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  • #16

    You are an excellent resource for knowledge that has come about through your own experience.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Scott "Old Navy" Hults
    Master Pro Bodybuilder


    • #17
      Thanks for the kind words Scott.
      Strictly Business


      • #18
        How To Increase Your Bench Press
        by Tim Wescott

        In this article I am going to outline a simple, but effective short term plan, that will enable you to add some pretty impressive weight to your bench press in a relatively short period of time. I have used this training protocol for many years, at various times, when I needed to add some poundage to my far, it has never failed me!!

        First of all, let me say that while performing bench presses, you should always use a spotter, for safety's sake. Too many people get hurt every year, for attempting to go too heavy without a it safe, and don't be shy, or afraid to ask for a spot if you train will not regret it, as rolling a heavy weight down the ribcage to the thighs, and then sitting up with the weight in your lap, can leave some pretty mean tracks!!

        The basic premise of the routine is progressive overload...meaning that every week you are putting greater amounts of stress on the muscles used in bench adding small amounts of weight to the bar on a weekly basis.

        This progressive overload, forces the body to grow, so it can adapt to the ever increasing amount of stress you are creating weekly, even though you are not quite training to failure, except for on the last few most cases anyway...if ,of course you are performing the routine correctly.

        When benching the eyes should be right below the bar, shoulder blades squeezed together, chest held high, and inflated, a slightly arched back, and feet should be placed firmly on the floor...which gives you a good base of power to push off from.

        Slowly bring the bar down to nipple level, touching the chest, and "hyper explode" pushing the bar upward and backward in kind of a small arc.

        Of course where you touch your chest with the bar will vary from person to person...the key is to just make sure it feels natural, and doesn't place too much unwanted stress on the shoulders.

        How it Works

        There are no fancy formulas, graphs or charts involved in this setup, it's just 5 sets of 5 reps on the bench press...after a warm-up set or two to avoid injury, and to prepare the body for the heavier sets to follow.

        The whole key to doing this program effectively, is to start out with a much lighter weight than you would normally use for benching.

        For example, if you can bench press 225 pounds for a hard set of 5 reps, then you should start the program using only 185 pounds for the 5 sets of 5 reps.

        The reasons for this are, that if you let your ego take over and begin the program using a weight that is too heavy, you will plateau, or burn out very quickly, and using the lighter weights to start with, will help you to perfect your form, while increasing poundage weekly.

        End result, heavier reps with textbook form, which is imperative if you want to avoid injury, and work the target muscles involved in performing the exercise.

        OK, lets assume that you begin the program using 185 pounds, this is all hypothetical, but no matter what you are benching presently, start off using considerably less weight...very important for long term progress, and to make this program work effectively for you.

        If you do all 5 sets of 5 reps with the 185 pounds, then you will add 5 pounds to the bar the next time you bench.

        You should only be benching once a week, and although the first few weeks will feel easy for you, by the time you get to week # 3 or 4 you will be hard pressed to get all the reps on the latter sets.

        That is 2 1/2 pounds to each side of the bar just to clarify!!

        You keep adding this 5 total pounds weekly, until you hit a sticking point and begin to plateau.

        If at any time you do not complete all of the sets and reps, stay at this weight until you succeed ,then continue on by adding the 5 pounds on the following bench day, after you have succeeded with the weight that gave you trouble.

        Warm-up sufficiently by doing a lighter set or two, but do not overextend yourself on these sets...just make sure it prepares you for the heavier 5 work sets to come later.

        Obviously, if you are benching in the neighborhood of 300-400 pounds for sets of 5 reps, you will have to do progressive jumps in poundage to warm-up good enough ,but still, do not go power for the hard stuff!

        After a time, you will eventually hit a wall, and will be able to progress no further, just as you would on any program...this is where I recommend warming up, and performing either 3 sets of 3 reps or, 5 sets of 3 reps with a heavier poundage of course.

        I personally would recommend opting for the former scenario for most trainees, but if you can handle 5 sets, then by all means go for it!!

        You'll soon be repping out with way more weight in no time flat...remember to throw away your ego, and intentionally start out at lighter weights...I can't stress the importance of this strongly enough .

        Good assistance exercises to use are barbell inclines, and weighted parallel bar dips, along with some lat work, and tricep training to aid in pushing power.

        A good exercise to help strengthen the front deltoid... which is heavily involved during benching, is to do front raises while holding an Olympic face level only is sufficient... using two hands.

        Jim Williams, who was one of the first men to bench press 700 pounds, did a lot of these "plate raises", and this was in the 1970`s... long before bench shirts were invented.

        You can also do this type of training regimen using any one of the big compound exercises or a combination of a few at a time... it works great on squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, inclines, etc. etc.

        Give it a shot... I've added 20-30 pounds to my bench in 8-12 weeks at various times using this system!!

        STAY PUMPED!
        Strictly Business


        • #19
          Bodybuilding for Beginners

          By Tim Wescott: Part 1

          If you are thinking about embarking on a fitness or bodybuilding program, here are a few pointers you should know before you begin.

          1.Consult your physician, especially if you are really out of shape or extremely overweight.)
          2.Set realistic fitness goals and record them in a notebook.
          3.Start off slowly.
          4.Stick to the basics.
          5.Commit to your program.
          6.Weigh yourself and take measurements
          7. Build a foundation (don't be tempted to follow an advanced routine, you will eventually get there if you are patient.)

          Following this advice will be very helpful in the long run. Lets begin with a program for the extremely underweight person. These are the people who can eat just about anything without gaining a pound.

          If you fall into this category you know how frustrating it can be to put on a single pound of muscle. Don't be fooled into believing some ad in a muscle book telling how you can get huge muscles almost
          overnight with very little effort.

          You must work hard, stick to the basics, and eat more quality muscle building foods. There are 3 basic different body types and some people have certain characteristics of all 3.

          Let's review them and then design a program for all 3 types.

          1. Ectomorph-Extremely thin with a very fast metabolism.
          2. Mesomorph-Athletically built and usually classified as an easy gainer.
          3. Endomorph- Usually overweight ,with a very slow metabolism.

          We'll start with the Ectomorph.

          Day #1
          Upper body:
          Here are the exercises we'll be using, DON'T DEVIATE FROM THIS:

          Bench Press-3sets of 8 reps,
          Barbell Row-3 sets of 8 reps
          Barbell Press - 3 sets of 8reps
          Barbell Curls-3 sets of 8 reps
          Triceps Pressdowns 3 sets of 8 reps

          Squats-3 sets of 8,10,12, reps.
          Leg Extensions-3 sets of 10 reps
          Calf Raises-5 sets of 10-25 reps
          Crunches- 4 sets of 20 reps

          and that's it.

          The reason I stress not adding any other exercises to this routine is because, being extremely under weight you do not want to overwork, and you must conserve energy to re-build the torn down muscle tissue.

          Now the matter of what to eat to feed those injured muscles. I would recommend eating every 3 hours or so. I know from personal experience this might not seem possible, but you must try to eat at least a little more until your body becomes acclimated to the new food intake.

          We no longer label our 3 meals as breakfast , lunch, and dinner, because we will be eating at least 5 but preferably 6 meals a day., and they are now known as meals 1-6.Ready?

          Here goes :
          Meal # 1: 3 whole eggs
          2 slices wholegrain toast
          1 banana
          8oz. fat free milk

          Meal # 2:1 can tuna on wholegrain bread with low fat mayo
          1 orange
          8 oz. fat free milk

          Meal # 3:Protein shake 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder
          2 whole eggs
          1 scoop of ice cream
          1 tbsp. peanut butter

          Meal# 4:Steak, chicken, or fish
          1 baked potato
          1 cup of vegetables
          8 oz. fat free milk

          Meal # 5:Another protein shake.

          That should be enough for starters as you will probably have a hard time eating this amount. After you get used to this regimen I suggest eating one more meal preferably before bedtime.

          Your workouts will be as follows :
          Upperbody on Mon.& Thurs.-
          Lowerbody on Tues. and Fri.
          Rest on the other three days

          Keep outside activities to a minimum so as not to burn excess calories needed to build muscle.

          If you find this diet too much to consume slowly make an effort to eat just a little more all the time.

          Now on to the Endomorph:

          I would offer the same advice to them also except do 3 days of low intensity cardio just for your endurance and to keep fat gain to minimum. Mind you this is only a temporary routine. I'll update it as you progress.

          Onward to our Mesomorphic friends:

          Same routine ,different diet, and 4 to 5 days of cardio of your choice.

          I recommend walking on the treadmill. As you get in better shape increase duration, but start off at 20 minutes slowly building up to 30-45 minutes.

          If this seems like a lot of work, it is, but as I tell my clients if you can't stay motivated ,stand naked in front of a full length mirror, if you don't like what you see this should be motivation enough. I will go a lot deeper into fat loss but here we are just beginning.

          The diet:
          Meal #1.
          7 egg whites cooked in Pam cooking spray
          1/2 cup oatmeal with sugar substitute (no milk).

          Meal # 2.
          Protein shake in water - 2 scoops

          Meal # 3.
          1 can of tuna
          1 small salad with lemon juice or vinegar.

          Meal # 4.:
          chicken breast (no skin)
          1/2 cup brown rice (I recommend SUCCESS BOIL IN BAG)
          1/2 cup steamed broccoli.

          Meal # 5.:
          1 can tuna

          Meal #6.:
          Protein shake in water.

          That's it.

          Now here are some helpful tips to avoid hunger pangs and binging.

          #1-Eat your food slowly,
          #2-Always drink at least a gallon of water a day. There are a lot of good reasons for doing this but for you it will create a sensation of fullness.
          #3-If you must eat something ,pick a healthy low calorie snack, such as raw veggie cakes, fat free yogurt, salad, etc.

          Now for some does and don'ts for all 3 body types:
          Let's get to the Don'ts first:
          Don't eat junk
          don't forget water
          don't miss workouts
          don't deviate from this routine
          don't slack off.

          Now for the Do's:
          do train hard
          do be consistent
          do adhere to your diet
          do add weight to the bar when possible
          do use good form

          Oh yeah, and I forgot one more don't................ DON'T QUIT!!!!!

          Stay positive!!

          Strictly Business


          • #20
            Fit After Forty
            by Tim Wescott

            Over the hill at forty years of age ?

            Only if you choose to be!

            Just because you've hit the big FOUR - O, there is no reason to consider yourself done with living a full, vibrant life. The choice is yours to make. At thirty years of age, I felt like my life was literally over. I had been abusing my body, and let myself slide from a fit young man, to a person who was literally a shadow of his former self.

            I allowed myself to continue this less than optimal lifestyle that I was living, for many a year. I was small, weak, usually drunk ,and had no self-esteem what so ever. At the age of 38, I had a moment of clarity... or "Divine Intervention"... or maybe I just woke up.

            Call it whatever you want but it literally saved my life. I actually looked into my mirror one morning, and realized finally, that I better get on the stick, as my life was literally being wasted right before my very own bloodshot eyes.

            Right then and there I made a pact with myself to make some changes, and be part of the solution to my problems, rather than me being the problem itself. I had always, up until this period in my life, lived a healthy lifestyle, and even competed previously in power lifting meets, and later in a bodybuilding contest, placing fourth in a field of six entrants.

            I had been working out from around the age thirteen, built myself a great physique, even though I was rail thin and had less than perfect genetics. Now that I'm older I can definitely say that I am in the best condition of my life at 48 years old and improving steadily!

            I hate the fact that I'm getting older, as I'm sure most of us do. We all think about it from time to time. We begin to get forgetful, cranky, irritable, our eyesight starts to fail, and we inevitably begin to miss a step or two here and there. Eventually we begin to accept this as just a part of our evolution into middle age.

            It is our lot in life to get older, and wither away until we hit the old nursing home and wait to die! Right? WRONG! In the rest of this article I will show you how you can reverse the aging process, and get back in the game of life. Life doesn't end at 40 unless you say it does.

            Winning The Race Against Time:

            The most important thing you HAVE to do for yourself today, is to resolve to get back in shape. This entails a lifestyle change that will propel you, once again, into the land of the living, rather than the land of the nearly dead!

            Start a journal and write down your commitment/promise to yourself that you will change your lifestyle no matter what the sacrifice. Remember there is no dress rehearsal in life, this is it, live it to the fullest at any age, not only when you are young.

            The old adage "You're only as old as you feel"applies to us over 40 type people !

            Thinking young = being young!!

            What I'm really trying to convey here, is that a positive outlook, and an optimistic mindset, is imperative to regaining the youthful appearance we have managed to lose somewhere along the line. If you act like you're over the hill, you are kaput, but if you believe that with a few changes, and a lot of hard work on your part, that you can once again capture the vitality you once possessed you will do just that.

            Remember, bodybuilding is one of the pastimes that enable you to actually get better as you age. Most other sports require you to stop competing fairly early while you are at peak performance level. They all deem the term peak performance differently, but it's usually still at a fairly young age. I have met many men and women who compete in bodybuilding well into their seventies and eighties.

            For those of you who aren't interested in competition, there is nothing better for you as you age than weight training, coupled with cardiovascular work, and a healthy diet. Strength training increases bone density, and helps the body burn fat by adding lean muscle tissue to your frame. For every pound of muscle you add to your body you will burn more calories even at rest. Adding lean muscle increases your metabolism dramatically.

            Setting The Plan In Motion:

            My recommendations to those who want to begin working out at 40 or older are as follows:

            Start Out Slow - You didn't get out of shape overnight and you won't get into shape overnight either. Pace yourself and add more work to your routine when you are able to. Keep it progressive, and never sacrifice good form just to add weight to the barbell or dumbbell. Impeccable form is crucial for making progress and to prevent injury. train sensibly!!

            More Is Not Better, Better Is Better - Contrary to popular belief you do not have to literally live in the gym to make progress. Workout 4 days a week with weights, keeping the actual workouts to 45-60 minutes. Work hard with impeccable form, and go home. Be serious in your endeavors, and keep socializing to a minimum while training. Weight training is not a sprint it's a marathon . Make it part of your lifestyle and enjoy the journey.

            Warm Up Good - As we get older and do physical exercise, we need a better warm-up before beginning the actual workout. Our younger counterparts can waltz into the gym and just dig right in without too much concern, although it's not advisable to do so they are still less prone to getting injured because of their age.

            Always begin your training by riding a stationary bike, or walking on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes to get your core body temperature up a bit. Do a light set of the actual exercises you perform in your training before adding weight. Pyramiding up in weight while decreasing reps is a great way to train and ensures that you will be sufficiently warmed up when you go heavier.

            Do Cardio - Always do some type of cardiovascular exercise after you are finished with the weights. There are a myriad of machines and apparatus available today to keep cardio interesting, so you never get bored doing it.

            Most people love to hate cardio, but it is a necessary evil ,especially for us older folks. It will increase lung power, keep your heart and arteries pumping at optimum levels, help aid in your recovery from training, and the best part of all, is it's ability to help out in the fat burning department. No matter what type of cardio you choose, you should in my opinion, start out easy just walking on the treadmill.

            As you progress raise the incline on the treadmill to make it progressive as it gets easier, and you get into better shape. Graduate to a more advanced piece of machinery after a while such as the Recumbent Bike, Elliptical Trainer, Stair Stepper, etc. If all else fails just go out for a walk in good weather and keep it brisk and enjoy the scenery !

            Keep A Journal - Right from the start you should keep a training and diet log to keep track of your progress, and to learn in retrospect, what worked for you, or did not quite cut it as far as diet and training go.

            Things you may want to record daily are:
            - Bodyweight
            - Mood Before Training
            - Poundage's Used For Exercises
            - Comments Critiquing The Workout
            - Cardio,Distance And Calories Burned

            For diet you should add up protein, carbs, fats and calories for each meal and total them up for the day. Adjust things according to your progress, or lack thereof.

            Eat Right - all of the effort you put into the weights and cardio will be all for naught, unless your diet is in order. Try to get in 1 gram of good usable protein, per pound of bodyweight. Weight training and cardio, along with your other daily activities demands that we eat better, and ingest more protein than the average couch potato. The requirement recommended by the nutrition experts, for the average man or woman, are just that average, and who may I ask wants to just be average? Carbs and fats will be an individual thing, depending on your present condition.

            As a rule of thumb, try to get 1.5-2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight to start with, and simply keep fats to a minimum. Get most of your fats from good healthy sources, and you may want to supplement with EFA`s to ensure that the fats you ingest are healthy fats. For the sake of keeping things brief, concise, and easy to understand, I will list the foods that you should use in your diet for best results.

            Nutrition is of the utmost importance, and I don't mean to slight it here, but it would take novels to teach you all you need to know. Buy a good book or two, and read them from cover to cover, and avoid fad diets and quick fix methods at any cost, PLEASE. Above all stay away from useless junk food, except for the occasional rare treat. Sugar is sweet, but it's a surefire way to defeat your hard work.

            Protein Sources:
            - Fish
            - Chicken Breasts(skinless)
            - Turkey Breast Cutlets (skinless)
            - Eggs & Egg Whites
            - Tuna (water packed)
            - Skim Milk (in moderation)
            - Whey Protein Powder
            - Lean Beef

            Carbohydrate Sources:
            - Potatoes
            - Yams
            - Sweet Potatoes
            - Brown Rice
            - Oatmeal
            - Whole Grain Bread
            - Green Leafy Vegetables
            - Fibrous Vegetables
            - Fruits (in moderation)

            Fat Sources:
            - Flax Oil
            - Olive Oil
            - Egg Yolks
            - Salmon (and other Omega 3 fatty fish)
            - Natural Peanut Butter

            Buy a good nutrition book and learn all you can about your dietary needs.

            Stay Hydrated - Water, in copious amounts, is essential for bodybuilding and for overall good health, and proper bodily functions. Carry a 20 oz. sports bottle of water with at all times, and refill it when needed. Water is often the most overlooked component in a fitness regimen. There are far too many benefits from drinking water to list here, but it is imperative to drink a gallon a day as a minimum amount for most hard training active people. Water will also create a sensation of fullness which in turn will keep you from overeating.

            There you have it, a good starting plan to get you off the couch and back into the race. Just because we are getting on in years doesn't mean that it is a signal to just give up on life. The discipline that bodybuilding requires will carry over into your everyday lives. It will also make previously impossible tasks relatively easy.

            You`1ll find yourself getting compliments from friends, and strangers alike, and walking with a new spring in your step. There is so much more involved that you will find out on your journey to better health, and a better physique.

            Former Mr. America and Mr. Universe, Boyer Coe, said that "Age is just mind over matter.... if you don't mind it don't matter" ! Take a tip from Boyer and think young to regain your youthful appearance. Good luck, and train hard !

            STAY PUMPED!
            Strictly Business


            • #21
              The Mind ........The Most Powerful Muscle !!

              by Tim Wescott

              No one could ever attain the typess of physiques that we as bodybuilder's aspire to develop if they didn't use their most powerful

              muscle.......................THE MIND !!

              To be halfway successful at building a great physique takes a powerful will, and a determined mindset. To achieve, and hold on to

              this mindset, we must first establish our goals, and set out on a path of consistent daily pursuit of these goals we have set for

              ourselves. To an extent, the mind will determine how well you progress, and how good, or bad, your training sessions will be. If you

              think positive ,and keep things fresh and optimistic, you will do much better than if you are in self-doubt, or in a negative frame of


              Set Goals !

              Once you know what you are after, it's a hell of a lot easier to persue it, and achieve it. Setting short range, realistic, achievable

              goals, should definitely be a priority on the agenda. If you want to add an inch to your arms ,or lose 10 pounds of fat, add 25 pounds

              to your max bench, etc. these are all achievable goals you could set for yourself. Note the key word being achievable!!

              If you want to bench 600 pounds in a year you are more than likely going to be very disappointed. Be honest in your capabilities and

              please be realistic. Once you reach a goal, set a new one that is within your reach, and go after it. You should also have a bigger

              goal as your final destination until you reach it and surpass it also. These could include competing in a power meet or a physique

              contest, by a certain reasonable point in time. To recap, set a goal, pursue it with a fervor, surpass it ,and set another. Go for it !!

              Believe In Yourself !

              In order to be successful in any endeavor you must have faith in what you are doing, and you must believe that you will succeed.

              Any bit of self-doubt that enters the mind in this regard, is counterproductive to success. Have full belief that your methods, routines,

              and training philosophy, is all on the money. Forget detractors ,or people who are jealous of your commitment and goals. They are

              simply envious because they lack the fortitude to attempt anything hard and see it through to the bitter end no matter what ! I am a

              firm believer in the powers of positive thinking for improving your physique. Resolve to reach and exceed your training goals daily and

              eventually you will. Here's a poem that you can review from time to time to strengthen your resolve.

              Remember STAY POSITIVE !!

              Believe Believe in yourself~ in the power you have to control your own life, day by day, Believe in the strength that you have deep

              inside, and your faith will help show you the way, Believe in tomorrow and what it will bring, let a hopeful heart carry you through, For

              things will work out if you trust and believe~ there's no limit to what you can achieve.

              The Proper Mindset !

              Every time you enter the gym you should be focused, and ready to train. Take a few minutes before you get there to think about your

              workout, and visualize yourself training harder than ever. When you get to the gym you should be good to go, with an attitude much

              like going into battle during a war. You are at war with the weights, and you will not lose, or give quarter. Train fierce and hard, and

              never say die! This type of attitude will go a long way towards your body making progress. Challenge yourself to do one more rep, or

              add 5 more pounds to the bar, as nothing brings about change in the body, like new stresses to the muscles. Setting new personal

              records will also make you feel good about your workouts, and nothing succeeds like success. In other words, if you're doing great

              in the gym ,your enthusiasm will run rampant. Dig deep, and aim high. If you fail at your endeavors, which we all do at times, turn it

              into a positive experience by learning from your mistakes. File away the things that you did wrong ,and vow to never repeat them

              again!100% effort, and focus is required at all times. Be positive, and stay in a positive frame of mind. If you have friends who put

              your efforts down avoid them and remain steadfast in the pursuit of your goals.

              Visualization !

              Visualization can really help your efforts in the gym. Picture in your minds eye, the type of physique you are trying to achieve.

              Envision your waist shrinking, and that much admired V-shape appearing. Arnold Schwarzenegger imagined his arms as mountain

              peaks, and look where he ended up. Take the time daily to think about an "see" yourself as you would like to look. The mind is a

              powerful tool to implement into your training. Where the mind goes and what it dictates to the body, has a direct bearing on how far

              the body will go, to a degree.

              See it, believe in it, and go get it !


              Strictly Business