Bulking vs cutting

By | Fitness Tips

If you are a lifter you probably have once in your life heard of the terms bulking and cutting. Both terms have something to do with the period and season of nutrition. Chances are you have a rough idea about what they mean but that you can’t give a clear definition. In this blogpost we will take a look at the comparison between bulking and cutting. After reading this article you will know whether to bulk or to cut!
What is bulking?
Bulking is the period in which you are gaining weight. Why would you want to gain weight? You can’t build any muscle without a caloric surplus. The body needs all the energy it can get its hands on for building muscle. This means that in this period you will have to eat more than that you burn. You can do this by upping your protein and carbs, the carbs will give you that fuller look. However, note that you will always get some fat on you during the bulk, there is no way around this. So, can see this as a necessary part of the process.
But what is cutting?
Right, but what is cutting then exactly? Cutting is the period in which you try to lose all the unwanted fat that you put on during your bulk. By shredding all this excess fat, you can get the muscles to appear. People who are cut often are very lean, you can see this in the face and in the vascularity on the body. Cutting is normally done during the summer, since this is the time of the year that you will be spending without a shirt on. This goes the same for bulking, you do this during the winter because you can wear sweaters to hide your little fluff belly.
Can you skip bulking and cutting?
For beginners it is possible to get around bulking and cutting, they can gain muscle in the beginning without worrying too much about carbs, fats and protein. But for the person who has been lifting for quite a while there is no way you can get around the bulking and cutting cycles. These have to be done to maximize the amount of muscle you can build in a natural way. It doesn’t have to be the strictest diet you ever had, but you can always make sure that one period of the year you are gaining muscle and the other part of the year you are losing fat. After a few cycles you will look amazing.
Should you bulk or cut first?
For the average person who doesn’t spend a lot of time in the gym it is often best to start with a bulk. This is because you won’t really get fat in the beginning. By starting with a bulk, you will have some muscle on you, when you get to fat for your liking you can slowly start to lower your food intake to start your cut. Always keep in mind, during the cut it is extremely important to take as many proteins as possible to preserve muscle mass. You don’t want to lose all that hard-earned muscle, right? With 2 grams per kilogram of mass you will be safe enough!

High vs low repetitions

By | Fitness Tips

A lot of people don’t really know what they are exactly doing when they are working out. One of the things that a lot of people do wrong is making the mistake on incorporating too many high repetitions in the workout. Of course, there are benefits for high repetitions, but the low rep range should not be cast aside. In this article we will look into the differences between high and low repetitions. After reading you will fully understand the way these things complement each other.
Advantages of high reps
The advantages of high reps are quite big. The first and foremost pro of using high repetitions is that you will always make sure that your muscles will receive full hypertrophy. This means that they will be fully broken down and rebuild, this will result in building muscle. The low rep ranges don’t offer these kind of hypertrophy levels. So, if you are looking for that full look, the big look, you should lay the focus on the high repetitions. Take for example the bicep curl, this movement can be done best in 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions. This is mainly the case for the isolation movements, for the big exercises it is best to stay in the low rep range.
The pros of low reps
On the other side of the spectrum we have the low rep ranges. This will range anywhere between the 3 and 8 reps. These kinds of numbers are superb for the big movements, you can think of the bench or the squat. For these movements the amount of weight you can lift plays a big role. With the low rep range, you will mainly focus on strength gain. Therefore, it is wise to incorporate these at the beginning of your workout to make sure that you have all the energy you need to fully complete these movements. Let’s make this into an example. For a regular squat routine your daily schedule would be something like 5 sets of 5 repetitions to maximize strength gain.
The cons of both
The cons of the low rep ranges have mainly to do with the high risk of injury. Because the form will be a lot less neat the risk of injury will increase. You can’t lift full weight in the strictest form, this just isn’t possible. The cons of the high rep ranges have mainly to do with the fact that you will not gain significantly in strength when you do these, since strength training is focused on the low reps. As you can see, both have advantages and disadvantages. The best would be to combine the two of them.
Combine them for optimal results
When you want the best of both worlds you can combine the two to make the best possible workout. Start your routine with the heavy movements, the exercises in the low rep range. When you finish these your energy levels will be a little bit depleted. When these are over you can focus on form for the high rep movements. These are mainly isolation movements, strength is not really at play here. These take a lot less energy, therefore you are able to finish the whole routine with easy.

Overtraining: How to prevent and recognize it

By | Fitness Tips

Overtraining can come in a lot of forms; therefore, it can be a bit difficult to see or to recognize it. However, it certainly is something that should be prevented or at least treated. A number of lifters will still go to the gym, not knowing that their body is overtrained. In this blogpost we will take a look at overtraining in general and we will look at the ways it can be treated and possibly prevented.
The symptoms
First, we have to look at the symptoms that you may get when you are overtrained. The first thing that you will notice is that you will be a lot more tired during training. Maybe you can’t do the amount of reps that you were used to or maybe you will feel lightheaded during the workout. If you have overtrained you can also feel headaches and you can even feel depressed from time to time.
This is because your central nervous system is broken, this system will regulate all the essential tasks in the human body. When you are overtrained your body doesn’t have enough time and energy to recover, this is really bad for your health.
A few of the overall symptoms are:
• Tired feeling throughout the day
• Having headaches
• Losing grip strength
• Trouble sleeping
• Long periods of muscle soreness
• Depressed
• Moody
Prevent overtraining
The best way to prevent overtraining is to rest a lot during the week. Everybody needs rest, there is not a single person that can work out every day without suffering the consequents. So, after a few days of lifting you will need to have a rest day. The absolutely minimum of rest days is 2 times a week, any number below will result in overtraining. Do you feel guilty when you didn’t train a day? Always keep in mind that muscles can only be recovered by rest, so actually you are building muscle when you aren’t even working out!
Treating overtraining
Overtraining can be treated by taking a few weeks off. In this period of rest, the body is able to recover to its normal form. In this period, it is extremely important to make sure that you will receive all the necessary vitamins and protein. These will make sure that your body can build the lost muscle, your muscle will be recovered a lot faster than when you don’t consume any healthy foods at all. Fish oil can also be taken when your central nervous system has taken a blow, these tablets can be bought online and in stores.
Overtraining can be extremely dangerous is you don’t do anything about it. Do you recognize any of the symptoms and do you think that you have overtrained a bit lately? This is the time to do something about it, contact your physician if you want professional help. It is always good to go to this person, by checking regularly you can prevent overtraining in the long run. Overtraining, it isn’t fun but luckily it can be prevented by taking enough rest in between workout sessions!

How to raise testosterone naturally

By | Fitness Tips

For everyone who loves training in the gym, testosterone will be the single most important hormone in the body. This hormone will make sure that you are able to build all the muscles that you want to get bigger. For a lot of people, the natural testosterone level will be quite low. A few people will take steroids to make up for this gap, but this isn’t really necessary. This is because there are a few ways in which you can raise your testosterone level naturally. What methods are we talking about? Read more to find out!
Exercise and Lift Weights
Studies show that by exercising you can raise this hormone level. Lifting weights is the single best thing you can do, and especially lifting heavy weights. The human body can make this hormone when the muscles are under tension and when new muscle is being built. By lifting weights, you can speed up this process. Besides that, there is no point in raising your hormone level if you don’t lift weights. So, for all of you who are not yet lifting, this is the time to begin!
Eat Protein, Fat and Carbs.
Eating enough protein, fat and carbs will make sure that your body can raise the testosterone level. We don’t mean that you should eat everything in sight, we only suggest that you eat in a caloric surplus. My making sure that you eat more than your body can burn you will gain weight, by combining this with lifting you can gain muscle. To make sure that you get all these macronutrients it is advised to keep track of the things you eat. There are a lot of apps you can use, Myfitnesspall is one of the few apps that neatly track all the consumed foods.
Minimize Stress and Cortisol Levels
It also turns out that the human body really can’t handle stress at all. When you are too stressed out you will have difficulty maintaining your current testosterone levels. They may even decline when you are under great deal of stress. Your libido will drop, and you will feel less energetic in the gym. To prevent this from happening it is wise to calculate some off time in your daily program. By making sure that your body can relax and that your mind can wander off you will make sure that your hormone levels won’t drop any further.
Get Plenty of Restful, High-Quality Sleep
The last tip that we can give you is that you should get all the sleep you need. By sleeping your body is able to restore all the hormones that it used in that day. For the average person 8 hours of sleep should be fine, when you go below this number and sleep only for 6 hours your body will be too tired to restore these hormones. So, before you go to sleep, make sure that all your devices are off and make sure that your room is nice and dark.
You can follow these tips if you want to raise your testosterone levels naturally. When you can’t do it naturally you can always visit the doctor to receive information about TRT replacement, this is some sort of legal and healthy dose of testosterone. But before you do this, always try to do it the natural way. Steroids are way more dangerous than you think and absolutely not necessary.

Happy new year! May this year be full of happiness and health!

The best way to train chest

By | Fitness Tips

The best way to train chest
The chest is one of the biggest muscle groups in the whole body. For a lot of guys, the chest is one of the most important parts to train, a lot of men dream of having these enormous pecs. However, most of the guys who lift don’t really know what the best way is to develop these muscles. We will help you out, in this article we will look at the ways in which the chest can be trained optimally.
Make bench press the priority
Studies show that the bench press is the single most important exercise if it comes down to training chest. The bench press can be done with dumbbell of with a barbell, it doesn’t really matter what sort you choose. If you bench it is extremely important to keep strict form. It is never a good idea to lift more than you are capable of. Besides that, the risk of injury will be a lot higher with a tremendous amount of weight. So it is wise to keep the repetitions for the bench press at around 10-15. In this way you will get maximum hypertrophy without running the risk of injury.
Don’t forget the fly
The fly is the famous movement from Arnold, he did this to optimize the breakdown of the muscle in the pecs. With the fly you will get the biggest stretch possible on your chest, this will make sure that your body is able to prioritize the growth in this area. The best way to do the fly is to use dumbbells, the cable fly is a good alternative. Never use too much weight, the fly has to be done in high repetitions to give great results. For the fly the general baseline would be roughly 20 repetitions, a bit more can also be added to make the pump even bigger.
Always stretch before the workout
Before you start training chest it is extremely important to stretch your muscles. By stretching you will greatly reduce the risk of injury. For stretching you can always use a single rope around the back, by spreading your arms as wide as possible you will stretch your pectoral muscles. Do this before the first exercise, after this one your body will be warmed up and ready to be trained. When you neglect the stretching part your body will not be warm enough for benching. Muscles that are cold are way more often broken down too fast, this will result in injury.
Training the chest is for a lot of men the single best day of the week. The pecs are the muscles that will always be seen in the mirror, a lot of people will see them when you walk down the street. They are also the muscles that women will find most attractive. To make sure that you train chest in the correct way it is a good idea to follow all the steps in this article. This will prevent injury and it will make your training sessions a lot better than before.

Does Barefoot Running Cause or Prevent Injuries?

By | Fitness Tips

Imagine running barefoot, enjoying it, and even being able to reduce your chance of getting injured? Of course, shoe aficionados claim that running barefoot or minus anything to support your ankle and foot leads to injuries. The running barefoot fad was going on for about 12 years, but it finally came to an end in 2016 when the real science milestones finally arrived. Bramble and Lieberman, who claimed that humans are born to run with no running shoes. This milestone inspired minimalist shoe industries and gave scientific jurisdiction to come up with a new running style based on health claims. So, does barefoot running prevent injuries? Let’s compare two theories
Dr. Lieberman’s 2012 paper
According to Dr. Daniel Lieberman’s paper published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in 2012, there is “a 2.6-times greater chance of having a severe injury” when running in shoes than when you are running barefoot. Dr. Daniels says, “As far as I know, it’s the biggest effect ever shown on running injury.” Is this true? It was only in 2016 that the clear answer was out. The study had limitations and it did not demonstrate the cause of injuries let alone its effects.
Training quality
The barefoot running faddish, running styles and shoes has led to many people believing that they prevent knee, feet, and leg injuries. But is this the case? The value of these results is based on speculation, not reality. The fad led to overuse of injuries. Overusing injuries mean running techniques and biomechanics are not as important as the amount of activity. Training frequency and volume can cause leg and foot injuries. There is nothing like barefoot running preventing injuries.
Also, it is unlikely that footwear designs or running style can prevent injuries. According to studies, there was still no evidence that some running shoe designs prevent injuries. If you are training and running a lot, you are going to injure your feet at some point.
So, do barefoot running or footwear designs prevent injuries?
The running fad boomed in the US in the 1970s. Almost 25 million citizens started running. It led to a birth of a new industry. The industry concentrated on manufacturing running shoes with absurd claims and features. They promised runners to protect them from injuries. This didn’t work as the injury rates remained the same. It indicated that nothing, even barefoot running or shoe designs can prevent injuries. Minding your training volume and frequency can help prevent injuries.

9 High-Fiber Foods You Should Add To Your Daily Diet

By | Fitness Tips

Ever heard about fiber and wondered if it is that important to the body. Some may picture it as bland, boring and tasteless, but it is essential to the body. Fider has various health benefits including lowering blood sugar levels, promoting weight loss and fighting constipation. The nutrient is not only present in stems, leaves, and plant roots, but in other foods too. These are some of the fiber-filled foods and fruits that you can enjoy.
Apples are among the most satisfying and tastiest fruits that you can enjoy and they contain at least 4 grams of fiber. Although 4 grams might not sound like a lot of fiber, it adds benefits to the body when taken on a regular basis.
Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy fats and fiber. They are also high in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, E, and other B vitamins.
Broccoli contains 5 grams of fiber, and rich in other minerals like Vitamin K. It is high in folate and low in calories, which are vital for protecting GI cancers. Vitamin K keep your bones healthy.
Sweet potatoes
Sweet potato is an incredible source of fiber, potassium, calcium and vitamin A and C. These minerals help keep your immune system and bones healthy, maintaining regular blood pressure in the process.
A cup size of Quinoa contains 5 grams of fiber and is protein-filled. The same serving gives you 8 grams of protein.
Split peas
If you are looking for a hearty dose of proteins and fiber, split peas should be your goal. These peas are also low in fat, high in potassium, iron, and folate. A quarter cup is enough to offer you 8 to 11 grams of fiber.
Chia seeds
Chia seeds are rich in fiber. Two tablespoons of Chia seeds contain 8 grams of fiber. Sprinkle them in yogurt, oats, smoothies and even salads. Chia seeds also give you omega 3 fatty acids.
Berries are commonly associated with fiber. For instance, a cup of blackberries or raspberries offers you almost 8 grams of fiber. You can add them to salads or yogurt if you like.
Black beans
Black beans are high in fibers. A cup gives you 15 grams of fiber. They also contain anthocyanin, an active antioxidant that helps in protection against heart diseases.
Even though fiber is valuable to the body, there is a recommended daily intake. A huge amount of fiber intake can cause digestive upset and other complications.

All You Need To Know About Jump Rope and Fitness

By | Fitness Tips

Ever tried to jump rope to get fit? Maybe you have maybe not. Most probably the last time you used jumping rope for your exercise was years ago. However, if you are looking for a portable and cheap way to burn more calories, jump rope is an essential exercise tool you must have. The activity comes with many benefits, but before you get the benefits, you need to know the basic requirements, how to jump and finally the benefits.
Basic requirements
Some of the things you need include:
• A beaded rope for novices because the beads hold the shape of the rope and it becomes easier to control. You can also use vinyl or cloth jumping rope.
• Ensure to have correct fitting athletic shoes
• Flat surface
Here is what you need to do:
• Hold the handles and adjust the rope to the size you want
• Shorten it and make sure it reaches your armpits
• Make sure you have enough space where you can jump without anything obstructing you.
How to jump
• Practice jumping without using the rope
• Old the rope handles using both your hands and start swinging to develop a rhythm.
• Put the two together and start jumping continue sly and at the same time swinging the rope.
If you think you have mastered this jumping technique you can exercise lower intensity exercise like marching. This exercise will allow you to jump for longer periods without getting tired. You can also opt for a high-intensity workout that involves one jump every time the rope passes.
Benefits of jump rope
Build agility and quickness
If you want to improve your agility and be quicker, a skipping rope exercise will help you. Skipping also improves coordination and balance by making your mind focus on the feet. Boxers know its benefit.
Good for the brain
If you are searching for an exercise that will impact your physical and mental health, skipping rope is most certainly one of them. It’s more like ballroom dancing or slacking.
Burn calories
There is just a handle of exercises that burn calories and jump rope is one of them. You can burn 10 to 16 calories every minute using a jump rope according to estimates.
How to prevent injuries
If you have doubts if your body can withstand the high aerobic intensity and impact of jumping rope, you can always check with the doctor. As mentioned, jumping surfaces, shoes and the rope you use are important to avoid injuries.

How Many Calories Do You Really Burn Once Your Workout Is Over?

By | Fitness Tips

How Many Calories Do You Really Burn Once Your Workout Is Over?
It’s quite a norm that after you might have undergone an intense track workout, it happens that in one way or the other you would have released a significant number of calories in the body. Even as this seem to be true in most cases, what we often fail to realize that even after the intense workout the body never relent in burning out those calories. The process of continuous calorie release is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption abbreviated as EPOC. It can also be generally referred to as the “after burn effect”.
In view of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, the effects are said to be a factor that can affect runners in their respective areas.
This article will mainly highlight the basics of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption for runners.
What is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)?
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is a process the body undergoes immediately you perform an exercise. During exercise, the body make use of oxygen to produce the energy. And while he body is responsible for producing oxygen, it also depends on the intensity of the exercise. The more intense, the more the energy required and the more the calories burnt.
Automatically after every exercise, the body is expected to perform some demanding task. To recuperate the body. These tasks include the balancing of the hormones, filling the fuel storage, and repairing the tissue and muscles all in the bid to make the body return to its main state. However, in order to achieve this tasks more energy is needed. This is why the body continues to burn calories even after the intense workout in order to generate the energy needed to revitalize the body to its normal state.
How does EPOC affect runners?
As a runner, it is noteworthy to be informed that the more intense the workouts you subject your body to, the more the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) you tend to have. In order for EPOC to have more excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), it requires that you exercise your muscles to a point of fatigue. So exercises like speed work or strength workouts will definitely help you to reach a point of fatigue where by you have more EPOC.
Moreover, the amount of calorie loss and EPOC gained by lay man will burn cannot be compared to that of a runner. This is because of the fact that a runner often exceeds normal workouts and most times participate in intense activities. In view of this, a moderate workout will have a low EPOC effect of an average of 2-10 hours compared to a whooping EPOC effect on a runner.
Considering the effectiveness of EPOC to the well-being of the body, it is therefore an awesome idea for a runner to incorporate high intensity workouts in their respective workouts sessions. High intensity workouts include the likes of speed work, weight lifting and many others. Beyond the efficiency of the workouts to increase EPOC effects, it also boosts endurance, flexibility, speed, strength, and capacity of a runner.

TRX (Total-body Resistant eXercise) Workouts for Females

By | Fitness Tips

TRX is a form of technical exercises that is capable of improving core strengths and also an effective way for females to build necessary muscles or rather tone down excessive weight.
TRX workouts works in such a way that it ensures balance of the body weight and a simultaneous gravity balance to summon every part of the body especially the user’s core part. While this process is ongoing, the body automatically shifts into perfect fit.
Aside the fact that TRX is beneficial to everyone irrespective of the gender, it has been more of an exceptional experience for females. Ranging from different ultimate goals, TRX workouts is able enough to establish fascinating results. These results include improved core strength, flexibility, balancing, endurance etc.
Benefits of TRX to Women.
Among other fitness tools and exercises, TRX has emerged to be more beneficial to women considering the stunning results achieved through the workouts.
These include:
1. Perfect Shape: Since TRX workouts creates a dynamic fitness experience throughout the entire body, it helps ladies and older women to reduce excess weight and help in achieving a perfect shape. However, aside the fact it reduces weight, it also helps ladies to stay firm, strong and healthy.

2. Less Equipment: Beyond other fitness tools and exercises, TRX requires minimal exercise equipment and machine. The only equipment needed is a portable TRX strap. This implies you no longer need to spend big in order to carry out effective physical exercise.

3. ‎Self-controlled process: TRX workouts operates in a self-controlled manner. This allows the user to determine the level of resistance and thee extent at which the body is suspended. In addition, the user of TRX can change the position of the body and likewise increase or decrease the intensity of the exercise.

4. ‎Home Suitability: Aside gyms and other fitness outfits, TRX can be performed in the home such that without the availability of some equipment like gloves, training shoes it is still possible to carry out TRX workouts.

5. Body Building abilities: If TRX workouts is handles well, there is high tendency that thr user’s balance, flexibility and core abilities will be on the increase.
TRX workouts plans.

Although TRX workouts may seem to be plain and less technical, there are lots of techniques that can be inculcated into TRX workouts to gain more effective results. These plans include the following:
1. PUSH-UP: The aim of TRX push-up is to strengthen the chest, arms and the shoulders.
2. ‎HAMSTRING PULL/CURL: This TRX workouts targets the legs and other lower parts of the body. These include the hips and the thighs.
3. ‎LUNGE: TRX lunge workout aims to strengthen the legs and abs simultaneously.
4. BODY ROW: Body Row is a TRX workout that builds the back, biceps, shoulders and abs.
5. ‎ CHEST PRESS: This aims to strengthen the arm, core, chest and shoulders.
Haven seen the benefits of TRX workouts, you can be assured of an healthy muscles and increased strength to other major body parts.

Don’t be left behind, get your straps today and enjoy awesome fitness experience.

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