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Exercises that define and sculpt your chest help you look your best at the beach or the gym. They can also help you do a variety of daily tasks, like lifting or pushing objects. On top of all that, while you improve your look and strength, you lift your mood, too.
Working out the chest means working out the pectoral muscles, better known as the “pecs.” While the pecs are the largest muscles in the chest, there are actually several smaller muscles that support the pectoral muscles, including the latissimus dorsi muscles (or “lats”) on the sides of the chest and the trapezius muscle around the shoulders.
Here’s a look at some top exercises to build your strength and size while helping support your overall daily movement.
To make sure you work all the chest muscles, include a mix of motions in your chest workout routine:
The number of reps and sets you do depends on your goal:
To increase size, try 1 to 3 sets of 8-12 reps for new or intermediate lifters or 3-6 sets of 1-12 reps for seasoned lifters, of a weight that is at the higher end of your 1 rep max. Rest 1-2 minutes with more reps and up to 3 minutes for higher weight, lower rep sets.
To increase strength, try 1 to 3 sets of 8-12 reps for new or intermediate lifters or 2-6 sets of 1-8 reps for seasoned lifters, of a weight that is around 60-80 percent of your max, depending on your experience. Rest 1-2 minutes with more reps and up to 3 minutes for higher weight, lower rep sets.
1. Barbell bench press
2. Pec deck
Resist the urge to add extra weight. Doing so could increase your risk of injury. This exercise isn’t for you if you have had a shoulder injury. Here are the steps:
3. Bent forward cable crossover
4. Chest press
5. Inclined dumbbell flies
No equipment at home and no time for gym visits? No problem. The ordinary pushup provides 61 percent chest muscle activation. That’s significantly less than the bench press, but pushups offer convenience and triple the muscle-building benefits: they strengthen your chest, arms, and shoulders.
Get the most from your pushups by paying close attention to your form.
The Ultimate Lift of ALL Lifts
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First and foremost, deadlifts offer an opportunity to be one of our heaviest movements, and it’s not uncommon for a woman to deadlift more than her own bodyweight. A big lift like this means equally big returns in strength and power, and hence the creation of lean mass.
Deadlifts also engage the entire posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, shoulders and back, as well as 360 degrees of your core musculature. When you lift heavy, intensely and aggressively, you create a hormonal environment that’s great for both strength gains and fat loss. Targeting the posterior chain can also be corrective for women who are typically quad dominant. Because we sit so much, the glutes and hamstrings are turned off.
That kind of imbalance leads to faulty movement patterns and possible injury, and it also can decrease performance. Then, of course, there are the aesthetic benefits — deadlifts can lead to the round, lifted rear view we all long for and love.
While the squat demands unimpeded ankle mobility and Olympic lifts require advanced skills, the deadlift is accessible to nearly all women, including weightlifting novices. Plus, lifting something heavier than yourself feels crazy good. Every loves lifting heavy, however we must be careful to not cause extensive damage.
Use these tips to perfect your form and get the most from this kick-ass lift.
You’re probably sitting there right now wondering whether getting abs should be your goal, after all isn’t that just for men in their twenties?
You’re in your forties, fifties or older now, so why would you even bother?
Guess what... getting abs when you are over 40 is not only possible, but you should make it your goal over the next year!
One of our clients Max B, said that getting abs over the age of 40 was one of the best things he ever did, it’s not just the visual appeal of having a set of shredded abs, it’s the health benefits that us men over 40 needs to pay attention to.
Reverse the gradual decline
As men over 40 we accept that gaining weight and getting out of shape is a natural part of aging, but it really shouldn’t be!
If you can reach down at this very moment and grab more than a few inches of belly fat, ask yourself is that what you really thought you’d look like as you got older?
Have you ever thought to yourself how much worse and how much more fat you’ll gain if you do nothing about it?
Getting lean is no longer about being in your youth, getting lean especially over the age of 40 has profound and even life altering benefits.
Too many men don’t realise how much fat they’ve gained until one day they wake up and look in the mirror. Fat is gained gradually over the weeks, months and years it’s not an overnight process.
Those daily habits you’ve been repeating each day has got you to this stage and now it’s time to take charge of your life and lose that belly fat once and for all.
I can teach you how to do that by alerting your daily habits and eliminating your belly fat once and for all!
Why getting abs should be your goal
Aiming for abs is the hallmark of health. When you have abs, the rest of your body will be in shape. You’ll have defined chest, legs, arms and back and your body will perform at it’s optimum.
Having abs goes way beyond the visual appeal, quite literally your body will thank you for it. It’s just not possible to have abs without the rest of your body being in shape and that’s why you should make it your goal to sport a ripped set of abs, even though you’re over 40.
So, if your goal is to lose that belly fat, the fastest way to do that is to aim to get abs!
The key to getting abs for men over 40
Have you ever seen men doing endless sit ups and crunches and eating like a bird, hoping to reveal a set of ripped abs?
It kind of makes sense that if you want to reveal your abs you should target your stomach by doing crunches to build up the abdominal muscles and burn away fat, but this is simply the worst way of getting rid of that belly and revealing your abs.
To get abs over 40 we need to reduce body fat percentage and that means losing fat all over, not just on your stomach.
In fact, if you’re more than 15% body fat you’ll never see your abs.
It’s just not possible to lose fat off your stomach without losing fat from the rest of your body, that’s not how our body works.
Men over 40 needs to combat fat loss by using a combination of strength training, nutrition and cardiovascular exercises, but they must train differently than men in their twenties as our joints and recovery isn’t the same as younger men.
Strength training is super important to get lean, by increasing your overall lean muscle tissue your body will burn more fat even at rest and you’ll be able to eat more calories without gaining fat.
Personally, I’ve never seen a man over 40 with abs that doesn’t strength train, but strength training needs to be low impact and testosterone boosting for it to be effective for men over 40.
Compound movements target one or two muscle groups at the same time, are low impact on the joints AND don’t take a lot of time to complete so that you gain maximum bang for your buck.
By using compound movements in a way that targets all the major muscles of the body, you’ll be well on your way to leaning down without over taxing your aging joints.
And if you’ve never exercised with weights before, I recommend using body weight movements as compound exercises to begin with and once your body gets used to that, only then should you switch to using a weight training program.
Recovery from weight training becomes even more important as we age and that’s why once you’re sticking to an effective strength training routine, three strength training sessions per week is plenty to get the job done.
When it comes to sets and reps, many men are puzzled when I recommend using multiple sets of lower reps thinking that medium to higher reps are better as they get older.
But multiple sets of low reps i.e. 5 x 5, 3 x 6 and the 5/4/3/2/1 system allows you to perform each rep with full focus, is far safer and has the greatest benefits on body composition.
Your strength training workouts will be shorter, AND you’ll recover a lot quicker from your workouts.
Men over 40 also need to take extra care with sufficient warm-up work.
Nutrition is extremely important when it comes to losing belly fat and revealing your abs, but it’s vastly over complicated by the fitness industry.
My aim is to make nutrition simple to understand so that any man can lean down fast.
The worst way you can lose belly fat over 40 years old is to cut out fatty foods!
Yes, I know that sounds too good to be true but I’m talking about foods that provide our body with essential fats, mono-unsaturated fats such as avocados, eggs, fatty fish, lean cuts of beef and extra virgin olive oil.
Not eating enough calories or “eating like a bird” is a mistake I see men over 40 making all the time.
Nutrition should never be a miserable experience, or you simply won’t stick to it over the long term.
With that said though, you can’t go chowing down processed junk foods that don’t supply the body with the nutrients it needs, lean cuts of protein, healthy complex carbohydrates and essential fats are vital for proper functioning of the body and to get and stay lean.
Another important point is that nutrition for men over 40 needs to be structured so that it encourages healthy testosterone production.
That means eating enough calories, supplying enough healthy carbohydrates and fats and removing those processed foods that wreak havoc with our blood sugar and proper functioning of the body.
Cardio is the last part of the equation for losing that belly fat and revealing a ripped set of abs and it’s essential especially as we get older and need to look after our heart.
It will help you eat more daily calories whilst still losing fat. But too much cardio will destroy testosterone levels, that’s why moderation is key.
Low impact cardio works best for men over 40, that means you’ll burn extra calories without putting stress and strain on your joints. Walking on a high incline at a comfortable but readily fast walking pace will help shred some extra fat.
Then once you’ve been exercising for a while you can begin to include some low impact circuits using compound movements. These are joint friendly exercises performed back to back that have more fat burning potential and safe on the joints.
Short bursts of energy, followed by active rest have been shown to ramp up testosterone levels AND elevate fat burning potential.
Low impact exercises for men over 40 are the best way to target the abs directly. You don’t want to be doing anything that puts strain on the lower back such as endless sit-ups with you arms behind your head!
Exercises such as crunches, stability ball crunches, long leg crunches and planks are some of the exercises you should be doing, far safer and a lot more beneficial for men over 40.
Again, it’s low impact and joint friendly exercises we should be doing, gone are the days of doing crazy cardio and weight training routines.
Keeping a food log
When losing fat, you need to be in a slight calorie deficit, there’s no way around that and keeping a food log over the course of at least 3 months is the best way to ensure you’re on track.
By keeping a food journal you’ll know first hand what’s working and what isn’t and if you need to make any adjustments. Trust me, keeping a food journal is key to losing that belly fat and revealing your abs.
With all the information above you’ll be well on your way to losing that belly and forming new habits. If you’re consistent for long enough with the above information you will lose fat and reveal your abs.
It’s up to you to fix this and take action on a properly structured exercise routine.
Don’t put off losing that belly fat another day, life will always get in the way of your goals and there’s no perfect time to start other than today!
Here’s to your success in fitness and health.
There's a fresh way to do body-weight routines, and it’s all about going vertical, using a wall can intensify many moves that are typically done on the floor. Not to mention that you can find a wall (or a pillar or a tree) anywhere. (You can also use a staircase, bench, or step to get a killer workout anywhere.
This workout to target your lower body and core—to the point where you’ll likely feel your muscles quiver as you complete each set. That’s where the body changing happens. Plus, you’ll boost your balance, stability, and alignment: Working against a vertical surface helps improve your alignment because it gives you a physical guide for properly placing your body in space.
Maintaining contact on the wall with your toe as you trace requires your leg to be fully extended—that’s how to ensure you maximize your glute, quad, and calf muscle contraction—but without the wall there to keep you accountable, you wouldn’t realize if your leg was bent a little bit. You’ll also notice as you perform the wall squat snow angels that it’s a lot harder than you thought to keep your elbows and wrists against the wall to get that chest stretch. And because you’ll be pushing into the wall with each rep, you’ll get a bigger muscle contraction than you would doing these same drills the wall-free way.
Hamstrings and hips are volatile areas of the body and require consistent attention through both nutrition and physical exercise. Although we have provided some great tips on physical exercise, ensuring that you maintain your nutrition is vital to health muscle tissue and your body remains at it optimum performance. If you are unsure of what nutritional products are required please feel free to click the link below and look into our recommended supplements provided by NowBody based out of Schertz Texas. Free Shipping for qualified orders.
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