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Where Does Strength Come From?

CT Fletcher has it right on the MONEY!

Strength comes from within. Watch this for some inspiration:

Watch legendary WSM Brian Shaw.

Swimming SUCKS for Fat Loss and Here’s Why

swimming sucks for fat loss

Is swimming a good exercise if you want to lose weight? Probably not.

Did you know that swimming actually sucks for fat loss, even though it's a great cardiovascular exercise?

Seems conflicting, right?

Weight training may be your best best, IF you're trying to shed body fat and gain muscle.

And who doesn't want less fat and more muscle? Amiright?

Kevin DiDonato of ProGrade Nutrition explains why in the article below:

Can Swimming Get Your RIPPED ? Or Is It Just A Waste Of Time?

Are you a few pounds overweight?

Has your doctor told you to start an exercise program to lose weight?

Have you been hooked by the late night infomercials, only to be let down by a lack of results?

You and I both know exercise is important.  You can improve general health, shred unwanted belly fat, and build strength and endurance.

But you buy a membership to a gym, only to see your money go up in flames because you just don’t use the membership.

You are confused by what you read about exercise.  Which is the best?  Which can make me lose the most weight and keep it off?

You implore the help of a trainer and they try to tell you what the best workout for fat loss is.  They don’t even scratch the surface of the different types of exercises out there.

You walk out of there more confused than when you went in.

I am here to tell you that not all exercises are the same.

Read more here…

In the above article, Kevin goes on to cite two different studies that show not only how swimming doesn't help reduce body fat, but the reason it doesn't.

Here's the main study, by G. Gwinup:

Weight loss without dietary restriction: efficacy of different forms of aerobic exercise

After 6 months or slightly longer, the women assigned to walking lost 10% of initial weight, the women who cycled lost 12%, but the women who swam lost no weight.

Read more here…

So swimming didn't cause any weight loss. Interesting, right? But why?

According to this study, it's because swimming in cold water affects appetite:

The Acute Effects of Swimming on Appetite, Food Intake, and Plasma Acylated Ghrelin

These findings suggest that swimming stimulates appetite but indicate that acylated ghrelin and food intake are resistant to change in the hours afterwards.

Read more about that here.

Simply put, swimming in cold water (most people swim in unheated pools) increases appetite. And while you do burn a whole lot of calories while swimming, you also have a natural inclination to eat more afterwards, due to the cold temp. This may be hard-wired in our DNA – cold water signals to the body that it's in a crisis state and needs more fat to survive.

Cold water stimulates the appetite

You don't want THIS GUY coming for you!

I mean, maybe you fell in an icehole and a polar bear is coming to eat you!

Bottom line: If you like swimming, swim. It's great exercise. But watch what you eat afterwards. If you have a difficult time losing body fat and keeping your eating in check, swimming may not be the best exercise for you.

Need help with your metabolism? You may want to give this a try.


Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/npsclimatechange/23085163652

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What Is the Best Way to Build Muscle and Burn Body Fat?

best-way-build-muscle-burn-fat

With all the recent talk here and everywhere else about The Holy Grail (building muscle and burning body fat simultaneously), you'd think that perhaps that was ideal, right?

I mean, who doesn't want to build muscle and drop body fat at the same time?

I know I do!

However, it may be the slower route to go. Let me explain.

There is a large body of evidence on building muscle. Same goes for losing fat. Conceptually, doing either is really quite easy. The effort is difficult, but the idea is pretty simple.

If you want to build muscle, you have to have a calorie surplus.

If you want to shed body fat, you have to run a calorie deficit.

It's really very simple and just boils down to a math problem. Indeed, aren't many of life's problems just math problems?

Back to the real story. What is the best way to get totally buffed? I mean big like Jay Cutler and ripped like Clarence Bass?

Based on years of personal experience as well as the collective knowledge of thousands upon thousands of personal trainers, bodybuilders, and other fitness athletes, it's clear to me that there is a better, more effective approach.

Now, I'm not saying that what's in The Holy Grail is wrong. It's perfectly correct. You most definitely can gain muscle and lose fat within the same time period. All I'm saying is you can get big and ripped faster if you take a different approach.

And that approach is to “zig zag” or take a “stair step” approach to your fitness goals. Why not take 2-3 weeks to build muscle, then maintain for a week, and then take another 1-2 weeks to drop whatever fat you build up in your “bulking” phase?

In a month's time, you will not have gained a significant amount of body fat, but you could certainly pack on 2-4 pounds of pure muscle. So every 8 weeks, you could add 2-4 pounds of quality muscle to your frame. That means there is the potential for adding between 12 and 30 pounds (give or take) a year while not increasing your body fat. In fact, even if you maintained your fat poundage, you will have lowered your body fat percentage significantly because you've added so much lean mass.

I will tell you this is the better, faster way to the body you want. Yes, you will gain some body fat in the first phase, but you'll lose it all and more in the last phase. In that third phase, you're not even trying to add muscle; you're only seeking to maintain it.

So your body doesn't go on overload, get overtrained, and you will never lose muscle mass. The third phase is all about losing body fat while maintaining muscle mass.

It doesn't sound as good or sexy as “build muscle and burn body fat simultaneously,” but it sure works better.

Bodybuilders for decades have used this very system to fashion their championship bodies. The results come whether you take steroids or not, though I will say that “chemical enhancements” will certainly speed your progress. In the short term.

Nobody really knows the long-term effects of competent steroid use. You know, the kind administered by a doctor and followed to the “T” by the user.

Bottom line: Bulk up, maintain (or plateau), and then shed body fat. It works. Really really well.

How to Cancel Out the Effects of Alcohol

beer

There is one activity that you probably do on the weekends—or some nights during the week—that could be leading to extreme weight gain (depends on how much).

It could also lead to your death—if you’re not careful.  What activity is it?

Drinking.

Now, I agree there are plenty of benefits to having a drink or two at night.

It’s been shown to improve heart health, may reduce your risk for diabetes, and may even decrease your risk for having an ischemic stroke.

But again, this is light drinking—only a glass or two a night.

More than that and you could be putting your health—and life—at risk!

Studies show that heavy drinking could lead to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, memory problems, and weight gain.

Now, up until recently, it was believed there was no way to reverse the damage associated with drinking.

But that was then, and this is now…read more

How to Create Your Perfect Bodybuilding Split

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If you've read one of my previous posts “5 Reasons Why Your Muscle Building Program Sucks,” you will know that most people suffer from Program ADD or Program Hopping.

This is when you jump from split to split.

I like to tell people to follow a split for at least 3 months.

This allows you to establish a baseline and progress.

Through my experience, lifters jump from split to split because they get bored with their current split and are looking for something new and exciting.

How about we fix that problem?

How about you create your perfect bodybuilding split now so that a month or two down the road you won't be looking for a new split?

I'm glad you are on board with this idea.

So, how do you go about creating your perfect bodybuilding split?

You do so by following these 5 steps.

Step 1 – Determine how many days a week you are available to train.

Your schedule may allow you to train Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Step 2 – Determine how long your sessions could last.

Your schedule may allow you to workout for an hour on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and allow you to workout for 30-40 minutes on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Step 3 – Determine how many days a week you want to train.

Even though your schedule allows you to train 5 days a week, maybe you only want to train 4 days a week.  Maybe you don't want to train on Fridays.

Step 4 – Determine how long you want your sessions to last.

Although your schedule allows you to train for an hour on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays maybe you only want to train for 30 intense minutes on each of those days.

Step 5 – Make a list of your favorite exercises (it could be 2 or 20, just write them down).

  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Seated Cable Rows
  • 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • Chest Press
  • Hack Squats
  • Concentration Curls

Let's say the above are what you come up with for your absolute favorite exercises.

Step 6 – What are your favorite bodypart(s)?

This piggybacks off of #5.

Chances are that your favorite exercises target your favorite muscle groups.

From your list of favorite exercises your 3 favorites are Lat Pulldowns, Seated Cable Rows and 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows.

All 3 exercises target your Back so your Back is probably your favorite muscle group.


Putting it all together…

You will be training on Mondays for 30 minutes, Tuesdays for 30-40 minutes, Thursdays for 30 minutes, and Saturdays for 30 minutes.

Each day will focus on 1 or 2 of your favorite exercises.

Since Back is your favorite muscle group, you will be performing more work for your Back than any other muscle group.

2 examples of a perfect bodybuilding split

Split #1

Monday

  • Lat Pulldowns  5 x 12-15
  • Concentration Curls  3 x 12-15

 

Tuesday

  • Hack Squats  5 x 15-20
  • Hamstring Curls  5 x 15-20
  •  Calf Raises  3 x 15-20

Wednesday – off

Thursday

  • Chest Press  10 x 10
  • Seated Cable Rows  3 x 8-12
  • Triceps Pressdowns  3 x 15-20

Friday – off

Saturday

  • 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows  3 x 8-12
  • Push Ups  3 x failure
  • Standing Dumbbell Military Press  3 x 12-15

Sunday – off

Split #2

Monday

  • Hack Squats  4 x 15-20
  • Lat Pulldowns  4 x 8-12
  • Chest Press  4 x 8-12
  • Barbell Curls  2 x 12-15
  • Triceps Pressdowns  2 x 12-15

Tuesday – off

Wednesday

  • Pull Ups  4 x failure
  • Push Ups 4 x failure
  • Concentration Curls  2 x 12-15
  • Close-Grip Bench Press  2 x 12-15
  • Leg Press  2 x 8-12

Thursday – off

Friday

  • 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows  5 x 8-12
  • Dumbbell Bench Press  5 x 8-12
  • Leg Press  2 x 15-20
  • Hamstring Curls  2 x 15-20

Saturday – off

Sunday – off


photo credit:  Vaibhav Arora 

bodybuilder guy

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