Extreme soreness can be experienced at times when you engage your muscles unnecessary.

The greatest magic of exercising is that muscles breakdown first before it builds or become stronger. It sometimes might induce some sore on your muscles and feel a little achy. Yes it would be normal to feel that but there is a normal one and an extreme one. When you experience a post-exercise soreness, it is technically referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

DOMS usually manifests between 48 and 72 hours after a workout. This is the time your body exhaustively work to repair muscle fibers torn down during the exercise. There are different extents of pain which depends on what amount of damage has been caused. It also involves factors like the genetics and hydration level. However, don’t take it light when you have frequent sores after exercises – this might regenerate into another disease level hard to cure.

Some researches have shown that muscles can experience atrophy when the body continues with extreme sores. Atrophy is a condition of continuous muscle breakdown. This condition is the muscle has been overworked and it cannot repair itself adequately. You have no better results on an intense sore, no and basically you need an adequate time to recover to avoid missing out on additional days of training later.

Workouts with a lot of eccentric exercises will leave you hobbling the following day. There are two phases in a strength exercise which are the eccentric (the lowering part) and the concentric (the lifting part). In eccentric phase, you create tears in the muscle fibers. Your muscles work strongly in this phase. There is production of high force in the muscles which numbs down the fatigue sensation and eventually keeps you exercising. Only disadvantage is that you are likely to keep out of training order and overdo your workouts.

The main or best way to keep off soreness is time; give time for recovery and to keep soreness to minimal pain. However, there are also few things you can do to hopefully numb the pain as you give yourself time. They may speed soreness relief in the process. Below are the five tips that will help relieve your misery:

  1. Get Enough Protein

Protein is an important nutrient to build and maintain muscles. Its role is big in helping the body muscles to recover from a vigorous workout. This doesn’t mean you need an excessive amount of protein. While you ought to be eating sufficient protein all the time to prevent recurring or long-lasting soreness from your workouts, it is helpful to double check that you are eating enough protein after the damage is done.

Those working out should have an approximate target of 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight. An active person with weight of 150 pounds, they can have protein amount of about 95 to 136 grams per day. They can split up this between their meals too.

  • Proceed with light movement

The fact that activity enhances circulation and improves blood flow in the entire body bases it important to continue with exercises. However, caution in place is that if you continue intensively on your sore.

We always think that increased flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles speed up repair. This eventually reduces DOMS. Though we need to do more research, we have adequate knowledge on floor on how blood carries oxygen and particularly amino acid which are units of muscle building – they do repair muscles. If they get faster to where they are physiologically required, they will initiate faster recovery or muscle building, and the body is likely to recover faster.

This may not indicate that you can return to your regularly scheduled workout programming. We might suggest for you a milder activity like just walking or hopping on gym bike – it is a minimum strain. If you well manage it then we may recommend you for some very light strength training – getting you back on workout track. Strength training might be productive at this phase because it ensures an adequate flow of blood, and muscles are likely to receive blood abundantly.

Because you don’t want to do more harm on your muscle fibers, light from the talk point should be very light. You can try using between 25 to 50 percent of the weight you can lift on your normal health situation. You can as well just workout with your bodyweight.

  • Hydrate Thoroughly

Drinking is a very vital step. A certain research showed that there was a correlation between dehydration and increased muscle soreness. Water functions by helping the body to flush out waste products. And when muscles break down, they release waste products and toxins. These products need to be purged out of the body. The products like hydrogen ions and creatinine kinase produced can be worse if they continue around the muscle because they are associated with extra soreness.

While there is much research gaps, the existing knowledge show with increase in dehydration soreness increases but when you hydrate the body, you will be minimizing the soreness. Your liver and kidney work to filter out toxins. Hydrating your body is essential to aid these organs to perform effective detoxification. Staying hydrated will help you move along this process.

  • Use Heat and Ice To Relieve Pain

You are bound to practice what works better for you. When it comes to the debate about heat therapy and cold therapy it narrows to an individual therapy where one chooses a remedy working better for him – it is temporary in nature. But when you are on a terrible sore, you can accept all remedies that buy you relief. Mostly, ice helps to reduce the swelling that sometimes comes along with extreme soreness. To reduce the swelling can help reduce some pain-causing tension. Also, if you elevate your sore legs, it can help you with the severity of this condition.

Heat can minimize pain and tension induced by the sores. Relaxing your sore part in a warm bath will likely make you feel better, continue doing that. It can also increase your blood circulation.

  • Stretch Lightly

Mark you, keyword on this is light. Doing some light stretching is good, but overstretching the muscle when it is too tight can actually cause the muscle to come back even tighter because the body is trying to resist it. Stretching out helps to release tightness and increases your range of motion when you are sore. This makes you feel better; however, it is not actually healing the tears in your muscles or making them repair any faster, but as they say it, more isn’t always more. Just be careful and cautious about it.

How do you know how far this has gone? Try stretching until it feels very tight then release it after around 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat that method without ever getting to the point where it feels unbearable. And if it is too painful like it’s bound to be even thinking about stretching, don’t force yourself out, skip it. Just get some temporary relief if it can be possible.

Time is Important Overall

When you experience sharp pain during your exercises and the soreness does not improve after some days, it means you have some injury. You need to seek the advice of a medical professional. It is important to watch for signs of something more serious, maybe, a syndrome called rhabdomyolysis which occurs when the over-worked muscle fibers die and release the protein myoglobin into the bloodstream. This can lead to kidney damage and its failure. This is a medical emergency, and along with extreme muscle pain, weakness, and swelling, the main sign is often cola-colored urine. Get to the medical professional sooner if you notice these signs.

As for me, I managed my DOMS by spending time taking my dog for walks however painful it was. I switched this between heat and ice treatment, and waited for that comfortable and sweet relief. Yes, the relief came in like a miracle.

Training is made difficult with certain adverse body conditions affecting the veins, bones and joints. Conditions such as back pain, knees inflammation/pain, high blood pressure, arthritis among other known conditions can barely make an exercise reach its optimal standard. With this hindrance, one is likely to refrain from continuous exercising because they do cause pain and discomfort. However, they can be managed through small but important steps that culminate the condition for the better. One main condition of focus in this article is tendonitis, which is more or the same as the examples we have classified here. Tendonitis is a prevailing condition among the modern day’s exercisers without dispute. Because many are living with it, and it’s likely continuous, a remedy for managing exercises with it has been determined and put in place.  Few concepts and basics are designed for training with tendonitis. Let us screen what this disease is and how training principles of managing it can be used to better you.

What is Tendonitis?

When your tendons feel on fire or swell, the condition is called tendonitis. Generally, it is a condition causing the body tendons to swell or inflame up. Inflammation process is indicated by the ‘itis’ suffix. Tendons are the small threads of the body connecting a bone from a muscle. When they are inflamed they cause problem during movement by initiating mild to severe pains. Apparently, it never affect whole of the body all at once but affect only parts of the body such as an arm or maybe shoulder. The pain caused by tendonitis may be so intensive when making a movement that it can stop every single workout you are engaging.

What It Means By “Working through the Pain”

People tend to brave the pain caused by tendonitis condition during their workouts, called, ‘working through the pain’. Well, this might be bad for the healing process as it is being anticipated, even though it is a popular practice among those on workouts. In fact, what is likely to happen is the process of further breakdown of the part that one is trying to heal. The science base on this is that as you strive more in workouts and braving your pain, you are stressing your tendons and the healing process is likely to take longer.

Advisably,

Instead of working through the pain, find the range of motion that gives you discomfort and work up until that range of motion. For instance, if you have tendon pain at the very bottom range of motion for a bicep curl, start with the weight at the top of the movement, then lower until you hit the range of motion where you feel discomfort and come back up for a partial rep. This ideology can be adapted to any of the body parts, as partial reps can be performed on any exercise you can do a full rep on. Remember not to go down (or up) past the range of motion where you feel discomfort, or you’ll further agitate the tendon.

The Better Solution: Training Around the Pain

Tendonitis is generally localized to one area, like the shoulder or elbow. Fortunately, not all exercises involve the shoulder and elbow. One of the most popular training methodologies surrounding tendonitis is to simply give the tendon time to rest and heal by avoiding that body part. As an example, when you have tendonitis acting up in your shoulder and the tendon is inflamed, focus on lower body movements and isolation exercises for the arms and core – that way your shoulders are taken out of the rotation. Only cutting out isolation exercises for your shoulder won’t serve your purposes completely, as pretty much all upper-body compound movements involve the shoulder either as a mover or a stabilizer. This can be a great opportunity to bring up a lagging body part or work on your cardio and core strength.

Hitting the Pool Can Help

Working out in the pool isn’t just for prenatal and senior citizen fitness enthusiasts, it can help with tendonitis as well. Laugh in the face of gravity as you let buoyancy assist your joints with the exercise, decreasing the stress on your tendons and joints. Underwater exercise can be a great form of therapy and recuperation since you’re still moving weight, but you can manipulate the stress more and manage your range of motion way more efficiently. You shouldn’t be doing laps in the pool if you have a bum shoulder until your tendon recovers, but there are several weight training devices that were designed to be used in a pool.

Use Heat & Ice

Applying heat and ice to muscles as a way to control tightness, alleviate pain and reduce swelling is nothing new. With the application of heat and a hefty amount of stretching before exercise, your discomfort can be greatly reduced, giving you a broader range of motion and giving you an increased capacity to work your muscles and get those gains. Heat packs and other compresses work well for this. You can simply keep a wash cloth with you and run it under hot water and keep it on for a few minutes before stretching.

Ice can come after the workout. Ice is a natural combatant for swelling; and, sense tendonitis is just a case of the swellies in your tendons, ice can be a big help. About 20 minutes of 5-off-5-on should be sufficient to keep your swelling and discomfort to a minimum after training, or at least some momentary comfort while your tendon heals. Applying ice to a workout can also help you drop that core temperature back down and can be extremely refreshing (cue ice bath enthusiasts).

Final Thoughts on Working out With Tendonitis

Tendonitis can be a huge roadblock, and is enough to take many people out the gym for weeks, or months at a time. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Staying active and working around an injury is exponentially easier than going back to a sedentary lifestyle then trying to get back into the groove of being active. By employing one of several effect ideologies or training methods, you can still stay active while your tendonitis runs its course. Whether you’re doing exercises on your bad tendon until you hit an uncomfortable range of motion, training body parts around your discomfort without training the affected body part directly, or just applying heat before your workout and ice afterwards, you’re at no shortage for ways not to let tendonitis keep you out of the gym. It’s your decision to make on how you deal with your tendonitis, so go make it.

When it comes to calories, “how many?” is usually everyone’s first concern, right? Well, maybe we’ve all been wrong.

Researchers have found that actually the “when” part of the equation deserves a little more of the spotlight, especially when it comes to weight loss.

A recent study from Current Biology has shown that the number of calories people burn during rest actually changes at different points in the day – and it has a lot to do with the body’s circadian phase, also referred to as circadian rhythm.

What is circadian rhythm?

Don’t worry, we hadn’t heard of it either. National Sleep Foundation defines circadian rhythm as being “like a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals”.  Basically, your sleep/wake cycle.

Your circadian rhythm is controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, however other factors can also have an effect on it – such as lightness and darkness. Which explains why in the winter, when the days are getting shorter and shorter, you often feel sleepier earlier and earlier – your circadian rhythm pretty much coincides with the cycle of day and night.

And this is the important bit. Your circadian rhythm works best when you have a regular sleep pattern, i.e. going to bed and waking up in the morning at similar times each day.

What does this have to do with burning calories?

Researchers have found a link between disrupted circadian rhythm and a shift in energy expenditure (calorie burning). The results from this game-changing study have shown that the resting metabolic rate (RMR) of seven participants varied even when caloric intake, sleep opportunity, and exercise levels were kept consistent across all phases – showing the impact of their circadian rhythm.

But just how did they determine this? Well firstly, the study took place in a specially adapted laboratory that was designed to make sure that the participants had no way of knowing the time – we’re talking no clocks, no windows, no phones, no internet.

The participants were given assigned times to go to bed and wake up, and each night those times were adjusted so that they were four hours later than the previous night – the equivalent to traveling west across four time zones each day for three weeks.

The reasoning behind this was to disorientate the participants’ internal body clocks, in order to get their circadian rhythm to reset and continue at their own pace. The researchers could then measure each of their resting metabolic rates without the influence of external factors.

Why is resting metabolic rate important?

Essentially, resting metabolic rate is key to weight loss. RMR is the amount of energy – or number of calories – that you use to perform the basic functions to stay alive, e.g. breathing, temperature regulation, brain activity, circulation. So the higher your RMR, the more calories your body is burning, even before exercise comes into the equation.

The verdict

Researchers found that the participants scored their lowest resting metabolic rate at what they defined as 0° in their circadian phase – their “late biological night” – which came alongside the lowest drop in their core body temperature.

The highest resting metabolic rate was recorded around 12 hours later, at the phase designated 180° and the “biological afternoon into early evening”.

The research concluded, “Thus, while awake and resting, the human body burns the fewest calories during the late biological night and the most calories during the biological afternoon and evening”.

So, it looks like it’s just as important to consider when you eat – and rest – as well as what you’re eating.

Take home message

Yet another reason to stop obsessing over the calorie count on food labels, and actually pay more attention to our sleep pattern instead. Perhaps easier said than done, but definitely something to consider next time you’re tempted by the snooze button.

When it comes to getting in shape and losing weight, it’s widely accepted that there’s going to have to be some sort of cardio involved — but when it comes determining what type is the best cardio to burn fat, people become divided.

Especially when it comes to HIIT and LISS training.

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a form of cardio where you switch back and forth between short intervals of high-intensity exercise, followed by short rest periods.

For example, a typical HIIT workout structure might include 45 seconds of squat jumps, followed by 15 seconds rest, then move on to 45 seconds of mountain climbers, and another 15 seconds of rest, etc.

LISS, or low-intensity steady state, training is effectively the opposite — it can be any form of cardio, such as walking, swimming, and cycling, but at a low-endurance, relaxed level for at least 40-60 minutes.

Unlike HIIT, which revolves around pushing your body to its absolute limit for a short burst of time, during LISS you’re aiming for a low level of exertion over an extended period of time.

But which is the best cardio to burn fat? Let’s settle the score.

Benefits of HIIT

1. It’s a time saver


Ever feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to work out? You’re already juggling work, commuting to work, food prep, cooking, washing, socializing, scrolling through social media… (okay, so the last one isn’t a real excuse, but it’s probably a reality).

Squeezing in 15-20 minutes of heart-pumping HIIT is a great compromise — you’re still getting your body and muscles active, just without the commitment of a full-blown gym session. You could even get it done in front of the TV during the advert breaks, or while you’re waiting for your dinner to cook.

The high intensity of the exercises mean that your body is still doing the fat burning bit though, just in a condensed period of activity.

2. It’s a full-body workout


One of the key foundations of a HIIT workout is that it’s made up of exercises that use pretty much every muscle group — trust us, after one round of burpees you’ll be feeling that burn everywhere.

Full-body exercises like squats, burpees, mountain climbers, and planks are great to really get your heart going and kick your fat loss into gear.

3. It’s super-effective


Pushing your body to the extreme gets a rapid response. Short bouts of serious exertion that leave you unable to breathe triggers your metabolism to start working at a higher level, and your body can begin to burn fat for energy instead of carbs.1

Yes, it’s tough — but the results make it worthwhile. It’s also over quicker…

Benefits of LISS

1. It’s not as daunting


Some days it can take a lot of mental willpower to even get changed into a pair of trainers, let alone start throwing yourself about in a series of rapid exercises that have you dripping with sweat from head to toe. Going for a long walk can be a much better alternative — and can be a great break for your mind too.

Finding a type of exercise that’s sustainable for you — and that you actually enjoy doing —  can make all the difference when it comes to sticking to a training plan and getting to your long-term goals.

2. You can do more of it


Being active doesn’t always have to mean you’re completely out of breath and aching for days after — completing multiple sessions of LISS a week instead of injuring yourself after 10 minutes of high-impact exercise is a much more effective approach to fat burning.

The simple fact that you can physically perform LISS for a much longer period of time than HIIT means that you’re able to burn more calories too.

Plus, LISS doesn’t place anywhere near as much strain on your body as HIIT, therefore it’s a great choice for those who are just finding their feet in the fitness world, or recovering from injury.

It may also be a better option for those who are also following an intense weight-training program or play a lot of sport, as HIIT can fatigue the body and therefore increase your recovery time. If you want to bounce back to peak condition for an important match or to smash out a leg session, then an hour’s walking the day before is probably a much better idea than pushing yourself to the limit with a HIIT workout.

Conclusion

To wrap things up, it seems like personal preference has the final say in the ‘best cardio to burn fat’ debate. Sure, a HIIT workout can have you blasting through calories, no matter what your schedule looks like — but if you’re more likely to stick to a plan with 4-5 sessions of lower intensity cardio a week than put yourself through that ordeal, then you’ll burn just as many calories, if not more.

I remember a girlfriend’s rant about a relationship that was severed by her short term boyfriend, who happened to be a gym instructor. While our entire clique listened and sympathized, I’m sure there was unanimous relief as we would no longer listen to endless talks about this man that our friend clearly obsessed with. We called him ripped, as he was masculine and huge. We had survived an unbearable semester listening to talks about abs, and how flattered she was to be dating a “weider”. But here she was today, all teary because of the same weider, who had left for another starry eyed female who may also be obsessed with his abs.

“But he looks like Johnny Bravo!” my tongue slipped. We all burst out laughing, even the heartbroken girl. It was very therapeutic to come to terms with the fact that the heartbreaker had a bigger upper body and tooth pick legs. He looked badly unproportional as his workouts mainly centered on building muscle at the arms at the expense of the legs. The most hilarious part is that apparently everyone had noticed but none had the guts to burst the bubble of the love struck girl. I had saved a situation.

Let’s be honest, the ideal physique for any body builder is an X figure, and Winnie’s ex Wasn’t X. in fact, most instructors, have humongous upper bodies which immediately catches your attention, just to be disappointed when you look lower, just to see petit gangly legs. An ideal body is not just building the upper body haphazardly, it’s about proportion. And because it may take a while to build certain parts, you may have to even go slow on a full body workout and focus on the stubborn areas, until they catch up with the rest of the body. Figure X is the ideal body, huge body parts and a wasp like waistline. While the shoulders are important, widening into a wedge is best accomplished by growing the back – specifically the lats and posterior deltoids. So ditch the Red Bull. It’s time to grow your own wings. There is no specific ratio for this but the waist has to be evidently small. Every man wants to look like. Have you realized that old school body builders looked way better? I’ve been wondering what methods they used, and that is what we will look at in this article; Old school methods of getting the figure X.

Man, Muscles, Fitness Studio, Sixpack
  1. Reeves Dead lift.

One of the pioneers of the figure X was Steve Reeves, and his trick was the deadlight where you don’t hold the bars, but the plates. I know, it’s too far wide apart, but that is exactly what made it effective. The width ensured that you stretch as far wide as you can hence straining the upper back muscles. if you remember what we said above, one way to achieve the X figure is by growing the upper back, and Steve Reeves had the exact secret in achieving this. Don’t forget to do your stretches after such a work out as waking up can be a nightmare the next morning.

  • Sternum Chin Up

Any gym rat knows about the standard chin ups that we do. Okay laymen, a chin up is where you lift up your body weight on a bar with your arms  until you chin level, then lower it, I hope that makes sense. Pulling up your body to the chin level is hard, however light you think you weigh, but wait, Vince Miranda made it harder for his students. He introduced the sternum chin up. This is different from the regular standard chin ups in that your back is arched, so that when you reach chin level you will already be looking behind you while your lower chest touches the bar. This angling gives you a holistic approach to the workout.

  • Olympic Lifts

This is one of the classic trainings that has stood the test of time. It’s also known as weight lifting where you lift barbells of different weights. Initially body builders used to do more than five sets, but nowadays trainees hardly go more than three sets, it’s almost even illegal. Keep in mind a lot of old timers trained in this slightly higher repetition range without bumpers. Are we becoming sissies? If Arnold Schwarzenegger survived, and Frank Zane, why do trainees assume they could die? Do several sets, as much as your body can endure, no pain no gain?  This workout grows the upper back significantly. If you want quick results do as many repetitions as you can.

Image result for frank zane mr olympia
  • Barbell lift

Standing barbell curls has been underrated with the introduction of dumbbells. It is a classic workout which I personally find more advantageous. First of all barbells ensure that the lift is equal for both arms. It’s almost impossible to exert the same pressure at the same time on both arms when using dumbbells. If you need accuracy and equal metabolism try barbells.

Here are tips on how to do the standing barbell lift;

  • Feel the muscle. The biceps do the work.
  • Control the negative.
  • Squeeze the gluts at the top of the movement to prevent excess lower back hyperextension.
  • Use fat grips and squeeze like hell.
  • Use a just outside of shoulder-width grip.
  • Get  Static, plank

Planks are hated by almost everyone. It’s very uncomfortable. By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt!

In a nutshell, these workouts should not replace everything you do but should serve as a compliment. Too much of something is dangerous, remember that. Know your limits so as not to take too long to recover hence slowing down your progress.

Happy Workout!

Intense weightlifting wears off every function of your body. You need a phase to rebuild your body’s strength and even nervous function. What you need to note is that weightlifting consumes every bod organ and organ system. For an instance, nervous coordination is involved in setting you into right pace. You will always need to take a better rest after several warm-ups and progressive loading, stripping off the muscle preoccupations and setting your nervous system to be ready for optimal function again.

If you will have to know how to make a dropset meet your point of replenishing, you will have to know about the post-activation potentiation (PAP). PAP is the time taken for the central nervous system to get back to its normality function after a certain overworking. Post-activation potentiation may scientifically refer to a short-term improvement in performance as a result of using a conditioning exercise – as lifting in this case.Smart lifters will not just lift weights unless they know the best response their bodies adapt in the process. They will also know strategies to bring back what is lost while exercising.

One researcher found out that the average time taken for full post-activation potentiation for any lifter is between 3 to 7 minutes. After this few minute rest, the body picks up on its strength peaking again. This reverses the effect of nervous system and muscle strength exhaustion and primes the central nervous system and muscular tissues for great function.

Mechanism in Neural Dropset

Basing strategies on dropset means venturing on duration of recharging the nervous coordination. Acute excitation of neuromuscular system need to be induced and rules of this ought to be followed in your sessions of active training. Follow this procedure carefully:

  • Perform your final work set and give yourself to rest normally. This process lets you rest for another performance. Please don’t rush through it.
  • Workout 2 to 4 singles. Begin with racking single bar weight and workout then re-rack the weight by one after every single workout. About 20 to 30% of the weight load should be removed.
  • Take a rest for 10 seconds and do another single workout.
  • On every single rep, lift as enormous as possible and maximize the bar speed. Upto this level, dropset is complete.
  • Clear the weights from the bar and take a 2 to 3 minutes rest before going on with the day’s accessory work.

The purpose of this dropset workout is to stimulate you and make you ready for intense lifting and other vigorous workouts. It will deliver you to where you want to arrive.

Golden Points to Consider

However simple dropset process may seem to be, it might not likely be a walk in the park. Most people have done it quite wrongly. They think that it is basically cleaning up their weights as they prime their bodies for further performances. No. In fact they need to take a consideration of many minor points. They should;

  1. Maintain the explosion

If the dropset covers around 2 to 4 explosive singles, the single reps should be completed in rest-pause style. This should take about 10 seconds per each rep. This accords you time to strip weights when you performing alone. You can also re-rack and un-rack as safely as possible as you implement the squat and bench press techniques. By rest-pausing, you allow your central nervous system to recharge at intervals between reps.

  • Don’t be strict about exact percentages of weights

The percentage approximations are just a slight expression of estimated weight reduction. No one should sweat about calculating the exact measurement. If the method requires you to reduce about 20 to 30 percent weight on each dropset, it does not necessarily mean you have to get it precisely. A powerful mind calculation can as well serve you with the best progress. Provided the long bar becomes lighter set to set and nothing is there that can induce an abrupt shock on the central nervous system and mechanical systems, then this can still work better.

  • Find a partner

Performing a neural drive dropsets is better with two people. One partner will be lifting and according extended supports to avoid any breakdown. Alone, you may likely not reach the best of its optimal purpose. With a partner around, it allows one to focus on the set when at the same time they can maximally utilize the rest-pause time period. It both rejuvenates effort and upgrade this technique.

However, alone, you should not rush weight stripping. And, you need to prioritize explosives to meet the needs of each reps. You might not need extra seconds for any additional benefit when you do this right and on adequate time.

  • Don’t rush about it

Give yourself adequate time as you apply the dropset method. Take the very normal rest of around 3 to 5 minutes after the last top end working set. Recovery time needs to be adequate enough to allow you continue singles with power.

  • Rack, then strip (Follow the Path)

You should note that in dropset style strip the weights while the bar on the rack. It improves the safety and enables a better performance. Avoid the instagram and social media methods where they advise on a trick of stripping weights while holding the bar. It is not a helpful process. This might lead to orthopedic problem of the body – one can sustain a serious bone injury if they peak up big lifts of the day before neural dropset. It is recommended that you minimize time when you have put your body under tension to allow central nervous system’s normal excitation. Just rack then strip in every rep.

  • Don’t do more than four drops

In the neural drive dropset, don’t move beyond four reps. Though many have a mentality of ‘do it more and you will be better’, we do not advise that. You should be geared for velocity, quality and energy or force production per rep. These should be key to anybody thinking to perform a dropset move.

Point to note is that you are likely to fatigue your body and increase the mechanical breakdown. Therefore, you have to keep as less drops as can allow you perform better. No grinding, to say. Better keep it at one rep and don’t permit the urge to do extended drops! Make it simple and working.

  • Use natural weight jumps

On each dropset, you should strip between 20 to 30 percent of the overall bar weight. Stronger lifters should strip single plate per side while lifters working on less bar weight can standardize the drops using 10 to 25 pound plates per side.

Summary

A working dropset is achieved on better instruction, knowledge and workouts. If you get it right from the beginning, you are likely to change your paths through small but great steps you are making. If you cannot go beyond the instructions here, you will reap great benefits for your body functions, starting with the central nervous system. If your central nervous system works better, it means you have fulfilled the purpose of the dropset mechanism you chose. Be big, be fit, be healthy but above all this, be wise. That’s all here.

Literally, there is rampant lack of knowledge regarding transitioning from cuts to huge muscles among folks. Some of the reasons that make folks to misuse this process is because they firstly overestimate the effect of a natural lifter on their muscles. Additionally they hardly have any idea about diet response to their bodies. But even worse than any other, which is physical and emotional, is disorderly leaving the phase of strict diet to a freestyle feeding one. Always this has resulted to the folks disappearing from work in days. This is the stage that needs a keen intervention for an individual to reach an expected goal or end without any severe defects.

Precautionary, it is deadly to compare the bodybuilder from a contest with an average gym attender cutting on weight. They may be from different levels of psychology and physical preparations. The following methods are methods fit for every situation of an individual on cutting phase:

The Mini Cut

This is definitely better for bodybuilders during their off-peak moment, weight classes’ athletes and the lean gym attender. However, these folks have different purpose for the mini cut purpose which suits them for their areas of focus. For example, the primary goal of a bodybuilder is to build their body physique for a next time competition. Here one eats without precaution to increase weight but not for all of them. A bodybuilder will basically check on his fat gain. He does not want more weight caused by increased fats.

Bodybuilders’ method on mini cut

Bodybuilders apply periodic mini cuts to have a better physique while accruing no fat at the same time. They are a bit aggressive but short time of cutting that last between 1 to 4 weeks. Mini at this phase prevents one to be bulkier without shape. But it makes easy dieting and readies one for competition while allows one to spend better time for muscle building. The method is also better for the power lifters on specific weight class categories. The benefit of this method is that no metabolic trauma is associated while attempting it, and the transitioning process is simple in comparison. One is also likely to recover quickly when he/she gets back to the regular diet.

  • The Standard Cut

The standard cut method is moderate in period of longevity. It lasts between 2 to 3 months. It is generally for those who want to get measurably lean. For example, a model readying for photo shooting, one making trace back to the gym workouts after long time absence and a competitor seeking to compete on a lower weight class. A rationale to cutting your weight as a body builder is supported in this article’s logics. An offseason bodybuilder who defaulted is enlightened in understanding and is made aware of the first wrong move he took to stay away from the bodybuilding process. Slowdowns in metabolic processes is likely to be experienced when the cut last for some few months. This associates some plateaus phase characterizing the development of lean levels of the body. In case one get on offseason, he/she is likely to add a dozen amount of body fats. But one is likely to avoid that if one has knowledge to prevent this.

The tendency of gaining much fats in the body from an offseason bodybuilder is attributed to surplus amount of calories after the metabolism and assimilation of food products. Metabolism function is also likely to have been affected in one way or the other after shifts experienced between becoming at season and offseason. Therefore, food intake that is provided after damaged metabolism gets converted to fats instead and the end result is that weight has been gained too much. And if carbohydrate-source foods are used, they rejuvenate the metabolic function since carbohydrate is an energy food. It majorly adds up caloric content which efficiently tapers caloric content up the mark and increases metabolism effect and speed.

If you are planning to go for offseason from the aerobic activities, you ought to add 25 to 50 grams of carbohydrates on weekly basis before you start it off. This is therapy that will ensure that fat intake is slowed and avoided as one is transitioning.

  • The Long Cut

The long cut method of transition is a method of dieting practice that takes a relatively longer time. Averagely, the time taken can be between 3 months and years of restricting ones diet. For people who have bigger weights as a result of huge overlapping of fats, and they are looking to reduce, this is the best way to go. However, it requires continuous monitoring and evaluation in order to avoid metabolic diseases that might be initiated. At the end, it doesn’t mean that one gets very lean but they at least have lost an over seventy percent of excess body fats. We accord achievement to those who have reduced fats to acceptable levels – a consideration standard to healthy human.

Length of practice is what differentiates between standard cuts and long cut. Long cut is too long and tough and demands a lot of discipline for that longevity plan of time. If possible, breaks can be obtained in between the phases where we experience health-wise plateaus. And even to note, metabolism is likely to slow down due to enormous loss of weighty fats. At the end, energy requirement by one’s body is likely to be lower than it was when one had heavier bodyweight.

  • Steady Increase

Gradual increase involves increasing your calories slowly until initial point of weight gain then you stop. This method is regulatory and cautionary and it favorably substitutes the long cut method. Its importance to the transitioning process of the body is to maintain surplus calories. The gradual increase of calories means half amount of carbohydrates intake as compared to that of standard cut. Nevertheless, the goal of this method is to avoid the former intake, but adopt an appropriate intake for ideal weight end-point. If you increase carbohydrates and you gain weight, it is called water weight because of the fat-nature of the weight. And one gram of glycogen in the body is equivalent to 3 g of water. You have to stay on focus in order to stabilize after your bodyweight gain and check on food balance in responsiveness to body intake levels.

  • Contest Preparation

Preparing for the bodybuilding contest is all about maintaining extreme low fat levels while leveling hormonal balance and metabolism. It is a different method and demands quite differently all together. If used properly, it should be lasting for four to eight months. Though, it results to body fats of 3 to 5 % for men physiology and 6 to 8 % for women physiology.

It becomes typically difficult near the targeted or essential body fat level in terms of diet. You are likely to experience effects in your hormone levels, mood and sleep patterns. Further, the body develops high capacity to store fats. So gherin levels becomes high while leptin levels go low. At the same time insulin sensitivity rises to the peak and metabolism goes to the lowest. All in all, healthier body fat levels is very necessary for the productivity in offseasons.

Modifying Carbs

Before increasing fat intake, it is recommended to reduce or slow down the increase of carbohydrates. Make an interval of gradual increasing rate at between 10 to 25g per week. We don’t eliminate the chances of getting fat again, but we permit the room for that and to make one get even healthier than before. Gradually increase to 8 to 12 lbs and then focus on 1 to 3 lbs per month. The reason for this is because the body adjusts quite overwhelmingly after the prep and so better you are when you plan nicely for offseason. Prepare for overeating periods.

Summary

Transitioning through dieting plan is best suited for an individual capacity. Every competitor assumes a possible and effective plan that will lead them to victory. However, our bodies have evolved in lots of stages and phases to today where we can walk with better posture all the time. There is no need for guilt. You can at the end influence your body to have fat even immediately after the show.

For every Batman, there is a Joker; for every Superman, there is a Lex Luthor; and for your primary mover muscles, there are antagonistic muscles. There are several antagonistic muscle pairings in your body, and knowing how they work can help you train smarter and get bigger and stronger. Having a good understanding of antagonistic muscle pairings can also help immensely in preventing injury and correcting muscle imbalances in your body. Muscle imbalances can be minor or severe, and both have an effect on your day-to-day life in varying degrees.

Antagonistic Muscle Pairings Explained

Generally, the simplest explanation of an antagonistic muscle pairing is two muscles that are arranged in such a fashion that when one muscle flexes (shortens), the other extends and vice versa. Think of your arms. On the front you have your bicep and on the back you have the tricep. If your arm is bent, your bicep is shortened and your tricep is extended; but, if you straighten your arm, your tricep is shortened and your bicep is extended.

How do these pairings affect you? Well, let’s continue with the example of your arms. If you have really strong biceps and really weak triceps, your bicep will exert more of a pull on your arm than your triceps, which can cause inflexibility in the elbow joint. Imagine for a second gravity pulls down with 5lbs of force; to keep something still, or neutral, you would have to lift it with 5lbs of force. If you’re lifting with 7lbs of force, the object will move. At rest, you want to remain neutral, but having a strong agonist and a weak antagonist can place more force on your joint in one direction.

Rationale for Training Agonist-Antagonist Muscle Pairs

Training agonist-antagonist muscle pairs was actually a theory popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are several popular push-pull workouts with decent methodology and they provide a great, simple workout. However, working out opposing muscles with supersets can not only save you time (supersets don’t require as much rest time in between each superset), but they can help you build muscle. Fatiguing your agonist muscle before working out the antagonist muscle means that your antagonist isn’t fighting the agonist as much due to the decreased pull due to this fatigue. What does this mean? Well, can you squat more reps with 50% of your 1RM vs. 75% of your 1RM? I’m sure you certainly can. There’s less resistance. When there is less resistance from an outside factor, you can put a heavier load directly onto the muscle, which paves the way for greater gains in size and strength.

Examples of Supersets Employing Agonist-Antagonist Training

Now that we’ve gone through the principles of agonist-antagonist training, it’s time to take a look at how we can apply them to your workouts. Agonist-antagonist training is best employed with supersets. If you’re unfamiliar with supersets, they are simply 2 exercises performed back-to-back with no rest in between. With these supersets, you’ll want to try to match the plane of motion of the first exercise with the second exercise, i.e. vertical or horizontal, or wherever in between. Here are some great examples of supersets you can do with your agonist-antagonist muscle pairs:

Chest & Back

When you squeeze your shoulder blades, what happens? Your chest stretches out wide. Similarly, when you flex your chest, your back lengthens. Your chest also happens to be on the front of your torso, while the back is – well, you know. These are two of your largest muscle groups, and supersetting with agonist/antagonist muscle sets can save time, just make sure you’re getting enough rest between supersets. Here are some great supersets for your chest and back:

• Bench Press/Lat Pull Downs
• Incline Dumbbell Bench Press/High Pulley Row
• Cable Flyes/Dumbbell Pullovers

Legs

While the anatomy of the legs lends itself well to agonist-antagonist training in theory, there simply aren’t a lot of good isolation exercises for the legs – compound exercises are far more effective. The only real option for an agonist/antagonist superset would be performing leg extensions followed by leg curls. However, leg extensions place a shearing force on the knee and can stress the ACL, so if you have bad knees, stay away from this one and stick to squats, lunges and deadlifts.

Arms

Arms, like the chest and back, are where agonist-antagonist training can really shine. Supersetting bicep and tricep exercises can provide a great pump, and even the ability to crank out some extra reps due to both of the opposing muscles being fatigued. Since the biceps and triceps are smaller muscle groups, you won’t need to rest very long in between sets – 60 seconds should do the trick unless you’re really gassed. Here are some examples of great bicep/tricep supersets:

• Barbell Curl/Rope Tricep Push Downs
• Preacher Curl/Skull Crusher
• Concentration Curl/Tricep Kickback

Final Thoughts

Beginning mostly with Arnold Schwarzenegger, performing supersets with opposing muscles (agonist and antagonist) has been a popular way to train. This type of training isn’t only valuable due to the amount of time it can save you in the gym, it can be a very effective way to get more out of your sets. If your chest is fatigued, your back can work harder; if your biceps are fatigued, your triceps can work harder, etc.

In addition to all of the listed benefits like better workouts and saving time, supersetting antagonistic muscles with their counterparts will promote symmetry. Not only will having huge biceps and tiny triceps affect your major compound lifts and likely give you elbow issues, it looks weird. This can also be noted distinctly with chest and back, except when your chest or back is stronger than the its antagonistic counterpart, it can cause several postural issues that can lead to permanent back problems or potential injury.

With all of the benefits and the only slight drawback of increased fatigue (a problem which can be circumnavigated by slightly extended rest periods), this method of training is too good to at least give a chance. So grab your dumbbells or barbells, maintain strict form and crank out those supersets!

Serious physique athletes know to use the right tool for the job of muscle growth. If you have to cheat just to get to the low end of 8-10 reps, stop and read this.

I grew up with a love for bodybuilding, mostly because I spent much of my childhood in a dirty, stinky, dungeon-ish hardcore gym in Virginia. My mother, Faith Bevan, trained there when she was a competitive bodybuilder in the early 1980s. I would watch as she lifted alongside Washington Redskins players, WWF wrestlers like the Ultimate Warrior, and lots of pro bodybuilders. I used to tell the other kids at my elementary school, “My mom could beat up your dad.”

With that kind of history, it was natural that I made working with bodybuilders and physique athletes a point of emphasis when I later became a trainer. I also developed an eye for what made hypertrophy training unique and different from, say, powerlifting, or training football players and other athletes.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen countless bodybuilders in the ensuing years who don’t seem to understand where their training style begins and other styles end.

I’ve already gone over some of the common errors I see bodybuilders making, but now I want to talk about something more specific: confusing training for size with and training for strength. Now, of course the two aren’t mutually exclusive. If you train for size, you will get stronger.

That said, I’m not writing this article for athletes looking to improve their “go.” The tips here are intended to help experienced lifters improve their “show,” either on the stage or at the beach.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s get serious about building muscle.

The Size-Strength Continuum

In simple terms, strength is about increasing force production. Size, on the other hand, is about getting a pump and creating microscopic damage to the muscle, which then causes it to repair and grow larger. This is hypertrophy in a nutshell.

The general rule of thumb when training for strength is that the reps should be low and the resistance load should be high. Also, true low-rep strength work is primarily neuromuscular. If you think of your body as a computer, strength training is more about upgrading your software, which is your central nervous system (CNS), than it is about the hardware—your muscles. Strength training is about teaching your CNS how to bring more muscle into the game; or to increase motor unit recruitment.

Unlike strength training, the goal of training for size is more physiological than it is neurological. It’s about upgrading your body’s hardware, like bones, connective tissues, and muscles. You literally build your body, forcing the tissues to develop and grow stronger.

The Well-Rounded Rep Scheme

After what I just said, this may come as a surprise, but I believe that there is a place for some low-rep power work in a well-rounded bodybuilding program.

Physique athletes, like any other type of athlete, can benefit from increased motor unit recruitment, so I put some low-rep/high-load work in my physique athletes’ programs, to the order of 5-6 sets of 4-6 reps. That said, we spend the predominant amount of our training time in the range of 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps, which has repeatedly been shown to be more directed at stimulating structural hypertrophy.

As I said earlier, it’s not like you’re totally missing out on strength development by training for hypertrophy. All types of training can have neurological benefits. But your goal with our bodybuilding program is to create maximum structural change, not neurological change. So if that’s your goal, don’t leave mass on the table!

Heavy Matters

At any given time at any big-box gym, you’ll see at least one guy doing biceps curls where he has to throw his lower back into it each time he brings the weight up. Not far away, there’s the dude doing back squats so heavy, he can’t go near parallel. If you don’t see that dude at your gym, it may be because he’s you.

It’s easy to make this mistake. After all, you’re in the gym to lift weights, right? Well, sort of. Bodybuilding is not about becoming a “weightlifter.” It’s about using weights as a tool to increase your muscle size. Throwing as much weight on the bar, whether to boost your ego and impress the people around you, uses the wrong tool for the job.

When you go too heavy, here’s what happens:

  • You reduce the time under tension, because you’re forced to use momentum to cheat.
  • You’re unable to lower the weight in a slow, controlled manner, further reducing your time under tension.
  • You’re unable to focus on the muscles being worked because you have to struggle just to get the weight up.
  • You utilize more muscles, which reduces the accumulated pump in muscles you intend to target.

Allow me to burst your bubble: No one else in your gym cares how much you lift! And if they do, then they’re just making the same mistakes you are, so you shouldn’t care what they think. If you’re unable to manage the weight you lift for sets of at least six controlled reps, you are more closely training for increased strength—and that’s if you keep good form. Otherwise, it’s just bad lifting, which won’t make you stronger, and might end up injuring you.

Keep It Strict!

Like any sport, bodybuilding is most effective when guided by overriding principles. If you’re looking for the three-word version, here it is: time under tension.

If you want to improve muscle size, maximize your time under tension on every rep by:

  • Using strict form.
  • Utilizing controlled eccentric (lowering) movements of at least three seconds.
  • Mentally focusing on the muscles being worked and squeezing those muscles at the peak of contraction.
  • Avoiding fully locking out, so the muscles are under tension throughout the movement.

Does this mean that all cheating is off limits? Not necessarily. There are ways to cheat effectively while still using this system. But if you don’t have the fundamentals down pat first, then you only cheat yourself.

Glutes are all the rage, but don’t build up one side of the hip while totally forgetting about the other! Here’s all the adductor training you need to build a strong, capable lower body.

With glutes having become “the new biceps,” it’s common for personal trainers, strength coaches, athletes, and everyday exercises enthusiasts alike to go hog-wild with exercises that focus on training the hip abductors—i.e., the glutes.

Want proof? Look no further than the lateral band walk, a movement that was pretty much never seen a few years ago, but is now about as mainstream as it gets.

To be clear, we think all this new focus on the glutes is great. However, as is often the case with new exercise obsessions, it often comes at the expense of what’s happening on the other side of the joint. In this case, that would be the hip adductors, or inner thighs.

The adductors will never be as sexy or powerful as the abductors, but they’re essential for a strong, functional lower body. Plus, it’s never a good idea to completely focus on one muscle or motion, and do nothing at all for its opposite.

Here are our science-backed reasons why it’s important not to neglect training your adductors, and a couple of the best (and most difficult) adductor training exercises you’re probably not doing.

Why Use Hip Adductor Exercises?

A 2015 systematic review (a study of studies) published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that hip adductor strength was one of the most common risk factors for groin injury in sport.

Interestingly, research on professional ice hockey players also found that they were 17 times more likely to sustain an adductor muscle strain (i.e., groin injury) if their adductor (muscles that move your leg toward the body’s midline) strength was less than 80% of their abductor (muscles that move your leg away from the body’s midline) strength.

No, you’re probably not a pro hockey player, but I’ve got news for you: Groin injuries are also very common in the gym, and in life, and they can be a bear to heal from.

So, with this evidence in mind, it stands to reason that complimenting your training of the muscles that contribute to hip abduction by also regularly incorporating exercises to improve the strength of the hip adductors will not only help to make your training programs more comprehensive, but also may help to reduce the risk of suffering a groin injury.

Wide-Stance Squats And Single-Leg Exercises Aren’t Sufficient!

Many personal trainers and strength coaches are under the impression that you don’t need to do specific isolation exercises to target your adductors, since compound exercises like squats and lunges do the job effectively. However, the research in this arena doesn’t necessarily paint that same training picture.

A review investigating the barbell squat found that a greater hip external rotation position (i.e., feet turned out) along with a wide stance of the feet increased hip adduction activation during this exercise. As weights got heavier, the activation went up more. However, the highest activation values for this movement, as well as for single-leg squats and lunges, are still relatively low compared to exercises that focus primarily on the hip adduction movement.

In other words, incorporating some adductor isolation exercises into your workout, along with compound exercises, can make your training more comprehensive and effective. And unlike lots of heavy, wide-stance squats, you can add it to your workout with pretty much no further impact on your recovery or other training.

Two Prerequisite Exercises To The Copenhagen Hip Adduction

The standard exercises to train the hip adductors are pretty well-known: standing hip adductions with a band or cable attached to your ankle, and the seated hip adduction machine. In our training experience, we prefer a different move: The Copenhagen hip adduction exercise.

However, not everyone will be able to perform the Copenhagen hip adduction exercise well, because it is a pretty advanced move that requires you to be proficient at holding yourself in a strong and stable side-elbow plank position. And, also is very demanding on the adductor musculature in both the top and bottom leg.

So, before you try the Copenhagen—which we’ll show how to do later—start with these two moves.

Side Elbow Plank With Hip Flexion

This exercise not only improves your side-plank strength, but it forces you to use the adductors of your top leg to hold you up while also teaching you how to be able to move at your hip (of the bottom leg) without losing your straight-body alignment.

  • Perform 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps per side, with a 1-2 second pause at the top of each rep.

Side-Lying Hip Adduction Scissor

Since the previous exercise focuses on the adductor musculature of the top leg to maintain the position, along with the torso musculature, this exercise focuses on the adductor musculature of the bottom leg. A warning: This exercise is harder than it looks.

  • Perform 2-3 sets of 12-20 reps per side, with a 1-2 second pause at the top of each rep.

If you’re able to perform both of the exercises for the above sets and reps in good technique, you’re ready and capable of performing the Copenhagen hip adduction exercise with good control and technique.

The Copenhagen Hip Adduction Exercise

Put simply, the Copenhagen hip adduction exercise has been shown to be a very effective movement for training hip adductors. It’s certainly one of our favorite exercises for targeting the hip adductors, along with the additional shoulder and torso musculature demands.

This is how we perform the Copenhagen hip adduction exercise, which is a bit different than it’s commonly done. The exercise is often demonstrated with a training partner holding the lifter’s top leg underneath your top knee and foot. Without a partner, keeping your top leg straight and placing your top foot on the end of a platform or plyo box exposes you to additional lateral forces through your knee joint that are greatly reduced when the partner is also holding your knee. Don’t do that!

Using our version, you don’t need a partner, because placing the bent knee on top of the platform allows you to reap the same benefits while providing more support at your knee joint.

We also like to perform a version of it that incorporates adduction leg scissors, and isometric holds.

Regardless of which variation you perform, here are some coaching tips to keep in mind when performing this exercise:

  1. Place a rolled-up towel or mat both underneath your leg that’s atop the platform and underneath your bottom elbow for comfort.
  2. Keeping your right leg straight and your body in a straight line from your left knee to your hips to your shoulders, press your left leg into the top of the platform as you elevate your right hip off the ground. Simultaneously lift your right leg up to squeeze the inside of your right thigh against the inside of your left thigh.
  3. Pause for 1-2 seconds at the top before reversing the action and lowering your right leg and hip back down to the floor. That completes one rep.
  4. Do all reps on the same side before switching sides and performing the exercise with your right leg on top of the platform.

In term of sets and reps, we generally recommend doing 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps per side. Once you can do that, you’ll have earned seriously strong thighs, and taken serious steps to bulletproof your lower body.