Skip to Content

Category Archives: Cross Fit

Bulking To Build Muscles: Know The Dos And Don’ts

In order to turn knowledge into wisdom, we need to apply the knowledge first. Without the application of your knowledge, you can never gain wisdom. This holds true even in the world of muscle-building. You may read beauty magazines, fitness books, and blogs; however, the acquired information from these resources is nothing, if not applied. Therefore, be wise and apply well resourced knowledge while building muscles.

And in this article, I will be revealing all the information that I have pertaining to bulking up to build muscles, and you need to promise yourself that you will apply this knowledge in your day to day life. Let’s begin with what you for sure need to know about bulking to building muscles.

Bulking To Build Muscles: Here Is What You Need To Know!
a) If you think eating more will help you to increase your ability to gain muscles, think again! It won’t. After you reach the final benchmark, your muscles are not going to speed up even when you consume more food. In reality, your body can’t build more muscles in a limited time frame.

b) If you are pondering over the idea of Bulking – is it good or bad? Don’t worry; you are not the only one. And, unfortunately, the answer isn’t so black and white. The truth is, if you are planning to gain muscles, you have to be ready for bulking too.

c) It is not necessary to appreciate bulking in order to grow muscles. In other words, don’t use bulking as a cover up for eating unhealthy junk food. To grow big, you have to eat. But you won’t be growing enough if you rely on harmful junk food. Instead, consume enough calories and nutrients to help your muscles grow in a substantial proportion.
Know The Bulking Dos and Don’ts To Build Muscles Without Piling On Body Fat!

Dos
1. Know how much calories your body needs
Firstly, know how many calories you need by doing the math using a BMR calculator, then make a conscious decision of exceeding your calorie intake by consuming the right foods such as eggs and milk. The key objective here is to consume more than you can burn, and convert those excess calories to muscles with the help of right training.
Regardless of how rapid or slow your metabolic rate is, you need to consume more calories than you can burn.
2. Follow strategic cheat meals
If you fancy growing big then follow the rule: eat nutritious foods 80% of the time and eat anything else for the remaining 20%. Ideally this will work, if you take a disciplined protein-rich breakfast, which includes omelet cooked in virgin-oil along with fresh vegetables and turkey on the side. However, once a week, you can go easy with your breakfast by having pancakes or bacon for your morning breakfast.
3. Know your muscle building supplements well
The fitness industry is inundated with plenty of muscle-building supplements and all claiming to be the best supplement for bodybuilding. It is, however, in your best interest to know and identify the most effective and reliable bodybuilding supplement. Ideally, your health supplement should cover up for nutrients that your body lacks despite eating nutrition-rich meals. With each dose, the supplement should provide you with nutrients that your body lacks. For instance, an HGH Energizer supplement provides you all those nutrients you are deficient in.
Secondly, the health supplement should be safe to consume. The company should be reputed and reliable, and should be well known for its supplements.
4. Eat Your Vegetables
Meat is ridiculously expensive these days and is also not eco-friendly. So, why bother with meat when we have such great vegetarian options available in front of us. Green leafy vegetables provide all the nutrients that your body needs for muscle-building. Many successful trainers are vegetarians and they consume pulses and legumes on a daily basis. Look for tropical fruits and berries too!

Don’ts
1. Eat More Junk Food
Of course, if you aren’t consuming enough food, the muscle growth will freeze, but in no way does it mean that you start consuming more of food for the muscles to grow. This, perhaps, is one of the commonest mistakes made by trainers who are trying to build a muscular physique. Eating too much food, especially, junk in the hope of stimulating more muscle growth is a ridiculous idea as it won’t produce positive results.
Our bodies have limited capacities, and the muscles you can build also depends on your body’s capacity to synthesize new muscle tissues from ingested proteins. Therefore, stop thinking and avoid eating too much of junk food.
2. Eat Less Food
Once you are done reading the above tip, don’t conclude that you should start eating like a bird. In order to build muscles, you must eat more calories than you burn every day. The point here is to consume the right amount of food. Talk to a qualified muscle-building expert and know the estimates of what your calorie intake should be depending on your body weight. Know how much calories will support the optimal growth of your muscles.
Remember the calorie intake should allow you to gain at least two to four pounds per month. If you aren’t already gaining that much weight then increase your calorie intake, until you reach that rate of growth.
3. Ignore High-Intensity Training
Remember we will be consuming more calories, which means our training intensities should be higher too in order to convert those excess calories into stronger and leaner muscles. Lifting heavy weights and performing compound moves will help you to create a seamless stimulus needed for muscle synthesis. But, of course, don’t forget to bike occasionally as that will help your body to keep the fat low.
It is advisable to make use of the technology and wear an activity tracker that will monitor your heart rate to keep a track of your calories while you peform your workouts.
4. Forget To Take It Easy!
To have a goal of becoming a vehement muscle-builder is credible, but learn to take it easy. Having a plan of performing strenuous supersets will take longer to build muscles. Instead, it is advisable to follow a balanced and more controlled plan that involves rest and slow sets.
You can try this rest set with bicep curls: lift your five or ten-rep at a tempo two seconds up and four seconds down. Remember to rest in between for 15 to 20 seconds. Now lift again for two seconds up and four seconds down. Repeat the set once more with the same counts. Make sure you take rest.
Final Words!
Having the right expectations will take you a long way ahead in muscle-building. Don’t expect quick results as building muscles take longer than you think. Every time you carry an unrealistic goal, you are heading for disappointments and failures.
Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks used to sell shakes and supplements. You cannot transform your physique without putting efforts and time. In muscle-building, there is science that you need to fully understand before you actually start seeing results.
Muscle-building is a lifestyle, and not a temporary way of living!

nick-willson-id-picAuthor
Nick Wilson is a fitness coach and health writer. Her passion is to encourage others to rediscover their lifestyle and get inspired for organic living. He occasionally blogs about how to use supplements and shares info about how to use supplements properly.
http://www.hghenergizerplus.com/how-it-works/

0 Continue Reading →

Life Patterns and Flexibility

Life Patterns and FlexibilityEvery day we are faced with challenges of routine, whether it is creating a routine, maintaining a routine, or changing a routine. More often than not, these happen without intervention, and the results present themselves whether you designed them or not.

The Morning Routine

The day breaks either at whatever time your body clock is set, or the time of your alarm clock. The latter is not ideal because it is an unnatural rising and you’re off into a forced routine. The trouble with this is that you will undoubtedly feel stiff, and your day starts with a ‘forced’ movement, and muscles can stiffen accordingly.

I was on this path for a long, long time, and never considered myself a ‘morning person’ – and always battled with normal, every-day flexibility when starting my day.

The solution: I decided to buy a “Lumie” alarm clock. This was designed to wake you up without noise, without sudden rising, and mimics ‘real light’ to gradually wake you up. The result? By naturally waking up, your body automatically adjusts over 20-30 minutes without you having to do anything at all; the result being you reduce and even remove the standard stiffness you can feel in the morning. Check the light out here:
Lumie Bodyclock ACTIVE 250 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Extra Audio Options

Once you’re up, you must, must, have a quick morning stretching routine, to get the muscles moving, blood flowing, and generally loosen up. If you don’t do this on a daily basis, or even miss a few days, you perpetuate a stiffness that will lock up your joints, muscles, and hamper any of your sporting and martial arts. My morning routine consists of me pressing myself against the skirting board (!) to push my legs wider and gain myself that bit of leverage. It doesn’t take long before I’m pressed fully against the wall and have full flexibility once more.

All Sit Down?

We’ve all seen the evolutionary picture of ending up crouched over a computer desk, typing away with a hunched back. This is, unfortunately, extremely common and very true. The truth of the matter is, we are more certainly not designed to sit in a chair. Chairs are destructive to our mobility, flexibility, and our overall posture. If you are sitting in a chair, set yourself a simple timer for 15 minutes every day to ensure you get up out of your chair, move about, loosen up, and stop those joints from stiffening up. If you ca, get a standing desk – they will increase your productivity, improve your muscle tone, even burn more calories, but most important they will stop your spine from becoming compressed and causing disc and sciatic injuries.

If you are already in the unfortunate position of having back pain, please check out these videos for relieving sciatic nerve pain.

Beware the Slow Tense

Regardless whether you are in a chair, standing, leaning, kneeling etc. Be very conscious of your body and its positions. Again perhaps use a timer such as a “ring timer” (see below) to force you to check every 5-10 minutes until you make it a habit. What you’re checking for is any constant tension in the shoulders, arms, elbows, buttocks and particularly lower back. Modern day work demands hours and hours of constant work and tension, which too often results in over-tightness of particular areas, which in turn leads to over-compromised positions, disrupting your natural posture. These are very difficult to break unless you pay particular attention to it.

Check out a round-timer to force yourself to check every few minutes for it:
Boxing training round interval timer. Perfect for Boxing MMA Interval Tabata Training Kettlebells by Athlete Technologies

Stretching Before Sleep

Just as you should stretch when you wake up, it is equally important that you stretch yourself out before going to sleep. This will ensure that any tensions you have picked up throughout the day will not stiffen further overnight, and cause the typical and all-too-familiar trapped nerve sensations and full-body stiffness syndrome of the morning.

Conclusion

These routines are not exercise, they are not training, they should be part of every day of your life, and are indeed mandatory in many Japanese companies, where they have the best employee health and fitness ratios in the world.

You need to concentrate on them and do them mindfully, otherwise naturally bad patterns will creep into your life and compromise your body, flexibility and fitness.

0 Continue Reading →

What's Causing Your Energy Drain?

There is no time in the schedule for Energy Drain or getting sick, and “Collapse From Exhaustion” is not on the TO DO list. But your body will stop you if you don’t stop it first.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Miss USA's Tae Kwon Do-Inspired Workout Routine

Break a sweat like Miss USA winner Nia Sanchez with these badass full-body exercises featuring her favorite martial arts moves

0 0 Continue Reading →

How Exercise Changes Our DNA

By Gretchen Reynolds

We all know that exercise can make us fitter and reduce our risk for illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. But just how, from start to finish, a run or a bike ride might translate into a healthier life has remained baffling.

Now new research reports that the answer may lie, in part, in our DNA. Exercise, a new study finds, changes the shape and functioning of our genes, an important stop on the way to improved health and fitness.

The human genome is astonishingly complex and dynamic, with genes constantly turning on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from the body. When genes are turned on, they express proteins that prompt physiological responses elsewhere in the body.

Scientists know that certain genes become active or quieter as a result of exercise. But they hadn’t understood how those genes know how to respond to exercise.

Enter epigenetics, a process by which the operation of genes is changed, but not the DNA itself. Epigenetic changes occur on the outside of the gene, mainly through a process called methylation. In methylation, clusters of atoms, called methyl groups, attach to the outside of a gene like microscopic mollusks and make the gene more or less able to receive and respond to biochemical signals from the body.

Scientists know that methylation patterns change in response to lifestyle. Eating certain diets or being exposed to pollutants, for instance, can change methylation patterns on some of the genes in our DNA and affect what proteins those genes express. Depending on which genes are involved, it may also affect our health and risk for disease.

Far less has been known about exercise and methylation. A few small studies have found that a single bout of exercise leads to immediate changes in the methylation patterns of certain genes in muscle cells. But whether longer-term, regular physical training affects methylation, or how it does, has been unclear.

So for a study published this month in Epigenetics, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm recruited 23 young and healthy men and women, brought them to the lab for a series of physical performance and medical tests, including a muscle biopsy, and then asked them to exercise half of their lower bodies for three months.

One of the obstacles in the past to precisely studying epigenetic changes has been that so many aspects of our lives affect our methylation patterns, making it difficult to isolate the effects of exercise from those of diet or other behaviors.

The Karolinska scientists overturned that obstacle by the simple expedient of having their volunteers bicycle using only one leg, leaving the other unexercised. In effect, each person became his or her own control group. Both legs would undergo methylation patterns influenced by his or her entire life; but only the pedaling leg would show changes related to exercise.

The volunteers pedaled one-legged at a moderate pace for 45 minutes, four times per week for three months. Then the scientists repeated the muscle biopsies and other tests with each volunteer.

Not surprisingly, the volunteers’ exercised leg was more powerful now than the other, showing that the exercise had resulted in physical improvements.

But the changes within the muscle cells’ DNA were more intriguing. Using sophisticated genomic analysis, the researchers determined that more than 5,000 sites on the genome of muscle cells from the exercised leg now featured new methylation patterns. Some showed more methyl groups; some fewer. But the changes were significant and not found in the unexercised leg.

Interestingly, many of the methylation changes were on portions of the genome known as enhancers that can amplify the expression of proteins by genes. And gene expression was noticeably increased or changed in thousands of the muscle-cell genes that the researchers studied.

Most of the genes in question are known to play a role in energy metabolism, insulin response and inflammation within muscles. In other words, they affect how healthy and fit our muscles — and bodies — become.

They were not changed in the unexercised leg.

The upshot is that scientists now better understand one more step in the complicated, multifaceted processes that make exercise so good for us.

Many mysteries still remain, though, said Malene Lindholm, a graduate student at the Karolinska Institute, who led the study. It’s unknown, for example, whether the genetic changes she and her colleagues observed would linger if someone quits exercising and how different amounts or different types of exercise might affect methylation patterns and gene expression. She and her colleagues hope to examine those questions in future studies.

But the message of this study is unambiguous. “Through endurance training — a lifestyle change that is easily available for most people and doesn’t cost much money,” Ms. Lindholm said, “we can induce changes that affect how we use our genes and, through that, get healthier and more functional muscles that ultimately improve our quality of life.”

A version of this article appears in print on 12/23/2014, on page of the NewYork edition with the headline: Only-One-Pedal Pushers.

0 0 Continue Reading →

The myths and truths about Yoga and Metabolism

Yoga is a great way to shape muscles and allow the mind to relax – but can it really burn calories and increase the rate of your metabolism?

0 0 Continue Reading →

Are Healthy Eating And Regular Exercise Mission Impossible?

By Anne-Marie Ronsen

Healthy Eating And Regular Exercise

Today, there are plenty of weight-loss strategies that are guaranteed to backfire. And, each and everyone’s body metabolism reacts differently to different fast weight loss programs and plans.

Weight loss depends on the condition of the person which includes weight, health, calorie-intake, age, gender, lifestyle, stress level and routine. There is no better time to start losing weight. If you want to really lose those excess fats, you have to lose weight NOW.

[Tweet “There is no better time to start losing weight. If you want, you have to lose weight NOW.”]

You may improve your health and have a physically fit body by getting into rapid Weight Loss diet. This is the best way for you to have a stronger body and gain confidence. And can help you to be at your best fighting form as well.

Here are some guidelines from the experts in choosing weight loss plans and goals.

  1. Set realistic approaches. What is important is to be precise on your goals. The ability to focus and have proper mindset enables someone on a diet to quickly lose those extra pounds. With discipline and proper mind set, a dieter will never be discouraged and lose focus.
  2. Develop a strategy – Strength of will does not work alone! To lose weight and stay with it, your strategy must comprise of both exercise and diet, and not either of the two.
  3. Be realistic – Most people’s long-term weight loss plans are more ambitious than they have to be.
  4. Eat small, healthy meals frequently. Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent over-eating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.
  5. Keep a note of everything that you eat and drink. You do not need to estimate calories. Just write down what it was that you had and the approximate quantity. You will find that being more aware of what you are eating helps you to plan healthy meals and snacks.
  6. Focus on doing, not losing – Rather than saying that you are going to lose a pound this week, say how much you are going to exercise this week. This would definitely make up of a sensible weight loss plan.
  7. Build bit by bit – Short-term weight loss plans should not be “pie-in-the-sky.” This means that when you have never exercised at all, your best weight loss plan for this week should be based on finding three different one-mile routes that you can walk next week.
  8. Keep up the self-encouragement – An all-or-nothing attitude only sets you up to fail. Learn to evaluate your efforts fairly and objectively. If you fall short of some goals, just look ahead to next week. You do not need to have a perfect record. After all, self-encouragement should definitely be a part of your weight loss plans. Otherwise, you will just fail in the end.
  9. Limit treats containing sugar to three times per week. This includes chocolate, ice cream, desserts, cake, pastries, cookies, etc.
  10. Include a lower fat source of protein at most meals: chicken, fish, beans, cottage cheese, or low fat yogurt. Have eggs, nuts and red meat occasionally but not every day.
  11. Plan at least one lunch and dinner every week without meat or cheese. Build those meals around whole grains, vegetables and beans to increase fiber and reduce fat.
  12. Reduce the fat content in your milk products. If you are currently drinking whole milk, reduce to 2% fat. From 2% reduce to 1%. Choose lower fat cheese and yogurt. When you buy yogurt, also check that it does not contain sugar.
  13. Have at least two servings of fruit every day. This can be for dessert or snacks. Choose fruit that is in season.
  14. Drink water instead of sodas, juices, milky drinks or alcohol. Avoid diet soda – the sweet taste only encourages you to crave sugar. Hot water with a slice of lemon can be very refreshing in the morning.
  15. Include at least two servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner. If you are getting hungry, have more.
  16. Eat slowly. The body is slow to register when you are full and it is easy to eat too much if you are racing through your meals.
  17. Use whole grains wherever possible. The fiber will give you a fuller feeling and also help your digestion.
  18. Engaging in Aerobics – Aerobics are not only good for the heart by increasing cardio-vascular endurance. Aerobics also help in increasing lean muscle mass while simultaneously decreasing excess body fat. Aside from these, aerobics make the metebolic process more efficient and its rate high, even after a long while.
  19. Staying Motivated to Exercise – Exercise is always a do-it-yourself venture. No other person and no machine can do it for you.There are many reasons in order to keep you motivated to exercise and stay healthy for the rest of your life.Get as much exercise as you can that feels good without letting it interfere with your work or family life. If you need to, remind yourself that you are preventing many health problems when you prevent weight gain; and keeping your health is a gift to your family as well as yourself.
  20. Always switch off the TV when you eat. That includes snacks as well as meals. Studies have proved that we eat larger portions in front of the TV, probably because we are much less aware of what we are eating. When you eat, only eat if you want to lose weight fast.

Healthy Eating, Regular Exercise and positive attitude are the only things you need to lose fat permanently.

Remember, if you want to lose weight naturally, you have to keep track of every food you eat and of every activity that you do. Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result to a new, healthier you.

The article offered here is submitted as information only and not to be used for the treatment of injury or disease. If you have an injury or think you may have a disease of any type see your healthcare professional immediately.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Flexibility and Stretching: How to Stretch, When to Stretch

I advice everyone to perform any stretching under supervision. A lot of muscular and joint damage can occur if the technique is not correct. I have listed here some guidelines and contraindication but these are not enough to avoid injury.

4 0 Continue Reading →

10 reasons why you need long duration, low intensity running

I wrote a few weeks back about long duration, low intensity aerobic training, and probably got into it a little too deep and waffled on too much…

As I mentioned in that last post, aerobic training is one of the many tools I have been using to build myself back up, and the majority of this work has been in the form of running.

My runs vary anywhere between 40 to 90 minutes in length, and I aim to keep my heart rate below the 155 bpm mark, approximately.

[Tweet “Every run is different, but they all help me to grow in some form or another.”]

I thought I’d highlight some of the main benefits I that have personally noticed on my running adventures so far. So here is the list of 10 reasons why you love long duration, low intensive running

1. Physical Benefits. Increased aerobic fitness. Reduced body fat. Reduced risk of chronic disease. All great health promoting things.

2. Mindfulness. When I’m running, I get a chance to focus on my breath, and give my mind the opportunity to be still. Sometimes it’s a bit like moving mediation.

3. Self Evaluation. Other times, my run can present an opportunity to reflect on the decisions I have made, the habits I am forming, the relationships I have with the others around me. It can be a time where I am self-critical, and figure out which aspects of my life I need to improve upon.

4. Creativity. Most of the greatest ideas and inventions were created in solitude. Many of my ideas for the blog, or future business plans come to me on a long run.

5. Being in Nature. I’m lucky enough to live near the mountains where there are some great routes for runs or long hikes. Whatever the weather, it’s nice to breathe the clean, refreshing air; and get a bit lost in the wilderness.

6. Learning. Never before have we had so much access to information. There are so many great audio books and podcasts out there, and sometimes I love sticking some on when I run. Some of my favourites: The Rich Roll Podcast, No Meat Athlete Radio,Philosophize This, JRE, Zen Habits.

7. Go Slow. Be Patient. When I’m running, I aim to keep my heart rate below 155 bpm to ensure I don’t overdo it and fill my legs with lactic acid. Read more here. This sometimes means that I have to walk if I come to a hill, which is a difficult thing to do for me. But it’s good to practice.

8. De-Stress. Running can be an escape from the stress of everyday life. If something is bothering me, usually by the end of a long run my mind has sorted things out. I feel much calmer, more peaceful and balanced.

9. Achieving. By tracking my heart rate and distances on MapMyRun, and occasionally performing the same run; I can see how my fitness levels have improved. Some people need to see progress to keep them on track.

10. Catching Up With Friends. I usually run solo, but occasionally I’ll run with a friend. It acts as a great time to catch up and have an extended conversation that may otherwise be quite difficult to fit in.

0 0 Continue Reading →

7 Of The Best Martial Arts For Men To Get In Shape

Many people start exercise programs to get in shape. If you are committed to losing weight, cutting fat, and getting stronger, you may want to consider starting with one or more martial arts programs. Martial arts exercises strengthen the upper body, legs, back, and the abdominal muscles. Combining martial arts with a responsible diet will help you meet your conditioning goals. Here are seven of the best martial arts for men to get in shape.

[Tweet “Combining martial arts with a responsible diet will help you meet your conditioning goals”]

Karate

[youtube id=”_pwdixReIZ4″]

Karate’s a popular martial are that was originated in Okinawa and brought to mainland Japan in the early part of the century. Many people use this form of exercise to get in shape and build strength. From a conditioning aspect, you are going to do a series of kicks and strikes and you are going to perform these movements against some type of resistance. When you increase the level of resistance slowly over time, you are going to make your muscles, joints, and bones stronger.

Tae Kwon Do

[youtube id=”5l_b19VlzFI”]

Tae Kwon Do is one of two martial arts, the other being Judo, that’s included in Olympic competition. We’re not saying that you’ll be competing for the gold next summer, but if you want to build strength and speed then Tae Kwon Do is a good start. When you practice, you need excellent balance in order to throw hard blows with your hands and feet, and as a result you will develop better coordination. In order to make your hands and feet stronger and tougher, you will need to strike a heavy bag repeatedly. If you live near the beach, you can build up your hand strength and punching power by hitting the sand.

Tang Do

[youtube id=”AVVXDvrTBYE”]

Tang Do enthusiasts call their sport an “art” because it is more about proper form than competition. With that being said, Tang Do is a Korean martial art that develops the body, mind, and spirit. From a physical conditioning aspect, it will help build stamina and strength. One of the key aspects is circular motion with the hands, feet, and arms which will all work together to build powerful strength and endurance.

Tai Chi

[youtube id=”5HQnuWY13ac”]

The Mayo Clinic calls Tai Chi one of the best stress relievers for all practitioners so it’s no wonder that it’s often thought of as one of the more gentle martial arts. Tai Chi exercises emphasize all the core muscles and when practiced consistently it will help you build strength, balance, endurance, and increase flexibility.

Kung

Bruce Lee in UFC EA

Bruce Lee in UFC EA

Martial arts master Bruce Lee made Kung  one of the most popular of the martial arts with his performance in the 1971 movie “Fists of Fury.” Kung uses jumping, kicking, and other evasive movements, making it one of  the best martial arts when it comes to cardiovascular conditioning. It’s all of this constant movement that will help you burn calories and lose weight.

Capoeira

Capoeira

Capoeira

Capoeira is a martial art that is regularly practiced in Brazil and has been taught outside the country since the 1970s. Capoeira requires a significant amount of athleticism and if you have excellent balance and coordination, you will have a better chance to stick with this martial art and succeed at it. Capoeira is more dependent on power than the other martial arts and depends on kicking, punching, and sweeping movements of the legs.

Judo

Vladimir Putin is practicing Judo

Vladimir Putin is practicing Judo

Created in 1882 by Jigoro , the conditioning aspects of Judo are somewhat similar to Tae Kwon Do. The most notable difference is the length of the match. Judo training emphasizes strength and endurance and this is put to practice with matches that are significantly longer. With the extensive amount of grappling involved, you will be increasing your strength and power in no time.

8 0 Continue Reading →