Home Archives 2011 October

Monthly Archives: October 2011

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Whilst many athletes strive to slam down the calories this time of year, there are also many who want to maintain a trim waistline and stay in good condition. If this sounds like you then you need the following supplement stack to help sustain the ‘rippling abs’ effect.

This month MonsterSupplements.com are offering another amazing deal on PhD Diet Whey and PhD CLA where you save an astonishing 48% off the retail price!!! PhD Diet Whey contains an array of fat busting, energy boosting ingredients such as healthy fats, amino acids and of course whey protein. This supplement is ideal for those on a calorie restricted diet, looking maintain a high protein intake to help develop new muscle tissue and prevent body fat gains.

PhD CLA is a phenomenal product in its own right. CLA is a healthy source of fat which can help burn body fat. This is because it can help the body effectively metabolise body fat more efficiently as an energy source.

This makes it the perfect supplement stack for anybody at all, man or lady, to stay in shape this winter! To get this amazing exclusive deal please follow the link below!


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When I first started training it was CNP which I used religiously. This brand was recommended to me by Kris Gethin and after using it for a few months I could see why. The quality of the products really did show!

This month MonsterSupplements.com has an amazing deal for you! For just £48.80 you get a 2.2KG tub of CNP Pro-Peptide with a FREE tub of CNP Creatine E2 240 caps. This offers you a whopping 56% saving off the retail price!!!

CNP Pro-Peptide is regarded as one of the very best multi-blend proteins on the market today. With a comprehensive mix of fast and slow digesting proteins Pro-Peptide offers you a sustainable source of muscle building nutrients for at least 3 hours!

Creatine E2 is a top quality source of creatine which can help maximise muscle power, muscle volumisation and muscle recovery. This can potentially lead to increased strength in the gym, faster recovery between sets and more reps!

This is trully an awesome deal, to get it simply follow the link below!


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Last week I looked at the benefits of including whey protein in your diet, and named it as my number 1 supplement! I also mentioned 2 other supplements that I considered essential, which were creatine monohydrate and vitargo. Today I am going to look into vitargo, which I am sure some people will not have heard of before!

Over recent years carbohydrates have been tarnished with a bad name. Whilst low carb, or even no carb diets do work, we should not forget the importance of carbohydrates in our diet, and the vital role they play in hydrating our muscles (hence why they are named carboHYDRATES).

In this article I am now going to look at carbs in general, but more importantly for the avid trainer I want to focus on the role of post-workout carbohydrates. These are the carbs we consume in the anabolic window created by training, which cannot be underestimated.

What is the anabolic window I here you cry?! I’ll go on to explain so don’t worry – but first let me educate you on 2 important words that I will use from time to time through the rest of this article:


  1. Catabolism – the term used when the body breaks down its own muscle tissue for fuel and nutrients. If you are catabolic you won’t grow new muscle.


  1. Anabolism – the term used when the body is in a state to grow additional muscle tissue. Whatever your sporting goals, it is important to remain in an anabolic state.

The anabolic window is a term used to describe a period of time before, during and after training. The use of the word anabolic has hopefully indicated to you that this window is about enabling your body to grow muscle tissue. Typically the anabolic window refers to the period of time an hour before training, and 1.5 hours after training. The best way to maximise the growth of muscle mass and/or increase strength is to take advantage of the anabolic window before and after weight training.

Before training it is important for you to fuel your muscles in preparation for your workout. Whey protein or a BCAA rich pre-workout drink (or the addition of BCAA’s to your pre-work out drink of choice) will reduce the effects of muscle breakdown during training. If you fail to supply these nutrients before training, your body will break down your own muscle tissue during training to provide them, and if your body is breaking down your own muscle tissue for fuel you are losing muscle mass (you have become catabolic), and not increasing it, which is counter-productive to training in the first place.

After training it is important to fuel your muscles and your body with the right nutrients. Just like you pre-work out meal or shake you are trying to defend against your body breaking down its own muscle tissue for fuel and nutrients. At this point in time it is also important to replace the nutrients stored in the muscles, which will have been used during training. The best way to look at your muscles after training is as huge sponges, and this is because they are primed to absorb any nutrients you provide them with.

Its well known, and accepted by most that BCAA’s, normally found in the form of whey protein, can double the bodies ability to stimulate protein synthesis, especially so after training. What is often overlooked, is the importance of carbs as part of your post- workout shake, in particular high GI carbs, as they increase blood insulin levels, and further stimulate protein synthesis within the body. The inclusion of high sugary GI carbs will also help to shuttle nutrients to the muscles quickly so any additional supplements like creatine and glutamine will get to where they are needed quicker.

Now we know that carbs are important for your post-workout shake we need to look at what carbs to use…

If you use a specialised recovery product or sports drink chances are that the carbs will be from dextrose, maltodextrin, fructose or a combination of the 3. All 3 of these have a high GI and are classed as sugars. Whilst all 3 are relatively cheap to produce, or purchase they are perhaps not the optimal product to consume, and I personally, and many others, have found that these sugars can cause bloating, which can be very uncomfortable. I also had an issue with consuming these 3 products, or anything containing them because they are sugars. We all know that sugar is bad for your teeth and I didn’t want to grow my muscles only to ruin my teeth – what good is being fit and ripped with muscles if you smile and have a mouth full of black teeth?!

This is where Vitargo comes into the equation.

Vitargo is a carbohydrate that is derived from barley starch. Whilst maltodextrin, dextrose and fructose are sugars, vitargo is not and is in fact a starch.

Vitargo has a larger molecule size than sugars. The large molecule size of vitargo minimises its osmolality (osmosis is the process in which a substance naturally draws in liquid). As vitargo does not draw in much liquid it will not bloat you and can pass through the stomach very quickly (twice as quick as maltodextrin). The stomach is the delaying factor between a product being ingested through the mouth and being absorbed by the body – the longer something has to pass through the stomach the longer it takes to get to where it is needed! Vitargo replenishes glycogen levels (which are severely depleted during training) 68% quicker than ordinary sports drinks and simple sugars – mainly in part due to the fact it rapidly exits the stomach.

Including a carbohydrate source, and in particular, vitargo in my own post-workout nutrition has seen no bloating, increased muscle fullness, increased recovery speed and greater muscle gains.

MultiPower X-Plode is a great post-workout recovery drink which utilises Vitargo as it’s carbohydrate source! Combined with pure whey isolate protein this product will really help drive nutrients into the muscle cell after your intense workout!




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I’d like to share with you, the 11 week transformation I made during PhD Nutrition’s Cover Model Challenge… I will go through the ins and outs of my diet, training and supplementation plan and tell you how I was helped along the journey by the PhD nutrition range and Anabolic Designs Transform Stack.

Firstly I’d like to introduce myself, and give you a little insight to my training background….

I’m Dave Humphreys, or you may see me kicking about on the FitForum as ‘DHumphreys’. I’m 21 years old and been “working out” for around 2 and a bit years now, albeit only in the past year have I began to do it properly.

The Beginning……
I had second thoughts about putting the following picture up, as it is VERY embarrassing! But I thought it would be good to see the changes made and to be fair, I couldn’t be happier with the how my training and physique has progressed….

I was roughly 8-9 Stone (If that!) and had a nice stable diet of fish fingers and waffles! It wasn’t the physique any body would be proud of, but at the time I didn’t think it was that bad!!

The Turning point in my training

Having gone through a shit time when I was 18, I decided that I needed something to take my mind off things, and release all the stored aggression. Early 2009, I found solitude in one of the local leisure centers and began to train.

At the start, I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was doing! I still had a shockingly un-healthy diet, and my technique was nowhere to be seen. Going from machine to machine in the gym, with no real desire or direction, I wasn’t getting anywhere fast. I was probably one of those guys you look at when your in the gym and you feel you need to give them guidance, even though you just leave them too it……

I kept training this way, up until around 15 months ago, when I changed my whole outlook on training, and started “bodybuilding”. I looked at every aspect of what I was doing and radically changed everything. I started researching a lot more and actually started to realise how it all works.

Up until then, I had only ever used body fortress (Holland and Barretts special!) protein, which tasted horrible and had the texture of sand.

The diet, supplements, workouts all changed and I began to see some actual results from my training.

Having done my research, I had two options… Get lean or put on some size. Holding minimal muscle, the first wasn’t an option for me, so I decided to try and put on some size.

Diet looked A LOT better, training was more structured, and I now had a new passion, which according to my girlfriend was borderline obsessive!

I toyed with many diets and training plans, yo-yoing between ‘bulking’ and ‘cutting’ phases up to the present day….

So onto the transformation;

I’ll kick things off with my ‘BEFORE’ pictures…. These were taken on July 3rd of this year, the beginning of the transformation.

My membership to my local gym ran out in April, and with rising costs and apprentice wages, I had no option to train. And as you can see by the pictures, not only did the training lapse, I took a few weeks (month or two!) off dieting, and let my self go a little bit (a lot).

It was at that moment, I saw the PhD Cover Model Competition been advertised in one of the many fitness magazines that I subscribe too. This is what sparked my new found motivation again, and I now became focused on one thing, Winning!

This also fit right in with my holiday plans, two weeks all inclusive in theCaribbeanwith my partner at the end of September, and I wanted to look good! My aim was for people to look at me on the beach, instead of eyeing up the misses!

So the journey began….

The Training

Before the competition, and since starting training, I have effectively been sticking to ‘bodybuilding’ type routines. Mainly focusing on aesthetics and trying to achieve that ‘look’, rather than functional type training.

This all changed at the end of May, when I finally plucked up the courage to begin MMA, mixed martial arts. Having wanting to go for ages, but not knowing where to go, and having no one to go with, I put it off for well over a year. It was only when I spoke to an old school friend who said he’s training for an upcoming MMA bout and said I should pop down with him

Since then, my love for the sport has grown and I bitten the MMA bug!

So the training has changed from ‘bodybuilding’ routines, to functional strength and conditioning work and many different classes including Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu etc…. Now this is where I made it difficult for myself! I understood it was a transformation competition, but doing routines for aesthetics would not benefit my MMA training at all. So I looked at the big picture, and decided to stick to the strength work to and hope the effort I put in and the change in diet alone showed in the ‘After’ pictures.

Each session revolved around big compound lifts (Snatch, Deadlift, Squats, Cleans, Presses etc…) but assistance exercises and conditioning exercises varied. To list every session would be impractical, so please check out my competition log and you will be able to see every single workout I did! (https://www.phd-supplements.com/forum/showthread.php?32921-DH-s-Competition-Log.)

Half way through the competition I started doing fasted steady state cardio vascular upon waking. I also increased my cardio in the last two weeks, adding an extra 20 minutes in post weights.

The Diet

Before constructing my diet, I determined my BMR to find my calorific need. I simply factored in cardio and workouts and determined what my baseline was. I started by eating just under maintenance, and gradually lowering it when I saw a stop in weight loss).

Here is the first diet I constructed;

Meal 1 (Immediately Upon Waking) – 1 1/2 Scoop Whey+ 2-3 Raw Eggs
Meal 2 – 40g Oats + Cup of Blueberries
Meal 3 – 200g Sweet Potato + around 200g Meat (This will vary between White Fish, Salmon, Swordfish, Chicken, Ostrich, Steak and Extra Lean Steak Mince)
Meal 4 – 1 Scoop Whey + Cup of Almonds
Meal 5 – Same as Meal 3
Pre-Workout Meal – 1 Scoop Whey + 1 Scoop Vitargo + 1 tbsp EVOO
Intra-Workout – BCAA drink or something similar
Post Workout – Recovery 2:1
Meal 6 – Same as Meal 3 minus the Sweet Potato
Bedtime shake – Protein Blend + Blended Frozen Broccoli

A few weeks into the challenge, I’ll admit I panicked! I was seeing some good losses, but I knew I wasn’t going to get in nearly as good shape as I needed to be in to have any chance at all of winning. I then played about with it, decreasing carbohydrate’s further (too much probably). I changed it to just eating carbohydrates immediately upon waking and immediately post workout. I started to see the losses, but with heavy training I ultimately sacrificed some muscle loss. Coming up to the final 3 weeks, I asked a friend to look over the current diet plan which he tweaked accordingly. Here’s the diet I went into the final few weeks with, and the diet I should probably have used all along!

Post morning CV – 2 Scoops Whey  + 50g Oats
9:30 – Steak + 50g Wholegrain Rice
11.30 – Diet Whey bar + Cup of Almonds
Pre-workout meal – Whey isolate + 25g Oats
Post-workout  – ^^^ Same as above
Meals after are Chicken and broccoli (2 meals, evenly spaced for the rest of the day)
Pre-bed – 2 scoops Casein or Blend Shake


In this section, I will be going over the supplements I used within the competition. I will explain a little about the product, why I choose it and how it benefited my training. Click the picture on the side to get taken to product description, where you will find everything you need to know about it!

PHARMA WHEY HT – This was my all round whey shake which was used at various points of the day. It was mainly used first thing in the morning, were after 8 hours of fasting, my muscles craved the quality nutrients this product delivers. This was also used during my depletion stage of the competition, taking over from Recovery 2:1 as my Post Workout shake. As a quality bio-engineered whey protein complex with added Hydrolysed whey, BCAA’s and L-Glutamine, these quality ingredients make it perfect for helping with recovery, enabling an anabolic environment within the muscles to help promote size, strength and performance gains. It also includes the added benefits of digestive enzymes and pro-biotic to aid guy health and aid digestion.

My flavour of choice for Pharma Whey HT has to be Chocolate Mint, its absolutely gorgeous!

RECOVERY 2:1 – The perfect choice after those intense sessions! It does exactly what the name suggests, and aids recovery, giving your body the much needed nutrients for you to be ready for the next grueling session! This was a key supplement throughout my 11 weeks, doing 2 and sometimes 3 sessions a day, it was vital that my glycogen stores where replenished and my muscles were fully recovered. It has a perfect balance of carbohydrates, both fast acting and slow acting, ensuring  not only immediate glycogen replenishment, but also a slow sustained release to soften the ‘sugar’ effect, making sure there is no ‘crash’ which is often the case with many post workouts. Its other ingredients (Whey protein isolate, l-glutamine, creatine and BCAA’s) all help aid recovery, essential to any athletes post workout.

I’ve tried all the flavours of Recovery, but I always go back to Berry Blast, superb taste.

CLA – This is a fairly straight forward product, one which I take all year round. Its proven that CLA helps to prevent fat being deposited in the cells, therefore the storage of fat is reduced, aiding in reductions to body fat. This is perfect for both ‘cutting’ and ‘bulking’ phases, to help reduce bodyfat and increase muscle mass.


Diet Whey – One of the best tools in fat loss and lean muscle gains. Its ingredients ensure there is a steady release of nutrients aiding in recovery and proteinsynthesis. This helped me a lot to stop hunger pangs and its added extra’s (green tea extract, CLA, flaxseed, L-Carnitine) ensured my body was in a perfect environment to promote fat loss, giving my self another advantage within the competition.


My favourite flavour of Diet Whey, has to be Belgian Chocolate! Definitely the nicest ‘chocolate’ flavour of all the brands of protein I’ve tasted, and that’s a lot!!! B-E-A-Utiful!


Diet Whey Bars – Ideal snack to curb hunger pangs. Taste is sensational, Id stick my neck out and say the best tasting protein bar on the market, and even nicer than any normal chocolate bar (I went through boxes of Chocolate Cookie!). Full of quality macro’s, with all the bonuses of the weightloss aids the diet whey provides. It’s carb concious (Only 1g of sugar), and is the perfect bar to reach for when temptation is looming. Grab a mars bar, or grab a Diet Whey Bar, I know which one I’d prefer! If you have a sweet tooth and can’t resist cheating throughout the day, I would highly recommend these.


Creatine Monohydrate – No hardcore training plan can go without creatine! It really helped me keep my strength gains, even whilst in a massive calorie defecit. As a Mixed Martial Artist, it is a perfect supplement which can increase strength, explosiveness, increased aerobic and anaerobic ability, boost short-time energy stores and increase total work capacity. All vital parts to ensure you get the best out of each session, ensuring I become the best athlete I can possibly be. I took 10grams per day, and reaped the rewards in terms of strength and explosiveness!


L-Glutamine – Very straight forward product, designed to restrict muscle-loss, maintain strength levels and to assist recovery. I took this immediately upon waking, before every solid meal, pre and post workout and before bed. I believe this product has helped me a lot through this competition, being in a calorie deficit for 11 weeks is tough, but this, complimented with the rest of the PhD range has helped me achieve my goals.


HMB – I believe this is essential to any calorie deficit program. It helped me recovery quicker after the intense sessions and helped prevent muscle wastage. As the fat began to melt away, I managed to keep plenty of muscular size, to which I believe is down to a number of PhD products, especially HMB.


PHARMA BLEND 6HR – This blended protein was my weapon of choice for my pre-bed shake! Perfect blend of proteins to ensure a steady stream of nutrients are delivered to the muscles when your body needs it the most. During the time you are sleeping, this is the time you are growing and recovering, so it is vital to get plenty of good quality ingredients that Pharma Blend 6HR has to offer into your system. Belgian chocolate in this is amazing (Exactly like the Diet Whey Belgian Chocolate), or the other flavour to look out for is White Chocolate, tastes fantastic! All of PhD’s protein powders mix brilliant, and this is no exception. Mixes with minimal water and having a nice texture which is easy to go down!


To get the entire PhD range at the very best prices please follow the link below!



ANABOLIC DESIGNS TRANSFORM STACK – This is an amazing stack, which played the vital role of the transformation of stripping fat and maintaining muscle mass. Shredabull is a potent fat burner which gave me the energy needed for those grueling morning workouts, and provided the perfect environment for my body to burn fat. Whilst Tauro-Test helped maintain muscular size and kept my strength levels high throughout the competition, even when in a massive calorie deficit! These product are truly outstanding, and I would recommend them to anyone serious about stripping fat whilst providing an anabolic environment for your muscles.

To get the full Anabolic Designs range at the very best prices please follow the link below!


Competition Highlights

The competition was very tough, but despite this I’d like to share with you some of the high points during the last 11 weeks;


  • After just 4 weeks of ‘MMA’ training, I won theHulland District Inter-Club Submission Grappling Competition for my weight class (At the time I weighed in at 83kg – Middleweight)
  • As my training progressed, I was asked to do a number of MMA bouts, but I turned them down. I want to be the best athlete I can before I step into the cage. I don’t want to be a participant, and just rush in. I want to WIN. Im looking at having my first semi-proffessional bout in March on the 10th Legion card.
  • A huge amount of weight loss – 14kg in 11 weeks
  • With all the hard work and determination, I can easily say that Im in the best shape I’ve ever been in. Not only am I looking my best, but this has been coupled with better confidence and I feel fantastic!
  • Its not really a highlight to many people, but only having my first salad when I was 20 (Yes I know, 20!!! Depressing isnt it!). I went to not eating any veg, to eating around 1kg of broccoli every 3 days. Which for me, is very impressive! I was always the one of trained, and got the protein requirements, but the rest of the diet was shocking. Now, im eating healthier, and thanks to this competition im finally eating right and enjoying it in the process!

I’d like to thank PhD Nutrition for giving me the determination and drive I needed to sort training and diet out! This competition has really changed my life…. I went from un-motivated, overweight and depressed, to looking good, feeling great and finally being confident about myself.

I’d also like to thank Anabolic Designs and PhD for producing the quality supplements that have supported me on this journey, and this article is a testimony to how great they are! They’ve helped me achieve so much already, and they will continue to be apart of my training to help me become a better athlete.

I’d also like to thank Anabolic Designs, Joe Binley and sponsored athlete Johnny Reid who helped me greatly with the final build up. Much appreciated guys!


Now them moment I’ve been waiting for the last 11 weeks! The after pictures! These where taken on the 15th of September, a couple of weeks before the actual deadline date. But I will be in the Caribbean on the deadline date, so I had to cut short my training schedule and make the most of the time I had available. With an extra couple of weeks I believe I could have made an even greater transformation, but nevertheless I put my all into it, and hopefully it has shown.

Here they are;


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Some of you are most likely aware what a somatotype is. However for those that aren’t, a somatotype is basically the body shape/structure category that you fit into. To further elaborate, there are 3 somatotypes, an endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. An endomorph is generally more likely to store bodyfat, builds muscle fairly easily and usually not very tall. An ectomorph is generally very tall, low level of bodyfat and struggles to build muscle. A mesomorph builds muscle very easily, is very athletic and doesn’t hold much bodyfat.


Here are 3 examples:


Endomorph – sumo wrestler


Ectomorph – peter crouch


Mesomorph – 100m sprinter


Your genetics are what determine your somatotype. Everyone will be born with certain physical characteristics which may make them slightly ectomorphic, endomorphic or mesomorphic. It is however never a simple case of being one or the other. Usually people are somewhere in between 2 or even all 3 but leaning towards one or the other. If you imagine a triangle where the 3 points are the 3 somatotypes, you could place a dot anywhere in the triangle and that could be you. You may be slightly off to one point or on the side far away from another. It is totally dependent on your genetics.

The point I am trying to make is that you must identify your somatotype in order to account for your physical characteristics and train/eat accordingly.


Here are a few tips to follow after identifying your somatotype to achieve your physical goals.


Endormophs –

If you are an endomorph you will easily put on bodyfat and find it very hard to stay lean. This will mean that whilst trying to gain muscle you must be very careful as to the amount of calories you are consuming and where these calories come from. If you have too many sugars or empty calories you will put on fat easily and find it difficult to lose at a later stage. Luckily for the most part you will be able to build muscle fairly easily. This will mean that you wont need an abundance of calories to gain muscle. You will also naturally be very strong. Sumo wrestlers are incredibly strong, even though they don’t look all that muscular. With training I recommend that you train with heavy weights but at a fairly fast pace in order to keep your heart rate high. Try to do regular short duration cardio to avoid too much of a calorie surplus.


Ectomorphs –

I am an ectomorph so I empathise with you guys. If you ever hear someone claiming to be a ‘hardgainer’ it is most likely because they are an ectomorph. You guys will struggle to put on any kind of weight. You will really find it difficult to gain muscle but you will have the benefit of staying lean very easily and dropping bodyfat with minimal dieting effort. Your diets must therefore reflect that. You will need rather high calorie diets to account for your fast metabolisms and ability to use calories. You can however get away with the occasional cheat meal without putting on fat, unlike endomorphs. With regards to training I would advocate heavy compound exercises combined with hypertrophy training on isolation exercises. Take longer rest periods and don’t do too much high intensity cardio. Cardio should not be avoided altogether though as it is beneficial for gaining muscle. You must though account for the cardio and make up for it with extra calories.


Mesomorphs –

If you are a mesomorph you are one of those people that all other gym-goers are jealous of. You pick up a dumbbell and suddenly have 18 inch biceps. It is very easy for you to gain muscle due to high percentages of fast twitch muscle fibres and you are naturally very strong and athletic. You also don’t store fat particularly easily and can drop bodyfat without too much of an issue. I would recommend for you guys similar training and diet to ectomorphs but the calories in the diet do not need to be as high. Guys like phil heath are natural ectomorphs so if you want to get into bodybuilding you are genetically perfect for it.


So if you are wondering why you are naturally tall and skinny or short and fat, or perhaps why you are naturally muscular and lean, it is because of your somatotype. If you can identify this then you can start to embrace it or fight it as best as you can to achieve your goals in fitness and bodybuilding.


Has another week really gone past again? You guys are bleeding me dry of my secret top tips!!! Here is one which will really help hard gainers grow!

Sometimes the most simple things in life are the most beautiful. A Caribbean sunset, the New Forest or the smell of freshly baked chocolate sponge cake. Don’t worry, I am not about to go on some kind of ‘spiritual’ rant, what I am saying is that this tip is oh so simple!

Use a training log to grow!

How can a piece of paper with numbers and words scribbled on it help me grow, I hear you ask.

The fact of the matter is, the body will adapt to new levels of stress. Therefore by keeping a log of the weight you used and the number of reps you achieved, you can set out to beat this on a monthly basis and FORCE the body to adapt. What will it do to adapt as the workouts become more and more challenging? GROW! Such a simple yet effective approach to training. Get writing!

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Hi guys. In this weeks workout of the week we are going to hammer the deltoids and hit every angle of the shoulder. We will work the shoulders in as many ways as possible using a high volume and fast paced workout. The rest periods will be kept relatively short and the weights relatively light. The main purpose of this workout is to get blood into the shoulders to stretch the fascia, to use different types of muscle fibres and to work the shoulders from as many angles as possible. We will mix some heavy compound exercises with some lighter isolation exercises.

The deltoids are made up of three heads. These are the anterior, medial and posterior. The anterior lies on the front and is responsible for shoulder extension. It is used in pressing movements like the bench press, standing shoulder press and also raises the arm in front of the body. The medial delt is on the side of the shoulder. This is the muscle that gives the shoulder a ‘capped’ appearance from a front view. It is also used heavily in shoulder pressing movements but mainly is used in shoulder abduction and provides movement like in the lateral raise exercise. The rear deltoid is used in shoulder flexion and brings the arms from above the head down and behind the body. They are used in rowing motions mainly.

We are going to start with compound exercises and work our way to some high rep isolation work.

Standing barbell push press: 3 x 5 reps


The push press is a great shoulder compound exercise that also recruits the triceps and legs to help push the weight. This assistance means that the shoulders can carry a greater load and put more of a positive strain on the muscle.

Behind neck smith machine press: 3 x 8-10 reps


The behind the neck press puts the shoulders at a different angle than pressing from the front. Doing it on the smith machine also keeps a direct plane of motion so the weight can be controlled much more. I actually find these to be very effective when done with partial rep ranges. If you stop just before the bar touches your neck at the bottom and then stop about 4 inches before lockout at the top.

Seated Arnold press: 3 x 8-12 reps


The Arnold press is going to give the shoulders a greater range of motion than the exercises used so far. This is going to bring more muscles into play. It will hit all 3 heads very well as well as working the traps, triceps and the upper back to a degree.

Lateral raise supersetted with front dumbbell raise: 3 x 10 sets each



We are going to isolate the shoulders now and really get some blood in there. Doing these exercises are great to put tension on the shoulder without involving the triceps and straining the joints with heavy weights. Supersetting will help to develop the slow twitch muscle fibres as well as taking the muscle past the point of fatigue.

Rear delt raise: 5 x 10-12 reps


We are going to do 5 sets of this exercise because we are going to do them fast. Pick a relatively light weight and only have 20 seconds rest in between sets. Doing this fast will allow the blood into the muscle and stretch the fascia.

So if you have lagging shoulders or want to develop that important shoulder cap and great silhouette from the front I recommend trying this workout.


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Rich and Beth Sumpter are both experts on physiology and nutrition. Both share a vast amount of knowledge in regards to optimising performance through training, eating and supplementation. Here you can enjoy their first installment in what promises to be a very educational journey!

How do you get maximum performance from your muscles?

There are many factors that contribute to muscle performance.  For an endurance athlete it is essential that your muscles are correctly fueled prior to commencement of exercise – meaning that there is enough glycogen stored in the muscle tissue.   The ability of muscle tissue to store glycogen means that it is readily available, and doesn’t have to be broken down in the liver.  Glycogen is the primary fuel that your body uses, and if this is depleted the body switches to fats as energy, through a process called beta-oxidation.  It is usually at this point that athletes experience “the BONK”.  To prevent “the BONK”, take on carbohydrates during training and racing – to keep topped up.  After a session there is roughly a 30 minute window where glycogen uptake is increased.  At this time it is important to have a recovery shake, such as USNs RecoverXcell, as these are designed for this purpose.

What are the benefits of amino acids and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) in recovery?

Not too hard an area!  I’ll do my best to condense the information as there is a lot of it!  To start with, what are amino acids?  They are the building blocks of protein – long linear chains of amino acids, and are involved in many aspects of metabolism.  There are 22 amino acids, but only 9 are classed as essential.  The reason for this is that they have to be ingested, it is not possible to synthesis (create) them within the body – EVER.  35% of protein is based on the 9 essential amino acids.  During exercise your body  increases the rate of protein synthesis, but there is also increased protein break down.  Unfortunately, the rate of break down is greater than the rate of synthesis.  Studies have shown that taking amino acids after training increases protein synthesis, hence reducing muscle damage.  As well as their role in protein, amino acids help to stabilise blood glucose levels and glycogen restoration during recovery – key points for athletes hoping to perform back-to-back sessions.

There are 3 BCAAs – leucine, isoleucine and valine.  These are part of the 9 essential amino acids, with a key benefit that they are metabolised within muscle tissue, not the liver.  Immediately the muscle can replenish protein levels, without going through the process of metabolism within the liver.  As they are metabolised in the muscles BCAAs can make up for protein deficiencies in diet without detrimental effects to muscle.  A low protein diet is not recommended, but vegetarians and vegans may struggle to consume adequate protein without paying special attention to their diet.  BCAAs allow for optimal recovery, as well as reducing muscular fatigue.  They have also shown to improve muscle strength at a greater rate then amino acids alone.

The takeaway points from this are that amino acids and BCAAs are extremely beneficial to training and recovery, and are essential for your body to function correctly and efficiently.  It is possible to achieve this through diet, but athletes place a greater stress upon their body, and push it to their limits.  Supplementation will help your recovery and subsequent performance.  As always, consult a doctor if you have any concerns prior to taking new supplements.

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Being problematic to other gym users is never nice and it is totally uncalled for. Here is a cracking top 10 by one of FitForum’s most savy members!

Congratulations! – You are making it into the gym 3-5 times a week, you have a good solid resistance based training routine and you are noticing some decent gains and a beneficial change in your physique. An extra sense of well-being, and new self confidence may be blossoming but have you slipped into the pit-falls of becoming a gym nuisance with some less than enviable traits and habbits that may be annoying your fellow trainers?! Here are a few points to ponder and to perhaps think about next time you are about to embark on an epic workout:


  1. Did you put on deodorant before training and is your kit clean and washed? Don’t be the guy or girl that stinks because your personal hygiene is poor. Being hot and sweaty, and smelling a bit due a gruelling and punishing workout regimen is acceptable, but smelling like you or your kit haven’t had a good wash for a week before you even start working out is not good.
  2. Now you have clean kit you need to ask if it’s appropriate kit. Shirt, Vest, Shorts, Jogging bottoms, trainers are the norm. Whatever you wear, make sure that it’s comfortable, doesn’t impede your workout or make movements dangerous and does not offend others (and yes prancing around in cycling shorts with your tackle on display or walking around topless may offend people!)
  3. Get your attitude in check. You want to be pumped up enough to smash every goal you have set for the session, but without being arrogant and inconsiderate to those other gym users training around you. Everybody in the gym has the right to be there, so don’t ogle at the opposite sex and make people lifting less weight feel inferior.
  4. Get focused. You’re in the gym to train. Phone calls and texting is generally frowned upon by gym establishments and patrons alike. People will soon start complaining about you if you spend all your time on the phone instead of using the piece of equipment you are perceived to be hogging. Know your goals and what you want to achieve during the next hour or so. Know what you are going to do before you even get into the gym.
  5. Keep the decibels down. You don’t need to grunt, groan and shout for every single rep. Others will appreciate that the odd grunt or groan may be necessary to push out that last single rep every now and then, and indeed this shows the effort of your labour to them – but nobody wants to listen to somebody swearing and grunting continuously for a whole hour, because lets be honest, its not necessary.
  6. Sweating in the gym is inevitable for most, and is a good indicator to the majority that a substantial amount of effort is being applied. Remember to wipe down equipment if you have excessively perspired all over it.
  7. You may have just blasted through a gruelling set of reps but that doesn’t mean you have to throw or drop the weights. Where possible try to lower the weights back to the floor or your body in a controlled fashion. Remember throwing and dropping weights makes you look like a tool. Don’t be a tool.
  8. Put the weights back where they belong, regardless of how or where you found them!! Dumbbells belong in their appropriate wrack, in the correct place/order and weights plates will generally have a stack on which they can be hung. The person next to you may not be able to lift a 20kg plate off the high mount in the squat rack, so if you leave 100kg on the bar they then can’t use that piece of equipment. Don’t be afraid to ask others to put things back where they belong.
  9. Don’t hog equipment. Share with others in-between sets, and remember that you can only use one workstation at a time. It may be that by sharing you find a new workout partner or somebody to spot you so that you can eek out a few kg’s or reps for that new personal best!
  10. Don’t be a poser. Concentrate on what you are doing, and not how you look in the mirror whilst you are doing it! Heavy weights and poor concentration can have disastrous consequences!