Posts Tagged ‘muscle building’

Actually, it is the one you consume right after your workout. After your work out your muscles are most sensitive to insulin.  Insulin is what causes your muscle to take up glucose from the blood storing it as glycogen.  Glycogen is the fuel that your muscles use.  So, consuming adequate carbs and protein after your workout allows you to recover faster which means your body is better prepared for the next workout.  I often discuss this with patients due to the fact they are working their buts off in therapy (at least in my world of sports physical therapy they do) so recovery is important and their body is trying to heal itself therefore adequate nutrition enhances this process, not to mention proper hydration which most people lack.  Even if you are not an athlete, recovering appropriately can mean a better day at work or playing with the kids later or the next day.  By consuming protein after a workout you can enhance glycogen replenishment by 30% and if you consume carbs with that you can double the insulin response which means more nutrients are able to be delivered back to the musles.  Generally speaking, you should consume a carb to protein ratio of about 2-3:1.  If you are doing longer duration endurance type exercise then a higher dose of carbs (4:1 ratio) is more appropriate.  Optimally this should be consumed within about 20 minutes after exercise but technically there is a two hour window post exercise.  Whey protein is the best choice because it is absorbed faster and the carbs should be simple sugar.  A cheap and easy mix is to purchase whey protein and mix it with generic kool-aide.  Mix and match your flavors to your taste preference.  Again generally speaking, a ratio of about 40 g carbs (sugar) and 15g protein would work.  Dosage can vary based on training intensity and goals, but that at least gives a geral framework and rationale s to why it is critical to get you post work out supplementation in.  So dont forget this critical piece to your rehab or training process!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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Shoulder-or-Deltoid

By Nick Nilsson – Staley Training Systems

If you’ve ever had a hard time developing your shoulders, this exercise is going to be a lifesaver for you! Personally, shoulders are one of my WORST bodyparts. It’s tough to keep them strong…tough to get them bigger…and tough to really feel them working when I’m actually doing shoulder exercises!

But the first time I used this technique, it absolutely blew my mind. As soon as I finished the set, my shoulders felt like they were inflating! The blood was came rushing in and I knew I was on to something special…that RARELY happens to me with ANY shoulder exercises.

So what makes THIS exercise so special? You’re going to reach muscular failure TWICE within the same set. AND you’re going to do it with NO REST in between the two phases of the exercise. BAM BAM…one part right into the next.

But here’s the twist…it’s not a typical drop set in which you reduce the weight to achieve this! You’re going to use the SAME weight for both phases of the exercise.

The REAL key lies in the range of motion of each part of the exercise…

You see, when you do a normal barbell shoulder press, as you push the barbell up, you go through what is called a strength curve. In basic terms, it means at the bottom of the movement you are fairly strong. But as you press further (normally about 3 to 5 inches up in the movement) you hit a point where the leverage in your shoulders changes. The exercise gets a lot tougher.

This is called a sticking point – it’s basically the weakest point in the exercise. Another example of a sticking point is commonly seen in the bench press. If you were doing a bench press using a heavy weight, lowered the weight to your chest then started to press but couldn’t get past a certain point (a few inches above your chest), THAT is also a sticking point.

Bottom line, you can only lift as much weight as you can move through that WEAKEST point in the range of motion of an exercise. But OUTSIDE that sticking point, your muscles are stronger and can lift more weight!

The question becomes, how do we still do full range-of-motion lifting while putting greater tension on the muscles to maximize their strength in OTHER phases of the movement?

We’re going to break the movement into two distinct phases. On the first phase, you’re going to do FULL reps of the shoulder press. When you can’t do any more full reps, you’re going to do partial reps in ONLY the top, stronger half of the range of motion.

It’s a powerful technique and it’ll get your shoulders burning like crazy!

The key to geting the most out of this exercise is the setup…

How to Do It:

First, you’ll be doing this exercise in the power rack. While there IS a way to do it without being the rack (and it is still effective that way), the rack is going to allow you to really push your shoulders to the maximum.

Set the safety rails in the rack to just below shoulder height. You’re going to be doing a standing military barbell press for your shoulders, bringing to the front, of course! I NEVER recommend doing any behind-the-head shoulder pressing – it can cause shoulder damage.

For this exercise, start with a weight you can get at least 8 to 10 reps for. I would suggest doing 3 or 4 sets of this exercise in total for your shoulder workout.

Grip the bar with your pinkies or fourth fingers on the smooth rings of the Olympic bar. You need to take a narrower grip on the bar than with the bench press. The rails should be set so you have to bend your knees a bit to get under the bar. The bar should be held across your extreme upper chest.  Next, begin the pressing movement. Press the barbell up in front of your face then lockout at the top. When you do a military press, your knees should be slightly bent and abs tight to keep stress off the lower back.

 

two-phase-shoulder-press1 two-phase-shoulder-press2

 

Because of the path of the bar, you will be leaning back a little bit – it has to go in front of your face. But as soon as the bar clears your head, shift your torso forward so that the bar is DIRECTLY over your head. It almost resembles a bobbing-forward motion. This is a key point that a lot of people miss with the shoulder press. If you keep leaning back, it keep tension on the front delts and takes it off the rear delts.Lower the weight slowly back to your chest then press again. Keep going until you can’t get the weight past the sticking point. Try and get it past the sticking point, though! We want to be sure you’re right at the limit.

When you’re done, set the bar back on the safety rails. And here’s the trick that’s going to set your shoulders on fire…keeping your hands locked onto the bar, drop down onto your knees under the bar. Now keep pressing in the partial top range of motion of the press!

 

two-phase-shoulder-press5

Because the bar is now ABOVE the sticking point, your shoulders have better leverage and can continue with the exercise! Do as many reps as you can until you can’t even budge the bar. I prefer to set the weight down on the rails in between reps here but you can keep a continuous movement, if you want. Do it whichever way feels best to you.

By exploiting the top range of motion after fatiguing the muscles in the full range of motion, you’re going to finally be working the shoulders with FULL resistance in the whole range of motion.

When you’re done, stand up. Your shoulders will be swelling up any second now!

As I mentioned previously, there IS a way to perform this technique without a power rack.

First, perform the barbell shoulder press, just like above. Now, instead of doing reps until you can’t get past the sticking point, you’re going to have to stop a rep or two SHORT of that point of failure.

Basically, you’re going to have to complete that last rep to the TOP. When you’re at the top, now lower the bar only halfway down (just above where your sticking point normally is) then press it back up to the top.

Keep doing reps in this shortened range of motion until you can’t hold the bar up anymore!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

 

 

Heavy squats are numero uno for helping your entire body gain muscle at warp speed as well as a great way to skyrocket your fat loss around the clock and speed up your metabolism.

Heavy leg work causes a surge in the release of your growth hormones like no other exercise can. The heavy weights sitting on your back tax the entire body intensely. Your legs and entire back side support the load unlike any other exercise.

You can squat with high reps or low reps, heavy weight or light weight. You can squat with various tools in various positions. A barbell or a heavy sandbag on your back is awesome for building muscle. 
 

Muscle being added to your quads, hips, glutes, hamstrings, lats and lower back cover a large area of your body. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism revs, even when you are NOT training, helping you burn more calories around the clock compared to a weak, skinny individual (or fat and weak individual).

I have performed heavy barbell squats for heavy singles or up to 5 reps, I have also performed high rep back squats up to 50 reps! Talk about brutal!

Try throwing a sandbag on your back, walk 10 yards and squat 2 reps, repeat until you can no longer walk or until you squatted 20 reps.

This workout is not for sissies, only the strong and mentally tough will survive.

Try squats for heavy sets of 3, or several sets of 10, or 1 gut busting set of 20 – 30 reps. The high rep squats will leave you exhausted and wiped out on the floor for a good 10 minutes afterwards. 

The question is, how badly do you want to pack on rugged muscle and transform yourself into a ripped and rugged beast?

Great Info from Zach Even – esh

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

By Jason Ferruggia (Author of Muscle Gaining Secrets) 

Question: I have a question about how to build big calves. Mine are like string beans and can’t get them to grow. Got any good suggestions?


Answer:
 Whenever people ask me how to build big calves, I immediately check their training volume. High volume works great for calves. They are probably the hardest muscle to build. I have always had calves like string beans.

Just doing a few sets for them never did anything for me. Since I had no desire to train them and preferred to focus on strength, athleticism and bigger compound lifts they stayed that way for years.

The only time they finally responded was when I hit them with very high volume. I usually do this for about a month and then I am bored to tears and stop training calves again for another year. Also, you can’t really tolerate the high volume loading for too long before you will start to develop some ankle/achilles problems. If you are an athlete and run or jump a lot, don’t even consider doing high volume calf work.

If you just want to get them jacked then you need to really increase your volume and frequency. I have put two inches on my calves in just over a month! Now, don’t get me wrong, my calves are still small, but the point is you can add significant size to your calves if you really want to.

They were Arnold’s worst bodypart and he dedicated all his time and effort to bringing them up. He even cut all of his pants off at the knee so he had to suffer the embarrassment of having his calves exposed wherever he went.

One option is to do a set of calves between every set of every exercise you do at each workout. Be sure to go heavy, get a good, deep stretch and hold it for a second (and up to ten seconds) at the bottom and get all the way up on your big toe at the top while flexing your calves hard. When you do standing calves your knees should be slightly bent on the way down and then locked out on the way up.

Another option is to start each workout (or each lower body day) with calves. One day per week would be heavy standing calf raises for 5-10 sets of 5-8 reps and the other day would be seated calf raises done for 4-5 sets of 15-30 reps.

You should also consider training the tibialis anterior muscles. These are the muscles that run down the front of your shin. Some people develop imbalances from too much ankle extension and not enough ankle flexion. When this happens and becomes a problem, the calves will not grow. So train these muscles by hanging your feet off the end of a bench and holding a dumbbell or DARD device between them and flexing your feet up toward you for a few sets of 10-20 reps, twice a week.

After you finish up with standing, seated and donkey calf raises and the tib raises, try doing farmers walks for up to five or even ten minutes while remaining on your toes the entire time. This will absolutely smoke your calves.

Finally, finish up your workouts with 10-20 minutes of jumping rope.

The above strategies should definitely get anyone’s calves to grow rapidly in a couple of months. Just be sure to ease into the extra volume slowly and gradually and take a step back if your ankles start to bother you.

If you are currently doing only 3-4 sets of calves twice per week you should slowly add a set or two at every workout until you get to about 10 or so. Ten hard, heavy sets plus the farmers walks and jumping rope should be more than enough for most people to add an inch or so in a month.

Good luck.  Jason

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris