Isometrics For Muscle Mass: Do Isometrics Build Muscle?

Eugene Sandow wcYou don’t hear very much about isometric exercises these days, which is a shame as they can be a very effective tool to help you build both strength and muscle mass – provided you know how to use them to achieve those particular goals.

Isometrics have historically been used to help build high levels of strength – far more than could be achieved by using ordinary isotonic weight training techniques alone. But they have often been criticized as being relatively useless for increasing muscle mass, which is why they have never become popular in bodybuilding circles. But the reason for this is that the typical duration of an isometric hold is about 7 – 10 seconds, and this is just not sufficient to produce good gains in muscle size.

But when used correctly, isometric exercises can indeed be very effective for building not just strength, but muscle size too. So in this article I’ll explain what isometrics are, the different types of isometric contractions you can do, and how to use them to build both maximum strength and muscle size too. Continue Reading →

The 20 Rep Squat Routine For Rapid Size Gains

tom platz flickrOne of the best ways to gain a lot of muscular body weight very quickly is with the 20 rep squat, or “Super Squat” routine.

This is an “old school” method of training that has been around since the 1930’s (although the term “Super Squats” was not coined until much later); and it’s not uncommon for novice lifters to gain 20 – 30lb of muscle in 6 – 8 weeks when they first use it.

The method involves doing just one set of squats for 20 reps (after warm-ups). This is followed by a set of pullovers for 20 reps, plus 2 – 4 additional exercises. And the routine is performed two or three times per week for a period of 6 – 8 weeks.

But it’s the way the squats are performed that’s important. So in this article I’ll describe the 20 rep squat routine and I’ll also give you a couple of sample workouts that you can use to get started with straight away… Continue Reading →

12 Ways To Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

athlete in locomotive cabin full bodyTestosterone builds muscle. So the more testosterone you have the more muscle you are likely to have. And the easier you will find it to build even more muscle.

But that’s not all testosterone does. It also burns fat, improves libido, helps protect against heart disease and type 2 diabetes, makes you more confident and assertive, gives you more energy, and helps you live longer too.

And as low testosterone levels in men are becoming more common these days, it could be worth taking some steps to increase yours.

So here are the top 12 ways you can increase your testosterone levels naturally… Continue Reading →

How To Build Bigger Legs: Best Quadricep, Hamstring And Calf Exercises For Mass

platz legs flickrFor many people who work out regularly it’s all about developing their pecs, delts, biceps and abs. So leg training tends to get neglected. But if you are serious about building an impressive, well balanced physique you absolutely must train your legs hard and heavy on a regular basis. So in this article I’ll outline the very best exercises you can do to build bigger, stronger legs.

The legs are divided into three main parts. These are the quadriceps, which are located at the front of the thigh and consist of four separate muscles – the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and rectus femoris; the hamstrings, which are located at the back of the thigh and consist of the biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus; and the calves, which consist of the large two-headed gastrocnemius muscle and the much smaller soleus muscle which lies underneath the gastrocnemius.

The main function of the quadriceps is to extend the knee. The hamstrings flex the knee and extend the hips. And the calves elevate the heels. So if you want to build up your legs in the fastest, most effective way possible, here’s what you need to do… Continue Reading →

German Volume Training For Massive Muscle Gains

bodybuilder 5 flickrIf you want to gain as much muscle mass as possible as quickly as possible you might want to give German Volume Training a try.

It’s very demanding and it’s not for beginners, but if you’ve been training a while and made some decent gains, but perhaps your progress has slowed down and you need a change, this could be what you’ve been looking for to take your results to the next level.

German Volume Training has been used with great success since at least the early 70’s. Bev Francis used it in her early days of bodybuilding to make her the most massively muscled female bodybuilder of her time. And Jacques Demers, a team Canada lifter, accredited his amazing leg size to German Volume Training.

So what is German Volume Training, and what’s the best way to use it? In this article I’ll answer those questions. Continue Reading →

Top 10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Body Fat

bodybuilder 4 flickrSo you’ve been dieting for a while now, and you’re training regularly as well. You’ve managed to lose a few pounds, but now you’re stuck. And no matter what you do you just can’t seem to lose any more.

What could the problem be?

Well, it could be any of a number of things, but here are the top 10 reasons why you’re not losing any more body fat…

1. You’re Eating Too Many Calories

This may seem obvious, but there are still people who will tell you that you can eat as much as you want as long as you avoid carbs. But it’s just not true. And whilst your body may handle the calories from the different macronutrients in different ways, when it comes right down to it if you are eating too many calories you won’t lose weight. Continue Reading →

How To Build Your Own Home Gym – For Less Than You Might Think

power-rackOver the years I’ve trained both at home and at a number of commercial gyms. And although they each have their advantages and disadvantages, on balance I still prefer to train at home.

For a start training at home is much more time efficient. You can train when (and how) you want, there’s no driving to and from the gym several times per week, and you never have to hang around waiting for the bench or the squat/power rack to become free. You also save money on your membership fees, as well as your travel costs, so the moderate cost of setting up a home gym will usually be recouped in 2 – 3 years.

You will need a reasonable amount of space however, either in your garage, basement or a spare room. And if you’re the sort of person who finds it difficult to motivate yourself to train at home, then you’ll need to stick to a commercial gym. But otherwise, if the idea of building your own home gym appeals to you, here’s what you’ll need to do it… Continue Reading →

How To Get Big Arms – In 4 Simple Steps

bodybuilder-1-wcVirtually every guy that’s ever lifted a weight would like to know how to get big arms. And you can understand why, as when you are wearing a t-shirt a pair of big muscular arms really sets you apart from everyone else. So in this article I’ll explain how you can build up your arms in the fastest and most effective way possible.

But first a bit of a description. The upper arm consists of three main muscles – the biceps, the triceps and the brachialis. The role of the biceps is to bend the arm at the elbow (elbow flexion) and also to supinate the forearm. The triceps straightens the arm (elbow extension). And the brachialis runs under the biceps and is really only visible when viewing the arms from the side.

A lot of people make the mistake of concentrating too much on the biceps when training their arms; but the triceps is a bigger muscle so if you really want to get big arms you need to work these just as hard.

So to get really big arms, just follow these 4 simple steps… Continue Reading →

The Truth About Dietary Fats: The Good, The Bad And The Indifferent

salmon and avocado flickrDespite what you may have heard, fat is an essential part of a healthy balanced diet and has many important functions in the body. Apart from being a valuable source of energy, it also helps you absorb certain vitamins and minerals, it’s needed to build cell membranes and the sheaths surrounding nerves, it’s essential to blood clotting, it’s required for the manufacture of certain hormones and it’s vital to the health of your skin, joints, muscles, and much more.

And on top of all that having sufficient fat in your diet is essential for optimal muscle growth as well.

Fats are made up of fatty acids attached to a glycerol molecule. And fatty acids are basically chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached to them. But some fats are more beneficial than others of course; so in this article I’ll describe the four different types of dietary fat – the good fats, the bad fats and those that fall somewhere in between. Continue Reading →

12 Reasons You’re Not Gaining Muscle

bodybuilder 3 flickrIf you’ve been training hard for some time but you haven’t made the sort of gains you were hoping for, or if you have hit a plateau and your gains have come to a halt, there’s probably a simple reason for that. And once you find out what that reason is and do something about it you’ll be able to start growing again.

So to help you discover what it is that’s holding you back, here are the 12 most common reasons why you may not be gaining muscle…

1. You’re Training Too Heavy (Or Too Light)

To gain muscle size you need to challenge your muscles with heavy weights. But if you go too heavy you may get stronger but you won’t gain much size. Conversely weights that are too light might give you a great pump and burn, but again they will not help you gain much in the way of increased muscle size. So for best results use a weight that allows you to get between 6 and 12 reps for most of your sets. Continue Reading →