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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.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Anabolic Eating

Anabolic Eating

In our last installment, we discussed some of the nitty-gritty of the Atkins diet, and how the trend toward low-carb pre-packaged food can undermine the success of those using this nutrition scheme. Interestingly, the slippery slope upon which the makers of "low-carb, net carb" pizza, breads, etc., have placed the unknowing dieter actually ramps into an area of performance nutrition that has been around for at least 10 years, and probably longer. In particular, the use of carbohydrate spikes while on a high-fat diet is one of the principles of the so-called "Anabolic Diet" as laid out by Dr. Mauro DiPasquale in the mid 1990s.

In essence, the Anabolic Diet is based strongly on the Atkins Diet, but with a few major changes to accommodate the hardcore strength athlete in promoting an anabolic (muscle-growing) environment. Now, it may sound strange that a diet originally intended for weight loss can be used for muscle building, but even the basic Atkins diet offers many benefits to the bodybuilder. Specifically, it is great for shedding bodyfat and bringing out muscle definition. In addition, the even-keeled insulin levels achieved with the Atkins diet can be very beneficial to athletes looking to maintain constant energy levels throughout the day. As anyone who has worked out intensely with weights can verify, growing muscles and/or shrinking fat cells tend to lead to swinging appetites, mood levels, and energy levels. Flattening out these curves can help tremendously, once you get past the initial descent into ketosis, of course.

Beyond the athletic benefits of the basic Atkins diet, the Anabolic Diet attempts to maintain an anabolic state by focusing more on high protein levels at the expense of some fat calories. The idea is that once the fat-burning furnace has been turned on, the body can use its own fat stores for its energy needs while converting as much of the available dietary protein to muscle as possible, assuming proper training intensity is applied. Then, once bodyfat stores are at the desired levels, dietary fat can be adjusted to provide the necessary energy.

One fascinating aspect of the Anabolic Diet is the mid-week carb surge. It is well known that insulin is a powerful storage hormone, for both fat stores and skeletal muscle cells. By keeping insulin levels low and constant, the Atkins/Anabolic diet helps to maintain energy levels and to shrink fat cells, but it means that your muscles don't receive the benefit of this powerful hormone. DiPasquale's solution to this dilemma is to include one several-hour window in the middle of the week during which huge amounts of carbohydrates are consumed. This goody gorging sends a flood of insulin into the blood stream, and the body's muscles, due to their heavily trained and depleted state, are able to suck up scads of glycogen, creatine, and protein. Some spillage to the fat cells is probably inevitable, but if you are training hard, it will probably be minimal. It remains to be seen whether such a tactic has any benefits for the non-athlete, but the suspicion here is that it would simply lead to the storage of a goodly amount of bodyfat.

It has been said that food is one of the most powerful drugs on earth, and this certainly seems to be true with respect to temporarily altering certain facets of human blood chemistry, including insulin levels. The Atkins and Anabolic systems represent one basic approach to dieting, and in the future we'll look at many more, such as low-fat diets, the Zone, and other particular "fad" diets, all of which attempt to control our blood chemistry via different pathways. Until then, lift well, eat well, and be well!


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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.