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Beltless 765x2

Chad Wesley Smith working up to a PR of 765x2 beltless in the squat, this also ties his PR with a belt.


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1 2014 Mr. Olympia Preview: Battle Of The Beasts -

The top 10 at the Olympia is a prestigious group, but moving into the top six is a different challenge altogether. William Bonac is the one relative newcomer who has the potential and credentials to crack the elite Olympia top six. He already has some impressive notes on his pro resume. He has fallen within the top six in all but one of his eight pro outings. The 2014 Golden State Pro winner and Australian Pro Grand Prix runner up possesses that rare combination of full, round muscle and spectacular shape. With no weaknesses and copious amounts of thick, shredded muscle evenly distributed across his compact frame, the Ghana native is ready to do some serious damage in bodybuilding's highest ranks. However, this is his first Olympia. He may not have the experience needed to unseat his wily competition. Tenth place appears likely.

4 Easy Tricks to Lift More Weight Instantly

Here’s how it works: before your main lift, quickly expose your muscles to a heavy, non-fatiguing weight for a single set. Before you back squat 250 lbs. for 10 reps, for example, try a heavy set of 2 reps (at around 90% of your 1-rep max). Or you can use a set of heavy kettlebell swings to fire your glutes, activate your hip drive from the bottom, and spike your central nervous system.

Best Pre-Workout Snacks for Morning Exercise

Before you hit the gym for an am workout, power up with one of these 8 high-energy foods.

The 21 Day Shred Ab Workout

Late last month we launched our newest transformation program, the 21 Day Shred . It's a full training routine with full body circuits, traditional bodybuilding splits, intervals, and cardio challenges. Here is one of the staple ab routines from the program. So whether you're taking on THE SHRED, or working on your own routine, here's something to add to your arsenal.

Plyometrics: Box Jump to a Better Body

Some workouts, particularly in the CrossFit arena, call for high numbers of box jumps in a single go. This is definitely a more advanced approach and care should be taken to ensure your safety if you do a high-volume box jump workout or if you are tasked with performing them while fatigued. In either instance, the safer bet would be to scale down the height of the box, reduce the number of reps or, if possible, break it up into smaller components (i.e. instead of 20 straight, do four sets of five).

The Best Swiss Ball Ab Workout

The Swiss ball gives some distinct advantages over other pieces of equipment or bodyweight  alone. It can extend the range of motion on the crunch, activating more ab muscle. It can also create instability, which forces your abs to contract harder to brace your body, and even serve as a source of resistance itself—like a weight—if you lift it. (Don’t think it’s heavy enough to give you a good workout? Try the V-up and pass on the next page and then tell us.)

7 - MRI Bike Giveaway

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

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

Your 3 Biggest Triceps Training Problems, Solved

M&F Fitness Director Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS sees a few additional possibilities: "Are you training your biceps alone or with something else like back? What about your triceps? If you're training your biceps alone, then tossing your triceps in at the end of a chest or shoulder workout, you're treating them as an afterthought and that's how they'll respond. And if you're training bi's and tri's together, you probably train biceps first. Try to mix up which muscle group you train first to ensure balance. Finally, don't always chase a pump with your arms—if you expect them to grow, then you need to challenge them with heavier weights in the 8-12-rep range."

7 Best Moves for Crazy Obliques

Want the tapered waistline of a fitness model? Streamline your sides with these can’t-miss moves for obliques.

Choosing the Right Bench Press Grip

Using a narrower grip on the bar - where the index fingers are on the inside smooth part of the bar – will target the triceps and be much easier on your shoulders. If you can’t keep your chest up when benching, this narrow grip bench press variation can create a lot of stress on the anterior (front) part of your shoulders, as I describe in this video.

Rookie Mistakes: The Deadlift

It’s easy to think you’re doing the right thing in the gym, but you may be dropping the ball. Certain exercises are more technically demanding than others, and learning their major cues just once may not cut it in the grand scheme of things. Getting “comfortable” with certain movements can sometimes allow a lifter to “slip” into form that’s less than perfect. Not to worry, we've got your back. The Rookie Mistakes series serves as a call to action for lifters of all experience levels to practice perfect form on the road to achieving fitness success.

The Best Upper Body Workout

DIRECTIONS  The first time you perform the workout, you’ll hit 25 reps for the main lifts by completing five sets of five, as shown. If you repeat the workout, perform six sets of four reps. In the next session, do eight sets of three. Do not perform this workout more than twice a week, and allow at least three days before repeating it. On each lift that you use the 25-rep rule for, spend the first three or four sets warming up so that only the last two are done with heavy weights.

Chest and Back: Mini Circuit Hell

This chest-and-back-focused workout gives you an emergency makeover for these two showtime muscle groups while also burning tons of calories during and after your workout. Your biceps and triceps get worked peripherally, so the result is a tighter-looking upper body that you can put on display with pride.

The Protein Con

Necessary Denim Pieces for the Fall

There is no clothing staple, more paramount, more essential than a great pair of jeans. In fact, denim in general is one of the most versatile fabrics that you could have in your closet. Guys need things to be simple. But simplicity never meant giving up on style.  Go for a classic look or casual or add a prepped-up  look to a comfortable pair of jeans. Whatever your needs are, we found denim items to match them. Here are nine combinations that you can mix and match or wear separately just in time for the fall. 

17 John Hansen - This is awesome! A motivational speech by... | Facebook

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High Protein Sweet Potato Chili - Born Fitness

In the pantheon of great all-purpose recipes, chili has to rank in the Top 10. It works as lunch, dinner, a snack, a side, and has so many variations that there’s something for everyone. Not to mention, if you have a slow cooker, it requires no cooking talent to make a delicious meal. (Note: I think everyone should own a slow cooker; has too much value and is possibly the easiest cooking device ever created.) You just need the wherewithal to throw ingredients in a pot 6 to 8 hours before you want to eat. Toss in the fact that you have to work to make it unhealthy, and it’s hard to argue against chili. This recipe is a Born Fitness special, as it tosses in one of my favorite ingredients: sweet potatoes. Dig in and enjoy. -AB

Fighter Diet News

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


Get up close and personal with CrossFit’s most technically demanding, ego-fortifying exercise.

The Big 25

We’ve compiled 25 fresh workout tips to help you get what you want most: more muscle. Included here are both cutting-edge advances and new angles on proven favorites. These are methods you probably aren’t incorporating — but should, to get bigger faster.

Mountain Dog Diet: Bulking Foods

Now, for anyone who is familiar with the Mountain Dog Diet methodology, John is generally not a proponent of “dirty bulking” and indiscriminate calorie increases. In turn, when designing a diet, we generally want caloric increases to be as “clean” as possible. Quality food sources, digestive health, and micronutrient content are all cornerstones of Mountain Dog dieting. You’ll see these themes hit upon in all the following suggestions.

Pick Cotton Over Polyester to Prevent B.O.

For those of you who kill it in the gym, sweating like a pig is inevitable. But smelling like one is not. One way to stop odor in its tracks: pick cotton workout clothes. A new Belgian study has confirmed that the fabric traps less odor-causing bacteria than polyester.

M&F Cheat Sheet: Limit Strength

How big you can get is directly related to how strong you are. Here’s what you need to know about limit strength and how it can help your physique.

Strong Arm Tactics

Flex Lewis turned 30 on Nov. 15. People still talk about his calves. But they’re no longer all people talk about. Because he so often flexes his arms in photos for fans, they now garner much of the attention. If observers remember him when he first burst onto the bodybuilding scene nine years ago in the March 2005 pages of FLEX, they surely wonder how the Welsh Dragon could’ve transformed his weakness into a strength and what he does to maintain arm superiority.

Epic Olympia Showdown: COLEMAN vs. CUTLER, 2003

Ronnie Coleman wins his sixth consecutive Mr. Olympia title and his fourth at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, showing what one observer described as "muscles on muscles" - a bigger, tighter, better Ronnie than ever before, which is what he needed to defeat a lineup of top stars all hungry for his title.

10 Rapid-Fire Fat-Burning Workouts

10 Rapid-Fire Fat-Burning Workouts

Five Ways to Build Mental Toughness

Integrity may seem like a strange mental tool for training, but it actually makes all the difference in the world. The definition of integrity is “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.” In life, integrity means sticking to your personal values no matter what your external situation dictates. In training, this same integrity means holding firm to your principles and training philosophy no matter what the acute response may be. The nature of training isn’t linear from day to day. You’ll have ups and downs, and you’re bound to have days when you feel disgusted with your performance. It’s in these moments that you have to decide whether you’re going to throw everything out the window or hold true to the principles that you know will work in the long run. This doesn’t mean that you never make changes to your training, but it does mean that you make those decisions through the lens of your core philosophy.

Scramble Your Legs with this Brutal Workout

Next, move on to the leg press, where you’ll grind out five sets. Keep your feet narrower than hip-width apart and slightly below the middle of the platform. Going narrow and low will focus a bit more attention on your quads, especially the teardrops. On your last set, pull a plate off each side and continue to rep to failure. Strip off another two plates until you have only one plate on each side. If the weight is too light at this point (which we doubt), do one-leg presses to failure with each leg.

Effortless Mobility - Juggernaut Training Systems

This is also when we begin to teach our regressionary exercises. The clients who came in at step 1 have moved on to this level of conscious incompetence. The split squat is my favorite example to use. We can usually get nearly anyone into a pretty good split squat with just a few glute activation drills and maybe some stretches. However, this split squat at first usually looks kinda sketchy. The client may have trouble maintaining a good stable base with the lead foot. They may have a forward torso lean, or perhaps they will rock forward in order to stand up. The way that we regress exercises put people into a position where it is harder to compensate. This is probably the most critical time of learning when improving our mobility. As a coach we need to look for the signs that we are causing too much stress. Watch your clients fingers, they should be able to remain relaxed, not curled up like they have cerebral palsy. That is a telltale sign that we are causing too much stress, and too much stress is going to hinder the change that we need to make in the brain to make these movements more automatic.

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.

6 Meal Prep Hacks for Any Fitness Goal

Whether you're trying to bulk up, maintain your weight or lose fat, these cooking tips will help you reach your goals.

We 'Mirin Vol 84: 20 Ripped College Students -

Pull up an incline bench and grab a dumbbell, kids. It's time for another awesome volume of We 'Mirin! These 20 shots are the perfect reminder that hard work pays off.


Greene’s physique is complete from his one huge dreadlock down to his toes. His deltoids are completely developed through and across heads. In the shoulder training feature that follows, you’ve got to keep a couple of things in mind. One: What Kai Greene did for shoulders last workout almost assuredly isn’t what he’ll do for them next workout. The reps and sets, the exercises, and the way they’re performed, constantly change (Flux, remember?). Two: Kai does stuff no one else does or thinks of doing. Seated cable rows and chins to stimulate the delts?

Game Changers 2014: Michael Sam

The guy who altered professional sports forever.

'13 Mr. Olympia Awards

FLEXOnline looks back at what's being called the most competitive Mr. Olympia line-up in history.  Follow the awards ceremony moment by moment through the lens of FLEX photographer Bill Comstock.   Click here for the full gallery of over 200 photos!

Retro Athlete: Larry Scott

Scott’s biceps training was unique because most of it was done with a

VPX Presents: Rhode to Olympia

Weider/AMI and VPX athete Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden is preparing for the 2014 Olympia, and the countdown to the stage begins now!  Follow along on his journey, sponsored by VPX.

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I find one of the most highly motivating workout bands is The Prodigy. They're an English electronica group. They had several songs on the Kick-*** sound track, which I loved (both movie and songs). My top 3: Stand Up: just perfect for a euphoric workout. Omen: This one gets your lifts going crazy. I always love when it comes on during a big lift, it helps me burst through plateaus. And my favorite: Invaders Must Die. This song is a pre workout supplement. I can't really explain what this song does to me at the gym. Listen to it for yourself.

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Stay Anabolic

The results didn’t surprise me because previous studies have shown 20g of whey protein to maximally stimulate protein syn- thesis. What confused me was the seem- ingly poor response to 40g of whey. I would have thought 40g would’ve produced a strong anabolic response with blood amino acid levels not returning to baseline for six hours. Part of my confusion may have been caused by the authors of this study suggesting some sort of desensitization to high amino acid levels. This was in line with another theory previously put out by some researchers that there is a “muscle full” effect where despite high levels of amino acids, the cell stops synthesizing muscle protein. This did not bode well for folks like me who consume in excess of 300g of protein per day. Every meal I eat has at least 40g of protein. Then a group at Rutgers University changed my thinking on the issue of desensitization. They acknowledged that post-meal muscle protein synthesis (MPS) increased rapidly with peak values around 90 minutes and a decline to pre-meal baseline by 180 minutes. The response of muscle tissue was dif cult to explain with rapid initiation of MPS associated with increased circulating amino acids, however, the decline in MPS at 180 minutes post-meal occurred with plasma leucine levels still elevated and initiation factors still activated.