Archive for January, 2014

The Best Muscle Building Secrets For Fast Recovery

If muscle building is your goal then you need to pay attention to your recovery. After all, this is where muscle is built. A great training program will put you on the right path, but if you don’t take measures for optimal recovery then don’t expect to be stronger or bigger at your next training session.

Of course, the main factors involved in good recovery are proper nutrition, sleep, and supplementation. But there are some other things that can be done to speed up the recovery process and allow you to build muscle and strength at a faster rate.

One of the best muscle building secrets I have found is the use of Epsom salt baths for muscle soreness relief and faster recovery. The special thing about Epsom salt is that it contains high concentrations of magnesium.

Magnesium is typically deficient in most hard training athletes. This can be corrected through traditional magnesium supplementation, but Epsom salt baths have some unique benefits that can’t be achieved with oral magnesium supplementation.

The first is that the magnesium is absorbed through the skin. This has two benefits that go above and beyond oral magnesium supplementation. The first is that the magnesium bypasses the stomach and liver which means that it is easier to increase blood levels of magnesium with Epsom salt baths. The second is that since the magnesium is absorbed through the skin there is no stomach discomfort to contend with, which is a frequent complaint of those taking oral magnesium supplements.

Epsom salt baths are also very calming to the body. The magnesium helps the nervous system to relax, while the heat from the bath relaxes the muscles, not to mention the calming affect that a relaxing bath has on the mind. When these factors are combined you get a powerful recovery-promoting effect.

The one caveat to Epsom salt baths is that they can’t be done too frequently or too soon after a workout. Either one of these situations will negate the beneficial effects and may even make the recovery situation worse. It is highly recommend that you seek the advice of a professional if you want to successfully incorporate Epsom salt baths or any other recovery procedure into your training program.

If you are struggling to get stronger from one workout to the next, or are having trouble gaining muscle quickly, then you may need to look at your recovery between sessions. Remember that just because you are not sore doesn’t mean that you’re recovered. There are a variety of other indicators to look for and many additional recovery modalities to use, all of which are outlined in Athletic Muscle Building.

Learn more of the best muscle building secrets and get a FREE report on muscle building called “The 13 Reasons You Suck at Gaining Muscle.”

Changing your Body Fast With the Deadlift

The deadlift gets a bad rap these days from overly conservative doctors, chiropractors and, well people that issue insurance policies! The deadlift is not something to be avoided. In fact, if you know how to do the deadlift properly, you will pick up things from the ground in the safest way possible. You will also have an invaluable tool for your workout programs.

The deadlift is an incredible tool because it is a compound exercise that works a lot of muscle groups at the same time making it perfect for both fat loss and muscle building programs.

Using lots of muscle at once is something that you should be looking for in your exercises for a number of reasons. Using multiple muscle groups makes and exercise “functional”. Meaning that it has real world uses. Using compound exercises that involve the big muscles also means that you burn a ton of calories while doing it. For the mass monsters that want big muscles, the deadlift allows the usage of huge poundage’s that can translate into massive muscle gains in short periods of time.

How To Get The Most From The Deadlift.

The shoulders need to stay over the bar in the bottom position. Shoulders being behind the bar can start the whole series of movements off wrong from the start. The bar is in contact with the leg all the way up. As you come up you press your knees back and lift your chest. This maintains the lumbar curve. The bar travels straight up and down.

Make sure you come to full extension at the top. It is not a lean back but an extension of the hips causing you to stand up fully straight. The lean back is mostly for the power lifters that want to prove that the lift is completed for the judges.

On the way down you initialize the movement by pushing your bum back then lowering the chest keeping the nice lumbar curve and then bending the knees.

What you don’t want is to sit back and have your shoulders come back behind the bar because then the bar will break its straight path and you will have a hard time when you get to the knee area.

Watch out for the dreaded two-part deadlift. This is when you are coming out of the bottom and the hips extend and then the lower back does its work after. It is very similar in appearance to the stiff leg deadlift but a whole lost worse for you. That is not what you are trying to do here.

You can avoid this common fault by making sure that you lift the chest at the same time as you push through the hips. Everything will move up in one motion.

4 key things to remember when doing the deadlift?

1) Nice lumbar curve throughout the movement

2) Chest up at all times

3) Shoulders over the bar not behind to keep a straight bar path.

4) Push through the heels keeping the bar in contact with the legs.

Remember to drive off the heels and look straight ahead. Press your knees back once the bar breaks the floor.

The biggest common fault is the loss of the lumbar curve. This means that the load is too heavy or you do not know how to do the movement right yet. Reduce the weight and practice, practice, practice.

The second biggest mistake is letting the bar come away from the leg. This takes the weight away from your center of power and can pull you out of position right at the floor before you even get started. Roll that bar in to the shins before you even start to pull.

Here is a great way to put the deadlift into your fat burning program. Superset deadlifts with pushups. Do 10 sets of 10 for each exercise non-stop until completed. Time yourself and try to beat that time on the next workout. Its simple but highly effective.

Discover How to Turbo-Charge Your Metabolism, Sculpt Your Body, Burn Off Body Fat and Develop Unstoppable Motivation … Guaranteed! Free Report By Personal Trainer Ray Burton> Facts About Fitness

Why Resistance Bands Work!

Yoga, Pilates, stability balls, and exercise bands always seem to be grouped in the same category, whereas dumbells, barbells, chains, and iron in general are in a league of their own, so to speak. And when the topic is brought up, most men scoff at resistance bands because they’re not made of rusted iron covered in sweat and pain, yet. But is there more to resistance bands than meets the eye? Today I’m going to discuss why resistance bands work for anyone interested in promoting strength and lean muscle mass.

First things first. I’m not saying build a routine solely on resistance bands – everything has a time and place. However, when used in conjunction with free weights, bands can place an overload on your muscles that free weights alone simply cannot. What I’ll be discussing here is the use of bands WITH free weights – not simply mixed into your routine, but rather as part of the same exercise. Example: Loading up a barbell for bench press with 70% of your max, and adding a some extra resistance bands to increase the load.

The main reason I love this type of workout is due to it’s ability to progressively overload a muscle throughout an entire range of motion. You see, as you lift free weights, gravity is pulling against the weights causing them to feel heavy. But as you reach the midway point of a certain exercise, the lift tends to become easier, right? This “sticking point” is where your bone structure and momentum take over in place of your muscle systems. Not only that, but additional muscles kick in to finish most lifts, taking the stress off the intended muscle.

You see, most people neglect the Central Nervous System (CNS) and do not take into account how muscle fibers and the CNS actually interact. Your brain is constantly sending a barrage of signals telling every muscle in your body what to do – some involuntary, meaning you don’t need to think to control it such as your heart beating, and some voluntary such as most skeletal muscles. When you intend to voluntarily lift something, your eyes, brain, hands, legs, etc. all work in conjunction to perform the task.

Your brain processes information obtained from your eyes to determine sizes, weights, etc. and also from your hands and muscles to determine weight and a variety of other physical properties. Upon doing so, you brain then decides how many muscle fibers it needs to recruit to do the job at hand. Our bodies are designed to be efficient, so contracting every muscle from head to toe simultaneously to pick up a pencil would be exhausting, but recruiting one fiber at a time to lift a desk would take a life time. So what happens? Your brain determines an approximate amount of fibers to recruit, and if it needs more, it recruits more, if less it recruits less.

Now with that little science lesson out of the way, we progress to why resistance bands tax your CNS above and beyond what weights alone can do. As mentioned before, momentum, bone structures, etc. all begin to take over and remove some portion of the load at the end of lifts. Picture a barbell curl from the side. Now overlay a clock on the torso of that image with 12 o’clock being at the shoulder, and 6 o’clock at the hip. The range of motion for the curl would be somewhere between 6:00 and 12:00 going clockwise, however once the rep reaches about 10:00, the forces acting on the weight are being partially absorbed by the bones beneath the weight, and not only that, but the direction of the weight is no longer moving directly perpendicular to gravity, but almost parallel with it instead (it’s easier to push a desk across a floor, than to lift it off the floor). So the original goal is to overload a muscle, but at this point, the load is being reduced.

Another illustration for the more experienced lifters is this: If you were to max out on a full squat, the weight would be significantly less than a half-squat for the same reasons listed above. The portion beneath the “sticking point” in a repetition is the hardest part of a lift, and again, once you’ve passed the sticking point, more often than not you have completed the rep. With that being said, if you’re only lifting the maximum amount of weight that you can lift in the bottom half, but you know you’re capable of lifting much more in the top half, free weights alone are limiting the overload you’re placing on your muscles to what you can handle only in the bottom half.

Resistance bands place what’s known as progressive resistance on your muscles. This simply means that as the lift becomes easier, the weight becomes harder – keeping solid tension on a muscle throughout the entire range of motion. This is especially beneficial due to the fact that, as mentioned before, our brains only recruit enough fibers to do the job at hand. So by continuing to overload those muscles, they fatigue, causing your brain to recruit more fibers.

So to break it down:

Overloading more fibers -> fatiguing more fibers -> recruiting more fibers -> repairing more fibers*

The repairing of your muscle fibers is where strength and size come from. Our bodies adapt to added stresses such as resistance training, and in doing so, they increase their ability to handle the stresses. There are a few ways in which your body will do this, either by A) Creating new muscle fibers, B) Increasing the size of the current fibers, or C) a mixture of both. This is why a progressive overload on your muscles is important, and why bands have such a positive affect on weight training.

I hope this article has helped, and if you’re interested in learning more, search around for articles and videos that explain more in depth.

http://www.streetarticles.com/fitness-equipment/why-resistance-bands-work

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