The dream of a sculpted and firm butt is nowadays shared by both men and women. Mother nature seems to have blessed some individuals with a stunning backside more or less for free, while others must dedicate a lot of time and effort in order to get that booty they're dreaming of.
Coconut oil is one of the quite few foods that can rightfully be included in the "superfoods" category. Its unique combination of fatty acids has a number of positive health effects, not least because of the fatty acid called lauric acid which is the most important fatty acid for humans and our general well-being. It is mainly thanks to this that coconut oil has gotten its reputation of being something as close to nature's gold since this fatty acid gives the oil its antibacterial properties and its ability to fight bacteria.
After our leg muscles, one of the largest groups of muscle is our back. The back can be divided into deep and superficial muscles where the deep muscles consist of those who move and stabilize the spine. The superficial ones are most commonly referred to as m. latissimus dorsi, m. trapezius, and the shoulder blade muscles m. rhomboideus minor, m. rhomboideus major, as well as the long, straight muscle m. erector spinae. These are the ones mentioned in daily speech and are what we usually target in the world of bodybuilding.
Summertime is approaching and one thing that probably most of us have in common is the wish for that beach body that can be shown off with dignity, either in swimwear or summer skirts. However, we are tackling the same question every year: Where do we really stand in relation to this scenario, to this final goal? What have we achieved so far and what other actions should we take in order to secure our spot on the beach 2018?
Many people seem to have a lot of prejudice when it comes to dietary supplements and believes that they’re just nicely packaged chemicals produced without any supervision. In some cases the parallels are also drawn directly to steroids and other hormone-manipulating drugs, of course without any knowledge of the supplements actual functions, their active substances, or how and when they should be taken. Some people uncompromisingly exclude dietary supplements with the main purpose of “being healthy”, when this can in fact deprive the same individual of well-needed nutrition which could even out the stress caused by frequent and intensive training or a hectic work life. We all need high quality protein, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, carbohydrates, and amino acids to be well and dietary supplements can contribute to just that.
Does it feel too time consuming to get yourself to the gym a couple of afternoons a week even though you are well aware of the fact that summer is just around the corner and your shape is far from the desirable? Do not despair. Building a great physique requires neither a gym membership nor any advanced equipment. In fact, you do not even need to leave your comfy home to get a tough and qualitative workout in. A determined mind, structured and realistic planning as well as some space to move around in can get you far in the project of home exercising.
Abs. Sometimes abs seems to be something essential and something that most people want, especially when it comes to getting in shape for summer. It is like abs are the number one measurement for how fit one is, which I totally disagree with. You can be fit without having a six pack, because you will not get a six pack just by working out.
Colleagues are advising you to completely cut carbs, friends claim that you will fit in those old favourite jeans if you just eat either one big or six small meals a day. Nutritionists around the world assure you that the secret lies in eating “clean food” and that you better not even glance at a calorie after six o’clock in the evening. Meanwhile, coaches are teaching the importance of high-intensity cardio workouts and parallel strength training in order to achieve an increased calorie consumption even during rest.
If you ask five different people about which five exercises are by far the best for building arms, the answers will probably vary drastically. On the other hand, what many lifters have in common when it comes to training arms is the lack of planning, more than just performing as many series as possible and then repeating the same procedure again a few days later. To achieve a pair of impressive biceps or these rock hard “horseshoes” on the back of the upper arms, it is not enough to just repeat the same exercise over and over again until they miraculously announce their existence. If you want to take your physique from average to outstanding, you need to work through the full range of muscle fibers, attacking them from different angles and in different ways.
In an earlier article we reviewed some of the supplements that beginners should get familiar with in order to maximize the results of their training. This time we’ll instead dig a little deeper and look closer at a few supplements more specific for strength training and recovery, mainly targeting slightly more experienced lifters. The longer your lifting career, the more likely you’ve become acquainted with the phenomenon “training plateau”, and to get yourself off from it you don’t only have to train hard and smart, but you also need to have your supplements in order.
Before dealing with the subject of dietary supplements in general, and supplements for beginners in particular, it is important that we understand the actual concept. Dietary supplements are exactly just that, supplements, an addition and therefore by no means a substitute for a healthy diet or even separate meals. If your goal is to get real results from your training, a well-balanced diet rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats is the only way to go, but it is of course possible to speed up your progress with the help of qualitative supplements to complete your diet.
LBM (Lean Body Mass) is the term commonly used to describe a person's total body weight, excluding fat mass. Included in LBM are bones, water, skin, organs and muscles. In addition, a certain amount of essential fat has been included as this is necessary for the bone marrow, the central nervous system, as well as as all vital organs. Muscle mass is what has the biggest impact on our LBM. Of course, variations in both bone density and body weight will occur over time, but it will not affect our digits as clearly as what is usually referred to in daily speech as “fat-free mass” – namely, the muscle mass.
Some people would like to claim that from a health perspective it is a bad idea to have nuts as part of your diet. The main argument is often the amount of fat contained, as if this would be a one way ticket to obesity. Although nuts are rich in both calories and fat, they contain the beneficial monounsaturated fat and generally also have a low glycemic index which supports even blood sugar levels.
Sleep is a vital physiological function and is significantly important for your overall health. A lack of sleep affects not only your general well-being but also your appearance. When we sleep both heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature are lowered. As our immune system is simultaneously activated the body enters a kind of self-healing state.
Calories are energy generated from the food we ingest, released during the process of digestion. They are also used to estimate the level of energy consumption during physical activity. When declaring nutritional content this value is usually referred to as kilocalories (kcal) and this is generally what is meant when we use the term calories in daily speech. On the same label you also see the other energy unit called kilojoule (kJ). 1 kcal = 4.2 kJ.
It is not without reason many of us ditch the chance of taking the stairs if an elevator is available, or that coaches around the world challenge their athletes to run up and down stairs inside big stadiums or office buildings. Not only running, but walking up and down stairs as well, is a very effective way to exercise the heart and several other muscles.
We are all aware of how a blood sugar drop is expressed, but only a handful of us are handling it the right way. Despite the fact that a simple apple would be enough to stabilize the blood sugar and get us back on track, we are easily reminded of the vending machine down the hall or that we certainly have at least a couple of quick fixes in the kitchen cabinets.
When training legs, back, chest, arms or other muscle groups you most certainly use appropriate weights to get results faster. This concept, however, does not always seem to apply when we are dealing with the abdominals. It is often seen that additional weights are ditched and instead replaced by classic crunches or sit-ups and countless reps.
The flu season tends to be both long-spun and involve the vast majority of us. Regardless of how strong your immune system is, it is more or less inevitable that you will find yourself a victim too since we on a regular basis share so much public space. Many athletes ask themselves the same question every time they have been sick, and it is whether or not it is wise to get that workout done and in that case what intensity would be appropriate. The answer depends on several factors.
The protein in our bodies consists of components called amino acids. In order to support the immune system, metabolism, and muscle growth, these long chains of interconnected amino acids are necessary. Individuals who spend a lot of time lifting weights have a greater need to support the function of the protein in the body, which enhances both growth and muscle repair.
We are moving towards Christmas and this time of year is for many of us synonymous with excessive eating. We are visiting relatives, going on annual buffets with the company or just celebrating with friends. We are without a doubt reaching some kind of all time high regarding the amount of calories we put in our bodies and to stay on track with our goals it would therefore be a big healthy step to decline at least a couple of the invitations.
While most bodybuilders like to emphasize the importance of sleep when the ambition is to gain muscle mass, there are just a few of them who mention the level of relaxation we can achieve as a complement to these night hours. The most effective way to connect body and mind is through meditation, and how this is actually done can be read in my previous article "Meditation in your life".
Meditation is a method which purpose is to achieve mental and physical relaxation. Through this skill we gain several health benefits such as increased ability to concentrate, reduced anxiety tendencies along with a feeling of general satisfaction. Even though a lot of people in some period of their lives decide to engage in meditation, only a few of them succeed in achieving and maintaining continuity in their practice.
You have probably been told that breakfast is the metabolism’s catalyst and that it immediately puts you in some kind of fat burning mode. There are many accepted “truths” regarding the allegedly “most important meal of the day”. Many of them find support in scientific studies, depending on how you choose to interpret them, but just as many may also be rejected as pure myths.
Autumn has arrived and all that it entails in terms of environment and weather. This is not rarely an argument for staying indoors and cuddle up in front of a movie, instead of actually fulfilling the promise we made ourselves while wrapping up this year’s vacation. I am of course referring to the promise of establishing healthy habits and either achieving or getting back into a desired body shape.
When we talk about fitness we mean the body's ability to perform a submaximal (ie. an intensity that is less than maximal) work for a long time. Physical fitness is a measurement of the body’s aerobic capacity, the amount of oxygen that the body can be supplied with measured in the unit ml/(kg*min). This means that physical fitness also is a measurement of how well the heart and vascular function works - the reason why it is important to do cardiovascular training.
August is coming to an end and fall is getting closer. To many people this means that it’s time to get back on track after vacation which may feel stressful since it can be hard to find motivation after a long and beautiful summer. To get you excited to get back to your training routines and good habits we are listing four fun outdoor activities to try this fall!
As athletes, we all intuitively know the importance of training our bodies to get ourselves into the best physical shape that we can. It doesn’t matter if we’re working out simply to be fit “for life” or if we are aiming to compete in an event or race: we know that when we want to work hard to make the best physical version of ourselves as possible, we cannot settle with training less-than-our-best.
Getting and staying fit is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions that most people make, but a huge percentage don’t actually receive their desired results. The biggest reason for this is because they don’t take time to plan correctly.
A new year, new possibilities and maybe even new goals? But how do we set our goals in order to reach them? Your goal might be to earn more money? To buy a new apartment? To be in better shape? Or to travel more? Having dreams and goals is not hard, the difficult part is to reach them. What do we need to do in order to reach them?
Many of those who come to me want to lose those extra pounds, tighten their bodies and get more defined muscles but they do not really know how to succeed. They exercise regularly and consider themselves being aware of their diets. Then what is it that is not working? Don’t freak out. There are a number of methods you can try to increase your fat-burning!