In an earlier article we looked at how repetitions contribute to the muscle building process, but is the position regarding sets just as clear cut? Unfortunately, the answer to this is no as some experts feel one set to failure is sufficient, whereas others argue that multiple sets are needed to ensure maximum muscle gains.Research to date suggests that, when using six to eight repetitions to failure at 75-80% 1RM, there is little significant difference between training with single and multiple sets in terms of increasing either strength or muscle size. Any small differences that have been recorded indicate that a single set completed to failure encourages strength gains but subsequent sets have a slightly greater impact on muscle size. What is clear is that the law of diminishing returns applies, so you have to question if the marginal improvements in size justify the extra time and effort expended.Like everything else in life, bodybuilding does not remain static and several cutting edge experts have redefined the boundaries of achievement. Increasingly, serious athletes are using methods that extend the set beyond the point of failure. This involves forcing the muscle to perform more work despite having experienced failure in the previous rep. In practice, you perform one last forced repetition with the help of a training partner.This obviously calls for great commitment and high motivation but the rewards include better mass gains thanks to the greater muscular overload. Such intensive training places additional importance on the need to lift with sound technique and to incorporate sufficient recovery time into your "muscle building" program.
People of all ages and activity levels suffer from joint pain. Arthritis is the most common culprit, which can strike at any age. Athletes are another group that is particularly susceptible to joint pain and inflammation. Proper nutrition and exercise techniques can help alleviate many of the symptoms of joint pain. The most popular and effective joint supplements typically contain ingredients that can both promote stronger joints and joint repair, as well as help with pain and inflammation. It has been observed that 2/3 individuals are afflicted with joint pain in the US alone. This joint pain ranges from the temporary joint immobility and stiffness to the chronic rheumatoid arthritis.It has been observed that 2/3 individuals are afflicted with Joint Pain in the US alone. This Joint Pain ranges from the temporary joint immobility and stiffness to the chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Lifestyle, diet, medication and exercise all play an important role in deciding the nature of joint pains that one could become prey to, with advancing age.What causes Joint PainAs we age, bodily collagen breaks down, cartilage and bone is subject to wear and tear, cellular regeneration is lowed down in the body, illness and disease, injury and stress all leave their own marks on the overall health and fitness. The pain between joints is mostly due to thinning of the cartilage, which no longer acts as the shock absorber. Inflammation of the joints due to increasing friction and wearing down of cartilage and bone results in joint deformity and Arthritis.Athletes engaged routinely in high impact sports (rugby, soccer etc.,) and exercise, are also subject to severe joint pains in later years.IngredientsWhile most Joint Supplements contain cartilage building Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which also protect existing cartilage, newer suplements incorporate substances like Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Collagen and Hyaluronic acid (HA).Some new generation joint supplements contain COX-2 inhibitors, which are a class of drugs that selectively inhibit COX-2, an enzyme involved in the inflammation pathway, while sparing COX-1, thereby reducing gastrointestinal toxicity. COX-2 selective inhibitors are the newest of the NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).How They Work :Joint Supplements are designed to provide lasting relief when it comes to joint pains and rheumatic arthritis.To protect cartilage and help rebuild it, physicians recommend Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Collagen, Hyaluronic acid (HA), and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) are some of the newer and more promising ingredients being used by people suffering from joint pain.Joint supplements have been observed to reduce pain and swelling, repair damaged tissue and also increase joint strength in 2-3 months after usage.Synotrex, with its proprietary blend of patented ingredients, natural COX-2 inhibitors and multiple joint support and anti-inflammatory agents has made it to the top as an effective alternative for most kinds of joint pain. Synotrex is the only product with a 90-Day Guarantee, and the customer support and results were among the best.This Article is Originally Published here: http://www.vitamin-review.com/joint-pain/joint-supplements.html
No matter what you read or who you talk to, everyone has their own opinion of what the "perfect" rep range should be to allow for maximum muscle stimulation and growth. In this article Im going to clear up the confusion once and for all and teach you the truth about choosing the most effective rep range for optimal muscle-building results. Sets that utilize heavy weight and low reps are without a doubt the most effective means of stimulating muscle growth. For every set you perform in the gym, you should utilize a rep range of 5 to 7. This means that for every set you perform, the weight should be light enough that you can complete 5 reps in good form, but heavy enough that you cannot complete more than 7. What's so special about 5 to 7, you ask? Well 1) Each set will only last between 20-30 seconds. Maximizing your muscle gains is all about intensity and efficiency. By utilizing a lower rep range, your sets will only last a short period of time, allowing you to generate 100% mental focus and effort. Training with 100% intensity is critical to stimulating muscle growth and it is much easier to maintain this level of effort for shorter periods of time. You will not have to psyche yourself up for marathon sets lasting minutes on end, but rather for a short burst of all-out effort lasting only several seconds. 2) Muscle stimulation will be maximized. Our bodies are made up of 2 main types of muscle fiber: slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch fibers cannot generate large bursts of power and are utilized during prolonged activity. They have a high tolerance for endurance exercise but do not have a very high potential for increased growth. Fast twitch fibers on the other hand produce large bursts of power and are utilized during short, explosive movements. They contain a large amount of mitochondria (an area in the muscle cell where energy is produced) and have the highest potential for increases in both size and strength. By utilizing a rep range of 5 to 7 you will tap into these extremely responsive fibers and this will result in the greatest amount of muscle growth and strength gain possible. 3) Maximum resistance can be used. By performing only 5 to 7 reps per set, you will enable your muscles to handle heavier amounts of weight than you could with a higher rep range. Building muscle is a byproduct of building strength, and training in a lower rep range is the most effective way to accomplish this. Since your strength will shoot up much faster using 5 to 7 reps per set, so will your muscle size. 4) Lactic Acid production will be kept to a minimum. Training in the range of 5 to 7 will also decrease the amount of lactic acid that is secreted within the muscles. Lactic acid is a metabolic waste product that is produced as the body burns carbohydrates for fuel. Lactic acid accumulates in the muscle tissue at increased rates the longer you exercise. By limiting the amount of lactic acid production you will decrease muscle catabolism and create an environment in the body where greater amounts of energy can be generated. This will translate into greater power output and maximum strength potential. Okay, so we've established that a rep range of 5-7 is the absolute most effective means of stimulating muscle growth. However, this does not apply all the time or on every single lift. There are a few select muscle groups that should be stimulated using a slightly higher rep range. These are the calves, abs, forearms and upper traps. These muscle groups are predominantly made up of slow-twitch fibers, and therefore will respond better to higher reps. For this reason, a rep range of 10-12 should be utilized for these muscle groups. Again, this means that the weight should be light enough for you to complete at least 10 reps, but heavy enough that you cannot complete more than 12. Summary: Perform 5-7 reps for the chest, lats, biceps, triceps, shoulders and thighs.Perform 10-12 reps for the calves, abs, forearms and upper traps.
The bodybuilding debates will never end. The endless arguments over how an effective muscle-building program should be structured will most likely continue until the end of time. Just scour the Internet message boards, flip through any muscle magazine or talk to the sales rep at your local supplement store. No matter who you talk to or what you read, it seems that everyone is an expert these days. If everyone is an expert, confident in their own ideas and beliefs, how can the average beginner possibly know who to listen to? He or she is instantly confronted with endless questions that seem to have no clear-cut answer. How many days should I train per week? How many sets should I perform for each muscle group? What type of rep range should I be using? What are the most effective exercises for stimulating muscle growth? How long should my workouts last? These questions go on and on until he or she is eventually led to believe that building muscle is an infinitely complex process involving rocket-science precision and an intimate understanding of human physiology. I mean, thats what takes to build muscle, right? Wrong! Believe me, there are answers to these important questions, and if you are willing to put in the time and effort you will most definitely find them. But thats not what this article is about. You see, amidst all of the confusion and endless debating, the majority of lifters end up losing sight of the big picture. Beyond all of the specific workout principles, such as rep range and exercise selection, remains one crucial principle, a principle that lies at the very heart of the muscle growth process. If this principle is not given full attention, or even worse, completely ignored, building muscle becomes next to impossible. The bottom line is that muscles grow as they adapt to stress. When you go to the gym and lift weights, you create micro-tears within the muscle tissue. Your body perceives this as a potential threat to its survival and reacts accordingly by increasing the size and strength of the muscle fibers in order to protect against a possible future attack. Therefore, in order to continually increase the size and strength of the muscles, you must focus on progressing each week by either lifting slightly more weight or performing an extra rep or two. In doing this, your body will continue to adapt and grow to the ever-increasing stress. Building muscle is all about building strength! So what is the most powerful muscle-building tool available? Quite simply, it is a pen and a piece of paper! Every time you go to the gym you must write down exactly what you accomplished and then strive to improve upon it the following week. If you arent always getting better, then youre either staying the same or getting worse. Every week you should have an exact plan of attack ready to be executed. You absolutely cannot afford to start throwing weights around aimlessly without a clear-cut goal in mind. The specifics of building muscle are important to understand and implement, but regardless of what style of training youre currently using the ultimate deciding factor between success and failure is progression. You can sit around all day obsessing over specific principles, but the bottom line is that if you arent getting stronger every week, you absolutely will not be getting any bigger. Examine your training approach closely. If you havent been paying laser-like attention to the amount of weight youve been using, the number of reps youve been performing, and then striving with every ounce of your energy to improve upon those numbers each week, you are completely ignoring the very foundation of the muscle growth process. If you want to see the best gains in muscle mass and strength that you possibly can, a pen and a piece of paper is the most important tool you could possibly have in your arsenal.
It is clear that certain traits are handed down to us by our parents and unfortunately our ablility to grow muscles beyond certain limits is no exception. That doesn't mean to say hard work and carefully planned training won't have a positive effect on your physique - it just means that some people will inherit a greater abundance of the favored physical characteristics than others. Not everyone possesses the physical traits to become a champion, but you can work wonders with the raw material you do possess.How responsive you will be to physical stimulation can be predicted to a certain extent by examining your somatype or natural body shape. Basically, there are three recognized body types:1. Endomorphs - these individuals tend to be squat with a round torso, thick neck and short limbs.2. Mesomorphs - these individuals tend to be musclar with broad shoulders, powerful chest and limbs and little body fat.3. Ectomorphs - these individuals tend to be slim and are usually tall with little muscle and body fat.The ideal bodybuilding physique tends more towards the mesomorph with broad shoulders, narrow hips with arms and legs of medium length. Two further inherited features have a role to play in determining muscle building potential, and these are muscle fiber density and neurological efficiency. Fiber density determines the size potential of a muscle while neurological efficiency refers to the relationship between the nervous system and muscles. This is relevant because, in all out effort genetically blessed individuals have the ability to activate up to 50% of the fibers in a given muscle compared to the average person's 30%. This allows greater scope for stimulating growth.The fact that there is no easy way to measure fiber density or neurological efficiency is actually a blessing because the incentive remains for all of us to train hard and strive for improvement. Only a tiny minority of people have the genetic tools to become champions but the rest of us can go a long way to fulfilling our own personal goals.