Friday, December 28, 2007

Five Muscle Building Tips


-- Don't exceed 5-6 reps on most of your warm up sets. Your first set could consist of a very light weight for 10-20 reps just to get loosened up and get the blood flowing but beyond that you want to keep the reps low. The reason for this is that you don't want to build up too much lactic acid or accumulate too much fatigue with your warm ups.

-- Don't stretch before your workout in the hopes of preventing injury. This doesn't work. The only benefit of stretching before a workout is to help you get into positions you might not be able to reach (such as a full squat) because you are tight in specific areas (such as the hamstrings and hip flexors). But stretching for the sake of injury prevention is an outdated idea and doesn't really work.

-- Don't over-analyze and over-think everything you do in the gym. This never gets you anywhere. Don't worry if the incline of the bench is supposed to be 50 degrees or 55 degrees. Don't worry that if you don't supinate at exactly the right time that you won't activate your biceps optimally. Don't stress out about the exact grip width on the bar. If someone tells you that a 16" grip on the bench press hits your triceps better than anything else, but because of an injury or anatomical difference you can only comfortably use an 18" grip, don't sweat it. People over-think themselves to death and they never get anywhere because of it. Go to the gym, get stronger, go home, eat, sleep and repeat. Don't turn it into advanced calculus. That is one of the best muscle building tips I can give you.

-- Always train both sides of the joint with equal volume. Therefore if you do six sets per week of pressing exercises you need to do six sets per week of pulling exercises. If you do two sets of curls you should do two sets of triceps work. And so on and so on...

-- If you can't get your forearms to grow, try hitting them with more frequency than other muscle groups. They can easily be trained three times per week and recover without any problem. Also, try to hold the bottom stretched position of wrist curls for 3-5 seconds per rep. When you finish training the forearms, hit them with a deep stretch for both the extensors and flexors for 30-60 seconds. These muscle building tips should get the forearms to grow.

JF

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For more muscle building tips please visit MuscleGainingSecrets.com.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

I just wanted to take a second to wish everyone a very happy & healthy holiday season. Thanks for all your support this year, I really appreciate it. I hope you have a great one.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,
Jay

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

How to Build an Impressive Chest


Question: I have heard that the bench press is a crappy chest exercise. Is this true? If it sucks, what’s better?

Answer: The bench press is a great exercise. If you bench properly, there will be minimal pectoral involvement, however. The triceps and front delts will do most of the work. This is individual and is based on your strengths and weaknesses, but for the most part, your chest will not be doing the majority of the work when you bench press.

Trying to make the bench press target the pecs more by bringing your elbows out wide and lowering the bar up higher on your chest (the way that bodybuilding magazines typically show you how to do it) is a shoulder injury waiting to happen, so that’s not an option to even consider. I did these many years ago for a few months before I knew any better and my shoulder has never been the same since. Don't make the same mistakes that I did.

Even though the pecs do not do the majority of work during the bench press I still think it's is a tremendous, if somewhat overused, mass builder for the whole upper body. If you have shoulder issues, however, it should be avoided at all costs, but for everyone else it is one of the great upper-body exercises.

Equally as effective, if not more so, is the dumbbell bench press. The dumbbells allow a more natural range of motion and are much safer. These can be done on a flat bench or an incline bench. The dumbbells also give you the option of pressing with your palms facing down toward your feet (pronated) as they do when you press with a bar or with your palms facing each other, in toward your body. The latter variety places less stress on your shoulders but if you are healthy you could probably use both varieties.

Finally, pushups of all varieties will always remain among my top chest builders. My favorites are weighted blast-strap (blast straps are available at EliteFTS.com) pushups with the straps set about five feet apart from each other. The function of the pecs is to draw the arms across the midline of the body. By setting the straps far apart from each other, you make the pecs function in this way as you press/pull yourself back up from the bottom position. You have to do it and feel it to appreciate what I’m talking about, but I don’t think you will find a better chest exercise than this. If, like Frank Rizzo of the Jerky Boys, you have a chest like a wet blanket, then I highly recommend you give this exercise a try.

JF
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For more highly effective mass building exercises visit MuscleGainingSecrets.com.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Quick Tip of the Day


Drink more water. Not only is it healthy and not only does it keep all systems running effectively but it also helps store carbohydrates more efficiently. A lack of water can also decrease performance. If you are slightly dehydrated you will automatically be weaker.

Dehdration can also lead to catabolism.

Whoa!

Say what?

That's right, my friends, dehydration can lead to muscle catabolism (muscle loss). More people are dehydrated than know it. If your urine isn't clear there is a good chance that you are not optimally hyrated. And if you are not hydrated then you could be getting smaller and weaker.

Now stop staring at Jessica Biel's ass and go drink some water.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Supplement That Actually Does Something


Today's post is stolen from my good friend Keith Scott of KeithScottTraining.com.

I agree 100% with what he said and wanted to share it with you in case you have been living under a rock and haven't started taking fish oil yet.
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The INCREDIBLE Benefits of Fish Oil
By Keith Scott

If you don’t supplement with fish oil then you are missing out on one of the best researched, most effective and important supplements on the market. Before I start with the benefits, a quick explanation of what fish oil is might help to start this off in the right direction.

Fish oil is derived mostly from the fatty tissues of cold water, fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, and albacore tuna. Fish oil is considered an essential fatty acid (EFA) and contains mostly the omega 3 fatty acid.

With each day that goes by, there seems to be more and more research out there claiming another great benefit of supplementing with fish oil. To summarize the gist of what has been written and research in a few words; this stuff is pretty amazing!

Reported Benefits of Supplementing with Fish Oil:

• Fat Loss and improved body composition – Research has shown that fish oil seems to turn on the body’s fat burning mechanism and even better, it was shown that most of the fat loss was in the abdominal region. Yes, your belly fat!

• Fights Inflammation – reduces the inflammation causing substances in the body. Inflammation will kill you eventually. It wreaks havoc on your body and long term health. Not to mention it is responsible for painful conditions around the body. Fish oil can help with muscle soreness and joint pain

• Improves cardiovascular health –Fish oil lowers triglycerides, reduces the likely hood of blood clots, can lower high blood pressure & reduces the chance of stroke.

• Mental Health – Fish oil has been reported to reduce depression, and elevate the mood. It was even found that fish oil supplementation in children with ADHD dramatically improved their symptoms and in some children, allowed them to get off of all medication for the disorder.

• Healthy Eyes - Fish Oil fights Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma and dry-eye syndrome
• Boosts the immune system

• Can increase sex drive

• Helps with menstrual pain

• Improves digestion

• Fights Osteoporosis

• Helps to prevent cancer

• Lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease

• Helps with Asthma

• Helps with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms

• Helps with skin problems – Eczema, and psoriasis

• Helps with Diabetes

• Can lower stress

• Reduces headaches

• Helps with Fibromyaglia

Personally, I have been taking it for over 2 years and have noticed amazing changes. I feel better day to day with less muscular pain and joint pain…even after lifting heavy weights. I also seem to handle stress better, and am usually in a good mood.
The evidence is there. Do your own research if you must, but in my opinion, this supplement is a must for everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Questions & Answers


Question: I've read that stretching before your workout lowers your power for about
15mins after the stretch, which is the bulk of the lifting session. Is that
true? If so, should I be stretching at all before my workouts? Thanks!

-SSgt Carol L. Miller Jr.


Answer: Carol, it is debatable how long this negative effect lasts. I don't recommend stretching statically before training unless you absolutely need to in order for you to get into certain positions. This means that if you have chronically tight hips and can't squat properly without hitting a few static stretches before then by all means do so. If you do this, try not to hold the stretches for longer than ten seconds and then repeat as many times as needed. Also, after holding the static stretch be sure to briefly contract the muscle for a second or two. Doing this seems to prevent some of the negative effects. A better option would be dynamic or PNF stretching where you stretch the muscle against resistance. PNF stretching is also known as the contract/relax method.

If you don't need to stretch before training then definitely don't. It does nothing to improve performance or prevent injury.

Question: i have been onto a lot of sites and now receive a lot of emails from people telling me tips and pointers.

Firstly i must say ur the most helpful, but i have read something you said am not exactly sure what to beleive.

You said that all supplements are a waste of money and that they dont work,
But there is the guy i still know to this day i went to school with him he is using a supplement im not exactly sure what brand but i think it is creatine when we went to school together he was tiny and i havent seen him for a while but we have the same friends, also i have seen photos.

He is now bench pressing 140 kg he is dedicated but he says that the product he uses works , just wanting to no what you think also i would like to read anything that you could send me that could help me THANKS ALOT
P.s this guy is HUge
Kade Allen


Answer: Kade, just because a guy built a significant amount of muscle in the years since you have seen him doesn't meant that creatine is solely responsible for his progress. He could have been training hard and eating right and made great gains from doing that. Having said that, I will say that creatine is one of the few decent supplements out there but it is not the miracle pill people expect. If you have trained properly with a great nutrition and recovery program for at least two years, then by all means give creatine a shot. Just don't expect mind blowing results.

Question:
I had no idea that plastics had such big an impact on the estrogen levels on its own. While I avoid plastic bottled water, I still eat out of Tupperware container (doing it right now in fact. I know. Bad weightlifter!). But I was wondering if it matters, if the content of the Tupperware container is heated or not. Do the plastics damage the food, even though you don't heat the food? If yes, is the food significantly less damaged or is all the same?

Second question, regarding column #2...
Does this mean, that the more chewing motions you make during and AFTER a meal, even though you are DONE chewing the food, the better the nutrient absorption and thermic effect of the meal?

Thanks for your time, in advance.
Jeppe Jakobsen


Answer: Jeppe, yes, eating out of tupperware or any kind of plastic containers does have a negative effect on estrogen levels, whether it is heated or not. Now, how great is this effect? I don't know for sure. I also know that it is difficult or nearly impossible to avoid plastics completely but I do think that it's a good idea to avoid any increases in estrogen as much as possible, no matter how small it may be.

I wouldn't get overly concerned about the chewing afterwards but just try to be conscious of chewing your food as much and as well as possible. It has been suggested that 50 chews per mouthful of food should be the number to shoot for.

JF

PS: Looking for some great reading info during your Christmas break? Pick of your copy of Muscle Gaining Secrets today by clicking HERE now.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Rear Delt Training?


It never fails to make me laugh when I see 136 pound guys in the gym training their rear delts. Does anyone know how ridiculous this? If you have been training for a number of years and have gained at least 40-50lbs of muscle and added at least 200+ lbs to your deadlift then you can start to think about to add in some rear delt training on occasion. Maybe not do it, but think about it.

Here is the real secret rear delt/ rhomboid/ upper back exercise that will pack more meat on those muscles than any other...

The deadlift.

If you start with a 225 pound deadlift today and increase that over the next few years to a 500 pound deadlift I can guarantee you that your rear delts, rhomboids, lower and upper traps will be enormous... or at least far bigger than they are right now.

Do you really think a bent over lateral raise with 20lb dumbbells is going to do more than a 500 pound deadlift? Not a shot in hell.

So until you have met the qualifications I listed above (or are injured), I suggest that you ditch the bent over laterals, the y-raises, the scarecrows, the band pull aparts and all that other stuff and stick with heavy deads for a few years. Once you add a couple hundred pounds to that exercise you can add in the above exercises if you still want to. But not before then.

JF

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Quick Tips to Build Muscle & Burn Fat

-- Avoid plastics as much as possible. Drinking out of plastic bottles and eating out of tupperware containers has been shown to increase your estrogen. More estrogen equals less muscle and more fat.

-- If you drink protein or meal replacement shakes be sure not to blend them up too thin. Ideally you want them to be thick enough that you have to chew them. Chewing stimulates the production of certain digestive enzymes which are released in your saliva and help you breakdown and process food more efficiently. If one twin drank ten cans of soda per day and then other had an equal amount of sugar from fat free cake, the twin who drank the soda would be fatter at the end of 12 weeks. Chewing your food is that important. Not to mention the fact that your body doesn't burn as many calories during the digestion process when you consume fluids because they are so easily digested. So to at least try to combat this, make your shakes a bit on the thicker side or at the very least "chew" them down.

-- Hold the bottom stretched position on calf raises for at least two seconds on every rep of every set you do. The calves respond greatly to loaded stretching. Anywhere from 2-15 second pauses at the bottom can be used for great results.

-- Be sure to do as many reps for the forearm extensors as you do for the forearm flexors if you want to avoid elbow issues. More exercises (bent over rows, barbell curls) and motions in life (throwing a baseball, swinging a golf club) have you in forearm flexion than in foreamr extension. You need to balance this out to prevent problems.

-- If you do have elbow problems (tennis elbow) try getting a few strong rubber bands or the Expand Your Hand Bands from IronMind and open your fingers up against the resistance. Do this for a couple sets of ten to twenty reps every day for a few weeks and see if it doesn't help. It should.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Is a Pump Needed to Build Muscle?


Who could ever forget that famous line from Pumping Iron where Arnold said that getting a good pump was better than coming?

We all laughed, although some of us harder than others, because deep down we agreed with what he said. But after all these years, the question still remains- is a good pump a defining component of a productive muscle building workout. Is it really that important?

Some people emphatically state that getting a good pump is necessary if you want to build muscle. There are no studies that show this to be true, but real world evidence shows that there is something to getting a good pump. First of all, the ability to easily obtain a good pump is a sign that your body is in an anabolic state and ready to train. It shows us that the body and the cells are well hydrated and ready to grow.

Some days, you go to the gym and can’t get a pump no matter what you do. Those are days that you probably shouldn’t even be training. Your body is telling you
something, and that something is that you are not in an anabolic state, probably not fully recovered, and you are not ready to train. In other words you will not be building muscle on that day.

As far as the pump having an anabolic effect, this is debatable, but most bodybuilders swear that there is something to it. When you get a good pump, you are
delivering tons of nutrient-rich blood to the muscles that will greatly increase amino-acid uptake. Theoretically, this should result in a greater anabolic effect.

The kind of training that stimulates a good pump causes sarcoplasmic and mitochondrial hypertrophy. This is the kind of hypertrophy which is lost very quickly when you stop training. It is completely different from myofibrillar hypertrophy, which comes from heavy training and lasts much longer. However, sarcoplasmic and mitochondrial hypertrophy is necessary if you want to be as big as humanly possible.

So, while it isn’t proven by science, there is probably something to gain from getting a good pump. Having said that, I definitely wouldn’t make it the focus of your workout. Chasing the pump and disregarding all of the principles of
effective training is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and will do nothing to help you build lean muscle.

You can get a great pump from doing 50 pushups but everyone knows that’s not going to build muscle. Just mindlessly pursuing a pump will get you nowhere and may even cause losses in size and strength. However, after you have done the bulk of your workout you can always finish with a backoff set, a rest/pause set or even an occasional drop set to maximize your pump and thus maximize your body's muscle building potential.

For example, on your chest workout you could do a couple heavy sets on the bench press for 5-6 reps and then finish with one higher rep set of 8-12 on dips to get a great pump. If you do this you hit a variety of muscle fibers and target both types of hypertrophy. That way you get the best of both worlds.

Remember, it isn’t necessary and should never be the focus of your workouts (heavy training should) but getting a good pump tells you that you’re ready to build muscle and can even maximize your potential to do so.

JF
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Maximize your ability to build muscle faster at MuscleGainingSecrets.com.

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“By utilizing all the training and nutrition principles that Jason teaches in Muscle Gaining Secrets, I have gone from 170 pounds to 250 pounds while squatting over 500 pounds and dead lifting close to 600 pounds.”
Todd Coker
Fort Lauderdale, Florida


“Jason Ferruggia has given the gift of strength and performance to thousands of athletes in his career through his coaching and writing. Jay has a unique ability to explain complicated information in a way that everyone can understand, regardless of their level of experience. Raw beginners to seasoned coaches will all benefit from his expertise that he shares in Muscle Gaining Secrets.”
CJ Murphy, MFS
Totalperformancesports.com


“I went from 130 pounds to 220 pounds while working with Jason and using all of the methods he teaches in Muscle Gaining Secrets. There is no better muscle building system on the planet.”
Mike Schwalb
Team Captain, Gettysburg College Football


“I am living proof of someone with average genetics that has overachieved physically from using Jay’s training philosophies. I never used any illegal supplements or took any miracle pills but I went from 150 pounds to 190 pounds of solid, lean muscle mass by doing exactly what Jay told me to do. I would recommend Muscle Gaining Secrets to anyone looking to get incredibly big and strong.”
Ryan Mang
Hoboken, New Jersey


“Jay’s training methods got me in the best shape of my life in just three months. I lost 17 pounds of body-fat and gained 26 pounds of muscle. People told me repeatedly that I could have won a natural bodybuilding contest with just a few weeks of strict dieting if I wanted to. When it comes to building muscle and getting ripped, nobody knows more than Jay. Muscle Gaining Secrets is the ultimate guide for anyone looking to get in mind blowing shape.”
Joe Cuervo
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania