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Daily Archives: Jun 28, 2011

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Becoming an ‘all rounder’ athlete is easier said than done! If you are training to pack on some lean muscle tissue then the chances are you will be neglecting continuous cardiovascular exercise to ensure you are not burning your muscle away! Therefore you could say to build a ‘beach body’ with an impressive level of muscle mass, muscle tone and maintain a good level of cardiovascular endurance can be a real mission! Here are my top 3 tips to achieving just this, so that you don’t have to sacrifice your aerobic sports for muscle, and you don’t have to waste away your muscle to play sport!

Diet

Maintaining full control over your diet is key to holding on to muscle tissue whilst participating in various aerobic activities. For example, if you are playing football on Saturday it is wise to ensure you have adequate levels of slow burning carbohydrates in your diet leading up to the match, and that you get fast digesting carbohydrates immediately post match with whey isolate protein! If you neglect your diet, particularly on days where you are doing hours of aerobic exercise you could potentially lose a lot of muscle tissue! How often do you see guys start doing aerobic exercise after weight training for years and they just evaporate! This is probably because their diet isn’t suited towards maintaining their muscle mass! By taking charge with your diet there is no reason why you cannot carry that ‘ideal’ men’s health look whilst playing a lot of sport!

Supplements

Supplements can play a massive part in your quest to maintaining muscle during aerobic exercise! BCAAs are a must pre and post exercise because they can help prevent the break down of muscle tissue! Using a multi-blend timed release protein such as Gaspari Myofusion, PhD 6HR Blend or CNP Pro-Peptide will help drip feed your muscles throughout the day which should decrease the chances of catabolism occurring. To ensure your muscle glycogen levels are always full I would always advise using PhD Waxy Maize before your aerobic exercise as well as straight after, and sometimes during if the duration is longer than say 1.5-2 hours. If your muscle glycogen levels are full your body is much more likely to eat away at that opposed to your muscle tissue!

Rest

OK, so for the last 4 years you have pretty much lived for muscle. You walked away from your aerobic activities bar walking because you wanted to get ‘big!’ Now you are big enough, all of a sudden you fancy getting back into cardiovascular exercise. Therefore you need to ensure you make the right alterations to your training plan so that your body isn’t over trained! If you have been lifting weights 4/5 times a week, there is no way you can do the same really as well as jog 4 times a week, do a circuit, play football and cycle. Yes, you may get very aerobically fit but you will really risk over training and potentially muscle injury. Personally, I think 3 solid weight sessions a week combined with various cardio routines is enough to maintain a lean beach body when done right! Remember, if you are happy with your size you simply need to stimulate your muscles as a matter of maintenance, you don’t need to take your muscles further each week to force them to grow necessarily!  

There are my 3 top tips for juggling your muscle with the capacity of your lungs! If you have reached a cross roads where you think on the one hand you would like to get fit again, but you don’t want to lose your hard earned muscle this could be ideal for you!

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This is a fantastic article brought to you by Omania from our FitForum! If you thought multivitamins and minerals weren’t important, think again!

There are plenty of benefits to using Multivitamins when you are building your body through weight training or cardiovascular exercise. When you are on a low calorie diet or lifting heavy weights for gaining muscle mass, it is hard to get the right amount of vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. Not only do you need vitamins and minerals to keep your body running well, they are also important for growth and maintenance of your muscles. Plus, vitamins and minerals aid in the loss of stubborn body fat by boosting your metabolism. The benefit of multivitamins will take your bodybuilding routine to the next level.

The major vitamins and minerals that will aid you in your bodybuilding process are…

Vitamin A
Vitamin B Complex
vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Zinc
Magnesium
Copper
Potassium

Of course there are many more vitamins and minerals that play a role in the success of your bodybuilding but, these are the major ones that have a great impact in muscle growth and metabolism. Multivitamins benefits have different positive effects on your body other then muscle building however; we will not get into that in this article. I will only discuss the benefits that these multivitamins and minerals have on a bodybuilding stand point. In another article down the road, I will discuss vitamins and minerals in more detail to the effect of muscle building.

Vitamin A

When building muscle, the purpose is for the protein from the food you eat to go to your muscles. Without vitamin A, 60 percent of the protein you digest will go to waste. When you want to gain a lot of muscle mass fast, vitamin A will help. Vitamin A also helps in the breaking down of the muscle cells and the transformation of protein into muscle. When you workout, the cells in your muscles needs to be broken down and split. This vitamin will help in that process. Once the muscle cells are broken down, they are ready for the protein to be shuttle into the damaged muscle for repair. The transformation of protein turning into actually muscle will be aided greatly by a sufficient amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a big part of the multivitamins benefits you will receive. When looking for foods to eat with Vitamin A, try cod liver oil.

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex is what converts your stored fat cells into energy. Instead of using other means of energy, vitamin B complex makes use of your stored energy and uses it for energy. In turn, this helps you lose that stubborn belly fat faster when working out. Vitamin B complex also manages your body metabolism for the digestion of protein.

In addition, Vitamin B complex takes the protein, carbohydrates, and fats that you get from your foods and transforms them into energy that the body needs.

Finally, this vitamin helps in the transformation of certain substances from your body and turns that into insulin and growth hormones that is essential for energy and faster muscle growth. You will get a lot of multivitamins benefits from Vitamin B complex.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C takes the cholesterol that you digest from your body and transformation it into a natural steroidal hormone that the body uses for gaining muscle mass. This steroidal hormone is nothing like the steroids you have heard about. It is a natural process in your body that helps build muscles and helps in the recovery of your muscles. Vitamin C has a lot of antioxidants that will help your body stay healthy throughout your weight lifting endeavor.

Vitamin D

The main purpose of Vitamin D is that it helps produce insulin that the amino acids take into the muscles.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is very important to the energy you get before your workout. It increases your endurance. This is important not only when you want to lose weight through cardiovascular exercise but also when you want to circuit train with weights. Not only does vitamin E give you endurance but it helps maintain that stamina and energy throughout your workout. The reason vitamin E is important for energy output is because it helps carries oxygen to the blood cells. And, it helps testosterone from being broken down. This process aids your red blood cells and gives you steady and longer energy supplies.

Zinc

Zinc helps transport Vitamin A from your liver to the parts of your body that is in need. In addition, it keeps your testosterone levels high.

Magnesium

Without magnesium, your muscles will not be able to contract to the best of their ability. It helps produce a compound called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) which is the prime source of energy in the muscles. Magnesium also increases your growth hormone.

Copper

This mineral helps convert cholesterol into testosterone. It also helps in the repair of muscle tissue and gives your body the ability to strengthen it’s immune system. In addition, copper helps absorb new iron into the liver so the stored (used) iron can be released.

Potassium

You may of heard people talk about potassium but never really understood what the benefits were when it came to bodybuilding. Sure, it will give you energy and eating a banana before running will help with cramps during cardiovascular exercise but, it does more.

First, potassium releases insulin from the pancreas, which is directly responsible for the proper amino acids to go to the muscles.

Second, it increases the strength in your muscle contractions.

Third, it aids in the growth of your muscles during your workout.

Well, that is a basic list of some of the vitamins and minerals which can benefit you, which the body needs in order to not only increase your muscles mass during your weight training but also aids in weight loss when you perform cardiovascular exercises.

Buying multivitamins is a good idea when you are on a low calorie diet and trying to get ripped. Since your calories are cut dramatically, your body is not receiving enough vitamins and minerals to effectively maintain your muscle mass. That is only the beginning of how multivitamins benefits can affect your workout.

In addition, many other health concerns arise when you are not getting enough vitamins into your system. I also recommend buying multivitamins when you are weight training for mass or even for your everyday living. The benefits of multivitamins are not only for building and maintaining muscles but also for living a healthy life. It is difficult to get the proper amount of vitamins that is required in a day with any diet. So, if you want to live a healthier life and have an edge on the competition when it comes to bodybuilding, I would strongly recommend adding multivitamins into your daily dietary routine. The benefits of multivitamins can be amazing!!!

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As the third and final part of the extreme sports super feature we are going to cover some of the best ways for an extreme athlete to stay in peak condition. This doesn’t necessarily mean aesthetically, this means maximising their performance out on a dirt track, conditioning their body t cope with more intensity!

Cardiovascular

Obviously racing for around half an hour continuously is a cardiovascular sport, therefore it is vital that as an extreme athlete you optimise your cardiovascular capacity. Jogging is a great cardiovascular exercise for extreme athletes to do, but I wouldn’t just focus on this. Cycling is very good because it helps develop leg power and strength which is key when you are standing up and down on a motocross bike or downhill bike! Your muscles will become conditioned to long duration exercise and your body will soon increase the level of oxygenated blood it can pump into the muscles. As a result you should feel less tired during the race and less achy in your muscles!

Cardiovascular plan

Jogging 30 minutes 3 times a week

Cycling 1 ½ hours twice a week

 

Core

By now we have established that your core does an awful lot of work out there on the track therefore it makes sense to increase its strength and endurance! When I used to race motocross I would religiously do 2,000 sit ups a NIGHT! This was to get ripped more than stay fit BUT I did notice my core endurance was off the scale! Therefore working your core is a very important part of being an extreme athlete.

Core training plan

500 sit ups 3 times a week (break each session into blocks of 100 sit ups)

300 broom handle twists every other day

 

Resistance training

Using resistance training can also help improve your overall muscular endurance done right! This is certainly not directed towards hypertrophy training, but simply to condition the muscles to cope with the bumps and jumps of a track and the lactic acid build up!

Resistance training plan

Kettlebell thrusts

Kettlebell squats

Kettlebell deadlifts

Perform this circuit twice a week, completing 25-35 repetitions per exercise for 3 circuits with no rest between exercises!

 

There is a great outline for any extreme athlete to follow and maximise their physical condition out on the track! Remember, if your muscles are in tip top shape along with your cardiovascular system then you are less prone to picking up injuries, tiring during a race or getting run down!

Helping people starting out, like I did 5 years ago is something I am very passionate about! It gives me a real buzz seeing somebody achieve their goals through hard work, commitment and dedication! I’m bless to be in a position where a lot of people will come and ask for advice, however I am afraid I don’t always have the time to offer the level of advice I would like to. Therefore I have put together the 5 most frequently asked questions which I am going to answer for you guys, so grab a coffee (mines with skimmed milk and a sweetener or two)and take a seat!

‘’what diet should I follow, I want to gain muscle?’’

This is probably something I asked the guy (Kris Gethin) who got me into all of this at 16 about a hundred times, the dude was probably sick and tired of seeing ‘Adam Gethin’ in his inbox at the end of week 1! Funnily enough, I am in the position where I get a lot of emails asking this very question and I want to help you all out so here goes! In regards to what ‘’diet’’ I would always advocate 40% high quality protein, 40% high quality LOW G.I carbohydrates and 20% healthy fats. In terms of amounts, you need 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight, 1.5-2g of carbohydrates per pound of body weight and about 0.75g of fats per pound of body weight! Aim for clean cut proteins, so avoid deli meats, burgers, kebabs, sausages. This may sound obvious but you would be surprised what some people perceive as ‘good quality!’ This diet will certainly get you on the right track to gaining muscle. Everyone is different, so there is no one ‘cookie cutter’ however I do believe this will work for 95% of people.

‘’can I gain muscle and get ripped at the same time?’’

YES! When I first began training I always split the year into two phases. Getting ripped and getting big! In the last year or two I have learnt that you can do either together, or at least this is my opinion! Sure, I am not talking about getting into show condition like a bodybuilder, but for average Joe who wants a lean muscle toned physique this can be done at the same time! The trick is to follow a similar kind of diet as above, and keep the junk food to maybe 1-2 meals a week maximum as a treat! Cardio is also essential if you want to do both together. You will find as you get leaner, you look bigger anyway, giving that added illusion of size!

‘’do you count calories?’’

NO I don’t, and at the risk of really setting the cat amongst the pigeons I don’t believe in calorie counting! Before I explain why, I want to stress this is my personal opinion only! If somebody requires 2,000 calories a day to sustain their current physical state, it is deemed normal to shoot for about 1,600 calories a day to lose weight. This is called creating a ‘calorie deficit’ and on the cover it makes sense. However, the reason I don’t like calorie counting is because people often misinterpret things too much! My argument is, if you ate 2,500 calories a day which is 500 OVER your BMR, from lean protein, fibrous carbohydrates, low G.I carbohydrates IN THE DAY, and some healthy fats would you lose body fat? In my opinion YES! If you ate 1,500 calories a day of crap you may lose weight but you wouldn’t lose body fat, you would gain body fat in my opinion! If someone ate 3,000 calories of broccoli a day would they gain weight? NO, they would probably lose weight because of the nutritional content of the particular food. Never have I counted calories and never have I counted calories with people who I help. All I know is that they all get results and I also know they eat more than their ‘’official BMR’’ in some instances.

‘’which supplements should I start with, I have about £100 a month to spend?’’

Supplements are every beginners favourite topic because they haven’t ever experienced the ‘’magic’’ of some of these formulas yet! My advice is to understand supplements HELP a lot with your progress, as long as your diet is good. If it is, then I would recommend a high quality protein blend like Gaspari Myofusion, CNP Pro-Peptide or PhD 6Hr Blend, a high quality creatine like MST Cre-O2 and BCAAs. If you can stretch to it, I would recommend getting some L-Glutamine in there as well! These supplements are the ‘bread and butter’ supplements in my opinion!

‘’what shall I do to get a big chest?’’

Very often people will say to me they want to add size to their chest and arms, and I am left wondering why not the rest of your body? Don’t ever focus on building one muscle group more than the rest; this can lead to serious health issues if you have an imbalance in muscle group strength. Ever seen ‘’big’’ guys with rounded shoulders? This is why! Instead aim to build a total athletic physique with balance. In time, you will realise this is the best way and all of the muscle groups will develop that much quicker if you keep everything in balance!

There are 5 of the most common questions I am asked on a daily basis. I would encourage you to join our FitForum to learn more and also keep reading content right here on FitMag. If I haven’t covered what you were looking for hit me up at adam.gethin@monstersupplements.com !!

Health VS looks is a constant battle we often see both sides to in the western world! This isn’t just in relation to muscle; it is in relation to skin care, hair and anything else cosmetic! The lengths people are willing to go to in order to enhance their image is sometimes alarming, and normally unnecessary! In our industry, being ‘healthy’ doesn’t necessarily come hand in hand with ‘looking physically good!’ After reading this I hope that you can take away some pointers to help ensure you do remain healthy as well as look good!

Balance

There are a million and one diets out there, opinions and weird and wonderful concepts which promise to deliver the best results. The point is, you should always and I mean always, place your health before anything else! Therefore it is surely common sense to maintain a healthy balance of foods in your diet, where you can enjoy the nutritional value of various food groups! Personally, I am a big believer that fruit is over rated; in terms of ‘health’ because it has the ability to really stimulate fat gains with its sugar content! However, I am also a huge believer that fruit is fundamental as part of a healthy diet, it is all about volume and time of consumption! Cutting out entire food groups isn’t something I believe in and I don’t think it is healthy to do so! In my opinion, to maximise your overall health you should be eating lean protein, healthy carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, plenty of fibre, lots of greens, some fruit and dairy as well! What is the point of ‘looking good’ if your immune system is as effective as a chocolate fireguard?

Enjoy

As part of the ‘healthy’ lifestyle in its true sense you must enjoy what you eat, day in day out! Psychologically you won’t be very healthy if you despise what awaits you in the fridge, and this will certainly make you grumpy. Just ask my girlfriend!!!  For sure, there is a vast difference between enjoying a healthy diet and saying ‘well if Adam says I have to enjoy my food then I am going to eat chips, chocolate and ice cream everyday!’ This isn’t what I am saying; instead I mean you have to enjoy your healthy choice of foods. Don’t make yourself eat fish because it is healthy if you HATE fish! To stay healthy you need to be happy, eating food you enjoy will go along way to achieving this!

Supplement

To maximise your health I would always advise anybody to use a high quality multi-vitamin, essential fatty acid blend, a high quality protein blend and an amino acid supplement. This is because anybody leading a healthy lifestyle will be exercising one way or another, therefore your body will certainly benefit from these supplements!

There you go guys, 3 points to consider when you make the decision to embark upon a journey to improve your health! As I said, a lot of people who are in good shape are not necessarily healthy, they just do what they do to look this way! Instead, you should focus on staying healthy and find a balance which will enable you to look good physically! If you are eating a clean balanced diet with the occasional treat night or two, there is no reason why you won’t look lean if you exercise regularly as well!

Eating small but frequent meals is the key to getting the body of your dreams. Whether you are aiming to pack on some serious muscle size, get lean, improve your energy levels or get strong, you need to be taking in frequent small balanced meals. Often people, in particular ladies I must say, freak out when I say you need to eat say 5 small meals a day. Instantly they associate volume with getting fat! Here are 3 prime reasons why eating small but frequent meals is key to getting into shape!!!

Metabolism

If you were to eat the traditional way us Brits tend to follow, breakfast, lunch and supper then you are leaving large gaps between meals. Often this prompts us to snack on fast digesting snacks such as white toast, chocolate, cereal and the likes of because we are hungry. This way of eating doesn’t rally stimulate your metabolism! However, eating every 3 hours means that your metabolism will be more likely to get up to speed as your body is constantly digesting! The process of digestion stimulates the use of a lot of calories! More than this, the constant drip feeding of nutrients every 3 hours keeps the metabolism fast!

Blood Sugar Levels

Eating big meals just a couple of times a day will cause a bigger spike on your blood sugar levels, and it will also cause them to dip between meals. This is why you will often feel hungry between meals and crave something sugary! Eating every 3 hours with a balance of slow digesting carbohydrates and protein will help stabilise your blood sugar levels. This doesn’t just suppress your cravings for sugar, it also maximises your body’s ability to burn body fat! This will also ensure your energy levels are maximised because your blood sugar levels are in a constant state!

Psychological

Eating more regularly will have a psychological effect on you! It will make you feel more full, how can you possibly be hungry again if you only ate 2 hours ago. It will also make you feel stronger and more energised because you feel there is no way you can be weak if you have eaten several balanced meals!

There are 3 main reasons why you should be aiming for at least 5 small solid meals a day. Small doesn’t mean ‘small’ it means proportionate to your goals and size. It just means not masses of food all at once like the way have become accustomed to in Britain!

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Do You Eat Your Greens? I have to confess I’m probably guilty of not eating enough greens, as a kid I hated them, and...