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Top Workout Tips
Outlined here is what I believe to be important and often overlooked
aspects of weight training.
Breathing: Breathing is very important when performing lifts especially for the
beginner and when lifting heavy weights. It fills you with oxygen at
the right moment and helps you to complete the exercise using proper
general "rule" to follow when it comes to breathing and
weightlifting is to breath in when in the negative phase of the lift
, and breath out when extending the most effort in lifting the
This is especially important when performing heavy compound
movements such as the squat, breathing out at the right moment when
you are attempting to bring the weight "up" again can in fact help
you to complete the rep.
Form: Without proper form when performing a certain movement you risk not
gaining maximally from the movement or worse causing yourself an
Look under the
body part section
to find out different exercises for different body parts and how to
perform them with correct form.
Time to Train: It
is hard to find time do do anything in this fast paced life. The
best advise we can offer is to dedicate yourself and motivate
yourself into finding time to go to the gym. Organise a daily
routine for yourself which involves at least 3 days that you go to
you cant go to the gym or your job involves travelling, do a few
push ups and sit ups on the floor or find out if your hotel have a gym.
Missing Training: Don't panic, it wont kill your routine, if you miss a workout
its ok just continue your routine as if nothing had happened and
make sure, if you can, not to miss a workout again. In fact I find
that when I miss a workout it actually irritates me because I might
have wanted to workout and if I miss it for a stupid reason such as
being too lazy then I kick myself for not going. You will see
yourself how much or how little a missed training session affects
for at least 8 hours of sleep per night, lack of sleep can affect
your performance in and out of the gym so be sure your head hits the
pillow early enough and at approximately the same
time each day for maximum benefits. Also what most people don't
realise is that your muscles grow when you are out of the gym, you
work the muscle in the gym but its after the gym, combined with
adequate nutrition that your body seeks to repair the microscopic
damage you inflicted on your muscle and during sleep is the optimum
time for this repair.
Dreading Workouts: If
you find yourself dreading your workouts then you should think about
changing your workout plan so its not so brutal that you hate the
prospect of going.
Look at your routine and see where changes could be made so that you
start to look forward to the gym.
Stretching: Stretching is very important to prevent injuries and pulled muscles.
I would recommend a stretching routine of 5-10 minutes before and
after a workout.
Especially before a leg or chest workout targeted stretching on that
area will limber it up and prevent injuries that could be easily
Body Types: Different people have different body types. Some people find it easy
to gain muscle and some people find it extremely hard.
The main body types are
Ectomorph : The Ectomorph individual has a skinny frame with
long muscle bodies. The ectomorph has little body fat and little body
muscle and finds it hard to gain weight.
Endomorph : The Endomorph individual has a high percentage of
body fat and finds it easy to gain weight but hard to lose it. Their
body is typically soft.
Mesomorph : The Mesomorph individual has a large muscular
body and finds it easy to lose fat and gain muscle.
Most people are a combination of the different types rather than
just one body type. Try to figure out which type you are.
Equipment: Primary Equipment
includes trainers, shorts and a t shirt.
Other equipment to consider when weightlifting would be;
weightlifting gloves, wrist straps, weightlifting belt and a sweat
Aim to wear the equipment that you feel most comfortable in and if
you are lifting heavy weights consider using additional equipment in
order to prevent injury or strain.
NOTE: Do not rely on additional equipment such as a belt for every
single exercise as this will stop your lower back from developing
properly and as a result will be a weak point in your body, only use
it on the most heaviest of sets where you feel precaution is needed.
Spotting: A spotter comes in
extremely useful sometimes. Wherever you need help positioning a bar
or dumbbells or help with that last rep or two a spotter is
Also a trusted spotter is there to keep an eye out in case you drop
the weight on yourself and to assist you remove the weight when you
cannot perform another rep.
Consider using a spotter with the following exercises; bench press,
squat and shoulder dumbbell press.
Training Partner: A training partner has
several benefits. First of all a training partner provides
motivation when you just don't feel like going to the gym, you would
feel bad letting your partner down. A training partner also fills
the position of spotter for you on certain exercises and vice versa.
A training partner might also have weightlifting and nutrition
knowledge that you don't and you could learn a lot from a
Injuries: Most weightlifting related
injuries are easily avoidable. The causes of injuries are lifting
heavier than your body can handle therefore pulling something or
straining a muscle.
Not warming up and stretching adequately before
performing exercises, a simple 15-20 minute warm-up and stretching
program before you start your workout can prevent unnecessary
Not performing exercises with correct form. Incorrect form will have
a negative affect on your body and consistent bad form will
eventually cause an injury.
Learn to perform each exercise correctly,
click here to view body parts and the proper way to perform the
exercises associated with them.
Training Diary: A training diary is a must
for anyone looking to lose fat or build muscle. In it you record the
miniscule details of reps and sets performed with the weight used.
In it you monitor the changes week per week and make necessary
changes to your training.
This way you can monitor little changes to the weight needed for any
Also a nutrition diary is a must for anyone hoping to change their
diary. In it you record the calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat
consumed each day and the target amounts for that day.
Resting: Muscle grows outside of the
gym, not in it. Your muscles need approximately 4-5 days of
recovery before you start your next workout.
Different people require less days of recovery so
test this out yourself to determine how much rest you need. A good
way of measuring this is to see if that particular muscle is still
even slightly sore a few days after a workout. Rest for as long as
it takes for the muscle to feel as normal.
This is very useful a way to determine if you are working with the
same intensity week after week. If you find that you need less
recovery days then you aren't working the muscle as hard as you
should or you just plain need to use a heavier weight.
Hydration: Drink plenty of water
throughout your workout to replace the fluids lost through sweating.
Locking Joints: Locking your joints
is where you are doing an exercise and you fully extend the limb
until it can't straighten anymore, this is potentially dangerous
because the stress of the weight is applied to your joint and not
the muscle and the joint might be injured in the attempt to hold
Make sure you maintain a slight bend in your joints when lifting
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