What Are The 10 Best Training Tips?

What are the 10 best training tips? Most people beginning an exercise regimen have very little guidance and knowledge about training. Here's a list of the 10 best tips to take your training and physique to the next level. Learn more.


TOPIC: What Are The 10 Best Training Tips?

The Question:

Most people beginning an exercise regimen have very little guidance and knowledge about training.

What are the 10 best training tips?

How important is it to follow these tips?

What are 3 essential rules that people who workout should follow?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

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      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.

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1st Place - Blink41
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

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10 Best Training Tips
What Are The 10 Best Training Tips?
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Beginner Tip #1: Form > Weight:
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    The most important tip of all - good form is far more important than the weight you are using. Don't get me wrong, training heavy is good. However, training heavy with bad form, is extremely dangerous and simply idiotic. Poor form defeats the whole purpose of training. Lifting with bad form makes training much more ineffective and very dangerous.

    I remember when I had little experience in the gym a couple years ago. I was able to curl so much weight, but my biceps barely grew. When I looked in the mirror, I saw how bad my form actually was. I was leaning back, my forearms were all curled up, and my shoulders were rolled back.

    Instead of curling the weight in a controlled manner, I was really just swinging the weight up. From that point on, it was obvious that my shoulders, forearms, and back were doing half the work. I was very fortunate that I was not injured.

    After I corrected my form and did those bicep curls the way they are suppose to be done (needless to say, I used significantly lighter weights), I noticed more gains in two months than the previous six. A good way to check your form is to look at the mirror.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Barbell Curl.
Video: Windows Media

    To see how the exercises are supposed to be done, check out www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm. They have a comprehensive list of a variety of exercises demonstrating the proper way to execute each repetition. Simply put: "No form, no gains, yes injury = not happy!"

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Beginner Tip #2: Have Patience - Set Long And Short-Term Goals:
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    Patience is something almost every beginner lacks, but is also a vital key to success. When first stepping in the gym, progress may come rather quickly, whether it is in the form of size or strength gains. Depending on your body, your progress will begin to decrease after a period of time and adding weight to the bar will become progressively difficult.

    It's important to understand that reality. You simply cannot continue to make those kinds of gains naturally, unless you've got remarkable genes. Having patience and realizing that you will not achieve your ideal physique in a few months will keep your spirits high and reality in check.

    Having a long-term goal is important, but having short-term goals are even more important. Set a realistic short-term goal like adding 30lbs to your bench/squat/dead in 2 months is a good way to keep things in perspective and ensure that you do not quit.

    Once you have achieved that goal, set another until you've finally reached your long-term goal. Once you realize that health and fitness cannot be rushed, your training will be more enjoyable and your gains will increase exponentially. Even if you did not achieve your goal in the allotted time period, do not get discouraged.

    Have patience and give yourself a little more time to reach your short-term goal, you'll get there. Don't quit, just have some patience.

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Beginner Tip #3: Overtraining:
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    Overtraining is arguably the most important concept for a beginner to understand. Overtraining can be avoided with a good routine, proper nutrition and plenty of rest. Do not just go to the gym everyday to bench and curl. Your body needs time to recuperate and repair, which is exactly why you need plenty of rest.

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Less Is More: The Muscular Battle Against Overtraining!
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Less Is More: The Muscular Battle Against Overtraining!
Overtraining is one aspect of bodybuilding that is usually forgotten - Gym-goers end up with a severe plateau!
Author:
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    Find a good full-body routine. Ideally, you should be training in the gym 3 times a week, excluding cardio days. Soreness is not an indication of how "fresh" your muscles are, but they can be an indication of how "fatigued" they are.

    For example, if you did legs on Monday, and come Friday, your legs are still sore, you should skip that workout and do legs on another day. The reason why your legs are still sore so many days after your workout is perhaps due to excessively high volume. I would aim for approximately 8-10 sets for a major muscle group, like the quads.

    The bulk of the workout should consist of basic compound lifts, like the traditional barbell squat for quads. If you stop progressing in strength gains on leg exercises, you are most likely overtraining. In that case, give yourself more time between the leg days and cut back on the volume. Also, to speed up recovery, always stretch before and after your workouts.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Barbell Squat.
Video: Windows Media - Real Player

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Beginner Tip #4: Have Proper Nutrition:
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    Switching to a healthier lifestyle requires proper nutrition 100% of the time. Yes, I know, it's not easy. Proper nutrition is just as important as the first three tips above. Since you are now expending more energy than the average person, you must consume more calories/nutrients than the average person as well.

    Take a multivitamin everyday to ensure you have the necessary nutrients to train effectively, preferably one which contains higher levels of B-vitamins. Instead of 3 large meals a day, consume 5-6 evenly distributed medium sized portions. Also, make sure you eat clean, no junk food or soda.

    Consume a little more than 1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. Many people will say 1.5-2 grams of protein per lb, but I don't think that much protein is necessary. Amino acids, unlike carbohydrates, cannot be stored by the body for an extended amount of time. If not needed immediately by the body, any excess protein consumed will be turned into glucose, which eventually gets stored as adipose tissue (fat) if not used.

PROTEIN CALCULATOR
Weight
Results
Protein

    A good time to drink your protein shakes would be before and after your workouts and right when you wake up in the morning. Also, drinking milk before bed helps prevent catabolism when you are asleep, so drink up. Remember, if you want to gain weight, you must consume more calories than you expend.

    If you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories than you expend. Last tip; eat more fiber to help you stay regular, especially since you are consuming so much protein.

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Beginner Tip #5: Ask Questions And Take Good Advice
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    If you have questions about proper form or how to use a machine, by all means ask somebody. Don't just assume you're doing it right or else you might get injured. Ask the people who look like they know what they are doing in the gym or ask questions on the Bodybuilding.com forum. If you hear good advice, take it.

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Beginner Tip #6: Compound Exercises > Isolation Exercises
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    Beginners should focus their energy towards the basic three compound lifts: squat, deadlift, and bench press. After you perfect the form, start adding weight to the bar.

    Those three lifts are the easiest to make strength gains on, which obviously means faster muscle mass gains. Compound exercises recruit many more muscle fibers than isolation exercises, so you will gain more overall strength.

    Compound lifts should be done at the beginning of your workout, when you have the most energy. Isolations should be done towards the end of the workout, when you have the least energy. When you become familiar with the basic three, you are ready to move on.

    Sample Exercises:

    Focus on those exercises, trust me, you won't regret it. Also, don't be afraid to add weight to the bar as well, as long as your form is in check. Overloading the muscles is essential for growth because the body doesn't need to adapt if nothing's changing. Therefore, you must force your body to change by adding weight or another repetition on that exercise that next time it comes around.

    Aim for 8-12 repetitions for more mass, 1-5 for more strength. Don't worry about biceps, triceps and traps exercises; they all get worked one way or another. Once you become stronger in those exercises, you can do isolation exercises, but your staple should always be compound exercises.

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Beginner Tip #7: Remember To Train Your Legs
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    Most beginners and even some more experienced lifters don't train legs either because the workouts are too grueling or simply because they can stay hidden in baggy jeans. Your legs are the foundation for normal everyday activities such as walking, running, and standing.

    Your legs are even more important if you play sports. Strong legs will help you run faster, become stronger, and most importantly, lower your chance of being injured. I know this first hand. I used to train my legs sparingly because the workouts were so hard. I simply didn't feel like going to the gym on leg days and even if I did, I would just go through the motions and never train at a high enough intensity.

    About 6 months ago, while playing basketball, I landed awkwardly and tore my A.C.L. My doctor told me that if my legs were stronger, my injury would have been less severe. Just two months ago, I started to train my legs again, squatting just the bar and eventually working my way up. I've still got a long way to go before I can play basketball or even run again.

    What Is The ACL?
    The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL, commonly referred to just as the cruciate ligamentor "lateral Cruciate ligment") is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. The ACL is the most commonly injured knee ligament.

    If trained properly, the legs can be the largest and strongest muscle group in your body. Because of this, squats and other heavy leg exercises will release massive amounts of testosterone, growth hormones, and endorphins; AKA the happy hormone.

    As a result, not only will your legs benefits, but other muscle groups will as well. Believe me, I know leg training can be extremely difficult and painful, but it's worth it at the end. Also, remember to work your quads and your hamstrings, or else you will easily get injured because of muscle imbalance.

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Beginner Tip #8: Warm Up Properly
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    A proper warm-up includes a quick jog on the treadmill, stretches, and doing a couple sets with a lighter weight with higher repetitions. Of course you want to keep your energy level high after your warm up so don't overdo it. The primary purpose of warming up is to prevent injury.

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How Important Is Warming Up? How Important Is Warming Up?
Much of the time you will see people stretching out their legs before a run, or stretching out any body part before they train it.
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    Let's say today is your chest day. First off, you would hop on the treadmill or whatever cardio machine you prefer and jog for a couple of minutes at a moderate pace. The purpose of this is to get your blood flowing and to raise your body temperature. Remember, a warm muscle is more flexible and less likely to get injured than a cold muscle.

    After a couple of minutes, your heart rate and body temperature should increase and you're ready to begin stretching. Stretch the muscles you are going to use, in this case the chest so you would stretch your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

    Since we are doing chest, do 2-3 sets of 5-8 repetitions on the flat bench press. Don't overdo it, or your performance will suffer later. Just go light, approximately 50%, then 65%, and then 80% on what you normally do. By doing so, your body would be slowly adjusting to a heavy load so when you start your workout and progress to an even heavier load, you're body may do so safely and efficiently.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Barbell Bench Press.
Video: Windows Media - Real Player

    Often many beginners forget to warm up, which not only affects their performance later but is also very dangerous. Remember to warm up properly, and your performance will increase dramatically.

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Beginner Tip #9: Don't Rely Too Much On Supplements
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    There are so many different supplement companies out there with so many different products. Magazines advertise countless products and are endorsed by numerous massive bodybuilders. Maybe the supplements work, maybe they don't. Let's just focus on the essentials that are proven time and time again by people like you and me and spare your wallet in the meantime.

    Beginners often use too much supplements, some of which they don't even understand. In my opinion, anyone with less than 1 year of weightlifting experience should take a multivitamin and whey protein, that's it.

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    Whey protein has been proven extremely effective when consumed before and after your workouts by people everywhere. After a year or so, you can look into creatine products. Supplements do not replace real food, so eat as much as you can and you can "supplement" your diet with some protein shakes and a multi. Eat as much lean meat as you can and consume some quality carbohydrates in your diet as well.

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Beginner Tip #10: Take A Before And After Picture
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    This is a great motivator. Take a picture of yourself right now without your shirt on, and continue to take these pictures every 3 months. Don't take the pictures every month because you probably won't see much difference.

    When you feel like quitting or feel a lack of motivation, just look at your pictures and realize just how far you have gotten. After a while, you'll be very pleased. If you are not, reevaluate your diet and training.

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How Important?
How Important Is It To Follow These Tips?
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It's absolutely crucial that you follow those tips. Following those tips could mean the difference between run of the mill gains and great gains. It could mean the difference between becoming stronger and becoming injured. I know following all ten tips at a time isn't easy, but you probably knew half of it already. Just take it one step at a time.

These 10 tips are just tips; they're not the Ten Commandments. Listen to your body, everyone is unique and responds differently. However, most of these tips have been proven time and time again and some are just common sense. It's up to you if you want to follow these tips or not. However, you simply cannot go wrong if you do.

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3 Essential Rules
What Are 3 Essential Rules That People Who Workout Should Follow?
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1. Learn To Take Helpful Advice:
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2. Focus!
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    When you're at the gym, you shouldn't be on the phone or chatting with people if you're serious about making gains. Throw on your headphones and really focus on the exercise you are about to do.

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    Picture yourself doing 8 clean repetitions before you start your set, this will help you focus mentally. Don't try to impress the girls or your friends by lifting weights that you know are too heavy for you because you'll probably cheat and get injured. Train hard, train heavy, but above all, train smart.

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3. 100% Intensity:
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    Training starts with the mind. If you go to the gym just to get a pump, you'll only go so far. Try to increase either the weight you are using or the number of repetitions for compound exercises every workout. If your benching the same thing you did a month ago, it's time to really step it up.

    Strength gains will obviously be slower for isolation exercises, but weight progressing and overloading are just as important. Cut down on rest time and don't be afraid to ask for a spot. A spotter can give you that extra physiological support you may have needed to get that extra rep up.

    You should be screaming and grunting to push that last rep up, every time. If you still have enough energy for one more or even half more, do it! Don't rack the weight just because you reached 8 reps. Train like God is watching.

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Conclusion
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Living a healthier life style isn't easy, but it's very rewarding. The path to your ideal physique may take months or decades, depending on where you are currently at and how smart you train. Following my advice above will ensure that you have a good start, no matter what your goal is. Thanks for reading and remember my advice.


2nd Place - Mighty Kev
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Most people beginning an exercise regimen have very little guidance and knowledge about training.

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10 Best Tips
What Are The 10 Best Training Tips?
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1. Resistance Training Increases Metabolism:
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    Resistance training or lifting weights is a common practice in the world of people who want to get bigger and stronger. To someone who wants to lose weight, it could seem almost counterproductive to put on muscle weight when your true goal is to lose weight. The truth of the matter is that you want to lose fat, and putting on muscle can help you accomplish that goal.

    Muscle is a very biologically active tissue in the body, meaning that the simple fact that it's there means it's burning more calories than other types of weight, such as fat weight or water weight. The addition of muscle tissue increases the body's ability to burn calories, meaning that in the long run, you'll be able to keep the fat off with much more ease.

    Related Metabolism Articles:

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2. Cardiovascular Exercise Burns More Calories When Performed After Weight Training:
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    According to numerous recent studies and my own personal experience, cardio after lifting burns much more fat than when done in the reverse order.

    Not only will your weight training be much less intense due to the drainage of glycogen stores, you're more at risk to injure yourself when already tired and heading off to lift.

    Aside from that point, weight lifting is said to elevate your metabolism for up to 48 hours after the fact, meaning that not only are you burning calories while lifting, but also for hours and hours afterwards, meaning that the lifting takes sort of a precedence over the cardio, since cardio tend to only burn calories while the cardio is being performed. This is assuming that the cardio is of low to moderate intensity because it is also suggested that very high intensity cardio can cause this same prolonged raised metabolic effect.

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Sure you can burn a little fat with cardio, but with high intensity cardio you would be able to do so much more.
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3. Make Sure The Muscle That You're Attempting To Target Is Actually Doing The Work:
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    When lifting it is essential to focus your mind completely on the muscle group you are attempting to work on. This makes sure that you are actually using the target muscle to lift the weight rather than accessory muscles or even momentum. This skill will develop with time, and as you progress in making that mind to muscle connection, your workouts will become much more productive and efficient.

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4. Always Squeeze Your Muscles At The Peak Of Each Lift:
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    Forcing an extra squeeze at the peak of all of your lifts will break down that much more muscle tissue during each lift, allowing much more muscle growth during the repair process after your workout. Breaking tissue down is a good thing, and is essentially the goal of weight lifting.

    Break down the muscle fibers in the gym, and drink your protein and recover outside of the gym. The more you break down, the more you can grow, and this leads us back to making that extra little flex at the peak of the lift.

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5. Work On The Body Part You Want To Improve The Most First In Your Workout:
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6. Your Diet Has A Direct Effect On Your Training:
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    Your body is essentially a machine, and by that I mean it uses fuel to run. In order to properly get your body working up to its potential, it's necessary to put in the proper fuel.

    Whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats are the way to go. Just think about it; if you put crude oil in your car's gas tank, would it run very well? Absolutely not, and your body is the same way. To perform and feel your best, proper diet is certainly one of the biggest steps in the direction of good health.

    Another little interesting bit is that your body is that unlike other machines, it is self-repairing. With the proper fuel and rest, it can recover very quickly. With the proper building blocks, your body can rebuild itself to be better than before; you just have to supply it with the proper nutrients.

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7. Overtraining Is Just As Bad As Not Training:
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    Rest is one of the most important steps in the muscle building process. It's outside of the gym where all the muscle is built; in the gym is where tissue is broken down.

    To us gym rats, eight hours of sleep each and every night is even more important than to the rest of the world, because that is our muscle-building time. That recovery time allows us to get back into the gym much more quickly, to do what we do best.

Sleep
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Sleep Is Our Muscle-Building Time.

    Hitting the weights is the best, especially feeling that pump, but sometimes taking a rest day is just the thing that the body needs. Find something else to do for a day, and come back the day after that to hit the iron even harder than before.

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8. Flexibility Is Important To Prevent Injury:
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    Stretching after each lifting session is extremely important in preventing injury. Flexibility allows your body to become much more able to handle the odd assortment of stresses that are placed upon it each day. I'm sure that the more hardcore of us bodybuilding fans heard that Branch Warren recently slipped and fell, landing on his outstretched hand and tearing his triceps in the process.


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Branch Warren At The 2008 Arnold Classic.

    Now I don't know if Branch is avid in his flexibility routines, but perhaps if he had been just a bit more flexible, maybe his arm could have caught him in a different way, preventing an injury. Flexibility is all about being able to move your body in a variety of different ways to compensate for the many different stimuli that can possibly cause harm to the system as a whole.

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9. Always Perform Exercises Through A Complete Range Of Motion, And With Good Form:
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    I have always been taught that the best way to break down muscle during the lifting process is to stretch the muscle as much as possible while applying force.

    Simply stated, this means that if you perform an exercise using a complete range of motion, you can achieve a maximal effect in the process of muscle breakdown. Stressing the muscle over a long range of motion not only breaks down a much more significant amount of tissue, it also can help lead to more flexibility in the joints associated with the lifts.

    This plays into the last tip as well, since flexibility can help prevent injury. As well as long ranges of motion, it is important to keep good form while doing your lifts. The reasoning behind all of this stressing towards good form is strictly in the interest of preventing injury in the weight room.

    No one wants to see a friend get hurt in the gym, and I consider anyone who lifts a friend in that sense, so don't be afraid to take a plate off of your lifts in order to practice good form. Looking like you can lift more plates in the gym than anyone else isn't really important, and in the long run keeping good form will keep you healthier and more able to continue lifting.

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10. In Order To Achieve Maximum Results, Supplementation Is Essential:
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    As stated above, your body is a self-recovering machine, and it's really amazing how well it can repair itself. The problem is that without the proper nutrients, your body simply can not recover.

    Protein is the building block of muscle, and that means that it is essential during the muscle repairing process. Bodybuilders need more protein than the average person, and it is very hard to meet these requirements without a proper protein supplement.

    I'd advise you look into a whey protein for post-workout, and into a casein supplement for pre-bedtime; it's what I take and it is monumental in helping me recover at the rate I do.

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How Important?
How Important Is It To Follow These Tips?
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Following these tips is really very important to maximizing your results and keeping your body as healthy as possible. Although there are countless other tips that you will learn through time and as you gain more experience in the weight room, it's always important to not forget the basics of lifting.

Generally, risks are not worth taking because injury is the ultimate setback in the world of fitness and bodybuilding. Even more importantly, there are three major tips I'm going to reiterate below.

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3 Essential Rules
What Are 3 Essential Rules That People Who Workout Should Follow?
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To simplify the above rules, I'm going to outline 3 essential rules that people that workout should follow:

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1. Exercising Leads To Good Health:
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    Whether it's lifting or cardio, the straightest path to success in the world of physique improvement is to exercise.

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2. Make Sure To Take Care Of Your Body, It's The Only One You've Got So You Might As Well Take Good Care Of It!
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    Including a proper nutritional program, adequate amounts of sleep, and a thorough stretching program, you can keep your body performing at its best.

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3. Set Goals, And Do Your Best To Reach Them:
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    Whether your goal is to compete in an amateur bodybuilding show, or simply to lose 20 pounds, setting goals and sticking to the program that will lead you to accomplish those goals is one of the most sure-fire ways to success.

    Having a direction that leads to your goals and aspirations will allow you to not only stay motivated while traveling the rough path to victory, but it will make it much more enjoyable because it makes your life that much more meaningful. Follow your dreams, shoot for the moon, and if you miss you'll still be among the stars.

Thanks for reading!

-K


3rd Place - EAGLES56
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Most people beginning an exercise regimen have very little guidance and knowledge about training.

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10 Best Tips
What Are The 10 Best Training Tips?
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The below are the top ten training tips are the backbone to training success. Everybody can benefit from consulting these training tips.

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1. Learn Proper Form/Technique:
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    The vast majority of injuries are due to improper form. Spend time learning the basic compound movements properly. There are countless sources of instructional words of wisdom and video on the internet but they can't beat having an educated trainer walk through the motion(s). Starting off right will not only improve progression, it will prevent injury.

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2. Set Goals:
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    Simply put, realistic short and long term goals serve as motivation. Go into each workout striving to use more weight or get an additional repetition. Set goals for the end of the month, a couple months away, and even a goal for the year. Tell others about your goals so that they can offer support and keep you on track.

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3. Train The Entire Body:
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    Unless one has a medical condition preventing them from training part of the body, neglecting muscles can be detrimental. Only benching and curling - the foundation of the teen age training program - creates imbalances. For example: Favoring chest over back can lead to shoulders slumping forward which affect posture.

    Often forgotten, ones back and legs are much larger than ones chest and arms. Training these sections of the body is crucial for success. Do not disregard back and leg training simply because it is difficult.

    Overlooking certain muscles can run the risk of injury - not to mention, people notice chicken legs. At the very least, train everything to develop a healthy and impressive physique.

    Bonus: Believe it or not, a big, strong back helps when benching!

    Training legs is very anabolic.

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4. Warm Up/Cool Down And Stretch:
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    Warm-Up:

      Before any training session, increase blood flow through either a brief bout of cardiovascular activity, dynamic stretching or both. It is crucial to accelerate blood circulation to the target area(s) prior to actual training to perform at ones best.

      Spend a minimum of five minutes before each training session with a focus on raising ones heartbeat. Warm-ups should be kept relatively short to prevent fatigue before beginning actual training.

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A warm up can undoubtedly be advantageous if done properly, and in accordance to your desired training effect. Let's dig in and find out where you've been going wrong; you may be surprised!
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    Cool Down:

      After training, take some time to bring both body temperature and heartbeat rate back down to baseline. Take a few minutes to work on [static] stretching the area(s) exercised. Stretching post workout assists in recovery.

      Note: Never perform any static stretching (held stretches) before a workout. This risks injury and decreased performance.

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5. Eat:
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    An active body requires more nutrients than a sedentary body. Ample nutrients are necessary in order to function and improve. One's diet is often the defining factor in self advancement. The importance of nutrition cannot be stressed enough.

    Basic Guide To Eating Healthy:

    • Consume whole foods; avoid processed and/or refined garbage that contains additives/preservatives. Ex. Favor whole wheat products over white breads.
    • Drink plenty of water. Drink at least a gallon of water over the course of a day.
    • Be sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables in on a daily basis.
    • Avoid unnecessary calories such as junk food and soda.
    • Do not/limit drinking alcoholic beverages.

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6. Rest:
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    Dedicate time to rest. Strive for 8 hours or more or sleep every night. Take 10-20 minute naps if and when possible. If progress is stalling, take a week off to deload. Remember, growth takes place outside of the gym. The difference a couple days off can make is amazing.

RELATED SLEEP ARTICLE
Sleeping Tips!
Sleeping is the most important part of training. During sleep your body rebuilds. Without enough sleep you will not be growing as much as you would with enough sleep.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

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7. Keep A Log:
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    Those who track their progress are more likely to make progress. Strive for an extra repetition or an increase in the weight used - or both for each training session.

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8. Do Cardio:
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    Cardiovascular activity is phenomenal. Typically regarded as a chore, cardio is great for the heart as well as overall well being. Aerobic activity has a plethora of benefits ranging from supporting good circulation to decreasing recovery time.

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9. Switch It Up:
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    Every few weeks, add some variety. At the same time, don't jump from program to program based on the latest fad. Stick to the same routine for at least a month before considering a variant.

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Combination Training For The Best Of Both Worlds.
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[ Click here to learn more. ]

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10. If It Hurts - Stop!
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    Never train against actual pain. If something does not feel right, stop. It is better to take a day off than an entire week or more from aggravating an injury.

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How Important?
How Important Is It To Follow These Tips?
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These tips are tried and true. Beginners to advanced trainees should have a thorough understanding of the importance of the above. These tips may separate one from their competition and can be crucial elements which define ones achievement(s). Although they are not necessary, these tips will aid in getting the most out of training.

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3 Essential Rules
What Are 3 Essential Rules That People Who Workout Should Follow?
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The following 3 tips/rules are essential in not only making success, but limiting the risk of potential pain and suffering.

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arrow Learn Proper Form/Technique:
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    Possibly the worst thing that can happen is encountering a debilitating injury due to ignorance of learning how to execute lifts correctly.

PROPER FORM ARTICLE
Katrina's Guide To Exercises!
Here are 25 of my favorite exercises with pictures and tips on how to perform them for max results! Learn the proper form!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

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arrow Don't Train Against Pain:
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    Aggravating an injury is not worth the aftermath. Not only can this hurt ones ability to function, it typically comes alongside a hefty medical bill. It simply is not worth the risk. Once the damage is done, it is permanent. Rest up and come back.

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arrow Set Goals:
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    Without a goal, why bother? Always aim to improve. Failure to do so is cutting oneself short. Stay on track, set goals, become better.

EAGLES56


3rd Place - mafty
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

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10 Best Training Tips For Beginners
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1: Stretching:
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    Many people overlook stretching, do not do it, or do not do it correctly. Stretching should be performed after warming up the muscles prior to working out. By doing a full-body stretch you elongate the muscles allowing blood flow into the tissue which in turn improves your results in the gym and also prevents ripping or tearing muscles in the gym.

STRETCHING ARTICLE
Stretching Exercises!
In this article, I will go through many basics stretching exercises and methods of improving your flexibility program. Learn all you need to know right here.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Think of your muscles as a piece of gum, if you try to stretch a cold piece of gum it will break, similar to your muscles, but if you warm up prior to stretch its like stretching a piece of chewed gum. You should also be stretching before and after cardio, as stated above it enables blood to flood your worked muscles to improve healing and the most important reason is to prevent injury.

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2: Cardio:
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    Lots of people turn a blind eye to cardio and feel that it's not important, unfortunately cardio is just as important as resistance training.

RELATED CARDIO ARTICLE
Cardio... Sucks! Make It Fun!
All these ways are great for burning fat. The treadmill, stair master, elliptical thing, and bike seem to be popular. But, if you are anything like me, cardio sucks ass and it's the last thing you want to do, ever...
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    When you combine cardio, weight training, and diet it's a triple threat that can't be ignored. When doing cardio it is extremely important to determine your maximum heart rate (220-age) and then to determine your heart rate zones which is usually 60-90%. (For example a 20 year old: 220-20=200. 200x0.60=120 & 200x0.90=180. Thus, their optimal training range would be 120BPM - 180BPM)

HEART RATE CALCULATOR
Enter Your Age - Then press Calculate.
Results:
Max Heart Rate
60-90% Max Heart Rate

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3: Full Body Workout:
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    For beginners, full body workouts are usually the best choice since their muscles are not used to the physical exertion and probably do not have much of a base to work from. By training with a full body routine you are able to build a symmetrical body, instead of creating a massive chest and having no legs.

    Often beginners go into the gym and train only one muscle group per session which is usually a mistake because your body does not have the muscle foundation to be training every section of your chest, or back, etc.

    You can't be working on defining your upper chest when you don't have a chest to begin with, therefore it's important to be doing a full body routine with only 1-2 exercises per muscle group to help create a solid foundation; once you have done that you can then move onto training individual muscle groups to perfect your physique.

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4: Compound Exercises:
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    These exercises are movements which involve training several muscle groups at once, exercises like bench press, squat, deadlift, upright row, etc. For example bench press involves chest, triceps, and shoulders.

    These exercises are important for beginners because they help create a foundation. A mistake beginners sometimes make is training using isolation exercises and doing little to no compound exercises.

COMPOUND EXERCISE ARTICLE
Compound Exercises Versus Specialization!
By rough estimate more power is being generated in a standing press of 450 pounds than in a bench press of 600 pounds; which is not surprising.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Isolation exercises are movements which target only one muscle group at a time, movements such as preacher curl, side raises, dumbbell flyes, etc. These exercises do not benefit beginners because isolation exercises are usually meant to further define a muscle, which can be pointless if you do not have any muscle to define, therefore it is important to do compound movements.

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5: Changing Up Your Routine:
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    Often people make great progress for about the first 3 months and then plateau, usually because their body has become used to the movements and exercises ceasing them from further progression. Your routine should be changed about every 12 weeks (3 months) this keeps you interested at the gym, and constantly shocks your muscles with new exercises which is what will help you continue to grow and improve in the gym.

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6: Keeping A Journal:
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    This is very important and can be very beneficial for beginners. It allows you to track your progress, see what exercises you enjoy, which ones you are improving the most, and what areas you need the most work on. Your journal should include the date, time of workout, duration of workout, the exercises, sets, reps, rest between sets, meals for the day, and supplements you may be taking.

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7: Tracking Progress:
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    This is another important tip that can determine if all your hard work and effort is paying off. To track your progress you will want to take measurements of all body parts (chest, waist, hips, upper legs, calves, arms) and to measure both right and left limbs. You will want to record your weight, as well as your height.

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MyoTape

MyoTape Body Tape Measure. Track your body measurements and progress as your muscles grow and your unwanted fat goes away is as easy as 1-2-3!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Another important piece of information you should want to track is your body fat percentage, which can be done at your local fitness center. You will want to re-measure all of these areas every 12 weeks or so to track your progress and to make sure you are achieving the goals you set out to achieve.

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8: Goals:
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    Without any goals why would you even bother going to the gym? You need something to motivate you, something to aim for, otherwise you may spend a lot of time and effort in the gym for nothing. Having goals can determine what kind of routine you choose, what type of diet you follow, and ultimately is a great way to keep yourself focused. Many common goals include fat loss, weight loss, increase of size, increase of strength, etc.

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9: Diet:
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    This is probably the most important piece to improving your physique, which is often the area many people fall short in causing poor gains or little to no weight loss.

    I believe diet to be as important if not more important than actual weight training. Most people are only in the gym 3 times a week, but for the other 4 days you are not in the gym you are constantly feeding yourself, therefore nutrition cannot be overlooked.

    You can have the most amazing workout, and if you are trying to gain mass (size) but are eating in a calorie deficit you simply will not make gains in the gym. And the same goes for those who are trying to lose weight, you can run for hours in the gym, but if you are intaking more calories than you burn you simply will not lose weight.

    It is a very simple mathematic equation, if you are intaking fewer calories than required you will lose weight, otherwise all your time in the gym is wasted.

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10: Form:
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    Something many beginners usually struggle with; which can cause severe injury and halt any progress you can potentially be making. One key aspect to having good form is choosing the right weight for you.

FORM ARTICLE
Form For Fitness: Are You Using Proper Form?
What is the correct way to train, and how do you sort through so much information, some of it apparently conflicting?
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    The biggest tip I can offer here is leave your ego at the door. Just because someone else in the gym is benching 100lb dumbbells does not mean you can as well. Determining the right weight for you will come with time.

    One way to determine the weight you are using is right would be for you to do the required amount of reps... no more, no less. If you can do more reps than you set out for, you should increase the weight, and reverse if you cannot complete the required reps.

    Another important part of form is using a full range of motion while doing the exercise, meaning you do not stop your bench press half way down. If you cannot complete the full range of motion you are probably using too heavy of a weight. Your motion should also be slow and controlled, avoiding jerking the weights, swinging the weights to get momentum, or bouncing the weights.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Dumbbell Bench Press.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG Video iPod

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How Important?
How Important Is It To Follow These Tips?
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Like anything in life, these are only tips to help you better your workout and to make the most out of the gym. You can follow all of them, or you can follow none, but all of these pieces of advice are tried and tested to make proven results in the gym.

I do advise that anyone new to the gym have a trainer show them how to properly use all pieces of equipment to avoid injury and to make full use out of each exercise. If you are serious about changing your life for the better these pieces of advice will help you make the change for a greater you.

FINDING A TRAINER ARTICLE
Need Help Finding A Trainer?
It is more difficult to find a personal trainer than it is a good doctor. You have to select the right person since they are stepping into your life... Here are questions you need to ask.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

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3 Essential Rules
What Are 3 Essential Rules For People Who Workout Should Follow?
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1: Choose The Routine Right For You:
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    Everyone is different and your routine should cater to your goals and current level of experience.

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2: Diet:
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    This is so important. I cannot stress how important diet is to training. Without diet your training is next to useless.

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3: Rest:
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    Your body grows while resting, not while in the gym. Make sure you have adequate sleep and time between workouts. Mainly beginners overdue it and tend to put their body in a state of overtraining. You should leave at least 48 hours between working out the same muscle group.

RECOVERY RELATED ARTICLE
Recovery 101 - Creating The Ultimate Physique.
I am going to give you the low-down on the different forms of recovery and some myths about it. Learn more right here!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Remember working out should be about you, not the guy beside you. As long as you stay focused and concerned about your own body and goals you will achieve them.


3rd Place - greensquats
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

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A New You
The Tips And Rules For Ultimate Success
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arrow Pain Doesn't Hurt:
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    Pain. One word. So simple... yet so complex. How you accept this single term affects your results in an unbelievable way. It's temporary, remember that. It helps in the long run.

    There's a common misconception among most people that pain is a sign that your body is telling you to quit. Bull! That's why those people don't make any gains. If your body hurts, then that's one thing. But pain and your body hurting are two completely different things that most people forget to differentiate.

    There are many famous quotes that support this fact of bodybuilding... or anything in general.

    "Mind over matter," and "No pain, no gain," are a couple off the top of my head.

MIND OVER MATTER ARTICLE
Free Your Mind And Your Body Will Follow!
Health starts in the mind and then flows to the body. Here are my top 7 strategies for the right mental attitude!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Say these to yourself when your moaning and groaning in the gym, sweating like a pig, and throwing up in the trash can every five minutes. Who cares what the heck other people in the gym think... I know that I'd rather look better outside the gym.

    If you want the opposite, fine then, be scrawny. For those of you who are like most people, though, and want to build muscle, remember... PAIN DOESN'T HURT.

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arrow Stretch Like Elastic:
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    Overlooked. It's as simple as that. If you're pushing as hard as you possibly can in the gym, you need to stretch. Here's why:

    • It prevents injury.
    • It helps you avoid muscle tightness.
    • It makes everyday tasks easier.
    • Let's face it, we all want to be able to do a back-bend like schoolgirls.
    • In a fight, flexibility is a major key to winning... ask any expert.

    I recommend hitting the stretching hard before a workout, and then as a light cool-down afterwards. What I personally like to do before-hand is stretch as far as I can in a position... say the splits, and then have someone pull me slowly even farther until I really can't go any farther without coming out of form.

    I know I sound like a gymnast or something when I say this... but it really does help to POINT YOUR TOES in stretches like the splits. It adds exponentially to the effectiveness of the stretch. Then afterwards you can stretch just enough to where you feel something.

STRETCHING ARTICLE
Stretching For Weight Training!
In this article find out the different forms of stretches, their benefits and some simple, easy to follow stretching routines!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Here it doesn't have to be intense stretching because your main objective is just to cool down while helping to reduce muscle soreness and things like cramping.

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arrow No Junk Food:
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    Now come on. I really shouldn't even have to tell you this one. But you wouldn't believe how many times I'm talking to somebody and they say that they're cutting right now. What's the problem with that? Nothing... except for the fact that after we're finished talking they whip out a ho-ho or something and start scarfing down their junk like no tomorrow. And then they go and tell me it's their dinner!! What's up with that? Either they can't handle the bodybuilding life, or they really, really need to do some serious research.

    Junk food does nothing for you... really. It just sits there and blubbers you up. There's a reason why they call it junk food. Eat well balanced, solid, nutritional meals x-times a day while cutting the junk food out completely, and you'll see results in no time.

RELATED ARTICLE
Bare Minimum Training: Proper Nutrition
OK... in a nutshell, my idea of proper nutrition is anywhere between four to six portion controlled balanced meals about every three hours throughout the day.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Here's a tip inside a tip - never go shopping in the grocery store on an empty stomach. If you do, you'll be hungry and the professional marketer's job will just have been made a lot easier. You'll put things you'll never end up eating anyway in your cart if you're too hungry.

    If you go on a full stomach... even more preferably right after an intense workout with a protein shake sitting in your stomach, you'll see right through the crap sitting on the shelves of places like Wal-Mart. I find that I almost want to hurl on junk food after working out hard and having a full stomach.

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arrow Switch It Up! A.K.A. Up The Intensity:
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    Don't just rely on one routine your whole career. Your body will start to become immune to it. Example: squats followed by military press, then deadlifts and shoulder shrugs, next leg curls and extensions.

    I hate to burst your bubble, but that won't work day in and day out. Switch it up a little. Do supersets (two exercises one right after another with no rest combined into a single set) every once in a while.

    Implement both dumbbells and barbells, free weights and machines. This will keep your body on it's guard, and you'll get both the most strength and size (whichever you're training for) out of this way.

    Also be sure to up the intensity. One weight starting to become to easy for you? Up the weights, decrease the rest in between reps, perform slower reps for more TUT (Time Under Tension), or just perform more reps.

    Find the one or many that fit your goals and use them to increase your intensity. Intensity is the only way to build muscle and strength. If it wasn't the key, everybody would do it and our gyms would become too crowded to lift a finger. Luckily, not everybody is as mentally tough as some.

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arrow Do Not Forget The Most Important Supplement - Music!
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    How on Earth anybody can find it within themselves to train 10,000 percent without the use of music is still a mystery to me. Music gets you pumped more than any other supplement - I don't care what they tell you - and it's all natural too! Not to mention free... or at least cheaper than any $50 dollar supplement claiming to get you "psychologically insane."

MUSIC RELATED ARTICLE
Pump Up The Volume!
Learn to use music to make the most of your personality and assets. The author shares his experience with creating music for fitness routines.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Whatever works best for you is what you should listen to. Whether that be rock, heavy metal, rap... or even Beethoven. My personal favorites are those training montages from the Rocky franchise... but that's just me. It's a personal preference, and definitely needs to be a part of your training.

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arrow Technique:
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    More isn't always better. I'll take quality over quantity any day. The same is true when it comes to weightlifting. Once again, you shouldn't care what other people think about you.

    Perfect technique isolates the muscles better, and you'll see much bigger and better gains than the guy lifting twice as much as you on the curls but arching his back like he's in St. Louis to do it. If you have to sacrifice weight for good technique then so be it.

    I thought the reason people body build is to look good with their body, not their weights. And even for powerlifters, they'll be able to lift a heck of a lot more doing good technique come competition time than the other guy doing half reps. The other guy would be disqualified anyway.

    Good technique also prevents injury. Another tip within a tip is to get a good lifting belt. This will enhance your technique and prevent injury as well, especially on major exercises such as squats and deadlifts.

RELATED PRODUCT
Harbinger 5in Firmfit Belt Harbinger Presents:
5" Firmfit Belt

The Harbinger 5" Firmfit Belt has an extra wide 5" belt with a 3" support strap overlay for maximum lower back and abdominal protection during heavy lifting.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

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arrow Find A Good Workout Partner:
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    A good workout partner will push you beyond your outer limits. A good one will help you break plateaus and make you more tired than you thought possible. They don't have to be your best friend, but somebody you can meet with on a regular basis, who you can get along with fairly well, and most importantly somebody who will push you.

WORKOUT PARTNER ARTICLE
Helpful Tips For Choosing The Right Workout Partner!
Having someone who is going to be there to support you throughout your highs and lows can prove to be very motivating. Read on.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Developing a competitiveness between each other can also help tremendously. You'll both workout harder to best the other. Just be sure it's somebody that's serious and won't goof off or distract you when it's business time. You should both be there to work, nothing more.

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arrow Set Goals:
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    Setting goals will not only motivate you to get to the gym, it will push you when you're actually in the gym, and when you're actually heaving some weight.

    Start small and work your way up the ladder one step at a time. If you make too big of goals, you may never reach them, and you may lose motivation and interest, which will ultimately lead to giving up. However, if your goals are attainable, once you do reach them, a never before felt euphoria will rush through your entire body, and you'll finally realize why everybody who is in this is in it. This'll only push you even harder the next time, and the next time, and then the next time, and before you know it you look back at old photos and can't even recognize yourself.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS POLL
What Are Your Goals?

Build Muscle.
Fat Loss.
Enhance Energy.
Sports Improvement.
Overall Wellness.
Other.

    Make sure you post your goals where you can see them everyday. On your mirror, in your gym locker, on your desk, above your bed, or wherever you think will be most effective. Try posting it in more than one place so that your goal is engraved in your head and it becomes more than a goal, it becomes a passion.

    Be sure to read your goals every day and stop to soak up the meaning. Try writing your goals down a hundred times a day so that it becomes second nature. Do whatever it takes for you to know, understand, and believe you can do what you're trying to accomplish.

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arrow Work On Your Grip:
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    OK. Imagine this: It's the end of the most intense workout you've ever had. It's gone extremely well up to this point. You just need to bust out one more set of deadlifts and then you can call it a day and relax with a nice protein shake. But when you pull the weight off the floor, it falls back down. You think to yourself what's going on, and that you know your legs have enough energy left to pump out a few more. What's the problem?

    You quickly realize that it's not your legs giving out, it's your hands, better known as your grip. Face it folks, most of us have extremely weak hands in proportion to the rest of our bodies.

RELATED PRODUCT
Heavy Grip Heavy Sports Presents:
Heavy Grip

The Heavy Grips hand gripper series was developed for athletes who want to take the training of their grip strength to the next level.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Your grip is one of the most synergistic parts of your body. The stronger your grip is, the stronger the rest of your body will be... or so it will seem. You'll really be able to utilize more of your strength, and your weights will increase rapidly.

    Here are just some of the many benefits a strong grip can offer:

    • It improves the quality of your workout.
    • It creates great first impressions.
    • It definitely comes in handy during a fight.

    Those are just some of many. What am I suggesting? Get out those grip balls and start squeezing.

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arrow Stay Natural:
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    So your not building muscle as fast as you'd hoped? So what? You're not going to become the Incredible Hulk in a month. It takes time and effort. Slow and steady wins the race. Don't, at all costs, use steroids. That's just dumb. The health issues far outweigh the muscle benefits.

NATURAL BODYBUILDING ARTICLE
The Science Of Natural Bodybuilding: The Blazquez Report!
For those who are interested in knowing the science behind being a true natural bodybuilder, read on.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    You can stick to natural supplementation with things like a protein powder and creatine if you're looking for faster gains. Now don't think I mean faster like 10x faster, I just mean slightly faster, but usually worth it for the cost. But don't go overboard on supplements either. A few basics should do. I recommend a protein, creatine, EFA's (essential fatty acids), a multivitamin, and amino acids. Once you become more experienced a pre-workout N.O. product could be a valuable addition as well.

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How Important?
How Important Is It To Follow These Tips?
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It's imperative. If you don't, you won't succeed unless you have the genes of a god, and even then someone with lesser genes will most certainly beat you in a competition if he's followed all the tips, rules, etc. and you've just been at home watching TV all week.

If you are really wanting to become successful, but are currently performing a polar opposite routine from the tips above (i.e. eating junk food, not having good technique) then try implementing one tip at a time until you have all of them. Take it slow, if you move to fast you'll most likely lose interest. Once you're following all the tips and rules, you'll be shocked by how fast you grow and how much stronger you become. It'll be a new you.

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3 Essential Rules
Now For The 3 Essential Rules Of Weightlifting.
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  1. Eat nutritionally balanced meals, drink at least a gallon of water daily, and combine this with the right supplementation.
  2. Get plenty of rest; this is where you recover.
  3. Push yourself to the limits when working out.

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Bonus Points
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  • Find a good forum board to post on. Right here at the Bodybuilding.com forum is a great place. A good forum with a good community will encourage you to workout harder, you'll learn new things, and even meet new friends that share you interest in bodybuilding.
  • Keeping a log is another great way to stay motivated and keep track of what you should be lifting. Also, if you have a bad day, you can look back in your log to see where you went wrong in either nutrition, rest, or the actual workout.