How to Create the Best Bodybuilding Diet for You

Looking and feeling good takes a lot of hard work. It's not just about going to the gym every day, lifting some weights, working the Nautilus machine, sweating buckets and then expecting immediate results. If only getting a ripped physique that was easy but it's not. There is a lot to be said and a lot to be gained when you work hard to have a great body. Celebrities do it to get more acting jobs and endorsements, bodybuilders do it to be able to compete professionally and some of us do it just because we want to be more active, do a lot more things and generally live longer, healthier lives.

Bodybuilders undergo some of the most intense training and exercise routines known to man and based on the results, it seems that they do not even break a sweat when lifting those heavy weights or doing those reps, but those in the know understand that to be able to even do those things, they have to do more than just be strong – they also have to know about good bodybuilding nutrition.

Nutrition is the core of successful bodybuilding because without good nutrition, you can not gain any muscle. When you work your body hard then you need to reward it as well with the essential nutrients to help keep you going and to keep you feeling too tired or weak when training. Understand that the more muscle mass increases, the more you have to eat and if your muscle mass decreases, you have to eat less. Striking the proper balance when it comes to your food intake is important if you are to achieve your fitness goals in no time.

First of all you need to learn your macro-nutrients and these are protein, carbohydrates and fats. Examples of foods that are rich in protein and should be incorporated in your diet include eggs, meat, fish, cheese and soy products. Bodybuilders can never have enough protein in your diet and if you're a beginner in this sport, you'll hear this word consistently day in and day out. Protein is the key to building muscle and accelerates anabolism or the creation, repair and maintenance of muscles during workouts and helps maintain the body's nitrogen levels to make it more conducive for muscle growth. It is recommended for bodybuilders to ingest protein five to six times a day, spread in intervals of two and a half to three hours. This means that if you are a 200-pound bodybuilder, you should eat about five to six protein-rich meals each day to achieve your goals.

Carbohydrates on the other hand, serve as your principal energy source during workouts. When they are converted to glucose, it serves as a boost of energy that keeps you going rep after rep after rep. While you can easily get your carbohydrates fix from the best supplements, it is still recommended that you eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, cereals and grains. When your diet lacks carbohydrates, you deplete your muscle tissues and prevent yourself from being able to produce maximum intensity and peak contractions during your training.

Contrary to popular belief, fats do not make you gain weight and generally screw up your bodybuilding efforts. In addition to being an alternative source of energy, they help your body absorb essential vitamins like A, D and E and slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, keeping your blood sugar levels from spiking. As long as you ingest the good kind of fats like Omega-3 fatty acids for example, which aids in faster muscle recuperation.

As far as proper proportions go, it is ideal for bodybuilders to ingest as much as 30% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 40% fats especially if they are just starting out. However, your ideal body breakdown will depend on factors like your body weight, lean body mass and insulin sensitivity to help you achieve your fitness goals. To start building the best diet for you, you must remember to learn how to calculate your caloric intake each day. To pack on muscles, you need to take in more calories than usual to sustain your body weight and make sure to include protein shakes with your meals to ensure maximum results.

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How to Open and Make Money With a Gym or Fitness Center

This article is not about how to start a gym, but rather how to build a successful one in the shortest amount of time. Check out the steps below and watch your professional career, as well as your profits, soar!

1) What do people want?

– Before deciding to open a gym, it is imperative to know exactly what kind of fitness center you wish to open and the people you wish to target. Will you be a general gym or an advanced training gym that offers options such as circuit training station? Will you cater to people with a normal budget or attempt to be a more exclusive, somewhat higher priced, gym? Will you open your own brand, or join a franchise? Regardless of your decision, take the time to research what people want. There are dozens of online resources which related to healthy lifestyles and fitness. Review other successful start-up gyms and figure out which trends are getting the most attention. Then, simply come up with your own twist on some popular services and specials offered. By understanding what people want, you'll be able to target them directly and turn them into paying customers.

– Also keep in mind where you wish to open your gym. How large is the health and fitness community in your area? Communities that have larger numbers of people that are physically active are bound to have more health conscious individuals who would take an interest in your fitness center. Do not be afraid to change your gym's layout from time to time to offer new types of workout routines with new equipment.

2) Market Yourself

– One of the biggest mistakes individual gyms and franchises make is neglecting to put forth sufficient marketing efforts. If you are a privately owned gym that does not belong to a franchise, you must create brand recognition. This can be accomplished through mass mailing to homes in your local area, advertising at your local healthy restaurants and alternative fitness studios (yoga, pilates, etc), and even online advertising on popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

3) Utilize Technology

– Networking has never been easier with the advent of smart phones and specialty websites. One program that has proved to work wonders is the NutriFinder App program for the iPhone. NutriFinder's claim to fame is that it is America's largest streamlined health and fitness mobile network. Check out the NutriFinder App and see how they can help you get more business than ever.

4) Social Media

– Make sure to use networking site such as Facebook and Twitter to help expose your business to people in your area.

5) Sales

– Consider allowing a juice bar or nutrition shop to open up in a section of your gym. This will allow you to gain rent as a source of revenue.

6) Personal Networking

– Make sure you always carry business cards for your business on you at all times. Reach out to personal trainers and nutritionist in your area and offer them incentives to mention you to their personal clients

Follow each of these steps to start seeing results quickly. The power of marketing and networking can not be understated in it comes to increasing your customer base. With your new found profits, consider expanding to another location.

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Recommended Water Intake for Fast Muscle Growth

Recommended water intake for fast muscle growth is a really simple calculation, but ensures you're getting the recommended daily water intake for faster muscle growth. Daily water intake is one of the simplest tips for muscle growth so do not neglect it just because it's not sexy!

I have a lot of people ask me about what the recommended water consumption is for fast muscle growth. This is not one of those questions with one simple answer, because a lot depends on the individual, but here's what you need to know about the recommended water intake.

I do have a standard formula that I give people and that is that for every kilogram of body weight, you want to get at least 30-40ml of water. To convert that into pounds and liters, just divide by 2.2. So, a woman weighing 50kg or about 110 pounds is going to need to drink somewhere between 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day. A man who weighs 220 pounds is going to need about 3-4 liters per day.

Starting from the Minimum Recommended Water Intake

Of course, this is just a baseline. If you're in a very hot and tropical climate, at a high altitude or in a very hot, dry climate, you may need to increase your intake. You also need to drink more water when you work out.

A lot of people get hung up on when to drink their water. They hear different people saying drink it between meals or drink it with your meals, before a workout, during or after a workout. But these details are a lot less important than making sure that your overall water consumption is sufficient.

Working Up to the Recommended Water Intake

Some people do not naturally drink a lot of water; it's something they have to work up to. If you're one of those people, you might try adding some sliced ​​citrus fruit to a pitcher of water and that'll help you enjoy the taste more. You also might benefit from making a deal with yourself that you'll drink one cup of water every two hours or so; do the math and figure out what you need to drink every waking hour to reach your recommended water intake. Do not forget to include foods with really high water content, too. They can help you to get more water into your body.

Getting the recommended water consumption is essential to every part of your health, not just building muscle. If you know you're not drinking enough water, make it a priority to figure out how to do that.

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How to Build Leaner Muscle Mass

You can build leaner muscle mass and burn fat which is an important part of bodybuilding. If you are to fare well in a competition, you should have a reasonable amount of muscle and combust as much of fat as is possible. This helps in revealing muscular definition. It can be quite challenging to acquire lean muscle mass, but then your efficiency can be improved with certain exercise and diet secrets. You need to see a specialist before embarking on a program. It is important to take proteins before starting to take proteins. Post workout nutrition helps you gain muscle.

A lean muscle builder will enable protein synthesis and this is something that helps in growth and recovery. However, if you are to burn more amounts of fat, you should go for pre workout proteins. If you take proteins before going for a workout, you can spend more energy in the hours after the workout. This reduces the body fat and improves the composition of your body. Diet is a very important requirement in building lean muscle mass. It is popular among people who are keen on eating less to reduce fat. The body requires energy for following muscle building workouts. This energy is supplied by the food you consume.

The reserves that are present in the muscles of your body are used when the body requires nutrition. In order to prevent this from occurring, you should follow certain guidelines for building lean muscle mass. The body needs energy to carry out muscle building exercises and this requirement is satisfied by taking in around 200 calories every day. Exercise is also a lean muscle builder. Even when you follow a balanced diet, care should be taken to perform the right exercises. You can aptly build lean muscle by lifting weight.

Performing aerobics is important for ensuring appropriate functioning of the cardiac muscles. It is a common mistake made by a lot of beginners to consider the visible muscles such as the biceps and pectorals. Do not train for just a couple of areas of the body, but pay attention to the whole of it. This can help you build leaner muscle mass easily and effectively. Another important aspect is to challenge your limits and exercise accordingly. This is a very healthy approach. You need to perform the lean muscle training workouts a couple of days a week to achieve the best results.

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Overtraining? Why Overtraining in Bodybuilding Is Virtually Impossible

A lot of bodybuilders are way too worried about the idea that they might be in danger of overtraining. Most of them get this idea from the tons of marketers out there who are trying to get rich by telling people they should train less, not more. There's a lot of money to be made by convincing the new or unmotivated that there's an “easy way” to build real muscle mass. The truth is; that's not the truth.

Why Overtraining is a Non-Issue

In my ten years in the business, I've never met anyone who has reached a state of overtraining. Overtraining is something that is more common in endurance athletes, but very rare for bodybuilders. Scientific research shows that for bodybuilders to reach a state of overtraining, they would have to triple their current volume for three weeks.

I tripled my training volume while I attended Charles Poliquin's 5-Day Hypertrophy Bootcamp (15 workouts in five days) and it absolutely kicked my butt. That was five days. I can not even imagine repeating that for an additional two weeks!

The fact is that 99.9% of bodybuilders will never even come close to overtraining. That said, some people confuse the terms “overtraining” and “overreaching,” which are two entirely different things.

Overtraining and Overreaching are not the Same Thing

Overreaching is in an intentional, short period of increased work that certainly surpasses what your body is able to do. That's what I was doing at Poliquin's 5-Day Hypertrophy Boot Camp. Lost appetite, disrupted sleep patterns, and mood changes are common symptoms of overraising, but you can recover from it with after one or two weeks of underraining or deloading. It took me about seven days of doing nothing to recover from my week at the boot camp. The purpose of this overreach / deloading process is that it creates a greater super compensation after-effect. This is something you need to do with the supervision and direction of a professional.

Undertraining is the Real Issue

Overtraining is not your problem. More often than not, guys are underraining. The most common reason for undertraining is failing to manipulate your duration, frequency, tempo, rest times and loads. Building muscle mass is all about periodization. Every single one of the athletes that competed in the 2012 Olympic Games used some kind of periodization, which is just another word for focused planning. If you're not doing this, you're spinning your wheels. You may make some progress, but you will not make the kind of progress that you could.

Stop worrying about overtraining and giving your workouts everything you've got. Constantly demand more from your body and it will deliver.

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How to Get Shredded for a Bodybuilding or Physique Competition

One of the most common questions people ask me is, “How do I get shredded for a bodybuilding or physique competition?” This is especially common with people who are planning on entering their very first event.

The answer to that question is somewhat subjective. There is no set formula that will work exactly the same way in exactly the same time-frame for every single person. Having said that, there are some guidelines for figuring out the best way for you to get shredded for a bodybuilding or physique competition and you can use them to make a plan that works for you.

One thing you should understand, though, is that getting shredded is an art as well as a science. Knowing how and why and when the human body burns fat, what causes insulin and cortisol spikes and what makes the body retain or excrete water are all part of the science. Knowing how your specific body will react to certain steps is where the art comes in. Some guys take several years and several competitions to figure out what works best for their particular bodies.

That said, there are three key areas that you need to focus on in order to get shredded for a bodybuilding or physique competition: water intake, caloric deficiency, and carb intake.

If you're wondering why I did not mention ramping up your weight training routine, it's because the whole purpose of weight training when you're cutting is to preserve and protect the muscle you already have while you're trying to lose fat. When you're doing the things you need to do to burn those last few percentage points of fat, you're not going to have the surplus for building new muscle. You just want to keep what you have. The purpose of shredding is to show what you have and really make that definition pop.

First, Decide Where you are Right Now

I've said many times that you have to set, measurable goals. This means definite deadlines and actual numbers. Without these, you have dreams, not goals. You have the deadline; the deadline is the date of your event. What you need now is a number. What body fat percentage are you going for?

My rule of thumb when cutting or working to get shredded for a competition or a photo shoot is to lose 1% of my body fat per week. So, if you're at 12% body fat right now, you need to get started on your fat loss about six weeks out. It will not hurt you to add another week in there just in case something gets you off track.

Get Some Intense Cardio into Your Program

During this time, you should be doing some high intensity interval training for your cardio to create some of that calorie deficit. Not all of it, because burning 3500 calories (which equals a pound of fat) per week is a heck of a lot more difficult than cutting 3500 calories a week. Ideally, your calorie deficiency should come from a combination of cutting calories and burning them. So for instance, you can burn an extra 250 calories a day and cut 250 calories a day to lose one pound of fat per week.

Start Cutting Back the Carbs

One of the best ways to do this is to replace some of the carbs you're eating in the mornings with a high protein, no carb breakfast instead. I recently posted about the meat and nut breakfast rotation and the incredible results that I've gotten from it. In fact, I got to my lowest body fat percentage (4%) in part by doing this myself.

Then about six days out from your event, you want to cut your carbs back even more. Depending on your particular body and how often you're working out, that could be an take of anywhere from 0g to 150g of carbs per day. Do this for two days, then go back to your normal low-carb intake. About two days before your competition, you want to actually increase your carbs from there for two days.

The Formula for Water Intake

This is another area that I get asked about a lot. Guys will ask me, “How much water should I drink when I'm trying to get shredded for a competition?” But the fact is that the number depends on the amount of water you normally need to take in. So what I actually give these guys is a formula to work with.

About eight days out from the competition, I increase my water intake by 50%. I normally drink about four liters of water a day, so eight days out I increase that to six liters a day for another two days. This gets your body excreting more water.

You do not start cutting back on the water until about two days before your competition and you cut it down to 50% of your normal intake, not what you've been drinking that week. So in my case, since I normally drink four liters per day, I'll cut down to two liters two days out. Then the day of the event, you cut that by another 50%, which in my case would be one liter.
If you do all of these things, you'll be well on your way to getting totally shredded for that bodybuilding competition. You'll probably have quite a lot of trial and error on exact numbers and exact methods, and the best ones will change from one competition to the next as your body changes, but these guidelines will help you to get the results you need.

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How Often Should You Change Your Workout Program?

Before you just pop into the gym and start throwing weights around, you should understand exactly how your body builds muscle. I'm not suggesting that you become a biophysicist but a basic understanding of your own body is crucial to building a program that will net you maximum gains.

Muscle Growth 101

This may be a bit simplified, but in a nutshell your muscles get bigger when you place enough stress on them that they need to rebuild and change size in order to function optimally. This muscle growth is known as hypertrophy and actually involves making each existing muscle cell larger.

There are two main reasons that you would want your muscles to be larger – to increase strength or to increase mass. Maybe you want to do both! The type of hypertrophy you're looking for is a critical factor in developing your workout plan.

Hypertrophy is not going to occur overnight; you need to carefully develop a plan (based upon your individual goals and needs) that addresses each component necessary to achieve your desired end result. A big part of this plan should be regularly changing up your routines.

Why You Need to Regularly Change Your Workout Plan

Your muscles have memory and can actually get used to the same old routine, so you need to keep them guessing. Otherwise, your body will adapt to both individual exercise and the routine as a whole, and you'll hit a plateau. We've all been there, and it's not a fun place to be. You're basically wasting all of your time and effort because once your muscles adapt to a routine, you're not going to achieve optimum results.

As a matter of fact, you may stop seeing any results at all, no matter how hard you work.

If you reach this point, take a hard look at your routine. What exercises are you doing? How many are you doing per set? How many reps? What's your intensity level? Are you taking enough time off? Are you eating properly? These factors all play a huge part in your end result and are details that you can manipulate in order to keep your routine fresh and working optimally for you.

The best plan is to actually have a plan. Expect muscle adaptation to happen and build change-ups into your long-term workout package. By doing that, you'll avoid wasting valuable time in the gym and you will not have to worry about frustrating plateaus as you work your way from skinny to ripped.

Do not let the fact that you're getting amazing results now fool you into thinking that you'll KEEP seeing those results – switching up your routine is the key to long-term, optimal gains!

How Should You Change Your Workout Program?

Just like your workout program, there is not one set rule to how often you should change your routine or what changes you should make. However, there are a few factors that go into how often you should change your workout program:

• Your personal fitness and training goals
• Your workout age
• Your individual progress

Let's take a look at each of these factors to get an idea of ​​where you may want to schedule changing points.

Your Personal Goals

If you have a long way to go but do not mind getting there slowly, then you're probably going to adopt a routine that is not quite as intense as someone who wants to see results immediately. If that's the case, then you have a bit more play room regarding how often you change up your workout because you may see results from your initial routine for several weeks or even a few months.

If you're going full-tilt, your muscles are most likely going to adapt faster so you'll want to change up more frequently; say every few weeks or even days, as you progress.

Whether you're working for strength, endurance, or bulk, you need to periodize your workout. For example, you may want to do three weeks of intense 20-minute workouts, then switch to 3 weeks of less-intense, 30-minute workouts. Then maybe you'll change to a few weeks of 60-minute workouts. Adjusting your intensity levels along with duration is another great way to keep your muscles guessing.

Your Workout Age

If you've been a fixture at the gym for several months or a year, chances are good that you're going to need to change your routine up much more frequently than if you're just starting. The longer you work out, the “smarter” your muscles become, so as you build change-ups into your routine, you also need to build in an increase in intensity.

Your Individual Progress

You may be the same height, weight and age as your buddy and you may both be starting out at the same time, but you're not going to see the exact same results even if you're following the same routine. Quite simply, your body is different than anyone else's and how your muscles develop and grow is going to be unique, too.

For this reason, it's important that you keep close tabs on your progress. It could be that your muscles will adapt much faster or slower than you originally anticipated. If so, you'll need to tweak your routine accordingly. That does not mean that you should change it on a whim, but if you're not seeing the results that you want or if your progress starts to slow, then you need to take a closer look at what you're doing.

The bottom line is that you need to plan in advance and manipulate your training phrases so that you're addressing every single aspect of your training plan in order to meet your ultimate fitness goals. You can change things up by increasing intensity, duration, type of exercise, or even by starting a totally new program, but there's one thing for sure: you MUST change it up! That way, you'll set the stage for continuous optimal gains and will never falter on your journey to the optimum you!

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My 4 Rules for Choosing the Best Bodybuilding Split Program

Asking me which bodybuilding split program is best for you is like asking me to buy you a suit without giving me your size, color preferences or reason that you need it to begin with. Because different plans net different end results, you can not just take a cookie-cutter plan and apply it to everyone. Your program should be periodized and organized so that it meets your individual fitness goals.

A good rule to remember right from the beginning is that if your goal is hypertrophy -increased muscle size – then you want to make metabolic adaptations such as higher weight and lower reps to your routine. If you're shooting for strength, then you'll want to make neuromuscular adaptations such as more reps at the same weight.

Build a Bodybuilding Split Program That Meets Your Goals

People frequently ask me which split program is the best one out there but the reality is that there really is not one that's better than all the others. There are many effective splits but none of them are perfect. A good plan needs to be built based upon two primary considerations including:

• Your workout goals. Do you want to build muscle? Get stronger? Build endurance?

• Your training age. If you've just begun working out, chances are good that you'll continue to see gains from your initial program for several weeks before you need to switch it up. I typically recommend that people just starting out stick with a whole-body routine for about six months before looking at a bodybuilding split program. If you've been working out for several months, then you'll need to modify your plan more frequently.

There are, of course, other considerations that will play a factor in building your own personal body building split plan but these two will set the foundation of your plan.

Provide the Optimum Environment for Muscle Growth

Even after taking all of your independent needs into consideration, there still is not any particular bodybuilding split program that's a perfect, one-size-fits-all program that will guarantee optimum results for you. As a matter of fact, any split program is going to have its own set of pros and cons and you'll need to identify those in advance so that you can maximize the pros and minimize the cons in order to create the best environment in which your muscles can grow.

Here are some things to keep in mind when designing your program:

1. Assisting muscles as well as targeted muscles need to be fresh in order to get the optimum workout each time. Design your program so that each workout compliments the one that precedes it.

2. Legs should get their own day! Use leg day as a dividing day between upper body workouts to give your arms, chest, shoulders, back and abs a day of rest.

3. Use rest days to separate workouts that share muscles. Your glycogen levels are going to be significantly depleted after two days of hard work, so it's a good idea to take day 3 to rest anyway.

4. It may seem like reinventing the wheel, but hear me out: how about doing chest and arms together when you're developing your bodybuilding split program? Before you decide that I've lost my mind, think for a second and you'll see the logic. They're both big muscle groups that work together. If you work them together, especially after a day off when both groups are fresh, your workout will be explosive!

5. Do not lose site of the fact that days off are every bit as important as workout days. Down days are when your muscles are rebuilding and growing. Without rest, your workouts just will not net you the results that you're looking for.

6. Build change into your bodybuilding split program so that you do not plateau. As we've discussed before, this is a critical element of your training plan. You will not have to switch it up as often in the beginning but be prepared to do so as your program advances.

Optimize the Pros and Minimize the Cons of Your Bodybuilding Split Program

We've already discussed the fact that there is no perfect body building split program so what you need to do is find the weak spots in advance and adjust your plan to minimize the cons.

For example, if you're working your shoulders, chest and triceps together, then chances are good because since your triceps assist your other muscles, they're already going to be fueled by the time that you start working them. To counterbalance this, split upside down when you mix up your workout in a few weeks.

In other words, work your triceps first, then your shoulders, then your chest. Just flip your current routine so that your triceps are getting equal treatment. By building this into your plan, you're successfully maximizing the benefits of your body building split program and minimizing the negatives.

Use Your Time, Do not Waste It

Your time is valuable and there really is not any sense in wasting your time on a less-than-optimal workout program. Regardless of what kind of bodybuilding split program you develop, design it with doctrine and care so that you make every minute in the gym count. You've probably heard the expression “do not work harder; work smarter” and that applies here, too. Use your time in the gym wisely and treat it as an investment in a larger, better you.

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The 4 Keys to Help You Lose Belly Fat Naturally

Losing belly fat and being able to see the results of all that intense ab work is probably one of the most common goals I hear people making. This is partly because a lot of people judge their entire body by their abs, right or wrong. It's also because one of the toughest places to lose fat is in the belly. People who have been taking their diets really seriously and working out like crazy often try to lose those last few pounds of fat and those last few pounds of fat are usually in their stomach area.

Why is it so hard to lose fat in the belly? Well, you can put most of the blame on cortisol. There are several hormones that control fat loss and fat storage, including leptin, ghrelin, estrogen and insulin. But cortisol and estrogen have the most impact on lower body fat storage, with cortisol taking the lead in belly fat storage specifically.

It's Those Frackin 'Hormones!

Cortisol is a stress hormone that reacts to all types of stress, including physical, mental and emotional stress. When your brain perceives stress, it releases cortisol into your bloodstream and the cortisol starts storing up fat.

Cortisol is not the only thing that you have to deal with when you're trying to lose belly fat naturally, but it's one of the largest and taking steps to correct your cortisol levels will make all the difference in how quickly you can lose belly fat naturally, so most of this article will focus on how you can do that. We're also going to talk about balancing out your insulin and cutting calories by cutting down your carbs.

First, let's talk about the ways that you get your hormones, specifically estrogen and cortisol, under control.

Decreasing Estrogen by Increasing Testosterone

Everybody produces and excretes estrogen; it is not just a woman's hormone. The way to combat estrogen is with testosterone, which is one of the reasons that some bodybuilders take steroids. However, steroids destroy your body and what we're interested in is how to lose belly fat naturally, not chemically.

One of the very best ways to increase your testosterone levels is by upping the intensity of your workouts. This means either doing your workout in less time or working out harder in the same time. It's the safest, most effective way to increase your testosterone levels and decrease your estrogen levels. As those estrogen levels go down, your body begins to free up that stored lower body fat.

Decreasing Your Cortisol Levels

You might think that fighting cortisol is all about managing your stress levels but if that were true, you could meditate your way to a lean stomach. The fact is that even working out produces sufficient stress to release cortisol into your bloodstream. However, there are several things you can do to fight cortisol.

First, it's been shown in several studies that prolonged cardio sessions and long weight training sessions produce a lot more cortisol thanorter, more intense sessions. This is why I'm so in favor of high intensity interval training, especially for cardio. You get more benefits than you do with static training and you get them in much less time. So cut those hour long cardio sessions and five mile runs and do some high intensity interval training for twenty minutes instead.

Second, get enough sleep and the right nutrition. Research has shown that people who sleep less than eight hours a night on a regular basis have higher body fat percentages, more belly fat and thicker waists. This is because sleep deprivation or deficiency is one of the key indicators of stress for cortisol's purpose. The less sleep you get, the more cortisol your brain releases. But there's one more reason to get enough sleep: your body produces growth hormone while you're sleeping and growth hormone reduces the effects of cortisol. How cool is that? Let them battle it out while you're snoozing.

Try to get between 7-8 hours of sleep, every night and at roughly the same time every night.

Now on to the nutritional aspect of how to lose belly fat naturally. In order to really give this subject its due, we have to look not only at how you eat but what you eat. In other words, the best way to eat and the best foods to help you lose belly fat.

What to Eat

If you want to lose fat, especially those last few pounds of stubborn belly fat, you have to cut the carbs. A high intake of carbs creates insulin spikes and when insulin is present, fat loss stops. Insulin can be a helpful hormone when it comes to building mass, but not when it comes to fat loss.

You need to eat a diet that is high in protein protein and low-glycemic vegetables. Grains and fruits (lower-glycemic fruits like berries) should come next. How much will depend on your body type, your metabolism, how much you're working out and how much fat you need to lose.

High quality meats, nuts, leafy green vegetables and healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil are some of the best foods to help you lose belly fat naturally, without going hungry and without your insulin and energy levels being all over the place.

When to Eat It

You not only want to up your protein and cut your carbs, you also want to eat the right things at the right time. When you're trying to lose belly fat naturally, you want to eat the majority of your carbs, if not all of them, in the first half of the day and stick with proteins and healthy fats the rest of the day. This is because you typically need the energy from those carbs during the day, not at night, when your work and your workouts are over. Carbs you eat at night are usually going to wind up being stored as fat.

If you keep these things in mind and keep your eyes on your goal, you'll lose that belly fat and start seeing the results of all the hard work you're doing in the gym!

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How to Increase Your Testosterone Levels Naturally

One of the largest topics of conversation around any gym full of bodybuilders is how to increase your testosterone levels naturally. Testosterone is essential for optimal muscle building. In fact, there are several hormones that play a key role in building muscle and losing fat, which is why you'll hear me talk a lot about how hormone optimization through diet, lifestyle and exercise, is so important. But here's what you need to know about testosterone and how to increase your testosterone levels naturally.

Testosterone in the Young

When guys are between the ages of about 16 and 25 years old, their testosterone levels are at their peak. Guys this age can build muscle almost accidentally. For young guys, testosterone really should not be much of an issue. There are things young guys can do to keep from hurting their testosterone levels, though, and we'll talk about those in a minute.

Testosterone as We Age

Once men reach the age of thirty or so, their testosterone naturally begins to drop. This is why you'll see so many bodybuilders between the ages of thirty and fifty undergoing hormone replacement therapy. No, it's not just for menopause. By taking testosterone replacement, men can get their testosterone levels back up to where they were when they were twenty. However, hormone replacement is not the only way to increase your testosterone.

How to Increase Your Testosterone Naturally Through Lifestyle

There are several things you can do to increase your testosterone levels naturally. Most of them involve making healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices.

As far as your diet, you want to make sure you get a healthy balance of the essential fatty acids, eat a high protein diet, and get lots of low-glycemic carbs, like vegetables.

The intensity of your workouts is also a key factor. High-intensity training has been shown to help increase the production and secretion of testosterone.

You also want to be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Too little sleep or sleeping at irregular times wreaks havoc on your hormone levels.

Another thing you'll want to be careful of is overrinking. You can enjoy a beer or a cocktail now and then, but drinking more than two or three drinks at a time really hurts your testosterone levels.

If you've been trying to find out how to increase your testosterone naturally, skip all the magic potions that are floating around and just follow these steps. They're free, they're good for you, and they work.

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The Home Muscle Building Textbook

If you think you need to get to a gym in order to build a decent amount of muscle on your frame … you're mistaken! The following is a textbook guide to muscle building at home:

# 1 – Train for Hypertrophy

If your goal is to build muscle, then you should be training to build muscle. So many people get side tracked with flashy workout programs and end up focusing on building strength only, or performing intensive cardio workouts that will never help them build any muscle mass.

The ideal repetition range for pure hypertrophy is 8 – 12 repetitions. This means that you must choose a challenging weight. Perform 3-4 sets of the movement. If you feel your last 12-rep set was too easy, then it's time to increase the weight in your next workout.

# 2 – Train to Muscular Failure

If there is no reason for your body to grow, it will not grow. Changes are made when there is a necessity for change. You must force your body to grow. This is why you must push your body to muscular failure. The maximum recruitment of muscle fibers comes in at the last, hard repetition.

Remember, you do NOT have to hit muscular failure on all your sets. If you are performing 4 sets, then you should hit failure, or close to failure, on your last set. Many people think this means to keep performing repetitions until you can go no further. This is not what it means. If you were able to perform 20 repetitions on your last set, then the weight you used was not challenging enough.

# 3 – Keep your Workouts Short

Catabolic hormones are released into the body at the 45 minute mark. These hormones eat away at your hard earned muscle. The best thing to do is to keep your workouts under 45 minutes. Do not think you need to spend 2 hours in the gym per day in order to see maximal muscle growth.

In addition, when you're pushing your body to failure for hypertrophy, you're going to be tired in about 20 minutes. My ideal muscle building routine should only last 20 minutes. This is capable if you're using challenging weights in the proper repetition range.

# 4 – Use Compound and Isolation Exercises

Compound exercises are crucial when it comes to muscle building. You should build your work around the basics – bench, squat, deadlift, row, and press. However, you should also include isolation exercises. Bicep curls and tricep extensions serve as complementary movements to your big lifts.

# 5 – Eat Enough Protein

Use the following formula to determine how much protein you need daily:

Lean Mass Weight (Kg) x 2.75 = Daily Protein Requirement

Remember, this is in kilograms. In addition, we're measuring lean mass. So, if you're 170 lbs at 10% bodyfat, your lean mass is 153lbs, or 69.5 kg. Your daily protein requirement therefore is 191-192 grams.

This level of protein intake may seem daunting, but it really is not that difficult once you start looking into just how much protein is in foods. A really quick way to boost your protein intake is to consume 3-5 small, high protein snacks such as cottage cheese, beef jerky, mixed nuts, or pumpkin seeds per day.

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Create The Body You’ve Always Dreamed Of With The Kettlebell Bodyweight Workout

Many people these days say that they do not have time to work out. You may not have time for a full gym circuit, but there is no excuse for you to miss out on a kettlebell bodyweight workout. A well-balanced kettlebell workout will give you everything you need for a full body workout in less time. In addition, a good kettlebell routine will help you meet your workout goals, whether you are looking to build muscle or lose fat. The great thing about the kettlebell bodyweight workout is that it can be done with little to no equipment at all.

One thing to remember, however, is that you will not see any results if you do not have a well-rounded eating plan. If you ask any good personal trainer you will hear the same thing. Whether you want to build muscle or lose weight, you have to get yourself onto a good nutrition plan, and you have to be on that plan for at least a month before starting your kettlebell bodyweight workout.

The kettlebell bodyweight workout is made up of a routine that uses two tools to get the job done, your body and the kettlebell. Below is a set of routines that you can choose from to make up a kettlebell bodyweight workout that works for you.

Bodyweight Exercises that you can choose from:

• Squats: You can do these using your own body weight or holding the kettlebell for more resistance.

• Body Weight Lunges: Use the kettlebell for more resistance and play around with your timing and speed for a harder workout.

• Push-ups – If you find that your bodyweight is not heavy enough try using a weight belt for more resistance.

• Front / side pillows

• Birddogs

Kettlebell Exercises that you can choose from:

• Double Hand Swing

• Goblet Squats

• Single Hand Swing

• Single Hand Lunge

• Squat-to-Press

• Waiters Walks

• Shoulder Press

• Single Hand Farmers Walks

A Few Kettlebell Bodyweight Workouts to get your Started:

These routines are made up of the exercises listed above. Change the routines to make them shorter or longer or more intense as you make progress. This routine may be a bit much for a beginner, but go with it and see how far you can get. If needed, half the reps you do, but do not extend the rest period in between exercises.

• 20 double hand swings with 30-60 seconds rest before next workout

• 2-3 single hand Farmers Walks (choose a time or a path to walk and stick to it) 30-60 seconds rest

• 10 one hand swings using each hand (total 20) with 30-60 seconds rest

• 2-3 Waiters Walks (choose a time or a path to walk and stick to it) 30-60 seconds rest

• Side and front Pillar holds with 30-60 seconds for each exercise

That is the whole kettlebell circuit, rest for 1 – 2 minutes and then repeat 2-3 more times. Here is another kettlebell bodyweight workout to help get you started. You can take exercises from both of these circuits and make up your own routine.

• 8-10 Lunges on each leg with rest 30-60 seconds between

• 10-15 push ups before 30-60 seconds rest

• 10 kettlebell squat-to-press with each arm and then rest for 30-60 seconds

• 20 double hand swings with 30-60 seconds rest

• 10 Birddogs for each arm and each leg

• Rest and then Repeat the whole kettlebell bodyweight workout 2-3 more times

The perfect bodyweight kettlebell workout is what's needed to make your body perfect for the beach or for the summertime pool season. So start training now, because there's no excuse to shed those pounds with this easy, inexpensive way to workout.

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How to Do 50 Chin-Ups and 100 Push-Ups

A good friend of mine just lost a whole bunch of weight doing 100 push-ups every … single … day. Well, actually, he started off with 100 pushups, then went on to 100 decline pushups, and now he's doing 100 dips.

His workout format is usually something like this:

  • Chest exercise
  • Intervals on Treadmill
  • Burpees
  • Ab work

Combine that with a low-sugar diet, and only drinking water … he knows weight 7 pounds less than I do …

So I asked him how he was able to get so strong so fast, plus lose weight. He told me the weight loss came simply through challenging his body.

Here's how he progressed with the Pushup:

  • In the first set, he performed 20 repetitions
  • Second set, he performed 10 repetitions.
  • He continued with sets of 10, until he reached 100 total repetitions.

Pretty Simple!

In the next workout, start off adding 2 repetitions to your first set, so it would look something like this:

  • Set 1 – 22 repetitions
  • Set 2 – 11 repetitions (33 total)
  • Set 3 – 11 repetitions (44 total)
  • Set 4 – 11 repetitions (55 total)
  • Set 5 – 11 repetitions (66 total)
  • Set 6 – 11 repetitions (77 total)
  • Set 7 – 11 repetitions (88 total)
  • Set 8 – 12 repetitions (100 total)

As you can see, in the first workout, you performed 100 repetitions in 9 sets, and in the second workout, you performed 100 repetitions in 8 sets. As you progress and get stronger, it'll take you less sets to perform 100 repetitions.

My friend just bought a chin-up bar last week, so he began implement chin-ups into his routine. He's not very good at this exercise, but guaranteed he'll be able to get strong, really fast.

The Sticky Point

Everyone progresses differently, but there will be a sticking point. A sticking point is when your body stops improving. This usually happens when you start moving closer and closer to your goal. There are three solutions to this:

# 1 – Greasing the Groove

Greasing the Groove, or GTG, is a method developed by Russian strength coach Pavel Tsatsaouline. GTG involves performing multiple sets of the same exercise spread out during the day.

So for pushups, you would sometimes start off with a set of 20 repetitions in the morning. Then, a few hours later you would do another 20 repetitions. You would do 2 more sets of 20 spread out in the day, and finally, you would finish the day off with a last set of 20 repetitions before bed.

This is 5 sets of 20 repetitions, spread out during the day.

After a week of GTG, return back to your regular routine, and see if you were able to get stronger.

# 2 – Just Keep Going

Sometimes you just need to stick through a sticking point. This can be physically and mentally challenging, but sometimes shear determination is all it takes to push through.

# 3 – Intervals

Your last resort is Intervals. Start off by performing as many pushups as you can for 60 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then do 45 seconds of max pushups. Rest 15 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of max pushups. Rest 15 seconds, and then perform 15 seconds of max pushups.

Make sure you keep track of the total number of pushups you are performing. If you have not yet reached 100 total reps, then start over – 60 seconds, 15 seconds rest, etc. Keep going until you hit the 100 repetition goal. The moment you hit 100 repetitions, stop the workout and move onto chin-ups.

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BodyBuilding Programs – Do You Want To Learn A New Weightlifting Program?

Weightlifting is no easy feat. It requires a lot of hard work as well as sacrifice. At the same time, it can be very rewarding. Then again, you must take note of the fact that for weightlifting programs to work, you must find an appropriate one that is well suited for your goals and circumstances.

In this regard, there are a couple of factors that you have to consider. Keep in mind that there are a lot of programs for weightlifters out there. And while some of them may have worked for other people, it may not necessarily be true for you as well.

Time

One of the first things that you must consider when choosing among weightlifting programs is time. How much time are you willing to spend for working out to build your body? How much time are you willing to commit?

You have to keep in mind that weightlifting requires time for the full results to manifest. You have to dedicate a specific amount of time for consistent training to get the results you want.

So you have to choose an appropriate bodybuilding program that fits your schedule. And of course, do not forget to allot time for rest. Your body needs to rest and recuperate in order for the torn tissues and muscles to grow with more mass and size.

Goals

You also have to keep your goals in check when choosing among weightlifting programs. Specific programs have particular goals. They are then specifically devised to achieve these goals. Here, you must find a program which corresponds with your fitness and weightlifting goals.

For instance, do you want to build your biceps? Or do you want to build your lower abs? There are specific programs that work best for certain goals.

Consult a Fitness Expert

In the end, it would be best to consult a fitness expert before you sign up for any weightlifting program. This way, you can be sure that you are going with the most appropriate program for your needs and circumstances. Here, you will be much closer to achieving your weightlifting goals.

After all, fitness experts are among those who are most knowledgeable when it comes to the important factors and priorities in choosing the best weightlifting program. They will be able to take all factors into account.

Aside from the effectiveness of the program, your safety is also at risk here. Engaging in the wrong weightlifting programs can make your body weak and even tear your muscles, causing more damage than harm.

I have prepared very powerful bodybuilding techniques below, enjoy!

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Effective Tips for Beginners – Do You Need to Tone Your Stomach?

Beginners should always stick to the plan that will be provided by the best gym in home program. Aside from this, it would be best for you to have short-term goals that help you carry out your long-term body building goals. Coming up with the best exercise program will make it much simpler for you to keep up with your bodybuilding performance schedules.

Set a due date for you to be able to get the best body building results. Without a due date, it can be easy to put off your bodybuilding performance plans, and this is definitely not good for beginners. Keep track of each type of exercise that you can successfully finish.

Most beginners immediately go for exercise routines, which are suitable for the pros. Anticipate a lot of basic steps that will be taught by the best gym in home exercise program. Following all the tips that will be provided by this particular set of exercise routine will definitely help you get your long-term goal done.

The most essential thing when it comes to workout preparations is using the right warm-up workouts. Heating up your system will decrease the risks of damage especially in the ligaments and tendons. In addition to this, it will also increase your speed and agility.

A number of workouts that are essential for bodybuilding warm up consist of cardio exercises such as walking or running on the treadmill, rowing or riding a stationary bike. You could also do arm workouts, joint turns, and shoulder exercises. The third alternative is for beginners to lift light loads with are also good in building the right arm muscles.

The next phase of the gym in home program will be designed to cater to the particular goal that you have set or the types of body parts that you want to improve. If your goal involves building muscles on your legs, then you could do several exercises with the use fee weights. Running is also one of the best exercises that will build muscles in your legs.

On the other hand, if you wish to specifically target the chest, choose particular workouts that will improve your chest area, like the weight press. Make sure that you follow the right procedure, which is provided by the home in gym workout plans. You may also increase the load as time pass by so you can build more muscles.

I have prepared very powerful body building techniques below, enjoy!

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