New Year's Resolution: Mass Building - Tips, Techniques & Abs (Part Ten)!

Is your New Year's resolution aimed towards gaining overall mass? Then learn and use the most effective training tips & techniques. Utilize these along with abs anatomy descriptions, exercises, and a fully loaded workout plan!

Is your New Year's resolution aimed towards gaining mass? Are you tired of being skinny? Are you stuck at a plateau? If you've answered yes to any of those questions, read on to learn about the most effective method to pack on lean body mass, in an easy to understand, step by step format.

Everything from anatomy, exercises, sets, reps, and workout plans is included, along with advice on nutrition and supplementation towards the end of this 12 part series, which will ensure you reach your goals faster than ever before!

Today's focus is on training tips and techniques, which will accelerate your progress and keep you from getting injured, along with the correct approach to abdominal training.

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The Importance of Cardiovascular Training
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Whether you're training to gain muscle mass or lose weight, you should always include cardio in your workout regimen. Cardio strengthens the heart, which is a pumping muscle responsible for distributing blood to the various organs throughout the body. Neglecting to do cardio can result in a weak heart and possibly cause several other negative health effects.

Cardio
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Cardio Strengthens The Heart.

Depending on your specific goals, there needs to be adjustments in the amount of cardio that you will be doing. In the case of this 12 part series, the goal is to build mass, so cardio should be done about 3 times a week, for 30-45 minutes. Try not to exceed that amount because you will end up burning too many calories, thus decreasing the chance to gain additional muscle mass.

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Training Techniques
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Incorporating training techniques into your workouts can accelerate your progress and keep your workouts from being too repetitive. It is highly recommended that you include a few training techniques in your workouts each week.

Let's take a look at ten of the best training techniques, along with their descriptions.

    Superset

      A superset is the alternating of two exercises with no breaks between each pair of sets.

Superset Video Guide.
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    Triset

      A triset is the alternating of three exercises with no breaks between each group of three sets.

    Giant Set

      A giant set is the alternating of four exercises with no breaks between each group of four sets.

    Rest-Pause

      Rest-pause is the method where one performs a set of an exercise to failure, rests for a few seconds, and then reattempts to perform additional reps.

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    Forced Rep

      A forced rep is when one performs a set of an exercise to failure and then receives assistance from a partner to perform additional reps.

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    Partial Rep

      A partial rep is when one performs only a particular portion of an exercise.

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    Cheat Rep

      A cheat rep is when one performs a set of an exercise to failure and cheats on the last few reps by using a jerking movement and/or momentum.

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    Negative Rep

      A negative rep is when one performs a set of an exercise with the assistance of a partner once the motion is past the negative portion.

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    Pre-Exhaust

      Pre-exhaust is the method where one performs a few sets of an isolation exercise on a certain muscle to fatigue it and then performs a few sets of a compound exercise targeting that same muscle.

    Post-Exhaust

      Post-exhaust is the method where one performs a few sets of a compound exercise on a certain muscle to fatigue it and then performs a few sets of an isolation exercise targeting that same muscle.

    Injury Prevention

      Training with heavy weights can lead to a number of injuries, some of which can require surgery, such as muscle tears. For that reason, it is vital to utilize injury prevention techniques, including warming up properly and getting adequate recovery through off days from the gym and sleeping. Also, make sure to employ the best form possible on all of the exercises and, if possible, get a spotter for your heavy sets.

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The Truth About Abdominal Training
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Unlike all of the other muscles included in this series, the abdominals are not a muscle you would want to build much mass on. Training the abs with heavy weights would result in a wide and blocky stomach. Unless that's your goal, you should train the abs with minimal to no weights.

Now you may be wondering why abdominal training is included in this mass building series, although the muscle shouldn't have much mass. Well, the reason is because you need to train all of the muscle groups to maintain balance. Also, training the abs strengthens the core, which is involved in many exercises, including squats and deadlifts.

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Abdominal Anatomy
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Let's first look at the anatomy of the abdominals, so you know exactly which muscles you will be training.

arrow Rectus Abdominis

    The rectus abdominis originates from the pubic and crest, and inserts on the costal cartilages of ribs 5-7 and the xyphoid process. Its main function is to flex the trunk.

arrow External Oblique

    The external oblique originates from the lower 8 ribs and inserts on the linea alba, pubic, and anterior iliac crest. Its main function is to flex the trunk laterally.

arrow Internal Oblique

    The internal oblique originates from the anterior iliac crest and inserts on the costal cartilage of the lower 4 ribs. Its main function is to flex the trunk laterally.

arrow Traverse Abdominis

    The traverse abdominis originates from the iliac crest, thoracolumbar aponeurosis, and the costal cartilages of ribs 7-12. Its main function is to compress the abdominals.

ABDOMINALS ANATOMY
Click Text For Info.

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Exercises
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Now that you know the anatomy of the abdominals, it's time for you to learn about their exercises.

    Crunch

      The crunch is an isolation movement used to build the abdominals, especially the upper portion.

Abs Abs
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Crunches.

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    Exercise Ball Crunch

      The exercise ball crunch is an isolation movement used to build the abdominals, especially the upper portion.

Abs Abs
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Exercise Ball Crunch.

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    Hanging Leg Raise

      The hanging leg raise is an isolation movement used to build the abdominals, especially the lower portion.

Abs Abs
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Hanging Leg Raise.

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    Decline Reverse Crunch

      The decline reverse crunch is an isolation movement used to build the abdominals, especially the lower portion.

Abs Abs
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Decline Reverse Crunch.

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    Oblique Crunch

      The oblique crunch is an isolation movement used to build the obliques.

Abs Abs
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Oblique Crunch.

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    Decline Oblique Crunch

      The decline oblique crunch is an isolation movement used to build the obliques.

Abs Abs
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Decline Oblique Crunch.

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

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Sets and Rep Ranges
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Next up for you to learn is the amount of sets and rep ranges that will allow you to efficiently build the abdominals.

arrow Isolation Exercises

    All isolation exercises in the workout plan require 3 sets consisting of 25 reps, to build a slight amount of mass in the abdominals.

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Workout Plan
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Finally, the moment you've been waiting for! The workout plan consists of 4 weeks of differing workouts, with only two abdominal workouts each week. After the fourth week is completed, the workout cycle needs to be repeated.

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Conclusion
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Make this new year's resolution one to remember! Train hard, stay consistent, and be prepared to look your best! Check back soon for part 11 of this series.


Bonus
Liftrite Episode #7 - Abdominal Training

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References: