The Bodybuilder’s Guide to Progressive Weight Training

May 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Bodybuilder Tips

588-bodybuilder-weight-trainingThe key to progressive weight training is training to failure. That means selecting a weight heavy enough that when you complete the last repetition of a set, you cannot do another repetition of the exercise. When you have trained to the point where the final repetition is easy to perform, it is time to add more weight. When this is true of all the exercises you are performing, it is time to advance to the next stage of the program. Try to train with a partner. Training with a partner of your own level and ability will help your progress tremendously. Not only is the extra enthusiasm helpful, but a partner will help spot the weight for you, and will help watch your form.

Here, briefly, are some general principles to keep in mind when weight training:

• Do stretch and warm-up exercises before beginning each weight training session. Cool down after each training session.

• Begin your exercise program by starting with your hardest or least liked exercise.

• Isolate the muscle group you are arousing and concentrate on that group throughout the exercise.

• Vary your exercises and change your order of exercise periodically so you do not fall into training ruts.

• Breathe throughout each exercise. Inhale through your-nose and exhale through your mouth. Exhale when pushing or pulling the weight or at the point of maximum exertion; inhale when returning to starting position. Please note: Individuals who have sinus or nose-related problems should inhale and exhale through their mouths.

• Take small sips of water throughout the training period. Do not drink a large amount of water at one time. Also, avoid drinking extremely cold or hot water. Anything extremely hot or cold may cause cramping or abdominal discomfort.

• Move slowly when getting into or out of an exercise position. Use your hands to push yourself up from a sitting to a standing position.

• Never lift anything from the floor without bending your knees. In general, always have a small bend in your arms and legs.

• As a rule, always lower weight more slowly than you raise it.

• If possible, watch yourself in a mirror during all exercises. Watch your form and make sure you are pulling and pushing evenly.

• Fix your eyes on a particular spot so you can look straight ahead when doing all exercises.

• If you ever feel dizzy, stop the exercise, lie down, and raise your feel, slightly.

• Conclude each exercise by tensing the specific muscle group that you have been exercising. These tension exercises will pump more blood into the particular muscle.  If you find your arms are doing most of the work, try doing your arm exercises first. This routine will pre-exhaust your smaller muscle groups, forcing you to isolate the larger muscles.

The only way your body is going to learn how to build muscle is if you train it to. Progressive weight training requires you to train your body to go harder, longer, and stronger with every repetition. This takes time to build upon, but it can be done.

Bodybuilding Myths Debunked

May 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Bodybuilder Tips

Bodybuilding by “pumping iron” has been touted as the best way to promote physical fitness and sports prowess. But is all that muscle really healthy? This question depends on whom you ask.  Musclemen, and the moneymakers of exercise machines and clubs tend to give you one answer. Doctors, coaches and scientists tend to give a more careful reply. But most all the experts do agree that we should debunk outright at least two myths about bodybuilding:

Bodybuilding Myth #1:  “Oh, he looks great now, but wait. All that muscle will turn to flab.”

This myth is nonsense. You might as well say it will turn into bone. They are all distinct tissues and cannot interchange. What does happen is that if the weight trainer decides to quit, he will continue to eat the way he did before. Instead, you’ve got to cut the calories correspondingly, or you’ll get flab.

Bodybuilding Myth #2: “He looks beautiful, but he is so muscle-bound he couldn’t tie his shoe, much less play tennis.”

Body building doesn’t interfere with you playing sports. In fact, there are no sports in which one doesn’t benefit from having some sort of strength. But after the debunking comes the debating. Part of the problem is defining the term “bodybuilding.” The basic layperson takes it to mean the lifting of heavy weights to produce a body-oh-so-beautiful, a Mr. Olympia. By this definition, the medical profession tends to find the practice one-dimensional, and sometimes downright dangerous.

Instead, we want one easy answer. The truth is, lifting weights is good for only one thing, increasing strength. For balanced health you must include aerobic exercises for the heart and lungs—running, swimming, cycling. And you must include a sound nutritional program to be physically fit.

Weight lifting can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure. A reading can fluctuate suddenly up to 270. For those who suffer from high blood pressure, consider swimming or jogging instead. Bodybuilding does not mean just lifting weights. It means many types of exercises and training methods to improve the body, make it faster, stronger, and fitter. And it is not directed just to looking like somebody in the magazines. It can be used for sports training or for health and fitness. It can also be used for building self-confidence; for restructuring bad features of the body; for releasing negative energy to overcome frustrations, and for mental strength by setting and achieving goals. You decide what you want from bodybuilding, and you carefully follow a program to achieve it, whether you are a woman who wants to increase her bust measurement, or a man concerned about his heart and lungs.