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The 5 Best Fall Fruits And Veggies! Body Transformation: Joseph Went From Hiding His Belly To Rocking His Abs! 4 Ways To Deal With Fitness Disappointment 12 Surprising Fat-Burning Foods The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner 3 Fats That Can Help You Lose Weight BodySpace Member Of The Month: Nikki Walter, A Year Of Leading By Example 3 Protein-Packed Breakfast Recipes 5 Best Canned Protein Sources
 

The 5 Best Fall Fruits And Veggies!

Vital StatsName: Matthew Kadey,MS, RDOccupation: Nutrition journalist, authorAwards: James Beard Award for food journalism, 2013Books: Muffin Tin Chef, No-Cook No-Bake CookbookWebsite: mattkadey.comSweater weather might be upon us, but your fruit and vegetable choices are just starting to heat up! When most people think of farm-fresh food, they imagine sun-kissed peaches and juicy tomatoes. But come the fall season, markets are once again bursting with a bounty of fruits and vegetables at their nutrition and flavor peaks.You can't feed your muscles with only steak and eggs, so to help send you into winter as healthy (and well-fed!) as ever, we rounded up the fairest fruits and veggies of the fall that pack a legitimate nutritional punch. 1 Pears When it comes to fall fruit, here's more proof that you should think beyond apples. Juicy pears are a stellar source of dietary fiber—a medium fruit delivers about 6 grams. That's 50 percent more than what you get from an apple, and more than an entire cup of cooked quinoa. Current recommendations are that men and women should be shooting for 38 grams and 25 grams of fiber daily, respectively. So biting into a hazardously juicy pear can help you nail this quota.Like a death threat from Hulk Hogan, there are copious reasons why you shouldn't take your fiber intake lightly. For starters, fiber takes a sledgehammer to hunger pangs by slowing down digestion, thereby helping you feel full for longer and putting the brakes on cravings and overeating. Fiber also reduces nasty spikes in blood sugar that can contribute to sagging energy levels and the storage of doughy stuff on your six-pack."Juicy pears are a stellar source of dietary fiber—a medium fruit delivers about 6 grams. That's 50 percent more than what you get from an apple, and more than an entire cup of cooked quinoa."By working to improve blood cholesterol numbers, research also suggests that a high-fiber diet can help lessen the risk of suffering coronary woes. And keep the peeler in the drawer: The skin of a pear harbors a laundry list of antioxidants with inflammation-fighting powers.Bartlett's are the most popular pear, but expand your culinary horizons with Bosc, Anjou, and the deliciously crisp Seckel.Sneak More InBeyond being an ideal out-of-hand snack, sliced pears can also add a sweet appeal to oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, green salads, and even sandwiches. Blend them into your protein shakes to add natural sweetness. 2 Kale We know kale is a cliche choice these days, but hear us out. Few foods provide more of a nutritional bang for your buck, making jaunty kale the MVP of the produce department. A mere cup of this green giant delivers more than a day's requirement of vitamins K, A, and C.Researchers at Arizona State University discovered that higher intakes of vitamin C can reduce heart rate during exercise, which could make your workouts seem less taxing and allow you to push the pace. Kale is also a leading source of lutein and zeaxanthin, a dynamic antioxidant duo shown to bolster eye health.Sneak More InSome people find raw kale too bitter for their taste buds, but steaming or quickly sauteing the leaves can mellow out its flavor. Try kale served with roasted butternut squash. Add chopped kale to soups toward the end of cooking, or add it in pesto sauces. Kale also makes a powerful addition to so-called green smoothies. Food blogs are packed with kale chip recipes that'll turn into your new snacking addiction. 3 Beets It's time to dig deep for one of the season's best finds. Who would have thought that a root vegetable synonymous with borsht would turn out to have what it takes to rev up your workouts? A number of recent studies, however, have shown that regular consumption of whole beets and beet juice can improve muscular endurance. How? It turns out that the crimson vegetable is jam-packed with nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide, a gas that widens blood vessels—much like the nitric-oxide supplement you may already be taking. This, in turn, allows more oxygen and nutrients to get to your muscles during workouts, and thereby generates more efficient muscular energy production.As a bonus, the nitrates in beets have blood-pressure-lowering efficacy, and betalins—pigments that give the root vegetable its distinctive blush—are strong antioxidants. And since beets have among the highest natural sugar content of any vegetable, they can help stick it to cravings for nutritionally corrupt sweets."Beets are jam-packed with nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide, a gas that widens blood vessels—much like the nitric-oxide supplement you may already be taking."Sneak More InTo coax out their natural sweetness, roasting beets is the way to go. Simply wrap each beet tightly in foil or parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until tender—about one hour, depending on their size. When cool enough to handle, the skins will rub off using a paper towel. Shredded raw beets are a great addition to salads and sandwiches. Some athletes sip beet juice, a concentrated source of nitrates, on a daily basis for its performance-boosting powers. 4 Cranberries You can find dried, sugar-coated cranberries all year, but now is the time to pucker up and enjoy the uncompromised fresh version. Native to North America and oh-so autumnal, distinctively tart cranberries are laced with phytonutrients with strong antioxidant power. By helping to lessen the oxidative damage associated with intense workouts, it's thought that higher intakes of antioxidants like those in cranberries can help improve exercise recovery.What's more, a large review of studies conducted by researchers at Boston's Tufts University suggests that unique proanthocyanidin antioxidants found in spades in cranberries are cardio-friendly via their power to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and artery stiffness.The rosy gems are also a good way to load up on more immune-boosting vitamin C, which can help combat the winter sniffles so you can spend more time on the gym floor than the doctor's office.Sneak More InFresh cranberries can add a pop of unexpected tart flavor to salsas, grain, and green salads, or even when mixed with ground beef to make hamburger patties. Try simmering them in a saucepan with chopped apple, chopped shallot, orange zest, maple syrup, and cinnamon for a sauce that can breathe new life into your yogurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. It even works as a sauce for meats like pork and chicken. 5 Butternut Squash Now's the time to load up on this winter squash, when prices at markets are budget-friendly. Butternut's orange-tinged flesh should tip you off that it's full of beta-carotene. In the body, beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A, which is used to bolster eye, bone, and immune health. On its own, beta-carotene is considered an antioxidant that can help mop up cell-damaging free radicals."Butternut's orange-tinged flesh should tip you off that it's full of beta-carotene."A 2014 "Journal of Nutrition" study reported that higher blood levels of beta-carotene are associated with lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and markers of inflammation, making this gourd particularly heart-friendly. Butternut also delivers fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Scientists in Portugal found that magnesium plays a role in muscular strength in athletes, potentially via its impact on muscle contraction.Sneak More InIf stored in a dry, cool, well-ventilated place, hearty butternut squash can last up to three months. Roasting winter squash for recipes serves to intensify their natural sweet side. Toss halves, slices, or chunks with some oil and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until tender. Use in salads, soups, and even tacos. Cooked and pureed butternut can also gussy up your morning oatmeal, and is surprisingly amazing in smoothies when blended with Greek yogurt, frozen banana, almond butter, and cinnamon. When shaved thinly with a vegetable peeler, ribbons of sweet raw squash can even be used to add excitement to salads.Go Frozen in a PinchIn case you're still hankering for summer fruits like peaches and blueberries this fall, it's best to take a pass on lackluster fresh imports in favor of their frozen counterparts. While fresh fruits can lose some of their nutritional firepower (not to mention flavor) during their long trip from farm to store to shelves, frozen fruits are most often picked at their height of ripeness and then quickly frozen to lock in their nutrients and antioxidants.Recommended For YouAthletes Need Their Veggies: 3 Vegetables You Need To Eat Vegetables are the nutritional backbone of a healthy diet. Don't push them to the side of your plate! Make friends with the produce department for better health and performance.Pomegranate Power: The Athletic Benefits Of The Pomegranate You've seen it in the grocery store. Your grandparents drink it. But is the pomegranate just another overhyped fruit to be forgotten in a few years? Not if history and nutritional research have anything to say about it!What Advertisers Don't Want You To Know About Food Labels Looking for healthy, natural foods to bolster your gym gains? Here's how to separate the reality from the sales pitch when it comes to 8 common food labels.About The AuthorMatthew Kadey, MS, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc., is a registered dietitian based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He works full-time as a freelance nutrition writer...View All Articles By This Author

Body Transformation: Joseph Went From Hiding His Belly To Rocking His Abs!

Vital StatsName: Joseph Ledet, Jr.Email: truesteppa@gmail.comBodySpace: truesteppaWhy I decided to transformSeveral things influenced me to get started on my transformation. One factor was my wife being in shape. There were also times I would take my kids to the water park and would wear a shirt in the pool out of embarrassment of the size of my stomach.I couldn't even suck in my stomach, it was so big. I decided I didn't want to continue down the path of several of my overweight co-workers, and decided to take advantage of my work providing a free membership to a local gym, which included a free personal trainer.How I accomplished my goalsPeople always ask how I did it. I tell them that it takes dedication, discipline, and determination. Patience and hard work are also needed. When I was younger I played sports, was in the military, and hated to exercise; I was pretty much forced to. Once I started and began to see a difference though, it became an addiction and I couldn't get enough.Before After AGE 41 / HEIGHT 6'0" / BODY FAT 21%AGE 43 / HEIGHT 6'0" / BODY FAT 8%Post To FitboardThere were plenty of challenges, work being a major one, with long hours, being on-call 24/7, and no set schedule. Working nights and weekends had me stopping at fast-food restaurants or gas stations and being tempted to buy junk food. With determination, I started preparing my meals in advance. I now make small portions, label them, and freeze them, so that when I go to work I can just grab them and go. I do the same with healthy snacks by prepping them in advance in snack-size Ziploc bags.Just like most people, I also have to have time for family and other responsibilities. I make the effort to continue with my regimen though. Time is limited, but I make time. No excuses! If I can do it, anyone can.Apply Here To Be A TransformationOf The Week! Bodybuilding.com honors people across all transformation categories for their hard work and dedication. Learn how our featured transformers overcame obstacles and hit their goals!Supplements that helped me through the journey Whey Protein 1 scoop BCAAs (w/ Gatorade) Whey Protein 1/2 scoop Casein Protein 1/2 scoop Whey Protein 1/2 scoop Casein Protein 1/2 scoop Pixie Sticks Fish Oil Multivitamin Casein Protein 1 scoop Diet plan that guided my transformation Eggs 3 Almonds 1 serving *VDM (Vegetable Drink Mix) 1 serving Chicken Breast 1 serving Lentils 1/4 cup *VDM (Vegetable Drink Mix) 1 serving Pork Chop 1 serving Quinoa 1 serving Asparagus 1 serving Cherries 1 serving Turkey Jerky *VDM (Vegetable Drink Mix) 1 serving Fish Broccoli Avocado Casein Protein 1 scoop 2300 est. calories per day.*Vdm = Veggie drink mix: Spinach, cucumbers, kale, beets, carrots, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and water all blended up in a blender, smooth enough to drink. Drink before your meal.Training regimen that kept me on track HIIT Cardio20 minutes Ab Workout3 cycles Hammer Curls3 sets of 15 reps Seated Calf Raise3 sets of 25 reps Wrist Curl3 sets of 20 reps Push-ups3 sets of 12 reps Dumbbell Bench Press6 sets of 5 reps Dumbbell Flyes3 sets of 8 reps Cable Crossover3 sets of 8 reps Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip3 sets of 8 reps Decline Barbell Bench Press3 sets of 8 reps Cardio10 minutes Pull-up3 sets of as many as possible Kneeling High Pulley Row3 sets of 8 reps Lying T-Bar Row3 sets of 8 reps Bradford/Rocky Presses3 sets of 8 reps Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise3 sets of 8 reps Barbell Lever3 sets of 8 reps Cardio10 minutes HIIT Cardio20 minutes Ab Workout3 cycles Hammer Curls3 sets of 15 reps Seated Calf Raise3 sets of 25 reps Wrist Curl3 sets of 20 reps Triceps Pushdown>3 sets of 10 reps Barbell Curl3 sets of 10 reps EZ-Bar Skullcrusher3 sets of 10 reps Spider Curlxxsetsrepsxx Tricep Dumbbell Kickback3 sets of 10 reps Concentration Curls (Standing)3 sets of 10 reps Chin-Up3 sets of as many as possible Dips - Triceps Version3 sets of as many as possible Cardio10 minutes Barbell Squat5 sets of 8 reps Barbell Deadlift5 sets of 8 reps Barbell Hack Squat5 sets of 8 reps Standing Calf Raises5 sets of 8 reps Barbell Lunge5 sets of 8 reps Leg Press5 sets of 8 reps Seated Calf Raise5 sets of 8 reps Bench Jump3 sets of 20 reps HIIT Cardio20 minutes Ab Workout3 cycles Pull-up4 sets as many as possible Push-ups4 sets as many as possible Bodyweight Squat4 sets as many as possible Bodyweight Lunge4 sets as many as possible Barbell Bench Press100s Barbell Incline Bench Press100s Barbell Shrug100s Clean100s Standing Military Press100s Barbell Curl100s Barbell Deadlift100s Barbell Squat100s Bent Over Barbell Row100s *100s = 10lb weights on each side of the bar. Do as many as possible in one set with minimal rest, then continue as many sets as it takes to total a 100 reps. The less sets it takes to get to 100 the better. Cardio10 minutes What aspect challenged me the most"There was also a lot of trial and error before I started using Bodybuilding.com, which caused frustration and more time to pass before I started to achieve my goals."The aspect that challenged me the most was trying to get in the cardio and leg day workouts with bad knees. I started out with very light weights and high reps and built the muscles around my knees and made them stronger over time.There was also a lot of trial and error before I started using Bodybuilding.com, which caused frustration and more time to pass before I started to achieve my goals.My future fitness plansMy fitness goals include getting more defined abs, and to work on lagging parts, such as my forearms and calves.Suggestions for aspiring transformersRegarding nutrition, I recommend drinking plenty of water and eating small portions several times a day of high-protein, low-calorie whole foods. I also recommend sleeping 7-8 hours each night, with an afternoon nap, if possible.Other things that helped me succeed were keeping a log of food, sleep, workouts, water, and anything else that affected my outcome for the day, and changing my workout often. I switched up the equipment used, body parts, sets, reps, speed, rest, etc.I also used many different programs on Bodybuilding.com for change-ups, even taking different programs and combining them to create a workout of my own. My favorites are MFT28 and 6 Week Shortcut to Shred.Be sure to take pictures of yourself and post them on your mirror to see every day progress. Measure yourself, start out slow, pace yourself, and have patience.Stay off of the scale, and pay attention to your body; don't compare yourself to what someone else is doing. Just improve and do your best every workout. Build Up, Stay Up!How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goalsBodybuilding.com helped me achieve my goals by providing so much free information on nutrition, workout routines, and discounts on supplements. In my opinion, no matter what your goals are, Bodybuilding.com has the most accurate and informative free information on the web.I'm not the strongest or the biggest, but I feel great and like the way I look, and my confidence is high. For me, at 43 years old, it's all about proportions and being healthy and fit.Young GottiAce Hood ft. Rick Ross, Lil WayneSlim Thug ft. Young JeezyDramatized Da TruesteppaRecommended For YouHow To Lose 100+ Pounds In 1 Year! If Steve had downtime, he was either training or preparing meals. That dedicated plan of attack drove him to lose 102 pounds and 30 percent body fat in one year!Body Transformation: Eric Hicks Torched 131 Pounds To Reveal Ripped Muscle! Eric refused to follow his dad's diabetic fate and committed to change his lifestyle. See how he lost 131 pounds with a healthy mix of training and nutrition!Body Transformation: Micah Van Yperen Went From Pudgy To Pumped Up! Micah completely changed his body composition as a teen and turned fat to muscle after years of hard work in the gym and kitchen. See how you can too!About The AuthorOver 40 Transformation Of The WeekHave you made a dramatic change either by gaining muscle of by losing all the weight you have been hoping for?View All Articles By This Author

4 Ways To Deal With Fitness Disappointment

Vital StatsName: Abby HuotLocation: Minneapolis, MNEducation: St. Mary's University of Minnesota (2004)Occupation: Athlete, writer, fitness model, bikini/figure competitorHave you ever gone into something will all of your heart and soul and come up empty-handed for unexpected reasons? Have you ever been preparing for a big competition or event and been struck with a crisis? A sudden trip to the hospital or an injury can leave you sidelined and force you to take time off from the gym.Next thing you know, all your visions of the ideal physique, and all of the fitness plans you've organized to achieve it, are derailed.There's nothing more irritating in the human experience than disappointment, especially when it occurs for reasons beyond your control. Worse still, perhaps it's something you caused that could have been avoided in hindsight.Next time you're groveling in the pit of despair, don't forget how integral—albeit frustrating—a part of life disappointment is. Understand these four simple truths, and you're well on your way to dealing with disappointment like a champ.Truth 1: This isn't a foreign concept to anyone, is it? It started when you were a child. Do you remember wanting that Christmas present from Santa that wasn't under the tree? How about the shattering realization that the crush you had on that guy or girl was unrequited? Can you remember a time that you slaved over your homework, expecting a high grade, only to be devastated when you barely passed?"No matter where you are on the ladder of life, we're all vulnerable to disappointment and change."Why, then, does disappointment in adulthood come as such a shock? While we'd all like to think there's a lifetime max capacity for it, that's not the way things work. You can make one of two choices: Duck and miss or swing and try to hit the ball.No matter where you are on the ladder of life, we're all vulnerable to disappointment and change. So breathe and put things in perspective. Remember, it's not a personal attack.Truth 2: Adversity and learning to deal with disappointment in a mature way can lead to insight and wisdom. It can also be your chance to lead by example. Whether it's your co-workers seeing how you handle the unexpected, or your kids looking up to you as a role model, you alone have the chance to shine in moments of misfortune. It's not always easy, but sometimes it's the only choice you have.I've experienced this in my own fitness career. In 2009, I had to scratch from a show halfway through because I messed up and missed half of judging. It was beyond embarrassing. I had been training for four months to get on stage and in the end, I completely dropped the ball.Still, I tried to make the best of it. Sure, I wished it'd gone smoother but, by channeling attention away from my loss, I gained a bit more insight on how to triumph over disappointment. Plus, on the bright side, I got to eat pancakes 20 minutes earlier than I was expecting to. How bad could things be?Truth 3: Physique competitions in particular have a way of showing yourself and others who you really are at your core. I have seen it all backstage: tears, swearing, throwing shoes, even sabotage. But I've also seen women who rush to help with a suit malfunction or a smeared contest tan, MacGyver broken shoe straps back together, and provide unwavering support and comfort to competitors backstage. Competing really brings out the absolute best or the absolute worst in people. This again is where disappointment and your ability to keep your composure come into play."Physique competitions in particular have a way of showing yourself and others who you really are at your core."A disappointing placing after months of dieting, training, and sacrificing your social life hurts—especially when you know you look better than the last time you got on stage. You feel like you earned a higher placement, yet the cards didn't fall in your favor.Disappointment instills leadership skills to help others in the same position later down the road. You might know how this feels or, if you haven't personally experienced the sting of defeat, you can easily imagine what it feels like. Why not help someone in that situation? When you're in the world of fitness, you have a beautiful opportunity to lead when someone comes off the stage feeling defeated, their shoulders slumped and eyes lowered. It's your responsibility to point out the bright spots and reassure athletes that their hard work wasn't a waste of time.Truth 4: Hubris has been the downfall of many. Overconfidence and cockiness happen in every pursuit. In the world of fitness, it's almost a daily occurrence.Nobody should be on a pedestal and, from that perspective, disappointment can be humbling. Disappointment brings people down a few notches. It wipes the slate clean and reminds us that we're all on a level playing field and that we need to treat others with respect and compassion.A humble attitude, gracious sportsmanship, empathy for others, and ceaseless modesty are all long-lasting consequences of disappointment that end up as the foundation of empires and legacies. The humility learned through unfortunate experiences can be healing, motivating, and inspirational to others who have been slapped down by the hand of disappointment.It's Your Choice!Disappointment can own you forever or change you completely; the choice is yours. Whatever you're going through right now, find the lesson, teach others, and keep your head about you. Perspective, especially when it comes to overcoming unexpected circumstances, is everything! Not only can it help you, but you'll have a chance to help someone else later down the line by setting an example. Pay it forward with a humble heart, and you'll find that wisdom always trumps the disappointing times.Recommended For You4 Ways To Banish Food Guilt For Good Food guilt can take the fun out of fitness and add inches to your midsection. Learn how to recognize and move beyond this dietary dilemma.Ab Training: 6 Reasons Your Abs Aren't Showing Have you been spending hours in the gym working on your abs without seeing results? You may be making one of these errors! Here are 6 reasons your abs aren't showing.First-Time Fitness: 10 Pro Tips For Beginners Education is one of the most important tools in a gym-goer's repertoire. Learn a little more about training, nutrition, and supplementation from these 10 pros!About The AuthorAbby HuotAbby has experienced a variety of events that led her to embrace an underdog role. She hopes to offer a different perspective on health and fitness.View All Articles By This Author

Healthy Gluten Free Recipes

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12 Surprising Fat-Burning Foods

Choosing fat-fighting foods usually means a trip down the produce aisle in your local supermarket, but there are plenty of good alternatives that can help keep your calorie count down.While veggies are always a good place to start, we've added some surprise choices from other sections of the grocery store that can help you whittle your middle. 1 Mussels These bivalve mollusks are loaded with lean protein. Steam them in water with a little white wine—the alcohol will cook off—for a fast meal. Another upside to mussels is that they take some time to eat, forcing you to eat slower.This gives your internal satiety sensors time to register the food you're eating, so you end up eating less. 2 Almonds Despite initially being banned from fat-loss diets because of their high fat content, almonds offer the satiating trio of fiber, protein and dietary fat. Research has also shown that almonds have 20 percent fewer calories than was initially thought. 3 Pumpkin Thought mainly thought of as a seasonal dessert indulgence, pumpkin is packed with fiber, which slows digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. Canned pumpkin—which contains no added sugar—is available year-round and can be used to make low-carb pancakes, a protein-packed pumpkin pie, or tossed in a smoothie with some whey, walnuts and cinnamon. 4 Beets This earthy-tasting nutritional powerhouse is loaded with compounds called nitrates. Nitrates help increase vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels) and boost your performance in the gym. The harder you work in the gym, the more calories you'll burn, and the leaner you'll get.Boil beets and eat them sliced on a burger Australian-style. You can also dice beets and toss them with feta cheese as a great side to your favorite protein. 5 Avocados Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats. In a study published in "Diabetes Care," these fats were shown to reduce deep abdominal fat when used to replace dietary saturated fat. Avocados are also a good source of fiber.You don't need to be fancy with your avocados: Slice one in half, sprinkle on a little salt, eat with a spoon, and enjoy the yummy goodness knowing your body approves as much as your taste buds do. 6 Cheese Sticks Arnold once said that milk was for babies but men drink beer. You may think the same is true for cheese sticks, but they're not a childish snack. They're portable, proportioned and contain significant protein. Pair them with a small piece of fruit for a great fat-loss snack on the go. 7 Kefir This fermented hybrid of milk and yogurt delivers the powerful combination of protein and probiotics. It's 99 percent lactose-free because the beneficial bacteria in kefir pre-digests the lactose for you, making it a good alternative to milk for the lactose-intolerant. 8 Sardines The average American consumes more protein from bread than fish! This may have something to do with the perceived difficulty associated with cooking fish. Sardines require no cooking; you just eat them out of the tin. They also have an extended shelf-life and are very portable.A Spanish study found that eating oily fish like sardines three times per week while dieting led to improvements in leptin, a hormone released from fat cells that regulates appetite and body fat levels. 9 Grapefruit Grapefruit diet scams and the fear of fructose making you fat may have turned you off from grapefruit as a fat-burning food, but it's time to take a second look. A study conducted at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found that eating half a grapefruit with meals accelerated fat loss. Make sure to eat the white parts of the grapefruit as well, as this pith contains high amounts of soluble fiber. 10 Prunes Time to raid your grandmother's pantry! Prunes were once thought to be useful only for curing constipation, but they have health benefits and can aid you in your pursuit of a lean body. Prunes contain soluble fiber, which helps with blood sugar control and satiety. They're also loaded with anthocyanins—powerful antioxidants most commonly found in pomegranates and blueberries.While anthocyanins can be poorly absorbed by your digestive tract, that isn't necessarily bad news, as unabsorbed anthocyanins are used to fuel the healthy bacteria in your gut. Curating the best bacteria in your gut is key for developing and maintaining a lean physique. 11 Cold Cooked Potatoes Cooking and then cooling potatoes before you eat them—potato salad, anyone?— leads to the retrograde formation of resistant starch. Resistant starch can help improve insulin sensitivity and enhance satiety, two important factors in optimizing fat loss. 12 Canola Oil Canola oil is one-third polyunsaturated fats, a mixture of both omega-3 and omega-6. A 2014 study conducted at Uppsala University in Sweden found that opting for polyunsaturated fats over saturated fats when overeating—say, during a bulking phase—led to less fat gain and more muscle gain over seven weeks.SourcesNovatny, J. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2012. Lovejoy, J. Diabetes Care, August 2002. Parra, D. Appetite, November 2008. Fujioka, K. Journal of Medicinal Food, 2006. Recommended For YouWhy You Need Whey Did you ever see a study that seemed to contradict common sense when it comes to the basics of exercise and supplementation? You're not the only one. Here's how to break down the flaws in anti-supp research and take away lessons you can really use!Optimize Your Gut Health With Prebiotics Like Inulin! Probiotics are a popular supplement for gut health, but prebiotics can be just as beneficial. Get everything you need to know about how the prebiotic inulin can help your good gut bacteria!Citrulline Malate: The Fatigue Fighter! No modern pre-workout or pump-boosting supplement is complete without citrulline. Here's why this amino acid is earning its way to the ergogenic hall of fame!About The AuthorMike Roussell, Ph.D.Author, speaker, and nutritional consultant Mike Roussell, PhD is known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical habits...View All Articles By This Author

The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide To Fitness Day 15

Back | Main | NextSo you've heard the arguments about higher-protein diets improving body composition and training results. Now you've decided to get more protein in your diet. That's a great start! But how do you do it?The most obvious answer: Bring on the shakes! Great first step, however, as anybody who's ever sniffed their shaker cup after it was forgotten in the car for a couple of days (or weeks) knows, shakes come with some risks and limitations. That's where other portable protein options can be helpful. Luckily, there are many of them!Kathleen gives the lowdown in today's video.Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Watch The Video - 03:18Day 15 challengeLearn more about protein bars. Make a homemade protein bar recipe that you can enjoy over the week to come. Go Pro!View ProductAre you ready to expand your protein horizons? OK, let's dig in. Aside from powders, one option is ready-to-drink protein shakes, or RTDs. Their advantages are clear: convenience. You just crack it, drink it, and toss it.The potential downside is that some varieties are like mini-milkshakes due to their sugar and caloric content. In a pinch, though, these can be a lifesaver, particularly if you're somebody who likes to know exactly how much protein you take in at a time.View ProductOption two, as Kathleen said, is protein bars. Grocery stores and convenience stores are packed with them, and they all claim to be healthy. So are they? In many cases, not really. Even more than RTDs, bars require you to pay close attention to ingredients, because numerous varieties are just glorified candy bars. This is why people who are in the know often buy their whey powder in bulk and then make their own delicious bars!In its 15-year history, Bodybuilding.com has published innumerable recipes for homemade protein bars, pastries, and guilt-free desserts. Some of the most coveted come from Jaime Eason's LifeFit trainer, whose followers swear by her pumpkin protein bars and cinnamon swirl protein bread.One of our most popular recent recipes—well, a bunch of them, actually—come via Anna Sward. Her toasted coconut and vanilla whey protein bars never fail to earn rave reviews.Kathleen's own protein recipe bar is definitely worth your consideration, too. Here it is!Soft & Delicious Protein Bars1 cup of almond flour or any kind of flour 2 scoops of vanilla protein or any flavor 1/2 tsp of baking soda 1/2 tsp of salt 4 tbsp of cocoa 2/3 cups of egg whites 8 oz unsweetened apple sauce 4 oz water 1/4 cup of sugar any kind Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl first. Mix in the wet ingredients. Grease a 7x 11" pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Makes 21 servingsAmount per batchCalories 1,289Total Fat62.4gTotal Carbs253.2gProtein93.5gSoft & Delicious Protein Bars PDF (69 KB)Back | Main | NextAbout The AuthorContributing WriterCheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

3 Fats That Can Help You Lose Weight

Once deemed the ultimate health pariah, dietary fat has mercifully experienced a renaissance. Research continues to show that, without it, you have a fat chance (pun intended) of reaching optimal health. And for the physique-minded, there are some fats that appear to improve fitness and help obliterate that doughy stuff covering up your six-pack. These three groups of fats, which can be obtained in the grocery store and the supplement counter, are not to be taken lightly. 1 EPA and DHA Ever since the original studies conducted on Greenland's Inuit population showed that members of the ethnic group have historically healthy hearts despite a general dearth of fruits and vegetables in their diets, research has piled up demonstrating that the omega-3 fatty acids naturally present in fish oil—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—have a wide range of health benefits.*These include supporting heart, joint, brain, immune, and eye health. It's thought that their superpowers largely stem from the ability to support a healthy inflammation response in the body.*But these "phat" fats help gym rats in other ways, too. Studies conducted at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis) suggest that EPA and DHA have anabolic properties in that they encourage muscle protein synthesis.* Further, a 2014 study in the "Journal of Sports Science & Medicine" discovered that lifters who supplemented with these omega-3s experienced less muscle soreness in response to training.Studies suggest that EPA and DHA have anabolic properties in that they encourage muscle protein synthesis.Research also suggests that EPA and DHA can improve blood flow to muscles during exercise, which could bring about improvements in performance.* Through their role in supporting a healthy inflammation response and fending off insulin resistance, as well as altering the metabolism, higher levels of EPA and DHA have been linked to less body fat accumulation, thereby helping to improve your buff-to-blubber ratio.Eat UpBesides the whale blubber enjoyed by the Inuit, fish species with the most EPA and DHA include herring, rainbow trout, Arctic char, sablefish, anchovies, salmon, mackerel, and sardines. You can also find some of these fatty acids in grass-fed meats, organic milk, omega-3 enhanced eggs, and certain fortified foods.Some plant foods such as walnuts, flax, hemp, canola oil, and chia contain omega-3 fat in the form of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which can be converted by the body to EPA and DHA, but science shows that this conversion is fairly low.These foods can provide an added omega-3 boost and deliver many other body-friendly nutrients, but fish remains the most potent source of EPA and DHA.Supplement SavvyFew people eat enough fatty fish, making a fish oil supplement a good insurance policy for many fitness enthusiasts. When comparing supplements, don't just look at the total fish oil content. Whether you choose a pill or liquid, find a product that contains at least 500 mg combined EPA and DHA on the nutrition facts panel. Taken once daily, this will give you the optimal amount of omega-3s. If you don't like the fishy taste, opt for those with natural flavors like lemon or orange.9MuscletechPlatinum 100% Fish OilView Product10RSP NutritionFish OilView Product8.9OptimumFish OilView Product* Ratings as of article's date of publicationFortunately, contamination isn't a concern. Consumerlab.com, which conducts independent supplement testing, didn't find significant amounts of mercury or other contaminants in a wide range of omega-3 supplements they put to the test. 2 Conjugated Linoleic Acid Accumulating evidence suggests that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an omega-6 fatty acid, is proving to be an important ally in the battle of the bulge. Case in point: In a recent Spanish study, volunteers who consumed milk that was enhanced with 3 grams of CLA daily for six months experienced a greater drop in body fat mass and waist circumference than those who drank milk that was enriched with 3 grams of olive oil.*CLA appears to take part in a multi-pronged attack on flab by reducing synthesis of fat cells, altering genes involved in fat accumulation and supporting insulin sensitivity.* CLA can also increase the rate at which you burn fat during exercise, which can have beneficial impacts on body composition and raise muscular endurance during workouts.Accumulating evidence suggests that CLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, is proving to be an important ally in the battle of the bulge.A recent investigation in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" found that supplementing with CLA may also boost your testosterone. The investigators reported that subjects who took 6 grams of CLA daily had higher levels of testosterone in response to resistance training than when they took a placebo. Since testosterone is a major anabolic hormone, this outcome suggests that CLA can help rev up muscular growth.*What's more, a 2014 study by the white coats at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln found that six weeks of CLA supplementation, when paired with regular exercise, was more effective at supporting healthy blood triglyceride levels than when exercise was paired with a placebo. This is not the only study to show that CLA can help you maintain heart health by improving blood fat numbers and supporting a healthy inflammation response in the body.*Eat UpThe primary dietary sources of CLA are meat and dairy. Sadly, a major consequence of the industrialization of our food and the push toward lower-fat animal-based foods is that the amount of CLA found in milk and steak has diminished greatly in recent decades. You can fight back by splurging on pasture-raised dairy and meats.Researchers at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom determined that milk from cows raised using organic methods that included pasture feeding had 60 percent more CLA than milk from conventionally reared cattle, which includes stuffing them with plenty of grain. Dairy sourced from sheep and goats—especially if the animals grazed on grass—has also been shown to deliver healthy amounts of CLA.Supplement SavvyBecause of its scarcity in the modern food chain, supplementing with CLA is the best way to help give your physique a glance-worthy appearance. Try taking 1-3 grams of CLA twice daily with meals.8.8MusclePharmCLA CoreView Product9.7NutrexLipo-6 CLAView Product9MuscletechPlatinum Pure CLAView Product* Ratings as of article's date of publicationKeep in mind that it'll likely take a few weeks before you witness any benefits. Among the types of CLA looked at in research, the cis-9, trans-11, cis-12, and trans-10 forms are the most intensively studied. 3 Medium-Chain Triglycerides Who thought you could eat fat to burn fat? It may sound paradoxical, but some evidence suggests that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) can enhance the body's fat-burning potential and lead to improvements in body composition (ratio of fat to lean body mass).Here's an example: An "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" study that administered 4-5 teaspoons of medium-chain oil or olive oil daily to subjects for four months determined that those consuming MCTs lost more bodyweight and fat mass than those who consumed standard olive oil.MCTs can enhance the body's fat-burning potential and lead to improvements in body composition.The unusual chemical structure of MCTs allows them to be absorbed from the digestive tract intact where they're used for energy production in the liver, meaning it's less likely they'll be stored as body fat compared to other dietary fats.MCTs appear to offer a two-pronged approach to fat loss: They're minimally stored as adipose—body fat—and they contribute to elevated fat-burning metabolism. Research also indicates they may support insulin sensitivity, which can help keep the flab monster at bay.*Eat UpButter, coconut oil, and red palm oil are going to be your primary dietary sources for MCTs. Both coconut oil and red palm oil can be used for cooking in place of other oils, such as for sauteing meats and baking.Supplement SavvyAs a dietary supplement, take 1-2 tablespoons purified liquid MCT oil 2-3 times daily. It's easy to blend MCT oil into protein shakes and even salad dressings.8.4CytoSportMuscle MilkView ProductN/ATwinLabMCT FuelView Product9.2BSNSyntha-6View Product* Ratings as of article's date of publicationIt's vital to remember, however, that no amount of MCT is going to make up for a lousy diet and turn a donkey into a racehorse. If you don't eat clean overall, the chances of shedding the fat—supplementation or not—are poor.Sourceshttp://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/93/2/402.short http://www.jssm.org/research.php?id=jssm-13-151.xml http://www.resmedjournal.com/article/S0954-6111(10)00298-2/fulltext http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2012/06000/Effect_of_Conjugated_Linoleic_Acid_on_Testosterone.29.aspx http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jsfa.3504/abstract http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/3/621.abstract?sid=626a6f2d-e8a6-432c-baee-425db3e43fe0 Recommended For YouEverything You Need To Know About Greens Supplements Greens supplements are hot on the market, but misinformation can make the difference between them supplementing your health and bringing gains to a halt.Why You Need Whey Did you ever see a study that seemed to contradict common sense when it comes to the basics of exercise and supplementation? You're not the only one.Optimize Your Gut Health With Prebiotics Like Inulin! Probiotics are a popular supplement for gut health, but prebiotics can be just as beneficial. Get everything you need to know about how the prebiotic inulin can help your good gut bacteria!About The AuthorMatthew Kadey, MS, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc., is a registered dietitian based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He works full-time as a freelance nutrition writer...View All Articles By This Author

BodySpace Member Of The Month: Nikki Walter, A Year Of Leading By Example

Vital StatsName: Nikki WalterAge: 34Weight: 113Height: 5-foot-3Education: B.S. in fitness management, certified Les Mills Body Pump instructorCheerleading and track events helped carry Nikki Walter through high school and college, but as her interest in sports waned, she found a new career in fitness. She started competing in the NPC, signed up for the 2014 BodySpace Spokesmodel Search and took fourth place!Nikki lifts out of her local YMCA and trains with fellow Team Bodybuilding.com member Brandan Fokken. Marathons and cheerleading are big parts of her past, but her future is in competitive fitness.After college, Nikki settled into a job with the Chamber of Commerce, which helped her create a national network of contacts. She seemingly had everything in place. Then, in 2011, her husband was diagnosed with leukemia and died shortly after, at age 35. The loss left Walter with a lot of questions, and she found that fitness and healthy living were a major part of the answer.She left the Chamber of Commerce and began working in sales to spend more time with her daughter, Addison. She competed in a bikini contest to check a mark on her bucket list. She embraced hard training and nutrition as a lifestyle, making a profound impact in her community and on BodySpace. She and Addison now stage clean eating parties where they teach friends and their children about food prep and healthy nutrition.When the Walters visit those kitchens, they teach others how to eat more wisely, and how to use BodySpace to continue improving. They spread the word. Q How did you first find out about Bodybuilding.com and BodySpace? I'm coached by Brandan Fokken, a Team Bodybuilding.com athlete, and Brandan encouraged me to try out for the spokesmodel competition."The people on BodySpace are really supportive of your goals and understand the ups and downs of a fit lifestyle—and that it's a lifestyle."Before that, I was ordering products off the site. I kind of already knew about it, but because of the path I was taking toward competing, I leaned on the site a little bit more.I wasn't sure about BodySpace at first. Being in the public eye, I was a little hesitant because of privacy. I was in government and local leadership, so it was an issue. I had to overcome a lot of issues before I decided to utilize it to get inspired and to inspire others.The people on BodySpace are really supportive of your goals and understand the ups and downs of a fit lifestyle—and that it's a lifestyle. I like the support and enthusiasm people have on BodySpace.As I started to post more and share my story and have more confidence in what I was doing in posting online, I started to get responses from a variety of people. I try to keep in touch with them.People with leukemia, like my husband had, would reach out and say "I've been a competitor and I'm sick now." I'll reach out and write to them to see how they're feeling. One of them just wrote back to me to say that he's competing in six months because he's now cancer-free. That is really cool.I was always a very independent person. When I was married I did a lot of different things, but I also now have this niche of single parents reaching out to me. It's a whole other aspect of my inspiration. They inspire me so much by how they handle it. It's been so rewarding, being able to help these people, to interview them, and to hear about their experiences. For me, it's all about inspiring others and helping make it happen for them.How much does setting a good fitness example for your daughter drive you?I know cancer is part of my daughter's genetics, and I wanted to pursue clean eating for her health. I want to be a mom who made a difference for my daughter, but also showed her that she can help others just by doing the things you do in your everyday life."I want to be a mom who made a difference for my daughter, but also showed her that she can help others just by doing the things you do in your everyday life."When I talk to parents, I encourage them to do as much as they can with their families and do what's right for them. I'm all she has! For my mindset to be healthy, I want to make sure I'm as fit and healthy as I can be for her. Addison gets excited about it and says, "Mom, we're making a difference!" I compete and get involved, and it's so time-consuming because of my time on social media, training, and because I have a family. But as parents, you have to find that balance.I involve her in things she wants to be involved in. If we're working on a clean eating program for a video, I'll ask her what she thinks kids will like, or how we can make it better. I'm not a very good cook, so I'll ask her what we can do to make it better. By engaging and involving her, I think it's helped. If I hadn't done that, I feel like she may have resented it a little bit and felt like it was taking time away from her.I encourage parents to involve their kids. Addison takes my progress pictures. We discuss where I go on trips. I want her to have a role in what I am doing.Can you tell us what a clean eating party is?Basically, we host a personal training party, but for food. My daughter does a component of the parties; she works with kids and I work with the adults. I use local resources around the state, but also reference Bodybuilding.com.We set up BodySpace accounts and give the host a basket of Bodybuilding.com products. I take them through clean eating websites and state resources they can use locally.The parties are an opportunity to engage groups of people in a social setting, in the comfort of their homes, and teach them how to prepare a clean diet.Food prep is a big component, so we can help combat the ease of fast food and help them have good things on hand for families. It's tough, especially with kids in the house.A lot of the people in my area do a lot of fad diets, a lot of shake diets, and once they get off it, they're not sure what to do. They don't know how to cook or how much.We teach people portion control and we share ideas with them.Do you actually eat at the parties?Of course! I email the host to get a menu, and then we share recipes, shop for what we need, invite a few friends, and we have a food prep party. We only do parties of five now, because it gets really hectic.We did a launch at the YMCA and 40 people showed up! I can't do that, but I decided to make a side business out of it to help people understand, and encourage people do to it with their friends. We now accept bookings in South Dakota and are trying to branch out into Minnesota and North Dakota.If you're playing cards, stamping, or getting together once a week with your girlfriends, it's an opportunity for the people you hang out with to learn and share. It's such a social thing.Addie goes through her little creative snack options for kids, teaching kids how to measure their snacks. If there's Goldfish, she shows them how they can have a cup or just half a cup. She has her own little drawer of measuring cups. We teach parents how to monitor their kids.How has receiving guidance from your coach helped you as a competitor?What helped the most for me was the diet. One of the reasons I got into bodybuilding was because of the genetics of my daughter and learning what was in food, but also realizing that how you fuel your body makes an impact on your performance and how you can grow.Everybody wants it, but they need somewhere to start. Hiring a coach was great for me. I've always been active and able to do my own workouts, but I think it's also great to have a coach to seek questions and advice, because they really know what judges are looking for when you compete.Do you have plans to work full-time as a fitness personality?Nikki's Contest History2013 Upper Midwest, Fargo, ND1st- Class B Bikini 1st- Bikini Overall Winner 1st- Masters 30 1st- Masters Overall 30+ 2013 Gopher State Classic, Eden Prairie, MN1st- Class C Bikini 2nd- Bikini Overall 2014 BodyBuilding.com BodySpace Spokesmodel Competition4th place Absolutely! It's my dream. I've followed Jamie Eason for a very long time and I always knew I wanted to be in the industry.My background is in health and wellness. At one point in my life, years ago, I was offered a great fitness opportunity, but I passed on it because I was getting married and moving back to South Dakota. That was hard for me, because there weren't those opportunities here.That's when I got involved in the Chamber of Commerce, and that was great. It helped me network throughout the country with a lot of people. But when I quit the chamber, people were disappointed that I was going into a career in sales, because they know I like to help people. I didn't know where competing was going to lead me, but I knew it was going to take me somewhere.The common perception of women wearing a swimsuit isn't accurate. There's more to it. It's about discipline. I knew by competing that I needed to commit to do it. I was scared as a single parent going into such a drastic change, but I had a gut feeling that it was time for me to go through it. And I'm glad I did, because it led me to Bodybuilding.com.Do you have any advice for up-and-coming people with fitness aspirations?Be yourself. We get wrapped up in following other people and what they're doing, but the way to stand out is to be you. Follow your gut feelings. There is so much out there, and if you're open to finding what's right for you, then it is OK to say no to opportunities until you find the right one that fits for you.Take those risks. Even if it means a drastic change, it's possible. You'll never know unless you try. Never live with regret. Everything I've seen, like watching my 35-year-old husband just… go, really opened my eyes to a different side of life. If there's something you always wanted to do, do it. Live with no regrets.Nutritional Regimen Grits or Gluten-free Oats 1/3 cup Egg Whites 5 Berries 1/2 cup Turkey Bacon 2 pieces Lean Protein 4 oz Greens 1 cup Apple 1 medium Lean Protein 4 oz Greens 1/2 cup Corn Tortillas 2 Salsa 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt 1/4 cup Wild or Brown Rice 1/2 cup Whey Protein 1 scoop Rice Cakes 2 Peanut Butter 1 tbsp Chicken or Steak 5 oz Greens 1 cup Wild Rice 1/2 cup Peanut Butter 1 tbsp Egg Whites 5 Peanut Butter 1 tbsp Training PlanI do my treadmill workouts at 5:30 a.m. in my home gym. If I can complete a workout with free weights or plyometrics, then I do this at home. I squeeze in my Cybex Arc and weight workouts over my lunch or in the evening.I work out at our YMCA, so my daughter has a place to be if I need to be at the gym in the evening. On days that I teach muscle classes, I try to incorporate some of my free weight training, but it usually requires me to have a third workout to assure I get my training covered.Training Regimen Elliptical Trainer30 min Bodyweight Walking Lunge4 sets of 40 reps per leg Freehand Jump Squat4 sets of 15 reps Superset Kettlebell Squats4 sets of 15 reps Dumbbell Bench Press4 sets of 15 reps Wide Stance Barbell Squat4 sets of 30 reps Kettlebell Swings4 sets of 30 reps Tabata Intervals On Treadmill: Repeat for 3 minutes Jogging-TreadmillSprint 20 sec, Walk 10 sec Snatch Deadlift4 sets of 20 reps Lying Leg Curls4 sets of 30 reps Butt Blaster4 sets of 30 each leg Cardio30 min Leg Press4 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10 reps Ball Wall Squat4 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10 reps Leg Extensions3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Wide Stance Barbell Squat3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Standing Leg Curl4 sets of 15, 12, 10, 15 reps Seated Leg Curl4 sets of 15, 12, 10, 15 reps Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine4 sets of 15 reps Seated Calf Raise3 sets of 12 reps Thigh Abductor3 sets of 15 reps Thigh Adductor3 sets of 15 reps Elliptical Trainer30 min Side Lateral Raise4 sets of 12 reps Standing Military Press4 sets of 15 reps Wide-grip Military Press4 sets of 10 reps Front Dumbbell Raise4 sets of 15 reps Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise4 sets of 15 reps Straight-Arm Pulldown4 sets of 15 reps Pullups4 sets of 10 reps Seated Cable Rows (Wide-grip)4 sets of 15 reps Lying T-Bar Row4 sets of 10 reps Cardio30 min Superset Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown3 sets of 12 reps Seated Cable Rows (Close-grip)3 sets of 10 reps Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)3 sets of 15 reps Superset Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown3 sets of 10 reps One Arm Lat Pulldown3 sets of 15 reps Good Morning3 sets of 15 reps Superset Underhand Cable Pulldowns (Close-grip)3 sets of 12 reps Superman3 sets of 15 reps Pull Through3 sets of 15 reps Incline Dumbbell Curl3 sets of 15 reps Preacher Curl3 sets of 12 reps Superset Seated Dumbbell Curl3 sets of 10 reps Barbell Curl3 sets of 8 reps Bicycling, Stationary45-60 min Alternative Option:Stepmill Circuit: Perform 4 rounds Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown20 reps Seated Leg Curl20 reps Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment20 reps Bench Dips15 reps Clean and Jerk12 reps Pushups into Dumbbell Row12 reps Hanging Leg Raise (w/ Twist)20 reps Decline Reverse Crunch20 reps Elliptical Trainer30 min Dumbbell Shoulder Press2 sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8 reps Arnold Dumbbell Press2 sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8 reps Side Lateral Raise4 sets of 15 reps Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise4 sets of 10 reps Smith Machine Incline Bench Press2 sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8 reps Supplementation PlanDuring prep I watch carbs and calories in my shakes. I also try to cycle off BCAA powders one week before competing.Supplementation Regimen Women's Multivitamin B Complex CoQ10 Glutamine Calcium with Vitamin D Cellucor C4 Extreme Or NLA For Her Uplift MuscleTech Platinum 100% Whey Or Labrada Lean Body For Her Or NLA for Her - Her Whey Or Cellucor Cor-Performance Whey Scivation Xtend Or NLA for Her - Her Aminos Recommended For YouBODYSPACE MEMBER OF THE MONTH: JORDAN METCALFE BodySpace gave Jordan a safe haven to study, share, and progress among like-minded people. He's made the most of it!BODYSPACE MEMBER OF THE MONTH: ALLISON MOY

3 Protein-Packed Breakfast Recipes

by Barbara BolotteAug 01, 2014Breakfast doesn't have to be just toast, jam, and coffee. Break free from the carb-heavy, sugar-filled morning meal and start your day with a nutritious, protein-packed dish! These recipes are a great way to kick off a productive day. Not much of a morning person? Add these to your recipe repertoire for a wicked breakfast-for-dinner selection. 1 Gluten-Free PB&J Waffles Begone, bread! The classic peanut butter and jelly combo is no longer restricted to the square constructs of white, wheat, or rye. Enter the waffle. Whip up this recipe to get the delicious taste of PB&J in all the tasty waffle's nooks and crannies.1/2 cup almond flour 2 scoops BPI Sports Vanilla Caramel Whey-HD 1-1/2 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp xanthan gum 3 egg whites 2 tbsp canola oil 1 cup almond milk 1 cup blueberries 2 tbsp Stevia Juice from 1/2 lemon Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add wet ingredients while stirring. Let mixture sit for at least 10 minutes. Pour batter into waffle iron. In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, lemon juice, and Stevia. Cook on high heat until blueberries break down into a liquid. Plate by smearing a tablespoon of natural peanut butter on the waffle. Drizzle with homemade jelly. Enjoy! Jelly Nutrition FactsAmount per recipeCalories 90Total Fat0 gTotal Carbs23 gProtein1 gWaffle Nutrition FactsAmount per recipeCalories 764Total Fat44 gTotal Carbs11 gProtein70 gGluten-Free PB&J Waffles PDF (138 KB) 2 Choconut Avocado Protein Shake Part chocolate, part coconut, part avocado, all delicious! By combining the healthy fats in avocados with the creaminess of coconut milk and chocolaty cocoa powder, this isn't your typical protein shake.1 scoop BPI Sports Chocolate Cookie Whey-HD 1 cup coconut milk 1 ripened avocado 1 tbsp cocoa powder 3 Stevia packets Handful of ice Pour all liquid ingredients into blender, then add powdered ingredients and avocado. Blend until smooth, then add ice. Garnish with coconut flakes and granola. Nutrition FactsAmount per recipeCalories 921Total Fat81 gTotal Carbs31 gProtein34 gChoconut Avocado Protein Shake PDF (135 KB) 3 Protein-Packed Southwest Scramble Whoever told you all scrambles are created equal never tasted this protein-packed concoction! Veggies, egg whites, and lean meats will leave you feeling satisfied.4 egg whites 1 link turkey sausage 1 small diced yellow onion 1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper 1 handful chopped spinach 1 diced tomato Salt and pepper to taste In a large pan, drizzle onions and peppers with olive oil and saute. When the onions are clear and peppers are tender, season with salt and pepper. Add chopped turkey sausage, and saute until sausage is golden brown. Lower heat, add egg whites, and scramble. When eggs are almost done, add in tomato and spinach. Enjoy with a piece of whole grain toast for a complete and nutritious meal! Nutrition FactsAmount per recipeCalories 180Total Fat5 gTotal Carbs12 gProtein23 gProtein-Packed Southwest Scramble PDF (142 KB)Recommended For You7 Amazing Protein Breakfast Recipes From 7 Industry Experts Make the first meal of the day serve up big gains with these protein pancake and breakfast bar recipes!5 High-Protein Snacks To Fire Up Your Muscles Working hard at the gym doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of things like muffins, crepes, or even frosting! Make these high-protein recipes work hard for your muscles.Ultimate Protein FAQ: 10 Common Protein Questions Answered! How much protein should you eat? Is it safe? What's the best source? Get the answers to your burning questions right here!Related ArticlesArticles Main Page Articles Main Page Articles Main Page View All Breakfast Articles About The AuthorContributing WriterCheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author RATE THIS ARTICLEPOOR1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 EXCELLENTOVERALL RATINGN/AOut of 100 RatingsSUCCESS:Your comment has been posted! Because comments are displayed from oldest to newest, it will appear on the last page. ERROR:Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer mattis varius nisi eu aliquet. Integer mattis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet Showing 0 - of CommentsFollow This Discussion by: Email comment on this article Log In to Comment (5 characters minimum) notify me when users reply to my comment Showing 0 - of CommentsFeatured Product BPI Sports Whey-HD BPI Sports Whey-HD is Smooth and Delicious Whey Formulated to Dissolve Easily and Digest Quickly! Get the Lowest Prices on Whey-HD at Bodybuilding.com! Learn More about BPI Sports Whey-HD!

5 Best Canned Protein Sources

No doubt, the cost of feeding hungry muscles can be steep. Especially when your grocery cart is weighed down with salmon fillets, tuna steaks, and chicken breasts in your never-ending pursuit of quality protein essential to building muscle.For those of us on a budget, the canned meat aisle can be the answer to getting all the high-quality protein you can stomach without the serious pain at checkout. Let's not forget that canned proteins are also portable nutrition. But today, you're not just limited to tuna.From sandwiches to pasta to soups to salads to quick tacos, these 5 convenient and economical canned proteins can sneak their way into all sorts of muscle-sculpting meals. 1 Canned Chicken Sure, it's not as mouth-watering as a perfectly roasted whole bird, but there's no reason to be chicken about trying canned chicken. Most brands stuff their cans with chicken breast meat, meaning that each forkful is loaded with a stellar protein-to-fat ratio.Sure, it's not as mouth-watering as a perfectly roasted whole bird, but there's no reason to be chicken about trying canned chicken.Chicken breast is also a good source of the potent antioxidant selenium. You can now even find some products without added salt if you're watching your sodium intake. 2 Canned Anchovies An anchovy is a tiny, silvery fish often found in Mediterranean waters with a wallop of umami flavor. These little sustainable swimmers provide a boatload of omega-3 fats, calcium, and niacin, a B-vitamins which the body uses to convert the food you eat into the energy you use to hoist iron from the gym floor. Being so small with a relatively short lifespan, anchovies don't accumulate toxins from the sea like bigger species such as albacore tuna.Not just for Caesar salad, anchovies can make scrambled eggs, pizza, salad dressings, and pasta dishes instantly better. To reduce their saltiness, you can soak anchovies in water for 30 minutes, then drain, and pat dry.As for product, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the meaty white anchovies from Wild Planet. They're so good, you'll want to forgo any prep and just eat them straight from the can. 3 Canned Beans Beans, beans, they're good for your heart, the more you eat the more you ... Amusing school-yard rhymes aside, think of the various guises of canned beans as the MVP of your pantry. Beans are inexpensive, ultra-versatile in the kitchen, and overloaded with nutrients.Beans are inexpensive, ultra-versatile in the kitchen, and overloaded with nutrients.Case in point: A cup of canned kidney beans delivers 13 grams of protein along with folate, iron, phosphorus, and an impressive 14 g of dietary fiber. Studies suggest that higher intakes of fiber can help in the battle of the bulge by regulating blood-sugar levels and promoting satiety, which can keep your hands out of the cookie jar.Eden Foods packs its organic beans without salt and in tins that aren't lined with the sketchy chemical BPA. 4 Canned Smoked Mussels Flecked with great smoky flavor, often-overlooked canned mussels can help you put on more muscle than a New England clambake. A 3-ounce tin has about 18 g of top-notch protein and is also a stealthy source of omega-3 fats.The omega-3s found in the edible gifts of the sea have been shown to help initiate muscle protein synthesis and may help fend off coronary woes. For a fanciful snack, try smearing some horseradish cream cheese on rye crisps and top with canned smoked mussels. 5 Canned Salmon Often cheaper than fresh cuts at the fishmonger, canned salmon provides a payload of protein as well as vitamin D. It turns out that the sunshine vitamin could be the secret to bigger muscles.A study in "Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise" discovered that people with higher blood levels of vitamin D tend to have stronger upper- and lower-body muscles. It's thought that vitamin D positively impacts testosterone.Often cheaper than fresh cuts at the fishmonger, canned salmon provides a payload of protein as well as vitamin D.For the most part, canned salmon also harbors higher levels of omega-3 fats than its tuna counterpart and has been shown to contain lower levels of the harmful element mercury. Eat the softened bones and you'll also take in good amounts of calcium to help fortify bone strength.For the healthiest product for you and our seas, look for canned salmon that is labelled "wild." While canned sockeye salmon provides the richest flavor, you also can't go wrong with more economical pink salmon.Recommended For YouWhat Advertisers Don't Want You To Know About Food Labels Looking for healthy, natural foods to bolster your gym gains? Here's how to separate the reality from the sales pitch when it comes to 8 common food labels.Everything You Need To Know About Greens Supplements Greens supplements are hot on the market, but misinformation can make the difference between them supplementing your health and bringing gains to a halt.11 From Heaven: The Top Fitness Snacks! Got the munchies? Here's our pick for the 11 best healthy snack options so you won't bust your physique.About The AuthorMatthew Kadey, MS, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc., is a registered dietitian based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He works full-time as a freelance nutrition writer...View All Articles By This Author

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Auntie Anne’s Pretzels

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Auntie Anne’s Pretzels

24 October 2014

More:  9 Things You Didn’t Know About Auntie Anne’s Pretzels [Translate]

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5 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Decide To Divorce

5 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Decide To Divorce

24 October 2014

More than 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Before you break your wedding vows and decide to be part of that statistic, Dr. Phil suggests you answer these five questions, which he calls his “Divorce Readiness Test”:1. Have you done everything you can to save and rehabilitate your marriage?Have you exhausted all avenues of help for putting your marriage back together? That could mean reading books, going to a marriage counselor, speaking to a clergy member and spending time focusing on your own role in the demise of your relationship. Ask yourself: What was your marriage like when it worked? When did it go wrong? Why? Is what you're fighting about worth breaking up your marriage? What do you want? What is it costing you to be in your relationship? Are you willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work? What are you doing to contaminate the relationship? 2. Do you have unfinished emotional business?Dr. Phil says: “The time when you're ready for a divorce is when you have the clearest of conscience, when you can say, ‘I am at peace about my decision. I'm at peace about myself. I'm at peace about going through the next phase of my life.’”If you can walk out the door without anger, frustration or hurt, then you are ready. Unless and until you can look each other in the eye feeling no hatred or resentment, you’re not ready for a divorce.Also, he suggests, “Do not make life-changing decisions in the midst of emotional turmoil.” Such consequential decisions should not be made when tensions are high. Get on flat ground first so you can look at things more rationally. Ask yourself: Are you still in love with your spouse? Are you hurt? Are you scared? Are you angry? Are you confused? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you've failed the test. This is not the time to make life-changing decisions. You have more work to do.3. Have you researched, planned, and prepared yourself legally for divorce?Divorce can be complicated. It involves money, custody issues, child support, spousal support, and other legal aspects. You need to educate yourself, protect yourself and empower yourself; until you’ve done that, you’re not ready. For example, do you know how many bank accounts you have as a couple and individually? Any other marital assets you might be entitled to? Consult with at least three attorneys as you explore the option of divorce. “There are economic realities that you have to acknowledge,” says Dr. Phil, “but you are not powerless.”4. Are you ready to adopt a new standard of conduct with your children?“You don’t involve children in adult issues,” Dr. Phil believes. You should not burden your children with your emotions about the situation. Kids should not be put in a position where they have to help a parent cope and survive the turmoil. Don’t rob your children of a childhood and the freedom that comes from being a kid.5. Are you willing to create a new relationship as a co-parent?Just because your marriage may be ending doesn’t mean your relationship will end. If you have a child or children together, you will always be parents, and it is your responsibility to create a new relationship as co-parents, co-allies of your children. Although it may be difficult for you to interact with your ex, you must find a way to be amicable. You must be ready to set aside the emotions and put your children’s best interest above your own.“If you want out of a marriage, earn your way out. Turn over every stone. Investigate every avenue of rehabilitation, so when the day comes that your child looks at you and says, `Mom, Dad, why did I have to grow up with just one parent?' You don't have to say, `Well, we just quit having fun,'” Dr. Phil says. “You need to be able to say, `Look, we did everything we could do. We went to counselors, we read books, we prayed, we did this, we did that, and we decided it was best for everybody if we lived separately but loved you kids together.'” If you can't say that with peace in your heart, you're not ready to get divorced.Like Dr. Phil | Follow Dr. Phil | Be on the Show

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First Nighter: Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-Prized "Disgraced" in a Welcome Return

24 October 2014

If you go by several adamant playwrights, it's a terrible idea for married couples to get together over an after-hours drink or dinner or for a casual weekend or a serious discussion about children. Nothing good ever comes of it.Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is the template, but more recently there were Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage, the revival of Donald Margulies's Pulitzer Prize-winning Dinner With Friends and Theresa Rebeck's Poor Behavior in which couples--the last named including cross-marriage cheaters--viciously had at each otherNow Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, which copped the 2013 Pulitzer Prize as a result of its Lincoln Center bow last year, has moved to the Lyceum, and again two pairs are coming to verbal and physical blows at a dinner party. They even come apart at their loose seams while the appetizers are being served and before the main course is reached.But this isn't just a run-of-the-mill foursome, which is both the strength and the weakness of Akhtar's undertaking. Though each an individual with sundry character traits, together they represent backgrounds and viewpoints that, as the heated but economical 80-minute play unfolds, gives each of them the air of representing schematic attitudes in an Oxford Union debate.Perhaps the most familiar to a typical New York City theatergoing audience is Emily (Gretchen Mol, recently done in on Boardwalk Empire), a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant artist, whose current canvases are influenced by Islamic tradition.That's because she's married to Amir (Hari Dhillon), a Pakistani-American lawyer in a prestigious firm who's turned his back on a Muslim background. He does, however, appear in court--at the behest of Emily and his cousin Abe (Danny Ashok)--to speak in defense of a wrongly accused countryman. It's an action that's misinterpreted at his office with unfortunate repercussions.The dinner guests who cause the kerfuffle that threatens to shake the Emily-Amir union are Jewish gallery owner Isaac (Josh Radnor) and his African-American wife Jory (Karen Pittman), a colleague in Amir's outfit.Though the dinner participants are clearly intelligent and sympathetic people, they wantonly and irreparably breach the unofficial rule of such gatherings: Never discuss politics or religion.They put both topics on that entrée-less table. The outcome isn't pretty as it reflects Akhtar's obviously baleful political and religious convictions, with which, not by the way, many wouldn't take issue. Akhtar believes (at least, as he writes here) that people are born into a tradition that's not only at odds with other traditions but is, in the final analysis, irrevocably embedded in the DNA, is forever defining.In other words, when backed into corners or, as another cliché goes, when push comes to shove (which it literally does here), people revert to type. And in Disgraced pushing and shoving isn't all that occurs. (David Azuelo of UnkleDave's Fight-house is the consultant.) There's fisticuffs and some spitting.With Amir, Isaac, Jory and Emily standing for such distinct backgrounds--and Abe occasionally arriving to express his as well--spectators can't avoid sniffing the pungent odor of contrivance and to wonder whether playwright Akhtar is wafting it too far. There's one slightly later twist involving the tentatively friendly couples that won't be described here, but it's hardly unfamiliar.Would these characters revert to intolerant language so readily? Is it true that someone like Amir would regress quite so readily as he does? Would so many familiar epithets be so fiercely spit out, along with the spit?Certainly, if the four were more civilized than Akhtar shows them to be, his play would be less dramatic. More than that, however, the anger--not to say fury--that arises as a consequence of the plot contrivances does make a forcible point about the way we live now, about how difficult conciliation is to achieve.The implication is, of course, that if four presumably reasonable people can't get along even halfway through a civilized meal, what are the prospects for the broader civilization?Ably portraying the deterioration of amiable veneers under Kimberly Senior's taut direction, Dhillon. Moll, Radnor, Pittman (the lone holdover from the LCT production) and Ashok give Disgraced everything they've got and everything Akhtar's script needs.In some cases, they may bring even more to that appetizer-laden table. Dhillon is so handsome, he looks like a Ralph Lauren Black Label model and not so much a Wall Street litigator. No wonder Emily wants to paint him and is preparing to do so as Kenneth Posner's lights come up.The audience gets to see her finished portrait (influenced by, as is discussed, Diego Velaquez's "Moorish Slave"). It's actually a work contributed, the program reveals, by Nils Folke Anderson and is displayed at a moment involving Amir's crucial reckoning with himself.The grey-walled apartment with pass-through window to the kitchen is this week's John Lee Beatty set. Last week's--or maybe it was two week's back--offering was for the above-mentioned Donald Margulies's new play, A Country House. Beatty never stops, and it's possible, given the misfortunes occurring in the Disgraced manuscript, that this house beautiful could come onto on the market sometime soon. If so, grab it at whatever the asking price.

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What Living On Autopilot Could Do To You (VIDEO)

What Living On Autopilot Could Do To You (VIDEO)

24 October 2014

Sometimes, we get caught up in the momentum and pattern of life, and we go on autopilot,” Dr. Phil says. “Sometimes we have to stop and ask ourselves: Am I really making the choices I want to make, or have I let bad habits turn into something that define me?”One of those bad habits could be judging people who are different. Are you aware of how much bias and prejudice you may be living with? Watch as Dr. Phil explains why that could leave you missing out.Like Dr. Phil | Follow Dr. Phil | Be on the Show

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Build More Muscle With These Advanced Strength Techniques!

23 October 2014

Vital StatsName: Todd Bumgardner, MS, CSCSOccupation: Co-founder of Beyond Strength Performance. Strength and conditioning coach and manual therapist at Ranfone Training Systems.Website: beyondstrengthperformance.com/todd-bumgardner-m-sMost experienced gym rats align themselves with one of two training modalities: powerlifting or bodybuilding. The goal is either strength or size. While a dichotomy exists between the training styles, there also exists a middle ground in which they're complementary. Here, strength is used to build size.Once a lifter has passed the beginner stage, his or her body needs greater amounts of stress to continue growing. There are numerous advanced hypertrophy techniques to choose from, but when approached from a strength standpoint instead the size equation remains simple: Lift the most weight possible while employing the greatest volume possible. What's possible, in this instance, is governed by recovery.Increased strength can be a catalyst for increased muscle mass, but it requires a specific toolkit and training approach. How, then, do you use strength to build size? By using these training-tested techniques approved by powerlifters and bodybuilders all over the globe! 1 Cluster Sets Cluster sets utilize rest between reps to help you accrue a total amount of reps with a heavier weight than is normally possible in a straight set."Cluster sets utilize rest between reps to help you accrue a total amount of reps with a heavier weight than is normally possible in a straight set."To perform a cluster set of, say, 5 reps, you employ 5 single reps with 20 seconds between each rep until 5 total reps are achieved. In other words, do one rep, rest 20 seconds, do another rep, rest 20, and continue in this fashion until you've completed all your reps. Clustering reps like this allows you to achieve more volume per set with weights you normally couldn't use for that many reps.For example, let's say you can bench press 225 pounds for a straight set of 3 reps. By adding rest between reps, you could add 2 more reps to the set and press 225 for 5 total reps. Heavy weight for more volume equals bigger muscles.This, of course, isn't the only way to arrange your cluster set; clusters of 2 and 3 reps are also useful depending on the application.Cluster sets can be arranged in two ways: to load the day's main lift, or to extend the day's main lift. Let's explain using examples. Loading the Main Lift Exercise Total Sets Total Reps Per Set Clusters @ % 1RM Rest Between Clusters Rest Between Sets Squat 3 8 4 x 2 @ 85% 20 seconds 2 minutes You wouldn't normally be able to do 8 straight reps with 85 percent of your 1-rep max (1RM), especially for 3 sets. But here your 8 reps are broken down into four 2-rep clusters per set, so you squat 85 percent of your 1RM for 8 reps. This allows you to achieve greater volume with heavier weight and build more muscle! Extending the Main Lift Exercise Total Cluster Sets Total Reps Per Set Clusters @ % 1RM Rest Between Clusters Rest Between Sets Squat 2 5 2x2, 1x1 @ 85% 20 seconds 2 minutes "The weight is kept heavy to build strength while also engaging size-building volume."Clusters are also great for extending your main lift, which would first be done with straight sets. To put this into practice, let's say you complete 4 straight sets of 3 reps on the squat, but you want to continue to build volume with that lift. Extend your main lift by adding cluster sets after your straight sets. This cluster application works well during heavy, absolute-strength-training phases. The weight is kept heavy to build strength while also engaging size-building volume.What's Your 1RM?These workouts require that you know your 1-rep max (1RM), and then use a weight based on that number. If you don't know it, or how to estimate 75, 80, or 85 percent of it—which is necessary in the cluster and eccentric workouts)—you can use the formula below or a calculator.Let's say you can do 7 reps (and only 7 reps with good form) with 225 pounds on the bench press. Using the chart, 7 is 80% of your one-rep max. Mathematically, divide 225 by 0.8 and you'll find that 100% of your 1RM is 281 pounds. To figure out how much 75% of your 1RM is, simply multiply 280 (which is 281 rounded down) by 0.75. Your working weight for these sets is 210 pounds.1 Rep Max PercentagesReps %1RM 1 100 2 95 3 90 4 88 5 86 6 83 7 80 8 78 9 76 10 75 11 72 12 70 When using clusters to extend your main lift, use the same weight you did for your straight sets. (In some cases, slightly more.) This ensures you achieve more hypertrophy by amassing volume with heavier loads.In the example above, your cluster set would consist of 2 sets of 2 reps and a set of 1 rep, each set separated by 20 seconds rest. After you complete all 5 reps, rest two minutes before completing a second time (two total cluster sets). 2 Heavy Eccentrics (Negatives) Hypertrophy fanatics often espouse time-under-tension's muscle-building virtues. Their enthusiasm isn't unwarranted—increasing a muscle's time under tension promotes growth. What's key, however, is keeping the intensity high while maintaining the tension. Heavy eccentrics, sometimes called negatives, tap into your strength and provide that key.Eccentric muscle contractions—lowering a weight rather than lifting it—are the most damaging. As a result, eccentrics trigger the most inflammation and have an increased propensity to restructure muscle. If you create a lot of muscle damage, your body will adapt by adding more muscle so the same stimulus isn't as damaging the next time around.But the process requires heavy weight. Light eccentrics teach control, but creating a disruption that will build muscle requires intensity to the tune of 75-85 percent of 1RM. (Unless you have a trained and dedicated spotter, I wouldn't recommend using 90 percent or more of your 1RM for extended eccentrics.)You'll lower these heavy loads during eccentric phases for as long as 4-6 seconds while completing 3-6 reps in this manner per set. As the load increases, you'll extend the length of the eccentrics and decrease the reps per set.Exercise selection is paramount: You must choose exercises that have a pronounced eccentric phase. Squat variations, bench-press variations, rowing variations, and Romanian deadlifts work best."Squat variations, bench-press variations, rowing variations, and Romanian deadlifts work best."Heavy eccentrics are well-suited for loading main and assistance lifts. Here's a programming snapshot of each. Heavy Eccentric Main Lift Exercise Total Sets Total Reps Per Set Length of Eccentric Percent of 1RM Rest Between Sets Bench Press 5 3 5 seconds 80% 2 minutes The reps per set are kept low and the eccentric contraction is kept in the mid-range timeframe because the load is at 80 percent of one-rep max. The eccentric could stay at five seconds as the load is increased to 85 percent, but it's often advantageous to decrease the length to four seconds to maintain quality reps. Doing 5 sets supplies a total volume that spurs adaptation. Heavy Eccentric Assistance Lift Exercise Total Sets Total Reps Per Set Length of Eccentric Percent of 1RM Rest Between Sets Dumbbell Bench Press 3 5 6 seconds 75% 90 seconds Assistance eccentrics require a few programming alterations. Total volume remains, but we're dropping the load and increasing the length of the eccentric phase. These alterations maintain muscle-building stress while preserving the nervous system. If you keep the load high, it's likely that your nervous system would receive more input than it could handle. The result is overtraining accompanied by minimal gains.Heavy eccentrics are a great loading choice to apply early in your training season. They build muscle and soft-tissue resiliency while setting the neurological stage for big strength gains. This takes place, of course, as you pack mass on your frame.Build Strength, Get BigIn the end, size and strength training aren't always mutually exclusive; hypertrophy is often the result of strength-building strategies. If you've surpassed the basics, it's time to employ these lifter-tested techniques to gain new levels of mass and strength.Recommended For YouMind Over Muscle: Your One-Rep Max Mental Checklist Stepping up to the barbell for a new PR? Here's your 5-step mental checklist for crushing your one-rep max!Build Strength From Your Feet Build a stronger squat and deadlift by focusing on your foot position. Here's an approach that will help you put your strongest foot forward!6 Ways To Build A Training Program With Purpose Complacency is a death sentence for any training program. Use these methods that create sustainable plans of action to lift, run, and live with purpose!About The AuthorTodd BumgardnerTodd Bumgardner works as a strength and conditioning coach and manual therapist at Ranfone Training Systems in Hamden, Connecticut.View All Articles By This Author

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Blast Your Back And Biceps! James Grage And Whitney Reid Video Workout

22 October 2014

Vital StatsName: James GrageBodySpace: JamesGrageHeight: 5'10"Weight: 175 lbsOccupation: Co-Founder and Vice President of BPI SportsVital StatsName: Whitney ReidHeight: 6'3"Weight: 215 lbsOccupation: BPI East coast sales manager, fitness modelWebsite: bpisports.netA big back and great biceps are hard to come by. According to James Grage and Whitney Reid of BPI, that's because most people don't realize how much work it takes or how much quality reps matter over heavy weight."To build a big back, you have to do a lot of different exercises and a lot of volume," says Grage. "Your back is a huge muscle group, so a good workout should be exhausting. If you're not walking out of your gym completely exhausted after a back workout, then you're not going hard enough. I think a lot of it just comes down to effort."Grage also suggests that to increase the size and develop the shape of your back, you need to hit everything with good form. "It took me a long time to grow my back because I was just using assisting muscles to sling heavy weight, not my back," he says."It was more about the weight of the rep rather than the quality. You have to focus on the contraction and the quality of the contraction, not on the amount of weight you're pulling.""I'll say the same thing for biceps. It's all about the quality, the squeeze. It doesn't matter how much weight you can curl."Although Grage and Reid are full of great information, they like to show rather than tell. So, the two are going to smash an intense back and biceps workout. Watch them to learn technique tips and workout strategies, and then hit the workout yourself!"Blast Your Back and Biceps" Workout "Blast Your Back and Biceps" WorkoutWhen you're doing rows, lat pulldowns and the like, remember to use your back, and not your biceps or rear delts, to do the movements. "I like to pretend that my arm between my hand and my elbow is a hook—I pull from my elbow and not my hand," explains James. "Your biceps are small, so you'll smoke them before you do your lats."Keep that tip in mind as you go through this workout. Do it right and you'll feel your back working like never before. Warm-up/Pre-exhaustion Pull-ups2 sets to failure   Lat Pulldown3 sets of 12 reps (each set should get progressively heavier, finish w/ 1 set of partials) Superset Low Cable Row (One-arm)3 sets of 12-15 reps Bent-Over One-Arm Dumbbell Row3 sets of 12-15 reps Superset Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown3 sets of 12-15 reps Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown (Low Pull)3 sets of 12-15 reps   Barbell Curl 21s3 sets of 21 reps (7 full, 7 partial top to halfway, 7 partial bottom to halfway) Dumbbell Spider Curl3 sets of 12-15 reps Reverse Curl3 sets of 12-15 reps Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl1 "run the rack" set Exercise 1 "The thing I like about pull-ups is that it's a nice way to warm up without overdoing it," says Grage. "You can't load it up too heavy on pull-ups. It's a good way to pre-work the lats before you really get into training them."Exercise 2 "I see a lot of people cheating this by swinging backwards and using momentum. Keep your back upright and pull your elbows as low as you can. I like to add a nice little squeeze at the bottom. It's all about that quality contraction. Make every one count," says Grage."Keep your back upright and pull your elbows as low as you can. I like to add a nice little squeeze at the bottom. It's all about that quality contraction. Make every one count.""For the final set you'll do partials. To do them, drop the weight down. For one rep, you'll pull all the way to the bottom, squeeze, and then move the bar part way back up—your lats will have to act as a break—then squeeze, and bring it back down. Then, you can move the bar all the way back up.""This technique puts a lot of stress on the muscle," he adds. "There's no cheating this one."Exercises 3 & 4 "Cables keep constant tension on your back, so it's great to use as a pre-exhaust exercise before you hit the dumbbell rows," says Reid. Be sure to pull from your elbow, not your hands. Keep your biceps out of the movement."Dumbbell rows are great because you can get a stretch," says Reid. "Pull the weight right into your pocket. That way you'll use less biceps and more lats.""If you pull your elbow straight up like I see most people do," says Grage, "you're using more biceps and rear delt than lat."Exercises 5 & 6 "The pulldowns are great because they're similar to doing dumbbell pullovers, but I think you get a better range of motion," says Reid."This variation uses a rope instead of a straight bar. The advantage is that your range of motion is not limited to your thighs. You can pull back a little further.""For the low pulls," says Grage, "pull the rope low toward your hips. Keep your chest high and your chin up. If you start to bend forward, you end up using your chest and triceps to push rather than pull."Exercise 7 To do 21s, start off with 7 full reps. Then, do 7 reps from the top to the midway point, and finish with 7 reps that go from the bottom to the midway point.To do 21s, start off with 7 full reps. Then, do 7 reps from the top to the midway point, and finish with 7 reps that go from the bottom to the midway point."Little things, like the pause on the second set of 7 when you actually have to stop the rep half way through, will put a lot of stress on the muscle. That's the kind of stuff that's really going to break down the muscles and make them grow."Exercise 8 By now you're probably starting to get really fatigued. Keep going. Make every rep count.Exercise 9 "Keep your thumb over top of the bar," says Grage. "You can't go heavy on these. There's no need to. We've done so many different pulls for back, your forearms are already going to feel exhausted."Exercise 10 "Run the rack" means you'll start with a heavy pair of dumbbells, do as many reps as you can with them, then grab the next lightest pair and do as many reps with that weight as you can. Keep going lighter. Essentially, it's a dropset, but you're doing multiple drops. Take each set to failure.""Run the rack" means you'll start with a heavy pair of dumbbells, do as many reps as you can with them, then grab the next lightest pair and do as many reps with that weight as you can.Remember to Recover!After you're done training, make sure you make time for recovery. "You come into the gym and break your muscles down, but then you have to go home and recover with sleep, nutrition, and supplementation," says Grage. "Get your BCAAs, protein, and carbs. It's in the recovery process that you grow, not in the gym. If you don't make time to rest, then you'll eventually break down muscle."Recommended For YouThrowback Shoulders Workout With James Grage And Whitney Reid This shoulder workout is a throwback to the good old days. There are no fancy machines or complex equipment in this routine—just barbells, dumbbells, and your own dedicated focus and effort.Can Machines Build Enough Muscle? If you're looking to add muscle, machine training can help—but only to a certain degree. Here's how and when to use machines for gains.The Ultimate Beginner's Full-Body Workout Beginners, here are the 10 most important training elements you must master, and eight-week full-body beginner's program to start you off on the right foot.About The AuthorJames GrageJames Grage is the Co-Founder and Vice President of BPI Sports. He started training at age 15 and built an impressive body for sports.View All Articles By This Author

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Ashley Hoffmann's 5 Ways To Supercharge Your Training!

22 October 2014

Nothing kills workout motivation faster than a stale routine. Change is what pushes us to keep growing and going, so it's important to liven up your training sessions with new movements and training methods. If you're lost on how to incorporate new techniques—and add a fresh coat of gloss to your physique-carving plan—check out these tips from WBFF Pro Ashley Hoffmann.She's given them her seal of approval and, best of all, they don't require you to undergo an entire workout overhaul. These training tips can be added to your current routine to spruce it up, offer a new take on things, or simply introduce a new method of structuring your workout.Curious to find out more? Here are five of Ashley's favorite techniques to incorporate into your own routine. Just remember to pace yourself: These techniques are not meant to be implemented all at once; rather, use them periodically throughout your program. Check them out and see what modification best fits your training regimen! 1 Pause Sets "I've seen great results using pause sets in my training, especially when I implement them into leg day with my squats," says Ashley.To utilize this technique, move through the first portion of an exercise. Once you hit the final position, come to a complete stop and hold that position for a few seconds before finishing the rep. So, for a pause squat, you'd squat down, come to a complete stop at the bottom of the movement, hold it for a short count, and then explode out of the hole.Front SquatThis does two things: First, it increases the total time the muscle is bearing weight (time under tension). Second, it prevents you from using any momentum to complete an exercise. "By using a pause set, you focus on using pure strength instead of momentum to complete your reps," Ashley explains. "I usually hold the pause at the bottom of my squat for 3-5 seconds before powering back up to the starting position."Building explosive strength also takes some of the stress you might feel in a standard squat—from the sudden stretch-reflex action—off the knees.When you utilize this technique, remember to maintain a regular breathing pattern. If you hold your breath the entire time, the longer sets could leave you feeling lightheaded. 2 Supersets Ashley is also a big fan of the superset, a classic training technique that calls for you to complete two exercises back to back, without rest. While supersets are typically used with exercises for opposing muscle groups—bench press for chest paired with a row for back, for example—there are multiple variations on the basic idea."Supersets are a great way to raise the intensity of your workouts," Ashley says. "They can be done by working the same muscle group, opposing muscle groups, or you can even superset two totally different activities."If Ashley's ever short on time, superset training is how she squeezes in her workout. Take note that, since you are doing twice the usual amount of work per set with this training technique, you may need to lengthen your rest periods slightly between each superset in order to recover."Since you are doing twice the usual amount of work per set with this training technique, you may need to lengthen your rest periods slightly between each superset in order to recover." 3 Dropsets Along with superset training, Ashley also likes to incorporate dropsets into her regular workout routine. "Dropsets have always been a favorite of mine for training shoulders," she says. "They really burn out the working muscle, and I seem to have the best results when I incorporate them into my workout sessions."To use this technique yourself, perform a set of 8-12 reps at your usual working weight. When you reach the point of fatigue or failure, decrease the weight by 5-10 pounds, and immediately continue your set. When you hit failure again, you can call it good or repeat the process 1-2 more times to fully fatigue the working muscle.When using dropsets, be sure to monitor your form with each successive set. Since your body will already be slightly fatigued from the prior set, it's important to keep an eye on maintaining proper form. 4 Running The Rack Taking her cue from the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ashley loves to "run the rack" on specific exercises."Running the rack is when you choose a dumbbell exercise and start with a weight that only allows you to achieve 6 reps," Ashley explains. "After completing those 6 reps, you grab dumbbells five pounds lighter and perform 6 more reps. Continue doing this until you hit a weight where 6 reps is no longer a challenge—or no longer possible."As with dropsets, make sure you monitor your form while doing this style of training. It's easy to let precision slip as fatigue starts to build. A photo posted by Ashley Hoffmann WBFF Pro (@missashleysarina) on Jan 1, 2014 at 9:24am PST 5 Blood Flow Restriction Training One often-overlooked training technique Ashley likes to incorporate into her workouts is blood flow restriction (BFR) training. BFR is best utilized when training arms or legs, specifically with dumbbell curls or leg extensions. This technique is specifically for advanced lifters.To begin, wrap straps around the top of your biceps or inner thigh, depending on if you're training legs or arms. The straps should be tight, but not so tight that they cut off blood flow entirely. When it comes to tightness, aim for 7 out of 10 on the legs and 5 or 6 on the arms, which will restrict blood flow to the veins, but not the arteries."This causes the muscle to pool with blood, causing an immense amount of cell swelling," explains Ashley. "It also makes your muscles recruit larger, fast-twitch muscle fibers in order to get the job done." Both of these factors will spur muscle growth.When using this technique, you'll lift a light weight at 20-40 percent of your one-rep max (1RM) for 3-4 sets of 15-30 reps. Rest for 30 second between sets.Recommended For YouAshley Hoffmann's Abs Workout: 6 Tips For Awesome Abs! Ashley Hoffmann is the proud owner of great-looking six-pack. Here are six of her training and nutrition tips to help you carve your own awesome abdominals!Build Legs You'll Love: Ashley Hoffmann's Leg Workout There's nothing quite like the feeling you get after a super tough leg workout. If you haven't felt it in a while, then you need to try Ashley Hoffmann's leg smash. It's brutal, but it's exactly what you need for strong, statuesque legs!Arms Advantage: 5 Tips For A Great Arms Workout Routine Ashley Hoffmann has one of the best physiques in the biz. Here are 5 of her favorite arm-building tips you can use in your workouts or in Ashley's own arms blitz!About The AuthorShannon ClarkI’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.View All Articles By This Author

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How To Gain Weight: 5 Lifts And Techniques For Building Muscle

22 October 2014

Vital StatsName: Marc MegnaAge: 36Height: 6-foot-2Weight: 210 lbsOccupation: MuscleTech Athlete; personal trainerEducation: Richmond University, B.S. Sociology; NSCA, TRX, CPR, PRE-POST NATAL, MAT, MLB OFF-SEASON, NFL PREP, PNWebsite: marcmegna.comBuilding muscle takes time and calories; that's just the way it is. But you can help the process along by choosing lifts that tap into the body's natural anabolic (tissue-building) hormonal system.Lifts that use multiple joints and incorporate many muscle groups are the kings of muscle-building because they require a vast amount of muscle fibers to move the load. When such a big group of muscles is required to work at once, your body releases hormones like testosterone and growth hormone as a response to the stress.I have a cache of great exercises that I continually return to when I want to increase muscle mass, but there are five in particular that always seem to be more effective than the others. I want to share them with you.I'm also going to do you one better. I'll give you some of my secret training methods that will help you utilize these big, compound lifts for more efficient gains. Let's get growing! 1 THE SQUAT The squat is the foundation of any good muscle-building program. It's an amazing lift not only because it hits huge muscles like the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, but because it requires almost every single muscle in your body—from your calves to your shoulders—to turn on.I also love the squat because the movement pattern can be altered to fit each individual lifter. For example, beginners or those with mobility issues can start with the goblet squat, then progress through the front squat before starting the back squat.Marc's Secret Method: Oxidative Sack SquatsMost people who want to put on size ignore their slow-twitch or Type I muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are important because they will help increase your muscle size and work capacity.To train using the oxidative method, perform multiple sets of 10 reps at 30 percent of your one-rep max (1RM). The key is to perform the movement with 2-second lowering and lifting phases, without ever actually hitting the end of the range of motion where you can rest. After each set, you'll rest only 40 seconds.I prefer to train this method using "sack squats." To do a sack squat, hold a dumbbell, kettlebell, or even barbell with help of a landmine in front of your chest. I like sack squats because they make it easier to maintain proper posture through the elongated sets. 2 THE DEADLIFT The two exercises that incorporate the most muscle mass and the greatest number of joints are the squat and the deadlift. Just like the squat, the deadlift can be adapted to an individual's ability level and orthopedic restrictions. You can use trap bars, kettlebells, or adjust the starting position by placing the bar at a higher position on a rack.You can also do either traditional or sumo deadlifts, as long as your back is in a safe position and you're using your hips to drive the movement. All in all, the deadlift is essential for those looking to build muscle. LoadingView on Instagram Marc's Secret Method: Accommodating-Resistance DeadliftsAccommodating resistance involves the use of bands or chains to change the load of an exercise. Most typically, adding a chain or band to the bar for a deadlift will increase the load on the bar as it is pulled higher off the ground.Although the reward for performing deadlifts is increased size and strength, the exercise is not without risk. Picking up heavy weight from the floor can cause injury. By using bands or chains, the load is lightest when the lifter is at the bottom of the lift. The bottom of the deadlift is when a lifter is at his or her most vulnerable and mechanically disadvantaged position, so alleviating some of the weight from that position makes the lift safer. 3 THE PUSH-UP Nothing against the bench press, but I feel that the push-up has done more for improving my size and definition. I think the efficacy of this exercise comes from the fact that push-ups can be performed for high volumes, and require more stabilization from your legs and core than the bench press. Furthermore, push-ups allow the scapula to move freely, which is healthier for your shoulders than the scapula-restricted exercises you do on a bench.The downside of the push-up is that it is not as easily loaded as other chest exercises. But, with some chains, a weight vest, or a weight plate, push-ups can be loaded effectively.Push-UpMarc's Secret Method: 50-Repetition Push-UpHigh-repetition finishers are a great way to damage your muscles (in a good way) at the end of a workout. I love ending a chest-building workout with one huge set of push-ups to kick muscle-building into high gear.If you decide to make this 50-rep finisher part of your workout, be cautious not to let your core fail before your chest does. If you feel your core start to fail, you may have to swallow your pride and place your hands on a box or bench to maintain proper technique. 4 THE REVERSE LUNGE There is some debate about using unilateral (single-side) exercises to build muscle. Some say that unilateral training is less effective than bilateral training because a lifter can't use heavy weight and therefore can't induce the same hormonal response. However, there is one aspect of unilateral lifts that can be very beneficial to muscle-building: the accumulation of lactate. Too many people forget that lactate accumulation also increases anabolic-hormone release.Single-leg exercises require twice the duration and effort of bilateral exercises. This high energy expenditure results in a large accumulation of lactate in the working muscles and throughout the body.Reverse LungeOf all the single-leg exercises, barbell reverse lunges are my favorite, because doing them calls for the use of multiple joints and a lot of muscles. I also like them because they recruit your glutes and hamstrings as the prime movers. Your quads, which have a habit of taking over leg movements, are relegated to an assistant position.You can perform a reverse lunge with dumbbells held at your sides, a barbell in the front rack position, or with a barbell on your back.Marc's Secret Method: Deficit Reverse LungesI love using deficit training because it increases the range of motion of an exercise. This enhanced range of motion will increase the number of muscle fibers your body needs to do the movement.Different parts of your muscles are used for varying joint angles, so changing the joint angle as you do during a deficit lift alters which muscle fibers are utilized. Deficit lifts also increase the time your muscles are under tension.Until you're comfortable doing the movement, the deficit doesn't have to be very big. Start by stepping off a platform that is 3-6 inches from the ground. 5 SUSPENSION ROWS Similar to the push-up, I prefer suspension rows to machine or dumbbell rows because they require stabilization from your core and lower-body muscles. The handles of the suspension system also allow for various hand positions, which make the exercise easier on the shoulder joint.If your body weight isn't enough, increase the load by elevating your feet or using a weight vest, chains, or weight plates.Marc's Secret Method: Paused Suspension RowI think every pull, whether it's a chin-up or a row, should be paused. Without a squeeze at the top of a pull, you can neglect some very important muscles. The rhomboids and lower trapezius are only fully recruited during this last inch or so of movement, so pausing will improve their size and strength.Paused pulls will also improve your posture—something we can all work on!Recommended For YouAMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer The 8-week AMP program will help you perform like a pro and look even better. It's the ultimate combination of aesthetics and performance. Get amped to reach your physical peak.Working Class Man: Marc Megna Workout There are a million reasons why Muscletech performance coach Marc Megna shouldn't be living his dreams. But they're not stopping him.Fitness 360: Marc Megna, Dream Big, Never Quit Marc Megna played in the NFL and coached pro athletes after he left the game. Now, he's an elite trainer and fitness model. Follow his fitness plan!About The AuthorMarc MegnaMarc Megna is a Miami-based strength coach and personal trainer whose clients include celebrities, professional athletes, and regular people.View All Articles By This Author

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Fitness 360: Melody Decena Wyatt, Supplements For Success

22 October 2014

Growing up, Melody Wyatt and her siblings became wary of their mother trying to grind up vitamins and sneak them into their morning cups of orange juice. In this strange sense, she's quite accustomed to taking supplements.Now that she depends on her body functioning optimally more than ever, she's extremely cognizant of what she puts into her body."I believe supplements are important to make sure you're getting adequate nutrients to help you look, feel, and perform at your best, and even prevent deficiencies," Melody says.Picture Your Perfect Body Watch The Video - 10:37All year, Melody takes a multivitamin, fish oil, iron, calcium, and biotin. "I not only take supplements for overall health and wellness," Melody says, "but to help me achieve my fitness goals like gaining strength, improving my endurance or energy, building and preserving muscle, and burning fat.""I not only take supplements for overall health and wellness, but to help me achieve my fitness goals like gaining strength, improving my endurance or energy, building and preserving muscle, and burning fat." Fat Burner (If cutting) NOW 8 Billion Acidophilus & Bifidus 1 cap Garden Greens Fiber Gummies 2 gummies ON PerforMAXX Sports Multivitamin 2 caps Optimum Nutrition CLA 1 softgel Optimum Nutrition L-Carnitine 1 cap Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil 1 softgel NOW Iron 1 tab NOW B-Complex 1 tab ON Platinum Pre-workout 1 serving Optimum Nutrition L-Carnitine 1 cap NOW B-Complex 1 tab NOW L-Arginine 1 tab NOW Niacin 1 cap Optimum Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate 5g Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder 5g NOW Biotin 1 cap Recommended For YouFitness 360: Chris Thompson, Militia Muscle If you're not already familiar with Chris Thompson, you're about to receive an education in making health and fitness a lifestyle. Learn how Chris trains, eats, and supps to look great and feel even better.Fitness 360: Chassidy Smothers, Beyond Basic Training Chassidy Smothers grew up on the hard courts of Sacramento, did a tour in Korea, and is now graduating college. Along the way, she became a fitness champion.Fitness 360: Carl Roberts, Hard Corps Muscle Carl Roberts won our 2012 Military Transformation Challenge, and now he is a personal trainer, helping to propel his clients forward with their fitness.About The AuthorStephanie LeeStephanie hails from California and has a degree in clinical nutrition from the University of California, Davis.View All Articles By This Author

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Ball crunch with medicine ball throw

Ball crunch with medicine ball throw

22 October 2014

Ball crunch with medicine ball throw Work your core, abs and shoulders with this ball crunch with medicine ball throw.How toLie flat on your back holding a medicine ball at chest level. Lift your shoulders off the floor and crunch.Once at the top of your crunch, throw the medicine ball forward to someone standing in front of you, or against a wall.Catch the ball back on the bounce back, roll back down to starting position. Repeat and complete as many as you can in the recommended amount of work time.NEXT: 6 ways to burn belly fat>>Workout : Nichelle Laus; photo credit: Dave Laus.

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