SIX WEEKS TO A BIGGER CHEST

(I would recommend waiting till you’re an intermediate or veteran before using pyramid sets because the stress to your system can be challenging and overtraining can become a real issue. STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified)

Grow your chest in six weeks with little more than heavy weight and basic tools
By Jim Ryno

When your goal is to build bigger pecs as soon as possible, getting creative with exercise selection is not only unnecessary, but in most cases counterproductive. Machines certainly have their place in a hypertrophy routine, but anyone who tells you he got a big chest by doing only the pec deck is either lying or selling a pec deck. Adding size requires focusing on the most basic lifting equipment in the gym: barbells, dumbbells and benches.

The following six-week chest-building routine has you training the pecs twice a week and hitting the muscles from top to bottom with incline, flat-bench and decline exercises – four of them free weight pressing moves and one cable flye thrown in as a burnout finisher. The reps top out at 10 to encourage heavier weights and promote hypertrophy, and volume bumps up to 16 sets per workout in weeks 4-6 to maximize mass. Nothing fancy, nothing cute. Just simple and effective.

CHEST BUILDING ROUTINE
Perform twice a week with 2-3 days between chest workouts.

Weeks 1-3
EXERCISE

Bench Press; 3 sets, 10, 8, 6 reps.
Incline Barbell Press; 3 sets, 10, 8, 6 reps.
Dumbbell Decline Press; 3 sets, 10, 8, 6 reps.
Decline Barbell Press; 3 sets, 10, 8, 6 reps.

Weeks 4-6
EXERCISE

Dumbbell Decline Press; 3 sets, 10, 8, 6 reps.
Bench Press; 4 sets, 10, 8, 6, 6 reps.
Incline Barbell Press; 3 sets, 10, 8, 6 reps.
Decline Barbell Press; 3 sets, 10, 8, 6 reps.
Incline Cable Flye; 3 sets, 10, 10, 10 reps.

Power of the Pyramid
Perform all pressing exercises with a pyramiding rep scheme. On your first working set, choose a weight that allows you to reach 10 reps, then increase weight on each successive set so that you can only do eight reps on your second set and six reps on your third (and fourth, where applicable).

This article appears on the Muscle and Fitness site

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FAT BURNING: THE FACTS

At some point or other we have all wanted to burn off some body fat but what if you want fast results? Well fear not, here are my top tips to help burn off that tyre around your waist.

1. PRE-BREAKFAST MORNING CARDIO
Studies show that working out in the morning burns up to 3 times more fat compared to working out at any other time during the day. To get into the ‘fat burning zone’ a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio is required.

During the day your body’s main source of energy is the carbohydrates that you get from eating your meals. As you sleep at night for 6+ hours, your body uses up all those carbohydrates as energy for the various bodily functions that go on even while you sleep. When you wake up in the morning your body doesn’t have any carbohydrates left to use and it will look to burn body fat instead for energy.

For you to take advantage of this morning fat burning opportunity you have to exercise first, before eating breakfast. If you do have breakfast, then you’ll just give your body more carbohydrates as a source of energy instead of the body fat that you want to burn off.

Another great thing about working out first thing in the morning is that your metabolism gets revved up and then stays elevated throughout the day. An elevated metabolism means that you’ll burn more calories and lose more weight. If you exercise at night you may still burn fat while you work out but as soon as you go to sleep your metabolism will slow down and you’ll have missed out on all the extra fat burning that you could have had during the day if you’d exercised in the morning. When you sleep your metabolic rate is always at its slowest.

For advanced athletes adding an extra workout to your daily routine 4-6 hours after your morning workout will maintain your already high metabolism. Most fat calories are burned when doing cardio at moderate intensities. If you make your second workout of the day a weights workout, then you will burn mostly carbohydrates during it.

2. EAT BREAKFAST
Another way to keep your metabolism revved up all day long is to eat breakfast. Have breakfast after your morning cardio and you’ll give your body the perfect combination to jump start your metabolism. If you skip breakfast your metabolism will run slower causing you to burn less fat. Eating breakfast will help stop those cravings you may have later on in the day and along with working out in the morning, will also keep you energised throughout the day and lower your stress levels.
It is best to have 6 small meals throughout the day as this will keep your metabolism at a higher level. Every time you eat, your body uses energy to break down, digest and use the food. Eating a small meal every 2-3 hours allows the body to experience calorie burning and less calories are stored as fat. Consuming multiple meals also aids in lowering cortisol levels allowing testosterone levels to remain high. Elevated testosterone levels increase muscle growth, which in turn boosts calorie burning properties in your body.

3. CONSUME PROTEIN
It is recommended that you consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day. This should be split between your 6 meals throughout the day. Following a high protein diet means you will need more calories just to maintain bodyweight levels and in turn it makes it easier for your body to burn fat. The constant stream of amino acids also means that muscle tissue is less likely to be broken down. The best forms of protein are lean cuts such as chicken and turkey breast, lean beef and low/non fat dairy.

There are also supplements available that can aid with fat burning, here is my guide to those all important supplements:

CAFFEINE
Caffeine is involved in increasing the mobilisation of fat cells into your circulation and is seen as a potent stimulant. Caffeine’s stimulant properties aid strength training if used pre-workout and can also help to reduce muscular soreness.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Green tea contains high concentrations of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is responsible for the tea’s thermogenic effects. In addition to its fat burning qualities green tea extract is also a powerful antioxidant. EGCG is a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C and more effective than vitamin E at cell protection.

FORSKOLIN
Forskolin is extracted from the roots of the coleus forskohlii which is a wild plant that grows throughout India, Thailand and Burma. Forskolin stimulates the part of the brain that synthesises epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. Together, epinephrine and norepinephrine directly increase the heart rate, triggering the release of glucose from energy stores and increasing blood flow to the skeletal muscle. It has been shown that forskolin is also beneficial for decreasing bodyfat levels and stimulating free testosterone levels.

L-TYROSINE
This naturally occurring amino acid can impact the production of neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for fat mobilisation and fat burning. This impact usually occurs when dieting so supplementing L-Tyrosine into your daily routine when in a dieting phase can help your mind stay balanced as well as aiding with fat burning.

CAPSAICIN
Capsaicin is known as the element which makes chilli peppers hot. It also helps increase your levels of norepinephrine which aids fat burning.

ACETYL-L-CARNITINE (ALCAR)
Alcar is the acetyl eater of L-Carnitine and occurs naturally in animal products such as red meat and dairy products and is vital for fat metabolism. It has been reported that using this supplement results in a great increase in muscle carnitine content and studies show that increased skeletal muscle carnitine levels result in a greater use of fats for energy during exercise.

CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID (CLA)
Cla is a fatty acid found naturally in red meat and dairy products. It is known for its fat loss properties and also helps with cellular health and muscle building. Scientific studies uphold CLA supplementation as a simultaneous fat burning, anti-catabolic and anabolic aid.

HYDROXYCITRIC ACID (HCA)
Hca is an appetite suppressant and has been shown to increase lipolysis (fat burning), boost serotonin levels and allow the body to use fats instead of carbohydrates for energy.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your fat burner:

-Drink a minimum of 8 ounces of water with each dose of fat burning product and keep hydrated throughout the rest of the day.
-Take your first dose upon waking (before your pre-breakfast cardio).
-Take a second dose 30-60 minutes before lunch and take your last dose 30 minutes before dinner.

To summarise, in order to get fast acting results you will require:

-30 minutes of steady pre-breakfast cardio.
-Six small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism high.
-Time permitting, an extra workout 4-6 hours after your cardio to keep your metabolism high.
-A fat burner from the list above to help you achieve the results you desire.
-These tips will assist you in elevating your metabolism to burn more calories and fight fat on a daily basis and ultimately help shed all that unwanted body fat.

This article appeared on the Flex UK website authored by MEHMET EDIP

arnie shouldersTHE SPECIFICS OF SHOULDER TRAINING

By Steven Milner

All progressive resistance exercises for the shoulders involve lifting the arm. But although the result is a lifting of the arm, the actual action involved is rotation of the shoulder joint. With few exceptions, all movements are the result of the rotary movements of one or more joints. When you know which joints are involved and what they are doing, you will be able to understand the mechanics of individual exercises and how to do them correctly. The shoulder joint is the most mobile and most vulnerable joint in the body, being able to rotate the arm through a full 360 degrees. The movement of the shoulder is controlled by the deltoids, of which there are three, the front or anterior, side or lateral and rear or posterior deltoids or delts. These muscles, working individually and in combination, have one basic function: they abduct the arm away from the body.

There are two basic types of shoulder exercises; presses, where the arms are lifted using a combination of the shoulder and elbow joint, and raises where the arms are raised up and away from the body in front, behind or sides using only the motion of the shoulder joint itself.
Presses are compound exercises, since they use more than one joint and muscle. You can move more weight with presses because you have a leverage advantage and more muscle is involved, so presses have the edge when it comes to building maximum mass and strength.
Raises, or laterals, are isolation exercises as they involve only the shoulder joint and no other muscles than the deltoids. Laterals are excellent for working and shaping the individual heads of the deltoids and can be done, more or less to the front, side and rear to stress specific areas of the shoulder muscles.

I’ll talk you through some of the different shoulder exercises and offer some suggestions as to how to get the best from them. Of course this article only covers the basics, there are many variations. Remember though, no matter what the movement, focus on what the shoulder joint is doing, feel the muscles working and keep the exercises strict to encourage growth and limit the risk of injury. It takes time and skill to isolate the deltoids as a group and special attention to target individual deltoid heads.

PRESSES
Presses can be done using a barbell, dumbbells or with various types of machines and cables. In all cases, you begin by holding the weight at about shoulder height, palms facing forward, elbows underneath for support. The exercise is performed by lifting straight up overhead, pausing at the top, then lowering the weight back, under control, to the starting position.

Doing presses with a barbell or machine, your hands are locked into place. This tends to somewhat limit the amount of rotation of the shoulder joint compared to pressing with dumbbells. Depending on the equipment involved, you can position your hands further apart or closer together to hit the shoulders from a variety of angles. In general, the closer together your hands are placed the more involvement there is from the triceps; the further apart your hands, the less triceps are involved.

Another way of looking at this is by thinking in terms of the elbow joint. The longer the range of motion of the elbow the more it bends and straightens the more the triceps become part of the exercise. When the elbows are less involved, so are the triceps less involved. As above, so below.

BARBELL PRESSES
Barbell presses can be done to the front, as in the military press or with the bar behind the neck for presses behind the neck, oddly enough.

Military Press: From a standing position, clean the weight (lifting it with a reverse curl movement) or take the bar off a rack holding it with a palms forward grip and hold it across the upper chest. Press the bar upward, locking out the elbows on top, and then lower the weight, under control, back to the starting position, watch your face!

Press Behind the Neck: Position the bar across the back of the neck, holding it palms forward. Press the bar upward, locking out the elbows on top, and then lower the weight under control back to the starting position. This can be performed either seated or standing Don’t rest or drop the weight on your neck it’s just stupid.

DUMBBELL PRESSES
Dumbbell presses can be done standing, seated on a flat bench or on a bench that gives you back support.

Clean the dumbbells, or have a training partner pass them to you, and hold them at shoulder height about level with your ears just outside of your shoulders on each side, palms facing forward. The most common way to do this exercise is to press the weights straight up overhead without locking out the elbows, and then lower the dumbbells under control back to the starting position.

There is a twist on this movement, bear in mind that the action of the shoulders is rotation. Hold a pair of dumbbells level with your ears just outside your shoulders and then press them up in an arc over your head, before the dumbbells come together at the top rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing, then bring them down in a similar arc to the starting position. Using dumbbells rather than a barbell means your hands are not locked into position, and lifting them in an arc, similar to dumbbell flyes for chest, allows for extending the range of motion of the exercise.

Shoulder press bottomshoulder mid pressshoulder press top

MACHINE PRESSES
It doesn’t matter what type of machine you use, the basic action of pressing against resistance overhead recruits the delts and extends the triceps during the range of movement. Concentrating on how much rotation you’re getting from the shoulder joint during the movement and how much the elbow is involved will give you a good idea of exactly what kind of movement the machine is allowing you to do. Remember, in most cases machines don’t allow for building as much mass and strength but often allow you to do a stricter movement and in some cases work through a longer range of motion. One negative aspect of machine presses is that they don’t allow for strengthening all the support tissue around the joint to the degree that is possible with free weights.

LATERALS
Laterals involve lifting the arms up and out to the side with the arms kept more-or-less straight so that there is no involvement als can be performed using dumbbells, cables and various kinds of machines.

side lateral shoulder raisesSide Laterals: Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand hanging down by your side, palms facing inward. Lift your arms out to each side, elboof the elbow joint or the triceps. You can do laterals to the front, side or rear although each of the techniques involved varies with the delt head being targeted. Laterws slightly bent, until the weights are level with the top of your head. Pause at the top, and then lower the weights under control back to the starting position.

You’ll see bodybuilders starting with the weights held together in front of them, using fairly heavy dumbbells and then swinging the weights up to either side so that momentum helps with the lift. This kind of cheating can be useful for advanced bodybuilders, but it can easily get out of hand and diminish rather than increase intensity. So be wary of using this technique.

Front Laterals: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, hanging down at arm’s length in front of you, palms facing your thighs. Lift one arm forward and up and bring it toward the middle, palm remaining downward, bringing the weight up toward the middle helps isolate the front deltoid, but opinions vary. Raise the dumbbell so that its directly in front of you and slightly higher than the top of your head, pause for a moment at the top, then lower it under control back to the starting position. Repeat using the other dumbbell. This movement is usually done by alternating arms but can also be done lifting both dumbbells or a bar at the same time.

Rear Laterals: Bend over at the waist with a dumbbell in each hand at arms length below you, palms facing inward. Keeping your body steady, lift the dumbbells out and up to both sides and slightly forward so that the weights end up beside your ears rather than back even with your shoulders. This keeps the focus on the rear delts and away from the side delts. Pronate the weights by rotating your thumbs down slightly. Lift as high as you can, pause at the top, then lower the weights under control back to the starting position.

Cable Laterals: The three basic types of laterals can be done using a cable and handle attached to a low pulley and in some cases two such cables and handles.

Cable Side Lateral Raises: This can be done to the side with the pulley beside you and the lift going straight up or with the cable on the other side with the cable crossing over in front of your body as you do the lift.
Cable Front Laterals Raises: Perform the lateral raises to the front with the pulley located behind you. You can use individual handles for this movement or both hands together holding a short bar.
Cable Rear Lateral Raises: Lean down and grasp a “D” handle with the pulley  on the opposite side of the arm you’re using and pull away and up from the low pulley station, much as you would with dumbbells or you can use two pulleys, one on either side in a crossover fashion doing both arms at once.

UPRIGHT ROWS
Upright rows involve lifting a barbell or handle attached to a low pulley cable up in front of you to hit the front deltoids. Stand holding the bar with an overhand grip arms length down in front of you, hands about shoulder width apart. Lift the bar up leading with your elbows, pass the bar close to your body, pause the bar for a moment at a position just below your chin, then lower the bar under control to the starting position.

MACHINE LATERALS
There are a variety of machines that allow you to do side lateral exercises and a few with which you can target the rear delts. The basic movements have to be the same, no matter the equipment used, if the target muscles are going to be trained. Read the instructions posted on individual machines for more information or ask a gym employee. Have you heard me say that a personal trainer is worth his or her weight in gold and a committed training partner is a diamond? Well they come in really handy when you’re doing shoulders believe you me.

the transverse abdominals beautifully displayed

SECRETS TO A FLAT TUMMY Working the Transverse Abdominals

Ladies, ever wonder why you never seem to get that flat stomach when you’re relaxed?  No matter how effectively you work your abs typically you will be working them in just one direction, up and down, or, more properly along the length of the rectus abdominus. But what about the abdominals that go from side to side? Can we exercise those?  Well, yes you can, the transverse abdominals (TA) flatten the tummy from side to side, so read on because I’ve got some information to share with you about working your Transverse Abdominals.

The TA complex belong to a group of core muscles that lie below the rectus abdominus and are often neglected in standard ab routines. Typically most abdominal exercises target the vertical rectus abdominus largely ignoring the horizontal transverse abdominals. Even crunches, the staple of most abdominal workouts, do nothing for the transverse abdominals. This group of muscles connect to both the lower back and the rectus abdominus to form a powerful support for the entire abdomen. Any routine aimed at flattening the stomach should include the transverse abdominals as a focus. Using the following exercises, you can target your transverse abdominals and really make progress towards that flat tummy.

Transverse Abdominal Crunch
Lie face up on a mat and plant your feet flat on the floor about shoulder width apart, maintain contact between the mat and the small of your back. With the fingers of both hands find the tips of your hip bones on either side of your tummy. Move your fingers inwards slightly towards your centre line just off the hip bone, don’t worry your hip bones are easy to find even if you’re carrying a lot of fat. Now this is an easy exercise to master once you know how to “feel” the transverse muscle working, here’s how, press down slightly with your fingers and cough! You will feel the transverse abdominal wall tighten and jump beneath your fingers. To use the exercise, first cough to initiate the contraction and then hold for a count of ten and relax, repeat for sets.

Pelvic Tilts
Lie on your back on a flat surface, such as a mat or a bench. Roll a towel to cushion the small of your back. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Raise your pelvis off the floor,  hold momentarily, and lower under control. Repeat for sets. Maintaining a controlled movement is crucial to this exercise, use your abdominal muscles not your body’s momentum to do the work. Be sure to keep your upper body on the floor throughout to target the transverse complex.

Crunchless Crunch
This exercise is fairly simple but can be difficult to master. In a nutshell we’re going to try to pull our belly button in towards our spine, this involves muscles which you may not be accustomed to working, it can take time to make the mind muscle connection. Start by either lying on your stomach or supporting yourself on hands and knees. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible; use only the lower abdominals to try to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. You should aim to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it anymore, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, release the contraction and relax.

Scissor Kicks
Again start by lying on a mat or bench, place your hands under your backside and try to keep the small of your back pressed down. Start by slowly raising one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor, as your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this movement for reps and sets. Keep disciplined, focus, don’t let momentum rob you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.

Transverse abdominals aren’t show muscles but if you want a flatter tummy vitalising these muscles will take you a lot closer to your goals. Exercises like these are key to any tummy flattening plan, and they are especially good for pregnant and postnatal women.

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED #5  6 tips for better ab training

By Steven Milner 

Tip 1 Don’t eat too many fast-digesting carbohydrates. Fast carbs spike insulin, which affects fat-burning and fat storage, particularly on top of your abs. Carbs to limit are white bread, white potatoes, pop, sports drinks, table sugar, etc. Instead, try whole grain, rye or “best of both” breads, porridge, sweet potatoes, fruits, leaf and root vegetables, brown rice and so on. One exception here: You can eat fast-digesting carbs right after your workout when they’ll be put to work boosting muscle recovery and growth.

Tip 2 Don’t neglect isometrics or continuous tension techniques, this means flexing a body part, in this case the abs, and holding that position for an extended period of time (a bit like a bodybuilder posing). To do this, tense your abs for 6–10 seconds, then relax for 6–10 seconds. Repeat for 10–20 sets. This is a great way to hit your abs while sitting in your car, on your couch or at your desk. I’ll be posting a technique specifically aimed at flattening a tummy (not just for ladies) that uses this principle in isolation. Transverse abdominal crunches coming soon.

Tip 3 Don’t neglect your breathing. When performing an ab exercise such as the crunch, exhale when you reach the finish or top position. This is important because it helps you better contract your abs. Contracting the abs in the position of greatest resistance for a second or two will maximize muscle-fibre involvement.

Tip 4 Generally we train in specific rep ranges, such as 8–10 or 12–15 reps per set. You can and should train your abs in this rep range and add weight (i.e. a plate held across your chest) to keep the progressive resistance going. Many people worry that if they do weighted ab exercises, their abs will become thick and blocky. Abs are muscles just like biceps, so they need definition and separation to stand out, try weighted movements in the 8–10-rep range for optimal ab development.

Tip 5 Don’t do abs first. Some trainers recommend that you begin your workout with ab training to make sure you don’t skip it. This isn’t always true. Recent studies have found that when trained lifters did abs before legs in a squat workout, they completed fewer reps of squats than when they trained abs after the squat workout. This is because the abs, obliques and transverse abdominis work together to stabilize the core, which allows you to produce greater force. Training abs first fatigues them, which lessens your core stability and weakens your base, as well as your ability to generate force.

Tip 6 Don’t train abs always at the same speed, change up your rep speed from slow and smooth to fast and explosive, allowing you to utilize more fast-twitch muscle fibres to build more power, strength and size. According to new research from Spain, scientists tested the muscle activity of subjects’ rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques, and spinal erectors while they did crunches at rep speeds of four seconds, two seconds, 1.5 seconds, one second or as fast as possible. They reported in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research that as the rep speed increased, so did the activity of all four muscles. The greatest boost occurred in subjects’ external obliques, which were hardly involved in the crunch at slower speeds but increased by more than six times at the fastest speed. So don’t fail to vary your rep speed. The fast reps will help recruit more muscle fibres in the midsection and turn the crunch into an excellent oblique exercise.

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED SECRET #4 Hydration Continued

By Steven Milner (please refer to the credits at the end of the article)

DRINK YOUR WAY TO WINNING PERFORMANCES: THE SEVEN SECRETS TO HYDRATION!

If you want to perform at a high level, you need to drink. Water, that is. For each percent of body weight lost due to dehydration, your performance slips by about two percent, and a meager two-percent loss in weight can force your heart rate and body temperature to spiral upward, making strenuous exercise almost impossible to carry out. If you’re going to be exercising for 20 minutes or less, dehydration is not usually a problem, but difficulties can arise during longer exertions. For example, copiously sweating athletes can flush about 1.5 litres of fluid per hour through their sweat glands, a total of three pounds per hour. If these heavily perspiring individuals weigh 150 pounds, that’s a two-percent loss in weight after just one hour, producing a four-percent dip in performance if no fluid is taken on board. The downturn in performance would be smaller, about two percent, after 30 minutes, but that’s still enough to make a difference to serious athletes who are interested in winning. But what are the rules for fluid intake? How much do you really need and what should your drink be like? To make it easy for you, I’ve listed the seven rules of fluid intake during exercise below. If you follow these rules, you’ll keep your body water intact during exercise and perform at a much higher level.

RULE NO. 1: The rate of passage of water from your stomach into your small intestine depends on how much fluid is actually in your stomach. If there’s lots of water there, fluid flow from stomach to intestine is like a springtime flood; if there’s little water, the movement resembles a lightly dripping tap. Therefore, to increase stomach-intestinal flow (and overall absorption of water) you need to deposit a fair amount of liquid in your stomach just before you begin your exercise. In fact, 10-12 ounces of fluid is a good start. This will feel uncomfortable at first, so practice funnelling this amount of beverage into your ‘tank’ several times before an actual competition.

RULE NO. 2: To sustain a rapid movement of fluid into your small intestine during your exertions, take three to four sips of beverage every 10 minutes if possible, or five to six swallows every 15 minutes.

RULE NO. 3:  If you’re going to be exercising for less than 60 minutes, don’t worry about including carbohydrate in your drink; plain water is fine. For more prolonged efforts, however, you will want the carbohydrate.

RULE NO. 4: Years of research have suggested that the correct concentration of carbohydrate in your drink is about 5-7%. Most commercial sports drinks fall within this range, and you can make your own 6 %  drink by mixing five tablespoons of table sugar with each litre of water that you use. A bit of sodium boosts absorption, one-third teaspoon of salt per litre of water is about right. Although 5-7%  carbohydrate solutions seem to work best for most individuals, there is evidence that some endurance athletes can fare better with higher concentrations. In research carried out recently at Liverpool John Moores University, for example, cyclists who ingested a 15% maltodextrin solution improved their endurance by 30% compared to individuals who used a 5% glucose drink. The 15% drink also drained from the stomach as quickly as the 5%, though many other studies have linked such concentrated drinks with a slowdown in water movement.

RULE NO. 5:  A 6% ‘simple sugar’ drink will empty from your stomach at about the same rate as a fancy, 6% ‘glucose polymer’ beverage, so don’t fall for the idea that the latter can boost water absorption or enhance your performance more than the former, and don’t pay more for the glucose-polymer concoctions.

RULE NO 6:  Contrary to what you’ve heard, cold drinks aren’t absorbed into your body more quickly than warm ones. However, cold drinks are often more palatable than warm ones during exercise, so if coldness helps you to drink large quantities of fluid while you exert yourself, then keep your drinks cool.

RULE NO. 7:  Downing drinks during exercise does not increase your risk of digestive-system problems. In actuality, most gut disorders that arise during exercise are caused by dehydration, not from taking in fluid. Dehydration induces nausea and discomfort by reducing blood flow to the digestive system, so by all means keep drinking

Source: The Maintenance of Fluid Balance during Exercise’, International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol..15(3), pp. 122-125,1994, and ‘The Effect of Different Forms of Fluid Provision on Exercise Performance’, International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 14, p. 298,1993

BODY BUILDING SECRETS REVEALED #3 Hydration Pt 1

By Steve Milner

Have you heard the one about drinking 2 litres of water a day to stay optimally hydrated?

You are not “optimally” hydrated if you drink water to the extent that you start to “shed” water. Don’t get me wrong moving water in and out and even around the different tissues of your body is remarkably easy to do, but tricky to get just right. If you’re dialling down for a comp and you’ve never done it before DON’T experiment with anything. When you are “optimally” hydrated any length of time without water will have an immediate effect on your muscular performance so you have to keep replacing it all the time. We take more water from our food than you might think, in fact foods like melon, cucumber, carrots etc., contain as much as ninety percent water. Now, listen carefully, you have 22 ½ foot of small intestine then 5 foot of large intestine that absorb the water from the food as it passes through your body over the next 24 to 72 hours. Healthy non processed foods are key to bodybuilders not least because of the nutrient quality but also because of the slow release water content. If you’re a woman you should see the miracle effects food hydration has on your skin! I know how proper hydration can make you look years younger. Read on?