Mar 31, 2008 Gossip
The Item: Supplement Co. Contract Signing
The Scoop: Recently announced: IFBB Pro Paul Baker joins the promo crew at Muscleology, makers of RedtestTM and Nitro-ProTM. “Paul is a great choice to join our team,” says Muscleology Pres. Mush Hussain. “He brings years of training and knowledge about sports nutrition, combined with a strong dedication and commitment to helping others achieve their nutrition goals.” Paul turned pro in 2001 after his win at the Mr. Caribbean. Most recently, the muscle man I have now dubbed “The Jamaican Sensation” repped Muscleology at the 2008 Ironman in LA. Paul is pushing weight in Florida and has his guns and eyes pointed at the New York Pro Show in May. He will also hit the guest-posing circuit at several events this year including the NPC Southern States.
The “So What?”: The physiology and biography of Muscleology’s new mouthpiece is a BIG deal. The 6′1″, 280-pounder (325 lbs. off season) is the first Jamaican to win a Pro card. “I want to work with a company that is growing, and Muscleology is the right partner,” says Paul, whose involvement is key in Muscleology’s distribution expansion goals.
* Photo by Raymond Cassar
Mar 26, 2008 Transformation Stories
Don’t let the finer details of your physique lag behind. From forearms to calves and everything in between, ProSource tells you how you can bring six neglected body parts up to par.For something so often forgotten or ignored, the small details often make the difference between a mess and a masterpiece. What if Michelangelo had cut corners while sculpting the Statue of David, or Leonardo Da Vinci had breezed past the nuance in The Last Supper? The former may have turned out to be no more than a forgotten hunk of marble, the latter surely not one of the most examined and revered works of art of all time.
Of course, you may not be working on the same scale when crafting your physique — most of us just want a few admiring glances from the opposite sex and a body worth showing off at the beach — but details still matter.
Think of it this way: How impressive does a mighty set of biceps and triceps appear if attached to a splinter-thin forearm? How cartoonishly laughable are big thighs if “anchored” by spindly calves?
Yes, it’s not a pretty picture. But there’s hope. We can help you complete your own masterpiece, and without tons of extra time in the gym. A few sets here or there, and you can drastically improve these smaller yet important body parts.
Below are six commonly ignored muscles: We give you quick 10-minute workouts for each, and the best body parts to pair them with. Simply tack these workouts to the end of the suggested larger part, and over the course of a few weeks to months, they’ll not only become a regular element of your routine, but they’ll develop from weak points to strong — and maybe even become a highlight in your personal work of art.
The forearm muscles pair synergistically with your biceps workout, and can be worked with simple barbell and dumbbell exercises.
EXERCISE SETS REPS
Reverse EZ-Bar Curl 3 15, 12, 10
Barbell Wrist Curl 2 15, 12
Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl 2 12, 10
The first move is very similar to a standing biceps curl, except you hold the bar with a palms-down grip. For a barbell wrist curl, sit near the end of a bench, place your forearms flush on the bench between your legs, holding a bar off the end with a palms-up grip; then curl the bar up and down with your wrists in a full range of motion. For a reverse wrist curl, you simply turn your grip over so your palms face down (you’ll have to drop the weight, as you will be weaker in this position).
Obviously, calves go best with the rest of your leg training, but pro bodybuilders pair them with almost any workout with success, so you can follow suit — just be sure to hit them at least once, if not twice, a week for results.
EXERCISE SETS REPS
Standing Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 10
Donkey-Machine Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 10
Seated Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 10
Although you’ll be using reps up to 20, after a lighter first set, really try to ramp up the amount of weight you’re handling — calves will respond better to heavier loads. Keep in mind, they’re used to lifting your bodyweight countless times all day as you walk, so when you’re in the gym, you need a stronger stimulus to prod them. For all three exercises, employ a full range of motion, and try to hold each rep at the top for a second; if you can’t do so, you’ve gone too heavy. If you’re not familiar with it, the donkey calf machine is a piece of equipment where you bend 90 degrees at the hips and lift a pad set on your lower back and glutes by raising your heels. If your gym doesn’t have one, you can do three more sets of standing raises instead. Supersetting the last two exercises will help keep you moving and cut down on overall rest time.
3) Rear Delts
The rear delts are often the smallest of the three deltoid heads, because the front and side delts get more overall attention from lifters. The latter two heads are also more involved in pressing moves for shoulders and, to a degree, chest. To help the rear delts keep up, you want to continue working them in your regular delt workout, and then give them some bonus work as part of another day’s training. The following routine fits well at the end of a back workout, or at the beginning of an arms session.
EXERCISE SETS REPS
Bent-Over One-Arm Dumbbell Raise 4 12, 10, 10, 8
Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Raise 4 12, 10, 10, 8
Procure a flat bench for both of these exercises. They should be done slowly and under full control, feeling the rear delt contract on every rep. For the first, take a dumbbell in one hand and place your other hand on the bench. Your back should be flat, your core tight. Raise the dumbbell straight out to the side until your arm is parallel with the floor, then lower and repeat. After the recommended reps, immediately move into the next exercise: From the same position, instead of lifting the dumbbell to the side, you’ll bring it back to the rear (like a dumbbell kickback with a straight arm).
Many people do plenty of crunches and reverse crunches, but the obliques, which run along the side of the abdominal wall, are commonly an afterthought. If they’re a weak point for you, you should do oblique work with your regular ab routine, then add some extra work to the end of another training day. The following oblique-focused workout can be done at the end of just about any session, from legs to chest to back.
EXERCISE SETS REPS
Decline-Bench Twisting Crunch 3 20, 20, 20
Vertical-Bench Knee Raise To Side 3 12, 12, 12
The decline-bench crunch is like a standard decline crunch, except you twist as you come up, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee and vice versa. On the vertical bench, the idea is the same, except your bringing your knees up to one side, then the other. For both exercises, once to each side equals one full rep.
5) Lower Back
If you’re doing deadlifts and back extensions during your regular back workout, you’re probably fine. If you’re not, you’ll want to start adding these moves onto the end of your back or leg routine to increase your all-important core strength.
EXERCISE SETS REPS
Off-The-Rack Deadlifts 4 10, 10, 8, 8
Back Extensions 3 25, 20, 15
Deadlifts off the rack shorten the range of motion (which means you may be able to handle a little more weight than you could with traditional from-the-floor deads), while calling on your lower back and core, among other muscle groups. Set the safety bars in a power rack to a height just below knee level, and set a barbell on them. From here, you’ll perform deadlifts from this height, bending at the knees, grasping the bar with an overhand or mixed grip, and pulling the bar up to a standing position. The second exercise, back extensions, are performed on an angled back-extension bench or a roman chair, and involve bringing your body from a 90-degree angle to a plank position.
When is the last time you worked your neck? (And no, working your traps doesn’t count). Never? If that’s your answer, it’s not surprising. Neck exercises are about as popular in gyms as guys with rancid body odor. However, unlike the sweat-soaked dude you don’t want to be next to on the treadmills, neck exercises aren’t loathed, they just aren’t that well known or passed along from teacher to pupil. You can add this quick and effective workout to the end of any upper-body training session.
EXERCISE SETS REPS
Facedown Neck Raise 3 10, 10, 10
Face-Up Neck Raise 3 10, 10, 10
Side-To-Side Isometric Resistance 2 6, 6
Most likely, your gym doesn’t have the old-fashioned head harness, which has straps that go around your head and a chain that holds weight plates, but that’s no problem. You can provide ample resistance directly with a weight plate on the first two exercises listed. Start with no more than a 10-pounder — with your neck, going heavy is not ideal or recommended. For the facedown raise, you can lie on a bench longways or vertically, with your head off the edge. From here, holding a weight plate on the back of your head with both hands (try it sans plate for the first workout or two), lift your neck up as far as you can, then lower slowly. Repeat for reps. The face-up raise is similar, except, obviously, you’re looking up toward the ceiling and you place the plate on your forehead. The final exercise involves only your hand. Place your palm against the side of your head, and resist as you tilt your head into your palm as hard as you can. Hold for 5-10 seconds per isometric “rep.” Alternate side to side — once to each side equals one rep.
By Anssi Manninen
Nutrient partitioning is the term used to describe how macronutrients are shuttled to the cells; your body will either send the nutrients to muscle cells or to fat cells. Certain drugs and supplements have favourable nutrient partitioning effects, ie., they promote fat loss while maintaining or even increasing lean body mass. The most popular nutrient partitioning agents among gym rats are clenbuterol and the ephedrine-caffeine stack; however, these products cannot be purchased legally for body composition enhancement purposes in US. Fortunately, there is a legal and safe supplement, which has proven nutrient partitioning effects, namely ForsLean.
Landmark ForsLean Study
A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study at the University of Kansas examined the effect of ForsLean on body composition, testosterone and metabolic rate in overweight and obese men . Of the 30 individuals recruited, 15 were randomly assigned to receive ForsLean, whereas the other 15 subjects were assigned a placebo. Subjects were assessed for physiological changes a total of three times (pre, mid, post) during a 12-week trial period.
Although there were no significant differences across time or among groups for daily caloric intake or resting metabolic rate, forskolin promoted favorable changes in body composition. Specifically, the ForsLean group lost 4.52 ± 5.74 kilorams of fat mass while concurrently gaining 3.71 ± 4.07 kg of lean body mass. The placebo group lost 0.51 ± 1.91 kilograms of fat mass and gained 1.57 ± 2.56 kilograms of lean body mass.
Thus, the subjects of the Forslean group sent more of their incoming nutrients to muscle tissue, while the subjects receiving a placebo sent more of the incoming nutrients to fat tissue. In other words, ForsLean acted as an nutrient partitioning agent. The reduction in fat mass in the ForsLean group was attributed by the authors to ForsLean’s ability to directly activate adenylate cyclase within fat tissue, resulting in a greater release of free fatty acids.
The majority of fat loss supplements work through adrenergic receptor activation, but adrenergic receptor activation can down-regulate over time, resulting in diminished fat burning effects. However, ForsLean bypasses the adrenergic activation step and increases cAMP levels by either stimulating adenylate cyclase or by increasing the cAMP accumulating properties of catecholamines (e.g., noradrenaline). Thus, ForsLean can be used for LONG periods of time without diminished fat burning effects.
In addition, ForsLean significantly boosted testosterone levels. In fact, testosterone increased 16.77 ± 33.77% in the ForsLean group compared with a decrease of 1.08 ± 18.35% in the placebo group. Any gym rat or athlete knows how crucial testorone is for muscle growth.
Finally, this study demonstrated that ForsLean has no adverse effects on blood pressure; within both groups, a trend toward a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (the top number is the blood pressure reading) was shown.
Once you know the benefits of ForsLean, the paramount question becomes one of determining which supplemental source to add to your regimen. ProSource produces the highest quality ForsLean product in a serving amount EQUAL to that used in the above mentioned study. Just ingest two capsules of ProSource Forslean and you get exactly the same amount the active ingredient than the study subjects. And since this is a ProSource product you can be assured that each production batch is stringently lab-tested, from raw materials to the finished product for purity, potency and bioavailability.
1. Godard MP et al. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43.
About the Author
Anssi Manninen holds an M.H.S. in sports medicine from the University of Kuopio Medical School. His cutting-edge articles in Muscular Development firmly established him as a leading authority on hardcore sports nutrition. Anssi´s articles have also been published in scientific journals, including The British Journal of Sports Medicine, The Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, Nutrition & Metabolism and Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Mar 26, 2008 Gossip
The Item: Magazine Contract Re-signing
The Scoop: Just announced: Lee Priest returns to Team MD’s Muscle M.O.B.! “Lee’s signed an exclusive contract with Muscular Development and is currently awaiting word from the IFBB on his possible reinstatement,” says Steve Blechman, Publisher of MD. Sweating out his suspension (for competing in another pro bodybuilding organization, namely the PDI) in Arizona, the tattoo-faced firebrand is pounding iron with his training partner IFBB Pro Rusty Jeffers. Lee has been in talks with IFBB Athlete’s Rep Bob Cicherillo to help negotiate his way “back home” so that he will be eligible to compete at the 2008 MD Atlantic City Pro on September 13th.
The “So What?”: If Lee is allowed on an IFBB stage, he plans to enter the Open class, as well as the Under 202, a relatively new class his physique and street cred could dominate.
* Photo courtesy of Muscletime
By Mike Berg
Sometimes, if you’re after maximum muscle mass, one exercise just isn’t enough. Here’s how to combine two, three, even four movements into one hellacious and effective set.
In the 1987 movie “Wall Street,” corporate raider Gordon Gekko famously proclaimed, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
Of course, he turned out to be the so-called bad guy in that film, and in many instances it could be argued that more is not necessarily better. Greed, however, in the gym, does have a place. After all, why do only one exercise, when you can pair two together? Or how about three? Four?
It’s not recommended all the time, but combining two or more exercises into one mega-set can pay off in a big way as far as muscle growth. Use the tactic too much, and your body will go bust from overtraining, but knowing when to get a little greedy can be, to paraphrase Michael Douglas in his Oscar-winning turn, a very good thing.
TWO FOR THE MONEY
In a standard set of an exercise, you choose a challenging resistance (i.e. weight) and aim for a particular number of repetitions or a range of reps. Then you stop, rest for 30-90 seconds (closer to the former if you’re doing lighter weight and high reps, and toward the latter if you’re working at near-maximal poundages), and do it again. For instance, you select 140 pounds on the leg extension machine, do 12 reps, then stop and rest.
The concept of a superset is simply to take two of those standard sets, for two different exercises, and put them together. Thus, in our example, instead of stopping to rest after 12 reps of extensions, you immediately jump on, say, a lying leg curl machine, and perform 12 reps. Then you rest the same amount of time as you would if you were only doing one set, and perform the sequence again.
What’s the point? Whenever you can squeeze more workload into a shorter period of time, you’re increasing the intensity of your training, which propels growth processes in your body. In the case of the extension (which hits your quadriceps) and the curl (which targets hamstrings), you’re also taking advantage of the efficiencies of working two opposing muscle groups. In this type of superset, you work antagonistic muscle pairings, pumping more overall blood into that area (which brings nutrients and carries away waste products) and takes advantage of their synergistic nature.
Of course, supersets can also consist of two exercises that attack the same muscle group, basically taking a two-barreled aim at the target. (This style is sometimes referred to as a compound set, although in the accepted gym vernacular today supersets can refer interchangeably to both versions.) There are a few different ways you can effectively home in on one muscle group with supersets — using “Standard,” “Pre-Exhaust” or “Leverage” approaches, all of which we get into a bit later in this article.
LAGS TO RICHES
The benefits of pairing exercises are not limited to two. You can also experiment with tri-sets, which are three exercises done back-to-back-to-back with no rest in between. And, for those who want to go even further, there are giant sets, which are simply four (or more) moves assembled together into a string.
Whichever you choose, the training techniques are designed to help thoroughly exhaust a muscle group, helping ensure no individual muscle fiber goes untouched during your workout. Think back to your last training session to envision how this can benefit you. If you were training chest, maybe you did five sets of bench presses, pyramiding up in weight set-to-set, working in a 6-10 rep range, stopping about 60 seconds between each to catch your breath. You may have followed that up with five pyramided sets of incline presses, and finished up with dumbbell flyes and a few final sets of cable crossovers.
Now, that’s not a bad workout, all in all. But think of all that time between sets you spent resting, allowing your pectorals to recover — even if you took a number of sets to momentary failure, the most your muscles were ever put through in any one set was 10 reps. Imagine going back and, this time, pairing your incline presses with dumbbell flyes, and your bench presses with crossovers. Essentially, your total rest would have been cut in half, causing your muscles to undertake more work in a shorter period of time. And, best yet, you didn’t drastically cut the weights you used for each exercise, as you would have to if you instead increased your bench press reps from 6-10 to 15-20 per set. More volume in less time with an overall heavy workload — that’s improved intensity, and especially valuable for a lagging body part.
Whether you go two, three, four or more, you can choose the “Standard” option (simply picking two exercises that hit the muscle in the same way); the “Pre-Exhaust” method (using an isolation exercise for the first move while the second is a heavier compound move); or the “Leverage” technique (moving from an exercise that puts you in a weaker position to one that puts you in a stronger position, thus allowing you to continue repping longer overall). Here’s more on each:
Standard: As mentioned, a “standard” superset, tri-set or giant set simply pairs two-to-four exercises that hit one body part. For example, pairing a lying French press for triceps with a cable pressdown, or a standing calf raise with a seated calf raise. It’s brutally simple, yet brutally effective.
Pre-Exhaust: The pre-exhaust technique has been around gyms for decades, and with good reason — it works. The theory is this: When you do a compound move (such as a seated barbell press), your triceps, being a smaller muscle group, will likely fatigue before your stronger deltoid muscles, thus causing you to end the set prematurely. However, if you do a movement that isolates the target muscle first, such as standing dumbbell lateral raises in this instance, when you do the compound move after, it’s more likely your “pre-fatigued” delts will give out before your tri’s do. This technique is meant for larger muscle groups, and not smaller ones such as biceps, triceps, forearms, calves and abs.
Leverage: This technique takes a bit more forethought, but it can really help extend your muscles beyond what they’re used to. In this sequence, you move from an exercise that puts you in a weaker biomechanical position to one that puts you in a slightly stronger one, like a martial artist dropping his center of gravity to throw an opponent or a baseball power hitter shifting his weight on a swing. Here’s an illustration: Start a shoulders tri-set with seated dumbbell presses; then, when you reach failure, stand up, which allows you to use a slight knee bounce to get the weights up, and continue repping. A common pattern for “Leverage” would go from a dumbbell exercise, which calls on a lot of stabilizer muscles, to a barbell, which puts you at a slightly better biomechanical position because a weaker-side muscle can help a stronger side, and finally to a machine, which takes most assisting muscles out of the equation.
For more examples that cover every body part, see our “Sample Pairings Chart” below. But keep this final caveat in mind — Mr. Gekko may not have agreed with this, but too much of a good thing is, in fact, counterproductive. Instead, like all training techniques that drastically increase your workout intensity, you want to use this one judiciously, and not in every single workout. With that said, feel free to cash in on everything supersets, tri-sets and giant sets have to offer.
SAMPLE PAIRINGS CHART
Looking for a way to include supersets, tri-sets or giant sets in your own training? Here are a few options to get you started.
Superset Tri-Set Giant Set
BACK Pre-Exhaust: Leverage: Standard:
Straight-Arm Pulldown Pull-Up T-Bar Row
Bent-Over Barbell Row Assisted Pull-Up Smith-Machine Bent-Over Row
Wide-Grip Pulldown Seated Cable Row
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
CHEST Standard: Pre-Exhaust: Leverage:
Incline Barbell Press Flat-Bench Dumbbell Flye Incline Dumbbell Press
Incline Dumbbell Flye Cable Crossover Incline Barbell Press
Smith-Machine Bench Press Flat-Bench Barbell Press
Decline Smith-Machine Press
SHOULDERS Leverage: Standard: Pre-Exhaust:
Bent-Over Lateral Raise Upright Row Cable Lateral Raise
Reverse Pec-Deck Flye Seated Dumbbell Press Bent-Over Cable Lateral Raise
Seated Lateral Raise Barbell Front Raise
Seated Machine Press
THIGHS Pre-Exhaust: Leverage: Standard:
Leg Extension Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
Smith-Machine Squat Hack Squat Romanian Deadlift
Leg Press Horizontal Machine Squat
Dumbbell Walking Lunge
TRICEPS Standard: Leverage: Standard:
Parallel-Bar Dip Seated EZ-Bar Extension Close-Grip Bench Press
Rope Pressdown Standing EZ-Bar Extension Flat-Bench EZ-Bar French Press
Cable Pressdown Overhead Cable Extension
Dual-Arm Dumbbell Kickback
BICEPS Standard: Leverage: Standard:
Standing Barbell Curl Incline Dumbbell Curl EZ-Bar Preacher Curl
Alternating Dumbbell Curl Seated Dumbbell Curl Dumbbell Concentration Curl
Standing Dumbbell Curl Standing Cable Curl
Reverse-Grip Cable Curl
CALVES Leverage: Standard: Standard:
Standing Calf Raise Standing Calf Raise Donkey Machine Calf Raise
Seated Calf Raise Donkey Machine Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise
Seated Calf Raise One-Leg Standing Calf Raise
Weight-Plate Toe Raise
ABS Leverage: Standard: Standard:
Hanging Leg Raise Reverse Crunch Swiss-Ball Crunch
Hanging Knee Raise Crunch Vertical-Bench Knee Raise
Oblique Crunch Decline Twisting Crunch
FOREARMS Leverage: Standard: Standard:
Barbell Wrist Curl Reverse-Grip EZ-Bar Curl Behind-Back Barbell Wrist Curl
Behind-Back Barbell Wrist Curl Dumbbell Wrist Curl Dumbbell Wrist Curl
Reverse Dumbbell Wrist Curl Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl
* Grab the heaviest dumbbells you can handle and walk them across the gym as far as you can.