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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.

Monday, April 16, 2012

22 Muscle Building Foods For Your Nutrition Plan

Muscle Building Foods

The nutrition part of any muscle building plan is hugely important. Below is a list of muscle building foods you should incorporate into your diet.

Meat, Fish & Poultry

1 Steak
Considered the best muscle building meat due to high levels of iron, zinc and creatine. Can be expensive if you’re on a budget. Even if you need to buy cheap always look for the leanest cuts.
2 Turkey
Personally turkey is the ultimate meat despite it always coming second to chicken. Turkey is much leaner with next to 0g of saturated fat.
3 Chicken
Obviously the choice of many people because of price and versatility. However if you’re like me you will get bored very fast from eating chicken. Remains a popular muscle building food as its a lean meat with plenty of protein per serving.
4 Eggs
The ultimate muscle building food due to its essential amino acid profile. Not only that they are cheap and easy to prepare. You can cook them or go with the hardcore and down them raw. If its good enough for Rocky Balboa?
5 Salmon
High quality protein and Omega-3 you get from salmon makes it an essential in your body building diet.
6 Tuna
Popular part of my diet. Tuna is a lean protein source with plenty of good fatty acids.
Also go with any other meat you can get your hands on e.g. liver, kidney, pork, ham, lamb, duck. Make sure you make friends with your butcher to get your hands on lean cuts and maybe some discounts.

All seafood can be included in your diet no problem. Asides from tuna and salmon I like to include crab, shrimp, mussels, crayfish, haddock, trout, cod, herring, mackerel, Pollack. All great options to keep your muscle building foods varied.


7 Milk
Great for gaining muscle and a good protein source with calcium for strong bones. If you haven’t heard of it yet many muscle builders go for the GOMAD system. The Gallon Of Milk A Day system is very popular among the bodybuilding community. They swear by it, although I haven’t tried it myself. If you use milk to mix your shakes this shouldn’t be too hard to reach.
8 Yoghurt
Good source of protein and carbs if you get the regular yoghurt and not fat free. Mix with some mixed berries for a great snack


Carbs really are necessary for any muscle building diet despite what many think. Check out carbs for muscle building for more information. You should be looking to get as many complex carbs as possible and limit your amount of simple carbs.
9 Pasta
Great source for getting plenty of carbs and you can make a pile of different dishes. Go for the wholemeal pasta.
10 Brown rice
Great source of carbs with slow releasing energy to stop those insulin spikes. Again, another option to spice up your diet.
11 Bread
Again head for the wholemeal variety and your diet will be much better off. I also enjoy oatmeal bread on training days as it has a higher number of calories. Some turkey on oatmeal-perfect high calorie nutritious snack.
12 Potato
Being Irish, where would I be without the potato?. So versatile and a good source of carbs. However, the potato is starchy and you shouldn’t consume too many in your weekly diet.


Veg is another nutritious way to get complex carbs into your body with the added bonus of gaining vitamins and fiber your body needs.
13 Broccoli
High in soluble fiber and low calorie.
14 Spinach
Popeye wasn’t wrong and was well ahead of his time when he enjoyed a good tin of spinach. Prevents muscle and bone loss, spinach is very high in nutrients.
15 Carrots
Another personal favourite. Keep some prepared carrot sticks in the fridge at all times for snacking. Full of vitamin A, rich in fiber and low calorie.
Eat plenty of green fibrous veg such as cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus and you’ll be well on your way to a better body. Also consider beans and peas in all their various forms.


Like veg fruit is a great way to get carbs into your body, however with fruit they can contain simple sugars. This is ok because you need these too. For example immediately after your workout a boost in simple sugars can promote protein uptake.
16 Oranges
Full of vitamin C keeping your immune system healthy. However don’t get from fruit juices unless you juice your own. It is much better to eat them.
17 Berries
Raspberry, blackberry, blueberry? It doesn’t matter because they are all good. I like to mix a few different types. Much more interesting.

When it comes to fruit some say it is much better to stick with the main ones such as oranges, apples and bananas and some berries. However if you get bored easily feel free to eat any fruit you can get your hands on. For me I’m currently living in Malaysia and the choice of standard fruit in my town is limited. Plenty of exotic fruit hasn’t done any harm at all.

Nuts & Seeds

18 Almonds
High in vitamin E, almonds can help after a heavy workout by preventing breakdown of muscle.
19 Peanut butter
If you need extra calories and are finding it hard. Peanut butter will be your best friend. A peanut butter sandwich can give you over 600 calories.

Mixed nuts and seeds are excellent way to get fats, protein and fiber all at once. Buy some mixed nuts and seeds or individually to make your own trail mix. A couple of handfuls a day will give you everything you need to grow big.


20 Olive oil
Popular among bodybuilders as it fights free radicals that try to breakdown the very muscle tissue you’re trying to grow. Also made up of monounsaturated fat.
21 Flax seed oil
Contains more than twice as much Omega-3 as fish oil and is very popular in the muscle building community.

Last But Not Least

22 Water
Water is going to be the most important component of your muscle building diet. It is advised that normal people get about 2L (66 ounces). For muscle builders it should at least be this value if not higher.

You should certainly consume water before, during and after you exercise as well as throughout the day if you can. Water is responsible for just about every process in the body which is includes protein uptake.


So there you see a good wide varied list of muscle building foods you can use in your meal plan to support muscle growth. You should notice that these are real foods with no processed rubbish. This gives you a big clue if you can’t decide if something is right or wrong for your diet.

If you need to, think it through like this. Did a caveman eat this? If the answer is yes then is most likely to be good. If you the answer is no then maybe avoid it.

If you want a nutrition plan tailored to your exact needs, preferences ad body type then try the Muscle Maximizer.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Creatine is a hugely popular muscle building supplement due to its ability to improve stamina and endurance as well as muscle growth and development. A widely studied nutrient it has been found to be both safe and effective for muscle builders and athletes.

Creatine Powder

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that helps supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle. It is naturally produced in the liver and kidney from the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine. From here it is transported in the blood to be used by the muscles. Around 95-98% of creatine found in the human body is in skeletal muscle.

Creatine Supplementing

Due to its ability in muscle development many bodybuilders take creatine supplements to support their growth gains. When you take creatine it is converted to creatine phosphate in the body which in turn produces ATP. ATP is very useful to bodybuilders as it provides energy for muscle contractions.
ATP is however a quick energy source and is depleted in under 15 seconds. At this point the creatine continues to produce ATP until it itself is depleted fully. This is how creatine supplementing can help you squeeze out more reps or use more weight when working out.

Creatine Basic Roles

The basic role of creatine is to provide energy to your muscles and increases cell volume. The above explains how it provides additional energy to your muscles to help you work out harder resulting in increased muscle. Creatine however can also increase muscle size another way. The use of creatine results in muscle cells being flooded with fluid making them larger.

Creatine Benefits

The benefits of creatine include increased power, stamina and faster training recovery. This means you can pump out those extra reps in the gym and use more weight. Combining this with a good solid nutrition plan for recovery and you will benefit with lean muscle gain.

Creatine Sources

In terms of nutrition creatine is found in meat and fish. As it can be made from the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine intake of foods high in these can also be beneficial. However the best way to get extra creatine into your diet is by using supplements.

Creatine Dosage

There are many different recommended amounts and conflicting views on how much creatine to take. Extensive research has shown that 5g-20g per day is a safe and effective amount. However each product is different and so advice would to be follow the manufactures instructions.

Creatine Loading

It is recommended that to quickly feel and see the effects of creatine supplementing it is best to go through a loading phase followed by a maintenance stage. The loading phase is advised to last about 5 days where you take a higher intake of creatine in order to saturate the muscles. This should then be followed by a decrease in the dose per day for a longer period of time. Studies have shown that a loading phase dramatically increases levels of dihydro-testosterone.

Loading and maintenance phase’s directions will be given on the product you purchase. It is important to follow this as each product has different serving sizes and other variables. So avoid general advice.

Creatine Cycling

It is thought that if you continue to use creatine supplements your body may get lazy and stop manufacturing its own supply, Therefore many theories have surfaced as to how to cycle it. Some don’t believe in cycling. To be on the safe side I would suggest cycling. However you may need to test the on off stages that work best for you.

Try 4 weeks on 2 weeks off, 6 weeks on 3 weeks off or 8 weeks on and 4 weeks off to see what works best for you.

Creatine Side effects

There have not been any studies that have found any side effects from creatine supplementing. Other than the ones you want such as muscle gains. However it is advised that if you can a pre-existing condition in the liver or kidney then you should not take any form of creatine supplement.

It has also been noted that you should stay hydrated throughout the course by drinking plenty of water. Creatine takes water into the cells and can leave you dehydrated. This dehydration will make itself known in the form of muscle cramps.

As always seek medical advice before supplementing or starting an exercise plan.


Creatine can be hugely beneficial to anyone who wants to build muscle. This is why many bodybuilders will swear by it and also have a supply in the gym bag. Remember to stay hydrated and follow the manufactures advice on the product in order to stay safe.

Combine creatine supplements with intense weight lifting and a good diet and you will experience the benefits of lean muscle gain.

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.