Archive | December, 2017

Glutathione and Eye Health

Glutathione (Gloo-ta-thy-own) performs several key functions in your body and is often referred to as the mother of all antioxidants. Produced and stored in the liver, glutathione is a tri -peptide and potent detoxifier that allows your liver to breakdown harmful substances and flush them out of the body. Smaller amounts are released from the liver into the bloodstream where glutathione is commonly found to help protect your lungs, digestive tract and the health of your eyes.

The benefits of glutathione:

– helps maintain the integrity of red blood cells and protects against cell damage;

– aids carbohydrate metabolism;

– protects against premature aging;

– assist to recycle and boost the activity of other antioxidants, Vitamins E and C.

Glutathione is also very protective for your eye health. The optic nerve, focusing lens and aqueous fluid (tear film) all contain glutathione. Along with vitamin C, vitamin E and Lutein, glutathione is one of the most beneficial protectors of eye health.

When light enters your eyes each and every day, free radical damage is produced. Healthy levels of glutathione, in tandem with other antioxidants present in your eyes, protect against this damage and help in warding off the early onset of cataracts and macular degeneration. Studies show that antioxidants protect your eyes against degenerative diseases.

As glutathione is made naturally in the body, you may be wondering how to maintain or boost your levels of this wonderful antioxidant. As a tri-peptide, it is produced with the help of three important amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine.

When you include protein in your diet, be it fish, chicken, red meat and or vegetable sources, this protein is then broken down into amino acids and released into your blood. The body uses these tiny building blocks to recreate ( or resynthesise ) the protein it needs for functions such as, growth and repair, digestion, and for creating hormones like insulin. So it follows that adequate protein is paramount. Without it, we would be in a pretty poor state of health, quick smart!

When you then think of the proportion of diets today that contain large amounts of carbohydrates and fat and only small amounts of protein and amino acids, you can start to see where problems might occur with a gradual reduction in glutathione levels over time.

Reduced glutathione levels are thought to be partly responsible for a number of chronic diseases of this century.

Whey protein supplements are well known to aid in boosting the amount of glutathione in your body by supplying plentiful amounts of the three precursor amino acids mentioned. Keep in mind that not all whey protein is created equal. Some cheaper, supermarket forms are loaded with sugar, sweeteners or fillers and more importantly are not cold-pressed. Look for cold-pressed or ‘non-denatured’ proteins that are not processed with heat and retain nutrients and BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) in their pure form. This is whey at its best.

Another form of cysteine, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), is a common amino acid supplement for athletes and gym-goers and clinically shown to help build and restore healthy glutathione levels in the liver, along with helping to build and restore muscle.

Whole-foods can also aid in maintaining healthy levels of glutathione.

The body can make NAC from cysteine, hence foods loaded with cysteine should be eaten regularly.

According to nutritiondata.com, foods high in cysteine include, beef, chicken, pork, fish and shrimps. Low fat milk and other dairy products, horseradish, asparagus and soybeans are all good building block of glutathione.

If you want to slow the ageing process, reduce toxicity in your body and guard against eye disease and maintain healthy eyes, you could do well to keep replenishing your levels of glutathione by eating at least a little protein with every meal or by supplementing with a good-quality, cold-pressed whey protein powder or glutathione precursor supplement like NAC.

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Do Isometrics Burn Calories?

Muscles in themselves burn calories, and strenuous exercise has a great effect on burning calories in the body, but do isometrics burn calories? Is an isometric workout strenuous enough to burn fat in the body?

One isometric exercise case study performed by the owner of Isometric-Training showed a cut of 20.3 lbs of fat in 4 weeks. That was a total loss of 9.4% body fat, not water weight. Furthermore, he showed that, by doing isometric exercises, he burned 14lbs of body fat in 7 days, with video updates and archiving each aspect of his training. That’s a roughly 49,000 kcal deficit in one week. These numbers don’t appear from thin air; real people have performed isometric exercises of varying intensities in order to reduce not just water weight from their bodies, but actual body fat. Isometrics don’t simply burn calories; they turn your body into a furnace that can torch the calories like a space shuttle does jet fuel.

Isometric exercises are a critical key to lean functional muscle, as they have been in the martial arts for hundreds, yet thousands of years. Even without addressing the art behind isometrics, the science is irrefutable; in 1954, two German scientists, Muller and Hettinger, conclusively proved in over 5,000 independent clinical trials, that one could increase strength by 5-15% with a single 7 second stimulation once a week. Subjects in a later study performing a daily 7 second contraction increased their strength by 72% in 46 weeks. The fall of strength after the end of training is very slow. 70 weeks after the end of training their strength was still 42% higher than before the beginning of training. After doing nothing for over a year and a half they were still 42% stronger than when they started.

Ah well, that research must be outdated by now, as much as exercise science changes over the years. I suppose I’ll have to refer to this study by John Little (et. al. 2006) which showed a single 5 minute routine comprised of 10, 7 second contractions produced up to 9.3lbs of muscle tissue. That is enough muscle to drastically increase your body’s resting ability to burn body fat.

There are hordes of thoughts about the best method of strength training; what I will say is that your regimen should include something that builds your body from the inside out. For me, isometric exercises build strength from the tendons, ligaments, and nerves out to the muscles. I do training that isolates individual muscles for maximal muscle fatigue, and training that involves large muscle groups for fatigue of the central nervous system. As long as your training does not neglect internal principles of strength (like bodybuilding training that focuses solely on muscle without long-term development of the tendons), it can be a part of what gives you stability and fat burning ability.

But a true fat burning fitness program cannot only have intensity. In fact, when you look at cardio machines in the gym, the core of their effectiveness is in interval training. Having a metabolic calorie increase from intense interval training, coupled with a massive calorie demand from intense muscle training will do wonders to burn calories in the body, and isometric exercises will do both.

Naturally, nutrition will play a strong role in your body’s ability to burn fat; isometric exercises will still burn calories, but it would be more like a tug of war match between your fitness and your diet, when it should be a team relay to the lean muscle finish line. It is not as simple as eating fewer calories than you burn, and isometrics can burn a LOT of calories.

It also means things such as eating protein that will promote muscle growth, eating saturated fats that actually promote your metabolism, and slowing down with your meals (takes about 20 minutes for your brain to note that food is filling your stomach to trigger a cessation response — slowing down your meals can mean feeling full, and avoiding overeating).

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If You Are Over 40 Years Old, You Can Still Get Big Biceps – Here’s How

You’ve seen the photos in the muscle magazines and watch the heavily muscled men pose in videos. If you work out regularly and have been working on your biceps you know how important it is to work your triceps as well for balance.

The process of developing your “guns” as they call them is one that a lot of men fixate on. That’s because they have been given a lot of press. Women rate biceps second to abs as the sexiest part of a man.

Although it is much easier to build up your biceps brachii, than say your calves, you will find that genetics and age will come into play when you reach middle age. There are two heads to the biceps brachii, the short head and the long head are responsible for flexing the elbow and rotating the hand upwards.

Along with the biceps, there are ancillary muscles that work along with them; the brachialis and brachioradialis, muscles that are situated on the side of the arm between biceps and triceps, and connect the main bicep to the forearm. You will need to work these muscles as well to get the overall body builder’s look.

I’m going to tell you from my experience as well as of top trainers, what the best biceps exercises are for men over 40. The reason I point to the middle aged guys is that building muscles at mid life is tough for men because testosterone and other growth hormones are not as plentiful as in their formative years.

As men age, the quality of their muscles change especially if they are sedentary for long periods. The battle is to stay fit and ward off the onset of fat. You can do it if you are diligent about your fitness program. I work my body parts to failure but give them the rest of the week to recover. If you train intensely, you can build more muscle or at least avoid losing mass as you grow older.

The three most effective biceps exercises:

Standing Bar Curls –

Hold bar with a shoulder-width grip, with arms straight towards the floor and elbows locked an inch from your sides.

Curl weight towards the chest, while keeping the elbows and back fixed.

Contact the biceps as the bar reaches the front of the chest.

Resist weight as it slowly lowers to the floor for a full stretch.

Preacher Curls –

Using a regular preacher bench, hold dumbbell with an underhand grip while locking elbow firmly in place in an extended position on the bench.

Slowly curl the dumbbell up, trying to touch the shoulder of the arm being worked.

Incline Dumbbell Curls –

Lying back on an incline bench, hold two dumbbells with arms extended down and back.

Curl the dumbbells up and out with both hands, being sure to turn the wrists as the weights are raised.

Slowly return to starting position.

Hammer Curls –

With elbows fixed at the side of the body, place the palms in a neutral position (palms facing one another).

Curl the dumbbells up, the same way you would for a regular dumbbell curl.

Lower dumbbells slowly and repeat.

Note: Ensure elbows are fixed at sides throughout the movement, as this will eliminate any shoulder movement, thus placing a greater load on the brachialis.

These exercises will get your biceps up to speed in short order. These will isolate your muscle and focus the contraction on the greatest number of cells. Keep working on your form. Isolate your contractions to avoid using your shoulders and back.

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Is Glutamine Really Necessary For Muscle Growth?

Have you spent much time in a Health Food store browsing through all of the muscle building supplements? If you have, you may have been overwhelmed by all the different types of supplements and all the brand names which claim to work wonders for your muscle gaining efforts. One supplement in particular which has received much publicity is glutamine. Spend some time in the gym listening to the weightlifters and bodybuilders chat about their favorite techniques and supplements, and sooner or later you’ll hear someone mention glutamine. You may be told that this supplement is extremely helpful in growing your muscles, and you may even be told that it is essential for any muscle building at all. Do you really need glutamine supplements for your body building program?

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. (Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.) That much is true. But what about actual supplementation? The major reason that glutamine is believed to help muscle is that studies proved it beneficial in trauma patients. Studies have shown that muscle loss can be reduced in patients with severe trauma such as in the case of burn victims or AIDS patients. The problem is that this kind of stress cannot be automatically compared to the kind of stress your body undergoes during exercise. While there may be certain situations in which such a supplement would be helpful, glutamine supplementation is probably not necessary in the majority of cases. Don’t forget that the supplement companies themselves provide much of the hype that surrounds these products. Always remember to stick with the essentials of progressive resistance training and increasing your calories, however popular a bodybuilding supplement may be.

Why do bodybuilding supplements like glutamine sell so well? They do well because bodybuilders, like most people, prefer to look for a seemingly magical product that promises immediate results. Unfortunately, so many people in our society have become accustomed to looking for shortcuts and short term gratification. It’s particularly sad when you consider that learning how to gain weight naturally is not as difficult as it may seem. The real magic pill is combining the right knowledge (weight gain diet plus proper workout routines) with determination. The beginner must understand that weight gain, like most worthwhile goals, requires diligence over the long term.

If you’re feeling discouraged, consider the following. Most great things in life are not accomplished with one incredible act. On the contrary, both our successes and failures in life almost always come from the accumulation of small choices over time. You will accomplish more working out a few times a week than you will in one super long workout. Whatever you choose, keep the long term in mind and rest assured that living your dreams tomorrow, in both bodybuilding and beyond, are well worth the price you pay today.

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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Defeated With PH Balance and Nutritional Therapy

As a person diagnosed with CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) since 2001, I’ve had my eyes trained on Google Alerts and on the web in general, regularly looking for breakthroughs, both conventionally and in the alternative medicine arena. Many people who are diagnosed with CLL are told to hold off on any treatment, as the disease often progresses slowly, and any improvement with treatment is not permanent. Worse yet, the course and aggressiveness of the disease can change at any time. Patients are told to “watch and wait.” This is not a happy way to live.

No role models. The sad truth is that, until this past January 2009, I could find no reference (not one) of any person who was cured of CLL through any kind of traditional medical — or alternative — therapy. The only exception are those who have been cured by way of a bone marrow transplant (BMT). Unfortunately, many people do not survive the procedure. It is extremely risky. Worse yet, a patient can survive the BMT and still have CLL, or develop CLL again at a later date.

The five-year time-line. Despite all the research and trials, there is still no conventionally-sanctioned therapy (chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, etc.), short of BMT, that can effect a cure. Doctors give patients the hope for a complete remission of five years with some of the available therapies. Not all patients achieve complete remission in the first round of chemotherapy. And the chance of success, measured by five-year survival, decreases with each new form of conventional therapy. Not an encouraging picture. This situation has been evident to me since 2001, when I was forty-six and first diagnosed. Who wants to hear about a five-year life plan when you’re forty-six? Not me! While there have been some promising conventional “breakthroughs,” the survival rate remains pretty much the same today.

The search for an alternative. My search for an alternative treatment, or treatment protocol, has been equally difficult. I have been able to find testimony on the web of leukemia patients who have become cancer-free (acute myelogenous leukemia or acute lymphocytic leukemia), but no such luck for CLL. At best, there were stories of people who had held off their CLL with the controversial laetrile (apricot seed extract). But no one with CLL had become cancer free. I was discouraged, but I never gave up the search, or my attempt to discover a blueprint to good health.

The 2009 breakthrough. In January of this year, my Google Alerts revealed an article written by Steve Freier, a man with CLL who recovered to full cancer-free health. He regained his health by having his root canals removed and also by taking coral calcium. Because of his experience, I am in the process now of having all my mercury amalgams replaced with safer porcelain fillings. To find information about his recovery, type “Steve Freier” and “CLL” into Google.

Breakthrough #2. In April 2009, while searching for information about infrared saunas and its effect on leukemia, my husband came across this website: http://www.CLLDefeated.com. It is the story of Hessel Baartse, of Adelaide, Australia. He has totally defeated his CLL by means of removing his root canals and mercury amalgams, and by drastically altering his diet and supplementation, with a concentration on restoring his pH levels to a healthy balance. He credits his dentist, www.ericdavisdental.com for his complete recovery.

There are finally role models for CLL recovery. What used to be a complete mystery now is a challenge with a blueprint for success. There are now at least two cases of men who have beat the odds and defeated their CLL by means of mercury amalgam and root canal removal, nutritional therapy, and pH balance. The further good news is that this program is likely a blueprint to health for people with many other chronic health issues, including cancers.

The future. Because of the Internet and the speed with which we can share information, more people will be able to find a way to recover their good health through alternative means.

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A Comprehensive Review of the Cohen Diet

The Cohen diet is a great option for everyone who is trying to lose some weight and to introduce lifestyle changes. This is one of the easiest and most pleasant nutritional programs to follow. Just like any other diet, this diet comes with its pros and cons that need to be examined before you make up your mind about it.

Who is Doctor Cohen?

The Cohen diet is created by a French nutritional expert called doctor Jean Michel Cohen. He advocates balanced nutrition and limitation of the daily calorie amount as the best ways to achieve significant weight loss results. The diet was created following these principles. According to Cohen, processed foods are the biggest evildoer, since they contain large amounts of sugar and processed fats. All other options are acceptable and beneficial for the human body. This philosophy gives the Cohen diet the label of a lifestyle choice rather than a restrictive nutritional plan.

The Variations of the Cohen Diet

The Cohen diet comes with two versions. The first one produces rapid results but it is very restrictive. This option involves a daily calorie intake of 900 calories or less. Though it guarantees instant results, the diet may be difficult to follow, as it involves drastic calorie reduction. The second version of the Cohen diet is more moderate and the results become available within a month. This diet guarantees weight loss of nine to 11 pounds. In it, the calorie intake should remain below 1400 calories, which is easier to achieve and not as stressful on the body. Both of these diets need to be followed by a maintenance stage. This maintenance stage could continue a lifetime, as long as a person is willing to move on to healthier eating options.

Foods that are Allowed

The Cohen diet is far from a restrictive one. In fact, it comes with a great balance of nutrients and dietary options. The diet puts a limit on processed foods only. Fresh fruits and vegetables are very important. These should be consumed raw. In addition, dieters are advised to avoid products that are high in starch. An exemplary menu for a Cohen diet follower will be very easy to come up with. A breakfast can consist of tea or coffee, a favourite cereal and a cup of skimmed milk. The lunch can involve 200 grams of chicken fillet, 200 grams of steamed vegetables and half a grapefruit for dessert. The dinner option may be 150 grams of a lettuce salad, 100 grams of turkey fillet, 25 grams of cheese and 200 grams of steamed vegetables.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of the Cohen Diet

The best aspect of this diet is that people are free to choose their favourite foods, as long as the calorie count remains below the specified limit. This flexibility makes this diet easy to follow and even enjoyable. Once a person gets used to the healthier food choices, these will become a part of a better everyday diet. In addition, this diet involves no expensive supplements or harsh restrictions. On the downside, a person trying to achieve results through the fast version of the Cohen diet may be experiencing significant hunger and is likely to soon get discouraged and quit.

The Cohen diet is a wonderful dieting option that is developed by a renowned nutrition expert. This plan is easy to follow and fun. The Cohen diet lacks the harsh restrictions that other nutritional plans come with. It is flexible, it is easy and no foods are banned. What could be better than a diet that gives you so much freedom?

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Health Benefits of Sonamasuri Brown and Sonamasuri White

Thousands of varieties of rice are available throughout the world out of which ‘Sonamasuri ‘ is a very popular rice variety. It is a high yielding variety of rice and is evolved from the very famous rice varieties namely, Sona and Masuri. It has acquired both a national and an International reputation because of exports to many countries across the world.

Sonamasuri is a premium rice. The two varieties of Sonamasuri , brown and white, are available in the market. It is a medium-grain and an aromatic rice. It is lightweight and also low in starch content. The Sonamasuri rice is used in various dishes such as fried rice, sweet Pongal, bhaths and even Idlis.

Sonamasuri brown rice is a healthy option to add in the meals. It has bran which provides natural wholeness to the grains. The nutritional value of the brown rice is least damaged by the refining and polishing process.

It is a rich source of manganese and an excellent source of minerals like selenium and magnesium. Manganese is an essential element of an antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, responsible for protection against damage from the free radicals.

Also, manganese aids in producing energy and is important for the synthesis of fatty acids. Selenium is an important mineral which protects against cancer, as this vital nutrient is incorporated at the active site of various proteins.

As only the hull layer of the rice grains are removed, the grains are rich in fiber content. It also helps in maintaining the digestive health and prevents problems like constipation.The oil content in the rice helps in lowering cholesterol content. Brown rice has low Glycemic Index (GI) and hence, beneficial for those who have diabetes. The brown rice is associated with several other benefits like lowering high blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack and maintaining a good cardiac health.

Sonamasuri brown rice after cooking gives a chewy texture. For cooking, soak the brown rice for a few hours before cooking, so as to have easy cooking and the rice will become softer.

Sonamasuri white rice is widely used in India. This version of white rice is healthier than basmati. It is not as polished as the other usually available white rice, especially like basmati rice, and hence, it retains slightly more nutrients. The majority of calories are obtained from rice due to their high carbohydrate content. The carbohydrate content in Sonamasuri rice is less and hence, the nutritive value is more. They provide energy to the body and promote proper functioning of various vital organs like heart, brain, liver and kidneys. Sonamasuri rice provides some amount of proteins. It is fat-free and sodium-free rice. It is the best-suited rice for nutrition and weight loss.

Prepare delicious recipes using the organic Sonamasuri rice, both brown and white for a healthy and tasty treat during the meal times. The organic products are to be preferred as they are free from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Buy high quality, authentic organic Sonamasuri rice both brown and white varieties; reach out to the most reliable organic produce suppliers in India.

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Crohn’s Super Food – Tuna

In the realm of Crohn’s nutrition, there are these specific examples that practically define the goals of the Crohn’s diet, which are to decrease pain and bathroom usage. So, one can eat as much as one may want of these foods, called super foods, thanks to its high nutrient density that gives off energy to the host improve health both digestive and overall to diminishing Crohn’s symptoms, and generally make one feel “good,” physically, which will, in turn, boost emotional health, creating an overall more healthy and happy person.

Moreover, the low residue, or low texture density, which basically means softer foods such as steamed vegetables or liquids as opposed to fibrous raw veggies or nuts, of these super foods leads to slower digestion that is generally healthy but will also discourage flare ups and/or not make current flare ups worse, and decrease bathroom usage, a critical problem when it comes to a social, normal life.

Major example of Crohn’s disease diet super foods is the protein tuna. Tuna fish comes whole or canned, though whole is traditionally better as there may be processed oils or flavors in canned tuna, which is generally bad. Processed contents contain simple sugars. These sugars feed the bad bacteria in the gut to the point that causes excessive pain and bathroom usage.

From a perspective other than a Crohn’s nutrition one, tuna is rich in vitamin d, and has high protein, which gives energy and builds muscle. Actually, protein is always being searched for for those with Crohn’s since most proteins are either not too lean, are acidic, or may contain processed contents, not to mention possible fiber. Other benefits include omega three fatty acids, which Is a health benefit for multiple reasons, including heart health and arthritis.

Protein is the best thing in the Crohn’s diet because it comes with all the benefits that carbs come with, just in a healthier manner. The reason why carbohydrates are craved so much,besides the fact that the overwhelming amount of bad bacteria in the gut may crave it causing its host to in turn crave such carbs rich in simple sugars, is that it gives off energy. Although carbs give off energy quickly, protein gives it slowly. However, when eaten correctly, protein can give more energy, though it may come little later, and will last longer.

Note that there is mercury in tuna, so eat in moderation and never raw, such as in sushi.

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MMA Specific Strength Training – Movements and Muscles

Unfortunately, most mixed-martial artists follow a strength training program designed for bodybuilders. If your program consists of chest, legs, and arms days, or any other body-part split, then you fall into this category too. So if you’re following a bodybuilding routine, let me ask you this, is your goal to walk around the ring, flexing your biceps, or is your goal to knock your opponent out? If you want to have sexy biceps, stop here. But if you want to knock your opponent out, read on.

If you’re a mixed-martial artist, there are 3 pitfalls to following a bodybuilding routine in they gym:

1) The routine will require high volume and thus take time away from martial arts training.

2) The routine will leave your muscles tired and sore, which will take away from martial arts training.

3) The routine promotes muscular hypertrophy, which means that if you follow it properly, you’ll have to move to a higher weight class.

Now for most athletes, if you’ve got to learn wrestling, boxing, muay thai, grappling, and deal with life on top of all of that, a 4-5 day strength training routine is not going to enhance your performance. Add endurance training on top of that and you’re probably setting yourself up for overtraining and potential injury.

Even if you can get it in, and it doesn’t leave you too sore, you still don’t want to add too much muscle. Instead, your goal is for relative strength and power, which means that you want to stay the same weight, but get more and more powerful.

Since your goals are different, your strength training routine needs to be different to address those goals.

That’s where you want to begin to think about training movement patterns first and muscles after.

Six basic movement patterns exist:

1) Squat

2) Lunge

3) Bend (aka deadlift)

4) Twist

5) Push

6) Pull

If you integrate these movements into your program, you’ll be working every muscle in your body to some degree.

Additionally, when you perform these movement patterns, you may notice deficiencies or strength imbalances. One example is during a lunge – if your forward knee caves in, this means that your glutes (medius and maximus) are either not firing when they should or they’re relatively weak. Either way, you know that you’ve got to do some isolation work to bring up the lagging muscle.

Isolation exercises are not categorized within the movement patterns listed above, but there are some that mixed-martial artists need to be doing, such as isometrics (planks, hangs, etc) and single-joint exercises (external shoulder rotations, bicep curls, etc), in addition to any corrective exercises.

So instead, focus on training movement patterns first, then isolate later.

Now, since you’re on the movement pattern paradigm, the biggest benefit for the mixed-martial artist is that you want to train 2-3 times per week to get the most benefit. Since you’ll be hitting every major muscle group each time you workout, training more than 3 times a week will interfere with your recovery and leave you too sore and tired to be effective in your MMA training. A sample 2-day split would be:

Day 1: Forward lunges, bench press, chin-ups, skull crushers, and prone bridges.

Day 2: Deadlifts, arnold press, 1-arm rows, bicep curls, and woodchops.

Here you’ll be hitting all movement patterns and all major muscle groups. You’ll still be making strength gains by following effective rep, set, and rest schemes, you won’t be left too sore, and you’ll be fresh and ready to absorb effective MMA techniques.

Remember, you’re a mixed-martial artist, not a bodybuilder posing in a speedo, so train with one goal in mind – improving your performance in the cage.

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4 Critical Steps For An Ectomorph Workout

How many Calories

Are you eating enough calories? So many ectomorphs get this wrong, they think they can follow the same diet plan their buddies in the gym are following and that’s why they are not seeing weight gain.

The ectomorph has to eat more per pound of body weight than the average guy. There is some debate on the exact number but here is a good place to start.

The skinny guy should multiply each pound of body-weight by 20-24. So if you weigh 150 lbs. times 20 equals 3,000 calories a day.

This is where you should start, and if you don’t see weight gain at this level than start adding 150 calories a week until you do.

The other part of this equation is the diet break-down. Now most people would limit the carbohydrate intake so the diet based on percentages of calories a day would be 45% protein 30% carbs and 25% fat. Because the average guy is scared that carbohydrates will put on body fat.

The ectomorph doesn’t have to worry about that because of a high metabolic rate. So for the ectomorph I would start with a 40% protein 40% carbs and 20% fat. This should aid in packing on weight and muscle.

You can always make adjustments to this as you see how your body responds.

How much sleep is right

Too many weight lifters under estimate the importance of rest and sleep. They put so much concentration on their training they end up hurting their gains because of lack of rest.

When you are sleeping your system releases natural growth hormones that help build and repair muscle fibers that get broken down during your workout.

Without this very important process that only happens when resting, the less you rest the less you gain.

Of course the other side of the coin is too much sleep. Because an ectomorph has such a high metabolism, it makes it more difficult to gain weight and muscle. Getting a solid 8-10 hours is sufficient rest to help your gains.

Once you start to go over this amount, you risk hurting your gains.

Remember you need to eat a lot of calories a day and you need to eat often. When we are sleeping we are not eating. If you sleep too long your body will start needing fuel to survive, remember that fast metabolic rate?

While you are over sleeping, that is more than 10 hours your body is looking for energy to keep going and muscle mass is what it is going after.

So you have to maintain a healthy balance between calorie intake and resting to make sure you are getting the optimal muscle building process.

Full body workout

Something that happens far too often for ectomorphs is following a workout that just doesn’t address the needs of a skinny guy.

The ectomorph will not benefit from a workout you find most bodybuilders doing these days. It’s not their fault they just don’t know any better.

They go to the gym and follow what ever workout their buddies are doing. They see their friends packing on muscle each week and they can’t figure out why when they look in the mirror after months of training they see the same body they had when they started.

This is what makes most skinny guys give up, they believe that they just can’t gain muscle, end of story.

But it is just a matter of using the right exercises in combination with the right amount of reps and sets. You see, an ectomorph body type responds to compound exercises and a full body workout.

Compound exercises allow you to get the most joints and muscle groups to work at the time. An example of a compound exercise is the squat. Think of all the joints and muscles involved when doing a squat.

You have your hips, knees, and ankles involved, and at the same time your quads, glutes, back, hamstrings, and core are involved, and that is not even counting all the small stabilizing muscles that are connected.These are the types of exercises that an ectomorph thrives on. When you do a full body routine with compound exercises you will start to see muscle gain.

Less is More

What do we mean by less is more? Well this is a very important point to understand if you are a skinny guy. Because just like the skinny guy who is doing the wrong exercises by following his buddies he is also working out as long as they do.

The problem is the ectomorph frame is not designed for a lot of stress. Your buddies might be putting in 2 or more hours during a workout and they might be doing this 4-5 times a week.

This is a disaster for the skinny guy. Because your frame and bone structure is smaller and frailer the amount of stress this type of workout will put on your body will assist in hurting not helping in any kind of muscle gain.

That’s why for the skinny guy less is more. Your body will thrive on a 45 minute routine doing a full body workout with compound exercises like stated above 3 times a week.

Your rest periods between sets should also be longer than the average guy. If you have only been resting for 30 seconds between sets while trying to keep up with your buddies you have probably noticed that you can’t keep up with the rep level.

Rest longer and make sure you are getting between 7-10 reps on each exercise for 3-4 sets.

Forget about what your friends are doing and don’t think of it as some kind of competition. You have to come to terms with your body type, when you do and start working out according to your body type you will quickly see gains.

And isn’t that really what you want. And think of it this way, how great is going to be when you are gaining muscle quickly and working out half as much as your friends. Soon they are going to becoming to you for advice on muscle building, and working out how sweet is that?

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