Hey Grandma & Grandpa, this might help..

Beta-alanine (BA), a dietary supplement widely used by athletes and body builders, has been proven to increase the fitness levels of a group of elderly men and women. The research, published in BioMed Central’s open access Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, suggests that BA supplementation improves muscle endurance in the elderly.

The research was carried out by Jeffrey Stout, PhD from the University of Oklahoma, USA, and a team of colleagues. According to Dr. Stout, “This could have importance in the prevention of falls, and the maintenance of health and independent living in elderly men and women.”


BA is an amino acid that, together with histidine, forms the dipeptide carnosine. Carnosine is found in muscle tissue and makes an important contribution to the maintenance of intracellular pH, which is vital for normal muscle function during intense exercise. An increased intake of BA significantly raises muscle carnosine levels.

In this double-blind, randomized controlled trial, 26 elderly men and women were given a 90-day course of BA supplementation or placebo pills. Their fitness levels were tested before and after the course. In the treatment group, 67% of the subjects showed an improvement in their fitness levels, compared to 21.5% of the people receiving the placebo treatment.

The researchers write, “Our data suggest that 90 days of BA supplementation increases physical working capacity in elderly men and women. These findings are clinically significant, as a decrease in functional capacity to perform daily living tasks has been associated with an increase in mortality, primarily due to increased risk of falls.”

Article obained from Medical News Today from original press release.


Starbucks’ ULTRA Secret Sports Supplement..I guess


 For an athlete, it seems to good to be true. A “sports supplement” that increases alertness, concentration, reaction time and focus while decreasing muscle fatigue or at least the perception of fatigue. It can even shorten recovery time after a game. HGH? EPO? Steroids? Nope, just a grande cup of Juan Valdez’s Best, Liquid Lightning, Morning Mud, Wakey Juice, Mojo, Java, aka coffee. 

Actually, the key ingredient is caffeine which has been studied repeatedly for its ergogenic (performance-enhancing) benefits in sports, both mentally and physically. Time after time, caffeine proves itself as a relatively safe, legal and inexpensive boost to an athlete.  Or does it?

If caffeine is such a clear cut performance enhancing supplement, why did the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), who also monitors this month’s Beijing Olympics for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), first add caffeine to its banned substance list, only to remove it in 2004? At the time that it was placed on the banned list, the threshold for a positive caffeine test was set to a post-exercise urinary caffeine concentration of 12 µg/ml (about 3-4 cups of strong coffee). However, more recent research has shown that caffeine has ergogenic effects at levels as low as the equivalent of 1-2 cups of coffee. So, it was hard for WADA to know where to draw the line between athletes just having a few morning cups of coffee/tea or maybe some chocolate bars and athletes that were intentionally consuming caffeine to increase their performance level. However, caffeine is still on the WADA monitoring list as a substance to screen for and watch for patterns of use.

Meanwhile, athletes are still convinced that caffeine helps them. In a recent survey from Liverpool John Moores University, 480 athletes were interviewed about their caffeine use. One third of track and field athletes and 60% of cyclists reported using caffeine specifically to give them a boost in competition. In addition, elite-level athletes interviewed were more likely to rely on caffeine than amateurs. Dr. Neil Chester, co-leader of the study, commented about the confusion created by the WADA status change for caffeine, “There’s been a lack of communication from WADA and there is a question about whether or not sporting authorities are condoning its use. Ultimately there is a need to clarify the use of caffeine within the present anti-doping legislation.”

So, have athletes found a loophole to exploit that gives them an edge? Dr. Carrie Ruxton recently completed a literature survey to summarize 41 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials published over the past 15 years to establish what range of caffeine consumption would maximize benefits and minimize risk for cognitive function, mood, physical performance and hydration. The studies were divided into two categories, those that looked at the cognitive effects and those that looked at physical performance effects. The results concluded that there was a significant improvement in cognitive functions like attention, reaction time and mental processing as well as physical benefits described as increased “time to exhaustion” and decreased “perception of fatigue” in cycling and running tests. Longer, endurance type exercise showed greater results than short-term needs for energy.

Given these results, how exactly does caffeine perform these wonderful tricks? Dr. Ruxton explains from the study, “Caffeine is believed to impact on mood and performance by inhibiting the binding of both adenosine and benzodiazepine receptor ligands to brain membranes. As these neurotransmitters are known to slow down brain activity, a blockade of their receptors lessens this effect.” Bottom line, the chemicals in your brain that would cause you to feel tired are blocked, giving you a feeling of ongoing alertness. Your body still needs the sleep, caffeine just delays the feeling of being tired.

As to the physiological benefits, caffeine has also been shown to stimulate the release of fat into the bloodstream. The early conclusion was that the increased free fatty acids in the blood would allow our muscles to use fat as fuel and spare glycogen (carbohydrates) allowing us to exercise longer. Another theory is that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system reducing our perception of effort so that we feel that we can continue at an increased pace for longer periods.

The discussion on glycogen has recently taken another interesting twist; caffeine’s apparent ability to replenish glycogen (the body’s primary fuel source) more rapidly after an intense workout. A team at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research has found that athletes who consumed a combination of carbohydrates and caffeine following an exhaustive exercise had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours later, compared to when they consumed carbohydrates alone. They asked cyclists to pedal to exhaustion in the lab, then gave them a drink that contained either carbohydrates with caffeine or just carbohydrates (the cyclists did not know which drink they were getting). They repeated the process 7-10 days later and reversed the groups. Muscle biopsies and blood samples were tested for levels of glycogen after each trial period. The researchers did not have an explanation for the increased levels of glycogen resulting from the caffeine-spiked juice. One theory is the higher circulating blood glucose and plasma insulin levels caused by the caffeine were key factors. In addition, caffeine may increase the activity of several signaling enzymes, including the calcium-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase B (also called Akt), which have roles in muscle glucose uptake during and after exercise.

So, before you start drinking the Starbucks by the gallon, here are some guidelines. You can consume 2-2.5 mg of caffeine per pound of body weight daily to achieve its ergogenic effects. This equates to 250-312 mg for a 125-pound woman and 360-450 mg for a 180-pound man. More is not better, as other research has shown a decline in benefit and an increase in caffeine’s side effects beyond this level. One “grande” cup (16 oz.) of Starbucks coffee contains about 320-500 mg of caffeine, while a 12 oz. can of soda will provide 35-70 mg of caffeine 

Article obtained from: http://www.scientificblogging.com/sports_are_80_percent_mental/starbucks_secret_sports_supplement     


Cereal and milk is the new sports supplement

Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer, from The University of Texas at Austin, led a group of researchers who investigated the post-exercise physiological effects of the foods. Kammer and her team studied 12 trained cyclists, 8 male and 4 female. In contrast to many sports nutrition studies, however, the exercise protocol was designed to reflect a typical exercise session. After a warm-up period, the subjects cycled for two hours at a comfortable work rate, rather than the more frequently seen test-to-exhaustion. https://i2.wp.com/www.thedailygreen.com/cm/thedailygreen/images/6z/breakfast-cereal-desk-lg.jpg

“Our goal was to compare whole grain cereal plus milk—which are ordinary foods—and , after moderate ,” said Kammer. “We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle for the average individual. We found that glycogen repletion, or the replenishment of immediate muscle fuel, was just as good after whole grain cereal consumption and that some aspects of protein synthesis were actually better”.

“Cereal and non-fat milk are a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high quality protein, which can promote protein synthesis and training adaptations, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home”.

The researchers concluded that, for amateur athletes and moderately physically active individuals who are trying to keep in shape, popping into the kitchen for a quick bowl of whole-grain cereal with a splash of skimmed milk may be a smarter move than investing in a high-priced sports drink.

Kammer and her colleagues are scientists in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. This study was supported by General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.

Source: BioMed Central website

A great reference for young bodybuilders thanks to kidsHealth.org

If you’re a competitive athlete or a fitness buff, improving your sports performance is probably on your mind. Lots of people wonder if taking sports supplements could offer fast, effective results without so much hard work. But do sports supplements really work? And are they safe?https://i0.wp.com/www.captainfit.com/images/CF-RANGERS.jpg

What Are Sports Supplements? A brief overview..

Sports supplements (also called ergogenic aids) are products used to enhance athletic performance that may include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, or botanicals (plants) — or any concentration, extract, or combination of these. These products are generally available over the counter without a prescription.

Sports supplement are considered a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements do not require U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before they come on the market. Supplement manufacturers do have to follow the FDA’s current good manufacturing practices to ensure quality and safety of their product, though. And the FDA is responsible for taking action if a product is found to be unsafe after it has gone on the market.

Critics of the supplement industry point out cases where manufacturers haven’t done a good job of following standards. They also mention instances where the FDA hasn’t enforced regulations. Both of these can mean that supplements contain variable amounts of ingredients or even ingredients not listed on the label.

Some over-the-counter medicines and prescription medications, including anabolic steroids, are used to enhance performance but they are not considered supplements. Although medications are FDA approved, using medicines — even over-the-counter ones — in ways other than their intended purpose puts the user at risk of serious side effects. For example, teen athletes who use medications like human growth hormone (hGH) that haven’t been prescribed for them may have problems with development and hormone levels.

Lots of sports organizations have developed policies on sports supplements. The National Football League (NFL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have banned the use of steroids, ephedra, and androstenedione by their athletes, and competitors who use them face fines, ineligibility, and suspension from their sports.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) strongly recommends that student athletes consult with their doctor before taking any supplement.

Common Supplements and How They Affect the Body

Whether you hear about sports supplements from your teammates in the locker room or the sales clerk at your local vitamin store, chances are you’re not getting the whole story about how supplements work, if they are really effective, and the risks you take by using them.

Androstenedione and DHEA

Androstenedione (also known as andro) and dehydroepiandrosterone (also known as DHEA) are prohormones or “natural steroids” that can be broken down into testosterone. When researchers studied these prohormones in adult athletes, DHEA and andro did not increase muscle size, improve strength or enhance performance.

The side effects of these “natural” steroid supplements like DHEA and andro aren’t well known. But experts believe that, when taken in large doses, they cause effects similar to stronger anabolic steroids.

What is known is that andro and DHEA can cause hormone imbalances in people who use them. Both may have the same effects as taking anabolic steroids and may lead to dangerous side effects like testicular cancer, infertility, stroke, and an increased risk of heart disease. As with anabolic steroids, teens who use andro while they are still growing may not reach their full adult height. Natural steroid supplements can also cause breast development and shrinking of testicles in guys.


Creatine is already manufactured by the body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It also occurs naturally in foods such as meat and fish. Creatine supplements are available over the counter, and teens make up a large portion of the supplement’s users.

People who take creatine usually take it to improve strength, but the long-term and short-term effects of creatine use haven’t been studied in teens and kids. Research in adults found that creatine is most effective for athletes doing intermittent high-intensity exercise with short recovery intervals, such as sprinting and power lifting. However, researchers found no effect on athletic performance in nearly a third of athletes studied. Creatine has not been found to increase endurance or improve aerobic performance.

The most common side effects of creatine supplements include weight gain, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and muscle cramps. People with kidney problems should not use creatine because it may affect kidney function. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people younger than 18 years old do not use creatine. If you are considering using creatine, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits, as well as appropriate dosing.

Fat burners

Fat burners (sometimes known as thermogenics) were often made with an herb called ephedra, also known as ephedrine or ma huang, which acts as a stimulant and increases metabolism. Some athletes use fat burners to lose weight or to increase energy — but ephedra-based products can be one of the most dangerous supplements. Evidence has shown that it can cause heart problems, stroke, and occasionally even death.

Because athletes and others have died using this supplement, ephedra has been taken off the market. Since the ban, “ephedra-free” products have emerged, but they often contain ingredients with ephedra-like properties, including bitter orange or country mallow. Similar to ephedra, these supplements can cause high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and seizures.

Many of these products also contain caffeine, along with other caffeine sources (such as yerba mate and guarana). This combination may lead to restlessness, anxiety, racing heart, irregular heart beat, and increases the chance of having a life-threatening side effect.

Will Supplements Make Me a Better Athlete?

Sports supplements haven’t been tested on teens and kids. But studies on adults show that the claims of many supplements are weak at best. Most won’t make you any stronger, and none will make you any faster or more skillful.

Many factors go into your abilities as an athlete — including your diet, how much sleep you get, genetics and heredity, and your training program. But the fact is that using sports supplements may put you at risk for serious health conditions. So instead of turning to supplements to improve your performance, concentrate on nutrition and follow a weight-training and aerobic-conditioning program.

GREAT Tips for Dealing With Athletic Pressure and Competition

Advertisements for sports supplements often use persuasive before and after pictures that make it look easy to get a muscular, toned body. But the goal of supplement advertisers is to make money by selling more supplements, and many claims may be misleading. Teens and kids may seem like an easy sell on supplements because they may feel dissatisfied or uncomfortable with their still-developing bodies, and many supplement companies try to convince teens that supplements are an easy solution.

Don’t waste your money on expensive and dangerous supplements. Instead, try these tips for getting better game:

  • Make downtime a priority. Studies show that teens need more than 8 hours of sleep a night, and sleep is important for athletes. Organize time for sleep into your schedule by doing as much homework as possible on the weekend or consider cutting back on after-school job hours during your sports season.
  • Try to relax. Your school, work, and sports schedules may have you sprinting from one activity to the next, but taking a few minutes to relax can be helpful. Meditating or visualizing your success during the next game may improve your performance; sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing can give you a brief break and prepare you for your next activity.
  • Choose good eats. Fried, fatty, or sugary foods will interfere with your performance. Instead, focus on eating foods such as lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. Celebrating with the team at the local pizza place after a big game is fine once in a while. But for most meals and snacks, choose healthy foods to keep your weight in a healthy range and your performance at its best.
  • Eat often. Sometimes people skip breakfast or have an early lunch, then try to play a late afternoon game. Not getting enough food to fuel an activity can quickly wear you out — and even place you at risk for injury or muscle fatigue. Be sure to eat lunch on practice and game days. If you feel hungry before the game, pack easy-to-carry, healthy snacks in your bag, such as fruit, trail mix, or string cheese. It’s important to eat well after a workout.
  • Avoid harmful substances. Smoking will diminish your lung capacity and your ability to breathe, alcohol can make you sluggish and tired, and can impair your hand-eye coordination and reduce your alertness. And you can kiss your team good-bye if you get caught using drugs or alcohol — many schools have a no-tolerance policy for harmful substances.
  • Train harder and smarter. If you get out of breath easily during your basketball game and you want to increase your endurance, work on improving your cardiovascular conditioning. If you think more leg strength will help you excel on the soccer field, consider weight training to increase your muscle strength. Before changing your program, though, get advice from your doctor.
  • Consult a professional. If you’re concerned about your weight or whether your diet is helping your performance, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian who can evaluate your nutrition and steer you in the right direction. Coaches can help too. And if you’re still convinced that supplements will help you, talk to your doctor or a sports medicine specialist. The doc will be able to offer alternatives to supplements based on your body and sport

Original article from: kidshealth.org

Second Major Sports Supplement Recall Could Slow Internet Sales

Continuing its crackdown on dietary supplement products that contain potentially harmful steroid ingredients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a voluntary recall of multiple muscle-building products that were being sold by MuscleMaster.com, Inc. The recall, which identified 17 different products, comes two months after BodyBuilding.com announced a voluntary recall of 65 products that the FDA believes should be classified as steroids. Eleven of the supplements identified in the MuscleMaster.com recall were also a part of the BodyBuilding.com recall—sending a clear message that any retailer currently offering products on either of the recall lists should immediately stop selling the unlawful products.


With two major online supplement retailers being forced to suspend sales on a significant number of products, there are concerns that the recall may not only result in lost sales—but it could also turn away new potential consumers who are now shying away from online purchases over safety concerns. That could significantly slow some of the most impressive growth that the industry has seen in recent years. Online supplement outlets such as BodyBuilding.com have experienced a recent spike in popularity and converted that into massive sales growth. The company received an NBJ Business Achievement award for its 47% expansion in 2008. U.S. sports supplement sales on the Internet totaled $231 million on 50% growth in 2008.

There is now reason to believe that both the category and the sales channel could be losing momentum due to the recent recalls, as well as a wave of negative press, including a public campaign for legislative reform by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and a particularly damning—and one-sided—article that ran in the May 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated and implicated the industry as a “Pandora’s Box of false claims, untested products and bogus science.”

Preliminary 2009 Nutrition Business Journal projections indicate that sports supplement sales on the internet will grow at a healthy, but slightly slower, 34% pace. The upcoming year will be a better indicator of how well the category can hold up to increased scrutiny and a weeding out of the bad actors. Further FDA recalls and/or legislative action could permanently impact this volatile segment of the nutrition industry.

Original article from: http://nutritionbusinessjournal.com/supplements/news/supplement-recall-sales-internet-nutrition/

Rotator Cuff problems??

Rotator Cuff Injury and

Shoulder Tendonitis

A Guide for the Treatment and Prevention

What is a Rotator Cuff Injury?
Have you ever been working out at the gym, pushing a heavy weight and heard a popping sound in your shoulder. Or what about skiing down the slopes, and landing shoulder first in the snow at the bottom. Or maybe just having a friendly game of tennis, when all of a sudden there’s a sharp pain in your shoulder.

These are all signs of the same thing; a shoulder injury. Whether you want to call it a rotator cuff tear or tendinitis shoulder, it’s really all the same. A tear, strain or inflammation in the rotator cuff muscles and tendons.

Anatomy of the Shoulder Joint
The shoulder joint is a truly remarkable creation. It’s quite a complex formation of bones, muscles and tendons and provides a great range of motion for your arm. The only downside to this extensive range of motion is a lack of stability, which can make the shoulder joint vulnerable to injury.

Shoulder Muscle Group picture used from "Principles of  Anatomy and Physiology" - Sixth Edition. By G.J. Tortora and N.P.  Anagnostakos. Published by Harper & Row - 1990

What Causes Rotator Cuff Injury?
There are two major causes of most shoulder injuries. The first being degeneration, or general wear and tear. Unfortunately, the shoulder is a tendinous area that receives very little blood supply. The tendons of the rotator cuff muscles receive very little oxygen and nutrients from blood supply, and as a result are especially vulnerable to degeneration with aging. This is why shoulder problems in the elderly are common. This lack of blood supply is also the reason why a shoulder injury can take quite a lot of time to heal.

The second cause of most shoulder injuries is due to excessive force, or simply putting too much strain on the tendons of the shoulder muscles. This usually occurs when you try to lift something that is too heavy or when a force is applied to the arm while it’s in an unusual or awkward position.

Symptom of Rotator Cuff Injury
There are two common symptoms of a shoulder injury, pain and weakness. Pain is not always felt when a shoulder injury occurs, however most people who do feel pain, report that it’s a very vague pain which can be hard to pinpoint.

Weakness, on the other hand, seems to be the most reliable symptom of a shoulder injury. Common complaints include an inability to raise your arm above your head or to extend your arm directly to the side or in front. In most cases, the larger the tear or damage to the tendons, the harder it is to move your arm and the injured area.

The earlier a shoulder injury is treated, the better. The first 48 to 72 hours are crucial to a complete and speedy recovery. The first and most important course of action is the R.I.C.E.R. regime. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral. For the time-being, I’m not going to go into the specifics of the R.I.C.E.R. regime. It’s a very important topic and I’ve decided to dedicate the entire next months issue to it.

After the initial injury has been treated with the R.I.C.E.R. regime, (for at least 48 to 72 hours) it’s time to move onto the next stage of treatment. As mentioned before, the shoulder joint receives very little blood supply. So, what can you do to increase blood flow, and oxygen and nutrients to the injured area?

Firstly, heat! (HEAT PADS ARE GREAT or microwaveable heat rolls) Heat is extremely good for increasing blood flow to a particular area. Heat lamps are the most effective way to increase blood flow, while heat based creams are probably a distant second choice.

Secondly, massage! Massage is one of the best ways to increase blood flow to an injured area, and of course the oxygen and nutrients that go with it. The other benefit of massage is that it helps to reduce the amount of scar tissue which is associated with all muscle and tendon, strains and tears. (I’ll also discuss scar tissue in next months issue along with the R.I.C.E.R. regime.)

Lastly, don’t stop moving. Some doctors will often tell patients to keep the injured area still, and this is not always the best advice. Gentle movement will help to keep the blood flowing to the injured area. Of course, if pain is present, limit the amount of moving you do, but don’t stop moving all together.

Thirdly I would recommend Glucosamine supplements. Studies show that continued use of this supp relieves pain, trick is…It takes time to build up! Talk with your doctor more but Glucosamine works great.. Can be bought at WAL-MART, WALGREEN’S BASICALLY ANYWHERE!

Mark my words, “Prevention is much better than Cure.” Anything you can do to prevent an injury from occurring is worth it. The prevention of shoulder injuries comes down to the conditioning of the shoulder muscles and tendons, which ultimately involves both stretching and strengthening of the shoulder joint.

Also, don’t forget the common injury prevention techniques like, warming up properly and using a bit of old-fashioned common-sense. However, for the most part, stretching and strengthening are going to be your best defence against shoulder problems. Even if you don’t have a shoulder problem now, the following stretching and strengthening exercises could save you from a major headache in the future.

Firstly, below you’ll find two good stretches for the shoulder area. The first is quite a basic stretch, while the second is a more advanced stretch, specifically for the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. Please be careful, if you haven’t been stretching your shoulder joint, the second stretch will put quite a lot of stress on the rotator cuff tendons. Warm-up first, then gently and slowly is the best way to proceed.

Some Stretches to try..

Maybe Yoga???..

Shoulder Stretch_1 In the stretch to the left, simply stand upright and clasp your hands behind your back. Keep your arms straight and slowly lift your hands upwards. Hold this stretch for about 15 to 20 seconds, then repeat it 3 to 4 times.
In the stretch to the right, stand with your arm out and your forearm pointing upwards at 90 degrees. Place a broom stick or pole in your hand and let it fall behind your elbow. With your other hand, pull the bottom of the stick forward. Be especially careful with this stretch, it will put a large strain on the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. As above hold this stretch for about 15 to 20 seconds, then repeat it 3 to 4 times. Shoulder Stretch_2

How to get lean & toned without getting bulky..A few tips and tricks

The days of trying to bulk up as much as possible are out. The body image most men are looking for and most women find attractive today is that of a professional swimmer. They are lean and toned with just the right amount of muscle and body fat to turn heads wherever they go. This is not a simple look to achieve, however. You must follow the right training protocols and make sure your diet is in check. We’re providing you with some guidelines to follow so that you can get cut without getting huge.

what to avoid

Just as there are principles you should follow, there are also protocols you shouldn’t be doing. Make sure to avoid these at all costs if you’re trying to get cut without getting ripped.

Eating everything in sight

This practice was fairly typical during the “beefcake” days when every guy wanted to pack on as much muscle mass as possible. These guys would eat anything they could get their hands on in the hopes that it would help add muscle to their frames. Doing this will add mass, but a greater portion of it will be body fat, bringing you further away from the toned physique you’re looking for.

Neglecting all forms of cardio

If you want to get that lean look, you have to do some cardio training. Former methods enforced the principle of boycotting all cardio as it burned precious calories that could potentially go toward muscle growth. This is fine if you don’t wish to control your body fat levels, but in order to see your hard-earned muscles, cardio is essential.

Taking long rest periods during sets

The general guideline for building a great deal of mass states that you should allow ample time to rest between sets to let your muscles recover. This enables you to lift maximally on your next set. While this principle still holds true for getting big, reducing this rest time will increase your metabolism, helping you get cut.

Since your goal is to get cut without getting huge, the shortened rest breaks will not hinder you in getting good muscle definition. You still need to rest enough so that you can challenge yourself, but there is no need for two-minute rest periods anymore.

Basic Training Ideas…


Supersets are an exercise technique in which you perform one set of an exercise for one muscle group, and then another set for an antagonistic group. For example, complete one set of biceps curls followed by one set of overhead triceps presses. Since these muscles oppose one another, while one is working, the other can rest. This both cuts down on your total workout time and increases the overall amount of calories burned during your training session.

Getting lean and toned is dependent on burning more calories than you take in to remove excess body fat, so anything that helps you accomplish this is a step in the right direction. Try to incorporate these types of exercises into your workout as much as possible. Good examples are chest presses supersetted with bent-over rows and leg extensions supersetted with hamstring curls.

Circuit speed training

Circuit training is another good option for those looking to get lean and toned. It works in a similar way to supersets, but instead of working opposing muscle groups, you complete an entire circuit of exercises for your whole body. Perform one set of each exercise before moving on to the next one with little or no rest in between. Once you finish one whole circuit, take a few minutes to rest, and then complete it again one to three more times.

Additionally, you may want to focus on increasing the velocity in which you perform the concentric (working portion) of your exercise, as this will help develop your fast-twitch muscle fibers more.

Cardio sprint training

When it comes to cardio, the preferred method is interval training. This allows you to push your body for a short period of time, and then take a period to rest and recover before going once again. It is preferable because it will also help develop your fast-twitch muscle fibers and will kick your metabolism into high gear.

Any form of exercise that is very intense will help with your fat-burning process as the body will expend a great deal of calories repairing the damaged muscle tissue once you are finished your workout. Try to incorporate at least two sessions of interval training into your training week — one focusing on longer intervals of one minute with two minutes of rest, and the other focusing on shorter intervals of 20 to 30 seconds with one to one and a half minutes of rest. Note: The shorter the interval, the more intense it should be.

Plyometric training

Plyometric training uses exercises that require you to move very quickly using only your body weight. They are great for developing explosive power and strength. Since you are not acting against a heavy weight load, you will not get the same hypertrophy effects that result in the bulky muscle look. Typical plyometric exercises are:

Box jumps: Jump onto as high of a box as you can, and then back down again. For added difficulty, try doing this off one leg.

Squat jumps: Begin by moving from a standing position down into a full squat, then rapidly push off the ground using your thigh muscles to propel yourself as high as possible. Land once again in a full squat position and repeat 10 to 15 times.

Clap push-ups:
Perform the normal push-up action, but use your muscles to propel your body off the ground in the up phase. While in the air, clap your hands together and then land back into the push-up position to complete the downward portion of the exercise.

get lean, toned and cut

In summary if you are looking to develop a defined yet muscular body, put some of these principles into effect. You do not have to be huge to be strong, and most people these days prefer a toned appearance over a bulky look. Don’t forget to stretch, make sure your diet is free from all junk and processed foods, and make sure you are eating five to six times a day to keep your metabolism up. Once you have mastered both the workout and the diet, your physique will get noticed.

Thanks Jerriann B. for the question!

What do you think? Feel free to leave comments or posts, thanks!

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