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Weighted Ab Exercises: 3 Simple Movements

Weighted Ab Exercises: 3 Simple Movements

When people start their fitness journey, getting well-developed abs is usually one of the main goals. I was no different. Looking back, I used to do a ton of crunches in the hopes of getting ripped abs. But I did all of this without putting enough thought into my...

Weighted Ab Exercises: 3 Simple Movements

Weighted Ab Exercises: 3 Simple Movements

When people start their fitness journey, getting well-developed abs is usually one of the main goals. I was no different. Looking back, I used to do a ton of crunches in the hopes of getting ripped abs. But I did all of this without putting enough thought into my...

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🤔 Does bulking actually work?

Yes! Eating a higher calorie intake gives your body more energy to utilize for muscle growth. However, eating more only works up to a certain point.

We know from the research that beginner to intermediate trainees can realistically expect to gain between 1-1.5% of their total bodyweight in muscle per month [1]. So gaining muscle is a slow process and this is why a slow bulking approach is also preferred.

Eat enough calories to maximize your muscular potential, but not more than that, or you end up being in a “dirty bulk”. As a rule of thumb, most beginner or intermediate trainees can benefit from eating only 10% above their calorie needs.

So if you maintain your weight at 2400 calories, eat roughly at 2640 calories during your bulking process to support lean muscle development.

Trying to bulk quicker may give you the illusion that you are building muscle faster, but typically the extra size just comes from gaining extra fat.

📚 Scientific Reference:
1. Iraki, J., Fitschen, P., Espinar, S., & Helms, E. (2019). Nutrition recommendations for bodybuilders in the off-season: A narrative review. Sports, 7(7), 154.
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🔑 Do you want to get more out of your side delt raises? Then check this out!

1️⃣ First, when you perform a side raise, slightly lean forward. When you stand completely upright, the resistance runs more in line with the front muscle fibers of your shoulders. Leaning forward now places more of the resistance on the side muscle fibers.

2️⃣ Secondly, while leaning forward, raise your arms slightly in front of your body in a scapular plane. These two tips ensure that the side deltoid muscle fibers directly oppose gravity and you will be able to more effectively develop your side delts.

These tips apply to both dumbbell and cable side delt raises 💪🏼
...

⚡3 Movement Patterns To Develop Your Legs!

1️⃣ First, we have a squat pattern, which mostly trains knee extension and will target your quadriceps. Both barbell Back Squats and Split Squats are great options for training this movement pattern.

2️⃣ Secondly, we have a hip hinge variation. This basically refers to doing deadlifts. I am a big fan of doing Romanian Deadlifts since this allows you to isolate a hip hinge and focus on hamstrings training [1].

3️⃣ And thirdly, we have a bridging pattern, which can be trained with exercises like a Hip Thrust. This bridging pattern focuses mostly on the glutes [2].

📚 Scientific References (PMID):
1. 30662500
2. 31191088
...

🧠 Science-Based Mental Benefits of Lifting Weights

 1️⃣ REDUCE ANXIETY: Lifting weights has been shown to reduce measures of anxiety. A 2017 research review gathered data from 16 studies and found that strength training has positive effects on managing anxiety [1]. Anecdotally many people also experience a stress-relief while engaging in lifting weights. So next to physical health, your mental health typically also benefits from lifting weights.

2️⃣ BRAIN FUNCTION: A 2010 study by the University of British Columbia found that resistance training helps improve cognition [2]. Think about variables like your memory and emotional control. Another study also found a positive association between strength training and academic performance [3]. So a consistent exercise routine pumps up your brain function too.

3️⃣ CONFIDENCE: In a 2013 study, the individuals following a 6-month lifting routine experienced a boost in confidence and self-esteem [4]. Not just because of the physical changes they went through, but also because they developed "competence" in a new sport (lifting weights).

📚 Scientific References (PMID):
1. 28819746
2. 20101012
3. 23096065
4. 23945035
...

📈 Progressive overload means more than just increasing the weight you lift!

​1️⃣ You can also overload your muscles by increasing your repetitions while lifting the same weight.

2️⃣ Or lifting the same weight and repetitions, while maintaining a slower rep tempo.

3️⃣ Taking less rest between sets and lifting the same weights is also a form of overload.

4️⃣ Not to mention that increasing your range of motion while lifting the same weight will challenge your muscles more as well.

5️⃣ And lastly, if you do more sets with the same weight while lifting the same repetitions, that counts as progressive overload too.

Progressive overload is key because imposing greater demands on your muscles over time is how your muscles grow [1]. But as you know now, there are many ways to overload your muscles💪🏼

📚 Scientific Reference (PMID):
1. 19204579
...

🤔 Are you struggling with squatting deep? then check this out!

First, it's worth experimenting with a wider stance. From the research, we know that maintaining a wider squat stance improves squatting depth since the ankle mobility demands are lower on a wide-stance squat [1].

It also helps to mobilize your ankles before squats by stretching your calves and doing some dynamic stretches for the lower body to help improve range of motion [2].

I personally like to perform 3 types of stretches before squats. First, a calf stretch for ankle mobility, secondly leg swings to the side to open up the hips, and lastly, deep squat holds to practice maintaining a deep squat.

It's also worth mentioning that everyone's squatting depth is going to look a bit different. If you can't squat as deep as you see me squat in the video above, this doesn't mean your squat depth is "bad". We all have differences in our biomechanics, so everyone's squat is going look to look a bit different.

📚 Scientific References (PMID):
1. 29997725
2. 21373870
...