Monday, 30 April 2012

Post Workout Meals

Having a good post workout meal is essential to build muscle and it is the most important meal of a workout day.  The main goal of a post workout meal is to get a lot of carbs and protein while limiting the amount of fat.

The protein you intake for a post workout meal should come from a whey protein shake.  If you don’t have any and want to eat things like eggs or meat, it will not be as effective because post workout you need protein that is digested quickly and liquid protein is quicker than solid food.

The carbs you are eating should be complex carbohydrates.  These include foods like whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.  Complex carbs do a better job of sustaining energy while simple carbs cause a spike in blood sugar and quickly dissipate.

With all this being said, for this post workout meal to be most effective, you have to eat as soon after your workout as you can.  Think about when you’re near the end of a workout and the muscle group you are targeting feels just dead.  You need to be getting nutrients into your body as soon as possible.  I recommend getting your post workout meal within 30 minutes after your workout and absolutely no later than 45 minutes.  Basically, the sooner the better.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Product Review: MuscleTech naNO Vapor Pre-Workout

So I tried a new pre-workout supplement today, it's called naNO Vapor by MuscleTech.

Well I have to say this naNO Vapor stuff is amazing.  I took this about 30 minutes before I worked out and it gave me so much energy.  I was walking around the gym as if my whole body weighed 5 pounds.  I felt so light on my feet, yet ready to lift everything, it was crazy.  I kind of crashed when I got home from the gym but it was worth it, I got so many sets in today.  I'm going to try it a few more times to get a final decision but I had to post today because so far this stuff is incredible.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Protein Supplements

Protein supplements

The main supplement in any bodybuilders diet is extra protein.  There are 3 types of protein supplements to choose from: Whey, Casein and Soy.  I have always used whey protein because it is the most highly recommended amongst professionals and I had success using it so I never stopped.  

Having enough protein in your diet is essential to building muscle.  Muscles are made out of protein and its best to have a protein shake after a workout but within 45 minutes after you are done.  If you wait too long, the protein doesn’t have the optimal effect.

These are the brands of whey protein powder supplement that I recommend.

1. GNC Whey ISO Burst

- This is a GNC product so it can be trusted.  It is very high quality whey isolate with an exceptional protein percentage and is low in fat and carbs.

2. MuscleTech NITRO-TECH

- Also a very high quality product and I really like the taste of this in a protein shake as well.

3. Allmax ISO FLEX

- This whey protein isolate tastes great as well, especially when you consider how little sugar is in it; highly recommended.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Back Muscle Exercises

Having a strong and muscular back serves a bigger purpose than just looking good.  With a strong back, you will have better posture and it also helped me get rid of lower back pain.  In this post I'm going to cover my 3 favourite back exercises.  Pull-ups, Pull-downs and Rows.  These 3 exercises will build muscle mass on your back and also somewhat on your biceps, as back exercises work together with your biceps and vice versa.

1. Pull-ups

- Grab the pull-up bar with your palms facing towards you and a grip just closer than shoulder width apart.
- With both arms extended in front of you, keep your torso as straight as possible while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out.
- As you breathe out, pull yourself up trying to get your chin to around the same level as the bar.
- At the top of the pull-up, squeeze and contract your biceps for a second and then slowly lower yourself back down while breathing in.

2. Pull-downs
- Sit down at the pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top cable.
- Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the grip shown in the picture above.
- With both your arms extended, stick your chest out and arch your lower back.
- While breathing out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together for a second, then slowly raise the bar back to the starting position until your arms are fully extended and your lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this part of the movement.

3. Rows
- There are many types of rows but for this exercise, we will be looking at T-Bar Rows
- Lift the bar off the rack and extend your arms in front of you.  While slowly breathing out, pull the weight up and then squeeze your back at the top.
- You should have an arch on your lower back.
- Also, try not to pull the weight up using your forearms, concentrate on working your back muscles.
- Then, while slowly inhaling, slowly go back down to the starting position.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

First Post - Basic Exercise Routine

So for my first post for this blog I'm going to go over a beginner exercise routine, one that I used when I first started working out.  It consists of 3 principle compound exercises: Squats, Bench Press and Deadlifts.  These 3 exercises are the bread and butter of any power lifter or bodybuilder.

Anyone who is just starting to workout should do these 3 compound exercises because they work the most muscles at once.  You will gain muscle mass guaranteed by performing these exercises and by eating healthy.

1. Squat
- Start out by doing a warm-up set with just the barbell, no weight on it to get your form down
- There should be a natural inward curve on your lower back throughout the movement.  You should not bend over.
- Now squat as deep as your flexibility allows.  To get a full rep, you should squat just below where your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- On the way up, drive your heels into the ground and flex your buttocks and thighs as you push upwards.
- Watch some YouTube videos to get a better idea of the movement.

2. Bench Press

- I'll be shocked if any man has never done a bench press before but just in case, I'm going to go through it in detail.
- Again, start out with a warm-up set.
- With the barbell racked, lie down on the bench as pictured above.
- Grab the barbell by putting your middle fingers along the marked part of the barbell.
- Slowly take the weight off the rack and bring it down slowly towards your chest, making sure your elbows do not flare outward.
- Touch the bar to your chest and then press the weight upward.  Try to imagine you are pushing yourself into the bench instead of pushing the weight up.
- Again, watch youtube videos if you are confused.

3. Deadlift

- Again, start out with a warm-up set but put a small amount of weight that you feel comfortable with.
- With the barbell resting on the floor, place your feet underneath the middle of the bar so that the bar "cuts" your feet in two, i.e. half your foot in front of the bar, half of it behind it.
- Grab the bar with your hands shoulder width apart by bending over but keeping your hips high in the air and without bending your knees.
- Now bend your knees so that your shins almost touch the bar.
- Now for the lift, with an arch on your lower back, simply push your chest upwards and pull the weight up.
- Reverse the motion to bring the weight back down and repeat.
- Videos showing correct form can be easily found (Youtube or Google).