Home

BySteve Howard

Sports supplements – why are they needed?

Perhaps each of us has heard of sports supplements or sports nutrition. However, not everyone who has heard knows what sports supplements are. If you are professionally involved in sports, attending fitness classes, bodybuilding, or just going to lose weight, then you need sports supplements.

What are sports supplements?

Modern professional sports are unthinkable without special nutrition, no athlete can achieve high results by eating only ordinary food. It is the special sports supplements that help the athlete’s body first of all recover after exhausting workouts. Sports supplements are specially formulated preparations for people who are actively involved in sports. These supplements are aimed at improving athletic performance, increasing endurance and strength, and as a result, getting rid of excess weight and improving well-being.

Such supplements can contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbal extracts – in any concentration and combination of several substances. Various sports supplements to one degree or another help the body work: speed up metabolism, give energy and strength. Taking sports supplements is necessary if a person’s energy expenditure is much higher than the calorie intake. Supplements supply energy in its pure form, so it is easier for the body to absorb it and nothing extra is stored. Sports supplements are completely legal, usually sold in fitness clubs or specialty stores, and do not require a prescription.

How do various supplements work?

Each type of sports supplement has a different effect, so different drugs are taken depending on the purpose. Let’s list some of them.

Thus, creatine contributes to more powerful muscle contractions, increased explosive strength, quicker recovery and muscle growth. Preparations with creatine are more often used in those sports where it is necessary to perform short strength jerks followed by a recovery period. For example, weightlifting, sprinting, or strength sports.

Fat burners or thermogenics are stimulants that improve metabolism. These include L-carnitine, which is recommended to be taken an hour or half an hour before exercise on average. Due to the acceleration of metabolism and additional energy, the use of this drug in conjunction with training shows excellent results.

Protein, a very common sports supplement, is pure protein. Protein is essential for intense workouts: after exertion, the muscles need to recover, this is possible only with the help of protein preparations or cocktails. This protein, like other sports supplements, is easily absorbed by the body.

Energy drinks are very popular – a complex complex of high quality carbohydrates, various vitamins and protein. It can be both cocktails and concentrated extracts of some plants, for example, guarana. The alternative is energy bars.

Correct selection and regular use of sports supplements helps to achieve great results in fitness, bodybuilding, any kind of sports and simply maintaining good shape and well-being.

BySteve Howard

What are omega fatty acids?

Over the past half century, scientists have achieved great advances in the study of substances useful and harmful to the human body. Most people who do not yet know what omega fatty acids are, cannot understand how fats can be beneficial. Until a certain time, it was believed that fats kill the human body, and weight gain was often associated precisely with eating food with a lot of fat. Now that scientists have refuted these concepts, many people have begun to include their favorite foods in their diet while dieting without fear of extra pounds. Please note that omega 3 6 9 acids play a huge role in the functioning of the whole body. The work of the heart, brain and other organs and systems depends on them. If you deeply understand all the positive qualities of these substances, you can put them in first place with vitamins. The human body is a mechanism that, with minor violations, does not work correctly, which leads to various diseases. Omega 3 fats will help you recover and improve your well-being in many diseases. They should also be taken by athletes and people with an active lifestyle. Doctors often prescribe this kind of supplement in the postoperative period for quick recovery, as well as for people with low immunity. A universal supplement for all occasions, which is proved by numerous studies and the demand in the sports nutrition market.

Omega 3,6,9

There is an opinion among people who have not come across this type of supplement that omega fatty acids do not differ from each other and are completely useless. If you ask people who have been following a healthy lifestyle for several years about the benefits of fat, the answer will be positive, despite the myths that have developed over the past few centuries. In fact, each of the acids has its own purpose and is responsible for certain functions:

  • Omega-3 are polyunsaturated acids responsible for the formation of new cells in the body. Without them, complete restoration of organs and systems is impossible. To completely saturate the body with substances, you will need not only the use of the right food, but also the intake of substances in their pure form. Sources are all types of salmon fish, walnuts, fish oil;
  • Omega – 6 – are responsible for restoring energy levels, reducing fatigue. It is very important to know that they are not produced on their own; they can be obtained only by including red meat and dairy products in the diet;
  • Omega – 9 – are able to be converted in the body, so many began to believe that this type of fatty acids does not need to be taken additionally. Of course, if a person eats properly, does not load the body with physical activity, he may be able to maintain the necessary balance. With serious physical and mental stress, the amount produced independently is not enough. For this reason, it is recommended to eat different types of nuts and use vegetable oils.

The positive effects of omega fatty acids on the body

The use of any supplement still causes a lot of controversy among people in different countries. To determine the choice of a particular category of additives, you need to carefully understand their properties and characteristics. Before buying, you need to decide on the goal and the desired result in order to really benefit from the reception. Each of the omegas has its own qualities that give a certain effect:

Acid name Pros of the substance
Omega-3 1. Improve the cardiovascular system.

2. Reduce the risk of early heart attack, stroke, restore blood vessels.

3. Strengthen bones and joints, make ligaments elastic.

4. Improve memory, have a positive effect on the entire nervous system.

5. Prevent aging of the body.

6. Help athletes to increase muscle mass without health consequences.

Omega-6 1.Improve receptor sensitivity.

2. Accelerate metabolic processes.

3. Allow you to get high achievements in sports.

4. Cleanse the body of toxins;

5. Promote increased sexual activity in men.

6. Restore hair, strengthen nails, smooth wrinkles.

Omega-9 1. Helps during the formation of cancer cells, slowing down their division.

2. They prevent an increase in blood glucose, it is an important substance necessary for diabetes.

3. Reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.

4. Accelerate metabolism, accelerating weight loss.

5. Allow substances to be absorbed faster.

6. Maintain muscle tone, saturate the body with energy and strength.

To restore health and achieve good results in sports, an integrated approach and taking several supplements or a balanced mixture at once will help. Omega 3 6 9 for weight loss have become indispensable, this is proved not only by numerous studies of scientists, but also by positive reviews. Complex supplements with these acids include not only for weight loss, but also for gaining muscle mass, athletes, as well as during the drying period.

Benefits of using omega fatty acids for athletes

Omega 3 for athletes, as well as other acids, allow athletes to improve their physical performance before competition, as well as recover from serious hormonal drugs. The use of steroids has become an integral part of sports life. During this period, the body experiences tremendous stress. In addition, those who use anabolic steroids on an ongoing basis face side effects. Healthy fat supplements can help you manage your therapy without physical or emotional distress. Athletes who use omega get a lot of positive properties:

  • Promotes accelerated muscle growth;
  • Change the structure of the musculature, make it more elastic with veins;
  • Prevent injuries under severe stress during training;
  • Allows faster recovery between sessions;
  • Reduce post-workout pain;
  • Reduce fat accumulation in tissues;
  • Oxygenate cells for endurance;
  • Strengthen the immune system;
  • Improves the absorption of additional substances;
  • Normalize sexual activity;
  • Enhances the action of other supplements and drugs;
  • Prevent depressive disorders;
  • Improves mood, stimulates training;
  • Omega 3 in sports provide a constant supply of energy and strength.

Omega Fatty Acid Guidelines for Athletes

On the sports nutrition market, you can buy funds individually and in complex mixtures. If you start taking omega 6 fatty acids or another type of acid, it will be impossible to replenish the missing substances in the body. Most often, you need to use several tools at once. Of course, it is not forbidden to use them separately from each other, only the effect will be incomplete and can be disappointing. The most beneficial option is the ratio of omega 3 6 9. Supplements are produced mainly in capsules for greater consumer convenience. The dosage is calculated individually and depends on the diet and physical activity. For prevention, 1000 mg per day will be enough. In the period after the disease, this amount can be increased to 2000 mg per day. Professional athletes who experience maximum stress and stress increase this amount to 3000 mg per day. It is important to remember when calculating the dosage that an overabundance, as well as a lack of certain substances, can negatively affect the entire body. More often than not, those who take large amounts of supplements are likely to experience intestinal upset and related symptoms in the first place. Taking omega 3 6 9 should take into account all the features of the situation. Can be combined with any medium regardless of purpose.

BySteve Howard

How to take a gainer correctly

Many athletes go to the gym with the goal of gaining muscle mass. So that exhausting workouts are not in vain, the daily diet should include a fairly large amount of protein and carbohydrates. The modern rhythm of life does not always allow you to adhere to this plan. And here a gainer comes to the rescue.

Gainer – sports nutrition with a high carbohydrate content. Their complex combination with proteins promotes muscle gain and accelerates recovery after training.

Gainer Composition

The most common version of the gainer contains carbohydrates and proteins in a 3: 1 ratio, but there are other options: 1: 1, 2: 1 and 4: 1.

The higher the amount of proteins in the composition of the gainer and the lower the amount of carbohydrates, the closer it is in its properties to protein. When using such a gainer, the risk of “getting fat” is much lower than in the classic versions of the mixture.

Also for assimilation of the product, the gainer contains digestive enzymes and a small amount of unsaturated fats.

What is a gainer for

A gainer is an indispensable supplement for thin people when gaining muscle mass. Ectomorph athletes will be able to quickly gain the desired weight and get in shape with it. The gainer will help football players, basketball players and track and field athletes overcome prolonged aerobic loads. Also, a protein-carbohydrate mixture is useful for thin girls, whose goal is more appetizing forms.

Correct regular use of protein-carbohydrate mixtures quickly provides athletes with the necessary amount of energy, has a positive effect on weight gain.

Keep in mind, however, that high carbohydrate intake can lead to unwanted weight gain. The fact is that carbohydrates are stored in fat much faster than proteins. Therefore, it is important to immediately decide for what purpose you are going to take a gainer. If the goal of your trips to the gym is to lose weight, then it is better to pay attention to sports nutrition for weight loss.

Table of the average daily intake of carbohydrates per 1 kg of body weight (grams).

slimming weight maintenance weight gain
Man 2-3 3-4 4-5
Female 2-2.5 3-3.5 3.5-14.5

How to take a gainer

Most often, beginners wonder how many grams of a gainer to drink per day and when. It is best to consume the shake immediately after training. In the first half hour after exercise, a “protein-carbohydrate window” opens – a period of time when the body is in dire need of rapid saturation with nutrients. Taking a protein-carbohydrate mixture after training protects muscles from catabolism and restores strength.

For muscle growth, you need 4-5 grams of carbohydrates per kg of body weight per day. To find out how many carbohydrates are in one serving of a gainer, just look at the product packaging. Typically one serving is about 40 grams of protein and 100 grams of carbohydrates. However, the proportions in mixtures from different manufacturers may vary. Most importantly, do not forget that you already get the lion’s share of carbohydrates during meals.

For people who are prone to overweight, it is enough to take a gainer once a day or even replace it with protein. But for athletes who are prone to thinness, it is recommended to use the supplement at least 2 times a day. For example, before and after training.

Athletes with a fast metabolism can take it at night for greater effectiveness of the gainer. On rest days, it is recommended to limit yourself to one intake of a protein-carbohydrate mixture or refuse it altogether.

How to stir a gainer

Just mix the gainer with water, milk or juice in a shaker. The amount of liquid added is at your discretion. Just do not dilute the gainer in boiling water under any circumstances! Protein denatures in hot water and loses its properties.

Can be combined with other supplements

The gainer goes well with amino acids, creatine, protein and vitamin and mineral complexes. The most common combination is creatine and BCAAs.

Creatine

First of all, creatine is produced in our body from protein amino acids. The rest of the creatine comes from food. The problem is that even foods with a high content of creatine are too little for the human body. Even for people with low levels of physical activity, this amount may not be enough.

The value of creatine is that it speeds up energy metabolism in muscle cells. The standard dosage per day is approximately 5 grams. You need to consume a portion at one time, so the most convenient way to combine a gainer with creatine is to mix them in one cocktail. It is better to drink such a cocktail immediately after training.

BCAA

BCAAs are a complex of amino acids that are not synthesized by the human body. These elements increase endurance and are simply indispensable for building muscle tissue. In addition, amino acids slightly increase testosterone levels and have a positive effect on blood sugar.

It is also recommended to take BCAA amino acids after training, 15-20 minutes after using the gainer.

Is it possible to take a gainer and not exercise

Eating high-calorie gainers without physical activity will only lead to one thing – excess weight. It is unlikely that such a result will bring positive emotions.

BySteve Howard

Can i drink water after exercise?

“Is it okay to drink water during training, before or after it?” Are one of the most frequent questions that visitors to our fitness club ask me. There are so many myths around this topic that I want to dispel them once and for all.

In this article I will talk about the benefits of water for those who are actively involved in sports. You will find out if you can drink water immediately after training and how much to drink during it.

Water during exercise

During any training, it is necessary to observe the drinking regime – the order of water consumption, which sets its volume and frequency, taking into account human activity. Water is constantly excreted from the body – and the higher the physical activity, the more water goes away with sweat and breathing.

Sweating regulates body temperature and removes waste products. When you exercise, your body temperature rises and much more water is lost. Take a look at the table, it shows the average water loss under various conditions: rest, exercise, at elevated ambient temperatures.

Amount of water lost

* Data for a 70 kg person under different conditions.

Air temperature 20C, no exercise Air temperature 30C, no exercise Air temperature 30C, exercise
Leather 350 ml 350 ml 350 ml
Breath 250 ml 350 ml 650 ml
Urine 100 ml 100 ml 100 ml
Feces 1 400 ml 1 200 ml 500 ml
Sweat 100 ml 1 400 ml 5000 ml
Total 2 300 ml 3 300 ml 6 600 ml

Accordingly, in order not to get dehydrated, you must replace the loss of fluid, that is, drink water or unsweetened drinks that do not provoke thirst. Remember that dehydration is harmful and dangerous – there is a risk of heatstroke. Symptoms of severe dehydration include nausea, weak pulse, dizziness, weakness.

Why drinking water is important

A person consists of water for 75-80%, and depending on age, the indicator changes. Maintaining the water-salt balance in the body is a necessity for the normal functioning of all its cells and tissues. Pure water better than any medicine normalizes metabolism, eliminates toxins, improves blood circulation and digestion, and also strengthens the immune system.

Water intake must be approached wisely. If its deficiency leads to dehydration of the body (dizziness, loss of strength), then an excess leads to overhydration (swelling, nausea). The water diet is determined on an individual basis.

Your daily physiological water norm can be calculated using the formula of the World Health Organization:

  • For women – 30 ml per 1 kg of body weight.
  • For men – 40 ml per 1 kg of body weight.

For example, if a girl weighs 50 kg, she should take 1.5-1.7 liters of clean water. However, people who regularly lead an active lifestyle, play sports, and also live in countries with a warm climate (Turkey, Egypt, UAE) must drink much more water. Pay attention to the table.

Water Consumption Table

Your weight Daily water requirement, liters
With low physical activity With moderate physical activity With high physical activity
50 1.55 l 2.00 l 2.30 l
60 1.85 l 2.30 l 2.65 l
70 2.20 l 2.55 l 3.00 l
80 2.50 l 2.95 l 3.30 l
90 2.80 l 3.30 l 3.60 l
100 3.10 l 3.60 l 3.90 l

Which water is better to drink

The question is not so much preference as the difference in effect. Doctors recommend completely abandoning raw water from a tap, a spring or a well (it contains many harmful bacteria), and taking filtered, boiled or thawed water – sometimes a bite with lemon, honey, berries.

Filtered water

Water purified from bacteria and dangerous impurities using a filter. It has a beneficial effect on the body: it saturates it with a mass of useful substances. Keep an eye on the expiration date of the device – then you will always have clean water in your home.

Boiled water

Dangerous microbes are killed by boiling. This water is softer, therefore it has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and joints.

Melt water

One of the most useful if filtered, bottled or settled water is taken as a basis. It retains its properties when frozen in plastic containers, and the molecules are the smallest. Regular intake of melt water in small doses improves blood composition, removes toxins and speeds up metabolism.

Bite water with lemon, honey, berries

Take one of the aforementioned liquids, occasionally with a bite with natural ingredients – lemon, honey, berries. The first – promotes the rapid assimilation of food, the second – stabilizes the nervous system, the third – have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Replacing water intake with tea, coffee and other drinks is a big misconception. The body needs clean water – remember this rule and follow it whenever you feel thirsty.

Temperature recommendations

Liquids that are too hot or cold have a negative effect on human health. Boiling water irritates the stomach lining, and ice water causes a sharp narrowing of the heart vessels. The most acceptable option for drinking is water at room temperature.

How to drink water for athletes

Having studied the table of water consumption, you already realized that with high physical activity, you should drink more. But this does not mean at all that it needs to be taken in liters at a time. Drinking water should be portioned and frequent, so as not to burden the heart with additional work.

Clean water helps you recover faster from grueling activities, as well as lose weight. During exercise, you sweat and lose a certain amount of fluid. All this can lead to an imbalance of trace elements, a slowdown in metabolism, and ultimately to dehydration. To avoid this, eat your water diet without waiting for thirst.

The National Athletic Coach Association has developed a system of recommendations for athletes on how much water to drink before, during and after training.

Before training

Take 500-600 ml of water 2-3 hours before physical activity, and 250-300 ml for half an hour. If your workouts take place outside in hot or cold weather, drink 100 ml more than usual.

How much to drink before training

Take 500-600 ml of water 2-3 hours before physical activity, and 250-300 ml for half an hour. If your workout takes place outside in hot or cold weather, drink 100 ml more than usual.

Drinking while exercising

Drink 200 ml of water every 15–20 minutes throughout the session. At first, you will feel discomfort, but over time, everything will return to normal. If you are training to develop strength, take 30% more, despite not being thirsty. The more water enters the body, the faster metabolism occurs.

Water after training

Immediately after training, within 2 hours after physical exertion, you need to drink 700-800 ml of water. Every 15 minutes – 150-200 ml. This dosage will allow you to replenish the fluid lost in the classroom.

When “drying” muscles, losing weight and gaining muscle mass, the water diet is different and is selected on an individual basis.

BySteve Howard

How to do your warm-up in bodybuilding

You probably know that warming up before a weight training session is essential , especially to preserve your joints or avoid injury. Even if most athletes know it (if not all), we see that this step is rarely taken seriously by practitioners, it is rather seen as a waste of time …

Indeed, warming up is not fun, it takes a long time and what more is it in the end? You might as well do it quickly to clear your conscience!

Big mistake. The warm-up not only contributes to your longevity in practice, but also to your progress. Knowing how to warm up will even make a big difference, especially in your performance, which ultimately results in muscle gain.

Let’s see what the benefits are first before we get into practice.

Summary:

The benefits of a good warm-up before a weight training session

At first glance, the warm-up may seem superfluous. Some practitioners therefore perform a few light sets to warm up, gradually increasing the load on the exercise in question.

Indeed, if it is done randomly, it is difficult to reap immediate benefits to improve its performance.

In fact, just like a program, the strength training warm-up must be adapted not only according to the planned training, but also according to the environment and the profile of the practitioner.

For example, it’s difficult to perform the same when you wake up as in the middle of the afternoon or in winter rather than summer. Likewise, the athlete’s age, experience and diet are essential factors in giving even more importance to this preparation before exercise.

The goal is to raise the temperature in order to make the tendons and muscles less rigid, to prepare the nervous and cardiovascular system for the effort and to increase the production of synovial fluid to limit friction between the joints.

In short, warming up before your weight training session deserves to be taken seriously for several reasons:

  • Being stronger (improving the transmission of nerve impulses)
  • Preventing injuries and other pathologies
  • Improving motor coordination

Raise the body temperature before specific warm-ups to prepare for the effort

To begin with, it is essential to gradually increase your body temperature before moving on to specific warm-ups.

This step is essential in order to limit excessive temperature differences between the different muscles and tissues (the tendons and the ends of the muscle are colder than in the center), but also to increase your heart rate / respiratory rate to provide the necessary oxygen during exercise.

For that, you don’t have to do excessively energy-intensive exercises like running or other cardio exercises. This could be walking, low-intensity rowing, or a long series resistance exercise like pelvic rotations for abs or chest raises for lower back. You can therefore take advantage of this moment to work on a weak point, which is beneficial for motor learning.

The warm-up time will depend on the ambient temperature, the time of day and your current diet. No need to spend a lot of time. Too much temperature rise, leading to overheating, is on the contrary counterproductive. It takes about 5 minutes for this to be sufficient.

transpiration chaleur

Specific heating of muscles, tendons and joints

After having spent a few minutes on the mat, the rower or the Roman chair, it is time to perform movements allowing to warm up the risk areas , fragile and very stressed during your strength training.

The warm-up time will vary depending on your routine. For example, for a pectorals / biceps session it will be shorter than for a full body workout, because the number of muscles and joints involved will be higher.

The places most vulnerable to wear pathologies, such as tendonitis, are as follows:

  • Shoulders / Rotator cuff
  • Biceps (long head tendon)
  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Wrists

The choice of exercises according to your morphology, the quality of recovery and the warm-up makes it possible to limit or even inhibit the risk of wear pathologies. Very disabling, it forces you to be patient until it recovers.

Regarding “immediate” injuries, the most frequent in bodybuilding are muscle tears and / or tendon ruptures in the biceps, triceps and pectorals. Lack of warm-up, cool-down, handling a high workload, and over-stretching the muscle significantly increase these risks. Note that this type of injury not only handicaps from a mechanical point of view, but also aesthetically. Unfortunately, even after an operation, it is difficult if not impossible to realize its full potential.

Warm-up exercises for the upper body

échauffement musculation haut du corps bras épaules

Here is an example of a warm-up for an upper body session . Exercises should be done with light loads in order to save yourself afterwards.

This routine requires very little weight training equipment, a pair of dumbbells weighing a few pounds and ideally a pulley is more than enough to easily perform without rest. This circuit should be done once (or two depending on the situation), with around thirty repetitions for each exercise:

Shoulders and rotator cuff

Frontal elevations are also useful for warming up the tendon of the long head of the biceps .

  • Lateral elevation, frontal elevation and bent bust
  • L-fly (preferably pulley or lying down with a dumbbell)

Arms: biceps, triceps and forearms

Do not hesitate to vary the curls in order to warm up the brachioradialis (supination, neutral and pronation)

  • bicep curl
  • Vertical tricep extension
  • Wrist curl / extension

Movements to warm up the lower body

Regarding the lower body, the procedure remains the same. Do not hesitate to do more sets and repetitions for the thighs. This is because the muscles in the leg are much bigger, so it takes longer to warm up the entire thigh.

Thighs and buttocks

You can play with the spacing of the legs in order to properly warm up all the thighs , especially the adductors. Special attention should be paid to hamstrings.

  • Squat
  • Straight Leg Deadlift
  • Lateral Leg Raise

Calves

Short calves tend to lose heat more quickly. If this is your case, avoid training in shorts if it is cold.

  • Extension of the standing calves

Lumbar

The lumbar muscles are constantly used on the basic movements for the thighs.

Preparing the nervous system before training to improve muscle sensations and gain strength

This phase is particularly useful for the sequel in order to get closer to your maximum performance and / or to better feel the target muscles during training , this is not is therefore not essential. These techniques should be used sparingly, preferably for your weak spots, to avoid lengthy sessions.

For this, the isolation exercises and potentiation will be relatively effective in order to prepare properly in a minimum of time.

Warm up with isolation exercises to improve muscle feeling

exercice isolation échauffement triceps pushdown

For warming up, isolation exercises can be useful to improve the feel of the target muscle while performing a polyarticular exercise, which could be similar to the prefatigue.

The advantage, compared to pre-fatigue, is to benefit from this positive transfer (solicitation of the desired muscle) on large movements, without hampering your strength. You can do the test on a heavy session, for example, if you have trouble feeling the triceps on dips, you can include a few sets on the pulley as a warm-up (pushdown …) before you start.

This way of doing things was really useful to better recruit my pectorals on heavy sessions, consisting of basic exercises, with movements performed in explosives, even if initially it was a weak point. On the other hand, for the workouts where I prioritize the congestion, with light loads, I will rather use the pre / postfatigue in order to lengthen the time under tension, but also to maintain the burning sensation as long as possible, which results from it. increased metabolic stress.

Let’s move on to execution. Be sure to stop well before failure to conserve strength and energy for the session. Likewise, you absolutely must handle light loads to concentrate as much as possible on the contraction of the muscle. Also, don’t hesitate to slow down the movement if you have no sensation.

You can do 1 to 2 sets of about 30 reps on any exercise, such as pulley spreads for the pecs or leg extensions for the quadriceps, as long as it is ‘acts of isolation.

Prepare your nervous system using potentiation in order to be stronger in training

Haven’t you noticed that some days the bars feel heavier? The solution to avoid this: potentiator exercises. They can be done before a weight training session to prepare the nervous system for heavy lifting .

As a reminder, the role of the SN is to give and receive information, so it is it that gives the order to the muscles to contract. The more effective it is, the faster it can activate a large number of muscle fibers. Theoretically, the more powerful this nervous “discharge”, the stronger you will be.

The idea is therefore to send big nerve shocks on the potentiator exercises in order to better understand your workloads afterwards. So you can use the potentiation for your sessions requiring a lot of strength.

The movement must be explosive and carried out over small amplitudes to use your involuntary strength to the maximum, thanks to the myotatic reflex.

For my part, I like to do a few sets of very heavy shrugs before my chest and back sessions. For my leg sessions, I do a few series of hack squats on a very low amplitude.

If you want more details on this, I wrote an article on how to increase your strength immediately or over time.

Warming up before a polyarticular exercise: gradually increasing load

Normally all these steps take about 10 minutes . After you’ve finished your warm-up, it’s time to move on to practice!

Even if most of the preparation has been done, we must not forget that each movement is unique. Therefore, polyarticular exercises require special attention.

The number of joints involved being more significant, it is necessary to gradually increase load , say 1 series at 50% of its workload and a second at 75% in order to ” improve their motor coordination on the movement in question during their sets.

For example, if you do 12 reps at 100kg in the squat, you can do one set at 50kg and then a second at 75kg before you start.

Still in the preparation phase, it is necessary to save as much as possible. It doesn’t matter how many reps you want, however, you need to stop well before the failure.

A lack of stability during the exercise in question is often a sign that it is necessary to do a few more sets before starting.

Beyond warming up: Keeping the muscles warm

There you go! You are now ready to train in the best possible conditions.

Finally, warming up doesn’t take a lot of time if you know how to structure your sessions. To recap, the warm-up takes place in 3 stages :

  1. Increase in body temperature
  2. Specific warm-ups
  3. Preparation of the nervous system

You can also add the gradual rise in charge, although you’re probably already doing it by reflex.

Do not wait to be in pain, to be hurt to act, because it will be too late. What you wanted to gain in time you will lose in gain.

Remember that temperature fluctuations are inevitable. To limit drops in temperature , dress accordingly, especially between sets, during your rest periods. A zipped jacket or large towel is sufficient to cover the affected areas.

You can also perform agonist / antagonist SuperSets if your training plan includes isolation exercises, in order to maintain optimal body temperature while reducing the time of your sessions.

To sum up, whether it is performance or longevity, I strongly encourage you to spend ten minutes or so warming up, even if it means reducing the volume of work.

BySteve Howard

Everyday Bodybuilding: Good or Bad Idea?

Should we do weight training every day? This is the question that many beginners ask themselves to know if the progression will be faster or if it is of no interest.

To give you a clear answer: no, but it can be useful. So, to remove all your doubts, I dug into the subject. You’ll be able to find out if you really need weight training 7 days a week (at least if you will benefit from it).

Let’s see if this is useful for you first, then discussing the advantages and disadvantages of high training frequency. Finally, I’ll give you some tips to recover faster , along with an example of an optimized workout routine , in case you want to work out. bodybuilding every day .

musculation tous les jours

Here is the summary:

Why do you want to workout every day?

Indeed, this is the first question to ask. Why do you finally want to train so much?

There are two main scenarios. So I will give you a concrete answer, whether or not this training frequency will be interesting for you. The answers are of course my point of view, coming from my experience and from my reading. It is therefore also up to you to judge, at the end of this article, what you want to do.

Are you a beginner and want quick results?

If the answer is yes, you don’t need to want to train every day.

Usually, when you start, you tell yourself that the more you train, the faster you will progress. However, it can have the opposite effect, that is, lead to stagnation see regression. As a reminder, the 3 pillars for progress in bodybuilding are:

  • Training : damages muscle fibers.
  • Nutrition : gives the materials necessary for reconstruction.
  • Recovery : Repair damage from training and rebuild through nutrition.

This is the real winning tripod for continuous progress and as quickly as possible. Therefore, wanting to train every day is to neglect part of the recovery in order to prioritize training. In fact, with little experience it is very likely that with so much training you will end up in overtraining , in addition to a big loss of motivation to go to sports.

Note also that everything depends on the volume (how many sets and exercises in a session) and on the intensity . Only the most advanced practitioners have enough perspective to organize their sessions so as not to cross the red zone.

Chances are you won’t, but don’t worry, your progress won’t be slower . As proof, I progressed faster with a half body (over 4 days) than with a Split (over 6 days), because my recovery (especially nervous) was at the top.

You lack time during the day and you want to spread your exercises over the week?

In this case, yes doing weight training every day is a solution.

It is not the most effective way to progress but it is the only way to train to develop your whole physique harmoniously. Therefore, if you have 30 to 45 minutes a day, no question of doing a full body, a half body or a PPL, I advise you to focus on one muscle group per day (Split).

Indeed, you are restricted by the volume of training and you will all have to bet on the intensity of the session . Where you have to be careful is the architecture of your program, it must be thought out in such a way as to optimize your recovery , especially joints and tendons. For example, if you work on the pectorals, avoid doing deltoids the next day since they were used the day before.

3 benefits of weight training every day

The more motivated of you will still be tempted to train without a day off, but before structuring your program, it is important to weigh the pros and cons. To make up your own mind, here are the three big advantages of working out over seven days :

  • Duration of sessions: As I could say previously, it is clear that due to lack of time, it will be much easier to structure your program . Thus, the sessions can last an hour, while maintaining a correct volume of work and sufficient intensity.
  • Focus on weak points: Often neglected, this is the opportunity to dedicate several sessions during the week, only to a weak point and to train a few strong points on another and the same session.
  • Energy management: Exercises are spread out over the week, so it’s easier to maintain a constant intensity during your workout.

3 disadvantages of high frequency training

However, the disadvantages are much more important, to be taken into account, than the advantages for a beginner. Indeed, training according to your weak points and managing your energy requires a little experience. So, in my opinion, here are the three biggest disadvantages of working out every day:

  • Recovery Management: Whether muscular, hormonal, nerve and joint / tendon, you need to optimize your recovery from all these angles. For this, it is important to have a personalized weight training program as well as a solid diet plan. Of course, to evolve over time, to avoid stagnation, over-training and injury.
  • Motivation hard to preserve: Closely linked to nerve recovery, it is difficult to maintain constant motivation. Also, not giving yourself a day off forces you to go to weight training, whatever you feel like. Better three days a week for a year than every day and quit after a month.
  • Flexibility in strength training: There are bound to be days when you can’t work out. Therefore, it shifts all your workouts .

How to optimize your recovery to train every day

Fortunately you can act on the most important lever: recovery. Of course, there is a lot to say and do to improve your recovery. My goal is to give you quick and easy means, to implement, to recover at best between your sessions .

récupération musculation

Obviously, recovery begins with rest, especially sleep. Everyone knows the rule:

You have to sleep 8 hours!

Unfortunately, that may not be enough if you want to do weight training every day . So let’s talk about things to optimize in your workouts and your diet.

Joint and tendon recovery

Without good joint and tendon health, you will quickly be limited by the choice of movements. Strength training is above all a matter of time , therefore your joints and tendons must come to the fore.

In general, practitioners don’t give a damn, even worse when ego comes along with the practice. We think it will never happen, but when it does, it’s too late, and sometimes it’s irreversible. There is nothing worse for a practitioner to have medical conditions or an injury that limits their training. For example, tearing a tendon on a biceps (not very aesthetic) or having tired shoulder joints (very disabling for upper body movements) are common injuries.

They can be classified into two categories, pathologies / injuries:

Knowing that the subject deals with doing weight training every day, let’s talk about what interests us, wear pathologies .

The pathologies of wear appear gradually, due to repeated movements . Tendons rub, joints wear out without feeling a particular signal. In theory, the body is able to repair micro-lesions and other damage during rest . For an athlete, the damage is much larger and more frequent, therefore the body sometimes does not have time to fully repair the damage caused during the session.

Act on training to limit damage

First, you can influence the structure of your sessions, giving more time to the repair process.

To do this, avoid moving the same joints during exercises for two days in a row . For example, if you do the pectorals the day before, it is better not to do the deltoids the next day, but rather the thighs or the biceps for example.

Let’s see an optimized training routine:

  • day 1: Pectorals.
  • Day 2: Thighs (Quadriceps focus) / calves.
  • Day 3: Triceps / abdominals.
  • Day 4: Back.
  • Day 5: Thighs (hamstring focus) / calves.
  • Day 6: Deltoids / abdominals.
  • Day 7: Biceps / Forearms.

Accelerate joint and tendon recovery

Second, we can speed up recovery through diet . To put it simply, here is a list of food supplements (or foods) that are beneficial to joint and tendon recovery :

  • Glucosamine.
  • Collagen.
  • Wisteria.
  • Chondroitin.
  • Beef / poultry broths, gelatin and animal fat.

Muscle recovery

Let’s now tackle muscle recovery , which is largely responsible for your progress, especially on your muscle gain . And no, it’s not just a question of waiting for the muscle soreness to end, sore muscles are often misunderstood and deserve to be covered in another article.

A big part of the process is to restore muscle fibers damaged during the session. Fortunately, you can also optimize your recovery through training and nutrition.

Alternate the muscles used

First of all, avoid exercising the same muscle group for two days in a row. In fact, since the workouts are essentially composed of polyarticular exercises, it will not be possible to target only one muscle per day. We must therefore take a closer look at the muscles that work most of the time in synergy , especially on exercises dedicated to large muscle groups:

  • Pectorals: deltoids and triceps.
  • Back : Deltoids and biceps.

As for the thighs , it may be interesting to focus on the quadriceps one day and the hamstring another day.

The workout routine I described above follows this rule.

2 food supplements for muscle recovery

To get straight to the point, if you stick to the basics of sports nutrition, that’s enough. Here are still two food supplements interesting for muscle recovery:

  • Creatine.
  • Gainer (protein + carbohydrate). By the way, if you want to make your own drink, I have prepared some recipes to make your own gainer but on.

Nerve recovery

The nervous system will be strained if you exercise every day. Fortunately, there are a few signs that poor nerve recovery :

  • Loss of strength
  • No motivation
  • Stagnation see charge regression
  • Constant fatigue

Therefore, it is interesting that you act upstream before you get there.

phénomène surcompensation musculation récupération graphique
S ‘training during the overcompensation phase allows progress to be made. The number of rest days varies depending on the intensity and volume of training, as well as the muscle worked.

How to maintain an efficient nervous system

Regarding training, the exercises performed for large muscle groups (pectorals, back and thighs) will be taxing on the nervous system, so it is worthwhile to alternate sessions with heavy and light loads .

When it comes to diet, foods high in magnesium will only be beneficial in keeping your nervous system in good shape. Indeed, it is an essential mineral that contributes, in part, to the transmission of nerve impulses (to contract the muscle ). On top of that, according to the French SU.VI.MAX study, about 75% of people are below the recommended nutritional intake, a phenomenon accentuated by sweating during exertion.

To avoid being deficient, you can find it in certain foods:

  • Dark chocolate.
  • Oilseeds (almonds, walnuts …).
  • Whole grains.
  • Bananas…

Likewise, you can use food supplements to cover your magnesium needs. Be careful not to buy it in just any form. It is better to buy magnesium citrate , with few or no additives than magnesium oxide (very common on the market). Of course, the price will be higher, but quality at a price.

Regarding rest , some food supplements exist to improve the quality and quantity of sleep:

  • Valerian: calms, soothes and improves the quality of sleep.
  • Theanine: (present in tea) helps to relax and reduces stress.
  • Tryptophan: (found in plants) Improves the quality of sleep and helps fight depressive disorders.
  • Melatonin: Called the sleep hormone and naturally secreted by our body, it can be used to reframe our “internal clock” (often used to deal with JetLag problems).

Hormonal recovery

The drop in testosterone levels is the obsession of the bodybuilding practitioner. Unfortunately, after a workout, this level drops as cortisol rises, the opposite of what we are looking for.

If you want to train every day , your goal is to limit these imbalances through a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, you have to forget about low-calorie diets to dry out, the food must be more than sufficient and rich in good fats. Likewise, stress should be limited so as not to accentuate hormonal disturbances.

Bodybuilding program – every day

Finally, I have prepared an example of a daily weight training program for you. This program meets all the conditions that I have stated above and is suitable for a high training frequency . You can use them to create your own routine.

The selected exercises require little equipment and can be performed in most gyms. Of course, you are free to perform the dumbbells or bar movements according to your preferences.

Despite everything, it is likely that you are not available 365 days a week. Therefore, if you are absent for a day, The next session must be the one that was missed, do not say to yourself:

Chest Monday, thigh Tuesday….

because the volume of work between different muscle groups will be out of balance. Rather, you must reason in daylight. Enjoy

Day 1 – Chest

Exercise Series * repeats
Expanded declined 5 * 8/12
Bench press 5 * 12/15
Cross over at the high pulley (one-sided) 4 * 15/20
Peck Deck 4 * 15/20

Day 2 – Thighs (quadriceps focus) + Calves

Exercise Series * repeats
Hack squat 5 * 8/12
Bulgarian squat 5 * 15/20
Leg extension 4 * 15/20
Weighted camel calves 5 * 15/25

Day 3 – Triceps + Abs

Exercise Series * repeats
Dips 4 * 8/12
Skullcrushers 3 * 10/15
Pulley pushdowns 3 * 10 * 15
Leg raises 5 * 20/25

Day 4 – Dos

Exercise Series * repeats
Shrugs 3 * 10/15
Rowing dumbbell 5 * 8/12
Pullover at the high pulley 4 * 10/15
Chest pull (or pronation pull) 5 * 8/12
High pulley overhand pull (one-sided) 3 * 10/15

Day 5 – Thighs (hamstring focus) + Calves

Exercise Series * repeats
Leg deadlift semi-stretched 5 * 8/15
Leg press 5 * 10/15
Leg curl 4 * 10/15
Seated calves 5 * 15/25

Day 6 – Deltoids + Abs

Exercise Series * repetitions
Military developed 4 * 8/12
Side elevations 3 * 10/15
Bird with high pulley 3 * 10/15
Crunch 4 * 20/25
Side crunches 3 * 25/35

Day 7 – Biceps + Forearms

Exercise Series * repeats
Supination chest pulling ( or supination traction) 4 * 8/12
Inclined curl 3 * 10/15
Hammer curl 3 * 10/15
Wrist curl SUPERSET Wrist extension 3 * 15/20
BySteve Howard

Muscle Aches: Causes and Remedies

Do aches in bodybuilding lead to progression? Is it recommended to train on muscle soreness? And are there any remedies to speed up recovery or to prevent muscle soreness?

Some bodybuilders do not hesitate to constantly change their program to regain the intense aches they had when they first started out. They associate the pain with the efficiency of their session. But what is it really?

Sometimes crippling, you need to know what is causing aches and pains, to realize that you’re usually wrong about how to interpret them.

courbatures musculation douleur

Why do we have muscle aches after weight training?

The stiffness is a rather particular pain, because it appears 1, 2 or 3 days later. Usually after unusual exertion, they can last up to 7 days! If we talk about the feeling of pain , we realize that, from one individual to another, its intensity is perceived differently. It is especially beginners who suffer the most.

It used to be that the build-up of lactic acid was what caused the muscle soreness. This is, in fact, not the case. Lactate appears quickly during exercise, this results in a burning sensation , but disappears quickly. As said before, the stiffness appears rather 24 to 72 hours later , so there is no link with lactic acid. Instead, let’s analyze what happens after a workout.

After intense weight training, energy stores are low, the nervous system is exhausted, hormonal balance is disturbed, muscles, tendons and joints are damaged.

If we zoom in on the muscles used, we could see micro-lesions on:

  • myofibrils.
  • muscle fibers (or myocytes).
  • the fascias.
composition muscle fibre musculaire myofibrille

As with a broken electrical wire, if the muscle tissue is damaged it is the door open to leaks. In the case of muscle aches, it is the calcium leakage that is part of the pain. As calcium diffuses slowly, the onset of muscle aches is therefore late.

In addition to this phenomenon, our nervous system also plays a role in the perception of pain, it is also the damage caused to the fascia that is the most painful , because it is very more sensitive than muscle fibers. While a hot muscle isn’t painful, it still isn’t immune to stiffness. The pain tolerance threshold is then variable depending on the time of day, the person and the practitioner’s experience.

If the new exercises cause muscle soreness, it’s only that the muscle is stretched in an unusual way .

Deciphering the pain of aches after a weight training session

You’ve probably guessed it, the intensity of muscle soreness does not mean big muscle damage . You should not trust the body aches to ensure your progress. Besides, that’s not a bad sign either, whatever …

Aches are usually located in the center of the muscle , in this case, don’t worry. Note that it even gives you a hint on your recovery speed. However, if you’re having trouble knowing if your muscle is still stiff, you can locate the pain by:

  • Contracting the muscle: by performing an exercise.
  • Doing a massage: with a tennis ball for example.

On the other hand, if the aches are felt at the ends of the muscle , you must know where it comes from, otherwise you end up with a pathology, such as tendonitis or a muscle tear. They appear as a result of excessive muscle over-stretching. There are two scenarios:

muscle mollet tendon courbature

  • The amplitude of the exercise was too great: the amplitude must be reduced.
  • The exercise was not suitable for your body type: it must be replaced.

Note that the muscle groups most affected by this problem are the pectorals and biceps .

Sometimes the appearance of stiffness is deceptive. A stiffness in the shoulder is less common because the stretch on the deltoids exercises is weak. You have to make sure it’s not more of a pathology.

The same goes for the neck . Feeling stiff after a weight training session isn’t necessarily a good sign. It can happen after working the abs, if the head is in the wrong position.

Is it possible to exercise on muscle stiffness?

From there, you’re probably wondering if doing a weight training session on a sore muscle is counterproductive. In fact, you can quickly cross the line of overtraining if you don’t have the right working method. Therefore, it is quite possible to train on a sore muscle if you do it correctly and you can even reap the benefits!

First of all, you can benefit from the nervous overshoot. Nerve recovery is irregular and an overcompensation phenomenon may appear in the following days, where stiffness appears . Your nervous system is most efficient during the overcompensation phase. This critical moment is variable, it’s up to you to do tests to determine the overcompensation phase.

phénomène surcompensation musculation récupération graphique

Contrary to popular belief, exercising on muscle soreness promotes muscle gain and strength gain . It can therefore be interesting to practice on a weak point, shortly after the peak of muscle stiffness.

Be careful with your training all the same. Here are some rules to follow if you decide to force aches, so as not to torture your tendons and joints:

  • Light load.
  • Lots of repetitions.
  • Reduced amplitude.
  • Isolation exercise.

Of all the muscle growth factors, congestion, time under tension and muscle burning are the most suitable.

This is the perfect opportunity to congest on a 100 series, it kills two birds with one stone. In addition to promoting muscle growth, this speeds up recovery (the muscle is better supplied with blood, the transport of nutrients essential for recovery is improved). Note also that on a weak point, the 100 series can only be beneficial for motor learning.

Likewise, it is quite possible to do your cardio , provided the intensity is reasonable.

How to speed up recovery or avoid muscle stiffness in athletes

Many “remedies” exist to calm aches and pains or to speed up recovery. This can be useful when arriving from a competition. You have to do this in advance.

On the training itself, you can limit the factors that aggravate muscle aches, namely:

  • stretching: working on small amplitudes.
  • The negative: you should not use a method that intensifies the eccentric phase.
  • Free loads: use pulleys and machines instead.

Other tips are also worth remembering:

  • Perform self-massages : to recover the fascia (using a foam roller for example).
  • Warm up well.
  • Wear compression socks or leggings: to promote blood circulation.
  • Get enough hydration.

In fact, contrary to what you might think, stretching does not help limit muscle soreness.

When it comes to diet, there are food supplements that can help you recover from muscle soreness .

Amino acids for easier recovery from muscle soreness

To facilitate recovery, it is important to provide your body with enough raw materials to repair muscle damage . The protein intake must be sufficient, it can be supplemented by taking amino acids such as BCAAs, EAAs or peptopro during training.

Accelerate the recovery of a stiff muscle thanks to better blood circulation

The blood carries nutrients, oxygen and carries away waste products from the body. Facilitating the transport of nutrients is therefore favorable for recovery.

Some dietary supplements are vasodilators, which means they dilate blood vessels. Blood circulation is improved. Here is a list of food supplements having a vasodilator effect:

Citrulline

It is an amino acid capable of increasing arginine levels (increases nitric oxide level). Taking arginine directly is less effective because it is largely broken down by the liver, so assimilation is poor. Taking citrulline malate before a workout brings better muscle congestion (therefore better blood circulation). It also improves the speed of recovery between sets. Usually 6-8g of citrulline malate before training is sufficient.

Carnitine

Known as a fat burner and for its effect on endurance (transports fatty acids into muscle for use as a source of energy), carnitine also has vasodilator properties. If you eat meat, you probably bring enough of it. As a result, it is especially vegetarians or people on a low calorie diet who are most affected by carnitine supplementation. Take carnitine, before or during training, should be avoided as you risk hypoglycemia.

Certain foods can also improve blood circulation:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Garlic…

Relieve muscle aches pain with post-workout arnica

To “mask the pain”, Doliprane and all other paracetamol can be effective, but should still be avoided. In this case, taking arnica may be a good alternative.

Be careful, this is just a way to relieve the pain , arnica does not help the muscle to recover.

The best way to find out if you can benefit from all of these tips is to test. Besides, if you have any feedback it can always be useful to enrich the article.

BySteve Howard

Foods rich in creatine

Creatine, commonly known as creatine monohydrate in sports nutrition, is an oligopeptide with 3 amino acids of glycine, arginine and methionine. It has the formula C4H9N3O2 and its molar mass is 131.133 g / mol. For biochemists, it is presented as a nitrogen derivative found in the body within skeletal muscles and in the brain. According to the results of numerous studies, creatine combined with resistance exercise could increase mass and strength without fat (1). Combined with phosphate in the form of phosphocreatine, this is an energy source immediately available in the muscle. Bodybuilding and strength sports practitioners as well as weightlifters find their value enormously in this molecule. Indeed, the scientific literature best supports creatine supplementation for increased performance in resistance training of short duration and maximum intensity (2).

Sources of creatine for the body

The human body naturally produces this molecule at a daily level of 1 to 2 g depending on the food intake. The endogenous synthesis of creatine depends on the body’s needs, which can vary from person to person. Today it is possible to increase your creatine levels through supplementation. This is because creatine is available as a dietary supplement usually in the form of a white powder that dissolves in water. This creatine is obtained synthetically by chemists, like the majority of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

In a sense, powdered creatine remains a natural nutritional supplement as it is made by the body (pancreas, liver and kidneys) from amino acids and can also be obtained directly from food. However, there is a problem with the purity of commercially available creatine. This has manufacturing residues which can be dangerous if used long term. It is true that it is possible to extract creatine from food, but it would be too expensive and much more complicated to implement. To benefit from an exceptional and high purity, it is necessary to opt for creatine creatapure.

Creatine in food

Over 30 years ago, in 1979 to be more precise, Walker argued that creatine was only found in vertebrates, but not in microorganisms or plants. Still according to him, this molecule was concentrated in the muscles, and the primary sources were fish and meat. Fifteen years later, Balsom and Al discover traces of creatine in plants. However, the creatine level was quite low, if not lower. But studies still confirm that the primary sources of creatine are fish and meat. Here is a list of foods with their creatine content:

  • Herring contains 6.5 to 10 g / kg
  • Pork contains 5 g / kg
  • Beef contains 4.5 g / kg
  • Salmon contains 4.5 g / kg
  • Tuna contains 4 g / kg
  • Cod contains 3 g / kg
  • Milk contains 0.1 g / kg
  • Cherries contain 0.02 g / kg

Based on the data in this list, animal flesh contains the highest amounts of creatine. For example, there is about 3 to 5 g of creatine per pound of uncooked fish like salmon and tuna, and meats like pork and beef. Herring, on the other hand, has the highest amount of creatine as it can go up to 10g per kilo. However, the way of cooking can destroy some of the creatine in these foods. Thus, the amount of creatine from the diet of omnivores may be reduced depending on how these foods are prepared.

You should know that food intake of creatine is not the same in everyone. Indeed, it has been suggested that supplementation with creatine and β-alanine may be particularly helpful for vegan athletes, due to vegetarian diets promoting lower muscle creatine and lower muscle carnosine levels in consumers (3). People with a normal diet with a protein intake of up to 2 g / kg of body weight will be able to obtain between 0.25 and 1 g of dietary creatine per day. And although it is quite possible to increase the intake by consuming more foods rich in creatine, it would be quite difficult to obtain more than 4 g / day since it would be necessary to absorb too much. of fish or meat. Indeed, to have 3 to 4 g of creatine per day, it will then be necessary to consume a kilogram of beef, pork or herring, or even more depending on the way of cooking them, which is not at all obvious.

Increased creatine intake

If it’s difficult to get your creatine level up through food, what should you do? For individuals wishing to increase the creatine level in their body, it will be necessary for them to use creatine-based food supplements. Supplementation can increase the level of creatine in the muscles to some degree. However, according to various physiological and biochemical data, it has been established that large intakes of creatine do not allow storage of this molecule in the muscles. According to the results of these studies, there are various enzymatic feedback and regulatory mechanisms within the cells constituting muscles that oppose such storage.

While creatine manufacturers recommend intensive use of creatine supplementation, unfortunately such intakes are not absorbed by the body and are directly excreted in the urine (4). Creatine supplements are safe and do not cause kidney disease. Reports of kidney damage associated with its use are rare. However, creatine supplements should not be used in people with chronic kidney disease or using potentially nephrotoxic drugs (5).

Although many foods contain fairly large amounts of creatine, such as fish and meat, food intake does not meet the creatine needs of some people who exercise vigorously. In order for them to increase their creatine levels properly, they will need to turn to supplementation. Creatine monohydrate has already been evaluated by various competent authorities and several have come to the conclusion that a daily intake of 3 g of creatine per person is unlikely to pose safety concerns, focusing on healthy adults to exclusion of pregnant and breastfeeding women (6).

BySteve Howard

The Best Biceps Exercises To Do Without Equipment

Strength training is the best way to gain muscle mass quickly. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, the arms are constantly used, whether in everyday life or for other sports activities. There is therefore a double interest in training, you still have to know how to do it!

If you’ve been looking for exercises and methods to build your biceps without equipment , you’ve come to the right place. I also started weight training at home, without any equipment. With experience, I can share my feedback with you so that you can progress faster while avoiding certain mistakes.

In addition to showing you a sure way to have bigger arms, you will know if your goals are achievable and in how long. To help you with your program, a list of biceps exercises to do at home is waiting for you at the end of the article.

Summary:

Is training without equipment enough to have big biceps?

Are you going to have results without going to the gym, thanks in part to the body weight? To give a clear answer, yes, you will have something to do to develop your biceps without equipment .

They are easy to tire and hypertrophy with little or no material, unlike other large muscle groups, such as the pecs.

However, the choice of exercises and holds is limited. It is therefore in your best interest to structure your bodybuilding program , so as not to stagnate quickly.

The ideal is still to get the bare minimum in order to vary the exercises, the grips and the loads for a few euros. The investment is well worth the effort:

  • Elastics
  • A dumbbell and a few kilos of cast iron (minimum, 2 discs of 5kg and 4 discs of 2kg).

How long does it take to develop your biceps without equipment?

Another frequent question, how long does it take to have your first results? Truth be told, it depends, it doesn’t.

The speed of progression depends on a lot of things. Not everyone starts from the same point and everyone has their own goals. In addition to your age, lifestyle and genetics, it is above all the regularity and intensity of your weight training sessions that will allow you to reach your goals.

double biceps physique musculation

With perseverance, you will be able to notice a visual difference after 3 to 4 months of rigorous practice, even with little equipment.

How many repetitions, sets, exercises and weight training can you do to work your biceps?

You will understand, it is above all the quality of your sessions and your discipline that will allow you to increase your performance and your results, but beware! Remember that one of the keys to progress in bodybuilding is recovery.

If you don’t stick to this baseline, you risk ending up over-training. The risks?

  • Nervous exhaustion (loss of strength)
  • Biceps pathology, tendonitis…
  • Poor muscle recovery
  • Hormonal disruption

So this is the opposite of what we are looking for … I wrote an article to find out if weight training every day is a good or a bad idea.

In fact, there is no silver bullet. However, I can give you some tips on how to have a consistent basis for your biceps program .

Questions Answers Notes
How many repetitions? 6 to 15 If the goal is to gain muscle mass
How many series? ~ 4 by exercise Stop when losing strength or getting bored
How many exercises? 1 à 3 Vary the angles and exercises from one session to another
How many sessions? 3 per week 1 day of rest minimum between each session

It will differ from person to person. Over time and with experience, you can determine what works best for you. Note that sooner or later you will have to increase the number of sets and / or exercises to hypertrophy your muscles , in this case, your biceps.

Push-ups and dips, unnecessary exercises to build your biceps

While chatting or searching the net, I’m amazed at how many people think push-ups and dips are helpful for working the biceps. It is important to remember the function of the biceps and the other arm muscles to understand why this is totally wrong.

  • Biceps: allows you to flex the forearm (pulling movement)
  • Triceps: to stretch the arm or bring it back to the body (pushing movement)
  • Forearms: Lower, raise, open or shake the hand. Certain muscles also allow the forearm to be raised or lowered.

Thus, it is enough just to put a tension, a constraint during the solicitation of the target muscle, to develop and strengthen it.

In the case of dips and push-ups, it’s when pushing, when you stretch out your arms, that the movement is difficult. As a result, it is not the biceps that are used, but rather the triceps (as well as the shoulders and pectorals).

Let’s rectify the mistake: push-ups and dips don’t make for bigger biceps, but rather more big arms , thanks to the development of the triceps.

The secret to having big arms: biceps, triceps and forearms

It is always good to remember that a good physique is a harmonious physique . You need to take the time to work all of your muscles and not a specific muscle group to have satisfactory results.

When it comes to the upper body, I find that a lot of practitioners are working hard on the biceps to get bigger arms. However, it is especially the triceps that give the most mass. Maybe your problem is there?

Lack of forearms can also be a problem. If you lack forearm mass compared to biceps and triceps, the result will be much less impressive. If Stallone looks massive, it’s mainly thanks to his over-developed forearms.

sylvester stallone avant-bras musculation

Bottom Line: If the initial goal is to have big arms, I strongly encourage you to develop all of the arm muscles . It is above all consistency and muscle definition that should be sought, not size.

Supine traction, the only polyarticular exercise to work the biceps without equipment

Contrary to popular belief, the horizontal bar pull-up (or chest pull-up) is the only polyarticular exercise for the biceps.

The advantages of this exercise are multiple:

  • It does not require any hardware
  • The body weight is more than sufficient at first
  • The exercise exploits the tension / length relationship of the biceps, so you are stronger

Of course, as this is a polyarticular exercise , other muscles will also be engaged, especially those of the back. Note that hanging from a bar also improves your grip and therefore strengthen certain muscles of the forearm .

To get the most out of the biceps work in this exercise, it is important to perform it with a supine grip, i.e. with the palms facing you, then lean a little forward back when pulling to limit the work of the back muscles.

exercice biceps sans matériel traction
Here , overhand traction. It is necessary to perform the exercise in supination to favor the work of the biceps, with a grip equivalent to the width of the shoulder

Another important point, the range of motion . Be careful during the descent not to fully stretch the arms, the biceps are vulnerable with a supine grip, this can lead to muscle tearing. In fact, it is one of the most common injuries in weight training. The goal is to build muscle , not to injure yourself for a “cleaner” movement.

Strategies for improving strength in pull-ups

Often times when you are just starting out, it is difficult to chain reps to pull-ups. If you really have trouble doing pull-ups, you can find alternatives to quickly progress on this exercise. Here are some options:

  • Pure negative: perform the descent only
  • Elastic: to relieve a little weight, just hang it on the bar and let a foot or a knee rest on it
  • Reverse Rowing: Do the exercise with a bar close to the floor. The body is almost horizontal with the feet on the ground, so there is less weight to pull.

You can also consult this article if you want to increase your strength, in order to progress during your sessions.

Isolation exercises for the biceps to do at home

After reaching a certain point, isolation exercises will be useful for rebalancing certain portions of the biceps. To understand the importance of a “balanced” biceps, it is necessary to talk about anatomy. Here are the arm muscles to develop primarily with the biceps:

  • Biceps: short and long head
  • Brachialis (anterior)
  • Brachioradial (formerly long supinator)
anatomie muscles bras biceps brachial

Over time, you will have to modify your training program to correct the imbalances. The most frequent cases are as follows:

  • The long chef is often late compared to the short chef.
  • The anterior brachialis is often less developed than the other portions of the biceps.
  • The brachioradialis is also often overlooked, which can be crippling and problematic if you have short biceps.
muscle avant-bras brachio-radial

To remedy these problems, three variations of dumbbell curl are particularly effective. The exercises listed below can be done with a single dumbbell , rubber bands, or both combined to modulate tension.

Exercise 1: Supination curl for the long and short head of the biceps

Undoubtedly one of the most popular exercises, the supination grip curl (palms of the hands towards you) allows you to recruit mainly the long and short head. At least, this is usually where you feel the most work on your biceps.

exercice curl biceps haltère

The unilateral exercise , that is to say one arm at a time, is preferable to have more strength during the series. As the work isn’t overly exhausting, you can do one arm while the other is resting to save time.

While the exercise sounds straightforward, you should still pay attention to the range of motion to avoid injury. To do this, you must be careful not to stretch your arm too much during the descent, as during the pull-ups. Aches in the ends of the biceps is not a good sign and usually means that you have stretched your arms too far.

Another detail that may seem insignificant: the placement of the elbow. If the elbow is at the back of the bust, you will mainly work on the long head of the biceps . In contrast, the leader runs is better insulated when the elbow is in front of the bust. It’s up to you to judge which leader is behind the other.

Exercise 2: Target the brachialis with the hammer curl

Usually underdeveloped, the brachialis can eventually grow as large as the biceps. You can easily tell how weak the brachii muscle is when you contract the biceps (lack of relief). It should also be mentioned that with this intake you further strengthen the muscles in your forearm.

The execution of the movement remains the same as in supination, except that the grip is neutral (thumbs up). However, this variant is still less dangerous, so you can reach out without fear of injuring yourself.

With a neutral grip, your arm is in a strong position, you will be able to put much heavier on this exercise.

Exercise 3: Catch the weakness of a short bicep with the pronation curl

The potential for muscle development is directly correlated with the size of your muscle, on top of that a long muscle will always be more impressive than a short muscle.

The advantage of having a short bicep is that you have a very noticeable peak when you contract it, but when released it looks thinner.

You can easily determine the length of your muscle. To do this, just contract it to see if the gap between the bicep and forearm is too large.

Unfortunately, you can’t lengthen your muscles, but all is not lost for your biceps. It is always possible to make up for this gap by developing the brachioradialis .

To emphasize the work of the brachioradial when performing curls, just perform the hand over pronation exercise , that is to say facing the ground.

The exercise may seem uncomfortable for the first few sessions. Do not hesitate to play with the rotation of your hand to have a working angle adapted to your body type, you get used to it quickly.

As with the hammer curl, it is possible to extend the arm at the end of the movement without risk of injury. Moreover, you can gradually switch to a neutral grip over the course of your series, when fatigue begins to be felt, to scratch a few repetitions.

There you go, all you have to do is build your workout program with this workout list. You really have to pay attention to your strengths and weaknesses to work effectively and have results that meet your expectations.

Are you interested in training programs for the biceps that you can do without equipment?

BySteve Howard

How to Increase Muscle Strength: 4 WAYS

Using weight training to increase your muscle strength for another sport or for daily activities is the solution of choice. For a bodybuilding practitioner , wanting to increase their strength can also help unlock a period of stagnation. The problem ? Pushing weights without a method does little to help.

In theory, there are a number of ways to do this, but the idea is to focus on the best that is done. That’s why I’m going to give you 4 ways to increase muscle strength quickly and effectively. Inspired by powerlifting practitioners, strength specialists.

augmenter sa force poids musculation

Here is the summary:

Increasing muscle strength is not just a big deal

Who hasn’t heard that weight training is bloat?

Between a non-athletic person and a bodybuilder with a lot of muscle mass, it is obvious who will be stronger. However, we’ve all seen a video where a bodybuilder gets beaten up by a professional arm wrestler, even though he looks less muscular. People therefore deduce that weight training does not necessarily make you stronger.

The arm wrestling example is perfect, because indeed, the size of a muscle is not the first factor of strength . Much of it comes from the nervous system, the one that sends information to muscles to contract.

bras de fer échec

Indeed, the training of this professional will be oriented so as to become strong on this movement in particular. Not only by working the muscles requested during the effort, but also his technique, by repeating the same gestures over and over again.

This is how he strengthens, creates and learns to use the same nervous circuit . His nervous system will then be able to quickly and efficiently mobilize the muscle fibers .

Ultimately, the goal is the same, to work on your nervous system to increase your muscle strength . Therefore, the best way is weight training, but the way to practice it must be adapted.

Prepare before and during training to be strong

At first glance, if you are looking to increase your strength, then you need it for something in particular. Whether for a athlete or not, it is important to know that to get closer to your maximum potential, you have to prepare.

Indeed, many people throw themselves under the bars or start to practice their sport without warming up properly. It’s a bit like a car, which needs to be heated before you can enjoy it. Therefore, unprepared training can not only lead to injury, but also decrease its effectiveness.

Therefore, it is essential to follow a few steps. To know first of all its real performance, although part of it is also impacted by healthy living.

Warm up well to force yourself

échauffement musculation

Warming up isn’t all about injury prevention. It also helps to prepare the nervous system for a intense effort .

Take the test, load a squat bar at your usual workload without any warm-up. In this case, you will feel like the bar weighs a ton on top of your legs shaking. In fact, one way to know that the warm-up was insufficient is to see an increase in repetitions over the series on the same exercise. The nervous system was actually unprepared.

First, to warm up well, you can follow its steps:

  1. Global warming: to raise the body temperature thanks to a rower or walking for example.
  2. Warm up the muscles and joints: light, with exercises for the muscles that are going to be used. For example, to prepare on a bench press , it is necessary not only to warm up the pecs , but also the triceps , the biceps , deltoids and rotator cuff .
  3. Build up gradually: On the final exercise, do 2 to 3 sets before starting, gradually adding weight without getting tired.

The potentiation to gain muscle strength instantly

A little bonus for gaining strength immediately in a short period of time is to use potentiation . Indeed, it is possible to give yourself the illusion of wearing a bar lighter than usual by “fooling” your nervous system.

In theory, using an electro-stimulator is ideal for potenting your muscles (although I never had the opportunity to test). In practice, since it is rare to have access to this device, it is possible to do otherwise.

For this, several scenarios:

  • You want to temporarily gain strength on a classic series. For example a set of 10 reps: Before starting your sets, you can do 2 to 3 repetitions with a weight heavier than your workload.
  • You want to increase your strength for 1RM (one repetition maximum). In this case, just put heavier than your 1RM, say 120%, then maintain the weight 5 to 10 seconds, without movement. For example your 1RM bench press is 100kg, the idea is to put on 120kg to hold the bar at arm’s length without doing repetitions.

It is also possible to use potentiator exercises , such as heavy shrugs for the upper body and the press (or squat) for lower body.

The rest time too short

Sometimes the lack of strength can also come from rest periods .

Indeed, a bodybuilding practitioner can quickly stagnate on a polyarticular exercise in particular, if he does not give his nervous system time to recover sufficiently between two sets. Unlike the breath and the burning sensation, it’s hard to know when our nervous system is ready to resume effort.

A simple way to know if you need to lengthen your rest or not to regain your strength is to see a decrease in the number of repetitions over the sets. For information, rest times can easily go up to 5 or even 7 minutes if the goal is to increase your strength.

The execution of the exercise and the number of repetitions

To become strong, it is important to follow a few rules, especially about performing the exercise and repetitions. The main goal is not to be stamina or to gain muscle mass, but always to work on your nervous system. Therefore, it is important:

  • Perform a low number of repetitions with a load close to your max: 4 to 6 preferably up to 10 for the legs.
  • To work in explosive .

This is not about taking the negative, but rather taking advantage of the energy build-up on the descent to be stronger on the push (or pull). On the other hand, the use of a low repetition range, performed explosively, mobilizes the muscle fibers most appropriate for strength, especially the II-b fibers .

comparaison type fibre lente rapide musculation force masse endurance

A way of doing that is often found is 5 × 5, that is to say, do 5 sets of 5 repetitions while increasing the load at progressively, until it gets as close as possible to its max. In my opinion, this is a little too mathematical. The strength being mainly nervous, there are days when you will necessarily be less strong, more tired. Thus, the number of sets (or repetitions) will have to be adapted. The nervous system being put to the test, there is no need to go beyond its capacities on D-Day.

Of course, no need to remind you to do the polyarticular exercises where you have the most energy, ie at the start of the session.

4 ways to increase muscle strength for sure

So far, we have seen how to bring together all the conditions to get closer to its maximum potential. Now let’s talk about progression, that is, how to increase muscle strength .

Sometimes it is enough to analyze your movement to know its strengths and weaknesses.

Take the bench press, for example. Let’s say you’re about to do your maximum rep, you:

  1. Grab the bar.
  2. Lower the bar to chest level (so far that’s okay).
  3. Shoots, and there … it blocks. But it blocks at a particular moment, usually in the middle of the movement.

The conclusion we draw, you lack strength in a part of the movement and that is precisely the key. You have to vary the load so that the more you contract, the more difficult it is, to learn how to be stronger where it is needed.

A little difficult with free weights… That would mean you should have someone add more weight to the bar as you push. These are its drawbacks:

  • The resistance is always the same: on a bench press, the weight will be the same when stretching and contracting.
  • Free weights are subject to gravity: On a dumbbell curl, for example, the up and down movement will be easy, the hardest part being when the arms are parallel to the floor.

Fortunately, there are a number of tools and methods available for this. I preferred to keep 4, easy to apply.

Elastics, the holy grail for gaining muscle strength

To start let’s talk about rubber bands, this accessory that everyone should have. Inexpensive, does not take up space and is so efficient. I managed to catch up on weak spots and increase my strength in a few moves with this simple tool. The idea is to supplement the free weights with elastic bands.

Consequently, the advantages are multiple and we solve a lot of problems:

  • The resistance is variable : the more you contract, the more difficult it is (heavier), where it is generally the most interesting.
  • The accumulated energy on a fast negative is more important: the explosive work is much better.
  • We use more involuntary force thanks to the speed gain on the negative: the intensity of the exercise is increased.
hack squat musculation elastiques entrainement force

However, rubber bands cannot adapt to all exercises. Sometimes it is difficult to find an interesting attachment point or the rubber bands make the exercise too unstable (especially on the bar bench press).

Thus, the use of rubber bands is more appropriate for machines rather than on free loads.

Chains, an alternative to rubber bands

However, there is an alternative to overcome the instability problem. These are the chains.

Indeed, this is not to decorate or make the exercise impressive. The principle is actually the same as the rubber bands. That is to say that the more you contract, the more weight there will be (the links of the chain resting on the ground relieves the bar).

Unfortunately, it is not often to find chains in the weight room and the sensations are much less interesting than the rubber bands. What’s more, the chains can only be installed on bars and over again. For example, use on a deadlift may not be necessary, given the little resistance it offers at the top of the movement (most links will stay on the ground).

Partial amplitudes

Ok, let’s say you can’t add rubber bands or chains to your workout. There remains one solution, to make partial amplitudes .

As the name suggests, the goal is to work a fraction of the movement, so you can benefit from an overload without straining on the other part of the exercise. Therefore, it is interesting to analyze which part of the movement you are blocking. Then work where your nervous system is weak.

Let’s take the example of the bench press with a blockage in the middle of the movement. There are two solutions available to you:

  • Add wedges on the chest.
  • Settle into a squat rack by first adjusting the safety wedges.

Although in theory the method seems efficient, in my experience progress is still quite limited with this method. It allowed me to avoid “weak moments” on a move, without actually increasing my workloads.

My experience is still nothing but broscience … The best is to be skeptical and try. Note that it remains an inappropriate method for beginners. This can create muscle imbalances .

Stop And Go, Increase Muscle Strength and Speed ​​

If we are talking about hypertrophy, it is clear that this method is not at all suitable. However, for sports where you need to gain strength and speed , without weighing yourself down with a substantial muscle mass , it remains an effective method. Especially in combat sports, such as boxing.

Indeed, the objective of Stop And Go is to perform only the positive phase of the movement, as quickly as possible with a heavy load , without a negative phase. So there is a time out in between.

Take the bench press example, you:

  1. Grab the bar.
  2. Bring the bar up to chest level.
  3. Marks a 2/3 second dwell time.
  4. Shoots as quickly as possible.

Therefore, this method allows:

  • Not to benefit from the energy accumulation of the negative phase.
  • To have better psychomotor learning .

It is therefore an appropriate method for efforts requiring immediate force and speed. For example, when a boxer performs an uppercut, he does not gain momentum to build up energy. The movement must be direct.

For a bodybuilding practitioner, the Stop And Go also allows you to load up and be faster on the exercises afterwards. The effort is totally different. It is clear that at the beginning your movement will be slow and the fatigue will be felt quickly.

You are free to test and even combine the tools and methods. For example, do Stop And Go on partial amplitudes…