Muscle & Fitness August 2008 Excerpt: 97 Rules To Breakthrough!

If you're being held prisoner by a nasty training rut, here are 97 ways to bust out - and stay out - for good. Try them now!

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Breakthrough To A Better You!
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If you're being held prisoner by a nasty training rut, here are 97 ways to bust out - and stay out - for good

When it comes to helping you breakthrough your training plateaus, we knew a sprinkling of tips wouldn't cover it. After some discussion, we figured even a "healthy dose" of workout strategies just wasn't enough. A ton? A boatload? Nope - we decided only an avalanche of tips would be sufficient in providing you with the information you need to be your very best.

How many tips are in an avalanche, you ask? Well, turns out that after poring over every conceivable way to help you improve your workouts, 97 tips constitutes an avalanche. Now get reading and break through your training rut today!

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General
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1. Keep A Training Log:
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    Only by utilizing a bodybuilding diary can you objectively and accurately assess your progress, isolate trouble spots and devise actual solutions to your problems. Be sure to list every workout - exercises, sets, reps and weight. Include other cogent facts such as personal bests in weight lifted or reps completed, as well as how you felt that day.

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2. Keep Track Of Your Bodyweight:
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    Check your bodyweight once a week on the same scale and at the same time - ideally, in the morning before you eat - on the same day. During a mass-building program, a realistic weight gain is 1-2 pounds per week. Any more than that and the increase may be in the form of fat. By recording your bodyweight consistently, you'll get an accurate read on whether you're hitting your goals.

BODYSPACE: TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
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3. Don't Add Too Much Body Fat:
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    On the other hand, if the inch you're pinching around your waist is not-so-subtly expanding to 2 or 3, you're overeating. While muscle can grow only so fast, body fat can increase rapidly. Keep body fat gains to a minimum by eating only slightly more calories than you need to maintain your bodyweight.

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4. Know Your Routine Before You Walk Into The Gym:
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    Always plan your workout in advance so you're mentally prepared for the training session. Knowing which muscle group (or groups) you'll hit, the exercises you'll use, and the set and rep ranges you'll employ will put you on the fast track to muscle growth.

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Workout Strategies
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5. Focus On Quality, Not Quantity, In Ab Training:
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    You often hear about fit guys performing 1,000 crunches in a session, but you don't hear professional bodybuilders say that. Why? One thousand crunches is a cardio workout. It'll burn a lot of calories (fairly inefficiently), but it won't leave behind a ripped sixer. A well-deline-ated six-pack comes from the intensity of individual ab movements. If you can perform more than 20 reps in any set, you ain't workin' hard enough. Time to add some resistance.

Abs (Self-Portrait)
Abs (Self-Portrait)
How Sweet Is A Six-Pack?!

Week #14 - 6/13/2006
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6. Press For Size:
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+ Click To Enlarge.
Barbell Shoulder Press.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

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7. Work With A Training Partner:
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    A reliable gym partner provides the necessary motivation to diet and train hard enough to make substantive progress. A knowledgeable, sensitive partner can help make your workouts more effective and rewarding while accelerating your progress. The relationship should be symbiotic, with each of you highlighting the other's strengths and working on one another's weaknesses.

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8. Powerlift For Size:
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Tips 9-97 await you in the August issue of M&F, on newsstands now!