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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FLEXIBILITY

'Why' is Flexibility Essential for Muscle Growth

Showing just how flexible you can get!

There are many benefits to Flexibility but the main one for bodybuilders is Muscle Growth!

I’m asked about this subject of stretching before doing a routine almost daily, and as I’ve been involved in the ‘Martial Arts’ for most of my life, watch my video’s,  I feel that I’m in a unique position and special prospective to talk about this subject.

There is no need to become as flexible as the man in the above picture, but it does clearly show that ‘Flexibility’ is measured by the joint’s capability to move through its full reach of movement. Flexibility training or stretching helps balance muscle groups that might be overused during exercise or physical activity, or as a result of bad posture. There are many benefits attached to performing a good flexibility program.

What are there’s benefits 1) a safe, effective dexterity training program will help to increases your physical performance. 2) A joint that able to flex through a greater range of movement will require less energy to do so, with the added benefit of greatly decreasing any threat of injury.

It’s been known now for a long time by the ‘top bodybuilders’ that stretching helps to decrease any possible resistance in muscle tissue; therefore, you become less likely to become injured by pushing your muscles beyond the maximum range the muscle will tolerate during activity.

Recent studies show that slow, static stretching helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise by removing toxins, and Lactic Acid’ that have built up during training with weights…this allows the trained muscle to repair fully. 

To properly perform any stretching movements, weather done be a beginner of someone with extensive training, you need to stretch slowly throughout the full range of motion, holding the full stretch for around 15 to 30 seconds. This must be achieved without the presence of any pain. Stretching also improves muscular balance and posture.

One benefit that tends to get overlooked about stretching is just ‘how’ stretching helps to reduce, even lowers the risk of low back pain. This is because the hamstring muscles, hip flexors, quadriceps, and other muscles attached to the pelvis, greatly lowers the stress, because these muscle and tendons are straightened and relaxed during the stretching session, lowering back stress.

Also, the more flexibility you have in a muscle the more movement you can put that muscle through, and as we all know…in order to maximize muscle growth you need to put the muscle through as fuller range of movement as possible. 

As you can see, flexibility training is one of the key components of a balanced fitness program and should be part of your exercise routine.  All the top bodybuilders do some flexibility training after their initial training, so don’t you miss out on what the big boys already know, it’s a more important part of your training and probably more important than you will know. The benefits that are gained through stretching can’t be achieved through any other form of training…so make it part of your weekly training program.

Stretching also benefits flexibility of the neck, shoulders and upper back.

Keep training, eat lot’s of pizza, grow big and strong…John!

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What you should eat and drink for healthy muscles and skin!

‘How’ to Look After Your Muscles And Skin

What you should eat and drink for healthy muscles and skin

For a Start Stay Away From Sugar for good healthy muscles and skin 

‘Muscle’ requires sugars in the form of carbohydrates (sugars), but not the processed type. Sugars tend to impact heavily on healthy muscle and your skin, upsetting the digestion systems of young people, which can lead to inflammatory skin problems such as ‘acne’, rashes and rosacea.

In older people, sugar changes the structure of collagen, a protein that is the building block of skin, making the skin age more rapidly. The collagen becomes less flexible and begins to shrink increasing the appearance of wrinkles.

Cut Back on Saturated Fat and Fried Foods

A high-fat diet can further contribute to the development of skin cancer, according to researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Over two years the study looked at 76 skin cancer patients, they had half follow their normal diet (approx 40% fat) while the other half implement a low-fat diet (around20% fat).

Over the pursuing months  researchers concluded that the low-fat dieters developed, on average, only three new precancerous lesions (called actinic keratoses), whilst the  higher-fat dieters developed an average of 10. So there seems to be a direct benefit to cutting down on the amount of saturated fat you consume…eat a lot more fish instead of red meat, and remove the skin from poultry.

The problem isn’t so much as in eating fatty foods, but more in their preparation. You see when you cook carbohydrates at high temperatures they release chemicals known as acrylamides, acrylamides are chemicals, which get created when grilling, frying, baking or roasting foods, also from over-processed foods, such as French fries and chips…the carcinogenic chemicals are the real culprits that do the harm.

It’s quite easy to cut back on these acrylamides, simply use poaching rather than grilling, eat boiled potatoes instead of fried.

Eat More Fruits Throughout Your Training Session and Take in More Vegetables at Your Meals

Your skin will benefit from eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables… especially, as Dr. Appleton points out, if you eat them instead of sugary and fried foods. For optimal skin health, plenty of nutrient-rich vitamins and minerals are a must, and a lack of A, B or C vitamins can lead to dry skin and rashes. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, which can prevent the oxidation of free radicals that leads to inflammatory skin problems.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

It’s so important to drink plenty of water to help cleanse your body of toxins; the standard recommendation is eight glasses of water. Although no one can find any scientific reason for consuming this amount or who ever come up with this formula, never less a few glasses of water, supplementing with some other healthy liquids such as herbal teas or fresh juices daily, will device.

Drinking some fluids will help to flush out toxins out of the bowel, kidneys and liver, and just as important for a bodybuilder to remove the excess toxins built up during ‘Muscle’ training workouts; this in turn will help your recovery process.

It’s also an essential element of all metabolic processes; water helps to keep the body’s systems and organs performing at peak efficiency, and the skin supple and hydrated. Conversely, dehydrated skin is apt to be flaky and dry, but be warned, excess water intake can increase the need for extra salt…this is a bad thing for anyone who is trying to keep down water retention or those trying to lose weight.

The solution is to use your natural thirst as a barometer….it’s very important to drink a lot of water for both health skin and muscle growth… but don’t overdo it!!

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Why Over trainingWorkouts Are The BIGGEST …” Killer of Bodybuilders”

you have got to train hard but don't over train

There is a subconscious trait that we All need to overcome when we first hit the gym and one we must beat before we can Build Muscle or make any real progress in the gym. It can set you back months, even years, resulting in dead dreams, and relegating  your memories to…what could have been.

This human treat is probably one of the primary triggers, which can lead the majority of people down the road to failure in the gym. Although there are several other good reasons for why many people labour to make any progress in the gym, one of the most common problems is… over-trainingWorkouts?

We humans have this insatiable ability to take opposite actions to those that may lead to good health and a great life, drugs or smoking for example.  In the gym people get sucked into the belief that the longer you train the better will be the results. But this unfortunately, couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to bodybuilding and aiming to ‘Increase Muscle Size’ workouts should be structured so that over-training is alienated from you program.

You need to understand that over training occurs when the amount of stress you place on your body is more than it can handle. Couple this with any mental stress plus the physical stress of exercise, can put you in an over-trained state.

So what as ‘Stress’ got to do with decreased muscle growth

Let’s keep this simple.  Anabolic steroids are muscle building, but Cortisol, known as the ‘Stress’ hormone, is a muscle wasting hormone, it eats tissue that’s been broken down during normal living. It does this so that new tissue can be built in its place. And ‘Yes’ what do you do when you train hard…brake down muscle tissues.

So as you can see flooding the body with cortisol simply eats muscle. It unfortunately, also makes blood pressure and blood sugar levels raise to… a double whammy.

Although scientists can now determine if you are crossing the line into over training by measuring markers in your blood that’s produced by the damage, which occurs when you train, rendering yourself to blood tests every few weeks could become irritating and expensive!

However, there are a few easier ways to tell if you’re over training, these include…

  1. Excess fatigue or tiredness
  2. Changes in your mood
  3. Muscle and joint pain (does not include the mild soreness you feel after a hard workout)
  4. A loss of appetite
  5. And difficulty in concentrating at work

One of the most common signs of over training workouts is the destructive effect it as on your zest to train.

So what’s going on, well in a nutshell during training your body is attempting to repair the damage you are inflicting upon your muscle. But the body is so run down, it can’t. You have in affect upset the natural balance that exists between training and recovery. This will result in an overwhelming feeling of fatigue, and no progress can take place.

Here are 3 simple steps you can take to correct this imbalance, and ensure you’re doing everything possible to maximize your progress in the gym.

  • Take a rest…

If you’re concerned for any reason that you may be over trained, take a break from exercise. A week off won’t make any difference in the great scheme of things, but could make a huge difference to your physical and mental well-being and help to recharge your batteries.

  • Change your routine…

Simply by modifying or varying the type of program you follow is enough to help you break out of a training rut. For example, change from heavy weight to lighter weights and higher reps (visa-versa), decrease the time between sets, pre-exhaust your muscle first, do your last exercise first, take out one exercise and replace it with a new exercise, change your routine around every week.

  • Get your sleep…

If the stress of training or your lifestyle is interfering or playing havoc with your sleep pattens then you need to address this matter…now! Because you’re losing out big time.  When we achieve deep sleep we produce ‘Human Growth Hormone’ (HGH), which is responsible for repairing damaged tissues. This combination of over training and lack of sleep will outstrip your natural ability to recover and grow!

You should aim to train for no more than 45 minutes. Don’t think this is enough time to train…well think again. Because your body will start to shut down within 45 minutes whether you like it or not.  

This may not be what you want to hear or use to doing in the gym, maybe you normally train for 1.5hurs, because you feel that’s you need this amount of time to fully train your muscles. But unfortunately, you are not in control of your normal bodily functions and training 5 minutes over this time frame could well put you into an over-trained state.

I have seen members of a gym who had been training longer than some of the other big bodybuilders, I can’t take it away from them they trained hard, but never gain much in the way of  Muscle mass’, simply because they over-trained their muscle groups for far too long.

In reality muscle can only grow when it’s fully repaired. So if you end up over training your muscles every time you train the muscle can never repair the end result isno growth.

Apart from over-training there could be an other possibility…

There are times when over training could be put down to nothing more than poor nutrition…it’s very important to feed your body with the nutrients it needs to recover. Maybe you need to rethink your diet and nutrition intake or include a supplement that helps with recovery.

There are two that spring to mine…

One of the best and well tested products is…Glutamine

Glutamine is one of the most abundance amino acids in the body and is required for optimal performance. Training can sometimes deplete your own natural stores, leaving very little for muscle recovery. Glutamine is also well known for its ability to prevent muscle breakdown.

The other is…Creatine

Creatine is naturally found stored in the muscles, but again training hard depletes your stores leaving it short for repairing muscle tissue. Creating is also great for improving both the volume and strength of muscle tissues.   

Some interesting facts, which have shown that you will build more muscle and recover quicker, if you take a protein/carbohydrate supplement within 30 minutes of finishing your training.  When you train hard the body starts to repair the trained muscle from the moment you do your first rep.

During this time a single is sent to your brain demanding more proteins to help repair the damaged muscle.  In fact you can take in as much protein as you like as the body will use it ALL and wont store any as fat.

Remember, weights are only tools that help to breakdown muscle tissue, it’s when you are at rest that muscles can repair and grow…you don’t grow in the gym!

When you begin to train you have a fixed level of hormones flowing through your body. After about an hour of INTENSE training your testosterone levels have dropped significantly.

In terms of body parts, stick to training each body part only once a week for 45 minutes, this is not hard providing you train right.

Break this rule and you won’t…Grow!

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The Art of…‘SQUATTING’!

How’ to Perfect Your Squatting And Increase Muscle Size in Your Upper Body…

The Art of...‘SQUATTING’

Squatting is without a doubt the ultimate leg training workout and before we discover the art of squatting, you may or may not know; that this exercise is one of the basic core strength exercises that has a direct benefit on the growth and development of other muscle groups. Let me backup and say that again…‘benefits the growth and development of other muscle groups’.

On the surface this doesn’t make much sense, ‘How’ can doing a squat exercise have an effect on the rest of your bodies muscle groups? Let’s take a moment to discuss this facet of this exercise, because this is such an important, but mostly overlooked part of this training program and can really make or break your progress.

When you train really hard, and squats do just that, a signal is sent to the brain telling it to release (HGH) Human growth hormone’… apart from when you are in deep sleep, this is the only other time the body will do this.

Because the legs are a big group of muscles the signal produced is quite sufficient to release a large volume of ‘HGH’. Plenty to supply the leg muscles and the other muscle groups you trained days before…helping them to repair quicker and increase in their muscle size.

This wouldn’t happen when training say the Biceps, sorry you guys who have gig arms. Working the Biceps wouldn’t produce anything like the strong signal the legs can to release the volume of HGH required to affect other muscle groups.

That’s why the core exercise like squat, bench, and dead-lefts work and should be part of your training routines.

But back too squatting form…

A facet of squatting, aside from setting up, is obtaining or reaching proper depth in the squat. Far too many people either don’t reach the required depth, or go well beyond to do much good, other than to strain the knees and back. In order for the squat to work it’s necessary to get the joint at the top of the femur (where the thigh bone joins the hip) in-line with the knee.

It’s also important to reach full squat under control, slowly, then pause at the bottom of the movement for a moment.  This puts the leg muscles under maximum load. No bouncing at the bottom either, as this puts unnatural stress on the knee, and lower spine, and takes the load off the muscles too…thus defeating the object of the exercise.    

There are many different ways to train that will help your squat and reach an acceptable depth, which is necessary to develop both strength and size. We will also look at some movements to help strengthen areas that are generally not up to par and some tips that I’ve used in the past, to help those not reaching the required depth or going way below parallel to become competent squatters.

But Before We Begin We Need to Take a Quick Look At ‘Why’ You Should Stretch Before You Start your Squatting… 

As I have mentioned before, weight trainers so often overlook this, and it’s important to understand that flexibility goes hand-in-hand with strength, but research has shown that stretching before training can reduce overall strength, or number of reps possible.

However, and this is the exciting part, it’s been shown that stretching after training is very beneficial and indeed helps reduce muscle breakdown and increases muscle growth.  I will come back to this subject on ‘how’ this works in more detail in future issues, but for now… 

As mentioned you should however, do a light warm-up before training.  This helps prepare the joints, increases blood flow, etc, for your workout.

Let’s take a look at hamstring stretches as an example;

Start by simply placing one leg in front of the other and bend forward. One thing we do differently is not to keep the back erect. A friend of mine, a former dancer, showed me that all you want to do is stretch and not stress. Let the weight of your trunk slowly stretch you out and breathe normally. This won’t allow you to do the splits, but we just want to get loose and put blood into the muscle.

I ask you to keep an open mind and try to stretch lightly before training, and fully stretch after.

Try to think of it like this… ‘Strength ultimately is strength, regardless of where it comes from’.

For more information on stretching please ‘click here’!

Let’s take a look at some other leg exercises that will lead to better and stronger squatting…

Wall Squatting

Let’s begin by talking about ‘wall squats’ and ‘wall squat holds’ first. Why should you bother to do an exercise that requires only body weight, no bar on your back? Well, this movement allows you to squat with total support and just as important, strengthen and warm up those leg muscles to help prevent injuries.

As mentioned, you don’t have a bar across your back; which leaves you free to view a few issues that all squatters deal with at one time or another. Most times, the groin over powers the hips, and the knees cave in. We’ve all had this problem before.

It’s not just a question of weight, its technique. When you are wall squatting, you can focus on keeping the knees pushed out, and being able to see this with your own eyes is extremely helpful. It’s also very useful to be able to ‘FEEL’ the movement, feel the correct depth position, so you can aim to replica the same feeling during the traditional squat…this is more important than you may realize at this moment in time.

Another issue is with an injury or sore knees or just plain being tight. You can warm-up all these areas as you prepare to do your squat training.

The wall squat holds are accomplished by squatting down parallel with the knees and holding that position for roughly a count of 10, more if you have strong legs. Again, visually you are able to focus on pushing out the knees. The lifter is also getting in some good hip and glutei work.

This movement is great for beginners to help them develop the strength to get into the hold position in proper form and strengthen the hips without using an awkward movement of weight on the back… it’s very much like a pause squat.

It also helps with sore knees and tight hips. I have suffered with a knee issue for years and have had two operations on my right knee. When I squat I would suffer so much knee pain that it made me lean forward to get depth and try to avoid making the knee hurt. Turns out I was never quite hitting the required depth to do much good, because my knee was hurting anyway.

I had to stop squats for two weeks and started to do 3 sets of 10 reps of wall squats, and then 5 wall squat holds for a count of 30 seconds before doing leg press. After about two weeks, I added box squats; which I will get to shortly, followed by regular squats.

Within 6 weeks, I was able to squat to a good depth and my strength began to increase dramatically. Most importantly was the fact that the knee soreness and tightness issue was dramatically improved. I actually learned this movement from a bodybuilder friend of mine, who had a knee injury that required surgery, and this was part of his rehab workout, which worked wonders for him.

I have now taken it a step further, by using it as a tool to locate any possible weaknesses in the squat, without the stress of weights for the beginner. Try it out for yourself; you’ll be surprised at the results…

Let’s now take a closer look at ‘Box squatting’

What is a ‘box squat’?

Well we use a box to help locate our depth while remaining as upright as possible during the squat. The idea comes from the need to let powerlifters feel and note proper depth.

While squatting, especially for beginners, it’s tough to focus on so many facets all at once. As you progress, then obviously, it is not as difficult to focus on what you need to do. By using a box, the lifter can focus on setting up and sitting back, and on touching the box they push back up.

Seems simple enough, but I still see very experienced lifters make lifts to only be denied by red lights over depth. The benefits are plenty from strengthening the hips, learning to stay upright, and most importantly hitting the proper depth. So give these a try as well.

But a word of warning don’t use heavy weights and don’t become reliant on solely using a box…

Because every time your bottom touches the box the total amount of weight on your back will compress the spine, and this isn’t a good idea.  Remember the object of this exercise is to develop squatting with a straighter back as possible.  If your back is even slightly bent on the push up, the stress could cause permanent damage to your lower spine, or surrounding muscles.

And just as important…until you perfect your squatting movement you will NEVER be able to increase your weights. After a period of time training with the box, take it out of your routine and concentrate on doing your squats without it. If you don’t then you run the risk of only becoming confidant enough to squat with the box, delaying any possible progress.

These are just a few things you can add to your squat workouts to help you improve reaching the correct depth and strengthening the muscles during exercise. When using any of these movements, have someone that has a trained eye, is experienced, or will be honest with you, watch your movement. In this way you can adjust any imperfections before they become a habit.  

You need to know how deep you are going, if the knees are caving, or if you are keeping your back as upright as possible during the squat.  I have seen many lifters favouring one leg over the other, in other words leaning to the side and using their stronger leg, this is very dangerous as the strain is enormous on the knee, lower back, hip joint and muscles in that leg.

It’s so important to perform the correct squat movement, allowing you the opportunity to gain that hard-earned muscle growth.

And yes, always have a spotter with you…’safety first’!

But regardless of the method you use to train with, it’s just as important to be consistent.

And one last thing…don’t become dependent on mirrors.  You need to learn to feel every part of the movement, not only will it help to develop more strength, but it will alert you when the movement isn’t quite right…practise, practise and more practise.

Also…have you ever seen a power-lifter or Olympic competitor using mirrors when they squat…no they rely on the ‘Feel’ not the look.

These then are the tools, which will help take you further reaching the goals that you set out to achieve. Hopefully, these movements will carry over to your regular squatting and depth will never be an issue again. Never under estimate the benefit of stretching and properly being warmed-up, and always have an open mind to the unconventional.

Until next time, lift heavy, train smart, eat more pizza, and grow some impressive muscles…John!

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Competition Diets That Works!

A Very Simple Pre-contest DIET For a 210lb Bodybuilder

Following is a summary of what is basically everything needed to lose weight for a bodybuilding competition…it’s similar to an off-season mass gaining diet, but with a differences. This is not your tradional everyday weight lose or ‘Diets’, because as you can see the total calorie intake as been reduced by only around 500 calories per day; don’t be tempted to reduce by more as this will seriously reduce the amount of skeletal muscle you keep.

If your body-weight has been stable eating this off-season diets then making these changes will make a big difference to your ability to shed weight.

Carb’s have been cut back to around 100grams and fats by around 12grams a day. Again this is just a starting point; unfortunately, this won’t necessary take you all the way to the stage and you may find you have to make further changes to this program after a few weeks or so.

However, if you do follow this procedure, and apply some cardio, say 3 X 30 minute sessions first thing in the morning before ANY food, then you will make progress. It’s up to you to take it to the next level, getting ripped, by making the necessary changes as and when you see fit!

Meal 1) 9:00 am 10 egg whites, 1 yolk scrambled with 1 tablespoon of Olive oil, 2 teaspoons natural peanut butter. 100 grams oats, 1 banana black coffee and water.

Meal 2) 12:00 pm 250 grams of tuna in water/brine, 400 grams of jacket potato, mixed salad and water.

Meal 3) 3:00 pm 250 grams skinless chicken breast, 100 grams of boiled rice, 1 cup mixed vegetables, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and water.

Meal 4) 6:00 pm 250 grams fresh cod, 100 grams pasta, 1 cup mixed vegetables and water.

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm train

Meal 5) 8:00pm – directly after training 80 grams of carb powder with 60 grams of protein powder mixed in water.

Meal 6) 11:00 pm 10 egg whites, 1 yolk scrambled with 1 tablespoon of Olive oil, 100 grams oats, 1 banana and water.

This roughly = 310 grams of protein, 400 grams of carbs, and 50 grams of fat. Protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram and fat contains 9 calories. Thus the total calorie this diet provides = 3310.

Daily supplements

Maltodextrin carbohydrate powder, Whey protein powder, Cod liver oil, Evening primrose oil, Vitamin C, Multivitamin/multi-mineral complex.

Some Important Notes For Your Diets

At all costs make sure that you do not take in or add any extra salt to your food, food as added hidden salt and it will cause you to hold onto water…it’s the killer of competition bodybuilders!

For example, at the beginning of your diet, eat only whole meal brown bread and limit that as much as possible, it too has salt in the mix. As you get closer to your competition, cut it out altogether.

Remember, whatever you are doing to win that competition, others are doing more!

Hope you enjoyed this article, please take a look at the other posts.

If you enjoyed this and the other posts on this site, would you please ‘Like’ this page and spread the Lovethanks!

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‘How’ to Get a Six Pack!

‘How’ to Lose Weight And Get a ‘Six Pack’!

I guess I’m quizzed about diets almost daily, people always want to know how to either lose weight or increase their muscle mass. Reaching any level of fitness for you, or anyone, unfortunately, is not as simple as you may think, if it were then the gym would be full to the rafters with people, and obesity wouldn’t exist.

Diets you can do at home is a vast subject, one that would require a book to give it any real justice, but I will do my best, keeping it as simple as I can for you. Having said that, there is a glimmer of hope for us all, but it will require you to take a leap of faith and change your life style, are you ready?

Either way, even if you didn’t want to lose or put on weight, there is some very interesting research going on that confirms an old idea “Reducing calories as some very beneficial and useful side effects”. Let’s start this fascinating journey into the world of diets, by taking a look at the evidence so far and its effects.

Reduce Calories not just for a six pack but also for Your Heart’s Sake too?

Like I said, even if you aren’t interested in losing weight or increasing muscle size, there’s plenty of good evidence to suggest that a well balanced diet offers some very welcome benefits for us all.

For decades now, it’s been believed by many health professionals that those who eat less…tend to live longer. A study carried out by the University of Wisconsin offers even more support for this belief.

Researchers considered ‘how’ caloric intake could affect the function of the heart and concluded that less food could indeed possibly result in a healthier heart. Based on their finding, it would appear that if people reduce their current calorie intake between 20 and 40%, even if they start in middle age, they may well delay the development of heart disease or possibly even…prevent it.

According to professor of genetics Tomas Prolla, PhD, when your heart ages the cells change their source of energy from fat molecules, to carbohydrate molecules.

Carbohydrate molecules burn at a faster rate, leaving the heart with less energy to execute its functions…in effect, the heart becomes stressed out. This being the first step that leads onto heart failure.

But when Prolla’s team reduced the caloric intake of mice, these changes in energy sources was seen less than in those who maintained their normal caloric intake. So don’t be afraid to reduce your calorie intake you could live longer, happier, life’s.

A side note:

It’s also been noted that the older generation are living longer, well into their 90’s and beyond, despite the hardships and lack of food during and just after the First World War, when they were forced to reduce their food intake…food for thought!

Latest Study Results

I’ve been to Greece and to Tuscany in Italy, and for those who haven’t; I can tell you that their Mediterranean cuisine is fabulous. They are full of richly coloured heart-healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and poultry and, of course, plenty of olive oil…fascinating.

Despite their liberal use of oil and grains, researchers have found that people who eat a ‘Mediterranean’ type diet have vastly lower rates of heart disease than people in many other parts of the world…what’s the reason?

Dimitrios Trichopoulos, MD, PhD, from the Harvard School of Public Health, worked with a group of Greek scientists from the University of Athens Medical School, who together investigated the impact of their diet. They studded over 22,000 Greek men and women, between the ages of 20 to 86. They recorded what they ate each day over a four-year period.

They rated the responses of each participant on a scale of zero through to 10, based on ‘how’ closely the participants stayed within the tenets of the diet, with 10 being the best.

The results clearly showed that by following the diet closely not only did it lower the risk of death, from heart disease or stroke, but that for every two-point increase achieved in the rating scale, there was a 25% drop in mortality risk, it clearly also had an effect on overall total fitness.

A similar, but completely separate American study implied the diet also helps reduce the risk of gallstones by almost 20%.

Let’s Look At These Dietary Details that will help get your six pack…

Unlike the detailed approach of many weight-loss plans, this diet has no particular structure. Instead, it includes…

  • Lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Plenty of whole-grain products
  • Some beans, legumes and nuts
  • A moderate amount of fish and poultry
  • Limited amounts of meats, dairy and alcohol.

By following the strategies listed below, will help you stick to a more authentic Mediterranean diet…

Whole grains are whole grains

In addition to their nutritive value, whole grains slow down the digestion of other foods leaving you feeling fuller for a longer…lowering the ‘net-carb’ effect. Whole grains are also very good sources of fibber, which is required to help move waste products out of the body. People are also urged to select the least processed whole-grain foods even if a food is technically a whole grain.

Commercial preparation pulverizes the grain, reducing its healthfulness. It’s important not to be sidetracked by marketing and packaging ploys. Only pick those ‘Bread’ products that display the word ‘Whole’ as the first or second name listed on the ingredients list to qualify as truly ‘whole wheat’.

Variety of grains

The Mediterranean’s eat a variety of delicious and nutritious grains, but ‘Brown’ rice also counts, as does a number of other grain products, including ‘Oats’, especially steel-cut oats and ‘Barley’.

Lots a produce

The Greeks characteristically eat almost a pound of vegetables a day…twice what Americans eat. So don’t be shy with your produce.

Plenty of protein

It’s important to have a good source of daily protein, be it fish, poultry or eggs. Plant protein, in the form of beans and nuts, is also a good source of fibber…just what the bodybuilder ordered!

Counting calories

‘Super-sizing’ your portions is definitely not the way to go. Eat small amounts at all times throughout the day is key. Portion control is just as important when it comes to olive oil too.

Although the Mediterranean’s consume up to 40% of their calories from fat, this includes fish, poultry and dairy, as well as from monounsaturated oils, canola, soy and especially olive oil.

Active lifestyle

The Mediterranean people work hard physically each day, unlike Americans who live a more sedentary life. So exercise should also be as much a part of the diet, as is olive oil. You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise most days.

You should also limit other ‘extra’ foods to occasional treats. Foods like red meats, should be eaten in small quantities throughout the day and don’t think just because your consuming a good clean diet that you can eat 3 scoops of ice cream after each meal, unless you are the type of person that as a lot of difficultly putting on body weight…even then think about the quality and not the quantity of calories that you consume that’s important.

The diet includes dairy, but doesn’t emphasize it. Stick with low-fat products when possible and limit portions.

Although the above diet will help those who are looking to reduce their overall weight don’t be fooled into believing that it has no value for those who are looking to increase muscle size, because following the basic outline of the diet will help you reach your end goals.

How I hear you ask, “well muscle requires more than just proteins, they require good fats, minerals and vitamins to help stimulate muscle growth”, and you are spot on, but this diet will do just that.

First, make the decision and set it as a goal. Over whatever period of time you are comfortable with, slide the right foods into your eating regimen and the wrong ones out. Review often and see what changes you may need to make. Just remember to increase your proteins and bob’s your uncle!

Rules of Thumb

Regardless of whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, by following these simple rules you will reach your goals.

You should be eating around 5 small meals a day this will help burn fat creating your ‘six pack’!

By applying this rule you avoid the possibility of your body slipping into what we call “starvation mould” and needs to start the process of hanging on to every calorie you eat. By eating 5 small meals a day will help speed up your metabolism, reducing body fat, and increasing your energy.

If you are trying to lose weight, then ‘Don’t’ reduce your calorie intake by too much, this is the biggest mistake people make, they decrease their calorie intake by 1000 calories or more, and then give up, because they are starving. And even more disturbing for the bodybuilder, following this action can only lead to muscle deterioration or shrinkage. Instead, reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories a day then stick with it for about ‘four’ weeks.

If you don’t start to reduce weight, then reduce your calorie intake by another 200 calories a day. When you start to lose these unwanted pounds don’t reduce calories any further.

If on the other hand you lose too much weight to quickly, then increase your calorie intake by 100 calories at a time until you find a balance that allows you to lose weight and then maintain…remember that you don’t want to lose any muscle size.

Remember that muscle weighs more than body fat; therefore, it’s easy to mistake body weight reduction as fat loss.

Try to eat all your calories in between the hours of waking and midday. In this way your body will burn up those calories over the course of the day.

Reduce the calorie content of your meals as the day goes by until you last meal is purely a protein one…no carbs.

Note:

If you are looking to increase muscle size then increase both your calorie and protein intake, but remember to do this slowly as you need to find a balance that will allow you to increase muscle size without the body fat.

There really isn’t any way around this dilemma, unless you have perfect genetics that is. If you are eating too many calories for the amount of fuel you burn off during everyday activity or exercise, you will put on body fat. And if you don’t eat enough calories then you won’t put on any muscle mass, and you run the risk of fatiguing your body.

So the trick is to find…your balance!

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How to Increase Muscle Size!

‘Why’ People Find it so Hard to Get Any real ‘Increase in Their Muscle Size’!

 

The Truth About Building Muscle Mass

Why’ is it that for some people who go to the gym they end up failing to reach any of their goals or simply end-up give-up, never to reach any real true ‘Muscle mass’!

There are a number of problems that need to be tackled if you are ever going to reach your maximum potential in or out of the gym…some are well known and other’s are not. Let’s take a closer examination and route out the main causes:

Confusion is undoubtedly the main reason why people have a hard time reaching their main goals.

So ‘what’ do people become confused over…

  • ‘How’ or ‘What’ diet(s) to use
  • ‘How’ and ‘When’ to train
  • ‘What’ or ‘Which’ supplements to use
  • And above all ‘What’ nutrition and diet programs to use
  • And much much more…

These are just a few things people confess they can’t get to grips with…‘Why’. Because there is just too much information out there and people tend to input way too much, even when they have no idea as to whether or not it’s credible info or some myth being passed around…we call this behaviour…“Information overload”. And secondly, Information overload leads too information ‘Confliction’ what I call…“Information confusion”.

It doesn’t matter How you are trying to achieve an increase in muscle mass in the gym

Whether it’s through bodybuilding, weight lose, getting fit, or diets, it is however, very important to understand that each one of these disciplines is a…science. And a science that’s taken blood, sweat and tears to perfect.

If you want to see results then you must learn the science behind each discipline or you are going to fail. There are a key number of disciplines you must get to learn regardless of your goals and they are…training, nutrition, diets, and supplements.

Unfortunately, over the years the above disciplines have been misused, spammed, or downright over exaggerated by those who look to exploit those who unfortunately don’t know any better. And the reason for this is very simple; people are convinced that the only way forward must be through some new idea or advancement made in training method or supplement…and the marketers love to advertise and manipulate this fact to sell more services or products.

But unfortunately, the truth lies somewhere between the past and the future. So ‘How’ are you going to dig out the real truth behind all the myths that surrounds and permeates throughout gyms today.

There are two things you can do right ‘Now’ to dramatically improve your chances of reaching your goals…

First you must STOP listening to those who have no more experience or achievement in their training than yourself. Over the years I have seen with my own eyes, how people are misinform or bullied into training in the wrong way by people who have clearly gained very little muscle definition, or ‘Muscle mass’ gains, through their own training…the blind leading the blind!

And if you are new to the gym then please STOP reading these bodybuilding magazines, they are full of crap and advertisements that target those who are willing to put their hands into their pockets to buy their dreams. ‘Yes’ you read that right and I bet you didn’t know that most of the advertised products in these magazines are indeed owned by the magazine?

It use to amaze me when people come into my gym, excited, because they were about to do the same routine as some top level bodybuilder they read about in some magazine.

But, following any training routines from these magazines will lead you absolutely nowhere…’Why’! Well these magazines entice a top or up and coming bodybuilders with high potential earnings and sponsorship. Then they get them do a working exercise and take a bunch of photos, these routines are made up from the editor or writer of the article.

Then they tell you, the reader, that it’s that particular bodybuilder’s favourite routine, which it’s not, and go on to explain how to execute the exercise.

But very often people are left with more questions than answers and the magazine promises to reveal the answers in the next issue.

Let me give you an example of a typical scenario of what I mean. A magazine carries an article describing the believe that in order to increase muscle mass, let’s say the Bicep, you need to do 3 sets of ‘z-bar’ curls and the last set should be done with the heaviest weight you can handle.

On the surface that looks like great advice, but what is meant by the ‘Heaviest’ weights. I mean ‘how’ do you know what your heaviest weight is, one rep…they never tell you, ‘Why’? Because, it keeps you coming back looking for the answer.

OK, I’ll put you out of your misery. Your heaviest weight is the weight you struggle 110% to complete 6 reps with, and I mean, you only just reach the 6th rep and you can’t do one more rep even if your life depended on it…7 reps would be to light and 5 reps would be too heavy.

But the important part is this, the magazines get another opportunity to sell and market their products to you. They use top level bodybuilders and well know models to sell you on their training routines, I guarantee these guys don’t use them, I know I’ve had conversations with them and asked them straight out.

Many don’t even do some of the routines they are ascribed too, for example, I know guys that never use machines only free weights, but the magazines Cleary shows them using cables…do I have to say any more!

Come on boys and girls, these people are built like s*it-house brick walls, with at least 15 years of training, experience, sponsorship, and drugs behind them…do you really think that the routines they describe would work for you?

‘Now’ through this website and my help, you get to start over again and this time you will learn the science behind these strategies…then you can start to slowly gain ground. Every muscle or keep fit journey has to start with one rep, but the important thing is to go in the right direction to begin with.

Stop wasting time, effort and start realizing your dreams. You will find many articles, help, tips, and videos on the subject of ‘How to build muscle size’ on this website, based on grounded facts, experience and knowledge. I have been where you are and I have worn the ‘T’ shirt and now it your turn to have your day.

To read more outspoken and controversial advice, please come back again, I’m continually updating and adding new material to help you reach your goals.

I can tell you this right now…when you reach your goals and you are walking the walk, there’s no better feeling in this world.

Remember this “You don’t have to put up with the rest, when you can have the…best

I hope you find your dream, train hard and right…enjoy!

This website ‘IncreaseMuscleSize.net is your one stop work shop, a website designed for those looking to train for success, gain muscle, lose weight, increase strength, get fit or want to know about competition diets and supplements!

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