Archive for April, 2009

MEET—Mr. India S. Kumarananthan

Posted in Champions on April 26, 2009 by takeupsculpting

I can never forget the experience of watching ‘Mr. India’ and ‘Mr. South Asia’ S. Kumarananthan for the first time on television.
It was about 15 years ago…as a kid just out of high school, I was blown away by the young Kumar (then ‘Mr. Tamil Nadu’ and ‘Mr. Chennai’)  when he demonstrated exercises on a programme titled ‘Deha balam’ (‘body power’ or ‘strength’) on Golden Eagle Communications Network (now Star Vijay TV).
For a kid who knew no other bodybuilder but Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kumar was as an eye-opener of sorts.
‘Wow, are there people in India who really look this great,’ I wondered. To this day, every time I look at Kumar, he makes me feel the same way.
I am really proud that I now have a chance to introduce this legendary champion to all my readers. 
Team Masters: Do you remember I came to Globe Gym about 10 years ago asking for your pictures? You said that you need a little time to get me some copies. Today I am not leaving your house without the photographs.
Kumar: (With a heart-warming laugh) Of course sir, I will give you an entire DVD of all my pictures. It’s all yours.

A truly unparalleled physique

A truly unparalleled physique

TM: No ‘sir’ business, Mr. Kumar. I am just Lakshmi for all my friends. However, you are no friend but my first idol. Though I know a lot about your earlier days, you may tell me about all that once again for the sake of my readers.
K: I belong to a small village called Polambakkam near Madurantakam. Our family settled down in Chennai several years ago. My father, S. Santhalingam, was employed in Metropolitan Transport Corporation. Now he is no more. My mother is Bala and my wife, Malathy. I have a son who is in Standard IV and a daughter who is 11-months old.
TM: I remember reading in ‘Bodybuilding Master’ magazine that you were always into sports and a kabaddi player, right?
K: I was a State-level player in several sports, athletics, high jump and long jump. I started weight training during my school days to gain strength for sports.  But, my body responded extremely well and I soon discovered my true passion, bodybuilding.
TM: I was told that you started training in Men’s Field Gym and then trained in Sun Gym for sometime.
K: Yes…I am thankful to former President of Indian Bodybuilding Association M. Kesavan for allowing me to train in his Globe Fitness Centre for so many years. He encouraged me a lot and I also cannot forget former Secretary of Tamilnadu Amateur Bodybuilding Association Thanigaivelu. My long-time training partner Kannan ‘sir’ is another special person in my life.
TM: Of course, I remember that 65-year-young man who demonstrated weight training movements along with you in ‘Deha Balam’ programme. He was too incredible for his age! How is he now?
K: He is settled in the United States. He continued his training and even won some local bodybuilding competition over there. He is right now in Chennai for a week. My god, he still looks awesome!
TM: Tell me about all the titles you won.
K: The first victory was ‘Mr. Chennai.’ I then won the title six more times. I have won a total of 22 State-level titles. 
TM: Holy cow! That seems to be a record by itself!!! Which was the first Nationals you entered and what did you place?
K: It was in 1988 and I ended up in top 6. I kept knocking at the door and finally won in 2001. Meanwhile I won Mr. South India in 1994,95,96 and 97. I also won the overall in 1997. 
TM: The first Mr. India win came in Kochi, I remember. The first place winner was disqualified as he failed the dope test and you won the title, right?

K: I worked harder and proved that my victory was not a fluke. I once again placed second in 2002. But I won in 2003, 04 and 05.

‘You deserve several more prizes’ – triumphant at the 2003 Mr. India.

‘You deserve several more prizes’ – triumphant at the 2003 Mr. India.

TM: I heard that there were a lot of problems in 2006 Nationals held at Darjeeling. Would you mind telling me what happened there?
K: I can never forget the Darjeeling fiasco… I weighed 59 kg and 200 gm on my electronic scale. I was in amazing condition and would have won hands down in my usual 60-kg category. However, the weight machine used there was that good-old round piece of contraption, which should not be used to weigh bodybuilders. It showed over 60 kg and I had to walk and sweat it out for quite sometime. After I squeezed out more body water and urinated, that machine showed as if I had gained 1 kg! I told the authorities concerned that it was sheer nonsense and I would not compete in 65 kg category. I came back to my room and was upset. I blew up my diet, ate some crap and went to sleep. I later received an instruction that I had to compete in 65 kg category and would not be allowed to withdraw! That was a lethal blow. Had I been told this earlier, I would have cut water,  dieted and posed hard. I ended up looking a little watery in 65 kg category and placed third. I later felt that had I dieted, I could have even placed second or something. But, it was too late.
TM: You were runner up in 2007 Nationals held at Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, as well. What do you say about that placing?
K: It’s up to you people to say, I never comment about judging. I came back in top form and won the Nationals held in 2008 at Meerut. I was runner-up in the second Nationals held in Aurangabad.
TM: Yeah. I remember a friend of yours telling me that you had just turned father again at that time and a lot of things were happening in your life…that’s understandable. Besides, nobody can doubt your potential. You have won even international glory for our country, right?
K: (With a calm smile) I was fourth in 2002 Mr. Asia that was held in Korea. I placed third in 2002 Mr. Commonwealth and seventh in 2002 World Amateur Championship (Mr. Universe) held in Egypt.  I won gold in 2003 Mr. South Asia.
TM: I am at a loss of words to praise your achievements and your down-to-earth attitude. I was also told that after all these international triumphs, Integral Coach Factory, where you are employed, honoured you with the ‘Best Sportsman Award.’ I believe you are the first bodybuilder to win this.
K: I am thankful to all of my fans, judges, friends and officials who have encouraged me throughout my preparation.

Kumarananthan always stays in the run which helps him to finish first.

Kumarananthan always stays in the run which helps him to finish first.

TM: And, what happened to the Quatar (Doha) Mr. Asia? You were a legitimate contender for the title…
K: It was very painful that Indian Body Building Federation split at that crucial time. A stay order was obtained from the court and none of us could leave the country. We were ripped and ready to catch our flight when the news broke out. It was like all effort, sweat, blood, tears and hard-earned money were flushed down the drain in one second…I can never forget that moment…
TM: I can feel that soreness inside you even as you speak today. But tell me why didn’t you compete in this year’s Nationals held in Kolkata? Will you compete in the Commonwealth scheduled to take place in India next year?
K: We have not been getting increment for a couple of years. For every big title we win, we are entitled to get such benefits. I can get ready for any major contest and pass the dope test with flying colours, but what about the cost? Consuming quality food and hi-class supplements becomes inevitable. Bodybuilders don’t get contracts like other sportsmen such as cricket, tennis or football stars. This leaves us poor…I don’t see any fun in spending Rs. 20,000 or Rs. 30,000 a month for a couple of months [to prepare for a major contest] and taking home a fraction of it as prize money. We should at least get what we spend…for that to happen, bodybuilding should come to the mainstream. Our champions should be respected and their hard work appreciated. From my side I am trying my best to popularise weight training and bodybuilding lifestyle. I give free demo [guest posing], distribute photographs and speak about the benefits of weight training wherever I go. But, what can just one man accomplish? All our iron warriors should also play their parts well…let’s hope that day isn’t far away.
TM: Do you still train each muscle twice a week?
K: Of course…I haven’t changed anything. My diet is also the same. I consume egg whites, gruel [made of nuts, grains and pulses], rice and a lot of vegetables. I eat lean meat a few times every week. During contest preparation, I consume 70 per cent calories from protein. I depend a lot on egg whites and protein powders. I do cardio only pre-contest and not in the off-season.

A physique that really separates men from boys onstage.

A physique that really separates men from boys onstage.

TM: Do you have any suggestion to improve the sport? 
K: Not to improve the sport, per se…but, I will say all contests should be organised only during one season – throughout February and March. That will mean we have the cool November, December and January to go through brutal pre-contest training and dieting. Getting a natural tan will not be a problem.
By having more than one city, district and State meet in February and March, the competitors who did not place well in one meet can always enter another. Those who place well or even win can forget the next show coming up and prepare only for a bigger meet like the Nationals. This will leave us with an off-season of almost one year to build our bodies. We can get better every year. This is my humble suggestion.
Think about it, if meets are organised in July or August, we will be forced to get ready in May and June. That heat will not allow us to train with 100 per cent intensity. We will feel too drained.
TM: Before we call it a day, what message would you like to give our readers?
K: Work hard and stay disciplined. If you are a competitor, feel confident that you can win without resorting to shortcuts. Just give your body enough time and rest it needs to grow from brutal workouts and good nutrition. You will achieve great success.

‘Mr. India’ S. Kumarananthan with best friend ‘Mr. India’ M. Arasu.

‘Mr. India’ S. Kumarananthan with best friend ‘Mr. India’ M. Arasu.

TM: Your good friend ‘Mr. India’ M. Arasu and you were the last of senior bodybuilders who competed long after several young freaks vanished from the scene. It just shows that one has to respect his body and not abuse it in any manner. Your longevity in the sport is testimony to the fact that you people take enough care of your health and not just cosmetic appearance. I hope young competitors learn to respect their bodies from senior players like you. Thanks a lot for giving me so much time.

‘You are my first hero,’ C. Lakshmi Kumar tells S. Kumarananthan

‘You are my first hero,’ C. Lakshmi Kumar tells S.Kumarananthan

Tailpiece: Even as I started my car, Srimathy of Team Masters who was also present at the interaction and snapped a few pictures, screamed, “Hey, you look terrible in these pictures man. Your big eyes are less than half their size…lack of sleep gives you a pathetic look despite the size gains made this off-season. It’s time you thought about what Kumar said regarding rest.”
I couldn’t speak because I knew too well that my daily schedule would hardly give me more time to rest or sleep. That’s the irony.
                                 _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Big biceps – ‘Mr. India’ training

Posted in training on April 20, 2009 by takeupsculpting

Championship training routines have a huge fan following.
But, up-and-coming bodybuilders always believe that big champions have secret exercises or use special supplements or designer drugs.
This is all garbage.
Listen to what ‘Mr. India’ N. Mohammed Abdullah and Federation Cup winner K. Gopinath say:
“We have been training sensibly for some years and that has brought us success. We learnt the science of training from the best bodybuilding magazine, ‘Bodybuilding Master’ (Tamil), and people like you. We know that overtraining should be avoided at all costs. We train arms once a week during off-season. Our current routine has only three exercises for biceps and two for forearms – all performed using the Pyramid Principle. We take each set to failure. We do not count the reps on the first two sets. The last set will be done with a heavy weight that allows us to get 6-8 strict reps. The weight selection will vary depending on how strong we feel that particular day. A trainee cannot use the same monstrous weight every workout. Factors such as diet, rest, sleep, physical stress, and family pressure lead to difference in strength output every workout. We may help each other a little bit to move the weight if it gets stuck midway. But, we do not use the Cheating Principle.
Our goal is to get bigger every year, in all muscle groups. That increase in lean muscle mass all over the body has helped us to pack on size in the arms. This is all any bodybuilder needs to do to build big biceps.”

"There are no secrets," says 'Mr. India' Mohammed Abdullah.

"There are no secrets," says 'Mr. India' Mohammed Abdullah.

Abdullah’s current routine
Barbell Curl 3 sets, Cable Preacher Curl 3 sets, Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 sets, Machine Wrist Curl 3 sets, Machine Reverse Wrist Curl 2 sets

"Avoid overtraining," says Gopinath.

"Avoid overtraining," says Gopinath.

Gopi’s current routine
Barbell Curl 3 sets, Cable Preacher Curl 3 sets, Standing Dumbbell Curl 3 sets, Machine Wrist Curl 3 sets, Machine Reverse Wrist Curl 2 sets
Tailpiece: Talking about training and Team Masters, the ‘dynamite duo’ asked when Mutruza Rasheed would go onstage again. As soon as I told them that it would happen this year-end, they said, “Give us his structure and balance. We will win ‘Mr. India’ for several years in a row.”
You hear that Murtu?
                                                  _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Shape up – lose fat and get muscular

Posted in training on April 17, 2009 by takeupsculpting

I recently received a request from a reader who wanted a complete training and diet programme to build a nice physique (not very big) and lose fat.
Here is a schedule to accomplish that goal.
Remember, this is not a serious muscle-building plan that may get you ripped or huge for a ‘Mr. India’ competition.
But, combined with the sample diet suggested here, it can help you to burn fat and display muscularity.
With diet plans tailor-made for each individual, it can also help to gain lean muscle that may command attention.
Note: The diet plan presented here is just to give you an idea of what a fat-loss schedule should look like.
Make changes according to your bodyweight and goals.
Refer to other stories on this blog to learn about diet.

 

This programme is not for putting you next to ‘Mr. India’ Vitendar Singh Pawar on a competition stage.

This programme is not for putting you next to ‘Mr. India’ Vitendar Singh Pawar on a competition stage.

Workout

Day 1,4
Hanging Knee Raises 3×15
Barbell Lunges 3×15,12,10
Cross-bench Pullovers 3×15
Bench Press 4×15,12,10,8
Lateral Raises 3x 12,10,8
Bent Over Laterals 3x 15
Pressdowns 3 x 15,12,10

Day 2,5
Twisting Crunches 3×15
Hyperextensions 3×15
One-arm Dumbbell Row 4×12,10,8,6
Seated Dumbbell Curls 3 x 15,12,10
Wrist Curls 3×15
Donkey Calf Raises 4×15,12,10,8
Cardio: 3-5 days a week 45 minutes
Diet
6 am: 30 gm whey protein, 1 glass skimmed milk
7 to 7.45 am: Cardio 3-5 days a week
8 am:   4 egg whites, 3 wheat dosas (with olive oil)
11 am: 3 egg whites, 1 apple
2 pm:  100 gm fish, 3 chappatis, vegetable salad, 1 multi-vitamin, multi-mineral capsule,
5 pm:  3 egg whites, 3 slices whole wheat bread, 1 glass skimmed milk, 500 mg vitamin C
6: 30 to 7: 30 pm: workout 
Immediately after workout, 30 gm of whey, 1 banana
8: 30 pm: 100 gm chicken breast, vegetable salad, 1 glass skimmed milk 
                                                      _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Don’t lose weight too fast

Posted in training on April 17, 2009 by takeupsculpting

Drastic weight loss can affect your body’s metabolism and lean muscle mass. If you start shedding a lot of weight quickly, observe where the weight loss is coming from. Is it water weight, body fat or lean muscle tissue? In all likelihood, it unfortunately comes from lean muscle mass. This causes serious problems with your metabolism and immune system. Muscle is your body’s most potent and active tissue to burn calories and body fat. It is basically your body’s ‘furnace’ and you always have to keep it hot. When someone loses a lot of weight very fast – which usually comes from crash dieting or other unhealthy means – the body’s lean muscle mass is gobbled up and the person loses some of the most powerful tissue which helps to keep him or her lean. Be smart and do not make your efforts counter- productive.

Multi-‘Mr. India’ M. Kamaraj will tell you that drastic weight loss may make him lose his title and health.

Multi-‘Mr. India’ M. Kamaraj will tell you that drastic weight loss may make him lose his title and health.

Note: Losing about one pound of weight every week (about 1 kg every two weeks) is what many world champion bodybuilders recommend while getting ready for a show.

 _ Murali Vijaykumar

Weight training helps to heal injuries!

Posted in training on April 9, 2009 by takeupsculpting

I have met several persons at the gym who have argued that weight training causes severe injuries. The fact, however, is that weight training not only is the safest form of exercise (if done properly) but also helps in healing of injuries!
Researchers at Ohio University conducted a study using test subjects in the 55-77 age group. Some subjects were made to perform cardio three days a week and weight training another three days.
Subjects belonging to another group were not given exercises.
After a month, the scientists made a small injury (1/8 of an inch) behind the arm of all test subjects and continued their observation. The injury on those who did not train with weights healed completely after 39 days while it took only 29 days to heal on the persons who worked out!

"I have seen the benefits of weight training in a rehabilitation programme," says Murtuza Rasheed (right).

"I have seen the benefits of weight training in a rehabilitation programme," says Murtuza Rasheed (right).

This is no personal hypothesis, I like to stress. I have worked with clients who have had injuries and seen the benefits of weight training in rehabilitation.
However, it’s imperative that people learn about exercises, what movements to avoid and what it all does before buying a fitness package at a huge health centre.
Keep yourself well-informed and do not allow anybody  to exploit you.
                                  _ Murtuza Rasheed

Quick workout

Posted in training on April 8, 2009 by takeupsculpting
This routine is not for building muscle like multi-Mr. India Vitendar Singh Pawar.

This routine is not for building muscle like multi-Mr. India Vitendar Singh Pawar.

 “The gym closes in 30 minutes, you are late,” says the instructor.
What are you going to do?
Here is a quick routine, which hits all muscles of the upper body.
Sit on the stationary bike and pedal in a brisk manner for 2-3 minutes.
Follow it with rotator cuff movements and light weight ‘Pressdowns’ to warm-up the elbows.
You are now ready for the routine.
Routine:
1. Bench Press
2. Pulldowns
3. Parallel Bar Dips
4. Pressdowns
5. Alternate Dumbbell Curls
6. Parallel Bar Dips
7. Seated Cable Row
8. Incline Dumbbell Press
9. Lateral Raises
10. Parallel Bar Dips
11. Seated Cable Row
12. Dumbbell Extensions
13. Alternate Dumbbell Curls
14. Dumbbell Extensions
15. Lateral Raises
16. Dumbbell Extensions
17. Seated Cable Row
18. Lateral Raises

Do all the movements in a non-stop manner in the order mentioned here. Just keep doing them one after another until you complete the entire sequence once.
Do 10-12 reps in strict form using a moderate weight on all movements.  You should complete the sequence in a maximum of 20 minutes.
Walk around for a couple of minutes to cool down. Your workout is over, all within 25-30 minutes.
Please understand that this isn’t a serious muscle-building workout. But, it’s good enough to train the muscles in a different manner and work like a mini-cardio.
Do not train your upper body the next day after doing a routine like this.
From the third day, you can perform your regular routine.
Note: If you want to do a quick leg workout, do not try this technique.
Instead, warm-up for 5 minutes and then do 4 sets of Squats in Pyramid technique, really hard. That will be plenty.
                                                                                  _ P. Srimathy

Mr. India 2009

Posted in Contests on April 6, 2009 by takeupsculpting

FLASH RESULTS

Jayaprakash of Services team, competing in the 100 + kg category, won the overall title at the ‘Mr. India’ senior National bodybuilding championship held at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata, on Sunday.
V. Jaya Kumar of Railways won the title in 100 kg category. He beat the incredible Murali Kumar of Services (last year’s winner).
Railways and Services each had 4 gold medal winners. However, Railways bagged the Team Championship award for picking up more points (140 vs. 128!).
Here is how the players finished in top 3 in each class:
55kg category: 1. Rahul Salukhe (Railways) 2. Sripal Reddy (Railways); 3. Jagatjyoti Chakraborty (Bengal)
60kg: 1. Daljit Singh (Punjab); 2. Y. Kunj Kishore; 3. Anup Prem Kumar (Railways)
65kg: 1. Romi Singh (Services); 2. K. Balamurugan (Railways); 3. Mohammad Abdullah (Services)
70kg: 1. V. Jayaprakash (Railways); 2. R. Nayak (Services); 3. Aniruddh Chatterjee (U.P.)
75kg: Bhakta Kumar (Services); 2. P. Ranjit Kumar (Railways); 3. Ashim Banerjee (Orissa)
80kg: E.G. Byju (Services); 2. P.P. Sameer (Railways); 3. M. Shalin
85kg: 1. Amit Choudhury (U.P.); 2. S. Aneesh Raj (Kerala); 3. Anand Kumar (Services)
90kg: 1. Kiran Patil (Railways); 2. Prasad Kumar (Services); 3. Prashant Salunkhe (Maharashtra) 
100kg: 1. V. Jaya Kumar (Railways); 2. Murali Kumar (Services); 3. Wasim (Delhi)
 Over-100kg: 1. Jayaprakash (Services); 2. Varinder Ghuman (Punjab); 3. Sagar Kate 
PS: I received information over telephone that several big names didn’t compete in this show.
I have also requested some of the authorities concerned to get me photographs of the contestants and the show. If they are kind enough to send me the pictures, I will immediately post it on this blog.
                                                                     _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Here are some photos of a couple of competitors a few friends sent me recently:

Kiran Patil, who beat the incredible Prasad Kumar

Kiran Patil, who beat the incredible Prasad Kumar

Asim Banerjee, bronze medallist from Orissa.

Asim Banerjee, bronze medallist from Orissa.

 Iam extremely thankful to multi-Mr.India V.M. Basheer and his son Sultan Basheer for giving me photographs of this Nationals.
I take this opportunity to once again say that Iam always indebted to them for encouraging me in my mission of promoting the sport of bodybuilding in India.

Side chest comparison for 65-kg class

Side chest comparison for 65-kg class

Abdullah (left) and Heeralal compare front lats

Abdullah (right) and Heeralal (centre) compare front lats

Romi Singh hits a triceps pose

Romi Singh hits a triceps pose

Romi Singh (left), Heeralal (second from right) and Abdullah (right) hit front biceps pose

Romi Singh (left), Heeralal (second from right) and Abdullah (right) hit front biceps pose

Bhakta Kumar's incredible most muscular pose

Bhakta Kumar's incredible most muscular pose

Ranjith Kumar (second from left) and Bhakta Kumar (right) flash an arm pose

Ranjith Kumar (second from left) and Bhakta Kumar (right) flash an arm pose

Jayaprakash (left) and Meenakshi Sundaram (second from left) display their arms

Jayaprakash (left) and Meenakshi Sundaram (second from left) display their arms

Amit Choudhry (right) shows his chest development

Amit Choudhry (right) shows his chest development

Byju was dominating the 80-kg class

Byju was dominating the 80-kg class

Daljit Singh wins 60-kg class

Daljit Singh wins 60-kg class

Jayakumar(left) and Murali Kumar (second from left) go for a fight

Jayakumar(left) and Murali Kumar (second from left) go for a fight

Kiran Patil and Prasad Kumar compare biceps

Kiran Patil and Prasad Kumar compare biceps

 

How to build maximum muscle

Posted in training on April 2, 2009 by takeupsculpting

Stop!

Do not read this story if you are not serious about learning the complexities of human body and bodybuilding training.

Read something else or look at pictures of your favourite champions and head to the gym.

This story is all science and only for those who want to learn how to train the most stubborn of all bodybuilding trainees.

This is a compilation of scientific facts and training wisdom I have gathered over years. It has taken me a lot of effort, study and personal experience to put it together.

Who should not read this?

If your body is growing on a regular basis with the kind of routines you do, then you are right on track. You may not need this story. Do not get confused after reading this and mess up your workout. Follow the good old adage, “Don’t try to fix a thing that isn’t broken.”

 

If your body is growing great, do not change your training style. 'Mr. India' S. Baskar and 'Mr. India' S. Kumarananthan will also insist on this.

If your body is growing great, do not change your training style. 'Mr. India' S. Baskar and 'Mr. India' S. Kumarananthan will also insist on this.

But, if your progress is ok and you still have a thirst to learn about training the hardest of hardgainers, I am sure you will love to read this.

However, while experimenting, be careful and very meticulous.

This story is certainly not for sissies or kids.

How to build maximum muscle?

“Train heavy and as often as you can” — this may be the advice several trainers or champions offer hardgainers.

 

The truth, however, is that muscle growth can be a very, very complex subject.

This story will tell you how to build your body if it does not grow using conventional, standard training principles and routines (which work great for over 90 per cent champions).

Why are some persons naturally stronger than others?

If the nervous system of a person is highly efficient, he can activate more muscle fibres while performing each repetition. This will mean that he can naturally be stronger and generate more force than the average trainee. He will be able to recruit more muscle fibres during each rep and, hence, lift heavier weights. This will him help to build denser, bigger muscles.

Researcher Arthur Jones used to call this “neurologically efficient.”

Why are some persons naturally more muscular?

Some persons are genetically gifted. They may be neurologically efficient or may not. They may also have more cells in their muscles, smaller joints (maybe or may not), better appetite and better recovery ability from intense workouts. They may have less fat cells in the body and, those cells may also be reasonably well distributed all over the body and not bunched up in select areas. Their bodies may be efficient at burning fat cells as well.

Those who gain muscle at a reasonable rate may have a few or many of these qualities.

What is a muscle made up of?

Greater mass of muscle has three major components:

1. Myofibrils (known as ‘contractile muscle’), which form 20-30 % of the size of a muscle cell

2. Mitochondria, which form 15-25 % of size

3. Sarcoplasm (known as ‘metabolic muscle’), which forms 20-30 % size

The remainder of muscle consists of the following:

1. Capillaries, 3-5 %

2. Connective tissue, 2-3 %

3. Fat deposits, 10-15 %

4. Glycogen, 2-5 %

5. Sub-cellular substances, 4-7 %

How to develop Myofibrils

These allow the muscle to sustain maximum contraction for power and strength. To develop myofibrils, you have to do low reps (1 to 5 reps) through a full range of motion in a smooth, quick and strict manner.

 

Sarcoplasm

This is a protein liquid substance that saturates and surrounds the cell components. It contains enzymes and specialised structures to convert fats into sugars and sugars into energy. It also helps to metabolise waste products. Sarcoplasm or ‘metabolic muscle’ produces energy for muscles during contractions. Cardiovascular system helps to execute this job in an efficient manner. Sarcoplasm increases proportionately with myofibrils and mitochondria. But, they can be specifically developed by doing high reps in the range of 12-20.

Mitochondria

Mitochondria is part of cell containing genetic material and enzymes needed for cell metabolism, including those responsible for the conversion of food to energy. Mitochondria can be developed by doing higher reps in the range of 15-30. They step-up muscle endurance by increasing blood and oxygen supply.

Types of muscle fibres

Muscle that has a high percentage of myofibrils are called Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibres or White Muscle Fibres.

Muscle that has high percentage of mitochondria is known as Slow-Twitch Muscle Fibre or Red Muscle Fibre.

No muscle, however, is made of completely one type of fibre.

Champions like 'Mr. India' Jayaprakash have developed both kinds of muscle fibres to the maximum level.

Champions like 'Mr. India' Jayaprakash have developed both kinds of muscle fibres to the maximum level.

People who perform only heavy training using low reps develop more thickness. Those who perform light weight training and high reps do not develop strength or size. But, integrating both type of work in a well-planned manner, according to an individual’s needs, ensures success in building muscle and maintaining optimum strength and health.

Blood circulation and better growth

If blood circulation to a muscle is better, it has a chance of growing better. So, those who have an athletic or sports background gain muscle more easily.

Some champions who have athletic background like 'Mr. India' J. Muniappan gain muscle at appreciable rate.

Some champions who have athletic background like 'Mr. India' J. Muniappan gain muscle at appreciable rate.

 Exceptional cases

However, some researchers say that doing intense cardio immediately after hardcore training may hamper growth in certain cases, if not all. So, if you are doing intense cardio after workouts and not growing enough muscle, stop that. Try doing cardio in a separate session and you may grow. Cardio performed after workouts may lead to overtraining in some cases.

Fatigue products help growth

During intense workouts, the muscles accumulate fatigue products and certain waste products like lactic acid. They are equally important for growth like increased blood circulation. They help the body to secrete natural growth hormone.

The fatigue products also have a chemical function and help to build muscle fibres. So, although increased blood circulation is very important to bring nutrient-rich blood to the muscles for quick recovery, doing cardio or even pounding one body part after another before the fatigue products complete their chemical function may affect growth in some cases.

So, if you are pounding two muscles one after another (in an optimum manner, training all fibres, etc., etc.) but are not seeing growth, what do you do?

Double-split may help

If you are training chest, shoulders and triceps one after another and your chest is not growing, try doing a double split. Train chest in the morning, rest for 4 to 6 hours and train shoulders and triceps in the evening.

If you can’t train twice a day …

You can finish your chest workout, walk around the gym in a calm relaxed manner for 10 minutes, sit for another 5 or 10 minutes and start your shoulder workout. This gap of 20 minutes may be enough for the fatigue products to complete a major part of their chemical functions. But, do not forget that overtraining should be avoided at all costs, irrespective of whether you train once or twice a day. In some cases, resting between body parts for even 5 minutes may help.

Best way to increase fatigue products and blood circulation

Growth may elude some trainees if they do not accumulate enough fatigue products and increase blood circulation in the muscle quickly!  Striking a balance may be tricky, but is very much possible.

After a few hard sets in pyramid style, you may stimulate maximum release of fatigue products by doing a couple of Drop Sets or Super Sets or Tri-Sets using moderate weights and moderately high reps (not light weights and not too many reps). You may also try Forced Reps. Come back for a second workout in the evening for another muscle or rest for 20 minutes and start working the second muscle.

If you have a stubborn muscle, train it separately or like what has been said here.

Champions like 'Mr. India' Bhakta Kumar will be training very hard to make the best use of fatigue products.

Champions like 'Mr. India' Bhakta Kumar will be training very hard to make the best use of fatigue products.

A quick recap

Intense training breaks down tissue, depletes ribosomes and messenger Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) and clogs the tissues with waste products such as lactic acid. These should remain in the muscles for some time as they are essential for rebuilding the muscle and replenishing Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP), which is fuel for muscular contractions.  However, the fatigue products should not be left too long in the muscles or accumulate for a long time owing to poor blood circulation (this naturally does not happen in a well-trained body). This may affect intense muscular contractions, prevent the muscles from getting a good pump and also hamper recovery and performance. So, increasing blood flow at the right time using the right technique is essential to bring nutrient-rich blood and facilitate growth.

Law of individual differences

To build maximum muscle, some individuals may need very intense, brief and infrequent workouts. Some persons may need to train each muscle only once a week. Some others may grow very well training each muscle group once in every three or four days. Certain others may need to train each muscle twice a week. Some may need only 2 exercises for each muscle group, some may need 3 movements and some others may need even 4!

“You have to train according to the needs of your body,” says ‘Mr. India' V.M. Basheer.

“You have to train according to the needs of your body,” says ‘Mr. India' V.M. Basheer.

Some bodybuilders may need brutal and high volume (more sets and reps) workouts and some may need less volume.

General guidelines

Please understand that the general guidelines to build muscle are the same and work well for more than 90 per cent of trainees, including Mr. Olympia winners. But, others have to experiment carefully. Start experimenting only after a few initial years of hard training, using conventional training techniques. Experiment sensibly, train hard and smart if you are a hardgainer. Keep track of your study and be meticulous.

Intense and smart training is what makes champions like 'Mr. India' Prasad Kumar compete and win for year after year.

Intense and smart training is what makes champions like 'Mr. India' Prasad Kumar compete and win for year after year.

Success is sure to come your way.

My sincere thanks: I express my gratitude to Robert Kennedy and Greg Zulak of Musclemag International, Steve Blechman of Muscular Development, John Balik of Ironman and Joe and Ben Weider for providing all the material that have gone into the making of this story.

                                          _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Who should take vitamin supplements?

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on April 1, 2009 by takeupsculpting
A hard-working bodybuilder like 'Mr. India' E.G. Baiju will need extra vitamins.

A hard-working bodybuilder like 'Mr. India' E.G. Baiju will need extra vitamins.

A sedentary person may not need extra vitamin supplements if he or she eats well-calculated, healthy and small meals. But, the meals  should provide all macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals), based on his or her calorific requirement and lifestyle. However, it’s totally a different story for sportspersons and bodybuilders.

Oxidative stress

According to researcher Jose Antonio, PhD, persons who train hard need extra Vitamin C and E.  Scientists at the University of Turku, Finland, had 17 endurance athletes perform maximal run, running as fast as possible for 10.5 km. Using specific blood tests, they measured the stress caused by generation of free radicals (oxidative stress). Excess free radicals can damage cells and lead to heart disease and cancer. The scientists repeated the test twice — without giving Vitamin C supplement and after giving 2 gm of Vitamin C supplement. The test subjects who took the supplement showed 11 per cent decrease in oxidative stress. This proved that supplemental Vitamin C was necessary for quick recovery.

Reduced soreness

Taking Vitamin C before weight training was also helpful in reducing post-workout soreness in the muscle.

Another study conducted with Dutch cyclists, studied the effects of regular intake of 500 mg of Vitamin C and 100 mg of Vitamin E for 15 weeks on lung function in response to ozone exposure. The test subjects who took the supplements showed a decrease in “forced vital capacity” (amount of air a person can expel maximally after breathing in fully) of 42 ml vs. a decrease of 125 ml in the placebo group.

Insufficient

Researchers concluded that Reference Daily Intake values of 60 mg of Vitamin C and 20 mg (30 IU) of Vitamin E were insufficient for persons who were into hard physical training. Sportspersons, including bodybuilders, would need between 500 and 2,000 mg of Vitamin C every day (split and taken along with 4 or 5 small meals) and about 400 IU of Vitamin E taken with post-workout meal.

                                                           _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

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