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How to increase muscle gain

To increase lean muscle mass, progressive overload is essential - here's how to build up your gains. Angelique Tagaroulias writes. Progressive overload not only does it stimulate muscle hypertrophy by forcing the muscle to adapt to increased loads, it also aids in the development of stronger and denser bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. “Progression is

Burn maximum fat in 4 weeks with the ‘wheel’ workout

THINK OF A workout as a big wheel. The hub is your main exercise—the one that drives most of the changes you’d like to see—and the spokes are the other lifts that help promote progress on the main lift and train the muscles it doesn’t hit. The program that follows will have

10 protein foods for weight loss

Trying to lose weight? Protein is your best friend. These foods will keep you fuller for longer, regulate your metabolism and help build lean muscle.   1. Egg whites They don’t taste as awesome as whole eggs, but egg whites are much lower in fat. Eggs (whole or not) are high in leucine, a muscle-building amino acid. Egg whites contain around 11 grams of protein and zero fat per 100 grams.     2. Tofu This glorious spongy soy product is cholesterol free, relatively low in fat and contains around 11 grams of protein per 100 grams. It’s also a great source of amino acids. 3. Cottage cheese: It might lack visual appeal, but cottage cheese contains all essential amino acids, is super low in fat and contains around 10 grams of protein per 100 grams. Dairy is also an excellent source of L-Carnitine, which plays a roll in fat metabolism. 6. Whey Protein Whey is a by-product of cheese production, and whey protein is a product made by isolating the protein in this by-product. It’s usually found in powdered form as protein shakes or supplements. Whey protein isolates tend to be the lowest in fat, but any kind of whey protein is a great source of amino acids, especially leucine, a muscle building amino acid. 7. Skinless chicken Ditch the drumsticks and wings for a nice lean chicken breast. Most of the fat in chicken is concentrated in the skin, leaving the meat quite lean. 100 grams of skinless chicken breast contains around 22 grams of protein and around 2 grams of fat. Chicken is also good for fat-free cooking methods such as poaching. 8. Prawns If you’ve only ever had these sweet crustaceans crumbed and fried from the fish and chip shop, you’re missing out. Prawns are high in protein (around 20 grams per 100 grams) and contain almost zero fat. They are also high in omega3, magnesium and iodine, all good for maintaining metabolic health. 9. Peanut flour Peanuts are high in fat, so chowing down on handfuls isn’t a great idea, but peanut flour is usually defatted, meaning that it’s actually quite low in fat. 100 grams of defatted peanut flour contains around 52 grams of protein and one gram of fat. Use it in your protein baking, or just add water for spreadable peanut butter! 10. Chickpeas Chickpeas might be lower in protein and higher in carbohydrates than most other protein foods, but they pack a fibrous punch. Chickpeas are a great source of soluble and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre is a great way to increase the transit time of food in your tummy, leaving you feeling flat tummied and lighter, whereas soluble fibre soaks up water and slows digestion, keeping you fuller for longer.   4. Venison: Game meats tend to be leaner than traditional meats, and venison is no exception. It’s low in fat and high in protein with around 25 grams of protein per 100 grams. It’s also full of B vitamins that help regulate metabolism. 5. Kangaroo: If you’re not too concerned about eating an Aussie icon: kangaroo meat is lower in fat that most other red meats, and is loaded with metabolism-regulating B-Vitamins and L-Carnitine, which plays a roll in fat burning for energy. And it contains around 21 grams of protein per 100 grams. {nomultithumb}  

20-minute home workout

WH&F Head Trainer Sheena-Lauren shares her exclusive 20-minute home workout. All you need is a stopwatch, a mat and a box or chair. Let’s go!The workoutThis workout is divided into four five-minute blocks, all you need is 20 minutes. Set your stopwatch for five minutes with the alarm sounding every 10 seconds.Starting with push-ups and dips, set yourself up over the box (a chair is also good) to form an incline-push-up position

15-minute ab workout

Want a strong core? Add this high-energy workout to your workouts and boost fat loss, muscle gain and strength.All you need is 15 minutes two to three times a week and a medicine ball.Words/workout: Sam Ly (pictured)Photography: Jamie Watling1. Straight-arm plankLie on a flat surface. Position hands directly under shoulders and legs, shoulder-width apart

Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Jodi Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down

QHow did your fitness
journey begin?

I am the proud wife of a retired Air Force senior master sergeant. During the early years of our marriage, I stayed home with our children. My focus was on them, not on my fitness. When I returned to work, I took a high-visibility job that required long hours and frequent travel. My limited fitness went down the tubes in the face of airport food and stress. In 2009, the Air Force moved us to Phoenix, Arizona, where it jump-started an incredibly positive change in my life even if I didn’t know it at the time. A good friend of mine talked me into attending the high-intensity, functional fitness cross-training classes on base. At first, I was very skeptical and didn’t take it very seriously, but before I knew it I was in love. I loved how I felt and the transformation that took place.

After training for about six months, my friends encouraged me to enter a bodybuilding competition on base. I didn’t know a thing about nutrition or training for that kind of event, but I did it anyway. To my surprise, I came in second. This was only the beginning of my foray into bodybuilding.

As luck would have it, there was an Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders show in Phoenix the following weekend. On a whim, I entered. I got my butt kicked, although I still managed to come in seventh. Amazed and inspired by the incredible showings of the other competitors, I wanted to learn more and compete again.

My first step in the direction of serious competition was obvious: I’d buy a suit. I found a suit on eBay being sold by a competitor also in Phoenix. She and I arranged to meet at her gym so I could try the suit on before buying it. I ended up loving the suit and the owner of the gym, too! Mr. Tim Sparkes, the owner of Die Hard Gym and Fitness, agreed to take me on as a client. As they say, the rest is history.

He’s been a dear friend and coach. He still does all my nutrition, even though I moved to Alabama two and a half years ago.

Cool Fact

Jodi recently earned her CrossFit Level 1 Trainer certification and is a coach at CrossFit Montgomery.

What workout regimen delivered the best results?

A.M. Workout
  • Cardio Cross-TrainingCardio Cross-Training Cardio Cross-Training
    30 minutes calisthenics, plyometrics and intervals
A.M. Workout
  • Cardio Cross-TrainingCardio Cross-Training Cardio Cross-Training
    30 minutes calisthenics, plyometrics and intervals
A.M. Workout

What nutrition plan fueled your body?

Off Season Plan

  • Lean Protein Lean Protein
    4-6 ounces
  • Salad Vegetables Salad Vegetables
    Large helping
  • Green Vegetables Green Vegetables
    1-2 cups
  • Lean Protein Lean Protein
    4-6 ounces

Competition Prep Plan (8-12 Weeks Prior to Show)

What supplement schedule gave you the greatest gains?

“You have to be relentless in your training, your nutrition, your recovery and rest. All the factors have to be in balance. You have to give it 100 percent effort to be successful.”

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

Bodybuilding is an incredible test of willpower and motivation. It is a sport of control in which you control your results: You get exactly what you put in to it. It’s a great feeling to know you’ve done your very best, no matter what place you come in during competition. You have to be relentless in your training, your nutrition, your recovery and rest. All the factors have to be in balance, and you have to give it 100 percent effort to be successful.

What or who motivated you?

My husband of 18 years is my greatest motivation. He supports me and encourages me, even during the darkest days of dieting. Also, my trainer Tim Sparkes of Die Hard Gym and Fitness in Phoenix pushed me harder than I ever thought possible. He always believed in me.

Where did you go for inspiration?

Having a contest to train for is the best way to stay inspired. Any time I feel like skipping the gym I remind myself that I’ll be on stage, basically in my underwear, in front of hundreds of people. Am I willing to present less than my best? The answer is “no.”

“Am I willing to present less than my best? The answer is ‘no.'”

What are your future fitness plans?

I hope to continue to compete, but I’m considering a transition to fitness competition. Despite having no gymnastics or dance background, it’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time. I may be the worst fitness competitor ever, but I want to at least give it one shot.

What is the most important fitness tip?

This quote from Muhammad Ali always motivated me: “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

Who is your favorite bodybuilder/fitness athlete?

Erin Stern is my favorite bodybuilder. She is an incredible athlete and real a class act. Plus her longevity in the sport is inspiring.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

I have used resources from Bodybuilding.com in every stage of competition prep – from learning better form for lifting to reading how other competitors prepare to tips on choosing the right suit and even tanning.

Jodi’s Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. “Here Comes the Boom” by P.O.D.
  2. “Get Low” by Ying Yang Twins
  3. “Heart of a Champion” by Nelly
  4. “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins
  5. “Killing in the Name Of” by Rage Against the Machine
Competition History
  • 2010 Luke Air Force Base Bodybuilding and Figure Competition 2nd place
  • 2010 Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders Arizona Natural 6th place
  • 2010 Fitness America 7th place
  • 2011 Luke Air Force Base Bodybuilding and Figure Competition 3rd place
  • 2011 National Physique Committee Western Regionals 3rd place
  • 2011 Heart of Dixie 2nd place
  • 2012 Panhandle Showdown N/A
  • 2013 Clash at the Capstone 1st place


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Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Tish Defied Age With Iron!

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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Steely Cut Out Vices And Hardened Her Body

Steely plans to tear up the pro stage within a year and has the body to back up her claim. See why this 44-year-old disregards age and focuses on mind, body, and soul!

About The Author

Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week has the extraordinary qualities to endure the pain and discipline of bodybuilding. Enter here and win!

Eating for Distance

A good training regime is, of course, essential for distance running.  But for real success on the endurance front, it is important to give your nutrition a long hard look. The longer you run, the more fuel your body needs. As a general rule, if you exercise at intensity beyond one-and-a-half hours, your body needs to replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes to maintain performance, says nutritionist Sarah OíNeill (sarahoneill.co.uk). And if you don’t consume the extra salt and sugar your body craves, you’re more susceptible to dehydration.

5 hormones that cause weight gain

  Did you know that regulating hormones can help control weight gain, even without reducing the intake of food? Yes, really! Angela Tufvesson finds out more. Melatonin What is it? The hormone of darkness, melatonin maintains the body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour clock that regulates when we fall asleep and wake up. The body produces melatonin when it is dark to encourage rest. Is it out of whack? Bright light in the evening or not enough light during the day can disrupt melatonin levels, which can result in weight gain. This is a common symptom of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a winter ailment where too much melatonin is produced. Quick fix: Regulating melatonin levels can help control weight gain, even without reducing the intake of food. Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain believe melatonin might help prevent heart disease associated with obesity, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. Small quantities of melatonin can be found in goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries. Melatonin also has strong antioxidant effects and can be taken in supplement form. If you prefer au naturale, be sure to sleep in a pitch-black room. Insulin What is it? Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and used to digest the carbohydrates in food. The pancreas secretes insulin in response to carbohydrates being consumed. It then transports glucose – a simple sugar made from the digested carbohydrates – from the food to the muscles to be used for energy. Is it out of whack? If you have trouble losing weight, despite eating well and training hard, you may have a condition called insulin resistance, says Buntic. “In insulin resistance, the hormone insulin does not function as it should. The muscle cells build up a resistance to insulin, so the body produces more and more in an attempt to maintain the transport of glucose to the cells for energy. “As insulin works to prevent fat being burnt to preserve muscle and fat mass, high levels of insulin can result in a situation where fat is stored rather than burnt, leading to difficulty in losing and maintaining weight.” If left unmanaged, this condition is likely to result in type 2 diabetes. Quick fix: Insulin resistance can be managed with a low-GI eating plan and exercise including cardio and resistance training. Ghrelin and leptin What is it? Ghrelin and leptin are a double act that together regulate appetite. Leptin is secreted by fatty tissue and regulates energy by sending a signal to the brain that you are full, while ghrelin, a shorter-acting hormone secreted by the gut, stimulates appetite. Is it out of whack? Research suggests that when you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels dive, so you don’t feel full after a meal, and ghrelin levels rise, which overstimulates your appetite. A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found that leptin levels decreased by 18 per cent and ghrelin levels increased by 28 per cent when sleep was restricted to four hours per night over two nights. Essentially, when we don’t get enough sleep, we feel hungry, even though we’ve eaten enough. Quick fix: Keep your ghrelin and leptin levels healthy with good sleep hygiene. Go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get the requisite seven to eight hours of shut-eye. Cortisol What is it? When you’re in danger or on high alert – before a big presentation or hot date – the body releases stress hormone cortisol into the bloodstream. It feeds your brain extra oxygen and releases energy from your fat and glucose stores to help you avert the threat or make a good impression on that date. Is it out of whack? Frequent, chronic stress means more cortisol is released into the bloodstream than the body can use. This puts you at increased risk of heart disease, sleep disturbances, depression and obesity. “If cortisol is elevated for long periods of time, it can promote weight gain,” says dietitian Angela Buntic. “Stress hormones trigger the fight or flight response, making the body’s fuel sources, such as glucose, ready and available for use. However, if you don’t actually use this energy for a physical response, the body stores the released energy as fat, usually around the abdomen, ready for the next threat.” Quick fix: Take steps to manage the stress in your life, says Sally Symonds, author of 50 Steps To Lose 50kg…and Keep It Off. Eat a healthy diet of fresh fruit and veg, lean meat and wholegrains; practise relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga; enjoy regular exercise; and spend time relaxing with friends away from your stressors. Oestrogen What is it? The constant see-sawing of oestrogen and progesterone production keeps the reproductive system running. Oestrogen plays an important role in the menstrual cycle (high levels induce PMS) and pregnancy. It also helps maintain strong bones and may help prevent heart disease. Is it out of whack? Studies suggest oestrogen fluctuations across the female lifespan may help explain our higher prevalence of obesity compared to men. Low oestrogen is a significant contributor to weight gain in our older years, particularly approaching menopause. In younger women, spiked oestrogen levels can lead to irritability, migraines, depression and a raft of reproductive disorders. “Oestrogen is the culprit for many of our problems, from breast cancer to endometriosis, PMS and cancer of the uterus,” says GP Dr Maura McGill. “Progesterone can ameliorate the effects of oestrogen gone wild, but if we are chronically short of one hormone, we need to reintroduce the missing hormone in the most natural way possible.” Quick fix: Avoid oestrogen-induced weight gain in your premenopausal years by eating a wholefood diet and limiting your intake of processed foods. Dr McGill recommends steering clear of high oestrogen foods like chicken and soy products at PMS time. NEXT: 20 ways to stay diet strong>> {nomultithumb}  

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