Posted on Leave a comment

How To Grow Calves in 12 Weeks

Ok ok, so below your knee resembles a chair leg and no matter what you do it isn’t changing. Will you ever grow calves? Never fear all is not lost, however this is an issue that has been plaguing bodybuilders for decades. Calves are one muscle whose natural shape and size is heavily determined by genetics, the main factor being where the insert of the soleus and plantaris begin. Some people’s calf begins right down near the ankle, a very low insert. Generally, a low insert means a much larger calf muscle to begin with. For some the insert will begin mid-way up the lower leg, or even higher. The higher the insert the less muscle you have to begin with. This is something you cannot change.

Grow Calves

I should start by explaining that I myself am an amateur bodybuilder and my calves have always, well… sucked! For many years I ran with the excuse that I’m genetically disadvantaged and so I shouldn’t be expected to grow calves. But as my knowledge of the human body and mechanisms for muscle growth increased, I realised there is no reason why they shouldn’t grow. SO I have high inserts, it doesn’t mean I can’t optimise the muscle that is there, I can add size and density. With the right stimulus and progressive overload every muscle MUST grow.

This next part is more my own personal theory about the calf muscle. Kind of anecdotal, but it seems to be working for me so here it is; I thought about the calf and how it differs from other muscles, we have been using it every single step since we took our first. It has taken us up hills, huge inclines and mountains. It has taken us on treks around shopping centres and tourist attractions for hours. It has driven us through sprints and helped us perform in countless sports. This is a muscle that has been under constant stress forever. Its is tight, tough and sinewy, it is a little workhorse and it knows how to take torture. How could I use this information to help me grow calves?

Grow Calves

How do you create microtears in a muscle that is solid as a rock and can take a beating? For me the answer was enormous volume. Even though I had told myself I’d trained my calves forever I could never really remember a time when they got sore like my other muscles. I had stuck to my standard bodybuilding style, 4 sets, 8 reps, heavy weight. For me, that wasn’t doing it.

I decided to form a program based on my theory. I believed my calves would need far more regular punishment than other muscles and I believed the only way to sufficiently torture them for soreness (microtears) would be massive volume. I would complete 2 exercises on calves every second day for a rep total of around 400 per session, however I would exceed that if I hadn’t hit failure on the final set of each exercise.  These calf sessions would be completed before my regular workouts. The workout structure I used is shown below:

Day 1 (Before my regular workout)

Seated calf raise machine –       

3 sets 50 reps (choosing a weight that would start to cause immense pain by 30 reps and forcing to 50)

4th set to absolute failure hitting a minimum 50 reps (increasing weight on the following Day 1 cycle if I exceeded 60 reps)

Toe Presses on Leg press machine-

3 sets 50 reps (choosing a weight that would start to cause immense pain by 30 reps and forcing to 50)

4th set to absolute failure hitting a minimum 50 reps (increasing weight on the following Day 1 cycle if I exceeded 60 reps)

Day 2 – Rest Calves (Still complete regular workout)

Day 3 (Before my regular workout)

Standing Calf Raise Machine –    

3 sets 50 reps (choosing a weight that would start to cause immense pain by 30 reps and forcing to 50)

4th set to absolute failure hitting a minimum 50 reps (increasing weight on the following Day 3 cycle if I exceeded 60 reps)

Donkey Calf raise Machine (or Donkey Smith Machine)

3 sets 50 reps (choosing a weight that would start to cause immense pain by 30 reps and forcing to 50)

4th set to absolute failure hitting a minimum 50 reps (increasing weight on the following Day 3 cycle if I exceeded 60 reps)

Day 4 – Rest Calves (Still complete regular workout) REPEAT

 

I noticed that although I could get that blistering soreness in my calves, they recovered much faster than my other muscles. If I wanted to grow calves, It was very important for me to hit them every second day. After 12 weeks on this program, not only was I experiencing that soreness I knew was so crucial to growth… My calves had noticeable changes. I could see a separation in the two muscles of the calf and from a front view there was a small sweep on both the inside and outside of my lower leg. For myself, I had cracked the Davinci code of calf growth.

Grow Calves

Posted on Leave a comment

BodyBuilding at 40

There’s a lot of controversy being thrown around about BodyBuilding at 40, lets throw all that negativity out the window today and talk about all the BENEFITS of getting that Body you’ve been dreaming of and maintaining a healthy lifestyle after you hit the big 40.

Body building isn’t just a game for the young bucks to play, it’s something we can all achieve, and while our body does start to deteriorate with age, getting healthy and working out can help slow down that process. Have you ever seen somebody BodyBuilding at 40 that isn’t living life to the fullest? I sure haven’t.

Let me give you some must Do’s and Don’ts

BodyBuilding at 40

Start it Slow

Starting at 40 isn’t always easy, make sure you give yourself enough time to start your workout with some solid stretching to get those muscles ready for the pain you’re about to put them through.

Start it Light

EVERYONE starts slow, don’t jump straight into 40kg dumb bell bicep curls just because they’re there, start yourself off with light weights and high repetitions so you can get your form right.

Keep it Simple

There are so many PT’s out there creating elaborate workouts for people to follow…. You don’t need it. Start off by building solid proficiency in all your base movements functional movements, like push up’s, pull ups and squats, when you’ve mastered these then move into new and exciting things. If you keep up with your foundation exercises you’ll most certainly notice a difference in how you look and feel.

BodyBuilding at 40

Work Hard

No matter what age you are, you need to feel that strain when working out, if it doesn’t feel like you’re working, you’re not working. Getting and maintaining fitness isn’t something that is handed to you, it has to be earned through hard work and effort.

Fuel Your Body

Eat the good stuff, eat the salad, smash the chicken, ingest the beans…. Your body will thank you for it.

Be Consistent

Don’t talk yourself out of training by thinking too much, a lot of people will meticulously work out what they want to do and when…. And then miss a whole week because the missed one day, then that week can turn into a month and longer from there. Keep it simple, if you didn’t go to the gym yesterday, make the time today.

BodyBuilding at 40

Don’t Expect to See Results Overnight

Everyone hopes for a quick fix in your appearance, if you spent the last 40 years eating wrong and remaining mostly stationary, getting to where you want to want to be is going to take some time. Take it slow, eat right and train hard and you’ll notice a difference in how you feel and eventually how you look.

Don’t Dwell on Your Age

Your age doesn’t make you who you are or define how hard you work, don’t destroy your self esteem by saying “I’m too old for this”

Don’t hibernate

Sure you need rest, but you don’t need as much rest as you think you do – no one needs 10-12 hours of sleep per night or a nap during the day.

BodyBuilding at 40

BodyBuilding at 40 The Final Say

Hitting 40 is most definitely not a reason to give up on achieving the body you want. While things can get a little harder as we age there are some simple things we can do to achieve the absolute best results possible. Throw away those thoughts of being old and useless. You are whatever you believe you are and from now on it’s “That hot 40 year old with the amazing bod.”

Posted on Leave a comment

What Comes First, Weights or Cardio?

Weights or cardio… So you’ve started reading this article because you NEED to know the best way to set out your workout in order to get maximum results, am I right?

But what first? Do I lift first and compromise my running, or run first and compromise my strength training?

We’re here now to help you answer that burning question.

At this stage you know what you want, you want to be lean, you want to be fit, you want the benefits of cardio and strength training all rolled into one package, that package being your body. You know that to be fit and fast you need to get the ball rolling on cardio and you know that strength sessions can help build up your physical and mental endurance. However, when time comes into play, it’s hard too do these two things separately and you’ve thought to yourself, how do I lay out my session, if I want to roll cardio and strength training into one session?

Weights or Cardio

Weights or Cardio?… PUMP IT UP!

The answer friends, is strength training. There are multiple studies that have direct links to weights being more beneficial to you than cardio first.

Have you ever suffered painfully through a strength session after busting out a 5-10km run? It’s the most tedious, mind-numbingly painful thing.  You’re putting in little effort, your lifting shy of what you normally would and can’t bust out as many reps as you usually would. It. Is. Painful.

On the other side though, have you ever done a solid session of strength at the gym, and then found yourself energised and ready to knock some KM’s under your belt on the treadmill? I certainly have.

Weights or Cardio

What are the benefits? And why?

If you’re wanting to look ripped, is it going to be weights or cardio? you need to use your stored body fat as fuel for your work-out, this can only be done by utilising your glycogen store first – by strength training. Studies have found that there was more fat burned during a cardio session for the first 15 minutes if you did it AFTER your strength session, how great is that!

There is a definite increase in fat burning potential after a strength session, research has shown that energy is elevated for up to 24hrs after strength training which increases the percentage of fat being burned.

The increase in this energy expenditure is generally equal too or better than performing steady state aerobic exercise.

So there you have it, pump out some weights, THEN go for you run. Why not give it a go and leave us some feedback on how you think you performed?

weights or cardio

Posted on Leave a comment

Supplements vs. Steroids

What is a Steroid?

The specific type of steroids we’ll be talking about are the most commonly spoken about ones, Anabolic steroids.

Anabolic steroids can be used to help build bigger muscles, faster. When we work on building our muscles through training, we create micro tears in our muscle fibres, and every time it heals, it grows back bigger. Anabolic Steroids stimulate the male sex hormone testosterone, which Facilitates muscle growth and helps increase the results.

Anabolic steroids can help you builder bigger, better and leaner muscles and can be taken orally or through injections. The taboo around them has existed for a very long time, but they can be both helpful and also have some side effects.

Steroids Sup[plements

Benefits

  • Promotes muscle building
  • Reduces “Overtraining” and allows you to work out longer and harder
  • Enhance athletic performance
  • Faster recovery

Steroids Supplements

Side effects

  • Acne
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Baldness
  • Increased body hair
  • Increased Cholesterol
  • Fertility Issues
  • Potential for impotence
  • Heart disease

We can see without a doubt that there are both good and bad  effects, However due to the fact that anabolic steroids are illegal without prescription and the fact that some of the side effects can be life altering or even life ending, I for one would see the potential risk to be far to high. Especially considering we have supplements that we know can help us achieve fast effective results, there are a plethora of peer reviewed studies to show this. Granted the effectiveness of Anabolic Steroids is much greater but the risks are also infinitely greater.

Steroids Supplements

What is a Supplement?

Dietary supplements can be a variety things i.e.; Vitamins, Minerals, herbal or botanical, amino acids, Concentrate, metabolite, constitute or extract. Depending on what you want to do and what your goals are, there are so many supplements you can take to help you achieve your goals.

Some key supplements that you should include in your daily routine to help achieve muscle growth and better definition are:

  • Whey protein:

Protein is one of the most widely used supplements, and for good reason, it will increase your daily protein intake quickly and prevent your body from entering catabolism.

Steroids Supplements

  • Creatine:

Creatine helps boost your ability to utilise more energy under strain, it’s a nitrogenous organic acid that already occurs naturally in your body.

 

  • Multivitamin:

By the time we get our food, after it has been refined, packed and shipped to us, it has already some of it nutritional value. A multivitamin can help make sure we’re all getting enough of the good stuff we need to nourish our bodies properly.

Steroids Supplements

Conclusion

While it is obvious there is a temptation people to use anabolic steroids, the research is clear; Steroids come with extreme risk. We each take risks every day, we all have that little risk to benefit scale in out minds. For some people the scale can tip towards the benefit even when undertaking extremely risky activities. Some people like to skydive, some like to race high powered cars, some like to tight rope walk. None of these are activities I would personally undertake, but I realise its also not my place to judge. Definitely something to think about when condemning people for their actions. With all that said this girl will be sticking to her good old reliable supplements. Fast, Effective and without the risks. Ill leave the Anabolic Steroids up to the doctors.

Steroids Supplements

Posted on Leave a comment

The Best Bodybuilding Apps

Pump Some technology into your workouts… Bodybuilding Apps

In this day and age technology is one of the key influences in our everyday life, we use it to get directions, schedule our day, talk to our friends online and to keep up to date on the latest and greatest. But how does it benefit body builders and fitness fanatics alike? How does it help to make our everyday exercise more convenient for us? Today I’ll be listing off some amazing Bodybuilding Apps that will help you add value to your routine.

Bodybuilding Apps

A HIIT Interval Timer

Are you stretched for time and want to smash though some HIIT sessions during the week? Then this is the one for you friend. A HIIT Interval timer is one of the simplest HIIT Timers to use with a few extra benefits. As simple as it is to use, A HIIT Interval times offers the extra benefits of being able to actually list off what exercises you want to complete during the HIIT Session, it even lets you set up how many rounds you want to complete. One of the truly Great Bodybuilding Apps.

BEST FEATURES

  • Set up your workouts and rounds and the App does the rest
  • Loud Ding to tell you when you’re due for a rest or your next exercise
  • Ability to set up multiple workouts
  • Ability to export workouts so they’re backed up to your phone
  • Set how many rounds and how long for, no time limits, you can go from 1 second to 1 hour
  • Ability to play music in the background
  • Count down timer 3 seconds before the next set so you have pre-warning

If you decide you love the basic version of the app you can update and get the License for it for just $1.19, doing this will enable the voice feature which means the app will TELL YOU WHAT YOUR NEXT EXERCISE IS. No need to stop and read what you’re doing, it’ll tell you.

Download this bodybuilding apps, give it a whirl, you won’t regret it.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pimpimmobile.atimer

Bodybuilding Apps

My Fitness Pal

My fitness pal is EXCELLENT for those wanting to keep on top of their diet. It lets you track your daily calorie intake and helps track your own macros.

BEST FEATURES

  • Calorie Counting
  • Macro Tracking
  • Syncs to other fitness apps including FITBIT device
  • Tracks weight gain/loss depending on your goals
  • Goal setting for what you want to achieve

Download it here on android:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.myfitnesspal.android

Bodybuilding Apps

Body Space

While utilising body space to its full potential can be a little bit clunky, the concept is brilliant. This app is absolutely BRILLIANT for beginners in weight lifting and provides some extra help to those who have been in the game for years.

The best component of this app is the “Exercise database” it has an entire data base of videos and images of different exercises and is listed by body part! You can also select whether your in a gym, at home, wanting to just stretch or wanting to use body weight only.

BEST FEATURES

  • Exercise database
  • Take and save progress images
  • Track a workout
  • Follow friends
  • Find an existing workout

Don’t just believe me though, download it via this link and let us know what you think! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bodybuilding.mobile

Bodybuilding Apps