One-and-a-Half’ Training Tips
When using this method, ensure the half rep is very strict and slow. Hold the weight for a moment at the extreme point of the movement, then lower it slowly, completely under control.
Take a bicep curl, for example, for every full rep, complete a half-range rep, then repeat.
The ‘One-and-a-Half’ Method is another way to safely apply a new form of intensity on the muscle being trained. It can be applied to a variety of exercises, however care must be taken to ensure that the half rep component of this training type is executed with strict and slow form for optimum benefit. Be experimental and apply this technique to a few of your favourite exercise for added stimulus. With all of the Power Training Principles, remember that they shock the body, so apply them sparingly and on occasion, rather than on a daily basis. Whilst not the most popular of the Power Training Principles it gives you the opportunity to add variety and new stimulus to your training.
“One And A Half” Method For Huge Biceps
one and a half method 21 reps “One and a Half” method is a substitute for the “21 reps” method in which you perform the top half of a rep seven times, then the bottom half seven times, then finish with seven full reps to ensure maximum growth for you biceps.
With this “One and a Half” method, you follow each full rep with a half rep. The goal is to experience a maximum burn in your targeted muscles meaning in your case the biceps when using the “One and a Half” method. Let me explain how to do this for these muscles called biceps. On a set of standing barbell or dumbbell curls, follow every full rep with one in which you go only halfway up or halfway down. When you use this technique for your biceps, make sure that you perform every half rep very slowly and strictly.
1. Chicken Breast
Most self respecting bodybuilders will have eaten plenty of these little babies in their time. And why not. They're high in protein and ultra-low in fat, and have a pretty mild taste that goes easily with many other foods. BUY IT: Buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Either a good butcher or your local supermarket often have these on special. Buy in bulk and divide up into individual portions then store in your freezer. Be sure raw chicken is pinkish in colour (not white-toned, which would indicate freezer burn or improper refrigeration). Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. The defrosted chicken shouldn't feel or smell slimy. PREPARE IT: One of the best ways to cook chicken breast is in a sandwich type grill press. Preheat the grill to the highest heat setting if your grill has adjustable heat settings. Trim all visible fat from the breast, and season or marinate it with your favourite spices or sauce. Place chicken in the hot grill (it should sizzle), then turn the heat to the lowest settingif you can adjust the setting. Cook for 4–6 minutes until no longer pink inside (cut with a sharp knife).
A medium chicken breast (weighed raw) is about 170 grams.
38 g protein
0 g carbohydrate
4 g fat
0 g fibre
2. Egg Whites
Until whey proteins came along, egg proteins were the standard by which all other proteins were measured. Egg whites have got a very balanced profile of amino acids and make an ideal muscle building food. An egg-white omelette can turn your breakfast into a power meal to fuel the rest of your day. BUY IT: When buying your eggs always check the use by date and open the carton to check for cracks or damage. Also, be sure to store the eggs in the refrigerator. Although eggs stored out of the refrigerator won't necessarily cause illness, they retain their nutritional goodness much longer when kept refrigerated. PREPARE IT: Although many gadgets promise an easy way to separate the yolk from the white, the quickest, easiest method is to simply use your own clean hands. For this six-egg-white omelette recipe, crack six eggs into a medium-sized bowl. Next, using clean fingers, lightly grasp the yolks, lift them out one by one, and discard. Another way to separate the yolks is to crack the egg in half and tip the yolk from one half to the other over a bowl. When you have collected all the white discard to yolk with the shell. With a fork or whisk, whisk the egg whites with salt, pepper and any of your favourite herbs until well combined and a few bubbles have formed on top. Spray a medium non-stick frying pan with cooking spray. Place it over medium-high heat and add egg whites. After about 15 seconds, reduce heat to medium. Pull in on the edges of the omelette with a spatula and slightly tilt the pan so the uncooked egg runs under the cooked portion. Continue this around the perimeter until most of the uncooked egg disappears. Then fold the omelette in thirds, as if you're folding a letter to fit it into an envelope. Using the spatula, carefully slide it from the pan to a plate and eat it immediately. If you're not dieting hard you can leave one or two yolk in with the whites. NUTRIENTS: A 6 eggwhite omelette contains:
21 g protein
2 g carbohydrate
0 g fat
0 g fibre
This slow-burning carbohydrate makes the ideal breakfast or pre-training carb snack. Why? Two words: energy preservation. When you train hard, stored carbs within muscles, or muscle glycogen, become the chief fuel source. As glycogen levels fall, so does training intensity. By contributing to stable energy levels in the bloodstream, oatmeal prevents a rapid draining of glycogen levels. Oats are also high in very healthy fibre and other nutrients that help with circulation and heart health BUY IT:PREPARE IT: Stovetop - Add 2 cups to a saucepan and just cover with water. Cook on high until the mixture begins to bubble. Add more water if too dry. Cooks in 3 – 4 minutes. Microwave – add 2 cups to a bowl and cover with water. Cook on high for 90seconds. Remove and stir. Add more water if required then cook on high for another 60 – 90 seconds. Drizzle with honey and add milk to taste. For an extra protein hit, mix your favorite MAX'S protein shake and pour over the top. NUTRIENTS: 2 cups of oats contain: Oats are very inexpensive. There are many brands available in your local supermarket or health food store. Rolled oats are simply oats that have been partially crushed to break open the grain and allow quicker cooking. Once opened store in a sealed air tight container to keep fresh.
12 g protein
50 g carbohydrate
4 g fat
8 g fiber
4. Lean Red Meat
Lean cuts of red meat are loaded with complete protein and can really help pack more beef on your frame. Red meat is also a rich source of Iron and other essential minerals BUY IT: Always purchase meat that's bright-red in colour.If it has even the lightest tint of brown to it, it has started to spoil. Try to find meat with as little visible fat as possible. Lean minced red meat is a good alternative. Look for heart smart or low fat accredited cuts. PREPARE IT: There are many good ways of cooking your meat. Perhaps the simplest and healthiest is grilling, once again with your sandwich press type griller. Preheat a grill to the highest heat setting. Season both sides of meat with salt, pepper and/or a spice rub or marinade. Place on grill and cook 3–6 minutes until cooked to your liking. Other good methods include BBQ and stir fry. NUTRIENTS: A lean 200g steak (raw weight) contains:
5. Tinned Tuna
You just about can't beat tinned tuna for convenience these days. Most smaller and medium sized tins have a ring pull top, so all you really need is your tin and a fork. Coupled with this convenience, manufacturers are now producing an amazing array of flavored tunas that mean tuna doesn't have to be boring. Tuna is an excellent source of protein and is also a great way to get your daily dose of Omega 3's, DHA and EPA. BUY IT: Most supermarkets have a big range. Tin sizes are small – around 85 grams, medium – around 185 grams, and large – around 500 grams. For your average bodybuilder, the 185 gram tin is an ideal size, or perhaps a couple of the smaller flavored tins. Keep an eye on the fat content and avoid tuna in oil, choose tuna in spring water as an alternative. PREPARE IT: You can eat tuna straight out of the tin or combine it with salads, pastas or in sandwiches.
A 185g tin of tuna in spring water contains:
156 calories (654kj)
6. Sweet Potato
Muscle can't be built by protein alone. Carbohydrates provide energy you need to work hard and play hard. Sweet potatoes provide that oomph without overdosing your system with simple, fast-acting carbs. You see sweet potato is a low Glycemic carb, meaning it releases energy over a sustained period to keep you going harder for longer. They're often used pre contest by bodybuilders looking to fill out depleted muscles, but even if you're not getting ready for the stage, they're an excellent part of any dieting or mass-gaining strategy. BUY IT: Sweet potatoes are different to normal potatoes. They have a dark skin and orange flesh and are packed with nutrients. When choosing a sweet potato, make sure it has a smooth, firm skin with no bruises or blemishes. Stick with smaller or medium-sized sweet potatoes, which tend to taste better than jumbo ones. PREPARE IT: Preheat oven to 180°C. Scrub the potato under cold water using a veggie brush, making sure to remove all dirt. Pat it dry, then prick it 5–6 times all over with a fork. Bake for approximately one hour NUTRIENTS: An 280 gram sweet potato contains: for an 280gram potato. Pierce with a fork to check if cooked. It should be soft. Alternatively you can microwave on high, 6 – 8 minutes for one medium sweet potato.
5 g protein,
60 g carbohydrate,
1 g fat,
7 g fibre.
Chicken breast and broccoli is the staple diet of many bodybuilder dieting to get into contest shape. Why broccoli? While broccoli is high in fibre and minerals, it's a special class of naturally occurring nutrients called Indoles that really helps any aspiring strength athlete. Indoles works to suppress estrogen, the "female hormone" that can make the body more efficient at storing bodyfat. What male bodybuilders don't know is they do produce small amounts of this hormone. By keeping a lid on excess estrogen, fat loss becomes easier. Broccoli is available year-round, and is also packed with cancer-fighting phytochemicals and fiber. BUY IT: Available widely in supermarkets, make sure you choose broccoli that is firm and uniformly green. Don't choose broccoli that has started flowering or turning yellow. PREPARE IT: Cut your broccoli up into smaller stalks and head. Broccoli is great raw in a salad or cooked in with a stir fry. When cooking, the best way to preserve its nutrients is to steam or microwave until just softening. NUTRIENTS: 1 cup of steamed broccoli contains:
6 g protein
10 g carbohydrate
0 g fat
3 g fiber
8. Brown Rice
Brown rice is the bomb! Why? A whole grain of rice has several layers. Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing. When brown rice is further milled to remove the bran and most of the germ layer, the result is a whiter rice, but also a rice that has lost many more nutrients. At this point, however, the rice is still unpolished, and it takes polishing to produce the white rice we are used to seeing. Polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grain - a layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats. Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process, are highly susceptible to oxidation, this layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the product. The resulting white rice is simply a refined starch that is largely bereft of its original nutrients. Brown rice as an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. It is also a good source of vitaminB1, B3, and B6, manganese, phosphorus, iron, dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. BUY IT: You can buy brown rice from your local supermarket. Buy a good quality brand and if you buy in larger quantities, it's very economical. Store you uncooked rice in a sealed container. PREPARE IT: If you are going to cook rice often, a good rice cooker is a great investmnent. They cost about $30 - $40 and make cooking rice simple. Just add rice and water, turn on and 20 minutes later you have perfectly cooked rice. Alternatively, you can cook rice on the stovetop or in your microwave. Check the direction on the pack . One cup of uncooked rice swells to over 2 cups after cooking. NUTRIENTS: I cup of uncooked brown rice contains:
5 g protein
43 g carbohydrate
4 g fat
3 g fiber
Bulking For Natural Bodybuilders
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Learn how to "lean bulk" - gain muscle mass without gaining fat. Let's set the record straight, bulking for extended periods is not a good idea!
BulkingThe word bulking conjures up images of stuffing mass amounts of food into your mouth for extended periods of time. In most cases, when a natural bodybuilder begins a bulking period, it lasts for several months in a row. Maybe you've attempted a bulk like this?
I'm here to set the record straight: bulking for extended periods of time is a bad approach.
The Benefits of Bulking
Bulking works, but only in two week spurts. During times of over-feeding, the body becomes a growth machine.
Fat storage activity in the body doesn't instantly kick into overdrive when bulking begins. It's not a light switch reaction. Simply put, when you over-eat, it takes a while for the body to transition to "fat storage" mode. During this transition period, your body is a muscle building machine.
During the first 14 days of a bulk, several studies have revealed that testosterone, and insulin levels elevate. What does this mean? You are highly anabolic! You are as anabolic as you're going to get as a natural bodybuilder.
But the anabolic benefits of bulking peak after 14 days. During this time, and as I mentioned, the body is slowly transitioning over to fat storage mode. After 2 weeks on a bulk, you lose most of the anabolic benefits, and start to store fat at an alarming rate.
If you continue to bulk after this point, most of your gains will be fat. Of course, each individual is different. Some may continue to gain more muscle for several days after the 2 week period. And some may start to add fat earlier then predicted. But in general, 2 weeks is the optimal bulking period.
As one can project, once your current bulk ends, you should refrain from another bulking cycle for at least 2 weeks. Again, the body needs time to transition from a fat storage machine into a fat burning machine.
During this transition time, it is recommended that you eat slightly below caloric maintenance levels. Because the body is ready to store fat, eating "normal maintenance calories" could cause you to gain unwanted fat. By eating slightly below maintenance levels, you will encourage the body to transition to fat burning mode. Thus begins the prepping cycle for the next bulk.
A hard gainer is a person who has difficulty gaining weight
either through diet or exercise.
After reading this, hard gainers might fear the post-bulk, low calorie period. After all, they have a hard time gaining muscle, and don't want to lose what they've just gained.
Here's the good news: during 2 week bulking cycles, studies reveal that you will gain primarily muscle. (I will list the studies at the end of this article) And during post-bulking, "cutting" periods, you lose primarily fat.
The bottom line is that over a 28 day bulk/cut, you gain muscle, and gain very little fat. If you gain 3 pounds of muscle and 2 pounds of fat over a 14 day bulk, and lose 1 pounds of muscle and 2 pounds of fat during the 14 day cut.
You will have gained 2 pounds of muscle and ZERO pounds of fat over a 28 day period.
Now, repeat this cycle each month, and you will be well on your way to packing on muscle mass.
Muscle memory is not a myth. Once a muscle has reached a certain size, it tends to be MUCH easier to obtain that size again. So, if you gain 2 pounds of muscle on a 2 week bulk, but end up losing a couple pounds of that during the subsequent cut have no fear. Muscle memory will make it much easier to regain that muscle the next time you bulk.
Dirty or Clean
Is it best to eat dirty or clean calories during a 2 week bulk? Generally, it doesn't matter. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Many will disagree with me. I encourage them to read the science behind this bulking protocol.
But with that said, healthier, non-processed foods allow the body to function better, so clean bulking keeps the body running more efficiently. It is very difficult to eat enough calories on a clean bulk. I recommend eating clean most of the time, but allowing room for pizza, chips and ice cream.
Make sure you continue your pattern of frequent feedings. Eat at least 30 grams of protein 5-6 times per day on a bulk. And eat huge post-workout. Huge.
How much should you eat during bulking and cutting periods? To answer this question, you first need to discover your caloric maintenance level. Log everything you eat, and find the calorie level that keeps your weight the same for a 2 week period.
Once you know this number, eat at least an additional 1,000 calories per day on a bulk. Remember, it takes time for the body to transition over to fat storage mode, so eating more then 1,000 calories over maintenance level isn't a bad thing at all. I would recommend eating more then this the first week of a bulk, and cutting back to surplus of 1,000 during the second week.
Following the bulk, immediately cut back your calories to 500 below maintenance - and keep them there for the entire 2 week period.
For more information on the research behind the science of bulking, I encourage you to Google the following studies:
No approach to bulking and cutting will ever yield the same results for 2 individuals. It is up to you to experiment, and log results. If you are gaining too much fat on a bulk, either pull back the amount of calories you are eating, or shorten the bulk up by one day. It is best to make small movements when trying to zero in on the perfect plan for your body.
I highly recommend purchasing a skin fold caliper, and logging weekly fat, and lean body mass levels. Only by doing so will you know your true lean muscle mass levels. Body fat scales are highly inaccurate. Under no circumstances should you utilize one to estimate the effectiveness of a bulking/cutting plan.