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Bodybuilding competitions require a certain level of physical and mental discipline. Have you been to a show? Before you even begin the hard journey, find the nearest local show and check it out. Look around... in the audience alone should be a level of bodybuilders with great physiques. Watch the category you want to compete in. Interesting Huh?
One other note that is very, very important - I have gone to many shows since 1988 when I started, and there is always one constant, the individual who is on stage that everyone in the audience is laughing at. I'm sorry about being straight, but "competitive" bodybuilding is NOT what most think bodybuilding is.
You should NOT get on stage just because you dieted - it is "crucial" that your physique actually be ready for stage presentation. Bodybuilding competition is NOT for the individual who just finished their "Biggest Loser" trek and thinks that's a good reward or the individual who has only lifted for one month and gets up there with those trying to be a "real" bodybuilder.
1. Change your lifestyle.
When you go on a "program" to lose body fat, you may set yourself up for failure. A program implies an endpoint, which is when most people return to their previous habits. If you want to lose fat and keep it off, make changes that you can live with indefinitely. Don't over-restrict calories, and find an exercise program that adequately challenges you, provides progression and offers sufficient variety so that you can maintain it for years to come.
2. Drink more water.
Water is the medium in which most cellular activities take place, including the transport and burning of fat. In addition, drinking plenty of calorie-free water makes you feel full and eat less. Drink at least 1 ounce of water per 2 pounds of bodyweight a day (that's 100 ounces for a 200-pound person). Keep a 20-ounce water bottle at your desk, fill it five times a day, and you're set.
While there is no accurate timetable to seeing results you can generally feel results happening on day one. Are you sore? Results are coming. Are you hungry? Ditto. As your body adapts to exercise, you are making internal changes, meaning results are on the way. Your body will resist the change. That's because its natural defense (law of homeostasis) is to protect the state it's in, even if that state is unhealthy. Its response to this is to fight it with hormonal releases. How well it adapts varies with every single individual, which is why we are constantly advising people not to look at their scale all the time and, instead, trust measurements and pictures. Some people start seeing results in a few days. Others may take many weeks. And none of that matters because the healthy lifestyle will always win in the end. If you keep at it, train hard, and eat well, your body will—absolutely, as it has no choice—change over time. Stay consistent for long enough and you'll look like a Greek statue. It's a physiological law.
There is no one right way to eat for everyone.
We are all different and what works for one person may not work for the next.
I personally advocate consumption of both animals and plants and I think there is plenty of evidence that this is a reasonable way to eat.
However, I often get comments from vegans who think that people should eliminate all animal foods.
They frequently say that I’m giving out dangerous advice, that I must be corrupt and sponsored by the meat and dairy industry, or that I’m simply misinformed and need to read The China Study.
Really… I have nothing against vegans or vegetarians.
If you want to eat in this way for whatever reason and you are feeling good and improving your health, then great! Keep on doing what you’re doing.
But I do have a serious problem when proponents of this diet are using lies and fear mongering to try and convince everyone else to eat in the same way.
I’m tired of having to constantly defend my position regarding animal foods, so I decided to summarize what I think are the key problems with vegan diets.
As far as the amount of carbohydrates your body requires, this will vary from person to person depending on a number of things (age, weight, height, body type, activity level, job, sleep etc). As far as eliminating them completely, whether in a bulking, fat loss, sports conditioning phase I would NEVER do that. Carbohydrates are essentially your bodies primary source of fuel, if you restrict carbohydrates for a long duration(2-3+) there is an immense possibility for your body to enter a catabolic state, meaning your muscle cells have been depleted of glycogen, and you are tapping into your muscle storage for energy.
One method to work with is carbohydrate cycling, this is when you lower your carb intake for up to 2-3 days MAX and then refeed again after that to maintain an anabolic state(hypertrophy and fat loss).
Personally I do not carb cycle anymore, I utilzing a method called "carbohydrate timing", where you eat a large amount of carbs at the correct time of the day(morning, pre workout, post workout) rather then at night or other times during the day where it is not required and may be stored as fat.
There is no muscle industry without drugs (steroids).
There is no such thing as getting into phenomenal shape with over-the-counter supplements like creatine and whey protein or with diet and training alone. The naturally lean and muscular body is a skinny one. The human body CANNOT produce excessive muscular size while maintaining low body-fat. A natural trainer has two options: be lean and muscular but look skinny in clothing or be big and look somewhat muscular in clothing but also be relatively fat.
Muscle stars do not tell you the truth because:
They make money off our gullibility when they sell us worthless supplements.
They don’t want anyone to look like them, they want to be special and they don’t want competition.
If they told the truth about their drug use they would be thought of as “cheaters” and their livelihood would be instantly gone.
Every person who has attained great shape has used a cocktail of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, insulin, diuretics, and narcotics. Every muscular person knows this and most of them will not tell you the truth. Steroids are not just used by a small number of meat-head bodybuilders. Steroids are used by a huge amount of people where strength, size, endurance, or appearance are of importance. Steroids are used for this reason:
On Steroids you go from Zero to Hero in a matter of weeks.
The list of people who ALWAYS use steroids are as follows: Bodybuilders, athletes (even skinny athletes who do not look like the average roid-head), fitness models, and weightlifters. There is no exception to this list. These people take drugs because they MUST take drugs to earn money or to win.
Tip #1 -
Allow your child to play with her food.
Yes, you heard me right. Trying something new can be a challenge to small children. Allow them to use all their senses to explore new and sometimes strange fruits and vegetables. Let him hold the kiwi and treat it as a ball before you cut it and let him eat the green inside. Let her pretend to color with the celery stick before she tries it.
Tip #2 -
Encourage your child to be creative with their food.
Make fruit salad into a smiley face. Use two grape halves as the eyes, a strawberry half as the nose and an orange slice as the mouth. Try ants on a log. If the child is over two, place peanut butter on a banana that has been sliced lengthwise. Sprinkle raisins over the sticky peanut butter to represent the ants. You can also replace the banana with a celery stick.
Tip #3 -
Read stories to your children about food.
This age group loves to spend time listening to their parents read to them. Take advantage of this. Not only will this help their cognitive abilities but can also help them to try healthy foods.
Trying to introduce a protein rich egg, read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.
Oliver's Vegetables, Rabbit Food or any Veggie Tales book is great while introducing new vegetables.
Alligator Arrived with Apples or Oliver's Fruit Salad helps to get new fruit down. You may even want to play the game Hi, Ho Cherrio, too.
Wanting your little one to like whole grains, try If You Give A Pig A Pancake, If You Give A Moose A Muffin or The Little Red Hen.
Exercise is not a process that needs be eschewed or prevented during pregnancy," says Dr. John Botti, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Penn State Geisinger Health System, who studied the effects of exercise on moderately conditioned pregnant women. "Reasonably performed exercise doesn't appear to cause harm, and may, in fact, have benefits."
The key is finding a reasonable level, and that depends largely on the shape you were in before, the activities your body was comfortable with, and your health during pregnancy. Always check with your doctor or midwife first, but here's food for thought for the novice and the enthusiast, as well as some basic dos and don'ts.
The Novice: Walking and Water Spell R-E-L-I-E-F
"Only 20% to 30% of the population exercises on a regular basis, so the typical pregnant woman hasn't exercised prior to pregnancy," says Bonnie Berk, creator of MOTHERWELL, a pre- and postnatal fitness program offered throughout the United States and abroad.
Still, it's not too late for pregnant women who haven't been consistent exercisers to start now. Although hard data on the value of prenatal exercise isn't as well-documented for unfit women as for fit ones, experts like Berk have seen firsthand the difference that exercise can make, even for couch potatoes.
There are no ifs, ands, or butts about it: even if you work your glutes regularly, what woman doesn’t want to make her rear view tighter, smaller, and sexier? Unfortunately, building the butt of your dreams is no easy task. Women often store fat in their lower body, which means it’s generally the last place we lose extra weight. Women also tend to want to cardio away to “get a butt” rather then put in the time under the iron, but as you’ll read, the clear path to a better booty isn’t going to be found on the treadmill or the elliptical, but on the gym floor, under a barbell.
It’s important to understand the muscles in the glutes, before you can understand how to work them. The Gluteus Maximus is the largest and most superficial of the gluteal muscles and forms the bulk of the buttock mass. The Gluteus Medius is largely covered by the gluteus maximus; and the Gluteus Minimus is the smallest and deepest of the gluteal muscles. Many muscles, such as the Iliocostalis Lumborum, Multifius and Quadratus Lumborum, Iliopsa also insert into and around the pelvis and play a role in how glutes “appear”, usually by contributing the positioning of the pelvic tilt etc. To shape the perfect glutes, you have to target your butt from many angles and there are a variety of exercises and activities that you can do to hit and develop each of the gluteal muscles for that desired perfection. For example, the Gluteus Maximus is worked through extension of the thigh; the Gluteus Medius is worked through adduction and lateral rotation of the thigh; and the Gluteus Minimus is worked the same as the gluteus medius.
What difference could an extra hour of sleep make in your life? Maybe quite a lot, experts say. Studies show that the gap between getting just enough sleep and getting too little sleep may affect your health, your mood, your weight, and even your sex life.
If you're getting less than the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep a night, here are nine reasons that you should shut down your computer, turn off the lights, and go to bed an hour early tonight.
1. Better health. Getting a good night's sleep won't grant you immunity from disease. But study after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.
In most cases, the health risks from sleep loss only become serious after years. That might not always be true, however. One study simulated the effects of the disturbed sleep patterns of shift workers on 10 young healthy adults. After a mere four days, three of them had blood glucose levels that qualified as pre-diabetic.
2. Better sex life. According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, up to 26% of people say that their sex lives tend to suffer because they're just too tired. There's evidence that in men, impaired sleep can be associated with lower testosterone levels -- although the exact nature of the link isn't clear.
Insulin also helps muscles rebuild, but without adequate carbohydrate consumption, muscle cells can become insulin resistant. And protein consumed without carbohydrates is less efficient. That's why you should consume carbohydrates and protein during a workout.
By consuming carbohydrates during exercise, you can increase insulin production and reduce cortisol's response. With less cortisol produced, you'll have less muscle breakdown. Protein allows for sustained energy and helps the body recover faster. Liquid meals, such as a protein smoothie with fruit, are beneficial during this important rebuilding stage because they are easily digested.
Between workouts, carbohydrates and protein work together to fully replenish muscle energy stores and build new muscle. To reap the most benefit, consume carbs and protein at each meal and snack.
The protein recommendation for a strength athlete is 0.9 to 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight. Different types of protein—whey and casein—help build muscle. Whey is fast acting and best consumed during and immediately following a workout. Casein is more slowly digested. It's great to take before bed to help minimize muscle loss during the overnight fast. (Learn more about the differences between whey and casein protein.)
Here are daily recommendations for all food groups, listed as a percentage of total daily calories:
Protein — 21-24 percent
Carbohydrates — 43-46 percent
Fat — 33 percent
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