Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Cutter Contest

Ok here is what I have used for the past 10yrs. I did not write this, well I wrote it but its based on what was used by a former Olympia contender for years. Follow this to a T. Do not change the protein/fat throughout the whole diet, only carbs will change, Its based on a slow gradual decrease in carbs over 12-15wks. Biggest mistake IMO BBers make is they cut carbs WAY to fast and appear flat by showtime.
DO NOT lower fat intake because if your body recognizes its getting enough it will burn body fat for energy, if you cut fat in your diet your body will hang on to body fat (its first goal is survival and fat is the last thing it wants to burn). You want to burn fat, then you have to eat GOOD fat.
You are going to eliminate all junk food, white floor/rice. Breads (except the first 3 wks you can have some HIGH grain bread but keep it minimal). Fried food (unless in olive oil but minimise). High sugar fruits and all dairy. The first few weeks some melon is OK . Start to minimise sugar at this point and by wk3 eliminate it.
All your carbs should come from complex carbs ( potatoes, brown rice, yams, beans, oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits, corn and most grains. even clean tortilla chips are fine).
Do not count GREEN veggies in your carbs, eat all you want. They are fiber and dont count. (more…)

Diet Before A Contest

Dieting for a contest is the hardest task I know of and it takes extreme dedication. I will post an example diet before contest here and it should be started anywhere from 12 -16 weeks away, depending on your certain metabolism. Most people it takes 12 weeks and an extra week to deplete all your water. This article is not based on drugs, therefore, i will not post any drugs used. This is for a 200 lb. bodybuilder.

Diet:

6am: 10 egg whites, 1 cup oatmeal dry, 8 oz skim milk,1 banana

9am: 4oz. chicken breasts, 1 cup broccoli,1 cup brown rice

Noon: 6 oz. red meat(steak), 1 large yam, 1 cup broccoli or other green,8 oz. skim milk

2pm: 4oz. chicken breasts, 1 cup broccoli,1 cup brown rice, 8 oz. skim milk

4pm:  6 oz. red meat(steak), 1 large yam, 1 cup broccoli or other green,8 oz. skim milk

8pm: 4 0z. chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli or other green, 16 oz skim milk w/3 scoops casein protein powder.

When it gets to be the last week of the diet, you want to drop out all the carbohydrates except for one serving of rice pre-workout.

This will deplete your carbs until the night before the show, in which you will eat as many carbs as possible to blow your fullness into high gear.

******ALWAYS DRINK AT LEAST ONE GALLON OF WATER PER DAY*********************

Nutrition: How Much Protein?

The protein myth, has been floating around for generations. Historically, it can be traced to Milo of Crotona in the sixth century B.C. He was a famous Greek athlete who was considered to be one of the strongest men in ancient Greece. He had won wrestling victories in 5 Olympic games as well as in other sacred festivals. Legend has it that Milo applied progressive resistance in the form of lifting a growing calf daily. By the time the calf was 4-years-old Milo carried it the length of the Olympian stadium, and then proceeded to kill, roast and consume it. Milos’ daily consumption of meat was recorded at approximately 20 pounds a day.

When we fast-forward to the era of the sixties and seventies we find there was a renewed hype about protein being some sort of miracle food. This was due, largely, to the muscle magazines of the era which pushed protein and claimed it could make you grow as big as a god! As a result, many bodybuilders and strength trainers started to consume large quantities of whole milk, meat and eggs. (Let’s not forget the raw eggs—thanks to “Rocky Balboa”.) During the 90′s and into the present we’ve seen protein powders promoted as the new wonder-drug. Ads and commercials continue to tempt consumers to purchase protein powders in garbage can-sized quantities. And we’ve been mesmerized by a constant flow of ultimate protein shakes that will supposedly help pack on muscle mass at almost the same rate as Anabolic Steroids.

Clearly, science is being placed on the back shelf, and this has resulted in a host of myths and fallacies springing up in the field of sports nutrition. It’s no surprise that there’s so much conflicting information and plain misinformation floating around. On one side we have the nutritional, dietetic and medical community laying blame on the bodybuilders, weightlifters and strength trainers for perpetrating the myth that strength athletes need to consume above and beyond the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of 0.8 grams per kilogram of lean bodyweight (1 kilogram=2.2 pounds). Then we have the bodybuilders and strength trainers holding the nutritionists, dieticians and medical community responsible for bad information. The question remains, what is the optimal protein intake required for natural weightlifters, bodybuilders, strength trainers and other athletes?

Protein’s Role
Protein is a complex chemical structure of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. Accounting for 50% of the body’s dry weight, it has been estimated that humans consist of 50,000 different proteins. From the simple blink of an eye to the flow of blood to muscles under extreme stress, proteins are everywhere. Their function involves more than muscle tissue repair. It includes repair of red blood cells, hair and fingernail growth, regulation of hormone secretion, movement (muscle contraction), digestion, maintenance of the body’s water balance, protection against disease, transport of nutrients to and from cells, the carrying of oxygen and regulation of blood clotting. So the role of protein is very important to over-all body function and health. Sadly enough, this role has been improperly depicted in various muscle magazines, on TV fitness shows and in claims by trainers and bodybuilders who think protein is mainly used to repair damaged muscle tissue. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Protein Intake
As mentioned earlier, the RDA is 0.8 grams per kilogram of lean bodyweight (U.S. Food and Nutrition Board, 1980) for sedentary adults. For infants and children the RDA is doubled and tripled because of the rapid growth rate they experience. How did the researchers come up with this RDA and arrive at the figure that has been shunned by the bodybuilding community? Studies using nitrogen (a component of protein). have been conducted to see how much protein is used and absorbed before an excess condition results. Researchers looked at the nitrogen balance and made comparisons to see if a positive or a negative balance had been occurring. They observed the outcome by comparing the amount of nitrogen excreted with the amount ingested, and then they determined whether or not protein was accumulating in the body, remaining at the same level, or decreasing.

The nitrogen balance test uses nitrogen loss in the form of sweat, urine, feces, shedding of skin, and loss of hair on a day-to-day basis. If there is a positive balance in nitrogen levels, it means there has been more nitrogen ingested than excreted, and so, tissue growth can be a direct result. A negative balance shows researchers that more nitrogen is being excreted than taken in, and this means, of course, that more protein is being lost than produced. Basically, the protein requirement for sedentary adults involves replacing routine losses—the task, so to speak, is to keep the leaky bucket topped up.

So why did researchers in North America come to the conclusion that the RDA is only a rationed 0.8 grams per kilogram? Well it seems they concluded that 0.36 grams per kilogram of lean bodyweight in protein is lost per day. With a safety margin in place, it has been bumped up to 0.45 grams per kilogram of lean bodyweight, and then bumped up again to approximately 0.75 grams per kilogram. This is to replace the amount which may be lost during digestion, as well as making up for a lack in quality of protein. The general protein requirement for sedentary adults is just enough that if one follows this guideline they will supply themselves with enough amino acids to replace each day’s loss without allowing for exercise and the growth of muscle tissue. It’s ironic that the RDA for children (who are experiencing growth) is greater than the RDA for adults. The Academy of Sciences and the nutrition board insist that exercise (which leads to musculo-collagenous hypertrophy among other changes in the body) doesn’t generate an increase in one’s protein requirements (1). Note that RDA can vary from place to place; Russia, Denmark, and Britain have different RDA standards.

Exercise adds a new dimension to the issue because the body, with an increased need for protein, has to rely heavily upon dietary sources rather than draw from it’s own stores. If this need is not met during exercise then the body will start to draw upon its muscle tissue as a source. Though it may seem that humans don’t need much protein, the facts haven’t been established as to how much an exercising individual should be taking in. Recent research shows that the RDA doesn’t appear to meet the needs of exercising adults. One of the top researchers in this field, Dr Peter Lemon, stated in a recent review paper that, “the RDA for those engaged in strength training should be about 1.7 – 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day”. Dr Lemon came to this conclusion after citing several studies (Fern, 1991, Tarnopolsky et al., 1992) which used amounts of protein ranging from 1.3 – 3.3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. At Kent University researchers tested 3 different groups of people: 1) on a low protein diet which was 0.9 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight; 2) another group eating 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight; and 3) a group eating 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Both sedentary and strength training groups were involved. The results showed that 1.4 grams resulted in protein synthesis while there were no changes in the low protein group and, finally, the group that ingested 2.4 grams of protein did not see any more increased protein synthesis than the 1.4 grams of protein group.

Another study conducted at the Letterman Army Institute of Research in San Francisco showed that subjects on a higher protein intake (2.8 g/kg/day), coupled with intense strength training, gained a whopping 3.28 kg (7.2 lbs) of lean mass. The study was done over a 40-day period and the subjects were trained to near exhaustion (2). Another study of weightlifters over a 3 month period, with the protein increased from 2.2g/kg/day to 3.5 g/kg/ day, resulted in a 6% increase in muscle mass and a 5% increase in strength (3). Susan M Klieiner, who holds a PhD in nutrition and human performance from Case Western Reserve University, states in her book, Power Eating, that for muscle building an intake of 1.6-2.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight is recommended. Dr Michael Colgan, in Optimum Sports Nutrition, claims that the RDA doesn’t meet the needs of athletes who train in an intense fashion. So, the evidence provided by some of the highly regarded “experts” in this field indicates that the addition of extra protein has been shown to display positive effects which produce muscle growth.

Negative Effects Of Protein
So why all the fuss about the ingestion of too much protein? So far, we’ve seen protein’s positive effects and that it can be beneficial for hypertrophy of the muscle complex. A common argument raised is that excessive protein, as described above, can cause a variety of body ailments–such as kidney and heart disease, constipation, and osteoporosis. These are often cited as the main reason one would want to steer clear of a diet rich in protein (4).
The average person reading about this might want to jump on the anti-protein bandwagon, but what they don’t realize is that these studies often mislead. For starters, the negative health claims of kidney disease resulting from a high protein diet have used information gathered from studies done on patients with existing kidney problems. Kidneys are responsible for excretion of the urea formed from ammonia (a very toxic compound) which comes from the protein in our diet. People with kidney problems already have trouble excreting urea, and this leads to more stress on the kidneys. The logic goes that strength trainers, bodybuilders, weightlifters and athletes who eat a high protein diet are doomed to suffer from future kidney problems. Furthermore, there don’t seem to be any peer-reviewed studies done on healthy athletes, strength trainers, weightlifters or bodybuilders showing that kidney problems are a result of a high protein diet. As for the claims of osteoporosis in these groups, it’s hard to believe that they cancel the benefits of exercise. Exercisers have strong, healthy bones that are denser in nature, and studies have shown that exercise promotes this condition. Negative results may be seen in those who are sedentary and consume a high protein. For the most part, however, one cannot simply isolate one factor and claim that this is a reason for a health problem such as this; the pathology of osteoporosis involves far more than one variable. Things such as heredity, genetics, micro and macro nutrient intake, exercise etc., when taken together, are far more responsible than simply applying the blame to one area.

Constipation is also used as an argument because many nutritionists and dieticians claim that diets high in protein are low in fiber. Without enough bulk the digestive system can slow down to a snail’s pace. Simply choosing the right foods such as fibrous vegetables, starchy breads, pastas and drinking plenty of water will remedy this problem. Heart disease may result from a high intake of animal, but, as mentioned earlier, knowing how to use variety in one’s diet will help eliminate worry about this kind of problem. Low and no-fat dairy products, fish and lean cuts of meat and chicken are good choices which considerably lower the risk of heart disease.

High protein intake, as we’ve seen, is not the evil it’s made out to be. A protein deficiency will reveal itself because strength and muscle mass will decline. What are the signs of taking too much? Inflammation of the kidneys (lower back pain) and feelings of malaise are symptoms to watch for. Most of the time the body does a good job of sorting and using protein, so most people will not run into this problem. But even if protein intake is increased it means eating multiple meals throughout the day since the experts have said we can only digest 25-30 grams of protein per sitting. The small intestines can digest as much as 500-700 grams of protein (5) keeping in mind proteins functions do include other things other than soft tissue repair. New research has shown now that the body may in fact be able to handle much more protein in a sitting (6). This obviously shows us that individuals of varying bodyweights can take in much more than the 25-30 gram figure the experts have held us to for so long.

Conclusion
Hopefully you’ve been convinced that a high protein intake is not “evil.” Protein intake ranging from 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to one gram per pound or more can be beneficial for an individual involved in an intense training program. Protein has been typecast as something that will make you big and strong, but muscle growth is not controlled by the level of protein one takes; rather it is the growth demand caused by intense training or stress that will ultimately determine how much protein one should take in. Dr Michael Colgan says, “No one ever grew an ounce of muscle from simply gulping protein. Muscles grow from pushing poundage—period.” Some trainers have testified that they’ve done just fine by taking in small amounts of protein, but the question to them is, how much greater would the results have been if they had increased the protein requirement to meet the demands of the exercise?

We don’t have to consume an extraordinarily amount of protein, but the proof of the pudding is that taking more than the RDA when exercising is not only safe, but beneficial.

Written by Maki Riddington.

Bodybuilding: The Myth Of Lean Bulking

Go to any forum on the Internet and you will see at least one or two threads started by someone asking for advice or a critique of a lean bulking cycle.
The first thing that needs to be realized is that the AAS you use have a very small part in how lean your gains will be.
Yes, I have heard the proposed tren/prop/masteron with var or winny type cycles. Yes, those will deliver a harder physique with a dieting athlete, but not when one is truly bulking. And yes AAS that promote more estrogenic kick back tend to make one gain a bit more bodyfat, but in the big scheme of things your not going to notice a big difference either way.
In fact the best thing AAS do so far as increasing ones ability to stay leaner, is 2 fold. One, the body grows more muscle tissue and this new tissue increases the metabolic rate and the tissue now adds a calorie burning effect, but this also means gains can halt if more of the proper macros are not added back into the diet. Two, some AAS promote a bit more secretion of IGF-1 from the liver and its effect on nutrient partitioning and body composition are well noted as promoting a leaner physique…however remember the standard life of your bodies natural IGF is 12 minutes or so, once again a negligible difference in the big picture.
The sad reality for any of us is, in order to gain size, we must gain some bodyfat…and to lose bodyfat we must lose some muscle.
But, there are some strategies we can employ and some guidelines we can use when attempting to gain offseason mass with out making it look like we are some sumo wrestler in training.
These strategies are centered around our diet, not our cycle. Quite honestly the AAS I use make only a slight difference in the types of fat loss, or muscle gains that I make.
What makes the biggest impact is how we eat, and secondly how we train.
In the past 3 years for diets and contest I have used a carb cycling approach.
Its actually very simple and its predicated on a system that our bodies use all the time anyway.

The two types of weekly cycles I have personally employed and had good success with are a 5 low and 2 high or 4 low and 3 high on a low carb system…alas this can be used in reverse when we bulk.
Lets look at a 4 high day 3 low day system for the purpose of keeping this simple.
With this type of carb cycling we will eat higher carbs and calories for 4 days of the week with another 3 being much lower.

So for example the first 4 days you would eat 1.5 grams per lb of protein based on your body weight, and 3.5-4.5 grams of mostly complex carbs on your high days, fats will come from your naturally occurring food sources (trust me there’s more than enough) and EFA’s.
Then comes the low days where protein will stay at 1.5 grams per lb and carbs will drop to 65% less. On these days we will eat more red meat and take in extra EFA’s, this will be done mostly with the last 2 meals.
Now you may be scratching your head and thinking AJ has lost his shit, YES maybe, maybe a long time ago in fact, but this is science.
Those of you who have done hard contest diets know from experience what happens after a show? REBOUND. Most bodybuilders make fantastic gains after a show eating JUNK, and still look good for a good amount of time.
WHY? Well its all about insulin sensitivity…when doing a lower carb diet and cardio for that amount of time insulin sensitivity increases up to 3 times its previous mark, making the muscle cells have the ability to soak up glycogen and really kick start the growth process, while the body fat stores are low the body has a bit harder time storing excess calories as fat, it still does it but at a much lower rate than someone who has higher body fat concentrations.
So, when we apply this rationale to the off season we can see that on a much smaller micro scale if weekly we prime the body with lower carb days then flood the system again with higher carbs and macros we get a much sharper anabolic response to food intake that is independent of any AAS we are taking.
Its a simple cycle to follow, and it will work for most people, there are some nanomoles out there and there is no 100% sure fire one size fits all diet for everyone, but the strategy can be manipulated in to weekly cycles as well 2 weeks high one week low, be creative and experiment.
The other side of the cycle is during your lower carb days you get a bit of fat loss but since your 4 days of higher outweigh the low days in frequency you should see positive weight gains every week.
There is also the fact that when we attempt to straight diet (eat the same or more day after day) that our bodies lose the sensitivity to insulin and the carbs are easier and easier to be converted into body fat…not what we want here.
The cycle keeps the bodies homeostatic mechanism off balance allowing for increasing glycogen uptake and some slight body fat reduction all in one weeks micro cycle.
The days you are high on carbs the body is being primed for the low days by increasing leptin.
What is leptin- well heres wiki’s definition:

Leptin (Greek leptos meaning thin) is a 16 kDa protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. Leptin is one of the most important adipose derived hormones.[1] The Ob(Lep) gene (Ob for obese, Lep for leptin) is located on chromosome 7 in humans.[2]

Basically its a hormone that can really determine alot of how are bodies utilize fat for energy, low leptin levels mean somewhat inhibited fat burning and conversely higher levels lead to better fat burning.
When the body is thrown into a fasting state or heavily reduced calories leptin production drops off sharply, when food intake is re-introduced the levels return to normal and in the on set become a bit higher than they were at baseline.
So, with your immediate return to higher carb days that were pre-empted with those 3 low ones your bodies leptin production is greatly increased and this carries through the next 4 days of high calorie and high carb intake.
As you can imagine this means greater uptake of nutrients but also less bodyfat being deposed, subsequently the 3 low days leptin is still remaining high into the second low day or so (individual genetics allowing) that there is more fat burning taking place on those 3 low days.
So in short by keeping the body in this un-balanced state we can allow for muscle gains and fat loss simultaneously.
But don’t be fooled, mother nature isn’t…YOU WILL STILL BE IN MORE POSITIVE SURPLUS CALORIE DAYS PER WEEK, AND YOU WILL STILL GAIN BODYFAT. The idea here is to gain LESS fat than someone who just goes about this in a linear fashion eating more and more as each day goes by.
I have some simple guidelines that I follow during this phase:
1)cardio- I still do 45 min of cardio about 4-5 times a week- try not doing it and when you start to get really heavy and find breathing to be harder see how it negatively effects your training, especially on leg days…great to be strong as an ox, but if you cant take the set to the max point without giving out from 02 deprivation you will never see peak gains.
2)You MUST eat clean- eating junk food will only throw a wrench in the program. Allow yourself a meal a week but nothing more than that.
3)Like rule #2 as much as possible- DO NOT MIX FATS AND CARBS IN THE SAME MEAL. Carbs, and especially higher carbs will promote the release of insulin, insulin has two functions, push glucose and nutrients into muscle cells, and push fat into fat stores, its very easy for insulin to do this with a lot of fat from a meal present in a high glucose environment.
Carbs+Protein=good…fat+protein good…carbs and fat BLEH!
4)You should approach your training in a cyclic fashion as well, just because week in and week out you feel the need to push heavier and heavier weights doesn’t mean your connective tissues will. Allow for some weeks of joint recovery with lower weights, if you end up injured or in too much pain to train properly it will defeat the whole purpose of the diet.

The AAS I chose for this type of diet are a base of Test enanthate+test prop+deca…from their I may add 2 other ancillary compounds that I will switch during the bulk phase.
IGF can be used effectively during the bulk, along with GH.
If you use insulin it will enhance the gains but I recommend using the slin on your high days and then on the low days supplementing with 2-400 mg of r-ALA, Apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon. These supplements help enhance insulin sensitivity and prime your body for the higher carb days when insulin is re-introduced.

As you gain size your caloric needs WILL change-so from a weekly basis keep an eye on the scale and the mirror to see if you are gaining properly, as you gain each 1 lb of muscle it basically adds another 500 or so calories to the thermic effect, so that has to be accounted for as each passing week increases body mass…1lb of muscle gain not gross weight gain…1lb on the scale is nothing, I usually look and see 4-5 lb changes I can assume about 2lbs of muscle…if I’m lucky.
Try to eat as much whole food as possible, I know from my personal experience as the high calorie days go up you have to really be able to pound down the food and a gainer is just about a necessity…but if you can on your low days eat all whole foods. The therm effect of whole food vs supplement powders is close to a 5 fold increase in BMR- that’s more calories you can burn as fat on those days so try, I know its not possible every day, but if you can do it most of the time this will really work in your favor.
That is about my cycle diet for gaining.
Try it or not, it gives us something to think about and possibly apply to our own off season goals, remember the holidays are right around the corner so GET HUUUGGE!

How To Get Huge: THE RIGHT AND SAFE WAY!

Do you know how sick it makes me when guys say, “I have been using steroids for 6 months now and I still can’t grow?” This only makes me mad because it’s so easy to get big if you have the time and the energy to put into your body. It’s the same as everything else in life, you get what you give.

Training

Training is about 30% of the struggle but it is very important cause without it, you simply will not grow. The best advice I can give when it comes to the training part is that you have to keep your body guessing, which I can’t stress enough. Also, this is a life long journey and NOTHING will happen overnight. I like to split up my routine into one body part per day and switch it up every month in exercises, sometimes compound and sometimes basics,sometimes machines, and sometimes dumbbells. If you are still having trouble putting on mass(which is what you must do first), then you have to use all basic movements and utilize power-lifting exercises to reach your goal. The best mass builders are Bent-over rows for your back, dead-lifts for overall thickness in the hams and back, bench press for the chest, straight bar curls for the biceps, skull crushers for the triceps, squats for the legs, and military press for the shoulders. If your not using these exercises, you better start. Also remember to always take 2 days to rest and never over-train. This would be a good ideal split for beginner or intermediate:

Monday-Chest

Tuesday-Back

Wednesday-OFF

Thursday-Shoulders

Friday-Legs

Saturday-Biceps and Triceps

Sunday-OFF

GEAR

OK, now it would be stupid of me to say that you can get super huge without gear, and it’s just not possible. However, I would suggest that you take your training to the absolute maximum without drugs first, until you have reached your natural genetic potential. Most people will say you need all kinds of different drugs to get huge, which is not true at all, you will need all kinds of drugs if your planning on being a pro. To play it safe after you have decided to use drugs, keep it simple and I guarantee you that if you rely on YOU and your training and nutrition instead of the drugs, then you will have a much better bodybuilding regimen. Too many people out there are relying on drugs and not paying enough attention to their diet or their training. It’s very important that you only use one substance to start out with, testosterone would be a good choice. In order to get to the size in which we are talking then your gonna need it. The problem is that once your genetics have run out of room for growth than what comes next? This is when steroids are needed to continue on with your journey. Testosterone as your anabolic and deca or eq as your androgenic, this is all you will need and the dosages depend on how healthy you want to be.

Physicians

The only way to be positive that your staying healthy while taking steroids is to make sure you find a doctor that you trust. I found one and it took me a few years to do so, but now I trust him with my life and you should too. You will want to have regular blood tests done to make sure your liver is functioning properly as well as the other internal organs. Do not be afraid to tell your doctor whats going on, it’s the only way to help for him.

Sleep

Sleep is one of the most missed factors when it comes to growing. You grow when you sleep, and without it you will not grow! It’s that simple, estimated 6-8 hours of sleep per night is normal for optimal growth. So make sure you get that nap in, it will benefit you in the long run.

Diet

Diet is the most important factor when it comes to getting big. Your gonna need to pack in as much protein as possible and also figure out what your daily recommended allowance is. Once you find how many calories you need per day just to maintain, then you need to add 500 calories to that, and make sure you keep a log. Say your calories needed per day is 3000, now add 500 calories to that which gives you 3500. Write down in a log book everything you ate or drink in a day and add up the calories. One you has stopped gaining weight this way, then simply add another 500 calories and so on until you reach your target weight.You should always drink 1-2 gallons of water per day.

Try to get most of your calories from proteins,healthy fats, carbohydrates,and simple sugars. Your protein source is going to be totally up to you but this is what i use: carnivore beef protein,red meat,burgers,chicken,tuna,eggs,and turkey. Try to eat clean, even when bulking. When people say eat clean it means make home cooked meals basically. Don’t add unneeded salts and butter,spices,or fats. It’s unnecessary and really unhealthy.

Conclusion

Guys, now we have covered all the basic necessities of what’s needed to get big and lean. It’s really easier then you think but here it is again broken down for you.

Training-make sure you keep your body guessing and train with 100% intensity giving yourself a break on two days. Be sure to use basic compound movements when bulking.

Sleep-very important that you get 6-8 hours of sleep.

Gear- The only two drugs needed to remain healthy and get huge is Testosterone and DECA or eq. The drugs are the least important.

Diet- You must eat and I can’t stress this enough, the more food you eat, the bigger you will get. Eating is the most important factor in getting big, IMO.

Food has to be your number one priority and I can guarantee you that if your not growing , it has something to do with one of the above mentioned. Best of luck to you guys and like i said, be patient because that is the reason why most guys do not make it to be HUGE, they didn’t try long enough.

P.S. It took me 14 yrs to look like I do and all I did to get there is do what I just wrote.

Written By: Kane999

All About Water Retention

All about water retention
By Herve J. Duchemin – Advanced Personal Trainer

I hear it all the time… “I do so much cardio, and my diet and training are so on point, yet I still have this layer of fat covering my abs! What’s the matter with me?” Well… that layer of “muscle-masking mess” that you might assume to be fat, could in fact be primarily “subcutaneous fluid”, otherwise known as “water weight”.

The body has a natural mechanism for storing water and ions in the body, just as it does for storing excess calories as fat. Ions are basically charged particles which float around in your body, having various functions. You may have heard the term “electrolyte” before. An electrolyte is basically a molecule with a certain electric “charge” in your body, such as potassium (K+), or sodium (Na+), for example. Take this test: See that skin covering your lower abdominal area? Give it a pinch, pull it, and let it go. If it shakes with a sort of quick “rippled” motion, you are probably carrying a lot of fluid which you were assuming to be fat.

A lot of bodybuilders get very lean, and achieve vascularity in areas such as their arms and legs, yet still cannot get their lower abdominal muscles to appear. This is usually due, not to fat, but to fluid and excess sodium ions being deposited in the lower abdominal region, thereby masking the well-sculpted muscle that lies underneath. This is why you hear a lot of people saying things such as “I’ll never get this thick skin to go away”; when in fact they are misunderstanding a major concept that underlies achieving a truly striated and well-defined look: flushing subcutaneous fluid and excess sodium from underneath the skin.

“But how do I get rid of that excess fluid?” you might ask. I’m going to outline the steps I follow when I have a little extra fluid to lose, so that you also can get rid of that stubborn water weight, and achieve the thin skin, and truly striated look of competitive bodybuilders and fitness models. Before you start to drop water weight though, it is wise to know if you are lean enough to even begin considering it.

If you are above 7 or 8% body fat and you’re looking to get extremely lean from water loss, it probably won’t happen. But if you can already pretty much see your abdominal muscles, but have thick skin overlying them, and want to thin it out a bit, then these steps should be what you need to achieve the look you desire. Stick with it for a prolonged period of time, and give it a dedicated try. Nothing works overnight.

1) Drink More Water.

That’s right. You’ve probably heard this one before, and it is definitely true. This is the most important advice I can give, and I cannot stress its importance. Besides flushing our your kidneys and entire digestive system, hydrating your body, and brain, thereby allowing your metabolism to function more effectively, and just making for a nicer skin tone and appearance, drinking more water causes you to release more water through excretion, thereby dropping “water retention”.

Aim for 1-2 gallons of water a day, but be sure to take a complete multi-vitamin, as drinking a lot of water causes you to excrete many ions which may result in a deficiency of certain vitamins.

2) Sweat, Sweat, Sweat…

Sweating is a way of “evaporative cooling”, a mechanism by which the body regulates its temperature. If you are sweating, it means your metabolism is probably in high gear, since a higher metabolism equals a higher resting body temperature for the most part. Also, water retention is not simply “water”, but sodium ions trapped underneath the skin. This is why your sweat tastes salty. A trick I use is to sit in the sauna, and keep drinking water. In the beginning, your sweat will taste salty, telling you that you are retaining sodium.

After a while, your sweat will begin to taste like water. This tells you that you have sweat most of the sodium out that was being retained underneath your skin, which means you have lost a good portion of muscle-masking fluid. Once again, whenever sitting in a sauna, be sure to have water handy, and be sure to supplement with a vitamin, as you sweat out many of your essential vitamins.

3) Pose, Pose, Pose…

A lot of people don’t like to sit in front of the mirror and squeeze their muscles, but I have found this to be one of the most important factors in truly achieving great detail deep within the muscle bellies. Besides causing you to sweat out subcutaneous fluid, posing allows you to gain greater control of your muscles. Try to flex just your posterior deltoid muscle, or just one muscle of your quadriceps.

It is a good method of practice for establishing a mind-muscle connection which will both enhance definition while posing, and allow you to better control your muscles during resistance training. The more you pose, and keep your sodium and water level low, the more cuts you will begin to see in your muscles over time, providing that your diet is on point as well.

4) Don’t Gorge On The Salt!

That’s correct, eating foods such as french fries, potato chips, and various other foods loaded with unnecessary amounts of sodium, will cause you to retain water. The body only needs between 2000-2500mg of sodium a day to complete its metabolic functions.

If you go way over that mark, you are indulging in a mineral which the American population has been using in excess for quite some time now, creating many health problems and concerns. Keep your sodium moderate, and replace excess salt with spices such as garlic, ginger, fresh vegetables, black pepper, chives, cilantro, Ms. Dash, hot sauce, or anything else your taste buds desire.

5) Fiber, Fiber, Fiber…

Most Americans, and even more surprisingly, most “bodybuilders”, do not consume adequate amounts of fiber in their diet. Similar to water, which cleanses the urinary tract and kidneys, fiber cleanses the colon/intestinal tract, keeping things moving smoothly, and mores, aiding in the removal of excess fluid. In the morning, if I find that I need to drop some fluid, I will take 2 tablespoons of Psyllium Husk Orange Natural Colon Cleanser, mixed with water.

During my meals, I include fresh vegetables, and I steam the ones I cook very lightly or eat them raw with Balsamic Vinegar and/or garlic powder to make sure I don’t boil out all of their nutrients. I also include fresh fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, all of which have plenty of fiber and many antioxidants which help prevent against cancer and other ailments. When in doubt, berries are a great way to go.

6) Give Dandelion Root & Black Coffee Or Tea A Try!

I have found the natural herb dandelion root to be a good naturally occurring diuretic, when taken in conjunction with the previous methods I have outlined. Always make sure to drink PLENTY of water and watch your sodium levels, otherwise you will be wasting your time. Coffee and tea are naturally occurring diuretics as well, although some people might not like the jittery feeling caused by stimulants.

7) Tan, Tan, Tan…

Tanning helps to tighten up the skin, and drop excess fluid through sweating as well. Always use some sort of SPF level, and make sure to consume antioxidants (such as berries), on a frequent basis to fight off free radicals which can be carcinogenic (cancer causing).

8) Give Preparation A Try!

If you’ve followed all of my previous steps, but still find that you are retaining a little more fluid than you’d like, I’ve found that rubbing preparation on my stomach before doing cardio, and/or tanning helps me to drop excess fluid from stubborn areas.

Once again, this won’t work if you aren’t already lean, or if you are slacking on your diet and/or consuming too much sodium. But if all of the above are in control, then this might just be the little spark to ignite the rest of that water releasing fire. Think about it – this stuff is used to shrink fluid out of swollen hemhorroidal tissue. It’s worked for me, but once again it takes time.

So I’ve outlined the steps you should take in order to achieve the look you desire, minus the water-retention. As always, the first step to achieving that balanced physique is a proper nutritional and training regiment. If those are in check, and you find that you are 1 or 2 steps away from dropping that last bit of water, then this should be all you need to get to where you desire.

Protein: Best Sources And Amounts

Shortcut: An ounce of meat or fish has approximately 7 grams of protein.
Beef

* Hamburger patty, 4 oz  28 grams protein
* Steak, 6 oz  42 grams
* Most cuts of beef  7 grams of protein per ounce

Chicken

* Chicken breast, 3.5 oz – 30 grams protein
* Chicken thigh  10 grams (for average size)
* Drumstick  11 grams
* Wing  6 grams
* Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz  35 grams

Fish

* Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3  oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
* Tuna, 6 oz can – 40 grams of protein

Pork

* Pork chop, average – 22 grams protein
* Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz  29 grams
* Ham, 3 oz serving  19 grams
* Ground pork, 1 oz raw 5 grams; 3 oz cooked  22 grams
* Bacon, 1 slice  3 grams
* Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice  5 - 6 grams

Eggs and Dairy

* Egg, large – 6 grams protein
* Milk, 1 cup – 8 grams
* Cottage cheese,  cup – 15 grams
* Yogurt, 1 cup  usually 8-12 grams, check label
* Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert- 6 grams per oz
* Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss)  7 or 8 grams per oz
* Hard cheeses (Parmesan)  10 grams per oz

Beans (including soy)

* Tofu,  cup 20 grams protein
* Tofu, 1 oz, 2.3 grams
* Soy milk, 1 cup – 6 -10 grams
* Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans
* Soy beans,  cup cooked  14 grams protein
* Split peas,  cup cooked  8 grams

Nuts and Seeds

* Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons – 8 grams protein
* Almonds,  cup 8 grams
* Peanuts,  cup  9 grams
* Cashews,  cup  5 grams
* Pecans, cup  2.5 grams
* Sunflower seeds,  cup  6 grams
* Pumpkin seeds,  cup ? 19 grams
* Flax seeds , cup  8 grams

Walnuts and Health

Walnut consumption slows the growth of prostate cancer in mice, and has beneficial effects on multiple genes related to the control of tumor growth and metabolism, researchers have found.

A study shows that when mice with prostate tumors consume the equivalent of an amount of walnuts that could easily be eaten by a man, tumor growth is controlled.

Prostate cancer affects one in six American men. It is one in which environmental factors, especially diet, play an important role.

Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that eating walnuts — rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, antioxidants and other plant chemicals — decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Ten Biggest Mistakes In A Bodybuilding Diet

Success leaves clues. Ask any top professionals, including bodybuilders, “How can I maximize my progress?” and the best answer will delineate not only the right steps to take but also the pitfalls to avoid.

My goal is to share with you the nutrition lessons I’ve learned through developing eating regimens for several top bodybuilders, some of whom are now in the professional ranks. My hope is that these tips will allow you to correct any flaws in your nutrition program and hence maximize your progress. Here are the 10 biggest mistakes to avoid if you want to fulfill your bodybuilding potential.

1. Dieting impatiently.

Many bodybuilders jump from one diet to another without ever giving the initial program enough time to work. It takes at least three weeks for your body to adapt to dietary modifications. If you start a high carb, moderate protein, low fat diet with reduced calories, and your goal is to lose fat, expect to notice visible changes after approximately 21 days. Don’t anticipate immediate changes in your physique.

2. Failing to Accurately track calories.

Be sure to count not only calories but carbohydrates, proteins and fats as well. Because they don’t keep a record of what they’re eating, many bodybuilders don’t lose fat at the rate they expect, while others fail to gain weight. Don’t make the mistake of miscalculating your calorie intake. Successful bodybuilders keep precise records; they don’t guess or estimate. Consult the Nutrition Almanac or a comparable source for food values and buy a scale.

3. Eating haphazardly.

Whether you’re trying to lose fat or add lean body mass, consistency is key, and sporadic eating is anathema to making progress. If you’re a hardgainer or you have a difficult time getting ripped, the five times a day meal plan is best. This approach (a meal every two or three hours) inhibits storage of fat and increases lean body mass by enhancing nutrient absorption.

4. Depending on the scale to gauge progress.

Don’t depend solely on the scale to fine tune your diet. When bodybuilders try to add size, they often become discouraged when their bodyweight doesn’t increase rapidly. They frequently jump the gun by adding too many calories to accelerate their progress. Similarly, precontest competitors striving to get down in size sometimes subtract too many calories. While the scale and other measuring devices like bodyfat calipers are effective tools, it’s better to rely on photos and an unbiased eye to measure your progress. After all, bodybuilding is a visual sport. If you look leaner and fuller, then your fat loss diet is probably working – even if the scale and bodyfat calipers don’t agree.

5. Overeating (especially carbohydrates).

Athletes who try to add mass often go overboard and eat an excessive number of calories, which are then converted into bodyfat. Then there are bodybuilders who eat a very low fat diet but still gain too many bodyfat because of an extremely high intake of carbohydrates. Sure, carbs are required for hard training, and they aid in recovery, But once the body absorbs what it needs, the excess will be quickly deposited as fat.

6. Failing to personalize your bodybuilding diet.

There’s nothing wrong with learning from what the pro bodybuilders do. However, Dorian Yate’s diet is vastly different from Nasser El Sonbaty’s. What they have in common is an individualized, or customized approach. Dorian’s diet might not work for Nasser’s, and vice versa. Maintaining detailed records of what you eat and how you react to those foods can help you customize a diet that’s ideal for your needs.

7. Viewing supplements as a magic bullet.

Some bodybuilders try to shed fat by taking carnitine and chromium, yet they fail to initiate the fat burning process by lowering their caloric consumption. Others use creatine, glutamine or branched chain amino acids to beef up, but fail to consume enough calories and proteins to stimulate a positive nitrogen balance. Supplements work to enhance a nutrition program, not to make up for poor planning and nutritional mistakes.

8. Becoming a slave to canned tuna.

To be successful, you have to eat the right way all the time. I’ve known athletes who burn out from the boredom of eating nothing but plain chicken breasts and tuna straight out of the can. Laura Creavalle’s cookbook, The Lite Lifestyle, contains 150 fat free and sugar free recipes designed for precontest bodybuilders. These recipes allow you to stick with your eating program for the long haul, which produces substantive results.

9. Eliminating all Fat.

Cutting fat from your diet is helpful in controlling total caloric intake, but removing fat completely from your diet and relying exclusively on very low fat or fat free proteins like turkey, fish and protein powders can lead to a decrease in fat metabolism and/or retard growth. A low fat diet that includes essential fatty acids found in meat, chicken and fish is useful in promoting optimal recovery growth and fat metabolism.

10. Making enormous changes all at once.

When adding or subtracting calories from your diet, try to make very small incremental changes to allow your body to adapt these dietary manipulations. Severe reductions in calories will cause the body to hoard fat; an abundant increase will stimulate fat storage.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

Also indexed as: Adenosylcobalamin, Cobalamin, Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxocobalamin, Hydroxycyanocobalamin, Methylcobalamin

* What it does
* Where found
* Helpful for
* Are you deficient?
* Amount to take
* Safety check
* References

What does it do?

Vitamin B12 is needed for normal nerve cell activity, DNA replication, and production of the mood-affecting substance SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine). Vitamin B12 acts with folic acid and vitamin B6 to control homocysteine levels. An excess of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and potentially other diseases such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer?s disease.

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes fatigue. Years ago, a small, double-blind trial reported that even some people who are not deficient in this vitamin had increased energy after vitamin B12 injections, compared with the effect of placebo injections.1 In recent years, however, the relationship between B12 injections and the energy level of people who are not vitamin B12-deficient has been rarely studied. In a preliminary trial, 2,500?5,000 mcg of vitamin B12, given by injection every two to three days, led to improvement in 50?80% of a group of people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), with most improvement appearing after several weeks of vitamin B12 shots.2 The ability of vitamin B12 injections to help people with CFS remains unproven, however. People with CFS interested in considering a trial of vitamin B12 injections should consult a doctor. Oral or sublingual (administered under the tongue) B12 supplements are unlikely to obtain the same results as injectable B12, since the body?s ability to absorb large amounts is relatively poor.

Where is it found?

Vitamin B12 is found in all foods of animal origin, including dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish. Small, inconsistent amounts occur in seaweed (including nori and chlorella) and tempeh.3 However, many researchers and healthcare professionals believe that people cannot rely on vegetarian sources to provide predictably sufficient quantities of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
Rating Health Concerns
3 Stars Depression (in people with vitamin B12 deficiency)
High homocysteine (combination with folic acid and vitamin B6)
Pernicious anemia
2 Stars Age-related cognitive decline (in people with vitamin B12 deficiency)
Bell?s palsy
Canker sores (for deficiency only)
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Cystic fibrosis (in people with vitamin B12 deficiency)
Infertility (male)
Low back pain (in combination with vitamin B1 and vitamin B6)
Sickle cell anemia (for sickle cell patients with B12 deficiency)
1Star Alzheimer?s disease
Asthma
Atherosclerosis
Bipolar disorder
Bursitis
Crohn?s disease
Dermatitis herpetiformis (in people with vitamin B12 deficiency)
Diabetes
Heart attack
Hepatitis
HIV support
Hives
Immune function
Insomnia
Lung cancer (reduces risk)
Osteoporosis (to lower homocysteine)
Pain
Phenylketonuria (in people with vitamin B12 deficiency)
Pre- and post-surgery health
Preeclampsia
Retinopathy (associated with childhood diabetes)
Schizophrenia
Seborrheic dermatitis (injection)
Shingles (herpes zoster)/postherpetic neuralgia (injection)
Stroke
Tinnitus (injection)
Vitiligo

Who is likely to be deficient?

Vegans ( vegetarians who also avoid dairy and eggs) frequently become deficient, though the process often takes many years. People with malabsorption conditions often suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, including those with tapeworm infestation and those with bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Malabsorption of vitamin B12 can also result from pancreatic disease, the effects of gastrointestinal surgery or various prescription drugs.4

Pernicious anemia is a special form of vitamin B12 malabsorption due to impaired ability of certain cells in the stomach to make intrinsic factor?a substance needed for normal absorption of vitamin B12. By definition, all people with pernicious anemia are vitamin B12-deficient. They require either vitamin B12 injections or oral supplementation with very high levels (1000 mcg per day) of vitamin B12.

Older people with urinary incontinence5 and hearing loss6 have been reported to be at increased risk of B12 deficiency.

Infection with Helicobacter pylori, a common cause of gastritis and ulcers, has been shown to cause or contribute to adult vitamin B12 deficiency. H. pylori has this effect by damaging cells in the stomach that make intrinsic factor?a substance needed for normal absorption of vitamin B12. In one trial, H. pylori was detected in 56% of people with anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Successful eradication of H. pylori led to improved blood levels of B12 in 40% of those infected.7 Other studies have also suggested a link between H. pylori infection and vitamin B12 deficiency.8 9 Elimination of H. pylori infection does not always improve vitamin B12 status. People with H. pylori infections should have vitamin B12 status monitored.

In a preliminary report, 47% of people with tinnitus and related disorders were found to have vitamin B12 deficiencies and may benefit from supplementation.10

HIV-infected patients often have low blood levels of vitamin B12.11

A disproportionate amount of people with psychiatric disorders are deficient in B12.12 Significant vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with a doubled risk of severe depression, according to a study of physically disabled older women.13

A preliminary study found that postmenopausal women who were in the lowest one-fifth of vitamin B12 consumption had an increased risk of developing breast cancer.14

Although blood levels of vitamin B12 may be higher in alcoholics, actual body stores of vitamin B12 in the tissues (e.g., the liver) of alcoholics is frequently deficient.15 16

Low blood levels of vitamin B12 are sometimes seen in pregnant women, however, this does not always indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency.17 The help of a healthcare professional is needed to determine when a true vitamin B12 deficiency exists in pregnant women with low blood levels of the vitamin.

How much is usually taken?

Most people do not require vitamin B12 supplements. However, vegans should supplement with at least 2?3 mcg per day.

People with pernicious anemia are often treated with injections of vitamin B12. However, oral administration of 1,000 mcg per day can be used reliably as an alternative to vitamin B12 injections.18 19 20 21 22

Absorption of vitamin B12 is reduced with increasing age. Some research suggests that elderly people may benefit from 10?25 mcg per day of vitamin B12.23 24 25

When vitamin B12 is used for therapeutic purposes other than correcting a deficiency, injections are usually necessary to achieve results.

Sublingual forms of vitamin B12 are available,26 but there is no proof (nor is there any reason to expect) that they offer any advantage to oral supplements (i.e. a sublingual preparation is eventually swallowed).

Are there any side effects or interactions? Oral vitamin B12 supplements are not generally associated with any side effects.

Although quite rare, serious allergic reactions to injections of vitamin B12 (sometimes even life-threatening) have been reported.27 28 Whether these reactions are to the vitamin itself, or to preservatives or other substances in the injectable vitamin B12 solution, remains somewhat unclear. Most, but not all, injectable vitamin B12 contains preservatives.

If a person is deficient in vitamin B12 and takes 1,000 mcg or more of folic acid per day, the folic acid supplementation can improve the anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. The effect of folic acid on vitamin B12 deficiency-induced anemia is not a folic acid toxicity. Rather, the folic acid supplementation is acting to correct one of the problems caused by B12 deficiency. The other problems caused by a lack of vitamin B12 (mostly neurological) do not improve with folic acid supplements, and can become irreversible if vitamin B12 is not provided to someone who is vitamin B12 deficient.

Some doctors are unaware that vitamin B12 deficiencies often occur without anemia?even in people who do not take folic acid supplements. This lack of knowledge can delay diagnosis and treatment of people with vitamin B12 deficiencies. This can lead to permanent injury. When such a delayed diagnosis occurs in someone who inadvertently erased the anemia of vitamin B12 deficiency by taking folic acid supplements, the folic acid supplementation is often blamed for the missed diagnosis. This problem is rare and should not occur in people whose doctors understand that a lack of anemia does not rule out a vitamin B12 deficiency. Anyone supplementing 1,000 mcg or more per day of folic acid should be initially evaluated by a doctor before the folic acid can obscure a proper diagnosis of a possible B12 deficiency.

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