Arnold Tree Trunk Secrets Legs Exercise

Long before he governed the Golden State and outmuscled bad guys on the big screen, even before he won a then-record seven Mr. Olympia titles, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a promising young bodybuilder who had one glaring weakness (seriously)—his legs. At 6’2″, Arnold knew firsthand the difficulty tall bodybuilders face in bringing up their bottom halves. Rather than accepting this shortcoming, however, Arnold endured grueling, even sickening, workouts up to three times a week to build massive tree-trunk thighs worthy of someone nicknamed The Oak.

While Arnold did conventional exercises, his training approach was anything but. He approached leg days with an extraordinary tolerance for pain and dedication to push his body past its physical limits. While anyone can repeat the exercises that he uses in his routine, few can duplicate his legs-into-Jell-O intensity. But we’re guessing at least a few of you have the cojones to give it a try.

TURN UP THE VOLUME

Endurance, in addition to sheer size, makes the legs a difficult bodypart to train. “It isn’t enough just to subject the legs to heavy overload,” Arnold said. “You have to use heavy weights and sufficient volume to stress the fibers involved and exhaust the endurance capacity of the muscles.”

Arnold’s early training wasn’t sufficiently high in volume. “For many years, I did only five sets of squats when I really should have been doing eight…[and] I did not put enough weight on the leg-press machine,” he said. “Once I realized my mistakes and corrected them, my thighs began to grow thick and massive.” At his peak, Arnold did at least 20 working sets for legs and took each set except his warm-ups to failure. This high-volume approach helped him put on the size and build the strength (his best was a 400-pound squat for eight reps) that turned around a weak bodypart.

TAKE IT TO THE GYM

Arnold’s high-volume approach is extremely taxing at first, but eventually the body adapts and strengthens. Try it for 6-8 weeks to induce dramatic changes in your own legs.

MIND OVER MUSCLE

Muscle fatigue inevitably sets in when you do several sets to failure, but Arnold used his mind to fight it. “I accepted the fact that leg workouts simply have to be brutal to be effective,” he said. “Normal workouts are hard enough, but if thighs happen to be a weak point in your physique, you have to be prepared to push yourself even more. This involves a mental effort almost as much as a physical one.… This means forcing yourself to break down any inhibition or barrier.”

PARTNER UP

Don’t train legs without a partner. “A good training partner pushes you to handle more poundage and gives you incentive to grind out more reps per set,” Arnold wrote in his early autobiography. “Workouts are more fun with a partner as well as more competitive…you challenge each other.” When you’ve forced out all the reps you can for squats, for example, stand holding the weight for a moment, then do one more rep (with a partner spotting you) to push your body to its absolute limit.

 

Arm Exercise!

Whether you want to tone and define weak arms so that you can wear something sleeveless with confidence or you want to increase muscle mass, working the muscles in the front and back of the upper arms will help you get there.

Most people new to bodybuilding pay a lot of attention to building big arms, sometimes to the point of overtraining. Don’t forget, the arm muscles are brought into play during most exercises aimed at other body parts so care must be taken not to overdo things.

Having said that, the arms are complex body parts in their own right and deserve a properly focused exercise program. In basic terms the arm consists of three main muscle groups:

1. Biceps brachii – two muscles at the front upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulders.

2. Triceps brachii – three muscles at the rear upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulder.

3. Forearm – several smaller muscles that run from the elbow to the wrist.

We’re really stuck on wanting to look good and that’s alright, but it’s really one goal of the arm exercise benefits. “Exercise is a body tune-up, and if we’re keeping our body exercised, we’re keeping it tuned just like a car.” When working the arms, be sure to balance the body.

We tend to make the mistake of exercising only our show muscles. And that is actually an imbalanced program. We pay too much attention to the muscles in front of our body and not enough attention to the back of the body.

On the most basic level, this doesn’t build the whole muscle.

The reality is, if you want big arms, you’ve got to work both sides of the arms. When someone flexes their biceps, it’s the whole arm that’s working. The triceps are a part of that.

You should vary your grip and width when performing not only these exercises, but all others. Why? Consider the barbell curl as an example. Most guys tend to use a wider grip, which works the short head of the biceps on the inside of the arm, while forgoing a narrow grip, where the biceps’ long head is emphasized. When someone who does this places his hands on his hips, the long head on the outside of his arm is usually small and disproportionate compared to the inner arm. By using the same grip or width all the time, you create an imbalance in size and strength.

Neck Training

FOUR-WAY NECK TRAINING

From a training standpoint, the neck has four major functions: flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation. Let’s look at what each function means and, more importantly, how we can strengthen each.

 

Neck Flexion

Neck flexion is another way of saying “tilting your head forward.” The chief muscles involved are the longus colli, longus capitis, and infrahyoids. These neck flexor muscles can easily be worked on a four-way neck machine by facing the machine and putting your forehead against the pad, then tilting your head forward against the resistance and performing repetitions.

Unfortunately, four-way neck machines have gone the way of the dodo bird in most gyms to make room for chrome machines, BOSU balls and other “functional advancements.” Instead of crying alligator tears over this blasphemous charade, get creative. You can perform this movement against a resistance band, provide your resistance against your forehead or even have a competent partner resist.

Training Rx: Try 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

 

Neck Extension

Neck extension refers to the action of moving your chin away from your chest. The mainstay muscles in this action are the splenius capitis, seminispinalis capitis, suboccipitals, and the trapezius.

On the four-way neck machine, face away from the machine, put the back of your head against the pad and tilt the head back against the resistance. My favorite way to work neck extension is with the neck harness. Amazing strongmen like Mike “the Machine” Bruce have handled over 300 pounds in the harness extension. This “go” is accompanied by the “show” of a neck that screams masculine virility.

Neck harnesses cost as little as $20 and it would be tough to find a piece of equipment that offers a better return on investment for functional power and physique enhancement. Obviously, neck extensions can also be done against bands, self- or partnered resistance but none of these ways duplicate true iron-laden challenge of the neck harness.

Training Rx: Start with 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

 

Neck Lateral Flexion

Neck lateral flexion in lay terms means tilting your head to the side. The primary muscles involved in this function are the scalenes. On a neck machine you would sit to the side, put the side of your head on the pad and tilt your head sideways against resistance toward your shoulder.

No access to a neck machine? Use a resistance band, resist yourself or find a partner.

Training Rx: Do 2 sets of 10-20 reps.

 

Neck Rotation

Neck rotation simply refers to turning your head to the side. No gym machines mimic this function; you are your own gym in this case. Turn your head to the side, trying to look over your shoulder. Do this both ways providing resistance with your hand.

Training Rx: Do 8-10 reps each way for two sets.

These movements should be done a minimum of twice a week. Wrestlers have the most developed necks in the world and they work them daily.

 

 

3 Exercises For Advanced Weight-Lifter

BAND RESISTED BENCH PRESS

From Taebo to 8-minute abs, the fitness industry has always been full of flashy trends and extremism.

Since the dawn of the millennia, adding resistance bands to barbells and dumbbells has rapidly increased in popularity. So is it just another passing fad?

Scores of strength sport champions and elite strength coaches both endorse and use resistance bands in addition to barbells and dumbbells in their training. If anecdotes don’t suffice, do a quick pub med search on resistance bands or just corner a doctor at a cocktail party.

 

BAND RESISTED DUMBBELL FLY

Dumbbell flys have helped construct many championship chests. This movement provides a tremendous stretch at the bottom; with bands you can keep this benefit and add an element of peak contraction, like cables, which will overload the entire movement.

Free weights rely on gravity to provide resistance, so they can only provide resistance in the direction of gravity, vertically. Elastic bands, on the other hand, allow you to add resistance in the horizontal plane which is in a large part where the fly takes place.

By mixing dumbbells and bands, the least amount of overload takes place at the bottom, where you are weakest and your shoulder is most vulnerable; the greatest overload takes place as your leverage improves, resulting in the greatest amount of growth.

 

3,6,9

Exercise Guidelines

  1. Load the barbell on the bench press with 50 percent of your one-repetition max and load the chains to a weight you are capable of doing 15 flyes with.
  2. With the prescribed weight, perform a bench press for three repetitions, and then rack the weight. Immediately grab the carabiners with chains attached and perform six flys. Upon completion of flyes, do not drop the weight, immediately do nine presses. Now drop the weight and rest 20 seconds.
  3. For set two, everything is exactly the same; however, the bench press will be performed with one board on your chest. After resting 20 seconds, do the same thing for set three but for the bench press you will do it with two boards on your chest. Rest 20 seconds and begin set four doing the same thing with the exception of the bench press, where you will place three boards on your chest. Rest 20 seconds and for the final set do the same thing but place four boards on your chest.
  4. If you are unable to complete the flyes or chain presses, do not stop. Continue with partial reps.

 

 

17-MINUTE QUADS

FRONT SQUAT

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The front squat lowers the demands on your hips and hams and shifts the emphasis to your quads. The position of the bar forces you to maintain a more erect body position, which also highly engages your deep core musculature. It’s not uncommon to feel sore in your obliques and transverse abdominis after a hard front squat session.

BODYWEIGHT SQUAT

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The bodyweight squat has similar benefits because it allows you to keep an upright body position, again emphasizing your quads. Using the Tabata protocol – eight, 20-second bouts of work followed by 10 seconds of rest – allows you to log a relatively high volume of reps in a short period of time. If you keep the pace high but controlled, you will likely notch 120 reps or more.

SQUAT HOLD

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You’ll finish the workout with three, minute-long squat holds. These can be done against a wall if you’re really trashed but you should strive to perform them in open space. For your first go, get your thighs below parallel and hold. If you fail before 60 seconds, stand up, shake it out and get right back to it. Your goal should be to hold for the full 60. On each subsequent set, it’s permissible to hold your squat a little higher. Trust us…that quarter squat on your last set will feel like you’re holding 400 pounds across your back.

People are going to skip leg day from time to time. We can’t help that. But we can help tighten the noose on the list of available excuses. So you’re short on time? How about one killer quad workout that calls for 17 minutes of total work?

THE QUAD WORKOUT
Exercise

Sets

Reps

Front Squat

3

10

Bodyweight Squat

1

Tabata2

Squat Hold

3

60 sec.

1 Using your 8-10RM, perform five front squats every minute, on the minute for 10 straight minutes.

2 Immediately after your last set of five with the front squat, perform 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, eight times.

–Rest 1 minute after your Tabata squats.

–Rest 1 minute between squat holds.

 

 

 

Basic Trampoline Tricks

So now you have your new trampoline but want to learn some tricks to show off to your friends and family?

If you own a trampoline, you already know that it is a great way to get out of the house, and into the fresh air. Did you also know that it’s benefiting your health? Jumping up and down on a trampoline is great for strengthening the cardio-vascular system and it is also an excellent workout for almost every muscle and organ of the body. Exercising on a trampoline can also be very helpful for adults and children because it helps to improve reflexes, flexibility, balance and coordination.

One way to enhance not only the fun aspect of the trampoline, but also increase the health benefits, is by putting a little extra effort into your jumping by doing some tricks! There’s lot of tricks that can done on the trampoline, from the beginner level to the advanced. Here’s a few of them beginning with some basics including additional tips to ensure safety and avoid injury.

‘Landing on the Back’ is one of the first, basic trampoline tricks any bouncer should learn and its very simple. Stand motionless on the trampoline with your arms at your sides or even with your hands in your front pockets. Fall backwards onto the trampoline, keeping your body straight and your head up. As your back meets the trampoline, let your head meet it naturally too, don’t jerk or twist it. You will bounce back up and then you can do it again, over and over until you achieve a good rebounding height. The more you practice this trick, the higher you will bounce back and forth!

Here’s an intermediate trampoline trick you can do once you’ve master the basic Back Landing trick. Begin the same way, standing straight and motionless, with arms at your sides or hands in your pockets. Fall straight back again, but when you bounce back up, land on your knees instead! The motion will keep sending you back and forth so you can repeat the trick as many times as you want.

Some advanced trampoline tricks include somersaults and flips. Either of these can be done backwards or forwards, but you should be very comfortable and confident with your bouncing abilities before attempting either of them. Once you’ve got the flip down, you spice it up by adding a spin to it.

Before attempting any trick, ensure everyone’s safety, including your own. Remember to look around and see how much room you have. You will definitely want to avoid a collision with any other jumpers that are on the trampoline with you. To further prevent any mishaps, warm up first by doing some simple bounces and once you get going, remember to keep your head and neck in a natural position. This way you don’t hurt yourself.

Have fun, be safe and keep on bouncing!

 

 

Basic Crunches For Abs!

 

 

Doing yoga on the ball can benefit anyone, including strong, limber athletes.

Raise the bar on your yoga workout by adding ball work. Poses done on the round surface challenge balance and build core muscles while helping you develop inner focus.

Basic Crunches for Abs
With your feet flat on the floor, place your lower back on the ball, and your upper body and thighs parallel to the floor. Do crunches as usual, lifting only your shoulders and upper back off the ball, using your abs.

In normal everyday activity and traditional exercise, larger muscles tend to do most of the work, so the small ones weaken from lack of use, she explains. However, when you do yoga movements on the unstable surface of a ball, you strengthen those tiny, overlooked muscles through the micro-movements you make to stabilize yourself. Just sitting on the ball at your desk engages those smaller muscles effectively!

Caring For your Balance Ball
Before use, check the area for sharp objects that may puncture the ball. If possible, use a carpeted surface or exercise mat when using the ball. The ball is not intended for outdoor use as the risk of puncture is high. The ball should be inspected for gouges and deep scratches prior to use.

Getting the Right Fitness Ball
Fitness balls come in different sizes. The basic rule for choosing the correct size is that when you’re sitting on the ball, you should be able to easily balance with your feet on the ground. Your hips and knees should both be at right angles. The following list matches you up with the right size ball, based on your height:

This is a simple, cheap way to get a little more use out of your exercise ball. The ability to add resistance bands (without safety being an issue) adds a whole new dynamic to how you use your exercise ball.

 

 

Barbell Exercises That Suit Beginners

 

We all have to start somewhere so this article outlines the lifting exercises that are suitable for beginners who have access only to barbells at the outset.

 

The aim for beginners to weight training must be to lay the foundations for the intensive workouts that their bodies will eventually be subjected to. Obviously successful bodybuilding involves bringing together disparate elements such as nutrition and rest but choosing the right exercises is crucial. In this article we’ll outline the barbell exercises that will enable new bodybuilders to develop the general strength and body conditioning needed.

Initially beginners should aim to complete two sets of ten to twelve reps but after a few weeks, when you have developed sufficient control and basic strength, experiment with one set of six to eight reps to failure. This will maximize your muscle growth and give you the impetus to move on to the next stage of development. Before long you’ll find the use of this single piece of equipment restricting, so later in this series of articles we’ll pull together a muscle boosting program that utilizes other equipment to take you to the intermediate level. In the meantime, get to work with these exercises in order to get used to working your muscles.

Start off training four days per week and work body parts on the following basis not forgetting to incorporate rest days:

Day 1 – Biceps, Back, Abs

Day 2- Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs

Day 3 – Quads, Forearms, Calves

Day 4 – Triceps, Chest, Abs

The exercises recommended for beginners are as follows:

CHEST: Bench press

SHOULDERS: Upright row, military press, front shrug

TRICEPS: Lying triceps extension, lying triceps extension with EZ curl bar

BICEPS: Standing curl, EZ standing curl

LOWER BODY: Squat, reverse lunge, calf raise

 

Back Pain – Natural Supplement Treatments

 

 

There are a number of different ways you can treat your back pain naturally: vitamins, minerals, herbs, nutrition, and homeopathy medicine.

Some will help heal your back pain and others are dangerous, so it’s best to consult with a physician or nurse practitioner before taking anything and never, ever exceed recommended dosages.

The FDA has no control over natural supplements, so it does not recommend them.

Since supplements are not FDA approved they must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

That doesn’t mean, though, that all supplements are bad. Some medications turn out to be unsafe, too, despite rigorous trials and testing. The bottom line is to research every product you consider taking and make sure you get supplements from a reputable source, like a health food store.

Everybody’s chemistry is different and reacts differently, so if you are considering taking a supplement equivalent to a pharmaceutical, you may still have some side effects.

There are many natural supplements that can be found in supermarkets and drug stores. You may have to check health food stores for more obscure supplements. Like any kind of medication that you buy over the counter, you’ll have a choice between the store brand and name brands.

Store brands are perfectly safe to use and are less expensive because you don’t have to pay for advertising. You can also buy supplements over the internet, but you should be sure you buy from a reputable source so you know exactly what you are getting.

Do some research and ask around to find out which online suppliers are the best and most reputable.

Listed below are some natural supplement treatments that have been publicized to help alleviate back pain. When dosages are listed, you should know that if you are particularly thin or heavy, you should consult an expert before taking the supplement.

And remember, natural supplements will not relieve pain immediately, but have to be taken for weeks or sometimes even months before you see results.

Vitamins and Minerals

VITAMIN E-400 IU daily; anti-inflammatory
VITAMIN C-250-500mg twice daily
ZINC-30 mg twice daily; anti-inflammatory
CALCIUM-600mg daily; strengthens bones
BORON: 1-3 mg daily with food; helps the body absorb calcium and magnesium
MAGNESIUM- 250 mg daily; strengthens bones and relaxes muscles
COPPER: 2 mg daily
GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE: 500 mg. three times daily. Can rebuild cartilage in joints and has been studied by the American College of Rheumatology as an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
NIACINAMIDE: 500 mg three times daily; anti-inflammatory and heals damaged cartilage. Can cause liver damage and aggravate diabetes, low blood pressure, ulcers, and glaucoma, so have a doctor monitor you if you take this supplement.

Herbs

Herbal supplements can be found in capsule or powder form, or as teas. If you are making your own herbal tea, use 1 tsp. of herb per cup of hot water. Cover mixture and steep for 5-10 minutes, or 10-20 if you are using roots. You can safely drink 3-6 cups of tea daily.

Muscle Relaxants

KAVA KAVA: Recognized by some doctors as a safe alternative to Xanax and Valium.
BLACK HAW: relieves muscle spasms and is similar to aspirin
VALERIAN ROOT: Widely researched and documented as a sleep aid, valerian has been given a number 1 rating for safety by The American Herbal Products Association.
WILD YAM: Long used to treat menstrual cramps; generally taken as a tea.
JAMAICA DOGWOOD: Used to treat muscle inflammation and spasms; little research has been done on it and excessive amounts can be toxic. Do not use with sedatives.

Anti-inflammatories

BROMELAIN: 500 mg three times daily
BOSWELLIN: 150 mg three times daily. Has been proven in clinical trials to help alleviate low back pain
CURCUMIN: 400-600 mg three times daily; sometimes mixed with ginger, curcumin has not been studied in clinical trials, but herbalists use it as an anti-inflammatory.
MSM: Has not been researched, but herbalists use it as an anti-inflammatory.
ST. JOHN’S WORT: 300-500 mg capsule three times daily; interacts with a wide variety of medications and should only be taken under the advisement of an herbal specialist.

Pain Relief

WHITE WILLOW BARK: effects are similar to taking aspirin
DEVIL’S CLAW: 400 mg three times daily. Used to treat arthritis, research shows devil’s claw may boost the effectiveness of conventional drugs.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a practice of medicine that has been around for about 200 years. It is based upon what is called the Law of Similars and works on the same principle as do immunizations: give someone a small dose of what would make them sick to cure their sickness.

Treatments have been proven in clinical trials, and are prepared by a homeopathic pharmacy under FDA guidelines. Researchers don’t completely understand how homeopathic medicines work, but the evidence is clear that they do. Homeopathy has been popular in Europe and India for a long time, and is gaining popularity in the United States.

Many practitioners are doctors or have some other kind of medical degree, perhaps in nursing or psychology. The legal issues surrounding homeopathic practitioners that do not have medical degrees is unclear, but most homeopathic remedies are sold over the counter and do not need a prescription.

Here are some natural homeopathic remedies that are helpful in alleviating back pain:

AESCULUS: used for dull, nagging pain
ARNICA MONTANA: used in cases of trauma to the back
COLOCYNTHIS: used for weakness and muscle cramps in the lower back
GNAPHALIUM: used to treat sciatica, which is often associated with back pain
LYCOPODIUM: used to treat burning pain
RHUS TOXICODENDRON: used for lower back stiffness and pain

 

 

Building a better body you can be proud of!

 

Body Building is all about commitment and belief.

There is an abundance of information about how to begin and conduct your journey, but without a burning desire to achieve, you are doomed to inevitable failure. These tips will help you identify and achieve your goals of bodybuilding. If this sounds like “Goal Setting 101,” guess what? It is!

There are as many varied opinions on what “plan” one should follow to build muscle, as there are people who have those opinions. On one thing they do agree, however. You must have a regimen.

· You can begin by defining your objective.
· Why are you interested in body building?
· What do you hope to accomplish?
· What is your ultimate goal?

It’s all about commitment and belief. There is an abundance of information about how to begin and conduct your journey, but without a burning desire to achieve, you are doomed to inevitable failure.

The following tips are not intended to be a “one size fits all.” Take from it what you will. In that light, consider the following list:

1.Before beginning any serious weight lifting or body building regimen, consult your physician.

2.Set your goals. Define what you expect to achieve with your new bodybuilding campaign within a realistic time frame. If you create goals that are unattainable you are setting yourself up for failure. You can become bored, disappointed and disillusioned to the point where you may give up. This is a very sad outcome to what might have been the best decision of your life. Don’t sell yourself short. Set your long-term goals, of course, but also set short-term goals that are achievable. And, don’t forget to reward yourself when you do achieve them.

3.Consider the costs. If you don’t already have a budget, create one. Then, determine what amount of discretionary funds you have available for your bodybuilding program. This will determine whether you can afford to have a home gym or if your needs would better be served by joining a club. Joining a club is still a good short-term introduction before spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on equipment that might not be appropriate for your needs.

4.Don’t forget some of the low cost alternatives to purchasing your bodybuilding equipment. If used equipment is still functional why spend the extra dollars just for a little glitz! Good, brand name used equipment is every bit as functional as something right off a showroom floor.

5.Consider combining a home gym along with a membership in a public facility. Purchase less expensive free weight equipment for use at home and join a gym to have access to the more expensive equipment. You can design your entire workout routines around a combination such as this.

6.Eat healthy! This can’t be stressed enough. The only true bodybuilding aids are good nutrition. Consult a licensed dietician. Watch your local community calendar for free seminars on diet and nutrition. Learn all you can about what nature freely provides that can help you to develop a healthy diet.

7.If you choose to use dietary supplements, make certain that you know what you are putting in your body. Follow the packaging guidelines we outlined above. Ask your physician for his/her recommendations based on the regimen you have selected. No friend, coach or acquaintance can take the place of your physician. In fact, you may even investigate finding a physician who specializes in sports wellness.

8.Be kind to yourself. Yes, it’s important to push to achieve your goals, but it’s very easy to tip the scales in the other direction and create a nightmare for yourself. Obsessive, compulsive behaviors are not conducive to a healthy bodybuilding lifestyle.