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The Power of Periodization for New Lifters: A Starter Guide

IFBB Pro Natalie Nichols-Deadlift
View Preview Introduction If you’re a new lifter, understanding the concept of periodization can significantly elevate your fitness journey. This approach is more than just a buzzword; it’s a proven method that optimizes your workouts, helps you break through plateaus, and significantly reduces your risk of injuries. It’s all about smart training to get you the best possible results, especially for new lifters. What Is Periodization? Periodization is the strategic organization of training into specific cycles or phases, each with Read More

The Science of Concentric and Eccentric Phases: A Comprehensive Guide to Strength and Hypertrophy in Bodybuilding

Introduction To maximize the effectiveness of your training, it’s critical to understand the concentric and eccentric phases of muscle contraction. This in-depth guide will delve deeper into the science behind these phases, offering evidence-based insights from experts like Brad Schoenfeld and Mike Zourdos. Additionally, we’ll explore how to implement Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP) to achieve both strength and hypertrophy. The Underlying Science Hypertrophy and Eccentric Mechanics One of the most important factors in muscle growth is the eccentric phase, where Read More

How to Get Rid of Cellulite: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Septae, Genetics, and Effective Treatments

How to Get Rid of Cellulite: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Septae, Genetics, and Effective Treatments
One of the most common skin concerns people have is cellulite, the pesky, dimpled appearance on the skin that’s often compared to orange peel or cottage cheese. Despite the numerous products and procedures claiming to banish cellulite, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. We aim to unravel the complex anatomy and factors behind cellulite, specifically focusing on the role of septae, to give you a better understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and why. The Anatomy of Cellulite: Understanding Septae Septae are Read More

Navigating Post-Diet Weight Gain: The Science of a Gradual vs. Rapid Approach

The aftermath of a prolonged dieting phase presents a crucial juncture for those seeking to regain lost muscle mass. Amidst the myriad advice circulating, the concept of rapid weight gain to reignite a sluggish metabolism often takes the spotlight. However, delving into the scientific intricacies of post-diet muscle rebuilding unveils a nuanced narrative. This comprehensive exploration delves deep into the complexities, dispels myths, and unveils the compelling rationale behind a gradual approach, backed by scientific evidence. Gaining weight too quickly Read More

Unlocking Gains: Guide to Muscle Building Supplements and Selecting High-Quality Products

When aiming to gain muscle, it’s important to remember that supplements should complement a well-balanced diet and a structured workout routine. While supplements can support your efforts, they should not be a substitute for proper nutrition and training. Here are some supplements that are commonly considered for muscle gain, along with a brief explanation of their potential benefits, the first three are critical: Whey Protein: Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein source that can help provide your muscles with the Read More

Compound Movements and Building Muscle

Compound movements are exercises that involve multiple joints and muscle groups working together to perform a coordinated movement. These movements are highly effective for building muscle due to several scientific reasons: ๐‡๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ž: Compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, stimulate the release of anabolic hormones like testosterone and growth hormone. These hormones play a critical role in muscle growth and repair. ๐Œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐œ๐ฅ๐ž ๐€๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง: Compound movements engage a larger number of muscle fibers across multiple muscle groups. This Read More

Peak Week – The Three Criteria Explained

Peak Week, โ€œThe final week leading up to a bodybuilding contest and the sole purpose is to โ€œfine-tuneโ€ the athleteโ€™s physique for the grand reveal on the stage.โ€ Although there is no specific definition of Peak Week, this statement summarizes it best. The three criteria that must be met prior to Peak Week for a bodybuilder to optimize his or her peak are: being stage lean, knowing and stabilizing macronutrients, knowing and stabilizing sodium and water intake. If any one Read More

The Impact of Body Fat on Anabolism: Exploring the Optimal Body Fat Percentage for Men and Women

Introduction Anabolism, the process of building and repairing tissues in the body, plays a crucial role in promoting muscle growth, strength development, and overall physical performance. While factors such as nutrition, exercise, and hormones significantly influence anabolism, emerging research suggests that body fat percentage can also have a notable impact on this process. In this article, we delve into the relationship between body fat and anabolism, exploring whether a specific body fat percentage exists that is optimal for anabolic processes, Read More

Bodybuilding Terminology: A glossary of terms

Bodybuilding Terminology - A Glossary of Terms
Using and understanding bodybuilding terminology is essential for effective communication in the sport. Bodybuilding has its own language, and using the right terminology can help you connect with others who share your passion. (we will continue to update) Here are a few reasons why. Proper form and technique: Bodybuilding terminology often refers to specific exercises, techniques, and form cues. Knowing these terms will help competitors perform exercises correctly and reduce the risk of injury. For example, knowing the term “squat Read More

Understanding the Science: Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and Workout Optimization

mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy
Muscle hypertrophy is a process of muscle growth that occurs when the body is subjected to repeated bouts of resistance training. It is a complex process that involves a variety of physiological mechanisms, such as protein synthesis, muscle fiber recruitment, muscle damage, hormone regulation, metabolic stress, and muscle tension. By understanding the science behind muscle hypertrophy you can optimize your workouts to achieve your muscle-building goals. Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy One of the most important mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy is Read More

Metabolic Factor Explained

The Metabolic Factor is a simple calculation and rating scale we use to determine if a client is metabolically ready for prep. Itโ€™s remarkably simple and everyone can use it. Maintenance Calories divided by weight. If you are in a surplus or deficit, you will need to use your โ€œcalculatedโ€ maintenance. Background Iโ€™m a data junkie. For the previous 20 years prior to becoming a coach, I was an eagle-eyed analyst for the DoD, CDC and Department of Veterans Affairs Read More

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Peak Week, your last chance to put all the pieces together to deliver your best physical possible once you hit the stage. It can make or break even the best competitor. Nail your peak, and you will be walking off the stage with your head held high. However, even the slightest miscalculation can leave you disappointed and take a physique destined for First Place, thrown into a Second Call-Out placement. Before you read any further, you need to understand what Read More

Are You Doing the Wrong Show?

Is there even such a thing as a show being the wrong show for you?  Can the show you select before starting prep end up also being the first ingredient in your recipe for disaster on show day?  Positively, yes maโ€™am, the show that you pick can be the difference between feeling like a rising star or falling flat on your face. You know youโ€™ve either heard of, used, purchased, sold, or at least seen a โ€œprepโ€ plan where the Read More

Are you dropping calories too much or too fast during prep?

Recently, A member of our “Bikini, Wellness and Figure Guidence Facebook Group” made a comment about how much she (her coach) dropped calories in her last prep. To summarize, after the initial cut, each adjustment was two hundred calories! Iโ€™m glad she shared this because it inspired me to write this. I do not know for certain if it was meal plan based or macros. My guess is meal plans since this is a typical structure of meal plans during Read More

Accomplish Off-Season gains while still in Contest Prep

Up until recently, the idea of simultaneously being in contest prep and off-season seemed like a far-fetched fantasy. Typically, off-season and contest prep are viewed as two distinct phases. During the off-season, the objective is to swiftly rebuild lean muscle mass and enhance metabolic capacity while minimizing excess body fat. Eventually, the goal is to surpass previous levels of muscle mass and continue building even more. This is the way it has โ€œalways been done.โ€ However, that is no longer Read More

How to Reverse Diet Correctly Post Contest Prep

Team USA Phys
Implementing a Reverse Diet immediately after Contest Prep significantly enhances the conditions for your upcoming Contest Prep. This strategic approach fosters optimal muscle gain while curbing body fat accumulation. This positive impact extends to boosting your Metabolic Rate and expediting the recovery of muscle lost during preparation. Moreover, it aids in swiftly restoring hormone function, ultimately reducing the duration of your next Contest Prep. Nonetheless, improper execution or neglecting Reverse Dieting can yield highly unfavorable outcomes. Muscle gain or re-gain Read More

Weight Loss Plateaus and Stalls

How are you handling weight loss plateaus?When we diet down in contest prep, or any other diet really, we are going to run into weight loss stalls.  These stalls, or โ€œPlateausโ€ are a normal part of the dieting process contributing to Metabolic Adaptation.Why does this occur?Well, there are many factors that can contribute to Metabolic Adaptation but the most common ones are weight loss itself, loss of lean muscle mass (the more muscle we have the more calories we need Read More

Today’s Bikini Competitor

USA Physique Bikini Athlete Valerie Ocano
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN THE JUDGING CRITERIA AND JUDGING TREND Looking to compete in the Bikini class in 2022? Let me shed some light on the physique of Today’s Bikini Competitor. If you think coming in soft without well developed muscle from lifting a lot of weight, but doing hours and hours of cardio and circuit training will put you in the top spot…think again. A few years ago, maybe. But not so much anymore. Before you blast me Read More

The Five Phases of Contest Prep

Preparing for a Bodybuilding Competition can be a daunting task. Unfortunately, too many competitors (and unfortunately, too many coaches) rely too heavily on the so called โ€œstandardโ€ 12- and 16-week Contest Prep Plans. Doing so, you set yourself up with a race against the clock and have little to no room for error. (Pictured Above: USA Physique Athlete McKay George) There is no crystal ball that so many people think they have. What happens if you have an injury, get Read More

Are you paying attention to your Fiber?

PRO TIP: Pay attention to your fiber. When we conduct our consultations, it still amazes me that so many competitors have no idea how much fiber they are getting. Fiber plays an important role in your nutrition. Fiberโ€™s effects on digestion and cholesterol are big, but fiber is also a decent thermogenic and helps with Satiety, which is defined as โ€œthe absence of hungerโ€โ€ฆor feeling full. In addition, when athletes start to experience gastrointestinal (GI) distress, especially in the later Read More