German Volume Training

German Volume Training is also called the “Ten sets method”. It’s called this because you do ten sets for each muscle. It became popular outside of Europe and into the U.S when Vince Gironda started heavily promoting it.

In the 1990's Charles Poliquin started training his olympic athletes using this workout routine.

The reason why this is a popular workout routine is 10 sets on each muscle group puts a tremendous amount of stress on the muscles. It forces them to grow. Overtraining can be a concern so diet and sleep is of utmost importance with German Volume training.

There are many variations of German Volume Training. All have the common theme of hitting your muscle for 10 sets in a row. Frequency of workouts will have to be tailored to your own body for best results. Many routines have you excercise each bodypart every 5 days, however most people prefer to excercise each bodypart just once a week.

Best German Volume Training Routine

Optimized Volume Training (OVT). Unlike the normal 10 Sets of 10 reps for one excercise on one bodypart you will break it up among multiple excercises.

One method is to do one compound excercise for that muscle group for 5 reps and then do a isolation for that same muscle for the another 5 sets immediately after. So instead of doing 10 reps of one excercise you do a 2 excercise superset, done 10 times.

For example for chest you will do 5 reps of bench press then with no rest you will immediately do 5 reps of chest flyes. Then you will take a rest and then repeat this again 9 more times. Rest time is usually done for 60 seconds.

Alcohol and Bodybuilding

Alcohol is the most widely consumed socially acceptable drug. Unfortunately, that means for bodybuilders they may be caught in situations where they feel the need or are tempted to drink alcohol. This article will go through the physiological effects of alcohol so bodybuilders will see what a very negative effect alcohol can have for muscle gains and fat loss.

Alcohol and Muscle Gain Effects

Alcohol creates hangovers and lack of energy. With reduced energy and strength you won't be able to work your muscles and therefore your workout will just go down the toilet. You almost
might as well not show up to the gym!

Alcohol lowers protein synthesis by a whopping 20%! It does so by blocking the actions of nutrients involved in muscle contraction. It also dehyrdrates cell's and cell volumization is needed to increase protein synthesis. Alcohol lowers testosterone and increases estrogen.

Alcohol and Fat loss Effects

Fat burning stops altogether. The kreb cycle which normally involves burning fat will instead be burning the alcohol off to detoxify your body (since alcohol is seen as a poison the body!). So not only will you not be burning fat, but you'll be drinking extra calories which are 7 calories per gram(almost as dense as fat), which leads you to put on more fat with all the extra calories you will be drinking.

Alcohol and steroids

Alcohol is tough on the liver. If you use steroids once in a while they are also fairly hard on the liver, even if injected. Therefore it's in your best interest to never have a lifestyle with those in it(on or off cycle) so as to give your liver a break.

Other health effects

Alcohol lowers testosterone and increases estrogen. In males, this will reduce your confidence, sex drive, and mental health long term. Alcohol puts you at an incresed risk of cancer. And of course, you can become heavily addicted to alcohol leading to a life centered around a bottle instead of more positive things in life.

As you can see bodybuilding and alcohol work against each other and is one of the worst things you could do if you are a serious body builder. Having alcohol once in a while is not a big deal, but having it once a week or more I would think have a serious effect on you.

Bodybuilding Diet Mistakes

Diet mistake #1: Not measuring

If you aren’t measuring your calories how do you know your in a surplus? You might be maintaining your caloric requirements. Relying on feeling “full” is not a measurement on if you are bulking or not! Are appetite long term hits a homeostasis where we may have to feel uncomfortable by forcing to eat more in order to bulk adequately.

You also need to log your bf % and not just rely on a scale. A scale will not tell you the whole story. It will not tell you if most of the mass you are losing or gaining is fat or lean muscle gains.

Diet mistake #2: Not Consistent

Without consistency you have nothing in bodybuilding. You won't know how to measure your results either to see what you need to change if you are constantly changing it.

Diet mistake #1: Copying other's diets

Some people feel the need to follow some "Guru's" diet to a "T". Everyone's physiology is different. Some need more calories then others, some do better with more carbs, some do better with more protein instead. Just because a diet works for someone else does not mean it will work the best for you. Bodybuilding is partly an art of experience where you must adjust things that work best for YOUR body.

Artificial Sweeteners are they safe?

Artificial sweeteners is a common ingredient for bodybuilder diets. They are found in many protein powders and other supplements. Bodybuilders might even add it to their foods low in carbohydrates.

Personally my feeling is any artificial Sweetener should not be used in large doses in the diet if you can avoid it. Almost all of them have been found to have questionable or conflicting very serious health effects when done for animal studies.

So therefore we won't be recommending or even reviewing any of them as everyone seems to be questionable based on research. They are all unsafe, or at least suspected of not being safe. Most artificial sweeteners seem to have possible cancer link and/or other very dangerous health effects. My motto is, better safe then sorry. The government's corporate interests often do not line up with the best interest of the people.

If you plan on adding sweeteners to your diet you should do some thorough research on any(all) scientific studies before adding it to your diet.

There really is no better sweetener then mother nature herself.

Does Glutamine Work?

Glutamine is a heavily pushed supplement in the bodybuilding community. Is glutamine all hype or does it really work?

What is glutamine?

Glutamine is a nonessential amino acid with multiple roles in the body, especially in building muscle and digestive health.

Why do bodybuilders supplement Glutamine?

Glutamine is the most widely used amino acid by the body for building muscle. Post workout there is a huge drop in glutamine levels as the muscles use it for protein synthesis. This implies there is a need for glutamine. It is this reason why glutamine supplementation is advocated by some.

Glutamine may sound like a miracle muscle builder, but there is some things we have to remember. During a bulk phase you will be eating a lot of protein, therefore getting a lot of glutamine already. Since it is a non-essential amino acid, the body will also be able to quickly manafacture the extra glutamine it needs postworkout. The intestinal gut also takes a particular liking to glutamine. In fact about 90% of glutamine is absorbed directly by the intestine to be used for energy. So, in essence most of the glutamine you take, just goes down the toilet anyways!

Glutamine studies:

A few studies have been done on glutamine to help us answer if Glutamine works.

A study done by Candow published by Eur J Appl Physiol 86:142-149, 2001 had 31 volunteers do resistance for 6 weeks. One group supplemented glutamine at high doses(0.4 grams per lb of lean muscle), while the other had maltodextrin. Both groups gained muscle at the same rate.

Another study published in J Strength Cond Res 17(3):425-438, 2003 had 29 on a strength training program. They were in 3 groups, creatine only, placebo, and glutamine and creatine. Both creatine groups gained muscle more than placebo, however no difference between the non-glutamine and the glutamine creatine combo. A seperate study in that issue J Strength Cond Res 17(4):810-816, 2003, using ribose, glutamine, and effervescent creatine showed no difference with the glutamine group.

Glutamine has also been suggested as a supplement that is better for dieters. The reason is due to some research on glutamine during stress situations. What does science say about that? The only study I could find on muscle preservation during dieting, is published in Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2003) 2, 163-168. The researchers had 18 athletes for 12 days on a weight loss program, with half taking glutamine(0.16 g/ lb of bodyweight). They found no difference in muscle retention between the glutamine and non glutamine group.

Summary:

According to the research, Glutamine supplementation is a waste of money, whether bulking or cutting. Glutamine supplementation may have other health benefits; such as maintaining gut health and immunity and helping those with illnesses.

Pre-contest Bodybuilding Tan Guide

If you are light skinned your tanning for pre-contest in your fitness and bodybuilding competitions is of utmost importance. A tan can make a difference in very close judging.

This guide is centered around Pro-tan products since they are the best tanning products for bodybuilding competitors I believe.

First you will want to apply Buffed Pre-Tan Exfoliator to your body. This should be used before Pro Tan Competition Color so it can get maximum absorption to your skin.

Two or three days before competition apply Pro Tan Competition Color. Individuals with light complex should apply it three days before competition. Dark complexion should apply Pro Tan Competition Color two days before. After initial application dry quickly with hairdryer. After that re-apply and re-dry again with hairdryer. Next morning rinse off body and reapply it again. That evening re-apply it again. On contest day rinse off your body lightly.

On contest day you will use the following products: One Coat, Quick Bronze, Ultra Bronze after your morning shower. Quick bronze will rub off on any clothes it comes in contact with so be careful.

Before prejudging you will want to use Hot Stuff, Muscle Juice, Muscle Sheen, Bikini Bite

Muscle sheen is good for pre-judging and muscle juice should be for the night show because of the look it gives off. Hot stuff gives the look of improved vascularity so use after pumping up. Bikini bite keeps your posing suit from moving around or slipping.

If you are still having trouble getting a good base tan, you may have to use a tanning bed starting 2 weeks out or using a sunless tanning lotion.

Trap Routine for Massive Traps

Getting massive traps is one of the biggest signs subconciously of masculinity. Huge traps are a sign of power and health. If there is one bodypart understimated in the bodybuilding community it is definitely traps. For some reason many bodybuilders neglect them.

The following routine is one you should try to jumpstart your shrugs to the next level.

Barbell shrugs

7 sets of 10 with 20 to 50 seconds of rest between sets.

Your traps will be begging for mercy after this workout. But watch your traps grow massive.

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic diets are famous low carbohydrate diets amongst bodybuilders. It is a powerful fat loss diet recommended especially for endormorphs(bodytype that naturally stores lots of fat). It works on some of the basic physiological premises that Atkins diet was founded on.

How does it work?

The Keto diet is very low in carbohydrates, and in by doing so it puts you in a deprived glycogen state. In this state you will enter ketosis, which is burning fats for energy. So instead of having lots of carbs in your bodybuilding diet you will increase your fat intake.

Bodybuilders usually do the specialized keto diet TKD (Targeted Keto Diet) or CKD (Cyclic Keto Diet), that allows for carb loading.

Carbs give you energy and are a cheap source of energy for the body. Without carbs in the diet, the body will break down protein and fat instead which take more energy to convert. The brain requires glucose, so the lack of instant carbs will force the body to break down the protein to convert to glucose for the brain.

What are the Disadvantages to Keto diet?

Keto diets increase lethargy (tiredness) in the beginning. The body has to go through a metabolic shift and get used to using fat and protein as it's main source of fuel. Once it gets used to it you will have more energy long term then on other diets.

The diet is harder to stick to, with the lack of carbs. With more fat in your diet, you will have to be more careful of what kind of fats you have in your diet. It will also be harder to get vitamins and nutrients with a more restrictive diet.

Long term keto diets have a negative impact on insulin sensitivity and testosterone.

Advantages to Keto Diet

Very effective fat loss diet.

More energy long term.

Long term once your body has adjusted, you will have decreased hunger. The fatty meals will leave your stomach full for longer than non-fatty meals seen in traditional bodybuilding diets. This means your less likely to cheat on a meal and throw your whole diet out the window in an instant.

Steroids effects on Females

Steroids are not as accepted in the bodybuilding community as with male bodybuilders. And for good reason considering Testosterone is a “male hormone”. Just like when men want to go through a sex change they take estrogen, women take testosterone to become men. So as you can see it’s a very dangerous path for a woman to be taking testosterone.

Long term testosterone can turn a woman into a very masculine looking female. Long term women steroid users usually get around this, by doing very short cycles or in low doses so it doesn’t drastically change their body. Testosterone is extremely androgenic through it's conversion to DHT which is really what causes all the sexual effects in men. Most women choose to try less androgenic steroids like deca so they can get more of the anabolic and fat loss effects without the equivalent harsh androgenic effects.

Effects on women:

Hair loss and hair growth patterns like men
Fat loss and muscle gain in male patterns
Increased acne
Increased aggression
Loss of period
Permanent Clitoral enlargement
Permanent Lowering of voice
Low HDL, High LDL
High cholesterol
Bone loss

With many of these effects permanent, a woman's use of anabolic steroids a very serious decision female bodybuilder's must make.

Bigorexia

Bigorexia, what is it? Bigorexia is the opposite of anorexia. It is a psychological condition coined by some psychologist because the person can never feel as strong and muscular as he wishes. Just great, now they have a psychological term covering all of us bodybuilders. As if we didn't have enough negative connotations around us as it is. Well, not quite. I believe it only occurs in a portion of bodybuilders who have a psychological pre-disposition to it.

Bigorexia is really the extreme lifestyle of the bodybuilder. It's where you will do steroids, and/or sacrifice vacation or family time, in order to go to the gym to lift weights or because you are freaked out about missing a meal to fuel your muscles. It is not to be confused with someone preparing for a bodybuilding contest. It is someone who feels this way year around and becomes obsessed in their goal for large muscles.

I am certainly no psychologist, but I think it occurs mainly in bodybuilders who have low self esteem/depression or other psychological problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder or addictive personalities. I must admit I suffered bigorexia. I think it's hard to ever get "over it" completely, just like smoking or drugs.


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