Monthly Archives: May 2010
Team Monstersupplements.com think L-Carnitine is one of the best supplements you can add to your diet. It bares many qualities which compliment the bodybuilder in and out of the gym. Read on to discover what exactly it can do for you and why you should be taking it.
So what is L-Carnitine? L-Carnitine is an essential Amino Acid which is produced naturally within your body, normally in quantities between 20-25g at any one time. Its job is to transport fatty acids to the mitochondria where they can be converted into energy. This energy is mainly used by large organs such as the heart and skeletal muscle.
You get your L-Carnitine from red meats; however you can always use more. By supplementing on this brilliant Amino Acid you can expect to benefit from the following. L-Carnitine has been shown to aid with fat loss. There is a very simple explanation for this. As it increases your body’s ability to transport more fatty acids to the mitochondria, less of these fats will be stored as body fat. In other words what L-Carnitine does is help turn the fats you consume into energy. It has also proven its ability to increase protein synthesis. This is a side effect anybody looking to add lean muscle mass would wish for, it doesn’t get any better. This will result in your body utilizing your protein intake more efficiently and in turn maximizing results for you. L-Carnitine is also known to improve blood flow. It manages this by preventing the restriction of your blood vessels. Obviously this improves blood flow to the muscles and will increase your ability to train harder due to a larger supply of oxygen in the working muscles. It will also help prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) by allowing more nutrients to reach the muscle fibres which you have just torn to pieces in the gym. As you can see, anybody serious about their bodybuilding will be sure to have this in their system.
It is important that you know when to take this and for what reasons. The best time is straight in the morning with breakfast. By consuming it with your fats at meal time it will help burn more dietary fats. First thing in the morning will also mean it is helping with protein synthesis levels, in other words making you more anabolic which is very important this time of day. The next time should be at lunch time. This will keep you topped up and again when consumed with your dietary fats will benefit body fat burning. Before training is another great time, with increased blood flow and more efficient energy conversions there are only gains to be had.
Finally, right after training is going to be of benefit to you. This is because you need everything you’re taking to reach the muscles.
There you have a brief explanation as to why this Amino Acid which is essential in more than one way should be on order.
Introductions first! My name is Sian Toal, Personal Trainer, Co founder of Two Twenty Training, Fitness Model and new writer and blogger for Monster Supplements! I am fresh from my debut as a Fitness competitor have just competed at Fitness England 2011 on 17th April. I took first place in the Fitness and Bikini model categories and now definitely have the desire to compete in further competitions and develop my career as a Fitness Model. I am now getting ready for the next competition (4 weeks away!) so will blog my training and diet on the road to FAME! Follow me, ask questions and support me all the way!
Fitness England was an amazing day, meeting like-minded competitors, experience displaying your physique for the first time on stage, being judged and feeling the elation of being awarded for all your hours for training, dieting and weeks of preparation. That day meant so much to me. I stood on stage to overcome fears and insecurities, I stood there for my friend, work colleague and fellow bodybuilding competitor who tragically died in a meaningless accident only a few months before. I stood there for all the people who supported me and stood by me. Picked me up off the floor and told me to pull myself together. I wanted to make them proud and thank them for being the people I love. I had the privilege to be inspired that day and I now understand that each person has their own journey, their own battle and reason for being there.
I hope to inspire others and Monster members out there so come join me!!
Find me on facebook!
Getting to the gym several times a week can become problematic for many people who genuinely want to get into shape. Everyday life occurrences prevent them from having the time, and the gym becomes more and more of a distant pastime. However, many bodybuilders train at home with a basic set of equipment, which allows them to get their training done. Discover how training at home can be beneficial and how it could potentially be the solution you have been looking for.
There are millions of reasons why you can’t make it to the gym one particular night. The car has broken down, your wife is unwell, you have revision to do, you can’t afford the regular travelling and maybe the gym membership is a bit steep. Well investing just as little as a couple of hundred pounds is all that is required, and this will last you forever. All you need is a basic set up, consisting of a bench, barbell, dumbbells, and weight plates. If you can stretch to it, I would also advise a dip and pull up bar. This set is more basic than that of a commercial gym, yet you will be able to do everything you need to do in order to make significant gains. In fact, there are many elite bodybuilders and athletes alike who train in this more ‘old school’ way opposed to using the new machines commonly found in gyms today.
This home set up will allow you to perform various exercises on every muscle group, which includes the three key compound movements, the bench press, deadlift and squat. Most benches also have an attachment which allows you to perform leg extensions and curls. One of the key advantages to such a set up is that you will constantly be using free weights and by doing so free you are going to be working your stabilizing muscles more often. An arrangement like this will shed many hours of travelling a week from your schedule as well as continuous expenditure on fuel and gym membership, which means your initial investment on equipment, will quickly be recovered. This is then an ideal solution for somebody who simply can’t find enough time in the day to make the journey to their local gym.
It is vital if you choose to do this that you do set a time, and create an environment where you can train and not be distracted. Things like appropriate music to get you in the zone help. When you are training, forget you are at home, pretend you are still in the gym so you don’t get distracted and don’t keep taking short breaks during your workouts. This is exactly how I started weight training, with a 50KG barbell and dumbell set in my bedroom.
There is then a quick guide as to why you should consider a home gym setup if you are finding yourself struggling to get the gym regularly enough. There is absolutely NO reason why you cannot make great gains training this way! If you find the weights you have are not heavy enough, use high repetition workouts, more super sets, more drop sets and, keep your rest periods shorter and you will soon fatigue your muscles!
Top quality meats such as chicken breast, turkey breast, lean pork and lean cuts of beef are all popular choices among athletes today. However, one of the best quality sources of protein which many athletes shy away from fail is fish. Fish in general is an absolutely fantastic source of protein, not just because of its high protein content but because of all the other benefits that you get with fish. This article is going to outline the key reasons as to why you need to start adding fish into your diet on a daily basis.
To begin with as mentioned before fish is a very high protein source, a typical athletes sized portion of cod or salmon returns in the region of 30g of high quality protein. This in itself makes fish a great choice for any meal as an athlete because it meats your requirements. However, where most meats can only offer their protein source fish has so much more to offer. For sure, fish is a bit like Marmite, you love it or hate it! However, if you can, learn to love it because you will certainly love the results!
So what are benefits of eating fish daily? As well as a very high protein count fish is also enriched with the very best fats. These fats include omega-3, omega-6 and other key fats which are all highly beneficial for you as a bodybuilder. The reason these fats are so beneficial is that they promote fat loss. They do this by slowing down the rate at which your body assimilates calories which means in short, that you will have less spare calories thus limiting fat storage. To add to this, ingesting high quality fats on a daily basis via fish means that your body will use your current body fat more effectively as an energy source.
Another huge advantage to eating fish on a daily basis is that due to its high quality fat content your joints are much better protected. It is a fact of life for most athletes that weight lifting causes immense stress on your joints and in turn you do risk the chances of damage. Therefore you need to ensure your quality fat intake levels are high enough. There is no better source than fish to use for this.
Fish can also be used as an excellent tool when you are dieting, providing adequate levels of ‘brain food’ during a period where you are limiting your calorie intake. Most people will experience decreased levels of concentration when dieting, therefore by getting quality fats through eating fish you should limit this effect! Whether or not you like fish I don’t know, but I do hope that you can see some of the benefits of eating fish. Personally, I rate white fish higher than say tuna because it tends to contain a much better range of fats.
There are countless reasons as to why not everyone can achieve a winning physique. The men and women at the top of their game make the choice to live the lifestyle, make the sacrifices and give their life to attaining bodies that inspire, captivate and motivate their audiences. I believe that your mental commitment has to exceed your physical and this is something I found out the hard way. Looking back on what I went through leading up to that first competition I have become more proud of my achievement and now feel that some of the personal restraints holding me back have been released and that I can now fly having made it through (more on this later!!!)
There has to come a point when you stop making excuses, take your body and life by the reigns and get out there and achieve? Start saying YES and WHY NOT?
It is so easy to put yourself second, third or for some right down at the bottom of the ‘to do list’. You have to take care of yourself and value your strength in body and mind. The positives and gains are overwhelming and they will filter out to those around you. Surround yourself with positive people and love life!
Live it and love it!
So often people will allow their environment to control them and hold them back! In this instance it is the actual gym you train in. I wanted to point out to you the importance of training somewhere which has the right atmosphere and which allows you to flourish as an athlete, not prevent you from progressing!
In regards to choosing the correct gym for yourself it totally depends on what you want from it. If your female and want to condition your body rather than build it then there are plenty of top quality female only gyms designed for this. The same goes for if you want to gain masses of muscle, there are gyms specifically designed to allow you to make these gains with their wide range of equipment. More than this though is the atmosphere, as many females find gyms intimidating; therefore a female only gym is a great way to build your confidence and train comfortably. Whatever your goal and needs, be sure to choose a gym which is able to accommodate these and allow you to train with confidence. If you’re not confident your mind will be elsewhere, you won’t be focusing on the task in hand and as a result you will struggle to make any real gains. On many occasions I have seen women and even men refuse to train in certain areas of a gym due to them feeling intimidated. When I first ever started training I felt this way, but I had somebody emailing daily, telling me I had to get over it! In the gym you shouldn’t care if someone is watching you or not, you should be in there to get through a functional workout and get out!
When it comes to being intimidated by the bigger guys who you someday wanna be like, don’t be worried of them at all. First of all, they were in your position once upon a time and they should remember this. Secondly, a lot of the ‘main men’ in the gym are willing to help as they have nothing to prove, they have been there and done that. Finally, why should you be worried of them? Your not about to go 12 rounds with them and in fact, it’s in your interests to make them your friends if possible as they will unlock plenty of knowledge for you. You may even begin to train with them which means you’re able to train harder, and make greater gains.
There you have a brief explanation as to why you should choose the right gym for your own needs very carefully and why you shouldn’t be intimidated by anyone in there, no matter who or what they are! The chances are the people you feel intimidated by don’t mean it, because, if they are serious about training they will be focusing on their next set!
Hany Rambod has set the bodybuilding world on fire with his FST-7 training system which many top pros are now resorting to. It’s the talk of the town, as it has shown itself to create some phenomenal gains and enhance many people’s physiques. Discover how FST-7 can help you and how to use it properly.
FST-7 is a low to medium volume training system which is essentially one of the most intense workouts there is. The soul purpose and focus of FST-7 is to take the muscle your training to absolute fatigue where there is nothing left. At this point, your muscles are then very receptive to muscle building nutrients which of course allows for maximum growth. The fact that FST-7 completely drains your muscle of its strength is also another reason why it is so effective. So many training sessions reach a conclusion when the individual training still has plenty of strength left. FST-7 on the other hand makes sure you will struggle to move your body let alone workout for any longer. Due to the way the FST-7 training system is designed, your natural testosterone and human growth hormone levels will become elevated which of course means your anabolic activity increases as well as your ability to burn more body fat.
So how exactly do you perform this miracle form of training? Following a warm up, which should consist of at least 3 light sets, the FST-7 training system goes something like this. The first exercise must be a compound movement, performed for 3-4 sets with reps between 8-12. As you can imagine, hear you are able to go pretty much as heavy as usual. However, your rest periods are limited to just 60 seconds. Following this, sticking with the same amount of reps and sets perform an isolation movement on the same muscle group. By now, your strength will already be beginning to fade. At this point in time, be sure that your rest periods are maintained at around 60 seconds. Following this, perform a second compound movement with exactly the same reps and sets, again maintaining the same rest intervals between sets. From this point onwards your targeted muscle group will be on fire, you will be fatigued and the lactic acid build up will really be hurting you. Now for the part which makes FST-7 so special. Choosing an isolation movement for the second time, perform ‘7’ consecutive sets with just 30 seconds between each one! The reps must remain between 8-12 in order for this to work. By the 7th set you will be completely finished and dying to down your post-workout blend. As you can see, FST-7 allows for reasonably heavy training whilst challenging your endurance and ability to push on through colossal pain. As a final note, be sure whilst performing the ‘sevens’ that you are failing between 8-12, not just hitting that number then stopping.
There you have a brief insight as to what FST-7 training is all about and exactly why you should be using it. As the depth of the FitMag increases you can be sure there will be several FST-7 training routines for you guys to try exclusive to this site and you may even get to learn from Hany, the man himself who they call the ‘Pro-Creator.’
There is always hype about the best kind of foods to eat at certain hours of the say to stimulate this hormone or to suppress that hormone. However, the reality is that a lot of the time the benefits been advertised are somewhat ‘sugar coated.’ However, a fruit which I firmly believe is great for you and something you should chuck in your smoothie the next time you bring out the blender are Acai Berries!
The majority of fruits, if not all are virtually fat free which means that Acai berries are indeed unique due to their rich Omega-3 content. Other valuable nutritional information includes 10g of carbohydrates per 100g serving, with over 80% of them coming in the form of fibrous carbohydrates. To add to this you also get 6g of dietary fats.
So now you know the nutritional breakdown of Acai berries, you now need to understand the many benefits of adding this berry to your current nutritional plan. As mentioned before these wonder berries contain a first class fatty acid known as Omega-3 which has endless benefits to you as an athlete as well as your general health. Omega-3 is able to support fat loss because in short it improves your body’s ability to metabolize dietary fats as well as utilize stored body fat as energy, which in turn can potentially lead to a decrease in body fat. By having this effect Omega-3 is also able to improve your energy levels simply because your body is now better equipped to use fat as a primary energy source. This fatty acid is also very good for your joints as it lubricates these areas and keeps them in good health which is essential as an athlete. In terms of general health, Omega-3 is great because it is known to support brain function as well as increase the health of your cardiac system. Acai berries do also contain antioxidants which in my opinion are important for anybody, especially athletes who are eating a lot and using supplements. It stands to reason as an athlete your kidneys and liver will be working that little bit harder, therefore antioxidants which will help neutralise the increased number of ‘free radicals’ in the blood is only going to benefit you!
Another great reason to start eating Acai berries is that they are perfect for people with sensitive blood sugar levels and are following a low carbohydrate diet. This is because the majority of the carbohydrates they give, unlike most fruits are fibrous as mentioned before. This means that they will have less of an effect on your blood sugar levels, which means they shouldn’t stimulate the secretion of Insulin in excessive amounts.
There you go, plenty of great points to justify dropping Acai Berries into the blender next time you make a smoothie.
Chain training is one of the most innovative and effective new ways to train and grow your muscles. Well, it isn’t strictly a new style of training as powerlifters have used this method for years. However it is now becoming a more mainstream way of training and you should consider using it as a tool to break through plateaus which are perhaps holding you back!
As mentioned above chain training is not new, yet athletes have now realized it can be utilized to their benefit to make huge gains in muscle size, strength and power. The correct term for this type of training is ‘Linear Variable Resistance’ training. The idea behind it is that by attaching a heavy linked chain either side of a bar during an exercise as you lift it, one link at a time comes off the ground and therefore continuously increases the resistance. During each repetition the load becomes more strenuous on the positive therefore it forces your body to recruit more ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibres which hopefully leads to the development of new muscle tissue!
Knowing when to apply ‘chain training’ to your workout regime is key! In theory it should be used every few weeks in order to allow for adequate time to recover. By using it every now and then opposed to every week you do also maintain the ‘shock factor’ which it causes!
You need to know how much weight to use in order to make this training beneficial for yourself. Going as heavy as possible is still the goal; therefore you should lift about 85% of the weight you normally use. It is very important with this style of training in particular to perform each repetition relatively slowly and also have a spotter on hand. This training can fatigue your muscle fibers rather quickly and it only gets heavier the more you push! This style of training is also very handy to do drop sets because all you have to do is pull the chains off either side of the bar and go straight back into a working set! It certainly isn’t easy though so you need to ensure you are mentally prepared before you try this one!
Chain Training is especially effective if you have hit a plateau and need something to stimulate muscle growth as it totally shocks the muscle fibers with a new form of resistance. It is also a fantastic form of training to develop new levels of explosive power and strength! Go and try this and become a member of the chain gang!
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