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Monday, September 24, 2007

Body Building Tips - Top 5 Tips for Lifetime Body Builders

As a personal trainer and amateur body builder for the last 10 years, I've had the opportunity to read, study, and experiment with a wide variety body building theories and ideas. It's difficult to find accurate body building tips these days because there are so many personal goals that fall under the category of 'body building'. Some body builders use drugs while others are all natural. Some body builders compete and some are strictly recreational. Some body builders are healthy, some are totally unhealthy. Almost all body builders (including me) have differing opinions on the subject of what the actual purpose of body building is.

In my opinion, each person has to work it for themselves. Some will choose to use drugs, some wont. Some will choose to compete, some won't. It's all a part of the body building world.

I developed a passion for body building at a young age. Although I didn't know it was called body building then. It started in high school, I was a ! great athlete, I loved weights class, and I was addicted to the powerful feeling of being strong - I just couldn't get enough of it. In my early twenties I joined a gym where the use of steroids was rampant. I guess my awe of what those huge dudes were able to achieve blinded me to the entire thing though because I was totally na? to it until they got busted by the police. I kept going with my strength routine however and I started reading all the magazines, taking lots of supplements, and eating tons of protein. I worked out for hours at the gym and I did get some results, but nothing like the huge giant dudes who were benching 320 - 350 and more.

Over the years I developed my personal philosophy and learned exactly what to do in order to achieve my personal goals. More importantly than knowing what to do, I also learned what not to do. It's awesome because every single year I keep getting better and better. I still workout with a lot of really huge dudes, and they s! till are sort of amazing. I just realized that we have differe! nt goals . I'm more of a lifetime, natural, amateur body builder and fitness expert whereas they are more of...hmmm not sure how to put it...oh well.

I know there are lots of people just like me who are experimenting with a variety of ideas and theories all at the same time. I know because I see them at the gym everyday. Some ask me questions and some don't. Since I know what it's like to be a little confused on what really works, to work hard everyday and still wind up a little short of my goals, I thought I would share some of the things I've learned along the way. I've compiled a list of the top ten body building tips that I feel every body builder should read and think about as they develop their own programs and theories. This is by no means a comprehensive list of body building tips. It's not the end all, be all. But I do feel that based on my experience, this list offers some valid points and important concepts that every life long body builder should consider.

Top! Five Body Building Tips:

1. Aside from protein, use one supplement at a time.

It's pointless to use a whole bunch of supplements at once unless you're sure of the effectiveness of each specific supplement. I hate to say it, but some supplements are just a total waste of money. How will you know what works if you're taking 3, 4, or even 5 of them at once? Sure, they guarantee results on the bottle, but so many of them never deliver.

Unless you want to waste a bunch of money experiencing 'the placebo effect', do yourself a favor and start by using one supplement at a time until you find the ones that actually deliver results. Chart the effects you notice from each individual supplement (especially if you don't notice any effect at all), and then combine them for segments during the year. You're bank account will thank me for that one!

2. Aside from protein, use supplements sparingly.

I really think that we give supplements to much credit. We att! ribute our gains to them when often the idea that the suppleme! nt was w orking gave us the mental ability to continue.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against supplements or anything. I think there is a time and a place for them, when I first read this in Tom Venuto's burn the fat book I didn't think much about it. But upon reflection, I've come to agree more and more.

Supplements are most valuable to highly trained athletes who are already doing a lot of things right with their workout routine. Highly trained athletes are usually at the top their potential, they regularly train hard, & have the discipline to eat right. If you are at this level, the 2-3% edge you could see from using supplements will be of noticeable benefit to you.

On the contrary, if you're still learning to eat right, gain discipline, and schedule workouts, supplements won't be as beneficial. Most likely, you'll begin relying on the supplement to compensate for the inconsistencies in your program instead of training yourself to reach your potential.

NOTE: ! I have no idea if what I've written goes along with what's in the book I mentioned, but I do know that reading the book is what gave me the idea in the first place.

3.Don't overlook the value of sleep. Exercise physiology tells us that your muscles grow while you sleep...but how? All the work you're doing at the gym causes little micro-tears in your muscle fibers. The fibers respond by not only repairing themselves but increasing their work capacity. That's how you gain size and strength. For the most part, the repair process happens while you sleep.

If you repeatedly deprive yourself of sleep, you'll notice an overall decrease in your muscle strength. You won't have a "pump" during your lift. You'll be less likely to take sets to completion and almost definitely be unable to max out. Your lifting form will deteriorate and you'll most likely see a decrease from the norm in the amount of weight you're using to workout.

4. Rest and recovery time are crucial ! for joint and ligament health. This one is key, especially as ! you get older. Lifting weights doesn't only stress the muscles, it stresses joints and ligaments as well. As you age, it's common for ligaments and joints to weaken and lose elasticity. These weaknesses can cause joint pain, especially if you have muscle imbalances, have experienced injuries, or have chronic pain.

The big picture of you as a lifetime body builder must include proper rest and recuperation to allow for joint, ligament, and tendon recovery. It's the rest and recuperation that will minimize injury and allow you train as a body builder for life.

Note: If you experience chronic pain during a certain exercise it could be due to something more sever than lack of rest and recuperation. See your sports medicine doctor, a physical therapist or a qualified professional to diagnose and treat your injury.

5. Focus on one goal at a time. It's unlikely that you'll accomplish the goal of burning fat and building muscle at the same time. Yeah sure, in a few isolated! cases this has been accomplished, but the actual cases are few and far between. It does happen though, but the percentages are not in your favor. Overall, most people are far more likely to succeed by rotating between a building phase and a cutting phase. Getting ripped like a body builder (single digit body fat percentage) is a single purpose, single focus goal, and it's highly improbably you'll gain muscle at the same time.

There are many methods and plans for rotating between a gain & cut cycle. It works out great for me to build muscle during the winter months. Especially because here in America it takes major will power to eat clean during the holidays. From November to February, I focus on gaining strength and building mass. From March to May, I focus on dropping a few lbs of fat while maintaining my gains. From June to August, I stay as lean as I can. From Sept to November I focus on building my strength and maintaining leanness (this isn't the only way to do ! it).

I would love to hear your opinion on my top ten bod! y buildi ng tips, if you want to, stop by my blog and leave a comment.

The address is: Refrences: 1. Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle, by Tom Venuto

2. Optimal Muscle Training Ken Kinakin

J.D. has been a personal trainer with a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology for about 10 years. Throughout that time, JD has been amateur body builder and active competitor in amateur athletics. Visit JD's Body Building Tips blog at:

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