Rest for Muscle Growth

Rest for Muscle Growth

By Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

Many factors apply when it comes to bodybuilding, and the most overlooked aspect is rest. As simple as that may seem it is essential.

Rest will allow your muscles to recover. Without proper recovery, you will never grow. Thus, you will never achieve that award winning physique you worked so hard for unless you make sure to incorporate adequate rest.

In this article I will teach you how to properly tie-in rest into your workouts, making sure all of your hard efforts pay off 100%.

 Rest Between Training Sessions for Muscle Growth

I have had people tell me they can actually feel their muscles gaining size during a workout. Although it might seem like it, that is false. This “feeling” you get is called a pump, and is not to be confused with muscle growth.

Muscle growth (hypertrophy) takes place during rest, not during a workout. You may get a pump during training, but it’s merely blood being pumped into the heated muscle, making it harder and increased in size temporarily. When this happens, many get a mental pump and drag the training out, resulting in over training, which is something we don’t want to do.

Muscle GrowthWhen your muscles repair themselves after training they are slightly stronger than before, which can lead to further growth if training is continued after sufficient rest.

It is important to note if you train before the muscle is fully recovered, you can retard growth, and if you fail to train at all you will lose size.

Rest needs vary for each individual. Dietary guidelines, stress, genetics, sleeping habits, age, and supplements all are contributing factors to recovery. So what may work for someone else, may likely not work for you.

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 How Long Before My Muscles are Recovered?

It takes a muscle 7 to 10 days to fully recover naturally. Therefore, training a body part twice a week is worthless. You will produce far better results by training each muscle group once a week.

Other factors that affect recovery are adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and supplementation.

Sleep is important for muscle growth and you should get a minimum of 8 hours a night. Added power naps throughout the day are a benefit.

Nutrition is important on the days you train, as well as the days off since growth takes place away from the gym. Many people fail to make the off training days productive by eating haphazardly. Your off training days are just as important as your scheduled training days.

 Rest Between Sets for Muscle Growth

Just as resting between training sessions is important, so is resting between sets. This is often neglected when it comes to recovery.

Lactic acid is the little culprit that causes the soreness in your muscles the days following training. It is also the burn you feel when you lift to complete failure toward the end of a set, lessening your movement. Because of this burn we tend to stop our session short or lighten the load of our weights, cheating ourselves of a good workout.

For indirect growth, you want to allow enough rest so that you are fully recovered, but not to the point where you are cooling off. Therefore, two minutes of rest works well for gaining mass, power, size, and strength. If you start your next set before the two minutes, you can lack strength and intensity. Save the short rest periods for your “cutting phase” when your load is somewhat lighter and you are training at a faster pace.

Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

P.S. For additional ADVANCED female bodybuilding inforamtion, check out Iron Dolls – Female Bodybuildng Secrets!! When you have the raw and uncut facts, the rest is childsplay.

About the Author

Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a multi-certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.

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4 Myths on Women and Weight Training

iron dallsGuys…your wife is watching your biceps getting bigger! Is she jealous? Does she want to start “bodybuilding” but is afraid of getting TOO big? She’s secretly want’s that finely chiseled body, too!

Here’s how she can build muscle for a lean, sexy physique without the fear of embarrassing you with bigger arms as you walk down the beach…

There are a lot of myths around women and bodybuilding and they just don’t seem to die. I’d like to share with you an article that sheds light on women and weight training that will pave the path for your wife or girlfriend to adopt the bodybuilding lifestyle with you.

That’s right. We’re going to bust the women and weight training myths right NOW!

Who better to do that than a woman who weight trains and understands your wife’s fears regarding women and weights?

Women and Weight Training Myth #1 – Weight training will make woman huge and manly.

BUSTED – Like most people, when you think of women and weight training you automatically relate that image to the professional female bodybuilder strutting her oiled-up mammoth physique across stage and striking a pose.

What’s NOT mentioned is that 99.9% of the professional female bodybuilders supplement with steroids to develop superhuman muscles.

By the law of nature, women do not produce near the amount of muscle building hormone, testosterone, necessary to build huge swollen, vein-popping muscles. A woman is just not capable of building that type of massive muscle simply by lifting weights.

Bottom line: Weight training will NOT make a woman big and overly muscular.

Women and Weight Training Myth #2 – Women who weight train will lose their breast size.

BUSTED – (pardon the pun) Breast tissue is made up of primarily fat tissue. A loss of body fat will results in smaller breast size.

Weight training develops muscle tissue. Adding strength training will develop the underlying chest muscle on a woman and can add more shape to her upper body, creating those eye-pleasing and sexy curves. In addition, a good chest training program will add stunning high cleavage for that perfect fit in a dress or bikini.

To put it bluntly, the only way for a woman to lose her breast size is if she loses a lot of body fat.

Women and Weight Training Myth #3 – A woman’s muscle will turn into fat if she stops weight training.

BUSTED – There is an astronomical amount of women who won’t weight train for fear their muscle will somehow magically turn into fat if they stop weight training.

Again, muscle and fat are two completely different tissues responsible for their own functions. Muscle is metabolically active (calorie burning) and fat is metabolically inactive (fat storing).

Muscle CANNOT Ever, In Any Case, turn into fat any more than fat can turn into muscle. One can only build or lose muscle OR gain or lose fat. The two separate tissues are not interchangeable.

Women and Weight Training Myth #4 – Muscle weighs more than fat.

BUSTED – It’s no wonder women believe this ridicules statement. Dr. Phil has been known to say it in his highly publicized weight-loss book.

It’s a fact that a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same, a pound. What most women don’t realize is that a pound of muscle is denser and takes up less space than a pound of fat.

Therefore, having more developed muscle on the female frame with less body fat will make her leaner, tighter, and give off that “toned” look they are after.

Bottom line: Adding natural muscle mass through weight training accentuates a lady’s femininity.

Endless Benefits for Women Who Weight Train:

Has training partner by default
Improves stamina
Improves sex life
Lifts and shapes the booty
Relieves depression
Builds a shapely physique
Improves posture
Controls weight
Builds positive self-image
Creates a positive attitude
Builds character
Boosts immune system
Clears the mind
Creates more energy
Benefits other sports
Raises resting metabolic rate
Slows the aging process
Decreases chance of injury
Builds a stronger heart
Creates anti-aging effect
Improves digestion
Relieves chronic pain
Builds stronger bones
Improves circulation
Improves flexibility
Lowers LDL (bad)
Increases HDL (good)
Lowers hypertension
Lowers risk for cancers
Lowers risk of heart disease
Lowers the risk of diabetes
Makes you a happy partner

A woman with a well-shaped body through weight training will feel better about herself. In addition, she’ll better understand the process you go through to develop your physique, and have a better appreciation for weight training.

There’s a special bond with a couple that trains together.

Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

P.S. If your lady want’s to develop a stunning and feminine body, Iron Dolls – Women’s Bodybuilding Secrets is the ultimate guide for such goals.


About the Author  Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a multi-certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.

Karen has written six eBooks on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.

Karen has helped hundreds of clients reach their goal of transforming their body. Her success and success stories speak for themselves.


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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.

Strength training for women | Strength Training for Woman







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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 best gym equipmenttime 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. | Best Gym






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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

best abdominal exercisesRemember 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 yourbest abdominal exercises 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.

Click Here for More of the Best Abdominal Exercises | Best Abdominal Exercises

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