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Big Ramy Trains Chest in Preparation for the 2015 Olympia

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Marc Megna's Lifting Lessons: Abdominal Crunch -

Think you know how to properly perform a crunch? Think again. Marc Megna shows what you've been doing wrong and how to correct it!

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Kendra BreAnn Cumby on Twitter

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

Sagittarius Horoscope for Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - Your future is beckoning, but you're also painfully aware of a lingering issue that could stand in your way of success. Just when you think everything is copacetic, an up-welling of powerful emotions demands your undivided attention. Don't think for a moment that you can stuff them back into the basement of your unconscious mind. Opportunity often arrives shrouded in uncertainty. The amazing potential ahead will only multiply if you have the courage to face the unknown.


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Live It, Love It

A great thing was the pace of my progress, and the time I allotted to it was of my own making. That’s what I urge each FLEX reader to do. Set your own goals, apportion the correct time to work for those goals and then enjoy! I can think of no better way to embrace life than to bodybuild. The act of building and strengthening one’s muscles through training and sound eating habits is an affirmation of the miracle of the human body itself. Ways to do that are abundant in the pages of FLEX. In this month’s issue, for instance, we have a feature on Mark Dugdale and Troy Alves training for a classic V-taper physique; an article on the lowdown on which supplements will boost the effects of a lowcarb diet; and the continuation of the Brute Strength Program and its radical approach to muscle and power gains.

Food Fixes

Knowing that, why would you settle for a good meal plan when you can have a terrific one with just a few tweaks? To eat like a true bodybuilder and optimize your results in the gym, you need to pay attention to the specifics, like when to eat slow-burning carbs and when to rely on the fast-burning variety, and when to consume whey protein versus using a casein-based protein food.

Attack Your Abs With These Fat-Burning Moves

Technically, you don’t need any equipment to train abs . Your own body weight and some open floor space are all it should take. But that can get old after a while. Not to mention, there are various pieces of gym equipment that are great for making your abdominals work just a bit harder for new gains in strength, shape, and overall core stability. A few of our favorites: a decline bench, a medicine ball, and a Roman chair. These three in particular have been around since the Arnold, Zane, and Draper days, and for good reason.

6 Muscle-Building Exercises You Can’t Do Wrong

Bad technique also goes beyond injuries: it kills performance. You’ll never lift the weight you can truly lift, and you’ll shortchange your muscle growth. You’ll use the wrong muscles, worsen your posture, and never achieve great results.

Chris Hemsworth's God-Like Thor Workout

Hemsworth in particular was a model of consistency, and the physique he built has made “Chris Hemsworth Workout” the top search suggestion when you punch the actor’s name into Google. The Internet, though, is a minefield of shameless, click-baiting “Thor Workout” imitators. Fortunately, you don’t need to look any further than the full, unabridged template we present here, with exercises demonstrated by IFBB physique pro Sadik Hadzovic. So get ready to hit the gym, and remember: There are no shortcuts.

Head and Shoulders Above

This brings us to Phil Heath’s shoulders. What was once a deficit is now a surplus. We should also mention the head on those shoulders, because the changes happened and continue to happen only because of meticulous planning and methodical execution.

Best Pre-Workout Foods

Bananas “They’re nature’s PowerBar,” boasts Dr. Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of The Complete Guide to Food for Sports Performance: Peak Nutrition for Your Sport . Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates (read: fuel) and are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function. The body doesn’t store potassium for very long, so a medium banana before a workout will help keep nutrient levels high. Villacorta especially recommends bananas for morning exercisers: “Get up and eat a medium banana with 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt. Wait about 30 minutes and then hit the gym. Your body will need the carbohydrates and protein.”

60 Day Revolution: The Workout Plan

There are a wide variety of sets and reps used for each phase of the 60 Day Revolution. On Upper Body Day, there are different set and rep schemes for each triset. Refer to the chart below during each week of the program. All sets and reps are expressed as sets x reps. For instance, on Week 1 (Intro) on Triset # 1, you’ll do 3 x 10, or 3 sets of 10 reps. In Week 8 (Shock) on the same triset, you’ll do 7-10 sets of one rep. Use the heaviest weights you can manage with good form during all weeks, except for Week 7; this is a DELOAD and meant as a break before you hit Week 8, the SHOCK phase where you’ll use the heaviest possible weights that you can lift.

Giant Gains with Giant Sets

For your goals, here’s a program of six giant sets arranged in a three-day split. I recommend you train three days in a row, take one or two days’ rest, and then repeat this sequence until you have performed all the workouts four or five times each. The tempo for every exercise except where noted is 4010 (4 seconds eccentric, no rest, 10 seconds concentric). The first day of the program focuses on arms, the second day on legs, and the third day on chest and back.

11 Ways to Eat to Make Your Abs Pop

There's a layer of flab over your abs. Yes, you do have abs. It's just time to get your diet in check. Here are 11 nutrition tweaks you need to make starting today.

Big Louie

Today, at age 62, this 1973 IFBB Mr. America and two-time IFBB Universe winner (1973–1974), is a quiet, thoughtful, introspective man. Thanks to his enormous physique and run as CBS’ The Hulk from 1977–1981, Lou Ferrigno is one of two bodybuilders who are truly household names (Arnold Schwarzenegger being the obvious other). He still works out and his acting career continues with work on The Celebrity Apprentice and The King of Queens, as well as voice-over work in Adventure Time and 2012’s blockbuster movie The Avengers. A family man, Lou and his wife of 34 years, Carla, have three grown children and live in California, where they held this November’s NPC and IFBB Ferrigno Legacy Contest.

T NATION on Twitter

Does this look like you on the weekend? Don't panic, here's how to control the damage: …

How to Get Your Lower Abs to Show

The best way to drop fat is to create a caloric deficit: eat fewer calories than you burn per day. Use a food journal for just a few days to track exactly how many calories you’re consuming. Then, reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day — that should be enough to boost your fat loss and melt the fat around your mid-section (and everywhere else, too). Every two to three weeks, measure your body fat to make sure you’re moving the right direction.

Lionel Beyeke's Legendary Leg Workout

Here, as demonstrated by IFBB pro Lionel Beyeke, one of today’s true freaks—in the best sense of the term—is a workout that can test your mettle and your muscle. In the end, you may not be standing upright necessarily, but you’ll surely be taking giant steps forward in your quest for leg development of historical proportions.

Lose Your Love Handles With the Dumbbell Side Bend

Forging a solid midsection is as much about diet and cardio as rocking out endless crunches . But when it comes to taking decisive action against love handles, most guys aren't sure what exercise will best attack the problem. The single most popular‚ and most misused‚ exercise for your obliques is the dumbbell side bend. Once you understand how this move works, the way you've been doing them and the wacky technique flaws you'll see at any gym will seem comical to you. Here are the basics to get you started.

5 Sex-Position Tweaks to Help Give Her an Orgasm Tonight

You get a great view and women like this position because they’re in control of the speed of the thrusting and the angle. To make it even more intense, have her get on her knees while bending forward so she's leaning toward your face, and then she can move in and out of you nice and slow. “This will help your penis hit her G spot while allowing her to angle her clit on your shaft as she uses her arms to hold onto you for balance,” says Patricia Taylor, Ph.D., sex educator and author of the newly revised Expanded Orgasm . Starting off slow and increasing the speed is key because it helps her really get warmed up, and when she's really excited, her clit grows larger as it becomes engorged and the larger area of sensation increases her ability to orgasm. Plus this slightly shifted position allows her to move however she likes. “If you’re in the mood for experimenting, wear a vibrating cock ring to really increase the sensation,” Taylor says.

12 Reasons You Can’t Stop Eating

Falling short on shut-eye can make you consume more food throughout the day. In a 2012 Mayo Clinic study, individuals who cut their sleep time by an hour and 20 minutes a night consumed an average of 549 more calories the next day than those who caught their usual amount of Z’s. The results might have to do with the effect sleep has on our levels of ghrelin and leptin, two hormones that work together to stimulate and suppress appetite. What's more, feeling sluggish may cause you to turn to a snack for a quick pick-me-up. “An exhausted person will look for energy in food, and then it becomes a habit,” says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet .

Calf & Hamstring Exercises For a Complete Leg Workout

Remember the old saying “no pain, no gain.” In fact, don’t just remember it – live it, breathe it and embrace it on leg day. If you don’t feel a burn and want to quit, it probably means you need to add more weight, increase your range of motion or both. Often the hamstrings and calves get neglected because they’re not fun to train, and the strain of hard work takes a big toll on your physical desire. All we can say is, suck it up. Don’t let them lag behind. Move hams and calves to front of your leg day – yes, before quads – from time to time to give them priority your routine. For once, don’t put the backs of your legs on the backburner.

The 15 Most Important Exercises For Men

Every guy who’s into fitness has some methodology, piece of equipment, or program they like over anything else. Some like to circuit train every day, some follow bodybuilding protocols, and still others participate in any number of fitness trends and fads. However, there is a list of exercises that has withstood the test of time, and these moves have become staples in every serious lifter’s plan.

Sugar – The Sweet Truth - Bret Contreras

The following is a guest article discussing the evidence behind sugar by my friend Menno Henselmans. For some of you, the following information is going to seem hard to believe. I confess, when I first learned the truth about sugar, I was highly skeptical. However, starting a couple of years ago, I quit worrying about the complexity (pun intended) of my carbohydrate intake, and during this time, my physique has actually gotten better due to gaining strength. It’s such a relief to know that as long as I hit my caloric and macronutrient targets, I can enjoy a variety of carbohydrate sources depending on my preferences without negatively impacting body composition and health. Knowledge is power my friends. Check out Menno’s personal trainer certification course  HERE .

Posedown: Haney vs. McMillan

If Haney at his peak could pose down with McMillan today, who would win?

5 Track Workouts for Speed, Power, and Endurance

Additional Warmup: Complete 4-6 alactic strides (massive bursts of energy in very short increments of time). Keep these under 9 seconds. Take a full recovery between each. Then, complete a set of 5 progressively faster 50-meter strides; the last 3 should be at your maximum controllable effort. With each successive one try to hit max speed a little sooner. Take 3 minutes to walk and perform mobility drills between each. Rest 5 minutes, then begin.

M&F Iron Maiden: Hope Beel

We caught up with fitness coach Hope Beel who gave us the 411 on her favorite workout (glute day) and hobbies. Oh, she also had a bunch of pics to share.

The Complete Arnold: Biceps

When doing any dumbbell curl, whether it’s standing, seated, incline, or concentration curls, start with your hand in a neutral position and then rotate it as you perform the rep so that your palm faces upward. Two inches or so from the top of the curl, twist your hand farther so that your pinkie finger is higher than your thumb and forcibly tense the biceps. The pain of the contraction is very intense, but it’s well worth it. Do this with every rep of every dumbbell curl you perform and, over the long term, it should make a big dif erence in your arm development. In addition to supinating, I preferred to let the dumbbell “drag” behind to get a stronger contraction of the biceps. Most people start a curl with their wrists straight, then flex their wrists toward the shoulders for better leverage as they raise the weights. That essentially eliminates gravity and nullifies the final part of the movement, where the peak contraction can really be accentuated. But when I curled the weight, I let the dumbbell roll down my hand and settle in my fingers so that my wrist was extended throughout each rep, not flat or flexed as you usually see.

10 Ways to Build Muscle Faster

Seeing new and faster gains doesn’t always require getting on a drastically different workout plan or following an ultra-scientific diet. Small changes can add up to major results. Start making the following tweaks and build muscle faster.

Eat to Beat Stress: 10 Foods That Reduce Anxiety

Here's some good news to keep in mind the next time you're stressed out: Eating may be a stay-calm trick. We're not talking about stuffing yourself with your typical go-to comfort food, such as mac and cheese or French fries, because that will only leave you feeling guilty and even more anxious. Instead, feed your face with one (or more) of these 10 superfoods to feel at ease fast.

9 of the Best TV Shows to Watch this Fall

Depressed that True Detective Season 2 is over? Good news: there’s a bevy of fresh new shows (and season premiers) on the way generating buzz and competing for your DVR space. From a naked tattooed girl in Times Square to what may be Rob Lowe’s finest hour, here are nine worth tuning in for. 

31 on Twitter

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

Start Here - Zach Even-Esh

Zach's inspiration in training comes from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding & Days of Old School Strength. His mission is to help You kick ass & take names in Life AND Lifting without the hype, fancy fads or gimmicks. Zach's Commitment To Your Success Is Unmatched. He Knows What It's Like To Go From A Weakling To An Unstoppable BEAST In Charge Of His Life, Business & Destiny. Zach Made It Happen Through The Iron and Now it's Your Turn!

Boost Your Metabolism

Fire up your engine and burn that excess weight once and for all with these surefire metabolism boosters

How Many Sets and Reps?

One of the most controversial topics in resistance training is the optimal number of sets you need to perform to increase muscle mass. There are the low-set proponents, such as Dorian Yates and Mike Mentzer, and the high-set proponents, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jay Cutler. Both camps are right! What counts is the proportion of high-set work to low-set work through a sound, periodized approach to training. That said, we can make some useful generalizations. The following are several effective set-and-rep prescriptions for increasing muscle.

Top 8 Reasons You're Distracted at the Gym

It’s all but certain that when you get to the gym you’re going to have to deal with distractions. From sights to sounds to smells, there will be something seeking to sidetrack you. Left unchecked, this sort of interference can cause you to lose focus and mess up your ability to make gains . But don’t worry, there’s a way around every potential preoccupation you might face. Check out these fixes to common distractions.

T NATION on Twitter

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

15 Things That Turn Girls Off on Tinder, According to 15 Girls

But beware: " Women are visual and will swipe left if your photo is a turn off,” says online dating expert Julie Spira . “Posting photos of you with sunglasses says you’re hiding something. Girls want to look into your eyes. Posting photos of a gorilla may be funny to you, but does she really want to kiss that furry animal? Not really. And those selfies without the shirt? Are they really your best photos? You may want to show off your physique, but on the first swipe, she probably doesn't want to see you naked."

Ronnie Coleman - No Regrets

“Getting in my last workout before my surgery tomorrow. Never take life for granted, Never. Training is my life, my hobby, it's who I am, and it represents me. If this was my last workout and I'm never ever able to train again because God called me home, I can say my life was fulfilled because I did it doing what I always love doing the most, Training. Thanks to all people in the world all over the world who wished me luck for tomorrow especially my frat brothers current Mr. Olympia @philheath and current 212 Mr. Olympia Flex Lewis. The way I see it, I went to war all eight of those years I won those Olympia's. These surgeries are just proof of the war wounds I suffered so it's all good because I'm still alive. @rcssdirector once told me one day because I was in so much pain that I needed to slow my ass down and see a Dr. I replied to him that I was gonna roll with this pain until the wheels roll off and that's exactly what I did, made all my appearances until there was absolutely no cartilage left in my hips, and when it was impossible to walk I grabbed some sticks and on long distances I grabbed me a chair.

Why Weights Are Better Than Cardio for Fat Loss - Born Fitness

While it is easy to see why it’s ideal to perform both a mix of lower intensity cardio and weight training, the reality is most people are pressed for time and impatient. You want results as fast as possible with the least amount of work needed.

The Broke Man’s Guide to Fitness Equipment

Here at M&F we regularly test the latest fitness equipment on the market but we never let anything cloud our distilled view on fitness products. That distilled view is that the basics work. You don’t need fancy, high tech apparatus to be fit. All you need is the will to better yourself and a creative mind.

Sled Conditioning - Without the Sled!

Your conditioning program is not complete without exercises that tax the whole body, and not having access to a Prowler or a traditional weight sled is no excuse for not getting it done. Enter treadmill pushing, a simple but effective group of exercises performed with the one piece of equipment found in virtually every commercial gym in the world…unplugged.

Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter

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

Former UFC champion Cain Velasquez Talks Jose Aldo, Strength Training and More

CV: With the injuries, you just have to be smart. You have to know your body and how serious and injury is -- whether you can work through it or it will get worse and become a bad injury that may need surgery later on. We're always playing that fine line, we're always going to have injuries and try to train through them, but not hard enough where you end up hurting something really bad where it sets you back so much. Just that little bit of training that you're doing, even though you're hurt, it's not going to benefit you as much unless you take it off and rest. If it can be rested, rest it. If it's an injury that needs surgery, it needs surgery.

Must-Have Fitness Gear for Group Training Classes

Before starting that kickboxing class or boot camp training session, make sure you've got the right equipment.

45 on Twitter

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

5 Ways to Beat Your College Fitness Woes

The college years should be synonymous with personal growth, discovery, and establishing a mastery of a field of study. Staying focused on your physical fitness can sometimes take a backseat. Sure, the snazzy rec center might have weighed into your decision, but relying on it is at best, foolhardy and at worst, potentially disastrous. Many schools offer nothing more than shiny equipment and expansive facilities.

Healthy Recipes: Chicken Panini with Tomato, Basil, and Avocado - Born Fitness

The best sandwich recipes share a secret. Here's how to transform your basic bread and deli meat into a mouth-watering masterpiece with health benefits.

Aff4mation - Flex Lewis 6 weeks out - Mr Olympia 2015 - Episode 1

Aff4mation - Flex Lewis 6 weeks out - Mr Olympia 2015 - Episode 1

Bench More Instantly With This Four-Step Grip Primer

Fix your grip. Instead of simply allowing the bar to sit on your palms—or worse, using the thumbless “suicide grip”—you need to start gripping the bar with authority and using the strength in your hands, wrists, and forearms to help you explode the bar through to lockout. Using a tight bench-press grip has myriad advantages. First, it helps activate your central nervous system, which better prepares you to handle heavy loads. Next, it recruits more of the stabilizing muscles in your lats, traps, deltoids, and mid-back. Finally, since you’ll never drop a barbell on your face if you employ this grip, benching with active hands will save you a ton of money on dental work.

Diesel Lunges for Beat Up Knees

The Back Blaster - Muscle Building Dropset for a Big Back

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