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For our ancestors who didn’t have the benefit of a world map...

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For our ancestors who didn’t have the benefit of a world map...

Rizom - April,2018
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For our ancestors who didn’t have the benefit of a world map...

Rizom - April,2018
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For our ancestors who didn’t have the benefit of a world map...

Rizom - April,2018
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Vicky Ward 2019-04-23 12:56
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Pro Tips for Muscular Development

Along the past decade of training I’ve picked up some tips I wish I had known sooner regarding muscular development. In no particular order, these are some random bits of information any aspiring strength athlete or body builder may find useful.

 

Tip #1: 1g of protein per pound of body weight is too much

 

            It doesn’t make much sense to me that a 200-pound person with 40% body fat is supposed to eat the same amount of protein as a 200-pound person with 10% body fat. They have drastically different muscular developments, so 1 gram per pound of lean body mass is a better rule. Also, too much excess protein wears down the kidneys and liver so it’s smarter to play it safe if you want to continue training for the next several decades.

 

Tip #2: change your workouts every three months

 

            Way too often I’ll see people do the exact same workout, only marginally changing the weights, for years. It only takes 2-4 months for your body to adapt to a workout, and once adapted it’s better to move on and switch things up. If your chest day is barbell bench press, barbell incline press, and DB flies then change it do DB bench press, DB incline press, and cable flies or something and do that instead, making sure to randomize the exercise order each day.

 

It’s also a good idea to change the rep schemes and tempos every few months as well. Switching between speed, time under tension, low reps, and high reps is going to hit all the muscular fibers really well.

 

Tip #3: eat beets, seriously

 

            Beets lower your blood pressure and make you feel better almost instantly. It’s ridiculous how quickly they work, too. They’re also chock full of nitrous oxide, so it increases your sportsperformance, hypertrophy, strength, and endurance. Guys, seriously try some of these things. I have a cup a day about an hour before I exercise, and you can literally feel healthier after only maybe half an hour.

 

Tip #4: CBD lotion + Epsom salt baths for faster recovery

 

            Heavy squats and deadlifts can really wreck your lower back and legs, especially when you do them beltless like me. The only way I’ve found of recovering in a reasonable amount of time is to massage out my legs and lower back with a tennis ball post-workout, rub some CBD lotion on my legs, and then take an Epsom salt bath (several hours after). CBD is an anti-inflammatory that some people use for things like arthritis, but I’ve found it’s worked well for muscle recovery too.

 

 Tip #5: never go beyond 6 reps on compound lifts

 

            This is probably the most controversial tip I’ll give. I think that natural athletes get the most bang for their buck in the 3-6 rep range for both size and strength. The upper rep ranges seem to just swell the muscles (hypertrophy) without causing any muscle tears, which are necessary for real growth. That’s why so many amateur bodybuilders are shocked when they lose massive size when they take just a few days off from lifting—it’s just a reduction in blood volume.

 

Tip #6: front squats are better than back squats

 

            The issue I have with back squats is that it’s both too easy to cheat the form and that they also put a huge load on the lower back, especially when you also regularly deadlift. The front squat shifts the weight towards the abdomen and is also much harder to cheat on form. The weights may be lower on the front squat, but the exercise is overall better in my opinion, especially if you’ve already built a strong base with the back squats. I’d recommend switching back and forth between the two every few months.

 

Tip #7: never use machines for strength training

 

            I think machines have their place for rehabilitation and for inducing hypertrophy, but they have no business being used for developing strength. I’ve seen way too many people load the weight up on the smith press, smith curl, leg extension, and leg press machines and it makes me cringe. Squatting will improve your leg press but leg pressing will hardly improve your squat, if at all. You totally miss out on so many stabilizer muscles when you use machines that they’re just not worth using.

 

Tip #8: use perfect form, always


            Duh! Everybody knows that! Well, then why do I never see it? People like to use flawless form on their warm up sets, but when the weight gets heavy it all breaks down and they wonder why they keep getting injuries or their progress has stalled. Drop the weight by 10 pounds, keep your form clean, and in a month, you’ll be using heavier weights than when your form was bad. I can’t tell you how many muscle tears I got my first couple years of lifting from squats and deadlifts until a coach finally told me my to fix my form. If only I’d made more of an effort then I wouldn’t have had to get injured in the first place!




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Vicky Ward

 

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