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DeFranco's Gym at the Onnit Academy

Director of Sports Performance Cameron Josse walks you through the new DeFranco's Gym at the Onnit Academy in Austin, TX!

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Sagittarius Horoscope for Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - Your optimism reaches new heights now, and you might not have the patience to listen to anyone's negativity. If someone expresses dissatisfaction with your agenda today, you could be tempted to just run off and do your own thing. Nevertheless, it's not wise to react so quickly if it means excluding others from your plans. Take a few deep breaths and give your cohorts time to come around because it will be much more fun to play in a group.

The Mechanics of Shoulder Training

Raises, or "laterals",” are isolation exercises, as they involve only the shoulder joint and no other muscles than the deltoids. Laterals are excellent for working and shaping the individual heads of the deltoids and can be done (more or less) to the front, side and rear to stress specific areas of the shoulder muscles. The following are some examples of the different kinds of shoulder exercises, and suggestions as to how to do them most effectively. There are additional alternatives but these descriptions cover the basics. Just remember, no matter the particular movement, try to be conscious of what the shoulder joint is doing, concentrate on feeling the rotation involved and keep the exercises mechanically correct to avoid limiting the effectiveness of your shoulder training. It takes a certain amount of skill to isolate the deltoids as a group and even more technique to target individual deltoid heads.

The No Squat Leg Workout

For every guy who says no leg workout is worth a crap without including barbell squats , there’s at least 10 others who, for whatever reason, simply refuse to squat. Maybe it’s because of a past injury. Or perhaps it’s just a matter of hating squats. Either way, we can’t make anyone do squats. What we can do is offer a leg workout that even in the absence of the “king of all exercises” still blasts the quads, glutes and hamstrings to deliver some serious lower body size. The following “no-squat” routine accomplishes just that.

The Definitive Guide to Whey Protein

All proteins are comprised of amino acids and amino acids serve as the building blocks of proteins. Each protein, regardless of its source, is made up of approximately twenty amino acids. Since all proteins are comprised of the same 20 amino acids, how is one protein source different than another? The answer to this question is that the sequence of the amino acids differs from one type of protein to another type of protein. In addition, the composition of the amino acids that comprise a given protein is what makes one type of protein different from another. For example, soy does not have as much of the amino acid methionine as some other high quality proteins and egg protein has more branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) than vegetable proteins.

The 30 Best Leg Exercises of All Time

In sports, the gym, and daily life, a strong lower body is crucial to performance. For the sake of your physique and training results, here are 30 strength-building  lower body exercises  to ensure you never skip leg day. 

10 Best Cable Exercises for Your Core

A cable machine unleashes a wide variety of core exercises because of the adjustable height and the ability to work from all angles. We’re not talking about the beloved kneeling cable crunch. Rather, these 10 standing, kneeling, twisting, and bending core exercises place your body in every plane of motion to target your obliques and lower abs. Build core strength with these 10 ab-carving cable exercises.

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Attack of the Gym Germs

The tip is to wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, according to Rubino, in order to eliminate bacteria and viruses on your hands before you go on with your day. It’s not always that easy, of course. “Let’s face it, when you’re working out at the gym, you don’t want to be running to the bathroom every time you finish using a machine; you want to get your workout done,” says Rubino. “So just being aware that your hands touched something that might have previously picked up some germs is important. Keep your hands away from your face. If you’re drinking from a bottle, make sure your hands are away from the area you put your mouth on. It sounds simple, but you always have to be conscious about this stuff.”

$200,000 Transformation Challenge Presented by Dymatize Nutrition and

A committee of judges from and Dymatize will choose two Grand Prize winners and 20 runners up who have achieved the best overall transformations. There will also be one People's Choice Winner that will be voted on and picked by visitors out of the top 20 runners up who also exhibited impressive results. Winners will be chosen based upon physical improvement visible in "before" and "after" pictures and according to his/her body-composition stats submitted via BodySpace. Judges' decisions are final. Winner will be notified via email or telephone on or before May 11, 2015.

Ask Men's Fitness: Will More Protein Help Me Build More Muscle?

MF: Only up to a point. Protein is the main ingredient in muscle fiber, but it’s only one part of a complex system of nutritional, hormonal, and mechanical requirements that need to be balanced in order for muscles to grow bigger and stronger. More protein in lieu of hard training, optimal sleep, and sufficient calories and micronutrients won’t lead to results.  The Men’s Fitness Food Pyramid that I helped design with several nutrition experts calls for daily consumption of 1–1.5 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. This holds true whether your goal is muscle gain or fat loss.

The Barbell Good Morning

The good morning is a serious posterior chain movement that is too often neglected by the strength athlete. But if your goals involve getting stronger or attaining a more aesthetically pleasing backside, then the good morning is a lift you need to be doing. Unless, of course, you’re happy with your Miley Cyrus pancake butt. Then by all means, stop reading.

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Workout Finisher: Single Plate Complex

Finish off your workout strong with this simple six move complex using a single plate.


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4 Ways to Blast Your Traps

2) Cable Face Pull Attach a rope attachment to the high pulley of a cable station. Grasp it overhand, as in a triceps extension, sit your hips back, and pull the cable to the bridge of your nose. Pause, then slowly return to the start position. This dynamic move has huge benefits for both the traps and the rear delts, and also helps to stabilize shoulders and improve posture.

10-Minute Triceps

Because of the weight loads used, failure is inevitable – and that’s a good thing. Even if you’re able to muscle through 15 reps on your first work segment, you will find that failure comes sooner and sooner on each subsequent set – that’s okay. Take a breath and get right back into it, have a training partner help you through a few forced reps, or continue on using partial reps. The point is to continue moving throughout the set. If none of the aforementioned methods work, try lightening the load next time.

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Fighter Diet News, by Fighter Diet: Get Buff, Get Lean

Ask Men's Fitness: What's the Deal with Weight Belts?

Our expert weighs in on whether a weight belt is necessary during weight training.

Trainer Q&A: Why Does My Shoulder Crack and Pop?

A snapping, popping, or other annoyance that starts to radiate, say from the shoulder to the neck or through the arm, may be a pulled/torn muscle. A snap or crack in the shoulder can also mean the bones could be rubbing on themselves, which could be a developing arthritic condition or a loose joint creating a “grating” sound.

6 Super Simple Recovery Drinks and Snacks

Maximize muscle recovery by choosing these smart and healthy post-workout foods and beverages.

Self-Myofascial Release for Shoulders - MuscleMag

Self-myofascial release (SMR) can help clear up mobility issues in your shoulders that lead to impaired movement and eventual injury. Be aware that SMR can border on being painful. On a pain scale of one to 10, SMR should feel like a six to eight (a “hurts so good” feeling). The best part of SMR is that it provides near-instant feedback. If you’ve done it right, you’ll immediately feel a little better. If you’ve done it wrong, you’ll know it, too. Your muscles will be tighter instead of being more fluid. If you do feel worse after a bout of SMR, get a medical diagnosis to avoid further injury.

Count by 5’s to Build Your Thighs

Squats are the king of leg exercises. It’s a natural body movement that incorporates flexion at all major lower body joints, causing max overload of the major muscles of the body. Increasing your squat strength will result in greater development throughout your entire lower body. Use the tried and true 5X5 method and focus on increasing weight each session to maximize this movement.

Explode, Load & Hold for a Full-Body Bruising

Explode >> Training explosively (after a good, general warm-up) early in your workout is highly beneficial for multiple reasons. First, explosive movement excites your central nervous system, making it function at a higher level for everything that is to follow. Secondly, power-focused moves mainly use fast-twitch muscle fiber – those that are most prone to growth. If you look at the bodies of elite sprinters, whose routines include sprints, plyometrics and Olympic lifts, you’ll get a sense for what this type of training can offer. Also, performing explosive movements first, can actually enhance performance on the exercises that follow.

The Complete Arnold: Chest

Dips are another exercise that people don’t seem to use for chest—most use it as a triceps move. But I’ve always felt that dips really flush the whole pectoral area and are great for building the lower pecs to give you that impressive, deep muscular ridge that separates the pecs from the abs. To build maximum size, you should definitely do weighted dips (I used to hang an 80-pound dumbbell from my weight belt and do sets of 15 reps). Make sure you go all the way down until you feel a good stretch in your chest for each rep, leaning your torso forward and keeping your knees back, and don’t feel as though you have to lock out your elbows at the top. As for dumbbell flyes, don’t stick to light weights. Many people assume that flye moves must be done with light weight. Why? How will you add size using 25-pound dumbbells? Pick up something heavier. You’ll be surprised at how much weight you can handle. I used to start of with 65-pound dumbbells for my fIrst set of 15 reps, then progress to 75s, then 85s, still keeping my reps between 10 and 15.

Weider Principle #30: High-Low

At the beginning of this journey through the Weider Principles, we said that some of them had grown a bit musty. We shined them up and showed you how each of the 30 tenets previously discussed can improve your workouts today. Now, we have exciting news—the unveiling of a new principle to honor the legacy of the late Joe Weider.

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Eight Essential Rules for a Clean Bulk

First things first: you can only gain weight during a caloric surplus. But gone are the days of splurging on everything in site for the sake of a bulk . Instead, target a moderate caloric surplus so you’re not adding fat. A good rule-of-thumb for calories is 16 x your bodyweight in pounds. For example, if you weigh 175 pounds, you should consume about 2800 calories (16 x 175) to gain weight.

The Long And Short Of Leg Training

The program wraps up with a dumbbell Romanian deadlift. Again, you’re stretching your hamstrings and back while you work, so your reps will be higher and your weight moderate. “Your quads should be smoked at this point, and it should be hard to stand,” Ashman says. To give yourself even more room to stretch, do these on top of a set of weight plates. You’ll need that space as you progress through your sets and your range of motion increases.

Harness the Power of Your Muscle Matrix

Your connective tissue consists of tendons, ligaments, and what’s known as the “extracellular matrix,” a scaffold-like network of fibers that permeates muscle. Scientists have long known that lifting heavy weights produces bigger, stronger muscles—it activates genes and proteins that instruct cells to build more muscle fibers. During that exercise, it was always thought, your connective tissue was limited to a simple mechanical function: transfer force from muscles to bones, or for ligaments, bones to bones. (Picture train couplings between railcars.)  But recent discoveries are revealing that connective tissue does a whole lot more. As it turns out, it plays a crucial role in muscle building, a process called hypertrophy. On top of that, it appears that your connective tissue can be improved with  specific exercises  and nutrient supplements to profoundly impact athletic performance and strength, and prevent injuries.

10 Reasons Jennifer Lawrence Is Our Dream Girl

Is there anything that the incredibly talented Jennifer Lawrence can't do? The 24-year-old's latest movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I , which also stars Men's Fitness cover guy Liam Hemsworth , is raking it in at the box office, and now the song she sings in the movie is tearing up the Billboard Hot 100 Chart . You read that right: "The Hanging Tree" debuted at number 12, and we wouldn't bet against it going all the way to the top. If you haven't heard the song, check it out below, and then take a look at ten more reasons why Jennifer Lawrence is our dream girl.

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34 - Kris Gethin's 12-Week Muscle-Building Trainer

Gethin recently embarked on a mission to gain 15 pounds of lean mass in 12 weeks. He gained more than 20. We followed him through the streets and gyms of Mumbai, India to capture the entire process—his workouts, meals, cardio sessions, and more. The result? Kris Gethin's 12-Week Muscle-Building Trainer.

Take the Guesswork Out of Training

How many times have you caught yourself asking the question, “Which exercise should I do?” You get cranking on a good program, but still find yourself questioning why certain body parts just aren’t getting any better. You look around the gym and see a lot different exercises being performed and probably say to yourself, “Should I do that?” The better question should really be, “What am I trying to improve?” Exercises are created for a specific purpose, but when it comes to building size and getting razor-sharp cuts, that reason becomes even more important. Choosing the best exercise is difficult, since most exercises have variations and may activate more than one muscle or muscle group, making it difficult to pinpoint the true target. You also have to consider how to get all your body parts worked out inside of a week while ensuring that your overall goal is met.

Ask Men's Fitness: Does Being 6-Feet Tall Mean I Can't Get Super Strong?

There’s one exercise, however, on which you’ll find that your proportions help: the deadlift. Because you have long arms, you don’t need to bend as far to reach the bar; nor do you need to raise it as high to lock out a rep. Lucky for us, the deadlift is widely considered the best measure of strength because it tests every muscle.

10 Ways to Boost Your Good Cholesterol

As a result of all this, doctors don't just want you to lower your total cholesterol count; they want you to change the ratio as well, so you have more HDL and less LDL. "When we looked at the data, we found that the higher your HDL went, the lower your risk of heart attack," says cardiologist William Castelli, M.D., former director of the Framingham Heart Study in Massachusetts. An HDL level of 75 or more seems to convey extra longevity for many people, while a count of 100 or more is so beneficial that it was dubbed the "Methuselah syndrome" by one researcher. HDL less than 35 or so, meanwhile, can carry significant risk of heart disease. Genetics plays a large role in HDL. A few guys have naturally low levels and need to keep their LDL low as well to make up for it. (As Castelli puts it, you don't need a substance that removes cholesterol from your blood if you don't have much to begin with.) But there's plenty that everyone else can do to pump up their HDL. Never one to shirk from a task that doesn't involve housecleaning, I managed to find two handfuls of ways to turn my "good" numbers into great numbers.

Hormone Control

A number of bodybuilders have e-mailed me requesting the same thing: “Can you check out my precontest diet?” Time and again, their approach to dieting is the same: no carbs. A no-carb or very-low-carb plan can be effective — it almost always means fewer calories, so that’s a plus. It also means insulin, a potentially fat-storing hormone, is controlled. But it doesn’t guarantee a ripped fat-free physique. Getting ripped is about controlling calories while simultaneously keeping hormones in balance. That’s what this article is about — providing the guidelines for a hormonal profile that will keep your metabolic rate humming to burn bodyfat. Here’s the data on six main hormones you need to know about.

Build a Better Six-Pack with Two Workouts Per Week

Build a Better Six-Pack with Two Workouts Per Week

Simply Hard Work

Tweaking and optimizing the basic formula of food plus training plus supplements gets tricky, which is why people hire those gurus, but the essential elements remain the same. Dennis James has adhered to this philosophy since the days he routinely stood on the Olympia stage. James has been successfully applying those same principles as the coach of Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay for the past two years. He walked us through their normal chest workout to show people that no scientific formula or complex routine can replace basic hard work in the gym.


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Making Volcano Traps Erupt

Here’s the bad news: You can’t have great traps without them. Now for the good news: They’ll give you the thickest and highest traps possible. “Deads” are the perfect trapezius exercise, because they combine all total-mass principles for this fractious bodypart: maximum poundage, full range of motion, and intense stress on the traps through all dimensions and from top to bottom. As you start the lift, you’re bent over, which pulls your traps forward and stresses them over their entire area of mass, from bottom to top and side to side. As you raise your body, the stress moves progressively downward, from the top of your traps, across your rhomboids, pulling hard at the lateral extremities. At the top, you “lock out” the lift, shrugging your shoulders up and back, which serves as a peak contraction, especially for your upper traps. As you lower the weight, the entire process is reversed, but with the same beneficial effects. You can’t ask for more. Always do deads.

Debunking Myths: Straight Talk on Meal Frequency, Protein & Nighttime Carbs

Debunking Myths: Straight Talk on Meal Frequency, Protein & Nighttime Carbs

Keto Power: 6 Metabolic Meals -

I love the "health articles" (not that still try to demonize whole eggs, high fat animal proteins, real butter and other products they deem "unhealthy". Most people still aren't understanding that fat doesn't make you fat and carbohydrates don't make you fat its the combination of both high carb and high fat intake that's making people fat. Everyone is different and everyone processes food in a different way. I have found that my body works best on high fat, moderate protein and low carb. The guy next to me may be the complete opposite...who cares as long as you find out what works best for you.

The Fiber Question

of 10.3%. The low-rep group saw an increase of 12.4% in

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When MusclePharm's world-renowned scientists teamed up with legendary fitness icon Arnold Schwarzenegger, they looked at how to bring a superior muscle building product to market. Arnold famously described the pump as "the greatest feeling you can get in the gym" – a sure signal that the body is growing, fast. And let's be honest, no feeling is greater than muscle pumps that last all day. Nothing is more motivating than looking in the gym mirrors and seeing veins you never knew you had. Iron Pump™ was formulated to be the perfect muscle building and pump pre-workout product precisely engineered to deliver massive pumps, muscle fullness, vascularity, explosive energy and enhanced size.*

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Ask Men's Fitness: How Can I Beat Razor Burn?

A: Here’s what you do. Forget futuristic razors with eight blades or whatever. They’re too sharp, and if a blade is damaged it will scrape your skin. Look for something with three blades or less, like the art of Shaving’s Chrome Futura Safety razor. Also, use pre-shave oil—it retains moisture on the face so the skin is supple for shaving. Once you’ve shaved downward, reapply the pre-shave oil, then shave in the opposite direction. There are ointments specifically made for ingrown facial hair ; get the kind that’s made without alcohol. Also, try using a dry, soft toothbrush on the area of the ingrown hair to gently work it out from underneath the skin.

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