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Training Article : - How T Shape your Chest
 
If you're like me, your chest is stubborn. When I say stubborn, I mean it does not seem to want to grow. You pound away at it. You try different routines. You try just about every exercise in the books, and nothing seems to workBy: Maxwell If you're like me, your chest is stubborn. When I say stubborn, I mean it doesn't seem to want to grow. You pound away at it, you try different routines. You try just about every exercise in the books, and nothing seems to work. I personally have a hard time developing the lower/outer part of my pecs. About three months ago, I got a bench that was able to decline. I had never done any decline chest exercises before, so I decided to add one to my routine. After my first workout, my chest was pumped! For the first time, my chest actually looked "big". Of course, I know I was bigger because I had just got done working out. t first, lying on a decline may seem awkward, but you'll get used to it. I attach my leg attachment to my bench and load it with weights. Then I position my legs as I would when doing leg extensions. This keeps my body from sliding down the bench. Exercises The three exercises that I recommend doing are the decline bench press, decline dumbbell press, and the V-bar pulldown. Decline Bench Press The main muscles worked in the Decline Barbell Bench Press are the lower pecs. The middle chest, triceps, and shoulders, however, are also worked. This is done just like a flat bench press. It is important to control the weight on the negative and really stretch those pecs. Decline Dumbbell Press The Decline Dumbbell Press is my favorite exercise, simply for the fact that it makes my chest look so full! You may need assist getting the dumbbells into the starting position. When you start this exercise, the dumbbells should be parallel to your legs. They should also be level will your chest. When you push the weights up, you should rotate your thumbs towards each other. Stop rotating a little bit before the dumbbells are perpendicular with your legs. At the top of the movement squeeze your pecs together. Now on the negative, slowly bring the dumbbells down, rotating them back to parallel with your legs. At the bottom of the movement, you should stretch your chest.
 
 
Just last week when I was doing this exercise, I lost my balance and had to bail out. Luckily, I was not hurt. It is important to control the weight throughout the entire exercise. Losing control could lead to you injuring your shoulder. V-Bar Pulldown An exercise that I feel helps assist in making your chest fill out is the V-Bar Pulldown. This exercise hits right between the chest and the armpits. Adding this exercise can help enhance your chest. Routine Here is the routine that I recommend doing: Decline Bench Press: 2 sets x 4-6 reps Declined Dumbbell Press: 2 x 4-6 Inclined Dumbbell Press: 2 x 4-6 Dips: 2 x reps to failure personally like the 4-6 rep range. I have made my best gains with this range. If you do not like this rep range or you do not gain from, use a different rep range. This routine lets you hit the entire chest. If you are having trouble developing your chest I highly recommend this routine. I am about to restart this routine in two weeks. If you try this routine, email and tell me your experiences - good, bad, whatever! All exercises Routine As with all exercises you need to take care in scheduling specific body parts. To begin with you should incorporate your chest exercises into a program similar to the one suggested below: Day 1: Biceps, Back, Abs Day 2: Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs Day 3: Quads, Forearms, Calves Day 4: Triceps, Chest, Abs
 

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Maxwell
 

Training Article : - How T Shape your Chest

If you're like me, your chest is stubborn. When I say stubborn, I mean it does not seem to want to grow. You pound away at it. You try different routines. You try just about every exercise in the books, and nothing seems to work
By: Derek Charlebois
If you're like me, your chest is stubborn. When I say stubborn, I mean it doesn't seem to want to grow. You pound away at it, you try different routines. You try just about every exercise in the books, and nothing seems to work. I personally have a hard time developing the lower/outer part of my pecs.

About three months ago, I got a bench that was able to decline. I had never done any decline chest exercises before, so I decided to add one to my routine. After my first workout, my chest was pumped! For the first time, my chest actually looked "big". Of course, I know I was bigger because I had just got done working out.
t first, lying on a decline may seem awkward, but you'll get used to it. I attach my leg attachment to my bench and load it with weights. Then I position my legs as I would when doing leg extensions. This keeps my body from sliding down the bench.

Exercises

The three exercises that I recommend doing are the decline bench press, decline dumbbell press, and the V-bar pulldown.

Decline Bench Press 

The main muscles worked in the Decline Barbell Bench Press are the lower pecs. The middle chest, triceps, and shoulders, however, are also worked. This is done just like a flat bench press. It is important to control the weight on the negative and really stretch those pecs.

Decline Dumbbell Press 

The Decline Dumbbell Press is my favorite exercise, simply for the fact that it makes my chest look so full! You may need assist getting the dumbbells into the starting position. When you start this exercise, the dumbbells should be parallel to your legs. They should also be level will your chest.
When you push the weights up, you should rotate your thumbs towards each other. Stop rotating a little bit before the dumbbells are perpendicular with your legs. At the top of the movement squeeze your pecs together. Now on the negative, slowly bring the dumbbells down, rotating them back to parallel with your legs. At the bottom of the movement, you should stretch your chest.

 
 

Just last week when I was doing this exercise, I lost my balance and had to bail out. Luckily, I was not hurt. It is important to control the weight throughout the entire exercise. Losing control could lead to you injuring your shoulder.
V-Bar Pulldown 

An exercise that I feel helps assist in making your chest fill out is the V-Bar Pulldown. This exercise hits right between the chest and the armpits. Adding this exercise can help enhance your chest.

Routine

Here is the routine that I recommend doing:

Decline Bench Press: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
Declined Dumbbell Press: 2 x 4-6
Inclined Dumbbell Press: 2 x 4-6
Dips: 2 x reps to failure
personally like the 4-6 rep range. I have made my best gains with this range. If you do not like this rep range or you do not gain from, use a different rep range.

This routine lets you hit the entire chest. If you are having trouble developing your chest I highly recommend this routine. I am about to restart this routine in two weeks. If you try this routine, email and tell me your experiences - good, bad, whatever!

All exercises Routine
As with all exercises you need to take care in scheduling specific body parts. To begin with you should incorporate your chest exercises into a program similar to the one suggested below:

Day 1: Biceps, Back, Abs

Day 2: Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs

Day 3: Quads, Forearms, Calves

Day 4: Triceps, Chest, Abs

 
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Front Double Biceps Posing
 
First impressions are vital, and likely this will be the first pose that the judges first see you perform. There are two ways to do this pose... First impressions are vital, and it's likely this will be the first pose that the judges first see you perform. There are two ways to do this pose, with a stomach vacuum or with your abs flexed and crunched. It's not uncommon for some bodybuilders to do both in one pose. Stomach Vacuum Or Flexed Abs The vacuum method allows for a broader shoulders base and lat spread, while the abdominal crunch method is impressive if your midsection is ripped. You should do the variation which you feel makes you look the best overall. A way to do both variations during the double biceps pose is to begin in the vacuum position, then at the finish of the pose, exhale and crunch those abs before moving on. Forearm Placement The next thing to consider is the angle you bend your forearm in relation to your upper arm. You should hold your arms in such a fashion as to give each arm an equally balanced look. Keep in mind, this shot depends on well-developed biceps and triceps, as well as being evenly balanced. If you have great biceps with large peaks, you're better off flexing your arms past 90 degrees with your wrists only half suppinated. If you're biceps are less than highly peaked, try holding them at near right angles with fully suppinated wrists. It is usually more impressive when the upper arms are slightly above parallel with the floor. Bending Your Legs You'll want to bend your legs so that the flex will be most impressive. If you have some built legs, point your toes on your best leg outward and bent slightly, while the other leg is extended about a foot to the side. This will greatly show your highly developed thighs and calves. Another option is to put your best leg 3-5 inches in front of the other with toes pointed directly forward, while the back foot is somewhat angled and bent outward. With slightly bent legs, you should be able to achieve maximum muscle separation when you flex.
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Preparation for the NPC Western Michigan Bodybuilding Invitational 2012 9/24/2012
 

Monday I did two 30 minute sessions of stationary bike on the highest difficulty and intensity throughout the duration of the sessions. I worked my chest and back for 45 minutes. I did supersets on the incline press alternating with reverse incline rows using dumb bells. I followed that with flat bench dumb bell flies, super setting with upright rows using the barbells

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Preparation for the NPC Western Michigan Bodybuilding Invitational 2012 9/25/2012
 

Tuesday I did two 30-minute sessions running on the treadmill. I then trained biceps and triceps for 45 minutes. I did supersets of dumb bell curls and triceps kickbacks, narrow-grip bench press and preacher curls using barbell with one arm. I followed the arm workout with two 1-hour sessions of boot camp class that I teach. 

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Preparation for the NPC Western Michigan Bodybuilding Invitational 2012 9/26/2012
 

Wednesday I did 20 minutes on the stationary bike in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon. My workout consisted of a leg routine with Barbell squats superset with leg presses, finished with leg curls and leg extensions. My second workout for the day started with a warm-up of 40 minutes on the stationary bike and stair stepper. I worked out my back and biceps starting with lat pull-downs, wide grip and v-bar pull-downs, back extensions and preacher bicep curls. 

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American Pure Whey Employees at the Mr. Olympia Las Vegas 2012
 
American Pure Whey sales associates attended the Superbowl of bodybuilding The Mr. Olympia held at Las Vegas. This convention was during September 28, 2012 to October 1, 2012. The sales associates met with the elite bodybuilders of the world and signed lucrative contracts with top distributors in the USA and internationally. Way to go guys! You have made us proud again! 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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WHEY BOMBS!
 
Life on a diet can get a little dull. For a Bodybuilder, or anyone on a strict purposeful diet, your options can be pretty limited and before long it's easy to find yourself kinda tired of the same meals day in and day out. However, with a little imagination and forethought there are infinite ways to spin these same food options into treats. After all, a little positive reinforcement never hurt anyone did it? Here's a recipe for something I like to call Whey Bombs! I'm bulking up right now so I made them a little heavy on the fats, which also makes them taste amazing. Baking with Whey is something that we often overlook but, holy crap, the results are not only delicious but also help you hit your goals! Whey Bombs! Recipe: Ingredients: 256 grams rolled oats 2 lb natural peanut butter (crunchy) 427grams egg white 3 cups coconut, almond, or oat milk 44grams cinnamon 19.2 grams baking soda 125 grams cacao nibs 240 grams whey 200 grams truvia Baking Blend Sea Salt Simple Steps: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit) Stir all ingredients into a large bowl (except for sea salt) to make the batter If time allows, let the batter sit in you refrigerator for about 20-40 minutes to give the oats time to soak up the On a well oiled or parchment paper lined cookie tray, use a spoon to dab out the desired number of cookies. Keep in mind that these things will rise a bit while cooking so go for a size that's a bit smaller than you'd prefer the final cookies to be. Throw those Whey Bombs into the oven and let them cook for 10-20 minutes depending on how moist you'd prefer them to be. Cooking for 10 minutes will yield Whey Bombs that are a bit more “cakey”, with a brownie like consistency, while cooking them for longer should yield a crispier cookie. Sprinkle Sea Salt across the tops of the Whey Bombs for a savory flavor Allow to cool (IF YOU CAN!), then devour for gains! Nutritonal Info: We went pretty big on the cookie size with ours so we yielded 28 Whey Bombs in total. Here is the macro-nutritional break down per cookie: These are some pretty solid Bulkers and they taste awesome! What better way to reward yourself for hitting that PR or a having a great workout than with an awesome “cheat meal” pastry that doesn't really require you to cheat on your diet?! Enjoy, and until next week, GET RIPPED!
 
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GPP Conditioning
 
As an amateur bodybuilder I've always got my eyes on my next contest. This means that year round I'm preparing to bring the best possible version of myself to the stage when the time comes. In the coldness of winter this means that my goals are putting on as much mass as possible before I start my precontest cutting diet in the spring. Admittedly, I've become somewhat of a perfectionist. The way I see things, I'm always on some sort of precontest diet. This 24/7 commitment is not only what's required in any venture when you're determined to bring your absolute best to it, but holding myself accountable to constantly be the best that I can be is what appeals to me about bodybuilding most. It's because of all this that I've always got my next contest in my sights, and it's because of this focus that keeping a favorable body composition year round is a big priority for me. As any of your who've checked out my profile here on the APW Blog will know, I used to be overweight. In my transition I learned how to cut fat pretty well, however, I'm also super weary that I don't work myself into a position where I'm attempting to cut my bodyfat from say 15% down to Contest standards of leanness in a matter of weeks before a competition. To maintain a relatively lean body composition and a generally high level of cardiovascular fitness all year I make GPP Conditioning a serious priority in my training. GPP or General Physical Preparedness has become quite the buzz word in the fitness industry recently, especially with all the re-branding that movements like Crossfit have gotten into. Simply put, GPP is an athlete's ability to perform all different types of tasks, to do lots of work and recover from it quickly. Bodybuilding veteran Dave Draper wrote a pretty informative piece on the history of GPP here: http://davedraper.com/blog/2006/11/01/what-is-gpp/. My take on GPP work is that it should be some sort of loaded cardiovascular conditioning which challenges your capacity to recover. It's pretty vital to me, since I'm trying to GROW, that I make sure not to stack GPP workouts on the same days as my weightlifting. While GPP is important to me it definitely takes a back seat to my weight training. I also design all of these workouts to revolve around High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This sort of High Intensity training in which you cycle through bouts of high intensity (95-100% of maximum effort) work followed by low intensity “rest” periods have been proven to increase a whole host of fitness markers much more efficiently than traditional endurance cardio. In a recent study from Mcmasters University in Canada (http://bit.ly/zlrUkw), Interval training even showed participants from the HIIT group who exercised 2.5hour/week to show similar exercise performance adaptations to an endurance cardio group who exercised for 10hours/week. Basically this means you can mak e the same progress in literally ¼ of the time! As with any other workout nutrition is key in building on it's effectiveness. You wanna keep in mind that you're expending calories here, which means that if you're trying to grow then you're gonna want to replace them! Your metabolism is also supercharged following these interval workouts so it's a great time to take advantage of it with some APW 100% Whey Isolate or even a carb rich American Pure Whey Sizer XXL shake to replenish your glycogen stores and floow your muscles with the bilding blocks they need to grow! Here's a few examples of my GPP workouts: HILL SPRINTS: This is the simplest GPP workout since all it requires is a hill and you! Basically find yourself a challenging hill and sprint up it. I prefer to run mine on grassy hills so I use a set of cleats to make sure I don't slip but they can be preformed just as easily on a steep paved hill. Hill sprints are natural interval work since after you sprint up the hill you have to walk back down which makes a nice “rest” period. Once you get to the bottom: Wash, rinse, repeat! I would recommend starting with 10 hills and increasing from there. I like to limit my hill sprint workouts to around 30minutes so I generally stop at around 30 hills. TIRE WORK: This GPP workout involves a sledge hammer and an unnecessarily large tire. I tend to do these in TABATA intervals (4 minutes of 20 seconds of High Intensity work periods followed 10 seconds of rest). Basically you want to hit the tire with the sledge as many times as possible in the 20 second work period then rest for the following ten seconds, then repeat. You can also work tire flips in for work periods. WEIGHT SLED PUSHES: This workout is done with a weight sled of some sort. I usually run these in either TABATA rounds or 10 minutes of 30/30's (30seconds work, 30seconds rest). You can add weight to the sled to make it more challenging for slow pushes or lighten the load and push it for sprints. I also like to go to a local sports field and work the football sled in for some of these workouts. so there you have it, my GPP conditioning work. I also wanna throw it out there that there are some great apps for your smartphone that can time these intervals for you which can be a lot better than trying to watch a clock while you're pushing yourself. Until next time, GET RIPPED!
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NPC USA bodybuilder preparing for Michigan State championships
 

So far this week has consisted of the following routines:

Monday: I did two 30 minute sessions of stationary bike on the highest difficulty and intensity throughout the duration of the sessions.
I worked my chest and back for 45 minutes. I did supersets on the  incline press alternating with reverse incline rows using dumb bells.  I followed that with flat bench dumb bell flies, supersetting with upright rows using the barbells.

Tuesday: I did two 30 minute sessions running on the treadmill. I then trained biceps and triceps for 45 minutes. I did supersets of dumb bell curls and tricep kickbacks, narrow-grip bench press and preacher curls using barbell with one arm. I followed the arm workout with two  1 hour sessions of bootcamp class that I teach.

Wednesday: I did 20 minutes on the  stationary bike in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon.
My workout consisted of a leg routine with Barbell squats superset with leg presses, finished with leg curls and leg extensions.
my second workout for the day started with a warm-up of 40 minutes on the stationary bike and stair stepper. I witked out my back and biceps starting with lat pull-downs, wide grip and v-bar pull-downs, back extensions and preacher bicep curls.

Thursday:  2 miles on treadmill and stair-stepper, Boot-camp class 1HR, Evening Boot-camp class 1hr, Upper Back: Lat Pull-downs20sets 10reps 185lbs, Biceps Easy-curl bar with 45lb plates followed by one-arm dumbbell preacher curls 5sets of 50, 55, and 60lb dumbbells to failure. 

Friday: 2 miles on treadmill and 7 miles stationary bike, Straight-barDead-lifts 20sets of 10reps 315lbs 5 sets of dumbbell rows 80lb to 120lb  +10lb increments each set


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How to determine caloric intake on a diet
 
 Setting a baseline and getting an accurate Idea of your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) or how many calories your body requires to maintain your current weight is always the place you want to start from. Otherwise you’re taking a wild guess which could lead you down one of two ill advised paths. You may loose too much weight too fast and this means you’re not losing the weight you want to loose. The scale will be moving but you’re loosing a higher proportion of muscle which won’t get your body composition where you you want it to be aesthetically speaking. Alternately you could be wasting time by not cutting enough calories and thus not losing the weight you set out to loose. When I start working with people who want to loose weight I go the route of having them start using a digital food scale and eating how they normally do but while journaling all of their food for the first week. I have them weigh themselves at the beginning and end of the week and then we can make a more reasonable guess about their BMR based on their weight and what their daily caloric intake was.


In my case I have a Bodybuilding contest to prep for so I have no time to loose and as a result, very little room for error. I posted a picture last week from my Bod Pod Fit test. This is an air displacement test that gives you a really accurate idea of what your mass, body composition, and BMR are. It’s accuracy is second only to the elusive Dexascan, which can be pretty expensive and isn’t widely available to most people. This test helped me determine that my BMR is about 3900 cals/day, which is pretty in keeping with what I had been eating the last couple of weeks and maintaining that weight. So now we know what caloric intake it takes for me to maintain the same body weight, but we've yet to take the next step and decide how many calories I need to cut in order to loose the exact 1-2lbs of weight per week which is optimal for retaining muscle mass. 


;Now we go back to the science. We know that there are roughly 3500 calories in a pound of fat (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/6/5/542.short). While I know that it’s nearly impossible to loose only fat that’s what I’m shooting for so this calculus is based around this Utopian goal. Since I’m looking to loose 1-2lbs/week I’ve cut 600 calories from my daily caloric intake. This will net me a 4200 caloric deficit for the week and with the addition of a little cardio should keep me on schedule and pace to hit my goals. I can’t wait to see what I look like in about 18 weeks!


Keeping your weight loss to this 1-2lbs/week rate is paramount for a bodybuilder.  If you cut too much weight too fast you run the risk of losing the majority of it from muscle through a process called muscular catabolism.   Losing weight at this slower rate favors a more beneficial ratio of fat to muscle loss.  This is also why it's more important than ever for a dieting athlete to rely on Whey Protein!  Since whey has such a rich amino acid profile helps your body retain more muscle through your diet.   In between meals I also highly recommend using BCAA's to replace any oxidized muscle tissue and preserve your lean mass.


Here’s the macro nutritional and caloric profile of Day one for my precontest Diet:


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