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CrossFit Physique: Butterfly Pullups

Every trainer recommends pullups. But ask what kind, and the arguments start. There are those who believe you should do only dead-hang pullups, to work the lats and arms. Then there are those (especially CrossFitters) who use kipping pullups—not to isolate muscles, but to accomplish more work in less time, turning pullups into a conditioning tool. But the debate is pointless: There’s a place for each technique—the right tool for the right job. To that end, keep both tools, and add a third that’s even more intense: the butterfly pullup, which moves the body in an elliptical pattern so you can rapidly string together reps. To do it:

Eating For Exercise: The 5 Worst Ways to Fuel Up Pre-Workout

“Putting the wrong things in your tank before you exercise can leave you lethargic, crash your system, or cause wicked cramps,” says Jim White, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “And going on empty can do the same.”

Action Plan: The 6-Week Expendables Workout

Not only does an action hero have to have big muscles, but they also need to be shredded. A good dose of high-intensity conditioning to finish each training session will strip unwanted body fat without sacrificing muscle. And while muscles need time to recover and grow, for the next six weeks you’ll need to a minimum of two additional weekly cardio sessions in addition to four days of weight training.

8 Amazing Fat-Burning Intervals

If your goal is to burn fat, intervals better be part of your program. Besides being a quick method to getting in a great workout, intervals are extremely effective for transforming your physique. By incorporating intense periods of work with short recovery segments, intervals allow you to keep the workout intensity high while still maintaining form. The magic of high intensity interval training (or HIIT for short) lies its ability to keep you burning fat even after you leave the gym. In short, your body isn’t able to bring in enough oxygen during periods of hard work. Therefore, you accumulate a “debt” of oxygen that must be repaid post-workout in order to get back to normal. The result — your metabolism is revved for hours after you leave the gym. Trainers refer to this phenomena as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. The biggest way to use it to your advantage is to make short, intense exercise bouts a regular piece of your workout regimen.

Plyos for Powerful Muscle

Plyometric training is associated with many benefits. First popularized in the 1970s by East Germany, it’s based on scientific evidence showing that the stretch-shortening cycle prompts the stretch or “myoactic” reflex of muscle and improves the power of muscular contraction. Plyometrics also primarily rely on fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are the ones most responsible for growth. More muscle means more calories burned at rest, which also means a leaner overall physique. A hard plyo session demands a ton of energy during the workout but the real payoff comes after as muscles work to recover, burning more calories as a result.

Kai Greene Trains 5 Weeks Before the 2014 Olympia

Kai Greene Trains 5 Weeks Before the 2014 Olympia

Back on Track

In 2008, FLEX editors undertook a rather daunting task, journalistically speaking —they gathered to choose the 20 bodybuilders who, in their estimation, represented the best back development of all time. The list was stacked with greats, from Ronnie Coleman and Dorian Yates at the top of the heap to Melvin Anthony and Albert Beckles snagging the final two spots. You could argue vociferously for a favorite who didn’t make the list (and have a valid point), but all told, no one could debate the quality of the final 20. They were giants in a sport that boasts more than its fair share of larger-than-life physiques.

Health and Fitness Power Rankings: Diet Wars - Born Fitness

That said, if you’re going to create a study that is a “low fat vs. low carb” battle, you probably shouldn’t have more flaws than US foreign policy. Issues ranged form the low carb eaters eating fewer calories than the low fat participants,  the low carbers eating more protein, (advantage for fat loss and lean mass gains), and the low fat diet wasn’t even really a low fat diet. (It consisted of about 30 percent of daily calories.)

Fire It Up

Feeling gassed after busting your butt day in and day out? If you’re grinding away at your training program and noticing that between your hardcore cutting diet and your amped up training routine, you’re running out of energy, it’s likely because you’ve slowed down or, better yet, out-paced your metabolism.

Women Rate the Clothes and Accessories They Want to See You Wear

You'll be happy to hear that women like to see you in pretty much the same things you do, according to an eBay Deals poll that asked 500 females about their men's fashion-accessory dos and don'ts. Chicks' favorite look by far: cool sneakers, given the thumbs-up by 85% of respondents. Also favored: plaid shirts and leather loafers. (Hey, put a pair of jeans in the middle and you're talking "winning look.") Women's least favorite accent by far: suspenders, OK'd by (a still bafflingly high) 32%. Which reminds us of one of our favorite old sayings: "Don't wear suspenders."  Click through for some of the items rated in the poll, listed by the percentage of women who liked them.  19 Things Every Man Should Own>>> Meet the 2014 Game Changers>>>

Lift Doctor: Heavy Weight Squatting

If you’re training your lower back and making it stronger, but there is still pain when you squat , then it might not be a weakness issue.  Most times when you squat, pain comes from trying to force your body into positions it’s not ready for.  Putting a weighted barbell on your back will make it easier to get lower in the squat, but this isn’t always a good thing.

Ask Men's Fitness: How Do I Get Big Arms?

Remember that the biceps and forearms work hard on any back exercise. Chinups and row variations should always leave them pumped up. Meanwhile, your triceps get smoked by chest and shoulder training. So there’s little reason to bombard your arms with a lot of work beyond that. They’re small muscles, after all (in general—not yours personally, of course).

Game Changers 2014: Hunter McIntyre

What started out as a dare from one of his buddies turned into a career for Hunter McIntyre. “I’ve never run a race that I’ve not finished in the top three—ever,” says the former model. The cult-like obstacle races have become more than just fitness events; they’ve grown into a professional sport. And for serious racers like McIntyre the physical and mental demand are at a level unknown by most.  “I think it’s entirely mental," says McIntyre. "You can either go in there and do a lot of damage, or you can just crumble under the pressure." For that reason he works with a sports psychologist. Tough Mudder's New Obstacles for 2014>>> Though he’s in a class all his own, obstacle course racing has permeated the masses. “You have athletes like myself, you have weekend warriors, you have big title sponsors coming in—so it’s a tidal wave and I don’t’ think it’s going to stop,” says McIntyre. He’s riding that wave to the top, and to be frank, he’s practically there already. FIT FACT:  In addition to his mental prep, McIntyre trains two to three times per day, six days a week.


#1: Split Squats Split squats are the ideal place to start a squat training journey because they allow you to master a simpler movement than the regular two-legged bilateral squat. Split squats also train the muscles of the legs, hips, and core to overcome muscle imbalances within specific muscle groups and for better balance between the right and left sides of the body.

7 Weight-Loss Lies We Don't Understand Why People Believe Them

7 Weight-Loss Lies We Don't Understand Why People Believe Them