Friday, 30 May 2008

Ronnie Coleman Bio

Ronald Dean Coleman "Ronnie Coleman" was born in Bastrop, Louisiana in the United States of America on May 13th 1964.

In his youth Ronnie Coleman trained in mixed martial arts but moved to the body building circuit in his teens.

At Grambling State University Ronnie Coleman played football for the university football team called GSU Tigers. After graduating university in 1989 with a degree in accounting Ronnie became a police officer and really started training hard.

Ronnie Coleman went amateur in 1991 and won the IFBB World Amateur Championships, this spring board took him on to bigger and better things.

In 1998 Ronnie won his first Mr. Olympia contest, a contest he went on to win another seven times meaning he won it every year from 1998 to 2005.

Compared to many body builders and power lifters Ronnie Coleman is not large in height as he is only 5' 11" (180 cm) but this did not stop him winning the most coveted titles in bodybuilding.

Ronnie Colemans Stats

Off Season Weight: 330 lbs
Competition Weight: 296 lbs

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Biceps Curl

The biceps curl is a strength exercise used to train the biceps brachii muscle, but you do find many people use the biceps curl to increase size and definition of the biceps as it can be seen as a vanity muscle that is asthetically pleasing to the eye.

The biceps curl is quite a versatile exercise as it has many variations and forms, you can perform the biceps curl with a barbell, dumbbells, an E-Z bar or even a cable machine.

Not only can you alter the type of weight you are using when carrying out the Biceps curl, you can also sit or stand, use support such as a preacher bench and also change your grip to work different areas.

Grip variation

The normal stance for the biceps curl is with a supinated grip, this means with your palms facing upwards. You may notice some people using a pronated grip with their hands facing down or even a morelli grip which is a powerlfifting grip where the lifter has one hand supinated and the other pronated.

By using different grips you will put emphasis on different parts of the muscles in the arm as well as the biceps.

Biceps Curl

Equipment - Barbell or Dumbbells of desired weight

Preparation - Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and with your chosen grip holding your chosen barbell or dumbbells by your waist (arms straight)

Movement - Bring the barbell/dumbbells towards your chest making sure that your body stays straight and does not move throughout the movement then return to your starting stance then repeat.

Reps/Sets 8 to 12 reps for 4 sets

Watch below for various Biceps curl types

Barbell Biceps Curl

Dumbbell biceps curl

EZ Bar Biceps Curl

Monday, 26 May 2008

Andy Bolton

Andy Bolton, born Andrew Alan Bolton on 22nd January 1970, grew up in Dewsbury, Yorkshire.

In his youth Andy Bolton played rugby league and was quite the athlete in the 100 metre sprint, that was until he saw some boys older than him lifting weights in the local youth centre. Andy decided weight lifting was for him at the ripe age of thirteen.

Andy's father did not like the idea of his son training with weights at such a young age, with good reason, so kept Andy's lifting to a minimum until he was eighteen and his father gave him free reign to really hit the weights hard.

Andy Bolton won his first powerlifting competition in January 1991, the competition was the Yorkshire Junior Championship.

Since 1991 Andy has moved from strength to strength (literally) in the powerlifting arena, currently Andy has won

  • 6 times World Superheavyweight Powerlifting Champion
  • Official World Record holder in the squat (550.5kg, -1213lbs)
  • Official World Record holder in the Total (1273kg, -2806lbs)
  • Official World Record holder in the Deadlift (455kg, -1003lbs)
  • The only man in history to cross the 1000lb barrier in the deadlift.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic WPO Professional World Champion.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Understanding Protein Types

I have talked previously about protein intake and how much you need to build muscle, but I haven't gone in to detail about proteins and the different types of protein in foods.

First of all its important to mention that meats and dairy products are called complete protein foods as they carry all of the nine essential amino acids the body needs. Vegetable food types on the other hand are classed as incomplete protein foods as they lack one or more of the nine essential amino acids.

These different types of proteins have different digestion rates, this means that understanding the protein types and how long it takes to digest can really help your training.

The main protien types are

  • Whey - A protein found as a by product of the manufacture of cheese and milk products.
  • Casein - A protein that makes up 80% of the proteins in most dairy products.
  • Egg albumin - A protein found in egg whites.

You will here these protein type mentioned alot by bodybuilders who really know their stuff, the reason for this is because they understand how each of these protein types will support your muscle growth if eaten the right way.


Whey protein is found in the protein shakes that you can buy from the shop. The reason why whey protein is used alot in protein powder shakes is because it is ingested in to the body very quickly, in fact it can take as little as 30 minutes.

The fact that it only takes around thirty minutes for the body to start feeling the benefits of whey protein means that it is the perfect after workout supplement. By taking a protein shake straight after your gym session it will really help your body to start its repair and rebuild process.


Casein takes the longest of all the proteins to digest. For this reason many bodybuilders take casein before just before going to bed so the body can get a slow release of proteins over a period of two to seven hours to aid it with the repair and rebuild process.

To get that casein fix before bed many bodybuilders take a simple glass of milk. 80% of the proteins found in milk are casein and with roughly 11 grams of protein per 250 ml a big glass before bed will really support your body.

Egg albumin

Egg albumin, known as egg protein for short, is found in egg whites and is used as a great supplement to meals to increase protein intake. The idea is that at every meal you want to take at least 40 grams of protein in, this can be difficult at time so bodybuilders tend to remove yolks from eggs and just eat egg whites.

Egg albumin takes between one and a half to three hours to digest so makes the perfect protein to start your day with your breakfast.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Beginners Leg Workout

Legs are the one part of the body that many in the gym neglect more than any other, I am sure you have all witnessed the men in the gym with huge upper bodies but matchsticks for legs. It is important to get a good leg workout in every week to kee your body in proportion and to also increase your overall body strength.

Did you know that by neglecting your legs when training your actually neglecting around 50% of your total muscle mass. Thats right the muscles in the legs account for up to 50% of your total body muscle mass.

When it comes to a good leg workout free weights are a must, a total leg workout using resistance machines will not cut the mustard!

Below is a great beginners leg workout

Squat - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Good mornings - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Seated calf raises - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Standing calf raises - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps

If you complete this beginners leg workout for 12 weeks and eat correctly then you are sure to see massive gains in muscle and strength on the lower half of your body.

Disclaimer - With any workout please only lift what you physically can, its more important to lift lighter and correctly than lift heavy and damage yourself.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The Flat Bench Press

The flat bench press is an exercise that primarily works the pectoral muscles but also works the triceps and rear deltoids as secondary muscles.

The bench press is one of the three elements of powerlifting as well as being one of the favourite exercises for bodybuilders so is probably the most well known of all gym exercises. Although it is well known it still doesn't stop people trying to lift too much weight and carrying out this exercise with bad form.

Barbell Flat Bench Press

By changing the position of the grip when carrying out the flat bench press the emphasis changes to different muscle groups. Having a closer grip with the hands shoulder width apart will put more stress on the triceps while moving the hands further along the bar for a wider grip will concentrate more on the pectoral muscles.

Equipment - Barbell bar, flat bench and weights

Preparation - Lay flat on the bench holding the bar with an overhand grip at a comfortable position on the bar and your arms straight in front of you, away from your body.

Movement - Bring the bar down to your chest then push the bar away back to the starting position with your arms straight.

Reps/Sets 8 to 12 reps for 4 sets

Watch below to see the barbell flat bench press carried out with good form (wide grip).

Dumbbell Flat Bench Press

A Dumbbell flat bench press is a good exercise to carry out if you do not have a partner to spot you as you can drop the dumbbells to the side if you are having difficulty, which you cannot do with the barbell.

The dumbbell flat bench press works the same muscles as the barbell although due to being two seperate weights it also utilises more stabilizer muscles and helps if you have one side stronger than the other.

Equipment - Dumbbells of desired weight

Preparation - Lay flat on the bench holding the dumbbells with an overhand grip and your arms straight in front of you, away from your body.

Movement - Bring the dumbells down to your chest then push the dumbells away back to the starting position with your arms straight.

Reps/Sets 8 to 12 reps for 4 sets

Watch below to see the dumbbell flat bench press carried out with good form.

Monday, 19 May 2008

The Biceps

The biceps brachii, known as the biceps or by its nickname "The guns", are muscles found in the upper arms. Primarily the biceps are used to flex the arm and to also rotate the forearm (located below the elbow).

Many people from bodybuilders to the average man on the street like the biceps because they are a muscle that can be seen quite well even if a person does not train the muscle. Due to this the biceps are known as the vanity muscle because people flex them in a vain manor to attract attention.

A common fault among people is to call the biceps in a single manor "bicep" which is a mistake as the biceps are made of two muscles and biceps brachii is latin and literally translates as "two headed muscle of the arm".

The Science Bit

The two muscles of the biceps are called the short head and the long head. The short head starts at the coracoid process found at the scapula and attaches to the radial tuberosity (located beneath the start of the Radius bone near the elbow). The long head of the biceps is found in the joint capsule at the top of the humerus where it attaches to the supraglenoid tubercle at the scapula.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Mental Strength - Bigger Muscle Gains

I was in the gym today and after seeing some of the guys training thought that a post about mental strength for bigger muscle gains was important.

I have seen some guys in the gym that I feel are not fulfilling their full potential, not because their training regime is poor but more because I feel they are not pushing themselves hard enough when it comes to moving up the weight scale.

Mental strength is a very important part of your training when in the gym, if you dont have the mental strength and confidence to push yourself further and lift that extra bit of weight then you are missing out on a huge muscle gain potential.

I have to admit I suffered with this when I first started out, mainly because I trained alone and was worried that if I could not lift the weight I could cause myself a mischief. Truth be told, if you have a training partner they should spot you on each exercise so you have the chance to try and add extra weight to your sets.

I have been throwing extra weight on my exercises every week this year even to manage just one rep on a higher weight, I feel that having the mental strength to push myself in this manner has really had a positive affect on my training.

It is important to push yourself to add that extra few pounds/kilograms so your muscles can start to get used to lifting heavier weight and give you extra muscle gains. Next time you are in the gym try mentally preparing yourself and add a little extra on your bench press or dead lift and see if you can achieve that milestone of lifting more than you have before.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Dead Lift Personal Best

After the session I have had in the gym today training my back through compound movements like the deadlift I thought it was important to put pen to paper in a digital manner and give an update in my journal.

Today I woke up in an energetic mood and hit the gym big time and decided today was the day I was going to make gains on my deadlift personal best. I got to the gym and started off with the barbell row and hit a max weight of 80 kg (176 pounds) before hitting the deadlift.

Below is my sets and what I achieved

Set 1 - 100 kg (220 pounds) - 8 Reps
Set 2 - 110 kg (242 pounds) - 6 Reps
Set 3 - 120 kg (264 pounds) - 4 Reps
Set 4 - 140 kg (308 pounds) - 1 Reps

Now the last set of 140 kg (308 pounds) is a new personal best for me on the dead lift and given my weight is currently 88 kilograms (193 pounds) this is quite a bit over one and a half times my own body weight.

My target is to achieve 160 kg (352 pounds) by September and 200 kg (440 pounds) by the end of the year on the deadlift. Now this target is out there for you all to see I have no choice but try and achieve it and up date my journal so you can all see whether I hit my target or fail miserably!

Strength Calculator - Test Your Strength

Today I have a little extra for you, unlike my first extra which was a free weight lifting work out this one is more for fun.

I have created a spreadsheet that will tell you just how strong you are by filling in your weight and one rep max on the bench press, squat and deadlift. To be honest this is all a bit of fun, but it is also a great way to know what your weight to strength ratio actually is.

My strength is currently at super human level according to the strength calculator, but this is very low compared to being a Spartan warrior, Hercules, Superman or even a God!

Why not enjoy the fun by downloading this free fun strength calculator, oh and dont forget to come back and comment on how strong the calculator says you are.

Click here to get your strength calculator

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Rest For Muscle Gain

As well as nutrition and pounding the weights in the gym resting your muscles is extremely important, if you do not rest your body enough you can cause a negative impact on your training regime.

Why does rest make such a difference?

After training you will have caused tiny tears in your muscle fibres, to repair these and get your body to build your muscles stronger you need rest so your body can concentrate on the muscle building process.

How do I get my rest?

The main part of getting your rest is sleep, when you are sleeping your muscle building hormones start to party in your body. They normally start their party about one hour in to hitting your deep sleep.

The optimum number of hours sleep required in a night is eight hours, yes eight hours. I know many of you have busy lifestyles that mean eight hours is not achievable but not getting the required sleep can halt your muscle gains.

On top of your sleep patterns there are other ways to make sure your body is rested enough to get the biggest muscle gains possible.

Firstly you should only train each muscle group no more than one to two times a week with 24 to 48 hours rest in between training the same muscle group. This is important as over training can cause you to not gain any improvements at all!

Secondly only train up to five times a week, spending every day in the gym may feel like you are training well but the truth is your body just doesn't have time to recuperate.

Thirdly, and this is one that no one ever follows, have a one week rest every eight weeks or so. If you have this one week off you will be shocked at the gains you can make, I have a week off every 6 to 8 weeks and see a huge benefit from it.

Lastly don't spend every waking hour in the gym on training days, try to keep your session to about an hour. Your body will thank you with great gains if you max out your muscles within an hour when your in the gym.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Performing The Squat

Many people know the squat and either do one of two things, neglect to carry out squats in their training regime or carry them out with really bad form just to look like they are lifting heavy weights.

The squat is one of the three exercises of Powerlifting and an important movement in many of the exercises in the world of weight lifting so its interesting that many a visitor to the gym neglect this important exercise.

When performing a squat you are primarily working the quads and glutes but you are also using the hamstrings, calves and to a lesser extent the lower back as secondary muscles.

There are many types of squat but the main squat carried out is just called the squat (other variations have extra names in the exercise such as Bulgarian squat or Hack squat).


Equipment - Barbell bar, power cage and weights

Preparation - Hold bar with an over hand grip about shoulder width apart with the bar held (not resting) at the back of the neck and your feet about shoulder width apart.

Movement - Bend your legs at the knee and hips so you lower your body towards the ground while keeping your torso relatively upright and your back straight, once you have lowered to a reasonable level reverse the movement you have made to return to a standing position...again keeping the back straight...very important as we dont want injuries!

Reps/Sets 8 to 12 reps for 4 sets

Below is a video showing the correct form for the squat exercise

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Beginners Chest Workout

Its time to show you the beginners chest workout (thats unless you have downloaded my free weight training plan). This beginners chest workout also includes to tricep exercises, this is because when training your chest it is the best time to train your triceps also as they are a secondary muscle group when training your chest.

This is the best beginners chest workout available and if done correctly once a week you should see huge gains in strength within twelve weeks. Not only this you will also start to get a chest that will keep you staring at yourself because it will increase in size greatly.

Bench Press - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Dunbbell Press - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Pec Dec - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Cable Crossovers - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Tricep Dips - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Cable Pushdowns - 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps

If you complete this beginners chest workout for 12 weeks and eat correctly then you are sure to see massive gains in muscle and strength.

Disclaimer - With any workout please only lift what you physically can, its more important to lift lighter and correctly than lift heavy and damage yourself.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Measure Your Gains

One thing that many people fail at when training is understanding the changes to their body. You find that many people monitor their diet yet dont get the gains they wish for as they are wary of standing on the scales and seeing their weight go up so eat less.

You have to think that when someone sees a weight gain they think that it means they have put on fat, the truth is that this could be muscle.

To measure your gains the last thing you need to do is stand on the scales! There are two ways to measure your gains, the first is to watch your strength increase as you start lifting heavier weights and the second is to measure yourself.

Measure your gains with a tape?

Yes, the best way to see your gains is to measure your body on a monthly basis, below is a guide to checking the measurements for different parts of your body.

Biceps - Measure from your shoulder to your elbow, at exactly the halfway point (example if the length from your shoulder to your elbow is 30 centimetres then this is at the 15 centimetres mark). At the halfway point measure the circumference of your arm.

Chest - Measure around your chest just under your nipples.

Waist - Measure around your waist (just above your belly button).

Leg - Measure from your hip to your knee and then measure the circumference at the halfway point.

What you should see, if your making the correct progress, is that all parts of your body get bigger while your waist reduces in size. This will not happen overnight but by measuring your gains every month over a 12 week period you should see a huge difference in your body.

I check on my size on a monthly basis and use it as a guide to understanding what my body is doing.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Barbell Bent Over Row

The barbell bent over row, also just called the barbell row, primarily trains the latissimus dorsi (the lats) which are one of the main muscle groups in the back and trains the biceps as a secondary muscle.

The idea behind the barbell row is to make sure that it is your back muscles that are the main focus for lifting the weight. Alot of people in the gym try to lift weight that is too heavy for them and end up shifting the focus from the back muscles lifting in the movement to the biceps.

The barbell bent over row is an amazing exercise when executed correctly and can seriously give great gains to anyone who has not used this exercise before.

Barbell Bent Over Row

Equipment - Barbell bar and weights

Preparation - Hold bar with an over hand grip about shoulder width apart and your feet about shoulder width apart.

Movement - Stand in a bent forward position with your back straight holding the bar at arms length then pull the bar towards your waist before returning the bar back to your starting position.

Reps/Sets 8 to 12 reps for 4 sets

Below is a video showing the correct form for this barbell bent over row exercise

Sunday, 4 May 2008

FREE Weight Training Plan

I have been busy on Excel the last few days and have created a FREE weight training plan that will change according to your training aims.

This weight training plan will help to mould what you do and increase your weight training to the optimum level of what you need to achieve your goals set...and best of all I am giving it to you for FREE.

Over time you will notice little extras like this being offered up from myself as I believe that if something like this can support and help your training then it is definately worth me putting a few hours work in, after all this is why I created this site.

To get your weight training plan click here

Please come back and make a comment to tell me what you think of the plan and to give others genuine feedback on what you think.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Daily Calorie Intake

Many people fail in their desired aim in the gym for one main reason, they either do not eat enough or are eating too much because they do not know their daily calorie intake.

Before you start training you will know in your mind what your aim is to acheve. Your aim may be to lose those pesky rolls of fat and get buff or your aim may be to bulk up with muscle. Either way to achieve your desired results you need to know what your daily calorie intake is and just how many calories your body needs on a daily basis to achieve your goal.

Interestingly enough the formula of what your daily calorie intake should be is a very easy one, for those who wish to lose weight and cut up you take your body weight in pounds and times this by 12. For those wanting to maintain their body weight you need to take your body weight in pounds and times this by 14 and for those who wish to bulk up with muscle you need to take your body weight in pounds and times this by 18.


186 lbs X 12 = 2244 calories per day to lose weight and cut up
186 lbs X 14 = 2618 calories per day to maintain weight
186 lbs X 18 = 3366 calories per day to gain weight through muscle bulk

This may seem like a crude method but it does work and helps you to understand just what your daily calorie intake should be. You have to remember that your body needs energy to perform all the functions it carries out on a daily basis and what you also ask of it, if you do not feed your body how will it perform in the manner you want it to.