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5 scientific ways to burn more fat

“We accumulate stored fat very fast,” says Dr Pablo Enriori, from Monash University’s Neurophysiology research group. “In 15 minutes you’re going to get a lot of insulin in circulation. This is induced to accumulate fat in tissue as well as used in the form of glucose for muscles.”

“Six hours is when we start to store that body fat but if by lunch you’ve overeaten and starting to store fat you’ve still got half a day to fix it, by either going to the gym and burning it off or reducing the amount of food you’re eating later in the day,” says exercise physiologist and dietitian Matt O’Neil from Metabolic Jumpstart.

“By the next day you’ll have more body fat unless you have burnt it off the same day.”

So how to release it? Pay attention – it’s tricky.

Plie-jumps-nichelle-laus-dave-laus

CHEAT: Aerobic exercise needs to performed for 30 minutes plus.

DEETS: Fat is like the money in a high-interest linked savings account – you can’t just withdraw it. First you need to use up what’s in your direct transaction account (preferred macromolecules) – starting with creatine phosphate and glycogen.These provide quick energy for short-term, high-intensity exercise, or fuel for the early stages of moderate-intensity workouts.

The type and duration of exercise determines which macromolecule is metabolised first.

Why is half-an-hour the magic number?

When you keep busting a sweat past the halfa mark, the body switches from primarily metabolising glucose to favouring fatty acids. In plain speak, that means it can efficiently tap into free fatty acids (FFAs) derived from lipids in body fat. Tip: the brain can’t metabolise fatty acids during the first 30 minutes of exercise.

There’s also an order of events that can’t be overwritten, no matter how clever you think you are. Fat and amino acids derived from muscle protein are the last fuel in the chain after stored glycogen and residual glucose in blood.

The takeaway is that sub-30 minute aerobic exercise can prevent new fat stores but not erode the old ones (and possibly decrease muscle mass – bad). To really reap the perks of a fat-burning workout, 40 minutes is the holy grail. Then the body feasts primarily on fatty acids for fuel, reducing body fat. Bonus: since most fuel is now FFAs, muscle protein is largely spared.

Dumbbell-thrusters
CHEAT: Do weights before HIIT or cardio

DEETS: There’s a good reason to do weights first, cardio second – and not just because exhausting yourself in sprints will undermine your strength.

Weights use creatine phosphate and glucose sequentially for fuel while in high-intensity anaerobic exercise, the body initially uses up all of the glycogen in the skeletal muscle and the liver through the glycolysis pathway.

Once it’s worked through this, and its glycogen-derived glucose, it relies on liver breakdown of proteins and lipolysis for energy. Doing aerobic exercise first exhausts creatine and glycogen reserves without burning much fat. The subsequent anaerobic session – weights or other – will then be bereft of reserves of energy needed for glycolysis. According to MedFitness, the best strategy for maximum fat burning is 30 minutes of weights followed by cardio, which will primarily use fatty acids for fuel.

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5 scientific ways to burn more fat

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Post-workout pitfalls and how to beat them!

Your workout may be done and dusted for the day, but if you really want to see results, what you do afterwards is as important as the session itself.

Whether you simply want to keep in shape or you’re working towards a specific goal, exercising takes effort, so don’t sabotage your hard work with silly mistakes. Check out these common pitfalls and solutions to get the most out of every session.

Pitfall 1: You don’t think ahead

You diarise dinner with your man and cocktails with your besties, but what about that all-important gym sesh? The last thing on your mind after finishing one sweat session might be pencilling in the next, but if you don’t stick to a schedule it’s easier to skip training or prioritise other plans. ‘If you book in your session while you’re high on the endorphins of your last workout, you’ll make the positive mental connection when you’re thinking about the next one,’ says Bodyism trainer Nathalie Schyllert (bodyism.com).

Pitfall 2: You guzzle back a sports drink

Staying hydrated during and after a workout is a no-brainer, but you don’t want to be chugging back sports drinks unless you’re working out intensely (i.e. training for over an hour). Believe it or not, a sports drink contains almost as many calories as a chocolate bar, with minimal gain. ‘Sugars such as sucrose and fructose are the main ingredients in most sports drinks. While they can be helpful to replenish electrolytes, they are often tested on elite athletes so, for you or I, we could end up just drinking 500ml of sugar,’ explains Nathalie. Rehydrate with naturally sweet coconut water instead.

Pitfall 3: You stay in the same clothes

You wouldn’t stay in a soaking wet swimsuit after a session in the pool, so why stay in your gym gear after a workout? Sweaty, damp clothes are a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to nasty infections. ‘When we work out, we create body heat and moisture through sweat in those places where bacteria loves to hang out. While exercising, the body naturally sweats out water, but it also expels chemical compounds that eventually break down into bacteria (which make your clothes smell),’ explains Nathalie. No time to shower? Take some sweat-proofing precautions instead. Ditch stinky cotton and opt for sweat-wicking kit that traps moisture to keep you cool and dry. And don’t forget to stash a packet of wet wipes and some face wipes in your gym bag for a quick post-training wipe down if you can’t rinse off.

Pitfall 4: You skimp on snacks

Eating after a workout is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, helping to ensure you reap the rewards of all your hard work. ‘Your metabolism peaks about 30-60 minutes after exercise; this is the best time to fuel the body as you are burning the most calories at this time,’ says Nathalie. Aim for a combo of carbs and protein to boost energy levels – a protein shake made with a scoop of whey protein, water and a banana will replenish energy levels nicely.

Pitfall 5: You skip the steam room

Just as a stretching session makes up part of a good cooldown, so too should a quick stint in the sauna and steam room. Hitting the heat after an intense workout provides relief for sore muscles and helps to effectively flush toxins from your body. To avoid dehydration, limit your sweat sesh to no more than 10-15 minutes and sip around a litre of water after.

Pitfall 6: You don’t hit the massage table

It might seem like an indulgence, but a massage is much more than a pamper sesh. Booking in for a regular sports massage after hardcore sessions can stave off post-muscle soreness and even improve future performance. ‘A sports massage will help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout by gradually pushing the lactic acid and other unwanted substances out of the muscles,’ explains Nathalie.

Pitfall 7: You’re a night owl

Slumber time and exercise go hand in hand; in fact, exercise is good for sleep. A study by Oregon State University found that getting at least 150 minutes of exercise a week positively impacts sleep quality. However, research also shows that not getting enough snoozing time after a fitness session can impair recovery from exercise, so try to get an early night after a workout. Being sleep deprived messes with hormones, increasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol and reducing muscle protein synthesis. It also causes a drop in the production of the growth hormone, which promotes fat loss and minimises fat storage in your body. So make sure you get your zzzzs!

Pitfall 8: You can’t say no to treats

Struggling to cut out the sweet stuff? You may have burned 300 calories in a 45-minute spin class or clocked up 10K pounding the pavements, but too much indulgence post-workout will derail all your hard work. Reward yourself with non-food related treats like a mani-pedi or a new piece of gym kit, and if you can’t seem to keep your sweet tooth in check, try eyeing up some slightly more waistline-friendly treats over your usual naughty nibbles. A pot of natural yoghurt with fresh fruit and a spoonful of honey, a few strawberries dipped in dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids) or oat pancakes drizzled in maple syrup will fit the bill.

Pitfall 9: You weigh yourself too often 

Keeping an eye on the scales is important if shifting the pounds is your main goal, but weighing yourself too regularly can be counterproductive and leave you feeling demotivated if you aren’t seeing constant results. Since healthy weight loss is a slow, steady journey you’re not likely to see a noticeable difference in the number on the scales after a single training session. ‘It’s best to find a time when you can weigh yourself at the same time once a week – not immediately after exercise or eating,’ says Nathalie.

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Post-workout pitfalls and how to beat them!

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10 ways to be more active

1 Choose the furthest corner

Instead of fighting for parking spots closest to the supermarket doors, park your car as far away as possible. This gives you the opportunity to walk further, for longer – and it’s less stressful, too.

2 Skip the lift

Stop taking the lift and take the stairs instead. It’ll get your heart pumping and body moving to build your fitness levels, plus climbing the stairs requires your bum, thigh and calf muscles to engage, helping to tone and sculpt your legs – a win-win!

3 Walk the last stop

If you commute to work by bus, jump off one stop early – or even two! – to increase
the distance you walk. Not only will this
add in some extra cardio exercise to your
day – particularly if you march at a fast pace – it’ll burn a few extra calories, too.  

4 Get pedalling

Boost your fitness by cycling to and from work. It’s a great way to get two cardio workouts into your day without having to take time out to exercise. Cycling is also a great way to tone up and keep those calories burning

 5 Use your lunch hour

Instead of staying glued to your computer screen, use your lunch hour for some retail therapy or a wander in the park. Just 20 minutes walking around the block, will help perk you up and boost your motivation. And, of course, it will add that extra bit of physical activity into your day. In fact, according to a recent study conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
in California, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Walk on!

6 Leave your car at home

If you have kids, walk them to school instead of driving, if it’s close enough. Not only will you start your day with a spring in your step, but walking to school will also encourage your kids to be more active, and it also helps reduce pollution. If walking isn’t an option, why not take them to the park after school or to the swings to play? And make sure you run around as much as your kids do!

7 Stand up more!

While talking on the phone, whether at home or in the office, get out of your chair and stand up or pace up and down. As well as helping you to focus on the conversation, this can have real benefits for your health. A study by Dr John Buckley and a team of researchers from the University of Chester proved that standing for a total of three hours each day will burn up an extra 144 calories. Over a year, that adds up to about 30,000 more calories or eight pounds of fat!

8 Be a tourist

Instead of the usual catch-up over coffee and cake or dinner, why not arrange
a jog around the park with a friend instead
or book onto a sightseeing tour around your nearest city. You’ll still have a chance to chat, but you’ll get in a bit of extra cardio, too.

9 Get your groove on

Spending your evenings slumped in front of the TV after a stressful day at work? Why not create a playlist of some of your favourite songs and have a dance around your bedroom for 15 minutes (or longer!) instead? Or look up dance classes you can join in your area. Not only does dancing
help boost self-confidence, but it’s a great chance to get a sweat on and burn some extra calories. A study published by the American Council on Exercise found that dance-based workouts can burn 200-400 calories per hour – almost as much as you burn swimming, cycling or walking. 

10 Invest in a pedometer

Record the number of steps you take each day with a pedometer. Then challenge yourself to increase the number every day or have a competition with your partner
or friend to see who can bank the most steps. This will boost your motivation
and get you more active

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10 ways to be more active

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Train your brain!

The era when sports stars concentrated solely on physical prep is long gone. 

Today, they are just as likely to use psychological techniques to improve their game. As cognitive hypnotherapist Hazel Gale (hazelgale.co.uk) says, ‘People are realising it’s scientific, not woo-woo.’ Hazel is the current UK women’s welterweight boxing champion and former double world women’s kickboxing champion. Not a lady to argue with then. 

Performance consultant Andy Barton (thesportingmind.com) is a sports psychologist who also uses Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Neuro Feedback to help people. He says, ‘65% of my clients are sports people, but the others are actors, musicians and just people who need to perform better.’ Indeed, brain training is not only useful in the gym – it could also increase your self-confidence, lift your mood and stop you procrastinating.

Research into the benefits of brain training is building. US research into basketball players, for example, has shown that those who visualise getting the ball in the hoop before they shoot are more likely to score. Another US study from 2013 showed participants who visualised exercising their biceps displayed a 13% increase in muscle strength. The reason is that visualisation activates electromyographical (EMG) activity in muscles similar to that which occurs in actual movement.

Mental Rehearsal

What is it? This is a visualisation technique in which you assume the identity of someone famous or successful in order to copy them and improve your own ‘game’.

How to do it: Think of a sports person who is able to do what you want to do. Maybe it’s Paula Radcliffe if you are a runner or Rebecca Adlington if you’re a swimmer. Now, close your eyes and imagine you’ve got a TV and remote control. Press play and watch a film of your hero practising the skill you want to perfect. Press pause and rewind. Play the film again. This time keep your mentor’s head, but visualise your body performing the same task faultlessly. Press pause, rewind and play again, this time with your head and your body, again doing everything well. Repeat this process once more, but this time step inside the film so that you’re actually feeling what it is like to perform so well. Press pause, step out of the film, look at yourself excelling, breathe in and relax.

What it’s best for: Perfecting tricky techniques that you don’t think you can do, such as a slam dunk in basketball or a serve in tennis.

Outside the gym: The Mental Rehearsal is really helpful if you want to perfect any skill, whether it’s cracking an egg with one hand or playing the violin. 

2 Process Thinking

What is it? When you want to achieve something, it is normal to set a goal and then try to reach it. However, this creates performance pressure that may prevent you reaching your goal. Process Thinking is a way of focusing on the present
to reduce this pressure.

How to do it: Set your goal then mentally set this aside. Maybe write it on a piece of paper and put it in a drawer. Then focus on the process of training without thinking ahead. If you do your best each time you work out, you will get to your goal and eliminate anxiety along the way.

What it’s best for: It works well for sports such as triathlon, which require a long training period.

Outside the gym: Any task where the goal is a long way off, e.g. if you have a lot of weight to lose.

3 Resource Anchor

What is it?This is based on the idea that we associate different states (happy, sad, excited, etc.) with ‘anchors’ i.e. sights, sounds, smells or tastes. The key is to anchor one of these senses to a frame of mind (a ‘resource state’) that helps you in your sport.

How to do it: The easiest and most effective Resource Anchor to create is a sound. An experiment conducted at Brunel University in 2001 found that music combined with imagery was more effective than imagery alone at helping athletes complete an isometric endurance task. Choose a song or songs that give you a feeling of energy and power. Now, sit quietly, close your eyes and remember a time when you trained well or competed successfully. As you see yourself excelling, switch on the music
and allow the sound to become associated with the feeling of success. Repeat this three or four times and then play the song whenever you train.

What it’s best for: Endurance exercise like running or cycling where the music helps you to dissociate you from the effort, aching limbs or sore feet.  

Outside the gym: If something makes you nervous (e.g. public speaking), you can create a relaxation anchor using a song that helps you to keep calm. Hum your chosen song quietly just before you have to speak to instantly calm yourself down.

Flick It Out, Lock It In

What is it? A favourite of Hazel’s, this duo of cognitive techniques helps you to ‘own’ your positive experiences and ‘throw away’ your negative experiences. 

How to do it: If you have a really good training session, win a race or set a personal best in anything, lift one arm, bend it as if you are doing a classic bicep curl, then as you clench your fist, pull it in to your chest. This ‘locks in’ the success. If you don’t do so well, ‘flick it out’ by taking the flat of one hand and brushing yourself down.

What it’s best for: Competitive sports with matches that you win or lose, or sports such as weight training or gymnastics that require you to perform difficult manoeuvres you can succeed or fail at.

Outside the gym: In competitive work environments such as sales where missing targets can affect your confidence.

Power Pose

What is it? A technique favoured by Andy, Power Pose is based on the idea that body language is infectious. ‘If you are fearful, you adopt fearful body language (you make yourself small by slumping down) and this body language increases your feeling of fearfulness,’ he explains. Power Pose completely reverses this process.

How to do it: Stand with your feet slightly apart, your head up and your shoulders back. Lift your arms up and out as if you are running through a tape at the end of a race. Breathe deeply and hold that position for one to two minutes.

What it’s best for: Increasing your energy and focus for short, explosive exercise such as sprinting or diving. This makes it particularly good just before the start of a race.

Outside the gym: Fantastic just before a difficult meeting or tricky phone call. It can give you the confidence to deliver bad news or ask for a pay rise.

Change Internal Dialogue

What is it? ‘A lot of us do ourselves down with self talk,’ says Hazel. This is the critical voice in our heads that many of us have. Change Internal Dialogue is a technique that takes the sting out of that inner voice.

How to do it: Close your eyes and think about some of the negative things you think about yourself, e.g. ‘I’m useless’, ‘I’m not fast enough’, ‘I’ll never win’, etc. While listening to this litany of internal criticism, alter the voice into that of Bugs Bunny or Homer Simpson. Immediately, whatever they are saying sounds ridiculously silly rather than powerful or strong.

What it’s best for: Events where you might hit a mental wall, e.g. mile 20 of a marathon or any exercise where self-doubt is holding you back, e.g. ‘I’ll never be able
to do 10 press-ups!’.

Outside the gym: A great all-round self-esteem lifter, Change Internal Dialogue can be used whenever you start to doubt your abilities, whatever the context.  

WHAT’S YOUR MANTRA?

Mantras are one of the most abused areas of psychology, but framed correctly they can be very effective. Here are the rules to remember:

• Use positive language If you say ‘I’m not nervous’, the brain doesn’t hear the ‘not’. It hears ‘nervous’ and your anxiety builds. Better to say ‘I am confident’. 

• Be realistic There’s no point saying ‘I’m going to be a world-class gymnast’ if you can barely get through a Zumba class. Better to say ‘I will get fitter’.

• Mean what you say ‘Mantras won’t work unless the body language and tone of voice is right,’ says Andy. Stand tall with your shoulders back and your head up – and speak confidently.

• Keep it broad A Greek study from 2006 found that motivational self talk, such as ‘I can do it!’, worked better than instructional self talk  such as ‘hit the ball!’.

MAGNIFICENT MANTRAS

‘I can, I will, I am’ (as in I can do it, I will do it, I am doing it). This creates belief and builds determination to do anything.

‘I will treat my body with love and respect. My body deserves this and I deserve this.’ Helps build resolve to be healthy and boosts self-esteem.

‘Just do it.’ The famous Nike slogan helps combat procrastination and silences a critical internal voice. 

Lowri Turner is a nutritionist/hypnotherapist

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Train your brain!

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Don’t suffer in silence!

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Why ‘putting up with’ an injury could be a bad idea

If you’ve ever been injured, you’ll know it’s all you can think about.

But did you know that chronic pain could actually change the way you think?

Well, according to a study in mice carried out by researchers at Stanford University, it seems long-term pain can alter the part of your brain that controls motivation – which could explain why those who suffer from chronic pain become less active and often feel unmotivated. Formerly fit bods can become crisp-eating couch potatoes in a the blink of an eye when motivation hits a real low!

So, don’t put up with persistent pain – get it checked out and get your motivation back.

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Don’t suffer in silence!

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<div id="DPG" webReader="243.996869497"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-19"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/greg-robins-vital-stats-box.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c11">Vital Stats</h3><p><strong>Name:</strong> Greg Robins, CPT<br /><strong>Education:</strong> University of Massachusetts Boston<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Strength and Conditioning Coach at Cressey Performance<br /><strong>Twitter:</strong> @CoachGregRobbins<br /><strong>Website:</strong> thestrengthhouse.com<br /><strong>Location:</strong> Hudson, MA</p></div><p>Gaining weight can be incredibly difficult and stressful for certain people. For these folks, commonly called "hardgainers," adding even a little size can seem like a monumental task. Personally, I'm skeptical about the extent of this difficulty. From my time in the military to setting recent personal powerlifting goals, I've had my fair share of experiences gaining healthy weight.</p><p>At my lowest weight of 173 in the military, I had the energy of a bull and personal bests that included a 435-pound deadlift, a 315-pound squat, and a 285-pound bench press. Later, when I flew up to 230 pounds, these same lifts shot up over one hundred pounds apiece, and I still boast a better-than-average work capacity.</p><p>Over the years, I've learned that tackling any goal comes down to being honest, acknowledging how much work it will take, and pushing through that work. If you're a hardgainer who wants to gain weight, you probably won't feel hungry all the time, but you'll still have to eat. If you really want to grow, you need to silence your fears of getting fat, of your performance suffering, and of eating 100 percent clean.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-1.jpg" width="560" height="346" border="0"/><p>"Gaining weight can be difficult and stressful. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size."</p><p>I don't care how hard it is for you to gain weight. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size. Do you have the courage to actually step outside your comfort zone and get something done? If you want to grow, start with these seven tips!</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">1 Use data over guesswork</h3>
</p><p>The guessing game and going by "feel" never give you an accurate picture of what you eat on a daily basis. So do the math and figure it out!</p><img class="float-right c13" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-2.jpg" width="190" height="283" border="0"/><p>Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes. You may be surprised by what you find. Perhaps you thought you ate 3,300 calories one day when, in fact, you ate only 2,900. That's a 400-calorie difference that can add up overtime.</p><p>"Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes."</p><p>Often, you just need something as visual as a food log for a couple weeks to fully grasp what you put into your diet—or <em>not</em>, in many cases.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Spend at least one month writing down your meals, snacks, and calories of any form that touch your lips. This serves as a mental exercise to get yourself used to eyeballing portion sizes and grasping the frequency and size of the meals you can consistently suck in on a daily basis.</p><p>Take advantage of this experimental period to tweak your diet according to results and how you feel, and learn how your body responds. For example, if you haven't been gaining as much muscle as you'd like, check your protein intake to see if it's adequate; if not, bump it up by increasing protein portion size or shift foods around a bit. One gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is a solid daily target.</p><p>One month is all you need to get a good picture of your caloric intake, but if you feel like it really helps, by all means, continue doing it until you can confidently start assembling meals through approximation and still achieve the results you want.</p><p>Just be sure to avoid getting consumed by the idea that you need to count every calorie all the time.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">2 Add calorie bonuses in addition to planned meals</h3>
</p><p>Hardgainers don't gain weight for a slew of reasons. Chief among them is that they don't sneak in enough extra calories into their diet. Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.</p><p>Sure, this might be easier said than done, but it's a matter of identifying foods and recipes that are calorie-dense but light on stomach space. These foods include nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butters, honey, full-fat coconut milk, and full-fat Greek yogurt. Some other viable options consist of drinking milk throughout the day, making peanut butter and (insert your choice of condiment) sandwiches, homemade 1,000-calorie protein shakes, and homemade energy bars or "cookies."</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-3b.jpg" width="560" height="288" border="0"/><p>"Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains."</p><p>Once you figure out the foods which bloat the calorie count but not the stomach, plan to put them into your meals. That means making things in advance, thinking ahead, and having foods like full-fat Greek yogurt and nut butters within arm's reach and ready. Don't be lazy about it.</p><p>More calories = more growth, so pack on the calories and cram them in where you can.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> one of my favorite quick and easy snacks</p><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Grab a jar of all-natural peanut butter (none of that added sugar and oils funny business!) and empty it into a bowl.</li>
<li>Add two or three scoops of quality protein powder, a little honey to taste, and about 1/2 cup of dried oats.</li>
<li>Add just enough water to make it mixable but not soupy at all.</li>
<li>Mix all together.</li>
<li>Separate into little balls that can hold together and refrigerate.</li>
<li>Eat one with each of your meals over the next few days.</li>
</ol><p>Other good options include many awesome high protein recipes by <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/anna-sward.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Protein Powder Chef, Anna Sward</a>.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/protein-powder/the-cookbook-protein-pow.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/annasward_bookbanner.jpg" width="560" height="144" border="0"/></a><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">3 You need to eat carbs (yes, even the starchy ones)</h3>
</p><p>This tip seems pretty straightforward, but you'd be surprised by how many people ask me why they're not gaining weight when their only carbohydrate sources come from vegetables, trace amounts of sugars, fruits, and legumes.</p><p>I'm not saying to go completely crazy on trashy carbohydrates, but your body will gain better results from additional carb sources such as rice, oats, sweet potatoes, and—dare I say it—bread. This is especially true with heavy weightlifting, since carbs are needed to replenish glycogen stores that a particularly grueling lifting session devours. Some studies suggest that timing the majority of your starches around when you train may shunt unnecessary fat storage. For example, eat these starches either pre- or post-workout.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Add two bananas, a bowl of oatmeal (one cup measured uncooked), or half a cup of rice (measured uncooked) to your post-training meals.</p><img class="float-right c15" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-5.jpg" width="264" height="224" border="0"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">4 Fat is where it's at</h3>
</p><p>Fats are essential to your diet because they cushion your vital organs, help you digest certain types of vitamins, maintain optimum brain function, and more. Plus, fats are the easiest way to add extra calories. Fat sources are calorically dense, go down quickly, provide a lot of energy, and of course, they're damn tasty. Before you go to town on heavy cream and lard, fats should come from quality sources, like raw nuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters, avocado, fattier cuts of meat, olive oil, real mayonnaise, and some cheese.</p><p>Fats should comprise most of your meals when you're not training or close to training times.</p><p><strong>Action points:</strong> things you can do to add more fats and thus more calories to your diet</p><ul class="dpg-list"><li>Liberally douse your veggies in grass-fed butter or olive oil.</li>
<li>Pat some butter in your sweet potato.</li>
<li>Add extra olive oil in your marinara sauce.</li>
<li>Use real mayonnaise in your sandwiches.</li>
<li>Eat a whole avocado with your meal (they go with everything!).</li>
<li>Snack on macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and any of the other more nutrient-dense nuts throughout the day.</li>
</ul><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">5 Eat faster</h3>
</p><p>Before your body has the chance to feel satiated, fill 'er up! If you eat too slowly, you give your brain a chance to catch up on your stomach's actual satiety levels, which is usually about a 20-minute delay. When you sit down to eat, start shoveling as much food as you comfortably can into your gaping maw. That means the opposite of what most weight loss experts will tell you. Never put your utensils down during your meal.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Make it a point to eat your meals with training buddies or friends who eat more food than you do. That way it becomes sort of a competition. It also puts "eating a lot" into a humbling perspective when you can see how much other people eat in comparison to yourself.</p><img class="float-right c16" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-6.jpg" width="268" height="322" border="0"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">6 Drink more calories</h3>
</p><p>Chewing takes work and time. Drink your calories whenever you can, whether that ends up being milk, coconut water, or a simple shake. Big, nutritional <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/proteinshakes.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">shakes</a> you make at home are the real moneymaker here. You can add extra calories from coconut milk, nut butters, high-quality protein powders, and fistfuls of greens to make that shake give you both weight and nutritional gains.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Drink beverages like coconut milk, milk, or coconut water with each meal.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">7 Have a positive relationship with your food</h3>
</p><p>Far too often, people get consumed by the act of eating that they forget to savor food and view food as more than just numbers. Learn to cook, enjoy your food, and stop eating alone.</p><p>Having a positive relationship with food will do wonders for the poor habits you don't even realize are taking place. It's often the negative association that stems from the "need to eat" and makes hardgainers less likely to be able to adhere to consuming more calories. In these cases, it just helps to have a friend to be there along the way.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Plan to have dinner with a friend at least twice each week over the next month. As I already mentioned, try to make plans with friends who aren't afraid to say yes to two entrees or second (or even third) helpings!</p><p>Do you have any other weight-gaining secrets to share with other hardgainers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!</p><br class="c17"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c20" webReader="5.15789473684"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle.htm"><img src="images/2014/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="6.63157894737"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle.htm">12 'Skinny Guy' Tips To Build Monster Muscle!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Are you afraid to challenge yourself? After reading this article, you should be ready to take the first steps in the journey!</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="5.55434782609"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building.htm"><img src="images/2014/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="7.14130434783"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building.htm">Hardgainer's Guide To Muscle Building!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Every hardgainer is looking to add muscle. This guide will focus on the types of weight training, cardio and nutrition needed to meet your goals.</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="5.34210526316"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/30-day-bones-to-buff-training.htm"><img src="images/2014/bones-to-buff-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="6.86842105263"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/30-day-bones-to-buff-training.htm">How To Go From Bones To Buff In Just 30 Days!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
For someone struggling to gain mass, a different approach must be taken. Here are the benefits of a 30-day program for ectomorphs. Check it out!</p></div></div></div>

Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer

Gaining weight can be incredibly difficult and stressful for certain people. For these folks, commonly called “hardgainers,” adding even a little size can seem like a monumental task. Personally, I’m skeptical about the extent of this difficulty. From my time in the military to setting recent personal powerlifting goals, I’ve had my fair share of experiences gaining healthy weight.

At my lowest weight of 173 in the military, I had the energy of a bull and personal bests that included a 435-pound deadlift, a 315-pound squat, and a 285-pound bench press. Later, when I flew up to 230 pounds, these same lifts shot up over one hundred pounds apiece, and I still boast a better-than-average work capacity.

Over the years, I’ve learned that tackling any goal comes down to being honest, acknowledging how much work it will take, and pushing through that work. If you’re a hardgainer who wants to gain weight, you probably won’t feel hungry all the time, but you’ll still have to eat. If you really want to grow, you need to silence your fears of getting fat, of your performance suffering, and of eating 100 percent clean.

“Gaining weight can be difficult and stressful. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size.”

I don’t care how hard it is for you to gain weight. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size. Do you have the courage to actually step outside your comfort zone and get something done? If you want to grow, start with these seven tips!

1 Use data over guesswork

The guessing game and going by “feel” never give you an accurate picture of what you eat on a daily basis. So do the math and figure it out!

Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes. You may be surprised by what you find. Perhaps you thought you ate 3,300 calories one day when, in fact, you ate only 2,900. That’s a 400-calorie difference that can add up overtime.

“Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes.”

Often, you just need something as visual as a food log for a couple weeks to fully grasp what you put into your diet—or not, in many cases.

Action point: Spend at least one month writing down your meals, snacks, and calories of any form that touch your lips. This serves as a mental exercise to get yourself used to eyeballing portion sizes and grasping the frequency and size of the meals you can consistently suck in on a daily basis.

Take advantage of this experimental period to tweak your diet according to results and how you feel, and learn how your body responds. For example, if you haven’t been gaining as much muscle as you’d like, check your protein intake to see if it’s adequate; if not, bump it up by increasing protein portion size or shift foods around a bit. One gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is a solid daily target.

One month is all you need to get a good picture of your caloric intake, but if you feel like it really helps, by all means, continue doing it until you can confidently start assembling meals through approximation and still achieve the results you want.

Just be sure to avoid getting consumed by the idea that you need to count every calorie all the time.

2 Add calorie bonuses in addition to planned meals

Hardgainers don’t gain weight for a slew of reasons. Chief among them is that they don’t sneak in enough extra calories into their diet. Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.

Sure, this might be easier said than done, but it’s a matter of identifying foods and recipes that are calorie-dense but light on stomach space. These foods include nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butters, honey, full-fat coconut milk, and full-fat Greek yogurt. Some other viable options consist of drinking milk throughout the day, making peanut butter and (insert your choice of condiment) sandwiches, homemade 1,000-calorie protein shakes, and homemade energy bars or “cookies.”

“Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.”

Once you figure out the foods which bloat the calorie count but not the stomach, plan to put them into your meals. That means making things in advance, thinking ahead, and having foods like full-fat Greek yogurt and nut butters within arm’s reach and ready. Don’t be lazy about it.

More calories = more growth, so pack on the calories and cram them in where you can.

Action point: one of my favorite quick and easy snacks

  1. Grab a jar of all-natural peanut butter (none of that added sugar and oils funny business!) and empty it into a bowl.
  2. Add two or three scoops of quality protein powder, a little honey to taste, and about 1/2 cup of dried oats.
  3. Add just enough water to make it mixable but not soupy at all.
  4. Mix all together.
  5. Separate into little balls that can hold together and refrigerate.
  6. Eat one with each of your meals over the next few days.

Other good options include many awesome high protein recipes by Protein Powder Chef, Anna Sward.

3 You need to eat carbs (yes, even the starchy ones)

This tip seems pretty straightforward, but you’d be surprised by how many people ask me why they’re not gaining weight when their only carbohydrate sources come from vegetables, trace amounts of sugars, fruits, and legumes.

I’m not saying to go completely crazy on trashy carbohydrates, but your body will gain better results from additional carb sources such as rice, oats, sweet potatoes, and—dare I say it—bread. This is especially true with heavy weightlifting, since carbs are needed to replenish glycogen stores that a particularly grueling lifting session devours. Some studies suggest that timing the majority of your starches around when you train may shunt unnecessary fat storage. For example, eat these starches either pre- or post-workout.

Action point: Add two bananas, a bowl of oatmeal (one cup measured uncooked), or half a cup of rice (measured uncooked) to your post-training meals.

4 Fat is where it’s at

Fats are essential to your diet because they cushion your vital organs, help you digest certain types of vitamins, maintain optimum brain function, and more. Plus, fats are the easiest way to add extra calories. Fat sources are calorically dense, go down quickly, provide a lot of energy, and of course, they’re damn tasty. Before you go to town on heavy cream and lard, fats should come from quality sources, like raw nuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters, avocado, fattier cuts of meat, olive oil, real mayonnaise, and some cheese.

Fats should comprise most of your meals when you’re not training or close to training times.

Action points: things you can do to add more fats and thus more calories to your diet

  • Liberally douse your veggies in grass-fed butter or olive oil.
  • Pat some butter in your sweet potato.
  • Add extra olive oil in your marinara sauce.
  • Use real mayonnaise in your sandwiches.
  • Eat a whole avocado with your meal (they go with everything!).
  • Snack on macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and any of the other more nutrient-dense nuts throughout the day.

5 Eat faster

Before your body has the chance to feel satiated, fill ‘er up! If you eat too slowly, you give your brain a chance to catch up on your stomach’s actual satiety levels, which is usually about a 20-minute delay. When you sit down to eat, start shoveling as much food as you comfortably can into your gaping maw. That means the opposite of what most weight loss experts will tell you. Never put your utensils down during your meal.

Action point: Make it a point to eat your meals with training buddies or friends who eat more food than you do. That way it becomes sort of a competition. It also puts “eating a lot” into a humbling perspective when you can see how much other people eat in comparison to yourself.

6 Drink more calories

Chewing takes work and time. Drink your calories whenever you can, whether that ends up being milk, coconut water, or a simple shake. Big, nutritional shakes you make at home are the real moneymaker here. You can add extra calories from coconut milk, nut butters, high-quality protein powders, and fistfuls of greens to make that shake give you both weight and nutritional gains.

Action point: Drink beverages like coconut milk, milk, or coconut water with each meal.

7 Have a positive relationship with your food

Far too often, people get consumed by the act of eating that they forget to savor food and view food as more than just numbers. Learn to cook, enjoy your food, and stop eating alone.

Having a positive relationship with food will do wonders for the poor habits you don’t even realize are taking place. It’s often the negative association that stems from the “need to eat” and makes hardgainers less likely to be able to adhere to consuming more calories. In these cases, it just helps to have a friend to be there along the way.

Action point: Plan to have dinner with a friend at least twice each week over the next month. As I already mentioned, try to make plans with friends who aren’t afraid to say yes to two entrees or second (or even third) helpings!

Do you have any other weight-gaining secrets to share with other hardgainers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer

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Physique Workout: NPC Athlete Nic Troupe's Fitness Regimen

NPC Men’s Physique competitor Nic Troupe has a history many of us can relate to. After an injury forced him to retire from his college football team, Nic was a little lost. But, unlike many ex-collegiate athletes, he didn’t spend his extra time feeling sorry for himself. Instead, Nic dove into the academic side of athletics and found his way into a lifetime of fitness, which eventually led him into competition. Check out Nic’s story and get his full fitness program!

Nic grabbed an undergraduate degree in fitness management, which led him to Wartburg College and Northern Iowa University, where he worked on the strength staff as a graduate assistant. “I got really involved in athletic training, and coaching strength and conditioning,” Nic says.

With an M.A. in physical education and a CSCS certification in hand, Nic then spent six years as a strength coach at a high school. Nic took pride in helping young athletes better themselves, but he also wanted to improve his own fitness. “I’ve trained for 5k and 10k road races and warrior dashes, and I’ve done competitive bench press competitions,” says Nic.

“I may make the switch to bodybuilding in the future, but we will have to wait and see.”

Clearly an athlete, Nic’s latest challenge has been competing in physique. He placed 2nd at the 2012 NPC Denver Novice and Masters Championships, and 4th as a novice at the Max Muscle Mile High Natural Championships.

His competitive future was looking bright when calamity struck. As he and his fiancee were waking across the street, they were hit by a taxi. Nic suffered severe neuromuscular damage which inhibited his speech and made even basic movements like walking up and down stairs very painful. His physical issues lasted for three months, and he had to back out of a show 8 weeks before he was scheduled to compete.

Undaunted by his setback, Nic recovered and continued to compete. In 2013, he placed 9th in the open division of the Colorado State Championships. For his future fitness endeavors, Nic is prepared to bring his best-ever self to the stage. “I may make the switch to bodybuilding in the future, but we will have to wait and see,” he says.

Nic’s Nutrition Program

Nic’s nutrition philosophy is based upon the “If It Fits Your Macros” approach. His greatest success has come from not over-complicating his diet. He focuses on eating healthy foods every day, but doesn’t deprive himself, especially during the off season. “If I want to have a Pop-Tart, I’ll have one,” says Nic. “I know that my approach doesn’t look like all of the other guys, but it works for me and I am happy with the results I get.”

Using this approach, Nic has been able to stay leaner in the off season without losing any muscle mass.

As stage day draws nearer, the indulgences are far less frequent. Other than cutting some indulgences near a competition, Nic’s diet stays pretty much the same in and out of season.

Blend Together

Nic’s Training Program

The guiding principle behind Nic’s training program is constant change. He rarely does the same workouts twice, so his body never knows what’s coming and he stays excited about his training.

When aiming to build mass in the off-season, Nic does heavy lifts in straight sets. As contest season nears, he changes his regimen to include more supersets, trisets, and dropsets to keep his heart rate up and burn more fat.

Below is a sample training week that Nic might follow. After doing this workout routine, he may not repeat the same sessions for another 4 or 5 weeks. All rest periods are kept to around 60 seconds, with the exception of legs and shoulders, which is taken to 90 seconds rest between sets.

“As contest season nears, he changes his regimen to include more supersets, trisets, and dropsets to keep his heart rate up and burn more fat.”

Superset
Superset

Nic’s Supplement Program

When selecting a supplement to use, Nic looks for two primary factors: cost and taste.

Because of his previous results and enthusiasm for iSatori, when he reached out to iSatori, he was quickly invited to become a brand rep on the Bodybuilding.com forums, and now he gets all the great-tasting supplements he enjoys.

His stack isn’t huge, though. “I base my diet on lean gains rather than going for an all-out ‘dirty bulk,’ so I don’t need much beyond my diet and training,” says Nic. “I’m really liking how Bio-Gro is helping me with adding lean mass without additional calories.”


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Physique Workout: NPC Athlete Nic Troupe's Fitness Regimen

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<div id="DPG" webReader="185.509833585"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-14.5273972603"><div class="c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/train-magazine-vital-stats-b.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c12">Vital Stats</h3><p><strong>TRAIN MAGAZINE</strong><br />The Official Print Partner of Bodybuilding.com</p><p><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="https://train.magcs.com/IT2C51/subscribe" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">https://train.magcs.com/</a><br /><strong>Facebook:</strong> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TRAINmagazine" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">TRAINmagazine</a><br /><strong>Twitter:</strong> <a href="https://twitter.com/TRAINmag" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">TRAINmag</a></p></div><p>You've probably been told over and over again by every respectable nutritionist and doctor out there that a supplement stack cannot overcome a poor diet.</p><p>Let's reverse engineer that statement, because it's also telling you that your exercise performance can get absolutely everything it needs from the whole foods section of the supermarket.</p><p>Consider that taking creatine for a few weeks can increase your muscle power by 15 percent, or having a caffeine pill before a workout can boost your endurance by a staggering 17 percent. Well, there aren't any foods which can boast those benefits, so supplements clearly have their place.</p><p>A weak diet isn't necessarily thanks to a distaste for vegetables, nor is it always a conscious decision. Think of it this way: If 12 p.m. saddles you with non-negotiable ravenousness and you only have the $5 you dug out from under the sofa cushions, you can still grab a meal deal at a drive-thru. But, go to an organic market and ask a teller what you can get for your five bucks, and you'll be lucky if you get offered a liter of expired goat's milk and a coupon to McDonald's.</p><p>You see, the ever-hastening pace and cost of life means healthy eating doesn't always fit your schedule. So if vegetables and lean proteins have become an afterthought, then the question that needs asking is: Can a bad diet be made moderately respectable by good supplementing?</p><p>These supplement strategies can help you improve your health, even if you absolutely insist on eating like a four-year-old. And if you're smart enough to already eat healthy, but treat yourself to the odd cheat meal then these tactics will help you activate damage control mode when the times comes. Either way you win, and will be healthier and fitter.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/can-you-out-supplement-a-bad-diet-1.jpg" width="560" height="493" border="0"/><p>"The ever-hastening pace and cost of life means healthy eating doesn't always fit your schedule."</p><h3 class="article-title">IS YOUR MULTIVITAMIN A LIE?</h3><p>Sportsman or not, multivitamins are at home in just about every household. They claim to fill in any gaps in your nutrition, not boost sports performance, so their main selling point is actually longevity and an improved ability to fend off disease.</p><p>Is the science at odds with the marketing claims? Well, researchers who published their results in the "American Journal of Epidemiology" undertook a ground-breaking study that followed almost 200,000 multivitamin-users over an 11-year period.</p><p>The researchers found that there was no decrease or increase in mortality from all causes, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer, between people who took multivitamins and people who didn't.</p><p>In short: multivitamins did nothing. Zero benefit. So if they're doing nothing and you chuck them down your throat like sweets to counterbalance your KFC obsession, then Colonel Sander's offerings are going to have a pervasive effect inside your body.</p><p>There is also a worrying psychological aspect; it's thought that people who take multivitamins feel they have more junk food and exercise lay-day credits than people who don't. Sadly, the Grim Reaper doesn't factor in these supposed get-out clauses when he's hard at the grind.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/can-you-out-supplement-a-bad-diet-2.jpg" width="560" height="412" border="0"/><p>"The researchers found that there was no decrease or increase in mortality from all causes, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer, between people who took multivitamins and people who didn't."</p><h3 class="article-title">THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS</h3><p>Supplement manufacturers by law have to state that their product is not a replacement for real food, but if we can send dudes to the moon on powdered Sunday roasts then isn't it logical that humans have progressed enough to make the "pill-diet" possible?</p><p>"Astronauts' diets have been carefully formulated by top scientists to make sure no micro or macronutrient is overlooked," says Dr Jerry Liu, a nutritionist and food chemist.</p><p>"On a global scale, this is actually done very successfully in animal models, with cows eating a mix of whole foods and artificially added nutrients. And you go on to enjoy their steaks as part of your balanced diet."</p><p>Hell, even your pet pooch has his diet created in a lab and he's living longer than ever.</p><p>"In theory, you can live on supplements, but the DIY approach will no doubt leave you with serious holes in your dietary requirements because you won't have the tech to monitor how much of each nutrient your body is absorbing," adds Dr Liu.</p><p>Even though product labels are monitored to make sure they're truthful, you can't be 100 percent sure you're getting exactly what they claim to contain.</p><p>"Often the processing destroys many of the unstable micronutrients and digestive enzymes your body needs to absorb [certain] nutrients," Dr Liu continues.</p><img class="float-right c13" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/can-you-out-supplement-a-bad-diet-3.jpg" width="344" height="211" border="0"/><p>"Many green supplements are getting frighteningly close nutrient levels to real foods, but they're not quite a match just yet."</p><p>Real organic food guarantees health, but you take a risk by trying to supplement yourself healthy—unless your bedroom is built by NASA.</p><p>"Obviously, if you're eating badly then taking something like a green supplement is going to be significantly better for you than not taking it," explains Dr Liu. 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The break from restricting calories helps keep you on track.</p><p>"Looking forward to a cheat meal at the end of the week keeps people disciplined and actually has the power to speed up metabolism and burn more calories," says Moodie Dennaoui, nutritionist to world champion boxers such as Billy Dib.</p><p>But if you want to gorge on cheat meals that would make The Rock envious then you're presented with an opportunity to out-supplement a bad meal. "There is a lot of scientific evidence behind the effectiveness of carbs blockers on the market and to a lesser extent fat blockers have also shown some promise," says Dr Liu.</p><p>"Supplements with white kidney bean extract can reduce your body's ability to digest carbs and reduce the number of calories you extract from your cheat meal."</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/can-you-out-supplement-a-bad-diet-4.jpg" width="560" height="xxx" border="0"/><p>Supplements with white kidney bean extract can reduce your body's ability to digest carbs and reduce the number of calories you extract from your cheat meal.</p><p>Just as you mentally prepare for your big burger blowout, you should also plan to reduce its ill effects by using these supplements. 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So be a man and eat like a man, not a child.</p><a href="https://train.magcs.com/IT2C51/subscribe" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/train-magazine-banner-1-24-2014.jpg" width="560" height="200" border="0" class="c16"/></a><br class="c17"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c20" webReader="5.82857142857"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/3-types-of-muscle-building-supplements-for-overall-growth.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/whats-sup-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="8.01428571429"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/3-types-of-muscle-building-supplements-for-overall-growth.html">3 Types Of Muscle-Building Supplements For Overall Growth</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
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Can You Out-Supplement A Bad Diet?

You’ve probably been told over and over again by every respectable nutritionist and doctor out there that a supplement stack cannot overcome a poor diet.

Let’s reverse engineer that statement, because it’s also telling you that your exercise performance can get absolutely everything it needs from the whole foods section of the supermarket.

Consider that taking creatine for a few weeks can increase your muscle power by 15 percent, or having a caffeine pill before a workout can boost your endurance by a staggering 17 percent. Well, there aren’t any foods which can boast those benefits, so supplements clearly have their place.

A weak diet isn’t necessarily thanks to a distaste for vegetables, nor is it always a conscious decision. Think of it this way: If 12 p.m. saddles you with non-negotiable ravenousness and you only have the $5 you dug out from under the sofa cushions, you can still grab a meal deal at a drive-thru. But, go to an organic market and ask a teller what you can get for your five bucks, and you’ll be lucky if you get offered a liter of expired goat’s milk and a coupon to McDonald’s.

You see, the ever-hastening pace and cost of life means healthy eating doesn’t always fit your schedule. So if vegetables and lean proteins have become an afterthought, then the question that needs asking is: Can a bad diet be made moderately respectable by good supplementing?

These supplement strategies can help you improve your health, even if you absolutely insist on eating like a four-year-old. And if you’re smart enough to already eat healthy, but treat yourself to the odd cheat meal then these tactics will help you activate damage control mode when the times comes. Either way you win, and will be healthier and fitter.

“The ever-hastening pace and cost of life means healthy eating doesn’t always fit your schedule.”

IS YOUR MULTIVITAMIN A LIE?

Sportsman or not, multivitamins are at home in just about every household. They claim to fill in any gaps in your nutrition, not boost sports performance, so their main selling point is actually longevity and an improved ability to fend off disease.

Is the science at odds with the marketing claims? Well, researchers who published their results in the “American Journal of Epidemiology” undertook a ground-breaking study that followed almost 200,000 multivitamin-users over an 11-year period.

The researchers found that there was no decrease or increase in mortality from all causes, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer, between people who took multivitamins and people who didn’t.

In short: multivitamins did nothing. Zero benefit. So if they’re doing nothing and you chuck them down your throat like sweets to counterbalance your KFC obsession, then Colonel Sander’s offerings are going to have a pervasive effect inside your body.

There is also a worrying psychological aspect; it’s thought that people who take multivitamins feel they have more junk food and exercise lay-day credits than people who don’t. Sadly, the Grim Reaper doesn’t factor in these supposed get-out clauses when he’s hard at the grind.

“The researchers found that there was no decrease or increase in mortality from all causes, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer, between people who took multivitamins and people who didn’t.”

THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS

Supplement manufacturers by law have to state that their product is not a replacement for real food, but if we can send dudes to the moon on powdered Sunday roasts then isn’t it logical that humans have progressed enough to make the “pill-diet” possible?

“Astronauts’ diets have been carefully formulated by top scientists to make sure no micro or macronutrient is overlooked,” says Dr Jerry Liu, a nutritionist and food chemist.

“On a global scale, this is actually done very successfully in animal models, with cows eating a mix of whole foods and artificially added nutrients. And you go on to enjoy their steaks as part of your balanced diet.”

Hell, even your pet pooch has his diet created in a lab and he’s living longer than ever.

“In theory, you can live on supplements, but the DIY approach will no doubt leave you with serious holes in your dietary requirements because you won’t have the tech to monitor how much of each nutrient your body is absorbing,” adds Dr Liu.

Even though product labels are monitored to make sure they’re truthful, you can’t be 100 percent sure you’re getting exactly what they claim to contain.

“Often the processing destroys many of the unstable micronutrients and digestive enzymes your body needs to absorb [certain] nutrients,” Dr Liu continues.

“Many green supplements are getting frighteningly close nutrient levels to real foods, but they’re not quite a match just yet.”

Real organic food guarantees health, but you take a risk by trying to supplement yourself healthy—unless your bedroom is built by NASA.

“Obviously, if you’re eating badly then taking something like a green supplement is going to be significantly better for you than not taking it,” explains Dr Liu. “Many green supplements are getting frighteningly close nutrient levels to real foods, but they’re not quite a match just yet.”

So take them to put something healthy back into your body, but remember that they’re not a sure enough bet just yet to risk your neck on.

HELPING HANDS

Dutifully sticking to a nutrition strategy doesn’t always dish up world-class results. Occasionally getting a little lax with your diet is not just an extravagance, but a necessity. Cheat meals can actually help you stick to your diet, found research at the University of Illinois. The break from restricting calories helps keep you on track.

“Looking forward to a cheat meal at the end of the week keeps people disciplined and actually has the power to speed up metabolism and burn more calories,” says Moodie Dennaoui, nutritionist to world champion boxers such as Billy Dib.

But if you want to gorge on cheat meals that would make The Rock envious then you’re presented with an opportunity to out-supplement a bad meal. “There is a lot of scientific evidence behind the effectiveness of carbs blockers on the market and to a lesser extent fat blockers have also shown some promise,” says Dr Liu.

“Supplements with white kidney bean extract can reduce your body’s ability to digest carbs and reduce the number of calories you extract from your cheat meal.”

Supplements with white kidney bean extract can reduce your body’s ability to digest carbs and reduce the number of calories you extract from your cheat meal.

Just as you mentally prepare for your big burger blowout, you should also plan to reduce its ill effects by using these supplements. But what about long-term periods of junk-food binges, such as a holiday, where you regularly visit restaurants and buffets?

“Taking a fiber supplement can be beneficial because processed foods lack this nutrient and it helps to push the food through your digestive system,” says Dr Liu. “This means the toxins won’t be in your system as long as they would be otherwise.”

It may not be a great long-term strategy, but it will certainly help you come back from a holiday with a tan instead of belly.

IT’S ALL IN THE NAME

If you wash down pizzas with an extra-strength green super-drink then you definitely cushion the blow. Yes, today’s supplements can almost do the job of a king-sized salad, but it still can’t quite match it.

“Fresh foods are alive and the nutrients are as concentrated as you’ll ever eat,” says Dr Liu. “You may get 1,000 micrograms of spinach from a teaspoon of a green supplement, but that’s never going to outshine the benefits of fresh food.”

Mother Nature isn’t a girl who can be bested just yet, and supplements remain supplements—not substitutes. So be a man and eat like a man, not a child.


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Link:  

Can You Out-Supplement A Bad Diet?

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<div id="DPG" webReader="321.12285927"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-16.044198895"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/jacob-wilson-vital-stats-box.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c11">Vital Stats</h3><p><strong>Name:</strong> Jacob Wilson<br /><strong>Education:</strong> PhD in Skeletal Muscle Physiology from Florida State<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Founder <a href="http://abcbodybuilding.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ABCbodybuilding.com</a><br /><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.jacobwilsonphd.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">jacobwilsonphd.com</a><br /><strong>Facebook:</strong> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Wilson/616781070" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jacob-Wilson</a></p></div><p>By day, I'm a skeletal muscle physiologist in a laboratory at the University of Tampa. But I also have a secret—OK, it's no secret. I absolutely love bodybuilding and lifting weights. Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a scientist studying sports performance, and bodybuilding in particular.</p><p>To me, bodybuilding is fascinating because it's based on the ultimate dichotomy: gaining size and getting shredded <em>at the same time</em>. These shouldn't mix, right? But they do, as we see in our lab on a regular basis.</p><p>At any given time, we're doing approximately six experiments on bodybuilding. We can look at muscle from the bone to the skin; we can scan your whole body and tell you the most accurate ways to look at fat. You name it, we can analyze it.</p><p>I want to bring this sport to a new level with the latest science has to offer, and I want you to ride along with me.</p><p>Pull up a chair and get out your notebook. Mass Class is about to begin.</p><h3 class="article-title">Jacob Wilson Training<br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 12:10</span></h3><br /><h3 class="article-title">Question 1 </h3><p>If you look at all the scientific literature, you'll see we've narrowed down how muscle grows to at least 3-4 different mechanisms. You'll hear people say, "Oh, so-and-so is the best training method," but that method might only maximize one of those mechanisms. When you're training for maximum growth, periodize your training so you can optimize each of these mechanisms.</p><p>Luckily, there are many different techniques you can use to do this.</p><p>Different researchers have different ways of categorizing them, but here's what I consider the primary mechanisms of muscle growth:</p><p>
<h4 class="c12">1 Cell Swelling</h4>
</p><p>You've probably heard guys who are about to go to the gym say things like, "I'm gonna go get my swole on." There is actually something to what they're saying. We call it the cell swelling theory.</p><img src="images/2014/welcome-to-mass-class_dymatize-graphics-1.jpg" width="560" height="367"/><p>Working in the 8-12 rep range (hypertrophy range) can increase cell swelling.</p><p>When you train and you get a pump, kind of like Arnold famously talked about in "Pumping Iron," your muscle cells sense that swelling as a threat. They basically say, "OK, I have to grow or die." So they restructure themselves and get larger.</p><p>What are the methods to increase that edema, or that blood to the muscle? Working in the hypertrophy range of 8-12 repetitions is one, especially with short rest period lengths.</p><p>Overload techniques like <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/reading_workout_logs.htm#8">stripsets</a>, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/reading_workout_logs.htm#5">supersets</a>, and working to <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/reading_workout_logs.htm#6">failure</a> are also ideal, if you use them properly.</p><p>
<h4 class="c12">2 Mechanical Tension</h4>
</p><div class="side-ad" webReader="-15.3668341709"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/ask-the-muscle-prof-fast-twitch-muscle-small.jpg" width="170" height="97"/></div><h3 class="article-title c14"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-how-do-i-target-fast-twitch-muscle-fibers.html">How Do I Target Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers?</a></h3><p>Fast-twitch muscle fibers aren't just important for sprinters and competitive weightlifters. Here's what they have to offer bodybuilders!</p><div class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-how-do-i-target-fast-twitch-muscle-fibers.html" class="bbButton primaryAction c15">Fast-Twitch Blitz!</a></div><br /></div><p>If you're looking to build muscle that's as strong as it looks, focusing on cell swelling isn't enough. You also need to amplify the tension, which is how you recruit the larger and more powerful muscle fibers.</p><p>You may have heard that we have slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are good for endurance, and then we have the larger <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-how-do-i-target-fast-twitch-muscle-fibers.html">fast-twitch muscle fibers</a>. Those get recruited with heavier lifting, like during sets of 6-8 repetitions or less. When you recruit them, they turn on protein synthesis and you grow.</p><p>Of course, if you are lifting with short rest periods, you can't lift as heavy, so the mechanical stress is less. So during your heavy days, rest 3-5 minutes in order to maximize the mechanical load.</p><p>That repetition range could still be around 6-8 reps—I'm not talking about power lifting, after all—but you'll rest longer so that you can lift heavy every set.</p><p>
<h4 class="c12">3 Mechanical Trauma</h4>
</p><p>Mechanical trauma, also known as muscle damage, occurs when you lower a weight or hit the eccentric portion of the lift hard. It can happen when you do things like forced reps or negative reps, as well as during heavy lifting—think the bottom of a squat. This is when you focus in on destroying the muscle.</p><p>You've probably heard about how when you train for hypertrophy, you create "micro tears" and tiny abrasions in your muscles, and that the recovery from these small injuries is how muscle grows. This is true, but it's not the only way to train for growth.</p><p>Training with an emphasis on muscle damage and working to failure is definitely effective, but like anything, it can also be <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-training-to-failure-helping-or-hurting-me.html">overdone</a>. Use it as one of several tools in a balanced program, and you'll maximize the benefit you receive from it.</p><p>
<h4 class="c12">4 Metabolic Stress</h4>
</p><img src="images/2014/welcome-to-mass-class_dymatize-graphics-2.jpg" width="262" height="364" border="0" class="right-image c17"/><p>Do you "feel the burn" when you train? You should! Metabolic stress can actually make muscle grow.</p><p>Everyone knows that burning sensation you get when you're training. That is metabolic stress, which is another name for acid building up in the muscle.</p><p>One of my colleagues, Dr. David Gundermann, took the novel step of isolating muscle cells putting them in lactic acid. Guess what? They grew! The mechanism that causes that burning sensation can actually make muscle grow. This is one reason to keep your rest periods short on a hypertrophy day.</p><p>If you rest for five minutes, talking about what you did over the weekend, that clears all out that metabolic stress.</p><p>This is part of the reasoning behind keeping rest periods short, like 60 seconds or less, or occasionally removing them altogether and doing supersets or strip sets.</p><h3 class="article-title">Question 2 </h3><p>I think the biggest mistake people make is underestimating their capabilities. They limit themselves mentally, and that leads to limiting themselves physically.</p><p>For example, I can't tell you how many times I hear or read things like, "Oh my God, I'm going to overtrain, so I can only train everything once a week." However, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-the-truth-about-overtraining.html">studies are showing</a> that the more frequently you train, the better your gains will be. Sometimes when you have an overload on the muscle every day your performance is not going to be the best, but you are beating the muscle up so much, it has no choice but to grow.</p><p>There are new studies coming out by some of my colleagues in Finland and Norway where they show incredible gains from weightlifters who change from three days per week of training to <em>six</em> days per week of training per body part.</p><p>That's an advanced technique that isn't appropriate for everyone, but the larger point is this: Don't limit yourself. The human body can withstand a lot more than you think, so long as your nutrition and sleep are in place.</p><h3 class="article-title">Question 3 </h3><div class="side-bar"><p class="c19"><strong>Compound Movements</strong></p><ul class="dpg-list c20"><li>Squat variations</li>
<li>Deadlift variations</li>
<li>Lunges</li>
<li>Leg press</li>
<li>Bench presses</li>
<li>Overhead presses</li>
<li>Pull-ups and pull-downs</li>
<li>Dips</li>
<li>Push-ups</li>
<li>Rowing variations</li>
</ul><p><strong>Isolation Movements</strong></p><ul class="dpg-list c20"><li>Triceps kickbacks</li>
<li>Biceps curl variations</li>
<li>Cable cross</li>
<li>Skull crushers</li>
<li>Leg extensions</li>
<li>Leg curls</li>
<li>Most machine exercises</li>
<li>Calf raises</li>
<li>Shoulder raises</li>
</ul></div><p>When the goal is mass and creating the most anabolism (protein synthesis), compound movements that hit muscle groups should always be the center of a bodybuilding program. That's going to be things like squats, bench presses, and leg presses.</p><p>But make no mistake; there is a difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting. Namely, bodybuilding is about making exercises <em>harder</em>. You're trying to beat your muscles up. If you're doing a bench press and you're bodybuilding, your back might be flat, you'll focus on the muscle, and on every aspect of the lift. If you are a powerlifter, you're going to get an arch in your back, shorten the range of motion, and use more leg drive.</p><p>The same thing applies with squatting. In powerlifting, your goal is to get the weight up, and you can take steps to make that easier: changing your stance, or using the belt for support, for instance. But in bodybuilding you're focusing on destroying the muscle. So you'll see lifters use dropsets, pre-exhaustion, and other overload techniques.</p><p>Once you have your compound movements in place, however, bodybuilding is also a sport of symmetry. This is where isolation movements come in. Use them as tools, but not as the foundation.</p><p>A lifter who does all isolation and no compound movements is going to be light years behind one with a more balanced program.</p><h3 class="article-title">Question 4 </h3><p>As I mentioned earlier, one of the fundamental dichotomies of bodybuilding is to gain size and lose fat <em>at the same time</em>. To gain size you lift weights, and to lose fat you do cardio. Simple enough, right? Yes, except that plenty of bodybuilders do hours of cardio every day, an amount on par with high-level endurance athletes.</p><p>But look at a marathon runner. Is that something a bodybuilder aspires to be? Clearly not. What we found in our laboratory is that the longer you do cardio, <em>the more muscle you lose</em>. Why would you spend all this time in the off-season gaining muscle, if you're only going to lose a lot of it with long-duration cardio? This is exactly the problem we've been trying to solve.</p><p>The answer is <a href="%20http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-best-cardio-for-preserving-mass.html">high-intensity interval training</a>, or HIIT, as it's often known. When I say high intensity, I'm talking about 10-30 seconds of all-out, balls-to-the-wall sprinting. If you do it for 10 seconds, you should have nothing left at the end. After 30 seconds of work, you should feel like you're going to die.</p><img src="images/2014/welcome-to-mass-class_dymatize-graphics-3.jpg" width="560" height="393"/><p>To lose fat while you're building muscle, supplement your weight training with high-intensity interval training! It's the best type of cardio for bodybuilders.</p><p>Sounds miserable, right? But you'd better believe it's effective. We found that in just 10 seconds of this type of training, you can deplete your muscle energy stores by approximately 15 percent. That might take 60 minutes to achieve with traditional cardio. What that does is send a massive signal to your body saying, "Oh my God, I have to increase my fat burning machinery." When you do that, you burn fat the rest of the day.</p><p>The results are truly remarkable. We've found that with 10-30 seconds of all-out sprints, you can actually lose more fat in just a few minutes than with the long duration 30-60 minute cardio—and you maintain your size. We did a study in our lab where we compared low-intensity cardio to high-intensity cardio side by side, and not only did the sprinters lose more fat, they even gained muscle in their quads. So sprinting can even be anabolic!</p><h3 class="article-title">Question 5 </h3><p>Say you're someone who responds well to heavy training. Every time you to go the gym, all you do is lift with eight or fewer repetitions per set, heavy weights, and with long rest periods. You're constantly loading the muscle, and that's where it can take a toll on your joints and ligaments. Eventually, you feel the strain, and you get an injury.</p><div class="side-bar"><h4 class="c21">Sample Periodization for Muscle Growth</h4><ul class="dpg-list c20"><li><strong>Workout 1:</strong> Hypertrophy, 8-12 reps per set, < 60 sec. rest</li>
</li><li><strong>Workout 2:</strong> Heavy lifting, 6-8 reps per set, > 3 min. rest</li>
<li><strong>Workout 3:</strong> Hypertrophy, 8-12 reps per set, focus on supersets and dropsets</li>
<li><strong>Workout 4:</strong> Occlusion training, 15-30 reps per set, < 30 sec. rest</li>
</li></ul></div><p>For a competitive bodybuilder, this is the worst thing ever. If you're out for a month, you lose muscle, and then it takes you a month to recover. You just lost two months—and that's being conservative.</p><p>Periodization is programmed change, and it's one of the keys to avoiding injuries in the gym. Here's how it works: One day each week, you could perform traditional hypertrophy training, which can be 8-12 reps, 30-60 second rests. One day you might train heavy, in a 6-8 repetition range, with longer rests. Another day, you could do a hypertrophy superset day. Then, if you feel like your joints are hurting, you could try a new technique known as <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-occlusion-training.html">blood flow restriction training</a>, or occlusion training.</p><p>This technique, what happens is if you restrict blood flow to a limb, you only have to lift at like 30-40 percent of your maximum weight and you actually can grow.</p><p>Simply put: Focus on the goal, and balance your training styles. Give your joints and muscles programmed rest periods, and you recover—and keep growing.</p><h3 class="article-title">Question 6 </h3><p>Bodybuilding is like any other sport. To improve at it, you have to master your trade, which is lifting weights.</p><p>Get everything you can out of every single lift. If you are doing a set of 12, every single rep should count. We know from plenty of studies that when people focus on the muscle, they activate more of it. Going through the motions, on the other hand, is only going to give you pedestrian results.</p><p>Success in this sport is all about focus. Make everything count. Make every meal count, make your sleep count, make every rep count, make every set count. Be meticulous. Write down how you felt in the gym. Write down what you are going to do, and what you want to be.</p><p>Set goals that are attainable, and stay abreast of the latest research into those goals, and you'll keep moving toward your ideal physique.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/dym/dym.htm"><img src="images/2013/dymatize-nutrition-banner-2.jpg" width="560" height="144"/></a><br /><h4>Recommended For You</h4><div class="c24" webReader="5.625"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-training-to-failure-helping-or-hurting-me.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/ask-the-muscle-prof-smallbox2.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c23" webReader="7.5"><h4 class="c22"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-training-to-failure-helping-or-hurting-me.html">Ask The Muscle Prof: Is Training To Failure Helping Or Hurting Me?</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
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Mass Class Training: The Fundamentals Of Muscle Growth

By day, I’m a skeletal muscle physiologist in a laboratory at the University of Tampa. But I also have a secret—OK, it’s no secret. I absolutely love bodybuilding and lifting weights. Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a scientist studying sports performance, and bodybuilding in particular.

To me, bodybuilding is fascinating because it’s based on the ultimate dichotomy: gaining size and getting shredded at the same time. These shouldn’t mix, right? But they do, as we see in our lab on a regular basis.

At any given time, we’re doing approximately six experiments on bodybuilding. We can look at muscle from the bone to the skin; we can scan your whole body and tell you the most accurate ways to look at fat. You name it, we can analyze it.

I want to bring this sport to a new level with the latest science has to offer, and I want you to ride along with me.

Pull up a chair and get out your notebook. Mass Class is about to begin.

Jacob Wilson Training
Watch The Video – 12:10

Question 1

If you look at all the scientific literature, you’ll see we’ve narrowed down how muscle grows to at least 3-4 different mechanisms. You’ll hear people say, “Oh, so-and-so is the best training method,” but that method might only maximize one of those mechanisms. When you’re training for maximum growth, periodize your training so you can optimize each of these mechanisms.

Luckily, there are many different techniques you can use to do this.

Different researchers have different ways of categorizing them, but here’s what I consider the primary mechanisms of muscle growth:

1 Cell Swelling

You’ve probably heard guys who are about to go to the gym say things like, “I’m gonna go get my swole on.” There is actually something to what they’re saying. We call it the cell swelling theory.

Working in the 8-12 rep range (hypertrophy range) can increase cell swelling.

When you train and you get a pump, kind of like Arnold famously talked about in “Pumping Iron,” your muscle cells sense that swelling as a threat. They basically say, “OK, I have to grow or die.” So they restructure themselves and get larger.

What are the methods to increase that edema, or that blood to the muscle? Working in the hypertrophy range of 8-12 repetitions is one, especially with short rest period lengths.

Overload techniques like stripsets, supersets, and working to failure are also ideal, if you use them properly.

2 Mechanical Tension

How Do I Target Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers?

Fast-twitch muscle fibers aren’t just important for sprinters and competitive weightlifters. Here’s what they have to offer bodybuilders!

If you’re looking to build muscle that’s as strong as it looks, focusing on cell swelling isn’t enough. You also need to amplify the tension, which is how you recruit the larger and more powerful muscle fibers.

You may have heard that we have slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are good for endurance, and then we have the larger fast-twitch muscle fibers. Those get recruited with heavier lifting, like during sets of 6-8 repetitions or less. When you recruit them, they turn on protein synthesis and you grow.

Of course, if you are lifting with short rest periods, you can’t lift as heavy, so the mechanical stress is less. So during your heavy days, rest 3-5 minutes in order to maximize the mechanical load.

That repetition range could still be around 6-8 reps—I’m not talking about power lifting, after all—but you’ll rest longer so that you can lift heavy every set.

3 Mechanical Trauma

Mechanical trauma, also known as muscle damage, occurs when you lower a weight or hit the eccentric portion of the lift hard. It can happen when you do things like forced reps or negative reps, as well as during heavy lifting—think the bottom of a squat. This is when you focus in on destroying the muscle.

You’ve probably heard about how when you train for hypertrophy, you create “micro tears” and tiny abrasions in your muscles, and that the recovery from these small injuries is how muscle grows. This is true, but it’s not the only way to train for growth.

Training with an emphasis on muscle damage and working to failure is definitely effective, but like anything, it can also be overdone. Use it as one of several tools in a balanced program, and you’ll maximize the benefit you receive from it.

4 Metabolic Stress

Do you “feel the burn” when you train? You should! Metabolic stress can actually make muscle grow.

Everyone knows that burning sensation you get when you’re training. That is metabolic stress, which is another name for acid building up in the muscle.

One of my colleagues, Dr. David Gundermann, took the novel step of isolating muscle cells putting them in lactic acid. Guess what? They grew! The mechanism that causes that burning sensation can actually make muscle grow. This is one reason to keep your rest periods short on a hypertrophy day.

If you rest for five minutes, talking about what you did over the weekend, that clears all out that metabolic stress.

This is part of the reasoning behind keeping rest periods short, like 60 seconds or less, or occasionally removing them altogether and doing supersets or strip sets.

Question 2

I think the biggest mistake people make is underestimating their capabilities. They limit themselves mentally, and that leads to limiting themselves physically.

For example, I can’t tell you how many times I hear or read things like, “Oh my God, I’m going to overtrain, so I can only train everything once a week.” However, studies are showing that the more frequently you train, the better your gains will be. Sometimes when you have an overload on the muscle every day your performance is not going to be the best, but you are beating the muscle up so much, it has no choice but to grow.

There are new studies coming out by some of my colleagues in Finland and Norway where they show incredible gains from weightlifters who change from three days per week of training to six days per week of training per body part.

That’s an advanced technique that isn’t appropriate for everyone, but the larger point is this: Don’t limit yourself. The human body can withstand a lot more than you think, so long as your nutrition and sleep are in place.

Question 3

When the goal is mass and creating the most anabolism (protein synthesis), compound movements that hit muscle groups should always be the center of a bodybuilding program. That’s going to be things like squats, bench presses, and leg presses.

But make no mistake; there is a difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting. Namely, bodybuilding is about making exercises harder. You’re trying to beat your muscles up. If you’re doing a bench press and you’re bodybuilding, your back might be flat, you’ll focus on the muscle, and on every aspect of the lift. If you are a powerlifter, you’re going to get an arch in your back, shorten the range of motion, and use more leg drive.

The same thing applies with squatting. In powerlifting, your goal is to get the weight up, and you can take steps to make that easier: changing your stance, or using the belt for support, for instance. But in bodybuilding you’re focusing on destroying the muscle. So you’ll see lifters use dropsets, pre-exhaustion, and other overload techniques.

Once you have your compound movements in place, however, bodybuilding is also a sport of symmetry. This is where isolation movements come in. Use them as tools, but not as the foundation.

A lifter who does all isolation and no compound movements is going to be light years behind one with a more balanced program.

Question 4

As I mentioned earlier, one of the fundamental dichotomies of bodybuilding is to gain size and lose fat at the same time. To gain size you lift weights, and to lose fat you do cardio. Simple enough, right? Yes, except that plenty of bodybuilders do hours of cardio every day, an amount on par with high-level endurance athletes.

But look at a marathon runner. Is that something a bodybuilder aspires to be? Clearly not. What we found in our laboratory is that the longer you do cardio, the more muscle you lose. Why would you spend all this time in the off-season gaining muscle, if you’re only going to lose a lot of it with long-duration cardio? This is exactly the problem we’ve been trying to solve.

The answer is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, as it’s often known. When I say high intensity, I’m talking about 10-30 seconds of all-out, balls-to-the-wall sprinting. If you do it for 10 seconds, you should have nothing left at the end. After 30 seconds of work, you should feel like you’re going to die.

To lose fat while you’re building muscle, supplement your weight training with high-intensity interval training! It’s the best type of cardio for bodybuilders.

Sounds miserable, right? But you’d better believe it’s effective. We found that in just 10 seconds of this type of training, you can deplete your muscle energy stores by approximately 15 percent. That might take 60 minutes to achieve with traditional cardio. What that does is send a massive signal to your body saying, “Oh my God, I have to increase my fat burning machinery.” When you do that, you burn fat the rest of the day.

The results are truly remarkable. We’ve found that with 10-30 seconds of all-out sprints, you can actually lose more fat in just a few minutes than with the long duration 30-60 minute cardio—and you maintain your size. We did a study in our lab where we compared low-intensity cardio to high-intensity cardio side by side, and not only did the sprinters lose more fat, they even gained muscle in their quads. So sprinting can even be anabolic!

Question 5

Say you’re someone who responds well to heavy training. Every time you to go the gym, all you do is lift with eight or fewer repetitions per set, heavy weights, and with long rest periods. You’re constantly loading the muscle, and that’s where it can take a toll on your joints and ligaments. Eventually, you feel the strain, and you get an injury.

For a competitive bodybuilder, this is the worst thing ever. If you’re out for a month, you lose muscle, and then it takes you a month to recover. You just lost two months—and that’s being conservative.

Periodization is programmed change, and it’s one of the keys to avoiding injuries in the gym. Here’s how it works: One day each week, you could perform traditional hypertrophy training, which can be 8-12 reps, 30-60 second rests. One day you might train heavy, in a 6-8 repetition range, with longer rests. Another day, you could do a hypertrophy superset day. Then, if you feel like your joints are hurting, you could try a new technique known as blood flow restriction training, or occlusion training.

This technique, what happens is if you restrict blood flow to a limb, you only have to lift at like 30-40 percent of your maximum weight and you actually can grow.

Simply put: Focus on the goal, and balance your training styles. Give your joints and muscles programmed rest periods, and you recover—and keep growing.

Question 6

Bodybuilding is like any other sport. To improve at it, you have to master your trade, which is lifting weights.

Get everything you can out of every single lift. If you are doing a set of 12, every single rep should count. We know from plenty of studies that when people focus on the muscle, they activate more of it. Going through the motions, on the other hand, is only going to give you pedestrian results.

Success in this sport is all about focus. Make everything count. Make every meal count, make your sleep count, make every rep count, make every set count. Be meticulous. Write down how you felt in the gym. Write down what you are going to do, and what you want to be.

Set goals that are attainable, and stay abreast of the latest research into those goals, and you’ll keep moving toward your ideal physique.

Recommended For You

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failure

. One is a time-proven technique for anabolic growth; the other is a surefire way to compromise your gains. Learn the difference and the science behind them!

Ask The Muscle Prof: What’s The Deal With Occlusion Training?

Restricting blood flow to the arms or legs during training may sound crazy, but the Muscle Prof has been front and center on the latest research into what is actually a cutting-edge hypertrophy technique!

Ask The Muscle Prof: What Are The Ideal Macros For My Breakfast?

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Read the article:  

Mass Class Training: The Fundamentals Of Muscle Growth

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight TrainingComments Off on Mass Class Training: The Fundamentals Of Muscle Growth

<div id="DPG" webReader="166"><p>As nice as it would be to have unlimited training time, it's simply not in the cards for most people. The gym is great, but a little thing called life often throws a wrench in your best-laid plans. Realistically, even the most dedicated people can only attend the gym 3-5 days per week for an hour per day, and that's with a little luck.</p><p>The good news is that one hour per session is plenty of time, <em>if</em> you use your time wisely! You just have to be smart with your exercise selection and workout program. Enter "power pairings," which are specific superset-style exercise pairs I created to help you get the most out of your precious training time.</p><p>As with any superset, you perform power pairings without resting between the paired exercises. Take a bench press and chin-up pair, for example. You perform one set of bench press followed immediately by a set of chin-ups. You won't rest until after you complete both exercises.</p><h3 class="article-title">Pairing Power</h3><img class="float-right" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/power-pairings-1.jpg" width="287" height="309" border="0"/><p>"Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic."</p><p>Power pairings can be useful within full-body routines or body-part splits, but for this article I'll explain how to use them in full-body routines. Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic. In a full-body routine, you'd use a power pairing after your primary lift. This allows you to give your first lift maximum attention and strength.</p><p>Start your workout with a big-bang strength movement and devote your full energy and attention to it. When you finish your main lift, implement a power pairing as your finisher. Power pairings use one piece of equipment and require little to no setup, which makes them easy to use even in crowded gyms.</p><p>Here are four power pairings that you can add to your own training program to cut down on your overall workout time and still get a great training effect!</p><p>
<h4 class="c11">1 Ring Dip And Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo</h4>
</p><p>Pair ring dips with a chin-up/hip thrust combination exercise I created to blast the back, glutes, and hamstrings simultaneously. Rather than confusing you by trying to explain the exercise, here's a video of what it looks like in action:</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JVkn1pHcB5E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>From a strength and muscle-building standpoint, this pairing works well because the exercises focus on different body parts, so they won't negatively impact each other or impair your strength. From a logistical standpoint, it's a great pair because the ring height is the same for each exercise, which means no necessary adjustments between sets.</p><p>To up the ante, try the pairing in a countdown format, as demonstrated in the video. Rather than doing straight sets of each exercise, start by doing decreasing sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps of each exercise with little to no rest between sets. Be warned: This is not for the faint of heart.</p><p>Use it: This pair works as a brutal finisher to cap off a great heavy, knee-dominant exercise like the front squat, back squat, split squat, or lunge.</p><p>
<h4 class="c11">2 "Bottoms Up" Front Squats And Inverted Rows</h4>
</p><p>Instead of starting in the standing position, "bottoms up" squats call for you to start at the bottom of the rep and lift from the squat rack's safety pins. Pause after each rep! This is a great front squat variation to hammer your quads and core, and help you build strength out of the hole.</p><p>After you finish the front squats, leave the bar on the pins and use it to perform a set of inverted rows. The bar will be at a perfect height to allow for full range of motion with no adjustments. It works great from a logistical standpoint.</p><p>In the video below, I use chains on the front squats, which is great if you have chains at your disposal, but they're not essential.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2sgIg3qubEU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><strong>Use it:</strong> This pairing is an ideal finisher after a heavy bench press or overhead press variation.</p><p>
<h4 class="c11">3 Rack RDL And Split-Stance Row Combo</h4>
</p><p>I recommend doing RDLs and barbell rows from the safety pins of a squat rack. Reset after each rep to take stress off your lower back and encourage proper form. I also recommend doing barbell rows with a split stance to take stress off the lower back, because the split stance helps prevent against lower-back rounding.</p><p>Fortunately, the proper pin height is the same for each exercise, so it works well as a pairing. You'll almost undoubtedly be able to use more weight on RDLs than barbell rows, so you'll need to change the weight, which is a breeze because the bar is raised off the floor. This video below shows how the pair looks in action. I use an oversized trap bar, which is great if you have one, but you can just as easily use a standard barbell.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/plwM2jT1FIM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>If you use a barbell, here is how the rows look.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iOGYG4SKMDo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><strong>Use it:</strong> This pair goes well after a heavy pressing day.</p><p>
<h4 class="c11">4 Overhead Press And Front Squats</h4>
</p><p>Pairing overhead presses with front squats works well because you don't need to waste time adjusting the bar in the rack. It's set to the same height for each exercise, making this a killer combo.</p><p>I recommend doing the overhead press before the front squats, because after much experimentation, I found that the overhead press doesn't negatively impact the subsequent front squats. Alternatively, if you do the front squats first, the overhead press suffers.</p><p>It's also important to note that most people will be much stronger on front squats than overhead press. This gives you two options: add weight for each set of front squats, or simply do more reps. I usually choose the latter and do twice as many front squats as overhead presses, as I do in this video.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wgpFeuusphc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><strong>Use it:</strong> This pairing works perfectly as a finisher after doing a heavy chin-up or row variation. It's also ideal as a standalone workout when you're really pinched for time and still want to get a good training effect.</p><h3 class="article-title">Putting It All Together</h3><p>Here's an example of how to utilize these power pairings within a full-body workout program to keep your workouts brief but effective. Shoot to train 2-4 days per week and rotate the workouts as necessary.</p><div class="left-side-stripe" webReader="-5"><p><strong>Workout 1:</strong><br /><strong>A1.</strong> Front Squats: 5 sets of 6 reps<br /><strong>B1.</strong> Ring Dips: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps<br /><strong>B2.</strong> Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps</p><p><strong>Workout 2:</strong><br /><strong>A1.</strong> Incline Bench Press: 5 sets of 6 reps<br /><strong>B1.</strong> "Bottoms Up" Front Squats: 4 sets of 10 reps<br /><strong>B2.</strong> Inverted Rows: 4 sets of 10 reps</p><p><strong>Workout 3:</strong><br /><strong>A1.</strong> Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 8 reps<br /><strong>B1.</strong> Rack RDL: 4 sets of 8 reps<br /><strong>B2.</strong> Split-Stance Rack Row: 4 sets of 8 reps</p><p><strong>Workout 4:</strong><br /><strong>A1.</strong> Chin-ups: 5 sets of 6 reps<br /><strong>B1.</strong> Overhead Press: 4 sets of 6 reps<br /><strong>B2.</strong> Front Squats: 4 sets of 12 reps</p></div><br class="c12"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="42.3963133641"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="8.50299401198"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ben-bruno.html">Ben Bruno</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ben-bruno.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Ben Bruno graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University. He lives in West Hollywood, California, and trains clients at Rise Movement...</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ben-bruno.html"><img src="images/2014/writer-ben-bruno-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ben-bruno.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
</ul></div></div></div>

Power Pairings: Effective Supersets For Strength And Size

As nice as it would be to have unlimited training time, it’s simply not in the cards for most people. The gym is great, but a little thing called life often throws a wrench in your best-laid plans. Realistically, even the most dedicated people can only attend the gym 3-5 days per week for an hour per day, and that’s with a little luck.

The good news is that one hour per session is plenty of time, if you use your time wisely! You just have to be smart with your exercise selection and workout program. Enter “power pairings,” which are specific superset-style exercise pairs I created to help you get the most out of your precious training time.

As with any superset, you perform power pairings without resting between the paired exercises. Take a bench press and chin-up pair, for example. You perform one set of bench press followed immediately by a set of chin-ups. You won’t rest until after you complete both exercises.

Pairing Power

“Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic.”

Power pairings can be useful within full-body routines or body-part splits, but for this article I’ll explain how to use them in full-body routines. Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic. In a full-body routine, you’d use a power pairing after your primary lift. This allows you to give your first lift maximum attention and strength.

Start your workout with a big-bang strength movement and devote your full energy and attention to it. When you finish your main lift, implement a power pairing as your finisher. Power pairings use one piece of equipment and require little to no setup, which makes them easy to use even in crowded gyms.

Here are four power pairings that you can add to your own training program to cut down on your overall workout time and still get a great training effect!

1 Ring Dip And Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo

Pair ring dips with a chin-up/hip thrust combination exercise I created to blast the back, glutes, and hamstrings simultaneously. Rather than confusing you by trying to explain the exercise, here’s a video of what it looks like in action:

From a strength and muscle-building standpoint, this pairing works well because the exercises focus on different body parts, so they won’t negatively impact each other or impair your strength. From a logistical standpoint, it’s a great pair because the ring height is the same for each exercise, which means no necessary adjustments between sets.

To up the ante, try the pairing in a countdown format, as demonstrated in the video. Rather than doing straight sets of each exercise, start by doing decreasing sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps of each exercise with little to no rest between sets. Be warned: This is not for the faint of heart.

Use it: This pair works as a brutal finisher to cap off a great heavy, knee-dominant exercise like the front squat, back squat, split squat, or lunge.

2 “Bottoms Up” Front Squats And Inverted Rows

Instead of starting in the standing position, “bottoms up” squats call for you to start at the bottom of the rep and lift from the squat rack’s safety pins. Pause after each rep! This is a great front squat variation to hammer your quads and core, and help you build strength out of the hole.

After you finish the front squats, leave the bar on the pins and use it to perform a set of inverted rows. The bar will be at a perfect height to allow for full range of motion with no adjustments. It works great from a logistical standpoint.

In the video below, I use chains on the front squats, which is great if you have chains at your disposal, but they’re not essential.

Use it: This pairing is an ideal finisher after a heavy bench press or overhead press variation.

3 Rack RDL And Split-Stance Row Combo

I recommend doing RDLs and barbell rows from the safety pins of a squat rack. Reset after each rep to take stress off your lower back and encourage proper form. I also recommend doing barbell rows with a split stance to take stress off the lower back, because the split stance helps prevent against lower-back rounding.

Fortunately, the proper pin height is the same for each exercise, so it works well as a pairing. You’ll almost undoubtedly be able to use more weight on RDLs than barbell rows, so you’ll need to change the weight, which is a breeze because the bar is raised off the floor. This video below shows how the pair looks in action. I use an oversized trap bar, which is great if you have one, but you can just as easily use a standard barbell.

If you use a barbell, here is how the rows look.

Use it: This pair goes well after a heavy pressing day.

4 Overhead Press And Front Squats

Pairing overhead presses with front squats works well because you don’t need to waste time adjusting the bar in the rack. It’s set to the same height for each exercise, making this a killer combo.

I recommend doing the overhead press before the front squats, because after much experimentation, I found that the overhead press doesn’t negatively impact the subsequent front squats. Alternatively, if you do the front squats first, the overhead press suffers.

It’s also important to note that most people will be much stronger on front squats than overhead press. This gives you two options: add weight for each set of front squats, or simply do more reps. I usually choose the latter and do twice as many front squats as overhead presses, as I do in this video.

Use it: This pairing works perfectly as a finisher after doing a heavy chin-up or row variation. It’s also ideal as a standalone workout when you’re really pinched for time and still want to get a good training effect.

Putting It All Together

Here’s an example of how to utilize these power pairings within a full-body workout program to keep your workouts brief but effective. Shoot to train 2-4 days per week and rotate the workouts as necessary.

Workout 1:
A1. Front Squats: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. Ring Dips: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps
B2. Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps

Workout 2:
A1. Incline Bench Press: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. “Bottoms Up” Front Squats: 4 sets of 10 reps
B2. Inverted Rows: 4 sets of 10 reps

Workout 3:
A1. Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 8 reps
B1. Rack RDL: 4 sets of 8 reps
B2. Split-Stance Rack Row: 4 sets of 8 reps

Workout 4:
A1. Chin-ups: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. Overhead Press: 4 sets of 6 reps
B2. Front Squats: 4 sets of 12 reps


About The Author

Ben Bruno graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University. He lives in West Hollywood, California, and trains clients at Rise Movement…

Read more: 

Power Pairings: Effective Supersets For Strength And Size

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on Power Pairings: Effective Supersets For Strength And Size


Paige Hathaway

1 day 20 hours ago

Exploring #Tulum 🌍🌸👋🏼

Paige Hathaway

2 days 21 hours ago

This is what paradise looks like 😍😍
TAG SOMEONE YOU WANT TO COME HERE WITH
Location | Azulik Hotel Tulum & Maya Spa #nofilterneeded

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