Archive for June, 2011

Dietary Fat is Bad for You

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Should Bodybuilders Restrict Their Intake of Dietary Fat?

Dietary Fat is Bad

We all know sugar is bad. It is fun to eat but it is bad for your body. It belongs on the bodybuilding blacklist, I’ve got no qualms there. We all know protein is good for bodybuilding. That is a simple and obvious discussion. But what about fat?

Possibly left over from the 1980’s war on fat, a common myth is that fat calories have no place in a healthy diet, let alone a bodybuilding diet. Around that time fat was demonized and carbohydrates were praised. The myth still lingers, but isn’t it time to let that battle go?

The Myth

A bodybuilding diet consists of lean meats like turkey, chicken, fish, egg whites, and fat free dairy products. Bodybuilding newbies learn this practice almost immediately. We must keep calories low, so we must keep fat consumption low.
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Do Cardio After Weight Training

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Should Bodybuilders Do Cardio After Weight Training?

Cardio After Weight Lifting

Spend some time in a corporate gym and you will see hundreds of bodybuilders lifting moderately heavy weight for sets of 10-15 reps, then you’ll see them hop on a StairMaster or elliptical machine for about 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity endurance cardio. There are many reasons for this behavior, the most common being that weight training is just a hell of a lot more fun than cardio.

Apparently the weights-first-cardio-second protocol is considered the most effective way for bodybuilders to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. But is it?
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You Can’t Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Can Bodybuilders Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time?

Build Muscle then Lose Fat?
Build muscle then lose fat?

There are the hard-gainers, the obese slackers, the off-season bodybuilders, the weekend warriors, the overweight housewives, and a million other kinds of aspiring athletes. Everyone has a goal. Some goals are simply to lose weight, while others are mainly to build muscle, but for most people fat loss goes along with muscle gain for a variety of reasons – everything from general health, building a beach body, sports performance, competition prep, and even to combat aging.

The most popular fitness newbie belief is that you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Every personal trainer in the world then tries to convince the newbie that he or she simply can’t try to accomplish both goals at the same time. Why? Because gaining muscle and losing fat seem to be mutually exclusive.
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You Can’t Digest More Than 30 Grams of Protein in a Single Meal

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Can Bodybuilders Digest More Than 30 Grams of Protein in One Meal?

High Protein Food

This myth has been around since the late 1970’s, and I really can’t figure out why or where it originated. There are about a million theories about how much protein, fat, and carbs should be eaten each day, each meal, even each hour. Most bodybuilders are concerned about eating exactly the right amount of protein, because they want to maximize muscle gain but they also want to avoid any excess calories, even from protein, getting stored as body fat.

So, how much protein should we eat in a single meal? How much can our bodies process at once? Some nutritionists say only 20 grams, while many professional bodybuilders consume as much as 100 grams in a single meal! What’s the truth?!
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Sugar is Bad for You

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Should Bodybuilders Eat Sugar?

No Sugar

Another food myth. This time we have to decide if eating sugar is acceptable in a bodybuilding diet. Sugar can do some nasty things to the body, but it can also help sometimes. Let’s look at the pros and cons of eating sugar so we can decide how, when, where, and why to eat sugar, if at all.

The Myth

Similar to eating before bed, the sugar myth is another controversial subject about which everyone seems to have an opinion, whether educated or not. The two common opinions on sugar are as follows:

  1. Sugar will cause obesity, diabetes, and rotten teeth, so it must be avoided at all costs.
  2. Artificial sweeteners are bad for your health or taste horrible, so we must use sugar in our meals, drinks, and recipes.

The first opinion, that sugar has no place in a bodybuilder’s diet, is the most common myth that needs to be debunked. The second opinion is gaining in popularity, and although there is some sense in this approach, it too can be over used.
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All Athletes Must Train to Failure

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Should Bodybuilders Train to Failure?

“No pain, no gain!”

You hit the gym like a maniac. You want every rep to burn. Every set has to be a max rep attempt. Maybe you even enlist a spotter to help you eek out an extra rep or two. Is training to failure or past failure a good practice for bodybuilders?

The Myth

“The only rep that counts, is the one you can’t finish.”

To grow as a bodybuilder you need to push every set to failure. That’s how Arnold and all the great 70’s bodybuilders trained, right?

Some of the following techniques, called “Weider Training Principles” are used to take each set past failure:

  • forced reps
  • forced negatives
  • rest pause
  • partial reps
  • drop sets

This is how bodybuilders have trained for years and it’s how bodybuilders should train today. Is it right?
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Don’t Eat Late At Night

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Should Bodybuilders Eat Late at Night?

Don't Eat at Night

Bodybuilders are subjected to a million different tips about what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat. We are constantly looking for new foods and diet strategies to help us gain muscle but not fat, or to lose fat but not muscle.

So what is the truth? Should we listen to Oprah? Should we listen to Mr. Olympia? Is Atkins right or does Intermittent Fasting work better? As an individual you need to try different strategies in order to see if they work best for you.

The Myth

It is common knowledge that if you eat before bed, those calories will stored as fat. It might be considered common knowledge, but is it true?

The Truth

For athletes looking to gain muscle mass and strength, one strategy that I have used and recommended to clients over the years, is to eat within 15 minutes of going to bed at night. Not junk food. Nothing full of fat and carbs. Instead it should be a small meal of slow-digesting protein with an optional small amount of complex carbohydrates.

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10 Things to Avoid If You Want to Build Rock Solid Muscles Fast

Friday, June 10th, 2011

10 Things to Avoid If You Want to Build Rock Solid Muscles Fast

Here is a guest post that a personal trainer once wrote for me. The writing style sounds suspiciously international in origin, but the points he makes are true.

Many fitness and bodybuilding magazines come up with different tips to help you with bodybuilding. You can find abundant of tips to help you in bodybuilding. However, you also need to know some things that you need to avoid for building those rock solid muscles quickly.

Here is a list of 10 tips that you must avoid while engaging in muscle building and bodybuilding:
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Gymnastics Training is Tough but it Won’t Turn You Into a Bodybuilder

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Someone, I think in the forums or maybe in a comment to another post, asked earlier today why gymnasts are so muscular even though they don’t lift weights, and if starting gymnastics training would be a good idea for him to gain muscle.

Regarding the question “why are gymnasts so muscular?” I direct your attention to the following video, which captures mere school girls training for gymnastics. Observe the 5 million jumps, flips, hand stands, band training, and sprinting. Even when you use only bodyweight for these exercises, the power and repetitions over time are going to build really strong muscles – in the core, arms, legs, everywhere.
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