LIFT BIG, GET BIG: THE 5 STRENGTH TRAINING SECRETS

LIFT BIG, GET BIG: THE 5 STRENGTH TRAINING SECRETS

You’re doing rep after rep, set after set, meal prep’s on point, and you’re getting enough rest. Maybe you’re actually stretching, too. You think you’ve been grinding like crazy for muscle, but you just aren’t seeing real results in your MUSCLE SIZE gains.

Bodybuilding is an art, science, and - despite a general hate for proper cardio - it’s also a marathon. Getting huge is a long-haul game, but breaking up your hypertrophy training with strength training can get you there FASTER. You’ll look better, too.

Training for size and strength are two sides of the same coin - or bumper plate! Olympic weightlifters, powerlifters, gymnasts, fighters - they’re not the biggest athletes by far, but they’re undoubtedly some of the strongest, and if they trained and ate like bodybuilders do, many of them could get HUGE.

Take Taylor Atwood, for example. He’s a 32-year-old lifter in Florida, and at the 2021 USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals, he benched 429lbs while weighing only 162lbs. No drugs, no equipment, just brute force.1

Maude Charron is another strength superstar, debuting in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Competing in the 64kg class for women’s weightlifting, she took home the gold medal after a 105kg snatch and a 131kg clean and jerk. (That's 231lbs and 288lbs, respectively, while weighing around 141lbs.)2

It begs the question: How?!

Their power levels are definitely over 9000, but these outstanding individuals aren’t going Super Sayan. The answer is Vitamin S: strength training. REAL strength training. Add that to your chicken breasts and brown rice, and you’ll be breaking through walls (figuratively…) in no time.

So how does more strength equal more size? We’re glad you asked!

WHAT IS STRENGTH TRAINING, AND HOW WILL IT MAKE ME BIGGER?

Essentially, strength training means training to lift as much weight as possible relative to your body weight. More common, though, is hypertrophy training, which prioritizes high volume workouts (weight x reps x sets) to get bigger.

The two training styles actually complement each other. If you’ve already been lifting to get bigger, then you’re in luck, because you’ll have a rock-solid foundation of muscle ready to haul some serious weight.

By turning down the volume and increasing the strength behind your mass, you can get even BIGGER.

Mutant Madness Supplements

Fun fact: one square centimetre of muscle fibres can produce enough force to move roughly three to four kilograms of mass.3

Think of it this way: say you currently bench 225lbs for four sets of ten reps before tapping out. Weeks go by, you’ve plateaued, and you can’t add weight to the bar or your scale. You could increase the reps and sets, but you’d be at the gym for hours, and you risk overuse injuries. How do you get bigger, now?

That’s when you switch from hypertrophy to strength training for eight to twelve weeks. Your muscle fibres would get stronger, making the original 225lbs feel easy, and now you can lift heavier weights at high volumes to build bigger arms

Takeaway: Size and strength are swolemates. Bigger muscles increase your potential for maximal strength. Likewise, stronger muscles make it possible to increase training volume to get bigger.

OKAY, SO HOW DO I GET STRONGER!?

To know how you can get stronger you must first have at least a basic understanding of how muscles work. Sounds boring right? Easy tiger - skipping over this important first step puts you at risk for:

Common workout injuries
Bad lifting technique
Training plateaus
Poor recovery and illness
Inconsistent workout routines
Looking like an amateur
Don’t be that guy whose 1RM goes viral on meme accounts. Be smart and get educated so you can lift bigger! Don’t worry we’ll keep it short and sweet.

Note: If you’ve never done things like deadlifts or military presses (or any resistance training for that matter) then we recommend you save this article for a few months down the road when you’re a little more... conditioned to the iron.

Alright MUTANTS, LET’S GO!

HOW MUSCLES WORK 101

All physical movement starts in your melon - AKA your brain and central nervous system. You think “squat” and your brain sends signals down your spine and into your legs, telling those muscle groups to move. Your hips and knees go down, come up, and BOOM - you’ve done a squat.

In more detail, these signals are called motor neurons, which carry messages from your brain to your muscles. This message is called “acetylcholine” and when it gets to your muscles it starts a chemical reaction that leads to muscles contracting and lengthening - all within fractions of seconds!

Three things happen with this system when you train:

The more you practice an exercise, the better your brain gets at sending those signals.
More muscle groups involved in an exercise means more fibres get that message.
The more weight you add, or the faster you move, the harder those fibres work.
That’s why “newbie gains” are a thing - this whole process starts adapting before the muscles actually get bigger. (It’s even easier to make gains when you’re younger because your brain and spinal cord haven’t started losing nerve cells, but you can still gain more strength at any age.)4

Alright, now you know the basics of how muscles actually move. Next, we’ll briefly break down what type of fuel your muscles use depending on your exercise intensity.

This is extremely important, because your intensity determines your results. And by fuel, we don’t mean carbs, proteins and fats.

HOW MUSCLES GENERATE LIFT STRENGTH

Every muscular contraction is fuelled by a molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). There are three ways our muscles get ATP energy:

1. Creatine
Maximal effort muscular contractions, like full speed sprinting or super heavy squatting, will use creatine to produce ATP. However, within 10-20 seconds, creatine is depleted, ATP can’t be replenished and your muscles will need to rest. If you were sprinting, you’ll now start slowing down; if you were lifting weights, you’ll drop them. In order for this “energy pathway” to get going again, rest for at least 3-5 minutes.56

2. Glycogen
After creatine is depleted, your muscles will use stored glycogen (which comes from food) in order to keep doing reps. Glycogen will deplete within 45 seconds of muscular contractions, which is about 8 to 12 reps. For glycogen to be replenished, you’ll need at least 1-2 minutes of rest. This is your hypertrophy range - the ideal place for muscles to grow.

3. Oxygen
The last way to produce ATP is through oxygen. This energy system gets tapped into after 45 to 60 seconds of muscular effort, or about 15 reps. If you make it to this level of ATP production, you’re now doing endurance training.

IT’S TIME! THE 5 SECRETS TO LIFT BIGGER TO GET BIG!

Cool, so now we know how muscles work and we know the differences of strength vs size training. This will make it easier to understand why the following five tips are the best, scientifically proven ways to get as strong as possible:

ONE: KEEP YOUR REPS LOW AND YOUR REST LONGER
When you’re lifting heavy - we’re talking REALLY stacking plates - you won’t be able to do more than five or six reps (or about ten seconds of effort) before your creatine stores deplete and your muscles fail.

If you’re lifting tons of weight and you can still crank out a dozen reps, then add more weight. Simple as that. True maximal effort can only last about 10-20 seconds, as explained in the Creatine/ATP section above. Anything longer than that is no longer strength training, it’s hypertrophy or endurance training. This is probably the only time where it’s okay for you to finish quickly!

When your heavy set is over, you need at least 3-5 minutes of rest before this energy system is ready to lift again. If you try to do another set in less time than that, you’ll have to lower the weight, and lifting lighter means you’re not getting stronger or bigger.

Takeaway: The weight needs to be heavy enough that you can only lift it for five reps, and heavy enough that you need to rest for at least three minutes.

TWO: AIM FOR PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD, EVERY WEEK

Progressive overload is a fancy kinesiologist’s way of saying “go harder you lazy bastard!” While it can be a gradual increase in weight, reps or sets, we are primarily concerned with upping weight incrementally with every workout. You need to be consistently trying to exert maximal force by pushing your muscles to failure within that 10-20 second timeframe.

Here’s a bunch of ways to progressively overload:

Lower the reps and use more weight
Reduce the weight on the bar and do speed reps
Add more weight, but focus on the eccentric part of the lift (doing negatives)
Pause for one second on the bottom of each rep
Strength-based calisthenics can increase the firing potential of muscle fibres, too, as long as they’re just as hard as weighted movements.

Some ideas for bodyweight exercises that build strength and size include: single leg squats, muscle-ups, weighted pullups and dips, jumping lunges, high box jumps, clapping pushups, handstand pushups, various weighted plyometrics, and kettlebell swings.

Takeaway: The exact exercise choice itself isn’t as important as the intensity you’re doing it with and how you continue to challenge yourself.

THREE: USE THE 7 MAJOR HUMAN MOVEMENT PATTERNS

Heavy lifts that replicate the seven natural human movement patterns will build full body strength and prevent muscle weak points. You’ll achieve a balanced physique, pull harder on every rep, and propel yourself towards your muscle size and definition goals.

When we say movement patterns, we’re not talking tutus and ballerinas. We’re talking about the ultimate movements underlying ALL human fitness activities. The patterns are: vertical and horizontal pushing, vertical and horizontal pulling, squatting, bending, lunging, gait, and rotation.

If your weekly workouts evenly hit all of those movements, then all your muscles are getting stronger and bigger together.

Many common strength programs revolve around the “big three lifts” (squat, bench, deadlift) but the problem is that those three lifts don’t hit every muscle group. You need more than that!

We’ve broken down the best exercises for each of those seven patterns based on how much more you can progressively overload with it:

1. Squatting
Barbell back squats, front squats
Weighted single leg squats, leg press machine
Pro tip: It’s a myth that your knees shouldn’t go past your toes (just look at Olympic lifters when they snatch or clean and jerk). Healthy ankle mobility allows you to squat deeper so you can build full lower body strength.

2. Pushing
Horizontal: Flat bench press, weighted pushups, cable chest press
Vertical: Military press, dumbbell overhead press, decline/handstand pushups
Pro tip: Know where and how you should grip the barbell. It should rest in the lower part of your palms with a neutral wrist to prevent strains. Ditch the suicide grip and keep your thumb wrapped all the way around the bar, as this engages your forearm muscles more and translates to more weight pushed.

3. Bending
Deadlifts, sumo or conventional*
Stiff leg deadlift, romanian deadlift
*Let’s get one thing out of the way first: the debate between conventional versus sumo deadlifts is likely wasted effort. The muscle group recruitment is extremely similar between the two, with a slight variation - sumo’s engage more of your quads, while conventional DL’s recruit more from your back and spinal erectors.

Do the variation that allows you to lift the most weight. If your sumo is better, then your back might be weak. If your conventional is better, then your quads might be weak.

Pro tip: Avoid mixing your grip until you’re testing out your max. One palm facing forward with the other one facing back may not seem like a big deal, but what you’re actually doing is internally rotating one shoulder while externally rotating the other. Repeatedly doing this is a recipe for injury or imbalance down the road. Use chalk instead.

4. Pulling
Horizontal: Bent over barbell rows, t-bar rows, cable rows
Vertical: Weighted pull ups, heavy lat pulldowns
Pro tip: Don’t shrug. Keep those lats pulled down and elbows tucked in for proper engagement.

5. Lunging
Step-ups, reverse lunges, forward lunges, lateral lunges
Pro tip: Go deep enough to feel a stretch, and keep your feet hip-width apart. The above moves hit similar muscle groups as squats and deads, but you also work on symmetry, and the deeper ROM hits smaller muscles that support strength for those other lifts.

6. Gait
Walking and running*
*The only way to strengthen this movement pattern is to full-on sprint for 20 seconds at a time. In this case, building speed is building strength, because the muscle fibres are still contracting as powerfully as possible. Competitive sprinters or football players aren’t necessarily powerlifters, but they can still squat tons of weight because the muscle fibres in their legs are used to high power output.

Pro tip: Maintain foot contact with the ground as little as possible, and visualize running forward as opposed to running up and down. This prevents joint stress.

7. Rotating
Moving: Russian twists, cable chops, sideways medicine ball throws
Static: Pallof press, dead bug, renegade rows
Pro tip #1: Don’t arch your back during core training; this lengthens abdominal muscles, and lengthening isn’t strengthening. Squeeze your glutes, hips and legs for support.

Takeaway: Our energy is limited, so save it for the exercises that use the most muscle groups at once. Don’t favour your favourite lifts - each movement needs equal TLC in order to prevent injuries and imbalances, and the exercises listed above all compliment each other.

FOUR: SLOWLY BUILD UP TO HEAVY SETS

You may have taken a scoop of a high dose pre workout and have awesome tunes blasting in your headphones, but rushing into heavy sets is a big mistake when you’re trying to build strength and size. You might “feel'' great, but your body has a built-in mechanism that will stop you from lifting max weights.

The reason you can’t jump into a heavy set is your tendons, the white tissues that connect muscles to bones. Inside your tendons are tiny sensory receptors (called “golgi tendon organs”) and if you move in a way that causes too much strain or tension, those receptors stop you before an injury occurs8. It’s why you fail on a lift when you add too much weight, or why you can’t stretch past a certain point without practice.

To avoid exciting these receptors in your tendons, which limit your lifting capacity, you need to gradually increase your workout intensity. It’s like muscle foreplay!

Warm up with full body movements to wake up your muscle fibres, and slowly add weight to the bar before you do your heaviest sets. You’ll be able to lift more weight, and you’ll avoid injuries. Remember how long it took Goku to get his power levels over 9000? Yeah, he wasn’t rushing.

Takeaway: Gradually increase your working sets to allow your muscles and tendons time to adjust; this lets you lift heavier. Heavier sets mean bigger muscles.

FIVE: TAKE STRENGTH SUPPLEMENTS THAT WORK


Everybody has different supplement requirements depending on their diet, genetics and fitness goals. We should all be taking essentials like multivitamins and protein powders, but if your goal is to lift big so you can get big, then you’ll need a few more. Here are your research-backed supplements for growth and strength:

Creatine
The highly studied lifting staple! Creatine, as we mentioned earlier, produces ATP energy, but we store limited quantities in our muscles. Taking creatine daily keeps your muscle supply topped up, allowing for ATP at the ready! You can buy creatine on its own, but global supply is decreasing; you can also find it in our strength-based preworkout, MADNESS ALL-IN.

ElevATP®
This is a patented blend of peat and apple extract shown to increase ATP energy, so hence the name. This blend isn’t sold on its own, but you can find preworkouts containing it instead. MADNESS ALL-IN, our new pre for strength gains, has a 150mg dose of this lesser-known ingredient.

EAA’s
Essential amino acids speed up recovery post-workout by synthesizing protein. EAA’s are also available as a source of energy in workouts, especially when carb intake is low. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the three branch-chain amino acids most responsible for muscle preservation, but you need all aminos to get bigger.

Glutamine
Glutamine, a non-essential amino acid, becomes vital during periods of high physical stress - like when you’re tossing crazy weights. Glutamine delivers nutrients to the cells that need it, increasing recovery. Taking glutamine daily for eight weeks has also been shown to boost explosive muscular power, moreso than lifters taking a placebo.9

Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
Specifically, EPA and DHA - these are types of fatty acids found in cold-water fish, flax seeds, algae oil and other nut oils. EPA improves joint mobility and boosts recovery by decreasing inflammation10, while DHA helps nerve signalling from your brain to your muscles.11

Citrulline Malate
This muscle-pumper is a bodybuilder’s BFF. This well-researched supplement is in a lot of preworkouts, but it’s often underdosed - you need six full grams to really get the blood flow benefits, which is how much we put in MADNESS ALL-IN. Increased blood flow delivers more nutrients and oxygen to your muscles so you can lift like a maniac.

Beta Alanine
We all know this infamously “tingly” ingredient! When taken at the right dose - about 3.2 grams - your muscles don’t fatigue so easily. Less burn, more weight!

Betaine
This naturally found chemical used in preworkouts can help make you bigger and more powerful. Several studies have proven the benefits of betaine, like boosting cycling sprint performance12, increasing anabolic hormones13, building more muscle, increasing workout capacity, and improving body composition.14

Huperzine A
This brain-boosting compound comes from the club moss plant. It’s a relatively new workout supplement, but the research is promising. Huperzine A has been shown to sustain elevated levels of acetylcholine, which we mentioned earlier is the chemical messenger between your brain and your muscles. This plant compound can also improve memory and overall brain health15, another reason why it’s in our latest preworkout.

Electrolytes
Make your water work, because when muscles get dehydrated, they cramp and fatigue. For high quality hydration, look for electrolyte ingredients like Aquamin® (a highly bioavailable marine minerals complex with magnesium and seaweed calcium) and a salt complex, ideally Himalyan pink salt and magnesium oxide; these all provide satisfying hydration for muscles, bones and joints. MADNESS ALL-IN, as well as GEAAR, use these hydrators for those that want to lift and look as big as possible.
You can buy most of these supplements online or at your local supp shop, but to make things easier for the muscle-hungry lifters out there, we put ‘em all in our new preworkout MADNESS ALL-IN. We formulated this pre to help you lift big and get big - one scoop contains clinical doses of everything listed here, plus and a crash-free stimulant and focus blend. (It just doesn’t contain Omega 3’s or glutamine, though, which are recovery-focused.)

 

CREDIT - https://www.iammutant.com/blogs/news/lift-big-get-big-the-5-strength-training-secrets-for-massive-size

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The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Powder

The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout...

We've all had problems with our pre-workout supplement turning hard or clumpy before...but you can fix it!

If you look on bodybuilding forums online, one big re-occurring problem that you'll encounter fellow weight-lifters having is this: their pre-workout going hard or clumpy. So it's no coincidence that almost everyone has this problem.

In fact, you might have regretted buying a certain product or brand after this has happened. Only to go and try a new pre-workout and have the same problem - so what's the cause of hard or clumpy pre-workout powder?

This is exactly the answer that we're going to provide in this article. But we'll also give you some fool-proof ways to try and avoid this problem from happening in the first place.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • Why do pre-workout powders turn clumpy or hard?
  • The ultimate fix for hard or clumpy pre-workout powder
  • How to keep your pre-workouts from turning clumpy or hard
  • Conclusion

Why Does Pre-Workout Powder Turn Clumpy or Hard? 

Right, so your pre-workout supplement arrived in a solid block or it began turning clumpy or hard somewhere along the line. Either way, you're here looking for answers.

However, there isn't just 1 reason why your pre-workout powder has turned clumpy or hard. There could be numerous different factors that caused it to happen; we'll go through each different scenario below...

Leaving Your Pre-Workout Unused For Months 

This has been the most common reason why our pre-workout powder has turned clumpy or hard. If you leave it unused for ages, then it'll just sit there - most likely taking in moisture from the air, without being stirred around.

Think about it. You use your protein powder much more than your pre-workout, right? Well, that means your protein powder is constantly being mixed around in the tub, making it much less likely to solidify.

However, pre-workout aren't usually 'everyday' supplements. Instead, you'll just take a pre-workout when you need that 'kick'; this might not be everyday, unless you've become dependent on these products...

As a result, if you've not used your pre-workout for a couple of weeks, then open it up and give it a quick stir to keep it from turning into a solid block.

Leaving Your Pre-Workout In Your Car

This should be one of the most common mistakes made by most lifters. You should never leave your pre-workout supplement in the car, especially on a hot day.

Why? Because it'll increase the pre-workout powder's chances of drawing in as much moisture as possible - resulting in hard or clumpy pre-workout.

In fact, looking through bodybuilding forums, this seemed to be the #1 cause of this problem.

Ultimately, if your pre-workout has turned clumpy or hard after leaving it in the car, then it wasn't a co-incidence. Don't do it!

Taking Out The Silica Gel Packet From Your Pre-Workout Container

This is an absolute rookie mistake to make.

You might not have known what that little packet was in your pre-workout container was there for and took it out. For whatever reason, if you've removed your silica gel packet from your pre-workout container, you've effectively increased your chances of having hard or clumpy pre-workout powder.

Why? Because silica gel packets are literally designed to absorb moisture and keep food or powder dry.

 

The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Powder

Right, so you've eaten your starter and now you want your main course. This is the section that you came here to read.

You're going to feel like it's Christmas too; instead of giving you one 'fix', we're going to give you numerous different solutions to help you revive your hard or clumpy pre-workout supplement - to make it usable again and save you from having to buy more products necessarily!

*Disclaimer: These are just options that we've tried personally. Don't take this as medical advice or anything like that, and ultimately you'll be trying any of these options at your own risk. 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #1: The Blender

Blender

 

We found this fix in numerous bodybuilding forums online. Almost everyone recommends you to throw your hard or clumpy pre-workout in your blender - pretty logical right?

Well, does it work? Yeah, it works! Our pre-workout was back to powder form after less than a minute in our blender. And we've actually fixed a few different pre-workouts using this method.

So for us, this method is our 'go-to' option when fixing hard or clumpy pre-workout powder. Of course, you'll be using your own blender at your own risk; we've heard of people breaking their blenders by trying this in rare occasions...

As a result, just make sure that you have an effective blender that'll seriously get the job done. If you're not confident in your blender's ability to fix your concrete brick of pre-workout, then you might be interested in our other ultimate fixes.

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #2: Break It Up With A Fork 

Powder

 

If you don't have a blender or are worried that you're going to break your blender with your hard or clumpy pre-workout powder, then this is the fix for you.

It's pretty self-explanatory. Grab a fork and start breaking up your powder until it looks like it should look. Or until it's loose enough for you to scoop out accurate servings from.

Before you start complaining, you might not be able to get your pre-workout looking like fine powder again. So you'll have to just settle for being happy with slightly clumpy pre-workout powder with this fork option.

Also, this is going to take more muscle to achieve - but you go to the gym for a reason, right?!

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #3: Make Ice-Cubes

Ice Cubes

We saw this idea in a bodybuilding forum too and we were pretty skeptical at first. But it actually works - it does take much more effort than the other 2 options though.

What do you do? Well, we began by adding enough water to fill your container, so the water level is just above the solid or clumpy powder. After that, we left our powder to dissolve in the water, adding more water when necessary (we left it in our fridge during this process).

Eventually, we were left with liquid pre-workout. At this point, we grabbed our ice cube tray, filled that bad-boy up,  and placed it in our freezer.

Ultimately, you'll be left with pre-workout ice-cubes that you can chew before you go to the gym. But in all honesty, we can't completely recommend this option because it'll be hard to determine the exact serving size of each ice cube - so do this at your own risk...

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #4: Chew The Clumps!

Chew The Pre Workout

This is a really 'last resort' fix.

Basically, if you've failed to really fix your pre-workout supplement and it's still really clumpy, then just grab a chunk and chew it; this was also quite a popular option in bodybuilding forums.

But the main issue with this is that you won't know the exact dosages or serving size you're consuming. So you might consume more caffeine or nutrient in your pre-workout than you want to.

So, we can't really recommend this option either. But it is a option - try this at your own risk!

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #5: A Slice of Bread or Rice

 

As we mentioned, many people remove the silica packets from their pre-workout containers. This inevitably increases your chances of your pre-workout powder turning hard or clumpy.

However, adding a slice of bread (or some dry rice) inside a small open plastic bag, inside your pre-workout container can help fix the issue; this is because the slice of bread (or rice) should draw the moisture away from the powder.

 

How To Keep Your Pre-Workout Powder From Turning Hard or Clumpy

One thing that everyone should be doing is trying to prevent their pre-workout powder from turning hard or clumpy in the first place.

So we'll offer some effective tips to help you do exactly this...

Keep Your Pre-Workout In Your Fridge

A really popular option on bodybuilding forums is keeping pre-workout supplements in fridges. This makes sense, because it'll keep your pre-workout powder cool and dry at all times; it's believed that your pre-workout powder draws in moisture when it's in warm environments.

After seeing this on forums, we've been keeping our pre-workout in our fridge since. And we can agree that it definitely helps!

Add Another Silica Gel Packet or Uncooked Rice In An Open Bag

A great option is adding a second silica gel packet to your pre-workout container; this is if you have one spare, or you can buy them from Amazon for pretty cheap too.

Or if you don't want to buy some more silica gel packets, then just add some uncooked rice in an open bag into your pre-workout container instead. Either way, both options will help keep your pre-workout powder from absorbing excess moisture, which prevents it from turning hard or clumpy.

Use Your Pre-Workout More Frequently

We mentioned earlier that leaving your pre-workout on your shelf for months increases its chances of turning hard or clumpy.

So it should be common sense that using your pre-workout more frequently will help mix-it-up and prevent it from going 'bad'. Not only that, it'll make you buy fresh pre-workout supplements more frequently too, so you'll suffer from this problem much less.

Think about it; pre-workouts usually come in 20-30 serving containers. So they're designed to be fully consumed in the space of 1-3 months - not left on your shelf for 3 months!

 

Conclusion

If you haven't just skimmed through this whole article, then you should have learned some valuable information here.

Ultimately, by saving your pre-workout powder from turning hard or clumpy, you're also saving yourself money too; no-one wants to replace their pre-workout with a new product just because it's gone hard.

 

CREDIT - LEANBULKING.COM

 

Read More
The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Powder

The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout...

We've all had problems with our pre-workout supplement turning hard or clumpy before...but you can fix it!

If you look on bodybuilding forums online, one big re-occurring problem that you'll encounter fellow weight-lifters having is this: their pre-workout going hard or clumpy. So it's no coincidence that almost everyone has this problem.

In fact, you might have regretted buying a certain product or brand after this has happened. Only to go and try a new pre-workout and have the same problem - so what's the cause of hard or clumpy pre-workout powder?

This is exactly the answer that we're going to provide in this article. But we'll also give you some fool-proof ways to try and avoid this problem from happening in the first place.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • Why do pre-workout powders turn clumpy or hard?
  • The ultimate fix for hard or clumpy pre-workout powder
  • How to keep your pre-workouts from turning clumpy or hard
  • Conclusion

Why Does Pre-Workout Powder Turn Clumpy or Hard? 

Right, so your pre-workout supplement arrived in a solid block or it began turning clumpy or hard somewhere along the line. Either way, you're here looking for answers.

However, there isn't just 1 reason why your pre-workout powder has turned clumpy or hard. There could be numerous different factors that caused it to happen; we'll go through each different scenario below...

Leaving Your Pre-Workout Unused For Months 

This has been the most common reason why our pre-workout powder has turned clumpy or hard. If you leave it unused for ages, then it'll just sit there - most likely taking in moisture from the air, without being stirred around.

Think about it. You use your protein powder much more than your pre-workout, right? Well, that means your protein powder is constantly being mixed around in the tub, making it much less likely to solidify.

However, pre-workout aren't usually 'everyday' supplements. Instead, you'll just take a pre-workout when you need that 'kick'; this might not be everyday, unless you've become dependent on these products...

As a result, if you've not used your pre-workout for a couple of weeks, then open it up and give it a quick stir to keep it from turning into a solid block.

Leaving Your Pre-Workout In Your Car

This should be one of the most common mistakes made by most lifters. You should never leave your pre-workout supplement in the car, especially on a hot day.

Why? Because it'll increase the pre-workout powder's chances of drawing in as much moisture as possible - resulting in hard or clumpy pre-workout.

In fact, looking through bodybuilding forums, this seemed to be the #1 cause of this problem.

Ultimately, if your pre-workout has turned clumpy or hard after leaving it in the car, then it wasn't a co-incidence. Don't do it!

Taking Out The Silica Gel Packet From Your Pre-Workout Container

This is an absolute rookie mistake to make.

You might not have known what that little packet was in your pre-workout container was there for and took it out. For whatever reason, if you've removed your silica gel packet from your pre-workout container, you've effectively increased your chances of having hard or clumpy pre-workout powder.

Why? Because silica gel packets are literally designed to absorb moisture and keep food or powder dry.

 

The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Powder

Right, so you've eaten your starter and now you want your main course. This is the section that you came here to read.

You're going to feel like it's Christmas too; instead of giving you one 'fix', we're going to give you numerous different solutions to help you revive your hard or clumpy pre-workout supplement - to make it usable again and save you from having to buy more products necessarily!

*Disclaimer: These are just options that we've tried personally. Don't take this as medical advice or anything like that, and ultimately you'll be trying any of these options at your own risk. 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #1: The Blender

Blender

 

We found this fix in numerous bodybuilding forums online. Almost everyone recommends you to throw your hard or clumpy pre-workout in your blender - pretty logical right?

Well, does it work? Yeah, it works! Our pre-workout was back to powder form after less than a minute in our blender. And we've actually fixed a few different pre-workouts using this method.

So for us, this method is our 'go-to' option when fixing hard or clumpy pre-workout powder. Of course, you'll be using your own blender at your own risk; we've heard of people breaking their blenders by trying this in rare occasions...

As a result, just make sure that you have an effective blender that'll seriously get the job done. If you're not confident in your blender's ability to fix your concrete brick of pre-workout, then you might be interested in our other ultimate fixes.

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #2: Break It Up With A Fork 

Powder

 

If you don't have a blender or are worried that you're going to break your blender with your hard or clumpy pre-workout powder, then this is the fix for you.

It's pretty self-explanatory. Grab a fork and start breaking up your powder until it looks like it should look. Or until it's loose enough for you to scoop out accurate servings from.

Before you start complaining, you might not be able to get your pre-workout looking like fine powder again. So you'll have to just settle for being happy with slightly clumpy pre-workout powder with this fork option.

Also, this is going to take more muscle to achieve - but you go to the gym for a reason, right?!

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #3: Make Ice-Cubes

Ice Cubes

We saw this idea in a bodybuilding forum too and we were pretty skeptical at first. But it actually works - it does take much more effort than the other 2 options though.

What do you do? Well, we began by adding enough water to fill your container, so the water level is just above the solid or clumpy powder. After that, we left our powder to dissolve in the water, adding more water when necessary (we left it in our fridge during this process).

Eventually, we were left with liquid pre-workout. At this point, we grabbed our ice cube tray, filled that bad-boy up,  and placed it in our freezer.

Ultimately, you'll be left with pre-workout ice-cubes that you can chew before you go to the gym. But in all honesty, we can't completely recommend this option because it'll be hard to determine the exact serving size of each ice cube - so do this at your own risk...

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #4: Chew The Clumps!

Chew The Pre Workout

This is a really 'last resort' fix.

Basically, if you've failed to really fix your pre-workout supplement and it's still really clumpy, then just grab a chunk and chew it; this was also quite a popular option in bodybuilding forums.

But the main issue with this is that you won't know the exact dosages or serving size you're consuming. So you might consume more caffeine or nutrient in your pre-workout than you want to.

So, we can't really recommend this option either. But it is a option - try this at your own risk!

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #5: A Slice of Bread or Rice

 

As we mentioned, many people remove the silica packets from their pre-workout containers. This inevitably increases your chances of your pre-workout powder turning hard or clumpy.

However, adding a slice of bread (or some dry rice) inside a small open plastic bag, inside your pre-workout container can help fix the issue; this is because the slice of bread (or rice) should draw the moisture away from the powder.

 

How To Keep Your Pre-Workout Powder From Turning Hard or Clumpy

One thing that everyone should be doing is trying to prevent their pre-workout powder from turning hard or clumpy in the first place.

So we'll offer some effective tips to help you do exactly this...

Keep Your Pre-Workout In Your Fridge

A really popular option on bodybuilding forums is keeping pre-workout supplements in fridges. This makes sense, because it'll keep your pre-workout powder cool and dry at all times; it's believed that your pre-workout powder draws in moisture when it's in warm environments.

After seeing this on forums, we've been keeping our pre-workout in our fridge since. And we can agree that it definitely helps!

Add Another Silica Gel Packet or Uncooked Rice In An Open Bag

A great option is adding a second silica gel packet to your pre-workout container; this is if you have one spare, or you can buy them from Amazon for pretty cheap too.

Or if you don't want to buy some more silica gel packets, then just add some uncooked rice in an open bag into your pre-workout container instead. Either way, both options will help keep your pre-workout powder from absorbing excess moisture, which prevents it from turning hard or clumpy.

Use Your Pre-Workout More Frequently

We mentioned earlier that leaving your pre-workout on your shelf for months increases its chances of turning hard or clumpy.

So it should be common sense that using your pre-workout more frequently will help mix-it-up and prevent it from going 'bad'. Not only that, it'll make you buy fresh pre-workout supplements more frequently too, so you'll suffer from this problem much less.

Think about it; pre-workouts usually come in 20-30 serving containers. So they're designed to be fully consumed in the space of 1-3 months - not left on your shelf for 3 months!

 

Conclusion

If you haven't just skimmed through this whole article, then you should have learned some valuable information here.

Ultimately, by saving your pre-workout powder from turning hard or clumpy, you're also saving yourself money too; no-one wants to replace their pre-workout with a new product just because it's gone hard.

 

CREDIT - LEANBULKING.COM

 

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Want to Be Lean and Healthy? Eat Superfoods

Want to Be Lean and Healthy? Eat Superfoods

The term ‘superfood’ has grown in popularity over the last few years, but what exactly makes a food a superfood?

On the one hand, some apply the term superfood to exotic plants like acai and goji berries, wheatgrass, chia seeds, and maca.

On the other hand, others refer to healthy but boring staples like blueberries, oats, and almonds as superfoods.

So, do superfoods exist, or is it just a slick label applied to healthy foods of all kinds?

Yes and no.

On the one hand, compared to what the average Western diet, eating plenty of so-called superfoods will make a noticeable improvement in your health.

On the other hand, if you already eat a healthy diet, you’re probably already consuming what many people consider superfoods on a daily basis.

We’re going to get to the bottom of all of this in this article.

By the end, you’ll know what makes a superfood (and where the term came from) and how to include 31 foods commonly thought of as superfoods in your diet.



What Is a Superfood?
Technically, there’s no such thing as a “superfood.”

The term “superfood” was created in order to sell people on particular health food products that allegedly possess unique benefits that you can’t get from normal foods.

For example, supplement companies have been promoting wheatgrass and acai and goji berries for over a decade.

After artificially creating demand for these foods through aggressive advertising, supplement companies released thousands of products based around these low-cost, high-margin “superfoods,” which are super for their bottom line but mediocre at improving your health.

They applied the same formula to boring, everyday healthy staples like blueberries, kale, and dark chocolate.

After hyping these foods as “superfoods,” supplement companies created products based around these foods, too.

Don’t want to eat blueberries, kale, or dark chocolate?

No problem!

Just buy our organic blueberry kale powder infused with cocoa for just $79.99 a month!

In other cases, some people also label normal, healthy foods as superfoods in order to encourage people to eat more of them. While understandable, this has also led to the incorrect notion that some healthy foods are drastically healthier than others.

Here’s the truth: if you were to dismiss the idea of superfoods and superfood-based products entirely and stick to practical, simple, time-tested healthy eating principles, you wouldn’t miss anything.

There is a shred of truth to the idea behind superfoods, though.

It’s true that some foods do contain more of some nutrients than others.

For example, strawberries, oranges, and lemons contain more vitamin C per gram of weight than most other fruits.

Some foods also contain compounds that have unique health benefits.

For example, broccoli is a good source of sulforaphane, which may have powerful anti-cancer properties (and which may also negate some of the unhealthy chemicals produced from grilling meat).

The problem with the term “superfood,” though, is that it implies that the only way to get these benefits is to consume these specific foods.

This isn’t true.

For example, although strawberries, oranges, and lemons contain more vitamin C than most other fruits, almost every fruit contains large amounts of vitamin C—enough to help you reach the recommended daily value with only two to three servings.

Likewise, although broccoli is a good source of sulforaphane, so are Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables.

So, in the final analysis, what makes one food a “superfood” and another food just “healthy” are often minor and meaningless differences in their nutritional content.

The truth is that so long as you’re eating a variety of different fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and various meats, you’ll likely be consuming all the nutrients your body needs.

That said, the idea of superfoods has become thoroughly entrenched in the fitness world, so we might as well look at some of the foods most often considered superfoods.

For the sake of consistency, I’ll refer to them as superfoods throughout the rest of this article. Just remember that it’s not entirely accurate.

Summary: “Superfood” is a marketing buzzword created to sell exotic, expensive, superfood-based supplements, and most “superfoods” are really just regular fruits, vegetables, and other healthy staples.

Superfood Fruits


1. Apples
green-apples superfood

Apples are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight free radicals. They’re also packed with vitamins and dietary fiber to keep you full.

In one study, non-smoking women between the ages of 30 to 50 were randomly assigned one of three dietary supplements, adding three apples per day to their diets, three pears per day, or three oat cookies per day.

Of course, you’d expect the fruit group to lose more weight than the oat cookies group, and this was the case. The fruit group lost a pound on average more than the oat group.

That’s a small difference, but when you consider the other added benefits of fruit, it shows that having something packed with fiber is especially helpful.

It’s also worth pointing out that this small difference in weight loss was achieved after only a few weeks and with no other dietary changes.

2. Bananas
bananas superfoods

Bananas are one powerful fruit.

They’re high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, and easily digested carbohydrates to fuel your workouts.

They’re also extremely convenient thanks to their peel, which serves as a natural form of packaging.

3. Blueberries
blueberries superfood

The deep blue color that comes from blueberries lets you know that they are rich in antioxidants that ward off free radicals.

They can also be helpful for weight loss thanks to the combination of fiber and water found in blueberries, which reduces appetite.

I like to add blueberries to my smoothies, salads, or on top of my oatmeal.

4. Goji Berries
goji-berries superfood

Goji berries have become extremely popular “superfoods,” and while they don’t quite live up to the hype, they do have a number of health benefits on par with other berries.

These tiny, bright berries help control appetite and blood sugar levels. They also contain a good chunk of fiber.

Goji berries are generally sold as a dried fruit, so I’ll sprinkle them on my salads or oatmeal for a little added sweetness.

Be careful not to go overboard, as all dried fruits are easier to overeat than their fresh counterparts.

5. Grapefruit
grapefruit superfood

If you can get past the super tartness of grapefruit, you’ll be well on your way to quick weight loss.

One study examined 91 obese patients and split them into four groups. One group was given a placebo, one received grapefruit capsules, one had to drink grapefruit juice, and the last group ate fresh grapefruits. The participants had to consume their allocated supplements three times a day before each meal over 12 weeks.

The results?

The fresh grapefruit group lost the most weight, the grapefruit juice drinkers came in second place, and the capsule consumers fared better than the placebo takers.

The reason for this is probably that the grapefruit eaters got more whole fiber, which generally helps control appetite better than plain juice.

If it’s hard for you to enjoy the tartness of fresh grapefruit slices, try blending them in your smoothies.

6. Pears
pears superfood

Pears are incredible for controlling appetite.

Since pears have an average of 5.5 grams of fiber per serving, they keep our digestive systems moving.

Fiber has a number of health benefits including improving blood sugar levels, reducing appetite, and supporting proper digestion.

If you’re feeling a little backed up or constipated, slice up a juicy pear and enjoy.

7. Pomegranate seeds
pomegranate superfood

This low-calorie snack option also packs a healthy dose of fiber, making it an ideal afternoon treat.

I like to buy containers of pomegranate seeds so all I have to do is sprinkle them over some greek yogurt.

8. Oranges
oranges superfood

I have to admit that I love oranges, but I don’t drink much orange juice. It’s too easy to consume more calories than I want that way.

I don’t do anything fancy with my oranges. Occasionally, I’ll slice one up for an acai bowl, but other than that the fresh slices are where it’s at.

Superfood Veggies


9. Avocados
avocados superfood

Do you ever get that feeling after you eat that you could go for something else, despite having eaten a full meal already?

I used to until I learned that adding half an avocado to your lunch could help prevent this issue from happening.

A study published in the Nutrition Journal on 26 healthy but overweight participants, asked them to either replace other foods with avocados or simply add avocado to their meals.

The results showed that those who added the fresh avocado to their lunches had a decreased desire to snack between meals by 40% over the course of three hours. Twenty-eight percent even reported feeling satiated (full) as long as five hours later.

I like to add half an avocado to my smoothies, sandwiches, or salads.

10. Black beans
black-beans superfood

The combination of fiber and protein makes beans so healthy for you. Not only will black beans keep you full, but they provide slow-release energy from complex carbs.

I like to make black bean burritos using fresh salsa, avocados, and brown rice.

11. Broccoli
broccoli superfood

Instead of severely limiting your food intake, you can add more nutrients and cut calories simultaneously by eating broccoli.

With broccoli I keep it simple and steam it as a side dish or use it in a stir fry. I also like to cut it up raw for salads or hummus.

12. Chiles
chilies superfood

Chiles are high in fiber, nutrients, and flavor, making them an ideal choice for many meals.

If I’m feeling up for some heat, I’ll add chiles to my black bean burritos.

13. Garbanzo beans
garbanzo-chickpeas superfood

You may be familiar with garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, thanks to the rise in popularity of hummus, a ground up and seasoned version of chickpeas.

These tan colored beans are packed with soluble fiber to absorb water and help you feel full. Chickpeas are also nutrient dense and provide you with 7 grams of protein and 22 grams of complex carbohydrates.

I prefer eating chickpeas in a cold salad or ground up as hummus.

14. Lentils
lentils superfood

Similar to beans, lentils are packed with protein. In fact, a single cup can contain as much as 18 grams of protein for just over 200 calories.

Not only does this significant amount of protein help you build lean muscle mass and control your hunger, but it will also help you cut calories.

I like to eat lentils as a cold salad mixed with quinoa, pomegranate seeds, and green onions.

15. Kidney beans
red-kidney-beans

You could argue that all beans are superfoods, but I’ve found that black beans, kidney, and white beans are especially tasty.

Kidney beans, in particular, are popular among vegetarians as a hearty meat substitute. Thanks to their iron, protein, potassium, and magnesium content, they’re very nutritious.

My favorite way to eat kidney beans is in a vegetarian chilli. I’ll set up a crockpot with some tomatoes, corn, peppers, black beans, and onions and let it simmer for about two hours on high.

16. White beans
white-beans superfood

White beans have all of the benefits of other beans, but come with a unique flavor that many enjoy.

If you’re unsure of how to use white beans, I recommend adding them to a simple chicken noodle soupthat has some fresh carrots and onions in it.

You could also use white beans to top off a tasty kale salad.

17. Kale
kale superfood

One cup of kale is only about 33 calories, yet it’s packed with nutrients to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

This helps you whittle down the amount of calories you consume each day without sacrificing essential vitamins and minerals, making it a perfect weight loss superfood.

I like to add kale to my smoothies or substitute it for watered down lettuces like iceberg. I even like to pair it with my next favorite superfood, spinach.

18. Spinach
spinach-bowl

Spinach has recently taken a backseat as a result of the kale craze, but it shouldn’t be overlooked in your diet, especially if weight loss is your goal.

Three cups of raw spinach deliver 2.9g of protein for a mere 23 calories.

Although I find it easy to add spinach to salads and smoothies, it’s easier to access some nutrients in the spinach after cooking

Plus, you can’t beat the simple fact that when sauteed, spinach reduces drastically in size, making it much easier to consume a healthy serving of veggies without having to chew on salad for 20 minutes.

Superfood Nuts and Seeds

19. Almonds
almonds

These powerful nuts tide you over between meals and can be added to salads and oatmeal for a boost of omega-3s, fiber, and protein.

Almonds also help curb the urge to overeat by keeping you full between meals.

20. Almond Butter
almond-butter

If you like almonds then you can’t go wrong with almond butter.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s perfect on bananas and apples or even on a slice of whole wheat toast.

Almond butter is high in nutrients, and has a distinct flavor that’s quite different from peanut butter.

21. Chia Seeds
chia-seeds

When consumed, chia seeds expand and create a jelly-like substance in your stomach, which leaves you feeling full.

They also digest slowly so you have long-lasting consistent energy rather than high spikes that leave you sluggish on the comedown.

I add chia seeds to my smoothies and salads as well as sprinkle them over anything involving almond butter.

22. Flax seeds
flax-seed

Flax seeds are also high in fiber, and do an excellent job of filling you up.

In order to get the most benefit out of your flax seeds, grind them up yourself or purchase them already ground.

The easiest way to eat flax seeds is by mixing them into smoothies.

23. Pine nuts
pine-nuts-bowl

Pine nuts are often overlooked in supermarkets, but they pack appetite suppressing goodness, which shouldn’t be avoided.

Plus, the healthy mix of protein, iron, and monounsaturated fat also gives you a boost of energy.

I love to sprinkle pine nuts over salads or add them to soups and they taste great slightly pan roasted.

24. Pistachios
Pistachios

Pistachios work their weight loss magic in two ways.

First, having to de-shell each pistachio helps slow your eating down. It also makes you less likely to overeat since un-shelling eventually becomes a chore. In other words, they help you eat more intuitively.

To avoid eating too many, you’ll want to set aside a portion instead of consuming them directly from the bag.

Superfood Starches
The next four starches have a few things in common:

They’re complex carbohydrates
They digest slowly
They help keep you full
They provide sustained energy


25. Oats
oats-bowl

If you haven’t been convinced to eat it by now, I urge you to give oatmeal another chance. Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast; it makes a great snack between meals.

I know that may not sound tasty at first, but trust me, you’ll get used to it in no time.

Especially if you know that you’ll be less tempted to eat a huge meal or snacks before bedtime. It’s a great little weight loss trick. Oatmeal is also a great way to consume more healthy calories while lean bulking.

26. Barley
barley

If you haven’t been acquainted with barley, let me introduce you to this superfood.

Barley loves to control blood sugar spikes, just like bananas and goji berries.

Barley can be cooked like quinoa and used as a base with a variety of delicious toppings. From risotto to fiesta salads, barley and quinoa are as versatile as it gets.

27. Quinoa
quinoa

Similar to brown rice, quinoa is a low-calorie option filled with both protein and fiber so you’ll feel full on fewer calories.

I usually make quinoa for dinner, but I’ve also found that it makes a great substitute for oatmeal in the morning. You can sprinkle in some cinnamon, almonds, and fresh berries for a hearty breakfast.

It’s also great on salads.

Superfood Proteins


28. Salmon
salmon

A 3 ounce serving of salmon has over 20 grams of protein, along with a large dose of omega-3 fats. With that high protein content you won’t be tempted to snack after dinner.

29. Sardines
sardines

For such tiny fish, sardines pack a whole host of nutritional benefits.

With sardines you’ll get 7 grams of protein for a mere 59 calories. Plus, you’ll also enjoy a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

My favorite way to eat sardines is from a recipe I found on Chow.

All you have to do is combine smoked sardines with cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and the juice of one lemon to make a delicious pate. This is equivalent to a smoked fish dip without having the added calories of the mayo.

Superfood Extras


30. Avocado Oil
avocado-oil1

Earlier in this post I mentioned the benefits of avocados and they carry over when you use avocado oil too. By using it as a salad dressing, you’ll be feeling more satisfied with your salad of choice.

As a tip, I generally skip the avocados if I’m using the oil.

Avocado oil is also unique in that it has a very high smoke point, which means it can be used during high-temperature cooking without burning.

31. Cinnamon
cinnamon-spice

Cinnamon is great for adding flavor to otherwise “boring” foods like oatmeal.

I like to add it to oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, and even chili. It provides the perfect amount of flavor and just enough of a healthy kick.

If you made it this far, you’re probably overwhelmed with the amount of superfoods to choose from. My hope is that this list doesn’t scare you off and instead provides a ton of options to suit your needs.

What’s more, you can also see that many everyday healthy staples are in fact superfoods, even though they don’t have fancy names, a big price tag, or require you to buy an expensive supplement to enjoy their benefits.

When it comes to eating healthy and losing weight, variety is key; you don’t need to go out and buy every item on this list. Instead, you can mix and match items and use a different combination each week.



Credit - Legion Aesthetics

https://legionathletics.com/31-super-foods-super-charge-weight-loss/

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Get Dense: Big Back Workout 101

Get Dense: Big Back Workout 101

Big Back Workout 101

Your back might be ripped to shreds, but if it's missing that dense muscle mass, you won't perform as well as you want to. Add some size and strength to your back with this basic workout. It might be simple, but it gets the job done!

A strong back helps protect the spine and allows for correct posture when training every other body part. If you're spending all your time trying to bring up those little details, then you're missing out on a much more important training aspect: building a big, thick back.

Let's build one. Here's how the Big Back Workout is done:

WARM-UP

Pull-Ups

(100 reps, for time)

I like to use pull-ups as a warm-up. It's a great compound bodyweight exercise that will prepare your back for the upcoming work.

Rather than doing traditional sets and reps, I like to go just short of failure before I dismount and recover. Feel free to change hand positions and types of pull-ups to ensure that you hit your back at different angles.

EXERCISE 1

Deadlift

(5 sets of 5 reps)

I consider the deadlift one of the best exercises out there, including variations like the sumo deadlift. The deadlift should be a staple in everyone's training routine. Because it's a full-body exercise, you move more weight and burn more calories than you would doing isolation movements like the hamstring curl.

The deadlift is all about building strength—the stronger you are the more weight you can lift. When you lift more weight, your muscles are forced to adapt. The result of that adaptation is more quality muscle.

EXERCISE 2

Pendlay Row

(3-4 sets of 6-8 reps)

This exercise is named after Olympic lifting coach Glenn Pendlay. If it's good enough for Olympians, then it should be good enough for anyone. This exercise will strengthen your back and teach you how to keep you core tight when you do other lifts like squats and deadlifts.

The Pendlay row is a bent-over row that starts at a dead stop each rep. You won't be able to lift as much as you can on the barbell row, but the amount you can lift on your barbell row will improve by doing this movement.

EXERCISE 3

Dumbbell Row

(3-4 sets of 6-8 reps)

This is an awesome movement for the lats, rhomboids, and traps. Guys usually love this exercise because you can move some heavy weight. However ego tends to get in the way; I see a lot of guys doing more cheating than lifting. Avoid excessively rounding your back, pull with your lats, and focus on maintain control of the weight on each rep!

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