Why can’t I gain muscle mass?

Discouragement in not seeing the results that you were looking for.

 

You have been serious about hitting the weights, you train hard, try your best to eat healthy, but after months fly by, you step on the scale and never gain a pound, you ask yourself, ‘why can’t I gain muscle mass?

It can be discouraging but first you will need to take a look at some ways that can help you with increasing the muscle size that you are looking for. Without these avenues to follow, it can be difficult to add the extra muscle weight, no matter how hard you are hitting the weights.

No doubt, it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to develop muscle and give your body an overall change in musculature structure and body fat percentage.

To make these changes, it not only takes a lot of hard work and dedication in the gym, but it will also take dedication to eating the right kind of diet that will give you the transformation that you are seeking.

Today we are going to take a look at some possibilities that you might have been overlooking if you are having a difficult time building muscle and adding size to your overall frame and muscular structure.

Are you eating enough of the right kinds of food?

You can be dedicated to your weight training, hit the gym five or six days a week and train heavy, but if you are not eating enough of the right kinds of food, it will be very difficult to build muscle and add muscle weight, even if possible at all.

There are many types of diets that people follow, and this all basically comes down to what you believe works best, or personally works best for you. Typically the type of diet that I approach is one that includes quality protein such as chicken, fish and tuna.

A good structured diet will also include fresh fruits and vegetables for added energy to get you through your punishing workouts. (link supplied by Ironwolf)

When you are not eating enough, and of the right types of food in your diet, it will be nearly impossible to build the muscular physique that you are putting your hard work and dedication into developing.

In order to determine how much is enough when it comes to feeding yourself the proper nutrition to build muscle, next I will go into detail on how to explain this through creating a caloric surplus.

Checking your food for calorie and protein content.
Do you measure your food portions for the sake of knowing how many calories you are consuming?

Are you creating a caloric surplus?

Creating a caloric surplus can be time-consuming measuring our calories and weighing your food portions, but if you are not spending the time it takes to gather the information that you need to calculate exactly how many calories you need a day to first of all maintain your body weight, it will be difficult to know exactly where you stand when it comes to how much food and calories you are ingesting every day.

First of all, it is necessary to know exactly how many calories a day you will need to maintain your body weight.

You can find this our by clicking on this link which will take you to a calorie counter where you can give your age, body weight and activity level to determine exactly how many calories you will need a day to maintain your body weight.

Once you have determined how many calories it is that you will need to maintain your body weight, then you will need to add on roughly an additional 300 to 400 calories per day over that in order to have enough calories in your daily consumption to build muscle.

There are other things that you may need to take into consideration, such as your body type. There are three different body types which can greatly affect your outcome when it comes to building muscle.

Ectomorph

An ectomorph is someone who has a naturally small boned body structure that might have a little more difficult time trying to add muscle to their frame because they are naturally skinny and have a hard time putting on weight and will need to consume more calories than someone who has a naturally larger body structure.

Different body types.
In order to get an accurate measurement of how many calories you need a day to maintain your bodyweight, you will need to take into consideration your age, weight and activity level.

Endomorph

An endomorph is someone who has a naturally larger body structure, larger bone structure and overall larger body frame. This type of person has a natural tendency to put body weight on much easier than an ectomorph, and a lot of their food reserves can become stored as fat cells.

Mesomorph

A mesomorph is someone who has the perfect body type for building muscle and has the best physical structure and ability to consume calories that are absorbed better for building muscle.

A mesomorph is someone who doesn’t need to pound down the food in order to gain weight, and is someone that doesn’t need to be leery of every little thing they eat is going to add an excessive amount of weight on like and an endomorph would.

Once you have determined precisely how many calories you will need a day to maintain your body weight by using the calorie calculator, you will need to adjust your calorie consumption according to your body type so that you are ingesting enough calories to build muscle without putting on excess fat.

If you fall into the category of a mesomorph, you will likely need to add 300 calories per day to what it takes to maintain your body weight. If you are an ectomorph, you will need to adjust your caloric consumption higher, and this may be something that you will need to play around with until you can determine how many calories you will need a day to build muscle.

If you fall into the category of an endomorph, once you have determined precisely how many calories a day you will need to maintain your body weight, you might want to start our smaller by adding only an additional 100 calories to what you will need per day to maintain your weight.

After you have given yourself at least 1 month if not 2 months, and you still have not noticed any difference, you might want to boost your calorie consumption up by another 100 calories, enough where it can give you the calories you need to build muscle with a solid weight training program, but not too many where you are putting too much fat on your frame.

Train hard for maximal gains.
Train with intensity and overload your muscles.

Are you training frequently enough?

The concept behind building muscle is to overload your muscle, give your muscles an adequate amount of rest, typically 72 hours, once your muscles have fully recovered, repeat the cycle.

Many people that are experiencing a lack of progress when building muscle are only working in each muscle group once per week. In order to achieve maximal gains in your weight training, you will need to train each body part twice per week.

A training partner can give you an added boost

At times it can be frustrating working our on your own and not having anyone to give you the backing that you need to achieve maximal results. There is no need to go It alone.

Especially at a time like this with the covid 19 pandemic going on, many people who once use to go to a gym to work our are training at home, and this can make it especially difficult for them to get the added boost they need from having someone to spot them in a heavy lift, or overall motivation that one can receive from having a training partner.

Finding a training partner or coach.
Have someone to train with you for best results.

When you are having a difficult time building muscle, one thing that can greatly benefit you is having a training partner. This doesn’t need to be a professional trainer, it can simply be someone that has similar interests as you and enjoys working our.

A training partner can give you the added motivation to train harder and to push each exercise to failure. Many times when we pick up a weight and begin to rep out, we often stop one or two reps short of failure which can be greatly affecting our progress.

To efficiently build muscle, we need to overload the muscle to a point of exertion for the purpose of breaking down muscle tissue. Once the muscle tissue is broken down, then we need to give our muscles a break for 72 hours, or 3 days for them to properly heal which is when the muscles are doing their actual growing.

Once the muscle tissue has mended, then you will need to start back at the beginning of the process again on breaking the muscle tissue down. This requires overloading your muscles on a regular basis of two times per week.

Once you are ready to work on overloading your muscles, this doesn’t mean that you are necessarily going to be piling on the weights and seeing how much you can lift with only a range of one or two reps per set.

More specifically, when talking about overloading your muscles, I am speaking in terms of going to complete failure with whatever weight you are using for an exercise.

For example, if you are doing the barbell curls with 80 lb and your maximum repetitions is 12 reps with that weight, but you are only doing 10 reps, then you are not lifting to your full potential.

When you are not lifting to your full potential, it will be difficult to put muscle on when you are cutting your sets short. This is why it’s necessary to push to the point of failure with each set you do.

The best way that I have found to push yourself to the full point of failure and beyond is by having a training partner that will give you the added incentive and motivation to push you beyond what you can normally do on your own.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to find someone such as a friend that has similar interests as you and enjoys working out, this way you can have somebody that you know and trust to workout with and will give you the added boost to your training and your spirit which will go a long way when it comes to seeing results in the gym or in your own home if that’s where you prefer to do your weight training.

Training with intensity keeping your goals in mind.
Training with intensity keeping your goals in mind.

Creating goals

Another place where many people are lacking that are not seeing the results they are looking for when it comes to building muscle or sculpturing a great physique is they are not setting proper goals for themselves.

In order to achieve anything great in life, it is necessary to create goals for yourself. Goals can be small or large, they can be for the short-term or long-term such as one year, 5 years or even 10 years.

Without creating goals it will be difficult to reach your destination when you have not actually determined a destination that you plan to reach.

I have written about the subject of creating goals for your training in the past and you can simply click on this link to check out ideas on how to create training goals for yourself for the short-term and long-term.

Conclusion

Many times if we are not seeing the results that we are looking for, it can be a good idea to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Often when we set our to accomplish a goal, we are only looking at one part of the aspect that it takes to satisfy that goal when oftentimes it takes several aspects.

Generally speaking, when you see someone that looks like they have put a lot of work into their body, they get passed off as being someone who spends a lot of time in the gym.

True, to build an impressive physique does take plenty of time and dedication weight training, but there is a lot more behind the scenes that is required in order to obtain an impressive physique, and that is eating enough of proper kinds of food, sleep, setting goals, training hard and being true to yourself.

I hope that this post has found you well and has given you some extra knowledge and tools that you can use to improve upon your training.

Along with all the key points that I have touched on in this post, it can also be a good idea to give your diet a proper supplementation plan which can also help you with seeing the results that you are training for.


To get a good idea of a supplement that can help you with increasing your muscle size and give you an adequate amount of protein to build muscle, you can check our one of my reviews on protein supplementation by simply clicking on this link supplied here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I will be happy to get back to you as soon as possible.

Incline bench press vs flat bench press

Bench press

 

The bench press has been crowned as the king of chest exercises, but is that strictly designated for just the flat bench press or does that include the incline bench press? The ‘incline bench press vs flat bench press’, we will be discussing the key differences between the two and does one work better than the other.

The bench press has always been a great exercise for developing the chest because it is a compound exercise, meaning that it will put more than one muscle group under stress at a time.

The bench press will work the overall chest, but it will also put other muscle groups into play such as the lat muscles, shoulders, traps and triceps, so if you are looking for a good all-around exercise to develop the chest, the bench press is an excellent one to get moving you forward.

Another advantage when doing the bench press is you can move more weight around as compared to other exercises such as the dumbbell benches and dumbbell flyes. There are many other great exercises that will definitely stimulate the chest muscles such as cable exercises and weight machines.

But when it comes down to it, there is one single most engaging exercise that will pack on the muscle for the chest and that is the bench press along with other variations of the bench such as the incline bench press and decline bench press.

What are the key differences?

Decline benches with barbell
Decline benches with barbell

One of the big differences between the flat
bench press and the inclined bench press is the flat bench press will work the overall chest but the inclined benches will work more of the upper pectoral region as well as more shoulders come into play when doing incline presses.

Another advantage with flat bench presses is they will work more of your overall chest area and you will be able to press more weight with the flat bench press. So if your goal is to increase your strength in the bench press, your best bet would be to concentrate on working the flat bench press.

If your upper pectorals are lagging behind, then it would be a good idea to concentrate more on doing incline benches since this exercise puts more stress and directs more attention to your upper pectorals.

Incline benches with barbell
Incline benches with barbell

Doing Incline benches, you won’t be able to press as much weight with them as you would with the flat bench press, but when performing the incline bench press, you are basically following the same principle as the flat bench press.

You will keep your feet flat on the floor, keep your lower back arched with your shoulders pressed into the weight bench, keep your hands at a slightly wider grip than your shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing forward and your elbows back.

Does one exercise work better than the other?

If you were to ask if one exercise works better than the other, or if the flat bench press works better than the incline bench press, it would basically come down to what your goals are and where you need to direct the majority of your attention.

If your goal is to increase your bench press strength for power lifting competitions, I would suggest that you will need to direct the majority of your time and the most of your energy toward pressing more weight on the flat bench press.

With the flat bench press, you are naturally able to press more weight than you are with the incline presses and the bench press will work the general overall area of your chest, but if you are seeking to build strength for your chest, ‘hands down’, the flat bench press is the exercise that you will need to be dedicating your time to.

This is not to say that you should completely avoid working the incline presses into your schedule, but simply stating that you will need to put your greater efforts into the flat bench press and make sure that you are working the flat bench press at the beginning of your chest workouts when your energy levels are at their highest.

If your goal dosen’t revolve around building strength but more for developing a proportionate physique, then you will need to spend more time working on specific exercises that bring up other more targeted areas like your upper pectorals where the flat benches can work the overall chest but the incline bench presses will more directly target your upper chest region.

Working with decline benches

Decline dumbbell benches
Decline dumbbell benches

Working with decline benches is pretty much the same scenario as doing incline presses. Decline presses you won’t be able to lift as much weight as you would with the standard flat bench press, but the advantage when doing decline presses is you will be working more of the lower pectorals.

This is also an excellent exercise if your goal is to build a portionate frame and the lower portion of your chest is lagging behind, then it might be a good idea to incorporate the decline bench press into your workout to bring out any areas that need more development.

Incorporating other key exercises into the picture

As important as the bench press, incline presses and decline presses are, it is still necessary to engage your workouts with other exercises where you can stimulate more of a wide range of angles targeting your chest muscles at different angles and stimulating further growth.

Along with following a structured weight training program including the flat bench press and incline bench press, it is also a good idea to include decline dumbell presses, dumbbell flat bench presses and incline dumbbell benches to stimulate a wide range and a fuller stretch in the exercises.

Incline dumbbell benches
Incline dumbbell benches with a spotter

When you incorporate dumbbell benches into your workouts, you naturally will not be able to lift nearly as much weight as you will with a barbell, but using dumbbells in your workouts is essential for developing a full, well-rounded development for your chest because you are targeting a wider range using more exercises and digging deep into the muscle tissue by using exercises that allow for a fuller stretch such as using dumbbells.

Incorporating decline dumbbell benches is an additional way to stimulate further growth into your lower pectoral region, especially if your lower chest may be lagging behind, you can even get a fuller stretch if you include dumbbell flyes in your routine.

Create yourself a training program

Incline dumbbell benches
Incline dumbbell benches

We have covered much area thus far in this article talking about exercises such as flat, incline and decline benches with a barbell and dumbbells and the possibility of incorporating dumbbell flyes for each of these positions including flat, incline and decline dumbbell flyes.

Now comes the part of creating a training program out of these exercises listed above as well as an arsenal of other exercises including bench dips, bar dips, cable exercises and weight machines.

When it comes to creating your own chest training program, with so many exercises to choose from, where do you begin when setting up your own training program?

Basically it will come down to what your goals are and if you have any specific chest areas that may be lagging behind and need to be more directly targeted.


Going for strength

If your main objective is to develop a strong chest, naturally you will be targeting your chest workouts toward building strength which will revolve around the standard flat bench press using a barbell.

When setting up this type of program, you will want to start your chest workout with the bench press when you have more energy and follow up that exercise by doing incline benches or possibly decline benches alternating the two periodically in your chest workout or you can follow up the bench press with dumbbell benches.


Going for muscle size and proportion

If your main objective is to build muscle size and to keep your muscle development proportionate, it still may be a good idea to start out your chest workouts benching with a barbell incorporating heavier weight when your energy levels are at their highest.

If you are suffering from a lack of development in your upper or lower pectorals, you may want to start out your workout with incline or decline benches when your energy levels are at their highest and then follow up with the flat bench press.

There are basically no set rules stating that you always need to do your chest workouts the same way or that you always need to start out doing the standard barbell benches first, whether if they are with the flat bench, incline or decline.

It can be a great idea to frequently change your exercises around where you might go in the gym and start out with incline dumbbell benches or maybe flat bench dumbbell flyes first in your workout and not even include the standard flat bench press in your workout.

The most important thing is that you are putting your chest under the stress needed to stimulate muscle growth and see muscular development, and to keep your chest development in check to see if there are areas that may be lagging behind, then you will need to incorporate the exercises into your program that will bring up those lagging areas.


Overall chest development

If your main objective is to work your chest muscles and obtain the greatest variety of exercises in your routine for maximal development, you have a very wide arsenal of chest training exercises to choose from.

Just training with barbells doing benches and dumbbell benches as well as other exercises like dumbbell flyes, bar dips and bench dips all work great for stimulating muscle size and strength.

Chest press machine
Chest press machine

Then you can always go for a wider range of stimulation in your chest muscles by including cable exercises such as the cable crossovers and a variety of weight machines such as chest press machines and pec deck machines.

Now matter what your goal is for chest training, whether it be for strength, muscle size or for overall development and tone, it is always a good idea to include a variety of exercises into your chest training routine for full development and pump.

Conclusion

This article has covered a wide variety of chest training exercises other than what was first outlined as the comparison between the flat bench press and incline bench press. The difference between the flat and incline bench press basically comes down to what your goals are and the type of chest development that you are looking for.

As with training any other muscle group, you will have your key exercise or exercises for making the best progress for strength and size such as the standard bench press for chest, but it will also be necessary to include a wide array of other exercises for better muscle stimulation.

I think that the exercises I have outlined in this article should be a pretty good guide for you to get started on setting up your own chest training program, dependent on what your goals are and where you want to take your progress.

With any good exercise program, you will always need to follow a healthy diet and it can also be a good idea to supplement your diet for best results.


You can check out one of my product reviews on supplementation by clicking on this link, and when you visit, be sure to check out any one of the affiliate links to purchase a product.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Read moreIncline bench press vs flat bench press

How to build a masculine physique

Developing a masculine physique.

 

For centuries men have had an interest in (how to build a masculine physique), but not many want to work very hard, or they lose interest when they realize just how much work it takes or how long it can take. Following a good training program will not only benefit you now, but many years yo come provided that you stick with it and be true to yourself.

Are you one of those people that love a good challenge and is ready to take on new things or new ideas with your weight training and physical fitness activities?

Well if you are one of those people that loves a good challenge, today I am going to be talking about how to grow in your physical fitness journey and be open to new challenges when developing the physique that you desire.

The challenges that I represent could be goals that you are setting, the mindset that you are taking on in a physical fitness challenge or anything that could be setting you back on reaching your fitness goal.

Building a muscular physique is not like the title of this post is apparently representing, building a muscular physique is not just for men, there are plenty of women that enjoy working out and building muscle and strength.

There are women that hold prestigious titles in the realm of bodybuilding as a sport and there are many women strength trainers that have held world championship titles in power lifting.

Whatever your gender is, next we will be taking a look into different aspects of how to build a muscular physique, the dedication that goes into it and an overall snapshot of motivation that you can trigger into your own training agenda.

Setting goals

We all know that in order to build big and macho muscles, we need to spend plenty of time in the gym working out, but how much of a success rate do we have if there are no goals set.

In order to have a clear visual of where you want to be within a given time frame, it is necessary to have clear and precise goals, not only for a day to day or week to week time frame, but for the bigger picture, like six months, 1 year, even 5 your time frames.

To get a good visual of where you desire to be within a specified time frame, it will be necessary to set your goals according to the s.m.a.r.t goal plan. A recent post I have talked about the s.m.a.r.t goal plan you can check out here, this will be beneficial for setting up your goals.

Your success rate for any physical fitness plan will have a much better success rate if you create goals and keep them logged so that you can keep track of them on a day to day basis, this way you will get a better picture of where you are heading now and in the future.

Anyone who has ever achieved greatness in their profession has always relied upon setting sound goals for themselves. Take for instance the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He held the Mr Olympia title eight times, went on to be a blockbuster in the movies, and even held the position as governor of the state of California. With a background like his and all that he has gone on to accomplish, do you think he went as far as he did without ever setting a single goal?

Over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career, he has set a whole lifetime worth of goals, and it’s apparent that he never gave up the fight until each and every one of his goals were accomplished.How to be smart with your training.

The proper mindset

Along with plenty of resistance training and goals, you will also need the proper mindset. Proper mindset is a necessity when it comes to your training, because if you do not have the right mindset, your mind will be far off distracted on numerous other things that can take you away from making the fitness gaines that you long for.

It can be difficult accomplishing anything beneficial in the gym when your mind is on work or a multitude of different tasks at home. We all have an abundance of things bombarding our minds every day, but it is necessary to set yourself in the right mind frame to accomplish your training goals.

For example, when you are setting yourself up for a heavy lift in the bench press, you will need the proper mindset and visualization of performing the exercise in your mind before you do the actual lift. This thing called visualization is an important part of getting your mind keyed into the physical aspects of your training so that you can make the most of your lifting to reap the benefits in the most beneficial way.

If you are in school and preparing for an exam, you will need the proper mindset to accomplish the task of mental preparation and the actual following through with your assignments in finishing the exam.

The same is true for accomplishing your fitness goals, you need to follow through with your mental preparation, the actual prospect of lifting the weight to completion using proper form and technique so that you can excel to the best for your benefit

Are you having setbacks?

One thing that can definitely put a damper on your training is any number of setbacks. Setbacks can set you up for a great disadvantage with making the progress that you long for with your training, whether if you are working out to develop big muscles, developing strength or physical preparation for the sport of your choice.

Setbacks can come in any number of forms such as minor muscle strains, pulls or they can be full-blown injuries or even over training the muscle which will result in the lack of progress if any progress at all.

It doesn’t matter how experienced you are at training, if you have been training for a month, six months or even ten years, setbacks and the dreaded outcome from them can strike any one of us at any time.

The most important thing is that you follow a system of goals keeping a proper mindset as well as following safe training techniques, then you should be able to avoid most serious setbacks by following these principles.

If you do suffer a setback, it’s not the end of the world, “what doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger”. Any time you suffer a setback, use that as a learning tool so that you can avoid from making the same possible mistake again.Starting up a weight training program.

Setting up a program

If you have been interested in building a muscular physique and are new to training, the first thing that you will need to do is set up a training program. Setting up a training program can be best accomplished first of all by defining what your goals for physical fitness are.

If you state that you want to develop big muscles, that isn’t enough, you will need to physically write down in a journal precisely what your goals are and have a definitive way that you plan on accomplishing your goal and have a set time frame that you plan to accomplish your goal.

If your goal is to build a masculine physique, this is best acquired through resistance training with a combination of free weights, weight machines and body weight exercises. It is best to perform exercises with a weight that you can achieve with a repetition range of 8 to 12 reps maxing out on your final repetition.

If you can accomplish more than 12 repetitions with your chosen weight, it might be in your best interest to adjust the weight heavier until you can accomplish the rep range of 8 to12 repetitions.

If your goal is to develop firm and toned muscles for that Greek God appearance, you can follow the same principles as stated above, except choose a slightly lighter weight that you can perform a rep range of 15 to 20 reps per set.

Avoid finding yourself distracted by doing things like taking your cellphone to the gym, cellphones are a great piece of technology, but are best left at home or in the car.

Sometimes it can be difficult to pry ourselves away from distractions, but the time we spend at the gym or training at home is for the betterment of ourselves and you will be doing yourself a great service if you give 100% of your attention to improving your physical health and wellness.

Getting positive feedback

A negative thing about today’s world is it can be difficult to get positive feedback in or out of the gym. Have you ever had the opportunity to receive positive feedback while training? If you have, have you noticed that your workout may have increased in productivity?

Ever since we were infants, we have had an innate need to receive attention or positive feedback, whether it be your mother when you were young or from a significant other in your adulthood.

The same is true when it comes to your journey of physical fitness training. Typically, the best way to go about getting professional feedback is to have your own personal trainer.

Personal trainers can tend to be a bit pricey and not everyone can afford one. But if you find it in your best interest to receive the proper feedback that you need to get the best results in the gym, or even at home,

You can check out this free personal trainer app system that can enable you to receive the comforts of having your own personal trainer in your own home.

Maybe following a personal trainer app isn’t for you. You could partner up with a friend with related fitness interests, having a training partner can have many wonderful benefits.

A training partner can give you the positive feedback you need, they will also be there to assist you with exercises that you might need an extra hand with to get that one extra rep or two out.

This final idea is YouTube, this isn’t your best source of positive feedback but it can be a great source of knowledge that you can benefit from to further your own personal experience with training and the betterment of yourself.Develop a masculine physique.

Conclusion

Developing that masculine physique doesn’t need to be drudgery and it doesn’t need to be something that we have to do alone. Don’t be fooled by the name of this article, developing a muscular physique isn’t only for men, there are plenty of women that enjoy working out and developing muscular physiques.

Eating a healthy diet is a major portion of developing a physique that has that magnetic appeal. You can spend hours in the gym working out but have nothing to show for it if you have a layer of fat covering up your muscles.

Eating healthy also gives you the fuel that you need to get through those tough workouts and gives your muscles all the vitamins and nutrients they need to recover and grow.

Another thing that can help to give your diet an extra boost, especially if the food you eat might be lacking in certain areas is a diet boosted by the means of supplementation.


You can check out one of my reviews on protein supplementation simply by clicking on this link here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to drop a message in the box below and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

 

 

Best protein powder for muscle gain, review

Six-Star-100-whey-protein-powder.

 

Are you looking for a good protein powder that follows through with what it claims to do without all the extra hype? Today I am going to talk about whey protein powder complete protein to supply you with your protein needs for building muscle and strength.

Whether you are into bodybuilding, Fitness training or into professional sports such as football, basketball or baseball, Six Star 100% whey protein powder is a great protein supplement that will give you your dietary protein needs for muscle and strength.

Six Star 100% whey protein powder offers you much more of an added punch for the benefits it delivers than your standard whey protein powder. 100% whey is designed by Muscle Tech, a company that I have put much trust in for a long time.


This is a product review for Amazon affiliate, if you click on an affiliate link and purchase a product, I will receive a small commission but at no additional cost to you.


Six Star 100% Whey protein powder

People come in all shapes and sizes when it comes to what their fitness goals are. You can be an All-Star athlete that is into football or baseball, but when it all comes down to it, our goals reflect one thing in mind, and that is to be successful with what is in our hearts.

As an athlete, we all need the right fuel to get our bodies in motion, and we need to give our bodies the right nutrition in order to accomplish whatever goal we have set in sight.

Naturally, if you have your sites set on accomplishing physical fitness goals such as bodybuilding or any type of professional sports, you will need to follow a diet, one that promotes the type of nutrients you need and a good amount of healthy protein.

And Six Star whey protein powder comes formulated with just the right ingredients you need to ensure you optimum performance in whatever your physical endeavor is.

This is a product review for Amazon affiliate, if you click on an affiliate link and purchase a product, I will receive a small commission but at no additional cost to you. Read full affiliate disclosure here.

Formulated with 32 g of pure 100% whey protein and a proven muscle builder, Six Star 100% Whey protein plus is the fuel that we all need to build upon our workouts anytime of the day and is engineered by MuscleTech.

Pro sports athletes use protein supplementation.
Six Star supplementation can give a great boost as a pre-game supplementation.

Who is Six Star Whey protein powder for?

Whether if you are new to weight training, have been lifting weights for numerous years, or are into any type of sports, whether if you are in the little leagues or all pro sports, any sport such as baseball, football, basketball, ice hockey or whatever sport that your goals are set for, Six Star 100% whey protein powder offers you the nutrition and health benefits that an award-winning protein powder should.

If you are wondering if Six Star protein powder is right for you, I have a list below of anyone and everyone that has fitness goals in mind can benefit from this protein supplement.

  • All athletes
  • Endurance athletes
  • Bodybuilders
  • Strength trainers
  • Fitness enthusiasts
  • Active men and women

What is Six Star’s advantages?

In a 6-week double-blind study involving 36 test subjects with at least 3 years of weight training experience were divided into three groups. Subjects combining the core ingredients of Six Star 100% whey protein plus with a weight training program had 70% more lean muscle than subjects using regular whey protein powder.

Based on a leading University research team, the results showed that regular whey protein powder offers you 5.1 lb increase in lean muscle mass while Six Star 100% whey protein offers you 8.8 lb of lean muscle mass increase.

Subject’s involved in this study increased their bench press by 34 lb as compared to a study conducted using regular whey protein powder where subjects increased their bench press by 14 lb.

These same subjects in the test gained four times the lean muscle mass as subjects using a placebo, an astonishing difference of 8.8 lb versus 2 lb with a regular whey protein powder.

This six star formula provides 32 g of protein from ultra pure protein sources plus it delivers creatine, leucine, isoleucine, valine and glutamine.

How about its flavor?

American masters of taste, a prestigious panel of chefs and flavor experts awarded the Six Star 100% whey protein plus a gold medal for superior taste against all other value brands in America.

Trust Six Star 100% whey protein plus for optimal performance and award-winning taste that you will definitely love.

Six Star is 100% instantized, which means that it is designed for easy mixing. Enhanced with a proven muscle and strength builder, plus it mixes instantly with zero aspartame, and enjoyable with a triple chocolate flavor.

Directions

Mix one to two scoops in five to ten ounces of cold water or skim milk according to its taste in a glass, shaker cup or blender. Use between major meals and before and after exercise. Maintain an adequate state of hydration during use.

Read the instructions before use and follow directions provided.

Supplement facts

  • Calories / 190
  • Total fat / 3.5 g, 4% of daily value
  • Saturated fat / 2.5 g, 13% of daily value
  • Cholesterol / 95 mg, 32% of daily value
  • Total carbohydrates / 7 g, 3% of daily value
  • Dietary fiber / 1 g, 4% of daily value
  • Total sugars / 2 grams. Includes 0 g of added sugars
  • Protein / 32 g, 64% of daily value
  • Calcium / 290 mg, 22% of daily value
  • Iron / 1.7 mg, 9% of daily value
  • Sodium / 170 mg, 7% of daily value
  • Potassium / 290 mg, 6% of daily value

Six Star contains 2.5 g of creatine per serving, which is in addition to the 32 g of whey protein per serving shown in the supplement facts.

Creatine in combination with whey protein has been clinically shown in a published study in the international journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism to be more effective for building muscle than just whey protein powder alone.

Whey protein by Muscle Tech for my own personal protein supplementation plan.
Protein shakes blend best when using a blender.

How to make the perfect shake

This is a product review for Amazon affiliate, if you click on an affiliate link and purchase a product, I will receive a small commission but at no additional cost to you. Read full affiliate disclosure here.

As stated earlier, Six Star 100% whey protein is 100% instantized which means it is made for easy mixing. But when mixing, you can either stir, shake or blend.

I find that stirring is not always the best route, because it can tend to end up clumpy and is not fully blended for the perfect experience of a well blended shake.

Many people purchase shakers for the use of mixing their shakes, but personally I find that shakers do not offer the best blending techniques, especially when adding other ingredients such as ice or Greek yogurt.

A tip you can try is either blend with ice or your favorite fruit juice. Peanut butter is a great option which will add more protein to your shake, or you can use anything else that you enjoy such as fruit yogurt or Greek yogurt.

Warning

Not intended for use by persons under 18. Do not use when pregnant or nursing. Consult your doctor or medical physician if you have a medical condition or are starting any diet or exercise program.

KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

How to use Six Star whey protein powder

You can use Six Star whey protein powder 30 to 45 minutes before you work out. Pre-workout powder is engineered to enhance muscle performance, increase energy and get you pumped while you train.

By following this method, you will be getting extra fuel into your system through using Six Star, and it will give you the added energy for your training at the right amount of time beforehand so that it can have enough time to travel through your system and give you that extra burst of energy.

You can use Six Star whey protein powder immediately after a workout. Post workout creatine supplements are designed to build muscle, boost strength and enhance muscle performance.

If you have been into weight training for any amount of time, you will more than likely realize that after you have been exerting yourself hard and training, your muscles and energy stores are deprived of the nutrients they need, so after training is an excellent time you can restore these systems with the proper nutrients needed for building muscle and recovery.

Six Star protein shake recipes

Below I have some 100% whey protein shake recipes that can tempt your taste buds, or you can replace with other ingredients that can add for a greater verity such as adding various other fruits like strawberries, blueberries, kiwis or bananas. You can get some other fresh ideas here.

  • 1 Peach, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • Ice cubes as desired
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 full scoop of vanilla 100% whey protein powder

Blend until smooth.

  • 8 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 8 ounces skim milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Ice cubes as desired
  • 1full scoop of triple chocolate 100% whey protein powder

Blend until smooth.

Pros

  • excellent for athletes
  • fast absorption
  • potential for building strength
  • lean muscle gain
  • fast absorption rate
  • quick recovery
  • easy to mix
  • micro filtered for fat reduction
  • great smooth texture

Cons

  • contains an artificial sweetener
  • bad aftertaste
  • time consuming mixing

In my own personal experience with using this product, I have not noticed any bad aftertaste, and I don’t have any problem mixing. If mixing by hand or using a shaker cup, it can be time consuming, but when using a blender works best, especially if adding other ingredients such as fruit or yogurt.

Bodybuilders train hard for their results.
Work hard and train hard to build the physique of your dreams.

Conclusion

I have used many protein powders over the years and it basically comes down to one thing, protein powder alone will not do the work for you, you need to work hard and train hard as well as eating a healthy diet.

Weight training alone does not promote award-winning physiques or award-winning talent in sports of any agenda. You need to follow a healthy diet, one that supplies you with all the nutrients and protein necessary for energy and muscle.

Many sports enthusiasts and weight trainers include supplementation in their diet but do not rely on supplementation alone. Supplementation is merely an enhancement for your dietary needs and should not be expected as anything more.

My experience with protein powders is I have used many over the years and they all have their positives and negatives, but in order to reap the benefits to the fullest for your benefit, it will be necessary to follow a healthy diet.

There are many types of diet strategies out there that people follow and whatever type of diet that you follow, you will need to adhere by, and using a dietary supplement such as Six Star whey protein powder for increased protein in your diet will help with enhancing its benefits.

This is a product review for Amazon affiliate, if you click on an affiliate link and purchase a product, I will receive a small commission but at no additional cost to you. Read full affiliate disclosure here.

The type of diet that I promote is one that requires plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates, lean protein sources such as chicken, salmon fish and other sources such as eggs, milk, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.

As important as a healthy diet is, some people find it necessary to supplement their diet with a protein product. I for one have always enjoyed using protein powders, and Muscle Tech is a great company that supplies great products that I have always put much trust in.


If you are interested in checking out other products that I promote, you can simply CLICK ON THIS LINK  to other products I have written on.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the box below and I will be more than happy to get back to you within a 24-hour period.

 

Best abdominal workout

Bodybuilder

 

Ab training is at the core of looking impressive and developing a physique that can capture the hearts of anyone that has an interest in transforming their own bodies and creating a six-pack abs that most can only dream about in this best abdominal workout,

Developing a rock solid midsection not only looks impressive, but will also help with strengthening the whole midsection which can give a person much-needed support, especially if they might have problems with a week lower back.

I have personally suffered many years with a bad lower back due to overdoing it in the gym at a young age and not warming up thoroughly, but since I realized the importance of developing a strong midsection through abdominal training and core training, this has helped to alleviate much of the lower back pain due to having a stronger core.

Today we are going to talk about some great abdominal training exercises which will help you with developing a strong midsection, and we will be covering enough exercises that you will being able to keep your training program supplied with many great exercises to keep your training fresh and never grow dull doing the same exercises over and over again.

Ripped six pack abs.

Developing an impressive midsection

Having a tight trim midsection requires more than a handful of exercises. To develop the awe-inspiring toned midsection also requires a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables along with quality lean protein for muscle.

If you fill your diet with stuff that’s going to pack on excessive calories, all your hard work on ab training will never be seen. That’s why it is essential to follow a consistent course of solid training and a clean diet.

in order to develop an impressive midsection, it is important to be consistent about your training, and keep a regular program of abdominal training exercises on a weekly schedule of at least three times per week.

It is also necessary to do not only a wide variety of exercises from workout to workout, but to also have key exercises designed around each training program that will target all areas of your abdominals in one training session.

For example, you don’t want to have every exercise you are doing in one workout to target your lower abdominals, you will want to develop a training program that targets your upper, lower abdominals and obliques as well as your entire core.

Exercises to build your routine

It always comes in handy to have a well-rounded list of ab exercises to keep your training programs fresh. Included in this article I have a chart containing several exercises that will target your entire midsection.

Abdominal training chart
Abdominal training chart

When you use the exercises contained within this chart, make sure to design your training program around keeping at least one exercise in every workout that is targeting every key area to your abdominal region.

It is never a good idea to spend more time working on one specific area of your abdominals and neglecting other areas. For example, you don’t want to spend more time training your lower abdominals and upper abdominals but not targeting your obliques.

You will need to target each area of your abdominals to fully develop your midsection so that one area of your midsection is not becoming more developed than another and throwing your developmental balance off proportion

Training programs

What would an abs training article be without abs training programs to follow. Next I will cover some examples of ab training programs based off of the exercises listed in the chart.

You can follow the programs that I have outlined here, or you can switch them around with any exercise that you feel comfortable doing. If there are abdominal or core training exercises that you enjoy doing but are not on this list, feel free to add them as it will help to create a well-rounded training program that will stimulate the entire core.

  • Weight stack crunches, four sets, 15 reps
  • Leg raises, 3 sets, 15 reps
  • Inclined situps, three sets, 15 reps
  • Incline twisting situps, three sets, 15 reps
  • Seated machine crunches, four sets, 15 reps
  • Inclined leg raises, for sets, 15 reps

Besides doing these exercises, there are many other great exercises that you can include, and you don’t necessarily need to follow by the rep and set schemes that I have laid out here, this is basically a guide to get you started if you are new to abdominal training.

There are many advancement levels to abdominal training, and this program contained in this article is basically designed for people who are new to training. If you feel that the amount of sets I have outlined in these programs are more than what you feel comfortable with, then feel free to adjust the sets to a lower position better gauged for your fitness level.

Many more-advanced trainers use a higher rep scheme for their sets, but they have worked up to that point over time, you can too by doing more reps over time which will add to the overall intensity level and increase the overall amount of calories burned.

Demonstration of the plank
Demonstration of the plank

Core training exercises

Besides the abdominal training exercises that are listed on the chart in this article, it is also a necessity to do specific core training exercises which will help to firm and tighten your midsection, and will help to strengthen your overall core which can help you develop a stronger lower back.

Next we will be getting into some more basic core training exercises that you can do, especially aimed toward someone who is new to training and will need to start out with more simplified versions of core training.

SUPERMAN

Lay face down on an exercise mat, or the floor. Keep your legs stretched out and your arms stretched out in front of you. From this point you will slowly raise your legs and arms off the mat and hold for a count of one and return to start.

PLANK

The plank is a core isometric strength exercise that involves maintaining a position like the push-up for the maximum amount of time that you can hold it.

SIDE PLANK

The side plank is an exercise for strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles that don’t get worked during ab exercises such as crunches or leg raises. You hold your body on your side in a straight position supported by one arm and one foot.

DUMBELL SIDEBENDS

Using a dumbbell that is light and comfortable for you, hold each end straight over your head. Begin the movement from your obliques and torso, lean to one side, keeping the dumbbell straight overhead. Return to center and repeat on the other side. Keep your abs pulled in to support your lower back.

There are more advanced core training exercises, but in this article I am simply covering more of a beginners guide to abdominal and core training. I will be covering more on this subject in a coming article on more advanced core exercises and techniques.

Abdominal training is important for developing the six-pack abs that many people are looking for, and for strengthening and toning the abs, but training your core muscles are necessary for strengthening all the surrounding area including your lower back to protect against injury of the vulnerable low back area.

Consistency and goals

A solid foundation of exercises are necessary to bolster up your arsenal for a well-rounded program, and the necessity of a healthy diet, but it will never follow up to be anything if you don’t have consistency.

You can be moving along at a good steady pace making much progress if you are training your midsection three times per week, but then if you start to slack off and maybe train your abs only once per week, or maybe come to a halt in your training all together, this will have an effect on your overall results and will set you back.

Another good reason to stay consistent with your training is if you start to slip away from your regular schedule, sometimes it can be difficult to get back on track and start seeing the gains that you were making at one time.

Another important fact that you will need to include along with consistency is setting goals. You might ask why do I need to set goals, and how can I set goals in a way that makes sense.

The reason for establishing goals is necessary when you set up a training program is because you will need a benchmark against which you can measure your progress. Without goals, it will be difficult to set a distinct direction and sooner or later you will end up accomplishing very little if anything without goals.

Below I have some key points on how you can set s.m.a.r.t goals

  • Specific/ you will need to determine exactly what it is that you want to achieve and why is it important to you.
  • Measurable/ if you do not measure your goals, it will be difficult to stay motivated.
  • Achievable/ you will need to make sure that your goals can be achieved. Your goals should be realistic, but at the same time they should represent enough of a challenge to keep you motivated.
  • Realistic/ you will need to determine what results can realistically be achieved within your available resources.
  • Time bound/ your goal will need to have a deadline set in order to obtain your objective within a set amount of time, such as 3 months, 6 months, a year or longer.

Without setting smart goals, they will be vague goals or basically resolutions. When you set smart goals, this will help to give your goals structure which can be tracked and implemented much easier. It will also bring your goals closer to a reality from the point when you set them.

Trim waistline from abdominal and core training
Trim waistline from abdominal and core training

Conclusion

As we have covered today, there are many components that make up a solid training program for abs development. If your abdominal training ever gets to a point where it seems like your excitement for training is growing stale, it can be a good idea to resort back to the exercises outlined in this chart so that you can keep your training moving forward steadily.

As I have outlined above, you can develop a very firmly toned midsection that will help with improving your lower back strength along with your overall health and fitness. But it is necessary to follow a healthy diet along with staying consistent with setting goals.

We all would love to have that six-pack abs to show off, especially if you have spent a lot of time training hard, you definitely don’t want to have a thin layer of fat covering up your abs.

That’s why you will find it necessary to have a caloric deficit to follow. I have a link going to a calorie calculator where you can determine exactly how many calories that you will need in order to maintain your body weight.

This way you will be able to take in enough nutritious food and a good source of lean protein every day to maintain your muscle, but keep any unwanted pounds that will hide your abs that you have trained so hard for.

Another thing to insure proper health and guard against that thin layer of fat hiding your abs is to avoid sodium at all costs and drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day. Also, make it a practice to drink detoxifying smoothies as these will help with cleansing your system.

Along with following a healthy diet, often it can be a benefit to follow a supplementation program such as taking in enough protein to build muscle or muscle recovery supplementation.

You can take in some information on a reputable whey protein product for muscle by checking out one of my reviews simply by smashing this link.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below, as I love to hear from my readers. I should be able to respond to any questions or comments within 24 hours.

12 week squat program

Front squats

 

My last post I had covered some principles on how to improve skills on squatting and how to squat with better form, but today I am going to talk about a 12- week squat program, and how you can increase your strength in a pretty short period.

Have you been struggling in the gym for a long time, but been having a difficult time increasing your strength in the squat? Well today I am going to cover some points on how you can increase your squatting strength.

Whether you are into bodybuilding, powerlifting, sports ‘such as football’ or you just simply want to increase your strength in the squat because you want to be all around bigger, stronger and feel better about yourself.

Then stick around and pick up a few tips that you may not have heard of for increasing your strength in the squat and get some heads turning in the gym when they see you powering up from some bar bending squats.

This 12 week program isn’t some gimmick that has you following a high rep scheme, or having you follow some fancy set and rep system. It’s laying a foundation of following some core principles and keeping your #1 principle in mind, and that’s to squat more weight.

How quickly can you increase your strength in the squat?

Typically, results can vary with strength increases due to frequency of training, if you are training heavy enough, your range of motion and practicing proper form can have an effect on it. You will also need to make sure that you are not only eating the right kind of food but if you’re eating enough.

The idea behind this article is to set a specified time on increasing your strength in the squat. The time frame I have set is 12 weeks, (3months). I didn’t want this time frame to be too short ‘so’ to see a significant enough increase in strength.

And I didn’t want the time frame too long to prevent from over training the targeted muscle from what some would suspect would be over training.

If you follow the principal that I will be talking about in this post, you should be able to add a significant amount of weight to your squat within 3 months. It will take plenty of hard work and determination, but I think that you will be pretty satisfied with the outcome.

Strange training techniques
Strange training techniques

Simple techniques for improving your strength in the squat

Often some of the most common things that can keep you from increasing your strength in the squat are just the smallest things that many people overlook. I have covered many of these in my last article. I am not specifically saying that you need to go about strange training techniques like the one pictured above.

Straight forward, it is necessary to keep things simple and basic, often people are looking for incredible techniques or strategies that they can use to increase their strength or muscle size.

I think that if you spend more time keeping things simple and straightforward, you will have much better results than spending so much time looking for an answer that will probably have you burned out after just the first workout.

How often a week should you squat?

Sometimes you might see someone that is so eager to get results, that they might work on the exercise that they desire results from the most, every time they go to the gym. I can understand their zeal, but you will want to avoid doing this for any prolonged period.

Continued punishment on the same muscle, workout after workout, day after day, will result in an over trained muscle. Working the muscle and breaking the muscle fibers down is necessary for muscle growth, but it’s while the muscle is recovering is when they do their growing.

In order to receive incredible results in a specific exercise like the squat, you will need to go outside the box, (so to speak). In general, it is necessary to follow a program of varied exercises and switch them around frequently and train each body part two times per week.

But when you have a specific goal in mind like increasing your power in the squat, everything else will take a back seat, not saying that you will cease training on everything else, but your main objective is to concentrate on your squat.

In order to achieve great results in any specific exercise that you have designated to work on as your main goal, you should fully concentrate on that exercise and apply it at the beginning of your workouts when you are most strong and have your highest amount of energy.

I would recommend that you concentrate on doing squats at the beginning of your workout three times a week, even four times depending on how you feel. One important key point to finding great results in your training is to read your body and follow what it is telling you.

For example, if your first day for that week you do squats you do 225 lb for two reps, and the next time you go to the gym and you feel like doing 225 lb for two reps is a struggle, follow what your body is telling you and back down a little.

Barbell squats back of neck
Barbell squats back of neck

The program

The idea behind this program is to concentrate on working at your squats three times per week, which goes against what I typically recommend, but the regular rout that you would follow would be to train each body part two times per week and keep alternating your exercises around.

To fully concentrate on working on the specified exercise such as the squat, you will need to single this out as your most important goal and you will be designating this exercise as your first and foremost exercise that you will concentrate on each workout.

This is not to say that you will follow through with a thigh training routine three times per week, but simply to concentrate on doing the squats each time you go into the gym.

For example, I remember back when I was in my late teens and going to the gym every night, I would train each of my body parts in a set program that I would concentrate on and follow through with on a regular basis, but I would always start out each training session with the bench press.

By concentrating on the bench press at the beginning of every workout, I wasn’t giving my best energy and attention to other muscle groups, I was just putting all my energy and efforts toward my one goal, and that was to increase my bench press.

The problem was that I continued doing this for a long time, much longer than 3 months and after a while I found myself in a state of being over trained and I got to the point where I wasn’t seeing any results and I eventually ended up getting burned out.

Following this principle with your squatting can be very effective, but keeping it at a 3-month period, and no longer, you will avoid hitting the over trained state.

How this training setup might look for the week, is when you squat the first time for the week, you would do squats behind the neck, your second day for the week for squatting would be to the front of the neck, and your third final day squatting for the week would be squats behind the neck.

You will need to concentrate on making small increments with your squats each training session. For example the first time in the week when you squat, if you can do a hundred pounds for two reps, the next time you squat, shoot for 100 lb for three reps.

There are three things that you will need to concentrate on, and that is increasing your reps, sets and weight. If you can make small increments in your training sessions with each of these three things, you should be able to make steady progress.

Another important part of this training principle is to keep a training log of exactly what you lift each workout. You will need to keep a record of how much weight, how many sets and how many reps you do each time you do the squats.

If you go to the gym every training session and simply rep out with the same weight every time and have no idea how many reps you did your last workout, you will have no idea of how many reps you need to do your next workout to keep these small increments progressing forward.


Below I have an idea of what type of rep and set system that you can follow to give you an idea of how you can set your program up.

WEEK ONE

  • 100 lbs, five sets, two reps. Your first training session for the week. Barbell to the back of your neck.
  • 100 lbs, four sets, three reps. Your second training session for the week. Barbell to the front of your neck.
  • 105 lbs, five sets, two reps. Your third training session for the week. Barbell to the back of your neck.

WEEK TWO

  • 110 lbs, five sets, two reps. Your first training session for the week. Barbell to the front of your neck.
  • 110 lbs, four sets, three reps. Your second training session for the week. Barbell to the back of your neck.
  • 115 lbs, five sets, two reps. Your third training session for the week. Barbell to the front of your neck.

As you can see in this example, you have already increased your squat by 15 lbs within 2 weeks. At this rate you could increase your squat by 30 lbs a month. Then you take that by 3 months and you will have added 90 lbs to your squat. At the end of this three month cycle, return back to your normal training program.

The two important things about this program is fully concentrating on your squats at the beginning of your workouts when your energy level is at its highest, and keep following a process of progression, which you will need to keep a training log to keep track of your records.

Barbell front squats
Barbell front squats

What other exercises should you include with the squat to increase your strength?

The best way to increase your strength in the squat is to work the squat at the very beginning of your leg training workout every time when your strength and energy are at their best.

When it comes to concentrating on other exercises that will help with increasing your power in the squat, I would recommend following up with the squat by doing other power moves such as deadlifts and the clean and jerk.

You don’t want to be following up your squats by doing these other moves more than two times per week. The other third time in the week that you do squats you will follow that up by training a different body part such as your arms or back.

Conclusion

No one ever said that setting up a 12-week training program for developing strength was going to be a breeze, but in order to get the results that you are looking for is going to take a lot of gut busting work, but when you see the results, it’ll definitely be worth it.

Other important factors that you will want to follow to increase your strength in the squat over the coming 3 months is to make sure that you are eating plenty of healthy fruits, vegetables and protein, and it is also very important that you keep yourself well hydrated with water.

A combination of other good sources of food for protein is peanut butter. Greek yogurt is another excellent protein source to add in your diet but the important thing is that you want to fuel your system with the right kinds of food and you will receive better results if you follow a supplementation program.


There are many supplementation products on the market, but I have found that two of the best are whey protein and fish oil.

You can check out one of my reviews on gold standard whey protein powder by clicking on this link.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

How to improve your squat

Man squatting

 

The question, how to improve your squat has come up in the past, and this is something that I used to have problems with. Squatting is a strenuous exercise that requires the weight trainer to have a barbell across his or her shoulders and squat into a low sitting position.

Squats are an excellent exercise for developing muscular size and strength in the quads and are used by many weight trainers including bodybuilders, powerlifters and sports athletes.

Squats have always been referred to as the king of all leg builders, but if they are not Incorporated right, they can lead to injury through following bad form and squatting with too much weight without thoroughly warming up and not following good safety rules.

Today we are going to take a look at some training techniques that you can incorporate to better improve your squats form and strength. Squatting is not only a great way to build your quadriceps up, but they also help with speeding up your metabolism and increasing your heart rate.

Next we will be taking a look at pro bodybuilder Tom Platz, the training principles he followed and just how hard the man trained, and in the video below, you will see just how intense his training was, the heart he displays and how his unique training still lives on today.

Squat like a pro

Known as the king of quad exercises, the squat is an exercise that pro bodybuilder Tom platz had used and had grown a pair of phenomenal legs from doing so. He was always big on using real good form when performing the squat and would always sit exceptionally low when squatting down.

Tom platz not only looked exceptionally big in photos that you would see in magazines, but back in 1986 when I met him in person, he was just as exceptionally muscular looking as you would expect to see of him in the magazines.

The biggest muscular trate that Tom Platz was known for was his leg development. Tom had a set of quads on him that were exceptionally muscular and the best reason for being is that he performed the squat with impeccable form and he squatted exceptionally low at the bottom of the squat position.

The depth of a person’s squat will determine how effective the squat will be. A big mistake that many trainers do is they don’t squat enough. When they do squat they don’t squat deep enough.

The problem when you are not squatting deep enough is you are only doing partial reps, partial reps will only deliver partial results. If you want full results in your thigh training routine, you should do full repetitions, this means squatting as low as you possibly can.

Going deep in your squats will generate maximal results while using less weight. A big key behind doing squats properly and going deep enough is to drop some weight that you have been using and don’t go for an ego show in the gym.

It’s not about showing off in the gym for everyone you might think is watching you with how much weight you can hoist while performing halfway reps and sloppy form, squatting is about finding an appropriate weight that feels right for you while you can train with excellent technique and excellent form.

The key behind squatting deep is found within finding your proper squat stance. Tom platt’s was known for using a narrow stance while generally other bodybuilders would go with the more popular shoulder width stance.

Another key point is avoided leaning forward when squatting. A point that Tom Platz followed was to never allow the barbell to travel further forward than what his knees were.

Work on your squatting technique with a light weight, squat deep and keep consistent with the good form that you learn. Once you have learned good form, squatting deep and keeping good posture, then you can start to increase the weight and squat heavy.

Squatting with a full range of motion.
When you go with a full range of motion, you will get full benefit.

Muscles worked

One of the advantages with squatting, is this exercise works more than just your quads. The squat is a compound exercise which means it works more muscles than the direct muscle that you are aiming for.

Meaning that when you do squats in your training routine, they are generally meant to develop the quadriceps muscle, but the squat involves much more than the quads. Squats involve back muscles, the core and many other areas of the body.

Aside from the squats working your entire body, more specifically, we will take a look at precisely what muscle groups are involved when doing the squat.

At the bottom range of the squat, the quads will be working the most since your knees will be at the greatest distance. Your core muscles are working to a great extent, especially your Erectors. This muscle will also be activated to prevent falling forward or flexing at the spine.

As you drive yourself to a standing position, your hips will travel up and forward which will require your gluteamus Maximus and abductor magnus, ‘your inner thigh’, to extend the hips.

When it comes to compound exercises, the squat is an exercise that affects compounding to the highest degree since it requires simultaneous action within all your primary joints, including your hips, knees and ankles.

Overall, the squat is one of the most compounded lower body exercises since it requires simultaneous action at all the primary joints, including hips, knees, and ankles.

Follow good form

It is always essential to follow good form. If you are not following correct form, you are leaving yourself open to injuries and strains. We will be taking a look at some good principles to follow in order to have good squatting form.

When you are squatting, you should have your feet approximately two feet apart and toes angled approximately 30° apart. Stand straight with good posture with the barbell comfortably resting across the shoulders.

Keep your lower back arched in with your shoulders and elbows back. When you squat down, drive your knees forward while keeping them aligned straight forward. Always make sure that you keep looking forward, not to your left or right, or up or at the floor.

It is best to maintain good form when performing the squat by keeping your eyes straight forward and not being distracted by anything else that is going on, or looking in some direction that could throw you off balance.

Be safe

This should be one of the first rules to follow by when you begin working out, or when you first join a gym is to be safe. Safety first should be a good practice that you get yourself into no matter what exercise or muscle you are training.

Especially if you are doing an exercise like the squats where you have a good amount of weight above your mid access point and your balance can be thrown off easily resulting in possible serious injury.

When performing the squat, always make sure that you are wearing the appropriate safety gear such as a sturdy weight belt to give your midsection and lower back support, and other necessary things if you are performing heavy squats such as knee wraps and chalking the hands.

A good sturdy pair of shoes should be worn when doing the squat, because if you are performing the squats barefoot or with a shoe that is not appropriate or sturdy enough to accommodate an exercise as strenuous as the squat, it can result in foot or ankle injury.

Last but not least when it comes to being safe and practicing safety, is to always make sure that you thoroughly warm your muscles and joints up completely with either squatting with no weight or a very lightweight before you start getting involved with squatting a heavier weight.

In order to warm up thoroughly, I recommend that you do at least two warm up sets, preferably three warm up sets starting out with just your body weight and gradually working your way up with a lightweight.

A basic principle that I have always followed, especially when doing squats is the pyramid system. The pyramid system is after you have done your warm-up sets, start out with a weight where you can do 15 repetitions and gradually increase the weight until you get to your peak weight, this should be no less than six repetitions.

Once you have reached your peak weight, then over the process of completing your remainder sets, continue to gradually reduce the weight back down so that your repetitions can gradually start escalating higher.

  • 5-6 sets performed
  • 6-15 repetitions per set.

Improving your posture while squatting

This can be a common problem when it comes to squatting, is proper form and posture. Many people including myself have had a problem with performing the squat while keeping good posture.

When doing squats, you will want to make sure that you are keeping your upper torso as vertical as possible so that you are not putting too much stress on your lower back and spine, as this can result in serious injury, especially if you are using a weight that is heavy for you.

In order to keep your posture in good form while doing the squat, you will need to follow the rules that I have above with following good form. Always make sure that you keep looking straight forward, your toes are angled slightly outward, approximately 30° apart.

Keep your lower back arched in with your elbows and shoulders back, and don’t try to squat with more weight than what you know you are capable of.

When you follow these principles, if you still have a difficult time keeping your upper torso as vertical as possible, one recommendation that I have is to place a wooden block such as a two by four under your heels, practicing this will help to keep your posture aligned and help you to keep your upper torso in a more vertical up and down position.

Squat with your goal in mind

Weight training is a progressive sport, because if you stick with it and are persistent, you should be able to continually make progress moving forward. The whole purpose behind resistance training is to train with a weight that you feel comfortable enough with but is heavy enough to make you work hard within the rep range that you are aiming for.

If your goal for squatting is to build muscle size in your quads, the rep range that is ideal for you to aim for is anywhere between 6 to 15 repetitions. Anymore than 15 repetitions and it is becoming too much like a cardio workout where you are not putting enough stress on the quads to build muscle but you are spending more time burning calories than anything else.

The rep range that you follow is all up to you and what your goals are, so follow the rep range that will give you the most benefit for what your ideal goal is and stay within that rep range for your best results.

Not everyone that does squats is into building large thighs, many people enjoy using squats because they are a great exercise that works the whole body and helps to speed your metabolism, so when you perform this exercise, it is a great way to get your heart rate going and burn calories.

Squats can be a great exercise for people that are into staying fit and spend the majority of their time doing cardio. For the people that follow this type of training regimen, it can still be a good idea to apply some resistance training to your cardio.

There is no other better exercise than the squat to include with a cardio training program because the squat is an excellent exercise for keeping your metabolism rate up and burning any of those excess wanted pounds away.

Squats are also in excellent exercise for developing strength in the quads and are used heavily by power lifters. Keeping your strength increments going on a regular basis is best practiced by squatting with a weight that is heavy enough to only perform within a rep range of 1 to 6 reps.

Especially if you are into training with this goal in mind, this will obviously require heavy weights, so you will definitely need to keep safety and good form in mind so that you can avoid minor injuries as well as serious injuries which are a real good way to keep you out of the gym and seeing any results.

Mental preparation is important for squatting.
Preparation is important when keeping safety in mind.

Conclusion

As with any exercise or muscle that you are training, you will always need to keep safety and good form in mind, this should be the first rule of thumb that you should follow as soon as you join a gym and start lifting.

I hope that the information that I have given is helpful for you and can benefit you in seeing the progress that you strive for and making good gains in whatever your goals are.

Squatting does take a lot of effort and can take a lot of energy out of you, so many weightlifters find it practical to not only eat a healthy diet that can sustain the energy they need to get through their punishing workouts, but also to supplement their diets for the needed nutrition that will help them to not only get through their workouts, but to see the results they are looking for speedy as possible.

In my next post I will be covering how to improve your squatting strength. If you want to increase your power for competitive squatting, football or just to build your leg strength up in general, watch for my next post and I will give you the lowdown on how to do that in record time.

For good supplementation products, whey protein products are excellent for helping with beefing up your quality protein in your diet. Also, many weight trainers find it necessary to have a supplementation product that can help them to recover faster after workouts.

Pre-workout supplements are great for giving you the energy that you need to get through your workouts. It is basically up to you and where you feel that you need to align your diet better with your training.

To get a better idea on supplementation products, you can check out a wide variety of products on my website, or you can simply click on this link to check out one of my product reviews on pre-energy workouts.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Do testosterone boosters work? Best of, review

Feeling good with ideal testosterone levels.

 

There are many good supplementation products on the market, but not every one of them stands up to customer satisfaction. There are different supplements for different needs, and different needs require different supplements, so, do testosterone boosters really work?

Today we are going to take a look at a few testosterone boosting products that are on the market and see if they measure up to customer qualifications.

Often there can be different products on the market that don’t stand out as big as some more popular brands, but that isn’t to say that they don’t necessarily work.

These three test booster products we will put under the microscope and take a more in-depth look at them and see exactly what they have to offer, if they stand up to your needs or if the products aren’t worth your time or money.


This is a product review for A1 Supplements, if you should click on an affiliate link and purchase a product, I will recieve a small commission, but at no additional cost to you.


Do testosterone boosters give you what you need?

There has been research done on testosterone boosters and they do help to benefit you in ways that you would not normally receive through other means.

There are other means in which you can boost your testosterone levels other than supplementation. One known way is to eat a well-balanced healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.

When you follow a balanced healthy diet of whole foods, you will need to make sure that everything is balanced and you aren’t consuming more of one thing than another and you need to be consistent about following a well-balanced diet, or it can affect your testosterone levels.

Another natural way to keep your testosterone levels up to par is through following a regular exercise routine which may consist of cardio training and weight training, but you will want to keep a consistent schedule with exercise to keep your testosterone levels at a normal level.

Sleep is a necessity that many people are not getting enough of, generally due to stress and worry which can affect your testosterone, and spending too many hours working and not enough relaxing.

Getting enough sleep every night, a minimum of eight hours if not 10, is essential for keeping your testosterone levels at a healthy state. If we are cutting ourselves too short on sleep, it can have adverse effects on our testosterone levels.

And last but not least is the importance of taking testosterone boosting supplementation if you feel like you are suffering from a lack of testosterone through other natural means such as the ones covered above.

EPG-TestroShred

EPG TESTOSHRED is a powerful testosterone booster that helps with increasing energy and will help with improving your sex drive.EPG Testosterone booster

Total shred has a combination of three all natural testosterone boosters and some strongest estrogen burning, body shredding ingredients reserved for any hardcore bodybuilder or athlete.

There are four ingredients that work together to ensure the replenishing of testosterone production while getting lean. There is a common dosage used by many manufacturers of 100 mg, testosterone uses 100 mg Acacetin per four capsules a serving.

D-Aspartic Acib is an all-natural testosterone boosting testosterone that has been shown to significantly increase testosterone levels while promoting strength, healthy sex drive and energy levels.

Tribulus terrestris stimulates the body’s production of a hormone which promotes the production of testosterone. This is a key male hormone that is responsible for helping to add lean body mass and increase the metabolism, muscle size, density, strength and fat loss.

This ingredient is also helpful in reducing symptoms of angina and enhancing physical performance while supporting a healthy sexual drive and an all-around general feeling of well-being.

Weight trainers that take tribulus terrestris to ensure good levels of testosterone are at a normal level at all times especially during times of heavy weight training.

There was an experiment done where a group had experienced natural testosterone levels boosted by as much as 347% while reducing their estrogen levels by 35%. In terms of sex drive, Bulbine Natalensis outperformed viagra for both sex drive and pro-sexual effects.

  • Serving size four capsules
  • Servings per container 30
  • D-aspartic acid 2000 my
  • Tribulus terrestris 400 mg
  • Bulbine natalensis 100 mg
  • Acacetin 4′-methoxy-5, 7-dihydroxyflavone 100 mg
  • Black pepper 20 mg
  • Other ingredients, cellulose, rice, flour, gelatin, fd&c blue #1,fd&c red #40

FIVE STAR RATING

Blackstone Labs Apex Male

Typically around the age of 40, testosterone levels will begin to decrease. That’s when many men start to use injectable testosterones, patches, implants or creams. It can be difficult for men to face the fact that they have passed beyond their youth, and when they begin to get older they start to decrease in testosterone.Apex Male Testosterone booster

But low levels of testosterone can be dangerous and can put many men at the risk of a wide range of deadly diseases that can be brought on by low or even non-existing levels of testosterone.

Apex male can help with solving this problem. By ignoring decreasing testosterone levels, this could put you in a position where you could be facing further problems down the road by having low testosterone.

It is recommended that the user of this product should take four capsules twice daily of the Apex male. Each serene brings a 2,760 mg dosage that will definitely increase your testosterone production.

Within as little of a time frame as one or two days, you should expect to see benefits from taking this testosterone booster and will give you increased energy, improved sexual health and overall better sense of well-being and mood.

Using this product will also help with giving you better workouts and may improve your home life and overall living experience. You should give a bottle of this testosterone booster a try.

If you are a serious bodybuilder and are using high levels of other performance enhancing products such as Apex male, you may realize that using Apex male can be a good tool to use as a bridge between your cycles.

This can mean more muscle retained after you come off of a cycle and quicker recovery time. If you are getting tired of gaining 20 lb only to watch it drop within weeks of stopping, those days are over with Apex male.

  • Serving size four capsules
  • Servings per container 60
  • Vitamin D3 12501u
  • D aspartic acid 1500 mg
  • Bulbine natalensis 500 my
  • Fenugreek extract 125 my
  • Tribulus terrestrial 125 mg
  • Maca extract 125 mg
  • L-tyrosine 125 my
  • DIM 100 mg
  • Prunella vulgaris 75 my
  • Epimedium extract 75 my
  • N-methyl D-aspartate 15 my
  • Other ingredients include gelatin, dicalcium phosphate, magnesium phosphate, silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide

FOUR STAR RATING

Competitive Edge M-Test

M-test is a natural testosterone formulation that contains licensed ingredients at their complete studied dosages along with other supporting ingredients that may help support natural lean muscle, strength, power and endurance.M-Test competitive edge Testosterone booster

Highlights

  • Provides researched natural testosterone boosting ingredients
  • Supplies multiple patented ingredients
  • Features ingredients at effective dosages
  • No deceptive proprietary blends

It can seem like a pretty simple concept to increase your natural testosterone levels, unfortunately, like most things, it is more complex than it may seem. The problem is that it is possible to increase testosterone levels, but still have limiting factors to how much of the body can use any of these increasing natural testosterone levels.

M-test contains a precise combination of ingredients and is formulated to support increases in natural testosterone through many pathways.

M-test uses precise ingredients as part of a natural testosterone supporting mechanism with the goal of providing you with the most comprehensive natural testosterone support available.

M-test is a versatile product that can be used in many ways and at a variety of different times. M-test can be used as a natural testosterone boosting regimen by men that are looking to improve PCT as well as other things.

Fadogia Agrestis is a herb that is indigenous to Africa and has been used for many centuries as a male aphrodisiac and has been shown in rodent studies to potentially increase testosterone and may even boost sex drive.

Urtica Dioica is an herb that may help increase free testosterone’s while also helping to reduce dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Urtica Dioica contains lignans that have the ability to bind to sex hormones binding globulin. These inhibit its binding to its specific receptor, this allows for more natural free testosterone to circulate in the blood.

This is important because it is a natural testosterone that is responsible for a good portion of the beneficial effects that men associate with natural testosterone. Natural testosterone is not available to the cell receptor sites and does not participate in muscular development and sex drive effects.

As men age, falling natural testosterone levels will lead to a decrease in sex drive, muscle loss, weight gain and other negative side effects. As testosterone levels drop, SBHG levels begin to rise and may increase by as much as 40%.

  • Serving size six capsules
  • Servings per container 30
  • Fadogia Agrestis PE extracted to contain a full spectrum of alkaloids
  • Saponins Anthoquinones and flavonoids 1,200 mg
  • Divana-Plex 1,200 my
  • KSM-66 Ashwagandha brute extract 695 mg
  • Eurycoma Longifolia root, 500 mg
  • Shilajit extract 200 mg
  • Boron citrate 200 mg
  • 200 mg. Boron citrate supplying 10 mg. active Boron
  • Velvet bean extract 100 mg
  • Precision blends of 95% 20% l – dopa extracts
  • Other ingredients include gelatin capsule, cellulose, magnesium stearate and silica

FIVE STAR RATING

Pros and cons of Test Boosters

Every testosterone booster is not created equal, there are many products on the market and they all don’t dish out benefits the same as other ones do. You will need to search into some information on other testosterone boosters to see which one is best for you.

Pros

  • Improves sexual function
  • Increases muscle mass and physical function
  • Better mood enhancing
  • Healthier heart and blood
  • Higher bone and mineral density
  • Reduced diabetes symptoms

Cons

  • Fluid retention
  • May promote acne
  • Smaller testicular size and sperm count
  • Gynecomastia
  • Mood swings and increased aggression
  • Mild risk of cardiovascular disease

Conclusion

Many people are looking for quick fixes on how they can get into better shape, live a healthier life, feel stronger and not have to work hard at it but find the answer in a bottle.

The best answer is to follow all principles involved in improving your overall health and wellness is by following the information I have laid out above on eating a healthy well-balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats.

Get yourself into a healthy pattern of sleep where you get to bed at the same time every night and sleep for a minimum of eight hours if not more and it will help you feel refreshed as well as keeping your testosterone levels healthier.

Also, following an exercise program on a regular basis will help you with improving your testosterone along with keeping yourself in better shape and feeling overall better about yourself.

It is natural that life can be difficult at times with so many things going on in our lives can make it difficult to eat a well-balanced diet and keep a regular exercise program as well as sleeping on schedule every night and maintaining a minimum of eight hours.

But if you are feeling discouraged with this, please feel free to check out other information I have on my website that can help you with motivation and finding the drive to keep a workout schedule and eating healthy.

If you are interested in checking out any of my other product reviews on supplementation, you can find them by clicking here.

Do you have any questions or comments? please feel free to leave a comment in the box below, I am happy to hear from my readers. If you don’t receive a response immediately, I will respond to any questions within 24 hours.

 

 

Best exercises for legs

Bodybuilders thigh development

 

The best exercises for legs when it comes to size and strength can play a major role when you design your leg training program. It basically comes down to what your related goals are that you are training for.

Leg strength and development is crucial for building body strength and endurance. No matter what sport you are in, you will be required to have a major amount of leg strengthening and development.

Basically it is the same thing when it comes to bodybuilding. The sport of bodybuilding is basically the same way, it requires a lot of strength to hoist the heavyweights it requires to build big muscle.

Today we are going to have a look at the best exercises pound for pound that build both size and strength in the legs for bodybuilders and people of sports such as football, wrestling, hockey and many others.

What does it take to build strong legs?

Other than taking dedication, persistence and stamina, building strong muscular legs takes many components to form the full picture, any one of those components left out could have a negative impact on your overall results.

Training hard consistently and eating the proper diet are two of the main components for building muscle, but when it comes to what exercises you do has a major impact on the gains that you receive.

It is a good idea to have a well-rounded training program so that you can target each area of the thighs, and also keeping a well-rounded training program allows for a wider variety of exercises, and if you frequently change your exercises around, it will help to keep your workouts from growing stale.

There are a lot of exercises to choose from when developing a thigh training program, but you will want to use compound exercises that require a lot of weight to stimulate plenty of muscle growth.

Exercises like leg extensions isolate the quads and help to develop that separation look. Leg extensions are a good exercise to put in the later part of your routine after you have spent the greater part of your energy on the heavier lifting such as squats.

Leg curls and good mornings are good exercises to single out your hamstrings, these exercises are also important to include in a training program that seeks to reach out to all angles for full development, but are better left for later in the workout.

When designing your training program, it would be best to start out with any of the exercises I have listed below, with the exception of box jumps.

Box jumps are more of a speciality exercise for developing speed, and that explosive power that many people in sports are looking for like football players and sprinters.

Leg training can be fun, but it also requires plenty of hard work and dedication, but if you set up a solid training program that is tailored for your needs and goals, you should start to see some serious progress coupled with a healthy diet fueled with energy and plenty of lean protein.

This image depicts the squat as the king of quad muscle developers.
Heavy squats for thigh development.

King of leg builders, (the squat)

What would a leg training routine be without including squats. Squats have been viewed the world over as being the king of leg builders. They work the quads, core, back and various other muscle groups.

Weight trainers from the bodybuilding arena, various sports backgrounds and anyone in general that is interested in building strong muscular legs has reached for the heavy laden barbell strapped across their shoulders in eager pursuit of developing a set of their own muscular legs.

Powerlifters the world over have been setting records in the squat, and the sport of power lifting has grown to enormous heights with new records being set all the time.

Other than the standard version of the squat as shown in the picture above with the bar stretched across the back of the shoulders, there are other variations that all do a good job and each variation target’s the thigh in a slightly different way.

FRONT SQUATS

Front squats are performed in the same manner, only difference is the bar is held in front of your neck instead of the back, and the weight is shifted a little more to the front of you so they will hit your thighs at a different degree.

HACK SQUATS

Hack squats are generally performed on a weight machine specifically designed for this exercise, but you can also perform the hack squats basically done the same as a dead lift, the only difference is the bar is held in back of your legs.

  • King of leg builders, the squat, you will want to do five sets per session and train your legs two times per week.
  • 8 to 12 repetitions per set for the squat for muscular development, 1 to 6 reps for power, 15 to 20 reps for endurance.
This image is showing how squats are done.
Heavy deadlifts work the quads, core and back.

Deadlifts for sheer power

Deadlifts are often thought of as a power move which is absolutely correct. The dead lift can not only build sheer power in the quads, core and basically the whole body, but can also attribute to a good share of muscle development.

The dead lift is an excellent way of building plenty of muscle development in the quads because you have the ability to lift as heavy as possible by engaging your entire body to power the weight up.

By lifting with as heavy of a weight as possible, you are enabling the opportunity of building muscle mass providing that you are working within a rep range of 8 to 12 reps per set.

You can do whatever rep range you desire, but if you do a rep range higher than 12 repetitions, you will mostly be building your endurance and it will likely not target your muscle mass development nearly as much.

You can do less than eight repetitions. If you follow within a rep range of one to six repetitions, you will be targeting this as more of a strength developing exercise and will likely develop very little muscle mass as compared to performing 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

Always remember that when you are performing an exercise like the deadlifts, you will want to exercise caution and always wear a sturdy weight training belt, and it is always a good idea to either chalk your hands or wear lifting straps for a good grip when dead lifting with heavy weights.

Deadlifts can work the entire body, but they mostly target the quads, buttocks, core and back muscles. It is best to incorporate deadlifts in your training program twice per week, any more than twice a week and you will not be allowing your muscles to recuperate enough between sessions.

  • Perform four to five sets of the deadlifts per session two times per week.
  • 8 to 12 repetitions per set for muscular development.
This image shows how leg presses are done.
Leg presses for quad development.

Leg presses

Leg presses are great for building the quads and you can still push some serious weight with the leg press, but they are more designed towards singling out the quads and don’t engage much activity with other muscle groups.

Leg presses are a great way to engage the quad muscles. While performing this exercise is safer than the squats or deadlifts, you will still need to exercise caution because you can still get injured while performing this exercise.

When performing the squats and the dead lift, you are putting your torso and lower back in a position where they could become injured very easily if you are not careful.

When performing the leg press, you will generally have your back pressed firmly against a backrest which will be taking the greater strain off of your spine and lower back, resulting in making this a safer exercise.

There are various styles to the leg press machine, but they all generally work in the same manner and the outcome is resulting in training your quads with heavyweight in a very functional manner that will definitely pack the muscle mass on your quads in no time.

Leg presses don’t engage your entire body like the two prior exercises I have gone over, they are more for engaging your quads but they are a very effective exercise when you perform them safely and in a fully controlled full range of motion.

Leg presses are best performed two times per week with a rep range of 8 to 12 reps per set. Training them any less than two times per week will not be stimulating the muscle fibers enough for muscle growth, and doing them more than two times a week may lead to overtraining.

  • Shoot for doing between four and five sets of the leg presses per session two times per week.
  • 8 to 12 reps per set.
This picture depicts how box jumps are done.
Raising the bar with box jumps.

Box jumps

This exercise is a little more tailored toward increasing power in your quads which comes in handy for sports that involves jumping, running or any other activity that requires quick bursts of power.

As pictured in the image above, these two young women have to use a great amount of leg power to jump onto the boxes. Doing this exercise requires a lot of power in the legs and lower torso and also requires much stamina.

This exercise is great for building strength, power, endurance and stamina which come in handy especially for sports that require you to have a large amount of leg and torso power.

If you are new to this exercise, you may want to start out with a lower box and work your way up in reps.

This is an exercise that takes time and strength to develop, but once you have developed the strengths to perform this exercise, you will have built up excellent strength in your legs and torso.

When you first start doing the box jump, depending on your physical condition and strength, you may only be able to do one or two reps. With this exercise you will want to work your way up so if you can only do one or two reps, try to set a goal for shooting to accomplish five repetitions.

From that point work your way up one repetition each workout, or at least one repetition more per week, whatever you can handle.

This exercise is designed to not only build strength in your legs and torso, but also endurance. You will want to work your way up to a higher rep target, such as 20 or more repetitions building endurance.

This exercise is great for developing launching power such as power that a football player would need for taking off on quick runs at the drop of a hat, and runners such as the one pictured below.

  • Work up to performing between four and five sets per session for the box jumps. Include this in your training regimen two times per week.
  • At first, you may only be able to do a few repetitions of the box jumps, but gradually work your way up to doing 20 repetitions or more per set.
This image depicts the necessity of leg power for runners.
Leg power for running.

Conclusion

These exercises outlined are a rough guide that you can follow, but are not necessarily meant to be a structured routine to follow by at all times. It would be a good idea to incorporate at least one or two of these exercises and include others exercises that are in line with what your goals are.

For example if you need more hamstring development, you would want to include good mornings, stiff leg deadlifts or leg curls. If you are a football player, you might want to include exercises such as the clean and jerk or the prowler.

Box jumps are another excellent exercise that a football player might include in their training program to develop endurance and the power they need in their legs for making quick moves and running speed out on the football field.

When you include high power moves such as these that we have covered today like the squat, deadlifts, leg presses and box jumps among many other exercises like the clean and jerk and the snatch, you will want to make sure that you are taking in plenty of the right calories that you need for training energy.

Along with a diet high in rich lean protein and carbohydrates, it can also be a good idea to supplement your diet to make sure that you are getting enough of the proper nutrients in your diet, as well pre-workout supplements to give you the energy needed to power through your workouts.

You can check out one of my product reviews on pre-workout supplements by smashing this link.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below, I love to hear from my readers. If you cannot reach me immediately, I will respond to any comments within 24 hours.

 

The best shoulder exercises for mass

Muscular development

 

There are many incentives behind a person’s reason for weight training, but the idea behind this post is to give you an idea of the best shoulder exercises for mass and muscular development for those who are interested in developing muscle size to their frame.

There are many great exercises that a person can include in their weight training program, but some exercises are better than others for developing muscle size. Today we are going to take a look at some top shoulder exercises for doing just that.

What determines exactly what are the best exercises for developing the shoulders? Generally what comes to mind are performing compound exercises which involves exercises where you are incorporating more than one muscle group at a time.

Compound exercises are great for developing muscular size because they involve more than one muscle group at a time which means that you can push more weight. They are also a great way to help speed up your metabolism so that you can efficiently burn more calories and develop a stronger heart while performing this type of training.

Although compound exercises are the best way to build quality muscle size, I don’t recommend that you neglect other exercises that do a great job of isolating specific heads for the shoulders like front laterals for the anterior head, side laterals for the medial head and rear laterals for the posterior deltoid head.

Next we are going to take a look at some top exercises for developing the shoulders and I will outline precisely what area of the shoulder they work and what other muscle groups are involved. It will also include how many sets and reps you should perform, and overall sets for your shoulder workout.

Military presses

First of all, when I start out performing the military presses, I start out with a lighter weight so that I can warm up the muscles and joints to avoid injury. To get a thorough warm-up in, you may need to perform two or three warm-up sets before you start engaging in heavier presses.

You’re breathing process when performing the military presses should be exhaling out as you are pressing the weight overhead and inhaling as you are returning the weight back to the starting position.

Once you have completed between two to three sets of the military presses with a lighter weight, your shoulders should be warmed up by this point. Next you will want to gradually increase the weight with each set as you move along.

Another good point to make is it is a good idea to have a pre-workout supplement or pre-workout beverage to give you an extra boost of energy so that you can make the most of your training and I lift heavier which will result in better muscle gains.

Once you have completed 2 to 3 warm-up sets and you are progressing further into your regular sets of the military presses where you are increasing in weight each set, you will want to make it a point to rest approximately 60 seconds between sets so that you can regain enough strength in between sets to push to your max.

You will also want to make it a point to not rest for too short of a period in between sets as you will not recover your strength enough, you don’t want to exceed a minute by too long or you will start to lose your pump and your attention will start to diminish on your perspective of where you are at in your mind/muscle stimulation.

You should ultimately shoot for performing four sets of the military presses and doing between 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

Military presses work the deltoids but more precisely the front head of the deltoid and some medial deltoid stimulation. Other muscles involved include the chest, latissimus dorsi, traps and triceps.

  • Sets / 4
  • reps / 8-12

Upright rows

Once you have completed the military presses, your shoulders should be thoroughly warmed up enough where once you move on to the upright rows you can continue engaging in heavier training with a weight that you can perform between 8 to 12 repetitions.

When performing the upright rows, you will want to exhale as you are lifting the weight and inhale as you are lowering the weight. Start with your arms at a length down to your sides keeping a shoulder width grip and raise the weight so that the bar touches the underside of your chin.

You will want to perform this exercise in a slow and controlled manner using a weight that you feel comfortable enough performing while keeping good strict form and full range of motion, yet still enough weight where you are only able to do 8 to 12 repetitions, if you can do more than 12 reps, you will need to adjust the weight higher.

I would recommend that you follow a rule of four sets of upright rows and 8 to 12 repetitions.

Muscles involved in this exercise include the medial head of the deltoid, biceps and traps.

  • Sets / 4
  • reps / 8-12

Wide grip chins

Generally when you think of performing the wide grip chins, you think of back training. Wide grip chins are an excellent exercise for developing the back, but they also work the rear deltoids and there is a lot of rear deltoid that comes into play when performing the wide grip chins.

When performing the wide grip chins, start with your palms facing away from you and approximately 6 in 8 inches wider than shoulder-width.

There are many back training exercises that involve the rear deltoids including barbell rows, t-bar rows, cable rows and dumbbell rows. All of these exercises greatly involve the rear deltoid and if you give this idea a shot, you can alternate with any of the other various back exercises that involve rear deltoids.

Many bodybuilders switch their training around frequently to keep their training fresh and avoid their workouts from growing stale. Many bodybuilders might train shoulders and back together and then switch to training shoulders and traps together the next month.

Be Never afraid to frequently change your workouts around where you perform different exercises from one week to the next and train different body parts together. This can help with increasing your muscular development and increases in strength.

For the wide grip chins, you should follow a rule of performing 4-5 sets, also shoot for doing 8-12 repetitions per set. If you have a hard time knocking out 8 to 12 repetitions with the wide grip chins, you can get a spotter to assist you. If you have a spotter, make sure that they assist you under the knee and not by the ankles.

If a spotter assists you by lifting up on your ankles or feet, this can possibly cause you to lose good form, it is always best to be assisted under the knees.

There are other ways that you can do assisted wide grip chins other than having a spotter, some people use an elastic strap that they hang over the chinning bar and hook under their knee. Another way is to do your wide grip chins by holding on to a weight bar inside a squat rack while resting your heels on the back of an incline bench.

Muscles included in this exercise include the latissimus dorsi, biceps, traps and rear deltoids.

  • Sets / 4-5
  • reps / 8-12

Bonus exercise, traps (barbell shrugs)

Often, bodybuilders include traps in their shoulder training routines because traps tie in nicely with shoulders and when performing the king of trap developing exercises like barbell shrugs, they will also have a nice amount of shoulder action when doing the shrugs.

Barbell shrugs are a great exercise for working the traps because you can pile on the weight and there is no other exercise that will target the traps like the barbell shrugs do.

There are different variations to this exercise and each way can target your traps in a slightly different way. The most common way to do the barbell shrugs is using a shoulder width grip with the palms of your hands facing in back of you. If you want to add some serious size to your traps, the standard version of the barbell shrugs is definitely the way to go.

Muscles included when doing barbell shrugs are trapezious, neck and shoulders.

  • sets / 4-5
  • reps / 8-12

Below I have a list of the various different versions of shrugs, and it wouldn’t hurt to give all of these versions a try from time to time, after all, variety is the key to keeping your workouts fresh and exciting.

  • wide grip barbell shrugs
  • narrow grip barbell shrugs
  • dumbbell shrugs with palms in
  • dumbbell shrugs with palms out
  • barbell shrugs in back of you
  • machine shrugs
  • cable shrugs
  • hanging shrugs with palms back
  • hanging shrugs with palms forwards
  • inverted shrugs

Alternate exercises

For each of these exercises that I have put in this post. There are other good alternate exercises that you can perform for each one given. Instead of performing the same exercises, even though they may be one of the best choices for building muscle, it is still a good idea to add plenty of variety to your workouts.

Compound exercises are best for building size and strength, but if you include isolation exercises like front laterals, side laterals and rear laterals, you won’t be able to lift the kind of weight that you can with compound exercises, but you will be able to single out each individual head of your deltoids and get better muscle stimulation

Good alternate exercises for the military presses could be presses behind the neck with barbell, dumbbell presses, Arnold presses and machine presses. Try not to limit your range of variety with exercises, if there are other variations of overhead pressing exercises, by all means include them in your training program.

Good alternate exercises for the upright rows with a barbell would be upright rows with dumbbells, machine upright rows and cable upright rows. Other good alternatives for the wide grip chins, I have listed above.

It’s great to keep a consistent variety of exercises in your workouts, but to keep consistent progress with muscle growth, it’s best to do your compound training at the beginning of your workouts when you have the most energy because compound exercises will require more energy than isolation exercises.

Conclusion

Shoulder training has always been one of my favorite body parts to train because there are a wide range of exercises that you can perform in your training. When you set up a training routine, try not to follow precisely to these three exercises that I have laid out, it is a good idea to switch your exercises around and perform different ones from work out to work out.

For maximum results in your shoulder development, you will want to consistently push as hard as you can and get in shoulder training sessions twice per week. Shoot for 8 to 12 reps in good form and use enough weight where 8 to 12 reps is a challenge and you can’t do any more than 12 reps per set. If you can do more than 12 reps per set, it is time to increase the weight.

Another great way to achieve good results is to have a training partner assist and push you to your limits each workout so there are no reps to spare and no excuses to make, all you will see is great gains and a feeling of self accomplishment.


To help with increasing your muscular development, it is a good idea to supplement your diet with a trusted protein supplementation product along with a clean diet of lean meat and fresh fruits and vegetables.

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If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a message in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.