Author: PowderCityAdmin
24Jul

Barefoot Weightlifting: Method for Massive Gains or Path to Permanent Injury?

Like any other industry, the fitness industry tends to latch onto trendy ideas like Presidential assassins latch on to Jodie Foster.  From Sweating to the Oldies to the Total Thigh Trainer to the *cringe* Ab Doer, it is clear that the fitness industry varies in opinions, techniques, and scruples. 

This lack of scruples being the case, I am heartily skeptical of any “new” piece of fitness advice that hits the headlines (daily enemas used to be the height of health advice, and who doesn’t love a daily enema?).  A piece of advice that tip-toed its way into the industry over the past few years is the idea that weightlifting barefoot benefits the body.

Now if you’re like me, you said to yourself: “Weightlifting barefoot… I suppose toe curls could strengthen my toeceps, but what else could this technique do for me?”  So I did a tiny bit of preliminary research and saw plenty of talking points:

  • The cavemen didn’t have shoes!
  • Scared of dropping a plate on your foot? Man up, buttercup.
  • It’s, like… more natural, you know?

Most of those are exact quotes.  I swear.  Despite the flawless use of logic above, I still was not convinced that lifting barefoot would offer me any advantage over lifting in shoes.  10+ years of lifting in shoes trumped by a sudden switch to no shoes?  Not likely.

But I’m a curious sort, so I ran my own test, and for the past year or so, I have lifted exclusively barefoot (the benefits of lifting at home, I say!).  And right off the bat you should know that because I’ve been doing this for a year now, I have fallen in love with the technique.  From a purely anecdotal perspective, here are the benefits that I have seen in a year’s work:

Benefits of Lifting Barefoot

  1. Wider, stronger feet:  I no longer experience pain in my arches if I am on my feet all day.  It seems to me that just by shedding the false support of a shoe, my feet adapted.
  2. Improved balance:  Shoes provide an unnatural surface on which to balance, so your muscles while lifting adapt to the unnatural surface.  Once the shoes are gone, your balance goes as well.
  3. Reduction of Knee Pain:  Squatting, cleaning, and really any lift that engages your legs will put some stress on your knees.  Shoes not designed specifically for weightlifting (such as Olympic Lifting Shoes) tend to force the stress of the weight onto various parts of your legs.  For me, my old shoes added undue stress to my knees.  Going barefoot removed that stress and pressure entirely.

Now yes, any idiot (me) can claim that barefoot lifting produces miracles.  And hell, it might.  And it might not.  For me, I saw improvement and thus will continue to lift without shoes (I still put on a pair of Converse when doing Clean and Jerks and Snatches for added grip on the floor).  For you, it might not work.

How to Start Barefoot Weight Lifting

  1. Start walking around barefoot as much as possible (around the house, around the park) so that your joints and body can acclimate to the new condition.
  2. Acquire a joint-support supplement to keep your joints strong throughout the transition.  Personally, I used Glucosamine.
  3. Gradually work barefoot lifts into your routine.  I started by removing my shoes for my last few sets in an attempt to not stress my body too much too quickly.  I worked up to not having to wear them at all.

Always pay attention to your body in order to minimize the risk of injury.  I grew to love working out barefoot (although my feet did grow from a size 8 to a size 9.5… so I ended up having to replace all of my shoes).  The improvement in balance alone is enough to motivate me to continue, but the reduction of knee pain solidified it for me.

24Jul

5 Ways Testosterone Supplements Benefit Your Body: A Guide Part 2

Now that you’ve read the guide to 6 supplements to boost testosterone (if you haven’t you should), check out how they work within your body.

Mechanisms Of Action

1. The primary function and mechanism of action for all of these supplements is boosting testosterone levels within the body. It should also be noted that when using such supplements it is critical to look for those which achieve this effect in a natural manner. One of the problems with anabolic steroids, for example, is that once supplementation is stopped it can severely impair the body’s ability to naturally produce testosterone. This can lead to a downward spiral that may result in a number of nasty side effects.

grandma dislikes your squat form
Muscle Building: Actual Movement May Be Required

2. Muscle building is also greatly enhanced with these types of supplements. In fact, this is oftentimes the major reason why someone begins using a testosterone enhancer. This effect is related to a number of ways in which these supplements actually work. Many testosterone enhancers are amino acids which play a vital role in the building of proteins. These proteins are also very important in a number of anabolic muscle building processes. As someone engages in heavy weight training, they actually tear down muscles. Then, the recovery process builds them back up again to a level (hopefully) larger than before. Added proteins help this recovery process to be not only more effective in terms of added muscle fibers and cells, but also in terms of speed.

3. Improved libido and enhanced sexual functioning are additional benefits of testosterone boosters. No man ever wants to admit that this happens to them, but libido and function does decline with age. This is a proven fact. What these supplements actually do is to trick the mind and body into thinking we are younger. The natural rise in testosterone levels may also lead to an overall improved mood and feeling of general well-being.

4. Some of these testosterone enhancers may also be able to improve overall brain health and function. Some of these supplements have interesting effects on a number of neurotransmitters, which are powerful brain chemicals that can affect everything from mood and movement to cognition and pain response. These include Dopamine, Serotonin, and even DHEA directly (although not technically a neurotransmitter, DHEA is still a powerful neuro steroid). Many of these chemicals have also been shown to protect neurons from damage and even decrease the death rate of brain cells. This combines to help promote overall cerebral health.

There are many people who suffer from unbalanced levels of these chemicals. This means that taking testosterone enhancers could also have the effect of normalizing a number of other chemical levels within the brain. This, in turn, will lead to improved mood, better sleep, and a whole host of other additional benefits.

5. Longevity may be another benefit of increasing your natural testosterone levels through these supplements. This is not often talked about but the reduction of levels of testosterone and DHEA in the brain as we age are thought by researchers to play an important role in how we age. The lower the levels of these chemicals, the less chance we have for living longer. It is almost like a downward spiral. The solution to this problem, of course, is simply to use these natural supplements and boost our testosterone and other neurotransmitter levels.

Testosterone enhancing supplements can provide significant benefits for a wide range of men. Whether you are an athlete or just an average guy concerned about the effects of aging, these are definitely supplements that should be on your radar. By understanding exactly what each of these offer it is possible to pick and choose which might be best for your specific situation. The main thing is to only use those which work in an all-natural fashion. Do not be afraid to do your own study by starting with one and then trying another, all the while paying careful attention to what effects they actually have.

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24Jul

Boost Testosterone with these 6 Supplements

So What’s the Point of Testosterone Boosters?

heavy lifting
Manliness…slowly…draining
(CC BY 2.0)

Why might someone consider taking supplements to enhance or increase their levels of testosterone? After all, this is a natural substance produced within the body. In fact, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone which is responsible for things like a deep voice, amount of body hair, and even muscle growth. This is also why men have more of all these things than women, despite the fact that women do also produce small amounts of testosterone naturally.

The problem is that after reaching the age of about 25, the body will begin to produce less of this hormone. Reduced levels make it more difficult to retain and even build muscle. Many men also find themselves suffering from lower libido, reduced energy, and even decreased motivation. Using testosterone enhancing supplements can help to restore a more natural level and help to fight off these effects. Additionally, many athletes also consider these supplements to have a strong effect on their overall performance.

Natural Supplements to Increase Testosterone


#6 DHEA


I lift things up and put them down
Tell him more about how you can’t lift; he’ll understand.

DHEA is a hormone and a noted testosterone precursor. This simply means that within the body it actually is converted into testosterone during the normal metabolic processes of synthesis and break down.

This supplement is primarily used to help increase strength, build muscle, increase energy, and enhance libido. Found in wild yams and soy products it is actually the most common natural steroid found in human plasma.

DHEA is primarily used by weight training athletes as a means of increasing performance. This is seen as a way to naturally raise testosterone levels, but it is also helpful in accomplishing faster and easier weight reduction and even reducing insulin resistance.

There are also general health benefits for this supplement. Since the level of DHEA production declines with age high levels are often an excellent sign and predictor of longevity in men. As an important neuro steroid it has also been shown to decrease brain cell death and even promote overall cerebral health.


#5 L-Arginine



sex drive
Anyone seen my sex drive?…Nevermind, found it.

L-Arginine is another amino acid which is known to have a number of regenerative effects on a number of systems throughout the body. It is an effective testosterone booster and also helps to improve the male libido. Many users also find that it is helpful in reducing blood pressure in some cases.

Since is also known to help in the production of protein many body builders and weight lifters should see an improved ability to build muscle mass while using this supplement. It has also been noted that Arginine may even help to promote growth in areas of the body which may ordinarily be quite difficult to achieve through traditional training.

L-Arginine AAKG

L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate is another type of the L-Arginine supplement that further increases nitric oxide levels. This is a great addition to a pre workout powder. Some users prefer this type as the effects seem to be almost immediate. This supplement can also eliminate excess ammonia from the body that is built up with intense exercise.


#4 Mucuna Pruriens Extract


harsh realityBeach Body: Some exercise required.

This is a supplement taken from a tropical legume that is also called velvet bean, cowitch, or cowhage. This plant, or more accurately the seeds of this plant, has been used for male sexual dysfunction for many years by native populations.

The main benefit, of course, is the ability to raise levels of circulating testosterone within the body. Sperm count and semen quality have also been shown to been significantly enhanced with this supplement, especially in infertile men.

Mucuna Pruriens is also a powerful anti-oxidant with a number of additional properties and helpful benefits, including its use as a  blood purifier. It has also been shown to help increase the production of human growth hormone. This is significant both for sexual function as well as increasing muscle mass.


#3 D Aspartic Acid


What is D-Aspartic Acid? DAA is actually an important amino acid which helps to build proteins throughout the human body. It is also found in a number of food sources like meat, avocados, and certain types of green sprouting vegetables. It is also a very important nutrient due to the fact that it helps with the biosynthesis of sex hormones.

One of the most interesting benefits to be gained from this supplement is the continued testosterone increase, even after supplementation is discontinued. Unlike many other testosterone boosters, there does appear to be a fairly significant residual effect. Apparently, this nutrient actually builds up and is collected within the testes for continued use even after its initial supply has been stopped.


#2 Tribulus Terrestris


sad bride

Tribulus. is another interesting plant based testosterone enhancing supplement. This is also used by a number of men from weight lifting athletes to those simply interested in fighting the effects of aging on their decreased libido and natural testosterone levels. There is even some evidence that this may provide some anti-oxidant benefits.

Of course, the most prominent effects and benefits of this supplement are to help improve sexual desire, function, and the ability to easily build muscle mass. These are also the natural benefits of an increased level of testosterone production.

There are also a number of other benefits which have come to be associated with this plant extract. These include promoting urinary tract health as well as kidney health. It may also help those with high blood pressure. While more research needs to be conducted, this is certainly something that can help many people. 


#1 Longjack 200:1


Longjack is a powerful extract from the tongkat ali plant which grows naturally in Indonesia, Malaysia, and throughout Southeast Asia. Traditionally, this substance has been used for its reported antibacterial, cytotoxic, aphrodisiac, and antimalarial effects and benefits. This supplement has become increasingly popular in the west in recent years, especially among weight training athletes for its testosterone boosting effects.

One of the major effects and benefits of this supplement is to protect male genitals from the harmful effects of free estrogen, which is capable of causing cell death to these vital organs. It is also reported to improve testicular function and increase sperm generation. It is also known toincrease libido and improve overall testosterone functioning.

How Do These Testosterone Boosters Work?

If you want to know the science behind how these supplements work with your body,
continue to the next section>>

 

24Jul

Week 3: Sweat it Out

Keep on keeping on with week 3’s workouts! If you’re just starting, you can find week one here and week two here. As always, we’ve provided supplement suggestions for you that promote maximum weight loss and enhanced performance! Find a complete index of crossfit workouts here.

Helpful Supplements


Sulbutiamine Capsules

$6.65
Boost your energy and focus with sulbutiamine today!

Yohimbine Capsules

From $7.98
Jumpstart your fat-loss with Yohimbine!

Man Up Monday

Repeat 3-5X

20 squats
20 skaters
20 plié squats
20 side lunges (each leg)
20 donkey kicks (each leg)
20 fire hydrants (each leg)
20 jump squats
20 jump lunges
20 bridge lifts
20 switch kicks

Tone Up Tuesday

Arms/Core/Shoulders

10 incline push ups
10 tricep dips
10 pike press
15 sit ups
15 scissor kicks
15 side plank sweep through (both sides)
15 leg lifts
10-15 military press
10-15 lateral raises
10-15 upright rows
10-15 front raises
10-15 shrugs

Repeat 3X

Work it Out Wednesday

16 minute tabata – 4 minute rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.

Round 1:
Burpee
Plank jacks

Round 2:
Jump lunge
Mountain climbers

Round 3:
Skaters
Push ups

Round 4
Jumping jacks
Alternating backward lunge

 

Throw Down Thursday

Lazy Day Workout

 

Video Games

Loading Screen = 10 x Push Ups 

Your Character Dies = 10 Sit Ups

Cutscene = Calf Raises for the Duration

 

TV Time

Show Begins = 15 Tricep Dips

Commercial 1 = 20s Plank, 10 secs rest (for duration)

Commercial 2 = 20s Calf Raises, 10s rest (for duration)

Commercial 3 = 20s Push Ups, 10s rest (for duration)

Show Ends = 30 Squats

 

It’s the 4th of July, so you probably don’t have fitness on the agenda for today. But instead of sitting on your keister and watching it grow horizontally, try to fit in this lazy day workout!

Get Fit Friday

crossfit light 500 rep challenge

Check back next week for more WODs!

About Samantha Bookwalter

Google+

Samantha Bookwalter is freelance writer and social media specialist. She specializes in web editing, copy editing, copy writing, social media management, HTML, CSS, and other web-related acronyms. Samantha has an affinity for health and fitness; in her free time she enjoys working out with her husband and researching recipes that are not only healthy but delicious too.

24Jul

Drastic Body Transformations: Three Actors Who Pushed Their Bodies to the Limit for a Role

With the recent release of Man of Steel (2013) and the seeming rise-from-obscurity of its star, Henry Cavill, Hollywood fitness pushed its way to the front of the line in fitness forums across the web. 

Just how did Cavill transform his body from a doughy twig to a rock-solid oak in such a short amount of time?  The answer is simple: he fell under the tutelage of the fitness trainer and fight choreographer (Gym Jones and Damon Caro, respectively) who helped Gerard Butler and his co-stars turn into Spartan warriors for 300 (2006). 

In an interview with ScreenRant.com, director Zack Snyder summed it up pretty well:  “Henry’s gonna be hitting the iron pretty hard.”  And that he did.  But who else in Hollywood has undergone such a massive transformation?  Here we take a look at three famous actors who transformed themselves for a role.

3. Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho (2000)

Bret Easton Ellis penned American Psycho in 1991, carefully crafting the aesthetically-obsessed Patrick Bateman.  From his business cards to his apartment to his physique Bateman demanded perfection.  So when in 2000 Christian Bale began studying and working to fill the role of Bateman in the movie adaptation of the book, Bale set himself on being Bateman down to the last detail.  And what happened was the transformation of a lifetime. 

In Bale’s own words, he had never touched a weight before he was cast in the movie.  Immediately, he thrust himself into a workout routine to rival all:  obsessively clean diet, weight training, and more, all ramping up to three hours of training per day during pre-production.  All of that dedication paid off in spades.  Bale’s physique served to heighten the truly insane personality of Bateman and resulted in one of the most compelling scenes in cinema:  Bateman’s morning routine.  I’ll spare you the spoilers.

2. Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV (1985)

Ah, yes.  The Cold War era.  Full of chest thumping and intimidation and the hilariously thin line between rhetoric and nuclear war.  The Soviets proclaimed the evils of the West, and the West bragged about blue jeans, Coca-Cola, and Rocky’s victory over Ivan Drago.  I mean, when I think Cold War I think Rocky vs. Ivan Drago.  While completely fictitious, I am 100% certain that Rocky IV led to the downfall of the USSR. 

At any rate, the co-star of this illustrious piece of Cold War propaganda, Dolph Lundgren, wanted to embody the imperialistic might put forth in Soviet propaganda.  So, he became the Russian bear. 

This Olympic athlete was already in amazing shape by society’s standards, but he pushed his body further:  “We trained six days a week—weights in the morning for about an hour, then boxing in the afternoon. We did a split of chest and back one day and then shoulders, legs, and arms the next. We boxed for an hour and a half, practiced the fight choreography, and did bag work and abs.” 

Pretty crazy, huh?  It gets better.  On the set, he once punched Sylvester Stallone so hard that Stallone was hospitalized with swelling of the chest.  But Rocky still won, so take that, Soviets! 

1. Robert De Niro as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980)

When one thinks of “physical intimidation,” one places Robert DeNiro fairly far down the list—probably somewhere ahead of Jack Nicholson but behind Jackie Gleason.  That being said, in his heyday DeNiro rocked a stellarly in-shape body.  When tasked with playing the role of famed boxer Jake La Motta, DeNiro not only faced the struggle of portraying a terribly troubled man, but also the struggle of looking convincing as a boxing champion. 

An article from Vanity Fair characterizes De Niro’s transformation:  “By the time the cameras rolled, the star was an extremely fit and well-trained cockroach. He had worked with La Motta for nearly a year, boxing some 1,000 rounds in a gym on 14th Street, adding 20 pounds of muscle to his 145-pound frame.”  DeNiro is the go-to when discussing body transformations for movies, and with good reason:  he so thoroughly captivated his audience that he earned an Oscar for his efforts.

If you’re looking to shred your body and pack on the muscle like these actors, try a combination of Yohimbine HCL for fat loss, and Whey Protein for muscle repair and building.

24Jul

Whey Protein Versus Soy Protein—Which Is Better?

Body builders and other athletes as well as everyday people looking to improve their levels of fitness have been turning to protein supplements in greater numbers than ever before. Two of the most commonly used sources of protein are whey and soy.

Despite the fact that of these sources do have similar effects and that each can be used effectively to build lean muscle mass, there are subtle differences. In order to determine which is best it is important to understand what each one actually is and their respective values, benefits, and side effects.

What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein comes from cow milk and is considered to be high quality and complete. It contains all of the essential amino acids including branched chain amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

These acids are incredibly important since the body strips them from the muscles during exercise. Additionally, whey protein has a very high absorption rate that leads to muscle rebuilding very quickly after its ingestion. This is also why whey protein is a great post workout supplement.

What Is Soy Protein?

Soy protein comes from soy beans and is, therefore, plant-based rather than animal based. This is also considered a complete form of protein, containing all the essential amino acids. Unlike whey, soy protein is rich in glutamine and arginine. These amino acids help muscle formation, especially the formation of new muscle tissue. It is less effective in rebuilding muscle tissue. Obviously, this would likely be the better option for those who have dairy allergies.

Whey Vs. Soy Protein

One method of comparing different forms of protein is to use the Biological Value or BV. This is a way to measure the amount of nitrogen retained after consumption versus the amount of nitrogen consumed with an empty stomach.

Whey protein has a BV of around 100, while soy protein has a BV of 74. This is most likely related to the ease of absorption, with whey protein being the clear winner.

Another method of comparison between these two forms of protein is called the net protein utilization. This is simply a measure of how much of the consumed protein is actually used by the body. In the case of soy protein approximately 61 percent of the protein is actually used. With whey protein, this rating is approximately 92 percent. Whey protein is the clear winner when judged by this standard as well.

The amino acid score is another way to quickly compare two different protein sources. This is a way to compare based on the most limiting amino acid found in the studied protein. The exact method of testing is a bit complicated, but whey protein wins in this regard again, 1.14 to 0.99.

Soy protein does have three major factors in its favor. First, this is a better choice for those with milk or other dairy allergies. It also contains more of two critical amino acids (the glutamine and arginine already mentioned) which are incredibly important in the formation of new muscle tissue.

Whey vs Soy Protein Side Effects

There are some concerns with the isoflavones in soy protein disrupting the natural hormonal balance of the body. Another criticism is that some of the inhibitors found in soy change testosterone or estrogen levels. Whey protein can aggravate milk and dairy allergies. Then again, this is not true for everyone and you should just monitor yourself for any of these potential side effects. 

Ultimately, the best course may be to try both whey and soy protein sources to see how your body responds. If you are lactose intolerant or lactose sensitive, it may be best for you to stick to soy protein. Otherwise, most individuals use whey protein for its superior nitrogen retention and protein absorption.

24Jul

Week 2: A WOD for Every Week Day

We’re back with another week of workouts for you guys. Shake things up and try something new. Check out the supplement suggestions for maximum weight loss and enhanced performance! Find a complete index of our crossfit workouts here

Try these Supplements

We don’t just want to throw some workouts at you and call it a day. We want you to succeed. To do that, you need proper nutritional support.

First up on our list of suggestions is the Ultimate Weight Loss Stack. This stack is chock full of supplements designed to annihilate fat as well as boost your energy levels to carry you through tough workouts. With supplements like Yohimbine HCL, Raspberry Ketones, and Synephrine HCL, you are sure to succeed!

Next up on our list are Raspberry Ketones. Do you want to lose weight but you don’t want to deal with loose supplement powders? Then Raspberry Ketones will work great for you! Raspberry Ketones are chemically similar to Capsaicin, which accounts for its thermogenic weight loss abilities. Boost your metabolism today with Raspberry Ketones!

Man Up Monday

Set 1 – Repeat 5X

3 pull ups*
6 push ups
9 squats**

Set 2 – Repeat 5X

3 toe to bar
6 leg raises
9 squats**

*Wear a weighted vest for an additional challenge

**Add weights or a sandbag to increase intensity

Tone Up Tuesday

Run 800 meters
10 burpees
15 sit ups
10 push ups
15 flutter kicks

Repeat 4X

Work it Out Wednesday

abdominal circuit

Throw Down Thursday

crossfit circuit

Get Fit Friday

crossfit light total body wod

Stretch Alternative

Feeling sore and need a break? Try out this stretching routine instead!

1 Minute Superman Stretch

30 secs Child’s Pose

1 Minute Standing Hamstring Stretch (30 secs per leg)

1 Minute Ankle Circles (30 secs per leg)

30 secs standing Toe Touches

30 secs Cobra/Downward Dog

20 Dynamic Hamstring Stretch (10 per leg)

1 min Side Wrist Pull (30 secs per side)

30 secs Downward Dog

20 Front Leg Raises (10 per leg)

(Repeat all 3 times)

 

Check back next week for a whole new set of WODs!

About Samantha Bookwalter

Google+

Samantha Bookwalter is freelance writer and social media specialist. She specializes in web editing, copy editing, copy writing, social media management, HTML, CSS, and other web-related acronyms. Samantha has an affinity for health and fitness; in her free time she enjoys working out with her husband and researching recipes that are not only healthy but delicious too.

24Jul

Comprehensive Guide To Pre-Workout Supplements

The Purpose of Pre-Workout Supplements

Most athletes use pre-workout supplements to help them in a number of ways. Other people who are simply interested in exercising to lose weight, maintain their existing physique, or just to get a little bit of extra activity may wonder whether or not there are good reasons to use these supplements.

It is important to realize that they can be extremely helpful in providing the nutritional support needed by the body. This can make your routines more effective no matter what type of goal is sought. However, you need to know the benefits and how to supplement properly.

There are also a number of purposes and benefits to using pre-workout supplements. The most common of these is the ability to increase energy levels. This can help you to power through even the most challenging and intense routines along with increasing stamina and endurance.

Using the right type of supplements can also enhance muscle pumps and even put the body in an excellent position to recover faster and build more muscle effectively. They can also help to increase the levels of key hormones like testosterone and even may be able to improve mental focus and concentration.

Benefits of Pre Workout Supplements


Muscle Pharm Assault

Muscle Pharm Assault is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements on the market today. Not only does this have a number of ingredients to help increase your energy levels, it also offers a whole host of additional benefits. The extra energy is not only immediate, but also long lasting to help improve your stamina.

They also include a muscle explosion nitric oxide matrix. These ingredients, which include Beta Alanine, L-Arginine, Citrulline Malate, Glycine, and more, have been shown to help provide nutrients directly to the working muscles. This assists in the refomrulation and supply of ATP within the muscle cells. In addition to helping the muscles become stronger, they will also delay the onset of fatigue to help you perform more sets and reps.

There are even ingredients in this product to help improve mental energy, focus, and concentration. Medium chain triglycerides, Taurine, and L-Aspartic acid are very helpful in this regard. Together they may to a state known as runners or weight lifters high, where endorphins are flooding the system, making it incredibly easy to focus on the routine and give it your all.

BSN NO Xplode 2.0

BSN NO Xplode 2.0 is another interesting and popular pre-workout supplement designed to offer a long lasting blast of energy and nutritional support. Also known as a training igniter, BSN supplies a scientific blend of ingredients to help the body and muscles become stronger, last longer, and recover faster.

The primary ingredient included in this supplement is nitric oxide (hence the NO in the name of this product). It functions as a vasodilator, opening blood vessels and pathways. This also aids in increasing the blood flow and oxygen supply to your muscles. Then, it delivers a number of additional nutrients to the muscles such as Beta Alanine, Arginine, Creatine, and other amino acids.

Taking this product will lead to fuller muscles with improved pumps. They will be able to last longer before reaching the state of muscular failure. It also helps to put your muscles and body in a great position to get the recovery process started much faster than would normally be expected. Many users also report feelings mental clarity, focus, and alertness when using this supplement.

Citrulline Malate + Beta Alanine

Citrulline Malate and Beta Alanine combines two of the most effective pre-workout enhancers into a single, easy-to-use and consume formulation. Citrulline Malate is a substance that has consistently demonstrated very positive results. It works by increasing ATP in the bloodstream.

ATP is the main source of energy for working muscles, and making more of it available means that you will be able to work longer and harder before fatigue sets in. Another benefit of this ingredient is that it also helps to remove ammonia and lactic acid from the bloodstream. Since these are two of the by products of muscular fatigue, this only strengthens its ability to help enhance the effectiveness of training.

Beta Alanine is another non-essential amino acid. It works by helping to increase the level of a substance called carnosine. Carnosine actually helps to buffer and stabilize the pH level of blood, which normally becomes more and more acidic during training due to the release of hydrogen ions.

Taken together, these two main ingredients offer a one-two punch to make training more effective. Your muscles will have more energy and be able to last longer before the onset of fatigue.

L-Arginine

L-Arginine might not be ordinarily thought of as a pre-workout supplement, but it does have a lot of benefits in this regard. This amino acid is thought to possibly be able to stimulate the production of certain growth hormones within the body to help increase muscle building effects. It is also known to help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which should also help to produce not only a more effective workout, but also lead to improved recovery.

Sticking with the theme of recovery for another minute, L-Arginine is involved in the synthesis of proteins. Since proteins are needed by the body to build or re-build muscle tissue, this is also a great ingredient to use for improving recovery times.

The best way to use this supplement is by taking a single capsule or two about 30 minutes before bed. While it is generally well-tolerated and effective, it is also possible to build up tolerance. Therefore, this is not something to use on an every day basis; at least one week off each month is recommended.

Schizandrol A

Schizandrol A should be considered as an effective pre-workout supplement. This is the extract of a woody vine that grows in northern China and the far eastern areas of Russia. It is known to increase the levels of nitric oxide in the body (similar to how NO Xplode and Muscle Pharm Assault operate) as well as reducing the amount of cortisol, helping the body to properly adapt to stress like an intense workout program.

This supplement may also effect some of the key neurotransmitters within the brain. This not only helps to increase mental focus, concentration, and clarity of thought, but also may even lead to improved motivation and overall energy. The best part of all is that this product is very versatile and can be taken whenever an energy boost is needed.

Pre-Workout Supplement Cheat Sheet


pre-workout supplement cheat sheet

Choosing Your Pre-Workout Supplements by Mechanism of Action

One of the most important things you should look for in a pre-workout supplement is the ability to increase testosterone levels. The anabolic or muscle-building effects of this hormone are well known. As your testosterone levels increase, it is normally much easier to build muscle, train harder, and recover faster. There are a number of supplements and ingredients which can be used pre-workout in order to stimulate an increase in testosterone levels.

It is also very important to understand that this should be done naturally. In other words, you would not want to simply use synthetic steroids or direct testosterone injections, since these would ultimately cause natural production to decrease. Instead, something like L-Arginine is excellent at increasing levels naturally without any side effects. Other ideas for producing similar effects include DHEA, D-Aspartic Acid, Mucuna Pruriens, and Tribulus Terrestris. Be sure to look for any of these ingredients in your pre-workout supplement of choice.

Reducing Muscle Pain and Fatigue

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements

Reduce Muscle Pain and Fatigue

• Boost energy in muscle cells
• Increase time until muscular failure for more reps

Build Muscle

• Recover faster
• Increase muscle cell volume

Enhance Concentration

• Improve alertness, focus, and concentration
• Avoid mental exhaustion after strenuous physical exertion

Reducing muscle pain and fatigue is another important mechanism of action. One of the factors which limits how much exercise that can be performed is your fatigue threshold. Fatigue is normally caused by a build up of lactic acid within the muscle tissue.

This lactic acid is produced when the supply of ATP (think of this as direct energy) has been used up. Having a pre-workout supplement for the specific purpose of bringing energy or ATP directly into the muscle cells can help with a reduction in fatigue.

As the time until muscular failure is increased, this allows you to add more reps and sets. Of course, this will further tear down the muscle tissue, which is really what training is all about. Most of the pre-workout supplements on the market today will claim to offer increased energy, but make sure that they do this by focusing on ATP production, not just some stimulants that give a quick burst of energy and then go away.

Building Muscle

Building muscle and also helping to set yourself up for proper recovery is another important consideration when choosing a pre-workout supplement. Having some protein supplied by your initial supplements are very important in this regard. There are a number of pre-workout supplements on the market that offer an adequate supply of protein; especially look for those which include branched chain amino acids since they are more effective and faster acting than many other forms.

There are a number of effective pre-workout supplements that will enhance muscle building efforts. For example, creatine can help to increase muscle cell volume, glycogen synthesis, and improve high intensity muscular performance. Beta Alanine also offers some nice muscle building effects. Many weight lifters and other athletes would even suggest using a good Whey Protein formulation to help enhance muscle building efforts.

Enhancing Concentration and Mental Focus

enhancing focus and concentrationEnhancing concentration and mental focus can lead to some incredibly effective workouts. Many people who neglect to take pre-workout supplements end up mentally drained after a strenuous routine. While this is a normal course of action, it can easily be avoided with the right supplements beforehand.

D-Aspartic Acid, for example, is known to have some effect upon certain neurotransmitters within the brain that influence memory, learning and overall cognitive function. This can improve alertness, focus and concentration, leading to a more productive workout. L-Glutamine is another supplement that works in a similar fashion. This one also crosses the blood-brain barrier and influences some of the neurotransmitters in the brain.

Summing Up

Pre-workout supplements can help to improve performance no matter what type of athlete you are and no matter what type of routine you use. Yes, this even applies to all the ‘weekend warriors’ out there. It is helpful to understand what some of the more commonly used supplements actually do before making a decision as to which ones to try. Also consider the specific functions or mechanisms of action used. Finally, do not be afraid to consider putting together a stack in order to ensure that you receive all the nutritional support your body needs to have an incredibly effective workout.

24Jul

Work It Out: A Week of Exercise Routines

Need a workout for today or just burnt out on your normal routines? Give these a try! We’ve also included some supplement suggestions to help you kick start your weight loss journey. Want more crossfit? Here is a complete list of crossfit workouts.

Suggested supplements

Need help deciding which supplements to help you power through your workouts and shred fat? Look no further, we have some great options just for you!

Green Coffee Bean Extract is a great option when you need an energy boost during your workouts. Plus, they have the added benefit of helping you burn fat as well. Because this supplement is an excellent source of chlorogenic acid, it can help reduce glucose spikes after you eat meals. Chlorogenic acid is also able to metabolize fat quickly making this an all around great addition to your workout regimen.

Creatine HCL not only helps you build muscle faster, it is also much more bioavailable than other forms of creatine. This means you will need a smaller dosage, making this creatine type much easier to use. Creatine HCL works by increasing your body’s supply of ATP, which is your muscles’ primary source of fuel. More fuel means a much more intense workout, so stock up on your Creatine HCL today!

5-HTP is well known for the ability to improve sleep quality, but did you know they curb carbohydrate cravings? Anyone who has ever been on a diet has felt that urge to cheat, but with  5-HTP  you will be able to stay on track and control your appetite. Get your supply 5-HTP today!

Man Up Monday

5 pull ups
10 toes to bar
20 dips
30 sit ups*

AMRAP 20 minutes

*Alternative: Do weighted sit ups for more of a challenge

Tone Up Tuesday

15 Bridge Scissor crunches (each side)
30 lunges
15 lying side tricep press ups (each side)
30 squats
15 side plank sweep through (each side)
30 floor switch kicks

Repeat 3 times

Work it Out Wednesday

Run 800m

3 rounds:

10 tuck jumps
10 burpees
10 squat jumps
10 high knees
10 lunge jumps

Run 800m

Throw Down Thursday

Mini-Murph

1 mile run
50 pull ups
100 push ups
150 squats
1 mile run

Partition the pull ups, push ups, and squats as needed.

Get Fit Friday

butt and gut WOD

Check back next week for a whole new set of WODs!

About Samantha Bookwalter

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Samantha Bookwalter is freelance writer and social media specialist. She specializes in web editing, copy editing, copy writing, social media management, HTML, CSS, and other web-related acronyms. Samantha has an affinity for health and fitness; in her free time she enjoys working out with her husband and researching recipes that are not only healthy but delicious too.

24Jul

Words of Wisdom from History: Motivation to Keep You Focused on Fitness

We all have off days.  Those slow, bleak, put-me-out-of-my-misery kinds of days that make going to the gym a seemingly impossible task—it’d be easier to find what little human skin is left on Joan Rivers’ face than to get out of bed and go to the weight room.  What works for me, and what I hope will work for you, is a swift kick in the brain from some of history’s most notorious badasses.  There’s nowhere for excuses to hide in the face of these no-bullshit mantras.

teddy roosevelt5. “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in that gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt

If there were a Presidential battle royale including all of the United States’ Presidents throughout history, I would wager a small fortune on Teddy Roosevelt coming out on top (probably while wearing James Buchanon’s head as a necklace and using John Adams’ skull as a beer goblet).  His no-nonsense attitude and fervent determination to succeed are both well documented and mind blowing.  The above quote embodies motivation.  To put Teddy’s intensity into focus, remember that even after being shot while giving a speech, Teddy continued and finished the speech before seeking medical attention.  And you don’t want to go to the gym because you feel “blah.”

4. “For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Seeing as this is a health supplement website, it would be a shame if I neglected to discuss the Austrian Oak, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He won Mr. Olympia a shocking SEVEN times. 

Let that sink in for a second.  Feeling pretty inferior yet?  Well, let me salt the wound: he won his first Mr. Universe at age 20.  Methinks he never skipped a workout because he “didn’t feel like it.”  Be the Governator; lift the weights.

Albert Camus

3. “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” – Albert Camus

While not exactly a beacon of physical health, Albert Camus provided insight into the mechanisms that churn inside us all.  I’ll spare you the freshman-year-pseudo-philosophy-major speech and get right to the heart of his message:  Sisyphus, while doomed for eternity to push the same rock up the same hill, still has purpose, still has a goal, and still has the hope of achieving that goal.  Without any obstacle in his way, he would just be any ordinary doomed soul.  But the rock gives him purpose.  Find your own rock and let it out in the gym.  And please don’t make your rock the last sleeve of Oreos.

2. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” – Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali stands alone as an undisputed champion.  Unmarred by scandal and as pious as the most devout of us, he is an example of what motivation and strength can produce.  I remember reading Sports Illustrated for Kids when I was younger.  In one issue a three foot by four foot poster of Ali was included (of the associated picture) with the words “Impossible is Nothing” across the center.  That poster immediately went up on my wall and it has survived several moves since (with a little wear and tear to boot).  One look at that poster and I know to just suck it up if I’m feeling bad.

1.  And for this last quote, I figured I would go with a YouTube video instead.  My current motivation stems from C.T. Fletcher’s workout and motivational videos.  He is a force to be reckoned with and his words resonate well with anyone who has ever lifted weights.  The video is NSFW due to some… colorful language.  Enjoy.

where to buy DMAE bitartrateWhat all of these quotes (and the video) boil down to is knowing how to overcome a mental block.  Being able to control your mind and overcome your doubts is well over half the battle in the gym.  Can’t quite get that last repetition?  How about a little rage to push you over that stalling point.  Don’t feel like finishing your workout?  How about a slap upside the head. 

Increase your Motivation with Workout Supplements

Stay focused and stay strong mentally and the physical aspect will come.  Since motivation isn’t always that easy, there are also a few supplements that can kickstart your mind.  Personally, I use DMAE bitartrate.  Follow the link to learn more—suffice to say it hones your mind to a razor’s edge.