5 Reasons Why You Need to Build a Strong Bodybuilding Network

April 11, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

What’s a bodybuilding network?

Well, a short while back, I wrote a popular article called ’15 things Bodybuilders and Entrepreneurs Have in Common’… It turned out to be quite controversial (Wasn’t intended… maybe I’m one big controversy), but one thing I didn’t talk about was the importance of having a strong network. A network of people that you choose to associate with, who just happen to be just as good or even better than you are at what ever game you are trying to succeed in.

Why do you want to build a strong network?

Simple…

# 1 Because you are only as good as the company that you keep!

So if you decide to associate with fat lazy bastards in your spare time, then their habits will likely rub off on you and you too will become a fat lazy bastard. If your current friends ARE fat lazy bastards, then ditch them and find some real muscle heads to ‘knock heads’ with. Doing so will have a serious positive impact on your bodybuilding lifestyle and achievements.

Troubles finding serious people?

Then feel free to join my network over on Bodyspace.

http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/Shaunus

At least one person there will inspire you, other than myself of course 🙂

# 2 We Naturally Compare With Others Close To Us

I’m not quite sure why this is, but us humans tend to have a habit of comparing ourselves with others, when in fact, we should only be comparing with ourselves. We are all individually unique in our own way.

Nevertheless, comparing is what we do. If you are going to compare yourself with anyone, then it might as well be against other great people. At least that way you can improve and develop the traits and mind set to be great throughout your body building life. Comparing yourself to crap will make you… well… crapper!

# 3 Find A Motivational Partner With Ease

Once you have a great network at your disposal, finding motivation and inspiration from others will be a breeze. No more searching around for someone to go to the gym with, or to seek sound advice from. Just jump on Google talk, Skype or what ever it is you use to communicate and shout! Its your trusted network. People will listen.

# 4 Rapid Learning

Mistakes will be made in almost anything that you pursue in this life. That includes bodybuilding too. Lack of knowledge is a key reason why you haven’t got the body that you wish you had. But the fact is, you can only learn so much by yourself. Your best bet is to learn from others. Learn how they,

  • Avoided injury
  • Overcame hurdles (Mental and Physical)
  • Busted through plateaus
  • Made the bodybuilding lifestyle work for them.

I mentioned earlier that we are all unique in our own special way, so the information you take away from your network should be used and incorporated into your own bodybuilding lifestyle plans. Only you can make something well work for you. No one else.

# 5 Be Introduced To Even More Powerful Peers

This is that whole 6 degrees of separation thing. It just takes ONE great connection in your network to be able to be introduced to the people that you would like to meet. And once you become connected with these folks, you too will be perceived as great by their peers. It’s a case of being guilty by association.

However, perception of greatness isn’t what’s important here. It’s all about the doors this can open up for you, inside and outside of bodybuilding. We are all human beings and we mostly do and want the same things.

  • Good Health
  • Good fun
  • Build families
  • Find happiness

Amongst that sea of needs and wants is a network (6 degrees of separation). A network where each and every person has the power to give someone one of the above, and the ability to receive one of the above too. There WILL be something that you can give to someone in that network. No doubt about that! But it’s all about what you can give. You have to give to receive. The more you give, the more you get back. That’s just the way the world works.

Once you do begin to receive, your lifestyle inside of bodybuilding will change for the better. But even more important than that is how your lifestyle will change outside of bodybuilding. None of us are bodybuilding robots. We don’t turn off our personal on-goings the moment we enter the bodybuilding zone. Life and bodybuilding merges as one, just like everything else, such as the relationships with colleagues you work with in your profession.

Once your bodybuilding life does merge with your personal life, you’ll find that good health, good fun, good family and happiness just happens. When it does, just remember who told you to go out there’ and build a strong network.

See you in the comments.

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Stay Motivated By Looking ‘Ugly’ In The Gym

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Get Ugly!

  • Focus
  • Motivation
  • Inspiration
  • Sticking to the program

These are all the things that you would love to have huge stacks of when you workout. But as we all know, it never is that easy to tick all of those boxes every time you workout. There will always be that one day where you lose motivation, simply feel uninspired and will eventually be drained from that ‘training insane’ focus that you need to keep your muscles pumping. I’ve covered many techniques on how you can tick all of the above boxes, but one area I haven’t quite touched upon is how to build a great bodybuilding environment.

Building muscles by pushing weights is just the starting point to getting (and staying) ripped!

There are many other ‘life’ factors that set in which will determine if you stick to it, or quit it.

  • Relationships
  • Stress
  • Workouts feel like a chore

And others

Again, going back to the purpose of why this site got started in the first place.

But in terms of your environment, what can you do to help you stay focused?

Stop Looking Cute And Get Ugly!

This kind of reminds me of how some great companies were built. Let’s take Google for example. We all know how big Google are these days, but most people only see the flashy ‘aftermath of success’ side of Google. The IPOs, The acquisitions and the rest. But what many seem to forget is that the real Google wasn’t built by men in suits. It was built by individuals, whose situations at the time were quite un-sexy. Think of geeky hackers, doing work into the late hours with left over pizza boxes everywhere.

Now, I don’t know what it is about that non sexy environment. But that just seems to be when the best work gets created. In fact, I’m lying. I do know!

When you are up against the wall and you have no other option but to perform. You will perform. It’s eat or die!

It never really does get that drastic, regardless of the situation. But when you have that mindset forced upon you,

Pressure will bust pipes or create diamonds!

Now, If you apply the above mentality to your workout, you can easily see how such a mindset can help push you to perform to your MAX in your workouts. It’s a case of telling yourself that you are not happy with your body (Even though you might be to some degree). It’s a case of developing an ‘ Always want to improve’ mindset.

Now, if you already have great looking muscles, you probably do want to have them on display. Not just for vanity reasons, but to see them working as you workout. However, I think that this mindset can make you lose focus.

Why?

The classic scenario

‘ Wow, my muscles look great! I’m happy with what I’ve achieved’

All is good, but then you secretly tell yourself,

‘Right, my hard work is done… time to take it easy’

FAIL!!!

I actually think this is the mindset that destroys any one that finds some success. They forget about the hard graft that it took to get them to where they are and they lose that focused mindset that got them to where they are in the first place.

It’s the

‘Hollywood Syndrome’!

A syndrome which destroys things that are truly great, leaving the true essence of it’s being in the dust.

And this is one of the reasons why you need to stop looking ‘cute’ in your workouts and start looking ‘ugly’

Wear Clothes That Hide Your Physique

This is definitely something you should do, especially if you are a hard gainer. The fact that you can’t see your muscles will drive you to push even harder when you workout. It’s all psychological, but completely beneficial and will help you keep that raw focused mentality.

Find A Gym With Like Minded Bodybuilders

If everyone that you workout with thinks and acts like you do, then it’s only going to rub off on you, which is exactly what you want in this scenario. Not only will they help you when you workout, they will also help to keep you grounded. Not just in the gym, but in your non-bodybuilding activities too (Less alcohol please!)

BTW – I know that most of you drink alcohol ( I do too 🙂 ). Surveys are a great tool.

To conclude

My intentions are to always make working out fun and engaging, so taking you away from the glitz and the glamour is NOT something that I intend to do. But when it comes to building for those results that you desperately want, hard work is just the default, and you can only keep that up by staying focused. Getting ugly and installing a gritty attitude towards your workout is just one effective way to do that.

On that note, I’ll leave you with Bubba once again.

See you in the comments.

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Relax Your Muscles With Radox Herbal Bath Muscle Soak After A Workout

April 13, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Relax Your Muscles With Radox

I’m actually quite shocked at myself that I haven’t written a post about this sooner. After all, repairing muscles is a vital key in the muscle building process in this bodybuilding game.

NOW…

I’m not quite sure what each and every one of your lifestyles are like in regards to going to and from the gym, but it’s probably one of the following two scenarios

Scenario no.1

  • Eat
  • 2 hours digestion time
  • Workout
  • Shower
  • Home and Relax

Or…

Scenario 2

  • Eat
  • 2 hours digestion time
  • Workout
  • Skip the shower then go home and do whatever

I prefer to do the later (unless I’m at a top notch gym). It’s not that I like to be stinky and nasty after I workout. It’s the fact that some gyms washing facilities are just that… stinky and nasty, even though it may not be visible to the human eye (who remembers gym etiquette?)

Any how, If you are like me, and your work sessions reflect that of the 2nd scenario, you now need to make it compulsary that you do what the title of this post says.

Relax your muscles with Radox herbal bath muscle soak after a workout!

Radox products have been around for years, and it was actually back in 1999 when I got introduced to this (From that same personal trainer/Athlete I spoke of in the Unique Bodyweight exercise Ebook!). Since then, I have been taking hot steamy bubble baths right after a workout, with this very product.

It’s always good to take a hot bath to relax your sore muscles after a workout, and a hot bath by it self will do just that. But like everything else you read on this site, it’s all about taking things one step further, and we do that by adding this liquid to the mix.

NOW…

I’m not a specialist in this area, I just know that what these scientist guys have produced works! When you lay in the bath, it does wonders for your skin (For your face go for King of Shaves products – trust me! It cleared up all the tiny spots I had on my forehead) without leaving your skin feeling too soapy when it’s time to get out. It smells damn good and it contains sea minerals (Which you will definitely sense once you inhale). The thing that is ment to be doing all the magic is clary sage and sea minerals, both of which are known for their soothing properties.

Again, I’m not an expert in this area, but these folks have done well for the consumer. That is

You buy THIS, you get THIS… with no crap talk in between.

I don’t know what EXACTLY is doing all the magic, from

  • The smells
  • The minerals
  • The Clary Sage

Or

  • The soapy effect on the skin

I just know that if you workout and want to stop feeling like crap, hours after the workout is done, jump in a bath mixed with this stuff, because it works. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Stay tuned for tomorrows post where guide you through the perfect after workout bathing session.

See you in the comments.

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Advanced Bodybuilding Shoulder Workout

March 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Bugs Workout Routines, The Fitness Bug

After all the fun and intensity this week, I quit the talking and began walking again, working on one of my strongest body parts.

Shoulders

This is another routine that I have listed in my training journal and draft and which proves quite affective. Feel free to slip this routine into your own journal.

Note: Don’t forget to work your triceps equally the same. If not, you may just end up with huge shoulders and tiny arms (It’s happened to me before). If you have long limbs like I do then throw in some Isolation exercises in once or twice a week to give your triceps a boost in size.

Standing Palms In Dumbbell Presses

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-12 (Increase the weight after each set)
  • Rest: 3 minute rest between each set

Smith Machine Behind The Neck Presses

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-12 (Increase the weight after each set)
  • Rest: 3 minute rest between each set

Reverse Flyes

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 8-12 (Increase the weight after each set)
  • Rest: 3 minute rest between each set

See you in the comments

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Plateau Busters – The Leg Weightlifting Exercises

October 29, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Welcome back to another episode of Plateau Busters. Today’s Agenda is all about the leg exercises

So far on plateau busters, I haven’t had much to complain about, as I don’t have a problem building muscle fast on those muscles that I have mentioned already. But today is the day where I will share your pain, as building leg muscles is something that I struggle with or have to work the hardest on to gain muscle mass. If that is you, we will together share the methods to overcome the chicken leg syndrome, which is a topic that I covered back in July.

In fact, the chicken leg syndrome may be the reason why you have hit a plateau in your weightlifting workout. The thing is, If you do not train your legs, your upper body mass will stop growing before it even builds into Hulk size muscle. I have seen many classic situations where that has happened, and when it does, it often leads to a situation where people cannot tell if you have muscles when fully clothed.

But for all of you who are including leg exercises into your weightlifting workouts, you would and should be doing the trademark compound exercises such as squats and dead lifts.

But in true plateau buster fashion, you will probably hit a plateau at some point and below you will find some exercises that you can include into your workouts to shake things ups a bit. But before I do, here are some key things to note about these exercises and the benefits that they can bring.

Stabilizing Strength

With many of these exercises you will be working one leg at a time. By working one leg at a time, core and stabilizing muscles will get stronger since they are more involved during these type of exercises. The added benefit here is that when you return to those more trademark exercises, you’ll find that you will be stronger when performing them.

Muscle memory

I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again. Your muscles will be in their honeymoon period with the first exercises that you hit them with, but after a few months, they will become accustomed to what you throw at them. Adding these exercises into the mix will shake things up a little, and just like when cheating on a girl friend… things will seem fresh, fun and new again.

Balance

When you do exercises with both legs, you may not notice if one leg is doing more work than the other. Although you’ll have to use less total body weight when you work your legs separately, each leg will actually be working harder since one leg alone will be carrying the weight. This is also a good thing to do if you find that one leg is bigger than the other as it can help expose muscle imbalances and help to correct them.

Cable Step-Up

The muscles

  • Quads
  • Glutes (butt muscles)

How to do them

  • Attach a D-handle to a low pulley.
  • Place a flat bench in front of you so that you can stand with the weight rack of the cable apparatus behind you.
  • Grab the handle with your right hand and place your right foot on top of the bench.
  • Push your right foot through and lift yourself onto the bench.
  • In a controlled manner, slowly lower your body back to the floor by bending your right leg, making sure that your knee doesn’t go beyond your toes.
  • Perform the desired number of reps
  • Repeat with the other leg

Remember the art of building a bigger butt? That is where I taught you to squeeze your butt muscles as hard as you can. Do the same here when you lift your body and hold the contraction at the top for a count.

Alternative

To recruit your inner thigh muscles more, set the bench to your right side. Start with your right foot on the bench while holding the cable in your left hand, and step up in this fashion.

Standing Leg Extension & Hip Flexion

The muscles

  • Hip flexors
  • Quads

How to do them

  • Stand with your back facing the weight stack of a cable apparatus.
  • Hook your right foot inside a D-handle attachment connected to a low pulley.
  • The handle portion of the attachment should be on the top of your foot.
  • Stand on your left leg with your knee slightly bent and your hands on your hips or resting on a handle for balance.
  • Your right leg should be bent about 45 degrees at the hip so that your knee is pointed in front of you and down, while your knee is bent at about 90 degrees with your feet flexed upward.
  • Fully extend your right leg until it’s straight and your foot is in front of you.
  • Complete 15 reps, then immediately go into hip flexion.
  • To do this, maintain a bent knee as you lift your upper leg toward your chest until it’s about parallel with the floor or higher.
  • Switch legs after completing the set.

Note

Maintain the angle in your hip when doing the leg extensions and the angle in your knee when doing the hip flexion.

Alternative

Instead of doing 15 leg extensions and then 15 hip flexions, you can do one leg extension followed by one hip flexion, completing the set in this order.

Standing Leg Press on Assisted Pull-up Machine

The muscles

  • Glutes (butt muscles)
  • Quads

How to do them

  • Stand on an assisted pull-up/dip machine so that your right foot is on the right step of the machine and your left foot is on the middle of the assist platform.
  • Place both hands on your hips (or lightly hold onto the handles to maintain your balance) and keep your back straight.
  • Push down on the platform until your leg is fully extended.
  • Resist the platform back up until your right thigh is past parallel with the ground.
  • Repeat for reps and switch sides.

Note

Push down through your heel, forcefully contracting your quadriceps as you hold the platform down for a second or two in the bottom position.

Alternative

If your gym doesn’t have an assisted pull-up/dip machine, you can do this exercise using a rubber resistance tube. Securely attach one end of the thickest tube you can find to a handle at the cable station. (You may have to readjust it to find the appropriate amount of resistance.) Place your foot in the handle of the free end. Your leg should be bent 90 degrees at both the hip and knee at the start. Maintain your balance as you push downward with your foot.

All you have to do now is get those legs working. Stay tuned for more plateau busters.

See you in the comments.

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Plateau Busters – The Chest Workout Routine

October 28, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

As you now know from yesterdays post, one of the first things you will need to do to overcome those dreaded weightlifting workout plateaus is to start alternating your weightlifting exercises. There are many ways to train each muscle group, but not even I ‘Fitbug Shaun’ can give you all of that information in one post. Besides, I’m sure that you would get bored of reading all of that after a while.

Over the past few weeks I have been bombarded with muscle heads complaining that they cannot increase the size of their chest muscles, and for me, that seems quite bizarre, as I find that the chest is one of the easiest places to build muscle mass. And that statement right there is the universal weightlifting dilemma…

There is no one weightlifting routine to suit everyone!

Everyone’s bodies will respond differently in methods of building muscle fast.

Because of the complaints that I have been hearing about people having trouble building up their chest muscles, I decided to focus on that first. Below are several things you can do to alternate your workouts with some chest exercises that you may already be performing in your weightlifting workouts.

Dumbbell bench press


Now, the default exercise to do when you enter the gym will probably be the bench press, which is great. But you probably perform the bench press exercise with a barbell. As I mentioned yesterday, that is fine and you can give your muscles a real shocker, which will promote muscle growth. But after some weeks you will notice that muscle growth may seem to stop, as you are only working on a few muscle groups and your muscles will no longer be challenged. They will scream at you saying,

‘Come on, this is boring, show me something new already’

What we do is introduce the dumbbell bench press.

Key benefits

  • Develops more muscle mass in the middle and outer pectoral muscles
  • Allows for a greater stretch at the bottom and more efficient peak contraction at the top of the lift compared to using a barbell.

This can be performed in 3 different ways, just like the barbell bench press.

  • Decline – Lower chest
  • Flat – Base chest
  • Incline – Upper chest

And this is how you do them.

  • Start seated on a bench with the weights resting on your thighs.
  • Lay back and swing the weights back to the point where the corners of each dumbbell are slightly touching your outer pecs.
  • Push the weight up, bringing them slightly closer together at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the weight back down slowly.
  • (Two seconds on the way down for every second on the way up is a good rule.).
  • Repeat.

Dips


This exercises is in my favorite top 5. However, there have been times where I have hit a weightlifting plateau with this exercise.

How do you know when you have hit a plateau?

When you first perform the dips exercise, it will be hard as hell to lift yourself to at least 10 reps. Once you have surpassed that and can perform 10-15 reps a set, you will have probably hit a plateau. If so, here is what you can do.

Add resistance with a dipping belt

Progryp 100% Leather Dipping Belt, One Size Fits All, Black

This was one of the first things I started to do when I hit a plateau with this exercise and this is one great way to keep performing the exercise while gaining muscle mass.

Chest focus movement

To increase the role the pecs play in this exercise, point your elbows outward.

Keep them tucked in and pointed back. This forces your triceps to feel the force of your bodyweight, but you first need to decide whether you’re doing it for your chest or your triceps.

Don’t whip out each rep at explosive speed by dropping down fast and pushing back up even faster. Keep to a slow motion movement.

Seated Chest Presses


With this exercise, you will use similar movements as you do with the bench press. However, because this exercise is performed on a machine, your movements will be stabilized and the weights will not be moving around. This is one of the rare times that I actually give praise to machine weights.

Having the weights stabilized means that you get a more focused workout for your pectoral muscles and avoid wasting energy stabilizing the weight.

How to do it

  • Grip the handles.
  • Push them forward in a controlled motion.
  • And don’t lock your elbows at end of extension.

Push ups

Many people seem to neglect push ups once they get their gym membership, but don’t let that be you. After a month or two, try doing push ups again. If you can do at least 50 straight in one set, then you really are doing something right, for strength and for muscle mass. If not, then you need to be including push ups as a part of your alternate weightlifting workout.

You can also vary your push up workouts by adjusting the positions of your hands or by adjusting the elevation of your feet. I’ll will cover that in the up and coming bodyweight workout ebook, but for the mean time have a read of unique bodyweight exercise pt.3 for an example.

To really challenge yourself stick a 40-50 lb plate, or weight plates in a back pack on your back. Then perform the exercise. That will bust your plateau for sure.

Close Grip Bench Press


Close grip bench press is a great way to help break a plateau for your flat bench press exercise. This exercise is exactly the same as the free weight medium grip barbell bench press except that you will use a closer grip when performing this exercise.

How to do it

  • Lie flat on your back and grab the barbell above you with a grip about 12 inches apart. Lift the barbell off of the rack and slowly lower it to about 3 inches above your chest Press the bar back to the start position.
  • Be sure that when you are lowering the bar that you do so in a slow and controlled fashion.
  • Also, when you press the bar upward, you want to do so in an explosive fashion.

That is the key method of doing this exercise, however, there are some things to note.

– Having your hands in too close can actually damage your wrists and shoulder joints. As long as your elbows are in and the grip is about shoulder width or slightly less, performing this exercise will actually begin to hit your triceps more.

– Turn your palms inward at the top. It gives a better contraction for your muscles.

Stay tuned for more plateau busters, and again, do share your experiences with the weightlifting plateaus that you have faced.

See you in the comments

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