This Is Your Body on 2 Weeks of No Exercise

Whatever your intentions may be, life sometimes simply gets in the way of your fitness plans. Fitness experts and physiologists all agree that two weeks is the longest time you should spend out of the gym if you want to maintain your fitness level.

Taking a few days off is normal and recommended for a good recovery of the muscle tissue, but if you skip the gym for more than two weeks, you will experience a reduction of many gains you’ve struggled so hard to achieve.

How fast you’re going to get out of shape depends on your overall fitness level, your type of workout and the amount of time you’ve spent away from the gym. But the horrifying fact is that not working out at all for two to eight months will lead you right back to your original start, erasing all of the progress you ever had, according to the experts. Since your body isn’t getting overloaded anymore, it doesn’t get challenged to adapt to any changes and deconditioning takes off.

This article will help you understand better what is going on inside the body after a few weeks without regular exercise – and hopefully motivate you to keep it up!

1. Loss of muscle mass and size

When you stop training, your body stops building muscles. It’s that simple. And it will take a lot less time to lose them than it took to build them in the first place. Your unused muscles react with atrophy to the reduction of regular workouts, since your body no longer needs to produce the muscle-maintaining enzymes, thus decreasing their size and definition. But it gets worse than that – you don’t just lose muscle mass when you stop exercising, you also experience a conversion of the muscle fiber type!

Your muscles contain type 1 (slow-twitch) and type 2 (fast-twitch) muscle fibers. The first one contributes to endurance performance while the second powers your high-intensity exercises. When you stop working out, the first type is still involved in your daily activities but the type 2 fibers become rarely used, so they atrophy more quickly. In other words, your body will start adapting to your new couch potato lifestyle in no time.

And after your muscle fibers have shrinked and transformed, you will need to work even harder to bring them back to shape.

2. Fat gain

In a research done by Paul Arciero, an exercise science professor at Skidmore College, a 5-week exercise break made athletes increase body fat by 12%. Other studies have shown that within about a week your metabolism dramatically slows down and your muscles lose a big part of their fat-burning potential. People who stop working out instantly lose the need for the extra calories their body required to power the muscle growth and maintain the muscle size so far.  So if they don’t adjust their calorie intake to their new way of life by consuming much less food (which most won’t do), they will gain fat more quickly than people who never worked out at all.

3. Loss of overall performance and conditioning

Regardless of your type of workout, endurance is among the first things to go. Besides the loss of muscle mass and density, muscle underuse will lead to decrease of bone density, flexibility, blood flow and energy production. All of this will negatively influence your strength and speed. According to Molly Galbraith, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, strength loss typically occurs within two and a half to three weeks of inactivity. Things are even worse for highly conditioned athletes, who will experience a much faster decline in overall performance compared to beginners.

When you stop working out, you begin to lose the aerobic gains you’ve made, too. A new study found out that highly conditioned athletes who had been training regularly for more than a year and then suddenly stopped lost half of their aerobic conditioning after only three months. Compared to them, beginners who have worked out for about 2 months and then stopped experienced a complete loss of their aerobic conditioning after two months of inactivity.

According to Scott Weiss, an exercise physiologist and personal trainer, with a sudden halt of physical activity there is a decrease of the amount of blood pumped out of the heart and a significant increase of heart rate and blood pressure. Besides that, the size of mitochondria (the mini-factories within your muscle cells that convert oxygen into energy) decreases alongside with a steady loss of your VO2 max or the maximum volume of oxygen your working muscles are able to use, which directly affects your level of performance and overall cardiovascular fitness.

4. Changes in brain functioning

There are plenty of reasons why exercising is good for the brain. It increases the blood flow and feeds the brain with more oxygen, it aids the release of hormones and stimulates a process known as neurogenesis, i.e. the brain’s ability to grow new brain cells and adapt existing ones. For example, exercising in the morning boosts brain activity and protects you from the following daily stresses. It improves the ability to concentrate, promotes good memory and maintains a stabile mood. And you can forget about all of this if you decide to take a longer break away from the gym.

You can also expect to become anxious, fatigued and depressed. Exercise promotes mental health by normalizing insulin resistance and boosting the production of hormones and neurotransmitters associated with mood control, so when you stop working out, your levels of “feel good“ hormones like endorphin and dopamine will drop. This will in turn affect your overall motivation and energy levels, so you might end up feeling increasingly low and agitated – starting up once again will require a great deal of willpower and patience.

A new study concluded that getting at least 150 minutes of exercise a week significantly improves the quality of sleep. According to one of the authors, “regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative for sleep disorders”. And when you quit your regular workouts, you will most likely suffer immediate changes in your sleeping pattern and the quality of sleep as well.

Stop rationalizing and think again before you decide it’s time to quit your gym sessions, because you might truly regret it later – only a few weeks later, actually!

10 Best Exercises for Building Lean Muscle Mass

Not all exercises will have the same effect on your muscle building process. Some will push it to its outer limits and some won’t aid as much, but all of them will contribute to it. Today we are interested in the former ones, the exercises that promote hypertrophy by employing a larger number of muscle fibers, more than one joint and are colloquially known as compound exercises.

These exercises have a larger output and are based on your strength, as opposed to isolation exercises which are often based on a single joint movement that employs a low number of muscle fibers. If you want to build muscles that will be awesome and admired for years to come, here’s a list of 10 exercises you will need to perform that will get you to your goal!

1. Deadlifts

Of course deadlifts are the first on this list. No other exercise even comes close to inflicting as much stress on your body as this one. Deadlifts make your back thicker, your lower body stronger and your gains immense, but they also strengthen your core and make you more suited for other heavy lift exercises like squats. If you want to get the best effect from deadlifts, keep the set moving after every rep – no need to drop the bar down after each lift. This will keep your intensity higher throughout your set, and when you get to the top of the movement, lock out your back muscles to engage them completely. No other exercise compares to the way deadlifts build your posterior chain.

2. Bent Over Rows

These are a compound exercise, of course, but they are far more isolated than deadlifts since they are mostly active on your rhomboids, lats and lower traps. You need a specific type of posture to do bent over rows, which means they will also activate your spinal erectors and your core muscles. Make sure you keep your elbows tightly packet next to the sides of your torso and drive them back. This will provide a more direct stimulus to your lower lats, but when you pull at this angle, you will also use more power, which will let you lift more. Keep away from excessive body motion when you’re performing bent over rows – your range of motion can be cut short, which will make the exercise less effective.

3. T-bar Rows

These are similar to bent over rows, and while the posture is identical, the difference is in the grip. T-bar rows demand a semi-supinated grip with your palms pointed towards each other, which will let you lift more weight, which in turn, will help you pack on even more lean muscle on your frame. To improve the effects of T-bar rows, pause when you get to the top of the movement and your lats and rhomboids will be under greater intensity while contracted.

4. Squats

Deadlifts build up you posterior chain like nothing else, but squats do the same for your legs. When you put a lot of weight on your back and squat until your legs are parallel to the ground, you cause your legs a lot of trauma and stress, but the same applies to your entire central nervous system, which is the explanation for that feeling of instability that you get after a hard set of squats. Squats demand a lot of muscle fibers to be activated in order to complete the rep, so hypertrophy is more likely to occur. When you inflict suck trauma on your body with squats, it will rebuild and grow in order to adapt. You just need to keep the weight away from your knees and on your glutes, quads and hamstrings, so make sure to push through your heels when you do squats.

5. Leg Press

Leg press work efficiently with both low and high rep ranges, and while they are more isolated than squatting since there is less intensity placed on your core, they are still a compound exercise. Leg press let you target every single quad muscle with just a few simple changes in the technique. Foot placement will change muscle focus – consider switching between narrow and wide foot placements, as well as anywhere between the middle and the top of the plate. All of these positions and all their variations provide a different level of intensity for different muscle fibers on your legs.

6. Shoulder Press

When you do seated shoulder press with really heavy dumbbells, you need a lot of strength and that’s why they are the perfect exercise to put on muscle mass in your anterior and medial heads of your delts. This is a compound pressing movement and it works on both your strength and your triceps size. Before you do this exercise, know how your triceps are supposed to work in regards to it because it will make the difference between a decent and an awesome shoulder press.

To keep your triceps away from fatigue and keep the pressure on the deltoids, shorten your range of motion a bit. When you get three to four inches before the lockout part of the movement, stop the concentric contraction and retreat into the eccentric part of it. When you lock out, your triceps will be engaged and you can make your shoulder presses dominate them, which will lower your deltoid stimulation and deltoid muscle building.

 

7. Decline Bench Press

If you want to build your chest, listen to Dorian Yates and do some decline bench press. This exercise hits the pec major, the middle and the upper part of your pecs as well in the concentric phase, meaning it practically activates your entire pectoral muscle group. Decline bench press let you lift more weight than any other angle because of the biomechanical advantages provided. If you want to put on more mass this is really important, and it’s also the least stressful on your shoulders, which is vital to this joint when you consider how vulnerable it is when you’re lifting weight that heavy.

 

8. Flat Bench Press

This exercise is more often than not, seen as the one that will measure your lifting strength. I don’t know a single person that isn’t focused on this exercise, and even if you’re not going for that scoreboard win, you should definitely include it in your muscle building workout schedule. The flat bench press is stressful on the shoulders, which means you should take some weight off and take a wider grip too, which will let you stretch your pectorals thoroughly as you press through the entire range of motion. Don’t lock out when you get to the top of the movement – your triceps will get tired really quickly.

9. Barbell Curls

Barbell curls stimulate every single fiber in both of your bicep heads. Get a straight bar, rotate your wrist externally and your biceps will tense much harder, especially their outer head. If your elbows or forearm start hurting, switch to an EZ bar which will let your wrist hold a safer, more natural position. Once you’ve reached muscle failure, you can do some controlled cheat curls, which will cheat through the concentric phase with some momentum to get the bar up, and then slowly but surely resist through the eccentric part of the movement. This ramps up your intensity like nothing else!

10. Weighted Dips

Weighted dips help you build a lot of mass for your triceps, but they also put some intensity on your pectorals as well, without even trying. If you want to keep the intensity on your triceps, take a narrower grip on the dipping station and keep your body vertical if possible. Weighted dips will let you overload your triceps with a heavy set until failure, but you will also be able to take the weight off and do a quick drop set to get your blood flowing more quickly. If you pump more blood into your triceps, it will help you stretch your fascia which will boost nutrient transportation and grow your muscles even more!

 

If you want to pack on as much muscle mass as you humanly can on your frame and become stronger, these ten exercises are what you need. They should be the basis of your muscle building plan, with their slight variations acting as added exercises to hit every single muscle you need activated. Don’t forget to keep your form proper!

12 Home Exercises For Effective Fat Burning

Take a look at the following circuit workout:

Bodyweight Squat (close stance) – 20 reps (2-0-1)

Close-Grip Push-ups – 15 reps (3-0-1)

Chin-ups/Pull-ups – 3 reps (3-0-1)

Reverse Lunges – 12 reps on each side (2-0-1)

Inchworm – 8 reps (2-1-2)

Running in Place – 30 seconds

Mountain Climbers – 12 reps per side (1-0-1)

Total-Body Extensions – 10 reps (1-0-1)

Calf Jumps – 12 reps

Reaching Lunges – 10 reps on each side (2-0-1)

Decline Push-ups – 12 reps (2-1-1)

Underhand Inverted Rows – 12 reps (2-0-1)

Running in place – 30 seconds
You will be performing this workout as a circuit, meaning you’ll do one movement, then immediately proceed to the next, with no rest. Beginners can ease into it by resting 30 seconds after finishing each exercise. More advanced lifters need to get a stopwatch and measure the workout time.

Bodyweight Squat (close stance)

body-weight-squats

Stand with the closer feet stance than the one using when doing a regular bodyweight squat. Keep the back rigid and straight and puff your chest out. Push the hips back and bend the knees. Begin squatting by lowering the hips to the ground and go as low as possible. Then, go back to the starting position.

Close-grip push-ups

diamond-push-up

Get yourself into a push-up position and place your hands close together. Beginners might want to try it with their hands a bit closer than classic push-ups. Advanced lifters should try to form a diamond shape with their hands with their index fingers and thumbs. The reason for this is that the closer your hands are positioned, the more you stimulate the triceps. In this position, lower yourself down as much as you can. When first starting out with this exercise, you might be able to get to just a few inches. If you keep working at it, you’ll eventually succeed to go all the way down.

Chin-ups

chin-ups

Grab a bar with your hands facing you. Tuck the feet behind you and pull the chest towards the bar. Strive to get the chin over the bar. These are pretty difficult, so you might be able to do just a few of them at first.

Reverse Lunges

reverse_lunges

Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart. Keep the back straight, abs tight and chest up. Then, step back with one leg, while bending the other leg. This is a lunge, only in reverse. Go back to the starting position and repeat the movement with the other leg.

Inchworm

Inchworm-Exercise

This is a pretty difficult, yet extremely effective full-body exercise. Stand up straight with the feet shoulder-width apart. Then, bend down and place your hands on the floor. Go forward with your hands until you reach a push-up body position. Then, walk your legs towards the hands. Stand up. This is one rep.

Running in place

As the name itself says, this is very basic: just run in place by lifting one foot at a time. When the foot goes back on the ground, lift the other. This exercise can be a short cardio break between intense exercises.

Mountain climbers

mountain-climbers

Assume a push-up position. Now, lift one leg off the ground and bring the knee towards the chest. Get it back to the starting position and repeat the movement with the other leg. This is supposed to be a fluid motion and should be done as quickly as possible.

Calf jumps

calf-jumps

Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart. Lift the heels off the ground and balance the body on your toes. Now, hop as high as you can. Land back on the toes and repeat the movement. It can be hard to do it at first and it might take some time to get used to it.

Reaching lunges

reaching-lunge

Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with one leg and try to reach upwards as high as you can, using your hand  while still being in the lunge position. Then, return to the starting position and do the same with the other leg.

Decline push-ups

decline-pushup

Assume the push-ups position, but this time elevate the feet by putting them on an object. Now, do a push-up. This is a tougher variation of the regular push-up. If you find these too difficult, then feel free to do regular push-ups.

Underhand inverted rows

inverted-rows-table

On a smith machine, lower the bar so that it’s one to two feet off the floor. If you don’t have access to a smith machine you can also do the exercise on a squat rack, with the barbell set low, a table or any low positioned bar for that matter. Get under the bar, grab it with an underhand grip, with your palms facing you. Now, pull the body up until the chest touch the bar. This is a brutal exercise for your middle back muscles. It can also serve as a substitute for chin-ups.

Lazar Angelov Full Workout Program & Important Tips

Transformation story:

I was a basketball player when I was younger. I had two basketball workouts a day and a weight workout in-between. I didn’t eat regularly because I had no clear idea on how to structure my diet. A couple of times I basically passed out because I was too tired and I didn’t recover properly.

As an ectomorph I was naturally pretty lean and I also did a lot of aerobic exercises during the day, so I couldn’t gain muscle mass back then.

After I stopped playing professional basketball I spent a year in the army. I got out of shape and it was very hard for me to decide in which direction I should go with my life.

Since fitness was my second passion behind basketball, I decided to put all my effort into it and that was the turning point for me.

 

Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?

It was tough for me when I wasn’t very well off financially and I had to work two jobs in order to make enough money to keep going in the direction that I wanted. I worked as a personal trainer during the day and as a security guard at night.

It was hard because I didn’t get enough rest, but it was worth it. When you really, really want something, nothing can stop you from achieving it.

What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?

Most people believe that once you have achieved the body that you always wanted, everything else comes easy after that. Well actually the hardest part is maintaining your physique over a long period of time. It costs me as much effort to stay in this shape as it cost me to achieve it. I have to give 100% all the time and if I start living like most people do I quickly get out of shape. A lot of people think that they give it their all, but they are actually far from that; they say they do everything at 100%, but things still don’t work out for them.

Only after they have seen how a single day of my life goes, they find out that the effort that they put in is about half of what is actually needed.

 

What motivates you to keep going and push harder?

My motivation comes from my fans, who support me all the time and my clients, who I helped transform their lifestyle and bodies.

What is your next goal?

My goal is to promote fitness as much as possible around the word. I will strive to make the fitness model physique become the standard for a male body.

I have a lot of projects in my head that require time and due to my job I never have enough of that.

 

What is your current training philosophy?

I always liked heavy workouts, so I still continue to lift heavy. Regardless of whether I’m bulking or cutting, I still lift heavy. If you’re a natural athlete with an ectomorph body type (my body type is actually a mix between ectomorph and mesomorph) you should use heavier weights to maintain good muscle density.

I don’t pay attention to the particular days of the week and I only rest when I really feel I need rest. Most of the exercises that I do are different every time. Only the basic exercises such as squat, bench press and deadlift are always present, but I also try to do them in a different way every time.

I have noticed that a lot of personal trainers and professional fitness models are always trying to change things up in order to stress the muscles. They use different techniques, which sometimes take them away from the basic principles, which are that the range between 5 and 8 repetitions is the best for achieving muscle hypertrophy and that increasing the weight in a certain exercise also stresses the muscle. So I try to make small changes, while sticking to the basic principles of bodybuilding at the same time.

Current Routine:

Day one: Chest/Abs

  • Flat Bench 4×8
  • Incline Bench 4×8
  • Decline Bench 4×8
  • Pullover 4×8
  • Hammer Press 3×8
  • Dips 3x failure
  • Weighted Sit Up 4x failure
  • Hanging Leg Raise- 4x failure
  • Side Bends 4x failure

Day two: Back/Traps

  • Bent Over Row 4×8
  • Deadlift 4×8
  • Pulldowns 4×8
  • Pull Ups 4×8
  • Cable Row 4×8
  • Shrugs 6×10

Day three: Delts/Forearms/Abs

  • Military Press Behind The Neck 3×8
  • Machine Press 4×8
  • Lateral Raises 4×8
  • Weight Plate Front Raises 4×10
  • Dumbbell Front Raises 4×8
  • Reverse Pec Deck 4×10
  • Reverse Fly’s (on incline bench) 4×8
  • Weighted Sit Ups 4x failure
  • Hanging Leg Raises 4x failure
  • Side Bends 4x failure
  • Side Crunches 4x failure
  • Wrist Curl Behind Back 4x failure
  • Reverse Wrist Curl Over Bench 4x failure

Day four: Triceps/Biceps

  • Close Grip Bench Press 4×8
  • Pushdowns 4×8
  • EZ Bar Skull Crushers 4×10
  • Cable Kickbacks 4×8
  • EZ Bar Curls 4×8
  • Wide Grip Curls 4×8
  • Hammer Curls 4×8 (each hand)
  • Concentration Curls 4×8

Day five: Legs/Abs

  • Squats 4×12
  • Squat (to bench) 4×12
  • Bulgarian Squat 4×12
  • Quad Extensions 4×16
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift 4×12
  • Leg Curls 4×16
  • Glute Kickbacks 4×20
  • Calf Machine Raises 4×20
  • Seated Calf Raises 4×20
  • Leg Press Calf Raises 4×20
  • Weighted Sit up 4x failure
  • Air Bike 4x failure
  • Side Bends 4x failure
  • Barbell Twists 4x failure

 

Favorite form of cardio?

I prefer regular cardio or sprints. I don’t like doing that in the gym though; I just don’t have the mood for that. I like cardio in the park, even when it’s cold outside.

I run pretty much the same distance every cardio session and I try to finish faster than the previous time I ran the same distance. Next time I would sprint for 100 meters, followed by 1 minute of walking, then sprinting again and switching between the two paces for a certain period of time. I don’t do cardio for a long period of time because that causes me to lose a lot of muscle mass. Also I try to avoid some types of HIIT, which have more arm movements, because that also causes me to lose muscle mass.

Basically I never do cardio for more than 20 minutes and I suggest other ectomorphs stick to that duration as well.

 

Do you bulk and cut or stay lean year round?

I bulk when I’m trying to look bigger but also to increase my strength. So I bulk during the winter, when my body fat % goes to about 10-12% and I lift very heavy in order to be able to gain at least a couple of pounds of clean muscle mass. Right now I am almost at the maximum of my potential, but since strength parameters are increasing, that means I can increase my muscle mass as well, so every year I try to increase a little bit of quality muscle mass. When a person has reached his genetic potential, it is very hard to gain more muscle mass; without using anabolic steroids of course. Beginners put on muscle mass very fast, because their muscles take any type of pressure on them as a type of stress.

Only after a certain period of time they adapt and the strategy for each person should be changed in order to keep progressing.

The difference in my bulking diet compared to the ones I used in the past is that now I add more fat to my menu; both saturated and unsaturated. The reason for that is that it helps me maintain higher levels of testosterone, which actually has a very positive effect on my strength and my muscle mass gains. As far as my cutting diet, nowadays I go for longer periods on a low carb diet, instead of going on a ketogenic diet. Keto diets cause me to lose a lot of muscle mass. Most of the time I would be on low carb or carb cycling diets, but mainly low carb, because I’m able to maintain strength and muscle density. On the other hand, being on low carb diets do not allow me to burn fat very quickly.

Current Diet:

  • Meal 1: Oatmeal, Eggs, Peanut Butter & Grapefruit
  • Meal 2: Rice, Chicken & Broccoli
  • Meal 3: Pasta, Tuna Fish & Avocado
  • Meal 4: Rice, Chicken
  • Meal 5: Salmon & Green Salad
  • Meal 6: Cottage Cheese & Broccoli

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?

The fact that I do what I like and I also motivate people to work out. This is what is important to me. My sponsorship contracts with Mutated Nation and Nike are also achievements of some kind for me. Some websites nominated me for the most aesthetic physique and for the best fitness model of 2012, so that also gives me a lot of confidence as well. Very soon an interview with me should be coming out in Men’s Health magazine in Bulgaria, which is also an achievement for me, given the fact that Men’s Health is one of the most popular magazines worldwide.

But the main thing for me remains motivating people and helping them transform their bodies. This is what I live for.

 

What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to reach their goal physique?

  1. To be patient – “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
  2. Staying consistent with both your diet and training routine
  3. Never giving up no matter the obstacle that is placed in front of you

How To Get A V Cut In Your Lower Abdominal Muscles

Are you one of those who look at other people’s V cut abs with seething envy.  You don’t need to be. With some hard-core abs workout and zealous dieting you can also get the V cut of your dreams.

Exercises

You can strengthen your abs and add definition to your V cut by implementing the following varied routine for lower abs.  These exercises are also helpful for reducing the pain in the lower back. Take a look at our example.

#1. Lying Leg Raises (4 sets x 15 reps)

This exercise should be performed with smooth and slow movements. you can spice it up by holding weight between the feet.

 

Lying_Leg_Raise

#2. Hanging Leg Raises (4 sets x 15 reps)

Just as it was the case with the previous exercise, the movements should be executed slowly. Make sure that your legs are straight. If you find this exercise too easy, you can add some difficulty by holding weights between your feet.

Hanging_Leg_Raise

#3. Reverse Crunches (4 sets x 15 reps)

Take a dumbbell between your feet while performing this exercise for some added difficulty.

 

Reverse Crunches

#4 Ab V Hold (4 sets x 1 minute hold)

Since this exercise is very demanding it should be done at the end of the routine. Lift yourself from supine position forming a V with your body. Hold for at least 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Developing Balanced Core

If you want to develop your V cut abs it’s very important to concentrate on your core in addition to the lower abs strength. That is why you should make sure that your workout routine includes exercises that target your core muscles. We offer you a selection of exercises that you can include in your routine.

  • Target the obliques and central abdominal muscles with side crunches.
  • Strengthen your lower back by doing hip bridges.
  • Target your thighs, gluts, back and hips by doing lunges.
  • Do yoga poses for improving your overall core strength, flexibility and balance.

Reducing the Body Fat

1. Healthy Diet

If you want the V cut abs to really show they should not be covered in fat. That is why you should always back up your exercises with some healthy diet. There are plenty diets available online. Just pick the one that suits you the best. You don’t even have to follow some strict diet, just have in mind the following principles, and the fat will eventually disappear.

  • Avoid foods that are rich in sugars or fats.
  • Make sure that you consume lean protein.
  • Include more fresh fruits and vegetables that provide you with the required nutrients.
  • Reduce the consumption of carbohydrates, but make sure that they are still part of your diet.

Another important factor is never to starve yourself. Food provides your body with the needed energy, and by depriving yourself of food you can easily feel tired and irritated. Consequently, you’ll lack the energy for doing the exercises.

2. Include Cardio Exercises

One of the greatest things about cardio exercises is that you don’t need any special equipment or financial investment. They are also highly effective when trying to lose weight. Every day millions of people enjoy some sort of a cardio exercise – jogging, cycling, swimming or hiking.

Running is probably one of the most effective cardio exercises. The best results in boosting your metabolism can be achieved by alternating between short spring bursts and rhythmic jogging.

3. Consume Lots of Water.

Make sure that you drink at least 2 litres of water every day. This ensure that you stay hydrated, and help in flushing the toxins from your body.

4. Take on Resistance Training

Resistance training exercises (weightlifting or body weight workouts) can be helpful for improving your form, and ensure a reduction of muscle loss when you’re trying to lose weight. Just have in mind that you should not start with high-weight exercises immediately. Make sure that you start slowly and prepare your body for the real challenge.

5. Increase your daily activities

In addition to dieting and working out, you should also consider becoming more active during the day. For example, you can always bike to work instead of driving a car. When you work in an office, make sure that you don’t spend the whole day sitting in a chair. Get up every once in a while to at least stretch. Substitute your nights in front of the TV with some more active form of leisure time.

6. Be Patient and Determined

Those V cut abs cannot be built overnight. It take patience and determination to achieve this. As you progress, you should take on some more challenging exercises to fully shape your abs.

6 Ways To Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is the one of the most anabolic hormones in the body and the one that is most responsible for building muscle mass and mood improvement. If you want to build muscle, three conditions must be fulfilled.

– First, you need to send your muscles some kind of a signal, which will tell them they need to get bigger and stronger. This is where weightlifting comes.

– Second, you have to provide the needed calories in order for the growth process to occur. Without the building blocks you can’t build a house.

– And third, you have to create an anabolic environment (increase testosterone levels and growth hormone) that is most suitable for increasing muscle mass, therefore allowing you to see the best results from your training program.

Here are the top 5 ways to create that anabolic environment or increase testosterone:

1. Lift Heavy

Muscles make your metabolism quicker and they increase the body’s natural production of testosterone. So the more muscle you carry the faster your metabolism will be and more fat will be burned just to sustain the muscles. Plus, heavy lifting itself, tends to stimulate the production of anabolic hormones, increase testosterone levels and growth hormone. Be sure to do lifts that are challenging to your body, lifts like squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, overhead presses and pull ups and forget about extensions and cables.

2. Eat More Protein  

Research shows that trainees that are eating meat-based protein, have higher testosterone levels, so make sure you eat some lean meat every day if you want to build muscle or tone your body. A study of 1,522 men ages 40-70 following low-protein diets had lower sex drives and decreased testosterone.So forget your vegetarian diet and eat some lean meats, eggs, fish and milk.

 

3. Consume Plenty of Good Fats

A;bout 20 or more percent of your daily calories should come from healthy fats. There are numerous studies today show the benefits of essential fatty acids.These fatty acids help muscle growth by increasing testosterone levels and assistance in the protein breakdown
process that takes place in the liver.

4. Get Some Sleep

Over-training is the fastest way to see testosterone levels decrease, so it’s really important to get some rest. Not to mention that testosterone and growth hormone are secreted mainly during sleep hours. It is scientifically proven that poor sleep lowers testosterone levels in men. Be sure you get 8-9 hours of sleep every night and also if you can take quick day naps. Supplementing with zinc, magnesium and melatonin can aid in getting a restful sleep.

5. Decrease or Cut Alcohol and Nicotine

It’s well known that alcohol, nicotine and drugs inhibit the production of testosterone. So if you are a party animal and still want to have great shape and physical fitness, then it’s definitely time to re question your priorities.

Also, certain vitamins, minerals and herbs are known to help in increasing the body’s natural testosterone production.

6. Make Sure to Add The Following Foods to Your diet on a daily basis to increase your testosterone levels : 

1. Cocoa and chocolate

Cocoa and dark chocolate are known for their high benefits. Besides antioxidants cocoa powder contains high amounts of zinc. A 100 gram dark chocolate can contain up to 65% of daily values of zinc. (or 10 mg of zinc)

2. Watermelon and pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds and especially watermelon seeds contain high amounts of zinc. A 100g of serving can contain 10-12mg of zinc (or close to 70-75% of the daily needs)

3. Red meat

Red meat is known as a zinc rich food. It also rich in iron and is recommended as a remedy for anemia.

4. Peanuts

100g of roasted peanuts have about 22% of the recommended daily quantity of zinc.

5. Liver

Contains close to 80% of the recommended value in a 100g portion. Besides the high content of zinc, liver contains many more minerals and vitamins.It usually is served with fried onions.

6. Oysters

A hundred gram serving of oysters can provide anywhere from one hundred to one thousand percent of the recommended daily amount, making it one of the best foods high in zinc.

You should also know that when consumed in doses that are higher than the recommended, Zinc can be toxic, disrupt the absorption of iron and cause anemia. (iron deficiency)

 

Full Diet Plan to Be Shredded

Want to lose weight? If so, then get in line with the rest of us. Losing fat is a long, stressful, and very difficult process, which is why we are providing you with this fat shredding diet plan. Below we are going to be listing a series of foods that you should eat to burn fat in a healthy and sustainable manner. Following that, we’ll be providing you with a sample 7-day fat shredding diet plan to help get you ripped for summer. Let’s get cracking.

Typical foods to eat – The following is a list of foods perfect for this fat shredding diet plan to help you burn fat in a healthy and sustainable way. They are all natural, and all packed full of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and macronutrients which are all required for building the perfect physique:

 

  • Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and steak
  • Healthy fat sources such as salmon, avocado, coconut oil, oily fish, and grass-fed red meat
  • Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, wholegrain pasta, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal
  • Fish and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Water
  • Plant-based proteins such as quinoa, lentils, beans and pulses
  • Herbs and spices for flavor
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Natural nut butters
  • Protein powders

Meal Plan 1

  • Meal 1: ¾ cup of oatmeal (dry measure) with some skim milk or water, three scrambled eggs.
  • Meal 2: 1 ounce of almonds, 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • Meal 3: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 2 slices of low-fat cheese, tomato, lettuce, 6 ounces of turkey deli meat, 1 medium banana.
  • Meal 4: (pre-workout meal) 1 scoop of whey protein powder and one medium apple.
  • Meal 5: (post-workout meal) 1 scoop of whey protein powder and 20 ounces of Gatorade.
  • Meal 6: 6 ounces of tilapia, half a cup of wild rice (dry measure), a small side salad with olive oil and vinegar.

Meal Plan 2

  • Meal 1: 2 slices of whole wheat toast and two tablespoons of natural peanut or almond butter, a cup of Greek yogurt.
  • Meal 2: an ounce of walnuts, 4 to 6 ounces of beef jerky.
  • Meal 3: a medium salad with 6 ounces of shredded chicken and a quarter cup of sunflower seeds, one medium-sized sweet potato.
  • Meal 4: (pre-workout meal) 4 egg whites and a whole egg, half a cup of blueberries.
  • Meal 5: (post-workout meal) a scoop of whey protein powder and 20 ounces of Gatorade.
  • Meal 6: 6 ounces of ground beef, tomato sauce, 2 ounces of whole wheat pasta (dry measure) and a small side salad.

Meal plan 3

  • Meal 1: 3 medium sized buckwheat pancakes with a scoop of whey protein powder, add honey to taste.
  • Meal 2: a cup of Greek yogurt mixed with 2 ounces of granola.
  • Meal 3: 6 ounces of fajira-style steak strips, onions, peppers, two wheat tortillas and some olive oil.
  • Meal 4: (pre-workout meal) 1 cup of cottage cheese and a medium apple.
  • Meal 5: (post-workout meal) a scoop of whey protein powder and 20 ounces of Gatorade.
  • Meal 6: 6 ounces of ground beef formed to resemble a hamburger, on a whole wheat bun with some low-fat cheese. Add two cups of mixed veggies and a cup of strawberries.

So if your efforts have been unsuccessful so far, it just means you didn’t have the right tools. But don’t worry, we got you covered on this one. You too can get impossibly shredded with the help of these 6 diet, training and supplementation tips!

#1. Fiber Up Your Diet

The final phase of any fat loss journey is always the hardest one, meaning that you will need to pay even more attention to the size of every bite you take and become absolutely obsessed with your macros. The first thing to address is your dietary fiber consumption.

As you become leaner, the role of fiber in your diet becomes more important than ever. You need to load your meals with fiber-rich foods such as oats, whole grains and specific vegetables. Of course, we’re talking about low-calorie non-starchy veggies that provide plenty of fiber and help keep you full for longer without increasing your waistline – think broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. At the same time, reduce your intake of high calorie starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas.

This should help you reach the desired deficit easier because you won’t be starving yourself and end up overeating or ruining your health. Basically, you can consume the same amount of food as you did before, but you’ll take in fewer calories. Isn’t fiber fabulous?

To estimate whether a certain carb-rich food is also a good source of fiber, divide total carbs by dietary fiber. The lower the ratio, the more fiber the food item contains. Aim for a ratio of 6:1 or lower.

Additionally, up your intake of spices such as hot peppers and cayenne pepper, as these foods increase thermogenesis, or the production of heat in the body, thus causing higher energy expenditure. Eating spicy foods will ultimately help you lose weight, as long as your diet is based on lean protein and complex, fibrous carbs. The slimming benefits of hot peppers such as habaneros and cayenne come from an ingredient called capsaicin, which has been repeatedly shown to increase energy expenditure via increased fat burning and significantly dampen appetite.

#2. Cut the Carbs, Increase the Protein

To maintain muscle mass, you need to consume a lot of protein – we’re talking about at least 25 grams of it every 3-4 hours. This will prevent catabolism and stimulate protein synthesis and even help you keep building muscle as you lean out. As usual, the most important times of the day for protein intake are the pre- and post-workout meal. Carbs, on the other hand, are the preferred fuel of your body and you need them for energy production and restoring depleted glycogen reserves in your muscles, but they’re not required for muscle growth by themselves. The most important time to load with carbs is after the workout, when they can be used to reduce muscle breakdown and enhance recovery.

In general, when cutting, you need to be pickier about carbs than usual, while increasing your protein consumption. Protein-rich meals will also keep you fuller for longer, so make sure to include an adequate variety of high quality protein sources in your diet, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, diary and nuts. Finally, protein has a thermic effect upward of five times greater than carbohydrates or dietary fat, which means that the body can burn up to 35% of the calories consumed from a protein-rich meal just to absorb it!

So tame your carbs and love your protein – that’s the big “secret” of effective fat loss.

#3.  Do Less Efficient Cardio

Here’s the logic: the more difficult your session is, the more energy you spend trying to accomplish the task, which in turn makes your body burn more fat. But when your cardio sessions feel easy and smooth, that’s a clear sign that your body has adapted to the challenge and can complete the exercise without spending a lot of energy. So the better you are at performing certain cardio workouts, the lesser the fat loss benefits.

That’s why you should focus on doing the exercises you’ve been avoiding until now, not the ones you like and are good at. If you like running, jump rope. If you like biking, do burpees instead. This way you’ll improve your body’s efficiency at burning fat. Another great option for faster fat loss is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which has been repeatedly shown to burn more body fat than steady-state forms of cardio.

However, it’s not recommended to perform HIIT every day, because that will make it harder for your body to recover properly and you may fall into the trap of slow but constant catabolism. A much better option is to alternate between HIIT workouts that will force your body to burn fat and lower-intensity cardio sessions that will allow for proper recovery. For maximum results, try to get the best from both worlds.

Top 9 BodyWeight Leg Exercises You Can do at Home

let’s look at these 9 advanced bodyweight leg exercises in detail.

1. Elevated Deep Lunge

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Elevated Deep LungeThe purpose of this exercise is to develop strength in the deepest range of motion of your hips and knees.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

Anyone who does sports that require strength in a low-to-the-ground position, such as wrestling, martial arts, or surfing.

Important Details for the Elevated Deep Lunge:

  • Step up on to an elevated surface with one leg, trying to get as deep of a bend in the knee as possible.
  • Try to use as little momentum as you can, and emphasize strength and control.
  • In the video, I show several assisted variations of this exercise before showing the full version. It’s a good idea to start by holding on to a support as you do this exercise.
  • In the first variation, you’ll place more of the tension on the elevated leg, whereas in the second (assisted) variation, you’ll shift your weight toward the back leg.

Why We Love the Elevated Deep Lunge

This is a great exercise for encouraging greater range of motion in the lunge position. It is a common athletic position in many sports and activities and emphasizing it in your training will transfer to good benefits on the playing field.

 

2. Elevated Shrimp Squat

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Elevated Shrimp SquatThe purpose of this exercise is to improve your balance and control and provide more resistance in a greater angle of hip flexion.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

This exercise is best for those who can do the regular shrimp squat well, and for those who require a good amount of strength in this angle (wrestlers, climbers, BJJ practitioners).

Important Details for the Elevated Shrimp Squat:

  • The key is to find the right upper body angle for your body, to keep your weight balanced in the middle of your foot as you squat up and down.
  • Adding in the elevated component adds a greater test of balance. If you need to work on your basic shrimp squat.
  • Be sure to use a support as needed, and focus on moving through this exercise with control.

3. Back Leg Elevated Lunge

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Back Leg Elevated LungeThe purpose of this exercise is to provide resistance in the hip flexors and quadriceps in a stretched position.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

If you need strength in this extended position, this is a great exercise for you. This includes jumpers, sprinters, climbers, and anyone who practices a martial art that includes a lot of kicking.

Important Details for the Back Leg Elevated Lunge:

  • Elevate the back leg, starting out by holding a support, and push through the balls of the feet on the back leg.
  • The weight should be primarily on the back leg, using the front leg as support.
  • Keep the upper body upright and tall, and make sure to engage the quads and hip flexors on the elevated leg to initiate the movement.

Why We Love the Back Leg Elevated Lunge

The extension you get in this exercise is pretty unique–it’s not an angle we typically train. But many activities can benefit from increased strength in this position, so it’s a good one to add to your routine if you do any of the activities mentioned.

 

4. Side Lunge Squat

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Side Lunge SquatThe purpose of this exercise is to provide resistance to the adductors and to the hamstrings in the abducted position.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

This exercise is good for those that need strength in the outstretched position, such as BJJ practitioners, climbers, and anyone who practices a martial art that includes a lot of kicking.

Important Details for the Side Lunge Squat:

  • Use a support at first and start with a wide stance.
  • Drop your weight toward one side, bending that knee and keeping the other knee straight. Only drop as far as you can go comfortably.
  • In the full range of motion, you’ll drop all the way to the side, but if you need to sit back some, that’s perfectly fine.
  • Try to engage the hamstrings on the straight leg to pull yourself up, rather than just pushing through the foot on the bent leg.
  • In the elevated variation, if you are at the level to perform that, be sure to move slowly so as not to overstrain the muscles.

Why We Love the Side Lunge Squat

This is a great exercise for working on straight leg hamstring strength and increasing your flexibility on the bent leg. When you work on both sides, it’s also a way to assess distinctions in mobility and strength from side to side.

5. Single Leg Deadlift

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Single Leg DeadliftThe purpose of this exercise is to work on balance, hip hinge, and provide closed chain resistance for the hamstrings.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

This is a good exercise for anyone to practice, as hamstring strength is important for a wide variety of functional movements and sports.

Important Details for the Single Leg Deadlift:

  • Keep your hips, chest, and shoulders square as you hinge forward.
  • Make sure to lock out the supporting leg and keep your chest up, gazing forward.
  • Use a support in the beginning, then as you work up to doing this without a support, you can use your fingers as “training wheels” on the floor.

Why We Love the Single Leg Deadlift

Straight leg hamstring strength is often neglected. This is a great way to focus on that, while also improving balance and awareness of your body in space. Proper hip hinge is also a very important concept for improving your power and athletic ability in many pursuits.

It also may decrease the incidence of hamstring pulls and strains.

6. Sissy Squat

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Sissy SquatThe purpose of this exercise is to provide resistance for the quadriceps in a stretched position.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

This is another good exercise for most people, as it builds quadriceps strength in a unique way.

Important Details for the Sissy Squat:

  • Try to keep your torso in a diagonal line with your knees as you bring your knees forward and your shoulders back. You’ll be dropping your knees down to the ground as you push up on the balls of your feet.
  • Do not worry about the myth that bringing your knees past your ankles is dangerous–it’s not. This is a great exercise for the quads.

Why We Love the Sissy Squat

The unique positioning of this exercise allows for building quadriceps strength in a way that regular squats do not. It also teaches a person how much tolerance they have in these angles, and shows where they need improvement.

7. Box Jump

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Box JumpThe purpose of this exercise is to teach body awareness and precision in the jump.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

If you’ve done a fair amount of jump training and you’re interested in activities such as parkour, trail running, or in general athleticism, box jumps are great for you to practice.

Important Details for the Box Jump:

  • You want to make sure to start in a deep squat position, with your arms pulled back.
  • Raise your arms overhead and bring your knees toward your chest to create momentum.
  • Land softly on the elevated surface, with your knees bent.
  • It’s a good idea to work on the basic jump before attempting box jumps.

Why We Love the Box Jump

The box jump is great for providing a marking point for consistency in your jumps. Plus, you have a lot of control over the height of the jump, so you can start at a lower level and work your way up.

Box jumps are a sticking point for many people who do CrossFit, but that’s often a mobility issue. See how to address that here.

8. Depth Jump

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Depth JumpThe purpose of this exercise is to provide intermediate to advanced plyometric stimulus.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

This exercise is best for those people already well versed in jumping activities, such as runners, basketball players, jumpers, or those who do parkour.

Important Details for the Depth Jump:

  • Don’t start on too high of a surface, as you don’t want to overstress your joints.
  • Make sure to land softly on the balls of your feet, driving your knees forward.
  • As you get more comfortable with this, you can experiment with jumping from higher surfaces.

Why We Love the Depth Jump

The depth jump is geared toward more advanced trainees, but it’s a good way to train drops in a safe and controlled manner, since you can control the height of the drop.

9. Box and Depth Jump Combination

Bodyweight Leg Exercises Depth Jump Box JumpThe purpose of this exercise is to provide advanced plyometric stimulus.

Who Should Do This Exercise:

This is definitely not one for beginners. If you already do a lot of jumping activities, adding this in will be really good for improving your power and precision.

Important Details for the Box and Depth Jump Combination:

  • Here you will be combining the box and depth jumps, one right after the other.
  • The key point is to always land softly, both when jumping up for the box jump, and when landing from the depth jump.
  • Do not overdo this one. Go slow and test out how this feels for you.

Why We Love the Box and Depth Jump Combination

The combination of the box jump and depth jump will take your jump training to the next level. Of course, you should only practice this if you’re a seasoned jumper, but if you are, then working these into your routine will help with activities like parkour, basketball, or other activities that require precise and powerful jumps.

Transform Your Body in One Month With This Workout Plan

Here’s how the plan works

This month’s four-week workout is made up of four sessions a week, two of which (workouts 1 and 3) focus on your chest. The first weekly chest workout is based on established strength-training set and rep ranges (higher sets of lower reps), while the other chest-specific session is based on bodybuilding principles (low sets of higher reps). The result? A bigger and stronger chest.

The other two workouts are total-body sessions to keep your other major muscle groups growing, as well as providing the intense fat-burning stimulus need to keep your belly in check.

All the workouts are made up of five moves. The first two moves are big, compound lifts done as straight sets, so you can go heavy to push yourself as hard as possible. The final three moves make up a tri-set, which means you’ll do them in order with minimal rest until you’ve completed all the reps of the third move. Do the workouts in order, sticking to the sets, reps, tempo and rest periods detailed, and you’ll add serious size and strength to your chest, while also building bigger arms and shoulders.

To get the full effect from these workouts, you need to stick to the four-digit tempo code for each exercise. The first digit indicates how long in seconds you take to lower the weight, the second how long you pause at the bottom of the move, the third how long you take to lift the weight, and the final digit how long you pause at the top. X means that part of the move should be done explosively. The accumulated time under tension increases your heart rate to burn fat and break down muscle tissue so it’s rebuilt bigger and stronger. Keep each rep smooth and controlled so your muscles – not momentum – do the work.

Workout 1: Chest 1

1 Bench Press

 

 

Sets 5 Reps 5 Tempo 10X0 Rest 60sec

Lie on a flat bench holding a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then lower the bar towards your chest. Press it back up to the start.

2 Incline bench press

 

Sets 5 Reps 5 Tempo 10X0 Rest 60sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then lower the bar towards your chest. Press it back up to the start.

3A Incline dumbbell press

 

 

Sets 4 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 20sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand by your shoulders. Brace your core, then press the weights up until your arms are straight. Lower them back to the start.

3B Incline dumbbell flye

 

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2111 Rest 20sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand above your face, with your palms facing and a slight bend in your elbows. Lower them to the sides, then bring them back to the top.

3C Press-up

 

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Get into position with your feet together and hands underneath your shoulders. Brace your core so your body is straight from head to heels. Bend your elbows to lower your chest, then press back up powerfully.

Workout 2: Total body 1

1 Squat

S

Sets 5 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with a bar across the backs of your shoulders. Keeping your chest up and core braced, squat down as deep as you can. Drive back up through your heels to return to the start.

2 Chin-up

Sets 5 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Hold a bar with an underhand grip. Brace your core, then pull yourself up until your chin is higher than the bar. Lower until your arms are straight again.

2A Overhead press

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 20sec

Hold a bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and core braced, press the bar overhead until your arms are straight. Lower it back to the start.

2B Bent-over row

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 20sec

Hold a barbell with an overhand grip, hands just outside your legs. Bend your knees slightly, brace your core, then pull the bar up, leading with your elbows. Lower it back to the start.

2C Good morning

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2111 Rest 60sec

Stand tall holding a light barbell across the backs of your shoulders, feet shoulder-width apart. With your core braced, bend forwards slowly from the hips, as far as your hamstrings allow but not past horizontal. Return to the start.

Workout 3: Chest 2

This uses the same moves as Workout 1 but with different protocols – low sets and high reps to focus on increasing muscle mass

1 Incline bench press

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 4010 Rest 60sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then lower the bar towards your chest. Press it back up to the start.

2 Bench press

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 4010 Rest 60sec

Lie on a flat bench holding a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then lower the bar towards your chest. Press it back up to the start

3A Incline dumbbell press

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 3010 Rest 20sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand by your shoulders. Brace your core, then press the weights up until your arms are straight. Lower them back to the start.

3B Incline dumbbell flye

Sets 3 Reps 15 Tempo 2010 Rest 20sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand above your face, with your palms facing and a slight bend in your elbows. Lower them to the sides, then bring them back to the top.

3C Press-up

Sets 3 Reps 20 Tempo 2111 Rest 60sec

Get into position with your feet together and hands underneath your shoulders. Brace your core so your body is straight from head to heels. Bend your elbows to lower your chest, then press back up powerfully.

Workout 4: Total body 2

1 Front squat

Sets 5 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with a bar across the front of your shoulders with elbows up. Keeping your core braced, squat down as deep as you can. Drive back up through your heels to return to the start.

2 Rack pull

Sets 5 Reps 8 Tempo 2111 Rest 60sec

Stand tall in front of a barbell resting on safety bars at knee height. Using a double overhand grip, bend down and deadlift the bar up, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top.

3A Standing dumbbell biceps curl

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 20sec

Stand with dumbbells by your sides, palms facing forwards. Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top. Lower them back to the start.

3B Triceps extension

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2111 Rest 20sec

Stand tall holding a dumbbell over your head with both hands, arms straight. Keeping your chest up, lower the weight behind your head, then raise it back to the start.

3C Lateral raise

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2111 Rest 60sec

Stand tall, holding a light dumbbell in each hand with palms facing. Keeping your chest up and a bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to shoulder height, then lower back to the start.

Isolate Your Triceps With These 4 Exercises

For most people, arm training is all about the biceps, which, ironically, constitute much less of your arm size than the triceps. If you’ve been murdering your bi’s with heavy workouts for a while now but still haven’t seen significant improvements in your arm size, that might be a sign that you need to pay more attention to your triceps development. Moreover, you need to train your triceps directly, because as great as it is, heavy chest training is rarely enough to maximally exhaust these muscles.

To save you the time you would otherwise spend fine-tuning key variables like exercise choice, rep ranges, volume and intensity until you compile the perfect triceps routine, we’ve created a straightforward but highly effective triceps workout that presents an optimal blend of bodyweight and machine training as well as compound mass-builders and isolation detail-carving moves, and is guaranteed to produce substantial results for almost anybody.

Let’s get to work!

#1. Dips

Sets: 4
Reps: rep out to near-failure on the first two sets; go to failure on the last two sets

triceps-dip

Triceps Dips

If you haven’t mastered the bodyweight dip yet, here’s a reason to give it another try because this is one of the greatest compound upper-body pressing exercises that strengthens the shoulders, chest and triceps, and it can powerfully propel your triceps growth.

Grab the parallel bars, squeeze your core muscles and lift yourself up until your arms are locked out. For maximum triceps activation, keep your torso upright. You can cross your legs and bend your knees for better stability, but make sure to keep your head up and look straight ahead. Lower yourself down until your triceps are parallel to the floor, keeping your elbows at your side at all times. Explode back up and repeat.

#2. Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension

Sets: 3
Reps: 10-12

lying-triceps-extension

Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension

Lying triceps extensions are a remarkable isolation exercise with a big range of motion that allows you to fully stretch and maximally activate your triceps, while also providing the additional benefit of improved trunk stability.

Lie on a flat bench with an EZ-bar placed on the floor behind your head. Grab the bar with an overhand grip and raise it in front of you at arm length so that your arms are perpendicular to the torso. Keeping the upper arms stationary, slowly lower the bar toward your forehead and perhaps let it lightly touch it, but avoid flaring your elbows out. Squeeze your tri’s hard to push the weight back up to the starting position and repeat.

As long as it doesn’t wreck your form, go as heavy as you can on this one.

#3. Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

Sets: 3
Reps: 12-15

cable-overhead-triceps-extension

Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

Unlike free-weight versions of triceps extensions, cable overhead triceps extensions provide continuous tension on the triceps – even in the final position – so you can really feel your tri’s working overtime on this one.

Attach a rope to the bottom pulley of the machine and grasp the rope with both hands using a neutral grip. Extend your arms above your head until they are perpendicular to the floor, keeping the elbows neutral. Without moving your upper arms or your torso, slowly lower the rope behind your head until your triceps are fully stretched. Pause for a second and give your tri’s a hard squeeze, then return to the starting position.

#4. Close-Grip Triceps Push-Ups

Sets: 2
Reps: go to failure, rest for 15 seconds, then rep out to failure again

triceps-push-up

Close-Grip Triceps Push-Ups

Just like the traditional version, the triceps push-up primarily targets the pectorals, delts and core muscles. However, research has shown that due to the narrow hand position, the triceps push-up is also one of the most effective exercises for exhausting your triceps, and you want to make sure you reap that benefit!

Get in a plank position with your hands closer than shoulder width. Keeping your elbows tight to your sides, tighten your abs and slowly lower your body down until your chest gently touches the floor. Engage your triceps to push yourself back up and repeat.

It would be a bit pretentious to say that this is the only triceps workout you’ll ever need, but believe us, it’s pretty close to that!

Like any other muscle group, the triceps should be trained directly twice per week on nonconsecutive days. Keep in mind that your triceps are also getting work on the days you train chest and shoulders, so plan your workouts accordingly.

Perfect your form and keep blasting your triceps until you get the desired horse-shoe shape at the back of your arms.