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    Lat Pulldown: Proper From Explained

    Lat Pulldown: Proper From Explained

    It’s no secret…

    While I certainly agree that utilizing mostly free weights is a better way to workout than using guided machines, there are some machine exercises that I would never dream of leaving out.

    One of those exercises is the lat pulldown.

    Don’t get me wrong, you can still build a well-developed back without doing lat pulldowns, but there’s a reason why bodybuilders, athletes, personal trainers, and fitness experts of all sorts incorporate them into their back workouts.

    They work!

    When you do them correctly, lat pulldowns make for an excellent exercise to have in your arsenal for back day.  In my view, no back day is complete without them.

    For some reason though, most people have know idea how to perform a lat pulldown correctly.  Well, don’t worry…

    By the end of this article, you’ll know how to do a lat pulldown with proper form, guaranteed!

    What Muscles Does The Lat Pulldown Work?

    Guy flexing his back muscles

    Although Lat Pulldowns are technically a compound exercise, most of the emphasis is on the Latissumus Dorsi, or “lats” for short.

    The lats are the muscles that make up the sides of the back of the torso.

    Diagram of Latissimus Dorsi muscle

    Of course, because the lat pulldown is technically a compound movement, other muscles are getting worked as well.

    Anytime you do a pulling motion, as is the case with most back exercises, your biceps are doing some of the work.

    The goal, of course, is to focus on your lats and try to avoid pulling with your biceps, but no matter what you do, they’re still going to be there.

    In fact, one of the keys to well-developed biceps is simply to go heavy on back.  If you’re lifting heavy on back days, your biceps will grow over time as well.

    How To Do Lat Pulldowns With Perfect Form

    Guy doing a lat pulldown from the side, with proper form.

    You can experiment with different grips to focus on different areas of the lat, but generally speaking, this is what a proper lat pulldown looks like:

    Diagram of a man doing a lat pulldown with proper form

    As you can see, the goal is to bring the bar from an overhead, arms extended position to just above your chest, using your lats (not arms) to do the work.

    Here are the steps to performing a perfect lat pulldown:

    1. Sit upright facing the machine.
    2. Grip the bar a little wider than shoulder width, palms facing out.
    3. Bring the bar down to your upper chest.
    4. Squeeze the lats so they contract fully.
    5. Return the bar to the starting position (control the speed).

    Like I said earlier, you can experiment with different grips and angles, but the basic execution is the same.

    As with most exercises, you should only do as much weight as you can bear with proper form.  Don’t cheat!

    Tips For Proper Form And Execution

    A man executing a lat pulldown with proper form.

    You want to make sure your form is perfect before you start going heavier and heavier.

    A lot of people make the mistake of trying to go heavy at the expense of proper form.

    Best case, you’re lats don’t grow like they could if you did it right.  Worst case, you get injured.

    Either way, it’s better to just use proper form from the beginning.

    Here are a few tips:

    • Sit up straight, chest out
    • Keep your elbows pointing straight down
    • Focus on squeezing your lats
    • Don’t pull with your biceps (even if you can)
    • Bring the bar straight down to your upper chest

    Now that we’ve established how to do it right, let’s talk about what NOT to do…

    The Most Common Lat Pulldown Errors

    A women doing a lat pulldown with improper form, leaned back with her palms facing her.

    Truth be told, most people have no idea how to do lat pulldowns with proper form.

    If you were to stand by the lat pulldown machine at your gym on a busy day and watch 5 people use it, you’d likely see 5 different variations of lat pulldowns.

    Some variations actually make sense, and we’ll talk about those in a minute, but most of the time people are just going about it all wrong.

    So, let’s go over some of the most common errors people make with lat pulldowns.

    Leaning back

    Leaning back is probably the single most common way of screwing up the lat pulldown.

    Most people begin in the proper upright position, but as soon as the weight becomes too much to handle, they tilt backwards and complete the rest of the movement at a slant.

    This turns it from a lat pulldown to more of a mid-row and works a different part of the back entirely.

    It forces your arms (biceps) to do more of the work which kind of defeats the purpose of back day in the first place!

    Think of the lat pulldown as a pull up, but rather than pulling yourself towards the bar, you’re pulling the bar towards you.

    That’s the angle you should be shooting for.

    Using momentum (swinging)

    Sometimes it’s okay to cheat, but when it comes to lat pulldowns, you’re only cheating yourself by not using proper form.

    Using your body weight to produce momentum–rather than forcing your lats to do the work–is just about the worst example of what constitutes “proper form”.

    Usually, people do this when they can’t actually do the weight, but don’t want to lower it and admit it to themselves (or their friends).

    It’s normal to want to feel like you did more weight than you actually did, but you need to recognize this for what it is…

    An ego thing.

    Don’t let your ego get in the way of a great workout.  Use proper form.  Even if that means less weight.

    If you force your lats to do the work, your lats will grow.  If you cheat, they won’t grow. 

    It’s realy that simple.

    Not doing the full range of motion

    Not completing the full range of motion is usually another indication that the weight is too heavy.

    You may feel like you’re getting a great pump with those half-reps, but if you keep it up, you’ll end up with weak, under-developed lats.

    You want to go from basically a hanging position, to having the bar basically touching your upper chest.

    If you don’t go all the way down, you’re not allowing your lats to fully contract.  If you don’t go all way up, you’re not getting the full stretch.

    So do yourself a favor a toss the half-reps out the window.  Complete the full range of motion on your lat pulldowns, even if that means lowering the weight a little.

    Your lats will thank you in the long-run!

    Doing unnecessary variations

    This is something I discussed in my article on shoulder workouts, but it applies equally here.

    Sometimes the lat pulldown machine is more like a circus….

    People like to experiment, and that’s totally cool, but there comes a point when doing endless variations of the same workout just becomes counter-productive.

    Research shows that bringing the bar behind your neck is not a great way to work the lat.  Neither is a supinated (palms facing the body) grip.

    This makes sense when you think about the fact that bringing the bar behind your neck severely limits your range of motion and when you grip the bar under-hand–with your palms facing your body–your biceps do more of the work.

    Some people are also under the impression that wide grip is superior to a normal grip, but that’s actually not the case.

    In terms of total muscle activation (in the lat specifically), grip width doesn’t really matter.

    A medium grip may actually be slightly superior because it allows for a wider range of motion.

    Do yourself a favor and keep the variations reasonable.  There’s no point in changing your grip every set or even every workout. 

    What’s important is how hard you make your lats work.  The harder they work, the more they’ll grow.

    The Bottom Line On Lat Pulldowns

    If you want to build bigger, wider lats, do lat pulldowns.

    They can’t replace exercises like barbell rows or deadlifts, but nothing targets the lats directly quite like lat pulldowns.

    This is one exercise that’s an absolute must.

    As long as you utilize proper form, and don’t lie to yourself about how much weight you can actually pull, lat pulldowns will definitely help your lats grow, ultimately help sculpt the strong, well-developed back you’ve always wanted!

    The Best Shoulders Exercises And Workout Routines (And A Whole Lot More)

    The Best Shoulders Exercises And Workout Routines (And A Whole Lot More)

    Let’s face it…

    No great physique is complete without muscular, defined shoulders.  Unfortunately, when it comes to shoulder workouts, most people have no idea what they’re doing.

    If you could magically snap your fingers on say, Tuesday, and make all 25 people in your gym decide to do shoulders, you’d likely see about 25 different shoulder exercises being performed by 25 different people, each one of them convinced that they’re well on their way to building bigger, stronger shoulders.

    The truth is most of them aren’t going to get anywhere, though.

    There may be 50 different shoulder workouts, but doing each and every one of them is useless at the very least, and potentially counter-productive.

    That’s right, you may actually be sabotaging your gains without even realizing!

    Most people make at least one of these critical errors when it comes to training shoulders:

    1. Not actually working out their shoulders.
    2. Working out their shoulders WAY TOO MUCH!
    3. Doing inferior shoulder exercises.

    So think of this article as my way of setting the record straight about shoulders.

    Before we get into shoulder anatomy, the best shoulder exercises, and how to develop the ultimate shoulder workout routine, here’s a little cautionary tale…

    Why You Don’t Want To End Up Like Me

    I’ve been lifting for about 10 years and have suffered immensely from shoulder-related issues.

    When I reflect on the most common issues with the average person’s shoulder workout, I’ve actually experienced them all.

    Seriously, over the years, I’ve gone through periods where I:

    • Didn’t train my shoulders at all for months at a time.
    • Went way too hard and over-trained my shoulders.
    • Trained incorrectly, focusing on the wrong exercises

    Ironically, when I first started Momentum Nutrition and Singular Sport, I became so busy that I didn’t get to the gym more than 2 or 3 days a week.

    Like most people, I hate missing Chest day, so during that time I made sure I still did Chest once a week even though I wasn’t training my other muscle groups on a regular basis.

    I basically trained legs, chest, and arms every week, but I neglected my back and literally NEVER shoulders.

    What happened?

    I sustained possibly the most severe, prolonged shoulder injury of my lifting career.  Just as Momentum Nutrition was gaining traction too!

    Worst timing ever.

    That, combined with a typical North East winter (shoveling massive amounts of snow on a bad shoulder), was enough to keep me almost entirely out of the gym for 4-5 months.

    During that time, I lost A LOT of what I had gained in the past year.

    At the time of writing this article, I’m about 205 pounds.  It’s mostly lean muscle and very little fat, but that’s down about 15 pounds of super solid muscle from last summer.

    Here’s another one with a better shoulder angle…

    I still trained legs (thank God), so that sort of kept me in the game, but man did I lose A LOT of muscle!

    Take it from me…

    If you have some issues with your shoulders, take them seriously and fix them the right way.

    That means:

    • rest
    • stretching
    • taking it easy when you do lift

    In fact, if you have a shoulder injury, I suggest you stop reading right now because you really should not even be THINKING about lifting heavy.

    If, however, you’re in fine shape (not injured) but want to know how to build big shoulders that actually support and benefit your other lifts, you’ll want to keep reading…

    Understand the information I’m about to share and you’ll be well on your way to the physique you always wanted.

    Let’s begin…

    Shoulder Anatomy 101
    Your shoulder muscles, though collectively referred to as Deltoids or “Delts”, are actually comprised of three individual muscles:
    1. Anterior Deltoid (Front Delts)
    2. Posterior Deltoid (Rear Delts)
    3. Lateral Deltoid (Side Delts)

    This is what they look like and where they’re located:

    While there are plenty of shoulder workouts that incorporate all three muscles, it’s important to target them equally when your doing any sort of isolation movement.

    That’s where most people go wrong.

    An imbalance in the strength of your Deltoids can cause far more problems than simply looking strange.  That’s really the least of your concern…

    Neglect one part of your Deltoids too much while training the others and you’ll eventually wind up with at least one of the following:

    1. Poor posture
    2. A shoulder injury
    3. Inability to progress on other lifts
    4. All of the above

    I don’t know about you, but those all sound horrible to me.  In fact, I’ve experienced all of them.  It sucks…

    There’s one more part of the shoulder that most people neglect almost entirely when they workout…


    Your traps are the muscles that connects your shoulders to your neck and your back.

    They look like this…

    As you can see, your traps are an extremely important connective muscle group which connect your:

    • Shoulders
    • Back
    • Neck

    When it comes to building nice, solid traps, most people suffer from one of two things:

    1. They don’t workout their traps enough
    2. They workout their traps way too much (in the wrong ways)

    Because the traps are so inter-connected, your working them out any time you do compound lifts such as:

    So, you don’t need to add too many trap exercises on top of those to develop solid traps.

    You see a lot of big guys in the gym doing shrugs with as much weight as they can grip, but when it comes down to it, your traps just don’t need the level of attention that other shoulder muscles do.

    When it comes to shoulder workouts, save the traps for last.

    Just about every shoulder workout you could possibly do also works the traps.

    Don’t take my word for it though…

    Ask the guys over at T-Nation.  They know a thing or two about training heavy and they agree that:

    1. Shrugs are not the best way to build traps
    2. You probably don’t need to directly train your traps much

    It’s definitely true that strong traps will help the majority of your other lifts (especially your bench press) but, if anything, you should be focusing on your lower traps instead of your upper traps.

    So, next time your friend tells you to do some shrugs with them, shrug it off and do some compound exercises instead!

    Okay, now let’s get back to the topic at hand…

    Your Shoulder Workouts Should Follow These Simple Principles

    First of all, it’s important that we take a minute to discuss the fundamental lifting principle known as…

    Focus On Progressive Overload

    Progressive Overload simply refers to adding more and more weight to your workouts over time.  It’s not just a shoulder workout thing.

    It applies to every workout and without increasing the amount of weight you lift over time, you won’t make any progress.

    This is fairly intuitive and easy to grasp when you think about it…

    Working out any muscle places stress on that muscle which eventually tears the muscle tissue.  Assuming you’re taking your post-workout recovery seriously, those torn muscles will then repairthemselves, becoming bigger and stronger.

    While the principle of Progressive Overload applies to all muscle groups, it’s especially important when it comes to working out your shoulders.

    A lot of people’s shoulder workouts consist of light weight, high repetition exercises.

    The problem with doing twenty reps of a light weight (say 50% of your 1 rep max) is that it doesn’t place enough stress on the shoulder muscle to cause them to tear and subsequently grow.

    You’re not sufficiently overloading the muscle enough.


    You can’t spell Progressive Overload without Progress!

    If you’re doing more and more weight week over week, month over month, you’ll become stronger and more strength equals bigger muscles.

    Train All The Shoulder Muscles Proportionately

    This is probably the single most over-looked principle of shoulder workouts.  Just know that the term “proportionately” doesn’t necessarily mean “equally”.

    For example, your anterior (front) delts and traps are most likely already taking a beating from chest day, back day, and even leg day.

    So, training your front delts as heavy and intensely as your train your lateral and rear delts will almost certainly cause some problems after a while.

    People who train chest super hard every week are the most likely to end up with disproportionate rear delts, both in terms of size and strength.

    If you’re one of those people who does train chest on Monday, fresh off the weekend, you need to particularly careful when you train your shoulders.

    Don’t train shoulders the day after chest.

    Leave a couple days in between to allow for adequate recovery.  During your shoulder workouts, focus mainly on your Lateral and Posterior Delts.

    They need it the most!

    Switch It Up (Every Now And Then, NOT CONSTANTLY)

    The notion that “muscle confusion” is necessary to build strength and size has been horribly exaggerated by just about every fitness publication there is, but switching up your workouts every now and then isn’t a bad idea.

    This is one of those universal lifting principles that seem to apply especially to shoulder workouts.

    The idea behind muscle confusion is that when you do a particular exercise over and over again, your muscles “get used to it” and stop responding.

    But varying your exercises doesn’t trump the principle of progressive overload.

    If you’re adding weight to all your lifts, week after week, month after month, you’ll stronger.  If you get stronger, your muscles will grow.

    It doesn’t matter if you switch it up or not.

    The truth is that exercise variation has been shown to improve certain training adaptations (such as fatigue resistance), but when it  comes to building strength and size, it’s not necessarily any better than consistent exercises.

    You don’t need to switch up your workout every week to build strength and size, but if you want that angular, defined look that so many of as are after, it’s not a bad idea to throw some variation in there.

    The Best Shoulder Exercises

    Before we talk about which shoulder exercises you should be using to craft the ultimate shoulder workout, and why, I’d just like to make a couple things clear.

    When it comes to building big, strong shoulders, you should emphasize heavy, compound exercises.

    [alert color=”blue”]

    Compound exercises are exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups and joints.  Performing these types of exercises will allow you to lift more weight and allow you to grow stronger.


    As for the ‘heavy’ part…

    Research shows that, when it comes to gaining strength and building muscle, performing exercises at roughly 85% of your 1 Rep Max is ideal.

    That means, for the majority of the shoulder exercises we’ll discuss, you’ll be doing just 4-6 reps per set.

    This may not seem like a lot, but you’ll quickly find that when you do 12-15 sets per workout at that level of intensity, your muscles WILL respond.

    With that said, let’s talk about the shoulder exercises that ultimately make for the best shoulder workouts.

    #1: Shoulder Press (Military Press)

    The Shoulder Press, also known as Military Press, is performed by gripping  a barbell (or dumbells) a little wider than shoulder width and pushing the bar (or dumbells) from just above your upper chest to an over-head position.

    Seated Shoulder Press Workout

    Here’s the thing…

    No shoulder workout comes with as many variations as the overhead press.

    If you want to throw some variation in the mix and really target those rear delts and traps, consider bringing the bar down behind your neck like this:

    Should Press Workout Behind The Neck

    This simple variation allows you to put most of the stress on your Posterior (Rear) Delts as opposed to the original version where most of the stress is placed on your Anterior (Front) Delts.

    If you’re working on your Rear Delts in particular (which you most likely should be), you’ll want to toss this exercise in your shoulder workouts.

    Consider switching back and forth each week to maintain an even balance and proportionate delts.

    Of course, the variation doesn’t end there…

    There’s also the matter of whether to use dumbells…

    Seated Dumbell Press

    Here’s a video, if you prefer…

    While both the Barbell Press and the Dumbell Press activate the same group of muscles, Dumbell Press requires more stabilization.

    This means you won’t be able to do as much total weight, but Dumbells have their advantages.

    A 2013 study from the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research sought to determine whether shoulder pressing with dumbells or barbells activated more muscle.

    It’s worth mentioning that the researchers in this study used electromyogram activity (EMG) as the metric for measuring total muscle engagement.

    [alert color=”blue”]

    EMG really measures the electrical activity produced in muscles when they contract.  This method is fairly accurate for measuring total muscle engagement, but it’s not dead on.

    Some variation should be expected…


    The researchers concluded that, while muscle recruitment was similar between these two exercises, the Dumbbell Press was shown to activate the muscles in the shoulder more than the Barbell Press. This doesn’t mean dumbbells are superior.  Remember, you can push more weight with a Barbell.

    I personally incorporate both of these variations into my shoulder workouts.

    One week I’ll do Barbell Presses, the next week I’ll do Dumbbell Presses.

    I wouldn’t recommend you do these exercises in the same workout though.  Take it from some one who’s suffered from severe shoulder injuries on and off for about 10 years…

    You don’t want to over-train your shoulder by doing every variation of an overhead press all in the same day.

    If you do that, you’re just asking for a shoulder injury…

    Seated Shoulder Press Vs. Standing Shoulder Press

    Here’s the standing Barbell Press:

    And here’s the standing Dumbbell Press:

    Which one is better?

    Well, fortunately for us, that very question was answered in the same study I referenced above.  Not only did the researchers in this study investigate Barbells Vs Dumbbells, they also investigated Sitting Vs Standing for each.

    The results?

    Standing Dumbbell Press resulted in the most complete shoulder muscle activation.

    The reason?

    Because standing requires more stabilization than sitting and Dumbbells require more stabilization than the Barbell.

    The results of this study are depicted in the charts below:

    Shoulder Workouts Study

    Technically, out of all the variations of shoulder workouts performed in this study, the Standing Dumbbell Press was the winner in terms of total muscle activation except as shown in Figure B where seated Barbell Presses resulted in slightly more Lateral Delt activation.

    Does this mean Standing Dumbbells are superior to every other variation?  No!

    First of all, as you can see by the charts, all variations activated each muscle group to nearly the same degree.

    The increase in muscle activation seen with seated vs standing and dumbbells vs barbell was pretty small.

    Secondly, there’s no denying that you can push more weight with the barbell, so switching to only dumbbells would mean sacrificing strength.

    If getting bigger, stronger shoulders is your goal, you should incorporate both standing and sitting, barbells and dumbbells into your shoulder workouts.

    Arnold Press (Yet Another Variation Of The Shoulder Press)

    The Arnold Press (named after the most famous Bodybuilder of all time, of course), is a slight variation of the regular Dumbbell Shoulder Press that places very little tension on your joints and allows for a more complete range of motion than it’s traditional counterpart.

    It looks like this:

    You won’t be able to push as much weight doing the Arnold Press as you would be able to with an ordinary Dumbbell Press, but the fact that you’re achieving a wider range of motion with this one makes it worth using throughout your shoulder workouts.

    Again, you don’t need to do the Arnold Press every shoulder workout.

    Just toss it in every other week or even every other other week.  It’s one of the few variations of shoulder press that actually make sense to incorporate in your shoulder workouts.

    #2: Upright Barbell Row

    The upright row is perhaps the most over-looked shoulder exercise there is.

    It’s performed by gripping a barbell a little wider than shoulder width and raising it up to around your upper chest area.

    Shoulder Workouts: Upright Row

    Here’s a video of the correct way to perform the Upright Row:

    To be clear, this is definitely considered a compound movement.

    It incorporates the:

    • Deltoids (all of them)
    • Traps
    • Biceps

    As well as two joints:

    1. Shoulder
    2. Elbow

    Unfortunately, this is one compound exercise that often gets left out of shoulder workouts.

    Or worse, it gets executed with terrible form because people forget about it until they’ve run out of shoulder exercises and are already tired.

    I’ve actually hurt my shoulder a few times trying to do Upright Rows (with improper form) at the end of my workout when I was too tired to maintain proper form.  I wouldn’t recommend that!

    Make it one of your first couple exercises.  You’ll push more weight and get a better pump.

    While it certainly doesn’t take the place of the Military Press, the Upright Row is perfect for activating all three Deltoid muscles as well as the Traps.

    Plus, when done correctly, there is little risk of injury.

    If you’re not incorporating Upright Rows in your shoulder workouts, you’re missing out, period.

    #3: Front Delt Raise

    The Front Delt Raise is performed by holding a barbell (or dumbbells) about shoulder width apart, then raising each arm to about 90 degrees without the elbows bending only slightly to avoid placing too much tension on your shoulder joint.

    Front Delt Raises

    As with the exercises above, you can use either dumbbells or a barbell.

    Assuming these exercises are done with proper form and minimal swinging, their both pretty close in terms of total muscle activation.  It’s really just a matter of preference.

    Here’s an example of the Front Delt Raise using Dumbbells.

    Notice how in this particular video, he’s doing one arm at a time. This is yet another variation that probably makes a small difference in terms of stabilization and muscle activation.

    In addition to targeting the Front Delts, doing each arm in isolation will work your core as well since it forces you to compensate for the uneven distribution of weight.

    Just make sure to do both arms the same!

    You can also switch it up by using a cable machine instead of free weights.  That would look like this:

    Cable Front Delt Raises Shoulder Workouts

    Cables aren’t better than free weights, but they do place a constant amount of tension on the muscle while guiding the movement ever so slightly.

    You’ll get more muscle activation with free weights, but cable exercises aren’t entirely guided either, so there’s still some stabilization occurring, not to mention an unlimited number of different angles to experiment with.

    Use these as a refreshing change when the Dumbbells are being used or you just don’t feel like lifting free weights.  Just don’t make them a replacement for dumbbells.

    #4: Dumbell LATERAL (Side Delt) Raises

    The lateral raise is performed by holding two dumbbells and lifting them out and to the side, until your arms are at about 90 degrees, like this…

    Lateral Raises

    Needless to say, you can’t perform these with a barbell, but cables are an option.

    Dumbbells are definitely the best, but cables can be useful as well.

    Here’s the Lateral Raise using cables:

    Cable Lateral Raise Shoulder Workout

    You’ll notice that, while dumbbell Lateral Raises are definitely more challenging, cables allow you to hit strange angles that you might not otherwise be able to hit.

    #5: Bent Over lateral Raises

    Bent over Lateral Raises are possibly the single best shoulder exercise there is for targeting your Rear Delts.

    They’re basically the same as the Lateral Raises we talked about above, but in a bent over position.

    This places the majority of the tension on the back-facing shoulder muscles, traps, and rhomboids.

    Bent Over Lateral Raises

    If you’re not doing these, you’re missing out on some serious gains, and your Rear Delts are paying the price!

    Seated Vs Standing

    The Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise is a variation of the Bent Over Lateral Raise which requires less whole-body stabilization and allows for more isolation of the shoulder muscles.

    It looks like this:

    You can easily tweak this exercise to focus on either the Side Delts or Rear Delts.

    To focus on the Rear Delts, simply adjust so that your arms move back instead of directly out.

    This will place less tension on your Lateral Delts and more on your Rear Delts.

    This a super versatile exercise in the sense that there are virtually an unlimited amount of different angles to choose from, each targeting a slightly different section of the shoulder.

    Play around a little.  Find what feels good!

    #6: Face Pulls

    Face Pulls are definitely one of the most commonly over-looked shoulder exercises of them all.  Most people don’t regularly include them in their shoulder workouts at all!

    It goes a little something like this:

    Face Pulls

    As with many shoulder workouts, the trajectory of this particular movement can be easily modified to target different parts of the shoulder.

    Here’s another example of Face Pulls which is more targeted toward the Rear Delts and Traps:

    You should ideally play around with this movement, pulling the rope at different angles (above your head, below your chin, at eye level, etc.), to find what works best for you.

    Remember, this is a highly targeted shoulder workout which will help you develop your rear delts and traps, but the exact position may change

    What About TRAPS?

    The thing most people don’t realize about their traps is that they’re already quite involved with just about every other compound lift you do, especially Shoulder Presses.

    So, you don’t need to destroy your traps each and every workout for them to grow with the rest of you.

    Still, if you’re specifically trying to build bigger traps, there are some exercises that can target them.  You’ve probably seen people doing them…

    Dumbbell Shrugs

    When most people think “traps”, they think shrugs. Especially Dumbbell Shrugs. Well, as it turns out, shrugs are not the most effective way to build traps…

    But they’re worth incorporating in your routine, provided you’re doing them correctly.

    Most people make the mistake of trying to do these with entirely too much weight.

    You don’t need to use dumbbells that are so heavy your grip gives out before you can finish your set.  Just choose a weight that you can actually handle for the full range of motion.

    Perform slow, complete reps until you REALLY fell it in your traps.

    Leverage Shrugs

    If you’re really trying to grow your traps, one of the best shoulder workouts is Leverage Shrugs. You know, that plate loaded machine in your gym that nobody ever really touches? Well, that’s actually a lot better for building traps than ordinary Dumbbell Shrugs.

    Here’s Lee Priest showing us how it’s done:

    The benefit of Leverage Shrugs is in the name…


    You’ll be able to load a lot more weight on this guided machine than you could possible hold in your hand for dumbbell shrugs.

    Overhead Lateral Raises

    Overhead Lateral Raises are one of the lesser known shoulder workouts discussed here, but when it comes to targeting the Traps, they’re one of the best.

    You can think of them as the second half of a full-range-of-motion Lateral Raise.

    You won’t be able to do very much weight with this one, but it almost exclusively targets the traps.

    Minding Your Tendons And Ligaments

    The single biggest mistake people make with shoulder workouts, is not paying attention to the amount of stress and tension they’re placing on their tendons and ligaments.

    Shoulder Tendons And Ligaments

    You don’t need to sit there and study the picture above to understand one simple fact…

    Your shoulders are VERY delicate.  They are the most inter-connected joint in your entire body, with all kinds of Tendons and Ligaments that you should be aware of.

    You see, continuously increasing the weight every workout will cause your muscles to tear and grow more, but that doesn’t mean your Tendons and Ligaments can handle it.  If you don’t pay special attention to them, you’re asking for an injury…

    And the universe will surely grant your request!

    The best ways to avoid a shoulder injury are:

    • Stretch (before, after, in the morning, at work, whenever!)
    • Use proper form on each exercise in your shoulder workouts
    • Rest!

    The importance of that last one should NOT be over-looked.

    Everyone loves to claim that they “lift every day no matter what”, but the truth is you need some time off to actually repair and grow your muscles.

    While this is true of any muscle group, it’s particularly important to keep in mind for shoulder workouts.

    Structuring Your Shoulder Workouts For Maximum Gains (Without Getting Injured)

    When it comes to shoulder workouts, a lot of people make one critical mistake…

    They do TOO MUCH!

    That’s right, with shoulders, you’ll find that less is more most of the time.

    The truth is that if you go hard on the majority of your other workouts, you don’t need to smash shoulders until you can’t move your arms.

    In fact, that’s a great way to get injured really fast.

    Generally speaking, you should structure your shoulder workouts so that you do maybe one or two heavy compound lifts followed by a few more targeted, isolation-type exercises.

    Try These Awesome Shoulder Workouts

    Below are two ultra-complete shoulder workouts that hit all the criteria of the ultimate shoulder workout!

    You’ll notice that, for most of the exercises, you’re doing 3 sets of 4-6 reps per set at roughly 85% of your 1 Rep Max (1RM).

    You don’t need to find your 1 Rep Max though to determine what weight to use.  Whatever weight you can get for 4-6 reps is going to be around 85% of your 1RM.

    Just keep in mind the principle of progressive overload, and continually attempt to lift more weight.  That’s really the key.

    So, find a weight that you can lift for 4 reps.  Work with it until you can get 6 reps.  Then add more weight so that you can only do 4 reps again.  Repeat until jacked.

    Shoulder Workout 1

    Standing Military Press

    3-5 sets, 4-6 reps (at around 85% of 1RM)

    Barbell Upright Row

    3 sets, 6-8 reps (at around 85% of 1RM)

    Dumbbell Lateral Raises

    3 sets, 4-6 reps (at around 85% of 1RM)

    Bent Over Rear Delt Raises

    3 sets, 4-6 reps (at around 85% of 1RM)

    Face Pulls

    3 sets, 6-8 reps (at around 75-80% of 1RM)

    Shoulder Workout 2

    Seated Dumbbell Press

    3 sets, 4-6 reps (at around 85% of 1RM)

    Bent Over Rear Delt Raises

    3 sets, 4-6 reps (at around 85% of 1RM)

    Front Deltoid Raises (Dumbbells or Cables)

    3 sets, 4-6 reps (at around 85% of 1RM)

    Reverse Flies (Machine)

    3 sets, 6-8 reps (at around 75-80% of 1RM)

    Supplements That can Help

    While supplements certainly aren’t a replacement for well-designed workouts, proper nutrition, and hard work, there are some that can actually help you build muscle.

    It’s important to realize that supplements alone will not help you accomplish your fitness goals.  They’re simply serve as an addition to your arsenal, but without proper diet and exercise, they won’t be of much assistance.


    Creatine is by far the most extensively-researched, reliable, safe performance enhancing substance there is.  It has been investigated in literally hundreds of studies, particularly with regards to exercise performance and they all unanimously indicate that it’s worth using.

    Creatine has been shown to

    • Increase Strength (Total Weight You Can Push)
    • Enhance Muscular Endurance (Reps You Can Do At A Constant Weight)
    • Improve Aspects Of Exercise Recovery
    • Expand Muscle Volume (Size Of Your Muscles)

    There is also strong evidence in support of it’s use as a general health supplement, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on performance enhancement and muscle growth.

    Creatine is naturally occurring in our bodies and is present in meats such as Fish and Beef.  Unfortunately, you would have to ingest around 2-3 pounds of RAW fish or beef to get a clinically effective 5g dose of Creatine.  Practically speaking, this isn’t doable for most people.


    Leucine is commonly found in Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) supplements along with the amino acids Isoleucine and Valine.  Unlike the other BCAAs though, Leucine has a profound impact on muscle protein synthesis.

    In fact, it’s the most potent amino acid with regards to stimulating muscle protein synthesis. It accomplishes this by activating mTOR, a signaling protein which essentially tells the body to make protein.

    Of course, you still need to consume all the other amino acids which are used to actually build the muscle, but Leucine is king when it comes to telling the body to build muscle.

    The most common argument against Leucine supplementation is:

    “If you already get enough protein, you don’t need it…”

    To be clear, this is true…But are you actually getting enough Leucine?  If you workout several times a week and eat like most people, the answer is probably not!

    How much protein you should be consuming depends largely on two things:

    1. How physically active you are
    2. What are your goals as far as body composition

    Research indicates that your protein requirements can double based on physical activity alone.  If you workout everyday (or almost everyday) and still eat like you did before, you’re probably not getting enough protein.

    Furthermore, if you currently workout everyday and you want to actually GAIN MUSCLE, you should be taking in AT LEAST .8g-1g of protein per pound of body weight.

    So, if you really get plenty of protein from your diet, you definitely don’t need to supplement with Leucine or BCAAs.  However, if you’re like me–busy with not a lot of time to sit there and eat elaborate feasts–Leucine can be quite useful as far as maximizing protein synthesis, especially in times of under-eating.

    A Solid (Clinically Dosed) Pre-Workout

    The right pre-workout can make a profound difference when it comes to

    • Motivation To Train
    • Maximizing Muscle Growth Over Time
    • Building Muscle Over Time

    In reality though, most pre-workouts are just stimulant cocktails which are designed to jack you up and make you feel really great…for about an hour.  Then they bring you down hard and ruin the rest of your day.

    This has given rise to the notion that

    “pre-workout supplements are a waste of money.  They’re just a bunch of Caffeine!”

    To be clear, this is false!  Maybe YOUR pre-workout sucks, but mine contains several scientifically proven, safe performance enhancing ingredients at clinically effective doses.


    The Bottom Line on Shoulder Workouts

    If you want big, strong shoulders, you need to directly train your shoulders.

    That’s just a fact…

    It’s true that your shoulders get worked even when you’re working other muscle groups, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require any attention.

    Most people just lift shoulders all wrong, focusing on high repetitions with light weight.

    You’re not going to get very far doing this and you actually might be doing more harm than good.

    So, next time it’s shoulder day, make sure you do the following:

    • Low reps, heavy weight (85% of 1RM)
    • Emphasize compound exercises
    • Continually add more weight (progressive overload)
    • Rest!

    If you do those things consistently over time, you WILL build bigger, stronger shoulders.  No doubt about it…

    Should Woman Take Cardarine To Lose Weight?

    Should Woman Take Cardarine To Lose Weight?

    At least, that’s what people say…

    The truth is, not very much is known about the benefits OR the potential health implications of Cardarine.

    Much of what you read on forums or blogs is controlled by companies that sell Cardarine and want you to buy it, no matter what.

    They’re not interested in telling you the entire story…

    So I will.

    In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about Cardarine, including what it is, how it works, and what the research (or lack thereof) has to say.

    If you’re tired of reading a bunch of industry-influenced nonsense about Cardarine and actually want to know the facts, read on…

    What Is Cardarine (GW-501516)?

    Cardarine is a synthetic drug originally developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Ligand Pharmaceuticals as a treatment of dyslipidemia, a condition characterized by higher than normal triglyceride (fat) and cholesterol levels.

    It is commonly referred to throughout the scientific literature as GW-501516.

    So, not to be confused.  Cardarine and GW are exactly the same thing.

    They just have different names, as do most similar compounds, like SARMs.

    Early research indicated that Cardarine could up-regulate (increase) pathways in the body involved with fatty acid metabolism.

    In other words, Cardarine is supposed to be able to mimic the effects of exercise.

    In mice, it has been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and protect aginst Type 2 Diabetes.

    Now, you’re probably wondering what bodybuilders and athletes want with Cardarine, and that’s a fair question…

    Why Do People Use Cardarine?

    Cardarine is believed to:

    • enhance exercise endurance
    • increase fatty acid utilization
    • improve insulin sensitivity

    It has been shown to do all of these things in mice, but human studies are scarce.

    One study found that Cardarine improved cardiovascular health in patients with Metabolic Syndrome (the precursor to Diabetes), but absolutely no studies have been conducted in healthy, human subjects.

    Most of the benefits attributed to Cardarine–particularly better muscular endurance and increase fat-burning–are based on inferences drawn from rodent studies.

    That said, it does have a legitimate mechanism of action by which it MAY burn additional fat.

    How Does Cardarine (Allegedly) Work?

    Cardarine is a Peroxisome Proliferator-Activator Receptor-delta (PPARδ) agonist.

    PPARδ is a nuclear hormone receptor which regulates fatty acid metabolism, among other things.

    There are several sub-types of PPARs:

    • alpha
    • beta/delta
    • gamma

    PPAR-delta is the most ubiquitous of these sub-types, found in adipose tissue and many other tissues as well.

    In theory, a potent enough PPARδ (or alpha) agonist, should be able to re-engineer the body to fulfill it’s energy needs by burning fatty acids instead of carbs, which are the preferred source of energy ordinarily.

    Research has confirmed that Cardarine is a fairly potent agonist of PPARδ, but again, that’s just a mechanism of action.

    The truth is, there is very little research on Cardarine at all, let alone as a practical solution for fat-loss.

    Is There Any Research Behind Cardarine?

    There is some research on Cardarine. 

    • It has been shown to increase endurance in mice.
    • It has been shown to increase fatty acid utilization in mice.
    • It has been shown to improve lipid metabolims in humans.

    Cardarine HAS NOT actually been shown to increase endurance or cause fat-loss in human beings, even though that’s why most people are using it.

    It definitely appears to be effective for encouraging the metabolism of fatty acids and this could ultimately result in increased fatty acid utilization, but again, there are no actual studies confirming this in humans.

    Cardarine Dosage (A Guessing Game)

    You may not care that Cardarine hasn’t actually been proven to burn fat or boost endurance in humans…

    Maybe rodent studies are enough for you to say “sure” and give it a shot.

    That’s fine, but there’s still the issue of how much to take.

    Since Cardarine has never actually been shown to burn fat or boost endurance in humans, it’s tough to say how much you would have to take to achieve those benefits.

    In the lone human study, in which Cardarine was shown to improve cholesterol status in people with Metabolic Syndrome, the subjects took 5-10mg.

    So it would appear as though Cardarine is at least biologically active at those doses.

    Most people who use Cardarine for fat-burning take between 10 and 30mg/day for at least several weeks.

    Does Cardarine Have Any Side Effects?

    Most fat-burning drugs come with serious side effects such as:

    • jitters
    • anxiety
    • rapid heart beat
    • headaches
    • nausea

    Cardarine, on the other hand, does not appear to cause these kinds of side effects, at least not based on the little bit of human research.

    It’s not a stimulant, so it’s not likely to cause the kinds of side effects that most stimulant fat-burners cause.

    Some people have expressed concerns that Cardarine may cause cancer, though.

    It was discontinued because it appeared to increase cancerous growths in mouse intestines.

    Elsewhere, however, Cardarine has demonstrated anti-cancer properties, so it’s not really accurate to claim “Cardarine causes cancer”.

    Still, if you’re concerned with your health, it’s probably best to avoid it.

    Is Cardarine A SARM?

    Cardarine is often grouped in with SARMs but it actually isn’t one.

    The term SARM stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator.

    This is just a scientific way of saying:

    Any substance which increase androgen (Testosterone) activity in certain tissues (like muscle and bone) but not in others (like the prostate, liver, and brain).

    Since Cardarine has no impact on androgen receptors in any tissues, it’s not a SARM.

    The confusion stems mostly from the fact that it was introduced around the same time that many SARMs were introduced and was created, in part, by one of the major pharmaceutical companies (Ligand Pharmaceuticals) responsible for SARMs like Ligandrol.

    You’ll find that many SARM vendors also sell Cardarine as well, claiming it’s the “ultimate cutting SARM”.  But again, it’s actually not a SARM at all.

    It’s a PPAR agonist.  

    They’re two entirely separate classifications of drugs.

    Is Cardarine Legal?

    Cardarine is legal to buy, possess, and sell.

    It is not legal to sell it as a dietary supplement and label it for human consumption, however.

    If this seems at all confusing, that’s because it is…

    You see, in the US, we have a legal gray area between unapproved drugs and supplements.

    Unapproved drugs (like Cardarine) can be sold as research chemicals as long as they’re “not for human consumption”.

    Obviously, most people are buying Cardarine to consume it, but that’s just the country we live in…

    Ultimately, as a consumer, you’re not going to get in trouble for buying any supplement, even if it’s mislabeled as is actually an unapproved drug.

    It’s the companies that sell it and label it as a supplement that may get in some legal trouble, if anything.

    Effective Fat-Burning Supplements To Consider

    If you’d rather not roll the dice on Cardarine, I understand. 

    I personally don’t care for it because there are just too many unknowns.

    If that’s your stance too, there are some other useful fat-burning supplements which have actually been proven to work AND are entirely safe.


    Synephrine is often compared to Ephedrine because they share the same basic mechanism of action, but it’s a lot safer (and legal).

    As a beta-receptor agonist, Synephrine is capable of directly stimulating lipolysis, the breakdown of fat.

    You see, your body has 2 types of receptors which regulate lipolysis:

    1. alpha-receptors
    2. beta-receptors

    Beta-receptors initiate lipolysis and alpha receptors put a stop to it.  Normally, these receptors work closely to regulate the amount of fat your body burns.

    By increasing the activity of beta-receptors, Synephrine is capable of directly increasing the amount of fat you burn and boosting your metabolic rate.

    Unlike Cardarine, Synephrine has actually been shown to cause weight-loss in humans.

    Rauwolscine (Alpha-Yohimbine)

    Rauwolscine, otherwise known as Alpha-Yohimbine, is a close chemical relative of the popular fat-burning supplement, Yohimbine.

    Both are found alongside each other in various plant species but, due to the fact that Rauwolscine is considerably more potent, it has developed a reputation as one of the single most effective natural fat-burning supplements available.

    It works by blocking alpha-receptors which ordinarily signal the body to STOP burning fat.

    When these receptors are blocked, you’re able to burn much more fat than you would normally during your workouts.

    At doses of just 1-3mg, Rauwolscine is capable of eliciting noticeable fat-loss in as little as a few weeks.

    The effects may be further amplified by stacking Rauwolscine with supplements like Synephrine, Caffeine, and other stimulant fat-burners.

    Singular Sport Rauwolscine is the only Rauwolscine supplement which contains pure Rauwolscine HCl and is Third Party Tested for identity, purity, and potential contaminants.

    Unlike most brands which claim to be Third Party Tested, we actually post the results for the world to see.


    You’re probably aware that Caffeine increases energy and alertness, but did you know it also burns fat?

    That’s right.

    Caffeine has been shown to increase fat oxidation by triggering the release of a group of fat-burning chemicals, called Catecholamines.

    Catecholamines include:

    • Dopamine
    • Noradrenaline
    • Adrenaline

    By increasing level of these fat-burning chemicals, Caffeine can increase the amount of fat you burn.

    Unlike Cardarine, Caffeine has been proven to help you burn fat and lose weight.


    Although Cirsium Oligophyllum is relatively new on the supplement seen, preliminary studies indicate that--unlike Detox Teas with bogus ingredients--it can actually induce Lipolysis (fat breakdown) and energy expenditure.

    Currently, studies are limited to mice, but the results have been quite impressive with subjects losing considerable amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time.

    Fortunately, we know exactly how Cirsium Oligophyllum works and it's a mechanism of action that is well established in the eyes of science--offering further credibility to this obscure herb.

    Cirsium Oligophyllum copntains specific alkaloids which up regulate Un-Coupling Protein 1 (UPC1)--a mind of mitochondrial switch which induces fat loss when activated.

    By activating this protein, Cirsium Oligophyllum causes fat to breakdown at an accelerated rate and researchers have concluded that it may very well be an effective tool against weight gain and helpful for fat-loss.

    That's exactly why we added Cirsium Oligophyllum to our comprehensive fat-burner which we believe to be the absolute best on the market

    The Best Natural Fat-Burner

    Reddy Nutrition Fat-Burner is a product I created after researching and experimenting with a ton of different fat-burning supplements.

    Needless to say, most fat-burners contain ineffective ingredients or under-dosed “would be effective” ingredients, so most of them won’t actually help you burn more fat or lose more weight.

    Reddy Nutrition’s Fat-Burner contains a thorough blend of unique fat-burning ingredients which:

    • increase the metabolic rate (amount of calories you burn at rest)
    • trigger lipolysis (fat-breakdown)
    • help curb your appetite

    The result?

    A fat-burner that actually works…

    Reddy Nutrition’s fat-burner contains only research-backed ingredients at true clinical doses, in-line with what has been PROVEN to work in scientific studies.

    Cardarine MAY work, but Formula DEFINITELY works. 

    It’s worth considering if you’re trying to get leaner, but don’t want to experiment with strange, potentially dangerous drugs.

    Or perhaps you’re already on Cardarine and you want to kick that fat-loss up a notch!  Either way…

    The Bottom Line On Cardarine For Women

    Cardarine is an interesting drug which may burn fat, boost endurance, and ultimately function as an exercise-mimetic.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t much research on it so it’s pretty speculative.

    To make matters worse, it was discontinued due to safety concerns, so it’s unlikely that there will be much research in the future.

    While Cardarine doesn’t appear particularly dangerous, we really have no idea what the long-term health implications are.

    If you value safety AND efficacy, you should probably pass on Cardarine.

    If you don’t mind being the guinea pig, feel free to give it a shot

    Why Detox Tea Is A Complete Waste Of Time And Money (Based On Science)

    Why Detox Tea Is A Complete Waste Of Time And Money (Based On Science)

    If you’re at all active on social media, you’ve probably come across detox tea.

    Promoted by everyone from fitness models to celebrities to the girl from down the street, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

    Just drink this special tea every day and it will:

    • burn fat fast
    • crush your appetite
    • boost energy levels
    • improve skin health
    • flush out harmful toxins

    In other words, you’ll look, feel, and function better and all you have to do is sip some tea!

    Too bad it’s not true…

    Don’t get me wrong, I love tea.  I’m an avid Matcha drinker and research has shown that drinking tea, especially Green Tea, may convey a variety of health benefits.

    But the majority of the claims attached to weight-loss and detox teas are completely unfounded.

    Not only is the quality of the actual tea usually poor with these kinds of products, but the added ingredients have never been proven to do anything.

    The companies that produce them just make the claims, pay the celebrities and social media influencers to promote it, then sit back and watch the money pour in.

    And pour in it does!

    With many detox teas running upwards of $40 or $50 for a 30 day supply, while being extremely cheap to produce, it’s quite a profitable business.

    Unfortunately, we live in a marketing-driven world where people tend to confuse price with value.

    You know…

    “it’s expensive so it must work!”

    This may be true sometimes, but sadly, that’s not the case with detox teas.  They’re all a waste of time and money, and in this article, I’ll explain why.

    Don’t worry though, I won’t leave you hanging…

    I’ll also introduce you to some scientifically proven strategies to help you lose weight, burn fat, feel more energized, and be healthier in general.

    Sound good?  Awesome.  Let’s dive right in…

    What Is Detox Tea?

    Detox tea is the latest craze to flood your Instagram and Twitter feeds.

    It’s essentially ordinary tea with some ‘active ingredients’ which are supposed to do things like flush out toxins and cause you to lose weight.

    If you take a look at the supplement facts panel of any detox tea, you’ll see a bunch of herbal ingredients such as:

    • Ginger
    • Dandelion
    • Valerian Root
    • Ginseng
    • Fruit/Berry Extracts
    • Peppermint
    • Milk Thistle
    • Yerba Mate

    The list goes on, but these are some of the most common detox tea ingredients.

    While the exact composition of the tea may change depending on the brand and the specific function of the product (i.e. weight-loss, relaxation, energy, etc.), you’ll find that most of these products are pretty similar.

    The same basic blend of cheap tea and a bunch of obscure herbal ingredients that are supposed to promote weight-loss and flush out toxins.

    Some of these herbal ingredients have been shown to do things like support liver health and improve energy levels, but then there’s the issue of dosing…

    Many of the herbal ingredients that detox teas claim to contain taste absolutely terrible, so it’s tough to mix them into teas without making the tea taste terrible.

    That is, unless you just sprinkle a negligible amount in there to say it’s in there.

    That’s exactly what most of these companies do.

    They start with a base of cheap tea, sprinkle it with a blend of trendy (but useless) herbal ingredients, and sell it for 20 times what it costs to make.

    Sadly, most of that money gets funneled back into marketing, influencing, and fake reviews so they can keep the scam going.

    Real customers don’t usually fall for the same detox tea more than once.  You may try a few brands, but soon enough you realize nothing is happening.

    So, what is detox tea?  It’s a scam, plain and simple.

    Detox Tea Won’t Actually Help You Lose Weight (Sorry)

    “But this girl I follow on Instagram drank it and lost 20 pounds in 2 months!”

    Yeah, I know…

    If you read the reviews, you’ll see a ton of people claiming similar stories.  Some of those reviews are fake, but some of them are real as well.

    What they tend to leave out though, is that many of these teas recommend severely cutting your calorie intake.

    So it’s not the magical blend of herbal ingredients that’s making you lose weight.  It’s starvation.

    At it’s core, weight-loss still boils down to calories in vs. calories out.

    No substance–whether it be a tea, supplement, drug, or anything else–can cause you to lose weight if you’re not burning more calories than you’re consuming.

    With obesity rates on the rise, officially reaching epidemic levels world-wide, a ton of scientific research has been conducted in the area of weight-loss.

    And guess what?

    It all unanimously indicates that you cannot escape the law of energy balance.

    In other words…It is physically impossible to lose weight if you don’t burn more calories than you consumeClick to Tweet

    That’s why most detox teas require that you cut back on your calories while drinking the tea.  It’s not the tea that’s making you lose the weight.  It’s the fact that you’ve cut your calorie intake.

    Try doing the same thing without the tea and you’ll see the exact same results.  The tea makes no meaningful difference.  I promise…

    Does Detox Tea Help With Water Weight?

    One of the central claims made by companies who produce detox teas is that they’ll cause you to shed water weight and be less bloated.

    Many of these teas contain diuretics which may cause you to expel water (in the form of urine), but this isn’t really weight-loss though.

    It’s just dehydration.

    As soon as you stop drinking the tea, the water weight will come right back.

    Cutting your carbohydrate intake will also cause you to lose a lot of water weight because carbs hold water.  But again, as soon as you resume your normal eating habits, the weight will come back.

    If you want to lose weight AND keep that weight off for good, dehydrating yourself through the use of diuretics is NOT a viable strategy.

    Neither is starving yourself.

    Luckily, there are some scientifically proven ways for you to burn fat and lose weight without using expensive teas that don’t actually do anything on their own.

    How To Actually Burn Fat And Lose Weight (Without Detox Teas)

    Detox teas may not help you lose weight, but that’s okay.  There are a few simple ways to do that without wasting your hard-earned cash.

    • Diet – place yourself in a caloric deficit and up your protein intake.
    • Exercise – lifts weights and do some cardio here and there
    • Supplements – use fat-loss supplements that have actually been proven to work.

    Now, let’s break those things down in a little more detail.

    1 | Eat Fewer Calories But More Protein

    Like I said earlier, there’s no escaping the laws of energy balance.

    It’s the underlying factor that dictates how much weight you can physically lose in a given amount of time.

    You’re in a positive energy balance when you’re eating more calories than you’re burning.  Maintain a positive energy balance for a prolonged period of time and you’ll gain wait.

    You’re in a negative energy balance when you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning.  Maintain a negative energy balance for a prolonged period of time and you’ll lose weight.

    Simple, right?  And I didn’t just make it up like the claims about detox tea!

    Research has confirmed that the only way to lose weight is by eating less calories than you burn (i.e. maintaining a negative energy balance) for an extended period of time.

    The fewer calories you consume relative to what you burn, the faster you’ll lose weight.

    It’s not wise to cut your calories too much, though.

    Research also shows that cutting calories by too much can slow your metabolic rate, effectively causing your body to ‘hold on to’ more calories.

    So, you don’t want to cut your calories by 50% or something crazy like that.

    You want to dial your calories back enough to lose weight at a decent rate, but not so much that:

    1. You can’t maintain it
    2. It significantly lowers your metabolic rate

    cutting your calorie intake by 20% is a good place to start.  25% if you want to be aggressive about it.

    A key facet of getting a leaner, more defined physique–as opposed to just being skinny and bony–is maintaining (or building) lean muscle mass.

    That goes for guys AND girls.

    Eating protein is absolutely essential for building muscle and if you want a killer body, you want to put on some muscle.

    Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you still want to at least preserve lean muscle mass.  The goal is to eliminate fat, never muscle.

    Studies show that eating a high protein diet can preserve lean muscle mass during a caloric deficit.

    Anytime you place yourself in a caloric deficit, it’s a good idea to up your protein so you don’t lose muscle.

    Dial back your calorie intake by around 20% and up your protein intake to around 1 gram per pound of body weight, maybe a little more if you want.

    That means if you weigh 150 lbs, you want to eat at least 150 grams of protein per day.

    Now that we’ve got the diet part down, let’s talk about working out…

    2 | Workout For Maximum Fat Loss

    Next, you need to develop a workout routine that emphasizes fat-loss.

    You may think that means doing a lot of cardio (running, biking, etc.), but research indicates a combination of weight-lifting and cardio is ideal for weight-loss.

    The absolute best workout routine for burning fat and losing weight is one that features:

    • Heavy, compound weight-lifting
    • High Intensity Interval Training (Cardio)

    Research has shown that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the best kind of cardio for fat-loss, but any kind of additional cardio will help you lose weight.

    Most people, including me, prefer HIIT to steady state cardio because it’s quicker and less boring.

    As for the heavy, compound lifting part…

    Your workouts should feature exercises like

    These are all compound exercises, meaning they recruit more muscle groups than isolation exercises like curls and push-downs.

    These kinds of exercises not only burn more  calories, but are also better for building muscle.

    So, if you really want to lose weight, you want to do a combination of heavy, compound weight-lifting and some form of high intensity cardio (like HIIT).

    3 | Use Weight-Loss Supplements That Actually Work

    Most supplements marketed as fat-burners don’t actually work, but there are some that do.

    Here’s the thing:No supplement is going to magically make you lose weight if you don’t alter your diet and/or exercise.Click to Tweet

    Diet and exercise are what make the biggest difference when it comes to managing your body weight.  There’s just no denying that.

    A pill that magically makes you lose weight sounds great, but it doesn’t exist.

    That said, there are actually some supplements out there that can tip the fat-loss needle in your favor.


    Caffeine forms the basis of many stimulant-based fat-burners, but it does more than just increase energy levels.

    By triggering the release of Catecholamines–a group of fat-burning hormones produced by your body–Caffeine increases your metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn).

    Different people have different tolerances to Caffeine, but research shows that the fat-loss effects occur anywhere from 100-400mg.

    Most people will find their ideal dose of Caffeine within that range.


    Synephrine is a mild stimulant which is found naturally in Bitter Orange.

    It functions similarly to the once extremely popular (now banned) weight-loss supplement, Ephedrine, but research indicates it’s much safer.

    Like Ephedrine, Synephrine is a beta-receptor agonist. That’s just a scientific way of saying it stimulates lipolysis (fat-breakdown).

    Synephrine can actually increase the amount of calories you burn at rest.

    50mg is an effective (and safe) dose of Synephrine.


    Rauwolscine, also known as Alpha-Yohimbine, is probably the most powerful natural fat-burning supplement there is.

    It works by blocking the action of alpha receptors in fat tissue.  These receptors are ordinarily responsible for putting a stop to lipolysis (fat-breakdown).

    By blocking alpha-receptors, Rauwolscine allows you to burn more fat during your workouts than would otherwise normally be possible.

    It works best on an empty stomach and is especially effective when combined with fasted cardio (or any kind of fasted training).

    Rauwolscine requires just 1-3mg to work.  It should be taken just before your workout (on an empty stomach).

     Cirsium Oligophyllum

    Although Cirsium Oligophyllum is relatively new on the supplement seen, preliminary studies indicate that--unlike Detox Teas with bogus ingredients--it can actually induce Lipolysis (fat breakdown) and energy expenditure.

    Currently, studies are limited to mice, but the results have been quite impressive with subjects losing considerable amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time.

    Fortunately, we know exactly how Cirsium Oligophyllum works and it's a mechanism of action that is well established in the eyes of science--offering further credibility to this obscure herb.

    Cirsium Oligophyllum copntains specific alkaloids which up regulate Un-Coupling Protein 1 (UPC1)--a mind of mitochondrial switch which induces fat loss when activated.

    By activating this protein, Cirsium Oligophyllum causes fat to breakdown at an accelerated rate and researchers have concluded that it may very well be an effective tool against weight gain and helpful for fat-loss.

    That's exactly why we added Cirsium Oligophyllum to our comprehensive fat-burner which we believe to be the absolute best on the market.

    Detox Tea Won’t Actually Remove Toxins From Your Body

    Aside from the weight-loss claims, detox teas also claim to cleanse and detoxify your body, ridding it of harmful substances.

    While there are some herbal ingredients which can potentially support your body’s ability to detoxify harmful substances, it already comes with the necessary tools.

    If you have:

    • A Liver
    • Kidneys

    Then your body already has what it needs to rid itself of harmful substances.

    In fact, it does so all day every day without you even noticing.

    You see, toxins are everywhere!  The air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat.  Some are caused by humans and some are naturally occurring.

    We deal with these toxins through our own internal detoxification processes, and no supplement has ever been shown to make the kidneys or liver “work better”.

    A little sprinkle of Milk Thistle a pinch of Dandelion Root isn’t going to magically make your liver or kidneys capable of filtering out more toxins.

    Neither will taking diuretics or laxatives.

    In fact, those things may do more harm than good.

    The need to “detox” isn’t real.  It’s just something that people who sell detox products want you to think you need to do.

    Nothing is being flushed out of your system as a result of drinking detox tea.  You’re not getting any healthier.  It’s just an elaborate myth.

    How To Actually Lose Weight (The Scientific Way)

    Detox tea won’t make you any healthier, but there are some simple changes you can make that will.

    1 | Eat More Fruits And Veggies!

    It’s no secret that fruits and veggies are good for you.

    They contain essential vitamins and minerals, not to mention a whole bunch of phytonutrients that you won’t see listed on nutrition labels.

    These nutrients are the primary reason why plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

    People who eat diets rich in fruits and vegetables are less likely to become overweight and tend to live longer on average.

    If you want to be generally healthy and reduce your risk of disease, ditch the detox tea and eat several servings of fruit and veggies every day.

    2 | Get Some Sleep

    Proper sleep is pretty rare these days.

    Bright screens and blinking lights keep us from getting to the deepest, most restful levels of sleep and most of us are completely unaware of the toll it actually takes.

    Getting a good night’s sleep has numerous health benefits, including:

    The list goes on, but you get the idea.

    Sleeping is the single easiest thing you can do to improve the overall quality of your life.

    It’s like detox tea, except it’s free and actually works!  So…It’s actually not like detox tea at all, I guess.

    3 | Use Detox Supplements That Actually Work

    Your body is more than capable of detoxifying itself, but there are a handful of supplements that can potentially give it a hand.


    N-Acetylcysteine, otherwise known as NAC, is a highly bioavailable form of the amino acid Cysteine which has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

    Research indicates that NAC can help facilitate the removal of harmful toxins such as heavy metals and acetaminophen (tylenol) and may be beneficial for skin health as well.

    You won’t find NAC listed as an ingredient in any kind of detox tea, though, because it tastes horrible and you have to take at least 600-1200mg/day.

    That’s why it’s best to just buy some encapsulated NAC from a brand you can trust, and take it daily with meals.


    TUDCA is a unique molecule derived from Taurine and Ursodeoxycholic acid.  It appears to provide a number of health benefits. mostly pertaining to liver health.

    Studies indicate that TUDCA can improve liver health and effectively treat certain liver disorders.  Since the liver is primarily involved in detoxification, it makes sense to use TUDCA as a general detox supplement.

    Like NAC, you won’t find TUDCA in any detox teas, though.  It tends to be pretty expensive and it’s not trendy enough for most detox tea manufacturers to think that it’s worth it.

    I’d recommend just buying a TUDCA supplement and taking about 500-1000mg daily with food.

    Milk Thistle

    Milk Thistle is one of those trendy herbal ingredients that actually is useful.

    Research has confirmed that Milk Thistle has powerful anti-oxidant properties and promotes liver health.

    It has been shown to protect the liver against toxins and even help repair liver cells after damage has already occurred.

    It also appears to be beneficial for skin health.

    A combination of Milk Thistle and NAC has been shown to lower inflammation and significantly reduce severity of acne.

    Milk Thistle is actually found in some detox tea, but it’s always extremely under-dosed.  They just sprinkle it in there so you say “Oh, Milk Thistle.  I’ve heard that’s good for detoxing!”

    In reality, you need at least 500-1000mg of Milk Thistle daily for it to actually do anything.

    The Bottom Line On Detox Tea

    If you’ve tried detox tea before in the hopes of losing weight and getting healthier, only to be disappointed with the results, you’re not alone…

    Detox tea doesn’t actually work!

    All those celebrity endorsements and seemingly amazing reviews from “real people”?  Just a bunch of clever marketing designed to play on the desire that so many of us have to lose weight and get healthy.

    If you really want to lose wight and improve your general health, simply follow the steps we discussed in this article.

    Unfortunately, the desire to lose weight will always cause some people to fall for scammy products like detox tea, but at least now YOU know the truth.

    Feel free to pass it on!

    How To Gain Weight (The Natural, Healthy Way)

    How To Gain Weight (The Natural, Healthy Way)

    Like many things in life, gaining weight is simple but not necessarily easy.

    While some of us are able to gain weight with little effort, there are those who just can’t seem to do it no matter how hard they try.

    If you’re struggling to gain weight, despite “doing everything right”, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

    Bad news first?  Okay…

    • The bad news is that you’re actually not “doing everything right”.
    • The good news is that it’s not that hard once you know what you should be doing.

    Once you take the time to understand the underlying factors that dictate your body composition, you can easily manipulate them in your favor and gain as much weight as you want.

    There is no such thing as “hard-gainers”.  There are people who know how to gain weight and people who don’t.  That’s all.

    By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to gain weight.

    So let’s get started…

    Why You Can’t Seem To Gain Weight

    Why You Can't Gain Weight

    I’ve heard all the excuses for not being able to gain weight:

    • “It’s genetic.”
    • “I’m a hard-gainer.”
    • “I have a fast metabolism.”

    The list goes on, but the reality is most of these excuses are nonsense.

    If you have some kind of condition characterized by weight-loss (like cancer or hypothyroidism), then you’re going to be at a disadvantage trying to gain weight.

    But if you’re just skinny and you want to put on muscle, it’s not that hard.

    In order to gain weight, you need to consistently eat more calories than you burn.

    In other words...

    It is physically impossible for you to NOT GAIN WEIGHT if you are consistently consuming more calories (energy) than you are burning (energy expenditure).

    This is called energy balance.

    It's not just a workout principle or even a fitness principal.

    It's a physical law.

    Understanding Energy Balance (The Science)

    Calories In Vs Calories Out

    Energy Balance is simply another way of saying calories in vs calories out.

    It’s the relationship between how much you take in (in the form of calories from food) and how much you burn off (total calories burned).

    Energy Balance

    When you take in more than you burn off, you’re in a positive energy balance.

    When you burn off more than you take in, you’re in a negative energy balance.

    You take in calories from the food you eat:

    • Protein (4 calories/gram
    • Fat (9 calories/gram)
    • Carbs (4 calories/gram)

    You burn calories a few ways:

    • Exercise
    • Daily Activities
    • Resting Metabolism

    The term resting metabolism simply refers to the normal bodily functions that you’re body performs on it’s own.

    Everything you do–even things you don’t think about like breathing or making your heart beat–burns calories.

    Now, if you want to gain weight, you need to consistently achieve a positive energy balance.

    That is, you need to eat more calories than you burn, consistently over time.

    If you Google around for a while, you’ll find a bunch of virtual “calorie calculators” that ballpark how many calories you’re probably burning a day, based on a few inputs that you provide.

    Some of these are fairly accurate, but there’s also a much easier way to tell how may calories you’re burning each day.

    Simply track your calories on a daily basis by looking at the nutrition facts on the food you eat.  Even if you eat out, a lot of restaurants put the amount of calories on the menu these days.

    If your body weight remains the same, you know you’re burning the same amount of calories as you’re taking in.

    So, if you’re eating 2500 calories a day for say, 2 weeks, and you’re body weight hasn’t fluctuated, you know you’re burning about 2500 calories a day in total.

    It’s really that simple…

    How To Gain Weight, No Matter What

    How To Gain Weight No Matter What

    Now that we’ve gone over energy balance and established the fact that you cannot gain weight unless you eat more calories than you burn, let’s talk about how to actually do that.

    Gaining weight boils down to 3 things:

    • Eating More
    • Training Smarter
    • Rest

    If you execute on all 3, you’ll be able to gain as much weight (and muscle) as you want, guaranteed.

    Even if you just do 2 of these things diligently, you’ll make some progress.  Of course, it’s best to try your best to maximize all 3.

    So let’s go through each of these aspects and discuss how exactly to optimize them for weight gain.

    Eating For Maximum Weight Gain

    We’ve already established that you need to eat more if you want to gain weight.

    “But Matt, I already eat as much as a want and I still can’t gain weight”

    You’re lying…

    Maybe think you eat a lot, but if you’re not gaining weight, clearly you’re not eating as much as you think.

    You need to place yourself in a positive energy balance to gain weight. The more calories you consume, the more weight you'll gain.

    If you don’t want to get fat, however, you don’t want to suddenly increase your caloric intake too much.

    Upping your calorie intake by around 10%-20% is a great way to steadily gain more weight without getting too fat and giving your body a fair chance to build some muscle.

    Next, you’ll need to structure you’re diet in a way that supports muscle growth.

    That mean:

    1. High Protein
    2. High Carbs

    Fat is definitely you’re friend if you want to gain weight, but research shows that the amount of fat you eat doesn’t have as much of an impact on muscle growth as the amount of protein and/or carbs you eat.

    That’s why you should structure your diet around protein and carbs, taking in a normal amount of fat, but not way too much.

    Although there is no one optimal macronutrient profile for gaining weight, you do want to structure your diet so that it’s conducive to muscle growth.

    For example:

    • Carbs: 55-60%
    • Protein: 25-30%
    • Fat: 15-20%

    If you really don’t care about maximizing muscle growth and just want to get huge, there’s nothing wrong with eating a bunch of fatty foods.

    It’s just that a high fat diet isn’t as conducive to gaining muscle as a high protein diet or high carb diet, so there’s no point.

    When it comes to bulking, protein and carbs are your friend.

    If you want to gain as much muscle as possible (which you do if you want to gain weight), you should shoot for around 1.-1.4 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

    (If your on steroids, you should shoot for more like 2g/lb to maximize muscle growth because your body’s ability to absorb and synthesize muscle protein is significantly increased.

    So, if you’re 150 pounds, you would shoot for around 150-200 grams of protein per day, or 600-800 calories from protein.

    As far as carbs, go crazy.  Again, carbs are your friend when you’re bulking.


    Training For Maximum Weight Gain

    If gaining weight is your primary goal, you may think of exercise as counter-productive.

    While it’s definitely true that too much exercise is not conducive to losing weight, building muscle is the best way to gain weight.

    So you need to lift.

    Sit around eating all day and you’ll surely get fat.  Add regular exercise into the mix and you’ll just get bigger and stronger.

    What type of exercise you’re doing is probably the most important factor here.

    Too much cardio will impede muscle growth.  Stick with heavy, compound weight-lifting.

    That means:

    These kinds of movements incorporate more muscle groups than isolated movements like curls and extensions.

    Compound exercises are ideal for muscle growth, and if you want to gain weight, you want to maximize muscle growth.

    The aim of your training should be to increase strength.

    The stronger you get, the more muscular you get.  The more muscular you get, the bigger you’ll be.

    Of course, lifting heavy weights also has two other benefits that make it worthwhile.

    1. It increases the amount of fat you burn even when you’re not in exercising
    2. It increases your appetite so you’ll naturally be able to eat more calories.

    In fact, research shows that heavy resistance training can increase resting energy expenditure for up to 22 hours after your workout!  That means you can train hard for a hour or so and be burning excess fat around the clock.

    An increase in appetite is also beneficial if you’re trying to gain weight.

    If you’re used to eating the same amount of calories everyday, you’ll probably have a hard time trying to eat more.

    Throw some heavy compound weight-lifting in there though, and you’ll be hungry enough to hit your calorie intake goals.

    Resting For Maximum Weight Gain

    Okay so weight lifting is important.  We’ve established that.  But you know what’s equally important when it comes to gaining weight?


    There are two kinds of rest that you should be concerned with:

    1. Sleep
    2. Off Days

    You don’t build muscle in the gym.  You build it when you’re not in the gym.

    When you lift weights, you break down muscle tissue.  It’s not until after you leave the gym, eat a meal, and rest that you begin to repair and rebuild.

    While the amount of sleep you require depends on a lot of factors, research has proven that 7-8 hours is ideal for most people.  Maybe even 9.

    If you’re lifting weights regularly, you need to do your best to ensure you’re sleeping the right amount.

    Of course, off days also offer an opportunity to rest, even while you’re awake.

    You’ve probably heard that you need to lift weights almost every day if you want to gain muscle.  While it’s definitely try that lifting weights on a regular basis is essential for building muscle over time, lifting every day can actually be counter-productive.

    Ideally, you should workout 5 days a week with 2 off days.

    Less than 3 days, and you’ll have a hard time building muscle.

    More than 5 days and the problem is two-fold:

    1. You won’t be getting enough rest and repair time
    2. You may be burning too many calories

    If you’re trying to gain weight, rest is you’re friend.  It’s the third piece of the puzzle, right up there with diet and exercise.  Unfortunately, rest is what most people tend to neglect.

    If you’re having trouble gaining weight, try getting a good nights sleep every night and see if that doesn’t help your situation.

    Clean Bulking Vs Doing Whatever It Takes

    When it comes to gaining weight, you have two options:

    1. Clean Bulk Method – You want to gain muscle without getting too fat.
    2. Dirty Bulk – You don’t care whether it’s muscle or fat.  You just want to gain weight.

    If you choose to go with more of a clean bulk, you won’t gain as much weight but the weight you do gain will be mostly muscle.

    If you go the other route–eating as much as you can of whatever–you’ll gain weight a lot faster but you’ll pack on some fat.

    Which method you should choose really depends on your personal priorities…

    If you care about staying relatively lean, you should go clean.  If you just want to gain weight and get as strong as possible, then don’t worry about keeping it clean.

    You can always cut fat later, once you have all that muscle you’re trying to gain.

    In my personal experience, dirty bulking is easier.  You just eat whatever you want.

    When I was younger (around 16-17), I decided I wanted to get as big as possible, so that’s what I did.  I just ate everything I could.  I would eat every meal until I was so full I thought I would throw up, and then I’d drink a bunch of milk just to top it off.

    And it worked.  I went from a little 150 lb teenager to 205.  And yeah, I was a little chubby, but it gave me something to work with.  Over the years, I chiseled away at my physique, getting leaner and leaner, without ever dropping below 200 lbs.

    These days, I would have to literally starve myself or take some type of drugs to drop below 200 lbs and it’s all because I stuffed my face at every meal for a year when I was 16.

    So, you can try to be clean about it, but if you’re a long term thinker, you may just want to go all out and worry about losing fat later.  Totally up to you…just saying.

    Are There Supplements That can help you gain weight?

    Supplements For Gaining Weight

    Here’s the thing…

    Supplements won’t help you build muscle or size if you don’t first take care of diet and exercise.

    When I was building, I received a ton of emails from people who were frustrated because they just bought some expensive weight-gainer or mass-builder and it didn’t work.

    Most of the time, I’d come to find out that these people weren’t eating enough.  Some of them weren’t even working out!

    The truth is, you can take all the supplements in the world, but if your diet sucks and you don’t work out correctly, you’ll never be able to put on muscle and size.

    There is no magic pill that will make you gain weight without eating or exercising.  Even on steroids, you can’t physically gain weight if you don’t eat more than you take in and do at least some kind of exercise.

    The laws of energy balance are insurmountable.

    That said, there are some supplements which can help give you an edge when it comes to gaining muscle and size.


    Creatine is one of the oldest bodybuilding supplements, and for good reason.  Literally hundreds of studies have looked out the impact of Creatine on muscle-building and the results have been pretty unanimous.

    Creatine has been proven to:

    • Increase strength, power, and endurance
    • Increase muscle mass
    • Enhance recovery from exercise

    It works by increases the availability of ATP (cellular energy) during exercise.  This directly increases muscular strength and endurance.

    Creatine also acts as an Osmolyte, meaning it draws water into cells and quickly increase muscle size.

    The clinical dose for Creatine is around 5g/day.  It doesn’t really matter when you take it, but post-workout may be slightly favorable.  Taking your Creatine with carbs will maximize absorption as well.

    That’s why many people toss some Creatine in their post-workout shake with some protein and simple carbs.


    Leucine is one of the 3 branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), but it’s actually the only one which has any kind of direct impact on muscle protein synthesis.  In fact, Leucine isn’t just the most important BCAA for building muscle.  It’s the most important amino acid, period.

    Leucine directly stimulates mTOR, a signaling molecule which tells the body to start synthesizing proteins.  Of course, you still need all 20 proteinogenic amino acids to build muscle, but Leucine is the undisputed muscle-building king.

    A common criticism of Leucine is that you don’t need to supplement with it if you’re already getting enough protein.  That’s definitely true, but ask yourself…

    Are you getting enough protein?

    If you’re having trouble building muscle and gaining weight, it’s pretty likely that you’re not getting enough protein.  If that’s the case, supplementing with Leucine can definitely help you build muscle.

    Supplementing with Leucine isn’t going to miraculously make up for a poor diet, but it can definitely help.

    Take around 5g of Leucine before you workout or toss some in your post-workout shake to maximize muscle protein synthesis.

    Clinically-Dosed Pre-Workout

    Pre-Workouts are often packed with stimulants, but the right ingredients can give you the upper hand in the gym that--over time--can make an actual different in terms of muscle and size.

    Citrulline Malate - proven to improve muscular endurance and boost nitric oxide levels.

    L-Carnitine L-Tartrate - proven to reduce muscle damage and improve recovery.

    Beta-Alanine - proven to reduce lactic acid build-up in working muscle tissue, thereby allowing more muscular endurance (more reps, more sets, etc.)

    Alpha GPC - Still in the early stages of research but has so far been shown to increase muscular power output with just one dose.  More research is necessary, but looks promising across an even wider range of benefits, from potentially helping burn fat to being used as a nootropic (brain enhancer)

    Caffeine - Again, Caffeine burns fat but it does far more than just that.  It not only provides the mental energy and focus to help you acheive you're goals in the gym, but it has been proven to physically make you stronger.

    The ultimate Weight Gain Checklist

    Weight Gain Checklist

    Gaining weight boils down to eating more calories than you burn off, but if that seems vague, this checklist will help you out.

    If you’re doing every single one of these things (or even just most of them), you should have no problem gaining weight.  Go through this list, item by item, and ask yourself if you’re really doing each one.

     Track Calorie Intake – Figure out how many calories you burn in a day by tracking your calorie intake at a set body weight.

     Increase Calorie Intake – Once you know how much you burn, increase your intake by 10% or so.

     High Protein/High Carb Diet – Make sure you’re eating at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight and plenty of carbs

     Mostly Whole Foods – Make sure the majority of your calories come from nutritious whole foods, as opposed to those that are highly processed.

     Workout 3-5 Days A Week – Make sure you’re working out enough to build muscle but not so much that it becomes counter-productive.

     Heavy Compound Weight-Lifting – Do exercises like deadlifts, squats, and presses, rather than isolated movements, and go heavy!

     7-8 Hours Of Sleep Every Night – Don’t neglect your sleep.  Get a good night’s sleep every night, not just some nights.

     Take Rest Days From The Gym – Take at least a couple off days a week from lifting.  Just rest and eat.

     Supplement Smart – Only use supplements that actually work and keep in mind that diet and exercise are far more important.

    If you’re doing each one of these things (correctly), then congratulations, you’re going to gain weight!

    If you’re reading this article though, you’re probably missing a few of them.  In order to gain weight safely and efficiently, you’ll have to make some changes.

    The Bottom Line On Gaining Weight

    The Bottom Line On Gaining Weight

    If you’re having trouble gaining weight, don’t worry.  It’s actually not that hard.  All you need to do is:

    • Eat More
    • Exercise Smart
    • Rest

    And you’ll be able to gain as much weight as you want.  You can sit around and make excuses for why you’re not big and strong, but guess what?  Nobody is born big and strong!

    Remember…Even that 300 lb bodybuilder at your gym was 150 lbs at some point in his life.

    Have anything to SHARE about gaining weight or building muscle?  Comment below…