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If You Only Train Your Chest Muscle, You’ll End Up Looking Worse

If You Only Train Your Chest Muscle, You’ll End Up Looking Worse

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

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Fitness is key to our overall health. We all know it, and for those of us who take it seriously, we know how to train our bodies to keep in the best physical shape. Or do we? To truly understand fitness, we must first understand the body. Scientific research and anatomy is paramount to this understanding – we must know we are dealing with on the inside, in order to truly benefit on the outside. And just as an athlete or trainer knows, looking good on the outside means feeling just as good on the inside.

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Understanding The Body

Your back is the number one place in the body that overcompensates for all the other areas that are not in proper use. For instance if we are not training our core muscles properly, our back muscles will begin to overwork, thus resulting in pain, or strained muscles. This need not be the case. However there are negatives for any area that we overwork, or over train. When we talk about fitness, and bodybuilding, we are talking about making each part of the body work at its strongest, building the muscles so that they work together and the body works at its full capacity. If we over train any area, we will land in some rather hot water.

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Back-versus-the-chest-surface-area-covered

    Back To Front

    It is actually better to overwork your back than your chest. Although the chest seems to be the more difficult part of the body to get into peak condition (we often see a good set of guns, but are less likely to see highly developed pectorals) it is very important to approach a chest workout properly. If you only work on your chest, the muscles do not necessarily grow and grow the way you think they might. In fact when you only develop the chest muscles, they grow tighter and tighter, and this begins to affect your overall posture in a way that likely does not match the desired result you were hoping for.

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    Excessive development of the chest (and underdevelopment of the back) can lead to a curving of the spine and a condition called ‘Kyphosis’, otherwise known as hunchback. With time the bones can compress, age and crack under the pressure, which is not only very painful, but the complete opposite of what was initially being aimed for. The overall area of the back contains much more muscle than the chest. The two must work with each other in order to develop the chest; unfortunately the back will look fine without the chest being as developed, but the same does not occur vice versa. Working only the chest muscles is non-functional, painful and dangerous. But working the chest and the back muscles, will develop the chest in the way you probably envision. Good posture never fails to look good!

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    Don’t bench press too often. It can cause you to lose muscle mass and strength rather than gain it if you do it too often. Know that an overall build will always look better, AND you will have less pain in other areas if all your muscle groups are working together as a team. Good back muscles will actually make your chest look bigger. When you pull those back muscles back and shoulders back, that chest you’ve been working will look even bigger. For this reason, it is important that your back is tighter and more muscled than the rest of your body. It’s very difficult for your back to look “too big” or disproportionate by working it too hard. It is, however, easy to overdo the chest muscles if you are not looking after the rest of your body properly.

    Featured photo credit: aboutlifting.com via aboutlifting.com

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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