Thursday, April 25, 2013

Building Forearms Muscles

Bodybuilding - Building Forearms Muscles

Upper Forearms
Hammer curls, reverse wrist curls, one-arm cable reverse curls (Ex - Shown with two arms), and every other kind of reverse curls really hit this area of the forearms not to mention the biceps.

Inner Forearms
One-arm wrist curls, barbell wrist curls, and behind-the-back curls are excellent inner forearm builders.
"Many bodybuilders end up with a weakness in forearm development simply because they don't train forearms right from the beginning. Another reason for forearms lagging behind, aside from the obvious one of bone structure, is failing to execute the exercises correctly and in a strict enough manner. The more you isolate the forearms and force them to do the movements without any help from the upper arms, the more they will respond. This means being very, very strict in your execution.

"It is important to work the forearms through a long range of motion. You need to lower the weight as far as possible, getting the maximum stretch, then come all the way back up to get a total contraction of the muscles. Working through only three-quarters of the range of motion is not that beneficial because you already use this part of the muscle in a variety of other exercises.

"If you want to drastically increase your forearm development, you can use the Priority Principle in a special way: train forearms by themselves when you are rested and strong, or train your forearms on leg days when your arms are rested. You can also keep a barbell or dumbbells at home and do a couple of sets of Wrist Curls and Reverse Wrist Curls as often as you like, even once an hour every hour." by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Increase your Arm Size Shortest Time Possible

Bodybuilding - Increase your Arm Size Shortest Time Possible

To increase your arm size in the shortest time possible it is important that you stick to the basics. By basics, I mean the lifts that will give you the most return on your investment. Don't waste your time on non-productive movements like 90 percent of the other people in the gym. 

These are the same people who have little or no gains to show for the time that they spend there. Then, when they see how well you are doing they will accuse you of being on steroids. Just accept it as a complement and keep lifting. 

The first basic lift that you will need to focus on is the standing barbell curl. This can be preformed with either an easy-curl bar or a straight bar. While the easy-curl bar has angled grips to emphasize bicep peak, either bar is fine. 

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, grab the bar with a grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. Begin with a weight that you can comfortably move for 12 to 15 repetitions. Start with the weight lowered nearly to your legs but do not let your arms hang straight down. To fully lock out the arms will create too much stress on your joints. 

Now, with a steady and controlled motion, bring the weight up until your biceps are in a fully contracted position. Do not swing the weight or arch your back. While swinging the weight is a form of cheating that will allow you to lift heavier weights, it will only increase the size of your ego, not your arms. Therefore, use proper form at all times. 

Now, lower the weight in a controlled motion until your arms are nearly down to your hips but not fully locked out. Repeat this movement for the required 12 to 15 repetitions. If this is too difficult to do, reduce the amount of weight so that you can complete the entire number of reps. If it is too easy, don't cheat yourself, increase the weight. While this is a warm up set, the last few reps should still be challenging. 

After you have completed this set, rack the weight and get a drink of water. Actually, you should have a bottle of water with you. You need to take about a minute to a minute and a half to rest before beginning your next set. This allows time for your muscles to replenish their glycogen reserves in order to have energy for the next set. Use this time to load more weights on the bar. 

For this next set, you want an amount of weight that you can perform for 8 to 12 repetitions. Once again, form is critical. You will build muscle faster and have fewer injuries while using proper form. This is true for any exercise. Get to know your limits. For this set you will use a closer grip on the bar with your hands approximately 6 inches apart. 

As above, adjust the amount of weight as necessary to make this a truly challenging set. After you have completed your 8 to 12 reps, rack the weight, take a sip of water if desired and begin to set the bar up for your third set. 

This next set will be heavier than the last using an amount of weight that you can lift for only 5 to 8 repetitions. For this set, you will return to the shoulder width grip. Are you serious about getting massive arms? Then be sure that you are reaching positive failure before you rack the weight. Positive failure means that you simply cannot perform another repetition of the exercise with good form without assistance.

Many people give up on a set long before they have reached failure and wonder why they cannot make gains. Read this carefully and understand it. Few things of value come without effort. 

You have to work for this. The important thing is that when you do this correctly, you will be making gains while others around you are simply going through the motions. Now, after you have completed the third set, rack the weight and reduce the amount of weight on the bar by approximately 40%. 

On this last set, return to the close grip with your hands about 6" apart. With this new, lighter weight, perform one last set to absolute failure. Move the weight somewhat faster than before while deliberately flexing the bicep as much as possible during every rep. 

The number of repetitions preformed here is not as important as reaching absolute positive failure. When you are done, rack the weight. By now you should have a serious burn starting in you biceps. Your vascularity should be somewhat enhanced and your muscles should be full and pumped.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Posing Tips

Bodybuilding - Posing Tips

1. Feel Confident On Stage:
When contest day arrives, you will be up on stage in your next-to-nothings in front of hundreds of people. The more you practice, the better you will be able to perform while the judges scrutinize your every muscle.

2. Look Bigger:
You've worked hard in the gym to perfect every muscle fiber, but they won't stand out unless you know how to position yourself properly. Better posing can make you look larger, highlight your muscle definition and make otherwise unseen striations visible to the judges.

3. Come In Harder & Fuller:
When you flex your muscles intensely, you draw nutrients and water into the muscle fibers, making them harder. Also, by drawing water out from under the skin into the muscles you create thinner-looking skin and fuller looking muscles.

4. Gain Excellent Endurance & Muscle Control:
Posing properly, without shaking, demands incredible endurance. The more you practice posing intensely, the more muscle control you will gain and the better you be able to last through lengthy pre-judging sessions. Having judged competitions, I can tell you that seeing competitors shaking uncontrollably or constantly re-posing on stage is very distracting and makes it difficult for the judges to get a good read on your muscularity and definition.

5. Practice Makes Perfect:
The more you practice posing, the more these demanding movements and positions will become second nature to you. So when the head judge calls for a particular pose, bang you'll hit it without a moment's hesitation. And that looks impressive! 

One word of caution: make sure you are practicing your posing correctly! If you practice with poor form, you will cause yourself more harm than good.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Bodybuilding - Six Major Stage Poses

1. Front Double Biceps:
Stand with your heels touching and your toes pointing slightly outward. Press the heels hard into the floor. Flex the calves and hamstrings and push the glutes back slightly - we muscle athletes sometimes refer to it as "sitting" on your hamstrings. Flex the abs hard. Raise your arms high in the air in a controlled manner.
Make fists and bring the elbows down until the fists are even with your ears. Raise the elbows until they are slightly above the shoulders and squeeze your biceps as hard as possible without shaking. As with all front poses, remember to keep your legs flexed and your upper quads pushed tight against your skin.
2. Side Chest:
Imagining you are on stage, turn to the side and stand with the feet together. Raise the front foot (the one that would be closest to the judges) up onto the ball, which will enable you to fully flex the calf muscles of that leg and to display both sets of hamstrings. Press the feet firmly into the ground.
Generate a better view of your hamstring by turning the front foot slightly inward. Press the thigh of the back leg tightly against the front one to blow the hamstrings outward and create a larger sweep through the whole leg. Circle the arms out to the sides and in front of your body. Clasp the back hand over the front wrist.
Forcefully pull the front elbow back and lock your arms in side-chest position. Tightly squeeze you rear bicep hard against your chest and squeeze your front elbow tight against your front lats. (It's not that difficult once you practice a few thousand times!) Rotate your body slowly toward the front. Remember to keep those legs tight!
3. Side Triceps:
Keep the feet and legs in the same position you had for your side chest pose. Rotate the upper body slightly toward the front, which will allow your chest and back shoulder to expand and will give a larger view of your entire physique. Keep the abs tight throughout the pose.
Twist the front arm slightly forward to show the triceps and then circle it back behind the glutes until it meets the back arm, which should be positioned just above the glutes, across the lower back. Lace and lock your fingers together. Lock the front elbow and rotate the front shoulder around and down, squeezing the triceps hard.
Push the triceps against the lats to create a thicker looking triceps muscle. Also, locking out the elbow and pushing forcefully downward pops out the striations in the shoulders, making you look spectacular!
4. Front Lat Spread:
This pose offers an unparalleled opportunity to display your overall symmetry and exceptional leg development. Position the feet and legs the same way you did for the front double biceps pose. Again, press the feet into the floor and flex the calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes. Hold the abs tight.
Pull both elbows back as if you were performing an intense cable row. Then place your thumbs just under the back of your rib cage and blast your elbow forward. Do not press the thumbs into your sides, which can create an unsightly bulge in the skin. Flex and flare the lats as hard as you can, as though you are trying to spread out over the entire stage.
5. Abdominals & Thigh:
Facing front, place one foot slightly in front of the other and press the ball of the front foot firmly into the ground to squeeze out the separation in your quadriceps. Maintain a slight bend in the knee and push the knees apart to bring out more muscle definition in the quads.
Push the glutes back slightly and tighten your low back to bring out the definition in your upper quads and hip flexors. Pose the abs by inhaling deeply as you sweep the arms up and behind your head. Crunch your body slightly forward and down as you exhale all the air from your lungs to expose your abs and obliques.
Think of rolling the upper abs downward toward the pelvis. A slight lean forward allows for a full crunch, which will bring out the cuts in your abdominals. Do not to lean too far back. Keep your elbows up high above your head and hold your hands together at the base of your neck.
6. Most Muscular - Crab:
Face front and angle the feet outward, with one foot slightly in front of the other. Flex the calves, quads and hamstrings. Bend the knees slightly and push the glutes back. Press the heels forcefully into the floor and slightly lift the toes of the front foot to reveal maximum leg cuts.
Stretch both arms out to the sides at shoulder level, keeping a slight bend at the elbows. Clench your fists and circle the arms together in front of you. Squeeze the shoulders down and inward while crunching the upper body slightly downward. Hold the pose and flex the muscles hard.
Be very, very careful not to block your abdominals with your hands. Position the hands at the top of your trunks with the knuckles nearly touching. Also, be very careful not to lean too far forward, which will block the view of your chest and abs and cast a shadow over your legs.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bulking Tips

Bodybuilding - Bulking Tips for Newbie

1. Lift Heavy!
One of the biggest factors you need to remember with your training program is that you MUST be applying an overloading stimulus. Without this, your body is not going to have any reason to turn those extra calories into muscle and you will just gain a great deal of body fat. Definitely not what you are looking for here.

2. Eat Carbohydrates Around Your Workout
During a bulk you cannot be afraid of carbohydrates. They are going to supply your body with the energy it needs for muscle building. Generating muscle tissue is a very energy consuming process so you need to be sure to meet your needs. 

If you are hoping to minimize fat gain it is best to consume the greatest portion of your carbohydrate intake around your workouts, as this is when your body needs them the most and they are least likely to end up on your body in the form of fat. You still should consume some carbohydrates during your other meals however the portion sizes can be slightly smaller.

3. Eat More... Period
This could possibly be the biggest mistake most beginners make when they are entering a bulking period. The minute they lose sight of their abs they shy off the amount of food they are consuming for fear of getting fat. This will severely short circuit their potential muscle gains and possibly even stop them altogether.

4. Limit Cardio Sessions
While you are on a bulk you should limit your cardio sessions to once or twice a week. You are going to want all of your energy to go towards adding muscle so if you are expending a great deal through cardio activity then you are defeating your goal. If you do choose to include more cardio work into your program (for example if it is necessary for a sport you participate in) then you are going to have to increase your calories even more to compensate for this.

5. Focus On Compound Exercises
When creating your workout program for bulking it is best to always first choose compound exercises. These are the ones that are going to stimulate the greatest number of muscle fibers and give you the biggest bang for your buck. Examples of such are:
Chest press 
Military press 
Bent over rows

6. Ensure You Are Getting Enough Sleep
In addition to rest, sleep is also essential. Not only is it the ultimate form of rest but getting ample sleep will also help to optimize your hormonal profile.

When your body is not getting enough sleep you will tend to release more cortisol, which acts as a catabolic hormone on the body. This will make gaining muscle much more difficult as for that you are looking for anabolic processes to occur (the opposite of catabolic).

7. Don't Overdo Protein
One common myth that many people hold with regards to bulking is the notion that they must consume massive amounts of protein. While it is true you need protein since it supplies your body with the building blocks necessary for creating muscle tissue, any extra is only going to be used for energy or stored as body fat. 

After your needs are met you would be far better off consuming more carbohydrates or dietary fat. Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Bodybuilding - When you are short of motivation

When the motivational pool runs shallow the excuses not to exercise start to amass and take priority, so what do you do?
1) Look at your journal and re-read the reasons for why you started to work out in the first place. Did you accomplish some of your goals? Do they need to be more realistic?
2) We all go through stressful situations in our life - remember one of the best stress relievers is working out.
3) Sometimes a simple thing like a buying new workout outfit will do wonders.
4) Make friends at the gym. Your gym should be a place where you feel comfortable, a place where you have someone to say hello to - and trust me, your hard work and dedication will pay off. Fellow workout-er's are quick to realize and pay compliments.
5) Find a workout partner that can help keep you motivated. When you may be low in motivation your partner may be high and vice versa. Also you now have an additional commitment to go to the gym. It wouldn't be fair to leave your partner hanging, would it?
6) Take a week off. Sometimes a simple re-charge of the batteries will do wonders! If you do decide to take the week off then do exactly that! Don't let the guilt of not hitting the weights pull you back into the gym early. By the time the week passes your motivational pool will probably be overflowing.
7) Get your hands on a fitness related magazine. I constantly find gallons of motivation by looking at the magazines.
8) You are not alone. We have all been there...burnt out, fed up, tired, hurt, or what ever you want to call it. There are hundreds of obstacles and set backs that lie in the wait. Keep your chin up and stay the course - you will be successful!
9) Find a role model - someone who you may be able to communicate with via e-mail or written correspondence. There are many wonderful athletes out there that fully understand what you want to accomplish and just how difficult it can be.

10) Read 1-9 again!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Grow your Arms in 3 Workouts

Bodybuilding - Grow your Arms in 3 Workouts

Biceps - Seated Biceps Curl: Sit on a bench and rest a barbell in your lap. Take a shoulder-width underhand grip on the bar and curl it upward toward your chin. Use a weight that is so heavy you can only perform eight reps. This exercise allows you to use more weight than you normally would because the seated position limits the range of motion. Try to curl 150% of your normal biceps curl weight. Perform one set of eight reps, rest 30 seconds then increase the weight 10% and perform as many reps as you can.
Triceps - Close-Grip Bench Press: Do yourself a big favor and perform this exercise in a power rack or on a smith machine. Limit the range of motion to the top third of your range. By limiting the range of motion you will be able to hoist a much heavier weight and it's that big weight - not the range of motion - that triggers new muscle growth. Grip the bar with your hands spaced about six inches apart and contract your triceps to lift the bar off the support and to full extension. Use a weight that is so heavy you can only perform eight reps. Again, with this restricted range you should be able to use at least 50% more weight than normal. Perform one set of eight reps, rest 30 seconds then increase the weight 10% and perform as many reps as you can.
Forearms - Forearms tend to be neglected in most workouts but these two exercises are fabulous at generating an awesome intensity of overload to these highly visible and impressive muscles.
Seated Wrist Curls: These are performed from the same position as the biceps exercise, above. With an underhand grip on a barbell, rest your wrists on your knees so your hands extend beyond your knees. Allow the weight of the bar to force your wrist toward the floor. Use your forearm muscles to power the weight back up. Perform one set of eight reps, rest 30 seconds then increase the weight 10% and perform as many reps as you can.
Wrist Curls Behind the Back: These are performed by holding a barbell behind your back with your palms facing backward. It helps to have the bar on a rack to start or to have a training partner place the bar in your hands. The heavy bar will naturally hang down and your wrists will be in a relaxed position. Use your forearm muscles to power the weight up by bending your wrists. You can use a lot more weight on this exercise than you think you can. Go heavy. Don't worry about getting a full range of motion. Perform one set of eight reps, rest 30 seconds then increase the weight 10% and perform as many reps as you can.

Pre and Post Workout Nutrition