"A Scientific Analysis of Popular
"The Necessity of Rest & Recovery"
"Safe Technique for Leg Exercises"
"Nutrition Calorie Counter"
- A SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS OF DIFFERENT CHEST EXERCISES
of the barbell or dumbbell chest press increase strength and
mass for different areas of the chest ("pec's").
Exercises are often prescribed based on the belief that they
train the upper, middle, or lower "pec's" to a greater
degree, but how valid are these categories, and how effective
are these exercises?
a recent research study, scientists investigated the muscle
activity of the sternoclavicular head of the pectoralis major
(lower and mid-chest), clavicular head of the pectoralis major
(upper-chest), anterior deltoid, triceps, and latissimus dorsi
(back) muscles in 4 common exercises. The flat, incline (40
degrees), and decline bench presses, and the vertical (shoulder)
press were tested using both wide and narrow grips. Let's
look at how each of these muscles responded and determine
the most effective training strategy.
major (sternoclavicular head)
Greatest muscle activity occurred during the wide-grip flat
Lowest activity occurred in the vertical press
Both the incline and decline presses resulted in only moderate
major (clavicular head)
This area is commonly referred to as the "upper chest"
and is traditionally believed as trained most effectively
with incline press variations
However, researchers found that the incline press did NOT
result in greater activation than the flat press
The decline and vertical presses resulted in low muscle activity
The vertical press resulted in the greatest activation, although
the incline press was almost as productive
The angle of the incline must be considered (40 degrees in
this study), as anterior deltoid activation will increase
with a more vertical position
The flat & decline presses resulted in 50% less activation
than the vertical press
The flat bench provided the greatest muscle activation
The incline and vertical presses resulted in 50% less activation
Muscle activation increased with a narrow grip in all exercises
Very little muscle activation in any of the pressing exercises
programs designed to train a muscle group with only a single
exercise, the best pectoralis training stimulus is provided
with the flat barbell or dumbbell press. All other exercises
may be considered supplementary to this. In fact, there seems
to be very little evidence supporting the use of the decline
press. However, if you have ever done this exercise you know
there is some training effect, so it can not be deemed worthless.
programs aiming to train a number of muscle groups with the
minimal number of exercises (low volume), the incline bench
press may be most beneficial as it stresses the pectoralis
major (clavicular head), anterior deltoid, and the triceps
- THE NECESSITY OF REST & RECOVERY
is as important as hard training and proper nutrition. It
is during recovery that improvement (the training effect)
occurs. Many individuals overtrain and expect gains, when
an increase in recovery is necessary. The increase in rest
allows for higher quality training sessions. For anyone that
trains very intensely but is at a training plateau, consider
increasing your rest instead of your training.
"more is not always better, better is better". Quality
rest includes both adequate sleep and total rest days, where
no training is undertaken. Continually exercising without
sufficient rest days can deplete muscle energy stores and
cause exhaustion. The resulting fatigue may decrease performance,
contribute to illness, or cause an overall feeling of daily
can also be applied by the inclusion of a week of low-volume,
low-intensity training following 4-6 weeks of regular training.
This week can also include the performance of different activities.
Get out of the gym or put away your running shoes and try
something new. Go snowboarding, play squash or try any new
sport, or go for a hike.
week of "active" rest is certainly recommended for
athletes prior to the beginning of the season or just prior
to a major competition. This will ensure they are well rested,
injury-free, and fully prepared for maximum performance. Include
daily stretching in your program as it may prevent injury
and aid rest, relaxation, and the recovery process.
rest and recovery also hinges on proper nutrition. Post-workout
nutrition is very important as is consistent quality eating
habits. Do not skip meals and maintain a well-balanced diet
(emphasize high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, and fats).
This will prepare you for your next training session or competition,
as well as everyday activities.
- SAFE TECHNIQUE FOR
back squat, front squat, lunge, leg press, and step-up are
all incredible exercises for the lower limb. Strength, power,
and mass can be developed in multiple muscle groups by any
of these exercises in combination or on their own. The quadriceps
muscles, hamstrings, glutes, and calves all contribute in
these exercises. As well, these exercises require the greatest
metabolic, physical, and mental effort.
myths surround these exercises, especially with regard to
the incidence of injury. It is true that if performed improperly,
injuries can result, however this goes for any and all exercises.
These leg exercises do not cause a greater injury risk and
are in fact the cornerstone of many rehabilitation and injury
proper position of the back and the knee are essential to
safe exercise performance. The back should never become rounded
during any resistance exercise so emphasize a straight, natural
back position during all movements. The head should be up
and facing forward throughout each standing exercise.
- NUTRITION CALORIE COUNTER
calories is usually not necessary, but sometimes a more concentrated
effort with respect to diet may be necessary. Don't sabotage
all your hard work with poor dietary choices. Most food packages
provide a detailed nutritional analysis such as the # of total
calories, # of grams of protein, fat, and carbohydrate, as
well as the vitamins and mineral content. Check out ISSUE
#1 for a great nutritional review. Following is a list of
the number of calories in common foods:
(beer or 1-ounce shot)
~ 150 (does not include mix!)
(1 ounce/small cube)
175 (35g PRO)
meat (4 slices turkey/beef)
74 (6g PRO)
= 12 (3g PRO)
270 (10g FAT)
| McDonalds (small fries)
pounder & Big Mac)
(12 ounces/1 can)
200 (5g PRO)
250 (6g PRO)
135 (17g PRO)
(1 cup raw)
"sugar- and fat-free"