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How to Achieve the Illusion of Looking Bigger Than You Actually Are!

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 127

Not everyone can achieve the overall physicality and massive size of Mr. Olympia type bodybuilders. There are some athletes who just don't have the body composition and genetic make up to attain those Hulk sized biceps regardless of how much they train or weight they lift. However, this is not to discourage because there are athletes in the weight lifting community who prefer a lean and chiseled physique. In fact, this type of athlete can still appear to be a lot bigger than they actually are just from being lean and ripped. A lot of people don't realize that when they work to build muscle and lose fat, the physical foundation of the body stands out more because they have built and retained solid, lean muscle. Chiseled muscle reveals, but how does one achieve the illusion of looking bigger than he or she actually is? Try these three common approaches in this unique way for five weeks to gain rapid muscle definition and growth, so that you too can appear to be bigger than you are! Remember, to consult your physician before trying any diet or workout routine!

Cardio The trick behind the illusion of size is to primarily build muscle while losing as much fat as possible. This also means trimming down in weight some for a leaner look. I experienced significant and rapid fat loss a few times in my life. My training regimen included tons of cardiovascular training and light weights. While I lost 20 or more pounds on each occasion, I looked as thin as a rail. I lost weight, size, and did not retain a lot of my muscle. However, I discovered something the last time I designed a similar training program for myself. I had changed my strategy some and focused more on diet and weight lifting. Now, I continued with cardio training three times a week, but I concentrated primarily on interval training twice a week. Interval training is a mix of high intensity and low/moderate impact cardio training. This burns calories and really makes fat dissipate. A combination of running and walking at an incline on a treadmill or hiking up a mountain at a moderate or swift pace is good conditioning and builds muscle tone.

On the third cardio day of each week, I incorporated various forms of resistance training, such as swimming and running in the sand, which could also be staggered between high and low/moderate intensity. The resistance training was a good way to shock my body and was an escape from the boredom I experienced from the treadmill or stationary bike. In my experience, I achieved three critical results from resistance training: 1) it helped to eradicate fat; 2) improved my fast twitch muscles for explosiveness; and 3) simultaneously strengthened and defined my muscles more than any other traditional form of cardio. I felt stronger and more ripped.

Here's a quick tip on the subject of cardio and its affect on muscle retention. The rule of thumb has been to avoid combining cardio and weight training on the same days, as it could affect muscle building and retention. For some reason, combining the two has helped me achieve muscle definition a lot faster without sacrificing a lot of my size. That said, I never possessed the size or physicality of a body builder. I'm sure combining cardio and weight training would give some in the fitness and body building community pause. Remember, everyone is different. If you do happen to combine cardio and weight training on the same days, and it is your goal to maintain muscle while losing body fat, do your cardio first at a low/moderate intensity level. Another consideration would be to convert to an intense and aggressive weight training program with shortened rest periods in between sets, as highlighted in the weight training section below. This will raise your heart rate and burn calories and fat without having to do cardio focused exercises, such as running, biking, etc.

Weight Training My weight training regimen focused primarily on the big muscle groups, specifically the chest, legs, back, arms, and shoulders. My weight distribution ratio consisted of 60 and 75 percent of my maximum work/weight load on a given exercise. I performed 5-10 repetitions at 5-10 sets for each muscle group. In addition, I reduced my rest intervals in between each set to 45-60 seconds. I also got a large dose of cardiovascular work in my weight training due to the shortened rest periods and increased sets and repetitions, which raised my heart rate. This was a quick and dirty way to decrease body fat fast and slap on some new muscle quickly in just a five week period without spending long hours in the gym. In the illustration below, notice the ratio between sets, repetitions, rest intervals (time), and weight distribution (amount of weight) for a flat bench press workout.

Schedule Sets Repetitions Rest Intervals Percentage of MaxWeight Load Week 1 5 5 60 seconds 170=75% of 225 Week 2 7 7 45-60 seconds 160=70% of 225 Week 3 8 8 45-60 seconds 160=70% of 225 Week 4 9 9 60 seconds 145=65% of 225 Week 5 10 10 60 seconds 145= 65% of 225 Chest- Flat Bench Press

Chest The workout ratio in the chart above can be used for the major muscle groups. Each muscle should be trained only one time per week at the intensity referenced in the chart to allow for recovery. For balance and symmetry, be sure to integrate other weight lifting and core exercises into your training regimen. For example, on chest days, include a few sets of incline bench press and dumbbell or cable fly's to hit the upper and outer chest, respectively. Moreover, do 50-100 total push-ups on each off day from a variety of positions, such as close, medium, and wide.

Squat Achieve even greater results with this rigorous training routine by squatting free weight. Compliment your lower body workout with several sets of sissy squats to isolate the quadriceps and reverse leg curls to set fire to those hamstrings. As a quick note, strong hamstring muscles and an abdominal core provide stability and support for the back, which is the biggest muscle in the body.

Back Pull-ups and/or bent over barbell or dumbbell rows complement lateral pull-downs well. When you get to week 3, challenge yourself by attempting 5-7 sets of 5-7 repetitions of pull-ups to substitute lateral pull-downs on back days. Your biceps will feel like they are going to burst into flames. Therefore, avoid bicep exercises on the same days that you train your back for maximum benefit.

Arms Biceps can be done seated, upright, or with cables. Try back arm pull downs and/or dips to build the triceps. Either exercise can be inserted into the regimented formula in the chart above.

Shoulders Shoulders can be done seated with dumbbells or with a barbell. Make sure that you use a weight belt and chair with a long enough back support when seated. Focus on controlled movements while using a weight that you can comfortably manage for the allotted number of sets and repetitions. This will help you focus on technique and avoid injury. Keep in mind, the strategy of this type of intense weight training is not to lift your maximum weight; however, it is to achieve muscle fatigue through numerous repetitions using weight that is challenging yet manageable at the same time. The increased sets and repetitions will accomplish the goal of tearing down the muscle, which is why you will need a full week of recovery for each muscle group. On a final note, it is more than smart to have a spotter for most free weight exercises, especially bench press, squats, and shoulders. Although the weight may appear to be light the first few sets, the increased sets, repetitions, muscle fatigue, and reduced rest intervals will have your arms and legs feeling like noodles during those middle or late sets. To avoid having weights crash down on your face, chest, or back and to circumvent other injuries, practice safety and simply ask someone to spot you.

Diet The final and main piece to the rapid, ripped muscle growth and size illusion puzzle is diet. Many believe that they will achieve rapid muscles growth if they just simply increase the amount of weight, sets, and repetitions they lift. Muscle definition has more to do with diet than the actual weights that you lift. Of course, I consumed tons of protein, such as fish, poultry, and on occasion beef. All of my meat choices were lean and never fried. Meat choices, which were prepared baked or grilled, included Red Snapper, Tilapia, Salmon, Catfish, skinless chicken breast, turkey, and steak, specifically Carne Asada. In addition, I consumed two to three protein shakes a day as meal replacements. Eating four to six meals a day can be challenging, especially with our busy daily routines. Meal replacement protein drinks can be life savers in that they really help keep you organized with your diet plan. I used Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 because it was and still is a high quality protein with a decent taste that mixes and digests well. I still use this product because it supports lean muscle growth as it is relatively low in calories, fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, and sugar per serving. However, protein itself will not get you the ripped muscle definition.

Although the weight training and protein intake promote muscle growth and size, muscle definition comes from vegetable consumption. I consumed large amounts of green leafy vegetables. I ate more than enough Spinach, broccoli and Kale. These vegetables contain adequate supplies of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need on a daily basis to function properly. They also have protein, which can go towards your daily intake to promote muscle growth. You can eat as many servings of these vegetables as you want as they are low in calories and possess fiber and enzymes that promote slow digestion and elimination. If you need a break from the aforementioned vegetable options, consider incorporating corn or peas into your diet. Although, corn and peas are considered to be starchy vegetables, they have great nutritional value and will give you increased energy to help sustain intense workouts. However, you want to manage your portions, as corn and peas have a significant amount of carbohydrates. For maximum results, I would not recommend eating starchy vegetables in the late evening.

I may not have ended up with those big python sized Hulk arms; however, my biceps were full and possessed that egg look when I flexed. Some of my peers in the gym thought that I had gained size, when in actuality I had lost a significant amount of body fat and weight by building muscle. I was 20 pounds lighter but looked just as big with a leaner and more muscular frame. Lifting weights won't get you the muscle growth and size alone. Incorporate protein, vegetables, and fruit into your diet to ensure a balanced amount of nutrients. Oh yes, rest is important too. REMEMBER, YOUR HEALTH COMES FIRST! Take into account; muscle definition and size have more to do with diet than the actual weights that you lift. Again, always consult your physician before trying any diet, protein supplement, or workout regimen!

For more information about bodybuilding, fitness tips, diet, and nutrition visit my website- Fierce and Fearless Fitness at http://www.healthydietcardiofatlossmusclegain.com.

Not everyone can achieve the overall physicality and massive size of Mr. Olympia type bodybuilders. There are some athletes who just don't have the body composition and genetic make up to attain those Hulk sized biceps regardless of how much they train or weight they lift. However, this is not to discourage because there are athletes in the weight lifting community who prefer a lean and chiseled physique. In fact, this type of athlete can still appear to be a lot bigger than they actually are just from being lean and ripped. A lot of people don't realize that when they work to build muscle and lose fat, the physical foundation of the body stands out more because they have built and retained solid, lean muscle. Chiseled muscle reveals, but how does one achieve the illusion of looking bigger than he or she actually is? Try these three common approaches in this unique way for five weeks to gain rapid muscle definition and growth, so that you too can appear to be bigger than you are!

Source: EzineArticles
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