Get Bikini Ready Abs In No Time With MusclePharm

Bikini Ready Abs In No Time With MusclePharm

Bikini ready abs are not impossible, nor is it something that is very difficult, in fact, getting at it the easy way is by following a good workout program coupled with the right diet and rest.

Getting those bikini ready abs can be a reality and all you need is a few minutes a day to do the workouts.

Let 10-minute Solution Workout creator Jessica Smith help you get those super flat abs in no time.

Get Flat Abs Fast (at Any Fitness Level)

Want to rid yourself of belly flab and get bikini-ready abs once and for all? Try these abs exercises and get the sexy stomach you’ve been dreaming about, no matter what your fitness level.

Beginner: V-Sit Pull-Back

What you’ll need: A mat

Tip: Keep your neck relaxed while you crunch. Need help? Simply place your tongue on the roof of your mouth!

Targets: Abs and obliques

Sit with knees bent, legs together, arms at shoulder level in front of you.

Engage abs and lean back slightly.

Rotate torso to right and pull elbow back to tap mat.

Return to start. Switch sides; repeat.

Do 20 reps total, alternating sides.

Beginner: Plank-Up

Targets: Abs, back, hips, and glutes

Get into plank position (abs engaged, back straight, forearms on floor, legs extended).

Lift hips toward ceiling, keeping back and legs straight, abs engaged; hold for 2 counts.

Lower to plank.

Do 10 reps. Read full article

If you want to up your ante, you might need to develop or follow a training program that could get you going day in and day out.

Fitness expert and writer Kirsten Ballard shows you how spend 20 minutes of your time to do some of the most effective workout exercises to get you bikini ready anytime.

11 Ab Exercises to Get You Bikini-Ready

Summer means bikinis, beaches and bronze skin. It also means giving up unlimited access to your free campus gym (that hopefully you used), which is sort of a catch-22. Luckily, you can get beach-ready at home; just grab your iPod, a good workout outfit and a yoga mat and donate 20 minutes three times a week to a great core with the following moves! Complete the circuit once through. The sets are done in repetitions of 32, which calculates roughly into 64 pulses of music.

Traditional Crunch

Begin the workout with 32 traditional crunches. Proper form is achieved by having your legs in a 90-degree right angle, your arms behind your head and your fingers placed lightly on your head. When crunching up, imagine lifting your face toward the ceiling instead of trying to pull yourself to a seated position; this will help target your abdominals and lessen the strain on your neck. If you continue to strain your neck, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth as you crunch, which makes it more difficult to lift with your neck instead of your abs. Crunches should be done by lifting your upper body instead of just your neck.

Oblique Blaster

Next, target your obliques, the muscles that run along your side and are often blamed for the “muffin top.” Eliminate your love handles by first crossing your right leg over your left leg with your right ankle over your left knee. Twisting your core toward your right leg, lift up for 32 reps, trying to touch your left elbow to your right knee. To avoid neck strain, imagine a tennis ball is under your chin and keep that distance throughout the entire crunch. If you can’t feel the burn along your side, place your right arm out in a T shape to further isolate your side muscles. Repeat on the other side.

Table Top

Remaining on your back, raise your legs to a 90-degree angle and crunch up for 32 reps, remembering to fully lower to the mat between each rep. Again, focus on raising your face to the ceiling instead of up and out. This move will target your upper abdominals. Read full article

If you want to get serious about getting those flat abs, it would be good to know that you need to complement your workouts with the right food.

Let fitness expert and author Olivia Tarantino enumerate some of the oft-ignored fruits and vegetables that are packed with a lot of nutrients to help you on your quest for flat abs fight.

35 Foods To Get You Bikini Ready

Your favorite sunny season is right around the corner—woohoo! But between a busy job and managing a hectic household, it can feel like you’re years away from being beach-body ready.

Nothing jolts you to your senses like that first day of warm weather. The sun is shining bright enough for you to grab your sunglasses, and the temperature is so comfortably welcoming that you can finally shed your winter cable knit sweaters. And then it dawns on you. Bikini season will be here soon and you’re still in fat-mounting hibernation mode. Don’t panic. Not only is there is still plenty of time to prepare yourself, but getting yourself beach-body ready only requires a bit of sweat and the proper nutrition.

Along with working in a regular sweat—and yes, it can even just be on the weekends—introducing the following nutrient-dense foods into your diet will help tone and shape your body while assisting in rapid weight loss efforts. Some foods dial up your metabolism so you can burn even more calories and torch belly fat, some heal your gut by offering up healthy probiotic bacteria, some decrease the stress and inflammation that’s causing weight gain and bloating, some turn off your fat-storage genes, and others vanquish hunger and build muscle by filling you up with healthy fats, lean proteins, and fiber. So, get a pen in one hand and a shopping list in your other—and get to it! (Psst! Don’t stress over when you’ll get to the gym. “Abs are made in the kitchen!” Plus, this is The Only Ab Exercise You’ll Ever Need anyway!)”  Read on and watch the videos.

So whether you are on the go or simply lounging, you just might get interested in joining the call for these simple steps to build mass.  Another player in the picture is MusclePharm Creatine, that helps promote muscle health, as well as provide for growth, recovery and healing of the muscles. Formulated with essential amino acids and other mineral ingredients, it can enhance the impacts of the simple workout and generate results.

Break Free: Fitness Outside The Box

Fitness Outside The Box

It gives you more freedom and the ability to custom-tailor your fitness training whenever you get to be out of the gym travelling or because of other circumstances beyond your control. Thinking about fitness outside the box can just about sum up what you need and keep you motivated to pursue your fitness goals.

Of course travelling with a group of friends or out on vacation often leaves you with very few options to avoid mingling with the group. You feel you need to stay away from temptations to food or spend the whole day drinking your guts out, so better hold true to what you do that won’t leave you regretting it in the end.

CrossFit coach and author Danielle Coderre show you good travel options to explore with international CrossFit venues , boot camps and programs, just to let you experience a new chapter in your fitness life.

5 Reasons to WOD Abroad: Don’t get too comfortable in your box.

I hear “guided tour” and picture myself sitting on a coach bus with pale-legged travelers, all of them in sun hats and tube socks, giddily anticipating the famous monuments, free pamphlets, and headsets spouting little-known facts about side streets and architecture. The opposite end of the spectrum isn’t my cup of tea, either — those backpacking, hostel-loving, canvas-shirt types who plan nothing and live for the thrill of tagging along with whatever local they happen to sit next to at the bar. Based on TV shows and travel books, you’d think these are the only types who travel. Well let me share some fabulous news: CrossFitters can travel, too!

Fitness retreats like WODventures and WODcation are becoming a whole new way for people to explore the world. If you love to get your WOD on and want to experience your sport in an amazing new part of the world, here are five reasons to WOD abroad!

1. Bucket-List Moments

Europe, Cabo, New Zealand, Korea — the list of destinations is seemingly endless. Not only will you get in on some killer WODs, but a lot of the gyms also take advantage of their unique surroundings and incorporate specialty activities like surfing, trail runs, arctic fjords and snorkelling. Not to mention, these retreat destinations are often located near gyms where Games athletes live and train. How cool to get your swole on in the middle of some superstar athletes. Between the amazing locations and variety of activities, you’re guaranteed to check some major items off your dream list. Read full article

Functional training is what makesCrossFit popular nowadays, because aside from making use of bodyweight exercises and routines, it does pack a lot of punch when it comes to strength, endurance and mass-building capabilities.

But of course, you need to have consistency whether in or out of the gym, at home or out on a business trip or vacation, let fitness author Chris Logan give you some practical and helpful routines that you can bring along on your trips.

WODs to Go

Leaving home and the friendly confines of your local affiliate? Keep your training on track with these bodyweight-only programs.

Few things set back a training program like leaving home for a vacation or business trip. When travel is on the horizon, many people justify the workouts missed as a “much-needed break from the gym to help me recover.” Maybe that’s true. If you’ve been training hard at your local box five to six days a week, a long weekend off could be good for you. But when that “few days off” ends up being a week hiatus or occurs on a monthly basis, the result isn’t feeling rejuvenated or recharging your batteries but rather getting out of shape and deconditioned.

So when your next trip is approaching, don’t view it as a welcome rest period that you probably don’t need. Use it as a time to, at the very least, maintain your current fitness level until you return to your local box. In most cities and towns, you can find a CrossFit affiliate within driving distance, but if you’re without transportation or would rather not pay the box’s drop-in fee, you’re on your own with minimal (if any) equipment. If you’re motivated and resourceful, this shouldn’t be a problem.

“When it comes to traveling, CrossFit is probably the most friendly fitness system around,” says Josh Elmore, owner and director of Training at CrossFit Eternal in Charlotte, N.C. “Because the collection of go-to movements CrossFit draws from is so extensive, you can pretty much expect to never get bored training on the road, even with no equipment.”

Countless websites list WODs that are travel-friendly and require zero equipment. But here, we’ve taken such workouts and programmed them specifically to accommodate the two most typical travel scenarios — the partial-week trip and the full-week vacation — to ensure you’re not just doing a few random WODs with no consideration as to how they complement one another. All the workouts can be done in any bedroom-size space using bodyweight only. No need for a barbell, plyo box, kettlebells … or excuses as to why you can’t train on the road. Read full article

New to CrossFit? Don’t worry. Getting a good introduction to CrossFit is as good as getting the right details on what it is all about.

Of course, you can’t be switching to CrossFit without knowing the facts and details. Let fitness author Kara Mayer Robinson walk you through what CrossFit is all about and what you should be expecting.

CrossFit: What You Do, Workouts of the Day, and More

If you’re looking for a challenging workout to take your fitness and body to the next level, CrossFit will do just that. It’s a very well-rounded program, providing vigorous aerobic exercise along with muscle strengthening and even flexibility. But it’s also very intense, so it’s not for everyone.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to start with something else to get your body used to exercise before taking on CrossFit. The intensity makes it better suited to people who are used to regular activity. Even then, take it slow and pace yourself. This workout will kick your butt even if you’re in great shape.

Given the intensity, one of the main disadvantages to CrossFit is the risk of injury. It’s easy to push yourself beyond your body’s abilities, so be extra careful.

Because it’s so intense, CrossFit isn’t something you want to do every day. But it’s an excellent way to mix up your workouts to help prevent exercise boredom. Read full article

Whether you are defying the conventional or thinking outside of the box, it would be worth knowing that your body still needs the right nutrition to function properly and efficiently.

Of course, staying fit and healthy on the go could also be optimized with a little help on the side by supplementing on a muscle-building and endurance-enhancing nutritional formula like MusclePharm Creatine which is helpful for high intensity workouts by providing added strength, stamina and lean muscle growth.

It also increases explosive energy and overall power to help you stay fit and firm.

MusclePharm Creatine When To Take For Optimum Results

MusclePharm Creatine When To Take For Optimum Results

MusclePharm Creatine when to take would be best asked once you get to know what creatine is all about, because it is important to always know what you consume for your body. Is it dangerous when ingested in large amounts? Is it generally safe?

Creatine is a nitrogenous acid found in the liver that supplies energy to the cells, especially to the muscles. It is formed by three amino acids L-arginine, L-methionine and glycine.

Men’s Health writer Brittany Risher delves into the story of creatine and how it can affect your lifestyle.

Creatine: What It Is, What It Does and Its Side Effects

Creatine works. Lifters know this, professors know this, the marketers who sell the stuff know this.

But nobody should put anything in their body without weighing the benefits and risks first. That goes for everything from beer to marshmallows to the amazing amino acid called creatine.

It’s not anything scary. It’s not a Barry Bonds starter kit. 

Creatine—typically bought in flavored powders and mixed with liquid—increases the body’s ability to produce energy rapidly. With more energy, you can train harder and more often, producing faster results.

It’s as simple as this: “If you can lift one or two more reps or 5 more pounds, your muscles will get bigger and stronger,” says Chad Kerksick, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma.

Research shows that creatine is most effective in high-intensity training and explosive activities. This includes weight training and sports that require short bursts of effort, such as sprinting, football, and baseball.

There is less support to indicate that creatine improves endurance performance and aerobic-type exercise.

One thing is almost certain: If you take creatine, you’ll gain weight.

It’ll happen quickly, says Paul Greenhaff, Ph.D., professor of muscle metabolism at the University of Nottingham in England. While the initial gain is water (about 2 to 4 pounds in the first week of supplementation), subsequent gains are muscle due to the increase in the workload you can handle.

Because creatine is an “osmotically active substance,” it pulls water into your muscle cells, which increases protein synthesis, Kerksick says.

Studies in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that muscle fibers grow when a person takes creatine.

The catch: This only happens if you take advantage of the boost in energy and hit the gym. Otherwise, it is just water weight. (Will it make you a faster runner? We answer these and more questions in this Creatine Q&A.)

Nobody argues with any of this. But there are some questions about creatine that lots of guys have.” Read full article and watch the video

Now that you know what creatine is all about, try to see it in a manner how you can use it to supplement your training workouts. Let fitness writer and strength coach James Demedeiros share with you the best reasons why you need to take creatine.

6 Reasons You Should Be Taking Creatine

Over the last couple of decades, creatine has become a supplement staple for guys looking to build strength and lean muscle mass. At the very least, you’ve probably seen guys around the gym taking creatine in the form of powder, capsules, or as part of a pre-made shake.

But while creatine’s popularity endures, lots of guys are still skeptical of its benefits, or at least unfamiliar with what creatine has to offer. The short answer: Plenty. Here are six reasons should consider adding creatine to your daily supplement regime

Unfortunately, once you reach your thirties, it’s common for your testosterone levels to decline. You may experience a decrease in energy, endurance, strength, mental sharpness, and sex drive. One solution is testosterone replacement therapy, such as injections or a daily patch. Something else you could try is creatine.

New Jersey study found that following a 10-week resistance training program, participants who took a daily creatine supplement significantly increased their resting testosterone levels. If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, ask your doctor to set up a blood test. Read full article

Here’s a final note on creatine supplementation from a scientific standpoint. The writers from popular medicine website WebMD goes deep into the science behind the popularity and practical uses of creatine.

An Overview of Creatine Supplements

In their quest to run farther, jump higher, and outlast the competition, many athletes have turned to a variety of performance-enhancing drugs and supplementsCreatine is the most popular of these substances, believed to enhance muscle mass and help athletes achieve bursts of strength.

Part of the reason for creatine’s popularity might be its accessibility. Creatine powder, tablets, energy bars, and drink mixes are available without a doctor’s prescription at drug stores, supermarkets, nutrition stores, and over the Internet.

Although creatine is a natural substance, it hasn’t been well-studied over the long-term. Researchers still aren’t sure what effects it might have on the body, particularly in young people, or how effective it might be.

What Is Creatine?

Creatine is a natural substance that turns into creatine phosphate in the body. Creatine phosphate helps make a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides the energy for muscle contractions.

The body produces some of the creatine it uses. It also comes from protein-rich foods such as meat or fish.

How Is Creatine Used?

Back in the 1970s, scientists discovered that taking creatine in supplement form might enhance physical performance. In the 1990s, athletes started to catch on, and creatine became a popular sports supplement. According to studies, 8% of adolescents take creatine. The supplement is particularly popular among high school, college, and professional athletes, especially football and hockey players, wrestlers, and gymnasts. An estimated 40% of college athletes and up to half of professional athletes say they use creatine supplements.

Creatine is thought to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise. This muscular boost may help athletes achieve bursts of speed and energy, especially during short bouts of high-intensity activities such as weight lifting or sprinting. However, scientific research on creatine has been mixed. Although some studies have found that it does help improve performance during short periods of athletic activity, there is no evidence that creatine helps with endurance sports. Research also shows that not everyone’s muscles respond to creatine; some people who use it see no benefit. Read full article

So, by now you are fully aware about the story behind creatine so that you can be sure you know what’s in store.

Enhance the effects of workout and rest to your muscles when you take MusclePharm Creatine. MusclePharm Creatine is formulated with the right amounts of essential amino acids and fortified with other nutrients and minerals to keep you going.

Things You Really Need To Know About Fat Loss

Things You Really Need To Know About Fat Loss

There are real or tall tales that you often hear about fat loss regimens that often gives you the idea to pursue it, sometimes erring on the notion that you often get to believe it hook, line and sinker without even validating it.

But more than you know, it is always safe to claim that knowledge is always powerful and often keeps you where you should be.

Things you don’t know won’t hurt you. Well for some reasons it does ring a bell, but when it comes to fitness or anything that has something to do with your health and safety, awareness is vital to stay fit and at the same time keeps you away from harm of danger.

Let fitness expert and author Mike Wines share some insightful thoughts about fat loss and give you a good perspective about how to arm yourself with the right information.

6 Things About Fat Loss You Don’t Want to Hear

KEY FACTS

When it comes to weight loss, every single calorie counts, including the ones you can’t or don’t want to remember.

The other 23 hours outside of the gym have much more of a profound impact on your life than the 60 minutes you spend under a bar. 

If you’re only looking at the number on the scale but not considering your body composition, energy levels, or performance markers than you’re rather close minded when it comes to your fitness or health goals.

Remember, all calories count and you can’t just out exercise a poor diet or your lack of self-control when environmental and social conditions pressure you into making poor dietary choices.

New year, new you…right? But, what if your best efforts lead to frustration, stagnation, and less than stellar results? 

Well, it turns out there might be a variety reasons why you’re not acquiring your fat loss goals. Despite what most folks assume, there are a number of factors that can go wrong despite keeping track of your weight, exercising, and trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

YOU THINK CALORIES DON’T COUNT

Simply put, you can’t outrun the first law of thermodynamics because you don’t think it applies to you.

Most run into this issue when they adopt a diet (i.e. paleo, Atkins, south beach, etc.) that doesn’t account for calories and makes them believe they can eat as much as they want.

Outside of an accurately diagnosed medical condition, you’re not losing weight because you’re eating too many calories, simple as that. It’s not because of an underactive thyroid, “slow” metabolism, or any other medical ailment that is commonly associated with a lack of weight loss. Read full article

Sometimes we tend to hear a lot of tales about traditional fat loss methods that work that often leaves you hanging whether it is fact or fallacy. People also often tend to agree with one basic concept based on hearsay or some old wives’ tales passed on over time.

But there are some myths that you just need to know about and dispel to avoid the pitfalls of doing things the improper way. Let fitness coach and author Alon Shabo fill you in on the biggest myths for fat loss that you need to know.

The 4 Biggest Fat Loss Myths Around Today

Chances are, if you’ve tried to lose weight before, you’ve heard these myths. Maybe it was from your family physician using an outdated nutrition textbook, or the fitness guru with a six-pack from your local gym. It might have even been an uninformed personal trainer.The following myths have been around since the beginning of commercial fitness.

The so-called benefits of these myths have been passed off as universally agreed upon truths for generations, but recent research exposes these “truths” as the fallacies they really are.

Cardio Is The Best Fat Loss Strategy

For some reason, a large majority of people believe that cardio–such as long distance running, biking, or even walking on the treadmill–is the key to fat loss.

Low intensity long duration cardio might help you lose weight, but a significant amount of that weight will be muscle. And the less muscle you have on your body, the more fat your body will store.

The reason for this is because of something called your Basal Metabolic Rate (or BMR), which is the number of calories your body burns at rest to support your lean muscle mass. As the amount of lean muscle on your body increases, so does your BMR.

In addition to losing lean muscle, your hormones will be virtually unaffected by low intensity long duration cardio. This means that the calorie burning will stop shortly after you step off the treadmill.

A better alternative to low intensity cardio is High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT for short). HIIT is a method of cardio during which you alternate periods of intense work (like sprinting), with periods of rest. Training like this burns more calories, keeps your metabolism elevated for longer,  and is much more time efficient.

One study showed that HIIT was 9 times more effective at burning fat when compared to long distance cardio. The reason for this was EPOC–Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption

Put simply, EPOC means your body will continue burning calories up to 48 hours after your workout.Read full article

Of course, food is an integral part of your fat loss process. Diet is always associated with fat loss workouts and programs, but there’s a catch. You need to know what foods to eat and what habits you need to be doing to make your fat loss quest effective and optimal.

In the next article, nutrition expert and author Diana Kelly shares some of the most common diet myths that you should avoid.

10 Diet Myths That Pack On Pounds

Sorry, Journey, but it’s finally time to stop believing—in weightloss myths at least. Believing popular misconceptions can keep you from taking the right course of action to reach your goals, says Julia Valentour, MS, program coordinator and media spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. Blaming a plateau (or a gain) on any of these half-truths will keep you stuck in your rut and derail your motivation.

1. “Strength training will bulk me up.”

First, let’s tackle the myth that a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat. A pound is a pound is a pound—whether it’s made up of muscle or fat. That said, muscle is denser than fat and takes up less room, so two women who weigh the same can look much different if one has a higher ratio of lean muscle mass to fat, says Valentour. “Muscle weight is a good weight because you look firmer, smaller, and more fit. It’s also more metabolically active, so just having more muscle will boost metabolism throughout the day to help keep you leaner.”

It’s important to incorporate strength training into your routine so you burn calories at an optimal rate all day long—and using heavier weights could help maximize your efforts. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that working out with heavy weights even for as few as 3 to 6 repetitions increased exercisers’ sleeping metabolic rate—the number of calories burned overnight—by nearly 8%. That’s enough to lose about 5 pounds in a year, even if you did nothing else! Read on and watch the videos

So whether you are a beginner or advanced fitness expert, it’s always worth knowing the right information that you can even share with friends to keep them falling into the wrong habits, especially when it comes to fat loss programs and training.

If you need to boost your fat loss program, you may want to use MusclePharm CLA Core made from high quality ingredients that gives you potency-conjugated linoleic acid that helps you burn fat without reducing muscle mass.

It is specially-formulated to give you that extra boost to enhance your fat loss programs without toxic side effects.

When To Take Amino 1: Best Mass-Building Results

when-to-take-amino-1

Love it or hate it, let’s face the fact that you need the right types of protein for muscle growth and maintenance that goes beyond the sensory pleasure of taste and palatability.

Of course, knowing when to take Amino 1 acids to supplement your muscle-busting protein needs is crucial to achieving optimum results.

When To Take Amino 1 By MusclePharm 

Dealing with misconceptions about staying fit and gaining bulk can often cause a lot of women the not venture into supplementation or intense workout routines for fear that they might be treading a thin line between toning and bulking.

Let fitness author Jordana Brown help ease your apprehensions so you can get ahead of your game by taking your aminos and getting the results that you are hoping for.

Amino Acids: A Girl’s Guide

Every Muscle & Fitness HERS reader worth her biceps knows the importance of protein for muscle growth and maintenance. And just about everyone who has seen the inside of a gym knows that amino acids are the building blocks of protein. But how many dedicated weight-trainers know that aminos are responsible for more than just promoting major muscle gains? In fact, amino acids, taken either alone or in various combinations as supplements, can enhance other components of your training. Research constantly teaches us more about the roles individual amino acids play in all kinds of bodily functions — from digestion and metabolism to blood flow — and manipulating this knowledge to reach your fitness goals is relatively straightforward. Here, we show you how.

AMINO INFO
First, a little background on amino acids. Here’s the confusing part. There are about 80 aminos found in nature. Of those, only 20 are used by the human body. But every single one of those 20 is absolutely essential for the body to function normally. So why do you always hear about “nonessential amino acids”? It comes down to diet.

The body can naturally produce 11 aminos by itself, but the other nine the body needs must come from the food you eat. If you’re not eating enough complete protein to get the full complement of aminos in your system, your body will start to break down your muscle tissue to make up the difference, making it impossible to either maintain your current physique or build upon it. Read full article

Sometimes it’s not a question when, but more on what. Of course we are referring to the type of amino acids that your body needs to give you the right muscle-building properties fast. After all, there are around 80 different aminos out there and of course, since the body needs only about 20 of those, we need to know which ones are appropriate and which ones are not.

The writers from fitness site BestWorkoutSupplementsBlog.com share valuable insights on which type of aminos are good for the body and what specific needs does it address.

Amino Acid Supplements For Working Out

Bodybuilders and general weight trainers take amino acids for instant muscle recovery and repair. Ultimately, the goal behind taking amino acids as a weight trainer is to build more muscle; plain and simple. Due to this, there are specific times when taking amino acids as a weight lifter is most advantageous. So, when is the best time to take amino acids as a weight lifter?

The best time to take amino acids as a weight lifter is during your workouts. In addition, there are great amino acid supplements specialized just for a bodybuilders needs. These enhanced amino acid supplements contain additions to the standard amino mix such as added carbs, vitamins, minerals, and more.

These specialized amino acid supplements for bodybuilders can be summarized as intra-workout supplements. What that means- you take these supplements during your workout, while you lift, in order to get the maximum results.

The benefits of taking intra-workout amino acid supplements is instant recovery which ultimately runs up the cause and reaction ladder resulting in greater muscle growth and strength increase. Bottom line, it’s a great thing. Read full article

There is a proper time for everything and aminos are not exempt from that rule as well as Therapeutic support specialist and writer Sandi Busch shares the low-down on proper timing and why.

Best Time to Take Amino Acids

Everyone needs a regular supply of essential amino acids to support health and metabolism. You can reach that goal by including protein at every meal. Even if you’re active in intense activities or sports, getting your amino acids at meals may be as beneficial as boosting your intake before and after exercise, according to a review in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” in May 2014.

Amino Acid Basics

When you consume protein, it’s absorbed into your bloodstream in the form of amino acids. Then cells throughout your body use the amino acids to rebuild whatever specific protein is needed at that moment. The important thing to remember is that your body doesn’t store amino acids, so cells only have access to a limited supply. If you’re short on just one amino acid at the time it’s needed, the protein can’t be produced. Getting a regular supply of all the essential amino acids is the only way to ensure you’ll have what you need to strengthen muscles, create enzymes for metabolism and build and repair tissues. Read full article

By now you have more detailed knowledge about proteins and aminos that can help provide optimum results for your muscle gain quest. 

Getting the right source of essential amino acids and protein supplements from the right source can give you that edge. MusclePharm Nutrition carries a wide range of protein and amino acid supplements that can help support your workout programs and help you get the best results.

With years of expertise in the field of health supplements, MusclePharm is your best solution for your supplementation needs.

Don’t Limit Yourself Squatting To A Box

squatting to a box

Indeed, squatting can be more than just that, leveraging on squatting to a box full of ideas need to be understood to be able to grasp the concept of the workout.

Squatting is not just about bending your knees and moving back up, in fact, there’s more to squatting than just a simple exercise. Doing it right can do wonders for your body, but do it wrong and it could do you more harm than good.

Let Deuce Gym founder and strength coach Logan Gelbrich teach you the scientific approach to doing your squats right.

Remedy: Squat To A Box

Ah, the squat. It’s the holy grail of strength and conditioning. As a coach, I often catch myself thinking that teaching someone to squat is the great physical gift I can give a student.

In CrossFit, however, there are a variety of men and women who walk into your doors wanting to capture some fitness. Some of these folks are doing so for the very first time. Many of these folks have significant limitations when it comes to range of motion, strength and basic coordination.

I’d argue, however, that one of the beauties of functional fitness, especially as it’s delivered in the CrossFit context, is this idea that we can repair systems and grow fitness at the same time. If this wasn’t possible, 90% of the population would need physical therapy and 10,000 hours of Mobility WOD before their very first training session.

This concept in CrossFit that we are dealing with a lifestyle, and that both rehab and performance can be captured simultaneously in many cases, means that you coaches out there are working with a lot of new movers. Since the squat is so critical, I’m not one who believes one needs to have a perfect air squat before one bears a load in the squat. Heck, if that were the case, every affiliate would have between zero and one people who are allowed to have a barbell on their back.

Instead, we can train and improve position together. However, the tricky part comes when someone walks in your door and they’re so inflexible and/or so instable that squatting to depth in a sturdy position isn’t possible. I don’t know about all of your gyms, but mine has numerous students in this boat. Read full article

It is always necessary to bend the hips and the knees as you descend the bar and it should be the hips that get the primary emphasis. This can be done by focusing on the back angle to facilitate movement that is dominant on the hips.

But are you even aware what’s the difference between squatting to a box from box squats?

Fitness writer Mike Samuels shares some thoughts on how to tell one from the other.

Squatting to a Box Vs. Box Squats

While on the face of it, squatting to a box and box squatting may appear to be the same exercises, there are subtle differences between them. Both exercises work the quadriceps, as well as your posterior chain — the hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles. Both can be included in your routine, but should be used for different purposes.

To perform squats to a box, set up as you would for a regular squat, with the barbell across your back, but with a box behind you. Squat down until your butt touches the box, then push straight back up again. The main benefit of squatting to a box is to ensure you’re reaching the proper depth, writes strength coach Nia Shanks in her article “Squats To a Box.” Many people struggle to go low enough when they start squatting, so a box can act as a gauge of depth. It can also limit the range of motion, adds Shanks. It’s possible to go too low and use poor form by rounding your back or allowing your knees to cave in. The box will prevent this. Read full article.

Why and how are squats important? Isn’t it just a leg exercise? Well, actually there’s more to squats than what you would generally think. But in fact, squats are total body workouts that can give the body a good and effective workout.

Let fitness author and trainer Staci of Nerd Fitness

Strength Training 101: How to Squat Properly

Even though the squat is considered by many to be a “leg” exercise, it’s really a full body movement that works just every muscle group in the body.

Not only that, but it mimics a ton of natural movement patterns in everyday life.  In this nerd’s opinion, squats are the most useful exercise we can do when it comes to strength training.

Whether your goal is to gain strength or lose weight, squats are one of the fastest ways to get there.

If you’ve never squatted before, you might be a bit intimidated about the idea of starting a big new exercise. Never fear! Today we’re going to go over everything you need to go to start squatting RIGHT NOW.

Squats are a big part of the Nerd Fitness Academy, and today we want to give you the confidence you need to START.

Squats are one of the most foundational functional movements in our lives. 

We’ve been squatting since we were babies;  as we get older and sit in unnatural positions all day – our squat form goes from perfect, to us not knowing how to squat correctly at all.

In some countries, not only do they continue to sit in a full squat (sometimes called a “third world squat”), but instead of sitting on a toilet, they squat over it.

Before modern day furniture and technology you didn’t stop sitting in a full squat once you got older like we do today…you continued squatting your entire life. Read on and watch the video

So take good note of these squatting mechanics to allow you to optimize your squat workouts.

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It is also essential for body builders because heavy workouts tend to deplete glutamine levels in the body and it also helps with the transportation of potassium across the blood brain barrier.

Burn Fat With These Powerful Cardio Programs

Burn Fat With These Powerful Cardio Programs

Looking to ditch a few pounds? Use these powerful cardio programs to strip body fat in eight weeks with specific plans for 5- or 10-pound losses.

Carey Rossi is a fitness journalist who shares her enthusiasm for good physical health and compiles a list of powerful cardio programs to suit your weight loss and heart health needs.

5 TO 10

“On this site you’ll find plenty of weight training, diet and supplement tips to help you build a better physique in 2016. But we understand that this may seem a lofty and perhaps ambiguous goal and that some of you just want to begin the new year by shedding a few pounds and inches … minus the iron. Or maybe you want to acclimate (or reacclimate) to some kind — any kind — of activity in hopes of reducing the risk of injury later. For either objective, your path starts here.

Here you’ll find the tools you need to lose 5 or 10 pounds of fat with a dedicated eight-week cardio program for each. Muscle & Performance enlisted personal trainer and former fitness competitor Laura Mak to design cardio routines that will help you meet either goal, provided your diet and supplement regimens are on point.

PROGRAM NO. 1: YOU WANT TO LOSE 5 POUNDS

Five pounds doesn’t necessarily seem like a lot of weight, but sometimes those first (or last) 5 pounds are the hardest to lose. For the next eight weeks, do cardio four days per week with a rest day between most workouts. Read full article

There’s a lot of debate going on whether cardio exercises have impacts on your gains. Studies show some headway into the research, but with expert advice and good training guidance, you don’t have to take the wrong route and end up disappointed.

Natural pro bodybuilder Layne Norton a holder of a PhD in Nutritional Sciences explains the recommended way to pattern your workouts.

Don’t Let Cardio Kill Your Gains

The practice of combining resistance training with cardio is scientifically termed as “concurrent training.” While concurrent training has been shown to be superior to endurance training alone for enhancing muscle mass and strength (duh), it has been shown to significantly hamper optimal strength and hypertrophy when compared with resistance training alone.

Several studies have demonstrated that optimal gains in muscle mass and strength are obtained by strength training alone, compared with combining strength training and endurance training.1 However, a review of the scientific literature on concurrent training – conducted by Dr. Jacob Wilson of the University of Tampa and several of his colleagues – identified some interesting variables that can affect the way cardio training affects your strength, hypertrophy and body composition responses to resistance training. Read full article

Leveraging on your muscle gains is an important factor in supporting your physical workouts and gives you better advantage as you conduct your total body workouts.

Fitness scientist and author Michael Rudolf, PhD shares scientific details on how you can optimize your results my maximizing your gains and taking advantage of it.

Maximize Your Gains By Doing Cardio First

The sequential implementation of strength training immediately followed by cardiovascular exercise has become standard practice to maximize muscle mass and reduce body fat. Despite the popular use of this approach, it has become evident that the body responds very differently to both modes of training, especially at the molecular and cellular levels. In fact, not only are the molecular and cellular reactions different in response to strength and cardiovascular training, they can also be antagonistic to each other— potently diminishing the positive influence that each can have on the body. Read full article

One of the most popular myth that hounds the fitness industry is whether doing cardio exercises makes one lose muscle gains that were invested throughout the years of hard work and determination.

Facts have been sometimes contested with ridiculous claims that some people believe, however, the need to know the truth must be pushed.

Health buffs and MedicalDaily.com writers Justin Caba and Samantha Olson shares the results of their experiments to disprove one of the most-debated issue in the fitness world.

Debunking The Greatest Gender Fitness Myths; Cardio Kills Men’s Gains, Weightlifting Makes Women Bulk

My coworker Justin and I had set out on a two-month experiment to disprove one of the greatest myths in the fitness world — where men and women belong in the gym. Justin lifted weights and I ran, making our workout routines the typical male and female counterparts of athleticism. While men tend to shy away from the treadmill in fear they’ll develop the lean build of a cross country runner, women, on the other hand, are reluctant to lift a weight to avoid building bulky muscles.

But in truth, these are one of the greatest misconceptions in fitness. Women have less testosterone than men, which is why their musculature doesn’t respond as quickly to weight training as men do. Testosterone is a male hormone found naturally in both men and women; however, men produce approximately 7 milligrams a day — 15 times more than women produce. Read full article

Of course if you want to protect your muscle gains, it would surely need some sort of protection, as well as enhance muscle growth and recovery pre and post workouts.

Glutamine by MusclePharm is a full-spectrum formula of highly effective glutamine blends that minimizes muscle breakdown, increases protein synthesis and boosts the body’s immune system.

How To Deal With Challenging Strongman Exercises

challenging strongman exercises

Truth be told, yes it is. Challenging strongman exercises do pack a punch and provide you with great results when done properly and correctly.

The yoke carry is one of the most popular and grueling workout that provides challenging strongman exercises with its intense approach towards lifting and power bursts to maximize muscle activity and strength.

In order to do this the proper way, let fitness expert and strength trainer Logan Gelbrich, share some valuable insights.

The Yoke Carry

The yoke carry is one of the most challenging of the strongman exercises. Here’s how to effectively perform this move.

Popular in strongman circles, the yoke carry traditionally involves carrying a weighted metal frame on your back. Though there are other variations, our focus will be on the traditional carry. There may not be a more effective way of moving the largest loads quickly than with the yoke.

Set up the yoke so that there are 4 to 6 inches of clearance when you stand with the implement. Any less and slight deviations in balance during the carry can make the implement touch the ground, and any more clearance may eventually impede the loads that you can stand up to carry.

There are two common hand placements when carrying the yoke. The most common in the strongman community is to have your hand pressing out into the uprights below shoulder level. This method makes for the fastest transitions and allows for the greatest limitations in flexibility. Many CrossFitters place their hands on the crossbar outside shoulder width, not too dissimilar to a back squat. Use whichever is most effective to bear the load. Read full article…

Once you have started, you often feel motivated to see it through the end, especially when you feel that you are exerting a lot of effort into your workouts and this is what challenging strongman exercises can do for you.

But truth be told that as you go along, there comes a point when you feel that you’ve had enough and start to wane on your strongman routines leading to fatigue and eventually, burnout.

You start to develop a mental barrier as strength training may take its toll on your daily routines due to its intense need for physical effort and strength

Sometimes it takes more than will power to break through these mental barriers to actually divert your attention to help motivate you through your training workout and exercise programs.

In his article, strength coach Charles “Tank” Tankersley of Primal Strength Gym helps you get through that hurdle and re-direct your focus to your strength workouts.

4 Ways To Bust Through Strength Plateaus

“If you’ve been lifting long enough, then you’ve probably hit strength plateaus before.  It’s inevitable.

While it’s an awesome feeling to be breaking personal records (PR’s) day in and day out, the reality is that it’s just not sustainable.  Enjoy it while it lasts because as soon as you hit a sticking point, the process of getting past it can be damn frustrating.

But it’s okay.  I’m here to help.  Here are 4 surefire ways to help you eclipse those strength plateaus and get back on the fast track of smashing PR’s.

I came across this technique in one of the bibles of strength training called “Supertraining” by Yuri Verkhoshansky.

The technique is fairly simple and the logic is sound.  The idea is that you get your body familiar with training loads that are much greater than your current 1 rep max just by supporting the weight or training with the weight in a limited range of motion.

If you have ever done drop sets, the logic is similar.  In a drop set, you take a load and do it for a specified number of reps, and then reduce the weight and do another set.  On the lighter set, the weight feels much lighter than it actually is because your body just trained with a heavier load and your body is able to pump out more reps (usually).  Drop sets are normally used in high-volume training and focused on hypertrophy, not 1 rep maxes.

Supramaximal adaptation training is built around a similar premise, but is treated in a much different way than you would a drop set since we are going for pure strength gains.

For one, the loads that you use will be considerably higher than your 1 rep max.  I used this type of training to get over a sticking point in my squat, and the loads I used to do it were over 100 pounds more than my 1 rep max.

Secondly, you will probably use this type of training for several weeks before you attempt a new 1 rep max.  For my squat, I trained with “supramaximal” loads for 2 weeks before going for a new PR.  Unlike a drop set, you don’t simply train one set with a higher load, and then immediately go for a new record.  Patience is key, and take the time to let your body adapt.

Third, this type of training is not meant to be done with a full range of motion.  For some, just supporting the weight may get you to where you need to be.  When I used this to train for a new squat PR, I regressed to box squats with the higher loads to get my body adapted to the much heavier weight.  Then when it came time for my new PR, I ditched the box and went for it.  I set a new PR by 10 pounds. Read full article…

Sometimes all it takes is some good motivation to start breaking through the mental barrier which causes you to lose focus on your workouts.

In the next article, Invictus fitness author Josh Bridges shares some practical thoughts on how to overcome that mental barrier and start working your way to better fitness.

Breaking The Mental Barrier

The mind is a powerful thing, it can help you get through tough times, or it can cause you to crumble like Greg Norman in the ‘96 Masters. The strong learn how to handle and control their mind when it starts to rant, rave and tell them to stop what they’re doing. The weak let it take over and OWN them.

Is it possible to develop strategies to break your mental barrier?  Absolutely. I prevent this little boss in my head from taking over in a couple of ways.

When that voice inside your head is screaming at you to “put down the barbell” or “get off the bar,” you fight back with one more rep. Completing just one more rep when everything inside of you is telling you to stop is a sure way to grow your mental muscles, and the next time you might do two more reps. Over time, this builds and you begin to control that voice. Read full article…

So stop pressuring yourself and start motivating your body to break that mental barrier by adding a bit of psychology to put your body to work and push further, especially when dealing with challenging strongman exercises.

Pairing your workouts with the right training program, diet and supplementation will greatly help in enhancing the desired results of your regular workout. MusclePharm BCAA provides the full-spectrum formulation of branched chain amino acid complex that fuels muscle development, aids in fat loss, reduces muscle breakdown and increase lean body mass.  This lethal mix of training and nutrition guarantees the best results.

Going On A Trip? Do These Exercises On The Go

Going On A Trip? Do These Exercises On The Go

There are in fact a lot of methods and techniques to simulate exercises on the go, especially when you do not want to disrupt your regular training workouts because you need to be elsewhere.

Functional training is what makes CrossFit popular nowadays, because aside from making use of bodyweight exercises and routines, it does pack a lot of punch when it comes to strength, endurance and mass-building capabilities.

But of course, you need to have consistency whether in or out of the gym, at home or out on a business trip or vacation, let fitness author Chris Logan give you some practical and helpful routines that you can bring along on your trips.

WODs to Go

Leaving home and the friendly confines of your local affiliate? Keep your training on track with these bodyweight-only programs.

Few things set back a training program like leaving home for a vacation or business trip. When travel is on the horizon, many people justify the workouts missed as a “much-needed break from the gym to help me recover.” Maybe that’s true. If you’ve been training hard at your local box five to six days a week, a long weekend off could be good for you. But when that “few days off” ends up being a week hiatus or occurs on a monthly basis, the result isn’t feeling rejuvenated or recharging your batteries but rather getting out of shape and deconditioned.

So when your next trip is approaching, don’t view it as a welcome rest period that you probably don’t need. Use it as a time to, at the very least, maintain your current fitness level until you return to your local box. In most cities and towns, you can find a CrossFit affiliate within driving distance, but if you’re without transportation or would rather not pay the box’s drop-in fee, you’re on your own with minimal (if any) equipment. If you’re motivated and resourceful, this shouldn’t be a problem.

“When it comes to traveling, CrossFit is probably the most friendly fitness system around,” says Josh Elmore, owner and director of Training at CrossFit Eternal in Charlotte, N.C. “Because the collection of go-to movements CrossFit draws from is so extensive, you can pretty much expect to never get bored training on the road, even with no equipment.”

Countless websites list WODs that are travel-friendly and require zero equipment. But here, we’ve taken such workouts and programmed them specifically to accommodate the two most typical travel scenarios — the partial-week trip and the full-week vacation — to ensure you’re not just doing a few random WODs with no consideration as to how they complement one another. All the workouts can be done in any bedroom-size space using bodyweight only. No need for a barbell, plyo box, kettlebells … or excuses as to why you can’t train on the road.” Read full article

It may be difficult, but as they say, “no pain, no gain”. Getting those superhero abs is not easy, but with once you get the hang of it, you won’t regret the results.

The fitness writers from The Greatist Team, shares a compilation of awesome bodyweight exercises that packs a lot of punch.

The 21 Best Bodyweight Exercises for a Strong Core

We’ve proven that achieving six-pack abs is possible (if not enjoyable), but getting a stronger core doesn’t have to involve shunning carbs and spending hours on end in the gym. Enter a simpler (and much more sane) way to tone and strengthen your stomach: bodyweight exercises.

After all, your abs exist for more reasons than looking good at the beach. The core (composed of the oft-mentioned upper and lower abdominals as well as the side, back, psoas, and glutei muscles) provides a muscular framework that protects internal organs, aids movement, and lends balance and stability to the whole body.

Try the 12-minute workout (at the bottom of the page) to train your upper and lower abs and obliques, and work on deep core strength, or mix and match any of the exercises in the gym or at home. And don’t forget that proper nutrition plays a huge role in seeing the results you want, so be sure to supplement your workouts with healthy meals and high-protein snacks. Read full article.

Jump-rope exercises are also great and effective ways to burn fat, so learning the basics and doing some advanced routines can help get you moving and allows you to have fun while losing weight.  Let distinguished athlete and expert fitness trainer Nora Tobin tell you what it means to burn fat and stay healthy.

Jump Rope Workout: Blast Fat in 20 Minutes

Can’t muster the motivation to make it to the gym? Skip it! Jumping rope burns more than 10 calories a minute while strengthening your legs, butt, shoulders, and arms. And it doesn’t take long to reap major rewards. You can burn more than 200 calories in two, 10-minute sessions each day (that’s 1,000 calories a week)! Read and Watch the video

A cool feature of bodyweight training is that it can be done anywhere, whether you are in your hotel room, up in the mountains, on a ship at sea – almost anywhere where you do not have access to a gym or workout gear like barbells and dumbbells, truly good exercises on the go.

Of course, staying fit and healthy on the go could also be optimized with a little help on the side by supplementing on a muscle-building and endurance-enhancing nutritional formula like MusclePharm Creatine which is helpful for high intensity workouts by providing added strength, stamina and lean muscle growth.

It also increases explosive energy and overall power to help you stay fit and firm.

Box Jumps: More Than Meets The Eye

benefits of box jumps

Endurance is often the primary focus by runners when programming exercises, since it is key to lasting longer on the road when running a marathon.

However, experts agree that strength conditioning is also key to complementing a full range of physical activities to maximize your running abilities that in fact could make cover even farther distances and make you endure running longer.

Let experienced runner and writer Duncan Larkin walk you through a tried and tested strength-enabling routine.

ArticleBox jumps are an excellent plyometric exercise for building explosive muscular strength in the hamstrings, glutes and quads—strength that comes in handy during the final miles of a long run or at the end of a race, and also for helping you ward off injury.

Strength Training for Runners: Box Jumps

If you’ve never done a box jump before, start with a 6-inch platform (which can be done on a box, stairs or a park bench) and slowly progress to 12, 18 and eventually 24 inches—but no higher. “The injury risk increases with higher boxes,” cautions Jim Wharton, co-author of the Wharton Health Series. Attempt 6–8 reps per set, and 3 sets every time you progress in height. Read full article

How can someone benefit from jumping up and down a box? You might ask, as jumping up and down can be a no-brainer.

But wait a minute, in order to get the most benefits out of box jump exercises you really need to know the grainier details like the height of the box, the approach prior and post launch and more.

Doing it wrong will definitely get you nowhere, but doing it correctly will leave you in awe about the benefits that you can get out of it.

In his article, fitness author and coach Carl Valle details the dos and don’ts of box jumps.

Box Jumps: What are the Benefits?

The primary reason we do jumping exercises is to exploit the stretch-shortening cycle of the legs to improve the use of elastic energy. The rationale for using box jumps in directly improving this quality is questionable because the very nature of plyometric exercise is creating an overload that box jumps do not accomplish very effectively. Remember that box jumps are just vertical jumps with a landing on a box, something that reduces the impact of the body’s displacement. Vertical jumps with just body weight are low-level exercises in terms of strain on the body, so the return, like the forces they are redirecting, are low in return with power development. Read full article

So now you know the benefits of box jumps. Now, probably the next best thing is how in the world can you make box jumping more interesting?

Who can ever be bad at jumping, you might be surprised to find out that there are a lot. In fact, one of them used to be fitness expert and author Krista Stryker, the brains behind the 12 Minute Athlete as she shares why you should love doing it and how it can be fun.

Seven Reasons You Should Fall in Love With Box Jumps

As a basketball player in high school, I may have been pretty decent on the defensive side of things, but for some reason, jumping just was never my strong point. I was so pitiful, in fact, that my dad would ask me if my feet ever actually left the floor when I jumped (my husband has made the same joke years later).

Yep, I was that bad at jumping.

To be perfectly fair, I never actually practiced jumping as a teenager. Sure, I ran lines, and shot lay ups, and didn’t have a half bad three point shot, but jumping? I never even did a jumping jack, let alone a squat jump or a tuck jump. Read on and see the video

As the term implies, there’s no rocket science involved in understanding box jumps, but it surely does give you a good and total body workout.

Make the most out of box jumps and maximize the full potential of those workouts by supplementing on MusclePharm Amino 1, a full-spectrum nutritional performance recovery formula that helps rebuild muscle, increase endurance and promote faster muscle recovery.