Have you been hammering away in the gym, day after day, week after week, throwing the iron around, and knocking out your fasted cardio or some form of HIIT only to not make the gains you are after or obtaining the ripped conditioning you should be displaying on your physique? You’ve stuck to your eating regimen, high carb – low carb days, post-show higher calories and pre-show caloric deficits. You have done everything you were told to do, only to not achieve the results you should be getting...
As someone who has worked with a large number of people on body transformations, something that clients looking to lose body fat bring up straight away when they come to work with me is whether they should add a fat burner to their supplement regime.
Competitive bodybuilders and physique athletes also turn to fat burners to help shed those last few pounds of body fat before competition. Diet is essential. If you’re not losing fat through diet and training then I would never suggest relying on a fat burner, however they can certainly help your progress, especially nearer the end of a cutting phase.
Results. That’s the name of the game, right? If you talk with any competitor about what they hope to accomplish for the next show or season, they will inevitably use a variety of words to describe what is essentially an outcome or result. Typically, these descriptions include the following keywords: bigger, shredded, wider, tighter, leaner, and stronger.
Interestingly enough, these same keywords show up in marketing and advertising campaigns for supplements. Why? Because people want results, and they want to understand the potential outcome or benefit that can be derived from using said product or service. It’s just human nature...
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, or HMB as it is better known, is a naturally occurring metabolite of the essential amino acid leucine which has become a very popular supplement within the bodybuilding world. HMB is known mainly for its ability to reduce the protein breakdown which occurs during intense and heavy weight lifting, but it also contributes to increased lean muscle mass, greater strength, greater endurance and more rapid muscle recovery. Additionally, HMB has been proven to decrease body fat as well as reduce LDL blood cholesterol levels...
Retaining water can make you feel bloated and cause your hands, feet and ankles to swell. Water retention occurs for different reasons, including hormonal changes, the consumption of sodium, high blood pressure or other medical conditions. See your doctor if you experience frequent water retention to rule out an underlying disorder. If your water retention is hormonal or diet related, you may find relief in a few of these natural methods.
Testosterone is responsible not only for optimal muscle mass, it is also vital for sexual drive and function. For those of you who compete, chances are that you are already consuming several of the foods, minerals and herbs which are known to enhance testosterone production, but let’s review them here. If you are having issues with a lagging libido, you might want to add a couple of substances that are not yet in your regimen...
For a lot of us, taking our workouts to an intense level means a lot of sweating. Without getting too scientific, I would like to briefly explain a little about the importance of Electrolytes and their role in keeping you hydrated properly and performing at your best.
Electrolyte is a "medical/scientific" term for salts, specifically once broken into its ions. The term "electrolyte" means that this ion is electrically-charged and moves to either a negative (cathode) or positive (anode) electrode:
Whether you chose to walk into a supplement store or browse online supplement retailers from the comfort of your home, it is clear to see that we are not exactly restricted in our choice of protein powder to use in our post workout shake. Long gone are the days of downing a lumpy protein shake with your eyes closed and a grimace on your face as you muster up all of your remaining strength not throw the whole thing back up! Today, we are provided with numerous different brands and types of protein with most brands offering multiple types including whey concentrate, whey isolate, casein and various time release proteins. We are also able to purchase protein powders from beef and plant sources should we wish. The various benefits offered by different protein sources can be saved for another article as even when it comes to just choosing a whey protein to purchase the number of options can still seem like a mine field!
You've heard it again and again; but, do you know WHY you should drink plenty of water?
“You must drink lots of water” is a bit cliché I know, but do really know all the reasons why you should be?
Let’s first start off with the role of water in the human body: The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depends on body size.
When you exercise, tiny tears develop in your muscle fibers and muscle repair only occurs when the body is resting or sleeping. If you aren't getting an adequate amount of sleep, your body cannot repair the muscle fibers as insufficient sleep is disruptive
Sleep dramatically impacts your entire body. It's during sleep that your body recovers from exercise, repairs itself and grows new muscle tissue. When you are sleeping hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol are produced in higher levels than throughout the rest of the day.
Do you know your DHA from your EPA? Or your linoleic acid from your linolenic acid? We have all heard about the importance of consuming enough essential fats in our diet, from both a health and a body composition standpoint. But do we really know what we should be looking to consume and why? Well here is the low down on essential fats…
That age old question, which is better – BCAA’s or Essential Amino Acids? There are a lot of supplements on the market which are classed as Branched Chain Amino Acids but there is also many supplements classified as Essential Amino Acids, but which one is worth buying?
BCAA’s: Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are comprised of essential amino acids (specifically, valine, leucine and isoleucine). BCAA’s are needed for the maintenance of muscle tissue and preserve muscle glycogen stores and even may even help to prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise.
With new proteins appearing on the market, it is important to know a few facts about each. Nutrition is 70% of the game of when it comes to building a top notch physique so here is a brief rundown of some of the leading proteins on the market. First we take a look at bioavailbility, the measure by which the body is able to absorb and utilize protein once it is absorbed, as well as a few benefits and concerns of each.
The United States of America has an obesity problem. In fact, more than one-third of adults and almost 17% of youth are obese. According to the CDC, the rate of obesity has slowed in recent years however it remains an area of concern for a variety of reasons. A few recent studies offer clues on ways to address the obesity epidemic and in many ways these studies reaffirm long held bodybuilding dieting principles.
For those of you who do not know what 7-Keto is, it is a metabolite of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which has gained popularity among those who are interested in battling the aging process. Keto-7 boosts immune function and helps to reduce body fat without the risk of conversion to estrogen and testosterone which characterizes DHEA.
Keto-7 (or 7-Keto) is a brand name for the chemical 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandros-terone which is a metabolite mainly produced in the adrenal glands and skin as well as the brain. Levels of this compound rise in the body until about age 20, then start to drop after age 30, declining by 50% by age 50...
Enzymes are amazing protein molecules which speed up chemical reactions in the body involved in everything from digestion to breathing, cell growth and molecular transportation. The reason why digestive enzymes have been developed and marketed is that many people eat such horrible foods in their diets that they need assistance in processing those foods. In addition, enzyme production drops as we get older compromising our optimal body function. Processed foods are notorious for challenging the digestive tract because enzymes which are found naturally in foods are destroyed when they are processed. Even cooked foods rely on the body’s digestive enzymes, and since there is a shrinking pool of enzymes as we get older, digestive problems may arise.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant indigenous to India and Northern Africa that has demonstrated effectiveness in treating sexual dysfunction and which can increase sexual arousal partially by boosting testosterone levels. Fenugreek also has a myriad of other benefits, among them reductions in cholesterol and lower fasting blood glucose levels in diabetics. For this article, let’s focus on performance related benefits which fenugreek offers.
A 2011 study which examined the effects of 600 milligrams of fenugreek extract versus placebo in men who suffered from erectile dysfunction found a significant increase in sexual arousal and stamina in the men who were supplemented with fenugreek. Fenugreek also helped to maintain a normal testosterone level in the test subjects. For many men, that is reason enough to supplement with this plant, but fenugreek also has a beneficial effect on body composition and strength.
There seems to be an evolution underway when it comes to carbohydrate drinks with the introduction of Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD). HBCD’s are a new type of glucose polymer that is produced by a reaction between waxy maize starch and a special branching enzyme, forming a cyclical structure.
Zinc is a vital mineral which is found in every tissue in the body due to its involvement in cell division. In the world of fitness and bodybuilding, zinc has a number of roles, including maintenance of normal hormonal levels, proper endocrine function, body composition, energy levels, optimal physical performance and protein synthesis. Thus it is crucial to maintain normal levels of zinc in the body when training or prepping for a competition.
Zinc is highly concentrated in meat, dairy and some seafood. This is why vegetarians most commonly suffer from zinc deficiency. So how can you tell if you suffer from a zinc deficiency? Common symptoms include an altered sense of taste which leads to cravings for sweets and salty foods. Other symptoms of zinc deficiency include low energy, infertility, low libido, memory problems, poor immunity and diarrhea.
In Part 1, we discussed the benefits of using Creatine, Protein and a Multi-Vitamin. In part 2 we will introduce the benefits of supplement with Fish Oil, BCAA’s and Glutamine. Supplementation can make up a major part of anyone’s game plan so understanding which ones to use is a great benefit in achieving your goals.
Most of the health benefits of fish oil can be contributed to the presence to Omega 3 fatty acids...
Antioxidants have become a hot topic in combating disease in recent years, and the list of these substances has grown thanks to extensive research which has been conducted and disseminated to the public. A particularly powerful antioxidant is curcumin. Curcumin, an extract which is derived from turmeric, has been used in Asian curries for many centuries and has also been used for treatment of arthritis and other health conditions. Only recently has curcumin received attention from the United States regarding its remarkable benefits as a potent antioxidant.
Perhaps the most exciting potential benefit of curcumin is that it may help to prevent and treat cancer by inhibiting cancer cell growth and the growth of blood vessels which feed into tumors...