2015/08/10 14:47:07
James Leave a comment

Giant Sets

Giant sets are a great training technique and will really test your endurance and strength. They involve the combination of several exercises for a single muscle group all performed in quick succession. The exercises should be staggered down from the most difficult to the easiest. As the exercise intensity decreases the number of reps increases.

Let's look at giant sets for shoulders as our example: Select 3 exercises as a general rule of thumb. Standing barbell press is your main builder, then Smith machine presses as a second compound movement and lateral raises as your final exercise. Have the equipment set up prior to your set to minimise time between activity.

Begin with standing barbell. Perform 6 solid reps with good form, then immediately proceed to the smith machine where you complete 12 full reps with consistently good form. As soon as the weight has been set to rest make your way to the dumbbells and perform 24 solid reps with good form. All sets should be taken to or beyond failure, and if a spotter is on hand forced reps could be included to help push the muscles past their currently level of ability.

This style of training is effective due to the continuous load the muscle is under from different angles. By decreasing the intensity of each exercise you can increase the number of repetitions and therefore recruit more muscle fibres.
(This article was written by former MT moderator ozzy & was originally published in The MuscleTalker July 2002 edition)
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2015/08/10 14:42:58
James 2 comments

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4 cup olive oil
100g quark or natural yoghurt
125g peanut butter
2 egg whites
100g flour
75g oats
1tsp baking powder
Mix altogether and mould into cookies. Cook for about 20mins in a moderate oven.
(This recipe was written by Nicole Bremner & was originally published in The MuscleTalker September 2002 edition)
2015/08/06 11:59:27
James 9 comments

Grip And Forearm Training

Many shun this in favour of pecs, bis, etc but just a short training session with some specialised grip work can work wonders. Forget the information some of the magazines which say what the pro's say, i.e. their forearms get all the work they need from bicep work. This article is based around us amateurs fighting for every ounce of muscle.

Don't bother with exercises like wrist extensions off the end of a bench; they wont build the kind of strength and mass that we're after. Here are three easy exercises to start you on your grip road to super strength and can all be done with minimal kit.

1. Wrist rollers
A great exercise that can be made cheaply: from a DIY / hardware store buy a mop handle, cut it down to about 20-25 inches long and drill a hole through the centre. Thread through the hole some solid rope, eg climbing cord or some old electrical flex cable (which is what I use), and tie a knot in the top end. It needs to be long enough so that when you stand with your arms out in front of you it hangs down to your shins. Next simply loop the end through a weight plate and loosely knot it; start with a 5-10lb plate.

Keeping your arms straight out in front of you 90° to your body with the wrist roller fully extended, simply wind the weight up to the top position by using your wrists. Once at the top lower the same way to the fully extended position then repeat. Believe me if you're just starting then 10lb for 6-8 reps will stop most in their tracks!

2. Plate grip
Take hold of an Olympic plate in one hand and pinch grip it so your fingers are along the smooth side of the plate with your thumb on the other side, hold it for as long as possible and then change hands. Do this twice per hand aiming for around 45-60 seconds. Once achieved increase the weight.

3. Captain of crush grippers (if you can afford one)
Real solid steel crush grippers are better than the ones you will buy from the shops. Start with the trainer model if you're new to grip work which is set at 100lbs pressure and is enough for most. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps and remember to fully close the gripper and hold for one second before releasing.

There you have it, 5-6 sets of pure torture that will have your forearms put on mass like you wouldn't believe and your grip so strong you won't ever dig your straps out for deadlifts again!
(This article was written by former MT member bigmac & was originally published in The MuscleTalker August 2002 edition)
2015/08/04 11:07:29
James Leave a comment

Slimming Gels and Fat Burning Creams

You have all heard talking about slimming gel or fat burning creams. Do they really work and what is it all about?

The action of the creams on the skin are divided into three different phases:

1. First of all you need to massage! The massage causes an increase in circulation promoting a 'good sweat' and helps drain the skin of excess water.
2. The ingredients then penetrate into the skin
3. This results in loss of inches, the skin is more hydrated (and 'active' from all the vigorous massage!) and looks now a lot tighter and smooth (no direct fat loss has been proven!)

Creams typically contain several thermogenic ingredients like:

- Andiroba extract (slimming cream from the Yves Rocher Plant Biology laboratories) which is said to block 88 % of the activity of the enzymes responsible for forming lipids

- Caffeine and Kola which promote elimination of fatty cells

- Aminophylline, similar in fat burning action to ephedrine and clenbuterol

- Yohimbine, another potent compound also similar to ephedrine and clen.

- Forskolen, a compound that activates thermogenic enzymes and DMAE, a precursor to acteylcholine, another powerful thermogenic.

"With these ingredients and from the heat of the massage, the cream 'speeds up' the metabolism in the area that it is rubbed and provokes a chemical reaction that change fat cells into fatty acids that will slip through cell membranes and into the bloodstream to be burned" (Quote from Contour Magic Cream).

"Because the creams are topical, the active thermogenic components are not degraded by stomach acids like oral thermogenics! In other words, the cream does not have to go through the digestion process that all oral supplements must go through. During digestion, oral supplements loose close to 95% of their active ingredients" (Quote from DermaLEAN).

And, what's more, they are claimed to be time released so will maintain both site-specific and overall fat burning processes virtually all day! Couldn't be any better, huh?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (1982) advised one of the distributors of the Fat burning cream "La Crème" that, based on the product's labelling, it should be regulated as a drug because it claimed to alter the size, shape or conformity of the body; a drug function as defined by the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. When the distributor contended that "La Crème" was a cosmetic and therefore not subject to safety and efficacy requirements, FDA replied that claims of even temporary reduction of body measurements were not appropriate to a cosmetic. The company never replied to FDA's comments, but quickly disappeared from the market.

** Side effects?
Although uncommon, as all other thermogenic products it is important to use the cream only as directed and not to exceed 12 weeks of continuous use to reduce the possibility of side effects. Side effects which may occur are loss of appetite, tremors, dizziness, nervousness, restlessness, irregular heart beat, nausea, excessive sweating, diarrhoea and it is also possible to experience other complications due to the weight or body-fat percentage loss that results from its use.

** Recommendations
It is recommended that you apply it correctly (twice a day), keep a healthy diet and maintain a consistent workout regimen. Also stacking it with other weight-loss products will help enhance its effects.

All this sounds as if the fat burning creams and cutting gels are true wonder products for spot reduction, but before you go out and spend a fortune, know that these claims have been written by the companies wanting to sell their products. No one has ever done a scientific study proving that a cream really is able to burn away any fat. "Rub-on gels and creams have not been proven to work, and won't increase your metabolism or help eliminate food cravings" (Dr Chris Lydon from Muscletech); "Just another entrepreneurial activity in the lucrative business of weight-loss and 'fat-burner' fraud" (Tim Gorski, MD 1993)

A magical solution for spot losing or waste of money? Well nobody really can tell.

(This article was written by MT Member Philia2 & was originally published in The MuscleTalker October 2002 edition)
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2015/08/04 08:42:23
James Leave a comment

Basic Cheese Omelette

2 cups egg or egg substitute (use as many egg yolks as desired)
10oz frozen vegetables
1 cup grated low-fat cheese
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
pepper to taste
dried chives, parsley or salsa

Rinse and defrost vegetables. Coat a skillet with cooking spray, add veg and sauté. Add eggs, cheese and spices. Turn heat to medium-low; cover and cook about 5-7 mins. Garnish with dried chives, parsley or salsa.

Serves 2. Per serving: 585 kcal, 42g protein, 85g carbs, 13g fat, 10g fibre.
(This receipe was originally published in The MuscleTalker October 2002 edition)
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2015/08/04 08:39:48
James Leave a comment

1-6 Training

Otherwise known as the 'mixed neural drive / hypertrophy programme'. The system was first developed in either Hungary or Romania and introduced to Western bodybuilders by Charles Poliquin, and is more likely to be utilised by weight lifters than bodybuilders.

The theory is that if you perform a 6 rep max within 3-10 minutes of doing a max single, you will be able to use a greater weight than if you hadn't performed the single.

For example, imagine you are normally able to bench press 220lbs for 6 reps. if you were to perform a max single 4 minutes prior to doing your 6 reps you'll be able to do 225-230lbs which is a significant increase. Most trainees also find that their max single also improves with each wave.

A typical wave might look like this: -

Set 1) 1 rep with 265lbs
Set 2) 6 reps with 220lbs
Set 3) 1 rep with 270lbs
Set 4) 6 reps with 225lbs
Set 5) 1 rep with 272.5lbs
Set 6) 6 reps with 230lbs

I have genuinely seen this work. The basic premise is to use maximal loads to potentiate the nervous system. Because of this newly increased, more efficient neural drive, you can use a greater and stronger load for six reps. I would not base a whole routine on this technique, but I would apply it to one or two different exercises and use it to get through sticking points.

Give it a try and let us know how you get on.
(This article was written by former MT Moderator TonyStarks & was originally published in The MuscleTalker June 2002 edition)
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2015/08/02 17:03:55
James Leave a comment

Bodybuilding when you are Ill

When bodybuilders start to feel ill panic sets in because, not only do we see it as a time where we cannot train and progress, but if the illness affects the appetite, we may actually lose size! In reality though, there will be minimal losses from a common cold, tummy bug or food poisoning. Even with a dose of influenza for a couple of weeks there may be some catabolism, but this will be easily got back when you restart training and eating properly. Don't weigh yourself as you will have lost weight, your glycogen stores will be low and much of weight loss will be water; the scales could make you depressed.

Don't panic - accept the illness and rest up. I would advise against weight training as this will use up energy and nutrients needed to fight the illness, and will be more stress on the system. If you have a cold, for the early heavy stages don't train, then go back to the gym, and train as you can manage without overdoing it. Remember to keep warm if you come out from the gym sweaty.

Some illnesses will not affect appetite, in which case, continue with your normal good diet including plenty of fluids. If your appetite is diminished, eat small and often of whatever you can - junk food is ideal at this time because it's full of valuable calories and is tasty.

The hardest situation is if you are nauseous or vomiting. During nausea, eat what you can and often fluids are tolerated fine, even if food isn't. We've all had those illnesses when we can't even stomach water despite being extremely thirsty. The advice here is don't even try; the mere thought can make you worse! Each hour just try a sip of water or suck on an ice cube, if this stays down progress firstly to a small glass of water, then to a sugary drink. The first foods tried should be toast or a plain biscuit, eventually progress to a small meal.

Don't rush back to the gym too soon! It may be better to wait an extra day rather than have further setbacks. If you continue to suffer from sickness and diarrhoea for more than 24 hours seek advice from your doctor.

(This article was written by James Collier & was originally published in The MuscleTalker September 2002 edition)
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2015/07/31 11:28:33
James 1 comment

A great versatile meal that is perfect for dieting!

Mix together about 4 egg whites/yolks; add about ½ cup of oats, sprinkle of sultanas (if sweet), and 1 scoop of protein powder. Mix together with a fork and then pour into a pan. Cook it like an omelette - add filling and then fold over in half. Cook a little longer and then slide out of pan and cut in half like a sandwich!

Filling ideas: Mashed banana, peanut butter, quark, berries, or whatever you like!
(This receipe was originally published in The MuscleTalker November 2002 edition)
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