How To Stay Safe During Bodybuilding Workouts?

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Are you using potentially dangerous exercises in your workout?

You have to be very careful with strength training equipment because it may not be the most effective or functional available.

How do you know that the exercises you are performing are safe?

Check below some potentially dangerous exercises with suggestions on how they should be done correctly or avoided completely.

Bodybuilding by weightlifting if done wrongly is a sure recipe for injuries. Sometimes, even painful and permanent injuries will derail your bodybuilding program.

This article will address the common injury prone mistakes bodybuilders make in their quest to build a fit and muscular body and how to avoid those weightlifting injuries.

Many people who exercise in gyms complain about backaches and they blamed it on their desk bound jobs sitting in front of the computer at long stretches of time. Perhaps they are right.

Then why is it that more bodybuilders have backaches when compared to their non-gym going colleagues?

Aren’t those people who lift weights are supposed to have stronger back muscles to support their musculature and should be less prone to backaches?

Perhaps you are getting the drift. Many bodybuilders suffer from common weightlifting injuries that they don’t even know it.

Many people actually think that if they do not suffer any pain when they are lifting weights, they are not injured.

This bodybuilding myth must be debunked right now. You see, many weight lifting injuries are very often sustained over a period of time.

It is because of the wrong weightlifting form being repeated over and over through many training sessions that cause the wear and tear of joints, tendons, cartilages and muscles.

Many injuries do not just occur immediately or overnight like the weights dropping on your toes or painful muscle tear during your lifts.

Therefore, executing your weightlifting movements in the correct form and techniques not only help your muscles to grow big and fast, it is also crucial to prevent bodybuilding injuries.

Common causes of injuries can also be attributed to lifting weights that are too heavy or that the bodybuilder who may be sick.

And yet, headed for the gym when his condition is not optimum for handling the weight he usually lift as he is in a physically weakened state.

So when the weights are too heavy or you are too weak to lift the weights you usually do, you are forced to cheat by swinging the weights up using momentum and lowering the weights by using gravity.

These movements not only waste your time in the gym as they are definitely not helpful in helping you build muscles. They will cause injuries.

An example of a common exercise done in the wrong form and a recipe for injuries is the common bar bell curl.

Barbell Biceps Curl – This exercise is perhaps the most commonly executed in the wrong form and causing injuries that people don’t even know why they are injured.

In every gym, you will see people swinging their barbells with their body rocking thru and fro in the movements.

The rocking movement places tremendous stress on the shoulder joint which is the most unstable joint in the human body and the lower back.

Over time, the shoulder joints and lower back will pay a heavy price for the wrong form and technique used during the lift.

Other common bodybuilding exercises which are often wrongly executed are the lat pull down, bench press, leg extension, military press and list goes on.

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Common Bodybuilding Weightlifting Injuries

Sit-up

Traditional abdominal exercises such as the sit-up, incline sit-up and hip-raises are exercises that are used to train the obliques and the upper and lower abdominals.

They are performed by first anchoring the feet on an abdominal board which prevents you from sliding back then raising your shoulders up towards your feet, tensing your abs at the top of the movement.

Slowly lowering your shoulders back down and then completing the movement again.

The dangers of performing this movement are the shearing forces on the vertebrae and spinal discs when you have a flexed and rounded spine.

In this position, the pressure is mostly placed on a very small area of the disc area, which can cause small ruptures.

The safest and most productive way to train the abs is to use the brace and hollow technique.

This is a basic isometric exercise that helps strengthen the abs and the muscular girdle around your waist.

Pec Deck

The pec deck is an exercise that trains the chest (pectorals) and shoulder (front deltoid) muscles.

This exercise is performed by sitting at the machine with your back flat against the back pad.

Placing your forearms on the padded levers and position your upper arms parallel to the ground.

Pushing the levers slowly together and squeezing your chest muscles at the end of the movement. Return slowly to the starting position.

This exercise is potentially dangerous because it places the shoulder into one of its least stable positions, the dislocation position.

Because of the extreme position when performing this exercise at the starting position it can also cause tearing of the ligaments and injury to the rotary cuff tendons.

More effective and less dangerous is the bench press, keeping the arms at shoulder width and exercising in the strongest range of motion (partial reps) and the parallel bar dip with the elbows out.

Behind the Neck Press

This exercise trains the neck (traps) and shoulder (deltoid) muscles and is performed by placing a loaded barbell onto your upper back just above the trap muscle.

This exercise is done by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart. Place your hands on the bar about three inches wider than the width of your shoulders.

Push the bar overhead to arm’s length, holding and then slowly lowering back down to your shoulders.

This exercise can also be done seated. Try performing it in a smith machine or power rack for added safety.

This is a workout that places the shoulder joint into the dislocation position and the range of motion puts unnecessary stress on the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulders.

Many trainees may experience injuries from this behind-the-neck movement. It is the same with stick with dips and bench presses for your shoulder work.

Dead Lift

The dead lift is a compound movement that works the hips, lower back and also exercises the hamstrings and glutes (buttocks).

You can perform the dead lift by approaching a loaded barbell and taking a stance about as wide as your shoulders.

Grip the bar so that the arms are slightly on the outside of your thighs. Your feet should be pointing straight forward with the shins about two to three inches from the bar.

Heave the load upward using the hips and lower back keeping the back straight and the bar as close to the shins as possible.

At the top of the movement, hold for a few seconds and then lower the bar to the starting position.

The exercise has a knock-on growth effect on the whole body when worked hard. The problem with the lift is that if the spine becomes rounded during the lift it then becomes dangerous. Because of the forces working on the vertebrae and the spine injuries may occur.

A lot of these problems can be solved by keeping the back as straight as possible during the lift and keeping the bar held close to the body during the lift as the forces are then not that excessive.

Leg Extensions

Leg extensions are arguably one of the most popular leg exercises for strengthening the quadriceps (thigh) muscle.

These are done by using a leg extension machine and sitting in the seat with your feet hooked under the padded lever.

Raise the weight with your legs until they are pointing straight out in front of you.

Hold briefly, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.

Leg extensions are a potentially dangerous exercise because when only the shin is in motion, the exercise draws the patella back onto the femur increasing joint compression forces, which can damage the connective tissue and the ligaments supporting the knee joint.

It can also cause anterior knee pain so people with existing knee problems may aggravate them by doing this exercise.

For greater safety and equal effectiveness, try doing the Squat, Leg Press, and Lunge for safer and more functional use.

Prevention is better than cure, so avoid bodybuilding injuries by having proper warm ups before exercising and use correct form and techniques when training with weights.

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First Aid Treatment for Bodybuilding Injuries

Below are the immediate first aid treatments you will need to recover from a bodybuilding induced injuries.

That is assuming that the injuries sustained are not too serious that need immediate medical attention.

Okay, so sometimes bodybuilding exercises hurt. But how do you know when it’s a good hurt or a bad hurt?

The good hurt tends to occur after a bodybuilding workout and feels like a dull ache in the muscle or commonly called the “delayed onset muscle soreness” (DOMS).

This type of ache usually indicates that you have been working on that particular muscle hard enough and is a response to the effectiveness of your weight lifting workout although not always necessarily so.

The bad hurt, which generally signifies an injury, is usually sharp pain and the pain comes from a specific spot like in a specific joint or muscle spot.

It usually starts as an uncomfortable feeling, which you think will go away. Next thing you know, you are in full-blown pain! What to do next?

Treat bodybuilding injuries with “RICE”

The acronym RICE is for the general treatment of minor weightlifting injuries such as sprains, joint pains, tendonitis, pulled ligaments and so on.

R = Rest

I = Ice

C = Compression

E = Elevation

Rest

Avoid all activities that aggravate your injury. You may even need to skip your gym workout for a couple of weeks.

Rest can mean the difference between a long recuperation and possibly medical invasive procedures or just a few days or a few weeks off.

Ice

Ice helps reduce swelling by restricting blood flow. 15–20 minutes, three to four times a day is recommended as long as the pain remains.

Compression

Put pressure on the injured site to help keep swelling down. You want to wrap a bandage or a towel tightly enough to feel some pressure but not enough to cause numbness or affecting blood circulation.

Elevation

Elevate the injured area to reduce swelling.

Your condition should improve with “RICE” treatment. Most of the time, you should see some results within 20 minutes of treatment.

However, if the pain persists or gets worse, then it time to see your doctor or a sports physician as your condition may be worse than what was initially thought to be.

Hence, the next time when you have backache or joint pain, don’t blame it on other causes if you are a bodybuilder and that you lift weights often.

Just reflect on the weightlifting exercises you are doing and examined them as to whether they are the cause of your injuries.

Better yet, hire a personal trainer or a bodybuilding book with picture illustration and description to learn how to lift weights in the correct form and technique to prevent common and serious weight lifting injuries.

 

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Teenage BodyBuilding You Should Know

bodybuilding for teens

Teenage bodybuilding is becoming ever more popular. Teenagers have always wanted to impress and greater numbers than ever are looking to do this by having a spectacular body, with muscles to match.

Finding the right advice for building muscle can be difficult for any age group, so here we give you some great teenage bodybuilding advice.

Tip 1

There is one area where teenage bodybuilding is no different from any other, and that is in the need to have a coherent plan.

Do your research, decide exactly where you want to go with bodybuilding, and design a workout routine to fit.

Just joining a gym and lifting weights without any clear goal in mind will be wasteful and counterproductive. Work out a plan and focus on it.

Tip 2

Don’t miss meals. A lot of teenagers are constantly on the move, and their diets and eating habits are often erratic.

A vital part of teenage bodybuilding advice is to create a consistent diet plan and stick to it.

Your workout plan will not achieve optimum results with a high enough calorific intake, and without enough of the right nutrients being absorbed.

Tip 3

Never go at it too hard. A teenage body is still developing, growing, and going through changes of hormones before becoming an adult.

Teenage bodybuilding needs to be done with care, as the body may well have another short period of growth or weight gain to go through.

Be patient with your bodybuilding, as you don’t yet know the exact form your adult body will take!

Tip 4

Take in plenty of protein! Teenage bodybuilding is similar to any age group bodybuilding in this crucial aspect – protein is absolutely essential for muscle growth and repair.

There is simply no way to get your muscles to grow if they are not fed enough protein, and your workouts could even have a detrimental effect, as your muscles will not have the nutrients they need to repair properly.

Some Considerations for Teenage BodyBuilding

Most teenagers are not yet full grown, so special considerations must be taken when a teen undertakes a body building program.

However, you should know that this is a great time to start a workout program that you can carry through to your adult years.

There are some things to keep in mind before you start, though.

  1. DO NOT start lifting weights or undertaking an intense body building regiment before you turn 13. You can exercise before this “magical” age, but limit your exercise to low-impact workouts like push-ups and sit ups.
  2. Squats and dead lifts should never be performed either before you are 16. These types of exercises require some execution techniques that need to be performed properly or else you will injure yourself.
  3. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you take any type of testosterone supplements before you reach adulthood. You already have plenty of testosterone in your body.  Adding more could contribute to growth stunting.

After that, you should do some serious research on different workouts and start slowly.  Don’t push your body beyond its limits.  You could seriously injure yourself and set your progress back markedly.

Everyone’s muscles grow in different ways, so try not to compare yourself to other people.  Just get a well-balanced workout routine and perform it correctly with good form.

Diet is also important to teen body builders just as it is to adult body builders.  Eat lots of protein and vegetables as well as grains and carbohydrates.  Keep yourself well-hydrated with lots and lots of water and stay away from sugars.

Rest is also important since, like adults, this is the time when your body’s muscles will grow.  At least eight hours of sleep is recommended, if not more.

You will be doing your body a favor by giving it time to heal from the damage you’ve inflicted on your muscles and allow them to grow naturally while you rest and build up your energy for the next day.

There are certain exercises that teens can perform that can build mass in your muscles without the risk of harming them.  Some of the adult exercises won’t be appropriate for you, but some of them will.

 

Here are a few that you should use:

Dumbbell Curls

These will work your biceps as you lift the dumbbell from your knee up to your shoulder in a slow, smooth motion.  Alternate arms between sets and remember to breathe.  Concentrate on the lift and working the muscles.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Hold the dumbbells like you would a hammer.  Alternate your arms lifting from your side to your shoulder, again, in a slow, easy motion.

Flat Bench Press

Lay flat on a weight bench with the barbell above you.  Hold in a wide grip and slowly lower the barbell down to your chest and up again.  Pay special attention to the way your muscles are responding to the weight.

Dumbbell Flyers

Hold the dumbbells like you are doing hammer curls.  Keep your arms straight up with your elbows slightly bent.  In a semi-circular motion, lower the dumbbells slowly down to the sides of your chest.  This will work your inner pectoral muscles.

Dumbbell Shrugs

Hold a dumbbell in each hand lowered to your side with your palms facing your hips.  Raise your toes up and then shrug your shoulder to work your trapezius muscles.

Shoulder Press

While seated, hold a dumbbell in each hand.  Sit straight and press them up.  Resist when you are lowering them down.  This works the deltoid muscles.

These are just a few exercises you can do, obviously.  You may want to consult with your Physical Education instructor at school or ask someone at a local gym to help you with other exercises that you can safely perform so that you can accomplish your goals.

Bodybuilding is an extreme sport that can yield amazingly satisfying results.  But you must be sure that you stay committed to your goals.

Unless you are sick or there is a very, very good reason, you should stick to your workout under all circumstances.

If you want to meet your goals, you CANNOT put them off just because you want to.

If your parents are concerned about your bodybuilding efforts, have them take you to your family physician and tell him or her about what your plans are as well as the exercises you want to do.

Listen to what the doctor has to say and heed any advice that is offered.  If you undertake this program in a responsible way, your parents will be impressed rather than worried!

Once you start seeing results in your body, you may decide that you want to enter a body building contest.

These can be great motivational tools to keep you on a workout regimen, but there are some things that you should know.

Take on board these teenage bodybuilding tips, and you will be starting your development in the right way.

 

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How The Meal Plans For BodyBuilding Should Be Done?

meal plans for bodybuilding

Choosing the right way to eat to build muscle can be a little overwhelming.

But once you start eating the way you have to, it will become second nature to you.

Check below some sample meals plans for bodybuilding and more tips to keep you fit and healthy on your bodybuilding journey.

Following is a list of good foods for you to eat in each of the categories you need to concentrate on:

Proteins

white meat chicken or turkey
canned tuna
canned salmon
fresh fish
shellfish
eggs
tofu
soy
red meat like steak or roast

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Complex Carbohydrates

oatmeal
potatoes
yams, sweet potatoes, acorn squash
rice
legumes
corn

Vegetables

all water based types
lettuce, cabbage, spinach
asparagus
bok choy, leeks
tomatoes
celery
onions
green beans
broccoli, cauliflower, radish
zucchini squash
mushrooms
carrots
peas

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Fruit

1 apple
1 orange
1/2 grapefruit
3 small apricots
1 banana
1/4 melon
1-cup berries
1 mango, small papaya

Dairy

1 yogurt
1-cup low fat cottage cheese
1-cup non-fat milk
1/2 cup non or low-fat cheese

Wheat Products

2 slices whole wheat bread
1 bagel
2-cups pasta
whole wheat tortillas

Snack Foods

rice cakes
non-wheat cereals
plain popcorn
raw vegetables
nuts
dried fruit

A good diet is well-rounded and contains some of each of the food groups.  You should also include a supplement in your diet which we will get to in a later section.

As we’ve said, you should be eating 5 or 6 smaller meals every day instead of three large ones.  Space your meals about 2 to 2 ½ hours apart.

BodyBuilding Meal Plans

Try out a few of these meal plans to start out with.

Meal 1

vegetable omelet (3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 cup veggies)

You can also add some chicken or lean beef if you want.

Meal 2

one cup yogurt or a protein shake

Meal 3

6 oz chicken
small raw vegetable salad
1 bagel

Meal 4

1 piece fruit
3-4 oz Chicken

Meal 5

6 oz fish
1 – cup grilled veggies
1 – cup brown rice

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Meal 1

3 packs instant oatmeal
1 banana
1 cup of yogurt
1 cup of cottage cheese

Meal 2

protein shake
1 large baked potato

Meal 3

8 ounces chicken breast
2 cups pasta
1 apple
1 cup yogurt

Meal 4

1 can of tuna
1 – 2 cups broccoli

Meal 5

protein shake
1 cup brown rice

Meal 6

8 ounces broiled fish
1 cup veggies
2 cups rice

 

Meal 1

breakfast burrito (3 egg whites, 1 whole egg scrambled, 1 cup onion/green pepper mix, salsa)
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup berries

Meal 2

protein shake
1 cup raw veggies

Meal 3

salmon burger on whole wheat bun (canned salmon, 1 egg white, onions cooked in a non-stick fry pan)
1 large potato cut into strips, brushed with olive oil and baked in oven until crispy
1 garden salad drizzled with olive oil and red wine vinegar

Meal 4

protein shake
1 cup yogurt

Meal 5

8 ounces chicken breast, cut into chunks, fried in olive oil and seasoned with oregano, garlic salt, and basil
1 cup cooked tomatoes
2 cups pasta
1 cup broccoli or cauliflower mix

Meal 6

protein shake
1 cup melon
1 cup yogurt

It’s a good idea to plan ahead and pre-cook your meals.  Keep vegetables cut up in the refrigerator so you don’t have to work too hard at mealtime.

There’s really no need to measure carefully for the portions suggested.  This isn’t an exact science!  Eyeball your portions and consider the following chart:

 

Portion                                        Portion Size

1 oz. meat                                       Matchbox
3 oz. meat                                      Deck of cards
8 oz. meat                                      Thin paperback book
3 oz. fish                                        Checkbook
1 oz. cheese                                    Four dice
1 med. potato                                 Computer mouse
2 tbsp. peanut butter                     Ping pong ball
1 cup pasta                                     Tennis ball
1 bagel                                            Hockey puck

Tips For Your Nutritional Needs

Consider the following general tips for your nutritional needs.

arrow3Drink skim milk or soy milk

arrow3Cut sugar from your diet.  Use artificial sweeteners instead.

arrow3No regular soda!  Diet is better for you anyway and doesn’t contain sugar

arrow3Pizza and hamburgers are a big no-no.  Not only are they high in bad fat content, they are highly caloric and can cause you to overeat
arrow3Eat lots of fish to increase your levels of Omega 3 fatty acids

arrow3Chicken breasts are good for you as well

arrow3Allow yourself one cheat day a week where you can indulge in something you’ve been craving.  Just don’t overdo it on your cheat days or you can undo all you’ve accomplished.

arrow3Limit the amount of fruit you eat.  While fruit is healthy, it can have a detrimental effect on your workout.

arrow3Protein and complex carbohydrates are very important

arrow3Instead of eating three large meals a day, eat six smaller ones

arrow3Don’t skip meals

arrow3Vegetables are always a good choice at mealtime

arrow3When eating out, choose foods wisely.

arrow3Avoid most fast food restaurants or opt for healthy choices – remember no burgers!
However, you must be careful not to overdo on the fats.

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Consider the following suggestions for keeping your fat intake at a healthy level:

arrow3Snack on peanuts instead of chips or candy.  About a ½ cup is a good amount.

arrow3Use olive oil in salad dressings and when cooking

arrow3When baking, instead of topping with chocolate or candies, consider using nuts and seeds instead

arrow3Try making sandwiches with avocado and tuna instead of higher fat lunch meats

arrow3Eat fish at least three times a week to increase your Omega 3 intake

arrow3Limit or even eliminate fast food as well as sources of trans fats like commercially processed cookies and cakes

When you start on a body building program, you will want to pay close attention to the foods you are feeding your body.  That includes alcohol as well.

Many people like a drink or two or even three to help them unwind and relax.  But when you are a body builder, alcohol can have a detrimental effect on your progress.

Alcohol contains nothing but empty calories.  It has no nutritional value but it does contain high caloric content.

In fact, just one shot of vodka contains 100 calories!  Not only will drinking increase your caloric intake, it slows down your metabolism hindering your body’s ability to process foods.

Alcohol consumption also hurts muscle growth. Not only will having a hangover lower your workout intensity, but drinking actually lowers protein synthesis by twenty percent. There are several reasons why it does this.

For one, it dehydrates your muscle cells. As many know, hydrated and even over hydrated muscles allows for a much higher anabolic environment.

Because your cells aren’t holding as much water, it becomes much harder to build muscle.

The second reason why alcohol can severely hurt muscle growth is because it blocks the absorption of many important nutrients that are key to muscle contraction, relaxation, and growth including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Not only that, but alcohol lowers the amount of testosterone in your body and actually increases estrogen levels.

Having higher levels of testosterone can help with your workouts by making you more aggressive, so when those levels are down, you will not be as intense in your lifting and weight training.

Probably one of the best things you can do to help your body building workout progress the way you want it to is to drink plenty of water.

bodybuilding, drink water

Water is good for you anyway, but for bodybuilders, it can be especially important.  Water is part of every single metabolic process that the body undertakes.

Most experts recommend everyone drink six to eight glasses of water daily to stay healthy.

For bodybuilders, you’ll need much more.  Soda, coffee, and tea don’t count either.  The caffeine can increase fluid loss, so you’re not getting the hydration you need.

Body builders need at least a half gallon to a gallon per day depending on the intensity of your workouts.

Water flushes out toxins and other metabolic waste products from the body. It is especially important when following a “high protein” diet, as it helps remove excess nitrogen, urea (a toxic substance), and ketones.

If you’re eating big to gain weight, then you need even more water to help your kidneys do their work.

Without enough water, the kidneys can’t function properly. When this happens, some of the load is transferred to the liver. The liver metabolizes stored fat for energy.

If the liver is doing some of the kidneys’ work, it burns less fat. In addition, water can actually reduce feelings of hunger.

Contrary to popular belief, drinking water can actually help you shed excess water weight.

When water is in short supply, the body, thinking there’s a shortage, begins hoarding it. This water is stored in extra cellular spaces. In other words, your skin starts looking soft and swollen.

If you’re going to be using supplements in your body building program, and you should, water can help them work.

Supplements like creatine work in part because it pulls water in muscle cells, creating an anabolic environment needed for muscle growth.

For this to work properly, you need plenty of water. Plus, if you’re training hard, then you need a basic mega-vitamin.  Many vitamins are water soluble, and water unlocks the power of those vitamins.

A good diet is essential to an effective body building program.  You can workout with the intensity of a professional, but if your diet stinks, you won’t be doing yourself any good.

The body is very adaptable to change.  At first, you may have problems getting used to your new diet.  But once you get used to eating right, you’ll find yourself not even craving the foods you used to eat.

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12 Recipes for BodyBuilding

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to cook nutritional meals that can complement your body-building program.

Cooking can be a great way to gain control of your eating and pick what you put into your foods like salt and fat.  Meals can be as simple or as complicated as you like.

Here are a few recipes to get you started.

 

Cereal Casserole

Ingredients

your favorite cereal
skim milk
honey
1 cup yogurt

 

Instructions

1. Fill half the bowl with cereal.

2. Add milk until it reaches the top of the cereal.

3. Add yogurt.  Top with more cereal.

4. Add more milk.  Drizzle with honey.

 

 

Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup of oatmeal
11 egg whites
1 whole egg
1 packet of sugar-free Jello any flavor

 

Instructions

1. Stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

2. Drizzle onto hot non-stick fry pan.

 

tuna or salmon

 

Tuna or Salmon Patties

Ingredients

1 can tuna or salmon
1 onion
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of parsley
1 whole egg
3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed

 

Instructions

1. Mix potatoes, tuna, onions, salt, pepper and parsley.

2. Shape into patties.

3. Fry in olive oil until brown and heated on both sides.

 

 

Spicy Chicken Ole

Ingredients

8 ounces chicken breast cut into chunks
1 can dice tomatoes or 2 medium fresh tomatoes diced
1 can spicy chili hot beans
1 medium onion chopped

 

Instructions

1. Sauté chicken breast and onions in some olive oil in a frying pan.

2. Stir in tomatoes and chili beans.

3. Cook uncovered for ten minutes.

4. Sprinkle with low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese.

 

fajita

 

Lightning Fast Fajitas

Ingredients

1 lb. flank steak cut into strips or small pieces
1 large green pepper, cut into strips
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 medium yellow onion, cut into strips
3 cloves pressed garlic
1 tsp chili powder
lemon juice
fresh ground pepper to taste

 

Instructions

1. Sauté garlic in a bit of lemon juice for 1 minute in large wok or skillet.

2. Add beef and chili powder and cook until beef is cooked near to the temperature you desire.

3. Add peppers and onions and cook until vegetables are mostly soft, raising the heat for a short time if you like the vegetables slightly charred.

4. Spoon into whole wheat tortillas.

5. Top with salsa or fat-free sour cream if desired.

 

 

Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients 

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 28 oz can crush tomato
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
3 pressed garlic cloves
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tbsp. parsley
dash of pepper
cooking spray

 

Instructions

1. Spray pan with cooking spray and heat. Brown chicken and set aside.

2. Add chopped onion, green pepper and garlic.

3. Cook until the onion is tender; about 5 minutes.

4. Add crushed tomatoes, parsley, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.

5. Cook over low for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally.

6. Add browned chicken, cover and cook on low for 45 minutes.

7. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes.

8. Serve. Top of whole wheat pasta or brown rice if desired.

 

fish fillet

 

Pan Broiled Fish

Ingredients

1 lb. fish filets

1 14 oz. can dice tomatoes

basil, garlic & oregano

 

Instructions

1. Arrange fish filets in a single layer in skillet.

2. Cover with tomatoes and liquid.

3. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-20 minutes or until the fish easily flakes with a fork.

4. Serve plain or over brown rice.

 

 

Broiled Fish Dijon

Ingredients

6 fish filets
1 lbs small zucchini, cut lengthwise into halves
1 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. low-calorie Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tbsp. drained capers
paprika to taste

 

Instructions

1. Rinse fish and pat dry. In a separate bowl, stir together mustard and garlic.

2. Arrange fish and zucchini in a single layer in a large pan.

3. Drizzle with lemon juice. Broil on top racks for 5 minutes.

4. Turn fish over, spread with mustard/garlic mixture.

5. Continue to broil for 5 minutes or until zucchini is lightly browned and fish is cooked.

6. Sprinkle with paprika and capers. Makes 6 servings

 

chicken-breast

 

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ingredients

1 chopped onion
1 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and dried
1 egg lightly beaten
8 oz. low-fat ricotta cheese
salt & pepper to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, slice in half and flattened

 

Instructions

1. Combine the onion, spinach, egg, and cheese mixture in a bowl.

2. Put a dollop of the mixture into each chicken breast.

3. Tie the chicken breasts together with butchers twine or put toothpicks through them.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

5. Optional: Garnish with lemon slices.

 

 

Ground Turkey Breast Sauce

Ingredients

1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped portabella mushrooms
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
1 jar spaghetti sauce

 

Instructions

1. Brown the meat with the red pepper flakes. Add the chopped onion and mushrooms.

2. Put all the spice, salt and pepper in. Pour the spaghetti sauce in.

3. Serve over your favorite type of noodle.

 

tuna

 

Lemon Pepper Tuna

Ingredients

1 can tuna
lemon pepper seasoning

 

Instructions

1. Spray a frying pan with no calorie non-stick cooking spray.

2. Add tuna and sprinkle with seasoning.

3. Cook tuna to desired doneness.

4. Eat plain or on a bed of pasta.  This is also good if served cold.

 

Worcestershire Tuna

Ingredients

1 can tuna

Worcestershire Sauce

no-fat or low-fat cheese (optional)

 

Instructions

1. Spray a frying pan with no calorie non-stick cooking spray.  Add tuna with an amount of Worcestershire Sauce that you like.  Cook to desired texture.

2. Add tuna with an amount of Worcestershire Sauce that you like.

3. Cook to desired texture.

4. Add cheese if you like and let it melt after turning the burner off.

5. You can eat this on some whole-wheat bread, plain, or over some brown rice.

 

Download a free PDF copy of bodybuilding recipes.

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The Truth About Supplements for BodyBuilding

There are literally hundreds of supplements on the market targeted at body builders and meant to increase your body size.

They are designed to maximize the body’s natural abilities and help you get the body mass you want.

 

How do you know which supplement is right for you?

 

Creatine

Creatine is the most popular and commonly used sports supplement available today. There are numerous studies backed by anecdotal evidence that support the efficacy of creatine supplementation.

 

For the majority of the population, including both elite athletes and untrained individuals, creatine supplementation increases fat-free mass and improves anaerobic and possibly aerobic performance.

 

Creatine is a natural constituent of meat, mainly found in red meat. Creatine is manufactured naturally in the body from the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine. This process takes place in the kidneys, liver, and pancreas.

 

Approximately 40% of the body’s creatine stores are free creatine (Cr), while the remaining 60% is stored in a form of creatine phosphate (CP).

 

The typical male adult processes 2 grams of creatine per day and replaces that amount through dietary intake and fabrication within the body.

 

bodybuilding

 

Creatine is used for the resynthesis of ATP. ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is the “power” that drives muscular energetics.

 

When a muscle is required to contract, the bonds in the ATP molecule are split, yielding ADP (adenosine-diphosphate). The energy released by breaking this bond powers the contraction of the muscle.

 

When ATP is depleted within the cell, the cell can no longer contract. There are several methods by which the body rebuilds ATP.

 

The fastest method, without oxygen, is through CP. Creatine phosphate is “split” to yield the phosphate portion of the molecule.

 

This phosphate portion bonds to the ADP, turning it back to ATP. Once CP stores within the cell are depleted, the body must use other methods to replenish ATP.

 

Supplementation with creatine increases Cr and CP within the muscle, allowing further capacity to regenerate ATP.

 

In other words, the creatine enhances the ability of the muscle to maintain power output during brief periods of high-intensity exercise.

 

The periods are brief because the ability of a cell to store CP is limited, therefore the body will quickly move to other methods of replenishing ATP.

 

There are two ways to decide what dosage of creatine you should take.  In the “loading phase” which is where you begin adding creatine to your diet, the dosage is 20 grams a day for five to seven days.  After that, it’s recommended that you stick to 5 grams per day.

 

You can also calculate creatine dosage according to body weight and mass.  Follow along closely, this could get confusing!  Not really, though.

 

Experts say in the “loading phase”, you should be consuming .3 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight.  So if you weight 200 pounds, the formula would look like this:

 

1 lb divided by 2.2 kg multiplied by .3 = 27 grams of creatine per day

After the loading phase, your weight is multiplied by .03, so you would require 2.7 grams in the maintenance phase.

 

Essentially, creatine can create muscle fullness as well as create an environment within your body that is conducive to muscle growth.  It can also delay fatigue during repeated workouts.

 

However, you must use your creatine regularly instead of sporadically for it to be effective.

 

Creatine is also thought to increase the body’s aerobic abilities.  One study showed that using creatine supplements help to reduce the oxygen cost of activity so less strain is placed on the cardiovascular system while performing an aerobic activity.

 

This is a huge advantage for the body builder as this means you will be able to work harder and longer losing fat and building up muscle.

 

Creatine is safe for most everyone to take with the exception of people with renal issues.  Doctors are even beginning to endorse creatine which is generally unheard of with supplements.

 

Many people like to take their creatine in a shake as it most often comes in the form of powder.  You can mix the creatine powder with some skim or soy milk and even add some fresh fruit for flavor.

 

It is generally a good idea to have your creatine after you workout so that the glycogen in your body is replenished and recovery can be enhanced.

 

bodybuilding supplements

 

Glutamine

Another popular supplement among body builders is glutamine.

 

Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced naturally by the body.  Sixty percent of glutamine is found in the skeletal muscles. The remainder is in the lung, liver, brain, and stomach tissues.

 

Over 60% of our amino acids come in the form of glutamine.  Under normal conditions, our body can produce more than enough.

 

However, during times of stress, glutamine reserves are depleted and must be replenished through supplementation.  This includes stress that the body is under during periods of exercise.

 

If you have too little glutamine in your system, it can result in muscle loss.

 

This amino acid is essential to muscle building because it helps nitrogen in the body move around to where it needs to be.  You have to have a positive nitrogen balance in order to gain muscle mass.

 

Creatine is also thought to prevent sickness, promote healing, prevent sore muscles, and speed up growth hormone production.

 

The typical American diet provides 3.5 to 7 grams of glutamine daily which is found in animal and plant proteins. Many people are choosing to supplement daily due to the long growing list of benefits.

 

Research shows levels of supplementation from 2 to 40 grams daily. Two to three grams has been found to help symptoms of queasiness.

 

This two to three-gram dosage used post workout builds protein, repairs, and builds muscle and can induce levels of growth hormone found in the body.

 

If you want to build a ripped body, you’ll need both creatine and glutamine alike.  Again, it usually comes in powder form, so you’ll want to take it with milk or in a shake.

 

Protein

The importance of protein to a body builder is a no-brainer.  It is the single most important nutrient in a body-building regimen.

 

Protein is what makes up and maintains most of the stuff in our bodies.  Protein has been shown to have the best effects on the body when combined with carbohydrates.

 

Much of your protein will come from your diet, but if you really want to grow your body mass, increasing protein through weight gainers or protein powders is necessary.

 

Of course, you’ll need to be careful not to overdo it and monitor the amount of protein you are consuming.

 

The best type of protein supplement on the market is whey protein because it is the highest yield.  Whey is the best investment because of its capacity as a post-workout recovery supplement.

 

This is a critical time after severe physical stress when the cells will act like a sponge and take in almost anything. The extreme hunger of the cells and the fast-acting properties of whey will make sure you use the best window for recovery to the fullest.

 

If not, the body will hunt the stored reserves of nutrients and when on a diet for example that will cause them to rob other muscle-tissue of glutamine.

 

Thus, whey is the best protein, especially on a diet. It also supplies the most amino acids that bodybuilders use.

It’s unfortunate high cost. however makes me advise you to use it sparingly. Whey protein is the only choice when on a diet, however.

 

When on low-carb diets whey can function as an alternate source of energy, sparing hard-earned muscle protein and glutamine stores within the body.

 

As with creatine, the best time to take your protein supplement is post-workout.  As we said before, it’s good to combine your protein with some form of carbohydrate for maximum results.

 

Combine the powder with some eggs, low-fat milk, ice cream, and olive oil.  You can also add in some fruit for flavor.

 

supplements

 

Nitric Oxide

Another powerful supplement you can take as part of your bodybuilding program is nitric oxide.  Many body builders take nitric oxide for a variety of reasons.

 

Nitric Oxide, a key molecule manufactured by the body, causes vasodilation [an expansion of the internal diameter of blood vessels], which in turn leads to increased blood flow, oxygen transport, delivery of nutrients to skeletal muscle and a reduction in blood pressure.

 

Nitric oxide promotes the extension of the ability to lift weights.

 

It also signals muscle growth, speeds recovery, and increases strength along with stamina.

 

This element also increases energy levels and some people even feel that it promotes a better sex life!

 

During a workout, when muscle contracts and blood vessels dilate, Nitric Oxide is present for a brief moment.

 

The release of nitric oxide creates surges of blood flow, which is the muscle pump we are familiar with. Unfortunately, this pump is only temporary, and will dissipate shortly after you complete your workout.

 

It often comes in pill form, and should be taken in the manufacturer’s recommended dosage.

 

Nitric oxide also comes in powder form as well, so you can take it in a shake just like with other powdered supplements.

 

Steroids and Growth Hormones

We’re not going to spend a lot of time on these types of supplements because they are certainly not recommended, but they are used by bodybuilders all over the world.

 

Both of these substances are highly controversial, and in many places, they are illegal.

Steroids and growth hormones stimulate muscle growth often quite quickly which is why they are so popular among body builders.  They also enhance performance making a person stronger and extending their stamina.

 

Steroid use is generally not condoned in the sports world and constant testing is done of the athletes to see if they are getting an unfair advantage by using steroids or growth hormones.

 

Steroids do have some advantages.  They are used in treating a variety of health problems including AIDS, cancer, and other serious diseases.  They help the body fight the ill effects of these diseases and promote healing.

 

However, steroids have some serious health implications when taken for reasons other than therapeutic.  They can cause serious liver damage and even lead to liver failure.

 

Steroids increase testosterone production which can lead to overly aggressive behavior, a decrease in libido, and low sperm count.

 

The reason many bodybuilders use steroids is because they increase water retention in the muscles which leads to an anabolic state.

 

However, this increase in fluid retention makes the heart work harder which can increase blood pressure and even bring on a heart attack.

 

All steroids eventually change to estrogen which causes feminization in men.  That causes an enlargement of the breasts along with an increase in fatty deposits.

 

Growth hormones stimulate the elements in the body that make muscles grow.  They are naturally produced by the body, but many bodybuilders take them to basically tell their muscles to get bigger.  They can be dangerous, though, as well.

 

You can get huge, ripped muscles without having to resort to using illegal substances like steroids or artificial growth hormones.

 

They can make you bigger quicker, but the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages you are taking by introducing these substances into your body.

 

Bodybuilding has long been thought of as a man’s sport, but more and more women are getting interested in it as well.

 

 

Download here a free PDF copy of the truth about supplements for bodybuilding.

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What About BodyBuilding For Women?

What do we know about bodybuilding for women?

If you’re a woman and would like to slim down and tone up, then joining your local gym and taking a bodybuilding course is a good idea.

Getting a personal trainer who has experience with helping women, specifically, is also a smart move.

 

After all, no matter how equal men and women are in some areas, they are quite different when it comes to biology.

 

For example, women tend to accumulate fat deposits in different areas of the body and would want to target those parts more than a man would.

 

Basic BodyBuilding Tips for Women

 

Each woman has what she considers her ideal body shape. Hopefully, this image will be based on her own desires, and not those that are constantly thrust upon her by a male-dominated industry.

 

Set fitness goals that mean something to you and forget what anybody else says about it. There are a few things you should keep in mind to help you achieve these goals.

 

Above all else, your goals need to be realistic. They can still be big, but if they aren’t realistic to you, then you will have a hard time staying motivated because you won’t see the point.

 

For example, if you are a size 14 and want to get down to a size 4 in two weeks, then that’s unrealistic.

 

However, if you say you want to drop one full size every two months until you get down to a size 8, then that’s more realistic.

 

Furthermore, it’s specific and structured in such a way that you will achieve several mini-goals on your way to your main goal.

 

The next thing you need to do is decide what fitness means to you. Which bodybuilding technique for women you choose will depend largely on what you’re trying to achieve.

 

If you want to add muscle mass and bulk up, then you need to lift the heaviest or close to it like weights you can lift, but only for a few repetitions.

 

If you want toned muscles, then you can use lighter weights, but then you have to do a lot of repetitions. And that’s just one example.

 

Once you have your goals, you need to develop a plan that’s best for you personally. This can be tricky as there is so much information out there and a lot if it is contradictory.

 

The easiest solution is to hire a personal trainer. A trainer will be able to assess where you are, where you want to be and the best way for you to get there.

 

If a trainer won’t work for you, then your local gym is your next best option.

Ask to speak to someone about your fitness goals, then they can tell you which exercises are best for you, as well as which machines to use and how to use them.

 

There is more to bodybuilding tips for women than exercise. You also need to watch what you eat. A good rule of thumb is to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.

 

Be sure to get enough sleep so you are ready to take on the day and to have enough energy for any exercising you’ll be doing. Stay motivated, and you’ll be happy with the results.

 

“But what if I stop working out and all of my muscle turns to fat?”

 

Believe it or not, this is a common concern amongst people who are not sure about working out.

But you can put your mind at ease as it’s physically impossible for muscle to turn into fat, or vice-versa.

 

It would be kind of like believing a piece of chicken could turn into ice cream if you let it sit long enough. When you’re working out, you tend to need more calories to fuel your body.

 

But if you keep eating the same amount of calories, and stop exercising, then your body isn’t burning off those extra calories and you’ll gain weight.

 

That being said, it is important for women to try to maintain a regular workout schedule. Once you reach a certain level, you may find it hard to lose more weight or get fitter.

 

This is commonly referred to as reaching a plateau. When this happens you can either push harder but be sure to consult with your trainer to get past it or you can go into maintenance mode where you exercise just enough to stay at your current level.

 

Even though you will be focused on bodybuilding, you still should do cardiovascular workouts as part of your routine.

 

Generally speaking, weight lifting will add tone and some muscle mass, while cardiovascular exercises will help you to lose weight and improve your overall health.

 

If anybody tells you that you have to give up one form of exercise for the other, don’t believe them; you can do both.

 

Bodybuilding women are not some sort of strange creatures that are meant to be ridiculed. They are simply average women who want to look their best and be healthy.

 

You don’t have to worry about looking like a man, but you can certainly feel great about looking your best.

 

 

What else do you know about bodybuilding for women?

Some women have never considered bodybuilding as a sport because they are simply concerned that if they weight train, they will end up losing their feminine figure, and instead appear big, bulky and masculine.

 

Many women seek to improve their fitness levels, partly for health reasons and partly for looks.

When it comes to looking more toned this is achieved by building muscle tone and making those muscles much leaner.

 

But how is this achieved for women?

We all know that women’s bodies are different to men’s in many ways so how we build muscle is also a little different.

 

Generally, muscle tone improves when the muscle fibers become larger, which is often the result of constant weight training.

A key aspect to remember is muscle can weigh more than fat so don’t be alarmed if the scale numbers increase.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Women cannot naturally produce the amount of testosterone that men do.

It is impossible for women to increase their muscle size in the same ways that men do just by picking up a weight or two.

 

bodybuilding for women

 

Without artificial substances, women won’t be able to get the same bulk as men do.

However, many of the same workout advice that we give to men apply to women as well. Eat 5-6 small meals per day, drink plenty of water, and get lots of rest.

 

The workouts are the same as well although some women may want to limit their reps initially until their strength is built up.

 

Many women struggle with excess fat and flabby muscle tone on their thighs and in their buttocks.  Because women are naturally curvier than men, working these areas makes for a very flattering figure.

 

To work these areas, you will want to do a lot of dumbbell squats, leg curls, standing calf raises, and leg presses.

 

Add some lunges as well as dumbbell squat dead lifts as well for maximum effectiveness.  You may want to invest in an exercise ball so that you can work your abs and make them tight and defined.

 

Change your workout every time you perform it and focus on one or two body parts each day you train. 

By doing this, you are not over-exerting muscles without giving them time to heal. 

 

Recovery is very important to the body’s muscles, so give them the time they need to heal and grow.

 

Many women live their lives by the numbers that they read on a scale.

When you are bodybuilding for fitness, this is an absolute mistake.

 

bodybuilding for women

 

Don’t concentrate on what the scale says you weigh, focus on your size and tone. 

 

This can be calculated in the form of inches or body fat percentage.  You will probably not see a huge weight loss on the scale, but you should see an improvement in your overall body’s look after a period of time.

 

Here are some areas that women should really focus on in their bodybuilding routine:

 

Upper Back – Use pull-ups to build the muscles in your upper back which will accentuate your shoulders and make your waist look smaller.

 

Side Deltoids – Side laterals and overhead laterals will help tone these muscles making your shoulders more defined and, again, your waist look smaller.

 

Hips and Waist – These areas are mostly chiseled through diet by teaching the body to redistribute body fat.

It is the finishing signature to the rest of your body and will make your overall appearance look much more pleasant.

 

Quads The front muscles in your upper thighs need to be worked so that they are toned and defined.

 

Doing lots of squats will help in this area and will complete your overall look.  After all, what woman doesn’t want to have some killer legs!

 

Women are used to dieting and depriving themselves of food.  When you are bodybuilding, however, the reality is that you need to actually eat more.

 

The key lies in the foods that you eat.  Eat the right foods, and they will work for you instead of against you!

 

As a woman, you need to remember that you will not be able to build your muscle like men does.

However, your approach toward body building will be much the same. There are already many female bodybuilders who became successful in this field.

 

 

5 Tips for Women to Build Lean Muscle Tone

 

Here are the top 5 ways for women to build lean muscle tone and improve their overall appearance.

 

1. Increased repetitions when weight training

Weight training is the best way to improve muscle tone and to overall build lean muscles.

However, there is little benefit in rarely challenging yourself, as this does not provide enough of a challenge to the muscle fibers.

Each time you are weight training you need to increase the number of repetitions that you are doing to stretch the muscles further.

An ideal workout would be a sensible weight but at six to twelve repetition sessions. But, if you are looking for lean muscle the key aspect is to not go above this limit.

This is because you want to train your muscles for strength rather than stamina as it is the strength that gives you the lean muscle tone.

 

2. Eat more protein

We should all aim for a balanced diet, which includes a healthy amount of protein whether we are working out or not.

However, if you are looking to build lean muscle tone this becomes even more important.

Protein is essentially the building blocks for muscles, so quite simply, the more you have the bigger you can build your muscles.

Likewise, it is also filling and it can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce the cravings to snack between meals.

 

3. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat

Carbohydrates are most commonly found in foods such as bread, pasta, and rice. Although they are also a necessary part of a healthy diet.

If you are trying to build lean muscle tone you want to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you are consuming.

This is not to say cut them out completely; they are still an essential part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates help the body release insulin, which is needed for energy and to help with muscle repair.

 

4. Eat more vegetables

Again, vegetables are a key part of a healthy diet and should be eaten every day whether you are working out or not.

When you are trying to build lean muscle tone vegetables become even more important.

Vegetables generally contain very few calories and have a high thermic effect. This means they consume a lot of energy to eat, digest, and burn through again.

This helps with building muscle tone, particularly if they are eaten raw or just slightly cooked.

 

5. Minimize the amount of cardio you do

Weight training to gain muscle is a very different type of exercise to cardio workouts and achieves different aims.

If you are focusing on building lean muscle tone then you need to minimize the amount of cardio workouts you do.

The long distance running or cycling workouts are particularly the worst as they encourage muscle wastage.

Rather than eliminate all cardio workouts, you will help build muscle tone by including very short bursts of high-intensity runs or cycle workouts.

However, this is the absolute maximum cardio that you should do, as it will not help with building muscle.

 

Additional Reference:

The Female Training Bible: Everything You Need To Get The Sexy Body You Desire

http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-female-training-bible-everything-you-need-to-get-the-sexy-body-you-desire.html

Fitness 360 Programs: Women

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fitness-360-women.html

Women: 9 Steps To Building Beautiful Female Muscle

http://www.cutandjacked.com/9-Steps-To-Gain-Beautiful-Muscle-For-Women

How to Start Bodybuilding for Women

http://www.livestrong.com/article/351088-how-to-start-bodybuilding-for-women/

9 Reasons Why Women Should Not Train Like Men

http://bayesianbodybuilding.com/why-women-should-not-train-like-men/

The Top 3 Reasons Why Most Women Trying Bodybuilding Fail Before They Even Start

http://www.nobsbb.com/women-bodybuilding/

Women and Bodybuilding: Female Body Building Myths to Know About

http://www.askthetrainer.com/women-and-bodybuilding/

Female Training Exposed: Myths and Facts About Female Bodybuilding

http://www.directlyfitness.com/store/myths-facts-female-bodybuilding/

What’s the Difference? Women’s Bodybuilding, Figure and Bikini

http://www.ngaidaho.com/whats-the-difference-womens-bodybuilding-figure-and-bikini/

The History and Evolution of Women’s Bodybuilding

http://muscle-insider.com/features/history-evolution-womens-bodybuilding

Women’s Bodybuilding Training Fat Loss Tips

http://bodybuilding.about.com/od/womensfitnesstopics/a/womenfatloss.htm

Top 10 Misconceptions About Bodybuilding – Women Fitness

http://womenfitness.net/top10_misconception_bodybuild/

How Bodybuilding has changed women’s lives

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/health-fitness/how-bodybuilding-has-changed-two-womens-1551744

10 of The Most Famous Women Bodybuilders

http://healthcommkey.org/10-of-the-most-famous-women-bodybuilders/

 

 

 

women bodybuilding

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Rest in BodyBuilding for Better Performance

Bodybuilding is the process of developing muscle fibers through various techniques. But what about resting? How does it affect your performance?

 

Bodybuilding is achieved through muscle conditioning, weight training, increased calorie intake, and resting your body as it repairs and heals itself, before restarting your workout routine.

 

Workouts are designed to focus on specific muscle categories or groups, and foods are consumed with the intention to build the body’s metabolism and increase overall mass.

 

Weight training develops both strength as well as the size of skeletal muscles.

It uses the force of gravity to oppose the force generated by muscles through a contraction.  Weight training uses a variety of specialized equipment designed to target specific muscle groups and movements.

 

Some people refer to weight training as strength training.

While they are not exactly the same, they are both similar to each other.

Strength training focuses on increasing muscular strength and size.  Weight training is one type of strength training using weights as the primary force to build muscle mass.

 

bodybuilding and strength training

 

The basic principles of weight training are pretty much the same as those of strength training.

It involves a manipulation of the numbers of reps, sets, tempo, exercise types, and weight moved to cause desired increases in strength, endurance, size, or shape.

 

The specific combination of reps, sets, exercises, and weight depends on upon the desires of the body builder.  Sets with fewer reps can be performed with heavier weights but have a reduced impact on endurance.

 

Equipment used in weight training includes barbells, dumbbells, pulleys, and stacks in the form of weight machines or the body’s own weight as in push-ups and chin-ups.  Different weights will give different types of resistance.

 

Weight training also focuses on form performing the movements with the appropriate muscle groups and not transferring the weight to different body parts in order to move the great weight.

 

If you don’t use good form in weight training, you risk muscle injury, which could hinder your overall progress.

 

Another form of weight training is resistance training.

Resistance training involves the use of elastic or hydraulic resistance to contraction rather than gravity.

 

When your muscles are resisting a weight, the overall tone of that muscle will grow over time.

If you are a beginner at weight training, you should not just “jump right in”.  You need to build up your strength and over-working your muscles can cause more harm than good.

 

Some of your muscles might be naturally stronger than others.  Building up slowly allows muscles to develop appropriate strengths relative to each other.

Most gyms offer the services of a personal trainer that comes with the membership fee.

 

These trainers can suggest specific workouts for you to begin with however the routines featured within this guide will help you develop a solid workout quickly and easily.

Another huge thing you have to be aware of in your body building program is sleep.

 

sleeping or resting

 

Sleep is one of your most valuable tools for growth that you can have in your bodybuilding arsenal.

 

Muscle adaptation and growth often occurs at night.

During the suspended state of animation you are in, your body is doing exactly what you have been asking it to do during your workouts – build muscle.

 

Lack of sleep can have an intoxicating effect on your body.

According to the Journal of Applied Sports Science, being awake for 24 hours has the same physical effect as a blood alcohol content of 0.096, which is above the legal driving limit in most states.

 

Working out in this state has its obvious downside. For starters, your lack of muscular coordination places you at a much higher risk for injury.

 

Just as you’d never head to the gym after drinking a few beers at your local tavern, you should never work out after not sleeping the night before.

 

You’re better off waiting until the next day when your body has been given proper rest.

 

 

What are the best practices when it comes to getting enough sleep? 

 

Here are some pointers:

 

Don’t exercise before bedtime.  Body temperature has a huge effect on our ability to fall asleep.  As your body temperature lowers, you start to feel sleepy.

If you work up a sweat before trying to sleep, you will have difficulty falling asleep and it could take your body several hours to cool down enough so that you can drift off.

 

Try having a light snack before bedtime.  Some people disagree with this theory, but if you go to bed on an empty stomach, it can distract from your ability to fall asleep.  Make sure this snack is light, though.

Get at least eight hours of quality sleep per night.

 

This will ensure that you get the rest and recovery that your body needs to be able to function effectively during the day.

 

Keep your bedroom dark and cool.  Try having some white noise in the room like a fan running.

 

Don’t drink a lot of fluids before sleep, especially tea or coffee.  Not only will the caffeine keep you awake, but you’ll have to use the bathroom more often as well which will disturb your sleep.

 

Establish both a regular sleep cycle as well as a pre-sleep routine.  This will help you signal your body that it’s time to think about resting.

 

While your body is sleeping, your body’s synthesis of protein increases.  This is what makes you grow.  Your body can recover and repair any damage you did during the day while you are at rest.

 

A majority of growth hormones are also released when the body is in the sleep state.  Growth hormones are very important in increasing muscle mass.

 

During a workout, growth hormones are also released, but the majority of this happens while the body is at rest.

 

Just as sleep will give you more energy, it is also vital in helping your body recover and ultimately grow like you want it to.

 

 

Bodybuilding and Overtraining

 

One of the biggest problems a newbie bodybuilder faces is determining how much to train. When they start a bodybuilding program, after having never exercised with weights before, the body generally responds relatively fast.

 

The new bodybuilder can see gains in muscle size and a firming of the body within the first few weeks and this encourages them to train harder.

 

This is where the problems start to begin. After the initial burst of muscle development, the body will begin to plateau for a while, and increasing the training will only lead to a case of over training.

 

Overtraining occurs when the muscles haven’t had sufficient time to recovery.

 

When the muscles are subject to weight training, the main process of development occurs during the recovery period when the muscle cells are rebuilt, to cope with the increased demands of the weight lifting.

 

It is during this ‘rebuilding’ process that the muscles become bigger, and without sufficient recovery, the muscles won’t have time to rebuild the cells.

 

This leads to the muscle getting overworked and growth is stunted. Without the correct knowledge, the newbie bodybuilder thinks that they need to train even harder to maintain the gains that they were seeing in the initial stages of their weight lifting program.

 

Thus begins the downward spiral of more and more over training and the resultant lack of muscle growth and fatigue.

 

With correct guidance, the bodybuilder will be able to see when they are getting into a state of overtraining and allow themselves a little more time to recover.

 

This might involve having a few days rest from exercise or more rest days between training sessions.

 

Alternatively, the overtrained bodybuilder might need to reduce the amount of weights lifted during a training session.

 

Reducing the intensity of the training will help to eliminate the possibility of injury and other health related problems as the body’s immune system is put under stress.

 

People who are just beginning bodybuilding for the first time need to be made aware of this process before they start training.

 

It is important so they can plan their weight lifting program in such a way that they will continue to see gains in muscle size and reduce the possibility of the plateau periods where they appear to be making little or no progress.

 

 

 

What Are The Power Foods For BodyBuilding?

power foods for bodybuilding

When you decide you want to undertake a body building program, the foods you eat can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your program.

Many people don’t pay enough attention to the types of food they eat.  But food is very important in a bodybuilding program.

Food supplies us with calories.  Calories are tiny bits of energy that your body uses to perform work.  Counting calories isn’t as important as knowing what calories will be the best ones to consume for the maximum effect on your workout.

To have enough energy to perform your workout, you’ll need a lot of different nutrients.  One of the most important would be carbohydrates.

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Carbs

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of glucose.  Glucose is a simple carb that is stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen.

Glycogen is the principal form of energy that is stored in muscles.  When your muscles are filled with glycogen, they both look and feel full.

Carbohydrates should be the bulk of your daily caloric intake when you are starting a body-building program.

Focus on unprocessed complex carbs like sweet potatoes, potatoes, whole grain bread, oatmeal, and brown rice.

These natural complex carbs are made of long “chains” of sugar and are digested very slowly.

Slow burning carbs promote consistent blood sugar levels, which help to offset fatigue while promoting the release of insulin, which is the body’s principal anabolic hormone.

For men, a number of carbs that should be taken in by multiplying their body weight by three.  That number will be a number of grams that should be consumed daily.

Women multiply their body weight by two to get their carb gram intake.

For example, a 200-pound man should consume 600 grams of carbs per day and a 125-pound woman would eat 250 carb grams daily.

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Glucose

Glucose also provides energy for your brain and making blood in your body.

Glucose can be made from protein, but that requires the breakdown of body protein from muscle.  If you’re not eating enough carbohydrates, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue for glucose.

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Fiber

Along with carbs, you must consume enough fiber in your diet.  Eating fiber makes muscle tissue more responsive to anabolism by improving sugar and amino acid uptake and aiding in muscle glycogen formation and growth.

Beans and oatmeal are two excellent sources of fiber.

Divide your carb meals into six servings throughout the day. This divide and conquer approach stimulates a steady release of insulin to create an anabolic, or muscle building, state.

If you eat too many carbs in one sitting, the net effect is that fat-storing enzymes kick into high hear and you lose than lean and hard look.

Eat some simple carbs after your workout and eat more of them.  Honey, sugar and refined foods such as white bread and white rice – typical simple carbs – are digested quickly and easily. The resulting insulin spike is a double-edged sword, however.

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After training, it can prevent muscle catabolism while promoting anabolism. If you have not been working out, the intake of simple carbs can stimulate fat storage.

A high carb intake at your post training meal will have less chance of being stored as fat, as carbs must replenish depleted glycogen levels before they gain the ability to stimulate fat storage. Eat about 25% of your daily carbs at this meal.

Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day, and besides your post-workout meal, it is also the best time to load up on carbs.

Blood sugar and muscle glycogen levels are low from your overnight fast. Your body must replenish these levels before stimulating the fat storing machinery in the body.

As your day wears on, your carb intake should decrease.  Your energy requirements will also decrease at this time, so your body won’t need as much.

If you eat carbs late in the day, your body will store them as fat and increase weight gain instead of muscle mass.

If you feel that you need to lose fat along with building your muscles, you will want to rotate your carb intake.  Bodybuilders who rotate their carb intake tend to lose more fat than bodybuilders who maintain a steady flow of carbs while dieting.

For example, instead of eating 600 g. of carbs every day (the typical daily total for a 200-pound bodybuilder), try varying the volume of intake.

Eat 50% fewer carbs (300 g.) for two days, then the standard 600 g. for the next two days, then 50% more (900 g.) for the next two days.

The total carb intake is the same, but this schedule works because it lowers muscle glycogen in the first stage (promoting fat loss), and then increases insulin levels (ensuring no loss of muscle) on the final two days. Carb rotation gives you the best of both worlds: decreased fat with no loss of muscle.

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Protein

Another important nutrient every bodybuilder needs is plenty of protein.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  Glucose molecules make up carbohydrates just like amino acids with proteins.

Protein is involved in growing, repairing, and replacing tissues.  That is made possible because proteins are the basis for body structures.

For body builders, nitrogen balance is an important concept to keep in mind when talking about proteins.

Nitrogen balance is the difference between the amount of nitrogen taken in and the amount excreted or lost.

If you lose more nitrogen than you consume, your body will break down muscle tissue to get it.  On the other hand, if you consume more than you lose, you will be in an anabolic, or muscle building, state.

Protein intake exceeds output, and protein is retained in tissue as new muscle is added. Obviously, this is something that you want.

Watch out, if your protein output exceeds intake you would have a negative nitrogen balance. This is not good because the opposite is now happening.

Your body is degrading muscle and other body proteins. You usually see this in people who are starving, burned, injured or have a fever. This puts your body in what is called a catabolic state.

An anabolic state is when your body has a positive nitrogen balance. The term catabolic refers to the state of the body in which body compounds are broken down for energy purposes.

In bodybuilding contexts, catabolic means muscle loss. 

Ultimately, your body won’t grow when it is in a catabolic state.

The general rule is to consume daily the same amount of grams in protein as your body weight.  A 200-pound bodybuilder, therefore, would need to eat 200 grams of protein every day to put the body in an anabolic state.

When calculating the amount of protein you are eating, concentrate on the complete sources of protein like meat, fish, and eggs.  While there are proteins in other foods, you need to focus on the complete sources rather than those that are incomplete.

If you are dieting while body building, your protein intake should increase to 1 ½ times your bodyweight.

Many diets have you cutting back on fat and carbohydrate intake.  This forces the body to burn more protein for fuel, which can put your muscle tissue at risk.  To compensate, you’ll need to eat more protein to counteract this effect.

Here’s a quick guide to the protein content of some common foods:
Protein-containing foods
5 oz. steak, cooked
5 oz. roasted chicken
5 oz. tuna
1 egg
1 c. milk
2 T. peanut butter
2 slices of cheese
2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 cup cooked broccoli
1 cup beans (legumes)
Protein (in grams)
35
43
43
6
8
9
14
5
5
15

Some people don’t feel that loading up on protein is a good idea for anyone, but if you want to get ripped with your body building program, you’ll need the amino acids in protein to work in your body.

Be aware of the amount of protein you are eating and make them work for you instead of against you.

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Fats

Yes, even when you are building the perfect body, you’ll still need some fats in your diet.  Fats are the main source of energy in the body.

Fat combines with glucose for energy in order to spare the breakdown of protein.  That way, protein can do what it is supposed to do – build muscle.

The key to fat intake is to stay away from bad fats and only eat the good fat.  Saturated fat is bad.

These are the fats that contribute to heart disease and high cholesterol.  Because of the chemical composition of saturated fat, your body cannot break it down very well.

Saturated fats are commonly found in animal products such as meat, seafood, whole milk dairy products like milk and cheese, as well as egg yolks.

Saturated fats elevate blood cholesterol by increasing both the good HDL and the bad LDL.  Elevated levels of LDL can clog arteries and cause heart disease.  They are also more readily stored as body fat, so they should be limited.

Trans fats should also be avoided.  This type of fat is often used in commercially processed food because they are preserved longer.

Trans fats cause an over activity in the immune system and are linked to stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.  You should truly strive to eliminate all trans fats from your diet.

Unsaturated fats are easier for your body to break down.  Some of them can act as antioxidants that can actually help in losing stored fatty tissue in the body.

These fats are found naturally in foods like nuts and avocados.  These fats have a great effect on the cardio system as they work to lower the bad LDL cholesterol in the body.

The easiest way to tell the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats is to look at them.  At room temperature, saturated fats are hard and solid.  Unsaturated fats are in liquid form as in oils.

Basically, you should stay away from fats like animal lard and use oils such as olive oil or canola oil.

Pay close attention to the fat content of any processed foods you are eating and keep it to a minimum or else your body will store that fat as well.

Probably the best type of fat to have in your diet would be Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

These fats are most often found in fish and can have some significant health advantages.  They can reduce inflammation, help prevent cancer growth, and improve brain function.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids can actually help combat conditions such as depression, fatigue, joint pain, and even Type 2 diabetes.

Because they reduce inflammation in the body, they are good for the body builder because they help promote muscle recovery, which can be important in the body building process.

Fats are actually an important part of any diet.  They play an important role in protecting the body’s vital organs.  Fats keep the body insulated; maintain healthy hair and skin as well as providing a sense of fullness after meals.

Obtaining sufficient fat in its healthy form is one of the keys to good health and well-being and a great body!

However, you must be careful not to overdo on the fats.

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Sample Plan On BodyBuilding Extensive Workouts

Before proceeding to some sample plans on bodybuilding extensive workouts, check first some tips and considerations that are helpful in your bodybuilding workout regimen journey.

BodyBuilding Workouts

Bodybuilding workouts are the most important part of your bodybuilding endeavors, but many people have not done enough research to fully understand, and get the best from, their workouts.

How to maximize the results from your bodybuilding workouts?

Step 1 – Put some real effort into it.

Nothing important is ever achieved in this world without some effort, and if you are approaching bodybuilding in a halfhearted manner, then you will only get halfhearted results.

Any results you will see will be far less than you would have seen if you had been dedicated to the task. If you really want the muscles and body you are working for, why not put in a full effort?

Step 2 – Maintain your enthusiasm.

One of the most important factors in keeping the right level of enthusiasm for your training is to time your gym visits judiciously.

All gyms have some competition to use the equipment, and if you cannot get access to it, you may end up not being able to perform some of your most important routines.

This is not only frustrating it can lead to setbacks in your progress. If you can plan your gym visits for quieter times of day, such as morning opening, or early afternoon, that will help.

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Step 3 – Maintain your energy level.

Someone who is muscular is not necessarily fit, so you should work at being both.

If your gym has a treadmill or an exercise bicycle, these provide the ideal opportunity to do some aerobic exercise in the middle of your bodybuilding exercises.

Although this will add a bit of time to your overall workout, it will increase your intensity.

Step 4 – Make sure each exercise is performed correctly.

To maximize the effect of your bodybuilding workouts, they need to be performed as they are written in the textbook.

Try to keep your back still while you are doing barbell curls. A large amount of your time will go to waste if you are not maintaining your effectiveness with correct technique.

Get this part right, and you will gain far better results for your time.

Bodybuilding workouts need to be tailored to the needs of the individual, but the hints in this article should provide you with something to work on during your next gym visit.

BodyBuilding Total Workouts

Total gym workouts are the key to developing and sustaining a healthy and strong body.

There is a trend for bodybuilders just to concentrate on one limited area, and miss out on the holistic benefits of full body training.

Here, we show you the benefits of a total gym workout.

Phase 1

When you start a total gym workout, you should start by doing cardio work.

Warming up is essential for any athletic endeavor, and with bodybuilding, you want to get the limbs loose and the blood pumping. Warming up will also help burn off excess fat.

Running is a very common way of warming up, but for something really strenuous try the boxer’s training of skipping.

Phase 2

People often start total gym workouts by working the arms or legs, but this really makes little sense.

It makes a lot more sense to end your workout with your limbs, as tiring them early will mean that your arms will only be able to handle reduced weights during the rest of your workout, and your legs will not be able to carry you as vigorously around the gym.

Working the chest and back first is a much better progression. Try to use dumbbell bench presses to enhance your chest, and if you have a pec deck, use that.

It is not so easy to work your back, but you can do lat pull downs and deadlifts if you have access to the right equipment, and these should produce very satisfactory results.

Phase 3

The arms can come next, and this is a favorite area of so many bodybuilders. You can look forward to this part of your total gym workout, as your arms can produce the most visible results from your hard work.

Too many people don’t consider that there are 3 sets of muscles in the arm, so you need to exercise them all in turn.

You can try some dumbbell curls which benefit the biceps, some triceps pulldowns which will build the triceps and then forearms curls and reverse forearm curls to enhance your forearm muscles.

If you work this hard, you will see for yourself why this is not a good place to start!

Phase 4

Time now for some leg work. Even with total gym workouts, many people overlook the legs, unless they are competitive bodybuilders.

As the legs do a lot of work carrying the rest of your body, they respond well to exercise.

Start out by doing squats to build your thighs, and if you try single footed heel raises for your calves you should find them highly effective.

The hamstrings are the final part, and although they will be exercised by default during your running and warming up, you can also do some basic leg curls which will increase the effect.

This will show you that total workouts can be simple enough, and not take that much time, and also that working the whole body is far more effective.

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BodyBuilding Workout Plan

Beginning a bodybuilding workout plan requires a level of commitment.  You can find sample workout plans on your bodybuilding journey.

As a beginner, you can work out more frequently than more advanced bodybuilders. The reason is simple. As you get more experienced, you learn to push your muscles harder and inflict more damage that takes longer to recover from.

Beginners, on the other hand, get sore but bounce back quicker since the muscular damage isn’t as severe.

If the word “damage” makes you flinch, don’t worry.

It’s a good thing for a bodybuilder to incur limited muscle damage because it nudges the body to recover and overcompensate (grow) slightly to prepare for future workouts.

This is what bodybuilding is all about – a continuous cycle of one-step-back, two-steps-forward, repeated over and over on a weekly basis.

The following workout plan is designed to focus on one part of your body each day of your workout with mid-week and the weekend as your rest days.

This plan is just a suggestion.  You can adapt it as needed to suit your workout goals.

With any workout, you need to start out with some warm up exercises.  This can be simple stretching as you get your body ready to work.

A warm-up session prior to working out can not only help get your body ready for exercise, but your mind will get prepared as well.

You should also have an appropriate cool down period after you are done working out.

This will reduce the possibility of delayed muscle soreness and will help quell the adrenaline that has been building in your system as a result of the workout.  This can also be simple stretching exercises and deep breathing.

Again, it’s important to start out slow and not push yourself beyond your limits.

Use weights that are not too heavy for you but that will give you enough resistance to build your muscles.

You can progressively increase the amount of weight you lift as you get stronger.

Day 1 – Upper Body

For the following exercises, begin with two sets of 10-12 reps each.

Dumbbell press

Standing barbell military press

Lying triceps press

Side lateral raise

Preacher curls

Seated dumbbell curl

Dumbbell rows

Dumbbell shrugs

 

If you have access to weight machines, add the following to your plan:

Pec deck butterflies

V-bar pushdowns

Lat pulls with pulley machine

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Day 2 – Lower Body and Abs

Again, begin doing each exercise with two sets of 10-12 reps each except for the crunches which you can do as many of them as you want.

Barbell squat

One leg barbell squat

Lunges

Standing calf press

Stiff leg barbell

Crunches

 

Machines can be especially helpful when working your lower body.  Here are some you should consider on this day:

Leg presses on a plate loaded machine

Leg extension machine

Seated hamstring curls

Standing hamstring curls

Ab machine

 

 

Day 3 – Rest

 

bodybuilding exercise

Day 4 – Upper Body

Increase your sets to 3 doing 10 – 12 reps each

Chin ups (get assistance if necessary)

Seated dumbbell hammer curls

Dumbbell presses on an inclined bench

Standing barbell military press

Standing bicep curls

Barbell triceps extension

Upright barbell row

Front dumbbell raise

The machines you can use on this day include:

Seated cable rows

Upright cable rows

Cable crossover flies

Tricep rope pushdowns

 

Day 5 – Lower Body and Abs

Go back to doing just two sets of 10-12 reps each except for the crunches which you can do unlimited amounts of.

Standing calf press

Lunges

Barbell squat

Stiff leg barbell

Standing calf raises

Crunches

Machine exercises include:

Leg presses on a plate loaded machine

Seated hamstring curls

Kneeling hamstring curls

 

Weekend – Rest

 

If a four-day workout plan is too much for you, consider starting out with a two or three-day plan.

Keep in mind that you won’t get results as quickly with a fewer day workout, but if you need to start out slowly, it can still be effective.

bodybuilding exercise

Here is a sample three day workout.

Day 1 – Back, Chest, and Abs

Do three sets of 12-15 reps each.

Bent over barbell row

Stiff legged barbell deadlift

Barbell bench press

Incline dumbbell press

Dumbbell flies

Crunches

 

Day 2 – Legs and Shoulders

Do three sets of 12-15 reps each.

Barbell squat

Seated calf raise

Front dumbbell raise

Side lateral raise

Upright barbell row

Lunges

Barbell squats

 

Day 3 – Biceps, Triceps, and Abs

Do three sets of 12-15 reps each

Barbell curl

Incline dumbbell curl

Lying triceps press

Barbell triceps extension

Front dumbbell raise

Dumbbell hammer curls

Crunches

bodybuilding exercise

 

About an hour before your workout, you should eat some protein and carbohydrates.

This is to make sure that you have enough energy to make it through your entire workout.

By doing this, you are putting your body into an anabolic state that will provide the necessary energy and power to effectively work your muscles.

During training, there is increased blood flow to the muscles.  When you consume protein and carbohydrates prior to a workout, your body can take advantage of that extra blood flow and work the muscles more efficiently.

Many people opt for a protein shake and a bowl of rice, but you can choose whatever foods you want to get what you need.

It’s a good idea to keep track of your workouts and how many sets and reps you are doing.

Write it down in a small notebook and when you are able to increase the number of sets and/or reps, be sure to take note of how long it took you to get to that point.

Also, keep track of the amount of weight you are able to lift and when you are able to increase that weight.

It’s also a good idea to do your first set with very little weight.  This is to get the blood flowing through the muscles.  On the second set, add a little weight and do the exercise again.  If you find that it’s just a bit too easy, try more weight.

The goal is to add weight until it’s difficult to complete 8-12 reps.

Remember, you want to build your body, not lift weights.

Be sure and rest between sets to allow your body to adjust and recover.  Usually, that’s around a minute or two.

DO NOT rest more than a minute or so or else your muscles will get cold and all your previous work will be for nothing. The idea is to keep the burn, taking only very short breaks in between sets.

It’s a good idea to sprinkle your workouts with some cardio exercises to help get your blood pumping.  This could be a little time on a treadmill or walking.

The cardio is good for your body and you’ll be focusing on that most important muscle of all – your heart!

 

 

19 Common BodyBuilding Training Exercises

Are you familiar with the training exercises for bodybuilding? Let’s take a look at just some of the most common exercises and routines so you better understand the different techniques used within weight training and overall fitness.

 

BodyBuilding Exercises

 

Here are a few of the more common ones:

 

1. Dumbbell Bench Press

Sit on the edge of a flat bench with the dumbbells resting on your knees.  In one smooth motion, roll onto your back and bring the dumbbells up to a position slightly outside and above your shoulders.  Your palms should be facing forwards.

Bend your elbows at a ninety-degree angle with your upper arms parallel to the ground.  Press the weights up over your chest in a triangular motion until they meet above the centerline of your body.

As you lift, concentrate on keeping the weights balanced and under control.

Follow the same path downward.

 

 

2. Standing Military Press

For this exercise, you will use a barbell.  Stand with your legs about shoulder width apart and lift the barbell to your chest.  Lock your legs and hips and keep your elbows in slightly under the bar.  Press the bar to arm’s length over your head.

Lock your legs and hips and keep your elbows in slightly under the bar.  Press the bar to arm’s length over your head.

Lower the bell to your upper chest or your chin depending on which is more comfortable for you.

This exercise can also be performed with dumbbells or seated on a weight bench.

 

3. Lying Tricep Push

Sit on a flat bench holding a curl bar with an overhand grip.  Lie back so that the top of your head is even with the end of the weight bench.  As you are lying back, extend your arms over your head so that the bar is directly over your eyes.

As you are lying back, extend your arms over your head so that the bar is directly over your eyes.

Keep your elbows tight and your upper arms stationary throughout the exercise.

The biggest key to this exercise is keeping your upper arms in a fixed position.

Slowly lower the bar until it almost touches your forehead.  Press the bar back up in a slow, sweeping arc-like motion.  At the finish, lock your elbows completely.

 

4. Side Lateral Dumbbell Raise

Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your side.  Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms turned toward your body.

Keep your arms straight and lift the weights out and up to the sides until they are slightly higher than shoulder level.

Then slowly lower them back down to your side again.

Keep your palms turned downward as you lift the dumbbells so that your shoulders rather than your biceps do the work.

Make sure you are lifting the dumbbells up rather than swinging them up.  Don’t lean forward while doing this either or you risk injury to your back.

 

5. Preacher Curls

This exercise is best done with a special preacher curl bench, but you can do this without it with a little modification.

Sit at the end of the weight bench, and place something such as a firm pillow or a few pillows under your armpits on your lap.  Hold the curl bar in your hands with palms facing upward.

Don’t hunch over the pillow, sit as straight as you can.

Using a shoulder-width grip, grasp the bar in both hands.  Curl the bar upward in an arc.

Be careful not to swing or rock to get the bar moving.  You need to be using your muscles to lift the weight, not momentum.  The goal of this exercise is to work the biceps.

Bring the bar up to your chin keeping in mind that the resistance is greatest during the beginning of the lift.  Lower the bar slowly working the muscle on the way down as well.

You can also do this with dumbbells or work one arm at a time.

 

 

6. Seated Dumbbell Curl

Sit at the end of a bench with your feet firmly on the floor.  Keep your back straight and your head up.

Start with the dumbbells at arm’s length with your palms facing in.

Curl the weight up and twist your wrist once they pass your thighs.

Squeeze your biceps at the top and then slowly lower the weight.

Do not swing the dumbbells down; lower them as you are working those muscles!

You can do this standing, but the seated position prevents bad form.

 

7. One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Start with your right foot flat on the floor and your left knee resting on a flat bench.

Lean forward so that you’re supporting the weight of your upper body with your left arm on the bench.

Your back should be flat and almost parallel with the floor.

Reach down and pick up a dumbbell with your right hand.  Your left arm should be locked at the elbow so it will support the weight of your upper body.

Before starting, look straight ahead instead of at the floor so you can keep your back straight.

Tighten your abs to keep your body from turning to the side as you lift the dumbbell.

Concentrate on pulling your elbow back as far as it can go.  The dumbbell should end up roughly parallel with your torso.

After you’ve rowed the dumbbell up as far as you can slowly lower it back to the starting position.  Switch arms after one set.

 

8. Dumbbell Shrugs

Stand straight up with your feet at shoulder width.  Hold two dumbbells with your arms hanging at your sides.

Droop your shoulders down as far as possible.  Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go then slowly return to the starting position.

You can also rotate your shoulders by going up in a circular motion from front to back and then back down again.  This can also be done holding a barbell.

 

9. Standing Calf Raises

This can be done with a specific machine found in a gym, or adapted for use without the machine.  Stand up against a wall with your body facing the wall and your palms down on the wall and your feet flat on the floor.

Keep your body straight and slowly lift up your heels until you are standing on the tips of your toes.  Hold the contraction briefly then slowly return to the starting position with your feet flat on the floor.

 

10. Crunches

Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. If you are resting your feet on a bench, place them three to four inches apart and point your toes inward so they touch.

Place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. Don’t lock your fingers behind your head!

Push the small of your back down in the floor to isolate your abdominal muscles. Begin to roll your shoulders off the floor.

Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back.

Your shoulders should come up off the floor only about four inches, and your lower back should remain on the floor. Focus on slow, controlled movement – don’t cheat yourself by using momentum!

 

 

11. Dumbbell Hammer Curls

With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your arms hanging at your sides, and palms are facing each other. Keep your elbows locked into your sides.

Your upper body and elbows should remain in the same place during the whole lift.

Keep your elbows locked into your sides. Your upper body and elbows should remain in the same place during the whole lift.

Keep your palms facing each other, curl the weight in your right hand up in a semi-circle toward your right shoulder. Squeeze the biceps hard at the top of the lift and then slowly lower.

Do not turn your wrists during this lift! You can also do one arm at a time and/or alternate.

 

12. Incline Dumbbell Press

Sit on the edge of an incline bench set at about a 45-degree angle. Pick up a dumbbell in each hand and place them on your thighs.

Then, one at a time raises them up to your shoulder level while you press your back and shoulders firmly against the bench.

Press the weights back up to a point over your upper chest, with your palms facing forward. Lower the weights slowly. Inhale as you lower the weights and exhale as you lift.

 

13. Barbell Squat

Rest a barbell on the upper portion of your back, not your neck. Firmly grip the bar with your hands almost twice your shoulder width apart.

Position your feet about shoulder width apart and your toes should be pointing just a little outward with your knees in the same direction.

Keep your back as straight as possible and your chin up bends your knees and slowly lower your hips straight down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.  Once you reach the bottom position, press the weight up back to the starting position.

Once you reach the bottom position, press the weight up back to the starting position.

Don’t lean over or curve your back forward! You can use a belt to help reduce the chance of lower back injury. You can put your heels on a 1-inch block to further work the quads. You can also use a wider stance to work the inner quads even more.

You can also use a wider stance to work the inner quads even more.

 

14. Upright Barbell Row

Stand upright and grasp a barbell with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Let the bar hang straight down in front of you. Keep your body and wrists straight. Pull the bar straight up towards your chin, keeping it close to your body.

Keep your body and wrists straight. Pull the bar straight up towards your chin, keeping it close to your body.

Concentrate on either pulling with your traps or the front of your shoulders, depending on what you want to work most. Lower slowly to the starting position. Don’t cheat by leaning forward or backward. Don’t swing!

 

15. Front Dumbbell Raise

Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing backward. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise so that your arms are straight, but not quite locked.

Lift the weight in your left hand in front of you in a wide arc until it is slightly higher than shoulder height.

With a smooth, controlled motion, lower the weight while simultaneously lifting the weight in your right hand, so that both arms are in motion at the same time.

Do not cheat by swinging or leaning backwards! This lift can also be done with two dumbbells at the same time or a barbell.

 

 

16. Stiff Leg Barbell

Place a barbell on your shoulders. Keep your head up and your back completely straight.

Bend at your waist with your legs locked, until your upper body, is parallel to the floor.

Return slowly to the upper position. This can also be done with your knees slightly bent.

 

17. One Leg Barbell Squat

Use a 12 to 18-inch box or bench for this exercise – the higher the box, the more difficult the exercise. Place a barbell behind your head at the base of your neck. Grasp the barbell with both hands with a wider than shoulder width grip.

Stand approximately 2 to 3 feet from the box and turn so that the box is directly behind you. Reach one foot back and place your toe on the box.

Keep your opposite foot flat on the floor and point your toes forward. Stand up straight. Keep your back tight and your chest out throughout the entire exercise.

Keep your head and neck in line with your torso so that you are looking forward. Your shoulders should be directly over your front foot.

Keeping your front foot flat on the floor, sit your hips back (like you are going to sit in a chair), bend your knee (of your front leg), and lean forward slightly at the waist.

Lower your body in a controlled fashion until your thigh (of your front leg) is parallel to the ground.

If you have difficulty lowering yourself down this far, lower yourself until the knee of your front leg is bent 90 degrees.

At this point, your knee should be directly over your toe, your hips should be sitting back, and your chest should be directly over the middle of your thigh.

Now, leading with your head and chest, raise yourself by pushing your hips slightly forward and up toward the ceiling, and straightening your leg. Return to the starting position.

At this point, your shoulders should be directly over the front foot.

 

18. Lunges

Place a barbell on your upper back. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead. Position your right leg forward in a long stride.

Your foot should be far enough in front of you so that when you bend your right knee, your thigh, and lower leg form a right angle.

Slowly bend your knees, lowering your hips so your rear knee just clears the floor. Pause briefly in this position, then slowly straighten your legs and raise your body back up to a standing position.

Complete a full set, then switch legs and repeat, or alternate legs for each rep.

Make sure your knee does not travel past your toes in the down position! This can also be done with dumbbells in each hand instead of using a barbell.

 

19. Barbell Tricep Extension

Hold a barbell with hands a little closer together than shoulder width. Lie on an incline bench and position your head at the top.

Press bar overhead to arm’s length. Lower the bar in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps.

Keep your upper arms close to your head. Return to the starting position. This can also be done with the straight bar, 2 dumbbells, seated or standing or with 2 dumbbells and your palms facing in.

 

Download here a free PDF copy of 19 common bodybuilding training exercises.

 

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How To Start A Body Building Program?

 

Starting something might be challenging but if you are planning to begin your own bodybuilding program then here are valuable information for you.

Have you been thinking of jumping into a bodybuilding program to develop yourself physically, gain confidence, raise your self-esteem, for health reasons or for any other personal or social reasons you have?

Consider these tips from the pro before you start doing so. It’s better to be prepared and get familiar with what you will be doing before heating the gym and dealing those exercise equipment.

1. Have a good reason for starting bodybuilding.

Decide to start bodybuilding program due to your desire for a healthier and more developed body. It is not simply because it’s your New Year’s resolution or for any other reason.  Most people who do so are more likely to stray in the long run.

2. Bodybuilding demands commitment.

It is a totally different lifestyle that entails letting go of old habits and adopting new ones.  You cannot go into bodybuilding and be half- hearted about it.  It is a test of strength, self-discipline and willpower.  Start only when you are sure you can commit time, effort and energy.

gym-room

3. Set your goals and make a plan accordingly.

Here are some questions to consider.

– How much body fat do you want to lose?

– How much muscle weight do you intend to gain?

– Are you after gaining strength?

– Are you after developing speed and endurance?

– What about power?

Give yourself a deadline of when these goals should be attained.

4. Manage your expectations.

One month is a good start in losing weight but it isn’t enough to get you ripped.

Make a realistic visualization of the progress you can achieve in a certain period.

Do not set yourself for disappointment.

5. Evaluate your lifestyle.

Try to answer these questions:

– How many hours a week do you intend to devote to working out?

– How much energy do you still have after work or school?

– Is it best to go before your daily duties or after?

– What habits must you get rid of?  Alcohol?  The weekend buffet?  Nightly parties?

6. Make an assessment of your body.

Decide what kind of attention goes to which part of your body.  Some people have flabbier arms while others have most of the fat collected in their midsection.

With this, it is easy for you to create a program that addresses your problem areas.

7. Hormonal profile shows a substantial role in muscle mass gain.

Testosterone is responsible for developing muscles while estrogen is responsible for the womanly curves.  Hence, men grow muscle mass faster than women.

This should not be a problem to women since they are more concerned with toning and shaping rather than gaining bulk.

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8. The ability to gain differs from person to person.

Therefore, progress cannot be tracked by comparing it with your training buddy, even if both of you started at the same time.

You can check your development only by taking note of your present measurement and comparing it with the previous.

9. Do not be discouraged when you do not see a change in your weight during your strength training.

While you lose weight by burning fats, you also keep or even increase pounds as you build muscle.

Evaluate your progress by keeping track of your strength gains and measuring your body fat against muscle weight.

10. Write a journal.

Document your progress from the first day.  Write down your current weight.  Measure your body fat using a fat caliper.  Take photos of your body, especially the problem areas.

Compare measurements as you go along your bodybuilding efforts.  This shall serve as your motivation in reaching your goals.

11. Know the difference between setting up an in-home gym versus getting a gym membership.

Many people find it easier to stay faithful to their routine in a gym setting.  While the in-home setting is convenient but poses a temptation to slack off.  The presence of other bodybuilders is a motivating force.

12. Prepare yourself physically, mentally and psychologically for the task at hand.

Condition your mind that you are capable of achieving a better physique.

Remind yourself your reasons for wanting a better body – be it for strength, confidence or for physical attractiveness.

A good warm-up routine lets your brain condition your body to the rigors of the training ahead.

13. If you intend to get a bodybuilding partner, choose someone who has strict exercise habits and is most unlikely to flake on you.

Working out is an activity that can be enjoyed with someone, especially because you have someone who can spot on you.  However, make sure that you don’t go lazy once your buddy drops the routine.

fitness

14. Be creative in your strength-training program.

The more fun that you have in your workout, the bigger chance that you are going to stay in the program long-term.  Aside from tips from your trainer, maximize the wealth of information available on the internet.  Search for more tips, watch videos and exchange ideas on online forums.

15. No matter what the myths say, you can never turn fat into muscle.

You cannot work out fat.  It is not flexible nor does it control any movement.  All it does is cushion your muscle and hinder it from developing.  You have to lose the fat first to give way to muscle building.

16. Determine which cardio workout approach suits you well.

Low-intensity cardio workout, also known as slow and steady, requires 45 minutes to 1 hour of low-intensity workout.  This burns fats but not carbohydrates.

High-intensity cardio requires 20 to 30 minutes of high-intensity workout.  This fires up metabolism and burns fats and carbohydrates.

17. Choose from a variety of cardio exercises.

For a much better way, combine one form with another so you do not get bored with your routine.  Some low-intensity cardio workout includes aerobics, walking, biking, swimming, and rock climbing.

Calorie burn ranges from 180 to 400 in 30 minutes.  These activities also exercise different parts of the body.

18. High-intensity interval training burns serious calories in a short period of time.

This improves the body’s overall endurance.  Among the favorite HIIT routines are jump rope, spinning and sprinting.  Pay attention to how your body adapts to the change in pace for you to know the highest intensity it can go.

19. Total body workout is a combination of cardio exercises and strength training.

Cardio exercises burn fat while strength training develops muscle.  Do not focus on one form of training alone.  Pure cardio leads to muscle loss while pure strength training builds bulk without whittling away fat.

20. Strength training or weight lifting improves muscle tone by conditioning the musculoskeletal system through resistance to weights.

Beginners should start with least resistance, working their way up to heavier weights in time.  Muscle pain is a normal result of weightlifting. The absence of contraction signifies no resistance, which necessitates heavier weights.

I hope these tips help in any way. Don’t forget to share this info with others.

 

Download a free PDF copy of how to start a bodybuilding program.

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You can also listen to the text to speech audio version of this article here.

Download the text-to-speech version below.

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Check more bodybuilding articles below for your reference:

http://prcvir.com/blog/rest-in-bodybuilding-for-better-performance/

http://prcvir.com/blog/what-are-the-power-foods-for-bodybuilding/

http://prcvir.com/blog/sample-plan-on-bodybuilding-extensive-workouts/

http://prcvir.com/blog/19-common-bodybuilding-training-exercises/