Learn How To Build Muscle In 4 Simple Steps

By Terry Grant

Are you sick and tired of everyone telling you a different way to build muscle? Are you unhappy with how you look in the mirror? Are you frusturated with your slow progress in the gym? Are you ready to learn five simple steps that will teach you how to build muscle safely and effectively?

There is a good chance that you are not maximizing one of these four steps. Your problem and solution lies in correcting these essential steps before you have any chance of building a muscular and lean physique.

Get read to learn how to build muscle in four simple steps, in less time, without any drugs and without bogus supplements.

Step #1 

Committ to lifting weights at least three to four times per week. Your goal is to stimulate your muscles with resistance (stress) which results in your muscles growing bigger to avoid the stress from occuring again. Once you go home, let the muscle heal through nutrition and rest, it will grow bigger and you will repeat this process again. Ideally you should hit your muscles once every 72 hours so you could perform 2 upper body workouts per week and 2 lower body workouts per week.

Step #2

Focus on eating at least 5-7x a day with balanced meals from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. If your goal is to build muscle than you should be eating at least 15-18 x your current body weight. Your carbohydrates should equate about 45% of your intake, your proteins should equate about 35% of your intake and your fat should be the remaining 20% of your intake. You should focus on over half of those meals being solid whole food meals and the remainder can be liquid meal replacment shakes.

Step #3

You should focus on stretching at least half the amount that you lift weights. One of the biggest mistkakes I see is people training, training and training with out any stretching. Stretching helps restore normal length to the tissue and if you are constantly training, your muscle tissues will shorten and big to perform weaker and slower and have a higher incidence of injuries. So if you are lifting weights 4 hours in the week, at least an additional 2 hours should be dedicated to stretching. You must counteract the shortening of the muscle tissues that occurs with weights or else you are a injury screaming to happen.

Step #4

Avoid supplements that have not been around for longer than 3 years. I learned this phisophy from an Australian strength coach who recommended not trying any supplement until it has been around at least 3 years to pass the test of time. This will make your life much easier and help you avoid all the marketing hoopla in the latest fitness and bodybuilding magazine. If you follow this rule, you will discover only a small handful of supplements still standing. Here are the ones you should not go with out: a high quality multi-vitamin, fish oil capsules, powdered creatine and a protein powder. These products will cover your nutritional basis for health, healthy body composition, strength and muscle mass.

About the Author:

Vince DelMonte is the author of No Nonsense Muscle Building: Skinny Guy Secrets To Insane Muscle Gain found at http://www.VinceDelMonteFitness.com

He specializes in teaching skinny guys how to build muscle and gain weight quicklywithout drugs, supplements and training less than before.

� 2006-2008, Vince DelMonte Fitness. All rights in all media reserved. You may reprint this article so long as the article and author bio are reprinted intake and all links are made live. This article may never be sold individually or as part of a package. 

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9 Easy-To-Make Muscle Building Growth Recipes

By Terry Grant

Think putting yourself on a muscle building diet has to be a painful process?  Whether your goal is fat loss or muscle building, getting proper nutrition is at least 80% of the game. If you don’t have that figured out, you are going to be a long time away from seeing results.

The good news is that your tastebuds don’t have to suffer if you don’t want them to. There are plenty of ways to get in your proper nutrition while keeping

things interesting. If you think gaining muscle means suffering through can of tuna after can of tuna or pounding back a protein shake as fast as humanly possible, you need to think again.

Give one of these recipes a try and you’ll be surprised just how easy it is to eat right, achieve your goals and actually ENJOY your food at the same time.

Protein Fudge Nuggets

These are great to take to the gym as a post-workout treat or just for a snack to eat between meals. When you are trying to gain weight many of you really need to packing in the calories so you need calorie dense foods. These chocolate treats have it all. 

8 scoops chocolate protein powder

1 cup oatmeal (can be ground depending on the consistency you’d like)

1/3 cup natural peanut butter

3 tbsp honey

½ cup milk

3 tbsp crushed peanuts

First mix together the protein powder, oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and milk. Form into small balls and then roll in the crushed peanuts to finish.  Note that these can easily be frozen in plastic bags and consumed on a later date.

Nutritional Info (1/10 of the recipe)

234 calories

6.7 grams fat

18 grams carbohydrates

25 grams protein

Pumpkin Pancakes 

When you’re craving a good home-made pancake breakfast, give these a try. They are filled with slow digesting carbohydrates that will keep your blood sugar steady throughout the morning.

¼ cup oats

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

5 egg whites

1 tbsp ground flax

½ tbsp cinnamon

Splenda to taste

First heat a frying pan until hot and then reduce to medium temperature. After mixing together all the ingredients drop by spoonful onto the plan, flipping when bubbles start to form.

Makes about 5 – 4″ pancakes.

Nutritional Info (per recipe)

217 calories

23 grams protein

26 grams carbohydrates

4 grams fat

Protein Jell-O 

When you’re craving something sweet but are on a very low carb diet, there often is not a lot of options. This recipe is the perfect dessert that will give you plenty of protein and not much else.  Great for those on a very strict diet.

1 package sugar-free Jell-O (any flavour)

1 scoop Syntrax Nectar protein powder (any flavour – to match Jell-O)

Mix 1 cup boiling water with the Jell-O powder then stir in one scoop of the protein powder until dissolved.  Once that’s finished, mix in one cup of cold water and allow to set. Serve with low fat Cool Whip if desired. 

Blueberry Cookies 

Everyone needs a good cookie now and then but not everyone needs the damage to their diet. Luckily with these not only will you be getting a great dose of protein, you will be getting plenty of antioxidants from the blueberries.

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

4 egg whites

½ cup oats

1 cup blueberries

First combine all three ingredients so they are blended well. Then mix in blueberries and drop by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degree Celsius for approximately thirteen minutes.  Makes 10 cookies.

Nutritional Info (per cookie)

54 calories

6.5 grams protein

0.7 grams fat

5.5 grams carbs

Intramuscular Buffering Capacity

Finally, the last adaptation that’s seen with sprint training is the buffering capacity of the muscle. During glycoglysis, various byproducts are created such as lactic acid, and when these accumulate, it causes the extreme feelings of fatigue in the muscle tissues.

This then forces you to stop exercising as the fatigue sets in and often will be the end of your workout. 

Overtime, sprint training will increase your ability to buffer these byproducts so that you can then workout for a longer period of time while maintaining that intensity. 

So, next time you’re debating about whether to do a sprint training session or a moderate paced cardio session lasting for 40 minutes or so, opt for the sprint session. 

The benefits you’ll receive are far more numerous and fat loss will be kicked up a notch as an added benefit. Keep in mind that for these type of benefits to occur, you want your sprints to last somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 seconds to 40 seconds, with a work to rest ration of about 1:2. Repeat this process a total of 6 to 8 times and begin and end with a five minute warm-up and cool-down.

About the Author:

Vince DelMonte is the author of No Nonsense Muscle Building: Skinny Guy Secrets To Insane Muscle Gain found at http://www.VinceDelMonteFitness.com

He specializes in teaching skinny guys how to build muscle and gain weight quickly without drugs, supplements and training less than before.

� 2006-2008, Vince DelMonte Fitness. All rights in all media reserved. You may reprint this article so long as the article and author bio are reprinted intake and all links are made live. This article may never be sold individually or as part of a package.Back To Vince’s Articles

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The New Visualization Breakthrough: Mental Training Tactics For Health And Fitness Success

By Terry Grant

Understanding the mind’s role in motivation and behavior is one of the most critical elements in fitness success. If you struggle with changing habits and behaviors or if you can’t get motivated, then even the best training and nutrition program is not much help.

A fascinating fact about your subconscious mind is that it’s completely deductive in nature. In other words, it’s fully capable of working backwards from the end to the means.

You don’t need to know how to reach a goal at the time you set the goal. If you “program” only the desired outcome successfully into your “mental computer,” then your subconscious will take over and help you find the information and means and carry out the actions necessary to reach it.

Many people are familiar with affirmations and goal-setting as ways to give instructions to your subconscious mind. But perhaps the ultimate mental training� technique is visualization. In one respect, affirmation and visualization are the same, because when you speak or think an affirmation first, that triggers a mental image, being as the human brain “thinks” in pictures.

You can use visualization to plant goals into your subconscious mind. You simply close your eyes, use your imagination and mentally create pictures and run movies of your desired results. For example, in your mind’s eye, you can see the “body of your dreams” . If repeated consistently with emotion, mental images are accepted by your subconscious as commands and this helps with changing habits, behavior and performance.

Although there are some new and creative ways to use visualization, (which you are about to learn), this is not a new technique. Visualization has been used formally in the fields of sports psychology and personal development for decades and philosophers have discussed it for centuries:

�If you want to reach your goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind 
before you actually arrive at your goal.�

– Zig Ziglar

�The use of mental imagery is one of the strongest and most effective strategies 
for making something happen for you.�

– Dr. Wayne Dyer

�Creative visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what 
you want in your life.�

– Shakti Gawain

�Perhaps the most effective method of bringing the subconscious into 
practical action is through the process of making mental pictures – 
using the imagination.�

– Claude Bristol

“There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what 
you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture there long enough, 
you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking.”

– William James, 1842-1910, Psychologist and Author

Despite these glowing endorsements and a long track record, some people can’t get past feeling that this is just a “hokey” self-help technique. Rest assured, however, that visualization is an effective and time-tested method for increasing personal success that has been used by some of the highest achievers the world.

The Soviets started to popularize visualization in sports psychology back in the 1970’s, as detailed in Charles Garfield’s landmark book, “Peak Performance.” They dominated in many sports during that period, which validated visualization anecdotally.

In the last 10-15 years, there has been some groundbreaking new brain research which has validated visualization scientifically. Here’s something that was written recently by Dr. Richard Restak, a neuroscientist and author of 12 books about the human brain:

“The process of imagining yourself going through the motions of a complex 
musical or athletic performance activates brain areas that improve your performance. Brain scans have placed such intuitions on a firm neurological 
basis. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans reveal that the mental rehearsal 
of an action activates the prefontal areas of the brain responsible for the 
formulation of the appropriate motor programs. In practical terms, this 
means you can benefit from the use of mental imagery.”

So much for visualization being a “cheesy” self-help technique.

Although visualization is widely used today, even people who are familiar with it often don’t realize its many applications. Arguably the most common use of visualization is by athletes, musicians and other performers as a form of �mental rehearsal.� Research shows that “practicing in your mind” is almost as effective as practicing physically, and that doing both is more effective than either one alone.

A common use of visualization in the fitness context is �goal visualization.� In your mind’s eye, you can see yourself having already achieved your physique goal or your ideal goal weight. You can also visualize a specific performance goal such as completing a difficult workout or a heavy lift like a squat or bench press.

One creative way you can use mental imagery is called �process visualization.� Once you’ve set your goals, it’s easy to come up with a list of the daily habits, behaviors and action steps necessary to reach your goal. So write down the action steps and visualize them – the entire process, not just the end result. See yourself food shopping and grabbing fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, ordering healthy foods from restaurant menus, saying no to sodas and drinking water instead, and going to the gym consistently and having killer workouts. Some people visualize their entire �perfect day� as they would want it to unfold. When you do this as vividly, emotionally and in as much detail as you can, you will be neurologically priming your brain to carry out those behaviors.

The least known of all mental imagery techniques is called �physiology visualization.� An example would be picturing the fat burning process in your body or seeing the muscle fibers growing larger and larger. Using this technique, could it be possible that you might be giving subconscious instructions to your body’s cells, organs and tissues?

Well, consider the work of Dr. Carl Simonton, a physician and cancer researcher who taught his patients (as one part of a comprehensive program), how to visualize powerful immune cells devouring the cancer cells. I’m not suggesting that you can cure cancer or materialize a lean and muscular body just by visualizing, (there’s a step in between thought and manifestation – it’s called action – a step that many self help �experts’ forget to mention). However, thoughts and mental images are the precursors to action and the fact that a mind-body connection definitely exists makes this an exciting prospect.

Scientists have established the mind-body link in many contexts, and not just by the existence of a placebo effect. There’s also direct evidence as in the way emotional stress can contribute to physical disease. The mind does influence the body! The mere fact that a branch of science has been devoted to this area is proof that it deserves critical investigation and is not just the domain of infomercial self help gurus. The science is called psychoneuroimmunology.

Using �physiology visualization,� you could, even in the middle of a workout, imagine the fat burning process taking place, and visualize fat being released from adipose tissue storage in your abdominal region or elsewhere. You could see the free fatty acids entering your bloodstream, being carried to the working muscles and being burned for energy in the muscle cells. You could also visualize the physiology of muscle growth.

To make your imagery as accurate and detailed as possible, my best suggestion is to refer to an anatomy & physiology textbook that shows pictures of fat cells, blood vessels, myofibrils, motor units, sarcomeres, and cell organelles like the mitochondria, so you know what the structures look like. You could also get more details about the processes by looking up lipolysis, hypertrophy or beta oxidation.

Even if you had no idea what the internal structure and workings of the body were like, you could still use this method. Your body responds to mental imagery even if it isn’t anatomically correct. We know from the field of hypnosis that the subconscious mind responds well to metaphor � maybe even better than literal suggestions. Facts and logic are the domain of the conscious mind, while emotion and metaphor can slip right past the conscious and into the subconscious. Dr. Simonton often wrote about his young patients who created (metaphorical) mental images of immune system cells as “knights in shining armor”, slaying “the dragon” of cancer cells.

One of your greatest mental powers is imagination. You can visualize anything you want and you can embellish and exaggerate your imagery as much as you want. For example, you could imagine the free fatty acids being burned for energy in the “cellular powerhouse” – the mitochondria – and you could imagine the mitochondria as a fiery furnace… “incinerating” the fat! I think it’s a pretty cool idea to “see” your fat cells shrinking and visualize your body as a “fat burning furnace.�

Should you not believe that there’s anything to the physiology visualization technique, that’s ok, because we know that the subconscious is deductive. Just give it a goal, tell it what you want and it will get you there automatically by altering your attention and behavior. Therefore, we can be confident that physiology visualization will be effective even if only as a subconscious directive about your desired goal. If science someday provides us with conclusive evidence that visualization actually does cause cellular – physiological changes in the body, well, that’s just all the better.

Train hard and expect success,

Tom Venuto 
Fat Loss Coach 

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT) and a certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS). Tom is the author of the #1 best-selling e-book, “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,� which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using the secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn body fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: www.burnthefat.com

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The Law Of Attraction And Weight Loss: Can You Think Yourself Thin?

By Terry Grant

Metaphysics & Brain science merge and prove that positive thinking and goal setting literally create your body and your entire life experience 

On recently broadcast special edition of CNN’s Larry King Live, Mr. King interviewed a panel of “mind experts” about how the thoughts you think literally turn into the events you experience, the material things you possess… AND even the health of your body.

For years, “positive thinking” and goal-setting were often criticized as “pollyanna” and “the law of attraction” was relegated into the category of “new age” fluff.

On the recent Larry King show, panel experts Bob Proctor, John Assaraf and others who were featured in the movie ‘The Secret’ explained that recent breakthroughs in neuroscience along with understanding mental laws, reveal why goal setting, the “law of attraction” and “positive thinking” all work, regardless of whether you look at them from a metaphysical or a scientific perspective.

Scientists have even identified specific parts of the brain, such as the reticular activating system (RAS), which works with the visual parts of our brain to call our conscious attention to things that are important to reaching our goals and to filter out those things that are unimportant.

The RAS is activated by “programming” goals into our sub-conscious minds. Our sub concscious mind is the “power center” and THIS is the mechanism that explains why goal setting and positive thinking are now being accepted as scientific methods for change.

We are discovering that our brain is cybernetic in nature, which means that it is literally like a computer, waiting for a program to be installed.

Here’s the kicker – the subconcsious is completely neutral and impartial – it will carry out any instructions you give it.

Unfortunately, many of us are still running negative programs we picked up from others as children when our non-conscious minds were totally open and impressionable, or which we developed over the years as a result of repetition of our own negative thinking.

As it turns out, our own thoughts, repeated daily, are one of the primary ways that our “mental computer” is programmed on a sub-conscious level, which is the level of beliefs, habits and automatic behavior.

To change your results, you must overwrite old negative programming and install positive new programming into your subconscious.

This can be achived through such techniques as written goal setting, positive self-talk (affirmations), and mental imagery (visualization).

In the 1970’s, the Soviets and East Germans were the first to formally use structured mental rehearsal, and at that time, they dominated in several olympic sports. This was reported in great detail in Charles Garfield’s landmark book, “Peak Performance.” Today, virtually all elite athletes use visualization extensively, as we now know that the brain cannot differentiate between real practice and practice that is vividly imagined.

If you are getting more of the same negative results in your life – such as the same health problems, or the same body fat continues to return even after you lose it, then you have probably been un-consciously running old negative programs and re-inforcing them with negative thought patterns.

You can begin the positive mental reprogramming process by writing down your goals, changing your internal dialogue and taking a few minutes to relax, quiet your mind and perform a session of visualization or mental rehearsal every day (seeing yourself in your “mind’s eye” not as you currently are, but as you ideally would like to be).

These methods, repeated often enough, will begin to program the non- conscious portion of the mind, which is the same part of the mind that controls your heart beat, digestion and new cell production, all on “automatic pilot.”

In the last decade, neuroscientists discovered that you have the capacity to create an almost infinite number of new neural connections in your brain when you run new thought patterns.

The Old neural pathways are like grooves in a record, and if you are struggling with your health related behaviors or behaviors in any other area of your life, you have been playing the “old records” over and over again.

If you were to carve a new groove into that record, it would never play the same way again. the old pattern would weaken and the new one would take over. Brand new, positive thoughts, feelings and images begin to create new neural patterns.

Psychologists estimate that it takes 21 to 30 days to establish a new pattern in your brain. During this time, the focus on sticking with your practice and repeating your new thought patterns is critical.

Is this easy? For most people, no it’s not. In fact, controlling your thinking and keeping it constructive may be one of the most difficult challenges you have ever faced. Fortunately, writing goals and reading affirmations can help get you started.

You can take some of the pressure off yourself by simply accepting that negative thoughts and self criticisms will pop up from time to time. Just observe them, without mulling over them or adding to them, and change the polarity of the thought by quickly repeating one of your positive affirmations or by changing your mental pictures.

So is there something to this whole “positive thinking” thing?

The philosophers and theologians have been saying yes for the entire span of recorded history: “As you think, so shall you be.” Variations on this proverb can be found in every spiritual and philosophical tradition.

But… if you are the left-brained, “prove-it-to-me” type, you dont have to go on faith anymore. Scientists are beginning to prove more and more convincingly that thoughts are powerful things. Even Larry King seemed impressed with what his panel of “mind mentors” had to say.

So how soon are you going to begin your mental training right alongside your physical training? When are you going to learn how to harness this power locked up inside your mind?

Guess what? You’re already using this force every day because you cannot turn it off. Whatever you are thinking and picturing in your mind repeatedly on a daily basis is already on it’s way to you, so it’s simply a matter of HOW you are using it, not IF you are using it.

What do you say to yourself every day? Do you say, “I am becoming leaner, healthier and more muscular every day?”… or do you say “I am a fat person – Ive tried everything, nothing ever works?”

The fact is – you can think yourself thin and healthy or you can think yourself obese and ill. Maybe not in the literal sense…but most certainly as the critical part in the chain of causation…

You see, there’s a lot of talk these days in the personal improvement world about law of attraction, manifesting, intention, visualization, affirmations and of course, positive thinking.

Without understanding that there is an orderly, scientific basis underneath all of these things, many people will simply remain skeptics, while on the opposite extreme, others may get the idea that you can sit around meditating and visualizing, then expect a mystical “law of attraction” to kick in and then “poof!” a great body materializes out of thin air… along with the perfect relationship, a nice bank account and fantastic career success.

What really happens is “Positive thinking” and related methods quite literally re-program your brain, which in turn creates new behaviors that move you physically toward whatever you have been thinking about and focusing on.

So success is achieved through positive thinking + positive doing…. attraction + action. There are two sides to the coin. Without paying attention to both, you may continue to struggle… often against nothing but yourself.

If you want to transform your body or any other aspect of your life, then you have to change on the inside (the mind) first and then everything else will follow.

This process of *scientific* goal setting and mental reconditioning through emotionally charged mental imagery (visualization) and internal mental dialogue (affirmations) is the very first thing I have always taught my clients and the first thing I wrote about in my book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle You can learn all of these techniques in detail in chapter 1. Learn more about the psychology of body transormation inside the Burn The Fat ebook:

So Yes you can you think yourself thin 😉

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT) and a certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS). Tom is the author of the #1 best-selling e-book, “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,� which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using the secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn body fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: www.burnthefat.com

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Accelerate Your Muscle Gains With This One Simple Nutritional Technique

By Terry Grant

We all know that in order to maximize our gains in muscle size and strength, eating frequently throughout the day is incredibly important. 

A well balanced muscle building meal consumed every 2-3 hours will keep the body in an anabolic state, raise the fat burning metabolism, stabilize energy levels and improve digestion all at the same time.

Maintaining this eating approach is simple throughout the waking hours of the day…

But when happens when we go to sleep at night?

Let’s assume that we consume our last meal of the day one hour before heading to bed… sleep for 8 hours… and then have our breakfast half an hour after awakening…

That’s a full 9.5 hours with absolutely zero muscle building nutrition!

If we place so much emphasis on consuming high quality, growth-supporting nutrients at frequent intervals during the day, why do we simply throw this logic out the window during the night?

Wouldn’t it make sense to ensure that our muscles are receiving all of the protein, carbohydrates and fats that they require during the time period where muscle recuperation and growth is at its peak?

Why would we deliberately allow our body to enter into a starved, catabolic state for such an extended period of time if it is within our control to do something about it?

While this method may not be for everyone, consuming a properly balanced muscle building meal about mid-way through your sleep just might be one of the key ways to accelerate your bodybuilding progress to even higher levels.

It may seem like somewhat of a “hardcore” method that only the most obsessive of lifters would incorporate, but a quick examination of this approach and you’ll see that it’s quite realistic for the majority of people to implement.

Now first of all, this doesn’t have to be a regular solid-food bodybuilding meal that you might typically consume during the day. I’m not talking about waking up and sitting at the kitchen table to eat a plate of chicken and potatoes or a steak with rice.

Eating solid foods in the middle of the night will probably disrupt your sleep quite a bit, and it isn’t really a realistic long-term approach to carry out. 

Instead, this meal should be in liquid form so that you can wake up, chug it back very quickly and easily, and then head right back to bed. 

My recommendation is to mix 30-40 grams of whey protein (or any other high quality form of protein powder, such as casein or egg) with 1-2 cups of skim milk. This will provide you with a good shot of slow release protein without forcing you to be awake for long or worry about any unnecessary chewing or meal preparation.

You can also mix in a tablespoon of a healthy unsaturated oil source, such as flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil. This will further slow down the release of the shake and will provide your body with valuable essential fatty acids that are also critical to proper recovery and growth.

When is the best time to consume this shake?

Ideally I would aim to consume it about halfway through your sleep, but whenever you wake up naturally during the night is fine. I don’t recommend forcing yourself out of bed with the use of an alarm clock, as this will disrupt your sleeping pattern and could leave you feeling fatigued the following day.

Now, is this middle-of-the-night-feeding method for everyone? 

Of course not, but I would encourage you to try it out and see how it works. I’ve implemented this method both personally and with my clients and have found that in the majority of cases, the effects have been measurably positive. 

After all, if you wake up naturally during the night to use the bathroom anyway, how hard could it really be to make a quick detour to the kitchen to drink a simple protein shake? 

If you’re looking for an extra boost to your nutritional program, then that one shake alone might be just what you need. A few hundred calories can sometimes make the difference between maintaining your weight and gaining it.

If you really want to get the most out of your muscle building nutrition plan, this is a method you should definitely try.

If you’re interested in learning more highly effective natural bodybuilding strategies like this one, go ahead and visit www.MuscleGainTruth.com right now. You can sign up for my free 8-part muscle building email course to help accelerate your gains even further.

About the Author:

Once an awkward, pencil-necked “social reject”, Sean Nalewanyj is now a renowned natural bodybuilding and fat loss expert, best-selling fitness author, and creator of the wildly popular online muscle building program, “The Muscle Gain Truth No-Fail System”. Learn how to build muscle and gain weight in just 24 minutes a day by visiting: www.MuscleGainTruth.com.

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The Insider Secrets of Interval Training – Learn How Now!

By Terry Grant

Without question, High Intensity Interval Training is one of the most effective means available for rapidly losing bodyfat and improving your cardiovascular conditioning.

Not only do you burn many more calories while you’re performing the training, you also stimulate your metabolism to a far greater degree than with lower intensity training, which is traditionally hailed for fat loss.

You’re going to learn exactly how to perform various types of high intensity interval training to maximize your results. For a full discussion of the advantages of high intensity training over low intensity training, read the following article, which explains it detail:

What Do You Mean Low-Intensity Training Isn’t The Best For Fat Burning? 

Even though it’s more challenging than low intensity training, High Intensity Interval Training offers tremendous benefits to you:

1. It burns more calories than low intensity training, meaning you can burn more fat in shorter workouts.

2. Higher intensities stimulate your metabolism far more AFTER the workouts than lower intensity training. This means you continue to burn calories and fat for long periods after you’re done training. Not so with low intensity training.

3. Training at higher speeds, such as with high intensity training can dramatically improve sports performance. Football players can sprint faster and recover more quickly between plays. Tennis players can keep chasing down balls during longer points. Even endurance athletes can benefit by teaching their bodies to work at a faster pace!

In general, interval training is best done 2 or 3 times per week. It is a challenging form of cardio and requires recovery time in between sessions. Interval sessions can last anywhere between 5 to 30 minutes or more, depending on the fitness level of the trainer and the style of intervals being done.

How To Do It:

Interval training is based on a very simple concept: go fast then go slow. Repeat. It sounds easy, but within this simple formula lies a tremendous number of possible variations and strategies you can employ to take full advantage of the power available to you.

Interval training can be performed on almost any cardiovascular machine (including the treadmill, stair machine, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, etc.) as well as almost any type of cardiovascular exercise (such as cycling, swimming, running, etc.).

Though the examples I will go through below use time as a measure for intervals, you can also very easily use distance as your guide. For example, you can sprint between two telephone poles then walk to the next one. You can sprint the length of a football field then walk the width. You can even run up a flight of stairs then walk back down. The variations you can do are truly endless!

Here are a number of different types of interval training you can use:

1. Aerobic Interval Training

Aerobic Interval Training is very beneficial for rapidly improving your aerobic conditioning as well as burning fat. It will even help you build up your endurance faster than long-duration cardio! It is also a very good introductory format for starting interval training. If you are new to interval training, I highly recommend beginning with Aerobic Intervals.

This type of interval training involves relatively long work periods and shorter rest periods. Work periods are generally 2 to 5 minutes long in this type of training. The idea is not to take it easy for that work time but to work at a speed that challenges you to be able to make it to the end of that work interval. Your 2 minute interval pace is, therefore, going to be significantly faster than your 5 minute interval pace.

The rest interval for this type of training is between 30 seconds to a minute. Naturally, the shorter the rest period, the tougher the training will be. Too much rest will allow your body to recover too much, lessening the overall training effect of the exercise.

Here are some examples of a number of different intervals you can use in your training:

Work Rest
2 min. 30 sec.
5 min. 1 min.
3 min. 45 sec.
2 min. 1 min.
5 min. 30 sec.

When using these intervals, you can choose to stick to the same time intervals (e.g. do 2 minutes hard and 30 seconds slow for the duration of the workout) or mix it up with different time intervals as you go through your session. This type of training can generally be done for about 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Maximal High-Intensity Intervals

This type of interval training is VERY high intensity and is VERY effective for fat loss and cardio training. You essentially push yourself to the maximum on every single work interval you do! This type of training is extremely effective when training for sports that require all-out repeated efforts, such as football, soccer, hockey, etc. If you want to get faster and recover faster, this is the type of training for you.

This type of training sends very powerful signals to the body and the metabolism. In addition to dramatically ratcheting up the body’s metabolism, maximal-effort training also causes large amounts of Growth Hormone, one of your body’s primary fat burning hormones (the Fountain of Youth Hormone, as it’s sometimes referred to) to be released into the bloodstream. This two-pronged effect is very powerful for fat-burning.

Maximal Intervals are much shorter than Aerobic Intervals. Generally, the longest you’ll be able to perform a maximal effort is around 30 seconds so all the work intervals are 30 seconds or less.

Rest periods can be short or long, depending how good of shape a person is in and/or how much they want to recover inbetween intervals. Shorter rest periods make the work intervals more challenging but the speed of the work will also drop quickly after a few intervals. Longer rest periods will allow the body to recover a little more, allowing faster speeds on more intervals. Rest periods should always be at least as long as the work periods. This is to allow enough recovery to be able to perform well on the next work period.

Here are some examples of Maximal work and rest intervals you can use in your training. As I mentioned above, you can stick with one time period through the whole session, or vary your intervals you go through the workout.

Work Rest
30 sec. 30 sec.
30 sec. 1 min.
20 sec. 1 min.
10 sec. 30 sec.
30 sec. 2 min.

Since Maximal Intervals are so challenging, a person should not expect or try to be able to jump right in at a high level for a large number of intervals. It is very important to build yourself up gradually.

Start by performing five Maximal Intervals the first two sessions you do the training. The next two sessions, do six Maximal Intervals. Continue adding intervals in this step-up fashion until you are doing intervals for a maximum of 15 minutes straight. The exact number of intervals you do in a session will depend on the times you’re using in your work and rest intervals.

Because Maximal Intervals are so challenging, you may find yourself getting too fatigued to perform at a fast pace as you get towards the end. When this happens, try doing Reverse Pyramid intervals. Instead of keeping your work interval the same, reduce it by 5 seconds every couple of intervals.

Here’s a sample of how to do it:

Interval 1 – 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds rest. 
Interval 2 – 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds rest. 
Interval 3 – 25 seconds hard, 30 seconds rest. 
Interval 4 – 25 seconds hard, 30 seconds rest. 
Interval 5 – 20 seconds hard, 30 seconds rest. 
Interval 6 – 20 seconds hard, 30 seconds rest. 
Interval 7 – 15 seconds hard, 30 seconds rest. 
Interval 7 – 15 seconds hard, 30 seconds rest.

3. Sub-Maximal High Intensity Intervals

Sub-Maximal intervals are excellent for burning fat and for building up your cardiovascular conditioning. This type of training will do each of these fat better than continuous-tempo, lower-intensity training.

This type of interval training is very similar in concept and execution to the Maximal interval style. The difference is, instead of pushing yourself as hard as you can on each work interval, you work at a pace that is somewhat below your max. This allows you to do more total work intervals during the session while still keeping your intensity levels high.

Most Interval programs on cardio machines follow this principle. The resistance/speed is increased to a higher level for a set period of time then reduced for a set period of time. The level is not so high that you must put your maximum effort into each work interval, but it is at a level you could not keep up for long periods.

This type of training is also very effective for fat loss and increasing the metabolism.

Intervals in this style can be longer, since you’re not working at maximum speed, but not much longer. Work periods of 30 seconds to a minute and rest periods of 30 seconds to a minute work well for it. Here are some sample intervals you can use in your training:

Work Rest
30 sec. 30 sec.
30 sec. 1 min.
1 min. 1 min.
1 min. 30 sec.
45 sec. 45 sec.

This type of training can be done for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the intensity level of the work.

4. Near-Maximal Aerobic Intervals

This is a unique form of interval training that I’ve been working with that basically combines Aerobic Interval Training with Maximal Interval Training to allow you to work at near-peak levels for long periods of time. This has the benefit of burning a tremendous amount of calories for longer periods of work time than is possible with normal intervals.

The work intervals themselves are short but the rest periods are much shorter! Instead of pushing yourself to the max on every interval, you work at a pace somewhat short of your max. This type of training allows you to perform near your max for longer periods of time. It is a very challenging and unique form of interval training.

Here’s how it works:

Start with a work interval of 20 seconds and a rest interval of 5 seconds. Your pace should be one that you would only be able to keep up steady for about 1 to 2 minutes before having to stop. Do that pace for 20 seconds then go very slow for 5 seconds. Jump right back in and do that same pace for another 20 seconds then very slow for 5 seconds. Keep this cycle repeating for a designated period of time, e.g. 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 15 minutes.

Here are some sample intervals you can use with this training style:

Work Rest
20 sec. 5 sec.
25 sec. 5 sec.
30 sec. 10 sec.
15 sec. 7 sec.
40 sec. 10 sec.

This type of training works very well with cardio machines that allow you to switch resistance instantly or very quickly (stationary bikes, stair machines or elliptical trainers often allow this). Machines that must cycle slowly through their speeds as they change do not work well for this (treadmills fall into this category). It can also be done with running then walking, cycling then pedalling slowly, or even swimming hard then stroking lazily. You’ll find it very challenging to be having to constantly restart your momentum from almost scratch on every interval!

Please note: it’s very important that you don’t stop completely when you take your short rest period. Keep yourself moving during this time even if you’re just moving very slowly!

5. Fartlek Training

No discussion of Interval Training would be complete with a reference to Fartlek Training. Translated from Swedish, “Fartlek” literally means “speed play.” What is it? It’s simple – Fartlek training is every type of interval rolled into one workout!

You can start by jogging for 5 minutes then walk for 30 seconds then sprint for 30 seconds then walk again then run fast for 2 minutes and so on. The idea is to train at a wide variety of speeds, distances and times in order to hit the widest variety of training parameters.

This type of training is an excellent way to keep your cardio interesting. You never have to do the same thing twice! This workout can last anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes, depending on the intensity at which you are working.

In conclusion, Interval Training is not a hard concept to wrap your head around: go fast then go slow! The various types of interval training I’ve explained above will definitely help you achieve your goals, whether they be rapid fat loss, high-powered sports performance or amazing cardiovascular capacity!

About the Author:

Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 17 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including “Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass“, and several others all available at ( http://www.fitness-ebooks.com ).

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The 5 Most Effective Exercises and Training Techniques That Will Get You Kicked Out Of A “Normal” Gym!

By Terry Grant

The most effective exercises and training techniques are the ones that push your body to the limit…they activate more muscle fibers, challenge your balance and determination, and push your strength to the limit!

Oddly enough, they can also get you kicked out some gsyms!

(Not that I know this from personal experience or anything…)

These top 5 techniques are among THE very best for achieving the goals they’re targeted for. Use them wisely!

1. Lockout Partial Squats

This exercise will draw the ire of any self-respecting gym owner, especially one that hasn’t invested in good-quality, high weight-rated Olympic bars.

Why? Because, when you do this exercise with REALLY heavy weight (as you should for maximum effectiveness), your standard “el-cheapo” Olympic bar is going to BEND and bend PERMANENTLY .

If and when the gym management sees bent bars and you’re the only one using really substantial weight on them…well, you get my drift.

So how do you do Lockout Partial Squats? They’re quite simple – basically, you set the safety rails in the power rack to just below the very top position of your squat. Then you set a bar on those rails. Then you pile a LOT of weight on (you can warm-up with what you would normally do for a one-rep max).

When the bar is set up, step underneath, get it set on your back then finish the lockout. Simple as that!

You can see this technique in actison here (I’ve also got a picture below):

In this example, I’m using the lockout squat as a static hold, standing up with it then just supporting the weight at the top – I’m using 950 lbs on the bar (10 plates on either side) using a bar rated to 1500 lbs. As you can tell, I’ve learned my bar-bending lesson!

2. Fat-Loss Circuit Training

This is a training technique that is downright AMAZING for fat loss. It’ll kick your metabolism into overdrive like nothing else. So why will it get you kicked out of a gym?

Let me tell you how it works first…

At its simplest, you’re doing a regular weight workout, but instead of taking complete rest in between sets (e.g. do a set of 8 reps than sit on the bench for a minute doing nothing), you’ll be doing 30 to 40 seconds of moderate intensity cardio training.

Here’s what it would look like:

1 set of 8 reps bench press 
40 seconds jogging on the treadmill 
1 set of 8 reps bench press 
40 seconds jogging on the treadmill 
1 set of 8 reps bench press 
40 seconds jogging on the treadmill 
1 set of 8 reps bench press 
40 seconds jogging on the treadmill

And so on, for the rest of the workout…

It is actually deceptively simple and seems relatively easy…but let me tell you, when you do this in a regular workout, it will AMAZE you with how strongly it revs up your metabolism.

You can read a more in-depth description of this technique in this article:

Fat-Loss Circuit Training – a revolutionary fat-burning, metabolism-boosting training technique

It’s a technique I use in my ” Metabolic Surge – Rapid Fat Loss ” program:

So why will this technique get you kicked out of the gym?

Well, as great as this technique is, it DOES require you to go back and forth between weights and cardio equipment. To do this (and this is normally only a problem if you train at a busy gym) you have to claim both a weight training area and a cardio machine. Most gyms frown on this type of thing, especially at a busy time. Chances are, your stations will be gone the moment you step away from them.

Fortunately, it’s easy to remedy with a simple modification! Instead of using a machine for cardio, you can skip rope, step up and down on a bench or on stairs, or you can jog in place.

3. Power Cleans or Any Olympic Lifting In General

If you go to a Bally’s, or another similar type of machine-oriented commercial gym, and start doing Power Cleans (or any Olympic lifts) in eyeshot of any of the “supervisors” or trainers, chances are good that you will be asked to stop (been there!).

Why? Liability. You see, if YOU know what you’re doing and you know how to perform the exercise safely, that’s one thing.

But the other person WATCHING you do that exercise (who is probably not experienced enough to perform it safely) might just decide to try it out and hurt themselves.

And, of course, when that person does drop that barbell on their foot or wrench their back, they’ll sue Bally’s, which is what Bally’s is REALLY worried about here.

The thing is, Power Cleans and Olympic lifts are GREAT for building explosive power . They’re NOT dangerous at all when taught correctly and under knowledgeable supervision. In fact, injury rates in competitive weightlifting are actually much LESS than even something as simple as running!

It’s all in proper instruction.

You can get a good idea of what the Power Clean looks like here:

Olympic Lifts

4. Backwards Treadmill Running And Walking For TORCHING The Quads

You may now know this but the treadmill can actually be a GREAT muscle-building tool…it’s just not immediately obvious HOW.

You see, if you’ve got stubborn quads, part of the problem is probably blood supply. Most lagging muscle groups correlate with poor blood supply.

Think of it this way…which of your bodyparts pump up most easily? Which ones are the hardest to pump up? Now which ones develop the most easily? I can tell you with near certainty, your muscles that pump most easily also develop most easily.

Back to the treadmill. Most people face forwards when using the treadmill, which is fine…even encouraged, if you will.

But turn yourself around and run or walk on the treamill facing BACKWARDS (and set the machine to a high incline) and you’ve got yourself an exercise that will quite simply TORCH the quads more than you will believe.

And in the process of this torching, you are going RAM more blood into your quads than you can with pretty much any other exercise. This dramatic increase in blood flow will actually help improve overall circulation to the quads, which will help with future muscle growth.

Very effective stuff…you can read more about it and see it on video here

So why could this training technique get you kicked out of a gym?

Well, standing backwards on a treadmill does increase the overall general risk of even using a treadmill in the first place. This is why you MUST hold solidly onto the rails as you’re running or walking on it. You should, at any given moment, be able to instantly support yourself on the rails and step off the belt.

But most gyms don’t have this level of trust in their members. Even a perfectly safe and effective technique like this may fall within the reasoning of “different = bad.”

Here’s the thing…when you hold the rails solidly while using this technique (and you can step off at any given moment), I think it’s actually SAFER than running FORWARDS on the treadmill!

5. Deadlifts

The deadlift is one of my favorite exercises…there’s just something so satisfying about grabbing a really heavy bar and lifting it off the ground. There’s no middle ground…you either lift it or you don’t. And the crazy thing is, I HAVE almost gotten kicked out of more than one gym for doing plain old deadlifts!

The first time was at a gym in Ft. Lauderdale. I was doing deadlifts, minding my own business, not slamming the bar to the ground or dropping it or anything like that, when the attendant came over and said:

” I’m sorry. We don’t allow deadlifts in this gym. They make too much noise. 

And I actually felt sorry for the poor guy who had to come up and tell me this…I could tell by the look in his face he knew what a stupid rule and stupid reason it was but he had no choice but to enforce it.

(Apparently the coffee shop on the first floor below didn’t realize there was a GYM upstairs when they opened up and would complain constantly about noise…)

So I asked him “How about if I just do deadlifts but don’t set the weight on the ground in between reps AND I’ll be very gentle when I DO set it down at the end of the set. You won’t hear a peep.”

I demonstrated a set of continuous-tension deadlifts (which are a GREAT variation of the deadlift, by the way…you do the exercise but never let the weight plates touch the ground between reps…VERY tough to do with heavy weight).

He looked suspicious but said that was okay and I was able to finish my training for the day without getting tossed out.

The second time was at Gold’s Gym in Nassau, Bahamas. On this occasion, I was doing heavy singles – still not slamming the weight down or dropping it. Then, in between sets over the loudspeaker, I hear…

” Please do not drop weights on the floor…it distracts other gym members. 

So I keep going thinking, hey, I’m not dropping weights on the floor. I’m just setting the bar down doing heavy singles. So I keep going and AGAIN over the loudspeaker I hear (in an EXTREMELY snotty voice now)…

“Gym users who drop weights on the floor will be asked to leave the premises.”

Disgusted, I unloaded the bar, set the safety rails on the nearest rack to just below lockout position, put 10 plates on either side then proceeded to bend the ever-lovin’ CR@P out of that bar with the lockout partial squats from example #1 in this article…

I’m just kidding! I really only used 9 plates… 🙂

About the Author:

Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 17 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including “Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass“, and several others all available at ( http://www.fitness-ebooks.com ).

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Fast Or Slow Rep Speed… Which Is Best For Size And Strength?

By Terry Grant

In This Strength Training Article:

– Why something as simple as your rep speed could be holding you back from reaching your goals…and how one little change can help you shortcut your way to success!

– BONUS DOWNLOAD:  2 Free Chapters from my book, “Optimum Anabolics” to show you how to build MORE MUSCLE FASTER…with a lot less effort!

Lifting tempo is the technical term for how fast (or slow) you lift and lower the weights during a rep.

Lifting tempo has a couple of other aliases, lifting speed and rep speed to name two.

A rose by any other name as they say, because whatever you want to call it, lifting tempo has a huge impact on your training success.

Neither speed is right or wrong.

Rather, different lifting tempos help you achieve different results.

What’s important is making a conscious decision to lift at a certain speed. Selecting a lifting tempo should be part of creating a training program.

To put it simply, high muscle tension during a lift is what makes for big muscles.

The faster your lifting tempo, the lower your tension. However, a fast rep enables you to lift heavier weights.

If you’re looking to increase sheer power and strength, you go with a faster lifting tempo.

A slower lifting tempo, as explained above, is what increases muscle tension.

To increase muscle size, focus on a slower lifting tempo.

In general, you want to let the weight down more slowly than you raise it.

Cowboy up�we’re going to have to take a foray into the world of technical terminology.

An exercise starts with you lifting the bar. This is called the �positive� phase of the rep.

It’s also called the �concentric contraction.�

On the other hand, lowering the weight (not surprisingly) is the �negative� phase and the �eccentric contraction.�

The positive phase is where your muscles are doing the work; the negative phase is where your muscles face resistance.

You want to come down slowly because the negative phase is the phase that promotes blood flow.

Increased resistance equal increased blood flow.

Why should you care about blood flow?

Because it causes �microtrauma.� Microtrauma, though ominous sounding, is our friend.

It’s what keeps your muscles growing stronger throughout the day, post-workout.

Ok, so I’ve been talking about �slow� and �fast� lifting tempos, but to put this info into practice, you’re going to need some definitions to go along with those terms.

Fast lifting tempo: These are the explosive-type reps. Use enough weight to really push yourself, but not so much that you can’t use proper form.

Slow lifting tempo: Ten seconds total. Four seconds up, four seconds down, and a two second pause at the top.

As Goldilocks wanted something in between the hot and cold porridge, so too do bodybuilders need a middle ground in order to use both lifting strategies to maximize size AND strength. 

For this I actually prescribe a 2-stage repetition tthat allows you to target ALL of your muscle fibers and benefit from BOTH lifting styles.

You can get my full step-by-step instructions just by downloading 2 free chapters from my best-selling natural bodybuilding book, Optimum Anabolics. 

Just go to www.optimumanabolics.com and look for the download signup form about halfway down the page.

About the Author:

Jeff “Muscle Nerd” Anderson is the author of Hardgainer Project X: The Ultimate Skinny Guy Guide to Building Muscle.Jeff was the geeky guy in the gym, taking notes and analyzing over every aspect of his training results to determine what works for building muscle and losing fat. He specializes in providing step-by-step training programs for the “Average Joe”. For more information please visit: www.HardgainerProjectX.com

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Fat Loss Secrets Of The U.S. Military

By Terry Grant

In This Fat Loss Article:

– “We do more before 6 am than MOST people do ALL DAY!” Here’s why …

– Why “body weight” exercises RULE when it comes to burning off body fat!

– Don’t feel like “working out”? Drill Sergeants DON’T CARE…neither should YOU !

When the U.S. armed forces set out to develop a fitness program that would hone a lean, �fit-to-fight� physique, they didn’t have the option of waiting around for the next �fad diet�… 

…they don’t Google �fat loss� on the internet and sign up for the first advertised �guru� program they can find… 

…and they DON’T buy �fat burner� supplements by the truckload and issue them at morning roll call. 

The program they use MUST be effective enough to work on ALL body types, both men and women, and for anyone from the 18 year old knucklehead fresh off the turnip truck to the 50-something career soldier nearing retirement. 

But before you take off, thinking this is going to be some recruitment ad to try to get you to enlist in the armed forces just to save a few bucks on your current gym membership, let me tell you why the military’s fitness program (in my biased opinion) is the finest on the planet…and YOUR ticket to creating the best body of your life in 2008. 

Military Fat Loss Principle #1:   Train Early � Burn Early 

In the military, we don’t wait for the sun to rise to begin our day.  PT (�physical training� or exercise) starts at anywhere from 5am to 6am each day. 

Training early in the morning jumpstarts your metabolism and shifts it into high gear to burn fat all day long…and you don’t need to be a soldier to take advantage of that! 

Try to get your workout in as early as possible in the day to ratchet up your body’s natural fat-burning abilities before your metabolism slows down in the evening. 

Military Fat Loss Principle #2:   Training Is MANDATORY 

Trust me…there’s no �I don’t feel like working out today� in the military! 

You’re behind had BETTER be standing in line when training begins or it’s likely you’ll be scrubbing toilets until midnight. 

For you, punishment may not be that severe, but if you’re truly committed to creating your dream body and melting off any unwanted pounds, you have to find a way to eliminate as many excuses as possible that can keep you from staying on track. 

Take an honest look at the reasons you may have stopped training in the past.  Was it the time commitment?  Scheduling conflicts?  Maybe you can train at home instead?  Perhaps find a gym closer to your job so you can hit it on the way to work or during lunch? 

Whatever you can identify as an obstacle, brainstorm ways to eliminate it for good…and make training MANDATORY. 

Military Fat Loss Principle #3:   Bodyweight Training Rules 

You won’t catch any self-respecting soldier admitting to using any infomercial ab gizmo! 

Pushups…situps…pullups and other bodyweight exercises are the fundamental core of the military’s exercise program. 


Because the government understands that to maintain a lean, strong physique, you need to fuel your body’s primary fat burning �engine�…your muscles! 

You see, for every pound of lean muscle on your body, you burn an extra 14 calories per day. 

Compare that to just 4 calories burned for every pound of body fat and you can see that you can burn over 300% more calories throughout the day just by focusing on building more lean muscle and holding back the fat gain. 

For several reasons (that I don’t have room for here), bodyweight training is superior for this type of fitness goal and ideal for all ages and fitness levels. 

Oh, and an added benefit for you…bodyweight training can be done anywhere! 

At home, while traveling, at the gym…ANYWHERE! 

Want to know how YOU can tap into the military’s BEST training secrets and build the body of your dreams ? 

Then get ready…because I’m declaring WAR on body fat!

Sign up for my FREE 5-Day Audio Report at my fat loss website using the link below…

Free Fat Loss Guide  << Click Here To Download Your Free Report 

About the Author:

Jeff “Muscle Nerd” Anderson is the author of Hardgainer Project X: The Ultimate Skinny Guy Guide to Building Muscle.Jeff was the geeky guy in the gym, taking notes and analyzing over every aspect of his training results to determine what works for building muscle and losing fat. He specializes in providing step-by-step training programs for the “Average Joe”. For more information please visit: www.HardgainerProjectX.com

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Another Reason Your Muscle Building Program Sucks

By Terry Grant

One of the most popular, faulty and dangerous myths espoused in nearly every muscle building program is that you must use a full range of motion on every exercise in order to achieve maximal growth.

Supposedly you have to take each movement to the fully stretched position and then finish in the fully “peak” contracted position. If you don’t you will never get huge… or so they say.

Without getting all technical and scientific let’s just look at a few real world examples to see if this advice makes any sense at all.

Starting from the ground up let’s begin with calves. All fat guys have big calves. They walk around all day with a lot of weigh on their calves but never once achieve a full stretch or contraction. It’s simply high loads, tension, volume and frequency. The same can be said for a lot of runners and bikers. And when the Olympics start today you will surely be awestruck by the calf development of the female gymnasts, who do spend a lot of time in the fully contracted position while walking on their toes but no time in the fully stretched position.

And speaking of the Olympics, not only will you notice that many 15 year old female gymnasts (with minimal testosterone levels) have calves bigger than the average guy but they also have thighs bigger than a lot of guys who spend several hours per month on the leg press. Yet, very rarely in their gymnastics training do they achieve a full squat position. There is actually very little, if any, full range of motion training done for their thighs, but they all have completely jacked legs.

Baseball players, rock climbers, mechanics and other manual laborers have huge, muscular forearms. But do you think that development is brought about by these guys consciously trying to achieve a full stretch and contraction throughout their game or work day? Of course not.

Powerlifters have huge legs yet only squat to parallel most of the time. Not a full range of motion movement. They also have huge traps which are mostly due to a lot of heavy deadlifts. There is NO range of motion for the traps on a deadlift. They contract, but don’t actively move from a full stretch position to the peak contraction position.

Not only is the deadlift the best trap building exercise there is, it’s also probably the best overall mass building exercise there is for the entire body. It has been heralded as such since the beginning of time from guys like Paul Anderson to Arnold to Ronnie Coleman. But name me one muscle group that is taken through a full range of motion on the deadlift. There is not a one!

So how can some experts espouse the value of full range of motion training while simultaneously listing the deadlift as one of the top exercises in any muscle building program? Ditto for the clean, clean and press, snatch, jerk, etc.

Not only is this myth incorrect but it can also be dangerous advice to adhere to. Achieving a full range of motion for the pecs would entail bringing your arms all the way behind your back to start the exercise and then crossing them all the way across your body in the front. First of all, that would destroy your shoulder. Second of all, it’s impossible and impractical.

Some guys try to really go for the deep stretch on dumbbell presses and allow their elbows to drop way below the bench. Others drop down into the deepest stretch possible on the dip bars. They have been led to believe that this extreme, loaded pre-stretch is needed for maximal muscle growth. The truth is that they will probably be seeing an orthopedic surgeon long before they get mistaken for Mr. Olympia.

Leg presses are another exercise where guys commonly push the stretch position way too far. If you bury your knees in your chest on a leg press, like many bodybuilders and coaches recommend, and allow your spine to round and your butt to come up off the pad you will surely have back problems that may plague you for quite some time.

Not only is going into the fully stretched position not recommended, but a lot of exercises have no tension whatsoever in the fully contracted position, which therefore makes that recommendation somewhat useless as well. If you want to target your chest and shoulders and not your triceps, most pressing movements should actually be done with a partial range of motion; stopping a few inches shy of lockout. A ¾ range of motion there is more beneficial than a full range. Think Lou Ferrigno doing military presses in Pumping Iron.

There are numerous other exercises where partial ranges of motion are far more effective and safer than full range movements. However, covering them all is beyond the scope of this article.

But hopefully by now you realize what a ridiculous recommendation this full range of motion nonsense truly is and will stop following it blindly without rational thought as soon as possible.

To learn the target range of motion for each and every exercise in your muscle building program and finally maximize your growth potential, avoid inevitable injuries, and uncover more mind blowing myths that you are probably following right now, visit http://www.musclegainingsecrets.com today

About the Author:

Jason Ferruggia is a world famous fitness expert who is renowned for his ability to help people build muscle as fast as humanly possible. He has trained thousands of clients during his 14 years as a professional fitness coach, including more than 500 athletes from over 20 different sports. Jason has written hundreds of articles for numerous top rated training magazines and websites and has authored four fitness books. He is also the head training adviser for Men’s Fitness Magazine where he also has his own monthly column dedicated to muscle building. For more great muscle building information, please visit http://www.musclegainingsecrets.com

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