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Thread: Some Of My Articles!

  1. #1

    Default Some Of My Articles!

    Following the lead of bodyfx,I thought I`d post up some articles that I`ve written over the last few years,if anyone gives a shit!! LOL

    First one up is on calf development.

    Calves,A How To Get Them Guide!!
    by Tim Wescott

    The most stubborn and usually the hardest bodypart to develop for most bodybuilders is definatelty a pair of diamond shaped calves......................even at the professional level,a great pair of calves is seldom seen onstage these days.

    I think there are a few reasons why this is the case,especially in todays bodybuilders as opposed to bodybuilders from the past.

    Firstly,the top reason that calves elude so many people is simply stated,a lack of effort, and an equal lack of understanding just what the calves need to stimulate growth in the area.

    The majority of trainees tack on a few sloppy half hearted and half assed sets at the end of their quad session, and then whine about how their calves won`t respond, and that it`s just not in the cards for them to ever have a pair of impressive lower legs.

    The keys are to use a full range of motion,varied rep ranges,stretching between sets,short rest periods,half reps at the end of a cset when no more full reps can be completed,and lots of intensity techniques.

    You see a ton of guys in the gym, using a veritable ton of weight on calf movements,but they are usually doing a half assed bobbing kind of motion where the body does most of the moving with no ankle flexion.

    Go all the way up and all the way down on every rep,and when you can do no more full reps,do half reps until you can`t stand the pain,then do a few more...........these half reps are brutal and they extend the set much farther than you could normally go.

    Super-Sets,Drop-Sets,and Giant-Sets are killer tactics, and will help make `em grow fast.

    Be intense and work hard, with a full range of motion, and lots of stretching between sets, and they will grow.

    Another thing is to treat them like any other bodypart,if you do 12 sets for chest,and 10 sets for biceps, and tack on only a measly 4 sets for calves,you aren`t working hard enough, or smart enough for that matter.

    I recommend doing 10-15 sets once a week,and 5-8 sets a bit lighter on another day of the week,depending on your training experience,and just how bad or good your calf development really is.

    I have heard many people say that they can`t build their calves because they are a hard dense muscle that is used constantly during daily activities, and no matter what they do the calves do not respond....................kind of a negative mindset if you ask me!!

    I think for the majority of people, that most of them approach calf training in the wrong way.................after training for many years, and observing a verutable ton of trainees, in lots of different gyms, I have come to the conclusion that you have to really shock the calves in almost every training session..........nothing else will work as good.

    You see a lot of guys doing calves while using the whole weight stack on Standing Calf Raises and just barely moving the weight, with a hopping/bobbing motion of the body,and yet because the weight looks ponderous,they are under the mistaken beleif that they are training hard and training correctly.

    Granted you should train as heavy as possible most times, to stimulate growth, but you must always use a full range of motion, especially on calves, as they are one of the tougher bodyparts to build for most people, even with correct training.

    Use a weight that is heavy enough to work the calves for the particular rep range you are gunning for,not just because it looks huge and inflates your ego.

    An old friend of mine Barry Krimski, who won several world arm wrestling championships in the mid-late 70`s, once told me I would never be able to build up my calves.

    Now, I feel my calves are in proportion, and are one of my best bodyparts.

    Here are a few of the things I would recommend to get your own "Cows" and a few sample routines I use.

    1.-Always use a full range of motion during the exercise.

    2.-Keep the calves guessing, by doing different workouts at every training session..............the calves adapt to training easier than most muscles,so keep `em off guard.

    3.-Use different intensity techniques, such as Super -Sets, Drop Sets, Tri-sets, etc.

    4.-Half reps......use them at the end of every set you perform, awhen full reps can no longer be completed.

    I cannot stress how much these half reps or "burns" will help you get past a calf building plateua.

    The will let you know just by the pain that they create just how hard you really should always be training your calves.

    Try them,you can thank me later!


    5.-Always stretch the calves between sets.

    Now on to two good routines to fry the calves.

    I like to set up 4 - 5 machines and go through the sets without stopping, for as many reps as possible per machine.

    You might try:

    Standing Calf Machine
    Seated Calf Machine
    Angled Calf Machine
    Leg Press Calf Presses
    Donkey Calf Raise Machine
    and then back to the Standing Machine for more pain...........that = one Giant-Set.

    Do a set of each for as many reps as possible, without resting between sets, add a little weight to each machine, stretch them out on a high block of wood between Giant-Sets, and go again repeating this for 3-4 cycles,adding more weight to each machine on each cycle.

    The next day your calves will let you know that they felt the routine,and you`ll be walking funny and cursing my name.

    Another technique is to Super-Set two movements, such as Seated, and Standing Calves.

    Do 5 sets of each, adding weight each set,no rest between Siper-Sets.

    At times you should go lighter for higher reps, and at other times heavier using a more moderate rep range, just to keep the calves off guard and to keep them from adapting to any given workload.

    All these techniques will enable you to take the calves into a pain zone something that perhaps the calves have never experienced before and they extend the sets far beyond what you could normally do,which will result in adding more mass to the calves.

    I go as high as 50 reps, at times and as low as 6-8 reps, always in good form with no bouncing.

    Try some of these suggestions and you may get a couple of cows of your own !!

    Stay Hungry !!
    Strictly Business

  2. #2

    Default

    Muscle Confusion Or The "Non - Routine" Routine
    by Tim Wescott

    Get in touch with your bodys feedback,and put an end to bad workouts forever !!

    Over the years, I`ve used just about every training protocol available in my quest to build my body to it`s genetic potential.
    I`ve tried volume training,power training,Heavy Duty,H.I.T., heavy weights, light weights,high reps,low reps,and every intensity technique you can think of........... and also some of my own invention. I`ve also tried every conceivable training split from 2 days a week, to 7 days a week, and everything in between,with varying degress of success........... and of course varying degrees of failure as well.

    I don`t have the most favorable genetics for bodybuilding..............not by a long shot,in fact,simply put,my genetics suck,but I love to train and compete, so I refused to quit,and instead, I kept plodding along year after year doing the best that I could do to make gains in some form or another.
    As a kid,I had the metabolism of a hummingbird on ephedrine, and a tiny sparrowlike bone structure,so I had to literally slave in the gym to earn every little bit of muscle I have added to my frame thus far.................in spite of these shortcomings, I have put on over 80 pounds since I first started training,so if you garner only one single bit of advice from this article,it should be that persistance pays off !!

    All throughout my training career,which is quite extensive,I have always used a routine for 4-6 weeks at a time,and then discarded it. At times,if I felt I was still making gains,I would do it for 8 weeks, then alter it, and go for it again doing the usual 4-6 week stint.
    I would follow the workout routine religously............... exactly as I had written it out on paper,never deviating from it even if I was making nothing for gains.After all,most of the magazines said this 4-6 week time period was the amount of time needed to actually give the workouts time to do their supposed "magic", this was how professional bodybuilders trained,so who was I to argue with that kind of "time tested" logic?

    A few years ago, while training with a friend of mine at our local gym,I dipped into my gym bag to retreive the new program I had written out the night before, to review exactly what I had on the agenda for todays workout. This workout routine was just another one in a long line of great routines that would propel me to the top of the bodybuilding ladder............. just like the thousands of others I had written over my many years of training. Watching me intently as I perused the notebook I retreived from my bag,my buddy asked me what I was reading,I told him it was the new workout that I`d be using for the next 4 to 6 weeks.

    He looked amazed and shocked, and asked me why I didn`t train instinctively, and make up my workouts according to how I felt on any particular training day.He went on to say that training in this instinctive manner was an advanced technique used by tons of advanced bodybuilders,and that it was sort of a "muscle confusion" type of system, which kept the body from adapting to any set routine or exercise scheme, thereby guaranteeing continuous slow but steady gains in size and strength .

    I honestly felt that he may as well have been speaking Greek as I explained to him that all my training was well thought out, and was designed to accentuate weak points,and to de-emphasize my better bodyparts, with the main intention of building better proportions and balance to my physique. I also told him that if you failed to plan,then you planned to fail,and that his line of thinking sounded like a hit or miss affair at best. He went on to say that if I was to train in the manner that he described,it would allow me to use a much wider variety of exercises to keep things fresh and interesting, and he also talked about the bodys ability to adapt very quickly to a set routine.

    After much discussion with him and mulling things over in my mind for a few days,I decided that his training ideas were pretty sound, I certainly had nothing to lose........... it wasn`t like my usual pattern of training was goign to transforming me into a Mr. Olympia contender anytime soon........ and after all,I would still be training hard,just not on my usual type of set regimen, so I more than likely wouldn`t lose any of my previous gains,and just possibly,I thought I might just make some much needed progress due to the extreme change in training.

    What really solidified my decision to begin implementing his ideas was that when I talked to other friends who were also very serious trainees, I found that the majority of them all did something similar to the training approach that he had described .....I felt like I had been living in a cave or something!!

    Muscle Confusion vs. Instinctive Training:

    "Muscle Confusion", is somewhat similar to what people call "instinctive training" but those who say they train instinctively,if there really is such a thing,sometimes skip workouts,train the same bodypart two times in succession,or take time off from training entirely, just because their bodies "tell them to".

    You should always listen to your bodys feedback and adjust training,diet, and rest accordingly, but the above scenarios in my book are almost sacriliegous.Training the "Muscle Confusion" way,we have certain variables that we adhere to at all times,these are a constant and some of these are that consistancy is paramount above all else.....this means we do not miss a scheduled training session unless we are near death,also I never would dream of training a bodypart two days in a row....it`s all about recovery or your best efforts are wasted.

    Now a well deserved layoff, and periodic breaks from training can be very beneficial............in my case however,they are rarely taken, as I simply cut back volume and intensity at times.......kind of an "active rest period" if you will. At this time I just coast and enjoy my workouts........nothing too intense at all.

    If these people truly trained instinctively,their instincts would be telling them to cease training altogether as tearing down muscle tissue is far from pleasureable,and not something often done by the average person in their right minds.Of course,a bodybuilder is far from being average as we all know.

    Eking out the hard reps on your last set of ass to the grass squats is surely a painful experience that our instincts would definately "tell" us to avoid at any and all costs! We must therefore use our minds to motivate us to push through these hard sets and reps .......we have to coax,will,push,and force our bodies to get more muscular,while our instincts would tell us to simply never make the attempt.......and what kind of fun would that be for a pain seeking bodybuilder?

    So,as you can see, instinct may not be the best choice of words when it comes to training............I prefer to simply adjust things according to my bodys feedback.This takes a long time to learn as you truly have to be in touch with your body and how it responds to different training stimuli.


    Training Experience And Muscle Confusion:

    This is where a great deal of training experience comes into play............a beginner should not even attempt to train in the manner I am describing, and should just do basic bodybuilding exercises until he/she has built a solid foundation on which to build upon.In your first 2-3 years of training,depending on the individual of course,you should follow a set program to the letter until you learn how to train hard and with intensity.After this time period,if you feel you have grown stagnant and have stopped progressing,by all means give "Muscle Confusion" a whirl !!

    When ready,instead of revamping your entire schedule ,just make slight changes here and there substituting different movements for similar movements until you get a better feel for what may be needed.


    Now a little bit about how our bodies adapt to training and some ways to get around it using "The "Non-Routine" Routine!!

    Adaptation to Training:

    Our bodies are literally miracles of adaptability, they are quite capable of altering themselves in response to any workloads placed upon them in such a way, that future and similar loads will be less stressful..........adaptability at it`s finest. Likewise, they can, and will,adapt to having no demands placed upon them, becoming increasingly weaker and less capable, if we were to cease training entirely.......................in a nutshell,the processes of hypertrophy and atrophy.

    Strength training involves, first, causing damage in the muscle cells we train, second, allowing time and providing resources necessary for the body to mend that damage.Modern science has confirmed that strenuous weight training sessions do indeed cause damage to the muscle fibers in the form of micro tears. The damaged fibers release particular signaling substances that lead to the arrival of cells that clean up the damaged fibers, and then signal the nucleus of the cells to produce new proteins that are used to repair the muscles.These proteins, coupled with sufficient sleep and rest, enable the muscles to recouperate and hypertrophy.

    Over periods of time, these repeated bouts of training—muscle damage, leading to muscle repair—can result in an increase in the amount of muscle protein. Thus the muscle becomes bigger and stronger, and capable of handling greater resistance.
    In order to generate larger, stronger muscles, you must subject your muscles to a great enough force to create muscle damage. To do that, the muscle must be overloaded. In other words, it must be subjected to demands to which it has not yet adapted....................a constant and ongoing challenge to build muscle.The longer you have been training, the more frequently you need to change the stimulus that your muscles are receiving.

    Most training experts agree that the muscles will adapt to a certain exercise or workload after 2-3 training sessions.There are numerous ways to get around this adaptabilty by the body,but since we are discussing "Muscle Confusion" in this article,lets check out how it applies to adaptation, and some of its numerous other benefits.

    Overload:

    In order to get the muscles to adapt, they must be exposed to a load greater than what they normally can handle or are accustomed to handling. That is, muscles must be challenged or overloaded. Overload can be accomplished by manipulating several variables:

    1.Progressive Resistance: The most basic tactic used to create overload is to simply increase the resistance on the bar or machine that you are using.

    2.Increasing Training Volume: The number of repetitions, and/or sets can be increased.

    3.Intensity Of Effort: The amount of time between sets can be shortened to create a training enviroment where you perform the most possible amount of work,in the shortest possible amount of time..

    4. Frequency Of Training: The number of times a muscle group is trained in any period of time can be increased.


    When we train using the technique of Muscle Confusion, we use all of the above scenarios at various times in our workouts to create overload,keep intensity high,and to alleviate boredom...........the body never gets a chance to adapt to a set system or pattern of training. Lets say for example the first two days of our training split last week were heavy days using lower reps,on the third scheduled day of training,we were feeling a bit tired and lacking enthusiasm,do we stay home or try to go heavy anyway?

    We simply adjust the stress of our workout by manipulating your reps, sets, rest intervals, training frequency, etc.

    This is where you read your bodys feedback and adjust things accordingly.............adjustments in training and eating patterns are a constant part of "Muscle Confusion" !

    Heavy vs. Light:

    The term "heavy day" is a relative one when you are a bodybuilder,or at least it should be.We all know that an all out one rep maximum effort is certainly heavy,as is a triple with a ponderous weight,but is that possible all the time while training,or even desirable for bodybuilding purposes?

    A set of 10-12 reps on barbell curls can be heavy also,as long as you are working hard to squeeze out those reps,and not dogging it.Likewise,20 rep squats are heavy if getting to the 15th. rep is a struggle, and you still have 5 more reps to perform.So,heavy is not always 1-3 or 5 or 6 reps,it can be any rep scheme at all, as long as you are training in an all out fashion,and completing those reps is taxing the body to its fullest.........which you should be attempting to do 90% of the time.

    If a heavy weight feels extra heavy on a particular day,or if even your warmup poundages are tough,simply lower poundages and rest less between sets,these shorter rest periods,coupled with the use of use drop sets and triple drop-sets,X-Reps,Super-Sets,or some other intensity techniques thrown in,will ensure that even though your energy levels are low, or you didn`t get much sleep the night before,or whatever the variable is that`s contributing to you feeling a bit off,you still have a good and a productive training session in spite of it.So on our third day of training for the week,we may not go as heavy as we might have hoped to,but we still get in a good productive workout!!

    We all have bad days,but we do not have to have bad workouts,just some that are perhaps a bit better than others!!

    Rep Cadence / Time Under Tension:

    Lately,I have been experimenting with using greater times under load by doing reps at a slower pace and extending sets by using X-Reps and drop sets as well as Super-Sets and Giant-Sets.All of these techniques allow you to extend a set much further than you ever could training in a straight set fashion.This extending of a set results in greater time under load or tension which taxes the muscles for longer periods resulting in an increase in size and strength......best case scenario anyway!

    Variations in the speed of an exercise recruits different muscle fibers also.Certain fibers will respond better to heavier loads moved at a slower cadence,and other fibers will likewise respond better to high velocity type training.......both should be used occasionally.Training with an exaggerated slow rep cadence using a tempo of 5-0-5 for instance,will increase the muscles time under tension or stress,resulting in another way to make progress.

    All of these weapons should be in your training arsenal and used from time to time to alleviate boredom as well as to keep the muscles from adapting to any set training pattern.By constantly varying your training sessions,your body will not have a chance to adapt.The "Muscle Confusion" training routine is about the only way to train to beat adaptation!!

    Playing All The Angles:

    The angle of an exercise also plays an important role in recruiting specific muscle fibers.If you change the angle of any exercise just slightly,you are creating a new pattern of recruitment which in turn will stimulate different muscle fibers.If we vary the incline angle on our sets of Incline Dumbell Curls for instance,we are still working the biceps,but by switching up the angle of the bench,we now create a new recruitment pattern of muscle fibers in the biceps.When we change the angle of any given movement,we are activating different muscle fibers.Different exercises work muscles from different angles, causing the recruitment of different muscle fibers—fibers that would not be recruited if only one exercise were employed.So again,switch things up to keep things fresh,and your enthusiasm will never wane.


    How It Works:

    Your body adapts to a workout routine very quickly as I explained above. This is evidenced by the people you see train for years and get little or no results. With muscle confusion the body never adapts because no two training sessions are quite alike. I constantly change my workouts for each body part. For example, lets take ‘chest day’. In one workout I might do barbell bench presses first, then move on to dumbell inclines, then flyes, followed by paralell bar dips. On my next chest workout I would reverse the order of the exercises, or start with dumbell inclines first, or do Super-Sets, or whatever scenario I thought might hit the pecs the most effectively, going by how I felt that day, and taking into account what I did at my last workout.

    I do this with every bodypart...................always something different. A few things do remain constant though, I will always do a mass building heavy basic exercise or two, before doing any isolation movements,unless I am doing a pre-exhaust Super-Set..........and I always go as heavy as I possibly can for the amount of reps I`m shooting for. On days when I`m not feeling too strong, I will train faster or add some Super Sets or Drop Sets or 1 and 1/2 reps,or some other technique to increase the intensity. I very seldom go beyond 12 sets for larger bodyparts, and 6 to 9 for smaller ones. Once in a while I might throw some low reps or extremely high rep sets in to shock the body part I`m training so it will respond accordingly with a growth spurt............. hopefully.

    No Excuses:

    One major factor I forget to mention,training using this system is not an excuse to get out of squats,deadlifts,heavy rows,chins,or leg work in general,or other often hated, tough movements, that should be the backbone of any routine.You can`t tell yourself that you don`t feel like doing squats today because you are listening to your body.That type of mindset is not gonna` work if you expect to make optimal progress.

    Having a "go to war" attitude everytime you set foot in the gym is a prerequisite, no matter what training protocol you might be using at any given time.tough it out and never shirk the hard reps or result producing basics.........they are bodybuilding staples and are time tested and result producing.You still have switch things up for variety,but don`t do all your favorite exercises at every workout.

    In other words,pay your dues !!


    Sample Workouts:

    Now we`ll take a look at some sample routines that you can use over a 3 week period, I`m just using 3 weeks as an example because of space and time restraints as you can change things up on a daily basis which is what I do. Personally,I like higher volume as a rule, but at times I swith this up also as I do with everything, according to how I feel and what I did in the gym at my last training session.

    OK,first we`ll take a look at 3 workouts we can use on a weekly basis for legs.....this is taking into account that you train each bodypart once weekly,as I do,but any training split can be used.

    These are actual workouts right out of my journal................I did not list poundages as they are irrelevant.

    Legs-Week # 1:
    Quads,Calves,Posterior Chain:

    Quads:
    Leg Press: 5 sets (add weight each set, while decreasing reps,rest periods are brief......just until breathing returns to normal)
    50 reps
    40 reps
    30 reps
    20 reps
    10 reps

    Squats:
    3 x 12,12,10 (add weight each set.....the last set should be heavy enough where you have to use the rest pause technique to complete it)

    Dumbell Lunges: (constant weight-30 seconds rest between sets)
    12
    12
    12
    Do these one leg at a time for increased time under tension.

    Leg Extensions: 3 Descending Sets (decreasing weight slightly on each set,45 second rest periods)
    12
    12
    12,drop set for 8 more reps.

    Calves:
    Standing Calf Raise-5 x 8-20

    Leg Press Calf Exytensions-5 x 10-15

    Posterior Chain:
    Reverse Hyperextensions-20,12,10,8,6


    That`s it for the lower body......I find personally that I need plenty of sets and reps to stimulate some growth into my stubborn legs.This may not be the case for you,but the beauty of it is that you can alter it to fit how best your body responds to certain training methods or rep ranges.

    Now at the next leg session,you might start out with Squats,followed by Leg Presses,then do a Super-Set of Leg Extensions with light Smith Front Squats.

    Following this up on the third week,you could add in Hack Squats and a Leg Sled type of machine, and create another scenario using lower reps perhaps.........the possibilities are endless if you are creative,and you never get stale,bored,or in a rut,and the best thing about it is that the legs don`t have a chance to adapt to a set training routine although they are being stimulated every week from various angles using various rep schemes and intensity techniques.

    Now we`ll take a look at a sample chest day:

    Barbell Incline Press- 5 sets,5-12 reps, ( X-Reps performed at the end of the two heaviest sets)

    Weighted Dips-4 sets,5 -12 reps

    Flyes-3 sets,10-15 reps

    Next session could be a pre-exhaust Super-Set of Flyes followed by Benches,then some Dumbell Inclines,for 8-12 reps,followed by Low Cable Crossovers for 3 sets of high reps.........the following week could be all Giant-Sets,low reps,less rest time between sets compared to the previous weeks chest routine,or just anything that you feel might be beneficial to try at this time......as stated above,the possibilities are truly endless, and you`ll always keep the muscles guessing and off balance, which will equate to continued progress without becoming bored silly.

    Now,one for the arms...............everybody loves training their arms!!

    Super-Set # 1:
    {Barbell Curls-3 x 12,10,8
    {Skullcrushers-3 x 12,10,8


    Super-Set # 2:
    {Seated Alternate Dumbell Curls-3 x 12,10,8
    {One-Arm Dumbell Extensions-3 x 12,10,8


    Super-Set # 3:
    {Cable Preacher Curls-2 x 15-20
    {Pressdowns-2 x 30,20


    Finish off with some forearms training and there you have it............a good arm day using Super-Sets alternating the biceps with the triceps in true Super-Set fashion.

    Next arm training day,you might do all straight sets with a different rep scheme, or include some other intensity techniques such as strip sets,or 21`s for biceps,and all cable exercises for the triceps,as long as it`s different from the previous week,heavy for the targeted rep range, whether it be high,low,or medium reps,and most importantly,it should be enjoyable instead of monotonous.For the third week,you can do all exercises using machines and train with just 30 seconds rest between sets, and finish off with down the rack curls and down the rack overhead dumbell extensions for a final bit of growth producing,sleeve splitting torture.

    When you are fresh and enjoy training,it will definately be more result producing than training on a set schedule that you will become bored with very quickly.

    The above scenarios should give you an idea of how to switch things up for every bodypart.

    Although training this way can take a little while to get used to, let me assure you that in the long run, you will be satisfied with its ease of use. It is absolutely the best way to train that I have found to date,and I never have bad workouts anymore at all,and my progress is slow,but continuous, as just this past September 2006,I beleive I acheived my best condition ever at 51 years of age in placing second in the NABBA USA American Bodybuilding Championships.

    I credit being able to continue progressing at my age to the type of training described in this article.


    Record Your Progress:

    A few other things that are a must no matter how you train are the use of a training and diet journal.

    The importance of a training log cannot be overlooked,especially when training on "The Non-Routine" Routine.

    The journal should contain all pertinant data of your training....................this includes exercises used, poundages used,number of sets and reps performed,mood when starting, date,time, place, bodyweight,and cardio,if you do cardio.

    When you train randomly like this, your journal becomes very important. If I'm on a routine that I've been using for a few weeks, I have no problem remembering what I did in each exercise, or at least the big ones like bench or deads. On the other hand, the idea of training in a different order with different exercises, possibly every workout, and then trying to remember all that, is pretty tough.

    Over time,you will literally laugh outloud when you glance back through your journal and see the poundages used and how they used to be heavy for you. This is a great way to chart your progress and to keep yourself enthusiastic about your training.

    Lord knows we cold all use a little boost in enthusiasm now and then.

    Another great tool is to keep a diet log. The log should include,foods eaten at each meal,time of day the meals were eaten,columns for the fat,protein,carbohydrate,and calorie content of each food item. For the average trainee this would help to make sure he eats all the right things. Afterall who wants to look back and see how much junk food you ate.

    But if you eat it record it. Seeing that you ate a dozen cupcakes and a gallon of milk, should make you a little stricter,especially when your abs become sloppy.
    Every time I put food into my mouth I think about why I am eating it, if I should be eating it, and how it is going to help me. I can make split-second decisions and change what I am doing if I think it will have a negative impact on me.

    For the competitive bodybuilder a log can be essential when training for a contest..................it will allow you to chart all the things you need to do when trying to get stage ready, you can record what methods worked best for you, and what didn`t work so well in your contest prep, which should make future outings much easier for you to come in looking your very best which is what bodybuilding is all about anyway.

    I feel that this "Non-Routine" Routine type of training is the most important training principle ever, period !!!

    I urge everyone who reads this to try to apply to your current routine. Develop a new connection between your mind and your muscles, and you will be on your way to the greatest gains of your life!

    Train hard!!
    Strictly Business

  3. #3

    Default

    For Wider Rounder Delts..........Try This out !!
    by Tim Wescott

    Nothing offsets a good physique like an impressive pair of cannonball deltoids. The problem for most people however is how to go about attiaining a pair!!

    I`ll skip over the anatomy of the deltoid muscle as most bodybuilders will have the general idea about how delts work, and how the muscle has three heads which should all be trained,except for the beginning bodybuilder of course,but this article is aimed at intermediate or advanced bodybuilders whose delts have stopped growing,or who are stagnated mentally and would like a fresh approach, or whose delts are responding very slowly to training.

    First off,let me say that for the most part,you should focus on mass of course,but balance between the deltoid heads is paramount for a nice round balanced proportionate appearance. Too many bodybuilders have big anterior delts from pressing,benching,and doing inclines, etc.,and as a result,their development is not in proportion.

    Here is a routine that I have tested personally,and have also given to lots of my clients at various times....I have yet to see anyone who doesn`t progress from doing it, as long as it is done in the manner as it is written.

    Adjust the number of sets to fit your level of training,but keep the reps the same as listed below.


    Here ya` go............ do a set of strict Lateral Raises for 10-12 reps,followed by a set of Bradford Presses,for 8-10 reps, with no rest in between the two exercises,Super-Set style......then rest 45-60 seconds only,add weight, and repeat this procedure for a total of 4 sets each,adding weight and decreasing reps each set,(you may want to use a constant poundage on laterals...it`s your choice, but keep them strict, and pull with the side delts......do not swing the bels up using momentum), then on your last set, go back to your original starting weight ,and go to failure on each exercise, regardless of how many reps you can get which should not be that many at this point in the routine due to the previous work performed, and the short rest periods.

    The reps are just goals or targets to aim for, but laterals should be a minimum of 10 reps on the heaviest set,and the Bradford Presses should be at 8 minimum at the heaviest point.

    Doing both exercises with a constant weight, and resting only 30 seconds between Super-Sets is another good way to perform these,especially if you do not feel particularly strong on any given shoulder day.

    Here is a "how to" on performing Bradford Presses:

    Place a barbell at the shoulders as you would in a normal barbell front press,press to just the top of the head,then lower it behind the neck,press again just clearing the top of the head,and lower to the front again,and repeat unil you reach your rep goal................back and forth,front to back,just clearing the crown of the head.

    To reiterate,the bar should just be clearing your head...you do not lock out......this non-locking motion keeps continuous tension on the shoulders and doing the laterals before the presses in Pre-Exhaust Super-Set style without resting between exercises, is a foolproof method for increasing intensity,resulting in bigger rounder deltoids.

    Again,I have trained tons of people oiver the years, and never once have I seen anyone fail to improve their delts while using this combo.

    Now, onto the next exercise where we will once again focus on the lateral deltoid in an effort to increase shoulder width.

    Behind The Back Laterals:
    Just as written,you do a lateral raise, but bring the bellls behind the butt instead of to the front as you would in performing a normal lateral raise.......better stretch,and better isolation...................three sets,10-15 reps


    Now we move onto the often neglected rear delts, I do around six sets total, a Super-Set consisting of Bent-Over DB Laterals ,or Incline Rear Delt Raises.....again your choice, coupled with Face-Pulls,also for 3 total sets.....no rest between exercises,and only 45-60 seconds rest between Super-Sets.

    Explanation of Face-Pulls:
    Grab a high pulley with a rope attatchment that is attatched to one side of a cable crossover unit, and pull to the face while keeping the elbows wide.......really targets the rear delts.

    Explanation of Incline Rear Delt Raises:
    Lie face down on a 30 to 45 degree incline bench holding 2 moderately weighted dumbells.......with thumbs facing each other,do a bent-over lateral while lying on the incline.


    That`s it,but remember to train strict,and as heavy as possible for the targeted rep range,and keep rest periods minimal.

    To recap:
    Super-Set # 1:
    {Laterals:
    4 x 10-12 (very strict,no swinging or heaving)
    {Bradford Presses:
    4 x 8-10 (seated or standing)

    Laterals Behind Back:
    3 x 10-15

    Super-Set # 2:
    {Bent-Over DB Laterals or Incline Rear Delt Raise: (alternate from workout to workout)
    3 x 12-15
    {Face-Pulls:
    3 x 15-20

    There ya` go.........nothing fancy or scientific,just a very result producing routine !!

    Give it a shot, and possibly,just possibly now,you may have to turn sideways to enter a room because you got so W-I-D-E !!!!

    This routine works well and you can thank me later for the cannonballs that you created !!
    Strictly Business

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    My Approach To Doing Cardio For Optimal Results
    by Tim Wescott

    Most bodybuilder`s, fitness enthusiasts, and personal trainer`s, will tell you that the best time to do cardio is early in the morning, on an empy stomach. For some reason, which most of them don`t know the answer to, they will tell you this is the perfect time to facilitate fat burning.

    I`m here to say they are off base in this approach to losing bodyfat, and I will tell you why.

    As bodybuilder`s, most of us endeavor to eat 5-6 meals a day, spaced out over three hour intervals.This helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, keeps us in an anabolic state, by maintaining a positive nitrogen balance, aids in better digestion and assimilation, and also helps to keep the waistline smaller, as most of the meals should not be big meals, per se`!

    After sleeping all night for 6-8 hours, or whatever amount is required for you personally, the body, upon arising in the morning, is in a very catabolic state.This means a state of negative nitrogen balance,something no bodybuilder wants. To perform cardio at this time, on an empty stomach, creates a further state of catabolism, thus resulting in muscle breakdown, and muscle tissue loss.

    The exact opposite of what bodybuilding is all about! It`s true that blood sugar levels are low in the morning, but so are amino acids,the building blocks of protein. If you must do cardio in the morning.... no big deal, just make sure to have a protein drink, or a light protein meal, 45-60 minutes before the aerobic session. Your first priority in the morning, after fasting all night during sleep, should be to feed the body protein and carbs, thus restoring the body to an anabolic state once again. You always want to remain in this anabolic state, if possible, thats why we eat every three hours or so.

    In my opinion, the best time to do cardio is after you workout with the iron. Performing your cardio workout after training with the weights, is the most ideal time to burn fat. The reasoning behind this thinking is that during your weight training workout you are using glucose, and stored glycogen, as fuel for energy.

    Glucose and glycogen are sugars, and sugars are carbs. You want to use carbs as fuel for your training ideally,to sustain you throughout the workout. After you are done training, your glucose and glycogen levels are obviously depleted, thus making this the perfect time to perform your cardio, and to use stored fat as fuel. At this time, if you are on a high protein diet, as most bodybuilder`s are, or should be, the body will burn fat as fuel, to help get you through the cardio session.


    Keep the cardio intense and brief, or the body will once again go into a catabolic state and use protein for fuel literally eating your hard earned muscle tissue alive.Doinf too much cardio is detrimental. The type of cardio that you perform is up to you, but I would recommend doing 15-20 minutes of "High Intensity Interval Training". Hereafter known as HIIT !! HIIT cardio involves an all out burst of effort for about a minute, followed by a cool down pace, also for a minute or so, or until the heartrate slows down substantionally. As I stated above, 15-20 minutes of HIIT is great and usually enough for most people. I personally wouldn`t go over 30 minutes tops.

    One of the advantages of performing HIIT cardio is that it accomplishes more in a shorter time period. Another more important benefit, is that it raises the heart rate and the metabolism. Your metabolism stays elevated long after your cardio session is done.This enables the body to keep on burning more fat just by going through your normal daily routine! I call this effect the "Afterburn" !!

    I use an Eliptical Trainer most of the time, and I find by using this particular apparatus, I burn over twice as many calories using HIIT, over more traditional methods I have employed in the past.The Eliptical Trainer also has virtually no impact on the feet, hips, or knees. So there it is, my take on doing AM cardio, and why I think it should not be done on an empty stomach. Try it out and lose some of that excess bodyfat, while retaining your hard earned muscle, you`ll be glad you did !!

    TRAIN HARD !!!
    Strictly Business

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    A Fond Farewell To Fat
    by Tim Wescott

    We are continually reminded on a daily basis, how unhealthy it is for us to be fat and out of shape. Everwhere we turn, we are constantly bombarded by magazine articles and TV infomercials, touting some newfangled apparatus as the next best thing since sliced bread, to help us "sculpt" and "tone" our bodies.

    Then there are the magic pills:
    There`s fat trappers
    carb blockers
    energy stackers
    water shedders
    appetite killers
    etc. etc.

    You name it, and it`s out there......................if it`s not out there yet, just wait a while, they`re working on it.

    The trouble with all this nonsense is, that it`s just that..............NONSENSE !!!

    There are no shortcuts, and you really don`t need all the gimmicks out there to get into the best shape of your life. The only good part about the ads, is that they make us more aware that we are getting out of shape. Hopefully, enough so, that we might resolve to do something about it, if they`ll just stop with the ridiculous ads already !!!!

    A Sensible Approach To Getting Lean !!

    Proper Mindset:

    The most important step in losing weight and getting a lean fit body is to make a committment to yourself to do so. Don`t think of it as drudgery, and don`t use the dreaded word diet, think of it as simply making a lifestyle change.

    Make a firm resolve to lose weight and get into the best physical condition of your life !!

    Sit down and write out exactly what your weight loss goals are, and vow to yourself that you will reach or exceed those goals, no matter what the sacrifices involved. Read your goals daily, and recommit to them when enthusiasm wanes to help yourself stay focused. Another invaluable tool that you have at your disposal, is to keep a training and nutrition journal. This way, you can monitor your improvements, and correct past mistakes.

    At first this might seem to you, to be a burden, instead of an asset, but if you are serious about losing weight, I urge you to write out both your diet and workouts, as you will find over time, that it is well worth the bit of extra effort it takes to do so.

    A good book on calories,and the macronutrients,or a similar website devoted to such,will teach you what is in your food, and how to keep track of your nutritional intake.

    Proper Training:

    The second thing on the fat loss agenda is to get physical . There are three steps in the training protocol to losing fat.They are, strength training, combined with cardiovascular workouts,and a strict healthy diet. Strength training will increase lean muscle tissue, while the cardio training will help speed up fat loss,as well as build up your heart,lungs,and endurance,the diet which is the hardest to perfect will keep you lean and devoid of excess fat.

    For each pound of muscle you add to your frame,you will burn 50 - 75 extra calories a day just to maintain that pound of muscle. On the flip side, if you add a pound of fat to your body,only 2 calories are used per day to maintain it.

    Therefore, it becomes a no-brainer to add some weight training into your fitness/fat loss regimen.

    I recommend training the entire body over four days using the following split routine. I would also recommend doing your favorite form of cardio 4-6 times a week,depending on your current fitness level, and the amount of excess bodyfat that you are carrying.The more bodyfat,the more activity, as it all boils down to a calories in vs. calories out scenario,and the more calories expended,all the better in most people`s cases.

    Weight Training Routine:

    This is not a routine for a competitive bodybuilder or power athlete, but is aimed at the individual who is trying to improve their fitness level by firming up,losing fat,and building firm hard muscle tissue!!

    First off I think the overweight person should do some type of physical exercise on a daily basis.Of course one should start out easy and progress as their fitness level improves.Working out on a daily basis and resting one or two days for recuperation, ensures that you burn calories consistantly,and everyday............ and creating a calorie deficit is how you essentially lose weight .

    Day-1:

    Chest,Abs,Cardio:

    Bench Press or Dumbell Bench Press-3x12,

    Incline Press on Smith Machine-3x10

    Flyes-3x10-15

    Crunches-3x25

    Lying Leg Raise-3x12-20

    Cardio (walking on inclined treadmill for 30 minutes)


    Day-2:

    Legs:

    Squats-3x12

    Leg Press-3x15-20

    Leg Extensions-3x10-15

    Lying Leg Curls-5x10-15

    Calf Raise-5x12-20


    Day-3:

    Back,Traps,Abs,Cardio:

    Lat Pulldowns-3x10-15

    Barbell Rowing-3x10-12

    Cable Rows-3x10-15

    Dumbell Shrugs-4x12-20

    1/4 Situps on incline-3x12-20

    Vertical Leg Raise on apparatus-3x10-15

    Eliptical Machine-20-30 minutes


    Day-4:

    Shoulders,Cardio:

    Seated Press on Smith Machine-3x10-12

    Lateral Raise-3x10-15

    Bent-Over Laterals-3x10-15

    Alternate Dumbell Press (standing)-1set to failure

    HIIT cardio on Eliptical-20 minutes


    Day-5:

    Biceps,Triceps,Abs,Cardio:

    Barbell Curls-3x8-12

    Seated Alternate Curls-3x6-10

    Seated French Press-4x8-12

    Pressdowns-3x10-20

    Kickbacks-2x15

    Crunches-3x20-30

    Roman-Chair Situps-3x12-15

    Inclined Treadmill-30-45 minutes walking


    Day-6:

    Cardio:

    interval cardio on Eliptical, Machine-30 minutes


    Day-7:

    REST


    Proper Diet:

    1.- Base your meals around foods that are high in protein and low in fat.

    2.- Eat 6 small high protein meals,approximately every 3 hours.

    3.- Eat "clean" complex carbohydrates,from natural unprocessed sources.

    4.- Limit or avoid fruits,dairy products,bread,and of course all processed junk food .

    5.- Avoid sugar,excessive sodium/salt,fatty foods,butter,margarine,mayonnaise,and other empty calorie foods that contribute nothing to your diet in the way of nutrients.

    6.- Drink a gallon of water a day, every day, as a minimum amount,more if possible.

    7.- Be consistant, and stick to your diet.If you mess up, just keep trying until you get it right.

    8.- Eat your fiber in the form of vegetables.Most veggies are calorie negligible and can fill you up without adding excessive calories to your diet.

    9.- If you must eat snacks choose them from healthy sources such as sugar-free Jello,rice cakes,sugar -free jelly,air -popped popcorn,protein shakes,yogurt.etc. etc.

    10.- Record everything you eat in a jornal as this will help you stay on track and avoid mistakes.It will also allow you to track and alter things according to your progress or lack of progress.


    Food Choices:

    Below is a list of food choices that you should use while dieting for best results!

    Proteins:

    Lean Beef

    Eggs/Egg Whites

    Fish

    Skinless Chicken Breasts

    Turkey Breasts

    Lean Ground Turkey

    Tuna Fish in water


    Carbohydrates:

    Brown and white rice

    Yams

    Sweet Potatoes

    Oatmeal

    Baked Potatoes

    Salads and vegetables


    Fats:
    Olive Oil
    Avacados
    Natural Peanut Butter
    EFA`s

    You might want to supplement your diet with a healthy fat source, but I think people get more than enough trace fats just from the foods they eat,even while on a strict diet.....but good fats are esential to the body.

    The choice is yours.

    Dieting Aids:

    Here`s a list of things that can help make the dieting easier on you!

    1.-Bake ,broil,boil,or steam foods.

    2.-Use a zero calorie cooking spray.

    3.-Use an imitation butter spray such as "I Can`t Beleive It`s Not Butter.

    4.-Use condiments and spices to liven up bland foods,but watch excessive sodium.

    5.-when usind fat-free items watch out for excessive sugars added to foods.

    6.To curb hunger pangs,drink water,or brush your teeth a few times.It helps!!!


    There you have it,what I think constitues a good plan of attack in the battle against the bulge.

    Make a committment to improving your health and changing your lifestyle today and don`t look back!

    Thanks for reading ,and good luck!!
    Strictly Business

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    Awesome reads Tim. Your tops in my book with all the help you offer, its ashame i have to try and beat you on the 6th

  7. #7
    Amateur Threat bndniron4evrgal's Avatar
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    thanks tim! i plan on trying a few of your ideas, especially with the shoulders....will you be up for any questions????

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by bndniron4evrgal View Post
    thanks tim! i plan on trying a few of your ideas, especially with the shoulders....will you be up for any questions????
    He has a question and answer thread here in the master section.

  9. #9
    Mass Monster Sandpig's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tim.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the kind comments and any questions I might be able to help with ,just ask.
    Strictly Business

  11. #11

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    Carb's... And Carb Cycling For Fat Loss
    by Tim Wescott

    When dieting for a bodybuilding contest, I use an arsenal of weapons to lose unsightly excess body fat. One of the dietary procedures I institute, is to cycle my carbs. Carbohydrates are used as energy by the body, they fuel our workouts, as well as providing ample fuel to be used throughout the course of the day. Ingesting carbs also replenishes our glucose and glycogen stores to prevent fatigue. Carb cycling allows you to still eat carbs from clean sources, without adding body fat, and cycling enables you to better utilize fat for burning as fuel, as opposed to burning carbs and muscle tissue for fuel.

    Are Carbs The Evil Enemy ??
    Carbs are not the evil villian the media makes them out to be. Improper carb timing can however, cause these carbs to be stored as fat. Carbs are not essential to the body, but they make dieting, and eating in general, a lot easier and more pleasurable... as long as the carbs are from the proper sources. Carbs get a bad rap in the news lately, due to people jumping on the proverbial bandwagon to make a buck off the latest trend in dieting.... low carbs! There are tons of low carb foods hitting the grocery stores daily, everything from bread, to potato chips, can now be found with a low carb label.
    A few years back it was all about bashing fats....remember??

    What will it be next year....protein? We'll just have to wait and see I guess, but they'll think of something.

    Junk Carbs !!
    Carbohydrates eaten in excess, or eaten at the wrong times, can help to add adipose tissue to the body, but they are not a bad thing if incorporated into a diet properly. Eat the majority of your carbs early in the day and at the post-workout meal, tapering off on them as the day goes on. Never eat carbs late at night, opt for protein instead. Sugar laden junk foods are always bad, and they are comprised mostly of carbs, and fat. In turn, they should have no place in a serious bodybuilders diet. If people eliminated, or cut down on junk food alone, they would lose a lot of weight, and look and feel much better for it. Quitting junk food however, is usually too much to ask for most people. Most junk food is simply calorie dense garbage, totally devoid of any nutrients.

    When I devise a diet for a trainee ,the first step I implement is to have them cut back on junk gradually, until it is totally eliminated from the diet, except for the rare occasional treat. Once it's gone from the diet, it's usually not thought about again, except for the occasional craving. Eating junk food is a conditioned thing that can, and should be eliminated. In this article I will outline a plan that still allows you to eat healthy amounts of good carbs, and still lose fat in the process.

    As I mentioned earlier, it's not carbs that are the villain, but rather the type of carbs eaten, and the specific times that they are ingested. If you are indulging in junk food on a daily basis, then you will most likely get fatter. Another problem is eating carbs too close to bedtime, when your activity and expenditure of energy is lessened. This is not a mystery, and all that's needed by the person looking to lose body fat is a lifestyle change !! Cut down on eating the crap, and you'll be well on your way to better health, increased energy, and a leaner body.

    The Proper Attitude !!
    When talking to bodybuilder's and other's, that want to lose fat, or increase muscular definition for competition purposes, I often find a trend in their thinking that they can still eat things in moderate portions that are usually considered taboo, while on most diets. Terms like "re-feed","cheat meal,"and "cheat day," almost always come up. These ideas can be used to your advantage, but in my opinion, you should wait until you are pretty close to achieving your desired body fat % goals before even thinking about them at all. Yes folks, I'm an "old school" type of guy who will tell you right off the bat, that you MUST make some sacrifices, and give up all negative eating habits to achieve these goals if you want to succeed in losing fat or winning a contest!!

    I typically diet down for bodybuilding contests achieving approximately 3 - 5% body fat. Did I accomplish this while cheating and eating the occasional junk treat? My answer is a resounding NO. I suffered a bit here and there, but once I flip the switch in my mind to eat "clean" I do just that. There can be no half measures. You must get into the proper mindset and stay completely focused on achieving your goals, if you screw around and cheat once, you will repeat this cheating again and again. I know this from early attempts at getting cut-up, and from experiences learned from training my clients. Remain steadfast on your mission to getting lean, and you most definitely will.

    Cycling Carbs !!
    What we do when we cycle carbs in the manner that I advise, is to have three low carb days, followed by two higher carb days, to aid in recovery, and to replenish glycogen. This gives us just the right amount of carbs to be used as fuel without becoming an excessive amount. Always use carbs from clean foods not junk foods of course. The most important thing about carb cycling, in my opinion, is too never go too high throughout the diet, except for the latter stages, and only if necessary. We'll discuss this aspect of the diet later in this article!

    What I recommend as a starting point, to determine just how many carbs you should eat on your highest day, is to eat 1 to 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. Start out using the latter number and adjust according to your results. I might add that it is vital to keep a nutrition journal when cycling carbs to be able to chart progress and make adjustments during the diet. This takes the guesswork out of dieting, and can also be looked back upon in the future to see how the body responded to certain tactics, and is an invaluable tool.

    NOTE: Do not count fibrous vegetables into your total carb count for the day. They are low in calories and carbs and are a good source of fiber and do not count in the scheme of things while carb cycling. Only count starchy complex carbs.

    Some tweaking will of course be necessary for most, as some of us are a bit more "carb sensitive" than others. Activity level, training intensity level, age, as well as sex, will determine how much you will need to adjust things, but as a rule I have found that 200 grams of carbs as your highest amount, is a good place to start. After a time you can decide whether you want to raise them a bit, or lower them, based on your results, and your body's feedback. It is a good practice to try this technique well in advance of your contest to sort of "learn" your body, and how it responds to this procedure.

    Below is an example of my 5 day carb cycling method using 200 grams of carbs as the highest amount on a high day.


    Day-1)150 grams

    Day-2)100 grams

    Day-3) 50 grams

    Day-4)125 grams

    Day-5)200 grams

    Repeat cycle as written, throughout the course of the diet.

    Essentially what I do is drop 50 grams of carbs over the course of the first 3 days, then increase by 75 grams, for the next two days. Some people prefer to raise fat intake on the lower carb days, or to increase fats on their off training days, to make up for the lost calories on the lower carb days. You can do this if you choose to, but I find it interferes with the fat burning process as fat is a calorie dense macronutrient that is needed by the body, but builds no muscle.

    I also believe that without the fat increase you will burn more fat as fuel on the low carb days, especially when training hard, dieting and doing cardiovascular workouts. Besides as far as calories go, protein and carbs are not calorie dense and you must be in a calorie deficit to lose body fat for a lengthy period of time such as a 16 week contest prep diet or just a fat loss diet for the fitness enthusiast, no matter if he or she competes or not.

    Reaching A Plateau !!
    Eventually, you will more than likely reach a fat burning plateau, and this is the time where we can implement a "tweak" in the cycle plan. The body is resistant to change and it will eventually adapt to any stressors put upon it so after a time you may stop burning fat as fuel.

    This is a good time to suddenly eat 3-4 good high carb days in a row ,or to simply eat a "cheat" meal or have a "cheat" day, just to trip up the metabolism, and get it jumpstarted so to speak, thus enabling the fat burning process to resume.

    Another way you can also accomplish this is to go to zero carbs for 3 days and 3 days only. This will accomplish the same thing as the 3-4 high carb days or the "cheats". This is the only time to take fibrous vegetables into consideration, as no carbs whatsoever should be ingested during the 3 zero carb days. Do not stay at zero carbs for any longer than 3 days, and never go below 50 carbs as your lowest amount, throughout the entire length of the diet other than the occasional zero carb 3 day period. Any lower, and the brain suffers, and thinking becomes cloudy, as the brain needs a certain amount of carbs to function optimally.

    Complex Carbs!!
    These are the best sources of clean carbs to use when dieting in general, and when cycling carbs:

    Baked Potatoes

    Yams

    Sweet Potatoes

    Brown Rice

    Oatmeal

    Cream Of Wheat

    Grits

    I do not eat bread of any kind, or dairy products when dieting, and I recommend that you don't either, to help optimize fat burning. The only time to eat simple carbs other than vegetables is at the post-workout meal when you should take in 50 grams of dextrose with a whey protein shake immediately after training. You do add these carbs from dextrose into your daily total, because even though they are utilized efficiently by the body at the post-workout feeding, they are still carbs, and should count towards your total for the day.Don`t worry about the glycemic index of the foods ,but instead be more concerned with total carbs ingested for the day. It should never be too high!!

    I also recommend HIIT cardio while dieting, and a high protein intake throughout the diet, as this will help to ensure that you retain the hard earned muscle that you've garnered from your training.

    I hope this article helps you out in your quest for a better physique, and better health, via a lean muscular body.



    GOOD LUCK AND TRAIN HARD!
    Strictly Business

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    Advice On Entering Your First Contest - by Tim Wescott

    Part One of Three Parts

    Thinking of competing in a bodybuilding contest? Here`s some good advice, as well as some do`s and don`ts, on looking, and performing your best, in your first foray into the world of physique competition.

    Choosing The Right Contest For You !

    The first prerequisite for deciding to enter a contest, is to resolve to be stricter, and more dedicated, about your training, and diet, than you have ever been before. If you do not commit to training and eating more dilligently, than you ever have previously, don`t bother to even begin the prep work involved in attainaing your best shape ever.There are times during contest training when you will feel weak and listless, and you will not want to eat the same repetitive meals. If you can hack it,and be serious in your intent, then you are of the right mindset to compete. Anything less than 100% committment will just not cut it if you expect to do well ! Now that we`ve established that you are "hungry" let`s begin.

    In choosing a suitable contest to enter, think about your present stage of development, and of course the fact that you have no prior experience in this type of endeavor. Obviously you want to create a good impression,and have an enjoyable experience competing. Don`t pick a national qualifier, or a state title event, instead opt for a small local show, preferably with a novice division. I would also suggest crossing over into your weight class, or height class, along with doing the novice class. You never know who`ll be there, so go for it while you`re hopefully in the best shape of your life thus far.You may just manage to place, and you will also be getting much needed experience to use in future competitive outings. Look at this first contest as a learning experience only, as most everyone who ever competed has messed up somewhere along the line, in their first show. Pick a contest well in advance, to give yourself ample time to prepare for the event,and preferably one that is not too far away. Having never "dieted down" previously, you should give yourself at least 16 weeks to get ready. Don`t expect to win, or even place, these are just bonuses if they do happen to transpire. Do, however, train with a winning attitude. Have fun in this first outing, and learn as much as you possibly can.

    Removing Body Hair !

    I love to compete but one of the things I hate most about competing, is the fact that in order to display your physique, it must be devoid of bodyhair, to be able to see the muscles you`ve so painstakingly built. I`ve found the best thing to do is to just simply shave it off. Some guy`s use one of the many preperations commercially designed to remove hair, but some of these do not do a thorough job, and can also irritate the skin,causing a rash .Your best bet is to get a package or two of triple edge blades, and some shaving gel. I find the Gel type much better than the traditional shaving cream. You will undoubtably use a package of these razors or more depending upon the amount of bodyhair present. Do your initial shaving with a "beard trimmer" type of shaver, then jump into the shower or bath, and finish up. Shaving in the water is much easier. Be very careful around sensitive areas like the shins, joints, and especially the nipples.Take your time, and afterwards check your handiwork out in a brightly lit area to see any spots you might have missed. You will have to get someone to help you with your back, and possibly the back of your legs. Start shaving weeks, or even months before the event, to insure that your skin get`s accustomed to it, as it can also cause a rash, irritation,or razor bumps. Once you`re into shaving for some length of time, you will very seldom experience these things at all again. More hirsute gentlemen, may have to use hedge clippers,or a power saw , and replace blades several times,for best results !!

    Putting On The Tan !

    Years ago bodybuilder`s were seen on stage with a naturally dark tan, provided by natural sunlight only. This is far from good enough nowadays, as most contests of old had a single light fixture, hanging above the contestant. In contrast,today`s contests have extra bright, hot lighting, all across,above,and at the foot of most stages.This lighting tends to wipe out most of your definition and muscularity,thereby requiring that you have as dark a skin color as possible, to show the physique to it`s best advantage. For best results, get a good base tan in a tanning booth .This tanning will vary from contestant to contestant according to how well you tan in the first place.Start early, and get a good dark tan. Most tanning salons today have standing tanning booths, and I feel that if you have access to one, you are far better off. They seem to give a much more even,and darker tan while leaving little if any unexposed areas.

    There are three or four good tanning agents used by most competitors to get the much sought after bronze look. The one I feel is best is called Pro-Tan. I have used three of the four that I know of, so I will give you my opinion of all three.This is not to bash the products I do not use, as I`m only talking from my own personal experience, and by no means am I putting down the other two products.Some of you will find ,I`m sure that they will work good for your particular skin type.

    Jan-Tana Competition Color- To me this product goes on streaky, and gives my skin a green tint.

    Dy-O-Derm- Never tried it!

    Pro-Tan- Looks great on my skin type.Gives a reddish bronze look to the skin.

    Dream Tan- looks totally fantastic, just not on me! I`ve never see a product look as good, but in my particular case it seemed to hide my definition. I`ve see other people that looked simply great with it on, just as I have with the aforementioneed products.

    Since I use Pro-Tan ,I will explain what I do for best results with this product only. I think also, that it is the one to go with in your first show, especially if you don`t have an experienced competitor advising you on how to best apply the agents. It is by far the easiest to apply if you have no prior experience.


    If your contest is on a Saturday, as most contests normally are,I would start applying the tanning agent on Wednesday,you will need 3-4 coats at least for best results. Pro-Tan comes in a plastic spray bottle with an applicator attatched. From my experience I find it best to forego spraying, and I pour small amounts at a time into a bowl, and use a bigger sponge for faster, more even, results. Be careful around the hands,feet,and joints of the body, as the solution will make these areas appear darker than the rest of the body.Wear rubber gloves, and old clothes, while putting on the solution, as it will stain anything it touches. It will all come out in the wash though. Be sure to give each coat ample time to dry, as a build-up of the color will occur if you don`t. Apply another coat on Thursday morning,another on Thursday afternooon, and the last one on Friday morning.Touch up ,and even out any built up areas, or streaky sections.Don`t worry too much about acheiving perfection, as wearing clothes will take off most of the build up, and from the audience you will look great, as long as the tan is somewhat even.On the day of the show, or late the night before, spray a bit on sections of your face, and use the applicator supplied to even it out. Nothing looks worse than a guy with a golden tan and a ghostly white face!! You will no doubt get plenty of stares by the general public, but shrug it off,they could never do what you`ve accomplished thus far in their entire lifetime anyway.Once you get to the show you`ll feel fine as everybody else will look just like you. Train hard,and stay focused !!

    In Part-II- I will deal with dieting for the contest,cardio,and training.

    Part-III -will deal with posing ,presentation,and what to eat on the day of the contest, as well as what to bring with you to the show.

    Disclaimer:This article is based entirely on my personal experiences competing and my opinions only and should be taken in that context.I`m not saying all of these tactics will work forr everyone but they do give a good outline of what to do and expect in your first contest.
    Strictly Business

  13. #13

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    Hardcore Gym`s....A Thing Of The Past
    by Tim Wescott


    I'm about to say quite a bit about the sad state of affairs in most gym's today ,and I know I will offend some people, but....... too bad!!! It makes me sad to see the gym's of today, and their participants, wandering around aimlessly from fancy machine, to fancy machine, in quest of something most of them don't know how to find.

    I'm talking about learning how to achieve results, with their meager half-hearted efforts. Most of the people in gym's today don't have a clue why they are there, or what they are trying to accomplish. Sure, Mary might want to lose some weight, but she usually doesn't have a clue as to how to go about it. I know this may sound harsh to some, but back in the day, newbies in the gym learned a lot from bodybuilder's and more experienced lifter's.

    Bodybuilder's and power-lifters are actually frowned upon these days in most gym's. It's a shame because these people should be used as inspiration, and watching them train could benefit a lot of people.

    As far as giving them a clue as to what intensity level is required to actually get results from their training. Gym's back in the seventies, and eighties, were really gym's, and not fluffy, frilly, "Fitness Center's, " trying to pass themselves off as gym's. People worked together in pursuit of their goals, and learned from each other.

    Today's gym's, and I use the term loosely, are too caught up in making money, and could care less about their clients progress, or lack of progress, as is usually the case. There's too many people that don't have clear-cut goals, and know nothing about training, even though there are "personal trainer's " at most gym's. The sad part is a lot of the personal trainer's I've seen know very little themselves, and most look like they can't get out of their own way. If you are going to train people, at least look like you train a little yourself. I call these half-assed personal trainers, "professional rep counters", as that's about all they are doing that is correct, in their approach to training clients.

    Another thing I find ridiculous today is fad fitness items. Swiss Balls, rubber tubing, medicine balls, and TV sets, are a bunch of junk, that should be kept out of a serious gym. Do you really believe that doing crunches on a big blue ball, is any better than doing them on a floor, or a bench? Stabilizers come into play more with the Swiss Balls some would say . Stabilizer's also come into play when squatting like an animal for 20 reps, with a heavy weight, but that's too much like work. I guess I'm just "old fashioned," but give me a gym full of sweaty, hard working animals, who are hungry to grow, and make progress, any day.

    Today if you lift anything remotely heavy, or make the slightest grunt while squeezing out a hard rep, you get asked to tone down the noise. Don't even think of chalking your hands, you might get some on the spotless floor. What do these people think a vacuum cleaner was invented for?

    I've trained at 4 hardcore gym's, at different times, for years, places where you made progress, and other people in the gym were genuinely concerned about you making that progress. It was no holds barred, all for the betterment of the guy's working out. If you didn't train your ass off, you were considered a wimp.

    Sadly, it is getting increasingly harder to find a good old sweatshop type of gym, where results are demanded. Today I see people come to the gym religiously, every day, only to talk ,roam around, use the same weight forever, usually one plate on some contraption, for months at a time, gab on their cell phones, or some other practice that has nothing to do with staying focused on their training. These same people wonder why they do not make progress.

    Ask a typical trainee in today's gym why he or she does a particular exercise, and what part of the body that exercise is for, and they look at you like you asked them for their wallet. I think if you're going to workout, then you should at least have a basic understanding of the exercises, and body parts they work. Maybe even sweating a little once in a while would be productive . I really miss the "old school" gym's, and the animals that inhabited them. You can take this rant with "tongue in cheek",but I won't. Train Hard !!!!

    I obviously (I hope), meant this article to be taken with a healthy dose of sarcasm, but I hope I opened peoples eyes to the fact that they should ask questions at the gym (not while someone is training) ,and do a little research, before beginning their program. Learn about what you are doing, and you'll do it better .

    STAY PUMPED!
    Strictly Business

  14. #14

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    Great stuff, Tim!!!

  15. #15

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    Thanks Joe !!
    Strictly Business

  16. #16
    Amateur Threat Old Navy's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Birmingham, Alabama
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    Tim:

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

    Thanks for sharing.

    Scott

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the kind words Scott.
    Strictly Business

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