Foods That Build Muscle

Foods That Build Muscle - Top 10 Foods That Must Be On Your Bodybuilding Grocery List


Food That Build Muscle

Trying to gain weight? Feel like no matter how much food you cram down your throat though there is no change on the scale? Is that scale just out to get you? Or maybe you've been blessed with genetics that have you destined for life as a skinny person?

If this is how you're feeling, you may just be a hardgainer.

Yes, you've heard it before. Why don't you just eat more? Obviously it seems so simple, but for a hardgainer, it's anything but. Gaining weight for this person is like a full-time job of force feeding. You eat, and eat, and eat, and still nothing. Frustration sets in and eventually you might lose steam.

It doesn't have to be this hard though. First, stop and make sure the following foods are in your current diet.

-meal replacement shakes (or make your own by combining protein powder, peanut butter, frozen fruit, and flax oil). Note that these are not to replace meals like their intended purpose, but to add to your already present meal schedule.

-nuts - any type will work - just make sure you are eating at least three or four handfuls a day.

-dry fruits - skip the fresh fruit right now and opt for dry instead. There is far more calories and it will feel a lot lighter in your stomach.

-chicken, lean beef, and whole eggs - you need some good quality protein in your diet and these are the best sources

-dry oats - for the hardgainer, eat them raw, like you would any other cereal

-1% or 2% milk - skip the skim right now, the extra bit of saturated fat will actually help to boost your testosterone levels

-bagels - again, bread for you is not on the menu. Bagels are far more calorie dense and will replace that lost muscle glycogen that you are so needing at this time.

-pasta - pasta is terrific for your post-post-workout meal to help give your body a slower source of carbohydrates to distribute evenly over time to the just-worked muscles

-salmon - this is a higher calorie fish that is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids - which are essential if you're trying to build muscle

-V8 juice - rather than looking to loads of vegetables for your vitamins and minerals, consider some V8 juice instead. It'll hardly put a dent in your appetite, allowing more room for other high-calorie foods.

You can have a few vegetables because getting some fiber is still important, but by no means should vegetables make up the bulk of your diet.

So, if you can't seem to get the scale moving, stop and look at this checklist. If any one of these foods is missing (apart from having an allergy), go to the grocery store and pick it up immediately. If you want to get serious weight gain happening, you need to get serious about your diet.



Gain Muscle Mass Fast

Gain Muscle Mass Fast - 3 Tips For Extreme Muscle Growth


Gain Muscle Mass

Gaining muscle should not be rocket science, but that's what so called experts would have you to believe. The truth is, gaining muscle is simple once you know what steps to follow. If you're ready to grow, keep reading. I'm going to show you the steps to gaining muscle mass fast.

1. Keep your workouts simple with compound lifts, such as the bench press, squats, deadlifts and pull-ups. These exercises work the largest muscle groups and give you the greatest potential for growth.

A simple workout helps you maximize your gains. It gives you the opportunity to focus on every rep of each set. Training with this intensity alone, will increase your progress ten-fold.

2. Clean eating is the part of the equation most lifters, either forget about or don't know the importance of. When you're trying to gain muscle mass fast, you must consume more calories than you burn throughout the day.

Many lifters consider a mass gaining period as a free pass to eat anything they want, but you won't make that same mistake. You want your gains to come in the form of lean muscle, not pounds of disgusting body fat.

3. The last part of the muscle building equation is rest and relaxation. Heavy lifting definitely takes its toll on your body and you can only do it for so long on back -to-back days. My advice for you is to go extremely hard in the weight room three days out of the week and rest the other four.

Rest gives your muscles the time they need to regenerate and come back stronger. If you don't rest, you risk over training and believe me when I tell you, over training sucks. You feel sick, you feel weak and worst of all you lose hard-earned muscle.

What you need is a complete muscle mass building system. Unfortunately, most muscle mass building courses don't give you what you need to grow.



How To Get Big Arms Very Quickly

How To Get Big Arms - 3 Steps to Get Big Arms Very Quickly


Get Big Arms

In our society big, strong arms are definitely a symbol of masculinity. Every man wants them and every woman wants and man with them. When it come to arm training there are a lot of misconceptions. I'll cut through the myths. Let me show you how to get big arms fast.

Step 1: It Takes Fifteen For One

Don't just focus on your biceps. You must train your whole body to get big arms. The consensus seems to be that it takes around and increase of 15 -20lbs in bodyweight to increase your biceps one inch. To get big arms that means a lot of heavy lifting and a whole lot of eating.

Step 2: Train Your Triceps

Bicep curls are everyone's favorite exercise. People love them so much; they even do them in the squat rack to watch themselves grow. So why do all of these same people still small with spaghetti arms. The reason is they forgot the other part of their arms that contributes 60% of the total arms size - the triceps. Train your triceps with the same intensity as you do your biceps to get big arms. Do this and you'll be ahead of the pack.

Step 3: Don't Train Your Arms Everyday

Now, when you've set a goal to get big arms, you can sometimes do a little too much. "Too much" includes; training your arms every day, working out 7 times a week, not taking proper rest and committed a whole workout to just arms. Believe me when I tell you that this will not make your arms bigger. In fact, overtraining will make your arms weaker. Take time to recuperate, because this is the time your arms will actually grow.



Lower Ab Workouts

3 Effective Lower Ab Workouts - How To Build Your Lower Abs Fast!


Flat Stomach

You will get much stress in your lower abs by doing leg raises from different angles. I see that most people 
in the gym are working mostly their upper abs. Their are doing lots of sit-ups with additional weight and crunches with machines or flat on the floor. These are good exercises to strengthen your middle and upper abs, but the problem is the weak lower abs and incorrect training techniques.

Ab exercises for lower abdominals gives you the nice burn especially in your lower abs and the top on your thighs as well. You don't need to do 20 different ab exercises to blast your abs, instead pick up 3 exercises, that works in each upper, middle and lower area. If you have tendency to have problems to develop lower abs, always do the exercises for lower abs first and keep the focus of lower abs.

Training your abs is a little bit different than for example training chest or biceps, but not much. You don't need any special techniques to develop lower abs as well as upper abs. I recommend you to follow strict technique and concentrate to slow controlled reps. Sometimes I see, that people are doing the movement by jerking with their body.

1) Reverse crunches

This is on of my favourite and best lower ab workouts. I and many other athletes have achieved great result performing this ab exercises slowly and under control. This exercises has many variations, but in my opinion it's best done lying on the bench press bench that allows you to take a firm grip at the end of the bench.

This is a basic exercise for lower abs, that anyone can do it anywhere. You can perform this comfort at home by lying on the floor. Or hanging by your hands from a bar or resting on your forearms on a hanging Leg raise bench instead of lying on a bench. The technique will be the same. In the example, I'll show you how to build your lower abs by doing leg raises on a bench.

Execution: Lie on your back on the bench take a grip from the rack (at the end of the bench) behind your head with both hands for support. Bend your knees so that your butt is slightly off the bench. Bring your knees up as fat toward our face as you can without lifting your pelvis off the bench. Bring your knees towards to your face, rounding your back and crunching up toward the rip cage. Hold this position for a moment and squeeze the ab for full contraction. Lower your legs slowly back to the starting position, until your lower back is resting on a bench.

2) Leg raises

Leg raises are the king of all lower ab workouts and it shouldn't be neglected! Even though leg raises works your abs only indirectly, you should include leg raises to your workout routine. No matter what expert says, Many athletes including bodybuilders have gotten great results by doing leg raises. Leg raises are not only emphasize your lower abs, but tighten your hips, buttocks and lower back.

You may want to bent knees during the exercises to lighten the stress to your hip flexors, (the muscle that raise and lower the legs). I use both variations. There are more variations, how you can perform leg raises. Hanging leg raises are very strict and intense exercises, that hit your lower abs hard. To make it more comfortable, support your back against the wall for example. To add more resistance, you can perform this exercises on a incline board. In the example, I'll show you, how to do leg raises in a vertical bench.

Execution: Position yourself on your arms on a vertical bench. Hold your upper body steady by supporting your back on vertical pad. From a starting position, bend your knees and bring them as high as you can as you would trying to reach the shoulders with your knees, until your hips are fully flexed. At this position, your hips are slightly off from the back support and your abs fully flexed through full range of motion. While squeezing your abs hard, hold this position for a second or two and with your knees bent, lower them again to the starting position.

3) Bicycle exercise

This is the third and final lower ab workout of the 3 best exercises for lower abdominals. Bicycle exercise on a floor will develop both, lower abdominals, obliques and intercostals. This exercise is effective, because you hit each side separately. I always do this exercises at the and of my ab workout. It is best done without counting reps, instead do each set in 30-60 second periods depending of the experience levels and goals. My advice is that you first train with less time and then gradually increase the time.

Good news is, that you don't need any special equipments or tools to complete this ab exercise. In any case the best option is to perform this exercises by lying on the floor. Use a special exercise mat or carpet as a berth to make this exercise to be more comfortable.

Execution: Lying on your back on the floor, put your hands behind your head and place your knees to 45-degee angle, so that your soles are slightly off the floor. This is a starting position. Now begin a pedal motion, bringing your knees one by one toward your opposite elbow. Bring your knee as far as you can, until it will touch to opposite elbow. Then bring your knee to the starting position and simultaneously bring the opposite knee towards the opposite elbow.

Tips: Any variation of an exercise forces the muscles to respond in new and different ways. These ab exercises are confirmed to be the best lower ab workouts. The research has shown, that these 3 exercises 
activates more muscle in your abs, than for example regular crunches. It has been tested with the EMG (electromyography) equipment, which tests the amount of muscle activity. There were tested 13 common ab exercises and the above three are on the top 6, taking into consideration that these exercises build your lower abs and help you to get flat stomach.



Circuit Training Workout

Circuit Training Workout - Get Ripped Faster With a Circuit Training Routine


Circuit Training

I wasn't always a big fan of circuit training workouts or routines.

Most of the circuit training routines I have seen have always involved using approximately 6 to 10 different machines, which in my opinion is not realistic if you're working out in a busy gym. Perhaps back in the 80s and 90s this was feasible. At that time this circuit training workouts are being promoted heavily. The major benefit of circuit training was that it only took two or three -- 30 minute workout sessions per week to get in incredible shape. In fact, they even offered gym memberships where you only had access to the gym on three alternating days.

Some people got a bad taste from this type of marketing. Recently I decided to take another look at circuit training workouts and routines.

I believe there are still many benefits of circuit training. And I know that many individuals could gain some additional muscle size and strength from a well thought out circuit training routine. Although, most people believe that you need to be a member of the gym in order to use circuit training it is possible to do circuit training workout with other pieces of exercise equipment. Some that I would suggest would be, resistance bands, an isometric exerciser or so dumbbells.

How to Burn Body Fat without Cardio

You may or may not know this but I'm a big fan of cardio exercise. So it may come as a shock or surprise to you when I tell you that you can burn just as much body fat without doing cardio. How can you do this may ask?

Well it's an entirely new philosophy or should I say different philosophy than anything else you may be familiar with. Essentially it's a fat burning routine that you can do with an isometric exerciser or with resistance bands.

You see the incredible thing about circuit training workout is that it's a great way to burn body fat. In this type of workout routine you were not training for mass or strength necessarily. What your doing is pushing your conditioning by taking very little rest -- less than 30 to 45 seconds -- in between exercises. As a result you create what's called an -- HGH response.

This is the same as doing high-intensity interval training with free weights.

The great part about this type of circuit training workout is that you continue to burn body fat even after you're done training.

Here are the circuit training workout basics.

A circuit training routine is made up of several exercises performed one after another with as little rest as possible in between. You will rest no longer than 15 seconds in between each set. 30 seconds would be the maximum out of rest but, you should avoid this as it will diminish your results. Circuit training workouts are not the most optimal training workouts if you're trying to build a lot of muscle mass. It is best suited as a way to combine your cardio with your strength training.

But don't think you can be sitting on your lawn chair sipping margaritas. A good circuit training workout will kick your butt.

I still believe that you can get ripped with cardio, but a great circuit training workout is a fantastic alternative or supplement to your regular cardio training.



Muscle Building Workouts For Men

Top Muscle Building Workouts For Men


muscle building workouts

Which Exercises Should You Include?

The best workouts for building muscle mass are the basic compound exercises. Some of these include but or not limited to squats, deadlifts, bench and shoulder presses, pullups, rows. These exercises should be included in your schedule. The following workouts will guarantee to build some serious muscle mass.

Top Muscle Building Workouts For Men

DEADLIFTS
Example: barbell deadlifts, and straight-leg lifts.

SQUATS
Example: barbell back and front squats, and dumbbell variations.

SINGLE LEGS
Example: lunges, and single-leg squats.

HORIZONTAL PUSH
Example: pushup, bench press with barbell or dumbbells, and dips.

HORIZONTAL PULL
Example: dumbbell row, seated (cable) row, inverted rows, and face pulls.

VERTICAL PUSH
Example: shoulder press.

VERTICAL PULL
Example: pullups, chinup and lat pull downs.

What Exercises Should You Do first?

Generally, the first exercise in your workout should be the one that requires the most work. For increasing muscle mass, and strength I recommend switching your routine every once in a while. For example, if on chest day you always start off with bench press try starting off with dumbbell flys, and then do bench press. Switching the order of your exercise you help make your gym experience less boring, causing you to have more effort, which leads to serious results.

How Many Sets/Reps Should I Do?

Generally, most people see great results with mix of heavy weight for strength, medium weight for muscle size, and light weights for muscular endurance.

Your set count should be related to your number of reps per set. For example, if you're doing high reps 1 to 2 sets might be enough. For 10 to 12 reps, do 2 or 3 sets. For 8 reps, 4 sets are great.

How To Measure Progress For Strength?

This should be fairly obvious, but just in case it's not, you measure progress for strength by the amount of weight your using on a day to day or weekly basis. So you want to increase the weight for your exercises every week. Many times when you use heavier weights, you have to reduce your number of repetitions.

How To Measure Progress For Size?

Muscles grow in size because you make them do more work. You can make them increase in size by adding a rep or two to each set or by adding a set to each exercise. You can also do drop sets and super sets to force your muscles for work harder. I regularly finish my final set with a drop set. Remember, the actual growth of your muscles occurs when you are sleeping/resting. Muscle growth and the pump you get when you are working out are definitely related but ultimately different.

That'll do it for this one. Before I go, I want to share a quote that I recently read by Ernest Hemingway that can be applied to bodybuilding or anybody trying to reach a higher level of consciousness, it went something like this... "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." This is absolutely true and should be practiced and acknowledged by all of us. I hope you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for more training tips, recipes and videos!

Cheers!



Workouts For Women

Workouts For Women - Getting Back the Attitude to Exercise


Workouts For Women

There are many women who want to work out but are unsure of how to get into it once again. By once again, I mean they have often tried to work out, but have either stopped because they were unmotivated, or they were not seeing the results that they wanted to see. So what are some good workouts for women that will both show significant results as well as keep the person motivated? That's a very vague question, because women should be able to get into any of the workouts that they try, it's just a matter of finding ways to keep it fresh and exciting.

For one, most women seem to get along better when they are hanging out with their friends together. It's a good idea to get a workout party started, because then it might be something that you begin to look forward to. Many people just don't' like to exercise simply because they don't like doing it by themselves. This is a valid reasons, it can get kind of depressing trying to maintain a workout when the person is unmotivated.

Most women like to shop together, so it's only natural that they would enjoy working out together as well. Like I've stated, a workout is a commitment, and if you break that commitment, you will no longer see the results that you aim to see, or you will not see results at all. So it is very important to stay committed, it doesn't matter how you stay committed, just as long as you do. A good way to keep the commitment alive is by working out with a group of friends. Most women like to gossip, and so this would give the group a good way or a good excuse to exercise. I recommend that if you are having a hard time exercising, that you start up an exercise party.

We have talked a lot about workouts for women, and how to get back into the attitude of exercising. If women want to really see great results from a workout, they will need to stay motivated about their workout. They can stay motivated by working out in groups of friends. They can also motivate themselves by working out with a group at the Y.M.C.A, or at a local gym. This costs money, but you should do whatever it takes to keep up your workout, because it is very important to stay healthy, and we do that by maintaining exercise in our daily lives.



Bodybuilding Workout Plan


Bodybuilding Workout Plan

If a 4 day bodybuilding workout plan is too much for you, consider starting out with a two or three day plan. Keep in mind that you won't get results as quickly with a fewer day workout, but if you need to start out slowly, it can still be effective.

Here is a sample three day workout.

Day 1 - Back, Chest, and Abs

Do three sets of 12-15 reps each.

- Bent over barbell row
- Stiff legged barbell dead lift
- Barbell bench press
- Incline dumbbell press
- Dumbbell flies
- Crunches

Day 2 - Legs and Shoulders

Do three sets of 12-15 reps each.

- Barbell squat
- Seated calf raise
- Front dumbbell raise
- Side lateral raise
- Upright barbell row
- Lunges
- Barbell squats

Day 3 - Biceps, Triceps, and Abs

Do three sets of 12-15 reps each

- Barbell curl
- Incline dumbbell curl
- Lying triceps press
- Barbell triceps extension
- Front dumbbell raise
- Dumbbell hammer curls
- Crunches

About an hour before your workout, you should eat some protein and carbohydrates. This is to make sure that you have enough energy to make it through your entire workout. By doing this, you are putting your body into an anabolic state that will provide the necessary energy and power to effectively work your muscles.

During training, there is increased blood flow to the muscles. When you consume protein and carbohydrates prior to a workout, your body can take advantage of that extra blood flow and work the muscles more efficiently.

Many people opt for a protein shake and a bowl of rice, but you can choose whatever foods you want to get what you need.



Best Chest Exercises

Best Chest Exercises For a Complete Pectoral Workout


Best Chest Exercises

The chest or pectoral muscles are second only to the biceps for show muscles.  Thus it is very important to have a big strong perky chest.  The Chest muscles are also pretty big, so by exercising them very well, you get a tough workout. A lot of bodybuilders only swear by heavy bench pressing to get strong pecs.  Of course it's better to get some variety into your chest workout.  Here are some of my favorite chest exercises.

1. Seated Chest Presses

This works in a similar way as the lying down bench press, but using this machine you are seated.  You use similar movements as the bench press, but because it is a machine your movements are stabilized and the weights are not bobbing around, meaning that you get a more focused workout for your pectoral muscles.  A very easy chest exercise, you grip the handles and just push it forward in controlled motion.  Do not lock elbows at end of extension. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

2. Cable Crossovers (High cables or low Cables)

Stand with your one foot forward for balance, grip the upper cable handles tightly and push forward and down bringing your hands to each other, slowly releasing it back again in a controlled movement.  This chest exercise focusses a lot of energy to your chest muscles and done correctly is one of the best exercises for your chest. High cable is better for lower chest muscles and low cable is good for inner chest muscles.  Repeat in 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

3. Incline or Decline Flyes

This exercise is very good for the upper part of the chest muscles.  Adjust the bench to about a 45 degrees angle. Lie on your back and hold two dumbbells at your sides with your elbows bent at about 90 degrees. (for decline just lie with your head closer to the floor.  Now arc the weights upward bringing the weights close to each other (about 6 in.), holding your elbows locked at 90 degrees, slowly lowering them again and repeat.  Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

4. Bench Press Wide Grip

Extend your grip a bit doing this chest muscle exercise.  Pushing the barbell upward while lying down on a flat bench with the hands in a wide grip is a very good exercise for the lower chest muscles.  The all time favorite chest muscle exercise for most bodybuilders.

5. Bench Press Close Grip

The same exercise as above, but do it with your hands closer together to get more focus on your inner chest muscles and triceps.  Very good chest exercise  for some power sets.

6. Dips

Doing dips with our elbows out puts more emphasis on lower pectorals and dips with elbows tucked in puts more focus on the inner chest muscles. 

There are others, but these are some of the best chest exercises.  Try and do about 3-4 of them each chest workout. Each exercise should be done in 3 sets of about 8-12 reps each.  Rest in between your sets for about 30 seconds to 2 mins, but not more than that.  If you do a good heavy chest workout, make sure and rest them for about 5 days, so they get plenty of time to rest and grow.



Pre Workout Meal


Pre Workout Meal

Are you the type of person that never eats before exercise? If so, do you often become tired and irritable half way into your workout? If you answered yes to those questions this article is for you! Unfortunately, you are not alone! There are millions of athletes and casual exercisers who mistakenly believe that eating a meal prior to exercise has no benefit and could possibly hurt their performance. They are mistaken! In fact, eating a meal before working out serves three important functions: helps prevent low blood sugar which leads to symptoms such as light-headedness, fatigue, blurred vision, and indecisiveness; helps settle the stomach and absorb gastric juices; and fuels your muscles with carbohydrates in protein, which is used for energy and muscle building (Clark, 2009). Know that the only time a pre work out meal can damage performance is when too much food is consumed too fast and/or the wrong types of foods are eaten.

So what exactly are you supposed to eat pre workout? Glad you asked! Not only am I going to tell you what to eat pre workout to help you maximize performance, but also how much to eat in regards to protein, carbohydrates, fat, etc. And just to clarify, this article on pre workout nutrition is mostly geared to the casual exerciser and bodybuilder exercising for 60 minutes or less, not aerobic endurance athletes. Aerobic endurance athletes require a different pre workout nutrition plan due to their high need constantly supply of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates

During high intensity exercise, carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy that is used for fuel. Think about an automobile. Without gasoline, the car starts to halt and putter, and eventually shuts down altogether. This is similar to what your body can do when it is in a state of starvation! Without the proper fuel to keep you going during high intensity exercise, your body is unable to take on the task at hand and will probably shut down. Notice how I used the term "high intensity" exercise. During high intensity exercise, such as weightlifting and sprinting, the body must use carbohydrates for energy, as fat will simply not provide the energy that is required. However, during low intensity physical activity, such as walking and every day normal activities, fat is a suitable source of energy to provide fuel for the body.

OK let's get to the meat and potatoes of pre workout meal! Nancy Clark, best-selling author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, recommends eating 0.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight one hour pre workout, or 2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight four hours pre workout. For a 140 pound female, this is 70 grams of carbohydrates pre workout or 280 grams of carbohydrates 4 hours pre workout. Now, this may sound like a lot to you! Trust me, it's not! Consider this:
  • 1 large banana contains approximately 32 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 cups of cooked oats, instant or regular, contains approximately 50 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread contains approximately 40 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 cups of apple juice contains approximately 58 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 cup of whole almonds contain approximately 28 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 large apple contains approximately 31 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 whole wheat bagel contains approximately 47 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 cup of Yoplait fruit flavored yogurt contains approximately 46 grams of carbohydrates
Are you starting to get the picture? In most cases, consuming an adequate amount of carbohydrates pre workout is very doable. However, for some people this may be difficult at first, Train your stomach to eat pre workout by starting out with very small amounts of food 1 hour pre workout, such as a few crackers or a cup of juice, then gradually increase the amount until you are able to eat the suggested grams of carbohydrates listed above. For a 140 pound female, a yogurt and large banana, 1 cup of almonds and 1 cup of yogurt, or 1 bagel and 1 large apple would all be excellent choices for a pre workout meal 1 hour prior to strength training or other high intensity exercise.

Protein

Protein, or more accurately amino acids, is an extremely important part of the pre workout meal. Many studies have shown that pre workout protein is beneficial to anyone looking to gain muscle and lose fat because the delivery of amino acids is much greater during a bout of exercise than after exercise. This concept directly opposes the premise protein after a workout is more important for gaining muscle. Since these opposing beliefs exist, I and many others simply consume protein pre workout AND post workout. Consuming approximately 10 to 20 grams of protein 1 hour prior to workout will fuel your body with plenty of amino acids to help gain muscle and lose fat. Additionally, a slow digesting protein, such as casein or meat, is best to consume an hour before workout since it is long-lasting. On the other hand, if you can only ingest protein minutes before a workout, choose whey protein instead since it is fast absorbing and will act faster than casein.

Examples of protein sources to consume pre workout:
  • yogurt
  • almonds
  • trail mix
  • lentils
  • peanut butter
  • lean turkey
  • lean chicken
  • whey protein powder
  • casein protein powder
Caffeine

Although highly debated and more of a nutritional supplement, caffeine has been and still is a popular pre exercise supplement, and can be added to the pre workout meal for additional performance benefits. Not only does caffeine provide energy, but it also stimulates the brain leader to enhanced concentration, which can ultimately benefit your workout (Clark, 2009). The majority of studies have revealed that caffeine does indeed enhance performance for both longer lasting, endurance and short-term, high intensity activities (Clark, 2009). Additionally, according to Dr. Larry Armstrong, an exercise physiologist, caffeine does not lead to dehydration and is fine for athletes as long as it is taken in moderation (Clark, 2009). Unfortunately, some people may be negatively affected by the effects of caffeine, thereby suffering from nausea or "coffee stomach." It is best to start with a small amount of caffeine pre workout to see how your body reacts to it. For those of you who do not react negatively to caffeine and wish to reap its benefits, aim for approximately 1.5 milligrams per pound of body weight 1 hour pre workout.

Final Note

An adequate pre workout meal is extremely beneficial for anyone looking to gain fat and lose muscle. Aim for a small or light meal an hour prior to workout or a larger meal 4 hours before workout. In both cases, an adequate amount of carbohydrates and protein should make up the bulk of the meal. This way, you can rest assured that your workout will be sufficiently fueled thereby maximizing performance benefits and post workout benefits. Many studies have proven that a pre workout meal, consisting of protein and carbohydrates, can maximize performance and enhance muscle growth and fat loss. Additionally, if taken in moderation, caffeine can significantly enhance energy and concentration when included in the pre workout meal. Prolab caffeine is an excellent choice if you are looking for a cheap, natural source of caffeine. Also, DPS Nutrition typically has a vast amount pre workout and post workout supplements offered at exceptional prices. As always, consult your physician before starting any nutritional supplementation or exercise regimen.



What to Eat After a Workout

What to Eat After a Workout? Foods Recommended For Pre & Post Workout


What to Eat After a Workout

A vigorous work out is very good for weight loss and improving muscle tone, but it is not sufficient to raise your fitness levels. It is very important to remember Foods Recommended for Pre & Post Workout, as these will help you optimize the benefits that you can gain from your exercise regimen.

Why is a post work out diet so crucial?

When you work out your body is flushed with many secretions and your bodies metabolic rate is heightened for a while 
This will raise not only your capacity to burn calories faster but also will raise your appetite. 
As a result you can have the foods that require a higher metabolic rate to digest. 
It is after exercise that you can replace your body's proteins and carbohydrates 
Moreover your body's efficiency to burn fat and digest fiber will be raised and you can then consume fruits vegetables that will not only be good for the fiber requirement of your body, but will also fill your raised appetite with low calorie nutrition. 
This will help you to have a larger meal without adding empty calories to your diet. 
You will feel full for longer and your cravings for food will be delayed.

Here is a list of foods that can be incorporated in your meal if you want to know What To Eat After Working Out. These will include all the benefits as mentioned above.

1. Fresh fruits- raw or stewed. 
2. Fresh vegetables- as salad or cooked. 
3. Whole grain products like brown bread or brown rice. 
4. Cereal. 
5. High fiber greens like lettuce, broccoli, parsley or spinach. 
6. Lean meat like mackerel or salmon. 
7. Egg whites. 
8. Low starch pasta.

If you incorporate these Foods Recommended For Post Workout meals, you will be able to optimize the benefits of your diet and exercise regimen. Your energy levels will be maintained at an even pace, and you will receive balanced nutrition without overeating.



How Long Does It Take To Build Muscles

Muscle Building - How Long Does It Take To Build Muscles?


How Long Does It Take To Build Muscles

When you start something you haven't done before you want to find out the answers to some simple questions. You want to know the time it will take you to reach the goal. When you start creating your new body you want to know how long it takes to build muscles. It depends on many factors.

Factors that determine how long it takes to build muscles:

1. Your genetics. There are three types of the body predetermined by the genes.

- Endomorph: big body, round face, big bones, wide lips, slow metabolism. This type gains muscles fast, but he also gains fat fast. So the problem for this type is to lose fat to make the muscles visible.

- Mesomorph: naturally muscled body, wide shoulders, low body fat, small waist, medium metabolism. This type is blessed to gain muscle mass quickly.

- Ectomorph: skinny, small muscles, high metabolism, narrow shoulders. This type will have to put a lot of effort and time for big muscles.

The thing to understand here (so you don't get disappointed) that genetics is just one factor that determines the muscle growth. It cannot be changed, but all other factors can be successfully modified.

2. Diet. You can easily modify your diet to increase the speed of your muscle growth. Eat more proteins. Protein is the material your body will use to grow muscles.

3. Workout technique. Carefully choose the exercises to do. You can hire a personal trainer to develop a workout for you. If you develop the appropriate body building program, the result will not make you wait for too long.

4. Workout frequency. It is essential to stick to the workout plan and never skip your trainings.

My personal advice to you is to stop questioning: "How long does it take to build muscle?", but to start working out right now. Just start! You will love it. Scientists say that happiness hormones are released during the workout; so add some happiness to your life immediately!



Muscle Building and Fat Scorching Workouts

My Top 15 Non-Traditional, Muscle Building, Fat Scorching Workouts


Muscle Building

If you have been a subscriber to my newsletter for some time, you know that I'm always trying to give you ways to make your workouts more interesting and fun, while also stimulating big-time results. Don't you agree that your training should be fun? This is what separates the people who jump on and off the "fitness bandwagon" a couple times every year without ever making any real progress from the people that actually adopt a true fitness lifestyle and finally achieve the body they have always wanted. Make it interesting, make it fun, and make your fitness a priority, and you'll have the body that you want.

What I have noticed over the years is that many people will train regularly for a few months and then will either get bored with the same old weight training and cardio routines, or will get discouraged because their progress comes to a grinding halt after a while. In my opinion, I don't think your workouts ever need to get boring or stale. You just need to have an open mind to the huge world of various training styles and techniques that are out there. Seriously, there are so many different and fun training styles out there, that there is no reason you should ever get bored with your workouts and give up on that lean ripped body that you've been looking for. Also, mixing in various training styles builds stronger joints by reducing repetitive movement pattern overload and varying your training stressors.

Now before I start with some of my favorite non-traditional training styles, I will state that I think one of the best ways to achieve a lean, muscular and healthy body is through a consistent weight training routine with free weights. You can choose to integrate some of these alternative training techniques with your weight training routines on the same day, as alternative workouts on separate days of the week, or even as separate training cycles where you try some of these techniques for several weeks at a time before cycling back to a traditional weight training workout. Try some of these training styles out and you'll be on your way to never being bored again with your workouts...and your body will thank you with muscles popping out that you never knew existed!

Alright, here are some of my favorite non-traditional training techniques:

1. Staircase Workouts - This is great because stairs are everywhere. You can go to a football field and do stadium stairs, any building that has stairs like a hotel (most people take the elevator, so you will not even have many people looking at you while you're working out), or even the stairs in your own home. For an awesome full body workout, try mixing stairs sprints with an upper body exercise like pushups or pull-ups. If done with a high enough intensity, stairs workouts help to create changes throughout your entire body due to the muscle building and fat burning hormonal response and metabolism increase that you get through working the biggest muscle groups in your entire body. If you thought that going up and down the stairs was the only way to get a good stairs workout...think again. My fellow trainer and friend, Virgil Aponte, has developed a website that focuses on creative stairs workouts using all kinds of exercises you never would have thought of before. You can find out more info on stairs exercises workouts at my 'fitness products' page at truthaboutabs.com at the link below.

2. Wind Sprints and Hill Sprints - Find any open field in a park or athletic field and try 50, 75, and 100-yard all-out wind sprints. After each sprint, rest long enough to catch your breath before the next one (generally 1-2 minutes). Try workouts of anywhere from 6 to 20 wind sprints for a great "cutting" workout. Also, if you have a hill nearby, hill sprints are also great workouts. Sprint up the hill as fast as you can and walk down for your rest interval. Repeat until you're whooped (a 20-30 minute hill workout is plenty). These sprint workouts are so amazingly effective at changing your entire body for the same reason as stairs exercises...by powerfully working the biggest muscle groups in your entire body, you greatly stimulate your metabolism while simultaneously increasing your fat burning and muscle building hormones.

Just look at any world class 100-meter sprinters and notice how ripped-to-shreds those guys are. Now compare that to the emaciated weakling physiques of many marathoners, and you'll see that sprinting is where the action is at for a healthy, ripped, powerful body! Now I don't want to upset all of you distance runners out there. Hey, if distance running is something you enjoy, then go right ahead. But don't say you're doing it for the health benefits, because I might just have to disagree. You can read my full story on why I believe variable intensity training is far superior to steady-state endurance training in one of my other ezinearticles.com articles at Cardio-Enthusiasts: Discover a More Effective Training Method for Fat Loss and Heart Health!

3. Kettlebell Training - If you've been reading my articles for some time, you've probably heard me praise kettlebell training many times before, but I will have to reiterate that it has been one of the best training methods that I've ever tried and has taken my physical capabilities to a whole new level. Kettlebells are an alternative type of free-weight training instead of barbells and dumbbells. Their unique construction and weight distribution (basically a cannonball with a handle) allows for a whole different realm of exercises that's available compared to dumbbells and barbells. Kettlebells have been typically used for training hard-core athletes, military units, martial arts competitors, and other tough individuals, but there is no reason that anybody looking to get stronger, bigger, or more cut can't learn the exercises and benefit from them.

It's been a little over a year now since I've incorporated kettlebell training into my routines, and I'll admit that I'm hooked for life! At between $100-$150 per kettlebell, they are definitely not cheap, but they are well worth the money. Just one or two kettlebells and you've literally got yourself an entire home gym that you can use for the rest of your life...worth every penny in my book! If you want to give these body-hardening kettlebells a try, you can find more info at my 'fitness products' page at truthaboutabs.com at the link below.

4. Bodyweight Workouts - For a change of pace, try adding to your routine one or two workouts a week at home with just bodyweight based exercises. These can be great because you can get a high intensity workout done in only 15-30 minutes without having to go to the gym on days that you might not have time for a trip to the gym. Try alternating bodyweight squats, pushups variations, lunges, and floor abs exercises continuously for 15-30 minutes. Try to take very short rest periods or none at all to really amp up the intensity since this will be a brief workout. If you're more advanced, you can even incorporate more challenging exercises like handstand pushups, one-arm pushups, and one-legged squats into your bodyweight training routines.

5. Ring Training - This type of training basically uses portable gymnastic rings that you can take anywhere with you. You throw the straps up over any high bar like a pullup bar, the top of a power rack, or even over a football field goal crossbar. Then you can quickly adjust the rings to do exercises like ring dips, ring pushups, ring pull-ups, hanging leg raises, horizontal body rows, L-sits, and more. Dips and pushups on the rings are my favorites and the rings really make them a hell of a lot more difficult, while also incorporating your stabilizer muscles to a much greater degree. The rings allow your joints to move in a more natural pattern and can help you prevent or even recover from shoulder injuries. Personally, when I try dips on a normal dip stand, it hurts my shoulders. However, dips on the training rings feel perfect, and also give me a much better muscle pump. The training rings are one of the best training devices I've ever bought. Give them a try...I think you'll like them if you're up for a challenge. I found my rings, which you can hang up easily on a power rack, pullup bars, or at a park, at ringtraining.com.

6. Swimming - A great full body workout that stresses the muscles and joints in a much different way than most resistance training. Incorporating swimming workouts once or twice a week into your normal training routines can really enhance your physique. I recommend trying a "sprint" style swimming workout, which will help more for building muscle compared with endurance long distance swimming. For sprint style, swim as hard as you can to the other side of a 25-meter or 50-meter pool (or sprint swim similar distances in a lake or the ocean if you like to swim outdoors). Rest enough to catch your breath between sprint swims (about 20-40 seconds). Try to keep the rest intervals fairly short with swim sprints. You can also mix different strokes (crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, backstroke, butterfly) on each swim sprint. I've found that sprint swimming gives me a great muscle pump (especially in the upper body), without any soreness the next day as is typical with weight training. This is because swimming has no eccentric movement (the negative portion of a lift), which is what causes muscle soreness. Keep in mind that even though swimming works your muscles well and is a nice alternative workout to mix in once or twice a week, it does not strengthen your bones. You still need to do regular weight training to do that.

7. Sandbag Training - This form of training is a nice variation to mix in with your strength training. It works your body with an unstable object, which makes muscles that might normally be neglected get in on the action to perform the movements. I've been mixing some sandbag training into my routines for over a year now, and I've found it is a very intense method of training that works your muscles in a different way and gets you huffing and puffing like crazy. You can make your own sandbags to train with by filling various sized duffle bags with sand, or you can use those construction type sandbags that come in several shapes. Sandbag exercises can be done as squats, cleans, presses, lunges, shouldering, throws or heaves, carrying up hills, etc. Make no mistake, training intensely with sandbags will get you ripped in no time flat! I've actually found an entire book devoted to sandbag training, which gave me some great ideas for doing sandbag based workouts. If you're interested in this type of training, you can find more info at my 'fitness products' page at truthaboutabs.com at the link below.

8. Mountain Biking - As you may have figured by now, I'm not a proponent of steady pace endurance exercise, but rather, highly variable intensity exercise that works with bursts of exertion followed by recovery intervals. Well, mountain biking fits this bill perfectly. You get the leg pumping exertion during the uphill climbs, while also getting the adrenaline rush of the downhill acting as your recovery intervals. Mix it all together and you get a super-fun, high-intensity, leg burning workout that will melt fat off of your entire body and build awesome legs at the same time. The climbs can be tough and will challenge you both physically and mentally as you pump away trying to make it up steep hills without having to resort to getting off of the bike. Then after you make it up the challenging climbs, you get rewarded with the adrenaline rush of flying down steep hills while jumping off of boulders and logs and trying not to stumble or fall off the bike. It's such an addicting thrill...I love it! See, who says that working out has to be boring!

9. Indoor (or outdoor) Rock Climbing - This is yet another fun way to get in a great workout that will also challenge you both physically and mentally. Indoor rock climbing gyms have starting popping up all over the place in recent years and will be more accessible than outdoor rock climbing to most people. Rock climbing is a great workout for your legs, arms, shoulders, and your entire back. It also really works your grip strength and forearms like crazy. Whenever I go indoor rock climbing (which is only on occasion), my forearms are sore for about 2-3 days afterwards. Give it a try if you've never done it...it may be just what you're looking for to spice up your fitness routine.

10. Stick Wrestling - This is a killer full body workout and can also be a great competition between you and your friends. This is probably more of a guy thing for most people. You could even come up with your own "fight club" and have stick wrestling competitions with your buddies to see who is toughest. There are actually sticks designed specifically for stick wresting, but you can even just use a strong broomstick cut down to about 30-36 inches long and taped up with some athletic tape to prevent splinters. For your stick wrestling workout, stand on a soft mat or carpeted area (or grass if outdoors), match up with a friend or foe. You'll both grab the same stick toward the ends with your hands on the outsides of your partner's hands, on the inside, or staggered. Then you simply push, pull, jerk, and thrash your opponent around trying to knock them off balance until they either fall or lose their grip of the stick...and you win that round! Be careful not to get the stick up high and knock each other in the face. Use common sense. You can do this in 1-2 minute rounds or just keep going until someone gives up. Be creative and keep going until you've gotten a killer workout. Your forearms and legs will be screaming!

11. Strongman Training - This type of training is a little more hard-core, but it's a blast for those who are into trying something different. The premise is based on the types of exercises competitors perform in the "worlds strongest man" competitions. If you have a yard, you can even set up some of these exercises in your yard and do some outdoor workouts to have a little fun. Your neighbors will probably give you some funny looks, but it's fun, so who cares! You can get one of those giant tractor tires and do tire flips (which is basically a deadlift followed by a push-press). You can also try your hand at log lifts, boulder lifts and carries, keg lifts and tosses, weighted sled dragging...anything that involves pulling, pushing, lifting, or heaving any types of odd objects. You don't need to be a monster to enjoy this type of training...just handle whatever size objects are challenging for your individual strength. Strongman training works your entire body in a very intense fashion and could easily spark some new results. If you're interested in finding out more ideas for strongman training, check out my 'fitness products' page at truthaboutabs.com at the link below.

12. Rope Climbing - This goes back to the old high school days of climbing the rope in gym class. Seriously, if you have access to a rope, either at a gym or somewhere outdoors, rope climbing builds a powerful and ripped upper body like no other exercise. A great way to incorporate rope climbing into intense workouts is to do a climb up, then lower yourself back down. Then while your upper body is recovering for the next climb, you can do a lower body exercise like squats or lunges, or go up and down stairs. Keep alternating the upper body rope climbs with the lower body exercises in between and you'll get one hell of a full body workout.

13. Bag Boxing - You can use a heavy bag, a speed bag, or even one of those rebound bags to get a great workout. Among the three, the heavy bag is the best all around full body workout, while the speed bag will test your rhythm and timing and give you a great upper body workout. If available at your gym or if you have a bag at home, try mixing these in as a good warm-up or as an intense finish to your strength routine.

14. Rope Skipping - You can't beat rope jumping as a great full body exercise. I like to use it as a warm-up for my weight training workouts. I prefer to use the really cheap "speed" ropes with a plastic rope instead of a fabric rope. Once you get good, you can jump rope much faster with the plastic ropes than the fabric ones, which will allow you to get a more intense workout. And don't mess with the weighted handle ropes...they'll just slow you down. Your goal is speed when rope skipping. Try mixing together two legged jumps, one-legged jumps, arm crossovers, double jumps (rope passes under feet twice for each jump) to keep things interesting and increase the intensity. Also, try alternating 15-20 second high intensity bursts where you jump as fast as you possibly can, followed by 15-20 second recovery intervals where you jump slowly to get ready for your next burst. Keep repeating until you're whooped, which might happen pretty quick!

15. Jumping exercises - squat jumps, box jumps, lunge jumps, and broad jumps are some of the best ways to incorporate explosive jumping exercises into your routines. The explosive and powerful nature of jumping exercises works your leg muscles in an entirely different way than most normal slow grinding strength training moves. I've even seen a university study cited once that found squat jumps to elicit the greatest testosterone response of all exercises studied. That means more muscle and less fat on your entire body, not just your legs. Try super-setting jumping exercises with upper body exercises for some really intense workouts.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed all of these ideas for ways to really shake up your workouts and make them fun again. I know some of them may seem a little "out there", but open your mind to the possibilities and you'll never be bored again...and your body will respond with new found results!



Chest Exercises and Explanations

Top 4 Chest Exercises and Explanations - Learn Why These Exercises Work and How to Do Them Properly


Chest Exercises

When constructing a workout routine it is important to be well rounded and to use the right form. If you use sloppy form during your exercises you are only hurting the gains you could be making. Most people want to get the most out of there workout in the shortest time possible. These 4 chest exercises will build your chest up and leave you feeling pumped.

As with most of the body groups, compound exercises are going to be your best choice when it comes to picking which exercises to do. The chest is a big muscle group and there are different exercises to target the different parts but keep in mind it is still nearly impossible to build up one part of your chest more then another.

1. Flat Barbell Bench Press

This exercise is the best choice of chest exercises to hit the entire chest. When constructing a workout for your chest this is one of the best choices to get your chest to grow. You can either use a barbell or dumbbells. Dumbbells will allow you to build more stability with your muscles.
  • Main Muscle Group: Chest
  • Secondary Muscle Groups: Triceps, Shoulders
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Type: Compound
  • Explanation: Lay flat on the bench with your feet planted firmly against the ground. Go back far enough so your eyes are directly underneath the bar. It is important to make sure your back if against the bench at all times. Place your hands about shoulders width on the bar with your thumb wrapped around the bar. Lift the bar and slowly lower it toward your lower chest. Without bouncing it off your chest press the bar until your arms are straight with your elbows locked.

2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

The incline bench press is great at targeting your upper chest which is the part of the chest that makes you look like you have a sculpted chest. Incline bench and be done with as little as a 15 degree increase and you will still get the same effects with less shoulder work.
  • Main Muscle Group: Chest
  • Secondary Muscle Groups: Triceps, Shoulders
  • Equipment: Dumbbell
  • Type: Compound
  • Explanation: Set the incline of the bench anywhere from a 30-55 degree angle. Start by sitting on a bench and placing the dumbbells on both knees. One at a time lift your leg up to bring the dumbbells up to your shoulder. Slowly lay back on the bench with your back flat and your feet firmly planted on the ground. Slowly press the weight up concentrating on keeping your form and the weights under control. Bring the weights all the way up to the central point of your upper chest. Slowly bring them down, palms facing away, until your arms are just below parallel to the ground.

3. Dumbbell Flys

The dumbbell fly is an isolation movement that will really help your chest workout routine. The motion that you go through to do the dumbbell fly targets only your chest muscles and you can really squeeze them when you reach the top. If you haven't don't these before be ready to be sore in the morning!
  • Main Muscle Group: Chest
  • Secondary Muscle Groups: None
  • Equipment: Dumbbell
  • Type: Isolation
  • Explanation: Sit with your back flat on the bench and your feet firmly planted on the ground. Hold the dumbbells above your chest like you were going to do a dumbbell bench press but with your palms facing each other. Slowly lower the weights to each side trying to make a half circle (arc-like motion). Now slowly bring the weights back up in the same arc with your elbows being bent the same way during the whole repetition.

4. Pushups

The classic push up is great because you don't need equipment to do it. You can do pushes with either a normal or wide grip to target your chest more. You can also it on with your feet elevated to give more resistance.
  • Main Muscle Group: Chest
  • Secondary Muscle Groups: Triceps, Shoulders
  • Equipment: Body
  • Type: Compound
  • Explanation: The perfect chest exercise if you do not have any workout equipment. Start by kneeling down on the floor with your hands on the floor slightly wider then your shoulders. Lift yourself up to where you back is straight, your toes are on the ground and your palms are flat. In a very controlled manner lower your body to the floor until your body is nearly touching the ground. Push your body up until your arms are straight and locked. During the whole pushup make sure your entire body is straight. If you can not do enough reps with this form you can place your knees on the ground. This can be done with either normal or wide grip.


Gain Muscle Mass

Gain Muscle Mass Hot Tips


Gain Muscle Mass

To gain muscle mass is the dream of every hot blooded male. However, if you are going to achieve all that without relying on steroids or any artificial supplements, then you would really need lots of discipline and commitment to your training and diet. It is vital that you reevaluate your schedule, and set aside time to work out in the gym and make necessary changes to your diet. We will look at some hot tips that would help you to gain muscle mass and to shape up.

1. Sodium Intake

Sodium is an essential mineral you would need to take as it encourages the growth of muscles through increasing our muscle cell fluid volume. Though it is a good water retainer which is not good for us if we want to bulk up, it benefits you by enhancing carbohydrate storage and absorption of amino acids into our bodies. Since it can increase our cellular fluid, our joint leverage is improved and hence we gain more strength, suffer lesser muscle strains, and soft tissue injuries from weight training. On top of that, sodium improves the responsiveness of our muscles to insulin.

2. Fish and Foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Eating fish and foods with omega-3 fatty acids would help us to gain muscle mass indirectly. Go for fish with tons of omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, tuna and herring. Flaxseeds, walnuts, oregano, cauliflower, mustard seeds, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tofu, spinach, kale, soybeans are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These foods make our muscles more sensitive to insulin which aids fueling our glycogen storage and entry of amino acid into our muscles. All these is done while preserving our storage of glutamine, a key nutrient for protein metabolism and preventing muscle deterioration.

3. Free Weights Training

If you are serious about wanting to gain muscle mass, keeping the right diet is not enough. You need to work on some resistance training such as using free weights like dumbbells. They would work out your ancillary muscles and build compound mass on them. Dumbbells are exceptionally useful and versatile in muscle building because of the range of motions you can carry out when using them. This also means that you can work on more sets of muscles with the same piece of equipment, and the result is of course more muscle mass gain.

4. Experimenting with Different Exercise Regimes

No one is born with inert understanding of how their bodies respond to different exercises. What works for others may not work for you and vice versa. But if you have been training for a while, you would know what exercises work best for your muscles. Experiment different exercises and techniques with your dumbbells and free weights to see which helps you to gain muscle mass best.

There are a hundred and one ways to train up your muscles to gain muscle mass. But if you are keen and want to learn more, there are plenty of sites including my blog where you can pick up some great advice on muscle mass gain especially if you have tried but failed in other exercise regimes.