How Pull Ups Can Benefit Your Back Workout

It is important to add an effective back workout program to your gym routine because these muscles will not only help your physique, but also help improve your posture.

Most gyms have a variety of different machines that target your back muscles. There are also a couple of exercises you can do right from your home to make things easier. We are just going to focus on the pull up because it is a great way to develop your back muscles.

 Pull ups

Pull ups target your latissimus dorsi muscles. These are the muscles that can give your body more of a “V” shape instead of a square.

The great thing about pull ups is that you can do them in the comfort of your own home if you have a pull up bar.

They are great for targeting your back muscles as well as your core and biceps.

Don’t worry If you are not able to do a single pull up with your own body weight. Many people simply do not yet have the strength to pull up their body weight. Fortunately, most gyms have assisted pull up machines that can help you build up your strength until you are able to do them on your own.

You can also follow this 5 phase program to do your first pull up:

Another alternative is to use a lat pull down machine that has the pull up attachment.

Proper Form

Many people make the mistake of swinging their body and using momentum to complete a repetition. It is crucial that you do not do this because you may injure yourself, and you are basically just wasting your time.

Pull ups should be performed with strict form in order to target your back muscles most effectively.

 

  1. Begin by holding onto the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Your palms should be facing away from you on this exercise.
  2. Hang onto the bar with your arms straight.
  3. Lift your legs off the ground and begin pulling your weight up using your lattissimus Doris muscles and your arms.
  4. Be sure to keep your neck in a neutral position throughout the repetition to avoid strain.
  5. When performing a pull up, it helps to pretend you are squeezing your back muscles together.

Best Weight Training Workout Routines For Beginners

When it comes to weight training, the structure of your workout is very important for your success and ability to make good gains. There are many people who go into the gym with no plan on what muscles to workout until they see a machine or exercise that they feel like doing. By going in without a plan, they are at a disadvantage for a few reasons.

For starters, if you plan on weight training on a consistent basis, you probably end up neglecting muscles you think you don’t need to work on. As a result, you will probably end up looking like Mr. Incredible – who has a huge upper body, but shrimpy legs. This is because many people (especially men) neglect working out legs and end up with a disproportionate physique as a result. Another gem is where the person only works out their arms and abs. You don’t want to be “that guy”.

Another failure that many people have when they don’t have a set plan is to quickly lose motivation. How are you supposed to improve on a particular exercise if you are just bouncing from machine to machine? It can be very difficult to track your lifts this way and usually people who do this aren’t fully invested or interested in achieving progress.

If you are looking to improve instead of maintain you have to improve on your lifts from week to week. This is because the only way to entice your muscles to advance is to increase the load in whatever rep range you are working on.

Structuring a Good Program


The key to a good workout program is to really focus in on the main compound lifts and then the more isolated lifts. Compound lifts are exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and bench press. Simply hitting these three will ensure you are not neglecting any major muscle groups.

So a good basic plan would be to focus on deadlifts on Monday, bench press on Wednesday, and squats on Friday. The days inbetween will be rest days where you will rest and give your muscles some time to repair.

However, that would be a very basic workout. I like to include a major compound lift along with a supplementary lift or 2 in each workout. For example, monday I will mainly focus on deadlifts, but my second exercise is chin-ups. On Wednesday my main focus is bench press (chest), but my second exercise would be military press (shoulders).

Avoiding Mistakes in Workout Structure
The reason you would want to keep exercises like deadlifts and squats apart is because they both are heavily compounded exercises which involve the legs. For example, If you did deadlifts, then squats back to back your legs will be to sore or fatigued to achieve any progress. In fact, it may likely lead to the break down of muscle instead of growth.

If you are a beginner or advanced one of the best programs out there is probably Mark Rippetoe’s starting strength. It focuses on basic compound lifts that will give you incredible results. He also is a great teacher of having the proper form which should be your primary focus as a beginner. Once you have the form down, you can focus on increasing the weight load on each lift.

Achieving a New Body With Age

Many people believe that the rapid deterioration of the human body as we reach old age is inevitable. While this is partially true, most of this is the result of a transition to a sedentary lifestyle.

Recent scientific studies show that muscle can actually be maintained quite well all the way up to the age of 85 years old.

So how do you maintain muscle and body composition through old age?

Weight lifting!

Resistance training puts stress on the muscle to that it can be repaired to become stronger and if your diet is right, you can actually gain muscle volume which makes you appear decades younger.

How do I get started?

Well first you will want to join a local gym or build a home gym that can suit both the upper and the lower body. Then you need to construct a workout program that can target important muscles that will develop into the new you.

There are many different programs and rep ranges to work with so my advice is to pick one and stick with it for a period of time before you try another one.

You will also want to work in the 3-5 rep range for strength and the 6-10 rep range for gaining muscle. So keep that in mind when choosing a program.

If you are a beginner, I recommend a 5×5 program. 5 sets of 5 reps for each exercise. However, there are many other programs that work very well for beginners.

If you are interested you may want to check out this Old School New Body fitness system review. It is a diet and exercise program developed by an older couple who have managed to completely take control of the aging process:

The key to success with any workout program is consistency. Actually use the workout routine as a routine part of your lifestyle. Like brushing your teeth every day, you should take care of your health everyday.

If you find working out routinely a huge challenge for you, try just taking a walk every day until it becomes a habit. Once you see the results, you will naturally want to start increasing the intensity and adding a solid weight training program into this routine.

Achieving an Aesthetic Physique

One of the main reasons people workout is to achieve great aesthetics. Me along with many others, aspire to push our bodies to adapt and build muscle. Achieving a great physique not only requires hard work and discipline, but the knowledge of exercise science and nutrition.

Don’t just jump right in and begin consuming a limitless amount of useless supplements. Try to learn about the things that really work before even considering a supplement.

A large portion of my knowledge comes from great fitness Youtube channels such as flexforall2. Then you have fitness programs like the Adonis Golden Ratiowhich has some good advice and tools to attaining the ideal proportions of a great “Adonis” like physique. Just remember to do the fact checking on your own before blindly believing everything you hear.

Once you attain a decent level of know how you can begin putting ideas to practice. There are a variety of lifting programs out there that get the job done. As a beginner you should make sure you include all of the basic compound lifts in your program (e.g squats, deadlifts, and bench press.) As you gain a solid foundation of muscle you can start to look at areas that are falling behind and begin to target them more. For example, I my chest is small in proportion to my arms so I throw in more chest exercises into my program to make up for it.

Nutrition is also very important. Never do a dirty bulk where you indiscriminately eat as many calories as you can. This will likely result in too large of a surplus and you will start to gain too much fat. Stick to a high protein diet with a low-moderate surplus relative to your BMR and enjoy the muscle gain without much fat. Then to get shredded all you will need is a few weeks to a month of cutting.

What is Barre Fitness?

Barre fitness is a relatively new fitness trend that is really gaining popularity – mainly because it is proving to provide good results. Barre workouts primarily focus on the lower body resistance, but also includes some upper body. These workouts help produce a healthy and lean body composition.

When you sign up for a barre class, you can expect to workout in a large open space with mirrors. Generally, you won’t have to wear shoes or socks when performing the workout. However, some people like to wear the socks with grips on them like a yoga or Pilates class.

What to expect in a Barre Class
The workouts are typically under 1 hour including warm-up and warm-down sessions. Barre fitness is designed for a variety of fitness levels and body types. People who have received their barre certification are able to properly teach the right techniques in a multi-level class environment. This means they will be able to modify some of the movements for beginners and show advanced movements for the more experienced. A good instructor will most likely have their certification and will be able to give you the safest and most effective workouts.

 

The Most Essential Gym Equipment For Your Home Gym

Building a home gym is a great way to get in shape for those who dread going to their local gym every day. Home gyms are extremely convenient, and can be just as effective as a commercial gym if done properly. So what gym equipment will get you closest to achieving your goals?

Power Rack

I would consider a power rack one of the best pieces of gym equipment you can get because they provide a safe way to complete a large variety of different exercises. Most importantly, you can do the “Big 3” when it comes to lifting weights: Squats, Dead lifts, and Bench press. Many power racks even have a bar up top that allows you to do chin ups, or pull ups.

Power racks are also ideal in terms of safety. A good power rack will have adjustable bars that can catch the barbell if you fail a rep.

Olympic Size Barbell

Without this essential piece of gym equipment, your power rack will basically be useless. A barbell will allow you to do a variety of workouts like bench press, shoulder press, curls, squats, deadlifts, and more. Given that you can train every part of your body with a barbell, it will be an essential addition to your home gym.

Bench

In order to maximize the amount of exercises you can do, you will need a bench. Ideally, you want a bench that is able to do incline, flat, and decline. An adjustable bench will greatly increase the amount of exercises you can do. Look for a quality bench that provides a lot of stability.

Weight Plates

All of the above pieces of equipment will be pretty useless without some Olympic size weight plates. You can buy these individually or by the set (much cheaper this way).

Dumbbell set

A good set of dumbbells will basically complete your home gym. It will greatly increase the amount of exercises you can do. Some exercises include: curls, dumbbell flys, military press, lateral Raises, dumbbell rows, tricep extensions, and much more.

Curl Bar

This is not a totally necessary piece of gym equipment but it is good to have. It can definitely add a variety of exercises to your arsenal. Be sure to get a curl bar that will be compatible with your weight plates.

Cardio Equipment of Your Choice

When it comes to cardio, it is important to choose a piece of equipment you enjoy the most. Some people prefer a stationary bike over a treadmill, or vice versa. Maybe you like the elliptical the best to burn those calories. Choose the one that you can see yourself doing for a long period of time. This will allow you to stay more consistent and help prevent you from dreading your workouts.

These are some of the best pieces of gym equipment you can have for a good home gym. You will be able to complete a huge variety of exercises within the convenience of your own home.

Personal Trainer Qualifications

The demands for a personal trainer have increased quite a lot in the past few years. It seems that people are looking to get fit now more than ever. As a result, this opens up a lot of opportunity for those who want to become a personal trainer as a career or even just a job on the side. If you are one who wants to get certified, you have to learn the personal trainer qualifications so you can get started.

The first thing you have to understand about getting certified as a personal trainer is that there are a number of certifications out there. There are also a lot of good options as the companies who are offering certifications are trying to outmatch the competition to become the ‘go to’ option for everyone looking to become a certified personal trainer. I recommend that you do the research to find a program which suits you the best. If you are looking to train for a particular gym then you should ask them what they require before making your choice.

If you are serious about becoming a personal trainer then you are going to want to do more than the bare minimum to be successful. This means that you will want to have the best certifications. Unfortunately, it seems the the most reputable certification programs are also the most expensive. However, many of these programs have options for you to pay in installments.

Being a personal trainer is more than just having the best qualifications – you also have to have what it takes to gain the reputation to become successful. This includes:

  • Being good with people.
  • A person who is able to motivate others.
  • Someone who is passionate about health and fitness themselves.
  • Someone who is actually knowledgeable about health and fitness.

I think the last point is very important. Just having a certification does not turn you into a expert who knows everything about health and fitness. In fact, there are many personal trainers who routinely spread false and potentially harmful information as if it were the undeniable truth. A personal trainer who is knowledgeable about the science of fitness is a very valuable one and people will take notice of this and recommend you as a good personal trainer.

Fast Twitch Vs. Slow Twitch Muscles

There are two main classifications of muscle fibers: Slow-Twitch muscle fibers (Type I) and fast-twitch muscle fibers (Type II). There is a lot of debate regarding the body’s ability to adapt its muscle fibers from one type to another. Some studies seem to show some ability to affect muscle fiber type with training, while other studies show no correlation.

Type I fibers are able to use oxygen more efficiently. Slow-Twitch muscles, as the name suggests, fire more slowly than fast-twitch muscles. These fibers are most efficient when performing high rep low weight actions. This becomes important in anaerobic exercise such as running a marathon. It is found that marathon runners tend to have higher percentages of Type I fibers, though the cause-effect relationship is not known. It could be that marathon runners have a high percentage of Type I fibers due to the training, or it could be that people with low percentages of Type I fibers simply do not become marathon runners.

Type II muscle fibers are further categorized into Type IIa and Type IIb fibers. Type IIa fibers can be thought of as hybrids between slow twitch and fast twitch muscles. These muscle fibers can alternate efficiently between anaerobic activity and aerobic activity; this essentially gives you the best of both worlds, as far as performance is concerned. Type IIb muscle fibers are the iconic fast-twitch muscles. These fibers allow your body to perform high velocity high power movements, such as jumping high, or bench pressing high weight at low reps. The limitations of Type IIb fibers come from the recovery time. Since these fibers perform best during aerobic activity, these muscle fibers tend to fatigue more easily and tend to take longer to recover than Type I or Type IIa. This effect can be mitigated by making the body more efficient at delivering oxygen to these muscles, so that these fibers do not become oxygen deprived quickly.

Each play an important role in your body, and no person has all of one type or the other. Regardless of your body’s ability to change the muscle fiber types, training in a desired type of performance will always show improvement over time.