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Thursday, December 15, 2011

How To Combat Stress Through Healthy Eating

Stress can be one of your biggest challenges if you are trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, stress is virtually unavoidable in this day and age. When you're feeling stressed out, the effort involved in sticking to a responsible eating plan can feel like something of a nuisance.

The big problem is that if stress leads to unhealthy eating, then the unhealthy eating will lead to more stress. And in reverse, healthy eating will result in a reduction of stress. I know it seems hard at times, but the times you when you feel most stressed are the times when eating healthily is most important.

Often, pressures in the workplace can lead to unhealthy eating. Sometimes it's just a lot easier to pop into the nearest fast food restaurant when you don't have much time to eat. The harsh truth though is that this is simply being irresponsible if you are trying to lose weight.

There are plenty of healthy foods that you can buy that can be prepared quickly. A sandwich shop can easily whip you up a healthy sandwich with wholemeal bread and a piece of fruit just as quickly as McDonalds can crank out a greasy cheeseburger. Alternatively, make a healthy lunch at home and take it to work with you. This way you won't even have to leave the office at lunch time.

Now I understand that fast food can be very addictive and tasty, but they do a lot of harm to your body, and can even weaken your immune system. Not to mention they will make you fat. Eating greasy and fatty foods will not help your concentration levels at all, so if you want to perform well at work, you should eat something better.

Remember this, the more stressed you are, the more healthy you need to eat. Be sure to start your day off well with a nutritional breakfast. A simple bowl of cereal and a glass of fruit juice can be prepared in seconds if you don't have much time.

There's so many healthy options available for lunch meals that you really have no excuse to go to McDonalds. A healthy lunch could consist of rice noodles or pastas with fresh boiled vegetables. Sandwiches with granary bread filled with egg white, meat or vegetables are another easy lunch to make. Try to go easy on adding butter and cheese to your sandwiches, as you want to keep your calories under control. In addition, a piece of fruit or two is a great snack to eat along side it.

Eating healthily and reducing stress involves eating healthy meals and eating at appropriate intervals. It's a good idea to eat healthy snacks in between your meals. You could keep some canned fruit, cereal bars and whole wheat crackers in your store or office to keep you going throughout the day.

So remember, when you are stressed you have two cycles to chose from:

Stress > Unhealthy Eating > More stress > Health problems

or…

Stress > Healthy Eating > Reduced Stress Levels > Stronger Immune system

Which would you prefer? The Lunch Box Diet is a great option as a healthy diet plan because as well as helping you lose weight, it is also a great stress busting diet due to all of its health properties.

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How To Increase Hair Growth

Hair loss is a common problem for both male and female. Although hair loss or excessive hair fall is a not a disease, it can be a indication of an underlying problem. It is always a good idea to check with a doctor. However, hair loss can be due to several other reasons, namely the type of products used on the hair, the water, the environment, stress and so on.

In order to stop hair loss, we need to go the root of the problem. If it is because of an illness, then that needs to be taken care of; if it is due to other reasons mentioned above then we need to find a solution. In any case, we need to take care of hair heath in the same way we need to take care of our bodies.

Some of the ways to stop hair loss and increase hair growth are:

- If there is a major hair loss then it could be an indication of deficiency of some essential nutrients in the body. Check your diet. Plan a well-balanced meal and take multivitamins to put back the lacking nutrients back in the body. Vitamins A, B and E are good for the hair.

- Drink plenty of water. Water flushes out toxins from the body and also keeps you hydrated. Make sure the water you drink is distilled or filtered and avoid water containing chlorine or other chemicals.

- Avoid caffeine. This causes the body to dehydrate which is not good for the hair. Instead try fruit juices.

- Know what you put on your hair. Oil your hair on weekly basis. Apply coconut oil once a week. Warm the oil a little before applying. Leave it one for an hour before washing it off.

- Avoid shampoos that have three in one substances in them. Do not shampoo every day. Twice a week is enough.

- Avoid pulling your hair back tightly.

- Make sure the pillow you sleep on has cotton covers that do not pull your hair out.

- Avoid smoking and alcohol.

- Do not brush or comb the hair when it is wet.

- After a shower dry the hair by patting with the towel rather than rubbing with it

The above tips will help to reduce hair loss and promote new growth. It is natural to loss about forty to fifty strands of hair a day, so do not be alarmed at this. Taking care of the hair in a proper manner will promote hair growth.

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Best Foods for Fat Burning

I couldn't be any simpler with my nutrition recommendations for fat burning. You will get have the most energy and the best body and fitness level possible if you eat whole, natural foods. I always ask Dr. Chris Mohr, author of the Turbulence Training for Fat Loss Nutrition Guidelines if I ever need help with nutrition information.

You must avoid processed foods, which is pretty much anything in a bag or a box. So cut out muffins, donuts, pre-packaged cereals, white bread, pasta, chips, crackers, cookies, etc. 

We need to return to a time of simpler eating, focusing on fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It will take some "bad habit breaking" to rid yourself of your addiction to processed foods, but in your journey you will learn to appreciate the taste of REAL food again.

You don't have to eat meat to lose fat and build muscle, but it's not unhealthy to eat beef, chicken, and fish. In fact, fish contains essential fatty acids we can't do without.

You might have heard about the importance of healthy fats, which is a big turn-around from the low-fat mentality of the 80's and 90's. We now know eating fish and nuts won't make us fat, but will in fact make us healthy and help control our appetite.

So just focus on foods that haven't been processed, and you'll start to see changes in your body and energy levels in a matter of days. Get rid of the processed foods and you won't be tired anymore!

I strongly believe nutrition is the MOST important factor in fat loss and in health. If you're eating processed foods, trans-fats, and too many calories, you won't get maximum benefits from your exercise program, no matter what you are doing. Nutrition can either heal you or kill you, so choose wisely. Fortunately, the right choices are the simple choices.

I've had clients that switched to whole, natural foods and almost overnight they've reported changes in their bodies and huge increases in mental energy. So stick with the simple nutrition approach for fat burning.

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The Hidden Health Hazards of Grilling And Barbecuing

Many people enjoy a tender grilled chicken breast, sirloin steak, or filet of fish, and nothing says summer quite like a good old fashioned barbecue. But if you aren't careful, a summer of enjoying barbecued cuisine can prove deadly to your health.

It has been well documented that undercooking meat can cause a variety of food borne diseases. But it's now apparent that overcooking can be just as bad, if not worse, as studies reveal that it can cause cancer.

The true culprit is charred meat, the portion of the meat that's essentially turned into charcoal due to overheating. Scientists found that charred meat produces a compound called PhIP, which has been shown to cause various types of cancers in rats.

The findings were revealed at a conference for the American Association for Cancer Research in April, wherein they showed that when PhIP was mixed in with rats' food, their spleens, prostates and intestines underwent cancerous genetic mutations after four weeks.

If this isn't bad enough, other evidence suggests that PhIP isn't the only malignant compound that's produced when meat is charred. Another compound called heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, can increase the risk of various cancers in humans, including prostate, colon, stomach and breast cancer.

Yet another compound worthy of concern is called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. PAHs form when fats from chicken, steak and types of fish are re-deposited onto the barbecued slab, due to the high heat and smoke brewing from the hibachi, after the fatty oils have dripped on the hot coals below.

So, do findings like this mean you should swear off barbecuing forever? Certainly not. And even if it did, it's not likely that the thousands of Americans who barbecue regularly even would. However, caution can and should be taken when eating and preparing for a barbecue:

Get the Grill Goin'—If you haven't used the grill for awhile, its best to give it a good clean by turning up the heat to high and closing the lid for about 10 minutes. This will remove the caked oil and grease from past grilling

Cut the Fat—Not only does trimming the fat off meat reduce saturated fat content, it also greatly reduces the likelihood of PAH compounds forming

Remove Charred Meat Portions from the Meat Before Serving or Eating

Marinade Meat—Marinating does mean extra preparation, but scientists believe that the ingredients in marinades act as a sort of shield for the meat, reducing the chances of carcinogenic compounds forming significantly

Wash Your Hands—This is common sense, but cleaning your hands thoroughly—for at least 20 seconds—is essential when handling raw meat

Avoid Cross Contamination—The easiest way to avoid this is to use two different plates when handling food: One plate for raw meat, another plate for cooked meats. The same standard should apply for cutting raw and cooked meat products (i.e. different utensils and cutting boards)

Pre-cook Meats—Boiling chicken wings or heating up pieces of swordfish or steak in the oven prior to grilling is a great way to ensure it's fully cooked

Flip Frequently—Once you've made it to the grill, don't just leave it alone only to flip the burger once or twice. Research indicates that flipping frequently at a low heat hastens the time it takes to get the barbecued fare from the grill to the dinner table.

Exercise Portion Control—The thicker the meat, the longer it takes to cook thoroughly. Keeping the cuts small will fix this

Keep a Thermometer Handy—Judging whether or not meat is cooked thoroughly enough shouldn't be done just by examining its inner color. The U.S. Department of Health advises that chicken should be cooked to at least 165 degrees, hamburger to 160 degrees, pork to 150 degrees and hot dogs to at least 140 degrees. Steak should be cooked to 145 degrees for medium rare and 160 degrees for medium

Following these 10 tips will help provide you with yet another fun, safe and delicious season of barbecue bonanza.

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And Abdominal Muscles

"Stomach exercise" is the most frequently asked about and searched on (via internet) yet misunderstood subject in the entire field of health, fitness and exercise. And it's no wonder. Regardless of age, experience or gender, everyone wants a flat "stomach" because the abdominal region is the true showcase of your physique. Since the abs are usually the last place to "shape up" and "lean out," then most people would say that if you've got abs, you've got it all.

Well, in my way of thinking, this is only partially true. There's more to a complete physique than "abdominal exercises" and "six pack abs" and most people are completely wrong about "stomach exercises" and ""stomach muscles." (you'll find out why in just a moment)...

The Difference Between "6-Pack Abs" And Truly "Fit Abs"

Having a great looking set of abs is very much a matter of low body fat. But make no mistake, just being lean and seeing a "six-pack" doesn't mean you are strong, fit or conditioned. Real fitness means more than visible muscle development, it means strength, endurance, and stability, and this type of true functional fitness does not come from merely eating the right foods or reducing your body fat.

Nutrition is so important that you could even say that "abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym" and you would not be telling a lie. But this clever maxim is not telling the whole truth either. Great abs come from nutrition AND training, not one or the other. The training develops them. The nutrition uncovers them.

Don Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in America in 1493 looking for a fountain of youth and today in the "stomach exercise" marketplace, it seems that far too many people are looking for a "magic fountain" in order to flatten their waistlines.

Ponce never found the fountain of youth and you will never find a magical solution for flat abs. There are no short cuts. It takes a change in lifestyle to get a change in health, physique and performance. That includes nutrition AND training.

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There's No Such Thing As "Stomach Exercises"

this is your stomach
THIS is your stomach!

Proper choice of exercise is a critical factor in your quest for a firm and flat waistline. But you will never get a great "stomach" from ANY "stomach exercise" because your stomach is a part of your digestive tract, not your skeletal muscular system! So let's get the terminology straight, shall we?

The area of you body you really want to improve is called your "core region."Many people refer to it as the "abdominal region." However, training only with "ab exercise" is NOT the optimal approach.

The abdominals only include the front (anterior) side of your body and if the only type of training you do is abdominal training, you may be unwittingly setting yourself up for lower back problems. If you don't think this is serious, then consider this statistic:

According to the American Chiropractic Association, more than 31 million Americans are suffering from low back pain at any given time.

So would you like to trade great abs for a bad back?

I didn't think so. The good news is that you can kill two birds with one stone. You can develop great abdominal muscles, great core muscles and a strong, pain-free back by using exercises that focus not on the "stomach," (which is not a muscle you train at all), not on the "abdominals," (which is only part of the muscles you need to target), but on the entire core.

The core is the key to your success.

The core is the entire complex of muscles around your hip and waist region from your lower rib cage to the bottom of your pelvis. If you just focus on "abdominal exercises" alone (or "stomach" exercises, LOL), you will develop what I refer to as a "one dimensional body." I focus on training the body as a whole, or "multi-dimensional training" to develop a complete person and to develop effective and powerful athletes.

What every program I write has in common is that I do not attempt to "isolate" the abdominals (or train the "stomach muscles!") It's all about the core and about integrating your body as a unit so you function better in daily life.

As you do core-focused exercise programs you not only train your muscular system but also the system that drives your muscular system – that is, the nervous system. This may very well be the most important secret for getting better results in your workout programs.

The more efficiently your nervous system works, the better your results will be. Core workouts that improve both muscular strength and conditioning while also improving neural drive will develop stronger neural control of the associated muscles.

This type of training for your core may very well be the most important secret for getting better results in your workout programs.

  • THIS is why my "brand" of core training gets results in women who have had C-sections, or other abdominal surgeries when nothing else worked
  • THIS is why the core exercises I recommend will flatten out a "pooching" belly, which is a result of deep muscular weakness and lack of neuromuscular control (It's NOT just a body fat problem!)
  • THIS is why my clients have overcome agonizing lower back pain when all else failed
  • THIS is why my workout program have helped men and women recover from embarrassing incontinence
  • THIS is how I have helped hundreds of new moms regain their flat and firm midsections after having their babies
  • THIS is why my clients remain injury free, while so many other training programs are actually the CAUSE of injuries
  • And THIS is why my type of training – PROGRESSIVE CORE TRAINING – develops amazing athletes – top wresters, PGA golfers, and pro boxers with powerful punches and abs of steel.

The purpose of this article was not to give more workout routines (I've written an entire book about core training that's FULL of workouts ("Firm And Flatten Your Abs) and there's plenty of Free sample workouts to be found on this site and lots more to come in upcoming issues of my newsletter. The purpose of this article was to "install" 3 incredibly important lessons into your brain:

  • You can't train your "stomach" because your stomach is an internal organ of digestion not a skeletal muscle!
  • You can't totally "isolate" your abdominals because your abdominals do not work in isolation, they work in conjunction with the rest of your body (and "isolation" as with only doing crunches, is not the optimal approach anyway).
  • You get more by training your core! You become a better athlete, you help prevent injuries, you get stronger and you get that coveted 6-pack abs look.

I hope the "morals" of these lessons have already sunk in and will become a part of your own fitness philosophy... and the next time you hear someone talk about "stomach exercises", you'll now be able to get a good chuckle out of that.

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Home Remedies for Cramping In Pregnancy

Most women will experience cramping in pregnancy, and many will experience different types of cramping at different times during their full term. The good news is that most cramping in pregnancy is perfectly normal and even a healthy sign that everything is on track, and that there are easy home remedies for cramping in pregnancy that you can try.

First – A Warning

Mild to moderate cramping in pregnancy – the kind that is uncomfortable but not unbearable – is normal. Excruciating pain is not! If you're experiencing very severe cramping, especially if it's accompanied by bleeding or spotting, seek immediate emergency medical advice.

Abdominal Cramping in Pregnancy

By far the most common type of cramping in pregnancy is abdominal cramping – nearly every woman will experience this – at least during some part of her pregnancy. This abdominal cramping is due to many factors – implantation, round ligament pain, increased pressure on the organs as your baby grows, constipation, and many other factors. There are several ways that you can minimise or treat abdominal cramping during pregnancy:

§ Take it easy. Your body is already under enormous additional pressure when you are pregnant. Don't invite abdominal pain by not making the effort to take things a little easier.
§ Eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water. Also, remember that because your baby is pressing on your GI tract, heartburn is far more likely, so try to avoid spicy foods that may make it worse.
§ Learn a pregnancy massage technique. Often, gentle massage on the area affected by abdominal cramping during pregnancy, with or without the application of heat or cold, can help to treat the symptoms of pain.

If leaning into the cramps, resting more and therapies like massage don't help with abdominal cramping during pregnancy, and you're concerned, speak to your doctor, to find out if there is a treatment available.

Leg Cramps during Pregnancy

Leg cramps, particularly during the second trimester of pregnancy, are another common problem faced by many women. These cramps are caused by a variety of factors, including mineral deficiencies, and by pressure on nerves by your growing baby, and while they can be annoying when they strike in the middle of the night, they're rarely ever a sign of a serious problem.

In order to prevent leg cramps during pregnancy, you should remember to drink lots of water, and try to take a long, warm, relaxing bath before bedtime. If you do find yourself suffering leg cramps at night, standing up can usually soothe the pain, as can massaging the affected area.

Cramps during pregnancy are a normal part of the changes that your body is going through, and they're usually nothing to be too concerned about. However, there's also no reason you should suffer in silence, so why not learn techniques like massage, invest in safe pain killing treatments, and take the time to take care of yourself? You may not be able to eliminate cramping during pregnancy completely, but you can certainly minimise the frequency and severity of your symptoms!

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How Ace Inhibitors Work to Lower Blood Pressure

Blood pressure medications come in different forms and each is intended to cause a different reaction in the blood or blood vessels. An ace inhibitor is one such medication used in the treatment of hypertension.

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors prevent the manufacture of a hormone in the body called angiotensin II. Angiotensin II makes blood vessels narrower. When the hormone production is blocked, the arteries remain wider and allow blood to flow through with less pressure on the vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.

Brand Names for Ace Inhibitors

Benazepril, Enalapril and Lisinopril are three ACE inhibitors commonly used in the treatment of high blood pressure. They are seldom the first course of action but are used to treat the more severe cases of hypertension. Ideally, maintaining a proper weight and eating right are the best ways to control blood pressure. After that a diuretic type of medication may be prescribed, which works based on the idea of flushing the arteries so pressure is reduced.

The brand names under which the common ACE inhibitors used to treat high blood pressure are sold are Lotensin (benazepril), Vasotec (enalapril) and Prinivil and Zestril (lisinopril). All of these work to increase blood flow by keeping the arteries open and wide.

ACE inhibitors have side effects just like any other drugs. It can feel as if you have a bad cold because many of the symptoms that are possible are a cough, sore throat, fever, and mouth sores. Other symptoms include an itchy, red skin rash, swelling of the neck, face or tongue, or a salty or metallic taste in your mouth. While all of these are not extremely common, they have been reported in enough cases to be listed as possible side effects to taking ACE inhibitors.

One side effect is raised potassium levels. Some medications, such as diuretics, actually reduce potassium and that has some health risks with it as well. The opposite is true of ACE inhibitors. Because they can raise potassium levels it is important to have yours monitored if you are taking any of these prescriptions. Symptoms of too much potassium in the blood stream include nervousness, a numbness or tingling feeling in the hands or feet, and even confusion. There can also be difficulty breathing.

It is important to watch what you eat and what you do while taking ACE inhibitors. Some foods which contain potassium, such as salt substitutes can cause you to have dangerously high levels of potassium. Also, taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve or aspirin can negate the effects of your ACE inhibitor drug.

The challenge in controlling blood pressure with medicine is two-fold. Medical professionals will try the least invasive type of drug, meaning one with the least chance of side effects and that requires the lowest dose possible to manage your blood pressure. This means that a patient can often go through years of trial and error type of drug experimentation before finding something that works. Meanwhile, blood pressure can be going untreated.

Secondly, medications to treat blood pressure have side effects – all of them to some degree. You may find that using them requires you to take other medications to treat the symptoms of the side effects.

As with any disease or condition, a natural approach can be just as effective, without the risk of side effects. A doctor can help you determine if you need to lose weight or make other changes to control your blood pressure.

Discover how you can lower blood pressure safely and naturally without the risk of harmful drug side effects:

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How Bad is Your Nutrition?

Chances are your nutrition is terrible. Or at the very least, your nutrition plan is good but you allow yourself far too many treats. Take today for example. How many Halloween candies have you treated yourself to at work? And you still have to go home and resist the leftover candy bowl or your child's Halloween loot. The bottom line: You can't succeed in your fat loss program if your diet is average.

I need to bring up this point because of the many emails people send me about their nutrition. From what I read, most people's nutrition plans are far too poor to allow them to lose fat. And yet they are working harder than ever in the gym and wondering why they aren't losing fat. No workout will help you build muscle and lose fat if you keep eating at fast-food restaurants, drinking sugary sodas, and raiding bags of leftover mini-candy bars.

And it's frustrating because the secrets to fat loss nutrition are so simple. The best approach is eating several small meals per day, with each meal containing lean protein, vegetables, and other whole foods. You must eliminate unnecessary calories such as soda and high-fat, high-sugar snacks (like that mini-Snickers bar that's on your desk right now). If you're trying to lose fat, you can't have treats every day. If fat loss is the goal, then cookies, apple pie, ice cream, nachos, fried foods, etc. just don't make the cut, as unfortunate as it is.

Research shows that an increased intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with fat loss (nutritionists never put a limit on the number of vegetables that people should eat - provided they are not fried or covered in fat or sauces). Other research suggests that replacing carbohydrates with almonds (a source of fiber, protein, and monounsaturated fats) leads to greater weight loss. Almonds are a very healthy snack and help curb hunger. A typical serving is 1 ounce of almonds (about 22 pieces) and can replace chips, chocolate bars, and cookies in your diet.

Make sure you are logging your food intake and making notes about your energy levels when you eat certain foods. Soon you will identify the nutritional reasons for your fatigue or for your consistent energy levels. You will quickly associate sugar and fried foods with poor mental performance, while noticing that small, whole, natural food-based meals and snacks help keep you alert and full of energy.

If you are overweight and just starting to improve your nutrition, I have some good news for you. You should begin losing at least 1 pound per week (probably 2 or more) simply from the nutritional changes.

Nutrition is that powerful. Don't expect to start eating perfectly tomorrow, but you should slowly build up to eating much better and healthier than you were yesterday. Try to improve your nutrition plan everyday. Stay consistent and focused with your nutritional approach. You can do it. Here are three nutrition changes that would pay huge dividends for a fat-loss beginner:

1) Eat several small, whole food meals per day.

2) Don't consume any unnecessary liquid calories (i.e. no soda, alcohol, or sweetened beverages). Drink more water – nutrition experts recommend 3 liters per day.

3) Eliminate processed carbohydrates and sugar from your nutrition plan (no soda, cake, chips, white bread, or chocolate bars).

If you're fed up with the body fat and spare tire around your middle, then it's time to take a structured approach to fat loss.

If your current nutritional plan is preventing you from losing fat, then it's time for you to start working on building better eating habits. This can be as simple as committing to one small nutritional improvement per day (such as replacing your lunchtime soda with water) and one large nutritional change per week (such as setting aside time on a Sunday to prepare a weekly menu and all of your meals).

But you need to have a plan to make this work, just like how you have a plan for your workouts. Your nutrition plan should include the contents of every meal, as well as your grocery list for the week. This will enable you to have meal alternatives for nights when you might need to be running from one event to the other with no time or healthy snack alternatives when you are on the road between meetings.

It's important that you make your plan something you can follow. If you are currently eating 7 meals per week at the golden arches, it wouldn't be realistic to plan to replace those meals with carrot sticks and tofu this week. A better plan would be to substitute a couple of those meals with healthier sandwich options and then work on improving things even more in the following weeks.

So here's a three-step guideline on building a better nutrition plan:

1) Prepare a weekly menu. Outline each meal and snack for every day of the upcoming week. Take into account the possibilities that you might work late or get invited out to lunch. The more options you have and preparations you make, the better you will be able to stick to your fat loss plan.

2) From your menu plan, you'll now know what foods and ingredients you need to make it through the week. Make your grocery list and stick to it (see mine below). Grocery shopping is your first opportunity to break some bad nutritional habits. You can't eat chips, cookies, or cakes if you don't have them in the house – so don't buy them and you'll avoid any future temptation.

3) Prepare the meals or prepare the ingredients so that making the actual meal doesn't take a lot of time. Like shopping, it's best to do all of these preparations at one time (such as on a Sunday or another day off).

My shopping list includes:

Fruits · Apples · Oranges · Blueberries · Melon · Peaches · Grapefruit · Raspberries

Vegetables · Peppers (red, yellow, green, & orange), · Spinach · Asparagus · Broccoli · Snow Peas · Mushrooms · Frozen mixed vegetables · Tomato sauce

Protein Sources · Chicken breasts · Turkey breasts · Salmon fillets · Lean beef · Skim milk & low-fat, low-sugar yogurt

Carbohydrates · Oat bread · Oatmeal (no sugar added) · Whole-wheat pasta

Other · Green tea · Unsalted, not roasted, Almonds

You'll notice that most of these foods come without a food label. Most of the foods that you should avoid come in a bag or a box. Building a shopping list that contains very few bagged or boxed items is something to aim for. But when you do purchase something with a label, make sure to avoid two of the unhealthiest ingredients created by man:

1) High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) 2) Hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil (the sources of trans-fatty acids)

You might have heard of these two ingredients. They are strongly associated with obesity and other lifestyle-diseases (such as diabetes).

Sincerely,

 

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How Can A Healthy Diet Give You A Healthy Heart?

We live in a world where people are seduced by fat food every day. So many people choose the taste of greasy and fatty sausages or burgers over the nutritional value of healthy fresh salad. It is pure madness, but it shows how addicted people have become to the taste of junk. These people have a total disregard for what it is doing to their hearts.

Alarmingly, more and more medical related deaths have been recorded in the last few decades that are related to heart related problems and cardiac arrests. It is no secret that fast food has played a big part in this.

Studies have shown us that around 80% of heart disease can be prevented through healthy eating. A staggering figure I'm sure you'll agree. To have a healthy heart, all it takes is the willingness to learn new habits.

While learning new eating habits may seem like a massive step, don't worry, you don't have to make 100 drastic changes all at once. You won't need to turn into a rabbit and only eat vegetables and nothing else for the rest of your life.

If you want a healthy heart, you can start by changing how you cook your favourite non-vegetarian foods. Adding spice to non-veg foods like sage, dry mustard, dill, tarragon, marjoram or oregano can reduce fat saturation and cholesterol. If you like to eat lots of meat, stick to lean red meat and white meat.

Pure vegetarian foods however need to become a large part of your diet. Start gradually eating more and more fresh vegetables. Veggies still contain fats, but not as much. Foods like cucumber, tomatoes, carrots and leafy vegetables are very healthy and don't add cholesterol to your body. The Lunch Box Diet is a great healthy diet based on the popular grazing principle that boosts your metabolism through eating small regular meals.

Red and green fruits, low fat milk, olive oil and wholegrain foods are also good vegetarian foods you should have a lot of in your diet if you want a healthy heart.

When you buy foods from the supermarkets, be careful and don't always trust the labels when they say the product is low cholesterol. Always avoid Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – this is bad cholesterol, which can cause heart complexities. In contrast, High Density Lipoprotein is good cholesterol – this can help to protect against cardio-vascular risks.

Unhealthy non-food related habits are also important to eradicate. If you smoke or drink lots of caffeine and alcohol, this is something you should cut back on. Exercise is also good for strengthening you cardio-vascular system. So if you're a bit of a couch potato, now is the time to hit the gym.

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The Best Skinny Guy Weight Training Exercises

Can you imagine you are wasting all your time on the wrong weight training exercises? Can you imagine that every weight training exercise you are doing is dead wrong? Skinny guy's must meet a different set of requirements when choosing the most effective weight training exercises for maximal muscle growth. You do what to transform your skinny body into a rock-hard muscular body, right?

Without further ado, here are the top two exercises for each muscle group I used to gain 41 pounds of muscle mass in under six months:

Chest: Bench Press and Flat DB Chest Press

Back: Bent Over Barbell Rows and Close Grip Chin Ups

Shoulders: Seated DB Shoulder Press and Standing Military Press

Triceps: Dips and Tricep Pressdowns

Biceps: Standing Barbell Curls and Incline Bicep Curls

Quads: Squats and Lunges

Hips: Deadlifts and Stiff Leg Deadlifts

Lower Back: Good Morning

Calves: Standing Calve Raises

Abdominals: Weighted Ball Situps and Weighted Cable Crunches

Yes, there are many more exercises I did not list but these are simply the best. Stick to these weight training exercises for the best possible muscular and strength gains and you will have a rock-hard muscular body in less time than before!

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Affiliate Marketer Defined

According to The World's Glossary of Internet Terms, "Affiliate Marketer is defined as: "A business relationship with a merchant or other service provider who allows you to link to that business. When a visitor clicks on the link at your site and subsequently makes a purchase from the merchant, you receive a commission based on the amount of the sale, a referral fee or a pay-for-click fee."

This is a simple, straight-forward agreement between a merchant and an affiliate. Budding affiliate marketers run into a problem when they try to reverse the success process. Instead of starting at the beginning, they try to start at the end.

Making money is the end of the process. The beginning of the process is education and there are several steps in between. Too many people, who are just getting started in affiliate marketing, fail to take the steps necessary to get to the end of the process and actually make money.

Step #1: Educate yourself. This is the key, opening the door of opportunity. It's also the common thread connecting successful affiliate marketers. Education lays the foundation - the building blocks to success. Start by gathering the best information you can find about affiliate marketing and absorbing it.

Step #2: Turn that information into usable knowledge. Even the best information remains kind of worthless, however, until after you discover how to use it - how to make it serve your purpose.

Step #3: Start applying the knowledge ... take action ...start building your affiliate business. Will you make mistakes, even though you've invested all that time educating yourself? Yes, you most likely will make mistakes.

Step #4: Test and tweak, test and tweak. This one never ends. And it's often the dividing line between succeeding and failing. Attention to small details often returns big rewards.

Following these steps will define you as a successful affiliate marketer.

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The 20 Second Countdown

Why everywhere you look are top psychologists and doctors still teaching outdated methods for treating general anxiety and panic attacks?

It seems every time I do a search online there is yet another anxiety "expert" rehashing the same old ideas. Brown Paper bags, think happy thoughts, do your breathing etc. I am sure you have come across them a million times before already.

How are people supposed to solve their anxiety issue if they are continuously exposed to these techniques and methods that only teach people to cope with anxiety. Just coping is not good enough. Real solutions are needed.

I want to share with you something that does work. It is a very simple way to help end the fear of a PANIC ATTACK. (In later emails I will address feelings of general anxiety)

This is a very good exercise for people who want something practical to focus their attention on when they feel the pressure of a panic attack building.

Its very simple and easy to remember. Here goes…

The 20 Second Countdown

When you feel the sensations of a panic attack building do the following.

Tell the panic that it has 20 seconds to initiate the full panic attack. 20 seconds and no more. After the 20 seconds are complete it must stop making empty threats.

You are allowing 20 seconds for it to fully manifest but not a second more.

Whatever the bodily sensation is that you fear, it must happen within that 20 second time frame.

-If you heart is going to explode then it has 20 seconds to do so.

-If you are going to lose control, then your mind has 20 seconds to do so.

-If you are going to faint – 20 seconds! But absolutely no more time than that.

You get the picture.

By setting a specific time frame you establish boundaries of control. You turn it into a game where you call fear's bluff. If it were a poker game, you are asking anxiety to show its hand.

This works because it establishes a sense of control within your mind and body.

You think to yourself "I am not prepared to spend my time worrying about this. I've had enough. I am going to be generous and give it 20 seconds but after 20 seconds and nothing has happened then the opportunity has officially passed and I am going to go back to what I was doing."

Then start counting -but nice and slowly, don't rattle it off as fast as you can. Really tease it out like you did when you were a child and you never wanted to reach zero. Teasing it out is the key because it allows you to feel generous and that you are giving anxiety every chance possible.

Deep down you know there is really nothing to fear.

To really help tease it out, break the last few numbers into fractions.

5…………………………..
4…………………………..
3……………………………
2…and three quarters…
2…and half………………
2…………………………..
1…and three quarters… (last chance anxiety)
1…and half……………… (I really cant wait any longer)
1…………………………..
0.
Sorry too late we've reached the end.

By not rushing through the countdown you will feel your confidence soar because you are demonstrating real control and authority over your anxious thoughts and bodily sensations. You are saying "look, I am really trying to give you all the time I can to unleash X,Y, and Z, I am being very generous here with this countdown.

Count your way to freedom. Count your way to confidence.

If you find this type of exercise useful then click here to learn more,

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How Much Weight Gain Is Necessary During Pregnancy?

Weight gain during pregnancy is a problem for many women. How much weight should you gain during your pregnancy is an important question that needs to be answered correctly and appropriately. Normally you will gain about 26 to 28 pounds, but if you are expecting twins then you will gain around 35 to 40 pounds. It all depends on how you plan your diet and most importantly what you have included in your diet. Make sure that healthy minerals and nutrients are a part of your diet. They will keep you fresh and healthy without gaining much weight.
Fresh and natural foods are necessary if you are expecting. Avoid eating packaged food. Packed foods increase your weight and store excess fat in your body which is harmful for you as well as your baby. Next thing you should do in order to avoid too much weight gain is to eat throughout the day. Never leave your stomach empty; have snacks every 2-3 hours. These snacks should be healthy and should provide you with all the nutrients that are required. Make sure that you are not taking any sort of unhealthy food as your snacks.
You will gain extra weight if you take unhealthy foods or junk food as your snacks. If you are going out, make sure that you carry your snacks with you. This will also avoid food cravings that you may develop due to which you may be tempted to turn to unhealthy foods. The next thing you can do to control your weight is to divide your lunch and dinner plate. Your plate should equally contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and all nutrients that are necessary for your baby to develop. Make sure that you eat in the right proportion. Do not overeat; if you do, you will feel nauseated and will also gain unnecessary weight.
You should combine all the food groups; never leave out a nutrient or a mineral as all of them are important in one way or the other for the baby's development. Each day you should eat three servings of dairy products, three to four servings of poultry dishes, six to seven dishes of whole grains, and about three to four servings of fruits and vegetables. Intake of fruits and vegetables is a must and you must make sure that you eat them daily as consulted by your doctor.
You should know how many calories your food contains; this way you will be able to watch your weight. Ask your doctor how many calories per day you require so that you do not overdo it with your caloric intake. Also you should stay active during your pregnancy. Being inactive can also increase your weight. Make sure that you eat appropriately and correctly. Eat all kinds of healthy foods and you should also exercise to stay healthy and to burn out excess fats if any.
Focus on eating healthy and keeping your weight under control so that you do not face any complications in delivering your baby.

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Calorie Intake, Dieting and Pregnancy

Some women may think that it's ok to eat a lot of food as long as they do exercises after to burn the calories. There are also those who think that skipping a meal right now, gives you the right to eat a lot after.

Exercises do help in burning the calories, but it's better to eat what is needed by the body and still be active. Most pregnant women who are fairly active have a higher chance of maintaining their body weight at 15 calories per pound.

During the first few months of pregnancy, women only need about 20 to 30 calories per day to support the baby. Anymore than that and it turns into body fat. In the second trimester, they will then need about 100 to 200 calories and 300 calories per day in the final trimester. In the final stages of the pregnancy more calories and energy will be required.

Consuming too much calories causes weight gain, but consuming too few calories is more dangerous than consuming too much. During pregnancy women should not try to lose weight. This could injure the developing baby and might cause a miscarriage.

If ever you're planning to get pregnant, it's better to be at your desired weight. But if you weren't expecting to get pregnant and you feel like losing some weight, it's better to do this after the baby has been born.

If you plan on getting pregnant but you're a little overweight, you might want to lose a little weight before conceiving. There are more benefits for both the mother and baby when the mother is healthy during pregnancy. It will be easier for the mother to give birth, and the baby will be healthy. Always remember though that dieting is not an option and should be avoided. Try to eat in smaller portions and consume only what you need.

To know more about health, exercise and other pregnancy fitness tips, you can order your own copy of Trim Pregnancy e Book online, and take advantage of the great benefits you can get from the information provided by this eBook.

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How to Avoid Over-training to Maximize Muscle Growth

Almost anyone that's picked up a set of weights has or will experience symptoms of over-training at one point in there muscle building program. Over-training can lead to serious injury, chronic fatigue, and even muscle loss.

Over-training is very common amongst athletes and particularly bodybuilders, since they figure that training as much as possible is the fastest way to massive muscle gains.

This couldn't be any further from the truth however...

Training too much, or at too high of an intensity will lead to over-training.

Now this doesn't mean you don't have to put plenty of effort in to see some decent results... Whether you are a bodybuilder, athlete, or just someone that wants to add some additional mass to your frame, you need to train hard and be consistent-that's a given. In order to get the most out of your genetics, you have to progressively overload the muscles by increasing the weight and / or intensity of each weight training workout.

The problem is however, that many of us increase the intensity of our workouts or get insufficient amounts of rest, or even worse, a combination of both. The trick is finding the right balance between workout volume and intensity, and rest and recovery. And that is exactly what I'll cover in this article.


The Effects of Over-Training on Bodybuilders

First, let's take a look at some of the effects of over-training and how one can prevent over-training from happening in the first place.

The Effects of Over-training on the Nervous System

Over-training effects both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in the following negative ways:

  • Higher resting heart rate
  • Weak appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased metabolic rate
  • Irritability
  • Early onset of fatigue

If you are experiencing more than one of the symptoms outlined above, you may be in a state of over-training, and should evaluate your routine as soon as possible.

The Effects of Over-training on Hormone Levels

Many studies have indicated that over-training negatively effects the levels of hormones, as well as the hormone response in the body.  Since hormones play such an important role in the muscle building process, this can have a detrimental effect on your training progress.

 

Over-training has been show to:

  • Decrease testosterone levels
  • Decrease thyroxine levels
  • Increase cortisol levels

The increase in cortisol levels along with the decrease in testosterone levels is a deadly combination, since this leads to protein tissue break down. This will ultimately lead to a loss of muscle tissue.  

The Effects of Over-training on the Immune System

perhaps one of the most alarming repercussions of over-training is it's negative impact on the immune system-you're bodies first defense against harmful viruses and bacteria.

Over-training can drastically decrease the levels of antibodies and lymphocytes in your body, making you much more susceptible to illness.  Simply put, this means that if you are in a state of over-training, you are much more likely to get sick.  Since you will have to skip workouts while you are sick, your muscle building progress will slow considerably.

The Effects of Over-training on the Metabolic System

Here is a list of how over-training can  effect the metabolic system.  These symptoms are the ones that are most commonly discussed, and are ones we can't ignore:

  • Micro tears in the muscle
  • Chronically depleted glycogen levels
  • Slow, weak muscle contractions
  • Depleted creatine phosphate stores
  • Excessive accumulation of lactic acid
  • Extreme DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
  • Tendon and connective tissue damage

So you must get the point by now... Over-training effects the entire body, and can seriously impact the results of your muscle building program.  

Now let's take a look at the different types of over-training, and what we can do to prevent it.

Is it Worse to Over-Train With Cardio or Weight Training?

Any form of over-training is a bad thing, however, I've personally experienced both types of over-training and can honestly say that over-training in the weight room is much worse, and much more prevalent than over-training through cardiovascular training.

Here are some of the reasons why: 

  • In order to grow, muscles must fully recover from their last workout, every workout.  If you are over-training and work the muscles before they have fully recovered, you will break down the muscle tissue before it has rebuilt-making it impossible to build muscle!
  • Over-training with weights makes you more susceptible to nervous systems hormone and immune system issues, which all pose serious health risks.
  • It can lead beginners down the wrong path, perhaps wasting money on unnecessary supplements, or even worse, steroids.

I personally believe that only competitive athletes such as swimmers, runners and bikers run a serious risk of reaching a state of cardiovascular over-training, since there are often training for two or more hours daily. 

The bottom line is that it is much easier for the average person to over-train while weight training than while cardiovascular training, and I think the effects can be more serious.

How do I Determine if I'm Over-training?

Determining if you're currently over-training is fairly simple.   If you're in tune with your body, you can often see the signs of over-training before they get serious.  If you are losing interest in workouts, are having trouble sleeping, and feel weak and irritable, you may be in a state of over-training and should take a week or more off.

If you are experiencing two or more of the symptoms outlined earlier in the article, this should raise a red flag. 

Another variable you can use to determine if you are over-training is by tracking the performance of your workouts. 

Has your physical performance improved compared to your last workout?

For example, let's say last workout you were able to perform 8 pull-ups using your body-weight, but were only able to perform 6 pull-ups the following week.  This means that you have not "out done" your previous workout, have not fully recovered, and therefore are likely over-training.  You nave to re-asses your program and make modifications so that you see progress every workout. 

How Can I Prevent Over-training?

n order to avoid over-training, you need to take a multi-facited approach.  Determining the correct training volume and intensity, eating the right foods, and getting the right amount of rest and recovery must all be taken in to consideration.  Now let's take a look at each of those factors in more detail.

Correct Training Volume 

Determining the correct training volume can be difficult, especially when you are first starting out.  You have to determine how much weight to lift, how many repetitions and set to perform for every single workout.

You need to use your own judgment in this case, based on your recovery ability and your recovery methods.  Remember that the goal is that you improve every single workout, and if this isn't happening, you have to decrease the intensity of your workouts.

This is where many people go wrong though.  You begin your workout and realize that you have not fully recovered.  You can either continue to train at a lower intensity than the previous workout, or skip the workout entirely.

As hard as it may be, skipping the workout is the right way to go.  Just turn around and go home!  Your body is telling you that it needs more rest, and you must listen to it! 

There is no point in training at a lower intensity, further breaking down the muscle tissue.   By doing this you will increase your risk of injury, and make it harder for your body to fully recovery for your next training session.

Proper Nutrition

Your diet plays a huge role in your muscle building program.  It helps regulate hormone levels, provides energy, and provides the raw building blocks that are used to create new tissue.

Here are some dietary recommendations that will limit the chance of over-training: 

  • Do not skip breakfast.  This is one of the most important meals of the day.  Skipping breakfast is very catabolic, and can promote muscle loss.
  • Never let yourself get hungry.  If you're trying to build muscle mass, you have to constantly feed your body quality foods so that it never has the chance catabolize muscle tissue.
  • Unless you are trying to build muscle and lose fat, make sure you have eaten prior to your training session and are not hungry.
  • Have the largest meal of the day within an hour after your workout.  Do this every single workout!
  • Consider taking proven supplements like creatine, and antioxidants to increase performance and fight free radicals.
  • Eat every 2-3 hours to ensure that your body remains in an anabolic state.
  • Keep glycogen levels at full capacity to inhibit muscle tissue breakdown. 

Rest & Recovery

Rest and recovery is essential when it comes to avoiding over-training.  Make sure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, and that you are on a consistent schedule.  As for recovery time, it's important that you have days off between weight training workouts.  Try to have one rest day between weight training workouts, and never train the same muscle groups on consecutive days. 

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How to Break Bad Habits

We all have bad habits. Mine are checking email too frequently,
being unorganized, and not always eating enough to fuel full
recovery from my workouts.

Your bad habits might include too much snacking and cheating on
your nutrition plan, coming up with excuses to skip exercise, or
watching too much TV.

Bad habits are the reason we need coaches. One of my coaches is Lee
Milteer, who gave me the exercises below, that I want you to go
through to help you break your bad habits.

If you've been trying to lose fat and get lean by yourself, but
with no luck, isn't it time to get professional help & social
support?

It's hard to change. I know it. I battle against my bad habits all
the time, just like you do everyday. But each day I also make an
effort to overcome the bad habits, just as you should have a plan
in place to overcome your bad weight loss habits.

Don't let insecurity, fear of failure, or the fear of the unknown
hold you back from making changes. Don't be a victim. "Give yourself
PERMISSION to change," Lee says.

So let's take action. Print this email out. Now write down 3 excuses
you are using to avoid making the changes you need to succeed.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

How have these excuses affected your life? What have the excuses
stopped you from achieving? Write down 3 very important things that
you have missed out on because you've allowed yourself to make
excuses.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

Now how do you feel when you fall victim to one of your self-
sabotaging excuses?
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

What benefits do you get from the excuse? Is it simply that you get
to remain in your comfort zone? That's a big one for me. If I can
convince myself that I need to check my email, then I get to remain
in my comfort zone and avoid the hard work and fear of failure that
comes with writing an article. Or is it the fear of the unknown
that is holding you back? Write down 3 ways you benefit from making
excuses.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

So now we both know why we've created our excuses - to avoid
something. All we need to do now is find a way to overcome these
bad habits. I want you to write down 3 behaviors you want to stop.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

Now write down why you end up doing it...were you bored, fearful,
lazy, etc.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

Now give yourself the permission to change. "Envision the rewards
you will get when you make the change to your life and habits," Lee
tells us. Give yourself a powerful list of reasons for fixing the
habit.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

Working on bad habits everyday will give you an incredible boost
in self-esteem and confidence. With each small successful
improvement you'll build confidence to take on the bigger, badder
habits that are holding you back.

Remember, everyday we are a work in progress. You might have bad
days, but as long as you make overall improvement each week and
month - that is all that matters.

Lee also recommends charting your progress. I have said many times
before that you need to keep records of your workouts and
nutrition. Only then will you know what works and how much
improvement you have made.

And finally, get social support. Don't expect to do this alone.

One research study from Stanford University concluded social
support was the #1 factor for success in an exercise program.

Get in shape for summer fast with Turbulence Training,

 

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How To Build Big Biceps

The "Guns."  The "Pythons."  "Thunder" and "Lighting."  The "Rockweillers."  There is no other muscle group that has earned more nicknames than when describing a bulging and huge set of bicep!  Bulging biceps - every guy wants them.  Count me in this group. 

The days are far from gone when you walk into the gym and see 9 out of 10 guys doing bicep curls all at the same time with the same determination to add even ¼ inch to their biceps.  Training biceps has become almost an 'obsessive addiction' in the gym.  I have seen guys do bicep curls in between sets just so they can 'see' a little bit of a pump in their arms.  I have seen guys spend an entire hour bent over doing concentration curls while starring in the mirror.  I have seen guys take weights on vacation so that they can do some bicep curls at their hotel before they go into the club!  I have seen guys spend longer amounts of times shopping for t-shirts than girls shopping for a blouse with the hope that one of these shirts will make his arms look 'good.' 

Someone disagree with me that bicep training has become an unhealthy 'obsessive addiction.' for many.  In the "Skinny Arms" defense, the allure of peaked, mountainous biceps will never go away.  Why should it?  The 'guns' are of a man's most prized possession and one of many women's most desired body parts on a man (of course)!

My question is if 9 out 10 guys are obsessed with seeing their biceps grow and dedicate so much of their workout volume to isolating their biceps and using every technique from forced reps, drop sets, and 21's which are 'promised' to be the most effective methods confirmed by pro bodybuilders, why do they still have little to show for their efforts?

Let's examine five of the most common problems with bicep training before I offer a step-by-step program to take your bicep peak to new heights.

Problem #1  with bicep training – More is not always better

If doing 4 sets is better than 3 sets, why don't you just do 10 sets?  Even better, why don't you just train them all day?  It has been said before, but it obviously needs to be said again: "Less is often more."  Especially if you are not gifted with "muscle-friendly" genes. 

Your goal of each weight training workout should be to simply 'out do' your last workout.  Once you achieve this with an extra pound or a few extra reps, then it is time to move to the next exercise.  Not to Nazi-torture the muscle for another hour.

I have found this a hard concept for many skinny guys to grasp because they are fixated on the instant gratification of making their biceps 'look' big during the workout and not what they look like when they leave the gym, which leads us to our next problem. 

Problem #2 with bicep training – Being more obsessed with how they look while you train rather than when you are not training!

Problem #2 ties in with problem #1.  The truth is that the longer you train your biceps, even if the weights are not extremely heavy, you can achieve a fairly decent pump that can turn a few heads while in the gym.  This attention and perception that you are doing something beneficial is deceiving.  Yes, there is something to say about keeping blood in the muscle as long as possible, but if the workout is done with weights that do not overload your muscles and emphasize an increase in strength, your biceps will quickly deflate back to normal with no true muscle growth.

Problem #3 with bicep training – Not focusing on increasing your overall strength

Some of the biggest guys I know rarely even train their arms.  What they do though is put a strong emphasis around increasing their chest, back and shoulder strength.  If you simply focus on increasing the weights on your rows, pull ups and chin-ups, rest assured that your biceps will come along for the ride and grow proportionally. 

However, if you are always blasting and 'smoking' your biceps, they will always be fatigued when you train your back muscles and, as you should know, you are only as strong as your weakest link.  This is another reason to take a lower volume approach to arm training.

Problem #4 with bicep training – Using the same bicep exercises every time

Every pro bodybuilder will put their money on two of the simplest exercises for building huge biceps – barbell curls and dumbbell curls.  According to the pros, these two exercises have built more huge guns than any other exercise in the world.  I definitely agree that these 'simple' exercises are a safe foundation to build a program around, but let's also remember that pro bodybuilders using steroids are going to have a strong response to practically any exercise they do. 

I have no problem using these two exercises under one condition – you are getting stronger from week to week.  As long as you are increasing the weights and reps relative to perfect form, then your arms should continue growing.  Aim to build your barbell curls up to 110 pounds for a few "slow speed" sets and your dumbbell curls up to 50 pounds for a few "slow-speed" sets that involve zero rocking and swaying. 

Once you build your barbell curls up to 110 pounds, you will be ready to try these two different angles on the bar.  You will have to drop your weights a bit, but stick with these two variations until you build back up to 110 pounds:

Bicep Exercise 1:  "Stress" the outer portion of the bi's by placing your elbows outwards and using a super-close grip. 

Bicep Exercise 2: "Stress" the inner portion of the bi's by taking a super-wide grip on the bar and digging your elbows into your side (and don't let them move.)

Bicep Exercise 3:  To "stress" the brachialis and brachioradialis stick to good old fashioned hammer curls and reverse curls.  Don't underestimate these two exercises in the slightest.

Problem #5 on biceps – Not enough tension on the muscle

I think many weight trainees do not fully grasp the concept of isolating and actually training a muscle. They do not know how to make the muscle work and fatigue.   Instead, you see a lot of swinging, momentum and sloppy lifting used to move the weight from every part of the body except the one they are actually trying to train.  The biceps have a very strong response to "constant tension," which means you should never give them a chance to breathe.  Keep the bar constantly moving without pausing at the top or bottom.  Focus on squeezing the heck out of the bar and never let your biceps relax until the set is over.  Your entire goal is to not allow any oxygen into the muscle which creates a spike with your anabolic hormones to promote muscle growth.  Resort to a slower 3-0-3 or 4-0-4 tempo to get the job done.

Weight Training Program Notes:

  • Notice the simplicity of the workout structure. This program will work extremely well for hardgainers. The overall volume might be a little low for someone used to a traditional bodybuilder split program and has more than four years of consistent training. 
  • The power of the program is found in the principle of prioritization by sequence on the first pull workout. Notice that your prioritization muscle is being sequenced at the start of the workout and the start of the week. This is happening on purpose. We are intentionally giving your biceps an opportunity to train at their two most "fresh" times – at the start of the week and at the start of the workout.
  • Focusing on increasing overall strength can still be achieved on the second pullworkout where the biceps will not be pre-fatigued.
  • Notice the slow speed movements.  Many anabolic hormones are released when your muscles are under constant tension. The tempo's are set up so that will be forced to move the weight slower and with a greater amount of tension concentrically and eccentrically.
  • On a pull day, 402 would mean: 4 seconds to release the weight, 0 second pause at the bottom and 2 seconds to pull the weight.  On a push day, 402 would would mean 4 seconds to lower the weight, 0 second pause at the bottom and 2 seconds to push the weight up. 
  • Focus on adding 5-10 pounds to each of your exercises over the course of the next four weeks while keeping the rep ranges and sets the same.  It is not necessary to do more sets or more reps.  Focus on increasing more weight under the same set, rep, tempo and rest prescription.

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The Best Ways to Burn Belly Fat

I often get asked, "What's the best way to burn fat and lose my belly?" People want to know if aerobics is better than strength training, or if traditional cardio exercise is better than intervals.

Well, to say I've done them all would be an understatement.

With over 15 years experience helping others, training myself, training for sports, spending countless hours in the gym, AND actually conducting laboratory research studies on different exercise methods, I'm pretty confident in knowing what works and what does not.

But first of all, I want to frame my responses. I'm going to talk about what works for people that have a limited amount of time to exercise, mostly because I expect your readers don't have 90 minutes per day to devote to a workout, unlike the typical audience of a fitness magazine.

That's why there is a huge disconnect between some of the information found in magazines and the ability of the reader to apply it to their lives.

We just don't have 6-8 hours per week for exercise, nor do we need it. If you're a triathlete, you might need that, but not someone that just wants to lose fat and gain muscle.

Having said all that, the bottom line for getting a better body is...

Use bodyweight exercises to warm-up, strength training supersets to build muscle, and then finish your workout with interval training to burn fat in a short amount of time. I've structured my system so that you are in and out of the gym in 45 minutes, three times per week.

You'll do 5 minutes of bodyweight exercises to warm-up. This is a much more efficient approach than spending 5 minutes walking on a treadmill, which really doesn't prepare you for anything except more walking on a treadmill.

Then we move into the strength training supersets, where we use two exercises performed back to back with minimum rest between each. This cuts our workout time, while still giving us maximum results. We only need 20 minutes for this, and we'll use basic exercises, and sometimes even more bodyweight exercises, depending on the client's goal for muscle building.

And finally, we'll do 18 minutes of interval training. A warm-up, followed by six short intervals at the appropriate fitness level for the client, interspersed with short periods of low-intensity recovery. Finish with a cool-down. And that's the workout. Again, about 45 minutes total.

Compare that to what most people do, which is run, jog, cycle or use the cardio machines for 45 minutes straight. Sure, that will burn calories, but it doesn't build a better body.

In fact, there are a few "dark sides" to long slow cardio, including less-than-optimal results, the potential for overuse injuries, and it is an inefficient form of exercise. If you only have 30-45 minutes for your workout and you spend it all on a cardio machine, when are you going to train the rest of your muscles and sculpt a better body?

So the best way to burn belly fat is with a combination of strength training and interval training. It's fast, it works, and it's fun!

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How To Build Big Biceps

The "Guns."  The "Pythons."  "Thunder" and "Lighting."  The "Rockweillers."  There is no other muscle group that has earned more nicknames than when describing a bulging and huge set of bicep!  Bulging biceps - every guy wants them.  Count me in this group. 

The days are far from gone when you walk into the gym and see 9 out of 10 guys doing bicep curls all at the same time with the same determination to add even ¼ inch to their biceps.  Training biceps has become almost an 'obsessive addiction' in the gym.  I have seen guys do bicep curls in between sets just so they can 'see' a little bit of a pump in their arms.  I have seen guys spend an entire hour bent over doing concentration curls while starring in the mirror.  I have seen guys take weights on vacation so that they can do some bicep curls at their hotel before they go into the club!  I have seen guys spend longer amounts of times shopping for t-shirts than girls shopping for a blouse with the hope that one of these shirts will make his arms look 'good.' 

Someone disagree with me that bicep training has become an unhealthy 'obsessive addiction.' for many.  In the "Skinny Arms" defense, the allure of peaked, mountainous biceps will never go away.  Why should it?  The 'guns' are of a man's most prized possession and one of many women's most desired body parts on a man (of course)!

My question is if 9 out 10 guys are obsessed with seeing their biceps grow and dedicate so much of their workout volume to isolating their biceps and using every technique from forced reps, drop sets, and 21's which are 'promised' to be the most effective methods confirmed by pro bodybuilders, why do they still have little to show for their efforts?

Let's examine five of the most common problems with bicep training before I offer a step-by-step program to take your bicep peak to new heights.

Problem #1  with bicep training – More is not always better

If doing 4 sets is better than 3 sets, why don't you just do 10 sets?  Even better, why don't you just train them all day?  It has been said before, but it obviously needs to be said again: "Less is often more."  Especially if you are not gifted with "muscle-friendly" genes. 

Your goal of each weight training workout should be to simply 'out do' your last workout.  Once you achieve this with an extra pound or a few extra reps, then it is time to move to the next exercise.  Not to Nazi-torture the muscle for another hour.

I have found this a hard concept for many skinny guys to grasp because they are fixated on the instant gratification of making their biceps 'look' big during the workout and not what they look like when they leave the gym, which leads us to our next problem. 

Problem #2 with bicep training – Being more obsessed with how they look while you train rather than when you are not training!

Problem #2 ties in with problem #1.  The truth is that the longer you train your biceps, even if the weights are not extremely heavy, you can achieve a fairly decent pump that can turn a few heads while in the gym.  This attention and perception that you are doing something beneficial is deceiving.  Yes, there is something to say about keeping blood in the muscle as long as possible, but if the workout is done with weights that do not overload your muscles and emphasize an increase in strength, your biceps will quickly deflate back to normal with no true muscle growth.

Problem #3 with bicep training – Not focusing on increasing your overall strength

Some of the biggest guys I know rarely even train their arms.  What they do though is put a strong emphasis around increasing their chest, back and shoulder strength.  If you simply focus on increasing the weights on your rows, pull ups and chin-ups, rest assured that your biceps will come along for the ride and grow proportionally. 

However, if you are always blasting and 'smoking' your biceps, they will always be fatigued when you train your back muscles and, as you should know, you are only as strong as your weakest link.  This is another reason to take a lower volume approach to arm training.

Problem #4 with bicep training – Using the same bicep exercises every time

Every pro bodybuilder will put their money on two of the simplest exercises for building huge biceps – barbell curls and dumbbell curls.  According to the pros, these two exercises have built more huge guns than any other exercise in the world.  I definitely agree that these 'simple' exercises are a safe foundation to build a program around, but let's also remember that pro bodybuilders using steroids are going to have a strong response to practically any exercise they do. 

I have no problem using these two exercises under one condition – you are getting stronger from week to week.  As long as you are increasing the weights and reps relative to perfect form, then your arms should continue growing.  Aim to build your barbell curls up to 110 pounds for a few "slow speed" sets and your dumbbell curls up to 50 pounds for a few "slow-speed" sets that involve zero rocking and swaying. 

Once you build your barbell curls up to 110 pounds, you will be ready to try these two different angles on the bar.  You will have to drop your weights a bit, but stick with these two variations until you build back up to 110 pounds:

Bicep Exercise 1:  "Stress" the outer portion of the bi's by placing your elbows outwards and using a super-close grip. 

Bicep Exercise 2: "Stress" the inner portion of the bi's by taking a super-wide grip on the bar and digging your elbows into your side (and don't let them move.)

Bicep Exercise 3:  To "stress" the brachialis and brachioradialis stick to good old fashioned hammer curls and reverse curls.  Don't underestimate these two exercises in the slightest.

Problem #5 on biceps – Not enough tension on the muscle

I think many weight trainees do not fully grasp the concept of isolating and actually training a muscle. They do not know how to make the muscle work and fatigue.   Instead, you see a lot of swinging, momentum and sloppy lifting used to move the weight from every part of the body except the one they are actually trying to train.  The biceps have a very strong response to "constant tension," which means you should never give them a chance to breathe.  Keep the bar constantly moving without pausing at the top or bottom.  Focus on squeezing the heck out of the bar and never let your biceps relax until the set is over.  Your entire goal is to not allow any oxygen into the muscle which creates a spike with your anabolic hormones to promote muscle growth.  Resort to a slower 3-0-3 or 4-0-4 tempo to get the job done.

Weight Training Program Notes:

  • Notice the simplicity of the workout structure. This program will work extremely well for hardgainers. The overall volume might be a little low for someone used to a traditional bodybuilder split program and has more than four years of consistent training. 
  • The power of the program is found in the principle of prioritization by sequence on the first pull workout. Notice that your prioritization muscle is being sequenced at the start of the workout and the start of the week. This is happening on purpose. We are intentionally giving your biceps an opportunity to train at their two most "fresh" times – at the start of the week and at the start of the workout.
  • Focusing on increasing overall strength can still be achieved on the second pullworkout where the biceps will not be pre-fatigued.
  • Notice the slow speed movements.  Many anabolic hormones are released when your muscles are under constant tension. The tempo's are set up so that will be forced to move the weight slower and with a greater amount of tension concentrically and eccentrically.
  • On a pull day, 402 would mean: 4 seconds to release the weight, 0 second pause at the bottom and 2 seconds to pull the weight.  On a push day, 402 would would mean 4 seconds to lower the weight, 0 second pause at the bottom and 2 seconds to push the weight up. 
  • Focus on adding 5-10 pounds to each of your exercises over the course of the next four weeks while keeping the rep ranges and sets the same.  It is not necessary to do more sets or more reps.  Focus on increasing more weight under the same set, rep, tempo and rest prescription.

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How To Build Muscle And Gain Weight Quickly Part I

Do you truly know how to build muscle and gain weight quickly?

If you knew how to build muscle then the skinny jokes would have ended long ago. If you knew how to gain weight quickly then the blank stares would stop when you tell someone you work out with weights. And if you knew how to build muscle and gain weight quickly you would no longer frustrated that the scale has not budged upwards since you first started lifting.

I know from first hand experience what it feels like to train for hours in the gym, slug back protein shake after protein shake, spend your hard earned money on over-priced and over-hyped supplements, with little or nothing to show for it! If this is you than you're not alone and are probably missing a few key ingredients that you're executing effectively.

If you're a naturally skinny person than you must play by a different set of rules. If you were not gifted with muscle friendly genes than does it make sense to follow a program by someone who builds muscle even when they sneeze? If you're training drug free than does it make sense to take advice from a guy who's spending a few thousand dollars a month on steroids?

Or maybe you're taking advice from someone with great genetics? That's like taking money advice from someone who inherited a fortune! You must accept the fact if you have muscle 'unfriendly' genes you must be prepared to play by a different set of rules if you want to build muscle and turn heads!

Here are a few simple tips to show you - the skinny guy - how to build muscle and gain weight quickly :


Train like a barbarian!

Do people stop and watch you work out? Do you reach the point in a workout where you question your ability to finish? If you treat working out more like a hobby than a job than it's no surprise that you do not stand out in a crowd and are still spinning your wheels.

The majority of people that work out in a gym barely sweat and spend more time starring in the mirror and trying to impress the new front desk girl than getting into the 'zone' and crashing through previous training limits.

Here are some tips on how to 'train like a barbarian':

1. Treat every single set like it is your last set.

2. Treat every single rep like your life depends on it.

3. Wear a stop watch and ensure that you keep the rest period honest.

4. Wear a sweater so you can't stare at yourself in the mirror.

5. Wear a head set on that tells others 'do not disturb.'

6. No girl friends allowed or wimpy guy friends who are going to compromise the intensity of your workout.

7. Train with an intensity that scares the gym shorts off of every person in your path.

Are you starting to get the picture? There is a philosophy that simply states, "You get what you focus on." Focus on training like a barbarian and you will soon start looking like a barbarian!

Give your muscles a reason to grow!

Guess what happens when you train at the same intensity as you did in a previous workout? Your muscles laugh back at you and say, "Nice try, we did this workout before and can handle this stress! Is that your attempt on getting us to grow?"

Don't get caught up in the latest hype of bodybuilding and fitness magazines. Most of it is rehashed and just packaged sleeker to sell magazines. There are two forms of training that must be cycled in a successful weight training program:

1. HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY! Put everything into lifting heavier weights and getting as strong as possible. Use only one compound exercise per major muscle group and focus on a 5% increase in strength from week to week. This will ensure neuromuscular development and targeting the fast twitch muscle fibers which have the greatest opportunity for growth.

2. VOLUME VOLUME VOLUME! Expose your body to as much work possible in the shortest period of time. Placing your muscles under more tension will result in more tapped and untrained muscle fiber being recruited therefore more muscle growth! The key here is to find the correct balance in time and work. Volume training does not mean 2 hour gym workouts lifting light weights. Instead lift heavy weights close to your max threshold but with shorter rest periods, slower tempos and more exercise selection per muscle group.

No more program hopping!

Sure, it's easier to test drive a program for a few weeks and than say it does not work and move on to the next latest 'breakthrough' program. This is called the blame game and neglecting responsibility! Do you think you will become rich if you test out a new job for a few weeks and than call it quits when your first paycheck does not meet your expectations? No way! But if you stay with the company and exploit the companies benefits and opportunities to the fullest than you will succeed.

The reality is that virtually every program will work for a certain period of time if it is done at the right intensity and as the author has written.

Find a program and study the details of it's full entirety. Ensure that the program goals of the author are in alignment with yours and study all the fine details. Do not ask a million questions and try and find holes or flaws or attempt to make it 'perfect.' The perfect program does not exist. Trust the program, follow it honestly and monitor the progress. The experience and results you gain from following one program for a consistent period of time will be priceless.

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How To Build Muscle And Gain Weight Quickly Part 2

Do you mind if I be frank and ask you a honest question? If you had to transform your body which required you to know how to build muscle and gain weight quickly, and you only had a few weeks, could you step up to the challenge?

Let's say your wanted to enter a fitness model or beginner bodybuilding competition? Perhaps you want to be considered he 'buffest' guy in your gym? If you get starred at because your physique stands out in the crowd than click away because your probably already know how to build muscle and gain weight quickly.

However if you are the guy on the other extreme and receive surprised looks when you tell people you work out with weights, don't look any different than any body else in your gym and have never been approached for advice than please read this article carefully because this is your next step to building muscle and gaining weight quickly!

'Hardgainer' - Dump the title!

As soon as you start labeling yourself as a 'hard gainer' don't be surprised when your results come to a screeching halt.

This single word has more power to sabotage your potential for a muscular physique before you even begin training. Keep calling yourself a 'hard gainer' and don't be surprised if you continue to waste your time, effort, and money.

If you're lucky maybe you will build 3 - 5 pounds of muscle a year...

I have no problem with the term 'hard gainer' except for what happens when people label themselves to be so-called 'hard gainers.' Sure you might be a 'hard gainer' but I think most skinny guys believe they are actually 'no gainers.'

'Hard gainers' do exist but THERE IS NO SUCH THING as a 'NO GAINER!'

You might think you are a 'hard gainer' because you have trained your butt off for a few years, you eat the right foods, take all the latest supplements and yet still get a surprised look when you tell people you work out!

I don't know anybody that does not have the ability to put on slabs of muscle in record time. I have proven every client dead wrong who perceived themselves as a 'hard gainer.' This term is just a poor excuse.

Plain and simple: excuses are for the weak. It's easy to point the blame when your workouts are inconsistent, your training is sub-maximal and you indulge in a undisciplined social lifestyle. How convenient to shift the blame from yourself to a convenient label.

But it's easier telling everyone that you are a 'hard gainer.' Right?

This term is a great disguise for skinny guys who will never reach their true genetic potential. Instead of taking responsibility for your actions, it's a lot easier to pull out the 'hard gainer' card and flash it to everyone. It sits by your driver's license and has become a part of your identity.

The deadliest mindset in the world.

Consider this. It's like saying, "I can't afford it." This should be considered a deadly statement because it forces your brain to stop working and reinforces a false perception of your true abilities. Instead you should say, "How can I afford it?" By constantly saying, "How can I afford it" or "I can afford it," you will reinforce a new perception of yourself - you will no longer think of yourself as poor, but as a rich person.

If you examine these two statements, you will see that "How can I afford it?" opens your mind to examining the possibilities of accumulating wealth. "I can't afford it," on the other hand, closes your mind to any possibility of attaining what you desire.

Let's make this example practical now. By simply being aware of the words you use, you can self-detect your self-perceptions. By changing your words, you can begin to change your self-perceptions - if you choose. So by simply reminding yourself to say, "There is no such thing as a 'hard gainer'" you will be able to bring out the muscular person inside of you. By saying, "I am a hard gainer" you are reinforcing the small and weak person who was already there.

Do you truly think that you can casually or unintentionally build muscle and gain weight quickly?

No way! Do you really think deep down that if you believe you are a hard gainer and a muscular physique is out of your limits, that you will ever achieve any significant results? I'm not talking 3 or 5 pounds of muscle a year. I'm talking about 20-50 pounds of massive muscle. Of course not. Every trip to the gym, every set, every meal, every shake you gulp down will be snuffed out because the beliefs in your mind have sentenced you to a life of smallness.

The very first step you must take before you read any of the training or nutrition content of this book is DITCH THE TITLE. Stop labeling yourself and start thinking of yourself as a 'untapped reservoir with explosive muscular strength.'

Many personal development coaches stress the principle, 'you get what you focus on.' Therefore if you focus on being small, you will be small. Focus on being big and muscular and this will direct your mind and actions to the things you must do to become just that. All actions come from your beliefs and if you truly don't believe that you can succeed then what chance do you have?

Focus on believing in yourself and your abilities and re-classify yourself as a 'consistent gainer' or an 'unstoppable gainer' or whatever title suits your motivation best. If you focus on being successful you will be and you are already one step closer to becoming the person you really want to be!

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