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How to Build Muscle without Heavy Weights

Large muscles and strength tend to go hand in hand, but it may surprise some readers to know that not all bodybuilders train with heavy weights.  Arnold Schwarzenegger’s former training partner Ric Drasin, for example, said he never saw Arnold curl more than a 50 pound dumbbell.  This was when Arnold had 22 inch arms. …

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Understanding Infrared Saunas

The internet contains plenty of information about the benefits of infrared saunas but very little about what “infrared” means and how it works differently than other sources of heat.  Once you understand the basic concepts, you’ll understand why these saunas take so long to heat up and why they are considered better than traditional saunas.…

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Volume Cycling for Muscle Mass

The most effective way to build muscle mass is to do a lot of sets and reps with a moderate weight, where “moderate” means 60-75% of your 1 rep maximum.  Most successful bodybuilders since the 1970’s have trained using that approach.  It’s typically referred to as high volume training. Effective high volume training can also…

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Why Calves are Hard to Grow and How to Train Them

Calf muscles are notoriously difficult to grow in the gym, to the point where many people give up and stop trying.  What makes the calves so stubborn?  It turns out the lower leg muscles aren’t meaningfully different from other skeletal muscles.  What makes them hard to grow is that they’re already well developed from walking…

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Insulin and Fitness: How to Build a Better Physique by Understanding Insulin

Most gym goers don’t understand how important insulin is to building muscle and getting lean.  In this post, I’ll break down what you need to know and how to apply it. What you may already know about insulin Insulin is the main hormone that regulates your blood sugar level.  After you eat, your body releases…

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The ABC’s of Weight Lifting Accessories

Weight lifting belts, shoes, gloves, wraps, straps, etc…  I’m sure you’ve seen them around the gym and for sale online.  Have you ever wondered what purpose they serve?  How much of a difference do they make in your workouts?  Are they worth the money?  Do you really need any of them?  The quick answer is…

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Benefits of a Curved Treadmill

One of the more exciting innovations in cardio equipment in recent years is the curved treadmill.  What makes a curved treadmill different from a traditional treadmill is that it’s self-powered instead of having a motor, and the running surface is shaped like an arc where you run at the bottom of the arc.  You speed…

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Aesthetics vs. Power: Build the Physique You Want

If you train with weights, most likely you want to gain muscle and lose fat.  Beyond that, have you thought about what type of physique you’d like to build?  Broadly speaking, there are two types of physiques that guys end up trying to attain: the aesthetic look or the look of power.  While your genetics…

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Free Weights vs. Machines – which are better?

Most commercial gyms carry both free weights and machines.  Which ones you should use?  The short answer is that free weights are generally better for muscular development, but machines have certain advantages that can be used to enhance your workout.  Here’s a breakdown of the advantages of each. Advantages of Free Weights Build more muscle…

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Tips for Your First Powerlifting Meet

Over the years, I’ve seen countless first-time powerlifting competitors make the same mistakes.  Follow these tips to avoid those mistakes and have an awesome experience at your first meet. Know your federation’s rules and commands. Nothing will take the wind out of your sails more than lifting a weight only to have it turned down…

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