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Archive for the ‘Wellness’ Category

Our body suffers from many health related issues and diseases due to carelessness and external environmental changes. The aim of an internal cleanse is to remove built up toxins from the colon and to restore you to a healthy 2-3 bowel movements every day. In doing so, it will strengthen vital organs associated with the colon and will improve general health, as well as resulting in an increased energy level. Using Bowtrol will decrease water retention, help to solve severe cramping, and eliminate bloating. But these various health concerns may still have you wondering whether Bowtrol is a safe option for you: Individual with a healthy digestive system is a healthy one in real sense because digestive system is the main functional system of our body and almost over 70% of diseases are caused due to digestive system’s disorder. Those who are infected with colon problems will surely suffer from indigestion issues, because both digestive system and colon are closely linked with each other. Can I take Bowtrol all my life? To say it in a word, yes! The ingredients of Bowtrol are safe for all ages, and when taken in the recommended dosage will continue to give good results at any age. Bowtrol is a 100% natural product, and all the ingredients are safe in moderation for any age. A list of all Bowtrol ingredients is available at their official site. Should I take Bowtrol when I am pregnant? When pregnant, nutrients that are absorbed go to both the mother and the child, and for this reason we advise you to not use Bowtrol Colon-Cleanse while pregnant. Likewise, using a colon cleansing product while nursing can be harmful as well. We suggest you do not take bowtrol when nursing or pregnant, though usage before pregnancy and after nursing are generally safe. If you’re concerned about use, you can always ask your physician. Can Bowtrol be used when I suffer from Diabetes or any other serious health concerns? As with any severe health concerns, it’s advised that you contact a local health care professional before using a colon-cleansing product. However, stats show that chances of returning the product are very rare, most of the people who tried bowtrol, bought it. So, don’t compromise on your health and choose the best as you deserve the best. Bowtrol is made of ingredients found in nature, and as such most of the ingredients are harmless. Because of this it’s safe for almost anyone. Local doctors and other health care professionals are always available if you have any questions about how Bowtrol will affect you personally. Thus, a clogged colon can decrease this absorption rate and cause your body to lose those vital nutrients. The second advantage is that it eliminates the unwanted gas along with bloating. Hence, with all these benefits it’s time for you to think about getting a good bowtrol cleanse and lead a healthy lifestyle.

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This nitric oxide testing may be an easy and quick way to determine the swelling and inflammation of the lungs. This particular test may be performed to diagnose asthma and to evaluate cough. This may be easily performed by letting any patient to inhale and slowly exhale inside a tube that would be attached to a specific computer. This patient will be asked to do it several times in order to obtain a very accurate result and measurement. Generally, this eNO testing will take around fifteen minutes. Furthermore, this will be better than the others since anyone can resume their usual diet and some activities after this is accomplished. Nitric oxide is a particular gas that may be produced in your lungs while you breathe. The children who do not have asthma may produce a low level of such nitric oxide if they exhale and inhale. If the airways of your lungs is swollen, it may create a relatively high level of this gas. Such tests may be essential because all doctors may simplify the process of confirming the diagnosis for asthma. Whenever you have asthma, the airways will become narrow since the bronchial tubes in the lungs will swell. There may be a reaction that may be triggered by some things such as mold, dust, chemicals and pollens. When this will be untreated immediately, the bronchial tubes may swell that will cause difficulties in breathing. To allow normal breathing, it will be very important to have the right dose of medication to avoid it from getting worse. All the results of the tests will be very effective so that the patients will be given the right medications. This will also be important to somehow avoid having complications. There will be no other home preparations that will be done before having these tests. Furthermore, this test can only be accomplished in the hospital while the patient is still there. Once you have already registered for this, you will be asked to wait for your turn to be entertained. However, only one guardian will be allowed to stay with a person whenever having this treatment. The waiting time can differ according to the total patients who have registered and were scheduled for such test. All children are diverse thus you should expect that the time duration may as well differ. Additionally, it is suggested that a person should have patience for the medical staff because they are doing the best that they can just to accommodate their clients. In the examining room, a function technician will join you. This technician will be assigned to perform the testing procedures. However, it will be the duty of the doctor to review all the results. The eNO machine is a certain type of computer that has a keyboard and a screen. The only thing that varies is the tube and mouthpiece that is connected to it. If this nitric oxide testing is being performed, a guardian will take responsibility over keeping their child calmed and relaxed. They may also stay at the side whenever they like to. Additionally, they may ask different question if they are uncertain about things.

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One of the reasons that many people choose body detoxification diets is because they think that it will actually help them and their bodies fight off infections, strengthen their immune systems, as well as give them a whole host of other benefits. Even though it’s true that these are some of the possibilities of a detoxification diet and process, there is one element of the human body that these individuals are underestimating, and that is the organs of the human body themselves.

For starters, the body does have a series of natural line of defenses that are used in fighting off pathogens, foreign agents, and warding off diseases. This is called the immune system and it is strengthened by the other parts of the body when we are eating healthy foods, exercising properly, and doing all of the activities that we should be engaging in. However, many advocates of the detoxification diet claim that our body’s immune system will be strengthened even more. If this is so then these individuals should continue to explain how people are just as healthy without the detoxification diet.

On the other hand, one must consider the fact that the body does have a natural detoxification process in order to cleanse the body. Indeed, there are various recipes for detoxification liquids and juices, however, let’s examine all that the body does first. We have already reviewed what the immune system does, so let’s look at the colon and kidneys next. The colon and kidneys are two very important organs in our body. The main purpose of these two organs is to excrete wastes from the body. In fact, the kidney is so smart that it is able to filter out all of the good blood for the wastes that it intends to excrete when it’s time for the body to get rid of them. In the same way, though, the colon is also very instrumental in helping carrying out the same processes throughout the body.

When one considers that the body has a natural detoxification process throughout its system then it is also important to consider why one would even want to engage in a detoxification diet. For example, some parts of the detoxification diet include having an individual drink gallons upon gallons of water each day that they are undergoing the diet. This may be very useful for cleansing the inside of the body, but think about the dangers of also consuming too much water in one day. The kidneys and other organs that are a part of the body’s excretion systems are only able to work so hard and if they are overloaded then this certainly is not good for the body!

In other words, one must consider the positive affects of actually having a healthy diet and making themselves exercise regularly. There are many benefits to eating everything that the Food and Drug Administration says that is healthful to eat. However, the FDA also has not stated that a body detox process is good for the body, rather, they recommend getting the proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are needed each day. All in all, a detoxification process may be just the diet that some people may need to get themselves on the right track toward a healthier lifestyle, but it certainly is not the be-all-end-all in the health world!

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Clenbuterol is a very remarkable and amazing compound, which is not a steroid hormone but a beta-2-symphatomimetic. Clenbuterol is prescribed to those suffering from breathing problems. Clenbuterol is recommended as a decongestant and bronchodilator. People with unrelieved asthma make use of Clenbuterol as a bronchodilator to make inhalation easier. Normally, it is available in salt form as Clenbuterol hydrochloride. Due to its illegitimate utilization in athletic competition, it is often mistaken for a steroid.

Clenbuterol is close to ephedrine, but its consequences are stronger and enduring as a stimulant plus thermogenic drug. The other benefits of Clenbuterol include CNS stimulation, enhancement in aerobic capacitance and an increase in blood pressure and oxygen transportation. Clenbuterol also boosts up the rate at which fat and protein is consumed inside the body simultaneously as slackening the glycogen storage. People use Clenbuterol because of its muscle relaxant properties, which mean it’s a bronchodilator and tocolytic.

As it is a bronchodilator, Clenbuterol is also used for treating allergic respiratory infection in horses. Ventipulmin is a well-known brand name, which can be taken in oral or injection form. Its capacity to tempt weight increase and a greater proportion of muscle to fat makes its illegal use in livestock popular.

Possible side effects of Clenbuterol comprise fidgetiness, quivers, hand tremor, vexation, increased sweating, sleeping troubles, possible muscle spasms, amplified blood pressure, and nausea. All these side effects are temporary and habitually lessen after 8-10 days, even with continuation of the product.

Several athletes use Clenbuterol after steroid treatment to balance the ensuing catabolic stage and therefore attain maximal power and muscle mass. An additional facet of Clenbuterol is its distinctive fat-burning upshot. Clenbuterol burns up fat without dieting as it raises the body temperature to some extent, coercing the body to blaze fat for this course of action. Due to the higher blood heat Clenbuterol amplifies the outcome of anabolic/androgenic steroids taken at the same time.

Jocks, runners and body-builders normally take 100-140 mcg of Clenbuterol in a day. In case of women, a quantity of 80-100 mcg per day is sufficient, but it is significant that the jocks start by taking a single tablet on the first day and then mounting the quantity by one tablet each of the following days until the desired maximum amount is achieved. Clenbuterol is frequently taken over a period of 8-10 weeks. Clenbuterol is also liked by women because it is not a hormone compound and has no fallouts typical of anabolic steroids.

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Men, have you been feeling on the down side lately? Do you feel a certain lack of confidence, energy, vitality but can’t really pinpoint why???

The issue? You might be experiencing a decrease in your testosterone levels.

Are you aware that as you age your testosterone levels decrease? The fact of the matter is that low testosterone can play an unexpected  role in many of those symptoms you might be experiencing. Symptoms that include: depression.

Half a century ago, testosterone therapy was a common treatment for depression in males but when antidepressants were introduced, doctors ignored the option in favor of the new drugs. In the last decade or so, new research has been slowly showing that they maybe shouldn’t have been so quick to set aside testosterone therapy as there may be a strong link between depression and low testosterone.

Here’s a quick look at the relationship between depression and low testosterone:

In Older Men

A study conducted by the University of Western Australia and published in 2008 looked at 3,987 men that were over age 70 and tested them for depression and testosterone levels. They found that around 200 of these men were depressed and a large number of these depressed men had low levels of free testosterone and total testosterone. In fact, men with levels in the lowest 20% had three times the chance of being depressed than those with levels in the highest 20%. Although the researchers found a link between low testosterone levels and depression, they said that more research is necessary to completely understand the relationship.

Men Who Don’t Respond To Antidepressants

Another study published in 2003, that took place at McLean Hospital in Harvard Medical School, was a small scale study that looked at testosterone as a possible treatment for men with depression. This study specifically looked at men who had already been diagnosed with depression but did not respond to conventional treatment methods such as antidepressants.

The first interesting thing they noticed was that almost half the men in their study, all of which did not respond to antidepressants, had borderline low or low testosterone levels. They then gave half the men testosterone and the other half a placebo for eight weeks while everyone continued taking their antidepressants. Interestingly enough, around a third of those who received testosterone showed significant improvements while the rest showed no improvement or only some. They pointed out that more research needs to be done to discover why the treatment worked for some men but not for others.

The Rest Of Men

So we know that low levels of testosterone are associated with depression in both older men and those who don’t respond to conventional depression treatments like antidepressants, but what about the rest of men?

 In 2009, about half the men in a study who hadn’t been diagnosed with depression but had been feeling down responded well to treatment and these men were in their 40s or 50s and suffering from a midlife crisis.

The link between depression and low testosterone levels can be found in several different age groups. The combination of research mentioned above as well as other studies is the why you will almost always find depression on the list of symptoms associated with low testosterone levels. 

What To Do?

If you indeed have low levels of testosterone you might be experiencing other symptoms such as losing muscle mass and changes in your cholesterol levels. So, what to do? BEWARE OF BOOSTING TESTOSTERONE! The bad news is that there is a dangerous trend that might be robbing you of the vitality and energy you could and should have. Find out what is truly causing your male vitality to decrease and how to boost your male vitality. Watch this amazing video that will change your life! You will thank us later!

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Advanced Test-O-Boost - Straight Sale#1 Selling Testosterone Booster

The hormone testosterone is crucial in the physical growth and development experienced during our formative years, however this hormone continues to play a role in regulating these processes throughout our lives. Understanding the role of testosterone and the factors influencing its production can help to enhance the anabolic effect of this hormone, helping you to achieve more from your training.

Testosterone is one of the hormones most closely associated with the muscles of the body, and measuring its concentration has been proposed by researchers as a means of assessing the anabolic (muscle building) status of the body. Teand in turn influestosterone can act directly and indirectly on muscle tissue; it can affect growth hormone responsesnce protein synthesis. Testosterone can influence the nervous system resulting in adaptations that enhance the force production, enabling you to lift more weight during training. Finally testosterone acts directly on the muscle tissue itself to stimulate changes in size and strength. Increasing testosterone levels therefore, would suggest greater anabolic potential and its associated gains. ZMA is clinically proven to increase free testosterones, total testosterone and insulin-like growth factor.

Resistance training itself increases testosterone levels because anabolic hormones are involved in the adaptive process that follows training. Not all weight training programmes elicit the same response and so to maximize hormone release you should ensure your training involves large muscle group exercises, heavy resistance (80-90% 1RM), a moderate/high volume of exercise (multiple sets or multiple exercises), and short rest intervals between sets and exercises (30-60secs). Applying these principles to your training should help you harness the body’s anabolic response to exercise, and therefore allow you to make the maximum possible gains.

Increases in testosterone levels have been noted with high-intensity aerobic exercise, however this form of training is more typically associated with a decrease in muscle fibre size and any increases in testosterone levels may reflect an attempt by the body to induce protein synthesis to match protein loss. High-intensity aerobic training, even though resulting in increases in testosterone levels, should therefore be minimised if the overall goal is to increase muscle size and strength.

The body adapts to any stimulus, and each time this stimulus is presented the resultant effects are reduced, ultimately leading to a plateau in training. The same principle applies to hormonal release, if the same exercises and weights are used results will be limited. Varying the exercises , angles used, and loads will mean a greater amount of muscle fibres are stressed throughout the training period, maximising the potential for hormonal release and therefore gains. Testofen leads to an increase in testosterone production and is ideal for those wanting more strength and power.

Overtraining can blunt the training effect and is often associated with a reduction in performance. During a period of overtraining testosterone levels can decline, increasing the potential for lack of results and a regression of your training-induced gains. Make sure you allow sufficient rest between workouts that involve the same muscle groups, periodically cycle the intensity and volume of training, and allow a recovery week every 6-8 weeks.

The timing of your workout may also influence testosterone levels. In men, levels are usually highest in the morning and drop throughout the day. Since resistance training can acutely increase testosterone levels, a morning workout will obviously further increase this level, however training later in the day may be more effective at increasing overall testosterone levels over the whole day (Baechle & Earle, 2000).

Your lifestyle can also have an impact on testosterone levels. Stress promotes the production of the hormone cortisol which can reduce testosterone levels. Cortisol levels are normally kept in check by an enzyme (11beta-HSD) but in times of stress the amount of cortisol can exceed its suppressing capabilities, causing testosterone levels to fall (Hardy and Ganjam, 1997). Research has shown that the higher the levels of cortisol, the lower the levels of testosterone (Schweiger et al., 1999) which highlights the importance of keeping stress to a minimum.

Smoking and alcohol consumption both reduce testosterone concentrations so cutting these out of your lifestyle will help to keep testosterone levels boosted. Periods of sleep deprivation and heavy physical activity have also been shown to reduce testosterone levels, highlighting the importance of getting adequate rest and recovery, particularly during phases of heavy training. During these periods, take a product such as Tribulus Pro, which can elevate testosterone production and may help boost libido.

Diet is another factor that can influence your testosterone levels. Low carbohydrate intake (less than 5% of total calories) has been shown to reduce testosterone concentrations during periods of training as compared to a diet with equal total calories and higher carb content (Langfort et al., 2001). Ensure your carbohydrate intake is sufficient to support your training; recommendations for those involved in moderate-intensity training are 5-7g per kg of bodyweight, and 7-10g per kg of bodyweight during high-intensity training (Jeukendrup and Gleeson, 2004).

Consuming too much protein in relation to carbs can lower testosterone levels (Anderson et al., 1987), so ensure your diet contains roughly a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Additionally, research has shown that a diet that contains insufficient fat may compromise testosterone levels and therefore the anabolic responses to training (Sallinen et al., 2004). Supplement your diet with vital ‘good fats’ like Super Omega 3, in order to ensure your fat intake is optimal.

Certain vitamins and minerals can play a role in testosterone levels, of which ZMA or Alpha Men are tried and tested solutions. Being deficient in the mineral selenium during a period of training has been shown to reduce testosterone levels (Fang et al., 1999). Selenium rich foods include cereals, nuts, animal products and legumes. If you feel your diet may be deficient in these foods, then you may consider increasing your intake.

Supplements such as Zinc & Magnesium are also great because Zinc supplementation has been shown to increase and maintain elevated testosterone levels among athletes and non-athletes during a period of training (Kilic, 2007; 2006). High zinc foods include oysters, shellfish, pine nuts and pecans, and wheat bran. Vitamins A and K (Shirakawa et al., 2006; Zadik, 2004) have also been shown to influence testosterone concentrations, so ensure your diet contains sufficient amount of these vitamins.

In addittion, it is important to always ensure you attain nutrients from natural food sources as well as high quality supplements and do not exceed the recommended doses of any vitamin or mineral.

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12 Bodybuilding Lies That Won't DieWe’ve each been given advice from well-meaning lifters that we later find out to be untrue. This article explores false muscle building beliefs that continue to be passed around.

When you’ve been around lifting as long as I have you tend to see the same muscle building myths passed around over and over again, ad nauseum. (That means to a ridiculous degree, for those of you keep score at home.)

While times change and lifting trends come and go, the following bodybuilding lies never seem to die. In this article I will do my best to put them to rest, but am certain that 10 years down the road they will still be going strong.

12 Bodybuilding Lies That Must Die

Lie #1 – You don’t need to get strong to get big

Lifters don’t need to use strength-centric training programs, or to try and set new one rep maxes each time they hit the gym. They do need to get a lot stronger than they are now. There are no weak top level bodybuilders. These guys are all very strong, even though they may not think so.

Progressive overload drives gains, regardless of the training protocol you use. You can’t simply train for a pump, or use rest-paused sets, without eventually adding weight to the bar in some form or fashion. The body will adapt to the demands of any approach very quickly, and will have no reason to grow unless more resistance is added over time.

I’ve trained with some of the best natural bodybuilders in the business over the years, and to a man, they all have rock solid strength levels. This tells us that if we want to get big – really big – we’re going to have to put some weight on the bar sooner or later.

Lie #2 – You can get as big as a pro bodybuilder without steroids; it just takes time

This is complete and utter nonsense. I don’t care how much you “believe”, and how hard “you work”, it ain’t happening.

If you think I’m limiting you then it’s time to attend a drug tested natural bodybuilder contest. These natural pro competitors have been training for 5, 10, 15, and 20 plus years. They train harder than most of us will ever train, yet remain light years behind the size of IFBB pros.

In fact, most pros I know (of average height) are lucky to reach 180 pounds ripped. The majority of pro natural bodybuilders I’ve met compete between 170-179 pounds. The best of the best manage to creep towards 185-190 pounds, or a hair over, but anything beyond that is natural fantasy land unless you are 6 foot tall and one of the best in the world.

Natural physiology prevents the accumulation of insane amounts of muscle tissue. The body is not built to expand to infinity, like some oversized balloon.

Bodybuilding Lies

Lie #3 – You need to live in the gym to make progress

Want to know what I think? If you can’t get it done in 60 minutes of training, you have no business working out longer than that. What’s the point? If your gym efforts suck and leave you wanting to train more, maybe it’s time to focus on quality before quantity.

Are you maximizing every set? If not you need to be. What’s the point of performing a set if you’re not trying to turn it into a productive, muscle building effort?

Make every set count, and run with a consistent and tight rest between sets. Do your work, stay focused and you likely won’t need more than an hour of lifting – 75 minutes tops – per training day.

Lie #4 – You need to bulk like a pig

Unless you are underweight, the most amount of muscle mass you can expect to put on during your first year of training (naturally) is about 16 pounds, give or take. This number decreases by about half each subsequent year of training.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen guys start a bulk, gain 30-40 pounds in 6 months, and then complain that bulking only makes them fat. Then they immediately jump back to a cut. This cycle of futility is often repeated several times.

Insanely aggressive bulks are foolish and unnecessary. They only lead to rapid fat accumulation. You should be bulking in accordance with your gains expectations. If you want to add 15 pounds of muscle during your first year of training, aim for about a 22-25 pound total bodyweight increase during this timeframe.

Lie #5 – To get big you need to follow the current programs of the pros

This makes no sense. How a bodybuilder trains now has nothing to do with how they trained during their early years. Current programs are usually structured to target specific weaknesses, bring up lagging bodyparts and push a body that is reluctant to grow into gaining even more size.

The top pros evolved their own system of training over the years to…(wait for it)…fit their own needs. If a program is based around a bodybuilder’s current needs, it is safe to say that it is not designed to maximize your current needs.

If you really want to know how to train at the beginner to intermediate stages of lifting, find out how these guys trained during their first several years in the gym. Believe it or not, even Arnold utilized a fullbody workout to build his base, and not the “Arnold volume program” that everyone is so fond of talking about.

Lie #6 – You must use a bodypart split to grow

The idea that full body workouts or upper/lower splits are somehow inferior because they are not currently en vogue is a travesty.

Yes, naturals grow on splits. My point wasn’t to imply they didn’t. But just because splits work, and can work well, doesn’t mean that full body workouts should be dismissed. This is simply abhorrent logic.

There is strong evidence that reveals protein synthesis levels return to normal (baseline) after 48 hours. This means that if you are using a split workout, each body part is likely to be put on ice for 5 days until it is trained again. By using a fullbody workout you can stimulate a muscle more frequently and keep protein synthesis levels elevated to a greater average weekly level. This could potentially yield slightly better gains.

Bodybuilding Lies

Lie #7 – There is no overtraining, so you should just man up!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone proclaim “there is no overtraining”, well, I would have a lot of money.

Here is some logic I want you to consider…just because overtraining might not exist, or is hard to achieve, doesn’t mean you need to train like a madman. The body can take a lot of punishment, but this doesn’t mean it’s necessary for growth.

Train smart, and focus on progress. Progress should always trump punishment. The point of training isn’t to cripple the body, but rather to challenge it during each workout.

Lie #8 – You should switch how you train when trying to lose fat

High rep ranges are for cutting, right? Wrong. This myth will never die.

You should train about the same way on a cut as you do on a bulk. If you switch to using lighter weights while dropping calories, you are signaling to your body that some of the extra muscle is not needed.

If you want to hold on to existing muscle mass, continue to train for progressive overload. It doesn’t matter if you lose some strength while dropping the fat…keep trying. Do what you can do.

Lie #9 – A pump equals muscle gains

It doesn’t. You can get a muscle pump from doing many things. Try locking your elbows and holding your arms at your side parallel to the ground for several minutes. You will get a muscle pump. Is this building muscle? No.

Armies of lifters have never trained for the pump yet have made incredible gains. A pump is non-essential. It’s neither necessary, nor is it a bad thing. Some muscle groups “pump” more easily, while others are stubborn.

Train for progression using conventional hypertrophy ranges. This is the long term key to gains. A pump using light weight is nothing more than an illusion. It might be painful, and you might feel exhilarated, but if you don’t start adding weight to the bar your body will adapt to this method very quickly.

Lie #10 – All big and strong lifters understand the essential rules of training

This might offend a few seasoned lifters, but it’s the truth. You don’t have to understand the true engine that drives gains to make decent progress.

I’ve met many advanced lifters who like to focus less experienced trainees on things that are non-essential. Most times lifters like this have adopted a certain dogma, or set of beliefs, that they believe to be better than everyone else’s. This often results in confusion for beginning lifters who are seeking information from them.

One experienced lifter will advocate supersets as the be all, end all, while another pushes time under tension. Another one low volume, while yet another high volume. Each of these lifters means well, but they fail to see what they have in common: consistent effort, great improvements in strength, proper food intake, patience, etc. This is the real magic.

When someone tries to sell you on their “magic secret that will re-ignite gains”, take it with a grain of salt. Tools obviously can help, but rarely is one advanced training technique or training principle “magic” compared to another.

Bodybuilding Lies

Lie #11 – You should never eat more than 150 grams of protein per day

At one point there was a study (or studies) revealing that for muscle building, you really don’t need to eat more than 150 grams of protein per day to build muscle.

Here’s the thing: just because the average lifter may not need more than 150 grams of protein per day to build muscle doesn’t mean they should never eat more than 150 grams of protein per day. There are several reasons to eat more protein.

First, there is no harm in playing it safe and eating a little more protein, say 180-220 grams per day. Just because some science guy in a white coat tells you to never eat more than 150 grams per day doesn’t mean you can’t eat a little more just in case. We are in this game to build muscle, not to play it safe. If you’re like me, you would rather eat a little more protein each day just as an insurance policy.

Second, if you are eating a lot of food each day it makes sense to balance your macronutrient intake just for the sake of convenience. An early 20-something lifter that requires 4,000 calories per day to grow doesn’t need to stay chained to 150 grams of protein and 600 grams of carbs. It makes perfect sense to eat with a little more balance, say 200-250 grams of protein and 500-550 grams of carbs.

Lie #12 – You need to frequently deload

This is a modern myth, but it is gaining steam rapidly. You don’t need to deload every 4 weeks. You don’t even need to deload every 8 weeks if things are running smoothly. The lifting community is rapidly becoming obsessed with the deloading process, and I see many guys deloading more than they need to.

For those of you on a more straightforward type of training program, meaning you are not using a form of training that involves extended periodization or peaking, or are not on a program that aims for planned overreaching, you should deload when you feel like you need to deload.

When you feel fatigued, beat up, or just mentally in need of a break, insert a light week or week off from training. One week off every 8-12 weeks isn’t going to hurt anything. These types of deload weeks can be good for recovery.

You can certainly training longer than 8-12 weeks without a break if your body feels fine. There is no need to deload when you are feeling great and rocking the progress. Bottom line…only deload when you feel you need to.

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Struggling with your ability to do push ups? No problem! This program will help your push ups and overall upper body strength by increasing frequency and intensity.

How To Improve Your Push-ups in 8 WeeksBrad Borland is a strength & conditioning specialist, cancer survivor and the founder of WorkoutLab.

The push-up must be the MOST popular exercise known to man and child. Who didn’t grow up knowing full and well what a push-up was? It was and still is a true upper body test of muscular endurance and stamina. Adopted by the military what seems to be since the beginning of time the push-up has ebbed and flowed its way throughout the fitness realm for decades.

Now with the pendulum swinging toward more functional fitness and bodyweight training, the push-up is making its way back to its rightful thrown as one of the greatest (but still underutilized) exercises around. A perfectly executed set of high-rep push-ups is an impressive act of endurance, stability and core strength.

The benefits of including push-ups in your arsenal cannot be overemphasized. Bodyweight training is the true test of functionality and ability combined with other such moves as pull-ups, dips and various forms of jumps. Your ability to push the majority of your bodyweight from the ground is testament of body control and authentic strength. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to build a big, broad chest in the meantime.

What if your goal is to increase the number of push-ups but you find yourself lagging in the reps department? Part of a full-body program or tacked on to the tail end of a chest routine, challenging yourself on push-up will pay big dividends. So, invest in the eight week program below and get ready to master the time honored push-up.

8 Week Push-Ups Program

Weeks 1 and 2

This program will assume you can perform a few push-ups with good form – around 10 or 20. The first step is to give yourself a quick pre-test. Perform as many as you can practicing proper technique and record your results. This will be your baseline to work from. If you are training your chest, shoulders and triceps with a traditional weight training program, perform your push-ups on a few days after that session.

  • Perform push-ups at least twice per week.
  • Choose a higher number to perform a total number of reps – about four times your max. For example, if you did 15 push-ups for your pre-test, then shoot for 60 total reps for each session. No matter how many sets it takes for you to reach it, go for 60. You may do 15 on your first set, 10 on your next, 8 on your next and so forth. Keep going and with each session, aim to decrease the number of sets as you progress.
  • If you want to add in some assistance training be sure to include bench press, close-grip bench press, shoulder press, front raises and dips to name a few.
  • Always make sure you are executing proper form: a tight midsection and no bowing of the back. Once your form starts to break down, end the set. Don’t cheat yourself.

Push Ups

Weeks 3 and 4

Now it’s time to up not only your reps but also your frequency. Increase your push-up program to three times per week. One of these days may land on a chest workout day. That is fine – you may be a bit weaker but that is no excuse to quit. If anything it will push your muscular endurance further and you will only benefit in the end.

  • Perform push-ups three times per week. Don’t worry about strength as it relates to your chest training workouts.
  • Now, increase your total reps even further to around 50%. So, for the example above your new total number of reps to shoot for is 90. Again, do as many sets as it takes to get to that new goal.
  • By now some assistance work as mentioned above will come in handy.
  • Rest as long it takes for you to recover. This may not have to be very long – one or two minutes tops.
  • Keep form and function in check.
Weeks 5 and 6

You will again increase frequency and total rep count. Additionally, you will incorporate some different hand placements such as shoulder width, close- grip and wide. This will not only add variety and break the monotony but it will also challenge your body to react differently and adapt accordingly.

  • Increase frequency to four times per week.
  • Increase total reps by another 50% of your original number. For the above example’s sake this would be 120.
  • Experiment with different hand placements. At this point you should be getting rather proficient at push-ups so adding some variety shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Because of the high volume and added techniques, this is a crucial time to reassess form and adjust accordingly.
Weeks 7 and 8

As you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you will again increase total reps and frequency one last time before your big test. At this point you should not only see significant gains in stamina and endurance but also a broader looking chest (not a bad side-effect). Also, your ability to recover should be improved as well.

  • Increase frequency to five times per week.
  • Total reps will increase another 50% based on your original number – 150 keeping with our example above.
  • Continue to utilize the different hand placements.
  • If desired, experiment with feet-elevated push-ups, hands-elevated push-ups and decreasing rest periods.
  • By now you should be at a point where you can perform quite a few high rep sets. Just be sure as you are challenging and pushing yourself to keep proper form.
Time for the Post-Test

After you have completed the entire eight week push-up program, take a few days off to fully recover before taking your post-test. Push away and record your new and improved result!

Other Factors to Consider

Core strength: Abdominal strength and stability is of utmost importance throughout the program. If your core is weak, you will begin to bow the back and fatigue faster. Be sure you are training your abs as well.

Weight loss: Holding onto extra, unwanted pounds serves you no good on your mission for improving your push-up numbers. Lose the excess baggage and reap not only a better push-up but overall better health.

Neutral push-ups: If wrist pain is a factor when performing the traditional push-up, try getting some neutral push-up handles or the Perfect Push-up kit. If none of those are an option you may need to revert to push-ups on your knuckles with a closed fist.

Believe in your program: If you don’t following through with whatever program you decide to use you will never get to your end goal. Invest your time and effort in a sound program and have to fortitude and discipline to see it through.

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Does this sound familiar?

 

iStock_000011408313XSmallYou set a health goal you were really excited about. Maybe it was to drop a few pounds, increase your energy, or once and for all shrink your belly.  You gathered all the tools you needed…a diet plan, a book, good food, exercise shoes, an exercise program and maybe even a gym membership, and you started out on your journey.

 

A short while later, you found yourself straying. At first you just strayed a little bit. Then the diversions became more frequent and took you a lot further off course, until you found yourself right back where you started… or, worse yet, further from your goal than when you started. Perhaps a few extra pounds crept in, your belly became bloated all over again or you developed a new nagging health complaint.

 

We have all been there, done that.

 

For more than 25 years I have counseled people with all sorts of health challenges, ranging from simple allergies and digestive woes to debilitating autoimmune diseases and crippling degenerative conditions. During that time I have observed that the degree of recovery is not necessarily proportional to the severity of the condition or the strictness of the approach.

 

Like most trainers and coaches, I’ve seen it all…from the highly motivated and dedicated to the magic bullet seekers; from “I’ll follow your plan but I don’t have to like it” to “I am so grateful there’s a solution, I’ll gladly do whatever it takes to create lasting health”. I’ve seen lots of people who have been incredibly successful at overcoming serious health challenges, restoring their energy and getting their lives back. I have seen many people lose weight and never gain it back.

 

After careful observation of what I have seen work and what I have seen fail, of those who made massive strides and those who could not get off the roller coaster ride, the common thread I have found is very clear – those successful ones experience a shift in their mindset.

 

Without a proper mindset, certain social events or life stresses may trigger old habits and POOF! You are down the slippery slope again into old familiar habits that lead further away from what you desire most.

 

It’s amazing how haphazardly most people approach a new health plan. Just jumping right into a new diet routine or exercise program, without taking the time to create a vision and goals is a prescription for failure. Having proper knowledge and cutting through food and weight loss myths is only one part of achieving your health goals. Proper goal setting is another important step in achieving your goals.

 

But proper goal setting is only one part of achieving your health goals. Sometimes, I see people who are super-determined to achieve their goals, have all the coaches, programs, products and equipment lined up to help them, only to find themselves being stuck at some point and unable to move forward to achieve what they set out to accomplish.

 

Often times, they got stuck at the same place every time; no matter what different methods or approaches they try. Similar scenarios seem to play out over and over again.

 

What is the missing ingredient? Turns out that mindset adjustment is another important component in making positive changes that last. This applies to all aspects of health and wellness, but it is particularly effective for working on lifestyle changes that include weight management and getting a couple of proper exercise sessions in each week.

 

There are many ways you can up-level your mindset for success, and it heavily depends upon where you are as an individual. Here, I am going to share with you three simple upgrades that you can do right away to make a difference.

 

1. The 80/20 Rule. Eat well and healthy 80 percent of the time, and let yourself indulge without guilt 20 percent of the time. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip – this kind of guilt and self-blame does not help you stay on course.Deprivation is not a sustainable way to make changes that last.

 

You may be able to go cold turkey on your favorite food for two weeks, but want happens after your “diet”? Most people will probably binge, feel bad, and give up. Allowing yourself to eat what you love, and possibly finding healthier substitutes to satisfy your taste buds, is how you can make healthy changes that will bring you benefits for a long time to come.

 

2. The Bigger Why. When you face challenges in adapting dietary and lifestyle changes, and wanting to just go back to the old familiar way of eating, ask yourself – what is costing you not to take action? Perhaps you are struggling with low energy to play with your kids, or attain a healthy weight to reduce your disease risk. Or you are just plain fed up with not feeling or looking your best. After all living in a feel-bad body takes its toll and you know deep down that there is a better way to live your life.

 

You need to go deep, and think not just the immediate consequences but keep asking “then what?” Why do you really want to make this change, and what will you lose if you do not succeed? Knowing this will motivate you to achieve your ultimate goal.

 

3. Subconscious Fear and Mental Blocks. If you have been trying to make changes to your diet and lifestyle, but are unable to make breakthroughs beyond a certain point, I invite you to dig deeper into what is holding you back. Maybe it’s not just the matter of willpower at the present moment that is preventing you from succeeding. You may have to do some work to see if any of your past experiences are responsible for some limiting beliefs that are holding you back.

 

A much better way is to address what has made you overweight or unhealthy in the first place. We can only change our body when we have “inner mind programming” that matches what we want to have happen on the outside of our body.

 

Your subconscious mind is where all of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas and self-beliefs originate. These things drive our body and lifestyle actions (or inaction). Things like what we eat, how much of it and how active we are.

 

This means we address the problem at the ROOT – the cause.  That cause is located deep in our subconscious mind with hidden patterns of thought and self-beliefs that are not serving us well. You are likely to not even be aware of them. Inherited ‘wisdom’ and misinformation about nutrition and what proper exercise really is mixed together with some plain old self-delusion means your inner “mind” templates may be working against you rather than for you.

 

If you have become overweight something is “out of whack”  deep in your subconscious mind to allow this to happen. Maybe you are eating the wrong types of foods, maybe you are eating too much of them or maybe you are avoiding exercise. These are the things that will allow us to become overweight and keep us stuck in an unhappy, unhealthy body.

 

But the good news is we can identify and fix these incongruent thoughts and self-beliefs that are hidden away in the back room of our mind. It is likely that you are unaware of them but when they are revealed to you it will answer many questions you have about yourself and your actions or lack of them especially in the area of healthy eating and exercise.

 

Create your vision + master your mindset = upgrade your life

 

I invite you to check out my Strong Men Stay Young program where I can help you identify and address all of these issues and get to the bottom of it once and for all. Just go back on the homepage of this website where you will see that one of the 10 modules is all about mindset. It will give you all the tools, knowledge and strategies that you need to get unstuck and transform your health and this time, make it “stick”.

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Saturated fats are a necessary part of a well-rounded eating plan, yet most of us are unsure about how much we can safely eat. Learn about proper saturated fat intake.

Fats play a variety of essential processes in humans including but not limited to: adipokine secretion, cell membrane formation, protection/insulation of organs, and storing and releasing energy.

 

Many health and fitness enthusiasts seem to have an irrational fear of saturated fats and seek to greatly limit their intake of them. This generally manifests itself into complete avoidance of foods like full-fat dairy products, egg yolks, butter, fatty meats, coconut, etc. While it is indeed not a good idea to over eat saturated fats, there is still a place for them in everyone’s diet.

 

What are saturated fatty acids?

 

Fatty acids are comprised of hydrocarbon chains that may or may not contain double bonds. Saturated fatty acids differ from unsaturated fatty acids in that each carbon in the fatty acid chain is saturated with hydrogen atoms (i.e. no double bonds exist in the hydrocarbon chain).

 

Why fatty acid chain length matters

 

Further chemical classification of saturated fatty acids takes into account how many carbons are in the hydrocarbon chain; less than 6 carbons denotes short-chain fatty acids, 6-11 carbons denotes medium-chain fatty acids, more than 11 carbons denotes long-chain fatty acids, and more than 22 carbons denotes very long-chain fatty acids.

 

One of the reasons certain fat sources like butter stay solid at room temperature is because the melting point of saturated fatty acids increases as the carbon chain lengthens. On the contrary, foods rich in unsaturated fatty acids, like olive oil, are usually liquid at room temperature (e.g. melting point is lower).

 

In the case of short and medium-chain fatty acids, digestion entails passive absorption into the blood by way of the intestinal capillaries. This differs from long-chain fatty acid metabolism, which are absorbed by villi in the walls of the intestine and subject to further modification. For this reason, SCTs/MCTs serve as excellent energy sources due to their simple metabolism.

 

SCTs are primarily found in the milk fats from cows, goats, and sheep. Coconut is a rich source of MCTs, but if you’re looking for an alternative you can buy MCT oils from various sources as well.

 

How trans fatty acids are made

 

Despite being unsaturated fatty acids, it’s worthwhile to quickly cover the topic of trans fatty acids. Trans fatty acids are found in some food products naturally, albeit in minute amounts. Most foods with a significant amount of trans fatty acids are the result of a process known as hydrogenation. Essentially, hydrogenation is the chemical modification of a fatty acid so that a “trans” double bond is created in the hydrocarbon chain; these trans double bonds cause the fatty acid tail to maintain a linear configuration and behave differently then normal unsaturated fats, which are primarily composed of “cis” double bonds.

 

Research continues to grow on the deleterious effects of too much trans fatty acid intake in the human body. It is generally advised to greatly limit, if not completely omit, your intake of foods high in trans fatty acids. Risks of significant trans fat intake include: lower HDL, elevated LDL and other cardiovascular maladies.[1]

 

So how much saturated fat should we eat?

 

Saturated fats appear to be correlated with sex hormone (androgen) production in males, so it is generally not a good idea to greatly limit your saturated fat intake.[2] On the flipside, chronic superfluous saturated fat intake may induce insulin resistance and other metabolic maladies, so we don’t want too much either.[3]

 

Given that the calorie needs and goals of individuals vary from person to person there is no preset, unanimous amount of saturated fat that everyone should eat. However, as a general starting point, active individuals should aim to get roughly 25% of their total fat intake in the form of saturated fats. As an example, if you’re ingesting 80g of fat per day, roughly 20g or so of that should be saturated fats.

 

Exceptions to this rule are people who follow strict keto/low-carb diets may have to since their fat intake tends to be exorbitantly high. Contrarily, if someone is on a low fat diet (<30-40g of fat), they may need to eat more like 30-40% of those in the form of saturated fats just to support nominal hormone production, among other things.

As with most diet recommendations, be prepared to do some trial and error with your plan. There is no lone cookie-cutter optimal diet plan out there. Be willing to try different approaches and find what works for you.

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Everyone in the bodybuilding and figure world is talking about metabolic damage and how it is a diet killer. This article explores the current “epidemic” of this condition.

One of the big buzz terms in health and fitness subculture as of late is “metabolic damage”. It seems like quite a few “nutritional coaches” have come out and taken a firm stance on one side of the fence or the other, insisting that it’s either a valid phenomenon or a myth. While the literature on the topic of metabolic damage is still relatively scarce, the next few years should prove interesting since more and more research is being focused towards this concern.

In a nutshell, metabolic damage is terminology used to denote a state where the body doesn’t respond proportionally and appropriately as one would expect with respect to energy input and output. For example, someone may put their body through hours upon hours of cardio and restrict their calorie intake yet notice little to no weight/fat loss, which seems theoretically impossible, but as many people know, this can indeed happen. When a person has reached such a critical point, they are generally believed to have “metabolic damage”, to some arbitrary degree.

Measuring metabolic damage

However, therein lays the main conundrum with classifying metabolic damage, since it’s rather ambiguous to just say, “I have metabolic damage.” Ideally, we would want to put a tangible/measurable amount on the severity of the “damage” and seek to reverse it, but the trouble is that there is no real accurate/precise way to track such a quantity at this point.

The next best medically plausible way to verify that metabolic damage has occurred is probably various hormonal assays such as thyroid hormone levels/function, leptin, and others. The reasoning for this is that one of the key regulators of metabolic rate is the thyroid gland. Generally, individuals who exhibit hypothyroidism are noticeably heavier (and/or tend to put weight on easily) and have a tough time losing fat.

This isn’t to say that metabolic damage is entirely relegated to thyroid issues, nor other endocrine maladies, but from a physiological standpoint it is safe to assert that such issues do indeed influence one’s metabolic health.

What convolutes the issue of metabolic damage is that there is no foolproof way (yet) to pinpoint what exactly has gone awry and started the vicious cycle of having a lowered metabolic rate. Some people may have metabolic damage despite their blood work showing nominal values, in which case there has to be some other factor(s) influencing the individual’s metabolic rate.

An example of this would be someone with normal thyroid levels and functioning, but yet can’t lose weight to save their soul and has already gone to extreme measures as far as calorie restricting and cardiovascular exercise goes. It’s at this point that we know metabolic damage is occurring due to other physiological factors. Uncovering those factors is what much of the research will likely be focused on in the coming years.

Body Composition

What metabolic damage is not

I think one of the more important things to discuss pertaining to metabolic damage is the issue of it being “over diagnosed” by people who compete in any sort of physique competition. Just because you have competed in a bodybuilding or figure (or whatever event) show doesn’t necessarily mean you’re automatically in a state of “metabolic damage”. Yes, your metabolic rate is likely reduced since it’s pretty much common knowledge that during times of decreased energy input your body naturally lowers its energy output; that being said, metabolic damage is not the same as having a reduced metabolic rate.

Given this, don’t be so hasty to jump on the metabolic damage bandwagon just because you are eating less, exercising more, but still not losing weight like you hope. Metabolic damage is an extreme condition induced by extreme behavior.

We’re talking extreme in the sense that some people can be eating <600-700 calories per day, doing 2-3 hours of cardio, and still not losing weight…It’s safe to say that at that point metabolic damage has occurred. Contrarily, just because you cut calories to, say, 1600 calories per day and are doing 45 minutes of cardio without any weight loss doesn’t exemplify a “damaged” metabolism. I think people just need to tread cautiously when putting a label on their metabolic health; reduced metabolic rate is not synonymous with metabolic damage.

Correcting metabolic damage

As much as people want to believe there is some magic formula or treatment they can find for metabolic damage, the reality of it is that in order to reverse the “damage” you pretty much just need to do the opposite of what you’ve been doing. Essentially, this means doing less cardio, eating more, resting more, and focusing on weight training.

Don’t forget that muscle is more metabolically demanding then adipose tissue, so by building more muscle, you are increasing your metabolic capacity. This is the reason that many bodybuilders can stay in such good shape with little to no cardio in their regimen, since they’ve developed such a high metabolic capacity that it becomes rather hard to “out eat” their metabolism (pretty good “problem” to have if you ask me).

I’d be leery of people who claim that some certain supplements or food will suddenly resolve your metabolic damage. This isn’t to say supplements can’t help you, but the focus should ideally be on the big factors like your diet and training regimen. Get those back on the right path and then worry about micromanaging the other less important factors.

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Creatine is one of the most popular and reasonably-priced sport supplements in the industry. This article separates fact from fiction by looking at 10 common myths.

Creatine is arguably the most popular sports supplement available to date, and for good reason. Aside from it being a critical biomolecule, creatine is one of the safest, most effective supplements out there.

It’s only natural that with such prosperity there will come a few false accusations, so it’s time to dispel some of the myths that are attached to creatine. Read on to learn the truth about creatine and why it should be in your supplement stash.

10 Common Creatine Myths

Myth: Creatine is bad for the kidneys.

Reality: This theory is rather baseless and likely extends from the idea that the kidneys “are damaged” when blood creatinine (a byproduct of the phosphocreatine system) levels rise. However, there is little, if any, clinical validity to this supposition.[1]

In fact, one study even gave individuals a hefty 20g dose of creatine monohydrate for one week and found no significant changes in renal activity.[2] Unless you have pre-existing renal impairment there is little reason to believe that creatine supplementation will damage your kidneys.

Push UpsMyth: Creatine will stunt the growth of teenagers.

Reality: This is another rather ludicrous supposition, almost on par with the idea that creatine is a steroid (which is also dispelled herein).  I’m not even sure where the connection comes from between the premature closure of epiphyseal plates and creatine. Creatine is a biomolecule present in all humans and found in a variety of foods, it’s just as safe for teenagers as it is for anybody else.

Myth: Creatine has to be front-loaded/mega-dosed when starting use.

Reality: Not a necessity, rather just a way to expedite the process of saturating your creatine stores. Most companies purport that the front-loading protocol is necessary to reach peak creatine levels but even a nominal dose of creatine taken over a few weeks will suffice just fine. Furthermore, consider the fact that many companies post such outlandish claims on their labels to get you to use up the product quicker and thus re-purchase it.

Myth: Creatine needs to be “cycled”.

Reality: There are few supplements, especially over-the-counter, I can really think of that stand to benefit from cycling usage (on and off); creatine, however, is not one of them. In fact, I would suggest that creatine be taken rather consistently since it exerts most of its benefits once a saturation point has been established.[3]

Myth: Creatine is a steroid.

Reality: All I can really do in response to this somewhat moronic claim is shake my head. If I must elaborate, creatine isn’t even close to being chemically related to steroid molecules. Creatine is an amino acid, so this theory would be analogous to me saying that protein molecules are full of steroids…Hmmmm.

Myth:  Creatine doesn’t need to be supplemented with since it’s in certain foods.

Reality: Despite the fact that creatine is indeed found in some foods (especially beef), the amounts of these foods you would have to consume on a daily basis to achieve the benefits of a nominal dose of supplemental creatine would be exorbitantly large.

Myth: Creatine (monohydrate) needs to be taken with a large dose of sugar to be sufficiently absorbed.

Reality: Creatine is actually absorbed rather efficiently on its own and to achieve much “extra” benefit you need a rather large dose (>100g) of simple carbohydrates since the enhanced rate of creatine uptake is mediated by insulin (but only at high plasma levels).[4] It’s just more practical to avoid the need for a bunch of sugar with your creatine intake.

Myth: Creatine monohydrate is less bio-available (read: absorbable) then creatine ethyl ester and kre-alkalyn.

Reality: Ironically enough, creatine ethyl ester and kre-alkalyn may actually be even less absorbable than basic creatine monohydrate.[5,6] You don’t need to get all fancy with creatine supplements, the monohydrate form is the most researched and time-tested form of creatine for a reason.

Myth: Caffeine interferes with the absorption of creatine since it’s a diuretic.

Reality: Actually, caffeine appears to enhance the rate of uptake of creatine, you just need to be more prudent about staying hydrated.[7] Remember, creatine is anabolic in that it draws water into the muscles so keeping fluid intake nominal is key when supplementing with it.

Myth: Creatine is not safe for females.

Reality: Read the myth above myth about “creatine stunting growth of teenagers” and you should be caught up on why creatine is not a “sexist” supplement.

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Should you perform cardio pre or post-workout? Which form is best for your goals? Learn how to combine cardio with lifting to maximize muscle and strength gains.

CardioThe lovely world of cardio, we have to love it right? Cardio has countless benefits for the human body, so it must be good for us, right? How else do you think all the celebrities stay so skinny and “toned?”

How many times have you seen people get to the gym and hop on a cardio machine and just gas themselves, and not to mention go do some resistance training right after. Or what about when someone gets done from an intense lifting session, then goes off and does an intense cardio session?

We know you’ve seen this before and we are not going to get into the psychology of why people do this because that could be a whole other article itself. We are more focused on is it optimal to perform cardio pre and post workout? With a specific focus on which cardio modality (type of cardio you do) is the best to perform to avoid the interference effect of strength, power, and hypertrophy gains?

But before we give you the answer, it’s vital that we always have to take people’s goals, activity level, overall health, and training experience into consideration before anything. So please read this with an open mind and a non-black and white answer, all or nothing approach.

What’s This Interference Effect Thing?

When we refer to the interference effect, we are talking about the interference of strength, power, and hypertrophy gains (muscle growth) when doing cardio pre or post workout. This topic of discussion has been floating around for quite some time now, whether concurrent training is optimal or not.

We all have our biased opinions, but what is the correct cardio modality to do pre and post workout and should we even be doing cardio pre or post workouts? That is the million dollar question that many of us would like to know.

Why continue to keep robbing your hard earned gains and progress if you don’t need to. Instead, why not continue to maximize your overall potential the correct way instead of shooting yourself in the foot? As always, we bring scientific based evidence to the table to get to the bottom of these popular topics, because the research doesn’t lie folks.

Before we delve into the research, we want to quote what Brad Schoenfeld said:

“There is no one cookie-cutter recommendation I can provide that will be ideal for everyone. People have varying responses to exercise programs. Large inter-individual differences are seen in any research protocol.

Thus, in giving advice on a topic such as this, I can only provide general recommendations that must be individualized based on a variety of genetic and environmental factors. This is the essence of evidence-based practice, which should form the basis of every fitness professional’s decision making process.” (1)

We can’t agree more with this statement and we truly feel this statement is a legitimate and valid way of viewing such a topic like this one.

Cardio Modalities

We are certain we can all agree that there are numerous different cardio modalities out there today. To name a few modalities that have more ground-reaction force with higher impact are:

  • Conventional sprints
  • Up-hill sprints
  • Resisted sprints
  • Car pushes
  • Prowler pushes
  • Sled pulls

Pretty much all the badass cardio workouts that we look forward to doing.

Cardio modalities that minimize ground-reaction forces are:

  • Cycling bikes
  • Treadmills
  • Ellipticals
  • Various machine based equipment

The stuff we like to watch TV on or read magazines 😉

These are all great choices whether you use them in the form of HIIT or LISS, but which modality is more optimal to prevent the interference effect and when should you do these you ask? Let’s delve into some research shall we.

Should you do cardio pre or post workout?

Layne Norton and Jacob Wilson claim that when you choose a cardio modality such as running or sprinting after a resistance training bout, the ground-reaction force (think sprints) and distance causes more muscle damage as opposed to a modality with less impact such as cycling instead. Cycling seems to be more similar to hip and knee flexion as opposed to running because it’s biomechanically interfering with squat and leg press patterns. This muscle damage seems to be coming from the eccentric components when running and sprinting (2).

Cardio

Norton and Wilson make a valid point in the essence that if you are going to do cardio post workout, make sure you do it in the form of an opposing muscle group. Let’s say you did a grueling lower body workout, you would then want to do cardio in the form of using your upper body, something like rope slams because otherwise if you go and run or do sprints you are going to get a complete interference effect and possibly get injured.

After resistance training you have mTOR (cell growth) being ramped up and protein synthesis (making of new proteins) being turned on and when you do cardio after resistance training you get such high drastic rises in AMP kinase (signaling cascade for ATP production) that it ends up shutting off protein synthesis. In easier terms, cardio after weights interferes with the muscle growth phase and a good analogy is after training you turn the faucet on for muscle growth and when too much cardio is being done or after training, it shuts the faucet off.

As for pre workout cardio, this tends to be a little trickier than post workout cardio and we say this because it really depends on a lot of factors such as: What muscle groups are you training that day? What form of cardio are you doing pre workout (low, moderate, or high intensity)? What modality will you use? Are you in a low calorie and glycogen depleted state?

A Study in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows 30 minutes of jogging pre workout decreases volume of spinal discs and leads to a reduction in the amount of weight you can load on your back (3). For example, if you did a moderate-high intensity cardio bout such as jogging before squats it’s probably not a good idea because it will lead to decrements in strength and negatively affect your squats. Jogging shows to have a lot of muscle damage in the quads, hams, and glutes, so this will definitely affect your squat game.

A 2012 study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition showed extended periods of moderate volume concurrent strength, power, and endurance training interferes with explosive strength development (4). This is not something you want if you’re trying to increase your 1 rep max on squats and deadlifts.

The data is pretty clear that performing moderate-high intensity cardio pre workout will lead to decrements in strength and power with your resistance training. Perhaps doing cardio earlier in the day and performing resistance training later in the day will not have a negative impact on either the performance or the measured markers of the exercise induced growth stimulus the resistance training session will have. However, we highly encourage doing resistance training and cardio on separate days as this would be the most optimal route to go.

Is there really an interference effect?

In a study by Wilson et al. a large body of research indicates that combining aerobic and resistance exercise (concurrent training) has a negative effect on gains in muscular strength and size (5). There is credence to the underlying concept that catabolic processes predominate to a greater extent in aerobic training, and concurrent exercise therefore has the potential to impair muscular gains.

There is even evidence that cardio can blunt the satellite cell response (helps with muscle growth) to a bout of resistance exercise and therefore potentially impair the protein-producing capacity of muscle (6). With that said, why are people still considering doing cardio pre or post workout if clearly the evidence indicates that it can potentially inhibit muscular gains, strength, and power?

What if you could avoid the interference effect?

Burn more calories, increase muscle, and acutely increase your metabolic rate, sounds good, right? This is where the famous HIIT cardio would come into play. When you think of HIIT, high intensity and high stress should be taken into consideration.

What we have to keep in mind is that stress has to be recovered from, just like the stress from weight training. Last time we checked HIIT cardio is done during the week along with resistance training. If you are still recovering from a HIIT cardio session to the point that it affects your ability to lift weights, then it can be detrimental to your gains. If there is a significant eccentric component (sprinting and running), or high level of impact, HIIT can cause problems in your overall training and potentially lead to chronic overuse injuries.

You have to be cautious and smart when incorporating HIIT into your training protocol because it seems that the work to rest ratios in HIIT intervals are very similar to resistance training sets and your number one focus should be on progressive resistance training.

Here are some ways to avoid the interference effect:

  • Schedule your cardio around your resistance training, especially HIIT cardio
  • If your number one priority is resistance training, then perform cardio modalities that minimize ground-reaction forces
  • Perform a cardio modality that is opposite of the muscle group your training. For example, if you do train legs then do an upper body dominate form of cardio and vice versa
  • If you absolutely have to do cardio the same day as your resistance training and you can’t find a cardio modality opposite of the body part you trained then make sure to keep the intensity to low-moderate

Wrapping this up

We believe that the research is pretty clear here when it comes to this particular topic. Clearly there is no black and white answer, sorry to disappoint, but at least we have a great indication of what to do and when not to do it. It’s tough to predict that anyone can avoid any interference effect when it comes to aerobic or anaerobic training.

Just like anything else you have to compensate something. We are not all built like machines and able to handle the same workload as others. Genetics always play a vital role in how someone responds to training. Other factors such as nutrition, stress, sleep, occupational activity, etc. All must be taken into account.

Refer back to Brad Schoenfeld’s quote if needed, it pretty much tells you there are only general recommendations that can be given here. The best thing to do is choose the correct cardio modality that suits your training and goals. Always train hard, think logically, and but most importantly train smart.

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Turn your negative thoughts around and reach your goals by embracing failure and harnessing the power of positive daily reinforcement.

ThinkingThe mind is something that most people don’t really try to change. We look at it as something that was already programmed and given to us to use for our journey in life.

A lot of people pass off their thought processes as a part of their personality. They can’t help the way they are. They want to change but just can’t make the connection.

If this sounds like you then sit tight. I’m about to show you how you can do work on your subconscious to bring you the success you want.

Training The Subconscious

Training the subconscious to get in line with conscious thought does not involve any Jedi mind manipulation. It just requires a desire to change and a killer plan of action.

There are some rules you must live by in order to see this success. Start doing or following these now.

What Is Holding You Back?

1) What’s killing you? Decide on what needs to change. What about your subconscious is holding you back? The idea of success? Self worth? Lack of skills? What is your subconscious telling your conscious thought that you can’t do?

Pinpoint this specifically and make it known to your conscious. This would be considered the root of your issue. In your mind you just “know you can’t do it” but there is more to it than that. Why can’t you? What do you tell yourself to make you believe that you can’t?

Think of it like this…you have your subconscious which affects your conscious, which in return affects your move to action. If your subconscious speaks failure then your conscious will believe in that failure therefore you will more than likely fail.

Make Note Of The Negative

2) Make note of the negative. Decide on what changes you’ll need to make regarding your subconscious. Lack of confidence, fear of failure, the “I can’t because”; what is your subconscious telling your conscious? This is what you’re going to have to put on blast. This is what need to change.

Once you have pinpointed what is holding you back, think about what is needed to bring about a positive change. For example: ”I can’t teach because I am not smart enough, or I don’t have a degree.” The opposite of that would be “I am smart enough and well equipped to do whatever my passion in life is. If that is teaching then I will start with what I know”.

This has to be your new way of thinking. Your negative nature will want to do the opposite because that is what is stained in your head. Break those negative subconscious beliefs.

Review Your New Thoughts Daily

3) Go over these new thoughts daily. You have to break the habit of your subconscious telling your conscious thought what to do. If losing 100 pounds over the course of a year is your goal, then you need to visualize this goal daily.

I don’t care how you do it, just recite your new thoughts and goals daily and as often as you need to. Write it down and read over it every morning. “I will lose 100lbs through eating and hard work over the next 10-12 months”.

Making your goal more then just a one time declaration will help keep you accountable and force your subconscious to take on this new thought. You will constantly be thinking about it and repeating it. This can work with non-fitness related goals as well….getting a raise, a promotion, growth in business etc.

The more you travel over these new paths the more change you are going to see. It’s not going to happen over night. You first need to 100% commit to the change and realize that there will be ups and downs.

The cool thing is, the more you go over these new positive tracks, the more your subconscious will believe them to be true – therefore your plan of action will be different. The steps you take will be driven by the fact that you know you will see success. You believe in yourself so much that it’s almost like you have already received whatever you’re striving for.

Embrace Failure

4) Embrace failure. So you messed up or missed your mark…big deal. What’s going to bring you success is getting back up, reevaluating why you failed, and going after it harder than ever.

It’s never the mess ups or failures that keep people from seeing what they want, it’s what they decide to do after they have fallen. Pick yourself back up.

Refocus your goals, make the necessary changes and go after it. There are two reasons why people fail:

  1. Your goals were unreasonably difficult/unobtainable.
  2. Due to some circumstance you quit.

Both of these can be turned around to bring success. It’s all about what you keep telling yourself you are, and going after it relentlessly.

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If you’re feeling depressed it’s time to get proactive. These 10 tips can help you set aside the donuts, focus on your goals, find hope and improve your outlook.

Maik WeidenbachWith the dark and cold months upon us, I figured it might a good time to write a quick piece on the subject of depression, or seasonal affective disorder and how training and diet might be helpful in overcoming those illnesses. As someone who has battled with mild, and not so mild depression over the years, this topic is somewhat personal. I hope that my experience will be of help to others.

Disclaimer: I will not touch upon the subject of anti-depressants, since I am by no means qualified to speak thereof. If I mention medication, it is only in the context of my personal experience, which is not to be taken as scientific fact.

So let’s dive right in. How do you know that you are depressed? Truth is you don’t. It is a moving target and you can only do so much to asses your degree of depression.

Typical symptoms would be: loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities (such as getting huge), fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances (sleeping too much or too little), difficulties concentrating, anger, anxiety, indecision (that is particularly bad, it gets to the point where some people can not decide which dish to order in a restaurant), and apathy.

Men tend to exhibit irritable behavior, women have feelings of sadness. None of these statements are absolutes, but if you find that three or more symptoms fit you, you might want to take a closer look.

As hard as it is, do not rely on self-diagnosis. It will only make things worse. Try to find someone you can trust and speak openly to. Sometimes an outsider, i.e. a qualified professional works best.

Let’s assume you have established that you suffer from depression or SAD.

Should you now curl up on the couch and eat donuts? Trust me, I know that feeling, and have wanted to. While this sounds tempting, it will only make things worse for you in the long run. Once you come off the sugar high, you will feel like a train had hit you. Nobody feels particular great when you are packing on the pounds.

10 Tips to Stay Strong and Motivated

Here is my top tip-list on how to slay the dragon called depression.

Tip #1 – Get Help

Get help. Sounds easy, yet it is the hardest part. After all, aren’t we a bunch meat eating, heavy metal listening, alpha males with extraordinary amounts of muscles? Yes, but I still wouldn’t pull my own tooth out if it hurts.

Talk to to whoever you feel comfortable with, whether it is family member, a friend or a pro. Sometimes it is easier to deal with those matters in front of a neutral professional, so seek out a therapist if you feel it could be helpful.

Tip 2 – Free Yourself of the Stigma

Free yourself of the stigma. Very often, people who suffer from depression feel like other people don’t take them seriously. Well meant advice such as: “it is always darkest before dawn” or “pull yourself together” doesn’t really help.  Depression is a medical condition and needs to be treated as such.

If your surroundings aren’t supportive, it might be time for a change. I mean it. Nobody would tell a cancer patient that “he is just feeling down.” You should get the same respect. Please note, I said respect, not pity.

Exercise and Depression

Tip 3 – Get Tested for Vitamin D Deficiency

Get tested for Vitamin D deficiency and low thyroid levels. You will need blood work to determine your levels. Living in the northern hemisphere, the majority of us suffer from Vitamin D deficiency due to the lack of sunlight.

Being low on Vitamin D can cause such lovely symptoms as: loss of energy, sluggishness, extreme fatigue. It easily be fixed via supplementation. Low thyroid levels produce similar symptoms: feeling tired, weak, or depressed, dry skin, brittle nails, cold hands and feet, weak immune system, memory problems or having trouble thinking clearly.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you might want to ask your doctor for some more extensive testing in order to see if you need to be treated.

Tip #4 – Keep Training

Keep training. This seems like a no-brainer. We all know that working out makes you feel better and raises your confidence level. Yet it is incredibly hard to get out of the house and into the gym when suffering from depression. The task of working out seems insurmountable, as if someone asked you to fix our beloved Congress.

A couple things that I have learned over  the years might be helpful. First, find a training partner and set an appointment. If there is someone waiting for you at the gym, you’ll be less likely to simply blow that person off. Second, time your workouts. Depression comes with low energy levels, so 90 minutes workouts are out the question (as they should be for most people anyway).

Write up your workout, set your phone or watch to 40 minutes, and go. The short breaks will give you a nice pump and release endorphins quickly. In addition, a 40 minutes pump workout will seem way more achievable than a monster 10×10 squat session, so you are more likely to do it.

Tip #5 – Set Goals and Hold Yourself Accountable

Set goals and hold yourself accountable. I have touched upon this in my last article, 10 Things I Learned: Improving Your Training, Diet And Motivation, but let me reiterate a bit. Having both short term and long term goals can be of great help in overcoming depression. The short term goal should be achievable within two weeks (i.e. I want to add 5 lbs to my incline bench).

The long term goal can be a contest of a photo shoot with a great physique photographer. Achieving the small goals will build up your confidence and keep you coming back for more. Before you know it, you are in front of the lens of Alex Ardenti!

Tip #6 – Stay Involved

Stay involved. Socializing is most likely the last thing on your mind, but isolating yourself will make things much worse. I can tell you from personal experience that whenever I dragged myself (actually it is usually my wife who convinces me to go) to an event, I was happy that I went.

Lunches are a good starting point, since they will only last an hour. So if you feel miserable, there is an end in sight. Watching sports in a bar is also pretty good, since you can phase in and out as you please. If you have mastered these, you can tackle bigger things.

Tip #7 – Trick the Cravings

Trick the cravings. Depression often causes cravings for comfort foods. The problem with this is that cravings aren’t really bodybuilding compatible. Anti-depressants can enhance this feeling, making you reach for donuts and deep fried Snickers (hmm donuts).

Thankfully, it is 2013 and we have a great array of tools available to create our own healthy “junk”. The P28 bread French toast is my weapon of choice, but feel free to come up with your own high protein recipes for cookies or brownies.

Tip #8 – Do Not Oversleep

Sleep, but do not oversleep. Getting enough high quality sleep is critical when it comes to depression. I personally had good experiences when using ZMA and passion flower before bed. However, there is such a thing as too much sleep, which can make the depression worse.

If you are racking up 14 hours plus per day, you need to change things up. Try getting more sunlight, find something you enjoy doing, etc.

Tip #9 – Get Into the Sun

Get out. Into the sun that is. Sunlight produces more Vitamin D than you could potentially take in via food (20 minutes of sun exposure equals about 10,000 IU). So try to get out as much as you can, even if you just walk to pick your lunch instead of having it delivered. This goes in particular for those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere. As for tanning beds, use with extreme caution.

Tip #10 – Understand the Worst Symptom

Lastly, be aware that one of the worst symptoms of depression is the inability to perceive a better future. One gets stuck in the belief that it will always as gloomy as it is now. However, if you tackle it rep by rep and meal by meal, chances are you will be pulling yourself up and emerge happier, leaner and stronger!

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When it comes to sports performance, and life in general, mental strength and health is just as important as your gym training. Learn how to cultivate your inner leader.

Mental StrengthIt takes a special kind of mentality in this world to be a leader. It doesn’t come as a surprise that leadership and innovation are rare and prized qualities since much of society is structured to operate around these individuals. For example, most workplaces have a general manager (read: leader) that gives direction to all their subordinates.

In America, we elect a president that acts our nation’s leader. In most all sports the team has a captain (or several) that, once again, act as a leader. Steve Jobs (the ever-so-popular creator of Apple) lead the smartphone industry with the innovative iPhone.

Why, then, do you think we look up to such individuals? Is it because they just got lucky and had some karmic gift endowed to them to be a leader in this world? Absolutely not. Such individuals are embraced because they take control of their life and lead by example; they create their own paths.

Believe it or not, you too possess this quality of leadership and are in fact exemplifying it (to a degree) every waking moment of your life. No matter how much your family, your peers, your teachers, or your boss (or anyone else for that matter) influences your decisions, you still ultimately make them. You are responsible for the entity that is sitting behind the screen right now and reading my boring dribble (and I appreciate that).

My hope for this discourse is not to make individuals believe leadership is some esoteric quality that they have to search endlessly for, but to help them realize it’s an innate characteristic that’s been sitting inside you since you left the womb, waiting to be expressed. You are your leader, your creator, and this is your life.

Ideate: Think for Yourself

In the health and exercise realm, the first thing the majority of people do is wonder what other people are doing for their fitness regimen, “Hey that guy is pretty ripped; he must be on the best program! I’ll just do what he’s doing.” For better or for worse, a lot of folks with admirable physiques or strength don’t have a clue about nutrition and training (what you see is usually heavily influenced by their genetics and/or performance-enhancing drug use). This is why it is imperative in this aspect of your life that you are your own leader and find what works best for you.

Not don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be willing to learn from others, because if every individual was so stubborn to believe that only their methods are the best than we all would fail to progress on so many levels. Having an open mind and challenging concepts is highly important if you want to be a better leader.

At the same time though, you must think for yourself; don’t be afraid to try things that no one else has done, even if people tell you it won’t work or they doubt you. It’s your path to create and there really is no way to veer off a path that doesn’t exist yet, is there? Like Doc always said to Marty McFly, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. If you have an idea, don’t dismiss it just because others don’t believe it will work like you do.

Believe: Exude Self Confidence

After you have an idea, you need to protect and cultivate it, not in the literal sense like copyrighting it and/or patenting it, but in the sense that you stand behind it no matter what others say. This means being true to yourself and having integrity to go forward when everyone is telling you to stop and head back the direction you came from.

If you think you can make great progress on a certain program that others haven’t tried in the gym, then what is stopping you from going through with that program? Is it the voices emanating around you saying “You’re wrong, that can’t work because it hasn’t been done before” or is it coming from within?

If it’s the former, I implore you to keep your head down and pursue your idea; walk the line that no one else has and lead by example. Have confidence in yourself. If it’s the latter then go back to the drawing board and find out what you think is flawed with your idea or plan.

Don’t misconstrue confidence with arrogance or cockiness though. It takes a certain amount of egotism to stick to a path when others are trying to derail you, but be careful not to dig your own conceited grave. They always say insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results, so if something just isn’t going to work don’t try and force the issue just because you think it should be otherwise. Be wary and able to decipher facts from opinions.

Act: Do What Needs to Be Done

Now comes the phase that weeds out those who are great leaders from those who just make excuses or give up easily. At the end of the day, nothing can be accomplished unless you actually do something and see things through. No matter how great an idea seems from its inception, it can never truly be a great idea until its wheels are in motion and it’s stood the test of time.

Yes, in the world of bodybuilding and weightlifting, this means you’re going to have to get off your hump and physically do things. As with most rewarding things in life, there will be a certain amount of diligent effort required to see your idea through to the end. If you want to be a leader this is mandatory and there are no shortcuts. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but that’s the way it goes. What you put in for effort usually reflects in the results.

Mental Strength

Resiliency: Be Prepared for Failure

Before you jump out of your computer chair and find the nearest squat rack I should forewarn you of possible setbacks that may occur so they aren’t a total shock to you.  Failure is an interesting topic because it is so often taken as a negative connotation. The reality is most successful leaders in this world have failed time and time again, but they just have the resiliency to bounce back up when they get knocked down.

You’re going to face challenges if you want to be a leader and change your body for the better, that’s just the blunt truth. Think of it like this, when you first set foot in a gym and could barely bench press a 95lb bar off your chest did you leave the gym thinking “Well that’s it for me, I might as well not even come back for the next workout because I’m too weak today”?

Maybe you did, and odds are you probably didn’t show up the next training day. Essentially you failed and considered yourself a failure, but therein lay the distinction I’m trying to make about successful leaders; you can fail without being a failure. There is a difference, one is a verb and one is an adjective. Don’t let the term failure describe who you are. It’s okay to fail; it’s not okay to be a failure.

Why Leading Matters

I felt it was relevant to discuss the topic of leadership in regards to health and physique training because so often people are looking to others for the answers when the reality is everything you need is lying dormant inside you. Again, this doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to seek advice from experienced individuals about your training and nutrition, but it iterates the point that you have a capable brain in that cranium of yours and its potential is beyond anything you can possibly fathom.

Don’t be afraid to challenge concepts and think for yourself, especially in the gym and kitchen. Imagine how dull the fields of training and nutrition would be if nobody deviated from the beaten path of yesteryear’s ideologies.  If you would’ve asked me six to seven years ago if lifestyles like intermittent fasting would be applicable to physique competitors I would’ve laughed hysterically at such a postulation. Ask me that same question today and I would say without hesitation that someone can absolutely make tremendous improvements in their body composition only eating one or two meals a day.

That’s just one example of hundreds of concepts that have arisen in the health and physique world because of people taking the helm and challenging preconceived notions. So what’s holding you back from doing the same? The answer is you. You set your own limits, don’t confine yourself to the monotony of being “normal”. Think outside the box, try new things, and be a leader. What do you really have to lose in the end? Absolutely nothing; and the reward could be grand if you just see it through to the end.

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For many Americans, sleepy time is a destination they just don’t visit. That sucks,

because few things make life more miserable than a poor night’s sleep. Yet, if the findings

of a Norwegian study hold any weight, there might be more at risk than feeling dull in the

morning.

According to the study, chronic insomnia is linked to anxiety and depression. And,

perhaps, might increase risk of heart attacks.

Of course, you’ve got enough to worry about without thinking what a chronic bout of not

sleeping will do to your body. Insomnia is contagious – think about its many implications and

you’ll simply sleep worse!

That’s why there’s Alteril, folks. Your natural, non-prescription ticket to a date with

the Sandman and an insurance policy to put your mind at ease when he’s hard to find.

What’s The Deal With Insomnia Anyway?

Insomnia is a generic term for problems related to sleep, including trouble falling

asleep, waking in the middle of the night or simply not feeling refreshed in the morning. The

latter point refers to reduced quality of sleep, in which the deeper levels of sleep are not

reached.

In a recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 63% of respondents

claimed they didn’t get enough sleep. The problem peaks during the work week, when 43% of

those surveyed claimed they didn’t sleep well.

As the Norwegian study suggests, there’s more at stake with insomnia that feeling groggy

in the morning. That’s bad enough. But if we’re to believe what researchers found, there are

health implications to insomnia that can’t be ignored.

Insomnia and Risk of Heart Attack

The study, conducted between 1995 and 1997, consisted of more than 50,000 Norwegian

adults. In the following 11 years, 2,386 of the study participants had first-time heart

attacks.

Specifically, those who had trouble falling asleep were 45% more likely to have a heart

attack. Respondents who had trouble staying asleep increased their risk by 30%. And waking up

groggy was linked to a 27% elevated risk of heart attack.

And All This Means…?

Sleep!

Of course, it’s silly to tell someone with insomnia to sleep more. Anyone with sleeping

problems will tell you, if they could sleep more, of course they would!

And the link between insomnia and heart attacks won’t help insomniacs sleep better. Tell

someone who can’t sleep that they’ll have a heart attack if they don’t, and – duh – they’ll

sleep worse.

So what can you do?

First of all, focus on your sleep hygiene. Maintain a routine, of a consistent bed time

and when you rise. If insomnia’s really an issue, continue this schedule on weekends.

Before bed, have a cool-down process. Don’t deal with finances or any potentially

stressful issues within two hours of bed time. Reading is fine, and so is TV, if you keep it

light. Avoid horror movies, action movies and anything that revs your motor.

And it goes without saying, don’t consume caffeine, preferably within four hours of bed.

That includes coffee (and decaf if your insomnia is persistent), tea, chocolate and energy

drinks. You might also skip red wine and alcohol. Avoid large meals before bed, especially

red meats and proteins; light snacks are fine.

Your Back-Up Plan

Insomnia is a persistent beast. Sometimes, even with a good sleep hygiene, it can be hard

to sleep. For those nights, you need a back-up plan. May we suggest Alteril?

Unlike sleeping pills, which are habit-forming, Alteril is a natural sleep aid, consisting

of some of the best-known herbal sleep aids out there, including melatonin, valerian root,

chamomile and lemon balm. And, notably, tryptophan and theanine.

Alteril induces deep, long-lasting, refreshing sleep. On those nights when the Sandman

seems occupied, it’s an insurance policy, to put your mind at ease just knowing it’s there.

And that’s the kind of reassurance that can hasten your date with dreamland.

Sleep well!

For more about insomnia and the studies mentioned in this article, please visit http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20111024/insomnia-may-raise-heart-attack-

risk

To learn more about Alteril and how it provides blissful, sweet sleep when you need it,

check out http://www.orderalteril.com/

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