A blog dedicated to the world of Bodybuilding. ZONAMUSCULAR is a compilation of articles about training, nutrition, suplements and much more from the best independent writers on the web.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How to know if you are Overtraining

As everyone knows, exercise is good for you. It helps to keep your weight down, helps to keep you toned up, and helps to make you feel good. So then, if getting a little exercise is good for you, then it must be better to get even more and if getting more indeed is better, then it stands to reason that getting a lot would be even better. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? However, this is not always the case.

When you exercise with fairly high intensity, and you exercise that way often, there will come a time at some point when your body will begin to slowly start to shut down. People will get to this point at different times, depending on their fitness levels and exercise intensity and frequency. If after exercise you tend to feel more wore out than worked out, you may already be a victim of overtraining.

There are some signs that your body will give you both physically and mentally that will let you know that you are overtraining. It is wise to recognize these signs and act accordingly, before the problem gets to the point of causing you possible serious injury. Some of the major signs to be aware of are:

Decreased performance
Lack of motivation
Poor coordination
Loss of appetite
Chronic muscle soreness
Chronic stiffness at the joints
Chronic headaches
Longer recovery times
Loss of concentration
Reduced self esteem

You need to understand that whatever your exercise goals are, your body needs ample time to recover and adjust to the demanding loads you placed on it. Sometimes people who are newcomers to the world of exercise will try to do too much too soon, and may ignore their body when it’s trying to tell them to take a break.

In the case of some who have been into exercise for a while, they will often view these signs as an obstacle and feel the best way to deal with it is to “work through it” or “tough it out”. For some others, the problems causing them to overtrain may be more psychological. Excessive exercise is now recognized as a legitimate problem, much like anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

For most, the solution to the problem is simply to exercise in moderation or cut back on the intensity from time to time. Use periodization in your routines. When you feel the signs of overtraining coming on, reduce the intensity of your workouts for a while. When you are ready to increase the intensity again (your body will let you know), then gradually start to pick it up again.

Know your limitations, and never try to compare yourself to anyone else as this is asking for problems. There are some times when you should even just take a whole week completely off and do no exercise at all. This is like taking a vacation from work, it gives you body and your mind a chance to relax and rejuvenate so you can start again a week later nice and fresh.

Remember, if you exercise to the point of overtraining it is almost as bad as not exercising at all. Overtraining will only impede your progress, not help it and in the long run, if you let yourself overtrain, you may be headed for some very unwanted side effects.

Jim O'Neill gives you tons of valuable information on the subjects of weight loss, fitness, and nutrition to make it easy for you to live a healthy lifestyle. Sign up now for his free 7 part mini e-course at: www.mrgymfitness.com/minicourse.php

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An Effective Exercise Routine for Beginners

Let’s start with this very important rule: NEVER OVERDO THE FIRST FEW SESSIONS. Many beginners to exercising fall for this trap, especially when they do not have qualified trainers with them. They get overly excited and lose patience. They try to produce in two weeks what often takes years to accomplish.

They begin by going all out right from the start doing as much as they can. The next day, their joints and muscles lock up in pain. Then, they get discouraged, stop exercising for a while and give it up altogether. Workouts should start out smooth and easy.

Here is a warm-up routine to do 1 set of before every workout, but doing 3 sets of these alone can be a pretty good workout; particularly if you are a beginner.


Lean over deeply on your left foot while your right leg is stretched out to your right side. Maintain balance.

Slowly, raise yourself with your left leg to a standing position.

As you stand, spread your feet wide apart.

Repeat this for ten counts.

Do steps 1 to 4 again; this time, alternate the legs’ position (left becomes right, and vice-versa).

This exercise warms up your legs, calves, and abdomen.


Stand erect, chest out, with your buttocks protruding and your stomach in. Put your hands straight out in front of you. Relax.

Do squats by bending your legs to lower your body. Bend your legs until your upper legs (thighs) are parallel to the ground and you are in a squatting position. Keep your body erect as you squat.

Then raise yourself as you straighten your legs back to a standing position.

Do around 5 to 10 squats. Inhale deeply as you go down. Exhale as you stand up.

This exercise warms up your leg muscles, calves, and the muscles in your abdomen.


Stand with your feet about 3 feet apart. Relax.

Place your hands behind your head with your elbows out to the sides.

Very slowly, twist your body to your right without moving your legs or feet. Try to twist to your right as far as possible. Your face and body should be facing your right side while your legs remain steady. Then hold on to this position for 10 seconds.

Do the same to your left side.

This exercise warms up your legs, back muscles, and abdomen.


Stretch out your arms to your sides. Keep them level with your shoulders.

Simultaneously rotate both arms to the front. Do this 20 times each rotation.

This exercises your shoulders, arms, and back muscles.


Bring your right and left palms together. Have all fingers and palms pressing each other in front of you while pointing the fingers upwards.

Simultaneously push one palm against the other as hard as you can. Keep pushing for 5 seconds. Relax. Then push again for 5 seconds.

Do this ten times. Exhale as you push, and inhale as you relax.

Then press both palms in front of you while having their fingers pointing in different directions one set of fingers pointing to your left, the other set to your right. If your left fingers point to the right, your left hand should be under your right hand.

Push both palms against each other, the left palm pushing upwards, the right palm pushing downwards.

Exhale as you push, and inhale as you relax. Do this ten times. Then change the positions of your palms (left over right) and do the same procedures.

This exercises your forearms, arms, shoulders, and latissimus muscles (the muscles at the sides that give your body a V shape).


Gently move your head to your right side while your right hand gently pushes back against it. Do this once.

Gently move your head to your left side as your left hand gently pushes back against it. Do this once.

Gently move your head backwards as your left or right hand gently pushes back against it. Do this once.

Gently bow your head to the front as your right or left hand gently pushes against your forehead. Do this once.

This exercise strengthens your neck muscles. Never do neck rotations.


Do slow push-ups from 10 to 15 counts.

This exercises your arms, chest, shoulders, part of your abdomen, and part of your back muscles.


Jog in place for 3 minutes.

Then jog in place a lot faster for 2 minutes.

Then jog in place with a normal pace for another 3 minutes.

This exercise gives you a good leg and calf warm-up. This also serves as aerobics for your lungs and heart.

There! That ought to do it. After doing the above warm up exercises for some time, you should be ready start doing regular weight training and cardio workouts. Then just do 1 set of these exercises to properly warm up before you start each workout.

Jim O'Neill gives you tons of valuable information on the subjects of weight loss, fitness, and nutrition to make it easy for you to live a healthy lifestyle. Sign up now for his free 7 part mini e-course at: www.mrgymfitness.com/minicourse.php

The Truth About Achieving A Ripped, Rock-Solid Chest

Everyone wants a huge chest, plain and simple. It is all too common to see inexperienced lifters slaving away on endless sets of bench presses and cable crossovers in search of full, thick pecs. The reality is that there is nothing complicated about building an impressive chest. The bottom line for huge chest gains is consistency, effort and steady progression in weight and repetitions.

The chest is made up of two main heads, the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. To stimulate the chest using weights you will be using one of two motions: a press or a flye. If you want the greatest bang for your buck from your chest workouts, the true gains lie in your pressing movements. Flyes may have their place from time to time, but nothing can compare to the overall anabolic effect of high intensity pressing movements. I'm talking about the basic, bread-and-butter lifts such as heavy barbell presses, dumbbell presses and wide-grip dips. Save the pec-deck and cable crossovers for the pencil necked geeks on the treadmill; real men train with real lifts.

Like I said before, building a thick and well-developed chest is fairly simple. There are no secrets, magic formulas or killer techniques that will "shock" your chest into massive growth. Stick to your basic presses, focus on overload and progression, and I promise that you will see impressive gains. Here are the most effective lifts for packing muscle onto the chest:

Flat/Incline/Decline Barbell Bench Press:

A standard barbell press is the meat and potatoes of any effective chest routine. This basic compound movement will allow you to handle the most weight through the given range of motion. The incline press will shift more of the stress to the upper region of the chest while the decline does the opposite, targeting the lower/outer region. The flat bench press works the upper and lower regions equally. I highly recommend a standard barbell press as a basic component of your chest routine.

Flat/Incline/Decline Dumbbell Press:

Dumbbell presses are another basic and highly effective movement for stimulating chest development. The main advantage that they have over the barbell is that they allow you to move through a more natural range of motion, helping to prevent shoulder injuries. They also prevent strength imbalances from occurring since one arm can't cheat for the other. The only drawback is that you are not able to handle as much weight. Overall, a standard dumbbell press is an awesome movement that allows for great chest stimulation.

Wide-Grip Dips:

An amazing movement for the chest that is often overlooked. Make sure to use a wider grip and lean forward to shift the stress from the triceps onto the pectorals. If pressing your own body weight is not sufficient then you can always add weight using a weight belt. Dips are an excellent compound movement for overall chest development.

Here are a couple sample chest routines:

1) Flat Barbell Bench Press: 2 x 5-7
Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 x 5-7
Wide-Grip Dips: 2 x 5-7

2) Incline Barbell Bench Press: 2 x 5-7
Wide-Grip Dips: 2 x 5-7
Flat Dumbbell Press: 2 x 5-7

All sets should stay within the 5-7 rep range and should be taken to complete muscular failure. Write down the details of each workout you perform and focus on progressing in either weight or reps from week to week. There is nothing more to it than that. Good luck!

About The Author

Sean Nalewanyj is a bodybuilding expert and writer of top-selling Internet Bodybuilding E-Book: The Truth About Building Muscle. If you want to learn how to build the greatest amount of lean muscle mass and strength in the shortest period of time possible, visit his website: http://www.MuscleGainTruth.com/

The Ugly Truth About Exercise Equipment

You have probably all seen the various fitness equipment commercials. The claims made in these commercials tend to stretch credibility to the limit. You are invited to "Get the perfect abs in 10 minutes a day" or even " Have a sculpted body in no time." Each machine claims to use cutting edge technology with the express purpose to get you in shape and lose pounds with a minimal effort. Oh boy! If it was only that simple.

We all desire to look great and feel healthy but you have to put some work in. This usually takes the form of a vigorous exercise schedule combined with a properly balanced diet. In order to lose weight and achieve a well toned body you will have to burn calories on a regularly basis. You don't have to be a genius to figure that out.

There is a plethora of fitness equipment on the market and most are just fads which are fashionable for a few months then disappear never to see the light of day again. There is, however, one that is still a major player, and that is the treadmill. Torso Track, Total Gym 1000/2000, Ab Sculptor, Ab Rockers, Ab Doers, Slam Man, Thighmasters, Toning System, Door Gym, Orbitrek are the latest thing one day and then forgotten the next.

You may ask yourself why you never see treadmills sold on infomercials? The reason is simple. It is because it is not a high profit, hyped up, exercise gadget, which is more the product of clever marketing than a serious piece of exercise equipment. Most infomercial equipment is designed for just one purpose, to make as much money as soon as possible before people discover that they don't work. Most of the price of this equipment is used in order to market it.

So who would possibly want to buy this stuff? Usually it is people who mistakenly believe that there are shortcuts to weight loss and getting in shape. Achieving your fitness goals requires that you put in some work and the results will not happen over night. No machine is going to produce the results you desire without commitment from yourself.

Have you ever seen any infomercial equipment at a health club? No, because they don't work and they're not built to last. What you will see, however, are a number of treadmills, often with people waiting their turn to use them.

It really boils down to this. Getting fit is really the prodcut of two things - time and effort. The more time and effort you put into exercising the more calories you are going to burn and the more weight you will lose. If you are looking for fitness equipment that will maximize your efforts, then a treadmill is the obvious choice.

Paul Reeve is a Personal Trainer, Presenter and Lecturer for Fitness Professionals, Sports Organizations, Sport Coaches, Corporate Organizations. Get FREE advice on exercise treadmills from his online team at http://www.treadmilladviser.com

4 Harmful Muscle-Building Myths Uncovered

If you’re serious about making a solid commitment to a muscle-building program, you need to be very careful of who you take advice from. Bodybuilding and fitness is literally a multi-billion dollar industry with new websites popping up every single day. Many of the so-called “experts” out there really don’t have a clue of what they’re talking about and are only motivated by pushing expensive pills, powders and “miracle programs” on you that you don’t really need. If you don’t watch your step you may end up falling for some fatal muscle-building pitfalls that will literally destroy your gains and prevent you from ever achieving the impressive, muscular physique you desire. In this article I’m going to expose 4 very common muscle-building myths in order to keep you on the proper path to the mind-blowing muscle and strength gains you deserve.

Myth #1: In order to build muscle, you must achieve a "pump" during your workout. The greater the pump you achieve, the more muscle you will build.

For those of you who are just starting out, a “pump” is the feeling that you get as blood becomes trapped inside the muscle tissue when you train with weights. The muscles will swell up and leave your body feeling bigger, tighter, stronger and more powerful. While a pump does feel fantastic, it has very little, if anything to do with properly stimulating your muscles to grow. A pump is simply the result of increased bloodflow to the muscle tissue and is certainly not indicative of a successful workout. A successful workout should only be gauged by the concept of progression. If you were able to lift more weight or perform more reps than you did in the previous week, then you did your job.

Myth #2: Building muscle will cause you to become slower and less flexible.

This one goes back to the old days when people described bodybuilders as being “muscle bound” and “bulky”. Contrary to what you may think, building a significant amount of lean muscle mass will actually speed you up rather than slow you down. Muscles are responsible for every movement that your body makes, from running to jumping to throwing. The bottom line is that the stronger a muscle is, the more force it can apply. Having stronger, more muscular legs means increased foot speed, just as having stronger and more muscular shoulders means the ability to throw farther. Strong muscles are able muscles, not the other way around.

Myth #3: You must always use perfect, textbook form on all exercises.

While using good form in the gym is always important, obsessing over perfect form is an entirely different matter. If you are always attempting to perform every exercise using flawless, textbook form, you will actually increase your chances of injury and simultaneously decrease the total amount of muscle stimulation you can achieve. Remember, we are not robots! It’s very important that you always move naturally when you exercise. This could mean adding a very slight sway in your back when you perform bicep curls, or using a tiny bit of body momentum when executing barbell rows. Loosen yourself up a bit and move the way your body was meant to be moved. Obsessing over perfect form will actually work against you rather than for you.

Myth #4: If you want your muscles to grow you must “feel the burn!”

This is another huge misconception in the gym. The “burning” sensation that results from intense weight training is simply the result of lactic acid (a metabolic waste product) that is secreted inside the muscle tissue as you exercise. Increased levels of lactic acid have nothing to do with muscle growth and may actually slow down your gains rather than speed them up. You can limit lactic acid production by training in a lower rep range of 5-7, rather than the traditional range of 10 and above.

About The Author
Sean Nalewanyj is a bodybuilding expert and writer of top-selling Internet Bodybuilding E-Book: The Truth About Building Muscle. Learn how to avoid more common muscle-building myths by visiting his website: http://www.MuscleGainTruth.com/

Some Tips to Help Shorten Your daily Workout

Does it seem from time to time that when you go to the gym and do your workout routine, it just takes too long? Maybe you’ve been noticing that you seem to be spending 20 to 30 minutes longer than you would like to. Well, what you need are some little things you can do that will not only shorten your time in the gym, but will still give you a good workout.

For openers, you can split body parts. Working the legs and arms one day, then working the chest and back one day, then working the shoulders and abdominals the next day is a good, effective way to shorten your exercise time and still give each muscle group a good, solid workout.

Another thing you can do is keep it down to one set. It is usually not recommended to do only one set during exercise despite claims made by other experts that one set can be as beneficial as 2 to 4 sets. But one set, as long as it is one good set, is better than doing nothing at all if time is the issue.

You can also do a circuit style workout with your weight training. All you do here is complete one set of one exercise, then move right along to the next exercise non stop until you’ve finished each exercise in your routine. Once done, you take a 1 to 1 ½ minute rest period for some water, and then start on set two until you’ve finished all of your sets.

If you haven’t done it before, a superset style workout can save a lot of time. This is where you work one muscle, and then work the opposing muscle or you do two exercises for the same muscle without a break. An example would be doing a bicep exercise followed by a triceps exercise. Another would be doing bench press followed by chest flies.

You will need to have a workout plan. A lot of people in the gym wander around looking lost like they are trying to figure out what to do next. That is one of the biggest time wasters there is. Have an exercise routine planned and written out on a log so you know exactly what exercises to do and in what order to do them.

Probably the one single thing that wastes more time in the gym above all is socializing. Either reduce or completely cut out “chewing the fat”. You may know people in the gym and they may have the time to approach you during a workout for conversation. If they do, just keep moving along while they talk or explain that you are on a time crunch and don’t have the time to talk right now. They usually will understand and leave you alone.

More often than not, you can save quite a bit of time by keeping these things in mind and remember to just keep moving. You get more from your exercise program by spending 40 minutes in the gym with 30 minutes exercising than you do by spending 90 minutes in the gym with 30 minutes exercising.

Jim O'Neill gives you tons of valuable information on the subjects of weight loss, fitness, and nutrition to make it easy for you to live a healthy lifestyle. Sign up now for his free 7 part mini e-course at: www.mrgymfitness.com/minicourse.php

10 Simple Steps To Skyrocket Your Natural Testosterone Production

There are many factors that determine how much muscle a person can ultimately build. Training intensity, nutrition, supplementation and rest; these are just a few of the many variables that will contribute to your overall muscle-building "bottom line". Another major factor in this giant equation is your body's natural levels of the anabolic hormone testosterone.

Quite simply, testosterone is the most important muscle-building hormone in your body and is one of the limiting factors that determines how much muscle a person can build. Here is just a small handful of the many amazing benefits that increased testosterone levels will provide you with:

- Increased muscle size and strength.
- Decreased body fat levels.
- Increased sex drive and sexual endurance.
- Improved mood.
- Decreased levels of "bad" cholesterol.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Well it is, and I'm going to show you exactly how to achieve all of these benefits step by step. Before I do that, let's cover some basic biology so that we're all on the same page here. Here are the general steps that the body goes through in order to produce this incredible hormone:

First, the brain releases a substance called Luteinizing Hormone, or "LH" for short. LH basically "tells" the body to start producing testosterone. Once this occurs, the adrenal glands release DHEA into the bloodstream. LH and DHEA then travel together to the testes where testosterone production begins. Testosterone can now be released into the bloodstream to perform its magic.

So, without further ado, here are some basic methods you can implement in order to naturally raise your body's levels of testosterone and take advantage of all of its amazing benefits.

1) Use compound exercises as the cornerstone of your workouts. I'm talking about the basic, bread-and-butter lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, chin-ups, dips, lunges and military presses. This will place your muscles under the greatest amount of stress in the gym and will force your body to increase testosterone production.

2) Always train with 100% effort and intensity. If you want to see real muscle gains, you must be willing to push yourself to the limit in the gym. Again, greater muscular stress in the gym translates to higher testosterone output.

3) Train your legs equally as hard as your upper body. As you may already be aware, intense leg training can actually stimulate growth in your chest, back and arms. This is due in part to the increase in testosterone that leg training induces.

4) Increase your EFA consumption. Essential Fatty Acids from sources such as peanuts, avocadoes, fish and healthy oils like flax seed, olive and canola are a great way to naturally boost testosterone levels.

5) Reduce your intake of soy. Soy protein raises the body's levels of estrogen (the main female hormone) and this has a direct negative effect on testosterone levels.

6) Limit your consumption of alcohol. Alcohol has been shown to have quite a dramatic effect on testosterone levels, so try to limit your "binge drinking" nights and keep your alcohol consumption in moderation.

7) Increase your dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, cabbage and brussel sprouts have all been shown to dramatically reduce estrogen levels, thereby raising testosterone.

8) Lower your daily stress levels. Being overly stressed stimulates the release of "cortisol", a highly catabolic hormone that will cause your testosterone levels to plummet.

9) Increase your sexual activity. Sexual stimulation causes the body to increase the production of oxytocin which increases endorphin production (the "feel-good" chemical), and this also raises testosterone.

10) Make sure to get adequate sleep every night. A lack of sleep contributes to cortisol production, and this will lower your testosterone levels.

So there you have it, 10 basic, easy-to-follow guidelines for increasing your testosterone levels naturally.

Start implementing these techniques on a consistent basis and get ready for some dramatic muscle size and strength gains!

Sean Nalewanyj is a bodybuilding expert, fitness author and writer of top-selling Internet Bodybuilding E-Book: The Truth About Building Muscle. Learn the unbiased truth about achieving maximum muscle growth at his website: http://www.MuscleGainTruth.com/

Amino Acids Defined

What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are organic compounds composed of one or more amino groups, and one or more acidic carboxyl groups, and are the basic building blocks of protein. There have been more than 100 amino acids found in living organisms. Only 20 amino acids are commonly found in animals, the others exist in other biological systems, primarily plants.

Amino Acids are used for growth, maintenance, and repair of cells in the body. Of the 20 amino acids found in animals, 12 of them can be synthesized by the body as needed, and these are referred to as nonessential amino acids. The remaining 8 amino acids, cannot be synthesized by the body, and therefore must be acquired from food or supplement, and these are referred to as essential amino acids.

The 20 amino acids are;

Essential: Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine.

Nonessential: Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartate, Cysteine, Glutamate, Glutamine, Glycine, Histidine, Proline, Serine, and Tyrosine.

Why Supplement Amino Acids?

Arginine is a nonessential amino acid, and it is responsible for the normal function of the pituitary glands. Arginine is used to compose the compound nitric oxide, which has many beneficial effects. Nitric oxide reduces blood vessel stiffness and increases blood flow, improving blood vessel function. Arginine supplementation is effective for lowering cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, enhancing sexual feeling in both men and women, improving long term memory, and fighting infections.

Branched chain amino acids or BCAA's are the essential aminos leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAA's are considered to be among the most beneficial and effective supplements in any sports nutrition program. They are needed for the maintenance of muscle tissue and appear to preserve muscle glycogen stores, and help prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise. BCAA supplements may be used to prevent muscle loss at high altitudes, prolong endurance performance, and to provide the needed amino acids not provided by a vegetarian diet.

Carnitine is made in the body from essential amino acids, Lysine and Methionine, and is needed to release energy from fat. Carnitine is commonly used to promote growth and development, fat-burning, increasing energy, and improved resistance to muscle fatigue. Individuals, who supplement Carnitine while engaging in strenuous exercise routines, are less likely to experience muscle soreness.

Creatine is made up of three amino acids - Arginine, Glycine and Methionine. Our liver combines these three amino acids to make creatine. 95% of the creatine in our bodies is stored in the muscles. Creatine provides instant additional energy to the muscles. Unlike the energy provided by carbohydrates or fats, which take some time to convert to useable energy, the energy for creatine can be converted almost instantaneously. Creatine also increases muscle volume, by pulling water into the muscle cells, and decreases muscle burn during exercise. Creatine also increases protein synthesis, meaning greater muscle gain.

GABA or gamma-amino butyric acid is a synthetic compound designed to lower fat levels and increase lean muscle tissues by stimulating the brain to secrete more human growth hormone. Studies have shown GABA to be effective stimulating the secretion of HGH, and has been clinically proven to help the pituitary gland secret HGH.

Glutamine is a nonessential amino acid. The body relies on glutamine as cellular fuel for the immune system. After intense work outs, glutamine levels in the body are reduced by as much as 50%. Glutamine supplementation can minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue and improve protein metabolism. Studies have shown that with as little as 2 grams of free-form L-glutamine supplement, growth-hormone levels can increase up to a 400%.

Lysine is an essential amino acid. Lysine is important for proper growth and the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol. Lysine helps the body absorb and conserve calcium and maintaining the correct nitrogen balance in the body and maintaining lean body mass. Lysine is useful for patients recovering from injuries and recovery after operations, and to help maintain healthy blood vessels. It also assists in fighting herpes and cold sores.

NAC or n-acetyl cysteine is an altered form of the amino acid cysteine. NAC may assist to break down mucus and used in the treatment of bronchitis - for this reason it is used as an inhalant in hospitals in the treatment of bronchitis. It assists the body in synthesizing glutathione and helps to protect the body from acetaminophen (the ingredient in Tylenol).

SAM-E is a derivative of the amino acid Methionine, and is used in the treatment of many conditions including depression, liver disease, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, and migraine headaches. SAM-E is also commonly referred to as S-Adensyl Methionine, L-Methionine, Adomet, and Ademethionine. The liver produces as much as 8 grams of SAM-e a day. Liver disease, osteoarthritis, and extensive use of prescription, and over the counter medications, can inhibit the body's production of SAM-e.

Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid. Tyrosine is needed to make epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which work to regulate mood. Deficiencies in tyrosine, therefore, have been associated with depression. Taken ahead of time, tyrosine may suppress typical bodily reactions and feelings from stressful situations like surgery, emotional upset, and sleep deprivation.


Diet Rules For Getting Ripped: How To Build Muscle Fast & Lose Fat At The Same Time

Is it really possible to gain muscle mass and to lose fat at the same time?

I bet you have tried to do this, but may have found it a bit hard to achieve?

Well, believe it or not, it is possible to get ripped and muscly as well as shed off excess fat. You just need to know what to do!

That's right, you can get ripped, and do so pretty quickly, if you apply the tips we're going to cover in this article.

Many guys (and girls) are doing it right now as we speak. And it's great, especially for summer when we wear less clothes and the girls can see that we've got an attractive body underneath.

Understand that it takes both a good workout, and a precise diet plan to achieve this goal of getting a ripped body real fast.

And you have to do it in a specific way.

Here's the scoop.

The first step is a great workout. If you're not doing this, the rest of the plan won't work.

You'd want to workout a muscle group, with good intensity every 5 to 7 days.

Some do supersets, or some list to failure over 6-15 reps, the optimal partly depends on your body type. This will stimulate your muscles to grow, yet allowing enough time for the muscle to grow between gym sessions, so you actually gain muscle bulk..

There's more that we can go on about to get bigger quicker, but we won't delve into the details here.

Now, what about the diet? Listen up as this is where you can make it or break it.

You need to have a diet that:

1. Provide enough protein to gain muscle,

2. Stimulate testosterone production,

3. Stimulates a high metabolism, and,

4. Avoiding the wrong type of calories that cause the opposite effects to the above

But how's this done?

Here are the 5 steps in your diet to start this process today:

1. Eat lean sources of protein. Think about foods such as egg, fish, lean chicken, and whey protein. Have a good portion of this straight after your workout.

2. Thinks about the monounsaturated fats. Why? These stimulate testosterone production. They're found in avocado, and extra virgin olive oil. Don't go overboard as they contain dense calories. Just try 2 teaspoons a day of olive oil for example.

3. Straight after your workout, have a high GI carbohydrate, such foods as honey or jam. This will satisfy your sugar fix, yes. But also it will help you absorb the protein and creatine (if you're taking this).

4. Have no high GI carbs in the evenings before bed. If you're doing this, this may be the only thing you have to do to get your body going in the right direction. Your metabolism is slowing, so no high GI carbs at this time please! It's the worse time to have it, and some guys get fat just with this one action.

5. Eat 6 meals a day, as it increases your metabolism. Many Hollywood celebrities do this, as it works. But keep the meals reasonable. Eat til you're 80% full, not excessively, and you'll feel more even during the day - no hunger pangs and no binging.

So there you go. You now have the top key secrets to getting a ripped body fast.

And as a bonus, you'll actually become healthier, and feel even more energized at the same time. So go for it!

There are more valuable tips on my website to refine your diet further, for example, if you're finding that you're not getting big and gaining muscle despite a good diet, or, you're putting on fat at the same time as muscle.

Get yourself a great body that other guys are jealous of, in a matter of weeks, not months.

Lucas Ryan helps you to gain muscle and lose fat so that you can show off your bodybuilding efforts and look ripped in no time. For more valuable tips visit his site on high protein diets and other top bodybuilding diet plans that work.


Taking Your Bodybuilding Workout Past The Plateau

You've been working your workout plan and are experiencing some frustration because you have noticed that you are maintaining your weight, staying at the same strength for months now and it's worrying you! Stop the frustration - you are not doing anything wrong, you have just experienced a "plateau" you need to take your workout plan to the next level; here is how to do that:

Your Warm up:

It is important to do a warm-up before each of your exercise sets. Utilize approximately 50% of the weight you are going to be using for your main workout. A good warm-up is to do 4 to 6 reps of this 50% weight. You want to do enough to just warm up your muscles.

Exercise Sets:

Work your plan of exercise sets based on your routine, which should include the following:

Abs, barbell bicep curls, barbell overhead shoulder presses, bench presses, dumbbell pullovers, leg curls, leg extensions, standing calf raises, squats, weighted dips, and also weighted pull-ups.

Workout Tips

Never, ever workout without a workout partner

Time your workout to last no longer than 45 minutes. This includes your rest periods in between sets. The caution here is that if you workout longer than 45 minutes the hormone, cortisol will increase and this will be counter-productive to your goal. The best results are seen when you make a time goal along with your workout goal. Stay focused on working your sets with rests in between sets and accomplishing your workout plan within your 45 minute time limit; get in, work hard, stay focused, get out.

Choose your weights based on achieving the number of reps and not any more than that number. You will know you have chosen wisely because you will physically be unable to complete another rep.

Do not cheat on your form - concentrate on achieving perfect form each and every rep. Use full range of motion and on the way down (2 seconds time span with 2 seconds on the way up). Absolutely no weight jerking allowed. You want a smooth up and down motion. If you experience jerks, move back down to the lighter weight.

Stay in motion during each set. Rest periods are for resting not during your sets. Watch especially during your squats to not lock your knees, arms or legs and rest even for a second. Keep the smooth motion going without a hesitation.

Do not stop when you reach bottom of any exercise. It's tempting at the bottom of a curl to stop - but do not give in to this temptation.

Taking Your Workout Plan Up a Level

3 day a week workout plans


Monday workout

Tuesday no

Wednesday workout

Thursday no

Friday workout

Saturday and Sunday no

Intermediate bodybuilders will benefit from a 2.5-day workout plan

Monday workout

Tuesday and Wednesday no

Thursday workout

Friday and Saturday no

Sunday workout

Monday and Tuesday no

continue with this one day workout, 2 days no workout.

Plateau Tips

You must increase your workout for your body to increase in strength.


Last workout 220 lbs for 10 reps

This workout 225 lbs for 8 reps

Next workout 225 lbs for 9 reps

Then next workout 225 lbs for 10 reps

Repeat the pattern with 5 lb increments on weight

In order to remember your workout plan, write it down. Do not rely on memory. Follow your plan, stay focused, and take rests in between sets and above all use a workout partner!


8 Ways to Boost Your Testosterone

Many men, myself included, are looking for a safe and effective way to boost their natural testosterone. Increased testosterone levels have many benefits, especially for men who are over 35. It will make you not only look better, but feel better as well.

So, what are the safe, legal and effective ways that we men have to boost our natural testosterone levels?

I want to take a look now at 8 popular testosterone enhancing sports supplements. You may or may not have heard about all 8, but do you know if they actually work? This article will answer that question for you.

Here are the 8 testosterone boosters we will be looking at:

1. ZMA
2. Tribulus Terrestris
3. Fenugreek
4. Activate by Designer Supplements
5. 6-OXO
6. Avena Sativa
7. Tongkat Ali
8. Yohimbe

ZMA � ZMA is a designed mineral formula comprised of zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B-6. They are combined in specific ratios to supposedly maximize the effectiveness of ZMA. A 1999 study showed increases of up to 30% in free and total testosterone during an 8 week study of NCAA football players. However, this study was conducted by one of the owners of the company that holds the patent on ZMA. Not completely unbiased.

ZMA may have helped testosterone levels because the mineral zinc and magnesium play important roles in the production of anabolic hormones, especially testosterone. The study participants were shown to have borderline deficient levels of both minerals at the beginning of the study, so raising their levels to normal could have accounted for the rise in testosterone.

I wouldn't rule out ZMA completely, most people in the U.S. are deficient in both zinc and magnesium. The additional zinc and magnesium could bring your levels up to normal and thus help your natural testosterone production. 8 out of 10 stars!

Tribulus Terrestris � This is a weed that grows in temperature and tropical climates and has been used for centuries to increase libido in males. Does it also increase testosterone levels as many supplement companies would have you believe? That depends on who is taking it.

Tribulus terrestris HAS been shown to increase testosterone levels by as much as 30%, but only in individuals who have low testosterone levels to begin with. It will raise your levels to normal, but it will not raise them if you already have normal testosterone levels.

So, tribulus terrestris is partially useful as a testosterone booster. If you are overtrained, if you are on a low calorie �cutting' diet or if you are recovering from steroid or prohormone use (as part of PCT) tribulus terrestris can be useful n raising your testosterone levels. Don't expect that it will give you super high test levels or significantly increased libido. 6 out of 10 stars!

Fenugreek � Fenugreek is an herb found primarily in Indian food. It has historically been used by nursing mothers to increase milk production. Studies on fenugreek are scant, but it has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels of type II diabetics.

Recently, fenugreek has found its way into bodybuilding supplements as as testosterone enhancer. There is no proof at all that this is true. Because of it's effect on blood sugar levels it could be useful as a cutting supplement used to lower blood sugar and insulin spikes. 2 out of 10 stars!

Activate � Activate is a fairly new product from Designer Supplements that claims to increase free testosterone levels in the body. The active ingredient has been trademarked under the name Divanil and is an extract of the stinging nettle plant.

Your body has both free testosterone and bound testosterone. Only the free testosterone is of use to you in building muscle. So, you may have high testosterone levels, but if all of it is bound it is useless to you for muscle building.

Your body controls the amount of free testosterone through a protein called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). The SHBG binds to your free testosterone making it unavailable for muscle building. Activate works by inhibiting (decreasing) the SHBG in your body. This means more of your testosterone is free to help with your muscle building.

There are no studies confirming the rise in free testosterone levels, but there are studies showing that lignans from stinging nettle extract inhibit SHBG and user feedback is almost unanimously positive. I myself have used Activate several times and find that it increases focus in the gym, hardens my muscles and also increased libido. 10 out of 10 stars!

6-OXO � This is a product developed and trademarked by Ergopharm. The active ingredient is 4-etioallocholen-3,6, 17-trione. There have been several studies to date that validate 6-OXO as a testosterone booster. These studies while small have shown average free testosterone increases of 126%. Longer term studies are still underway, but initial reports are positive. 9 out of 10 stars!

Avena Sativa � Please don't believe the hype behind avena sativa. Avena sativa is the scientific name for wild oats. Tasty and a good source of carbohydrates to be sure, but a testosterone booster? No way! There are no studies or historical evidence that avena sativa does anything to increase testosterone levels. 0 out of 10 stars!

Tongkat Ali � Tongkat ali is an extract from the root of the Eurycoma shrub found mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia. It is also called Longjack and Eurycoma Longfolia.

Traditionally it has been used as an aphrodisiac as well as a libido booster in SE Asia. Studies confirm that it works very well, increasing both sexual function and endurance as well as libido.

Researchers are unsure how Tongkat ali works, but they believe that it both increases testosterone production and increases free testosterone. Like a 1-2 punch. Common effects from Tongkat ali are increased well being, better body composition, increased libido and increased focus and aggression.

Tongkat ali does take some time to start working so it may take up to 2 weeks before you start to see its effects. You also need to make sure you are getting an extract of the root powder and not just root powder. The extract is more expensive, but necessary. 8 out of 10 stars!

Yohimbe � Yohimbe has been used as a testosterone booster as well as a fat loss aid. While it does aid in fat loss through several mechanisms, there is no proof that it boosts testosterone levels.

It is likely that people believe it increases testosterone because it does increase libido, however the libido increase is not due to a testosterone increase. Yohimbe works partially as a vasodialator which means it opens up blood vessels, especially those in the lower extremeties such as the genetalia.

Yohimbe has also been shown to have several negative and possibly dangerous side effects and many physicians advise their patients not to take yohimbe because of these side effects. 3 out of 10 stars!


The author has been an amateur weight trainer for 24 years and is avidly interested in performance improving supplements.

Build Muscle Mass - 3 Key Ingredients to Building Lean Muscle Mass Quickly

If you’re anything like I was a short while ago, “a skinny guy trying to build muscle mass”, then I have some important tips that could help you start seeing results instantly.

There are 3 key ingredients that you MUST HAVE in order to build muscle mass and quickly at that. And here they are:

Muscle Mass Ingredient #1 – More Protein

If you want to build muscle mass quickly then this is a “must”. Just remember, the only thing that can build muscle in your body is Protein. So if you’re not consuming enough protein it’s IMPOSSIBLE to build lean muscle mass and stack on the pounds.

In order to maintain your weight, you should be consuming 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. So if you’re a 150 lb. guy then in order to maintain your muscle mass at that weight you need to consume 150 grams of protein each day. And if you want to build muscle mass, you’re going to have to consume “more” protein, to not only maintain the muscles you have now but to build more.

So if you want to build muscle mass quickly and safely a general rule of thumb is to consume 1 – 2 grams of protein for each pound of body weight. So if you’re a 150lb. guy you’d want to consume at least 150 grams of protein upward to 300 grams of protein a day.

Muscle Mass Ingredient #2 – More Carbs

Despite what Dr. Atkins said, for all us skinny guys “Carbs are GOOD”. We need carbs as a source of energy. But you don’t want to consume just any ‘ol carbs. You want to consume a lot of complex carbs rather than simple carbs.

In other words, you still want to stay away from the sweets and simple sugars that are found in a lot of our junk food, and you want to consume more complex carbs like those found in whole wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grain cereals, yams, spinach etc.

Why complex carbs? Because unlike simple carbs (sugars) it’s virtually impossible to turn complex carbs into fat – which means more energy to burn (work out with) and less fat to deal with in the end.

If you want to build muscle mass fast, ideally you’d want to consume 2 – 3 grams of carbs for each pound of bodyweight a day.

Muscle Mass Ingredient #3 – Heavy Weight Training

You cannot build muscle mass without “Heavy weight training”. Let’s just put it this way “the more stress (heavy weight) you put on your muscles, the more it will grow”. And it’s simply because when you put extreme stress on your muscle by lifting heavy weights, your body responds (builds more muscle) so that next time it won’t be as hard or strenuous on your body to lift the same weight.

Ideally, if you want to build muscle mass - lean muscle mass to be more specific, you’d want to lift weights that allow you to do 6-8 reps and no more.

Of course there’s a whole lot more to building muscle mass, but if you follow these 3 key ingredients you’ll be on the road to building lean muscle mass quickly and a whole lot easier than you ever thought possible. Good luck and grow “Massive”.


This article has been written by Richard Knight, a “former skinny guy” and weight gain consultant. Richard teaches other “Average Joes” step by step how to build lean muscle mass in 28 days FLAT with his own weight gain system. Get his FREE tips today. . . http://www.skinny2massive.com

Saturday, September 06, 2008

How To Burn Fat Without Cardio Or Dieting

I hate cardio.

I hate treadmills, exercise bikes and elliptical machines. I hate exercising for hours at a time, just to burn off a few measly calories.

Luckily, I recently discovered a way to burn NINE TIMES more fat without wasting my time on the treadmill.

Oh, and best of all, I didn’t have to go on a diet or restrict my eating in anyway.

Here’s what this is all about:

Scientists in Japan have now confirmed what you knew all along: Simply put, you burn more fat by working out intensely than you do when you “dog” it.

Unfortunately, all the “weight loss experts” told us that the only way to burn fat was to exercise at a steady pace for 45-60 minutes at a time. Yuck! 60 minutes on a treadmill, watching CNN? No thanks.

I decided to try the routine that the scientists in Japan developed, one commonly known as high intensity interval training.

Here’s what happened:

Instead of huffing and puffing on a treadmill for an hour each day, I slashed my workout time to just FOUR MINUTES. No, that’s not a misprint. I exercised for just 240 seconds.

In four weeks, I got into the best shape of my life. My heart and lungs were stronger than ever. My bodyfat levels dipped into single digits and my abs (which had been hiding under a layer of fat for quite some time) came into view.

How could I make such a dramatic transformation in just 4 minutes a day? Well, the high intensity interval training routine actually burns more calories in 4 minutes than working out in the traditional manner for an hour or more.

Here’s the science:

When you perform traditional cardio, your metabolism rises while you are working out. But as soon as you stop your exercise, your metabolism drops back down to normal levels.

But when you do High Intensity Interval Training, you don’t burn very many calories during your four minute workout. But your metabolism stays elevated for 24-48 hours after your workout! So you’re burning calories and fat all day long.

How To Kick Start Your Metabolism And Blow Torch Body Fat

If you’re ready to finally burn off that stubborn body fat, you may want to give high intensity interval training a go (assuming your doctor says it’s ok).

Instead of walking on a treadmill for 60 minutes at the same pace, try alternating speeds every minute. This forces your body to constantly adapt and you’ll burn more calories.

Next, increase your speed and drop your workout time down. You don’t need to waste 60 minutes a day when you learn how to push yourself.

Finally, keep at. High intensity interval training is not easy… but the results come quick. Don’t be surprised if you end up in the best shape of your life.

Matt Marshall recently wrote the book on High Intensity Interval Training.

To learn how you can burn fat, jack up your metabolism and burn off ugly body fat without cardio and without dieting visit: http://www.NoMoreCardio.com

How To Get Rid Of Stomach Fat In 4 Minutes A Day

If you want to get rid of stubborn belly fat and the ugly layer of lard sitting on top of your stomach, then pay attention. Because top Japanese scientists have discovered a way to burn off the fat over your stomach in just 4 minutes a day. Sounds too good to be true right? I thought so. So I put their system to the test. Here’s what happened: The Japanese scientists wanted to find the most effective way to burn off stomach fat and get in shape fast.

So they set up a scientific experiment. The first group did traditional cardio exercise… meaning they hopped on an exercise bike and peddled away at a steady, medium intensity for 45-60 minutes a day. But the other group only did 4 minutes of exercise a day. This group alternated speeds constantly during the 4 minutes. 30 seconds of peddling fast, 30 seconds slow.

After six weeks, the Japanese scientists measured the body fat of each group and they found that the group who only worked out for 4 minutes a day lost NINE TIMES as much fat!

How is that possible? Well it turns out that by constantly changing the speed of your workout, you jack up your metabolism for up to 24-48 hours AFTER your workout. Which means more calories burned… and more stomach fat melting away.

I tried it myself. It wasn’t easy. But heck… it was only 4 minutes a day!

After a month, I was in the best shape of my life. My abs were popping, my stubborn stomach fat was gone… and I had more energy than ever before. If you want to burn off your stomach fat, give this a try:

Instead of exercising for 60 minutes a day, drop down to 5 or 10 minutes. Sprint for 30 seconds… and then walk for 30 seconds. Keep repeating that. You may not make it more than a few minutes… but your extra effort will be rewarded. Because your metabolism will spike and stay elevated all day long. And when your metabolism stays up, your body fat goes down. So if you’re ready to burn off all that stomach fat, take a tip from our friends over in Japan and ditch your traditional cardio methods.

Want to learn how to transform your physique in the fastest possible time? Ready to naturally skyrocket your metabolism so you can eat the foods you love and STILL burn fat?

Head over to http://www.NoMoreCardio.com and claim your FREE report titled, "The Secrets of A Scorching Metabolism"