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Thread: 1001 Muscle Building Tips

  1. #52
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    thx p.s... keep them opinions coming

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  2. #53
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Cool 1001 Muscle Building Tips - Warming Up & Record Keeping

    144. SPECIFIC MUSCLE WARM-UP
    Don't walk into a gym and immediately throw your top weight on the barbell. Many a pec-delt tie-in has been torn that way (the area where the chest and front shoulder muscles join together). Always perform a couple of light-to-medium, high-rep sets before putting your maximum weight on the bar.

    145. INCREASE YOUR WARM-UP IN PROPORTION TO YOUR STRENGTH
    As the muscles get stronger the need for a warm-up becomes greater. A beginner may get by on a quick five-minute warm-up but once you start using hundreds of pounds on your exercises you'll need to adequately prepare the muscles. You may save time by skipping your warm-up, but at what cost? A torn pec or biceps msucle will set you back many months of training. A lower back injury coul dbe a lifelong menace.

    146. CONSTANT EVALUATION
    If you are training hard, eating well and getting sufficient rest, yet you are not making gains, then something is amiss. You have to find out where you're going wrong. Don't continue training in the exact same manner hoping the problem may solve itself. You have to sit downand re-evaluate your whole approach. The best way to do this is to refer to your training logs and records.

    147. PHOTOGRAPHS
    Taking a set of photos when you begin training is a good way to evaluate your physique. We should warm you that the first set of photos you take will probably depress you, as you will no doubt compare them to the bodybuilding superstars in Muscular Developement Magazines. But over time as you make progress your physique (and photographs) will start looking like more and more the ones you see in the bodybuilding magazines.

    148. TAKING MEASUREMENTS
    Opinion is split on taking measurements. Unless you are one of those genetically gifted types, you probably won't see a rapid change. For example, it takes on average about 10 pounds of muscular bodyweight to add a sngle inch to the arm. Coincidently, this is about the amount of weight the average person can expect to gain in the first year of training. On the bright side, in four or five years you'll be sporting 20-inch arms.
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  3. #54
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - Training Partners

    149. WHEN TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
    Few people achieve success without help from others. Even something as individualistic as weight training has room for doubling up. A training partner provides numerous advantages. For starters you won't have to keep bothering other people for a spot. Another benefit is motivation. On days when you don't feel like training (or training with enough intensity), your training partner can encourage you. You can then reciprocate on his or her lazy days.

    150. FRIENDLY COMPETITION
    Another benefit of a training partner is that you and your training partner can engage in little competitions. If he gets 10 reps, you try to do 11. This back and forth will do wonders for your progress.

    151. BRUTALLY HONEST
    A good training partner can be honest. You may think your physique is flawless, but your partner can quickly bring you back to reality. This brutal honesty wil help you immensely if you decide to compete in a bodybuilding contest down the road.

    152. THE RIGHT TIME
    The most basic thing to keep in mind when choosing a training partner is what time you both like to work out. If you're a morning person and he or she prefers late evening, odds are you two will never mesh. Try to pick someone who works out around the same time of day as you do.

    153. THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
    Nothing derails a good workout like negativity if you're training with someone who is always complaining and constantly seeing the downside to everything - get rid of them! You want someone who will motivate you to train harder, not get you thinking about chainging sports. It doesn't matter if your training partner can bench press as much as you can. What's more important is his or her mental approach to training.

    154. THE RIGHT CONSISTENCY
    One of the main benefits of a good training partner is that they can motivate you to strive for higher goals. They will not be able to motivate you if they only making every second or third workout. This inconsistency is telling you that working out is very low on their priority scale. Drop them and look for someone else.

    155. IS STRENGTH IMPORTANT?
    Although not as important as attitude and consistency, it does make sense to train with someone who is in the same strangth range as you. It won't make any difference on most machine and dumbell exercises, but a huge difference in your bench press weights will mean a lot of loading and unloading the bar. Of course a slight difference in strength might be a benefit. You can push yourself to catch up on you partner's stronger exercises, and he can try to match you on exercises in which you are stronger.

    156. THE STRONGER SEX?
    Does your training partner have to be of the same sex? Absolutely not. Some of the best training partnerships consist of a couple. Knowing that there is a female watching you will bring out the best in you, and most women who train with weights want to show the guys that they belong in the weightroom. Unless there are major differences between the two of you with regards to some of the other more important traits already discussed (you can find a way around the strength differences), try training with someone of the opposite sex.

    157. DOUBLE THE KNOWLEDGE
    The best scenario is if your training parner has an equal but different range of knowledge and experience than you do. You can alternate back and forth, drawing on one another's suggestions.
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  4. #55
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - Beginning Strategies

    158. WHAT DO I WANT?
    One of the most fundamental questions you should ask yourself before you pick up that first dumbell is "what do I want to achieve from bodybuilding?" For some, losing a few pounds and perhaps some general conditioning is all they are after. Building a 50-inch chest is the furthest thing from their minds. For others, nothing short of elbowing the current Mr. Olympia off the stage will suffice. Keep in mind that even if your goal is dethroning the current Mr. Olympia, you don't start training at the Mr. Olympia level. Start out slowly and gradually progress to the next level.

    159. KEEP IT SIMPLE
    The primary goal at the beginning level is to learn how to train - nothing fancy, just basic sets and reps. For the first few months follow a full-body three-times-a-week training routine. Pay strict attention to form and increase the weight only when the muscles are capable of handling it.

    160. COMPOUND EXERCISES
    When beginning bodybuilding, virtually all your exercises should be compound. Compound exercises are those in which more than one joint is involved and more than one muscle group is utilized. Compound exercises are the ones that allow you to use the most weight, and hence they are the best for gaining mass. Examples of compound exercises are bench presses, squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, barbell curls, chin-ups, and shoulder presses.

    161. TO BULK OR NOT TO BULK
    Bulking up was a popular term back in the '60's and '70s. It basically means eating as much as possible and training as heavy as possible to gain as much bodyweight as possible. The reason bulking up has fallen out of favor is that much of the weight gained is fat, which has to be lost if you want to compete (or even just look good). Today many bodybuilders try to keep their off-season weight to within 20 pounds of their competitive weight (as opposed to the 40 to 50 pounds years ago). Unless you are very skinny and have a hard time gaining muscular body weight, we don't recommend bulking up.

    162. RIBCAGE EXPANSION
    Although the chest muscles receive all the glory, it is the underlying ribcage that makes up most of the chest measurement. While you can't enlarge the ribs, it is possible to slightly lengthen the cartilage and ligaments connecting the ribs to the sternum (center rib bone). We should add that by your early 20s these soft connective tissues have hardened, so the techniques for expanding the rib cage won't have much effect. Ribcage expannsion works best in the teenage years. The two best exercises for expanding the ribcage are breathing squats and cross-bench pullovers.

    163. BEWARE OF THE BOXY LOOK
    Although ribcage expansion may be desirable for some, for others is should be avoided. Those with narrow should structure should probably avoid trying to expand the ribcage, as it will only leave you looking like a "box". By this we mean you'll be nearly as thick as wide. Those with boxy physiques tend to look fat in clothes.
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  5. #56
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - Beginning Exercises

    164. CRUNCHES-TORSO AND LEG POSITION
    When performing crunches always keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Performing any exercise with the legs locked out straight, particularly adominal exercises, adds excessive pressure on the lower back. Also, raise the shoulders only 8 to 10 inches off the floor. Raising all the way up to your knows doesn't work your abs harder, it just brings the hip flexor muscles into play.

    165. CRUNCHES-ARM POSITION
    When you start performing crunches, keep your arms across the middle of the chest. This makes the exercise easier by "reducing" the weight of the arms. As you get stronger you can move the arms farther away from your abdominals - first to behind your head, and finally to a fully stretched-out position above your head.

    166. CRUNCHES-WATCH THE NECK
    One of the big mistakes people make when performing crunches with the hands behind the head is to push the back of the head with the arms. This not only takes some of the pressure off the abdominals, it also puts stress on the neck. Try to keep your elbows pointed outwards at all times and keep your head stationary by locking your eyes on a point on the ceiling.

    167. CRUNCHES- DON'T LOCK THE FEET
    Another mistake many bodybuilders make when performing crunches is to lock their feet. The primary culprits for this are abdominal boards with rollers. Locking the feet will place excessive stress on the lower back as you crunch forward, in addition to working the hip flexors excessively.

    168. SUCK IT IN
    Well the military was right: regularly sucking in your gut and puffing out your chest does work. Before you hit the sack every night (and/or first thing in the morning) practice pulling in your abdominal muscles. Count to 10 and then release. Doing 3 or 4 "sets" of this simple exercise will make your waist appear smaller.
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  6. #57

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    38. CONFLICTING GOALS
    One of the biggests mistakes you can make when you start training is trying to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.

    I know this one is from the back, but I want to loose fat and maintain strength. Is this possible? I am doing pretty hardcore cardio (Run and Jump rope right after) I am aware I will loose muscle, but will I maintain most my strength?

    I weight about 205lbs. I want to get to about 185lbs. I have a bit of stomach fat and want to burn it and gain more endurance. Thanks in advance.

  7. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos View Post
    38. CONFLICTING GOALS
    One of the biggests mistakes you can make when you start training is trying to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.

    I know this one is from the back, but I want to loose fat and maintain strength. Is this possible?
    Yes, and should be the goal while trying to lose fat while performing a lot endurance work: lose fat, maintain strength/muscle.

    Although strength and endurance training have little overlapping affects between them, they can actually compliment each other, producing superior athletic performance. However, when performing a simultaneous overload (trying to increase both in the same training cycle), interference in strength development occurs. Basically, you over stress energy and recovery systems.

  8. #59
    Super Moderator Daibhí O'Buadain's Avatar
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    148. "On the bright side, in four or five years you'll be sporting 20-inch arms."

    # 148 is a part copy and paste from a Muscletech ad. ?

  9. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
    Yes, and should be the goal while trying to lose fat while performing a lot endurance work: lose fat, maintain strength/muscle.

    Although strength and endurance training have little overlapping affects between them, they can actually compliment each other, producing superior athletic performance. However, when performing a simultaneous overload (trying to increase both in the same training cycle), interference in strength development occurs. Basically, you over stress energy and recovery systems.
    What can I do to boost energy and recovery? I take Creatine and eat a decent diet. Morning is 6 Eggs(1 core) and Oatmeal. 1000-1400 I eat twice, once is Rice, bean and sirloin and the other is pasta. And I intake plenty of water. Usually I consume shakes for the rest. I also take some BCAAs. Should I add something else?

  10. #61
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - Beginning Exercises

    169. VACUUM
    Vacuums are a variation of the suck-it-in tip discussed earlier. Suck in your stomach, puff out your chest, and then blow all the air out of your lungs. Hold for 10 seconds. Three-time Mr. Olympia Frank Zane was a master of this technique.

    170. BACK EXTENSIONS
    Most muscules work in pairs and the abdominals are no exception. In this case the opposing muscles are the spinal erector (lower back) muscles, and you should train them regularly. One of the simplest exercises to work the lower back is to lie face down on the floor and gently raise the toso upwards. Don't excessively arch (hyperextend) the lower back. You must strike a balance between working the lower back muscles and plaing too much stress on the lower back ligaments.

    171. LEAVE THEM TILL LAST
    As the abdominals and lower back muscles are used for stabilizing on most of the exercises for the legs and torso muscles, you should train them after these larger muscle groups. Fatiguing them early will interfere with the execution of these exercises and could lead to an inury of the lower back.

    172. LYING LEG RAISES
    As with crunches, never perform the exercise with totally straight legs. Always keep a sllight bend at the knees. Start with the incline board at the lowest level and gradually increase the angle over the weeks and months to make the exercise more difficult.

    173. LEG RAISES - LEAVE YOUR BUTT ALONE!
    Some people rest their hands under their butt when doing lying leg raises. This adds extra stress to the lower back and tends to shift the stress from the lower to the upper abs.
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  11. #62
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    174. BARBELL SQUATS
    Squats are considered the best quad exercise. They'll also stimulate muscle growth over your entire body. With the barbell resting across the shoulders, slowly squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position. Do not bounce at the bottom of the movement. Try to keep the torso perpendicular to the floor. Don't let the body start leaning forward - doing so could lead to a lower back injury.

    175. SMITH-MACHINE SQUATS
    Even though barbell squats are king when it comes to building the legs, there are a few occasions when you may want to use the Smith machine. Those with poor flexibility in their Achilles' tendon may find it difficult to keep their balance when doing regular babell squats (the old "up on the toes" syndrome). The Smith machine will allow you to keep your feet slightly forward or back in your stance, enabling you to keep your feet flat on the ground. Also, those with injured lower backs or knees may find the Smith machine less stressful on these areas.

    176. LEG PRESSES
    Leg presses are a close second to squats in terms of effectiveness and have the advantage of letting you use hundreds of pounds of weight in relative safety. As you lower the platform by bending your knees, don't bounce at the bottom of the movement. You run the risk of damaging your knees or ribs. Likewise don't lock the leggs completely straight at the top as you could hyperextend and tear the knee ligaments or cartilage.

    177. HORIZONTAL OR 45 DEGREES?
    If you gym has both the 45-degree and horizontal leg press, try both to see which one feels more comfortable or gives you the best leg workout. If you find both equally effective, try alternating them on different leg days.

    178. LYING LEG CURLS
    This exercise is one of the best for developing the hamstring muscles. As you raise the lower legs toward your butt, don't let yoru butt lift off the bench in an attempt to move the weight. There should be no jerking or bouncing as you lift the weight up.
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  12. #63
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    179. LEG CURLS - DON'T HYPEREXTEND
    Many of the older leg extension machines allow you to extend th legs past the lock-out position. In other words you can hyperextend at the knee joint. While you may be giving the hamstring muscles a better stretch, you are also forcing the knee joint through a greater range of motion than it was designed for. Try to keep your legs from locking out completely on leg-curl exercises.

    180. FLAT BARBELL PRESSES
    Like squats, barbell presses are considered on of the best for stimulating muscles, in this case your chest, shoulders, and triceps. With a slightly widerthan shoulder-width grip, lift the bar off the rack and slowly lower it to your mid-chest. Push it back up to arms' length. Don't bounce the bar off your chest. Likewise don't arch your lower back excessively when lifting. For a few extra pounds of weight you run the risk of lower back injury.

    181. INCLINE BARBELL PRESSES
    Incline presses are performed the same way as flat presses except you are lying back on a tilted or inclined bench. This shifts the stress from the lower and outer chest to the upper chest. Instead of lowering the bar to yourmid-chest, try lowering it to your collarbone. Keep your elbows back throughout the movement.

    182. IT'S ALL IN THE ANGLE
    As you perform incline barbell presses, experiment with different angles on the bench to see which angle hits the uppper chest most effectively. Too high and it's more a should exercise. Too low and you are virtually doing a flat bench press.

    183. SUPINE DUMBELL PRESSES
    This exercise is very similar to supine barbell presses except that you use two dumbells instead of one barbell. Try to keep your upper arm at 90 degrees to your torso as you lower the dumbells to just below chest level. Push them back up until they just touch at the top. Dumbells allow you to get a greater stretch at the bottem of the exercise than a barbell.
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  13. #64
    Iron Addict speedy's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for this post -

    Ukranian Guy,
    I read and re-read these posts - some things were learned the hard way - coulda' used this about a year ago. I'm up and runnin' now and think it's just great that you put this stuff on to read. It's a bodybuilding mantra that applies for the entire journey -
    There's always something to learn about this sport- endless opportunities for personal growth

    Thanks,
    Speedy2

  14. #65
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    yeah i know what u mean speedy, alot i learned the hard way as well. Exact reason why i picked this book up, it was cheap and alot of info in it.

    818 to go

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  15. #66
    Iron Addict speedy's Avatar
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    Default building tips

    Ukrainian Guy,
    Lookin' forward to the rest of the info and I can see that sad frowny guy with the beer mug - since getting very serious about the sport - I don't touch alcohol - anyway - also liked one of the wrestling things you put a week ago -it had very cool music - wish I could remember which one.

    Speedy2

  16. #67
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    kool thanks... glad u enjoyd them

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  17. #68
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    184. DUMBELL PRESSES - 90 DEGREES IS SAFEST
    Ironically one of the primary advantages of dumbell presses is also one of the disadvantages. Dumbells allow you to lower the arm past the shoulders' natural range of movement. The barbell will come in contact with your chest before this happens. For safety considerations lower the dumbells only until your upper arms are parallel to the floor or just slightly below.

    185. INCLINE DUMBELL PRESSES
    Most everything we said about incline barbell and supine dumbell presses also applies here. Experiment with different angles and don't let the upper arm go far below shoulder height.

    186. THE WEAKEST LINK
    The primary disadvanteage of incline dumbell presses is that you will reach a point at which your chest and shoulders are capable of lifting more weight than you can hoist off the floor and into position. When this happens have two spotters pass the dumbells to you at arms' length. Lowering the dumbells to the floor at the conclusion of the exercise is not usually a problem.

    187. YOU KNEES - A HELPING HAND
    As we just stated in the previous tip, it don't be long before your chest is capable of lifting heavier dumbells than your arms are capable of hoisting into position on an incline press. When this happens and no one is around to help, try using your knees to position the dumbells. Hoist the dumbells from the floor and lay them on your knees in a vertical position. As you lean back towards the bench force one and then the other dumbell upwards by rapidly pushing upwards with you knees.

    188. DIPS
    Dips are another great exercise for packing muscle mass on the chest, shoulders, and triceps. The late Vince Gironda was the most vocal spokes person for dips, an excellent exercise for developing the clean line that separates the chest from the ribcage. Grab the bars with both hands and with the torso leaning forward and chin tucked down on your chest, slowly lower your body between the bars to a comfortable stretch (for most this will mean your shoulders are in line with or just slightly above the bars). Return to the starting point by straightening the arms. As with dumbell pressess, avoid bouncing at the bottom of the movement.

    189. PARALLEL OR V?
    Diping bars come in many shapes and sizes. In some, the bars are parallel to one another. Others start wide and join together at one end, forming a "V." If you're lucky enough to work out at a gym that has a couple of different styles of dipping bars, experiment. The advantage of the V-shaped bars is that they allow you to take a different grip widths. Generally you'll find the wider the grip the more the outer chest is worked, while narrow grips bring in more th triceps and shoulders.

    190. DIPS: THICK OR THIN?
    Besides shape, dipping bars may be thick or thin. Again, if your gym has an assortment of dipping bars to choose from, experiment to see which feels most comfortable and effective for your chest and shoulders. Most trainers prefer thicker bars for dips and thinner bars for chins.

    191. ASSISTED DIPS
    For those who have trouble lifting their bodyweight on regular dips, try the assisted macine. The macines works by providing an upward force as you perfrom the exercise. In simple terms the machine is making you ligther. Your goal on assisted dips is to use less and less weight (not more weight as with most exercises). With tiime you should be able to lift your full bodyweight and you'll be able to use the parallel bars. Eventually you may be strong enough to add weight with the use of a diping belt.
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