Social Icons

twitter follow facebook followgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

Featured Posts

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.

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Makes You Fat: Fats or Calories?

It is the common assumption that fats make you fat. However this is not the case at all. Fats have to be present in the diet in order for the body to function properly. Rather it is the consumption of calories that makes you fat. If you eat more than the body burns off then you will gain weight. Just as if you eat fewer calories than needed your body will lose weight.

Fats are a necessary part of the diet as they digest fat soluble vitamins. These are vitamins A, D, E and K and the body needs all of them. Whenever glycogen stores are depleted fat can be used as a source of energy, preventing the breakdown of muscle. The amount of fat you should consume should make up between 15% and 30% of the calories you consume in a day. This isn’t a lot as 1g of far equals 9 calories. Compare this to protein and carbs where 1g of protein equals 4 calories and the same for carbs.

Fats or Calories

There are however types of fats that should be avoided. Two fats that should be avoided are saturated fats and trans fats. These are bade for your health by raising the levels of blood cholesterol. You should be looking to get your fat intake from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These healthier types can decrease your blood cholesterol levels reducing your risk of heart disease.

So what is it that makes me fat Despite all the fad diets out there telling you to cut out fats and carbs and other ideas, the truth is that you should be counting calories. When you consume more calories than your body uses you will put on weight. By consuming fewer calories than that needed by your body you will lose weight.

How many calories should I eat?

Your required calorie intake can be calculated by looking at your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This will be based on your body weight and size. Your BMR is a calculation of the calories your body needs to function such as keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing. You can calculate your BMR by using the Harris- Benedict equation.

Harris-Benedict equation for BMR
Men (13.75 x w) + (5 x h) – (6.76 x a) + 66 = BMR
Women (9.56 x w) + (1.85 x h) – (4.68 x a) + 655 = BMR
W=weight in kg
H= height in cm

This is the minimum amount of calories your body needs in order to function normally. Your level of activity or inactivity must be taken into consideration.

You must multiply your BMR by the activity factor. This is essentially a rating of your activity level.

Exercise 1-2 times per week BMR x 1.2
Exercise 2-4 times per week BMR x 1.4
Exercise 4-6 times per week BMR x 1.6

This then is now a figure based on your personal body type of the calories you need to consume. Therefore if you eat fewer calories than this figure you will lose weight. On the hand if you are wanting to gain weight then you will need to eat more calories than you calculated.

To get a nutrition plan tailored to your exact calorie needs based on your body type try the Muscle Maximizer. It does all your nutriiton work for you so you can focus on the hard work in the gym.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements
Protein Supplements

Protein is crucial to muscle building as it is the main building block of muscle tissue. If you are trying to build muscle then getting enough protein in your diet will be deciding factor in your success. Getting the high levels of protein you need from food alone can be difficult. Therefore many people use and benefit from protein supplements.

Protein supplements help increase size, strength and speed of recovery. Protein supplements are convenient and easy to use providing you with a great tasting quality protein source.

Looking for a protein supplement is not easy as there are so many different types. The following should help you find a protein supplement suitable to your needs. Some major factors to consider is the levels of protein and levels of muscle building amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is one of the most popular protein sources on the market due to its muscle building properties. Whey protein is high in muscle building amino acids and has a high BV making it a fast acting protein. Whey protein is a staple among many bodybuilders and is present in many a gym bag without fail.

Whey can be beneficial in; sports nutrition, weight management, immune support, bone health and general wellness. Whey protein also stimulates muscle protein synthesis after exercise crucial to building muscle. As a result it is used by bodybuilders, endurance athletes, dieters and those who play team sports.

Whey protein is a high quality protein that comes from milk and is a by-product of the cheese production process. When buying whey protein there are a number of factors to consider.

Calorie content- if using protein for dieting, you don’t want a whole of calories in there. This can happen with the cheaper products,

Protein content- you can usually expect about 20g-25g of protein per serving which is ideal. A cheaper product may seem appealing on price but let you down in protein content.

Carbs and fat content-levels of carbs and fat should be minimal.

Added ingredients- maybe cheap products are just full of added sugars and additives to make them great tasting or lower the price. These again should be minimal. When muscle building you need to care what goes into your body.

In general make sure content fits your goals. Stay away from cheaper products of you can. You may feel you are getting a good deal but the nutrition label never lies. You get what you pay for really.

The timing of intake can be important to really boost your muscle building potential. The best idea is to take protein when you need it. You will need a fast acting protein first thing in the morning and immediately after exercise. At these times your muscles are screaming out for some quality protein. Give them what they need with a good quality whey as soon as you wake up and straight after your workout.

Types of Whey Protein

Whey Concentrate- 75% protein by weight, whey concentrate is cheapest but contains the highest levels of fat and lactose.

Whey Isolate- This is whey in its purest form, process to remove the fats and lactose. 90% by weight is pure protein providing the most amount of protein per serving. A quality protein that contains virtually no lactose or fats.

Whey Blends- this is the most popular type and is a combination of isolates and concentrates. This produces a high quality protein supplements that is affordable with a good amino acid profile.

Casein Protein

Accounting for 80% of protein in milk, casein protein is a much slower digesting protein than whey protein. Casein protein has a protein value of 92% and is very popular with weight gainers. Although having a lower BV than whey protein it is more efficiently used to build muscle.

Casein is popular as it is used by the body to build muscle and less is used as an energy source. This way casein encourages the body to use carbs and stored fat as energy. Casein protein is also popular as it is high in the body building supplement glutamine.

Casein protein has a strong anti-catabolic effect due to the slow steady release of protein that comes with taking casein protein. In fact casein has been shown to sustain steady amino acid elevations for up to 7 hours.

Casein can be used in conjunction with whey protein. As mentioned above it is best to take whey when the body needs a quick protein supply. Casein on the other hand is needed when you need a slow release of protein. The most important time to take casein is therefore before bed.

When the body sleeps most of the muscle rebuilding and repairing takes place and therefore needs a steady supply of nutrients, particularly protein. Casein just lends itself to this job. Much more easy on the stomach than a steak before bed, eh?

Soy Protein

Soy protein is a high quality protein however is not as efficient as whey protein or casein in building muscle. Soy protein is a fast digesting protein with a fairly average amino acid profile. You can take soy protein at any time throughout the day to boost protein intake and can be taken pre and post workout.

Soy protein is suitable for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant making popular in these circles. Soy protein is lean in terms of carbs making it good for bodybuilders and fat burners, and supports a healthy immune system.

Soy protein is also popular as it contains high amounts of glutamine. The body uses glutamine to transport nitrogen to the muscle tissue. This increases cell volume through cellular hydration. Soy protein also has the ability to produce nitric oxide which increases the blood flow driving more nutrients to the muscles.

Despite all these benefits there is an unsettled debate among some bodybuilders who state that as it contains plant oestrogens that this will limit the effects of testosterone. They believe that this will store fat and limit muscle building. However as this debate continues many have seen benefits in their muscle building by using soy protein supplements.

Egg Protein

The benefits of eggs in muscle building is well known with many people chugging them down raw. The fact remains that eggs have the highest amino acid profile available in a single protein source.

Egg protein supplements are made up from egg whites which contain most of the protein and none of the fat making them fat free. These supplements have a medium rate of digestion and are suitable any time of the day.

Egg proteins are also completely absorbed containing a complete make up of essential amino acids, BCAA’s and glutamic acid making them hugely effective.


There are a huge range of protein supplements that can boost your protein intake throughout the day. It should be remembered that these are supplements and should be used to add extra protein to an already nutritious and varied diet.

When buying protein supplements check the label for any rubbish ingredients you really don’t want to be ingesting. You may feel that going for a cheaper option is best but these products are usually full of suspect ingredients. You get what you pay for.

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.

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.

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.