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9 Machines You Should Never Use

Exercise machines were invented to provide a safe alternative to free weights, but sometimes they’re anything but. They can put your body into unnatural positions and take your joints through dangerous ranges of motion. Over time, this can lead to injuries. Avoid the following machines at all costs, and use the alternative exercises we provide instead for safer, more effective training. 

The Best Barbell-Only Ab Workout

Target your core like never before with this super effective barbell abs workout

How Do Her Numbers Compare?

Everyone’s got a number. A number of past partners, the age they lost their virginity, the number of times you got laid this week (or didn’t)—whatever it may be, the past is the past. However, you’re not the only one with a little history. Here’s how her numbers stack up. Go on, we know you’re curious.

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.

7 Signs She Really Wants You

So if your friend never seems to leave the party or the night on the town before you do, she’s probably into you--or she’s the world’s best party friend. This counts double if she makes things happen such that the two of you will be alone at the end of the night (e.g. asking you for a ride home).

Two Truths and a Lie: Heart Smarts

If you've never heard of the game Two Truths and a Lie, here's the gist: Someone whom you've just met reveals three facts about himself, with one caveat: One of the statements is completely bogus. We're taking this classic icebreaker and giving it a healthy spin. Check out each trio of "truths" and see if you can spot the lie.

Close-Grip vs. Wide-Grip Upright Row

Researchers from Memphis University measured muscle activity of the front, middle, and rear deltoids, as well as the upper and middle traps during upright rows performed with a close grip (half of shoulder width), a shoulder-width grip, and a two-times wider-than-shoulder-width grip. With the two-times shoulder-width grip, the muscle activity of both the middle deltoid and even the rear deltoid increased by more than 20% compared with the close grip. Also, the wider grip increased muscle activity of the upper traps.

BPI Sports Whey-HD at

Directions For Whey-HD: Mix one scoop of WHEY-HD™ with 6-8 ounces of cold water and drink immediately after workout or strenuous activity. May also be taken anytime to promote recovery and help build strong muscles.*† For optimal results, use in conjunction with a proper diet and always consult with a physician prior to beginning a training regimen.

Better Barbell Curls: Cheat to Win

Sometimes bending the rules is the only way to get what you want. Barbell curls done strictly should be the go-to exercise for anyone seeking bigger arms , but there comes a time when doing them with textbook form won’t be enough to bring new growth. By using a little momentum and the right technique, you can actually make your biceps work harder while making the exercise safer.

March Smoothie Madness: Vote for Your Favorite Smoothie Ingredient

It’s March. You know what that means. It’s time for spring and basketball and smoothies. That’s right, we said smoothies! We’re pitting the best smoothie ingredients against each other in our first ever March Smoothie Madness bracket showdown in order to crown our readers’ favorite smoothie ingredient of all time. Do you have mandatory go-to smoothie mix-ins? Now’s your chance to profess your blender must-haves to the world.

Big Advice

Most people are hardgainers, who struggle to add every pound of muscle. Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler are from a lucky but tiny group of genetic superiors, but of course, both Coleman and Cutler did go from medium to large (although the transition occurred many moons ago). More important, they know how a hardgainer can grow. No, they don’t struggle like you, but the same rules apply, whether you weigh 130 or 310. Furthermore, the bigger a bodybuilder is, the more often he’s asked by someone like you, “How do I get bigger?” so we let five massive pros serve up their answers. Here are some of the largest of the supersized and their advice to you on how to get growing.

Photo Shoot with Flexatron!

Come behind-the-scenes with FLEX Magazine and photographer Per Bernal for a photo shoot with IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden.

Caveman Training: 3 Hardcore Workout Routines

"Caveman Training originated here at API," he says. "I was tired of the play-it-safe attitude with athletes. I was tired of seeing them coddled as if they were going to get injured or die if they were pushed too hard. I've heard from every one of my fighters that their training with me is harder than their fights. I believe this should be true of every sport. The training and preparation for the competition should be harder than the competition itself."

Kai Greene: 2 Weeks Out from Olympia

Kai Greene: 2 Weeks Out from Olympia

The Gift Trains Chest

Need some motivation? Check out Phil Heath training chest 2 weeks before the 2013 Olympia.

Get Crushed: Hell's Bells Kettlebell Circuit

Then there are some days you just walk into the gym feeling extra pumped and super focused. Sure you could bang out your regularly scheduled training program. Hell, the way you’re feeling you could probably hit a couple of PR’s. But, today, you’re same-old training program just won’t do. You want to tackle something tough. You want a challenge. You want to train so hard that you crawl out of the gym. You want to GET CRUSHED.

H.U.G.E. Superiority Complex

Well, supersetting is not the be-all and end-all of training techniques, but it’s certainly in the conversation when you’re talking about the most effective ways to increase your intensity. Supersets are simply two sets of different exercises performed one after the other without resting between the two. Officially, under the Weider Training Principles vernacular, “supersets” refers to sets done alternately for opposing muscle groups, such as triceps and biceps, and “compound sets” refers to doing two movements for the same muscle group; these days, however, “supersets” is the more commonly used term for any back-to-back exercise combo.

Q&A With DJ Ruckus

DJs are known for a lot of things— headphone endorsements, gigantic mouse heads—but rarely their rock-hard abs. Greg Andrews, aka DJ Ruckus, is in a different league. Possibly the busiest DJ in the world, Ruckus divides his time between spinning at private parties for Jay Z, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah; rocking runway shows and after-parties for Alexander Wang and Louis Vuitton; moonlighting as a producer for Janet Jackson, Outkast, and Kelis; and holding down residencies at nightclubs in Miami, Las Vegas, L.A., Paris, and Saint-Tropez. And yet, he maintains the body of an elite running back. Fitness gives Ruckus balance and focus, and the energy to stay on top of the newest trends. We went on the record with him in New York City.

Frank McGrath on Paleo Diets and Recovering From Injury

I never believed in them until I tried it. It hurts like a son of a bitch but it works. I have religiously been using the foam roller on my lower back and legs, and it’s made a huge difference. It’s helped alleviate my lower-back pain and also helped my legs grow by loosening the muscles so I can recover quicker and keep squatting heavy. I’m having less pain in my knees as well, probably because my quads are feeling better. The foam roller breaks up the muscle adhesions almost as good as a deep tissue massage and for a lot less money, except you have to be disciplined and do it a lot for it to work well. I think all athletes should do it, even bodybuilders. Breaking down the muscle tightness promotes growth and helps you stay injury-free.

Hugh Jackman Still Shredded in Latest 'X-Men'

The latest trailer for 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' has us pumped, and Hugh Jackman is still looking ripped.

X-Man's Training Doctrine

Toney Freeman has many years of serious training under his belt, and he isn't stopping any time soon. He has perfected his training philosophy over the years, and has some training advice that he would like to share. Read on to see the X-Man's Training Doctrine.

22 Twitter / Piyushp24: @PHILHEATH @mrojaycutler Boom ...

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

The Smartphone Wars Begin

Since they all can text, call, and e-mail, brand identities and marketing are starting to become really important. (I wrote a while ago about what your choice in smartphone says about you .) HTC is made and marketed for music maniacs: The new One has the trademark larger speakers at the top and bottom of the phone, a new radio app, and a few other things in the mix that'll be revealed later. Samsung's GS5, with its built-in heart rate monitor and FitGear release in April, is tailor-made for the quantitative, fit guy. And Apple is, well, Apple. Just rumors on the iPhone 6 as of now—but because of that built-in hype machine and customer loyalty, you can bet it'll sell bonkers even if it's a tin can and a string. Not to mention the Sony Xperia Z2 or Google Nexus 5. There are insane features to all these phones—and dangerous-ish ones ( Carplay , looking at you)—but at the end of the day, they're iterations. Customers need a better reason to switch.

24 EliteFTS - Superior Products and Knowledge for Lifters, Athletes, Coaches, and Trainers

I wrote this for the elitefts team last summer and thought I would share with the readers. This ended up being am eighty four page file. I will post in sections. Part One - Broken Part Two - Reject Part Three - Flunked Out Part Four - Back to School Part Five - Columbus, Ohio Part Six - The Lean Years THE BOOTSTRAPPING YEARS Now we are into the meat of the company story. You can see where the foundation was built � I just needed to find a way to build the rest of the house. To try to avoid this from becoming a 20-part series, I will skip through some of these stages pretty quickly. The first years after I went full-time with Elitefts, I made nothing. And when I did, I put it toward more education. I became very efficient at �bootstrapping� and figuring out how to get the most out of everything I had and how to workout fair trades to get work done. I do not want to go into some of these exact items as this will be read by people I am sure will one day leave the company and I will have to compete against. I have learned over 15 years of business this does happen and will happen again.

Inner Armour Blue Omega 3 Fish Oil at

OMEGA 3 FISH OIL is scientifically designed to offer maximum results from the essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids present in fish oils. Our formula is subjected to molecular distillation resulting in a degree of purity that exceeds standard expectations.


FitMiss Delight is a High Protein/Quality Calorie Shake That Can Be Used As A Meal Or Healthy Snack! Get the Lowest Prices on Delight at!

Do These Two Simple Things To Build Muscle Fast

Two simple things will make a difference if you want to pack on muscle quickly. First, train to failure to maximize muscle protein synthesis through mechanical stimulus.

Muscle and Fitness

Thank you for the Team Fitness membership opportunity. I think this is a great idea. I am very picky with supplements and HATE when I go to the box supplement shop and blow a ton of dough on something that sucks and ends up expiring in my cupboard. I look forward to future packages. Christopher, Alabama


Think strength and speed don't belong in the same workout? Not if Ashley Conrad has anything to say about it! Turn up the pressure and leave it all out on the floor in this brutal 25-minute burner!

A check-in at AMC Century City 15

First of friends to check in to see Noah.

Marriage Is a Success Booster

Sure, get hitched and you’ll lose some personal freedom (and the chance to ever again finish a joke), but you’ll gain something better: a sense of personal success. When 2,000 adults were asked how happy or successful they felt, 60% of spouses rated higher than singles. “Success isn’t just about fortune or fame,” says study rep Mark Maguire, “but feeling you have the right mix of friends, family, social networks, and a sense of community.” We’re not suggesting you run out and put a ring on it—but at some point, even a wolf of Wall Street is happier sharing his den.

Q&A: Reduce Post-Workout Muscle Soreness?

A: One simple method to reduce soreness is to apply topical creams that contain menthol and curcumin. Menthol has a cooling sensation on the skin that inhibits the brain-pain connection. Curcumin is a compound found in the herb turmeric that reduces inflammation and thereby reduces muscle pain. Although not very practical, acupuncture can be used to target sensitized pain receptors, which can result in a lower sensation of pain in the muscles.