Statins are drugs that have been found to be effective in bringing down elevated cholesterol levels, Lipitor and Zocor for example. But their benefits come at a price.
Side effects of these powerful drugs can include raised blood sugar levels, introduce memory loss, and inflict muscle damage… bad news for the bodybuilder.
In search of a safer, more natural resolution to at least supplementation, or replacing these statins, researchers looked at the possibility that two fruits may have had on reducing cholesterol levels.
The results of this research were quite promising and primarily for one of these fruits.
What Looks Good, Tastes Good, And Can Lower Your Cholesterol Too
In a study of two groups of people, which excluded people who had regularly consumed either apples or prunes, or anyone who was taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, researchers asked each group to either eat dried apples or dried plums, each day for a year.
They were also instructed to eat their normal food intake and keep to the same exercise routines. About 82% from each group complied with all their instructions, going on to complete the study. The following outcomes below are based only on those who meet the researcher’s terms and fully completed the study.
Blood samples were taken before the study started and Cholesterol levels were checked, then again at the three month stage, six month stage, and again at the end (12 month) of the study.
• After completing the first three months: a) The study found that those who eat the dried apples decreased their total cholesterol by 9% and their LDL or ‘Bad’ cholesterol by 16%… b) Those who consumed dried prunes only decreased their total cholesterol by 2.6% and their LDL by just 5%.
• At the six month stage: a) Those who ate dried apples decreased their numbers even further. Their total cholesterol dropped by another 4% to 13% and their LDL by another 8% to 24%, compared to the levels at the beginning of the study. b) But the prune group’s levels didn’t change between the three-month mark and the six-month mark.
• At the end of the study (12 months): The dried-apple group’s results were the same as they were at the six-month mark. The prune group saw a little more improvement at this point… their total cholesterol was 3.5% lower and LDL was 8% lower, compared with levels at the beginning of the study.
Overall, it would seem that both dried apples and prunes, brought down their cholesterol levels, but dried apples had a stronger and an immediate effect on both the cholesterol and LDL levels.
Although head-to-head fruit versus statins studies haven’t been carried out to date, you need to bear in mind that neither fruit will lower cholesterol levels quite as much as statins would; statins tends to lower LDL by roughly 40% to 60%, depending on the dose.
But you should bear in mind that apples have been shown to reduce cholesterol and LDL levels, and is a natural food bodybuilders should be eating. Eating apples can help reduce the chances of needing to take statins at a later time in one’s life; they also provide the necessary nutrients too. … I think this news is quite encouraging. The Pectin Connection
Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, lead investigator of the study, was curious to find out why these fruits (especially the apples) showed positive benefits to the consumer. They both offered heart-healthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection, and are rich and contain high amounts of pectin, a dietary fibre renowned for reducing cholesterol.
Just in case you were wondering, it doesn’t matter if you eat fresh or dried apples they both contain the same cholesterol-lowering benefits. The reason they used dried apples in the study was for consistency. It would seem that there are significant variations in the chemical composition of fresh fruits and it may have had a measured effect on the outcome of the results.
Also it would have been hard on the members of the two groups to consume the two medium-sized fresh apples per day, for a full 12 months. And there was one other advantage to using dried fruits, storage, transportation, keeping them close for snacking, and the ability to garnish and add them to cereal, yogurt, soup or pasta dishes.
Source: Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor, chair, department of nutrition, food, and exercise sciences, director, Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging, The Florida State University, Tallahassee. The results of his study were published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Could What You Think About Carbohydrate And Muscle Growth be ‘Wrong’?
What you need to know about carbohydrate
In my experience most, if not all, bodybuilders tend to focus far too much on the amount of protein they have in their daily diet, believing, because that’s what they are told, that protein is the most singular important muscle building foods, and ignore‘Carbohydrates’at their own peril.
What most people tend to be afraid of is weight gain, but carbohydrates are very important when training hard and for ‘Protein’synthesis, more on this subject later. Diets like the ‘The Atkins Diet’, has left lots of people very bewildered over whether or not to eat carbohydrate, which must be bad for you.
The American Dietetic Association also has concerns about the Atkins diet. Gail Frank, PhD, former spokeswoman forthe organization and professor ofnutritionat California State University in Long Beach, says, “The body needs a minimum of carbohydrates for efficient and healthy functioning — about 150 grams daily.” Below that, normal metabolic activity is disrupted…sourcehttp://www.webmd.com/diet/atkins-diet-what-it-is
I know it’s true that if you need to control your weight, then you may need to control your carbohydrate intake, but if you want to gain muscle mass, then it’s important to ensure that you’re consuming enough of the right carbohydrate within your diet and at the right times.
Unfortunately, this is a huge and very complex issue, so I will do my best and concentrate on the three main reasons ‘why’ carbohydrate is important for muscle growth…
1.‘Why’ is carbohydrate so important
First, it’s important to know that carbohydrate is stored within your body’s muscles, calledglycogen, and when you train hard this stored carbohydrate get’s used by the muscle as energy.
As you continual to train hard, the glycogen stores in your muscles becomes depleted, this is because your muscles can only store a limited amount of glycogen. As the glycogen starts to run out, your body starts to consume protein, and fats, for energy, which is also stored in your muscles too!
This is the reason ‘Why’ we loss energy if we haven’t eaten at leastone hourbefore we train. If it’s normal for your energy levels to drop during your workouts or if you are left feeling a bit lethargic towards the end of the week, then try this little trick, which will help to keep your energy levels up for your next workout. In turn helping you safeguard against muscle lose too…you will notice a massive difference in your workouts.
Don’t worry about storing this carbohydrate as fat, because your body will use the carbohydrate in the drink burning it off as you train. The important thing here is to stop your body’s carbohydrate levels from crashing, leaving you feeling lethargic when you train next time around.
2. ‘How’ does carbohydrate help build more muscle
‘Now’ this is probably the most miss-understood or unknown fact, among bodybuilding’s today. But did you know that carbohydrate and protein need to work together to help stimulate muscle growth…’Yes’ suck on that fact one more time…”Carbohydrate and protein need to work together to help stimulate muscle growth”.
It doesn’t matter which one you cut out, by doing so you will seriously jeopardise any real kind of muscle size progress.
‘Now’, listen up, because this is the real exciting news…’Carbohydrate helps to lower ‘Cortisol’ levels’!
Cortisol is known as a stress hormone and is the number one killer of muscle growth. So ‘what’ is cortisol and ‘why’ is it a nasty hormone to promote when training.
Well cortisol as an important role to pay to help repair body tissue. You see when cells brake down; cortisol eats the damaged cells so your body can replace them with newly created ones.
Ok I here you saying, so ‘How’ can that be a bad think, one of the things I do, as a bodybuilder, is brake down muscle tissues during training so that when they are fully repaired they grow. The problem starts when your body over produces this hormone and at a consist level, because when there is no damaged cells to consume they start consuming muscle fibres…therefore, a lot of cortisol will stop anymuscle growth!
Some Japanese researcher as shown that when your blood sugar levels drop during exercise, cortisol levels go UP also! But by consuming a carbohydrate drink during your training these levels are kept in check, even lowering cortisol levels.
Some interesting research published in the ‘International Journal of Sports Medicine’, indicated that drinking carbohydrates when exercising dramatically strengthened the immune system. This helps to keep infections or illnesses at bay, as these slow down your training periods and healing times.
So next time you train, make sure that you keep up your carbohydrate levels and the more muscle you will build!
3. Will Excess carbohydrate get stored as fat
The answer to this question is an easy one to answer…no…’Not’ if you take it during you training session!
Normally, when you eat food that is high in carbohydrates this prompts your body to store any surplus carbohydrates in the fat cells, but when you exercise this activity prevents any release of the fat-storing hormones.
Therefore, it’s very unlikely that drinking carbohydrates during your training session will lead to any form of fat gain.
In fact, take another look at the above 3 main points again, which clearly show that drinking carbohydrates as tons of advantages, more energy, more power to lift more weight for more reps, or maintain far higher levels of intensity duringaerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, especially toward the end of your session, for example.
Remember that protein can’t work without carbohydrates; therefore, you shouldn’t shy away from a-least giving it a go.
How to time your protein intake for maximum muscle growth – just when should I eat?
If you intend to train to purelybuild muscle masswithout gaining any body fat, then you need to pay close attention to the timing of your meals. This is also a very hit & miss affair among many bodybuilders.
One thing is for sure, you must learn to feed your muscles 24/7, because muscle can take anywhere from 4 to 7 days to repair and a constant supply of nutrients, proteins and carbohydrates, are required to active that goal…so aim to eat 4 – 5 small meals a day.
Some very interesting studies have thrown up some extraordinary results, they discovered that consuming protein and/or carbohydrates directly ‘before’, and straight ‘after’exercise, dramatically increased muscle growth…something we older bodybuilders kind-of realised some years back.
In one study scientists supplied bodybuilders with either a protein or carbohydrate drink either right after their training session or up to three hours later. There was a far greater muscle growth when taken IMMEDIATY after their training session, compared to those who consumed it up to three hours later, as general rule you should take a protein or carbohydrate drink within 30 – 45 mines of training
‘Now’ if you think that’s good news then think again, because still further research done by the University of Texas, has conclusively shown that taking a protein drink along with a carbohydrate drink ‘Before’ you train as a greater effect uponmuscle growth.
This they believe is due to the increased blood flow during your exercise session, compared to the lower volumes during rest, transporting more blood faster to the muscles during training, helping to start the repair process quicker.
What you really have to bear in mind is this; by combining pre-exercise protein with post-exercise protein and carbohydrate, you are infect delivering a very powerful anabolic boost, virtually guaranteeing you much quicker muscle growth.
That question has bedeviled countless people who’ve started exercise programs. It has also motivated a major new study of the genetics of fitness. Scientists long have known that when any given group of people faithfully follows the same aerobic workout routine, some increase their cardio respiratory fitness substantially; while an unfortunate few seem to get no benefits at all. But what, beyond the fundamental unfairness of life, makes one person’s body receptive to exercise and another’s resistant?
Please Note: This artical as nothing to do with losing body fat, but everything to do with fitness levels.
So there you have it, the science is in, and it’s staring you in the face. If you are wondering why despite all your efforts you can’t seem to make progress in your fitness routine, then stop beating yourself up, the important thing is you are executing a fitness routine and although the benefits will be slow in coming, nevertheless, with hard work you will make progress and a positive difference to your lifestyle.
Benefits to fitness training…
A higher level of fitness, controls weight
Flexibility and mobility
Space and time to yourself to reflect on daily matters, very important
Social gathering and fun
Improves your moods
Boosts your energy levels
Helps combat health and disease conditions
Helps to promote better sleep
Can help boost your sex life
Formal exercise is still the best thing you can do for you’re over all health…
For you bodybuilders who wonder if genetics is stifling your gains then please watch this video…
Kelly Osbourne as managed to ‘Lose some Weight‘, but can she Keep it Off?
Everyone who has a problem with shedding weight thinks they are the only ones in the world with this issue, but the truth is that even the big, rich, famous calibrates have a hard time with is endemic condition.
Did you know that ‘Ice Cube’s ex-partner ‘Mack 10‘ suffered obesity for years and how ‘SOHH‘suffered a near-fatal seizure and gave his reaction to hip-hop artists like ‘Fat Joe‘ shedding pounds to lessen health concerns. Looks like their days of plenty is coming to an end.
If you what to know more about ‘Mack 10’ story read this article…
“He explained it that his boys were dropping off like flies but didn’t know why and so he started losing weight. He said he had diabetes for so many years and he lost weight. But he didn’t get the statistics the way I’m giving them, the way they will …SOHH“.
A short bar known as a EZ bar, which as ‘bends’ in it where you grip it, is mostly favoured by those who train there‘biceps’, history and now new research, as shown that when using a ‘straight’ bar compared to a EZ bar, it stimulates greater muscle activity in the biceps.
Thebicepas two functions, one, and its main role, is to flex the elbow joint, but it also rotates the palm too and this is very important for the bodybuilder to understand. So if by holding your palm facing downwards and then twist it so that it faces up, the biceps is doing only part of the work, not good news when trying to build maximum musclemass.
On the other hand, when you use a straight bar…the palm is already facing straight up. The other problem with the EZ bar is the palms of your hands are angled in slightly, facing each other. This means that your brachialis muscles, the muscle that sits on the outer side of the upper arm, is taking off some of the load on the bicep.
The researchers have shown this to be one of the main reasons why the EZ bar curl reduces bicep activity compared to using a straight bar.
Like I have already mentioned the EZ bar does work other muscles, such as the forearms and side of the upper arm. However, creating maximum growth of the biceps requires the biceps to be loaded to the max. So making sure that you use a straight barbell curl is an essential part of the mix.
My favourite is doing Dumbbell curls with the palms facing up for the whole movement, which have now been shown to be highly effective for this purpose.
‘How’ to quickly pack some mass on your biceps with this easy-to-follow routine
I’ve very often seen people in the gym training their biceps for45 minutesor more, it’s no wonder they don’t seem to add even a quarter of an inch to their arms in a year!
So what is the best training protocol for adding mass to the biceps quickly…‘Short’ and ‘INTENSE’ that’s ‘How’!
If you are looking to build some real descent size to your biceps, then here are a few time-tested training principles you should follow:
Train your biceps hard. To get your biceps to respond and grow, you need to overload them by putting them into what I call a ‘Do or die’ situation, a war like environment, where the biceps have no choice, but respond and grow. Train them to failure and beyond, don’t just go through the motions, get prepared to do battle by doing high intensity sets and really squeeze out every last rep…It’s the only way.
Train them fast.If you’re central goal is to add muscle size to your arms, then your entire bicep routine shouldn’t take any more than about 25 – 30 minutes…tops! Building muscle is not like running a marathon; it requires short, intenseeffort.
Hit them from every angle. People have a big problem when it comes to this training principle, because lock in their minds is this ‘need to do more’ syndrome. Therefore, to do enough different exercises to hit the bicep from as many angles as possible they end up overtraining. This is ‘why’ you must ‘Train them fast’. If you are serious about increasing strength and size, then you must introduce exercises that stress the biceps from every angle. Using a combination of straight bars, EZ bars, dumbbells, keeping the palms facing up and side-wards, will ensure maximum growth. But the trick is to do your bicep exercise routine as quickly as possible and if you run out of time ‘Stop’, because overtraining them can actually course them to…SHRINK!
Now let them recover.Don’t underrate the massive importance this concept holds, because by not allowing your biceps to recover fully from an intense training session, you run the risk of overtraining. If you are really training your biceps to the max, than 24 or even 48 hours recovery time just isn’t enough healing time.
You must allow more time before training them again at least 5-7 days. More is definitely not…better
If you’ll looking for a basic biceps routine that you can use to blast your arms to more mass quickly and effectively, then try out the following routine. But remember the 3 principles mentioned above and you’ll be well on your way to increase your bicep mass.
This biceps program calls for performing just 3 sets of three exercises, that’s just 9 sets in all. After warming up your biceps with a couple of light to moderate sets, jump right in and train hard, fast, and with intensity.
Exercise 1: Standing Barbell Curls – These are an old standard, but are still a favourite mass builder among bodybuilders. Start by griping the bar with a fairly narrow grip, approximately 8-10 inches apart.
Then concentrate on using a slow controlled movement throughout the range of bicep motion, now be sure to squeeze the bar as hard as possible at the top of the movement, this is important. Now use some extra intensity on the negative or eccentric portion of the movement. Shoot for 8-10 reps with a moderate to heavy weight.
Exercise 2: Incline Dumbbell Curls – Take a hard look at your training to see if you are introducing any cheating movements to your bicep motion. The main reasons people end up cheating is, because they are either using too much weight or using an alternating arm movement. It’s so important to do your bicep movements with both arms simultaneously, because this cuts out any possible cheating movements.
A great technique is to use a slight incline to fully emphasize the biceps, and be sure to squeeze the biceps hard at the top of the movement. It’s also important to pay attention to the full stretch at the bottom this movement and purse for a count of 2 for maximum results. Work in the 8-12 rep range for 2-3 strong sets.
Exercise 3: Cable Hammer Curls with Rope – Startby attaching a rope attachment to the low cable of a pulley machine. Now grasp the rope extensions with both of your palms facing each other. Start to curl the weight up to your chin, again remember to squeeze your hands hard at the top of this movement, and then lower as slowly as you can resisting the weight on the way down.
Execute two heavy sets of 6 reps only; making sure that the 6th rep is an all out fight to the very end. This one will really work and bring out yourbrachialis muscles,helping to add overall mass to your arms.
If you’re looking to add more mass to your biceps quickly, then give this simple, but very effective program a try.
If at the end of your workout your biceps aren’t fatigued then you simple haven’t worked them hard enough, you can’t move a car by simply putting your finger on its boot, the same goes for your bicep…”They must be forced to grow”. Of course, the gains in strength and size will be that much greater when you finish your workout with a high-protein drink.
Even better have a protein drink beforeyour workout. Also remember that your triceps add the most mass to any arm regardless to how big your biceps are, they make up to ¾ of overall arm mass, more on tricep training to come.
Below is a video you may like to watch about bicep training well worth watching…
We’ve have it drilled into our minds loudly and clear everyday of our lives that ‘Cholesterol’ this true culprit behind‘Cardiovascular Disease’or is it?People have been believe that theymust keep an eye on theircholesterol levels, if your levels are low than you can assume that you are automatically out of the woods and will avoid cardiovascular disease, but they may be…Wrong!
We as bodybuilders need to know the truth behind these clams, because to build muscle or any real mass, then we need to understand ‘how’ we interact with things like food, diet, calories, fat, and exercise and ‘Cardiovascular disease’ as a direct influence on the state of our fitness and ability to remain fit.
The fact still remains that under half of those who have heart attacks have abnormal cholesterol (blood lipid) levels. So if high cholesterol levels aren’t entirely to blame what is, well there is some very interesting research that clearly shows that the real culprit is something called…’Inflammation’.
Have we been sidetracked into believing that cholesterol is the main contributor to ‘Cardiovascular Disease’, if that was so a fact then ask yourself ‘Why’ is the evidence pointing in a different direction? Let’s take a closer look at this killer disease and what may really lie behind it?
Looking Beyond Cholesterol & ‘Cardiovascular Disease’ – reactive protein
Scientists have long suspected that cholesterol may not be the Holy Grail to understanding the reasons behind heart disease, and now studies at two major medical institutions, confirm that elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, is also a key risk factor.
Inflammation plays a major role in the development and progression of artery-clogging atherosclerosis, the chief underlying cause of heart attacks and strokes.
The bottom line
It would seem that separate of any other risk factors, the higher your CRP levels remain, the higher your risk of developing cardiovascular catastrophe. But there is some good news, by adding CRP screening to lipid screening for those at risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammatory problems can be identify sooner, so you can take aggressive steps to control them.
About the Studies
In a issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, January 6, 2005, two different research groups came to almost the same conclusions about CRP. At the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a team examined the cases of 3,745 coronary disease patients to compare the effect of two cholesterol-lowering drugs…Atorvastatin(Lipitor), and Pravastatin (Pravachol). They found that it didn’t matter which medication you chose the real factor was lowering the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol numbers below 70 in high-risk patients, and lowering CRP to below 2 mg per litre of blood.
Those who managed to lower their LDL target, the risk of recurring heart attacks, or dying from a heart attack or stroke, were reduced by another 50% when the CRP level was lowered to 2 mg.
Another study by the Cleveland Clinic Foundationinvolved 502 heart disease patients. For 18 mouths they were put on a course of statins. Then they conducted Ultrasounds examinations of their arteries and confirmed that lower cholesterol levels did indeed lead to a slower progression of arterial blockage. Significantly, the tests also indicated that “the decrease in CRP levels was independently and significantly correlated with rate of progression”.
According to cardiologist Steven Nissen, MD, author of the Cleveland Clinic study, these two trials strongly suggest that we should focus on statin therapy to help reduce CRP, not just cholesterol. He adds that we must now begin to think of CRP as an accelerator of disease activity, not just a marker associated with high risk.
What You Should Do
It’s an unfortunate fact that most doctors do not monitor CRP as closely as cholesterol, even though it only takes a simple, inexpensive blood test to measure CRP. American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that general practitioners should consider testing CRP levels for those patients who are at intermediate risk for cardiovascular disease, which is defined as having a 10 to 20% risk for a heart attack in the next 10 years based on current health status and history.
If you are in this category, your doctor will inform you. Risk factors that can place you in this category include cholesterol numbers, high blood pressure, anddiabetes.
Still another reason ‘Why’ you should watch your CRP levels
In another research they discovered that elevated CRP levels may be an early indication of type 2 diabetes. Dr. Nissen highly stresses the need to get both the cholesterol and CRP levels under control. Fortunately, if you follow the guidelines for a healthy lifestyle to help enhance cardiovascular wellness can help reduce CRP levels.
Maintaining your weight can help
Unfortunately, as your body weight increases so does the levels of CRP, and Dr. Nissen points out that reducing intra-abdominal fat can help reduce CRP levels by up to 40 to 50%.
Follow a healthful diet
As bodybuilders we should take more notice of our diets, not only to help increase muscle size, and reduce body fat, but because there is a link with CRP, and a well-planned and well-balanced diet is necessary to getting your weight under control. If however, your CRP remains elevated, even after your lifestyle adjustments, then your doctor will recommend medications that will help to control the situation. At present, statins (the same drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol) are the only drugs known to reduce CRP.
There is another drug waiting in the background for anti-obesity, anti-smoking…rimonabant (Acomplia), which shows some promise in lowering CRP. The chances are that current research will spark greater interest in developing more new medications.
There are also a number of non-prescription options for reducing CRP, including antioxidant, omega-3, and vitamin B-12 therapies to name, but a few. I would suggest that you try all the natural options before considering taking problem-prone statins.
A note to all you young ones out there, don’t think that this article as nothing to do with you, because CRP build-up starts when you are…young!!
Scientists still have a lot to learn about cardiovascular disease, and there are many risk factors out there that are yet to be uncovered.
Not All Muscles are ‘Equal’ What You Need to Know!
Experience is no match for not knowing ‘Why’ all muscles are not equal
Most inexperience and experienced weight trainers seem to have a difficult time understanding that ‘Not all muscles in your body are equal’ and they could be jeopardizing any ‘Increase in Their Muscle Size‘. You see your calf’s, abs, and forearm muscles for example, are built for endurance. And yet I see them training them for strength?
Your bicep muscle must be trained differently to your triceps. Your legs and traps can handle enormous loads. And your back and shoulders are involved in almost all weight training movements.
So if you treat every muscle in the same way then you can’t expect the same result…disappointment!
To understand this concept a little better let’s take a closer look the calf’s. For example, the calf muscles can still help a 15-stone overweight person to walk, even up-stairs, although they have never done a ounce of training. And just think of the strain that’s placed on their big toe and its connection to the calf.
The calf is capable of getting you through a marathon, or climbing Mount Everest… can you see your bicep doing that?
And your calf’s, abs, and forearm muscles are used every day when at home or at work. Your triceps can help you do 100s to 1000s of push-ups, when your back would give up after a few chin-ups.
Some muscles need to be pushed with heavy weights and low reps; whereas others need lighter weights and higher reps, others need to be trained very quickly with little to almost no rest in-between sets.
You need to understand these differences and train the individual muscles accordingly or you run the risk of under or over training and jeopardizing your gains.
This video by Rusty Jeffers – Calf Workout is full of top tips to help you grow those calf’s
Also Checkout This Very Special Offer Guaranteed to Help Boost Muscle “GROWTH”…‘Click Here‘!
Can Insulin Resistance be STOPPING Your Bodybuilding Gains
‘How’ to Break the Weight-Gain Cycle Is Insulin ResistancePreventing Your Muscle Building Gains
A Bodybuilders paradox – gaining muscle, losing fat…a very important article for all Bodybuilders!
For a country that’s obsessed with dieting and weight loss, we seem to have a disproportionately large number of overweight people. It’s a sad fact, but two-thirds of all adults and nearly one-third of all children are overweight or obese, putting them in the firing range and at risk for a whole array of health risks.
It’s been shown that Insulin resistance can impair our ability to process glucose and fat stores. This is one of the biggest problems that many bodybuilders have to face, because most often they just don’t know they have an insulin resistance problem and are therefore, swimming against the tide.
Now what bodybuilders want to know are two things 1) ‘How’ do I know I have it & 2) ‘What’ can I do about it. Well if you were able to suppress insulin resistance then many people would be able to burn off body fat, and at the same time prevent obesity-related health problems.
It’s been understood now for some time that Insulin resistance increases with age, but the trick here is to get on top of insulin resistance as soon as possible, because the longer you leave it the less likelihood you have of reversing it, and avoiding diabetes or high blood pressure.
‘How’ do you go about this, it’s simpler than you think…by embracing a more healthy lifestyle!
Is Insulin Resistance a Primer…
But first we need to understand the part that insulin plays in the body. Insulin normally gets released into the bloodstream in response to elevated glucose (blood sugar) levels after you eat. Its main role is to harvest that glucose from the bloodstream and push it into the cells of the body, where it gets converted into energy during activity. In fact insulin is the only glucose delivery agent that’s allowed to do this job.
But as you develop insulin resistance, this mechanism goes awry and the body’s muscles begin to resist the delivery of glucose. You then begin to develop uncontrollable food cravings, increased emotional eating, because your muscles are demanding glucose.
So if the insulin is unable to deliver its cargo of glucose where is it going?
Insulin can’t remain in the body and insulin can’t get rid of its glucose by flushing it out of the body. There’s only one other place that insulin is allowed to off load its cargo and that’s the…fat cells!
And as we now know, the bigger the fat cells become, the more glucose they demand and losing weight becomes harder regardless of ‘how’ hard they try. Not only does this lay down fat around your waist, but even more dangerous, it lays ‘Visceral’ fat around the internal organs, you can look slim and trim on the outside, but fat on the inside.
Visceral fat is a killer!
Suffering from insulin resistance pushes you into an endless cycle where your body holds on to fat like a sponge holds on to water. It’s a process that as devastating consequences, it sneaks up over the course of many years, gradually eroding your health.
A Brutal Cycle of Carbohydrate Addiction and Insulin Abuse…
Unfortunately, as insulin resistance starts to slowly take hold, so the diet begins to include far too many fast foods, chips, cookies, doughnuts, bread and soft drinks, for example, becoming carbohydrate rich and making addicts of its victim. Carbohydrates or sugars, quickly flood the bloodstream, in response to this raised level the body desperately pumps out insulin to lower these levels.
In turn this leads to an abrupt crash in blood sugars, a drop in energy, which leaves you craving for more carb’s, so this vicious cycle continues, more carb’s, followed by more blood sugar, more insulin.
Over time you begin to pill on the fat and your six pack begins to disappear, you put on weight making the body’s cells more resistant to insulin. The pancreas switches into overdrive mould, pumping out yet more insulin in a progressive attempt to force glucose into muscle cells, but the bloodstream becomes saturated with excess glucose.
For the bodybuilder this situation is disastrous, because he needs to eat more carb’s to fuel him through his workout and build muscle. At the same time, he needs to keep his body fat levels as low as possible, because dieting will only rob him of his precious,hard built, muscle.
What are the side effects of insulin resistance…
The other side of the coin is the danger of developing diabetes. If you don’t do anything to control your insulin resistance you will end up with what is known as ‘Metabolic syndrome’, also called Syndrome X.
This can also include obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, cardiovascular disease, gout, and atherosclerosis. In women this can also include ‘Polycentric ovarian syndrome‘or (PCOS).
Some Warning signs of insulin resistance are…
An expanding waist size
Waist size is a good indicator of insulin resistance. For women a waist circumference of 29 inches or more, and for men, 34 or more inches are warning signs.
Any elevation in blood pressure regardless of ‘How’ slight it is
Even a small measurement of 130/85 can be an early sign of insulin resistance.
Elevated blood sugars
You need to go to your doctor and ask for a fasting blood sugar test. A result above 100, or even approaching 100 this figure, should act as a warning sign.
A decrease in HDL or good cholesterol
This should bebelow 50 for women, and 40 for men…this can also be tied in with increasing triglyceride levels (fats in the blood).
‘How’ to overcome Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance doesn’t develop overnight it’s the result of years and years of poor daily food and activity choices, the great news you’ll be glad to hear is that you can break this vicious cycle of carbohydrate addiction and insulin abuse. Although, there’s no quick fix, no easy pill to pop, the following recommendations will help reduce the effects of insulin resistance.
As bodybuilders, we tend to cram in as much of the wrong types of food, so the first thing you need to develop, follow, and adopt is a healthier lifestyle. Incorporate plant food based, low-fat diet, plentiful in unrefined complex carbohydrates into your diet. Keeping down the amount of saturated, solid at room temperature, fats and refine carb’s to a minimum. And eating small portions several times a day stops you feeling so hungry, because you create less sugar spikes.
Include natural cholesterol-lowering medications, like Gugulipid and Niacin, to help lower triglycerides, fats in the blood.
Include almonds into your diet, because studies have shown they have the properties to curb the surge and dive of glucose after people eating meals of refined carb’s. In turn they drive down the levels of insulin sensitivity, helping to burn off fat.
Also use natural ingredients like cinnamon and fish oil, omega 3 or flux seed oil and a hand full of nuts. Cinnamon helps the insulin deliver it payload to the cells and is great sprinkled on morning breakfast.
Chromium Polynicotinate and Magnesium are also recommended.
Avoid refined and starchy carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, noodles, cereals, cakes, pastries, cookies and sugary desserts, as all the above gets converted into sugar by the guts.
Also drink less or cut out sweetened sodas as they are full of sugars, as are energy drinks that disguise ingredients with wonderful names like ‘Electra-lights’, which are also sugars. Even the so called ‘sugar free’ ones too are full of sugars, causing blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly.
Avoid processed foods that are marked as low fat meals, they may well have had most of the fat removed, but it only gets replaced by, you guessed…Sugar!
And last, but not lest…exercise.
‘Yes’ exercise as been shown to lower insulin resistance. Some studies carried out with people performing cardio exercise as revealed some surprising results. The findings concluded that Physical activity helped muscle cells use blood glucose for energy helping to reduce the glucose levels in their bloodstream.
Something else you can try – eating bitter orange it may help you lose fat faster
Bitter orange, or citrus uranium, has been used by the Chinese for many years to help stimulate digestion, treat constipation, boost energy and loosen thick, yellow phlegm.
It helps to stimulate the heart and circulation and increases metabolic rate. It’s now being marketed as a weight loss agent and an alternative to ‘Ephedra‘. Ephedra was banned, but the then overturned, but most companies have resisted put ephedra back into any of their weight loss products, because of fear of lawsuits.
Citrus uranium may be the best ‘Thermogenic‘ or energy burning substitute for ephedra. Bitter orange works by increasing the body’s metabolic rate, decrease body fat. And Canadian researchers found that bitter orange supplements increased the thermo effect of food, meaning it takes more energy to digest a meal.
Source: Obesity Research (Vol. 13, pages 1187-1119)
Below is a video by Dr. Mark Hyman bringing you the latest on Insulin Resistance and ‘How’ to treat it…
It Helps to Know What Body Type You Are ‘STOP’ Wasting Your Time!
Because if you are to become successful in ‘Building muscle’, reaching your pinnacle of fitness or simply lose weight, you need to learn how to structure your training for maximum results, and can only achieve that if you know your ‘Body type‘and ‘How’ to train it.
The same goes if you’re training with a partner, because in many cases people have no idea as to their partner’s body type. So what if they are a different body type would it be a waste of time training with them, well yes and no. Yes if you have no idea what their body type was and no if you do.
For example, if you know they were a long distant runner and you were a sprinter, then you wouldn’t train together.
But having said that it’s not impossible to train with a different body type to you, because there’s no reason why you can’t do your own thing, a training partner is there to help and support you, not do your training for you.
Last but not least, you could be eating the wrong diet for your body type. That would be catastrophe if you are trying to increase muscle size or lose weight.
WhatBody Typeare you…
Mesomorph are usually referenced as the ‘Gifted ones’, because these body types are genetically predisposed to great musculature gains, and usually very athletic looking. They have a tough, muscular physic, which is symmetric and a good posture. For a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast, this is good news! Mesomorphs are said to build muscle mass faster than most people can and to be able to lose fat rapidly when on the right diet!
It’s said that the best type of training can be achieved through heavy weight, performed explosively, with great force output, and intensity. Super-sets, Compound-sets, and giants-sets, are useful here as they can produce significant gains. Always allow proper recovery, rest, and variety, as this style of workouts can easily lead to over training!
Cardiovascular exercises should be done 2-3 times a week for about 20-30 min’s per session. Intensity wise, moderate to high for fat burning purposes. Don’t go overboard, as it is believed that Mesomorph could lose lean mass if cardio is too long or frequent!
Protein is the key, so be sure to get quality protein daily along with moderate amount of carb’s, preferably low glycemic ones and fat. Ideally, a Mesomorph should avoid weight fluctuation in order to gain or retain mass. Adopting a diet that is rich in nutritious and ‘clean’ food will help you to keep your appetite and energy level stable (satisfied) too avoid cravings.
This particular body type is generally predisposed to a higher % of body fat. Known to have a ‘soft look’, it is harder for them to trim and tone through exercises and diet. The good news is that Endomorph bone structure is wide and strong. This can be a bonus for your bodybuilding endeavour.
When choosing a type of workout, Endomorph should focus on enhancing their metabolism. Circuit training, Supersets, Compound-sets, or other similar routines, are beneficial. It is not recommended to use such heavy weights that will limit the total amount of reps to be performed. Repetition in the range of 10-15 is best. Shorter rests, about 30-60 sec max between sets are suitable to stay within your target heart rate.
Since Endomorph are said to be prone to carry extra body fat, cardiovascular training must be present and regular. If you have not train for a while, start off easy. The use of a heart rate monitor might come very handy for you here. It will allow you to keep within your target heart rate range in order to maximize fat loss.
To find your target range, take 220 minus (-) your age, and multiply (x) the result by the percentage % of exertion you aim at working out at. 30-40 minutes should also be added to include warm up and cool down session would be suitable.
We all need to eat frequent yet complete smaller meal rather than 3 square meals a day. Endomorphs are no exception to the rule! In fact, they benefit greatly from it as it is said to enhance their metabolism and keep their energy level more stable. Be sure to eat at least 5-6 meals per day. Meal replacement shakes and bars might help if you are on the go, but don’t forget to consume ‘real’ food as well.
They are ‘Hard gainers’, in other words long leg or arms, with a low % of body fat and small muscles. While some women wouldn’t find it to be a problem to have some of the characteristics of this body type, men will probably see it in a different way!
If you are an Ectomorph, you probably will benefit the most if you train with heavy weights. You will want to stimulate your muscles ‘deeply’ in order to have the training response you want to increase your muscle mass and exercises using barbells and dumbbells, will greatly help to achieve this. They allow you to use full range of motion and are said to be best at mimicking natural human body movement. By taking longer rests between sets (2-3 min), you can replenish your ATP level and lift intensively again.
Performing such workouts using heavy weight taxes your body, therefore, you will need to make sure you are resting and recovering, fully between sessions.
Ectomorph’s usually have a faster metabolism and burn their calories more rapidly, so don’t be too concern about cardiovascular training for now. Unless you wish, or have to do cardio for personal reasons, you should initially concentrate on gaining lean muscle mass through your weight training.
Remember that your nutrition is at least 70-75 % of your overall training results! So even if you are naturally thin you need to eat complete, frequent, and healthy meals/snacks. Always supplement with daily multi vitamins. There are other aids that can benefit you as well, things like amino acids, protein shakes, which will help provide you with an integrated approach to training and are yours to discover!
Now you have no excuses, you now know your body type, adjust your training to suit your body type. If your partner is of a different body type to you then discuss your training with them. Whatever the outcome remember that if your training isn’t geared to your body type then progress with be painfully slow… if any at all.
Building Big Arms Can be Tricky Because The Bicep Muscle Can…Shrink if Over-trained!
I guess I’m asked about this one about 5 or 6 times a week, and yes, yes, yes, you got to train heavy to grow. That’s right, but don’t forget to train hard with high intensity and good technique. Building Big Arms and make muscles explode, you must annihilate them in the gym, but don’t try training with poundage’s that are heavier than you can handle. If you ignore proper form, you’re going to miss the target you’re trying to hit…’Building Big Arms’!
As a rule of thumb, train at 60-80% of your one rep max. Or, put on enough poundage where you can only crank out 6-10 repsper set…at full intensity.
Which one is best for ‘Building Big Arms’ Straight or EZ bar… that’s the question?
Although the EZ bar, a shorter bar that as ‘bends’ where you grip it, is often used when people train their biceps, research as now shown that a ‘straight’ bar actually produces greater muscle activity in the ‘Biceps’.
Although one of the main roles of the biceps is to flex the elbow joint, it also rotates the palm too. In other words, if you hold your palm facing downwards, then twist it so that it faces up, the biceps is doing some of the work.
But with a straight bar, the palm is already facing up, with the EZ bar your palms are angled in slightly so they face each other. The researchers think this is one reason why the EZ bar curl reduces muscle activity in the biceps compared to using a straight bar.
Of course, the EZ bar does work other muscles well, such as the forearms and side of the upper arm. However, if you want to get maximum growth of the biceps, make sure that the straight barbell curl is used too. My favorite is doing Dumbbell curls with the palms facing forward for the whole movement, which has now been shown to be highly effective for this purpose.
Quickly pack on size building big arms with this easy-to-follow routine:
You’ll often see people in the gym training biceps for 45 minutesor more, it’s no wonder they don’t seem to add even 1/8 of an inch to their arms in a year! ‘Short’ and ‘INTENSE’ is the best training protocol for adding mass to the biceps quickly.
When it comes to packing size on your biceps, here are a few time-tested training principles you can follow:
Train them hard. To get your biceps to grow, you need to overload them by periodically training them to failure and beyond. Don’t just go through the motions, get yourself prepared and do some high intensity sets and really squeeze out every last rep.
Train them fast. If you’re primary goal is to add muscle mass to your arms, your entire biceps routine should take about 25 – 30 minutes…tops! Building muscle is not like running a marathon; it requires short, intense effort.
Let them recover. Don’t underestimate the importance of allowing your biceps to recover fully from an intense training session. If you’re really training your biceps to the max, than believe it or not, but 24or even 48hours recovery time isn’t enough healing time. Allow at least 5-7 daysbefore training them again. More is definitely not…better.
Hit them from every angle If you are serious about increasing strength and size, then you must introduce exercises that stress the bicep from every angle. Using a combination of straight bars, EZ bars, dumbbells, keeping the palms facing out, and no bouncing or swinging the weight, will ensure maximum growth.
If you’ll looking for a basic biceps routine that you can use to blast your arms to more mass quickly and effectively, then try the following. But remember the 4 principles mentioned above and you’ll be well on your way. This biceps program calls for performing just 3 sets of three exercises… 9 sets in all. After warming up your biceps with a couple of very light, to moderate weights, jump right in and train hard, fast, and with intensity.
Exercise 1: Standing Barbell Curls – These are an old standard, but are still a favourite mass builder. I suggest a fairly narrow grip-approximately 8-10 inches apart, using a slow controlled movement throughout the range of motion. Be sure to squeeze hard at the top of the movement, and for extra intensity emphasize the negative, eccentric portion of the movement. Shoot for 8-10 repswith a moderate to heavy weight.
Exercise 2: Incline Dumbbell Curls – Do this movement with both arms simultaneously rather than in an alternating manner, it cuts out cheating movements. Use only a slight incline to fully emphasize the biceps, and be sure to squeeze the biceps hard at the top of the movement; you will need to get a full stretch at the bottom position for maximum results. Work in the 8-12 rep range for 2-3 strong sets.
Exercise 3: Cable Hammer Curls with Rope – Use a rope attachment on the low cable of a pulley machine. Grasp the rope extensions with your palms facing each other. Curl the weight up to your chin, squeeze hard, and lower slowly. Two heavy sets of 8 reps each should do the trick. This one will really bring out your ‘Brachialis’ muscle too, adding overall mass to your arms. If you’re looking to add more mass to your biceps quickly, then give this simple, but very effective program a try.
If at the end of your workout your biceps aren’t fatigued then you simple haven’t worked them hard enough, you can’t move a car by simply putting your finger on its boot, the same goes for your bicep…”They must be forced to grow”.
Of course, building big arms or creating gains in strength and body size, will be that much greater when you finish your workout with a high-protein drink…it’s even better if you have a protein drink before your workout.
Braking-down Muscle Tissues They Don’t Build Muscle.
The Pump Should be The Most Singular Important Objective in Your Workout to Force Muscle Growth!
It realy doesn’t matter who’s routine you follow, or whether you do high reps with low weights, or low reps with high weights, super-setting, drop sets, or volume training, everyone who enters any gym anywhere in the world, as one thing in common…they ‘All’ pump up their muscles!!
Does the routine count or the Pump to encourage Muscle Growth
It’s very simple, because “Pumping-up you muscle(s) creates the perfect environment for muscle growth”.
Now think about it for just one moment…when you train, your training forces blood into the muscle or muscle groups you are training, it does this for two reasons. First, your muscle requires oxygen and carbohydrates to burn and fuel it through its workout. Second, then it requires protein to repair the damage done through your training. And you may be astonished to learn that muscle starts the repair procedure as soon as you start your first rep. Apart from proteins your muscles require hormones to repair and promote growth.
This perfect environment is produced when the muscle is pumped. It’s the only time when the right conditions exist and the muscles are full of all the right ingredients to promote growth, this is how ‘Exercises increase muscle size strength’!
Also, and very exciting too for the bodybuilder, when you train your muscles hard, using correct form and weight, and reaching what is known as the ‘burn’, this is lactic acid build-up in the muscle, its what’s left after the muscle burns glucose or sugars, your body responds by sending out a signal for the release of…‘Growth Hormones’ (GH). This signal is a response mechanism to the damage done to the muscle fibres to start repairing straight away.
It was only ever thought that GH was produced when you where in deep sleep, but the latest research from America as clearly shown intense training and the ‘burn’ also produces a response of GH too. So Arnold was right when he said…”no pain, no gain”.
‘How’ to increase muscle size naturally
So you want ‘Powerful’ shoulders, ‘Cannonball’ like arms, a chest to ‘Die’ for, and a physique to ‘Turn’ heads… Then stop dreaming, because anyone with the right knowledge, know how, and is prepared to‘Work hard’, can realize their dreams.
Some people, because of genetics, natural ability, strength, perfect body structure, leverage, and other factors, can use any routine and make gains, win championships and/or break records. But the average person must have a well planned out routine and use a little common sense, determination, self-believe to achieve their goals.
Again, I like to keep things as simple as possible… muscle is made up of thousands of tubular like fibres that run along the length of the muscle. When you exercise hard with heavy weights, the effort courses the fibres to breakdown. You can only breakdown so many fibres, it’s impossible to breakdown all the fibres in the muscle.
The body carries out repairs to these fibres, and when ‘fully’ repaired, the fibres become slightly thicker and stronger. The more fibres you breakdown, the quicker the muscle thickness will occur, and the stronger it will become.
As you can imagine the more fibres you can breakdown during your workout, the more growth you will obtain. Weight training is often referred to as resistance training, so make sure that you ‘Never’ allow your muscles to relax during your workout. This mains putting the ‘Resistance’ back into your training, by working your muscles to failure, the harder you work them within a 3 set routine to failure the more fibres you can effect, any more and you could be ‘Overtraing them’!
But a word of warning, after breaking down your muscle fibres, you must rest that muscle group, for a full 7 days before training them again, because that’s ‘How’ long it takes for muscles to recover…unless you’re on steroids that is.
This is the way your body works you can’t get around it. However, if you don’t rest the muscles after exercise your body won’t have the time it needs to totally repair these fibres. Should you train that muscle or muscle group before this rest period is up, you run the risk of disturbing therepair of the fibres, thus undoing all the hard work of your previous workout, in effect holding at that point in time. And if you are always re-training within this time schedule, your muscles will never get stronger or bigger…ever wondered why you don’t seem to grow?
There Are Many Reasons Why You Can’t‘Build Muscle Mass’…
Here are the most important three
Some people find it very difficult to‘Buildmuscle mass‘, but there are some common factors that seem to be common to all gyms and training venues across the world.
Let’s take a look at these 3 common factors for not building muscle mass and address their issues…
When you first go to the gym you have no idea on how to train, so you take advice or watch those around you in the gym hoping to get a clear picture. Unfortunately, for most they end up listening too or watching someone who in fact has no idea of‘what they are doing’… so the watcher ends up with the wrong information.
This sadly is an all too common occurrence in most gyms…You can’t guess at this game.
In order to move forward you must learn from those in the know, fully understanding what you have learnt, then driving it forward with commitment.
People go to the gym for all manner of reasons, to gain muscle mass, tone-up, lose weight, or to become fit. But regardless of the reasons, in order to achieve success in the gym you need to pay attention to your nutritional and diet requirements.
So don’t follow the diet plans you read about in the magazines.
‘Why’, because they are to general in nature… one size fits all.
A diet must be personalized to fit you, your body type, your nutritional needs, your calorie requirements, and fit around your training goals… increase muscle mass, fitness, toning, etc.
3. The bulking myth…
Today there are tens of thousands of people trying to gain weight, and many will be going through a procedure known as ‘bulking-up’! I’m glad to report that for some this will be a very successful campaign, but for the vast majority of people training today, this procedure will be a…disaster.
So what’s the idea behind ‘bulking-up’?
It’s well-known amongst bodybuilders that in order to increase muscle mass one has to increase your calorie intake. And for a small majority with perfect genetics this procedure is great, because they don’t run the risk of increasing their body fat and can eat until the cows come home. But in reality that doesn’t describe most of the population.
So what’s wrong with increasing body fat in order to increase muscle size?
Well in theory its sound advice, because your body doesn’t divide calories equally amongst body functions. It tends to supply calories to the most important organs first, leaving little or no calories for muscle growth, to get around this problem you increase your calorie intake. But unfortunately, for most of the bodybuilding populace this leaves them with a bigger problem to solve, ‘how’ to get rid of the excessive body fat accumulated during the bulking-up period.
Now you might say…”so what”…but in a nutshell “it’s downright stupid”!
After this bulking up period comes the diet, and it’s at this stage when everything begins to go pear shaped.
Some very important information for you to understand, ‘it’s a biological fact that when reducing (dieting) body fat, you will lose muscle volume too’; they go hand-in-hand and cannot be avoided.
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 15to 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!
Why Over training ‘Workouts‘ Are The BIGGEST …” Killer of Bodybuilders”
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-training ‘Workouts‘?
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 sugarlevels 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…
Excess fatigue or tiredness
Changes in your mood
Muscle and joint pain (does not include the mild soreness you feel after a hard workout)
A loss of appetite
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 offatigue, 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 is…no 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.
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 30minute 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 am10 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 pm250 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.
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!
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