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Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you, and assume a staggered stance, left foot forward. Hold your elbow in as you row the wight to the side of your torso. Do 10 reps, switch arms and leg positions, and repeat the movement.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides, bend your elbows, and hold your forearms about parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Simultaneously extend your arms straight back and rotate the weight so your palms end up facing each other. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length by your sides, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights to your shoulders, and then press them overhead until your arms are straight. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

How to Measure Fitness

If you’ve been working out, and you are the proper weight for your age, gender, bone structure, and height, you may think that you are in top physical condition. The sad fact is that this isn’t necessarily true. You can never just assume that you are in great shape – you must confirm it. You need to know how to measure fitness in the truest sense.

measure fitness

Tools to Measure Fitness

In order to determine how truly fit you are, you will need some tools to help you determine this. You will need a flexible measuring tape, a hard yard stick, a watch or stopwatch, duct tape, and another person to help you out. You should also have a pen and paper handy for recording information.

Measure Your Aerobic, Muscular, and Flexibility Fitness

To measure your aerobic fitness, take your heart rate, walk one mile as quickly as you can, and then take your heart rate again. This can be done outside or on a treadmill. Write your heart rate before and after the walk down. Count the number of beats for ten seconds and multiply that number by six to get your heart rate. You will also need to note the amount of time that it took you to complete your walk.

For the muscular fitness test, do as many pushups as you can do without stopping to rest. Speed does not matter. Write down the number of pushups that you complete before stopping – and don’t cheat! To record your flexibility, place the yardstick on the floor, and mark the fifteen inch mark with the tape. Sit next to the yardstick with the soles of your feet even with the mark. You must keep your knees from bending, and another person can hold them down for you. Using your arms, reach toward your toes as far as you can, and measure the distance with the yard stick. Write this information down.

Measure Fitness with your Body Composition

When you measure your body composition, you are essentially checking the circumference of your waist and your body mass index. This is done with the measuring tape. Measure your waist at the most narrow point and write this information down. Weigh yourself and divide your weight by your height, using pounds and inches. Square this number and then multiply by 703. You can also use free online tools to determine your BMI. Again, write this information down.

Repeat these steps in four to six weeks to see if you’ve made any improvements. If you have, you weren’t in top physical condition. If your numbers have remained the same, you are probably in the best condition that you could ever be in, assuming that the numbers are good to begin with.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How Does Exercise Help?

Everywhere you go, you will hear that you need exercise. You will hear it at the gym, you will hear it at your doctor’s office, and you will see it in magazines and on the television. These days, you can’t even visit a website without seeing or hearing that you need exercise. You may be more inclined to get the exercise everyone says that you need, however, if you are more aware of how exercise can help you.

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The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise can be fun, and it is incredibly good for you. It doesn’t have to be tedious, and it doesn’t have to take place in an Aerobics Class. Dancing is aerobic exercise. Walking or running is also considered to be aerobic exercise. This type of exercise not only gives your muscles a workout, it also gives your heart a healthy workout. This type of exercise can also make your lungs stronger, allowing you to breathe air in more deeply. This in turn makes it easier for the oxygen to get to all systems in your body, improving their overall condition and keeping them strong and healthy.

The Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training is especially important as this is what keeps your muscles the strongest. Strong muscles support your frame and your bones, and can actually reduce joint pain. An important benefit of strength training is that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn when you are at rest and when you are exercising, which will help to either reduce your weight, or keep your current weight in check.

The Benefits of Flexibility Training

As we age, flexibility training becomes more and more important. It is flexibility that actually helps us to avoid breaks, and to keep our joints strong and healthy. You will also be able to avoid sprains and strains when you increase your flexibility. There are flexibility programs and exercises for all sexes and all ages, and you will be able to find a program that suits your unique body and situation.

It isn’t a question of choosing one of these types of exercise to see how exercise helps a variety of problems. Instead, it is a question of incorporating all three types of exercise into your life, devoting time to each type at least twice a week, for approximately thirty minutes at a time. While you will reap benefits of one type of exercise, without including the other two, the most benefit comes from using all three types of exercise regularly.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Best Veggies for Sport

If you participate in sports, what you eat matters a great deal. Of course, what you eat matters a great deal even if you do not participate in sports. Those who do play sports, however, want to know what the best vegetables are to consume before and after physical activity.

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Raw Vegetables Are Best

When you cook vegetables, you are taking away a vast portion of the nutrients that are contained in the vegetables. So, regardless of the vegetables that you choose to consume, eat them raw as much as possible.

Some vegetables aren’t as tasty raw, and depending on how they were grown, some aren’t as healthy. If you will be eating raw vegetables, make sure that you are purchasing organic vegetables – those that were grown without the use of dangerous pesticides. Otherwise, you will need to cook these vegetables for safety purposes.

Natural Vegetables vs. Processed Vegetables

Often, those who participate in sports will purchase special drinks, such as those that are full of vegetables for better nutrition. While this isn’t a bad idea, and you should do this, you should also realize that these drinks should never be used to replace vegetables that you eat, as opposed to those that you might drink.

Even though these drinks have vegetables, in pureed form, the process itself takes away some of the nutrients that are found in raw vegetables. Drink these beverages, but make sure that you are eating vegetables as well.

Which Vegetables are Best?

Aside from being raw, there are vegetables that are better than others – especially if you are playing sports. Avoid light colored vegetables, and go with the darker colored vegetables. Green vegetables are essential. This includes lettuce of all varieties, celery, peppers, and other green vegetables. Carrots are great as well. Potatoes and corn are good for you, depending on how they are prepared, but these are not necessarily the best veggies for sport.

The great thing about these vegetables is that they can be consumed before, during, or after a sporting event or practice. Just be careful about adding to these veggies. For example, dipping a stick of celery in Ranch Dressing is delicious, but not necessarily healthy. This doesn’t take away from the celery, but it does add a lot of unnecessary fat and calories that you may want to avoid.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tips for Chest Work Out Exercises

tips chest work out

If you are not sure of proper weight lifting techniques speak to a personal trainer to learn how to correctly perform the lifts. You will need to maintain good shoulder health by training and stretching the shoulder and rotator cuff. When training your chest it is important that you balance your chest training with back training.

Building Balanced Muscle with Chest Work Out Exercises

To begin to build your chest muscles you need to determine what strength level is necessary for you to gain chest mass.  Devote yourself and train with intensity and volume to promote definition of the muscles.  You should include both high-volume and low-volume workouts. Pre-fatigue the chest muscles prior to workouts with dumbbell chest flies before doing Barbells or Bench presses. Work the chest from various body planes and different grips for definition and building of the muscles.

Working the Back Muscles for Chest Development

Training your back muscles for can benefit your chest work out in several ways.  Neglecting to work your back muscles can lead to bad posture like rounded shoulders or a hunched over appearance.  Weight lifters who have bad posture are like rounded shoulders are at a greater risk of injury to the shoulder.

Developing the back muscles will help make your chest look bigger; it also maintains symmetry and health.  You should always work the back muscles when working the chest at a ratio of 2 to 3 back exercises for every 1 chest exercise you do.

Maintain Healthy Shoulders for Chest Work Out Exercises

Without healthy shoulders you cannot continue to work your chest. The shoulder muscles are a major group for building the chest and they must remain healthy. Do you lifting on a flat bench or decline bench, avoid incline for working chest muscles for your shoulder health.  When using the bench in incline you are using your anterior deltoid muscles and you are risking injury to your rotator cuff because your arms are not at midline.  Your arms are actually above shoulder level with the bench inclined severely increasing the risk of should injury such as shoulder impingement syndrome or rotator cuff injury.

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Friday, September 30, 2016

The Negative Impacts of Overtraining

There is no question that working out has so many benefits. When it comes to working out properly, there are many things you are going to need to know. For example, what you should be consuming, how to move as you do exercises, how many sets you should be doing, how much weight you should be lifting, and the list goes on. One thing that many do not consider is how often we should be working out. When we workout too much this is known as overtraining. We want so bad to drop those pounds, or build those muscles that we overwork ourselves. It is important to understand that this is not healthy! Just as not working out is bad for us, so is overtraining.

Why Overtraining is Bad

Overtraining is bad for several reasons. First off, when you do too much cardio the levels of cortisol will greatly increase. Cortisol is a hormone that can create both stress and make you gain weight. Obviously, this gives you the complete opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish.

cardio training

When you over train other hormones will not work properly as well. Both norepinephrine and epinephrine will increase in levels as well which will decrease your desire to eat. This is not good because you need to eat, even more so when you are training. Now, instead of optimal recovery, your recovery time will take even longer. You are not taking in enough calories, and you may even begin showing signs that you are over working and over training yourself.

Symptoms of Overtraining

There are many symptoms that come along with overtraining and you may be experiencing them and not even know it. You may notice that injuries are occurring frequently and can’t explain why. This happens to be a symptom of over training along with soreness in your muscles that do not seem to want to go away. For women, your menstruation may be off. Both men and women may feel as though their heart is racing even when they are at rest. You can have depressed feelings, be even more susceptible to getting an infection, lose motivation, or have trouble sleeping. You also may experience loss in appetite as well as overall, feeling irritated. If you have been working hard at the gym and find yourself not taking proper rest, it is just a matter of time before you begin to experience these symptoms.

Other Damage Done by Overtraining

When you over train there are many other negative things occurring. It will begin to suppress your immune system, making fighting off infections a big challenge. Your body gets “suppressed” by trying its best to constantly recover, that all the energy goes toward fixing the damage instead of where the energy should be going.

As we previously mentioned, your heart rate will be quite fast even during rest. You body is in overdrive which is why this occurs. Even your bones can be negatively impacted as well. Just because you can’t see damage, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Both your bones and muscles hurt when you over train. They receive damage that is microscopic and because you are not allowing enough time to heal, the damage stays that way and proceeds to worsen. Your body then weakens and what was a little damage are now major sprains or tears.

How to Resolve Overtraining

If you think you may be overtraining your body, there are ways to resolve and reverse the issue. First off you can start by not working out so much. Next, eat a diet that is made up of high carbohydrates, proteins that are lean, and fats that are healthy. Your body has lacked these things from over working yourself so you will need to compensate for that loss. It is also recommended you take both hot and cold baths or showers, use a sauna, or get massages. These will help to get your blood properly circulating once again, which will also enhance your immune system to where it should be. Be sure that you also reduce the amount of weight you are training with as well as the number of repetitions. Be sure you are taking breaks, meaning only working out 4 -5 days a week, and relaxing in between.


Now that you have a better idea of if you are overtraining, you can fix it, and prevent it in the future. The last thing you would like to do is literally work against yourself. If you are trying to lose weight and you do too much cardio, you may gain weight. If you are trying to gain muscle and over train in doing so, you will cause far more harm than good.

If you can shed some light on this topic we would love to hear about it! Whether you find that you over train, or know someone who does, please share your opinions and experience with us.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Best Exercises for Back Problems

At some point in your life, you will probably experience some level of back pain. This pain could be caused by an illness, by overuse of the back muscles, from sleeping in an uncomfortable bed, or from any number of other causes. Regardless of the cause, you need to know the best exercises for back problems.

Walk Tall

Walking is by far the best exercise for back pain and back problems. Stand up straight with your shoulders back, your buttocks tucked under, and your abs tight, and simply walk. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you walk, as long as you walk. This exercise, done properly, helps to strengthen your core muscles in the back, and then, regardless of anything else you do, those muscles are able to withstand a great deal more. Try to walk at least thirty minutes each day, without stopping, keeping your posture in check while you do so.

Simple Stretching

Stretching exercises do more than stretch muscles to prepare them for exercise – they can also strengthen and lengthen the muscles, leading to less back pain. Remember that stretching should feel good. It should not hurt. Don’t just stretch the back muscles either. Make sure that you start at the top and work your way down – from the neck down to your feet. Do the stretches slowly. A full body stretch should take about ten to fifteen minutes, and the movements should be very gentle.

If you aren’t sure what to do, concentrate on how you feel. Do you feel the muscles stretching? If so, you are doing fine. If you are still unsure, there are numerous stretching videos that you can obtain that will show you exactly what to do.

Remember the Main Cause of Back Pain

Most people believe that the main cause of back pain is overstraining the back muscles. While that is definitely a cause, it isn’t the main cause. People who spend the majority of their time sitting experience the most instances of back pain. This is because most of us do not sit correctly – with our feet flat on the floor, sitting up straight with the abdominal muscles pulled tight and the shoulders back.

If you spend a lot of time sitting, you will also need to spend more time focusing exercise designed to prevent back pain as well.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Improve Flexibility

Some people are just naturally flexible. If you are not one of those people there are ways to improve your flexibility.

How to Improve Flexibility

What Improved Flexibility Can Do For You

Flexibility can help protect you from injury.  When you are flexible you decrease the chances of injury to your muscles and you are able to increase your range of motion.

Exercise Caution as you Improve Flexibility

Before you do any type of physical workout it is important to warm up your muscles.  You can do this with 10 minutes of cardio workout.  Do not stretch cold muscles as you may cause injury.

Never perform a stretch past the point where you feel pain.  This can cause serious injury.  Improving flexibility takes time and pushing yourself past the point of pain will not make it go faster, it can actually slow you down. Know your limits and your boundaries and do not push yourself past them.

Steps to Improve Flexibility

A great way to improve flexibility is to join a yoga class or take up yoga on your own. Yoga provides full body routines that can help with flexibility over time. If you do not have time to take a class, learn some poses and do them at home.  There are other stretching routines to help with flexibility as well.

After you have warmed up your muscles you can begin to improve flexibility with a stretching routine.  Do a full body stretching routine for maximum results.  Work systematically from the top of your body and move down. Areas of the body you should work to improve flexibility include the neck, shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest and back in the upper body.  After you have stretched these muscles move to the lower body.  Stretch the core, gluteus, hips, hamstrings, quad, calf, ankles and feet to improve flexibility. You should hold each stretch for a minimum of one minute when you are just beginning.  As your flexibility improves you can increase the amount of time you hold each stretch. When performing a stretch do not bounce the muscle, hold it steady.

As you improve your flexibility you are able to deepen your stretches.  Push a little farther until you feel the burn of the stretch, only where it is comfortable and hold the stretch there. Breathing is important as it carries oxygen to your muscles.  Many people tend to hold their breath while holding a stretch.  Be aware of your breathing as you stretch and breathe evenly and deep.

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Ultimate 30's Workout

Increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone your body produces by working multiple muscle groups and keeping rest periods short. For cardio, your lactate threshold can still be increased throughout your thirties, so intervals are king to counter any loss of lung power.

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Ultimate 40's Workout

Short, sharp shocks are the way to fire up your body in your middle years - which means you can forget long-winded weights workouts. Vary exercises, intensity and timings to keep your muscles guessing.

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Ultimate 50's Workout

You may not be able to lift the heaviest weight, but that's okay. Instead, stretching and yoga should be part of your training, and body-weight moves can replace heavy workouts. Do three sets of 10 reps of the following exercises to protect your joints and maintain muscle mass and testosterone.

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