Category Archive Supplements

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

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.


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.


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

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.


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


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


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:


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.


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

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.


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

Polyarticular Exercise: List and Tips

There is so much bodybuilding exercise that you get a bit lost in it, so this article is only dedicated to polyarticular exercises (or basic). To save you time in your research, I have prepared a very complete exercise list , for each muscle group, to do indoors or at home !

exercice musculation squat lourd

If you are just starting out, no problem. You will know what it is, what are the advantages and disadvantages and how to integrate it all into your bodybuilding program, here is the summary:

What is a polyarticular exercise?

By definition, a polyarticular exercise is a movement that will mobilize several joints, and therefore, several muscles, unlike isolation exercises. This then explains why you will always be stronger on a polyarticular exercise.

In general, there are two schools in bodybuilding. Those who only practice the so-called basic exercises to build “functional muscle” and gain mass more quickly, on the other hand, those who favor isolation exercises to gain weight. muscle where they want it .

As I often say, in bodybuilding we have a lot of tools and methods of work. That said, the goal is to find what suits us and not what works for your neighbor, because there is a very high chance of not having the same results.

Let’s take a look at its advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages

Overall, it is true that polyarticular exercises are more effective for building strength and building muscle mass. In fact, the muscles are used more on a basic movement than on isolation, and who says better muscle solicitation means more results.

As far as strength is concerned, again the polyarticular exercises score a big point. It is obvious that you will be able to handle larger loads and therefore have better muscle hypertrophy . The force being essentially nervous, the nervous system will be exploited much more if several muscles interact. Consequently, the muscles then learn to work in synergy, hence the famous terms of “functional muscle”, in reality there are no “false muscles”, only muscles which manage to work together for a given movement. .

In terms of intensity, it’s obvious that it’s day and night with an isolation exercise. The more muscles that interact with the movement (in addition to a heavy load!), The more strenuous and tiring the exercise will be, therefore more calories will be burned . For example, the exercise of choice: the deadlift. It is an extremely intense exercise which mobilizes a lot of muscle group, from the calves to the forearms, as much to say to you that if you are an “ectomorph” like me and that you have difficulty to gain weight , such intense exercises like this replace a cardio session.

To summarize, here are the advantages of polyarticular exercises in outline:

  • Better muscle recruitment
  • Strength development (nervous system)
  • Intensity of exercise (consumes a lot of calories)

The disadvantages

After seeing the benefits, it is clear that you may be tempted to ban isolation movements and only do polyarticular exercises. Even though poly should be the mainstay of your weight training program, over time, it’s obvious that it will handicap you if you go for it with your head down.

If you practice bodybuilding for an “aesthetic” purpose (which is probably the case), you should know that an aesthetic physique is above all a harmonious physique . I can tell you, for example, that having really big arms without shoulders is much less impressive than a medium arm with medium shoulders.

As we have seen previously, a polyarticular exercise engages several muscles , take the bench press for example. Normally, as you know, this is a basic exercise that primarily recruits the pectorals and secondarily the shoulders and triceps . On paper, it’s great! it is enough to do the bench press to have pecs, but in practice, it is something else … I did not take this example at random, because it was my case.

For a long time I believed that if I stepped up, I was going to get big pecs, and if I didn’t, I was doing it wrong. The reality is simply that my body type is not suitable for this polyarticular movement and that I did not know how to use my pecs on this exercise. The more I picked up the load, the bigger my shoulders.

Result, more than a year without working the shoulders which took all the work of the pecs, and more than a year of motor training on isolation movements to know how to properly contract my pecs .

Consequently, your genetics, your morphology and your sporting background will have an influence on polyarticular exercises, in your favor or against you. Usually if you have trouble feeling the target muscle, that’s a bad sign.

To summarize, here are the disadvantages of a polyarticular exercise :

  • Muscle imbalance at term
  • Risk of movement unsuited to its morphology

Structure your bodybuilding program intelligently

The message is always the same, bodybuilding is above all knowing yourself to build your program from exercises, methods and tools adapted to your situation. Polyarticular exercises are clearly a priority, only when they are useful.

Once again, if you’re doing strength training to achieve a great and harmonious physique, you’ll need to go through a fair amount of isolation exercises. Indeed, not only is the isolation used to “learn” to use a particular muscle, but also to recruit portions that are difficult to develop in polyarticular exercises.

For example, this is often the case with deltoids , the posterior deltoid is generally less developed than the lateral deltoid and even less than the anterior deltoid, so no need to strive for an exercise polyarticular to have a “full” shoulder.

musculation entrainement intelligent

When to use a polyarticular exercise?

In reality, this is a difficult question to answer, as it will be unique to everyone. As seen previously, it is mainly a question of morphology for basic movements. If you are not too experienced, a few precautions can help you know whether or not you should continue to focus on a particular polyarticular exercise, namely that the earlier you do it, the better. is.

Should you continue?

The list is not exhaustive, but the main one is there. If on these points you validate all four, a priori there is a good chance that this polyarticular exercise will be done for you:

  • Burning sensation on the targeted muscle
  • Muscle congestion
  • Increase in workloads (over 3 to 6 months)
  • Evolution of the physique (measurements, photos …)

Should we stop?

Unfortunately, not all exercises are right for you. The signs that can alert you to a polyarticular exercise to avoid are the following:

  • Abnormal pain
  • Stagnation or regression of charges
  • Difficulty feeling the target muscle
  • Difficulty congesting
  • secondary muscles that grow more than the target muscle

For all the polyarticular exercises that suit you, knowing that they are energy-intensive exercises, place them preferably at the start of the session.

What to do if polyarticular exercise isn’t right for you

Don’t worry, all is not lost. With time and a little work, it is possible to do the polyarticular exercises that were not suitable for you before. However, it can be quite frustrating at first to focus solely on motor learning, but it’s a job that pays off in the long run.

Once you have determined which muscles are reluctant on polyarticular exercises in particular, you will have to use methods, tools and exercises to overcome this problem, we find:

  • Isolation exercises
  • Methods of intensification
  • Bodybuilding accessories

Let’s take a quick look at the subject, I will devote specific articles to it.

Isolation exercise

The isolation exercise is the first solution for motor learning , especially if you are just starting out.

machine musculation isolation jambes quadriceps ischios

The way of training will be different. You should neither seek to gain strength or mass, only focus on muscle contraction and maintain it for a long time. Also, do not be afraid to do a lot of repetitions, 20, 30 even going as far as doing the famous series of 100 . Normally, congestion is not the only factor that stimulates muscle growth, but should always be sought after.

Isolation exercises are not traumatic for the joints, they allow you to recover quickly and increase your training frequency during the week. Due to lack of time, this can sometimes be used as a warm-up.

Methods of intensification

There are many method of intensifying bodybuilding . As a beginner, they are not to be prioritized at first.

If you have some experience, you can start using these two techniques:

  • Pre-fatigue : Begin with an isolation exercise to tire the targeted muscle and follow with a polyarticular exercise without resting time.
  • Post-fatigue : Conversely, you can start with a basic exercise, and when your secondary muscles take over, you follow up with an isolation exercise.

In order to know which technique to use, it is best to test. Indeed, it is possible to have the opposite effect to what you are looking for, that is to say, to increase the work on the secondary muscles.

In general, pre-fatigue works well on small muscles: biceps, triceps, shoulders and calves , while post-fatigue will be more suitable for large muscles: pectorals , back, thighs and buttocks .

There are of course other more advanced methods. They remain, in my opinion, the most interesting for learning to contract a muscle on a polyarticular exercise in particular.

Bodybuilding accessories

Sometimes, using a weight training accessory can be enough, to help recruit the target muscle in a polyarticular exercise .

elastique développé couché machine exercice polyarticulaire musculation

For example, it can also be the case on pulling movements, such as chin-ups . In this case, pull straps (or straps) limit the intervention of the forearms. The work then becomes more efficient for the back muscles , in addition to gaining strength. I particularly like the 8-shaped pull straps.

Here is a list of strength training accessories, which can help you with polyarticular movements:

  • Elastic
  • Fat grip
  • Straps
  • Weightlifting shoes
  • Occlusion band
  • Bowtie…

Polyarticular exercise list for each muscle group

Finally, I will give you a list of polyarticular exercises, to be performed in the gym or at home with little equipment .

On some exercises, there are a number of variations. However, these are negligible details when you start, it is mainly about comfort.


  • Lumberjack draw
  • Rowing Yates
  • Horizontal pulley pull
  • High-Row
  • Low-Row
  • Pronation pull-ups
  • Pulley chest pull
  • Deadlift


  • Bench press
  • Dips
  • Inclined press
  • Pumps
  • Developed declined


  • Supine pull-ups
  • Vertical pulley supine pull


  • Tight grip bench press
  • Dips
  • Diamond pumps


  • Military development
  • Standing rowing


  • Squat
  • Front squat
  • Hack squat
  • Slip slots
  • Bulgarian squat
  • Squat cup
  • Deadlift semi-straight legs
  • Leg press
  • Leg raises


Of course, most exercises can be done with dumbbells , barbell or directly on a machine . In short, you just need to understand the movement and use your imagination to adapt it to the material you have available.

Regarding forearms, calves or abdominals, there is no grassroots movement. Therefore, the specific exercises to do for these muscle groups will be covered in an article dedicated to isolation exercises. However, these muscles will still be used in most basic movements.

If you want me to dwell on a particular exercise, you can let me know in the comments, I will also devote a whole article to it.

BySteve Howard

How to do a Personalized Bodybuilding Program?

If you are looking for a personalized weight training program , it is undoubtedly that you are starting out and as a beginner you have a mountain of questions: Where to start? What exercise? How many repetitions? … I reassure you, no need to train 7 days a week to explode everything in 3 months. The only mistake: Copy a bodybuilding program to the letter and cross your fingers to get results.

musculation curl biceps

I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that the perfect bodybuilding program and miracle exercises does not exist. The good news is that if you’ve been looking to get a workout schedule, it’s because you want to structure your strength training sessions so as not to let things happen and that’s a huge deal. step forward.

Save your energy and follow this guide step by step. You will know how to make your own personalized weight training program .

Here is the summary:

Going for a strength training program to get big results and fast is not the right approach in my opinion. I like to say that weight training is a marathon and indeed, you really have to be very patient if you want big results. Be aware of what you are asking your body to: build muscle ! And training is nothing more or less than a way to “break down fiber” (to rebuild with food and rest, bigger muscle ).

The right approach is to have a personalized program for:

  • Avoid injury
  • Stay motivated and have fun
  • Do productive sessions to progress
  • Adapt it according to your strengths / weaknesses

So no need to do the latest trendy exercise. It is not for you to adapt to the program, but rather to the program to adapt to you and to your situation.

On what basis to make a custom program?

Beyond your level, you must first take into account your genetics to build a solid personalized bodybuilding program . We are not all starting from the same point. You will not progress at the same speed and you will not be as receptive as someone else to a given type of training .

génétique musculation

Your genetics give you the first clues to answer the following questions:

  • Which exercise?
  • How many sets / reps?
  • And the number of sessions per week?
  • How much rest time to take?
  • When to change your bodybuilding program?

The art of choosing your exercises according to your morphology

By far the most important part of your weight training program. The morphology is the number 1 pillar for having a square personalized bodybuilding program , efficient and optimized. If your goal is to develop your physique you have this enormous chance to choose the exercises .

Knowing how to train according to your body type means avoiding (or delaying) pathologies and selecting exercises that are effective for you.

You will understand, no need to copy the neighbor. Your levers will not be the same. The length of the limbs, the muscles, everything comes into account. This will have an impact on the stretching tension and contraction of a muscle during exercise but also its development capacity, for example it will be more difficult to make meat on a short calf rather than a long calf.

anatomie morphologie musculation

I’m not hiding from you that it will take a little experience to get to know yourself, but the earlier you do it, the faster you will progress.

This answers the question: Which strength training exercise to choose?

I would like to thank Frédéric Delavier and Michael Gundill, two French authors who were the first to popularize this approach to bodybuilding. Their books have given me so much that I can only recommend them to you, especially the Delavier method of bodybuilding 2 (and 3).

Recovery: determine the number of sessions

The speed of recovery from one session to another varies according to your genetics, your age, your pace and lifestyle … Although too often neglected for fear of “melting” or regressing, recovery is nevertheless l ‘one of the pillars of progress.

By the way, recovery is not just a matter of waiting until you have not been able to have aches, in fact, the muscle does not recover at the same speed as the joints, for example. Let’s see the different recoveries together:

  • Energetic: Have fishing for the next session – 1/2 days.
  • Muscle: Rebuild and ready to cash again – 1 to 2 days depending on muscle group.
  • Hormonal: Limit hormonal disturbances (increase in cortisol…) – 2 days.
  • Nervous system: Maintain strength and efficiency – 5 to 10 days depending on the intensity of the session.
  • Articular / tendon: Avoid ending up with tendonitis or other pathologies.

récupération sommeil

Recovery times are approximate, so it’s best to ignore this too much. In short, recovery gives the first clues to determine the number of sessions per week, in order to have a TRUE personalized bodybuilding program and to avoid being counterproductive.

Note that it will be difficult to change mother nature. You will only be able to take care of your lifestyle (food, sleep, rest…).

Knowing your limits will come with time. This may answer the question: How many weight training sessions per week?

Types of muscle fibers: how many repetitions?

Definitely, the body is a complex machine! There are several types of muscle fibers (or myocyte), each of which has a use. To be precise, there are 3:

  • Fiber I (slow)
  • Fiber II a (fast)
  • Fiber II b (fast)

Therefore, muscles will not be composed in the same way from one individual to another, whether it is the type of fiber, but also their number.

This is why we often find in bodybuilding programs a number of repetitions ranging from 8 to 12 to be executed in explosives. This range of reps and the explosiveness of the movement would make it possible to use mostly fiber type II to develop your physique, because they are the most voluminous.

Here is a table to compare the types of muscle fibers:

comparaison type fibre lente rapide musculation force masse endurance

Determine the repetition ranges of your bodybuilding exercises

Wanting to use this type of fiber in bodybuilding at all costs can slow you down in your progress. Usually we are 50/50 dialed (except the champions, the lucky ones!) But it will be different from muscle to muscle. If I take my example, there is a good chance that my triceps are denser in fiber II while my quadriceps are denser in fiber I. Indeed, I had much better results for my thighs by performing a lot more repetitions (and sets) with a less explosive movement.

I still want to reassure you! The human body is so well designed that it is possible to “change” the fiber I / II ratio just by going to weight training and training intelligently . Anyway, if you are starting out you will not be able to know if you are receptive to such training, it will take you several months / year to know yourself and modify this ratio. You just have to take this into account so as not to imitate the training of a champion.

This may answer the question: How many reps to do?

The nervous system: how many sets, determine rest times and know when to change exercise

The nervous system is the human body’s information highway, sending and receiving messages. It is precisely the somatic nervous system that interests us today, because it is it that allows you to control your muscles .

In other words, if you have a concrete nervous system, you will be strong and powerful, because you will be able to mobilize neurons quickly and in large numbers to activate the maximum of muscle fibers . And yes, strength is in the head and the size of a muscle is not the only factor (of course, big arms will always be stronger than thin ones …).

If I have to use a metaphor, having a lot of muscle mass and a wobbly nervous system is like having a Lamborghini with a Twingo engine. You are in a way “restrained” by your SN.

Wanting to build up a lot of muscle mass Without taking into account your nervous system can be disabling in the long term. Some beginners will have a more efficient basic nervous system than others. This can come not only from your genetics , but also from your sporting past .

système nerveux musculation

Why take an interest in the nervous system to create a personalized weight training program?

Well for 2 reasons:

First, to fix your rest time and the number of repetitions / sets / exercises .

Indeed, there is no point in wanting to do a lot if you can’t take it. Here is yet another reason not to copy the program of an experienced person, because it is a safe bet that you will be content to count your sets and your repetitions without really giving intensity , having, moreover, times of rest not adapted to your capacity of recovery between series. Better 3 intense sets than 5 normal sets.

Second, to know how long to keep your program and when to change your exercise

No! A program does not change every 3 months to “shock the muscle”. Once you have selected an exercise that suits you, you should do it as long as possible (it can be counted in years) to:

  • Learn and use the same nervous circuit
  • Create new neural connections
  • Thicken neural connections

This explains why we take more from session to session when we select a new exercise and that we “feel” to have done a productive job and it is precisely the opposite, it is simply that we were “constrained” by the nervous system, the time it adapts what …

A sharp drop in the number of repetitions from one set to another is a sign of an exhausted nervous system, better stop there and move on to another exercise, you will know the number of sets to do for the next time.

A drop in performance from week to week with a loss of desire to exercise is often indicative of a burnt out nervous circuit, in which case it is time to change exercise (for his bodybuilding program).

Choose a training strategy before doing your personalized bodybuilding program

A bodybuilding program must be personalized to be adapted to its genetics , but also to its rhythm of life. The questions to ask yourself before wanting to write your bodybuilding program are as follows:

  • Do I do weight training at home or in the gym?
  • What equipment do I have available?
  • How much time per day can I spend?
  • How many sessions per week can I do?

Indeed, you will unfortunately have to put aside some things, but that does not prevent you from having the most optimized program possible to achieve your goals! As we will see, there are different training strategies , each with their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s see which one to choose in your case.


Full body

The Full Body consists of working the whole body in a single session. This type of training allows you to train 1 to 4 times a week.

At first glance, this ideal air training regimen, as it easily multiplies his training frequency (per week). Although it is often seen as the ” beginner’s program “, it doesn’t have to be, it is very often the opposite.

In which case to choose the full body?

The full body is best if you want to train 1 to 3 times a week , note that a full body session lasts on average 1h30 to 2h. It allows you to have flexibility in organizing your week. Indeed, if you miss a session, you can fit it another day or even miss a workout without worrying about not having worked all of your muscles during the week. Be sure to work the larger muscle groups (thighs, pectorals, back) at the start of the session and change the order of the exercises at each workout for better management of the effort. If you’re clearly low on energy, better wait until the next day. In any case, within each session a minimum day of rest!

Half Body

The Half body consists of working the upper body in one session then the lower body in another. Therefore, it is up to you to choose whether you can train 1h30 to 2h, 2 to 4 times a week.

When to choose the Half Body?

Personally, it’s a way of working that I approve of and still use to this day. As with the Full Body, the Half body also allows you to have a flexible program , according to the schedule of the week. It is therefore easy to put in a missed session or even add a fifth if you want to focus on certain muscles .

The big advantage is the working balance between the upper and lower body. We often find two types of people, those who have more facility to develop the top rather than the bottom (which is my case) and vice versa. The recovery of the thighs between two workouts is quite long, the two sessions can allow you to focus on the quadriceps during one training and the hamstrings the other day, it’s a very efficient and less trying way of doing things than putting everything in the same training.

PPL (Push Pull Legs)

As its name suggests, the PPL groups exercises by movement category:

  • Push (pecs, shoulders, triceps)
  • Pull-up (Back, biceps)
  • Legs (thighs and calves)

In which case to choose the PPL?

In short, if you are limited to 3 bodybuilding sessions per week (1h30), it is preferable. Despite the lack of flexibility compared to full body, Push Pull Legs allows you to manage your energy (and your nervous system) much better, thus making sessions more productive. As with the Half Body, it is easy to add a workout to emphasize certain muscle groups, such as your weak points .


The best way to have a most personalized program possible . Split (which means “divided”) generally allows you to organize your workouts in order to focus on one or two muscle groups per session.

When to choose Split?

As I said before, this is “usually” how it is done. At least from what I can see, a lot of people use Split to “flatten” and “club” a muscle to the last fiber. Divide to divide, without considering its goals, strengths and weaknesses reap the benefits of this strategy. Some days you can work 3 muscle groups, others just one. Some muscles will be worked only once a week, others several … The number of sets and exercises can be adjusted according to the mood of the day. So it’s up to you to manage, according to:

  • your strengths / weaknesses,
  • your recovery capacity
  • your available time.

Therefore, the Split is right for you if you want the personalized weight training program as square as possible . Of course, you will need a little experience, to make some adjustments over the weeks. However, it’s up to you if you can train more than 4 days a week.

Build your personalized body-building program in 3 steps

Now that you have the basics of your bodybuilding routine, it’s time to complete it! It’s hard to know in advance what you can do, especially if you are a beginner . To start a personalized weight training program as quickly as possible, you have to go step by step.

Step 1: Test the exercises (2 weeks)

As we could see in the previous chapter, the exercises must be (above all) selected in relation to its morphology. However, it is quite difficult as a beginner to analyze yourself and know what to choose

Note that it is much easier to analyze yourself in a photo than in front of a mirror.

I recommend that you do the “tourist” for two weeks, to test exercises . To do this, plan 3 days a week, with a Full Body as a training base to be able to test six exercises per muscle at the end of the 14 days. The idea is to select only one exercise per muscle group , preferably polyarticular .

Finally, just take stock to find out which ones are right for you (or not). Your choice will be on exercises which:

  • Gives you a good feeling (burning sensation on the targeted muscle …)
  • Does not cause you any discomfort or abnormal pain (for example, pain in the front of the shoulder on an incline curl …)

To have a list of exercises (by muscle group) and examples of workouts, I have prepared a file with examples of strength training programs starting in PDF for you.

Strength exercises to avoid

Finally, first avoid polyarticular exercises which are quite technical, where, moreover, morphology plays an important role. We find in particular the 3 exercises performed in powerlifting: the bench press, the squat and the deadlift.

However, if you are limited by the choice of exercises, or if you simply want to perform them out of desire, here are some recommendations to overcome bad morphological predispositions:

  • Bench press: If you have a thin rib cage and long arms, you can add thickness to your chest, or simply limit the amplitude, so as not to over-stretch the pecs ( broken parallel).
  • Squat: If you have long legs, you can raise your heels with a wedge or weightlifting shoes, to prevent your back from leaning too far forward. In addition, you can also limit the amplitude, usually you have to go up when you feel discomfort, which can also be due to a lack of flexibility of the ankles.
  • Deadlift: If you have short arms (and worse, long legs), you can limit range of motion with a squat rack and perform a ‘sumo’ deadlift, using flat-soled shoes is a plus, your back will thank you.

Step 2: Write your final bodybuilding program

Now that you know your routine, you must now determine the number of sets , repetitions and rest times . Of course, the program is not set in stone and must evolve as you progress.

As for the repetitions, you can base yourself on these repetition ranges:

  • Chest / back: 8 to 12 repetitions
  • Arms / shoulders: 10 to 15 repetitions
  • Thighs / calves: 15 to 20 repetitions
  • Abs: 25 to 30 repetitions

Regarding the number of series , you must refer to the first chapter (concerning the nervous system), that is to say, stop as soon as your performance drops, while keeping some juice for the rest of the session.

And finally, the rest times. Usually, we often hear rest times ranging from 1 minute 30 to 2 minutes. You can fix your rest times by getting closer to its values ​​at first. You can know when to resume thanks:

  • Getting your breath back
  • At the end of this localized burning sensation.

As a reminder, one in four failed series still represents 1/4 of shoddy work. Better to focus on the intensity of the exercise rather than the number of repetitions, even if it means doing 17 or 5 rather than 10.

Step 3: Follow your progress and anticipate the change of bodybuilding program

It’s all good, you’re ready to push! More than concentrating under the bars and letting the time do things.

Now that you know where you are going, don’t forget to keep an eye on your progress so you don’t get lost. So you can:

  • Preserve your motivation
  • Anticipate changes in exercise, program or even training method

In bodybuilding, tracking your progress is more effective than setting goals .

I want to gain 4kg of muscle in a year!

Difficult to predict the future … It answers the question “what” and not the question “how”. The objectives must be set on the very short term (from one training session to another) and not over the long term:

I will try to add 5kg on this exercise!

Why not do one more set?

What if I took less time off?

Here is what you can act on.

Use indicators of progress

Long term, you have to use indicators to track your progress and there are a ton of them! The idea is not to calculate everything down to the millimeter, but to keep the ones that we think are consistent and easy to follow. Here are a few:

  • Body weight
  • Fat (comparison in photo)
  • Load used
  • Number of repetitions
  • Number of sets
  • Rest time
  • Measurements…

It’s something that takes seconds, seconds that will save you months or even years of results for the less organized.

Obviously, you don’t have to look every day to see the slightest sign of progress. The right way is to take stock either monthly or quarterly, this is ideal for seeing noticeable changes and anticipating if something goes wrong. (For example: photos, measurements and weighing every month + note taking at each training).

The progress indicators that I use

Personally, I am still closely monitoring my progress and from experience not doing it is a disaster:

  • Loss of motivation
  • Stagnation see regression

It becomes a vicious circle… The loss of motivation will make you regress and the regression will make you lose even more motivation.

I use a lot of indicators to follow my progress, the most important:

  • Workloads
  • The measurements
  • My body weight / fat ratio

Here is an example of progress tracking for my thighs, I took the two biggest exercises:

How do I interpret the results?

I have a specific goal in my follow-up:

  • Change exercise at the right time: I correlate the loads used and my measurements . If I notice a stagnation or even a regression of the loads used AND the measurements over three months, I change.
  • Changing my eating habits: I analyze the body weight / fat ratio. If I put on pounds and too much fat at the same time, I take it easy. On the contrary, my body weight drops, I gasp. In the best case, my body weight increases without gaining fat, I stay in freewheel.

As you can see, my measurements have only increased over a year. It was the same for my performances (Series, rehearsal and workload). It was then unnecessary to change the exercise, only a few corrections to the exercise itself (highlighted in yellow), for a matter of comfort.

After a year my motivation and progress suddenly dropped, so did my measurements (as shown in the graph). I was able to anticipate to change exercises.

There can also be a correlation between an increase in measurements and body weight, which results in muscle gain. Nevertheless, to be taken with a grain of salt, especially on fatty areas.

BySteve Howard

How to make a Home Gainer?

If you want to gain mass , the Homemade Gainer can be useful. Besides, doing it yourself will be a lot more interesting than buying “out of the box” Gainers.

The most interested are mainly people who have trouble gaining weight and who want to gain muscle mass . That said, it’s a far too overrated dietary supplement for my liking (probably for the name), easy to sell to the less informed.

However, we must admit that in some cases, the Gainer can give a good boost to gain mass . The problem is knowing exactly what to put in it, to make the right Gainer for your situation, your goals and when to take it?

gainer maison

Before going into the kitchen, let’s take it step by step. Here is the summary:

What is a Bodybuilding Gainer?

It is important to remember that a Gainer is neither more nor less than a source of protein mixed with carbohydrates .

This makes gainer, an ideal high calorie snack , almost complete, easy to consume and carry.

And this is where you have to be careful! The quality of the ingredients (protein and carbohydrate) used in most of the Gainers on the market are low end. It will mainly be a simple whey concentrate with sugar, a lot of sugar, a cheap ingredient that sells for a high price. We therefore end up with a low-end, expensive gainer, with a protein / carbohydrate ratio that is far from optimal.

In the end, the promise will be kept. You will gain weight quickly, sure, but not the “right weight”. Only a little muscle for a lot of fat .

A quick note for thin people: when you’re just starting out and want to start weight gain, you neglect food and say to yourself “I have a lot of leeway”. Do not fall into this trap. Be patient and do not hide fat. It’s not aesthetic, it’s not the best level of health and it’s harder to lose it.

Make your house gainer, a safe bet!

Right now, making your Gainer home is the best solution. We inhibit (almost) all the disadvantages of a market gainer.

  • The choice of ingredients: you will be free to choose the source of protein and carbohydrate . The best for making a tailor-made Gainer (with, for example, a higher or lower glycemic index depending on when it is taken).
  • The price: it will come back to you in any case cheaper per kilo.
  • The quality: it will be difficult to do worse than a traditional Gainer.
  • The protein / carbohydrate ratio: As with the choice of ingredients, you can adjust the quantities, according to your nutritional needs . Some will need more protein than carbohydrate and vice versa.

Do you need to get a homemade Gainer?

Before taking Gainers, it is necessary to know if you really need them.

The Gainer is an easy to carry snack and allows you to multiply your meals, so it can help you reach your goals more easily if:

  • You have trouble eating or you are not eating enough.
  • You are often on the go and want to have a complete snack that is quick to consume.

In both cases, it is necessary to take stock of your diet before going any further. Nutrition is just one of the factors that promote muscle (re) construction. If your diet is already on top, but your training and your rest are totally random, then sheathing it will be a waste of money .

So you are probably asking yourself the question:

And how do I know if my diet is sufficient?

The subject is way too broad to cover everything in this article, but I will still give you the basics of sports nutrition and a method to know more or less your nutritional needs.

Sports nutrition basics

I will popularize as much as possible, this subject will be covered in detail in another article.

To have a balanced diet and adapted, it is important that your meals give you enough macronutrients and micronutrients to your body in the day.


Three in number, we find:

collation musculation

  • The proteins (4kcal / gr): Necessary to build muscle (BUT NOT THAT). The quality of the protein will depend in part on its aminogram (number of amino acids) and its biological value .
  • Carbohydrates (4kcal / gr): Used as the main source of energy by your body. (BUT NOT ONLY). The choice will be based on their glycemic index (more or less rapid sugar).
  • lipids (9kcal / gr): For the proper functioning of your body . (BUT NOT ONLY). Some fats are essential, others should be avoided and avoided.

This is really the minimum to remember.


Micronutrients are all vitamins and minerals. Also vital for the functioning of your body, the homemade gainer will give you unlike a gainer on the market.

Calculate your nutritional needs

Calorie needs will be different depending on your gender, your daily activity, your metabolism, your current weight, your age… I prefer to count macronutrients rather than calories. Look at the table to help you with your calculations:
Average values ​​for a bodybuilding practitioner :

Protein: 1.5 to 2gr / kg of body weight
Carbohydrate: 4 to 5gr / kg of body weight
Lipid: 1 to 1.5gr / kg of body weight

Example for a man who weighs 70 kg:
Protein: 2 x 70 = 140gr
Carbohydrate: 5 x 70 = 350gr
Fat: 1 x 70 = 70 gr

Daily Calories: (140 x 4Kcal) + (350 x 4Kcal) + (70 x 9Kcal) = 2590Kcal

After your calculation, you just need to write down how much you eat per day for a week and how much. At the end of the week, calculate the macronutrients (per day) and take an average. You can go directly to this site to find the nutritional values ​​of foods or directly use the MyFitnessPal application.

Even if you’re in the nails, try to incorporate a gainer during the day to have excess calories , for a good month. Take stock at the end to see any change.
You can use two indicators like your weight and your body fat . For a beginner, you should set a gap of about 2kg max per month. Beyond that you will make way too much fat over time. In this case, there is no need to take Gainers .

Note also that on days without physical activity, your body will not burn as many calories as on other days. If you practice other sports such as boxing where body weight is an important factor, it is best to match your daily calorie needs to your expenses. It allows you to gain strength without gaining a lot of weight.

If you clearly lack carbohydrate and / or protein during the day then you can move on to make your homemade gainer !

Choose the ingredients for your homemade gainer

Now is the time to play the cook, or rather the mathematician! The gainer must meet the following conditions:

  • Easy to transport
  • Quickly consumable
  • Complete

I know some people don’t necessarily like using “powder” as a source of protein. To satisfy everyone, I will give different homemade gainer recipes , with or without food supplement, but also for vegans . Gainers are in most cases in the form of protein shake .

In my experience, certain recipes and dosages are to be favored at certain times of the day. I’ll share this with you right away.

Choose your protein source

there is so much to say that it’s hard to get into everything here, I’ll keep it simple. If you are not lactose intolerant, go for ” whey ” (from milk). Here’s what to avoid:

  • Whey concentrate: cheaper but not a great composition
  • Hydrolyzate: It’s expensive and it digests (too) quickly. It can be interesting to take after a session. Some people tolerate it, for others it causes digestive problems (diarrhea …).

Isolate works well, see your budget. Casein is best if you have your snack before going to bed (digest slowly).

Personally I attach great importance to the ingredients that make up whey . The less, the better. I especially avoid sweeteners like Acesulfame-K which is present in most protein powders .

shaker musculation

If you are lactose intolerant, you may want to go for egg protein , an excellent source of protein, but more expensive. Meat protein should be avoided given the quality of the raw materials used.

If you are a vegetarian, you can use vegetable protein from soy or hemp. Namely that their anabolic potential will be much less than those of animal origin.
Regarding tastes, stay on safe values ​​(chocolate and vanilla), the rest quickly becomes disgusting. Even better, if you can stand the neutral taste, go for it! It is often cheaper and without sweeteners.

Keep in mind that taste and miscibility are not quality criteria for a protein powder , it is often the opposite. A good tasting protein powder that mixes well should alert you to the possible presence of additives or other unnecessary components.

Make your homemade Gainer without Whey

Of course, you can make your own homemade Gainer without whey, the downside is that it costs (much) more. The composition of food is not as good as that of food supplements and digestion is slower. Here are some protein-rich foods that are easy to transport and consume:

Of animal origin: Grison, dried beef, dried turkey, tuna in brine (canned), milk …

The meats are generally very salty. Compare products to avoid as much salt as possible and don’t consume too much.

Of plant origin: Spirulina, soya, (oleaginous fruits) …

Vegetable proteins are generally less interesting than animal proteins.

  • Spirulina is rich in protein but excessively expensive.
  • The oilseeds do not give the freedom to manage macronutrients, the balance is tilted in the side of lipids.
  • soy spills a lot of ink. The presence of isoflavones could have estrogenic effects (and therefore lower testosterone levels). Although some people disagree, you should still be careful about your soy intake.

Choose your source of carbohydrate

The homemade gainer offers the possibility of choosing a food with a higher or lower glycemic index (something impossible with a traditional gainer).

Simply put, the glycemic index tells you how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels, they are often called fast or slow sugars.

In most cases, “slow sugars” (low glycemic index) will be preferred. There is no point in wanting to increase your blood sugar quickly if it is not used. In this case, the insulin (hormone) will regulate blood sugar levels in the blood , most of the excess will be stored as fat.

Here is a list of foods with their glycemic index (GI), some examples:

  • top: Bread, cakes, soda, syrup, baked potato, rice (quick cooking), candy…
  • medium: Banana, honey, sweet potato, wholemeal paste, rice…
  • bottom: Oats, al dente paste, lentil, beans…

Note also that the type of cooking, the temperature and the processing of the food greatly influences its GI. For example, basmati rice cooked quickly and having had time to cool does not have the same GI as rice cooked quickly and served hot.

In any case, I recommend these two foods to compose a homemade sheather : oats (flake or powder) for a low / medium GI and ripe banana for a medium / high GI.
From experience and after numerous tests, I mainly compose my homemade oatmeal Gainers.

I replace oats with 2 or 3 bananas if I have the snack after my weight training . Since glycogen stores are low after a workout, the banana GI can quickly give the body what it needs.

Choose your source of lipid

To have a complete Home Gainer , it is best to add a source of fat to your snack. Very caloric , a good handful of almonds, walnuts or cashews will do the trick.

I only advise against adding fat if the gainer is consumed after weight training, as it will slow down digestion, the opposite of what you are looking for.

Be careful not to take any roasted / salted nuts or almonds.

Make a success of your homemade gainer: Recipe and dosage

To make it easier for you, I will give you the recipes and dosages I use to make my homemade Gainers . The oilseeds have almost the same values, you can replace those in the tables while keeping the same dosages. Remember to adjust the amounts according to your needs and the number of meals / snacks you eat per day.

Winning express house: When you don’t have time

Simple recipes to make a gross house sheathing mat , to do when you’re in a hurry. It’s far from a feast, but it’s quick to make and very complete.
When to take it: between meals, in the morning or an hour before training.

Dosage (approximately):

  • 60% carbohydrate
  • 25% protein
  • 15% lipid

With food supplement:

You can replace whey with another protein such as egg protein, the nutritional values ​​are almost the same.

Amount Carbohydrate Protein Fat Kcal
Vanilla powdered oats 100 gr 67 gr 14 gr 6 gr 402 Kcal
Pure native vanilla whey 15 gr 1 gr 13 gr 0 gr 56 Kcal
1 handful of almonds 20 gr 2 gr 4 gr 11 gr 127 Kcal
TOTAL 70 gr 31 gr 17 gr 585 Kcal
59% 26% 14%

Without protein powder:

You can replace the grison with another meat (dried beef…)


Quantity Carbohydrates Proteins Lipids Kcal
Vanilla powdered oats 100gr 67gr 14gr 402Kcal
Grison meat 30gr 0gr 11gr 2gr 60Kcal
1 handful of almonds 20gr 4gr 11gr 127Kcal
TOTAL 69gr 29gr 19gr 589Kcal
59% 25% 16%
Quantity Carbohydrates Protein Lipids Kcal
Banana (small / medium) 3 72gr 5gr 0gr 324Kcal
Grison meat 50gr 0gr 19gr 3gr 101Kcal
1 large handful of almonds 25gr 2gr 5gr 13gr 159Kcal
TOTAL 74gr 29gr 16gr 584Kcal
62% 24% 13%



Quantity Carbohydrates Proteins Lipids Kcal
Vanilla powdered oats 100gr 67gr 14gr 402Kcal
Hemp protein 25gr 4gr 12gr 3gr 103Kcal
1 handful of almonds 20gr 4gr 11gr 127Kcal
TOTAL 73gr 30gr 20gr 632Kcal
59% 24% 16%


Quantity Carbohydrates Proteins Lipids Kcal
Vanilla powdered oats 100gr 67gr 14gr 402Kcal
Soy protein 15gr 0gr 13gr 1gr 58Kcal
1 handful of almonds 20gr 4gr 11gr 127Kcal
TOTAL 69gr 31gr 18gr 587Kcal
58% 26% 15%

Home gain post-workout: for rapid muscle recovery

This homemade gainer is to be taken after a good weight training session. The stores of muscle glycogen are low and the protein + carbohydrate combination is excellent for secreting a lot of insulin. Glucose will get to the muscles faster. I deliberately removed the lipids so as not to slow down digestion. Bananas are best eaten very ripe.

When to take it: After training

Dosage (approximately):

  • 70% carbohydrate
  • 30% protein
  • 0% lipid

With food supplement:

Quantity Carbohydrate Protein Fat Kcal
Banana 3 72gr 5gr 0gr 324Kcal
Pure native vanilla whey 30gr 2gr 26gr 0gr 112Kcal
TOTAL 74gr 31gr 0gr 436Kcal
70% 30% 0%

Without protein powder:

Quantity Carbohydrate Protein Fat Kcal
Banana 3 72gr 5gr 0gr 324Kcal
Grison meat 70gr 0gr 26gr 4gr 141Kcal
TOTAL 72gr 31gr 4gr 465Kcal
67% 29% 4%


Quantity Carbohydrate Protein Fat Kcal
Banana 2 48gr 4gr 0gr 216Kcal
Hemp protein 50gr 8gr 24gr 7gr 206Kcal
TOTAL 56gr 28gr 7gr 422Kcal
62% 31% 8%
Quantity Carbohydrate Protein Fat Kcal
Banana 3 72gr 5gr 0gr 324Kcal
Soy protein 30gr 1gr 26gr 1gr 116Kcal
TOTAL 73gr 31gr 1gr 440Kcal
70% 30% 0%

Gainer maison gourmand: to savor your snack

The house gainer to do when you’re at home and want to enjoy the taste of your snack. A very complete cocktail with a fruity taste. To mix it all up, just put everything inside a Blender. You can replace blackberry and whey with other red fruits and another source of protein powder (soy, egg, etc.), the dosage is the same. You can also add a little milk, water or even ice cubes to have a slightly more liquid texture and a cold drink.

When to take it: between meals, in the morning or one hour before training.

Dosage (approximately):

  • 60% carbohydrate
  • 25% protein
  • 15% lipid


Quantity Carbohydrates Proteins Lipids Kcal
Pure native vanilla whey 20gr 1gr 17gr 75Kcal
Banana 2 48gr 4gr 0gr 216Kcal
1 handful of almonds 25gr 5gr 13gr 159Kcal
1/2 skimmed milk 200ml 7gr 3gr 100Kcal
Blackberry 30gr 3gr 0gr 0gr 13Kcal
TOTAL 64gr 33gr 16gr 450Kcal
57% 29% 14%

If you want to do this Gainer without whey , you can remove it and consume a source of protein on the side, which provides about 20 grams of protein (50 grams of dried meat or 200 grams of 0% cottage cheese for example).

Anti-catabolic home enhancer: to sleep without lacking anything

If you haven’t eaten enough during the day, you can always make this slow-digesting Whole Home Gainer. We sleep between 6 to 8 hours, so this is ideal given the time gap between the evening meal and breakfast.

The strengths and the source of protein is different. Some people don’t like to eat carbohydrates before bed, to me that’s a mistake. Personally, I don’t gain more fat and I know that if I don’t eat carbohydrates in the evening, I will be less strong and less enduring for the weight training session the next day. If you are ectomorphic and have trouble gaining weight, you can try keeping the carbs down to see how your body is responding.

When to take it: Before going to bed

Dosage (approximately):

  • 45% carbohydrate
  • 35% protein
  • 20% lipid

With food supplement:

Quantity Carbohydrate Protein Fat Kcal
Powdered oats 60gr 40gr 8gr 4gr 241Kcal
Casein 25gr 3gr 19gr 1gr 89Kcal
1 large handful of almonds 25gr 2gr 5gr 13gr 159Kcal
TOTAL 45gr 32gr 18gr 489Kcal
47% 34% 19%

Without protein powder:


Quantity Carbohydrate Protein Fat Kcal
Oatmeal 30gr 6gr 3gr 161Kcal
Fromage blanc 0% 250gr 11gr 19gr 0gr 123Kcal
1 large handful of almonds 25gr 2gr 5gr 13gr 159Kcal
TOTAL 43gr 30gr 16gr 443Kcal
48% 34% 18%

You have everything you need to make Homemade Gainers and succeed in your mass gain ! Less expensive, of better quality and adapted to your needs. Remember, the Gainer is not a quick fix, it just helps you meet your calorie needs. Stay reasonable, take one or more twice a day and space your meals / snacks for several hours (3h30 / 4h30). It’s not a prescription either, take breaks every now and then.

BySteve Howard

11 strength training exercises for legs without equipment

It is not a given … Finding weight training exercises without equipment that are effective for the legs is a hassle. The legs are constantly solicited, while walking, during a run or even standing, they are very powerful muscles. Therefore, without additional load, it will be difficult to progress.

Fortunately, part of this can be remedied. You will not only find exercises to work all of your legs (glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves), but also some methods to intensify your sessions and make them productive.

If you’re lacking inspiration, three leg strength programs are waiting for you at the end of the article!

exercices musculation jambes sans matériel


  1. Polyarticular movements for the legs
  2. Quadriceps exercises
  3. Hamstring exercise
  4. Buttocks exercises
  5. Calf exercises
  6. Bodybuilding program for legs without equipment

Polyarticular exercises to build your legs at home

Before talking about isolation exercises, it is necessary to take stock of some polyarticular exercises that are easy to do without equipment. They allow you to work all of your leg muscles .

The basic exercises, without load, will be insufficient if your goal is to develop harmonious and firm legs. I encourage you to use intensification methods if the exercise is too easy. Indeed, the goal is not to play on the tension of stretching or contraction, but rather on muscle burn and congestion .

Let’s see what you can do.

1. The bodyweight squat

Impossible to talk about leg day without a squat. Although it is one of the most popular exercises, it needs to be talked about.

The squat is a very complete exercise, it allows you to work:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Buttocks
  • Calves
  • Lumbar
  • Abs

The advantage of doing squats without equipment rather than with weight is that the exercise will be much less dangerous. A person who does not have the morphology to squat in normal times can do it at bodyweight without the risk of exposing themselves to pathologies.

exercice musculation jambes squat sans matériel

Even without a load, care must be taken not to round the back and to push with the heels.

The downside, however, is that without the additional load, the exercise is far from intense enough. It’s easy to do a 50ene one before you feel the first signs of fatigue. It all depends on your level.

If you’re way over 50, I recommend using intensification methods like pre-fatigue. That is, do a isolation exercise with the squat, without taking any time to rest. You are free to choose a gluteal, quadriceps or hamstring exercise. Personally, I like to start with the Sissy squat and finish with the Squat.

2. Lunges, an intense exercise

This is already more interesting! Slots are more suitable for me if you don’t have any material.

This is again a very complete exercise, the muscles used the most are:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Buttocks

In fact, lunges are like a squat, except you perform one leg at a time and that’s the advantage! Working one leg after the other allows you to put 2x more stress on it, you gain intensity.

The downside is that it also takes 2x longer to do a set, it would be way too time consuming to use an escalation method. In this case, it is better to be content to do a series of sets with limited rest times, the opposite leg recovers while the other works.

There are many variations, including slipped lunges which allow for a movement much more suited to the way the body moves. In addition to that, you gain in amplitude, so do not hesitate to do it if the ground is smooth. A fabric under the support foot is enough to slide.

3. The Bulgarian squat, an alternative to work on your thighs

It’s a bit of an improved version of the slots. You gain amplitude as the back foot is raised.

The amplitude gain will allow you to put more stress on the glutes and hamstring .

Of course, the Bulgarian squat uses the same muscle groups as the lunges. I personally find the exercise with a dumbbell unstable. Without hardware, it is mostly a matter of taste. The main thing is to do the exercise you prefer and which does not hurt your joints.

Exercises for the front of the legs, the Quadriceps

I remember two isolation exercises for the quadriceps to do without equipment. The two complement each other, they allow you to work the different muscles of the quadriceps .

anatomie muscle jambe quadriceps musculation

4. The Sissy Squat for firm quadriceps

An exercise that has deserted the gyms and yet is so interesting, this is my favorite.

You should know that in a classic squat, the more the knees will be thrown forward, the more the quads will be used . With a Sissy Squat we are just in this condition.

The burn is very intense. The more the bust is tilted back, the more difficult it will be. The idea is therefore to start with a large amplitude, the bust leaning very back and then bring it back according to the level of fatigue.

Unfortunately, this is not an exercise that can be done by everyone. I advise you not to do this if you have knee problems . The rule is still the same anyway. If you’re in pain, don’t force it, you have to stop and change.

5. Curve the thigh with Leg raises

The exercise that perfectly targets the right thigh (the top). It is an interesting exercise especially for warming up the legs before an effort.

A developed straight thigh gives a curvy profile, so it is important to linger there to have harmonious legs. Moreover, this is a portion too often overlooked by bodybuilders.

If you have so-called carrot-shaped legs (much larger at the top than at the bottom), this exercise is unnecessary. In this case, it is better to go after the sissy squat.

The more straight the leg, the more difficult the exercise. It may be beneficial to start with your leg straight and bend it when fatigue arrives to continue. As with lunges, it is best to do a series without rest, especially when the intensity of the effort is low.

Exercise for the back of the legs, the hamstrings

The hamstrings are often neglected in favor of the quadriceps. Yet the hamstring is an important muscle, it:

As with the back, these are muscles that you can’t see. Because of this, it is more difficult to feel them if no motor training has been done. This lack of feeling makes the first sessions frustrating, you have to allow time to do things.

6. Strengthen your hamstrings with the Glute Ham Raise

The Glute Ham Raise is a great exercise for learning to recruit and feel the hamstrings .

Without equipment, it is possible to perform the exercise by locking the ankles. The goal is to hold the descent as long as possible (known as SuperLent) before going back up using the arms.

In addition to feeling better, doing Glute Ham Raise in SuperLent is much less traumatic on the nervous, joint and tendon levels.

Be careful though with the working range. Depending on the length of your muscles, you will have to go up before, so as not to over-stretch them. With experience, you will be able to know your range of work.

A number of variations exist to facilitate the exercise, I planned to film this!

Firm your buttocks for a harmonious physique

Regarding the glutes, we will focus on three exercises that allow you to work all the muscles of the buttocks.

The gluteal muscles are used in a lot of exercises. Dwelling on it too much to have a big butt doesn’t have to be helpful. It is especially the length of the muscles and the deportation of the iliac bone that gives a “bulging buttocks” effect.

anatomie jambes muscles fessiers petit moyen grand glutéal

7. The pelvis survey

Arguably the most famous glute exercise. The Hip Thrust is not a specific exercise strictly speaking, but it is relatively favorable for the work of the gluteus maximus.

The buttocks muscles being powerful, it will be difficult to tire them with the body weight. Therefore, you can put your feet up to gain amplitude. On top of that, I recommend hold the contraction as long as possible.

Note that a Hip Thrust / Squat SuperSet is interesting.

8. Hip extensions

The donkey kicks is a hip extension . This is an exercise that isolates the gluteus maximus particularly well.

You can start straight leg at the start of your series before finishing knee bent to gain repetitions. Moreover, it is especially the end of the movement that is difficult, working on a small amplitude is effective in achieving muscle burn more quickly.

9. Side elevations of the leg

Now let’s talk about a specific exercise for the middle and the lesser gluteus . The gluteus medius, in addition to its stabilizing role for the pelvis, is a muscle which, once developed, gives curve to the buttocks .

There are three ways to perform lateral leg raises without equipment:

  • lying on your side
  • Stand up
  • Knees on the ground

It is best to choose the position where you feel most comfortable. Namely that on your knees and standing, it is especially at the end of the movement that the tension will be maximum. On the other hand, the tension will be maximum from the start of the lying down movement. It is just a matter of gravity.

Note that lying down and standing, it is possible to cross your legs , in front or behind, for:

  • Gain amplitude
  • Recruit different areas of the gluteus medius

For morphological reasons, care must be taken not to lift the leg beyond its limits. The lack of hip mobility is not due to a lack of flexibility, but rather a bone-to-bone stopper. Forcing on it can lead to long-term pathologies.

Exercises for the lower legs, calves

As with the forearms, the length of the calf muscles is a very important factor.

Short calves (with large tendons) are useful for running, they are less energy intensive and more powerful. On the other hand, for aesthetic reasons, they will be much less impressive than large calves. Unfortunately, it is not possible to lengthen your muscle.

If you have small calves, you will have to spend a lot of time on them to be able to develop them.

We will focus on exercises primarily recruiting the two gastrocnemius , the soleus will be in all cases requested.

anatomie muscle jambe mollet soléaire gastrocnémien médial latéral

10. Standing calf extensions

Doing standing calf extensions is great for working your calves as a whole.

Without equipment, it is best to do the exercise unilaterally, that is, one leg at a time.

During exercise, the calf is in continuous tension. It is therefore interesting to take one or two breaks during your series, to recover and gain repetitions.

You can gain amplitude by placing a wedge under your foot, before ending up on the ground to have more power in the calf . Likewise, you can also play with the orientation of the feet to recruit different areas of the calf.

11. Muscle gastrocnemius with the bust bent

The objective here is to give more slack to the soleus to concentrate more on the gastrocmenians, those who give shape to the calves. This version is best if you have trouble feeling them, which is probably the case if you have small calves.

Performing the exercise is the same as standing. One leg at a time for more tension.

Likewise, you can gain amplitude with a wedge while adjusting the orientation of the feet to vary the sensations.

Weight training program for legs without equipment

I now suggest that you practice. For this, I have planned 3 examples of home strength training program , without equipment, to work all the muscles in your legs. I focused on one muscle group for each program.

Of course, the number of series, repetitions and the rest times are to be adapted to the level of each one.

The rest pause means that you need to take 1 to 2 mini-breaks, in order to release the burn to complete your streak. When it comes to pre-fatigue, the goal is to do the two exercises without taking a rest.

Filled quads for shapely legs


Exercise Series Repetitions Rest time
Pre-fatigue: Sissy squat + Squat 5 25 + FAIL 1min to 1min30
Slotted slot 5 FAILED 30s
Donkey Kicks (REST PAUSE) 4 50 0s
Calf extension (REST PAUSE) 5 50 0s


Muscle strengthening of the hamstrings

Exercise Series Repetitions Rest time
Glute Ham Raise ( REST PAUSE) 5 20 to 25 1min at 1min30
Bulgarian squat 5 FAILED 30s
Sissy Squatt (REST PAUSE) 3 50 1min
Calf extension (REST PAUSE) 5 50 0s

Glute training

Exercise Series Repetitions Rest time
Pre-fatigue: Hip Thrust + Squat 5 25 + FAIL 1min to 1min30
Lateral leg elevation (REST PAUSE) 4 50 0s
Glute Ham Raise 3 FAILED 1min
Calf extension (REST PAUSE) 5 50 0s