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A very interesting article on the werits of various different protein formulas from different manufacturers based stateside but available in the UK.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

by STEVEN MILNER IIST

If you want huge, fully developed arms you have to work bloody hard and a side effect of working bloody hard and following these arm training techniques and exercises with maximum intensity is maximum growth.

To build the kind of quality muscle you want you need to employ variety and change to shock the muscle groups of the arms as much as possible to make them respond and grow no matter what size they are now. For absolutely fantastic arm development the biceps, triceps and forearms have to appear equally and evenly developed in proportion to the surrounding muscle groups, e.g. the deltoids, pecs, lats and traps.

The great advantage to training arms is that it doesn’t take much motivation to want to hit them hard, but, developing arms worthy of competition is more than just a matter of building size. It takes a variety of high intensity arm exercises to confuse the arms into gigantic, ripped proportions. Make sure each part of your arms gets equal training for maximal activation and growth, a front-double biceps pose for example requires the biceps to have high peaks while the triceps sit with density and thickness beneath. The forearms should have good angles and mass below the elbow and beyond to complete the pose and tie in with massive delts, traps, and pecs. Sweeping lats, ripped abs and full rib cage complete the pose.
This kind of development doesn’t come easy, it takes hard work, dedication and hard training over the entire body to bring balance, symmetry and power.

Want 20″ Arms? Then read on.
Although the first thing you may think of when you imagine perfect arms is bulging biceps, it’s interesting to point out that the biceps is only one-third of the upper arm, the other two-thirds are triceps. In order to get those much sought after 20 inch guns it takes heavy work on both the biceps and triceps. 20 inch arms were considered unattainable until John Grimek finally achieved them. John won the Mr. America in 1940 and 1941 with his show stealing arms. Since then, many hardcore bodybuilders have been able to reach the magical 20 inches and beyond including the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Pearl, Larry Scott and Franco Columbo, just to name but a few.

Building Biceps
“In general, when you are trying to build up a weak area of the biceps, the best technique you can employ is one-arm dumbbell exercises. Doing an entire set with just one arm at a time allows for maximum concentration and intensity, and ensures that each arm works to its maximum. This keeps a stronger biceps from overshadowing the weaker, which can result in asymmetrical arm development. Also, be sure to twist the wrist during the movement for total biceps contraction. However, I believe one major reasons bodybuilders show weak points in the biceps is that they do the exercises incorrectly. You need to master proper technique–keeping the elbows steady, lowering the weight rather than dropping it, employing as many Shocking Principles as possible–and then you will be much less likely to have problems in this area. For example, I see a lot of bodybuilders using their forearms when they do curls, starting the motion with a kind of Wrist Curl which takes away from the effectiveness of the exercise. Or they will do a curl and, at the top, instead of flexing their biceps, to maintain maximal tension, they will just throw the weight back toward their shoulders, leaving the biceps loose and not working at all. I recommend instead using the peak contraction principle, flexing the biceps as hard as possible when you get to the top of the curl.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

For Overall Mass. Lift Heavy. Takes intense mental focus and concentration. Visualize your biceps growing! Do Barbell Curls and Cheating Reps.

For Length and Thickness. You must full stretch the biceps to the max and concentrate on working the lower one-third of the mass. Try prone curls or incline curls to really focus the biceps to the max.Preacher curls work very well for isolation and thickness development. For even better isolation, try the single arm isolation preacher machine (Ex – Shown with two arms). Try rotating the wrists 180 degrees for your last set.

For Height. Concentration curls work well to build that peak. Use a dumbbell or cable for the movement. The intensity should be placed heavily on the top one-third of the muscle mass. Flex your biceps as hard as possible without causing them to cramp at the top of the movement for peak development.This should really burn and give you a tremendous pump. Dumbbell curls that cause your thumb to point outward by twisting the wrist towards the outside of your body as you lift the weight will build great height also. After completely burning the biceps strike some poses in the mirror emphasizing your peak.

For Mass & Outer Thickness. Any kind of curls that bring the wrists in toward your chest, such as Close-Grip Barbell Curls or Close-Grip Preachers will develop great mass and outer thickness. Concentration curls that are done inward toward the centre of the body will get that outer thickness growing too.

Mass & Inner Thickness. Hammer curls work very well for developing inner thickness. Hammer curls are where you face your palm inward rather than upward as you lift the weight in a semicircular arc. You will notice the difference in stress this places on the biceps. Also, some basic movements work will such as standing barbell curls (wide-grip), seated or standing dumbbell curls, incline dumbbell curls, wide-grip barbell preacher curls.

For Striation, Separation, & Definition. Use as many different biceps exercises as possible. Dumbbell movements are a must because of the great range of motion they provide and the ability you have of hitting every different angle with them. Reverse curls are very good at developing the brachio radialis and biceps so that your back double bicep pose shows lots of definition.

Building Triceps
“If you have a real problem with the triceps, I recommend training them according to the Priority Principle, working them first, when you are fresh. I did this myself years ago when I realized that my biceps had developed out of proportion to my triceps. I began to concentrate on this area, using the Priority Principle, and soon they began to respond so I had an Olympia-quality arm rather than just Olympia-quality biceps. I also found that super setting triceps exercises, going right from one to the other, was another way of getting extra triceps development. I would first do a few sets to pump up the biceps, which creates a “cushioning” effect, and then really blast the triceps. After the superset I would continue to flex and pose the triceps, never giving them any relief.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

For Overall Mass. Use heavy weight on Close-Grip Barbell Bench, Dips behind the back, and Weighted Dips.

For Mass & Upper Triceps. Do dips, one-arm cable press downs, cable press downs (reverse and regular), and kickbacks very slowly and strictly, flexing completely. Hold the concentration briefly at the top of the movement.

For Mass & Lower Triceps. Weighted dips and dips behind the back in which you descend fully, but only go three-quarters of the way up force intense concentration on the lower portion of the triceps because stress is placed on them constantly during the set.

Building Forearms
“Many bodybuilders end up with a weakness in forearm development simply because they don’t train forearms right from the beginning. Another reason for forearms lagging behind, aside from the obvious one of bone structure, is failing to execute the exercises correctly and in a strict enough manner. The more you isolate the forearms and force them to do the movements without any help from the upper arms, the more they will respond. This means being very, very strict in your execution. It is important to work the forearms through a long range of motion. You need to lower the weight as far as possible, getting the maximum stretch, and then come all the way back up to get a total contraction of the muscles. Working through only three-quarters of the range of motion is not that beneficial because you already use this part of the muscle in a variety of other exercises. If you want to drastically increase your forearm development, you can use the Priority Principle in a special way: train forearms by themselves when you are rested and strong, or train your forearms on leg days when your arms are rested. You can also keep a barbell or dumbbells at home and do a couple of sets of Wrist Curls and Reverse Wrist Curls as often as you like, even once an hour every hour.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Upper Forearms. Hammer curls, reverse wrist curls, one-arm cable reverse curls (Ex – Shown with two arms), and every other kind of reverse curls really hit this area of the forearms not to mention the biceps.

Inner Forearms. Single arm wrist curls, barbell wrist curls, and behind-the-back curls are excellent inner forearm builders.

Finally some tips to bear in mind for super sized arms.

Huge Biceps; Train consistently, never miss workouts. Concentrate hard on each set. Do standing 21’s with a barbell.
Do basic movements to begin with to build mass.
Standing barbell curls
Preacher curls
Seated or Standing dumbbell curls
Do isolation work for maximum peaking.
Reclined curls
Concentration curls
Cable curls
Huge Triceps; always train the smaller triceps complex after the larger muscle groups of the deltoids and pectorals. Use continuous tension throughout triceps isolation movements over the full range of motion. Completely flex the entire triceps by extending the arms fully so that the maximum numbers of muscle cells are recruited throughout the movement.
Huge Forearms; Save your forearms for last when training because they are the smaller weaker group. Train them (seriously and painfully) hard and consistently to build them up.Train heavy.

Train like a monster, eat like a predator, sleep like a baby. Keep growing.

Bodybuilding fat busting breakfast

Posted: September 28, 2012 in Blog, comments

by Steven Milner IIST

Here is one of the best breakfasts for fat burning.
If your reading this you are probably concerned about bodyfat and the shape of your body, after all this is a health site. What I outline here is fantastic 5-minute recipe for a delicious breakfast to speed up your metabolism, charge your energy levels and start you burning belly fat.

If you want to pack on belly fat, here’s a foolproof way to do it:
Just eat any version of the typical English breakfast, including the utterly idiotic “low-fat” breakfast popular in the 80’s of orange juice, whole wheat toast, special K, skimmed milk and a banana that’ll guarantee a surge of the fat storage hormone insulin, and a crash of blood sugar a couple of hours later to boot. (This, by the way, is exactly why you’ll be starving at 11 o’clock and ready to kill for a kitkat.)

So what’s a good alternative? Well here is one of the best breakfasts for fat burning…
One of the best breakfasts for eliminating belly fat is a high-protein shake. Protein revs up the metabolism and doesn’t have nearly the same effect on insulin, the fat storage hormone I mentioned earlier, that carbs do. Use a high-quality whey protein that provides one of the cleanest, most powerful sources of protein on the planet.
For breakfast, mix the protein powder (you might want to get hold of a hand blender) with either water or whole milk (still legal in England). Then choose from a variety of options similar to the “toppings” section at a smoothie counter.

Any of the following, alone or in combination, is terrific:
1) A tablespoon of peanut butter: The fat blunts the impact of the shake on your blood sugar (and insulin levels) and the peanut butter is a delicious addition.
2) A tablespoon of oatmeal: The oatmeal adds some more fibre and some valuable beta-glucans, which help control blood sugar. Don’t do this if you’re sensitive to gluten.
3) A cup of frozen berries: Blueberries are low in sugar and calories and loaded with antioxidants. Plus if you use them frozen, it makes your protein shake taste like a smoothie.

For a super-charged bodybuilders breakfast shake you can also include a raw egg or two Rocky style.
Bodybuilders have been using raw eggs in their protein shakes since the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger, as it’s one of nature’s most perfect foods and one of the highest rated protein sources on the planet.

Add these two secret weapons for muscle growth and voila, you’re done…
After choosing one or more of the “extras” (see above), you can take it a stage further by adding a scoop of a propriety brand of fibre. Fibre not only maintains the health of the digestive tract, but it also reduces the risk of a number of diseases including heart disease and diabetes and even certain forms of cancer. It also keeps you, as old-timers used to say, “Regular.”
And if you want to go the whole hog add one tablespoon of flavoured omega-3 fish oil. It provides a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids which lower inflammation and benefit your health in a myriad of ways. And the fat will keep you fuller longer, adding to the time that this shake will keep you away from bad snack habits. All this should take less than two minutes to prepare.

Why is this shake perfect for trimming ugly belly fat?
The reason this shake is perfect for trimming belly fat is simple: it won’t cause your fat STORING hormone, insulin, to rise. When your blood sugar goes up quickly and stays there, insulin rises in response. This effectively turns off the hormone glucagon, your fat BURNING hormone that has the exact opposite effect of insulin.
If you want to burn belly fat, you’ll want your fat-burning switch to be turned “on” and your glucagon to be flowing. So you want a breakfast that doesn’t send insulin levels skyrocketing. It’s that simple.

Here’s the recipe in case you were wondering.
Here’s a sample recipe for a “belly-fat eliminating” breakfast shake. Feel free to vary to taste.
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 cup whole milk or water
1 cup frozen blueberries (any berries will do)
1 tablespoon oatmeal
1 raw egg (optional)
3 ice cubes (optional)
1 scoop fibre (optional)
1 tablespoon flavoured fish oil (optional)

If you come up with some interesting variations, let me know!
Meanwhile, be ready to be surprised at how good you feel, how much energy you have and how easy it is to start dropping waist sizes.

I get my protein powders from a number of sources such as SK Sports or at the shop in my gym Ultrafit Nutrition

by Steven Milner IIST VTCT

I got a message the other day on Face Book about rapid weight loss without pills (you know the ones, legal or otherwise) I asked him if I could publish our conversation and he agreed anonymously of course. This is how it went…

Friend:
Hi steve wats the quickest or most effecient method off losing weight would u say without slimming tablets ? Cheers

My reply:
Try this first and see how you go; cut out all your dietary salt and control how much is in your processed food, if you need the savoury taste buy Lo-Salt (potassium chloride), you can get it in Morrison’s, at the same time buy 6 half litre bottles of cheapo water. The aim is to drink all six bottles throughout your day, keep the bottles for the next day, swill ‘em with Milton fluid or some such and refill them with tap water (there’s nothing wrong with it and it costs you hundreds of pounds a year in bills, so use it mate) do the same every day. What you will find is that you piss a lot at first but this settles down within a day or so, in the meantime the extra water will make your body realise it doesn’t need it (water) in case of dehydration and without the sodium to hold it (water) in, your body starts to shed the water, pounds of it. It goes from under your skin, the interstitial tissues that cushion in and around the muscles and most importantly the fat cells themselves. Because of the Lo-Salt (containing potassium instead of sodium) very little water is lost from the muscles, quite the reverse in fact. You see the body stores a lot of toxic waste in the fat cells and the extra water (2-3 litres a day is about normal believe it or not) provides the ideal environment to flush the shit out. You will see reductions in both weight and inches in the first week but your body will plateau after a few weeks and you should already be on with the next phase by then. Good luck mate, let me know how you get on. ps Do try to eat sensibly at the same time you will get even more water from fresh foods! pps Cuz, would you mind if I posted this reply to my “on form fitness” face book page, I can leave your name out if you like?

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Edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST

20 SUPER FOODS FOR THE GROWING BODYBUILDER.

 

To build muscle & lose fat, you need a variety of proteins, vegetables, fruits, carbs, and healthy fats. Eating protein helps to build and maintain muscle, but it also helps fat loss. Protein has a higher thermic effect on the body than carbs and fats.

Dietary fat actually helps with bodyfat loss, how?  Your body stores fat if you don’t get enough in your diet. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals, necessary for recovery from your workouts. And carbs fuel your muscles so you feel full of energy at the gym.

Many of you struggle to balance these foods efficiently. Sometimes because you’re too busy or sometimes because you just lack the right information. This list will help you — 20 super foods you need to build muscle & lose fat.

1. Whole Eggs. Cheap & rich source of protein: 7g/egg. The yolk contains most nutrients: half the protein, vitamins A/D/E and cholesterol to naturally increase your testosterone levels.
Don’t get too worked up about cholesterol in eggs. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol. Really! If you have bad cholesterol you should be working on lowering your body fat rather than wasting a perfectly good and healthy yolk.

2. Fish Oil. Reduces inflammation (joints/skin), lowers body fat and increases testosterone levels. You need 9000mg EPA/DHA per day. Since you’ll probably struggle to get that from eating fatty fish, consider a fish oil supplement.

3. Salmon. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids that also gets you 20g protein per 100g serving. Farm raised salmon is, however, omega-3 deficient because it’s corn/grain fed. Go with wild salmon if you can.

4. Berries. Strong antioxidants that prevent cancer, heart & eye diseases. Any kind works: cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. Buy fresh or frozen berries and mix with oatmeal.

5. Yogurt. Contain bacteria that improve your gastrointestinal health. Don’t buy frozen yogurt or yogurt with added sugar and fruits at the bottom. Get plain low fat yogurt. Eat it with berries & flax seeds.

6. Flax Seeds. Source of fibre, protein & omega-3. Grind the flax seeds to get the most out of them, but be aware they won’t keep for more than a week when ground. Take 1 tbsp with yogurt & berries before going to bed. Stay away from flax oil: it’s unstable and contains no fibre. I should tell you that in the UK flaxseed oil is Linseed oil. Obviously you can’t just use any old linseed oil.

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 70% monounsaturated fats protect against heart diseases and cancer. Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil to your salads. Buy extra virgin olive oil if you can afford to, it contains more polyphenols and tastes better.

8. Mixed Nuts. Contain mono- & polyunsaturated fats, proteins, fibre, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, magnesium, etc. Mixed nuts are calorie dense, great if you’re a skinny guy who wants to gain weight. This is easy to get right because anything works, almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, etc., peanut butter also works as long as you buy natural or organic peanut butter without added salts/sugars.

9. Red Meat. Protein, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, creatine, carnatine and even omega-3 if you eat grass-fed beef. Eat steaks & hamburgers from top round or sirloin

10. Broccoli. High in cancer fighting phyto-chemicals and anti-estrogenic indoles. Broccoli is also high in soluble fibre and low calorie, helping fat loss. Eat other cruciferous vegetables for a change, such as  cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, etc.

11. Spinach. One of the most alkaline foods. Spinach prevents muscle & bone loss, but also cancer and heart diseases because of its high nutrient profile.

12. Turkey. If you don’t believe saturated fat is good for you, try white turkey. The leanest beef has about 4.5g saturated fat/100g, while white turkey has close to 0g which is why it’s so dry.

13. Quinoa. Mainly consumed in the United States, quinoa is often called the South American “king of grains”. Quinoa is higher in fibre & protein (18%, and a complete protein at that) than rice or oats, tastes a lot better and is gluten free, yet still high in calcium which is great for the lactose intolerant. Buy the whiter grain, it’s better quality. Eat it post workout as part of your post workout meal.

14. Oats. Oats and whole grains reduce cholesterol, provide you with low-glycaemic index carbs for energy, and are high in soluble fibre. Try a post workout shake of whey & crushed oats. (If you like that sort of thing)

15. Tomatoes. High in lycopene, which prevents cancer. The lycopene in tomato paste is 4 times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. Have pizza or pasta with tomato sauce & olive oil post strength training.

16. Oranges. Vitamin C to fight diseases, magnesium to lower blood pressure, anti-oxidant beta-carotenes, etc. Avoid drinking processed orange juice from concentrates which often has added sugars. Eat oranges or make your own orange juice.

17. Apples. Pectin in apples helps weight loss by increasing satiety (the feeling of fullness). Apples are also the strongest antioxidiant after cranberries (eat the peels). Unfortunately apples are one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits. Go organic.

18. Carrots. The high vitamin A content in carrots improves eye-health, especially night vision. Carrots are also h in fibre, low calorie and taste good (to some), even raw.

19. Water. Try to read some of my other articles on hydration (secrets of hydration)for more in depth information. Your body holds water if you don’t drink enough. Drinking prevents water retention, helps muscle recovery and prevents dehydration from strength training. Get a brita filter and drink 2 cups of water with each meal.

20. Green Tea. Green tea is a strong antioxidant and natural diuretic. Green tea can also speed up fat loss, prevents cancer and improve blood sugar & circulation. Try to drink green tea in the morning instead of coffee. Real green tea please, not the teabags!

Put It All Together. Eat proteins, veggies, fruits & fats every 3 hours. 2 cups water with each meal. Carbs post workout only. Junk food 10% of the time. Get stronger in the meanwhile and you’ll build muscle & lose fat.