Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gain Mass - Don't Overtrain your Muscles!

This is somewhat of an elementary concept to bodybuilding and/or building muscle mass, albeit a lot of inexperienced and experienced weight lifters still commonly make this simple mistake. One must remember the basic science behind gaining muscle mass, and that is: Your muscles grow while you're resting, not when you're constantly working them to death. True, they often swell while working out and many gym folks call it "getting pumped," but that is just from the temporary surge of excess blood that pumps into your muscles from the current exertion that is taking place.

Anyway, it is often hard for the eager ones and bodybuilding beginners, along with the muscle-bound fanatics, to not overtrain, at times. I refer to it as "overtraining" when you work your body so hard, that it barely has time to recover in between workouts. When this happens, it is usually all your body can do, in its limited amount of rest time, to repair enough muscle tissue/fibers in between workout sessions - just to get back to its prior state without any gains whatsoever. Now, doesn't that sound counter-productive and like a big waste of time and effort or what???

Take some breaks, don't overtrain your muscles and create some damn time gaps, it is simple as that, when it comes to gaining that muscular mass! In fact, after going through a regular routine of physical fitness training for a couple months or three, it is also good to take an entire week or two off. Remember what I said in my "muscle memory" post? If you've read that particular blog entry, you'll not be alarmed or fear the possibility of muscle loss during your down times, layoffs, off weeks, etc. Once again, your muscles grow during the recovery process, provided that you ingest an ample supply of nutrients, protein, and so on.

Another thing that semi-relates to this "muscle growth" stuff, is to shock your system from time to time. It is a training method that involves an ever-changing routine. If you apply this method, you would completely alter your workouts from month to month with a completely different set of exercises and/or angles of motion. Although, you don't necessarily have to entirely omit certain exercises that focus on the target areas within your desired goals of gain, but I'm just saying: when you shock your body with variety and unpredictable motions, you are apt for a full spectrum of muscle gains along with versatility and flexibility.

I know that there are many professional bodybuilders who eliminate the possibility of this "don't overtrain the muscles" dilemma - so they can gain more mass, by simply working one or two muscle groups once a week. Their routine usually consists of a 6-day-a-week program, with one day of rest, but during those 6 days, they never work or focus on the same group of muscles more than once a week. However, for most people who are not "professional bodybuilders," you will not need to resort to such things. For example, you may be a guy who just wants muscular arms and a toned chest. If that's the case, you could easily have great gains by working those areas hard, about once every 5 to 7 days and ever so often, take a couple weeks off.

Look at it this way: You're just not designed to be a workhorse, and to naturally gain muscle mass without drugs or growth hormones, it will take a lot of time and effort.....

---End of Post 'Gain Mass - Don't Overtrain your Muscles!'

Friday, December 17, 2010

Easy ways to add Omega-3 to your Diet

First, before I even mention some easy diet changes to get this particular fatty acid into your system, I must comment about the pill form of this substance that is normally very easy to find at your local health stores, supermarkets, or pharmacy.

Omega-3 capsules is one of the few supplements that come with marketing hype, during the last several years, that is actually worth the money. Pills that are overly advertised usually end up being worthless, but this stuff is actually very beneficial to your body (improves mental health, joint health, has anti-inflammatory properties, promotes heart & circulatory health, and so on), in many ways. You can get Omega-3 capsules in the form of Salmon Oil, Krill Oil or basic Fish Oil, along with other sources such as Flaxseed oil, etc. Personally, I just go with the typical Fish Oil capsules that are purified to eliminate Mercury and are commonly derived from anchovy, mackerel, and sardines. Hey, it is Omega-3 that I'm wanting, so why spend all the extra money on a product that claims that it has a "better source" of Omega-3 from krill as opposed to fish or whatever, when it is basically the same thing...ya know? ...Yeah, that Omega-3 stuff. Below, I'm going to type about a few easy ways to add Omega-3 to your diet without supplementation.

---Here's a quick, easy way to add Omega-3 to your diet if you do very much pan frying: change your oil, if you've been using regular vegetable oil. Switch over to Canola oil (but even that oil is debatable due to the way it's made), which contains these beneficial fatty acids as opposed to the common vegetable oil, corn oil, etc. However, I wouldn't recommend Canola oil for deep frying or high temperature situations, since this oil will break down quicker and actually do more harm than good if subjected to high-temp conditions albeit some people strongly recommend it for deep-frying (dang, can the health-conscious community agree on anything?). Even though it doesn't contain Omega-3, I use Peanut oil for deep frying because it can withstand a lot more heat than most oils, and this means it will take longer to break down and create toxic substances and/or undergo unhealthy molecular changes.

---If you eat eggs, buy the ones that contain Omega-3. Don't worry, you'll know which ones do because it will be advertised and printed all over the container for obvious reasons.
Eggs produced by chicken that are fed a diet of greens and insects produce higher levels of these beneficial fatty acids as opposed to the chickens that are fed the typical diet of corn or soybeans, and whatnot.

---If you enjoy eating seeds & nuts, throw in some Walnuts, as they contain a decent amount of Omega-3 and are very easy to consume.

---Eat fish or seafood weekly. Yes, the biggest supplier of Omega-3 is cold-water fish and seafood. Yep, it can be quite expensive, but not all seafood products are. Try to stay away from, or eat less often, the fish that are higher up on the food chain like the predatory fish, since they can contain high levels of mercury along with other unwanted toxins due to polluted waters, etc. Personally, I like all types of fish & seafood, but I generally eat more catfish, salmon, and shrimp, than anything, but I also like Tilapia, Flounder, Cod, Pollock, and so on.

---Now, back to the supplements... One of the most convenient "easy ways" to add Omega-3 into your diet plan, is by taking Fish Oil capsules. The bottle usually recommends taking 3 pills (1 gram each) a day, but I only take one capsule a day, since I regularly incorporate other ways, that I mentioned above, to get this particular fatty acid into my body. Luckily for me, I enjoy most types of food, so I have no problem getting Omega-3 into my diet by intentionally eating certain things for this very reason, throughout the week. However, if you're eating all the wrong types of food and/or junk, a little extra Omega-3 added to your diet will not do much good, since it is all about the Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 ratio, so you might want to consider what crap you've been ingesting in between being health-conscious.

--------------->'Click Here' to shop for Fish Oil and Omega-3 Supplements<------------------End of Post "Easy ways to add Omega-3 to your Diet"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Exercises for the computer geeks...

...Holy Cyber-God, what a sorry subject we have stumbled upon. Yes, the inevitable problems that many computer geeks often face, is poor blood circulation (except when they are, well, doing WHAT at the computer? LOL! Oh, never mind the circulation thingy...), a non-active social life with people in real-life scenarios (that can be a good thing, at times), a lack of outdoor hobbies, a sorry status of physical fitness, and so on......

Welcome to the typical computer geek's den, without all the junk and excess electronics (it's just a picture, for an example; but, is this your home?): By the way, I use the term 'geek' loosely, as that is just a general stereotype for the electronic lover, etc. No offense or insult intended; plus, y'all are often the ones inventing cool stuff, stimulating the economy, and/or making all the money online. Cheers! Anyway......

Okay, now that we have established the whereabouts of our electronic haven that feeds us the Internet, we need to find a possible point of being able to at least fit in some exercises while you live your life at the computer, besides the common jerks & twists that may happen upon certain erotic web searches. Hmm..., that could have been an ambiguous statement, but I also say that for many reasons. I recently did a web search, before typing about this subject, and I found loads of "how-to" websites and BS blogs, all talking about "how to exercise at your computer" and "workout while at your computer desk," along with so many other phrases that related to this subject.

What I found, was a heaping load of steaming dung that was a waste of time to read. I mean really, some of these nutcases were talking about "doing the twist," and raising this and that, squirming here & there, jerking up & down, and I even read how some people recommend to "march your legs in the air" while on the computer. Ha-ha! What a load of shit! It sounded more like they were promoting you to squirm, wriggle, and shake in your computer seat as if you either had a bad anal rash, genital problems, or pubic lice... Get real!

That's what this post is about, getting real. Lets face it: there is only so many exercises that you can do at your computer desk, that are reasonable and effective.

I will not even remotely consider that you do the odd things that these so-called online "writers" tell you to do, because I have better things to write about than filling web space with asinine statements. Anyway, as you should know, if you want to truly exercise, get off the damn computer and go do it! BUT, there are a few simple things that work quite well, if you're stuck at the seat for an extended amount of time.
Have a dumbbell near your computer station, desk, whatever. Personally, I have a 40lb. dumbbell on standby, at all times while using my computer, in case I get frustrated or angry, for example. Anyway, with the dumbbell or dumbbells, you can do curls and overhead presses, while listening to music or in between web searches. A dumbbell is versatile, and you can throw in some arm raises for your deltoids, as well. Also, have a nice pair of hand grippers near by. I recommend the "Captains of Crush Hand Grippers," but choose whatever you desire. Those two things alone (dumbbells & hand grips), are about the best you can do at your desk. Anything else, you are either going to have to bring heavy gym equipment to your station, look like a fool while trying to "do the twist" at your seat - like other people often recommend (ha-ha!), or you're simply going to have to just cut your monitor off and go workout, take up an outdoor hobby, and whatnot, dear geeks.
I hope you get the point that I'm actually trying to make here......

---End of Post "Exercises for the Computer Geeks"

Older Post: "Suffering from Common Ear Problems?"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How to Estimate Your Max Bench Press Lift

A lot of people out there are so deeply concerned with their "Max Out," better known as the max (maximum) amount of weight that they can bench press for one rep and/or at one time.
Personally, I think the whole obsession over this amazingly overrated feat, is just that - an obsession.

The Bench Press is a lift that mainly works the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps. All bodies are shaped & sized differently, and the success of achieving a higher max lift depends on many factors. For one, you cannot say that a person who benches 400 lbs. is stronger than someone who bench presses 300 lbs., for example. Many times, the short-armed, broad chested individual has the advantage over the long-armed, narrow chested person, without sheer strength even being a factor. You throw in some good form along with the shortened extensions of exertions and a perfected technique, and presto, you have a max lift that is way higher than a person who is way stronger, but has the disadvantage under the bench, and so on.

Anyway, I'm not writing this post to analyze the "bench press" in all the facets found within the motion itself, but I'm simply going to provide a formula that will give you a semi-accurate measure and/or an estimate of what your maximum, one rep (max out) bench press lift is, without having to worry about a spotter or the weights falling on your chest.

The Formula:

Take the "weight lifted" while performing the bench press and divide it by the whole figure found by taking the numeric value of 1.0278 minus 0.0278 times the number of reps involved.

It would look like this in math: [weight lifted / 1.0278 - (0.0278 x # of reps)]

By using that formula, for example, if you lifted 225 lbs. 6 times, your estimated max lift for the bench press would be nearly 262lbs.

Another example, using this form of calculation would be, if you can bench press 215lbs. for 5 reps in a row, your maximum lift would be estimated at 242 lbs.

I've tested this formula years ago, and it is reasonably accurate. It is, of course, not 100% precise down to pound - due to many variables that may vary from day to day within the human body itself, but it makes for an excellent estimate when you have no spotters around for safety, while testing your maximum bench pressing abilities.

Well, I thought I would share that with ya. Happy lifting and good luck with your gains......

Weight Bench
---End of Post "How to Estimate your Max Bench Press Lift"

Related Post:  Bench Shirts & Excessive Gear

Friday, December 10, 2010

Protein is Overrated...

When it comes to bodybuilding and/or any hype that involves slogans such as "how to build muscle mass," and so on, protein intake is important, but is also highly overrated.
I think most of the hype originally came from marketing material of the past, that used this "you should ingest tons of protein to gain muscle" BS, all via the attempt to sale more protein shakes, supplements, powders, amino acids, etc. From there, which it spawned, the misinformed began to inform the uniformed, gullible suckers with an open wallet......
Due to me being constantly surrounded by retail slop, poppycock, and marketing swill on a regular basis, whether it be online or offline, I understand the requirements for some of the concepts and hogwash behind a good sales pitch, but it always vexes me to no end when people start stating such asinine claims as if they were an actuality and/or a fact.

Unless you're taking steroids or on growth hormones, the body can't synthesize large intakes of protein and send it all into the muscle fibers for quick results. Building muscle takes time, and wasting your money on all of these protein shakes & supplements that suppose to be providing this made-up, fictitious "required amount" of protein, is utter baloney. I've heard people say that they need 1 gram of this "stuff" per pound of body weight. ...So, if you weigh 200lbs., some of these mislead folks think you'll need to consume 200 grams of protein per day! Get real! For one, we don't all have the money to buy expensive meats, pills, and protein powders, for example. Secondly, no matter how hard you work out, the recovery stage still takes time and eating a diet that is naturally ample in protein, will definitely be sufficient unless, like I said before, you are on growth hormones and/or steroids. You simply don't need to ingest hundreds of grams of protein a day! The whole notion is absolute nonsense!

Plus, when you do consume an enormous amount of protein that the body obviously doesn't need all at once, you'll just burn it off as energy or store it as fat. And let me tell ya, protein is not a clean fuel source; it brings 4 calories per gram like carbohydrates, but it strains the body more to break it down into usable energy - as opposed to simple & complex carbohydrates and saturated & unsaturated fats/lipids. When you don't get enough carbohydrates in your diet, for example, such as the diet plans that consist of mostly meat, your body starts to accumulate toxic substances in the blood like ketones, due to your body having to utilize protein and body fat for energy. The toxins from this process can also lead to halitosis and excess acid in the body, along with other unwanted issues that I won't even bother to mention......

---The bottom line is: Quit wasting your money on the hype; put in the natural hard work & effort that is required, and use some damn common sense!

---End of Post "Protein is Overrated"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why I use Coral Calcium...

Without all the hype, BS, and baloney, I'll tell ya why I use Coral Calcium. A few years ago, there were loads of infomercials out there boasting about the super-powers & cures that could be achieved by simply taking "the Coral." I've even heard wild claims that it could cure all diseases and even cancer, due to it being able to stabilize and/or raise the body's PH level to the ultimate anti-sickness level. Hell, I think they were even promoting that it could reverse the aging process, as well. Needless to say, these folks were throwing a big sales pitch in hopes of selling even more of their "special" product.

I'm not saying that by taking Coral Calcium it won't have some potential health benefits, but that's not why I take this product. I will say, however, that people who purchase regular calcium pills that contain nothing but calcium citrate and/or calcium carbonate are more or less just wasting their money unless they are taking Vitamin D and magnesium with it. Anyway, when most people hear about this mineral, except for the ones who were bombed with the infomercials I mentioned prior, they usually think "bone health." Even though adequate intakes of calcium, if properly absorbed and retained in the body, does seem to help with bone health and bone density, this is still not why I take this product.

Why I use Coral Calcium is not something that is usually mentioned on the product's label. I simply take it before bedtime to help me sleep and for central nervous system health. However, I don't just take any product; I take the one that has Vitamin D3, Magnesium, and Vitamin C added. When you mix a small amount of Magnesium in with the Calcium, which is absorbed better with the added Vitamin D, this makes for a mild, natural sleep aid that also helps relax the muscles, lower your blood pressure, and calm the nerves and, well, it works for me. You must remember, I'm not very big into taking artificial, man-made drugs - especially not for sleeping, and I'm not taking the hormonal supplement known as Melatonin, either. Even though Melatonin can be effective if used sparingly and when needed, I'm just not that big into intentionally altering my hormone levels - unless it is absolutely necessary.

Here's the Coral Calcium product that I recommend:

------------>'Click Here' to Search via Amazon for Coral Calcium products<------------

Semi-related Post: "Supplies: Make your own Herbal Capsules"

---End of Post "Why I use Coral Calcium..."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Martial Arts is also great for Physical Fitness...

When most people hear the terms Martial Arts, many folks think of stuff like: self-defense, kung-fu fighting, Bruce Lee, high kicks, breaking boards, and so on... But, even without all of that and even if you don't know what in the hell you're doing, martial arts is also great for physical fitness. Outside of weight training, exercising, etc., it wouldn't hurt to incorporate some kickboxing, boxing, kung-fu, weapon training, and whatnot, into your training sessions.

Back in the day, when I had more room, I used to have a heavy bag and a speed bag to punch and kick on - after my regular workouts involving weightlifting. I found it to be an excellent top-off, cool down, and finishing touch to a hard workout. I also felt like I balanced my workouts by using some of the muscles that are not worked as hard through standard motions such as bench presses and curls, for example.

Like I said before, you don't have to know the art or even be good at Karate or whatever, but by going through the motions on a regular basis, you'll add extra flexibility, agility and strength, over time. Hey, it is worth a try...especially if you're tired of the same physical fitness routines.

If you're interested in grabbing a couple books to learn more:

'Click Here' to Shop via Amazon for Books related to Martial Arts

If you'd like to learn more about the weaponry used in this combative art, visit:

Traditional Weapons - Martial Arts - Bruce Lee included...

Hey, here's a kung-fu video for motivation... It's a Bruce Lee YouTube video from the movie Enter the Dragon:

Image of Bruce Lee:

...Now, what are you waiting for? Go kick some ass!

---End of Post "Martial Arts is also great for Physical Fitness"

Related Link:  "Body Opponent Heavy Bag - BOB"

Friday, December 3, 2010

Simple ways to Build Powerful Deltoids...

I'd say that most guys with an ample amount of testosterone pumping through their veins would like to walk around with large, broad shoulders and powerful deltoids. Ya know, it's one of those manly traits. However, since broad shoulders involve how large your frame is and how your bones chose to grow, you may be stuck with a less than desirable build - depending on your genetics. Although, even if you have an average or a narrow build, you can still appear to have broader shoulders by beefing up those deltoids. Below, I'll provide a few simple ways to do just that......

Image of the Deltoid muscles:
The shoulder contains 3 types of deltoid muscles: the anterior (front) deltoid, posterior (rear) deltoid, and the medial/lateral (side) deltoid.

A simple way to build up the front deltoids, is by doing any type of pushes and/or pressing motions, such as push-ups, bench-presses, etc. This is one of the easiest parts of the deltoid to strengthen, since the movements required to build this area seem more natural. *Side Note: This is also the type of deltoid that commonly becomes imbalanced from hardcore weightlifting and causes poor posture or a sort of hunkering over type look on some folks, and it's also known to make the shoulder more prone to injuries, etc. This generally only happens when there is a huge gap between the front and rear deltoid in muscular development, and so on.

A simple way to build the side deltoids, is by doing lateral raises. You can use dumbbells for this exercise. ...It is where you hold the weight by your side and then slowly raise you arm up to shoulder level, then lower back to the starting position. You can always alternate the lateral raises by doing them sideways and frontwards.
If you'd like to work the front and side deltoids using one exercise, I'd recommend the Military Press for building powerful shoulders and triceps. You can do these overhead lifts with dumbbells, but I'd also recommend using a bar. You can also alternate this exercise by lifting the weight up & down in front of your head and by going through the same motion, but behind your neck instead of in front.

A simple way to build the rear deltoids, is by doing lots of pull-ups and chin-ups.  If you're not very good with that type of motion, you can perform bent-over lateral raises to target the rear deltoids. Instead of using the standing position to build the side deltoids, bend over at the waist and, with a slight bend in the knees, hold this position while doing the lateral raises. Bent over rows, also work well. Reverse dumbbell flies is another great exercise for this particular muscle group. Just bend over, like when doing bent over lateral raises, and hold two dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing each other. Now raise your dumbbells backwards, until your arms are parallel to the floor. Or you can just buy a canoe and row, row, row your way to posterior deltoid success; ha!

Side note: The rear deltoids are often neglected, but they still get some secondary work from a variety of exercises that you use to strengthen your back, shoulders, triceps, etc. Personally, I focus more on the side and front sections of the shoulder muscles, mainly because there are more enjoyable exercises for those areas. [Update: A few years later I got big into pull-ups, so now I train my rear deltoids just as much as the side and front parts of the shoulder.] Besides, I'm not a big fan of bent over rows or anything that unnecessarily strains the back. But, if you're a hardcore bodybuilder, you're probably seeking a balanced build and you may have to go buy special equipment just for the rear deltoids that can perform reverse flies, face pulls using a pulley system, and so on.
Now, that's enough talk; go build ya some powerful, manly deltoids...

---End of Post "Simple ways to Build Powerful Deltoids..."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Health Benefits of Lycopene

Lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment. This particular phytochemical is most commonly consumed by eating tomatoes or tomato-based products such as ketchup, tomato paste, sauces, etc. Lycopene is also found in a few other foods; I'll list those in a moment... Lycopene is chemically labeled a carotene, but it has no Vitamin A activity.

Once Lycopene is absorbed into the body, it accumulates in the liver, adrenal glands, and testes; it is also present in human serum, skin, lungs, prostate, and colon.

Possible Health Benefits of Lycopene:

It can help prevent cardiovascular disease, various types of cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, and can possibly improve male fertility.
It is a powerful antioxidant and is being studied for its potential anti-cancer properties.
When concerning cancer, the stronger forms of evidence are linked towards its ability to help prevent lung, stomach, and prostate cancer.
Some studies have suggested that Lycopene may also help prevent certain types of eye disorders (cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, etc.)

However, there are a few factors that make it hard to find clear-cut evidence for some of these claims. For one, synthetic versions of the substance is often used (the ones typically found in supplements) as opposed to natural sources, during clinical studies. Secondly, when using natural sources, the foods that contain a significant amount of Lycopene, also contain a lot of other beneficial phytochemicals/phytonutrients and this makes it hard to determine how much impact a single phytochemical, such as Lycopene, has on the body when compared to other substances within the actual food source.

Natural Dietary Sources of Lycopene:
Below, I'll provide the Source and the amount of Lycopene via μg/g wet weight......

[Data gathered from ]

Gac (A rare Southeast Asian fruit found throughout the region from Southern China to Northeastern Australia): 2,000 - 2,300

Tomato sauce: 63 - 131

Tomato ketchup: 124

Tomato juice: 86 - 100

Watermelon: 23 - 72

Pink Guava: 54
Papaya: 20 - 53

Tomato (raw): 8.8 - 42

Rose hip puree: 7.8

Pink Grapefruit: 3.6 - 34

Apricot: ...less than 0.1

If you'd like to read about all the "inconclusive" evidence along with loads of statements saying that familiar trite phrase, "they don't have enough scientific evidence," go here: [link has become inactive]

Tomato Juice prevents emphysema in animal models: "Drinking tomato juice completely prevented emphysema in mice exposed to tobacco smoke, report researchers from Japan." Read more...

I don't know about you, but I have no problem adding Ketchup and/or Lycopene into my diet......
---End of Post "Health Benefits of Lycopene"