Is this your first shot at getting big? Or have you already been around the mass-gaining block a couple of times? Whatever the case, you’ve got to get your training, diet, and MIND in the right place. If you’re a skinny guy, every missed meal means FAR slower gains. If you’re on the chubby side, a missed training session or a dietary slip-up can quickly send you spiraling down the wrong path. And no matter how you’re starting out, a positive and driven mindset is crucial to long-term success. Here are my top 5 tips for your next all-out mass-gaining phase.
1. Tailor your diet to your training – and vice-versa
No matter what type of diet you’re using – high-carb, timed-carb, or even ketogenic – you need to organize your meals around your workouts. At the very least, this will mean eating the bulk of your carbs before and after your workouts. Potatoes and oatmeal are great, but why do you need them first thing in the morning, or right before bed? Unless you’re training around those times, you’ve got no use for those carbs. If you’re hours away from a training session – or if you’re taking the day off altogether – stick with meats, eggs, fats, and vegetables. Pound the starches pre- and post-workout, and reap the rewards of fat-free muscle gains.
Now, if you’re on the chubby side, or if you just tend to gain fat easily, you might need to take things a step further. Rather than train six or seven days per week, you may want to take two or three off days that are more or less dedicated to “damage control.” Since all those carbs you eat on workout days might spill over into some fat gain, use those off days to go a little easier on the calories. Pack in the proteins and fats, sure, but stay as close to ZERO sugars and starches as possible. For some guys, this is even a good way to gain muscle AND lose fat.
2. Focus on daily progression
Whether you want to gain five pounds of muscle or fifty, every little step counts. An extra five pounds on the bar or one extra rep may not seem like much, but if you maintain that kind of progress, you’ll be blown away by the long-term results. Just think about how much stronger you’d be if you added just TWO pounds to the bar every time you did squats. That’d be more than a hundred pound increase in just a year! If that seems like unrealistic progress on a large scale, then you understand just how important every little bit of progress can be. Think about that the next time you feel cutting your heaviest set a rep or two short!
One big caveat, though – DO NOT focus on daily body weight progress. Your body weight can easily fluctuate, especially if you’re eating more carbs on some days than others. While you can expect noticeable increases in strength from week to week, you should only be gaining two or three pounds of body weight per MONTH. Fixate on the scale too much, and you’ll just end up discourage – or fat from eating too much!
3. Start off lean
This might not be what some of you want to hear, but it’s the truth. You’ll have the best results during a bulk if you start out with a low level of body fat. The leaner you are, the better your body is at partitioning nutrients towards muscle growth, so every bit of effort you put forth will actually pay off more.
Even if it weren’t for the faster progress, you’d still want to begin your bulk as lean as possible. No matter how well things go, you’re probably going to put on a bit of fat in your quest for size. Sure, you can diet it off later, but what about now? Do you want to be uncomfortably fat AND keep eating for size gains? If you’re embarrassed to take your shirt off in public, you’re still too chubby to bulk. Lose the flab, feel good, and THEN start packing on the lean mass.
4. Don’t go overboard
If you’re a true “hard gainer” – one of those rail-thin guys who just can’t seem to put on weight – then you probably don’t need to worry. For you, it’ll be a day-to-day battle just to eat enough to grow.
However, everyone else needs to keep a close eye on his scale weight and body fat levels. Like I said, two to three pounds per month is a good rate – and that assumes you’re getting stronger! If you’re getting heavier but not handling heavier weights, you can rest assured your gains are mostly fat. Unlike what some bodybuilding gurus would have you believe, more muscle does mean more strength! Your strength-to-body weight ratio is almost always a good barometer of lean, muscular gains.
Of course, staving off fat gain is all a matter of diet. You might be matching your main meals to your workouts, but what else are you eating? Are you justifying cheat meals with your “bulk?” Are you eating dessert – totally useless from a bodybuilding standpoint – just because fat loss isn’t a current priority? You might be able to get away with cheats once in a while, but you’ll soon be sorry if you make them a regular affair.
5. Keep your eye on the prize!
Gaining muscle might be fun, and it’s certainly rewarding – but it won’t be easy. For every fellow lifter you’ve got cheering you on, there will be a slough of others tearing you down and discouraging you. Even worse, you’ll have “well-meaning” family and friends who tell you to skip workouts, stay out late, miss meals, and chow down on junk food.
There’s certainly no need to be an asshole to any of these people, but remember that you always have a choice. Is that party more important than tomorrow’s workout? Is that bowl of ice cream more important than keeping your six-pack? Is chatting more important than keeping your nose to the grindstone in the gym? It all comes down to your priorities! If you really want to get big and strong, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
The post 5 Tips For Your Next Mass Gain Phase appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Justin Woltering
Title: 5 Tips For Your Next Mass Gain Phase
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/5-tips-for-your-next-mass-gain-phase-copy/
Published Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2020 11:00:31 +0000
Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs
Powerful and thick thighs require gut-busting exercises like squats and leg presses. However, once you have acquired adequate thigh mass and strength, you should consider adding some balance and sharpness to the muscle bellies in your thighs. Although tough to accomplish, leg extensions provide a great way to carve the separations between the muscle bellies, and to accentuate the “teardrop” shape of the four quadriceps muscles of the anterior thigh.
Active Muscles in Leg Extensions
The three vasti muscles comprise most of the anterior thigh.1 The vastus medialis covers the medial (inner) part of the femur bone (thigh bone). When it is well developed, it forms a teardrop-like shape over the medial side of the knee joint. The vastus lateralis muscle attaches to the lateral (outer) part of the femur bone. The vastus intermedius connects to the femur bone between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscles. The fibers of all three vasti muscles come together at the quadriceps tendon, which crosses the patella (kneecap) to attach to the tibia bone just below the knee.1
Together, the three vasti muscles extend the leg at the knee joint, although the vastus intermedius may be more fatigue resistant than the vastus lateralis.2 The vastus medialis oblique (VMO), which is a small part of the vastus medialis muscle, attaches to the medial part of the patella. It is thought to help the patella track properly during movement of the knee. Improper tracking can increase the likelihood for knee injury.
The vastus medialis and especially the VMO part of this muscle are primarily responsible for tibial rotation (rotation of the tibia bone of the lower leg on the femur) during knee extension. This rotation or “twist” has been shown to increase the activation of the VMO portion of the vastus lateralis even more than doing knee extensions with the hip adducted (thigh rotated so that the medial portion of the knee is facing mostly upwards).3 Dorsiflexion of the foot (moving the ankles so the toes are pointing towards your head) also increases the activation of the VMO by more than 20 percent.4 Likely this is because the dorsiflexor muscles stabilize the tibia during knee flexion and resist rotation of the tibia on the femur as the knee straightens.
The fourth muscle of the quadriceps group is the rectus femoris muscle. It attaches to the anterior part of the hip bone just above the hip joint.1 The largest bulk of the muscle fibers are located on the upper three-quarters of the thigh, whereas the largest belly of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis are more inferior (i.e., closer to the knee). The distal end of the rectus femoris muscle becomes tendinous and it creates a deep valley between the lateral and medial vastus muscles as it approaches the knee.1 It assists the other quadriceps muscles by extending the leg at the knee joint, although it is less effective when the hip is flexed than if it is straight.
The three vastus muscles of the anterior thigh are strongly activated by single-leg knee extensions. The rectus femoris is not activated as strongly, but it does undergo some overload when the anterior thigh is under contractile effort, about halfway up to the top of each repetition.
1. You should always warm up your knees with some stationary cycling prior to getting into leg extensions. Furthermore, the resistance on your first set should be fairly light to allow the joint to fully warm up before you get to the heavier stuff.
2. Adjust the knee extension machine so that the pivot point of the lifting arm is directly adjacent to the center of the side of your knee joint.
3. Position the ankle roller/leg pad over the lower part of the leg (above the ankle joint).
4. Take about three seconds to slowly extend (straighten) both leg so that the weight is lifted upward from the stack.
5. Continue upwards until the tibia and the femur bones form a straight line and the knee angle is straight. Hold this for two seconds at the top.
6. Slowly lower the weight (about four seconds down) towards the starting position. Once the knee has reached 90 degrees, start the upwards extension phase again. Continue for 12-15 repetitions for the first set. Lower the number of repetitions but increase the resistance for subsequent sets.
7. On the next sets, lift the weight upwards until the knee joint becomes almost straight, but just slightly short of a total knee lockout. Be careful that you do not “jam” the knee joint into a fully locked out position, because this could cause knee cartilage damage5, especially with heavy weights. Hold the top position for a count of three before lowering the weight.
8. Lower the weight slowly (four to five seconds) towards the starting position where your knee is flexed to 90 degrees. Just before the weight stack contacts the remaining plates at the bottom, start lifting it upward for the next repetition.
The downward movement should be slower than the upward phase because you are resisting the pull of gravity. The slow lowering of the weight stretches the muscle under a resistance and this is a great stimulus to improve muscle shape and size.6
Make sure that you do not hold your breath during the lift upwards.7 Rather take a breath at the bottom (start) of the lift, and exhale as you extend the knees/legs. Take another breath at the top and slowly exhale as the weight is lowered. Take another breath at the bottom and repeat the sequence.
This is a mechanically simply exercise, but it really can be very challenging and blood depriving8,9, especially if you try to control the weight as it is moving up and down. However, if you are willing to work through some discomfort, you will be soon enjoying your new shape and slabs of carved thighs.
1. Moore K.L. Clinically Orientated Anatomy. Third Edition. Williams & Willkins, Baltimore, 1995; pp 373-500.
2. Watanabe K, Akima H. Neuromuscular activation of vastus intermedius muscle during fatiguing exercise. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2010;20:661-666.
3. Stoutenberg M, Pluchino AP, Ma F et al. The impact of foot position on electromyographical activity of the superficial quadriceps muscles during leg extension. J Strength Cond Res 2005;19:931-938.
4. Coburn JW, Housh TJ, Cramer JT et al. Mechanomyographic and electromyographic responses of the vastus medialis muscle during isometric and concentric muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 2005; 19:412-420.
5. Senter C, Hame SL. Biomechanical analysis of tibial torque and knee flexion angle: implications for understanding knee injury. Sports Med 2006;36:635-641.
6. Alway SE, Winchester PK, Davis ME et al. Regionalized adaptations and muscle fiber proliferation in stretch- induced enlargement. J Appl Physiol 1989;66:771-781.
7. Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1334-1359.
8. Denis R, Bringard A, Perrey S. Vastus lateralis oxygenation dynamics during maximal fatiguing concentric and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2011;21:276-282.
9. Ueda C, Kagaya A. Muscle reoxygenation difference between superficial and deep regions of the muscles during static knee extension. Adv Exp Med Biol 2010;662:329-334.
The post Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM
Title: Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/ripped-leg-blast-for-carved-thighs/
Published Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 19:11:16 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
COMPARTA SUS SENTIMIENTOS Y EXPERIENCIAS SOBREEL CÁNCER.
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30 minutes prior to training, consume 2 rounded scoops (20.3g) with 8-12 oz of water or your
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• Enhances energy and endurance†
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†These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The post PRIMAL Preworkout appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: PRIMAL Preworkout
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/nutrition/supplements/preworkout/primal-preworkout/
Published Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 16:51:41 +0000
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