Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dealing with Back Pain

One of the more painful and frustrating things that we go through on a regular basis and at times, on a continual basis is back pain. It doesn't matter whether your back is hurting in the lower part or if it is hurting up towards the shoulder blades, it is just something that most of us would like to be able to get out from underneath. Although there are many possible causes, there are also many ways for you to prevent and treat back pain. First, let us understand why we get back pain.

WHAT CAUSES BACK PAIN

Fat in the Front Means Pain in the Back

There are many people that struggle with weight loss on a regular basis but the fact of the matter is, it may be more than a simple cosmetic issue. Many people who are overweight experience back pain and are suffering needlessly, simply because they are having a difficult time in getting rid of the weight that they are carrying. The fact of the matter is, if you are carrying around an additional weight in the front of your body, your back is going to suffer as a result.

The reason why this is the case is because the spine was not designed in order to carry a load that is heavier than our body at its natural, lean weight. As you put on additional pounds, the spine begins to distort and to compress, causing a lot of pain that you are experiencing. It can also have an effect on your pelvis, tilting it forward and perhaps causing it to pinch your sciatic nerve. That is one of the main reasons why people who are overweight tend to have problems with their lower back, either because of sciatica or because of the distorting of the spinal column.

If you are experiencing this problem then there is really only one thing that you can do in order to overcome it. You need to get rid of some of the additional weight that you have been carrying around and your spine will begin to ease up and go back into its regular position. Unfortunately, weight loss is not something that is simple and it is a bit time consuming but the benefits of losing weight far outweigh any inconvenience that you may experience from the effort.

Two things that you can do in order to lose weight naturally are to get a little bit of exercise and to modify your diet so that you are taking in fewer calories than what you are using throughout the day. Start exercising slowly, especially if you're having problems with back pain. You should also do stretching exercises as well as concentrating on your core body muscles so that it will help to strengthen this area of your body, further reducing the amount of pain that you are experiencing. Within just a week or two of being on this weight loss program, you should begin to notice differences in the way that you feel.

Next we’ll discuss How Stress Can Cause Back Pain Too!

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Grab This Free Book (The 7 Day Back Pain Cure - How Thousands of People Get Relief Without Doctors, Drugs or Surgery) Right Now >> http://bit.ly/adoyfu

*Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Please see “Notice” at the sidebar!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

An Alternative Approach to Treating a Stiff Neck

A stiff neck is a condition that many will experience at some stage of their life. Stress, poor posture and injury are the most common causes. In the majority of cases the symptoms will ease with a gentle massage or a period of rest. However, for others a stiff neck becomes a daily concern leading to discomfort and inconvenience. If the condition persists it is advisable to get a thorough medical examination because a stiff neck may be the first sign of a serious illness.

If the stiffness is due to muscular tension the first course of action is generally painkillers. These should not be seen as a long-term solution as they will mask the problem and not address the cause. Massage, either self-administered, by a partner or professional, is another option. This does bring some much needed relief for the sufferer but again if the cause is not addressed this will only be temporary.

The most popular treatment is to prescribe neck exercises. The conventional view is muscle weakness or imbalance is the cause. Neck exercises will be given to the sufferer in an attempt to correct the perceived problem.

However, even this approach has its limitations and does not go far enough to address the root causes of a stiff neck. In my experience as teacher of movement and posture  the most useful course of action for a long-term sufferer is re-education. If there is a muscle imbalance or weakness, poor habits are usually the culprit. These habits can develop whilst compensating for an injury by holding the neck in the least painful position; long periods of sitting at desks or the common stress response of holding tension in the neck and shoulders. Once a habit is learnt it is difficult for the patient to do anything differently because the habit will feel right.

Exercises may make the condition worse because the patient will do the exercises with their poor habits. The best intentions of the therapist are undone once the patient returns home and performs the exercises unsupervised. Repetition of these exercises performed poorly will only re-enforce the bad habit.

Re-education involves taking the patient back the basics of movement. These movements will initially feel wrong because they are very different from their everyday feelings associated with turning their head or even just holding their neck. The tension has become a habit and they unknowingly hold this tension just to sit. Until the patient can relearn how their body can be naturally poised again all attempts to strengthen or rebalance muscles will complicate their existing habitual movement patterns.

In place of using exercise, a stiff neck sufferer can learn how to move and balance with less tension and condition their muscles by performing everyday tasks without the need to exercise. I have seen this approach work time and time again whilst conventional exercises have failed the individual.

Get relief from back, neck & shoulder pain in just 7 seconds at . . . www.neck-back-shoulder-pain-relief.com

Roy Palmer is a teacher of movement re-education and author of 7 Seconds to Pain Relief, secrets of lasting relief from back, neck & shoulder pain.  He has helped back pain sufferers, sports people and performing artists over the last 12 years. He is also the author of three books on the subject of performance enhancement, injury prevention and rehabilitation for athletes.

5 Cool Fat Burning Workout Tips

By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
http://bit.ly/8ASh80

If you want to squeeze even more fat burning results out of the already amazing Turbulence Training workouts, here are 5 cool workout tips that will super-charge your fat burning success.

1) Use the TRIPLE set method

Try the triple shoulder set (rear-delt, side raise, and front raise), or db incline curls, standing curls, and hammer curls, or db 1-arm tricep extension, db lying 2-arm ext, close grip pushup.

2) Do the Superset Switch-up

If you are doing supersets, switch to doing all the exercises in a circuit. you'll use lighter weights (slightly), but possibly get your workout done faster. A great change of pace without sacrificing results.

3) Use the Russian secret of "Iso pauses"

Great for increasing the difficulty of many exercises, from pushups to squats to pullups. So you could stop halfway down the pushup and hold for 3-5 seconds to make it harder. Or hold the top of the pullup for 2 seconds. That can make a huge difference in response from exercises you are using regularly.

4) Add beach-body sculpting shoulder and arm exercises to the end of your TT Workouts

A lot of tt readers who have a little extra time for more workouts want to add in a bit more arm or shoulder training. Here's an awesome tri-set to top off your beach body:

A) 1-Arm DB Shoulder Presses - 8 reps
B) DB Lying Triceps Extensions - 10 reps
C) DB Incline Curls - 12 reps
Rest 1 minute and repeat two more times for maximum results.

5) Before the workout, do KB swings or intervals

I don't like to do this a lot, but here's a little trick we can use to make our workouts seem harder in terms of conditioning. Instead of leaving all of the intervals to the end, we'll do half of the interval training or kettlebell swings at the start of the workout to increase breathing and heart rate. This will make the rest of the workout feel harder, but you might have to drop your strength levels. So use sparingly.

For more fat burning workout supersets, circuits, and intervals, try the Turbulence Training program for 21 days here:

=> http://bit.ly/8ASh80

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How To Gain Weight And Build More Muscle

For many thin guys around the world, gaining weight without using illegal steroids has been a challenge. For thousands of lean young men, the dream is to gain weight, but no matter how much they eat they remain thin. Some people are naturally thin; that means their genetic makeup is in such a way that the body burns more calories than others. The very basic method of weight gain is to eat more calories than your body burns off. By providing the body with more calories, this balance can be altered and body mass can be increased. Weight training is of great importance in this context, which enables the body to absorb more nutrients from the food by increasing the level of certain hormones and increasing the muscle mass.

There are many incorrect beliefs and theories bout building muscle. The type of food to be eaten is an important factor which decides the type of weight gained, whether it is muscle mass or mere accumulation of fat. Some types of calories are not equal to others for gaining muscle; because most processed junk food contains empty, totally nutritionless calories. These foods promote accelerated fat storage, and do not provide the body with the correct nutrients essential for gaining muscle. High quality protein, which the body breaks down into amino acids, should be the centerpiece of all your meals. Intense exercise increases demand for amino acids, which support muscle repair and growth.

Another factor is the selection of the right type of weight training. Resistance exercises will help with muscle growth. Whereas aerobic exercises can result in the reduction of weight. For maximum muscle gain, the focus of your workouts should consist of free weight exercises, rather than machines or bodyweight exercises. To get a very effective workout, you must stimulate as many muscle fibers as possible, and machines do not do this. The main reason for this is a lack of stabilizer and synergist muscle development. Stabilizer and synergist muscles are supporting muscles that assist the main muscle in performing a complex lift.

The results of weight training can vary from person to person, and will usually depend on your consistency and commitment to your program. You should have the patience and motivation for building a powerful body with a consistent diet and exercise schedule.

Exercise Guidelines for Building Muscle:

Weight training involves the use of equipment that enables variable resistance. This resistance can come in the form of free weights like barbells and dumbbells, machines that use cables or pulleys to help you lift the weight, and bodyweight exercises like pull-ups or dips. The more stabilizers and synergists you work, the more muscle fibers stimulated. The exercises that work the large muscle groups are called compound (or multi-joint) movements that involve the simultaneous stimulation of many muscle groups. These compound exercises should be the foundation of any weight training program because they stimulate the most amount of muscle in the least amount of time. Multi-jointed free weight exercises like the bench press require many stabilizer and synergistic muscle assistance to complete the lift.

Free weight exercises like the dumbbell press or squat put a very large amount of stress on supporting muscle groups. You will get fatigued faster and not be able to lift as much weight as you did on the machine. But you will gain more muscle, become stronger very quickly and have a true gauge of your strength.

If you use machines in your program, they should be used to work isolated areas and only after all multi-jointed exercises have been completed. Beginners should begin with a limited combination of machine exercises, bodyweight exercises and multi-jointed free weight exercises. Before increasing the weight levels, they should work on becoming familiar with the proper form and execution of each.

The following are some proven basic exercises to encourage muscle and strength gain unlike any other exercises.

Bench Presses - works the chest, shoulders, triceps

Overhead Presses - shoulders, triceps

Pull-ups/Barbell Rows - back, bicep

Squats - legs, lower back

Dead lifts - legs, back, shoulders

Bar Dips -shoulders, chest, arms

To build mass, you must weight train with heavy weights. To consider a weight heavy, you should only be able to do a maximum of 4-8 reps before your muscles temporarily fail. A weight is considered 'light' if you can do more than 15 reps before muscle fatigue sets in. Heavy weights stimulate more muscle fibers than lighter weights which result in more muscle growth. Heavy weight training puts a huge strain on your body, so adequate rest and recuperation after your workouts is essential.

Eating guidelines for building muscle:

A high protein diet is an inevitable part of any weight training program, importantly, protein derived from animal sources. Proteins you need to be concerned with are those found in whey, casein (cottage cheese), eggs, beef, poultry, and fish. Soy protein, tofu and bean curd are some alternatives. Eating the right amount of foods consistently will force your body to grow beyond what you may think possible. The diet also should contain an adequate amount of carbohydrates (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, oatmeal, cream of wheat, cream of rice, rice, beans, bread, pasta, all cereals) and fat. Green leafy vegetables and fruits also should be included.

When you train with weights, you should eat a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. You also must have protein at every meal. To enable your body to actually assimilate and use the all the calories you will ingest, you have to reduce your meal size and increase your meal frequency. Splitting your calories into smaller, more frequent portions will enable food absorption and utilization of nutrients.

During the past 20 years there have been great developments in the scientific understanding of the role of nutrition in health and physical performance. Studies shown that adequate dietary carbohydrate should be ingested (55-60% of total energy intake) so that training intensity can be maintained. Excess dietary saturated fat can exacerbate coronary artery disease; however, low-fat diets result in a reduction in circulating testosterone. So the balance between protein, carbohydrate and fat should be maintained.

So the focus on weight gain programs must be on two components, lifting heavy weights, which will stimulate the largest amount of muscle fibers. Your body responds to this stimulus by increasing your muscle mass and secondly eat more calories than your body is used to. When you overload your system with plenty of protein and fats, your body has no other choice but to gain weight.

A Mass Gaining program is incomplete without the timely measurements to monitor your progress. Without it, you won't know how exactly your body is responding to your diet and training routine. Just looking in the mirror and guessing is not acceptable. If you want to start getting great results, you must develop the habit of accurately tracking your progress. This also provides the motivation to continue with the weight gain schedule and for the further progression. So even though you have a very thin body type, and haven't been able to gain weight no matter what you try, you will definitely succeed with a well planned weight gain program.

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Resources:

How To Gain Muscle

Gain Muscle Fast

How to Gain Weight and Muscle

6 Weight Gain Tips Without Getting Fat

Real Muscle Real Fast

Strength Training Exercises

Strength Training Routines

Training Information

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Is A Bulging Disc?

A bulging disc, also known as a herniated or ruptured vertebral disc, is a common problem. It happens when one of the spinal discs is pushed out of its normal alignment, causing part of the disc to bulge out. This can cause a lot of pain.

The discs are soft cushions that separate each of the bony spinal vertebrae to give the spine flexibility and prevent the vertebral bones from being damaged by rubbing against each other. They also cushion the spinal nerves that surround the spinal cord.

These discs, like many of the structures of our body, tend to become more brittle and less flexible with age. In many people, the discs begin to deteriorate from around age 30. Just about everyone will have less flexible discs by the time they reach the age of 50 or 60. Less flexibility means that the discs are more easily damaged. So bulging disc pain is something that many people will suffer from as they grow older.

The reason that a bulging disc is so painful is that often times, when the disc is pushed out of alignment, the spinal nerves can be pinched. This is especially likely if the person already suffers from spinal stenosis, where the space around the spinal cord and nerves has gradually narrowed over the years. This kind of thing can be happening gradually without a person knowing, until pain begins at a certain point.

Herniation of the disc may happen suddenly, for example when a person lifts something heavy or has an accident or a fall. Then the pain is likely to come on suddenly and severely. In other cases it may happen gradually over time, as the spine is strained over and over. In those cases, the pain may be occasional, becoming more and more of a problem until the person seeks treatment.

Sufferers from a bulging disc will often experience pain like an electric shock that results from the compression of the spinal nerve. This shock type pain may be felt going down your arms (when the problem is in the vertebrae of the neck) or down your legs (when the problem disc is in the lower back region). You may also have tingling or numbness in your arms or legs, and general muscle weakness.

In rare cases a herniated or bulging disc can also cause problems with urinating or having bowel movements, often accompanied by numbness in the genital area. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away.

Sometimes surgery is needed, but in many cases a herniated disc will heal with rest. However, it is important to seek medical advice with any back problem. Your doctor can check that there is nothing more serious wrong with you, and prescribe pain relief medication if necessary for your bulging disc.

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Back Pain? Sciatica? Grab This Free Book (The 7 Day Back Pain Cure) Right Now >> http://bit.ly/adoyfu

 

*Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Please see “Notice” at the sidebar!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Benefits of Strength Training

The benefits of a good strength training program are almost endless. Less disease, happiness and most importantly, showing off your muscles at the beach.

Strength training should be part of everyone's routine. Even if you are low on time, strength training, according to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), only needs to be done 2-3 times per week with each session lasting no more than one hour. For 2-3 hours per week, huge benefits can be realized.

Regular strength training will:

**help you in day to day activities around the house and in your yard. It will keep you independent which is especially important in the older population. Imagine not being able to lift a 5 pound bag of flour or take the garbage out by yourself.

**lower the risk of osteoporosis, hypertension and diabetes.

**help you avoid lower back pain.

**increase bone density which is important for post menopausal women.

**increase muscle mass which burns more calories throughout the day than an equal amount of fat.

Even with all these benefits, many people are reluctant to start training with weights. Concerns include injury, incorrect form and for women; not wanting to grow muscles and look like a man.

When beginning your strength training program, the risk of getting hurt can be greatly reduced by starting out with machines rather than free weights. As you become more comfortable with the machines, slowly learn to use free weights. If you want to stick with the machines, know that they will give you the same benefits as free weights. As for the concern that women will look like men, it won't happen without the help of steroids, which you shouldn't even consider using.

Sometimes when we think of being healthy, we think of eating and running. While these are important, strength training should never be left out. Strength training provides benefits to your health that cannot be found with any other mode of exercise and shouldn't be forgotten.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A “Must-Read” Book If You Suffer From Back Pain

“Wow”

That single word is what I was left with as I finished ‘The 7 Day Back Pain Cure’ by my good friend and back-pain expert Jesse Cannone.

Unlike the dozens of other back-pain relief books, ‘The 7 Day Back Pain Cure’ gives you an A-Z blueprint on exactly what's causing your back pain – and the action steps necessary to get rid of it permanently.

It's written by Jesse Cannone... a dear friend of mine and one of the most sought-after back-pain experts due to his natural approach. He's been featured in dozens of newspapers and magazines, such as Miss Fitness, Natural Bodybuilding, and Visage, numerous radio programs, thousands of websites and has even appeared as an exclusive back-pain expert on NBC!

And for a limited time... he wants to give YOU a real, physically shipped-to-your-doorstep copy of ‘The 7 Day Back Pain Cure’... absolutely f-r-e-e.

>> Secure your copy now! <<  

Here's just a TINY taste of what Jesse reveals inside his book...

The REAL reason you "threw your back out” (Hint: In 95% of cases it has NOTHING to do with what happened when it first started hurting!) Page 14

The 3 hidden, underlying causes of all back pain - If you don't understand and correct these mistakes - it's literally impossible to experience back pain relief without heavy medication! (Chapter 3)

How to easily and quickly eliminate the problem caused by sitting all day - This “quick-n-easy” fix takes just a few seconds per day… and for many people can relieve back pain nearly instantly! (Chapter 4)

Revealed: The real reason your doctors do NOT have YOUR best interests at heart (Warning: This "hush-hush" doctors-only secret is something your doctor will not... and can't...  ever admit to!)

The #1 most overlooked cause of back pain which has NOTHING to do with muscle imbalances, back-blow-outs, diet, or genetics… yet can't be fixed with drugs, doctors-visits or even surgery. Chapters 5 and 14 reveal how to conquer this little-known back-killer!

How to reduce the #1 dietary cause of back pain - Make a few EASY changes to your diet to reduce this back-pain causing "evil" and you'll not only reduce your back pain… you'll also drastically reduce your chances of developing heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer's… as well as nearly any other degenerative disease you can think of! (Chapter 6)

The 6 types of "professionals" you've most likely dealt with already (or will in the future)… and why… if you're like most people… NONE of them can give you any long-term back pain relief by themselves (Chapter 8)

6 easy-to-implement lifestyle changes you can make TODAY - Start these the day you read the book and you can begin watching your back pain disappear just a few days later! (Chapter 10)

Why your irritating "trigger points" are causing much more damage than you think… plus… I'll reveal which of the top 3 solutions for banishing trigger points actually work! (Chapter 13)

A little-known technique for "fighting gravity" - This 2,000 year old technique developed by Hippocrates is a time-tested and PROVEN solution for fighting and even eliminating back pain… in both the short-term AND long-term! Plus…  7 "add-on" extra benefits you'll experience with this technique (Chapter 13)

Chapters 18-25 reveal specific “7-Day Action Plans” you can take to free yourself from the torment of lower back pain, upper back and neck pain, herniated discs, sciatica, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction… as well as many others!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Do You Enjoy Helping Those In Need?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

If you already know Jesse – you'll know that he is an extremely honest, patient, generous and kind-hearted man. Best of all... with a wife and 8 kids... he's an amazing “family man”.

And he's not changing anytime soon.

So when you get your copy of ‘The 7 Day Back Pain Cure’... not only are YOU benefiting from this life-changing information... he's also donating $1 to Habitat For Humanity or Kiva.org.  You get to choose.

It really is a win-win-win if I've ever seen one.

Heck... I personally think you should secure your copy even if you don't have back problems. I'm sure you know a friend, relative, family member, or co-worker who could use this information. That way you're helping whoever you get it for – PLUS giving to charity at the same time!

>> Check this out if you like helping others << 

Again... this is a limited-time offer and I have no idea when he's going to take it down. I suggest you grab your copy before he does.

You'll be happy you did – I promise.

Arthur M.

P.S. When you secure your copy today... you'll also receive 5 amazing bonuses worth a real-life value of $125.97. I'll keep them a surprise for now though... head over to the page below for more details :)

>> Get more information on these bonuses here <<

Learn About All the Best Protein Sources

By Doberman Dan

BLAIR'S PROTEIN WAY OF LIFE:

How to mix the protein drink

A man normally uses the 1/3-cup measuring scoop filled level with Blair's Instant Protein (or the 1/4-cup scoop filled heaping) mixed with a glassful of liquid. A lady normally uses the 1/4-cup scoop filled level. Using the blender, a man mixes four of the 1/3-cup scoopfuls (same as one and one third cupfuls) to the quart; a lady uses four 1/4-cup scoopfuls, or a cupful, to the quart.

The 1/4-cup scoop filled level with protein equals approximately 18 grams of protein; mixed with a glassful of half-and-half it comes to about 26 grams. The 1/3-cup scoop filled level (or the 1/4-cup scoop filled heaping) yields about 24 grams of protein; mixed with a glassful of half-and-half it's approximately 32 grams of protein.

The preferred liquid for mixing the protein is half-and-half, and for a good reason. Nature seems to indicate that protein and fat should be taken in even balance. Milk with 3% protein is balanced with an equal amount of fat. Likewise eggs, meat, etc.

Blair's Instant Protein is extracted from milk and eggs without this normally occurring fat; both eggs and milk were defatted in processing. Whole milk is normally balanced by itself, so if we mix the protein with milk we throw off this natural balance. However, by mixing the protein with half whole milk and half heavy cream we restore some of the fat removed during processing and we achieve a product more normally balanced as to proportions of protein and fat.

Remember, you are not actually drinking half-and-half when you follow this suggestion. The protein with half-and-half makes a "milk" drink which is equivalent to whole milk in the balance of protein and fat. It is thick and creamy because it is concentrated.

The "half-and-half" sold by most dairies is not a true "one half" plus "one half" but it can be used. We prefer to mix our own, using one-half whole milk and one-half heavy (whipping) cream. We recommend using raw milk and raw cream if it is available.

Do not be alarmed that we suggest using cream, for cream is not necessarily fattening for all people. By eliminating from the diet the high carbohydrate foods (those high in starch and sugar) you may find the body uses fats for a superior source of energy. Fats in the diet often tend to burn off accumulated body fat.

This protein drink made with half-and-half is delicious and tasty, especially if you make sure that the milk and cream are VERY COLD!

(for other liquids to use in mixing the protein, see WEIGHT WATCHERS on page five and VARIATIONS, page six)

(2) PROTEIN WAY OF LIFE:

Additions to the protein drink:

When you wish to flavor the mixture, you may add some vanilla or other favorite flavoring. Whatever flavoring you care to add, Blair's protein always tastes like melted ice cream. Notice that we offer three good flavorings (see Blair's order blank).

If you wish, you may add a raw egg or two to the glassful of protein drink to provide a higher biological value. A whole egg adds about six grams of protein. We recommend that you use the whole egg, both yolk and white, and fertile if possible.

When you wish to make the mixture thicker or more like an ice cream malt, try adding some ice milk cubes. Just put milk or half-and-half in the ice cube tray and freeze. Adding a few cubes to the blender mixture keeps it cold and improves both texture and taste.

For the addition of oils, see VARIATIONS on last page.

HOW TO DRINK THE PROTEIN DRINK

The way you get this protein mixture into the stomach is important. Mistakes at this point can spell disappointing results. The protein drink is never to be gulped. It is to be sipped slowly. Some persons should take at least 30 minutes to get the glassful swallowed.

The same goes for milk, which ought always to be sipped slowly, taking fifteen minutes to sip a glassful. To make it easier, use a straw and pinch the end together. This puts milk into the stomach at the same rate a baby does, and that is the best way.

Now, we don't suggest sitting and looking at the drink for thirty minutes! Sip it slowly while you keep busy at other things like getting ready in the morning, working, studying, working out, etc.

You might do as Don Howorth does. First thing in the morning he would mix or pour the protein drink and start sipping. Then he'd shower and sip some more. After shaving, some more. After thirty minutes or so he's ready to sip the last and start the day's work.

This slow sipping is important. Many people I meet do not have the ability to digest foods as efficiently or to metabolize them as readily as they should. Putting foods into the stomach slowly helps to handle them more efficiently.

The way you use water and other liquids can also influence digestive efficiency. Try to get at least eight glassfuls of liquid each day (including your protein drinks). But avoid taking large amounts of water with meals as this may seriously dilute the digestive juices.

Rather, sip water between feedings, taking one or two PEPTAIN HCL tablets to help maintain the level of stomach acids. If you are trying to gain weight, try sipping milk (with Peptain) between meals instead of water.

(3) PROTEIN WAY OF LIFE:

Take Smaller Feedings

The protein drink makes a full meal; nothing else need be taken with it. It is important that we learn to take small feedings and to take them oftener. That is why we do not recommend three meals a day. Better to take protein snacks slowly all day long, in five or seven (or even ten) small feedings. This tends to encourage more efficient handling of our food. With this discipline we may possibly eat less in volume and still receive more real nourishment.

The stomach is normally the size of the two fists put together. When we are eating small meals, the stomach tends to shrink back to its normal size. For better handling of food, try never to fill the stomach more than 2/3 full. Take only the equivalent of a 6-or 8-ounce glassful in volume at a time.

You may wish to keep a pitcherful of the protein mixture in the refrigerator or carry a thermos so you can have protein available at all times. Sip it as regularly as possible while working or studying. This can take the place of several of your meals or all of them, as you wish. By the way, our 5-cup plastic shaker is very handy to keep a supply of protein ready and sealed at all times.

Those just starting the high protein diet should use smaller amounts to begin with and gradually increase the daily intake over several weeks. This gives the body a chance to increase its efficiency in digestion and assimilation so that it can handle greater amounts of this important life-giving substance.

We have found that when one increases the protein intake he may want to decrease the amount of potatoes and bread and cereals, as well as of salads and vegetables in the diet. These other foods take a secondary place to protein and they should not be allowed to displace protein in the digestive tract.

We feel that some people can handle more protein and handle it more efficiently in the proper length of time when they include an appropriate amount of the protein digestant, Peptain HCL. How much should one use? The more protein, the more digestive assistance one may require. Again, a person's own digestive efficiency determines how much assistance he needs in order to handle protein in good amounts and in the proper length of time.

These busy days some people fall into the habit of missing meals. Some are just not hungry on rising, which could be due to eating too large an amount the evening before. In weight control, missing meals can be serious. Morning is the time the body needs protein more than any other time, after being without food for about twelve hours. It is important to provide protein of good quality early in the day. We feel that ideally never an hour should go by without some protein going into the stomach. Small amounts taken often - this is a valuable secret. But miss meals, never!!

( 4 ) PROTEIN WAY OF LIFE:

How to swallow the capsules

The supplements should never be used without food. Do NOT take them on an empty stomach. Always use them with food of some kind.

We find that nothing is better than the protein drink as a medium for getting the supplement capsules swallowed. Whatever supplements you are using should be taken along with your protein feedings and other meals. Just slip down the appropriate supplements for that time of day as you swallow the protein drink, some milk or the like.

It helps to hold the gelatin capsules in the mouth for a full minute (two are better) in order to soften them for quicker dispersion (emptying) in the stomach. Keep them moving or they'll stick together!

Some of us find it convenient to count out the portions of supplements ahead of time to avoid opening bottles so often. Some keep the portions in small cups or plastic bags, ready to use at the right time.

USING OTHER FOODS

As to other foods to use, try to concentrate on proteins, and avoid or eliminate altogether the starches and sugars (carbohydrates). Most Blair students soon learn the wisdom of using no grains, flours, cakes, pastries or the like. They don't use juices, honey or molasses because of their high sugar content. They use very little of fruits or vegetables. They avoid starch foods and sugar-bearing foods, feeling that such foods don't belong in a health-building diet.

For an evening meal we suggest a piece of beef, lamb or poultry. Perhaps a slice of tomato or raw onion, purely for seasoning purposes. Some cheese (cottage cheese, natural swiss, cheddar) so as to include a calcium-bearing food to offset the phosphorus in the meat. Perhaps a tender heart of celery heaped high with cream cheese for something chewy. A half a devilled or hard-boiled egg. That should be plenty, unless you wish to include a sip or two of the protein drink or half a glassful of buttermilk. The meal must be small, though!

When you feel you simply must have some fruit or vegetable, the peach and the tomato have the least bulk and probably the lowest carbohydrate value and would therefore be the most innocent to use. Perhaps you could satisfy your craving with half a peeled apple.

Other foods we find compatible with the Blair program include sour cream, unflavored yogurt, buttermilk, acidophilus milk, custard, butter, margarine, mayonnaise.

FATS SLOW DIGESTION

As to the fat intake, that is up to the individual. We have some students who use a quart of heavy cream a day. Others simply can't because the extra fat tends to slow down the digestion so they are not handling enough protein to meet their needs. Again, some body-builders cannot make gains without a good amount of cream in the diet. By experimentation you may determine for yourself how much cream and other fats you wish to include in the diet.

(5) PROTEIN WAY OF LIFE

A special note:

We find there are some people whose intake of protein has been only 30 to 40 grams a day. Their bodies are not geared to handle the amount of protein they should be handling every day as a result of this continued low intake. Their dietary has instead included fruits, vegetables, salads, potatoes, breads, cereals, desserts and pastries. Such foods have displaced other and better foods containing important body-building amino acids.

These people find it helpful to use the product LACTAID to assist in digesting milk and milk proteins. Also recommended is our very efficient protein digestant, PEPTAIN HCL, for those who do not have the necessary digestive juices to handle proteins well.

People who have done fasting, who have used juice therapies, or who have lived on a vegetarian-type diet are apt as a result to endure a low protein intake. In some cases it has taken years to bring up the efficiency of their protein digestion. Blair himself was at one time a faster and a vegetarian. When he became interested in a better protein intake, it took years to build up his ability to handle the amount of protein needed to do a good job of rebuilding the body.

FOR WEIGHT WATCHERS

On a weight control regimen, you may find that protein helps keep the nutrition high. A good protein intake can avoid the deterioration of skin that often accompanies a reducing period.

Some find they enjoy mixing the protein with unsweetened grapefruit juice. Not with grape juice, which is too high in sugar. We might also suggest using orange juice or carrot juice.

For those who find that using the protein with half-and-half or with whole milk (or even with non-fat milk) tends to add unwanted weight, it is possible to mix the protein with a non-caloric (sugarless) non-cola bottled drink such as diet orange soda or Fresca. This proves to be a delightful way to take the protein and often helps control the weight problem. At the same time it provides good protein intake to prevent deterioration of skin tissue.

A raw egg and a teaspoonful of safflower oil can be added to the protein drink. Including the vegetable oils up to 20% of the total fat intake has been found helpful in some cases. Usually this amounts to about five teaspoonfuls a day. One should not use more than 20%, we feel, and one should be sure to supplement the Vitamin E intake in order to prevent the peroxidation (rancidity) that the vegetable oils tend to produce within the body.

The Blair program as we recommend it proves to be very helpful to the weight watcher, because of the high protein intake for one thing, and because of the practice of taking smaller meals and eating more often.

(6) PROTEIN WAY OF LIFE

VARIATI0NS

You need not use the protein in exactly the same way all the time. It is delightfully pleasant every way you mix it. There are many differences in biochemistry among individuals, so you may wish to experiment with various ways of mixing the protein drink to find what suits you best.

There are times when even a bodybuilder may wish to use the protein in skim milk (non-fat) in order to "lean up" for a contest. Again, there are times when one may wish to conserve more protein for tissue building and would therefore prefer using the protein in half-and-half.

At other times he may use the thinner half-and-half sold in stores or reduce the amount of cream in his home-made half-and-half mixture in order to help speed up the digestion of protein. Fats in the stomach tend to slow down the digestion.

At other times, one may use the protein in pure cream, with no milk at all! One pours cream into a bowl and stirs the protein powder into it, making a delightful pudding to be eaten with a spoon.

Also, one may vary the ways he uses the protein during the day. On going to bed, for instance, one may prefer to take the protein with whole milk, either hot or cold. For greater energy level during the day, one may start out with a breakfast of protein with half milk and half cream.

On days off from exercise, days of less energy output, one may use the protein with whole milk or with store half-and-half. Adjust it to your needs and preferences.

Bodybuilders and others with a weight problem or a tendency toward a smooth mid-section may find it helpful to add up to five teaspoonfuls of vegetable oils per day (like safflower oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, peanut or walnut oil). But be sure to include at least 100 Intl. Units a day of Vitamin E to assure against the rancidity that develops when the body processes vegetable oils. Using the vegetable oils can cause a detrimental Vitamin E deficiency.

IN SUMMARY:

Sip, don't gulp! Take protein in small feedings. Eat oftener; take protein snacks all day long!

Try to balance protein and fat intake.

Swallow supplements always with food.

Eliminate starches and sugars; don't skip meals!

YOU are made of protein, so a protein diet builds YOU better.

Build Muscle Mass With The "Hyper Growth Muscle Mass System" by Daniel Gallapoo known in bodybuilding circles as Doberman Dan. A step-by-step guide that teaches you the secrets, tips, and techniques you need to know to build a chiseled, muscular, ripped, head-turning physique...FAST! Visit http://bit.ly/cQcRo5

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Arthritis In Spine Explained

There are many types of arthritis and most of them can cause arthritis in spine joints just as they can affect other joints of the body such as the hips, knees and shoulders. Usually it is the joints of the lower back that are affected, and in fact arthritis in its various forms is one of the most common causes of lower back pain.

Many people who have arthritis in spine joints already have another spinal disease or condition such as degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis. These conditions place an extra burden on the joints of the spine which can lead to damage and the pain of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting many people as they grow older. About 1 in 10 people over 65 will be disabled due to osteoarthritis, although most of these cases refer to knees and hips which can often be restored to mobility through surgery.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis in the spine include stiffness and pain in the neck and/or lower back. A problem in the neck may be accompanied by weakness or numbness in the arms; arthritis in spine lower down can produce the same weakness or numbness in the legs.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disease in which the joints become inflamed and painful. As with other auto immune diseases, the cause is not known but there may be a genetic factor. Women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Unlike other forms of arthritis it is more likely to affect the upper spine, especially the joints of the neck, along with feet and hands.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that involves the spine. Again this is an auto immune disease but it affects the spine more than other joints. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis it affects men more often than women, and usually begins before the age of 40. There is back pain and stiffness, sometimes affecting the whole spine, along with general fatigue. In many cases there is also inflammation of the eyes. The pain may be relieved by movement, worse when resting. Treatment is based on physical therapy, careful exercise and pain relief.

If you suffer from arthritis in spine areas the first thing to do is to consider your sleeping arrangements. A new, firm mattress can make a lot of difference, as can switching to a special pillow if the problem is in the neck or upper back. Heat treatments may help.

Your doctor may also suggest exercises that you can do to strengthen the spine or maintain as much freedom of movement as possible. He or she can prescribe pain medication that is suitable for you. So be sure to keep in contact with your doctor regarding your arthritis in spine and let him or her know when you notice any changes.

In some cases, surgery may be recommended. This is very much an individual matter that will be decided case by case. Spinal surgery is not undertaken lightly, but it can be helpful, especially where the arthritis in spine is accompanied by other problems that may respond to surgical procedures.

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*Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Please see “Notice” at the sidebar!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Few Simple Ideas to Mix Up Your Routine

Every now and then I catch myself stuck in the same routine and my workout starts to get a little boring.  I know this is starting to happen when it gets easy to miss my regular workout.  Recently, I noticed this had happened when I easily talked myself out of working out for almost 2 weeks straight.  Obviously, something needed to change.  So here are a few ideas that I use from time to time just to spice up my workout.  Give them a try, and I'm sure you'll find some new excitement to your workout as well.

Change your Grip!

This is a small change compared to most of the others you can do, but one way to spice up your workout from time to time is to change the way you're gripping the bar when doing barbell or machine exercises.  One of my favorite grips is the palm grip.  In fact, I've read several articles from fitness trainers and other professional athletes that suggest that on exercises like the bench press, you should only be using a palm grip.  

So what is a palm grip?  Let's use the bench press as an example for the palm grip.  Many of us have been guilty of using a standard grip on this exercise, myself included.  A standard grip would be where you wrap your hand around bar as if you were holding a baseball bat.  If you want a more effective bench press, try not wrapping your thumb around the bar.  You might think that you'll lose some stability by doing this, but I've never had that problem.  You might have to bend your wrist a little more to compensate, or lower the weight just a little bit.  The main benefit to using a palm grip on this type of exercise is that by putting your thumb in this position, you are reducing the amount of effort that your forearms will put into the exercise.  Therefore, your chest and triceps muscles will have to work even harder to do the lift.  Try this, and I'm sure you'll notice a difference the next time you perform a bench press.

Try Trisets!

You've probably heard of super sets, where you do two exercise consecutively without resting in between.  Have you ever tried doing three different exercises?  This works extremely well with bicep exercises.  The benefit to doing a triset with a bicep workout, is it allows you to hit the bicep really hard in three different ways.  Here's an example of a bicep triset: standing barbell curls, hammer curls, reverse barbell curls.  You'll also notice in this sequence that you have to change your grip with each set of the triset.  This is the best way to utilize a triset.  Here's an example of a triset with triceps: straight bar cable push downs, rope cable push downs, reverse cable pushdowns.  Again, the key here is to change the grip on each exercise.  Give these a try, and I'm sure you'll feel a new pump in whatever body part you utilize them with!

Change you Split!

Have you been following the same split routine for two long?  Has your split routine consisted of chest and triceps, back and biceps, or something similar for several months?  Try reversing your split or doing a 5 day split instead of a 3 day split.  Do chest and biceps, back and triceps just to mix it up a little.

These are just a few basic ideas, but its always a good idea to mix up your routine on a continual basis.  That way you can keep your body guessing and growing to adapt to the changes in stress that you place on your muscles.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Quick Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

Packing on size is easy, as long as proper techniques are applied. Keep in mind that everyone has a different body type. Here are some tips to help you gain muscle mass.

#1 Weight Train

Train with heavy weights using less reps. Using appropriate weight, you should only be able to do 4-8 reps. Using heavy weights and low reps puts your muscles and nervous system under much more stress than using lighter weights for many reps. The rest time in between sets should be approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

#2 Eat more Calories

To gain mass, you should strive to eat around 18-20 times you body weight in calories. The extra calories are needed to build new muscles and to repair muscle tissue that is damaged during the heavy workouts.  However, do not consume empty calories; go for foods which provide you with correct nutrients essential for gaining muscle.

#3 Eat more Protein

Only diets high in protein help build muscle when incorporated with intense physical training. Without protein, your body will not be able to build new muscle. Carbs serve mainly as energy for the body where as protein provides the necessary amino acids to build and repair muscle. To build muscles get at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

#4 Eat Fat

Dietary fat has a direct relationship with testosterone production. An increase in dietary fat intake seems to bring on an increase in testosterone levels, which is a must when you are trying to gain mass. Your main focus should be to increase your intake of essential fatty acids and not saturated fats.

#5 Drink more Often

To make sure that your muscles stay hydrated you must drink plenty of water. Dehydration can happen easily if you train hard. A dehydrated muscle takes longer to repair itself than a hydrated one.

#6 Take a Multi Vitamin

If you want to gain muscle, you must make sure that you are not deficient in any vitamin or mineral that your body needs. So it is a good idea to take a good multi vitamin tablet.

#7 Stop all Aerobics

In order to put on serious mass you need to stop all of your aerobics. If you feel you need to then remember to limit it to once every week or once every two weeks.

#8 Take ample Rest

Resting the body is just as important as dieting and training. Try to get about six or eight hours of sleep a day. Resting is what actually causes the muscles to grow. Taking days, even weeks off from training will only benefit you.

Be patient and consistent. You may have the best diet, the best training schedule, join the best gym but without consistency it's all worthless.

One CRITICAL rule for FAST fat loss (must read)

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Creating a MASSIVE CALORIE DEFICIT is the #1 KEY to Fat Loss. End of Case.

The more calories you have going out, the more fat you have coming off. It's that simple.

Now, I could sit here and insult your intelligence by telling you something trite like "The 1,000 Calorie Challenge has changed my own life and I know it will for you, too!"

But the truth is, I DON'T HAVE to say that drivel.

This is a MATH equation. You currently burn X amount of calories. Add just three 1,000+ calorie workouts to your bottom line each week, and you’ll be burning at least TWICE that number.

Now add another 1,000 calorie AFTERBURN x 3 as you hang out at home as a result of those workouts.

Then add ANOTHER 1,000 – 2,000 calorie deficit x 3 from the strategic 1,000 calorie diet days.

Do the math:

1,000 x 3 thousand calorie workouts
1,000 x 3 for the afterburn
1,500 x 3 for the 1,000 calorie diet days
500 x 3 for the moderate diet days

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Can you do these modified exercises?

You ask, and you receive!

I just got word that Joel and Arnel have just added ANOTHER bonus to ensure that literally ANYONE, young or old, fit or not, is able to benefit from the rapid fat loss results promised by the 1,000 Calorie Challenge.

And it's a BIG one! Here's the deal:

In addition to the entry level 300, 450, 600, and 800 calorie workouts provided in the 1,000 Calorie Challenge, Joel & Arnel are now including a full blown video exercise database that walks you through each exercise and coaches you every step of the way on how to modify the exercises for your fitness level.

That's beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions of EVERY exercise in the entire program, organized so that literally ANYONE at ANY level can do (and benefit from) calorically expensive, fat-annihilating workouts.

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That means you'll be able to burn 3 to 5 pounds of pure fat every week with minimal equipment right there in your living room if you wish!

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Enjoy the workouts (and the results!),

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P.S. When you grab the workouts today, Joel and Arnel will email you a special link to access the bonus database.

Lower Back Exercises To Relieve Back Pain

Lower back exercises can be a big help to sufferers of pain in the lumbar or lower back regions. Of course, you will need to know what is causing your pain and take advice from medical professionals on the types of exercises that you should do. The following are some of the most effective lower back exercises that might be suggested for some people.

Cobra - backward spinal curl

Lie on the floor face down with toes pointing out and hands flat on the floor at around waist level. Push up from the hands, lifting the upper back and head, curling the spine backward, eyes looking up. Hips stay on the floor. Do not stretch more than is comfortable. Stay in position for a minute or two, then slowly lower down.

Hamstring stretch and forward spinal curl

After stretching the spine one way, it is important to balance with a stretch in the other direction. This is the pose known as Janu Sirsasana in yoga.

Sit on the floor with the right leg stretched out in front of you. The left leg is bent with the knee going down toward the floor and the sole of the foot resting against the side of the right leg. Bend down over the right leg with head down and arms extending as far as possible along the leg. You may be able to take hold of the toes, foot or ankle.

Feel the stretch in the hamstring along the back of the leg and in the lower back, but again do not push yourself too far. Stay in position for a minute or two, then slowly straighten up, rest, and repeat with the other leg.

Side bends

You can do these bends either standing, sitting, or seated on an exercise ball. Extend the arms above the head with hands clasped together. Keeping the body in the vertical plane (so you do not bend forward), slowly bend the whole upper body over to one side, then the other.

Spinal twist

Take special care not to go too far with this example of our lower back exercises. Take advice before attempting it if you have had back or neck injuries in particular.

Sit on the side of a chair without arms or on an exercise ball with feet flat on the floor. Without moving the hips, twist the upper body around to the right. Bring the left hand over against the far side of the right knee and the right hand behind you. Twist as far as you comfortably can to the right. Keep the head upright but turned to look over your right shoulder.

Hold for a count of 15 or 20, and slowly return to the font, leading with the head. Repeat the other side.

If you use a chair with a back, sit on the side of it so that the chair back does not get in your way when you twist around. E.g. the chair back is on your left when you are twisting to the right.

You can also do this exercise sitting on the floor. When twisting to the right, the left leg is bent and flat on the floor in front of you. The right leg is bent with the knee up in the air and the foot on the floor, hooked over the left knee. The left elbow comes to the outer side of  the right knee and you twist around to the right. Do not move the hips, so the buttocks stay on the floor. Done this way, this is the pose known as Ardha Matsyendrasana in yoga.

Once again, let us stress that the lower back is a vital and sensitive area and medical advice is necessary if you have lower back pain. Check with your doctor before starting, to be sure that your chosen lower back exercises are suitable for your individual condition.

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Back Pain? Sciatica? Grab This Free Book (The 7 Day Back Pain Cure) Right Now >> http://bit.ly/adoyfu

*Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Please see “Notice” at the sidebar!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Master This Bodybuilding Program

By Doberman Dan

Peary Rader's One-Day Program Of Specialization Revisited

In The Rader Master Bodybuilding and Weight Gaining System, Peary told us about a program he developed that could add up to 3/4 of an inch to a trainees arms in one day.

The program goes like this - pick a day when you can do nothing but train, eat and rest. You use just two exercises, one for triceps and one for biceps, and you do a set of each every hour for 12 hours. Use a weight lighter than your usual poundage and do not work to failure. Eating some protein every hour, massaging the muscles after each workout and resting as much as possible, were also recommended.

This program has worked for many and we could continue to use it exactly the same way to get a quick increase in arm size, but Peary gave us a hint of the full usefulness of this method. He stated, "Most men use it on their arms since no one ever seems to have as large of arms as he would like. However it will work on any muscle. We hope that some day when we have a greater understanding of muscle growth and the controlling factors, a similar method can be applied to men and women in a specialized session of perhaps a month and give them a physique that today takes years to acquire." So we can see that Peary had a lot of hope for this method.

I believe I have a program that would be useful for advanced hard gainers who would like a quick increase in size all over their body. It would go something like this; You pick six exercises that cover the entire body. For example:

Squats

Bench press

Over-head press

Rows

Calf raises

Curls

For about 4 weeks you workout twice a week , on Wednesday and Saturday. This is to get used to these exercises and avoid extreme soreness when you begin specialization. Do 2 work sets for each exercise, then on week five on Wednesday you do your regular workout but on Saturday you take the first exercise (squats) and do one set an hour for 12 hours, use about half of your usual poundage. The idea as Peary said, "Working on the principle of flushing the muscles with blood and keeping them flushed all day long, the muscles will grow unbelievably for a short time." So we aren't trying to push to maximum on these sets.

Keep the Wednesday workouts the same as the first 4 weeks, but every Saturday take the next exercise in your program and hit it for 12 sets in 12 hours.

This program is still admittedly experimental, but all signs seem to show that it would bring about a big gain over the 10 weeks it takes to complete. The most important thing is that you don't get overtrained. Do only two workouts a week, and give the most amount of rest after the specialization day, hence the Wednesday and Saturday schedule. The other thing is to do the hardest exercises like squats early in the cycle when you recovery ability is strongest.

As the cycle progresses work your way down, and at the end of the cycle you are doing the least taxing exercises like curls. The volume per exercise is high one day a week but the overall volume is kept at about 12 sets a workout, which is still not too bad for a hard gainer.

If you are a beginner, or intermediate stick to the basics like 20 rep squats, heavy deadlifts, presses, etc., and you will grow plenty fast if you work hard, and eat and rest sufficiently. But, if you are getting close to your potential and would like to get a quick burst of size, try this routine and see how it works for you.

Build Muscle Mass With The "Hyper Growth Muscle Mass System" by Daniel Gallapoo known in bodybuilding circles as Doberman Dan. A step-by-step guide that teaches you the secrets, tips, and techniques you need to know to build a chiseled, muscular, ripped, head-turning physique...FAST! Visit http://bit.ly/cQcRo5

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

7 Reasons Why Your Muscles Stop Growing

7 Reasons Why Your Muscles Stop Growing.  How To Get Muscle To Grow Again

Have ever wondered why your muscles stopped growing after a few months of training even though you are training very hard? Here are 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing and how to get your muscle to grow again.

* You are training too hard - Every time when you train your muscles intensely, you are actually breaking down your muscles. So your muscles need to recover from the damages you inflicted on them. So train each muscle group only once or at most twice a week.

* You are training too long - Keep your workout intense but do not workout more than an hour each time. After 45 minutes of intensive training, your cortisol level will increase. This hormone is known to destroy muscle cells.

* You are sleeping too little - You need to sleep more for good muscle growth. Your muscles grow when you sleep. So sleep more than 8 hours a day and watch those muscles growing fast.

* You are abusing alcohol - Alcohol is known to break down muscle mass plus many other body destruction ability.

* You do not change your workout routine - You must change your workout routine every 6-8 weeks. Your muscles adapt to your routine and stops growing.

* You do not progressively overload your muscles - You must try to increase your reps or weight every time you next train a particular muscle group. Otherwise, there is no reason for your muscles to grow.

* You do not eat sufficient protein - If you want to build bigger muscles, you must eat more protein. Protein is the building block for your muscles. It is recommended that you need 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight equivalent. If not enough protein is consumed with your normal diet, do supplement with protein shakes.

There you are, the 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing even though you are training hard. There are many more methods on how to grow your muscles bigger but these 7 reasons and how to overcome them will be sufficient for an average bodybuilding beginner.

Monday, October 18, 2010

8 Proven Strategies For Maximum Muscle Gains

There is so much conflicting information out there when it comes to the topic of building muscle, and sometimes it can be very difficult to know where to start. If you're an average beginner looking for some basic guidelines to follow in the gym, the following 8 points will start you off on the right track.

1) Train With Weights and Focus On Compound, Free Weight Movements.

If you want to make solid, noteworthy gains in muscle size and strength, you absolutely must train with free weights and focus on basic, compound exercises. A compound exercise is any lift that stimulates more than one muscle group at a time. Examples of these lifts are the squat, deadlift, bench press, chin up, barbell row, overhead press, dip and lunge. Compound movements allow you to handle the most weight and will stimulate the greatest amount of total muscle fibers.

2) Be Prepared To Train Hard.

One of the biggest factors that separates those who make modest gains from those who make serious gains is their level of training intensity. In order to stimulate your muscle fibers to their utmost potential, you must be willing to take every set you perform in the gym to the point of muscular failure.

Muscular Failure: The point at which no further repetitions can be completed using proper form.

Sub-maximal training intensity will leave you with sub-maximal results, plain and simple.

3) Track Your Progress In The Gym From Week To Week.

Our bodies build muscle because of an adaptive response to the environment. When you go to the gym, you break down your muscle fibers by training with weights. Your body senses this as a potential threat to its survival and will react accordingly by rebuilding the damaged fibers larger and stronger in order to protect against any possible future threat. Therefore, in order to make continual gains in muscle size and strength, you must always focus on progressing in the gym from week to week. This could mean performing 1 or 2 more reps for each exercise or adding more weight to the bar. Keep a detailed training log to track your progress as your strength increases over time.

4) Avoid Overtraining.

Overtraining is your number one enemy when it comes to building muscle size and strength. When most people begin a workout program, they are stuck with the misguided notion that more is better. They naturally assume that the more time they spend in the gym, the better results they will achieve. When it comes to building muscle, nothing could be farther from the truth! If you spend too much time in the gym, you will actually take yourself farther away from your goals rather than closer to them. Remember, your muscles do not grow in the gym; they grow out of the gym, while you are resting and eating. Recovery is absolutely vital to the muscle growth process. If you don't provide your body with the proper recovery time in between workouts, your muscles will never have a chance to grow.

5) Eat More Frequently.

The main area where most people fail miserably on their muscle-building mission is on the all-too important task of proper nutrition. Training with weights is only half of the equation! You break down your muscle fibers in the gym, but if you don't provide your body with the proper nutrients at the proper times, the muscle growth process will be next to impossible. You should be eating anywhere from 5-7 meals per day, spaced every 2-3 hours in order to keep your body in an anabolic, muscle-building state at all times. Each meal should consist of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates.

6) Increase Your Protein Intake.

Of the 3 major nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) protein is without a doubt the most important for those who are looking to gain muscle size and strength. Protein is found in literally every single one of the 30 trillion cells that your body is made up of and its main role is to build and repair body tissues. Without sufficient protein intake, it will be physically impossible for your body to synthesize a significant amount of lean muscle mass. If your body were a house, think of protein as the bricks. A general guideline is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day from high quality sources such as fish, poultry, eggs, beef, milk, peanut butter and cottage cheese.

7) Increase Your Water Intake.

If you want a simple, easy and highly effective way to maximize your muscle gains, drinking more water is it. Water plays so many vital roles in the body and its importance cannot be overstated. In fact, your muscles alone are made up of 70% water! Not only will drinking more water cause your muscles to appear fuller and more vascular, but it will also increase your strength as well. Research has shown that merely a 3-4% drop in your body's water levels can impact muscle contractions by 10-20%! Aim to consume 0.6 ounces for every pound of bodyweight each day for optimal gains.

8) Be Consistent!

Consistency is everything. Those who make the greatest gains in muscular size and strength are the ones who are able to implement the proper techniques on a highly consistent basis. Simply knowing is not enough, you must apply!

Building muscle is a result of the cumulative effect of small steps. Sure, performing 1 extra rep on your bench press will not make a huge difference to your overall results, and neither will consuming a single meal. However, over the long haul, all of those extra reps you perform and all of those small meals you consume will decide your overall success. If you work hard and complete all of your muscle-building tasks in a consistent fashion, all of those individual steps will equate to massive gains in overall size and strength.

Powerblock Dumbbells - The Dumbbells That Grow As You Grow

By Mike Westerdal

Any fitness trainer will tell you that choosing the right dumbbells for home-training is essential for creating a successful and regular workout routine. Many newcomers to the world of strength-training cringe at the thought of having to purchase a wall-sized rack of weights to accompany the changes in their strength abilities over time. Powerblock dumbbells are one of the most popular, adjustable weight training sets on the market. They are a great product to help you jump-start your own home fitness routine, without having to sacrifice a room of your house. These balanced, adjustable dumbbells provide good stability for strength-straining movements, while taking up very little space in your home. The following article will walk you through some of the finer points of these great, space-saving dumbbells.

Don't let their cage-like square shape fool you. The square shape actually weighs more than traditional round or hexagonal weights. These weights are impeccably composed of rectangular steel plates, side-rods and stacked vertical square plates, taking up about the same space as two of your average large dumbbells. In the realm of quick change dumbbells, Powerblocks are also extremely compact, allowing you to seamlessly integrate them into your space, without the bulkiness of a more traditional weight-lifting set. Powerblocks are adjustable dumbbells that can provide the entire weight-choice spectrum of a more traditional set of dumbbells. A small set can fit into an 18 X 22 inch space, and can replace a whopping 37 pairs of traditional dumbbells. This means that you can store your entire free-weight workout facility in the space the size of a shoe box, instead of needing a massive wall or floor mount for your rack of weights.

This ingenious "all-in-one" setup is achieved through a pin mechanism that allows you to select the desired weight you want to lift. The pins mark off the needed weight to be lifted, and store the rest of the weight in the waist-high stand. Another great advantage to using this type of dumbbell is that they not only are they the heaviest of the non-traditional set-ups, but they are also super-versatile, in that they allow you to start with a 50-pound set, and expand upward in increments of 3 pounds towards a maximum of 130 pounds per dumbbell. This means that you can easily shift weight from as little as 5 lbs. to 50 lbs. in around 5-10 seconds.

Powerblocks also provide the ideal setup for micro-loading, as the Powerblock set allows for small increases on the weight increments. To do this, you simply select your desired weight, and then easily add on the 2 pound micro-weights, which slip seamlessly into the hand-weight itself. In this way, the dumbbells are equally suited for all you beginner lifters, as well as the more seasoned lifting pro. Another advantage is that you can work slowly to move toward your desired strength goals, instead of having to jump from one weight to the next, as with other types of home-gym equipment.

Fitness wise, this is intelligent design. Powerblocks allow you to slowly and safely increase your strength and endurance without the risk of injury that comes from jumping and struggling with a heavier 5 pound increase. Safety and reduction of risk are of extreme importance, especially when working from a home-based gym without the supervision of a coach or trainer. The structural design of each Powerblock handle creates a very comfortable lifting experience for both the novice and advanced lifters. More importantly, for a beginner weight-trainer who may have weak wrists, the Powerblock has a wrist-protector handle padding to ensure wrist support, reducing the chance of injury.

Cost-wise, the average dumbbell will run you anywhere from 80-99 cents per pound and up. The average cost of Powerblocks run around 11 cents per pound, making them one of the most affordable products on the market. The set-up also comes with an easy-to-move workbench and a triceps bar that attaches to the the back of the workbench. Powerblocks offer a several versions of their selectorized dumbbell sets. The first is the Elite Personal Set, which equals 500 pounds of free-weights, or 10 pairs of dumbbells. This set allows you to train within a range of 5-50 pounds per dumbbell. The second version of this product is the Elite Powerblock, which equals 28 pairs of dumbbells, or a whopping 2,570 pounds of free weights. This allows you to work anywhere from 5 to 130 pounds per dumbbell.

All in all, with a good weight bench and a set of these dumbbells, anyone can have a quality weight-training set-up in a small space in their home. Powerblocks are the best bet for an efficient, safe workout, for both beginner and advanced lifters alike.

Mike Westerdal is the author of "Dumbbell Exercises and Lifting Routines" To Help You Gain More Muscle, Lose Weight, or Just Get Yourself in Better Physical Shape... WITHOUT the Hassles, and Expenses of Health Clubs. Increase Your Muscle Size And Improve Your Physical Fitness In 90 Days - Guaranteed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

No More Excuses - At Home Workouts Using Dumbbells

Its 5:30 p.m. You are stuck in traffic on your way to the gym, longing for a way to get in your daily workout without the hassle of high membership fees, people hitting on you in the hallways, the music you don't like, and that laborious trek to just get there. If your own private gym sounds like an impossibility, think again. A home workout could be just the thing you need to de-stress after work on your own terms.

It is so easy to come up with reasons not to work out. An at-home workout will reduce some of these excuses that we create not to work out. Firstly, a home workout comes at little or no cost after you purchase a nice set of dumbbells. Secondly, you can easily fit in a workout from home in 30 minutes, instead of the hour or two that going to a gym can take. Buying an inexpensive DVD can also help you feel that you are getting the benefits of a top-notch personal trainer, without the high costs of paying one. Lastly, if you are in poor shape or just starting out, going to a gym can be an embarrassing affair. An at-home workout will allow you to go at your own pace without the fear of who is watching or judging you.

This article will now give you some great tips on how to strengthen and train at home, with some simple at-home workouts using dumbbells.

To start, it is important to set some goals regarding your personal fitness vision. Make a commitment to setting a time and schedule for a realistic workout plan such as three days a week, every other day. This way, you can give your body some resting time in between workouts, allowing it to come back even stronger for your next day of strength training. Using dumbbells is an essential part of your home workout. They make you use your natural stabilizing muscular capabilities, as well as the body's natural patterns of movement. They also incorporate a bigger range of movement, and allow us to fine-tune target muscle groups.

The following gives a simple dumbbell home routine that pinpoints some major muscle groups.

Lunges: Warm the body with some cardio lunges for strength and upping that heart-rate. Hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand, appropriate for your strength abilities. Stand with feet about 10-18 inches apart. Hold the dumbbells at your sides and step one leg back, bending the front knee at a 90-degree angle, and allowing the back leg to bend automatically at a natural angle, almost to the floor, but not touching. (Stepping back instead of forward will help protect the knees.) Come back to the original position slowly and repeat the same leg 10-12 times. Do a set with the opposite leg. Repeat each side 2x.

Bicep curls: Stand straight with a slight microbend to protect the knee. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lower your arms to your side-body, palms facing the outer legs. With the elbows tight into the mid-line and the shoulders released away from the ears, curl the weights up towards your chest, and slowly lower them down. Repeat. It is possible to alternate arms, or work both of them simultaneously. Start with 12 reps, 3x.

Shoulders: Sit down on a bench or chair with back support. Using a dumbbell in each hand, lift your arms slowly above the head, keeping a micro-bend in the elbow. Slowly keep bending into the elbows until you come to a 90-degree angle, and then push back up into your original extended position. Repeat 12 reps, 2x.

Tricep press: Lie flat, ideally on a weight bench, or on a mat if you don't have access to a bench.
Holding the appropriate weights, with the palms about two inches apart and facing each other, extend your arms straight above your head. Keep grounding and stabilizing your shoulders into the mat as you slowly bend your elbows, lowering the dumbbells down beside each side of your ears. Slowly push arms back up to extended and repeat 12 reps, 2x.

Chest flies: Use your weight bench and again lie down flat, or inclined if you have access to an incline bench. Place a dumbbell in each hand, your arms out wide, extended above the chest with your palms facing each other. Place a micro-bend in the elbows to prevent locking and ensure safety and then slowly begin to lower your arms until your upper arm bones are parallel to the floor. From there, come back to the original "cactus arm" position and repeat 12 reps, 3x.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of the many dumbbell workout options out there, but can be a good place to get you started on your path towards strength and wellness.

Mike Westerdal is the author of "Dumbbell Exercises and Lifting Routines" To Help You Gain More Muscle, Lose Weight, or Just Get Yourself in Better Physical Shape... WITHOUT the Hassles, and Expenses of Health Clubs. Increase Your Muscle Size And Improve Your Physical Fitness In 90 Days - Guaranteed.

Various Ways Of Developing The Self

By Emily Tanner - Author of 'My Self Journey'

With the huge explosion of people developing their self esteem and making real differences in their once unhappy lives, it begs the question, which path is the right one for you? And before we consider which vehicle to use in order to fully develop your self confidence and identify your true self worth, you need to know which options are available to you. This article highlights some of the key areas for developing your self esteem.

Firstly, let's look at Life Coaching. Often available via an attendance course, accessible through published books or available through distance learning programmes, there are many ways that this can be used to develop your self worth. Many of these programmes focus on identifying your strengths and the things that you are good at. They also work on developing your positivity and aim to make you feel good about yourself. This then paves the way for you to develop further in whichever way you want, whether it be to start up your business or find you perfect partner, etc.

Secondly, there are educational studies which can be undertaken to improve your self confidence as well as your knowledge. These can be available via a home study course, evening classes or even through a work sabbatical. In some cases, employees will even support such a program if they see the benefit it will bring to you and the business. If you can justify that the process will bring further profits for the company, it is likely that your employer will support you financially throughout your training.

Another form of developing yourself, is through your mind. This is available in many forms such as through hypnosis, creative visualization and meditation. In essence, you picture the perfect scenario in your mind and believe that this is real. This may mean picturing a scene in your mind that you want to come true such as your perfect partner, or your body in perfect health or your dream house. This is often best done in a calm and quiet, often meditative, state. It is even possible to receive a procedure via a CD rather than attending a session or workshop and this can be worked on at home in privacy.

For those who have considerable emotional baggage from a different time in their lives that cannot be moved away from, sometimes therapy and counselling is required. This can be a great way for some individuals to unlock the past and move on in a specific area of their lives. Trained counsellors and therapists often work with individuals for an allocated period of time in order to unlock past problems that may be preventing the individual from moving forward.

Other forms of finding your inner strengths which are easily accessible through books, teachers and clinics and may be beneficial to certain individuals are aromatherapy, psychic healers, Tarot card readers, crystal therapy, Reiki healing, Angel divination, music therapy, dance and other creative expression, martial arts, religion as well as attending specific workshops tailored to your specific needs and requirements.

So, as you will see from the ideas above, there are many ways of unlocking your true potential and all these vehicles are merely a few ways in which you can develop yourself. It is through working on yourself, that you are then able to employ these skills not only to develop your self confidence but also to find your perfect job, perfect partner, develop a specific skill, increase your bank balance, create the perfect physique as well as remove potential disease from your body.

If you're not living the life you've always dreamed of having, then it's time to make a change. It's now your time to create a life filled with love, joy and harmony. Visit Emily's website today at: http://bit.ly/9PaJDW and release the power within you.

Emily has a BA (Hons) in Psychology and is the Author and Founder of 'My Self Journey'.