Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

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…)

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.

Glutamine:Amino Acid

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue. The muscles in our body produce it. You can also find glutamine in many foods containing protein such as red meat, fish, and dairy products.

Glutamine has also been shown to:

• Improve Mental Focus
• Stimulate Growth Hormone in our Bodies
• Boost the Immune System
• Prevent Muscles from going Catabolic

Glutamine is used  to avoid the muscle from going catabolic. This is where the body breaks down its own muscle tissue due to high stress or activity levels. Athletes use glutamine to help them increase lean muscle mass but most of all to help them maintain their muscle mass during intense training. Glutamine is a supplement that should be in the cabinet of any athlete who is serious about their training and goals.

The best way to use glutamine is to consume a total of 5-10 grams two times a day, preferable after your workout and before bed (3-5gms after workout and 3-5gms before bed). You may also increase the absorption of glutamine into the system by combining your glutamine with a drink containing simple sugars such as grape juice or orange juice. This will help transport the glutamine into the muscle cells for faster recovery.

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.

Pre-Contest Prep

This article will go through my diet, cardiovascular training, weight training and supplements and will give you some visual proof of how my methods worked for me. Just bare in mind that everyone responds differently to training and you might have to modify your particular program but I think that this will give you a good starting point.

After reading this, I hope that you will be able to apply the principles and theories I used to get yourself a nice trophy to put on the mantle.

Diet

For starters, I used a little different approach this year as to my diet. For those of you who have read my previous contest preparation guides, you will note that this is a much more lenient diet. That is due to the fact that I didn’t get overly fat in the off-season. Let’s begin.

10 Weeks Out

8:00 – ? cup oatmeal, 6 egg whites w/ one yolk
10:00 – Isopure Zero Carb drink, 3 rice cakes
12:00 – 6 oz. chicken breast, sweet potato, asparagus
3:00 – Isopure Zero Carb Drink, 3 rice cakes
6:00 – Train
7:30 – ABB Mass Recovery Drink
8:30 – 8 oz. steak (sirloin, round), sweet potato, broccoli
10:30 – Isopure Zero Carb Drink

Final 2 Weeks

8:00 – 6 oz. chicken breast, sweet potato
10:00 – Isopure Zero Carb drink, 3 rice cakes
12:00 – 8 oz steak, sweet potato
3:00 – Isopure Zero Carb Drink, 3 rice cakes
6:00 – Train
7:30 – ABB Mass Recovery Drink
8:30 – 8 oz. steak (sirloin, round), sweet potato, broccoli
10:30 – Isopure Zero Carb Drink

As you will notice, there is very little change in my diet throughout the pre-contest preparation. The primary change was made to my first meal where I substituted chicken and sweet potato for oatmeal and eggs.

I don’t know the exact protein amount of this diet. I don’t count calories. I judge my diet based on how I look in the mirror. If I was looking bloated or like I was holding fat I could cut back on some of the higher carb products.

Water Intake:

I drank between 1.0 and 1.5 gallons of water each day. While at work, I would drink it with Crystal Lite Lemonade which has very little sodium. Also, two weeks out from the contest I switched from bottled water to distilled water.

Cardiovascular Training

Due to the fact that I kept off the majority of fat this off-season I was able to take a more leisurely approach to the cardiovascular conditioning.

* 12 weeks to 9 weeks out: Treadmill 30 min/day, 3 x’s/week
* 8 weeks to 6 weeks out: Treadmill 35 min/day, 5 x’s/week
* 5 weeks out: Treadmill 40 min/day, 4 x’s/week
* 4 weeks out: Treadmill 45 min/day, 5 x’s/week
* 3 weeks to 2 days prior to contest: Treadmill 45 min/day, 6 x’s/week

Cardio was performed at lunch time before I ate lunch. I did this to keep my metabolism elevated throughout the day as well as preserve some time in the evenings for family time. This worked excellent for two reasons: 1) I got to spend some time with my family and 2) I wasn’t all wound up in the evening before I went to bed. I had a much easier time sleeping once I started doing cardio over lunch.

I believe it to be best to do cardio before you eat and on as empty a stomach as possible due to the fact that it will put your body into caloric debt and encourage weight loss. This is just my opinion but it seemed to work well for me.

Weight Training

For those of you who haven’t read my articles concerning HIT and Volume Training here are some definitions that will serve to make you understand my approach:

* High-Intensity Training (HIT): Method of training using heavy weights, lower repetitions (6-10), and explosive movements using a large amount of energy over a brief period of time.

HIT focuses more on the larger Type II-b fibers that give your muscles a more voluminous appearance. These fibers fatigue more quickly but produce the greater amount of force compared with Type-I fibers.

* Volume Training: Method of training using medium weights, higher repetitions (12-15), and more succinct movements using a similarly large amount of energy over a more extended period of time.

Volume training focuses on the smaller Type-I fibers that give your muscles a harder, more defined look. These fibers have a greater longevity for training and are more associated with cardiovascular training.

To begin, I’m going to go through my program for the first 10 weeks of my contest preparation. The last part of the section will be what I did the final two weeks before the show. There will be some subtle changes but necessary changes which I will explain at the end.

10 Weeks Out:

Monday: Biceps/Hamstrings/Calves

* Concentration curls: 45 x 8, 50 x 8, 55 x 8, 60 x 6
* Alternating Dumbbell Curls: 35 x 8, 40 x 8, 45 x 8
* Super set with:
* Double Hammer Dumbbell Curls: 30 x 8, 35 x 8, 40 x 8
* High Cable Curls: 70 x 10, 80 x 8, 90 x 8
* Double Leg Curls: 220 x 12, 240 x 12, 260 x 10, 280 x 10
* Stiff-Legged Deadlifts with Dumbbell: 110 x 15, 110 x 15, 110 x 15
* Single Leg Curls with 3 sec pauses: 100 x 8, 110 x 8, 120 x 8
* Calf Raises: 160 x 100 (do as many as possible, rest, continue until you reach 100).

Click here for a printable log of Monday.

Tuesday: Chest/Triceps/Abs

* Flat Dumbbell Press: 90 x 8, 100 x 8, 110 x 8, 110 x 8=>80 x 8=>50 x 8
* Flat Flyes: 50 x 8, 60 x 8, 70 x 8
* Pec Deck: 150 x 12, 170 x 10, 190 x 8
* Cable Cross-Overs: 100 x 15, 120 x 12, 140 x 10
* Tricep Extensions: 90 x 12, 100 x 12, 110 x 12
* Single Reverse Tri Extensions: 60 x 12, 70 x 10, 80 x 8
* Crunches: 4 sets of 30

Click here for a printable log of Tuesday.

Wednesday: Quads/Forearms/Calves

* Double Knee Extensions: 200 x 10, 220 x 10, 240 x 10, 250 x 8
* Leg Presses: 640 x 12, 730 x 12, 820 x 10
* Squats: 225 x 10, 315 x 10, 405 x 8
* Single Knee Extensions with 3 sec pause: 90 x 8, 100 x 8, 110 x 8
* Hip Extensions: 180 x 15, 200, 15, 220 x 15
* Wrist Curls with Barbell (behind back): 115 x 12, 135 x 12, 155 x 12
* Wrist Extension with dumbbells: 25 x 12, 30 x 12, 35 x 12
* Calf Raises: 200 x 40, 220 x 30, 240 x 20
* Seated Calf Raises: 115 x 20, 140 x 20, 165 x 20

Click here for a printable log of Wednesday.

Thursday: Back/Biceps/Abs

* Lat Pulls (wide grip): 180 x 12, 200 x 12, 220 x 12
* Lat Pulls (narrow grip): 150 x 12, 160 x 12, 170 x 12
* Hammer Strength Rows: 180 x 10, 230 x 10, 280 x 10
* Seated Cable Rows: 160 x 12, 180 x 12, 200 x 12
* Cable Pull-Overs: 130 x 15, 140 x 15, 150 x 15
* Hyperextensions: No weight x 15 x 3 sets
* Concentration Curls: 35 x 12, 40 x 12, 45 x 10
* Single Dumbbell Preacher Curls: 30 x 15, 35 x 12, 40 x 10
* Ab Machine: 110 x 15, 120 x 15, 130 x 15, 140 x 15

Click here for a printable log of Thursday.

Friday: Shoulders/Traps/Calves

* Single Dumbbell Lateral Raises (standing): 25 x 12, 30 x 12, 35 x 10
* Single Cable Lateral Raises (standing): 20 x 20, 25 x 20, 30 x 20
* Dumbbell Front Raises: 30 x 10, 35 x 10, 40 x 10
* Or
* EZ Bar Front Raises: 65 x 10, 75 x 10, 85 x 10
* EZ Bar Upright Rows: 65 x 10, 75 x 10, 85 x 10
* Shoulder Shrugs with Bar: 225 x 15, 315 x 12, 405 x 12, 495 x 10, 405 x 12, 315 x 12
* Or
* Dumbbell Shrugs: 110 x 15 (for 5 sets)
* Calf Raises: 360 x 15, 450 x 15, 540 x 15, 630 x 15

Click here for a printable log of Friday.

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: Triceps

* Tricep Extensions: 120 x 8, 130 x 8, 140 x 8, 150 x 8
* Single Reverse Tricep Extension: 70 x 8, 80 x 8, 90 x 8
* Rope Overhead Extensions: 100 x 8, 120 x 8, 140 x 8
* Rope KickBacks: 70 x 8, 80 x 8, 90 x 8
* Bench Dips without weight: x 15

Click here for a printable log of Sunday.

Final Two Weeks:

Monday: Biceps/Hamstrings/Calves

* Concentration curls: 45 x 8, 50 x 8, 55 x 8, 60 x 6
* Alternating Dumbbell Curls: 35 x 8, 40 x 8, 45 x 8
* Super set with:
* Double Hammer Dumbbell Curls: 30 x 8, 35 x 8, 40 x 8
* High Cable Curls: 70 x 10, 80 x 8, 90 x 8
* Double Leg Curls: 220 x 12, 240 x 12, 260 x 10, 280 x 10
* Stiff-Legged Deadlifts with Dumbbell: 110 x 15, 110 x 15, 110 x 15
* Single Leg Curls with 3 sec pauses: 100 x 8, 110 x 8, 120 x 8
* Calf Raises: 160 x 100 (do as many as possible, rest, continue until you reach 100).

Click here for a printable log of Monday.

Tuesday: Chest/Triceps/Abs

* Incline Dumbbell Press: 90 x 8, 100 x 8, 110 x 8, 110 x 8=>80 x 8=>50 x 8
* Incline Flyes: 40 x 10, 50 x 10, 60 x 10
* Flat Flyes: 40 x 12, 45 x 12, 50 x 12
* Cable Cross-Overs: 100 x 15, 120 x 12, 140 x 10
* Tricep Extensions: 90 x 12, 100 x 12, 110 x 12
* Single Reverse Tri Extensions: 60 x 12, 70 x 10, 80 x 8
* Crunches: 4 sets of 30

Click here for a printable log of Tuesday.

Wednesday: Quads/Forearms/Calves

* Double Knee Extensions: 180 x 12, 200 x 12, 220 x 12, 240 x 10
* Leg Presses: 560 x 15, 640 x 15, 730 x 15
* Squats: 225 x 12, 275 x 12, 325 x 12
* Single Knee Extensions with 3 sec pause: 90 x 8, 100 x 8, 110 x 8
* Hip Extensions: 180 x 15, 200, 15, 220 x 15
* Wrist Curls with Barbell (behind back): 115 x 12, 135 x 12, 155 x 12
* Wrist Extension with dumbbells: 25 x 12, 30 x 12, 35 x 12
* Calf Raises: 200 x 40, 220 x 30, 240 x 20
* Seated Calf Raises: 115 x 20, 140 x 20, 165 x 20

Click here for a printable log of Wednesday.

Thursday: Back/Biceps/Abs

* Lat Pulls (wide grip): 160 x 15, 180 x 15, 200 x 15
* Lat Pulls (narrow grip): 150 x 12, 160 x 12, 170 x 12
* Hammer Strength Rows: 180 x 12, 200 x 12, 220 x 12
* Seated Cable Rows: 150 x 15, 160 x 15, 170 x 15
* Cable Pull-Overs: 130 x 15, 140 x 15, 150 x 15
* Hyperextensions: No weight x 15 x 3 sets
* Concentration Curls: 35 x 12, 40 x 12, 45 x 10
* Single Dumbbell Preacher Curls: 30 x 15, 35 x 12, 40 x 10
* Ab Machine: 110 x 15, 120 x 15, 130 x 15, 140 x 15

Click here for a printable log of Thursday.

Friday: Shoulders/Traps/Calves

* Single Dumbbell Lateral Raises (standing): 25 x 12, 30 x 12, 35 x 10
* Single Cable Lateral Raises (standing) 20 x 20, 25 x 20, 30 x 20
* Dumbbell Front Raises: 30 x 10, 35 x 10, 40 x 10
* Or
* EZ Bar Front Raises: 65 x 10, 75 x 10, 85 x 10
* EZ Bar Upright Rows: 65 x 10, 75 x 10, 85 x 10
* Shoulder Shrugs with Bar: 225 x 15, 315 x 12, 405 x 12, 495 x 10, 405 x 12, 315 x 12
* Or
* Dumbbell Shrugs: 110 x 15 (for 5 sets)
* Calf Raises: 360 x 15, 450 x 15, 540 x 15, 630 x 15

Click here for a printable log of Friday.

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: Triceps

* Tricep Extensions: 120 x 8, 130 x 8, 140 x 8, 150 x 8
* Single Reverse Tricep Extension: 70 x 8, 80 x 8, 90 x 8
* Rope Overhead Extensions: 100 x 8, 120 x 8, 140 x 8
* Rope KickBacks: 70 x 8, 80 x 8, 90 x 8
* Bench Dips without Weight: 3 sets of 15 reps

Click here for a printable log of Sunday.

You will notice that there is very little change between the first 10 weeks and the last two weeks. This is due mostly to the fact that I lost little to no strength throughout my dieting and contest preparation. This is primarily as a result of keeping my protein intake high and keeping my intensity up.

Most people may need to change their program up quite a bit due to decreasing strength from dieting. My advice: don’t get so overweight in the off-season. I’m telling you this from experience. The last time I competed I started at 240 and ended up at 185. This year I started at 220 and ended at 195 with a much better physique.

Supplements

Despite what you might think, bodybuilding is a very expensive sport. Because of that fact, I chose to stick with protein drinks/powders only. In my diet I mentioned the Isopure drinks. One thing, I did work in ProLab Pure Whey and Dymatize IsoWhey in for the first protein drink of the day. That being said, here is a list of my supplements:

* Xenadrine EFX: 2/day one hour before workout
* IsoPure Zero Carb (in the glass bottles): 2-3/day
* ABB Mass Recovery (grape): 1/day immediately post workout
* Liver-Rite: 2-3 capsules/day

General Advice

These are just a few of the things I’ve found throughout my short bodybuilding career that seem to make things easier:

1. Start Early: Never wait until the last minute to either diet, start your cardio, or put on your Pro-Tan. This will only increase your anxiety level and thus hinder your results.

2. Get A Workout Partner: This will be the most helpful person in your life for your entire training career; especially pre-contest. Your partner will push you harder and make sure that you are working as hard as you need.

3. Pose Regularly: I started posing 12 weeks out from contest. The first 6 weeks I just did it pretty low intensity for about 15 minutes 3 times a week. The last 4 weeks I posed every night, went through all the mandatory poses twice, and posed for at least 30 minutes.

This will make getting up there on Saturday a breeze. For those of you who have never competed; it’s hot as hell up there. You will sweat and you will cramp unless you are in condition. I was only out-conditioned by one competitor (of course I was bigger, had better symmetry and proportion, and better aesthetics). That’s my b^tch session.

You’ve got to be in posing condition or else you would lose. I practiced my butt off and had no problem holding poses or measuring my breath. Practice, practice, practice. I only started sweating towards the end of the overall posing because I drank too much water back stage and it was over 95 degrees up there.

4. Be Confident, Not Cocky: Backstage at a competition is a bonding session between competitors. The morning pre-judging you are sizing yourself up with the other guys both in your class and in your division. The evening show you are helping each other and making sure everyone gets to the pump up area on time.

I am a very competitive person and because of that I want everyone I’m competing against to look their best. That way, I feel like I’ve accomplished more when beating someone who looked their best also It’s a strange philosophy but it makes me tick and makes everyone around you respect you for being honest.

Tell someone if they missed a spot with their Pro-Tan. Tell them if they are sweating or if they need to get off their feet and rest. Be a good sport. That doesn’t mean you aren’t going to want to beat them but it means that you want to beat them and still have the respect you’ve earned.

Nutrition:Fiber

Experts say we need 25 grams of fiber a day on a 2,000-calorie diet. How can we possibly eat that much? Here’s how!
[WebMD]

We all know fiber is good for us. Not only can dietary fiber lower cholesterol, it also helps keep us trim and feeling full.

So how do you get more fiber into your daily diet? Here are six painless ways to work in 25 grams a day — the recommended amount for someone eating 2,000 calories a day.

Before you start, keep a few things in mind: When you increase fiber, you should increase your water intake along with it. Add fiber gradually to give your gastrointestinal tract time to adapt. And if you have gastrointestinal diseases, including constipation, check with your doctor first.

1. Go for whole grains whenever possible.
Check the ingredient list to make sure the whole grain is the first or second ingredient on the list. Products that say “100% wheat” or “multigrain” are not usually whole grain.

2 slices of whole-wheat bread = 4 grams of fiber
1 cup of cooked brown rice = 4 grams of fiber
Reduced-Fat Triscuit crackers = 3 grams

2. Choose the right breakfast cereals.
Some cereals have little whole grain. And some whole grain cereals are loaded with unnecessary sugar.

½ cup Fiber One = 14 grams of fiber
1 cup Raisin Bran = 7.5 grams of fiber
1 cup Frosted Shredded Wheat Spoon Size = 5 grams
1 cup Quaker Squares Baked in Cinnamon = 5 grams
¾ cup cooked oatmeal = 3 grams
*Recommended serving sizes.

3. Eat beans a few times a week.
Beans offer more fiber than most plant foods, plus they’re loaded with healthy plant protein.

1 cup of canned minestrone soup = about 5 grams fiber
1/2 cup vegetarian or fat-free refried beans, used to make microwave nachos = about 6 grams
1/4 cup kidney beans, added to a green salad = 3 grams fiber
Bean burrito at Taco Bell (or made at home) = 8 grams

4. Have several servings of fruit every day.
You can add it to your morning meal, enjoy it as a snack, and garnish your dinner plate with it. Or have it with — or instead of — dessert.

1 large apple = 4 grams of fiber
1 banana = 3 grams
1 pear = 4 grams
1 cup strawberries = 4 grams

5. Every day, stir a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into your smoothie, soup, casserole, etc.
One tablespoon will boost your daily fiber by 3 grams. Flaxseed contains a balance of soluble and insoluble fiber, too.

6. Have several servings of vegetables every day.
Include a vegetable with lunch, have raw veggies as an afternoon snack or pre-dinner appetizer, and enjoy a big helping with dinner. Make a point of enjoying vegetarian entrees several times a week.

1 cup carrot slices, cooked = 5 grams of fiber
1 cup cooked broccoli = 4.5 grams
1 cup raw carrots = 4 grams
1 sweet potato = 4 grams
1 cup cauliflower, cooked = 3 grams
2 cups raw spinach leaves = 3 grams

Importance of macronutrients/vitamins and nutrients for bodybuilders

A common mistake in bodybuilders? nutrition is neglecting those elements that do not provide calories. However, these elements, known as micronutrients, are indispensable for many physiological functions. This post reviews the importance of basic micronutrients (water, vitamins, and minerals) for achieving success in bodybuilding.

Water is one of the most important nutrients, as it has many health and performance benefits. It keeps your organs functioning properly, clears toxins from the body and regulates the body cooling system. In addition, it is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption and chemical reactions, and it contributes to muscle growth by favoring the transport of nutrients to the cells. It even increases the body’s ability to metabolize stored fat. On the other side, water is also very important for the athletic performance, since improper hydration can result in muscle cramping, decreased strength and reduced endurance.

In general, people wait to be thirsty in order to drink. This is not a good idea, because when you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. You should drink on average 3 or 4 liters of water per day, distributed at regular intervals regardless if you are thirsty or not. Use water itself as you main water source. Soft drinks, alcohol or coffee should be better avoided as a water source because they are diuretic (they take away more water than they provide to the body). In addition, soft drinks and alcohol supply a great number of calories which can turn into body fat.

Vitamins are organic substances essential to the normal functioning of the body, as they help to catalyze biochemical reactions controlling metabolism, growth and maintenance. A deficiency in a single vitamin can have great effects in the athletic performance and even in the health. Vitamins must be obtained from food (fish, fruit and veggies are great vitamin sources) since, with few exceptions, the body cannot synthesize them. Vitamins can be divided into two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are stored in the body fatty tissue and for this reason they do not have to be replenished daily. Don?t overdose since this can lead to toxicity. The water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and all the B complex vitamins, namely B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), folic acid, and biotin (a.k.a. vitamin H)) are not stored in the body and excessive amounts are excreted in the urine. This means that toxicity is generally not a problem, but these vitamins must be continually replenished through the diet.

Minerals have also a great importance. They act as catalysts for many biological reactions within the body, including muscle response, the transmission of messages through the nervous system, the production of hormones, and the assimilation of nutrients in foods. In addition, all tissues and internal fluids of our body (e.g. bones, teeth, muscle, blood, and nerve cells) contain varying quantities of minerals. Since the body cannot manufacture any single mineral, your entire mineral intake must provide from food. The most important minerals for a bodybuilder include magnesium, calcium, zinc, chromium, sodium, phosphorous, iron, selenium, cooper, and potassium. Be aware of overdosing on any mineral, since this can cause a functional imbalance of another mineral or even toxicity.

Post Workout Meal

Post Workout Meal Nutrition -what to eat after a workout

The post workout meal (the meal you eat after a workout) is probably the most important meal of the day for anyone who is into nutrition and fitness. However, in a lot of cases this importance also leads to confusion. Maybe it’s because of the many ready-made shakes available. Maybe it’s the trouble with fitting it in with the rest of your diet. Maybe it’s just generally not knowing whether you should even eat anything after you’ve worked out. Whatever it is, something about it confuses people.

The truth is, once you understand the basics of what nutrients your body needs and doesn’t need after your workout, and what the best sources are to get this nutrition from, the post workout meal will probably become the most simple and quick meal of your day. And, luckily for you, I just so happen to be explaining all of this information in this very article.

What you should and should NOT eat after a workout.

Simply put, aside from water (which you should already know you need) your post workout meal needs to contain 2 things, and it needs to not contain 1. You should be eating protein and carbs. You should NOT be eating fat. More on the protein and carbs you need a little later. First, let’s start with a quick explanation of why you shouldn’t eat fat after a workout.

Many times throughout this website I explain why fat is NOT a bad thing (when it’s the “good” fat) and why it is an important part of everyone’s diet. However, there just happens to be a certain time when fat (good or bad) wouldn’t be good to eat. This of course is in the post workout meal. Simply put, fat slows down digestion. In this case, it would be slowing down the digestion of protein and carbs. This, as you’re about to find out, is the exact opposite of what you want to happen.

At this point you should really have just 3 questions about your post workout meal:

1 – How soon should I eat it?
2 – How much protein and how many carbs should I eat?
3 – What foods should the protein and carbs be coming from?

Hey, what a coincidence, here comes the answers to all of those questions…

How long after my workout should I eat my post workout meal?

Soon… really soon. As soon as you can. I don’t mean put-down-the-dumbbells-and-start-eating. It doesn’t need to be quite that soon. However, there is this “window of time” that exists after your workout during which it would be the most beneficial for your body to receive it’s post workout nutrition. Typically you’d want to try to get this meal into your body within 1 hour. If possible, within 30 minutes would be even better. I personally have my post workout meal about 5-10 minutes after my workout. What’s that you say? How can I do it so fast if I’m at the gym? Don’t worry, more on that later.

Post Workout Protein

Now that you know that time is of the essence when it comes to your post workout meal, this part is going to make a whole lot of sense. See, eating this meal soon after a workout is important, but just because you are putting the food into your body quickly doesn’t actually mean the food is being digested and used by your body equally as quick. While egg whites, chicken and tuna fish are fine sources of protein that I personally eat daily, they aren’t the ideal type of protein for the meal after your workout.

These foods are whole foods, and the protein in whole foods digest pretty slowly. You may have eaten a high protein food in your post workout meal, but by the time the protein is digested and finally ready to be used by your body, a whole lot of time would have passed. This is why the ideal source of protein to eat after your workout is a whey protein powder mixed with some type of liquid thus creating a whey protein shake.

A whey protein shake will be digested by your body much quicker than a whole food because it will be a liquid. And, not to mention, whey protein is the fastest digesting protein there is. This is what makes whey protein pretty much the official choice of most people as their post workout meal protein source. Most people try to consume anywhere from 20-50 grams of protein at this time. I’d say 30 is probably a good number to shoot for.

As for the whey protein powder itself, I personally use Designer Whey Protein Powder.

Post Workout Carbs

Yeah yeah yeah. “Carbs are bad! Carbs are the devil! I am scared to death of carbs! Get them away from me!!” Settle down. First of all, they aren’t so bad. Secondly, after your workout they are actually an extremely important part of your post workout nutrition. Carbs will be used by your body to restore muscle glycogen. If your post workout meal doesn’t contain carbs, your body may actually instead break down muscle tissue for this same purpose. That would be a bad thing. Carbs also create an insulin spike which helps to move nutrients into your muscle tissue quicker.

So, now that you know you need them after a workout, what kind do you need? Well, you know all about good carbs and bad carbs by now, right? Funny enough, this is actually the only time when “good carbs” and “bad carbs” switch roles. This doesn’t mean start eating cookies, this just means that typical good carbs (whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc) contain fiber, and fiber slows down their digestion. This is actually what makes them “good” any other time of the day. But by now you know the post workout meal is all about speed. And when it comes to speed, simple carbs beat complex carbs.

A food like a baked potato is an okay choice for a carb source after a workout. However, just like protein, whole foods in general aren’t really the most ideal choice at this time. This is where a little something called dextrose comes in. Dextrose is not a supplement… it’s actually just a type of sugar. I know, I’m basically saying you should eat sugar. While that would be insane any other time of the day, your post workout meal is the one exception.

Along with whey protein, dextrose has also become almost an official choice for a post workout carb. Most people usually consume between 40-80 grams of carbs at this time from dextrose. I think 50-60 is probably a more average number to shoot for. As far as dextrose goes, I personally use NOW Foods Dextrose.

My Post Workout Meal

To finish this article up, here is what I do. Before I leave for the gym, I put everything I need inside of a shaker bottle. A shaker bottle is just a plastic cup with a cover and some type of “blending” piece inside. You just put something in it, add water, and shake it for about 5-10 seconds. It is simple and extremely convenient for your post workout meal. I put in the whey protein powder, dextrose, and 5 grams of L-Glutamine (more about L-Glutamine) and take a bottle of water with me.

After my workout I get into my car, open the shaker bottle, pour in the water, shake for 5-10 seconds and drink on the ride home. The whole process takes less than a minute and the whole “meal” is finished in a matter of minutes if I take my time. There you have it… quick, easy, convenient and contains the best sources of everything my body requires post workout.

What I use:
Designer Protein Powder
NOW Foods Dextrose
EAS L-Glutamine
Shaker Bottle
Water

The Importance Of Water


Find out exactly what you need!

Water is a fundamental part of our lives. It is easy to forget how completely we depend on it. Human survival is dependent on water – water has been ranked by experts as second only to oxygen as essential for life. The water you drink literally becomes you! Since such a large percentage of our bodies is water, water must obviously figure heavily in how our bodies function. We need lots of fresh water to stay healthy. Aside from aiding in digestion and absorption of food, water regulates body temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, and removes toxins and other wastes. This “body water” also cushions joints and protects tissues and organs, including the spinal cord, from shock and damage. Conversely, lack of water (Dehydration) can be the cause of many ailments.

Water and Weight loss

Among it’s other benefits, water plays a major part in weight loss. Since water contains no calories, it can serve as an appetite suppressant, and helps the body metabolize stored fat, it may possibly be one of the most significant factors in losing weight.

Drinking more water helps to reduce water retention by stimulating your kidneys. Studies have recommended that if you are overweight according to average height and weight comparison charts, you should add one glass of water to your daily requirement (of eight glasses) for every 25 pounds over your recommended weight.

Dehydration leads to excess body fat, poor muscle tone & size, decreased digestive efficiency & organ function, increased toxicity, joint & muscle soreness, & water retention. Water works to keep muscles and skin toned.

Digestive Systems

The digestion of solid foods depends on the presence of copious amounts of water. Constipation is a frequent symptom of dehydration. Increased water, along with increased fiber, will usually totally eliminate a problem. Pain from ulcers and heartburn all decrease with increased water intake. Water eliminates toxins and water from the body.

Water Loss

Adults lose nearly 6 pints (12 cups) of water every day. We lose 1/2 cup to 1 cup a day from the soles of our feet. Another 2 to 4 cups is lost from breathing. Perspiration accounts for another 2 cups. Another 3 pints (6 cups) are lost in urine.

Water Retention

If you’re not drinking sufficient water, your body starts retaining water to compensate for this shortage. To eliminate fluid retention, drink more water, not less. If you don’t drink enough water to maintain your body’s fluid balance, you can impair every aspect of your body’s physiological function.

Joints

Water lubricates our joints. The cartilage tissues found at the ends of long bones and between the vertebrae of the spine hold a lot of water, which serves as a lubricant during the movement of the joint. Joint pain frequently decreases with increased water intake and flexing exercises to bring more circulation to the joints.

Back

75% of the upper body weight is supported by the water volume that is stored in the spinal disc core. 25% is supported by the fibrous materials around the disc. Back pain is frequently alleviated with hydration.

How much water should you drink?

A non active person needs a half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. That is ten 8 ounce glasses a day if your weight is 160 pounds. For every 25 pounds you exceed you ideal weight, increase it by one 8 ounce glass. An active, athletic person needs 2/3 ounce per pound which is 13-14 8 ounce glasses a day if you’re 160 pounds. The more you exercise the more water you need. Spread out your water intake throughout the day. Do not drink more than 4 glasses within any given hour. After a few weeks your bladder calms down and you will urinate less frequently, but in larger amounts.

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