Thursday, November 10, 2011

Julien Greaux Mixed Martial Artist

Julien Greaux BSN sponsored athlete gets ultra ripped as an avid Mixed Martial Artist

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

UFC Heavyweight fight debuts on Fox

The biggest fight of the year hits Anaheim, CA this Saturday, November 12 when the UFC® makes its debut on Fox with the heavyweight championship of the world on the line. Team BSN®’s Cain Velasquez will defend his title for the first time against dangerous young heavyweight Junior dos Santos in a thrilling clash of the two premier strikers in the division.
Cain has spent the past year recovering from shoulder surgery to repair an injury sustained during his title-clinching destruction of former champ Brock Lesnar back at UFC® 121. Now fully healed with a successful training camp behind him, Cain will be looking to build on his unblemished 9-0 professional record and continue to cement his place as the undisputed king of the MMA landscape. However, dos Santos will provide Cain with perhaps his toughest test yet, as the young Brazilian is an expert striker with textbook form and tremendous power in both hands. As deadly as Cain’s own stand-up game is, this should prove to be a truly explosive matchup. One area where Cain should have a decided advantage is on the ground; his stellar wrestling background should allow him to control the fight if it goes to the mat, and his ground-and-pound attack can be absolutely brutal. Both men are exceptional athletes, so stamina shouldn’t be a problem for either. Of course, with the way these two like to mix it up, this fight might never see the fifth round.
The fight is a milestone for the UFC®, and certainly for Cain himself. After shocking the MMA world with how quickly and completely he dominated the monstrous Lesnar, it’s now time for Cain to begin building his championship legacy. Tune in this Saturday at 9 PM EST on Fox and catch all the action as the combat sports event of the year unfolds!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

UFC 141 Lesnar vs Overeem UFC on FOX

by Jesse Holland on November 7, 2011 12:37 pm EST in UFC Press Conference

Come for the Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem staredown, stay for the UFC on FOX weigh ins.
The UFC 141 pre-fight press conference to announce "Lesnar vs. Overeem" has been booked for the Santa Monica Pier this Friday (November 11, 2011) at 2:0 pm PT in Santa Monica, California, to announce the upcoming heavyweight headliner slated for the Dec. 30 pay-per-view in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The press conference, which is free to attend and open to the public, will precede the UFC on FOX weigh ins for "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos," which start at 4:0 pm PT at the same location.
UFC 141 will take place on New Year's Eve weekend from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in "Sin City" and pits former division champion, Brock Lesnar, who has not competed in more than a year because of the major intestinal disorder, against the former Strikeforce and K-1 Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem.
Both fighters are expected to attend and mug for the cameras.
Here is the current UFC fight card and 141 line-up.

Main event:
265 lbs.: Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem
Main card (pay-per-view):
170 lbs.: Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks
155 lbs.: Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone
170 lbs.: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Sean Pierson
205 lbs.: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Preliminary card (May not be broadcast):
145 lbs.: Manny Gamburyan vs. Diego Nunes
145 lbs.: Ross Pearson vs. Junior Assuncao
155 lbs.: T.J. Grant vs. Jacob Volkmann

* Fight card and line-up subject to change **
For more on UFC 141: "Lesnar vs. Overeem" be sure to hit up our event archive right here. For more on the UFC on FOX weigh ins click here.
Read More: Manny Gamburyan (MMA), Brock Lesnar (MMA), Alistair Overeem (MMA), Donald Cerrone (MMA), Jon Fitch (MMA), T.J. Grant (MMA), Ross Pearson (MMA), Alexander Gustafsson (MMA), Diego Nunes (MMA), Vladimir Matyushenko (MMA), Johny Hendricks (MMA), Sean Pierson (MMA), Jacob Volkmann (MMA), Nate Diaz (MMA), Dong Hyun Kim (MMA), Junior Assuncao (MMA), 141 UFC: Lesnar vs. Overeem

UFC ULTIMATE Fighter Gray Maynard

Interview with UFC Fighter Gray Maynard

Interviewed by Ben Tatar of - December 2010Gray Maynard has a 9 second KO 3rd fastest in UFC history
Gray is second to Anderson Silva in longest winning streak in UFC history
Gray is the ONLY lightweight to go undefeated in 8 fights
Combined Gray's opponents have had over 100 UFC fights, in those 100 UFC fights only 3 times have those opponents lost their fight due to a KO or submission.
Gray is undefeated.
Every fighter Gray has fought, has a professional winning record.
Gray is the only man to beat Frankie Edgar.
Gray will be fighting Frankie Edgar January 1st for his first chance to capture the belt. UFC 125 GRAY MAYNARD on Frankie Edgar... "Frankie be prepared. Cause I want to beat Frank Edgar at his best!" Gray has a resume that no other fighter has been able to duplicate before. Critical Bench presents to you, UFC superstar, GRAY MAYNARD! Critical Bench: Gray, it's great to have you here today. We are interested in getting to know the man who will be fighting the Main Event at UFC 125 on New Years and the man who has been a total unstoppable force in the octagon. GRAY: Thank you. It is great to be here with Critical Bench. CRITICAL BENCH: Your 9 second KO is the 3rd fastest in UFC history. How did it happen? GRAY: It was a left hook that hit him square. My opponent wasn't a top guy. It was all good and I liked that fight. CRITICAL BENCH: Did it surprise you that you had the 3rd fastest KO in UFC history? GRAY: It surprised me of course, 9 seconds and it's over. He isn't a top fighter, so it isn't something that I brag about. However, it's a cool fact to have that I'm the 3rd fastest. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray you are second to Anderson Silva in longest winning streak in UFC history. That means your win streak is longer than Royce Gracie's, Chuck Liddell's, GSP's and any other UFC great.
How do you stay so dominate for so long? GRAY: I just really try to evolve with every chance. The sport changes every day. I think it is important to change as well. If you don't, you get passed up really quick. When you're going against the top guys over and over again, you have to add a little bit more or you will get beat. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, you are the only lightweight in UFC history to go undefeated in 8 fights. What makes Gray different from everyone else? GRAY: My thing is I love to evolve. I think with me, obviously the goal is to have the belt and hold onto the belt. A lot of people are scared of change, but I have done some stuff and I changed. Every time I have a camp, I try to change stuff and evolve. I have the best coaches and the best group of guys to train with. CRITICAL BENCH: What if everything is working so well? Do you think there is always something to improve? GRAY: There is always stuff to improve whether it's technical or mental. You gotta look at every aspect of the game. Do you do it just to do it or do you do it because it works? What you do in between camps determines what you do in everything. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, according to your sister Misty, your combined opponents have had over 100 UFC fights. In those 100 UFC fights only 3 times have those opponents lost their fight due to a KO or submission. I also notice that every opponent you faced and beat has a professional winning record. How do you keep an undefeated record with such a tough professional fight schedule? GRAY: hahaha, wow my sister keeps track of everything. I love my sister Misty. She's an amazing person who is always there for me and I love all of her support. Ben, to answer your question I have gone up with the top guys and I pride the fact that I fight the guys no one else wants. That's why I have gone up against Edgar and where my fights were against the lefties for five fights. Everyone hates fighting lefties because it's a different style and a slower pace, but against lefties I had 5 wins in a row! CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, how did you get the nickname, "The Bully"?

GRAY: It comes from my dog Hank, a bullterrier that I rescued from a place that was neglectful. I knew a guy who had a couple pitbulls and a bullterrior and they would fight them. They were being abused. At the time his name was TANK and I would change it to HANK. So, I had to change him! I was like, what do you with a dog while in college? He was a bully, I had to train him and for me, every time I train, I train hard! So, we are BULLIES! CRITICAL BENCH: Great story. Gray, you train year round. You have a new strength and conditioning trainer. What is your new strength and conditioning 
  trainer like? GRAY: My last year I got with a guy named Luke. He trained out of Athlete's Performance out of Arizona. He trains a lot of pro athletes for
baseball, football and he just got a new job a couple of years ago as a strength
and conditioning coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. I knew him for a long time, John Pascou. He trains Roy Jones Jr and he overseas Brock Lesnar's camps. It's all about the whole process to peak at the correct time. He is more of a performance coach. He is in Florida to help me peak on January 1st. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, tell us about your training at your camp. GRAY: I started at camp 13 weeks out. There was a week where I had to go to England, but the whole process has been going on for awhile. I had to heal up a couple of injuries. I go to the camp 2 times a day, every day. Once in awhile I take a day off. We do different stuff, sometimes static training, it really depends on what part of the camp we are in, it will change. It's all according to the camp to peak at the right time. For me, I have a whole process to be good on January 1st, 110%. It has been a really good camp. It has been a long one, but good and I'm gonna be prepared for January to win that belt. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, tell us about your father Jan Maynard. GRAY: While growing up my dad got me into wrestling when I was three. That was my sport for a long time. He was a time 2 time Ohio State Champ. Wrestling was my goal ever since I was a kid. My parents and family did teach me about the drive to compete. I appreciate them, they mean everything to me. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, you have cauliflower ears. How did you get cauliflower ears? GRAY: All the toughest wrestlers had cauliflower ears and they were so badass. I looked up to Tom and Terry Brands, Dan Gable, and my dad Jan Maynard who all had cauliflower ears. So, I didn't wear my headgear. It happens. I was in the 10th grade when it happened to me. Just a little story that's funny. I just cared about training and I wanted to be top of the world and that's it. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray you love to drink beer and keep everyone rolling with quotes from movies, one liners and other antics. Tell us about that. GRAY: I love to laugh. I train, that is all I do. Then when I'm not, let's have a good time. Let's enjoy life. When I'm not in the camps for my fight, I have a few beers and just laugh. Comedies is all I watch, I want to laugh, that's just me. I love stand up comedies, gotta enjoy life man because it's short. Live it!
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray you also enjoy mountain biking, hiking and wake boarding. Great stuff. What is it about those activities that you love? Can you do tricks? GRAY: I usually train all year but if I'm not in the gym, I'm still doing stuff. I love mountain biking, hiking and wake boarding. I'm just enjoying life. There's a lot of cool stuff and it's a lot of fun for me. I can do some wake boarding tricks. I love the lake and heat. Gotta keep active and enjoy life.  
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, so far in a UFC fight, what has been your most intense moment? GRAY: When I fought Edgar. In round 1, I actually broke my hand. He caught me on a hook where my eye ball took all the punch. I was blurred for a long time, maybe for 2 weeks after the fight. My eyes were really screwed afterwards, so I was kind of messed up for the whole fight. I had a broken hand and blurred eyes. CRITICAL BENCH: You still came back and won against Edgar! GRAY: That's the whole and makes it even more impressive! CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have any message for Frankie Edgar for UFC 125 on New Years? GRAY" Frankie be prepared. Cause I want to beat Frank Edgar at his best!' CRITICAL BENCH: Gray Maynard versus Frankie part 2, where everything is at stake! No better way to ring in the New Year! So, Gray, what fight do you remember the most? GRAY: I remember my fight against Kenny Florian because that was my last one. It was a good fight and I was just glad that I had the chance for a title shot after that. They just come and go and it was awesome at the time, but gotta get back at the gym! CRITICAL BENCH: Right, you beat Kenny and Kenny has been one of the best light weights in the world for awhile, very impressive. What is your mental training like before a fight? GRAY: I like to get a good warm up in, sweat, tell jokes, laugh and just try to enjoy it. It's fun for me to fight! Then the cage door closes and it's time to get going, serious! CRITICAL BENCH: I know this is a no brainer, but some people don't know. Let me ask you. If all the fighters from UFC 1 fought all the UFC fighters who we will see at UFC 125 on January 1st, would today's fighters win the UFC tournaments back from the earlier UFC Days?
GRAY: Yes. This is an actual sport where people train year round and are now good in everything. Of course it was tough back then but it has changed now. Today everyone is really good and prepared. The competition is just getting so good that the gap is closing for the top 20 guys. It's just really close. CRITICAL BENCH: How do you see the future of the UFC? GRAY: I see it evolving. More competition, there's gonna be a quicker pace, but there's gonna be closer crap fights because there are gonna be some good guys. It's just gonna get tougher and tougher. CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have a favorite UFC moment? GRAY: It's all fun for me. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray what fight changed you the most? GRAY: When I fought Dennis Evar. I just felt it was a sloppy fight and I was pretty pissed after I fought. After that I got with a coach named Gill Martinez and he has been unbelievable. That has changed me! CRITICAL BENCH: How does Gray want to be remembered? GRAY: I want to be remembered as a guy who really tried to learn the sport, evolved and never took the easy way out. He was a normal guy who worked his ass off to get to the top. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, what was the best advice you were ever told. GRAY: Best advice, don't eat the yellow snow! CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, what's your message for fans who look up to you? GRAY: I appreciate the support, I train my ass off and I love the sport. I love my fans. It helps to know that I have that! For the times it gets tough, it's great that they are so there. Love my fans. CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have any advice for the kids who want to be a UFC Fighter? GRAY: Get in there! Hard work pays off. Just gotta be smart and try not to hang out with guys who don't want what you want. So, that's a key goal. You gotta be with guys who want what you want as well. Guys who want to workout hard and work your ass off. CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, it has been great talking to you today. You have really left a huge impact on the UFC! We cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next. Go win that title on January 1st and we wish you the best in every fight after that. Gray, in closing who would you like to thank? GRAY: I want to thank my family, my teammates, Jessica, the people who support me and it's just an endless list. It's a great sport, let's keep it going. I appreciate all the support and help!!
Brought to you by Critical Bench Get the new 2.0 Bench Press program here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Protein FAQ's

Common Sense Protein FAQ - Get Answers To Your Most Frequently-Asked Questions About Protein

By Nick Nilsson
How much protein do you need? How much protein can your
body absorb at once? Will excess protein make you fat?
Learn these answers and more!
Apply the knowledge,Take Massive Action,get Massive Results
Protein: it's the nutrient that is most commonly associated with weight training, yet it's also one of the most misunderstood! When it comes right down to it, when you workout with weights, your body NEEDS protein, which it breaks down into Amino Acids and uses for a myriad of bodily functions, including muscle repair.

But when it comes to using protein (both in supplement form and in food), there is a lot of confusion. In this FAQ, you're going to get common sense answers to some of the most controversial questions that people have about protein.


How Much Protein Does Your Body Really Need?
At its simplest, your body has a baseline protein requirement that depends on a two main factors: lean body mass (muscle) and activity (type and amount).
The more muscle your body carries, the higher your protein requirement. Also, the more intense, the more frequent and the longer the activity you perform, the more protein you need.
Studies on protein requirements that demonstrate a greater need for protein often meet with much controversy in scientific literature. It seems sometimes, for some reason, that many in the scientific and nutritional community are actually anti-protein! In fact, you may have even witnessed a similar prejudice when it comes to supplements as simple as vitamins as well!
Bottom line: if you train with weights, your body is breaking down protein and you need to provide it with extra protein to help rebuild. Though the exact amounts that different sources recommend varies widely between 0.7 grams per pound of body weight (140 grams for a 200 lb person) to levels as high as 2 grams per pound of body weight (400 grams for a 200 lb person), there is a solution...
Experiment for yourself! Start with a moderate protein intake of 0.7 grams per pound of body weight and see how you feel and how your results are. The next week, increase your protein intake a little, adding about 20 to 30 grams to your daily total. See if that makes a difference. The following week, add a little more protein.
You may find that you need more protein than you've been taking or you may find that you don't need as much protein as you think!


How Much Protein Can The Body Digest At One Time?
There are many who suggest your body can't digest and use more than 30 to 40 grams of protein at a time. I've not seen convincing research on it to say if that's true or not.
Personally, using a common sense approach, I think we need to consider a few things.
1. Think about what state your body is in. If your body needs the protein (like after workout), I think it will use and digest more of it if it's available. Your entire metabolism is accelerated after a workout and protein use in the body shoots up. If protein is just eaten during the day, smaller servings of around 40 grams may well be better.
2. It's better to have more than you need than not enough when you need it. After a workout, I take in about 60 grams of whey protein, simply because, even if my body can't use it all, I'd prefer to have a little bit more than not have enough, which would slow down recovery.
The same can certainly apply during the day. A little extra protein that your body burns up or excretes is not going to have any appreciable negative effects. But, not having protein available when your body needs it can slow and stop muscle growth.
3. Protein doesn't digest all at once, especially with meals. Think about it this way, your stomach doesn't process and send out everything it digests all at once. It works on some, then sends some on its way. This applies more to meals than protein drinks but the fact remains, your body doesn't digest a whole meal all at once. It digest a little at a time. Think of it like time-release vitamin - your body doesn't use the whole all at once but uses it over the course of the entire digestion process.
4. Different people can handle different doses of nutrients other than protein. Does it makes sense that a 250 lb bodybuilder can only digest the same amount of protein as a 110 lb woman at one time? Different metabolic systems require and can handle different dosages.
Bottom line: The limit of 30 to 40 grams of protein at once? It could be right, it could be wrong. Just make sure you're getting plenty if and when your body needs it.


Will Eating Too Much Protein Make You Fat?
The quick answer to that question is yes. However, an excess of ANY nutrient (protein, carbs or fat) has the potential to make you fat. Of the three major nutrients, protein is the LEAST likely to do so as it's primarily a structural nutrient rather than an energy nutrient.
A common sense approach to answering this question would be to break it all down by numbers.
Consider this:
1 gram of protein contains 4 calories. Your body uses approximately 40% of the calories stored in protein to break it down and digest it.
Say you eat 300 grams of protein per day and your body only needs 150 grams. That's 150 extra grams of protein per day. Of those 150 grams (which yields 600 calories), the equivalent of 60 of those grams (240 calories) will be burned digesting the extra protein.
This leaves you with 360 extra calories. A pound of fat contains 3500 calories. It's going to take a LOT of excess protein to fill up a pound of fat. Even then, if you're training hard, excess calories are burned to fuel activity (not necessarily from the protein itself but also from carbs and fat).
Bottom line: the fat-gaining effects of eating extra protein are negligible. You're better off making sure your body is getting enough protein when you're training hard.


Do I Need To Take Protein Supplements?
The answer to this question is both yes and no.
You DON'T need to supplement with protein if you're getting enough quality protein in your food in your regular diet. You also don't need to supplement if you are able to get your protein conveniently and when your body needs it (especially after a workout).
If you can get enough protein and get it when your body needs it, there's no need to supplement with it! Food sources of protein are absolutely fine and you can build and support muscle with them.
But here's the big "BUT!"
Food sources are good for daily protein requirements BUT you SHOULD supplement with protein if you're not able to get enough quality protein in your diet WHEN your body needs it.
The very best example of this is after a hard workout. Protein supplements are easily digested by your body and very convenient to simply drink after a workout. This is the time when your body needs protein the most and getting it to your muscles quickly is a top priority. Food sources of protein are just not digested as quickly as supplements for post-workout use. Supplements are an easy way to make sure your body has the protein it needs after a workout.
Also, if you have trouble getting enough protein on a regular basis throughout the day, a protein supplement is ideal for keeping your muscles supplied consistently. It's much easier to drink a protein shake than cook and eat a chicken breast!
Bottom line: while you don't always HAVE to take a protein supplement, sometimes it's a very good idea to. If nothing else, take a protein supplement IMMEDIATELY after a workout to maximize recovery and results.


Will Eating Too Much Protein Harm My Kidneys?
Only if you already have trouble with your kidneys. No studies have demonstrated damage to the kidneys with increased protein intake unless the kidneys are already damaged.
Drinking plenty of water can help the kidneys do their job of processing waste products, though! Keep in mind that there are many other variables at work in the body as well, including other bodily processes that could affect protein metabolism and excretion. If you have any concerns about protein and how your body uses it, I would definitely recommend you consult with your physician.


These common-sense answers to frequently-asked protein questions should help you get a better idea of how you should look at and structure your protein consumption.
If you have any questions about protein intake or supplementation, including which supplements are recommended, please don't hesitate to contact me at
Nick Nilsson has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been innovating new training techniques for more than 18 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding books including "Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass", "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of", all designed to maximize the results you get for the hard work you put into your training.
Be sure to grab your FREE copy of Nick's 30-day "Dirty Little Secret Program for Building Muscle and Burning Fat FAST," available at click here for more info!

Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Increase Your Bench Press

10 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW To Increase Your Bench Press FAST

By Nick Nilsson
Improving the bench press is ALWAYS at the top of almost every lifter's list of goals. Make it a top priority and impress your friends when they come over.
Put these 10 tips into practice and power up your bench press fast!

The flat barbell bench press...the lift that everyone wants to know how much you can do when they find out you are lifting weights. So you want to get your numbers moving in the right direction again? These 10 quick tips will make a difference in your strength gains and boost your bench FAST.
Keep in mind, these tips are coming from someone who has almost NO genetic gifts as far as bench press is concerned (bad shoulders, long arms). It's among my weakest lifts and I have to struggle for every single pound I add onto it. Yet with those limitations, using the tips I'll share with you below, I've managed to work up to a maximum single at 350 lbs. So it CAN be done!
At the end of the article, I'll include a link where you can see pictures and video of some of these tips in action.

1. Work your Rotator Cuff muscles

Yes, this is completely unglamorous but it has the potential to add 20 - 30 pounds to your bench press in a matter of weeks. The reason? The Rotator Cuff muscles are the four small muscles that stabilize the humerus (your upper arm bone) in the shoulder socket.
Most people rarely, if EVER, work the Rotator Cuff but a couple of sets at the end of each workout can really make a HUGE difference in your bench press by helping to stabilize the shoulder joint.
The exercise that I use is one I call the "3 In 1 Rotator Cuff Raise." It's an exercise I invented to workout all 3 major planes of movement that the Rotator Cuff muscles operate  in one basic movement. It's very effective and very time efficient. Two sets of 8 reps of this at the end of each workout is all you need. I have a video and pics of this exercise at the link at the bottom of the article.

2. Get your grip-width right

Where you grip the bar can make or break your bench press before you even do a single rep. If you grip the bar in too close, you're putting more stress on the triceps, which limits your pushing power and increases the distance you have to press the bar. If you grip the bar too wide, you do decrease the distance the bar travels but you put excessive stress on the shoulder joints.
So what is the best place to grip the bar? This is best determined with no weight on the bar at all and with somebody watching your form. Lie down and take the bar off the rack and lower the bar to your chest. Have your spotter eyeball your forearms. At the bottom of the press, your forearms should be perfectly vertical. THAT will give you the greatest pressing power as you won't lose any power inside or outside.
It's the same concept as throwing a punch - if the bones of the arm aren't lined up properly when it connects, you lose a lot of power on impact. Ask any MMA fighter.

3. Learn how to breathe

When you're doing a heavy press, trunk stabilization is much more important than when you're doing lighter, higher-rep training. You need a strong, solid base to push off of to really move the most weight.
When doing a heavy lift for only a few reps, breathe in deeply on the way down, inflating your chest + lungs as much as possible (this has the dual effect of increasing the stability of your trunk AND decreasing the distance the bar must travel, which is a bonus!). But as you press the bar off your chest don't immediately blow out all your air in one big blow. That will destabilize the chest and weaken the base you're pushing from.
Think of it this would be like trying to do a dumbell press on the Swiss Ball as somebody is letting the air out of it FAST!
So as you start to press the weight, blow the air out of your lungs through pursed lips. Basically, pretend you're blowing up a really thick balloon. You want to keep your breathing muscles in your rib cage absolutely solid as they very slowly force the air out. This keeps your trunk solid and stabilized as you press, which is critical. The moment you lose that stability, you lose the lift.

4. Don't neglect back (Lats) training

Back training is important to your bench press in 3 major ways.
Remember what I said about stability in the previous point? Your back makes up a BIG portion of that base that stabilizes your body. The wider the base, the bigger the structure it can support (i.e. more weight). A comparatively weak back will reduce the amount of weight you can bench.
The second point is thickness. The thicker your back, the shorter the distance the bar has to travel and the more weight you'll be able to lift. Look at how thick the torsos of the best bench pressers in the world are - they have huge barrel chests, thick backs and relatively short arms - their range of motion is probably about HALF of what a "normal" person's range of motion is with the bench press. The thicker your back, the shorter the range of motion and the more weight you'll be able to press.
The third point is muscular balance. If you're constantly doing pushing movements, your body will overdevelop those pushing muscles, which will lead to unnatural shortening and potential weakness. You MUST work the back muscles to pull everything into proper alignment. Walking around with your shoulders hunched forward and your arms bouncing around in front of you doesn't look cool - I can promise you that.

5. Don't forget to press with your legs, too

Leg drive is VERY important to maximizing your bench press strength on maximum lifts. When you set your feet for benching, don't just place them anywhere and let nature take its course. Set your feet solidly on the ground and bend your knees a little past 90 degrees.
Here's why...when you're at the bottom of the bench press, driving with the legs can help you get that weight moving. You can demonstrate this to yourself by lying on the flat bench and setting your feet on the ground. Now think of how you'd need to set your feet if you wanted to use your feet/legs to slide yourself up the bench. THAT is what you do when you drive with your legs - you basically try and use your legs to slide yourself up the bench. But because the weight is holding you down, that force goes to helping push the weight up.
This leg drive is used at the bottom of the press to get the weight moving and makes a HUGE difference with getting big weights moving upward.

6. Get those shoulder blades squeezed together

This goes back to trunk stability. If you're not consciously and religiously squeezing your shoulder blades together when you set yourself up on the bench press, you're instantly putting yourself at a disadvantage.
To do this, lie down on the bench and grab the bar. Lift your body up off the bench then try and touch your shoulder blades together behind your back. Get them tucked in as tight as possible. When you set yourself back down, you'll find you're not only more stable on the bench but your shoulders are in a stronger pressing position AND your torso is actually a little thicker (which means shorter range of motion and less distance to push that bar)!

7. Do partial-range training to strengthen  connective tissue + nerve connections from brain to muscle.

e-book Author Nick Nilsson shows how to do partial reps, heavy weight bench press

One big thing that's often missing in the training routine of a person looking to maximize strength is a focus on connective tissue training. You can build huge, strong muscles but the movement is only as strong as the weakest link. If that weakest link is connective tissue, best case is it will limit the amount of weight you can lift. Worst case, you'll snap your tendons when your muscles move weights that your connective tissue can't handle!
So how do we strengthen connective tissue? That requires VERY heavy weight, the kind that can only be used with partial-range training like lockouts in the rack.
This will also increase the nerve force connections which will in turn increase strength. Commonly referred to as the mind to muscle link.
    For building up your connective tissue specifically for bench press, DEFINITELY work on rack lockouts and static holds with monster weight.
I've got more information specifically on lockout partial bench press here:
Personally, I really enjoy lockout training because you can use a TON of weight (up to two times or more of your one rep max!).

8. Use training bands

Bands are one of the most useful fitness training tools you can use with the bench press. There are two main ways to go...working AGAINST the bands to increase explosive power and working WITH band assistance to move more weight and more closely mimic the strength curve of the bench press (harder at the bottom, easier at the top).
When using the bands to work on explosive training, you attach them to something solid on the floor and then to the bar. You use a lighter weight on the barbell for these. Then, when you lift, you explode up as fast and as powerfully as you can against the bands. The bands stretch as you come up, slowing the bar so your muscles don't have to. This teaches your muscles to fire at a much faster rate.
The other method is to use the bands for assistance (called Reverse Band Bench Press). With this technique, you attach the bands to the top of the rack and to the bar below. As you lower the weight, the bands stretch, making the bottom of the press easier by removing some of the resistance. As you press up, the bands lose tension, making you press more of the weight yourself, which exactly mimics the mechanics of the bench press.
Both of these techniques are great additions to your bench press training routine. You can grab bands here:

9. Don't forget about decline bench press


One of the best things about the decline bench press is that you can use a bit more weight on it than you can on the regular flat bench due to the change in biomechanics and somewhat decreased range of motion. Working with heavier weight is good in two ways - mentally and physically. Mentally, it helps prepare your mind for working with heavier weight. Physically, it helps prepare your body for handling heavier weight on the flat bench.

10. Do your bench pressing in the power rack

Even if you have access to a regular bench press station at your gym, I HIGHLY recommend doing your bench pressing in the rack. Why? Two reasons.
The first is safety. You can easily set the rails to just slightly below the bottom-most position of your bench press. If you can't finish a rep, you just set the bar on the rails, roll the bar forward and slide your body out from under it. No harm done, no spotter necessary. You can't do that on a regular bench press station!
The second is the freedom to REALLY PUSH YOURSELF without fear of dropping the weight and not being able to get out from under the bar. When you're in a regular free bench press station, there is always that nagging fear that if you don't make a lift, you're going to have the bar come down on you.
When you do your pressing in the rack with safety rails set, that will NEVER happen and you can really free yourself to push things to the limits without having to worry about crushing yourself under the bar!
I have ALWAYS found it ironic that the station where people do one of the most dangerous exercises in the gym (and quite often lift more weight than they can safely handle on it!) is the one station that has almost NO safety measures built into it!
Think about it this way...when was the last time you saw some body get crushed under a barbell curl, yet how many times do you see people doing curls in the rack while doing bench presses on a free station!
So basically, set yourself free and do your pressing in the rack. You can push yourself harder and fight through those sticking points without worrying about getting stuck under the bar if you don't get it.

If you want to maximize your bench press, put these tips to work. You'll starting noticing a very big difference in how much weight you can lift almost immediately AND in the long-term!
For pictures and video of many of these tips in action, click on the following link:
Nick Nilsson has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been innovating new training techniques for more than 18 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding books including "Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass", "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of", all designed to maximize the results you get for the hard work you put into your training.
Be sure to grab your FREE copy of Nick's 30-day "Dirty Little Secret Program for Building Muscle and Burning Fat FAST," available at Click Here Now!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Small Chest? How to Feel Your Pecs Actually WORK When You Do Chest Training

By Nick Nilsson
If you have a hard time feeling the muscles in your chest working when you do chest
exercises, THIS is the information you need. I'll give you my best
techniques for maximum contraction of your pecs with
every set and rep you do.

One of the most comment training questions I get with regards to chest training is simply not being able to feel the pecs working at all when doing chest workouts!
And when you can't feel the pecs working, you know darn well that actual muscle development is simply NOT going to happen. The stress usually goes to your shoulders (front deltoids) instead.
So enough about the do you FIX it?
I've got a number of techniques for you to try out, some of which may work better than others for you.
But they should get you well on your way towards the chest development you're looking for.

1. Pre-Exhaust Training
When performing a movement like the bench press, the pecs are definitely involved but can be easily pushed into a secondary role by the front delts and the triceps.
So instead of doing a regular bench press movement, you will instead do 6 to 8 reps of dumbell flyes (an isolation movement for the chest) THEN immediately go right to the bench press.
The idea here is to "pre-exhaust" your pecs so that when you do the bench press, your pecs are the weakest link and the shoulders and triceps then push the chest harder than it would normally be pushed.
When you have to stop, it's going to be pec fatigue that ends the set while the shoulders and triceps are still relatively fresh.

2. Feel The Flye
Now, the pre-exhaust training is all well and good...but what if you can't feel your pecs even doing FLYES? Pre-exhaust won't be much help.
The first thing you need to do is get off the flat bench and onto a Swiss Ball. Get into position on the ball and wrap your entire back AROUND the ball. Don't just put your shoulders on the ball and keep your body straight, like many people are taught with the ball.
To get the most out of flyes, you need to open up your rib cage and get your shoulders back (which helps focus the tension on the pecs instead of the shoulders). The ball is PERFECT for this position. So lay back on the ball, wrap your back around it and consciously force your shoulders back and down. THEN do a dumbell flye.
Imagine on the way down like you're trying to push your chest up to the ceiling. And imagine on the way up that you're wrapping your arms around a big tree. This will take some visualization.
When doing flyes, don't hold the dumbells perfectly parallel to each other...hold them at about a 45 degree angle to your body (thumb end in closer to the head - pinky side outwards). This takes stress off the shoulders and helps keep muscle tension on the pecs.

3. Tilt the Dumbells
When doing dumbell presses (either on the ball or the bench), tilt the dumbells down and in...if the dumbells were pitchers or water, it would look like you're pouring them on yourself.
This tilt (and make sure and keep that tilt through the whole exercise) keeps muscle tension on the pecs. If you keep them horizontal or tilting outwards, the tension goes to the shoulders, not where you want it.

4. Concentration Flyes                                                
These are done standing, in a bent-over position, with light weight. They're a great exercise for developing that "feel" in the chest. They won't build a chest - just assist in getting that connection.
Grab the dumbell and bend over a bit. Now, keeping your arm slightly bent but stiff (no movement other than at the shoulder), bring the dumbell up and across your body as though trying to touch it to your opposite shoulder.
Because your arm is hanging down and the dumbell is coming across your body, it takes the front delt pretty much completely out of it, forcing the pec to do all the work. Hold at the top and SQUEEZE the pec muscle hard.
Remember to go light on this one - it's not about building but developing that mind-muscle connection. And be absolutely sure you're NOT bending your elbow - the movement must occur only at the shoulder.

5. The Rolled-Up Towel Trick
This is a technique I came up with to force the shoulders down and back (as I mentioned with the flyes above) and get the pecs involved in the bench press. This is done on the flat bench.
Roll up a towel and lay it lengthwise down the center line of the bench. Set it on the bench right between where your shoulder blades will be. Your head should be on a flat section and your butt should be on a flat section.
Lay down on the bench, feeling the towel run right down your spine. This elevation immediately forces your shoulders back and down (the proper position for benching and feeling it in your chest). It's not particularly comfortable but it's a great teaching tool to force your body into the proper position.

6. Stop Trying To Go So Heavy
Half the time, you're probably just trying to go too heavy on the chest exercise and you just lose the feel for the movement. Back off on the weight and feel the pecs working rather than focusing on blasting up the weight.
When you load the exercise heavy, your body immediately turns to its strongest movers. If your chest isn't part of that A team, it won't be called upon.

7. Don't Grip So Hard
One of the things I've noticed with chest exercises is that the harder you grip the bar/handles, the more the tension gets moved to the shoulders and triceps muscles.
Try easing up on your grip a little - not to the extent that you make the exercise dangerous, but back off on the death grip and see if you feel a difference, in your body.

8. "Shocking" High-Rep Training
This is best done on the very first set of your workout with NO warm-up. You're going to just be using a moderate weight, so don't worry about not doing a huge warm-up. If you have a decent amount of training experience, you'll be just fine.
We're going to literally "shock" your chest muscles into responding here. Load the bar with (or select dumbells) a weight you'd normally be able to get about 12 to 15 "strict" reps in your regular workout.
Now lay down and CRANK OUT as many reps as you can with that weight as fast as you possibly can. Don't worry if your form isn't perfect...just hammer the reps out.
And when I say crank, I mean CRANK...don't bounce the bar off your chest or anything but you must quite simply EXPLODE out of the bottom of every single rep...and don't even think about slowing down to get the negative.
The idea here is very rapidly call upon every available muscle fiber worked by that exercise to contribute an emergency situation, especially the power-oriented type 2 muscle fibers.
And this emergency idea is why you're not going to do a warm-up...we want it to be a TRUE emergency situation where you go from zero to shazammo!
ONE set of this is all you need. Because once you do that first set, not only will the entire area be fatigued, you won't be able to get nearly as many reps and it won't have the same emergency effect on your body.

9. Static Contraction Holds and Pushes
This can be done on almost ANY chest exercise...though it doesn't work too well on dumbell flyes or presses. It works best on cable cross-overs or pec deck, where the tension is greatest at the top, when the arms are close together. It's also pretty good on barbell bench.
A straight static hold means just hold that contracted position for as long as you possibly can. Then fight the negative all the way to the bottom of the movement.
This systematically exhausts all the muscle fibers of the chest AND gives you time to really get your mind into the muscle, shifting your arm and body position during the hold until you really feel it targeting the pecs. By taking this time, you get to feel what you don't normally get during a standard exercise.
And those pushes I mentioned?
As you're holding that static contraction, have a partner push down on the weight stack (if you're on a pec deck). Just a quick push is all you need. This sets off a stretch reflex in the pecs, activating even more muscle fibers. It's basically another emergency situation.
When using cable cross-overs, have your partner put their hands in between yours and push outwards really quick. If you're doing a static hold in the top position of the barbell bench, have them push down on the bar really quick while you maintain the hold.
A couple of these pushes is all you need.

10. Cable or Band Push-Ups
This technique combines two types of resistance - a body weight push-up and direct outwards-pulling resistance of cables or bands. When you put them together, it's CRAZY how much muscle tension you'll get on your pecs.
It's like combining a static hold with a dynamic exercise - two kinds of tension, both targeted on the pecs.
For the cable version, set two handles on the low pulleys and use a light weight. Kneel down holding both handles. Now set your fists on the floor in the push-up position. Straighten out your body and start doing push-ups.
The cables will be trying to pull your hands directly out to the sides. Your pecs have to fight this outwards-pulling tension. When you add in the push-ups, you'll feel these even more in the chest than you usually would, simply because your pecs are ALREADY working by holding the cables in place.
It's a two-for-one exercise that will light your pecs FAST.
You can easily accomplish the same thing with bands by hitching a couple of bands to solid objects out to the sides of you. The just hold the bands in your fists or loop around your wrists, make sure you get tension in them, then do the push-ups.

I have to say, if you've not really felt deep down inside your pecs before, these techniques should get you seriously moving in the right direction. I would recommend taking a few "chest" days and just trying all these techniques to see which ones work best for you.
For pictures and video of many of these tips in action, click on the following link: and get the visual:
The Best Chest Workout You Never Heard Of
Nick Nilsson has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been innovating new training techniques for more than 18 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding books including "Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass", "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of", all designed to maximize the results you get for the hard work you put into your training.
Be sure to grab your FREE copy of Nick's 30-day "Dirty Little Secret Program for Building Muscle and Burning Fat FAST," available CLICK HERE NOW !

Saturday, May 21, 2011

UFC Fighter fitness expo 2007


Maximus Aurelius MMA Strength Building Workout

                                                        MMA  Strength Training Program

                                           here's HOW to GET IT, Full Body Workout program click here

1998 during my MMA Training in BJJ and Tae Kwon Do


 Muscle Gain, Strength Enhancing, MMA Workout program, Training  Motivation.

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