For those competing in the world of body building and exercise, creating the complete physique is vitally important. Many amature competitors neglect to exercise and improve the complete range of muscles that they have to offer.
One of the big areas of improvement for most bodybuilding competitors is their legs. Usually neglected and rarely pushed as competitors focus on arms, chest or improving their abs.
Our Monster Supplements Guru Rebecca Maughan provides a complete leg workout for those who are looking to compete at both amature and professional competition level:
How To Build Muscle
We train with weights to build muscle, right? But why do muscles grow/become stronger? There are so many training strategies out there, it’s extremely difficult to just “pick one” as they all claim to work, and to a certain extent they probably do.
But I want the BEST results in the shortest period of time, or in other words – maximum efficiency.
Losing fat….not weight….fat…..what’s that all about?!-
Losing fat is not something that just happens when you go on a “diet”, I say this because a diet to some people is not eating as many take away meals, to others it is eating 100% “clean food” and NEVER having any form of cheat/treat meal…everyone has a different idea of what dieting is so let’s just break it down…-
If you look at any athlete who lifts heavy they will almost always carry impressive levels of muscle mass. In contrast, the reality is that athlete could almost certainly be bigger if they wanted to be! We often hear from some coaches that getting stronger is key for size whilst others say it doesn’t matter. Well I sit somewhere in the middle because I truly believe it does matter, but maybe not for the reasons you think it does.
When it comes to working with weights, you want 100% of your mental energy focused on the task at hand – pushing yourself and lifting the weight for more reps/better form than the previous workout.
To do this efficiently, recording your results is essential. It may not sound like much, but recording your results each and every workout allows you to be more effective over time….this will generate significant increases in intensity and improve workouts.
The bench press is often the favoured exercise within the gym environment for young men who crave size and even more perhaps that title as a ‘’strong dude.’’ The saying goes the same in every gym up and down the country, ‘’how much do you bench?’’ Well, today we are going to explore this exercise in a bit more detail, discuss some of the benefits and beyond that some of the best variations we feel will help you add size and strength. Sound fun!? Good.
Every now and again you meet people who give you a massive surge of inspiration. Last week was one of those for me. As a coach I meet a lot of different people and this lady, originally a native of the Basque Country came to me for guidance. Her story hit a nerve; she had narrowly escaped death following a long struggle against cancer. In her own words ‘’she beat that ******’’ and she went on to say about how 7 year old children she met with leukaemia inspired her to keep fighting and stop feeling sorry for herself. Whilst I totally agree with her it was so hard to actually imagine the stress, trauma and anxiety she was subject to. Even though she witnessed kids suffering with a similar nightmare I couldn’t help but think it would be near impossible to avoid feeling sorry for yourself. But then again this lady is no ordinary lady, her mind-set is just phenomenal.
If we were to take a look at a range of elite athletes who competed in specific sports and then tried to create a hybrid of their training do you think it would work? We aren’t sure but thought it would be a very interesting topic to cover. Leigh Halfpenny, George St. Pierre, Usain Bolt, Chris Jenkins, Bobby Lashley – these are all guys who sport incredible physiques and perform at the very highest level within their chosen discipline. They are all lean, muscular, strong, powerful and healthy. The world renowned coach and leading authority, Charles Poliquin said ‘’success leaves clues’’ and that is so true. Collectively between these athletes we have compiled 4 points which their training has in common. If want to look like a powerful, lean, strong athlete then it’s a good idea to train like one.
Over the weekend I headed up to Cardiff and trained at my usual gym there, Universal Fitness. It is a sensational gym with many elite athletes training there – we are talking Olympic coaches, pro rugby players, football players, physique competitors and even fighters. One coach who I have looked up to for some time is a gentleman called Scott Francis. He has an extremely impressive client list and I was fortunate to bump into him this weekend along with his better half, Francesca Fox who is a fantastic fitness chef!
Almost every individual who trains in a gym to enhance the shape and appearance of their physique will have better developed muscle groups than others. We all have some which grow faster than others. Sometimes genetics are all there is to know, nothing more can be said or done to explain why. That doesn’t mean that you cannot do something about your lazier muscle groups though in order to make them play catch up.
In a simple step by step plan we have outlined 3 key areas you can focus on immediately to accelerate the growth of muscle tissue within your weakest muscles groups whichever they may be.
1 – Mind To Muscle Connection
This is a term used frequently within muscle building circles and you should take heed. As you train a specific muscle you should be able to feel it move all the way through each rep. That’s the start, middle and finish. Each burn, each tare and each kilo of punishing tension placed on your muscle should be felt. If you cannot ‘’feel’’ the muscles working they probably are not, at least to their maximal capacity. To improve this practise flexing and tensing the weak muscle through a full range of motion as you would with weight. Visualise that muscle working in your mind, work on it! This is your foundation to growth as you are able to recruit more muscle fibres within that muscle, without it you will be chasing your tail forever more.
2 – Training Frequency
The next port of call to accelerate growth within less developed muscles is to train them more frequently! There is an overriding myth within the fitness industry that hitting a muscle group more than once a week is over training. It isn’t. Natural (not drug assisted) individuals experience an increase in muscle protein synthesis levels (which supports recovery and growth within a muscle) for 48 hours post-training. That means it returns to basal rate after this. Why wait another 5 days to train that muscle again? Train the weak muscle twice or even three times a week to force MPS levels to remain high. Remember, stimulation is the key to growth.
3 – More Reps
When people complain about certain muscles failing to grow they overlook the fact that they are training one way and one way only. Usually within the 8-12 rep range they never delve into new territories which might be the reason certain muscles don’t grow (especially quads, calves and deltoids in this instance due to their higher slow twitch muscle fibre population). Try going for 15-20 reps on occasions, sometimes 25-30.
Marrying all three points together creates a very comprehensive battle plan to force growth even within the most stubborn muscles.