Monthly Archives: September 2017

Why Do You Want to Build a Better Body?

This is a great question to ask yourself from time to time. After going to the gym, eating right, using body building supplements, and all the other things that you’ve been doing to build a better body, do you really know why you’re doing it? Do you have a burning motivation behind your actions?There are a lot of reasons that people use. Here are a couple I can think of that I’ve heard people say:
To be more confident.
To be stronger
To be more attractive.
To be more of an athlete/to compete.
What Are the Best Reasons?I don’t think there is such a thing as a ‘#1 best reason’ to get in shape and look your best. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to do it. The important thing is that you have a reason that motivates you. Not a reason that you read in some magazine, or a reason that someone else told you that you should have. You have to have a reason that comes from you.

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This is the type of reason that will motivate you to wake up early if you have to, to go out in the cold, to not eat that oh-so-tempting piece of cake because you have a bigger goal in mind. This is the most important part of building a better body. If your motivation isn’t strong enough you won’t put forth the necessary effort. So focus first on your reason and the rest will follow.How to Get ThereThe purpose of this post is not to go into a lengthy discussion on exactly what you need to do to build a great body. But there are a few key things that you need to build the body you’re after. Here they are:
Proper nutrition
Proper exercise
Proper rest
You can guess which one most people focus on. Yep, the exercise! But if you aren’t getting the right nutrition or the right amount of rest you won’t see the results you’re after. If you just eat well but don’t exercise you won’t get the right results either! You have to work on all three of these to be successful.Look at what you’ve been doing and see if you’re not giving one or more areas enough priority. If you need to work on improving your nutrition, make that a priority this month. Get in the habit of eating right. Maybe even use a tool like FitDay to track what you’re eating. If you’re not working out enough, make that a priority. If you don’t rest enough make that a priority. In other words, figure out what’s broken in what you’re currently doing and make some changes to fix it!

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The Role of Body Building SupplementsCan using a body building supplement help you to reach your goal? Definitely! Granted, some work better than others and different people have different reactions to different supplements. But the main point is that creatine supplements or any other supplement will only really help you if the other three areas (nutrition, exercise, rest) are in place. Don’t try to use supplements to replace proper nutrition. You have to use them in addition to proper nutrition.

Building A Better Body One Brick At A Time

The quest to develop a stunningly fit, lean and attractive body is a long, slow journey. It’s not something you achieve overnight by popping a few pills or strapping an electric gizmo to your belly.Which reminds me, did you know that by the time the FTC finally blew the whistle on the electronic ab belt scam, the makers of those “ab zappers” had swindled over $100 million dollars from unsuspecting consumers? Fortunately, some of those companies had to pay it back, and then some! The FTC charged three companies – Fast Abs, Ab Tronic and Ab Energizer – with false advertising and deceptive warranty practices for these “ABSurd” gimmcks.But I digress… back to what I was saying about the journey to a better body…Last week I looked out my window, and where there was once nothing but a dirt-filled empty lot, there stood a sprawling six story brick condo complex. If someone looked at this massive completed structure for the first time, they might not be impressed. However, since I observed the entire construction process unfold from my living room window, I was impressed – amazed even – at what goes into erecting this kind of structure.I remember watching the crew humming around diligently every day like busy bees, laying one brick after another. From one day to the next, it didn’t seem like much changed. But slowly, over a period of a year and a half, I watched the building gradually morph into the finished product.

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When you look at someone with an incredible body as a finished product, you often tend to dismiss the long, arduous journey and hard work it took to build that body. Unless you were side by side with that person in the gym (and in the kitchen), observing the work involved, it’s easy to attribute such a chiseled physique to genetics or give credit to a supplement (they just took product XYZ and voila – overnight abs). What you don’t see or appreciate are all the months and years of sweat and hard work.Getting in shape is a lot like a construction project. First, there must be a picture in the mind. Then the vision goes onto paper as a blueprint. It takes months just to lay the foundation. More months of work will follow. On a daily basis, it doesn’t seem like much is happening. You look in the mirror and appear, for the most part, the same as you did yesterday. But sure enough, the small improvements are slowly accumulating like compounding interest in the bank. One day, you look in the mirror and “suddenly,” your blueprint has become reality.The body of a fitness model, figure competitor or bodybuilder is no more likely to be built overnight than a high rise is to be built overnight. It’s not physically possible. Accepting the idea that any type of pill, powder, drug, supplement or machine of any kind will make it happen sooner than nature intended (without negative consqeuences or side effects) is pure folly. You can’t force it.Growth and development of any kind always requires a gestation period. For a baby, it’s nine months. For corn, I believe it’s about three months. If you were an expectant mother, would you want to hurry the process? Could any new development in nutrition or medical science speed up this wonderful miracle even one iota? If you were a farmer, would you try to harvest your crop before it was ripe? Would you dig up your seeds to see if anything was growing down there?The answers are obvious. If only we would adopt the same patient, nurturing “mother’s” or “farmer’s mindset” towards getting in shape, then no one would waste their money on “fast abs” or “exercise in a bottle” or any such silliness ever again. We would understand that one must sow first, then reap the harvest, but that you can’t sow and reap in the same season.

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If you ever get frustrated with the rate of progress in your fitness or weight loss program (and who doesn’t), just remember; success is always guaranteed to the persistent. Nothing in the world can stop someone who knows what they want and is willing to continue paying the price until they get it. It just takes time.Become the architect and builder of your own dream body. You WILL build the body you want eventually if you’re patient enough and you refuse to quit. And set your goals HIGH! Create a fantastic blueprint. Michelangelo said, “the greatest danger is not that we set our goals too high and miss them, the greatest danger is that we set our goals too low and we reach them.” Envision a castle – a veritable Taj Mahal of a body! There’s nothing wrong with building castles in the sky, as long as you patiently work at putting the foundations underneath them. There are very few unrealistic goals; only goals with unrealistic deadlines.So keep laying those “bricks” – every day – one at a time – and sure enough, eventually, you’ll build yourself a palace.Copyright 2005 Tom Venuto

Body Building Basics – Building a Better Body You Can Be Proud Of!

There are as many varied opinions on what “plan” one should follow to build muscle, as there are people who have those opinions. On one thing they do agree, however. You must have a regimen. You can begin by defining your objective. Why are you interested in body building? What do you hope to accomplish? What is your ultimate goal? It’s all about commitment and belief. There is an abundance of information about how to begin and conduct your journey, but without a burning desire to achieve, you are doomed to inevitable failure. The following tips are not intended to be a “one size fits all.” Take from it what you will. In that light, consider the following list:1. Before beginning any serious weight lifting or body building regimen, consult your physician.2. Set your goals. Define what you expect to achieve with your new bodybuilding campaign within a realistic time frame. If you create goals that are unattainable you are setting yourself up for failure. You can become bored, disappointed and disillusioned to the point where you may give up. This is a very sad outcome to what might have been the best decision of your life. Don’t sell yourself short. Set your long-term goals, of course, but also set short-term goals that are achievable. And, don’t forget to reward yourself when you do achieve them.

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3. Consider the costs. If you don’t already have a budget, create one. Then, determine what amount of discretionary funds you have available for your bodybuilding program. This will determine whether you can afford to have a home gym or if your needs would better be served by joining a club. Joining a club is still a good short-term introduction before spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on equipment that might not be appropriate for your needs.4. Don’t forget some of the low cost alternatives to purchasing your bodybuilding equipment. If used equipment is still functional why spend the extra dollars just for a little glitz! Good, brand name used equipment is every bit as functional as something right off a showroom floor.5. Consider combining a home gym along with a membership in a public facility. Purchase less expensive free weight equipment for use at home and join a gym to have access to the more expensive equipment. You can design your entire workout routines around a combination such as this.6. Eat healthy! This can’t be stressed enough. The only true bodybuilding aids are good nutrition. Consult a licensed dietician. Watch your local community calendar for free seminars on diet and nutrition. Learn all you can about what nature freely provides that can help you to develop a healthy diet.

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7.If you choose to use dietary supplements, make certain that you know what you are putting in your body. Follow the packaging guidelines we outlined above. Ask your physician for his/her recommendations based on the regimen you have selected. No friend, coach or acquaintance can take the place of your physician. In fact, you may even investigate finding a physician who specializes in sports wellness.7. Be kind to yourself. Yes, it’s important to push to achieve your goals, but it’s very easy to tip the scales in the other direction and create a nightmare for yourself. Obsessive, compulsive behaviors are not conducive to a healthy bodybuilding lifestyle.

Build a Better Body and a Stronger Relationship With This Workout

Build a better body and a stronger relationship with this workoutThey say that the family that eats together stays together, but what if eating together has led to the dreaded relationship weight gain? Instead why not try out a new phrase? The couple that workout together stays together (but still eat together too!).The TABATA training protocol is a form of High Intensity Interval Training that was created by Izumi Tabata in 1996. The idea is to perform 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by a 10 second rest. This is one cycle, and the protocol involves eight cycles for a total of 4 minutes.TABATA works best when it is performed without weights, using bodyweight exercises. The main benefits of TABATA training are the effects on both the aerobic and anaerobic energy releasing systems [1]. Using TABATA training could help not only with fat loss but could also improve performance in a number of sports, particularly those that require both energy systems (basketball or soccer for example).High Intensity Interval Training has been shown to double endurance capacity [2] and produce rapid adaptations in skeletal muscle [3]. Another study found that short bouts of HIIT can increase the amount of oxygen that your muscles can store (known as muscle oxidative capacity) to the same degree as traditional aerobic training [4]. It has also been proven to be an effective fat-burner, particularly in overweight people [5]. Also, one study found that post-exercise energy expenditure was higher with HIIT than with either cardio sessions or weights [6].

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This is without even going into the practical benefits of TABATA training, it is easy to set up (you just need a stopwatch or specific app on your phone), it can be performed in a very short period of time, and requires no equipment such as weights, treadmills, or cable stations. This makes for a perfect 30 minute workout at home.How to perform TABATA togetherFirstly, any TABATA program could be done by couples without making any changes, just perform your workouts together. Simple huh? But why not take this a step further? You can perform exercises that involve each other.For example one of you can perform a press up whilst the other holds your feet in the air, they can perform squats whilst doing this. The benefits of this are that the person performing the press up has to deal with the increased resistance, while the person performing the squats also has to engage their core to keep the partner’s legs up.Other ways that you can perform exercises together can involve using your partner as the weight for squats or deadlifts. Performing triceps dips off each other, and if all of that was too difficult you can take turns being each others’ personal trainer.References[1] Tabata, I., Irisawa, K., Kouzaki, M., Nishimura, K., Ogita, F., Miyachi, M. 1997. Metabolic profile of high intensity intermittent exercises. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 29(3): 390-395[2] Burgomaster, K., Hughes, S., Heigenhauser, G., Bradwell, S., Gibala, M. 1985. Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology 98(6): 1985-90

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[3] Gibala, M., Little, J., van Essen, M., Wilkin, G., Burgomaster, K., Safdar, A., Raha, S., Tarnopolski, M. 2006. Short-term sprint interval versus traditional endurance training: similar initial adaptations in human skeletal muscle and exercise performance. The Journal of Physiology 15;575(Pt 3): 901-11[4] Burgomaster, K., Howarth, K., Phillips, S., Rakobowchuk, M., Macdonald, M., McGee, S., Gibala, M. 2008. Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans. The Journal of Physiology 586(1): 151-60[5] Zhang, H., Tong, T., Qui, W., Wang, J., Nie, J., He, Y. 2015. EFFECT OF HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING PROTOCOL ON ABDOMINAL FAT REDUCTION IN OVERWEIGHT CHINESE WOMEN: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL. Kinesiology 47(1): 57-66[6] Gillette, C., Bullough, R., Melby, C. 1994. Postexercise energy expenditure in response to acute aerobic or resistive exercise. International Journal of Sports Nutrition 4(4): 347-60

The Secrets to Building a Better Body – Part 1 – Introduction and Correct Exercise

The secrets to building a better body.To be honest with you, there are no ‘secrets’. No matter what you read in magazines and on the web about improving the shape of your body, there are only four areas that really need to concern you; correct exercises, correct nutrition, adequate rest, and the right mental attitude. That’s it! That’s all there is to it! No secrets, no magic potions! Millions and millions of dollars are spent trying to convince you otherwise. You will see in magazines new routines and exercises claiming to enhance muscle growth. There may be elements of truth in the claims, but most of these systems are really intended for the athletes who have already achieved significant amounts of muscle growth / levels of fitness. To use the analogy of a car, it’s like taking your average family saloon and expecting it to perform better with alloy wheels and low-profile tyres. It just doesn’t happen!Still, it’s all part of the dream. Deep down we all want to develop a physique similar to the male and female models on the covers of fitness magazines (I’m not talking here about the extreme muscle-builders – let’s keep a realistic perspective). It is possible for anybody to improve his or her overall shape and strength through weight training. It just needs strict adherence to the four areas I listed above. Let’s look at each one in turn:

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1. Correct exercises.When starting out, stick to the most basic exercises and perfect them. We’re talking here about the bench press, the squat, the dumbbell curl, the triceps extension, the calf raise, etc. Think about the main muscle groups of the body such as the pectorals, the biceps, the quads, the abdominals, the shoulders etc. and do a little research to find basic exercises you could use. For example, shoulders respond best to seated dumbbell raises. If you’re seated there is no assistance given to the shoulders by the legs, and after a few sets you’ll find the muscles in the shoulders really do start to burn. There are no prizes for lifting the heaviest weights. I do despair when I see the young guys at our gym and their training methods. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really pleased that they’re in the gym and trying to improve their bodies, but they could achieve a lot more if only they would lose the ‘macho’ approach – you know what I mean; the use of weights that are too heavy to have any real effect, the incorrect form, lack of intensity, treating the training session as a social event (why do they have to bring their mobile phones into the gym?) ….. I could go on.Back to the shoulders – start off using comfortable weights. Learn how to lift them, experience the feel of them, and watch the motion of your arms and shoulders in the mirrors. Do each exercise slowly and make each repetition count. I frequently use weights that would be scoffed at by others, but if done correctly and with proper form even ‘lighter’ weights can produce killer workouts. The key principle here is to learn how to lift weights correctly. This is where good training partners are a major plus – encourage your partner to be positively critical. You want them to comment on your form, you want their assistance, you want their advice – and don’t forget to reciprocate when you’re doing the spotting. If you don’t have a partner then use the mirrors.

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Get over the initial narcissistic feeling and learn how to use the mirrors to really enhance your training. Your training must be consistent, but avoid the tendency to over-train. Personally, I find it best to train with weights three days a week, do some cardio work and a few abs on another three days of the week, and have one day as a complete rest day. If unsure about the types of exercises you should be doing or if you require information about routines then go to my website at http://www.weighttraining4life.comGraham Bray