Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Women Should Train with Weight

Most women do not even think about training with weights because they think that they will get bulky with muscle but this is definitely not going to happen. Not only will a woman be able to shape her body more effectively by training with weights but it will also help to burn a lot more fat a lot quicker. Firstly it needs to be understood that there is a massive difference between the daily production of testosterone in women compared to the amount of testosterone that a man producers. The average amount of testosterone produced by a man is between 200-1200 ng/dl while women produce between 15-70 ng/dl. As you can see for yourself there is a huge difference and it is testosterone that will enable you to put on muscle and nothing else. The bottom line is that women will produce nearly 20 times less testosterone than men and that makes a significant difference to the way a women’s body will respond to an increase in strength. If you are a woman reading this then you need to know that when looking at a female bodybuilder showing a lot of muscle and muscle definition it is because they are more than likely taking some kind of exogenous testosterone injections or one of the many different kinds of anabolic steroids that there are out there. That does not mean that you will never be able to gain any muscle if you lift weights on a regular basis. It simply means that you will be able to effectively change your shape and improve the ‘curves’ that you would like to get on your body. A good example is when a woman thinks she has a big ass all she needs to do is increase the size of her hamstrings and her ass will look a lot smaller because of the symmetry or balance achieved from adding muscle to her hamstrings. It is unfortunate that most women think that doing hours of cardio or doing lots of reps with a light weight will help them lose fat. Training with weights using high intensity interval training (HIIT) will not only cause the women to burn more calories up to 72 hours after the workout but will also be able to slowly change the shape of the muscles. The women has to really be able to push herself in order to get these benefits just like a man would. Studies done on this subject have conclusively proved that a women can gain muscle if they lift heavy weights just like men do but the difference is the amount of muscle that they put on with the increased strength. Toning and changing the shape of a targeted muscle group in women has been proven to work. If a woman wants to change the shape of her body she needs to start lifting heavy weights, it’s as simple as that. Here is a brief outline of the types of weights and the rep ranges that a woman should use which are exactly the same for men. The general rule of thumb when training with weights for both men and women is 1-5 reps for Strength, 6-12 for Hypertrophy and more than 12 reps for Endurance. If you want to actually see the results from your hard weight training workouts that you do as a women then you need to eat correctly because men and women do not have to train differently to see results, but they need to eat slightly differently. Although men’s and a women’s metabolism are very similar women will burn a greater ratio of fat to carbs than men would. Over the years studies show that women will do better on a low carb diet than a man would. The bottom line is if a woman wants to lose fat she simply needs adjust her daily total calorie intake.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Adding quality muscle to your body weight

If your objective is to put on muscle then it is recommended that you go back to the old school bodybuilding workout. It seems that the good old bodybuilding workout of the 1970’s has been lost in the complicated shuffle that has been going on since we started the muscle and fitness boom that started in the 80’s.

It was the good old days when the answer to gaining muscle was the simple basics like doing compound movements like squats, dead-lift and bench-press, but things seemed to have got lost along the way. With all the research and all the new high powered developments we have got into with the new High Intensity Interval Training called HIIT everything seems to have changed.

The old school method of putting on good quality muscle by doing squats and drinking a gallon of milk a day no longer seems to be followed. Today everything has changed about the way we train our bodies. Research shows us that we need to do short 45 minute workouts with a high intensity if we want to get the ‘after-burn’ effect and burn fat.

50 years ago the bodybuilders were able to put on a hold an enormous amount of muscle without taking steroids. They were able to do that by following the basics like squats, dead-lift and bench-press. Doing a high intensity squat workout has proven to help increase the amount of muscle you can carry because you increase your core strength.

Doing squats with reps as high as 20 or even 25 reps with a heavy weight is the secret to building muscle and getting stronger which seems to have fallen away. There is no doubt that the good old squats and milk workout would still work the wonders that it has always worked but very few people follow this type of training and dietary advice.

I challenge you to take on the training with reps when doing squats to see if you can increase the amount of muscle you carry. Research shows us that when you are able to squat reps as high as 20 in a set with a heavy weight you will put on a lot of muscle because you will get stronger.

When you can squat with 150% of your body-weight for 20 reps without stopping you will carry a lot more muscle on your body than the average person in your gym there is no doubt about it. It is tough training to get to that point but it has proven to work.

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Gain One Pound of Muscle a Week

Maybe you've had sand kicked in your face or maybe you've lost one too many attainable women to beefier guys. Or maybe you've read so much about weight loss that actually admitting you want to gain weight is a societal taboo. Whatever the reason, you want to bulk up and you want it now. Well, follow these 10 principles to pack on as much as a pound of muscle each week.
1. Maximize Muscle Building
The more protein your body stores - in a process called protein synthesis - the larger your muscles grow. But your body is constantly draining its protein reserves for other uses like making hormones. The result is less protein available for muscle building. To counteract that, you need to build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins.
2. Eat Meat
You should aim for about 1g of protein per pound of body weight, which is roughly the maximum amount your body can use in a day. For example, a 160-pound man should consume 160g of protein a day, this would be having an 8-ounce chicken breast, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a roast-beef sandwich, two eggs, a glass of milk, and 2 ounces of peanuts. Then split the rest of your daily calories equally between carbohydrates and fats.
3. Eat More
Together with the above mentioned carbs and fats to adequate protein, you need more calories. Use the following formula to calculate the amount of calories you need to take in daily to gain 1 pound of muscle a week. Give yourself 2 weeks for results to show up on the bathroom scale. If you haven't gained by then, increase your calories by another 500 a day.
A. Your weight in pounds
B. Multiply A by 12 to get your basic calorie needs
C. Multiply B by 1. 6 to estimate you’re resting metabolic rate (calories burnt without factoring in exercise)
D. Strength training: multiply the number of minutes you train with weights per week by 5
E. Aerobic training: multiply the number of minutes per week that you run, cycle, and play sports by 8
F. Add D and E, then divide by 7
G. Add C and F to get your daily calorie needs
H. Add 500 to G. This is your estimated daily calorie needs to gain 1 pound a week

4. Work Your Biggest Muscles
If you're a beginner, just about any workout will be intense enough to increase protein synthesis. But if you've been lifting for a while, you'll build the most muscle quickest if you focus on the large muscle groups, like the chest, back and legs. Add squats, dead-lifts, pull-ups, bent-over rows, bench presses, dips, and military presses to your workout. Do 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, with about 60 seconds rest between sets.
5. Have a protein drink before you train
According to a study at the University of Texas weight lifters who drank a smoothie containing amino acids and carbohydrates before working out increased their protein synthesis more than lifters who drank the same shake after exercising, The smoothie contained 6g of essential amino acids - the muscle-building blocks of protein - and 35g of carbohydrates. Since exercise increases blood flow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles.
For your shake, you'll need about 10 to 20g of protein - usually about one scoop of a whey protein powder. If you can't handle protein drinks, you can get the same nutrients from a sandwich made with 4 ounces of deli turkey and a slice of American cheese on whole wheat bread. But a smoothie is better. Drink one 30 to 60 minutes before your workout.
6. Lift Every Other Day (NOT Every Day)
Give your muscles a break by following a full-body workout with a day of rest. Studies show that a challenging weight workout increases protein synthesis for up to 48 hours immediately after your exercise session. And also, remember that your muscles grow when you're resting, not when you're working out.
7. Get Carbs After Your Workout
You'll rebuild muscle faster on your rest days if you feed your body carbohydrates, research shows. Post-workout meals with carbs increase your insulin levels, which in turn, slows the rate of protein breakdown. Have a banana, a sports brink, or a peanut butter sandwich.
8. Eat Every 3 Hours
If you don't eat often enough you can limit the rate at which your body builds new proteins. Take the number of calories you need in a day (calculated previously in #3) and divide by 6. That's roughly the amount of calories you should eat at each meal. Make sure you consume some protein - around 20g-every 3 hours.
9. Make One Snack Ice Cream
Have a bowl of ice cream (any kind) 2 hours after your workout. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this snack triggers a surge of insulin better than most foods do. And that'll put a damper on post-workout protein breakdown.
10. Have Milk Before Bed
Eat a combination of carbs and protein 30 minutes before you go to bed. The calories are more likely to stick with you during sleep and reduce protein breakdown in your muscles. Try a cup of raisin bran with skim milk or a cup of cottage cheese and a small bowl of fruit. Eat again as soon as you wake up.

What is the ‘After-burn effect?’

If your objective is to gain muscle and lose fat fast then you more than likely know very well about the new research that has come out about the After-burn effect or EPOC. It has been extensively studied by all the Sports Science majors at most universities but someone that took it all a step farther was Dr. Christopher Scott, PHD, who is a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Southern Maine.
The after-burn effect has been well studied and is referred to in the Sports Sciences as EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). Dr Scott has spent years doing specific research on the difference between anaerobic activity and aerobic activity which is any type of cardio training that you do.
Without going into the rather complex differences between the two and also the three additional types of anaerobic exercise that have been studied that one can do and how it is measured. He said that we need to concentrate on the exercise and what it means.
According to Dr. Scott there is a big difference between the energy expenditure when doing cardio compared to weight training. He explains that if one is looking specifically at the amount of calories that are used when you doing weight training compared to cardio there is a big difference because of the EPOC or the after-burn effect.
For example after doing any high intensity weight training program your metabolism is elevated for up to 72 hours and averaging around 48 hours. The point is that when you do weight training for 45min with a high intensity you will burn less calories during the workout. But you will burn more than double the amount of calories over the next 48 hours than you would if you just did cardio only for 45 minutes.
This is important because if your objective is to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time then you just need to do high intensity weight training three times a week and you will get results. It takes a lot of energy to repair the microscopic tears that you have done in your muscles.
The increase demand for energy that you achieve when protein synthesis starts is also demanding and an enormous amount of energy compared to just cycling on a stationary bike for an hour. This applies when you are doing a training split routine or training your whole body using compound movements.
This conclusively proves once again that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the most efficient way to train if you want to build muscle and lose fat fast. Dr. Scott says that science has changed from thinking that long bouts of cardio will burn fat to training with intermittent bursts of high intensity weight training that will burn a lot more fat a lot quicker.
He explains that there is a big difference between burning calories and burning fat and that if you want to burn fat you don’t have to do cardio for 45 minutes you can burn fat as fast as within seconds of doing HIIT training. It is his personal objective to conclusively prove it.

How deep should you squat?

This is the kind of question that you would hear in most locker rooms all over the world because the weight training and bodybuilding world know that the only way to get strong is to squat. The problem is that there are many different kinds of squats.
We will not be discussing these different types which include things like front squats or sissy squats, box squats, etc. We are only going to be discussing the ATG squat and the powerlifting parallel squat because if you want to avoid injuries and get the maximum benefit out of your squats then you should be doing high bar ATG squats.
The ATG squat is what you will find most professional bodybuilders will use as well as some power-lifters. ATG means Ass To the Grass and is self-explanatory because you are going just past the point of parallel with your hips always lower than the knees. The problem is that most people do not have the hip joint flexibility to do this and use a low bar when doing ATG squats.
The difference between a low bar squat and a high bar squat is also self-explanatory because the barbell is going to be high on your traps with a high bar squat. The low bar squat would be with the barbell behind your rear deltoids and slightly lower on the back.
The ATG squat should only be done when your feet and your knees are pointed slightly outwards to ensure that your hips are open and that you are using your leg muscles and not your ligaments to lift the weight. Be careful never to bounce at the bottom and always have maximum tension in the muscles when you lift.
It is Time Under Tension (TUT) that builds strength and the stronger you get the more muscle you get. Dr. Squat (Dr. Fred Hatfield) over 30 years ago said that you can build your whole body just using the squat. The squat is the king of all exercises if you use it correctly.
The low bar squat is something that we see power-lifters doing and the barbell is placed lower resting on the rear deltoids. There are a few advantages that a high bar squat have over a low bar squat. The first advantage is that you will be able to squat deeper because your torso is more upright.
Because of the increased leverage you will also be able to lift a heavier weight and the other major advantage is that you will also be able to recruit more muscles to help you lift the weight.  The increased posterior chain activation that occurs will use more hamstrings and glutes to lift the weight.
The last point is that when doing ATG squats your knees will more than likely go beyond the point of your toes. However if this is done with tension and not momentum it will not cause knee problems. It takes practice and you will slowly improve your flexibility in your hips and Achilles tendon to be able to press from your heels.