The greatest thing you can do today regarding your health is to show up at the gym. The rest will soon be history and you will reap the benefits and feel fantastic because you did this for yourself. When you’re in shape, you are unstoppable. Never accept less than the best from yourself and you will achieve greatness in every aspect of your life. Beware when it comes to chosing bodybuilding products and even more when starting out on steroids.
It’s imperative, when trying to grow muscle mass, that you follow the strictest of form in every movement. Quickly blazing through an exercise will only waste your time and energy (except for the cardiovascular benefit). However, slow strict movements, on both concentric and eccentric movements, will always bring far greater results. It is also important to do the full range of an exercise (total extension, to total contraction); as opposed to partial reps. Full range motion builds prettier, fuller looking muscles.
If you’re going to expend your valuable time in the gym, why not make that time as productive as possible? You may hate working out, but if you’re going to spend the time, get the most return from your investment. The object of this game is to control every inch of every movement of every exercise. You control the weight; the weight cannot and must not control you.
One slow rep will reap far more benefit than several quick reps. Graceful super-slow motion movements will target the fast twitch muscle fibers, which grow huge. On the other hand, long-term aerobic exercise (light weight, high reps) stimulates the slow twitch muscles. Slow twitch fibers don’t grow nearly as large as fast twitch fibers; however, they can increase the number of mitochondria (the cells’ fuel burning, energy factories) within the cells, resulting in higher calorie burning metabolism. Ever seen a “buff” marathon runner? It doesn’t happen. As a matter of fact, endurance athletes often become hardgainers (unable to grow large muscles), because muscle fibers have the ability to change from fast twitch, to slow twitch upon demand, drastically reducing their (and your) potential for growth. On the other side of that coin, at least runners are seldom fat.
THE GOLDEN RULES
Always remember these tips and repeat them to yourself before every workout:
1) “Always keep the form and the strength will follow”.
2) “If you want to grow muscle, you have to push heavy weight”
Now, it might seem like these two rules contradict each other, but really they don’t. Packing on the heavy weights, while maintaining absolute perfect form, basically means pushing yourself hard, to your limit, while never ever doing a rep that isn’t pretty. Pretty controlled movements build pretty muscles. To avoid injury, always remember to warm up first. Now, if you ever feel that you’ve reached a plateau and you’re just not getting the results you’re seeking, think back on my golden rule: Always keep the form and the strength will follow! If you’re getting frustrated with your progress, back up, lighten up, and start over with slow perfect form. Pretty reps build pretty muscles. I can’t stress that enough.
GOING HEAVY MEANS LESS REPS
If you’re trying to cut up, lose weight, reduce mass, or do cardio, then you’ll want to stick with at least 10 to 15, or even more reps on each exercise. But, if you want to grow more muscle mass (and who doesn’t?), put on the poundage and do fewer reps. You need to warm up first, but don’t make the mistake of doing too many sets trying to warm up. This can waist the valuable energy that you will need for the heavier workout sets. You can try doing 5 – 8 sets of 6 reps, or pyramid up, beginning with a 10 – 12 rep warm up, then throw enough weight on so that you can only squeeze out 8 reps, add more weight until you can only do 6 reps, then 4 reps, and so on- It’s OK to periodically pyramid so that your heaviest set yields a single rep. Remember, never do a rep that isn’t pretty. Try this approach: instead of blasting out a set of 6 reps, take it one single rep at a time, six times. Take as many breaths between each rep as necessary. How do you take out a forest? One tree at a time. Always push the envelope; always strive to raise the bar each time you train, even if it’s only a little. You don’t need to push the bar up very fast. If you only increase the weight a pound or two each week, before you know it, with proper nutrition, you’ll be blowing up the gym.
Progressive resistance exercise stimulates testosterone and other anabolic hormones that increase muscle mass, improve bone density and stimulate appetite. On the other side of this coin, overtraining can stimulate cortisol (hydrocortisone), a steroid hormone that can result in accelerated muscle tissue breakdown and other negative effects throughout the body. The correct number of sets of heavy weight training can reap the desired anabolic effect (muscle growth), however, there is a point of diminishing return where each additional set results in an increased negative result (muscle breakdown). Sparing you all the details of what physiologically occurs, just know that overtraining is far more catastrophic than you might think.
So, a “less is more” rule comes into play. Listen to your body; if your muscles are still sore four days after you trained them, you’re overdoing it. Also, it’s a good idea never to train the same muscle group more than twice a week. Broken down muscle tissue, like any other injured tissue, needs time to heal. Some believe it’s a good idea is to alternate heavy days with lighter training days. I personally train one major body part per day, six days a week. This way I don’t have to look forward to a long treacherous workout and I’m in and out before I start producing cortisol. Although I’m only training a single muscle group, I can annihilate that muscle group and then it has a week to recover. Why kill yourself for hours in the gym, when you can get the same results in a fraction of the time? Train smart!
MIX IT UP
Another serious mistake that many bodybuilders make is forgetting to change up their routine regularly. It’s easy to find something that works and stick with it. In many areas of life that makes a great strategy, but in the gym you have to change things up all the time. Confuse the muscle groups and hit them from different angles once in a while. I’m not suggesting that you just make it up as you go; it’s best to have a plan. Although you must remain open minded and willing to try new, off the wall, and sometimes even unorthodox techniques from time to time, stay focused. Make a plan (one that includes variation), set goals, define your objectives and diligently pursue them. Monogamy works in relationships – radical variation works in the gym.
TAKE PLANNED BREAKS
Don’t mistake a planned break for inconsistency. Successful bodybuilding takes hard work, drive, self-discipline, killer nutrition and a plan. A good plan will include scheduled time out of the gym for good old-fashioned RR (meaning rest recuperation, but not excluding rock roll). Some people need more RR than others. You might plan to train hard for three months, and then chill for a week. During that break, don’t even think about the gym. Let it be a mental breath of fresh air, as well as a physical vacation. Consistent non-stop training without a break is referred to as long-term overtraining, which results in burnout. Training for too long in a single workout is called short-term overtraining, which produces excess cortisol (the stress hormone).
Train hard, train smart and never, ever slack up on your protein. Be sure to have a look at my steroid guides before you start your first steroid cycle or buy you first bodybuilding products.
By: Anderson Jim
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