Using Canned Oxygen For Bodybuilding – Fad or Here to Stay?

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Using Canned Oxygen For Bodybuilding – Fad or Here to Stay?
Feb 262014
 

canned-oxygen-bodybuilding

Jonti Wilson is the well-known one legged bodybuilder, who has coined the phrase “Four toots on my tin” when talking about using canned oxygen as part of his training.

For those of us who have been around the body building scene for a few years, we’ve seen various fads come and go. From equipment like slimming belts and “shake weights” to dozens of faddy diets, we’ve seen them all come and go, and got back to what we know works – eating well, using the right supplements at the right time, and training hard and often!

Portable canned oxygen has been around for some time – even Roger Bannister experimented with it when he was trying for the 4 minute mile, and plenty of sports people use it to recover after intense training. But it’s only in the last couple of years that it has become available in an affordable aerosol type canister, that means most of us can afford to buy and use it regularly.

Basically, what you are doing when you inhale almost pure oxygen is increasing your own blood oxygen level, and to help your blood clear away lactic acid and other by-products of hard exercise.

Jonti Wilson Posing

Jonti Wilson Posing

When I first heard about canned oxygen, in particular a brand called booost, I wondered if it would fall into the same category. But I’m always up for trying something new, and the publicity boys at booost were putting out some pretty impressive quotes from other bodybuilders and strongmen.

So I decided to try it out….

The product is 99.5% oxygen, and it’s designed to “get you through your wall.” In other words, it’s about using it to get extra sets in or to use more eight than you normally do. The first time I used it, I had well and truly hit my wall – I was on a leg workout, and had two sets to go. I felt pretty much finished, but I had 4 shots of booost, and I couldn’t believe how quickly I recovered and how good I felt in finishing my sets off.

They’ve deliberately flavoured the product with natural mint, so you know how much you are inhaling and it helps dispel “exercise mouth!”

My son, who is a real sceptic had exactly the same experience, and needless to say, we both use booost now whenever we need it. Since I became a user booost have commissioned research into the effects of oxygen usage, and it shows that you can gain up to 18.7% performance improvement. I can’t put a figure on how much booost improves my lifting, but I can tell you that when I really need a booost, it works for me.

The key is in using it at the right moment – basically when you feel you’re about to hit that wall, when your body is telling you that you can’t do anymore – that’s the time to use booost, and you will see the benefits.

Portable oxygen is here to stay – there are several brands on the market, but booost is a British company who have become Europe’s number one sports oxygen supplier.

They also have a money back guarantee, with no questions asked. So take my advice, give it a try, and if it doesn’t work for you, then you have nothing to lose, do you?

Nov 292013
 

muscle-and-fitnessYou have probably seen the Muscle and Fitness magazines in the grocery store near the checkout stand. They are usually right beside magazines like the National Enquirer, Vogue, and McCall’s. It is the magazine which highlights the massively muscular men of bodybuilding and power sports. Why would this magazine be important as both a diet and fitness resource?

The Knowledge of Extreme Athletes

The one thing you need to understand about bodybuilders is they are extreme athletes. When they choose to lose fat they are not happy with getting down to 10-15% body fat, they attempt to get down to single digit levels of body fat so their muscles are displayed to their maximum. The techniques they use to drive their fat levels down are highly effective for anyone trying to lose weight and get fit.

When you browse through an edition of Muscle and Fitness you are going to be faced with extreme workouts, but a ton of common sense information, also. If you do not desire to have massive muscles then you should focus on some of the columns and articles in their magazine. In a recent edition you would have found articles about:

  • Lean Meals that Taste Great
  • Ultimate Fat-Burning Plan
  • Gymless Workout Blueprint
  • 9 Routines Under 25 Minutes

These types of articles will help you create a workout plan to get fit and lose fat. When a bodybuilder tests out a workout plan their evaluation is based upon results, not speculation. They measure their muscles on a regular basis. They monitor their weight. They keep close track of their body fat percentage.

They can tell you with absolute certainty what works for their body and what does not work. This is the reason their workout routines and diets should be considered when you are designing your own plan. You know you will get results.

Supplements for Increasing Your Fitness

The other item which the editors, authors, and athletes who contribute to Muscle and Fitness research in extreme depth are supplements. When you read their articles about using a variety of different protein supplements, amino acids, creatine, or testosterone boosters you will get the straight facts about results, not advertising claims. You will quickly discover combinations which work for one athlete may not work for another.

The fact that not everyone responds the same is an even better reason to continue researching ideas through the pages of Muscle and Fitness. You will find articles written by a variety of people talking about their metabolism, supplements which have worked for them, and you can choose plans which meet your body-style and metabolism most closely.

The other important facts you will learn in Muscle and Fitness is how to buy supplements and exercise equipment on a tight budget. You will find a combination of high-end equipment and low-cost equipment evaluated in every issue. This helps you make the right purchase to meet your needs without wasting money. A subscription to Muscle and Fitness will save you money on your purchase of supplements and equipment which far exceeds the cost of the magazine.

Powertec Workbench Power Rack – Its Modularization Is The Key To Its Success

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Powertec Workbench Power Rack – Its Modularization Is The Key To Its Success
Jun 262011
 

The Powertec Workbench series of equipment is an innovation in the fitness industry. It’s not just the undoubted robustness and reliability of a Powertec power rack that makes it a best seller; its modularization is its main selling point over its competitors.

There are currently two models of power racks available from Powertec, the full and half rack. Each offers a little something different in terms of use. The WB-HR11 half rack can accommodate 700 lbs of weight while the WB-PR11 full rack can take up to 1000 lbs of weight and 400 lbs on the pull-up bar. It’s also worth noting that the pull-up is ergonomically correct in shape; not just a straight bar. Saber spotters also come with both racks.

However, both have been designed such that additional components can easily be added, which then form an integral part of the rack. Each Powertec rack can be fitted with an optional Lat Tower so you can, in addition to lifting barbell weights, perform lat pulldowns. Its weight capacity is an impressive 300 lbs.

The WB-MP11 utility bench is also easily slotted in. With this addition you can perform many more exercises. But, it gets even better. Additional components can also be added to the bench itself. These include, Leg Lift, Curl Machine, Leg Press, Dip Machine and Pec Fly accessory.

Most opinions on both Powertec Workbench power racks are very positive. The overwhelming feeling is that you get very good value for your money – to get a better rack you would need to think about purchasing a commercial-grade unit and pay a commercial-grade price. If there is any negative points raised it tends to be about height. If you’re 6 foot you may find the full rack a little on the short side.

When you purchase the Powertec power rack in either full or half version you can keep it simple and get on with your barbell work in complete safety or, you can add as many of the additional components you want and have yourself a complete home gym.

Robert Mangan is guest author and owner of FitnessLyceum.com an authorized retailer of Powertec Fitness. You can find out more about the Powertec Power Rack by visiting the website.

Sep 012010
 

You watch as some women walk across a room sensually, seeming to glide effortlessly. Their bodies are lean, beautifully shaped, and sexy. One thing most of these women have in common is they have discovered the importance of weight training for women.

Weight training for women does not create big bulging muscles like develop on a man. Instead you develop a sculpted, lean, and sexy body. You can look like a professional dancer, gymnast, or competitive swimmer. Your body will be noticed.

There are a few very important items you should know as you get started in weight training. First, your nutritional needs are going to change. Where you could eat a simple balanced diet before, now you are going to need to feed the muscles a little differently. You need additional protein to help the muscles repair between workouts. You need to eat enough complex carbohydrates to fuel your workouts.

Another fact about weight training you need to understand is the idea of progressive improvement. You will see many sets of weights designed for women which offer only one weight. You buy a set of 5 pound dumbbells and they are supposed to be good for everything. Do not buy into this idea. You need adjustable weights if you wish to see improvement in your strength and your body shape. Muscles change and adapt only through being challenged progressively. You want to endeavor to increase the weight you are lifting slightly each week.

Beware of one of the biggest myths about weight training. You cannot turn your fat into muscle. You can replace your fat with muscle. You need to take careful control of your diet to lose the fat, while you build lean muscle. The lean muscle will be smaller and look fabulous compared to the fatty tissue you lose. The process is very simple, lose fat, gain muscle.

Weight training can help you lose fat. While weight training for women is not specifically targeted to cause fat loss, you will discover with the increase in lean muscle you metabolism becomes faster and you burn more calories. Assuming you are consuming the same amount of calories you will lose weight.

You might be tempted to only lift weights for body parts you consider to be problem areas. One piece of advice, do not do it. Plan your workouts to cover all parts of your body. Ideally separate your body into upper and lower halves. Do your strength training three days each week. As an example on your first week do upper body weight training on Monday and Friday. On Wednesday to your lower body training. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday should be used to do aerobic training to improve your overall condition and cardiovascular fitness. The next week switch your weight training around. Do lower body on Monday and Friday, with upper body on Wednesday. This schedule gives your muscles time to heal and rebuild.

Weight training for women is an essential part of making your body sensual, lean, strong, and beautiful. It is nearly impossible to sculpt your body to meet the vision you have in mind without weight training.

Sep 012010
 

Are you ready to start lifting weights at home? You need to plan ahead and think about your needs before you run out and buy your weight training equipment. If you buy on a whim you are likely to end up with equipment which becomes a great coat rack.

Weight training equipment comes in a wide variety of styles, capabilities, and cost. Before considering any equipment it is time to define what you are trying to accomplish. What are your goals in lifting weights?

If you are setting up a home fitness area for overall fitness, then buying an all in one home gym may be your perfect solution. It helps eliminate having weights and bars lying around the house getting in the way. You have increased safety because all the weight stations have safety stops and are controlled through pulley systems or tension rods. You never have the full weight of the bar and weights over your skull or chest. You can find many great home gyms to fill your needs priced from just over five hundred dollars up to a couple thousand dollars. For the higher prices you get more weight, and more exercise stations.

The offsetting disadvantage to a home gym shows up when you are wanting to train to the extreme. Bodybuilders, powerlifters, and football players would probably find a home gym very restrictive. The weights provided in most home gym systems are not high enough. The safety features often get in the way of full range of motion. Free weights engage more supporting muscles causing greater increases in muscle mass and strength. Buying a home gym which holds enough weight for a power athlete is very cost prohibitive often jumping up to prices approaching three to five thousand dollars.

Weight training equipment for power athletes is almost always free weights. You will want to check into buying Olympic weight lifting bars, weight benches designed to work with the Olympic bar, and Olympic plates. You may want to buy a variety of cast dumbbells in a wide variety of weights. Having dumbbells you do not need to change plates on allows for rapid changes in workouts and keeping your muscles fully pumped and engaged.

If you are in the first category and going to buy an all-in-one home gym for your weight lifting equipment make sure it fills all your needs. It must have a bench which allows bench presses, a squat station, a leg curl station, and pulley systems for lat pull downs and other pulling exercises.

If you are just getting started out with weight training and want a simple well rounded workout go ahead and take a look at the home gym. If you progress beyond the capacity of the gym you will discover used gyms sell very easily and you can buy free weights in the future. The most important decision is to go ahead and get started. Your muscles and strength will never grow sitting at the computer, it requires getting busy on your new weight training equipment.

Weight Training – Ultimate Performance Is Not All In The Weight Room

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Training – Ultimate Performance Is Not All In The Weight Room
Sep 012010
 

Walking through most fitness centers you will see all the weight equipment in heavy usage. The funny thing is the quality of bodies on much of this equipment. The bodies are not powerful looking, they are not lean and ripped, they just look somewhat fit. What are they doing wrong? Weight training is not all in the weight room, much of it happens in two more critical places.

One of the two big problems you will find with many people working out in the gyms is their nutrition. Their weight training is excellent. They hit the weights religiously but never seem to make great gains. They struggle for every added rep and every added pound on their lifts. They are getting in great shape, but not changing their shape much.

When you are weight training you are tearing down your muscles. You must provide them with the proper building blocks to rebuild properly or you simply end up with over-trained muscles which gets you stuck on a plateau. Your muscles can only make a certain amount of gain in power and size without great nutrition.

Your nutrition must include plenty of protein, shooting to get approximately .75 to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. This easiest way to keep your calories down and get plenty of protein is to use a protein supplement. Powdered varieties are ideal, but you must keep a close eye on the amount of sugars and unnecessary fillers in the mixture.

As you progress and need even more muscle growing nutrition you can explore HGH Boosters, Creatine, Amino Acid Stacks, and other nutritional supplements.

The other area these weight training fanatics often miss is right between their ears. They are pounding away on the bench doing their bench press. Their back arches, their arm muscles are fully engaged struggling to lift the weight. Their effort looks tremendous, and it is. The problem is they are focusing the exercise on everything wrong. Are you guilty of this? Focus on form and even more importantly focus on the target muscle. When you are doing a bench press mentally crush the weight upward with the pull of your chest muscles against your arms. Feel the pull, and then flex the chest muscle fully at the top of the lift. Focus on lowering slowly allowing the chest muscle to control the weight all the way down.

By changing your mental focus you change the effort in the muscle you intend to develop and the change in growth and power can be tremendous.

The real magic is when your weight training is hitting on all three legs of a great program. You are working out with intensity. Your mental focus is in place and provides you with excellent technique and isolation. You feed your muscles the proper nutrition with plenty of protein. When these three legs are all in place your muscle mass and power will increase, it is the formula to success.

Weight Lifting Wrist Straps – Remarkable Benefit or Unnecessary Crutch

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Wrist Straps – Remarkable Benefit or Unnecessary Crutch
Sep 012010
 

Has your coach, a trainer, or a friend told you to buy some weight lifting wrist straps to improve your workout? This is usually where any athlete gets started using straps. Are they really the remarkable benefit they claim or just a crutch which is going to hurt you in the long run?

Weight lifting wrist straps tie your arms to your weight bar. They give you tremendous holding power you can never match on your own. You can use them for pull-ups, too. Your ability to lift heavier weights can be enhanced without a doubt. So far it all sounds good, right?

The problem with using wrist straps comes from what it changes in your workout. Where you were developing gripping power, forearm muscles, and other supporting muscles they now are unneeded. When you begin to rely on the straps you reduce the side benefits of the exercises you are doing. It can become a major impediment to developing these other muscle groups which work in support roles.

This leads to the question, what is the appropriate use for weight lifting wrist straps? If you are a serious heavy lifter, then using straps can make perfect sense during your last set of pulling exercises. This allows you to handle weights slightly exceeding your grip strength and to challenge those powerful core muscles a little further. Do not plan on wearing the straps for all your sets or you decrease the overall benefits of each exercise. You want to challenge all the supporting muscles to give you better overall strength and symmetry.

Never choose to use weight lifting wrist straps for exercises not requiring them. Wearing straps on your bench press would be completely unnecessary.

Consider wrist straps in the same way you should look at using a lifting belt. They are there only for the heaviest times in your workout and only for the proper exercises. When you use any form of supporting equipment to reduce the effort of a movement you are cheating yourself of muscle growth. When you use them to allow you to squeeze out a few extra reps on a final set, or final two sets, they can become a big advantage to added muscle growth.

If you choose to use straps buy high quality straps which you will be comfortable using. Make sure you can strap up quickly and get out of them just as fast. You do not want your straps to slow down your workout. Leather straps work great, are simple, and inexpensive.

Are weight lifting wrist straps a remarkable benefit or an unnecessary crutch? It depends on you. If you use them as intended to squeeze out a few extra reps on your last set they are a remarkable benefit. If you strap them on for every rep of every set they have become a crutch. A crutch which will hurt your progress and growth. Use wrist straps properly and get the full benefit.

Weight Lifting System – Ultimate Power and Safety Lifting At Home

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting System – Ultimate Power and Safety Lifting At Home
Sep 012010
 

Working out with heavy weights at home can be accompanied with all kinds of risks. It means you likely are not training with a partner, so do not have a spotter. Your caution levels must increase, but many times this is still not enough. A good weight lifting system for your home can allow you to train with maximum effort and still maintain a high level of safety.

When taking about a weight lifting system understand this is not a simple home gym. This is a home gym which has grown up and is ready for big boy action and effort. A great weight lifting setup is going to be designed to work with an Olympic weight lifting bar and plates. They are designed for heavy duty lifting, effort, and safety.

Think about one of the most dangerous exercises you can perform by yourself, the bench press. When you are working out at home and trying to build a massive chest a simple bench is not enough. You cannot push yourself to the limit with a simple bench without taking the risk of dropping the entire weight on your chest. With a great system like Marcy’s Diamond Elite Smith System, or many others, your bench press location is lined with numerous stops to offload the weight at any sticking point. You have a final stop which is just above chest height to prevent the danger of having the weight stuck on you. The level of safety in lifting goes up dramatically.

The same is true for another heavy duty exercise the squat. When you load your Olympic weight lifting bar to do some heavy squats you need to know you can get out at any level. A high quality weight lifting system will have numerous stops in the squat rack to allow you easy unloading of the weight. No more fears of getting stuck at the bottom and needing to risk an unsafe drop of the weight.

The other differences you find in a system built for heavy lifters is in all the pulley attachments. Those little home gyms are often limited to 50 to 100 pounds on the pulley system. As we all know this is a waste of time. We could move that with our little finger, if not today, in a few weeks. A full blown weight lifting system will be designed with pulleys, cables, and plate holders designed to hold hundreds of pounds. Many systems use cables rated to handle 2000 pounds. These are weights we will never lift, but give us room to grow and a level of safety we need for working out alone.

As you can see a true weight lifting system is about as close to a home gym as your body is to a skinny 10 year old boys. By buying a system you can workout at home with confidence, power, and complete safety. The biggest advantage is in your ability to grow, improve, and keep moving forward in your weight training never hitting those tiny limits imposed by a simple home gym.

Weight Lifting Schedule – Successful Lifters Work On A Schedule Not Intuition

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Schedule – Successful Lifters Work On A Schedule Not Intuition
Sep 012010
 

What is your weight lifting schedule? You probably just answered something like Monday through Friday at 7AM. Once again, what is your weight lifting schedule?

You need to know exactly what your plan of attack for your body is for each day of your workout, for each exercise, and how long it should take you. Do you know this much detail or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

Answering you workout Monday through Friday at 7AM is great. Now, what body parts are you working out Monday, with what exercise, for how many reps, how many sets, at what speed, and what intensity?

Here is what you need to know as an example. On Monday’s workout I will be working out my chest, biceps, triceps, upper back, and shoulders. I will be starting with my chest by doing 6 sets of bench presses. The first set is a warmup set done quickly for 15 reps with only 100 pounds. My second set steps up the weight to 150 pounds for 12 reps at medium speed, about 7 to 12 seconds per rep. Set 3 will be for 10 reps at 200 pounds still at medium speed. Set 4 is my heaviest set at 250 pounds, I plan to squeeze out 8 reps, but I really want more. Set 5 is back down to 200 pounds and goes to exhaustion, usually about 12 reps, but I want to shoot for 15. Set 6 drops the weight back down to 150 to cool down the muscle, if I’m lucky I can squeeze out 15 reps at a very slow speed, about 20 seconds per rep.

Do you know this kind of detail for your workout plan? Do you think through every exercise and develop a schedule and routine to maximize your effort? Creating a weight lifting schedule is not only about choosing which days of the week to workout, but more importantly what exercises you are going to perform and what your plan is. Only by having a detailed schedule with your workout routine details can you truly plan for increases in strength and muscle growth. Knowing your goals going into each set allows you to push to meet and exceed your goals. Going in blindly leaves you open to stagnant lifting and slower growth.

Your weight lifting schedule should be on paper, preferably a chart. Make sure it has plenty of room for keeping workout notes. As you complete sets or exercises quickly jot down your level of success and use it to plan your next workout. Use the feedback for motivation. Even if you fail to hit a milestone you had on the schedule it can be highly motivating. You just need to challenge yourself on the next workout to push for it again. Positive thinking along with positive oriented frustration can be a powerful motivator.

For the last time, what is your weight lifting schedule? Is it just a list of days you plan to workout, or are you preparing a plan and schedule for weight lifting dominance?

Sep 012010
 

The gym is packed with your buddies all working out intensely. You are moving fast through your workout. You are quickly throwing weights on and off the Olympic weight lifting bar as you move between sets. What rule of weight lifting safety did you potentially and foolishly just miss?

You see this happen in high schools, colleges, and gyms everywhere. You choose not to secure the weights on the bar. You know, you are sure, you are confident you have control of the bar. Then on that final rep your left arm drops 2 inches a plate slides off the bar and suddenly the bar is flipping out of control out of your hands. Never, ever, leave your weights loose on the bar. It may be faster changing weights between sets, but it is the fastest way to end up in the emergency room, too.

Weight lifting safety should be at the front of your mind in every workout and every exercise you do. Safely lifting allows you to keep making progressive gains day after day. Being sloppy leads to injuries, often leading to months without working out.

Another common safety violation in the gym comes in what appears to be a safe weight lifting practice. You are getting ready to do some heavy dead lifting so you grab the wrist straps and strap up. You get busy lifting and suddenly on the last rep you cannot pull the weight to the top. If you strapped up properly you can still get free. If you strapped up improperly you may have a big problem and need to lower the weight safely, if you can. Learn proper techniques for using all equipment before you use it. Just because your buddy does it this way does not mean it is right.

Are you a loner in the gym? You love to workout hard, fast, quick, and alone. No problem with any of it, except you better find a couple friends. Even when you love to workout alone you must know a few other guys in the gym to spot for you. You cannot lift heavily on the bench press or squats without spotters. Do not tell yourself crazy stories about being able to get maximum gains without pushing through to your limit. If you try to push out those extra reps without spotters you are putting yourself at huge risk.

Figuring it out on your own. This may be the biggest weight lifting safety failure in every gym. Smart gym owners set rules to not allow you to use new equipment without being signed off by a trainer. You should take the same precautions on using free weights. Any time you are going into uncharted territory get a trainer to watch your technique and then make the corrections. Only with proper form can you be safe.

Weight lifting safety is not about straps, belts, and other accessories. Safety comes from learning to use the equipment properly, executing with perfect form, and using good common sense. Avoid injuries and get the most out of your body. It is never fun to lay on the couch waiting to heal.

Weight Lifting Routines – Powerful Results Are Just A Thought Away

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Routines – Powerful Results Are Just A Thought Away
Sep 012010
 

How many weight lifting routines have you read through, considered, and then dismissed in the last few months? When you pick up a magazine filled with professional bodybuilders sharing their favorite routines you read through the plan and then are overwhelmed. Their plans are intensive, long, and exhausting. Probably not the type of plan you really need. What do you really need?

The problem with almost all weight lifting routines you find published is they are not designed to meet your goals. Before you can choose a routine you need to define your individual goals very carefully. Take a careful look at your own body, think about how you want it to change in both appearance and strength, and then use this as the basis for designing your own routine.

Yes, that is right. You need to design your own weight lifting routines for the ultimate success. If you could ask any top bodybuilder or power athlete whose routine they are following they would get a puzzled look on their face and tell you “My own.” Even though they recognize the importance of knowing how Lee Haney did it, or how Arnold dominated the world, or how Zydrunas became the 2009 World’s Strongest Man, those routines do not fit their needs. They borrow from the routines. They learn from them, but they do not use them.

You must follow the same path of creating your own weight lifting routines for one very simple reason, your body is unique. You have strengths and weaknesses which are specific to your own body, and they must be trained properly to create the power and balance you want.

What you can learn from the pros is types of exercises needed to target specific body parts. You can learn the intensity required to excel. You can use their routines as a guide for determining the number of sets and reps you might wish to use.

There is one fact which is very consistent about almost every athletes, bodybuilder, or strength competitor’s routines. They all keep the basics in their routines, and hit them hard. The basic exercises like the bench press, barbell rows, squat, barbell curls, close grip bench, crunches, and others are seldom ignored by any athlete. These are the exercises which pack on the bulk, build the strength, and create the building blocks for all your other efforts.

Start building your own weight lifting routines by using only the basic exercises. Master the basics building your strength and mass. Then, and only then, you should start adding additional exercises to refine, cut, and sculpt your muscles in new ways.

For stubborn body parts do not add more exercises, add more intensity and weight. You may see a professional doing 6 different bicep exercises, you do not need it. Start with the simple curls, build mass and strength, and then you can slowly add more bicep exercises to your weight lifting routines to refine the muscle to your idea of perfection. Trust your instincts and the way your muscles feel during your workout. You will do great, better than with another person’s idea of the perfect plan.

Weight Lifting Reps – How Many Reps Are Too Much?

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Reps – How Many Reps Are Too Much?
Sep 012010
 

The number of weight lifting reps needed in your workout is one of the most misunderstood components of weight training. How many reps do you believe you need?

Before you answer the question about how many reps you need, you better know what your goal in weight lifting is. Training for ultimate power requires training a specific way. Bodybuilding training requires a different form of training. Circuit training using weights for fitness takes another completely different form of lifting. What is your goal power, an extreme body, or overall fitness?

Let us take a look first at the requirements of a powerlifter seeking the highest amount of power and strength possible. A powerlifter is going to workout using a low number of reps in each set. Even their number of sets is going to be limited. On the power day of training you may be lifting as few as 1 rep in a set, or as high as 5 reps. The difference is the weight you are handling. You will be lifting weights hitting 80 to 100 percent of your maximum.

A bodybuilder is looking to build massive muscles, and the side effect is increased strength. Their primary goal is body and muscle development. If you are wanting to develop a bodybuilder’s body you will need a more diverse workout, more reps, but less weight. Weight lifting reps in a bodybuilders workout most commonly range from 8 to 12 reps per set. Sets can range from 3 sets up to 7 sets per body part. The goals is maximum muscle tear down for the maximum muscle growth between workouts. A bodybuilders workouts are longer due to including multiple lifts for each body part.

Using weight training as part of your circuit training fitness program is where the weight lifting reps really hit the upper limits. Instead of training to build ultimate strength or an ultimate body you are working to create a high level of cardiovascular fitness along with reasonable strength gains. You move fast in every exercise aiming for 20 to 25 reps per set. Depending on the design of your circuit you may be rotating between different lifts for each set and then back through the circuit again. The training can be very intense and the heart rate jumps up faster than in any other form of weight lifting.

Then you hit hybrid forms of exercise like crossfit training. Crossfit training does not focus on only weight lifting but includes different forms of sporting moves and training to become fit for all possibilities. Using weight training as part of crossfit will mean you choose to do hybrid lifting. You will follow a powerlifter’s regimen some days to create great strength gains, but other days you will follow a circuit training regimen to increase your speed, agility, flexibility, and endurance.

Choosing the right number weight lifting reps comes down to choosing your final outcome. You then tailor your number of reps to match your desires to build the body of your dreams. This is the real power of weight lifting, total flexibility to meet almost any need.

Weight Lifting Plates – Discover The Plates You Need For True Power Training

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Plates – Discover The Plates You Need For True Power Training
Sep 012010
 

Have you been the proud owner of a beginner workout set? You know, those cute little sets with a plastic outside and filled with concrete. They work ok, but after a little abuse the plastic cracks and you start breaking out little bits of weight dust on the floor. Real power training requires high quality weight lifting plates to give you safety and adequate weight.

The best weight lifting plates all have one thing in common. They are designed to work on Olympic weight lifting bars, dumbbell bars, and power lifting equipment. They are not designed with those tiny little holes for putting on those little low end home starter kits.

If you are setting up a home gym you will need to make a hard decision. There are two styles of Olympic weight lifting plates which will work great. The standard set is solid metal. They can do serious damage to your floor. Even if you are working out on the concrete floor of your basement or garage the plates can easily take chips out of the concrete. You will drop them. You will at some point put the loaded bar down heavily, count on it.

The second style is virtually identical except they are coated in rubber. Sounds like an obvious choice for your home, but then you need to consider the extra cost of the coated plates, and the fact the rubber casing with wear off over time. Depending on how rough you are the rubber could last for many years, or only a few months.

An idea you may want to do for your rubber coated weights is to only buy a few. Get one set of your heaviest weights rubber coated. Think of it this way, if you have 35 pound plates which are going to be on the bar all the time and are rubber coated, and all your other plates are 25 and under, then the 35 pound plates hit the floor first. This can help you save a little money on buying your plates.

The next temptation when buying weight lifting plates is to focus on large plates. This is fine to a point, but make sure you have a wide selection of smaller plates. As you are training you want to be able to step up in small increments. You want 2.5 pound plates, 5 pound plates, 10 pound plates, and a variety of heavier plates. This allows you to make adjustments in 5 pound increments which is perfect.

As you are choosing your selection of plates keep dumbbells in mind. This requires you have a larger mix of lighter weight lifting plates. You will want 4 of each of the smallest weights so you can adjust and balance your dumbbells properly. Make sure to buy all your plates from a high quality supplier. Weight plates are affordable and buying cheap plates which can break should never be considered.

Weight Lifting Pants – It Is Time For Those Sweat Pants To Stay At Home

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Pants – It Is Time For Those Sweat Pants To Stay At Home
Sep 012010
 

What do you wear to the gym for your workouts? Sweat pants, cut off shorts, gym shorts, and all kinds of clothes find their way into the gym. Weight lifting pants are designed to give you style and one additional big bonus.

How long have you been lifting? If it has been very long you have probably started to notice a big problem when shopping for clothes. Pants with small waists and massive legs are not common. You look for jeans and end up needing to buy the baggy versions to make sure your thighs fit. You buy dress pants and you need to buy them too large and then have them taken in by a tailor. Are you doing the same thing for your workout gear?

When you are getting ready to do some serious deep squats you need pants which give your legs complete freedom and are not tightly holding your legs. Due to your extreme training and massive legs you are hitting a problem. You can buy over-sized workout pants and then pull the drawstring extra tight to make sure they stay up, or you can buy true weight lifting pants.

Weight lifting pants are cut to fit your legs properly and fit your waist at the same time. The makers of weight lifting pants realize lifters are not built normally, they are built exceptionally. The legs are given extra room to let you move and workout with complete freedom, while the pants stay up around your waist properly. This is the big bonus, pants which fit right without needing a tailor.

You might be wondering why you need weight lifting pants in the first place. You may be heading to the gym wearing just a pair of gym shorts and feel like it is perfectly fine. If it works for you then keep doing it. Many lifters want to have their legs covered for at least the beginning of their workout until they are completely and thoroughly warmed up. It reduces potential cramps, muscle pulls and aids in getting the body warmed up quickly. They have the gym shorts hidden under the pants ready for action after the first 15 to 30 minutes of the workout when the sweat is rolling.

Weight lifting pants are not going to be found in your local superstore. They may have plenty of workout clothes, but they do not understand the needs of true power athletes like you. You can find pants in some sporting goods stores, but usually in limited styles and sizes. If you want to get the best styles, a little bit of unique flavor, and the right size you will need to shop online.

Is a pair of weight lifting pants going to transform your workout? No, it just makes your workouts more comfortable, you warm-up faster, and makes a statement you are a serious lifter. Get one pair and see how they feel. You are going to love the fact you have finally found a pair of pants which fits right off the shelf even with your massive thighs.

Weight Lifting Nutrition – Mass, Cuts, and Power Are Byproducts of Great Nutrition

 Bodybuilding, Nutrition  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Nutrition – Mass, Cuts, and Power Are Byproducts of Great Nutrition
Sep 012010
 

Becoming massive, powerful, and ripped is not an accident. It takes careful planning, massive effort, and extreme nutritional attention. Weight lifting nutrition is not a single diet plan, but a series of plans to meet the needs of your current training cycles. Are you ready to hit the big leagues?

The first thing you need to decide about nutrition is what your goal for weight lifting is. Are you trying to become the most powerful man in your school, gym, or community? Are you trying to build the best looking most symmetrical body possible with deep cuts? Are you trying to pack on muscle mass rapidly? All of these goals require careful planning in your nutrition. You must consider the food you consume and the supplements you will use to have the highest levels of success.

If your weight training is primarily to develop power and you are not overly concerned with deep cuts and extreme leanness your nutritional needs are going to focus on eating high amounts of natural proteins in your diet. This should come in the form of poultry, eggs, dairy products, beef, pork, and fish. A good mix of protein sources will help to make sure you get the best amino acid profiles to help build muscle quickly. For supplements consider adding creatine, powdered proteins, and other amino acid supplements. If you are in competitive sports make sure to check the rules in your sport to make sure what supplements are allowed and which can cause problems. Even though you are not concerned with your overall level of leanness still check the label for sugars and avoid them.

When you are training in a bodybuilder’s methods you are going to have two sequences in your weight lifting nutrition. The first sequence is to build mass. For this section of your training follow the same pattern as mentioned above for power. Eat plentifully and supplement your diet to make sure your muscles are getting plenty of building blocks to grow.

In your second sequence of weight lifting nutrition for bodybuilding you must cut calories and lose fat. The only way to get cut and ripped is to lower your body fat to under 10%. This is going to take massive discipline in your diet. Drop out the pork and beef which are high in fat and eat more fish and poultry. Eat primarily breast meat in your poultry selections to keep the fat level low. Grilled is the preferred method of cooking to avoid adding calories. Supplementation becomes critical at this point to make sure your muscles continue to get plenty of nutrition but without all the calories. Check the formulations on your protein powders very carefully. Many of the proteins on the market have extra calories you do not want.

For all lifters your weight lifting nutrition must contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep your levels of fiber, vitamins, and minerals high. While you can take vitamin and mineral supplements they are not as effective and digestible as natural sources. The key to success is plenty of growth spurring protein, amino acids, and nutrition without empty calories weighing you down.

Weight Lifting Log – Superior Workouts Come From Knowledge

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Log – Superior Workouts Come From Knowledge
Sep 012010
 

Think about your workouts for a minute. How much did you lift on your bench press in each set in your last workout? How many reps did you do? How did you feel at the end of each set? If you do not know the answer to those questions there is no way to maximize your next workout. A weight lifting log is crucial to getting superior workouts and improving in every workout.

Many lifters may try to tell you the only thing you really need to know is how much you lifted in your heaviest set. You can buy into the theory if you want to be average. If you want to excel in lifting and physical improvement you must know all the details of your workout. You need to be able to adjust every set to maximize to get the greatest benefit from your workouts.

It takes only a few seconds between sets to quickly jot down how much you lifted, how many reps, and how it felt. This is the same amount of time you would have spent standing there catching your breath before starting the next set. Put the time to work for you.

The knowledge you gain from your log is powerful. You can use it to motivate yourself in tremendous ways. If you can squeeze out one extra rep in your workout every session it is a major gain. Being able to look back through the logs and see how you improve over the weeks motivates you for the future. If you know each workout brings you one or two added reps, and each few workouts lets you increase in weight you train with confidence. Without this knowledge you may feel stuck, on a plateau and become discouraged.

A weight lifting log does not stop you from hitting a plateau, but it lets you quickly identify one. You can then make changes quickly to restart your muscle growth and power gains. You can make adjustments to your diet, your supplements, or change up exercises to get the gains going again.

This brings us to another important aspect of your weight lifting log. It needs to include areas for you to monitor your eating habits and specifically any supplements you are taking. The feedback from your logs is what is going to teach you which supplements give you the maximum benefits and help you learn how to cycle them properly for your body. When you see the benefits dropping off you stop taking the supplement and give your body a rest.

The same is true with exercises. When you see one exercise hit a plateau, like the barbell bicep curl, then you switch up exercises to hit the muscle differently. You could switch to dumbbell curls, concentration curls, switch to a curl bar, or any other change to re-target your efforts and start seeing gains again. Your weight lifting log becomes your guide to making changes and then verifying they are working for you. Without a log you are only working on gut feel and memory. With a log you have history and the chance to learn what works for your body consistently.

Weight Lifting Help – Wanted Excellent Help In Power Training

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Help – Wanted Excellent Help In Power Training
Sep 012010
 

Every power athlete should enter a new gym with a sign which reads, “Wanted Excellent Help in Power Training”. No matter who you are, how strong you are, and how much of a loner you are, you need help in the gym. Weight lifting help is not a cop out, it is an essential to the best workouts possible.

Guys, we have a terrible habit of wanting to accomplish tasks on our own, which is a great trait in most cases. When you are trying to build a body based on power, symmetry, and strength it is complete insanity to not accept help.

Let us explore a few facts about weight lifting and building muscle mass. To build massive muscles you must push your muscles to adapt. You can only do this by pushing them to places they have never been before. This means overloading your muscles and capabilities. This means putting yourself at minor risk in many lifts, also.

When you want to build a massive chest you are going to be doing heavy bench presses, very heavy. If you really want to make a major impact on the size and strength of your chest you need to work to failure. It is impossible to work to failure without spotters. Having weight lifting help in the form of spotters is crucial to success in this core exercise.

If you think the bench press gets heavy, stop and think about how much weight you will be moving in the squat. Imagine getting deep into a rep and not being able to power back up out of it. Spotters are critical to safety and squeezing out those last few reps.

Weight lifting help is not only for spotting, but for learning proper form, too. You may have read the instructions, seen some static pictures, but until you see it in person, try it yourself, and get critiqued there is not way to know how good your form and execution really is. Getting the most out of every rep can only be accomplished with great form and isolating the primary muscle properly. This form of weight lifting help should come from a trainer, or from a highly experienced lifter. Average lifters use bad form, great lifters use great form. Be a great lifter.

The best bodybuilders, power lifters, and strength athletes do not work in a vacuum. They talk to other athletes, coaches, and trainers to learn more about training and nutrition. What you may believe to be true could be completely wrong. Asking an expert can keep you on the right track getting your muscles and strength growing rapidly. Simple changes to diet, technique, or workout plans can make big differences in your performance.

Weight lifting help is not isolated to lifting and nutrition either. Your mental state is highly critical. Find other lifters who are motivated, positive, and pumped up about lifting and you will become that way, too. Your mental attitude has more impact on your workout than having the perfect diet. When your mental state is great you can overcome obstacles, barriers, and plateaus. When your mental game is right everything else is just details to be filled in. Put it all together and you will have success beyond all those average lifters running around the gym.

Weight Lifting Grips – Ultimate Effort Starts In Your Hands

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Grips – Ultimate Effort Starts In Your Hands
Sep 012010
 

Ready to pound some iron? Are you ready to make your muscles grow and begin shaping them to fit your goals? You know the sweat is going to be pouring off your body as you workout. Your hands are damp. The bar is heavy. Without proper weight lifting grips you are putting yourself in danger of very serious accidents which can bring your workout plans to a halt for days, months, or even years. Grips are an essential accessory for your own safety.

Your hands are probably already strong enough to handle the weight of the bar to maintain your safety, but when sweat has made them wet your grip can slip. Weight lifting grips come in several varieties to help you overcome the safety risks associated with handling heavy free weights.

One of the best styles of weight lifting grips is weight lifting gloves. The advantage of gloves is you put them on before your workout and keep them on until you are finished. No worrying about grabbing other items or looking for the grips when you are preparing to to lift heavy weights. The disadvantage to weight lifting gloves is they can be a little hot, and you may not want them on for every lift. Lifts you feel comfortable with, like cable rows, with little risk of injury do not require you wear gloves and can increase your grip strength without them. Strapping gloves on and off during a workout may be a little annoying.

If you prefer quick to grab and use grips you do not need to wear try weight lifting grips like the Paw Sponge hand grips. These grips are small squares of 1/4” thick absorbent sponge rubber which your wrap around the bar or cable pulls. They mold to your hand as you squeeze down giving you a powerful non-slip grip.

If you are wanting a grip with total performance in mind you might want to try grips which are molded into shape and a harder hand protecting surface. An example of this style is the Lynx Performance Grips. They give you unparalleled gripping power with extra protection for your hands.

Grips are not only for safety but allow you to lift heavier weights, too. Often the weakest link in our lifts is our grip. We cannot challenge our body parts to the maximum because we cannot control the extra weight. With great weight lifting grips you have extra holding power and can push your muscles to the extreme which leads to more power, more growth, and a more impressive body.

As you start looking for weight lifting grips for your workouts do not overlook bars which have deeper gripping patterns. These can help you have added gripping strength even without lifting gloves or other lifting grips. Even when you use gloves or grips the deeper patterns allow you to get a deeper and tighter grip on the bar. Gripping strength comes down to hand power, proper bar selection, and choosing weight lifting grips to enhance your strength.

Weight Lifting Exercises for Beginners – Increase Your Results With Simplicity

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Exercises for Beginners – Increase Your Results With Simplicity
Sep 012010
 

Getting started in weight lifting can seem a bit confusing. You walk into the average gym and your eyes are assaulted by all the equipment. People are busy working out and you have no idea where to get started. Weight lifting exercises for beginners should be kept very simple, and very easy to get you the best results and eliminate confusion.

To start with let us break your body down into two groups. The first group will include your chest, back, arms, and shoulders. The second group will be your legs, lower back, and abdomen. As a beginner this gives your body a good split, and lets you plan on hitting the weight 3 times each week. Week one hit the first group on Monday and Friday, group 2 on Wednesday. Next week just flip the order.

For your upper body group with are going to have 5 simple exercises. For each exercise do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Attempt to add a rep in each workout, if you can not it is not a big deal, just shoot to increase a rep in the next workout. When you can do 15, then add a little weight for the next workout.

To start with it is time to hit the bench press. The bench press is the most effective and simple exercise to pack muscle on to your chest. On all of these exercises please ask a trainer to show you proper technique, or check a video online before doing them. It is critical to have perfect form. While doing your bench press focus your mind on your chest muscle, making sure it is responsible for moving the weight.

The close grip bench press is your next stop in this day. It is identical to the bench press except you bring your hands closely together. Leave no more than a couple inches between your hands. This exercise focuses the exercise into your triceps on the back of your arms. Once again think through the exercise keeping focus on the triceps.

Instead of giving you detailed explanations of exercises, let us be brief. Your first group will continue with lat pull downs for your back upper back muscles. Then move to barbell biceps curls to build massive biceps on the front of your arms. Finish up the day with dumbbell presses to build powerful shoulder muscles. Focus on each muscle as you do the exercises.

On your next group you will be working heavy. For the front of your legs do squats with a barbell resting on your shoulders. For the back of your legs do lying leg curls. The curls allow you to focus directly on the muscle. For the lower legs do seated calf raises. Place a weight across your knees and lift using only the power of your calf muscles. The power movement for the lower back is dead lifts. Your final exercise focuses on your stomach, the crunch.

Please make sure you follow the advice and have a trainer show you each exercise and observe you for a rep or two. Form is very important.

The most critical point of any weight lifting exercises for beginners is getting your form perfect, and applying focus. Focus your thoughts into working the muscle you intend to improve. Cheating is very easy, and only through focus can you train the right muscle and get the greatest improvement.

Weight Lifting Club – Socialize Your Way To Power

 Bodybuilding  Comments Off on Weight Lifting Club – Socialize Your Way To Power
Sep 012010
 

Powerlifters, bodybuilders, and weight lifters often report their workouts are solitary and filled with individual focus. This might be the strategy which works for many lifters, but for others we need to have camaraderie, competition, and friendship to excel in our workouts. A weight lifting club might be what you need to find the socialization and competitive spirit you want.

A weight lifting club is usually associated with a gym or group of lifters who train together, support each other, and compete under the club name. There are major advantages to participating in a club.

The first advantage comes in having training partners to help push us to the limit. When you have buddies standing over you cheering you on to make one more rep, to lift 10 more pounds, or to never give up, you push harder. Even on days you do not feel excited about going for your workout, when you arrive and all the other guys start getting excited and pumped up the mood becomes contagious and soon you are caught up in the excitement of lifting again.

The second advantage comes in safety. When you are a member of a club you always have training partners ready and able to spot for you. If you are a true power athlete then average guys in most gyms cannot spot you, they simply are not strong enough. Your crew in the weight lifting club are power trainers just like you. They are prepared to spot and can handle those weights to make sure you stay safe.

The third advantage comes on competition days. When you have other guys cheering for you and standing behind you, you feel inspired to lift more powerfully. Trips often become much cheaper because instead of absorbing all the costs yourself you team up in vehicles, share rooms, get discounts, and find many other ways to cut costs together. These savings add up to allow you to compete more often becoming a more fierce competitor.

The fourth advantage to joining a weight lifting club is coaching. Whether the club has a full-time coach or a few highly seasoned veterans who have taken on the role, you have feedback and advice you would never have by lifting alone. Having like minded allies and coaches can help you fine tune technique and drive your level of training to new extremes.

A weight lifting club is not all about socializing, but it often leads to it. You will form new friendships and life long bonds with your fellow lifters. Instead of feeling like the lone person in a restaurant, club, or theater who understands the trials and tribulations of building extreme muscle and power you will have friends who you relate to easily.

How do you really want to train? You can be a lone wolf and have great success if you are wired to work alone, but if you crave sharing your experience and having added support a weight lifting club can give you a big advantage. Get out there and crush the competition with your buddies from the club.