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The Role Of Repetitions In Your Muscle Building Program
By: Richard Mitchell

Repetitions are the basic building blocks of any strength or muscle building program but it is something that many lifters take for granted. How often do you see people at the gym speed through their reps, breathe haphazardly or fail to complete each rep correctly from a technical perspective? There is much more to the simple rep than meets the eye.

The first thing to note is that a repetition consists of three elements - namely lower, pause and lift. The speed at which this is achieved depends on the desired outcome, but to maximize muscle growth a slow, controlled tempo is required. The process should never be rushed, jerky or bouncy but instead should be controlled and smooth.

The second consideration relates to how many reps need to be performed. Once again, this depends on what you hope to achieve but you can use the following as a basic rule of thumb:

1. A single repetition maximum (1RM) increases muscle strength.

2. A six to eight repetition maximum increases muscle size.

3. A higher number of repetitions will have more effect on muscle endurance and little impact on size or strength.

Your aim therefore should be to complete six to eight reps of a load equivalent to 75-80% of your 1RM. This will maximize your muscle building potential, provided you complete each lift with perfect form in a smooth controlled manner.

You can find out more about building muscle by visiting the site listed below.

Richard Mitchell is the creator of the bodybuildingadvisor.com website that provides guidance and information to athletes at all levels of bodybuilding experience. Go to Bodybuilding Advice to learn more about the issues covered in this article.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape

 

Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.


Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
shocks.

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
speaking.

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
time.

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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