Pre Workouts and Performance

If you have been working out for even a few months or ever picked up a muscle magazine, then you have probably heard or seen pre workout supplements. You also either take one yourself or have a friend who does, but are pre workout supplements beneficial? Are the considered the best weight lifting supplements?

pre workout supplements

Do we need pre workout supplements to get results?

The short answer, NO.

You will see a lot of people who take pre workouts to get that “boost” of energy before their workouts, which is fine. We work, we go to school, life can get tough and some time we need a little energy before the gym. The best pre workout supplements can also provide muscle building ingredients to help with: muscle pumps, muscle recovery, and kick start the building process.

What ingredients should your pre workout contain?

To get the most of your pre workout, look for a supplement that contains all or most of these ingredients.

    • Creatine
    • Beta-Alanine
    • Arginine
    • Glycerol
    • Citrulline Mallate
    • Taurine

I hope this will help you if you decide to take a pre workout supplement. If you want my recommendation, I would say to go with BSN No Xplode 2.0. If you wonder if to yourself, Does No Xplode Work? It does and it contains the best ingredients to build muscle.

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Fat Attack: Eat Fat, Burn Fat

Pull Quote: While some fats are more prone to be taken up by fat (adipose) cells and stored as body fat, others are more likely to alter metabolism to favor fat-burning. For many years doctors and nutritionists were steering people away from “dreaded” fat… Read More Click Here

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We Have Moved,

We have combined the blog and the site at Check it out today and see the new post, “HCG The Diet From Hell”! New look and easier to navigate. Stop by check it out and leave your feed back!

Until Next Time,

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Training Tips with the Pro Creator Hany Rambod With FST-7 Video

I am shocking my calves with tri-sets every other workout. Here is the routine:

(5 of these tri-sets in 16-6 rep range)
• Toe raises on hack squat machine
• Standing calf raises
• Standing reverse toe raises on a block

Is this a good routine or just overkill? My calves are currently 16 inches cold. They grew half an inch in the past four months with my ‘normal’ workout.

I would try to push the reps past 20. Calves are one body part that typically responds better to higher reps, due to their high percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers. Don’t lower the weights to get the higher reps— just rest a few seconds every time you hit failure if you have to. This would be the rest-pause technique. The combination of high volume, higher reps, and heavy weight will help tremendously to stimulate growth in the calves, which can be a notoriously stubborn muscle group.

FST-7 trailer

I’ve started using the FST-7 system for a couple of months now, and I’m loving it. In one of your videos on, you mentioned something about Mark Alvisi and his prep— how he tends to harden up in the bottom half of his body first, and then his upper body starts sharpening up a bit later. You also noted how you have to be careful with his diet and carb intake, or his legs could lose size and look stringy.

I have the opposite problem. My upper body gets really lean very fast, and I can appear to have 5 percent body fat when looking at me from the waist up. But my legs and glutes still look soft. I have very well-developed quads, and they get lean eventually, but I still tend to carry a lot of body fat in my glutes and hamstrings. What do you recommend when prepping for a show, as far as dieting and training goes, so I don’t start losing size in the upper body— as I diet my ass off to get the lower half ready?

The real key here is to never let yourself get too heavy in the off-season. If you can stay within 10-15 pounds of your competitive weight, you won’t have to work so hard to get lean. Any time you have an excessive amount of fat to lose, you run a serious risk of losing lean muscle tissue along with that fat. By keeping your body fat lower in the first place, you will be able to dial in your legs while at the same time maintain the size and fullness of your upper body.

You should also look into a yohimbine-based fat burner. I’m a big believer in using yohimbine to get rid of stubborn body fat in the lower body. Usually it’s women who have problems with shedding fat there, but there are also plenty of men out there with similar issues.

How many exercises should be done when training in FST-7 style for beginners, intermediates, and advanced trainers? And do they all use 7s for all body parts, or is that something that you do more of as you become more experienced?

Beginners should do just two ‘base’ exercises, which would be compound movements, plus one isolation exercise done in FST-7 style. Using chest as an example, you might do incline dumbbell presses and flat dumbbell presses for your two base exercises, and incline dumbbell flyes for your 7s. A beginner should only use 7s for one body part a week, typically the area that needs the most improvement.

Intermediate trainers will do three base movements plus one isolation exercise for 7s. They should do the 7s for no more than two given body parts per week. Advanced trainers will also do three exercises in standard style, plus one movement for 7s, but they can now do 7s for all body parts. Also, advanced trainers might do a compound movement rather than an isolation exercise for their 7s.

What is the best fish to eat for bulking, and the best fish for cutting?

Due to its high caloric content as well as the amount of good fats you’ll find in it, I recommend salmon as the top choice for off-season bodybuilders. If you’re trying to lean out, tilapia is the best choice. It’s a smaller fish with far less calories and a lower fat content, and its smaller size also lends itself to smaller serving sizes— important when you are attempting to stay in a caloric deficit. Tilapia is also less likely to have the dangerous levels of metal toxicity that you often see with tuna.

Of course, too much of any one fish over time can be a bad thing, so it’s not advised that you eat either salmon or tilapia for all your meals every day. Another piece of advice I can offer is to buy your fish fresh whenever possible. Fresh fish tends to be less ‘fishy’ smelling and tastes better too. If fish ever smells overly ‘fishy,’ chances are it’s not very fresh and you shouldn’t buy it.

I’ve heard you talk before about protein shakes versus amino acids, and that you prefer your clients to take aminos. Why is that?

Amino acids get into your system much faster than protein shakes do. Most people tend to use shakes as meal replacements instead of eating solid food. As I have pointed out before, the human body simply processes real food better than protein powders. Time after time, I have noted that the more shakes a bodybuilder drinks as opposed to consuming more whole-food meals, the flatter and softer his muscles appear to be. Every time I have an athlete stop drinking shakes and eat all whole food, it’s never long before he takes on a fuller and harder appearance.

The best thing about amino acids is that you can take them 30 minutes before a meal to help keep your body in an anabolic state, and then eat the meal itself. All the athletes I’ve worked with who do this have been very impressed with the results.

I know you advocate the use of GlycoCarn. I’m curious what dosage is ideal, and when you should take it?

This is one product that I have witnessed some very significant results with. Bodybuilders experience lower lactic acid levels, increased recovery, and pumps that literally last all day— as opposed to the hour or two (at most) you will see, even with the best arginine-based nitric oxide products. We’re also experimenting with another application of GlycoCarn that nobody has thought of previously, and I will update you on that next month.

The doses I’ve seen as most effective have ranged from a gram and a half to 5 grams, depending on the bodyweight of the individual. A 120-pound figure competitor will obviously not need to use as much as a 250-pound bodybuilder. Typically, athletes will take half the dose before workouts, and the remainder during the workout. For more information on GlycoCarn, visit their website at

My First Supplement

It’s commonly known among my clients that I have been designing my own supplement formulas for some time now. Until recently, any talk of making these products available to the public was just that, as I had been too busy with other projects and job responsibilities for several years to devote the needed time. But recently, I teamed up with a company I’m involved with named Evogen to develop the first of several formulas for athletes. This flagship product is called EvoP1-Alpha, and it’s designed to be used both pre and post-workout. It’s one I tested successfully on a wide range of athletes, ranging from local to professional bodybuilders as well as figure, fitness, and bikini competitors.

Ingredients include ultra-soluble BCAAs, several forms of L-glutamine, creatine pyruvate, and a profile of B vitamins as an anti-stress pack. The formula comes pre-dosed with the exact amounts of each nutrient designed to elicit a truly sick pump while training, and then get you started on the recovery process immediately after the workout. I was adamant about acquiring only the highest-quality ingredients so the absorption rates are sky-high.

Best of all, EvoP1-Alpha is stimulant-free. The problem with most nitric oxide products is that they’re loaded with caffeine. So you may feel a heck of an energy kick working out, but the vasoconstricting properties of the caffeine cancel out the vasodilating effects of the other ingredients. Sadly, the end result is that you hardly see any difference in your pump. That’s definitely not the case with my product!

Another huge advantage to EvoP1-Alpha is that it contains zero carbs. Other products of this type often contain sugar, so using them while dieting would be counterproductive. EvoP1-Alpha is versatile and suitable for use, whether you’re in off-season building mode or trying to shred up for a contest. You can visit for more information.

Visit or for previous articles, news, an interactive forum, video clips, and member profiles and blogs. You’ll also find updates on my current clients and who is preparing for upcoming contests. Free registration gives you full access to all of it. And now, due to popular demand, FST-7 shirts are finally available!

Origanlly posted on

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Circuit Training For MMA and Fatloss

Circuit training is a great form of exercise to acquaint yourself with if you plan to compete in mixed martial arts. It allows you to work on strength and cardio at the same time. In addition to that, circuit training has the potential to burn an amazing amount of calories, so if you are looking to drop some weight these are the exercises for you.

Randy “The Natural” Couture Circuit Training Routine

What is Circuit training?

Circuit training is a form of conditioning in which you string together a number of exercises completing one after another without rest or with minimal rest. The exercises that you string together form what is called the circuit.

How to do it.

There is a huge amount of room for creativity when it comes to creating a circuit. You can vary the overall length of time, the time spent on each exercise, the time in between exercises, what exercises you use, how much weight you use (if you are using weights), etc.

Let’s take a look at some of the things to consider when creating a circuit training program to improve performance.

Time length – This one is pretty easy. You will usually want to try to mimic the length of time you will spend fighting and resting during a mma fight. For example, if you have a 3 round fight with each round lasting 5 minutes with 1 minute rest in between, then you would want to create a circuit that uses those times. Of course there are instances that you may not want to do it exactly that way. For instance you may want to increase the intensity of the workout beyond what you will experience in the fight e.g. less rest and longer periods of activity.

Exercises – Well, I’m a big fan of exercises that use large muscle groups, since that is usually what you use in a fight. Think pull ups, push ups, bent over rows, and squats. Not exercises that isolate one part of the body like one arm bicep curls, calf extensions and tricep extensions. Also try to make the exercises as sport specific as you can. For instance, rather than doing squats, grab a partner and practice shooting in for a double leg, then pick him all the way off the ground, then repeat. You can replace wind sprints with an intense round of kicking the thai pads. That being said, you can pretty much use any exercise you want in your circuit providing it is safe and will push you in the direction of your goal.

How often? – This is not an easy question to answer because it will vary from person to person. But it’s definitely an important one to ask so that you can prevent over or under training. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get a better idea of how often you should be trying to fit this into your routine.
Am I gearing up for a fight or just trying to maintain the fitness level I already have?
How intense is the other training I am currently doing?
Have I recently had a fight and need to recover?
How intense is the circuit I created?
The answers to those questions will hopefully give you an idea of how often to implement circuit training into you conditioning program. Other than that, just make sure you listen to your coach, he is there to monitor your training and make sure you neither over nor under train.


In mixed martial arts we usually see the more conditioned athlete with his or her hand raised at the end of the fight. Rarely do we see it the other way around. This being the case, if we want to be in the winners spot it’s our job to show up in the best shape we can. Circuit training gives us a great opportunity to improve both strength and cardio so that we can take not one, but two steps closer to being the more conditioned of the two athletes that step into the ring.

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No More Crunches? Abs-olutely!

If you’ve ever stepped into a commercial gym or attempted to “get in shape” in the discomfort of your own home, then you’ve almost certainly done a crunch. It’s a movement that’s as ingrained in our fitness culture as bench presses and biceps curls.

But what if you learned that crunches are far from the most effective and efficient way to work your abdominal muscles?

This isn’t a revolutionary concept among fitness professionals. It’s been out there for at least a decade. But you’d never know it by watching what people in health clubs do. Sit-ups may be out of fashion, but the basic crunch is alive and well and performed by almost everyone trying to improve his or her appearance.

“People think the crunch is the equivalent of a biceps curl,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of the book “The New Rules of Lifting For Abs.” “You pick up a dumbbell, you bend your elbow, and you feel the biceps working. You know exactly what you’re doing, and why. So when you do a crunch, you feel the abdominal muscles shortening, and you think you’re doing the exact same thing. You’re making the muscles bigger and stronger.”

Your abdominal muscles are unlike your biceps and triceps in both structure and function. Their main job is to protect your spine by helping the other core muscles –- those in your back and hips –- keep your lower back and pelvis in a safe, neutral position.

That’s what we mean when we talk about “core stability.” It’s not what your muscles look like when you flex them in a mirror. What matters is how well they can keep your spine in a stable position during increasingly difficult movements.

There isn’t a single crunch or sit-up in The New Rules of Lifting for Abs, the third book in The New Rules of Lifting Series. Instead, Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove base their workout around planks and side planks. (A basic plank is just holding a pushup position on your forearms. For a side plank, just rotate 90 degrees onto one arm and the sides of your feet.)

Schuler and Cosgrove argue that the planks and side planks — and the many variations they show and describe in their book — are the best entry-level exercises for your core muscles.

If you’ve never tried them before, you’ll be surprised at how hard they can be.

“It’s not hard to get into a plank position and hold it for a few seconds,” Schuler said. “But when you get to 30, 60, or even 90 seconds, you realize just how little strength and endurance you have in those muscles, no matter how many crunches you’ve done in the past.”

You may ask what the point is. It’s hard, but so what?

Ever heard the phrase, “Lift with your legs, not with your back”? That’s a perfect, if simple, way to reinforce the importance of a neutral spine, or keeping your back flat.

If you can’t — if your core muscles can’t keep your spine in its natural, slightly arched position when you’re lifting weights or playing sports — you risk serious injury to the discs in your lower back. The better you are at keeping your back in a neutral position, the lower your risk of injury.

Believe it or not, the humble ab wheel offers one of the best examples of how your abdominal muscles function. If you’ve ever used one, you know how hard it is at first to roll the wheel out and extend your arms away from your body. And you also know how sore your abs will be 36 hours later.

The wheel changes your center of gravity. The farther it goes, the harder your core muscles have to work to keep your back from buckling. It’s the hardest thing you can ask your abdominal muscles to do.

“If that’s the hardest thing for your abs to do, then it’s probably the most important thing they’re designed to do,” Schuler says. So rather than flexing those muscles in your workouts, what you really want to do is force them to extend – to lengthen, rather than shorten -– while keeping your back in a safe position.

But simply keeping your back in a safe position through basic stability movements isn’t enough. You have to be able to carry over that stability into basic movements both in everyday life and in the gym. That’s where the “lift with your legs” principle comes back into play. What’s the point of busting your butt if you’re not going to see any applicable carry over?

“Once you’ve developed those abilities, you can spend less time in the weight room and you can get more done with less risk of injury,” Schuler says. “So you can make your workouts more efficient and productive, which makes them harder. Which really gets back to that there’s no easy way to do this.”

You hear that, The Perfect Sit-up?

Written by: Nick Bromberg
Origanlly posted Wednesday, February 2 2011

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Meal Replacements to Fight Fat

Obesity is now a worldwide epidemic and the number of people in the U.S. who are either overweight or obese is greater than the number of normal or underweight people.1,2 Historically, it was felt that obesity was a consequence of gluttony and that obese people merely lacked willpower.

It’s now known that weight gain is a complex issue, with genetic and environmental factors involved, as well as behavioral challenges. Despite recent breakthroughs in identifying the responsible genes, enzymes and hormones involved, the problem continues to grow.3 Attempts to create a safe and effective weight loss drug have met with limited success.4 Sadly, few public resources have been allocated to documenting simple behavioral approaches to combat weight gain or promote weight and fat loss.5

Burn More than You Consume: Old News
The overstated adage, “You have to burn more calories than you consume,” does little more than point out the problem for the obese. Finding ways to follow that seemingly simple command are necessary in order to achieve any weight loss success. That short statement actually has two parts, burning more calories and consuming fewer. Ironically, as society advances, it becomes increasingly difficult to do either. This article focuses on a simple means of following the second directive, consuming fewer calories.

Food surrounds us, but this has not always been the case. Prior to the second half of this century, living conditions were very harsh compared to the relative luxury experienced today. Outside the U.S., many countries are seeing obesity rates reach epidemic proportions for the first time, as the Western lifestyle works its way into developing nations. The ready access to cheap, high-fat, high-calorie meals has created an atmosphere well suited to overconsumption.

The American obsession is to select large portions of high-calorie foods, with many meals exceeding over 1,000 calories. Experts urge people to consume a variety of whole foods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. This conflicts with the marketing pressures that tempt people with the opposing promises of flavor and aroma and offer fatty selections, relying on refined flour, starchy potatoes or fried breading. Confused and frustrated, most people make their food selections based on convenience or cost, and let’s face it, there are many more fast food drive-throughs than discount farmhouses.

In the course of a normal day, there seem to be few options open to most people. Work schedules and time demands require fast, simple meals during the day. For home-prepared meals, however, there’s little difference in the effort required to prepare a small meal versus a larger and more satisfying meal. Creating a “food environment” solution that is practical requires that it be cheap and easy, can be carried around or used “on the go,” and doesn’t leave a mess. It must also be nutritious.

A practical solution has existed for a number of years and is well known to many athletes. This simple, cheap, convenient and nutritious solution is a meal replacement product (MRP). MRPs may exist as pre-mixed shakes, powdered shake mixes or individually wrapped bars. There are a number of arguments both for and against the use of MRPs as part of a fat loss regimen. While all opinions are valid, some arguments are not legitimate when considered more objectively.

Arguments Against MRPs
Opponents to the use of MRPs often cite the following arguments: MRPs are not natural, do not replace whole food, are not nutritious, taste bad and do not aid in weight loss. Unfortunately, these opponents, while well meaning, are largely misinformed.

MRPs are not synthesized within a factory from large vats of chemicals. Rather they are prepared from natural food products. Typically, the original product, milk for example, is dehydrated, filtered and fortified according to the manufacturer’s needs. The product may then be blended and either reconstituted (adding water back in) to make a pre-mixed shake or the batter for an MRP bar, or packaged and processed for sale as a powdered concentrate. These same processes are used in a variety of “natural foods” including breakfast cereals, soda, yogurt, soups, etc. The MRP holds an advantage over most foods in that the shelf life is much longer, so bulk quantities can be purchased and inventories can be better controlled.

Dieticians passionately argue that MRPs do not replace whole food within the diet and they are correct. Whole food, particularly from a balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, provides a number of factors that are not available in MRPs. Phytonutrients are chemicals within plants that provide health benefits. While we are aware of the need for many of these, such as common vitamins and minerals, we only recently aware of others, and there are still plenty that have not yet been identified. MRPs should complement whole food within a structured diet program, not replace whole food. The purpose of the MRP is to provide the known essential nutrients without the burden of a large number of calories.

MRPs have evolved from blends of dextrose and milk powder. Products that are currently available are usually fortified with vitamins and minerals. Many include newly discovered phytonutrients, such as lutein or lycopene. Most MRPs provide between 50 and 100 percent of the USRDA of the essential vitamins and minerals. Some nutrients that may not otherwise be part of a normal diet, such as essential fatty acids, are included in some MRPproducts.
The original MRPs were horrid tasting; that cannot be argued. However, flavoring ingredients are now added to create a variety of flavors to choose from. The list is more exotic than a tropical garden, with banana, kiwi, raspberry, blueberry and many others joining the traditional favorites of chocolate and vanilla. The technology involved in the manufacture has also made MRPs much more enjoyable, as the proteins are more gently processed and lower heats are used, removing any chemical taste or aftertaste.
As to the argument that MRPs do not aid in weight loss, research has been published on long-term studies in large groups of normal people, not bodybuilders or athletes, proving that MRPs can aid in weight loss.1,6-9

Arguments for MRPs
There really is not a strong outcry promoting the use of MRPs in the battle against obesity. Sadly, this neglects the potential for introducing a practical solution to millions of people struggling to lose weight. MRPs can complement other weight loss strategies, providing a sense of control to the obese and overweight.

MRPs, as described above, are a nutritious, enjoyable means of controlling food selection and calorie intake. Recall that the experts are urging people to burn more and eat less. Many dieters try to eat less by following one of two methods: skipping meals or eating “healthy” foods.

Skipping a meal seems like an obvious solution. Unfortunately, studies have shown that obese people who skip one meal often overcompensate during the following meal.1 Avoiding the bagel and cream cheese in the morning saves time and gives the dieter a sense of control as food (viewed as a bad thing) is rejected by choice.

Unfortunately, later in the day, when willpower is less, hunger pains are overwhelming and social signals are pressuring the dieter, more food is consumed than would have been, if breakfast had been eaten. It’s important that people learn portion control and steps to prevent the appetite from causing binge-eating behavior. MRPs may assist with this, as they can be formulated to provide a sense of satiety (fullness) for several hours, so the next meal is not destined to become a binge nightmare at a buffet line.
Most dieters have one or several books on the “right” foods to eat, with paper clips and bookmarks indicating the underlined pages with the salad bar condiments and dressings. It’s too bad that choosing the “right” foods has not been the answer for most dieters.1 To begin with, very few people measure portions. The portions used in the calorie-counting books are not realistic, as most restaurants, cafeterias and vendors know that fullness and satisfaction- not small, low-calorie selections- guarantee repeat business. A tuna sandwich may be listed as having 400 calories and three grams of fat in the book, but the owner of the “Tubby Subby” knows he sells more if he loads on the cheese and mayonnaise, building the sandwich up to 900 calories.

Using the MRPs
While MRPs may not help with food selection when whole food meals are consumed, they can provide a specific amount of calories, as well as providing a healthy blend of the macronutrients- carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Liquid diets have been used clinically to promote weight loss in the hospital or clinic for many years. These diets are not used commonly, as they restrict the person to a very low number of calories, perhaps 800 per day. Weight loss is rapid, but often there are signs of stress upon the vital organs and the weight returns when the diets end.10

Rather than trying to effect rapid weight loss with hospital-based, all-liquid diets, researchers are now evaluating self-managed weight control using MRPs once or twice a day, along with a balanced diet. Four studies, ranging from one to five years, have shown that the inclusion of MRPs with nutritional counseling and support, is a safe and effective aid to weight loss.1,6-9,11 In addition to losing an average of 10 percent body weight, participants also realized several health benefits from the weight loss. A number of positive changes were noted in the lab studies performed, including lower total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, insulin, blood pressure and triglycerides. Reducing each of these factors decreases the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.

Beyond providing significant weight loss and improving the health of the participants, the MRP-associated diet program allowed most participants to maintain the weight loss for the duration of the study. This is a valuable finding, as many dieters have experienced weight loss with other programs, only to regain the excess weight upon returning to “normal” eating. MRPs, in addition to aiding in weight loss, are an important tool in allowing people to self-manage their dietary habits and control the “food environment.”

There are numerous MRPs available at most grocery stores and nutrition centers. Finding an MRP that fits the budget and tastes good can be easily accomplished with a little experimenting. While there’s no defined nutrition profile for weight loss MRPs, attention should be paid to ensure that an MRP is not high in calories. They should be between 200 and 300 calories per serving, fortified with the essential vitamins and minerals (usually 50- 100 percent USRDA) and provide a balanced blend of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Using an MRP in a well-planned diet program may provide the necessary support needed for safe, effective and enduring weight loss.1

By: Dan Gwartney, MD

1. Ditschuneit HH, Fletchner-Mors M, et al. Metabolic effects of a long-term dietary intervention in obese patients. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Feb;69(2):198-204.
2. Fairburn CG, Kelly DB. Eating Disorders and Obesity, 2nd ed. The Guilford Press, New York, 2001.
3. Jeffrey RW. Public health strategies for obesity treatment and prevention. Am J Health Behav 2001 May-Jun;25(3):252-9.
4. Cannistra LB, Davis SM, et al. Valvular heart disease associated with dexfenfluramine. NEJM 1997 Aug 28;337:636.
5. Levy AS, Heaton AW. Weight control practices of U.S. adults trying to lose weight. Ann Intern Med 1993 Oct 1;119(7 Pt 2):661-6.
6. Ashley JM, St Jeor ST, et al. Weight control in the physician’s office. Arch Intern Med 2001 Jul 9;161(13):1599-604.
7. Fletchner-Mors M, Ditschuneit HH, et al. Metabolic and weight loss effects of long-term dietary intervention in obese patients: four-year results. Obes Res 2000 Aug;8(5):399-402.
8. Heber D, Ashley JM, et al. Clinical evaluation of a minimal intervention meal replacement regimen for weight reduction. J Am Coll Nutr 1994 Dec;13(6):608-14.
9. Rothacker DQ. Five year self-management of weight using meal replacements: comparison with matched controls in rural Wisconsin. Nutrition 2000 May;16(5):344-8.
10. Snow JT, Harris MB. Maintenance of weight loss after a very-low-calorie diet involving behavioral treatment. Psychol Rep 1995 Feb;76(1):82.
11. Rothacker DQ, Staniszewski BA, et al. Liquid meal replacement vs. traditional food: a potential model for women who cannot maintain eating habit change. J Am Diet Assoc 2001 Mar;101(3):345-7.

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UFC 126 Silva or Belfort? Watch these highlight videos, Then you decide.

Saturday in Las Vegas the super fight will finally happen! The pound for pound best fighter in the world Anderson Silva will put his belt on the line to fight Vitor Belfort, the guy with 12 first round knock outs and dubbed by the UFC to have the fastest hands in the octagon. Also on the card: Franklin vs Griffin, Jones vs Bader, Torres vs Banuelos. I think this is going to be a great card! I am not a gambling man, but if I was I would pick: Silva, Franklin, Jones, and Torres. What are your picks?

Here are some highlight videos I found for Silva and Belfort. Check them out and post your picks!

Silva OR Belfort?

Until next time,

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Scheduling Meals and Exercise for Maximum Fat Burning

Exercise, cutting calories, and losing fat are difficult, so you want the most from your weight control program. A study from the University of Munich in Germany showed that meal timing, dietary composition, and exercise influenced post-exercise fat metabolism.
George Brooks from the University of California in Berkeley showed that the body uses mainly fat as fuel at exercise intensities below 65 percent of maximum effort. Also, carbohydrate-rich meals slow fat release from fat cells and decrease subsequent fat burning.

Obese people exercised for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity and then consumed a meal rich in either proteins or carbohydrates. The high-carb meal suppressed fat release and use after exercise, while the high-protein meal increased fat burning. Consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal two hours before exercise promoted fat burning just like the post-exercise high-protein meal.

Maximize fat burning by consuming a high-protein, low-carbohydrate meal after exercise or a high-carbohydrate meal two hours before exercise. If you are not concerned about weight loss, consume high-carbohydrate meals after endurance exercise to restore muscle and liver glycogen and promote tissue repair. (Hormone and Metabolic Research, in press; published online January 21, 2010)

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Shock Muscles Into Growth: Change Your Routine!

Hormones such as human growth hormone (GH) and testosterone have been shown to play a role in muscle hypertrophy and strength gains. One of the core training principles for muscle hypertrophy in bodybuilding is short rest— less than 1 minute between sets. In 1988, anabolic hormone guru William Kraemer, PhD, performed a study that literally changed the world of bodybuilding overnight. In this landmark study, Kraemer reported that heavy resistance training protocols with shortened rest periods (less than 1 minute) between sets elicited greater GH and testosterone response than resistance training protocols with longer rest periods (more than 3 minutes).1 A previous study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effects of three different loading routines on testosterone and cortisol levels.2 Subjects were randomly assigned to a power workout (8 sets of 6 reps, 45 percent of 1-repetition maximum, 3 minutes rest), a hypertrophy workout (10 sets of 10 reps, 75 percent of 1-repetition maximum, 2 minutes rest) and a maximal strength workout (6 sets of 4 reps, 88 percent of 1-repetition maximum, 4 minutes rest). The hypertrophy scheme (10 sets of 10 reps) increased testosterone and cortisol, whereas the power and maximal strength schemes produced little to no endocrine change. In general, the post-exercise testosterone and cortisol response to the hypertrophy scheme was greater than the other two schemes, which themselves displayed largely similar profiles.
There is no doubt that short rest periods are going to lead to enhanced fat oxidation and a greater metabolic effect, but should you train with short rest periods year-round?

Longer Rest Periods Superior For Strength
A previous study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that short rest periods led to a decrease in the number of repetitions performed in the workout. In the study, resistance-trained men performed an upper-body workout consisting of two experimental training sessions. Both sessions consisted of 3 sets of 8 repetitions with an 8-repetition maximum resistance on six upper body exercises: wide-grip lat pulldowns, close-grip pulldowns, seated machine rows, barbell rows lying on a bench, seated dumbbell arm curls and seated machine arm curls. The two experimental sessions differed only in the length of the rest period between sets and exercises: one session was performed with a 1-minute rest and the other with a 3-minute rest period. It should be of no surprise that the group that rested 3 minutes between sets was able to perform a greater number of repetitions compared to the 1-minute rest session.1 Think about a few extra repetitions performed during each workout over a six-month period and how much added strength and size that would add up to. New research has shown that the body has an incredible ability to adapt to exercise.

Short Rest Periods Increase Anabolic Hormones During The First Week, But Effects Decline With Training
In a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers from the University of Nebraska recruited subjects and randomly assigned them to a 10-week resistance training program with either 1 or 2.5 minutes of rest between sets, training four times per week. Subjects were advised to consume 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass each day to ensure adequate nutritional resources for training-stimulated adaptation. Researchers found that in the first week, the ‘1-minute between rest’ group exhibited a greater overall hormone response to weight training than the ‘2.5-minutes’ group. In week one, post-exercise testosterone and cortisol levels were significantly greater in the 1-minute group than in the 2.5-minutes group. However, these differences diminished by weeks five and 10, in which post-exercise hormone levels in the two groups were similar. What this study shows is that the body adapts to its training routine; the physiological stress of resistance exercise is diminished with time. The bottom line is that you have to constantly shock your body with new training routines!

Longer Rest Period Increased Muscle Hypertrophy More Than Shorter Rest Period
Another interesting finding was that the longer rest period group (2.5 minutes) tended to have greater increases in muscle arm mass than the short rest period group (1 minute). Additionally, the longer rest period group tended to have larger increases in thigh mass.
The author concludes that periodic changes in training protocols are needed for increased anabolic hormones and that there is an adaptation response that occurs to training. The groups became more alike as the weeks went along, as both groups adapted to their training regimen.3
The key point of the study is that the hormonal responses (GH and testosterone) were greater during the first week and had diminished by the 10th week of training. The study emphasized that changing your workout reduces the training adaptation that takes place and keeps you growing.


By: Robbie Durand

1. Miranda H, Fleck SJ, Simão R, Barreto AC, Dantas EH, Novaes J. Effect of two different rest period lengths on the number of repetitions performed during resistance training. J Strength Cond Res, 2007 Nov;21(4):1032-6.
2. Crewther B, Cronin J, Keogh J, Cook C. The salivary testosterone and cortisol response to three loading schemes. J Strength Cond Res, 2008 Jan;22(1):250-5.
3. Buresh R, Berg K, French J. The effect of resistive exercise rest interval on hormonal response, strength, and hypertrophy with training. J Strength Cond Res, 2009 Jan;23(1):62-71.

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