7 Tips on How To Increase HGH Levels For Building Muscles

Hormones are typically tiny chemical messengers which help to transmit information from one part of the body to another. They are produced by different glands in the body forming the endocrine system. The muscles are basically composed of protein which is the building blocks essentially. HGH, just as the name implies, generates growth and it's a powerful driver of muscle size, fat loss and brain function. When you increase HGH levels in the body, it promotes and increases synthesis of new protein tissues. This helps with muscle recovery and muscle repair finally allowing new muscles to build. If you work out and increase your HGH levels, you will get to experience muscle mass increase.

Below are 7 tips on how to increase HGH levels for building muscle.

Training

In order to activate your HGH levels, you need to engage in training. Intense workouts, energy consuming events and long periods of physical exhaustion have been found to help in releasing more HGH. These catabolic states are known to require extra protein synthesis which is required in the case of energy consumption and fat metabolism. This helps to make up for glycogen depletion.

HGH increase helps to meet the targets of a body builder which is increase muscle mass. When working out, the body muscles do get torn. To ensure fast repair and quick generation of new muscles, increase in HGH is needed.

7 to 9 hours of sleep every night

Sleep is an important factor in everyday life and it helps to fight fatigue as well as allow the body to rest. In order to place the body in a muscle building state, adequate sleep is needed. When sleeping, protein metabolism occurs at a profitable rate which is due to a big spike in HGH release. This occurs within the first hour or so of sleep. After every four hours, small bursts of GH are secreted which means the more sleep you get, the more HGH you produce.

Engage in yoga and meditation

In today's life, which people are accredited to, it creates several challenges which lead to increase in stress levels. When one is stressed, the body quickly releases cortisol, a hormone that causes damage to the muscles. This leads to testosterone levels reducing which decreases the secret of GH. When you engage in a stress reducing activity like meditation or yoga, you will help manage the negative effects about about stress.

Have a protein / carbohydrates drink

An hour after engaging in a workout, you need to drink a protein / carbohydrates drink. A post work out drink is very important especially if you want to build muscles. When you consume a high quality and fast digesting protein after a workout, it allows for proper building blocks to be in plenty. When you add carbs into the mix, you help to spike insulin levels which transport muscle building levels directly into the muscle cells.

This helps to jump start repair and growth of muscles finally increasing muscle mass for you.

Do not eat 2 to 3 hours before sleep

When going to bed, it's important to keep your insulin levels as low as possible. This helps to ensure that you get to increase your HGH production levels. This is because when insulin levels are high, your HGH levels are low while insulin levels are low; your HGH levels are high.

The one thing you need to remember is the difference between insulin and blood sugar levels. When you control your blood sugar levels, it has to do more with fat burning and muscle building. This is because anything you eat causes your body to release more insulin especially when you consume proteins.

Eliminate intake of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol

If you want to ensure that you are super anabolic, you need to eliminate alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. According to medical experts, alcohol has been found to interfer with protein synthesis which reduces testosterone levels as well as GH secretions and reduces insulin sensitivity. Caffeine and other drugs have been found to increase cortisol levels which lower testosterone production.

Lose weight

When you are obese, the higher levels of insulin you have. Your body will probably become insulin resistant which means that it will not be doing a good job of getting rid of excess insulin. This also means that your insulin sensitivity levels will be affected therefore preventing muscle mass increase. To ensure high HGH levels and better health, you need to lose weight.

Final Thoughts

When working out or when involved in athletics or other sports activities, your muscles do get torn. In order to ensure that your muscle mass increases, you need to increase your HGH levels. Thanks to HGH, muscles can be repaired quickly and new tissues regenerated. While the body already produces GH, it's important to increase the levels to ensure muscle mass increase. This helps to ensure a better looking body quickly and naturally.

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5 Useful Tips On How To Gain Weight Fast

If you're all skin and bones and want to know how to gain weight fast , then these 5 tips will help you add some flesh and muscle to your frame.

While it may not seem appropriate, gaining weight is just as difficult as losing weight. Those who are skinny or thin are that way for a reason. They eat less than normal, or have such a high metabolic rate that they burn off all extra calories, leaving little or nothing to build their body on.

So how to gain weight fast if you're a fast burner who can not seem to eat your way to more muscle? The standard advice to eat fatty or sugar-rich food is not effective. The reason is that the extra calories in these diets tend to be deposited on your body in the form of unhealthy fat rather than solid muscle.

The best way to gain weight is to eat food rich in calories as well as protein. That's the right approach to get adequate nutrition while providing your body with the substrate required to build muscle. Your food must be rich in protein and include moderate amounts of carbohydrates and fat.

Here are 5 tips to put on weight the healthy and natural way.

1. Avoid snacking in between meals . Have just 3 large meals daily. Include starchy food like potatoes, pasta and bread in your diet. But do not eat chips, crisps and other fried snacks that only provide empty calories. They not only help you gain weight, but they are also bad for your health.

2. Eat eggs and lean meat. Chicken and turkey are excellent sources of animal protein. Legumes, beans and peas are good sources of plant protein for vegetarians. By combining protein-rich food with carbs and vegetables you can plan a balanced and healthy diet.

3. Take dietary supplements. Protein shakes and whey drinks provide a boost of protein and amino acids in the immediate post-workout period. By taking these building blocks of muscle growth, you will quickly bulk up and become stronger.

4. Exercise lightly. This improves your appetite and you'll be able to eat more calories. Training with weights helps develop muscles while also making you hungrier.

5. Eat multiple meals daily. Some people find that they may have to eat 6 or 8 times in a day in order to gain weight. This is important when you work on strength training. This increases calorie consumption, and you must focus on eating more than you burn off in order to gain weight.

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How To Build Muscle Without Making Mistakes

How to build muscle ? The question is asked in many different forms by bodybuilders around the world. And the reason is not hard to imagine. There are so many myths floating around that it is easy to get misled and make serious mistakes which can be harmful or delay your bodybuilding journey.

Here are some elementary bodybuilding mistakes made by beginners.

1. Combination Exercises

There are a few enthusiastic beginners who keep pumping iron for hours and hours, but getting now. Their endless biceps curls are not creating as much impact as another who is spending less time on exercises. The reason is that repeating the wrong exercise for a longer time is not effective.

The first step is to write down a list of all the exercises in your workout, including the number of reps of each. When it comes down to how to build muscle, those exercise routines like push ups and squats that work multiple groups will simultaneously be better at gaining muscle bulk. Isolated single muscle group exercises should make up less than 40% of any workout.

2. Not Playing Games

How to build muscle faster? Stop playing games. Maybe you love tennis or soccer or hockey and do not miss a chance to play when you have spare time. But it is important to remember that doing this impairs your chance to build up muscle mass.

When you workout for building muscle, the tired and recovering muscle groups need rest and relaxation along with adequate fuel to replenish energy sources and increase in size. By playing games or engaging in other activities that stress the fatigued muscle, you are slowing down rate of growth and diverting calories to other activities than increasing bulk.

3. Stop Smoking and Drinking

Many beginner bodybuilders are averse to giving up their recreational activities like smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. Smoking increases blood levels of carbon monoxide which impairs oxygen delivery to muscles during exercise. Without adequate supplies of oxygen, the tissue chokes and is unable to perform well during exercise.

Alcohol increases fatty acid levels in blood and the extra fat often gets deposited as a layer over the abdominal muscles. Drinking also reduces testosterone levels, indirectly inhibiting muscle growth. So give up smoking and drinking to enjoy muscle growth.

4. Eat The Right Food

You need plenty of calories to build muscle. Eat shortly before and immediately after a workout so that your recovering muscles have adequate sources of energy to recover and grow in size. Exercise uses up the stores of glycogen from muscle cells. Replenishing these stores by eating a balanced diet helps muscle growth.

The best types of food to eat before and after a workout session are eggs, chicken or turkey, milk, fish, protein shakes, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Muscle Building Diet – What To Eat?

It is not unusual for bodybuilders to binge eat while on a muscle building diet . The hope is that if they eat a lot, they'll magically bulk up. It's possible that might happen, but more likely that they will add fat more than muscle.

A shotgun approach to gain muscle does not work as well as a formal and structured muscle building diet. These diets will help achieve the twin goals of burning off excess fat and building muscle. A nice benefit is that it will accomplish this faster and more efficiently.

By knowing what food to eat and how much to eat, it is more likely that a bodybuilder will burn off fat and add muscle right from the beginning. An effective muscle building diet must be based on the right kind of muscle building foods. Here are 4 of the best types:

1. Egg Whites

Egg white is rich in protein. What makes this form of protein more efficient at muscle growth than other vegetable protein is the high biological value. That's why egg whites are included in most muscle building diets. The protein in egg white becomes the building block for other, more complex proteins that make up muscle. As an additional benefit, eggs are rich in minerals and vitamins as well.

2. Chicken and Turkey

Lean meats are an excellent source of muscle building proteins. This source of animal protein is of high quality. Lean meat also has less saturated fat, making it healthier to eat even for dieters with medical conditions. Other forms of animal protein are also acceptable alternatives to chicken and turkey.

3. Fish

Fish is considered to have a higher content of fatty acids, but is still a good choice for muscle building diets. The reason to prefer fish over red meat is the quality of fat. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish oil, and these essential fats are important in helping the synthesis of protein in muscle. For this effect, the ideal types of fish are tuna, salmon and trout.

4. Some types of Carbs

A bodybuilding diet is traditionally considered to be made up of proteins alone. But for a balanced diet, carbs and fats are also necessary. Carbs provide energy to muscles while exercising, and help replenish reserves of glycogen.

Foods rich in carbs like sweet potatoes and oats are helpful in muscle building when consumed just before a workout. Complex carbohydrates that are digested more slowly provide a sustained level of blood sugar which serves as a consistent energy source for muscular activity.

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How To Gain Muscle Fast

How to gain muscle ? The answer is obvious. You should exercise regularly. But how to gain muscle fast? That's a harder question to answer – and the answer is not quite as obvious.

It may seem as if the best way to bulk up quickly is to do more intense workouts. After all, every time you hit the gym, you feel that rush of blood and your muscles suddenly look larger. It's stimulating and gets you excited about returning for another session soon.

But when you drink a protein shake after your workout, there's no such buzz or feeling of excitement. Does this mean a protein supplement is not important to gain muscle fast? It most definitely is important, because if you want your muscles to grow bigger after exercise, you must feed it the material needed to build more muscle.

What foods can help you gain muscle?

Broadly speaking, more carbohydrates and protein is better for body building. Starchy food that is rich in carbs should be eaten just before or after exercise, when your body needs more calories.

Here are 4 more things to watch while planning your bodybuilding diet.

1. Eat more calories

Your muscles need energy to perform the exercises which make up your workout routine, and some extra energy to grow bigger. So you should know what to eat if you want to gain muscle fast.

But be careful about the type of food you eat. Processed foods and junk food are harmful and should be avoided. Choose healthy alternatives. Whole grain, vegetables and fruits are excellent options. While eating more calories is important to build muscle, do not go overboard. Eating too many calories is not good when you're trying to gain muscle quickly.

2. Consume more protein

The building blocks of muscle are amino-acids which are obtained from the digestion of protein in food. That's why protein is essential to gain muscle fast. Most meals should include protein if bodybuilding and muscle growth is a goal. On average, it takes 1 to 2 grams of protein in diet to gain a pound in weight.

There are several excellent sources of protein including egg whites, soy products, chicken and salmon.

3. Drink plenty of water

Many bodybuilders underestimate the role of water in building muscle. It is important to stay hydrated while exercising. The daily recommended intake of water is at least 2 liters.

Coffee and other caffeine drinks, soda, cola and fizzy drinks are not desirable as they produce dehydration. Plain water is the best choice, as it hydrates the body neatly without adding empty calories from sugar in soft drinks. Water even cleanses the body of metabolic waste products.

4. Eat more frequently

To gain muscle fast, calorie take is vital. But it can be difficult to consume the total amount of food you require in 2 or 3 sittings. That's why it is best to split up the daily consumption into multiple small meals that are eaten at regular intervals through the day.

The other benefit of eating smaller quantities at more frequent intervals is that blood sugar levels are maintained at a uniform level rather than shooting up in spikes during meal times.

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Why Is Natural Bodybuilding So Appealing?

Natural bodybuilding means gaining muscle without using accessories like drugs or dietary supplements to bulk up.

For centuries, bodybuilders have pushed the envelope in their quest for bigger, stronger muscles. Some were even willing to risk safety and health by using drugs and supplements to add bulk to their physique, without caring about the long-term effects of such practices on their body and health.

In the modern era, this trend still remains but has been overshadowed by the move towards safe and healthy bodybuilding. Natural bodybuilding happens without the need for drugs that enhance performance or food supplements that alter metabolism.

So what are the staples of natural body building?

1. Exercise

2. Nutrition

There is no role in this model for injecting materials that are the substrate for muscle development, or taking hormones like anabolic steroids that assist the body in diverting the building blocks of muscle growth to the appropriate areas that the bodybuilder wants to develop.

Natural bodybuilding is a rather exclusive term with strict definitions. Let's say one starts out with exercise and good nutrition alone, achieves muscle gain, and then hits a plateau. If that person now resorts to a brief period of dietary supplements or other artificial aids to further muscle gain, the term “natural body building” no longer applies. They are disqualified!

Are no aids or accessories allowed?

Equipment, tools and machines that will help build muscle are a part of natural bodybuilding programs. Training routines often require specific types of equipment for exercising. That does not make it “artificial” bodybuilding. Even certain kinds of “supplements” are allowed without violating the rigid guidelines that determine if a program is natural or not.

What matters is adhering to the principle of developing muscles without having to seek artificial aids or unhealthy performance enhancers along the way.

Why is all bodybuilding not natural?

There are different reasons for wanting to gain muscle. In many cases, it is a competitive instinct. Whether bodybuilders workout as a sport, to participate in contests, or just to look better than their peers, this competitive instinct drives them to seek results. And in professional bodybuilding, such results translate into financial advantages because prize money that's at stake in contests and competition is often significant.

When natural attempts at building muscle stall at a certain point, there is a temptation to try other methods to accelerate growth. Of course, persisting with the natural approach will eventually achieve this same goal, but it takes time, persistence and sustained effort. The lure of taking a pill or injection or drink that will help get over the bump often seems attractive.

There are several body building workouts and diets designed specifically to help those devoted to the natural approach. And the intensive use of these resources indicates that there is still a sizable number of bodybuilders who continue to shun artificial boosters for muscle gain.

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What Are the Elements of an Effective Bodybuilding Diet?

A bodybuilding diet is what is most important for muscle gain after exercise workouts. Eating right is a high priority for serious bodybuilders. Measuring calories and watching the kinds of food they eat can ensure that muscle gain takes place without piling on undesirable fat.

Here are some rules that will help with a bodybuilding diet plan:

1. Ensure adequate hydration

Drinking water during and after workouts helps avoid dehydration. In typical weather conditions, a bodybuilder will need to drink 2 liters of water every day.

Sugary soft drinks and alcohol are best avoided. The extra calories will add to fat stores and the osmotic effect of the concentrated solutions will further worsen dehydration. The body's immunity and defenses will also be adversely impacted.

2. Calculate carb intake

As most bodybuilders are aware, there are two kinds of carbs – starchy and non-starchy.

Starchy carbohydrates are quickly and easily digested. They lead to an instant spike in blood glucose levels. Examples of starchy carbs are rice, bread and pasta.

Non-starchy carbs, on the other hand, are digested and absorbed more gradually. Blood sugar levels rise slowly to a peak and fall just as slowly afterwards. Non-starchy carbs are found in vegetables and fruits.

An effective bodybuilding diet will include the right proportion of both starchy and non-starchy carbs. The kind of carbs you eat is not quite as important as how much of each kind you consume. Starchy carbs are best immediately before and shortly after working out, when the body needs a sudden boost in calories. For other meals, it is better to eat non-starchy carbs.

3. Cut down on condiments

Salt and sugar are such an essential part of regular cooking that one one hardly thinks about them. But for a bodybuilding diet, it is important to watch salt and sugar intake.

Reducing the amount of salt in food is desirable. And sugar intake should be drastically cut. If sweetening food and drinks is important, alternative options like sweeteners or stevia are preferred.

4. Avoid processed foods

For any bodybuilding plan, it is important to eat only nutritious food that is also healthy. Anything that is sold in a box, carton or bag is processed, and therefore not very healthy.

During the processing, all healthy nutrients are leached out of foodstuffs. What's left behind is empty calories and saturated fats which can be harmful. The simplest approach is to avoid them and eat fresh, raw food or prepare meals from such ingredients.

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Building Muscle With Exercise Machines or Free Weights

If you are thinking about getting into shape, strength training is a good way to improve the different muscle groups in the body. There are loads of different machines that can help. You can either go to the gym or workout at home.

If you want to get the best workout it is good to know if exercise machines are better than free weights or vice versa. They both have advantages as well as disadvantages, so it is worth figuring out what would fit your muscle building needs.

Today free weights such as dumbbells are often a single weight and made in one piece. However, barbells have a bar with weights that can be removed or added to the bar.

Barbells tend to be less expensive but can take some time away from your routine if you have to stop and add or replace weights.

When it comes to exercise machines, weight stack machines can either be single exercise or multiple. The multiple machine can be adjusted so you can perform a variety of exercises.

The good news about free weights is that they will be able to help you strengthen the entire body . The exercises are also fairly easy to perform.

With free weights you just need to stand while holding the weights. Since your muscles are involved in lifting the weight, your muscle strength is improved.

However, there is an advantage when using machines to train your muscles. They are easy to use and come with controls and guides that direct the resistance level.

You also do not need anyone to spot you which you should have when lifting barbells.

Also you can easily make adjustments on the machines making them very popular for at home workouts or at the gym.

With free weights there is a concern for safety. Performing a bench press with a barbell means that you could be trapped if you fail to complete the lift. Since this is possible, working out with someone is important.

You might also want to keep in mind the amount of control needed to stabilize your muscles. This is needed so that you do not injure your joints or muscles.

There are a number of resistance machines on the market and they all have different qualities. They are often designed for the typical user which means height, limb lengths and how much a person weights.

You should know that the when exercising the motion is guided by the machine and not you. Often this means that the motion is not perfect for your limb length or your body size. The result could mean that you are not getting the best form of exercise for the results you seek.

All in all it is a personal choice when it comes to choosing between free weights and exercise machines . However, free weights can be better for achieving stabilization of the muscles and as well there is freedom in your motions. Exercise machines on the other hand are easy to use.

Whatever form of exercise you decide to use to build your muscles , consider your fitness goals first and then decide. You might also consider doing a combination of both types of weighed exercises.

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Creatine Myth Vs Fact

So you just got into lifting weights and you've heard all the hype around this powdery substance called creatine. Should you take it? Is it worth the hype people are putting around this product? Or is it something that does not really have any added benefits? Let's find out.

What exactly is creatine?

It is a compound that is formed in protein metabolism and is in much of our living tissue. It is involved in supplying energy for muscular contracting which, in turn, increases the body's ability to produce energy rapidly. It normally comes in a powdered substance that can be flavored for you to mix with your drink.

Benefits of using creatine:

• Improves strength
• Enhances muscle and size
• Helps with recovery
• Helps with brain function

As we all know, with supplementation comes a risk of benefits we did not ask for while using them and creatine has been one to have much controversy over the years. It has been viewed as potentially harmful however, if we use this supplement correctly, all is well.

Things that are not so great about creatine:

• You'll gain weight (do not worry it's nothing crazy, it's mostly just water and then slowly it'll be more muscle mass)
• Some people have reported having: heart problems, cramps, and diarrhea. These are not necessarily related to creatine, but it could be a combination of other things that have caused these types of issues.

For instance, too much iron leads to stomach problems which could be causing the cramping and other stomach issues someone may be experiencing.

What type of creatine should you take?

Powdered creatine is what my recommendation would be because it has personally worked for me in the past. Liquid forms of creatine are shown to break down in your blood system which is defeating the purpose. If you're purchasing creatine, my recommendation is to buy the 100% pure creatine. Sure some companies have additives with electrolytes etc. but what worked for me was mixing the pure creatine powder with some type of sugary juice (I used sugary Gatorade). I'm sure you're saying what? I thought you wanted me to avoid sugar ?! This is true however, when taking creatine, the supplement works best when mixed with sugar because it increases insulin levels that help increase the amount of creatine in the muscles resulting in growth.

Myth's about creatine:

• The more you take the better. False. It has been proven that lower doses of creatine are actually more beneficial than ingesting it as a loading dose.

• Creatine in liquid form is the best option. FALSE. Like I said earlier, creatine is best taken in a powder form due to the fact that when taken in liquid form, you may not even be getting any creatine in your system at all.

• Creatine is linked to kidney and liver damage. This is also false. Studies on long term use of creatine have proven that there are no effects on the liver or kidneys.

I'm not here to promote creatine in any way nor am telling you to avoid this supplement. I am simply informing you about a product that I previously took in the past and that it has worked for me. I stopped taking creatine after about six months or so due to the fact that I was retaining a lot of water weight but not because I experienced any sort of symptoms that were harmful. I grow muscle quite quickly so creatine is not a necessity when it comes to my supplement take.

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How Can A Skinny Guy Get Bigger?

Growing up I was always the little guy. I was the little guy on the playground in grade school. I was the little guy in high school. It looked like I would never grow, put on weight and end the life of being skinny.

The odd thing was that I ate plenty of food. I ate three big meals a day and even added a few snacks in between. Later though I discovered that what I was eating was not going to help a skinny guy get bigger.

My Monster Brother

Shortly after high school, I was about 5'8 and weighed around 120 pounds. I was skinny to say the least. Not only was I skinny, but I was sick of being skinny.

As it turns out, my brother was an avid weightlifter. He was not just any weightlifter either. He was a huge weightlifter. He was about 5'8 and weighed almost 240 pounds … and it was not fat either.

I sat down with my brother and asked him directly, how can a skinny guy get bigger? Heck, by this point I did not even know if it was possible. Because up until this point nothing I tried had ever worked.

After a little discussion, my brother promised me that it was not an impossible task for me to grow in size and he had a workout plan that could help any skinny guy get bigger.

The Workout

I had gone to the gym plenty of times in high school. The problem was I did not go consistently, which is a must when trying to get bigger. Also, I did not know how to work out in terms of which exercises to do and how often I should be working out, etc. This is where my brother's plan really came into play.

The funny thing is that like like a lot of people, I had always assumed that in order to workout correctly, you had to spend hours and hours in the gym every single day. Well, maybe collectively you spent hours in the gym, but for a single workout you only needed to spend approximately 50 minutes in the gym four times a week.

The workout my brother gave me involved training two body parts a day and four exercises per body part. For the most part each exercise included a warm up set and three heavy sets. – This came to a total of eight exercises.

As far as workout frequency, I was to work out two days, take a day off and then workout two more days before taking the last two days off. The body needs time to rest in order to grow.

On day one I would work chest and triceps. On day two I would work my legs. For day three I would simply rest and take time to recover. Day four I would work my back and my biceps and on day five I would work and triceps. Days six and seven it was back to rest and recovery. Then it would start all over.

Workout Diet

How can a skinny guy get bigger by eating anything? Well, he can not. In order to add quality weight like muscle, skinny guys should eat five meals a day. They should take in 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. So if a guy weighs 100 pounds, he will need to eat 150 grams of protein every day. This means that per meal he should have 30 grams of protein.

In order to take in sufficient protein, the daily diet should be supplemented with protein powder and protein bars. Other meals should consist of fish, chicken, beef, vegetables and complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal.

Note, diet is extremely important if you are looking to add mass. No matter how hard you are working out, if you are not taking in enough of the right calories, you will not grow.

So how can a skinny guy get bigger? Well a skinny guy can get bigger by consistently following a workout plan and consistently staying on the right eating schedule. It takes discipline to achieve goals with any workout plan.

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5 Amazing Shoulder Workouts

Having those firm, rounded, toned shoulders is not the easiest task in the world especially if you really do not know exactly what to do. Being pregnant has completely changed my workout routine in what I can and can not do so I do a lot of high repetitions with low weight. To indeed truly rounded, defined shoulders you need to hit your deltoids, upper trapezius, serratus anterior, rotator cuff muscles, and levator scapulae. I have compiled a list of my favorite shoulder workouts to help you get started on your quest for more defined shoulders so let's get started.

1) Seated Shoulder Press

While being imprisoned on a military press bench that is in an upright position, take a dumbbell in each hand and set in an upright position on your thighs. Lift each weight (one at a time is best) to shoulder height and with palms facing front, push the dumbbells upward over your head until they touch at the top.

2) Standing Dumbbell Fly

While standing, hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides and swing the weights up a few inches without using your trap muscles to shrug.

3) Cable Face Pull

Using a rope handle to use at the cable station, put the cable all the way to the top and attach the handle. Holding the end of each rope, make sure palms are facing each other, and pull toward your forehead with your rear delts, and back fully activated. Hold this position for a few extra seconds and repeat.

4) One Armed Side Lateral Raises

Holding a dumbbell, position it in front of your pelvis with your elbow bent slightly. With your free hand, hold onto something such as the military bench for support and bend over with knees slightly bent. Raise your arm until it reaches shoulder height and then lower and repeat.

5) Front Plate Raise

Standing with your legs apart, hold onto the plate with both hands and raise until your arms are parallel to the ground. I do these with a ten pound plate and I do these slow and controlled to really feel my shoulders burn. Another tip for doing these raises is to not use your body to hoist the plate into the air taking the emphasis off the actual muscle your working out.

These are just a few workouts I do on shoulder days however, there's many more to choose from depending on what your goals are. Rounding out your shoulders takes time and plenty of effort so be patient when your waiting to see those results finally pay off.

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How Much Is Too Much Protein?

Everyone has the mindset where we believe that the more protein the better right? But in this case, is more really better after a workout? We have all been there when you've just finished a workout and the first thing you know you're supposed to ingest is protein and lots of it! We want to maximize our protein synthesis and build our lean muscle so we believe that ingesting protein in large quantities will benefit us. I mean, protein helps build muscle and extremely that's what was aiming for is not it? I know I've gone home from the gym and had more than enough protein to fill up two grown men because I thought that it would give me the muscles I was dreaming about why, new research shows that too much protein could actually be bad for you.

There's a study called “Myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis rates subsequent to a meal in response to increasing doses of whey protein at rest and after resistance exercise” which states that 40 grams of protein after a workout is actually not beneficial whereas 20 grams seems to be the perfect amount. This study tested young men after a weight training workout with both 20 grams of protein and 40 grams. 40 grams of protein resulated in a stimulation of amino acid oxidation and ureagenesis which, in other words, did not add any extra benefits however, the 20 gram protein intake did.

Let's back up for a minute and go over what protein really is. Proteins are large molecules made up of smaller molecules called amino acids. There are 20 different types of these acids used to make protein. When you eat protein, your body does a breakdown of these amino's and sends them where your body is in need of them the most. Protein's main job is to build, maintain and repair body tissues. Eating too much protein can have a major effect on your kidneys causing a whole list of issues so ladies and gentlemen, protein in moderation is key.

By not consuming too much protein, your body extremely focuses on burning FAT for fuel instead of the excess protein you keep ingesting thinking your doing your body good when you're actually hindering it.

So what's the verdict? Consume about 20 grams of protein in 5 meals throughout the day and that should work perfectly to activate protein synthesis. Consuming protein after an intestinal lifting session may amplify your results and increase your recovery time, it does not make or break your lifting in the gym. Focus on the whole, big picture of your nutrition and training approach which includes eating enough calories throughout the day along with the correct amount of protein. My suggestion is to consume a meal, either whole-food or in a liquid form, within an hour after your workout and be sure it contains both fast digesting carbs and protein. Happy lifting!

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What You Should Eat to Get a Lean Body in 2016 to Transform Your Life – The Complete List

Many people ask me what should we eat to get a lean body. There is a lot of confusion what we should eat and what we should avoid. Let us clear this doubt and get a healthy and an active life.

Great Protein Resources

Protein is the building block of our body. It provides energy, builds muscles, gives amino acids which are required by the body for various functions. So it is essential to include 20-30 grams of protein in each meal we eat. Protein in our meal will improve body composition, help in weight loss and help in weight maintenance. Below are some good sources of protein.

Whole Eggs

Whole eggs including yolks are great sources of protein. Make sure to include yolk as it is the healthiest part of egg and provides all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Egg yolk consist 90% of calcium, iron, zinc, B6, B12, phosphorus, folate and panthothenic acids. It also contains all of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as all of the essential fatty acids. Make sure to choose free range organic eggs instead of grocery store eggs. If you are forced to choose from grocery then choose organic, free-range which are better than typical factory farmed eggs.

Wild caught Fish

Why wild caught fish?

Wild caught fish are essentially healthier than farm fish which are fed a grain based diet and kept in pens. Wild caught fish have significantly higher levels of the essential fatty acid omega 3, which has potentially positive effects in your body. These omega-3 fatty acids help in fat loss and build muscles. Other benefit includes healthy heart, healthy brain and healthy joint.

Free Range chicken breasts

Why to choose free range chicken?

Most of us know that chicken that are raised in factories are given antibiotics and hormones to fatten up as soon as possible. Also they are strictly free to move which is not healthy. On the other hand free range chicken is allowed to freely move and eats natural bugs and gets proper sun and air.

They eat more of their natural diet, including the things that keep the good fat ratios between omega 3 and omega 6.

Grass-fed meats

Choose grass fed meats because they have more beta-carotene, vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids than produced using conventional cattle-feeding strategies. Grass-fed meat has been shown to aid in fat burning and muscle building processes.

Great Carbohydrates

Whole Wheat

Gluten free Brown rice (Not white Rice)

Brown rice pasta

Carbohydrates provide us energy for daily activities. Use brown instead of white (white is poison). Carbohydrates are less encouraged for lean body as they are converted to fat. Use them after having work outs for building body or on cheat days.

Note: Cheat days: On the cheat days you can eat anything with little precaution. Once a week, have a cheat day.

Great Vegetables

Onions, Spinach, Broccoli, Red Peppers, Fresh Mushrooms, Zucchini, cilantro, Frozen veggies, Cauliflower, Cabbage.

Buy vegetables from your local farmers which are better than bought from grocery shops which are shipped from many miles across the country. Organic vegetables are great as they have few pesticides, herbicides and preservatives on them, because it does not come from a huge factory farm, making them far, far healthier for you.

Use green vegetables as much as possible.

Greens

Baby greens, Dark green leaf lettuce, Red leaf lettuce, Arugula, Romaine, Organic baby spinach, Kale

Leafy green vegetables are the ideal for lean body food, as they are very low in calories. These leafy greens deliver a bonanza of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phyto-nutrients. They are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease since they are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamins K, C, E, and many of the vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Green vegetables like Cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and broccoli are rich in natural chemicals called indoles and isothiocyanates, which protects against cancer.

Green leafy provides vitamin K. It is super beneficial as it regulates blood clotting, puts calcium in bones not in blood stream, regulates inflammation and helps in protecting from inflammatory diseases including arthritis.

Arugula has a super-high nutrient density and a delicious nutty, spicy flavor. Kale and collard greens are the most common examples of hearty greens.

Spinach is best known in this category. So eat as much as possible.

Great Dairy Food

Grass Fed Milk

Why grass fed milk?

These days we get pasteurized milk from grocery stores which is heated to the point that most of vital enzymes, nutrients are killed, the milk proteins are detected from heat that's why it is very hard to digest and causes allergic reactions. Also commercially manufactured milk from the cattle's which are fed antibiotics and hormones to produce more milk. So use raw milk instead of pasteurized.

Unpasteurized and unhomogenized from healthy grass-fed cows is the only source of milk that can be considered healthy. Clean raw milk, cheese, and butter from grass-fed cows are a complete and properly balanced food.

Raw milk contains essential amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats such as CLA which helps in building our muscles and burns fat. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein. So drinking a glass of raw milk is good for your teeth as well as the rest of your body.

Coconut milk

Use coconut milk instead of pasteurized milk from grocery shops. It is far better than pasteurized milk. Add coconut milk to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt for a rich, creamy taste. It is full of healthy saturated fats such as medium chain triglycerides.

Grass fed Butter

What to choose margarines or butter?

Margarines are pure junk and should not be consumed because it is major source of harmful trans fat, produced by highly refined inflammatory vegetables at high temperature, high pressure and with use of petroleum solvents. It is closely related to inedible industrial oil rather than something that should be thought of as food.

On other hand butter is a completely natural food that is essential to your health, especially when you eat organic, grass fed butter. It is high in vitamins, minerals and other power-packed nutrients.

Butter contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a powerful fat burner, muscles builder, anti-cancer agent and immunity booster. It provides quick endurance energy.

So do not restrict yourself from eating grass fat butter. Also do not restrict yourself from eating Cottage Cheese, Ricotta cheese.

Coconut Oil, Olive oil, Krill oil

Replace canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and safflower oil with coconut oil, Olive or Krill oil. Coconut oil is preferred by athletes, body builders and by those who are dieting. The main reason behind is that coconut oils are made up mostly of unique healthy saturated fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are mostly converted into energy and is healthy for heart and arteries. It boosts energy, endurance and improvements the athletic performance.

Coconut oil helps in reducing body fat. It contains short and medium chain fatty acids which improves body's metabolism. So enjoy your butter, coconut oil, olive, krill oil and feel good about it!

Fresh Berries, Frozen Berries

Frozen blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, cherries

Eat organic berries instead of non organic berries which are one of the highest sprayed crops and since strawberries really have no skin or rind, they soak up all those pesticides and herbicides. Even washing will not get rid of that.

Berries are a power house of nutrition, packed with vitamins and minerals, and also some of the best sources of antioxidants of any food in existence. Berries are great source of fibers which slows your carbohydrates absorption and digestion, and controls blood sugar levels to help prevent insulin spikes, making berries a great super food for fat loss and a lean body.

A cup of strawberries contains over 100 mg of vitamin C, which is better than orange juice. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and helps build strong connective tissue.

So eat fresh berries as much as possible. Other frozen berries also good if fresh berries are not available. The pigments in berries that create the bright colors are also good for your health. Berries contain potent phytochemicals and flavonoids that may help to prevent cancer, reduce heart disease risk, and protect skin from damage. Blueberries and raspberries also contain lutein, which is important for healthy vision.

Great Crackers

Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios, Nut Butters

Can high fat foods help in losing extra body fats? The answer is yes. Good fats help in reducing your body fats.

Almonds and walnuts top the list in nutrition, but other nuts are healthy, too, including pistachios, pecans and cashews.

Many studies have shown that people who include reasonable amount of nuts in their diet actually lose more weight than those do not include. Nuts are great snacks.

Only thing you have to remember is do not overeate because they are so tasty that we do not stop eating 5-10 nuts but go for 30-50. So do not overeat. Protein and fat in nuts helps you feel fuller and stops cravings and since nuts have no sugar. They do not put you in weight gaining cycle.

Nuts contain significant amounts of vitamin E which is an antioxidant, fiber and protein, which of course, you know helps to control blood sugar and can aid in weight loss.

Eating pistachios daily is great for your vision. Pistachios are also high in protein, making a satisfying snack.

Do not eat roasted and salted nuts, as these often have unhealthy cottonseed or soybean oils added, thus canceling out the many of the health effects of the nuts.

Add almond butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, or macadamia butter to add variety to your diet and make it easier to get more of the quality nutrition of nuts into your diet.

Great Fruits

Avocados, Kiwi

People try to avoid avocados because they are high in fat but we already discussed all fats are not bad. Avocados are power-packed super food. Not only is this fruit super high in mono unsaturated fat, but also full of vitamins, minerals, micro nutrients, and antioxidants. Avocados contain plenty of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that helps lower cholesterol and is helpful in preventing breast cancer and other forms of cancer. Potassium present in avocados helps in regulating blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke. Avocados help in fat loss and muscles building. The healthy fat content in avocados helps control insulin levels, makes you feel full longer and takes away junk food cravings. These are great snacks.

Avocados are also a very concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein which is good for eye health. Kiwis are a full pack of nutrients. Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as a very good source of copper and dietary fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin E, potassium, folate, and manganese.

Other Fruits

Apples, Cherries, Grapes, Chile, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, Strawberries, Bell peppers, Celery, Bananas, Mangos, Papaya, Pineapples

Antioxidants Tea

Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Herbal Tea, Black Tea

Teas are great antioxidants. Best benefits start with 2-3 cups of tea a day. Not into hot liquids? Make some up and pour it over ice with a little stevia to sweeten it up.

Studies conducted on green tea found that it helps in weight loss and glucose regulation. Green tea is a source of caffeine and is a decent fat burner with a well-established track record. It improves your metabolic rate.

It keeps your blood sugar level stable, you cut down on your insulin response that in turn, means more controlled appetite and less stored fat.

Oolong Tea, Herbal Tea, Black Tea are also great antioxidants and come from same tea as green tea. Oolong and Black are less studied but give great benefits like green tea.

So try mixing up these teas according to your tastes. There are many benefits as increased metabolism, a positive effect on blood sugar and insulin regulation, and the inhibitory of certain enzymes, which are required for the processing of carbohydrates and fats. It also has been shown to lower LDL levels (that's the “bad” cholesterol) as well as triglyceride levels.

Sweeteners

Stevia, Raw honey, Real Maple Syrup, Blackstrap molasses

Our craving for sweets often ruptures our program of becoming healthy and getting lean body. We tend to eat cookies, cakes, and a scoop of ice cream. These are pure sugar and sometimes high fructose corn syrups.

So avoid these sugary items and artificial sweeteners which are loaded into many foods marketed as healthy foods but in reality they are culprit of gain gain in long term.

There are many good and healthy sweeteners like stevia, raw honey and real maple syrup.

Raw honey can actually improve your body's ability to process glucose. On the other hand, refined sugar negatively affects your body's ability to process glucose over time. Honey contains vitamin B2, B6 and good source of antioxidants. Consuming just a spoonful of honey each day can raise the antioxidant levels in our bodies and it is also the healthiest natural sweetener available for those with Type 2 Diabetes.

Real Maple Syrup is a great replacement of sugar like honey but it should be pure, natural maple.

Stevia is a natural sweetener and calorie-free. Stevia comes from the leaves of a shrub native to Paraguay and Brazil. Stevia is about three hundred times sweeter than sugar, and has all the benefits of a sweetener without being bad for you or fattening. It's really natural and it does not affect your health like artificial sweeteners. So remove not-so-natural Splenda and NutraSweet chemical artificial sweeteners from your list.

Sauces

Tomato sauces, Salsa sauces

Sweets

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolates are made up from the beans of cacao tree. Cacao is full of Flavonoids which are known for antioxidants. Eat 1-2 pieces of dark chocolate after meals.

Everyone needs a sweet to satisfy treat. Dark chocolates can fill the gap. One of the major reasons the diet fails because you end up feeling stripped.

You can make your diet plan successful by indulging chocolates in small amounts, once in a while. Integrating chocolate and other foods you enjoy, in small doses, can help you make your new lean and easy to incorporate into your daily life without feeling stripped.

It should not be any chocolates like milk made chocolates but dark chocolates with at least a cocoa content of 70% or higher to keep your sugar content low. These chocolates offers many benefits like antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay, increase theta brain waves resulting in relaxation, phenyl ethylamine a mild mood elevator, increases antioxidant levels in the blood.

So enjoy dark chocolate and make your lean body plan successful. You can also add organic unsweetened cocoa powder to smoothies or other recipes.

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When You Hit the Wall

We've all been in that place where we feel like we're not making progress. Maybe you're just starting out and making changes to your diet and fitness routine is harder than expected. Maybe you're a veteran, with your routine locked in, but just are not seeing the progress you want. In either case, many people get discouraged, and either give up, or end up injuring themselves. Neither is a great option. I'm of the opinion that moving, and being active will always be better than not. Here's a list of suggestions that I work through with my clients who become discouraged.

  • Define progress. Do not underestimate the importance of deciding what it is you want. The old adage of “if you do not know where you're going, you'll never get there” is perfect here. What kind of progress are you looking for, and how are you measuring it? Are you tracking your workouts in a notebook? Lots of CrossFit boxes are using Wodify, or another program like it to allow members to track their progress. Do you forget to enter your times and attendance? If you do not track what you've done, you'll never know how far you've come, and that leaves the door wide open for discouragement when you're feeling tired, or frustrated. Once you've decided what you want, come up with steps on how to get there. Come up with a plan, with short-term and long-term goals along the way.
  • Consider your stress bucket. I love the analogy of a stress bucket, which was first introduced to me by weightlifting coach Sean Waxman, owner of Waxman's Gym, and I think the analogy has so much relevance not only to coaching, but to life. We all have stress in our lives. Our diet, sleep, work / school and relationships are what I think of as the common fundamental stresses in our lives. If we're eating badly, not enough or too much, our stress bucket is a little more full. Same thing with sleep. Those two things are the basic blocks for physical well-being. Do you have extra going on at school / work, or are things tense at home? After all of that, we can consider what's going on at the gym, which also adds stress. “But, I go to the gym to relieve stress,” you remind me. Many of us do, and it does help to relieve stress. That endorphin rush is a very real thing. However, as you work, you're teasing down muscles, and generally fatiguing your body which adds stress to your bucket. Add on top of that the emotional balance many of us apply to how our workout goes, and we're piling on more. Now, if your fundamental stressors are already taking up an inordinate amount of your bucket, it does not leave a whole lot of room for gym stress, and we start to overflow. Overflow means things stop going well, you stop making progress, or you injure yourself. I know from experience that sooner or later, you can not continue to make progress in the gym if your stress bucket is over-full. It will catch up with you. And it means you need to address the other stressors before you can expect to make more progress. Sometimes, its as simple as dialing in your nutrition, or getting an hour more of sleep at night. Sometimes, it's being a little gentler with yourself until things, which may be completely beyond your control, settle down at home. I can not tell you how many times I've reminded women at all stages (particularly during pregnancy, post-pregnancy) that there are times and seasons, and sometimes the gym and optimum fitness simply can not be a priority. Trust me, I've learned this the hard way!
  • Proceed carefully through pain. It is all too common, especially in CrossFit for clients to want to just “push through the pain.” Now, I'm not talking about the “burn” or the natural fatigue we all feel when we're pushing ourselves to our limits. I'm talking about the pain that leads to or is the result of injury. I've had my share of injuries, and I've spent months going through recovery, and I can very honestly tell you that no workout is really worth an offense. Sometimes, you never see it coming. I had a friend who dropped his hamstring, just bending down to pick something up off the floor. It happens. I'm talking about shoulder pain, for example, that is not going away, and is not getting better, and may, in fact, be getting worse. Figure that out before you go all out on any movement. Let your body be your guide, and utilize your coaches. Many times they might know a thing or two, or they know someone who can help. Keep in mind that sometimes, you will need to invest in outside help, like a massage therapist, a chiropractor, or a physical therapist. Now, that does not mean that you need to turn into a vegetable until you've made a full recovery. Every exercise can be modified, whether you CrossFit, or do yoga or Zumba. Keep moving. Just be smart about it. Only you can gauge how much pain is too much, so it's up to you to listen. Remember, when it comes to injury, patience will be well-rewarded, and actually, your optimal health and fitness really require you to be patient, as difficult as that is to swallow.

Sometimes, if you've run smack into that wall, it's definitely appropriate to back off. Find another activity that you're more motivated to try, or that's more enjoyable right now. If you really feel the need to stick with what you've been doing, know that configurations may be necessary, and that's okay, Today, be kind to yourself. Love yourself a little more, and know that you are capable of really amazing things!

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3 Common Workout Mistakes Beginners Make In The Gym

Trying to pack on some serious muscle mass at the gym? Stop! You're probably doing it all wrong. There are 3 common workout mistakes that you need to know before you go any further. Once you know these bodybuilding hacks, you'll have a competitive advantage over other newbies in the gym. Read on to find out what they are.

1. You're rushing things in the gym

Rome was not built in a day. If you want to get seriously jacked, patience is key. Devising a proper workout plan is a good place to start but if you're rushing things in the gym and not focusing on proper form, you could be losing out on newbie gains (the amount of muscle you build when you first start working out) .

Even worse, you could be putting your body at risk if you're training with weights that are just too heavy for you.

Here's the thing: When you start training, your connective tissue probably can not take the strain if the weights you're using are too heavy. The solution? Start off slow and take your time.

Here are some top tips for newbies when it comes to weight training:

+ It's an age-old cliche but bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to get ripped, start off with lighter weights and gradually increase the amount of weight every week (about 5 percent should do it) otherwise, you'll plateau and just be wasting your time.

+ Combine isolation exercises (that focus on one part of the body like bicep curls) with compound exercises (movements that focus on more than one muscle group, like squats) to give your body a better workout.

+ Do not just focus on the exercises that target the chest and biceps. This is a common mistake that newbies make and one that should be avoided.

Devise a plan wherey you train every body part – such as the often-neglected shoulders, back and lower legs – so that you can achieve a better body composition.

2. You're not lifting weights properly

Sorry to break to you but you're probably lifting weights wrong if you're a beginner. Do not panic, you're not the only one. After all, even the world's best bodybuilders had to start somewhere.

+ Focus on form. You should not be training when lifting weights (and you could be doing damage if you are). This is one of the most common workout mistakes beginners make in the gym that ruins their progress.

Practice doing the exercises with proper form before you consider increasing the weight.

+ Rest for at least 30 seconds between each set.

+ Do not train the same body part two days in a row. You actually build muscle when you're resting (away from the gym).

3. Your diet is awful

Think you only build muscle in the gym? Think again. What you eat – and how often – plays a major part in lean muscle mass development so make sure your diet is on point if you want to become a beast.

Struggling to incorporate healthy foods choices into your diet? Do not worry – it's a lot easier than you think. You can make a few simple changes in the kitchen that will build some serious muscle in no time.

You can make a few simple changes in the kitchen that will build some serious muscle in no time.

Here are some beginner's diet hacks:

+ Protein is the building block of muscle and you're probably not getting enough of the stuff. Start by consuming a gram of protein for each pound of your bodyweight (for example, if you weigh 170 lbs, aim for 170 grams of protein a day). While this may sound a lot to a newbie, it's easier to achieve than you might think.

Eat foods that contain the best protein sources, like lean meats (turkey, chicken, beef), fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel), nuts and seeds, and lots of eggs if you're serious about bodybuilding.

+ Decide wherever you want to cut or bulk – two bodybuilding terms that might sound alien to a newbie. When you bulk, you're eating at calorie surplus (consuming more calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight) in order to build lean muscle mass.

When you cut, you're eating at a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight) in order to lose fat.

Decide on what your goals are and adapt your eating habits accordingly.

+ Boozy nights out can harm your gains. It's not just the alcohol that can do damage (studies show that alcoholic beverages can temporarily reduce testosterone, which you need to build muscle mass) but binging on fatty, unhealthy food the morning after the night before could hinder your progress too.

+ A cheat meal can do wonders if you've been dieting for a while but do not make it a regular occurrence. If you want to take a short break from your diet, indulge in a high-carb snack to increase your glycogen levels, which can be depleted if you're eating at a calorie deficiency (cutting).

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