In this article you are going to learn some key workouts to build your bicep muscles. Ripped bicep muscles are a great addition for summer tanks and bathing suits. And, they’re not to bad for that sleeveless evening gown you can’t wait to wear. So without further ado, let’s get started…
1. Standing Barbell Curl
The standing barbell curl is the biggest bicep muscle builder out there. Nothing can overload the biceps so precisely with such weight more than the standing barbell curl. And lifting heavy should always be your goal when trying to build muscle. Load the bar with a weight that will cause you to fail at 10 reps. Hold the weights with an underhand grip at shoulder width apart. Pick it up and slightly bend your knees. Now using only your biceps, curl the weight until it is beneath your chin. Hold the contraction and then return slowly to starting position. Perform 3 sets of these. Make sure to train hard and push yourself to failure.
2. Dumbbell Curl
The dumbbell curl is the next exercise you will use to build your bicep muscles. This move is an excellent bicep muscle builder mainly because of its range of motion. Make sure to keep form throughout the movement. Doing so insures that maximum pressure is placed on your biceps.
Stand straight with your knees slightly bent and your arms stretched all the way down by your hips. Have an underhand grip on the dumbbells, meaning your palms should be facing forward. (Powerblock dumbbells are great for at home use.) Now curl one dumbbell with your elbows locked to your sides. Keep curling to reach full lock. Squeeze your biceps for a second then reverse motion slowly until you reach full extension. Just before you do, curl the other arm and perform the same motion. Make sure to work hard and always push yourself to the limit.
3. Preacher Curl
The last exercise you need to develop your bicep muscles is the dumbbell one handed preacher curl. This bicep exercise is a solid bicep routine finisher. Why? Because a good bicep routine needs a solid move that works on definition. Not only do you want to build the bicep, but you also want definition in it.
Hold a dumbbell in one hand; you want a weight that is not too heavy but at the same time not to light. You want to at least get in 10 solid reps. Place the arm holding the dumbbell on the preacher bench or over a balance ball. Now curl the weights and really squeeze your biceps. Next, slowly lower to starting position and repeat. Keep repeating and performing reps till you reach failure.
These three exercises will help you build and define your biceps. Always remember to work hard and push yourself to failure.
By the year 2015, three quarters of adults in the US are projected to be overweight or obese. Beyond an issue of outward appearances, obesity contributes to many health dangers, problems which will only get bigger as an increasing amount of us do.
The obesity epidemic is to be expected when you realize that we take in from 150-300 more calories per day than we did 25 years ago. There are a variety of reasons for this – processed foods, ready made meals, ever increasing meal sizes, too many bad fats and too few good ones, and the unfortunate and always expanding selection of calorie laden drinks.
Our modern tastes have gotten used to calories in liquid form, such as energy drinks, flavored waters and coffee drinks. The problem is that all those liquid calories are difficult to keep track of and they add up quickly. Further, liquid calories just don’t satisfy hunger in the same way as solid food and lack any nutritional value.
Experts have discovered that the process of drinking calories, and not having to chew or take steps to prepare as you would with a normal meal, help these calories slip aside of the counting radar with ease.
Removing those calories that provide the least amount of nutrition will help in your weight loss efforts and promote healthy eating habits. Cut out the least satisfying, and least nutritious, calories initially, and then look at the rest of your diet.
On reading drinks labels you should primarily be looking for the the amount of calories contained – don’t worry about the list of ingredients for the time being. Even drinks labeled “healthy,” that are thought to be a better option for weight loss, can bring along extra calories as well. Ultimately, it’s the number of calories, whether solid or liquid form, that really count.
So, if your objective is to lose weight, you’re better off drinking just zero calorie, all natural water. But if you can’t change over to sugar free drinks immediately, try sugar-free drinks until a less sweet taste seems easier to take in.
Nuts are tasty, loaded with good fat, protein, fiber, nutrients and phytochemicals that are heart healthy and potentially good for the waistline. Barring allergies, there aren’t many reasons not to include nuts in your diet. Let’s take a look at some interesting studies, tips and tidbits about nuts.
Nuts and the Heart
A study of 31000 Seventh Day Adventists that ate nuts more than 4 times per week were half as likely to die of a heart attack than those who ate nuts less than once a week. The Iowa Women’s Health Study came to a similar conclusion: Women who ate nuts or seeds 4 times per week were 40% less likely to die from heart disease than similar women who didn’t eat nuts. The Nurses’ Health Study showed that those who ate at least 140g/week of nuts were 35% less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease than those who ate less than 30g/month.
Nuts and Weight
Most studies have shown that adding nuts to the diet does not cause people to gain much weight, if any at all. As an example, researchers gave participants 45-70g of almonds every day (320 calories worth) and gave them no further instructions about food intake. After 6 months, participants gained a very miniscule amount of weight (.2 lbs in women, 1.4 lbs in men). This study was funded by the almond industry.
There aren’t many studies that show nut consumption to help people lose weight, but one study showed that a low calorie diet that included almonds led to greater weight loss than an equal calorie diet that did not include almonds.
The Seventh Day Adventist and Nurses Health Study showed that those who regularly ate nuts weighed less than those who did not.
The Best Nuts
Are some nuts better than others when it comes to health benefits? All nuts contain good fats, fiber and proteins, but different kinds of nuts have different nutrient profiles.
Almonds are richest in vitamin E (35% recommended daily intake) and calcium (8%) per 1 oz. (30g) serving. Brazil nuts are highest in selenium with just 1 supplying a days worth. Cashews are richest in copper and zinc. Peanuts (technically a legume) contain the antioxidant resveratrol, and are highest in protein and arginine content. Walnuts have the most alpha linolenic acids (plant-based omega-3′s).
Although nuts are healthy, they are a dense source of calories. For example, 1oz/30g of nuts supply about 170-180 calories. Here is a chart that shows how many nuts are in 30g.
Number of Nuts in 30 grams (1oz)
Muscle burns fat. But, when you are trying to build muscle, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. You may not know where to get started. So, why not start with what not to do? Here are some factors that can delay or stall your muscle building progress:
1. Overspending on gym memberships.
You may think that they only way to get a good workout is to go to a gym: they have stack-pulley, computerized, and hydraulic machines that you could never afford. And they’re safer, right? Not necessarily. Often, the low-cost exercises that you do at home are much more effective and safe. If you are considering a gym membership, you may want to save yourself the expense.
From working with relatively inexpensive free weights (such as Powerblock dumbbells) to doing squats and lunges with absolutely no equipment, you can get a great muscle building workout. The best equipment you have is your body and a few free weights.
2. Letting your body get bored.
It is easy to see results immediately after starting a muscle building program. Be careful of becoming complacent, however. It may not work as well as you progress.
Doing the same exercises all the time doesn’t challenge your body. In fact, your body becomes so efficient at performing the moves that it works less hard. Your muscles will not be challenged enough.
When your body becomes used to doing the same workouts, it needs to use fewer calories. To avoid this problem, don’t let your exercise routine become too routine. Add some variation and/or intensity into your sessions. This has two benefits: one, you continue to build muscle, and two, you don’t get bored.
3. Not doing any cardio.
Cardiovascular exercise is an important part of building muscle, yet it is something that many people trying to gain muscle mass usually ignore. Focusing only on weight training can halt your results.
Cardio has multiple advantages, including preventing your body from gaining fat and helping your body recover from rigorous weight training. To get the maximum benefit from your cardio, do it immediately after your weight training session when your body is primed for fat burning. Also, limit it to high intensity intervals totaling no more than twenty minutes.
4. Not resting enough.
Taking breaks from your training regimen is vital because muscle repairs itself and grows during these rest periods. Training four or five days a week is optimal, because it allows days off to recuperate.
Muscle fatigue and injury are other problems that will cause you to build muscle much more slowly. To avoid this, work different muscle groups during each workout. Try working on your arms and back one day and your legs and abs the next. This will allow muscle to grow.
5. Not paying attention to what you eat.
Food is fuel, and many people who fail when building muscle do so because they are not adequately fueling their body. To put your body into muscle building mode, eat properly.
One of the best things that you can eat when you are trying to build muscle is protein. This is found in lean meat, fish, eggs, poultry, and dairy foods. Within thirty minutes after you workout, eat a snack that is high in protein.
6. Giving Up
Some people take longer to build muscle than others. The biggest mistake that you can make is to give up because you are not seeing results.
Maybe you need to reevaluate your workout routine and diet to determine what you can add/subtract to get results. Maybe you are laying a good foundation for muscle building and your body will start demonstrating the progress you’ve made if you just give it a little longer.
Whatever the cause of your stagnation, don’t quit. If something is not working, change it. But don’t stop; it will only put you back where you started and you won’t have the body you want.