Archive | November, 2016

A Guide to Good Health – What Is Nutrition?

Everyone wants good health. However, not everyone shares a common definition of what good health is, though a common starting point for any definition would have to include the term “nutrition”. Proper nutrition is required to keep a human body functioning, but just what is nutrition? Simply put, nutrition is everything we consume that contributes to our health. Nutrition is all the vitamins, minerals and foods that supply the basic needs for life.

In other words, good nutrition is the key to preventing a plethora of health problems. Diet, the food we consume, can either serve to prevent disease or encourage negative health issues. Physical issues from chronic fatigue to skin and hair problems are often related to nutritional issues. A well balanced diet ensures that nutrients are properly distributed to all areas of the body. Conversely, an imbalance contributes to everything from that feeling of being too tired to get up in the morning to male impotence. The secret is to find a balance that works for maintaining a quality of life that only comes from good health.

The human body requires many elements to function properly – to have proper nutrition. At the top of the list is water, followed by carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Each of the elements has a function in keeping the human body healthy, and an excess or shortage of any one element can produce negative health outcomes. While there are arguments about which of them is most important, the simple fact is that we need to concentrate on finding a balance that meets the needs of the human body.

Diet is the primary element in maintaining a healthy nutritional balance. While some nutrients can be obtained from consuming nutritional supplements, the foods available should serve to meet the body’s normal requirements. By being cognizant of our nutritional needs, foods can be selected that meet those needs. Unfortunately, this skill does not always come naturally. Each consumer must take the time to become aware of how the human body functions and what foods allow those functions to properly occur.

Only by properly meeting nutritional needs can humans maintain health and guard against illness. And only by recognizing that the human body is essentially an engine that needs specific fuels can humans enjoy good health. Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the fuels that keep human bodies running smoothly. By educating ourselves on which foods provide those nutrients our collective health can be improved, with a corresponding improvement in our quality of life.

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A Mr Universe Workout

Here is a workout from 1959 Mr. Universe champion, Bruce Randall.

Randall liked to work mostly upper body with squats or deadlift being his only lower body exercise. He would change his routines frequently and went through different stages as a powerlifter, Olympic lifter and bodybuilder.

As a matter of fact, Randall went from 415 pounds (as a powerlifter and Olympic lifter) all the way down to 223 pounds as a bodybuilder!

Bruce finished second in the 1958 Mr. Universe and was bound and determined to come back stronger the next year. Of course he did and the rest is history.

Some of Randall’s best lifts were 770 pounds in the deadlift, 680 in the squat, 375 in the overhead press and 482 in the bench press.

Below is a typical workout that Randall followed on his way to the 1959 Mr. Universe crown.

Mr. Universe Workout

Overhead Press 3 x 4-6

Bench Press 3 x 4-6

Incline Bench Press 3 x 4-6

Curls 3 x 4-6

Chins 3 x 4-6

Leg Raises 1 x 20-50

Squats or Deadlifts 3 x 6-8

Notes: Randall trained 3-4 days per week and would alternate squats and deadlifts. He eat three meals a day with one or two homemade protein drinks. As always, train hard and with maximum effort. If 3-4 days is too much, lower it to 2 days. Train hard and heavy.

Understand that to be successful in any weight training program – hard work is a must! Half-hearted effort does nothing for you. If you’re new to weight training or grossly out of shape, consult a physician first. End of disclaimer.

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5 Valuable Tips About How To Build More Muscle

How do you build more muscle? The best time to build more muscles is actually during winter. As the winter season approaches, you can shift your muscle building regime. If you have been focusing on fat loss, it’s time to move on to muscle building. You’ll be wearing layers of clothing during winter, anyway, so there is no need to concern yourself about how you look in a shirt or a bikini. If you have a smaller physique, the winter time apparel can cover you up. How will your muscle building program work?

Give yourself 4 to 6 months to build quality mass of muscles and add 2 to 3 months more to lose the fat that you’ve gained along the way. When the next summer season comes, you’ll have a buff and lean body to show off. Here is a short list of valuable tips to build more muscle.

  1. Choose an appropriate plan and adhere to it. Most people make the mistake of halting their exercise plan after realizing that it doesn’t produce any results in 1 or 2 weeks. You actually need to monitor your progress and understand that your muscle building program wouldn’t normally show any effects until the 4th to 6th week of working out. Jumping ship at the initial stages of your program results to a waste of time and effort because you need to readjust your exercises again. You’ll get too far to the mass developing stage of building your muscles.
  2. Mix dry oats to your muscle building shake. Good if you’re doing well on your calorie intake, otherwise you’ll have to look for more means to gain weight and bump up. One easy way to make your muscle building shake more effective for weight gain is to mix ¼ cup of raw oats to your shake. The consistency of the shake will be altered, but you can grind the oats so that you’ll hardly notice them on your beverage. It will give a thicker taste to your shake. Instead of fruits, oats contain carbs that works better to restore glycogen in your muscles which is very important in building muscle mass.
  3. Take time for rest for muscle recovery. Stay out of the gym for an ample time. Don’t spend all of your time in the gym because doing so will break down your muscle tissues. The culprit for this is too much weight lifting. Take some time out of the gym to allow your muscles to repair. When your muscles have recovered, they build back as stronger muscles. Continually pounding your muscles while weight lifting without allowing time for recuperation will make you grow weaker.
  4. Relieve and manage your stress. You may be so focused on what you’re doing at the gym and the kitchen that you’re constantly 100% on. Be wary that you could be such a perfectionist that it causes you high levels of stress. Consider that stress can work against your muscle building program. Being under too much stress causes the release of certain hormones that can break down your muscle.
  5. Ask for the guidance of a coach or mentor, but be aware of the workings of your own body. If you’re really serious about building your muscles, you can look for a coach or mentor. A coach or a mentor is well-knowledgeable about your endeavor, plus they boost your motivation, too. But while you have a mentor with a physique that you covet. Understand that you can work to have the same muscled body, but remember that you have a different metabolic rate and recovery mechanism. Your nutritional needs and habits are different from your mentor’s. Heed the coaching of your mentor and use their techniques as a guide, but you have to adjust your program according to your own individual needs and the responses of your body.

Good luck on your muscle building endeavor. These 5 valuable tips on how to build more muscle can help you achieve your physique and fitness goals.

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Paleo Diet: What Is It?

Ever since this diet was launched, the question “what is the paleo diet” never ceased to be asked. So if someone asked you “what is the paleo diet?” – the answer would be: paleo diet is short for Paleolithic diet which is also known as the caveman diet. A short introduction to the paleo diet is simply that it is a diet that is based on animal nutrition established during the time of the cavemen. It is a diet so appropriate in a biological sense that it is quite astounding.

The paleolithic diet is not merely a diet; it is a lifestyle that gives emphasis to how our cavemen of ancestors lived and ate. In the past, our ancestors ate foods that were easy to hunt or the foods they could find easily in their location. So, the next question would be: what exactly is paleo diet of today?

If you are not getting a clearer, total understanding of this so-called scavenger diet, then this article is perfect for you to read. Basically, it is about eating what you want – any food that you want – with the only restriction that it has to be in the Paleo food list. And what are the foods belonging in this paleo food list any way?

Meat, fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables belong in the paleo foods list, but those that do not belong are legumes, dairy, dairy products and grains. Salt and sugar are also not in this scavenger diet because our ancestors didn’t have the luxury of having seasonings then in their foods. Basically, they just ate whatever animal they could kill and partnered it with leafy greens.

The only liquids that are accepted in the paleolithic diet are water or coconut water. And in this diet, you are only required to drink water when you are thirsty the same way that you can only eat when you are hungry. Organic green tea is also acceptable since it is less processed and there’s less sugar in it. You are not required to eat at a set time because that’s not how our cavemen brothers lived in the past. They didn’t live to eat at all – they ate to live.

The next question to be asked is: who are the followers of this diet?

Those people who are allergic to dairy and athletes are among the many who are avid paleo dieters. And yes, those people who want to avoid “foreign proteins” at all cost. Those who are also trying to avoid cardiovascular diseases, asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes are following the diet.

There are so many books and internet sites that are talking more and more about the paleo diet. When you have the chance to read up, definitely do, do not stop yourself from learning about the many wonderful benefits this diet can bring to you and your life.

The Paleo diet can improve your body and health in a big way — love the men and women who once walked on this earth, follow their diet!

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Male Models Workout: Modeling Tips

Male models need not be bulky and buffed up, but most times require a lean and toned physique. This requires a specific set of exercises that target such muscles and sculpts the body the way a Model should have.

What is your goal?

What is your current body physique like, and what is your goal? If your body has too much fat your first priority must be to reduce the fat and build muscle before you work out on toning. If your weight is optimal, then you should be aiming for a muscular and toned body to be among the top male models. Use the macro calculator to find out how much calories you should be consuming, and whether your weight is ideal and healthy for your height category using the BMI calculator.

What weights should you lift?

Crush your ego, and lift the weights that are comfortable for you. Ideally, it should be a weight you can do up to 8 reps comfortably on your fist set. If a lean body is what you are aiming for, on that weight minus 2 reps (So if you do 8reps, do 6reps now) and but do more sets (for example you usually do 3 sets, now do 5 sets) This is because you don’t your aim is not to overstrain your muscle, but rather to gain definition slowly.

However, if you looking to lose weight and gain muscle, choose heavier weights but do lesser reps. For example, if you are comfortable with 8kg add 2kg and do10kg now, but with lesser reps (ideally stick to 3 sets). This will activate the muscle faster and you will have a more efficient work out.

Lift it right or go home.

In the same vein, you may be tempted to lift weights that are heavier than you can handle as you want to improve and see results faster. But that plan may actually backfire quite badly. This is because instead of lifting it properly you may be using the wrong muscle (usually the back) for support, or using your momentum and not isolating the right target muscle. Hence leave your ego out of the gym and put your priority into doing your exercises well before you start adding weights.

Focus more on weight training.

When people need to lose fat they immediately head for the treadmill or start running endlessly but it may not give them the modelesque body they desire. Getting thinner doesn’t mean getting the right model physique. It may also be inefficient to spend so many hours running for little consequential effect.

Did you know? Your body burns most of its energy while resting also known as our basal metabolic rate. Around 60% to 80% of energy is used while you resting mainly by your internal organs. Out of which around 22% is used by muscles (that’s just when you are resting). So the logic becomes simple, the more the muscle you have the more calories you burn while resting. So imagine you and your friend go and sit down to watch a movie, if you have twice the muscle, you would have burned twice more calories than him, and you have done nothing! Do high-intensity weight lifting exercises that will aid you in losing fat and gaining muscles at the same time for faster results.

Eat healthy

“You work hard on that machine for an hour, and that work can be erased with five minutes of eating afterward.” -Kevin hall, mathematician and obesity researcher, source: VOX

No workout is complete without a proper diet and eating. After a workout we always get hungrier, this when we need to mind our calories and eat only the ideal amount. There should be some daily intake of carbohydrates, but the diet should focus on more on protein from meat, soy, nuts or other rich sources, and vitamins derived from vegetables and fruits. Snacks are often overlooked and we tend to eat anything unhealthy because we feel it’s a small quantity that is insignificant, but it can have a tremendous impact on our overall health.

Conclusion

It’s necessary not to overlook the basic matters of health such as enough sleep (7 to 9 hours) and drinking sufficient levels of water (minimum 8 glasses), eating clean and living a balanced and stress managed life.

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Choosing a Muscle Building Diet

It is very important that you pay attention to your diet if you really want to build muscles. Weight training and exercise is not all you need for muscle building. If you are not on the correct diet, you won’t making much progress on your journey at all. It is essential that you know what you should eat and how you should eat it.

In our younger years, our parents told us that growing children need to eat the right food in the right proportions to grow up to be strong. This principle applies even in adulthood. Building muscles is growing muscle so, don’t waste your time, eat to build muscle. There is nothing worse than fat when it comes to muscle building…at least too much fat. We do need some fat in our diets no matter what your goal is.

Choosing A Muscle Building Diet

There are several different kinds of diet plans designed for building muscles. These include low carb, anabolic and protein diets. Most people who wish to build muscles choose to follow the protein diet and maintain that diet religiously to get the desired results. The protein diet is popular because if you wish to build your body, then protein is essential to gain the muscles mass you need. There are several ways you can get your protein. Protein shakes, meat product and so on.

The anabolic diet is the one of the various kinds of diets you could follow. It takes a lot of careful planning and discipline to follow this diet, so it is not very popular. You eat just protein in this kind of diet and nothing else. You have to keep the proportion of carbs you eat to the minimum during the week, and you have to eat as many carbs as you can during the weekend, when carbs are allowed. This diet takes quite a bit of discipline and is somewhat difficult to follow.

One of the other diet plans for muscle building includes the low carb diet. On this diet there are also limits on the amount of carbs you can eat. The low carb diet, like the anabolic diet, is not the favorite diet for body builders. This method tends to increase weakness and fatigue in the muscle builder, and is difficult to stick to. The human body loves carbs and converts them into fuel which the body uses to function. The low carb diet forces the body to use fat instead of carbs for fuel. If you are not careful with this diet, you could also end up losing whatever muscles you have built.

So what am I saying? You have to do your homework! It is really best to get with a professional on this subject, because the diet you choose will depend heavily on the goal you have set. Don’t even start without doing some research, you will only find disappointment. The last thing you want is to work hard in the gym and cover all of your hard earned muscle building by eating too much fat.

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Surviving the Holidays With Less Nutrition Damage

So. Happy Holidays, right?

About 69% of people say their stress levels go up during the holidays. Some of the stressors are crowds and long lines, gaining weight, getting into debt, and lack of time. There are others, of course, but these are at the top.

Ironically, the coping strategies people tend to use to deal with stress during the holidays are food and alcohol – which of course can make any weight gain worse.

So let’s look at 6 tips that minimize the holiday damage to your food plan.

Workout Survival

Exercise is very important because it’s a stress-buster. If you can keep your workouts going through the whole holiday season, you’ll feel much better and might not need to stress eat or drink as often.

Try an early morning workout – before anyone in your family is up and around. Fewer demands on you will help you get your workout first thing.

If that doesn’t work for you, try the BTN tactic: Better Than Nothing. BTN workouts are short – perfect for a day that leaves no room for something longer. No matter how busy you are, you can probably find 10, 11, or 12 minutes for a BTN workout.

BUT! To make this useful, it has to be physiologically meaningful. You have to pair the short duration with high intensity intervals. This approach is in keeping with research that shows high intensity interval training to be effective – some say much more effective than longer, slower cardio.

Sample format: Warm-up for 3 minutes — 1 minute easy, 1 minute a little harder, 1 minute a little harder. The rest is all about intervals and recovery. Try 40 seconds very hard, with only 20 seconds of partial recovery. Keep that going for the remaining 7 minutes.

If 40 seconds is too long, try 30 seconds very hard, with 30 seconds of recovery. If exercise is new for you, make your work interval 20 seconds and your recovery 40 seconds.

Remember the old Nike slogan and Just Do It!

Office Survival

Avoid the break room! Every office is set up differently, but the question is this: Where do they keep the holiday goodies? Stay out of that room as much as possible.

Party Survival

Never skip meals in an attempt to avoid calories on a party day. That’s just a binge waiting to happen. Eat as usual to prevent overdoing it when you get to the party and face all the temptations.

Buffet Survival

Eat some food before you go. The best choice would be protein foods (some chicken, turkey, fish or other protein you have on hand).

When you get to the buffet, give yourself a full serving of protein first. That would be 3 to 4 ounces of turkey, ham, whatever the buffet meal includes.

Next, cover at least half your plate with vegetables. Naked veggies are best with sauce on the side, or at least choose the clearer sauces or dressings.

Last, pick a small indulgence that you’d like. Don’t waste calories on foods you can get any old time. Do you really need another dinner roll? Instead, save the calories for one of Aunt Mildred’s fantastic cranberry muffins.

Now step away from the buffet! Don’t eat your meal while looking at all the food you didn’t take. Just concentrate on what you have.

The most helpful order would be to start (and finish) your protein first. It will change your brain chemistry so you actually want less food.

Next, fill up on the vegetables; they’re low in calories. Finally, have that terrific muffin.

Bonus tip: Limit yourself to one indulgence per holiday meal. If you can summon real inner strength, limit yourself to one indulgence per day!

Alcohol Survival

Avoid alcohol whenever possible. It changes brain chemistry in a way that will make you want more food – and junkier food, too.

If you do drink alcohol, alternate 1 alcoholic beverage – wine, beer or mixed drink – with 1 glass of sparkling water (or ordinary cold water). Keep alternating throughout the evening.

Meal Control as Survival

If you’re given any control over the meal, jump at the chance!

“Bring a dish” is a perfect invitation for you to put together a beautiful vegetable platter or salad. If you’re asked to bring a dessert, bring fruit and nuts.

Many guests will appreciate it. It’s simply not true that everyone will grab the highest fat selection or the most decadent dessert if they’re given a choice.

If you have control over the meals at home, consider modifying all recipes all season long. Everyone has a great recipe for mashed potatoes, for example, but you can substitute chicken broth for butter or cream. Cutting butter and sugar in half in other recipes probably will go unnoticed by your family.

And avoid glazing veggies or fruits. That just adds unnecessary sugar.

These are just a few helpful tips to get through holiday parties and dinners with less damage, less weight gain, and less stress. More great tips to help you sail through the holidays in a future article.

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Reg Park’s 1951 Mr. Universe Workout

This is the same workout that Reg Park trained with to win the 1951 Mr. Universe title. He won Mr. Universe again in 1958, becoming the first to win the prestigious event twice. Park, who later went on to replace Steve Reeves as Hercules in the mid sixties, gained 25 pounds of muscle on an already solid frame in 10 months with this program.

Reg trained three days a week on this routine. He ate 3-4 meals per day and had a protein drink that was made up of milk, cream and honey, which he drank six times a day. Proof that you don’t need to buy expensive supplements.

Grab any photo of Reg Park and you’ll see what can be done with hard work and determination. Remember, Park was a pre-steroid bodybuilder, all natural. And to me he looks a lot better and more powerful than the drug induced bodybuilders of today.

The Reg Park Classic 1951 Workout

Squats 5 x 10

Bench Press 5 x 10

Weighted Dips 5 x 12

Barbell Curls 5 x 10

French Presses 5 x 10

Chins 5 x 10

Donkey Raises 5 sets

Abs 5 sets

Notes: There was no rep scheme for his abs and calves, he’d work them until they had enough. Park, like all the old timers, lifted heavy weights and didn’t use many isolation exercises in his routine. If you decide to follow this program and feel wiped out on three days a week, knock it down to two. Park had exceptional genetics and recovery ability that most don’t have.

Understand that to be successful in any weight training program – hard work is a must! Half-hearted effort does nothing for you. If you’re new to weight training or grossly out of shape, consult a physician first and get on a beginners program. End of disclaimer.

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