Body Building

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Body Building

History of Bodybuilding

Early Beginnings...

The roots of bodybuilding go all the way back to ancient Greece. It was the athletes of ancient Greece who used to train in the gymnasiums (Greek for "naked place"); however, they did not use resistance training as a form of body modification but rather a means to improve at the sport they participated in.

The most notable of such athletes was Olympic wrestling champion Milo of Croton who reportedly would carry a calf on his back every day until it became a bull, thus demonstrating progressive resistance as a means of developing strength.

The "Grecian Ideal" would also go on to influence modern day bodybuilding as the aesthetic standard that modern bodybuilders would aim to achieve.

It was in 11th century India that bodybuilding as we know it first arrived on the scene. It was back then the Indians would use primitive dumbbell weights carved from stone for the sole purpose of getting bigger and stronger, it is also reported that by the 16th century weight lifting had become a national past time in India.

Eugene Sandow and the physical culture

By the mid-19th century weight training as a means of improving health and increasing strength was becoming increasingly popular. People began to be exposed, to what was to become known as, the physical culture: through the travelling strongmen of the time. The strongmen would entertain crowds with feats of strength, such as lifting and pulling massive weights. However, it was purely the feats of strength that the audiences were interested in; the actual aesthetics of the strongmen was not important -- this would all change with the arrival of Eugene Sandow.

Born 1867 in Prussia by the name Friedrich Muller, Eugene Sandow later became referred to as "The Father of Modern Bodybuilding."Not only was Sandow incredibly strong, he also had a muscle quality and an aesthetic comparable to that of a modern day bodybuilder. He first traveled Europe and later in the 1890's America -- where he was billed as the "world's strongest man". It soon became apparent that as well as his feats of strength the audiences were just as interested in the physical appearance of Sandow. This led to the development of what is now referred to by modern day bodybuilders as a posing routine. Previously being called "muscle display performances."

Sandow was the muscle superstar of his age; he developed some of the first bodybuilding equipment as well as also being responsible for the first ever bodybuilding magazine. Originally called Physical Culture but later the name changed to Sandow's Magazine of Physical Culture.

Through Sandow's promotion of bodybuilding, weightlifting competitions began to officially take place for the first time. 1) the World Championships in 1891 in England and 2) two weightlifting events in the 1896 inaugural modern Olympic Games.

In 1901 the first major bodybuilding competition was held in the Royal Albert Hall, London. It was to be known as "The Great Competition". And Sandow was one of the judges alongside Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as well as athlete and Sculptor sir Charles Lawes.

In 1925 Eugene Sandow suffered a stroke and died at the age of fifty-eight. His legacy still lives on as a statuette known as a 'Sandow'. It's given to the winner of the most prestigious bodybuilding competition in the world: Mr Olympia.

Early 1900's

Another massively influential figure in bodybuilding during the early days was Bernarr Macfadden, he zealously promoted the 'physical culture'. It was Bernarr Macfadden's firm belief that weakness was a crime! He would even change the spelling of his name from Bernard Mcfadden to Bernarr Macfadden because he believed it to sound stronger.

Macfadden wrote many books and was also responsible for the creation of what was to be the forerunner of today's bodybuilding magazines -- Physical Culture Magazine -- a magazine that would stay in publication for fifty years.

It was in 1904 that Macfadden began to organize and promote bodybuilding competitions for both men and women. These competitions would go on for many years and would be responsible for the emergence of Charles Atlas - the winner of 1921's "Most Perfectly Developed Man" contest.

Charles Atlas would later go on to develop his physical fitness course Dynamic Tension; the advert became one of the longest running in history. The basic premise of the advertising campaign was that a scrawny kid would be with his girlfriend and be humiliated by a bigger teenager. As a result of this humiliation the scrawny kid went home frustrated, discovered the Dynamic Tension program, became muscle-bound, went back to beat up the bully, and became a hero. People everywhere saw this advert and it led to bodybuilding being accepted by wider audiences.

1930's

By the late '30's it was not uncommon to see physique competitions, however, these competitions did not comprise of just weightlifters but also other athletes at the time such as boxers, gymnasts and swimmers. Weightlifting by the '30's was still not considered a sport and as such athletes and competitors were expected to achieve their physiques through a variety of other sports.

In 1939 the Mr America competition was created. The competitors were not all fully fledged bodybuilders, and it became apparent that lifting weights gave a distinct advantage.

1940's

John Grimek would begin to dominate the Mr America competition. Because Grimek was predominantly a weight lifter it sent a message to anyone who wished to compete against him that a training program similar to Grimek's was needed.

1945 would see the emergence of, who many would consider the first modern body builder, Clarence (Clancy) Ross. Clancy Ross would not only train with weights but would use them to shape and proportion his body similar to the "Grecian ideal". During this time bodybuilding started to come into its own. Previously, the bodybuilding scene was controlled by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU); however, there were concerns that the AAU was not so concerned with bodybuilding but rather the Olympic sport of weightlifting. Because of this the Weider brothers decided to form the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) which would cater for the needs of bodybuilders and ensure they had a stable platform to promote from. The first IFBB contest was the 1949 IFBB Mr America.

1950's

During this decade Steve Reeves put bodybuilding on the map. Before the arrival of Reeves many people had little knowledge of bodybuilding, or bodybuilding champions. The movies helped catapult Steve Reeves and bodybuilding to fame.

Steve Reeves was a former bodybuilder who won the 1947 Mr America, 1948 Mr World, and 1950 Mr Universe and at his acting peak would become the highest paid actor in Europe. Reeves had it all, proportion, mass, definition, as well as being very good looking. He was considered the "Arnold Schwarzenegger of his era". Reeves played many roles and would go on to play the bodybuilding icon Hercules in a series of Italian made films -- a role that would later be an inspiration to a young Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. Alongside Charles Atlas, Steve Reeves would be the biggest name in bodybuilding so far.

In the wake of Reeves' departure from bodybuilding Reg Park was the next major champion to dominate bodybuilding. Park became 1951's Mr Universe, became Mr Professional Universe in 1958, and again in 1965, dominating bodybuilding for two decades. Reg Park would also follow in Reeves' footsteps by playing Hercules in a series of Italian made films. Bodybuilding was beginning to carve out a small niche in the movies.

1960's

The 1960's heralded the arrival of the "mass monsters". Bodybuilders started to look bigger, and arguably better, as time went by. This was due to a better understanding of the science behind bodybuilding: conditioning and nutrition.

In 1965, Joe Weider created Mr Olympia so that the winners of Mr Universe competition could continue to compete and earn money. From its inception the title of Mr Olympia would now be considered the highest accolade in the sport of professional bodybuilding, the winner of which would be known as the best bodybuilder in the world. The first winner of the Mr Olympia title was Larry Scott who would then go on to win a second title in 1966. Olympia would herald a new era in bodybuilding competition, the standard of competition would increase year upon year, and Larry Scott would be a fine first champion. Scott set the bar high with his thick mass and freakishly large arms. Larry Scott was the most popular bodybuilding star of his time; also a fitness model he appeared regularly in magazines such as Mr America, Muscle Builder, Demi Gods, Muscleboy, and The Young Physique the phenomenon saw to become known as "Larry Fever."

1970's

After the retirement of Larry Scott in 1966; the winner of the next three Olympia titles was Cuban born Sergio "The Myth" Oliva. He displayed a level of muscle mass never before seen. Oliva started being called "The Myth" because everyone who saw him at the 1967 Montreal World's Fair said he was "JUST UNBELIEVABLE".

Sergio Oliva was a successful weight lifter in Cuba and because of such he was chosen to represent Cuba at the 1962 Central American Games in Kingston, Jamaica. It was in Kingston Oliva took the opportunity to sneak past the guards and make his way to the American Consulate where he claimed political asylum and would now live in America to become a bodybuilding champion.

Sergio Oliva has been considered by many to be one of the greatest bodybuilders who ever lived, and possibly the most naturally gifted ever. At the current time not much was known about training techniques and dieting yet Oliva was a freak at 240lbs and 5ft 10ins, his chest measured at 59 inches and would taper down to a 28 inch waist. The dominance of Oliva would soon be out matched at the turn of the new decade by a bodybuilder who may be considered one of the greatest of all time: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

After much success in Europe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became known as the "Austrian Oak", burst onto the international bodybuilding scene. In 1966, his first big international victory was the National Amateur Bodybuilders' Association (NABBA) Mr Universe contest. Arnold's first attempt at being the best, and capturing the Olympia title came in 1969, was unsuccessful. He finished second place, behind Sergio Oliva. It would be the only time Arnold was defeated in the competition.

On his second attempt, at a record breaking age of twenty-three, Arnold won the title of Mr Olympia. Beating Sergio Oliva in the process. Schwarzenegger would now go on a winning streak and be crowned Mr Olympia every year up to 1975 -- a record breaking six times.

Bodybuilding had a new star.

By the time Arnold Schwarzenegger won the title five times in a row he began to attract attention from filmmakers George Butler and Robert Fiore. They filmed Arnold training and competing in the 1975 Mr Olympia for a docudrama called Pumping Iron. It was actually Arnolds plan to retire from bodybuilding in 1974 but he was persuaded to carry on so the film could be made. Pumping Iron would do a lot to popularise bodybuilding, as well as introduce Arnold Schwarzenegger as a household name.

Lou Ferrigno

Arnold's co-star, Lou Ferrigno, would also help to popularize bodybuilding even further. Although Lou Ferrigno didn't ever win the title of Mr Olympia he became very influential through the medium of film. Ferrigno's appearances as Hercules and the Incredible Hulk pushed bodybuilding deeper into the mainstream.

Franco Columbo

The Mr Olympia competition was split between two size categories: the small man and the tall man. Before 1976 it was the tall man that had always won overall, however, that year Franco Columbo became the first small man to win Mr Olympia. Previously to '76, as the shorter man, Franco was overshadowed by his Pumping Iron co-star Schwarzenegger.

Franco would later win the title of Mr Olympia again in 1981. This is considered one of the most controversial Olympia decisions of all time; Franco's leg development was considered to be substandard, which meant that he was not the best man on stage, and therefore shouldn't have won.

For the remainder of the 1970's extremely low body fat would start to become a deciding factor. This allowed Frank Zane, with his ultra-lean look, to win three consecutive Olympia's in '77, '78, '79.

Frank Zane

Although in the '60's Frank Zane competed at over 200lbs it was at a modest competition weight of 180lbs that he managed to dominate bodybuilding for three years. Zane is known not because of his size but because he was extremely well proportioned and conditioned. Zane, a mathematics and chemistry teacher, gained the nickname "The Chemist" because of his Bachelor of Science degree and because he used to take a lot of amino acids -- this was considered unusual back then. Another reason was that Zane's scientific approach to his competition preparation meant that he would peak at exactly the right time.

1980's

Before the 1980's Mr Olympia contest it was rumoured that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be guest posing along with Reg Park, however, much to the dismay of the other competitors he entered the competition at the last minute, winning in controversial fashion. 1980 was the final appearance by Schwarzenegger on the bodybuilding stage, and never again did "The Austrian Oak" appear in competitive bodybuilding.

As the popularity of bodybuilding increased so did the competitors, not just in size but also in number. This was described by Schwarzenegger himself in his book, The New Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding: "Once, I could stand on the Olympia stage and be challenged by one or two other competitors. In 1980 the Olympia stage included Frank Zane, Chris Dickerson, Boyer Coe, Ken Waller, Mike Metzer, Roger Walker, Tom Platz, Samir Bannout and Roy Callender, among others".

With the retirement of many of bodybuilding household names there was room for a new champion to emerge, and in '82, that champion was Chris Dickerson. Although he only ever won one Sandow he had an illustrious bodybuilding career, spanning thirty years. Dickerson was the first African-American winner of Mr America, as well as being the oldest winner of Mr Olympia, aged 43. And in 2000 Chris Dickerson was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Before 1982 there were more Mr Olympia's under 200lbs than over; this would start to change in the 80's. The 80's ushered in a new era of massive bodybuilders. It was now size that was becoming the winning factor, with aesthetics and balance taking a back seat.

Lee Haney

The next dominant bodybuilder to arrive on the scene was Lee Haney. He broke Schwarzenegger's record and won eight consecutive Olympia's from 1984-1991. Haney had everything: symmetry, proportion, conditioning, and at his heaviest he was a massive 245lbs.

During the '80's Arnold Schwarzenegger, although retired from competition, would continue to promote bodybuilding through his physique in film. More and more film stars with developed physiques appeared. Bodybuilding stars like Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lungdrum and Sylvester Stallone. Bodybuilding was now everywhere! As popularity increased so did sponsorship deals and prize money and therefore the quality of competitors.

In the year 1989 Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up with long-time associate Jim Lorimer and created what was to become the second most prestigious event in professional bodybuilding: the Arnold Classic Weekend. Later to be renamed the Arnold Sports Festival. Considered the most lucrative of bodybuilding events the Arnold Classic has huge prizes up for grabs, however, the title of Mr Olympia is considered to be the more sought after . Winners of the Arnold Classic later went on to win Olympia. Bodybuilders such as Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, and the more recent champions Kai Greene, and Branch Warren.

1990's

In 1992 Lee Haney's dominance came to an end. Picking up where he left was, the huge, Dorian Yates. Weighing in at 268lbs, and winning Olympia from '92 until his retirement in '97. As in the 80's bodybuilders got larger. The competitors who were able to achieve a blend of proportion, conditioning, and freakish mass, becoming the most successful. After Dorian Yates' retirement everyone thought that Mr Olympia couldn't get any larger, then the biggest ever arrived: Ronnie "Big Ron" Coleman.

2000's

Coleman reached a competition weight of 297lbs and became the joint record holder for Mr Olympia; winning eight from '98-'05. Ronnie Coleman also holds the record for most wins as an IFBB professional, with 26.

Returning to the stage in 2006 to defend his title, and make it a record breaking nine Olympia's, Coleman was defeated by Jay Cutler.Previously, Cutler was a runner-up for five years consecutively.

Jay Cutler's win reversed the trend of Mr Olympia getting bigger and bigger every year. This was further demonstrated when a smaller and highly conditioned Dexter "The Blade" Jackson stole victory from underneath Jay Cutler's nose in '08. Cutler is no stranger to adversity, and won back the title the next year. He's one of only three men to do so. And being the first to win back the title straight after losing it. Currently, Cutler is the dominant bodybuilder of our time. Winning the Mr Olympia title four times. The most recent in 2010. His era could be coming to an end, and if he's toppled, the next bodybuilding super-power may emerge...

About Bodybuilding

Body type influences how you respond to diet and training. Understand your body type in order to plan your muscle building training and diet program.

When I first got into the muscle building scene I was overwhelmed by the amount of different training programs, bodybuilding supplements, diets, articles and information there was out there. There were so many conflicting diets and training programs available and I had no idea what I "should" be doing. The result of this was about 6 months in the gym with little gains and almost no motivation to workout anymore.

I was at a complete loss and about to throw in the towel and give up. Then a guy in the gym gave me a magazine and told me to read the article in there about body types. So I did and it opened my eyes up to the reason why I wasn’t making any gains in the gym.

I am a true ectomorph (classic hardgainer) and my bodyweight was 60.2kg (132.5lbs) when I first walked into a gym. I had no idea about body types back then. I assumed (like most beginners do) that the more I worked out the bigger I would get. Thinking that “more was better” I started following a program designed for an elite bodybuilder. This resulted in gains of about 1.7kg in 6 months.

After reading the body type article in that magazine I started to understand more about how my body type worked, my metabolism, and gaining weight. Being an ectomorph I need to focus on calorie intake, long rest periods, and minimum cardio. It was only then I started making some real gains and I’ve never looked back.

So it’s important to be able to identify and understand your body type. Different body types require different training methods and diet plans. So listed below are the 3 male body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph, along with their characteristics.

Ectomorph

An ectomorph is a typical skinny guy. Ecto’s have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles. Shoulders tend to be thin with little width.

Typical traits of an ectomorph:

  • Small “delicate” frame and bone structure
  • Classic “hardgainer”
  • Flat chest
  • Small shoulders
  • Thin
  • Lean muscle mass
  • Finds it hard to gain weight
  • Fast metabolism

Ectomorphs find it very hard to gain weight. They have a fast metabolism which burns up calories very quickly. Ecto’s need a huge amount of calories in order to gain weight. Workouts should be short and intense focusing on big muscle groups. Supplements are definitely recommended. Ectomorphs should eat before bed to prevent muscle catabolism during the night. Generally, ectomorphs can lose fat very easily which makes cutting back to lean muscle easier for them.

Mesomorph

A mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique. Mesomorphs are the best body type for bodybuilding. They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle.

Mesomorph body typeTypical traits on a Mesomorph:

  • Athletic
  • Generally hard body
  • Well defined muscles
  • Rectangular shaped body
  • Strong
  • Gains muscle easily
  • Gains fat more easily than ectomorphs

The mesomorph body type responds the best to weight training. Gains are usually seen very quickly, especially for beginners. The downside to mesomorphs is they gain fat more easily than ectomorphs. This means they must watch their calorie intake. Usually a combination of weight training and cardio works best for mesomorphs.

Endomorph

The endomorph body type is solid and generally soft. Endomorphs gain fat very easily. Endo’s are usually of a shorter build with thick arms and legs. Muscles are strong, especially the upper legs. Endomorphs find they are naturally strong in leg exercises like the squat.

Endomorph body typeTypical traits of an Endomorph:

  • Soft and round body
  • Gains muscle and fat very easily
  • Is generally short
  • "Stocky" build
  • Round physique
  • Finds it hard to lose fat
  • Slow metabolism
  • Muscles not so well defined

When it comes to training endomorphs find it very easy to gain weight. Unfortunately, a large portion of this weight is fat not muscle. To keep fat gain to a minimum, endomorphs must always train cardio as well as weights. Usually supplements may not be needed as long as the person has a high protein intake in their diet.

A Combination of Body Types

These body types aren’t set in stone. In fact, most guys have a combination of two body types. These combinations are either ectomorph/mesomorph or mesomorph/endomorph. It is not uncommon to find a pure mesomorph that gains weight like an endomorph for example.

So which body type are you?

Given the information above you should be able to identify your body type. You may also want to optimize your diet and training to suit your body type.

One final point I want to mention is that no matter what your body type you can build a big, ripped, muscular physique. Even the skinniest of guys can bulk up. Yes, it’s harder but if you’re willing to put in the hard work it can be done. I have about the skinniest natural build possible and at the time of writing this article I have gained about 30kg (66lbs) of lean muscle mass.

Benifits of Bodybuilding

You might disagree, but hear me out on this; the vast majority of myths about weight gain are mostly passed down from "gym talk" and so-called experts who know nothing about the body's workings.

Myths that lead to wasted time, frustration and if are taken blindly as truth, can really set back your progress in the gym. Don't believe everything you hear when it comes to exercise and weight gain, do the research yourself.

Lets take a look at some of the most common weight gain myths:

High repetitions burn fat while low repetitions build muscle

Progressive overload is needed to make muscles bigger. Meaning that you need to perform more reps than you did for your last workout for that particular exercise. If you perform the same amount of reps at each workout nothing will change on you, also “if the weight doesn’t changes on the bar nothing will change on you”.

You need to become stronger

Definition has two characteristics, muscle size and a low incidence of body fat. To reduce body fat you will have to reduce your calories; the high repetition exercise will burn some calories, but wouldn't it be better to fast walk to burn these off? Better still; use the low reps to build muscle, which will elevate your metabolism and burn more calories (less fat).

Vegetarians can’t build muscle

Yes they can! Strength training with supplementation of soy Protein Isolate has shown to increase solid bodyweight. Studies have shown that athletic performance is not impaired by following a meat free diet, and people strength training and consuming only soy protein isolate as a protein source were able to gain lean muscle mass.

Strength Training will make you look masculine

If it is not you’re intention to bulk up from strength training you won’t. Putting on muscle is a long hard slow process. Your strength-training regime coupled with quality food will determine how much you will bulk up. To bulk up you also require more food. Women don't produce enough testosterone to allow for muscular growth as large as men.

By working out you can eat what ever you want to

Of course you can eat whatever you want, if you don't care how you want to look. Working out does not give you an open license to consume as many calories as you want. Although you will burn more calories if you workout than someone who doesn't, you still need to balance your energy intake with you energy expenditure.

If you take a week off you will lose most of your gains

Taking one or two weeks off occasionally will not harm your training. By taking this time off every eight to ten weeks in between strength training cycles it has the habit of refreshing you and to heal those small niggling injuries. By having longer layoffs you do not actually lose muscle fibres, just volume through not training; any size loss will be quickly re-gained.

By eating more protein I can build bigger muscles

Building muscle mass involves two things, progressive overload to stimulate muscles beyond their normal levels of resistance and eating more calories than you can burn off. With all the hype about high protein diets lately and because muscle is made largely of protein, it’s easy to believe that protein is the best fuel for building muscle. However muscles work on calories that should predominately be derived from carbohydrates.

If I'm not sore after a workout, I didn't work out hard enough

Post workout soreness is not an indication of how good the exercise or strength-training session was for you. The fitter you are at a certain activity, the less soreness you will experience after. As soon as you change an exercise, use a heavier weight or do a few more reps you place extra stress on that body part and this will cause soreness.

Resistance training doesn't burn fat

Nothing could not be further from the truth. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue and has a role in increasing the metabolism. The faster metabolism we have the quicker we can burn fat. Cardio exercise enables us to burn calories whilst exercising but does little else for fat loss afterwards.

Weight training enables us to burn calories whilst exercising but also helps us to burn calories whilst at rest. Weight training encourages muscle growth and the more lean muscle mass we possess, the more fat we burn though an increased and elevated metabolism.

No pain no gain

This is one myth that hangs on and on. Pain is your body signaling that something is wrong. If you feel real pain during a workout, stop your workout and rest. To develop muscle and increase endurance you may need to have a slight level of discomfort, but that's not actual pain.

Taking steroids will make me huge

Not true, strength training and correct nutrition will grow muscle. Taking steroids without training will not make you muscular. Most steroids allow faster muscle growth through greater recovery, while others help increase strength which allows for greater stress to be put onto a muscle. Without food to build the muscle or training to stimulate it nothing will happen. Most of the weight gain seen with the use of some steroids is due to water retention and is not actual muscle.

Strength training won’t work your heart

Wrong! Strength training with short rest periods will increase your heartbeat well over a hundred beats per minute. For example, performing a set of breathing squats and you can be guaranteed that your heart will be working overtime and that your entire cardiovascular system will be given a great overall body workout.

Any intensive weightlifting routine that lasts for 20 minutes or more is a great workout for your heart and the muscles involved.

I can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time

Wrong. Only a few gifted people with superb genetics and on steroids can increase muscle size while not putting on body fat. But for the average hard gainer, they have to increase their muscle mass to its maximum potential and then cut down their body fat percentage to achieve the desired shape.

In conclusion, simple basic principles that apply to all weight and muscle gain such as progressive overload, variable frequency of reps and high intensity workouts are the way to go.

Drawbacks of Bodybuilding

The message of today’s post is really quite basic but is something that every person trying to build muscle and burn fat needs to understand.

And that is that, just like the title says…

The majority of bodybuilding and fitness supplements out there today are… quite simply… bullshit.

Yes, there are a small handful of research-backed supplements available that ARE worth using and that can deliver a slight increase in the overall effectiveness and convenience of your program… and yes, I personally use a few myself and recommend them to my clients and readers where it’s applicable.

However, the “good ones” are extremely few and far between, and in all but a couple of cases, they aren’t going to deliver any real immediate muscle building or fat burning results anyway. Instead, they’ll simply fit into your overall program as a whole and maximize your results by a few percent over the long term.

Beyond a few simple basics though, most of what’s out there just flat out doesn’t work, and most trainees hugely over-value these products and have totally unrealistic expectations about just how big (or rather, how small) of an impact they’ll actually have.

muscle building supplement

I certainly like the idea of popping back a few pills and seeing an immediate boost in muscle growth and fat loss as much as the next guy, but it just doesn’t work that way, no matter what that supplement ad with the photo-shopped fitness model on it told you.

In reality, the supplement industry is mostly made up of massively over-hyped and over-priced products that will do absolutely nothing for you whatsoever… and even the ones that do “work” will still only deliver marginal results at best.

Most of the products lining the shelves at your local supplement store are packed full of ineffective ingredients that are NOT backed by any real scientific research… they’re typically under-dosed, poorly formulated and have the specific ingredient amounts hidden behind “proprietary blends”… and in some cases they don’t even actually contain what the label says.

supplement scams

It might sound crazy, but these sorts of things are actually common practice, and it’s pretty easy for supplement companies to get away with them since the industry is barely even regulated in the first place.

The simple fact is that any random Joe Schmo off the street with a few bucks and a business idea can hire a contract manufacturer, slap a few random ingredients together in a bottle and instantly be in the supplement business.

If you really think the people running the show at your favorite supplement company are a team of “supplement scientists” walking around in white lab coats, conducting careful research and precision engineering every product based on the “latest breakthrough research”, you may want to think again.

In reality, it’s mostly just a big marketing game… a marketing game perpetuated by people who, far more often than not, really don’t give a crap about you or your results, are NOT supplementation experts themselves in the first place, and who simply tell you what you want to hear (no matter how outlandish or unrealistic it may be) in order to make sales and profit.

This is just the way it is, and the sooner people realize this, the sooner they can begin saving themselves hundreds and even thousands of dollars of their hard-earned money each year, while at the same time improving their results by shifting their focus onto the things that truly matter, namely proper training and nutrition.

training and nutrition

It’s time to get back to reality here.

If you really want to build a significant amount of muscle, lose fat and develop an impressive, head-turning body, here’s the big secret…

  1. Train hard.
  2. Eat right.
  3. Do the above two things over, and over, and over, and over again, week after week, month after month and year after year.

No pill or powder can ever overcome the fact that being in truly great shape all comes down to basic hard work and consistency over the long term.

It may sound cliché, but it really is the truth.

Your muscle building and your fat burning results are going to be decided by what you do in the gym and what you do in the kitchen, and even a proper supplementation plan is only going to make up a very small portion of your overall results.

Again, it’s not that I’m against the use of supplements; I’m simply against the over-use and the over-emphasis of supplements. And the truth is that most people really do place way too much value on them.

So, get your training in order, get your nutrition in order, and then if you want to fully optimize your results by including a few basic supplements to meet your specific needs and to squeeze out possibly a few percent of additional results over the long term, then that’s fine.

Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that supplements are going to make a world of difference… don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to spend thousands of dollars on these products every year… and don’t make the mistake of thinking that they can ever take the place of basic hard work.

20 Tips for Terrific Bodybuilding Workouts

BEFORE THE WORKOUT

  1. Find a reliable training partner who has a similar recovery ability to yours, and a high level of motivation for serious training.
  2. Train at a time of day that suits you, and try to avoid the gym’s busiest periods so that there are fewer distractions and delays. Schedule at least one workout on a non-working day so that you have at least one session a week at the optimum time of the day for you.
  3. If you feel physically beat and are due to train, rest another day. If you need to make this adjustment often, modify your training program and lifestyle so that you recover properly between bodybuilding workouts withouthaving to take unscheduled rest days.
  4. Don’t wait too long after a meal before training, and risk having your workout flag due to insufficient energy; but don’t work out too soon after a meal, and risk feeling nauseous while training. Have a simple meal that you can digest easily, and then train about two hours afterwards.

DURING THE WORKOUT

  1. Before you use the weights, spend 5 to 10 minutes doing some general but low-intensity warming up such as stationary cycling, skiing or rowing, to break you into a sweat.
  2. Spend this general warming-up time psyching yourself up. Switch off from the rest of your life. Move from non-training mode into training mode. Mentally go through some tough sets. Get fired up to train.
  3. Do sufficient warm-up sets for each exercise. Better to do too much warm-up work than not enough. But don’t rush from your final warm-up set to the first work set of a given exercise—rest for a few minutes.
  4. Keep a strong grip—use lifters’ chalk (magnesium carbonate). Properly used, this is a terrific aid for a secure grip, especially in back exercises and upper-body pressing movements.
  5. Before each work set, check your training log to see what you did the last workout you performed that particular exercise. Determine what you need to do, in poundage and reps, to make today’s effort progressive—for example, an extra pound on the bar for the same reps.
  6. When you get in position for a set, take care to take the right grip and stance or body position. Don’t charge into a set, grab the bar and then realize after the first rep that you took an imbalanced grip, wrong stance, or are lopsided while on a bench.
  7. Your bodybuilding workouts must be sacred. Ignore all intrusions other than emergencies. Your focus should peak for each work set. For the duration of each work set you must “become” the set. Nothing else matters other than the perfect completion of that set.
  8. You and your training partner should ensure that each other delivers perfect sets—intensive, progressive, and always with correct exercise technique.
  9. Use small weight increases. To make small weight increments of no more than a pound at a time, use micro-weight plates of just quarter or half a pound each. Alternatively, you could use several large washers instead of each micro plate. Or you could use a pair of spring collars, for about one pound a pair; then gradually build up the pairs of spring collars until you have four pairs, then move to a pair of 2.5-pound plates instead of the spring collars, and start adding spring collars again.
  10. Only add weight when you’ve earned it. An exaggerated focus on progressive weights is detrimental, because it leads to degradation of exercise form. Never should exercise technique or rep speed control be compromised to enable more weight to be added to an exercise.
  11. Dehydration mars bodybuilding workouts. Sip water between sets. And the more you sweat, the more water you must drink.
  12. After each work set, record your rep count and poundage used. As the weeks go by you need to see gradual improvements in weights lifted or reps performed.
  13. Periodically get someone to video tape your entire workout.

AFTER THE WORKOUT

  1. Within half an hour of your workout, have a liquid, easily digested, protein-rich and carbohydrate-rich feed. Consume about 30 to 50 grams of protein and 60 to 100 grams of carbs, depending on your size. Within the next two hours, have a meal of solid food.
  2. Go to sleep earlier than usual on the evening following a workout, and get at least nine hours of quality sleep. Give your post-workout recovery machinery a boost. Get at least eight hours sleep each other night.
  3. Study the video recording of your workout. Examine your exercise technique, rep control, concentration level during each set, effort level, and use of time between sets. Look for areas to improve, and then address them at your future bodybuilding workouts.

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