Mens Physique Contributors

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THE TRAINING ROOM (Training Tips & Programs)

How to train your abs – the right way!

WhetherAdam Bates Abs you are a competitive physique athlete or simply a recreational gym user attempting to improve your physique, having the perfect midsection is frequently placed high on the list of priorities with respect to training goals.  However, it is amazing how often you walk into a gym and see someone going through a heavy leg or arm routine and then finishing their workout with an abdominal routine that looks more like something taken straight from an early 90’s aerobics video! 

The abdominals are like any other muscle group in the sense that if you want them to grow and to “pop” then they must be given sufficient stimulus to do so.  You wouldn’t attempt to make your arms bigger by completing as many momentum-based reps of barbell curls as you can in 60 seconds, so why do the same for your abs?  Sure, the cardio aspect may help burn some body fat, but there are better ways to do so and that is not the goal of the abdominal training itself...

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Intensity Techniques, Part One

There’s overhead tricep extensionsno doubt that progressive overload is the hallmark of resistance training. There comes a point however, where one can’t keep adding more and more weight as strength does not have an endless ceiling.

Additionally, if you listen to many older bodybuilders, including three-time Mr. Olympia Frank Zane, you often hear a common theme. That is upon reflection, they probably would have been better served in the long run had they not pounded their joints with so much constant heavy training in their younger years.    

Frank specifically said that while that early heavy training did give him mass, that he would do things differently if given the chance to do it all over again. This is because of the ongoing price he has had to pay for past injuries! 

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Elevate your Results – The “Secret Weapon”

WhenDeepTisse600x800withheading it comes to trying to build muscle as quickly and efficiently as possible, there are many things you can spend your money on. In fact, you've probably already tried a number of these things.

Most athletes will not hesitate to spend a great deal of money on the latest supplements, training programs, coaches and mentors. They may also spend a considerable amount on their gym memberships or exercise equipment. Unfortunately, they overlook one of the most useful products when it comes to fitness, training and building a world-class physique...

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The Key to Full Chest Development

TheBC side Chest Ian Lauer typical question that is asked about any male’s activity in the gym is “How much do you bench?”  Although I do believe that you have to “lift big to get big,” I do not believe that how much you can bench is a direct reflection on how well your chest is developed. 

The key, in my opinion, to building a fully developed chest is to hit it with exercises that target all areas of the chest.  The following takes you through one of my typical chest routines... 

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Acute Overtraining and How to Spot It

Chronic overtraining is a condition that no phystired bodybuilderique athlete ever wants to experience.  Once chronically over-trained, it can take months or even longer to fully recover and in the process of becoming chronically over-trained long-term resting hormone levels will become negatively impacted leading to losses in muscle mass as well as encouraging fat gain...

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Building a Solid Foundation: Leg Workout

When 2013-03-28 09.02.08you start building a house, what is the most important part? The foundation.  How about when you build your physique?  What’s the most important part?  Again, the answer doesn’t change – it’s the foundation, a.k.a. your legs.  Without an adequate base, most athletes will be hard pressed to get the strength and power needed throughout the rest of their body as many exercises and routines require powerful legs.  There tends to be a common theme here; if your foundation is weak, your upper body won’t be able to reach its potential either.

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Back Training with Brickhouse!

TheyDuane Brickhouse say that bodybuilding competitions are won from the back, and I

think that the same can be said about the Men's Physique Division. It

is very important to have developed back muscles due to the fact that

they play a part in both your front and back poses. Here is a routine

that can help you build a wide muscular back so that you can create a

show-winning v-taper:

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Off Season Back Training w/Video

Question.Back What is your favorite body part to train ______________?

Chest? Biceps? Legs? Shoulders?

I bet you dollars to doughnuts that very few of your answered “back.” Why, is that? Well, there are several reasons. First, the back isn’t a glamorous muscle like the chest or biceps. Second, building a great back, from top to bottom, takes hard work and effort. And, third, taking ‘selfies’ to show off your back is pretty darn hard. Seriously, you almost need to be contortionist to take a solid back picture.

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Wasiak Works Delts!

In theNationals8 ongoing journey towards achieving aesthetics, we must evaluate what constitutes that ideal image or “look”.  To take a deeper dive into the topic, we can start by looking at the various divisions in the NPC and the IFBB to discover any common or recurring themes in what those organizations deem to be an aesthetic look.  Setting aside the obvious tans and shredded abs, the large rounded shoulders to small waist ratio stands out as the basis for creating that pleasing look.  How to achieve it?  Well, it varies from person to person but here’s what I do:

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The Integrated Warm-Up

ALunge very common way to warm-up prior to resistance training workouts is to first do a general warm-up consisting cardio or callisthenic type exercises to increase heart rate and heat in the muscles (among other physiological changes). From there specific warm-up sets are usually performed for each body part being worked.

While this is certainly a useful strategy, I have also found it extremely beneficial to transition from the more general warm-up to the main resistance workout by also utilizing one or two movements that enhance full-body structural integration. These incorporate the fundamental movement patterns of Push, Pull, Bilateral Lower Body (i.e. Squat pattern), Unilateral Lower Body (i.e. Lunge pattern), and Rotation in various ways.  

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Tips for Fat Loss Part 4: Measuring Progress

Measuring waist measurementProgress in very important when working to lose fat.  Here is what you need to do to keep track of fat loss.

1.   Calculate your waist-to-hip ratio

Your waist-to-hip ratio — or the circumference of your waist divided by the circumference of your hips — can be a good indicator of whether you need to lose belly fat. Here's how to get it:

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Top 8 Tips for a Tip Top Chest

How imagedo you build a monster chest to fill out your t-shirt? Well, to really build muscle mass and induce muscle hypertrophy, it’s all about incorporating multi-joint exercises into your chest routine. 

The chest is best stimulated and developed when it is fully stretched and flexed and targeted through movements designed to maximize development. For example, the upper chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a 30-45% incline bench, the middle chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a flat bench, and the lower chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a 30-45% decline bench.

The exercises below will ensure that each part of your chest is targeted so you will have a chest that resembles the Austrian Oak himself!

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Ideal Reps and Sets for Muscle Growth

tim1"What are the ideal reps and sets for muscle growth?" The question has been around as long as bodybuilding. You may be thinking that you know exactly the right reps and sets for muscle growth. Three sets per each exercise and 6-12 reps, right? It's what the average bodybuilder has been doing since bodybuilding began. Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple...

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Getting a Jump on the Competition

I jump ropehonestly can’t remember the last time I did cardio on a machine. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” to use a Seinfeld reference, but I prefer to work with more athletic modalities. One of my favorite pieces of conditioning equipment is the often overlooked, humble, inexpensive, and extremely portable jump rope. Jumping rope really provides a tremendous fitness ‘bang for your buck!’ It not only gives you a serious caloric burn, but it really enhances one’s coordination and athleticism!

Getting Started...

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Satellite Cells and Muscle Memory

When Satellite-Cell-muscleyou think back to the first few months you ever spent in the weight room, you probably remember adding more and more muscle with seemingly every session.  What’s more, this was despite not having half the knowledge that you may have now with respect to training or nutrition.  But still, in that first year of training your weight shot up by 15 pounds and you also looked significantly leaner!..

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Better biceps? Try these four exercises!

Ask arnold bicepssomeone, anyone, to "flex" or "make a muscle" and what do they do? Bust out the old tried-and-true Schwarzenegger twisting front biceps pose.  It's every teenage boys dream to build huge biceps complete with a sharp peak to attract all the ladies – or at least to stop the bully from those Charles Atlas comic book ads from kicking sand in your face at the beach. 

Unfortunately, biceps are one of the most over-trained muscle groups known to man.  Ask any "brofessor" at the gym… Mondays are chest, Tuesdays are biceps, and Wednesdays? Why, chest and biceps, of course!  I think most average lifters need only one day committed to arms each week, or slight biceps work after major back exercises on a "pull" day.  But who wants to be average?  If you're reading this, you want some biceps peak.  And you want it now!  No full Larry Scott arms for you. You’re interested in some Arnold-like 22-inch mountain peaks! 

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Chest Workout & Road to the Olympia Video with Tory Woodward

CheckMP2013ToryWoodward out this motivational video featuring Tory Woodward.  See what this IFBB MP Pro is up to in his final month of prep going into The Olympia and check out and try Tory's BONUS CHEST WORKOUT ROUTINE!

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The No-Legs Myth Leg Fix Workout

One legsof the biggest criticisms I hear about Men's Physique competitors is that they have no legs.  They are simply average gym-goers absent of leg development who wake up one day and decide to donn some Hurley board shorts.  I beg to differ.  My leg training requires a 24-hour commitment.  Some weeks I literally cannot sleep before "leg day" because I am so excited. 

One cannot have an aesthetically pleasing (and contest-winning) body with "chicken-legs." I'm going to walk you through an intermediate leg workout for those competitors looking for award-winning wheels...

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Straps or No Straps?

A strapsquestion I get asked quite often is whether to use lifting straps or not. Depending on your goals the answer will be different. So let's look at two separate goals someone might have in the gym. The first individual's goal is to build as much strength a possible in all aspects of his training. You could even call this individual a power lifter.

The advantage of using straps for this individual is that he will be able to grip the weight better and lift more weight...

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Pecs of Perfection

HaveMP2013RegieSimmonsPecs you ever heard someone say that their pecs were too big? Of course not! I don’t think those words have ever been uttered aloud by anyone in the history of weight training. Everyone who is anyone desires a nicely developed chest, right?

If you tell anyone that you train, what is the first question that they typically ask you? You guessed it, “How much do you bench?” This is an age old question that will probably be asked for the rest of time. I have another question for you. What piece of equipment comes standard in most home gym systems? A bench, of course.

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Calving Out The Difference – Part 2

InCalves part 2 last month’s article I discussed the often forgotten anterior calf muscles and the way they can be trained in order to enhance your overall calf development.  This month I am going to take a look at the posterior calf muscles, how to isolate them and then will show you an example calf workout that will help you maximize growth potential for this most stubborn of body parts!

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