those guys. "With a lifting partner, I never wear headphones," insists Wheat. "I want us to be there for each other."</p><p>Nevertheless, the firefighter grants that, just like there's a time when a partner can provide the perfect boost, there's a time when the only way to power through a brutal routine is to grind it out solo. For those times, he puts on a face and a pair of headphones roughly equivalent to a "Do not disturb" sign. "If I'm training alone, I have my headphones on and I'm not big into talking to anybody," he says.</p><p>For Milo, music is just another crucial piece of equipment, like a belt or straps. "If you look at horse racing, the horses wear blinders. That's what my headphones do—they're my blinders," Milo says. "Music drowns out distractions and noises like people screaming or dropping weights. It takes me into my realm."</p><p>For Thompson, music helps him get centered and find the right headspace, but blaring beats and guitars are optional. "Music is key, but it can vary by my mood," he says. "Sometimes it's Metallica, but sometimes it's the classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma."</p><p>The music you choose is as personal as your goals and program. But just like the other fundamentals above, you should have it nailed down before you set foot in the gym. Leave your intensity up to chance, and you're leaving your results up to chance. Take a cue from the Militia: Get your mind right before you train your body.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/tl/twin.htm"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/twinlab-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144" border="0" class="c21"/></a><br class="c22"/></div>

Militia Mindset: 5 Must-Read Mental Intensity Tips

How do the toughest athletes in the gym summon the strength to hit their goals rep after rep, set after set, and year after year? How do they consistently add weight to the bar, train harder, and perform better? Brute force and sheer willpower can do wonders for a single workout, but elite trainees have […]

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Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on Militia Mindset: 5 Must-Read Mental Intensity Tips

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