How to Build Muscle

Hull Fat Loss Bootcamp in Action

Posted by on November 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm

epic high five Hull Fat Loss Bootcamp in Action

 

Flying High…Hull Fat Loss

 

I’m pretty high right now.. about 38,000 feet high that is… somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.

It got me to thinking about what some of the rewards are, other than the obvious (fat loss, increased strength, core strength, more useful functional muscle, etc…), for those that rock out at our Hull fat loss PhysXtreme bootcamp.

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Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back

Posted by on September 28, 2010 at 8:16 am
Awesome Muscle Building for Your Back!
Undoubtedly, a well developed back is the hallmark differentiator between those who train the “show” muscles, and those who train the “go” muscles.
big arnold back Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back

Arnold’s flawless back development!
A well developed back is unmistakable. Starting with the upper traps, the mid and lower traps and the rhomboids, as well as the lats and even , when bent forwards, the lumbar (erector group) musculature pops out as to thick ridges that run beside the spine.
Additionally, for athletes, strong and balanced back development helps to prevent injuries and keeps you in the game and in the gym so your training can continue uninterrupted by injuries.
Guaranteed, if you think you can forgo the important stuff, just to work on the show muscles, you’ll be hit up with an injury that can keep you out of the game for years!
Don’t Risk Injury… Train Serious, But Train Smart! (TSTS)
Considerations for Awesome Muscle Building Training For Your Back
1. Exercise Selection
Deadlifts
If you could only do one exercise for back, I would say Deadlifts would be your best choice, but thankfully we can do more than one exercise. Deadlifts are the exercise that will best allow you to express your strength and develop top end strength, but they take a toll on your recovery, so while you need to do them, they shouldn’t be your main focus. Do them once a week, or even once every two weeks cycled in in place of a squat exercise.Safe and effective deadlift technique:

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Massive Arms Crazy Biceps Part 1

Posted by on August 12, 2010 at 11:02 am
Massive Arms, Crazy Biceps Part 1
Arnold1 Massive Arms Crazy Biceps Part 1

BUILD HUGE ARMS BY TRAINING SMARTER

Developing a crazy set of arms requires intelligent development of both the biceps and the triceps. This article is devoted to the biceps, and we’ll discuss building the triceps in part 2 next week.


In general the lack of well developed biceps is usually not for lack of effort, but rather for lack of intelligent training principles.


Here’s the typical gym rat’s biceps routine:

Barbell biceps curls 3×8
Seated dumbbell curls 3×10
Concentration curls 3×12

This routine isn’t without merit as it does train through three different repetition ranges from lower to higher. This increases glycogen depletion and overall muscle fatigue–both of which are indicators for increased muscle growth, but the angles of arm flexion and therefore range of motion of the first two exercises are the same. Only the third exercise gives us some additional benefit by training into a position of peak contraction. But this routine misses a huge part of overall biceps development… the brachialis.


To understand how to make biceps training more effective, a little anatomy lesson is required.
 Massive Arms Crazy Biceps Part 1

As you can see the Brachialis is a thick muscle that lies in behind the Biceps Brachii. When most people train their biceps, they focus on the biceps brachii and completely neglect the Brachialis.

As you can see in the above diagram, the Brachialis is quite thick, and its development often makes all the difference between a good arm and a great arm.

Because of it’s position in behind the Biceps Brachii, developing it not only physically adds bulk to the arm, but if you organize the training properly, you can elicit even greater growth of the Biceps Brachii by first training the Brachialis.

brachialis helps peak biceps Massive Arms Crazy Biceps Part 1


If you’ll recall, the MOST important thing you can ever do to create muscle growth is to apply tension to a muscle while it is in a stretched position. Nothing else creates the same level of stimulus for growth.


So how might we optimize biceps training to achieve this?

Here’s how:

Exercise 1: Barbell Curls 3×6
This exercise is heavy, to produce overload to all the structures.

Because of the line of pull, this exercise really hammers the Brachialis without significantly fatiguing the Biceps Brachii. This exercise will also help with development of the Brachioradialis of the forearm. We keep the reps higher on this one to ensure the Brachialis is heavily pumped by the end of all your sets.

Exercise 3: Incline Dumbbell Curls 3×10
Due to the attachment of the long head of the Biceps Brachii at the back of the shoulder, the incline bench position puts the Biceps Brachii is in a very stretched position as the elbow reaches full extension.

arnold gym bodybuilding incline dumbbell curls Massive Arms Crazy Biceps Part 1
Inclined Dumbbell Curls
Arnold Knew The Secrets
Compound the already stretched muscle with a heavily pumped Brachialis, which if you’ll recall lies directly beneath the Biceps Brachii, and you’ve got an unmatched situation for loading the Biceps Brachii in a stretched position.

WARNING:
Due to the incredible stretch at the bottom of the incline dumbbell curl (especially after hammering the Brachialis), the biceps tendon attachments are more susceptible to injury from abuse.

For this reason, be sure to start with a weight that is light enough that you could do 20 reps with it normally, and just do your 10. Trust me your arms will be destroyed after this. And if not, go a little heavier on the next set. The point is, it’s always better to be on the safe side than injure yourself.

And as always, please leave any egos at the door.


Give this routine a try and let me know what you think!

icon smile Massive Arms Crazy Biceps Part 1


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Freakish! Build Leg Strength And Size

Posted by on August 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

Build Leg Strength And Freakish Size, Exercise Selection

If you want to build leg strength and size to freakish levels, more than anything else, requires a lot of suffering. Even the most genetically elite (and assisted) strength athletes and bodybuilders like Tom Platz (shown below alongside Lou Ferrigno aka The Incredible Hulk), put themselves through absolute torture to build leg strength and their insane leg size.

tom platz lou ferrigno Freakish! Build Leg Strength And Size

Tom Platz & Lou Ferrigno aka The Incredible Hulk
But take note of the difference in the leg size between Tom Platz a popular bodybuilder back in the 1980′s and Lou Ferrigno who is best known for his non-speaking role in The 1980′s TV series The Incredible Hulk.
What makes legs grow so differently? Genetics definitely play a role, but the willingness to suffer is the number one requirement for big freaky legs. (Apparently the Incredible Hulk wasn’t very masochistic). After that, exercise selection is the next most important thing for developing freakish leg size and strength.

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Supercompensation and the Progressive Overload Dilemma

Posted by on August 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm

So what exactly is Supercompensation and the Progressive Overload Dilemma? Well if you’ve been training consistently for more than a few years you’ve already faced it, although you may not have been familiar with its name.

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The Skinny Fat Bastard Solution

Posted by on July 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm

After the article I wrote last week entitled The Skinny Bastard Solution, I received a few emails from a bunch of guys who were inspired and wanted some additional help with their training and diet.

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The Skinny Bastard Solution

Posted by on June 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm
I don’t have good genetics to grow…
My metabolism is too fast…
I can’t eat enough food…
I burn calories faster than I can get them in…
Sound familiar?
Well it’s a load of crap!
Well, not entirely, but for the most part they’re just excuses to explain why you don’t get the results you’re after.
Yes, some people do have more potential than others, but it’s rare that “potential” limits muscular growth until years of training and significant muscle has already been added.
So what limits muscle growth and what can we do about it?
some motivation required The Skinny Bastard Solution
It all comes down to desire, and that I’m sorry, is not something I can help you with.
As a 15 year old kid trying to become the next Mr. Olympia, I knew all about desire. I ate tons and trained tons. But I was eating lots of fruits and veggies, and not enough meat and potatoes. I was interested in nutrition as it pertained to building muscle, and low fat was all the rage, so I ate as little fat as possible… Big Mistake!
I also had severe exercise A.D.D.
I blindly went from one training program to the next, never sticking to any one program long enough to see any results.
Each huge guy that came into the gym must have had some secret, so I’d stop whatever program I was on and try to follow the next guy.
I pretty much stayed the same weight for the first three years, until I finally found a training partner who I trained with consistently for the next three years (thanks Jason!) and I gained quickly moved from 18 years old and 145 lbs to 21 years old and 165 lbs.
Next, a new training partner (thanks Dan!) and I went from 21 years old and 165 lbs to 24 years old and 185lbs.
My success in gaining muscle always lay in finding the right program and sticking to it, as well as eating more than ever before.
With that, here’s the best diet and training program for skinny bastards to pack on serious muscle size and strength!
Diet Solution For Skinny Bastards
If your goal is to build tons of muscle and you’re a hardgainer, the solution is not very technical, but I’ll give you a quick breakdown of what you should be eating.
Breakfast (pick any 6)
Oats, Eggs, Waffles, Protein Shakes, Omelettes, Fruit, etc… and that’s just for breakfast.
gluttony The Skinny Bastard Solution
Mid-Morning Snack
Your mid-morning snack should be something that will really get you hungry for a huge lunch, so we’re looking for something that’s going to spike the hell out of your insulin. So… let’s go for a large Dairy Queen Blizzard.
dairy queen turtle oreo blizzard The Skinny Bastard Solution
If you’re a kid in school, your snacks can be chocolate bars, chocolate milk, and PB&Anything sandwiches!
Lunch
Lunch should include hamburgers, leftover pizza, PB&A sandwiches, leftover steak, leftover chicken, salad is good for nutrition, but you’ll need to completely soak it in dressing to get enough calories from it!
If you’re a kid in school, the school cafeteria will have Lasagna and Pizza… go back for seconds, thirds, and when nobody’s looking, sneak around behind the counter and steal whatever’s left on the tray!
In fact, eat as much as you can get your hands on without getting expelled from school!
Wait a minute… screw that.. if you get expelled, you can eat straight through from the time you wake until you go to bed! Hit it!
Mid-Afternoon Snack
Your mid-afternoon snack should be your highest calorie meal of the day.. since you can sneak off without anyone noticing you and gorge yourself without grossing out anyone you know seeing you. A 12″ meatballs Subway sub should do it! Oh, and I always asked for 2-4 extra meatballs and they would just charge me an extra buck or two.
(Your mid-afternoon snack might also be your pre-workout meal or your post-workout meal.)
Dinner
Dinner should involve a full plate of meat (steak, fish, chicken, etc…), a full plate of starch (rice, potatoes, pasta, etc…) and of course you do need veggies… although if building massive amounts of muscle is most important to you, if you fill up on too much veggies, you won’t grow.
Just make sure you find a full fat salad dressing you can drench your salad and veggies in so that you’ll like the taste enough to force them down, and make sure you eat them last so if you do fill up too soon on the other stuff.. then oh well!
Dessert
All skinny bastards should eat dessert every night after dinner. But don’t eat it immediately following dinner as you should not have enough room for dessert if you ate enough at dinner.
Go sit your butt down on the couch, conserve as much energy as possible, watch a few TV shows, then head back to the fridge and eat absolutely everything that you can possibly eat, be it ice cream, yogurt, left-over anything, PB&Anything sandwiches… just anything and everything!
Got a brother or sister who steals food off your plate? Or who eats more than their share of food during the day, leaving you with little choice for dessert… EAT THEM TOO!! That way you get back the food they stole from your plate and then some!
The takeaway point about your diet if you’re a skinny bastard hardgainer who thinks they can’t gain weight is this…
And I’m not exactly sure about the best way to convey this… but think of every opportunity to eat as your last for a very long time. As you eat, keep thinking that your next meal might not be for weeks or months… and you’ll probably get enough food down to finally start building muscle.

The Skinny Bastard Training Solution
If you’re a classic hardgainer who has a difficult time gaining mass, your workout needs to be simple.
Week 1
Day 1
Squats 5 sets of 5, increase weight every set.
Dips 5 sets of AMRAP
Wide Grip Pull-ups 5 sets of AMRAP
Farmer’s Walk 4 sets of 100 steps, increase weight every set.
Rest 1-2 days
Day 2
Deadlifts 8 x 3 reps , increase weight every set.
Split Squats 5 x 12, 10, 8, 8, 8, increase weight every set.
Bench Press 4 x 10, 8, 6, 6, increase weight every set.
Bent-Over Barbell Rows 5 x 12, 10, 8, 8, 8, increase weight every set.
Barbell Curls 3 x 8, increase weight every set.
Rest 1-2 days
Day 3
Squats: 5 x 10, 10, 10, 8, 8, increase weight on every set.
Military Press 4 x 12, 10, 8, 8, increase on every set.
Pushups 3 x AMRAP
Chin-ups 5 x AMRAP
Weighted Plank 3 x ALAP
Rest 1-2 days
Week 2
Day 1
Deadlifts 5 x 5, increase weight every set.
Weighted Pushups 5 x 10, increase weight every set.
Weighted Chin-ups AMSAP x 3 reps, increase weight every set.
Barbell Curls 3 x 10, increase weight on each set.
Hands-to-Forearms 3 x 20 each direction.
Rest 1-2 days
Day 2
Squats 6 x 3, increase weight every set.
Step-ups 4 x 12, increase weight every set.
Incline Bench Press 6 x 10, 8, 8, 6, 6, 6 increase weight every set.
Bent-Over Barbell Rows 5 x 12, increase weight every set.
1-DB Farmer’s walk 4 x 100′, increase weight every set.
Rest 1-2 days
Day 3
Barbell Clean and Press 4 x 8, increase weight every set.
Deadlifts 4 x 10, increase weight every set.
Dips AMSAP x 5 reps, increase weight every set.
Inverted Rows 4 x AMRAP
Mountain Climbers 4 x 30
Notes:
1. AMRAP = As Many Reps As Possible
2. AMSAP = As Many Sets As Possible, which means continue doing more sets until you can’t complete another set with increased weight with good form.
3. Always increase weight on each set if possible with good form.
4. Do not train to failure on any exercises except those with AMRAP.
Conclusion
Use the “SeeFood” diet, meaning eat absolutely everything you see, and put this program to work for the next 6-12 months, and you should expect maximum muscle mass and a huge increase in strength.
If you have any comments, please leave them below.

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Develop Powerful Shoulders Without Pain

Posted by on May 31, 2010 at 9:42 pm
Develop Powerful Shoulders Without Pain
arnold barbell press behind neck+ Develop Powerful Shoulders Without Pain
Want crazy shoulders like Arnold? Don’t get injured!

One of the best exercises for shoulder strength and size development is the Barbell Press Behind The Neck. But grabbing a loaded bar and trying to press it behind your neck without sufficiently warming your shoulders up is asking for trouble. So here’s an awesome shoulder saver exercise.

Band Pull-Aparts Behind The Neck

This exercise takes all the muscles involved in the barbell press behind the neck and provides them with tension that helps activate them so they’ll all contribute properly to the pressing movement.

As always, before any heavy lifting, make sure muscles that might oppose achieving the full range of motion are well stretched out first.
Stretch: Pecs, Lats, External Rotation
Warm-up:
Side-lying dumbbell external rotations
Serratus push-ups
Band pull-aparts behind the neck (as shown above) 1-3 sets
Rest sufficiently between sets to prevent accumulation of fatigue. Do only as many reps as you feel you need to fully activate the muscle. But make sure to stop your set before you feel fatigue or burning in the targeted muscles.
Pushing your warm-up and activation sets into fatigue will hinder performance of your heavy pressing movement to come.
Use this warm up and then do this balanced upper body workout to build awesome muscle size and strength.
1) Barbell Press Behind The Neck 3 x 8
2a) Mixed Grip Pull-ups 3 x 8-12
2b) TRX, Blast Strap, or chain suspended push-ups
3a) Barbell Shrugs 3×15
3b) Posterior Flyes 3×12
Let me know how it went in the comments section below.

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Strength Training On Limited Time

Posted by on May 25, 2010 at 4:11 am

For whatever reason if you’ve got limited time to get your workouts in, don’t despair, there’s still ways to get stronger and build more muscle.


Key Points

1. Limit the number of exercises

2. Every other day training with upper/lower split
3. Ensure you get soft tissue work for a couple areas as well as some dynamic stretching and activation prior to your strength work

4. Pick one main exercise, one supplemental, and one accessory.


Example:

Monday – Day 1 – Lower Body

Foam Roller: Quads/IT Bands/ T-Spine
Dynamic stretching: Quads, Hip Flexors
Activation: Glute Bridges
Squats 5×5

RDL 4×8

Weighted Plank 3×60 sec


Wednesday – Day 2 – Upper Body
Foam Roller: T-Spine/Pecs/Lats
Dynamic Stretching: Pecs/Lats
Bench Press 5×5
Chin – ups 4xmax
Barbell Curls 3×10
Friday – Day 3 – Lower Body
Foam Roller: T-Spine/Quads/IT Bands/Hams
Dynamic Stretching: Hamstrings/Squat-to-stand
Activation: Glute Bridge variations
Deadlifts 5×3
Split Squats 4×12
Hanging Leg Raises 3×15
Monday – Day 4 – Upper Body
Foam Roller: Pecs/Lats/T-Spine
Dynamic Stretching: PNF Patterns for shoulders
Activation: Wall Slides, Scapular retractions
1- DB Push Press 5×6
Seated Cable Rows 4×10
EZ-Bar Skull Crushers 3×10
Volume Considerations
Progressive volume manipulations will also keep you from plateauing.
Using squats as an example:
Starting week 1 with an 80% 1RM load (225 lbs), volume progressions might map out as follows. Weeks 5-8, 9-12, and 13-16 use the same manipulations as weeks 1-4.
Week 1: 5x5x225 Moderate volume moderate load
Week 2: 4x5x225 Reduced volume, moderate load
Week 3: 8x3x245 Increased volume, increased load
Week 4: 3x6x205Significant volume and load reduction (deload week)
Week 5: 5x5x230
Week 6: 4x5x230
Week 7: 7x3x255
Week 8: 3x6x215
Week 9: 5x5x235
Week 10: 4x5x235
Week 11: 6x2x260
Week 12: 3x6x220
Week 13: 5x5x240
Week 14: 3x5x240
Week 15: 5x2x265
Week 16: 2x6x225
Such volume manipulations allow increased for strength increases that you wouldn’t otherwise get from simple linear progression.
The same types of variations can be done with all main exercises, and some supplemental exercises such as chin-ups, and weighted pushups.
If you’re a beginner, you can probably keep the same main exercises throughout the 16 week period, intermediate and advanced lifters need to switch out the main exercises after each 4 week block.
Example substitutions include but are not limited to:
Main Upper Body
Bench Press
Board Presses
Floor Press
Military Press
Fat Bar Press
Swiss Bar Press
Weighted Pushups
Dynamic Effort work with bands/chains
Main Lower Body
Squats
Box Squats
Giant Cambered Bar Squats
Safety Squat Bar Squats
Zercher Squats
Front Squats
Deadlifts
Trap Bar Deadlifts
BTR (Beyond The Range) Deadlifts
Sumo Deadlifts
Rack Pull (Partials) Deadlifts
Dynamic effort work with bands/chains

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Supersets and Exercise Pairings

Posted by on May 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I went to visit a client at their gym on the weekend. She was training her bench press, and was really pushing her limits with a 5×5 protocol, so although her first set wasn’t an all out effort, by the last few sets, she was definitely seeing stars as she was grinding them out!

I’m there with her, spotting her, and coaching her through her workout, and a guy walks over and introduces himself as a “certified” trainer and proceeds to suggest that her workout would be more efficient if she were to superset a set of bent-over rows in between each set of bench press.
The funniest thing… is that I saw this guy coming from the other side of the gym, and I knew exactly what was going to happen… and I was right.
So first, before I say whether he had a good suggestion, I seriously doubt he could bench press 5x5x125 which is what my client was doing. This guy barely had any facial hair let alone any muscle on his frame.
That said, I can’t be upset with him, as I used to do that all the time. Yep.. I was the annoying kid who had to teach everyone everything I learned the moment I learned it.
It all comes down to perspective. When you’re young, when you learn something, you think the world should know it, and that they probably don’t already know it.
So did he have a good suggestion?
It really depends on the goals of the training session. If “Jill” was doing 5x5x125 and her 1RM was 155, making her 5x5x125 at 80% 1RM, as was the case, then I would say no. But if Jill’s 1RM was 175, then she’s training at around 70%, which means her 5x5x125 would not be too taxing.
In other words, if the weights you’re going to be lifting are going to be close to your limits for a given repetition range, you don’t want to superset other exercises in as it will interfere with your ability to give 100% effort to the exercise you’re trying to focus on.
High CNS involvement multi-joint-compound movements take way more out of you than other less demanding exercises, so pairing them up isn’t always a good idea.
The main key is to decide what your main purpose is for the exercise. If you want your bench to go up.. then you don’t want to be supersetting it with another exercise. But if your goal is just general strength and overall conditioning, and getting more weight on that bar Goddamnit.. is NOT the end all be all for you, then you can superset with another exercise.
Good Exercise Pairings
Vertical Push + Vertical Pull
ex: Military Press + Wide Grip Pull-ups
Horizontal Push + Horizontal Pull
ex: Bench Press + Inverted Rows
Vertical Push + Horizontal Pull
ex: 1-DB Push Press + Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows
Horizontal Push + Vertical Pull
ex: Dips + Chin-Ups
For lower body work, since both squats and deadlifts work both quads and hamstrings it would rarely be advised to superset quad/ham. Instead, and only if maximum strength is not your goal, you could superset another non-competing exercise.
Quad Dominant + (Biceps, shoulders)
Squat + DB Curls or dumbbell shoulder press
Hip Dominant + (Chest, shoulders, triceps)
Deadlifts + Pushups, Military Press, DB Tricep Extensions
There are many options, but these are just some.
Always bear in mind your goals, and construct your program with pairings that are suitable if any.
If you have any questions or comments about this post, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.

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