Advantages of Bulking and Cutting

Something you’ll hear every year at about this time is “Summer is coming up, time for me to start cutting”. Many people swear by the bulk up for winter and cut back the extra fat for the summer strategy in order to maximize their results. Today we’re going to look at what is involved in a bulking/cutting strategy and find out if it’s the plan for you! In a bulking and cutting plan, the goal is to shred any extra fat you may have so as to increase muscle tone for the summer months. The reason for this is usually that the summer temperatures allow people to more easily show off all the work they’ve been doing at the gym and in the kitchen. After summer is over, however, it’s time to bulk up. That means eating more calories and upping the carb intake so as to maximize muscle growth. Bulking vs. Cutting Workout Routine Regardless of whether it’s bulking season or cutting season, your workout routine will mostly stay the same. You’ll want to spend 3-5 days a week either at a commercial gym or your own in-home gym burning as many calories as possible and exhausting your muscles so they can grow stronger. The one difference is that during cutting season you will want to increase the time you spend on cardio workouts. High-intensity workouts that get your heart rate up tend to burn fat faster than other workouts so these are perfect for your cutting routine. Bulking vs. Cutting Diet The biggest difference in bulking vs. cutting is your diet. If you’re cutting, you will want...
3 Great Workouts for a Muscular Chest

3 Great Workouts for a Muscular Chest

It’s hard to argue that having a well-defined, muscular chest makes any guy look better. With the new year approaching, you might be resolving to hit the gym and look for a way to develop your chest into that of a Greek god. Getting a chiseled chest isn’t easy, and a lot of people try and fail every year. Here are 3 great workouts that if you stick to them, will help you get that big muscular chest you’ve always dreamed of! Bench Press I’m sorry if you hate bench presses, but there really is no better workout for adding size to your chest than bench pressing. This workout, if done with the right form, will work your core, lower, mid-, and upper chest, and will also work your front delts. Focus on using the right form and not only will you work more muscle groups, you’ll also be able to push more weight. Dig your shoulders back into the bench, arch your back, and plant your toes firmly on the ground. A lot of people try to bench by bringing the bar down towards their upper chest, and then pushing up for the lockout from there. What you really want to do is bring the bar out towards your lower chest, flex your lats while pulling the bar down to your lower pectorals, and then pushing up into your lockout from there. Performing the bench press in this way will provide you a lot more power so you can break through those stubborn plateaus and really build strength and size. Pin Press Another great workout for adding strength...
Home Gyms vs. Commercial Gyms

Home Gyms vs. Commercial Gyms

So, you’re thinking about getting into a workout routine, you’re getting motivated to pump some iron and get that dream body you’ve always wanted. Working out has a lot of benefits both for your body and mind. The only problem is you’re not quite sure which route you should go. Should you get a membership at a local commercial gym, or just buy some equipment and start your own in-home gym? If you’re struggling with this dilemma you are not alone. A lot of people all around the country have a hard time deciding which option is right for them. Much of the decision comes from what best suits your schedule and lifestyle, but there are some things you should know about both options before you make the commitment. Why Choose a Commercial Gym? When deciding between a commercial or an in-home gym, access is often a big deciding factor. With a commercial gym, you pay your monthly fee and all of the equipment you need is readily available to you. You don’t need to go out and purchase the weights and machines yourself. Commercial gyms also generally offer personal training sessions (although you have to pay extra for it) and these sessions can help you reach your goals faster than if you were to work out alone at home. Another benefit that commercial gyms offer is that there are few distractions to actually getting your workout in. For people who have a difficult time with getting sidetracked or staying motivated, working out at home can be a frustrating experience. You have all the right intentions of getting a...
Why You Should Incorporate Weight Lifting into Your Workout Routine

Why You Should Incorporate Weight Lifting into Your Workout Routine

Exercising on a regular basis has many benefits: improved heart health, stronger muscles, more energy, and a general feeling of better health. There are all kinds of different ways to work out your body including cardio training, bodyweight workouts, and weight lifting. Many people are nervous about the idea of training with weights because of the danger of injury. However, weight lifting provides many advantages that other types of exercise can’t, and there are precautions that can be taken to avoid injury during weight lifting. Here are 3 big reasons you should incorporate weight lifting into your exercise routine. Weight Lifting Super-Charges Your Metabolism Compound weight lifting exercises such bench presses, deadlifts, power cleans, and barbell squats use a massive amount of muscles to accomplish. Compound exercises are also referred to as full-body workouts because they require assistance from your core, back, legs, and sometimes even your chest and shoulders. Naturally, when you use more muscles, you will expend more energy and burn more calories. Compound workouts also help boost your metabolism and burn fat for several hours after your workout is over. Weight Lifting Increases Your Overall Strength While cardio workouts are definitely beneficial and bodyweight exercise is great for toning your muscle, no workout is better for building strength than heavy weight training. Have you ever been in the gym performing a workout, and while the weight doesn’t feel overly heavy, you feel pain in your joints? This is caused because your muscles may be able to handle the weight you’re lifting, but your tendons aren’t quite at the same level of strength as your muscles are....

How to Bulk Up the Right Way

If you asked five different people about how to bulk up, you’d probably get five different answers. It seems like everyone has their own idea about what works. That’s because everyone has varying fitness goals and distinct body types. However, some foundational fitness principles stay consistent regardless of whether you’re trying to look like Superman or you’re just trying not to look like Spiderman (before he was Spiderman). In today’s blog, we’ll tell you how to bulk up the right way. The “right way” means these straightforward tips are based on science, not trends or taste. Let’s take a look! Fill up on whole foods, not fats One thing most people tell you about bulking up is, “Eat more!” But there’s something missing from that piece of advice. You need to eat more of the right foods. Your body certainly needs food (calories) to build muscle, but empty calories won’t give you muscle. Instead, they’ll turn into fat. Seek out whole, nutritious foods that make your body stronger and more energized. Not only do healthy foods strengthen your muscles, but they also give you more energy to push yourself harder during workouts. Harder workouts translate to better results, and that means more of the bulk you’re looking for. Work, work, work Lifting is an essential part of bulking up. However, it’s important to give your muscles a chance to recover after workouts and even between reps. Take at least one rest day a week, and definitely vary your workouts from one day to the next. If you work arms and shoulders every day, you’ll likely end up with an injury—and probably flabby legs, too. Don’t feel like you have to dedicate every workout to weights....

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Your Weight-Loss Plan Isn’t Working

“It’s just water weight.” “You’re building muscle.” “It takes time.” “Everybody is different.” You’ve heard it all — the reasons you’re not losing weight. But these responses that imply you’re doing everything right are extremely frustrating. If you were doing everything right, wouldn’t you be losing? You need to know what you’re doing wrong so you can tweak your weight-loss plan. While we can’t tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong, we’ll do our best to help you figure it out by giving you some questions to ask yourself: #1. Am I actually hungry, or just thirsty? Many times, our stomachs feel empty not because they need food, but because they need water. Next time you think you’re hungry, drink a glass of water. Then reevaluate your appetite. Also, get in the habit of drinking of a glass of water before you begin your meal. You’ll feel less hungry as you delve into your dish, which will help you slow down and eat less. With that said, make sure you’re reaching for water when you’re thirsty. Drinking a sugary beverage can be just as bad as eating a high-calorie snack. Just because it’s liquid doesn’t mean the calories are free. #2. How much am I eating? What did you eat today? Seriously, tell me everything! For many, there’s a huge disconnect between how much we feel like we’re eating and how much we’re actually eating. Think about the handfuls of peanuts you tossed in your mouth the moment you got home from work. Sure, peanuts have great health benefits, but those calories still add up. Are you sampling your dinner as you prepare...