Let’s just call this the accelerated beginner’s guide to bodybuilding. In this plan, your first month of training will be demanding, but not so demanding as to cause injury (or worse yet, burnout), and progressive in the sense that each week you’ll graduate to different exercises, higher volume, more intensity or all of the above. After four weeks you’ll not only be ready for the next challenge but you’ll have built a significant amount of quality muscle. In other words, one month from now you’ll look significantly better with your shirt off than you look now. (How’s that for results?)
Developing research has demonstrated that many of the benefits of exercise are mediated through the role of skeletal muscle as an endocrine organ. That is, contracting muscles release multiple substances known as myokines which promote the growth of new tissue, tissue repair, and multiple anti-inflammatory functions, which in turn reduce the risk of developing various inflammatory diseases. Exercise reduces levels of cortisol, which causes many health problems, both physical and mental. Endurance exercise before meals lowers blood glucose more than the same exercise after meals. There is evidence that vigorous exercise (90–95% of VO2 max) induces a greater degree of physiological cardiac hypertrophy than moderate exercise (40 to 70% of VO2 max), but it is unknown whether this has any effects on overall morbidity and/or mortality. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise work to increase the mechanical efficiency of the heart by increasing cardiac volume (aerobic exercise), or myocardial thickness (strength training). Ventricular hypertrophy, the thickening of the ventricular walls, is generally beneficial and healthy if it occurs in response to exercise.
These small exercises may sound like a lot to remember, but you can just start one-at-a-time until each thing becomes a true habit. The trick is to associate exercises with mini-cues. Tell yourself that “If I take the elevator three floors or lazily brush my teeth without squatting, then I am missing a huge opportunity for growth.” Once you have internalized these habits and associated them with a cue, you won’t really have to think about exercising at all. It just happens.
Use our illustrated exercise guide to discover new exercises to try in your workouts, learn which muscle groups different exercises target and how to perform them correctly. The clear images show correct form and the written instructions will guide you through the exercise movement. Want to build your own workouts with these exercises? You can do exactly that and much more with a Fit account. Check it out and start your free trial today!
To shake up your strength workout, replace the everyone-does-'em moves (crunches, etc.) with this fresh routine created by Dixon. Do this series two to three times per week, alternating with cardio days; you'll start to see results in as little as two to three weeks. Each move hits the same major muscle groups as the old standbys, but challenges them more, giving you a stronger, sleeker body in the same amount of time. So it's efficient—in the best way possible.
For some, it’s the ultimate quest for physical preparedness; for others, the very thought of CrossFit makes them want to puke. Either way, CrossFit is making an undeniable impact in the fitness world, with followers tackling muscle-ups, Fran, and the infamous Filthy Fifty. So whether you're off to the nearest “box” or tuning in to the CrossFit Games on ESPN, here’s the need-to-know lingo for any and every WOD.
Video Fitness - There are so many video reviews at this website, you could spend more time reading about videos than actually doing them. However, the site is well-organized and you can find videos in a variety of ways - By instructor, type of workout, fitness level and more. The reviews are posted by real exercisers, giving you more detail beyond the generic, sometimes misleading descriptions on the video covers.