To figure out why men aren't getting the results they want, and what they can do instead. Fitness tips for training your largest muscle groups. Follow the rules!
Build a Better Back
"Scapular retraction" in the weight room, it's a muscle action that strengthens the middle part of your trapezius, one of your back's biggest muscles.
The movement: Pull your shoulder blades (scapulae) together in back (retracting them). The exercise: any variety of row -- seated using a cable machine; bent-over with a barbell, dumbbells, or T-bar; or standing, pulling a cable down to your face.
Latest retraction: For something a little different, try the bow and arrow, suggests Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., a strength coach in Toronto. Attach a stirrup handle to a high cable pulley. Stand with your right side facing the weight stack, as if you were a left-handed archer. Grab the handle with your left hand and hold it in front of your face, like a bowstring you're about to pull back. Now pull it back and to the left using midback muscles, pause, return to the starting posi-tion, and repeat. Do one set of 10 to 12 repetitions with each arm for starters. Add one set each workout, to a maximum of three sets. This will build strength and muscle mass in your scapular retractors.
They work hardest in conjunction with bigger, stronger upper-body muscles. If you want big arms, do chinups and dips,
If you can't jump right onto the parallel bars and knock out a set of dips, start with bench dips. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair, palms alongside your hips, fingers pointed toward your legs, feet flat on the floor. Straighten your arms so your butt comes off the bench, then bend your arms as you slowly lower yourself (in front of the chair) until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Pause, then push back up. When you can do more than 10, progress to parallel-bar dips.
Most men can't do chinups. The kneeling lat pulldown is an exercise that helps you get there. Attach a straight bar to a high cable pulley, grab it with a shoulder-width, underhand grip, kneel on the floor, and then pull the bar down past your chin. Gradually increase the weight and decrease the repetitions until the weight's so heavy it pulls you off the floor. Now you're ready for the chinup bar.
Pack Your Chest
The exercises that use the most muscles build the most muscle. That's why bench presses are better than flies. Adding 100 pounds to your bench will put on way more mass than anything else
Everyone knows how to do the bench press: Lie on bench, grip bar, lower bar to chest, and so forth. But few pay any more attention to their foot position during bench presses.
Try this: Imagine that you're doing the exercise standing up. Set your feet in a wide, athletic stance. And push out the repetitions as if you were throwing the bar to someone standing in front of you, rather than lifting it off your chest. The extra vigor in your execution will result in extra inches on your body.
If you know how to squat, you can get an entire lower-body workout with one set, You use 200 muscles to walk; you'll hit more when you squat with a barbell across your back.
Warm up thoroughly. Select a weight you think you can squat for 10 repetitions. Now squat as many times as you can with that weight. When you can't do any more, stand and catch your breath, then do single repetitions until you get to 20. (These are sometimes called "breathing squats," since you're allowed to breathe as many times as necessary between repetitions.)
The key: The weight stays on your shoulders until you've finished all 20 repetitions. For your ABS do Planks google it for all the planks!
As for your whey protein you should only use whey protein concentrates!!
A good product is Miracle Whey by Pro Optimal Whey
Perfect Preworkout Shake
Add 1 1/2 scoops of protein powder (about 30 grams) and 12 ounces of nonfat milk instead of water. This yields roughly 240 calories, 40 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fat. Toss in some fruit for flavor, or a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter for a creamier shake. These will boost calories, carbs, and fat, but they're good for your overall diet.
Mix in a blender. Add ice if you like your shakes thicker. If you're using a shaker bottle, prevent clumping by pouring about a cup of the milk into the bottle before adding the powder. Shake it up until the powder is well incorporated, add the rest of the milk, and shake again until smooth.
Drink your shake within the hour prior to your workout. This is the best time to fuel your muscles for high-intensity training.
Post workout smoothie
Makes 2 servings
3⁄4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3⁄4 cup 1% chocolate milk
1⁄4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons chocolate whey-protein powder
6 ice cubes
Calories 349 Carbs 30g Protein 16g Fat 18g Saturated Fat 5g
Sodium 184mg Fiber 3g