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October 6th, 2010   
  Serious About Muscle Newsletter    WBB on Facebook    Follow on Twitter    WBB Forums

In this issue:

  • This Weeks Exclusive Article
  • AtLarge Nutrition - These Men Know the Power of Results - What About You?
  • 2 Exercises You Need Now - Fwd Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squat and the Pallof Press by Mike Scialabba
  • Beta-Alanine: Versatile, Effective Amino Acid for Muscle Strength, Endurance By Brian Willett
  • Live From the Forums - Who's Talking About What & Quote of the Week
  This Weeks Exclusive Articles  

The Best Assistance Exercises for the Three Big Powerlifts

Almost anyone who trains with weights is chasing a strong squat, a brutal bench press, and a dauntless deadlift.

They're the three most popular lifts for good reason and are used extensively not just by powerlifters but also bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, strongmen, and athletes.

Bret Contreras and several other leading strength professionals in the industry share their favorite assistance lifts for the three powerlifts.

Get ready to see your big 3 lifts rocket!

Read the full article here

Author: Bret Contreras

  AtLarge Nutrition  

These Men Know the Power of Results - What About You?


Get Results now!

  Mini Article 1  

2 Exercises You Need Now - Fwd Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squat and the Pallof Press

by Mike Scialabba

I'm sure by now your training program is rock solid! However, if it doesn't have these two exercises involved, are at least a variation of them, then your house is being built on bed of sand!

The Fwd Foot Elevated Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat or F.F.E.B.B.S.S (ok that's not any better)

The Pro's:

1. Major increase in hip and glute activation.
2. Increase core, knee and hip stability.
3. Increase range of motion and hip mobility.
4. Reduction in spinal and lumbar stress.

The Con's:

1. It's really, really hard.

How to do it:

Elevate the fwd foot onto a step or aerobic board about 3 inches off the ground. Using a flat bench (preferably) place the rear foot topside down, with the ankle directly on the edge, be sure the bench is placed appropriately allowing the body to move straight down, while maintaining a straight shin on the fwd leg. Place the barbell across your back as you would a back squat, and lower yourself into the movement.

In the bottom position, the chest should be up, the shoulder blades back, the fwd shin vertical, and the fwd quad either parallel with the floor, or the hips below the knee, while the fwd heel remains flat. Press back up out of the fwd heel, and repeat.



The Pallof Press

The Pallof Press is an anti-rotation core exercise that has great benefits for increase lumbar stability and core strength. The lumber region gets neglected way too much through most training programs I see, and incorporating and anti-rotation movement such as this is a great way to cover a few of your bases within your program.

The Pro's:

1. Increased hip, glute, abdominal and lumbar strength.
2. Major increase in lumbar support and stability.
3. Decreased risk of injury.

The Con's:

1. People might look at you funny. Joke's on them!

How to do it:

Stand sideways to an apparatus such as a band tied off, or a cable unit that will allow vertical height adjustments to be made. Be sure your loading device in drawn from a position about rib height. Stand with an athletic base, feet hip width apart, knees mildly bent, hips slightly back, and chest up. Take the handle of the loaded device and place your hands directly in the sternum.

Press 'straight' out from the body and hold the load perfectly still while preventing the body from leaning to one side, collapsing at the knees, hips or shoulders, while maintaining adequate breathing.

To increase the difficulty, first narrow the stance. Once the load is achievable with the new stance, you may then increase the load. Add these two stellar exercises into your routine and enjoy stronger legs, stronger hips, and a bulletproof back!



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If you have any questions on this article, feel free to post them on the forums here: 2 Exercises You Need Now - Fwd Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squat and the Pallof Press discussion thread

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Mike is the Director and Owner of the Missoula Underground Strength Training Center located in Missoula, Montana. He's an Expert Strength Coach and has been in the business for nearly a decade working with hundreds of individuals utilizing conventional and unconventional training methods. Be sure to check out his blog!

  Mini Article 2  

Beta-Alanine: Versatile, Effective Amino Acid for Muscle Strength, Endurance

By Brian Willett

Life is all about choices - Mercedes or Porsche, chocolate or vanilla, regular or de-caff. And in the world of sports and exercise, there are plenty of choices to be made as well - triceps or biceps, cardio or weights, deadlifts or squats. But the beauty of human body is that it can handle many different things, and making one choice doesn't lead to a dead end. So it's curious that many supplements have formulations that favor just one goal.

Thankfully, there are options that support whatever activity you like to do, such as beta alanine.

Beta alanine is an amino acid, and a versatile one at that. Research indicates that beta alanine is not only effective at promoting muscle gain, but can also benefit your cardiovascular pursuits as well. And for all the muscle heads out there (it's not a bad thing!), that means that beta alanine can help you pack on muscle and improve strength and also make those boring cardio sessions less painful.

One prominent effect of beta alanine is that it is a precursor of the dipeptide carnosine. This is important because carnosine found in your muscles can help improve your muscular power (strength). Research from the August 2007 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology found that beta alanine supplementation triggered increased levels of muscle carnosine by up to 47 percent. The researchers noted that this effect caused a significant improvement in muscular power produced during leg extensions (1).

But it's not just leg strength that can be improved by the beta alanine-carnosine connection. Additional research, from the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that beta alanine acts as ammo for your guns (arm muscles, for those unfamiliar with bodybuilding slang), as well. This study indicated that rowing performance, which relies on upper and lower body strength, was significantly improved through beta alanine supplementation. The researchers explain that beta alanine supplementation prompted a 4.6-second increase in rowing speed performance, suggesting that the amino acid helped athletes produce more power in less time (2).

And these muscular improvements may also translate to cardio. This means that unlike many supplements, beta alanine and formulations containing this amino acid are versatile enough to help you on weight training and cardio days. The February 2009 issue of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that supplementation with 3 g of beta alanine daily promoted increases in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) performance, total work accomplished during cardio sessions, and increases in VO2peak, a measure of how effectively your body uses oxygen during workouts. Oh, and an added bonus found during the study-beta alanine triggered increases in lean mass throughout the cardio training period. The researchers explain that daily beta alanine supplementation helps enhance HIIT performance while "improving endurance performance and lean body mass" (3).

But if you want the most bang for your buck, you may want to combine beta alanine's power with other trusted supplements, such as HMB and creatine. These strength-building supplements may work synergistically with beta alanine, helping accelerate your results in the weight room and cardio area.

If you're interested in this type of efficiency, you'll want to check out At Large Nutrition's Results, which contains 3.5 grams of beta alanine, 3 grams of HMB, 5 grams of creatine and a dose of dextrose for added energy. You can learn more about Results right here.

SOURCES:

1. W Derave et al. β-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters. Journal of Applied Physiology, August 2007.

2. A Baguet et al. Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, July 2010.

3. AE Smith et al. Effects of beta-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on endurance performance and body composition in men; a double-blind trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, February 2009.

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If you have any questions on this article, feel free to post them on the forums here: Beta-Alanine: Versatile, Effective Amino Acid for Muscle Strength, Endurance discussion thread

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Brian Willett is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Willett majored in Public Relations journalism. He acts as CCO and Director of Content Development at Bloginity Networks and is an avid reviewer of music, personal trainer and guitarist.

  Mini Article 3  

Live From the Forums - Who's Talking About What

Order of Exercises

For use of the heaviest weights, rotate a push and a pull, starting with the heaviest first. This gives the muscles involved a time to rest before they are asked to perform a movement again. Evaluate your weakest body part and do that movement first. From there either keep working that muscle or simply work down the list off the biggest compounds first.

Check out the discussion here - Order of Exercises

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Understanding Equipment

The difference is the technical expertise involved with using equipment (even single ply stuff). You don't just put on a bench shirt or a squat suit and jump your weights up 50 or 100 lbs. You need to take the time to learn the equipment and work with it to get good at it.

Check out the discussion here - Suits and Shirts

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Crash Diets

Don't go on a crash diet; make a lifestyle change. A crash diet will only be a temporary solution that will probably leave you with less muscle and not looking or feeling much better than you did before. It may be more productive to just focus on maintaining your weight and allowing strength training to recomp your body over time.

Check out the discussion here - Crash Diets

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Accessory Lifts during a Cut

While cutting fat, it can be helpful to limit your training to just the major lifts. Your recovery will be limited and the extra rest can be helpful in maintaining strength on those big lifts. If you do too much, you are likely to lose muscle at a greater rate due to overtraining and lack of nutrition. Keep the overall volume low and the intensity high.

Check out the discussion here - Dropping Accessory Lifts

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Upper Back Rounding on Squats

When you set up under the bar pinch your shoulder blades like when you bench. Then right before you unrack the weight force your elbows forward hard. If you try this you'll see that your upper back has no choice but, to arch because it will try to accommodate the stretch you're creating forcing your elbows forward.

Check out the discussion here - Upper Back Rounding on Squats

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Biggest Waste or Best Investment

What do you consider to be your biggest waste of money? Is it a crappy car you bought, a stock that went under, or maybe a dog that ran away? What would you consider your best investment? Could it be your education, marriage, or that new shirt that shows off your guns to the girls? Share your stories with us.

Check out the discussion here - Biggest Waste or Best Investment

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Live From the Forums - Quote of the Week

"I drink a [protein] shake and then have my dessert, rather than pretend my dessert is something other than just a treat." - Behemoth

Check out the discussion here - Protein and Ice Cream

 
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