Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ben Pakulski: Arm Training Tips

Ben Pakulski
Here are four unique arm training tips from Ben Pakulski, creator of the Mass Intentions MI40  program. Follow these tips and I'm sure you'll find them helpful for adding arm mass:

1) LESS VOLUME!

Small muscles require less volume, and recover faster. Basic logic says, a smaller muscle has less overall total volume of muscle fibres. It takes LESS overall stimulus to fatigue these muscles and less overall training volume to exhaust glycogen stores (stored muscle energy).

2) HEAVY WEIGHTS (WITH PERFECT FORM)

 Heavy weights are going to fatigue a greater overall percentage of muscle fibres in a shorter amount of time (aka less sets). Heavy weights also have the added benefit of stimulating "high threshold motor units". These are the muscle fibres that require a lot more stimulus to grow and respond, but also the fibres that are more likely to be responsible for muscle hypertrophy or GROWTH!

3) ARMS RECEIVE A LOT OF STIMULUS ON A REGULAR BASIS

Arms receive a lot of stimulus on a regular basis. For most people, this tends to occur in the middle of the range of motion where the muscles are strongest. In order to get the arms to grow and respond, it is necessary to subject them to a different type of stimulus. One of the best ways to improve arm development is to subject them to more tension and continuous tension at the extremes of the range of motion (a.k.a, when a muscle is fully lengthened or fully shortened --where muscles are weakest). This will allow for greater time under tension as well as targeting different points of the strength curve to force the nervous system to adapt and stimulate new muscle growth.

 4) YOU MUST ENGAGE THE TARGET MUSCLE FIRST IN ANY MOVEMENT

The FIRST muscle to engage in ANY movement must be the muscle you are trying to target. If you are working your biceps, to most effectively stimulate the bicep, it must be the muscle to initiate the movement. As mentioned, muscles are weakest at those extremes and that makes it LEAST likely to contract. This is where your conscious intent and control is vital! The best way to ensure this is happening is to CONTRACT its antagonist muscle. This will ensure a fully lengthened working muscle and make it much more likely that it will initiate the movement(provided youre using proper control).

 e.g. when working your bicep, to fully stretch your bicep at the bottom of the range, it is necessary to contract your tricep before initiating the movement of contracting your bicep again.The opposite is true when training triceps. Contract your biceps at the top of the range when a tricep is fully stretched (forearm touches biceps).

Note: be sure to check out my Review of MI40 if you'd like to learn more about Pakulski's training methods.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jason Ferruggia's Renegade Diet

You can read more about Jason Ferruggia's new diet here:
Renegade Diet Review

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lower Ab Planks (Abdominal Training)

Here's an article about a variation of the plank.  You can see a video of this exercise by clicking here. 

The Abdominal Plank is one of the most effective and simple abdominal exercises you can do.

If you're not familiar with the Plank, your basically hold your body in a stiff, horizontal position on your forearms and toes (on the floor), maintaining a straight body position for as long as possible. It's a great exercise you can do anywhere.

THIS exercise is a version of the plank where instead of holding your body in the horizontal position, using some small changes, you'll instead be holding it an angle.

This change in angle and body position shifts the tension to the lower abs and can be very effective for tightening the lower abdominal area, especially if you're looking for that sexy "V" look down through the obliques (once you get your bodyfat low enough, of course).

This exercise could also help get rid of that "pooch belly" bulge by tightening up the specific muscles that control that area of the abs...when these fibers don't have "tone" (in this case lack of tone means they relax too much, not other "tone" that just means training with light weights and getting zero results ;)...

...so as I said when these fibers don't have tone, they just let the internal organs push outward, causing that bulge, even if your bodyfat is low. This exercise can help correct that.

I've got it set up in the rails of a power rack, but you can very easily do it between two benches if you don't have a rack to work with (or a bench for your forearms and something else a few feet off the ground to hook your feet over - you'll see what I mean).

So to do this one in the rack, set your rails a few feet off the ground, then stand facing one side. Set your forearms (near the elbow) on the rail then hook your feet on the other rail. Now just hold your body in that position, keeping your body just a bit bent (not completely straight like the floor version...because your knees are lower, you need to keep some bend in your hips to keep pressure off the lower back) and stable as you can.

Keeping the hips bent is really important...if you straighten the body, you'll immediately get a lot of stress onto the lower back.

Once again, though, nice exercise for targeting the lower abdominal area and you can do it on benches or really anything else you can set your forearms and feet on. Hold the position for as long as you can, staying short of complete failure and strive to increase the hold time in your next workout.

You can do this exercise first in your abdominal routine, which I usually recommend doing after the rest of your training is completed. I wouldn't do it first in your workout, though, as it will temporarily weaken the area. Which means if you do this exercise then a set of heavy squats, your squats will suffer.

That being said, if you're doing a cardio training session, you can do it before or after cardio, since that doesn't require the same level of stabilization in the core.

And if you're interested in even MORE killer core training just like this, definitely check out my book "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of" - 77 ab-blasting exercises that will take your midsection to a whole new level!

RECOMMENDED: to best understand how to perform and get the most out of this technique, I HIGHLY recommend checking out the pictures and video of it in action...click here now to see it (or click the image).


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Nick Nilsson has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been innovating new training techniques for more than 20 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding books including "Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass", "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of", all designed to maximize the results you get for the hard work you put into your training.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fat Loss Forever (Coming Soon)

John Romaniello
John Romaniello has a new program coming out.  You can read more about it here:  Fat Loss Forever Review.  

I haven't had the chance to see it and review it in detail, but I know the basics.  I'm looking forward to it because I believe it will help people get lean in record time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ben Pakulski Back Workout

Here's another article from Ben Pakulski:  creator/author of the Mass Intentions Extreme 2.0 (MI40X) Workout Program. Here he emphasizes rowing and other movements for building your back.  
Ben Pakulski

Another awesome week of training in BPak Land. Killed back twice this week: One day is heavy rows and pull ups; the other day is very meticulous contraction and back to basics with deadlifts at the end of the workout.

I had been told to avoid deads last contest season for fear it might build my waist. I say bullshit! I’ve been deadlifting Mack trucks since I was 17 and always manage to get my waist smaller than 34 inches. The only time my waist grows is if I get lazy and don’t train my abs or overeat. Bottom line! SO….back to basics and make this back explode.

I have given special attention this year to using only perfect form on every thing I do. Bit of a shot to the ego when it comes to weights, but they have gone back up relatively quickly. What does perfect form mean? Ahhh the question every aspiring bodybuilding should be asking! (and likely is!) Perfect form is getting a muscle AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE! And conversely, as long as possible, although both are not always possible in the same exercise. This should be the basis for where every workout begins. HOW DO I GET A MUSCLE AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE?

First, what does that mean? And what does a fully shortened muscle look like for each and every body part? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, and you’re trying to build muscle, you’re wasting time. Now, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to build ANY muscle (if you use the “shake weight” enough times you will eventually build some muscle). However, if you’re like most people I know, you value your life and don’t want to waste your time in the gym. Who wants to work hard and not building muscle effectively…right?

Each week I will try to explain ONE exercise and what it means to fully shorten that muscle and HOW to do it! Since the theme for this week is BACK, here it goes for LATS…

The lats primary functions are to “adduct, extend and internally rotate the humerus.” Although there may be a few other functions in there, depending on specific fiber direction, these are the main ones we need to be concerned with. So, what does that mean? From the “anatomical position” (standing with arms at your sides, palms facing forward), it simply means: Bring your arm closer to your side, rotate the shoulder inward (so your palm is facing behind you), and extend your arm as far as possible behind you (without moving any other part of your body). TRY IT! See how it feels.

If you’re not getting close to this position in your workouts, you’re wasting time! It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to do exactly this position on every exercise. Some exercises are slightly different angles etc. But this should be the primary goal and on your mind when executing each and every set and rep.

My workout looked like this:
Reverse Grip Seated cable row 4x15 (180, 225, 225, 225lbs)
One arm dumbbell row 4x12(130, 140, 140,140)
Overhand barbell row 4x15(315)
Deadlift 4x20 (315 for 23 on first set, then 405lbs for 3 sets: 20, 17,17 reps)
We kept the deads light cause I hadn’t deadlifted in almost 3 months.

If this exercise execution worked for you and you want to see the next one ASAP….. as soon as I see 50 comments and feedback on the blog, I’ll post the next one! I want to hear your feedback!

GROWTIME!! BPak

Note: Just CLICK HERE to check out Ben Pakulski's training program.