Archive for December, 2013

Will Weight Training Make Me Bulky?

Ahhh…the million dollar question many women, perhaps some men, are longing to have answered. What is the answer? Yes. I mean, no. Wait, give me a second, yes it will. Hold on, I know the answer to this one. The undeniable, honest, unequivocal, no doubt in my mind answer is, it depends. It depends on a person’s genetics. It depends on a person’s strength training program. It depends on the person’s nutrition program. And it depends on a person’s definition of bulky. Bulk is in the eye of the beholder.

Strength training is a powerful tool for fat loss. Yet many women skip weight training altogether and stick to cardio for fear of getting ‘too big’. The fact is, naturally, a woman, compared to a man, will not get super-huge muscles because she lacks the hormone testosterone to get them. The fact is women can and should build muscle.

Muscle is metabolically active tissue that will burn calories, aid in weight loss and keep metabolism from slowing down. Also, muscle is much more compact than fat. It takes up less space than fat does because of its density. Fat, on the other hand, is very soft and squishy and takes up more space than muscle does. Weight training is a key factor in changing the appearance of your body. So, no, technically weight training will not make you bulky.

But the fact remains each individual’s interpretation of big or bulky is different. What one person might define as bulky, another person might define as tight and toned – and vice versa. Hilary and Jessica, in my opinion, definitely not bulky. The Incredible Hulk, well, maybe a little.

How do you define bulky? Do you find yourself shying away from strength training for fear of getting ‘too bulky’?

Learn more about building muscle, exercise and fitness at Huff and Buff!

Are you struggling to lose belly fat? Have you tried practically every method (from the magic fat loss pill to bogus ab gadgets like ab belt and ab roller) that claims to help you lose belly fat and yet, it just never seems to budge?

What if I told you that you’ve been scammed? Yes, unscrupulous marketers use gimmicks to make you believe that you can lose belly fat quickly and easily with little effort.

Let’s cut through the marketing scams and gimmicks, and get to the truths and proven techniques to lose belly fat forever…

1. Firstly, you must know how to structure your workouts. Stop wasting time doing all types of abdominal exercises including crunches, sit ups and torso twists if you are hoping to spot reduce your belly and love handles.

Spot reduction does not work at all! You may or may not have known this fact, but many people remain elusive of it. You don’t lose belly fat by doing abdominal specific exercises. Although most people already (or should) understand this, they are still spending too much time on targeting their stomach with high reps of ab exercises.

Having said that, a certain amount of abdominal exercises are good for strengthening the core and maintaining a healthy back. The fact remains that ab specific exercises should only form a small portion of your workout routines. Instead, you should focus on multi-joint exercises that work the largest muscle groups of the body such as chest, back and legs for majority of your time.

Now, this is one of the true SECRETS for getting rid of belly fat for good. When you perform multi-joint exercises that target large muscle groups, your metabolic rate is raised during and post workout (for 24-28 hours). This also stimulates an increase in fat burning hormones in your body. Such metabolic and hormonal response cannot be achieved by doing ab exercises only.

If you are serious about losing belly fat, do squats, lunges, step ups, chest presses and bent-over rows. As long as you are focusing on multi-joint exercises at high intensity, it doesn’t matter if you use barbells, dumbbells or bodyweight exercises. There should be no 5-minute rest periods between sets while you set out to socialise with others at the gym. It is necessary to stay focused and exercise at a high intensity in order to lose belly fat. Remember, consistent effort, time and discipline will get you in top condition. Anyone who tells you that you can lose belly fat by using an ab belt while watching TV is certainly lying to you.

2. Secondly, cleaning up your diet is important to getting rid of belly fat. Do you know that going on “diets” actually serves to work against your body in your effort to lose stomach fat? Fad diets such as low fat, low carb, high protein or cabbage soup diet restricts the consumption of certain macronutrient (carbs, protein and fat). Your body needs all macronutrients, minerals and vitamins to thrive and function efficiently. Cutting out an entire food group leads to loss of lean muscle and lower metabolic rate. When you eat normally again, you end up gaining weight in the long term.

Fat diets screw up processes related to your body such as hormonal balance, muscle glycogen, insulin and blood sugar which ultimately shut down your fat loss and muscle gain.

The lesson to take home is not to fall for fad diet gimmicks. We need to eat a natural, wholesome and balanced diet that include a variety of carbs, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. This ensures your body operates efficiently and stay in fat burning mode.

Many people do not realize the dangers of excess abdominal fat. Losing abdominal fat should be one of your top priorities to maintaining good health. Discover how to lose belly fat without hype, bogus supplements and fancy ab gadgets at

There’s a simple fact we all come to accept… building muscle is not the easiest thing to accomplish even with regular workout schedules and using every type of workout and nutritional supplement.

I struggled for years to gain any significant muscle mass, but over time with experimentation in my personal training I have found some important things that have helped make significant muscle gains possible even for those who have found it hard to gain.

And I’d like to share these 3 important tips with you so you can start building lean muscle mass faster and easier.

First, make sure that 95% of the exercises you perform regularly in the gym are big multi-joint compound exercises. Whether your goal is fat loss or building muscle… big multi-joint exercises should comprise 95% of the exercises you do in your workouts if you want to get lean, ripped, and powerful.

It’s easiest to think of it in terms of the major movement patterns such as these (focus 95% of your workouts on these):

• upper body horizontal press movements (bench press, pushups, dips),

• upper body horizontal rowing movements (1-arm dumbbell rows, seated cable rows, bent over barbell rows),

• upper body vertical pulling movements (lat pulldowns, pullups, chinups),

• upper body vertical press movements (overhead dumbbell and barbell presses, barbell or kettlebell clean & presses)

• lower body squatting movements (front squats, back squats, overhead squats, bodyweight squats, etc)

• lower body deadlifting movements (regular deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts)

• lower body single leg movements (lunges, step-ups, jump lunges, etc)

• abdominal and core exercises (these are important, but still are 2nd priority after all of the major upper body and lower body multi-joint movements… your abs and core will be worked from most major multi-joint exercises anyway)

The other 5% of your exercises can focus on single joint exercises (isolation exercises) like bicep curls, tricep presses, calf presses, shoulder shrugs, shoulder lateral raises, pec flyes, etc, etc. Keep in mind, however, that these exercises are only accessory exercises to do after the main focus has been the multi-joint drills.

2. Train hard and intensely 3 or 4 days each week for 45 to 60 minutes per weight training workout. Keep your workouts to no longer than 60 minutes as training too much beyond this point can trigger excess catabolism. You want to keep your exercise routine in the anabolic range, but you still need to train your body hard and intensely enough to trigger muscle growth.

Use a super-set style of workout program to maximize the intensity of your training. Some of my favorite combinations are opposing upper and lower body movement patterns which don’t interfere with each other. For example, squats coupled with pullups as a superset, or bench press coupled with deadlifts as a superset.

The effectiveness of these types of upper/lower body supersets done with heavy weights and a high intensity should not be underestimated. I first experienced significant massive muscle gains when I started doing these types of workout combos regularly while still mixing up my training variables.

These supersets should be the mainstays of almost any effective workout program. You can then adjust your caloric intake to correspond to your goal, whether you’re working to burn fat or build muscle mass.

3. Eat real, high quality, whole foods. Avoid highly processed foods and over-hyped supplement powders and bars.

The highest quality nutrients are those your body can assimilate. Your body can best assimilate the protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from real whole food such as eggs, meats, dairy (preferably raw), fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc. instead of from processed protein powders, chemical-laden bars, and meal replacements.

Skip the hyped up workouts in the muscle magazines that only work for pro bodybuilders or people on steroids. Skip the over-hyped supplement “stacks” that pay the bills for almost every muscle magazine. Instead, make these tips in this article part of your lifestyle, and you’ll see muscle gains and a leaner, ripped body like you’ve never seen before!

If you want to get a lean, six-pack chiseled body, check out these tips to Get Ripped Abs the right way.

Enjoy, and good luck!

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