Helpful Training Tips...

Force your Chest to grow



Here's something I learned from Larry Scott, the first Mr.Olympia. When doing Benches keep your elbows out to the side and do your reps with the bar closer to your neck. You'll notice something right away. You can't handle near as much weight. That's okay, don't worry about how much you have on the bar. By keeping your elbows out you will isolate more of the stress on the pecs and less on the deltoids. Secondly, when you work higher on the chest, you're able to build the muscles on the upper pectoral area that connect to the collarbone. This gives you a finished look that you're looking for. Something else he would do as a finishing exercise is dips, in somewhat of an unusual manner. He would grasp the handles with his palms turned inward and again do his reps with the elbows outward. This is really tough, but I get all kinds of looks when people see me doing this. If you give this a chance, you'll notice right away that you can flush blood into this area immediately for a great pump. The tip to remember is that "the chest will grow when the elbows are kept wide".

Ultimate Biceps Peak

If you watch your buddies at the gym work arms,notice their form when they do a concentration curl...Chances are they do it incorrectly. If you've ever read training articles by Arnold, the main focus for building peak on the bicep is on the term supination. This involves turning the palm face up when the elbow is in the bent position. You can only do this exercise with dumbells. Begin in the bent over position until your back is parallel with the floor. One hand on your knee for support. Hold the dumbell with the back of the hand facing forward and begin rotating your palm upward as you curl the weight to your deltoid. That's right,to the deltoid, not your chest. Add the final bit of flexion at the top so that your little finger is higher than your thumb. This exercise is an excellent finisher to your arm routine. Add this little tweak and watch the difference in your peak.

When muscles get stale...

It's bound to happen. You're noticing good results with your current routine, but lately the muscles don't seem to be responding. One method you might consider is "periodization" or cycle training. Break your workouts into monthly sessions. Let's say the first 3 months you work lighter with more reps to act as an orientation period for the next routine. The next phase might consist of a moderately heavier workout in which your reps are in the 8-10 range. Finally during the last few months, concentrate on power. Reps in the 6-8 area. With this system you won't allow your muscles to become stale and you'll be happy to see maximum muscular gains while you're stimulating muscle growth. You need to be constantly looking ahead in your workouts. It's quite common for training routines to become stale, yet you see some athletes doing the same routines year after year thinking that if they put in the time, they'll notice changes in their body. When it comes to positive training, use your head...

Stretch those abs...

For years experts have been touting the crunch performed on the floor with your legs elevated as the perfect exercise for building phenomenal abs. Only problem is, when you do this on a flat surface you're stopping the movement short. The secret is to pre-stretch the abdominal area. Start by putting something under you lower back forcing you to arch about 30%. What you're doing is stretching the rectus abdominis prior to crunching the abs. You'll find that this full range is much more productive. Another tip to keep in mind, when you begin crunching, think of it as an upper body curl. Just before you complete the rep,force your head down to add a little more contraction to the area. If you don't like doing these on the floor, you can attach a rope to a cable machine and do ab pulldowns.

Don't neglect the rear deltoid...

Two muscle groups that are vital to an asthetic physique are the shoulders and calves. Behind the neck presses are vital for thickness in the shoulder area and side laterals add to the shape of the muscle. And that's all well and good when you're viewed from the front. But when you neglect the rear deltoid your body looks unbalanced from the side and back angles. Actually most shoulder routines only contain one pressing movement since you also work the frontal delts in other exercises such as the Bench. You really need to hit the rear deltoids with some work on the fly apparatus by facing the rear of the seat. Or try a few sets of bent over flys with dumbells.

"my routine will make you a Champion"

Not necessarily so...Everyones body structure is unique. One guy might have been genetically blessed with great calves,that seem to expand with every rep of calf raises. Unless you are his twin, you probabaly won't have the same results. Alot of us are slow gainers and require adjustments in our training routines. Some muscle groups respond rapidly to certain exercises and others take more work to achieve peak performance. While it is critical to follow a workout program, you need to allow for tweaking it a bit to properly achieve the look you desire.

Workout with what you've got...

If you're someone who works out at the same facility every week and are oh so familiar with the equipment, then this tip will not apply to you. I travel around the country with my wife, who is a travel nurse, so consequently we are in a different location every 3 months. Well all gyms are not equal. We've been to cities where the workout areas are great but then there have been some who have little to train with. You may have a fitness center that only has a few machines and dumbells as was the case last month. After thinking about what I had to work with, I decided to workout using a PHA system or a type of circuit training without resting. It gives you a great workout without having to deal with lactic acid buildup in the muscles. It's not a routine I would do for any prolonged time, but it was a good break in my normal routine and actually allowed the muscles to recover from the use of heavy poundages.

Don't cheat, for best results

You know, it's quite normal to workout in the midst of alot of other people doing the same thing. So consequently you feel the need to show your ability to lift massive poundages, not that you're trying to impress anyone. In fact, if you look around, I guarantee that you aren't the only one. There's always someone doing the exercise using bad technique in order to lift a heavier weight or finish off another rep. Now let me tell you the problem with that. Say you're doing curls and start swinging the weight up to your shoulders with the help of your back. In the event that you're cheating, you remove the resistance of the target muscle area, which in this case is the bicep, and dispensing it to an assistance muscle group, which is the back. First of all, if you're doing curls, you're working the bicep area and not the back. Second and more important, there is a tremendous potential for an injury and that can bring your training to a sudden halt.

Don't forget the Negative...

When working a specific muscle area don't forget that there's two parts to the exercise...the positive and negative. The next time your at the gym, watch some of those guys doing either barbell or dumbell curls. You could swear that there was only one effective way of working the bicep, bringing the weight up to your deltoid then letting the weight drop and doing another rep. Not so my friend. The descent of the weight is just as important. As you let the weight down slowly you're working the tendons and ligaments and forcing the bicep to work harder. One thing you'll notice immediately, is that you can't do as many reps with the same weight without cheating. Don't worry, you'll be forcing the muscle to work harder under much more stress. The same can be said with exercises performed on the bench. Two parts to the lift, the positive and negative. Somtimes it is better to go slower.