Lagging or Weak Body Parts? Read This!

Lagging or Weak Body Parts? Read This!

If you’ve been working out for a while you can likely feel that you have one or two stubborn muscles that just don’t keep up with the rest of your body. For many people, maybe their calves lag behind in growth compared to the rest of their legs, or perhaps it’s that their back feels weak in comparison to their chest or arms. What causes these muscles to lag behind, and what can you do to promote their growth? Keep on reading to find out! You’ve Been Taught the Wrong Way to Lift Abs and calves are two muscle groups that a huge percentage of weightlifters complain about. They claim to train them just as much as other muscle groups, and they feel sore for days after the workout is finished. There are a couple of reasons why these two muscle groups are very commonly behind in their growth, and one reason is that the information circulating about how to work these muscles out is wrong. For many years even experts have said that you need to train fast twitch muscles at low weight, and maximum reps. However, one of the biggest keys for muscle growth is called time under tension. Time under tension is essentially the time that your muscles are working throughout their range of motion. If you’re working out your fast twitch muscles (or any muscle for that matter) in a way that reduces time under tension, you will see very little strength or size gains in that muscle group. Next time you train your abs or calves, instead of doing hundreds of light quick reps, load up...
Build a Bigger Butt With These Two Moves

Build a Bigger Butt With These Two Moves

The butt (or glutes if we’re being scientific) is a muscle that both men and women alike want to work on. In many polls, this muscle group ranks at the top (or close to the top) as the most attractive muscle groups in men and women alike. Not only does having a muscular butt look good, but it’s also one of the most important muscle groups that contribute to improved athletic performance. So how does one begin to build a bigger, more muscular posterior? We’re glad you asked! In today’s post, we’re going to look at 2 exercises (and some variations) that will build and tone your glutes. Lunges Lunges are one of the best workouts you can do for overall glute growth due to the great range of motion the movement provides. The glutes are also the primary muscle used to perform lunges so this workout will target them directly compared to other workouts. Additionally, there are several variations on the lunge that you can use to target growth in the glutes. Examples of alternate lunge variations are: Walking Lunges Bulgarian Split Squats Weighted Lunges Walking lunges are a great starting to point to get used to the movement. Simply start standing with your feet together, take a long step with your right foot, kneel down till your left foot is barely above the ground, and use your glutes to push your body back up to standing position. Repeat the same movement with your left foot and continue the cycle for 10 steps. You’ll typically want to perform these in 3-4 sets of 10. To increase the difficulty, hold...
Part 2: What’s Better, Free Weights or Machines?

Part 2: What’s Better, Free Weights or Machines?

In our last blog post, we discussed the pros and cons of using free weights in your daily workout routine. If you haven’t read it yet you can find it here. In case you’re short on time and just want a recap, we talked about how free weights are excellent for building overall muscle mass and strength because they work out stabilizer muscles that machines don’t. However, working with free weights can be dangerous if you don’t have perfect form, so you will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best for you. Today we’re going to look at machines and what the pros and cons of using them in your workout routine are. Weight Machines: Pros Weight machines are fantastic for beginners. They’re safe, quick to learn, and pretty easy to use. If you’re just starting out for the first time with a workout program, using machines is a great way to get your bearings in the gym and build your confidence. While free weights are the way to go to get a full body workout, machines are incredible for isolating individual muscles. If there’s a specific muscle you want to work on, for example your biceps, you can find the right machine and work away on them. Another added benefit of using machines is that you generally won’t need a spotter to lift high amounts of weight. Because most machines use a pulley system and are self-contained, you won’t be dropping weight on yourself or others if you work to failure. Weight Machines: Cons We’ve sort of hit this con already but the...
Part 1: What’s Better, Free Weights or Machines?

Part 1: What’s Better, Free Weights or Machines?

When it comes to the best daily workout routine, there are as many opinions as there are equipment choices. On one hand, you have the gurus who will swear by using machines to get fit and build muscle, and on the other are weightlifters who will tell you free weights are the only way to go. With so many differing opinions, how do you decide what’s best for your own workout plan? Read on to find out the pros and cons of free weights, then next time, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of workout machines so that you can make the decision for yourself! Free Weights: Pros Most of the body builders that you see are going to be big proponents of using free weights. That’s because when you use free weights, the muscles in your body not only have to lift the weight of the bar and plates, they also need to constantly adjust for your balance. The muscles that get worked while adjusting for your balance are called stabilizer muscles, and will be different depending on the workout you’re currently performing. For example, when performing a bench press, your pectoral muscles are the main muscle being worked. However, during the exercise, your shoulders, abs, arms, and even your legs are working to stabilize your body to complete the bench press motion. That’s why big compound workouts like the bench press, dead lift, and squat are considered full body exercises. Working out with free weights provides other muscles an opportunity to strengthen themselves in ways that machines don’t allow for. Free Weights: Cons After hearing that working...