The vast majority of myths about weight gain are mostly passed down from "gym talk" and so-called experts who know nothing about the body's workings. Myths that lead to wasted time, frustration and if are taken blindly as truth, can really set back your progress in the gym. Don't believe everything you hear in the gym when it comes to exercise and "weight gain" , do the research yourself. Simple, basic principles apply to all weight and muscle gain such as progressive overload, variable frequency of reps and high intensity workouts. Lets take a look at some of the most common weight gain myths. High repetitions burn fat while low repetitions build muscle.Progressive overload is needed to make muscles bigger. Meaning that you need to perform more reps than you did for your last workout for that particular exercise. If you perform the same amount of reps at each workout nothing will change on you, also if the weight doesnt changes on the bar nothing will change on you. You need to become stronger.Definition has two characteristics, muscle size and a low incidence of body fat. To reduce body fat you will have to reduce your calories; the high repetition exercise will burn some calories, but wouldn't it be better to fast walk to burn these off? Better still; use the low reps to build muscle, which will elevate your metabolism and burn more calories (less fat).Vegetarians cant build muscle.Yes they can! Strength training with supplementation of soy Protein Isolate has shown to increase solid bodyweight. Studies have shown that athletic performance is not impaired by following a meat free diet, and people strength training and consuming only soy protein isolate as a protein source were able to gain lean muscle mass. Strength Training will make you look masculine.If it is not youre intention to bulk up from strength training you wont. Putting on muscle is a long hard slow process. Your strength-training regime coupled with quality food will determine how much you will bulk up. To bulk up you also require more food. Women don't produce enough testosterone to allow for muscular growth as large as men.By working out you can eat what ever you want to.Of course you can eat whatever you want, if you don't care how you want to look. Working out does not give you an open license to consume as many calories as you want. Although you will burn more calories if you workout than someone who doesn't, you still need to balance your energy intake with you energy expenditure.If you take a week off you will lose most of your gains.Taking one or two weeks off occasionally will not harm your training. By taking this time off every eight to ten weeks in between strength training cycles it has the habit of refreshing you and to heal those small niggling injuries. By having longer layoffs you do not actually lose muscle fibres, just volume through not training, any size loss will be quickly re-gained. By eating more protein I can build bigger muscles.Building muscle mass involves two things, progressive overload to stimulate muscles beyond their normal levels of resistance and eating more calories than you can burn off. With all the hype about high protein diets lately and because muscle is made of protein, its easy to believe that protein is the best fuel for building muscle, however muscles work on calories which should predominately be derived from carbohydrates.If I'm not sore after a workout, I didn't work out hard enough.Post workout soreness is not an indication of how good the exercise or strength training session was for you. The fitter you are at a certain activity, the less soreness you will experience after. As soon as you change an exercise, use a heavier weight or do a few more reps you place extra stress on that body part and this will cause soreness. Resistance training doesn't burn fat.Nothing could not be further from the truth. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue and has a role in increasing the metabolism. The faster metabolism we have the quicker we can burn fat. Cardio exercise enables us to burn calories whilst exercising but does little else for fat loss afterwards. Weight training enables us to burn calories whilst exercising but also helps us to burn calories whilst at rest. Weight training encourages muscle growth and the more lean muscle mass we possess, the more fat we burn though an increased and elevated metabolism.No pain no gain.This is one myth that hangs on and on. Pain is your body signalling that something is wrong. If you feel real pain during a workout, stop your workout and rest. To develop muscle and increase endurance you may need to have a slight level of discomfort, but that's not actual pain. Taking steroids will make me huge.Not true, strength training and correct nutrition will grow muscle. Taking steroids without training will not make you muscular. Most steroids allow faster muscle growth through greater recovery, while others help increase strength which allows for greater stress to be put onto a muscle. Without food to build the muscle or training to stimulate it nothing will happen. Most of the weight gain seen with the use of some steroids is due to water retention and is not actual muscle.Strength training wont work your heart. Wrong!! Strength training with short rest periods will increase your heartbeat well over a hundred beats per minute. For example, performing a set of breathing squats and you can be guaranteed that your heart will be working overtime and that your entire cardiovascular system will be given a great overall body workout. Any intensive weightlifting routine that lasts for 20 minutes or more is a great workout for your heart and the muscles involved. I can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Wrong. Only a few gifted people with superb genetics can increase muscle size while not putting on body fat. But for the average hard gainer, they have to increase their muscle mass to its maximum potential and then cut down their body fat percentage to achieve the desired shape.
Creatine is a naturally formed amino acid that is found in the human body, especially around the skeletal muscle. The human body generates Creatine naturally, partly from the diet we take and partly on its own. A healthy person has about 120g of Creatine, most of it being in the form of a compound called PCr. The body can store a maximum Creatine quantity of 0.3 g per one kilogram of body weight. The body produces about 2g of Creatine per day. The chief food sources of Creatine are fish and red meat. Half a pound of raw meat provides about 1g of Creatine for the body. Creatine that does not come from food is produced endogenously by the body from amino acids. There are several benefits of Creatine. Creatine boosts anaerobic energy in the body. It provides instant energy to the body. It improves muscle strength and makes the muscle suitable for high-intensity, short duration exertion like weightlifting or sprinting. It is also found to speed up the recovery of energy. It delays fatigue significantly. It promotes lean-muscle mass and reduces muscle wasting in post-surgical patients. It is also believed to help heart patients by increasing their exercise capacity, reducing heart spasms and thus increasing heart function. Creatine is generally taken as a supplement by athletes who need heavy bursts of energy. Creatine acts as a catalyst to a special chemical reaction that occurs in the body when a person does high-intensity, short duration work. The body generates enough Creatine to accommodate such kind of a reaction. For additional exertion, Creatine has to be taken additionally through food or through other forms. Creatine has become very popular among athletes because of its many benefits and very few side effects. The only side effect documented till now is weight gain. However, overdose of Creatine or use of Creatine over a long period of time may have some other side effects also, and tests are still being conducted to determine the effect of using Creatine in the long run. Creatine is available as a supplement like vitamin pills in the form of over-the-counter drugs. Creatine is categorized as a dietary supplement and can be purchased even without a prescription as per the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Then again, Creatine is not tested by the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and certain side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and deep vein thromboses have been listed under a 1998 FDA report. There are several Creatine supplement products in the market today. Creatine is available in capsule, chewable and powdered forms. One teaspoon of the powdered form contains 5g of Creatine monohydrate. The recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons with 8 ounces of water per day. Nevertheless, the dosage can vary depending on the body exertion. Athletes usually follow a dosage cycle comprising of loading and maintenance phases.
Summer is on the horizon, and the time has come to kick back and relax under the sun. Its time for beach days, barbecues and pool parties, and for any serious weightlifter these activities also mean one thing: its time for the shirts to come off and to showcase that rock-solid physique theyve been working on all year. No one wants to be walking around with a soft, smooth and flabby body, and for the next month or two, all of those serious lifters will be shifting into get ripped mode. How do they usually go about this?They lighten up the weights and perform higher reps. This has always been a widely accepted method of cutting down and if you ask most trainers in the gym theyll tell you that heavy weights bulk up the muscle and lighter weights define the muscle.Do you want to know the reality behind the light weight and high reps method of obtaining a ripped and defined physique?It is completely, totally and utterly DEAD WRONG. It couldnt be farther from the truth. In fact, there is no logical basis for this way of training whatsoever, and whoever dreamt up this downright ridiculous way of thinking has caused the vast majority of lifters to waste their time and impede their progress in the gym.Let me clear this up once and for all: you CANNOT spot reduce. In other words, it is physically impossible to target fat loss from a specific area on your body. Performing bench presses with light resistance and high repetitions will not magically burn fat off of your chest or cause it to appear harder and more defined.Every single time you wrap your hands around a barbell, dumbbell or cable, your goal is to stimulate as much muscle growth as you possibly can. There are no special, secret weightlifting exercises that will define your muscles or cause them to become more ripped. Training with weights builds muscle mass, end of story.So how exactly do you define a muscle?The only way to define a muscle is by lowering your body fat level in order to make your muscles more visible. Body fat reduction can be achieved in two ways:1) Modify your diet.You should lower your overall caloric intake to around 15x your bodyweight and focus on consuming smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This will keep your metabolism naturally raised at all times and will keep your body in a constant fat burning state. Limit your intake of saturated fats and simple sugars, and focus instead on consuming lean sources of protein and low glycemic carbohydrates. It is also very important to keep your water intake high at a level of around 0.6 ounces per pound of bodyweight.2) Perform proper cardio workouts.Let go of the traditional method of moderate intensity cardio in 30-45 minute durations. If you want to maximize your bodys fat burning capacity and also minimize the muscle loss that inevitably accompanies a fat burning cycle, focus on shorter cardio workouts performed at a high level of intensity. These types of workouts will shoot your resting metabolism through the roof and will allow you to burn maximum amounts of fat even when you are at rest. I recommend 3-5 high intensity cardio sessions per week, spaced at least 8 hours away from your weight workouts.Thats all there is to it, folks. Take the notion of light weight and higher reps and throw it right out the window, down the street and around the corner. Following this misguided method will only cause you to lose muscle mass and strength, and will not assist you in burning fat or defining your physique.All you need to do to mold those rock-solid muscles for the summer time is this:1) Train with heavy weights and low repetitions to build maximum muscle mass.2) Modify your diet and implement cardio workouts to eliminate body fat and create visibly harder and more defined muscles.End of story.Ill see you at the beach!
Before wasting your money on a pile of bodybuilding supplements you really need to work out what you are hoping to achieve. Don't lose sight of the fact that sound nutrition forms the basis of any muscle building program and no amount of supplementation with the latest and greatest products will make up for bad eating habits. The bottom line is, bodybuilding supplements should be used IN ADDITION to regular food, not INSTEAD OF it.Now that we've got that out of the way, let's go on to think about what supplements could be of use and this is something that can only be determined by your physical and performance goals. Don't make the mistake of copying your training partners or believing all the garbage spouted in magazine ads. Decide first what you want to achieve and then choose the supplements that will help you reach your goals.To help you make an informed choice, the most popular and useful bodybuilding supplements available today are listed below, broadly divided into two goal-related categories.Determined to build muscle? This cannot be achieved without dedication, sheer hard work and sound nutrition. With a solid foundation in place you can help the process along with supplements like creatine, whey protein, prohormones, testosterone boosters and amino acids.Need to lose fat? There is no point in building awesome muscles if they're covered by layers of fat. Once again, the key to success is hard work but you can boost fat loss by using products from supplement categories that include fat burners, stimulant-free products, appetite suppressants and carb blockers.Many more supplements are available to support your bodybuilding endeavors. These include energy boosters and products aimed at enhancing the condition of your mind and body. As we progress through this series of articles we'll look at each of these in turn.
It's an unfortunate reality that throughout the years there has been a growth of strength training techniques that have no scientific proof to back them up. Have a look at the facts presented in this outline of muscle gain principles and make up your own mind. Below you will find Scientific Guidelines for strength training that have always been around but are not followed by many training systems these days.1. Limited Energy LevelA strength-training program should be short and simple as you only have a limited amount of energy per training session. Scientific studies reveal that blood sugar levels (energy) start to deplete after 30 mins, so exercise selection and the time taken to perform them is crucial. What you should be aiming for is stimulating as many muscle fibres in the shortest period of time available. Your blood sugar levels deplete after high intensity training (usually between 20 - 30 minutes) and remember that you need energy to recuperate after the workout. The trick is to give yourself a high intensity workout before your blood sugar level depletes, and then you will have given your body the exercise that it requires to gain the maximum amount of muscle possible.2. Progressive OverloadProgressive Overload is the main exercise principle you need to be aware of in order to get the results that you're after with strength training. The two most important points are: Complete your exercise with perfect technique Push to total failure when doing a set and overload the weight on the bar progressively. (Overload your targeted muscles to beyond what there used to)Basically this means that when the body is stressed by high intensity training beyond its normal demands, the body will adapt to these new demands of improved strength. When I say "normal demands," I mean what level of stress/strength your body is used to now. An example: The set that you performed last week using the same technique and weight, your body will now have adapted to. If you stay at this level your muscles will not become stronger or bigger, so this is where the Progressive Overload plays a major part. Once your muscles have adapted to a particular weight then it'll be time to overload them further (add more weight, speed, repetitions). You'll need to keep on repeating this process of overload if you want to become stronger.Remember to always use GOOD TECHNIQUE. Technique must never be sacrificed for extra load.3. Training FrequencyThe sad reality is that the popular high volume type of training that you find in bodybuilding books and magazines (and used by the stars) is irrelevant to the majority of the population and has a shocking failure rate. What is good for Joe Star is probably not good for you. Everybody has different genetics; most of us have poor genetics and are not taking steroids like the stars. The only way the majority of us can make any gains at all is to perform short intense workouts followed by long periods of rest so that we don't overtrain. 4. Over-CompensationMany studies conducted around the world have shown clearly that recuperation from strength training requires far more rest time than previously thought. Infrequent, short, high intensity weight training sessions, followed by the required amount of time to recover and become stronger is necessary for you to increase your functional muscle. Here's what you need to do - allow your body enough recuperation time for over compensation to take place, so that the muscles can adjust to their new strength and growth.5. Exercise selection for intensityI can't stress enough of how exercise selection is absolutely crucial. There are only a few exercises that you really need to perform. These exercises consist of multi-joint movements.These particular exercises are far superior to that of isolation exercises (working 1 muscle group at a time) because you are required to use more muscles from every muscle group.By using these exercises your whole body will be worked hard.6. VisualizationOver my 20 years in the industry, I've noticed that this area is by far the most neglected by mainstream health and fitness professionals... Most books or courses concentrate on the physical side of muscle gain or fat loss and completely neglect the mental side of things. By training your mental state as well as your physical body you can even further progress in muscle growth.