Basic strength exercises you need to do

Basic strength exercises or also called multi-joint exercises will help you to get more results in less training time and get a number of other benefits.

A basic exercise is, in fact, any exercise that involves more than one muscle or muscle group.

To understand better, let’s use an examples. Flexing the arms on the biceps is an isolating exercise. With this movement of the arm, only the bicep is needed (if you do it correctly). On the other hand, squats require a lot of muscles. Almost every muscle in the lower body comes into play at some point to help you move, and that’s why you are able to lift such a large weight.

Here are some of the basic strength exercises: squats, deadlift, pull-ups, push-ups, bench press, lunges.

Basic exercises offer something that other types of exercises cannot do, and this puts them in a separate league. In this article, we will look at the main advantages of basic strength exercises.

They use more muscles

The most important thing to pay attention to is the number of muscles that you use in each exercise. Using more muscle groups in one movement will definitely have its advantages, while isolating exercises are simply not capable of this.

Greater working weight

A direct result of the number of muscles involved in basic strength exercises is that you can lift more weight than in other exercises.  The more muscles you engage, the more areas work together to move the weight, and as a result, you will be able to lift more. This means that all the muscles involved get some load, and this is great in terms of reducing the training time, more frequent loading on more muscles and simply improving the quality of training in general.

Functional strength

All this together gives one of the most significant advantages — functional strength. You engage all the muscles together to perform the movement, and it’s similar to what you usually do in the real world. The reason why our body can perform all these amazing exercises is that it is designed for this, and it really helps in everyday life. You can carry more, lift more, push more, or pull more. It’s really impressive, and it’s great for your health.

Train the stabilizer muscles

Let’s look at squats and leg presses. You need to keep your balance and monitor your technique during the squat, which means that you use your muscles even at the level of the core to prevent fluctuations, shaking or deterioration of your technique. This helps to strengthen smaller muscles, the existence of which you did not even know.

Burn more calories

Basic strength exercises have another important advantage, which people actually do not even think about. Working a large number of muscles involved means that you need more energy. Using more energy means burning calories more actively. If you want to increase their consumption, then basic exercises are exactly what you need to achieve maximum results.

Online training: pros and cons

Online training under the supervision of an online trainer  has become particularly popular over the past couple of years. This type of training has become almost the only possible one during the pandemic. And now, when many people have the opportunity to visit the gym again, not everyone refuses the online format in favor of real training. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of this training format and whether it can be a full-fledged replacement for working with a coach in the gym one-on-one.

Training in the gym with a personal trainer has several advantages. At the same time, such training format may have disadvantages: you depend on the coach’s schedule, and such pleasure is sometimes not cheap.

How online training works

I can tell you about the process of online training, based on my experience as a personal trainer. Usually, at the beginning, you will have a preliminary consultation by phone or via Skype to discuss your goals.

Further, after the current state of the client is revealed and his health is intact, we begin to communicate by e-mail or using messengers.

Then there are two options for the training process. Either you train at home under real-time online supervision, or you get a training program with which you can either go to the gym and perform exercises yourself according to the program, or do the same at home. The choice depends on what goal you are pursuing.

If the main thing for you is to strengthen the body, work out the muscles to a state of tone and just feel good and cheerful, then you can completely cope with this task at home without special equipment.

If there is a desire to gain muscle mass, then, of course, it is better to have access to weights.

So you will do the exercises with the training program proposed by the coach and will report to him about your progress.

You will also have to shoot your workouts on your phone and send a video to the trainer to check the technique.

Advantages of online training

Perhaps the biggest advantage here is the cost. As a rule, working with an online trainer does not affect the budget as much as training with a personal one, and, therefore, this format of training is more accessible to a larger number of people.

For those who are starting to study independently, online support can be an excellent option in terms of accountability and discipline. If you are used to training yourself, but you need help in drawing up a plan, having a mentor who will support you and monitor you every week will help you get on the path to achieving your goals more confidently.

The format of the online training is more flexible. If you can’t go to the gym at the usual time or on a regular schedule, or you want to have the opportunity to train at home, a virtual fitness trainer is a great option.

In addition, this format erases all geographical boundaries. And being in the one city or country, you can train accompanied by a coach from another region.

Disadvantages of working with an online trainer

One of the main drawbacks is that you don’t get personal help. Perhaps your squat technique is not quite perfect, or you do not know how to perform a dumbbell extension on the back deltas. The lack of a personal fitness professional who would support you during each workout can be a reason for frustration or even lead to injury. Keep this in mind, especially if you are new to training.

An online coach also cannot provide you with personal responsibility at the same level as an offline coach will do. In addition, without a clear schedule, there is a great temptation to skip a class or relax during a workout.

So is it worth choosing an online trainer?

When deciding whether online support is suitable for you, you must note three important criteria:

1. You are not a complete beginner in the gym: you used to do squats, for example, and you know how the pull of the lower block differs from the rowing simulator;

2. You have no problems with motivation to go to the gym regularly;

3. You are ready to shoot your workouts on video and send them to the coach without too much embarrassment.

Hip thrust exercise

Hip thrust is an amazing exercise for the posterior muscle chain, which will work out your glutes.

Among “iron lovers”, jokes about athletes who prefer to train their arms and chest several times a week and score on leg day are very popular. I hope that you are still systematically working on your body and you know, that you can get a beautiful and healthy body only through regular training aimed at all muscle groups. Including the quadriceps, biceps of the thigh and calf.

To make your leg training even more productive, I suggest you include one exercise in the training program.

I often come across the opinion that only girls need to work out the gluteal muscles. But let’s not forget that the gluteal muscles are part of a large muscular system that is responsible for your posture, for the health of the knee joints, and also directly affects the effectiveness and power of squats, running and jumping.

The name of this exercise is: hip thrust with a barbell, or a glute bridge from a bench. 

How the hip trust is performed:

    1. Find a heavy bench in the gym.
    2. Sit on the floor, pressing your shoulder blades to the bench, and put your feet on the floor, slightly wider than your shoulders, knees bent.
    3. Direct your gaze at the object in front of you at an angle of approximately 45 degrees upwards and do not take your eyes off this point throughout the entire movement.
    4. Squeeze your glutes to push your hips up, forming a bridge.
    5. You should feel how your heels rest on the floor, and your shins are perpendicular to the ground. In this upper position of the hip joint, squeeze the glutes as much as possible, while maintaining the position of the head.

Now that you have worked out the technique, you can add a load to the exercise.

If possible, find a shorter bar, for example, with an EZ-neck, so that you do not have to spend a lot of effort to keep your balance at the top point of the movement. The barbell should be placed across the body, slightly above the pelvis. So that the neck does not put too much pressure on the pelvic bones, put a soft roller under it. Hold the neck with a straight grip.

One of the key points in performing hip thrust, which should not be forgotten, is that your head or shoulders should not lie on the bench (in a neutral position) at the lower and upper points of the movement. The movement should be carried out at the expense of the gluteal muscles.

Another key point is to keep your knees apart to the sides. They should not wrap inside when you push up or down. If you keep them wider, this will contribute to the removal of the hips and even more elaboration of the glutes.

Finally, don’t worry about how high you lift your hips. Most likely, in the upper position, they will be slightly lower than the shoulders and knees.

But if it is difficult for you to perform this exercise with additional weight, doing the hip thrust without a barbell can still be very effective.

To begin with, I recommend doing 3 sets of 5 repetitions with a five-second compression of the glutes at the top point. 

Pull-ups. Beginner’s guide

Pull-ups – one of the simplest, but most effective exercises. With their help, even in adulthood, you can get a beautiful figure, developed muscles of the arms, back, abdominal muscles and even chest muscles.

This article will help you to start doing pull-ups even if you have never done it before.

Warm-up

The warm-up should include about 2 minutes of running on the spot or walking at a fast pace. Then we proceed with warming exercises “from top to bottom”, i.e. from rotation of the head, through rotation of the shoulders, forearms, hands, pelvis, knees to rotation of the foot.

Workout

Begin with doing the maximum possible number of pull-ups with the correct technique. We avoid jerks, swinging, kicking with our feet, distortions in our hands. We pull ourselves up at a calm pace: exhale on the upward movement, inhale on the downward movement.

It may happen that you are not able to do a pull-up yet. And it happens quite often. But this is not a tragedy. Let’s do the exercises that will help you to strengthen your muscles first.

1. Australian pull-ups.

This exercise will strengthen our back muscles.

By changing the angle between the trunk and the surface on which you perform this exercise, you can change the load on the working muscles and at the beginning choose a position that will allow you to perform 8-10 repetitions.

By changing the position of the legs, we can adjust the load on the muscles of the back and the muscles of the arms.

2. Pull-ups from the box.

Here we are already performing almost a classic pull-up, but when lifting, we help ourselves with our legs, thereby developing proper motor skills, and continuing to train the muscles of the arms and back.

Moving the box closer and further relative to the crossbar, we change the load on the working muscles.

3. Pull-ups with a resistance band.

We fix the band on the crossbar. We insert the foot into the lower loop, and using the compression force of the band, we lift our bodyup. Make sure that the band does not slip off your foot. Otherwise, the compression force of the rubber can strike you.

4. Negative pull-ups.

This is the exercises when you, using a box do a pull-up and then, as slowly as possible, lower yourself to the starting position, lingering due to the strength of your arms and back.

We perform the exercise as slowly as possible.

Using these 4 exercises in your workouts, you will form a muscle frame that will allow you to perform classic pull-ups without using additional devices. Every two weeks, you need to do a test for the maximum number of classic pull-ups. When the number of correctly performed repetitions reaches 5, the main part of the training can be filled with classic pull-ups, and the exercises given in this article can be left to “finish off” the muscles, forming muscle endurance and increasing the number of repetitions from time to time.

Fitness Trends in 2021

Fitness trends have been the subject of studies  of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® (FIT) for the last 15 years. They have circulated an electronic survey to thousands of professionals around the world to determine health and fitness trends. 

While survey was designed to confirm or to introduce new trends  that will have a perceived positive impact on the industry according to the international respondents, I am sure that such information is also important for people who are looking for new alternatives of being healthy and stay active.

Here are the survey results. 

Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2021

It’s obvious, that the big changes within the health fitness industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the new trend that uses digital streaming technology to deliver group, individual, or instructional exercise programs online. Online training is available 24/7 and can be a live class (live streaming workouts) or prerecorded.

The second place took the wearable technology that includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. These devices can be used as a step counter and can track heart rate, body temperature, calories, sitting time, sleep time, and much more.  New innovations include blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and electrocardiogram.

I guess nowadays almost everybody has a watch that helps to measure everyday activity and calories intake. Such devices became one of the most popular choices for a gift. Therefore, it is quite understandable why this position is in second place in popularity.

I also want to draw my attention to a few more positions in this list. As a personal fitness trainer, I noticed that there really is a trend that people who are over 50 and 60 years old come to my classes more and more often.

I am very happy about this. After all, this means that people are living longer, working longer, and remaining healthy and active well into their retirement from work.

 

And the last but not least among the fitness trends is health/wellness coaching. In fact, it’s the main approach of my work now. Health/wellness coaching uses a one-on-one (and at times small group) approach with the coach providing support, goal setting, guidance, and encouragement. The health/wellness coach focuses on the client’s values, needs, vision, and short- and long-term goals using behavior change intervention strategies.

Based on my experience and market analysis, I also have my own vision of fitness trends this year:

1) The Body&Mind fitness approach is becoming more popular. Due to the constant stress present in life, as well as an increase in the time spent sitting at home at computers, TV shows, phones and in the car, more and more people want not just to “tighten up” and get rid of possible discomfort in the back, neck, lower back, but also to relax psychologically, reduce stress levels and become more confident, calmer and more focused. But all this can be achieved with the help of a competent mindful fitness approach. Within the framework of which I carry out my working practice.

 

2) A “smart” holistic approach to fitness. An increasing number of people understand the importance of working on the feet, pelvis, chest, because everything is connected with everything in our body. The phrases “step pattern” or “fascia” are more used and understandable.

 

3) Express workouts and office warm-ups. Short (15-30 minutes), effective and interesting. The distance between life and exercises are getting smaller. We stop dividing the day into work and physical activity. We understand that sitting all day, and only going to the gym in the evening, is not so effective. We introduce exercises into the work process: walking during lunch, working meetings outdoors – all this makes us more conscious and active.

Well, friends, are you trending? I definitely am! And the fact that you are here with me means only one thing: WE WILL GROW AND DEVELOP TOGETHER.

Join my Health Community in Instagram @transformbst and see you in my training sessions.

ABS training for elderly

Abs training for elderly is a necessary element of maintaining a healthy and strong body.

In this article, I will share with you simple but effective exercises that will help strengthen the abdominal muscles of elderly people without harm to the joints and spine.

After all, it is in old age that the issue of maintaining the balance of the body, a healthy back and a confident gait is especially relevant, and in fact the abdominal muscles play a direct role in this.

Let’s get started.

Exercises for abs training for elderly are performed from a supine position.

It is necessary to lie on your back, tightly pressing the lower back to the floor. You can put your hands under the lower back. Or twist a towel and put it under the lower back, and your hands under your head. This is necessary in order to relieve excessive tension in this area.

The legs should be brought together.

Then you need to hold one leg for 2 seconds, lifting it at an angle of 40-60 degrees. Then return it to the initial position.

Do the same movement with the second leg.  For less stress on the muscles, you can slightly lift your head.

If you are confident in your abilities and the level of preparation for physical exercises, it is worth performing a simultaneous leg lift.

Also, as with the first option, you need to lie on your back, bringing your legs together. But you need to lift both legs at once by 45-60 degrees, after a pause of 2 seconds and return to the starting position.

At the same time, if you lower your heels to the floor, the exercise will be simplified, and if you do not bring them to the floor, it will be much more effective to influence the abdominal muscles and keep them in the maximum position.

Do the exercise 12 times in 2 or 3 repetitions. If your health and well-being are excellent, you can keep your feet in the air for more than 2 seconds.

Another option for such an exercise may be to raise straight legs and hold them in a position of 90 degrees from the floor.

Perform it with a support at the top for 5 seconds and a slow lowering.

Repeat the exercise 12 times in 2 or 3 repetitions.

Good luck!

Yoga for beginners. Transformation of Body and Soul

Yoga as a way of life

Yoga is one of the most popular types of physical activity around the world. However, it should be remembered that yoga is not just a workout and a fashion statement, but a certain philosophy, a source of spirituality and a way of life. The main task of yoga is to improve the health of the soul and body, which go in parallel and in harmony.

It is great that now yoga practices are not perceived only as a thing for spiritually enlightened “strange” people. Yoga, as a set of physical exercises, has confidently entered the fitness industry. And many people liked it as an alternative to the gym, because strengthening the muscles with the help of yoga is gentle, but also effective.

But do not forget that initially, yoga is a whole spiritual teaching, a way of life. And what we meet in fitness gyms, this is only a small part of this direction.

When a person begins to adopt a yogic lifestyle, his worldview and daily habits change dramatically, but at the same time these changes occur very gently. When deciding to practice yoga as a lifestyle, you should understand that the changes will be complex and can completely change the usual course of things.

What is the philosophy of yoga?

Yoga first of all teaches you to live consciously, to see causes and effects, to show common sense in everything (to act according to your experience, teachings and experience of teachers),  it eliminates automatism.

The efficiency of life is determined by energy. We transfer this energy from life to life, which means that we are born with a certain reserve. You can spend it on thousands of actions and things, direct it to the implementation of projects or the satisfaction of worldly desires, or divert attention from all external things and direct energy to self-development, increasing its potential.

In addition to accumulating energy, it is important to learn how to control it and avoid unnecessary spending. In modern society, the entire infrastructure is set up to download as much vital energy from people as possible. To prevent this from happening, take responsibility for your life and start making an effort.

A day in yoga lifestyle

It is considered that:

From 4 to 10 is the time of the mode of goodness. At this time, there is an awakening, it is favorable for prayer, study of the scriptures, meditation, yoga.

From 10 am to 22 pm is the time of the influence of the mode of passion. At this time, there is an active activity.

From 22 to 4 am — the time of influence of the mode of ignorance. This is the time of sleep-immersion in self-forgetfulness.

Balancing activities with the rhythms of nature, a person harmoniously performs their tasks during the day. Failure to comply with the regime leads to stress, exhaustion and, as a result, illness.

People used to consider fatigue, drowsiness, apathy and depression the norm of life and came up with a variety of means to restore activity, from coffee and tea, sweets to pills and strong drugs. But is it worth the effort, when there is a natural and free way-compliance with the daily routine, familiar from a long time ago?

Why and how to start practicing yoga

Yoga practices are the choice for those who want to put both the body and the mind in order. Regardless of age and weight, exercises (asanas) improve physical fitness and give peace of mind, harmony, and bring the quality of life to a new level.

It is not difficult to start practicing yoga.

Most techniques allow you to start yoga with any level of physical fitness.

Many people recommend that you first study all types of yoga, and then, based on the information, make a conclusion that suits you.

I would recommend that those who are not familiar with yoga at all, start with any video you like on YouTube or go to any yoga class available at your fitness club. Why complicate it? Start with the simplest thing available.

Turn on the video lesson and repeat after the instructor right in your pajamas. And then look at the feelings, if you want to improve, then you will feel in which direction you want to do it.

You will understand exactly what you are interested in and want to work on, whether you need a special suit and mat or you are quite satisfied with classes without any equipment.

To be honest, when I first started studying yoga, I was afraid of all the strange names and varieties. I just wanted to start practicing, but I didn’t understand where to go and what I would have to do there.

Many people generally think that until they have a special yoga mat, it is simply impossible to start practicing. But it takes months, or even years, for some people to just buy this mat.

Types of yoga

If you have already tried to practice yoga on your own and realized that you are interested in it, then you can delve into the theory and understand what types of practices exist.

Ashtanga.

An energetic practice that will not let you relax. One session consists of several poses with a duration of five breathing cycles. Between them, a “greeting to the sun” is necessarily made.

Mysore.

The safest variety. The average duration is 3 hours, but you can come and go whenever you want, take breaks, maintain your own pace, and not the pace of the instructor. The demonstrated asanas can be repeated as long as required.

Vinyasa flow.

Only business, no unnecessary information about the muscle groups that work, the benefits, the effect, the designations of asanas. This is a complete immersion in the inner world, as well as a high intensity of exercises.

Bikras.

This species was created in the 70s of the last century. It consists of exactly 26 asanas that strengthen the muscles, develop stretching of the body, and perform compression of internal organs. In order to get rid of toxins, the air in the room is heated (sauna effect). Therefore, you will have to sweat well.

Kundalini.

The basis of this knowledge is to work with the spine, restore it, and support it. Traditional asanas are supplemented with breathing practices, meditation.

Hatha.

No meditations, mantras, breathing techniques, only physical activity through asanas.

Yin.

A great option for those people who lead a sedentary lifestyle or do not move much. Yin variety relieves tightness, stiffness in the muscles, increases flexibility, elasticity. The duration of one asana can be up to 10 minutes. Thanks to meditation, this type is often chosen by athletes before serious competitions, athletes.

Jivamukti.

Includes reading, listening to special musical compositions, doing vinyasa poses, singing. This direction is considered a separate philosophy, which allows you to get rid of excess.

All types are aimed at relaxation, getting rid of stress, gaining knowledge, skills for understanding your body. But some focus on stretching, others-on posture and back health, strength exercises.

It is necessary to first understand why to start practicing yoga, in order to choose a specific type, to fully focus on it.

All modern trends, one way or another, are based on the 4 oldest varieties of Indian practices:

    • Hatha yoga. The goals of the classes are achieved through special breathing exercises (pranayam) and performing asanas (static poses);
    • Raja Yoga (Janyana). The technique focuses on meditations and exercises for the mind;
    • Bhakti yoga. All actions are aimed at achieving enlightenment;
    • Karma yoga. Practice involves performing any exercises aimlessly and selflessly.

Conclusion

Yoga is the path of the soul and body. There is no right or wrong choice here. Here is your mental and physical comfort.

Do not rush to put yourself in a strict framework, start with a few actions, but follow them regularly, gradually they will become a useful habit.

Do not blame yourself if you could not observe the regularity, the main thing is not to stop, and the result will manifest itself. But do not be fooled by excuses that you are hindered by work or family, there are thousands of opportunities in the world, it is only necessary to go out of the usual framework.

A healthy lifestyle helps to cope with all things faster and better. Gradually, you realize that it is impossible to separate where the practice is and where it is not. Every event, every moment will be filled with meaning and opportunities for self-improvement.

Yoga teaches you to think, move, and breathe effectively. Yoga classes allow people to better understand the processes taking place in the world, to see personal goals more clearly, to develop willpower and sharpness of mind.

They give you the opportunity to look deep into yourself, to understand your needs, to learn self-diagnosis, to acquire inner happiness and positive emotions that you want to share with others.

Do you need to avoid alcohol if you want to build up your muscles

How muscles grow

In order for your muscles to grow, you need to exercise and consume enough protein. Heavy training will start the process of building muscle, and protein will serve as a building material. These factors do not depend on alcohol — you can easily go to the gym, eat protein foods and at the same time drink alcohol every night.

However, protein and exercise are only basic requirements.

Muscle building is also affected by:

    • the ability of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle, to penetrate cells;
    • the rate of protein creation and destruction in tissues;
    • the amount of hormones that help or hinder weight gain.

Alcohol affects all these factors, and below we will analyze how exactly.

How alcohol affects protein synthesis

Both high and low doses of alcohol inhibit the creation of protein in muscle cells — protein synthesis.

An hour after drinking alcohol, protein synthesis decreases by 23%, and after 24 hours-by 63%. Especially strongly alcohol inhibits this process in the muscle fibers of type II, which quickly increase in size. That is, it is in those tissues that all bodybuilders pray for.

However, most of the studies on the effects of alcohol on muscle were conducted on mice that were given huge doses of ethanol. A large amount of alcohol has a bad effect on people. Alcoholics who consume more than 100 g (2 liters of beer, 250 g of vodka) a day often suffer from myopathy – the destruction of muscle tissue. One to two-thirds of drinkers have muscle atrophy, which leads to frequent falls and difficulties even when walking.

As for moderate doses of alcohol, it is not known whether they affect protein synthesis in humans.

Conclusions

    • Ethanol reduces protein synthesis, but it needs to be constantly consumed in large doses.
    • Alcoholism can cause myopathy — the destruction of muscle tissue.
    • Small doses of alcohol in the future can slow down the formation of protein, but the effect is not proven.

How alcohol affects the level of hormones

Effect on testosterone

Testosterone is one of the most important hormones for maintaining good physical shape, building muscle and reducing fat.

Alcohol reduces the level of testosterone, but for significant changes, you need to drink alcohol often and in large quantities. If you drink one and a half to two bottles of beer every day for three weeks, testosterone in men will decrease by only 6.8%, and in women it will remain unchanged.

More large-scale drinking is reflected in the level of hormones much faster: after 16 hours after taking 120 g of ethanol (this is more than five cans of beer, 300 g of vodka or almost a whole bottle of wine), testosterone in men decreases by 23%.

Smaller doses of alcohol have almost no effect on hormones. A single drink of one and a half cans of beer or 150 g of vodka after training does not affect the level of testosterone, luteinizing hormone and corticotropin.

Another thing is really heavy training for strength or endurance and large doses of alcohol. 200-300 g of strong drink after such loads will significantly reduce recovery and weaken the muscles.

Effect on insulin

Insulin is simply necessary for building weight. This hormone triggers protein synthesis in ribosomes and prevents catabolism – the breakdown of protein. In addition, it helps glucose and amino acids to enter from the blood into the muscle tissue.

The higher the sensitivity of the cells to insulin, the better it supplies them with glucose for glycogen storage and amino acids for muscle building.

Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. But to increase it, you need to drink alcohol in small quantities and periodically. A single intake of small doses of alcohol does not change the level of insulin.

Conclusions

    • Small doses of alcohol slightly reduce the level of testosterone.
    • Testosterone drops significantly only after heavy training and taking a large amount of alcohol.
    • Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages increases the sensitivity to insulin.

How to drink, so as not to harm the figure

The only requirement is moderation. 30-40 g of ethanol per day does not harm the build-up of muscle mass and does not lead to the accumulation of fat. In terms of drinks, it will be 700-900 g of beer with a strength of 4.5%, 300-400 g of wine with a strength of 10%, 75-100 g of vodka.

Ethanol combined with exercise reduces lipid peroxidation, which causes oxidative stress and increases the risk of atherosclerosis. So, if you can not give up alcohol and worry about your heart — go in for sports.

Moderate alcohol consumption — no more than 30-40 g of ethanol per day-does not harm your physical fitness.

Keep drinking your glass of beer or wine after your workout if it relaxes you. But do not forget that alcohol should not replace you with full meals with a lot of protein. Without dietary protein, your results will be more than modest.

Read more: TESTOSTERONE: EVERYTHING ABOUT THE MAIN MALE HORMONE

How to gain muscles if you have a skinny complexion

Why it is difficult for you to gain muscle mass

Scientists have noticed that the ability to build muscle mass is different for everyone. So, some people in 12 weeks of training can gain 1.6 kg of muscle, and others in the same time will not add at all.

And it’s not just about eating habits and the amount of exercise. You’re just out of luck.

The role of muscle struction

    • You have fewer type II muscle fibers — those that work without oxygen, get tired quickly, and add a lot of volume.
    • Your muscles have fewer receptors that respond to testosterone-the hormone without which they will not grow.
    • You don’t have new ribosomes created so quickly. These are the organelles of the cell that take amino acids and, according to the instructions of the mRNA, make a protein out of them. The ribosome factory is located in the nucleolus of the cell, and your company is slightly behind in terms of production volumes.

But this does not mean that you will not be able to build muscle mass. The mechanism of muscle growth is the same in all people. You just have to spend more time and money on food and a sports pit than those who won the genetic lottery and go all so athletic.

How to train to gain muscle mass

When the muscles contract, their fibers experience mechanical stress, the receptors feel it, and a chain of molecular reactions is triggered, which ends with protein synthesis. He completes the muscles, increasing their volume.

Of course, the muscles contract in any work — for example, when you get up from a chair or run a marathon. But in the first case, the tension is too small for growth, and in the second, mainly type I muscle fibers are involved, which are reluctant to increase in volume. For noticeable muscle growth, you need to work fast type II fibers (which you already have a little). And to make them do it, you need to pull iron.

How many times a week to train

Post-workout protein production increases from 24 to 48 hours. If you re-load the muscle before the synthesis drops to its previous values, some of your effort will be lost.

So exercise two or three times a week and don’t do two days of training in a row.

By exercising more often, you will not only not get the benefits for muscle growth, but you can also overwork the central nervous system. This will reduce your performance, and therefore the incentives for muscle growth.

How many and what exercises to perform

At each workout, perform 4 to 8 strength exercises on different muscle groups. Be sure to include multi-joint movements, that is, those that involve several joints and muscle groups: squats, lunges, deadlift, bench lifts, and others. They train the whole body, improve coordination, allow you to work with large weights and give the right incentive for muscle growth.

However, it is not necessary to build a training session only on such activity. So you risk to tire the central nervous system and reduce the indicators. Dilute the mentioned exercises with single-jointed ones: flexing the arms on the biceps, extending the arms on the triceps, bringing the arms together in the “butterfly” simulator (chest), and others.

In addition, at each training session, perform one exercise to strengthen the abs and back extensors. These muscles help you keep your balance and perform all the movements without harming your spine.

How many sets and reps to do

Perform the exercises in 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps. Choose the weight so that the last repetitions in the approach are given with difficulty. The final approach can be performed before the muscles fail: when you can no longer do a single time.

Check-list

    • Exercise 2-3 times a week.
    • Perform 4-8 strength exercises on different muscle groups.
    • Include both multi-joint and single-joint movements in one workout.
    • Do 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps.
    • Choose the weight so that the last repetitions in the approach are given with difficulty. Do the last approach until the muscles fail.

How to eat to gain weight

To gain weight in general, you need to eat more, and to grow exactly the muscles — to monitor the amount of protein.

How many calories to consume

First, calculate your daily calorie intake using the Mifflin-Geor formula:

For men: (5 + (10 × weight [kg]) + (6.25 × height [cm]) − (5 × age [years])) × 1.55 (adjusted for training 3 times a week).

For women: ((10 × weight [kg]) + (6.25 × height [cm]) − (5 × age [years]) – 161) × 1.55 (adjusted for training 3 times a week).

Increase your calorie intake by 15%. This is how much you will need to consume every day.

That an increase of 15% will not necessarily help you gain weight. It all depends on your metabolism. Eat this way from two weeks to a month and, if there is no progress, increase the calorie content by another 15% (from the original norm). During the first month, you will get used to eating more, so it will not be so difficult to add the next portion of calories.

How many calories should come from protein, fat, and carbohydrates

To gain muscle mass, you need everything. The protein will be used as a building material and a signal for muscle growth.
Carbohydrates will help to produce the hormone insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1, without which the muscles will not grow. And they will also give you the strength to train. Fats are needed for the production of hormones, including testosterone.

Your daily diet should consist of 25% protein, 20% fat, and 55% carbohydrates. In this case, the protein should not exceed 2 g per kilogram of body weight. If you get more protein as a result of the calculations, add the remaining calories in the form of carbohydrates.

Let’s say your daily calorie intake is 2,500 kcal (a 30-year-old man weighing 70 kg). You add up 15% (2 500 × 0,15 + 2 500 = 2 875 kcal). To calculate, you need to remember that 1 g of protein or carbohydrates contains 4.1 kcal, and 1 g of fat-9 kcal.

Thus, a man from the example should eat 140 g of protein (70 kg × 2) per day. At the same time, 25% of its daily caloric content will be 718 kcal. In order not to exceed the protein norm, we calculate this way: 718-574 kcal (140 g x 4.1 kcal = 574 kcal) = 144 kcal. Add this amount to the carbohydrates. Now we consider the norm of fat and carbohydrates: 64 g of fat (2,875 kcal x 0.2 = 575 kcal-9 kcal in 1 gram of fat) and 420 g of carbohydrates (2,875 kcal x 0.55 = 1,581 kcal + 144 kcal, remaining from protein-4.1 kcal).

How many times a day to eat and when to do it

Divide your daily meals into an equal amount — for example, six meals. Each of them should contain at least 0.25 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight.

It is not necessary to consume a dose of protein immediately after training. You can do this for 1.5-2 hours before it, calmly work out for 1-2 hours, drive home and eat again. In this case, the anabolic response will be no less than when taking supplements directly in the gym.

Check-list

    • Calculate your calorie allowance and add 15% to it. Eat like this for 2-4 weeks. If there is no progress, add another 15%.
    • Determine the calories you need to get from macronutrients: 25% protein, 20% fat, 55% carbohydrates.
    • Count the grams of macronutrients (1 g of protein or carbohydrates — 4.1 kcal, 1 g of fat-9 kcal).
    • Protein should not exceed 2 g per kilogram of body weight. If you get more, add the rest of the calories to the carbs.
    • Divide all the grams by the number of meals. Each time, eat at least 0.25 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight.

Read more:6 THINGS THAT KILL YOUR MUSCLES

Why it is so important to develop body flexibility and how to do that

What is flexibility?

Flexibility, that is, the ability to perform movements with a high amplitude, is needed not only in gymnastics, ballet or martial arts-this quality will be useful to you both in fitness classes and in everyday life.

If someone claims that he is flexible, then, most likely, he means that he can reach his hands to the feet in the crease while standing or sit in a deep squat. But flexibility is not just the ability to do some kind of exercise from the stretching complex. Experts from the US Department of Health define flexibility as a health-related component of physical development that is responsible for the range of motion in the joints.

Joints flexibility

Every joint and every muscle group in your body can have a different degree of flexibility. In some parts of your body, you may feel tight, your muscles may be short, and your range of motion may be small. At the same time, other muscle groups can stretch easily. You can have flexible back surfaces of the thighs, which will allow you to easily reach the toes with your fingers, and at the same time the quadriceps are shackled, which means that you will not be able to press the heel to the buttock in a standing position.

Inflexible hips are a frequent consequence of office work, the fact that you sit at the computer all day. To minimize the harm, try to get up and move for 5-7 minutes every hour, perform short sets of exercises.

5 advantages of a flexible body

Those who consciously work to improve the flexibility of the body receive a number of benefits, including:

Reducing the risk of injury.

The flexible body is able to withstand a large load. In addition, stretching helps to get rid of muscle imbalances, which reduces the likelihood of injury during physical activity.

Getting rid of the pain.

Stretching relaxes and lengthens the muscles, which leads to a reduction in tension and pain.

Improve your posture and sense of balance.

When you correct a muscle imbalance, the body aligns, and along with this, your posture and ability to stand or sit straight improves. By increasing the range of motion, it will be much easier for you to perform different exercises.

Improve your athletic performance.

A larger range of motion will allow you to perform better exercises, your muscles will work more efficiently.

Positive attitude.

Regular performance of stretching exercises helps to relax the muscles, which affects the well-being and mood.

Stretching exercises

You can improve your flexibility with stretching exercises. It is not necessary to perform them from morning to evening until you sit down on the splits. It is enough to attend stretching classes two or three times a week or do stretching at home using online programs or YouTube videos.

Stretching exercises usually begin with a gentle warm-up. This is followed by a set of exercises for stretching the legs, back, abs, and neck.

How to improve flexibility: 3 tips

1. Add a few minutes of stretching to your regular workout

It is not necessary to enroll in stretching classes to train flexibility. You can simply add a few stretching exercises to your daily workouts — a little dynamic stretching to warm up the muscles at the beginning of the session and static stretching to relax at the end.

2. Do a short stretch every morning

This workout will replace your exercise, give you cheerfulness and, with regular exercise, make your body flexible.
Morning workout: 5 exercises that will energize you.

3. Do different types of fitness

Many strength exercises also develop flexibility. For example, during the execution of lunges, the quadriceps of one leg is strained and the hip of the other is stretched. Performing various strokes in swimming develops the flexibility of the upper body.

What is the result

Adding flexibility exercises to your fitness routine will be useful for everyone. They will make your program more balanced, help you cope with stress, improve your well-being, and have a positive effect on your posture.

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