When people from around the world log on to Bodybuilding.com, they expect to learn from and be inspired by the best athletes and experts in the business. Team Cellucor athletes are outstanding in their ability to educate people at all levels of bodybuilding and weight training.
We've asked these athletes and experts to share some of their best advice on a wide range of fitness and lifting topics. Get it straight from the horses' mouths with these 16 top notch tips. Make them part of your own personal program, and you’ll likely see your best results.
Craig Capurso, IFBB Pro
Cellucor-sponsored IFBB physique pro Craig Capurso has seen and done it all in the gym. Owner and operator of Fire & Ice Fitness and formerly a Wall Street oil futures trader, Craig discusses how he invests in himself to build a body that impresses onstage and off.
Capurso on Cardio
"My preferred choice for cardio is actually no cardio at all. But when I'm cutting and need to do it, the last place you'll find me is on a treadmill. Instead, I'll do a Tabata workout, take a spin class, hit the rowing machine, or work out with the heavy bag. Beginners should shoot to complete eight Tabata rounds, which adds up to four minutes. Start there and work your way up to 20 minutes of multiple Tabata rounds. Reach that level, and you'll be a cardio champion!"
Capurso Talks Traps
"What's the best day for trapezius training? Some say shoulder day; others, back day. The fact is that you're going to hit your traps on both of these days. Personally, I prefer shoulder day, when I can add a trap squeeze to every exercise I do for some great added growth stimulus."
Awesome Abs Tip
"Even though abs have a lot of slow-twitch muscle fibers, they should still be trained in the 8-12-rep range—especially if you're training for that cobblestone look that comes from a bulging six-pack. When I want to work the inner ab wall—the part that's not visible—I use static holds lasting 30-60 seconds."
"5x5s deliver a stronger strength stimulus than a lighter load ever could, and they set the foundation for the volume to come. Choose a weight you can do about 6 reps with—using good form and with max effort. Stop your first 2 sets short of muscle failure; bring your last three sets very close to failure."
Jen Jewell, WBFF Pro
Jen Jewell is among the most popular fitness pros in the WBFF. This Team Cellucor star has been inspiring people all around the world since 2012. The former gymnast and personal trainer has been published as both a model and writer, but she has been educating and helping people since she taught group fitness classes in high school!
Jen on Unilateral Training
"I find that training each limb independently—unilateral training—is an incredibly effective way to bring up lagging body parts. For example, instead of performing a standard deadlift with a barbell, I'll do it one-legged deadlifts using a dumbbell. This approach helps me focus on pushing through my heel and using far more of my glutes than I would if both feet were on the ground and I was using a barbell. I've also found that my mind-muscle connection is much stronger when I include unilateral movements in my workouts."
"I totally skip machines on arm day. I love the fact that working with free weights forces my stabilizer muscles to work. This allows me to use a more natural movement. It also forces me to control both the load and direction of each exercise."
Focus on Your Flexibility
"I don't let the occasional social event or life circumstances ruin my fitness plan. If something is part of my life, it's got to be part of my plan. Flexibility, moderation, and overall good nutrition are the keys to a well-rounded, fit life. The fact is that one healthy meal isn't going to transform you into an Adonis or Aphrodite. On the other hand, one 'off-track' meal won't turn you into a couch potato."
Jen Makes It Happen
"If bad weather keeps you from hitting the gym, work out at home! Clear a spot in your living room, grab your dumbbells, a jump rope, and your laptop and get ready for a new challenge. Not only will this keep you accountable for your fitness, but it's also a fun way to mix up your normal exercise regimen. It might sound silly, but it works!"
Mike Robertson, CSCS
Mike Robertson, president of Robertson Training Systems, is well known as the architect of Bodybuilding.com's "Built By Science" trainer. This Ball State University graduate's life experience, along with his master's degree in sports biomechanics, makes him the go-to guy for science-based training insight.
High Reps Plus Low Reps
"You need to spend dedicated periods of time in both the high-rep and low-rep ranges to maximize your development. High reps build muscle and connective tissue strength, and give your body respite from the grind of low-rep sets. Low-rep sets build neuromuscular and central nervous system efficiency. Do both, and when you become more efficient, you can go back to your big lifts and use more weight than before."
Ranges of Motion
"Maintain full range of motion and just do your best. Can't hit that last set of pull-ups? Modify with the jumping or band-assisted version. Don't fall victim to sloppy form. Concentrate on contracting your lats as you flex your elbows, and avoid swinging or jerking movements."
Robertson on Recovery
"If you're serious about your time inside the gym, you need to be just as serious about your time outside of it. Adequate rest is essential for muscle recovery, repair, growth, and development. Without ample rest and smart nutrition, you simply won't be able to build the body you want. With them, you can get there—and probably more quickly."
"If you have shoulder pain when pressing with a traditional pronated (palms facing away) grip, try using a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and dumbbells. This subtle external rotation of your shoulder opens up what’s called your subacromial space, giving your rotator cuff some breathing room."
Ross “Boss” Everline
While he's best known for his role as actor and comedian Kevin Hart's personal trainer, Ross Everline trains and works like a boss in his own right. In addition to training Hart, he leads his own company, "Just Train." The Boss is a training and motivation master for the rest of us too.
To Get Lean, Buy Lean
"To get lean, focus on increasing lean proteins while limiting sugar; amping up water intake to prevent dehydration and feel fuller between meals; and lowering your sodium by choosing foods with less salt."
Start Again Each Day
"As long as you make little improvements over time, that's what matters. Motivation comes from a daily effort to want to be better. If today isn't the best day, maybe tomorrow will be. That's the attitude I try to get my clients to buy into: Your week doesn't start on Monday—it starts every day."
Boss Knows Schedules
"I try to make sure that, no matter how busy my day is, I find time to train. If my day starts at 5 a.m., I go to the gym at 4. If I'm at a hotel, I check out the gym before I check in. If the gym sucks, I'll use bands and work out in my hotel room or go for a run at a local park."
Keep On Keeping On
"Think of it this way: Would you rather be a player who has a sensational game every once in a while, or one who is consistent, game in and game out? There will be moments when you'll be a superstar, setting a personal best or just being on an all-time high for a few weeks. And then there are those other days. Just focus on building a healthy lifestyle and staying with it, and hang out with like-minded people who can help you stay on track—and vice versa. Stick with it, be consistent, and you will see results."