Compound Exercises vs Isolation: How to Make the Right Choice

Compound exercises vs isolation

Here is one of the biggest questions around physical activity that pops up every now and then: should you stick to compound exercises or isolation exercises as a part of your training schedule?  Is one better than the other?  If compound lifts are so good  – how come there are so many gyms that offer a huge variety of expensive machines targeting specific muscles? The truth is – both methods can be used to improve strength.  Both methods can be used to build a better body.  But there are scenarios where one would work better than the other. Instead of taking sides, in this article we will explore advantages and disadvantages of both compound and isolation exercise and then try […]

Read more

Weight training for kids – best workout or a way to stunt growth?

weight training for kids

We have previously seen how unsubstantiated fears kept most women away from weights for many decades because someone, somewhere took a liberty of defining women as overly fragile, helpless beings that were unable (and unwilling) to ever lift more than the weight of their purses.  (Of course, producers of 0.5lb barbells missed the fact that just to be prepared for the challenges of everyday life, women would need to lift, push, squat and carry much higher weights – like their own babies). In any case, hopefully, you realize by now that when we compare males and females – there are more similarities than differences in metabolic pathways, muscular function and useful methods to achieve athletic and health goals.  So this […]

Read more

Strength training for women: how to burn fat and look awesome

Today, once again, we are going to talk about strength training. For women the benefit of lifting weights for weight loss don’t seem to be apparent.  After all, many generations of females have been conditioned to resort to aerobic exercise any time they had a goal of trimming off body fat.  Strength training for women isn’t really a mainstream approach, because lifting weights has traditionally been perceived as a masculine activity and reserved for men. But if you are a woman and consciously avoid free weights – you are missing out on a LOT of benefits.  Burning body fat is just one of them. This is the best kept secret of the fitness industry that we are going to explore.

Read more

Barbell Military Press: the missing link

Military Press

Military press is a perfect exercise to complete our list of best whole-body compound exercises.  We have already discussed squats, deadlifts and bench presses in detail in previous articles and barbell military press is your only missing link in ensuring that you achieve balanced muscle development, super strength and aesthetically pleasing proportions – once again, regardless of whether you are a gal or a guy.  With military press, most men would quickly fill their sleeves and ladies would get rid of flabby arms and get them toned and looking beautiful – but the effect of this exercise spans far wider, affecting many different muscle groups.

Read more

How to get a Six Pack: the Fastest Way to Shredded Abs

Six Pack Abs

I want a six pack “I want a six pack” – these are the words I hear most often even from people (usually, men) who suddenly decide that they need to get back in shape. Six pack abs have some very special appeal.  Even people who don’t make any effort to get proportionally muscular and lean would kill to get ripped abs. It is the ultimate symbol of sexiness and the ultimate fitness goal. So the industry seems ready to offer various solutions.  Six pack abs workout videos, six pack abs diet and even some magic pills to blast belly fat are readily available to those willing to pay – and seem to be quite in demand. The success rate […]

Read more

Strength Training at Home: What to Do When you Have no Access to a Gym

Strength training at home

Why people choose home strength training workouts over working out in a gym Is strength-training at home better than joining a gym?  The answer is – it depends.  There are several factors to consider when leaning towards home exercise: Your schedule. If you have some crazy schedule and either need to sleep or work when gyms are open – your options may be limited, although 24-hour gyms keep popping up everywhere. Granted, if you have a crazy – and unhealthy – schedule like that, it needs to change in the first place, but if you are limited in time you can dedicate to your training, you would probably like that time to be spent efficiently and exercise at home, as […]

Read more

Why do you need weight lifting chains and resistance bands?

Any physical activity you perform involves using your muscles.  The intensity doesn’t matter – if any of your body parts is moving, this movement is powered by contracting muscles.  These muscle contractions, as we’ve discovered previously, trigger neural and biochemical adaptations that drive all sorts of positive things – strength development, muscle strengthening joints and ligaments, positive hormonal shifts, improved metabolism, better mood and stable blood pressure. For most exercises, however, the strength required to overcome the resistance (free weights, your own body weight, exercise machine cable pull, etc.) – and, therefore, the degree of your muscles’ involvement – varies throughout the range of motion.  Depending on the angle of your joints (knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders), the position of […]

Read more

How to Build Muscle – the Right Way (Part III – training for hypertrophy)

In Part I and Part II of these series, we have looked at factors that are necessary to support muscle hypertrophy.  The primary trigger, however – a trigger, without which all of the previously discussed contributing factors are going to remain largely useless – is exercise. The truth is – if you don’t train your muscle – it won’t grow.  No matter what magic pills, powders and potions you take. Hypertrophy is triggered by exercise and you need to know how to exercise properly, to produce maximum hypertrophy. When you train to grow muscle, you get both sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (increase in the volume of muscle sarcoplasm – the liquid that surrounds your muscle cells) and myofibrillar hypertrophy (the actual increase […]

Read more
1 2