Archive for January, 2008

Putting your muscle building into hyperdrive

Strength training and body building involve the use of weights for the purpose of developing muscle mass. Lifting weights concentrates resistance on certain muscle groups which causes your muscle fibers to tear ever so slightly. Repeatedly tearing your muscle fibers with weights causes new muscles to develop. Weight training generally involves the use of nautilus machines, free weights like dumbbells and barbells, and body weight exercises such as sit-ups, pull-ups and push ups.

If your purpose for working out is to increase total muscle mass then your workout regimen should rely primarily upon free weight exercises. Machines are very adept at isolating certain muscle groups but free weights are generally much better at building muscle mass. Machine and body weight exercises are very good exercises but they should play a much smaller role in your workout than free weight exercises. Free weights work better because of the basic physiology of the body. In short, free weight exercises stimulate more muscle fibers and ultimately cause more muscle to be developed.

Supporting muscle groups are those groups of muscles that support other major muscles (hence the name). Free weight exercises such as bench press and shoulder press concentrate resistance on the major muscles as well as the supporting muscles. The difference between a free weight exercise and its machine counterpart are actually very noticeable if you use one then the other. More than likely you will find that you can do less weight with free weight exercises than on the machine version. This is because the free weight exercises fatigue your muscles much faster than the machines.

Within the range of free weight exercises are what’s called compound or multi-joint exercises. These exercises are so called because they cause stimulation of the major muscles and the supporting muscles. Compound exercises are practically essential in developing muscle in a relatively short period of time. At the minimum, every advanced workout regimen should incorporate bench press, squats, shoulder press, triceps press, and dead lifts. Just focusing on these exercises can make very noticeable differences in your strength and physical appearance.

Heavy lifting puts an enormous amount of stress on your muscles and joints. You need to make sure you receive at least eight hours of sleep each night and perhaps even take a short nap following a heavy workout. Your joints can wear out very quickly if you don’t get enough rest and the last thing you want is cortisone injections in your joints because you overdid it. Purchasing and regularly taking joint supplements can help prevent the deterioration of your joints and is strongly advised.

A Quick Guide to How Creatine Builds Muscle

There are a variety of muscle building supplements on the market. One of the most popular and effective muscle building supplements is Creatine, however there is a lot of confusion and misinformation spread about Creatine. The purpose of this article is to explain to you how Creatine can help you build muscles.

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance. It is produced in small amounts by the liver. Creatine travels through the bloodstream to muscle cells. Once there, it is transformed into Creatine phosphate that provides short energy bursts. These are extremely useful for muscle building.

As you can see, there is not a direct link between Creatine and muscle building. By increasing your intake of Creatine, you will find that more Creatine phosphate is converted to energy in your muscles. The increased production of energy means that you can work out for longer, lift heavier weights and do more repetitions of each exercise. It is this increase in output from your exercise routine that will allow you to gain strength and build more muscle.

As you can see, a Creatine supplement can be great for your muscle building endeavours. However, there is some concern of possible negative side effects from excess consumption. There have been some reported cases of water retention and mild nausea, but no documented scientific studies. There are no studies that have linked taking a Creatine supplement with any serious medical illnesses. On major study done by Jaques R. Poortmans and Marc Francaux, entitled “Long-Term Oral Creatine Supplementation Does Not Impair Renal Function In Healthy Athletes” compared kidney health and Creatine use in healthy athletes for a period of 10 months to 5 years. There findings showed no adverse health conditions in those that had taken a Creatine supplement.

Creatine is an extremely effective and useful supplement that is highly recommended for anyone wanting to boost their muscle building endeavours.

Top Tips to Build a Washboard Stomach

Whether you call them 6 pack Abs or you call it a Washboard stomach, if you don’t have it you probably want it. Admit it, you’ve had pangs of jealousy when you’ve seen your favourite sports or movie star with their top off, haven’t you? All is not lost though. It is possible to flatten your stomach and work towards 6 pack Abs.

Do a variety of Abs exercises- When Abs exercises are mentioned, it is a common misconception for many people that the only Abs exercise is to do Abs crunches. Crunches are a useful exercise for some of your abdominal muscles, but they do not work out all your Abs muscles. You need to vary your Abs exercises to ensure you work out all your Abs muscles.

It’s not just about the Abs exercises- Abs exercises will help you build your Abs muscles, but they will not necessarily give you the washboard stomach you are looking for. You need to combine your Abs exercises with regular cardio exercise to help you burn fat.

You need to eat right- Obviously, if you are trying to develop 6-pack Abs, you do not want to put on fat. As such, you need to ensure you are eating a low fat healthy diet so that you do not put on fat.

There are visual tricks you can do to make your stomach look smaller-
Whilst not technically giving you 6 pack Abs, there are some things you can do to make your stomach look smaller. If you work out your upper body muscles and make them look bigger, this will have the added benefit of making your stomach look smaller.

Having 6 pack Abs is an oft desired body trait that many people think is beyond them. This is not the case. You just need to do a little hard work and follow the tips I have mentioned above.