Archive for January, 2014

Bench Press Your Way to 300!

So you want to be able to bench press more. Maybe even get up to 300lbs! I don’t care if you are almost there at 275lbs or can barely do 135lbs, you are going to need the right program. The right technique, weekly workout program, sets and most important diet. This article will give you structure for your program.

Here is the one important rule to increase your bench and gain muscle max you need to lift heavy! You need to push your body every week. This why I highly recommend especially for safety reasons to always have a spotter. The other important rule to remember is recovery, you need the right diet to recover and protein is key. Make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet especially on lifting days for recovery and growth. Most trainers recommend at least a gram of protein for each pound you weigh. Make sure you are getting all 22 of the Amino Acids in your diet. This is when a protein shake that has at least 25grams of protein in a scoop along with all the Amino Acids. You are going to need a good protein shake mix along with a good multi-vitamin. Remember you need to eat big to be big and to lift big!

Now let’s start on the right program for lifting. First thing is to find out how much you can currently bench. If you know you can bench 135lbs (or even if only the bar) do that first and figure out how many times you can bench. Use an online max rep estimator calculator based on the amount of reps you did for that weight. Now test yourself and see if you can bench it, if you can see if you can do more. If you can’t do less and see what your real one rep max is. Remember to use a spotter. Once you know your one rep max this is key to setting your program up.

You want to start off in your first week with a warm up set with a weight you can do 12 to 15 reps of. If you can do 135lbs around that amount just start off with 135lbs. Even if you can do a lot more reps don’t bother, save your energy for heavier sets, remember this is just a warm up set to get your blood pumping and so you don’t pull any muscles. Now that your warm up set is done you are going to do four more sets. For your first set do 30 percent of your 1 rep max 10 to 15 times. Make sure it is more than your warm up set. You then want to do two sets of 40 percent of your 1 rep max about 8 reps. Now you want to do your 60 percent of your 1 rep max for about 6 reps. For your final set you want to semi-max out it should be about 80 to 90 percent of your 1 rep max for 3 to 4 reps. You do not need to max out every week but once a month as a test of strength you can.

Now for the first couple of months you want to increase the weight by 5 to 10lbs from the amount you had the week before on those sets. Some people recommend benching only once a week. Others will say three times a week or even every other day. I say as a good rule of thumb is twice a week and if your body recovers quickly you can do three times a week but no more than that. After you have had that routine for a couple of months you want to switch your routine up for more muscle growth.

Focus on heavier weights and less reps for your sets. Remember you have to lift heavy to increase your bench and to gain serious muscle mass. Still do your warm up set but instead do about three to four sets ranging from 60 to 80 percent of your 1 rep max. Start off with the 60 percent about 10 reps then go all the way up to 80 percent for 3 to 4 reps. If you are finding yourself doing way more reps than listed you need to increase the amount! You need to lift heavier for your next set or next week, add 20lbs on if you have to. Even if you add to much weight for your next set and you don’t meet the number of reps it is fine you are aiming for failure by challenging your muscles they will grow and eventually you will get to that amount.

In addition to bench pressing you should do other chest workouts on chest days (the same day you bench). This includes incline bench press with dumbbells and pectoral flies. You also need to train your triceps another main muscle you use in your bench. Your triceps could be holding you back as it is a small muscle than your chest and the chest is obviously stronger. Triceps extensions and other various triceps workouts can help with this. You can do it on your chest days or other alternate days.

With the right workout and a good protein intake your one rep max will increase! If you are starting off at 135lbs follow this program and are consistent about workouts and proper nutrition chances are in a year you will be at or near 300lbs!

I am a Suffolk University graduate with a degree in Marketing. I currently work in the field of Real Estates sales and maintain a daily blog on the side.  View profile

Do You Really Need "Cardiovascular" Exercises?

Do you actually need cardiovascular exercising to get lean and in great shape? By the way, you will see in just a minute that I’m really not “anti-cardio”, simply “anti traditional cardio workouts”.

The majority of training enthusiasts, weekend warriors, or any person trying to get in shape or lose excess fat, think it is an undeniable fact that they really need “cardio” physical exercise to complete most of these targets. Some people would never even debate this.

Having said that, I’m not just questioning it, I am going to refute it! Actually, you’re likely to be amazed to know that most of the leanest and meanest folks I know Never ever do any type of usual or traditional cardiovascular exercise. And I have spent over 15 years working out in several fitness centres, and spending time with professional athletes of all sorts, so I’ve seen it all.

Let me declare that there can be a place for low-moderate level cardio for really heavy people, but even in all those situations, there can be more effective strategies.

But exactly what is “cardio”?

Most of us might consider cardio exercise being pumping away mindlessly using a treadmill, cycling a fixed bicycle, or coasting on an elliptical machine, and paying attention to the television screen at their state of the art gym. And this is what I consider “conventional cardiovascular exercise”. Hmmm, it’s no wonder that most individuals lose interest with their physical exercises and quit after a several months without seeing final results.

However, if you look closer, “cardio” workout can be regarded as virtually any physical exercise or action that strengthens the heart system. I’m not really getting directly into something complex for example boosting your VO2 max or anything like that. In order to keep it relatively easy, when it gets the heart pumpin, and gets you huffin and puffin, it’s cardiovascular exercises. I don’t really care if you are holding dumbbells or a barbell and everyone names it fat loss training workout…it is still strengthening your heart.

Let’s take a glance at one or two good examples. Please take a barbell (or dumbbell, or kettlebell) clean & press for example, involving picking up a barbell from the ground up to the shoulders, then push pressing overhead. Plus pay attention girls, because although this is commonly looked at as a masculine workout, it doesn’t matter if you are not lifting 250 lbs; however, if 45 pounds is challenging to you, then you’ll really benefit very much.

At first, plenty of people consider the barbell C&P simply as a weight training workout or power workout. Even so, I challenge you to perform a tough set of about 10-15 reps on the C&P. In case you utilized a challenging enough load, what you may see is that your heart beat is most likely as much as around 80-90% of your suggested max, and you are huffing and puffing like you just ran a 100-meter sprint (which by the way, running kicks the crap out of jogging any day if you prefer the simple way to reduce the excess weight).

Try out exactly the same thing for a set of 20 reps of one-arm snatches or swings using each arm using a kettlebell or dumbbell, and say to me your thighs and legs aren’t burning up, heart racing, and you are gasping for oxygen. How about trying out five minutes or so straight of body-weight squats, runs, and pushups having minimal rest. Again, notice your heart fast beating, sweat flowing off of you, and chest heaving for breathing! This is an effective technique on how to get six pack abs and strengthen the physique and cardiovascular system.

Try to tell me you’re not fortifying your heart with this type of exercising! Typical thinking suggests that these are weight training exercise or resistance training exercise routines. Still, they are really fulfilling your cardiovascular training requirements as well saving you time!.

Not only do you save time, but you strengthen and shape nearly every muscle in your entire body by using these complete exercise routines if you do these with enough concentration…something which cannot be stated to the dull and boring stationary bike ride or home treadmill jaunt while reading or watching TV.

Studying or watching television while you exercise is bull crap!

Most certainly, if you can read or watch a movie while executing any kind of workout, you are not focusing quite enough on what you’re doing, in addition you are probably not really training tough enough to see any actual improvement.

I encourage you to give the “old-fashioned cardiovascular exercise” a rest for one month or 2, and begin training the right way and find out how you get thinner, much more toned, along with your 6 pack starting to show through what used to be persistent abdominal fat deposits.

Find out more about healthy eating and effective fitness training for weight loss and tone up your muscles. Visit our website for more free information.

Squat, Deadlift, and Press!

The most important exercise everyone tends to agree on, and that’s the squat. The squat works the entire kinetic chain of the body and the entire posterior is worked either eccentrically, concentrically or isometrically. The squat comes in two forms: high bar squat and low bar squat; there are other variations of squats, but they are accessory movements: front squats are an example of this.

Squatting comes from applying a barbell on your back and using correct technique and movement to lift the weight using the entire legs. The squat causes the release of anabolic testosterone, which aids in production of contractile proteins like myosin and actin.

The squat should be the forefront of every routine; there is no disputing it. Squatting leads to gains in every other lift. Don’t believe me? If you aren’t doing squats, add them in, I guarantee you your plateau will be busted when you get your squat where it needs to be.

The big “three” is considered the squat, deadlift and bench press. This is because they are the exercises tested for overall body strength in powerlifting competitions. The bench press is the exception though, because I am in no agreement that is shows more upper body strength than the press!

The press contracts more muscles than the bench press because of the natural motion and requirements. For example, you have to stand up when you press (or at least you should be pressing that way). When you bench press, you are laying down and pushing your back into the mat creating a crutch for adding more weight. The bench press also uses the muscle stretch reflex, at the bottom of the eccentric.

The press starts with the most difficult part – the concentric phase. As you unrack the weight, or clean the weight (preferably clean it). You immediately work against the pull of gravity and the entire shoulder has a specific job in the press; although, some parts of the shoulder has a more specific job than others.

Each press there should be a pause at the bottom of the eccentric between each rep; this prevents the stretch reflex from assisting with the “pressing” part of the exercise. It also can prevent falling backwards through keeping the core tight and allows overall more muscle contraction and consistent drive from the hips. The press was originally the upper body pressing strength exercise before bench presses came along. The press uses more stabilizer muscles and tests more overall strength. Use the press instead!

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