Archive for the tag - size

Lifting To Fail: You’re Stronger Than You Think.

strong-smurf-713x534When we talk about failure, it’s usually not a good thing. An important exception is your strength training program. In fact, training until the point of failure is crucial if you’re looking for gains in strength and size.

As I’ve said before, your body is an incredibly efficient machine. It’s not going to build new muscle mass unless it’s really necessary; doing so would be a waste of energy. So… in order to stimulate new muscle growth, you have to prove to your body that you need it.

How do you do that?

By demonstrating that your current muscle mass isn’t enough for the job. When you train to the point of failure, you send a very clear signal to your body that more muscles are needed. Provided other elements – like adequate rest and proper nutrition – are in place, those muscles will grow.

Here’s the problem: Most people don’t train until failure… even though they think they do.

When training for muscle growth, most individuals will target a range of less than 10 – 12 repetitions. On the last rep, you should be completely unable to do another rep without compromising form or reducing the resistance. You might think that you’re doing that and training to failure, but you’re probably not.

Perfect case in point. The other day, I was working out with a friend. We were doing shrugs. He usually uses 75 pound dumbbells for the exercise. I reached for the 90 pound dumbbells and he decided to give them a try. To his surprise, he was able to complete the set. In fact, he probably could have done more.

My point is that you really need to push yourself to find your limits. You’re probably a lot stronger than you think. Opt for heavier weights and more resistance. Give it a try. Sure, it will make your workout harder and more intense. But it will also get you the results you really want.

Myth: Extra Protein Builds Muscles.

JedHillbyRickDay02

A body like this wasn’t build by protein alone.

Think eating extra protein is enough to make your body big and buff? Think again.

It’s a common misconception that increasing one’s protein intake is enough to cause muscle development. In reality, the following three conditions must ALL be met for muscle growth:

  1. Effective strength training program
  2. Adequate calorie intake
  3. Sufficient protein intake

Yes, protein is a part of it. But all three conditions must be met together.

Drinking a protein shake is easy. Training for increases in muscle size – a process called hypertrophy – requires some real work. Our bodies are very efficient machines and muscle mass takes a lot of calories to maintain. Therefore, your body won’t build extra muscle unless it’s absolutely required. The first step in bulking up is employing an effective strength training workout – thereby signaling to your body that it’s time to add muscle.

In order to gain any sort of mass, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Thus, the second step in adding muscle consuming a surplus of calories. It’s simple math, but it’s something that many aspiring muscle guys and gals overlook.

Last but not least, is protein. The truth is, most people already get more than enough protein. And, often times, any additional required protein can come from food. First, calculate your protein requirements. Then, if there is a gap, figure out the best way to close it. Only avid exercisers require protein supplementation through protein shakes or powders.

The bottom line: Drinking protein shakes isn’t enough to buff you up. Without an effective strength training routine and enough calories, you’ll be spinning your wheels and wasting your money.

Want more help in building muscle? Download my muscle building program right now! Use discount code “YouTube” to save during checkout.

 

 

Build Muscle with Davey Wavey’s New Workout Program!

I have some exciting news!

With the New Year’s holiday just around the corner, it’s time to make your resolution for 2013! For that reason, I’m thrilled to launch my brand-new program, Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

And I have a special discount for you!

Many people want to add muscle to their body, but few understand how to do it. This program changes all of that! If adding muscle is part of your goals for the new year – whether it’s building a bubble butt or a total body transformation – then this is the program for you!

I know that this program works because it has worked for me. If you follow the step by step guidelines, there’s no doubt that your body will build muscle exactly where you want it. Period.

Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle is:

  • A complete, comprehensive exercise and nutrition program with sample workouts and exercises
  • The perfect solution for men and women of all ages and fitness levels
  •  Based on real science – not gimmicky marketing or the latest fads

This program is already helping people build the body of their dreams, and I know it can work for you, too.

Because you’re a loyal blog buddy, I also have a special discount for you. Use discount code size13 during checkout to save 25%. This coupon expires January 5th at midnight, so don’t delay! AND, if you order before January 5th at midnight, you’ll also receive my Get Ripped Workout exercise video series (a $59 value) for free!

(Already have my Get Ripped Workout and don’t need another copy? Email me and I’ll give you a code for a 50% discount on Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.)

Start the new year off right by downloading this program – and creating the body of your dreams. I can’t wait to see your results!

Here’s to a happy, healthy and loving 2013!

Love,
Davey Wavey

P.S. This special discount expires on January 5 – so don’t delay! Use discount code size13 during checkout to save 25% today!

8 Ways to Gain Muscle Mass Fast!

Not only do they look good, they taste great!

Hi Davey,

I’m in shape, 5’11 145 lbs, and toned. I work out about 4-5 times a week with a combination of weights/cardio as well as a controlled diet. I do want to gain some muscle mass, but not sure how to go about without getting too big. Any suggestions?

- Brian

Hey Brian,

First things, first: I generally recommend an 8-step approach to increasing muscle mass. It’s important that you follow all 8 steps, and not just a few of them.

  1. Lift weights. There’s no way around it. In order to stimulate muscle growth, you have to hit the gym. For best results, stick mainly to free weights (instead of machines). They’re far more effective at building muscle.
  2. Train for hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is increasing the volume of your muscles, and in order to do this, you should train with heavy weights at a medium/low number of repetitions. I generally go for 8 repetitions, but anywhere in the 8 – 10 range is ideal.
  3. Train until muscle failure. On your last rep, your muscles should be totally fatigued; it should be impossible for you to do another rep. If you feel like you could do another rep, you need to increase the weight.
  4. Keep pushing. Your muscles will only build when forced to adapt to a heavier weight, so constantly progress to higher levels of resistance. It’s called progressive overload, and it’s exactly what you need to be doing.
  5. Keep your body fueled. It takes a lot of calories to maintain muscle. As you increase your muscle mass, you need to increase your caloric intake. If you fail to bump up the number of calories you consume, then your body will be unable to maintain your muscle and your gains will cease. I recommend using the Harris Benedict calculator as a starting point. In addition, muscles require water to grow – make sure you’re staying well hydrated!
  6. Eat enough protein. There are a lot of calculations for protein consumption. Since you’re very active and increasing your muscle mass, you’ll want to eat just over a gram of protein per day per pound of lean body mass (lean body mass is your body weight in pounds – pounds of fat on your body). It’s not an exact science, but at 145 lbs and with a lean build, I suspect you’ll need around 175 grams of protein per day – no small feat!
  7. Don’t overtrain. You shouldn’t be hitting the weight room for longer than 45 minutes (and in fact, training longer may be counterproductive). Also, ensure that you are resting sufficiently in between workouts, and that you aren’t training muscles that are still sore from a previous workout.
  8. Continue with moderate cardio. Almost no one should be doing cardio for durations in excess of 45 minutes (it starts breaking down muscle at around that point – which can actually slow down your metabolism), but especially someone looking to increase muscle size. I’d recommend doing short but powerful 15-minute interval sessions. Don’t overdo it, but don’t skip it either.

For further reading, check out my top 6 reasons why a muscle-building workout might not be building muscle.

You also mentioned that you don’t want to get “too big.” Fear not. If ever you think your muscles are too large, just ease up on your workout and stop increasing the amount of resistance. And don’t worry – getting too big doesn’t happen overnight, and looking like a body builder isn’t easy.

Happy exercising to you, Brian. And please keep us posted on your results.

Size Matters: Build Muscles with Pyramid Sets!

That's a whole lotta man.

If (muscle) size matters to you, then you should consider taking advantage of pyramid sets.

The idea behind pyramid sets is pretty simple. Here’s how it works:

  1. The first set of an exercise is performed at a low weight for a large number of repetitions (12 – 15 reps in total).
  2. The resistance (or weight) in each subsequent set is increased, until a final set of heavy weight and very few reps is achieved.

For people just starting to exercise, they might try 3 sets of increasingly heavy weights and decreasing repetitions. For more experienced exercisers, five sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 and then 4 repetitions are suggested.

When I use pyramid sets for dumbbell bicep curls, for example, it looks like this: 12 reps of 35 lbs; 10 reps of 40lbs; 8 reps of 45 lbs; 6 reps of 50lbs; 4 reps of 55lbs. As you can see, I increase the amount of resistance and decrease the number of reps.

Really enthusiastic exercisers can even do a reverse pyramid, wherein they lower the amount of resistance once they’ve reached their maximum – and eventually return back to their starting weight.

Pyramid sets are great for building mass – and so I’d really only advise incorporating pyramid sets for those muscle groups that you’d like to increase in size. And no, your penis isn’t a muscle group.

Note: Maintaining proper form is critical when performing pyramid sets. Do not compromise your form when performing some of the heavy/low-rep sets.

10 Tips: When it Comes to Portions, Size Matters!

When it comes to portion control, size definitely matters.

It’s no secret that weight release is the most common New Year’s resolution, but taking advantage of portion control is one of the best tactics to employ.

There’s a difference between portions (what’s on our plate) and servings (what’s recommended), and most of us are getting way too much of some things… and not nearly enough of others.

Here are few tips to help you ring in 2011:

  1. Opt for smaller plates. We tend to fill our plates to their capacity, and by using a smaller plate – you’re likely to put less food on it. It’s a simple trick that works wonders at buffets or holiday parties. And in your own house, use 8 or 10-inch dinner plates instead of 12 inch. {Insert inappropriate innuendo here.}
  2. When saving leftovers, freeze food in individual portions. When you reheat the food – you’ll only be defrosting what you need, and thus less likely to overeat.
  3. Just take a few bites. I’m officially obsessed with nibnobs. I love cake – but it’s obviously terribly unhealthy. A slice of red velvet cake, for example, can have 550 calories and 27 grams of

    Perfectly portioned nibnobs.

    fat. Recognizing the importance of portions, nibnobs are bite-sized desserts… and they are totally satisfying, even for the sweetest of sweet tooths. I’m even bringing a plate to my parents’ house for New Year’s day.

  4. Divide your plate in half. Fill one half with veggies and/or fruits. Fill the other half with a mix of proteins (like meat), and starches (like rice, potatoes, etc.).
  5. Buy individually portioned snack foods. Instead of buying a huge bag of chips, buy smaller bags. It will prevent mindless munching. If you’re looking to be economical, buy larger bags of food but divide portions up in baggies. Never eat directly from a big bag!
  6. Keep junk foods out of sight. Office workers who kept candy in clear dishes on their desks dipped in for a sample 71 percent more often than those who kept their candy out of sight. But keep healthy foods, like veggies (carrot sticks!) and fruits readily available. A fruit basket on your kitchen table can work wonders.
  7. Don’t mix food and TV. You wouldn’t drink and drive and neither should you eat food and watch TV. It’s much harder to watch portions while zoning out in a good television show.
  8. Use visual cues to estimated recommend servings. A deck of playing cards = one serving (three ounces) of meat, poultry, or fish. Half a baseball = one serving (one-half cup) of fruit, vegetables, pasta, or rice. Your thumb = one serving (one ounce) of cheese. A small hand holding a tennis ball = one serving (one cup) of yogurt or chopped fresh greens.
  9. Split desserts at restaurants. It cuts calories and builds relationships!
  10. Ask for dressings, spreads and sauces on the side. Most restaurants are far too generous in their condiment portions.

Obviously, portion control isn’t the be all and end all of weight release; it’s just one tool of many, but it can be a super helpful and effective dimension of a bigger plan.

What portion control tips do you have? Share them in the comments below!

Use Drop Sets to Increase Muscle Size.

The future governor of California says hasta la vista to stubborn muscles.

Bodybuilders love drop sets, and though you might not be competing or the next Mr. Olympia competition, they’re useful if (muscle) size is your thing. Drop sets tear deep into muscle tissue, thus causing explosive growth; use this technique to target muscles that are particularly stubborn.

A drop set is a technique wherein, after completing a set of a given exercise until failure, you drop down the weight and immediately continue the exercise with reduced poundage.

Let’s use the bench press as an example. I could do 10 reps at 220lbs before I hit failure. The 10th repetition would be very hard for me – there’s no way that I could go for an 11th without cheating or dying. My muscles have hit the point of failure for that weight – but not absolute failure. I could do additional repetitions at a lower weight. With drop sets, I’d quickly reduce the weight by 15%-20% – perhaps down to about 180 lbs – and then keep going until failure. I’d repeat this process for a number of sets.

For an extra challenge, workout with a buddy or two and try a “zero rest set.” Stopping and changing the weights takes a bit of time. But with a zero rest set, you have a workout partner quickly switch the weights for you. The difference – even if it’s just a few seconds – is substantial!

Arnold Schwarzenegger, by the way, was a huge fan of drop sets. So, if you’re looking to say “hasta la vista” to small or stubborn muscles, drop sets could just be your new best friend.