Fitness Blog - September 2005 fitness blog

Excellent article that discusess the ideal amount of water that you should drink. Marc David points out why if you work out you should be properly hydrated and not to over drink which could lead to hyponatremia. Marc David is an innovative fitness enthusiast and the creator of the "The Beginner's Guide to Fitness And Bodybuilding" method at

How Much Water Should I Drink Per Day?
By Marc David

I'm always amazed at how many people seem to know the answer to this question yet in practice they fail. Everybody I've talked to seems to know that 8-12 glasses of water a day is the recommended standard. But if I ask them how many glasses of water have you consumed today? The answer is usually none. Or the other standard answer at a corporate environment "does coffee count?"

While 8-12 glasses of water is great for the average sedentary person, many of us are fitness conscious or on the pursuit of some type of bodybuilding physique. With that in mind, I think the new standard for us should be 1-2 gallons of water a day.

As a bodybuilder, you are putting much more nutrients, food, supplements, and other stuff into your body. What your body does not use, it must rid itself of by any means necessary. Usually it does this via water. So drinking plenty of water becomes a necessity. Increasing protein puts a strain on your body and drinking lots of water can keep things "moving." Creatine monohydrate supplementation requires a lot of water. Creatine is all about cell volumization. Making sure your cells are completely hydrated helps with the volumization process. NO2, a hemodilator, requires water. Many other supplements require water as a transport and a flushing method.

The side effects of drinking too little water are an excess buildup of certain chemicals. Creatine can leave behind some buildup that over time, becomes a bit hard to pass. Putting such a strain on the body is also self-defeating. But don't get me wrong, it's not just about Creatine and NO2. It's about making sure you are hydrated.

Being properly hydrated has it's benefits other then just the flushing methods and cell volumization discussed above. Your state of alertness is affected by your hydration levels. Performance in the gym by a hydrated body is enhanced. Your body is roughly 70% water. It makes sense to hydrate it. Drinking water is not just for hot days. It's for intense workouts in the gym. In fact, being hydrated has that perpetual pump that is so sought after.

There can be too much of a good thing. Drinking water to excess leads to water intoxication, referred to as hyponatremia. As you consume water, blood plasma increases and dilutes the salt content of the blood. While this is happening, you lose more salt by sweating. Consequently the amount of salt available to the body tissues decreases and over time, the loss interferes with brain, heart and muscle functions. Water intoxication is more commonly found in endurance athletes.

Drink plenty of water per day, but just keep in mind, there can be too much of a good thing. Being properly hydrated is necessary for optimum performance in the gym and for keeping your body performing well.

Posted by Critical Bench - Weight lifting, training and bodybuilding site.

Posted on: Tuesday September 27, 2005 9:45 am

Ten Ways for Women To Progress in Weight Training

Part 2

6. Change Tempo

Slowing down the negative (eccentric) portion of exercise will promote more muscle development. This phase is usually the downward portion of an exercise, when you are lowering the weight. External resistance (usually gravity) is greater than the tension in your muscles. For example, during a chest press, the eccentric phase is when you are lowering the dumbbells towards your chest.

7. Change Position

Go from flat, to incline, or decline. A change in position forces you to exercise different parts of your muscles, helping you to achieve a more well-rounded workout.

8. Use Resistance Bands

If you are doing a one-armed standing bicep curl, place a resistance band underneath your left leg, slide your left arm through the other end of band, gripping the dumbbell with the same hand. Repeat with your right side. Your exercise will have added resistance near top of movement because of the added tension exerted by the resistance band. This means you challenge your muscles at both the beginning and at the end of the movement, allowing you to exercise more parts of your muscles.

9. Increase Length of Levers

Weight held further away from your body exerts more tension on the muscles. For instance, if you are doing chest flyes, instead of keeping arms bent, straighten them.

10. Add Instability to Your Workout

For instance, if using a bench, change to a stability ball. If doing lunges, try them on a balance disc. If doing a bicep curl, try doing it while standing on one leg (the one opposite your lifting arm). Adding instability to your exercise regimen will force your body to exercise your supporting muscles as well as the targeted muscle groups. 

In brief, by utilizing the various methods mentioned to increase strength, you will continue to develop muscle. And the more muscles you develop, the more calories you burn, the younger you feel, the greater your appearance.

Author Bios
Linda Kravitz, is CEO of PowerFit LLC. Gordon Waddell, CSCS, is a certified personal trainer, who holds a B.S. with Honors in exercise physiology and is currently completing his Master’s degree in exercise science.

Posted by Janet Ford.

Posted on: Sunday September 25, 2005 9:35 am

Ten Ways for Women To Progress in Weight Training

Part 1
Women face different challenges than men when lifting weights and doing other kinds of strength training. A woman I met at a summer barbecue told me she started a weight lifting program but stopped after only a short while. When I asked her why, she responded that increasing weight each time she worked out was too hard --she couldn't do it. It hurt.

The goal of strength training is to get stronger and healthier and to improve your appearance. The body must always be challenged in any weight training routine, otherwise you will start to see declining results. But it should never hurt. It should never be painful.

We have listed several ways in which you can increase strength by your workout. You have a number of options from which to choose.

1. Increase Weight

The most common and effective way to challenge your body is to increase the weight you are lifting. This alone will keep your body challenged for a good while. Each muscle is comprised of numerous muscle fibers, and the more weight you lift, the more muscle fibers are recruited for the job, and the more your body gets a full workout.

When we increase weight, we should always be vigilant about performing the exercise with proper form. If that form is compromised during a weight increase, it may be that your body is telling you it needs a different method of getting to the same result. Some alternative methods when we are not ready to increase weight are described below.

2. Increase Repetitions

The standard range is to perform 8-12 repetitions of a movement in one set. Do not exceed that maximum range. There is no weight training benefit to doing more than 12 reps per set unless you are in physical rehabilitation from an injury.

3. Increase Number of Sets

Normally you perform 2-3 sets per exercise. If you’ve done two sets at the same weight, increase to three.

4. Increase Frequency of Workouts

If you are working out two times a week, increase to three, if three times, then four. You should, however, not weight train more than two days in a row unless you're training requires it (for instance, if your are a bodybuilder). Your muscles get stronger, not during the workout phase, but during the rest phase.

5. Increase Intensity of Exercise

There are two ways to increase intensity without increasing weight - super sets and compound sets.

Super sets

involve exercising two opposing muscle groups by following one exercise immediately with another. For example, do a set of dumbbell bicep curls, then, without a rest period, do a set of standing tricep pushdowns. Rest. Repeat.

Compound sets

Involve exercising the same muscle group by attaching one exercise to another. For example, do a set of chest presses, then without a rest period, do a set of dumbbell chest flyes. Rest. Repeat.

Last 5 ways for women to progress in weight training to be added tomorrow.

Author Bios - Linda Kravitz, is CEO of PowerFit LLC.

Gordon Waddell, CSCS, is a certified personal trainer, who holds a B.S. with Honors in exercise physiology and is currently completing his Master’s degree in exercise science.

Posted by Janet Ford.

Posted on: Saturday September 24, 2005 9:55 am

Avoid Over-Training Fitness Tip

If you feel burnt out, weak and/or sore, you are probably over-training. Not providing your muscles with enough rest will often prevent you from making improvements. Training the wrong muscle groups on consecutive days will also counteract your good results. Doing too many sets and exercises per muscle group will also cause over-training.

Remember that weightlifting, especially in an intense program, produces what's called 'tissue micro trauma.' Those tiny tears in the muscles that temporarily decrease strength and cause varying degrees of muscle soreness. It is absolutely necessary to provide ample rest time between successive training sessions. Muscles generally require about 48 hours for the resting and rebuilding process before you work them again.

Another example of over-training is doing duplicating movements of several similar exercises for one specific muscle group. It makes no sense to do three sets of Bench Press with a barbell and then do three sets of Bench Press with dumbbells or Push-ups. Each of these exercises requires exactly the same movement and works the same specific muscle. Instead for example, it would make much more sense to do bench press for overall middle chest (either barbell, dumbbell, or machine); to do incline bench press for upper chest; and to do dips for lower-outer chest.

Posted on: Monday September 19, 2005 2:10 pm 

Strength Train With Weights To Prevent Injuries

Forearm Exercises

Strength training exercises such as forearm or wrist curls is an example of an exercise to prevent soreness or injuries from occurring.

Strength training two to three times per week keeps your muscles and bones healthy. It also helps to prevent injuries or extreme soreness from occurring that may arise when you participate in sports or suffer injuries from work-related activities. Even when you do suffer injuries or soreness, your recuperation period is much quicker than someone who never strength trains.

Forearm exercises such as forearm or wrist curls are an example of a great exercise that you can do to prevent tennis elbow from occurring. If you spend a lot of time using your mouse on the computer it will help prevent serious wrist or elbow soreness from occurring. When performing this exercise you do not need to use extremely heavy weights. Just focus on your form and technique.

For a detailed instruction guide on how to perform this exercise, click here.

Posted by Peter

Posted on: Thursday September 15, 2005 1:47 pm

This is an article that discusses strength training strategies to achieve the maximum amount of muscle growth in the least amount of time. Four effective strategies are discussed including training frequency, exercises per session, number of sets and repetitions per exercise.

Strength Training Strategies that Work

1. Training Frequency

The two main components of strength training are the intensity of the exercise and the recovery after the exercise. Infrequent, short and high intensity weight training sessions, followed by the required amount of time to recover and become stronger is what is needed to increase functional muscle size in the shortest period of time.

The latest research has repeatedly shown that muscles over-compensate (become stronger) up to a week after the previous workout, provided that the muscles are trained to failure.

Remember it's not the training volume but the intensity and recuperation that are important when it comes to gains in strength and muscle.

2. Exercises Per Session

Tests under strict gym conditions have revealed that you've only got a limited amount of (readily available) energy to use for a weight training session. Blood tests on individuals have also revealed that blood sugar levels (available energy) drop dramatically after 20 to 30 minutes of high intensity training.

As you only have a short period of time to train before our blood sugar level drops, "exercise selection" is crucial. You have to use multi-joint or compound movements, as these offer the most training stimulus for the available amount of time. In other words, we can train many muscles simultaneously and thus use our energy more efficiently.

Performing three to four exercises with high intensity during a session are what most people are capable of. All the main structures of the body are worked hard during this time. Working on these big compound movements has a knock-on effect throughout the whole body. There is no need for specialization techniques or isolation movements.

The fact is, the whole body is worked hard, rest and recuperation is allowed to take place and at the next exercise session we push out a few more reps than before with the same weight, then we have gotten stronger and achieve more muscle growth.

3. Number of Sets per Exercise

After performing one complete set using a compound exercise to total failure, it should be just about impossible to generate the same force and intensity for another complete set of the same exercise.

If you're able to generate the same force and intensity for this second set then it'll be pretty obvious that not enough effort has been put into the first set. Thus you'll have to raise the intensity level you put out for the first set.

If you give the first set 100% effort and work the exercise hard to total failure (eg. you cannot move the bar after the last rep) then there will be not be a requirement for further muscle stimulation on that specific exercise.

If you think that volume training (multiple sets) is more effective then you're wrong! The latest research shows that single set training is as beneficial as multiple set training. Training one set will decrease the chances of over-training. It will also allow you to save more energy for other exercises required during the workout.

4. Number of Repetitions per Set

The development of muscle and strength is interrelated, it always has been. Strength training sessions produce increases in strength that is equal to increases in functional muscle. You'll become stronger and produce muscle muscle growth.

Cycling intensity through changes in repetitions and weight throughout a ten-week program is an effective way to maintain progression and avoid training plateaus (slumps in strength).

Repetitions can be cycled. The higher repetition range will stimulate the slow twitch muscle fibers and promote endurance. Moving further down the scale, the lower repetition range will activate the fast twitch muscle fibers and increase strength and muscle size.

Gary is the author of several ebooks, including "Maximum Weight Loss in Ten Weeks" - the complete ebook and time-saving solution for burning away unwanted fat and "Maximum Weight Gain in Ten Weeks" - easy-to-use and follow techniques that serve as a guide to muscle growth without having to "live in the gym".

Posted by Gary. Website can be found at

Posted on: Tuesday September 6, 2005 1:05 pm

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