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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.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Powder Keg

Should You Be Taking A Protein Shake? Get Supplement Savvy

powder keg
Before you buy that massive tub of powdered muscle, ask yourself these two questions: "What do I need?" and "What can I afford?"

Next step: make sure you run it past your doctor. Only then can you start weighing up the options. "There are three broad categories of supplement shakes," says Professor Du Toit Loots, professional athlete and professor in Metabolic Biochemistry at North-West University. "The key is finding the right one for you."

Supplements fall into three general categories, depending on your goal. Start here:

1. Mass Builders
This type of supplement should ideally be taken by guys who struggle to gain weight, have a super fast metabolism and who are trying to bulk up.

"Mass builders are normally the cheaper option, as they have less protein and more carbohydrates, which is a cheaper source of supplementation," says Loots. "Our bodies preferentially use carbohydrates to fuel our metabolism. After that the remaining carbs and proteins would remain for muscle and weight gain."

2. Muscle Builders
These usually contain a 50:50 carbohydrates to proteins ratio, but these ratios can vary in either direction.

"Compared to mass builders," Loots explains, "muscle builders contain more protein and less carbs. These are typically used by active individuals wanting to gain muscle and not too much weight from fat."

3. Protein Shakes
There are broadly two types of protein supplements; combined protein shakes (which contain a combination of whey, soy and egg) and pure whey shakes.

"Although combined protein shakes are cheaper than pure whey shakes, the quality of the protein isn't as good," says Loots. "The soya protein used in these products is less easily utilized for muscle repair and growth, as compared to egg white proteins and whey."


"Creatine is a muscle fuel that has been shown to have performance enhancing effects and is considered safe when used in the short term, by people over the age of 18," says clinical dietitian, Pippa Mullins.

Mullins warns that creatine supplementation should be used correctly. Drink responsibly, because the side effects, which include nausea and gastrointestinal upset, are nasty.

Glutamine is also often added to protein shakes to help support the immune system, says Mullins. According to Professor Yoliswa Lumka, head of the Sport Performance Institute at Stellenbosch University, glutamine may also assist in muscle cell repair after weight training.

However natural additives seem to increase the effectiveness of supplementation, don't let this be an essential part of your decision, says Loots. "Often the amount of creatine and other natural additives in the shake aren't enough to be effective, and are merely a marketing strategy to get the product sold."

Get bang for your buck by choosing the best quality protein shake, that matches your fitness goals and your lifestyle.


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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.

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.