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Compound exercises, you need them!

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Every time I pass through a gym I see people doing so many different exercises for each muscle group which for me only makes the workouts more complicated, if you are one of those guys or girls who do a bunch of exercises for each muscle group but, you´re doing them for a reason, and you understand why then that´s great but, many people don´t understand why they´re doing certain things a certain way, they just follow some workout they found on the internet or the one that some  friend recommended them.

In the last posts we talked about bodyweight exercises now let’s talk about compound movements which along with bodyweight exercises are really helpful to get an amazing physique and improve overall fitness and strength.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles at the same time which gives us the opportunity to lift more weight. The more weight we can lift, the stronger we get, and we gain more muscle (considering that our food program is right). This type of exercises have a lot of benefits including lowering the risk of injuries (considering that we don´t let our ego get in the way), we can do more in less time but it doesn´t mean that it´s going to be easy and we keep things simple.

Performing compound movements with free weights (barbells or dumbbells) is the best option even when we can´t lift the same amount of weight compared to gym machines or other equipment.

My approach to training is old school, sticking with a few basic exercises with high weight and low reps and adjusting some variables according to the goal we´re working on. Since compound exercises are multi-joint movements, we can lift more weight, so they are the perfect option to lift more weight in a low rep range.

Compound movements also require balance and coordination so as we keep increasing the weight our performance will improve too.

With compound movements we can lift heavy weight for 5 to 8 reps for hypertrophy to build lean dense muscle, we can go heavier in weight and lower in reps around 1 to 3 reps for strength and power and we can also lift lighter weight for 12 to 15 reps or even more.

Even when we can lift really heavy weight with this type of exercises I don´t recommend going to high to hit low rep ranges between 1 – 4, the lowest I will go is 5 reps, the reason for this is to avoid injuries, when we go to high in weight to hit the 1 to 4 rep range the chances of getting injured are really high, our body makes a huge effort and we need to make sure that our form and everything is right. If our goal is to improve body composition, to get in our best physique possible and sustain it we don´t need to go that heavy in weight and low in reps, working in the 5 to 8 and 9 to 12 rep range is perfectly fine.

When we are using compound movements it is simple and effective but it doesn´t mean it´s easy. And since we´re working on low reps and high weight things get harder meaning maximum muscle recruitment and high nervous-system activation this is the right stimulus for muscle growth and strength. Here we need to consider recovery, which is as important as our workouts, the central nervous system needs more time to recover so we can´t train the same muscle group 2 days continuously.

If our goal is muscle growth we can create a workout program that combines bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises and that uses both types of hypertrophy on separate days and hitting each muscle twice per week, this will give us the best results but we need to be careful how we design the program.

If our goal is fat loss, we can stay with bodyweight and compound exercises and focus on low rep ranges around 6 to 8 and make sure that we maintain our strength so that we maintain muscle mass.

We don´t need to do a lot of different exercises for each muscle group, keep what works and eliminate what doesn´t work. If we focus on key movements, we can build a great physique that is useful, there´s no reason to look great if we can´t perform great. Our goal is to improve body composition and build a physique we are proud of and that is useful for daily activities at our home or your job.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you like to keep things simple and effective and if you prefer short workouts compared to long workouts?

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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Do we need to exercise every day?

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If you hate doing exercise you may be waiting for a no to be the answer and the truth is you don´t need to go to the gym every day. There are two cases in which I recommend going to the gym every day, if you are one of this cases then you may consider scheduling one hour a day to workout.

First if you are beginning your fitness journey and you´re just starting training, the reason why is because to sustain our results and stay lean almost effortless we need to develop the habits necessary and exercising is one of those habits we need to develop. To develop a new habit we need to do the activity we want to develop as a habit over and over and over again, habits are develop through repetition and getting up to exercise is one of the most difficult so we need consistency, if we schedule one hour of our day and we get up and do some exercise every single day whether we feel like doing it or not, don´t think about it just get up and do it, it´ll be easier and faster to make this habit stick.

Second if we want to get results as fast as possible, the more consistent we are, the more effort and hard work we put to our goal the faster we´ll achieve it so if we want to achieve our goal as fast as possible we need to do exercise every day, at least 6 days a week, if we are patient and we don´t mind going slower we can exercise 4 days a week.

The reason why most people hate exercise is the pain and struggle and that most of the time they hate the workouts and routines add to this that  it takes time to see results and those results are not what they were expecting, as they keep losing weight they see that they need to eat less and less and do a lot of exercise to maintain which gets to a point where it´s almost impossible to sustain it.

If the workouts and routines are based on some activities or exercise that we enjoy doing or are fun it´ll be easier for us to do them and the results we get are also important to motivate us and continue with the program.

My goal is to make fitness part of your life and making the training part more enjoyable and fun giving you the best results possible, that you love the way you feel and love the way you look, this is why the programs are different from most fitness programs.

If we exercise everyday we develop the habit faster and get results faster, our progress in the workouts will also be faster. We´ll be doing 3 to 4 days of resistance training to maintain and build muscle and the 3 or 4 days lefts we´ll be doing cardio to help burn fat.

Since we´re working on developing the habit of working out daily there´ll be days when we don´t feel like doing it, get up and do it anyway by not listening to the negative thoughts on our mind and all the reasons why we don´t need to do it today and just shutting up all of them and doing our workout we tell our mind that we are stronger, we are conditioning our mind and body to do what we need to do when we need to do it.

Even when the workouts are hard they are more enjoyable, on resistance training we want to get stronger, getting stronger means more muscle and on our cardio workouts we´re burning some calories to lose fat, they´re simple and effective. We´ll be performing 3 to 4 exercises for each muscle and we do some cardio that we love.

We´re keeping things simple sticking with the basics and taking out all the complicated things that don´t give us much results. The simplicity and effectiveness of the workouts will make it easier for us to stick to the program and to develop the habit o daily exercise.

Exercising everyday has so many benefits for our health which combined with the other 4 principles help us live a more healthier life and achieve so many things, it´s not only about looking good, the goal is to live the life you want to live.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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How to improve body composition

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We´ve talked so many times about why our ultimate goal is to improve body composition which means losing body fat and gaining muscle mass to get a lean and toned physique that goes according to our gender, height, etc.

There are 2 ways we can achieve this goal, one is to focus on one goal first, if we are overweight or obese we lose fat first and then we gain muscle, if we are skinny we gain muscle first and then lose some fat. The second option is to work on both goals at the same time which is harder to do and take more time, this option is better for someone who has some fat to lose but not a lot and who needs to gain muscle, someone who’s current physique is between skinny and overweight.

Most of us want to see some results as fast as possible otherwise we lose motivation and try something else which is actually the biggest mistake but considering this the best option is to focus on one goal at a time, first lose fat and then gain muscle or first gain muscle and then lose fat, the only reason for this is to get results faster. Most of us use the scale to see our progress and even when it´s not the best option we continue paying a lot of attention to what it says. When w e focus on one goal at a time we will see results in a couple weeks and if we follow the right program those results show in the scale, the mirror and clothes.

Some people on the industry say that it´s impossible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, from what I´ve seen it´s not impossible, for someone new to the gym it´s simple and for someone who has been training for a long time it is harder but that doesn´t mean it´s impossible. If we follow the right workout and nutrition program we will get results but it takes a lot more time.

Creating a good program that helps us improve body composition requires to consider the most effective techniques for muscle growth and fat loss and use them in a way to complement each other.

As we know for fat loss we need to be in a calorie deficit and for muscle growth we need to be on a calorie surplus, this is why most experts say that it´s impossible but if our nutrition program goes according to our workout program we can do it .

Training

1.- Focus on resistance training and work on both types of hypertrophy,

2. Add HIIT cardio and increase physical activity throughout the day.

Nutrition

1. Make sure that we´re getting enough protein which is the most important macronutrient for muscle growth,

2. Cycle calories by using an strategy called carbohydrate cycling, we keep protein and fats the same every day and we lower carbs some days and other days we increase carbs.

On resistance training days we increase carbohydrates to get a calorie surplus and on cardio days we lower carbohydrates to get a calorie deficit. We can lower carbohydrates just to maintenance but it all depends of our results and how we feel.

Losing body fat and gaining muscle at the same time is more complex but it can be done it requires a really well created program and the results will vary according to our training experience.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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Make training as simple as possible

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There´s a tendency to overcomplicate things knowing that the more complicated the more sure we´re not going to follow it, we tend to think that if something is simple it won´t work but there´s a big gap between simple and easy, even when the concepts to lose fat and achieve any fitness goal are simple they´re not easy.

We don´t need to spend 2 hours in the gym everyday and we don´t need to do a lot of different exercises for each muscle group, this only make things more confusing and we waste a lot of time, we don´t need to do a lot of sets and reps unless we´re looking for an endurance workout.

Nowadays most guys like to train one muscle group per day the 5 day split that we see most guys in the gym following, if we´re not a bodybuilder we don´t need to do this, a lot of guys give more attention and prioritize isolation movements so they spend a lot of time in the gym getting the “pump”.

If we keep in mind our primary goal which is improve body composition, gaining muscle while keeping body fat low then resistance training is a priority it´s more important than cardio. We need to follow workout programs that focus on helping us gain lean muscle so we need to be training 3 to 4 days a week on this, the days left we can do some cardio.

We can divide resistance training exercises in three categories, bodyweight exercises, compound exercises and isolation exercises. Bodyweight and compound movements are the best option to gain muscle and get stronger, the way to gain dense muscle is by getting stronger on those exercises.

Workouts based on simple exercises like pushups, pull ups, squats, handstands, leg raises, bench press, over head press, bent over row, barbell squats and dead lifts are simple and effective, to this we can add some isolation exercises to target weaker muscles or work harder a muscle group we want to stand out. What we want with resistance training is to get stronger in the 5 to 8 rep range and 8 to 12 rep ranges to build dense muscle.

Once we have our resistance training in place we can add some cardio workouts just a tool to help us burn some extra calories that will help us get leaner faster or to maintain a low body fat, we´ll also get all the amazing benefits of endurance. We don´t want to do a lot of cardio or make it the base of our workouts because it´s not the way to gain muscle.

How we design our workouts depend of what we like to do, if we prefer bodyweight exercises we can make them the base of our workouts and add compound movements as a second option, if we prefer compound movements we can use them as our base and just use bodyweight exercises to compliment the workout, we can use them both for a more complete workout and to get stronger on both.

Once we have this on place we may want to add some isolation movements for muscle that need extra work like calves, shoulders, arms and abs, just one exercise for each is all we need, calf raises, lateral raises for shoulders, dips for triceps and chin ups or barbell curls for biceps.

This may seems so simple and basic but it´s the truth and is what works, I´m old school, I like to stick with the basics and simple tools which end being the more effective. If we want great results as fast as possible we need to focus and stick with what works, whit the tools that are going to give us the best results in the shortest period of time and that we can sustain for the rest of our life.

Traditional fitness programs are in most cases not the best option, they overcomplicate things, they make everything harder than it is, they don´t focus on health. The reality is simple, focus o getting stronger on bodyweight and compound movements, add some cardio to burn extra calories.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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What we need to know about muscle hypertrophy

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In the last training post we talked about muscle fibers and how they play an important role for any fitness goal, today we´re going to talk about how those two types of muscle fibers are related to hypertrophy which is something we need to understand for muscle growth if we want to get the best results.

There are 2 types of hypertrophy which are  sarcoplasmic and myofibryllar. The 2 of them are related to the muscle fibers because depending of the rep range we are working is how we target each of them.

In sarcoplasmic hypertrophy the muscle increase in size because more fluid gets into the cell, we target slow twitch muscle fibers which are type 1, working around the 12 to 15 reps per set or more. If we want to get “the pump” this is where you need to focus on, this is also the most common rep range and the one we´ll see a lot more on gyms.

Since we are lifting light weights for high reps we can use the 3 types of exercises; bodyweight, compound and isolation (I´m writing a post for each).

This type of hypertrophy makes us a slave to the gym, we need to be training to hit the muscle otherwise we lose it. Is easier and faster to gain muscle and to look big with this one but if we take some time off the gym we lose those gains.

In myofibryllar hypertrophy the muscle cell increase in number, we target fast twitch muscle fibers which are type 2, working around the 5 to 8 reps per set. If we want to build lean dense muscle this is where we need to focus on.

Since we are lifting heavy weights for low reps we can use bodyweight and compound exercises which are the ones we can lift heavy weight, with isolation we can´t lift heavy because we can get injured.

This type of hypertrophy takes more time to build and to get big but it´s there to last,  we can take some time off the gym and it will take longer until we lose that muscle. What we need to consider is that here we are working our central nervous system and it takes more time to recover.

If our goal is only to gain strength we need to work on the 5 to 8 rep range which is type 2 or fast twitch muscle fibers if our goal is to get muscle mass faster we need to work on the 12 to 15 rep range which is type 1 or slow twitch muscle fibers. The best option for muscle growth is to work on both creating a program that focuses some days on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and other days on myofibrillar hypertrophy or creating a program where we can combine both in the same workout.

When we combine both types of hypertrophy we make sure that we build lean dense muscle which takes longer but also last longer and we get “the pump” to look bigger, this also help us design workouts with high volume which is also key for muscle growth, there are many variables that come into play (we´re going to talk about all of them in separated posts for each) and that we need to consider to make sure that we give our muscles the stimulus they need but also enough recovery to grow.

We also need to consider that muscle growth is the results of the right stimulus, recovery and also proper nutrition which we´re going to talk about in a separate post.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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What we need to know about muscle fibers

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Losing weight and getting in shape is one of the most common goals and then building an amazing physique, if you´ve been on this industry for a long time you know that every year new trends come out just like diets, some people prefer to stick with the basics while others love to try every new workout program, routine or technique.

We don´t need to follow trends, we need to understand how our body works and which tools we can use to achieve our goals, muscle fibers are one of the most important stuff we need to know and understand if we want to get the best results with our program.

We have two types of muscle fibers which are type 1 and type 2, knowing how this two types of fiber works and how you can hit them or target them is key to creating workout programs that lead to our goals.

Type 1 muscle fibers or slow twitch muscle fibers are target with light weights , high reps and short rest periods around the 12 to 15 reps and 30 to 60 seconds rest. This fibers are more efficient at using oxygen and they fire slowly and they can go for long periods of time before they fatigue, this fibers are more useful in marathons, swimming long distances or any activity that follows a steady state pace for long periods of time. This are used for steady state cardio.

Type 2 muscle fibers or fast twitch muscle fibers are target with heavy weights , low reps and long rest periods  around the 5 to 8 reps and 2 to 5 minutes rest. This type of fibers are able to fiber faster generating short burst of power, speed or strength and they fatigue more quickly. This are used for HIIT cardio type of training.

In fitness there are so many different goals and getting in shape is just one of them, improving body composition must be our ultimate goal but we can also gain muscle, improve overall performance, increase strength, increase endurance, etc.

The reason why some people are better in certain sports is because we´re all different and the combination of muscle fibers in each of us have an impact on our performance making us better at some types of activities but practice and our daily habits also play an important part on overall performance.

Knowing the combination of muscle fibers we possess and having a clear goal makes it possible for us to design a workout program that get us the results we´re looking for by considering our genetics and making use of them in the best way possible and not as an excuse.

If you are an professional athlete then it´s best to focus on your sport otherwise for normal people like me is not only about looking great is also about performing great in our daily activities so we our goal is to improve body composition and improve overall performance but we don´t need to get to any extreme is about getting in our best shape possible and for this we need to work both types of muscle fibers and this can be done with both types of training, cardio and resistance.

As you can see things can get really complex, whether we use this information or not depending of our goals is important that we understand how our body works at least the basics so that we can design a workout program that works for us. There are so many different programs out there which will give us results for a period of time but creating a personalized program for each of our goals based on our body and what we love will get us higher, it´s not the same to buy programs and depend of those than to have the information we need to create our own.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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The benefits of resistance training

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Do you lift weight or are you afraid that you will gain too much muscle and get big?

Many of us are afraid of lifting weights and doing resistance training because we will get big, especially girls, fortunately this is wrong we won´t get big (unless that´s your goal which we will talk about how to do it in other post) but we will look lean, and toned. We think too much about this that we forget all the benefits for overall health that resistance training has to offer.

We know that resistance training gives the stimulus our muscles need to grow and get stronger, if we want to build an amazing physique resistance training is key there´s no other way to achieve a physique that looks lean, toned and strong without giving our body and muscles the stimulus they need.

There are different variables and training techniques we can use to get the type of physique we want (we´re going to see more in depth in other posts) so we need to have a clear goal so that we can design the best workout program.

As we get older we start losing muscle mass so we need to make sure that we build lean muscle and maintain it to avoid this loss as we age, it also increases bones mineral density which keeps our bones strong and improves physical performance on daily activities, it increases metabolism, improves body composition, helps us prevent injuries and chronic pains and as we see our body changing and getting leaner it bust confidence, increases self-esteem and helps lower anxiety and depression, it also slows and even reverse aging factors.

As we get older we are more susceptible to accidents and injuries so resistance training is a way to make sure that we not only look strong but that we´re actually strong, as cardiovascular exercise has many amazing benefits beyond fat loss and weight management which includes our brain and heart, resistance training also has a lot of amazing benefits that go beyond looking lean which include strong bones.

Resistance training can get really complex if we talk about all the training variables and advance techniques (we´re going to talk about them on separate posts) we can use to make our workouts fit our goals but if our goal is only to get in shape, sustain it and for health reasons we can keep our programs really simple what we need to consider is that both cardio and resistance have great benefits for health so if we can find ways to use them both not necessarily the same day that´s the way to go.

We don´t need to go to a gym if we don´t want, we can get a really good workout with bodyweight exercises and if we want to add more volume we can add compound exercises. Going to a gym when we´re out of shape or starting in fitness is very overwhelming, we don´t feel good and don´t have the confidence so we can start at home with minimal equipment.

Making our programs based on resistance training is the best option, if we over do it with cardio we can lose muscle and that´s not what we want so we need to create the resistance part of our program based on our goals first, then we add cardio to help us achieve our goals faster and also to get those benefits.

If our goal is health and living a better life then keeping things simple with just a few exercises done correctly with the right amount of intensity and effort is all we need, we can get a great work in 45 some days resistance and other days cardio or we can do them both and have an amazing workout in 60 minutes by doing 15 to 20 minutes of cardio and 40 to 45 minutes of resistance training. If you love working out like I do you can work out every day just making sure that you have enough rest and recovery which we´re going to talk about in future posts.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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The benefits of cardio training

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Do you go to the gym and do long sessions of cardio? or do you prefer HIIT?

Many of us think of cardio as the best tool to lose fat which is not exactly right and we tend to forget all the amazing benefits it has for our health.

We all know that cardio helps us improve our endurance and overall fitness level it help us get in shape and stay in shape. Daily physical activity is important, if we want to be healthy we need to exercise our heart and brain we´ll thank us for doing it and we´ll feel a lot better every single day. Most of us do not get the amount of exercise recommend which is between 120 to 150 minutes per week, if we divide those 150 minutes into 7 it´s around 20 minutes daily we can all schedule 20 minutes every day to do some physical activity it can be as simple as taking a walk if we´re starting.

Some diseases and health issues had increased in the past years, the less we move and more sedentary we become the more health problems we face, it´s not only about obesity and overweight also depression, anxiety, alzheimer, cardiovascular diseases are also related to a lack of exercise.

It blows my mind how we do not prioritize our health until it´s too late, until we feel bad or realize that something is wrong so we go to the doctor and take some pills hoping to get better which actually only treat the symptom but we got everything in our hands and we can prevent many health problems just by changing our lifestyle.

Doing some exercise for at least 20 minutes every day has a lot of amazing benefits which include improving our mood, keeps our brain healthy and avoid the risk of dementia, parkinson, azlheimer, studies show that cardio reduces decline in brain functioning and increase the growth of brain cells, it improves memory, it helps with depression and anxiety and we can get some of those benefits right after we´re working out and when we´re done like improving our mood, we feel a lot better when we finish and if we do it consistently we get the benefits in the long run.

Cardiovascular exercise is great for our heart it increases blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, we cannot forget that our heart is a muscle. It helps lower blood pressure, it increases oxygen in the muscles which helps them recover and work harder.

Cardio is a great tool to help us lose fat, get lean and stay lean if we use it correctly, it may not be the best option but it help us achieve our goals faster. If we go to a gym we´ll see most people on the treadmill, bicycles or other cardio machines doing long and boring sessions, this type of cardio workouts are called steady state where we go for at least 30 minutes usually from 45 to 60 minutes at a low to moderate intensity depending of our level for the entire time.

Another type of cardio is HIIT (high intensity interval training) this means that we do an exercise for example sprints for 10 to 30 seconds as hard as we can and we rest for 30 to 60 seconds and we repeat it for several times.

Studies show that HIIT burns more fat than steady state cardio and there are studies that show that HIIT can also increase lean muscle mass so if we consider this studies HIIT is the best option for fat loss and to stay lean.

So how does HIIT help you burn more calories than traditional steady state cardio? The answer is EPOC. Actually if we compare the calories burn on each type of exercise (HIIT and steady state) we´ll see that we burn more calories with steady than with HIIT, but the benefits of HIIT come after we are done with our workout. Once we´ve finished our HIIT session our body´s metabolism stays high burning more calories for some period of time, this is called excess-post- oxygen consumption. It´s the amount of oxygen your body needs to get back to normal.

Doing some physical activity is important at least 5 days a week, HIIT is a great option or doing 20 minutes of an intense session is also great, if you´re starting you need to start small, going for a walk at least 5 minutes at your own pace and start increasing the intensity and time, it needs to be challenging so stop what you´re doing and go for a walk.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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The importance of exercise

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I´ve spent some time watching what people do when they go to the gym, people who love exercise and training which typically are the ones who are leaner spend a lot more time on the weights section, people who also love to work out and tend to look skinny spend more time in the cardio machine section.

The interesting part and most obvious is that the guys and girls who go there because they want or need to lose weight, we can clearly see how much they hate the routines and how much they struggle. They hate being there and feel really uncomfortable, it´s clear that they don´t have self-confidence and they start working out because of insecurities but I hate watching people suffer so even when they do need to workout to get in shape it doesn´t need to be like hell. I hate when trainers do almost the same routines with all their clients, some resistance training with light weights and boring cardio without asking and considering what type of exercises their clients prefer which makes a huge difference in the results.

Another thing I see is that people who is new to the gym feel so overwhelmed, and anxious because they are out of shape and just the idea of getting a foot in there creates fear and anxiety.

And the worst thing of all this is that the guys and girls who are dealing with their weight, which are the ones that need more attention and help are the ones who end up giving up without getting results.

This is why we created this website so that you can get in your best shape and sustain it without feeling disappointed and overwhelmed. My approach to training is simple, we need to focus on resistance training to maintain and build muscle and we add some cardio to help burn fat a little faster.

Getting stronger with resistance training is key to get in shape and sustain in a simple and effortless way. Bodyweight exercises and compound movements are key to build and amazing physique and cardio is great to help us lose fat faster and both have amazing benefits for overall health. There´s no reason to overcomplicate things.

If you are really out of shape you need to develop the habit of working out but you don´t need to jump right to one hour of high intensity workouts, 20 minutes a day 5 days a week are enough to start developing the habit and you´ll get great results but you need to make those 20 minutes as intense as you can. From those 5 days… hopefully 6 you can divide them into resistance and training  3 to 4 days and 2 to 3 days of cardio at the beginning is all you need.

We don´t need to spend more than 1 hour at the gym every day, we don´t even have to go to the gym at least at the beginning, we can train at home with bodyweight exercises and get in amazing shape we can buy some dumbbells to add more variety. As we progress with our workouts we will get to a point where we need to lift heavier weights so we may need a gym membership to keep increasing weight but at this time we´ll be in shape and we will feel amazing and motivated to go there.

As we keep progressing and once we´ve developed the habit of working out I would recommend keeping your workouts around 1 hour each, you maybe hating me right now and giving all kind of excuses but we all have 1 hour each day that we can use to exercise, take that time for yourself, if you want to take care of the people around you need to take care of yourself first so that you feel great so that you can help the people around you.

We´ve been talking about the importance of exercise to build an amazing physique but we can´t forget all the benefits it has for our health in general and we can get some of those amazing benefits the moment we finish our routine and when we do it consistently it is great for our heart, muscles, bones and brain. There are some benefits that can only be obtain by exercise, there´s no other way.

If we want to keep our brain at peak exercise especially cardio helps with that, if we want to maintain muscle as we grow older resistance training is the answer, if we want to stay strong resistance training will help us and also some forms of cardio. Finding activities we love to stay active every day is one of the best ways to stay healthy.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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Advanced training techniques: Failure

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This technique is mostly over used by so many people in the attempt to gain more muscle and get “the pump”.

Training to failure means that you can´t hit another rep, your muscles are completely depleted and don´t have enough energy to lift the weight for one more rep. Most fitness experts and guys training in the gym take every set to failure which I consider to be taking it to the limit.

You do not need to take every set to failure and not all rep ranges are suited for this technique, if your goal is strength you should not be using failure, if your goal is hypertrophy then it´s an awesome tool to get more gains but you don´t need to overdo it.

Failure training is commonly used on 12 to 15 reps, when you are using this rep ranges both muscle fibers are used, you start using slow twitch muscle fibers and when you hit failure you´ll be using the fast twitch muscle fibers to be able to do 2 or 3 more reps until you can´t do one more rep. When this happens your central nervous system gets a lot of work and it takes more time for it to recover, if you over do this technique and your central nervous system is not able to recover you´ll end up over training.

There are people that go beyond failure and do some dropsets to push even harder, this is not necessary if you are training with the right  intensity and lifting on your goal rep range. Not all exercises are recommended for failure training, if you have a training partner he/she can help you hit failure in almost any exercise but if you´re training alone you can hurt yourself trying to get all exercises to failure this is why some people use dropsets.

If you´ve been training intense it may not be necessary to use this technique but if you want to try it I recommend using it only on one exercise per muscle group, you can use it with isolation movements where you are lifting lighter weights.

The goal you are working for will also determine if you need to hit failure or not, for low reps on a myofibrillar hypertrophy and strength in the 5 to 8 reps it´s not recommended to hit failure, for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy when you´re working for the pump around 12 to 15 reps it´s you can go to failure.

People do this to get more results as faster as possible but it takes time to build muscle and overdoing it can cause more harm than good to your body, techniques like progressive overload, increasing volume and frequency works amazing, the best option is to keep playing with volume and frequency while making sure that you are progressively overloading the muscles and add failure to some exercises or take only one set to failure.

What I recommend is that once you have your goal clear use all the techniques to add variation to your workouts, don´t overdo it trying to use all of them at high intensity because you´ll end up over training and you can get injured.

Some people like to hit failure with every set and every exercise, I don´t think this is necessary, you can hit failure on your last set for each exercise and get results. This also depends of the frequency and volume, high frequency, high volume and going to failure on every set of every exercise may be too much, the workout programs need to be balanced in frequency, volume and training techniques to give the muscles the right stimulus to grow.

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Pam