Reducing body fat and improving one’s body composition is a common goal for both serious athletes and the general fitness enthusiasts.

With such a strong interest in “battling the bulge”, fat loss has become a huge industry, with new fad diets, weight loss plans, abdominal toning products, and fat burning supplements popping up on the market every day!

Unfortunately, despite all of the attention directed at this subject, obesity is still on the rise. The purpose of this article is to outline some basic and effective principles for attaining permanent “fat loss” and a transformation of your physical appearance.

We are inundated with so many different diet and exercise programs and there are so many weight loss myths floating around that it becomes difficult to know what to believe. Let me assure you that proper nutrition and exercise (along with certain lifestyle changes) are STILL the solution to losing fat permanently and getting that lean, cut-looking physique. The following 3 Fat Loss Tips will help you achieve your “Fat Loss” goals.

Tip #1: Don’t Starve Yourself

Cutting too many calories, pushes the body to conserve calories rather than burn them. It also forces your body to break down muscle tissue to fuel its vital operations. But muscle tissue is the key to your metabolism (the speed at which you burn calories).

When you go on an extremely low calorie diet, your body goes into starvation mode. This leads to several negatives consequences, including fewer fat-burning enzymes in your body, lower levels of fat burning hormones, muscle wasting, greater appetite, and low energy. The bottom line is that it’s physiologically impossible to achieve permanent fat loss on a “starvation” type diet.

In the short term very low calorie programs may get you some results, but in the long run they can actually make you fatter. You will almost certainly regain additional body fat once your diet ends! Don’t trust a diet plan that recommends the same calories for everyone. If you are more active you will need more energy.

Tip #2: Increase Calorie Deficit by Exercising

This ties in nicely with the first principle. The key to long term fat loss is to focus on burning the fat, not starving the fat. To metabolize more body fat while only cutting calories slightly below maintenance, you will need to burn more calories by increasing your activity level. I know it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people look for ways around this, and search for quick fixes in order to avoid putting the extra effort into getting results!
Resistance Training

Your physical activity plan for fat loss should focus primarily on resistance training with weights. Whereas you will burn fat as a fuel source during cardiovascular, resistance training will not only metabolize body fat during your workout, but it will stimulate your body to continue eating up your fat stores after exercise as well. This is sometimes referred to as the double-reducing effect, or “after-burn”. This effect is caused by raising your basal metabolic rate: essentially, weight training boosts your metabolism!
Muscle Equals Metabolism

Not only will strength training get you “Jacked”, but the more lean tissue you have on your body, and the more active your muscle tissue becomes, the higher your metabolism is. This is why I say it’s a mistake to focus on losing weight, rather than reducing body fat. Muscle weighs much more than fat, but because it is also much denser it takes up less space on your body. So think about “reshaping” your body, rather than shrinking it. This will leave you cut AND jacked, rather than just skinny and soft.

Circuit Training

Circuit training involves a single set of each exercise one after another, with minimal rest between sets. An effective way to increase your metabolism in a circuit training workout is to perform a series of exercises alternating between lower body, upper body, and core movements. This can be accomplished using minimal equipment, or by performing bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, dips, and abdominal exercise variations.

Interval Training

Interval training involves alternating periods of low intensity cardiovascular activity with higher intensity sprint intervals. This not only burns more calories in a shorter amount of time, but it will help to stimulate and preserve your hard-earned lean muscle tissue. An example of an interval training workout could be alternating periods of jogging for 4 minutes and running hard for 1 minute, repeating these intervals for a 20 minute workout.

Tip #3: Changing Your Eating Habits

Exercise alone won't make you leaner. You can still gain fat due to poor eating habits. Here are some important nutritional habits you can adopt to help you lose body fat while maintaining your lean muscle tissue:
Eat More Often

This may sound contrary to your objective, but by eating more frequently your metabolism is increased and your portion sizes will be smaller. Controlling portion size is absolutely essential to reducing your body fat. View it as throwing wood chips on the fire (your metabolism) all day long to keep the flames high, rather than smothering it with a log once a day. Try to eat 5 to 6 smaller healthy meals or snacks throughout the day. Eating every 3 hours will help regulate your blood sugar levels and keep your metabolism roaring.

Consume Good Fats

Fat is a misunderstood nutrient. Many people still believe that all fats are “bad”, and think that eating fat makes you fat. However, not all fats are created equal and consuming the right type of fat is not only essential for good health, but it will aid in the metabolism of even more body fat. The good fats are called essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and include the Omega 3, 6, and 9 oils. Foods containing these healthy fats include fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil, among others. Flaxseed oil and fish oil are common sources and are popular in supplement form as well.

Stay Hydrated

Water is the most important nutrient, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. You need it to flush the waste products your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy, or when it processes protein. To stay well hydrated, let water and green tea be your main beverages. Fruit juices, sodas and other beverages contain calories and often have added sugar. Therefore, avoid juice, pop, and sports drinks and focus on drinking plain water and green tea instead. A good guideline for water intake is to drink one liter for every fifty pounds of your bodyweight per day.
Avoid Refined Starch and Sugar

Sugar is the enemy if your goal is to lose fat! Sugar contains empty calories (minimal nutrient value), which provide a quick release of energy without actually feeding your body, and then a rapid energy slump soon afterwards. Sugar also interferes with fat loss, because your body will prefer to metabolize the sugar before getting into using fat stores. By including foods high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats you can control this rapid fluctuation in blood sugar. Foods rich in fiber help control blood glucose and insulin levels. Reduce consumption of most processed, low-fiber breads, cereals, breakfast bars, potatoes, and pasta.

Following these basic suggestions will help you lose body fat, increase your metabolism, and improve your health!

17 Nutrition Tips To Stay Lean & Healthy For life

17 Essential Rules of Nutrition

What if I told you that a few simple changes to your diet and eating habits could extend your youth, rip up your physique, get your body fat percentage down to the single digits (or teens for women), and ultimately add 5, 10, or even 20 years to your life? Intrigued? It’s for real. These 17 rules are absolutely integral to any healthy lifestyle, plus they’ll help you look your best — more muscle, less fat, better skin, and more resilient immunity. Many of them are really simple changes, but their impact is exponentially beneficial.

1. No trans fats, limit saturated fats

No other rule is as important as #1. Follow it and live by it, it’ll save your life. Literally. Trans fats are created when food producers hydrogenate oils to preserve food and increase their shelf life. The problem with these nasty fats is that they raise artery-clogging LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) significantly, while simultaneously lowering artery-cleaning HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Saturated fats still raise LDL cholesterol, but have no effect on HDL levels. Over time consumption of these fats leads to atherosclerosis (fatty build up in the arteries which restricts blood flow), coronary heart disease (CHD), heart attack, and stroke. Trans fats have no health benefits at all and are directly related to an increased risk of CHD.
Where are they found? A major issue with trans fats is that food producers are legally allowed to list that a food has 0g of trans fat if it contains .5g or less. Some foods have .49g, but they can technically be marketed as having no trans fat. Any level, even .25g can have a major negative health impact. It all adds up. Get in the habit of reading ingredients–if you see vegetable shortening or partially hydrogenated that means the food has trans fat. Common foods that have trans fats include: pastries, doughnuts, croissants, French fries and any other fried foods, cookies, crackers and biscuits, margarine and shortening, potato chips, granola bars, and chocolate. BK French Fries have 7g, a Cinnabon Cinnabon has 6g, and every 3 Oreos have 2g!

2. Fight fat with fat

Contrary to what most people believe, fat does not make your fat. Eating too much fat makes you fat. In fact, eating healthy fats can help suppress appetite and is probably one of most beneficial things you can feed your heart. Look for mono/polyunsaturated fats such as Omega-3s. Poly/monounsaturated fats do the opposite of trans fats–raise HDL while simultaneously lowering LDL–which unclogs arteries and improves cardiovascular health. In addition, fat is vital for healthy skin and hair, facilitates muscle growth, and helps transport vitamins A, D, E, and K through the bloodstream.

Fats are higher in calories than carbohydrates or proteins (7 calories per gram in fat, 4 calories per gram in carbs/protein) so be conscious of the amount that you’re eating.
Foods such as salmon and other fish, nuts and natural nut butters, seeds, olive oil, flaxseeds, and avocados are great sources of healthy fats.

3. Wheat over white

When it comes to bread or anything else made with flour make it a habit to choose wheat bread over white bread. When companies process white bread they strip all of the nutrients, fiber, vitamins and everything else from the grain and add a bunch of sugar, preservatives, and chemicals to make it taste better and stay fresh longer. White bread has no nutritional value at all and it digests extremely quickly, leaving the body hungry shortly after. Whenever you eat white bread it sends blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride and signals the body to release insulin (which functions to bring blood sugar levels down), which ultimately causes body fat gain. Repeatedly spiking blood sugar levels causes insulin resistance, or the inability to control blood sugar levels naturally, which leads to the development of Type 2 Diabetes. If you chop a tree repeatedly eventually it’s going to fall over. Wheat products are slow digesting, help you stay fuller longer, keep blood sugar levels under control, and contain healthy fiber and other important nutrients. Stick to wheat bread, you’ll stay diabetes-free and maintain a lean physique.
Wheat Plant
Tip: When you buy bread make sure it says “100% whole wheat.” Companies sometimes market their bread as “whole wheat” or “whole grain,” but in reality they just bleach the white flour to make it look like wheat bread. Look for the 100%.

4. Limit alcohol, especially sugary drinks

For most people it’s impractical to cut alcohol out altogether, in fact 1-2 drinks a day can lower LDL cholesterol and keep the body relaxed. Plus it’s social. Don’t overdo it though, once you go over two drinks the fat and health detriments start stacking up. Alcohol is empty calories and promotes overeating. When you eat and drink a lot at the same time the body is flooded with excess calories and it has no choice but to store the excess as fat. The body always digests alcohol first no matter what; whatever else you eat sits in the stomach…waiting…and eventually turns into body fat. Eating pizza or ice cream drunk might taste great, but it’s going straight to your ass, thighs, stomach, and wherever else you don’t want it. The same goes for Long Island Ice Teas, Margaritas, Pina Coladas, etc. All of those are loaded with a ton of sugar and calories, which will just spike blood sugar and turn into fat.

Drinking too much is also linked to cirrhosis of the liver, obesity, decreased muscle function and strength, decreased testosterone levels, and CHD.

5. Eat as little sugar as possible

Plain and simple, sugar makes you fat. In any amount. Sugar has no nutritional value and has a worse effect on blood sugar levels than white bread, plus it rots your teeth. In my opinion too much sugar in the diet is the #1 reason for body fat gain and obesity. Read nutrition labels and choose foods with low sugar levels. Skip the gushers, sugary cereals (lucky charms, cocoa puffs, fruity pebbles, etc.), and other sugary foods and choose whole grain, natural foods. You’ll stay fuller longer and stay leaner.

6. Avoid Aspartame, Splenda (Sucralose), High Fructose Corn Syrup, and other artificial sweeteners

Many people believe that weight maintenance is as simple as calories in vs. calories out, and replacing sugar with calorie free artificial sweeteners is a quick fix. It’s not. Artificial sweeteners are bad for the body and may actually be more unhealthy than regular sugar. The body wasn’t meant to ingest chemicals on a regular basis. Even though these products don’t have physical “energy units” or calories, they still have a significant psychological effect on the brain. The brain associates sweetness with calories–the sweetness-calorie link–but in the absence of calories the body goes into shock. As a result, the body overcompensates by stimulating appetite to account for the missing calories and you actually end up eating more as a result. Interestingly, aspartame has also been shown to break down into its poisonous components when it reaches high temperatures. Army soldiers have actually gotten Methanol (a component of Aspartame) poisoning from drinking Diet Coke that was exposed to extreme temperatures. That can’t be good for you…

HFCS works a little differently. As the name suggests, HFCS has extremely high levels of fructose–a type of sugar found in fruit. Unlike sucrose and glucose, which can be metabolized by all cells in the body, fructose must be metabolized in the liver. Because HFCS has extremely high levels of fructose, much higher than in fruit and whole foods, it dumps the excessive amounts of fructose on the liver all at once, which has no choice but to convert the HFCS into fat. This eventually causes excessive fat build-up in the liver, cirrhosis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Additionally, because HFCS is able to skip the normal digestion process and go directly the liver, the body never gets any fuller, fat is constantly deposited, and the body gets stuck in an endless cycle of eating. HFCS is responsible for increasing obesity and is one of the main reasons why America has become so fat.

Recently, crystalline fructose has been emerged as a sweetener in a lot of so-called “health drinks” such as VitaminWater Zero. Crystalline fructose actually has higher levels of fructose than HFCS, making it even more horrible for the body. Avoid it.

There is still a lot of research that has to be done about the health implications of each of these sweeteners, but my personal advice is to avoid them whenever possible. It’s impractical to avoid all artificial sweeteners all the time, but moderation is key.

If you need to sweeten use Stevia, it’s a healthier and more natural alternative.

7. Drink water all day

Water is essential for life and is responsible for carrying out almost all of the body’s functions. It prevents dehydration, maintains body temperature, and serves as a way to clean out various toxins from the body. Drinking cold water can also boost metabolism and keep it going throughout the day, burning a bunch of extra calories. Water also helps suppress appetite.

8. No soda or sugary drinks

Avoid all soda, including diet kinds (loaded with aspartame and splenda), and other sugary drinks such as Gatorade, Yoohoo, non-natural fruit juices, Hawaiian Punch, etc. Most of these drinks are nothing more than sugar water loaded with chemicals, HFCS, and other artificial sweeteners. Drinks are a terrible way to spend calories because they don’t suppress appetite and have no nutritional value, plus all the sugar gets converted into fat. Always choose water, green tea, milk or other natural drinks to quench your thirst. Did you know that if you replace one 120 calories can of soda every day with a glass of water you would save 43,800 calories, or 12.5 pounds in a year.

From personal experience, back in the day when I weighed a lot more than I do now I used to drink a ton of diet soda. I stopped all together and lost 10 pounds without making any other changes. I’m a firm believer that diet soda, as well as regular soda, is a big contributor to obesity.

9. No soy

Soy is not a health food, it’s a product that’s falsely marketed as a health food. Soy is genetically modified, pumped with chemicals and preservatives, and loaded with toxins. Soy has been shown to negatively affect thyroid function, which is responsible for regulating metabolism, inhibits the body’s uptake of vitamins and minerals from food, and increases phytoestrogen levels. Increased estrogen lowers testosterone, a hormone responsible for muscle growth, alters the areas where fat is deposited, and is extremely detrimental to muscle gain.

10. Protein is king

Protein is the ultimate nutrient for building a lean physique. It’s the building block of new tissue in the body, creates antibodies and hemoglobin, and is essential for maintaining muscle mass. Protein has a high thermogenic effect, which means that it raises body’s core temperature and burns off extra calories through digestion. It also helps keep the body fuller longer. If you’re serious about building muscle or burning fat, high protein levels are essential. Eggs, fish, chicken, beef, milk, protein powder, and cottage cheese are great sources. Eat protein constantly throughout the day, ideally at every meal.

11. Eat the yolk

There’s a ton of debate about whether to eat egg whites alone or the whole egg. Eat the yolk. Yep, the yolk has more calories and a little cholesterol, but it also has almost all of the nutrients. Many studies have also begun to show that egg yolks raise HDL and LDL levels simultaneously, offsetting any of the negative health effects. Egg whites are essentially only protein, which is great, but otherwise they have very little nutritional value. Some farms are now adding Omega-3s to the diets of their chickens, which increases the Omega-3 content in the eggs.

12. Get your antioxidants

Antioxidants are so vital. They protect the body against free radicals, harmful free-roaming oxygen molecules that cause cellular damage, cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, premature aging, and about 50 other diseases. Antioxidants help keep skin clear, delay aging, and also prevent inflammation. The “antioxidant vitamins” are E, C, and beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A). Antioxidant levels in foods are measured by their Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity or ORAC score. The higher the score the higher the level of antioxidants. Many berries, spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, chili powder, cloves, and garlic, as well as green tea are phenomenal antioxidant sources.

13. Eat breakfast

Never, ever skip breakfast. Imagine how hungry you’d be if you ate at noon and not again until 8PM? That’s how the body feels after it goes through an 8 hour sleeping fast. It’s absolutely critical to replenish your body, provide it with energy, and eat to get it out of the catabolic state, or the state in which your body uses its own muscle, fat, and tissue for fuel. Skipping breakfast will make you feel sluggish, tired, and mentally slow. Eat some eggs and oatmeal, or even a quick granola bar or bowl of cereal if you don’t have the time to make something serious. Eat something. Eating breakfast also jump starts your metabolism.

14. No eating at least 2 hours before bed unless it’s protein

When you go to bed your body’s metabolism slows down and whatever is left in your stomach will be stored as fat. The one exception is protein. Drinking a protein shake, eating cottage cheese, or consuming some other source of protein is ideal because it stimulates your body’s metabolism for a few hours after consumption and provides a constant stream of amino acids to your muscles during rest. This aids the muscle building/preservation process and essentially reduces how much your metabolism slows down when you go to bed, which allows you to continuously burn calories. Carbs and fat will just sit in your stomach and convert to fat, and therefore should be avoided altogether around bed time.

15. Eat 5-6 smaller meals

Eating small meals every 2-3 hours keeps your body’s metabolism revved up, keeps blood sugar levels under control, and allows for easier digestion. Your body has a much easier time digesting a small 500 calorie meal than it does digesting a huge 1000+ calorie binge. When you consume that many calories it takes your body a long time to finish digesting everything, and in the process many of those calories that are waiting to be burned get stored as fat. Additionally, large meals produce huge blood sugar and insulin spikes–smaller meals can help keep blood sugar levels suppressed. Small, frequent meals also helps ensure that you’re eating healthy foods as opposed to snacking on junk.

16. Center your diet around natural foods

Whenever possible eat natural, unprocessed foods. That means lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, and beef, nuts, etc. Eating natural foods ensures that you’re not eating a lot of chemicals and preservatives. These foods generally have the highest nutritional content and allow the body to get all of the essential vitamins and minerals. As a rule of thumb, avoid foods in a can, boxes or other packaging as often as possible.

17. Be a label reader

If you’re buying foods in a package ALWAYS check the nutrition label and ingredients first. Here are a few rules and guidelines:

Ingredients are listed in order of how much of that ingredient is in the food. The first ingredient is the most abundant and the last ingredient is generally insignificant. This all depends on how many ingredients there are. As a rule of thumb the less ingredients the better. More ingredients means more artificial crap.
Anything with HFCS, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated oils should never be eaten.
Avoid foods with aspartame, crystalline fructose, sucralose, saccharin, maltodextrin, and erythritol.
Sugar should not be the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd ingredient. If it is put it back on the shelf.
Anything with over 7g of sugar is very high in sugar and should be avoided.
Check wheat bread to make sure that white flour is not listed. FOF-

Rich Fit/Fit Tip..Avoid The Treadmill

You need cardio for fitness, health, and fat loss, but traditional cardio like running isn't the most effective option, and it's stressful on your joints.

The cure: a circuit-training routine that builds strength and endurance in one workout. Skip rope for 3 min changing your intensity levels through out then move directly to each one of the following exercises for 60 seconds— do as many reps as you can. Then rest 30 seconds and move on to the next exercise.

Complete the circuit twice, performing squats, pushups, paratrooper lunges, dips, and burpees with a jump. (Start standing up and then bend and put your hands on the ground and kick your legs back so that you end in the plank position. Then thrust your legs forward between your arms, and jump into the air.)...perform this workout on non weight training days and watch as your body scorches fat & builds lean muscle tissue.


Effective Training And Living A Lifestyle That Places Your Fitness As A Priority.

Understand that training is the easy part, for real success in reaching your health and fitness goals, the "secret" and there really isn't one is your nutritional practices. Let these guidelines help you make smart nutritional decisions.
Many of you are consistent with your muscle gym & fitness practices. Your training is on point, your supplement program is sound and you eat all of the right foods including good amounts of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. But what if you could be better? What if you could tweak your diet to make even more significant gains?

Enter meal timing. Meal timing is the practice of taking in specific macronutrients at specific times regarding training, goals and time of day. Many trainers and nutritionists recommend the standard practice of ingesting a certain amount of proteins, carbs and fats throughout the course of the day. Recent research has shown that manipulating certain nutrients and their amounts can significantly increase gains in strength and size and burn body fat.

Get Your Whey In Early

Immediately upon waking the body has just undergone a six to eight hour fast void of muscle building blocks of protein. Protein should be the first thing on your mind after such a hiatus. Fast digesting whey protein is the perfect fix to set your body into a positive amino balance once again and will hold off catabolism until you can get those eggs cooked! Take around 20-30 grams of whey first thing in the morning.
Another wise move is to take in a good amount of complex carbs in the morning to help refuel your glycogen stores for the day ahead. This will not only give you energy for your training later in the day, but will also stoke your metabolism to switch into high gear helping you to turn on that fat-burning furnace. Anywhere between 40 - 60 grams of a complex carb source such as oatmeal or Ezekiel cereal are great choices.

Mid-Day Slump

Another time to keep a close eye on is the mid/late morning blood-sugar crash. Many of us at jobs tend to forget our important muscle-building meals during hectic times of day that we neglect our guidelines to keep us on track. A great (and quick) solution is to pop a protein shake and some healthy fats. This can easily be accomplished with a quick shake of whey and water and around one ounce of nuts such as almonds. Not only will this feed your muscles with the much needed protein boost (not to mention convenient), but will also provide healthy fats to keep blood-sugar levels steady until your next solid meal.

Pre-Workout Loading

One of the most critical times to actually start the recovery process after a training session is before you even step into the gym. Saturating your muscles with protein prior to training can actually provide not only energy for the grueling session to come but can also provide key amino acids to muscles because they will be readily available for recovery. This will give you an advantage regarding performance and rebuilding for your next intense training bout. Try 30-40 grams of

whey protein.

In addition to quality protein you must also consider complex carbs prior to training. Carbs are a must if you want to make any substantial gains at all. Not only will they provide a steady flow of energy, they will also spare protein to be used as energy. 40-60 grams of a quality carb source should be taken with whey protein 30 minutes to an hour prior to lifting. Good sources include oatmeal, 100% whole grain bread, rice or a medium sized apple.

Post-Workout Punch

We all know by now that post-workout nutrition is of utmost importance for muscle/strength gain. This crucial time has a limited window of opportunity, so it behooves the trainer to take full advantage of this important meal. After a brutal training session the body is starving for nutrients. This “window” which only lasts around an hour or less is the perfect time to down a whey protein shake to shuttle in amino acids as fast as possible to ramp up the recovery process. 40 grams of whey will do the trick.

Another key nutrient at this time is simple carbs. Simple carbs taken with your whey protein will raise insulin levels to help shuttle in more nutrients directly into the muscle. Even though higher insulin levels are related to fat gain, you won’t have to worry about that during your post-workout meal. The higher insulin levels are key in regulating hormone levels and nutrient absorption. Take in around 40 - 80 grams of simple carbs such as Gatorade depending on your goals.

Take advantage of these times to maximize gains and minimize muscle breakdown. These are just a few simple guidelines to try on your quest to a more muscular and leaner physique. Live Fit, Be Fit-

Know Your Shoulders To Grow.

Different Parts of the Shoulder
Anterior Deltoid

The anterior deltoid originates on the clavicle and inserts onto the deltoid tuberosity of the humerous. The main job of the anterior deltoid is shoulder abduction when the shoulder is externally rotated, but it also assists with transverse flexion but it is not a stong movement for this part of the deltoid.

Middle Deltoid

The middle deltoid originates on the acromion and inserts onto the deltoid tuberosity of the humerous. The purpose of the middle deltoid is shoulder abduction when the shoulder is internally rotated and also assists in shoulder transverse abduction.

Posterior Deltoid

The posterior deltoid originates on the spine of the scapula and inserts onto the deltoid tuberosity of the humerous. The posterior deltoid aids in shoulder extension, external rotation, transverse abduction and also transverse extension.

Rotator Cuff

Another key component of the shoulder is the rotator cuff. This is a place for common injuries to take place due to overuse or underuse. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles; the teres minor, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapularis. These four muscles are what aid in all overhead and rotational movements at the shoulder.

Different Shoulder Exercises

Barbell Front Raises
Dumbbell Front Raises
Cable Front Raises
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Cable Lateral Raises
Cable Rear Delt Reverse Fly
Arnold Presses

Bent-Over Lateral Raises
Military Presses
Barbell Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Barbell Upright Rows
Dumbbell Upright Rows
Cable Upright Rows

Burn Fat Faster With High Intensity Interval Training


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of cardio created to burn more fat and boost metabolic rates higher in a short period of time.

Usually the HIIT workout sessions vary from anywhere between 9-20 minutes. The original protocol set a 2:1 ratio from work to recovery periods. For example, 20 seconds intense exercise followed by 10-second rest period and repeating the cycle.

One of the most common HIIT strategies is called the TABATA method. Tabata training was discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Dr. Tabata discovered that this type of interval training produces higher quality results than aerobic training (traditional long duration steady state cardio). One result was building as much muscular endurance as forty-five minutes of normal cardio training. In the study the subjects increased their anaerobic capacity by over a quarter as well a substantial increase in their aerobic fitness. For accurate results VO2 levels were measured of athletes that performed the training method.

A Tabata program, just like any other form of HIIT can be versatile and custom made for a specific individual after taking under consideration the experience of the individual/athlete.
Interestingly, major members of the Japanese Speed Skating team had used the high-intensity protocol for several years. Also some studies, such as one by Laval University, state that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio helps subjects’ lose/burn nine times more fat than those who trained the traditional way. Since the metabolic rate gets boosted higher, the amount of calories burned though the day after your workout is also much higher.
To simplify the above if you want to burn more fat and not muscle in a short period of time plus increase your metabolic rate for the rest of the day, choose HIIT training.


HIIT Sessions should consist of a warm up and stretching period followed by the 9-20 minute HIIT and a cool down and stretching period. You can be really creative with your HIIT workouts since running is only ONE of the options to perform HIIT. I suggest, jump rope, heavy duty rope, parachute sprints, cone sprints, box jumps.

Also keep in mind that you can vary the duration of your HIIT session. I usually suggest a 12-15 minute HIIT. If you had a killer leg day the day before or 2 days before your HIIT and the lower body muscles are still sore, try the rope cardio (picture above) example of a 2 to 1 ratio HIIT (40 secs fast 20 seconds slow) repeated 5 times followed by 2.5 minute recovery period which totals up to 7.5 minutes, then repeat the cycle one more time.

An ideal HIIT workout:

3-5 minute warm up period
5 * (40 sec very fast run (nearly sprinting) followed by a 20 sec slow walk)
2.5 minute moderate speed walk for recovery
3-5 minute cool off for recovery! (VERY IMPORTANT)

The above HIIT workout consisted of running for the intense part of the program however do not forget that you can integrate the following exercises below instead of running or even alternate every intense part with a different exercise from below.

Heavy Duty Rope

Jump Rope

Agility Ladder

Box Jumps

Push ups


Cone drills (such as suicides)

I hope HIIT works well for you, especially when you are trying to get CUT while staying JACKED! BURN FAT AND PRESERVE MUSCLE with HIIT TRAINING.

Please keep in mind that HIIT training is an intense training method for the advanced athletes however it can be modified to meet your needs and specific goals.

Five Habits of Nutritional Mastery

1. Eat High-Octane Foods

Eating high-octane foods speeds up metabolism. High-octane foods are foods as close to their natural source as possible. The foods that burn the most calories in the act of digestion usually contain more nutrients and are the healthiest. If you want to know how to determine which foods are best to eat, ask yourself this question:

Where did it come from?

If you have to think about it for more than a few seconds then it probably is not a good idea to eat it. Consider this:

Which is better?

A baked potato or instant mash potato flakes?

They are both potatoes, right?

A baked potato comes from the ground; you clean the dirt off, cook it and eat it.

Instant mash potato flakes come from the ground but are then cooked, crushed and pulverized. With each step of processing, nutrients are removed or destroyed to the point where it possesses very little nutritional value. The end result: Fiber has been removed; therefore, it will be absorbed very rapidly causing a subsequent increase in insulin levels and a decrease in glucagon.

This prevents the body from burning stored fat. Another negative is that since the machines did the “digesting” for you now you will burn fewer calories in the act of processing the food (a decreased thermic effect).

Another example is an apple as compared to apple juice. Both are healthy but the fiber has been removed from apple juice so it is absorbed as quickly as a soda. This locks in fat stores. It’s best to opt for the apple and keep it close to its natural source.

2. Eat the Right Combination of Foods

The optimal food combination to ignite the body’s fat burning abilities is combining a Lean Protein and a High Octane Carbohydrate. According to the glycemic index, starchy carbohydrates (such as white potatoes) are absorbed quickly, and when eaten alone, can lead to a massive increase in blood sugar levels. Many “experts” have condemned potatoes, carrots and other such foods for this reason. However, this is only fact when the potato or other starchy carb is eaten alone and in a large amount. When was the last time you saw someone order only a potato? Or someone bee-bopping down the street eating a potato while whistling Dixie?

Remember we are combining two other elements, a lean protein and other high-octane carbs like fibrous vegetables. The fat in the lean protein and the fiber in the vegetables both delay absorption and allow for a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. This creates a hormonal environment optimal for adding lean muscle and burning fat for fuel.

3. Eat every 2-3 hours

The calorie burning effect that an optimal meal produces lasts three to four hours; therefore, it is wise to eat frequently. In order to fully comprehend this principle, go in your car and start the ignition. Listen to the engine as it idles. Think of it as your metabolism. Metabolism is how fast we process food or fuel. The faster your metabolism the faster we use fuel. When you push the gas pedal, the vehicle is using a greater amount of fuel without moving. The human body has this same response with the consumption of an optimal meal.

For this example, your car runs out of fuel after three to four hours, so does your body. If fuel is not added then your vehicle will stall. When this occurs in the human body, blood sugar levels drop. Low blood sugar levels usually result in bingeing episodes. The body craves an immediate source of fuel, as well as dense energy sources. Sugar and fat! The typical American gets caught up in the stress of daily life and doesn't take the time to eat frequently. This usually results in massive dinners and late night bingeing. So, by eating every three hours, it is like revving your metabolism throughout the day. As it begins to slow, you eat to rev it back up.

If you are looking to speed metabolism and incinerate fat then eat every 2-3 hours. Whether you eat every 2 or 3 hours will depend upon your appetite.

4. Drink Enough Clean Water

Water is the single most important nutrient. Every second of every day, literally billions and billions of chemical reactions are taking place in your body. With the snap of your fingers 7 billions liver cells die and instantaneously 7 billion more are reproduced. For every one of those chemical reactions water is needed. Either it is put in (hydrolysis) or taken out (dehydration synthesis). When water is not present in the necessary amounts, the reactions still occur, but they are much less efficient. They “mis-fire” so to speak. This leads to a decrease in energy, a lack of focus and concentration, and water retention, which compromises your body’s ability to release fat. Simply drinking more water throughout the day often alleviates these symptoms. How much?

Water is the single most important nutrient.
Daily Water Intake Formula
Bodyweight (lbs.) X 0.5 = Minimum ounces of water to drink daily

For example: A person who weighs 200 pounds would consume 100 oz. or 3 Liters of water per day.
Common Question

“I thought everyone was supposed to drink 8 glasses of water per day.”

Water is found in each and every cell in the body. In fact, the body is made up of approximately 70% water. With that said, a 250-pound linebacker has many more cells than a 130-pound woman. To think that the linebacker and the 130-pound woman both possess identical water intake needs would be absurd. Obviously the 250-pound active man requires a larger amount of fluid per day to maintain optimum health and fat burning capabilities. 8 glasses for everyone? Absolutely not.

5. Eat the Right Quantity of Food

People have been misled into thinking that eating less will cause greater fat loss. You now know that it requires much more than eating less and the importance of all five EAT principles. To explain the error in just eating less you must first understand the first law of thermodynamics. This law states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed; only change in shape or form. In the human body, we calculate energy in kilocalories, or for our purposes, calories. Calories are like gallons of gasoline in a vehicle. They are a measure of how much fuel we are ingesting.

The first law of thermodynamics is in effect each day of your life whether you like it or not. For example, let’s say that you ate a total of 2,000 calories today and your total activity throughout the day burned off 2,000 calories. According to the law you would remain the same. Now let’s say you went out for dinner and at the end of the day you ingested a total of 3,000 calories. That is 1,000 surplus calories that will be either dissipated off the body as heat or stored as body fat. If that pattern of eating and not exercising occurred for a week, then 7,000 calories or two pounds would be stored as fat.

Let’s say you take in a total of 2,000 calories throughout the day. You stimulate muscle tissue through resistance training and perform some aerobic exercise on the treadmill. You burn off a total of 500 calories. Since you need 2,000 calories daily in order to remain the same and you expended 2,500 calories, your body is forced to rely upon alternative energy sources. In a mild calorie deficit, the body will burn stored body fat. In a course of a week on this type of schedule you will utilize 3,500 stored calories or one pound of fat.

When people hear this, a light bulb usually goes off!

“Well, if I only eat 1,000 calories and work out twice as long then I will lose fat 4 times faster. I can’t wait!”

Hold on there, Poncho! If it were that easy you wouldn’t be reading this. You may want to read this next section several times because this is the most abused and misunderstood principle, but also the most critical for you to grasp.

The body’s main objective is survival. When it is deprived of the necessary amounts of foods, it reacts by stripping away metabolically active tissue – muscle. Several studies confirm that for every ten pounds lost on a typical starvation diet, four to six pounds of it comes from muscle. Any type of starvation diet will enhance the body’s ability to store fat! Let’s me say that again. Any type of starvation diet will enhance the body’s ability to store fat!

For those people who do manage to lose weight on a starvation diet, they will appear soft and are often referred to as skinny-fat people. They will possess the muscle tone and definition of a walrus and look more like a melting wax figure than a work of art. Not a pretty picture…
So How Much Do You Eat?

Unless you are preparing for a photo shoot or going to be in very little clothing in front of other people it is best to not to calorie count. However, there is a time and a place to measure your food and count your calories but only once you master the basics. Otherwise, you could go insane. Eating is meant to be pleasurable and not a mundane task. For now, eat until you are satisfied but not stuffed to the gills. Since sense of satiety is a delayed response it is critical eat mindfully. Before you begin take 10 deep breaths. This will calm your nervous system down and shunt more blood to the digestive tract to aid in digestion. Now take the 30-chew challenge. Just as the name implies, chew each and every bit 30 times. If you are as impatient as me then you will find the 30-chew challenge a worthy adversary. When combined with the other EAT principles, it will allow you to control your hunger and cravings and absorb more nutrients from every bite. You don’t need to do the 30-chew challenge forever. Just try it for one meal or anytime you are feeling stressed. This simple strategy works wonders when applied.

Maximise Your Training Effect

When implemented properly and consistently, strategic pre- and post-workout supplementation can greatly increase the effectiveness of your training. Without optimum nutritional strategies, the body's response to training can only be considered a compromise at best. From this perspective, training and diet cannot be considered as separate factors. The food and supplements that you take, and the work that you faithfully perform in the gym, are both part of your training. On the day of competition it will not be the athlete who trained harder who wins, it will be the athlete who trained smarter.

Exercise causes acute changes in the metabolic environment of muscle tissue. First there is a significant increase in blood flow to working muscles. There is also a sharp increase in catecholamines (e.g. noradrenalin, adrenalin). These changes favor catabolism during exercise, and anabolism immediately after exercise. Because these changes are acute, some lasting only a few hours, the pre and post exercise meals are critical to optimizing the anabolic effect of exercise. This article will discuss pre- and post-exercise nutritional strategies based on current research in this area.

Pre-workout nutritional strategies are based on providing alternative energy substrates (mainly carbohydrate) to preserve energy stores, and taking advantage of increased blood flow to muscle tissue.

High intensity exercise places great demand on glycogen stores. Glycogen is the sugar stored in the liver and muscles. Because high intensity exercise burns energy at such a high rate, the body is unable to supply sufficient oxygen to be able to use fat for fuel. Instead, it must use sugar both stored in the muscle and brought in from the blood.

Consuming simple sugars right before training can reduce the amount of glycogen used during exercise. This can prolong performance. More importantly, higher blood sugar and insulin levels appear to create a hormonal milieu favorable to anabolism (growth).

During exercise, cortisol accelerates lipolysis, ketogenesis, and proteolysis (protein breakdown). This happens in order to provide additional fuel substrates for continued exercise. The effects of cortisol may also be necessary to provide an amino acid pool from which the muscle can rebuild new contractile proteins if there are insufficient amino acids delivered from the blood. This ensures that some degree of adaptation can occur regardless of the availability of dietary protein. Over time however, if this process is not balanced with additional dietary protein, the net effect will be only maintenance or even a decrease in functional muscle tissue, as is evident during periods of starvation or prolonged dieting. Fortunately, there is only a non-significant rise in cortisol levels when carbohydrates were consumed during exercise. (Tarpenning, 1998) The net effect is a more rapid increase in the cross sectional area of the muscle fibers with the greatest effect seen in type-II fibers.

This may be a less expensive option for those who were thinking of using phosphatidylserine. In this case, carbohydrate administration appears to down regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, probably through insulin or perhaps through the presence of carbohydrate itself. This would, in effect, greatly reduce the body's catabolic response to exercise stress. All good news for bodybuilders.

Another pre-workout strategy involves taking advantage of increased blood flow to working muscles. Because the availability of amino acids is often the limiting factor for protein synthesis, a pre-workout protein meal will enhance the delivery of amino acids to muscle tissue. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of a pre-workout protein drink.

Delivery of amino acids has been shown to be significantly greater during the exercise bout when consumed pre-workout than after exercise (Tipton, 2001). There is also a significant difference in amino acid delivery in the 1st hour after exercise, with the pre-exercise protein drink providing a significant advantage. Net amino acid uptake across the muscle is twice as high with a pre-workout protein drink as compared to consuming it after. Phenylalanine disappearance rate, an indicator of muscle protein synthesis from blood amino acids, was significantly higher when amino acids were taken pre-workout. These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of a protein solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids to the leg.

During exercise muscles use metabolic fuels at an accelerated rate. In order for physical work to be continuous, the body mobilizes stored fuels to make fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids available for oxidation. This is a catabolic process and cannot occur simultaneous to anabolic processes such as glycogen formation and protein synthesis.

In order for the body to recover from exercise, the catabolic environment must be quickly changed to an anabolic environment. The food that you eat after training affects the hormonal milieu in your body in order for this to take place. With the rapid introduction of carbohydrate, protein, and fat into the system post exercise, the body is able to begin reparations on damaged tissue and replenish fuel reserves.

Carbohydrates are important for performance and perhaps more importantly for glycogen recovery. Studies have shown an increased ability of muscle tissue to take up serum glucose immediately following strenuous exercise (Goodyear 1998). This is due to what is called, "non-insulin dependant glucose uptake". After a meal, muscle cells transport glucose across the cell membrane in response to the hormone insulin. Insulin binds with its receptors at the cell surface causing a cascade of events that ends with proteins, called glucose transporters, being translocated to the cell surface. Once at the cell surface, these glucose transporters allow glucose to pass through the membrane where they can be phosphorylated and eventually stored as glycogen.

Membrane transport of glucose will exhibit saturation kinetics similar to the effect of increasing substrate concentration on the activity of enzymes. The number of glucose transporters limits the rate of glucose entry into your muscle cells. Once all available glucose transporters are associated with a glucose molecule, the rate of glucose entry will go no higher.

There are at least 5 different classes of glucose transporter proteins. They are designated GLUT1, GLUT2, GLUT3, GLUT4, and GLUT5. Each class of GLUT protein differs in its kinetic parameters and is found in specific tissues. GLUT-4 is the primary isoform regulated by insulin, and sensitive to muscle contraction.

Muscle contractions, much like insulin, cause a separate set of GLUT-4 proteins to be temporarily translocated to the surface of the muscle cell (Sherman 1996). This greatly increases the rate at which muscle tissue can take in glucose from the blood after a bout of exercise. The effects of exercise on glucose uptake last for a few hours into the post exercise period. If the post exercise meal is lacking in carbohydrates, the replenishment of glycogen is delayed. If carbohydrates are lacking in the diet, exercise will cause a glucose deficit and glycogen stores will continue to fall without being replenished to pre exercise levels.

There has been some controversy about which type of carbohydrate is best for post exercise glycogen replenishment. Some argue that simple sugars such as dextrose are best after exercise. Others say that drinks with glucose polymers are best. Still others say that there is no need to buy fancy sports drinks and that simply eating a meal high in carbohydrates such as pasta or rice is sufficient. Studies have shown no difference between different types of carbohydrates eaten post exercise and the rate of glycogen replenishment as long as sufficient quantities of carbohydrate are consumed (Burke 1997). Even when the post exercise meal contains other macronutrients such as proteins and fats, the rate of glycogen replenishment is not hindered, given there is sufficient carbohydrate in the meal as well. These studies tell us that the rate-limiting step in glycogen replenishment after exercise is not in digestion or the glycemic index of a given source of carbohydrate. Over a 24-hour period it is the total amount of carbohydrate consumed that is important.

The rate-limiting step in glucose uptake during exercise is determined by the rate of phosphorylation once glucose has entered the muscle cell (Halseth 1998). Glycogen synthase activity is also a possible rate-limiting step (Halseth 1998). These processes are not readily influenced by the composition of the "post exercise" meal, but rather by the extent to which glycogen was depleted during exercise as well as the amount of carbohydrate and fat consistently included in the diet.

It is recommended that at least 0.7 - 1.0 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight be consumed immediately after exercise and then again 1-2 hours later. If you experience gastric upset try increasing the amount of water you consume with the carbs. Try to shoot for a total of 7-10 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight over a 24-hour period 3 for maximum glycogen storage. This may well be in excess of caloric needs but it is important to shoot for this intake if glycogen storage is your primary goal.

Protein is another critical nutrient post-exercise. Protein is essential to post exercise anabolism. Protein provides amino acids that are used to rebuild damaged tissues as well as provide enzymes and carrier proteins necessary for adaptation to exercise. Without protein, which supplies essential amino acids for endogenous protein synthesis, the body's ability to adapt to exercise is greatly diminished.

Studies have shown a 12 to 14 day period after the onset of an unaccustomed exercise program, in which nitrogen balance, the ratio of protein intake to protein loss, is negative (Butterfield 1987). Any study looking at protein needs and exercise must take this into account. Nitrogen balance during this period appears to be insensitive to total caloric intake, but can be improved with a high protein intake if adequate calories are supplied (Gontzea 1975). Even though additional protein intake will prevent nitrogen balance from becoming negative, it will still fall despite high protein intake during the first two weeks of exercise.

Muscle specific messenger RNA (mRNA) produced subsequent to training has a half-life of only 4-5 hours. It is so short because mRNA has no "quality control" mechanism built into the coding. By keeping the half-life short, any errors in the sequence won't be able to produce enough defective proteins to do irreparable damage to the cell or organism. This also allows tight control of protein metabolism.

The timing of protein intake is important. If the anabolic stimulus from exercise is to be maximized, a steady flow of amino acids must bathe the muscle while mRNA content is high. It should be no surprise that the optimum time for protein intake after your workout is relatively brief compared to frequency of training a particular muscle. Muscle protein synthetic rate (MPS) is elevated in humans by up to 50% at about 4 hours following a bout of heavy resistance training, and by 109% at 24 hours following training. A study done by Macdougall (MacDougall et al 1995) further examined the time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis by examining its rate at 36 hrs following a bout of heavy resistance training. Six healthy young men performed 12 sets of 6- to 12-RM elbow flexion exercises with one arm while the opposite arm served as a control. MPS was calculated from the in vivo rate of incorporation of L-[1,2-13C2] leucine into biceps brachii of both arms over 11 hours. At an average time of 36 hours post-exercise, MPS in the exercised arm had returned to within 14% of the control arm value, the difference being nonsignificant. The following conclusions can be drawn from this study, following a bout of heavy resistance training, muscle protein synthetic rate increases rapidly, is more than double at 24 hours, and then declines rapidly so that at 36 hours it has almost returned to baseline.

Current recommendations for total protein intake for athletes is between 1.6-1.8 grams per kilogram body weight, depending on who you read, however, it is not uncommon for bodybuilders to consume in excess of 2 grams per kg of body weight with no ill effects. It should be remembered that the body does not have the capacity to effectively store amino acids. Protein should be eaten at least every 3-4 hours. The evening meal should contain slowly digesting protein that will allow a steady release of amino acids into your system well into the night. Dinner is a perfect time for steak or other meat dishes.

AbFitt Supplement Guide & Suggestions For Spring 2011

Guest Athlete: Brittany Tacy

Supplements are a key component of your training and nutritional strategy, but they’re only one component. If you keep that in mind, you can get a tremendous edge from supplementation.

Supplement Intelligently

Supplements are a tool to help you achieve your goals. They are not magic pills and potions that will grant your physique wishes. You must use supplements intelligently, with reasonable expectations of what they can do for you. You still have to train and rigorously follow your diet. If you do the hard work and use supplements as they’re designed, then you’ll get the benefits that you seek from them.

Use Protein Supplements

Take a protein supplement at least once a day on rest days and twice a day on workout days. If you choose a product from a good manufacturer, this practice can give you an extra 40-80 g of protein per day, and it will help bring you into compliance with my standard protein recommendation (at least 1 g of protein per pound of body weight daily). It’s often enough to cause acceleration in muscle growth, usually noticeable within four months. It’s especially important to follow this formula when dieting. Higher protein needs and restricted caloric intake make a protein supplement essential.

Take about 20 g of protein powder, such as whey, within 30 minutes before workouts and about 40 g immediately after workouts. On rest days, consume at least one 40 g protein shake between meals.

Take Creatine

Supplementing with creatine can provide athletes with tremendous benefits, including faster recovery from intense weight training, decreased postexercise muscle soreness and increases in muscle mass and strength. Take 3-5 g of creatine immediately before and after workouts.

Try Beta-Alanine

This amino acid combines with histidine in the muscle to form carnosine. Muscles with higher carnosine have more strength and endurance. Research shows that bodybuilders taking beta-alanine in addition to creatine gain significantly more muscle than those taking just creatine. Take 1-2 g immediately before and after workouts.

Use A Multivitamin Pack

Take a multi with breakfast and dinner each and every day for insurance. Being low in any vitamin can cause breaks in the blueprint of muscle construction. A fast-food world combined with the demands of bodybuilding training can leave you short of a host of micronutrients. That’s bad when you consider that many of them are needed for the things an ironhead is most interested in, such as building muscle and burning bodyfat.

Mix Your Antioxidants

Take a mix of antioxidants; a good cocktail has an anticatabolic effect by quenching free radicals formed during and after intense exercise. In your antioxidant regimen, include our top candidates: 400-800 international units of vitamin E, 500-1,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 200 micrograms of selenium. Get the rest from your daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

Take Glutamine

Known for its immunity-enhancing properties, glutamine is not only one of the most prevalent aminos in the body, but also one of the most important for athletes. If you are overly stressed from dieting or training, supplementing with glutamine allows your body to maintain its storage supply of glutamine in muscle tissue, enhancing overall muscular growth and recovery. It is also now known to boost growth hormones and metabolic rate. Take 5-10 g of glutamine with breakfast, before and after workouts and before bed.

Add Arginine

Try adding arginine to your supplement mix. Arginine, a conditionally essential amino acid, has long been used by bodybuilders for aiding GH release. Studies suggest it speeds wound healing, which isn’t too far removed from what happens in the body after a workout. Arginine also improves blood flow by converting to nitric oxide in the body and enhances the growth and strength of muscles.

Take 3-5 g of arginine before breakfast, 30-60 minutes prior to training and 30-60 minutes before bed.

Maximize Your Minerals

Take extra calcium and magnesium. If you look at the label of any once-per-day multivitamin, you’ll notice a “mineral gap”–a place where certain minerals should be listed. Even if they’re included, most multis contain only a small percentage of the Daily Value of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Calcium is important for fat-burning metabolism, magnesium for training performance and potassium for muscle cell volume. A once-daily multivitamin simply doesn’t cut it. Correct the situation by taking 1,000 mg per day of supplement-source calcium (or two to three cups of fat-free dairy products), 450 mg of magnesium, and several servings of fruits and vegetables per day (for potassium as well as other micronutrients).

Try Tyrosine

Give the amino acid tyrosine a try to prevent burnout caused by lack of sleep, stress and/or the use of thermogenic supplements. Taking 1-4 g of it early in the day is recommended. In studies using military personnel as subjects, tyrosine was shown to increase performance under stress. It is a precursor to fat-burning hormones that stimulate norepinephrine.

Don’t Omit Omega-3s

Take a high-potency omega-3 fatty acid supplement such as fish oil. The omega-3s in fish oil capsules (EPA and DHA) are more potent than the one in flaxseed oil at stimulating fat metabolism, reducing muscle catabolism, reducing wear and tear on the joints and improving mood and cognitive performance. Take 1-3 g of fish oil with breakfast and dinner.

Take ZMA

ZMA is a specifically formulated combination of zinc and magnesium. The benefits of ZMA supplementation include improved recovery due to enhanced sleep efficiency and increased anabolic hormone levels, as well as greater gains in muscle strength and power. For best results, take ZMA on an empty stomach 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Follow label recommendations for dosage.

Repair With Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Glucosamine is the major building block of the solid parts of cartilage. Chondroitin is a major component of connective tissue, especially cartilage. Often, these two ingredients are combined in one supplement. Bodybuilders should use glucosamine and chondroitin for joint injuries, and for prevention. Take 1,500 to 2,000 mg of glucosamine and 800 to 1,200 mg of chondroitin each day. Split that amount into a morning and evening dose.

Take Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Branched-chain amino acids, also called BCAAs, include leucine, isoleucine and valine. These three aminos, particularly leucine, are known to literally act like a key that turns on muscle growth processes within muscle fibers. Supplement with 5-10 g at breakfast, before and after training sessions and with a nighttime meal.

Vitamin C Can Revitalize You

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps in the synthesis of hormones, amino acids and collagen. It also protects immune-system cells from damage and allows them to work more efficiently.

The body cannot store vitamin C, so it must be frequently supplemented. Multivitamins contain C, but additional supplementation will ensure that you don’t have a deficit. Take 1,000-2,000 mg per day.

Vitamin E Is Excellent

This antioxidant is especially protective of body tissues. Vitamin E acts as a preservative that prevents many substances from destructive breakdown in the body. Vitamin E also prolongs the life of red blood cells and is necessary for the proper use of oxygen by the muscles. Bodybuilders should supplement with 400-1,200 IU per day. Take 400 IU of E with breakfast and another 400-800 IU with your post workout shake.

Go For Green Tea

You can drink green tea and take it as a supplement for boosting metabolic rate to enhance fat burning and for a plethora of health benefits, such as improved joint recovery. The research shows that the active ingredient in green tea–epigallocatechin gallate–is better absorbed as a supplement than tea. Take about 500 mg of green tea extract before meals two or three times per day and drink green tea as desired.

Lastly I recommend you find what works best for your body, remember these are just recommendations to help guide you.