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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips

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    1. Reps And Sets
    The most bascial term in bodybuilding is the rep. Rep is short for repetition and simply means peforming one complete movement of a given exercise. For esample if you were doing a flat barbell bench press it would mean lifting the bar off the rack, slowly lowering it to mid-chest and them pushing it back up to arms' lenth. Performing a group of continuous reps is called a set. Most bodybuilders perform 8 to 12 reps per set.


    2. HOW MANY REPS?
    There are three broad categories of rep ranges - one for biudling maximum muscle size, one for maximum strength, and one for general conditioning. There is no one rep range that will maximize all three categories at once. You must decide what your primary goal is. Generally speaking, for maimum strength 3 to 6 reps seems to work best. Bodybuilders trying to gain muscle mass find sets in the 8 to 12 range most effective. For general conditioning, 12 to 20 reps is normal.



    3. REP RANGES
    Even though most people may respond best to a given rep range, everyone is different. Over time, experiment with different rep ranges to see what works best for you. Don't stick with a given rep range if it doesn't give you the results you desire.


    4. BEGINNER REPS

    When starting an exercise program, perform higher reps. The higher reps will force you to use lighter weight. This means you can concentrate on mastering your technique. You will achieve better results and there is less chance of injury.
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    Administrator. Graeme

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    5. NEVER TOO YOUNG!
    For those younger readers (or those who have young teens), be assured that you are never too young to benefit from a regular weight-training program. Regular exercise improves physcial fitness and strength, promotes a healthy lifestyle, and boosts self-esteem. the old myth of weight traning stunting growth is just that- a myth! There is no evidence to support this old belief.

    6. NEVER TOO OLD!
    The fastest growing demographic segment of society is the baby boomer generation (anyone born between the years of 1946 and 1964). Unlike their counterparts from 30 or 40 years ago, most baby boomers are not content to grow old. they want to stop the clock. Weight training is one of the best forms of exerciseto combat the decline in physcial health brought about by age. Unlike cardio, which can be tailored to the individual's fitness level. In addition, only weight training can slow down the problems associated with bone loss due to osteoporosis. So, you baby-boomer readers, Get Up Off The Couch And Hit The Gym!

    7. DON'T WORRY ABOUT GENETICS
    The bad news is that your genetic makeup is the promary limiting factor in your training. That's the bad news. The good news is that no one has ever utilized his or her full genetic potential. Although unfavorable genetics have made thousands of bodybuilders' ultimate achievements difficult, no individual has ever been competely hindered by them. So get to it!

    8. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS

    Just as you woudln't haphazardly drive around hoping by accident to reach your destination, so too should you have a "road map" to follow when bodybuilding. Grab a pieve of paper and write down exactly what you want to change about your body. Is it an extra inch or two on your arms? How about a 225-pound bench press? Or perhaps you want to see your abs again! Next, give yourself a timeline to follow and try to stick to it. This will keep you honest and less likely to skip workouts.

    9. STRICT VERSUS LOOSE REPS
    Bodybuilders perform two types of reps - strict and loose. As the names imply, strict reps are those that are performed in almost flawless fashion. There is no cheating or jerking the weight up. Loose reps are those for which some body momentum is used to assist the target muscles in lifting the weight. there is an argument to be made that reps should always be performed in strict style. this is a especially true at the beginner level, but advanced bodybuilders frequently use a loose training style.

    10. CONCENTRATION IS THE KEY

    Always concentrate and focus on the muscles you are trying to stimulate when exercising. Try to make a lighter weight feel like a heavier weight. In his prime Arnold Schwarzenegger used 60 to 70 pounds to work his biceps while others were flinging up 80 or 100 pounders. Arnold made those 60's feel like 80's and built two of the greatest biceps in bodybuilding history.

    11. THROW THEM OUT
    Unless you are hundreds of pounds over weight, throw your scales out the window. Body weight is not always a good measurement of fitness and health. You could gain 10 pounds of muscle and lose 10 pounds of fat. your weight will not have changed, yet you've improved yourself considerably by losing fat and adding muscle.

    12. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
    Don't expect results in a few weeks. It takes an average of two to four months before you'll see significant changes in strength and muscle size. Even then you might not see them, but they are occuring just the same. Some things are worth waiting for. Stay dedicated and be persistant.

    13. THE UPS AND DOWNS

    There wil be days when there won't be enough weight in the gym for you. Conversely there will be days when the warm-up will feel heavy. There is no way you will be able to max out on every workout. Let the body be your guide. On the days when it says: "go at 75 percent," listen.
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    14. 10 FOR 1
    On average you'll need to gain 10 pounds of bodybweight for every inch of arm size. For most people who train consistently this means that in a fiver-year period they'll increase their bodyweight by 50 pounds and add five inches to their arms.

    15. FORCED REPS
    After you have a few months of training under your belt you can try a few advanced training techniques. One of the easiest to learn is forced reps. A foreced rep is a rep performed after you can no longer lift the weight on your own. Let's say yo complete 10 reps on the bench press and cannot do number 11. Have a partner placehis hands under the bar and provide just enough lift to help you complete a couple of additional, or "forced" reps. In gym jargon your partner is giving you "a spot."

    16. HOW MANY SETS
    As with the number of reps in a set, there is no magic number of sets to perform in a workout. In time most bodybuilders discover what works best for them. Perform too many and you run the risk of overtraining and burnout. Perform too few and you won't adequately stimulate the muscles. Our advice is to start off by performing 6 to 9 sets total for bigger muscles like chest, back and legs, and 4 to 6 sets for smaller muscles like biceps and triceps.

    17. A GUIDE FOR TOO MANY SETS
    One of the best guides for determining when to stop training a particular muscle is to go by "the pump." As soon as a muscle is subjected to exerciseit begins to fill up with blood, giving it a tighter and fuller feeling. Bodybuilders have discovered a point whendoing extra sets not only doesn't increase the pump, the pump can actually drain away. It is at this point that yuou should stop trainig the muscle and move on to the next body part.

    18. THE FINAL SET

    As you exercise a muscle, waste products such as lactic acid begin to build up. It is these metabolic by-products of exercise that play a major role in fatguing the muscle. One way to help flush these "exercise limiters" out is by performing a lighter/higher-rep set at the end. Highreps flush the area with blood, speeding up waste removal.

    19. DON'T BURN THEM OUT OR FADE THEM AWAY
    Even though they are the "showy" muscles of the body, the biceps are one of the easiest muscles to overtrain. your biceps receivea good workout just by being used in your back workouts. Don't make the mistake of training them three or four times a week for 15 to 20 sets. Try 6 to 8 sets in total, once or twice a week.
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    20. DEVELOP A BALANCED WORKOUT
    Don't overemphasize one part of the body, like the chest or biceps. Get an expert to help you design a smart, comprehensive program that works all muscle groups. Do at least one exercise for each of the major muscle groups or you can end up with a muscluar imbalance. Not only does that look funny, it causes a greater risk of injury.

    21. THE STRONGEST MAY SURVIVE BUT THE WEAKEST NEED EXTRA WORK!
    Closely related to the previous tip is the fact that many bodybuilders fall victom to the trap of working their largest and strongest muscles more than their weakest. The temptation is strong to give into the quick gratification of working the muscles that respond the quickest. The last thing you want is your gym buddies saying things behind your back like "he's all arms", or "pity he has no legs." Keep a close eye on each muscle's progress and adjust your training accordingly.

    22. BRING A FRIEND
    Unless you are passionate about training, you'll have days when going to the gym is the last thing on your mind. Studies have shown that over 60 precent of people new to weightlifting will stick with it for at least six months if they have a friend or spouse training with them. So as soon as you decide to take up exercising, try to recruit a training partner.

    23. DON"T GO CATABOLIC
    One of the biggest deteriments to gaining aize and strength is performing too many sets for a muscle group. Try to stick with 6 to 8 sets for smaller muscles and 10 to 12 for bigger muscle groups.

    24. TRAINING TO FAILURE

    Training to failure means terminating a set when ou can no longer lift the weight. If you were doing 10 reps in a set, you would pick a weight that does not allow you 11 reps. We don't recommend training to failure at the beginner level. Doing so is very taxing on your recovery system. Instead terminate the set one or two reps from failure (i.e. use a weight that you would fail at 12 reps but only perform 10)

    25. ONE-REP MAXIMUMS
    If you decide to see how strong you are on a few of the exercises (squats and bench presses usually being the guilty parties), limit the testing to once a month. One-rep maximums place a lot of stress on the soft connective tissues such as ligaments and cartilage. They also tend to stress out the muscles and tendons. Make sure you have a trusted spotter behind you in case you miss the lift attempt.
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    26. CLASSICAL VS HEAVY DUTY
    The classical system of sets consists of starting out doing 1 to 3 sets per bodypart and adding a couple of sets and exercises every month or two. It's not uncommon after a couple of years for advanced bodybuilders to be performing 15 to 20 sets per bodypart. The heavy-duty sytle of training was popularized by Dr Arthur Jones and the late Mike Mentzer. Both argued that 1 to 3 all-out sets to failure was more productive and less draining on the recovery system than 15 to 20 sets performed in moderate style. Experiment with both styles and see what works best for you. Virtually all the top bodybuilding champions use the classical system of training.

    27. KEEP IT SIMPLE FOR ECTOMORPHS
    If you have an extomorph-type body (tall, lean, little muscle mass), keep your training simple and infrquent. Perform basic exercises for low sets and reps. Train only two or three times per week. Keep your protein intake high (at least one gram per pound of bodyweight), and limit your cardio to two to three 20 minute sessions per week.

    28. GO AT YOUR OWN PACE
    Keeping up with the Joneses may be fine in the suburbs, but it's not a good idea in the gym. Don 't let someone else's workout influence your training. It's fine to feed off others' intensity, but don't try to lift too-heavy weights just to keep up. Train at your own pace and strength level. You'll make better progress and have less chance of suffering a severe injury.

    29. TIME BETWEEN SETS
    You want to wait long enough between sets to recover your breath but not long enough to cool down before the next set. For most muscles this works out to about a minute. For a larger muscle like legs you may have to wait 90 seconds to two minutes. You may get by on 30 seconds' rest for a small muscle like biceps.

    30. STRAIGHT SETS

    When you begin weight training, perform all you sets as straight sets. this means performing a given exercise with a chosen weight for a given number of reps. the straight-sets style of training is the most common training method used by bodybuilders.

    31. PYRAMIDING - THE EGYPTIANS HAD IT RIGHT

    After a few months of training with straight sets, try pyramiding your reps and weight. Pyramiding involves starting with a light weight for higher reps and then increasing the weight and decreasing the reps with each successive set. the top of the pyramid would be the point at which you are using your maximum weight. You then start decreasing the weight and increasing the reps. Generally speaking the lighter sets are performed for 15 to 20 reps and the heavier sets for 6 to 8 reps.
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    32. HALF-PYRAMIDS
    Because a muscle tires with each successive set, many bodybuilders feel they should start their training with their heaviest weight. If they perform too many high-rep, light-weight sets they'll never be able to reach their heaviest weight. To get around this they do one or two very light sets and then put their heaviest weight on the bar or machine. The weight is then decreased and reps are increased with each successive set. In effect they are working down the backside of the pyramid.

    33. PERFORM FULL RANGE OF MOTION
    With the exception of a few advanced training techniques discussed later, perform all your exercises through a full range of motion. This means fully stretching and contracting the muscle and moving the limb or limbs through their entire possible distance. Half movements will only build strength in the part of the muscle being worked when the movement is taking place.

    34. HOW MUCH WEIGHT?
    As much as we would like to, there is no way to know specifically how much weight to use on each exercise. Everyone is different. First decide how many reps you want to complete in a given set. Then pick a weight that limits you to that number. There will be days when you'll have to use less weight to achieve the same number of reps. On other days you'll need more weight.

    35. KEEP IT BIG
    During your first few months of training, focus on exercise for the large muscle groups of the body (i.e. quads, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps). Don't worry about the smaller muscle like the serratus, teres, and rhomboids. These muscles will get a good workout just by trainng the bigger muscles.
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    36. PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD
    Although thee will be the odd day when you will mneed ot use les weight, the primary method for increasing muscle size is progressive overload. That is, as soon as a muscle adapts to a given weight, you must increase the weight to keep the muscle growing. With few exceptions, the biggest bodybuilders are also the strongest.

    37. GROUND YOURSELF
    As soon as you begin working out, take a lesson form your parents and "ground" yourself. Place both feet securely on the ground and keep them there. At the end of your set your feet should not have moved so much as an inch. If they have it probably means you've used your legs to cheat!

    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. Unless you are that one-in-a-million, genetically gifted freaks, you won't be able to do both simultaneously. If you are 20 pounds or more overweight, your first priority is losing the body fat. If you are very lean but lacking in muscle size, focus on gaining some good muscular bodyweight. Don't attempt to stay lean wile trying to get big. You can't have it both ways.

    39. EXERCISE SPEED
    Exercise speed is another name for tempo. Our advice is to use a 2-2 exercise tempo when starting out. this means take two seconds to raise the wight and two seconds to lower it again. With time you can experiment with ultra-fast reps (explosive training) and ultra-slow reps (10 seconds or more).

    40. BREATHING
    When exercising intensely, the body needs enormus amounts of oxygen. If you hold your breath while training you run the risk of passing out. Try breathing on each rep of the exercise. Most bodybuilders inhale on the lowering part of th rep and exhale on the upward part. In effect you are "blowing" the weight up.
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    41. TIME BETWEEN WORKOUTS
    You don't grow in the gym. Training only stimulates muscle growth. You must restlong enough between workouts to recover. For most bodybuilders a minimum of 48 to 72 hours is needed between muscle groups. Hitting the same muscle two days in a row will only leave you in a constant state of overtraining. If in doubt take an extra day off.

    42. SLEEP
    Get a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. One late night out partying probably won't set your training back too much, but making a habit of surviving on three or four hours sleep a night will prevent you from achieving the success you desire. It'd that simple.

    43. WARM MILK - MOM WAS RIGHT!
    If you have trouble sleeping, try drinking a small glass of warm milk just before bed. Warming the milk activates the amino acid tryptophan, which has been shown to be a natural sleeping aid.

    44. POWER NAPPING
    If circumstances prevent you from getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night, try napping once or twice during the day. A 30 to 60 minute nap in the middle of the day produces wonders in terms of mental and physical acuity. Even a couple of 15 minute mnaps spread over the day can boost your energy reserves and recovery abilites.

    45. DISPELLING AN URBAN MYTH
    Don't worry about training before bed. The old belief was that exercise interfered with sleep patterns by increasing adrenaline levels. Recent studies have shown that those who exercise shortly before bed sleep just as well as those who exercise ealier in the day.

    46. TRAINING AT HOME
    Training at home has numerous advantages. You don't have to fight for a parking space and you don't have to wait for equipment. You can also train at your convenience. The disadvantages are limited equipment, distractions, and no one around for motivation.

    47. BUYING HOME EQUIPMENT
    You can spend more than $1000 on the latest TV home-gym setup, or $50 at a flea market for a few weights. Millions of home-gym setups are bought, but few are used. Before blowing hundreds or thousands of dollars, check around with friends and relatives. Basement flea markets are also a good bet for buying exercise equipment for your home. Anyone who has had teenage male in the house porbably has an old York or Weider barbell set kicking around.

    48. DON'T FALL FOR THE LATE-NIGHT TV ADS
    You've seen the ads: "Just five minutes a day will develop a six-pack!" Save your money and invest it in either a gym membership or a piece of legitimate training equipment. Most of those crazy TV gizmos are useless and designed to cash in on people's quick-fix mentality. In most cases you are wasting your money. Not to mention that many of those contraptions are potentially dangerous.

    49. COMMERCIAL GYMS
    The primary disadvantages to training at home are the advantages to working out at a gym. You'll have access to the latest training gear, There will be lots of advanced bodybuilders around for inspiration. Finally, such distractions as the phone, TV, and fridge are nonexistent.

    50. SELECTING A GYM
    When selecting a gym, make sure to take into consideration wuch isses as cost, location (are you and your car safe?), equipment selection, quality of staff, hours of operation, change-room facilities, crowds during peak times, and atmosphere. Most gyms offer day passes to try out their facilities. Before plunking down a year's membership try out a few gyms to get a feel for the place. It is well worth the $5 or $10 day-pass fee.
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    51. TYPES OF GYMS
    Gyms can be divided into three type; hardcore, middle of the road, and spas. Our advice is to aviod spas. The equipment tends to be more glitz than practical, and the owners don't really want people who train seriously there anyway. Stick with either a good middle-of-the-road gym or a hardcore bodybuilding gym.

    52. NOW MUCH?
    Most middle-of-the-road gyms will cost $35 to $50 a month to work out at. If $600 a year sounds expensive, keep in mind that this works out to just $1.65 a day! That's a trivial amount of money to be investing in improving your energy, health and physique. If taking the money out of your wallet each month is difficult, arrange for a direct bank amount withdrawal. Many gyms will also do a payroll deduction. Either way you may never miss the money.

    53. BUYER BEWARE
    When joining a gym, beware of fly-by-night operations. Numerous gym chains have reputations for hitting town with much flash and fanfare. After a couple of hundred people take out a "liftetime" membership, the gym is gone! Our advice is to only join for a month or so. If you do decide to commit to a year, pay by post-dated checks or some other means that sllows you to stop payment if the shady characters leave town. Never a free to have your credit card charged each month.

    54. AT WORK!

    One of the more popular trends is for employers to set up fitness rooms for their employees. Although a few are doing it as a generous fringe benefits for staff, the primary reason is that insurance companies better rates if their employees are healthy and working out. If your company doesn't have a gym yet, talk to the owner (or appropriate person in the chain of command) and see if they'll explore the option of setting one up. You may be the one voted to do the job.

    55. THE GREAT OUTDOORS
    For a change of pace try training outdoors. The fresh air will do you wonders and the openness is a welcome change from the sometimes stuff confines of a gym. Venice Beach in California is famous the world over for its outdoor training pit. A word of caution for those who live in larger cities. Pay attention to smog alerts. Gulping in huge amounts of toxic air will not do your body health any good. In fact doing so may only shorten it. On those days stick to an air-conditioned facility.
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    56. PROTECTION
    If you decide to train outdoors, always use a good sunblock. Two or three hours training in the sun can play havoc with your skin. Time passes very quickly while you're training and before you know it you have second or third-degree burns. You may also want to avoid training outside in the 11am to 3pm time slot, as thisis when the sun is most dangerous.

    57. WATER
    The human body is about 70 percent water. While we have water conversation systems, at times our hydration levels fall dangerously low. Always consume copious amounts of water when training. You can use the gym's fountain, but then so will almost everyone else. That's a lot of potential germs. Buy a water bottle and keep it filled. Rather than gulping large amounts, try sipping it throughout your workout.

    58. DIZZINESS
    If at any time during your workout you feel dizzy, immediately stop what you are doing and sit down. Tilt your head forward to increase blood flow to the brain. Dizziness is one of the first signs of lack of oxygen to the brain. It is also the body's way of saying you will faint if you don't do something about the situation. If you find yourself getting dizzy on a regular basis, consult your physician.

    59. TRAINING MORNING, NOON & NIGHT
    Although the most popular time to train is between 4 and 8 pm (that's when most people get off work and school), there is no best time to train. For some, 6 am works best. For others trainig at that time would be nauseating. Likewise, many like to finish work and head straight to the gym to unwind. The best time to train is whatever time works best for you.

    60. TRAINING FREQUENCY
    Even if your primary goals are maximum size and strength, it's not recommended you start out with an advanced four or six-day splilt routine. You'll get great results by training the full body every second day for a total of 3 or 4 days per week.

    61. WORKOUT DURATION
    How long you spend in the gym ultimately depends on the type of program you are following. There is no need to be dragging your training session out for two or three hours. In fact if you are still training after 3 hours your intensity level is probably too low to be effective. Try putting everything you've got into a 60 miinute workout.

    62. MISSING WORKOUTS
    No matter how dedicate you are to your training, sooner orlater uou'll miss the occasional workout. As long as you are fairly consistent, don't worry about it. One ot two extra days off a month will not set you back. In fact it may help you, as many people are in a chronic state of overtraining. Yo'll find that after an extra day off your energy and strength levels are often much higher.
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