workout tips

How to Effectively Bulk Cleanly

Bulking up is a process known to bodybuilders as a way to gain more weight, emphasizing on lean gains. There are two ways that you can go about bulking, which are clean or dirty. Get your mind out of the gutter, a dirty bulk is when there are, basically, no rules. If you want to gorge yourself with fast food, go for it, this is the essence of a dirty bulk. Being far easier than clean bulking, having no rules or exceptions when you bulk can lead to the obvious problem of fat gains.

When you get that first dose of weightlifting hunger, where you almost seem like you are in a constant state of hunger, the dirty bulk was my first pick. For some background on me, I was very skinny before I decided to bulk up. If you don’t care about having a little bit of a gut, you should definitely go with the dirty bulk, as it is much easier to commit to. For those of you who have been lifting for a longer amount of time, you will probably want to bulk cleanly.

A clean bulk is all about watching what you eat, you should be lifting weights to help bulk up, regardless of which way you choose to gain weight. Dedication and perseverance are two main traits that a clean bulk will take, you still have freedom to eat a select few of the foods that you want, gaining less extra fat in the process. How you will want to look, during your bulk, will help to determine which kind of bulking person you will end up being.

If time is an issue, you can get some extra help through using supplements. Being that it is the process in the title, a bulking stack is often seen as a great option. Stacking together different ways to help bulk you up, even more than the food that you are eating, is great for either a clean or dirty bulk. It is no wonder why so many use supplements to bulk up quicker, there are no additional calories to make that waistline grow, that is a part of the body that you DO NOT want to bulk up.

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What Lower Back Pain Really Means During Crunches

As we get down to the foundation of what could be seen as the simplest work out routines to perform, it would seem like a no-brainer that the crunch would be included. To that, I say if anyone thinks that crunches are easy to do, I would suggest that they try them for themselves. I have never had an easy time doing abdominal exercises and crunches are no exception. Finding that I could get to maybe 10 repetitions, I would usually notice a sharp pain that would start in the lower part of my back. Ensuring that I wasn’t going to end up really hurting those sensitive muscles, I didn’t do crunches for a long time after those incidents. I had tried to transition myself into doing sit ups, which is a more conventional method of a crunch but found that I was still plagued by nagging back pain that would seemingly never go away.

I started to ask around to find out why I was having such bad pain during crunches. The wisdom that a wise onlooker gave to me was something that I still haven’t forgotten to this day and it all had to do with the way that I was performing the crunch. After learning how to better position my body, I found that crunches and sit ups no longer had me bent over in pain. I had actually gotten to a state where I could do about 50 reps of crunches, every other morning. Although I was feeling the burn of a chiseled stomach, I really enjoy doing these exercises that would eventually find that I needed to change it up in order to stay on my intense regimen.

pain remedy for backRequiring you to be somewhat nimble, if you haven’t tried out the donkey kick exercise yet, I highly suggest that you give it a shot for yourself. This exercise, how’s its foundation and yoga but don’t let that scare you, once you get down the basics it is quite easy to perform. I also find that doing a donkey cake works out my cord better than the old-school crunches ever had. The exercise that I am mentioning will be sort of like a headstand so you will need to be somewhat inclined to balance yourself. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the donkey kick add exercise down the first time, it took me many tries just to balance and find my proper hand placement. With a name like the donkey can’t, this exercise will have you taking off your feet in mid air, it is easier than it sounds. I don’t think that this is just some silly way to get you moving, you’ll likely feel your stomach muscles contracting within just a couple repetitions of this cake. You’ll want to keep it simple and not overdo it so the first time that you attempted donkey kick, only try to do 3 to 5 repetitions.

Abdominal muscles are thin walls and aren’t quite built in the same method that your bigger muscles will be. Keeping in mind that you will be continuing to constrict this wall built my muscles, going slow and steady is how to properly accomplish getting harder abs. Give these new workouts a couple of days to settle into and you will likely have those nagging lower back pains to become a thing of the past. It should never consistently cause you to be pain every single time that you exercise, it’s often a sign that you are not doing your workouts properly!

 

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Post-Workout Meals for Hardgainers

I often hear so many people who are concerned about having the best supplements that they often ignore the most important part of truly gaining more mass and that would be nutrition. It’s an unhealthy attitude when many who have just completed a big workout often times will ignore the critical window of getting protein into their body. Instead of having a nice meal prepared that will set them up to gain even more from all of their hard work, they waste the meal on junk food. Chalk it up to having an ego after you know that you’ve conquered a workout that was said in front of you but if you’re making bad food choices every time you work out, you won’t see the gains that you should be getting.

Even the biggest bodybuilders in the world know the importance of nutrition, it’s best to think of it having as much of an important place in your life as your training will. One bright spot that I can hopefully put into your day is that it’s been well known that chocolate milk is great for after workout recovery meals. Feel free to indulge in a big glass of chocolate milk but with that we’re also going to need some other elements of an important muscle building diet, namely protein and healthy fats. This might cause some of you to fight the urge to vomit on your keyboard but, if you can stomach it, tuna sandwich and a glass of chocolate milk are like a muscle building super meal.

I know for many that the combination of chocolate and tuna sounds nasty but once you try it, you’ll find that it’s really not that bad. Worse comes to worse you can down this meal in about two minutes and enjoy a nice cup of mouthwash afterwards. For those who are not wanting to dive into culinary extreme opposite ends of the spectrum, I’ve got another meal for you that you can try. Sharing together a nice glass of protein powder and milk, along with a high-protein cereal is a great way to have a post workout breakfast that will keep you energized all day. If you find that your body is sensitive to consuming milk, replace the milk in this writing with soy or almond milk. I’ve been able to try almond milk, as well as its soy product and can tell you that both are amazing alternatives to actual milk. I am always of the belief that anything can be improved upon, if you’ve got post workout meal is you’re trying that you really like, leave us an idea of what those meals are on our social media page.

I look forward to hearing from each and every reader that I can during the week and questions that I receive like what kind of post workout meals are best often give me a great chance to speak with each and everyone of you. I was able to talk about this with a group of people at a recent event and I heard some delicious ideas already. One of them was adding rice or sweet potatoes into a post workout meal, which is an awesome idea. If you need to fight off cravings for something like a candy bar, a sweet potato with just the right amount of butter can really change your perception of a vegetable.

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Are High-Protein Meals as Good as We Thought?

It’s likely that many people have seen one of the many diet commercials on television. Usually, these diets will range in difficulty but one that has remained widely used has been the high protein diet after all, we know that protein is great for building muscle and it leaves you feeling full so it sounds like all is well, right? Actually, eating all of those meets me aid in giving you a flatter stomach but it won’t protect you from a major disease that affects many people. Interestingly enough, there have been scientific studies done that show when you’re trying to lose weight, while eating a diet that is high in protein, you run a higher risk of potential of developing a diabetic condition. When you do switch to a high-protein diet, with the intent of losing weight, you are still cutting out important necessities that make up a balanced diet.

Grilling Out has it's disadvantages!
Grilling Out has its disadvantages!

Yes, it is true, that we do occasionally need sugars and fats, However, that’s not to say that fats should be consumed every day. If you can think back to the days where you learned about the food pyramid, these are the sort of guidelines that you want to be thinking about when deciding what to eat daily. While there isn’t anything wrong with eating meat, just try to limit your intake to a specific amount. When you set a required amount of food that you will be eating, you’ll be more able to easily adhere to these new changes, than if you were overindulging.

Another situation that you can apply to your own daily food intake would be to try and consumer more white meat versus red meat. I’m a big lover of steaks and hamburgers but you have to realize that you can’t eat that every day, there are just too many health risks associated with doing that. It isn’t great to consume meat all of the time, substituting a steak for a piece or two of grilled fish is a way to, at least, ensure that you are getting meat that is low in fat. If you don’t enjoy fish, there are other seafood options, such as: shrimp, oysters, and crab. I’ve known folks in my life that were repulsed by even a simple sniff of seafood so if you’re in need of a different white meat, think about getting some chicken or pork. Pork chops are an inexpensive meat type that you can do a lot with, provided you’ve got some spices and condiments in your home.

I love being a carnivore as much as the next person does but you have to know when it is important to set limits. In my younger days, I would not often spend any time worrying about what I was eating but take it from me, when you start getting a little older, every food choice adds up. Remember, food is our fuel and if we use bad fuel in a car, you can’t expect it to go very far. As it turns out, a high protein diet can be right for those who can still maintain a healthy weight. However, when it comes to losing weight with the aid of large quantities of protein, I would watch out for the looming threat of creating a diabetic environment.

workout tips

Ways to Beat the Boredom of a Long Walk

The main thing that I hear from people who have given up their current walking habits usually has to do with it being too boring. After all, no one wants to just walk a long distance in total silence for an undetermined amount of time. If this is how you have been completing your daily walking, it’s easy to see why you might feel less than motivated. I don’t enjoy silent walking, although some others do. The first thing that I will check to make sure that I have some sort of portable music player. If you haven’t yet attempted it, adding music to your walks really cuts down on time and makes them feel much shorter. Also, getting into a good song can really make you zone out and lose track of time, which is always good on a walk. You’ll hear this argued about that, in my opinion, having a beat that is uptempo should make up the majority of your playlist. I’ve got nothing against slow music and I’m actually a big supporter of it, just not while I’m trying to get out and walk.

You’ll want to make sure that you’re hydrated on your walks so I would at least have one bottle of water, maybe two. Even if you were outside walking in cooler temperatures, remember that you’re still exerting yourself and your internal body temperature will ramp up, in an attempt to cool you down. You’ll know to have water with you, when walking around in hotter temperatures, when the weather is more moderate it will be tougher to determine if you need water. It’s best to just automatically plan to have extra h20 with you. Now that you’ve got some good jams and your hydration is taken care of, I wanted to touch on the other crucial part of this plan which is setting distance goals. By having proper goals set, you’ll know when your over-achieving or when you maybe need to work on your endurance.

For whatever reason you choose, having goals that you can set for yourself is a way to have rules set in stone that will be vital to your success. If you plan on doing any walking at night, you’ll definitely want to wear clothes that make it easy to see you. If you’ve kept up with any news, needless to say, you’ve heard about all of those clown attacks. It’s best to keep yourself visible from oncoming traffic and other hazards that are presented to you, when walking at night. If at all possible, it’s always a good idea to try and walk during the day but I also know that not everyone schedules allow for that to happen. For anyone who is having trouble sticking with their plans for walking daily, don’t be discouraged early on.

A Solid Routine Isn’t Built in A Day.

Although we do walk every day, at least most of us do, long distances are not something that the average body is prepared for. Should you only find yourself able to walk a couple of minutes, simply create a goal of walking maybe ten minutes, for your future. Walking or jogging are both skills that will be improved upon repetition, meaning that you are continuing to walk or jog daily. As you continue into your walking routine, you’ll be quick to notice that there will be rewards, done through having increased endurance.

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One Big Meal or Many Smaller Ones?

When trying to live a healthy lifestyle, what you eat will determine how adept you are to committing yourself. Even if you know the right foods to eat, knowing what times to eat them isn’t often thought of. Some will choose to eat one giant dinner, claiming that they are allowed to do so because of how long they waited to consume that meal. There are also other trains of thought that are all about dividing meals into smaller increments, eating five to six of these smaller servings per day. If you’re looking to gain fat, having a large dinner is how you would start adding on weight. When you don’t space out your food, you wind up with a belly full of fats and carbs that are moving too quickly to metabolize. When overeating, all of the food that can’t be processed in time have no choice but to end up being converted in body fat. Meal timing is an important concept that is easy to understand. Those who eat smaller meals, more often will have an easier time managing their weight, due to enough time being given for metabolism to burn off the food. It is a myth that someone who eats all day will end up getting fat, if that’s true, look at how bodybuilders eat.

I’ve watched Ronnie Coleman, one of the most awarded bodybuilders of all time, take down a number of meals in a day that I probably consume in three or four of them! If you’re not convinced yet, let’s look at my own personal feedback after trying these diets separately. I used to have a job that left me with only a small window at night to have dinner. It could have been the depression that was starting to set in from working such long hours (it was not a fun time for me) but I would just pig out for dinner, often eating two meals in one sitting. Over time, my body became used to one meal a day and it really took better habits to get myself out of that rut. After I finally started incorporating a set time for breakfast and lunch, I wanted to see if there were any benefits to the smaller meal school of thought. What I immediately noticed was how much I enjoyed not hearing my stomach gurgle all day!

Although you can form habits that will get you used to eating one meal a day, it isn’t good for you and you’ll have to fight through your stomach feeling like it is twisted in knots. While not impossible, it is definitely hard to try and lift weights, after fasting all day. As our bodies use energy from food to power us, trying to lift with no food in your body is like trying to use a bicycle with no pedals. Overall, I highly enjoyed having smaller meals more often, as opposed to waiting the whole day to pig out on one dinner. If you find that you are in the rut of bad eating habits, there is good news as they can always be changed. The wonderful thing about our brain is that it can adjust itself to new changes in life. If you think about it, having smaller meals does technically mean that you can eat more everyday, what could be more awesome than that?

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Are Step Trackers Slowly Waning?

With stiff competition, it looks like Fitbit is having a rough go with recent sales. It appears that there are some shifting mindsets that are causing the Fitbit to be the hot commodity that it once was. One reason I would attribute the slower sales of this device to would have to the time of the year. The weather is starting to turn cooler and parents are getting their pack all ready for school to be starting up. As our schedules begin to have more tasks added onto them, the worry of how many steps someone made falls to the back burner. I know that I still see many people with their Fitbits, or whichever brand you prefer, with their bands proudly displayed around their arms. I know that the Fitbit people must have done something right because I am seeing more devices trying to offer similar products. One troubling statistic showed that, after a while, people are just not hanging on for the long haul. I can easily see why users just drop off of the map after a while, it all has to do lack of determination.

runnerNot to call anyone out, I suffer from lack of wanting to move at times, we all do. The trick to getting over a lack of enthusiasm, is to not let it take such a hold over your life. I also would say that misconceptions about how long it takes to really start looking good has got some mistaken, expecting instant slim downs. Anything that has a tracker is going to have to do with progress that is continuously made. Honestly, if you are exercising after six months of taking up the hobby, consider yourself lucky. For many without the same level of seeing a task through to the end, they wind up just another lost statistic. Take it from someone who has started and stopped more exercises than you could think about, if you get back into the habit, you can always start over again. What holds back the majority is the false assumption that ending exercising, whatever ones you may utilize, means you have failed. I hate the word failure, I wish that it didn’t exist because it is so final. It personally affects me when I see someone start off with all of the potential in the world, only to squander it because they weren’t beach ready in a month. So what if you missed the last week of running, that’s what the next week is for!

It could stand to reason that maybe the ones getting their trackers knew that it was only going to be a temporary distraction, which is terrible. However, the current waning in the sales of Fitbit doesn’t mean that they are going anywhere. I love my Fitbit and always have it by me, as I’m constantly moving around (much to the chagrin of my friends) and I love knowing how much I’ve done for myself. Something we learn early on in life is to try and understand everyone else’s perspective, not just your own. Practicing what I preach, if anyone around you looks like they are just about ready to throw in the towel, with their exercising habits, set them straight. We don’t have to be mean to get others committed to their working out, just friendly encouragement, you will be amazed at how far that can take you.

workout tips

Benefits of Green Exercise: It’s Easier Than You Thought

We’ve covered many of the odd fads that come along, all in the name of fitness. If there is an action that gets people moving, it is likely that there will be a full-scale class centered around it. When I first heard the words green exercise, I had no idea what this could be. Does everyone sit around, dressed up in green wardrobes to exercise? Do we all go to the gym and paint all of the weights green, like a scene with the Joker in the art museum? The questions sounded weird but it wouldn’t have shocked me if any of them were what green exercising truly meant. As it turns out, the waves of good words being heaped at green exercising are there for good reason, it is so simple to start up!

I’ve wondered enough so it’s time to find out why this green type of exercising is catching on so rapidly. Sometimes, you don’t want to be trapped in a hot gym room, waiting for stations, dealing with all of the noise, and other grievances. Green exercising is all about getting outside and being closer to Mother Nature. Finding a nice day, which can be plentiful or non-existent, depending on where it is that you call home. Regardless, you won’t be building a squat rack and tossing weights around a park, the general vibe is more relaxed. Primarily, for those who are looking for a lighter fitness environment will be in good company with an outdoor style of workout. The great motivator for getting people to start trying out the green fitness way of life is that you can be in a group, or go solo, depending on your preference.

When In Doubt, Join Group Classes.

If you don’t have a clue, as to what exercises you should be doing, it might be best to look in your local area for classes that are being offered. For those who are intermediate or advanced aerobic masters, you’re probably safe to do exercise all by yourself, in the great outdoors. Even stepping out of specific exercises, even spending time doing your favorite hobby outside would still qualify as green exercise. Getting much needed fresh air and maybe even a nice tan in the process, green exercise is being seen as a better match for some, as opposed to stepping foot into a workout place. Those with a more noble mind then some, aren’t afraid to get out there and help their communities, adding a sense of accomplishment to your exercise. I may reveal my age here but I spent many days outside with my friends, namely because there wasn’t all the easily accessible technology back then, as there is now.

Green exercising won’t carry every great mental benefit, if you are in bad environments. For instance, if you live in a bad part of town, where there are not really many natural wonders, or trees, you won’t have as much of the psychological benefits. If you are planning on getting outside and get moving, no matter how nice or bad of shape your neighborhood is in, you will feel satisfied that you exerted yourself. Do I think that big city gyms will be shutting down everywhere, due to the takeover of green exercise? No, I feel that, as creatures of habit, we’re going to go where we don’t feel out of place.

 

workout tips

What Does CLA Do for Staying Healthy?

If you’ve ever struggled to effectively shed extra weight, welcome to the club. One solution, that some have sought to get, was to use Conjugated Linoleic Acid to help out in the fight against fat, but why? I don’t want to confuse you but the CLA that you take to reduce your waist is actually fat but it is one of the good ones, I’ll keep explaining. The faster you go about losing weight will depend on what is going in and the effort that helps to burn energy from food you eat. A CLA supplement is a way to help boost up the metabolism of your body. Also, this kind of acid makes you feel full fast, helping to eliminate endlessly chowing down at a buffet. Those who prefer their weight loss to come with extreme bouts of energy should note that CLA isn’t really an energy booster.

Almost every supplement creator has come out with their take on what a good CLA supplement should be. Endless reports have been done, regarding the effectiveness of this acid and results have varied, across the board. I like to think of conjugated linoleic acid as a product that has a chance of being right for you, on the other hand, you may not lose a single pound. Those who are trying to train to receive a larger amount of muscle mass should read up on CLA, as it is well-known to have positive effects on body composition. Many who exercise know what a pain it is to not only trim down but to get more massive, it is a tough road to travel down.

If you are all about the organic way of living, you’ll be happy to know that CLA is from grass fed cows. I hate to see animals being mistreated, so I’ve kept my eyes away from the more food industry documentaries, I’ve heard that beef fed from grass is better for you. CLA, being the healthy fat that it is, stands to reason that it should come from cows that were given a better diet. There is inherent danger in taking large quantities of conjugated linoleic acid. Like with any fats, too much of them can set the framework for your body to start clogging up. If we’re talking about saturated fats, you know that those will clog up arteries rather quickly. When speaking about conjugated linoleic acid, taking too much will leave you full of that fat, if your body can’t expel it quicker than it is being ingested.

Having blood pressure problems indicates that you could have CLA within your home. Often being used as a remedy to help with obesity, there are many routes that this acid can assist you with, provided you know your limits. When on the hunt for a CLA supplement, check for quality and safety, above all else. I have been able to see about ten pounds drop off of me, while using CLA for just over two months. The fat loss hasn’t been extraordinary but I expected steady reductions in body fat percentages, which I have. I’ve always used tablets and am unsure if you can find this linleic acid in a powder drink mix. I’ve noticed diminishing returns, when speaking about how much actual weight that goes away. However, if you stop using CLA for a few months and come back to it, the powerful reductions should return to you.

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The Genius Idea of how ITV Challenges you to Get Fit

You can’t say that British television stations don’t have guts. About a week ago, there was one broadcaster that wanted to give the men and women of England an incentive to get out of their house and start getting fit. Someone who should have earned a bonus for creating the idea had a simple one, we will just turn our station off. I’m not a media major but the potential risks and costs that come with losing viewers and advertisers was small enough of a price to pay for iTv to hold strong and follow through with their decision. I don’t get those channels but had seen video of how iTV channels would look during the blackout, so to speak. What had been occurring during the time that channels were blacked out was a big opening of fitness centers, where you could visit for free, during that specific timeframe.

As it turns out, this idea wasn’t a flop, by any stretch of the imagination. While viewers went out and celebrated not only a free weekend at the gym, but a chance to not be glued to their television for a little while. Others took to Twitter to lampoon the tv company for their choice, adding in some mean and snarky comments, like the internet always does. I think that it was a risk-filled yet smart choice for the network. Just like with me, they are getting news stations talking and raising awareness to a growing worldwide obesity problem. I hate to sound like a cranky old man but when we were younger we spent most of our time outside, now there is so much technology that it makes it so boring to go into the outside world, what a shame. In America, I believe it was another network that had done this before in the past, as far as I know, it didn’t get the kind of attention that the decision of Itv has made. I am team GB is the title of the movement that is keeping channels switched off.

britan pledging for exercise

What an awesome way to take a small period of time to show your support for the athletes from your home country. I don’t know if we will ever see a blackout in America for our Olympic team but it would be a nice idea. Adding free activities with this channel blackout gives viewers options besides flipping channels. I would love for the channels I watch to notify me about what was going on in my community, especially if the events were free. I love hearing the woman’s voice, while the blackout is in effect, it makes me wish that I lived in England, getting the chance to leave my home and go into the world, ready to try out various sports. The gear I’ve seen being featured in their shop section is awesome, really cool shirt designs.

I don’t even live in England but I would more tempted to move, if I knew how good all of their clothes designs look. America may have taken home the most medals, but England was a close second, congratulations to an amazing country. Perhaps the blackout of the iTV channels will set the foundation for a future Great Britain Olympian to get his feet wet on the blackout day. Great things can come from humble beginnings, always remember that.

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Is it Safe to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

If you are wanting to learn more about fasting types of training, welcome to the party! I have dealt with appetite issues most of my life and it doesn’t seem like they are going to go away anytime soon. I have grown accustomed to weightlifting with no food in my stomach, it has become second nature to me now. I wanted to get to the bottom of if you need to eat before you start lifting weights. When I eat a meal, the last thing that I want to start doing is moving around. I like to get my belly full and find the nearest couch and remote control. Having to break myself of that bad habit, I used to try to force myself to eat more before I drove off to my gym but I could never do it. I didn’t have a problem with my food coming back up, I just feel like I turn myself away from eating, in my head. What is well known is that once a battle is lost in the head, it is basically over.

Learning to apply the advice that I give to myself, also, I knew that I could not let those bad food thoughts stop me from ever again weightlifting on a stomach that has no food in it. As far as finding a definitive answer, opinions are mixed, regarding fasting or eating before you go to train. There are endless variables that will affect when you should consume food, such as: time of meals, what you eat in the previous meal, etc. If you feel uncontrollable hunger pain when you wake up, go ahead and grab a food that has good carbohydrates and be on your way. If, like me, even thinking about trying to eat before you lift makes you want to gag, just get your meal in once the lifting is all over. What seems to be the most agreed upon consensus is that what is more important than when you eat is what you eat, make it a healthier choice.

Also, your goals could play a critical factor in deciding when your own eating window is best used. For the purpose of an example, let’s suppose that Jill wanted to lose weight, while Max wanted to gain more weight. Jill would be best suited to eat after a workout, as she doesn’t want to just burn off what she ate, only twenty minutes ago. However, Jill does want to get rid of extra fat, she would need to eat after her workouts. Let’s look at Max, who is wanting to do the opposite of Jill and gain as much weight as possible. What Max would need to do would be to eat before his workout, so that the new food can change over into muscle. I wish that I could be more like the ones who load up on food, with no hassle at all, before working out but I have to work on mentally preparing myself to eat, at such an odd time for me. Teaching an old dog new tricks, I decided that I would try harder to eat at more appropriate times of the day. If someone hounds you for not eating before to train, let them know that it all depends on how you time your eating habits. As you so rigorously set aside time for activities, add eating onto that list and you may cure yourself of not being able to ingest anything before you train again.