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Recent Bodybuilding Articles

Bodybuilding Can Save your Life

bodybuilding

People will shop interminably, ask endless questions and spend a lot of money to buy today’s luxuries like big screen TV’s, VCR’s and desktop computers and laptops. And once this sophisticated electronic gear is installed, they impulsively poke at keys and buttons on the chance that they can make it work with little or no reference to the manuals. They learn to live with equipment that functions minimally. It’s of no great concern because they won’t be punished for their indifference.

In a similar way, they shrug off their physical functions. Their hurry-up world has steered them away from the performance of their physical machine so delicately designed for healthy survival on this planet. Let their cars sputter for a moment on the freeway and they waste no time heading for the repair shop. Yet, when they find themselves out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs, they disregard the symptom, preferring not to consult the body’s manual of operation.

They grab pills instead, on the chance that one of them might work. Like their half used electronic devices, their bodies remain at a low level of performance.

We are biologically wired at birth with a warranty of threescore years and ten, but we tend to ignore the fine print with its numerous disclaimers. With proper care and maintenance, we can live far beyond the warranty. When we hit the wrong key, nature makes little allowance for the error. We get stamped with the deficiency, and we have to live with it. If the error is too great we may not live.

We can live longer or die sooner. The choice is ours. We can be either active or sedentary. It has always been the ethic of bodybuilders to plumb the depths of human physical behavior to determine a lifestyle that would ensure optimum function. Truths that have existed since time began have been ignored by modern man. Our forebears must have done the right thing to have handed us the legacy of life. The whole purpose of bodybuilding was to relearn the rules of nature to re-establish of form of life commensurate with the past. Primitive cultures and previous civilizations must have been faced with the same task, and they evidently came through with flying colors.

As bodybuilders, we learned long ago the importance of exercise, a balanced diet, proper rest, mental activity and peace of mind in ensuring a long and productive life. As a rule, bodybuilders going into their 70’s and 80’s today remain functional, healthy and independent. Bodybuilding has always been a form of re-search . The bodybuilding community itself was a great experimental group. We learned a lot by experience. We discovered things for ourselves, not waiting for scientists to do it for us. Today, we enjoy the benefits from both.

We knew you had to be fit to survive. There is no place for weakness. The laws of nature are fixed, finite and unforgiving. Early people had no drugs, or antibiotics to cure infectious diseases. They had to rely on their lifestyles as hard working athletes. Too many of today’s people have grown soft and dependent on scientific cures. Perhaps they live longer, but they have also become victims of incipient diseases due to their modern degenerative lifestyles.

Perhaps the greatest age related loss affecting health and daily activity is the loss of strength and total muscle mass. It comes as no surprise to us that scientists have recently observed the health benefits from strength training from people of all ages. In fact, the older you are, the more significant the health benefits.

With less muscle mass, your metabolic rate is lower, which means you must eat fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. Which also means you get fewer nutrients and run the risk of becoming nutritionally deficient. Also, making matters worse is the increased need for certain nutrients with advancing age. Thus, the loss of muscle mass in the elderly is particularly alarming.

You can build muscle at any age. The sooner you get started the better. Every decade of your life has pitfalls that can be avoided by what you did previously. The bodybuilding you do today prepares you better for the threats awaiting you in the future.

If you don’t consult the manual and hit the right keys for the precisely functioning human machine presented to you at birth, you face life threatening consequences. I think the bodybuilding lifestyle is precisely what you need to keep your body up and running in perfection to the full extent of your warranty – and beyond.

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Does Muscle Memory Occur?

The concept of muscle memory is controversial. Most bodybuilders have experienced this phenomenon, yet virtually no discussions of this topic have appeared in scientific and athletic publications. Although there is some speculation herein, these ideas are sure to help you better understand your body’s response to training after a layoff.

Before you know it, a month has gone by. Two months. Six months. I’ll get back to it sometime soon, you keep saying. You’re finally ready – a year later.

muscle memory

Don’t worry. Life can get in the way of even the most dedicated bodybuilder’s workouts. Be glad that you’re ready to commit to consistent training again. For those of you who haven’t attempted a small comeback before, here’s good news.

Gaining muscle size seems to be easier the second time around – even if you starting from the same place. That’s right. It appears that your muscles can reach their former size (their size when you stopped working out) in a much shorter time than it took to achieve that size that first time you trained.

If you’re an experienced bodybuilder who has returned to square one more times than you wish to remember, you probably know exactly what I mean. In fact, even many scientists and coaches are convinced this phenomenon occurs – having witnessed first hand. No one has a clue how this happens. Why should you pack on muscle size quicker when ‘retraining?’ It just doesn’t make sense.

With so many athletes and others observing this mystery of the iron game, some plausible explanation must exist. I’ll describe some possible reasons why your muscle may appear to have a memory. While understanding that the following ideas might help you make a comeback, keep in mind that these are just good guesses – not dogma.

Mind Games

Certainly, we can’t overlook the possibility that muscle memory doesn’t really occur at all. In other words, it’s completely possible that these changes have nothing to do with muscular adaptation. Then why do muscles seem to progress faster during a comeback? Well, it could all be in your head. Here’s what I mean.

The first time you trained consistently, you were probably a bit hesitant with the weights. You weren’t too sure how your muscles would respond and most importantly, you didn’t have a good idea how much weight you could lift. So you were cautious when it came to big weight increases – at least until you felt you could handle the heavier weight safely.

When making a comeback, that initial fear is gone. You know you can handle heavier and heavier weights because you’ve done it before. You probably expect to attain your former strength soon, anyway. For these reasons, you are more likely to add weight to the bar at a faster rate – pushing yourself as never before. Of course, this progressive overload will lead to quicker gains in strength and size.

The Nerve of those Muscle Cells

Perhaps the most likely explanation of muscle memory involves the neurons (nerve cells) that stimulate your muscles. These neurons tell all the muscle fibers (muscle cells) they innervate to contract. But, depending on the amount of weight being lifted, only a small percentage of neurons innervating a particular muscle may be recruited to stimulate their fibers. More weight on the bar – more neurons involved and more fibers stimulated. Simple enough, right?

Here’s something really interesting. Even during maximal voluntary contraction (attempting your max on any lift), you’re still not recruiting all the muscle fibers in your working muscles. In fact, it is this discrepancy between the percentage of fibers we normally recruit and what we theoretically can recruit (100%) that may account for those rare, but documented feats of superhuman strength.

What has that got to do with muscle memory? Well, one way your muscles may adapt to the stresses of consistent training is to increase over the long run the total percentage of fibers recruited during maximal and near-maximal lifts. Here’s the possible scenario:

The first time you trained, you recruited a certain percentage of muscle fibers during maximal lifts. As you trained more and more, this percentage increased. Then you stopped working out. When making a comeback, this ability to recruit a greater percentage of muscle fibers remains intact. Therefore, you’re starting with a capacity to develop more force within a muscle (since more fibers can be activated). Compared to the first time you trained, you’re one step ahead.

If you can develop more maximal force, then you can lift more weight – you’re a bit stronger. Although you may think you’re starting from the same place, this greater strength will enable you to progress faster, resulting in an ability to regain muscle size at a quicker pace.

The second way that neurons may be involved in muscle memory deals with skill development. When you start working out, your muscles interpret most of the lifts as new movements. So your neurons must develop the appropriate pattern of stimulation to get the weight up. Remember how shaky the bar was the first time you tried the bench press?

Fibers must be activated in just the right sequence to perform complex movements like the bench or the squat. And learning a new skill (just like trying to swing a golf club, etc.) may take quite a long time. The first time around, it may have taken you weeks to feel steady on the bench. Now those neural patterns have been developed and though they may be rusty, they can return very quickly after a layoff. What may be happening here is that after you stop working out you lose some of those neural patterns. When you work out again the neurological changes come faster. This accelerated restoration of neurological control will enable you to stimulate your muscles more efficiently, eventually causing the leveling off you reach in muscle strength and hypertrophy to be higher. You may be stronger and bigger when the neural patterning is done the second time around.

Muscular Adaptations

Another possible explanation of muscle memory concerns certain changes in your muscles that regular training may produce. Your muscles may adapt in two ways that could translate into faster gains during retraining. First, you may be able to increase the capillary bed surrounding muscle cells, creating a greater blood supply to the working muscle. If this happens, and many scientists believe it does, you would then be able to enhance the nutrient (glucose, branch-chain amino acids, etc.) availability to the muscle cell. Also, you might remove the waste products of repeated muscular work and energy production (lactic acid, heat hydrogen ions, etc.) at a faster rate. Since these waste products can limit performance, with the increased capillary bed, you would be in a position to train harder and longer.

Either or both of these situations would probably enable you to create a more effective muscular stimulus. This is the key in terms of muscle memory. These positive changes from an enhanced blood supply would be restored soon after a comeback since the capillary beds would quickly reopen. Thus you would have the advantage of a greater muscular stimulus from the start of retraining. This would lead to a greater adaptation – stronger and bigger muscles – and give the illusion of muscle memory.

Second, the enzymes that are involved in important bio-chemical reactions may be responsible for muscle memory. For example, we know that enzymes in reactions leading to the storage of glycogen (your energy source during anaerobic work) can be enhanced with training. It is plausible that enzymes involved in protein synthesis may increase in concentration and activity following repeated muscular stimuli and damage. It may actually be those enzymes that have a memory, quickly returning to their former increased concentrations and turning on these processes earlier. If this occurred, you’d be able to work out harder, possibly recover faster, and gained muscle mass more quickly than when you first trained.

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10 Steps to Massive Muscles

massive muscles
Building muscle is easy, you just have to know how it’s done and apply that knowledge. There are so many things that you can do wrong when trying to build muscle that it is very important that you attempt it with the correct knowledge, otherwise you’ll end up wasting your time and energy with little or no results for all your efforts and expense. It’s quite easy to get fit, but to pack on pounds of muscle needs the correct knowledge – then it becomes easy.

Here are my 10 steps to Massive Muscles:

Note: Always get the go-ahead from your GP or Health Practitioner before starting or changing a training routine and before taking any nutritional supplements.

Step 1
Throw away your old routine and open your mind to new training ideas and techniques. Take two weeks off to take it easy and relax.

Step 2
Get yourself a copy of Rob Maraby’s Massive Growth System and follow that for 12 weeks. Condense the system down to at least 12 weeks by not taking as many days off from the gym as recommended.

Step 3
In the Gym: Slow down with your rep speed taking 2 seconds to raise the weight and 4 seconds to lower it, applying much greater effort and concentration. Aim to make slight improvements every couple of days or so, at least every week.

Step 4
Write everything down in a notebook like sets, reps, amount of weight used, your body weight, your goals, meals, supplements, diet.

Step 5
Supplements:
Creatine – almost immediately before and immediately after training
Whey Protein – 45 minutes before and after training
Casein – before bed
Multi Vit/min – 1 a day with a meal
Vit C – twice a day morning and evening with meals
Vit E – 1 a day
EFAs – 1 a day

Step 6
Diet
Try and Eat 4 times a day, not including protein shakes. Eat plenty of vegetables with Chicken, Beef or Fish. Eat fruit first thing in the morning only.

Step 7
Water – and plenty of it. It’s a lot more important than food but food just happens to be more satisfying. Drink at least 2 litres a day, at least. Take a litre to the gym if they don’t have a fresh clean supply. Plenty of Water is needed.

Step 8
After 12 weeks of training with the Massive Growth System it’s time to change things. First take note of your improvements. It’s always a good idea to have the knowledge of more than one muscle-building expert…so…go and get yourself a copy of Jeff Anderson’s Optimum Anabolics and follow that for at least 12 weeks or more.

Step 9
After 12 weeks or so, take note of your improvements and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Take two weeks off, relax and enjoy.

Step 10
It’s time to start all over again – at least now you have a lot more muscle than you started with.

You might want to stick with the same two muscle-building systems again if you are pleased with your results… or you can move onto another two muscle building systems.

So there you have it – My 10 Steps For Massive Muscles.

Once again: It really is always a good idea to get expert help, instead of going around in circles getting nowhere fast.

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Steps to An Incredible 6 Pack

Are you still looking for your 6 pack?

Well follow this nutritional program and you'll be able to drop 2 or more pounds per week for 6 to 8 weeks!

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Next Stop Abs.

Getting ripped fast requires drastic cuts in carbs, dietary fat and of course, your calories.

You'll need to steer clear of all oils, butter or fried foods and
keep your carbs under 50 grams a day!

Yes 50 grams-this is a turbocharged fat-loss plan!

Protein intake must go up when you're cutting carbs, fats and
calories. Keep your protein intake high.

Using this approach, you'll quickly drop a lot of body fat. The downside is that your energy levels can tank, leaving you unable to train if you're not used to a low-carb diet.

The Solution.

Breaking down the weeks into 3... 3 distinct diet phases during each of the 6 to 8 weeks of the program

Phase 1

  • Days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Carbs: less than 50 grams per day
  • Protein: 2 grams per pound of bodyweight
  • Cardio: 20 to 30 minutes at low level intensity every day.

During this phase the carbs are kept very low. All the carbs should be eaten after your workout to minimize protein breakdown that happens after training.

If for example you weight 200 lbs you need to take in 400 grams of
protein. The cardio is done merely to coax the body into giving up more of the stored fat.

Phase 2

  • Days: Thursday and Friday
  • Carbs: 100 to 150 grams per day
  • Protein: 105. to 1.75 grams per pound of bodyweight
  • Cardio: 40 minutes interval training each day

You would think that the extreme approach taken in phase 1 would do the trick to melt the fat. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Strict dieting will lead to poor muscle recovery and flat muscles.

When muscles are flat the body can appear to be fatter. That's where
this phase comes in.

The additional carbs assists in glycogen recovery and prevent the
reserves from being drained.

When glycogen levels are low you will appear to be fatter and your
muscle will not recover as quickly. On these days split your carbs as follows:

1. 30-40 g in morning
2. 20-35 g preworkout
3. 50-75 post workout

With the extra carbs you'll be able to train and do cardio harder. I recommend alternating the cardio between going hard for 2 to 3 minutes and then using a much lower intensity for 2 to 3 minutes. Continue this pattern fir the full 40 minutes of cardio.

This interval training will kick up your metabolism Best time for
cardio in this phase is in the morning on an empty stomach.

Phase 3

  • Days: Saturday and Sunday
  • Carbs: 2 grams per pound of bodyweight
  • Protein: 1 gram per pound of bodyweight
  • Cardio: none take the time off

These are the easier days. Carbs go up and protein comes down.

Will there it is following this program will have you ripped in 6 to 8 weeks.

Figure out your menu; eat clean sources of food, chicken breast, and
tuna. Lean ground beef and other choices. You can figure in a protein supplement just make sure it isn't high in carbs.

But most of all enjoy your newly found 6 pack!

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Strong As a Us Army Ranger

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As a former Army Ranger I know the benefits of weight training, but many gym rats look upon weight lifting as the "holy grail" of muscle building. The reality is that while weights can play an important part in your conditioning programit is not the end all be all.

So the question that pops in my mind is "how useful are your weight trained muscle?"

Let's put them to the test...

Here's a taste of the physical requirements of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger.Try them out test yourself and see if you really are in shape. See if you're fit enough to wear the beret.

Army Rangers-Lead The Way

Ever wanted to put on the Army Ranger Tab on your uniform? Here is what you have to do to become a Ranger.

The training is broken up into three phases: Fort Benning Phase, Mountain Phase, and Florida Phase. The Benning Phase is executed in two parts and lasts for a total of 20 days.

As with most Special Operations units, the first phase is very physical. You will be required to perform an Army Ranger PFT consisting of the following:

Push-ups - 49+
Sit-ups - 59+
Chin ups - 6+
2 mile run in running shoes in 15:12 minutes or less

Other physical requirements and tests:
Combat water survival test 5-mile runs 3-mile runs with an obstacle course 16-mile foot march Night and day land navigation tests.

The most important pre-training exercise to do prior to Ranger school is walking fast in your boots with 50 pounds of weight on your back.

You will do this everyday you are at Ranger School. Running at least 5 miles, 3-4 times a week and swimming in uniform 2-3 times a week is recommended as well.

Pack on a 5-10 pounds of body weight prior to going so you have a little to lose when you are consuming fewer calories a day. Also known as "forced marches" or "humps", these events are basically walking at a fast pace over rough terrain with a back pack at least 45 lbs in weight. When you take the ruck march test, you will also carry a weapon, wear boots, BDU (Battle Dress Uniform - "fatigues" pants/blouse), LBE (Load Bearing Equipment - shoulder harness with canteens with water), and a helmet.

If you break it down, you need to train the major muscle groups of the body - legs and back. Sure your upper body (shoulders and arms) come into play carrying the backpack and weapon, but you will get most of your exhaustion from the legs and lower back. So, training your legs in running, leg PT, and rucking will build stamina and endurance you need for any type of Army or land navigation training.

The Run and Leg PT Workout:
Repeat 4-5 times
Run 1 mile at your goal pace (6-8:00/mile) (no ruck sack)
Squats - 30
Lunges - 20 / leg Calves (heel raises)- 30 per leg

The Non-impact version of Leg PT: Bike and Leg PT: Repeat 4-5 times.
Bike 5:00 at increasing levels per minute on a Life Cycle type stationary bike Squats - 30 Lunges - 20 / leg Calves - 30 per leg

Long Distance Bike / Leg Workout: Life Cycle Pyramid: On a stationary bike with manual mode and levels of resistance:

Start at level 1 for 1 minute, increase resistance level by 1 level each minute until you can no longer pedal in between the 80-90 RPM zone.

Typically, people will do this workout for 20-30 minutes depending on the bike they have. Some bike will max out at level 12 and some will go to at least 20 levels. Both are tough to get to the top of the pyramid levels. Once at the top, repeat all levels in reverse order and work yourself down the other side of the pyramid. Usually by the end of the pyramid, there is a puddle under you and your legs will be exhausted.

And, of course, there are long distance ruck marches for 10-20 miles with at least 45 lbs in a ruck sack you must train for prior to some of the advanced Army courses. The best way to train for these to move out with a ruck sack for 1-4 hours at a time combined with smart foot care.

Interesting stuff huh? Try it see if you're fit enough.

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Myths of Bodybuilding That Fooled Most People

myths of bodybuilding

If you stop working out, your muscles will turn to fat

Muscle and fat are two different things and they cannot from one to another because they are completely two different types of tissue. The myth probably started because some former weight lifters continue to eat more even though they have already stop weight lifting. Their muscle could also shrink from long disuse.

Look for the one with the highest amount of protein serving when choosing a protein supplement.

A protein supplement that has 50 grams of protein per serving may sounds more because it has a bigger measuring scoop or the serving suggestion may require more than one scoop. Look carefully at the serving suggestion label when buying a protein supplement.

The longer I train in the gym, the more muscle I’ll gain.

When you train in the gym for a long time, your body hits a catabolic state and it would lead to a plateau. A plateau is an inability to progress in training and it would last for months. A training session of 45 minutes to 1 hour would be ideal.

I should seek training advice from a pro bodybuilder.

Many bodybuilders are big because of genetics and hard work. They may not have the correct scientific explanation as to how they got that way. People with the right genetics would train and diet incorrectly and still grow big. You should seek gym instructors or trained professionals.

The more you sweat the more fat you lose.

The amount of sweat does not necessarily reflect how hard you are working because some may sweat a lot due to heavy body weight, poor conditioning or heredity. Exercising in hot weather will make you sweat a lot and it looks like you have lost weight immediately but that lost weight is almost consisted of water in your body. The weights will return when you replenish your fluids by drinking after the workout.

No pain, no gain?

It should never be painful and if it is, you are likely injured from overtraining. When you over train, you would experience physiological and mental stress as well as other health problems.

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Best Foods for Building Muscle

Many bodybuilders; when I use the term bodybuilder I use it in the truest sense of the word, "someone that is building his or her body", know of the importance of tuna fish in their diet.

Recently, the news came out regarding the muscle building benefits of omega-3 fatty acids i.e. enhanced fat loss, muscle growth and joint recovery. Suddenly salmon, the fish with the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids was nudging out Charlie the tuna for leadership.

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If you were to choose one fish which would it be? Aside from personal taste preference.

Here's the facts:


Per 3 ounce can of light tuna has fewer calories, less total fat and more protein than fresh salmon. It's also a little richer in critical amino acids, like BCCAs, arginine, and glutamine.

Fresh salmon however is much richer in omega-3 fatty acids, more than 7 times the amount of tuna!

Fresh salmon also contains more than twice the vitamin b6 and slightly more vitamin b12. Each fish is definitely loaded with nutritional benefits.

So the question now becomes not WHICH fish to eat but WHEN!

For Meals before and after a workout the best choice is tuna. Why??

Greater protein content
Lower fat levels insure delivery of critical amino acids


Eating salmon around workout time is a bad idea. The healthy fats slow down the digestion process of the salmos proteins.

Still I like to get in 2 to 3 meals a week; on rest days, of salmon.

Or at worst eat my salmon meal but, not work out till 4 hours later

There has bee some recent studies as to the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in the area of increasing male libido. I'll post more regarding tat in some future post.

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The Practice Of Cycling Training

Cycling Training
The practice of cycling training intensity involves “down time” when no effort is made to produce new gains in muscular size and strength. There is some detraining because, by cutting back, you get a little weaker than your previous best, before pushing again to go into new (for you) poundage territory.

Taken to its extreme, i.e., if you cut back too much and for too long, cycling is a disaster. Do not abuse cycling. A 6-month “perfectly” organized stretch that brings you to a peak for just two new-ground workouts is a perversion of cycling. You need to train very hard for a darn sight more than a few weeks out of every 26 - for most of your workouts, in fact.

Some people see intensity cycling as a waste of time because they think that the more hard workouts they have, the better. They are so eager to get training flat-out, or very near to it, that they never develop the gaining momentum needed for long-term progress. Also, by dropping right into full-bore work, how are exercise form and mental concentration going to be learned or reviewed, and then perfected?

While you should push yourself to the limit for most of your workouts, “most” does not mean “all.” Learn not to push yourself to the limit during some periods. This is difficult to do if you have been locked into the “hard all the time” philosophy. Those who try to train full-bore all of the time have a built-in natural cycling format, whether they like it or not. Is there any typical working and family person who can train full-bore two or three times each week for 52 weeks of the year while being 100% healthy, 100% motivated for every single session, and not having work or family circumstances disrupt training? The disruptions and constraints of life force people to have ups and downs in their training, giving it a natural cycling format.

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Some Rules For Effective Cycling

Effective Cycling

When planning your training routines, allow for more weeks and longer cycles rather than fewer weeks and shorter cycles.

When building back to your previous best weights, in readiness for the journey into new poundage territory, take an extra week, or two, or three. Build the springboard necessary for the big push into new poundage territory.

When adding poundage to the bar, use smaller rather than larger increments.

When you have made your last perfect rep and know there is only a partial rep left in you, keep it in and wait the extra workout or two until you can perform that rep perfectly. Do not drive yourself to exhaustion and stagnation by forcing out (with help) reps you cannot currently do. Save that energy and effort, and combine them with a bit more time and patience.

When in the final stages of a training cycle, get an extra hour of sleep each night.

Take an extra day or two between workouts when you do not feel 100% recovered.

Take more rest between sets, not less (unless you are experimenting with a faster pace of training).

When you are struggling to keep up with pre-determined poundage increments, delay the next planned increment and stay with the old weight until you have adapted to it.

Lots of little bits over half a year add up to far more than a couple of much bigger jumps over less than a month. This is especially true when, as so often happens, the latter is followed by stagnation, mental fatigue and physical injury, and having to start all over again.

Do not ruin the potential magic of abbreviated routines by adding poundage too quickly, in too large jumps, or by training too frequently.

Take more time to learn perfect form before piling on the weight.

Make time to study more about sensible training methods.

Find the time to develop a flexible body and then maintain it.

If in doubt, perform extra warmup work, but keep the reps low.

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Cardio on Cutting

cardio on cutting

Aerobic exercise is one of the most effective ways to get rid of surplus subcutaneous fat, when an athlete needs to lose weight. Aerobic loads in bodybuilding are used when it is necessary to designate the relief of muscles, while cardio in bodybuilding has a completely different purpose than in other sports. The thing is that aerobic trainings not only burn excess fat, but also contribute to the reduction of muscle mass. Therefore, training in bodybuilding should be organized so that the reduction in muscle mass was minimal.

Cardio on cutting in bodybuilding can have different manifestations. It all depends on what kind of sport is preferred: one likes running, and others prefer to pedal bikes. But here, not every athlete can be approached, for example, running, when there are excess weight or there are problems with the back. In this case, you will have to use the services of a sports hall and work on simulators.

Unfortunately, there are sports that can severely deplete the athlete due to their intensity. Such sports include martial arts, sprints, swimming, etc. To maximize the muscle relief, aerobic workloads in bodybuilding should be little intense, but lengthy.

How much do you need to do cardio on cutting


how much cardio

In an environment where you need to get rid of excess fat, but keep muscle volumes, aerobic exercise is better alternating, with power loads. Aerobic loads will burn excess fat, and strength exercises will maintain muscle mass at the proper level. The ideal option is a pair of cardio workouts and 2-3 strength training.

As already mentioned above, aerobic loads in the cutting process should be of low intensity, but of a long duration. Experienced athletes are recommended to practice on a treadmill, stepper or on simulator for one hour and not less. The fact is that fat begins to be actively burned only after half an hour of training, so less than half an hour does not make sense, and less than an hour is ineffective.

Cardio when losing weight: the features of load


As a rule, all workouts should begin with a warm-up, otherwise you can overload the heart muscle, especially without preparation. All recommend, start training with stretch marks, then with a slow walk on the simulator, with jogging, followed by a slow increase in speed, so the load.

Important! The most important thing is to determine the optimal rate of aerobic loads. These indicators are associated not with the speed of movement, but with readings of heartbeats. In such cases, the optimal indicators are 110-130 beats per minute.

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Prolactin in Bodybuilding

The use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) requires the athletes to continuously monitor the hormonal background during the intake. Those who ignore different requirements, as a result, receive only side effects and no benefit from training. In other words, as a result of taking steroids, an athlete does not achieve the desired results, regardless of the intensity of the sport. In addition, there are serious health problems. These problems, in the first place, are connected with the balance of male and female hormones: male - testosterone and female - estradiol, progesterone and prolactin. If the first of them all have long been known, then the last two are unlikely, since information about them is not so much, even on Internet.

In this regard, it makes sense to talk about prolactin. It is a hormone of the breast, an overdose of which can lead to serious negative consequences associated with intimate life.

Why a man needs prolactin?


prolactin

Prolactin is not needed absolutely for a man, and this is understandable, since it is a purely female hormone, which is responsible for the allocation of milk in the mammary glands of a woman. As for men, it is present in the body, but in a concentration that does not affect his sexual behavior. With the increase in the level of prolactin in the blood of men, the real problems begin, connected with the attraction of a man to a woman. Moreover, everything is purely individual: for someone it is necessary to raise the level of prolactin in the body one and a half times, so that problems begin, and for someone, a very slight increase in it can affect the attitude of men and women in terms of sex.

The fact is that with an increase in the norm of prolactin in the blood of a man, his potency decreases and the libido weakens (attraction to a woman). It is encouraging that all these problems can be temporary and with the normalization of the level of prolactin in the blood, all problems immediately disappear.

But here, immediately, it is necessary to point out the psychological factor that can leave behind a very large wound that will heal for a long timee.

An increase in the level of prolactin in the blood is associated with some factors, which it makes sense to talk.

Causes of increased prolactin levels


prolactin levels

The level of prolactin in the blood of men can increase based on various causes. The first reason is the use of drugs based on AAS, and the second reason is the increase as a result of congenital or acquired anomalies in the process of vital activity. Causes that do not depend on taking AAS drugs are:

  • Diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, in the form of tumors "prolactinoma".
  • Strengthening the function of the thyroid gland is hypothyroidism.
  • Painful manifestations of the kidneys.
  • Painful manifestations of the liver.
  • Autoimmune changes - arthritis, lupus erythematosus, etc.
  • Absence or deficiency of vitamin B6.
  • Constant stress, with increased levels of estradiol and progesterone.

In the case of increased prolactin levels in the blood, without the facts of taking AAS medications, you should pay attention to this list and consult a doctor. As a result, it is necessary to conduct diagnostic studies of the pituitary gland, as well as determine the level of thyroid hormones. In addition, to examine the work of the liver and kidneys, as well as to analyze the presence of vitamin B6 in the blood. In this case, do not forget about the last line of this list and analyze your life for the presence of stress. In most cases, it is stressful conditions that lead to an imbalance of hormones in the human body. The consequences of stress can be both psychological and physical. Most likely, as a result of heavy physical exertion and lack of adequate nutrition, the body experiences severe fatigue and loss of strength, which is why these problems arise. In this case, you need to urgently review the way of life and normalize your regime, getting rid of unnecessary loads that lead to fatigue. Fatigue of the whole body leads to physical stress. As for psychological stress, it can arise against the background of deteriorating relationships between a man and a woman, which can also arise as a result of increasing levels of prolactin in the blood of a man. As you can see, everything is interconnected here.

Sometimes thyroid disease, such as hypothyroidism, leads to an increase in the level of TSH (thyroid hormone), indicating its increased secretion. This leads to an increase in the level of prolactin in the blood of a man.

This phenomenon, like gynecomastia, leads to an increase in the concentration of prolactin in the blood, although the opposite effect is possible: with an increase in the level of prolactin, gynecomastia also appears. If this phenomenon is strongly pronounced, then you should consult a doctor and do the operation. It is not complex and not expensive, but it is possible to "kill two birds with one stone", simultaneously. In addition, that will improve the hormonal background, noticeably improve appearance.

Increase of prolactin level during AAS cycle


prolactin level during aas

Increasing the level of prolactin in the blood, without the practice of taking AAS drugs, is considered very rare. If we talk about athletes, then this increase is associated with a wrong intake of androgenic anabolic steroids. Some athletes ignore the doses of application that are prescribed in the instructions and increase doses, believing that this will be the means to speed up the results.

Here, the first position is reached by progestins, which possess progestogenic activity. These are such drugs as nandrolone, trenbolone, oxymetholone, boldenone. In this case, it makes no sense to talk about the mechanisms of increasing prolactin concentration, but it makes sense to pay attention to some points that somehow influence this process.

The first point relates to the fact that before each course of admission it is desirable to determine the balance of hormones in your body. If, as a result of the research, it is found that the level of prolactin is overestimated, then in no case should you take progestins.

When drugs of this group are taken, hormone levels should be monitored regularly, regardless of the dosage of the drugs.

One or two weeks after the start of the course of treatment, it is necessary to donate blood for analysis to determine the level of prolactin. If there is a tendency to increase, then you should immediately start taking cabergoline. In the pharmacy this drug is sold under the name Cabaser, Cabgolin.

This drug is taken once a week for one tablet (0.5 mg). This will help maintain a low level of prolactin in the blood throughout the course of taking the drug.

So, conclusions are implied.

How to deal with an increased level of prolactin


First, it is necessary to determine the causes of increased prolactin levels. If this is not a consequence of taking AAS (they just were not taken), then you need to see a doctor and determine the level of your health. Particular attention should be paid to the liver, kidney, thyroid, pituitary, etc., as well as to analyze their way of life and, if necessary, revise it.

With the manifestation of gynecomastia, which directly indicates an increase in the level of prolactin, it is better to consult a doctor and get rid of this ailment surgically.

When taking AAS drugs, when there is a tendency to increase the concentration of prolactin, you should immediately start taking cabergoline.

One more important point to note is the excess weight, which indicates a change in the level of estradiol. This factor also affects the level of prolactin in the blood, increasing it.

And, finally, try to avoid stressful situations and nervous overload.

Combat Sports: Lower Body Strength

combat sports

Do not neglect the importance of lower body strength. Your legs play host to the largest, most powerful muscles in your body. The legs carry you from point A to point B. The legs produce the force necessary to explode towards your opponent.

In combat, the legs, hips, trunk, and core generate the power necessary to deliver explosive kicks and punches. Much of your power originates from the lower body. When you punch, the power starts from the ground, as you violently pivot on the balls of your feet. The hips and trunk then take over, as the punch is thrown.

Leg and hip strength is also necessary for kicking. Your power originates from the legs. Powerful kicks require explosive hip action. Exercises such as lunges, step-ups, and squats offer tremendous benefits to combat athletes. Build your house on a rock solid foundation. Train the legs!

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Weightlifting: Focus Your Workouts Around the Squat and Deadlifts

squat and deadlifts

Squats and deadlifts are the most effective exercises you can do to put on muscle. They both involve the use of a lot of your muscles and are so powerful they can drive the growth of your other muscles. For example, if you started squatting your chest will get bigger as a result.

No one is sure of the mechanism involved but it probably has to do with the overall hormonal effect squats have. You see when you perform a set of squats and deadlifts your entire body is being stressed which triggers the release of testosterone and growth hormone.

Both of the exercises also require a tremendous amount of effort from your nervous system. And the more this is activated the more your body will grow. Squats and deadlifts have long been the secret of powerlifters for packing on muscle mass very quickly.

For example, one of the best powerlifting gyms in the country attributes 30- 40 lbs. of muscle added to each beginner in the first year to these exercises. You should always have one or the other in your training program to get the maximum results.

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Cinnamic Acid Improves Blood Sugar Regulation

cinnamon

Some of the simplest foods are some­times the healthiest. Cinnamon is a pop­ular kitchen spice used to flavor oat­meal, desserts, coffee and hot chocolate. It also promotes insulin metabolism and improves blood sugar control. Its active ingredient is cinnamic acid, which is also found in fruits, vegetables and flowers. Thai researchers found that adding cinnamic acid to cultured pan­creatic cells (the pancreas secretes insulin) increased insulin release by as much as 300 percent.

In humans, Swedish scientists found that includ­ing 6 grams of cinnamon in rice pud­ding reduced blood sugar and delayed emptying of the pudding from the stomach without affecting hunger. Cinnamon contains antioxi­dants called phenols that decrease inflammation and promote blood ves­sel health. Even small doses of cinna­mon were helpful. People who ate 1 gram of cinnamon per day— about a half teaspoon— for 40 days showed reduced blood sugar, triglycerides (blood fats), LDL cholesterol (the bad choles­terol), and total cholesterol. Including cinnamon in the diet might reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Bodybuilders would benefit by sprin­kling a teaspoon of cinnamon on their oatmeal at breakfast.

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Nuts: Your Cardiovascular Protection

Several studies show that nuts are potent cardiovascular defend­ers. One project that tracked 30,000 Seventh-Day Adventists examined the connection between 65 foods and the incidence of CVD among church members. Of all the foods monitored, nuts had the strongest disease-prevention effects. Com­pared to those who ate nuts less than once a week, those who ate them one to four times weekly showed a 25 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality. Church members who ate nuts five or more times a week showed a 50 percent decreased risk. The protective ef­fects of nuts were about the same for men and women and persisted despite such other risk factors as blood pressure and body weight.

nuts

The Iowa Women’s Health Study, which involved 40,000 older women, confirmed the protective effects of nuts against CVD—the higher the nut intake, the greater the protection. That was significant because as women age, they lose the CVD protection that’s attributed to estrogen.

The Physicians’ Health Study found that eating nuts appears to protect against sudden death from heart disease. Doctors in the study who ate nuts at least twice a week showed a significantly reduced risk of sudden death. That’s in line with research showing that certain  fatty acids, particularly omega-3s, stabilize errant heart rhythm, the primary cause of sudden cardiac death.

Several studies show that eating walnuts can help improve blood lipids. Walnuts lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total blood cholesterol, which is good for cardiovascular health, chiefly because they contain alpha-linoleic acid. Another study compared diets rich in either almonds or olive oil.  Like many nuts, olive oil contains monounsaturated fats and is a pri­mary ingredient in Mediterranean diets. The group on the almond-based diet, however, experienced a 16 percent drop in total cholesterol, with a 19 percent decline in LDL cholesterol. No changes occurred in the olive-oil group. Levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)—the good cholesterol—remained stable in the almond group.

The plant protein in nuts aver­ages 14 to 26 percent by weight. Nutritionists sometimes criticize plant protein because its amino acid balance is inferior to that of animal protein, such as the kind in milk and eggs. In certain respects, however, plant proteins have prop­erties that animal-based proteins don’t. The amino acid arrangement in plant proteins seems to help lower blood lipids in a way that’s not true of animal proteins. Com­parisons between casein, a milk protein, and soy bear that out, and nut protein is similar to that of soy.

peanuts

Nuts are rich in the amino acid arginine, which protects against CVD because it’s the direct dietary precursor of nitric oxide synthesis. No dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure, prevents the struc­tural changes in arteries that foster atherosclerosis and inhibit internal blood clots, the primary immediate cause of most heart attacks and strokes.

Nuts are one of the richest food sources of alpha-tocopherol, or vitamin E, a dietary antioxidant associated with helping prevent CVD. Almonds and hazelnuts are rich sources of alpha-tocopherol, while walnuts and pecans are high in gamma-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E more potent than the alpha version in preventing prostate cancer.

Folic acid, a B-complex vitamin, lowers the blood level of a poten­tially toxic by-product of amino acid metabolism called homocys-teine. Some studies suggest that as much as half of all CVD stems from elevated homocysteine, which is also linked to such other diseases as Alzheimer’s. Nuts are rich in folic acid, and peanuts have four times more of it than other nuts.

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Fiber The Forgotten Carb

Fiber is also an important component of nutrition. It is the most recognized of all carbohydrates in terms of disease prevention and general health, and it can be classified as two different types: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber has merit in the realm of intestinal cleanliness and slowing down digestion through the GI tract, which allows for more thorough vitamin and nutrient absorption.

Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is invaluable for our theory of a calorie is not just a calorie. In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, a diet containing 50g of fiber (25 soluble, 25 insoluble) can lower cholesterol, improve glycemic control and decrease hyperinsulinemia. These findings are very important to nutrition’s emphasis on controlling the glycemic index of meals. By ingesting soluble fiber at mealtime, we can prevent spikes in the blood sugar and regulate the overall secretion of insulin.

rich fiber foods

In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1991, natural oat fiber reduced blood glucose and insulin levels. The soluble fiber used in this study was beta-glucan. Oats and barley are good natural sources of beta-glucan and are the primary sources of carbs used in your Macrobolic MRP. In a 1994 study published in Diabetic Medicine, patients fed wheat farina with oat bran showed a marked decrease in postprandial blood glucose levels and lower overall insulin secretion.

Fiber’s impact on maintaining lower blood glucose and lower insulin levels are all conducive to increased GH levels, increased fat burning and decreased cortisol—everything your body needs to increase muscle and burn body fat.

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