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Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
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1. Reps And Sets
The most bascial term in bodybuilding is the rep. Rep is short for repetition and simply means peforming one complete movement of a given exercise. For esample if you were doing a flat barbell bench press it would mean lifting the bar off the rack, slowly lowering it to mid-chest and them pushing it back up to arms' lenth. Performing a group of continuous reps is called a set. Most bodybuilders perform 8 to 12 reps per set.


2. HOW MANY REPS?
There are three broad categories of rep ranges - one for biudling maximum muscle size, one for maximum strength, and one for general conditioning. There is no one rep range that will maximize all three categories at once. You must decide what your primary goal is. Generally speaking, for maimum strength 3 to 6 reps seems to work best. Bodybuilders trying to gain muscle mass find sets in the 8 to 12 range most effective. For general conditioning, 12 to 20 reps is normal.



3. REP RANGES
Even though most people may respond best to a given rep range, everyone is different. Over time, experiment with different rep ranges to see what works best for you. Don't stick with a given rep range if it doesn't give you the results you desire.


4. BEGINNER REPS

When starting an exercise program, perform higher reps. The higher reps will force you to use lighter weight. This means you can concentrate on mastering your technique. You will achieve better results and there is less chance of injury.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
5. NEVER TOO YOUNG!
For those younger readers (or those who have young teens), be assured that you are never too young to benefit from a regular weight-training program. Regular exercise improves physcial fitness and strength, promotes a healthy lifestyle, and boosts self-esteem. the old myth of weight traning stunting growth is just that- a myth! There is no evidence to support this old belief.

6. NEVER TOO OLD!
The fastest growing demographic segment of society is the baby boomer generation (anyone born between the years of 1946 and 1964). Unlike their counterparts from 30 or 40 years ago, most baby boomers are not content to grow old. they want to stop the clock. Weight training is one of the best forms of exerciseto combat the decline in physcial health brought about by age. Unlike cardio, which can be tailored to the individual's fitness level. In addition, only weight training can slow down the problems associated with bone loss due to osteoporosis. So, you baby-boomer readers, Get Up Off The Couch And Hit The Gym!

7. DON'T WORRY ABOUT GENETICS
The bad news is that your genetic makeup is the promary limiting factor in your training. That's the bad news. The good news is that no one has ever utilized his or her full genetic potential. Although unfavorable genetics have made thousands of bodybuilders' ultimate achievements difficult, no individual has ever been competely hindered by them. So get to it!

8. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS

Just as you woudln't haphazardly drive around hoping by accident to reach your destination, so too should you have a "road map" to follow when bodybuilding. Grab a pieve of paper and write down exactly what you want to change about your body. Is it an extra inch or two on your arms? How about a 225-pound bench press? Or perhaps you want to see your abs again! Next, give yourself a timeline to follow and try to stick to it. This will keep you honest and less likely to skip workouts.

9. STRICT VERSUS LOOSE REPS
Bodybuilders perform two types of reps - strict and loose. As the names imply, strict reps are those that are performed in almost flawless fashion. There is no cheating or jerking the weight up. Loose reps are those for which some body momentum is used to assist the target muscles in lifting the weight. there is an argument to be made that reps should always be performed in strict style. this is a especially true at the beginner level, but advanced bodybuilders frequently use a loose training style.

10. CONCENTRATION IS THE KEY

Always concentrate and focus on the muscles you are trying to stimulate when exercising. Try to make a lighter weight feel like a heavier weight. In his prime Arnold Schwarzenegger used 60 to 70 pounds to work his biceps while others were flinging up 80 or 100 pounders. Arnold made those 60's feel like 80's and built two of the greatest biceps in bodybuilding history.

11. THROW THEM OUT
Unless you are hundreds of pounds over weight, throw your scales out the window. Body weight is not always a good measurement of fitness and health. You could gain 10 pounds of muscle and lose 10 pounds of fat. your weight will not have changed, yet you've improved yourself considerably by losing fat and adding muscle.

12. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Don't expect results in a few weeks. It takes an average of two to four months before you'll see significant changes in strength and muscle size. Even then you might not see them, but they are occuring just the same. Some things are worth waiting for. Stay dedicated and be persistant.

13. THE UPS AND DOWNS

There wil be days when there won't be enough weight in the gym for you. Conversely there will be days when the warm-up will feel heavy. There is no way you will be able to max out on every workout. Let the body be your guide. On the days when it says: "go at 75 percent," listen.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
14. 10 FOR 1
On average you'll need to gain 10 pounds of bodybweight for every inch of arm size. For most people who train consistently this means that in a fiver-year period they'll increase their bodyweight by 50 pounds and add five inches to their arms.

15. FORCED REPS
After you have a few months of training under your belt you can try a few advanced training techniques. One of the easiest to learn is forced reps. A foreced rep is a rep performed after you can no longer lift the weight on your own. Let's say yo complete 10 reps on the bench press and cannot do number 11. Have a partner placehis hands under the bar and provide just enough lift to help you complete a couple of additional, or "forced" reps. In gym jargon your partner is giving you "a spot."

16. HOW MANY SETS
As with the number of reps in a set, there is no magic number of sets to perform in a workout. In time most bodybuilders discover what works best for them. Perform too many and you run the risk of overtraining and burnout. Perform too few and you won't adequately stimulate the muscles. Our advice is to start off by performing 6 to 9 sets total for bigger muscles like chest, back and legs, and 4 to 6 sets for smaller muscles like biceps and triceps.

17. A GUIDE FOR TOO MANY SETS
One of the best guides for determining when to stop training a particular muscle is to go by "the pump." As soon as a muscle is subjected to exerciseit begins to fill up with blood, giving it a tighter and fuller feeling. Bodybuilders have discovered a point whendoing extra sets not only doesn't increase the pump, the pump can actually drain away. It is at this point that yuou should stop trainig the muscle and move on to the next body part.

18. THE FINAL SET

As you exercise a muscle, waste products such as lactic acid begin to build up. It is these metabolic by-products of exercise that play a major role in fatguing the muscle. One way to help flush these "exercise limiters" out is by performing a lighter/higher-rep set at the end. Highreps flush the area with blood, speeding up waste removal.

19. DON'T BURN THEM OUT OR FADE THEM AWAY
Even though they are the "showy" muscles of the body, the biceps are one of the easiest muscles to overtrain. your biceps receivea good workout just by being used in your back workouts. Don't make the mistake of training them three or four times a week for 15 to 20 sets. Try 6 to 8 sets in total, once or twice a week.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
20. DEVELOP A BALANCED WORKOUT
Don't overemphasize one part of the body, like the chest or biceps. Get an expert to help you design a smart, comprehensive program that works all muscle groups. Do at least one exercise for each of the major muscle groups or you can end up with a muscluar imbalance. Not only does that look funny, it causes a greater risk of injury.

21. THE STRONGEST MAY SURVIVE BUT THE WEAKEST NEED EXTRA WORK!
Closely related to the previous tip is the fact that many bodybuilders fall victom to the trap of working their largest and strongest muscles more than their weakest. The temptation is strong to give into the quick gratification of working the muscles that respond the quickest. The last thing you want is your gym buddies saying things behind your back like "he's all arms", or "pity he has no legs." Keep a close eye on each muscle's progress and adjust your training accordingly.

22. BRING A FRIEND
Unless you are passionate about training, you'll have days when going to the gym is the last thing on your mind. Studies have shown that over 60 precent of people new to weightlifting will stick with it for at least six months if they have a friend or spouse training with them. So as soon as you decide to take up exercising, try to recruit a training partner.

23. DON"T GO CATABOLIC
One of the biggest deteriments to gaining aize and strength is performing too many sets for a muscle group. Try to stick with 6 to 8 sets for smaller muscles and 10 to 12 for bigger muscle groups.

24. TRAINING TO FAILURE

Training to failure means terminating a set when ou can no longer lift the weight. If you were doing 10 reps in a set, you would pick a weight that does not allow you 11 reps. We don't recommend training to failure at the beginner level. Doing so is very taxing on your recovery system. Instead terminate the set one or two reps from failure (i.e. use a weight that you would fail at 12 reps but only perform 10)

25. ONE-REP MAXIMUMS
If you decide to see how strong you are on a few of the exercises (squats and bench presses usually being the guilty parties), limit the testing to once a month. One-rep maximums place a lot of stress on the soft connective tissues such as ligaments and cartilage. They also tend to stress out the muscles and tendons. Make sure you have a trusted spotter behind you in case you miss the lift attempt.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
26. CLASSICAL VS HEAVY DUTY
The classical system of sets consists of starting out doing 1 to 3 sets per bodypart and adding a couple of sets and exercises every month or two. It's not uncommon after a couple of years for advanced bodybuilders to be performing 15 to 20 sets per bodypart. The heavy-duty sytle of training was popularized by Dr Arthur Jones and the late Mike Mentzer. Both argued that 1 to 3 all-out sets to failure was more productive and less draining on the recovery system than 15 to 20 sets performed in moderate style. Experiment with both styles and see what works best for you. Virtually all the top bodybuilding champions use the classical system of training.

27. KEEP IT SIMPLE FOR ECTOMORPHS
If you have an extomorph-type body (tall, lean, little muscle mass), keep your training simple and infrquent. Perform basic exercises for low sets and reps. Train only two or three times per week. Keep your protein intake high (at least one gram per pound of bodyweight), and limit your cardio to two to three 20 minute sessions per week.

28. GO AT YOUR OWN PACE
Keeping up with the Joneses may be fine in the suburbs, but it's not a good idea in the gym. Don 't let someone else's workout influence your training. It's fine to feed off others' intensity, but don't try to lift too-heavy weights just to keep up. Train at your own pace and strength level. You'll make better progress and have less chance of suffering a severe injury.

29. TIME BETWEEN SETS
You want to wait long enough between sets to recover your breath but not long enough to cool down before the next set. For most muscles this works out to about a minute. For a larger muscle like legs you may have to wait 90 seconds to two minutes. You may get by on 30 seconds' rest for a small muscle like biceps.

30. STRAIGHT SETS

When you begin weight training, perform all you sets as straight sets. this means performing a given exercise with a chosen weight for a given number of reps. the straight-sets style of training is the most common training method used by bodybuilders.

31. PYRAMIDING - THE EGYPTIANS HAD IT RIGHT

After a few months of training with straight sets, try pyramiding your reps and weight. Pyramiding involves starting with a light weight for higher reps and then increasing the weight and decreasing the reps with each successive set. the top of the pyramid would be the point at which you are using your maximum weight. You then start decreasing the weight and increasing the reps. Generally speaking the lighter sets are performed for 15 to 20 reps and the heavier sets for 6 to 8 reps.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
32. HALF-PYRAMIDS
Because a muscle tires with each successive set, many bodybuilders feel they should start their training with their heaviest weight. If they perform too many high-rep, light-weight sets they'll never be able to reach their heaviest weight. To get around this they do one or two very light sets and then put their heaviest weight on the bar or machine. The weight is then decreased and reps are increased with each successive set. In effect they are working down the backside of the pyramid.

33. PERFORM FULL RANGE OF MOTION
With the exception of a few advanced training techniques discussed later, perform all your exercises through a full range of motion. This means fully stretching and contracting the muscle and moving the limb or limbs through their entire possible distance. Half movements will only build strength in the part of the muscle being worked when the movement is taking place.

34. HOW MUCH WEIGHT?
As much as we would like to, there is no way to know specifically how much weight to use on each exercise. Everyone is different. First decide how many reps you want to complete in a given set. Then pick a weight that limits you to that number. There will be days when you'll have to use less weight to achieve the same number of reps. On other days you'll need more weight.

35. KEEP IT BIG
During your first few months of training, focus on exercise for the large muscle groups of the body (i.e. quads, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps). Don't worry about the smaller muscle like the serratus, teres, and rhomboids. These muscles will get a good workout just by trainng the bigger muscles.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
36. PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD
Although thee will be the odd day when you will mneed ot use les weight, the primary method for increasing muscle size is progressive overload. That is, as soon as a muscle adapts to a given weight, you must increase the weight to keep the muscle growing. With few exceptions, the biggest bodybuilders are also the strongest.

37. GROUND YOURSELF
As soon as you begin working out, take a lesson form your parents and "ground" yourself. Place both feet securely on the ground and keep them there. At the end of your set your feet should not have moved so much as an inch. If they have it probably means you've used your legs to cheat!

38. CONFLICTING GOALS
One of the biggests mistakes you can make when you start training is trying to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Unless you are that one-in-a-million, genetically gifted freaks, you won't be able to do both simultaneously. If you are 20 pounds or more overweight, your first priority is losing the body fat. If you are very lean but lacking in muscle size, focus on gaining some good muscular bodyweight. Don't attempt to stay lean wile trying to get big. You can't have it both ways.

39. EXERCISE SPEED
Exercise speed is another name for tempo. Our advice is to use a 2-2 exercise tempo when starting out. this means take two seconds to raise the wight and two seconds to lower it again. With time you can experiment with ultra-fast reps (explosive training) and ultra-slow reps (10 seconds or more).

40. BREATHING
When exercising intensely, the body needs enormus amounts of oxygen. If you hold your breath while training you run the risk of passing out. Try breathing on each rep of the exercise. Most bodybuilders inhale on the lowering part of th rep and exhale on the upward part. In effect you are "blowing" the weight up.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
41. TIME BETWEEN WORKOUTS
You don't grow in the gym. Training only stimulates muscle growth. You must restlong enough between workouts to recover. For most bodybuilders a minimum of 48 to 72 hours is needed between muscle groups. Hitting the same muscle two days in a row will only leave you in a constant state of overtraining. If in doubt take an extra day off.

42. SLEEP
Get a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. One late night out partying probably won't set your training back too much, but making a habit of surviving on three or four hours sleep a night will prevent you from achieving the success you desire. It'd that simple.

43. WARM MILK - MOM WAS RIGHT!
If you have trouble sleeping, try drinking a small glass of warm milk just before bed. Warming the milk activates the amino acid tryptophan, which has been shown to be a natural sleeping aid.

44. POWER NAPPING
If circumstances prevent you from getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night, try napping once or twice during the day. A 30 to 60 minute nap in the middle of the day produces wonders in terms of mental and physical acuity. Even a couple of 15 minute mnaps spread over the day can boost your energy reserves and recovery abilites.

45. DISPELLING AN URBAN MYTH
Don't worry about training before bed. The old belief was that exercise interfered with sleep patterns by increasing adrenaline levels. Recent studies have shown that those who exercise shortly before bed sleep just as well as those who exercise ealier in the day.

46. TRAINING AT HOME
Training at home has numerous advantages. You don't have to fight for a parking space and you don't have to wait for equipment. You can also train at your convenience. The disadvantages are limited equipment, distractions, and no one around for motivation.

47. BUYING HOME EQUIPMENT
You can spend more than $1000 on the latest TV home-gym setup, or $50 at a flea market for a few weights. Millions of home-gym setups are bought, but few are used. Before blowing hundreds or thousands of dollars, check around with friends and relatives. Basement flea markets are also a good bet for buying exercise equipment for your home. Anyone who has had teenage male in the house porbably has an old York or Weider barbell set kicking around.

48. DON'T FALL FOR THE LATE-NIGHT TV ADS
You've seen the ads: "Just five minutes a day will develop a six-pack!" Save your money and invest it in either a gym membership or a piece of legitimate training equipment. Most of those crazy TV gizmos are useless and designed to cash in on people's quick-fix mentality. In most cases you are wasting your money. Not to mention that many of those contraptions are potentially dangerous.

49. COMMERCIAL GYMS
The primary disadvantages to training at home are the advantages to working out at a gym. You'll have access to the latest training gear, There will be lots of advanced bodybuilders around for inspiration. Finally, such distractions as the phone, TV, and fridge are nonexistent.

50. SELECTING A GYM
When selecting a gym, make sure to take into consideration wuch isses as cost, location (are you and your car safe?), equipment selection, quality of staff, hours of operation, change-room facilities, crowds during peak times, and atmosphere. Most gyms offer day passes to try out their facilities. Before plunking down a year's membership try out a few gyms to get a feel for the place. It is well worth the $5 or $10 day-pass fee.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
51. TYPES OF GYMS
Gyms can be divided into three type; hardcore, middle of the road, and spas. Our advice is to aviod spas. The equipment tends to be more glitz than practical, and the owners don't really want people who train seriously there anyway. Stick with either a good middle-of-the-road gym or a hardcore bodybuilding gym.

52. NOW MUCH?
Most middle-of-the-road gyms will cost $35 to $50 a month to work out at. If $600 a year sounds expensive, keep in mind that this works out to just $1.65 a day! That's a trivial amount of money to be investing in improving your energy, health and physique. If taking the money out of your wallet each month is difficult, arrange for a direct bank amount withdrawal. Many gyms will also do a payroll deduction. Either way you may never miss the money.

53. BUYER BEWARE
When joining a gym, beware of fly-by-night operations. Numerous gym chains have reputations for hitting town with much flash and fanfare. After a couple of hundred people take out a "liftetime" membership, the gym is gone! Our advice is to only join for a month or so. If you do decide to commit to a year, pay by post-dated checks or some other means that sllows you to stop payment if the shady characters leave town. Never a free to have your credit card charged each month.

54. AT WORK!

One of the more popular trends is for employers to set up fitness rooms for their employees. Although a few are doing it as a generous fringe benefits for staff, the primary reason is that insurance companies better rates if their employees are healthy and working out. If your company doesn't have a gym yet, talk to the owner (or appropriate person in the chain of command) and see if they'll explore the option of setting one up. You may be the one voted to do the job.

55. THE GREAT OUTDOORS
For a change of pace try training outdoors. The fresh air will do you wonders and the openness is a welcome change from the sometimes stuff confines of a gym. Venice Beach in California is famous the world over for its outdoor training pit. A word of caution for those who live in larger cities. Pay attention to smog alerts. Gulping in huge amounts of toxic air will not do your body health any good. In fact doing so may only shorten it. On those days stick to an air-conditioned facility.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
56. PROTECTION
If you decide to train outdoors, always use a good sunblock. Two or three hours training in the sun can play havoc with your skin. Time passes very quickly while you're training and before you know it you have second or third-degree burns. You may also want to avoid training outside in the 11am to 3pm time slot, as thisis when the sun is most dangerous.

57. WATER
The human body is about 70 percent water. While we have water conversation systems, at times our hydration levels fall dangerously low. Always consume copious amounts of water when training. You can use the gym's fountain, but then so will almost everyone else. That's a lot of potential germs. Buy a water bottle and keep it filled. Rather than gulping large amounts, try sipping it throughout your workout.

58. DIZZINESS
If at any time during your workout you feel dizzy, immediately stop what you are doing and sit down. Tilt your head forward to increase blood flow to the brain. Dizziness is one of the first signs of lack of oxygen to the brain. It is also the body's way of saying you will faint if you don't do something about the situation. If you find yourself getting dizzy on a regular basis, consult your physician.

59. TRAINING MORNING, NOON & NIGHT
Although the most popular time to train is between 4 and 8 pm (that's when most people get off work and school), there is no best time to train. For some, 6 am works best. For others trainig at that time would be nauseating. Likewise, many like to finish work and head straight to the gym to unwind. The best time to train is whatever time works best for you.

60. TRAINING FREQUENCY
Even if your primary goals are maximum size and strength, it's not recommended you start out with an advanced four or six-day splilt routine. You'll get great results by training the full body every second day for a total of 3 or 4 days per week.

61. WORKOUT DURATION
How long you spend in the gym ultimately depends on the type of program you are following. There is no need to be dragging your training session out for two or three hours. In fact if you are still training after 3 hours your intensity level is probably too low to be effective. Try putting everything you've got into a 60 miinute workout.

62. MISSING WORKOUTS
No matter how dedicate you are to your training, sooner orlater uou'll miss the occasional workout. As long as you are fairly consistent, don't worry about it. One ot two extra days off a month will not set you back. In fact it may help you, as many people are in a chronic state of overtraining. Yo'll find that after an extra day off your energy and strength levels are often much higher.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
63. TRAINING DURING THE FLU
Although some oeople swear that exercising will somehow "sweat out" the flu virus, our advice is to give training a pass when you're under the weather. the common cold, while not life threatening, is weakening your overall recovery system. One of the warning aigns of overtraining is an increased frequency of colds. Let the body deal witht he virus before subjecting it to another grueling workout.

64. VISUALIZATION
The great Arnold Schwarzenegger used to imagine this biceps were mountains when he trained them. Numerous studies have shown that those poeple who visualize where theyw ant to be down the road get there more quickly then those who don't visualize. Set small strength and size goals and then visualize obtaining these goals.

65. PHOTO INSPIRATION
Flip though a copy of Muscular Development and find a large picture of your favorite bodybuilder. Cut it out and paste it on the fridge, bathroom wall, or someother place you see every day. Use the photo for motivation and inspiration. Every time you look at the photo imagine what it would be like to look like that bodybuilder. The go into the gym and train your butt off.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
66. GLOVES
Uunless you are used to manual labor, you'll notice after your first few training sessions that your hands will develope blisters. The way to prevent this is to wear gloves. You can use gloves specifically made for weightlifting or you can substitute gold gloves. Keep in mind that once you start wearing gloves you are committed to them. Your hands will never get a change to toughen up and calious over. Forget your gloves just once and it's back to the blisters. Unless you need soft hands for your job or hobby (i.e. musician or surgeon), our advice is to give the gloves a pass.

67. SPONGES
Sponges are a cheaper way to protect the hands during a workout. Go to the kitchen section of any store and for a buck or two pick up a package of sponges. They come in different shapes and sizes but the 4 X 6 X 1/2-inch variety will probably work best. Place a sponge in each hand and grab the bar, dumbbell, or machine handle. The sponge will protect the skin on your hands from blistering.

68. WRAPS
No matter how diligent you are with proper technique, your joints will be subjected to a tremendous amount of stress. The soft tissues at the joints will occasionally start letting you know that maybe you should take some sort of preventive measure. Many bodybuilders find that by wrapping the common trouble areas such as the knees, wrists, and elbows, they can reduce the chances of injury to the joint. Wraps come in many shapes and sizes. Some are elastic in nature and have a preset tension. Others are nothing more than simple first-aid elastic bandages that allow you to adjust the tension. While we don't recommend wrapping yourself up like an Egyptian mummy, you may want to experiment with wraps on such exercises as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.

69. BELTS
The most popular piece of weightlifting equipment is the lifting belt. However, wearing a belt at all times never allows the lower back muscles to strengthen. We suggest that you use one only if you really need it. Our advice is to only wear a belt for lower back protection on such exercises as squats, deadlifts, barbell rows and overhead standing presses, and only when using heavy weight.

70. BENCH PRESS SHIRTS
If you decide to test you ego on the bench press, you might want to invest in a bench press shirt. These specially made shirts are usually made of polyester and about two or three sizes too small! By compressing the arms, shoulders, and chest muscles, the upper body is put into a better leverage situation, enabling you to lift more. Some powerlifters will add 50 to 100 pounds to their bench press with the aid of a bench shirt.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
71. STRAPS
Straps are short (one and a half to two feet) pieces of woven cloth that you wrap around a barbell, handle on a machine, or horizontal bar to give you a better grip. You'll quickly discover that on such exercises as deadlifts, shrugs, rows, chins, and pulldowns, you forearm grip will be the weakest link. Straps allow you to handle more weight in these exercises. As with weight belts, don't get too dependant on straps, it's better to allow the forearms to strengthen than assisting them all the time with straps.

72. WRIST PROTECTION
If you decide to use straps, a word of caution. Many bodybuilders place the straps directly over the bony extrusion located between the lower forearm and hand. This bump is really the meeting place for the ends of the radius and ulna (two bones that make up the forearm). These small bones were not designed to have hundreds of pounds placed on them, and this is the weight you'll be using down the road on exercises such as shrugs. The solution is to place the wrist straps above this area. If the straps cover any part of the wrist or hand, they are too low.

73. HI-TECH VS LOW-TECH STRAPS

You can purchase a set of fancy wrist straps for $15 or $20, or you can make your own for mere pennies. If you decide to make your own, use a strong piece of material. Martial arts belts, car seat belts and woven nylon are three dependable choices for making wrist straps. There are two styles of wrist straps. Some are straight at both ends. Others have a loop at one end that you feed the other end through. Neither style is better than the other. It comes down to personal preference.

74. HEAD STRAPS
This is nothing more than a special harness that fits over the head, allowing you to attach a weight to the other end. By moving the head in various directions (forward and back, side to side) you can strengthen the neck muscles. Be careful, as the neck muscles are very easy to strain. You'll probably get enough indirect neck stimualtion form the other exercises you'll be performing, such as upright rows, shrugs, etc.. but if you participate in sports where a strong neck is vital (judo, wrestling, football), you may want to consider direct neck training.

75. HEADBANDS

Also called sweatbands, headbands are another simple piece of equipment that will make a big difference to your workouts. Nothing is as irritating as getting sweat in your eyes. The problem is compounded if you are wearing contacts. Even those who train in an air-conditioned gym are not immune to having beads of sweat rolling dwon their forehead. For a few dollars (or mere pennies if you want to make your won) invest in a headband to soak up the mositure before it starts giving you a severe case of redeye.
 

Admin1

Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
76. CHALK
The body's primary cooling mechanism is to release water to the skin surface in the form of sweat. While sweat does wonders for for fooling the body, it plays havoc with gripping sports. The nect time you watch a gymnastics competition take a close look at the hands of he athletes. They are virtually white with chalk. Weightlifting is like gymnastics in that a firm grip is an absolute must on all the exercises. Chalk is cheap ($2 to $3 for a six-inch block) and makes an excellent training aid for drying sweat and giving you a better grip. Just check with you gym's policy on chalk before buying. Some gyms don't allow chalk as it messes the floor.

77. BARBELLS
It's probably safe to say that no weightlifting machine will ever replace the good old-fashioned barbell. Barbells come in an assortment of sizes and shapes. Olympic bars are the largest at seven feet long and 45 pounds. You'll use these on such exercises as bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and barbell rows. Shorter bars are more convenient for various biceps and triceps exercises. Finally, EZ-curl bars have a series of s-shaped curves that allow a more naural drip. Many people find straight bars hard on the wrist and elbow joints and opt for the curved EZ-curl bar. You should try to use all types of barbells in your training program.

78. DUMBELLS
Dumbells are the baby brothers of barbells. Instead of holding one long bar in tow hands, you hold a shorter one in each hand. Dumbells range in size from one pound up to over 150 pounds. You will use dumbells on such exercises as biceps curls, flyes, presses, and side raises.

79. BENCHES
To provide support and taget different areas of the body try using different bench angles in your workout. If you are training chest you can shift the stress from the lower chest to the upper by using a tilted or inclined bench. Likewise the lower and outer chest can be stressed by using a declined bench.

80. ARM BLASTERS FOR STRICTNESS
No matter how hard you try to prevent it, the body will always attempt to cheat when exercising. We are inherently lazy creatures. With standing barbell curls the lazy way out is to start rocking the body and lifting the elbows forward from the torso as the bar is lifted upwards. One way to reduce this is to use an Arm Blaster. This two-foot long, six-inch wide piece of curved metal fits around the waist and allows ou to place your elbows firmly against it. Locking the arms in this position makes it much more difficult to cheat. The cover photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger using the Arm Blaster back in the 1970s are nothing short of inspirational.
 

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Administrator. Graeme
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81. CABLES AND PULLEYS
For added variety in your training nothing beats pulleys. As the name suggests, pulley exercises are those where the weight is attached to the handles by a long cable running through one or more pulleys. Although biceps curls (cable curls) cable crossovers (for the chest) and triceps pushdowns are the most popular pulley exercise, you can use pulleys to train just about every muscle.

82. MACHINES
It started with Universal back in the 1960s. Now there are dozens of strength-machine manufacturers. Strength machines are easier to learn than barbell or dumbells exercises, espeically when you begin resistance training.


83. WARM UP
Always warm up before training. Most injuries are the result of jumping to heavy poundages too quickly. A warm muscle is much more flexible and pliable than a cold one. A warm up takes only a few minutes but it can save you a lifetime of pain.

84. THE STRONGER YOU ARE THE LONGER THE WARM-UP
As you progress in your bodybuilding you'll find that you'l be hoisting some serious poundages in your workouts. What this means is that your muscles, tendons, and ligaments will be subjected to much more stress than when you started training. It's a fact that the stronger you get the more likely you are to incur an injury. To reduce the chances of this happening, increase your warm-up time proportionally. One or two light sets may be fine for a 100-pound bench press, but when you get up to 300+ pounds you'll need to do three or four light and medium warm-up sets to adequately prepare the muscles.

85. USE A SPOTTER
Whenever possible have someone stand behind you (called a spotter) to lend assistance on potentially dangerous exercises like squats and bench oresses. Besides safety, a spotter can help you complete a few extra forced reps.

86. NEVER PERFORM POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS EXERCISES ALONE IN YOUR HOUSE OR APARTMENT
A small number of bodybuilders have been found dead in their basements. In most cases they had tried that extra rep on a setof bench presses and failed. The results was a heavy barbell crashing down on their neck.

87. USE A POWER CAGE
If you must train at home, consider buying a power cage. A power cage allows you to set catch-bars at any height. By setting them an inch or two below you maximum depth, you have a backup if something goes wrong. Even on the bench press you could manage to wiggle out from under the bar if you can't return it to the supports.

88. USE COLLARS ON ALL BARBELLS
Even with the best of techniques the odds of lifting a barbell perfectly even are remote. If the plates are not locked on with a collar it's possible that they could slip off the lower side. This in turn causes the side with the plates left on to drop suddenly. This violent wrenching motion can tear muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Always use collars.

89. WHEN NEVER TO USE COLLARS
This is going to contradict a previous tip, but there is one occasion when you shouldn't lock the plates on with collars. Even though you should never perform barbell bench presses alone, some readers will still go ahead and do so. If you do ths and don't have access to a powercage or Smith machine, leave the collars off. this way if you get the bar stuck across your chest you have an out. Simply forceone side of the bar upwards to cause the plates to slip off the other side. Now the side with the plates still on is heavier and will drop, thus spillng those plates on the floor. You've not got an empty bar on your chest. Place it nack on the rack and promise yourself you'll never do it again! Needless to say, dropping heavy weights could ruin your floor.

90. USE A WEIGHT-LIFTING BELT ON HEAVY EXERCISES SUCH AS SQUATS, DEADLIFTS & BARBELL ROWS
The human spine is a marvel of engineering but it was not meant to have hundreds of pounds suddenly placed on it. Wearing a thick leather belt provides support by securing the ligaments and muscles of the lower back.

91. PUT YOUR WEIGHTS AWAY WHEN FINISHED
Although gym staff will enforce this rule, please take the initiative yourself. Weights left all over the floor are a saftety hazard. Sooner or later someone will trip and fall. Return your weights to the proper location when finished. this prevents injuries and makes it easier for the next person to find the weight they want.

92. IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF EXERCISE TECHNIQUE - ASK!
Most gym instructors are knowledgeable and only too willing to help out. Weightlifting exercises are probably not the nest activities for experimenting with when leaving.
 

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Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
93. ROTATIONS FOR PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE
If you were to rank the body's joints interms of how prone they are to injury, the shoulders would probably place third behind the lower back abnd knees. In fact the shoulders may move up to the number one position in those who regularly lift weights. Years of heavy pressing movements (both for chest and shoulder training) can play havoc with the shoulder joints. In many cases the problem is not the large, outer deltoid mucle, but the smaller, underlying rotator muscles. These small muscles located on the scapula (shoulder blade) are prone to injury form repeated heavy pressing movements. Two way to reduce the risk of damaging the rotators is to train them from day one, and to warm them up before doing any heavy pressing exercises.

94. TRY TO PERFORM ALL EXERCISES IN GOOD STYLE
Unless you are employing the cheating principle, try to execute all exercise with good biomechanical technique. This means no bouncing, jerking, or heaving the weight up. Proper technique not only prevents injuries but also ensures that the muscles are getting maximum stimulation.

95. 90 DEGREES IS BEST
The goal on set of leg presses is to bend you knees low enough to stimulate your quads without going too low and damaging the knees. For most people this means having a 90-degree angle between your upper and lower legs when the knees are bent. If you have no knee problems and have good flexibility, then lowering to 75 or 80 degrees is fine, but don't make the mistake that some individuals do and try bouncing your knees off your chest.

96. KEEP THEM TO THE FRONT
Even though many bodybuilders swear by them, behind-the-neck pulldowns and should presses can destroy your small rotator muscles (the smal muscles and tendons located on the shoulder blades collectively called the rotator cuff). Unless you've been doing them for years and have experienced no problems, we sugeest that you not include them in your workouts. Front presss and pulldowns will work the same muscles without placing the same degree of stress on the rotators.

97. NEVER LOCK OUT
Although they are marvels of engineers, human joints can only take so much abuse. You should never lock out completely on any exercise (with the possiblity of triceps exercises). Locking out places tremendous stress on the joints, particualry the soft tissue that surround the joints. If locking out can de compared to making a 180 degree angel between two lines, then stop at about 170 to 175 degees.

98. NEVER BOUNCE
It's mazing that some people ever walk out of a gym. One of the most abused machines in any fitness facility is the leg extension. People load the thing up with more wieght than they can lift in a good style, and then bounce it up and down using body momentum. The amount of stress this places on the knees at the top of the exercise is enormus. It's bad enough if you stop just short of locking out, but many people actually hyperextend at the knee joint when they do leg extensions. Next to the lower back, the knee is the easiest joint to damage. Always trest knees with kindness.

99. NEVER HYPEREXTEND
They are commonly called hyperextensions but in reality you should never hyperextend. One of the best exercises for the lower back muscles is to lie face down on a ball or back extension machine and then gently raise the torso upwards. You should only rise up until your upper body is in line with your lower, or just slightly beyond. Do not try to arch as high as you can. This places tremendous stress on the ower back ligaments. You can still call the exercise hyperextensions, but please don't hyperextend.
 

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Administrator. Graeme
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100. WHEN STIFF SHOULD NEVER BE STIFF
Although they are called stiff-leg deadlifts, you should not do them with the legs completely locked out straight. Always keep the knees slightly bent. The same holds true for every other exercise that calls for a "straight" leg (leg raises for example). Always keep the knees slightly bent to reduce the pressure on the lower back.

101. PUTTING THE HOOK ON INJURIES WITH S-HOOKS
As you've probably discovered by now, most cable machine attachemnts are hooked on to the end of the pulley with an S-shaped metal hook. While providing security and ease of use, S-hooks do have one big disadvantage; they don't lock the attachment in place. At least once a day at some gym, an attachment will pop off after being accidentally stuck or pulled on. For example on some cable machines as soon as you pull on the low pulley the top attachment is automatically pulled backwards (its the same cable). When this happens it's quite easy for an attachment to be bounced off. Always beware of overhead pulley attachments when working out. You may even want to suggest to the gym's owner to invest in climbing hooks, or carabiners. They are the same size and strength as S-hooks, but they lock the attachment in place so it can't pop off. And they are ultra strong.

102. CORRECT HEIGHT ON THE STATIONARY BICYCLE
If you decide to use the stationary bike, adjust the seat so you can't completely lock out you legs. If the chair is too high you run the risk of hyperextending the knee joint, when your legs are in the outstretched position.

103. WHERE APPLICABLE, USE WEIGHT RACKS
It will only be a matter of time before you ar eusing hundreds of pounds on your squat and pressing movements. Even a strong spotter will be hard pressed to prevent that amount of weight from landing on you. To stop the barbell before it crashes down on you, use a weight rack. Many squat racks have a set of pins that you can set just below you maximum squatting depth. If you fall on one of hte reps, simply let the weight drop of the safety pins and walk away.

104. DRESS APPROPRIATELY
If it's mid-summer, don't strut around in three layers of sweatshirts just so you'l look bigger. This will only lead to severe dehydration. Conversely, a T-shirt and shorts will probably not cut it in mid-winter; especially if you're the type who like to wear his gym-clothes to and from the gym.

105. FOOTWEAR FOR SUPPORT
With the possible exception of during calf raises and some yoga or stretching exercises on a mat, wear some sort of footwear at all times. Many leg exercises place tremendous stress on the supporting soft tissues of the foot region. A good sturdy sneaker (crosstrainers will offer more support than runners) wil offer a great deal of support to this region. Even on exercises such as bench presses you'll be using your feet for stability. The last thing you want is for your foot to slip along the floor during a set of flat barbell presses.
 

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Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
106. FOOTWEAR FOR PROTECTION
A less obvious but equally important function of footwear is protection from wayward plates and dumbells. You'll be handling dozens if not hundreds of weight plates during a typical workout. Sooner or later you'll drop one. A 45-pound plate can do wonders to an unprotected foot. A sneaker will at least cushion the blow somewhat.

107. HAVE A MEDICAL CHECK-UP BEFORE BEGINNING ANY INTENSE WEIGHT-LIFTING PROGRAM (OR ANY FORM OF INTENSE EXERCISE)

Granted, if you are a healthy, athletic 18 year old, a medical check-up is probably no necessary. But for anyone who hasn't lifted anything heavier than a cold beer over the last 10 or 20 years, we strongly urge you to consult your physician before trying to relive your high-school days. Ask your doctor for a physical stress test to ascertain your ability to recover from strenuous exercise.

108. KEEP LONG HAIR SECURE
A modern gym is filled with hundreds of moving parts. The last thing you want is to become intimately acquainted with one of these moving structures. Although it's possible to get your hands or clothing stuck, more times than not, it's long hair that causs problems. If you sport long hair keep it in a ponytail or secure it in some other fashion. Even tucked up under a baseball hat will lessen the chance of its getting caughty by a pulley or cable.

109. WATCH YOUR TIME
The days of three and four hour workouts are over. Most bodybuilders nowadays try to get in and out of the gym in 60 to 90 minutes. After about 90 minutes the body's energy reserves are all but depleted. Not only are you coasting (and possibly overtraining) after this point, your thought processess are probably muddled from the high levels of endorphins circulating in you system. It's at this point that you are very susceptible to an injury. Try to split up your workouts so that they take no longer than 90 minutes.

110. USE THE MIRROR
While some people use them strictly for variity, and the owners use them to make the place look larger than it really is, mirrors do serve a useful purpose. On many exercises, particulary dumbells exercises, you'll discover that trying to coordinate both arms is difficult. Things will get easier with time, but duringthe learning phase you should use the mirrors as much as possible to ensure your technique is sound. In addition, during some exercises such as rows a mirror can be a helpful ally in keeping your back straight and not hunched over.
 

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Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
111. LET YOUR SHOULDERS BE YOUR GUIDE
When in doubt, position your feet shoulder width apart, or lower the bar (dumbells or machine handles) to shoulder height. The natural and most stable stance for most people is with the feet about shoulder width apart. this tends to place the least amount of stress on the joints (ankles, knees, lower back). Likewise the finished position of many exercises is shoulder height. For example on dumbell presses for shoulders or incline presses for chest, the dumbells will be approximately in line with your shoulders at the bottem of the exercise. Although it doesn't apply to all exercises, there are numerous examples for which the shoulders are a useful guide.

112. GOOD PAIN, BAD PAIN
As you progress in your bodybuilding career, always pay close attention to your body's signals. You have to learn to differentiate between pain that is signaling an impending injury and pain that is nothing more than the normal soreness associated with an exercised muscle. If the pain seems to be localized to the muscle and disappears after a few days, odds are it's normal post-exercise muscle sorness. On the other hand if the pain is more severe, includes the joints, or lasts longer than a couple of days (or gets worse with each successive day). Then we urge you to stop training that area and seek medical advice from a knowledgeable sports doctor.

113. REDUCING NECK PAIN
Most of those home-exercise gizmos you see on TV are a waste of time and money. Surprisingly, some have their advantages. One example is the abdominal machine. They go by different names, and claim to take inches off you waist in "as little as five minutes per day." While these claims are outlandish, you may want to try one if you have neck problems. Many individuals find abdominal exercises stressful on the neck. Most of the ab machines have a headset to support the mistake pushing with the arms. this only reduces the amount of abdominal stimulation.

114. WHAT YOU LIE ON
Make sure that the mattress on your bed is firm enough to support your body weight. If not, it won't keep your body in proper alignment. One of the primary causes of sore or "bad" backs is a mattress that is too soft. Treat your bed mattress like your footwear-update is regulary.

115. EXPERIMENT WITH GRIPS
Although most exercises should be performed with a shoulder-width grip, this is not etched in stone. Many people find a shoulder-width grip places too much stress on the triceps and shoulders when doing barbell presses for the chest. Likewise a shoulder-width grip may bring too much of the biceps into play on chins and pulldowns. When performing the various exercises, start out getting joint problems or you don't seem to be hitting the targeted msucle, try widening or narrowing the grip. A few inches either way could be all it takes to reach success.

116. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Learn everything you can about bodybuilding. Buying magazines and reading threads is a good start. Bodybuilding is (or shoud be) a lifelong pursuit. The more you learn and apply, the less chance of serous injury and the more success you'll get out of your training.
 

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Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
117. WHOLE-BODY WARM-UP
Even though it may be chest day or leg day, keep in mind that your heart and lungs are going to play an integral part. Always perform five to ten minutes of general cardio to bring the heart and lungs up to speed. This ensures full circulation and oxygen delivery to the muscles when you hit the weights. Popular cardio macines for warm-ups include the treadmill, rowers, stationary cycle, and, in recent years, the elliptical or crosstrainer.

118. TRAINING JOURNAL
One of the best ways to know where you are going is to know where you've been! For just a few dollars, pick up a sprial-bound notebook to record all your training information to see if there are patterns. For example are there days when your eating or sleeping habits impacted your workouts? Write down any information relevant to your training and recovery. A perfect download for record keeping is Training log...Free download...

119. WORKOUT INFORMATION
The most basic information to include in your journal is which exercise you perfromed. Also write down the number of sets, reps and the weight you used on each exercise. Include the day, month and year - looking back at a journal after a peroid of years can be fun.

120. TIME
Write down the length of time it took to do your workout. You can use this information later to determine if there is a correlation between your workout intensity and workout duration.

121. WHAT YOU ATE
Keep a detailed log of everything you eat on a daily basis. For example, don't just write down cereal, write the kind of cereal. Also include what you put on it, i.e. milk (and what type), type of sweetner, fruit, etc. Also record when you had your meals. Every couple of weeks, check to see if there is a pattern between meal timing and workout intensity. Record you weight reguarly.

122. WHICH SUPPLEMENTS
As with food, keep detailed notes of your supplement consumption. What protein supplement did you use? How much? When? Any fat burners? Again, when and how much? Are you on the loading or maintenance phase of your creatine supplementation?

123. SLEEP
Sleep is one of the simplest things to record, but also one of the most important. Check to see if there is a correlation between your workouts and sleep patterns. Compare the data from both angles. Do your workouts influence your sleeping duration, and does the amount of sleep you receive each night impact your workouts?
 
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