Does Low Testosterone Mean Low Muscle Mass

Does Low Testosterone Mean Low Muscle Mass?

As you probably may well know, for men, testosterone is the main building block when trying to pack muscle. Not only will this hormone help to give you an incredible muscle definition, it also helps to increase your strength levels.

On the flipside, low testosterone levels can bring with them many challenges, especially when you’re working out regularly and trying to bulk up. Any attempts in building muscle and strength usually end up futile, and this is where a close focus on your overall diet may be the order of the day. It’s vital to expand your workout and include other exercises that you would not normally consider doing.

Here is my five-step plan to help you achieve lean muscle mass, especially when suffering from low testosterone.

Intense Cardiovascular Routines

By performing short and extremely intense cardiovascular routines up to 3 times a week is a great way of getting big. I would suggest using an exercise bike for a warm-up for around 3 to 4 minutes, and then cycling as fast as you possibly can for the next 30 seconds, followed by a 90 second rest. Repeat this for around 20 minutes. According to a number of studies, and one in particular carried out in 2003 found that short intense bursts of cardio around 10 minutes helped to elevate the human growth hormone, which is vital for developing lean muscle mass.

Intense Strength Training

Immediately after your cardiovascular routine, I advise that you perform intense strength training routines that focus on all your major muscle groups including your glutes, the legs, back, shoulders, and your chest. Always use free weights and resistance machines where applicable, and try to perform at least two, two-part sets for every exercise. I would advise you to use a relatively lightweight that allows you to perform 12 reps as a warm up to begin with, before moving onto heavy weights that allow you to perform between five and eight reps. The entire routine should not last more than 30 minutes.

Eat Plenty of Carbohydrates and Proteins

Try to eat adequate amount of proteins and carbohydrates, especially around your workout. According to experts, having sufficient protein and carbohydrates around 45 minutes before working out will speed up the recovery process, and help to refuel energy levels as well as enhance muscular repair, as well as possibly increasing the human growth hormone excretion immediately after exercise.

Avoid Stress

Easier said than done, but try to avoid stressful situations because these situations encourage the release of cortisol, which is a catabolic hormone that is known to break down muscle fibers. The best way to get around this is to get in plenty of sleep, a minimum of eight hours every night, and this in turn allows for your body to rest and keep your cortisol levels to a low.

Focus on Your Diet

Try to stick to a diet that provides your body with plenty of energy and muscle building compounds. Things like complex carbohydrates including sweet potatoes, quinoa, and whole grain rice as great for providing slow release energy other foods such as red meat, fish, chicken, and eggs are great for building muscle.

Remember guys, low testosterone levels will not only hinder your muscle growth, they can also present you with a whole host of health problems. My advice would be to immediately consult with your physician and consider the options available to you. Most probably you will be presented with the option of undergoing testosterone replacement therapy which can certainly elevate testosterone levels.

Alternatives to testosterone replacement therapy could include natural testosterone supplements that are created from natural ingredients and work to encourage your body to start producing its own testosterone, instead of utilizing synthetic versions of the hormone, offered by testosterone replacement therapy.

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build muscle

2 Crucial Things to Consider When Trying to Build Muscle

Hey, I hope your nutrition training is going awesome. In this article, I want to discuss the 2 X factors when it comes to building lean muscle without fat. Those 2 X factors, besides healthy testosterone levels are sleep and stress. These 2 things could play a huge role in your quest to gain lean muscle without fat.


The first topic I want to dive into would be sleep.

When we don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, a lot of our body’s systems (that are helping us build lean muscle without fat) start to struggle. For instance the endocrine system. This is a system inside our body responsible for releasing the muscle building hormones necessary to pack on the most muscle without fat such as testosterone and IGF1.

When our sleep levels dip below 6 hours per night, we really tend to see a significant drop in those muscle building hormones and on top of that, a rise in the fat-storing hormones and catabolic hormones inside of our body.

That’s definitely something we want to stay away from.

Yes, you can play with the amount of sleep that you have but really try and stay above 6 hours if it all possible.

That being said, there are other systems inside our body that also struggle such as our immune system.

Well we know that we need to stay healthy if we want to work out with the kind of intensity needed to pack on muscle without fat, but also on top of that, our immune system needs to be high and working adequately to be able to recover from the strenuous workouts that we are going through.

Our metabolism also slows down which puts us in a state more apt to storing fat rather than building muscle.

All of that being said there are a few tips that I can personally give that I know will work for me that maybe help you:

  • I like to drink chamomile tea but 1 to 2 hours before bed. That puts me in a nice relax state and I can get to sleep nice and quick.
  • Try and stay away from caffeine late at night before you go to bed if you find it affects how quickly you can get to sleep. My self personally, I try and stay away from caffeine pass 18:00. It might be totally different with you.
  • Structuring your workouts. If personally if I work out 2 to 3 hours away from when I want to go to sleep, I can’t get to sleep very, very quickly. This is something that you have to understand for yourself and understand your own body and figure out if it affects you that way, but most people find it beneficial to workout at least 3 to 4 hours away from when they want to go to sleep.


Now let’s talk about stress.

Having too high of a level of stress effects our body’s systems negatively in a similar way that having too low of a level of sleep does.

The immune system can be compromised in a similar fashion, and your endocrine system, and your muscle building hormones go way, way down and all the fat storing hormones go way up, AND our metabolism suffers.

Energy levels and the intensity that’s needed in the gym also suffer.

That being said let me give you two pieces of advice that have really helped me out when it comes to managing my stress levels:

  1. The first piece of advice that I was given that I think might help you out is to compartmentalize the priorities in your life. Meaning that if you are getting a stress from for instance work or school, only focus on that and deal with it when it’s time but do not let that stress drip over into other areas of your life. For instance if you are having trouble in a relationship, that cannot be dripped over into your workout time. If you are having trouble in school and that’s really, really a source of stress for you, deal with it, when its school time, shut that part of your brain off when you hit the gym.    This is a very important lesson that has been very difficult for me to grasp and to adjust to but I’ve really concentrated on it in the last few years when my life has gotten really, really busy and hectic and I’ve had stresses in all areas and that is one tactic that I intentionally try and focus on and deal with one thing at a time has really helped me out.
  1. If that’s not working out for you, make sure you prioritize your concentrations and get them done earlier in the day. If working out and gaining lean muscle is one of your top priorities which I’m sure it, I would definitely recommend trying to capture as much intensity and energy early in the day and devoting it towards your training inside the gym, get that part of your day done and then you can shift your focus and stresses and deal with them throughout the day.

These two tips have really helped me manage my stress levels in my life and I hope they help you manage yours.

Thanks a lot for your time!

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supplements you need to get big

Supplements You Need To GET BIG!

Bodybuilding supplements have been accepted as a normal part of everyday bodybuilding life for a number of years now and there are very intriguing the reasons behind this. Modern diets consist of a lot of processed foods and vital nutrients in these foods are lost during the processing phase.

As a result, in order for you to gain size from your food, you will need an awful lot of calories to achieve this.

Nutrient deficiency is a growing problem in the Western world and this is where health supplements come into play to try and compensate.

Up to 90% of the supplements involved sell “aesthetics “in a bottle like fat burners or hormone pills.

And with such an abundance of health supplements, consumers are often left baffled and bemused by the selection that is put in front of them. This is especially true for bodybuilding products.

Walk into any bodybuilding shop and you will see big tubs of amino acids, herbal testosterone boosters, creatine, fat burners, pre-workout supplements, d-aspartic acid, estrogen suppressants, and the list just goes on…

Where Does One Start?

where does one startDid you know that the leading bodybuilding magazine FLEX included fat burners in their top three types of supplements when trying to get big? If I was a novice and I read that I needed to be taking fat burners to get big, I’d be like…wtf?!?!

That’s why I have decided to educate my readers on health supplements and layout a plain easy to follow guide on exactly what you need to take and what you need to avoid if you want to grow your guns.

The first principle I always follow is to not go for the really expensive stuff because from experience, the $80 protein shake is not much different to the $25 tub.

It would be foolish to break the bank because I want to add more muscle.

My supplements list features cheaper alternatives that are guaranteed to be cost effective in the long run.

Vitamin C

vitamin cMuscle protein tends to get badly damaged because tyrosine becomes inactive which prevents its conversion to cathecholamines.

The body needs absorbic acid so it can undergo steroid hormones, neurotransmitters, and collagen synthesis. It also requires absorbic acid to convert cholesterol into bile acid which in turn enhances the bioavailability of iron inside the body.

All of what I’ve mentioned are essential for maintaining energy, power, and ultimately muscle mass. This is where vitamin C comes into play because it has been known for its infinite healing properties for generations, and is used from treating the common cold, all the way up to something as serious as cancer.

Vitamin C is also an extremely potent antioxidant, and is unrivalled in this regard.

Studies seem to suggest that vitamin C may be capable of preventing degenerative diseases, mainly the ones that are caused by absorbic acid deficiencies. It doesn’t end there. This vitamin is also essential for developing cells, assisting in tissue growth, healing as well as providing comprehensive calcium absorption.

Vitamin C works alongside all the B vitamins to create a perfect anabolic environment. Moreover, it is known to boost the immune system, fight infections, prevent blood clotting, and reinforcing the capillaries.

The most commonly used form of vitamin C is absorbic acid which is found in a large percentage of health supplements.

Recommended Dosage of Vitamin C

Experts recommend using up to 3 g of vitamin C on a daily basis when it comes to athletes. Although this may sound quite high, it can easily be split into two or three doses through the day.

Essential Fatty Acids

essential fatty acidsEssential fatty acids, especially linolenic acids are major components of the good fats. Also known as polyunsaturated fats are vital in anyone’s diet. They are extremely rich in vitamin F, and experts recommend that they should comprise of up to 20% of the average person’s diet.

In reality, most people don’t even consume as little as 5% of what they are supposed to. Essential fatty acids enhance protein digestion. When a person consumes a large amount of protein in one go, the fats are required to aid digestion.

Fat derived from food is normally stored by the body in the form of cholesterol, and the same system works for steroid hormones, both of which are vital for bodybuilders. It’s not unusual for fats to carry more than double the amount of calories that other nutrients do. The good thing about essential fatty acids is that day can promote the use of body fat as fuel.

Diets containing lots of fats tend to make you feel fuller much sooner, which ultimately means less cravings later.

Recommended Dosage of Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids taken from fresh food sources are vital, therefore don’t waste time looking for a supplement for this purpose. If you insist on going down the supplement root, up to buy canola or olive oil by taking up to 4 large spoons of the day.

I personally recommend 2 tablespoons up to 4 times a day accompanied by food, just before hitting the gym.

Zinc Magnesium Aspartate

zmaZinc and magnesium aspartate is a protected formula that has been making waves in bodybuilding circles in recent years and some of the best muscle builders now feature this famous ZMA blend.

Surprisingly, many sports athletes are known to be deficient in both zinc and magnesium for a number of reasons. For instance, calcium works to hinder the workings of zinc. Ironically, most zinc supplements include calcium filler. The idea behind this is that it is used as a bonding agent with amino acids such as aspartate or methionine. The absorption would be facilitated which would in turn enhance recovery and skyrocket natural hormone levels.

Hormones such as testosterone have been shown to skyrocket by more than 100%.

In magnesium’s case, it helps to produce ATP which triggers the “Krebs cycle” which is vital to any athlete looking for optimum performances.

How to Consume Zinc and Magnesium Aspartate

Night-time usage is highly recommended because zinc is known to make people feel sleepy, and it allegedly enhances the quality of sleep which is vital for maximum recuperation that should be embraced with both arms.

Experts recommend taking 30 mg of zinc, and 450 mg of magnesium aspartate around an hour before going to sleep, preferably on an empty stomach, and without any interaction with calcium that may have been consumed prior.


creatineCreatine is a natural compound that possesses out-of-this world regenerative properties when it comes to ATP. ATP is the main energy supply the body needs. Anaerobic energy causes ATP to break down into ADP. Creatine consumption causes the ADP to recycle back to ATP, which provides powerful surges of energy in the short term.

Creatine can cause water retention which allows for enhanced size and enhanced absorption of vital nutrients such as protein, which (everyone knows) triggers muscle growth.

How to Consume Creatine

This is a very commonly asked question. First and foremost, forget any of the more expensive brands, because creatine is pretty much the same quality, regardless of what the price is. Secondly, you need to be very careful of your sugar intake because it’s very easy to put a lot of unwanted weight on.

I recommend taking three doses of 7 g which are to be spread over a period of five days, and you should continue this for up to 10 weeks followed by a month off period.

Ideally, the last dose of the day should be taken straight after working out.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids

bcaaBranched chain amino acids have been used by fitness fanatics for number of years because they are great for creating an anabolic environment, and are renowned for their anti-catabolic qualities. In recent years, these properties have come under scrutiny. As a result, their popularity has diminished.

This shouldn’t mean anything to the super focused bodybuilder because branched-chain amino acids have provided amazing results for a huge number of people. There are individuals out there that seem to think that branched-chain amino acids are not anti-catabolic in nature. I say…take a close look at the workings and physiology of leucin, which is the first element of branched-chain amino acids.

In terms of an anabolism, gross tissue is created from amino acids. The basic definition of “anabolic” is an environment conducive to promoting growth.

Some people tend to believe in non-essential amino acids, and let me tell you that these are not needed for your muscle growth. The body can create its own essential amino acids. The bottom line is that a lot of these essential acids will struggle to get absorbed, basically meaning that they are likely to bypass the system.

Branched-chain amino acids consist of nine essentials that play a direct role in muscle development and replenishment. In my opinion, they are certainly the best choice for someone who wants to supplement their amino acid intake. Although branched-chain amino acids may not be the first choice of supplementation for many people, they have a proven track record and should be prioritized ahead of the expensive shit.

How to Consume Branched-Chain Amino Acids

The best time to consume branched chain amino acids is when you train. If you prefer training in short bursts, try to get up to 10 g incorporated into your post workout meal and you will notice better recovery and enhanced muscle development. On the other hand, if you’re the type of guy who loves long sessions in the gym, try getting in up to 15 g before working out.

There is no clear-cut recommended dosage that I can point you to, that’s why I am advising from experience.

Amino Acids

amino acidsThe protein that you receive from your diet contains a whole array of amino acids and their metabolites. Unfortunately, the ratios are not always ideal. That’s why amino acid supplementation is essential.

The bottom line is that amino acids are the basic building blocks of all tissue and rather than wasting your money on crap, turn to these and you will notice massive improvements.

How to Consume Amino Acids

Normally, 2 g before or immediately after training is enough to enhance recovery and fill in any voids. Amino acids come in a variety of forms including pills, powders, and drinks.


multi vitaminsMost diets aimed at achieving mass will no doubt be focusing on foods that contain a massive amount of calories containing micronutrients. A person can easily become deficient in micronutrients which essentially mean that the body can be impaired when trying to function in an optimum manner, and this leads to massive obstacles when trying to achieve muscle growth.

As stated earlier, it is these very minerals that are the basic building blocks responsible for building the bones, transporting nutrients, and triggering various cellular actions. The minimum levels must be kept above a certain threshold to maintain proper growth. This is precisely why supplementing with multivitamins is good practice. This will ensure that you are addressing all your basic nutritional needs.

How to Consume Multivitamins

You only need one dose which is enough to provide you with all your vitamin needs, as long as you do this daily. The timing of your intake is irrelevant, but most people like to pop the multivitamin pill in the mornings.

Weight Gainers

weight gainersWeight gainers are essential when trying to pack on some mass. You remember, when you are trying to bulk up, you need your fair share of macro and micro nutrients without becoming fat. You need to try to ensure that you spend all the calories even when you are trying to bulk up so that you gain muscle and not fat. If you notice, the really dedicated bodybuilders can eat up to 8 meals a day.

This is precisely where weight gainers come into their own. Typical weight gainers can provide 800-3000 calories without actually having to eat a full meal.

They are extremely simple to prepare, all you have to do is mix and hey presto!, You have a high calorie meal in front of you.

To Sum Up…

Now that I have spelt out all my muscle building supp secrets, all you guys need to do is follow my advice. Although I have not covered every type of supplement that’s out there, I have prioritized the most important and presented them to you guys.

There’s no harm in conducting your own research because knowledge is infinite.

Happy getting big guys!

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PEDS: Be In The Know!

People normally turn to performance enhancing drugs in the hope of gaining a competitive edge.

Performance enhancing drugs come in a number of forms and if you’re considering taking one of these illegal and potentially dangerous drugs, it’s advisable to understand what you’re dealing with.

Many athletes complain of the fierce competition at the top and use that as an excuse to use illegal methods.

Performance enhancing drugs’ use is on the rise, and so are the associated risks.

At the end of the day, it is your responsibility (as the user) to try and determine the pros and cons of the stuff you’re about to put into your body.

Performance enhancing drugs come in a number of different forms such as androstenedione, anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, stimulants, creatine, diuretics and erythropoietin.

Let’s begin by looking at these in more depth…

Anabolic Steroids

Many athletes prefer to take anabolic steroids to help enhance muscle mass and strength. The main type of anabolic steroid hormone produced by the body is testosterone.

Testosterone has a number of different effects on the body including anabolic and androgenic effects. Anabolic effects help to enhance the muscle building process and the androgenic effects help to develop male features such as facial hair and a deep voice.

Athletes who try to boost their performances usually take testosterone. This testosterone is synthetic in nature, which means it’s man-made.

Although synthetic testosterone is usually medically prescribed to control a number of conditions, improving athletic performance enhancement is certainly not one of these.

Synthetic testosterone can be taken in pill, topical or injection form.

These drugs are very appealing to athletes because they can dramatically reduce recovery times in between workouts, enhancing muscle repair and ultimately allow the athlete to work much harder than he would normally.

Weirdly, some individuals crave the feelings of rage and anger when they take the stuff!

Designer Steroids

Some athletes risk taking very high doses of steroids than prescribed. Normally this is done behind closed doors and without medical supervision.

Therefore it is impossible for researchers to gauge accurate analytics of the effects of these large doses on individuals.

As a result, the full effects of taking anabolic steroids in the extremely high doses are not fully understood.

However, the little we do know about some of the side-effects associated with anabolic steroids include:




Shrunken testicles

Breast enlargement


Liver abnormalities

High blood pressure

Prostate gland enlargement

Aggressive behavior

Drug dependency

and the list just goes on….

It is illegal to take anabolic/androgenic steroids for the purpose of athletic performance, and is banned by most, if not all sports organizations.

The illegal nature of anabolic steroids has pushed the drivers deep underground in the United States especially, which has resulted in the formation of a formidable black-market.

This black-market poses massive health risks because many of these drugs are manufactured outside the United States.


Androstenedione is a type of hormone produced by the adrenaline glands, the testes and the ovaries.

This hormone normally converts to testosterone and estradiol in both sexes.

Androstenedione is available legally in prescription form only because it is classed as a controlled substance. Many bodybuilding magazines and publications claim that it allows athletes to train much harder and recover much quicker.

Nevertheless, it is classed as a performance enhancing drug and is illegal in the United States, as well as many other jurisdictions.

A number of scientific studies seem to refute claims that supplementing this hormone increases testosterone, and strengthens the muscles.

Studies have shown that androstenedione rapidly converts to estrogen, if anything.

Typical risks associated with taking this hormone include enlargement of the breasts, shrinking of the testicles, diminished sperm production, and the outbreak of acne.

Moreover, this hormone is known to decrease HDL cholesterol which can increase the risk of developing a stroke or a heart attack.

Human Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone is sometimes referred to as gonadotropin, and is known to provide anabolic effects.

Athletes tend to use this hormone to enhance muscle mass and performance as well as improve strength and endurance.

Human growth hormone is only available through prescription and can be administered by injection.

This hormone has a number of common side-effects associated with its use including high blood pressure, diabetes, fluid retention, high cholesterol, muscle weakness, and joint pain.


Erythropoietin is a type of hormone that is commonly used to treat people suffering from anemia and kidney disease.

It helps to increase production of red blood cells, as well as the hemoglobin, which ultimately results in enhanced circulation of oxygen to the muscles.

There are risks associated with this hormone and its abuse is pretty serious and they include heart attacks and strokes.


Diuretics are drugs that work to change the natural balance of the body’s salts and fluids, and can sometimes lead to dehydration.

This loss of water can sometimes help the athlete to compete in a lighter weight class. Diuretics have been known to be used by athletes to help pass drug tests because they can dilute the urine.

Diuretics have their fair share of associated side-effects which include low blood pressure, potassium deficiency, dizziness, fainting, exhaustion, muscle cramps, dehydration, heat stroke and even death.


Natural sports supplements such as creatine are used by athletes the world over. Creatine works to encourage the muscles to release energy.

Studies have suggested that creatine helps the muscles to create more ATP which works to store and transport energy cells, and is often used to release quick bursts of energy.

At present, there is no evidence to suggest that it helps boost athletic performance.

The human liver naturally produces around 2 g of creatine every day. It can also be received from meat, and is usually stored within the muscles.

Nevertheless, creatine does have its fair share of associated side-effects which include weight gain, nausea, diarrhea, muscle cramps, and stomach cramps.


Some athletes prefer to use stimulants to wake up the central nervous system and increase the blood pressure and heart rate. Stimulants are known to suppress appetite, increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve endurance.

The most common type of stimulants include amphetamines and caffeine. Energy drinks are also popular amongst athletes because they contain high levels of caffeine.

There are a number of risks associated with using stimulants which include heightened aggressiveness, impaired athletic performance, dehydration, heat stroke, insomnia, and nervousness and irritability.

And to Conclude…

It’s true, some athletes do benefit from performance enhancing drugs in terms of their performance, but the long-term side-effects associated with performance enhancing drugs are greatly understudied.

Any short-term benefits are far outweighed by the potential risks. Most sports organizations around the world view performance enhancing drugs is illegal and have banned them.

My advice is to steer well clear of any type of performance enhancing drugs and concentrate on making natural progression in your fitness journey.

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Obesity: How to Beat It!

Fast food, soft drinks, and other crappy foods are major contributors to increasing obesity rates.

I am no expert, but according to the World Health Organization, more than a sixth of the world’s population is considered overweight.

Not surprisingly, North America has the highest percentage of people who are obese in the grand scale of things.

This equates to around 65 million adults in the United States alone.

The problem doesn’t just end with adults. Child obesity rates are also skyrocketing.

The problem is so serious that experts now believe that obesity is one of the major causes of death in the US.

Associated health risks with obesity include high cholesterol, hypertension, varicose veins, vascular diseases, deep-vein thrombosis, outlet, type II diabetes, rheumatoid as writers, joint disease, menstrual abnormalities, asthma, fungal skin infections, and even cancer. This is only the tip of the iceberg!

It has to be said that fast food is the biggest contributor to rising obesity levels. The long and short of obesity is consuming more calories than what the body is capable of utilizing.

Here are a few step­­­­­­­­s you can take in trying to get your own back against obesity.

Build Your Muscles

The bottom line is that regular exercise is the big open secret to maintaining good health. A person’s ability to lose weight through exercise is often an indicator of a person’s muscle mass.

The more muscle mass you have, the more fat you will burn doing everyday things.

Muscle mass in both sexes tends to increase nearing the adolescent years, and this peaks in the late teens, all the way up to the mid-20s.

At this stage, muscle mass begins to deteriorate gradually in most of us.

This is where regular exercise for maintaining good muscle health is required. And the best way to do this is performing weight training. Look at it this way, most of us tend to lose around 1% of our muscle mass every year until we hit 50.

To prevent this natural deterioration, a regular strength regimen which involves weightlifting, as well as other resistance exercises is required.

The main benefits of this type of training are endless.

As well as learning more fat, developed muscles can also maintain a healthy heart, provide relief from arthritis pain, enhance joint function, and provide effective antioxidant protection, all of which can skyrocket a person’s self-esteem.

On the other end of the spectrum, a lack of exercise is one of the main reasons why a large percentage of Americans are overweight. It’s clear that in order to lose weight, exercise is also required, on top of a healthy diet.

Exercise helps to improve the body composition by building muscle and shedding excess fat.

Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

Unstable blood sugar levels can be manifested in a number of ways including finding it difficult to shed excess weight, craving for sweets, feeling extremely satisfied after eating food, common feelings of disconnection, anxiety for no particular reason irregular sleep patterns, and feeling rundown and sleepy in the afternoons.

One of the biggest problems with unstable blood sugar levels is huge appetites and food cravings that just don’t go away.

Eating foods with low carbohydrates can work miracles if you’re in this situation.

But this is only a short-term solution.

Peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels can sometimes make hunger cravings irresistible.

The body is constantly working hard to keep blood sugar levels as normal as possible but isn’t always successful.

The main keys for stabilizing blood sugar levels include choosing carefully the food that you consume.

Every food that you consume has some kind of effect on your blood sugar levels.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with how certain foods affect your sugar levels. The secret is to choose your carbohydrate intake carefully and stick to modest food portions.

The best way to do this is to read food labels carefully. If there is a lot of flour, fat, sugar, and salt, then this is probably something that should be avoided.

Lookout for food labels that feature glucose, maltose, glucose, and corn syrup, because this usually means that there is plenty of sugar present.

Look out for weight measurements, particularly when involving fat. A typical 5 g serving of fat is usually the equivalent of 1 tablespoon.

Eat plenty of fiber because it is great for reducing hunger cravings.

Commit yourself to a regular exercise regimen. Even the most moderate exercise can help to stabilize appetite, increase muscle mass, and normalize sugar levels.

Do Not Become Subservient to Your Appetite

Basic human survival requires three things, water, food, and oxygen to breathe. Although we do not think about oxygen that often, try holding your breath for a few minutes and see how you feel.

In the same way, depriving ourselves of food triggers a number of powerful mechanisms inside the body that keep our brains interested in food and the right nourishment for our bodies.

The body usually tells us when to stop eating once it establishes that it is full.

People who are fortunate enough to have a normal weight don’t really experience unhealthy food cravings, especially at inappropriate times. These fortunate beings are instantly satisfied even after eating a modest sized portion.

The same can’t be said for overweight or obese individuals. In these situations, controlling the appetite becomes a huge issue. These individuals have an ever increasing appetite and they crave foods throughout the day, as well is at night.

If you are serious about controlling your weight for the rest of your life, it is vital that you address any unhealthy appetite cravings that may exist in your life.

Take Hold of Your Stress

Stress can cause an abnormal fat cell growth, as well as rapid muscle loss and insulin resistance, all of which can lead to obesity.

Certain hormones such as the adrenaline hormone releases cortisol when a person is stressed which actively works to promote weight gain and insulin resistance, as well as blood sugar levels.

Although stress is a major part in most people’s lives, if it becomes extreme, it can devastate the body.

Cardiovascular disease, colds, cancer, angina, headaches, asthma, high blood pressure, obesity, and arthritis are all closely associated with heightened stress levels.

In order to manage stress efficiently, you need to calm both the mind and the body. For you to achieve this you need regular exercise and ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.

Change Your Habits

Your long-standing habits have a great bearing on how successful you will be at losing weight. For you to effectively implement positive changes, you will need to adopt a few good practices.

Firstly, you will have to reduce your portion sizes, especially when you’re eating high calorie foods. If you’re eating low-calorie foods, then by all means super load your plate.

Although it takes plenty of practice, it is not difficult to master a firm control of your food portions sizes.

It’s important to eat slowly. You might have noticed that obese people tend to rummage through their food much quicker than the rest of us. This means that they are knocking back more food in less time.

The next time you eat, try practicing eating slowly.

People with weight problems tend to have certain habits that actively work against the desire to maintain an ideal body weight.

Body eating habits are the main reason why many weight loss efforts fail.changing habits

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bicep curls

Biceps: How to Get Yours

We all want bigger biceps; well at least I think we all do!

The simple solution to getting bigger guns would be to keep doing barbell curls until passing out.

If only things were that simple (sighs).

According to some bodybuilders, a more calculated and methodical approach is required to fully accomplish our physical fitness goals.

On top of most people’s lists are getting big biceps. But doing countless, aimless bicep curls is extremely limiting in terms of end results.

I have laid out 5 specific routines that I advise you to incorporate into your existing fitness regimen and you will be sure to see some amazing results in the end.

Get Your Grip Right!

Much of bicep development depends on the width you use during your bicep curls. For instance, using a standard grip (which is roughly the same width as your shoulders) utilizes the long and short heads of the bicep pretty evenly.

By adopting the wider grip mainly works the short head, and the narrower you go, the more you hit the long head.

Try to ensure that you include the shoulder width curls that will work the short head effectively, whilst switching to a closer grip will work the long head.

By doing this, you will work both heads of your biceps which will ultimately result in bigger and more wholesome guns.

Try starting your bicep routine by performing 4 sets of bicep curls.

During the first set, use a close grip, around 8 inches apart.

On the second set, use a hip-width grip, on the third set, use a shoulder width grip and on the final set use a really wide grip, approximately 6 inches wider than your shoulders.

Use a Chair

Using partial movements are great for strengthening that particular range. The same principal can be applied to bicep routines.

In my opinion, partial movement routines are better than full range of motion routines. During a full range of motion routine, you are very much limited to a particular weight that you’re used to, if good form is important.

If good form is not important (and why not?), pretty much anything goes!

By performing the barbell curl whilst seated eliminates the bottom half of the movement because the bar can only go as far as your thighs. This method stresses your biceps even further by overloading them.

Remember, most people are at their strongest in the top half of the range of motion.

You will find that you can curl more weight whilst seated.

Perform 3 sets of seated barbell curls, and follow these up with 3 sets of full range of motion curls.

Sit Back and Curl!

By sitting and doing the dumbbell curl is probably the only way to full stretch the long head of the biceps.

When you are seated in an incline position, your arms are effectively behind your body, which works the long head harder because the end part of the movement requires a lot of force.

The next time you do the incline curls; place a lot of emphasis on the long head of your biceps.

Remember it is the long head of your biceps that provide your arms with shape.

After you finish your bicep curls, immediately move onto the incline curls. Incline yourself to around 30 degrees and the moment your biceps fail, adjust the bench to 45 degrees and continue to curl.

Once you reach failure in this position, adjust your bench to 60 degrees to conclude your set.

Stop…It’s Hammer Time!

Hammer curls shouldn’t be seen as a secondary bicep exercise.

Many studies have found that doing the hammer curl places nearly all of its emphasis on the long head.

For you to really work the long head of your biceps, you need to be consistently performing the hammer curl on your bicep days.

Cross body hammer curls are more effective that curling the weight straight out.

Curl the weight and guide it towards your opposite shoulder and by doing this, you will be placing a lot of emphasis on the long head of your biceps.

Resistance Training doesn’t always mean Weights!

Guys you need to swallow your pride and start using resistance bands. Resistance bands provide something called “linear variable resistance”.

This means that the more you increase your motion, the more the resistance increases.

Look at it this way…when you’re doing the bicep curls using a resistance band, the lowest point of motion will provide the least amount of resistance.

The highest point in the motion will provide the most resistance. The main advantage of this is the increasing of resistance through one singular movement.

This is great for working the muscles more effectively by enhancing muscle strength and power, much more than what standard weight can offer.

So there you go. If you can swallow your pride for a few months and follow the above steps when working your biceps, I promise you won’t go back to your old routine!


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How to Lose Fat: For the Long Haul

As you’ve probably established by now, your body is one amazing piece of kit!

It’s amazing in many different ways because even if you’ve neglected it for years, and kilos of fat have accumulated over the years, it’s still possible to get rid of the fat quicker than it took to pile it on.

I have devised a simple guide, if followed correctly; it will see you shifting those extra pounds in no time!

Mix Up your Caloric Intake

This is a sly little trick that many bodybuilders use to try and trick the body!

It’s great for outsmarting the body without negatively affecting the metabolism. In order to avoid an unwanted metabolic crash, this method encourages your body to burn calories at an optimum level.

By simply mixing up your caloric intake every other day rather than eating the same amount day in day out will allow for your hunger mechanism to remain in-check and continue to obliterate fat.

In today’s era, there is an abundance of food which is very easily accessible. Because the human body is an amazing piece of machinery, it works to store as much energy as is possible so it is fully prepared to face adversities such as food scarcities if need be.

In such an event, the body will recalculate its metabolism relative to caloric consumption.

Say if you’re on a diet and your body is fed the same number of calories every day, it will eventually adjust its metabolism to avoid burning too much body fat.

When your leptin levels become high, so does the metabolism, and when leptin levels drop, so does the metabolism.

When your caloric intake is steady, leptin levels will drop, along with the metabolism. By mixing up your caloric intake meaning high calories on one day, and fairly low calories the next…will ensure that leptin levels remain high!

Ease Off The Calories…Slowly!

Most people looking to lose weight implement massive cuts in their caloric intake. This isn’t really necessary and advisable.

The body will switch into starvation mode and this will slow down the metabolism making fat burning an extremely difficult task.

The best way to avoid a metabolic crash is to ease off the calorie cutbacks by allowing your body to continue burning fat efficiently by implementing subtle caloric reductions every two weeks or so.

Avoid the Scale

If you are gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time, you won’t really see massive changes in weight.

It’s better to focus on your body shape and composition than staring at the scale every day.

Look at it this way…if you’re training hard and sticking to a sensible diet, and you lost 10 pounds of fat, but gained 10 pounds of muscle, you’re weight on the scales won’t be much different will it?

This often frustrates most people despite the massive progress that may have been made.

My advice is to avoid the scale as much as you can and only use it as a guide. The way you look in the mirror, and the way your clothes feel is much more important.

Start doing Weights

Resistance training is one of the best ways of losing fat. This type of training burns plenty of calories during training and up to 40 hours after!

Furthermore, the more muscle your body holds, the more calories you will burn just doing everyday things!

Even if you’re the type of person who’s not too interested in gaining muscle, you should still do weight training because it will prevent any weight loss coming off the muscles.

If that did happen…the metabolism would grind to almost standstill, the fat loss process would cease to function and you could look like a fat person who’s also skinny!

Perform HiiT

Hiit (high intensity interval training) refers to massively high intensity exercise routines broken up by brief rest periods in between.

You can start by jumping the rope for instance. After an initial “warm-up”, jump the rope as fast as you can for around 30 seconds (if you can manage it), and follow this up by a slow pace for around 20 seconds.

Don’t forget to warm up before you start and if you’re not a picture of health, consult with your doctor before committing to any such types of routines.

Increase Fat Intake

Yes…you read that right! It more of the good fats and you will lose more fat!!!

Not only will the good fats help you to burn fat, they will also help you to build lean muscle and reduce your recovery periods in between workouts.

The good fats provide many other benefits including promoting a strong heart.

The good fats are also known as polyunsaturated fats that can be found in nuts and fish, both of which are super rich in omega 3s.

Recommended monounsaturated fats can be found in fish oils, olive oil, and egg yolks.

Reduce Carbs

By reducing your carbohydrate intake, especially in the form of sugar and starch, you will lose the fab in no time.

The best types of carbs that you should be consuming come from oats and most vegetables.

I personally don’t any types of carbs after around 3pm because timing of carbs is very important. There is no point super loading your body with carbs (energy) just before going to bed!

That’s the perfect recipe for becoming a fat dude!

More Protein

Eating lots of protein will increase the metabolic system, as well as help to build lean muscle mass.

It has been suggested that the body burns more calories trying to digest protein than it does digesting fats and carbohydrates.

A number of studies seem to suggest that groups who were fed high levels of protein burned much more fat than their low protein compatriots.

Eat Small Meals

By eating up to 6 small meals a day will provide the body with a steady supply of nutrients it requires to burn fat and build lean muscle.

Not only that, the “resting metabolism” also increases, as well as preventing the body switching into starvation mode in between your meals.

The starvation mode causes the body to burn muscle and use it for energy, and this in turn inflates body fat pretty quickly, which negatively impacts the metabolism by slowing it down.

Utilize the tips I have given above because these methods are proven and time-tested, and you will soon start seeing pretty rapid weight loss in the right places!

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Build Muscle Minus The Fat!

I first got interested in gaining muscle when I was playing football way back in high school.

Back then, I didn’t worry about fat too much. The sheer intensity of football managed to keep the fat off.

In between seasons I did store a bit of fat but it was nothing really worrying.

My view on fat changed dramatically when I cut down on playing football and focused entirely on bodybuilding.

I had to become extra careful on what I ate.

This is the point where most people find it difficult to continue in the sport. Healthy eating is not necessarily cheap. Think about it, I was a student and I had a budget for everything including going out, maintaining my clothing, travel and food costs on top of everything else.

It took a lot of planning to make it through that period let me tell you!

What I’ve learned that all this can be achieved without necessarily having to remortgage your house.

Best Way to Build Muscle

The secret to muscle gain is eating the right foods, increasing your protein intake and training very hard.

Although this all seems obvious, the devil is in the detail like they say.

Think about it, if I am consuming more than 5 ½ thousand calories a day, it surprises people because I manage to stay lean.

The bottom line is that the more muscles the body carries the more there is a need to feed them. And the best way to feed your muscles is by fuelling them consistently with quality foods.

Your diet must include well balanced meals that contain a lot of lean protein, as well as plenty of nutrients and glycemic carbs, as well as a good amount of healthy fats.

Bit More About Protein

We’ve all heard of protein and most of us know that our muscles are made of the stuff. But this is not entirely correct. It is the amino acids that create the protein that are essentially the building blocks of muscle mass.

Your body cries out for these amino acids when you’re working out, as well as when you’ve finished… because they are needed to help heal and recover.

The protein is broken down and used to perform various functions around the body. The bits that don’t get used usually get converted.

Bodybuilders are constantly breaking muscle tissue down and they require sufficient amounts of protein to help the body to recover.

I usually target 1.5 g of protein per every pound of my body weight and divide this by the number of meals I am going to eat on that particular day.

I consume around 360 g of protein every day which is spread across five or six meals. The reason why you should constantly be eating protein is that your body rebuilds itself outside the gym…when you’re not working out.

I usually spend up to 3 hours pumping my guns every day but in reality…it’s the remaining 21 hours that help me to progress.

Eating as much protein as possible should be second in your list. The quality of protein takes pole position on my list of priorities.

I try to ensure that my protein is lean and not fried. Lean and non-fried protein enhances the chances of developing maximum muscle mass without risking fatty buildups.

My favorites are chicken breast, egg whites, lean beef, fish, and even turkey.

The good thing about protein is that it doesn’t increase insulin levels like carbohydrates. You need to be wary of your insulin levels because they can elevate at non-optimal times, which can be at any time when you’re not working out, and this can lead to the buildup of fat.

Try to ensure that you eat lean proteins and carbohydrates in a strategic manner where your insulin levels are kept in check the whole way through.

Don’t Forget the Other Nutrients

Although protein is synonymous with bodybuilding, you shouldn’t overlook carbs and healthy fats which can be equally as important.

On my training days I usually consume at least 500 g of carbs. Everyone is different in this regard. I advise you to find the right amount of carbs for your body so it can efficiently utilize them rather than going by what everyone else does.

When you consume too many carbs, this can cause unwanted spikes in insulin which leads to weight gain in the form of fat.

It is these carbohydrates that provide my muscles with the energy to perform their job. Without carbohydrates, you feel tired and struggle with your workouts.

I use a similar approach to carbohydrates as I do with protein. I try to find the right balance where I am able to maximize my energy levels as well as replenish my glycogen.

I usually get my carbs from high nutrient food sources such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and plenty of bananas.

Not All Fats are Bad

Back in the 70s and 80s, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was strutting his stuff, the term “good fats” didn’t really exist.

Thanks to studies and developments in science and nutrition, we have a clearer understanding of the importance of good fats.

For individuals trying to get big, the consumption of fat means they are getting a great source of calories, much better than what carbohydrates and protein provides. Look at it this way, fat can give you up to 12 calories per gram, whereas carbohydrates and protein can offer 4 calories at the very most.

Just like I emphasized “the quality of protein”, the same principle applies to fat. If you choose to ignore this, and dive into any fat that you can get your hands on, you will soon be piling on the pounds of the soft stuff!

I tend to get my facts from olives, nuts, fish, and avocados.

These fat sources contain vital ingredients that help to suppress inflammation, enhance eyesight, improve the texture of your hair and nails, as well as enhance your mental agility.

When I am sweating it out in the gym, I want all of the above instead of just getting big.

The Bottom Line…

The bottom line is if you want a quality physique, you need to undergo quality training that requires quality fuel. Your training has to become your lifestyle. This means you can’t be sloppy and take shortcuts to succeed.

At the end of the day, your results will speak for themselves, and if you exert yourself in the gym, and fuel your body with the right nutrients, you will look and feel the part.


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Get Motivated!

Motivation isn’t very easy at times and that is usually the point when people quit going to the gym.

I’ve been in a position where I’ve lost complete motivation in the past which almost completely stopped me from training altogether.

I was extremely lucky because I somehow rediscovered mu hunger to stay in the gym and enhance my fitness even further.

There are a number of things in my lifestyle that help to keep me motivated, and I will show you exactly what they are.

Hate the Weight!

Visualize a person that you really detest. It could be someone from the past. Now, imagine that person has suddenly become the massive barbell in front of you!

You’ve always wanted to be stronger than him and you’ve imagined one too many times you and him in a heated fight where you knock shit out of him.

In that vision, you had bulging muscles, tons of strength and you could just keep going.

Ok…now it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee…

That barbell in front of you that you really can’t be asked lifting needs lifting if you wanna kick this dude’s ass!

Visualize a Rival!

Imagine yourself in close competition with a guy that you’ve always been neck and neck in everything you both did.

It just so happens that he’s getting ahead of you and you’re body’s telling you to stop stop stop!

This is where your inner strength will be called into action because unless you really dig deep, that son of a bitch will always be ahead of you!

Be Good To Yourself (When You Deserve It!)

The moments when you’re leaving the gym and you’re wearing a wry smile because you’ve just had one hell of a workout deserve to be rewarded!

Treat yourself to some new clothes or equipment because you’ve been a good boy. New gym gear is an excellent way to keep things fresh and interesting.

Enjoy Your Food

There’s no harm in treating yourself every now and then to foods that are not regular part of your diet. By no means you should be eating fatty shit, stick to healthy stuff because there’s plenty of variety in it.

If you’re a big chicken eater, why not go a bit “red meat” this week?

Watch a Movie!

Great classics like Rocky are great motivators; I don’t care what anyone says!

Rocky is an easy guy to relate to because of all the adversity he went through to get to where he needed to be.

Did Rocky Balboa ever quit! Hell no!

Try a New Supplement

We’ve all had a supplement that we always wanted to try but for one reason or another, we’ve never quite got round to trying it.

Well drop all else and get your ass down to your local health store and buy that damn supp!

How to stay motivated

Set Targets

It’s always wise to set yourself small goals that are reasonably easy to achieve.

Don’t go crazy and say “I want to gain 30 lbs in 5 days”.

Aim for small increments of progress.

Keep a “progress chart” and see how you’re getting on in the grand scale of things.

Blast the Tracks

Music is one of the best fuels for motivation. Listening to music that makes you tick will set your body on fire (not literally).

Music has the beautiful ability to take the mind away to places that you seldom go. An excellent way to “zone out” and blast through a session.

Take a Week Out

Sometimes stopping training altogether for a short period of time is a great way of regaining fitness hunger.

Don’t do anything for 6 weeks for instance.

Sometimes depriving yourself of exercise can make you pine!

Love Your Haters

You should love doing things in the gym that people said you can’t do.

Pump that 250 kg bench-press because someone joked with you that you’ll never do it 2 weeks ago!

Always go that extra mile to shut people’s mouths.

Train Because You Love It

Do not burden yourself to get fit. Learn to love it and you will just embrace the beautiful changes to your body both internally and externally.

Training Partner

If you haven’t got a training partner, seriously get yourself one!

A training partner can help you reach your goals quicker because you won’t be giving up as quick unless you want to be a laughing stock!

Embrace Advice

People are always giving each other advice in the gym.

You know what?

This isn’t a bad thing. You never stop learning!

Show Off

Show your muscles off to your parents, your girlfriend, and your nephews and nieces. It will help to make you feel better and remain focused and motivated.

I’ve set out just a handful of things that help me stay motivated in the gym. You will have your own individual preferences.

The bottom line is…never stop looking for things that motivate you!

Happy motivation guys!

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