4 Steps to Build Muscle and Lose weight

4 Steps to Build Muscle and Lose weight

Everyone is looking for an easy solution to losing weight and building lean muscle. There are plenty of workout routines on television, but nothing beats good old fashion hard work. So, follow these 4 easy steps to build lean muscle and lose weight.

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

Step #1

Track Your Calories to Build Muscle and Lose Weight

Create a MyFitnessPal.com account, download the app, and begin inputting your information. Now, this process may take some time, but you need to do this in order to track your calories. This will help you find out how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis. You may be really surprised by how many or how little calories you are consuming. You do not have to do weeks or months of inputting information. I would suggest at least three days of inputting your information.

Once you have inputted your information, scroll down to the bottom of the day you are on, and look at the pie graph. You will be able to see how many carbs, proteins, and fats you are consuming. 

Step #2

Calculate Calories to Build Muscle and Lose Weight

Go to the MyPlate Calorie Calculator HERE, input your information, and find out how many calories your body needs to lose or maintain weight. I have also included the calculator below. The calculator will populate a caloric amount that you should shoot for daily. But, DO NOT drop your calories to that amount immediately.

Keep in mind, this calculator gives an approximate amount. If you want a more exact amount of calories, I would suggest seeking a nutritionist or a dietician.

Step #3

Eat Healthy Foods to Build Muscle and Lose Weight

This is not anything new, right? If you are serious about making a complete lifestyle change, then do it!

Don’t have cheat meals. You have a goal, and you need to stick to it. You need to be consuming lean meats, fresh vegetables, low fatty foods. The food does not need to be bland, instead, season it up! Don’t be afraid of carbs; they have really got a bad rap over the last decade. Carbs and fats provide energy sources for your workouts.

I suggest checking out the CDC’s  Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025. After reviewing this, then go to  MyPlate Plan to see how much you should be consuming. The Dietary Guidelines is quite a bit of information, but if you are serious about this big change, then I suggest checking it out.

Healthy food Fitmanfitness.com
Steps to build lean muscle and lose weight

I advise my clients that nutrition is just as, if not more, important than going to the gym and working out. Every little thing, or big thing, that you consume goes into your body counts as calories. Your mind and focus need to be bigger than your desires. Remember to stay focused and remember the reason why you want to lose weight.

By eating the proper quantities of food, you will be providing the fuel it needs to work out. Also, it aids during recovery.

Your eating habits will revolve around protein, carbs(grains) and fats. You can see a full list at Myplate.gov

Protein

This is the most important nutrient that will build lean muscle. Consuming the correct amount of protein will help you build muscle while reducing body fat. It is important for you to consume lean protein. Here are some examples:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Fat Free cottage cheese

Carbohydrates/Grains

Fibrous Carbohydates

Carbs have been perceived as being bad, yet fibrous carbs are what you need to fuel your body. You need to consume plenty of fibrous carbs for recovery as well as to fuel your intense workouts. Make sure you consume a variety of fibrous carbs such as:

  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Green Peas
Slow Digesting Carbs

These types of carbs are best for fueling your body for training without spiking insulin. You will want to eat these throughout the day:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Red and white potatoes
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice Cakes

Fats

Dietary fats help support muscle growth and general health. Fats also have a negative connotation, but you need them to function all day and for your workouts. Fats should be consumed in moderation. When they are, they help with your testosterone. Here are some examples of good fatty sources:

  • Salmon
  • Lean Steak
  • Avocadoes
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds

TIP – Get used to prepping your meals ahead of time. Measure all your food, so you know exactly how many calories you are consuming. If you need a good scale to measure food, check out my article, “A Great Tool to Lose Weight and Gain Lean Muscle.”

Frequency of Meals

The best way to consume meals is small amounts throughout the day. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Eating large amounts of food will likely store fat
  2. Consuming meals with the appropriate nutrients throughout the day provides a steady income of amino acids to help prevent catabolism
  3. You will not overconsume food since your meals are every couple of hours

Step #4 

Get Active!

When you first go to the gym, you might be nervous. Often people just roam around the gym doing random workouts because they just don’t know what to do. One word comes to mind. Structure! You must have some kind of structure and a routine to follow in order to feel confident about your workout. I am a personal trainer, and I have endlessly tried many routines, but I have finally come up with the workout splits. Please note, that I have not included the exercises to do within the split. For more articles on how to perform exercises, please visit my website at www.fitmanfitness.com.

Follow the desired split depending on the amount of time you can spend working out.

3 Day split

Chest, shoulders(front and side), triceps

Back, biceps and rear Delts

Legs

4 days off – Active days off

This split is meant for those that do not have a lot of time to get into the gym but want to get a full-body workout.  In order to make this split work well, you will have to continue to implement cardio on your days off, so I recommend doing 2-3 exercises per body part. With this particular workout, you can take your days off in between each workout day. Also, on your days off, try to do some sort of cardio for about 30-40 minutes.

4 Day Split

Chest

Back

Legs

Shoulders – front, side, and rear

3 Days off – Active days off

Like the 3 days split, this split is meant for those that do not have a lot of time to get into the gym but want to get a full-body workout.  In order to make this split work well, you will have to continue to implement cardio on your days off.  On your days off, be sure to do some sort of cardio for30-40 minutes.

5 Day Split

Shoulders – front and side delts (calves)

Back – Rear back, rear delts, traps (Add biceps if you have time)

Chest – Chest (Add triceps if you have time)

Legs – Quads, hamstrings, Lower Back, calves

Arms – Biceps and triceps

2 days off – Active days off

This split is meant for those that have time to go to the gym 5 days a week. If you can go to the gym 5 days a week, you can focus more of your time on one particular body part. On your days off, do some sort of cardio for 30-40 minutes.

You will notice that I have biceps and triceps there on other days besides “Arms” day. This is a personal preference for me. For some, working muscle groups twice a week yields a better outcome.

6 Day Split

Shoulders – front and side delts

Back – Rear back, rear delts and traps

Chest – Chest, and triceps

Legs – Quads, hamstrings, calves – heavy quads

Arms – Biceps and triceps

Legs – Hamstrings, quads, and calves – Heavy on the Hamstrings

1 day off – Active day off

This split is meant for those that do have a lot of time to get into the gym.  In order to make this split work well, you will have to continue to implement cardio on your days off. 

If you don’t have access to a gym, then you need to get active by doing some sort of cardio. You can create your circuit workout, too. Check out my article “Create Your Own Circuit Workout to Lose Weight Fast.” In this article, I explain how to put together a 30-minute circuit.

In Conclusion

There is no secret pill or machine that is going to help you naturally build lean muscle and lose weight. The workout routines I provided will help you lose weight. You need to eat healthy food and workout. As you can see, 3 of the 4 steps have to do with your nutrition, so take nutrition seriously! By tracking your calories and following these 4 easy steps to build lean muscle and lose weight, you will be well on your way to that body you have always dreamed about. If you have any questions, or if you want to know more about these free workout programs, please check out my webpage at www.fitmanfitness.com

3 Best Exercises to Build a Wider Back

3 Best Exercises to Build a Wider Back

Follow these exercises to get a WIDER back!

So, you have been going to the gym for a while or you are just starting out, and you want to know how to get a broad, defined back? Check out these exercises below to build a wider back.

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

The Issue

You want the following:

  • A broad back
  • A wide back, or
  • You have a job that requires a lot of pulling or lifting motion, and you want to be stronger

The Anatomy of the Back

The Latissimus Dorsi Muscles, or Lats, are the large muscles on both sides of your back, and these muscles are what create the “V-shape.” The Lats are responsible for adduction, extension, and internal rotation of the shoulder. 1

The Insertion Point

Bicipital groove of the Humerus

The Origin

  • Spinous processes of T7 – L5 vertebrae.
  • Iliac crest of sacrum.
  • Thoracolumbar fascia
  •  The inferior angle of the scapula
  • Lower three or four ribs
Grow bigger lats. Fitmanfitness
Insertion Point and Origin’s of Latissumus Dorsi

Follow the fiber of the Back Muscles

As I explain to my clients when trying to build lean muscle, you must remember to follow the muscle fibers. Notice in the illustration above the direction of the fibers. The lat muscle goes from the upper arm and curves down to the lower spinal area. It is really important that you pay attention to the Insertion Point’s, the Origin, and the direction of the muscle fibers.

The Exercises to Build a Wider Back

Warm up and Stretch

Be sure to always warm-up and stretch the back muscles prior to working out. In doing so, you will less likely to pull a muscle.

The Lat Pull down

There is no secret that the lat pulldown is the most common exercise, but you have to make sure you are doing this exercise correctly. When done correctly, this is arguably the best exercises to build a wider back. To perform this exercise, sit down on the bench and grab the bar just out of shoulder-width with your hands over the bar, palms facing away from you. Put your desired weight, but do not use excessive weight on this exercise. Understand that you will build lean muscle by performing the exercise slowly and with a controllable weight.

Lat pull down Wide Back Fitmanfitness.com

Activate your core, put your chest out, and pack your shoulders (Shoulders back and down). With the above illustration in mind, pull the bar down to your upper chest. Make sure that when you lower the weight your elbows go down and towards the sides of your body. This will ensure that you get a full contraction of the muscle. When you raise the weight back up, control the weight, and go slow.

3 Exercises to build a wider back. Fit Man Fitness
3 Best Exercises to Build a Wider Back

The One Arm Pull down with Cables

This is a great exercise for the full contraction of the lats. To begin this exercise, you will need to be using a cable machine or resistance bands. If you don’t have a set of resistance bands, check out this blog post, and get yourself some. Stand in front of the cable machine bent over at the waist, and put the cable to the very top on the machine. Grab the handle with one hand, keep your arm straight, and pull the weight down. Your arm is going to remain straight through the movement.

As you bring it down, bring the handle and your elbow just past your body. That is one rep. Afterward, slowly bring the weight back up to the top and really stretch out your lat. An alternative this exercise is the pulldown with a bar, but I find that you can get a better contraction using a one-arm version since you can bring your arm back past your body.

The Underhand Bent Over Row with a Barbell

Because the muscle fibers of the lats run diagonally, you will want to incorporate exercises that target the fibers both vertically and horizontally. The first two exercises are great for targeting the fibers vertically, and the bent-over row is a great exercise for building width and targeting the muscle fibers horizontally. Put your desired weight on the barbell. Put your feet shoulder-width apart, pick up the weight, and bend over at a 45-degree angle. Grip the bar with your palms facing up and shoulder-width apart. Now, bring the weight up to your rib cage area. Bring the barbell as far as you can and contract the lats. Lower the weight in a controlled manner.

Barbell Row. Great exercise for middle back
Barbell Row

Nutrition

Nutrition is an important part of any workout program, and if you are not taking in the correct amount of proteins, carbs, and fats, you will not see any gains; in turn, you will not grow a wider back.

Go to my free calculator’s page on my website fitmanfitness.com, and input your information. Once you have done that, I suggest going to MyFitnessPal, sign up for a free account, and put in everything you eat for 3 days in the food diary section. You will then need to compare your results from my free calculator to the number of calories you are consuming daily. Please, do this step! As a personal trainer, and someone that has been doing this for a long time, I cannot stress the importance of feeding your body proper nutrition.

In Conclusion

These are the 3 best exercises to build a wider back. By using resistance training, you will definitely build muscle. You must remember to contract the muscle from origin to the insertion point. By doing so, you will build lean muscle. As you progress, you can increase the weight you are using. Use the three exercises, feed your body the correct macronutrients, and you will be on your way to getting a wider back. If you have any further questions, please visit my webpage www.fitmanfitness.com, and contact me.

References
  1. Wikipedia, “Latissimus Dorsi Muscle.” May 28, 2020

*The information provided on this website is not intended to replace a face-to-face relationship with a qualified health care provider and is not intended as medical advice. The material provided here is for educational and information purposes only. The information contained in this site should not be used to diagnose or treat any illness, disorders, disease, or other health problems. By using this Website, you agree to absolve me of any liability or loss that you or any other person may incur from the use of the information, products, or materials that you request or receive through or on my Website. 

5 Best Muscle Building Triceps Exercises

5 Best Muscle Building Triceps Exercises

First, the Function and Anatomy of the Tricep

The Issue

Plain and simple – You want bigger arms! The Tricep muscle is a larger muscle than the bicep muscle. Use the 5 Best Muscle Building Triceps Exercises in this article to help you achieve your goals.

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

The Function of the Triceps Muscles

The triceps muscle is the largest muscle in the arm, and they are primarily responsible for straightening the arm.

The Anatomy of the Triceps Muscle

The Lateral Head

This head is located on the outside of the arm. The origin is on the top of the Humerus Bone, and the insertion point is at the elbow.

The Medial Head

The medial head lies underneath the lateral head, and it can only be seen close to the elbow. The origin is also on the back of the Humerus bone, and the insertion point is at the elbow.

The Long Head

The long head, unlike the lateral and medial head, has an origin point at the Scapula but also has an insertion point at the elbow.

Fit Man Fitness. 5 Best Muscle Building Triceps Exercises. Gain lean muscle and get bigger arms

The Muscle Fibers

Notice the direction of the muscle fibers in the illustration above. Make sure you are following the fibers when you are contracting the muscle. Visualize contracting the muscle from insertion point to origin while keeping a slow tempo. Because the three heads have different origins, the fibers are going to be running in different directions. Because of this, the rotation of the hands and arms is important for hitting a certain head.

Warm up and Stretch the Triceps

You should always warm up and stretch the Triceps muscle prior to exercise. By doing so, you will less likely pull a muscle. This is a very important step, so don’t skip it!

The 5 Best Muscle Building Triceps Exercises

The Lateral Head

Triceps Pushdown with Ropes – Great for that U-Shape Tricep Muscle

The Triceps Pushdown can be utilized for all three heads depending on the position of your hands and which bar you are using. To hit the lateral head, I would suggest using a rope. Stand in front of the machine, activate your core, lean slightly forward. Use a moderate to lightweight. Now position your hands close together, and push the weight down. Turn the ropes in at the bottom of the contraction. Make sure you go slow and contract. I want you to feel the contraction in the lateral had; this is key to building this head.

Tricep Pushdown. Build muscle in your Lateral head of the Tricep

The Diamond Pushup – Grow the Lateral Tricep Head

This is a great exercise to grow the lateral head.

Begin by assuming the position of a pushup. Instead of focusing on the chest, you will be working on the lateral head, so go slow and concentrate on that muscle. Keep your abs activated, and tighten up your glutes. Keep your shoulders packed (lowered and back). Now, put your hands together with your index fingers and thumbs touching. Your hands should be forming a diamond shape. Your elbows are going to be outside of your hands. Now, do a pushup. Focus on contracting the lateral head. Go slow and control the motion when doing the pushup

If you cannot do these in a regular push-up position, then it is definitely ok to get on your knees.

Diamond Pushup. This article will help build your lateral head of your Tricep muscle.

The Medial Head

The Reverse Grip pushdown with One Hand

You will want to use a cable machine for this exercise, or you can use resistance bands. If you have not used resistance bands, and you would like more information, then check out my article, Best Tool to Have to Retain Muscle TIll Gyms Open. Position yourself in front of the cable machine. Keep your abs activated, chest up, and slightly bend your waist.

Reverse Grip pushdown. This exercise will work your inner tricep muscle

You will be using a single handle. Reverse your hand, and take a hold of the handle. Keep your elbow stationary to your side. Push the weight down, only using your elbow. Go slow and control the motion. You need to focus on the medial head.

Reverse push down fitmanfitness

The Long Head

Skull Crushers

I have found that the Skull Crushers exercise is by far the best exercise to grow the long head. You will be using a weight bench and an EZ curl bar with your desired weight. I would suggest using light to moderate weight first until you get a hang of the exercise. We want to focus on quality reps here. Begin by lying down flat on a bench as if you were doing a bench press. Bring the curl bar to your chest and push it up. Now, extend the weight from the elbows to the head. Your arm should be slightly angled back.  1 You can allow the bar to be lowered towards your forehead.

Skull Crushers. Best muscle exercise for your long head tricep muscle

Triceps Cable Kickback with One Arm

You will notice in some of these exercises that I prefer to use one arm exercise instead of two. Over the years, I have found that I can really focus on the muscle of one arm rather than try to do both. This exercise uses a cable machine. Put the cable at the top of the machine. Bed over at a 45-degree angle, grab the handle on the cable machine. Isolate your shoulder by packing your shoulder (bring your shoulder back and down), and push the weight away from your body.

In Conclusion

I prefer to do biceps, triceps, and forearms all in one day. Having big arms is a must for having a great frame. Many think that building big biceps is the solution; but, it’s not the overall solution. If you are interested in building your biceps, check out my article, 5 Best Muscle Building Biceps Exercises. The Triceps muscle is a bigger muscle, so treat it that way! As a personal trainer, I consider these exercises to be the 5 best muscle building triceps exercises. If you have any questions, or if you want a custom workout, please check out fitmanfitness.com and contact me.

*The information provided on this website is not intended to replace a face-to-face relationship with a qualified health care provider and is not intended as medical advice. The material provided here is for educational and information purposes only. The information contained in this site should not be used to diagnose or treat any illness, disorders, disease, or other health problems. By using this Website, you agree to absolve me of any liability or loss that you or any other person may incur from the use of the information, products, or materials that you request or receive through or on my Website. 

5 Best Muscle Building Bicep Exercises

5 Best Muscle Building Bicep Exercises

The Issue

Are you struggling to get bigger biceps? These muscles are important when you are picking things up, flexing, or just trying to fill out the sleeves of your shirts. In this article, I will be detailing the 5 best muscle building bicep exercises.

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. Consult your physician, nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

The Anatomy of the Bicep Muscle

I tell my clients that they need to understand the muscle they are working on prior to exercising the muscle. In return, you WILL build muscle. Why? You will know the direction to work out the muscle and how far to contract the muscle. There are two heads to the bicep muscle. The short head or the inner bicep and the long head, or the outer bicep. And, there is a third small head called the brachialis which I will be including in this discussion because the muscle becomes part of the workout. See the illustration below.

The Origin of the Bicep Muscle

The origin of the biceps muscle begins at two different points. The Long head begins at the supraglenoid tubercle, and the short head begins at the coracoid process. In other words, both heads begin at the top of the scapula just underneath your shoulder. Check out the illustration below!

The Insertion Point of the Bicep Muscle

Both heads join together into one tendon which inserts into the upper forearm. *

Biceps Muscle. Insertion Point and Origin. Knowing this will help you build muscle.
The Insertion point and Origin of the Biceps Muscle

Take note of the Origin of the Bicep and the Insertion Point of the Bicep. Knowing these two points will help you in your workouts. A full contraction of the bicep muscle would be bringing the insertion point to the origin.

Also, pay attention to the fibers of the bicep muscle. Look at the bicep muscle in the illustration above. Notice that the fibers run from the elbow up to the shoulder. Also, keep in mind that in order to hit the heads of the bicep, you will have to rotate your arm.

Now, visualize the muscle fibers as you are working out. Always keep a “mind to muscle” connection as you are working out. By this, I mean “think about the muscle” you are working out, and make sure that you are getting a full contraction of the muscle. It’s easy to get distracted, but if you want to succeed and gain lean muscle, you need to keep your full attention on the muscle you are working out.

Warm-up before starting your muscle building bicep exercises

Also, ALWAYS warm up the bicep muscle prior to exercising. A common injury is a pulled bicep tendon. You can properly warm up the biceps with a set or two of bicep curls with lightweight. To warm up the bicep muscle, simply do some light reps with some dumbbells. Once you have completed some reps, wait about 30 seconds then do a few more reps. You want to pump blood in the muscles and loosen up your joints to get ready for the real weight coming up in the following exercises.

These bicep exercises will be categorized into 3 groups, the short head or the inner bicep, the long head or the outer bicep, and the brachialis.

Now, on to the good stuff! Lets Build up Your Bicep Muscles!

The 5 Best Muscle Building Bicep Exercises

The Short Head of the Bicep Muscle – The Inner Bicep

Standing Bicep Curl (Rotation Angled Out)

The Bicep Dumbbell Curl is a great way to build lean muscle in the arm.
5 best muscle building bicep exercises

This exercise can be done with a cable machine, a dumbbell, a barbell, or resistance bands. If you don’t know about resistance bands, then check out my article, “Best Tool to Retain Muscle Till Gyms Open.” I prefer either the cable machine or resistance bands for this. When standing, grip the weight handle, activate your abs, keep your shoulder back and down, then rotate your hand about 45 degrees away from your body. Your inner bicep, or short head, should now be more exposed. Lift the weight slowly and in a controlled manner. Focus on squeezing the inner bicep muscle. Keep in mind the insertion point and origin and follow the fibers.

Incline Dumbbell curl. This exercise will help build your inner bicep muscle.

The Seated Incline Bicep Curl

You will need an incline bench for this exercise, and it can be done with dumbbells or a cable machine. This exercise can target the overall bicep, or with a slight rotation, it can target the short head. The easiest way of doing this exercise is with dumbbells. Put the dumbbells in your hands, and sit at a 45-degree incline. Put your weights to the side. Keep your core activated, and angle your hands slightly out as they are dropped to your sides. Keep your shoulder back and down against the incline bench. Now, lift the weight up in a slow and controlled manner. At the top of the movement, turn your wrist slightly towards your body. This will ensure a peak contraction of the muscle fibers.  This exercise will target the inner bicep if you control the movement.

The Long Head – The Outer Bicep

Bicep Curl Fitmanfitness. This exercise will target your outer bicep muscle.

Standing Bicep Curl (Rotation Angled in)

A cable machine, dumbbell, barbell, or curl bar can be used on this exercise. Stand with your knees slightly bent, core activated. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Put your arms to your sides, and rotate your hand so that it is slightly in front of your body. We are targeting the long head, or outer bicep, so your outer bicep should be facing out. Contract the weight up in a slow and controlled manner, and do not bounce the weight.  Keep your shoulder back and down. Do not allow your front delt to bounce forward during this exercise. Isolating the long head of the bicep is key to performing this exercise.

The Drag curl

The Drag Curl is a great exercise for isolating the long head of the bicep. This exercise will build strength and size in your bicep. To perform this exercise, it is best to use a barbell. Use moderate weight on the barbell, and grab the barbell at shoulder length. Keep your shoulders back and down. With the barbell contracted to just below the chest, you are going to move your elbow behind your body. Next, slightly lean forward. Now, let the barbell down, and bring it back up. Keep your elbows behind your body. You will be surprised at how efficient this exercise is.

Drag curl. This exercise will target your overall bicep.
The brachialis muscle of the Bicep.

The Brachialis

The Crossover Hammer Curl

Many find that a crossover hammer curl with a dumbbell is best for this exercise, but I would recommend a cross over cable curl instead. Simply replace the dumbbell with a cable because you will get resistance when you raise and lower the weight. So, stand in front of the cable machine. Grab the cable, without the handle, and move your hand in front of your body. Your arm can come out slightly from your body. With a moderate to lightweight, pull the weight up. Focus on the brachialis muscle. It is a small muscle, but once you nail it, the bicep will become much bigger. The alternative method is with a dumbbell. Hold the dumbbell like a hammer and move it in front of your body. Again, focus on the brachialis muscle.

Hammer curl. This exercise targets your brachialis and your outer bicep.
Hammer Curl

How many sets and reps to build bicep muscle?

If you have just begun working out, I would suggest 3 sets of 10-12 reps. Use moderate weight. If you have lifted weights before, then you can go up to 4 sets at 8-10 reps, and you go a little higher on the weight. Remember to keep the reps slow and controlled and do not bounce the weight.

As a personal trainer, I cannot stress enough that the QUALITY of your rep and the contraction of the muscle is far more important than how much weight you are pushing. If anything, remember this point. It will help you build lean muscle.

How to apply this to your bicep workout?

I remember when I was just beginning to lifting weights; I was often confused about how many sets and reps to do and which exercises to choose for my workouts? So, with the biceps, I would suggest that you isolate your arms into one day. Do your biceps, triceps, and forearms in one day. In my article, “5 Best Muscle Building Triceps Exercises,” I give you 5 great exercises for your triceps. I will be writing an article on a typical, “Arms Routine,” that I give to clients. But here is a quick guide to an arms day.

Triceps

  • Skull Crushers – 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Triceps pushdown with rope – 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Triceps Kickback with cable – To failure

Biceps

  • Standing Bicep Curl – curl bar, hands angled in 3 sets of 8
  • Standing Bicep curl, single handle on a cable machine, Hands angled out 3 sets of 8
  • Hammer Curl – 3 sets of 8 each arm

Forearms

Behind the Back cable curls – 3 sets to failure

I always encourage some forearm exercises in your workouts. I believe your arms should be in proportion to your forearms. Plus, it makes your arms look even bigger!

Some key points to help define your biceps

  • If you have a high-fat percentage, you will not see the definition in the muscle. Your nutrition should be on point. So, my recommendation is to begin eating nutritiously to start losing the fat. You can still gain lean muscle, but weight loss will need to become part of your life. You can start by using the Free Calorie Counter here.
  • Follow the fibers – The key to hitting the heads of the bicep is to rotate your arm. When you move your hand away from your body, you will be focusing on the inner bicep. If you move your hand in front of your body, you will be hitting the outer bicep.
  • These exercises should be performed with moderate to lightweight with high reps. And, focus on the quality of the exercise rather than weight. If you go too heavy with these exercises, you may rupture a bicep tendon, which is common in bodybuilding.

Conclusion

In summary, to get bigger biceps, you need to follow these muscle-building bicep exercises. The Standing Bicep curl(rotation in) and The Seated Incline Bicep Curl are great for the inner bicep. The Standing Bicep Curl(rotation out) and the Drag Curl target the Outer Bicep, and the Crossover Hammer curl is a perfect exercise to help broaden your entire bicep. I cannot stress the importance of nutrition enough. In order to grow your muscle, you need to feed it the right nutrients. So, If you want more information on gaining lean muscle, losing weight, or nutrition, you can check it out at www.fitmanfitness.com.

The Best Solution to Grow Your Lower Chest

The Best Solution to Grow Your Lower Chest

The Issue

You are looking to grow your chest so that you can see that chiseled lower chest muscle, or you want to create a much larger chest muscle. Keep reading to get the best solution to grow your lower chest.

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

The Anatomy of the Lower Chest

Take a look at the chest in this illustration below. The pectoral muscles, although considered one muscle has two heads: the clavicular head and the sternal head. So, to understand how to get the lower portion of your pecs to really stand out, we will be discussing the sternal head.

The sternal head of the pectoral originates from three areas (wikipedia)

  • Outside of the sternum
  •  The cartilage of the top six ribs
  •  External Oblique

The pectoral has an insertion point on the humerus bone.

Knowing the Insertion point and origin will help build the lower chest muscle.
The Insertion point and origin for lower pec muscle

The Solution to Grow Your Lower Chest

Now that you know where the origin and insertion point are located, you can now come up with an action plan to work that muscle out. So, during the exercise I need you to remember these key points

  • Visualize the muscle. Keep your mind on your muscle
  • Always remember the origin and insertion point
  • Contract the muscle slowly and controlled. DO NOT BOUNCE

Follow the Fiber

To begin with, I need you to pay attention to the direction of the muscle fibers in the illustration below. With this in mind, now notice that the fibers are running from the arm to the top portion of the ribs. To get a full contraction of these muscle fibers, you will not only need to know the origin and insertion point, but you will need to remember the direction of the muscle fibers.

Follow the fiber. Muscle fibers of the lower pec
Follow the fiber – the best solution to get a bigger lower chest

The Exercises to Grow Your Lower Chest

Warm up and Stretch the Chest

You should ALWAYS warm up and stretch the chest muscle prior to working out. By doing so, you will less likely to pull a muscle. I have learned over the years the importance of warming up and stretching. Don’t ever skip this step.

Cable Crossover – The Best to Stretch your Lower Chest

This exercise can be done with resistance bands or a cable machine, but if you don’t have a set of resistance bands, yet, then I highly suggest you check out my article, “Best Tool to Have to Retain Muscle till Gyms Open

You will want to drop the ego on this one when it comes to how much weight you will use.  There are too many videos out there of guys doing the entire stack of weights on this. That may be suitable for them, but for most of us just trying to build a nice physique, we do not need that much weight. I suggest going light and work your way up.

REMEMBER – contract slowly and squeeze

Cable crossover will help build lower chest

Firstly, you need to get a strong split stance between the cables. Next, keep your core activated, and keep a slight bend at the waist.

Also, the cable machine placement should be just above the head or slightly higher. And, remember that we are focusing on the lower part of the chest, so the movement is going to be going from top to bottom. Also, remember to keep a slight bend in the elbow so that you do not cause trauma to the bicep tendon. Lastly, in a slow and controlled manner, contract the muscle.

A good tip – focus on bringing your elbows together during the contraction.

You can either cross the cables or not. If you decide to cross the cables once you have contracted the weight, be sure to just cross them slightly.

I can not stress enough the importance of control with this movement from top to bottom. If you let the weight swing back, you could seriously injure your muscles, and you will be out of the gym for a while. So, take your time and contract slowly.

The Dip

This exercise can be done with or without weight. When first starting, I suggest using no weight. Check out the machines in your local gym as some gyms have a dip machine that will assist you with weight. These machines are great starters until you work your way up to your own body weight. The dip is performed on two horizontal bars.

First, place your hands on top of the bars. Next, lift your body weight up. When you get to the top of the exercise, protract your shoulders, and you need to push away from the bars. As a result, this protraction will allow you to really fire up your lower chest muscles. Lower yourself down so the back of your arm is parallel to the bar. Lastly, You will want to always keep a slight angel as you are performing this exercise, and if you keep an upright posture, you will be working on your triceps more.

Dips Fitmanfitness

Above all, this is by far the best solution to get a bigger lower chest. So, Look at the human anatomy and apply what you have learned to your exercises. Lastly, If you have any other questions, please contact me.

You can check out this article and many more at www.fitmanfitness.com

Look Strong By Building the Side Delt

Look Strong By Building the Side Delt

Have you been going to the gym for a big part of your life, and you can never seem to get that wide brawny physique that you see all over the internet? Or, have you started working out and want to look that way? I have found the solution for you to get rounder broader shoulders, and in order to get them, you only have to include certain exercises into your workout regimen. You can look strong by building the side delt!

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a registered dietician, or a nutritionist prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

THE LATERAL(SIDE) DELTOID

Lateral delt Insertion point and origin

Step 1- Know the Anatomy

The side deltoid is a small head on the lateral side of the shoulder. The origin begins at the acromion process on top of the scapula and the point of insertion is on humorous, or top arm bone. Take note of the direction of the muscle’s fibers run and you will need to keep this in mind when building the delt.

Step 2 – Drop the Ego

When performing exercises on the side delt, you want to do so in a slow and controlled manner. The contraction of the muscle is key to building the muscle. Visualize the contraction of the muscle from the muscle’s origin, on top of the scapula, to its Insertion point or at the top of the humorous. You DO NOT want to bounce the weight up and down because this does not contract the muscle to its full extent. And, another tip is to just simply lower the weight you are doing when performing any exercises on this muscle. Check out the illustration above. The lateral deltoid is not a big muscle so there should be no reason why you are using a big weight with this muscle. Take note of the direction that the fibers; again, visualize contracting those fibers together in the direction that they run.

Step 3 – Building the Side Delt with These Exercises

Warm up and Stretch

Be sure to warmup and stretch the shoulder muscle. This will ensure a safe and efficient workout. A torn rotator cuff is a common injury, so you want the muscle to be warmed up and ready to go. If you have prior shoulder injuries, then I would suggest getting checked out by a physician so you do not cause further injury or damage to the shoulder.

Lateral Raise

The best exercise to build the lateral head of the shoulder is the Lateral Raise. This exercise can be performed with both arms or with one arm. If you are a beginner, or if you really want to focus on the contraction of the muscle, then I recommend performing this exercise with 1 arm.  A cable machine or dumbbell can be utilized.

“Aside from superficial appearance benefits, the exercise also helps strengthen your shoulders independently. This can help correct potential strength discrepancies between your right and left sides.” (Verywellfit.com)

The Exercise

Stand or sit with your core or abs activated. Put a dumbbell in each hand, put your hands to your sides, and elevate the weight to about a 45-degree angle. This is your starting point. Do not let the weight go past the 45-degree mark because you always want to keep tension on the muscle. If you allow the weight to go all the way to the bottom, then you have allowed the muscle to relax.

Side Delt Raise Fitmanfitness

Now, slowly move the dumbbell or cable weight up until your arms are parallel with the ground, and as you move the weight up, slightly bend your thumb up just so it is above your pinky. This will ensure a complete contraction of the muscle as you are moving it up. Hold the contraction at the top for 1-2 seconds and begin to lower the weight slowly to the 45-degree level. Remember to focus on the muscle fibers and visualize contracting the muscle from its insertion point to its origin.

If you are performing a one-arm version then follow the same principles as the two arms. I recommend that you place the opposing index finger of the hand that you are not working out on top of your acromion process right about the shoulder. This will allow you to note where the origin of the muscle is as you are contracting it. If you bring the weight too high, you will start incorporating your trapezius muscles.

Chest muscle growth: The ultimate guide

Tips to remember when building the side delt:

  • Visualize the contraction
  • Go Slow
  • Do not allow weight to go past a 45-degree angle when lowering the weight.
  • Do not sway your body or bounce the weight up
  • Use lightweight – I usually recommend using only up to 20 lbs. per arm.
  • Perform 3 to 4 sets of 10-12 reps per arm.
  • You will feel a “burn” of the muscle – continue to do high reps.

The upright row

The Upright Row is a great exercise for building the side delt.

side delt lateral raise fitmanfitness

Standing up, core activated, and a slight bend at the waist forward. Hold dumbbells in each hand, shoulder-width apart. Exhale and bring the weight up by pulling your elbows up and in an outward motion. Bring the weight chin height. A good tip is to bring the elbows slightly higher than the rest of your arm, and this will ensure a full contraction of the lateral deltoid.

In Conclusion

By knowing the anatomy of the lateral delt and what exercises to perform, you will get wider shoulders in no time! These exercises are great for the lateral delt. Check out my article called “ The Best Strategy to Grow Your Front Delt“ at www.fitmanfitness.com. “Look strong by Building the Side Delt” was written by Armand Reixach III. Armand is a certified Personal Trainer with years of experience.

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