💪 7 Easy Tips for Losing Holiday Weight

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Here’s what we’ve got today:

  • A cheat sheet of the only shoulder exercises you’ll ever need.

  • Are these the biggest bodybuilders of all time?

  • Seven ways to stave off those unwanted holiday pounds.

EXERCISES

Shoulder the Burden

Credit: michaeljung / Shutterstock

A set of strong, broad shoulders signals to the world that you lift (hey, a little vanity is okay). It also means you can bench press and overhead press more weight while potentially staving off injuries. 

While your shoulders are smaller muscles compared to your chest and back, don’t be tempted to phone in your training. Instead, directly training your shoulders can be crucial for balanced upper-body strength development. And no, it’s not all about pressing.

In the article below, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best shoulder exercises you need to include in your routine. You’re probably already doing the basics, like the overhead press and cable lateral raises. But what about the incline Y raise or single-arm push press? The world of shoulder exercises is ripe for exploration — just think of us as your GPS helping you get where you need to go.

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BODYBUILDING

With a Capital B

Credit: @theofficiallouferrigno / Instagram

Bodybuilding is a unique sport. Competitors’ “skills” are displayed by the physique they bring onto the stage, and several factors help determine the winner of a contest — definition, symmetry, proportions, posing ability, and, yes, size. If all things are equal between two competitors, then the bigger bodybuilder (almost always) wins. 

The history of bodybuilding is naturally filled with massive individuals, but who stands out amongst this well-muscled crowd? Well, we hopped into BarBend’s personal Wayback Machine and came up with a list of 12 bodybuilders who became iconic almost solely because of their size.

Some may have been more successful than others, but their presence on bodybuilding’s grandest stages will forever be remembered.

NUTRITION

Lose Your Winter Coat

Credit: @Freeform / Giphy

The holiday season is good for spending quality time with loved ones, taking a much-needed reprieve after a long year of work, and — perhaps most of all — indulging in festive foods that warm the soul. However, those fuzzy feelings can come with a cost to your waistline, as a recent study illustrates.

A systematic review published in Oct. 2023 in the journal Nutrients illustrated a strong correlation between holiday celebrations and yearly weight gain. You probably already knew that, but the study also asserts that the holiday season can account for over 50 percent of yearly weight gain for some people.

But the study isn’t all doom and gloom: It also offers a handful of evidence-based tips for managing weight during the holiday season. We’ve rounded up those tips — along with other supporting data — in the article below.

THE DROPSET

Sandow Strong

  • We’ve already touched on some of the biggest Olympia winners — what about the strongest ones? Take a trip down muscle memory lane as BarBend’s Strength Weekly podcast examines this question from all angles. 

  • Are long-length partial reps the secret to hypertrophy? Jeff Nippard breaks down the science behind this well-researched lifting technique.

  • Let’s end today’s newsletter with a question we’re all wondering: How the heck can I build bigger calves? This in-depth tutorial on the humble calf raise should help.