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A lot of very beneficial information.....Different HIT exercises I haven't heard of before” -W. Pruitt

Techniques in these books are Fantastic….would recommend to any and all HIT trainers” -A. Gutierrez

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Finally a comprehensive volume of eight ebooks on both High Intensity(HIT) and Volume Bodybuilding Training!

There are many unique training programs contained in my books that give bodybuilders new techniques to increase his/her muscle building potential.

Complete explanation of:

  • Pre-exhaust routines

  • Double pre-exhaust

  • Reverse pre-exhaust

  • Forced reps

  • Pure negatives

  • Negative accentuated

  • Superslow

  • Extended Reps

  • Static Holds

  • Isometrics

  • Zone partials

  • Burn reps

  • Rolling static partials

  • HIIT-Lose weight FAST with Interval Training!

  • Unilateral training- why it works better than traditional training

  • Why training smarter -not longer builds muscle faster!

  • How to implement Progressive Overload and Double Progressive Overload to Supercharge Muscle Gains

  • Learn how to determine the ideal training frequency for your body type

  • Which supplements to take to safely build lots of muscle

  • Much more!

All programs are fully-explained with complete workout routines for each different technique.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

The 6 Biggest Leg-Press Mistakes Solved!




Don't think you can't mess up your form on machines? Here are some important reminders of what can go wrong.
You'd think the leg press would be idiot-proof. But nope! Like anything else in the weight room, there are any number of ways you can mess it up.
Because you don't have to balance the load as you do with squats, the leg press allows you to focus on simply moving the weight from point A to point B. That enables you to go somewhat heavier than you'd normally be able to do with a free-weight move. Heavy weights combined with bad form can be a recipe for injury. 
What can go wrong? Let's take a look at six common mistakes you can make on this solid leg movement.

1. Lowering The Sled Too Far

One of the advantages of leg presses over squats is that the machine supports your back. But while it's next to impossible to get the thoracic spine off the pad, your lumbar is still vulnerable. When you allow the sled to come down too far, it lifts your butt and even the lower region of your back off the pad. That's when your lumbar disks are most at risk, especially if you aren't in total control of the sled.
The 6 Biggest Leg Press Mistakes Solved: Lowering The Sled Too Far
Control the negative at all times, lowering the sled to a point just before your glutes lift off the seat. You may need a spotter's trained eye viewing from the side; then establish—and practice— this as the end of your range of motion. 
Remember, just because you can take the movement even lower doesn't mean you should.

2. Doing Only Shallow Reps

Yes, the depth critique goes both ways! If you haven't heard the refrain "partial reps equal partial results," you'd best memorize it. Anyone can load an impossible amount of weight on a bar or machine, but if you move it only an inch or so—like I've see all too many people do—you're getting next to zero benefit. 
The 6 Biggest Leg Press Mistakes Solved: Doing Only Shallow Reps
So-called partial reps don't target all the muscle fibers of the legs by a long shot. You're simply not working the muscle adequately if you're doing only quarter-reps or even half-reps.
Going a little deeper engages the glutes and hams to a greater degree than staying shallow, especially on the negative. Try to lower the weight to a point at which your thighs are about parallel with the foot sled; your knees should be bent about 90 degrees.

3. Not Having Your Heels On The Sled

Not every foot plate has a large surface area; when you're stuck using a unit with a small one, you may be tempted when trying to emphasize the quads to push your heels off the lower edge of the platform. You definitely shouldn't.
The 6 Biggest Leg Press Mistakes Solved: Not Having Your Heels On The Sled
"Your base of support becomes much smaller when your heels lift off, leaving you unbalanced and reducing your ability to perform a controlled rep," says Ciaran Fairman, MS, CISSN, a doctorate student in kinesiology at The Ohio State University. "Second, you have much less force production than if you were to have your full foot in contact, which also allows you to drive through your heels. Finally, lifting the heels will increase shear forces on the knee. Essentially, you won't be able to lift as much, you won't have as much control over the weight, and you'll be putting more pressure on your knees than necessary." [1]
The problem is similar for individuals whose heels come up off the footplate at the bottom of the negative rep. Those folks should address ankle mobility and reposition their feet so that they have the entire foot in contact with the sled at all points of the range of motion.

4. Allowing Your Knees To Collapse Inward

This is typically more common in women, says Fairman.[2,3] "It increases your risk of injury, most often via anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. This often arises because of weak hip abductors, and the gluteus medius in particular. Knee valgus should be taken seriously and addressed immediately."
The 6 Biggest Leg Press Mistakes Solved: Allowing Your Knees To Collapse Inward
Here are some tips from Fairman to avoid valgus during leg presses (or squats): 
  • Do banded movements often, or even wear one on the press. Placing a band around the top of the knee creates tension, which helps people be cued to drive their knees outward during the movement. 
  • Work on strengthening the posterior chain, paying particular attention to the gluteus medius. Good exercises include deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, single-leg Romanians, and lunges. 
  • Jump on the hip-abductor machine (the one in which you push your legs outward) to activate and strengthen the gluteus medius. 

5. Turning Your Feet Excessively Inward Or Outward

You've probably heard that turning your feet inward or outward on leg extensions and leg curls can help you direct the stimulus to emphasize the quads or hamstrings, respectively. That's true, but what's good on one machine isn't always good on another. 
The leg extension and curl are open-chain exercises, meaning your feet aren't planted against a solid surface. But when you're doing the leg press, which is a closed-chain movement where your feet are planted, turning your feet excessively can create pressure that will be absorbed by the knees. For most people, the best position to start with is going to be feet shoulder-width apart and turned slightly outward, making only minor adjustments in foot position. 
The 6 Biggestt Leg Press Mistakes Solved: Turning Your Feet Excessively In or Outward
Of course, there are ways you can still use foot position to shift the focus from one area of the thighs to another. A low foot position more effectively focuses on the quads, because there's less hip extension and greater knee flexion, while a high foot position better hits the glutes and hamstrings with more hip extension and less knee flexion.
Wider stances, which are a favorite of long-limbed lifters, work the inner thighs and glutes more strongly; conversely, a closer stance better targets the outer thighs. 

6. Locking Out Your Knees

While you're always encouraged to take each rep close to full extension, there's a fine line between extension and lockout. That's an important point, because it's where the stress heavily shifts from the muscle and onto the joint, and that pressure can be enormous when you're using heavy weights. 
The 6 Biggest Les Press Mistakes Solved: Locking Out Your Knees
When you're locked out, you're most likely catching your breath between reps or resetting your focus. But it's also giving your muscles a break from the tension. So it's both bad for knees and counterproductive to your muscle-building goals.
Try to go to a point just shy of full extension; if you're got pre-existing knee issues, stop about 10 degrees short of lockout, so the bones don't have maximum surface contact.
References
  1. Lewis, C. L., & Sahrmann, S. A. (2006). Acetabular labral tears. Physical Therapy, 86(1), 110-121.
  2. Quatman, C. E., & Hewett, T. E. (2009). The anterior cruciate ligament injury controversy: is "valgus collapse" a sex-specific mechanism? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(5), 328-335.
  3. Ford, K. R., Myer, G. D., & Hewett, T. E. (2003). Valgus knee motion during landing in high school female and male basketball players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(10), 1745-1750.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The 11 best supplements for building muscle mass




W
WITHOUT A DOUBT, you can add muscle simply by eating right and lifting weights. But to truly maximize your growth potential, supplements are a popular option. The only question: Which ones to choose?
That's why we've compiled 11 of the best mass-gain supplements worth your hard-earned cash. They're listed in order of priority, from the absolute most critical, can't-do-without supplements to the optional (yet still highly effective) ingredients for packing on size. The point is to help those on a tight budget decide which supplements to buy. And hey, if money is no object, then by all means stock up—just be sure you're using these as directed.

Priority #1: Whey protein powder

Why it made the list: Whey tops the list of mass-gain supplements because it's the most crucial for pushing protein synthesis. Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, No. 4 on our list). Bottom line: Whey takes the crown because it digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start building muscle. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles. This is why we always recommend consuming whey protein immediately after training.
How to maximize its effects: Take 20 grams of whey protein powder in the 30 minutes before working out, and take 40 grams within 60 minutes after training. Also consider taking 20-40 grams of whey immediately upon waking every morning to kick-start muscle growth. Your best bet is to choose a whey powder that contains whey protein hydrolysates (whey protein broken down into smaller fragments for faster digestion) or whey protein isolate.

Priority #2: Casein protein powder

Why it made the list: The other milk protein, casein, squeaks in just under whey. Casein has always played second fiddle due to its very slow digestion rate—yet this makes it ideal as a pre-bedtime snack because it prevents catabolism while you sleep by emptying slowly and steadily. Casein also makes you feel less full, which makes it a great snack for those who want to pack on muscle mass. And new research finds that casein gives whey a run for its money. When casein is taken post-workout, it boosts muscle protein synthesis much like whey does. It's even suggested that a whey and casein protein shake taken after training increases muscle growth better than either protein taken alone.
How to maximize its effects: Choose a casein protein that contains micellar casein (the slowest-digesting casein you can buy) and take 20-40 grams right before going to bed. After workouts, add 10-20 grams of casein to your whey protein. Also, use 20-40 grams of casein in your protein shakes between meals.

Priority #3: Creatine

Why it made the list: Creatine is made from three amino acids: arginine, glycine and methionine. Anecdotal reports and scientific studies alike find that guys who take creatine gain a good 10 pounds or more of bodyweight and increase strength dramatically. Creatine works in a number of ways. For one, it increases the amount of fast energy in your muscles needed to perform reps in the gym. The more of this fast energy that's available, the more reps you can do with a given weight, allowing you to get bigger and stronger in the long run. Creatine also draws more water into your muscle cells, placing a stretch on the cell that increases long-term growth. Most recently, creatine has been found to increase levels of insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in muscles, which is critical for stimulating growth.
How to maximize its effects: Take 2-5 grams of creatine in the form of creatine monohydrate, creatine malate, creatine ethyl ester or creatine alpha-ketoglutarate with your protein shake immediately before workouts. This will help keep your muscles saturated with creatine, producing the rapid energy they need to perform more reps. Then consume another 2-5 grams with your postworkout shake (in addition to 40-100 grams of fast-digesting carbs), a time when creatine will be rapidly taken up by muscle cells and the boost in IGF-1 levels will help prompt further growth. On days when you don't train, take 2-5 grams of creatine with a breakfast that contains carbohydrates.

Priority #4: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

Why they made the list: The term branched-chain amino acids refers to leucine, isoleucine and valine, the absolute most important amino acids for repairing and building muscle tissue. Leucine is the most critical of the three, as research shows that it can stimulate muscle protein synthesis on its own. Yet it's still best to take all three together, since they work in synergy to provide a multitude of benefits, including muscle growth, increased energy during workouts, the blunting of cortisol (a catabolic hormone that inhibits testosterone and increases muscle breakdown), and decreased delayed-onset muscle soreness. 
How to maximize their effects: Take 5-10 grams of BCAAs with breakfast, as well as in your pre- and post-workout shakes. Look for BCAA products that provide leucine at a ratio of 2:1 per dose of isoleucine and valine. For example, if you take a 5-gram dose of BCAAs, about 2.5 grams should be from leucine, 1.25 grams from isoleucine and 1.25 grams from valine.

Priority #5: Beta-Alanine/carnosine

Why they made the list: In the body, the amino acid beta-alanine is combined with another amino, histidine, to form carnosine. Research shows that when muscles have higher levels of carnosine, they have more strength and endurance. Carnosine appears to increase the muscle fibers' ability to contract with more force, and to do so longer without fatiguing. Several studies reported increases in muscle strength and power in athletes who took beta-alanine. One recent study found that subjects who took beta-alanine along with creatine gained more muscle mass and lost more bodyfat than subjects who took only creatine.
How to maximize their effects: Take 1-2 grams of beta-alanine or carnosine immediately before and after every workout in addition to your shakes and creatine. On nonworkout days, take 2 grams with breakfast, along with creatine.

Priority #6: Nitric oxide boosters

Why they made the list: Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule, found throughout the body, that's involved in multiple processes. Bodybuilders are most interested in NO's ability to dilate blood vessels, which allows more blood flow to the muscles for enhanced delivery of oxygen, nutrients, anabolic hormones and water (blood is mostly water, after all). This gives you more energy during your workout, an enhanced muscle pump, and better muscle recovery and growth after the workout. NO boosters don't provide NO directly, but rather deliver it in the form of the amino acid arginine, which is readily converted to NO in the body. Research has found that subjects who were given arginine increased muscle strength and growth and lost bodyfat.
How to maximize their effects: Take an NO booster that provides 3-5 grams of arginine in the form of L-arginine, arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, arginine ethyl ester or arginine malate. Also, consider NO boosters that provide ingredients such as citrulline, pycnog-enol and American ginseng, which enhance arginine's ability to increase NO. Take one dose at each of the following times: in the morning before breakfast, 30-60 minutes before training, immediately after training and 30-60 minutes before bedtime. When possible, take each dose without food and consider combining it with 500-1,000 mg of vitamin C, which can help maintain levels of NO for longer.

Priority #7: Glutamine

Why it made the list: This amino acid has been a favorite of bodybuilders for decades because it's central to muscle function and is one of the most plentiful aminos found in the human body. Glutamine provides numerous bodybuilding benefits, such as aiding muscle growth by increasing levels of leucine in muscle fibers, helping decrease muscle breakdown and bolstering the immune system, which helps prevent you from getting sick and missing workouts. Glutamine taken before workouts can help decrease muscle fatigue and boost growth hormone levels. In addition, recent research shows that glutamine might also play a role in fat loss by increasing the amount of calories and fat burned at rest and during exercise.
How to maximize its effects: Take 5-10 grams of glutamine in the morning with breakfast, with your pre- and post-workout shakes, and with your nighttime snack.

Priority #8: ZMA

Why it made the list: ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. It's an important supplement because hard-training athletes such as bodybuilders are often deficient in these critical minerals, which are important for maintaining hormone levels and aiding sleep (essential for recovery). Intense training can compromise levels of testosterone and IGF-1. In fact, one study found that athletes who took ZMA significantly increased their levels of testosterone and IGF-1 during eight weeks of training, while those who took a placebo experienced a drop in both T and IGF-1. Naturally, boosting testosterone and IGF-1 can make huge impacts on muscle gains.
How to maximize its effects: Use a ZMA product that provides about 30 mg of zinc, 450 mg of magnesium and 10.5 mg of vitamin B6, and take it 30-60 minutes before bedtime without any food or calcium. Taking ZMA on an empty stomach will enhance its uptake and utilization and improve your sleep quality for optimal recovery.

Priority #9: Carnitine

Why it made the list: Besides being a popular fat-loss supplement, carnitine is now known to enhance muscle growth through a number of mechanisms, all of which are supported by clinical research. For one, carnitine can increase blood flow to muscles, which means it provides similar benefits to NO boosters. It also increases testosterone levels postworkout and the amount of T receptors inside muscle cells, which allows more testosterone to stimulate more growth. In addition, carnitine supplements have been found to increase levels of IGF-1. Add all these benefits together and you have the potential to gain enormous amounts of muscle.
How to maximize its effects: Take 1-3 grams of carnitine in the form of L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine or L-carnitine-L-tartrate with breakfast, your pre- and postworkout shakes, and nighttime meals.

Priority #10: Beta-ecdysterone

Why it made the list: Beta-ecdysterone is a phytochemical found in plants such as spinach, where its main function is to protect the plant from insects. Russian scientists discovered many years ago that beta-ecdysterone has anabolic properties. In fact, it's similar in structure to hormones found in insects and crustaceans. Yet beta-ecdysterone doesn't behave like a hormone in the body, but rather works by stimulating protein synthesis and therefore muscle growth. Anecdotal reports suggest that it's very effective for producing increases in both muscle size and strength.
How to maximize its effects: To get the most out of beta-ecdysterone, make sure you get a high enough dose and take it frequently throughout the day. Look for products that supply about 100 mg of beta-ecdysterone and take it with meals in the morning, before and after workouts, as well as with lunch and dinner, for a total of 400-500 mg per day.

Priority #11: High molecular-weight carbs

Why they made the list: Molecular weight is a term that refers to the mass of one molecule of a substance. Therefore, high molecular-weight carbs (HMCs) are essentially made up of very large, heavy molecules. HMCs such as the patented Vitargo brand are typically made from waxy maize (corn) starch. What makes these carbs so special is their ability to rapidly pass through the stomach to the intestines where they can be absorbed and enter the blood. Research shows that HMCs pass through the stomach at a rate almost 100% faster than sports drinks. This is important after exercise because consuming carbs at this time blunts cortisol levels, prevents muscle breakdown and raises insulin levels to help promote muscle growth and replenish muscle glycogen levels.
How to maximize their effects: Taking 60-100 grams of HMCs mixed in your postworkout shake will help push muscle recovery and growth, and the insulin spike it causes will drive more amino acids, creatine and carnitine into your muscle cells. In other words, HMCs will not only boost muscle growth themselves but they will help your other mass supplements work even better.
courtesy of Men's Fitness

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Protein Rules-Tips to get the most out of every scoop of protein powder




BEFORE YOU PURCHASE YOUR NEXT TUB OF PROTEIN, USE THESE TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF EVERY SCOOP
Consuming protein and protein shakes is something you might be doing on autopilot. Bad idea. With the rise of “protein spiking”—when companies cheap out on ingredients and use additives as work-arounds to skew the nitrogen count—it’s crucial to stick with brands that are transparent. Those companies are always trying to satisfy customers because word of mouth among gym-goers is still the most important advertising vehicle around. So when you’re down to your last scoop of protein, keep these tips in mind before you make your next purchase.

CHECK THE INGREDIENTS
If the first ingredient isn’t a form of protein, someone is duping you. Rule 1’s are whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate. There’s no gluten, fillers, or banned substances. But it does contain the BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine—aminos that can help induce protein synthesis and muscle growth.
CONSUME PROTEIN PRE- AND POST-WORKOUT
A study published in the European Association for the Study of Diabetes found that consuming whey before breakfast helped lessen blood sugar spikes, which is good for managing hunger cravings.
EXPERIMENT
In the kitchen, that is. We all need a break from protein shakes, so consider mixing a scoop of Rule 1 with your oatmeal or adding some to whole-wheat pancake batter. For on-the-go snacks, make protein bars or overnight oats. Many recipes are easy and do not involve using an oven or wearing a “Kiss the Cook” apron. – FLEX

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The effects of whey protein with or without carbohydrates on resistance training adaptations

Image result for whey protein
Nutrition intake in the context of a resistance training (RT) bout may affect body composition and muscle strength. However, the individual and combined effects of whey protein and carbohydrates on long-term resistance training adaptations are poorly understood.

METHODS:

A four-week preparatory RT period was conducted in previously untrained males to standardize the training background of the subjects. Thereafter, the subjects were randomized into three groups: 30 g of whey proteins (n = 22), isocaloric carbohydrates (maltodextrin, n = 21), or protein + carbohydrates (n = 25). Within these groups, the subjects were further randomized into two whole-body 12-week RT regimens aiming either for muscle hypertrophy and maximal strength or muscle strength, hypertrophy and power. The post-exercise drink was always ingested immediately after the exercise bout, 2-3 times per week depending on the training period. Body composition (by DXA), quadriceps femoris muscle cross-sectional area (by panoramic ultrasound), maximal strength (by dynamic and isometric leg press) and serum lipids as basic markers of cardiovascular health, were analysed before and after the intervention.

RESULTS:

Twelve-week RT led to increased fat-free mass, muscle size and strength independent of post-exercise nutrient intake (P < 0.05). However, the whey protein group reduced more total and abdominal area fat when compared to the carbohydrate group independent of the type of RT (P < 0.05). Thus, a larger relative increase (per kg bodyweight) in fat-free mass was observed in the protein vs. carbohydrate group (P < 0.05) without significant differences to the combined group. No systematic effects of the interventions were found for serum lipids. The RT type did not have an effect on the adaptations in response to different supplementation paradigms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Post-exercise supplementation with whey proteins when compared to carbohydrates or combination of proteins and carbohydrates did not have a major effect on muscle size or strength when ingested two to three times a week. However, whey proteins may increase abdominal fat loss and relative fat-free mass adaptations in response to resistance training when compared to fast-acting carbohydrates.

KEYWORDS:

Hypertrophy; Nutrition; Resistance training; Skeletal muscle; Supplement

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Cable Guide-Ronnie Coleman's opinion on using cables for building mass



 QUESTION 
You’re known for using the same basic heavy free-weight exercises as when you began bodybuilding, yet I’ve read that you sometimes include cables in your biceps workouts. Why bother?

 ANSWER 
I only use exercises that build mass. That should tell you that I include cables in my biceps workouts because they are mass builders — at least the way I do them. Not only that, but they add unique dimensions of width, roundness, fullness and peak.
The misconception that cable exercises are only for detail and refinement is a result of the fact that cable movements, which are more isolated than free weights and machines, aren’t as exhausting as compound movements. 

You’re not using your entire body for stabilization and leverage, as you do when struggling to curl an iron bar laden with weight plates. Instead, your body remains still as you squeeze only your biceps all the way up to a full contraction at the top, then smoothly extend them all the way to arm’s length at the bottom.

Throughout a set of cable curls, your biceps muscles are under your total control. You feel every twitch of every fiber, you feel the blood being squeezed into both heads, and you feel the pump build and your biceps progressively numbing as they fatigue. Suddenly, they’re on fire, cramping as never before. They’re pumped drum tight. Your biceps are fried, but the rest of your body is fresh. Best of all, your biceps will experience a growth spurt in roundness, hardness, width and peak, along with increased definition.

Since a direct relationship exists between strength and muscle growth, I have always trained to increase my strength, and that objective does not change when I use cables. I stack on enough weight to keep my repetitions in the 10-to-15 range, the same as for my compound free-weight training. With cables, though, I have the additional advantages of a more controlled peak contraction, constant resistance throughout the set, harder negatives, and giant sets and supersets.

courtesy of Flex Magazine

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Body builders aren't necessarily the strongest athletes

Image result for bodybuilder training



An increase in  a bodybuilder's muscle size with exercise may not be directly related to an increase in muscle strength, according to a recent analysis of the literature.
Investigators who examined available evidence have concluded that size muscle and strength in bodybuilders may actually be separate phenomena, which challenges many assumptions upon which exercise programs have been based. The researchers noted that there is a weak correlation between change in muscle size and change in muscle strength following training. Also, there is a loss of muscle mass with detraining, yet often a maintenance of muscle strength. Furthermore, similar muscle growth can occur with low load or high load resistance training, yet there are divergent results in strength.
"As the story goes with exercise-induced changes in strength, neural adaptations are contributing first with muscle growth playing a more prominent role in the latter portion of a training program: however, there is little direct evidence that this is actually true in an adult partaking in a resistance training program," said Dr. Jeremy Loenneke, senior author of the Muscle & Nerve article. "Our paper highlights many potential issues with how we think about changes in strength following exercise."

Story Source:
Materials provided by WileyNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Is Glutamine An Effective Bodybuilding Supplement?



How Important is Glutamine in Bodybuilding?

Glutamine is an important, non-essential amino acid that is found in high concentrations in your blood plasma. "Non-essential," in this context, means that you need it, but you don't need to eat it because your body can synthesize it. You can synthesize glutamine in your muscle tissue. It can affect amino acid metabolism and nitrogen balance in your muscles. Glutamine is important in a number of metabolic processes related to muscle recovery and exercise, so it has been used as a nutritional supplement for bodybuilders and athletes looking to gain muscle size and strength. Glutamine supplementation has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration; therefore, you should consult your physician prior to use.


Glutamine and Hormones

Glutamine is involved in the production and regulation of human-growth hormone, or HGH. In his book "Nutrition for Health, Fitness, and Sport," nutritionist Melvin H. Williams writes that glutamine has been shown to increase HGH levels and stimulate protein synthesis, or the formation of new proteins, by increasing muscle-cell volume in bodybuilders. Glutamine acts as a precursor to growth-hormone-releasing hormone, or GHRH, which is produced by your hypothalamus gland and stimulates your anterior pituitary gland in your brain to release growth hormone. This hormone, in turn, increases the rate of muscle growth.

Energy Production

Glutamine is considered gluconeogenic and has the ability to create muscle glycogen from blood glucose, which influences energy production during exercise. Increasing the availability of glucose to your skeletal muscles during exercise may increase exercise performance, intensity, and recovery, particularly during repeated bouts of intense resistance training, such as the methods used by many bodybuilders. Glutamine also aids in the removal of amino acids, pyruvate, and other byproducts of energy metabolism in your muscles, thereby enhancing your recovery in between sets of resistance training exercises.

Over-training

Over-training syndrome is a condition that results from exercising more intensely and frequently than your body is capable of handling and is associated with symptoms of excessive training, such as fatigue, insomnia, decreased muscle strength, and increased heart rate. Bodybuilders, due to their intense weightlifting programs, may be more susceptible to over-training than other athletes. Glutamine supplementation may reduce the effects of over-training syndrome by increasing the rate of muscle recovery following exercise due to an increase in the rate of protein synthesis in your muscles.

Other Considerations

Supplemental glutamine is considered to have a low toxicity, and is generally well tolerated. The 2001 "Sport Supplement Encyclopedia" states that glutamine supplementation may result in gastrointestinal distress, including nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach. Less common effects of glutamine supplementation include an increase in depression, anxiety, and nervousness, based on glutamine's stimulatory effect on certain brain chemicals and hormones, although more research needs to be conducted in this area. Bodybuilders taking other growth-hormone stimulators may observe an increase in the severity of the possible side effects of glutamine.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What Are The Top 5 Supplements For Faster Muscle Gains?

Bodybuilders -Are you trying to build muscle, but not seeing results? Read on for the top 5 muscle-building supplements for faster gains!
Take a stroll through the store section on Bodybuilding.com and you will see tons of supplements geared toward building lean muscle and restoring the body after a strenuous workout. For the most part, these supplements work well for people, but not all supplements work for all people. Due to the unique nature of our bodies, some athletes will respond differently to some supplements. Despite those differences, there are a number of supplements that show the greatest benefit and the most return across the board. Here are the five I feel work best with muscle growth.

1CREATINE

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance within our muscle cells, primarily around the skeletal muscle tissue where approximately 95 percent of the body's creatine supply can be found. The remainder is stored throughout the rest of the body.
This naturally occurring metabolite has been reproduced as creatine monohydrate for dietary supplement purposes. It's used for cellular energy production and modulation.
The perks of creatine supplementation:
  • The promotion of lean body mass
  • Increased muscle cell volume
  • Faster post-workout recovery
  • Increased glycogen storage
  • Increase high-intensity muscle performance
Athletes typically prefer creatine when weight training and bodybuilding because of the rapid pace at which muscle mass is built. Likewise, for many it's easy to stop taking creatine because it's naturally produced by the body. When an athlete stops taking this supplement, the creatine levels in the body return to normal within 3-4 weeks.
Recommended Dosing: 5-10 grams. Take half of your daily serving with your pre-workout meal and the second half of your daily serving with your post-workout shake.

2BETA-ALANINE

This is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid that comes into the body through foods that are rich in protein such as poultry. The performance enhancement in beta-alanine (BA) is due to its ability to increase intra-muscular levels of carnosine. This increase in beta-alanine through supplementation suggests carnosine levels are raised by over 60% in as quickly as four weeks.
This is significant because during high-intensity exercise our bodies accumulate a large amount of hydrogen which causes our pH to drop (whereby we become more acidic). This acidification (lactic acid) can cause severe fatigue, decrease muscle performance, and shut down the neural drive which can force muscle failure. By maintaining increased levels of carnosine through BA supplementation a bodybuilder is able to delay the accumulation of hydrogen and the resulting acidity which can, subsequently, delay muscle fatigue and failure.
During high-intensity exercise our bodies accumulate a large amount of hydrogen which causes our ph to drop.
"DURING HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISE OUR BODIES ACCUMULATE A LARGE AMOUNT OF HYDROGEN WHICH CAUSES OUR PH TO DROP."
Additional benefits of beta-alanine supplementation:
  • Elevated endurance
  • Improved force output
  • Delayed fatigue
  • Improved repeated sprint ability
  • Works synergistically with creatine
Recommended Dosing: 2-6 grams per day, taken in smaller doses throughout the day to reduce the skin-tingling sensation.

3WHEY PROTEIN

It's been systematically surmised that body builders and trainers can improve performance and gain muscle mass when consuming whey protein shakes or supplements. Whey protein supplies the body with a high amount of protein that helps to jump-start the muscle-growing process.
Whey protein supplies the body with a high amount of protein that helps to jump-start the muscle-growing process.
"WHEY PROTEIN SUPPLIES THE BODY WITH A HIGH AMOUNT OF PROTEIN THAT HELPS TO JUMP-START THE MUSCLE-GROWING PROCESS."
Whey is typically consumed before and after a workout to increase protein synthesis and to improve muscle recovery and restoration. Whether you are trying to add lean mass or drop body fat, adding a whey protein supplement to an exercise routine can speed the gain and loss process. Here are some key benefits to whey-protein supplementation for bodybuilders.
EASILY DIGESTED
Weight trainers and athletes on the go can save time by consuming a whey protein shake right after their workouts to gain the benefit of the nutrients that are rapidly absorbed. Whey is a fast-digesting milk protein that acts almost immediately to help deliver amino acids to the skeletal muscle.
LACTOSE INTOLERANT
Anyone who is lactose intolerant knows the cramping and discomfort of trying to take everyday dairy shakes. Rather than suffering through GI distress, consider supplementing with a whey protein isolate, which contains a higher percentage of pure protein and can be virtually lactose-free.
NATURAL APPETITE SUPPRESSANT
Eating a high-protein diet can stave off hunger, making it easier to consume a low-calorie diet without suffering from severe hunger. Whey protein supplements and shakes can be used as a meal replacement or as a snack between meals. Just make sure to look for ones that aren't packed full of carbohydrates and fats.
AMINO ACIDS
Our bodies need a substantial amount of quality protein and amino acids in order to function. Whey protein supplements contain very high concentrations of the essential amino acids that provide assistance in protein synthesis.
IMPROVED METABOLISM
Consuming a large amount of protein is fuel for the furnace. When consumed throughout the day, it serves as a great source of energy to keep the fire lit for metabolism. With improved metabolism you get a higher calorie burn throughout the day.
Recommended Dosing: Consume 20-30 grams of whey protein at a time. It's best used pre- and post-workout, but is also a convenient way to get in the necessary amount of protein when whole food is not an option. Never rely on shakes; while having a whey protein shake is ideal post-workout, at all other times in the day do your best to get in whole food sources.

4BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACID (BCAA)

Another common supplement that weight trainers and bodybuilders turn to are branched-chained amino acids (BCAAs) to improve workout results. Of the 20 amino acids in the body, three are referred to as BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are the key amino acids that stimulate protein synthesis and help regulate protein metabolism.
The body uses BCAAs to help muscles recover. Like a whey protein supplement, BCAAs drive nutrients to the muscle tissue, allowing for improved workout recovery. In the muscle, BCAAs serve as an energy source during exercise, so taking a supplement can help restore the same nutrients lost during intense exercise. This supplement also reduces pain from muscle fatigue and improves metabolic recovery.
There is also some measure of proof that BCAAs can help improve endurance by keeping muscles fueled—something that is of interest to long-distance workouts such as backpacking or long-distance running (marathons), distance swimming, or any other prolonged workout.
The body will burn off BCCAs as you work out, so taking a supplement can help restore the same nutrients lost during intense exercise.
"THE BODY WILL BURN OFF BCCAS AS YOU WORK OUT, SO TAKING A SUPPLEMENT CAN HELP RESTORE THE SAME NUTRIENTS LOST DURING INTENSE EXERCISE."
Recommended Dosing: 3-5 grams upon waking and 3-5 grams pre- and post-workout.

5GLUTAMINE

Glutamine is touted for its ability to slow muscle-tissue breakdown during intensive exercise which may improve strength thresholds and elevated endurance. Those weight training will find that they can lift heavier weights for longer periods and train more often. Pushing the limits of the muscles inspires the body to produce greater lean muscle to compensate.
Glutamine also has a number of other benefits associated with taking it in supplement form:
  • Preservation of muscle tissue allows your body to burn additional fat; the more lean mass your body has, the more effective your metabolism is. When training to lose weight, the body will also shed muscle mass, so it's important to slow this muscle loss.
  • Glutamine has shown positive results with the improvement of the immune system in many who take this supplement. When you're under intense training, it places stress not only on the muscles but on your entire immune system. Glutamine restores the health of the muscle tissue, and it feeds into the immune system as well, ensuring rapid recovery for the body as a whole.
  • Glutamine has been cited for its ability to enhance plasma growth hormone levels in the body. This is a major draw for those who want to focus on building muscle, as one study has suggested that just 2 grams of glutamine supplementation can increase growth hormone.
Recommended Dosing: 5 grams upon waking, 5 grams post-workout, and 5 grams before bed.

CONCLUSION

Of course results can always be achieved without supplements, but the process is always going to be slower. My advice to you is get your diet in line first and foremost. You will be very surprised by how much better your body will respond to weight training when your diet is in line. Then if you decide to take the supplements I have recommended, you should see better results.
The results you gain from supplementation are going to vary, specifically because each person will have a different workout utilizing different levels of intensity and length. If your diet is in line and you are working out with the utmost intensity, these supplements may help you get to the next level.

Alex Stewart
Alex has a passion for bodybuilding and this has led him to a life in the fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer & nutritionist.