Archive for the tag - 10 commandments

10 Commandments of Building Muscle.

davey wavey gymLike many gym goers, you’re probably looking to add some bulk in the form of muscle.

It’s true that all of us have different bodies and have experienced different fitness journeys – but there are some common threads that can help create an effective foundation for building muscle.

  1. Thou shalt perform 8 – 12 repetitions of each exercise. Different repetition ranges target different goals; for purposes of building size and strength, most trainers recommend a rep range of between 8 and 12. Lower ranges target strength and higher ranges target endurance.
  2. Thou shalt perform each set until failure. Simply put, this means that you’d be unable to perform an additional repetition at that resistance level without compromising form. If you are targeting 10 repetitions, this would mean that you couldn’t do an 11th. If you can, increase the resistance.
  3. Thou shalt use an overloading stimulus. This means subjecting the muscles to more than they’re capable of handling. When you do that, you’ll be creating tiny tears in your muscles, which then must be rebuilt back up stronger than they were before.
  4. Thou shalt progressively overload. Keep in mind, your overloading stimulus won’t be so overloading after a few weeks or a month. As your muscles grow, you’ll need to up the resistance to keep your muscles growing. You’ll need to continue doing this until you reach your goal.
  5. Thou shalt use free weights. If you’re just getting started with building muscle, you can get great results with your body weight (i.e., push-ups at home) or by using machines. But to really progress to create athletic-level muscle size and strength, you’ll need to hit the free weights. They allow you to progress to higher levels of resistance without the balancing assistance and limitations of strength training machines.
  6. Thou shalt eat before and after exercise. Before your workout, consume some sort of complex carbohydrate to ensure a steady release of energy during your workout. It will help you power through the routine. After your workout, consume simple carbohydrates (the resulting spike in your blood sugar will quickly get the glucose from the carbohydrates into your muscle cells where they’re needed) and protein.
  7. Honor thy body with rest and recovery. After you’ve created the tiny tears in your muscle, you must back off and allow your body a chance to rebuild them. This process makes the muscles stronger and bigger.
  8. Thou shall still do cardio. The truth is, cardiovascular exercise is great for all people, regardless of their goals. Because you don’t need the additional calorie burn, you’re doing cardio for the overall health benefits; as such, limit cardio to a handful of sessions per week that last less than 30 minutes. High intensity interval training is best-suited for individuals looking to retain and/or build muscle.
  9. Thou shalt consume sufficient calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat. Remember, you can’t build something out of nothing! To add any type of mass, you must consume more calories than required to maintain your body weight. Most trainers recommend a calorie surplus of 250 – 500 calories per day. Proteins provide the amino acids that muscles need to generate new tissue. Carbohydrates and dietary fats, on the other hand, provide the energy for the process to occur. Without these in place, your results will be hampered.
  10. Thou shalt assess progress. Every few weeks or perhaps once a month, look at your progress. Take measurements including muscle size, waist size and so on. Compare pictures. And then adjust your program accordingly. If you notice that you’re gaining fat, for example, decrease your calorie surplus accordingly.

Do you have any additional commandments for building muscle size? Share them in the comments below.

P.S. If you’re looking to add muscle mass, download Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle. It’s a guaranteed, step-by-step guide to achieving your size and strength goals.

10 Commandments of Gym Etiquette!

fitness-meme-3Continuing with my “10 Commandments” series, today I’m sharing etiquette rules that every gym goer should follow.

  1. Thou shalt not walk in between an exerciser and the mirror. When someone is working out, they’ll often use the mirror to spot themselves and to ensure proper form. If you walk between the exerciser and the mirror, you’re blocking their view – and being rude. Walk around them.
  2. Thou shalt wipe down equipment. If you sweat on it, clean it up. No one wants to lie down in your workout juice.
  3. Thou shalt not sit on the equipment while texting, browsing Grindr or taking selfies. Gym equipment is for exercising. And playing on your phone is not exercising. Even if you only check your phone during your rests, you’re likely resting a lot longer than you think. The reality is, your gym is probably busy and someone else might be waiting to use the machine. Keep your phone in your pocket.
  4. Thou shalt put weights away. Unless you’re exercising with a personal maid, there’s no one to clean up after you – so put your equipment away. And besides, lifting weights to put them away can make you strong, too.
  5. Thou shalt neither hog nor hover. Hogging equipment is when you spend way too much time on a given machine, especially when the gym is busy. If you’re on a machine for more than a few sets, allow other people to cut in during your rests. On the flip side, if someone is using a machine that you want, don’t hover around them like a fly on shit. During their rest in between sets, politely ask if you can cut in.
  6. Weightlifting BackwardsThou shalt ask how to use equipment if unsure. If you have questions, ask a trainer or someone at the front desk. Ignorance is not bliss because you’ll probably end up hurting yourself – or, even worse, as a gif on the internet.
  7. Thou shalt not smell. Going to the gym isn’t an excuse for slacking on hygiene. Don’t invade our nostrils with offensive odors or smells. Wear clean clothes and apply some deodorant.
  8. Thou shalt not do curls in the squat rack. Squat racks are for doing squats, and most gyms only have one or two. They’re a precious commodity. If you’re doing another exercise, like curls, you actually don’t need a rack at all. So don’t take up prime real estate.
  9. Thou shalt not go to the gym while sick. Exercise is important, but working out sick is bad for yourself and the people around you. Give your body the rest it needs – and don’t ruin things for the rest of us.
  10. Thou shalt ________. You tell me! Write the 10th commandment of gym etiquette in the comments below.

10 Commandments of Weight Loss.

JESS3_Twinkies_hostess-moses-twinkiesThough we all have different bodies and different metabolisms, there are some constants when it comes to achieving effective, sustainable and lasting fat loss.

  1. Thou shalt not starve. Believe it or not, starving yourself is the least effective way to lose weight long term. That’s because it dramatically slows down your metabolism as the body tries to conserve calories. Once you do resume eating, the pounds will pack right back on.
  2. Thou shalt eat smarter and move more. If fat loss could be summed up in one simple commandment, it would be this. By eating smarter, fewer calories go into your body. By moving more, increased calories are burned by your body. This combination of healthy eating and exercise creates the calorie deficit needed for weight to be lost.
  3. Thou shalt not fall for fad diets. When it comes to weight loss, there are no shortage of marketing gimmicks promising quick fixes. Don’t rely on marketing; rely on science. And though the science of weight loss isn’t as sexy as popping a pill or eating only cabbage for a month, it’s effective and sustainable.
  4. Thou shalt eat carbohydrates. Though they get a bad rap, carbohydrates are used by our bodies for energy – and can help you power through a difficult workout. No carbs means no energy, and that’s a recipe for disaster. Instead of cutting carbs altogether, move from simple carbs to complex carbs.
  5. Thou shalt strength train. Don’t fall into the “I only do cardio” trap. By including strength training in your workout routine, you’ll ensure that you lose mostly fat – and not a combination of fat and muscle. Retaining your hard-earned muscle doesn’t just look good; muscle keeps your metabolism cranking.
  6. Thou shalt not have endless cardio workouts. Cardio is an important component of any routine, but people looking to lose weight often spend endless workouts on the treadmill or elliptical. Long cardio workouts can actually result in muscle loss and belly fat.
  7. Thou shalt understand the difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger is your body’s need for food, while your appetite is really more about cravings. To help determine hunger levels, score hunger and fullness using this scale.
  8. Thou shalt eat lots of fiber. Most of us don’t get enough fiber, but this is especially true for dieters. Fiber takes a long time to digest. As a result, it helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
  9. Thou shalt read nutritional information. Ignore the subjective marketing hype of product packaging; instead, go directly to the objective nutrition information and ingredients. Pay special attention to the serving size, calories, sugar and saturated/trans fat.
  10. Thou shalt stay hydrated and well-rested. Your body needs water – and drinking enough of it can help lessen hunger. Nine cups per day are recommended for women and 13 for men. And last but not least, getting plenty of rest is an important ingredient for weight loss. It keeps cortisol levels down and gives your body plenty of time to rebuild and recover from workouts.

Do you have anymore commandments of weight loss to add? Share them in the comments below! And to lose stubborn body fat once and for all, download the Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.