Showing posts with label Training Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Training Tips. Show all posts

How Long Should I Rest Between Workouts?

Here's How Long You Should Rest Body Parts Between Workouts:

Rest is very important in any weight-training athlete’s program.

 As many of us have learned the hard way, lifting every day can lead to overtraining and even injury. But just how long should you let a muscle group recover before you train it again anyway?

That’s what Canadian researchers recently set out to discover. To do this, they looked at the rate of protein synthesis (muscle growth) after a heavy biceps weight-training session. By knowing how long muscle protein synthesis is elevated following a workout, we can figure out how long it takes for that muscle to recover.

In the study, muscle protein synthesis was measured after four sets of single arm biceps curls at 80 percent of the subjects’ one-rep max for a total of 12 sets. Each set was performed to failure, and a three- to four-minute rest period was allowed between sets.

The results of the study, which were published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, showed that four hours after exercise, the rate of muscle protein synthesis was 50 percent greater in the exercised arm compared to the nonexercised arm. Twenty-four hours after exercise, the rate of muscle protein synthesis was 110 percent in the exercised arm. By 36 hours after exercise, the rate of muscle protein synthesis was only 14 percent greater than the control group.

According to the researchers, the most effective training frequency would be such that the next training session for the same body part would not occur until the protein synthesis rate for that body part returned to its pre-training rate. For a small muscle group like the biceps, this looks to be no earlier than 36 hours. Larger muscle groups, such as the quadriceps, may take even longer to recover.

Bottom line: 

Training a body part before its synthesis rate returns to the pre-exercise rate may actually be detrimental to the muscle and lead to overtraining. If you want to grow, you need to take time to let your body recover.

Do You Want Bigger Biceps?

Do You Want Bigger Biceps? Load Up the Squat Bar. 

Here's Breaking Research You'll Want:

Monster Mix

European Journal of Applied Physiology:

A new study suggests that virtually every weight trainer who has consistently gone above and beyond “perceived” muscle failure has experienced the mysterious effect intense leg training can have on developing the muscles of the upper body.

Indeed, it’s a peculiar phenomenon where, seemingly, the more intensely a person trains his legs, the more muscle he’s able to pack onto his chest, back, bis, and tris.

For a long time, researchers didn’t know the exact physiological basis behind this phenomenon but postulated that it might stem from an effect whereby an intense workout “encourages” the body to release powerful anabolic hormones, which in turn improve whole-body protein metabolism (muscle growth).

In an effort to test this hypothesis, a team of exercise physiologists from the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education recently studied the hormonal responses of male weight trainers to high- and moderate-intensity leg workouts—with the results confirming the vital importance of training intensity for weight trainers wanting to maximize muscle growth.

In the study, which was published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, Dr. Truls Raastad and colleagues had nine male weight trainers perform one moderate and one high-intensity strength exercise workout.

In the high-intensity workout, the load was 100% of each subject’s three-repetition maximum for squats and front squats, and 100% of each subject’s six-repetition maximum for leg extensions.

In the moderate-intensity workout, the load was 70% of the high-intensity protocol. Rest periods between sets were four to six minutes for both workouts. Blood samples were taken before, 30 minutes into, and every 15 minutes for the first hour after exercise.

Results showed that the acute response of the body’s primary muscle-building hormone testosterone was significantly greater during the high-intensity protocol as compared to the moderate-intensity protocol.

In addition, high-intensity exercise also stimulated a substantial release of growth hormone, although the release of this anabolic hormone didn’t seem to be as directly related to exercise intensity as was testosterone.

Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Make no mistake, training legs with 100% intensity is not a lazy person’s game—it requires discipline, drive, and determination.

But the rewards, according to this research, are well worth it.

It seems not only will intense leg training help you build strong, muscular legs, it will also help stimulate anabolic hormones that will make your upper-body workouts even more effective.

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Ab Training Tips From The Underground. Tip 10


Many individuals develop a condition in which the lower part of the spine is straight rather than curved inward. In layman's terms, this is called a flat back. 

Although poor posture is often the cause of this condition, it can also be the result of the body trying to compensate for an injured disk. 

There is a simple generally reliable test to determine if you have a flat back. Stand with your back, buttock’s, heels, shoulders. and head against a wall. Look straight ahead and try to slide your hand behind the small of your back. If you have a normal arch, the thickest part of your hand will just fill the gap between the wall and your back. If your hand slides right through the gap, you have excessive lumbar curvature and don’t need a back support—although this indicates other problems which require specific corrective exercises.  If only the fingers fit through, you have insufficient lumbar curvature - a flat back.  If you have a flat back, abdominal exercises performed while lying on your back may cause pain and further damage to an injured disk by pushing it outward as your back flattens.  To prevent aggravating a fiat back, fold a standard bath towel to the width and thickness of your hand (when compressed) and place this under the small of your back.  (Note: If you have extra maternal left when you fold the towel, have the “tail“ of the towel extend toward your head. 

A towel support is not meant to correct a flat back but to make it possible to train the abs without aggravating the condition. A flat back can cause serious back problems and deserves the attention of a medical professional such as a physical therapist who is trained in this area. 


There you have it – 10 little-known, but highly effective ways to mold your midsection.  Applying these principles to your abdominal training is the first step to rejuvenating your ab workouts.  They are sensible, logical tips that will help you get back to training like you’re supposed to, instead of wasting time and dollars buying into illogical schemes sold in tabloids and infomercials.

10 Ab Training Tips from the Underground, Tips 8 and 9


Did you ever have to stop performing an ab exercise because of cramping? If so, then you probably don’t need to train harder but smarter, by stretching the abdominals between sets. A simple stretch for the abdominals is to lie face down and prop yourself up on your elbows, keeping your hips in full contact with the floor. This exercise will stretch the rectus abdominis. To stretch the obliques in this position take a deep breath... hold it... and twist your torso slightly to the right. trying to look back over your shoulder as you do so. Hold this stretch for about 20 seconds... exhale... and repeat on the other side. 


It doesn’t matter how careful you are, never hold your hands behind your head during abdominal exercises in which you pull your head toward your knees. If you do. it’s a virtual guarantee that as soon as you start fatiguing. you’ll pull on your head. Pulling on the head will stretch the neck muscles and connective tissues. 

Begin curl-up and sit-up exercises by retracting your chin, so your head stays in alignment with your back, and keep your fingers on the side of your head just behind your ears.  Paul Chek says it’s also effective to cup your hands on your jaw during these exercises so you look like the kid in the shaving scene in Home Alone   - to give adequate support  to the neck and to keep the head aligned with the spine.


10 Ab Training Tips from the Underground, Tips 6 and 7


 Using sit-up boards with supports for the feet or having someone hold your ankles when you perform abdominal exercises increases the involvement of the hip flexors. It also affects normal recruiting patterns so that the hip flexors are activated before they should be, an effect which increases the stress on the lower back. 

For those who contend that them are no such things as lower-abdominal muscles consider that the abdominal muscles which extend below the belly button are controlled by two nerves which originate in the region of the first lumbar vertebra. From a neurological standpoint. the abdominals can be classified as having upper and lower segments. Also. because the external obliques originate from the ribs and attach to the front of the pelvis, they can rotate the pelvis back and ensure ideal posture by preventing the forward pull of the hip flexors. Consequently, from a functional standpoint, the abdominals can be classified as having upper and lower segments, which function somewhat independently. 
Although many people do flutter kicks and leg extensions (pulling the legs "in” and then extending them while lying on their backs on a flat bend h) to work their lower abs, it should be noted that these are advanced exercises. If your lower-ab muscles aren’t strong enough, you’ll be working the stabilizing aspect of the lower abs rather than the fictional aspect of the lower-abs. In other words, unless you advanced in your lower-ab training, these exercises will work the lower abs only indirectly. You’ll be emphasizing the hip flexors and the muscles that control the postural position of the pelvis.

Better beginning and intermediate lower-abdomen exercises include reverse crunches (pulling the legs to the upper body rather than pulling the upper body to the legs) and reverse crunches done on an incline bench.


An abdominal workout should progress from the bottom up; that is, perform exercises for the lower-abdominal region before exercises for the upper- abdominal region..

The upper-abdominal muscles provide stability for the lower abs, and lower- abdominal exercises generally require more coordination than upper-abdominal exercises. If you fatigue the upper abdominals with exercises like crunches, you won’t be able to train the lower abs at an optimal intensity level. Thus, you should train the lower abs when you’re fresh and focused (but of course. not before doing heavy lifts that load the spine).


10 Ab Training Tips from the Underground, Tips 4 and 5


 The abdominals are composed primarily of fast-twitch fibers and like the ham- strings that respond better to low reps and heavy weights. The next time you do crunches try putting a weight on your upper chest. As a general guideline do not perform any abdominal exercise for more than 40 seconds. If you can perform an exercise for more than 40 seconds the resistance is too light. 

Another interesting point in regard to reps is that women tend to respond better to slightly higher repetitions.  Due to neurological differences, women often have a harder time recruiting fast-twitch fibers and therefore need to perform more repetitions to get the same training response. This idea was supported in a study that looked at the differences between men and women in a biceps curl exercise. After determining the one reputation maximum, the subjects were asked to perform as many reps as they could with sub-maximal weights. The result was that with sub-maximal weights. the average female subject could perform more reps than the average male subject: In fact, at certain percentages, females could perform twice as many reps as males.


Neck strain often occurs when you hold your head off the ground throughout all parts of abdominal exercises. The head weighs about 7.5% of your bodyweight, and supporting it for long periods can strain muscles in the neck. By resting your head on the floor momentarily between repetitions you allow the neck muscles to relax, thereby minimizing the stress on the neck. Also, in many exercises, this technique increases the range of motion. Obviously, resting your head between 100-rep sets won't work, but it will work if you’re adding resistance and doing the more effective low-rep sets recommended in Tip 4. 

What about those ab-roller devices seen on TV? The major selling “hook" for this equipment is demonstrating that it prevents neck strain, and the in infomercials dramatize their sales pitch by showing people grasping their necks in pain after performing traditional abdominal exercises. The major problem with these ab-roller devices is that the neck muscles don't get strengthened, thereby disrupting the normal balance between the neck and abdominal muscles. This imbalance increases your susceptibility to neck injury, especially if you participate in contact sports.

10 Ab Training Tips from the Underground, Tip 3


THIS MAY SOUND RATHER BIZARRE:  But proper tongue placement is an important concept in abdominal training. 

The anatomical resting position of the tongue is on the roof of the mouth. just behind the front teeth—swallow and your tongue will naturally move to this area.  
When your tongue is positioned on the roof of your mouth, the muscles near the surface of the neck are primarily responsible for supporting the head during abdominal exercises. When the tongue is not in this position, these muscles can’t effectively function and the much weaker muscles near the cervical (neck) vertebrae must support the head.  These muscles strain easily and are easily injured when exposed to high levels of tension. 

There’s even reason to believe that overworking these muscles may cause headaches! Even more importantly, since the neck muscles are the weak link in the chain. once they tire. you’ll stop your set prematurely. 
According to Paul Cheh, the therapeutic exercise specialist who discovered this training concept, there’s a simple test to show the effectiveness of proper tongue placement: While standing, have a friend place one hand on your forehead and the other on your upper back for balance. Open your mouth, and place your tongue on the bottom of your mouth. Now have your friend push your forehead back for a few seconds while you resist, stopping when your head starts to move back. Rest a few seconds and repeat the procedure with your tongue against the roof of your mouth. You will find that you’ll be considerably stronger on the second test. In fact, if you perform this test on someone (don’t try it on someone with a neck injury) you’ll probably notice that during the first test, the subject may inadvertently lift his jaw to try to improve leverage. 

According to other experts. Another reason to keep the tongue on the roof of the mouth is what appears to be a direct neurological connection between the neck area and the abs. The simple act of putting the tongue in the proper position seems to recruit more muscle fibers during the workout.  This is because it’s impossible to hold your tongue against the top of your mouth and talk (unless you make a living with puppets), keep quiet when you’re performing abdominal exercises.

10 Ab Training Tips from the Underground: Tip 2


AB TRAINING IS HARD WORK. Rewarding, but hard nonetheless. 

Nowadays, it seems everyone’s trying to make it easier with all the new fangled doodads and gimmick devices but you know what’s begun to happen? Rather finding it’s not easier, most people are also finding it's not nearly as rewarding. Go figure. 

Here is an example:
  Exercise “expert” Tony Little talks (and shouts and screams and jumps up and down...) about targeting the abs” by using a strap that keeps your knees bent during floor exercises. Tony believes that if you keep the knees bent then the abs are "locked on target” because the hip flexors can’t assist in the movement—and the result is an increase in the safety and intensity of your abdominal exercises. That’s not necessarily true. 

Studies using electromyograms (EMG) have shown that for the first 80 reps of a movement there is absolutely no safety advantage between performing sit-ups with either straight or bent legs. Also, bent-leg exercises still work the hip tremors but only through a partial range of motion. Such training will chronically shorten the hip flexors and tilt the pelvis forward. In fact, aerobics instructors who often complain of having protruding bellies, regardless of how many sit-ups they do, are often suffering from shortened hip flexors rather than underdeveloped abs. This posture (technically referred to as hyper lordosis) affects the proper biomechanics of walking, running, and jumping and can make the back, hamstrings, and groin area more susceptible to injury. 

There is a way to minimize the involvement of the hip flexors during ab work and thereby increase exercise intensity. It’s a technique introduced by Vladimir Janda. and it involves contracting the hamstrings as you perform abdominal exercises. The hamstrings are antagonists to the hip flexors.  When the hamstrings contract. the hip flexors must relax making the abs work harder. 

The correct way to contract the hamstrings as you do sit-ups is to keep your knees slightly bent and simply posh down with the balls of your feet as you exercise keeping your toes pointed. For maximum effectiveness during exercises that have you working face up. place your feet on a small platform such as an aerobic step. Also, to minimize the involvement of the calves. point your toes away from you. Try it—it works!

10 Ab Training Tips from the Underground: Tip #1

10 Ab Training Tips from the Underground:

Are you frustrated with how your abs look? Has your ab training of late become incredibly unrewarding? Are you ready to leave behind the new gimmick infomercial devices and take a lesson in ab training straight from the old school? 

If so, then review review this series of postings carefully. We've recently uncovered 10 little-known but highly effective ab-training tips from an era long since bygone, which we will share with you over the coming days. Today, we start with our first of 10 tips...

Tip #1: Practice Strategic Breath Holding

This is a tip learned from Mel Siff, a brilliant exercise scientist from South Africa, who can explain everything about weight training in mathematical terms.

When performing curl-up exercises like the crunch, always inhale at the start of the exercise and exhale at the completion of the movement. Exhaling during the contraction phase reduces the tension on the muscles of the lower-abdominal region -- and when it comes to building strength and size, the more tension you develop, the greater the stimulus. Of course, the downside of holding your breath is that it increases blood pressure, so this technique should be avoided by those with cardiovascular problems.

Tune in tomorrow for Tip #2! 

Shred Your Abs Faster with This Secret Weapon
Recent laboratory analyses from the University of Toronto have recently identified what could be called "The World's Most Powerful Fat Burner." 

Specifically, these tests have shown a rare white tea grown in the Nandi Highlands of Kenya's Great Rift Valley possesses a mind-blowing 25 times the fat-burning polyphenols of regular green tea and over DOUBLE that of high-potency green tea matcha.

What's more, these University of Toronto scientific analyses show this tea contains 137 times the antioxidants of conventional green tea, and is the world's #1 source of the mind-boosting "focus" amino acid L-theanine (containing 5 times more than green tea).

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Give it a try at our risk, not yours. If you are not 100% satisfied with this potent ab-shredding tea, send it back (even if it's empty) for a no-questions-asked, hassle-free refund. 

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Try This Kick-Ass Training Regimen for Maximizing Muscle Gains

So What's The Best Training Method For Maximizing Muscle Strength? 

Ask a hundred different trainers and you'll get a hundred different answers.

Indeed, the advice we get when it comes to strength training is no more clear-cut than the IRS tax code. Fortunately, we have researchers like Professor Mark Peterson at Arizona State University to help us sort it all out.

Recently, Professor Peterson carried out a comprehensive review of 37 strength-training studies performed on competitive athletes at the collegiate or professional level in an effort to pinpoint the training method that seems to produce the best gains in muscle strength. After review the data and crunching the numbers, Professor Peterson found that the maximal strength gains are elicited among athletes who:
  • Train at a mean intensity of 85 percent of one-repetition maximum
  • Train each body part 2 days per week
  • Train at a mean volume of 8 sets per muscle group 

What This Means to You:

According to this research, if you want to maximize gains in muscle strength, you should be training heavy, training often and training with a high degree of volume. Along these lines, a sample chest workout for someone with a maximum bench press of 265 pounds might look like this:

  • Barbell bench presses: 5 sets of 5 reps with 225 pounds
  • Incline presses: 3 sets of 8 reps with 205 pounds
  • Dumbbell bench presses: 5 sets of 5 reps with 100-pound dumbbells
  • Dumbbell flyes: 3 sets of 8 reps with 50-pound dumbbells
Note: Rest 1 minute between sets. Try to increase the weight a little each week. 

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Why Squats and Bench Presses May Burn More Fat Than Cardio

Squats and Bench Presses May Burn More Fat

"Experts." They're quick to prescribe long bouts of cardio to burn fat. But how many of them ever recommend heaping servings of squats, bench presses and power cleans?

Not enough, say Ohio University researchers, who recently discovered that an intense circuit-training program consisting of the aforementioned multi-joint exercises may outperform cardio in the fat-burning department by accelerating the rate at which your body burns calories for two full days following exercise.

Specifically, Dr. M.D. Schuenke and colleagues discovered that just 31 minutes of an intense resistance-exercise program consisting of four circuits of bench presses, power cleans and squats, provided the trainees a significant metabolic boost that lasted 48 hours after the workout.

"The duration and magnitude of the EPOC (post-exercise oxygen consumption) observed in this study indicates the importance of future research to examine a possible role for high-intensity resistance training in a weight-management program for various populations," write the researchers. 

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One-Set Workouts Build Muscle Fast

Are You Pressed For Time In The Gym? 

Well then you'll find this study particularly interesting...

Dr. Chris Hass and colleagues from the University of Florida recently found that increasing training volume from one set to three really didn't make much of a difference on muscle size and strength in weight-training athletes.

The researchers had 40 well-trained guys train three times a week using one or three sets for eight to 12 reps to failure. Muscle strength and percent fat and percent lean body mass were measured before and after the 13-week training period. 

"After 13 weeks of training, both groups had significantly improved their muscular strength and body composition," writes Dr. Hass. "However, there were no significant differences between groups in the improvement of muscular strength, and both groups experienced similar improvements in body composition."

The Bottom Line: The data from this study shows that single-set programs are an effective alternative to high-volume training when time is of the essence. 

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How To Maximize Your Strength Gains

So, What Is The Best Training Method For Maximizing Muscle Strength? 

Ask a hundred different trainers and you'll get a hundred different answers.

Indeed, the advice we get when it comes to strength training is no more clear-cut than the IRS tax code. Fortunately, we have researchers like Professor Mark Peterson at Arizona State University to help us sort it all out.

Recently, Professor Peterson carried out a comprehensive review of 37 strength-training studies performed on competitive athletes at the collegiate or professional level in an effort to pinpoint the training method that seems to produce the best gains in muscle strength. After review the data and crunching the numbers, Professor Peterson found that the maximal strength gains are elicited among athletes who:
  • Train at a mean intensity of 85 percent of one-repetition maximum
  • Train each body part 2 days per week
  • Train at a mean volume of 8 sets per muscle group 
What This Means to You:

According to this research, if you want to maximize gains in muscle strength, you should be training heavy, training often and training with a high degree of volume. Along these lines, a sample chest workout for someone with a maximum bench press of 265 pounds might look like this:

  • Barbell bench presses: 5 sets of 5 reps with 225 pounds
  • Incline presses: 3 sets of 8 reps with 205 pounds
  • Dumbbell bench presses: 5 sets of 5 reps with 100-pound dumbbells
  • Dumbbell flyes: 3 sets of 8 reps with 50-pound dumbbells
Note: Rest 1 minute between sets. Try to increase the weight a little each week. 

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Fitness Trends to Stay or to Go

Are You Looking For Some Body Fitness Ideas That Work? 

Here Are A Couple of Popular Fitness Trends That Work and a Couple of Flops.

Between CrossFit, the Thighmaster, and no-carb diets, it’s pretty apparent that we’re not lacking when it comes to fitness fads. As soon as word spreads of a “revolutionary” new exercise regime or some incredible diet that guarantees weight loss, most people are eager to be the first to try it out and see real results. However, between the perceived notions of ripped abs and toned legs that you can achieve in eight minutes, how many of these fads are actually effective or even encourage a healthier lifestyle? We did our own research and compiled a list of fitness trends that are proven to deliver results when you put in the work, as well as those that are just a bunch of empty promises.

Fitness Flops

Toning shoes – Exercising requires you to commit a chunk of your day to fitness, so it’s only natural that everyone hopped on this fad in an effort to get their workout in as they went about their daily lives. Specially constructed with a rocker-style bottom to help you improve muscle tone and strength as you walk, toning shoes became an instant hit when they first showed up on store shelves. Most people probably chose to ignore the ugly and bulky design of shoes like Skechers Shape-Ups in hopes that the results would make up for having to be seen in them.

Sadly, recent studies have shown that toning shoes do nothing in terms of making the walking you already do any more intense, and are actually responsible for causing instability in some wearers. As such, it’s best to forego these and opt for a nice pair of sneakers instead.

Almost everything you see on TV – Television is a great way to engage the masses, so it makes sense that so many exercise products are advertised to people on a regular basis, undoubtedly to more than a few couch potatoes who are willing to pay the extra buck for a quick-fix fitness solution. While products like the surprisingly popular (and regularly spoofed) Shake Weight or the Ab Lounge promise to get you in the best shape of your life with minimal effort, advertisements like this are filled with misinformation, and typically avoid making the point that a toned body requires a balance of strength training, cardio and a healthy diet.

Before you reach for the phone to order this season’s “most effective fat-burning 1-minute workout,” check out some fitness fads that are actually proven to improve your physical fitness.

Fitness Fads That Work

Bodyweight training – While there’s plenty of equipment out there that you can use to get fit, bodyweight training is a convenient and effective method for exercise. Using little to no equipment, aside from the occasional weights, this workout trend requires you to use your own bodyweight to build muscle, improve strength, boost cardio and lose weight. Familiar exercises like crunches, lunges and pushups can all be a part of a bodyweight workout, and with its growing popularity, there are countless variations and exercises that you can perform in combination to keep your workout from feeling stagnant.

HIIT – High-intensity interval training is a great way to pack strength exercises and cardio into a short time span. Especially if you can’t find time to commit to an hour on the treadmill, HIIT can get you in and out of the gym within about 30 minutes. This fitness trend combines short bursts of exercise, typically about 30 seconds to 1 minute, with brief periods of recovery in between. High-intensity drills for a short amount of time force you to train harder, and the short stints of rest give you just enough time to catch your breath before jumping back into the exercise, working on your cardiovascular capacity and burning more calories.

What fitness trends have you experimented with? Let us know in the comments below!

The Best Workout Playlists by Music Type

Do You Need Some Motivation?  Try This Playlist

Music is one of the best motivators for athletes and bodybuilders. The right song can take you over the final minutes of a workout to push through with strong intensity. Losing yourself in music often allows you to drive past the sweat during your training regimen, and all you have to do is pump up the volume. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tunes to turn your workout into a motivational dance party!

Is today your HIIT session? Our Hip Hop playlist is ideal for your faster training intervals.

  • Hood Go Crazy – Tech N9ne
  • GDFR – Flo Rida
  • I Don’t Get Tired – Kevin Gates
  • Power – Kanye West
  • Pop That – French Montana

If you’re weight training and need something with powerful riffs and a more aggressive feel, our Rock/Alternative playlist is for you!

  • Giants – Bear Hands
  • Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys
  • Work This Body – Walk the Moon
  • I’m Good – The Mowgli’s
  • Juicebox – The Strokes

Going for a long-distance run? The Pop playlist will energize you over a longer period of time with high vocals and lively melodies.

  • Break Free – Ariana Grande
  • In For The Kill – La Roux
  • Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson
  • Emergency – Icona Pop
  • You Make Me Feel – Cobra Starship

Sprinting or doing some competitive sports playing? Blast our EDM workout playlist for a stimulus boost.

  • Turn Up Da Bass – Goldfish
  • Where Are U Now – Jack U
  • Bangarang – Skrillex
  • Hey Mama – David Guetta
  • Delirious – Steve Aoki

Have a favorite musical genre or song to work on your gains? We’d love to hear about it – share it with us in the comments below!

Male Celebrity Body/Workout Transformations

See Some Of The Most Impressive Celebrity Workout Transformations:

Today, we are constantly bombarded by claims that “this machine will get you ripped in just two weeks!” and “these supplements are guaranteed to get you huge–with no extra work!” However, the real secret to getting healthy and achieving the body of your dreams is … there is no secret. There is no quick fix. Both losing weight and building muscle takes hard work. While certain workout supplements can help you along the way, you still have to regularly work out, challenge your body and consume a healthy diet to reach your body transformation goals. We’ve come up with a list of some of the most impressive male celebrity body transformations and male celebrity workouts to show you how much work getting huge really takes (even for celebrities).

Christian Bale as Batman

Christian Bale’s Batman physique is impressive, and even more impressive when you learn he dropped 33 percent of his normal body weight for his previous role in The Machinist. Yet, just six weeks after finishing The Machinist, Bale was bulked up and ready for the first Batman screen test. Bale completed such a feat by sticking to both a strict diet and an intense workout routine. Meals were eaten every 2-3 hours, and each meal consisted of a 1:2:3 ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats (or close to it). His workout training program consisted of one active rest day and six days of training with power movements, agility and speed training and compound exercises. Compound exercises require more than a single joint movement, such as a squat or military press, and help maximize the effectiveness of each workout.

Mark Wahlberg in Pain & Gain

Co-starring with Dwayne Johnson as bodybuilders, Mark Wahlberg gained 40 pounds of muscle in order to look the part in his 2013 movie Pain & Gain. Like Bale, Wahlberg also ate frequently in order to bulk up for the role–up to 10 meals per day –and also trained five days per week, and often even while on set.

"I’d start with benching, and then I’d do my squats and lunges, then I’d do a lot of old-school stuff,” Wahlberg said. “I’d literally do a row of machines at the Sports Club/LA. One set of every single machine all the way down the row. I’d leave the hotel at 4:30 in the morning—just as the nightclubs were letting out on South Beach. I’d walk in the gym as the door opened at 5:00 AM every day."

Gerard Butler in 300

Unlike many actors who bulk up for roles, Gerard Butler did not actually gain that much muscle for 300. Instead, he cut and trimmed down a lot, and “pumped up” before action scenes. While dropping weight may not literally add muscle, it does make you look bigger and stronger. The effect of just 10-15 pounds of fat loss is extremely dramatic. When you cut fat, you reveal the muscle underneath! When you’re in a rush to look lean and mean, it’s much easier to drop weight quickly than build new muscle. Butler cut down on fat by using HIIT (high intensity interval training) and circuit training five to six days per week, and eating only enough for recovery. High intensity training is effective and efficient–it focuses on intense resistance exercises that are designed to allow you to train harder but less often.

The body of your dreams is ready and waiting for you to sculpt it – all you have to do is work for it! Have your own favorite celebrity workout routine? We’d love to hear about it – share it with us in the comments below!

Best Bodybuilding Gyms in the World

Best Bodybuilding Gyms in the World

While today 24 Hour Fitness and Planet Fitness type gyms can be found in just about every major city in the US, that doesn’t mean those are the only type of gyms there are. We’ve compiled a list of the best gyms in the world to help showcase the fact that a quality gym doesn’t have to be your typical brick-and-mortar structure – it can be just about anything, anywhere! The best gyms in the world are unique gyms that include new technology, a great atmosphere and the best bodybuilding equipment in the world:

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#3 – Gold’s Gym: Venice, CA

Fan of the movie Pumping Iron? If so, this gym should definitely be on your bucket list! Arnold Schwarzenegger and the 1977 movie forever set in stone this Venice, CA Gold’s Gym’s status as the “Mecca of Bodybuilding.” Originally founded by legend Joe Gold, who trained at the world famous “Muscle Beach,” today Gold’s is the most known name in fitness and serves more than 3 million members in 28 countries around the world. With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Dave Draper, Frank Zane and many more bodybuilding pioneers having graced this Gold’s Gym location, it’s safe to say it is the dream of many bodybuilders to lift here.

#2 – The Original Temple Gym: Birmingham, UK

20 years after being founded in 1962, current owner and 6x Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates transformed Temple Gym into one of the best bodybuilding gyms in the world. Set in a basement, the original Temple Gym is famous for its hardcore dungeon-like setting and is notorious for its reputation as a serious weight training facility. Accepting of anyone and everyone who seeks positive body changes, this gym includes equipment with the latest technology and is home to original Nautilus equipment!

#1 – Metroflex Gym: Arlington, TX

The Metroflex Gym caters to serious, competitive bodybuilders and encourages intense and aggressive training. As the training ground of choice for over 100 bodybuilding and powerlifting champions, including Branch Warren and 8x Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, this gym is guaranteed to help anyone serious about lifting sculpt the body of their dreams. Its equipment includes dumbbells up to 250 pounds, 450 pound lat pull downs and leg presses that will hold up to 2,500 pounds.

All around the world you can find gyms dedicated to serious bodybuilders. Whether you’ve been working out for years or you’re just now starting to lift, what’s important is you’re out there working to better yourself. Have your own favorite bodybuilding gym that’s not on the list? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

How Mobility & Dynamic Stretching Exercises Can Benefit You

Regain Your Mobility With Dynamic Stretching Exercises.

Even through warming up your body before engaging in any physical activity is one of the most stressed things in fitness, it is often one aspect that gets looked over the most. Our bodies are dynamic and have a full range of motion, but it doesn’t take much for your body to stiffen up, so it is important to perform stretches and exercises that engage your entire body to prepare for the workout ahead. The brief guide below will introduce you to several ways you can begin to regain your mobility and how paying attention to your body pre- and post-workout can actually improve your training session as a whole.

Before getting started, it is important to point out that there are two different forms of stretching: static and dynamic. Static stretching is the kind you probably were forced to do in gym class – stationary stretching exercises where you hold a position for a designated amount of time to stretch and lengthen particular muscle groups. While stretching has always been encouraged because of the perception that it can help prevent injuries, studies now show that there is little evidence that static stretching is preventative and instead boast that dynamic mobility exercises are much more engaging and beneficial for the body.

Be Dynamic!

Dynamic stretching is basically stretching through movement and is much more engaging of your whole body. While static stretching is limiting, dynamic exercises allow for your entire body to loosen up through a variety of different movements. Dynamic stretching is ideal for pre-workout, as you can prep your body for the kind of activity it will be doing later on.

Bodyweight exercises like squats, lateral shuffles and lunges are great for engaging your body through controlled movements while also giving you a light cardio workout.

Relieve Muscle Soreness

Muscles become easily contracted and tight following physical activity, so it is important to know how to give them a little bit of extra TLC to loosen them up and keep them ready for the next work out. Tape together a few lacrosse balls, use a large PVC pipe, or invest in a foam roller to help you roll out your muscles when you’re sore. This deep tissue massage is called self-myofascial release and will effectively break up scar tissue and improve circulation throughout your body. Resistance bands are also great for applying tension to muscles through extension.

Start Seeing Improvements

By following a consistent dynamic stretching regime, you will begin to see noticeable improvements in your range of motion. Be sure to assess yourself and any problem areas you have when it comes to mobility before you begin so you can track your progress more effectively and target your individual needs. As stretching becomes a part of your workout, you should start to see improvements in your body positioning, allowing you to train more effectively than before. And remember – if you do end up doing static exercises, do them after your workout when your body has stopped moving so freely.

Treat your body like the mobile and free-moving entity it is and you will see results! What are some of your favorite dynamic exercises to perform before you hit the training floor? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Bodybuilding Competition Dos and Don’ts

Bodybuilding Competition Dos and Don’ts

Getting ready for a bodybuilding competition is already difficult enough as it is, but it can take an even bigger toll on your mind and body if you are not properly prepared to handle the strain and strict conditions of the training process. Preparation is strenuous, and it can become overwhelming thinking about everything you need to consider, so we have compiled a list of basic dos and don’ts for your training and diet that will keep you on the track to success!

If this is your first crack at a competition, find someone who has participated in an event before you get started to help you get a better idea of what lies ahead. First-hand expertise is invaluable, and you will likely be able to get a lot more out of your experience.


DO reduce training when you’re dieting. When you’re cutting out certain aspects of your diet and manipulating the intake of nutrients, it can be difficult for your body to put up with the strain of certain exercises. When your body doesn’t recover like it should, you can do irreversible damage to it. Avoid movements that are overly complicated, and instead rely on basic exercises to build and maintain your muscle mass.

DO include cardio in your training regime. While bodybuilding may appear to be all about bulking up and toning, cardio is exceedingly important to give your body greater range of motion than what you get from basic weight training. Start out your training with a cardio session in the morning and then later introduce a second session in the evening following your weight-heavy workout.

DON’T over train! While it may be tempting to spend over an hour at the gym in hopes of getting cut a little faster, training for too long can actually send your body into a catabolic state where the body begins to fail and makes for a useless training session. Pushing your body to extreme limits can actually weaken your immune system and will make it difficult for you to handle your strenuous regime. Combat overtraining by limiting your workouts to around 45 minutes and by ensuring that you have a solid nutritional plan in place..

DO stay focused. It can be daunting to implement a new regime and abide by certain dietary restrictions, but keep your head up and know that it will pay off in the end! Even if you find yourself losing steam halfway through, don’t let all of your hard work go to waste and keep your end goal in mind.


DO keep protein intake high by eating protein-rich meals and supplementing with protein shakes. The metabolic cost of proteins is high, meaning the more proteins, the more calories the body must burn in order to digest them.

DO reduce fat consumption and rely on essential fatty acids as a source of fat and energy in your diet. Things like flaxseed oil and olive oil are a great supplement.

DO reduce carbohydrates, but be sure you are still consuming an adequate amount. Carbs give you energy, and you will likely find yourself feeling completely depleted if you cut them out of your diet. To ensure your body is using them in the best possible way, consume carbs for breakfast for a boost in the morning and also after a heavy training session when your body is burning through its resources.

DO take supplements to help keep your body’s nutrients in check while your diet is less than regular. This can be as simple as taking a multivitamin every day.

DON’T reduce too much too fast! Cutting down heavily on your caloric intake will cause you to drop weight at a rate that will also deplete your muscle mass. Ensure that you make steady progress by carefully manipulating your caloric intake to optimize weight loss at about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

DON’T be afraid of a cheat meal every now and then. Designate a day throughout the week where you allow yourself to give into your cravings. You’ll be satisfied with your decision and will also kick start your body’s metabolism, so everyone wins! Be warned that you will probably have to cut out your cheat day several weeks out from competition, so take advantage while you can.

Now go on and get training!

5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for CrossFit

5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for CrossFit

If you haven’t heard of CrossFit, you might just be living under a rock. CrossFit is a fitness regime that’s been developed over several decades. It is the first fitness program to really define fitness in a measurable way: “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” In other words, CrossFit is one of the best workout programs – if not the best – to optimize your fitness levels over time. While you can follow a CrossFit workout routine at home, there are many advantages to signing up for and participating in CrossFit classes:

1. It’s a Social Workout That’s Fun – 

A CrossFit program is the exact opposite of a solo, boring treadmill-to-weight lifting regime. CrossFit workout routines are constantly varied so you’re not repeating the same workouts every other day. After you complete your first class, you’ll quickly learn how fun it is, how easy it is to make new friends and how supportive the community really is. With CrossFit coaches and the community by your side, you’ll never have to workout alone again!

2. You Can Measure Your Results – 

Beyond being able to see your body transform from flab to fab and the scale go down to where you want in no time, CrossFit programs consist of varied, high-intensity interval trainings that allow you to score your workouts and then repeat that workout during another week to re-score and measure your progress.

3. You’ll Make Progress Fast – 

There are several factors that make CrossFit truly top-tier among all the best workout programs. First, the friends you make in class and the overall community encourages you to keep coming back. Next, the workouts are intense. Varied, high-intensity interval training (or HIIT) is more efficient and effective than repeating the same low to moderate exercises over and over again. Your muscles adapt to your exercises, so in order to gain new benefits often, you must switch up your regime often.

4. CrossFit Workout of the Day

 CrossFit provides free instructions every day with a CrossFit Workout of the Day (WOD). These WODs are easy to follow and will help you keep up your fitness levels even on those days when you just can’t make it to class.

5. CrossFit Will Change Your Life

 There’s a reason that people can’t stop talking about it. CrossFit can do so many things for those who choose to try it out: improve your self-confidence while making you more humble, strengthen your heart while you lose body fat and gain muscle, improve your flexibility and introduce you to a whole new, supportive group of friends. You are guaranteed to feel better physically, and most Cross Fitters find they become more confident and successful in other aspects of their lives as well.

Today there are over 4,000 CrossFit affiliates around the world that anyone can check out. Find the one nearest you and start changing your life for the better today!