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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

HIIT: the most efficient way to exercise?

What do you get if you mix giant ropes, friendly competition and a heart-pumping workout? Answer: Whipped!

It’s easy to get bored of treadmills, cross-trainers and slogging it out on your own in the gym. So a class that mixes effective results, competition and a fresh element is a welcome relief to an already busy day. Using battle ropes, that are more tug of war than skip in the park, Whipped!, is an exciting new circuit class at high-end London gym Equinox, bringing together the best elements of high intensity circuits, ramping up your cardio capacity while blasting fat (yey!) and using a great range of equipment.

The background

The HIIT class is designed to get your heart rate soaring to burn fat while sculpting you from head to toe in the most time-efficient way. Our instructor Rory explained that, unlike steady state workouts, intense bursts of exercise help put your fat loss in the fast lane. Sounds good, right? So if you want to change your body for the better, the Whipped! class is the perfect place to start.

You work to your body’s maximum capacity in 30 seconds, doing as many reps, using good form, as you can and then have a quick rest. The circuit is cleverly designed so you work a different muscle group with each exercise, and simultaneously push your fitness to its limit.

The class

Rory led a dynamic warm-up involving a quick jog around the room, followed by exercises like high knees and jumping jacks.
We were then paired up and allocated a fitness station. As usual in circuits, each pair circled the room in a clockwise direction, performing high-octane exercises at each station for 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. By the end of the class, we’d visited each station four times.

My partner and I began in plank position on our forearms, pushing up onto our hands. The aim was to do these plank transfers as many times as possible within 30 seconds.
Next, we moved to the battle ropes, which posed the biggest challenge of all the exercises. Holding a rope in each hand, we slammed them to the ground, making small rippling waves, and swung them from side to side.
This was followed by a whole host of exhausting moves, from V-sits holding a 3kg dumbbell to barbell rows while wobbling on a BOSU ball. The class ended with another speedy jog around the room, followed by a series of stretches to ease our shaking muscles.

Louise’s verdict

If you’re bored of the same old workouts, this class is brilliant. Yes, it’s punishing, but the fact that the HIIT exercises are short and sharp is a big draw. Our trainer was a great motivator and helped spur us on – even when our arms felt like they were about to fall off! There’s no denying the class is challenging but it’s also fun and there’s no risk of getting bored. We’ll be back!

AT A GLANCE
 

What’s the concept? A high-intensity 45-minute circuit using battle ropes, the ViPR, BOSU balls and hand weights.

How much is it? The class is only open to members of Equinox. Monthly membership is £180.

Where can I get more info? Visit equinox.com/clubs/Kensington.

Difficulty? Whipped! is aimed at all fitness levels, but steel your nerves for
a tough session!

Subscribe to Women’s Fitness and get three issues for just £1!

Juice fasting for weight loss

Trying to lose weight? Don’t be deceived by the term ‘juice fast’… Considering a glass or bottle of cold-pressed juice can contain up to 1,000 kJ – a juice cleanse won’t necessarily cause rapid weight loss. “People on juice diets might be having litres of juice in a day…it’s a little ridiculous,” says WH&F dietitian on speed-dial Melanie McGrice (melaniemcgrice.com.au). “We actually recommend that people who need to gain weight drink juice because it’s good for you, doesn’t fill you up, and has a high kilojoule content,” she says. Any weight lost during a juice cleanse or detox – think no solids and a few fancy avant-garde powders – is likely to largely comprise water and muscle, not fat. “There are very few fruits or vegetables that contain enough iron to fulfil your daily needs,” McGrice warns. “It would also be hard to get enough vitamin B12, zinc or calcium, not to mention protein.” Trade up to a smoothie A sound way to reconcile the uber-dose of produce made practicable by juicing with macronutrients that favour fat loss is trading up from juices to smoothies. Not only does the addition of a protein source such as yoghurt guard against catabolism (a.k.a. muscle loss and metabolic slowdown), blended smoothies often contain whole fruit with its full fibre quotient and can accommodate an extra fibre source – think cannellini beans.    While comparative calorie counts render the swap counterintuitive (on paper, smoothies can contain up to twice the calories in juice), the discrepancy will pay off when the protein and fibre’s satiety merits make snacking redundant. Fibre also slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, averting carb cravings native to pure fruit juice diets. TOP TIP: If you are skolling liquefied produce, favour vegies, watch fruit volume and don’t expect miracles. NEXT: Metabolism-boosting juice>> {nomultithumb}  

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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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!

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