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Home gym under $100

Suspension straps for toning and fat loss 

“Suspension straps are easily one of the most versatile and popular apparatuses on the market,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.

“They can be used to isolate particular muscle groups, or as a full-body compound or high-intensity workout.”

Plyometric box for cardio, toning and fat loss

Plyometric boxes and aerobic steps come in a range of heights and sizes to adhere to varying fitness levels and exercise goals.

Kettlebell for toning and fat loss

“With proper technique, kettlebells can be used to train your entire body for both toning and fat-burning goals,” says Strickland.

Compound movements such as the kettlebell swing, in which the centre of gravity shifts, work the entire body while moves native to dumbbell workouts often isolate one or two muscle groups.

Resistance bands for activation, recovery and toning

Also known as physio bands or Thera-Bands, resistance bands are often used to improve flexibility or for rehabilitative purposes.

“Resistance bands are great for rehabilitation from injury as they don’t load the spine or put pressure on the joints to the same extent as heavy weights,” says Strickland.

“When added to your stretching routine, they can allow you to reach a deeper stretch than you might otherwise be able to achieve, aiding recovery and improving flexibility.”

Foam roller for activation, recovery and toning

“While foam rollers are often thought as being exclusively a recovery tool for massaging sore muscles, I’ve often also used them as a rehabilitation tool with my clients,” says Strickland.

“By rolling out the outer thighs or glutes with your feet elevated off the floor, your core is forced to engage and you can actually get quite a solid, yet low-impact, abdominal workout.”

Swiss ball for toning

“Gym balls can be used for an endless number of exercises that work the entire body,” says Strickland. “They are actually popular among athletes as they can target the muscle groups specific to the athletes’ performance.

For specific exercises to promote toning, fat loss and card get your hands on Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine.

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Home gym under $100

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Your bikini body plan!

Click Here!

The 12-week Body Plan will have you feeling and looking amazing this Summer.

PT and Instagram star @EmFurey has developed 12 weeks of awesome workouts that will get you in great shape and leave you feeling stronger, fitter and more confident and looking fierce. Combined with the seriously tasty and healthy mix and match eating plan from our nutritionist and foodie experts and you’ll be well on your way to the best summer ever!

So, if you want to feel amazing buy the plan now it’s a steal at only £24.99 for 12 weeks of hard-hitting workouts and delicious healthy recipes!

Below are just a few of the great comments we’ve received about the plan, plus a seriously fab review pitching the plan up there above Kayla’s. So, what are you waiting for – get your summer body started now and buy the plan here.

I honestly LOVE THIS PLAN. I used to feel so confused as what to do at the gym. Should I do HIIT? Should I lift heavy? I started to hate the gym (SO unlike me) and often left feeling like I shouldn’t have even bothered going. But Emily’s plans are amazing. They combine strength and HIIT training. It’s all planned out for you. She leaves space to CREATE YOUR OWN GOALS based on strength rather than aesthetics – IT’S SO POSITIVE! I love it!
10/10 Georgina

Super easy to download! Not too much information is thrown at you! EASY AND AFFORDABLE RECIPES that people can have time to cook and prepare! EASILY LAID OUT AND REALLY LIKE THE STYLE!
9/10 Saffron

I found it EASIER TO STICK TO THAN OTHER PROGRAMS
 BUT STILL TOUGH! It’s easy to t into your schedule and builds up strength progressively.
10/10 Sandrine

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Your bikini body plan!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Fitness Equipment, Fitness Models, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Sports nutrition, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Your bikini body plan!

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 workout

One 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 intensity

If 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 session
can 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 masterclass

Use 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.

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Rowing machine workout

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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Barbara-Mae Hits The Stage

QHow did your fitness
journey begin?

I was not always a heavy person. Growing up in school, I had been a star athlete competing in all manners of sports: Basketball, volleyball, track and field, and competitive ladies fastpitch, to name a few. When I had reached my early twenties, I became a stay-at-home mom and a certified fitness instructor and trainer. This allowed me to combine my duties to my family as well as still be able to motivate and train clients. Even at my heaviest weight, I was still exercising and training others as manager of a community fitness center.

In 2000, my struggles really took off when my dad was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer. He declined rapidly and passed away six months after diagnosis. This event took a huge toll on my mom. Shortly after, my mom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (a form of blood cancer). Unfortunately, the cancer eventually progressed too much, and she passed in January 2009.

After my experience with caring for others and noticing the illnesses that pervaded my family’s history—cancer, hypertension, heart failure, and kidney failure—I decided I needed to truly monitor my own health. Later that April, I decided I needed to lose the weight and get back into the shape I longed to be in again.

“Although I did not place in that November competition, I was very proud of my accomplishment and how far I had come.”

How did you accomplish
your goals?

I am a very goal-oriented person. The story of how I stumbled across figure competitions is quite amusing! One morning over coffee, I confessed to my husband, “I need a new challenge and I need to work toward a new goal. Things are getting stale!” After that, we both left for work. Later that morning I emailed him and told him, “I am going to enter a figure competition.” He replied with: “You don’t even wear a bikini.”

It’s true, I don’t. Yet here I am with one competition under my belt and working toward at least two more this year. I hired a trainer and a nutrition coach (who happen to be husband and wife duo) named Tracy and Jeff, respectively. I worked with Tracy to develop a 4-day weight program and a 6-day per week cardio program. I worked with Jeff to develop a nutrition plan that allowed me to drop another 27 pounds before the competition last November.

I was focused and determined. When I make up my mind to do something, I go all-out 100 percent! Although I did not place in that November competition, I was very proud of my accomplishment and how far I had come from that person who weighed in at almost 250 pounds. Now I am striving to do better in the 2014 shows and hoping to place in at least one of them.

Cool Fact

Barbara is an independent country recording music artist with three albums released to date.

What workout regimen delivered the best results?

Negative Reps: One or two spotters help you lift a weight up to 10-50% heavier than you would normally lift to finish point of movement. Then you slowly lower weight on your own.

Varies typically done in a circuit format 10-15 reps each.

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?

What supplement schedule gave you the greatest gains?

“For anyone out there saying they can’t, you need to change that to ‘I can.'”

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

As I mentioned, I was already very active. The most recent turning point arose from my desire to improve my health and better myself. Changing my diet was most difficult, but not in the way you would think. It was mainly about learning to eat more. Typically, I used to eat too little for the amount of activity I had been doing. I was very lucky to have someone create my diet and training regimens. I needed to learn my body for what it was.

I mean I am a 52-year-old grandmother, who had lost almost 130 pounds altogether and totally transformed my body.

What or who
motivated you?

Backstage at my first competition, I started to doubt myself and became intimidated by all the other amazing physiques. My coach, Tracy, pointed out, “Everyone here has a story and each story is unique. That includes you and your own story.” You know what, she was right! Tosca Reno was a real inspiration to me when she chose to go back out on the stage after age 50!

What motivated me to live healthier was that both of my parents have lost their battle to cancer. When I look at them and my other family members who have passed, I realized I had to get my act together. I was overweight—albeit “healthy” so far—I wanted to get to an ideal body weight and be healthy. I wanted to be here for my children and my grandchildren.

Where did you go for inspiration?

My inspiration came from a variety of sources. I did a lot of research on the web looking for women my age and what they have accomplished. I read articles on Bodybuilding.com for inspiration and support. I also have excellent coaches, who push me every step of the way.

What are your future fitness plans?

My future plans are to compete this year in two figure and fitness competitions, hoping to place in at least one of them. I may do another show in November. I am also competing for the first time in a FemSport competition this year. Beyond competing, I’m passionate about motivating people and want to do some speaking engagements for women to show them that anything can be done no matter what the age.

What is the most important fitness tip?

For anyone out there saying they can’t, you need to change that to “I can.”

The cliché is true: Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Not everyone can do exactly how I did it, but each person can develop the necessary determination and drive to succeed in anything. Yes, there are going to be ups and downs, but that’s life. We can just work to keep it from spinning out of control. Don’t think that age is going to slow you down. I have been around a while, and I’ll tell you what: I am no “spring chicken.”

Who is your favorite bodybuilder/fitness athlete?

I would have to say that Tosca is my favorite. Erin Stern and Jamie Eason are also strong women to look up to.

How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals?

Bodybuilding.com has always been a personal favorite of mine. The articles on lifting and dieting are great. There’s nothing like reading the transformations for a little push in the right direction. Thank you, Bodybuilding.com, for giving me the opportunity to be featured as one of those transformations. Maybe I can be the little push that helps another person reach their goals.

Barbara’s Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez
  2. “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele
  3. “What Doesn’t Kill you Makes You Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
  4. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
  5. “Believe” by Cher
Competition History

My very first competition was November 13th of last year (NPAA in Calgary). I did not place, but I had no expectations than to enjoy the experience and meet some wonderful people. I am competing this year on May 31st at the INBF (Calgary) and the IDFA (Calgary) and have greater expectations of placing this year.

 

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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Dean Is In Pursuit of Perfection

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About The Author

Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week has the extraordinary qualities to endure the pain and discipline of bodybuilding. Enter here and win!

Excerpt from:

Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Barbara-Mae Hits The Stage

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, NutritionComments Off on Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Barbara-Mae Hits The Stage

Train like a pro

Imagine training as part of a real squad, just think about those body and mind benefits. We sat down with Team Ford EcoBoost riders Sophie Fennell, Julie Erskine, Nikki Juniper and Charlotte Broughton to find out about their goals and gains.

How does training as part of the team help your training? Sophie: ‘I think you benefit a lot from training with others especially on the road because it allows you to understand how other riders ride. It develops your own skills as you pick up techniques from the other riders; it both pushes and motivates you; and it allows less experienced riders to gain experience from those with more.’

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to women who are inspired to get into cycling now? Julie: ‘Invest in a decent pair of cycling shorts.  Lots of women are put off when it gets sore and uncomfortable sitting in the saddle, so a good pair of cycling shorts is key! Don’t worry about how far or how fast you go, just go for it and have fun!’

What do you enjoy the most about training/racing? Nikki: ‘I love the feeling when I’m finished that I’ve pushed myself as hard as I can.  I just love riding my bike and in a sick kind of way I love the pain it inflicts on my body because then I know that I’ve given everything I possibly can.’

When it comes to race nutrition, what really counts for you? Julie: ‘Team Ford EcoBoost are really lucky to have HIGH5 as our nutrition sponsor this season. I love its EnergySource 4:1 drink especially for back-to-back races or hard blocks of training. It has whey protein and carbohydrate in it so as well as providing you with energy to keep going, it also helps to start your recovery process.’

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received when it comes to training? Charlotte: ‘If your body starts giving you red flags, address them. Now I’m older and understand my body better it keeps me healthy and my training consistent.’

What drives you to train, other than winning? Nikki: ‘I’m not just training for myself now, I’m training for the team and the fear of failure that if I don’t train then I won’t back up all the hard work the girls do for me.’

Essential kit picks ► Giant Envie Advanced Pro bike, £3,299, echeloncycles.co.uk
► Kask Bambino TT Helmet, £299, echeloncycles.co.uk
► Kalas LADY A-5 Titan X6  cycling Shorts, £65, kalas.co.uk
► HIGH5 EnergySource 4:1, from £16.99, highfive.co.uk

For more information on cars in the Ford EcoBoost range, visit ford.co.uk/ecoboost

And find the Team on Facebook and Twitter.

Source:

Train like a pro

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Train like a pro

<div id="DPG" webReader="154.611379968"><p>The world and most of the gym-goers in it are currently obsessed with weight loss, and understandably so. But as a side effect, it feels like nobody cares about you if your goal is the opposite —to gain weight, especially the right kind of weight. Ectomorphs need help too!</p><p>It can be a challenge to add quality mass that helps you feel stronger and better about how you look. But many have done what you're trying to do, and their wisdom can help you reach size-gain goals you previously thought were off-limits. Forget what hasn't worked in the past; let's make this happen once and for all!</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">1 Free Weights Work</h3>
</p><p>Australian bodybuilding sensation Calum Von Moger knows a thing or two when it comes to building muscle. When he offers guidance, you'd better pay attention, especially when he says to make friends with free weights.</p><p>"My top tip for anyone, particularly beginners in the muscle-building world, is to utilize free weights over machines," he says. "This is crucial for not only developing core strength, but also developing your balance and coordination, which is important if you want to handle heavy compound exercises with correct form. If you use free weights with correct form and moderate to heavy weights, the size will come!"</p><img src="images/2014/size-made-simple-4-ways-to-go-from-small-to-swole-1.jpg" width="560" height="372" border="0"/><p>If you use free weights with correct form and moderate to heavy weights, the size will come!</p><p>If you're used to training with machines, you know their advantage. Namely, you don't have to know <em>how</em> to really use them in order to use them. So when you make the switch, recognize that <em>the way you lift</em> is now as important, or maybe more so, than what particular movement you choose. Simply throwing weight around and trying to imitate what you see other lifters doing isn't enough.</p><p>Recent research has identified mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress like cellular swelling and lactic acid buildup as three of the main training factors that influence muscle growth. To maximize all three, you need <em>quality</em> reps and lots of them. Learn how to lift correctly, and then amp up the weights reasonably—"moderate to heavy," as Von Moger says. Going so heavy that you can't manage a full range-of-motion, or that you can't hold proper form, is going to leave you either wondering what went wrong, or sitting at home rehabbing an injury.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">2 Eat A Lot!</h3>
</p><p>Tension, muscle damage, metabolic stress. What's missing from this muscle growth equation? Calories! As Team Cellucor Athlete Daniel Lourenco will tell you, to get big, you have to eat big.</p><p>"In my experience, most people have no idea how many calories they're consuming, and for people trying to add mass, they're usually eating much less than they think they are or intend to," he says. "If you're trying to add size, and especially if you're eating clean, you'd be amazed at how much food it really takes to hit your caloric goals. It's a lot!"</p><div class="side-ad" webReader="-17.3"><div class="c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/10-rules-of-alpha-nutrition-smallbox.jpg" width="170" height="97"/></div><h3 class="article-title c12"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/10-rules-of-alpha-muscle-building-nutrition.html">10 RULES OF<br />ALPHA NUTRITION</a></h3><p>Working out but have yet to see gains? It could be your meal plan. Clean up your diet and learn how to pack on the muscle and pass on the pounds with these nutrition tips.</p><div class="c14"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/10-rules-of-alpha-muscle-building-nutrition.html" class="bbButton primaryAction c13">Eat Your Way To Size</a></div><br /></div><p>Does this mean to eat everything in sight? Of course not. As a matter of fact, you have to be just as concerned about what you eat as someone who's looking to lose weight. You need quality sources of protein, a combination of carbohydrates from established sources like oats, sweet potatoes, fruits, veggies, brown rice, and quinoa, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and seeds. Of course, water is essential too. Take in at least a gallon a day.</p><p>While you're at it, though, remember that food isn't flavored oxygen. Don't inhale your meals! Take your time and remember to chew. It's well-known that eating quickly can negatively impact your digestive system, leaving you feeling bloated and unable to choke down another meal later in the day. But when you chew your food adequately, your body also absorbs nutrients more quickly and more efficiently. Why bother to eat all that food if you're not going to make the most of the nutrients in it?</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">3 Stick With the Basic Supplements</h3>
</p><p>Far too many skinny lifters start their journey to the Promised Land by buying a kiddie-pool-sized jug of low-quality mass gainer full of junk and mystery ingredients. Then they expect it to do most of the work for them. Big mistake!</p><p>News flash: Your training and your diet are where real gains are made. Supplements are just ways to help the same thing happen a little faster, and a little more predictably. Don't depend on them for anything other than a leg up.</p><p>Just as with training and nutrition, you need a strategy when it comes to supplements. Here it is: Until you're making consistent progress, stick with the basics: <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/whey.html">whey protein</a>, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/creatine.html">creatine</a>, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bcaa.html">branched-chain amino acids</a> (BCAAs), and a <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/multi.html">multivitamin</a>. These tried-and-true performance aids will help you get the most out of your training, and they'll boost the areas in your diet that have been shown repeatedly over time to lead to muscle growth. As you progress and make gains, you can reevaluate and look into adding other products.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cellucor/cellucor.htm"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/cellucor-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144" border="0" class="c15"/></a><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">4 Want It!</h3>
</p><p>Remember that one Christmas present you wanted really, really bad as a kid? You have to want to reach your goals even more than that. You just can't hope this will happen for you. You have to focus all your training energy on the goal of gaining muscle, to the detriment of any others. Now's not the time to obsess about having super-defined abs, or to sign up for that ultra-marathon you read about.</p><img src="images/2014/size-made-simple-4-ways-to-go-from-small-to-swole-3.jpg" width="560" height="461" border="0"/><p>If you want this, you must keep going, even on those days when you will feel like you can't.</p><p>Don't be surprised if your determination puts you at odds with other people and their training goals, or lack thereof. That's fine. Let them go their way. Anyone who aspires to lofty ambitions will have to deal with doubters, haters, and self-questioning. "Will I do it? Can I do it?" You can, and you will.</p><p>There is only one guaranteed way to fail in this project, and that's to quit. If you want this, you must keep going, even on those days when you will feel like you can't. Once you reach your goal, you'll not only enjoy more muscle, you'll have increased mental strength from all the discipline and patience you've needed to get there. Those attributes will serve you well no matter what comes next in your fitness journey.</p><br class="c16"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c19" webReader="5.07692307692"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/4-alpha-male-meals-to-build-your-body.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/4-alpha-male-meals-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c18" webReader="6.24852071006"><h4 class="c17"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/4-alpha-male-meals-to-build-your-body.html">4 Alpha Male Meals To Build Your Body</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Looking to eat like a true alpha male? Return to your caveman roots and feed your muscles with these carnivorous wild-game recipes.</p></div></div><div class="c19" webReader="4.656"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/7-ways-to-pump-up-your-chest.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-pump-up-your-chest-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c18" webReader="5.432"><h4 class="c17"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/7-ways-to-pump-up-your-chest.html">7 Ways To Pump Up Your Chest</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Looking to improve your chest gains? Here's what you need to know to put your chest to the test.</p></div></div><div class="c19" webReader="6.18834080717"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/strong-in-7-7-strongman-lifts-for-the-non-strongman.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-strongman-lifts-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c18" webReader="8.25112107623"><h4 class="c17"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/strong-in-7-7-strongman-lifts-for-the-non-strongman.html">7 Strongman Lifts For The Non-strongman</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
You don't need to be a strongman competitor to use the lifts! These 7 gym-friendly strongman moves and their variations can help you achieve your strength, fitness, or physique goals!</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="41.328125"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="8.2183908046"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/roger_lockridge.htm">Roger Lockridge</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/roger_lockridge.htm">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Bodybuilding is the reason I am who I am today. I am more confident in myself, actually looking for the next challenge, and inspiring others.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/roger_lockridge.htm"><img src="images/2013/writer-roger-lockridge-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/roger_lockridge.htm#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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Size Made Simple: 4 Ways To Go From Small To Swole!

The world and most of the gym-goers in it are currently obsessed with weight loss, and understandably so. But as a side effect, it feels like nobody cares about you if your goal is the opposite —to gain weight, especially the right kind of weight. Ectomorphs need help too!

It can be a challenge to add quality mass that helps you feel stronger and better about how you look. But many have done what you’re trying to do, and their wisdom can help you reach size-gain goals you previously thought were off-limits. Forget what hasn’t worked in the past; let’s make this happen once and for all!

1 Free Weights Work

Australian bodybuilding sensation Calum Von Moger knows a thing or two when it comes to building muscle. When he offers guidance, you’d better pay attention, especially when he says to make friends with free weights.

“My top tip for anyone, particularly beginners in the muscle-building world, is to utilize free weights over machines,” he says. “This is crucial for not only developing core strength, but also developing your balance and coordination, which is important if you want to handle heavy compound exercises with correct form. If you use free weights with correct form and moderate to heavy weights, the size will come!”

If you use free weights with correct form and moderate to heavy weights, the size will come!

If you’re used to training with machines, you know their advantage. Namely, you don’t have to know how to really use them in order to use them. So when you make the switch, recognize that the way you lift is now as important, or maybe more so, than what particular movement you choose. Simply throwing weight around and trying to imitate what you see other lifters doing isn’t enough.

Recent research has identified mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress like cellular swelling and lactic acid buildup as three of the main training factors that influence muscle growth. To maximize all three, you need quality reps and lots of them. Learn how to lift correctly, and then amp up the weights reasonably—”moderate to heavy,” as Von Moger says. Going so heavy that you can’t manage a full range-of-motion, or that you can’t hold proper form, is going to leave you either wondering what went wrong, or sitting at home rehabbing an injury.

2 Eat A Lot!

Tension, muscle damage, metabolic stress. What’s missing from this muscle growth equation? Calories! As Team Cellucor Athlete Daniel Lourenco will tell you, to get big, you have to eat big.

“In my experience, most people have no idea how many calories they’re consuming, and for people trying to add mass, they’re usually eating much less than they think they are or intend to,” he says. “If you’re trying to add size, and especially if you’re eating clean, you’d be amazed at how much food it really takes to hit your caloric goals. It’s a lot!”

10 RULES OF
ALPHA NUTRITION

Working out but have yet to see gains? It could be your meal plan. Clean up your diet and learn how to pack on the muscle and pass on the pounds with these nutrition tips.

Does this mean to eat everything in sight? Of course not. As a matter of fact, you have to be just as concerned about what you eat as someone who’s looking to lose weight. You need quality sources of protein, a combination of carbohydrates from established sources like oats, sweet potatoes, fruits, veggies, brown rice, and quinoa, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and seeds. Of course, water is essential too. Take in at least a gallon a day.

While you’re at it, though, remember that food isn’t flavored oxygen. Don’t inhale your meals! Take your time and remember to chew. It’s well-known that eating quickly can negatively impact your digestive system, leaving you feeling bloated and unable to choke down another meal later in the day. But when you chew your food adequately, your body also absorbs nutrients more quickly and more efficiently. Why bother to eat all that food if you’re not going to make the most of the nutrients in it?

3 Stick With the Basic Supplements

Far too many skinny lifters start their journey to the Promised Land by buying a kiddie-pool-sized jug of low-quality mass gainer full of junk and mystery ingredients. Then they expect it to do most of the work for them. Big mistake!

News flash: Your training and your diet are where real gains are made. Supplements are just ways to help the same thing happen a little faster, and a little more predictably. Don’t depend on them for anything other than a leg up.

Just as with training and nutrition, you need a strategy when it comes to supplements. Here it is: Until you’re making consistent progress, stick with the basics: whey protein, creatine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and a multivitamin. These tried-and-true performance aids will help you get the most out of your training, and they’ll boost the areas in your diet that have been shown repeatedly over time to lead to muscle growth. As you progress and make gains, you can reevaluate and look into adding other products.

4 Want It!

Remember that one Christmas present you wanted really, really bad as a kid? You have to want to reach your goals even more than that. You just can’t hope this will happen for you. You have to focus all your training energy on the goal of gaining muscle, to the detriment of any others. Now’s not the time to obsess about having super-defined abs, or to sign up for that ultra-marathon you read about.

If you want this, you must keep going, even on those days when you will feel like you can’t.

Don’t be surprised if your determination puts you at odds with other people and their training goals, or lack thereof. That’s fine. Let them go their way. Anyone who aspires to lofty ambitions will have to deal with doubters, haters, and self-questioning. “Will I do it? Can I do it?” You can, and you will.

There is only one guaranteed way to fail in this project, and that’s to quit. If you want this, you must keep going, even on those days when you will feel like you can’t. Once you reach your goal, you’ll not only enjoy more muscle, you’ll have increased mental strength from all the discipline and patience you’ve needed to get there. Those attributes will serve you well no matter what comes next in your fitness journey.


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Bodybuilding is the reason I am who I am today. I am more confident in myself, actually looking for the next challenge, and inspiring others.

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Size Made Simple: 4 Ways To Go From Small To Swole!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Size Made Simple: 4 Ways To Go From Small To Swole!

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

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.



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

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, NutritionComments Off on Ask The Master Motivator: How Can I Motivate My Significant Other To Work Out?


Paige Hathaway

9 hours 58 minutes ago

In my story, the princess saved herself ✨
She no longer allowed herself be defined by the struggles in her life. Instead she chose to amplify the things that gave her joy and she looked into the future with such courage it would scare you. She finally learned to stop making other people the authors of her life. That’s when she found her own voice, made her own rules and very much lived her own life. She did not ask permission to make her dreams come true, nor did she wait for others to share her confidence in the path she set for herself because she knew the right people would eventually catch up. Throughout her life she made some questionable choices, many of which led to difficult circumstances but the most important choice she ever made was to give herself a second chance. She wanted something else, something different, something more... and that’s what she became. Now she is the queen of her own castle and everyday is the beginning of a brand new adventure.

Paige Hathaway

1 day 3 hours ago

From me to you.. Good luck in all you do. Whatever you’re up against, don’t show signs of nervousness or fear. Show them the face of someone who has already won. Show them your inner power. Your inner power called self faith. You have to see yourself winning before you win. You have to see yourself already completing your goal. How does this feeling of accomplishment make you feel? Imagine that feeling in your soul. Manifest it in your own reality. Be hungry, find that burning desire in your heart. Don’t just sit at home on your couch.. go out there and conquer your life. Have so much faith in your abilities and in yourself that people around you feel your energy and believe in you too. If you have a heartbeat then you still have time to make your dreams a reality. Happy Monday my lovely people.. Let’s stop telling people about our dreams and just start showing them.

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