High Intensity Training – The Key to Great Workouts!

Learn the Secrets to High Intensity Training!


Physiologists have long known that High Intensity Training is one of the most effective ways to build strength, develop muscle and increase your fitness level. However it is also a training method that is often misunderstood and as a result high intensity training is not used very often or very well by the many men and women who regularly engage in weight training. The high intensity training system is based on extensive scientific research and is backed by exercise science and many studies have shown just how effective it can be.

High Intensity Training Tips!

To get the most from high intensity weight training you should first get a thorough understanding of the workout principles and than put them into practice. One of the first things to understand is that high intensity training means brief but strenuous workouts. It is not possible to train with a  high intensity level for an extended period of time. To workout for long periods of time it is absolutely necessary to lower the intensity level. Such a lower intensity workout will not yield the maximum in strength training results. It is not the quantity of weight training that is important it is the quality!

Proper form and High Intensity Training

Another important aspect to high intensity training is the use of proper form for each exercise you perform. It is a natural tendency for people training with weights to simple do the exercise in whatever way is possible to get it completed. This usually results with the specific exercise being done in poor form. This cheating is just a way to make the exercise easier. Obviously to enhance your workout results you want to make your muscles work harder. This is accomplished by using strict form which puts more tension and stress on the working muscles. Using a slow and controlled speed of motion while working against the resistance is the most important part of using good form. An example of this can be seen with a chin-up. To start you should be hanging still in a complete hang position. Than smoothly pull up, taking about two full seconds until your chin is above the bar. Pause and hold this position for one full second. Lower back down slowly, taking about four full seconds, all the way down until you reach the full hang position. Do all your reps with this same strict technique.

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Failure Means Success with High Intensity Training

Along with using this strict form the other very important aspect of fitness training is to continue each exercise to the point of momentary muscle failure. This simply means to do as many reps as you possible can until you fail to do the next one. Don’t just do as many as you think you can do, make it as many as you really can perform, in good form of course. Don’t just select a certain number and predetermine how many reps will be done. Your muscles cannot count but they do know when they have been exercised thoroughly. This high intensity training effort will stimulate the muscles to get stronger by recruiting more muscle fibers to use for the next workout.

The Importance of Recovery with High Intensity Training

As mentioned previously the high intensity training method requires brief but intense workouts. To incorporate this into your workouts several points should be kept in mind. First the total number of sets and exercises should be relatively low. It is not the amount of exercise that gives you a good workout but it is the amount of effort that is used with each exercise. Another factor is that your body requires time and rest between workouts to recover, develop and grow stronger. Therefore workouts should be spaced several days apart to allow for full recovery. Following these guidelines will help you get the most from your high intensity workouts.

The Fitness Center Handbook goes into this topic in more detail. You can learn the exact principles you need to follow to get the maximum benefit from you high intensity training. There are also answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning weight training and fitness.

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For a look at High Intensity Training with famous Bodybuilder Mike Mentzer watch this great video –

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High Intensity Training - The Key to Great Workouts!
High Intensity Training - The Key to Great Workouts!

Strength Training for Women

Strength Training for Women – Many woman engage in weight training and bodybuilding exercises because they like the challenges of the sport and want to obtain the great benefits of this form of fitness exercise. This form of exercise can be performed with weight training machines, free weights or body weight exercise. When done properly, in a high intensity fashion, women will find it to be just as beneficial and just as demanding as it is for men.

Strength Training for Women

Strength training for women means building more muscle which leads to burning more fat. Traditionally weight training, strength training and bodybuilding was an area that was dominated by men. This has completely changed in the last few decades. With the tremendous fitness boom that started in the 1970s woman as well as men have benefited from regular exercise and strength training for woman has gained tremendously in popularity.

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Many woman mistakenly believe that developing stronger muscles with high intensity exercise will yield unwanted results such as larger and bulkier muscles and an unfeminine body structure. It is unfortunate that his fallacy prevents many from engaging in strength training for woman. The very result that most woman want is achieved by the type of exercise that many woman avoid. The vast majority of woman will state that reducing their body fat level is one of their main fitness goals. By making the major muscle groups stronger a woman will be increasing her metabolic rate which means more calories are being used at all times. Active (stronger) muscle tissue simply burns more calories. Strength training for women will increase the metabolism which will result in a reduction of body fat as one build stronger muscles. Strength training for woman, when done properly, will have a tremendous  effect in this area. The bottom line is that when you build more muscle you also burn off more fat.

Strength Training for Women – Different from Men’s Training?

As surprising as it may seen to some people strength training for woman should not be significantly different then it is for men. Both men and women have the same muscle structure. The function of the major muscle groups are the same in both sexes. The number of muscles and the movements they perform are the same for men and woman. The method of stimulating a muscle to get stronger with exercise and then adapting to that stimulus is the same in men and woman. When a man or a woman develop stronger muscles they both receive important benefits such as increased  metabolism, increased athletic performance, body fat reduction and improved physical capabilities. Since the functions of the muscle are identical than it stands to reason that the way they are made stronger through exercise works the same way.

Strength Training for Women and Body Structure

Some of the differences in training results between men and woman are due to the difference in genetic body structure and natural hormonal levels. Most men have a body structure that has a larger cross section of muscle mass to begin with, hence overall natural body strength. The hormone testosterone in males plays a large role in allowing muscles to get larger as they get stronger. On the other hand a woman has the ability to make a muscle stronger without the muscle size increasing as much. This is one of the reasons why strength training for women will not result in large, bulky muscles like some males. Very few woman have the ability to build that much muscle mass. Everyone, male or female, has a unique genetic body structure that largely determine their physique and their response to exercise.

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Strength Training for Women
Strength Training for Women

How to Make the Best of a Strength Training Program

Getting the Most from Strength Training Workouts

The vast majority of people who under take a body building or strength training workouts have no aspirations to become a “body builder” in the sense of the competitive body building sport. Most people start this form of fitness exercise for a wide variety of reasons; weight control, improved appearance and sex appeal, injury prevention or rehab, sport performance, improved self confidence, etc. Regardless of your training goals you can achieve outstanding results if you follow a proper program and adhere to sensible training principles. As with any fitness routine it takes commitment and discipline to get good long term benefit.

Commitment is needed in Strength Training Workouts

The word commitment should be looked at when you first start any fitness endeavor. You really do need to make the right commitment to your training program if you want to get good results. Many people are all excited about an exercise program when they first start, workout like crazy for a while and then quit before too long. Later they may start workout out again and repeat the quitting process. This on again off again approach will not yield good results. It is much better to do a moderate amount of training and keep at it on a regular basis.

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Your mental approach should be to understand that your strength training workouts should be a regular part of your lifestyle. Just as you body requires food, water ans sleep your muscle also require exercise. You would not consider not eating or sleeping for extended periods of time. Much like that you should not consider going long periods of time without proper exercise.

Engaging in  high intensity strength training at times will take lot of mental discipline and determination. You should learn to think about how well you are treating your body by working your muscle with intense exercise and eating properly. This will help improve confidence, self esteem and of course your physical health.

Benefits of Strength Training Workouts

There are many benefits to folowing a regular routine of strength training workouts. Many people are looking to lose weight and reduce their body fat. By increasing your lean muscle tissue you are going to raise your metabolic rate and this causes your body to use more calories at all times. So the bottom line is that by increasing you strength you can burn of fat more effectively. The result is a lean and stronger physique.

Other areas that can be enhanced from strength training workouts include stree reduction, self confidence, injuy prevention, injury rehad and sports conditioning. One of the great things about strength training programs is that they should not take a huge amount of time to complet. By following a program of high intensity training you can get maximum benefit in a short amount of time.

Having a positive attitude about your strength training workouts is also important. If you find yourself dreading your workouts and you have to force yourself to the gym then it is time to change something. You may need to take some time off, change gyms, find a training partner, etc. One important training principle is that your strength training workouts should be varied on a regular basis. Many people fall into the routine of simply repeated the same sequence of exercises over and over. It is much better physically and mentally to change things up on a regular basis. This may add an element of fun into your strength training workouts and having fun with your “hobby” of working out is a very good idea.


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How to Make the Best of a Strength Training Program
How to Make the Best of a Strength Training Program

Selecting the Best Gym for You!

How to Select the Best Gym –

Selecting the Best Gym – Are you looking for some tips to select the best gym for you? A lot of people get stuck in their fitness training routine when it comes to selecting a fitness center or gym to join. It may at times be an easy choice but than at other times it can be tough to choose. If you have several gyms to select from your selection may be easier but here are a few tips to help you select the best gym to suit your needs. Of course the type of fitness training equipment that you like to use is vital and when you tour a gym you should focus on exactly what equipment they have. Can you perform the type of workout you want? Are they missing something that is important to you?

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Convenience is the key Having a convenient workout location is probably one of the most important things to consider when selecting the best gym. If the top gym in your area is hard to travel to such as being on the far side of your town but there is another decent gym close by it may make more sense to join the closer location.  This way you will not have to go very far out of your way to get to your workout. If your gym is real easy to get to it becomes very  easy for you to workout regularly. Not skipping your workouts will be a great benefit for you. Obviously exercising regulary is one of the real keys to getting long term benefits. The best gym is one that is easy to get to!

Tips to find the Best Gym

When are you going to workout? When looking to select the best gym to join you should plan to visit at the same time of day that you are expecting to workout. You will want to see how busy it is at that time and what type of members and staffing are there as well. Is is too busy at that time? Are you going to get access to the equipment you want to use?  Are they even open during the hours you want to use the gym? Do you feel comfortable there and does it seem like it will be fun to be a member there? Keep in mind that the time of day and the time of year greatly effects how crowded the gym will be. It is well known in the industry that the winter months are much busier then the summer. In the morning (before work) and late afternoon and evening (after work) are the peak times each day.  Is the social atmosphere of the club what you are looking for? All of these things should be taken into consideration when selecting the best gym for your needs. Of course the cost is also an important consideration.

Best Gym Selection

Are you looking for training instruction? This is another aspect to consider when selecting the best gym. At some gyms you just sign up and you are on your own as far as training goes. Other facilities may offer just basic instruction in the use of their fitness equipment. Many places will have personal trainers available to set up a workout routine for you and train you on a regular basis if you desire that service. This is almost always a separate fee above the membership fee. This may be a good way to go for some people. However it should be noted that just because a person has a personal trainer certificate does not mean that they are very knowledgeable able concerning proper training methods. In fact many professional find that may “personal trainers” are very limited when it comes to knowledge of proper training methods. It pays to do your own research first. The books recommended on the right side of this page are an excellent place to start. These books written by extremely knowledgable authors and were carefully selected to provide very helpful and useful information. Doing your fitness research can greatly improve your workouts.

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Selecting the Best Gym for You!
Selecting the Best Gym for You!

The 3 Best Abdominal Exercises

What are the very best abdominal exercises? That is a tough question to answer form a few reasons. Obviously there are lots of different exercises. Most will benefit you if they are done well. The best abdominal exercise is probably the one you work hardest at. You need to train your abs intensly just like you other major muscle groups. The real benefits may come from how well you exercsie and how hard you train, not from which specific movement you perform. The keys to developing great abs is really two areas. 1. Make your ab muscles strong by performing the best abdominal exercises and 2. Reduce your body fat level with good nutritional habits and a well designed exercise routine.

Three of the Best Abdominal Exercises

Remember the key is to perform the exercises properly and train with intensity.

Crunches with weight – This will be your basic crunch but the intensity will be increased to make your muscles work harder. Start on your back with a light barbell plate held behind your head. Slowly lift up by contracting your ab muscles, stop in the top position with your lower back pressed flat to the floor. Pause near and then slowly lower to the floor. Continue until your ab muscles are fully fatigued and you cannot continue in good form. Make sure you not use your arms to pull up. You want to use only your abdominal muscles.  Add a small amount of weight when you become strong enough to do twenty or more controlled and slow reps.

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Straight leg lifts – lay down  on your back, with hands by your waist with palms flat to the floor. You may want to lift your head and shoulders up slightly. You want to keep you low back pressed down to the floor as you lift your feet about 6 inches off the floor, keeping you legs straight. Now spread your feet as far apart as possible, than pause, now bring them back together with both  feet still about six inches above the floor and legs straight. That is one rep. Continue  until your ab muscles are fully fatigued. As you become stronger you may consider using ankle weights to increase the intensity of the exercise.

Bicycle crunches – start by doing a basic crunch with you hands held gently behind your head. Do not pull with your arms. After you curl your upper torso all the way up, hold this position, now bring your right knee toward your arms and attempt to touch you left elbow. You can twist your torso slightly, again do not pull forward with your arms and do not worry if you are not able to touch elbow to knee. Stay curled up and now extend the right leg all the way out straight, parallel to the floor and now try to touch the left knee to the right elbow. That is one rep. Repeat until you are fatigued.

So here you have the 3 best abdominal exercises

Performing this type of routine two or three times per week  that will help build rock hard abs. The real key to success is to do these ab exercises in strict proper form and to exercise hard and train with intensity. You want to really fatigue the muscles. Perform these 3 exercises two to three times per week. Along with a proper diet you can burn off fat and develop the impressive midsection you desire.

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The 3 Best Abdominal Exercises
The 3 Best Abdominal Exercises